Category: Leadership


Russell Means

I first saw Russell Means in the movie named The Last of the Mohicans, he played Chingachgook. Chingachgook was the last Mohican chief. His son was killed by a Huron. Therefore he outlived his son and was known as last Mohican. I must say that the aura of the movie itself was remarkable and so were those people who played those characters. His appearance kind of made me think more about Native Americans. The movie itself was my second introductory movie into Native American culture after “The Legends of the falls”.  Internet or more importantly Google came as a big help in finding more about him. It was reported that his life was dedicated to the Native American people’s plight.  He was a member of American Indian Movement (AIM) and played an active role in civil rights campaign.

 

As per the website http://www.thenewamerican.com which seems to be anti- Russell Means

In 1972, Means and his AIM cohorts occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington. They ransacked its headquarters causing $3 million in damages but were given $66,000 by federal officials when they were forced out. The federal Office of Economic Opportunity awarded AIM $400,000, and funds were given to the group by the World Council of Churches and other “religious” groups. In 1973, Means and his AIM cronies led hundreds of other recruits in a takeover of the village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. They occupied the area for more than two months and were eventually forced out after a small war was waged in which several Indians were killed and a federal official was severely wounded.

To be noted:  nearly 80 years earlier, Wounded Knee was the site of an 1890 massacre of scores of Lakota men, women and children by U.S. cavalry troops in what was the final major clash of the American Indian wars.Russell Means was there to protest against that massacre.

I also read different side of him in many articles which call him a spiritual leader for his people and someone who gave Native Americans their PRIDE back. He was born into Oglala Sioux (or Lakota as he was known internationally) community on November 10, 1939 Wanblee, South Dakota, U.S. Undoubtedly anyone who fights a system which criminalizes their community and more importantly takes away their land, will also be branded criminal as they are “trouble” creators.

On September 25, 1973, Means spelled out his and AIM’s revolutionary plan during an AIM rally at the University of Minnesota. Appearing with professed communist Angela Davis at his side, he announced that his goal included separating from the United States and building a new nation within our country’s borders. He stated:

If I become president of the Oglala Sioux tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, we will take the first steps to eradicate the United States of America’s influence from our land. The methods, of course, depend on the cooperation of various countries that we are already in the process of talking to; various countries who will recognize our sovereignty and deal with us as international partners.

If their cooperation is assured, then when I become president [of the new country], I will abolish that office. I will abolish the Tribal Council, the Tribal Constitution, and the Indian Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Public Health Service, the white ranchers and farmers of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Then we will sit down in diplomatic negotiation with the United States of America to settle up for the western half of South Dakota.

The website http://www.thenewamerican.com goes onto say that Mr. Russell Means never “apologized” for his actions against the country. Wow.

Going by what he did back then was quite revolutionary, I as an Indian (South Asian) was certainly not aware of the plights of Native Americans or as Mr. Russell Means liked to call his fellow people “American-Indians”. The world usually sees what the American media tells us to see and more importantly things which Hollywood wants us to see.   Mr. Russell Means might be radical (violent too for that matter) to some but his actions were to raise awareness about his people that was HIS greater massage.

His fellow Native American friends remember him more generously:

He’s a leader of all tribes—a spiritual leader—and a warrior. He was not originally a warrior, but all the injustice that happened to the American Indians and Canadian Indians—the system made him into a warrior just like Crazy Horse, Sundance Chief Leonard Crow Dog, AIM’s spiritual leader, told Indian Country Today.

Those of  us who grew in 1990s and watched Disney’s Pocahontas (1995) and its sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998). These were the major introductory anime films in native american culture for kids of the decade and those to come. Here too he played a major part, giving voice for the part of  Pocahonta’s father, Chief Powhatan.

He died on October 22, 2012, aged 72 at Porcupine, South Dakota, United States. His death was due to esophageal cancer. Many Americans will remember him as a man who was able to polarize their world on Native American issue and I would remember him as the man who was instrumental in introducing the real Native American culture to me, through his movies, speeches and writings.

The following lines are from the book “The Madmen” by Khalil Gibran, one of my favorite authors:

DEFEAT

Defeat, my defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;

You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,

And sweeter to my heart than all worldglory.

Defeat , my defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,

Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot

And not to be trapped by withering laurels.

And in you I have found aloneness

And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,

In your eyes I have read,

That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,

And to be understood is to be leveled down,

And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness

And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,

You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,

And none but you shall speak to me of beating of wings,

And urging of seas,

And of mountains that burn in the night,

And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,

You and I shall laugh together with the storm,

And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,

And together we shall stand in the sun with will,

And we shall be dangerous.

The Pashtunwali

Pashtunwali dates back to ancient pre-Islamic times but is still widely in use, especially by the rural tribal society. It is not only practiced by members of the Pashtun diaspora but also by some non-Pashtun Afghans or Pakistanis who live in close proximity with Pashtuns.

Now my interest in this topic dates to the fact that there was quote that one heard during childhood ( pashtun or Pathans as they are called in India are integral part of Indian society pre-dating Islamic origination which goes back to ancient times, so as a group they are talked about often in the Pan-Indian society even though many associate them from Afghanistan which may be a more “modern” source point ).

The quote was :

You will never find a more noble, Honorable and Loyal friend

and Neither you will find a more Honest and fierce enemy.

Obliviously the whole quote got me thinking. I mean is it just the pashtuns who have these features or there is something else ?

Do they follow some type of code or lifestyle which evokes such response ?

Then while browsing over the net I fell upon a word called Pashtunwali.The word holds deep importance to the Pashtun culture and those who lived around them. It is said that a true Pashtun abides by this line of ethics. The great Badshah Khan tried to revive or more importantly tried to reignite it barring the badla ideology (which means revenge) . It was epitomised in the poetry by his son Khan Abdul Ghani khan, the Mad poet as he was called.The Red shirts were very prominent in telling about the pashtunwali culture in british era. One such line of his poetry reflects the deep pride he had of Pashtun culture.

“Pashtun is not merely a race but, in fact, a state of mind; there is a Pashtun lying inside every man, who at times wakes up and overpowers him.”

Imran Khan in this present era by his methods is trying live that great Pathan ideology but his ideology has got more to with moderate Pan-Pakistan (which is drawing hostility from urdu based parties especially PPP and Pakistan Muslim League (N).) He is in one way a by product of Pathan culture but of a Niazi Pashtun Tribe which settled in urdu speaking Punjab region during the Mughal rule. I however guess that his thinking is more in trying to mix both old and new. In order to give a balanced view point of Pakistani Moderates (which is creating a rockstar style status among youth of Pakistan, not that he isn’t already a rockstar. Someone even said that he is Mick Jagger of south Asia)

I therefore compiled a list of the points in Pashtunwali (hope I have covered all).

  1. Melmastia (hospitality) – Showing hospitality and profound respect to all visitors, regardless of distinctions of race, religion, national affiliation as well as economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. Pashtuns are widely considered to be the most hospitable people in the world and a Pashtun will go to great extents to show his hospitality.
  2. Nanawatai (asylum) – Derived from the verb meaning to go in, this is used for protection given to a person who requests protection against his/her enemies. The people are protected at all costs, in many cases even people running from the law must be given refuge until the situation is clarified.
  3. Badal (justice) – To seek justice or take revenge against the wrongdoer. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists. Justice in Pashtun lore needs elaborating: even a mere taunt (or “Paighor”) is regarded as an insult – which can only usually be redressed by shedding of the taunter’s blood (and if he isn’t available, then his next closest male relation). This in turn leads to a blood feud that can last generations and involve whole tribes with the loss of hundreds of lives. Normally blood feuds in this all male dominated setup are then settled in a number of ways.
  4. Tureh (bravery) – A Pashtun must defend his land/property, family and women from incursions wherever he or she might reside. A Pashtun should always stand brave against tyranny and he should always be able to defend his property, family, women and the honour of his name. Death can follow if anyone mistreats these traits.
  5. Sabat (loyalty) – Loyalty must be paid to one’s family, friends, and tribe members. Loyalty is a must and a Pashtun can never become disloyal as this would be utterly shameful towards themselves and their families.
  6. Imandari (righteousness) – A Pashtun must always strive towards thinking good thoughts, speaking good words and doing other good deeds. Pashtuns must behave respectfully towards all creations including people, animals and the environment around them. Pollution of the environment or its destruction is against the Pashtunwali.
  7. Isteqamat – Trust in God (known as “Allah” in Arabic and “Khudai-ta-Allah” in Pashto). The notion of trusting in the one Creator generally comports to Islamic idea of belief in only one God (tawheed).
  8. Ghayrat (self honour or dignity) – Pashtuns must maintain their human dignity. Honour has great importance in Pashtun society and most other codes of life are aimed towards the preservation of one’s honour or pride. They must respect themselves and others in order to be able to do so, especially those they do not know. Respect begins at home, among family members and relatives.
  9. Namus (Honor of women) – A Pashtun must defend the honor of Pashtun women at all costs and must protect them from vocal and physical harm.
  10. TOR: Pashtuns are sensitive about the honor of their women folk and slight touching of the women is at times considered a serious and an intolerable offence. The cases of adultery and illicit relations are put down with iron hand in and no quarter is given to culprits either male or female. Casting of an evil eye on woman is tantamount to imperil one’s life. Both sexes, therefore, scrupulously avoid indulgence in immoral practices.
  11. TEEGA OR KANRAY: Teega or Kanray is cessation of bloodshed between contending parties. Teega (putting down of a stone) in other words means a temporary truce declared by a Jirga. The word stone is used figuratively as actually no stone is put at the time of the cessation of hostilities. Once the truce is enforced, no party dares violate it for fear of punitive measures.
  12. GHUNDI: Ghundi is a classic case of balance of power in tribal areas. It is derived from Pashto word Ghund, meaning a political party but it is used for an alliance. As modern states enter into bilateral agreements for promotion of trade, cultivation of friendly relations and mutual defense, similarly various sections of a tribe align themselves in blocs or Ghunds to safeguard their common interests. Ghundi is entered into defeat the aggressive and nefarious designs of a hostile neighbor. In tribal fighting the Ghundi members espouse their mutual interests against their common enemy and act as a corporate body with all the resources at their command.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan tried to eliminate the Badla aspect for which many term him Bachcha Khan too. The revenge culture however of Pashtun is such that it is passed from generation to generation. The term that “ Revenge is dish best served cold” was imbibed from this tradition and the Britishers took that quote and made it famous. Though now the whole world thinks that British invented that “fascinating” sentence. (It is sometimes funny how the world goes round, reminds me of “It’s awataur moron” dialogue by the “high-flys”.)

Ps: It sad to see that the real faces of Pashtun society being marginalized and only Taliban phenomenon is being made the face of Pashtun identity. There was a time when Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was the spiritual leader (and many in this age have forgotten his name ) and now it is Mullah Omar the spiritual head of Taliban( The hardline Wahhabi ideologue, however poverty and neglect of Pashtuns has got to do alot with it).  Though what is sad more is that these days Militant feminist or Fem-Nazi as they “belovedly” are called in world. Identify anything which is not according to them as a Taliban phenomenon not to mention the entire pashtun race as such and those alike, just so that they could score some brownie points on media channels without even understanding the whole story.( Now does that make me uneducated for raising that question.I Do not know but just don’t shoot the messenger is all I ask. 🙂 )

For Freedom and Honour

Today India will be celebrating its 62nd republic day and on this republic day given the tradition, we will see the military might of Indian soldiers and Indian Armforces, which would create a great sense of pride in us . We would be also remembering those who sacrificed their lives, their youth and relationships to protect us. Those who fought for this freedom, our beloved freedom fighters. I wish to remember someone too, someone whom I have seen closely, for someone to whom freedom meant a lot. He was my grandfather Raghunath Singh, he fought in an army which is virtually forgotten. He was a soldier in AZAD HIND FAUJ. It was an army which constituted of 40,000 Indian soldiers which were earlier captives of Japanese during world war in Singapore and Burma. Their leader was Netaji Subhash Chander Bose. I remember his words when I asked him in my childhood that why did he fight in the army with Netaji against Britishers. His answer was plainly simple for Freedom and Honour; he died in 2002 at an age of 92 years. In his old age he was a fragile man but it was this persona that he was a freedom fighter which use to fascinate me deeply . I use to go to my ancestral village where he resided along with his 3 brothers. His old age and my childhood did create confusion in understanding his words and narratives of his past but my admiration for him was supreme. He was not my biological grandfather but rather my biological grandfather’s eldest brother (out of the other 3 brothers) and use to be affectionately called “BABA”.

During the war when he was captured most of the individuals in the village had considered him dead, but his return and a heroic one, being a freedom fighter in “Indian National Army” was full of emotional rollercoaster for the entire family. It was more delightful for his wife who had lost all the hopes in life. He had 2 daughters. I never got an idea that why none of the future generations in our family ever enlisted in army. I sensed that they were disillusioned with the job at army considering it very hard and non-rewarding. There by not continuing his legacy. His younger brother was also in army but was not a member of Azad Hind Fauj. The whole existence and actions of Azad Hind Fauj were full of contempt from the British; there was a period of non-recognition of the soldiers as freedom fighters till 1972 since 1947. This apathy from Indian government at that time added to many conspiracy theories about the political elite and British involvement. They were given their dues after 1972, people cite that it was an after effect of 1971 war victory to honour the “first soldiers of National Indian Army”.

I never knew about the whole politics of recognition and de-recognition, for me my grandfather remained a hero who fought for our Independence. I still believe in him and remember him, It was he who first introduced Bhagat Singh to me and told me about his sacrifice. I always thought that the best way to honour his memory would have been if anyone from the family would have joined Indian Armforces, but alas that was not to be. For his courage and sacrifice he would always be remembered and loved by our family.

Badshah khan: My beloved Pathan

Many in this generation in this neo-modern era who  grew up in the  1990s and 2000s might understand by term “ Badshah khan” as a reference to some bollywood  actor in India who has been “proclaimed as the Badshah khan by his friends.”

I guess I have to say this to clear the air “No, I am not recounting of some bollywood movie star or someone who pretends to be something which he is not but rather of man who had a heart of gold.” Though in a free country it is alright to call yourself anything even if the meaning and interpretations have changed.

I am talking about a man who fought for the freedom of his people. Someone who fought for a better life for his people and for the future generations. Someone who in this fight lost his beloved ones and when he got freedom from his exploiters, it was not the freedom he was hoping for.  I am talking about that Badshah khan who once famously said “you have thrown us to the wolves” when partition was accepted by congress party. I am talking about a man who stood for words like loyalty, Honour and Pride.

I am talking about Khan Abdul Gafar Khan better known as frontier Gandhi, a patriot, a fighter and a Pathan.

I observed the name “Badshah khan” for the first time when I was just six and since then it has remained with me. If I may add  apart from Bhagat Singh he has been another personality who taught me what fighting for your own people means even though if it comes at the cost your own personal loss or your own life. Though both were very different in their approaches but both were inspired by Gandhi in particular and were extremely Patriotic. ( Bhagat Singh was a huge Gandhi fan in his teenage time till the time he disagreed with Gandhi’s taking back of non-cooperation movement.)

Badshah Khan was born in 1890 into a wealthy and aristocratic Muslim family in Mohamadzai Pashtun clan.

He was educated and inspired by British missionaries, he began opening schools among the most impoverished and mostly illiterate Pashtun villages of the Frontier Province while still in his early twenties. In 1919, he led demonstrations against British rule and was imprisoned for sedition for three years in unusually harsh conditions that almost broke his health. Undeterred, he continued devoting himself to education and reform work among the Pashtun, and claimed to have visited all 1000 villages over a period of about ten years.

He completed his education from Aligarh Muslim University and after that he wished to study in London just like his elder brother Dr. Khan Saheb who became a doctor but his mother was afraid of losing her son to an alien culture and namely its women. That left Badshah Khan with no option but to work for his father in their fields.

Badshah Khan’s life was plagued with personnel loss but this did not deter him from being a hope to his people who were tired of the continuous wars amongst themselves.

He married his first wife Meharqanda in 1912. she was a daughter of Yar Mohammad Khan of the Kinankhel clan of the Mohammadzai tribe of Razzar, a village adjacent to Utmanzai. They had a son in 1913, Abdul Ghani Khan, who became a noted artist and poet. Subsequently, they had another son, Abdul Wali Khan (17 January 1917-), and daughter, Sardaro. Meharqanda died during the 1918 influenza epidemic. In 1920, Abdul Ghaffar Khan remarried; his new wife, Nambata, was a cousin of his first wife and the daughter of Sultan Mohammad Khan of Razzar. She bore him a daughter, Mehar Taj (25 May 1921- ), and a son, Abdul Ali Khan (20 August 1922-19 February 1997). Tragically, in 1926 Nambata died early as well from a fall down the stairs of the apartment they were staying at in Jerusalem.

Badshah Khan dreamt of greatness for his people, he dreamt of good life far away from the continuous wars in the modern Khyber-Pakhtunkwa and FATA region. He was tired of the oppression by the hands of the British, the repression of the mullahs, and an ancient culture of violence and vendetta. He wanted to uplift his fellow men and women by means of education. At 20 years of age, Badshah Khan opened his first school in Utmanzai. It was an instant success and he was soon invited into a larger circle of progressively minded reformers who were also determined for a change.

In the late Twenties, after a long period of fasting and meditation, Khan came up with the idea of a “nonviolent army” of Pashtun tribesman who would renounce violence and the code of revenge deeply embedded in Pashtun society. They wore red military uniforms (and were called “Red Shirts”), took an oath foreswearing violence, retaliation and revenge, formed regiments, trained and drilled, and devoted themselves to village uplift, education and reform.

During the civil disobedience movement initiated by Gandhi in the remote Northwest Frontier, the repression was far worse. The British considered Pashtun tribes as savages. They sealed the borders to the province and unleashed a campaign of violent repression unmatched during the civil disobedience movement. “Red Shirts” were publicly stripped and beaten, their property confiscated, their crops burnt.

There was an instance in which on 23 April 1930, Badshah Khan was addressing a gathering during which he was arrested. People started to come from far away to Peshawar’s main square to protest his arrest. The British forces in their panic open fired on the crowd. What occurred during that period left many dumbfounded. When the first layer of people were shot and killed the second layer stood up to face the bullet and they too were shot and killed. This event kept on occurring till it was 5pm (a total of 6 hours of shooting on armless people). This whole situation resulted in the loss of 200 to 300 Pashtun lives. Many of the soldiers who refused to fire were court-martial and were served hard prison sentences.

This made Gandhi stand up and say that Britishers have no moral right in India where innocent were killed  just because they are protesting for their rights. Badshah Khan became a close confidant of Gandhi. Gandhi took many of his important decisions upon consulting with him.

Badshah Khan strongly opposed the Muslim League‘s demand for the partition of India. After partition, Badshah Khan was frequently arrested by the Pakistani government in part because of his association with India and his opposition to authoritarian moves by the government. He spent much of the 1960s and 1970s either in jail or in exile.

In 1985 he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize. In 1987 he became the first person not holding the citizenship of India to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He died at home near Peshawar in 1988, at the age of 98, having served thirty years in prison. Upon his death in 1988, he was buried in Jalalabad, despite the heavy fighting at the time, both sides in the Afghan war declared a ceasefire to allow his burial.

Just to keep things in perspective the famous khan market in which most of “new high society children” venture out smoking,drinking and doing all the crazy “stuff” was named after Khan baba in his honour so that even though he was far apart still he will remain close to our heart. Though I would be surprised if Khan Baba would have loved what  it has become among the future generation for which he fought. Still the market named after him stands out to be the richest in India and is listed 16th in the list of richest markets in the world.  Badshah Khan’s name seems enough to make it rich in life, not to mention world.

To honour him there was a bollywood movie made in 1992 in which Amitabh Bachchan played the role of Badshah Khan, the movie portrayed Bachchan as the Pathan of Kabul for whom a word given must be kept at any cost and for who love is his religion. It showed him living in jail term for most of his life till returning back to Kabul. Though it had all the bollywood masala but none the less till now it remains the only movie made on Badshah Khan, a true Pathan. My beloved Pathan.

India would be certainly proud of its achievement this time in commonwealth games, beating England and Canada in games is no small feat and coming 2nd certainly isn’t either. The remarkable performance of getting 101 medals was showcased by one state in particular which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Though their effort in showcasing India’s strength has certainly lead some people to appreciate them.

Leading this pack of gold was a state known only for honour killings or female foeticide, Haryana (there is even a movie coming on the events named Akrosh).Fittingly so when discus thrower Krishna Punia won the gold she said that all the winners were Jats that is Harwant Kaur who won silver and Seema Antil who won bronze.(may be it was an inner desire to tell media that they were painting the whole community with same color) Keeping that aside Haryana as a state truly out performed many of the countries participating in the commonwealth games and with its tally alone and number of golds it stands 5th.

“Social scientists will point to a co-relation between community, environment and sporting success. The Masai tribesmen put Kenya on the world map with their natural aptitude as steeplechaser and middle distance runners. The Ethiopian tribes became renowned marathon runners. Runners of West African descent — whether from Jamaica or the United States — are born to run fast. Perhaps, we now need to consider that the muscular Jats are built to wrestle or throw the discus (not to forget cricket , Hockey and Shooting too). ” quotes Rajdeep Sardesai.

Haryana has certainly made its mark in this commonwealth games with a startling performance from the state. The most medals for it was won in wrestling with the likes of Phogat sisters leading the charge and sonepat for one has become a district of gold creators.

Not far behind are the boxers of bhiwani which got 2 gold and 3 bronze. Vijender Singh’s controversial bout will always remain part of the commonwealth history but so will Manoj Kumar’s and Paramjeet Samota’s gold in final. Last time it was only Akhil kumar who won the boxing gold but this time Haryana got two and India three.

This success has been also attributed to Hooda governments’ efforts to support sportspersons, though on occasion he is seeing quoting “I am sportsman.” His stint as two time chief Minister was taking a beating after the negative publicity his state was taking but certainly he could take a breather with commonwealth success story before media gets going with the usual stuff.

Haryana in past lacked tremendously in context of the infrastructure of sports but that was over come by the sheer zeal to perform by its athletes. The Hooda government now should focus on creating high class stadiums so that ground level support is encouraged, though he might say that he has got stadiums built but there numbers then is few.

The sports which have been dominating and getting it medals namely Boxing and Wrestling need to be supported more. The prize money offered in sporting events also need to increase. Haryana government should also not hide behind the recent success and help create other sports to rise too. The events such as athletics and swimming needs to be supported as these are the events which would be giving us more medals.

The success could also be used in eliminating social evils of female –infanticide as the girls who have won could become the role models of young girls and parents can be encouraged to support their girls. Saina Nehwal success story could be repeated again where a father goes out of his way to make his daughter a world champion and same goes for Krishna Poonia who also hails from Haryana though is married in Rajasthan. Her story is where the brothers and father supported and then her husband who helped get her to this level. Husbands can also take some heed where they can become facilitators in the success of their wives and will also be given due credit and their egos will also be not hurt in the process.

There is a way out for Haryana with the current success stories where they can revive their lost image and get rid of the chauvinistic tag associated with the men of Haryana , now whether they do this is certainly upon them since the rest of the India will be watching.

Those who made Haryana proud:

Gold :

Ravinder Singh : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg

Anil Kumar : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 96 kg

Sanjay Kumar : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 74 kg

Rajender Kumar : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 55 kg

Geeta Singh Phogat : Wrestling Women’s freestyle 55 kg

Anita Tomar :Wrestling Women’s freestyle 67 kg

Yogeshwar Dutt: Wrestling Men’s freestyle 60 kg

Krishna Poonia :Athletics Women’s Discus Throw

Annu Raj Singh :Shooting Women’s 10m Air Pistol (Pairs)

Manoj Kumar : Boxing Men’s Light Welterweight 64 Kg

Paramjeet Samota : Boxing Men’s Super heavyweight +91 Kg

Saina Nehwal : Badminton Women’s Singles

Silver :

Manoj Kumar : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 84 kg

Nirmala Devi : Wrestling Women’s freestyle 48 kg

Babita Kumari : Wrestling Women’s freestyle 51 kg

Anuj Kumar :Wrestling Men’s freestyle 84 kg

Joginder Kumar :Wrestling Men’s freestyle 120 kg

Saina Nehwal : Team event Badminton

Bronze :

Sunil Kumar : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 66 kg

Dharmender Dalal :Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 120 kg

Prasanta Karmakar: Swimming Men’s 50 m freestyle Para

Suman Kundu :Wrestling Women’s freestyle 63kg

Seema Antil :Athletics Women’s Discus Throw

Jai Bhagwan: Boxing Men’s Lightweight 60 kg

Dilbagh Singh :Boxing Men’s Welterweight 69 Kg

Vijender Singh: Boxing Men’s Welterweight 75 Kg

When this commonwealth was about to start many doubted whether it will even begin or get scrapped. I must confess that I was one of them. Mr kalmadi’s “spectacular” handling of things certainly brought India great many criticism and condemnation of the participating countries.

In the end it was left to none other than our chief minister Mrs Shiela Dikshit to get the job done which even involved getting games village ready. More so she became the target of foreign media especially the notorious Paula Henery ( oh did I spell that right…?).

Now the real weight of expectation was on Indian athletes and oh my, did they comply .India finished second in the over all tally with a staggering 101 medals in which there were 38 gold medals , 27 silver medals and 36 bronze medals.

Wrestling won us many medals 19 of the 21 events that they participated in and here to sushil Kumar dominated getting his gold by knocking out his opponent. Upon wining he went to Rahul Gandhi to get thank him for watching his match. In all domination of wrestling was supreme. The girls also didn’t do anything wrong, the sisters Babita and Geeta Phogat from haryana won silver and gold respectively. Their story was of remarkable success where their father had to fight off the sarcasms of the village when he decided that his daughters will play wrestling.

Following are the medals in wrestling

Gold                 10

Silver                5

Bronze             4


The winners are as follows :

Gold

  1. Ravinder Singh :    Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg
  2. Anil Kumar :    Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 96 kg
  3. Sanjay Kumar :    WrestlingMen’s Greco-Roman 74 kg
  4. Geeta Singh Phogat :    Wrestling Women’s freestyle 55 kg
  5. Alka Tomar :    Wrestling Women’s freestyle 59 kg
  6. Anita Tomar :   Wrestling Women’s freestyle 67 kg
  7. Rajender Kumar:  Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 55 kg
  8. Narsingh Pancham Yadav :  Wrestling Men’s freestyle 74 kg
  9. Yogeshwar Dutt: Wrestling Men’s freestyle 60 kg
  10. Sushil Kumar :  Wrestling Men’s freestyle 66 kg

Silver

  1. Manoj Kumar : Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 84 kg
  2. Nirmala Devi :  Wrestling Women’s freestyle 48 kg
  3. Babita Kumari :  Wrestling Women’s freestyle 51 kg
  4. Anuj Kumar : Wrestling Men’s freestyle 84 kg
  5. Joginder Kumar :  Wrestling Men’s freestyle 120 kg

Bronze

  1. Sunil Kumar:     Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 66 kg
  2. Dharmender Dalal :   Wrestling Men’s Greco-Roman 120 kg
  3. Suman Kundu:  Wrestling Women’s freestyle 63kg
  4. Anil Kumar :   Wrestling Men’s freestyle 55 kg

Then the excepted events of shooting too did not disappoint by performing brilliantly. The shooters especially Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang won us many gold . Gagan Narang in particular won 4 gold medal heights individual tally, it must be rewarding for him to win so many medals in his own nation and hopefully his disappointment of  not winning the Rajiv Gandhi khel ratna will be diminished, now as government will certainly honour him for his contribution.

The medal tally for shooting was :

GOLD             14

SILVER           11

BRONZE         5

The winner from shooting were :

GOLD

  1. Abhinav Bindra & Gagan Narang: Shooting Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Pairs)
  2. Anisa Sayyed & Rahi Sarnobat: Shooting Women’s 25m Pistol (Pairs)
  3. Anisa Sayyed: Shooting Women’s 25m Pistol (Single)
  4. Omkar Singh : Shooting Men’s 50m Pistol Individual
  5. Gagan Narang: Shooting Men’s 10m Air Rifle Individual
  6. Vijay Kumar & Gurpreet Singh : Shooting Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (Pairs)
  7. Omkar Singh & Gurpreet Singh: Shooting Men’s 10m Air Pistol (Pairs)
  8. Omkar Singh : Shooting Men’s 10m Air Pistol (Singles)
  9. Gagan Narang & Imran Hassan Khan : Shooting Men’s 50m Air Rifle 3 Position (Pairs)
  10. Vijay Kumar : Shooting Men’s 25m Rapid Fire pistol Individual
  11. Vijay Kumar & Harpreet Singh: Shooting Men’s 25m centre fire pistol (Pairs)
  12. Gagan Narang : Shooting Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Pos Individual
  13. Harpreet Singh : Shooting Men’s 25m centre fire pistol Individual
  14. Heena Sidhu & Annu Raj Singh :Shooting Women’s 10m Air Pistol (Pairs)

SILVER

  1. Omkar Singh & Deepak Sharma : Shooting Men’s 50m Pistol (Pairs)
  2. Tejaswini Sawant & Lajjakumari Gauswami: Shooting Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions(Pairs)
  3. Rahi Sarnobat: Shooting Women’s 25m Pistol (Single)
  4. Abhinav Bindra : Shooting Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Singles)
  5. Asher Noria & Ronjan Sodhi: Shooting Men’s Double trap (Pairs)
  6. Ronjan Sodhi : Shooting Men’s Double trap Individual
  7. Manavjit Singh Sandhu & Mansher Singh : Shooting Men’s Trap (Pairs)
  8. Vijay Kumar : Shooting Men’s 25m centre fire pistol Individual
  9. Tejaswini Sawant : Shooting Women’s 50m Rifle Prone (Singles)
  10. Samresh Jung & Chandrasekhar Chaudhary : Shooting Men’s 25m Standard Pistol (Pairs)
  11. Heena Sidhu : Shooting Women’s 10m Air Pistol (Singles)

BRONZE

  1. Gurpreet Singh: Shooting Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol Individual
  2. Suma Shirur & Kavita Yadav: Shooting Women’s 10 m Air Rifle (Pairs)
  3. Manavjit Singh Sandhu: Shooting Men’s Trap Individual
  4. Samresh Jung: Shooting Men’s 25m Standard Pistol Singles
  5. Tejaswini Sawant & Meena Kumari :  Shooting Women’s 50 metre rifle prone pairs

In all shooting did not disappoint and wrestling became the new power house.This performance will certainly improve interest of Individuals in shooting and wrestling. Though wrestling can boast itself to be a cost-effective sport but certainly shooting would require enormous amount of money for ammunition and training.

One just hopes irrespective of the conditions, Indians will find a way and keep this performance alive and see a different side of sports which is nothing similar to cricket.

As for the negative side. we ask a few questions from the ‘believers’.

If, as you believe, there is an almighty, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God-who created the earth or world, please let me know why did he create it ? This world of woes and miseries, a veritable, eternal combination of numberless tragedies: Not a single soul being perfectly satisfied.

Pray, don’t say that it is His Law: If he is bound by any law, he is not omnipotent. He is another slave like ourselves. Please don’t say that it is his enjoyment. Nero burnt one Rome. He killed a very limited number of people. He created very few tragedies, all to his perfect enjoyment. And what is his place in History? By what names do the historians mention him? All the venomous epithets are showered upon him. Pages are blackened with invective diatribes condemning Nero, the tyrant, the heartless, the wicked.

One Changez khan sacrificed a few thousand lives to seek pleasure in it and we hate the very name. Then how are you going to justify your almighty, eternal Nero, who has been, and is still causing numberless tragedies every day, every hour and every minute? How do you think to support his mis-doings which surpass those of Changez every single moment? I say why did he create this world a veritable hell, a place of constant and bitter unrest?

Why did the Almighty create man when he had the power not to do it? What is the justification for all this ? Do you say to award the innocent sufferers hereafter and to punish the wrong-doers as well? Well, well: How far shall you justify a man who may dare to inflict wounds upon your body to apply a very soft and soothing liniment upon it afterwards? How far the supporters and organizers of the Gladiator Institution were justified in throwing men before the half starved furious lions to be cared for and well looked after if they could survive and could manage to escape death by the wild beasts? That is why I ask, ‘Why did the conscious supreme being created this world and man in it? To seek pleasure? Where then is the difference between him and Nero’?

You Mohammadens and Christians : Hindu Philosophy shall still linger on to offer another argument. I ask you what is your answer to the above-mentioned question? You don’t believe in previous birth. Like Hindus you cannot advance the argument of previous misdoings of the apparently quite innocent sufferers? I ask you why did the omnipotent labor for six days to create the world through word and each day to say that all was well. Call him today. Show him the past history. Make him study the present situation. Let us see if he dares to say, “All is well”.

From the dungeons of prisons, from the stores of starvation consuming millions upon millions of human beings in slums and huts, from the exploited laborers, patiently or say apathetically watching the procedure of their blood being sucked by the Capitalist vampires, and the wastage of human energy that will make a man with the least common sense shiver with horror, and from the preference of throwing the surplus of production in oceans rather than to distribute amongst the needy producers to the palaces of kings built upon the foundation laid with human bones…. let him see all this and let him say “All is well”.

Why and wherefore? That is my question. You are silent.

All right then, I proceed. Well, you Hindus, you say all the present sufferers belong to the class of sinners of the previous births. Good. You say the present oppressors were saintly people in their previous births, hence they enjoy power. Let me admit that your ancestors were very shrewd people, they tried to find out theories strong enough to hammer down all the efforts of reason and disbelief. But let us analyze how far this argument can really stand.

From the point of view of the most famous jurists punishment can be justified only from three or four ends to meet which it is inflicted upon the wrongdoer. They are retributive, reformative and deterrent. The retributive theory is now being condemned by all the advanced thinkers. Deterrent theory is also following the same fate. Reformative theory is the only one which is essential, and indispensable for human progress. It aims at returning the offender as a most competent and a peace-loving citizen to the society.

But what is the nature of punishment inflicted by God upon men even if we suppose them to be offenders. You say he sends them to be born as a cow, a cat, a tree, a herb or a best. You enumerate these punishments to be 84 lakhs. I ask you what is its reformative effect upon man? How many men have met you who say that they were born as a donkey in previous birth for having committed any sin? None. Don’t quote your Puranas. I have no scope to touch your mythologies. Moreover do you know that the greatest sin in this world is to be poor. Poverty is a sin, it is a punishment.

I ask you how far would you appreciate a criminologist, a jurist or a legislator who proposes such measures of punishment which shall inevitably force man to commit more offences? Had not your God thought of this or he also had to learn these things by experience, but at the cost of untold sufferings to be borne by humanity? What do you think shall be the fate of a man who has been born in a poor and illiterate family of say a chamar or a sweeper. He is poor, hence he cannot study. He is hated and shunned by his fellow human beings who think themselves to be his superiors having been born in say a higher caste. His ignorance, his poverty and the treatment meted out to him shall harden his heart towards society.

Suppose he commits a sin, who shall bear the consequences? God, he or the learned ones of, the society? What about the punishment of those people who were deliberately kept ignorant by the haughty and egotist Brahmans and who had to pay the penalty by bearing the stream of being led (not lead) in their ears for having heard a few sentences of your Sacred Books of learning-the Vedas? If they committed any offence-who was to be responsible for them and who was to bear the brunt? My dear friends: These theories are the inventions of the privileged ones: They justify their usurped power, riches and superiority by the help of these theories. Yes: It was perhaps Upton Sinclair, that wrote at some place, that just make a man a believer in immortality and then rob him of all his riches, and possessions. He shall help you even in that ungrudging. The coalition amongst the religious preachers and possessors of power brought forth jails, gallows, knouts and these theories.

I ask why your omnipotent God, does not stop every man when he is committing any sin or offence? He can do it quite easily. Why did he not kill war lords or kill the fury of war in them and thus avoid the catastrophe hurled down on the head of humanity by the Great War? Why does he not just produce a certain sentiment in the mind of the British people to liberate India? Why does he not infuse the altruistic enthusiasm in the hearts of all capitalists to forgo their rights of personal possessions of means of production and thus redeem the whole laboring community nay the whole human society from the bondage of Capitalism. You want to reason out the practicability of socialist theory, I leave it for your almighty to enforce it.

People recognize the merits of socialism in as much as the general welfare is concerned. They oppose it under the pretext of its being impracticable. Let the Almighty step in and arrange everything in an orderly fashion. Now don’t try to advance round about arguments, they are out of order. Let me tell you, British rule is here not because God wills it but because they possess power and we do not dare to oppose them. Not that it is with the help of God that they are keeping us under their subjection but it is with the help of guns and rifles, bomb and bullets, police and millitia and our apathy that they are successfully committing the most deplorable sin against society  the outrageous exploitation of one nation by another. Where is God ? What is he doing? Is he enjoying all I these woes of human race ? A Nero; A Changez : Down with him.

Do you ask me how I explain the origin of this world and origin of man? Alright I tell you. Charles Darwin has tried to throw some light on the subject. Study him. Read Soham Swami’s “Commonsense”. It shall answer your question to some extent. This is a phenomenon of nature. The accidental mixture of different substances in the shape of nebulae produced this earth. When? Consult history. The same process produced animals and in the long run man. Read Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’. And all the later progress is due to man’s constant conflict with nature and his efforts to override it. This is the briefest possible explanation of this phenomenon.

Your other argument may be just to ask why a child is born blind or lame if not due to his deeds committed in the previous birth? This problem has been explained away by biologists as a more biological phenomenon. According to them the whole burden rests upon the shoulders of the parents who may be conscious or ignorant of their own deeds led to mutilation of the child previous to its birth.

Naturally you may ask another question though it is quite childish in essence. If no God existed, how did the people come to believe in him? My answer is clear and brief. As they came to believe in ghosts, and evil spirits; the only difference is that belief in God is almost universal and the philosophy well developed. Unlike certain of the radicals I would not attribute its origin to the ingenuity of the exploiters who wanted to keep the people under their subjection by preaching the existence of a supreme being and then claiming an authority and sanction from him for their privileged positions. Though I do not differ with them on the essential point that all faiths, religions, creeds and such other institutions became in turn the mere supporters of the tyrannical and exploiting institutions, men and classes. Rebellion against king is always a sin according to every religion.


As regards the origin of God my own idea is that having realized the limitations of man, his weaknesses and shortcoming having been taken into consideration, God was brought into imaginary existence to encourage man to face boldly all the trying circumstances, to meet all dangers manfully and to check and restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God both with his private laws and parental generosity was imagined and painted in greater details. He was to serve as a deterrent factor when his fury and private laws were discussed so that man may not become a danger to society. He was to serve as a father, mother, sister and brother, friend and helpers when his parental qualifications were to be explained. So that when man be in great distress having been betrayed and deserted by all friends he may find consolation in the idea that an ever true friend was still there to help him, to support him and that He was almighty and could do anything. Really that was useful to the society in the primitive age.

The idea of God is helpful to man in distress.

Society has to fight out this belief as well as was fought the idol worship and the narrow conception of religion. Similarly, when man tries to stand on his own legs, and become a realist he shall have to throw the faith aside, and to face manfully all the distress, trouble, in which the circumstances may throw him. That is exactly my state of affairs. It is not my vanity, my friends. It is my mode of thinking that has made me an atheist. I don’t know whether in my case belief in God and offering of daily prayers which I consider to be most selfish and degraded act on the part of man, whether these prayers can prove to be helpful or they shall make my case worse still. I have read of atheists facing all troubles quite boldly, so am I trying to stand like a man with an erect head to the last; even on the gallows.

Let us see how I carry on : one friend asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, “During your last days you will begin to believe”. I said, No, dear Sir, it shall not be. I will think that to be an act of degradation and demoralization on my part. For selfish motives I am not going to pray. Readers and friends, “Is this vanity”? If it is, I stand for it.

Ratan Naval Tata (RNT), born on December 28, 1937, is the Chairman of the Tata Group (Tata Sons), the US$ 63 bn(around Rs 251,543 Crores) Indian conglomerate founded by by Mr. JN Tata in 1868, which employs around 350,000 people worldwide, and has businesses spanning from Salt and Tea to Steel & Supercars.

He is also chairman of other Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Teleservices and Tata AutoComp Systems.

Under his stewardship, the Group’s revenues have exploded more than ten-fold since 1991,61% of which now come from international operations.

He was the force behind Group’s changeover from an Indian business house to a very powerful international conglomerate from India. He had the conviction to acquire leading institutions abroad including Corus Steel, Jaguar-Land Rover, Daewoo CVs, Tetley Tea, Brunner Mond, among countless others. As a result, the Tata brand was recently valued at $11.4 billion and ranked 57th among the world’s Top 100 brands.

Businessweek magazine ranked Tata sixth among the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ and the Reputation Institute, USA, recently rated it as the ‘World’s Sixth Most Reputed Firm.’ That’s what RNT has done to the Group.

Besides the Group companies, Mr. Tata is associated with various organisations in India and abroad. He is chairman of the Government of India’s Investment Commission and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry, the National Hydrogen Energy Board and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council.

Mr. Tata also serves on the boards of Fiat SpA and Alcoa. He also serves on the International Investment Council of the Republic of South Africa and the UK Prime Minister’s Business Council for Britain. He is a member of the International Advisory Council of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee to the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange and of the international advisory boards of the Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase and Rolls Royce !

Further, Mr. Tata is the president of the court of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and chairman of the Council of Management of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He is a member of the board of trustees of Cornell University and the University of Southern California and of the Foundation Board of the Ohio State University.

He also chairs two of the largest private sector promoted philanthropic trusts in India. Additionally, he is a member of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS and the Programme Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s India AIDS Initiative.

Not at all surprisingly, the Government of India honoured Mr. Tata with its second highest civilian award, the ‘Padma Vibhushan’, in 2008. Earlier, in 2000, he had been awarded the‘Padma Bhushan’.

He has also been conferred an honorary doctorate in business administration by the Ohio State University, an honorary doctorate in technology by the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, an honorary doctorate in science by the University of Warwick, and an honorary fellowship by the London School of Economics, and an honorary doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

RNT was listed as the 12th most powerful business leader in Asia by the Fortune magazine in 2007. In May 2008, Mr. Tata made it to the Time magazine‘s 2008 list of the World’s 100 most influential people !!

To top all of that, Forbes magazine, very recently, opined that Mr. Ratan Tata be brought into politics, calling him India’s most respected business leader, and also calling him India’s Barack Obama, who could unite the country and march the nation forward at a traumatic time.

Lastly, he’s single (never married), lives in a bachelor pad amidst books & pet dogs, drives his own car (sometimes), and doesn’t surface at all at any social events. He’s an architect by education from the Cornell Uni (USA), Class of 1962, and has completed the AMP at Harvard Business School (USA) in 1975.

Such are the feats of this LEGEND, truly unparalleled !!!

Nandan Nilekani talks about the Indian Ideology  shift over the decades since independence, the shift that has taken place and what are the challenges that are required to make a country better.

Nandan Nilekani co-founded Infosys, one of India’s leading information technology companies, back in 1981. After serving as its president and then CEO, he’s now joined the Indian government to help lead a massive new IT project: providing every Indian with a unique identity card. to concentrate on his next great endeavor: re-imagining India in the new millennium.

Nandan Nilekani was born in BangaloreKarnataka, as the younger son of Durga and Mohan Rao Nilekani. His father worked as a General Manager of Mysore and Minerva Mills. His father, who subscribed to Fabian Socialist ideals, had an influence on Nandan during his early years. He has an elder brother, Vijay, who works in the Nuclear Energy Institute.

He studied at Bishop Cotton Boys School Bangalore, and then at St. Joseph’s High School Dharwad, and later in IIT, Bombay where he graduated with a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering in 1978.His early years were marked by his father’s job transfers and re-locations. He spent the first twelve years at Bangalore, where he studied at the Bishop Cotton Boys School. He then moved in with his uncle’s family in Dharwad, after his father had been transferred.

The role of a soft power : India

One has always been amazed by the awe that Americans and their culture command over the world, the fact most of us in the east aspire to become like the Americans “the cool westerners “. Is there no short coming in that nation , is it plain picture perfect ?

Well answers to those questions  will surely be given by politicians and sociologist but something which one knows and had a personal experience is the influence of american movies and its show and adding to the toping is its music industry. Americans have been able to pursue themselves as the loved ones at least that is what most of us think, unaware of the politics.

The american dream is reinforced by the movies , it is always cool to watch an american movie or either to catch in the new happening show ” The Big Bang Theory“, ” Prison Break” or the all time favorite of all youngsters  “F.R.I.E.N.D.S ” .

US apart from the invasion spree does some how hold out as a country to be a part of , even thought the adults in the rest of the world might think otherwise (especially middle east) , it is the ability to be a “SOFT POWER”  which stands out. People want to buy products which are available there , love their movie stars , even God worship them and their President Obama is more famous than our own president Mrs.Patil.

So how was it made possible what no amount of Imperialist ways could do, well simple love or soft power ?

Now India if it truly wishes to become  a superpower then apart from the seat in United Nations Security Council, they need to export their culture so that the way the youth of today in our country identify and aspire the culture of US someday the youth of the world would want to aspire our culture and that aspiration will be a key step towards a global superpower.

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