Holi … Emblematic Of The Indian Way

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Celebrating …

Travelling the World Should be Everyone’s Life Goal

vam:

The blogpost here is only representative of what I want to introduce to you. You could go through every one of the posts on the blog and find yourself smiling, better informed and pretty much impressed.

Originally posted on Forbidden Jungle:

I wrote that title as if I’m some sort of hardened veteran nomad that’s sailed the seven sea’s and conquered the Great Wall of China, but as a matter of fact, I’ve not even been able to set foot out of my own home country. But, my main goal in life does consist of traveling the globe and I genuinely believe that there isn’t a thing that can stop me from turning this familiar dream into a rare reality. My hunger for world exploration is not solely driven by the unimaginable sights and once in a lifetime experiences though, but by the idea that scouring across every continent is something required to be done in my life before I die, purely for the sake of doing so. To put it crudely, life is short – literally just a miniscule blip in the perpetual timeline of the gargantuan Universe. Give or take, the…

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An Open Letter To Indian Prime Minister

Dear Mr Prime Minister,
First let me tell you that many a times, I felt that some Divine Force was inspiring you – the way Sri Aurobindo said that Churchill was guided by Him to fight the Nazis…

But then, I have to say, as someone who travels extensively in India & has spent a lot of time in Delhi for the last 40 years (I have interviewed 7 Indian PM’s), that nothing much has changed. Your ministers are still as unreachable as the Congress ones, functioning in the same system with four layers of secretaries. Even if you have an important work – there is no way you can meet one of your ministers unless you have some pull. Your MP’s, as the Congress ones before them, once they come to Delhi, with their cars, bungalows, countless aides, and so many sycophants coming for favours, quickly lose sight of why they were elected. You need to send them BACK to their constituencies the way Mao Tse Tung sent back all his cadres to the countryside. Delhi is a microcosm of India and you seem to have lost there some of the Hindu electorate who voted for you UNITEDLY, from the Dalit to the businessmen. Some of us had seen this coming for a few months already.

You need to have around you people who will tell you what the mood of the people is – without ANY FEAR – for I have seen, even with gurus, that their followers always want to please them, flatter them and thus shield them from the truth. It is something inherent to the Hindu psyche. If this had been done, maybe we could have told you that the middle class and lower class Hindus who voted for you, want a change at the grass root level. They are not concerned about Obama and nuclear energy, or the way you are skillfully loosening the Chinese encircling grip, or the remarkable unifying of intelligence and their agencies you are doing with Mr Doval, but about the daily problems and the constant bribes that are asked by petty bureaucrats and policemen. I myself experience this in Maharashtra as I am asked bribes for getting permissions for a Museum, which is free, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj and a sewa project !

Also they do not understand why you were so fiery and outspoken while campaigning – and now that you are elected, you do not seem any more to be promoting their Hindu causes. They cannot fathom, for instance in their simple minds, why you are being so friendly to Sonia Gandhi, who wanted you in prison or even dead – and why you are keeping away from those who supported you in your darkest hours, when nobody thought that you would become PM. These old friends of yours are still keeping quiet, out of respect for your work, but I know many who are bitter.

The common Hindu man does not comprehend either why no one in your Government stands by reconversions of Christians or Muslims to Hinduism. During the last Tsunami, at least 10% of the Tamil Nadu fishermen were converted by Christian missionaries, using financial baits, such as free boats. I was there and SAW it. Or why when one of yours says that Hindus must produce more children, he is booed down. We know that Muslims produce seven to eight children per couple and in some areas of India they are now in majority and will NOT vote for you. It is true that there have been vandalizing of churches in Delhi, whether intentional, or just by some common thieves. But this is an old trick of Indian Christians to evoke sympathy from Obama and C° and bring pressure & discredit upon you. You should know better than that: Christians have been the aggressors in this country & the Pope still thinks that India is a fair target for mass conversions.

We understand that you must be the Prime Minister of all Indians and that you have to rise above sectarism, but there has to be in the public a perception that you are the PRIME MINISTER OF HINDUS BECAUSE IT IS THEY WHO VOTED FOR YOU – not the Muslims – whatever Ram Madhav told you before the Kashmir elections, which is going to be another thorn in your heel (and if you do not remove article 370 soon, most Hindus will lose faith in your government). To cultivate the Muslims, thinking that they will like you in the end, as Mr Vajpayee did, under the influence of the nice but misguided Suddeendhra Kulkarni, is not only a waste of time, but also may ALIENATE YOU HINDU VOTERS, whom you are going to need in four years again and at different state elections.

Let the Muslims of India know that they possess the same rights as any Hindus, Sikhs or Christians, which they actually have, including total freedom of worship, that Hindus have neither in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, but do not go out of your way to please them. When the common man of Delhi sees that you received Aamir Khan, whose film PK is a deliberate insult to all Hindu gurus & Hindus, they think something is not right. Also they do not understand why so many Hindu gurus and activists such as sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit, whose innocence has been proved, are still languishing in jail. Congress had no qualms in favouring their people and flouting all decent rules. This isn’t about ethics, but if your aim is just, dharmic, and I believe it is, it does not matter what means are used.

The Congress got elected and elected again with mostly the Muslims votes, till Kejriwal came, You need to CULTIVATE THE HINDU ELECTORATE Sir, by making gestures, even if you let your people do them and stand back. And that has to be done QUICKLY. If they are convinced that you are working for them, you will have the two or even three terms you need to achieve a real Renaissance of India. Democracy is a beautiful but skewed system, easy to hijack by adharmic forces. To realise all the great things you have undertaken, YOU NEED A UNIFIED HINDU VOTE.

The trap now is to listen to the Media which says that your party lost in Delhi because of ‘communal’ reasons – vandalizing of churches, statements by your people about reconversions, or your so-called ten lakh suit. This will prod you and your government to go more secular, let go of more of the pledges you made for the Hindu cause during your campaign, the same way the Vajpayee Government veered away gradually from its Hindu ideals – and lost the elections to Sonia Gandhi.

But think of it like that : you got elected in May last year with a massive mandate BECAUSE of your dedicated, sincere and fiery HINDU promises. There is no reason why it should not work the same way now that you have the power. You need to stick by what your pledged Sir – whatever the Media, Obama, your bureaucrats or the Foreign Press says…

Namaste/ Francois Gautier.

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The First Britsh Slave Ship To Reach The Americas Was Called The Good Jesus!

$The First Britsh Slave Ship To Reach The Americas Was Called The Good Jesus!.

Song For My Father

vam:

It’s a song we each already have …
This is to make you strum it up, now.

Originally posted on THE BIG HOUSE and other stories:

Unknown-3

First I heard Stan playing ‘one note’ with samba beat

in conjunction with machiado and whip cream

a chorus of shopping  murmurs

hello names … espresso pastries

jive talk and solitary people

seeking dreams within

themselves …

…..

when Diz joined in

i heard those afro cuban rhythms and

lost notes

grown along the tree rings

of his later

career …

…..

so sad to hear those mighty

bellows gone

slack …

…..

then came Horace’s

silver notes

those repeating overtones simple and

 sweet …

you’d think a  child could make them until

you find yourself floating through space

in singularity with his

time …

…..

how grand to hear such musical thought

pay tribute to one so dear …

his

Song To My Father” …

… ”if there was ever a man who was generous, gracious and good  …

it was my dad ….. 

the man ….. ‘’

…..

Ahhhhhhhh …..

…..

i wish i’d have felt that sweet

love …

our common denominator

in that relationship with Life …

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Jhansi – Dec 14, 1835 : A Testimony

It’s a window into those times about 200 years ago, generations before Rani Laxmibai entered the royal house of Jansi. Captain Sleeman, discharging magisterial duties, traveled to Jhansi and met the “Chiefs of Jhānsī” in the matter regarding succession dispute that then prevailed. As it obtains from his testimony, the State was blighted since the times of Raghunath Rao I at the turn of century before. The British Indian official records in his memoirs :

RAMBLES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN OFFICIAL
On the 14th Dec 1835, we came on fourteen miles to Jhānsī. About five miles from our last ground, we crossed the Baitantī river over a bed of syenite. At this river we mounted our elephant to cross, as the water was waist-deep at the ford. My wife returned to her palankeen as soon as we had crossed, but our little boy came on with me on the elephant, to meet the grand procession which I knew was approaching to greet us from the city. The Rājā of Jhānsī, Rām Chandar Rāo, died a few months ago, leaving a young widow and a mother, but no child.

He was a young man of about twenty-eight years of age, timid, but of good capacity, and most amiable disposition. My duties brought us much into communication; and, though we never met, we had conceived a mutual esteem for each other. He had been long suffering from an affection of the liver, and had latterly persuaded himself that his mother was practising upon his life, with a view to secure the government to the eldest son of her daughter, which would, she thought, ensure the real power to her for life. That she wished him dead with this view, I had no doubt; for she had ruled the state for several years up to 1831, during what she was pleased to consider his minority; and she surrendered the power into his hands with great reluctance, since it enabled her to employ her paramour as minister, and enjoy his society as much as she pleased, under the pretence of holding privy councils upon affairs of great public interest.

He – the dead Raja – used to communicate his fears to me; and I was not without apprehension that his mother might some day attempt to hasten his death by poison. About a month before his death he wrote to me to say that spears had been found stuck in the ground, under the water where he was accustomed to swim, with their sharp points upwards; and, had he not, contrary to his usual practice, walked into the water, and struck his foot against one of them, he must have been killed. This was, no doubt, a thing got up by some designing person who wanted to ingratiate himself with the young man; for the mother was too shrewd a woman ever to attempt her son’s life by such awkward means. About four months before I reached the capital, this amiable young prince died, leaving two paternal uncles, a mother, a widow, and one sister, the wife of one of our Sāgar pensioners, Morīsar Rāo.

The mother claimed the inheritance for her grandson by this daughter, a very handsome young lad, then at Jhānsī, on the pretence that her son had adopted him on his death-bed. She had his head shaved, and made him go through all the other ceremonies of mourning, as for the death of his real father. The eldest of his uncles, Raghunāth Rāo (II), claimed the inheritance as the next heir; and all his party turned the young lad out of caste as a Brahman, for daring to go into mourning for a father who was yet alive; one of the greatest of crimes, according to Hindoo law, for they would not admit that he had been adopted by the deceased prince.

The question of inheritance had been referred for decision to the Supreme Government through the prescribed channel when I arrived, and the decision was every day expected. The mother, with her daughter and grandson, and the widow, occupied the castle, situated on a high hill overlooking the city; while the two uncles of the deceased occupied their private dwellings in the city below. Raghunāth Rāo, the eldest, headed the procession that came out to meet me about three miles, mounted upon a fine female elephant, with his younger brother by his side. The minister, Nārū Gopāl, followed, mounted upon another, on the part of the mother and widow. Some of the Rājā’s relations were upon two of the finest male elephants I have ever seen; and some of their friends, with the ‘Bakshī’, or paymaster (always an important personage), upon two others.

Raghunāth Rāo’s elephant drew up on the right of mine, and that of the minister on the left; and, after the usual compliments had passed between us, all the others fell back, and formed a line in our rear. They had about fifty troopers mounted upon very fine horses in excellent condition, which curvetted before and on both sides of us; together with a good many men on camels, and some four or five hundred foot attendants, all well dressed, but in various costumes. The elephants were so close to each other that the conversation, which we managed to keep up tolerably well, was general almost all the way to our tents; every man taking a part as he found the opportunity of a pause to introduce his little compliment to the Honourable Company or to myself, which I did my best to answer or divert. I was glad to see the affectionate respect with which the old man (Raghunath Rao) was everywhere received, for I had in my own mind no doubt whatever that the decision of the Supreme Government would be in his favour. The whole cortège escorted me through the town to my tent, which was pitched on the other side; and then they took their leave, still seated on their elephants, while I sat on mine, with my boy on my knee, till all had made their bow and departed.

*

In the afternoon, when my second large tent had been pitched, the minister came to pay me a visit with a large train of followers, but with little display; and I found him a very sensible, mild, and gentlemanly man, just as I expected from the high character he bears with both parties, and with the people of the country generally. Any unreserved conversation here in such a crowd was, of course, out of the question, and I told the minister that it was my intention early next morning to visit the tomb of his late master; where I should be very glad to meet him, if he could make it convenient to come without any ceremony. He seemed much pleased with the proposal, and next morning we met a little before sunrise within the railing that encloses the tomb or cenotaph; and there had a good deal of quiet and, I believe, unreserved talk about the affairs of the Jhānsī state, and the family of the late prince. He told me that, a few hours before the Rājā’s death, his mother had placed in his arms for adoption the son of his sister, a very handsome lad of ten years of age—but whether the Rājā was or was not sensible at the time he could not say, for he never after heard him speak; that the mother of the deceased considered the adoption as complete, and made her grandson go through the funeral ceremonies as at the death of his father, which for nine days were performed unmolested; but, when it came to the tenth and last—which, had it passed quietly, would have been considered as completing the title of adoption—Raghunāth Rāo and his friends interposed, and prevented further proceedings, declaring that, while there were so many male heirs, no son could be adopted for the deceased prince according to the usages of the family.

The widow of the Rājā, a timid, amiable young woman, of twenty-five years of age, was by no means anxious for this adoption, having shared the suspicions of her husband regarding the practices of his mother; and found his sister, who now resided with them in the castle, a most violent and overbearing woman, who would be likely to exclude her from all share in the administration, and make her life very miserable, were her son to be declared the Rājā. Her wish was to be allowed to adopt, in the name of her deceased husband, a young cousin of his, Sadāsheo, the son of Nānā Bhāo. Gangādhar, the younger brother of Raghunāth Rāo, was exceedingly anxious to have his elder brother declared Rājā, because he had no sons, and from the debilitated state of his frame, must soon die, and leave the principality to him. Every one of the three parties had sent agents to the Governor-General’s representative in Bundēlkhand to urge their claim; and, till the final decision, the widow of the late chief was to be considered the sovereign.

The minister told me that there was one unanswerable argument against Raghunāth Rāo’s succeeding, which, out of regard to his feelings, he had not yet urged, and about which he wished to consult me as a friend of the late prince and his widow; this was, that he was a leper, and that the signs of the disease were becoming every day more and more manifest. I told him that I had observed them in his face, but was not aware that any one else had noticed them. I urged him, however, not to advance this as a ground of exclusion, since they all knew him to be a very worthy man, while his younger brother was said to be the reverse; and more especially I thought it would be very cruel and unwise to distress and exasperate him by so doing, as I had no doubt that, before this ground could be brought to their notice, Government would declare in his favour, right being so clearly on his side.

After an agreeable conversation with this sensible and excellent man, I returned to my tents to prepare for the reception of Raghunāth Rāo and his party. They came about nine o’clock with a much greater display of elephants and followers than the minister had brought with him. He and his friends kept me in close conversation till eleven o’clock, in spite of my wife’s many considerate messages to say breakfast was waiting. He told me that the mother of the late Rājā, his nephew, was a very violent woman, who had involved the state in much trouble during the period of her regency, which she managed to prolong till her son was twenty-five years of age, and resigned with infinite reluctance only three years ago; that her minister during her regency, Gangadhar Mūlī, was at the same time her paramour, and would be surely restored to power and to her embraces, were her grandson’s claim to the succession recognized; that it was with great difficulty he had been able to keep this atrocious character under surveillance pending the consideration of their claims by the Supreme Government; that, by having the head of her grandson shaved, and making him go through all the other funeral ceremonies with the other members of the family, she had involved him and his young innocent wife (who had unhappily continued to drink out of the same cup with her husband) in the dreadful crime of mourning for a father whom they knew to be yet alive, a crime that must be expiated by the ‘prāyaschit,’ which would be exacted from the young couple on their return to Sāgar before they could be restored to caste, from which they were now considered as excommunicated. As for the young widow, she was everything they could wish; but she was so timid that she would be governed by the old lady, if she should have any ostensible part assigned her in the administration.

I told the old gentleman that I believed it would be my duty to pay the first visit to the widow and mother of the late prince, as one of pure condolence, and that I hoped my doing so would not be considered any mark of disrespect towards him, who must now be looked up to as the head of the family. He remonstrated against this most earnestly; and, at last, tears came into his eyes as he told me that, if I paid the first visit to the castle, he should never again be able to show his face outside his door, so great would be the indignity he would be considered to have suffered; but, rather than I should do this, he would come to my tents, and escort me himself to the castle. Much was to be said on both sides of the weighty question; but, at last, I thought that the arguments were in his favour—that, if I went to the castle first, he might possibly resent it upon the poor woman and the prime minister when he came into power, as I had no doubt he soon would—and that I might be consulting their interest as much as his feelings by going to his house first.

In the evening I received a message from the old lady, urging the necessity of my paying the first visit of condolence for the death of my young friend to the widow and mother. ‘The rights of mothers’, said she, ‘are respected in all countries; and, in India, the first visit of condolence for the death of a man is always due to the mother, if alive.’ I told the messenger that my resolution was unaltered, and would, I trusted, be found the best for all parties under present circumstances. I told him that I dreaded the resentment towards them of Raghunāth Rāo, if he came into power. ‘Never mind that,’ said he: ‘my mistress is of too proud a spirit to dread resentment from any one—pay her the compliment of the first visit, and let her enemies do their worst.’ I told him that I could leave Jhānsī without visiting either of them, but could not go first to the castle; and he said that my departing thus would please the old lady better than the second visit.

With the best cortège I could muster, I went to Raghunāth Rāo’s, where I was received with a salute from some large guns in his courtyard, and entertained with a party of dancing girls and musicians in the usual manner. Attar of roses and ‘pān’ were given, and valuable shawls put before me, and refused in the politest terms I could think of; such as, ‘Pray do me the favour to keep these things for me till I have the happiness of visiting Jhānsī again, as I am going through Gwālior, where nothing valuable is a moment safe from thieves’. After sitting an hour, I mounted my elephant, and proceeded up to the castle, where I was received with another salute from the bastions. I sat for half an hour in the hall of audience with the minister and all the principal men of the court, as Raghunāth Rāo was to be considered as a private gentleman till the decision of the Supreme Government should be made known; and the handsome lad, Krishan Rāo, whom the old woman wished to adopt, and whom I had often seen at Sāgar, was at my request brought in and seated by my side. By him I sent my message of condolence to the widow and mother of his deceased uncle, couched in the usual terms—that the happy effects of good government in the prosperity of this city, and the comfort and happiness of the people, had extended the fame of the family all over India; and that I trusted the reigning member of that family, whoever he might be, would be sensible that it was his duty to sustain that reputation by imitating the example of those who had gone before him. After attar of roses and pān had been handed round in the usual manner, I went to the summit of the highest tower in the castle, which commands an extensive view of the country around.

*

The castle stands upon the summit of a small hill of syenitic rock. The elevation of the outer wall is about one hundred feet above the level of the plain, and the top of the tower on which I stood about one hundred feet more, as the buildings rise gradually from the sides to the summit of the hill. The city extends out into the plain to the east from the foot of the hill on which the castle stands. Around the city there is a good deal of land, irrigated from four or five tanks in the neighbourhood, and now under rich wheat crops; and the gardens are very numerous, and abound in all the fruit and vegetables that the people most like. Oranges are very abundant and very fine, and our tents have been actually buried in them and all the other fruits and vegetables which the kind people of Jhānsī have poured in upon us. The city of Jhānsī contains about sixty thousand inhabitants, and is celebrated for its manufacture of carpets. There are some very beautiful temples in the city, all built by Gosāins, one of the priests of Siva who here engage in trade, and accumulate much wealth. The family of the chief do not build tombs; and that now raised over the place where the late prince was buried is dedicated as a temple to Siva, and was made merely with a view to secure the place from all danger of profanation.

The face of the country beyond the influence of the tanks is neither rich nor interesting. The cultivation seemed scanty and the population thin, owing to the irremediable sterility of soil, from the poverty of the primitive rock from whose detritus it is chiefly formed. Raghunāth Rāo told me that the wish of the people in the castle to adopt a child as the successor to his nephew arose from the desire to escape the scrutiny into the past accounts of disbursements which he might be likely to order. I told him that I had myself no doubt that he would be declared the Rājā, and urged him to turn all his thoughts to the future, and to allow no inquiries to be made into the past, with a view to gratify either his own resentment, or that of others; that the Rajas of Jhānsī had hitherto been served by the most respectable, able, and honourable men in the country, while the other chiefs of Bundēlkhand could get no man of this class to do their work for them.

Jhansi’s was the only court in Bundēlkhand in which such (competent) men could be seen, simply because it was the only one in which they could feel themselves secure—while other chiefs confiscated the property of ministers who had served them with fidelity, on the pretence of embezzlement; the wealth thus acquired, however, soon disappearing, and its possessors being obliged either to conceal it or go out of the country to enjoy it. Such rulers thus found their courts and capitals deprived of all those men of wealth and respectability who adorned the courts of princes in other countries, and embellished, not merely their capitals, but the face of their dominions in general with their chateaus and other works of ornament and utility. Much more of this sort passed between us, and seemed to make an impression upon him; for he promised to do all that I had recommended to him. Poor man! he can have but a short and miserable existence, for that dreadful disease, the leprosy, is making sad inroads in his System already. His uncle, Raghunāth Rāo (I), was afflicted with it; and, having understood from the priests that by drowning himself in the Ganges (taking the ‘samādh’), he should remove all traces of it from his family, he went to Benares, and there drowned himself, some twenty years ago. He had no children, and is said to have been the first of his family in whom the disease showed itself.

Notes

Since the opening of this railway and the restoration of the Gwālior fort to Sindhia in 1886, the importance of Jhānsī, both civil and military, has much increased. The native town was given up by Sindhia in exchange for the Gwālior stronghold.

The departed chief was Rājā Rāo Rāmchand. He died on August 20, 1835. His administration had been weak, and his finances were left in great disorder. Under his successor the disorder of the administration became still greater.

An adopted son passes completely out of the family of his natural, into that of his adoptive, father, all his rights and duties as a son being at the same time transferred. In this case, the adoption had not really taken place, and the lad’s duty to his living natural father remained unaffected.

The ‘prāyaschit’ is an expiating atonement by which the person humbles himself in public. It is often imposed for crimes committed in a former birth, as indicated by inflictions suffered in this. Leprosy and childlessness are among the afflictions supposed to prove the sinfulness of the sufferer in some former birth, perhaps thousands of years ago.

The poor young widow died of grief some months after my visit; her spirits never rallied after the death of her husband, and she never ceased to regret that she had not burned herself with his remains. The people of Jhānsī generally believe that the prince’s mother brought about his death by (dīnāī) slow poison, and I am afraid that that was the impression on the mind of the poor widow.

Considering the fact that, ’till the final decision, the widow of the late chief was to be considered the sovereign’, it would be difficult to justify the author’s decision to call upon the ‘uncle’ first. The reigning sovereign was clearly entitled to the first visit. Questions of precedence, salutes, and etiquette are as the very breath of their nostrils to the Indian nobility.

The estimate of the population was probably excessive. The population in 1891, including the cantonments, was 53,779, and 70,208 in 1911. The fort of Gwālior and the cantonment of Morār were surrendered by the Government of India to Sindhia in exchange for the fort and town of Jhānsī on March 10, 1886. Sindhia also relinquished fifty-eight villages in exchange for thirty given up by the Government of India, the difference in value being adjusted by cash payments. The arrangements were finally sanctioned by Lord Dufferin on June 13, 1888.

The custom of burial is not peculiar to the Saiva Gosāins of Jhānsī. It is the ordinary practice of Gosāins throughout India. Many of the Gosāins are devoted to the worship of Vishnu. Burial of the dead is practised by a considerable number of the Hindoo castes of the artisan grade, and by some divisions of the sweeper caste. See Crooke, ‘Primitive Rites of Disposal of the Dead’ (J. Anthrop. Institute, vol. xxix, N.S., vol. ii (1900), pp. 271-92).

This chief, Raghunath Rao II, died of leprosy in May, 1838.

Raghunāth Rāo I was the first of his family invested by the Peshwā with the government of the Jhānsī territory, which he had acquired from the Bundēlkhand chiefs. He went to Benares in 1795 to drown himself, leaving his government to his third brother, Sheorām Bhāo, as his next brother, Lachchhman Rāo, was dead, and his sons were considered incapable. Sheorām Bhāo died in 1815, and his eldest son, Krishan Rāo, had died four years before him, in 1811, leaving one son, the late Rājā, and two daughters. This was a noble sacrifice to what he had been taught by his spiritual teachers to consider as a duty towards his family; and we must admire the man while we condemn the religion and the priests.

There is no country in the world where parents are more reverenced than in India, or where they more readily make sacrifices of all sorts for their children, or for those they consider as such. We succeeded in [June] 1817 to all the rights of the Peshwā in Bundēlkhand, and, with great generosity, converted the viceroys of Jhānsī and Jālaun into independent sovereigns of hereditary principalities, yielding each ten lakhs of rupees. The statement in the note that Raghunāth Rāo I ‘went to Benares in 1795 to drown himself’ is inconsistent with the statement in the text that this event happened ‘some twenty years ago’. The word ‘twenty’ is evidently a mistake for ‘forty’.

The N. W. P. Gazetteer, 1st ed., names several persons who governed Jhānsī on behalf of the Peshwā between 1742 and 1770, in which latter year Raghunāth Rāo I received charge. According to the same authority, Sheo (Shio) Rām Bhāo is called ‘Sheo Bhāo Hari, better known as Sheo Rāo Bhāo’, and is said to have succeeded Raghunāth Rāo I in 1794, and to have died in 1814, not 1816.

A few words may here be added to complete the history. The leper Raghunāth Rāo II, whose claim the author strangely favoured, was declared Rājā, and died, as already noted, in May, 1838, ‘his brief period of rule being rendered unquiet by the opposition made to him, professedly on the ground of his being a leper’. His revenues fell from twelve lākhs (£120,000) to three lākhs of rupees (£30,000) a year.

On his death in 1838, the succession was again contested by four claimants. Pending inquiry into the merits of their claims, the Governor-General’s Agent assumed the administration. Ultimately, Gangādhar Rāo, younger brother of the leper, was appointed Rājā. The disorder in the state rendered administration by British officers necessary as a temporary measure, and Gangādhar Rāo did not obtain power until 1842.

His rule was, on the whole, good. He died childless in November, 1853, and Lord Dalhousie, applying the doctrine of lapse, annexed the estate in 1854, granting a pension of five thousand rupees, or about five hundred pounds, monthly to Lacchhmī Bāī, Gangādhar Rāo’s widow, who also succeeded to personal property worth about one hundred thousand pounds. She resented the refusal of permission to adopt a son, and the consequent annexation of the state, and was further deeply offended by several acts of the English Administration, above all by the permission of cow-slaughter. Accordingly, when the Mutiny broke out, she quickly joined the rebels.

On the 7th and 8th June, 1857, all the Europeans in Jhānsī, men, women, and children, to the number of about seventy persons, were cruelly murdered by her orders, or with her sanction. On the 9th June her authority was proclaimed. In the prolonged fighting which ensued, she placed herself at the head of her troops, whom she led with great gallantry. In June, 1858, after a year’s bloodstained reign, she was killed in battle.

By November, 1858, the country was pacified.

Why Does Minimalism Win/Suffice? (in the arts, advertsing, fashion, life….)

vam:

Love you, Kamala… muaah !
Minimalisn is not laziness. It is an umbrella value that welcomes simplicity, cuts out the clutter, and allows love for people and things to grow on our acceptance of little facts and small themes respective to each.

Originally posted on Kamala Thompson:

Minimalism can refer to a few things. In the arts, minimalism was a trend that started in the 1950s. Paintings, sculptures, other visual arts and music would utilize the repetition of very short phrases, rhythms, and patterns. Today, minimalism has become a lifestyle philosophy centered around removal of everything that distracts us and only having things in our life that are necessary or have true value. Within this philosophy there are interconnected themes of living in the moment, emotional health, passion and mission, taking action, contribution, and change and experimentation. It makes sense that with the rise of all our technological advancements that there would be a rise in this philosophy. Scientific research has even proven that technological over-stimulation has actually desensitized people and caused them to become bored with their own lives. The result of having too many options and having too many decision to make can actually diminish…

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Flower Seller – A Painting

Playing One Helluva Night Gig

It’s a bar in a tony country club in the western suburbs.

Genteel white folk are sitting at neat white tables, sipping their cabernets or whatever, and display a very mild curiosity about a bunch of guys wheeling in sound gear. The band is pointed to a corner with approximately 10 square feet of open space.

Scott and I stand there and scratch our heads, going – how are we going to fit our gear in and find standing room to play ? We quickly figure it out. As we get ready to launch our first set, I see we’re 3 feet away from the nearest table, and Todd is a bit nervous about whether we might blow off their faces with our usual blues-rock attack. So he pulls out the acoustic and we start with something… a bit mellow.

We go through a couple of songs, get mercy applause ( or so I think) from a big group at the back end of the bar, and all of a sudden the bar is filling up. We find ourselves cranking up the volume so we can hear ourselves and be heard. The crowd gets thicker, voices get louder, the guitars are screaming by the time we’re 30 minutes into the first set. We’re going through our usual stuff – the Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray, Clapton, Skynyrd, The Stones,Van Halen.

The bar’s packed now with people, standing room only. Before we know it, the dancers have hit the floor : young and old bodies shaking, vast quantities of alcohol sloshing around inside. Scott yells to me – watch out for the mic stand ! And sure enough – bam ! An elderly guy has backed his butt into my mic knocking it over. A fleeting thought runs through my brain – where’s the goddam chicken wire when we need it ?

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Scott pushing the old guy away with one hand and continuing to play bass with his free hand. I’m trying to steady the mic stand while stomping on my pedals to get more wah and gain. The crowd is going crazy. They don’t want us to stop or take a pause between songs – more bodies are squeezing into a non-existent dance floor and Todd and I are running out of lung air. It’s all very Groucho Marx.

A woman sets up a table to one side and lines up a bunch of tequila shots for the band. Todd knocks back a couple and tosses a Heine to Josh at the back. Between wailing guitars and the raucous crowd, Josh can’t hear a single thing we’re singing or saying, yet he’s incredibly on time and is unleashing thunder with his drumkit. We’re in a re-run of Spinal Tap and Blues Brothers all at once.

The old guy in front pauses for a moment from his gyrations, thumps his chest, and bellows, Tarzan-like, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about ! I see him lean over and shout something in Scott’s ear. Scott tells me the guy wants us to play Elvis. Elvis Costello ? I ask. No, Elvis !! yells back Scott. The moment passes.

When we wrap up at midnight, the bar is still open, and there’s a couple of hundred people in there wanting more. The old guy, who I thought might keel over with a heart attack anytime during our performance, has miraculously made it alive till the end. It even seems like he’s got more juice in the batteries !

The bartender tells us he’s usually home in bed a good two hours earlier on Saturday nights, and this had never happened before at the club. He wants us back soon for another gig.

We’re done for the night though. I suspect they violated the fire department code for lawful occupancy levels last night at the bar. Time to leave before the cops show up.

*

Sandipan Deb introduces a song the incredibly multi-faceted Paddy Padmanabhan created in memory of the girl who was gang-raped and killed on December 16 two years ago : “… this song is not only about that one girl we lost. It’s universal — from ISIS to Boko Haram to Khap panchayats to all our other bestial ways.”

Do listen and share.

Sun, Terror And Value

There is a constant war both within and without us, The one within is physiological, mental or spiritual; the one out there, between people, is bloody. The latter may involve passion of the whoever first declares or strikes, as a cry for justice to redress a wrong terribly perceived. Equally, a war could be the result of cold calculation either in continuity with a history between feuding parties or with an eye on advantages or spoils the aggressor expects to win.

In all cases, those pushed to defending themselves have no choice when swords begin to fall and the guns start booming : the aggression must be fought against, peaceniks and political correctness be damned. Unless one is a coward to his community or a traitor to his nation. The Gandhian or Christian romance – “absoluteness” as the author of The Rebel terms – is not even relevant to the situation; and the much compromised Buddhist doctrine of non-violence is not means enough to counter the subjugation already upon us, while terror of the happening is still stuck in our throats.

Though applicable to the same contextual matrix, terror is felt by individuals, in their own distinctive ways, while war is business of communities or nations for or against aggression. The attackers could be charged up against an offensive presence to rail against, a long-term threat to be destroyed, or something valueable to rob and take away. The animal urge could easily deflate with the sense of consequences about to be unleashed. But beastial vitality is not concerned with moral and ethical choices, and is hence without the sense of responsibility for rushing headlong to death and destruction, terror and war.

*

On January fourteenth, the Makar Sankranti, the sun took a turn reversing from its drift towards the southern-most path it takes around the earth. That is, as it seems to us in the northern hemisphere. Those aware would quote science to correct us : that, it was all on account of motions of the earth. Which brings us to the cold fact : life is not lived in accord with science. The freshly baked loaf is not mere aggregate of fundamental particles; nor is its smell just neural something.

We, nurtured in South Asia, have not understood the Gregorian new year, except as a celebratory occasion when everyone joins in. There is no turn of seasonal ambience to merit the mark on the first day of January. The Sankranti does, bringing on warmer days, though nights are likely to remain cold and cool untill Holi, which this year will be observed on 6th of March. We would definitely pass into the summer… mild through April and severe in May and June before relief is felt with onset of monsoons in July. People in Indian subcontinent observe the New Year Day on Fourteenth April, the first day of the month of Baisakh.

For some reason in tradition, the business community observes closure of books and commencement of new financial year on Diwali, the Festival Of Lights, in November.

*

If there is one value to guide our judgement, it is this : do not act to lead you to something in our expectation. For then, in matters personal, one is almost always led by pre-formed desire : one we do not choose in the moment, in the full light of reason, justice or inspiration that presents.

As it is, however, collective values tend to be conservative, in continuity with learning accumulated over the past and mostly as a compromise among conflicting group interests. It feels good that we have come a long way, with individual rights to freedom and liberty firmly instated in modern societies.

We can now choose differently in matters relating to our person except, very sadly, in communities still under dictatorial regimes of governments that choose themselves or religions that will not relent on its hold over the heart and mind of man.

The Essence Of Vedas

vam:

Is your #God greater, you ask ? That doesn’t interest me.
What does : Is your God true ?
Only we each can judge that … for ourself !

Originally posted on Truth Within, Shines Without:

The Essence Of Vedas Jan 8 Post II

The Essence Of Vedas Jan 8 Post III

The Essence Of Vedas Jan 8 Post I

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The Essence Of Vedas

The Essence Of Vedas Jan 8 Post II

The Essence Of Vedas Jan 8 Post III

The Essence Of Vedas Jan 8 Post I

Charlie Hebdo … And Us

ABOUT ‪#‎CHARLIEHEBDO‬ MASSACRE, ‪#‎ISLAM‬ & THE BHAGAVAT GITA

The cartoon that shows the terrorists who perpetrated the #CharlieHebdo massacre in Paris, being pursued by a thousand pens – and fleeing them – has gone viral on the Internet. True, the pen has some power and it can sting, to the point that Islamic terrorists killed those who wield the pen or the brush, as in the case of the journalists & cartoonists of#CharlieHebdo, who had reproduced the cartoons of Danish paper Jyllands-Posten, that showed the Prophet with a bomb in his turban and done some more.

But in the true world, the AK47 is mightier than the pen – and terror cannot be fought with peace marches, cartoons, goodwill and the kind of platitudes being mouthed by everybody, including by the many Muslims who tweeted “the French banned the veil, these cartoons insulted our Prophet – but still we against this kind of violence “.

More than that, nothing has changed: those pens who indirectly condone terrorism by always defending Islam are still there. Yesterday night on CNN, an Indian ‘Bobby’ Ghosh (formerly with the Time magazine), who has been against so called ‘islamophobia’ for years and once postulated that “to a believing Muslim, the perception may be that ‘burning the Koran is much worse than burning the Bible, because the koran is directly from God while the Bible isn’t” again mouthed with confidence his stupidities. Or the Financial Times of London, which more or less condoned this massacre by writing: ‘Charlie Hebdo is a bastion of the French tradition of hard-hitting satire. It has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling Muslims.’

Here In India, before news of massacre was known, the awful @SagarikaGhose wrote in the @HindustanTimes “Yes we Khan”, equating Hindu Fundamentalism with Muslim terrorism, when there is no statistical comparison: did any Hindus kill the director of ‪#‎PK‬ or @amirkhan, who made a point of mocking Hindu Gods and gurus a hundred more times than #CharlieHebdo mocked the Prophet?

Make no mistake: whatever the Indian or western Media and the enduring leftist intellectuals, who are like cockroaches that never die, say, the battle between Islam and the Free world is a war and it will not be won by the pen, but by weapons. To keep on saying, like some of my good and well-meaning friends “that these terrorists are only few isolated maniacs and that the rest of Islam is peaceful’ is a grave mistake, for nearly every Muslim in the world feels that insulting the Prophet cannot be forgiven and we have not seen the six million French Muslims or any other Muslim community in the world, descending in the streets, together to protest what is done in the name of the Koran. Their joining peace marches has no value.

How is it possible that in India, the home of the last living Knowledge in the world, one forgets the eternal message of the Bhagavad Gita : that when your freedom is endangered, your women, your borders, your culture, your very life, it is all right to use force against force, that war may be the last resort against Evil.

The battle between Islam and Democracy may be the second Kurukshetra war…

Muse Betwixt The Extremes

It was one of the most beautiful of mornings : breeze on the other side of the glass wall, cozily warmed of sun obliquely on the back, and bright ambience cool through the innerwear and a half-sleeve wollen over my long shirt. Unusually, and very surprisingly, the news daily I was browsing through contributed by not carrying needless conflict on behalf of its political masters and paying clientele. At intervals I could even snatch recalls of the rolling music of Jerry Garcia, bouncing notes of Fleetwood Mac, and the iterating rounded strains of Tull’s flute. It mattered, I guess, that all of that blissful bonanza had converged of its own accord, as an unexpected benediction or a widening windfall that finds you totally unaware. It made crafting this piece a personal de rigueur.

*

It would of course be great to have our badminton nimblefoot honoured with Padma Bhushan, alongwith the wrestling champ Sushil Kumar. There have been voices suggesting she shouldn’t have pointedly mentioned the denial. I do not and empathise with her sentiment, of feeling aggrieved after all she had put in over a decade and achieved on ‘super’ competitive international platforms. In fact, I find her sport ahead of amateur wrestling, in terms of prestige and visibility, and the partisan attitude of government officials both inexplicable and inexcusable.

At the Indian Science Congress (ISC), Union Minister Prakash Javdekar wondered why Germany could make use of ancient Indian concepts and adapt them to produce cutting edge inventions, and India could not. Shashi Tharoor spoke sensibly of “modernists sneer” that “mock the credulous exaggerations” … “(but) you don’t need to debunk the genuine accomplishments of ancient Indian science“. Ancient aviation, as described by Maharshi Bharadwaja, was more advanced than modern-day technology, said the paper presented by Captain Anand Bodas and Ameya Jadhav. “The knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, 8 chapters, 500 principles and 3,000 verses. In the modern day, only 100 principles are available,” they stated.

Ancient Indian engineers had knowledge of Indian botany and they used it in their constructions, said professor of civil engineering from Nagpur, A S Nene, in his paper. Most of the scholars who presented their papers on Sunday appealed to yo ung Indian scientists and researchers to look at ancient Sanskrit literature and derive advanced methodologies from them. Rajan Welukar, Mumbai University VC, said “one should at least look at the Vedas, but need not accept it“. Vijay Bhatkar, Indian scientist, said “Indians are so used to the slave mentality that we will only need a foreign nation to acknowledge the vast source of information. Once they do it, we will follow.”

The topic on ancient sciences was incorporated in the ISC for the first time on the insistence of Sanskrit scholars, said Gauri Mahulikar, head of the Sanskrit department, Mumbai University . “We believed Sanskrit also had a huge science repository and it should be brought before scientists.They should be open-minded and not have an orthodox outlook to this. This is just a thought, it should be followed by a debate and then experimentation. We cannot do research as we’re not scientists. That is why we appeal to the science fraternity to take this knowledge forward.”

*

There was a dark extremely unhappy pall in news about a young man’s death, his recently married wife brutalised and stabbed, and his mother left thirsty and unconscious within a room locked from outside. She had met man over a matrimonial website and planned their marriage before letting their families know about it. They were married in November, mere two months ago, and had gone for a honeymoon in Thailand. Her father told the police that she had grown resentful towards her man as he returned home each evening only to abuse her physically.

App based cab services like Uber and Ola are still banned in Delhi and the National Capital Territory region. The geographical restriction is what I have not understood, if a service is disallowed by the authorities per se because they are not safe. The ban however is justified : someone has to ensure the safety deliverables, which radio taxi operators confirm. The fact that app based services are offered by huge tech firms does not merit a second hearing.

I had no sympathy for Christian Mission verticals and united call to halt the “ghar wapasi” or “return home” program conducted by Hindu organisations. It beats logic to vehementally disagree with a legislative proposal to ban all “conversions” and stand by this status quo in which they could convert Hindus but cry foul when the reverse happened. It is such a shame at a time when half of the population in Western world have turned atheist or agnostic, when sordid sagas of corruption, embezzlement, rape and pedophilia with the Church is still open. It is moot if economic or social causes within the Hindu way, even if unbearable, suggest a solution in their change of faith !

*

The two “hero” stories warmed me up real good, both in the police. One, Mallika Banerjee, may not be a decorated encounter cop or a trained undercover agent, but she displayed unusual grit and gumption to bust organised trafficking rings in the capital to earn the sobriquet of Chhattisgarh’s `Mardani’ — The Man. After nabbing 15 traffickers and rescuing 20 children from Delhi’s hellholes, she’s become a blockbuster star in the state. Disguised as salesgirl selling body massagers on the street, facing life threats and spurning big bribes for withdrawing from the investigation, the young sub-inspector of the anti-human trafficking cell worked hard to meet the Supreme Court’s deadline to trace the missing children who, she discovered, were children were sold for Rs 30,000-Rs 35,000 with a monthly fixed payment of Rs 5,000. Afterwards, Mallika said, “I feel more connected to these kids.”

The other story is of a daring crime-intolerant IPS officer Shivdeep Wamanrao Lande, Patna’s Superintendent Of Police (SP). His proactive and no-nonsense policing had made him hugely popular. People had erupted in protest three years ago when he was transferred 10 months after posting in the city. Lande led several raids on illegal trade of spurious drugs, cosmetics, edible items and shady cyber-cafes. He is known to take calls on phone at any hour and acts promptly on complaints. Eve teasers land behind bars even as young women take a shine on Bihar’s supercop: their knight in shining armour. He donates half his salary to the Sangathan which organizes mass weddings of poor girls and runs coaching classes and a hostel for poor students. The initiative has employed scores of young men.

*

Is the society responsible for rape or the government ? The UP Minister For Women is sure it is the society, not the government. I personally believe, the society is the cause for the ‘thought’ of rape; the government is responsible for deterring the act, punishing the perpetrator and providing succour to the victim…

The taste of some of the world’s finest wines is changing as global warming alters the way grapes mature, scientists have found. Grapes such as pinot noir, merlot and chardonnay are now growing faster, subtly changing the compounds produced as they ripen and the synchronization between maximum flavour and sugar to acid ratio. Vineyards are thus struggling to identify the perfect moment for picking the grapes, to ensure their wines retain the characteristic flavours.

Climate change is making the identification of the harvest window more difficult. As the atmosphere warms, the desired ratio of acid to sugar occurs earlier in the season. What a tricky challenge !

*

Ben Tuft of The Independent reports of a massive mishap in which Sailor Gutzler, a 7 year-old “miracle” girl alone survived a plane crash in Kentucky and walked almost a mile barefoot in freezing conditions to raise the alarm. The crash killed her parents, sister and cousin and Sailor is now being looked after by her grandparents.

Using techniques learnt from her dad, Sailor lit a stick from the flames of her family’s small Piper PA-34 aircraft to help guide her through the woods after the plane crashed in Lyon Country, Kentucky on Friday. She crossed two embankments and a river creek in darkness and near freezing temperatures, before she reached the house of Larry Wilkins, about three-quarters of a mile from the crash site. Wilkins, 71, who immediately phoned the police, said that Sailor was trembling, bloodied and wearing summer clothes when he opened his door to her.

“I come to the door and there’s a little girl, seven years old, bloody nose, bloody arms, bloody legs, one sock, no shoes, crying,” he said. “She told me that her mom and dad were dead, and she had been in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down. “Brave little girl, outstanding little girl,” he added.

Indeed.

*

I wonder what is the Buckingham Palace is contesting, against a women’s allegations made in Florida court that she was forced as a minor to have sex with Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, as well as with other figures linked to a disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein. Why, I can understand : HRH… His Royal Highness. “The allegations made are false and without any foundation,“ a spokesman for Buckingham Palace was quoted as saying by the British newspapers. I find the same words mirroring at such defense.

HRH, my foot !

Closer home, a Dalit eunuch scripted history on Sunday by winning a direct mayoral election in Chhattisgarh and is all set to become the mayor of Raigarh. A school dropout who studied till class 8, Madhu Kinnar, 35, would collect money by singing and dancing with other eunuchs to eke out a living. She contested as an Independent, defeated her nearest rival, BJP’s Mahaveer Guruji, by a 4,537 votes.

*

Till 1970s in India. lawyers for rape accused mostly succeeded in portraying the victim as a woman of loose character. The judicial mindset reached its crest on September 15, 1978, when the Supreme Court acquitted two Maharashtra policemen, who were convicted by the Bombay HC for sexually assaulting a minor girl Mathura, who had allegedly eloped with her lover. The judges had based the acquittal on medical report showing Mathura to be habituated to sex and that she did not raise an alarm when being sexually assaulted.

Many cringed at the insensitive `Mathura’ judgment. The course correction was done by Justice Krishna Iyer on August 14, 1980, who said: “Corroboration as a condition for judicial reliance on the testimony of a prosecutrix (victim) is not a matter of law, but a guidance of prudence under given circumstances.”

About the mindset, Justice Iyer said: “There are several `sacred cows’ of the criminal law in Indo-Anglian jurisprudence which are superstitious survivals and need to be re-examined. When rapists are reveling in their promiscuous pursuits and half of humankind – the womankind – is protesting against its hapless lot, when no woman of honour will accuse another of rape since she sacrifices thereby what is dearest to her, we cannot cling to a fossil formula and insist on corroborative testimony , even if taken as a whole, the case spoken of by the victim strikes a judicial mind as probable.“

He had also advised against knee-jerk reaction of making the punishment for rape more stringent. Better course would be to sensitise and professionalise the machinery responsible for probe and prosecution, he had said.

Lack of sensitivity among Judges towards rape victims lead to devastating results. In 2007, Oxford Country court judge Julian Hall doubted a 10-year-old girl’s age and blamed her provocative sense of dressing to award a friendly 9-month prison term to the man who violated her. Hall forgot rape was a heinous offence which gets severest punishment world over when the victim is a minor. Did it matter how she dressed or how old she appeared to be ? Hall probably subscribed to the mindset of another Judge – Betrand Richards of Ipswich Crown Court – who had in 1982 created a sensation by his judgment in another rape case.

A young lady on a lonely stretch stuck out her thumb for a hitch. A young man driving a car gave her a lift. He took advantage of the lonely stretch and raped her. He was convicted for the offence. But Judge Richards let him off with a fine of 2,000 pounds saying the girl was guilty of “contributory negligence“ by knowingly taking the risk of hitchhiking at a lonely hour on a lonely stretch.

The judge did not see the other side – the girl was trying to get away from the lonely stretch and had reposed trust in the young man.

In India, Justice Narain Singh Azad of Madhya Pradesh HC could qualify to be counted in the category of Halls and Richards. Eight years ago, Justice Azad had awarded cursory punishments to convicts in nearly a hundred rape cases on the ground that offenders were illiterate tribals. Fortunately, the SC saw the fallacy in the approach and sent back all the cases to the HC for a fresh hearing.

“The unchastity of a woman does not make her open to any and every person to violate her person as and when he wishes. She is entitled to protect herself if there is an attempt to violate her person against her wish. She is equally entitled to protection of law. Therefore, merely because she is of easy virtue, her evidence cannot be thrown out.“

Finally, something to applaud…

My Blog In 2014, Many Thanks !

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THANK  YOU  !  THANK  YOU  VERY  MUCH  ! !

Christian Offensive In India

Will Hinduism survive the present Christian offensive ?

Text Source : http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/oct/25franc.htm

When Prime Minister Vajpayee was in the US in September, the National Association of Asian Christians in the US (whom nobody had heard about before), paid $ 50,000 to the New York Times to publish ‘an Open Letter to the Hon’ble Atal Bihari Vajpayee, prime minister of India.’

While ‘warmly welcoming the PM,’ the NAAIC expressed deep concern about the ‘persecution’ of Christians in India by ‘extremist’ (meaning Hindu) groups, mentioning as examples ‘the priest, missionaries and church workers who have been murdered,’ the nuns ‘raped,’ and the potential enacting of conversion laws, which would make ‘genuine’ conversions illegal. The letter concluded by saying ‘that Christians in India today live in fear.’

The whole affair was an embarrassment (as it was intended to be) to Mr Vajpayee and the Indian delegation, which had come to prod American businessmen to invest in India, a peaceful, pro-Western and democratic country.

I am born a Christian and I have had a strong Catholic education. I do believe that Christ was an incarnation of Pure Love and that His Presence still radiates in the world. I also believe there are human beings who sincerely try to incarnate the ideals of Jesus and that you can find today in India a few missionaries (such as Father Ceyrac, a French Jesuit, who works mostly with lepers in Tamil Nadu), who are incarnations of that Love, tending tirelessly to people, without trying to convert them.

But I have also lived for more than 30 years in India, I am married to an Indian, I have traveled the length and breath of this country and I have evolved a love and an understanding of India, which few other foreign correspondents have, because they are never posted long enough to start getting a real feeling of this vast and often baffling country (nobody can claim to fully understand India). And this is what I have to say about the ‘persecution’ of Christians in India.

Firstly, it is necessary to bring about a little bit of a historical flashback, which very few foreign correspondents (and unfortunately also Indian journalists) care to do, which would make for a more balanced view of the problem.

If ever there was persecution, it was of the Hindus at the hands of Christians, who were actually welcomed in this country, as they have been welcomed in no other place on this planet. Indeed, the first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians, was established in Kerala in the first century; they were able to live in peace and practice their religion freely, even imbibing some of the local Hindu customs, until the Jesuits came in the 16th century and told them it was ‘heathen’ to have anything to do with the Hindus, thereby breaking the Syrian Church in two.

When Vasco de Gama landed in Kerala in 1498, he was generously received by the Zamorin, the Hindu king of Calicut, who granted him the right to establish warehouses for commerce. But once again, Hindu tolerance was exploited and the Portuguese wanted more and more. In 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque seized Goa, where he started a reign of terror, burning ‘heretics,’ crucifying Brahmins, using false theories to forcibly convert the lower castes, razing temples to build churches upon them and encouraging his soldiers to take Indian mistresses.

Indeed, the Portuguese perpetrated here some of the worst atrocities ever committed in Asia by Christianity upon another religion. Ultimately, the Portuguese had to be kicked out of India, when all other colonisers had already left.

British missionaries in India were always supporters of colonialism; they encouraged it and their whole structure was based on ‘the good Western civilised world being brought to the Pagans.’ Because, in the words of Claudius Bucchanan, a chaplain attached to the East India Company, ‘Neither truth, nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found in the breast of a Hindoo!’ What a comment about a nation that gave the world the Vedas at a time when Europeans were still grappling in their caves!

And it is in this way that the British allowed entire chunks of territories in the East, where lived tribals, whose poverty and simplicity, made them easy prey to be converted to Christianity. By doing so, the Christian missionaries cut a people from their roots and tradition, made them look westwards towards a culture and a way of life which was not theirs.

And the result is there today for everyone to see: it is in these eastern states, some of which are 90 per cent Christian, that one finds the biggest drug problems (and crime) in India. It should also be said that many of the eastern separatist movements have been covertly encouraged by Christian missionaries on the ground that ‘tribals were there before the “Aryan Hindus” invaded India and imposed Hinduism upon on them.’

The trouble is that the latest archaeological and linguistic discoveries point out to the fact that there NEVER was an Aryan invasion of India — it just was an invention of the British and the missionaries to serve their purpose.

Secondly, Christianity has always striven on the myth of persecution, which in turn bred “martyrs” and saints, indispensable to the propagation of Christianity. But it is little known, for instance, that the first “saints” of Christianity, “martyred” in Rome, a highly refined civilisation, which had evolved a remarkable system of gods and goddesses, some of whom were derived from Hindu mythology via the Greeks, were actually killed (a normal practice in those days), while bullying peaceful Romans to embrace the “true” religion, in the same way that later Christian missionaries will browbeat “heathen” Hindus, adoring many gods, into believing that Jesus was the only “true” god.

Now to come to the recent cases of persecution of Christians in India at the hands of Hindu groups. I have personally investigated quite a few, amongst them the rape of the four nuns in Jhabua, MP, nearly two years ago. This rape is still quoted as an example of the ‘atrocities’ committed by Hindus on Christians.

Yet, when I interviewed the four innocent nuns, they themselves admitted, along with George Anatil, the bishop of Indore, that it had nothing to do with religion: it was the doing of a gang of Bhil tribals, known to perpetrate this kind of hateful acts on their own women. Today, the Indian press, the Christian hierarchy and the politicians, continue to include the Jhabua rape in the list of atrocities against the Christians.

Or take the burning of churches in Andhra Pradesh a few months ago, which was supposed to have been committed by the “fanatic” RSS. It was proved later that it was actually the handiwork of Indian Muslims, at the behest of the ISI to foment hatred between Christians and Hindus. Yet the Indian press which went berserk at the time of the burnings, mostly kept quiet when the true nature of the perpetrators was revealed.

Finally, even if Dara Singh does belong to the Bajrang Dal, it is doubtful if the hundred other accused do. What is more probable, is that like in many other ‘backward’ places, it is a case of converted tribals versus non-converted tribals, of pent-up jealousies, of old village feuds and land disputes. It is also an outcome of what — it should be said — are the aggressive methods of the Pentecost and Seventh Adventists missionaries, known for their muscular ways of conversion.

Thirdly, conversions in India by Christian missionaries of low caste Hindus and tribals are sometimes nothing short of fraudulent and shameful. American missionaries are investing huge amounts of money in India, which come from donation drives in the United States where gullible Americans think the dollars they are giving go towards uplifting “poor and uneducated Indians.”

It is common in Kerala, for instance, particularly in the poor coastal districts, to have “miracle boxes” put in local churches: the gullible villager writes out a paper mentioning his wish: a fishing boat, a loan for a pucca house, fees for the son’s schooling… And lo, a few weeks later, the miracle happens! And of course the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit.

American missionaries (and their government) would like us to believe that democracy includes the freedom to convert by any means. But France for example, a traditionally Christian country, has a minister who is in charge of hunting down “sects.” And by sects, it is meant anything that does not fall within the recognised family of Christianity — even the Church of Scientology, favoured by some Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta, is ruthlessly hounded. And look at what the Americans did to the Osho movement in Arizona, or how innocent children and women were burnt down by the FBI (with the assistance of the US army) at Waco, Texas, because they belonged to a dangerous sect…

Did you know that Christianity is dying in the West? Not only is church attendance falling dramatically because spirituality has deserted it, but less and less youth find the vocation to become priests or nuns. And as a result, say in the rural parts of France, you will find only one priest for six or seven villages, whereas till the late seventies, the smallest hamlet had its own parish priest.

And where is Christianity finding new priests today? In the Third World, of course! And India, because of the innate impulsion of its people towards god, is a very fertile recruiting ground for the Church, particularly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Hence the huge attention that India is getting from the United States, Australia, or England and the massive conversion drive going on today.

It is sad that Indians, once converted, specially the priests and nuns, tend to turn against their own country and help in the conversion drive. There are very few “White” missionaries left in India and most of the conversions are done today by Indian priests.

Last month, during the bishops’s conference in Bangalore, it was restated by bishops and priests from all over India that conversion is the FIRST priority of the Church here. But are the priests and bishops aware that they would never find in any Western country the same freedom to convert that they take for granted in India? Do they know that in China they would be expelled, if not put into jail? Do they realise that they have been honoured guests in this country for nearly two thousand years and that they are betraying those that gave them peace and freedom?

Hinduism, the religion of tolerance, the coming spirituality of this new millennium, has survived the unspeakable barbarism of wave after wave of Muslim invasions, the insidious onslaught of Western colonialism which has killed the spirit of so may Third World countries and the soul-stifling assault of Nehruvianism. But will it survive the present Christian offensive?

Many Hindu religious leaders feel Christianity is a real threat today, as in numerous ways it is similar to Hinduism, from which Christ borrowed so many concepts (see Sri Siri Ravi Shankar’s book: Hinduism and Christianity).

It is thus necessary that Indians themselves become more aware of the danger their culture and unique civilisation is facing at the hands of missionaries sponsored by foreign money. It is also necessary that they stop listening to the Marxist-influenced English newspapers’s defence of the right of Christian missionaries to convert innocent Hindus.

Conversion belongs to the times of colonialism. We have entered in the era of Unity, of coming together, of tolerance and accepting each other as we are — not of converting in the name of one elusive “true” god.

When Christianity accepts the right of other people to follow their own beliefs and creeds, then only will Jesus Christ’s spirit truly radiate in the world.

The author, who writes ‘The Ferengi’s Column’ in The Indian Express, is the correspondent in South Asia for Le Figaro, France’s largest circulating daily. He has just published Arise O India(Har-Anand).

Francois Gautier

Some of Ramanujam’s Maths…

Profile Pic from : http://mirrortoindia.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/the-man-who-knew-infinity/

Source : http://www.isibang.ac.in/~sury/iiitjan1.pdf

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Medieval Hangover Of Indian Muslims

Adapted from Text Source @ :

http://www.hinduhistory.info/the-worlds-longest-unknown-war/

The popular version of history of Medieval India was proposed by European scholars through the British Raj era and accepted by native understudies. Projected images of the medieval time period were subsequently reiterated through the Nehru years and later remained unchallenged in recommended educational texts, making the narration firm in the mind of generations of Indians.

It has been suspect before : the entire narrative had been reduced to successive foreign invasions and relative ease with which they occupied the land, subjecting a passive people to their respective authority… starting with Aryans, Iranians, Greeks, Parthians, Scythians, Kushanas, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Pathans, Mughals, Persians, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and ending with the British. The consistent impression was that India has always been a no-man’s land, which any armed bandit could come and occupy at any time; and, that Hindus have been a ‘meek people’ who have always bowed before the ‘superior’ occupying races.

For instance, Muslim clerics and scribes have led their co-religionists to believe that the conquest of India by Islam started with invasion of Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 AD, resumed later by Mahmud Ghaznavi in 1000 AD, and was complete in the last decade of 12th Century with Muhammad Ghori’s victory over the Chauhans of Ajmer and over the Gahadvads of Kanauj. The sense, in particular, lends to generations of Muslims in present-day India  a feeling of pride in themselves, as one belonging to the same community wedded to the same religious ideology of Islam that ‘won’ over Hindustan, over these Hindus who this day might have become their equal in democratic India post-1947, who have even excelled over them by far. That, through close to six centuries, it was they — their co-religionist emperors —  who ruled over both the land and the people.

Consider how such a belief blows up in imagination, in combination with the community’s heightened sense of denial : one, the British rulers are looked upon as mere temporary intruders who cheated Islam of its Indian empire for a hundred years or so; two, the British interlude also saved them from being swamped over by Hindu domination through the Maratha resurgence years at end of 18th Century. That affinity with the British saw the Muslim League’s insistence for a separate nation in 1947; and it is the same sense Muslims continue to harbour in independent India, harangued as they are every day in every mosque and madrassa not to rest till they reestablish their sway over the land and the people… which dominant position, they are told, rightfully belongs to Islam.

In academe, the way historians have painted political events and described the Indian situation through the centuries only serves to reinforce the Muslim belief today : yes, they affirm, India was ruled by Muslim monarchs from the last decade of 12th Century to the end of the 18th. Standard textbooks narrate of Muslim imperial dynasties ruling from Delhi – the Mamluks (Slaves), Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyids, Lodis, Surs, and the Mughals. In between, during periods of imperial decline, provincial Muslim dynasties fill in with seats at Srinagar, Lahore, Multan, Thatta, Ahmedabad, Mandu, Burhanpur, Daulatabad, Gulbarga, Bidar, Golconda, Bijapur, Madurai, Gaur, Jaunpur, and Lucknow.

In this version of medieval Indian history, the persistently recurring Hindu resistance to Islamic invaders, imperial as well as provincial, is made to look like a series of sporadic revolts occasioned by some minor grievances of purely local character, or led by some petty upstarts for purely personal gain. Repeated Rajput resurgence in Rajasthan, Bundelkhand and the Ganga-Yamuna Doab; renewed assertion of independence by Hindu princes at Devagiri, Warrangal, Dvarasamudra and Madurai; rise of Vijayanagara Empire; the fights offered by the Marathas; and the mighty movement of the Sikhs in Punjab – all these are then readily fitted into the framework of an enduring Muslim empire, with the Hindu heroes reduced to being ridiculous rebels who disturbed public peace at from time to time, place to place, but who were always swatted down with ease, as mosquitoes and flies !

It would take a much longer paper to establish that this version of medieval Indian history is, at its best, only an interpretation found on preconceived premises and highly selective summarisation, and even invention of facts. That, there are adequate premises to suggest an alternate interpretation based on known facts. What are the facts ? Do they establish that India was fully and finally conquered by Islam, that the Muslim empire in India was a finished fabric before the British stole it for themselves by fraudulent means ? Let us unravel a couple of instances.

01 Conquest of Sindh 

Having tried a naval invasion of India through Thana, Broach, and Debal from 634 to 637 AD, the Arabs attempted the land route on the north-west during AD 650 – 711. They found the Khyber Pass blocked by Hindu princes of Kabul and Zabul, who inflicted several defeats and forced them to sign treaties of non-aggression. The Bolan pass was held by the Jats of Kikan. AI Biladuri writes in his Futûh-ul-Buldãn :

“At the end of 38 H. or the beginning of 39 H. (659 A.D.), in the Khilafat of Ali Harras, went with the sanction of the Khalif to the same frontier. He and those who were with him, saving a few, were slain in the land of Kikan in the year 42 H. (662 A.D.). In the year 44 H. (664 A.D) and in the days of Khalif Muawiya, Muhallab made war on the same frontier. The enemy opposed him and killed him and his followers. Muawiya sent Abdullah to the frontier of Hind. He fought in Kikan and captured booty. He stayed near the Khalif some time and then returned to Kikan, when the Turks (Hindus) called their forces together and slew him.

Next, the Arabs tried the third land route, via Makran. Al Biladuri continues : ‘In the reign of the same Muawiya, Chief Ziyad appointed Sinan. He proceeded to the frontier and having subdued Makran and its cities by force, he stayed there. Ziyad then appointed Rashid. He proceeded to Makran but he was slain fighting against the Meds (Hindus). Abbad, son of Ziyad, then made war on the frontier of Hind by way of Seistan. He fought the inhabitants but many Musulmans perished. Ziyad next appointed Al Manzar. Sinan had taken it but its inhabitants had been guilty of defection. He (Al Manzar) died there. When Hajjaj was governor of Iraq, Said was appointed to Makran and its frontiers. He was opposed and slain there. Hajjaj then appointed Mujja to the frontier. Mujja died in Makran after being there a year. Then Hajjaj sent Ubaidullah against Debal. Ubaidullah being killed, Hajjaj wrote to Budail, directing him to proceed to Debal. The enemy surrounded and killed him. Afterwards, Hajjaj during the Khilafat of Walid, appointed Mohammad, son of Qasim, to command at the Sindh frontier.’

That was in 712 AD.

Now compare this Arab record on the frontiers of India with their record elsewhere : within eight years of the Prophet’s death, they had conquered Persia, Syria, and Egypt; by 650 AD, they had advanced upto the Oxus and the Hindu Kush; between 640 and 709 AD, they had brought the whole of North Africa under their sway; and they had conquered Spain in 711 AD. But it took them 70 long years to secure their first foothold on the soil of India. No historian worth his salt should have the cheek to say that the Hindus have always been an easy game for invaders !

Muhammad bin Qasim succeeded in occupying some cities of Sindh. His successors led raids towards the Punjab, Rajasthan, and Saurashtra. But they were soon defeated and driven back. Arab historians admit that ‘a place of refuge to which the Muslims might flee was not to be found’. By the middle of the 8th century, they controlled only the highly garrisoned cities of Multan and Mansurah. Their plight in Multan is described by AI Kazwin in Asr-ul-Bilãd in the following words : ‘The infidels have a large temple there, and a great idol. The houses of the servants and devotees are around the temple, and there are no idol worshippers in Multan besides those who dwell in those precincts. The ruler of Multan does not abolish this idol because he takes the large offerings which are brought to it. When the Indians make an attack upon the town, the Muslims bring out the idol, and when the infidels see it about to be broken or burnt, they retire.’  So much for Islamic monotheism of the Arabs and their military might ! They, the world-conquerors, failed to accomplish anything in India except a short-lived raid.

It was some two hundred years later, in 963 AD, that Alptigin the Turk was successful in seizing Ghazni, the capital of Zabul. It was his successor Subuktigin who seized Kabul from the Hindu Shahiyas shortly before he died in 997 AD. His son, Mahmud Ghaznavi, led many expeditions into India between 1000 and 1027 AD. The details of his destructive frenzy are too well-known to be repeated. What concerns us here is the facile supposition made by historians, in general, that Mahmud was not so much interested in establishing an empire in India as in demolishing temples, plundering treasures, capturing slaves, and killing the kãfirs. This supposition does not square with his seizure of the Punjab, west of River Ravi, and the whole of Sindh. The conclusion is unavoidable : though Mahmud went far into the heartland of Hindustan and won many victories, he had to beat a hasty retreat every time in the face of Hindu counterattacks. This point is proved by the peril in which he was placed by the Jats of the Punjab during his return from Somnath in 1026 AD.

After Mahmud’s death, the same Jats and Gakkhars troubled endlessly the Muslim occupants of Sindh and the Punjab region. After 150 years, another Islamic invader planned a conquest of India : Muhammad Ghori. His first attempt towards Gujarat in 1178 AD met with disaster, at the hands of the Chaulukyas, and he barely escaped with his life. And he was carried half-dead from the battlefield of Tarain in 1191 AD. It was only in 1192 AD that he won his first victory against the Hindus, by resorting to a mean stratagem that the chivalrous Rajputs failed to see through, largely because they were inheritors of a tradition in which even wars had inviolable rules for honour and against wanton destruction.

02 The Imperial Start

Muhammad Ghori conquered the Punjab, Sindh, Delhi, and the Doab upto Kanauj. His general Qutbuddin Aibak extended the conquest to Ajmer and Ranthambhor in Rajasthan, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Mahoba and Khajuraho in Bundelkhand, and Katehar and Badaun beyond the Ganges. His raid into Gujarat was a failure in the final round, though he succeeded in sacking and plundering Anahilwar Patan. Meanwhile, Bakhtyar Khalji had conquered Bihar and Bengal north and the region west of River Hooghly. He suffered a disastrous defeat when he tried to advance into Assam.

By that time however, Muhammad Ghori was assassinated by the Gakkhars… in 1206 AD. Aibak assumed power over the former’s domain in India : Kalinjar had been reconquered by the Chandellas; Ranthambhor had renounced vassalage to Delhi; Gwalior had been reoccupied by the Pratihars; the Doab was up in arms under the Gahadvad prince Harishchandra; and the Katehar Rajputs had reasserted their independence beyond the Ganges. The Yadavbhatti Rajputs around Alwar had cut off the imperial road to Ajmer.

Aibak was not able to reconquer any of these areas before he died in 1210 AD.

03 At The End

“Let us transcend the barren Deccan and conquer central India. The Mughals have become weak, insolent, womanisers and opium-addicts. The accumulated wealth of centuries, in the vaults of north, can be ours. It is time to drive from the holy land of Bharatvarsha the outcastes and the barbarians. Let us throw them back over the Himalayas, back to where they came from. The saffron flag must fly from the Krishna to the Indus. Hindustan is ours”. Thus did Peshwa Bajirao I declared.

Reviewed as a whole, the period between the last decade of the 12th century and the first quarter of the 18th – the period which is supposed to be the period of Muslim empire in India – is nothing more than a period of long-drawn-out war between Hindu freedom fighters and the Muslim invaders. The Hindus — Rajputs, Marathas, Sikhs, Jats, and chiefs in north and south, east and west — lost many battles, retreated, but they recovered every time and resumed the struggle untill the enemy was worn out, defeated and finally dispersed.

Browsing through the history of medieval India, we find Muslim historians cite many instances of how the Hindus burnt or killed their womenfolk, and then died fighting to the last man. In several encounters, Muslim forces were decisively defeated by heroic adversaries. Mostly, Muslim expeditions were of the nature of raids, the impact of which did not last, despite their brutality and rapaciousness. The accounts we have of the period from practically all over the country — Assam, Rajasthan, Bundelkhand, Orissa, Telingana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and the Punjab — describe successive waves of resistance and recovery, the like of which do not have many parallels in human history.

In conclusion, therefore, it would be a travesty of truth to say that Islam enjoyed an empire in India for six centuries. In fact, Islam struggled for six centuries to conquer India for good but finally failed in the face of stiff and continued Hindu resistance.

Hali was not wrong when he mourned that the invincible armada of Hijaz, which had swept over so many seas and across so many mighty rivers, met its watery grave in the Ganges.

Iqbal also wrote his Shikwah in sorrowful remembrance of the same failure. In fact, there is no dearth of Muslim poets and politicians who weep over the defeats of Islam in India in past and look forward to a reconquest of India in future.

Hindus have survived as a majority in their motherland not because Islam spared any effort to conquer and convert them but because Islamic brutality met more than its equal in Hindu tenacity for their tradition, values and love for freedom.

What We Should Know About Christianity

Allow me to introduce… though this book by Kalavai Venkat, pen name of a computer scientist living in Silicon Valley, is specially addressed to Hindus : What Every Hindu Should Know About Christianity !

It’s psychology, in the main. Many Christian beliefs and practises, as well as the reflexes of the Christian apologists, are explained by such concepts as “confirmation bias”, “cognitive dissonance” and “selective attention”, the findings of evolutionary biology (which finds traces of morality even among the higher animals, independent from any divine revelation of the Ten Commandments) and the notion “meme”. These factors explain the Christian superiority feeling and anti-Hindu animus a lot better than the imperialist conspiracies or the sheer money factor to which many argumentative Hindus reduce the missionary offensive.

Kalavai Venkat bases his analysis on a thorough knowledge of the relevant literature, but first of all on a close reading of the source material, starting with the Bible. Most Hindus would already be disabused of their illusions about Christianity if they simply read the Bible, rather than the syrupy pamphlets of the missionaries. Since the 18th century, freethinkers have collected all the contradictions and absurdities in the Bible. Christian apologists tend to dismiss these sceptics as “village atheists” and pretend that there is a more sophisticated angle from which all these anomalies suddenly become logical. But this author clearly hasn’t found it, and isn’t convinced of its existence.

Thus, it is undeniable that Jesus predicted his own Second Coming in the End-Time for within the lifetime of his listeners. On this simple prediction, which in his case required nothing more than looking up this momentous date in his very own agenda, God Incarnate managed to get it wrong. Some people may call it unsportsmanlike and unreligious to bring up this obvious defect, but hey, it is there is the Gospel in cold print. Should we not believe in the Bible anymore? When so many human beings do make accurate predictions, should we not expect some reliability from God himself ?

There are also elements in the Bible which modern sensibilities would find unpalatable. Thus, the Old Testament law requires a groom who finds that his bride is not a virgin anymore, to take her to her father’s doorstep and stone her to death. Similarly, a witch or a homosexual should be executed; God himself orders it.

 … … Read at Source…

the entire review by the esteemed Koenraad Elst here …

Introducing … The White Hindu

“I’m pretty far from what anyone could call a fundamentalist but at the same time I am absolutely proud to be a Hindu and proud of what Hindus and Hinduism have achieved and continue to achieve.”

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who practices Hinduism. She has been involved in Indian philosophy since 1982 and Indian culture since 2004. She loves to learn about people’s spirituality and how they find meaning in their lives. Join her as she navigates culture, religion, and expectations.

Her website has the byline : Hosting The Conversation On Faith. 

“Now, I am not Indian and I don’t live in India so I don’t know, but I suspect that some of the things that Hindus are dealing with in India mirror things that Christians are dealing with in America. Maybe it’s the nature of being in the majority faith.

“Sometimes when the majority faith is asked to make room for minority faiths to be heard, it can feel like you’re being attacked. It can feel like you’re being asked to have a lesser role and let others steamroll over you. In America with Christianity I would say that’s a misunderstanding and a perfectly understandable one. When you’ve had the majority voice for a long time, being asked to step aside once in a while to let someone else’s voice be heard does mean that you give up some of the power and the voice that you had. You relinquish it for the sake of someone who hasn’t historically been allowed to speak.”

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