Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quick notes: Jobs number, Benchmark booster..

Paki president relishes Agra biriyani!

So states Rediff's enthusiastic report gushing adulation for the
newly appointed President of the
"land of the Pure".

Yeah, right. And, I happen to consider Hina Rabbani Khar marriage material. So what?
In fact, I quite relish several other Paki women - Kashmala Tariq, the M.P, in particular!

So what? Should that be considered newsworthy?

Why is this kind of tabloid journalism by the Indian Dalaal media considered acceptable?

And why are these two bit reporters affiliated with dirty commie-pinko rags - falling over themselves in hero worship of the enemy nation's head of state?

Is this part of the latest ISI sponsored charm offensive to
befool the idiot Indian chatterati
with this image building exercise?

I do not want a single Indian taxpayers' Rupee expended to further fatten this glutton when he next visits India to offer a "chador" at the Ajmer dargah.

Fireworks lit up the evening sky over Mantola and kettle drums sounded as news reached here of the election of Mamnoon Hussain as the new President of Pakistan.
Akhtar was sure that whenever Hussain visited India, Agra would be a part of his itinerary, Seemab said.

The two nephews recalled how Hussain relished the Agra biryani, which he never forgot to mention every time they spoke over the phone.
Hussain had visited Agra some 25 years to meet his relatives.

"Uncle also remembers Agra's sweetmeat 'Petha' and the snack 'Dalmoth'," Seemab said.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fwd: Election commission orders Lakhs of manipulatable EVMs

i wonder if this is plan B in action: EVM fraud as in 2009. no paper trail 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: निरवधि सीमा
Date: Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 6:47 AM
Subject: Election commission orders Lakhs of manipulatable EVMs



Dallas, TX

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Save Indian Democracy <>
To:,, vssampath <>, vssampath <>, HS Brahma <>, Dr Alok Shukla <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Dear Chief Election Commissioner,
There must be a good reason why EC waited for 2 years in not pursuing the paper trail and now EC wants to buy hundreds of thousands of same EVMs that are shown to be easily manipulatable. 
It is a tragedy that EC has not shown independence as enshrined in India's constitution and working as hand maidens of the Government that is run down with one major scandal after another.    It is a matter of sadness that even Pakistan Supreme Court under oppressive military establishment showed the spine to stand up but independent institutions in India are so lagging.  The corrupt establishment has wiped away livelihood of millions with India being home one third of global poor and every second child is malnourished.   We have China boot kicking us one one side, terrorism being politicized and a few sucking away nations wealth in collusion with politicians.  Please consider whether you have done what is best for the country and done your duty to your position?
To this day EC has not pursued the many who have approached Hari Prasad company asking for price to fix the EVMs as far as North East. To this day, EC has not answered how many thousand EVMs were found to be sold as scrap from the constituency of Lagadapati who have accurately predicted the election results both in state and center, which even mature democracies with latest technologies like US cannot predict. Only after activists pointed did EC did even take steps to secure the EVMs.  It took one sitting of Supreme Court in Germany to put a complete stop to it and go to paper ballots, it took short time in Netherlands after more than decade of usage to put a complete stop to it  and go to paper ballots and they are not struggling with corruption, but here we are are notorious for being a model of corruption and corrupt with the Transparency ranking next to Afghanisthan and our EC has been dragging its feet.  Now when the time comes for a possibly historic and decisive elections you maintain status quo.
I apologize if it comes across a hard on you, but you have failed in protecting the democracy of our country by just being another bureaucrat doing what you are told with your head down.    Please reflect on what you your legacy will be after you leave the position.   You can dismiss us, you cannot dismiss your conscience and you cannot dismiss the future history.
Satya Dosapati
Save Indian Democracy

Election Commission prepares for early polls, orders more EVMs

PTI Jul 28, 2013, 08.29PM IST
("We have placed a fresh order…)

NEW DELHI: Amid speculation over early Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission is gearing itself up for holding the mammoth exercise along with assembly elections in five states due later this year by ordering additional EVMs.

The EC has placed fresh order for two lakh electronic voting machines (EVMs) to public-sector companies as the present lot of EVMs cannot meet the demand in case elections are held simultaneously, highly placed sources said.

"We have placed a fresh order of EVMs as the present total of around 14 lakh EVMs is not enough to hold simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and five state assemblies later this year," a senior EC official told PTI.

Sources said the order has been placed with public-sector BHEL and ECIL and the delivery is expected by September- October, the time the assembly polls are expected to be announced by the poll body.

They said the EC required around 16 lakh EVMs in the event of holding simultaneous polls.

Half of the 14 lakh EVMs were procured before 2006 and there were possibilities of their breaking down. While the pre-2006 EVMs cater to around 800 voters, the new ones allow around 2,000 voters to exercise their franchise.

As per EC data, the country has a total electorate of around 78.86 crore, while the five states where Assembly polls are due later this year â€" Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram â€" have an electorate of around 12 crore.

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM, Subramanian Swamy wrote:
I have no such information. Swamy

On 29 July 2013 21:13, Narayana Sd wrote:
Dr. Swamy,

I just spoke with Narasimha Rao and he is saying that EC is going ahead buying thousands of new EVMs without paper trail.   Is it possible to get Supreme Court to force paper ballot for Central elections?

PS: Tried calling you but your phone is switched off.


I am just a freelance activist and observer speaking out for the cause of Sanatan Dharm, its Anuyayi and the atrocities on Dharm in and outside Bharat. I like to express my views on the current socio-political environment in US and Bharat with facts. I am also inquisitive to learn about the true (not Nehruvian-Marxist-Anglicized-Islamified doctored version) history of Bharat which is subverted and suppressed despite right to freedom of speech. I am a staunch believer of our holy Shastr and that ॥सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं॥ (Truth Alone Triumphs, not falsehood) - Mundak Upanishad 3.1.6. I do this in my spare time as a selfless contribution to my God, my religion, and the society. Rest of the time I am just another white-collar working for bread and butter.

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Free Spoken Samskrtam Camp at UT Dallas

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: samskritam UTD <>
Date: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Subject: Free Spoken Samskrtam Camp at UT Dallas

Registration is compulsary. Find the form here

A young Indian researcher, Dr B.M. Gupta met Einstein at the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies in 1949. Einstein hailed him in Sanskrit instead of English. The Indian scientist pleaded his inability to reply in Sanskrit. Einstein was amazed at the poor response of the young Indian scientist and said, "You hail from India which is the original home of Hindu philosophy, yet you have not cared to learn that language. See my library, which treasures classics from Sanskrit namely the Gita and other treatises on Hindu Philosophy. I have made the Gita as the main source of my inspiration and guidance for the purpose of scientific investigations."


To celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, an opportunity to speak Samskrtam in less than 24 Hours


Sanskrita Bharati presents





SATURDAY, SEP 14th, 10AM to 5.30 PM


Venue: ECSN 2.120



v  Classes are interactive and fun filled, with no prior knowledge of Sanskrit necessary. Familiarity with at least one Indian language would be helpful.

v  Registration form can be found on our facebook page "SANSKRIT AT UTD."

v  Parking slots marked 'Green' are available free of cost. Free lunch/potluck shall be arranged.

v  For more info contact 214-870-6524, or mail

Ramnath Kini

This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive 
- Vivekananda

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

of course, FOIL (aka CAG) and obaid would say this

i have no doubt that the letter is genuine, because there are enough jaichands. but to claim some batty yank woman who looked at a xerox copy is able to authenticate it is pretty much bullshit. this is the level of 'proof' that the FOIL buffoons (which is the same as CAG) and the islamists need.

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Vivekananda’s 120-year-old 9/11 speech has been hailed as one of the greatest orations in history by Sandipan Deb in MINT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar

Also 1. Read Speech

3. Swami Vivekananda Life and Teachings -

Vivekananda's 120-year-old 9/11 speech

The Hindu monk's speech on religious tolerance and primacy of man has been hailed as one the greatest orations in history
The current issue of Intelligent Life, the culture-technology-lifestyle sibling of The Economist, poses the question "What was the greatest speech ever?" Six writers were asked to give their choices. Mark Tully, BBC's former bureau chief for India, has chosen Swami Vivekananda's speech at the first World's Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893. Picks by the others include Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address, Nelson Mandela's speech at his trial in 1964, and Hillary Clinton's speech on women's rights at Beijing in 1995.
Most literate Indians are aware of Vivekananda's speech (I hope), or at least its beginning: "Sisters and brothers of America". What is less known is that the several thousands of delegates—most of them Christians—were so impressed with this 30-year-old Hindu monk's words that he was invited to speak five more times over the next fortnight at the congregation. As Tully notes, New York Herald said, "Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions." "He was relevant then and is relevant today for his constant affirmation that all religions are paths to God, and his call for tolerance," writes Tully.
What was so dazzling about that speech?
It's just 458 words long, so could not have lasted more than five or six minutes (It was also delivered extempore). Vivekananda speaks on one single theme: what he believes is the core value of Hinduism, and the most precious one. "I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance," he says. "We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth... I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: 'As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.'"
To go back a little. The way that Vivekananda arrived at the vast hall of Chicago's Art Institute is itself quite an incredible story. After the death of his Master, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda had lived the life of a wandering mendicant for nearly seven years, travelling the length and breadth of the country. The more he saw the wretched condition of the Indian masses, the more convinced he was that what they needed was less religion and more spirituality (Don't be put off by that word, Vivekananda's version of "spirituality" was pragmatic, robust and even physical). Centuries of oppression, poverty and obscurantism had crushed the Indian spirit. What they needed first and foremost, he decided, was inner strength, a confidence that could help them achieve their potential. God, he felt, need not be worshipped on an empty stomach. Two square meals a day were far more important than a visit to a temple, and those meals could come only when a man realized the power inherent in himself, his own divinity, that God resided inside him, as He did in all Creation (If you take "God" and "divinity" out of this observation, it is fundamentally no different from a humanist/atheist argument).
Money earned literally through begging door to door, and donations from three South Indian kings, enabled Vivekananda to reach Chicago in July 1893. On arrival, he learnt to his dismay that no delegate would be admitted to Parliament without proper credentials from a bona fide organization. Vivekananda was a lone monk representing no organization, and even if he had been, the last date for registration of delegates was past. In addition, the Parliament was two months away. He had neither the money to return to India nor to live for two months in Chicago and take a chance at gate-crashing the convention. Unwilling to accept defeat, and being told that Boston was a cheaper city than Chicago, he boarded a train to that city. On the way, a wealthy lady co-passenger got into a conversation with him, and was impressed enough to invite him to come and stay in her country home. Vivekananda accepted gratefully, and through his hostess, happened to meet J.H. Wright, a professor of Greek at Harvard. The young monk's calm wisdom astonished him, and he wrote to the chairman of the committee for the selection of delegates, a friend, and bought him a ticket to Chicago. But when he reached Chicago on 9 September, Vivekananda discovered that he had lost the address of the committee.
Walking the streets, he kept asking people about the Parliament, but no one knew anything, and he spent the night in an empty boxcar in a railroad freight yard. Next morning, he started off on his quest again in the richer neighbourhoods of the city. After hours of being shooed away by butlers who saw only a bedraggled foreign beggar when they opened the door, he sat down, exhausted, on the pavement. Miraculously, the door of a mansion across the road opened and the lady of the house appeared, and asked him whether he was a delegate to the Parliament of Religions. Mrs George Hale, whose family would become lifelong friends of Vivekananda, invited him in, and after he had cleaned up and eaten, took him over to the office of the committee and had him registered.
The convention began the next day, 11 September. Yes, it was a 9/11.
As speaker after speaker representing all the major religions of the world gave lengthy speeches from prepared texts, touting the superiority of their particular faiths, the young man from India realized that neither had he ever addressed such a large gathering (nearly four thousand people), nor did he have any written speech. Frightened now, he kept postponing his turn on the stage, till he had no further excuses left, and had to go up and face the audience.
With his very first lines, he established his credentials with a simplicity and pride that must have awed the listeners who would anyway have been intrigued by the looks of this handsome young man in a saffron turban and dress from the East who spoke perfect English. "I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world," said Vivekananda. "I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects." This was a man who had never been out of India, had spent years tending to the poor and the diseased as he searched for the divine, and was speaking entirely off the cuff of his soul. In the next five minutes that he spoke, he electrified the audience—and, one can't help but surmise, shamed many of the speakers who had preceded him. For he spoke of the validity of every great religion and against all forms of faith-based intolerance. "Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth," he said. "They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now." There is obviously no record of this, but there would have been very few speakers at that grand convention who had shared hovels with lepers and gone without food for days to seek a greater truth.
In his concluding address on the last day of the convention, Vivekananda again stressed harmony and acceptance. "Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if anyone here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, 'Brother, yours is an impossible hope.' Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid. The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant. It develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant. Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth… Holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world… If anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart."
Writes Tully in his piece to explain why he chose this speech as the greatest of all time: "Vivekananda's speeches at Parliament resonate today for the many who claim to be spiritual but not religious, who reject religion based on faith and seek experience of God. He said: 'The Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine or dogma, but in realizing—not in believing, but in being and becoming.' And, looking to the future, he said, 'It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity… Its whole scope, its whole force will be centred in aiding humanity to realize its own, true, divine nature.' That is the religion so many seek today."
Have there ever been truer words spoken about the sheer waste and stupidity of religious schisms than what that fiery young Indian said on that 9/11 day 120 years ago?
To read about Vivekananda today—and what he preached and practised throughout his tragically short life (he passed away at 39)—is to wonder that such a man walked the streets of this nation. Of course he was a Hindu, and he was proud to be one. But his philosophy transcended religions and he had little respect for rituals and ceremonies. His constant focus was on the spirit of Man. "This world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong," he wrote. "Each individual has to work out his own salvation; there is no other way, and so also with nations… Men in general lay all the blame of life on their fellowmen, or, failing that, on God, or they conjure up a ghost, and say it is fate. Where is fate, and who is fate? We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise. The wind is blowing; and those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind?"
The year 2013 is his 150th birth anniversary year. It is our duty to make sure that Vivekananda is not appropriated by any polemicist or politician, or even any religion. It is our duty to make sure that his name is not taken in vain (to use a Christian term) and his words are not used to push any agenda other than the greatest good for all men. Let us not deify him either (he never could give up smoking, though he tried hard enough); he would have hated that. He was a man, and a man among men. That is what we owe him.
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fwd: [New Post] Is Ramachandra Guha competent to advise Hindus? – Vijaya Rajiva

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ishwar Sharan

Is Ramachandra Guha competent to advise Hindus? – Vijaya Rajiva

Posted on July 29, 2013 

Ramachandra GuhaThis article had been submitted to The Hindu in response to Ramachandra Guha's article 'What Hindus can and should be proud of' in the July 23rd, 2013 edition. The Hindu editor responded by expressing his inability to publish it! – Editor

In a rambling, poorly argued article 'What Hindus can and should be proud of' (The Hindu, July 23, 2013) Ramachandra Guha, author of India After Gandhi (2007) and Makers of Modern India (2011) has set out on what seems to be a career as a moralist and advisor to Hindus. The article tells Hindus also what they cannot be proud of. More of that shortly. But the basic message is spelled out at the outset: "Those who care for the future of the religion should valorise the works of reformers who rid an ancient ossified faith of its divisions, prejudices, and close-mindedness."

Guha is not intellectually equiped to lecture Hindus about anything!On the basis of the article and Guha's limitations of writing only about Independence and post Independence India, Mr. Guha is clearly not equipped to advise Hindus who are heirs to an ancient and great civilisation of which they are legitimately proud and about which Mr. Guha seems to know precious little.

Like Indian Marxist historians for whom Indian history begins with the Islamic period (and after) and who when venturing out into the several millennia that preceded the barbarian invasions ignore the great achievements of the Hindu past, Ramachandra Guha is blissfully ignorant of the Hindu past. Hence his advice is based on little more than the cow-caste-curry information that is circulated in the West, notably the United States, about India. In addition his limited educational scene in India is an inheritance from the colonial past which intertwined Macaulayism and Christian propaganda about the natives. In that narrative it is hard to sift the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and the Indian educational scene was swamped with disinformation which was passed on during the Nehruvian era to schools, colleges and universities, and was recycled by some of the academics of the era without any questioning or challenge.

Fortunately, Indic scholars began the sifting out two or three decades ago and the work continues. That important wave seems to have passed over Ramachandra Guha.

Since he does not know the greatness of the Hindu civilisation (other than paying lip service to it) he cannot analyse accurately as to what are the ossifications and limitations of this civilisation that he alleges. Let us try to extract some sense and orderliness out of his arguments.

In an extraordinary feat of intellectual jugglery he attributes all ills to Hindu India, at least in this article: Poverty, poor health facilities, education, etc. These, as every Indian knows, and Guha knows, are directly the fault of misgovernance, in this case the specific government in power. Nevertheless he uses the present dire situation to cast aspersions on Hindu India, even while claiming to advise Hindus, and in a curious way managing to lay the blame on Hindu India!

M.K. Gandhi in 1929He inveigles against caste in India. Here too he is skating on thin ice because after quoting Mahatma Gandhi against untouchability, he goes on to say that even while he fought against untouchability Gandhiji upheld Varnashrama Dharma.

Why is this so? Mr. Guha does not raise the question which he should have raised and answered. He did not. The reply is as follows: untouchability cannot be justified under any circumstance, but it is not integral to Hinduism, while Varnashrama Dharma is integral to Hinduism. Gandhiji was keenly aware of this. It was a carefully calibrated system that allowed the individual to pass through life's stages in harmony with his environment, and it called for a meaningful division of labour in society. Each division was integrally related to the other. In Hind Swaraj (1908-1909) Gandhiji had castigated modern society for its haste and hurry and the absence of any moral values and the individual's alienation and anomie in modern society.

Caste and untouchability are two distinct phenomena. Scholars are not certain when untouchability originated. They speculate that it originated around 300 B.C. Dr. Ambedkar (himself an untouchable) had speculated that the untouchables were originally shudras who fell out of the four fold caste system of scholars, warriors, commercial agents and agriculturalists who tilled the land (the last being the shudras). Random quotes from the tradition do not establish a link between Hinduism and untouchability, as many hostile critics have done. Untouchability as a social practice continues in various parts of India, especially in rural areas. This pervasive aspect of untouchability is not even mentioned or seriously considered by Guha. He only mentions attacks on Dalits and women.

There is no evidence of untouchability in the Vedic period and scholars and even the much maligned and misrepresented Manusmriti makes no mention of untouchability. It is doubtful whether Mr. Guha has actually read the Manusmriti to back his blithe remark that it legitimises inequality, unless he is also intending to make the more general point that Varnashrama Dharma legitimises inequality. And so obviously on this interpretation Mahatma Gandhi who endorsed Varnashrama Dharma also legitimises inequality.

Abuse of WomenThe attacks on Dalits and women are at present not the result of Hinduism. Much of the violent attacks as in the recent cases of the deaths of young people who chose to marry out of their caste, have occurred between Dalit subcastes themselves or between the OBCs (Other Backward Castes) and not vertically as between upper castes and the Dalits. Accounts of these are easily available in the media and as well as in more detailed accounts on the internet from human rights organisations. It is a pity that our author has not bothered to keep up with the latest literature on the subject either, but simply shoots around at targets.

There is nothing in Hinduism which condones attacks on women and the events of the last few years speak to the breakdown of law and order. For example, the horrific attack and death of the young woman on a bus in New Delhi in December of 2012, was committed by a few agents whose caste affinity had nothing to do with Hinduism. This was clearly the outcome of the debauched and drunken state these men were in. They had been drinking and watching pornography, if reports are to be believed. The much maligned Manusmriti specifically called for the protection of women and the rigorous punishment of those who attacked women!

Now on the question of jati. The better word for caste is jati a socio-economic category. Mr. Guha does not seem to be aware that Gandhiji advocated a jati-based economy for his ideal village republic. He believed that lifelong specialisation in a particular occupation would provide better skills and pride in one's workmanship. The collection of his essays on the subject is to be found in the volume Sarvodaya.

In today's India, scholars have written about the importance of the jati-based economy. Dr. R. Vaidyanathan of the Indian Institute of Management argues that caste in politics divides the Indian electorate but caste in economics unites ('India Growth: The Untold Story—Caste as Social Capital', Chapter 12, Handbook of Hindu Economics and Business, January 2013). The economic benefits of caste affinity are risk sharing and entrepreneurship. They are major builders of emerging businesses across sectors by newly empowered castes.

The role of jati in building the srenis (guilds) of ancient India and its prosperity are well-known. There are large numbers of studies on the subject. The most recent description of rashtrakutas, the federation of guilds in a state can be found in Dr. S. Kalyanraman's book Rahtram (2011, pp.194-243). His still more recent account is in the above mentioned book ('Hindu Social Corporate Form and Sreni Dharma: The cure for greed', Ch. 6 of Handbook of Hindu Economics and Business, January, 2013).

Manu and Seven Sages of Sanatana DharmaModern economics depends on corporations, including multinationals. The Hindu guild-type entity 'sreni' had detailed laws, together with a complete structure for executive officers. It operated within the framework of a rational, materlialistic economic ethos, and yet suggested equality, trusteeship and development of social capital. A remarkable example is that of the committee of elders of civil society in the Uttaramerur town of South India.

Well known writers with management and economic training such as S. Gurumurthy have also written about the important role of jati in the contemporary Indian economy.

And finally Ramachandra Guha reprimands Hindus for the demolition of the Babri Masjid and his argument is somewhat lopsided :

"Ayodhya was unquestionably Hindu in intent and content. No Muslims or Sikhs or Parsis or Jews or Christians participated in it. But should Hindus be proud of it? I rather think not. In a society where so many are without access to adequate education, health care and housing, where malnutrition is rife and where safety and environmental standards are violated every minute, to invest so much political energy and human capital in the demolition of a mosque and its replacement with a brand-new temple seemed wildly foolish, if not downright Machiavellian. As it turned out the Rama Janmabhoomi campaign led to two decades of strife across northern and western India, with thousands of people losing their lives and hundreds of thousands their homes and livelihood."

Apart from the exaggerated numbers, this passage is dangerously close to the type of sentiment expressed recently by Shakeel Ahmed, namely, that it was the Gujarat riots that led to the formation of the Indian Mujahideen! Surely Mr. Guha knows that communal violence has been endemic in Indian history since the last 500 years! And as someone who has written about the pre Independence era he must know that the violence was extreme in the 20s of the last century!

There is a singular lack of historical sense here. Hindus have traditionally fought for the Rama Janmabhoomi since the early years of the common era. This is not something new. Only the names of the invaders have changed and Babur and 1526 are the new relevant names.

Sardar PatelAnd the worst faux pas of all is the attempt to connect poverty and misery once again to the Hindu ethos.

Guha's recommendation to Hindus to follow Hindu reformers might be acceptable if it was inclusive. He mentions the usual names, Gandhi, VivekanandaRam Mohun Roy, et al, and in our times Jawaharlal Nehru. But he omits mention of important figures such as AurobindoSavarkar and Sardar Patel. This is seen also in his latest book Makers of Modern India. While some may argue that Aurobindo became a religious savant, the same cannot be said of either Savarkar and Patel.

Savarkar was foremost among the Hindu nationalists in promoting intercaste dining, the breaking down of caste barriers, etc. He had also clearly spelled out in his works that Muslims and minorities would be full citizens of Hindustan once the country became independent. Sardar Patel was not only an important figure in the freedom struggle, he was also responsible for saving the country from some of Nehru's follies, notably Nehru's vacillation on the question of the integration of Hyderabad into the Indian Union. Had it not been for Patel's decisive action as the Home Minister, the country would have had a similar situation as occurred in Kashmir.

All in all, this article with its advice to Hindus is disappointing as it comes from an individual who should have known better and from whom it was reasonable to expect a better output.

» Dr. Vijaya Rajiva is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university.

See also

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quick notes: Idling power plants, malnutrition stats...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quick notes: Dance bars, evil night owls...

Friday, July 26, 2013

the 200-day plan for modi


here are some excerpts from what romney planned to do if he won. i hope there is a serious list of good ideas for the first 200 days of the modi government.|hig|7-25-2013|6220774|35042158|

in all fairness, the congress did have a plan when they were out in the wilderness: they were going to decimate some individuals and institutions if they came into power in 2004, and they did go ahead and accomplish all that.

who will the bjp target? who are the top 100 villains who need to be decimated?

what will the accomplishments be?

the last time, the bjp allowed the leftists and the media to bully it into doing things that were counter-productive. this time that should not happen.


sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

this was romney's 200-day plan. what is the bjp's 200-day plan?

Fwd: Nirmala Sitharaman - Tamara Elai Thanni

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sri venkat
Date: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 7:15 AM
Subject: Nirmala Sitharaman - Tamara Elai Thanni

Like water on a lotus leaf'
Chitra Narayanan
T.C.A. Srinivasa Raghavan

A Tamilian in a 'Hindi' party, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman has evoked a lot
of curiosity. But this political novice has held her own in TV debates
against veterans.

What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like that? We ask Ms
Nirmala Sitharaman, the BJP spokesperson, who often manages the
impossible feat of smiling sweetly at TV anchors who annoy her. We get
a short, sharp lecture on the virtues of the BJP - or what her friends
in Tamil Nadu call the 'Hindi' party. The gist of it is that hers is
perhaps the only truly democratic party, where open discussions are

We are at lunch at the Govinda, the restaurant at the Iskcon temple in
east of Kailash in Delhi.

The multi-storeyed temple, which boasts a robot that recites the
Bhagwad Gita, gets a crowd of Krishna devotees, Indian and foreign.
The bakery and air-conditioned restaurant at the complex get a crowd
of food lovers

The Director of Govinda, Mr V. K. Parashar, joins us. Although the
restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner ((no onion,
no garlic), it's the sumptuous buffet meals with a mix of Chinese,
continental and Indian dishes priced at Rs 350 that is the crowd
puller. "We sell 5 lakh thalis a month," he says. On Sundays, there is
chhappan bhog (56 items on the menu).

Ms Sitharaman looks slightly stunned by the array of drinks — from aam
panna to jal jeera and buttermilk and the beautifully-presented
starters such as cucumber rings with paneer delicately placed in the
hole in the middle, mini potato cutlets, and a beautifully decorated
fruit platter.

"This, I suppose, has been prepared in the Pushtimargi style, with
seva bhava?" she asks Mr Parashar.

"Yes, when you do something for the Lord, you must do it with devotion
and our food promotes spiritual advancement," he says.

Frozen Tamil
We are curious about Ms Sitharaman's upbringing. "My mother's mother
side is from Thiruvangad. My mother's father's family comes from a
village near Salem. My maternal grandfather is essentially from
Musiri, which is along the bank of the Cauvery. But he finally settled
down in Madurai. So all these places have live contact for me," she

Her father was in the Railways in a transferable job. So after Class 5
she and her sister were sent to their periamma's house in Chennai.
This lasted for three years. "That was my only exposure to Chennai
education," she says.

After that her parents decided the family should stay put in Trichy
and she did the rest of her schooling, including her B.A. there. She
left Tamil Nadu for JNU in 1980 where she did M.A. in Economics After
that she was married into an Andhra family, so never went back to
Tamil Nadu.

"My Tamil is frozen in time. Every time I visit Chennai, I am teased
that I don't know the current slang," she says.

But she is proud that she can hold her own in "Medai Tamil" – the
highly literary political lingo. Politicians are expected to speak
like poets in Tamil Nadu, she tells us, and many poets become

"Only Ms Jayaalalitha can get away with speaking colloquial Tamil," we
murmur sotto voce.

After M.A., she wrote her Ph.D thesis on the India-Europe textile
trade but though she submitted the dissertation, she never appeared
for the viva. "By then I had moved to London with my husband
Prabhakar," she says ruefully, nibbling at the soya lolly dish - this
is a curry dish in which soya wrapped around an ice cream stick is
dunked. Govinda has some experimental offerings – we notice an aloo
halwa and fruit ki sabzi on the menu.

In London, she started off working at a well-known store called
Habitat before moving on to the research division of the
PriceWaterhouse Coopers where within a short span she grew to head the
competition unit. It was an exciting time. "East Europe was beginning
to wriggle out of the Soviet grip. It was the time of perestroika and
glasnost and every Western firm was looking for business opportunities
there," she says.

But then the baby came along and in 1991 she and her husband moved
back to India — straight into the fiery heat of Andhra. "When we came
in April to Narasapuram very close to where the Godavari meets the
sea, it was already 40 degrees," she says. The decision was taken to
have the baby in Chennai.

That happened three days before Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. "I
couldn't get out of hospital". Finally, after three days, she had to
be taken out in the doctor's car flying white flags.

The next 20 years were spent in the think-tank she and her husband set
up in Hyderabad. "We were doing all sorts of work," she says. She also
was also appointed as an apolitical member (she was the youngest) of
the National Commission for Women, where she interacted closely with
Ms Sushma Swaraj.

Saffron by elimination
The BJP, we ask? Especially, when you are married into a Congress
family? "I don't know whether it was through the elimination process
in my mind," she says. "I was certainly not inclined to the Left. She
did not get into the Congress for the same reason, she says.

Perhaps the BJP connect happened through the NCW work.

At this moment, Mr Parashar asks: "On television, how does it feel
having to defend the indefensible?"

She is quick to retort. "I am not sure it is right to label anything
as defensible or indefensible. There are many dimensions to an issue.
It is not for me to see and judge. I cannot look at it from my myopic
view only."

"Once a line is taken by the party, I am expected to stick to it. But
that doesn't mean that I am a mere mouthing machine. I apply my mind,"
she says.

The mornings are spent scanning the papers. At some point in the day,
a party line is worked out and after that everyone has to bowl to the

But if she really does not believe it, isn't it stressful, we ask. "I
don't want to involve myself too much in every decision emotionally,"
she says.

Where does she see herself in the BJP, we ask. Tamara Elai Thanni, she
says evocatively in Tamil. "I am like the drop of water on the lotus
leaf," she says.

Krishna, Krishna
As the dessert — kheer and malpua — arrive, Ms Sitharaman volunteers
suddenly, "Sitting here is so appropriate. I have been doing a study
on Krishna worship in India in temples where Krishna is named as
Krishna in the moolasthana. There is enough evidence to show that in
these temples the puja padhathi is not derived from the agamashastras
or Vedic narration only. In fact, they have all picked up on verses
derived during the Bhakti movement." We nod knowledgeably.

She points out how in the east coast, Krishna has become Balaji,
Jagannatha and so on, whereas on the west coast, right from Dwaraka,
Vittala or further down to Udupi or Guruvayur, they have all been
following a worship pattern that is written by Krishna bhaktas — songs
written by the local devotees.

Of the people, by the people, for the people, we suggest. But there
hasn't been much time to study Krishna worship traditions recently.

(This article was published on June 8, 2011)

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the history of poor-counting in india, or the usual congress chicanery

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India's Mission to Mars

Here's an online copy of Ajay Lele's book about India's upcoming voyage to the Saffron Planet:

Happy reading!

Kaangress Rajneeti!!!

Apart from being brainwashed in
Nehruvian Stalinism and infected with a sexist attitude toward women, Kaangressmen
also suffer from poor taste.

The Kaangress worker in question appears to be a simple
housewife. In my opinion, there are hardly any "tunch maal" in existence in Indian politics.

We'd have to look across the border to Pakiland for that, ex: Hina Rabbani Khar, Kashmala Tariq et al.

Digvijaya Singh, who was speaking at a rally in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, earlier in the day praised Natarajan by first pointing out that she was hard-working, a social worker, Gandhian, honest and ended by calling her 100 percent 'tunch maal'.

Singh also said that he knew this because he was an experienced person.

"Main purana johari hoon' (I am an experienced jeweler)," he said amid thumping applause from the audience.

The sexist remark on Meenakshi Natarajan, who is a senior Congress leader and also the AICC secretary, when translated from Bhojpuri to English reads: "100 percent sexy woman."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quick notes: Batla House, Kamzor Kadi Kaun ...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Quick notes: Immigration bill, Parel eatery..

sen-rothschild for PM

i am told there is a move to prop him, the great economist, up as the next pm after the great reformer/communicator manmohan singh, and as the upa3 candidate against modi.

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Fwd: Why Amartya Sen is wrong: Jagdish Bhagwati in MINT

bhagwati smacks sen-rothschild silly.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar

Media reports quote Sen as saying that he does not want Modi as PM. Sen seems to imply that those who disagree with him support Modi (communal). Link below to Arvind Subramanian art in Bus Standard on A Sen.

Why Amartya Sen is wrong: Jagdish Bhagwati

The issue is if Sen's policy prescriptions will ameliorate shortfalls in social indicators or accentuate them, says Bhagwati 23/7/13
In a brilliant article on Bhagwati versus Sen published in Mint on 10 July, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha ( took one step in the wrong direction in arguing that I could be the economist for Narendra Modi and my good friend Amartya Sen for Rahul Gandhi. Let me explain.
First, I have argued (with Arvind Panagariya) that Gujarat has produced growth and also that the change in its social indicators is remarkable, whereas Kerala is by no means the great model of development that Sen has long extolled for its "redistribution" under the communist regimes, and that Bangladesh to which Sen has now turned is also no paragon of virtue. I refer the reader to the new Bhagwati-Panagariya book, referenced below, where Sen's assertions are pretty well demolished with evidence and argumentation. Amusingly, now he has even turned in The New York Times to China, which he used to excoriate us for being "obsessed with": but that will not survive scrutiny either.
I also believe that the Gujarat template is ideal: its people believe in accumulating wealth but they believe also in using it, not for self-indulgence but for social good. This comes from the Vaishnav and Jain traditions that Gandhiji drew upon as well. The best "foreign" model of this type is exemplified by my most distinguished Columbia University colleague, Simon Schama, who wrote about the Dutch burghers who had similar values and lifestyles. It is also a great model for India, I believe.
Second, the notion that I am for growth per se whereas Sen is instead for poverty reduction and "social progress" reflects ignorance. Not merely did I spend my early 1960s in the Planning Commission, working on poverty reduction, but Sen showed at the time no particular concern for that issue. Besides, in the early 1970s, when gender issues were not fashionable, I produced an influential paper in 1973 in the Oxford journal World Development, showing how female children were being neglected in education and nutrition. I and Padma Desai also worked through several Indian elections to show how women candidates were few and far between, and that the Left-wing parties were surprisingly not better at fielding female candidates. I also gave the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Lecture on the importance of democracy (a theme that is integrated more pointedly into the analysis of Indian development in the Bhagwati-Panagariya book).
Sen has caught up with such issues only later and is sometimes described as the Mother Teresa of economics. But she did a lot of good at the micro level, whereas (as I discuss below) his policy prescriptions have done huge damage instead. Let us not insult Mother Teresa.
Let me then focus on the issue of growth and redistribution in relation to India's policy framework. As I and Panagariya have documented at great length in our book—India's Tryst with Destiny, from Collins in December, and retitled Why Growth Matters in the US/international edition from PublicAffairs in April—significant redistribution in India could not have preceded growth as there were too few rich and too many poor. Growth, therefore, would not merely pull people above the poverty line but it would have the added beneficial effect that it would generate revenues which could then be used to undertake redistribution. I had noted these two points in my Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Lecture on poverty and public policy in Ahmedabad almost 25 years ago, also writing that added incomes earned by the poor need not necessarily translate into improved nutrition, for example, and that education was necessary to nudge people into making good choices.
Sen, with no evidence and with only wishful thinking to support his assertions, claims instead, and is at least construed by many to be arguing, that redistribution should precede growth whereas I (and Panagariya) believe that it is the other way around. As we clarify the matter again, for the umpteenth time, in our Letter to the Editor of The Economist in the 10 July issue, Sen puts the cart before the horse; and the cart is a dilapidated jalopy!
(Sen, in a reply last week in a letter to The Economist, takes me to task for "unilateral" attacks on him. This is strange. Intellectuals write for the public as John Maynard Keynes did, instead of seeking prior, bilateral agreement! We act individually according to our lights; we expect informed debates to settle the differences. He also claims that he embraces growth. But in our book, I and Panagariya quote him extensively to show that this is pro forma, at best, much like an anti-Semite would claim that Jews are among his best friends! To take just a single example out of the many we have recorded, he has attacked the Indian press for concentrating on issues such as foreign direct investment, which is growth-enhancing, and neglecting coverage of the poor.)
Sen is not simply wrong; he also poses a serious danger to economic policy in India. Indeed, having opposed implicitly or explicitly the liberal reforms that, starting vigorously in 1991, transformed the Indian economy and pulled it out of its abysmal growth rate, and pulled millions above the poverty line, Sen had suffered the misfortune of having seen Indian policy and economy pass him by. Now, he seeks to resurrect himself by endorsing programmes such as the National Food Security Bill, or NFSB, (which, of course, predates Sen's endorsement by a long shot) which promise substantial "redistribution".
But, for reasons discussed by many (such as Panagariya and Arvind Subramanian among them), therein lies, not glory, but yet another disaster that will make Sen the only well-known economist to have inflicted damage twice on Indian policy and therewith on poverty reduction: first, by supporting the counterproductive policies that undermined growth prior to the 1991 reforms and now, by supporting populist measures such as NFSB that would deal a blow yet again against the poor (as I explain below). The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.
There are four additional points that the reader should keep in mind. First, Sen seems to think that I am bursting to debate him. Frankly, I am not. It was N.P. Ullekh of The Economic Times who asked me why Sen would not debate with me the differences we have. So, I replied that he should ask Sen that, not me. Now Sen says that I want to debate him but he will not debate me. So much, of course, from Sen who has conned foreigners into believing that Indians believe in debates that lead to an informed democracy. As it happens, Indians traditionally are more into falling at the feet of great figures like Sen and me. Alternatively, they indulge in personal attacks like musicians who describe singers from other kiranas as "dhobis"! As I once remarked jokingly, we Indians are so ingenious that we multiply by dividing!
Sen has so far dodged any invitation to argue face to face with those who disagree with his assertions. He indirectly responded to my Lok Sabha speech some time ago, which may have annoyed him as it had an unprecedented response in the country, unlike his own, by telling the Financial Times that concern with growth was "stupid". On an NDTV panel on NFSB, where Panagariya unexpectedly turned up to oppose him, he lost his cool and said that Panagariya could not speak on NFSB issues as he lived in New York, to which Panagariya calmly responded that Sen lived in Cambridge! He was flooded with emails saying he was a hero to have brought Sen down a peg.
It is this tendency to degenerate into personal attacks as against debates on issues that we need to avoid. On the same programme, Sen's friend, the activist Jean Drèze, produced some toy animals and told Panagariya that he was a unicorn! He is lucky that Panagariya did not respond bitingly and say that Drèze should have described himself as the Nandi bull, with his senior colleague Sen as Lord Shiva who had hurt masses of India's poor. But is this what Sen wants us to do rather than debate issues in a professional way?
Second, it is simply untrue that my policy prescriptions would be unacceptable to Rahul Gandhi or, in fact, any political leader who cares for social progress and poverty amelioration. If they are going to spend money on health, education, etc., they will have to find the moneys to finance them. Uncle Sam has no money to give; and God is asleep at the switch and not inclined to drop manna from heaven. Unless they want to hear Sen's soothing but irresponsible reassurances on behalf of populism, they will have no option except to read and implement the reform programmes that we have advocated in the Bhagwati-Panagariya book for both intensifying and broadening the growth-inducing reforms we call track I reforms and also cleaning out and improving the revenue-spending programmes for health, education and public distribution system (PDS) that we call track II reforms.
Third, Sen keeps describing India's shortfalls on social indicators, as if Indian planners and intellectuals were blind to them. The real issue is whether his prescriptions will ameliorate these shortfalls or accentuate them. Here, he fails us. And his flawed exaggerations of India's failures on nutrition, successfully challenged by Panagariya, also leave him as a misguided analyst.
Finally , the United Progressive Alliance government is now poised to damage the economy, and to harm the poor as in the pre-1991-reforms years, because its near-paralysis on track I reforms has meant that revenue growth has slowed too, making it more difficult to finance the track II reforms on health, education and PDS expansion for the poor. At the same time, owing to electoral pressures and with the populist rationales provided by the likes of Sen, the expenditures on such track II policies are set to go up this year. So, we have a disjunction between slowing revenue growth and rising track II expenditures. This will mean inflation for sure: and this will definitely hurt the poor (many econometric studies have shown that the poor are hurt by inflation) while likely leading to a return of intervention in the food market, etc., that will likely undermine the earlier track I reforms in turn.
Surely, it is time for all politicians, especially the progressive ones regardless of which political party they belong to, to therefore finally stand up and say: enough is enough! May I urge at least the Prime Minister, a close friend whom I have known intimately for almost 60 years from our Cambridge days and is a proud architect of the 1991 track I reforms that I among others advocated for years and which have now turned us around, to finally abandon his silence and say to Sen and his friends publicly: "You are wrong"?
Jagdish Bhagwati is university professor of law and economics at Columbia University.
The economic consequences of Professor Amartya Sen by Arvind Subramanian in Bus Standard 10/7/13
Redistributive policies via rights and entitlements are ultimately self-defeating
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
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