Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quick notes: Air India's descent, Sanskrit village...

Taiwan Premier Resigns After KMT Loses Taipei Election

Taiwan's premier has resigned after his KMT party lost elections in the capital of Taipei:

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21635279-taiwans-kmt-suffers-crushing-defeat-local-elections-blow-kmt

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-29/taiwan-premier-resigns-after-party-loses-control-of-top-cities.html


Taiwan's electorate, who are mainly of local Taiwanese descent, have punished the ruling KMT (a party which is mainly dominated by exiles from mainland China) for trying to aggressively pursue reunification with the mainland, as well as for a establishing a trade agreement that would make Taiwan dependent upon trade with the mainland.

Reminds me of Congress being kicked out of power by the Indian electorate for its anti-national agenda. Maybe that's a commonality that Modi could pursue in building ties with Taiwan. China seems to have responded to Modi's increased international profile by sending a nuclear sub to Sri Lanka, as well as stepping up assistance to Pakistan. If China continues its game, then India should play the Taiwan card, and use the anti-mainland backlash in Taiwan to advantage.

India should definitely court Taiwanese investment and offer itself as a means of reducing Taiwanese dependence upon trade with China.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Quick notes: Threat to shale oil, And to car ownership...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens

The teaser trailer has been released for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens





As you know, George Lucas has sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney, and director J J Abrams has been brought in to helm the next 3 movies.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Article 254 and Competitive Federalism

Here are a couple of very interesting articles on how federalism is being used as a competitive vehicle for economic reforms:

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/dj1pn6ppxVCXYVzlJtNe5O/A-federal-path-to-reform.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/26/us-india-rajasthan-insight-idUSKCN0J821T20141126

This is a very valuable strategy that would lay the groundwork for more sweeping and comprehensive reforms once Modi gets a majority in the Rajya Sabha. In the meantime, pending that fuller mandate, the competitive federalist route could be used to great effect, especially once the GST is used as a basis for ending tariff barriers between states. Once all states are forced to compete in a common Indian market, then competitive federalism will reward the reformist-minded, while penalizing the holdouts. It would create a "virtuous cycle" that would benefit the entire country.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quick notes: Riskless capitalism, Anish Arora...

  • Riskless Capitalism: In India, promoters have a class of "super" equity which retains all the upside in good times and very little of the downside in bad times


  • Radar net protects tigers: Built by Anish Arora at Ohio State University, the work was originally designed as a way to monitor the flow of people across the country's borders


  • The Grammar of a Dharmic Narrative: "There is something that keeps us united as a single nation no matter how splintered the society is. That something is what I call the Dharmic narrative, a civilizational continuum."


  • Grooming Ordeal: Yorkshire Muslim teenage girl tells of grooming ordeal


  • Diesel car plants idle as diesel-petrol price gap shrinks


  • Parallel park:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fwd: How Hindu wealth in Kerala is used for everything else..


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: arun
Date: Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 5:11 PM
Subject: How Hindu wealth in Kerala is used for everything else..
To:


Was kind of surprised to see such a detailed article on tehelka, but then I have not been following it for a while and neither have I checked if this is a deviation

http://www.tehelka.com/padmanabhaswamy-temple-gold-treasure-hindu-pilgrims-kerala-politics/ . Article doesn't stop with just one temple, it covers the overall issue as well





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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Regin: New Sophisticated Spyware Virus Looks State-Sponsored

A new spyware detected and analyzed by Symantec Corporation looks sophisticated enough to have been designed by an intelligence agency for spying purposes:

http://gizmodo.com/meet-regin-super-spyware-thats-been-attacking-computer-1662399325

http://www.cnet.com/news/stealth-malware-found-spying-on-telecoms-energy-sectors/

http://recode.net/2014/11/23/symantec-uncovers-sophisticated-stealthy-computer-spying-tool/


Here is a breakdown of where infected PCs were located, according to Symantec:

Regin-by-country


Twitter Monitoring for Cheap Socio-Economic Data Gathering

Social media like Twitter are able to provide information for social and economic analysis on the cheap:

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/532746/twitter-exhaust-reveals-patterns-of-unemployment/

Quick notes: Mounted gun, America's JNU...

  • Mounted gun purchase: Indian Army’s shortage of heavy artillery told heavily on its firepower during the Kargil war. Fifteen years later, the army has not been able to add a single big gun due to non-competitive single-vendor situations because of the blacklisting of foreign companies after allegations of malpractice.


  • J-31: Pakistan Looking To Buy China's J-31 Stealth Fighter.


  • America's JNU: UC Berkeley students ignore Fox commentator waving ISIS flag but attack him when he waves Israeli flag.


  • Guarding the Girls: Bengaluru-based NorthStar uses Internet of Things platform to monitor school buses, facilitate disaster prevention and for better emergency management


  • Hero canine cop, who defused several bombs during 26/11 attacks dies.
  • The entire squad turned up to salute Prince, the canine hero, during his last rites



  • Privacy of passport applicants:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pak Trapped in Past, Not India

An article by a Japanese grad student in the US says that Pakistan seems to be trapped in the past, rather than India:

http://southasia.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/11/13/partition_scars_slow_pakistans_trade_engine_not_indias

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quick notes: Apostates, Medileaks...

  • Muslim 'apostates' come out of hiding in Europe: A number of Muslims in Europe are publicly abandoning their religion.


  • IS's drive for Kobani is blunted: "The aura of invincibility that built up with its advances over the summer has been shattered. Kobani is a small city and the IS placed great stock in winning, and now it's been forced to turn tail."


  • The other IS: “People, especially Leftists from Delhi, easily get carried away by the Maoist story of sacrifice and a crusade against corporate invaders. The story on the ground is vastly different, with Maoists showing scant respect for villagers. They use women for sexual gratification. The supply of condoms and anti-pregnancy tablets to forest camps merits an investigation. Sexual harassment is rampant. Women in these camps are used like sex slaves. All that ideological flourish of the movement is history.”


  • BJP govt may introduce Urdu in Marathi-medium schools: Shiv Sena presents Muslim skull cap to BJP minister Eknath Khadse


  • Dr Kalyani Gomathinayagam: The brave Indian doctor who treated Ebola in Africa


  • medileaks.in: To expose a range of unethical or irrational practices across the health care sector, relying on information from consumers and insiders


  • Make in India: Made-in-India tablet ships to US, Europe.


  • Milk Might Not Be Doing You Much Good: Milk consumption as adults was associated with no protection for men, and an increased risk of fractures in women. It was also associated with an increased risk of death in both sexes.


  • Heisenberg and The Tao of Physics: Heisenberg was well aware of the emphasis on interconnectedness in Eastern thought. However, he had been unaware of the dynamic aspect of the Eastern world view and was intrigued when I showed him with numerous examples from my manuscript that the principal Sanskrit terms used in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy-brahman, rta, lila, karma, samsara, etc.-had dynamic connotations. At the end of my rather long presentation of the manuscript Heisenberg said simply: "Basically, I am in complete agreement with you."

my firstpost piece on why sanskrit is the greatest :-)

do read and comment!

Fwd: Some references to and quotes of 'St' Francis Xavier and the Goa Inquisition


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ishwar Sharan <ishwarsharan@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Subject: Some references to and quotes of 'St' Francis Xavier and the Goa Inquisition
To:





Sayings of Francis Xavier


In his letters to the Jesuits in Rome, Xavier wrote: "There are in these parts among the pagans a class of men called Brahmins. They are as perverse and wicked a set as can anywhere be found, and to whom applies the Psalm which says: 'From an unholy race, and wicked and crafty men, deliver me, Lord.' If it were not for the Brahmins, we should have all the heathens embracing our faith."

"Following the baptisms, the new Christians return to their homes and come back with their wives and families to be in their turn also prepared for baptism. After all have been baptised, I order that everywhere the temples of the false gods be pulled down and idols broken. I know not how to describe in words the joy I feel before the spectacle of pulling down and destroying the idols by the very people who formerly worshipped them." Xavier did this after the Hindu raja of Quilon had given him a large grant to build churches!

Anti-Brahminism


Francis Xavier was the pioneer of anti-Brahmanism which was adopted in due course as a major plank in the missionary propaganda by all Christian denominations. Lord Minto, Governor General of India from 1807 to 1812, submitted a Note to his superiors in London when the British Parliament was debating whether missionaries should be permitted in East India Company's domain under the Charter of 1813. He enclosed with his Note some "propaganda material used by the missionaries" and, referring to one missionary tract in particular, wrote: "The remainder of this tract seems to aim principally at a general massacre of the Brahmanas" (M. D. David (ed.), Western Colonialism in Asia and Christianity, Bombay, 1988, p. 85). Anti-Brahmanism has become the dominant theme in the speeches and writings of Dravidian politicians and Indian secularists of all sorts.

Xavier's letter demanding the Inquisition be sent to Goa

Francis Xavier sent this letter to the King John III of Portugal on May 16th, 1545: "The second necessity for the Christians is that your Majesty establish the Holy Inquisition, because there are many who live according to the Jewish law, and according to the Mahomedan sect, without any fear of God or shame of the world. And since there are many spread all over the fortresses, there is the need of the Holy Inquisition and of many preachers. Your Majesty should provide such necessary things for your loyal and faithful subjects in India." – Joseph Wicki,
​ ​
Documenta Indica, Vol. IV, Rome, 1956.

The Inquisition in Goa


Historian Paul Roberts describes what went on in the I
​n​
quisition's Goa court that had been housed in the Sultan's old palace and had a huge plaster image of Christ overlooking the scene: "Children were flogged and slowly dismembered in front of their parents, whose eyelids had been sliced off to make sure they missed nothing. Extremities were amputated carefully, so that a person could remain conscious even when all that remained was a torso and head. Male genitals were removed and burned in front of wives, breasts hacked off and vaginas penetrated by swords while husbands were forced to watch…. And it went on for two hundred years." – Paul Williams Roberts, The Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India,
​N​
ew York, 1997.





--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

China Cuts Interest Rates to Boost Economy

China has now cut its interest rates to boost its economy. Clearly, they have taken note of declining oil prices, and have deftly used the opportunity to give some useful stimulus to their economy in the meantime:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/china-state-media-central-bank-cuts-rates-27075882


So where's India? What's India doing right now, while everybody else marches ahead?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/21/us-india-modi-economy-idUSKCN0J50NL20141121

More Details on Robin Raphel Spy Case

More details have emerged on the FBI investigation into former US State Dept official Robin Raphel:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/us/politics/eavesdropping-on-pakistani-official-led-to-inquiry-of-former-us-diplomat.html?_r=0

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/intercept-of-pakistanis-communication-led-to-investigation-of-us-diplomat/2014/11/21/d7bfcc4e-71a0-11e4-8808-afaa1e3a33ef_story.html



The FBI investigation was apparently started after US intelligence recorded a conversation by a Pakistani official saying that he was going to be receiving sensitive data from a US contact. The FBI then covertly monitored Raphel for some time, and then later raided her home where classified documents were uncovered.

So it now looks that Robin Raphel, the same lady who created Hurriyat in Kashmir, is a Pakistani spy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Low Oil Prices Shift Power to US & China

Oil is now close to $75 per barrel:

http://www.rttnews.com/2420238/crude-oil-ends-above-75-ahead-of-opec-meet.aspx?type=cdt

The powerful new trend of declining oil prices shifts economic and geopolitical power towards the US and China:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-11-19/cheap-oil-era-tilts-geopolitical-power-to-u-dot-s

India needs to be more proactive instead of merely lagging the trend. There needs to be an interest rate cut sooner rather than later, in order to ramp up India's growth sooner rather than waiting for 2016. Declining oil prices will mask and offset any inflationary effects of growth. If we don't seize the opportunity, then we are only leaving open the opportunity for others to steal a march on us, while our growth potential is again left unrealized.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fwd: The Sunni Arc of Instability+How Modi created a rockstar presence+India extends $ 75 million credit line to Fiji+SAARCH Summit+Lanka report


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


1. The Sunni Arc of Instability by Brahma C http://chellaney.net/2014/11/14/the-sunni-arc-of-instability/
 
2. NIA arrested Rohingya Muslim in Hyd. There are 18,000 Rohingya Muslims living in Camps in Hyderabad, Jammu and Delhi 6000 in each city. Note that in August 2012 Azad Maidan Riot in Mumbai one of the key accused was Burmese. Those settled in Jammu will change the demographics of the region further. Further why the Sunni Muslim dominated Valley did not make camps for them in the Valley OR is the Valley to be kept PURE – only original Kashmiris!!
 
'It wasn't just that he acknowledged Indigenous Australians when Mr Abbott did not. Or that he wondered how MPs were surviving a third address to parliament by a world leader in as many days.

"Maybe this is Prime Minister Abbott's way of shirtfronting you," he suggested with the hint of a wink. It wasn't even the fact that – although he had an autocue – he appeared not to be speaking from prepared notes. He was eyes up all the way through.

As he concluded with a simple "thanks a lot," the chamber rose in a standing ovation. They were not just being polite. If Madam Speaker had let them, they would have whistled, whooped and charged the stage.

That's what you do when you see a rock star perform'.


'Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced a visa-on-arrival for Fijians and assistance projects that included a Parliament library and doubling the scholarships and training slots in India for people from Fiji.
My take – has any Indian Govt done so before.
 
 
6. Modi will bring new life to the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu 19/11/14 by K P Nayar http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141119/jsp/opinion/story_19055059.jsp
'The strongest signal of this has been China's sudden interest in upgrading its status within Saarc from merely one of the organization's nine observers to that of a "dialogue partner". There is no concept within Saarc of a dialogue partner, yet when senior Saarc officials met in the run up to the 18th summit, signals in this regard coming from Beijing were discussed threadbare.
Reminiscent of Vajpayee's bus trip to Lahore, as of now, Modi plans to cross into Nepal by road for the summit. Additionally, he plans to flag off at least one of three daily bus services between various points in Nepal and New Delhi. A container train service from Bangladesh to Nepal will be the first consequence of a Saarc railway agreement, which has been finalized for signature in Kathmandu. Yet another concrete outcome of the summit will be a Saarc framework agreement on energy cooperation. This can have a long-term impact on the prosperity of all of South Asia through sharing of energy resources.'
 
My take – India must work towards providing Nepal and Bangladesh BIJLI 24 by 7.
 
7. SAARC Economic Integration Editorial Himalayan Times 19/11/14 http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=SAARC+economic+integration++&NewsID=433997
 
8. Will Mahinda's Indian Fishing Trump Card Boomerang  by Upul J Fernando19/11/14 http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2014/11/will-mahindas-indian-fishing-trump-card.html
'Information flowing from New Delhi indicates that the Modi Government may be of the view that Mahinda's Government was using the convicted fishermen's issue to drive a wedge between the Indian Government and the Indian High Commission in Colombo. The following report in The Hindu may contain some truth to that effect: "President Mahinda Rajapaksa is ready to pardon the five Indian fishermen sentenced to death in Sri Lanka if the Indian High Commission in Colombo does not proceed with an appeal against the sentence, Sri Lankan Minister, Prabha Ganeshan told The Hindu on Tuesday.
Mahinda will need Modi when the UNHRC submits its probe report on Sri Lanka next March. Then Modi will weigh the Chinese submarines, fishermen crisis and the Sri Lankan Tamil issue to make decisions.
 
My take – Bid your time with the Lankans and do things which reduces our economic dependence on them.

9. Yen Depreciation – Japan's import dependent industries feel currency woes 19/11/14 http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Japan-s-import-dependent-industries-feel-currency-woes
 
10. Mamta takes it out on the mike 19/11/14 interview with Rajdeep Sardesai  http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141119/jsp/frontpage/story_1792.jsp.
 
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
To unsubscribe write back



--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stratfor on China's Presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Stratfor's experts discuss China's presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan:



Will the staid and stately Chinese be able to cope with the notorious shifting sands of fractious Afghanistan?


India has recently complained about Chinese troops training Pakistani forces on the LoC with India:

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-11-15/news/56115065_1_bsf-chinese-troops-border-security-force

Modi: India and Australia are Interlinked

In an address to the Australian parliament, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the destinies of India and Australia are interlinked:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/australia-and-india-have-interlinked-destinies-says-narendra-modi/story-fn59niix-1227126810381?nk=ab72114c6e28cb1dc402b91196d9c2d4


Modi and Tony Abbott have unveiled a new military agreement between the 2 countries:

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/narendra-modi-and-tony-abbott-reveal-new-indiaaustralia-military-agreement-20141118-11ou05.html

Japan Falls Into Recession, Oil Falls to $78/bbl

As news came that Japan's economy has fallen into recession again, oil prices have dropped to $78/barrel:

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/11/17/markets-global-idINKCN0J11BZ20141117

Obviously, the impact on oil prices is more than just because Japan is the world's No.4 oil importer, but also because there's a fear that a slide by the world's 3rd-largest economy could also tip the rest of the world toward recession.

Given the increasing downtrend in energy prices and its effect of lowering inflation, this gives all the more reason for India to go in for a rate cut. RBI needs to send Indian and global markets a positive signal by cutting rates and reducing Indian capital costs, which are out of line with the rest of the world. Also, helping Indian banks to restructure bad debt would increase the confidence of investors around the world.

India's Mars Team

Vishnu Som and Pallav Bhagla of NDTV interview the team behind the Mangalyaan success:



Sunday, November 16, 2014

world hindu congress nov 21-23 delhi

http://www.worldhinducongress.org/

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Quick notes: Delhi jobs, Stealth lobbies...

  • 49 days of work: Arvind Kejriwal promises Delhi 800,000 jobs


  • German Model: India looks to invest $1 billion into renewable energy over coming few years.


  • Rs 25,000 cr loss a year: Successive governments have been under pressure from powerful industry lobbies to hold back royalty slabs for bio resources.


  • Serious side effects: Energy Drinks Can Be Deadly for Young Children


  • Pratima Dharm: ‘Gita my basis for counseling Hindus in U.S. military’


  • Atma Vidya (..not for the faint of heart..): "The greatest sin that can be committed by a person is to think that he is other than God. And then fill his mind with thoughts of craving and of hatred".

Fwd: Obamacare architect: Democrat Party supporters are low IQ fools


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Arvind Kumar"
Date: Nov 16, 2014 1:46 PM
Subject: Obamacare architect: Democrat Party supporters are low IQ fools
To: "Rajeev Srinivasan"

> Stunning admission by the architect of Obamacare that ALL Democratic Party supporters are gullible low IQ fools who were manipulated into behaving the way they did.
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adrdmmh7bMo
>
>

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quick notes: Solar roads, Smog deaths...

  • They are here: Solar road opens in the Netherlands


  • Metro Man: E Sreedharan to head one-man rail panel


  • High cost of development: China suffers 670,000 smog-related deaths each year


  • Sudarshan Kriya for US Soldiers: “I did something that clearly reduced my stress levels and contributed to the healing process.” His blood pressure and cholesterol also stabilized.


  • Soft plastics disrupt sex drive: Phthalates disrupt hormones and are already known to affect sexual function in men. But it is the first time that the link has been made in women.


  • Misuse? 22 Brahmins from Karnataka conduct homa for Sultan of Oman


  • Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates: Google looks for the ability to step back and embrace other people’s ideas when they’re better. “It’s ‘intellectual humility.’ Without humility, you are unable to learn. Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Rise of Innovation Districts

As the US economy continues to transform itself, there will be scope for the rise of new districts of innovation (and the favourite Indian buzzword "ecosystem") which act as hubs for entrepreneurialism and startups:

https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-rise-of-urban-innovation-districts

http://www.brookings.edu/about/programs/metro/innovation-districts

Happy Chilluns day!

November 14th is the birthday of Chacha Nehru, the Kim Il Sung of India - commemorated (enforced) by his dynasty retainers in the Kaangress as Chilluns day. Here are few rare pictures of the "Chacha".

Note the silly white caps that have reincarnated in the 21st century - inducing mental retardation in the AAPtards.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Window of Opportunity for Reform

The recent trend in falling oil prices have opened up a window of opportunity for reform. The govt should exploit this before it disappears:

http://thediplomat.com/2014/11/oil-falls-will-india-reform/

If the Indian public does pull the rug out from under the reform drive, they'll have only themselves to blame for keeping India the cesspool it is. In that event, then NRIs should walk away from India, and leave it to its fate. If the Indian public don't have the convictions to stay the course, then it means they don't have what it takes to save themselves.

But certainly, the Modi govt should not be resting on its laurels, basking in the glow of declining inflation, without trying to jump-start the growth engine. If the govt is too timid, it may lose its window of opportunity. After all, the rest of the world is benefiting from falling oil prices too. The govt has to maintain a sufficient pace of reforms in order to keep opportunities flowing India's way. Fortune favours the brave - if the govt doesn't show enough courage, then whatever it has accomplished so far may be easily undone.

Fwd: True pride in India's heritage would require study of the intellectual and cultural heritage that lies beyond its borders by Shyam Saran

i have been saying similar things for a long time. glad to hear amb saran too talking about heritage

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


 

Shyam Saran: The knowledge superpower

True pride in India's heritage would require study of the intellectual and cultural heritage that lies beyond its borders

12/11/14
 

Several years ago, while serving in China, I was able to visit Hangzhou in eastern China - famed for its natural beauty, but also for having been for several centuries a centre for the arts and scholarship. One famous landmark there is the ancient Buddhist temple called Fei Lai Feng, which is translated as "the peak that flew over". Legend has it that an Indian monk who came to China in the ninth century built the temple in Hangzhou below a mountain that to him looked similar to Gridhakuta or Vulture's Peak in his native Rajgir in Bihar. Gridhakuta, of course, is intimately linked with early Buddhism; Sakyamuni delivered some of his early sermons on the hill.

But the reason why my visit to the temple has remained a fresh memory is because of an interesting encounter I had with the monks at the temple. They were chanting from manuscripts written in Chinese characters, but the chants themselves had no resemblance to any Chinese dialect. While listening more closely, I soon realised that what the monks were chanting was some distorted form of Sanskrit, not Chinese at all. The chants had been transliterated from the original
Sanskrit into Chinese characters and were unintelligible to modern-day monks. They knew that the chants were sacred, even though they had no idea what they meant. The monks then told me that the temple and the monastery attached to it still had large number of manuscripts in Sanskrit that the Indian monk had brought to China. There were also Chinese translations of some of the Buddhist scriptures, but all these were lying locked up inside. The books of sacred chants were all that even they had access to.

A few years later I was on assignment in Japan and visited the ancient monastery town of Koyasan, outside the old capital of Kyoto. Koyasan is associated with the name of Kobo Daishi, or the Grand Master (774-835 A D).
Kobo Daishi spent several years in Xi'an in China, where he studied Buddhist scriptures and the Sanskrit language under an Indian pandit, Prajna, who had earlier studied and taught at the famous Nalanda University. On his return to Japan, Kobo Daishi introduced the Sanskrit syllabary to the Japanese language, hitherto written only in Chinese script. This phonetic alphabet is known as Hiragana and is used to supplement Chinese characters in written Japanese. Kobo Daishi is also credited with bringing a very large number of Buddhist scriptures, but also Sanskrit texts on other more secular subjects, such as science and medicine, to Japan. These are still stored in an ancient library in Koyasan and are treated as a national treasure. Kobo Daishi's "Catalogue of Imported Items" gives an idea of what texts he brought with him from China to Japan. I was told by a very distinguished Japanese monk at Koyasan that several of the texts no longer exist anywhere else in the world, the originals as well as copies having been destroyed in wars, revolutions, civic strife, fires and disasters over the years.

A later assignment in Nepal brought me face to face with a wealth of historical material that is a shared
intellectual and cultural legacy with our northern neighbour about which there is little knowledge - but, even more seriously, little curiosity - in our country.

Another repository of India's intellectual and religious wealth is in Tibetan manuscripts preserved over centuries in Tibetan monasteries across the Himalayas.

More lately, one has come across evidence that, throughout the eighth to the 12th centuries, classic Sanskrit texts on Indian medicine, mathematics and philosophy travelled to Central Asia where, after the Arab invasions, Arabic had become the lingua franca of the Islamic world. Several of the works of Charaka and Susruta (in medicine and surgery), and Aryabhatta and Brahmagupta (in astronomy and mathematics) were translated into Arabic by well-known Central Asian scholars like Khwarazmi, Ibn Sina and al-Beruni. These were later transmitted to Europe, and became part and parcel of the European renaissance from the 12th century onwards. The Indian numeral system, the concept of zero and the decimal, the calculation of pi and the notion of negative numbers and integers were part of India's intellectual legacy, which spread far beyond its borders including to Europe as well as China.

There has been some recent controversy over the revision of textbooks in schools that seem to blur the distinction between legend and verifiable facts. Such controversy should not detract from the fact that India has much to be proud of in terms of its contributions to the development of science and mathematics in particular. Susruta described plastic surgery techniques in detail and the principles he enunciated still form the basis of modern plastic surgery. Unfortunately, there is no Indian Joseph Needham, who published his monumental study of Science and Civilization in China, cataloguing for an international readership the many significant contributions China had made through its long history to science and technology. The Indian legacy is equally rich, perhaps even superior in terms of evolving philosophical and conceptual bases for scientific principles. But these lie scattered and fragmented both in India and in several other parts of the world.

True pride in India's rich cultural and religious
heritage
demands a national project of collating, studying and disseminating the many disparate elements of India's intellectual heritage, so that a more complete picture begins to emerge of an India and of Indians, who inculcated a "scientific temper" much before the modern age. We will need to encourage and support scholars who are as adept in Sanskrit as in classical Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan and Arabic, and seek access to the many repositories around the world, where bits and pieces of our intellectual, cultural and philosophical heritage lie buried. If we really respect our history and take pride in our civilisational heritage, why not embark on this momentous adventure rather than quibble about the meaning of this or that legend? Let us enjoy our rich legacy of legends, but also seek to scale the intellectual and philosophical heights that once made India the knowledge capital of the world.



 
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
To unsubscribe write back




--
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Indian Real Estate Searching

I recently came across an interesting site for researching real estate in India:

https://housing.com/

It seems to be quite unique - almost like a cross between AirBnB and Zillow, because it allows you to search for real estate offerings, and it also offers heat maps and other useful things. Interesting idea - worth taking a scroll down their main page.


Russia Becoming Floater State Fearful of West

Antagonized by NATO over the recent conflict with Ukraine, Russia is becoming a floater state without a permanent anchor, and which will seek transient alliances to protect its interests, such as its current move towards China:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/31e95c5e-68b8-11e4-af00-00144feabdc0.html
Mr Putin is under no illusion that things will get any easier. The next US president is almost certain to be more hawkish towards Russia than Barack Obama, who entered the White House seeking a hopeful reset of relations.
“This forces Russia to head in a different direction – towards China and Iran, out of the western international system,” says Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group risk consultancy. “That is not in the west’s interest. They are becoming what you could call a floater state – something like an angry version of India.


Pakistan Holds 'I Am Not Malala' Day

The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation has launched 'I Am Not Malala' Day in an attack on the young Nobel laureate and girls' rights campaigner, calling her an threat to Islamic values and a Western agent:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/world/asia/malala-yousafzai-nobel-laureate-is-assailed-by-schools-group-in-pakistan.html?_r=0

So much for that 'tiny minority of extremists' theory that Leftists like to peddle. contrast this with the Indian Prime Minister, who gave full accollades to Satyarthi and Malala.

my firstpost piece on chinese maritime threats, colombo, vizhinjam

http://www.firstpost.com/world/chinas-maritime-threat-how-india-let-its-best-bet-vizhinjam-be-sabotaged-1796603.html 

vizhinjam is a key for commercial container traffic. ignoring it will put india at the mercy of colombo's chinese-run container port.

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quick notes: Shubham Banerjee, UID...

  • Shubham Banerjee: This 13-Year-Old Is So Impressive, Intel Is Investing Hundreds Of Thousands In His Startup



  • Jayant Sinha, the man who mooted universal identification number for all Indians


  • Crisil: New IT Jobs Set to Fall by 50% in Four Years


  • Martyrdom of Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh:
    (found this on a Gurudwara wall)


    Subeg Singh was an influential zamindar of Jambar and a contractor for the government. Zakariya Khan, the Governor of Panjab, had used the services of Subeg Singh for his own ends many times. For instance, in 1733, Zakariya Khan had sent him to present an offer of a jagir and nawabi to the Sikhs in exchange for peace. Subeg Singh successfully negotiated with the Khalsa and persuaded them to accept the jagir.

    Subeg Singh had a bright and promis-ing son named Shahbaz Singh. As there were no Sikh schools in those days, Shahbaz Singh studied in a Muslim school. There, a great conflict arose between Sikhs and Muslims, and the teachers con-demned Sikhism. Shahbaz Singh strongly defended his faith and criticized Islam for forcibly converting men belonging to other religions. The matter was reported to the Qazi who delivered the usual judge-ment: embrace Islam or face death. The boy refused bluntly to abandon his faith and embrace Islam. He was sent to Lahore to stand his trial before the Governor.

    Subeg Singh approached Zakariya Khan and the chief Qazi with a request to release his son, as he was innocent. But Zakariya Khan refused to interfere in the case and the chief Qazi also turned a deaf ear to him. In frustration, Subeg Singh used some harsh words and left. Later, he was arrested on a trumped-up charge of supplying information to the Sikhs and put under restraint. Zakariya Khan died before punishing Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh. His son, Yahiya Khan, became the Governor of Lahore and was as relentless as his father, but more cruel. He had no soft corner for Subeg Singh or Shahbaz Singh. He therefore took up their cases and pursued them with zeal. After putting up a show of a trial, both father and son were asked to embrace Islam or face death. They bluntly refused. The Governor ordered their executions by crushing them on the wheels. Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh were taken to Nakhas and publicly tortured. The chief Qazi advised Subeg Singh to accept Islam and save his, and his son's life, but Subeg Singh refused defiantly. At this the chief Qazi ordered Shahbaz Singh to be crushed on the wheels.

    When Shahbaz Singh was put on the wheel, both father and son started shouting 'Akal! Akal! Akal!'. After sometime the voice of Shahbaz Singh, who was being turned on the wheel, became feeble. The wheel was stopped and the Qazi asked him if he would yield to embrace Islam. His father, realizing that his son may be losing his strength, promptly looked into his eyes and asked him to repeat 'Akal! Akal! Akal!' loudly.

    The boy's spirit soared! He was himself again and started shouting 'Akal! Akal! Akal!' The wheel, with its slashing knives, went on moving until Shahbaz Singh's soul left his body for its heavenly abode. Subeg Singh was also crushed on the wheels. He breathed his last with cheerful-ness and his soul rose to the realm of Truth. (article courtesy Dr. Santokh Singh - "The Guru's Word")

Aeroscraft

Igor Pasternak's idea for a heavy airlift vehicle which uses both buoyant and dynamic lift, and has the ability to vary its buoyancy like a flying submarine, may offer the potential for roadless cargo transport through the sky:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/business/pursuing-a-shipping-revolution-as-big-as-his-airship.html

http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2014/11/airship-revival.cfm


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Quick notes: Drug smugglers, Laser weapons...

Friday, November 07, 2014

India Growth to Surpass China in 2016: Roubini

Economist Nouriel Roubini predicts that the Indian tortoise will begin surpassing the Chinese hare in growth as early as 2016:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-06/china-v-dot-india-its-india-by-a-nose-roubini-says

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Calls Rise for Rate Cut

There are increasing calls for the Reserve Bank of India to issue a cut in interest rates. With the drop in oil prices having given a temporary respite on inflation, many industry leaders feel that the time is right for RBI to provide a boost to economic momentum by cutting interest rates:

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-11-06/news/55835667_1_rbi-governor-raghuram-rajan-finance-minister-arun-jaitley-interest-rate

In my opinion, given that the rest of the world markets (including BRICS) are looking comparatively weaker to India as investment prospects, a rate cut right now would reap disproportionate benefits for India 's economy. It could also more strongly herald the start of a steeper growth trajectory for the country.

willie "beached whale white guy" dalrymple gets spanked by rakesh simha

fisking of @DalrympleWill by @SimhaRakesh http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2014/11/william-dalrymple-go-back-and-reform.html . wille, you are way past your sell-by date. history-to-order is passe


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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

series of tweets on robin "model, modern, moderate" raphel. rhymes with witch

State dept begat isi. Isi begat let, taliban. Taliban begat 9/11. A whole lot of begetting. None good for India or for US @Songadiya

0 replies4 retweets2 favorites

"@tonymontana1947: @RajeevSrinivasa @nytimes @SatyaDayanand let's not forget good ol wendy doniger." How could we? Or her sex obsession

0 replies2 retweets1 favorite

Robin #Raphel and @nytimes Barbara Crossette biggest India and Hindu hating white women in recent decades @SatyaDayanand

0 replies7 retweets2 favorites

Robin's husband, amb to pak, was blown up in plane along with pak prez gen zia in 'crate of mangoes' incident. That ➕ isi. Nice nexus

0 replies3 retweets2 favorites

Robin #Raphel once said pak is a "model, modern, moderate Muslim state". Nice alliteration. Nice singing for supper too. Like msm journos

0 replies19 retweets5 favorites

"US diplomat and Pakistan expert Robin Raphel "is under federal investigation as part of a counterintelligence probe" robingate = faigate?

0 replies7 retweets2 favorites

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity