Monday, August 31, 2009

Mars mission by 2013-2015: ISRO

Way to go...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

myth of moderate malaysia

aug 30th, 2009

just goes to show: the richer a mohammedan individual or country gets, the more fanatic they are.

dirt-poor mohammedans tend to be the most decent of the lot.

just look at the shahabuddins and the zakarias and madanis of india: they are the ones who foment riots and bigotry, using the poor mohammedans as a fast-breeding, easily-enraged army to wrest concessions from the nation.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/30/malaysia-islam-religion-opinions-contributors-sadanand-dhume.html

dead man walking: problems of urban pedestrians

aug 30th, 2009

couldn't get hold of mg badami's actual article, but here's the editorial on the topic. i have talked with mg before about bus rapid transit systems. he does not believe the metros are actually going to solve any problems: they will be obsolete the day they are built. plus the last-mile problem is huge.

he also pointed out how the lack of safe sidewalks are prompting parents to insist that their children not walk home from school, but get crammed into some dangerous, motorized transport like a rickshaw.

similarly, he told me his mother sometimes takes an auto to just cross the road in chennai, as trafffic is so bad. he also had some appalling photos of poor, terrified pedestrians trying to cross the road in bangalore, literally risking their lives several times.

the other point is that india's urban centers are vibrant, not ghettos like in the west. if motorized traffic is reduced or regulated they will be much more appealing. for instance, the ban on 3-wheelers (and 2-wheelers?) in downtown mumbai (coupled with the electric train being available) has made that area much more appealing.

there should be entire areas of downtown pune, bangalore, hyderabad, chennai, mumbai and delhi that are closed off to all motorized vehicular traffic, as pedestrian-only areas and malls. these have worked well in various places in the US, for instance san jose. revitalized downtowns, if prettified too, would be highly appealing to both residents and visitors. maybe bicycling can be revived as well with safe bike paths. this is the trend in europe, and hey, therefore it may catch on in india too. bikes may be the perfect last-mile solution if there are safe storage areas at the metro stations.

http://epw.in/epw/uploads/articles/13814.pdf

Kidnapped American girl discovered after 18 years; Christian preacher is the arrested Rapist and Pedophile

aug 30th, 2009

no surprise: kidnapper/rapist/impregnator is christist preacher.

but then he's learned something from our mohammedan friends also about stockholm-syndrome, docile baby-factories, especially those who are underage. the girl was impregnated when she was 14.

and his wife colluded with him. i just love their mugshots: "american gothic"?

anybody ever read margaret atwood's 'the handmaid's tale'? or seen the movie with the late natasha richardson as the fertile teenage girl who is impregnated by an older man, whose sex-slave she is? the impregnation happens with the full knowledge and consent of the older man's wife: in a bizarre scene, the girl lies with her head in the woman's lap, while the man is busy at her other end impregnating her -- sort of a grotesque christist sacrament.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ravi

Kidnapped American girl discovered after 18 years; Arrested Rapist and Pedophile is a Christian preacher

Excerpts from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090830/ts_alt_afp/uscrimekidnap_20090830030522

Jaycee Lee Dugard was discovered on Wednesday, nearly two decades after the blonde schoolgirl was snatched outside her home in 1991, when she was just 11.

She had been confined in a makeshift prison of sheds and tents in what police have described as a "backyard within a backyard" at Garrido's home in Antioch, around 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of San Francisco.

On Saturday, police were searching the house in relation to a series of prostitute killings in the 1990s, as other bodies had been found close to where Garrido worked, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

On Thursday, police revealed that Garrido, a convicted rapist and registered sex offender, had abused Dugard, now 29, and fathered her two daughters, now aged 15 and 11, who had also been kept in the compound.

......

Dugard was found after police reported Garrido acting suspiciously at the University of California, Berkeley, where with two young girls he was trying to hand out religious literature propounding claims he could channel the voice of God.

The pale, blond girls were wearing drab sun dresses, "like 'Little House on the Prairie' meets robots," university security officer Allison Jacobs told a press conference Friday.

"The younger daughter was staring directly at me, as if she was looking into my soul, with this eerie smile on her face," Jacobs said. "I just got a weird, uneasy feeling."

Garrido apparently boasted to the campus officers: "I'm so proud of my girls. They don't know any curse words. They don't know anything bad about the world."


Photos released by El Dorado police show Phillip and Nancy Garrido. ...
AFP/EDCS-HO/File
Sun Aug 30, 10:35 AM ET
Prev 4 of 98 Next

Photos released by El Dorado police show Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Questions mounted about how Garrido was allegedly able to hide a girl for 18 years and the two children she bore him, despite warnings from neighbors of something amiss.

(AFP/EDCS-HO/File)

This undated file photo obtained from the FBI shows Jaycee Lee ...
AFP/FBI/File
Sun Aug 30, 10:35 AM ET
Prev 1 of 98 Next

This undated file photo obtained from the FBI shows Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was kidnapped when she was only 11. Questions mounted Saturday about how a California man was able to hide for 18 years a girl he allegedly kidnapped and the two children she bore him, despite warnings from neighbors of something amiss.

(AFP/FBI/File)


Thanks for Slumming

Heh, if anyone needs a pick-me-up, they can always read the bloggings of someone in a worse mood.

Hinduism Misinterpreted: Encyclopædia Britannica insults Hinduism-Amit Raj Dhawan-23 August 2009

aug 30th, 2009

what can you expect from something written by that sex-crazed wendy doniger? she sees sex in everything. so do her 'children' like courtwright. these people are great candidates for psycho-analysis. or maybe even a little surrogate sex therapy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <bhailal@aol.com>
Date: 2009/8/26
Subject: Hinduism Misinterpreted: Encyclopædia Britannica insults Hinduism-Amit Raj Dhawan-23 August 2009
To:

Hinduism Misinterpreted: Encyclopædia Britannica insults Hinduism-Amit Raj Dhawan-23 August 2009

 
http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=768

 
 
 
 This article will highlight some of the misinterpretations of Hinduism in Encyclopædia Britannica, many of which are very offending to any Hindu reader and those who know and respect Hinduism. The author has based this article on the contents of [1]. Text quoted from Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Student and Home Edition is in slanted red typeface. In the following lines an argument is presented, which shows and questions the biased intentions of a popular reference source like Encyclopædia Britannica. Information conveyed by an encyclopedia should be unbiased, impartial, based on facts, true to the greatest extent, and not anybody's personal opinion. In this light, the article on Hinduism in Encyclopædia Britannica has been examined. The absurd choice of contributors of an article on Hinduism by the authorities of Encyclopædia Britannica will also be analysed. It is felt that Britannica's article on Hinduism is written in a sense that ill-disposes a reader towards Hinduism, whereas this is not the case with Britannica's articles on other religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. After thought and analysis, I have been left with an impression which can be bes t summarized in the following question: Why is Encyclopædia Britannica hostile towards Hinduism?20

... deleted
 


malaysia, truly bigoted mohammedan

aug 30th, 2009

compare this to the literally hundreds of mosques that have come up in kerala over the last decade, all thanks to arab oil money and counterfeit indian rupees from pakistan.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri


The group making their way to the Selangor secretariat building after their prayers. - Picture by Choo Choy May
 
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

SHAH ALAM, Aug 28 — A group of Malay-Muslim protesters claiming to be residents of Section 23 have threatened bloodshed unless the state government stopped the construction of a Hindu Temple.

Amid chants of "Allahuakbar," the group also left the severed head of a cow at the entrance of the State Secretariat here as a warning to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

The "residents" said that the construction of a Hindu temple in a 90 per cent Malay- Muslim neighbourhood was insensitive because activities there would disrupt their lives.

They claimed that the "noise" from the temple would disturb their own praying, and that they would not be able to function properly as Muslims.

The group of 50 over protestors marched shortly after Friday prayers from the Shah Alam State mosque to the State Secretariat.

"I challenge YB Khalid, YB Rodziah and Xavier Jeyakumar to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension will happen if this goes on, and the state will be held responsible," shouted Ibrahim Haji Sabri amid strong chants of "Allahu Akbar!"

Ibrahim identified himself as the Deputy Chairman of the Resident's Committee against the building of the temple in S23 here, which is perceived by some as being a Muslim majority area.

He told the press that the state should move the temple to Section 22 as 'originally planned', and also labelled Khalid a "traitor to the Malay race and Islam".

It is understood that the protest is an immediate reaction towards the Selangor MB's visit to the Hindu temple site yesterday, an act seen by the "residents" as disrespectful to the Muslims of the community.

A symbol of objection?... The cow's head being paraded by the protestors in their march. - Picture by Choo Choy May
 
Mohd. Zurit Bin Ramli, who claims to be the secretary of the "Coalition of Malaysian NGOs" echoed Ibrahim's stand on the matter, saying that it was irresponsible on the part of the state government to approve the construction as there was apparently a "90 per cent" majority Muslim population in Section 23.

"With a temple on our residential area, we cannot function properly as Muslims. The temple will disrupt our daily activities like prayers in the Surau. We cannot concentrate with the sounds coming from the temple," stated Zurit.  

When asked whether members of the protest were affiliated with any organisations or movements, Ibrahim claimed that the people present today were members of PAS, PKR as well as Umno who are "united in the name of Islam and the Malay spirit."  

The state government was also accused of lying to the people of Selangor.

The Chairman of the Residents Committee, Mahyuddin Manaf excitedly proclaimed that the committee would uncover "the lies" and find proof of the state's misconduct.  

"Khalid Ibrahim wears a mask of a Muslim, but in truth he is a liberal. PAS stands to lose out as a result. I voted for PAS as well as Khalid in the past elections," Mahyuddin claimed.

The issue first cropped up when the Selangor government proposed that the Sri Mariamman temple be relocated from Section 19 to Section 23.


indian diaspora and influences in thailand

aug 30th, 2009

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2009-08-29-bangkok-indian-community_N.htm

amazing, actual buddhists accept hindus and sikhs, isn't it?

more dialog on facebook, this time on who invented dharma

aug 30th, 2009

enjoy!

amazing, isn't it, that a religion with the name 'sanatana dharma' still does not get credit for inventing dharma? oh, it was the sainted buddhists who invented it!

once again, this is nothing personal with brp, he is using the standard rhetoric of 90% of people in kerala (ie. the 30% mohammedans, 30% christists, and 30% communists).

Rajeev Srinivasan white guys converging on the idea of dharma? soon they will claim they invented it! http://bit.ly/r91Ne

August 24 at 8:32pm via Twitter · ·
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Rajeev, who do you think actually invented it?
August 24 at 8:42pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
brp, hindus. in your terminology, so-called hindus. :-)
August 24 at 9:02pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
The white ones or the black ones? If you don't want to accept that there are shukla (white) paksha and krishna (black) paksha among hindus, I will put it differently. The ones that came out of the head/mouth or the ones who came out of the legs/feet?
August 25 at 11:49am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
doesn't al-biruni have anything to say on this point? oh, maybe al-biruni was busy comparing the faithful (ie. semitic west asians) with the infidels (everybody else). to be followed by jihad and extermination of said infidels.

maybe the church guys had something to say about this, when they were not busy exhorting the sons of shem (ie. semitic west asians) to rule over the sons of ham (ie. blacks). to be followed by genocide or apartheid vs. blacks.

or maybe as the buddha said to the mother who insisted he revive her dead child, "get me some gingelly seeds from a house where there has been no death". ... Read More

in case it is not clear, do show me a society that did not have differentiation of groups. at least hindus did not go around exterminating people. until the british came along, there was not much casteism either. kindly read original british documents from the british museum as anthologized by dharampal.
August 25 at 12:09pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
i share your general distrust of priestly types who put on airs. have you noticed how jesus followers genuflect to their priests? perfectly sensible people will kneel and kiss their rings! even if said priests are the abhaya-murder type or child-molester type.

interestingly the 'priests' of the communist persuasion -- after all communism is ... Read Moreidentical to the catholic church -- are also prone to putting on airs. remember pol pot and company? i have been to the killing fields of cambodia and the tuol sleng prison where the communist high priests condemned thousands to death. they were serving their jealous, violent god.

despite vanity about being from the face of god or whatever, priests are not so powerful in hinduism. hindus engage someone as a paid expert to do priestly stuff, just like you employ a doctor or a mechanic or gardener. they are not treated as divine, unlike in the semitic cases as above.
August 25 at 7:12pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Rajeev, let me pose the question differently. Was Dharma invented by the Vedic tradition (whose members call their religion Sanatana Dharma, avoiding the Persian/Muslim-European/Christian term Hindu) or by the Buddhist tradition (whose followers invoked Dhammam, which is the Prakrit form of the Sanskrit term Dharma, along with Buddham and Sangham ... Read Morein their daily prayers)?

If you go through the hymns of Rigveda, without being burdened by Sayana's interpretation, which came 15 or 20 centuries later, you can find the names of many hostile tribes who are now untraceable. Until we know what exactly happened to them, I will suspend judgment on the question of extermination.
Thu at 6:31pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
dear brp, i am disappointed to see that you have been infected by the nehruvian-stalinist obsession with labels. why don't you just accept that there is such a thing as hinduism, and that there are actual hindus, as much as it may bother the likes of ddkosabmi and romila thapar?

who invented dharma? isn't that inherent in your question? those who ... Read Morecall their religion sanatana dharma are pretty evidently the ones who invented it. i mean, try an analogy with the jesus people. they are obviously the ones who invented their church.

i did expect you to bring up the buddhism red herring. this is another nehruvian-stalinist invention, based on the white tendency to ascribe all good things in the world -- including a lot of hindu ideas -- to the greek/roman heritage, which of course they wiped out ruthlessly and deride as "pagan". since greek/roman civilization is dead, they can weep crocodile tears over it. similarly comrades -- amazing how true they are to the church's traditions (contd...)
15 hours ago · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
contd... -- like buddhism because it is dead in india, and ascribe all good things in india to buddhism, and generously leave everything bad to hinduism. this is like the other nehruvian stalinist tendency to claim that when if one mohdan/christist does one good thing somewhere, it is because their religions are so good; but if one hindu does one ... Read Morebad thing anywhere, it is because hinduism is bad. somehow doesn't seem like a level playing field.

and incidentally, before you latch on to that,no, it was not hindus who wiped out buddhism, it was the mohammedans who destroyed the viharas -- all the way from central asia to india -- who did. the coup de grace was the rape of nalanda by baktiar khilji circa 1182 ce.

you might want to go for a paradigm shift and consider that buddhism was merely a reformation in hinduism, and that the counter-reformation came a few hundred years later, in the form of sankara's intellectual and the bhakti saints' devotional responses. (contd...)
15 hours ago · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
why, by following the same pattern, the nehruvian stalinists do not claim that catholics and protestants are completely different, i do not know. after all, there has been historically great animosity between the two, many wars, and even today, some of the choicest epithets are used by protestants against the catholic church ("whore of rome" etc... Read More).

in fact, practising hindus and buddhists have no such animosity. hindu deities are found in buddhist temples -- i have seen these first hand in thailand, cambodia, and japan. there is also the account by xiuen tsang of common worship of the deity at sabarimala by hindus and buddhists. and everywhere in southeast asia, you find the lines between hindu and buddhist worship quite blurred.

the major innovation of the buddha was the removal of the deistic element, and also the introduction of the clergy. there is reason to believe both were fatal to buddhism later. one, the dry and nihilistic non-theism of buddhism (contd...)
15 hours ago · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
contd... -- by the way, that criticism comes direct from the vatican -- allowed the counter-reforming hindus, esp the bhakti saints -- to appeal to the common man. similarly, the centralization of buddhism in viharas allowed invading mohdans to decapitate it by beheading all the monks and burning down the libraries. but hinduism, being ... Read Moredecentralized, was more robust. this is a lesson from systems theory -- decentralization leads to resilience.

so, no, buddhists did not invent dharma. nor do they claim to. they followed the philosophy of dharma that hindus had already developed. incidentally, your claim that dharma was invented by buddhists is insulting to jainism, which was contemporaneous to buddhism, does follow dharma, and has no inherent conflict with hinduism. do you mean, miraculously, that jainism and buddhism simultaneously invented dharma? by occam's razor, that's unlikely, they both inherited it from hinduism.

please read history not written by nehruvian stalinists.
14 hours ago · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
please don't get into extermination issues: you will lose. hindus are very minor villains if at all, compared to the illustrious semites.

how many did the church kill? counting heretics like the gnostics, the crusades, the native americans, the incas, the azetcs, et al, roughly 250 million people? including the 30 million they killed in india in the great el nino famines of the 1880s.

how about the mohammedans? at least 100 million in india alone, untold millions in persia, egypt, and so on.... Read More

how about the comrades? 30 million in the 'great leap backward', 30 million in the gulags, 1/7th of the country's entire population in cambodia, and so on. easily 100 million in its short life of 100 years.

oh yes, the semitic types are the champions of mass murder.

and yes, it is always relative. compared to the other ideologies on offer, hinduism is far more benign.
14 hours ago · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
also consider the hindu habit of inclusiveness. octavio paz, somewhat rudely, spoke of the 'intellectual boa-constrictor' nature -- it absorbs with honor other traditions. excellent examples: the absorption of the tribal god jagannath with full honors as an incarnation of vishnu; the absorption of the tribal gods ayyappan and muthappan of ... Read Moreparassinikkadavu in kannur.

unlike the semites, who follow a scorched-earth policy of destroying other's sacred places and then stealing them -- thousands of hindu/jain/buddhist shrines have been turned into mosques, and at least hundreds into churches in india -- hindus invite others in with open arms.

the tribes in the rg veda and how they disappeared, and your imputation that this was genocide -- btw, did you read the rg veda in sanskrit or in some motivated translation by some white christist or some comrade? -- is, i am afraid, at variance with observed facts. much like the late lamented 'aryan' invasion fairy-tale.
14 hours ago · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Rajeev, we have to abandon the thread again as labels have started taking the place of arguments. The problem is not that I am unwilling to admit that there is such a thing as Hinduism but that you are unwilling to admit that it is an artificial construct, for which the Hindus must be grateful to the Muslims and the Christians.
6 hours ago · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
The dominant strain of the artificial construct called Hinduism is the Vedic school, which believed in exclusion and practised segregation. If you don't go to foreigners to understand the Indian tradition you can easily find out taht the inclusive, integrationist approach belonged to other Indain schools.
6 hours ago · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
i'm afraid you're simply reiterating what you said above, that buddhism invented dharma. unfortunately, you are wrong. as i pointed out, at the very least jainism can also claim it invented dharma. so dharma has two parents?

secondly, you're once again reiterating your bias that there is no such thing as hinduism, or that it only exists because of... Read More some al-biruni or some max mueller. this is amusing,and it's downright libelous, not to mention wholly at variance with the facts. hinduism owes nothing whatsoever to the christists, who have on the contrary, stolen mightily from it: the trinity, the virgin birth, etc. and from buddhism the entire idea of an order of monks.

the christists are brilliant at "truth by repeated assertion". alas, you have been subjected to that by the nehruvian stalinists. just by repeating a falsehood many times, it doesn't become a fact, although this has been successfully done by goebbels, the indian church regarding the non-existent 'st' thomas, etc.
2 seconds ago · Delete

a dialog on 'aryan' invasion. al-biruni etc with a malayalam journalist

aug 30th, 2009

i thought i'd post this here as an example of the kind of discourse a hindu can expect from a committed 'secular' intellectual. the issue of labels is very interesting. through labeling, hindus have been turned into non-persons, and hinduism into a non-existent artificial construct. therefore, obviously, hindus and hinduism do not have any rights! QED!

at the end of the day, we sort of agree that we cannot let facts pollute our opinions!

not to make it personal with brp, whom i have known for a long time and get along well with (so long as we don't discuss certain topics. oddly enough, just like with mohammedans!)

Rajeev Srinivasan great site on indological research -- kazanas, danino, kak, agarwal et al. shows 'aryan' invasion fantasy is bunkum. http://bit.ly/dxLPi

August 5 at 10:28pm via Twitter · ·
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
If the Aryan invasion theory is false, the non-Aryans of India must be the first people on earth to meekly submit to servitude.
August 6 at 2:25pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
If the Aryan invasion theory is false, the non-Aryans of India must be the first people on earth to meekly submit to servitude.
August 6 at 2:25pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
dear brp, let me accept your hypothesis about 'aryans' etc. for a moment. in that case there are several other dubious 'firsts': india was the first (and only) civilization that voluntarily allowed a bunch of barbarian whites to take over, when we could have held them off, guns notwithstanding, if we had a clue. it is also currently the first (and ... Read Moreonly) large state that voluntarily disaggregated itself without a fight: j&k, northeast, red corridor etc. so there has been a whole series of 'firsts'. precisely the point the limeys wanted to make, right: you indians have always been beaten up, by 'aryans', greeks, turks, now us brits. you deserve it. what lovely symmetry!
August 6 at 8:20pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
however, the reality is different. there are no non-'aryan' indians, as the 'aryans' were the people who migrated out of india. the 'aryan invasion fairytale' was manufactured with the intent of divide-and-rule. there is no such thing as a 'dravidian'; 'aryan' and 'dravidian' were all indigenous indians, but it was good for the brits/church to ... Read Morecreate problems.

the entire edifice of 'aryan invasion' has been shown to be resting on very thin ice: the pseudo-science of philology. do read the papers on this website to see how the increasing body of evidence negates this motivated fairy-tale. oppenheimer's work on genetics actually even suggests an out-of-india origin for europeans.
August 6 at 8:41pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
My dear Rajeev, there are problems with terms like Aryans, Dravidians etc. But there are even more problems with your thesis. It is too late in the day to talk of indigenous Indians. A large body of information is already available about early human migration. Studies now in progress will hopefully make it possible to trace the dates and routes of ... Read Moremigration with greater degree of accuracy. There is enough material already to conclude that the various peoples of India –the negritos, australoids. mongoloids, mediterraneans and the caucasians -- reached the subcontinent at different times. The last two arrived last – and in that order.
August 7 at 12:31am · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
While Aryan/Dravidian maybe questionable terms, there is enough internal evidence in the Vedic literature to establish that the pastoral Vedic community was in conflict with an urban community. The term Hindu, which you have been throwing about, does not appear in any of the so-called texts of the Hindu religion. Al Baruni, a Muslim scholar sent by... Read More Mahmud Ghaznavi, used it refer to both the people and their faith. The Europeans, who like the Muslims, were unfamiliar with plural societies, picked it up and popularized it. As for the 'divide and rule' concept you refer to, the Vedic community had developed it before the Europeans got past the barabarian stage. And please don't scoff at the idea of barbarians overrunning civilizations. The Greek civilization was overrun by barbarians who then picked up some of its finer points, reputedly, from the Greek slaves.
August 7 at 12:32am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
dear brp, even the most rabid 'aryan' invasion theory types such as witzel and thapar are backpedaling furiously, and have now latched on to the 'aryan' migration theory! the reason is the mounting evidence that there was, in fact, no invasion. i have also come up with the 'aryan' tourist theory, which, even if i say so immodestly, does explain all... Read More the relevant facts rather well, and does relate ancient history to recent practices. very satisfying, actually.

your information is a little outdated. the genetic studies now most widely accepted suggest that early humans came to india from africa around 100,000 years ago and then, through a complex series of events -- including a giant volcano that completely depopulated india -- ended up creating the entire non-african part of the world. kindly see the bradshaw foundation's website (re oppenheimer's work).

there is emphatically no large-scale migration of new genetic material into india after 35,000 years ago. yes, no 'aryan' invasion.
August 8 at 7:10am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
and what is the term you would use in preference to the 'so-called' hindu term?

the term hindu was used much earlier than al biruni. it was used by persians whose s-cognate was h, thus 'sindhu' became 'hindu', like malayalam 'patti' becomes 'haddi' in kannada.

oh, i do not by any means claim that barbarians cannot overthrow civilizations. i ... Read Moreagree with you, they usually do. i am with will durant who said, "The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within."
August 8 at 7:16am · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Rajeev, please do not insist that I share your belief that the last word on human migration has been said and all answers are available at a website. Of course, the Persian used the term Hindu, but that was to refer to the land and people not to religious belief. I see no point in spending time and energy to find an alternative for Hindu because I ... Read Morehave no particular problem with that term. After all it is a successful brand name. It serves a psychological purpose, too, as can be made out from the slogan "garve se kaho…" But I would like to make two points. One, others are entitled to have as much 'garv' in their brand names. Two, it is not fair to dub someone anti-something without defining what that something is.
August 8 at 11:10pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
dear brp, far be it for me to suggest that you blindly follow any dogma. i suggest you read and choose after due consideration.

i choose the work of one of the greatest geneticists of the recent past, and the competing hot theory (from oxford) says more or less the same thing. no large-scale genetic influx into india.

i choose not to believe the work of a 19th cent church guy who dated the vedas based on his belief that the world was created on oct 12th, 4004 BCE at 10am. and he recanted later, anyway. like phrenology, 'aryan' invasion is idiocy, and even witzel/thapar types no longer peddle that particular snake oil. they dissimulate -- 'migration' it is, now. ... Read More

but i am disappointed that you have apparently dismissed my cogent 'aryan' tourist theory. why, i am even in agreement with steve farmer (witzel's foul-mouthed sancho panza) in his assumption that the indus script is not a language!
August 9 at 5:23pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
i don't have to define what 'hindu' is, as india's supreme court has taken the trouble to do so. you were the one who said "so-called hindu" implying that some texts which are fundamental to the definition of hindu are not hindu.

how does it matter that hindu texts do not say anything about "hindu"? for that matter, hindu texts do not say ... Read Moreanything about "kafir" or "pagan", but that's what some others with "garv" call hindus, right? so why all this fuss about nomenclature?

fairness? well, as a small minority hindus are entitled to some extra consideration (remember all the talk about minority entitlements all the time). around the world, 50% are followers of jesus, 33% are followers of mohammed, and hindus are only a part of the remaining 17%. in kerala, 30% follow jesus, 30% follow mohd, 30% follow marx, only 10% are hindus.
August 9 at 6:29pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Dear Rajeev,
The Supreme Court has provided guidelines to decide who is a Hindu, what is Hinduism etc because sometimes it becomes necessary for courts to decide whether or not a person was a Hindu. That does not make the Supreme Court a competent authority to decide these questions because essentially these are not legal issues. And do you know ... Read Morewho gave the court the authority to decide who is a Hindu? The British! After the British acquired control of Bengal in 18th century, they were called upon to decide various legal issues. Warren Hastings got Hindu scholars to tell him what Hindu law and Muslim scholars to tell him what Muslim law was. The Hindu scholars he picked were all followers of the Vedic tradition and on their advice the colonial courts accepted the Vedas and Manu Smriti as basic texts of Hindu law.
August 10 at 2:26pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
The British took the line that if one was not a Muslim or a Christian, he was a Hindu. Even those belonging to the Buddhist and Jain traditions, which rejected the Vedas, thus became part of the Hindu stream. Manu Smriti was written and enforced under highly repressive Sunga (Brahmin) rule after the fall of the Maurya empire. It was designed as an ... Read Moreinstrument of oppression. Yagnavalkya later wrote a new code which lessened the rigours of Manu's code. But the inheritors of the Vedic tradition still follow Manu because it is a better instrument to serve the purpose of subjugating the majority. A computer search of website listing judgments will show that Manu continues to be the favourite of SC judges. They quote him far more often than Yagnavalkya, whose ideas are closer to the Constitutional ideal than Manu's.
August 10 at 2:27pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
The first Indian census listed a large section of the population under various other heads (like animists), but in two or three decades the British bureaucracy, dominated by inheritors of the Vedic tradition, gradually enlarged the definition of Hindu to include them all. The Hindu concept of today is an artificial construct, resulting from a ... Read Moreprocess which probably began with Al Beruni 1000 years ago and is still not over.

Sree Narayana Guru, now depicted in yellow robes by his followers, actually wore white all his life. He switched to saffron at the fag end. This was to prevent alienation of the property he had acquired. To keep the property with the Sangham he had set up it was necessary to establish that he was a sanyasi. According to the guidelines the court had laid down earlier, a sanyasi had to be habitual wearer of saffron. Would Sree Narayana not have been a sanyasi if he had not switched to saffron?
August 10 at 2:27pm · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Your reference to the minority status of Hindus suggests that the Sinhala syndrome is at work. The Sinhalas, the majority community in Sri Lanka, have suffered from a minority complex because they can... Read More't get over the fact that there is a large Tamil population beyond the borders. It is possible that the Sri Lankan army's victory over LTTE has helped them to get over the complex. It is interesting to speculate on the possibility of an Indian military victory over Pakistan and some Christian country as a way to cure the Sinhala syndrome of Hindus. It may turn out to be a case of the remedy being worse than the malady, though.
August 10 at 2:28pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
dear brp, it is your privilege to not accept the definition of 'hindu' as per the supreme court. i presume you will now enlighten me as to the definition of the term that you yourself prefer? obviously you have some views on the matter, as you have said above 'so-called hindu'. so what exactly is 'hindu' according to you?

i note in passing that ... Read Moreyou do not consider the supreme court a competent authority, but you do consider the constitution a competent authority in its definition of "minority" as well of "minority rights", i take it?

once again, we are in violent agreement on not liking the british. i too, find that they caused serious problems with their census, which had the effect of ossifying the caste system, which hitherto had been quite fluid. by arbitrarily deeming certain groups to be xyz, the british perverted the caste system, which had been a sensible system of division of labor hitherto.
August 13 at 8:08am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
the manusmriti is another perversion that the british brought in. nobody in india had ever treated the manusmrti as anything more than the rantings of a particularly dyspeptic medieval guy who didn't much like anything. it was never, *never* the basis of statecraft before the british. i'd seriously reconsider your claim about the sungas, because ... Read Moreyou are relying on motivated communist historians. they were the same people who kept claiming that hindu kings always attacked buddhists, but when forced to back it up, came up with two, just *two*: one, it turned out, was a kashmiri king influenced by mohammedan advisers, and the other was one sunga, if i remember right. yes, exactly *one* king out of hundreds, or thousands! the self-proclaimed "eminent historians" have perverted the study of history in india and largely fed us all nonsense, much like the 'aryan' invasion, er... migration, er... tourist theory.
August 13 at 8:14am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
when the british arrived, they decided arbitrarily that since the bible was their manual of statecraft -- read the authoritative "raj syndrome" by suhash chakravarthy'for more -- the hindus must have had a manual. lo! they decided that the manusmrti was it. in reality, the manusmrti had no more authority than any other smriti, say the brpsmrti or ... Read Morethe rajeevsmrti, some commentary written by some guy.

the british not only paupered a lot of the caste guilds by de-industrializing india, they also cemented their position -- previously marvelously fluid -- in the caste system with their absurd censuses. in addition, they 'demoted' a lot of the martial castes after removing their weapons to ensure they would not be a challenge to the british. so the british perversions of the caste system were a huge factor in the later problems of the country. they successfully drove giant wedges between the various castes, which we are still experiencing the evil results of.
August 13 at 8:23am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
i wouldn't take al-biruni without a huge pinch of salt. if your arguments depend on his observations, i fear they are not very sound. al-biruni was a sycophantic hagiographer of a barbarian overthrowing a civilization. his words have no more validity per se than those of, say a visigoth historian describing the fall of rome, or of an imperial han chinese historian commenting on the tibetan civilization which he was not equipped or incentivized to understand.
August 13 at 8:25am · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
regarding the oppression of hindus, your sinhalese analogy is not very accurate. a much better analogy would be the severe oppression of blacks in the us until the civil rights acts of the 1960s. blacks were simply treated as unequal, lynched frequently, had the entire weight of the official apparatus arrayed against them -- media, judiciary, government. it is the same for hindus in india. basically, hindus are second-class citizens and there is an apartheid enforced against them.
August 13 at 8:28am · Delete
Brp Bhaskar
Brp Bhaskar
Rajeev, let yours be the last words in this thread, for when we get to the stage where the only purpose facts can serve is to reinforce prejudices, iit means the time has come to take a break.
August 13 at 7:51pm · Delete
Rajeev Srinivasan
Rajeev Srinivasan
dear brp, entrenched positions are all very well, but an occasional rethink based on fresh evidence is a good thing. question authority, as kumaran asan said. otherwise we will all be like the vatican -- it is good to remember in this 400th anniversary year of galileo's telescope -- which finally accepted that the earth goes around the sun just about 25 years ago!
August 14 at 9:34am · Delete

Jesus Was Asian

Some ditzy kids' call-to-convert video has sparked a widespread response, with rebuttal videos such as these:



The thing is, I couldn't tell whether the original conversion video was serious, or whether it was just a goofy parody.

japan has no EVMs, so dinosaur party voted out

aug 30th, 2009

unlike in india, they didn't try to defraud the electorate.

The LDP, which has dominated Japanese politics like the Congress Party in India, swept out of power in polls heralding a generational change

Saturday, August 29, 2009

dr. vijaya continues to expose angana's shallow scholarship and paid-for hostility

aug 29th, 2009

angana is -- how shall i put this delicately -- quite likely to be taking money for services rendered.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vijaya


Dear Dr. Chatterji,

I continue to check your articles and simultaneously the rebuttal by Hindu groups, who have not rolled over and played dead.The latest I looked at is your letter to the Commissioner on the Amarnath issue and Kashmir in general (2008).

Since the Hindu rebuttals are clear enough I will not go to that topic, but will confine myself to some general reflections.

India is not an imperial country. It has been a colonised country. Unlike the Western democracies, it has not invaded any country, nor does it intend to do so in future. While it is legitimate for Americans, for example, to protest the war in Vietnam, or the invasion of Iraq, it seems bizarre, to say the least, to establish equivalences between India and the West in that regard. And on the basis of that, hack away at the country. This crying of wolf, wolf, at every twist and turn, makes it difficult to take your critiques seriously.

It shows the poor judgment of the Left, if not actual sinister motives.

The internationalism of the organised Left in India is influenced by its pro China policies. In my opinion, there is nothing Communistic about that country, even though in a distorted sense, American commentators on their news channels, routinely call China a communist country. It is far from being Communist, in the sense that the orginal founder of Communism intended.

At present, it is simply a nationalist country with great power ambitions.

The Hindu rebuttals also point out that you have been receiving awards from Muslim groups in the U.S. The photographs seem quite authentic. It seems as if those Muslim groups are operating on the assumption that our enemy's enemy is our friend. This seems also to be the raison de'etre for China's support at all levels, covert and overt for Pakistan, in its hostile policies towards India.

This brings me to two points : the misguided internationalism of the organised Left and the misguided jihadism of some Muslims in India. Both have their origin in a lack of historical perspective.
MJ Akbar, himself a Muslim, has said publicly, that in India alone, have Muslims enjoyed uninterrupted democracy for 60 years plus (see his blogsite). And many Muslims, at Partition, opted to stay on in India. And many still would not opt to go to Pakistan. This refutes Ms Arundhati Roy's contention that Muslims are unhappy in India.

In your case, the absence of a genuine knowledge of Indian history and its culture seem to be operative. As I said in my previous communication to you, some serious autodidactism is called for. I am making an educated guess that you left Calcutta, where you were born (according to your own account) as a very young person and entered the heady world of Left thinking, post modernism, post colonial studies etc. without adequate preparation. Hence, everything became grist to your newly found world view, which to start with must have been the run of the mill convent education provided by Catholic nuns. They may not have engaged in the type of abuse of Hinduism and its deities, as do some fundamentalist Christians in places like Mangalore, but certainly, the early indoctrination in Christianity, and the rejection of all things Hindu, must have been all pervasive.

You do not seem to have even a rudimentary acquaintance with Sanskrit, as evidenced in your Deposition before the Commission at Kandamahal in 2008 on the riots there. You use the phrase, 'serve with body, mind and money ' to describe the dedication of Hindu groups. The RSS dedicatory vow begins with Valsalye Mathrubhumi, which means Beloved Motherland. That sets the tone for the rest of the vow (Incidentally, Gandhiji was a great believer in vows). And the dedication of the RSS workers to social reform and their frontline work during tsunamis, floods etc. has been exemplary, despite the carping criticism of arm chair liberals!

The more one reflects on situations such as yours, one understands the relevance of such concepts as Punya Bhumi (Sacred Land) which Indian freedom fighters such as Savarkar have talked about (see his The Essence of Hindutva, 1925).

This idea of India as a sacred land is again not to be confused, as some blithe Indian commentators have done, with the 'blood and soil' concept of the German people. One has to ask: what soil, what blood ?

The Germans, with due respect, have a relatively short historical experience and their history started with rather crude conditions of living and philosophy.Their achievements in every discipline came much later, after the Middle Ages.

Hindus, on the other hand, can start with the Veda, some 5000 years ago. Even a cursory reading of the Rig Veda, not to mention the Upanishads etc. would tell the reader that we are dealing with a highly spiritual philosophy. The Rig Veda, for instance, is characterised by its environmentalism and its philosophy of the unity of being, in the universe. I have written about this briefly in a short article ' Sarasvati Regained ' (Organiser, Aug.23, 2009). Although I situate my discussion in the context of the ideas of the New Theorists regarding the Aryan Invasion Theory, the subtext is the metaphor of Sarasvati as the new direction that India should be going towards, based on the insights of the Veda.

As for the Upanishads, the deep spiritual enquiry one finds there is unparalled at that time in human history(if ever !).

This is what Hindus are defending. It has been distorted by endless invasions, conquests and violent Occupations. And recently by the Left and other forces who are clearly against these notions of spirituality.

Today, with the RSS and its heroic efforts at social change (the eradication of casteism and the uplifing of the masses) there is a golden opportunity for anyone seriously interested in this agenda to participate, rather than engage in carping criticism and even worse.

I was shocked to find that you teamed up with the much misguided souls who started the Stop the Hate Campaign , which seeks to stop the funding of the RSS social service outfits.

I read the thorough report on the topic by people like Ramesh Rao et al(IRDF). Fortunately, the efforts of your group have not succeeded in derailing a noble project.

For the political sitation today I recommend that you read the Interview with Mohan Bhagat of the RSS. It is reprinted in Haindava Keralam in their home page: Interview with Poojaneeya Sarsanghchalak Sri Mohan Bhagat. It is listed prominently right on top of their home page.

It is one of the sanest and most sober documents I have read in recent times on the Indian situation.

You need not hesitate owing to the  use of honorifics in the above interview. It is similar to the use of The Right Honourable etc. in Western discourse. Forgive me for elaborating on all this but the gaps left by your convent education, necessitate these interventions.

I urge you to seriously rethink your approach. Meanwhile, I shall wait to look at whatever theoretical framework you have set up in Violent Gods and Hindu Nationalism.

I will not be writing to you again, in the immediate future.

Sincerely,

Dr. Vijaya