Tag Archive: India


9780143029106

The book is a combination of various articles written by the author over the years. Possibly from mid 1990s to 2002. The author essentially is of capitalist mind and offers solutions based on that model. The author also tries to convince people that capitalism must be sold to people like “Fabian socialism” of Nehru was sold to masses in 1950s. Even though acknowledging the short comings of the capitalist ideology, the author debates that it is the best system forward.

Being the ex-CEO of Procter and Gamble(India) , the author does provides an insight into various issues from the side of a capitalist. I however believe that the author missed out a concept called “social entrepreneurship” or “responsible capitalism“, which one believes should have been talked more in his book. I must say that I was horrified by couple of his suggestions and at the same time sympathetic to some, particularly about export industry .

Author is educated in Harvard University (in 1950s if I am not wrong) , he does bring along a certain mindset. I however believe that his understanding of certain issues were elitist per say ( both social and economical ) even though the author tries to pinpoint to the reader that he is NOT elitist, on this part I would beg to differ with him.

Author also focuses a lot on philosophers and their view points, I presume that is an educational hazard that the author has to live with (since the author did Philosophy honors from Harvard university) and so he uses the names of many western philosophers in putting his view point across. I would have liked if he would have quoted more of Indian philosophers.

The author also makes a point that he is a liberal in every sense ( I presume it is fashion these days to say so), I for one evoke author’s concern towards the reform of the rules and allowing entrepreneurship to be encouraged. It is an average book if any body wishes to read it. I was drawn to it after reading India Unbound by the author. I however doubt that I would be reading any other of his books soon. None the less , some books recommended by him will certainly be on my list for the book TO-READ.

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The book is an interesting take on Babur, his fights and battles. It starts from 12-year-old Babur listening about his ancestor Timur from his father who is a king but is not that rich (Timur plundered Delhi and his soldiers raped and killed many during the rule of Tughlaq dynasty  in 1398).

 The main characters which go along with you throughout the book are:

  • Esan Dwalat: Babur’s maternal grandmother
  • Khanzada: Babur’s older sister
  • Kutlugh Nigar: Babur’s mother
  • Shibani Khan: Babur’s arch rival, leader of Uzbeks and a nemesis of Babur’s people
  • Baburi: Babur’s close friends
  • Wazir Khan: Milk brother to Babur’s father , guide and mentor to Babur.
  • Kasim : Babur’s ambassador
  • Baisanghar : Babur’s father-in-law who helped Babur capture Samakhand
  • Maham: Babur’s favourite wife and mother of Humayun and daughter of Baisanghar.

Babur as such had 5 wives and many concubines, the name of his 5 wives mentioned are:

  • Ayisha: 1st wife older than Babur, daughter of chief of Mangligh clan. She never accepted him and had a lover prior in her own people with whom she eventually marries after leaving Babur.
  • Maham: Daughter of Baisanghar, the man who helped Babur win Samarkand.  Babur marries her to show respect to Baisanghar in addition to the fact that his 1st wife abandoned him for her lover.
  • Gulrukh: Mother of kamran and Askari. Grand-daughter of Bahlul Ayyub, Vazir of Kabul.
  • Bibi Mubarak: Daughter of the chief of Yusufzai clan (A Pashtun clan)
  • Dildar: Mother of Hindal

The author’s name Alex Rutherford is the pen name for Diana Preston and her husband Michael. Both studied at Oxford University reading History and English respectively. I believe that the act of humanizing Babur and the fact Babur is shown crying would definitely be a mind of a woman at work. Since that emotion riddled sequences are the ones which they so much like.  Therefore I guess that the husband and wife duo had their work cut out, very well.

Babur is a descendent of  Timur and Genghis Khan both. I however think that the book is romanticism of Babur. It shows him in humane form. Shibani Khan an Uzbek and arch rival of Timur princes is shown as barbarous man who was sexually assaulted and kept as a boy toy by an old Timur noble. This was when he was captured in a battle but Shibani Khan kills that noble and escapes, pledging to kill all Timur princes ( I think a fair deal if we look what Timur descendents did to Shibani khan and his people).

Babur is also saved many times by luck as his uncles, Rulers at Samarkand and Kabul gift him his kingdoms as they have no male heir. Shibani khan demands Babar’s sister’s hand in marriage as a price of leaving Samarkand unharmed, when he invades Samarkand (which is a tough issue for Babur). The author writes that Babur wept at being not a man/feeling impotent as he was unable to protect his sister’s honor,especially when he visualizes/imagines Shibani Khan touching the soft white skin of his sister (which is again human attempt though reality of the situation was not written or recorded in Babar’s auto-biography.Babur at that time was 19 Years old and his sister was 21 years old). His sister was returned to him by the Shah of Iran as the Persian Army killed Shibani Khan.

Babur again returns to Samarkand but as a puppet of Shah of Iran who asks him to convert to Shia Islam instead of Sunni Islam. His refusal leads to his loss of the city once and for all. During this period Baburi and Babur have differences. Therefore Baburi leaves Babur’s side and goes away. Babur is left all by himself without the men he could really trust. Baburi eventually returns after 7 years bringing Turkish canon along which he uses to conquer Hindustan (a land of infidels as he use to call it).

There he fights Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (A Pashtun Ruler). Whose armies he is able to defeat (as apparently it is full of infidels, very amusing). During this war he loses his close friend Baburi. After killing and defeating Ibrahim Lodi, Babur becomes the Emperor of India. Here too he fights of many fractions within, Namely Lodi’s mother Buwa who curses Babur.

Then there are fights with Rana sangha of Mewar, an old ruler famous for many bruises on his body along with many of his wives and concubines. This he wins by calling Jihad.  There is an attempt on Babur’s life by Poisoning but Babur is able to overcome it, it was  by Buwa, Ibrahim Lodi’s mother. He eventually dies praying for his son Humayun’s recovery.

I think it is a good book for fun-history purposes but the author himself/herself writes that he/she has fictionalized it. Though 70% is facts based on Babar’s auto biography.

I might read rest of the parts too but not soon, probably in a year or two.

India @ London Olympics 2012

Finally London Olympics 2012 came to an end. Actually it came to an end on 13 Aug 2012. I am writing it today partly because of my mood and partly that I did-not have time. This Olympics has been a joy to some and a disappointment to some. The overall achievement by India as a country has been encouraging one. From the last tally of 3 medals (1 Gold, 2 Bronze), this time round we won 6 medals (2 Silver, 4 Bronze). Most were new winners barring Sushil Kumar who won Silver after bronze in 2008 Olympics and created history by becoming the first consecutive Olympics medal winner in an individual event.

 

The government at centre and at respective states has been showering praise and cash on them.

The Disappointment and the glory:

There were disappointments too in these games, namely boxing. I for one believed that Indian Boxing Team was capable of winning 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze. The bouts however were controversial and so were the points giving system. The worst came when Vikas Krishan’s winning was reversed. It seemed there was something fishy there. The heart break was left for Vijender Singh’ quarter final match. He was one win away from securing a consecutive Olympic medal, a feat completed by Sushil Kumar then in wrestling.

MC Mary Kom, however saved the day for Indian Boxing by winning 1 Bronze (many including herself were hoping for a Gold, but it is a medal none the less no matter which ever color). She is truly a fighter and one hopes she fights in 2014 Olympics too. There she might get the chance of changes the color into Gold.

The role model in the making:

Winning of Bronze medal by Saina Nehwal was just not her win but a win for her father, her coach and more importantly a win for the girl child of Haryana. She has all the qualities and temperament of becoming the role model of girls of Haryana. One doubts that there would be many villages or cities in Haryana, who would NOT have celebrated her feat. She is most likely to become a catalyst for acceptance of girl child as the harbor and manifestor of glory. One is sure that in coming years with more of her success stories, Fathers from the state of Haryana (which gets bad press for gender issues and girl child issues) would want to raise their daughters to be like Saina Nehwal. Much like saina’s own father used to call her Steffi affectionately, hoping that the daughter will live the glory of legendary Steffi Graf. Given her age and her achievements, one only believes that there is going to be long glorious days ahead.

The Underdog of Shooting:

The underdog tag without doubt goes to Vijay Kumar, who no one expected to win as all the expectations in shooting were with the likes of Ranjan Sodhi, Abhinav Bindra and Manvinder Singh Sandhu.  His win was without fuss, I watched the final shooting competition which won him silver. He was very calm even after winning it. Though later many said that it was not right for him to ask for promotion, but I ask why NOT ? Wasn’t Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore promoted too ? Then what seems to be the harm here ? The guy is asking what is rightfully his.   It is good to see that sports minister Ajay Maken supporting him here. Being a JCO, if he desires to be a commisioned officer in Army after Honouring India at an International event. One believes it will only be fitting to do so and will show case the value Indian Army gives to its soldiers and their efforts. He should be given Captain’s Title in Indian Army (even though it might upset some men in Indian Army who have achived no such feat).

Vijay Kumar has been giving consistent performance in terms of shooting and earning accolades. He has been winning Gold medals in all the commonwealth games since 2006. He won silver in shooting event in 2009 and 2011. It would be nice to see those people who came from villages in India to be honoured and facilitated in both monetary and honorary terms.

Gagan Narang did not disappoint and won a medal for India, though many were hoping that he might win Gold. He again is in contention in getting gold in 2014 Olympics to be held in rio de janeiro.

The Encore:

Sushil Kumar did which many were expecting Vijender Singh to also do, though Vijender should not lose heart as he did reach quarterfinals and that itself is a huge achievement. Additionally age is in his side, so in next Olympics I for one STRONGLY believe that he will win GOLD. We should remember that it took Md Ali just 1 Gold to get recognized rest was his style and attitude (a positive one) which brought him so much acclaim. (Not that Vijender Singh needs recognition in India, but many including me have a desire that he wins Gold in Olympics.

Sushil Kumar on the other hand was likely to win gold given his recent performance but in final his health and fatigue gave away. The feat has been a welcome one. One hopes he is able to fulfill his dreams in future. It may be so that he might go for 2014 Olympics. It was a good win for Yogeshwar Dutt to who won his first Bronze medal. His hardwork finally paid off.

The Awards:

It has been raining awards for the winners of Olympic medals and those who participated. Yogeshwar Dutt and Vijay Kumar have been awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for 2012. Last year it was Gagan Narang. Haryana Govt has awarded its players 1.5 Crores for silver and 1 Crore for Bronze. Now one has got news that  Olympic medalists wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, badminton star Saina Nehwal and shooter Gagan Narang will get audi Q5s for bringing laurels to the country from DLF Limited.

That apart, the company will also hand over Special Editions of Maruti Suzuki – Way of Life‘s mid-sized Suzuki SX4 cars to 15 sportspersons from Haryana who took part in the London 2012 Olympics, but could not win any medal.

This a welcome move from DLF who have been past associated with cricket namely DLF IPL. SAHARA announces medals of pure gold of 5 kg, 3kg and 2kg to every Indian winning gold, silver and bronze medal respectively in the London Olympics 2012. Sahara has been supporting Indian sportsmen for longtime and it is no different here.

All these awards from the corporate sector is a welcome move. One hopes that many other companies would come forward; such awards will encourage youngsters to fight and win more medals for India in future Olympics.

 

Bhishma for me symbolizes purity and eternal wisdom.  Someone who is the guiding force in the family. I came across few line which showed Indian people’s admiration for him. The line are as follows :

  • If there is some sea one needs to bath in-order to be one with his spirit, then one would do so.
  • If there is some Mountain one needs to climb in-order to be one with his spirit ,then one would do so.
  • If there is some pilgrimage one needs to make in-order to be one with his spirit ,then one would do so.
  • If there is some fire one needs to walk through in-order to be one with his spirit,then one would do so
  • If there is some sacrifice one needs to make in-order to be one with his spirit,then one would do so.

To be one with the noble spirit of Bhishma is the desire and dream of every warrior because there is no greater character who sacrificed everything and yet remained true to the rules or as they say to warrior code (kshatriya Dharma) , even when those rules caused him terrible misery and eventually a painful death.

I, like every child growing up in 1990s watched Mahabharata being telecast on India channel (Doordarshan to be exact) . There were usually fights over who the better fighter was in Mahabharata, Arjun or Karna or Bhima. Some even said that Krishna should be also included into list. The story dates back to the time of 4000 B.C (now whether it is real story or not, one would not discuss but it was a story none the less). So when on those Sunday mornings it use to get telecast in Tv channels. Everyone use to be ready. One of our family friend’s son who was couple of years younger than me got so much impressed that he changed his name to Arjun. Much like it happens in childhood, I wanted my name changed too. I suggested Arjun but I was told that it was already taken. In reality my parents never wanted to change the name but were amused and were looking for some entertainment. When I suggested Karna, the reply was one of your uncle is karna, so no.  The whole idea about the name change was associated with the personality of the being or the fact who was greater warrior. Someone who could beat Arjun too (the supposedly the best warrior which we knew or I knew)

Then during one of the episodes I observed a man very old and wearing everything white, but  nobody wants to be old. Fortunately there was a story behind and the whole episode had its video series too.  I though of knowing about him more well,  the elders did narrate that he was Bhishma and he was the grand-father of  kauravas and Pandavas, in short he could spank them all (nice :)). I thought of knowing more about him, so I watched the starting episodes and discussed with others. It came to being that he chose to give always the right to the throne so that his father could marry a fisher-woman. The most notable point being that he was the son of Ganga, the most sacred river for Hindus and Indians. His father shantanu was king of hastinapur ,a powerful kingdom in north India.

The story of his life was such that he  abstained from throne so that his father could marry a fisher-woman since the fisher-woman’s father wanted his to-be (unborn) grandson to sit at the throne of Hastinapur which was certainly not possible when Bhishma (or Devavratha as he was originally known) was there as crown prince. Bhishma then took the vow of not marrying so that his off-spring might not stake a claim on the throne later. This vow at that time was called to be a rare one and a AKHAND Pratigya (unbreakable vow). It was much to the disappointment and frustration of his father , who blamed himself till the end of his time, for doing this to his son.

He took the another vow that anybody who sits on the throne of Hastinapur will be in synonym with his father’s position. Therefore he would do (Bhishma) as the king will commanded and his loyalty will be to the throne alone and none so ever. The second vow that he took became a reason for concern since Dhitrashtra (the blind king and father of Duryodhan) was not able to take right decisions owing to his love to his ever angry, egoistic son Duryodhan who was incited by his shakuni uncle (who was the crown prince of Gandhar or Bactira or Presently known as Afghanistan).

What followed was a war that nearly destroyed the entire India/ Bharat as it was called then and the epic war in India was called “Mahabharata” or “the great Indian war “. In short Bhishma was the epitome of culture and tradition in the ancient India. Though his act to look other way when Draupati (The queen of Pandavas) was been stripped naked by the kauravas is seen with contempt and anger. Here too it is said that it was his two vows that he took that made him incapable of stopping such an act. It was then left to Krishna to stop  kauravas from outraging the modesty of Draupati.

There was another instance when his half-brother was insulted in a marriage ceremony by the brides father (the king of other kingdom) by not inviting in the swamwar ( where a bride can choose their own groom). Apparently the act was done to insult Bhishma and Hastinapur by the king’s family. It was  a revenge act to get even as the king’s father was insulted when he had proposed the marriage of his daughter to Bhishma. Whereas Bhishma’s father Shantanu had laughed off that matter ( showing that there was huge class difference between both the kings). This act of insult to his half-brother did not go down well with Bhishma and he single-handedly went and captured three princess who were to get married in swamwar in order to get them married to his half-brother in the presence of all the princes of India present there and the king himself. (and none were able to do anything)

The three sisters were namely ambika, amballika and Amba. Salwa, the ruler of Saubala, and Amba (the eldest princess) were in love. Upon reaching Hastinapura, Amba confided in Bhishma that she wished to wed Salwa. Bhishma then sent her back to Salwa who turned her down as it was humiliating for a man to accept a woman who had been so long in the company of another man. She then naturally approached Bhishma for marriage who refused her, citing his oath. Amba, humiliated and enraged beyond measure, vowed to avenge herself against Bhishma even if it meant being reborn over and over again.Burning for vengeance all those years ago, Amba had left Hastinapur and gone into the forest, where she sought the shelter of the sages. With their help she worshipped Lord Shiv to gain the boon she wanted: To cause Bhishma’s death.

Years passed and Amba performed the most austere and extreme austerities to please Shiva. Finally, Lord Shiva appeared and asked her what she desired. She requested a body whereby she would be able to destroy Bhishma. Shiva granted her wish. Bowing before him, Amba surrendered her body into the sacred fire so that she may be reborn according to Shiva‘s blessing.

Amba took rebirth and was a reason for the death of Bhishma in the battle of Mahabharata.Amba was reborn as Shikandi, with full memory of his past life and vendetta against Bhishma. His body was male but his mind was female and thus Shikandi gained notoriety in the kingdom for being not quite male or female but both. During the ninth day of battle it was observed that till Bhishma is there kauravas will never lose but neither will Bhishma defeat Pandavas as he considered them as grandchildren just like kauravas.The war was thus locked in a stalemate. As the Pandavas pondered over this situation, Krishna advised them to visit Bhishma himself and ask him to suggest a way out of this stalemate. Bhishma knew in his heart that the Pandavas were righteous and chaste, and that he stood as the greatest obstacle in their path to victory, so when they visited Bhishma, he told them that if faced by an other gender that is a gender which has both features of a male and female in battle he would stop to fight and not lift weapons against her.

Therefore on tenth day of battle shikhandi accompanied Arjun (The favorite grandson of Bhishma). Upon seeing shikhandi Bhishma knew that he could not shoot him as it was Amba.(she had taken rebirth half man and half woman). Krishna provoked Arjun to shoot Bhishma. So Arjun shot Bhishma reluctantly with arrows and a death-bed was created for Bhishma. Bhishma was given a death wish by his father when he took those vows that he could choose the time of his death. Therefore till the time war was not over Bhishma laid there on the arrows, shot by Arjun. In all this event Bhishma was very proud of Arjun showing his ability (In reality Arjun wouldn’t have stood a second in front of him had he not disarmed himself). None the less this was the personality of Bhishma. Once in a war he deliberately struck Krishna with an arrow so that Krishna could take up arms and break his vow of not fighting for anyone. In a fit of rage Krishna had even ran with a wheel in his hand to kill Bhishma ( Bhishma being more than willing to die by hands of Krishna, but it was Arjun who stopped Krishna from Killing bhishma falling on his feet). There is a pic to depict whole act. The pic stands out for me in whole of Mahabharata.

Therefore back to the debate over choosing what to be. I finally was able to decide and it was Bhishma.  As far as name goes well Bhishma’s real name was Devavratha , so it really doesn’t matters that what the name is. It is the actions and more importantly the personality that matters. It was said his personality was the best that could be, fit for kings. Therefore the best man, but yes the catch being not the one made for marriage.

Bhishma on Mangement :

To be honest Mahabharat  has more to do with understanding the personality of character than  management these characters did. Still however every character had a distinct set of rules of getting things done. In the case of Bhishma it is more in terms of ethics. He was a very ethical man for whom rule and principles were supreme.He was an idealist but it was his vow towards Hastinapur that led him not to act on certain situations causing outrage among masses sometimes.

If one wishes to identity any manager with him, then he would be one who worked hard to create an organization on ideal principles.

Bhishma in today’s world :

Now this was a tricky one though I went around and tried to get a feel of the situation as to what people in India think about that, therefore it was two candidates which were narrowed. Both are from strong political parties in India namely Congress and BJP. The names are Dr. Manmohan Singh from congress and Atal Bihari Vajpayee from BJP. Without doubt both are statesmen and honorable people and I somehow felt they were right in today’s time to be named as Bhishma.

However, about who is the Bhishma of Indian Business world. I sensed that I always knew that answer. It is Ratan Naval Tata.

 ps: One knows that one cannot be an exact replica of bhishma but as far as I am concern, he is the only hero for me in entire Mahabharata and everybody wants to emulate their heroes. Isn’t it… ?

Plus on naming present day people who are close to or might resemble characters well, I doubt that I might have the wisdom to always come out with a name or even write. Now nobody wants to get spanked by naming someone a Duryodhan ( Though wise people will always be able to find such characters 🙂 )

Mahabharat is one of my favorite mythological books along with Iliad. Somehow I find it more real compared to Ramayana. Although many in India regard Ramayana as “the” book, I personally beg to differ. For me Ramayana symbolizes bondage but Mahabharata unleashing of spirits and thoughts, for someone who does not like bondage much, Ramayana might not excite much (Though I guess that talk might be blasphemous to some. I would just say it is the choice of having something spicier ).

Mahabharat offers a variety of characters whom we in this present world could relate to and I would be trying to give my own understanding of the characters as time goes on, hoping to find some answers myself too in the process. Additional to that I can say Business Sutra  reignited my interest for it providing a different perspective and a deep insight into Mahabharat. I enjoy the Business Sutra very much started on CNBCTV18 in which Devdutt Pattanaik  talks about mythology. I can honestly say that it is a delightful experience listening to him. I have rarely seen someone describe and enlighten people about Indian manuscripts and old age text like he does and use it in terms of management.

In the coming posts I would talk and think about certain characters which made me think and question. For a list they would be as follows:

  • Bhishma
  • Karna
  • Arjun
  • Yudhishtar
  • Bhim
  • Krishna
  • Duryodhan
  • Shakuni
  • kunti
  • shantanu
  • Ganga
  • Nakul and sehdev
  • Draupadi
  • Durshashan
  • Balram
  • Ghatotkach
  • Barbarika or Khatushyamji
  • Abhimanyu
  • Dhitrashtra
  • Gandhari
  • Pandu
  • Satyawati
  • Dronacharya
  • Sanjay
  • Vidura

Now one would try to start it generation by generation but would dare say that it would not always be that restrictive……. It may vary as per my admiration for the character (and mood)  so bear with me who ever will read it,apologies before hand if it puts you off. It will be more in terms my understanding of these characters…

Last year I went to Hyderabad, the second IT city after Bangalore in south India. It is the capital of Andra Pradesh which currently is in a bitter battle of separation, in order to create another state of Telengana. I stayed in Hyderabad for 7 days before proceeding to Bangalore via a bus.

I reached Hyderabad in august of 2010.(cannot remember the exact date). I do remember however that it was 10 am that my flight landed and I had boarded the flight from delhi at 7:30 am (so it took 2 hours and 30 mins ) . This is the exact time that it takes if you are going from delhi to Thimpu,capital of Bhutan. Remarkable right… India is a vastly remarkable country…

The first couple of days were just site seeing near the place I resided. I tried to get accustomed to Hyderabad but then I ventured out to see the Golconda fort.

Golconda fort has an interesting history, it starts with  13th century  built by the Kakatiya kings. Though the current structure was build by the Bahmani Sultanate .After the collapse of sultanate, a new empire ruled over it. That of Qutb Shahi dynasty before it fell to Mughals. It was captured by Mughals during the time of Aurangzeb. It is said that he captured it to finance his crumbling empire as Qutb Shahi dynasty had lots of diamonds. The region itself was rich producer of diamonds.

The historians also write that the defense of Golconda fort was so good that Aurangzeb’s army was not able to get in. Only after bribing the gatekeeper, the Mughal army was able to capture the fort.

Something which amused me was to find a temple at the top of fort. The story about it is that a saint Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhaktha Ramadaasu, a devout Hindu constructed Bhadrachalm temple without informing the sultan at that time Tana Shah. This resulted in his being  jailed located inside the fort. I saw the place where he was jailed but forgot to take a pic(but certainly got the pics of temple).

I think, of all the ancient monuments that I saw in Hyderabad. Golconda was finest. At the top of the fort one could see Hyderabad. It think the attacking armies could have been easily spotted 100 Kms away. Truly on top of the fort it was a remarkable view. The greenery of Hyderabad is also proved when you view from top of Golconda fort.

While in Hyderabad I also observed one trend, there seems to a lot of construction going on. It seemed that Hyderabad was on infrastructure revamp mission. The road connecting airport to outskirts of Hyderabad where most IT companies are offers memorable sights for watching.Though I must say campus of both Microsoft and Infosys were equally beautiful.

Now I would have not known about this issue being developed in India and the world, If I had not given some exams recently. The question itself was the first one in terms of lending money to farmers and corporate houses to “reform” the agricultural system in India. WTO and international hedge fun organizations are forcing in this regard. As after the “real estate” bubble burst, they feel this is the next avenue for investment.

The whole interest of the corporates for land in production of crop raises doubts and cynical thinking in my mind. One can certainly not forget how “East India company” practically ate India. The Indigo farming which destroyed most of India’s land, which eventually led to Mahatma Gandhi’s champaran march in Bihar. There are some serious issues that need to be seen first. There would be little doubt that one considers private sector as India’s savior in job market and in terms of upliftment of the life-style. Land however is completely a different story, land is the most important resource for mankind after drinking water.

Providing land to others is like a potential suicide for farmers, not just for small scale farmers. The trend which is more worry-some is about different countries buying land to do farming. China and Saudi Arabia have already purchased so much land in Africa. The target being India, gives jitters to me. Will we be living the horrors of our past. ? Already the article of land purchasing by govt which dates back to 1894 is causing so much headlines.

This new policy of giving corporates to grow food is a big scary situation. This would mean that one institution being given absolute right, that institution on top of it having no accountability whatsoever. Private sector is driven by profits and for that it is well known that they might shift towards bio-fuel. Then what would happen to food securities, naturally the rates would go up, adding to chaos where rates are already sky high. As the food production will be low. At least in form of a government people have an entity who they can question or vote out (talking about democracy of-course). When the companies will buy land and to farming there, that accountability would be lost.

The small farmers or  the middle range farmers will have hard time. Rather than allotting the complete land to the corporates why doesn’t the corporates talk to farmers, with government as the watchful eyes. In order to make sure that issue of less food doesn’t turns out to be a huge one. More importantly a country like India needs to first feed its own rather than allot land to those who might send the food outside. The govt, if and when does this could be pressurized to stop export but corporates have no such limitations.  One feels the corporates should be involved in retail and distribution, rather than food production. (which I believe should be their foray as it would lead to organization of an unorganized sector.). Plus there are other sectors where they could do more, rather than food production. No body wants a James Bond movies type situation like we had in Quantum of solace.

Now many would see the statement as anti-corporation. It is not, it is just pro-people like me who have no control over price rise and who do-not grow any food. One does-not wishes to be arm twisted in paying more money. There are already so many problems in India regarding the present situation of land grab, such policies would just aggravate the situation. The farmers are already suffering from different quarters.

For acquiring any land in India, one needs to go through the land act of 1894. The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 is a legal Act in India which allows the Government of India to acquire any land in the country.

Generally, every parcel of land belongs to some individual or group of individuals and they have legal rights to own the land. These individuals are free to use their land according to their will or to sale their land for monetary or other advantages.

However, at times land is needed for some community purpose i.e. it serves needs of the society as a whole like roads, canals, government offices, military camps etc.

“Land Acquisition” literally means acquiring of land for some public purpose by government or government agency as authorised by the law from the individual landowner(s) after paying some compensation in lieu of losses occurred to land owner(s) due to surrendering of his/their land to the concerned government agency.

Acquisition of land by the government for public purpose or for the companies is governed by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

The word “Public Purpose”, as defined in the Act mentioned above refers to the acquisition of land for putting up educational institutions or schemes such as housing, health or slum clearance, apart from the projects for rural planning or formation of sites.

“Appropriate Government” would mean the Central Government if the purpose for acquisition is for the Union and for other purpose it is the State Government. It is not necessary that all the acquisition has to be initiated by the government alone. Local authorities, societies registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and Co-Operative Societies established under the Co-operative Societies Act can also acquire the land for developmental activities through the government.

Certain procedure has been envisaged under the statute, which has to be mandatory followed before acquiring the land for public purpose, as discussed below:

 History of Land Acquisition Act

In India in 1824 British government for the first time enacted regulation I of 1824(for land acquisition).its application was throughout the whole of the Bengal provinces immediately subject to the presidency of fort William.

The rules empowered the government to acquire immovable property at a fair and reasonable price for construction of roads, canals or other public purpose. In 1850 some of the provisions of regulation I of 1824 were extended to Calcutta through Act I of 1850, with a view to confirm the title to lands in Calcutta taken for public purpose. At that time railways were being developed and it was felt that legislation was needed for acquiring land for them also.

Building act XXVII of 1839 and act XX of 1852 were introduced to obviate the difficulties to particular cities of Bombay and madras.

Act VI of 1857 was the first full enactment, which had application to the whole of British India. It repealed all previous enactments relating to acquisition and its object.

Subsequently act x of 1870 came in to effect which was further replaced by land acquisition act 1894 in order to purge the flaws of act x of 1870.

“LAND ACQUISITION ACT-1894” is a well defined, self contained efficient act for facilitating land acquisition process.

After independence in 1947 Indian government adopted “land acquisition act-1894” as a tool for land acquisition.

Since then various amendments have been made to the 1894 act from time to time. Despite these amendments the administrative procedures have remained same.

Special powers of section 17

Section 17 of the Act confers special powers with the concerned authority wherein passing of award may be dispensed with and yet permits to take possession of the land notified for acquisition. Further holding of enquiry can also be waived, as envisaged under section 5 A of the Act. However, such powers can be exercised only in case of urgency. After passing of the award, the person whose land has been proposed to be acquired can give his consent for such acquisition and agree to receive the compensation.

Objections can also be raised against the measurement of the land, enhancement of compensation or apportionment of the compensation by filing a written application before the Deputy Commissioner, as provided under section 18 of the Act, requesting the authority to refer the matter to the court for determination of the grounds raised in the application. An application to that effect has to be filed by the person who was personally present when the award was passed, within six weeks from the date of the award passed by the Collector. In other cases, the application will have to be made within six weeks from the date of receipt of the notice issued under section 12(2) or within six months from the date of the award passed by Deputy Commissioner, whichever is earlier.

This specific section 17 been used and abused by many in govt and judiciary for own purposes, thereby subduing the rights of the rightful owner, the farmer.

http://laudyms.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/%E2%80%98land-rush%E2%80%99-as-threats-to-food-security-intensify/

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/susagri/susagri087.htm

http://farmlandgrab.org/15537

This new approach of land grabbing is going at a fast rate as 40 million hectare of lands and being garbed. The more important aspect is the adequate compensation is not being provided nor is the ecological issue understood. The govt in world especially ASIA and Africa are selling in $100 billion worth deals. The UN agriculture safeguard organization is proposing a code of conduct for land acquisition. The problem is also that no doubt that India needs flashy new homes to show case it to the world as the emerging economic superpower,but the cost should not be food. The fertile land being brought at cheap price is an alarming sign, not only for poor farmers but middle class and upper middle class who will be hit by high food prices. As multiple crop harvesting lands are being brought.  The golf courses which would be made on these lands would help create many international golfers but these golfers would also need food. Excess of everything is harmful.

The land grab for agriculture for corporates have another drawback. Suppose that they buy the land today for farming but later turn it into a real estate project, could they be challenged. The contract would say that they brought the land and are landowners and could do anything with it.  Forgive me if the words come out strong but that would be an exact replica of colonial time (which we as nation tried to forgo in our independence struggle), by using terms like modernizing and upliftment as proxy to get the job done. One feels the approach is not right. There needs to be a policy which needs to be planned where the local population which is living there does not feel thrown out, by being arm twisted on the bases of using various exploitative laws.

Land is usually an emotional subject for most people as it provides them livelihood. It is a source of existence for many communities. Native Americans suffered due to this land grab in US, where many hollywood bigshots had to come forward to raise voice for their right. One such was Marlon Brando. He showed how land of American Indians was being grabbed for selfish purposes.

Now the objective is not to target any group or corporate houses (both are important entities for growth of country), but surely both the parties should benefit along with those whose food needs should be addressed by the govt. I know there is lot at stake, but from the pictures emerging is that the farmer, poor and middle class  are the ones who have more at stake. One’s issue is identity, another’s existence and the latter one’s is food.

Nusrat Fateh Ali khan

Nusrat fateh ali khan is a name synonym with Sufi music in south-Asia. Many like me were introduced to Sufi philosophy and music via his singing. I remember first listening to him in 1997 , that was time when many of his albums were launched in India and many music channels use to play his music.  I for one loved his remarkable ability to sing in his high pitch and selfless devotion to Allah ( God or Ram or any other name you call it).

The first song if I could remember properly, it was afreen-afreen which became a sensation in India and Lisa Ray, the female model in it became a symbolic beauty. His singing not only brought happiness but I can say it showed that how India-Pakistan are so close culturally inspite of hating each other deeply. The various raags that he use to practice and the qawali could be found in India’s sufi shrines to government functions being enjoyed by all people ranging from different walks of life.

I donot deny the fact, when I was a child  I was also filled with emotions to bomb Pakistan and kill everyone who  would harm my country but it was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s music that amounted for so much dilemma in not able to understand that how can such contradictions lie in one place (But then Osama story did help in sorting out that confusion). The irony being that apart from religion both countries having the same ethnic groups. Sufi music did certainly played its part and so did Nusrat fateh Ali Khan in bringing closer  both nations, even though detractors might remain.

His songs were based on both god and appreciation of god’s creativity. Like a true poet and a musician many were based on women (argued by poets as the best creation of god). His song kina sona tenu rabb ne banaaya ( How beautiful the lord has made you) was another one his many songs on women appreciating them and their beauty. That song was remixed to add it the “modern” touch (which I think would have been fine without that “touch” ). Though his song Tere bin is one of my all time favorites.

The best of his qawalis which have been recorded are in public gathering and still 14 Years after his death he remains to be the face of Sufi singing in sub-continent and outsells many others in this genre of music. His nephew Rahat Nusrat fateh ali Khan is taking the music forward. Many his songs are also good but I had always had a liking for Nusrat fateh ali khan more. His music brings out a selfless devotion (now that devotion could be used for anything). I have also read that his fore-fathers use to sing for Mughals in Mughal courts.

There are many things which bind India and Pakistan , same ethnicity, common heritage, culture and most notably Sufism. A sect within Islam which adheres to peace and plurality and doesn’t enforces anything. There are songs where Allah-Ram are made synonym. Words like “Kafir” or the non-believer are not here as all are considered equal and no religion greater or weaker.

Though, I also know that it is the north India which is more into it culturally and Delhi is considered its hub, but regions in south-India like aiyappa temple, one can also see sufism present. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs talking about various relationships are equally soothing and enlightening. Particularly if I could assess my life till now, listening his song is like a spiritual bath you take,cleansing you soul of all the dirt in this world. Much like in day to day life one has take that bath daily in-order to avoid being sick of some disease and remove the dirt from the body. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a remarkable voice which one could hear for long hours. The only down side, it is so addicting that you might forget anything else. My advice to all those drunks and “lovers”, move over that self-made experience and listen to him. The ecstasy that you will find, will be beyond anything that you have ever felt.

This song is one of the best songs which I have heard till date.  The lyrics of this song is such that one can listen to it on  a daily basis for rest of his life. Truly a master piece by Kalyanji-Anandji and well sung by Manna Dey. It is of movie zanjeer(1975) which became the first hit for amitabh bachchan(after numerous flops).

This song is pictured on pran who is playing the role of sher khan, a pathan who would die for his friends and for whom friendship is his faith.

I can honestly say that those who value friendship they would love this song.The essence of the song is that of

Friendship is faith, my friend is my life. Friendship is my faith and life, my friend. 

Music Director : Kalyanji Anandji

Singer : Manna Dey

Lyricist : Gulshan Bawra

Aa . . .
Gar khuda mujse kahe . . .  (2)
Kuchh maang eh bande mere
Me ye maangu . .  (2)
Mehefilo ke daur yu chalte rahe
Ham pe aalao, ham nibaah laao
Hamsafar, hamraaz ho
Ta qayaamat. . .  (2)
Jo chiraago ki tarha jalte rahe

Yaari hai meri imaan mera yaar meri zindagi
Yaar ho bando se ye . . . oh
Yaar ho bando se ye sabse badi hai bandagi
Yaari hai!
Yaari hai meri imaan mera yaar meri zindagi 

Saaz-e-dil chhedo jaha me . . . (2)
Yaar ki gunje sada
He saaz-e-dil chhedo jaha , Me yaar ki gunje sada
In dilo me pyaar hai unpe bahaare ho fida
Pyar leke noor aaya . . .  (2)
Pyar leke taazgi Yaari hai!
Yaari hai meri imaan mera yaar meri zindagi 

Jaan bhi jaaye agar . . .  (2)
Yaari mein yaaro gham nahi
Eh jaan bhi jaaye agar yaari mein , Yaaro gham nahi
Apne hote yaar ho , Gham-geen matlab ham nahi
Ham jaha hai . . us jagaah  (2)
Jhoomegi naachegi khushi Yaari Hai!
Yaari hai meri imaan mera yaar meri zindagi
Aa . . .
Gul-e-gulzaar kyu bezaar nazar aata hai  (2)
Chashme pat ashiqaar yaar nazar aata hai
Chhupaana hamse zara haale-dil suna de tu
Tere hasee ki keemat kya hai ye bataade tu 

Kahe to aasmaa se chaand taare le aau
Haseen jawaan aur dilkash nazaare le aau
Tera mamnoon hu . . .   (2)
Tumne nibhaaya yaaraana
Teri hasee hai aaj sabse bada nazraana  (2)
Yaar ke hasti hi . . .  (2)
Mehefil pe jawaani chhaa gayi, chhaa gayi Yaari hai!
Yaari hai meri imaan mera yaar meri zindagi
Oh . . . eh . . Qurbaan qurbaan?oy oy oy


I still can’t bring my feeling in words but I shall try none the less , the euphoria has not stopped and even after sleeping for 8 hours my blood is shooting up like my body is on Fire….. The feeling of being a world champion nation is unique. I specifically chose not to write about the world cup matches, hoping that I would write about the tournament when India would have won the world cup. (call it my superstition or whatever but 2003 finals loss memory was still there)

For starters Indian team started with on set saying that they were playing for India and Sachin Tendulker to win the world cup. Congrats to sachin Tendulker for finally realizing his dream,having played in  6 world cups , the last world cup has finally given the man what he wanted all his life , to be a world cup winner. For those who say life is tough, this man is certainly a good example of fighting till the end. When the tournament started many wrote India off because of their poor performance plus their loss to south Africa made expectation go low. The turning point I would say started when India beat west Indies and Yuvraj scored the century which was virtually an important match for India to qualify for quarter finals.

upon the qualification of India to quarter-final round came the test of fire………………

India vs Australia ( The 4 time world cup winning team, 3 in a row for that matter 1999,2003,2007). The beating that India took at the hands of Australians especially Ricky Pointing (scoring 140 and Australia 359) was painful reminder for all Indians of the dream being broken yet again.  The loss was more as the match was virtually single sided.This time too Ponting tried his best scoring 104 but Yuvraj Singh had something else in mind. The last shot that went for a four and his celebration told the world that India has arrived and Australia’s era is OVER.

Then came India Vs Pakistan, mother of all matches clash of the fierce arch rivals… Media built it up so much that Rs 250 ticket went for Rs 5000 ,Rs 750 for Rs 10,000 , Rs 10,000 for Rs 1,00,000 and Rs 15,000 for More than Rs 1,00,000. It was just mind-blowing…… The PMs of both countries came together to talk after 2 years. The match had everything from dropped tendulker catches to Wahab Riaz‘s Five wicket halt against India. The batting however collapsed for Pakistan and Misbah-ul-Haq‘s slow innings under pressure brought ire from Pakistani fans but delighted India very much. India bowlers rose to the occasion to finish Pakistan off.. Picking 2 wickets each.

The last match was without doubt the fight among the equals and the match went till the very last, finishing in the penultimate over for the match…

When the SriLankan innings began there was one thing in every individual’s mind that get Dilshan and Tharanga out early. Sangarkara gave a good fight but it was man of the tournament who got ride of him at 48.  Mahela Jayawardene walks in and he plays a blinder. when the six was hit at the last ball of Sri Lanka innings by Perera, to be honest I just thought India might not be able to reach it, just for a moment.

When Sehwag went for a duck then sachin India were 31/2 and like all of India PANIC set in but kholi and gambhir played well especially gambhir scoring 97 before that rash shot to get out. After Kholi walks in Dhoni and at that time I knew it India will win the CUP. Dhoni for one has a tremendous record against SriLanka scoring 183*.

HIs handling of Murli was superb as Yuvraj has problem batting to murli always. When Gambir got out Yuvraj Singh walked in and I thought it is best time for Yuvi to show that he is perfect for man of the tournament with a good finish in this match.  When Dhoni struck Malinga for 2 fours in an over to cut victory margin of 6 runs then certainly everything seemed relaxed. Fans in the stadium were waiting for a superb finish and dhoni gave them just that. The six that he hit of last bowl was fantastic, hope the Indian govt makes post stamp of that shot.

On a more personal note in 1983 when India won ,I was not even born and my father was exactly the same age as I am now…. ( remarkable the way history repeats itself) Finally young Indian’s can claim the new cup as theirs and in debates can fight over which win was better 1983 or 2011……. ….

Kapil’s Devil Era VS Dhoni’s warriors era……

Lastly sachin Tendulker might be playing his last world cup who knows  and if it is his last then salute to the great cricketer of India who has carried the burden of expectation for last 21 years on his shoulder………..

INDIANS LOVE YOU, you are our PRIDE !

The best quote which I found doing rounds of facebook was

1979 – West Indies – Check
1987 – Australia – Check
1992 – Pakistan – Check
1996 – Sri Lanka – Check

We beat all the world cup winners till now to lift the cup. We played like champions and deserve to be champion of champions!!

The argumentative Indian

For starters let me be honest that it took me 8 months to complete this book, partly because of other engagements and partly that I found some portions boring as I would narrate. Dr Sen certainly has done a good job in trying to make west understand about India but unfortunately from an Indian perspective his observations were more focused on the eastern India from Bihar to Jharkhand and mostly his beloved Bengal where he traces his ancestry from.Though I would like to add that he did give accounts of medieval and ancient India in complete fairness. It was the modern history that he talked about and specifically about Tagore that made me think on those lines.

The book has been very meticulously divide into four parts,  I can say with conviction that I consider all the parts thoroughly engaging barring some chapters which I found not interesting(  a fact that I could not relate to them in any way).

His books as 4 parts , namely

  1. Voice and heterodoxy
  2. Culture and Communication
  3. Politics and Protest
  4. Reason And Identity

For starters the first chapter is the most engaging of all, providing a detailed insight of the way India society works in terms of the opinions of people on religion and science. The chapter of the argumentative Indian he talks about  “good amount of debates” that use to take place in the Indian society at large in past, such as the debates within various religions . Akbar‘s tolerance and the secular nature of India formed. His approach is again more in making the world understand that how debates and arguments have been institutionalized in the history of India and that it is this behavior which led to the formation of a democratic India. Even though many in west claimed otherwise that it was because of “western” ideas and colonialism.

He is also particularly harsh on the NDA government , a fact that the book was written when NDA was in power. The book also address the angle where Hindu militants(Hindu aggression and parties with those ideology) has been talked by Dr Sen and how BJP cannot win more than the seats that it won at the time(184  precisely). His analysis of BJP and its ideology was  to offer an insight into an organizational structure which has worked secretly (pretty much till its RSS link came out in the open). Though he gives them credit for the meteoric rise. I found all this information very fascinating and none the less somewhat like a lecture from grandfather type figure telling as though “how the world runs”.

In the chapter of Diaspora of the world he very rightly touches the topic which has concerned me for very long time, the Identity debate.

The second section of the book it is the most boring which I found (which caused the delay in finishing). He talks at length about Rabindranath Tagore, it may be his fondness of the man or that he studied in the school which was laid by Tagore but the talk about Tagore made me lose interest. If I may add in some points I was furious about why he was talking about him so much, whereas overshadowing other people at that time in modern India. Later I did calm my self by realizing that the man was basically giving respects to the culture he was coming from ( a fact which my friends might acknowledge when I speak so more often about Jats, his action kind of gave validation to my attempts as to speak about your own too) .

The chapter that stood out here however was that of “our culture and their culture” in which much to my dissatisfaction he talks how Satyajit Ray tries to portray his understanding(again proving that it is not wrong to talk about your people, as Ray is a Bengali). The best of the lines for me in this part were on page 133 last paragraph, on word “modernism” which I for all means consider a raped word. I thoughtfully enjoyed his questioning as it was again something which has made me think a lot and made somewhat uncomfortable. It was reassuring that a Nobel laureate also thought this way.

Here he also mentioned about three ways west usually looks at India

  1. exoticist
  2. magisterial
  3. curatorial

Exoticist approach where everything is fascinating about India. The magisterial approach where the British governors tore apart Indian culture and intelligence by calling it barbaric and archaic(which many of their Indian admirers retransmit). The curatorial approach, the most balanced of all.

In the context of China and India he talks at length about how china and India have interacted since ancient time.(Nalanda university time). He talked about the fear of Chinese people when Buddhism came to their footsteps and about what both “nations” have learned from each other.

The third part was the quickest for me as most were related to the recent events and the fact that I read it in my Delhi to gurgaon metro journeys(where I don’t have much apart from either getting bored to death or sleeping or  finishing my pending books in the bookshelf). The chapters involves the freedom to the class distinction in India. It varies from the gender issues to the nuclear bomb thing, which he consider another BJP brouhaha as it was already done in 1974 by Indira Gandhi government secretly.On the gender issue he takes the usual line of women as victims and all the stuff that you read and watch on TV set.( it seemed to me that most of the media people must have read his book)

The fourth part Reasons and Identity he talks from various calendars to the topic of enlightenment.The importance of “new human psychology” as propagated by Jonathan Glover met with cynicism by him( I hope the pseudo-intellectuals are listening). He at one point brings rightly into the different ways in which west and east approach the same issue. He also rebuts the claim that most westerns feel that Asian societies lack liberty or tolerance(which baffles me too). It would be interesting to see that how many of the “western intellectuals” who shape the opinions of the mass public actually know about people like Akbar and Asoka who championed both of the causes. His well constructed argument in understanding the various calendars and pointing towards Gregorian calendar. ( the only way world running). Giving credibility to the fact that power does influence cultures , as he points out about various time median have had such influence. Greenwich time median is another example. It was made official at the time when Britain was a force to reckon with, I doubt now US would agree to such things if it unfolds.(hope western ideology worshipers in India are listening).

All in all I found couple of points in Dr Sen’s book to be used very much often Tagore, BJP and reasoning. The first one got to my nerve, though I must say that he quotes that many Bengali’s are baffled that Indian people not appreciate Tagore  for his intelligentsia. It is but true as most are interested in singing their region’s choirs plus Tagore was never that a universal leader as Gandhi who came from Gujarat(a state on the west of India). Similarly many of the rest of the Indian are baffled that Bengalis do-not appreciate other parts of the country that much and neither their leaders. It was a through grandfather speech affair, which I could say had moments of amazement to disliking to great knowledge. It is a book must read for those who wish to brush their history skill(something which I fancy a lot).

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.

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

Commonwealth Fiasco

The commonwealth were supposed to be the stepping stone on which India would have announced their arrival, the stage where world could see the power India has become but what it is turning out to be is a quite another story. The likes of Mr.kalmadi who have been sticking to their respective organizational seats for over 10 years each are now showing their true capability of getting things done,  that is NOTHING.

The case is much graver as it affects the image of India which is  been dented by these individual’s action.The organization they used to bring such name to India is Indian Olympics association. What it has done till now is a mystery to many ( even to sports person who will be represented India). Thing which they surely have done as pointed out in forgoing media is that it has projected a view that “Indians are not good  managers and a land of snake-charmers certainly cannot pull off a sporting event of such magnitude“. Mr.Kalmadi and his old friends will take it lightly because after all at their age it is  beyond to see what this action or inaction has done for future generations of India.

It seems these very sports administrators wanted to make some quick buck BCCI style but they forgot for that they need to have eligible people around  who certainly have understanding of managing big events, not someone who is dormant and incapable of moving or thinking .

Though yes Mr. kalmadi and co didn’t waste any opportunity in saying big words like the village the athletes will stay will be better that  in Beijing, those Chinese will be laughing their asses off what they must be hearing about the present condition of games village where only dogs and workers are having fun, shitting and sleeping where ever they want. The problem lies basically with the way our departments work namely MCD. This department is something which I have grown hearing as the most corrupt and backed by it brother department DDA which actually thinks that it is a stud department in whole of delhi and PM or CM stand nothing in front of them ( seems like dabang got inspired by them).

Delhi CM shiela dixit has been saying this for last 7 years to split MCD into 7 bodies on the basis of the districts of delhi namely

  • North-west
  • South-west
  • South
  • East
  • North-east
  • West
  • Central

This was not possible because those heading MCD this time were BJP and MCD runs a parallel govt to delhi govt. Their efficiency is well known. DDA for instance is an organization on its own and doesnot reports to delhi CM. These bodies must be made accountable and need to be broken and made to report to CM.

As far as Olympics bid that Mr. kalmadi wanted ,well given the scenario of commonwealth games in his esteemed leadership, that can only happen on his grave. The world body will in no way give such a bid to an incompetent organizing committee. In short only sports professionals must be allowed to run any of such organizations rather than those who wish to be just HEADs of various sports bodies for record holding purposes. Some one pointed to me that Mr. Vijay Malhotra of BJP has been head of Archery Association of India for 37 years , well that says it all.

The standing of the esteemed individuals is as follows :

Vijay Kumar Malhotra
Archery Association of India
President-37 years

K.P. Singh Deo-Rowing
Federation of India
President-26 years

Lalit Bhanot
Athletics Federation of India
Secretary General- 22 years

Jagdish Tytler
Judo Federation of India
President-20 years

S.S. Dhindsa
Cycling Federation of India
President-15 years

V.K. Verma
Badminton Association of India
President-12 years

B.S. Adityan
Volleyball Federation of India
President-12 years

Abhay Singh Chautala
Indian Amateur Boxing Federation
President-10 years

Ajay Chautala
Table Tennis Federation of India
President-10 years

Dig Vijay Singh
National Rifle Association of India
President-10 years

Yashwant Sinha
All India Tennis Association
President-10 years

Birendra P. Baishya
Indian Weightlifting Federation
A new boss for the body banned twice for doping

In order to do something for nation so that this games could really be something is 1st removal of such individuals so that their record spree could be stopped after all they are no Sachin Tendulkar representing India.

Naxalism and youth

The word Naxalism brings to mind communism, image of poor people up in arms, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, fiery speeches of Home minister against Naxals and the recent Dantewada killings.

This was not the case 50 years back when the whole world from US to Europe to Africa to China was in revolution in different forms. Something which was always in the limelight was a “revolution”.


It attracted many young people throughout the world and it became a sign of rebellion, an out cry against those imposing their ideas and governments throughout the world came on the hit-list. Che Guevara was the icon and free speech, equality and civil rights the words of the time.

Indian youths also romanticized the same thing – “a revolution”. Young girls and boys from top colleges of country started to foray into this domain. Frustrated with government policies and fall of Nehru’s idea, the youths wanted to make a difference by themselves.

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Naxalbari was like a clarion call “Just then, Das and Ray went underground. Between 1970 and 1971, 12-13 Stephanians followed, leaving studies to join the revolution. Das and a few others were arrested; the rest returned on their own — disillusioned and scared. Rajiv Kumar, an Economics student, was in third year when he left for Bihar in mid-December, 1970.

For three months, he stayed with CPI-ML sympathizers, including a bricklayer in Munger. “One of the reasons for my return was the prospect of being asked to kill people,” he says. “We were a bunch of romantics who just didn’t know that we were being fed with lies.”    Dipesh Chakrabarty, a Presidency College student of the 1960s who now teaches in University of Chicago, recalls: “Many urban youth who went to liberate rural areas came back after some weeks with acute bowel problems.”

Over the years the urban youths stopped taking part in such processes and only some were left to do the fighting. It was now the time for youths from rural areas to take forth someone who was actually affected by police brutalities or were misfortunate to be sliced in between the on going battle. Soon in 1980 the battle became more intense and last decade has surpassed all expectations by increasing the death toll manifolds.” says Rai Chaudhuri then 23 years old. He retired as the head of the Presidency College’s Physics Department in 2004 and was one of those to be mentioned in V S Naipaul’s India: A Million Mutinies Now.

“We were elated. We had only read about the armed peasant struggles in China and Vietnam. Now it was actually happening here in our land,” says Rai Chaudhuri. Soon posters supporting Naxalbari started to appear in College Street and elsewhere .Slogans such as ‘China’s Chairman is our Chairman’ suddenly sprouted on Kolkata walls. The lawns of Presidency College became a meeting ground for students from Calcutta and neighboring areas, and the informal group came to be known as the Presidency Coalition


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Youngsters were recruited in large numbers from all across the country to liberate the country. Students from colleges such as Stephens would leave their dream to study abroad or  to enter the IAS. China’s path is our path, China’s chairman is our chairman” read on a wall in St. Stephen’s. Had it been some other time, people would have considered it a prank, but it was not. When the high wall of St Stephen’s —that rarefied oasis for the nation’s elite — was used as a pad for radical propaganda, it confirmed what most observers already knew: an influential section of Stephanians had fallen to Naxalism.

Slogans appeared on lecture-room blackboards and one such work read, Reactionary teachers, we will have your skin for shoes for the poor”! At the height of militancy, contemporary insiders put the number of core Naxals in the college at no more than 30 — not a big figure, but by most accounts the single largest Maoist presence among all DU institutions. In 1968, history student Arvind Narain Das had run for president of the college student’s body elections on an openly Naxal platform. He won. “We were ready to storm heaven,” Dilip Simeon, a leading member of the group, was to write later. During 1970, their activities started to enter a serious phase.

A distressed parent approached O’ Connor asking him to persuade his son to give up politics. “By then, they (the students) were well into the vortex and almost out of hearing,” writes the pastor.       The campus was tense. TOI reported a ‘plot’ to burn the college library and bomb the chapel. “We didn’t know it then, but some students and teachers close to us were spying for the police,” says Ray.


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Just then, Das and Ray went underground. Between 1970 and 1971, 12-13 Stephanians followed, leaving studies to join the revolution. Das and a few others were arrested; the rest returned on their own — disillusioned and scared. Rajiv Kumar, an Economics student, was in third year when he left for Bihar in mid-December, 1970.

Though incidents where young men and girls leaving have stopped but some young folks from villages especially dalits and tribals seem to have taken it as a cause where they see it as a defiance against the powerful “corrupt” elite and those leading them are those youngsters of 1960s and 1970s who have grown old now and have nothing else left but this ideological war for themselves as they have already sacrificed alot for it, their families and hope for better life for themselves.


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The situation now is not of romanticizing but rather that the fact poor and angry young men and women, who see no future for themselves, are easy targets for terrorists and extremist recruiters. It is only because of unemployment that the younger generation takes to terrorism in order to generate income and fulfils its needs. So the youths knowingly or unknowingly embrace Naxalism. In some cases, people are driven to the Naxal world by the Naxalites themselves and are paid attractive amounts.

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs estimates the following yearly deaths from the violence:

1996: 156 deaths

1997: 428 deaths

1998: 270 deaths

1999: 363 deaths

2000: 50 deaths

2001: 100+ deaths

2002: 140 deaths

2003: 451 deaths

2004: 500+ deaths

2005: 700+ deaths

2006: 750 deaths

2007: 650 deaths

2008: 794 deaths

2009: 1,134 deaths

In order to eradicate this problem the government needs to take hand of the situation and a rapid development of the region is required. Naxalites should be brought to mainstream and if they have issues they can form a political party and if they really want to make a change. This situation is going to affect Indian youths the most and also India at a broader level. A solution needs to be found for the problem for those who are dying are INDIANS after all.

Bundelkhand: The Forgotten India

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For the past two years Bundelkhand has been in the news all for the wrong reasons. For the residents of Bundelkhand even that is good news because at least someone is interested in them! The Bundelkhand region lies in central India and was home to great personalities such as Rani Laxmibai, Singer Kishore Kumar, Hockey great Major Dhyanchand, and Osho Guru Rajneesh and is home to Khajuraho.

For over 8 years, this region has been facing a drought. As is usual, the politicians across party lines don’t care about it because the region lies between two states, namely: Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Due to the moneylender’s trap (you borrow money at a very high interest rate and are not able to pay back even the interest as your crop is poor because of the drought), the farmers are committing suicides, selling their land, cattle and even their wives. One problem is that the soil here retains very little water unlike the black soil in other regions of Madhya Pradesh. If it does not rain at the right time with the right consistency, the drought-related distress affects the next year’s Rabi crop as well.

Another problem is the myopic drought policy – relief is given only if the standing crop fails. Many farmers who wait for the rains to begin sowing do not qualify as distressed because the monsoon failure does not give them an opportunity to plant. The irrigation facilities in Madhya Pradesh are a total disaster and on the side of Uttar Pradesh no one seems to care.

When the case of wife selling came out – the debt-ridden farmers are selling their women to money lenders at rates varying between Rs 4,000 and 12,000. The prettier the face, higher the amount the woman fetches – all hell broke loose for good reasons.The deals were being finalized on legal stamp paper under the garb of ‘marriage.’ The stamp paper heading said ‘Vivaha Anubandh (Marriage Contract)’.

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And once the new husband has had enough of the woman, she is sold to another man. Some turn to prostitution. According to the police, many of these wife-turned-prostitutes have been rescued in the last two years. Even the international media seems interested in the “plight” of these people because selling one’s wife in one of India’s multiple poverty stricken districts is something that their audiences would love to hear and it would re-affirm their long held stereotype of India.

When the news of farmer’s suicides from this region came in, it joined the likes of Telegana and Vidharba in being treated with indifference by politicians. Thankfully Gandhi Junior’s involvement and interest saw the region get a 7,000 Crore relief package. He demand for a separate body for the development of the region is yet to see light from the Government. He is said to have discussed with PM, a detailed view of the budget and an all out development project for that would not only include agricultural activities but also improvements in education and industrialization of the region.

The whole deprivation has led to the people of Bundelkhand to demand a separate state so that they can take the matters into their own hands and not have to rely on the hierarchies of the government. This way they can undertake economic activities that will benefit them and would ensure that the money meant for them from the center actually reaches them.

The issue of a separate state is not new for Bundelkhand. At the time of Independence it was a separate state but was later dissolved and dispersed between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The centre, however, seems reluctant to carve out a new state citing the failure of the three states created by the NDA namely: Jharkhand, Uttrakhand and Chhattisgarh.

The implementation of the current schemes such as NREGA might bring about a part of the required. But for the long term sustenance of the region a larger plan needs to be chalked out. A plan where a region is not left behind in the overall development of India, even if it means creating a new state.


There has been raging debate over the whole topic of honour killing which is usually associated with the female choosing the partner they want to marry and the law it seems is siding with the “elopers” or should I say “lovers“. It is their fundamental right to do what ever they want, a quote used bit too much , though one guesses that they never heard FREEDOM IS NOT FREE (Engraved in Washington, US)

The pseudo-intellectuals of the country have classified this phenomenon as barbaric with some even going to the extent to say that these caste people are dumb.Nalini Singh on Times Now said that these “uneducated traditional people associate family honour with women’s body” . Undoubtedly the little speech she gave would fit with the self appointed “modern ” groups, but can it really or will it really be acceptable in any traditionalist (read backward) society.

For the last few months our news channels seem to be buzz with the couples eloping and then asking for the police protection. Some news channels in this “post-modern era” wish to be “modern” and want to help them out without understanding the complete story behind them, but who gives a shit when TRPSare soaring man( good money for vacations abroad).

In a way it is seen as that these very couples are the REAL Indians and the offsprings out of such a union will be the REAL face of MODERN India as they would eradicate old customs which reportedly some consider to be ANCIENT or MEDIEVAL (read Not India rather a barbaric land after all doggies wanna be like their British masters).

Therefore wishing to establish MODERN customs in this post-modern era.  ( Read power hold and vote banks of future politicians, maybe journalists with a difference, may be me)

For starters these modern thinks are outdated themselves. One have also read regarding some lines in the news papers stating that She Trusted and he betrayed”  citing references to the brother who betrayed his sister. One would not like to go into the whole murder angle as murder is unlawful and religious text too denounce it but certainly in this quote “She Trusted and he betrayed”.

 

What is trust to begin with ? Is it the liability only of the male to keep (in this case brother). Is elopement not breach of trust from girl’s side (though the pseudos have answer to that too)?

A brother, father , mother and even other sisters when feel that things are going smooth and if one of the siblings goes out on a daily routine to get with daily chores in which she/he  might have to go out of the vicinity of her/his family members. The family happily awaits her/his arrival that she/he would come at so and so time , usually mothers have this TRUST on daughters more. If the girl never turns up, the family does takes a hit and a manhunt is launched  for her safety but the soon realize that she has infact married and wants them to accept her along with her “new husband”. Will this action not amount to the statement that “THEY TRUSTED  AND SHE BETRAYED” or “He TRUSTED and she BETRAYED ” ?

Whereas if the boy never turned up, well for that we have line readyShe TRUSTED and he BETRAYED” (in this case mother is betrayed one guesses ? )

Is the media not selective of what they are portraying , some maybe trying live their “dream to be Heros” ? Undoubtably people might say it is love and people have it is different ? Really , I thought it is more about sex(the mating game, probably DISCOVERY andNATGEO did get it wrong bullocks).

The fundamental rights are none the less prevalent after all every body has got the right to get laid (barring some, i guess Khap should be that) but shouldn’t there be a conversation between the respective parties or the dialogue is considered futile and mind you doesn’t the young generation gets inspired by such acts and follow suit( ie DDLJ syndrome, thought louvveeed the movie, I hope not sounding gay ?).

Some would debate it is good if they do and would be elated with such a thought but the big question is what sect do these people belong too and what ideology are they trying to propagate ( are they Pakistani funded sect trying to destroy Indian culture or better US funded social workers pouring in Dollar culture like they do in Iraq or Afghanistan and plz don’t throw Indian constitutional value, because many who speak such tone are actually the biggest perpetrators.)

In all one really doubts the whole view presented regarding the whole betrayal thing and believes it is more of personal views full of judgments being aired by the  media and especially some channels who believe in Populous than Popular News where in fact the are airing their own views just to get better TRPS.

Lastly folks who shout over the roof top about love, first look into the definition of love then look in to love for opposite sex and third  it is not love but rather SEX that both are after and using different vocabulary for same feeling would not fool many. The fall out of this MODERN view is that lower middle class parents are feeling threatened and they are asking for reduction of marriage age.

I guess the best way for the law makers should be is to take the girls away from the families or communities they feel potentially “threatening” and keep them in foster homes till they are 18 year or have blossomed so that they can marry their sexual-mate (sic .. sorry love), because otherwise these “daughter-owners” will “destroy constitution of India”  and usually these potential destroyers consist of these bloody warrior races named jat, rajput, gujjar or Ahir.

WONDER WHAT THE FUSS is all about ? What the f*** is this selective targeting of girl by muslim report shit( some guys are doped all the time).

After all isn’t the job for these lowly educated to just  die for the nation whereas rest “educated” lot can teach love to the younger more “understanding” lot (did i say females ).

Anyway , why the hell am I writing maybe I want to be the jurno-politician and want to have my article written which the editor threw to dustbin or simply because i am a loser or may be someone NEVER in love, picK your thought and who cares till the girl getting laid is not your daughter or sister.   JAI HIND and JAI MAHARASHTRA (thought of wooing shiv sena too 🙂 ) !

http://www.timesnow.tv/Debate-Honour-killings-a-hidden-truth—2/videoshow/4348041.cms#ooid=JlZ3RoMTrESKQhIBuKv1n2HryJH2LIXz

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/In-Jatland-child-marriages-to-prevent-girls-eloping/articleshow/6093087.cms

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/07/03/lower-marriagebale-age-to-stop-honour-killing.html

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 !!!

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.

Not many in India know about the the Aghoris, those who know keep a distance from them, since many consider them dangerous and a mirror image of Hindu Lord Shiva. They are suppose to live on the edge having renounced everything which is material and are general known as sadhus.

They are higher than any priest in the ladder of the Hindu varna system but their way of living scares away alot of people but none the less they are respected immensely in India.

The various activities of aghoris have a purpose of embracing pollution through various practices is nothing but the realization of non-duality through transcending social taboos, and seeing the illusory nature of all conventional categories. The Aghoris are not to be confused with the shivnetras, who are also ardent devotees of Shiva but do not indulge in extreme ritual worship practices known to some extent as Tamasic (rituals involving some or all of the following: meat eating, alcohol drinking, consumption of beverages and foods with opiates, hallucinogens and cannabis products as key ingredients, cannibalism, residing in cremation grounds, and Tantric sexual rituals). Although they enjoy close ties with the shivnetras, netras are a complete opposite of the aghoris and are purely Sattvic in nature and worship.

The Cannibalism in aghoris seems to be a major drawing point for many foreigners and researchers all across the globe. In essence, Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles: that Shiva is perfect and that Shiva is responsible for everything. Shiva is thought to be responsible for every rock, tree, animal, and thought. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect, and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation, as well as deny God/Goddess and the demigods’ perfection. Aghoris eat any form of food and intoxicants, engage in a variety of sexual practices, ritually and otherwise, and also meditate on dead bodies for some rituals as prescribed in Hindu Tantric holy scriptures.

The Aghori ascetic is himself a symbol of the God Shiva in Shiva’s form as Bhairava. The main symbol which makes him distinct from other sadhus is the skull cup he uses as a begging bowl. He goes naked or wears the shroud of a corpse, covers himself in the ashes of the cremation ground and always has his hair disheveled or in matted dreadlocks. If an aghori uses a corpse as part of his ritual worship, the corpse upon which he meditates, it is a symbol of his own body and the corpse-devouring ritual is a symbol of the transcendence of his lower self and a realization of the greater, all pervading Self that is universal consciousness.

Another symbol of the aghori, which ties him to the affiliation of Bhairava and links aghoris together with other Saiva and Sakta traditions, is the trident.

The three pronged trident staff in Tantric Hinduism, which aghoris follow, is a symbol representing the three constituents of which Shiva and/or Shakti first creates the universe: iccha shakti (power of will/desire/intention), jnana shakti (power of knowledge – the preconceived architectural design of the universe), and kriya shakti (the power of action).

Place to find Aghoris

In order to locate a aghori you need to be at the holiest of the places in India namely varanasi In Uttar Pradesh or on the sides of the Holy river Ganga , you could find them in Uttrakhand ( or Uttranchal as it is also know) , a state in northern India which boasts of the spiritual tourism in India. They reside on the fringes of the the human population, they are out of the limits of the cities but may wander sometimes into it for some amusement or food. Though most of them seem to be hostile but some of them are nice when you approach them. They can tell you alot about their customs and practices but still one would advice caution while talking to them. A certainly a mark of respect needs to be shown to them because you don’t want an angry aghori around you.

They have always mesmerized many people in and out side of India with their behavior and rituals.  As people will keep on looking for  path of uniting with god ,we would certainly find them amongst us for many millennium to come as they have existed since many millenniums.

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natycalinescu (NATY ELA)

Smile! Tomorrow will be better than today!

Serene and Sweet

Where Inspiration Overflows for Every Human Soul

Iza's photoblog

Photos from the places I've visited

LensTHERAPY

Passions of art, camera and travel

Jolene's Life in Focus

Dare to dream beyond the borders of your hometown

Memorabillion

The Visual Journey of Billion Memories

Sue Ann's Balcony

Looking at the bigger picture

Manipal's Photo Blog

Because a picture paints a thousand words

Nature & Travel Pix

A Photo Blog of an amateur photographer.

C. A. Husted

A jumbled mess of creativity.

the new normal.

Redefining what it means to be a successful adult

Grit & Honey

Women clothed in strength. Your story isn't over yet.

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