Monday, April 30, 2012

imperial secrets: the black history of white conquest -- what the brits usually dont tell you about their exploits

apr 30th 2012 CE

http://www.monbiot.com/2012/04/23/dark-hearts/

Dark Hearts

April 23, 2012

We British have a peculiar ability to blot out our colonial history.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 24th April 2012

There is one thing you can say for the Holocaust deniers: at least they know what they are denying. In order to sustain the lies they tell, they must engage in strenuous falsification. To dismiss Britain's colonial atrocities, no such effort is required. Most people appear to be unaware that anything needs to be denied.

The story of benign imperialism, whose overriding purpose was not to seize land, labour and commodities but to teach the natives English, table manners and double-entry book-keeping, is a myth that has been carefully propagated by the right-wing press. But it draws its power from a remarkable national ability to airbrush and disregard our past.

Last week's revelations, that the British government systematically destroyed the documents detailing mistreatment of its colonial subjects(1), and that the Foreign Office then lied about a secret cache of files containing lesser revelations(2), is by any standards a big story. But it was either ignored or consigned to a footnote by most of the British press. I was unable to find any mention of the secret archive on the Telegraph's website. The Mail's only coverage, as far as I can determine, was an opinion piece by a historian called Lawrence James, who used the occasion to insist that any deficiencies in the management of the colonies were the work of "a sprinkling of misfits, incompetents and bullies" while everyone else was "dedicated, loyal and disciplined"(3).

The British government's suppression of evidence was scarcely necessary. Even when the documentation of great crimes is abundant, it is not denied but simply ignored. In an article for the Daily Mail in 2010, for example, the historian Dominic Sandbrook announced that "Britain's empire stands out as a beacon of tolerance, decency and the rule of law. … Nor did Britain countenance anything like the dreadful tortures committed in French Algeria."(4) Could he really have been unaware of the history he is disavowing?

Caroline Elkins, a professor at Harvard, spent nearly ten years compiling the evidence contained in her book Britain's Gulag: the Brutal End of Empire in Kenya(5). She started her research with the belief that the British account of the suppression of the Kikuyu's Mau Mau revolt in the 1950s was largely accurate. Then she discovered that most of the documentation had been destroyed. She worked through the remaining archives, then conducted 600 hours of interviews with Kikuyu survivors – both rebels and loyalists – and British guards, settlers and officials. Her book is fully and thoroughly documented. It won the Pulitzer prize. But as far as Sandbrook, James and the other imperial apologists are concerned, it might as well never have been written.

Elkins reveals that the British detained not 80,000 Kikuyu, as the official histories maintained, but almost the entire population of one and a half million people, in camps and fortified villages. There, thousands were beaten to death or died from malnutrition, typhoid, tuberculosis and dysentery. In some camps almost all the children died(6).

The inmates were used as slave labour. Above the gates were edifying slogans, such as "Labour and freedom" and "He who helps himself will also be helped". Loudspeakers broadcast the national anthem and patriotic exhortations. People deemed to have disobeyed the rules were killed in front of the others. The survivors were forced to dig mass graves, which were quickly filled. Unless you have a strong stomach I advise you to skip the next paragraph.

Interrogation under torture was widespread. Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions. A favourite technique was to hold a man upside down, his head in a bucket of water, while sand was rammed into his rectum with a stick. Women were gang-raped by the guards. People were mauled by dogs and electrocuted. The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women's breasts. They cut off inmates' ears and fingers and gouged out their eyes. They dragged people behind Land Rovers until their bodies disintegrated. Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound(7).

Elkins provides a wealth of evidence to show that the horrors of the camps were endorsed at the highest levels. The governor of Kenya, Sir Evelyn Baring, regularly intervened to prevent the perpetrators from being brought to justice. The colonial secretary, Alan Lennox-Boyd, repeatedly lied to the House of Commons(8). This is a vast, systematic crime for which there has been no reckoning.

No matter. Even those who acknowledge that something happened write as if Elkins and her work did not exist. In the Telegraph, Daniel Hannan maintains that just eleven people were beaten to death. Apart from that, "1,090 terrorists were hanged and as many as 71,000 detained without due process."(9)

The British did not do body counts, and most victims were buried in unmarked graves. But it is clear that tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of Kikuyu died in the camps and during the round-ups. Hannan's is one of the most blatant examples of revisionism I have ever encountered.

Without explaining what this means, Lawrence James concedes that "harsh measures" were sometimes used, but he maintains that "while the Mau Mau were terrorising the Kikuyu, veterinary surgeons in the Colonial Service were teaching tribesmen how to deal with cattle plagues."(10) The theft of the Kikuyu's land and livestock, the starvation and killings, the widespread support among the Kikuyu for the Mau Mau's attempt to reclaim their land and freedom: all vanish into thin air. Both men maintain that the British government acted to stop any abuses as soon as they were revealed.

What I find remarkable is not that they write such things, but that these distortions go almost unchallenged. The myths of empire are so well-established that we appear to blot out countervailing stories even as they are told. As evidence from the manufactured Indian famines of the 1870s(11) and from the treatment of other colonies accumulates(12,13), British imperialism emerges as no better and in some cases even worse than the imperialism practised by other nations. Yet the myth of the civilising mission remains untroubled by the evidence.

www.monbiot.com

References:

1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/18/britain-destroyed-records-colonial-crimes

2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/18/sins-colonialists-concealed-secret-archive

3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2131801/Yes-mistakes-stop-proud-Empire.html

4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1299111/Stop-saying-sorry-history-For-long-leaders-crippled-post-imperial-cringe.html

5. Caroline Elkins, 2005. Britain's Gulag: the Brutal End of Empire in Kenya. Random House, London.

6. Caroline Elkins, as above.

7. Caroline Elkins, as above.

8. Caroline Elkins, as above.

9. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100083096/in-all-the-coverage-of-the-atrocities-in-kenya-two-words-are-missing

10. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2131801/Yes-mistakes-stop-proud-Empire.html

11. Mike Davis, 2001. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World. Verso, London.

12. See for example John Newsinger, 2006. The Blood Never Dried: a people's history of the British empire. Bookmarks, London.

and

13. Mark Curtis, 2007. Unpeople: Britain's secret human rights abuses. Vintage, London


Falling Prices Fueling Indian Solar Boom

Falling prices and competition among manufacturers are driving a solar boom in India:

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/30/india-solar-program-driving-solar-prices-to-impressive-lows/

stanford: APRIL 30th @ 12:15 pm :Screening and Discussion of "Partners in Crime" with Filmmaker Paromitra Vohra, Bechtel International Center

Vohra Flyer.pdf Download this file


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bernadette Marie White <bmwhite@stanford.edu>
Date: Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Subject: APRIL 30th @ 12:15 pm :Screening and Discussion of "Partners in Crime" with Filmmaker Paromitra Vohra, Bechtel International Center
To:


Please distribute widely. See attached flier for more details.


Center for South Asia Presents

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION OF

PARTNERS IN CRIME WITH FILMMAKER PAROMITA VOHRA

APRIL 30th 2012 12:15 – 2:00 PM

BECHTEL INTERNATIONAL CENTER

 

Is piracy organized crime or class struggle? Are alternative artists who want to hold rights over their art and go it alone in the market, visionaries or nutcases? Is the fine line between plagiarism and inspiration a cop-out a whole other way of looking at the fluid nature of authorship? Who owns a song – the person who made it or the person who paid for it? When more than three fourths of those with an Internet connection download all sorts of material for free, are they living out a brand new cultural freedom – or are they criminals?Full of wicked irony, great music and thorny questions, Partners in Crime explores the grey horizons of copyright and culture during times when technology is changing the contours of the market.




like selling 'papal bulls', murderer mafioso buried next to popes (in exchange for $750,000). #vatican == oldest, richest, most ruthless MNC

apr 30th, 2012 CE

what happened to separating god and mammon?

and what happened to 'unto ceasar what's ceasar's, unto god what's god's'?

the godmen are clearly not averse to a little money. or a lot.

bill gates and microsoft, eat your heart out. you ain't nothing compared to the original MNC, the vatican.

the "holy" "see". yeah.

 
 
EPA AP

1 / 3

The Basilica of St Apollinaris, where De Pedis was interred
EPA

The Vatican is facing a deepening controversy over the burial 22 years ago of a notorious crime boss, with reports emerging that the church accepted a one billion lire (£407,000) payment from the mobster's widow to allow his interment in a basilica.

A source at the Holy See told the Ansa news agency that "despite initial reluctance" the then vicar-general of Rome, Cardinal Ugo Poletti, "in the face of such a conspicuous sum, gave his blessing" to the controversial interment of Enrico De Pedis, the former boss of Rome's notorious Magliana gang. The money was reportedly used on missions and to restore the Basilica of St Apollinare, where the mobster was laid to rest next to popes and cardinals after his death in 1990.

The claims, which the Vatican has not commented on, may explain how such a reviled criminal was buried in such a hallowed site. Last week, to deflect growing criticism and to help resolve a 30-year-old murder mystery, it emerged that Vatican officials had decided to move the remains of De Pedis from his special crypt.

Pressure mounted earlier this month when a prosecuting magistrate, Giancarlo Capaldo, claimed senior officials at the Vatican knew much more than they were letting on about the Magliana gang's links to the Holy See, and the gang's suspected kidnap and murder of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican official, in 1983. "There are people still alive, and still inside the Vatican, who know the truth," he said. Some believe Emanuela's father had evidence linking the Vatican Bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione, to organised crime, and that she was snatched to keep him silent. The theory is that De Pedis, who was shot dead in 1990, organised the kidnapping.

For the past two decades, there has been speculation that Emanuela's remains were put in the tomb alongside De Pedis. The girl's brother, Pietro Orlandi, has joined those calling for the tomb to be opened.

The Vatican – under heavy scrutiny after a set of scandals – denies the claims and has hinted that investigators will be able to witness the re-opening of the crypt, in a bid to quash the rumours. "It seems that nothing has been concealed and there are no Vatican secrets to reveal," said a spokesman for Vatican, Father Federico Lombardin.

It is likely that the body of De Pedis will be moved to a less high-profile place of rest. The location may be decided at an upcoming meeting. Even if the girl's remains are not found in the crypt, the mystery surrounding her disappearance will remain.

Other theories surrounding her fate are not in short supply. One, more palatable for the Vatican, suggests that Magliana gang members snatched her at the behest of Turkish extremists, who wanted to use her as a bargaining tool to win the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

But others have implicated Paul Marcinkus, the disgraced and deceased former head of the Vatican bank, which was involved in the bankruptcy of Italy's largest private bank, the Banco Ambrosiano, in 1982.

Soon after the news of the scandal became public, the president of Banco Ambrosiano, Roberto Calvi, was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.

teenage mutant ninja turtles spotted in chennai? http://www.firstpost.com/photos/images-chennais-hottest-summer-accessory-scarves-293631.html

san diego, CA: Two women save boy from father who was trying to CUT OFF HIS ARMS in ritual sacrifice

apr 30th, 2012 CE

what cruel religion do these people follow?

as an aside, the woman jaymisha pires who saved the boy is 21, and she has a six-year old child. my arithmetic says she must have been impregnated at the age of 14. and that is statutory rape.

who are these people in southern california?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arvind

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136945/Jaymisha-Pires-Corey-Granberry-save-boy-father-trying-cut-arm-ritual-sacrifice.html

Two women save boy from father who was trying to CUT OFF HIS ARMS in ritual sacrifice

Pires said Ramirez kept saying, 'We're going to Jesus, we're going to Jesus.' Granberry said she grabbed the injured boy and Ramirez's two other children, who are both toddlers.

Granberry wrapped a T-shirt around one of the arms of the boy, who was bleeding badly. Ramirez was tackled by Dana Fontenot, a 60-year-old security guard who was on his third day of working at Mount Hope.


An Idea called Shiva

Not all forms of God are worshipped. Brahma who creates is not, while Vishnu, who preserves, and Shiva, who destroys, are. This again is counter-intuitive since in western tradition, God is worshipped because he is the creator. So why do Hindus worship a God who is a destroyer?
Few notice what Shiva actually destroys. Popular notion is that he destroys the ‘world with his tandava dance'. But what really Shiva destroys are: Kama (desire), hence his title of Kamantaka, and Yama (death), hence his title of Yamantaka. He is destroying the cycle of birth and death that Brahma creates and Vishnu preserves. He rejects culture, with all its artificial notions of right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. He destroys it by shutting his eyes to the world. That's it!
In Shiva, inaction is destruction. If there is no human imagination would the world exist? Shiva is indifference personified. His indifference has cosmic repercussions. Nothing moves. There is no vibration, no sound, no wave, no rhythm, no flow. Only still mountains and snow.

Devdutt Pattanaik: An Idea called Shiva

the argentina syndrome: my piece on caudillos, corralitos etc. rampant in india as well

Wind Farms Come Under Scrutiny

At one time, farmers in Maharashtra were blaming wind farms for disrupting rains.
Researchers at the SUNY-Albany analysed the satellite data of areas around large wind farms in Texas, where four of the world's largest farms are located, over the period 2003 to 2011.

The results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed a warming trend of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade in areas over the farms, compared with nearby regions without the farms.

Scientific American: Wind Farms Might Have Warming Effect

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Bribe and the Babu - by Omesh Saigal IAS

apr 29th, 2012 CE

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri
Subject: Must Read: The Bribe and the Babu - by Omesh Saigal IAS
To:


THE BRIBE AND THE BABU

http://expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=377543

Omesh Saigal is a 1st class engineering graduate (1962) from IIT,
Kharagpur and an IAS of 1964 batch.

Whether General V K Singh’s sudden public revelation of the bribe offer, a
year and a half after it was made, was the deft move of an ex-commando or
the innocent protest against civilian apathy of a third generation
soldier….well, let future historians decide. For me, though, it is a bold
effort of a person who stands for probity and honesty and, maybe, it is a
blow against the ‘consultants’ and middlemen ridden world into which the
bureaucrat has to tread. I wish I had shown just a part of his courage when
confronted with a similar situation.

I had just cleared my files as in walked an Member of Parliament who,
though then in the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, earlier represented
Delhi, a state where I had spent the bulk of my working years. It was soon
clear that he was here to request for postponement of an order for
embossing a certain statutory warning on cola bottles, which, if
implemented, would cost several crores of rupees to his bottling company.
“We met the minister”, he declared, “he is clear that he will do as advised
by you.” His statement did not surprise me; a minister is supposed to be
guided by the departmental secretary. What he said next took my goat. “How
much do you think the minister will want?” he asked suddenly. It was all so
matter of fact that I didn’t even think there was something amiss. “Why
don’t you ask his private secretary?” was my simple retort. For a moment he
may have been taken aback but soon he quipped. “Okay, Mr Saigal….tell me
how much do you want?”

My response, though instant, was quite different from the General’s ‘Get
out’ reaction. I sprung up in my seat: “Slap me as hard as you can, Mr….!”
And, before the taken-aback MP could react, I went on: “That will cause me
less pain than your query.” With just a moment’s respite, I went on: “With
my retirement just a couple of months away, I was happy in the thought that
at least I could spend my old age narrating stories about my integrity and
probity and the fact this was appreciated and accepted by all. But, sir,
you have shattered that dream. I have nothing left to count now but my
meagre retirement benefits, that won’t even buy me a two-bedroom flat in
Faridabad.”

I salute the solder in General Singh for having the guts to disclose a fact
like this while still in service because I have been able to do so only
now, a full 10 years into my retirement.

The relationship between the Babu and Bribe has always been intimate, almost
like the left hand to the right. My father, who joined the imperial
services way back in the Twenties of the last century, often joked: “The
corrupt person is a ‘dohathad’ (two-handed)… he takes his salary with the
right and uses the left to collect the *balai *money (bribe).”

In the ‘good’ old days the bribe was really of the nature of bakshish, a
voluntary payment by the beneficiary. Even the British had found a way to
‘reward’ officers who spent almost their entire lives honestly serving the
king and country. Just a few years before their retirement, they were
seconded to the political service and appointed as agents in one of the
princely states. It was a tradition to give *dalis *during Christmas.
Naturally, the dali had to measure up to the ruler’s self perception and
meant a substantial pre-retirement bonus for the officer.

,,, deleted

Former IB chief on Church-Maoist Nexus: "Young Christians are the Maoists' primary constituency"

apr 28th, 2012 CE

liberation theology 2.0: liberate the land from the tribals.

sounds a lot like what happened in the US. the land has indeed been liberated from the native americans.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ravi
Date: Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM
Subject: Former IB chief on Church-Maoist Nexus: "Young Christians are the Maoists' primary constituency"
To:


Former IB chief on Church-Maoist Nexus: "Young Christians are the Maoists' primary constituency" 

http://www.rediff.com/news/special/former-ib-chief-maoists-wont-hurt-collector/20120423.htm

Former IB chief: Maoists won't hurt collector

April 23, 2012

Will Alex Paul Menon's religion save him from coming to harm at the hands of his Maoist kidnappers?

A former Intelligence Bureau chief tells Sheela Bhatt why he believes it to be the case.


Alex Paul Menon, the district collector of Sukma in Chhattisgarh, who was abducted by Maoists on Saturday, April 21, is unlikely to be hurt by the outlawed rebels, India's foremost expert on the Maoists and a former director of the Intelligence Bureau told Rediff.com

The Maoists are unlikely to harm Menon because he is a Christian, the intelligence guru felt.

Speaking on condition that he would not be identified by name for this report, the former IB chief claimed, "Maoism is a political movement and the Maoists can be as opportunistic as the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), the Congress and other political parties."

"In the tribal areas of India," he explained, "lots of young tribals are converting to Christianity for their personal growth and their family's welfare. The Maoists would never like to be unpopular among this core constituency."

"We should not communalise the issue," the former IB director said, but reasoned "that a study of the politics of the Maoists suggests they will treat the collector well."

"I wish and pray Menon comes home safe," the former IB chief said. "His kidnappers are unlikely to behave like the radical Islamists who have a tendency to displease their own people and community. The Maoists are shrewd and will bargain hard, but not behave recklessly."

"Young Christians are their primary constituency," he added, "and they bank heavily on them in the jungles."

Menon is an Indian Administrative Service officer of the 2006 batch. The Maoists kidnapped him from Majhipara village in the Maoist-controlled Keralapal area, after they killed his bodyguards.

A native of Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, Menon is the first collector of the newly-created Sukma district in Chhattisgarh state and has been reported to be quite pro-active in pushing new projects in one of India's most backward regions.

Sheela Bhatt in New Delh

pennsylvania, may 25-28: Hindu Students Council Camp

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hindu Students Council <info@hindustudentscouncil.org>
Date: Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Subject: Special Discount on HSC Camp - For First 25 Students!!!
To:


Special Promotion!!

Thanks to our generous donors

Camp Fees for the
FIRST 25 Students
are $30
Regular Camp Fees for students have been dropped to $40!!!
 

Click
Here
to Register Today
!!!

View our Facebook Events Page at:

 

Students and Recent Grads*: $40 (was $50)
Non-Students: $65
(includes food, lodging and all programs!)
 

*Students with financial hardship, please contact HSC at info@hindustudentscouncil.org

 

2012 Camp Flyer
 
About Vraj:
Located on 300 acres of beautiful land in a tranquil valley surrounded by bountiful hills, Vraj is a place of pilgrimage for an average of 100,000 Hindus a year.  It belongs to the Pushti Marga Sampradaya dedicated to Lord Shri Nathji (a manifestation of Lord Krishna).  This spellbinding natural ambience augments the spellbinding beauty of the Haveli (Temple) that is situated on the bank of Chandra Sarovar (lake), in the rich tradition of the royal Rajasthani architectural mystique.


Hindu Students Council |
5 Rozalyn Lane | Laurence Harbor | NJ | 08879

iim bangalore, may 2: One day Seminar on 'Inclusive Education and Bridging the Widening Societal Disparities' to be held on 2nd May 2012

IIM B Seminar invitation.pdf Download this file

apr 29th, 2012 CE

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DVR Seshadri
Date: Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 3:21 AM
Subject: Invitation for the One day Seminar on 'Inclusive Education and Bridging the Widening Societal Disparities' to be held on 2nd May 2012
To:


Dear All,

IIMB's Centre for Public Policy is conducting one day seminar on ‘Inclusive Education and Bridging the Widening Societal Disparities’ on 2nd May 2012.

Kindly go through the attached invitation and programme details.

Please circulate among the people who may be interested in this subject. There is no entry fee for this all day event from 10.00 am to 5 pm.

All interested persons may register their interest for participation at http://bit.ly/IpbcOS

The organising committee comprises of Prof. Nayan Tara, CPP, IIMB; Mr. Sridhar Pabbishetty, CPP, IIMB; and DVR Seshadri.

Apologies for sending this mass mailer to those not interested.

With Best Regards,

DVR Seshadri,

Adjunct Faculty,

IIM Bangalore

 

For any more information: Please contact Sri S.Kanagaraj 08971470556

 

from @swamy39, must read: The Identity Of An Indian [hint: not nehruvian stalinism]

apr 29th, 2012 CE

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri
Subject: -Excellent read- The Identity Of An Indian
To:

Here is the original blog entry

THE IDENTITY OF AN INDIAN – DR.SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY

Presented at the Bharatiya Vichar Manch Seminar on “Hindutva in Present Context” held in Karnavati, Gujarat on September 16-17, 2009. 

What is Identity?

Every nation must have an identity to be regarded distinct. Even in United States of America, a relatively young nation created by an influx of immigration from diverse countries, scholars have felt the need to define the identity of an American. Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington has penned a book titled Who Are We? [ Penguin Books, India 2004] to define the American’s identity as a “White Anglo-Saxon Christian who speaks English”. It seems contrived since majority of Americans are not ‘White’, but Huntington is emphatic.However,

Huntington’s contribution is in seeing the two components of this identity that define it: Salience, which is the importance that the citizen attributes to national identity over the other many sub-identities. Second, Substance, which is what the citizens think they have in common, and which distinguishes them from others of other countries.

Indian Identity:

We in India today do not have to conjure up a contrived identity as Huntington valiantly had to do, because for us Salience is imbedded in the concept of Chakravartin, which Chanakya had spelt out with great clarity, while Substance is what Hindus have always searched for and found unity in all our diversities in, thanks our spiritual and religious leaders. And that invariably is the Hindu-ness of our people, which we now call as Hindutva.

The whole world has known our vast territory and millions of the inhabitants for centuries and called us as ‘India’ and ‘Indians’ or ‘Hind and Hindi’ or as the Chinese know us even today both as nation and people as ‘Yindu’. The root word in all these terms is ‘Hindu’, which word for the Persians, Arabs and Europeans meant a people living beyond the Sindhu river, and for the Chinese a people living beyond the Himalayas and bounded by the Indu Sagar [Indian Ocean].

The world knew us in these millenniums not as nomads but as a highly civilized people who produced exotic goods the world had never seen before and who were hospitable to visitors from abroad. Many travelers such as Fa Hsien, Yuan Chuang, Marco Polo, Vasco d’Gama, and Mark Twain wrote glowingly about the behaviourial quality of the Hindus, which can be summarized as the Hindu-ness [i.e., Hindutva] of the Indian people.

More recently, Mr.Jonah Blank, an American journalist curious about this Hindutva, took a journey in 1991-92 from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka on the route taken by Lord Rama. He then wrote a book about titled: Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God—Retracing the Ramayana Through India [published by the well known Houghton Mifflin of Boston USA]. He writes: “India’s land may be ruled by aliens from time to time, but never her mind, never her soul…..In the end, it is always India that does the digesting” [p.217]. He concludes: “But somehow a nebulous sense of “Indianness” does exist, and it binds together Gujaratis, Orissans, to Nagas who might seem to have nothing at all in common. Perhaps it is this elusive, undefinable [yet very real] link that has allowed the sub-continent’s multitude of races to live in some rough semblance of harmony for four thousand years”[p.218].

Despite Blank’s unthinking adherence to “facts” of Indian history as written out by British colonialists, the reality of his direct experiences from his travels in India makes him come to the opposite conclusion to the British colonialists viz., India has always existed because of the Indian-ness [read: Hindutva as Substance] of the people. This Hindu-ness or Hindutva has been our identifying characteristic, by which we have been recognized world-wide. The territory in which Hindus lived was known as Hindustan, i.e., a specific area of a collective of persons who are bonded together by this Hindu-ness. The Salience thus was given religious and spiritual significance by tirth yatra, kumbh mela, common festivals, and in the celebration of events in the Ithihasa, viz., Ramayana and Mahabharata. Hindu Rashtra thus defined, is our nation that is a modern Republic today, whose roots are also in the long unbroken Hindu civilisational history.

Throughout this history we were a Hindu Republic and not a monarchy [a possible but weak exception being Asoka’s reign]. In this ancient Republican concept, the king did not make policy or proclaim the law. The intellectually accomplished elite in the society, known as Brahmans, framed the laws and state policy and the King implemented it. Hindutva hence, is our innate nature, while Hindustan is our territorial body, but Hindu Rashtra is our republican soul.

... deleted

'the australian': agni 5 is the right choice. contain china!

apr 29th, 2012 CE

http://m.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/indias-nuclear-capable-missile/story-e6frg71x-1226342107068

a rare, and sensible, voice of support from the white folks. no, virginia, it's not all guns vs. butter, it's guns AND butter. if you don't have the guns, the bad guys will take your butter away.

i suppose all australians are not keen on sucking up to the hans like that kevin rudd (former PM) was.

is sugar toxic? /you bet/ CBS 60 minutes

pre paid solar energy: interesting business model and innovation

apr 28th, 2012 CE

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-11/farmers-foil-utilities-using-cell-phones-to-access-solar.html

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Reading

Just stumbled upon Sankrant Sanu's neat blog.. Sankrant, who? Well, he authored the most compelling piece ever (my opinion) on how the colonial mindset perpetuates in our country.
The very idea that someone would become a competent doctor, engineer or business professional studying in Hindi or Tamil medium just as they can in Japanese, Hebrew or even Turkish seems somewhat inconceivable in contemporary Indian discourse. 
This notion of the superiority of English also holds sway in Indian social interactions where the “accent” of spoken English has become a key marker in the social hierarchy. “Convent-school” English accent is the highest in this totem pole, followed by “less-refined” private or government school English, down to those that are uncomfortable in the English idiom—and are easily condemned as uncivilized or illiterate. College graduates without “convent-school” English that I interviewed complained of this bias in the job market; even though they may be quite competent in performing the required job. Not surprisingly then, there is a spiraling demand for English and “convent” education. As we discussed in Part I, at least some of this demand is unnaturally created—with explicit bias in state policy in favor of English language higher education.
The English Class System

hey, be careful out there: the pill and condoms are less effective at #birth #control than you think, says reuters

atlantic: is facebook making us lonely? probably. and stupid too, possibly. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/8930/

Friday, April 27, 2012

did black-scholes cause the meltdown? /too facile to blame it alone/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17866646

Using Martha Nussbaum feminist logic on herself via@sandeepweb

apr 27th, 2012 CE

martha nussbaum was once amartya sen-rothschild's girlfriend.

so here's a powerful example of how someone becomes "anti-hindu by injection".

or maybe it is nussbaum rejecting the patriarchal power structure represented by sen-rothschild who seduced and used her and then abandoned her?

who knows?

all this po-co, and po-co-po-co, and po-co-po-co-po-mo stuff is just total bullshit

po-co politically correct
po-co-po-co post colonial and politically correct
po-co-po-co-po-mo post colonial and politically correct and post-modern

actually, nussbaum just succeeds in making herself look remarkably silly.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri
Date: Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM
Subject: Using Martha Nussbaum feminist logic on herself
To:


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sandeep

Let's use Martha's feminist "logic" on her and see what we get.

It appears to me that Martha comes from an extremely suppressed, repressed
and oppressed childhood with a horribly overbearing mother and a very weak
father. Her father routinely allowed himself to be insulted by Martha's
mother and this cycle continued endlessly throughout her childhood,
formative years and up to when she grew up and left this dreadful home
environment. All her life, she longed for this one authoritarian man, a
strong male in every sense of the word but she never found him until she
began hearing about Narendra Modi. After doing much research on him, she
concluded that Modi indeed, was the one who matched her mental construct of
the Ideal Male. He was decisive, authoritarian, and unflinching even in the
case of extreme and adverse criticism. The more she read about him, the
more she was enamoured of him. She began to have wild sexual fantasies
about him in private where made up elaborate stories of him sexually
dominating her. But then she also, wistfully realized that he will forever
be unattainable to her. And hell hath no worse punishment than a woman
scorned. So, what better way to extract her revenge than by writing violent
criticism directed at the man?

Now, send this paragraph to Martha-wannabes--PHD aspirants, etc. They'll
take each sentence out here and come up with an entire doctoral thesis.


Best Regards,
Sandeep B

silicon valley: May Classes and Workshops by Women in Tech and Startup Saturdays

posting this in case it is of use to someone. i swear i have no idea why this was sent to me, not being a woman in tech or a startup type, or a fashion type.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sarah Jones <classes@startupsaturdays.net>
Date: Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 4:36 AM
Subject: May Classes and Workshops by Women in Tech and Startup Saturdays
To:


You are cordially invited to attend our up coming classes.
Women in Tech and Startup Saturdays: Get the technology edge!
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Classes and Workshops by Women in Tech and Startup Saturdays

Tomcat Class

Apache Tomcat Class
What: 2 day Tomcat training
When:
Monday and Tuesday
April 30th and May 1st - 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (each day)
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Startup Finance

Startup Finance: Valuation
What: 2 hour class on Startup Valuation
When: Wednesday, May 2nd 2012
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Sandbox Suites – 567 Sutter Street San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

iPhone Class

iPhone and iPad App Development Boot Camp
What: 3 day iPhone and iPad Application Development Class
When:
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
May 3rd, 4th and 5th - 2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM - each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Mobile Application Development

Mobile App Development Boot Camp
What: 2 day Mobile App Development Boot Camp
When:
Monday and Tuesday
May 7th and 8th – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM - each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Android App Development Class

Android Application Development Class
What: 3 day Android application development class
When:
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
May 9th, 10th and 11th – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Black-Scholes

Modeling Black–Scholes
What: 4 hour class on modeling Black-Scholes
When: Saturday, May 12th – 2012
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Sandbox Suites – 567 Sutter Street San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

HTML5

HTML 5 Application Development Class
What: 2 day HTML5 Application development class
When:
Monday and Tuesday
May 14th and 15th – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Startup Finance

Startup Finance: Valuation
What: 2 hour class on how to value a startup
When: Wednesday – May 16th 2012
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Sandbox Suites – 567 Sutter Street San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

iPhone Class

iPhone and iPad Application Development Class
What: 3 day iPhone and iPad application development training
When:
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
May 17th, 18th and 19th – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Press Release Workshop

Press Release Workshop
What: 4 hour workshop on making a successful press release
When: Saturday, May 19th – 2012
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Sandbox Suites – 567 Sutter Street San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Mobile Application Development

Mobile App Development Boot Camp
What: 2 day mobile application development training
When: Monday and Tuesday
May 21st and 22nd – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Android App Development Class

Android Application Development Class
What: 3 day Android application development class
When:
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
May 23rd, 24th and 25th – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Press Release Workshop

Press Release Workshop
What: 4 hour workshop on making a successful press release
When: Saturday, May 26th – 2012
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Sandbox Suites – 567 Sutter Street San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

Tomcat Class

Apache Tomcat Class
What: 2 day Tomcat training
When:
Monday and Tuesday
May 28th and 29th - 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (each day)
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/

jQuery Class

jQuery class
What: 2 day jQuery training
When:
Wednesday and Thursday
May 30th and 31st – 2012
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (each day)
Where: Executive Hotel Vintage Court - San Francisco
Link: http://startupsaturdays.eventbrite.com/



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"in search of an upgrade?" which planet exactly do UPA mavens inhabit? reuters story on the failing economy, downgrade

apr 27th, 2012 CE

these guys have begun to believe their own mythology about how attractive UPA-india is. in fact, the country is failing *because* of the 'brilliant economists' and other thieving rascals at the helm.

like the legendary last mughal king (whose name i forget) whose kingdom extended to 25 miles around delhi, the 'reality distortion field' these fellows think they have only extends to 25 miles around delhi.

"not tunisia"? why not? kkkangressis have always seen india as the chief of the banana republics, aka NAM

but the s&p guy in singapore is not fooled. good for you, ogawa.

yup, pray. for rain, and for the demise of the kakistocracy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/26/india-ratings-idUSL3E8FQ4Z920120426

In search of an S&P upgrade, India got a shock

NEW DELHI, April 26 | Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:47pm EDT

(Reuters) - S&P credit analyst Takahira Ogawa listened politely as officials at India's finance ministry made an hour-long pitch for a ratings upgrade, citing economic growth prospects, revenues and their efforts to contain the government's fiscal deficit.

At the meeting two weeks ago, officials argued that tax returns were rising and debt levels were on the decline compared to gross domestic product, two officials who were at the meeting told Reuters.

Singapore-based Ogawa gave no sign of what he was thinking - and could not immediately be reached for his version of events - but evidently he left unconvinced.

On Wednesday, the ratings agency cut its outlook on India's BBB- rating to negative from stable and warned it had a one-in-three chance of losing investment-grade status, sending shockwaves through the ministry. Its decision could raise costs for Indian borrowers and undermine foreign investor confidence in Asia's third-largest economy.

"We were not expecting this downgrade," one senior adviser at the ministry said.

The misplaced optimism before the cut suggest the finance ministry may be out of touch with opinion among private economists, investors and even the central bank about the faltering economy. But it also reflects the view in New Delhi that India is unfairly saddled with a low sovereign rating.

In February, the finance ministry's chief economic adviser Kaushik Basu complained that India's fast growth was not reflected in global agencies' ratings. "In relative terms, India has become a better investment destination," Basu said.

As the news broke, top finance ministry officials huddled in their offices, eyes glued to monitors and television screens for signs of an investor exodus from the markets.

"The initial reaction was all of us turned on our TV sets to see what is happening in the stock market," the senior adviser at the ministry said. Shares dropped more than 1 percent in the immediate aftermath but recovered to close down 0.33 percent.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's first public comment on the cut - "don't panic" - seemed aimed as much at his own ministry as at the general public.

While the shock news was a wake-up call, officials say the best they can do for now is take incremental steps aimed at restoring confidence in the India story.

India has lost some of its shine recently. After growing at an enviable average rate of more than 8 percent annually for the previous five years, it expanded less than 7 percent in the last fiscal year, its slowest pace in three years.

The same 2011/12 fiscal year, which ended March 30, saw its current account and fiscal deficits blow out way beyond targets because of a growing bill for subsidies, mainly of fuel, and soaring oil and gold imports.

"If we are able to keep our budget targets on track, it would improve our credibility in the market, and may encourage the rating agency to reconsider its decision," said a finance ministry official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The S&P cut added force to an avalanche of criticism about the government's economic management. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sat silently as a panel of his peers, including the central bank governor, told him lack of progress on economic reform had left the economy in disturbing shape.

"The broader message for everyone in the government is that we need to move a little faster and a little quicker," said Dipak Dasgupta, the finance ministry's top economist.

"We might hurry along a little bit given that everyone seems to think that we need to hurry. Fine, so we will do it."

WE'RE NOT TUNISIA

S&P ratings for India are the lowest for any of the so-called BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - grouping of emerging economies that are reshaping global power.

Indeed, some analysts speculate that India is at risk of being replaced in the BRICS ranks by Indonesia, whose credit ratings were recently upgraded to investment-grade. S&P's warning effectively says India's rating is at risk of slipping to "junk".

Policymakers in India see their country as a superpower-in-the-making after 20 years of fast growth and it clearly rankles with some officials that S&P considers the economy as risky as those of some Central Asian and North African republics.

"We made the presentation arguing India's growth prospects, tax-GDP ratio, efforts to fix the fiscal deficit, are quite genuine and deserve better ratings than countries like Tunisia," said an official who was involved in the presentation to S&P.

Dasgupta, who recently travelled to Tunisia, also said it was unfair to club India together with an economy in tatters after last year's revolution.

The officials reminded Ogawa that India was still growing faster than any other major economy apart from China.

But sceptics say India is politically unable to take major steps to rein in ballooning subsidies, now more than 2 percent of GDP. Private economists also say the government will struggle to rein in its current account and fiscal deficits and revive GDP growth while world energy prices are high, and with a period of election spending looming.

PRAY FOR RAIN

Everyone from the finance minister to the central bank governor agree the most urgent step is to cut subsidies on fuel, especially diesel, which some officials say will happen in May. But the move is unpopular with the opposition and the government's coalition partners and has long been delayed.

Officials said India plans to take incremental steps to support projected growth and trim its fiscal deficit to 5.1 percent in the current year while - as one minister put it - "praying for good rainfalls and stable crude oil prices".

One measure likely to take effect soon is a duty on gold imports, likely to be passed in parliament in May and projected to cut gold imports to 1.7 percent of GDP from 2 percent last year. India imported gold and silver worth $60 billion in 2011/12, pushing up the trade deficit to near $185 billion.

Officials also tout recent moves to lift exports of sugar, grains and cotton to boost farm growth and foreign exchange, and point to a jump in approvals for infrastructure projects as the prime minister focuses on supply bottlenecks.

But hurt by corruption scandals and held back by rebellious coalition partners, it is far from clear that Singh will be able to deliver enough reform to improve perceptions.

"The real issue in India is not that the problems are unknown or that the solutions are unclear; it is that solutions are not being implemented," said Rajeev Malik, a senior analyst at CLSA Singapore. "That is unlikely to change substantially."