Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fwd: The Year Of Living Intolerantly


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S G Naravane


 
 
image
 
 
 
 
 
The Year Of Living Intolerantly – Swarajya
In the past few months, the so-called left-liberals have spread a fear about intolerance, which has little real or factual basis. People who feel, sense, and know t...
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In the past few months, the so-called left-liberals have spread a fear about intolerance, which has little real or factual basis. People who feel, sense, and know the mendacity and hypocrisy of this intolerance factory need to fight this war at an intellectual level, with a deep sense of history, of past, present, and possible future, rooted in a clear, decolonized understanding. 
For a country that has been rapidly deluged by media in various forms, India remains barely equipped with the skills needed to critically counter media hype and propaganda.
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Fwd: Will india make it – 2016? From jugaad to innovation


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


 
 
image
 
 
 
 
 
Will india make it – 2016? From jugaad to innovation
The start-ups, the unicorns … the result of a transforming India as well as what will transform India
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The start-ups, the unicorns … the result of a transforming India as well as what will transform India

As the year ends, and begins, rather than the macros which are both good and bad, focus on a more fundamental change which is both the result of a changing India and will also transform India as never before.
Over the years, many top MNCs have set up R&D centres in India, doing cutting edge work. GE comes to mind immediately with its 4,500 people in Bangalore and the work being done to re-engineer medical equipment and lower costs to 30-40%; there is the work on machine-to-machine feedback which allows a 'digital twin'—on a computer—to mimic, and simulate, what's happening on the real-life machine so as to know the best time to schedule maintenance, there's the 'brilliant factory' in Pune which incorporates this…
IBM and Accenture have large work forces in India and, as compared to 10,000 people in its Bay Area headquarters, Google has 1,500 people here already. On his first visit to India as its new chief, Sundar Pichai—who announced a plan to train 2 million Android developers over the next 3 years in India—talked of how innovation was coming of age now that there was a big market in India; it has already surpassed the US in terms of the number of internet users and, in 2016, will beat it in Android handset sales.
Market + innovation, that's the feedback loop you are going to hear of continuously over the next few years. With a huge market opened up, thanks to 400 million Indians being on the internet—and  800 million more yet to come on!—as Pichai pointed out, there is finally a market to spur innovation.
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Fwd: Will India make it – 2016? Indian innovation ready for prime time


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S G Naravane


In India, what we have, thanks to Aadhaar and the India Stack, are open platforms that can be mass-innovated upon

Google's driverless car is one kind of innovation, and India has several types of innovations being worked on, but the biggest developments this year and over the next are going to be centred around the stack of Aadhaar-based APIs (application program interfaces) and mobile payments APIs — the India Stack, so to speak — and these are about going paperless, presence-less and cashless. This will fundamentally alter business processes in corporations and in government; it means every business and application in government can be re-imagined.
Take the example of mutual funds. India was one of the early adaptors of technology in capital markets with the advent of NSE, NSDL, etc, and we had dematerialised trading from the 1990s. But since then number of retail investors has stagnated. If you look at mutual funds, the cost of acquiring a customer is Rs 1,500, so you need a portfolio of at least Rs 3 lakh and so you can target maybe 3-4 million households. If acquisition costs can come down to Rs 100, you need a break-even portfolio of Rs 20,000 and can now target 34 million households; at Rs 10, the break-even is Rs 2,000 and the target is 105 million households! This is where the innovation is taking place right now. The Securities and Exchange Board of India is focused on reducing these customer acquisition costs.
The cost of acquisition is high because the front end is cumbersome, you need an in-person verification for 
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fwd: 2015 was a tipping point for six technologies that will change the world; Who will be the new startup stars in India?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ramnath narayanan

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/12/28/2015-was-a-tipping-point-for-six-technologies-which-will-change-the-world/

2015 was a tipping point for six technologies that will change the world

By Vivek Wadhwa

Washington Post |

 

12/28/2015

To the average person, it may seem that the biggest technology advances of 2015 were the larger smartphone screens and small app updates. But a lot more happened than that.  A broad range of technologies reached a tipping point, from cool science projects or objects of convenience for the rich, to inventions that will transform humanity.  We haven't seen anything of this magnitude since the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. Here are the six:

1. The Internet and knowledge

In the developed world, we have become used to having devices that connect and inform us and provide services on demand, and the developing world has largely been in the dark.  As of 2015, however, nearly half of China's population and a fifth of India's population have gained Internet connectivity.  India now has more Internet users than does the U.S., and China has twice as many.

Smartphones with the capabilities of today's iPhone will cost less than $50 by 2020.  By then, the efforts of Facebook, Google, OneWeb, and SpaceX to blanket the Earth with inexpensive Internet access through drones, balloons, and microsatellites will surely bear fruit.  This means that we will see another three billion people come on line.  Never before has all of humanity been connected in this way.

This will be particularly transformative for the developing world.  Knowledge has always been a privilege of the rich; tyrants rule by keeping their populations ignorant.  Soon, everyone, everywhere, will have access to the ocean of knowledge on the Internet.  They will be able to learn about scientific advances as they happen.  Social media will enable billions of people to share their experiences and help one another. Workers in the remotest villages of Africa will be able to offer digital services to the elite in Silicon Valley.  Farmers will be able learn how to improve crop yields; artisans will gain access to global markets; and economies based on smartphone apps will flourish everywhere.

2. Doctors in our pockets

All of this has been made possible by advances in computing and networks.  In a progression called Moore's Law, computers continually get faster, cheaper, and smaller, doubling in speed every 18 months.  Our $100 smartphones are more powerful than the supercomputers of the 1970s—which cost millions of dollars.  With faster computers, it becomes possible to design more powerful sensors and artificial-intelligence (A.I.) systems.  With better sensors, we can develop sophisticated medical devices, drone-based delivery systems, and smart cities; and, with A.I., we can develop self-driving cars, voice-recognition systems, and digital doctors.  Yes, I am talking about applications that can diagnose our medical condition and prescribe remedies.

In 2015, smartphone-connected medical devices came into the mainstream.  Most notably, Apple released a watch that, using a heart-rate sensor and accelerometer, can keep track of vital signs, activity, and lifestyles.  Through its free Research Kit app, Apple provided the ability to monitor, on a global scale, the use of medicines and their efficacy.  Microsoft, IBM, Samsung, and Google too, as well as a host of startups, are developing sensors and A.I.-based tools to do the work of doctors.  These technologies are expensive and geared for the developed world; but companies in China, India, and Africa are working on inexpensive versions.  The sensors that these devices use, and the computing and storage that A.I. systems need cost very little.  Previous generations of medical advances were for the rich; now all can benefit.

3. Bitcoin and disintermediation

One of the most controversial technology advances of late is Bitcoin, an unregulated and uncontrolled digital currency.  It gained notoriety for its use by criminals and hackers and the fall of its price from a peak of about $1100 to $250.  Yet, in 2015, it gained acceptance by retailers such as Overstock.com.  And the technology that underlies it, blockchain, became the basis of hundreds of technology-development efforts.

The blockchain is not useful just for finance.  It is an almost incorruptible digital ledger that can be used to record practically anything that can be digitized: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, medical records, contracts, and votes.  It has the potential to transform the lives of billions of people who lack bank accounts and access to the legal and administrative infrastructure that we take for granted.

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http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/ten-hopes-for-the-new-year-who-will-be-the-new-startup-stars/

Ten hopes for the new year: Who will be the new startup stars?

Economic Times| December 25, 2015, 4:56 am IST

By Vivek Wadhwa

In 2015, India overtook the US in the number of internet users. A billion Indians will be connected to each other, and to the rest of the world, by the end of this decade.

They will be able to learn about the latest advances in science and technology, obtain Masters degrees from top universities, learn best practices in agriculture, sell their crafts and services to the world, and demand better governance. Never before has India — and the rest of humanity — been so connected.

In the 2020s, a billion Indians will have access to —and will be able to afford — the most advanced health devices, robots and 3D printers. By 2030, the most remote corners of India will have abundant clean energy through solar cells and battery storage units.

This is not science fiction. It is all happening. And just as Indians are leading scientific research and technology companies in the US, they will be doing this at home — without any government assistance and despite all the obstacles that they face. They will be solving not only India's problems, but also those of the rest of the developing world.

A few years ago, I wrote about how India is about to undergo an internet boom and create billiondollar companies and people thought that was unrealistic. India now has several billion-dollar startups, whose value is about to reach in the tens of billions of dollars.

What's making this possible are technology advances, in everything from smartphones to medicine to solar. These are being powered by the progression of computing: Moore's Law. Every year, computers get faster, cheaper and smaller. And they become more widely available, as smartphones have become. Our smartphones are already more powerful than the supercomputers of yesteryear.

With faster computers, it becomes possible to design new technologies such as sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. With better sensors, we can develop sophisticated medical devices, drone-based delivery systems and smart cities. With AI, we can develop self-driving cars, voicerecognition systems and computer systems that can make humanlike decisions. With acombination of smartphones, AI and sensors, we can develop digital tutors and revolutionise agriculture.

Almost everything is becoming digital — information technology (IT). And India has tens of millions of experienced IT workers, many of whom are tired of working for western corporations and are ready to branch out on their own to solve problems.

Just as Flipkart and Snapdeal took advantage of the nascent e-commerce opportunities, thousands of others will. They will create marketplaces for rural artisans to design and create custom crafts for customers worldwide; apps for fruit-sellers, sweet shops and restaurants to showcase their products and take orders from neighbourhood customers; tools for merchants to provide services and delivery.

India's sharing economy will also bloom, not only in taxi- and three-wheeler-sharing, but also in cycle-rickshaws and buses. And then in skills, education and personal goods. We can expect the informal economy — labourers, technicians, maids and painters — all to be offering their services through apps. As a result, quality, wages and availability will increase since ratings systems will lead to increased accountability.

With Aadhaar having provided an identity to hundreds of million people who had none, we will see digital currencies and virtual banks, as well as crowdfunding of local ventures, houses and education. A new digital economy will emerge that allows communities to uplift themselves.

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Fwd: Flight to Lahore Modi’s masterstroke+Obama invites Modi, Nawaz to Nuclear Security Summit+The Lahore Summit: The Nuclear Angle + MORE


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar


1. Behind the temptation of talking to Pakistan. Innovative diplomacy has always failed to get over structural impediments . editorial MINT 28.12.15 http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/jOFEEI9SxDvlvXYx8OodrK/Behind-the-temptation-of-talking-to-Pakistan.html
 
2. The Great Walls of China by dr amarjit singh 28.12.15 http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/the-great-walls-of-china/
 
3. What is in name? The politics of naming Pakistani Missiles by prateek joshi 25.12.15 http://www.indiandefencereview.com/what-is-in-name-the-politics-of-naming-pakistani-missiles/
In this light, it is quite interesting to note that it is after the invaders who had attacked India that Pakistan has come to name some of its missiles. The names are:

Mr Modi has succeeded in highlighting Pakistan's role in breeding terrorism at all the international forums far more effectively than all the efforts made in past. But there are far more serious dynamics at work. Most importantly it is the  Russian and Chinese geo-economic interest that are reshaping the geo politics in India- AfPak region.
 
 
My take – they are offered financial relief not Permanent Resident Certificate which enables them to become citizens of J&K, get government jobs and their children education.
 
7. Pakistan remains faithful partner of China 28.12.15 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/960904.shtml
However, people-to-people exchanges are the missing part in the foundation of China-Pakistan cooperation in international affairs. Our Pakistani friends enjoy a lot of advantages when contacting Islamic countries, so Pakistan could act as a bridge between China and Islamic countries for further cooperation and collaboration, especially in the process of building "One Belt, One Road" and realizing the Asian community of shared destiny.
 
8. Nepal democracy on the brink by brahma c 28.12.15 http://chellaney.net/2015/12/28/nepals-democracy-on-the-brink/
 
9. From threatening Pakistan to holding hands with Sharif Modi has come a long way 26.12.15 http://www.dawn.com/news/1228759/from-threatening-pakistan-in-2011-to-holding-hands-with-nawaz-sharif-modi-has-come-a-long-way
 
10. The Lahore Summit: The Nuclear Angle by col anil athale 28.12.15 http://www.rediff.com/news/column/the-lahore-summit-the-nuclear-angle/20151228.htm.
Some American think-tankers have appropriated all credit for the talks and believe that American prodding was responsible for the Lahore meeting. The world is very different in 2015 and in realistic terms it is the US that needs India more than the other way around. These Americans need to be reminded that when it came to concessions to Pakistan, American pressure did not work even in 1963 when India was in dire straits! As to Pakistan listening to the US, well, the Pakistanis kept ObL hidden for 11 years in their country!
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fwd: Hinduism and Caste: A Counter Narrative


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


An enlightened liberalism underpins all Hindu philosophy and metaphysics.
The media and academic narrative today presents Hindu civilization as a negation of 21st century egalitarian norms. While elements of this description are not entirely incorrect given the hierarchy and exclusion prevalent for instance in post-war Sri Lankan Tamil society, it is imperative to challenge this version and provide a liberal counter-narrative consistent with intellectual honesty and truth. A counter-narrative would help empower the socially marginalized in the Sri Lankan North and unite the population under the rubric of economic development.

Fluid Social Relations

Hindu civilization was never static. It was marked by constant movement, redefinition and struggle. It had no fixed position. Reformers within the Hindu tradition confronted hierarchy and exclusion throughout history. The pre-eminent scriptures in Hinduism i.e. the Vedas and Upanishads were not centered on caste. Key successor texts and folk practice frequently challenged social elitism.
The absence of fixed tenets or a rigid theology is conducive to free thought and an enlightened liberalism. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan views Hinduism as "a movement, not a position; a process, not a result; a growing tradition, not a fixed revelation." The religion is a non-institutionalized continuum of different schools, denominations and practices where common motifs and themes recur to give it a recognizable identity and coherence.
Hinduism is not a monolith. It comes in all colors and sects. Its social legacy in the late classical Khmer Empire and the Indonesian archipelago was quite different to that in the Indian subcontinent. Hindu civilization cannot be reduced to a mere caste-centered tradition.
This opinion piece will focus on India. Within the Indian subcontinent itself, caste was never a static concept. Social relations were fluid in the history of Hinduism. Entire communities moved up and down the social ladder with shifting trade routes, developments in commerce, technological advancement and peasant movement. Temples in South India played an integrative role as they channeled resources for investment, assumed the role of bankers, employers and landlords and emerged as centers of retail enterprise. The Temples illustrated a de facto alliance of peasant and priest, of king and merchant, of artisan and artist.
One can turn to Dharampal's landmark thesis titled "Indian Science and Technology in the 18th Century: Some Contemporary European Accounts". The publication refers to archival records in London to demonstrate that the "Madras Presidency" enjoyed impressive levels of prosperity and literacy in the pre-colonial 1700s. The affluent village economy in South India supported a broad network of rudimentary schools centered on the village temple, where basic skills in reading, writing and arithmetic were imparted to members of all castes.
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Fwd: I am Left and You are Wrong

very nice fisking of the lefties. hitchens class!

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

There is a section of people who feel India is unique because we earned our freedom without bloodshed, but one thing is sure.
I recently finished reading American thinker Ben Shapiro's book " Bullies- How the Left's culture of fear and intimidation silences America". In this book the author has demonstrated with case after case how the unholy nexus of NGOs, media and the socialist government is usurping the fundamental rights of its own citizens in the name of political correctness and inclusiveness.
I have not studied in depth on the subject and I am not going to form my opinion based on a single book although Mr. Shapiro makes a compelling case. But what worries me is how similar the tactics used by Left liberals in India are to the ones employed (albeit on a larger scale and with much better results) by their ideological doppelgangers in the USA.
Since we are in a different development cycle than the United States, perhaps the tactics employed by the left are not as aggressive and not as commonplace but the early signs are there for sure. Knowing your opponent is the first step of putting up a defence and hence in the paragraphs to follow I will attempt to point out the logical fallacies, philosophical inconsistencies and general lack of common sense in a typical left liberal's thought process.
Before I start I must congratulate the liberals on two things
  1. They have spent more time thinking about this as a group than we have. The Left thinks as an institution (thanks Ben Shapiro) and the Right thinks as an individual.
  2. Since they are aware of the inconsistencies in their argument they have built the argument in a circular way so that the irrational side of each argument is removed (the old smoke and mirror tactic) from the immediate vicinity of the argument itself.
Therefore, in order to expose them, we must look at different parts of their arguments on different issues and show how they are at odds with each other. For example their thoughts on free speech might be contradicted with their own thoughts about majoritarianism. So they are clever enough never to put both arguments together.

The patriotism and dissent folly

After Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, there was such a large spurt in intellectuals trashing patriotism as a virtue that it could not have been anything but pre-planned.
The Left argues that patriotism is an often overrated and misused virtue. Patriotism strips people of their right to dissent and often patriots are crude and violent people.  Before the cricket world cup this summer, sociologist Ashish Nandy said, "I don't want either India or Pakistan to win. The Indian public is suffering from too much nationalism right now and a WC win will only reinforce it". I suppose the desire not to see your own countrymen feel proud about your own country makes sense to someone, it does not make sense to me at least.
And then the liberals trot out the late Samuel Johnson's quote "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels". And since this is such an oft used quote it deserves an examination on its own.
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Quick notes: NextEV, Emission standards...



Fwd: Economically Speaking -- Podcast archives


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Atanu Dey
Subject: Economically Speaking -- Podcast archives
To:


My friend Sudipta Chatterjee in the SF Bay area has been recording podcasts which he calls "Economically Speaking with Atanu Dey". The archives of the audio sessions are available at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B_dp28zaGAvleVFIQkEzY2RKN1E

That is a public link -- meaning anyone with that link can access and download the content. Please feel free to share the link. 

Each of the episode is around 18 minutes long. The aim is to discuss some basic concepts of economics informally. Sudipta is a perfect interlocutor since he is a layperson in economics but is sharp as a tack (you cannot work at the Google headquarters as a senior techie). 

Currently there are four episodes. About one episode a week is a good pace and we expect that in the next few months we will have a sizable archive. I hope you will listen and send in your questions that you want addressed. Our goal is to address questions that non-economists have about economics. 

Please keep in touch.

Atanu



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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Modi finally engages Russia

http://www.firstpost.com/world/pm-modis-visit-has-shored-up-moscows-insecurities-but-a-transformation-in-india-russia-relations-awaits-2559382.html

PM Modi's visit has shored up Moscow's insecurities, but a transformation in India-Russia relations awaits

Surprisingly, Narendra Modi held off a visit to Russia, a country most hold to be India's most vital international partner, for 18 months after taking office. Of course, there had been earlier opportunities to meet with his Russian counterpart, in Fortaleza in July 2014 during the Brics summit, in Ufa in July 2015 during the Brics and SCO conferences, and in Brisbane in November 2014 during the G20 meeting, but an official bilateral trip to Moscow has come slower than expected. In the same time, the Indian prime minister visited France and the United States twice, indicating what many see as India's changed priorities and the new-found friends that come with it...
However, the importance of Russia to India is far greater than a few arms sales. A pale shadow of the Soviet Union, Russia today still possesses enviable diplomatic clout, an excellent yet severely underfunded military-industrial technological complex, large deposits of natural resources, and a formidable military.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fwd: How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ramnathm

 

the guardian (British Newspaper)

 

Interstellar

How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing)

From Interstellar to Batman and Star Wars the venerable religion has been the driving philosophy behind many hit movies. Why?

 

 Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars … is he really a Hindu?

 

Nirpal Dhaliwal

 

Thursday 25 December 2014 11.00 EST

Interstellar's box office total is $622,932,412 and counting. It is the eighth highest-grossing film of the year and has spawned an endless raft of thinkpieces testing the validity of its science and applauding the innovation of its philosophy. But it is not so new. The idea that propels the plot – there is a universal super-consciousness that transcends time and space, and in which all human life is connected – has been around for about 3,000 years. It is Vedic.

When the film's astronaut hero (Matthew McConaughey), declares that the mysterious and all-knowing "they" who created a wormhole near Saturn through which he travels to save mankind – dissolving his sense of material reality in the process – are in fact "us", he is simply repeating the central notion of the Upanishads, India's oldest philosophical texts. These hold that individual human minds are merely brief reflections within a cosmic one.

McConaughey's character doesn't just talk the talk. He walks the walk. So, the multidimensional tesseract – that endlessly reflective prism he finds himself in as he comes to this realisation, and in which he views life from every perspective – is the film's expression of Indra's net, the Hindu metaphor which depicts the universe as an eternal web of existence spun by the king of the gods, each of its intersections adorned with an infinitely sided jewel, every one continually reflecting the others.

"Look at the first Matrix movie," says producer Peter Rader. "It's a yogic movie. It says that this world is an illusion. It's about maya – that if we can cut through the illusions and connect with something larger we can do all sorts of things. Neo achieves the abilities of the advanced yogis [Paramahansa] Yogananda described, who can defy the laws of normal reality."

Rader's latest movie, a documentary about Yogananda, who was among the first gurus to bring Indian mysticism to North America in the 1920s, has been a sleeper hit in the US. The film documents how influential Hindu philosophy is in American culture, with contributions from the likes of the yoga-devoted hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. "There's a big pent-up demand," thinks Rader. "There are a lot of closet spiritualists who are meditating, doing yoga, reading books and thinking about a bigger reality. And now they can come out and say, 'Yes, I'm into this.' Steve Jobs read Yogananda's book once a year. He bequeathed a copy of it to everyone who attended his memorial. It helped inspire him to develop products like the iPad."

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quick notes: Yoga for bone health, Holiday lights...

  • 12 Minutes of Yoga for Bone Health: Yoga builds bone mineral density after menopause, a multi-year study at Columbia University shows. Unlike allopathic remedies for osteoporosis, yoga’s side effects include “better posture, improved balance, enhanced coordination, greater range of motion, higher strength, reduced levels of anxiety and better gait.”


  • Santa stupidity: US holiday lights burn more electricity than a developing world country does in a year.


  • Lalu fires off at bullet train: "PM should explain the viability of Bullet train project".


  • Syed Imad Hasan: Techie held in Hyderabad for illegally confining female colleague


  • Unhinged: 50 percent of survey respondents – Democrats and Republicans alike – say they would be embarrassed to have Trump as president, compared with 35 percent who say Clinton would be an embarrassment as president.


jati as social innovation: my swarajya column

http://swarajyamag.com/magazine/jati-as-social-horsepower/

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Fwd: EATING BEEF NOT AN ISLAMIC RITUAL

commies want to kill cows, not necessarily muslims

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


http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/eating-beef-not-an-islamic-ritual.html
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 | KG Suresh

Organised in response to the 'intolerance' controversy, beef festivals stand on the assumption that cow meat is an integral part of a Muslim's diet. This is a specious argument that has been repeatedly debunked by several leading Islamic scholars and clergymen 

An imminent clash between two groups of students over the organisation of a beef festival and a counter pork festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad, was averted thanks to timely action by the police. Such events across the country are being projected as a reaction to some Hindu groups insisting on a blanket ban on cow slaughter with the Dadri killing as a turning point. Some intellectuals also blame vigilante groups for taking the law into their own hands while dealing with truckers allegedly smuggling cows for slaughter. Such protests subsequently became a continuum of the award-wapsi campaign and the intolerance debate, thereby, acquiring political overtones apparently meant to vilify the ruling dispensation.

What is debatable is the specious argument that beef eating is an integral part of Islamic lifestyle and, therefore, protests against cow slaughter is prejudicial to their freedom of religion and the right to choice of food. A close perusal of Islamic texts, and views of noted Islamic scholars and clergy worldwide, reveal that, forget any prescription for eating beef, Islam does not even prohibit vegetarianism. In fact, there are well known devout Muslims who practice vegetarianism.  Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, the fourth Khalifa as per Sunni belief, has been quoted in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, as saying: "Do not make your stomach a graveyard of animals".

According to internationally acclaimed Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf, "Meat is not a necessity in shari'ah, and in the old days most Muslims used to eat meat, if they were wealthy, like middle class — once a week on Friday. If they were poor — on the Eids." The late Shia scholar Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah had, in an online question and answer session in 2001, categorically stated that, "Vegetarianism ishalal. Meat is not compulsory. Any food is permissible, provided it is not harmful. Muslims are free to eat whatever they want provided it is halal."

In the words of Mohammad Al-Shirazi, noted Islamic author and scholar, "Being vegetarian is okay and halal,and in fact we have the Hadith in Islam that encourages us to eat less meat." Islamic scholars from time to time have discouraged Muslims from eating too much of meat. Responding to a query from a vegetarian convert to Islam about whether it is is halal to be vegetarian, Ayatullah Sayyid Khamanei says in his fatwa that, "According to Islamic law (shari'ah) there is no objection to it. However, eating meat is permissible in Islamic law although eating too much is reprehensible (makruh)."

In the context of the current debate, not led by Islamic scholars but mostly Left-liberals who seem to have little comprehension of Islam or theology, it is pertinent to understand that Islam has not mandated eating of meat per se though due to climatic and topographical reasons and the easy availability of meat in the Muslim-dominated regions of West Asia, it became an integral part of the food habits of the inhabitants. In contrast, in India, with its abundant agricultural output, meat did not acquire the status of a staple diet among Muslims.

Coming back to the question of beef, which is sought to be projected as part of Islamic identity by sections of Indian intelligentsia, it is significant to mention that in his entire lifetime, the Prophet himself is not known to have partaken cow meat. According to well known Islamic scholars, there is no Hadith available which confirms that the Prophet in fact ate beef. However, we do have a number of authenticated statements of the Prophet, which does confirm that beef, ie cow's meat (also called bovine meat), contains illness, while the cow's milk and fat contain cure and healing.

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bezos and musk troll each other on reusable rockets

http://www.siliconbeat.com/2015/12/21/99652/?source=email

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Fwd: 2015 Gita Jayanti Special - series of articles and talks a links on the Holy Gita


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


Namaskar,
 
Gita Jayanti is on December 21. We present a series of articles on the Holy Gita.
 
1. Introducing Bhagavad Gita – A User's Manual for everyday living by Shri T N Sethumadhavan - http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Introducing-Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita-~-A-User%60s-Manual-for-Every-Day-Living-1.aspx
 
 
3. Download for free commentary on Holy Gita by Swami Chinamayanandaji or Gurudev as we say http://www.spiritualbangalore.com/download-bhagavad-gita-in-english-with-commentary-of-swami-chinmayananda-for-free/
 
 
5. Perennial Psychology of the Holy Gita by Swami Rama – we have uploaded excerpts from each chapter, in easy to understand language. http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Perennial-Psychology-of-the-Bhagwad-Geeta-1.aspx
 
6. To access Commentary on each chapter by Shri T N Sethumadhavan - http://www.esamskriti.com/essays/Bhagavad-Gita.aspx
 
7. Swami Tyagananda talks on the Holy Gita – Swamijis currently heads Vedanta Society Boston and teaches at Harvard too. http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Swami-Tyagananda-talks-on-the-Holy-Gita-1.aspx
 
8. Talk by Swami Narasimhananda – Psychology of the Holy Gita – Swamiji is Editor of Prabuddha Bharata, magazine of the Ramakrishna Order since 1993. http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Psychology-of-the-Gita-by-Swami-Narasimhananda-1.aspx
 
 
10. The Holy Gita is a guide to one's life by sanjeev nayyar - http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/The-Holy-Gita-is-a-guide-to-one%60s-life-1.aspx
 
11. War and non-violence in the Bhagavad Gita by Jeffrey Long - http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/War-and-Non-violence-in-the-Bhagavadgita-1.aspx
 
12. Crisis Management – A case study of Arjuna's rescue, relief and rehabilitation by Sri Krishna by T N Sethumadhavan http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Crisis-Management-~-A-Case-Study-of-Arjuna%60s-Rescue,-Relief-and-Rehabilitation-by-Sri-Krishna-1.aspx
 
You can download the commentaries as word or pdf files.
 
With Love and Light
Sanjeev Nayyar
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sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity