President Xi, #FreeTibet !

You, and your clique in the CCP, may not know the Kantian value of every individual human being : It Is Absolute…

Equal to yours, if not more. The reminder becomes necessary because, in your worship at the alter of power, you have forgotten what it is to be a man, even while you act in his name, in his cause.

Why else would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Tibetan people, as if they were nothing ?

As if they had no purpose of their own …

As if they were not raised by the soft loving touch of their parents on their cheek while they grew …

As if they mean nothing to the children they are raising with tender care …

As if they have no love for the land they tread and nurture and live by …

You presume you know better than the people, whose affairs you rule, when you do not. No one does. Which is why history has consigned all ‘dictatorial’ forms of government to the dustbin and has in its stead fostered democracy … the system in which the rulers must go back to the people and ask to know their will.

You presume, President Xi, and do not know. Or perhaps, you know and do not care. More likely, you know and are afraid to heed, for the wrath of the very people you rule in the name of !

President Xi, Free Tibet today, before it is too late. Before you are chased by the millions and are lynched like ordinary criminals and murderers that your party and your government is.

Free Tibet now !

Free Tibet

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New India : Happy India

On the eve of Independence Day — 2014…

The daily I read is a Congress Party mouthpiece, spiritedly in opposition to the ruling National Democratic Alliance. However, going through it today left me palpably happy at how remakably well this country is now governed, thanks to the people of India who chose Narendra Modi to lead the nation’s affairs. The marked degree of difference, compared to how it was during the preceeding decade under the UPA regime, was underscored by an observation of the Supreme Court headlined even by the avowedly antagonistic news and reports the Times Of India routinely carries … ” Stop acting like UPA on Ganga : SC to govt “. To mimick the media, I visualise “sources” reporting Manmohan Singh, the previous captive Prime Minister : “I am delighted and the country is relieved with my (and my Party’s) removal from power …” As I am, and vast majority of people are !

Let me sum up some of the other news that fills me with an euphoric state of well-being :

On his first visit to Kargil as PM, Modi minced no words in stating that Pakistan continues to sponsor terror missions in India, even while emphasising that the neighbour has finally lost the capacity and will for facing a frontal war. Our neighbour has launched four since 1947 and has been soundly, humiliatingly beaten in every one of them. Expectedly, the editorial faults the plain-speak saying, “Modi chiding Pakistan for pursuing a proxy war does nothing to improve bilateral relations.” It would prefer the Indian Prime Minister to adopt a gentler approach, the one which has done nothing to arrest the violence triggered from across our borders and which the people are frankly tired of !

It comforts me that the Govt is now redressing a wrong perpetuated by successive previous regimes that never found it worthwhile to award the country’s highest honour to Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard who kept India on the top in the game for over two decades. However the cause of my delight is not limited to the person but to the overarching question : What kind of a country do we want ? What national values must we reinforce with our day-to-day decisions ? It rankles that the UPA govt had the great man, the nation’s pride, in its last year’s honours list but went for a promoted candidate instead — the little master of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, who is reported to have gained enough from brand equity garnered from his exploits in the field.

The removal of Gandhi-Nehru name from our national schemes and projects is as a much a matter of my happiness as the hashtags #CongressMuktaBharat and #CorruptionFreeIndia I have actively supported and promoted. A country that has largely shunned such personality intense and cult promotions, the practice reminds me that horribly misplaced slogan coined during the infamous Emergency days : Indira is India — India is Indira … reducing a nation to a person and blowing up a person to equal the oldest nation on earth !

Today, the country premier crime and corruption investigating agency has dared to move a note regarding ‘irregularities’ public sector bank appointments at senior levels and, consequently, the Govt will review several of the suspicious ones. The action would be symbolic of the clean-up this country sorely needs to stem this pervasive corruption that has come to characterise our affairs. The President has given the nod for review of 12 university vice-chancellor appointees, several during the very last days of the previous regime. 

Now even the senior-most founding leader of the much promising and even more abysmally disappointing Aam Aadmi Party has aired his despair of its undemocratic working, inviting all manner ‘sad’ whisperings and lamenting advisories. But the development is exactly along the lines I have viewed the fakeness built into outfit from the start. I am looking forward to its early demise, especially since Delhi has been far better managed since the Party’s govt led by its ‘national convenor’ resigned after merely 49 days at its helm. Look at some of them here below :
 

ON FAST TRACK – Govt sets deadline for 245 services

  • Chasing neighbourhood cops to get a no-objection certificate for a passport won’t be necessary now as Delhi Police has committed to a 20-day deadline for it.
  • This and 244 more services by various state departments, civic agencies and Delhi Police have been brought under the Delhi Time-bound Service Delivery Act as an Independence Day gift. Already , 116 services by 24 departments are covered by the Act.
  • Delhi Police has committed to issuing copies of FIRs to complainants within a day, and complete verification of tenants and servants in 20 days.
  • NDMC has promised to remove obstructions from roads in one day . It will sanction building plans in one day and complete mutation of property in seven days. Even the corporations have agreed to sanction building plans for residential development within 30 days.
  • Bus passes for students, the physically disabled and senior citizens will be issued in a day . The higher education department may agree to issue provisional certificates within 15 days.
  • The department of women and child development has committed to sanction pension to widows and women in distress within 45 days.
  • The notification of these is likely by the end of this week. The law governing time-bound delivery of services prescribes penalties for officers who harass the public with delays.
There is much else to commend the New India : Happy India today. Old boys have now come to join hands to boost infrastructure and the image of govt schools. The judiciary has become extra conscious of their intervention powers : The High Court demanded a report status of kids’ parks by Oct 29. Tourist arrivals remain on the up despite much negative publicity the country has received over the past decade … 
On political front in the states, the mindless ‘minority appeasement’ for vote-bank is coming apart. A quiet campaign to cut the Samajvadi Party leader Azam Khan down to size appears to be at work in Uttar Pradesh. The casteist Bahujan Party’s Mayawati has refused to have any truck with SP, in the latter’s bid to form a joint front against the nationalist BJP. The other ‘joint front’ in Bihar saw a mere few hundred listeners, when the buildup was for hundreds of thousands !

Prime Minister might dare to continue with his habit of speaking extempore while addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, after his Govt launches state-of-the-art warships INS Kolkata and INS Kamorta. The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in June this year. There are 44 warships currently on order in Indian shipyards valued at over Rs 2000 billion, These are part of the plan to steadily build a three-dimensional blue-water Navy capable of taking care of India’s huge strategic interests in the region stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait.

Beti (daughter) … drive in 100 dists with worst sex ratio. The Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has set a 2-year deadline for Implementation. It is one of highest national priority : Save Our Daughters – Educate Our Daughters. It assures stringent action against erring medical practitioners and monitoring of health clinics. The government had allotted Rs 100 crore for the scheme in the Union Budget. India has one of the worst sex ratios, earning the dubious title of “country with missing girls“.
 
The Govt has stood by its declared intent of not allowing FDI in multi-brand retail … But you get the streaming causes behind my delight, right ? !
 
Wish you a Happy Independence Day.
 
 

Manu Smriti : An Amazing Origin

I have chanced upon this remarkable reduction of Manu Smriti @ http://satyavidya.org … The treatise contains a set of codified, socially agreed laws to regulate human society, right through the reigns of successive Solar dynasty kings upto Rama Daasratha of Ayodhya and thereafter, until the rise of Lunar dynasts that came to overwhelm the subcontinental firmament around the Mahabharata times.

The laws, framed anytime between 12000 – 8000 BC at the origin of Sanatan civilisation, seem astoshnishingly contemporary except for contradictory portions that appear to have been appended later, perhaps after the dominance of Solar kings was on the wane and during the chaos of several rising Lunar principalities around 4000 – 3000 BC.

The entire text can be accessed @ http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/manusmriti.pdf

DR VIVEK ARYA helpfully points out … (Manu 2/8)

“But a learned man after full scrutiny with the eye of knowledge should perform his duties in accord with the intent of the revealed texts.”

The exhortation encourages due situational analysis and agreeability with values prevailing in the age.

Let us then inquire into the common unfavourable perception that the Smriti text supports casteism, inferior status of women, meat eating, etc. The book is considered by many as having a bias in favour of the upper castes and is often selectively quoted to establish that women were an inferior gender, to be chastised and put down, and that casteism was prevalent in Vedic times.

Swami Dayanand, the great Vedic scholar of the 19th Century, writes : “I believe in that part of Manu Smriti which is not interpolated (appended later) and is in accord with the Vedas.” He concludes that the Manu Smriti we read today is not as originally laid down by Swayambhu  Manu, the first Chief of Humanity. As it now is, he found the text as self contradictory and against the values espoused in Vedas, and hence injudicious. He therefore rejects those prejudicial texts which advocate discrimination against populations with alleged inferior status.

Let us look up the text itself pertaining to women and the “lower” castes …

Smriti Text … On Women

3/56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not, no sacred rite yields the desired result.

9/26. Women who bear (our) children secure many blessings (for the family and the society at large); they are worthy of worship, who suffuse (their) dwellings with prosperity; there is no difference between them and goddesses of good fortune.

2/138. Way must be made for a man in a carriage, one who is above ninety years old, who is diseased, who carries a burden, and for a woman, the learned, the king and for a bridegroom.

3/114. A person may offer food without hesitation, even before serving the guests in one’s house, to newly-married women, infants, the sick, and to pregnant women.

3/60. Where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting in such families.

3/62. Where the wife is radiant and happy, the whole house is heaven-like; but if she is unhappy, all will appear as hell.

3/59. Hence, men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and  food (as desired by them).

3/55. Women must be honoured and well – adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

9/13. These six causes spell ruin for women : drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separating from their husbands, rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling with other men.

3/57. Where the female relatives live in grief, the family wholly perishes soon; where they are not unhappy, the family ever prospers.

3/58. Houses perish completely, as if destroyed by magic, on which female relatives pronounce a curse, upon not being duly honoured.

9/28. Upon one’s wife alone depends the welfare of the offsprings, due and fruitful performance of religious rites, faithful service of all in the family, superior conjugal happiness and the blissful existence of our ancestors in heaven and of ourself.

4/180. Let no man quarrel with his parents, his female relatives, brothers, his son and his wife, and with his daughter and his servants.

8/389. Neither a mother nor a father, nor a wife nor a son shall be cast off; unless guilty of a crime causing loss of caste (or social status earned over one’s lifetime), he who casts them off shall be fined six hundred (panas).

9/130. A daughter, who is even (as) oneself, (such a daughter) is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the family estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even as oneself) lives ?

9/131. The property of the mother is the share of the unmarried daughter alone and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son of his own.

9/192. But when the mother has passed away, all uterine brothers and sisters shall have equal share of their mother’s estate.

Smriti Text … On Marraige and Remarraige (Of Women)

9/176. If she be (still) a virgin or has returned (to her first husband) after leaving him, such a woman is worthy to again perform the (nuptial) ceremony with her second (or first deserted) husband.

9/90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she is marriageable; but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom of her choice.

9/89. (But) the maiden should rather stay in (her father’s) house until death, though marriageable, than that be given to a man without good qualities.

8/28. In like manner, care must be taken of barren women and those who have no sons, as of those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted with disease.

8/29. A righteous king must punish those relatives who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime, as is due to thieves.

3/52. But those (male) relations who, in their folly, live on their woman’s property, their beasts of burden, carriages and clothes, commit sin and will sink into hell.

8/367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates a maiden, two of his fingers shall be instantly cut off and he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).

8/323. Men stealing from a noble family, especially women, and precious gems, deserve corporal (or capital) punishment.

8/352. Men who commit adultery with wives of others, the king shall cause to be marked by punishments which cause terror, and they shall be banished thereafter.

9/232. The king shall put to death forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers, who slay women, infants, (learned) Brahmins, and those who serve his enemies.

 9/96. Women were created to be mothers and men to be fathers; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the wife.

4/149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband’s) families contemptible.

Contradictory Provisions In Smriti Appended Later …

2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (the company of) females.

5/ 154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

5/ 157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.

9/ 17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

As against these, Manu Smriti mentions equal status, good conduct, equal rights, freedom of choice and the right to remarriage.

Clearly, these interpolations are to be rejected.

Smriti Text … On The Under Privileged

Manu proposes varn vyastha — which was based on merit and not on account of one’s birth.

2/157. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names (devoid of virtues respective to their kind).

2/28. This (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman by study of the Vedas, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (recitation of) sacred texts, by (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to gods, sages and manes), by (procreation of) sons, by great sacrifices, and by (the Srauta) rites 

(The above texts lays the qualifications to be acquired, with great dedication and effort at specified works, in order to become a Brahmin, and not merely by being born to a Brahmin father.) 

The varn of a person (caste or status in society) was decided after completion of his education.

Two births were considered for a person in Vedic period : first, when he was born to his parents, and, next, when he completed his education with due thoroughness. It was after second birth (twice born) that the varn of person was determined.

The following text from Manu Smriti makes it even more clear.

2/148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with Vedas entire, in accordance with the law, procures for him (the student) through the Savitr (Sun), is real and exempt from his birth, age or death.

2/146. Between him to whom one is physically born and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Vedas, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for birth through arising in the knowledge of the Veda (ensures) eternal (reward) both in this (life) and that (afterlife).

A person who remained uneducated and devoid of the knowledge of Vedas was considered a Shudra.

That is, the Shudra varn was not based on birth but on merit.

10/4. Brahmana, Kshatriya and the Vaisya castes (Varna) are twice-born (educated) but the fourth, the Shudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste).

2/172. He who has not been initiated with teaching of the Vedas is like a Shudra.

Manu also advises not to insult a person of lower Varna.

4/141. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth, nor those who are of low birth.

Why Manu started varn vyastha?

1/31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya and the Shudra varn origin in form of the body of the society : as its mouth, its arms, its thighs and its feet, respectively.

(Only the ignorant consider the shudra as being originated from the feet of god.)

1/87. But in order to protect this universe He (God), the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those as done in a body by mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.

1/88. To Brahmanas He assigned teaching and studying (the Vedas), sacrificing for their own benefit and for the welfare of others, giving and accepting (of alms).

1/89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;

1/90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate the land.

1/91. One occupation only the Lord prescribed to the Shudra : to serve these (other) three castes.

Manu considered anyone who is without knowledge or capacity for skilled deeds as a Sudra; so any uneducated person is fit only for being in the service, under the guidance, of others who have the requisite knowledge and skills.

Isn’t that how we are organised even today ?

Manu also advises people to exert in order to acquire a higher varna, and change his or her allotted Varna.

The advisory leaves varn vyastha changeable, fluid, and not based on birth but on merit alone.

10/65. (Thus) a Shudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Shudra; and know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.

9/335. (A Shudra who is) pure, accompanies his betters and is gentle in his speech, free from pride, and always seeks a refuge with Brahmanas, attains a higher Varna (Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vaisya) based on his qualities.

4/245. A Brahmana who always connects himself with the most excellent (ones), and shuns all inferior ones, (himself) becomes most distinguished; by an opposite conduct he becomes a Shudra.

Is it not said : the company one keeps makes a man better or worse ? 

2/103. But he who does not worships in morning, nor in the evening, is like a Shudra and he shall be excluded, just like a Shudra, from all the duties and rights of an Arya (one of noble qualities).

2/168. A twice-born man who, not having studied the Vedas, applies himself to other (and worldly study), soon falls, even while living, to the condition of a Shudra; and so do his descendants (after him).

2/126. A Brahmana who does not know the form of returning a salutation, they must not be saluted by a learned man; they must be considered as a Shudra.

A Sudra too can teach the other castes.

2/238. He who possesses faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste (Shudra), the highest law even from the lowest, and an excellent wife even from a base family.

2/241. It is prescribed that in times of distress (a student) may learn (the Vedas) from one who is not a Brahmana; and that he shall walk behind and serve (such a) teacher, as long as the instruction lasts.

Superior rights given by Manu to shudras.

2/136. Wealth, kindred, age, (the due performance of) rites, and, fifthly, sacred learning are titles to respect; but each later-named (cause) is more weighty (than the preceding ones).

2/137. Whatever man of the three (higher) castes possesses most of those five, both in number and degree, that man is worthy of honour among them; and (so is) also a Shudra who has entered the tenth (decade of his life).

In above text Manu gives respect to any Shudra who is in tenth decade of life.

That is, anybody who lives long enough transcends the varna vyavastha.

3/116. After the Brahmanas, the kinsmen, and the servants have dined, the householder and his wife may afterwards eat of what remains.

Householders are advised by Manu to dine after sudras or the servants !

8/335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within their duty.

8/336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana, the king shall be fined one thousand; that is the settled rule.

8/337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Shudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteen fold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold …

8/338. … that of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.

Manu advises strict punishment for a higher varna : punishing the Brahman many times more than a lower varn, say, a Shudra.

The above text is evidence of Manu’s unbiased social hierarchy and structure.

He considered a behavioural error as being more unpardonable in case of the learned one than for the ignorant.

Following are the examples of changing of varn vyastha in past.

Rishi Brahma, son Manu Swayambhu himself, was born to a Brahmana but became a Kshatriya king.

Manu’s eldest son, Priyavrat, became a king, a Kshatriya.

Out of Manu’s ten sons seven became kings while three became Brahmanas. Their names were Mahavir, Kavi and Savan. (Ref Bhagwat Puran Chap. 5)

Kavash Ailush was born to a Shudra and attained the highest varna of a Rishi. He became mantra-drashta to numerous hymns in Rig-Veda : 10th Mandal.

Jabala’s son, Satyakaam, born from unknown father became Rishi by his qualities.

Matang became a Rishi after his birth in low varna.

Maharishi Valmiki was born in inferior varna and became a Rishi.

Mahatma Vidur was born to a Dasi (maid) and became the prime minister to king Dhritarastra.

Raja Vishvanath, a Kshatriya, became a Brahmana – Rishi Vishwamitra.

There are many examples of varn vyastha to inferior level.

Ravan king of Lanka was son of a Brahmana Rishi Pultasya became a rakshasa.

Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Raghu’s son, Pravidh, was declared of inferior varna due to lack of qualities.

Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Samar’s son, Asmanjas, was declared a Shudra due to his bad qualities.

I leave the contradictory appended textsfor now … the ones that make the varna structure hard and fast, as indeed happened later.

Secrecy Corrupts … Snowden Is Right

Snowden was not mistaken to flee the U.S.. UU.
Daniel Ellsberg · · · · ·
Adapted from http://www.sinpermiso.info/textos/index.php?id=6152
07/14/13
Cover of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam an...
Cover via Amazon

Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, was accused in 1971 of violating the Espionage Act and of theft and conspiracy, for copying the so-called Pentagon Papers. The judgment was overturned in 1971 after he presented evidence to the court of the U.S. government misconduct, including illegal wiretapping.

 

Many people compare Edward Snowden unfavorably to me, for leaving the country and seeking asylum rather than face trial as I did. The country in which I stayed was a different America, long ago.

After the New York Times was prevented from publishing the Pentagon Papers – on June 15, 1971, the first of a newspaper censorship in American history – and I had given a copy to the Washington Post (which was also prohibited from publishing it), I went underground with my wife, Patricia, for thirteen days. My goal (quite similar to Snowden’s travel to Hong Kong) was to elude the vigilance while preparing – with the crucial help of a number of people yet unknown to the FBI – for the sequential distribution of the Pentagon Papers among 17 other newspapers, given the two prohibitions. The last three days of the period passed in defiance of a warrant. Like Snowden today, I was a “fugitive from justice”.

However, when I gave myself to be held in Boston, after having given out the last copies of the papers in my possession the night before, I was released on bail the same day. Later, when the accusations were compounded against me, from three to a dozen initial charges, which carried a possible sentence of 115 years, my bail increased to $ 50,000. But during the two years that I was tried, I was free to talk to the press and public, at rallies and conferences. At the end of the day, I was part of a movement against a war that is still going on. Helping to end the war was my outstanding concern, which I could not have done from abroad, and it never entered my head to leave the country.   

There is not the slightest possibility that this experience will be repeated today, let alone that a trial could be terminated by revealing actions of the White House against a criminal defendant, as it clearly was in Richard Nixon era.

I have the hope that the revelations of Snowden will trigger a movement that rescues our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is null chance that he might be released on bail, as I was. On the other hand, he would be in a prison cell as Bradley Manning, in solitary confinement.   

Snowden would be confined in total isolation, even longer than that suffered by Manning during his three years in prison before recent start of his trial. The Special Rapporteur on Torture of United Nations on Manning described the conditions as “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” (this would be realistic foundation in most countries to grant on Snowden’s request for asylum, if they could resist the intimidation and bribery by United States).

Snowden believes he has done nothing wrong. I absolutely agree. More than 40 years after the publicationof of the Pentagon Papers without permission on my part, these leaks are still the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. 

One of the lessons of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden leaks is simple : secrecy corrupts, as does power.  

Daniel Ellsberg (1931), legendary civil rights activist, became famous for leaking in 1971 the New York Times called Pentagon Papers, which revealed the involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam. PhD in Economics from Harvard, is also known for the “Ellsberg paradox” in the field of mathematical theory of decision.

English: Four Presidents: President Ronald Rea...
Four Presidents: President Ronald Reagan with his three predecessors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journal : Governance

What are some objective metrics for quality of governance ?

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) PPP (Purchasing P...

01 Number and Effectiveness of autonomous institutions directly accessible to public to lodge grievances, complaints, suggestions… pertaining to public admn personnel, machinery, policy and performance.

02 The Ratio of what it costs to avail basic necessities – food, clothes, shelter, health care, transportation –  to what is the avg per capita GDP.

03 True Unemployment ratio to employable pool available in different skill, education, age groups.

04 Price rise year -on-year compared to rise in income strata wise.

05 Satisfaction Level of the poorest strata with public welfare and distribution system.

06 Number of health care personnel per 1000 population nationally and region, area, locality wise.

07 Availability and Cost of justice … to common populace.

08 Period it takes to dispose judicial cases.

09 Backlog of cases pending in law courts.

10 Ease of filing FIR with police, its disposal period and rate of conviction.

And so it continues …

Gross Domestic Product
Gross Domestic Product (Photo credit: gothick_matt)

Journal : Thoughts On Iran

Iranians need help, not war or sanctions, to oust their regime,” said Reza Pahlavi in Al Arabiya News in May last year.

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/18/214828.html

Reza Shah Sadabad Palace (کاخ-موزه سبز (قصر سن...

There is no doubt about the Persian influence in Middle East and Central Asia region. It flows from history. Nothing that the West has in mind will change that.

Reza Pahlavi’s views comes across as sensible, sane and insightful, over the noises orchestrated in the media for a while now. He calls upon Israel to help the Iranian people in toppling the current regime instead of launching military attacks against the country to stop its nuclear program. Any misadventure on part of Israel and US – a war on Iran now – will cause a tension with Jewish people worse than it already is with. In fact, it would regress by milleniums, back to how it was during the reign of Cyrus the Great.

Besides, a war against Iran will not achieve the end… because the nuclear program will not really stop. It will only be delayed for a while, Reza says. The only real solution lies in overthrowing the present “Ayatollah” regime. I believe no one in the world would disagree with that.

The programme to waylay the current establishment does not pass through economic sanctions, but is best routed through standing by the Iranian people. People uprisings in recent past has reflected the public apathy for their government… but they are unarmed and know that violence would only bring out the regime’s superiority, its arms and massive cadres schooled by the regime and paid to serve their masters with dedication.

Civil disobedience is the more viable option. When diplomacy fails and war is an unfavorable option, only the Iranian people weigh upon the regime from inside, Reza suggests. Taking the regime’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity would also be in order, for best effect… a proposal that would require the Security Council’s recommendation since Iran was not a signatory to the Rome Statute, as was done to bring the former president of Ivory Coast on trial. The Ayatollah aides could then be indicted by the reformed justice system within Iran.

Admitting to plaints of the Shah regime’s several drawbacks, Reza stresses that it was not as bad for the people of Iran as the present one. He slams the Iranian establishment for discriminating against minorities and wished making the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the foundation for Iran’s new constitution. The diversity prevailing in Iran could be protected through decentralisation, he feels, by granting a measure of autonomy to each of the provinces, which would then be able to safeguard the rights of minorities and guarantee equality among all citizens. The ethnic groups could have the right to keep their language and further their respective culture.

The response of people on the Al Arabiya web page have been encouraging. A reader lists the three groups of people who would oppose Reza Pahlavi’s suggestions : the Mojahedin, the Fadayain and the Republic’s Ayatollah regime :

Apart from this minority, over 80% of the Iranian people support Reza Pahlavi or are neutral !” He remains a key political figure popular among the people of Iran.

A Parsi representative of the pre-Islamic people of Iran points out that there was no other country he knew of with as extreme a chasm between the people and their government. The Iranian people were cultured, fairly well educated, tolerant, hospitable, hard working and enterprising. In contrast, he lambasts, “these scum bags” have taken the people of Iran to Arbestan of 1400 years ago and have left a legacy of widespread poverty, high unemployment, total lack of respect for women and human rights, an oppressive judiciary as practiced in the seventh century, prostitution through poverty, six million drug addicts and corruption galore. The Iranian people have nothing against anyone except the mullahs and their ways.

Another reader lauds the Shah leadership while castigating the brutality of the ruling clerics. He says, the Shah brought modernity into Iran. He encouraged liberal education both at home and abroad, had social programs and policies to help women… while the Islamists were committing acts of violence across the country and blaming the Shah for cracking down on their brutality. These sub-humans are doing the same…now.

A reader in the West compares Reza Pahlavi with Nelson Mandela, which seems a stretch. But more fair on the balance, he adds, ” Though I cannot agree with everything Mr. Pahlavi says, the important point is that the people of Iran know his love for the country. He is seeking a better life for all Iranians, much like his father did. We had a very good life back during the Shah’s reign. I was young and don’t remember much but I would want Shahzadah Reza Pahlavi back in Iran and back in power….”

Of course, at the head of a democratic government, the reader adds.

Perhaps he is informed of the disconnect the Pahlavis developed with their own people while catering to Western interests, taking to their ways, and pushing the country with unacceptable fait accompli.

Shah-i-Zinda

Journal : June 20, 2013

It’s a depressing morning.

The colossal calamity due Nature’s fury in Uttarakhand is heart wrenching and the global despair I read in outpourings of minds aware dumps me in darkness. In the celestial underground, Sisyphus eyes the rock before starting to heave against it, in order to roll it back up to the top of the hill.

*  *  *

Bank of America- Funding Coal, killing Communities

‘We Were Told To Lie,’

Say Bank Of America Employees

http://fe.gd/yuH

“The government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP),

which gave banks cash incentives to modify loans under certain standards,

was supposed to streamline the process and help up to 4 million struggling homeowners

(to date, active permanent modifications number about 870,000). In reality, Bank of America used it as a tool, say these former employees, to squeeze as much money as possible out of struggling borrowers before eventually foreclosing on them. Borrowers were supposed to make three trial payments before the loan modification became permanent; in actuality, many borrowers would make payments for a year or more, only to find themselves rejected for a permanent modification, and then owing the difference between the trial modification and their original payment.”

Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America’s mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure.

The allegations were made in sworn statements added to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts.

Have we evolved as yet
to having severely punishing laws
against Corporate lies and fraudulent behaviour ?

*  *  *

Call 1098, if you have after-party food that is likely to be wasted !

It’s the Child Helpline in India. They will come and collect the food. It’ll nourish the starved and the half-hungry; and, perhaps, inform him of how the more advantaged in society, in his very own country, live it off.

*  *  *

How Money Makes You Lie and Cheat

http://fe.gd/yuM

The Rich Are Different :

More Money, Less Empathy

http://fe.gd/yuN

Capitalism channelises bothe the strengths and failures of humanity. Unfortunately, the strengths are few; failures more severe and far too many.

But humanity’s misfortune does not end there. It quadruples with capitalist success; for then, they have concentrated the resources and the means of Surround Propaganda, to beat the dead horse to wonderful tunes of intoxicating music !

*  *  *

In my country …

English: Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Thousands have been killed.

Hundreds of Thousands are stranded for days …

in Uttarakhand.

 ‘I watched my wife being swept away by the torrent’ …

Scores of entire villages have been washed away.

The venerated Kedarnath Temple site is back to how it was 500 years ago !

The catastrophe renders our political process so peurile.

The populist democracy has nothing in it to take up long-term interests of humanity.

Do we need an autocratic leadership then ? Yes, but in this very democratic and institutional set up.

English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference
Narendra Modi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We need a leader who strong and wise.

Which is why I regard Sudheendra Kulkarni’s eulogy for BJP‘s LK Advani,

his former boss and mentor, as trash;

his diatribe against Narendra Modi, the one leader I have come to trust for now,

is pure dickscum.

The fellow is making career out political brokering.

Then, there are these small minds who’ve begun their ‘aerial’ visits

and announcing a few ‘millions’ in assistance.

Typically Congressmen, who neither have the balls nor the intelligence

— a perfect mix for moral torpidity, corruption and debauchery.

It has taken the spine out of watchdog institutions,

the bureaucracy and a good part of judiciary.

The Congress leaders compare so vulgarly with the champions who’ve waded the ground with their personal presence, their hand and

RSS Flag
RSS Flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

provisions, medicines and relief. They are the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

the RSS, who are the first and completely engaged with any national calamity anywhere.

Am I ‘Sanghi’ ? They don’t even know that I exist.

Or a ‘BJP’wala ? The answer is the same. I’ve never been anywhere close to them anytime in my life.

All that I observe and assess draws my empathy and affiliation. It political, not politics.

Hell, I would not even exactly agree with the slogan : India First …

If it also does not mean : People First ! That’s where my entire concern is anchored.

the-log-hut-blog-header-009.jpg

Banksters. Medication Killers.

A Cut From Charity

Today, one out of every seven people in America receive taxpayer-funded food stamps.

However, in what is society’s attempt to meet subsistence needs of people in dire situation, JP Morgan’s Christopher Paton told Bloomberg News that “food stamps are big business” for the big bank. Of course, without a hint of shame.

In an environment of welfare inefficiency and lucrative abuse, the poverty industry has a potentially toxic brew of corporate cronyism and government inefficiency that lets food stamp abuse enforcement slip through the bureaucratic cracks.

But how did EBT processors like JP Morgan land its lucrative half-billion dollars worth of contracts ? The GAI report, Profits From Poverty: How Food Stamps Make Corporations Money, says JP Morgan’s political donations to members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees (who oversee the food stamp program) skyrocketed once the bank entered the EBT market !

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/01/Report-JP-Morgan-Makes-Over-Half-A-Billion-Dollars-Off-Food-Stamps

A convenient club of abusers, profiteers and corrupts, that apparently is above board.

Medication Drugs Kill …

Prescription opioid painkillers are responsible for more fatal overdoses in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new study out of Brandeis University.

Opioid painkillers include prescription narcotics such as like Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone), Opana (oxymorphone) and methodone.

“An epidemic of prescription drug abuse is devastating American families and draining state and federal time, money and manpower,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a press release.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/painkillers-kill-more-americans-than-heroin-and-cocaine-2012-9#ixzz2VJKfazc9

Sad ? Funny ? Tragic ? Progress, Development, GDP … WHAT ?
Community or Social failure, it sure is.

The Erudite Activist. Endearing Anarchist.

 

On Left Extremism, Justice And The Sustainability Crisis

With An Impassioned Appeal For Development

Mindful Of The Laws Of Thermodynamics !

Rahul Banerjee is an alumnus of my alma mater. He lives the rational life and his work has almost entirely been in causes that are upper-most in my heart – among the marginalised and the oppressed. You may know more about him from his blog @ http://anar-kali.blogspot.in/ and of his sight on diverse current issues from his page @ https://www.facebook.com/rahul.banerjee.146?fref=ts

In one such interaction on Facebook that covered Left extremists and Sustainability issues, I found his views worthy of reiteration here, on my blog. He expresses well …

Compassion and respect, not extremism …

” One could be a tribal sympathiser, critical of Capitalism (not liberal democracy, mind you, which unfortunately has come to be associated with capitalism) and its rapacious destruction of the environment and society, especially that of the tribals, but sympathising with the poor and being critical of those who exploit and oppress them does not mean being sympathetic to the Maoists.

Rapacious Capitalism is a zero sum game …

“There are farmers who have become millionnaires in indore too, and in the vicinity of most cities, but these are still few in number compared to the total number of farmers in and around these cities. The statement holds good for India entire, where farming has become a loss making profession. Even America, which has become 95% urban by looting the whole world, will find it impossible to survive if it stops doing so. Its a zero sum game – urban prosperity for a few is built on misery for the many across the world. It’s an unpalatable truth that cannot be wished away by resorting to sophistry. Gurgaon is sinking under its own load and the day is not far when it will collapse !!

Yes, it’s a zero sum …

“We are going over the same ground again and again. The zero sum game is a very correct depiction of the natural world because it is based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics. I would advise you to do a deep study of those before suggesting me to read more sophistry based on neo-classical economics, which itself is based on unscientific assumptions. Simon’s book is dated and current exorbitantly rising prices of metals in particular, and commodities and food in general, have taken the bottom out of his reasoning. Anyway there is no point in continuing this debate because it is endless. We can debate with each other endlessly without agreeing, but we cannot do so with nature. The time is not far when nature will hit back with a vengeance… The present selfish mode of development is going to lead to disaster then there will be a reversion to communitarian, unselfish and egalitarian modes. If not, we will all perish !!

Tribal rights with self-rule …

“Not just tribal rights but tribal self-rule of a new kind, in which there is equality and justice for women; because the traditional tribal societies are highly patriarchal. Regarding Maoists, the best thing to do is to ignore them altogether. Their locus and modus operandi ensures they will remain peripheral to both the tribal and the country’s future. It is the Indian State, which continually mismanages its responses, that has led to the Maoists being able to do what they are doing.

Churchill’s Secret War, through wreaking famine …

“To understand this one will have to digress first a bit. Madhusree Mukerjee has written an excellent book called “Churchill’s Secret War”, in which she details on the basis of original historiography how the British Government, led by Churchill, deliberately caused the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 in which, according to conservative estimates, 3 million people were killed.

The Just Rebels, possessed and ruthless …

“What is more interesting in this book is her history of the Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar. When the Quit India

English: Statue of Matangini Hazra on the Maid...
Matangini Hazra, Statue at Kolkata(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Movement was announced on 9th August 1942, the Gandhians in south Bengal region of Tamluk, led by Matangini Hazra, came out onto the streets in large numbers. The British response was to fire on them. Hazra and others died; many were arrested. Those who escaped their fate felt that there was only one way to respond to the British : set aside non-violent methods and take to an underground armed struggle.

“But the only way they could, with their rudimentary arms, was to fight a guerrilla war while ensuring that their movements were not reported to the British. So they conducted a hugely efficient programme of annihilating all the informers. So efficient was this programme that not only were all the informers eliminated but a pervasive fear was created among the people. Effectively, all information flow to the British stopped and the Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar or Tamralipta “national government” was able to rule over their small region for three years. It was only after Gandhi came out of jail and admonished them for what they had done that they gave up their armed struggle and surrendered to the police in 1946.

Recent Darbha Ghati attack by Maoists …

“The important point that comes out of this story is that, for any guerrilla struggle to survive, the rebels

Nepalese Maoists
Nepalese Maoists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

must eliminate all informers, present and potential. And this is what the Maoists have done very efficiently in rural areas; there is little information flow to the Indian State about their local movements. It is inconceivable that, in the recent attack, 200 heavily armed Maoists could have gathered in the Darbha Ghati just 30 kilometers from Jagdalpur without the local people knowing about it. But such is the fear of reprisal on informers by the Maoists that no information of this build up leaked to the police. All they had was an alert from the Centre that Maoist cadre were collecting in Bastar in large numbers for a strike, but nothing about where exactly this was to be executed. Saddled with this information blindness, the team that went to Sukma failed to follow Standard Operating Procedures yet again and came back along the same route, all in one group, and got annihilated. One is left wondering whether the security establishment dealing with the Maoists is a professional institution or a bunch of fools.

How the Maoists succeed …

“That the Maoists do not have an urban connection is a myth. Many politbureau members like Kobad Gandhi have been arrested from urban areas and are now in jail. It is impossible in the present day to conduct an armed struggle in a remote rural area without urban support of various kinds. There is an active urban network of the Maoists that secretly works to provide them with arms and ammunitions, funds, and technical and medical support. While the State may find it difficult to get informers in the rural areas, it is not so in urban areas where the population is too vast and the Maoists operate too secretly for them to be able to eliminate all informers. The State, in its efforts to curtail the Maoists, will obviously crackdown on their urban support lines and in this it has gained considerable success even if tailors, merchants and doctors like Binayak Sen have had to suffer in the process.

Our concern …

“I repeat, the conflict between the State and the Maoists is none of our concern; but for the tribals who die in it, due to operations from both sides, are. We should condemn the murder of tribals regardless of whether it is the State or the Maoists who are killing them, even if it is that of a killer like Mahendra Karma. We should leave both parties to their shenanigans and concentrate on our own struggles.

The immutable laws of thermodynamics …

 “I had asked you to study the laws of thermodynamics and not Georgescu Rogen’s suspect attempt at conflating thermodynamics with economics, which has been rightly critiqued by many. That is why I did not mention his name or the later Marxist extensions of his theories or give links to the voluminous literature along these lines. I will now try to show from first principles, in a simple way, that a lay person can also understand how an “anarchist” interpretation can be done of these laws !!

“The first law says that energy is conserved and, due to the fact that energy and matter are interchangeable, matter too is conserved. So the total energy (including matter) in a closed system like the earth is constant and cannot be increased or decreased. Actually, the earth is an open system because meteorites crash into it from time to time, delivering matter, and the sun continually pumps energy into it; but the meteorite contribution is minimal and the sun’s energy is difficult to convert usefully, for machines to do our work.

Sustainibility …

“Therefore, if one form of energy or matter, especially non renewable energy or matter source, is depleted then it will be converted into another form, limiting the possibilities of its use in future. If soils are exhausted of their natural nutrients and, after some time, artificial nutrients are also exhausted, then it will not be possible to grow food anymore. Similarly, if fresh water sources are exhausted, we will face a more serious crisis. This can be extended to innumerable more examples that are today creating serious problems of sustainability.

“Theoretically, it is possible to convert any form of matter into any other form; there is substitutability potential for energy from matter. But, in practice, this is difficult and requires huge centralised systems which, even if invented, may create their own unforeseen problems. This is why, for all practical purposes, life on earth is a zero sum game.

“Now coming to the more difficult second law : any form of work converts some amount of energy expended into heat energy, which dissipates into the environment increasing disorder due to the increase in temperature within a closed system.

“Fortunately, the earth is not a closed system; it can release the added energy into space. Also, through photo synthesis, plants continually convert solar energy into bound energy we have in wood and food they sythesise. Animals eat this bound energy and do work, producing heat energy in the process. Some of these plant and animal remains have been transformed into fossil fuels, which too have bound energy. However, when we burn these fuels, their energy becomes unbound and contribute heat to the environment.

“Normally, due to the fact that the earth is an open system, the exponentially increasing production of heat energy would not have been a problem because it is miniscule compared to the solar energy added to the earth’s biosphere. But now, due to the increasing concentration of green house gases, especially carbon dioxide, we are slowly converting the earth into a closed system. The pathways to dissipation of heat into space is getting increasingly choked. Simultaneously, we are decimating plant life that convert unbound energy into bound energy. Climate change is a serious reality because of the twin factors we have just described.

The anarchist suggestion …

“We all must pause and seriously ponder over this transition of earth from being an open system it was to being a closed system it is now turning into. The world is experiencing a dangerous rise in temperatures on account of non-dissipation of heat we are adding to our biosphere. Yes, what I am saying is that there is a serious problem and not that there is no solution to it. Since the solution is not yet known, many people are working on it.

“As an anarchist, I feel the solution is in moderating our consumption. Mindful use of matter and energy would regulate the rate of our approach to ecological catastrophy. Ever since the neolithic revolution ten thousand years ago, humans have continually increased their exploitation of nature and it has now reached a crescendo. We need to have a relook at what we are doing. I may be wrong but that is my preference. It is still possible to have a high level of development with environmentally clean technologies, if implemented in a decentralised and egalitarian manner.

“The first ever, and possibly the most succinct, anarchist statement is :

Ishavasyam idam sarvam yat kincha jagatyam jagat

Tena tyaktena bhunjitha maa gridha kasvid dhanam

“Even though this is from the famoust spiritual text Ishavasya Upanishad, as an atheistic anarchist I translate it thus –

All of these in the universe

Belong to Nature;

Partake of it with moderation.

Do do not covet but ponder –

Who do these riches belong to !

“Let us all heed the rational view : There is a severe crisis, of apocalyptic scale, we are building up through our own doing, through the capitalist greed we have allowed for ourselves and the consumerist lifestyle they propagate globally, repeatedly, day in and day out, for their own profit.”

A Sustainable Economy

Is Built On Sustainability Values

Waiting ...

A Page From India’s Recent History …

English: Jawaharlal Nehru, circa 1927
Jawaharlal Nehru – An Epitome OfNaivete, Propaganda And Ineptitude

Essay adapted from Neville Maxwell‘s piece on Rediff online …

Source : http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/oct/08max1.htm

This one is about the lies propagated in respect of the 1962 Indo – China War.

After the 1962 war, the Indian Army commissioned Lieutenant General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P S Bhagat to study the debacle. Their report was never made public and lies buried in the government archives. But some experts have managed to piece together the contents of the report.

One such person is Neville Maxwell, who studied the 1962 war in depth and wrote “India’s China War” and “How The East Was Lost”.

Whilst the Indian government had good reason to keep the Henderson Brooks Report Top Secret in 1963, when it gave only the vaguest and largely misleading indications of its contents, declassifying the Army’s report is absolutely necessary today, for the truth to be out in public space. 

However we look at it, the Nehru Congress government’s effort at playing the duplicitous propaganda game was shameful, even though successful. It convinced the political public that the Chinese, with a sudden ‘unprovoked aggression,’ had caught India unawares in a sort of Himalayan Pearl Harbor. The Report’s cool and detailed analysis, if made public, would have shown that to be self-exculpatory mendacity.

But a series of studies in late 1960s, and through the 1990s, revealed to any serious enquirer the full story of how the Indian Army was ordered to challenge the Chinese military into a conflict it could only lose. Bureaucratic inertia, combined with the natural fading of public interest, could explain the continued non-publication of the Report, but for the fact that so many in India still cling to the soothing fantasy of a 1962 Chinese ‘aggression’ and the disgrace of the Nehru governement that had lied to the Indian public about his ineptitude and his completely avoidable misadventure !

The truth is that by early 1950s the Indian government of Nehru and his acolytes had shaped and adopted a policy whose implementation would make armed conflict with China not only “thinkable” but inevitable. The Sino-Indian borders had been left undefined by the departing British and territorial disputes with China were part of India’s inheritance. China’s other neighbours had settled their borders satisfactorily through the normal process of diplomatic negotiation with Beijing. But the Nehru government decided upon the opposite approach.

Nehru led India along a path whereby the country would, through its own research, determine the appropriate alignments of the Sino-Indian borders, extend its administration to make those good on the ground, and then refuse to negotiate the result. Barring the inconceivable — that Beijing would allow India to impose China’s borders unilaterally and annex territory at will — Nehru’s policy thus willed conflict without “foreseeing” it.

Expectedly, that policy generated friction along the borders and bred a steadily increased distrust, growing into hostility, between the neighbours. By 1958, Beijing was urgently calling for a standstill agreement to prevent patrol clashes and negotiations to agree on boundary alignments. India refused, believing it would be an impediment to intended advances and insisted that there was nothing to negotiate since the Sino-Indian borders are already settled on alignments claimed by India, through “blind” historical process.

Then began India’s accusations that China was committing ‘aggression’ by refusing to surrender to Indian claims. From 1961, India launched its attempt to establish an armed presence in all the territory it claimed, and to extrude the Chinese from there. Observing the Indian Army’s exertions, Beijing issued a series of warnings that the Chinese forces would have to hit back if India did not desist from its expansionist thrust.

Without heeding signs of the impending War, Nehru proclaimed India’s intention to “drive the Chinese out” of areas India claimed. That bravado had by then been forced upon him by public expectations that his charges of ‘Chinese aggression’ had aroused. Beijing naturally read in it a declaration of war. The unfortunate Indian troops on the frontline, under orders to sweep the superior Chinese forces out of their impregnable dominating positions, instantly appreciated the implications : ‘If Nehru had declared his intention to attack, then the Chinese were not going to wait to be attacked.’

On October 20, the Chinese launched a pre-emptive offensive all along the borders, overwhelming the feeble but, in this first instance, determined resistance of the Indian troops and advanced some distance in the eastern sector. On October 24, Beijing offered a ceasefire and Chinese withdrawal on the condition that India agree to open negotiations : Nehru refused the offer even before the text was officially received. Both sides built up over the next three weeks, and the Indians launched a local counterattack on November 15, arousing in India fresh expectations of total victory.

The Chinese then renewed their offensive. Now many units of the once crack Indian 4th Division dissolved into rout without giving battle and, by November 20, there was no organised Indian resistance anywhere in the disputed territories. On that day, Beijing announced a unilateral ceasefire and intention to withdraw its forces : Nehru, this time, tacitly accepted.

Naturally the Indian political public demanded to know what had brought about the shameful debacle suffered by their Army. On December 14, a new Army commander, Lieutenant General J N Chaudhuri, instituted an Operations Review for that purpose, assigning the task of enquiry to Lieutenant-General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P S Bhagat.

*  *  *

The report continues to be classified by the Indian Government . In April 2010, India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the Report could not be declassified because its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value.”

The report is said to be openly critical of the Indian political and military structure of the time, as well as of the execution of operations.

In Feb 2008, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar again requested that the Report be declassified in the interest of national security. It was declined by Minister A K Antony. A call was repeated by senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh on October 21, 2012. Silence … untill the truth will prevail.

The Indian government's 1954 maps unilaterally...
India Government’s 1954 map – unilaterally delimited the Sino-Indian border.

A Word To Us – In India

In conversation … I have the highest of regard for my elder and friend, Sh Basudeb Sen, a learned soul, a tall human being and an independent director for decades. We have agreed on much and differed occasionally on matters that concerns us as individuals, as people and part of global community. This little conversation took place lately on the ruins of Nalanda !

It started with my observation to a pic you can view down below :

Quote 

How #Islam was advanced … Terribly sad event in 1193 AD, when Nalanda University was ransacked, burnt and thousands of Buddhists beheaded by the #Muslim fanatic Bakhtiyar Khilji , a Turk …

Unquote

The picture of the ruins of Nalanda University was accompanied with a small introduction …

In 1193, the Nalanda University was sacked by the fanatic Bakhtiyar Khilji , a Turk. The event is seen by scholars as a late milestone through the decline of Buddhism in India.

The Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj , in his chronicle Tabaqat-I-Nasiri , reported that many of the monks there were burned alive and thousands beheaded as Khilji tried his best to uproot Buddhism and plant Islam by the sword. The library continued to burn for several months and “smoke from smouldering manuscripts hung for days, like a dark pall over the low hills.”

Nalanda was reknowned far and wide … one of the world’s first, perhaps the only residential university then. It had dormitories for students. In its prime, the institution accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers, and was considered an architectural masterpiece. It was marked by a lofty wall and a gate that led to eight separate compounds, ten temples, many meditation halls and classrooms. Within it were were lakes and parks, and a library housed in a nine-storied building that had long rows of books of knowledge and several sections for producing meticulous copies of texts globally in demand.

The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of knowledge, and its portals attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. During the period of Harsha, the monastery is reported to have owned 200 villages, given as grants for its upkeep.

The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang has left for us detailed accounts of the university, as it was in the 7th Century. He described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples, seemed to “soar above the mists in the sky” so that, from their cells, the monks “might witness the birth of the winds and the clouds.”

The pilgrim states, “An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with full-blown cups of the blue lotus; dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there; and outside, groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade.”

*  *  *

Sh Sen wrote in his comment on my observation :

“Why look at the past ?

“(Today) Terrorists and religious fundamentalists have become much more commercially organised in the business of large scale destruction and killing. We have many many Khiljis and their networks operationg all over the World now.”

Though the thought was very pertinent, I found in it a tiresomeness about our history, those events in our past that “dead and gone.”

I believe looking at the past, as it was, is to look at the truth – our own truth. 

Proliferation of terrorists and fundamentalists today is, to a great extent, a consequence of us, and the world, having satisfied ourselves with little understanding of our historical truths. As a result, we are without crucial information to orient and strategise our collective steps through a complicated present, and to create a preferred future for ourselves.

We have even gone about laying a thick layer of fake and fabricated narrative over the facts in our past … a monumental error that keeps us, as a people and as a nation, in the darkness of mere emotional ding-dongs, without the clarity of evidence and data backed knowledge of how we are placed in the present, and why.

That leaves us with little idea of our real strengths, weaknesses and threats, with an entirely dissipated orientation to opportunities and diffused attention to what could have been certain steps to our desired future.

The word to us – in India – reads thus :

My countrymen, the reason we are very poor at identifying our national projects and strategies rests in great measure to our inability to look squarely into the face of our historical truths ?

I may assure you that if we had been good at driving ourselves with a sense of purpose and direction, our land would have been largely free of these puny but bloated identities – liguistic, regional and religious – we carry to war amongst ourselves … 

May we be blessed !

Ruins Of Nalada

An Indian Citizen’s Open Letter …

 

To

Shri Narendra Modi :

 

Sir,

I do not know what fate the 2014 elections will usher. In my own hope however, it is certain that the reins of the country’s administration pass into your hands. Hence in addressing this letter to you, I write to the future Prime Minister of India.

All that is wrong in this country today is well known : people are desperate, frustrated, unhappy and are without any inspiration or hope of an improved life. A perverse reversal of behavior pervades the nation everywhere : national interest, public welfare and the intent of alleviating the wretched lot of the people is singularly absent; mutual goodwill and respect among citizens has largely evaporated. Devotion to duty is a matter of the past.

The condition of people connected with land is deplorable; men are without work and have little opportunity to earn an honest livelihood, women find it extremely difficult to keep the family together. Alcohol is cheap, corrupt schemes to handout doles abound, yet managing food, education, health needs is impossible for most. Some work can be had in the city, but life is hell … people are treated like dogs, without a helpful hand or considerate terms, in dirtiest of cubby-holes. Not much is left after fending off the land sharks, children’s education is often an impossible dream, the water is usually not potable enough, sanitation is lacking, and ailments are treated by dangerous quacks.

This describes the lot of sixty per cent of our country’s population. The next thirty per cent are a little better and in somewhat improved situation. But rarely is anyone in a position to help the needy; most cannot and the few who can have their conscience turned upon their selves.

Socially, we are a divided people, accentuated by the politics about us over past some decades. Justice is too formal, costly and captive to well-oiled speech, legal brokers and money in our pocket. The populace suffers from inferior life-views and values system of mind-catchers with alien religious texts and wads of charity; the insensitivity of people with any status to speak of only reopens their wounds. Each on his mustache, while others sleep with their misery.

These are not conditions that foster hope and pride. Far astrayed from the Sanatan way of this land, selfishness rules and meanness pays, corrupt ways are rewarded, our young girls humiliated and women dishonoured. There is contempt for nature and its bounty is routinely degraded; widespread environmental damage is reduced to departmental sagacity; contaminated water bodies have stopped being the collosal loss they signify … all under the very noses of people charged with responsibility. In such a disappointing dispensation and dysfunctional system, what else could be expected ? Brazen murders, rape, theft, robbery, chaos and disorder, waste, inaction, loss ? Cost overuns by 10,000 % have been heard of but mean nothing to men who matter; inflation is just a number game; and corruption of our most sacrosanct of offices is passed off as characterstic of the times.

I believe that solutions package for the problems cited above is also well known. Yes, our financial market and institutions must be equipped to differentiate between honest savings and dishonest wealth, capital for the eddies and that with nationalist intent. Our country’s interest would not be served by chugging along with US policy and falling in line with its laws. Quits as, a compilation of our nation’s history will never be effected by scholars of the West or historians closed to our literary records.

Sir, this country needs a powerful center and our citizens’ interests will be served by decentralised governance. But, in today’s context, how will it happen without you aspiring single-mindedly for that one position, from where the urgently desired changes can caused to flow ?

For us, the nation, and alternate order the world is waiting for.

Hoping …

An Indian Citizen –

भारत के आम नागरिक का पत्र : श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी के लिए

 

श्रीमान,

मैं नही जानता २०१४ के चुनाव इस देश की किस्मत में क्या लायेंगे। किन्तु स्वयं अपनी आशा अभिलाषा में यह तय है की देश के प्रशाशन की बागडोर आपके हाथ में हो। अतः यह पत्र मैं आपकोभारत के भावी प्रधान मंत्री को, लिख रहा हूँ । 

इस देश और आम जनता की स्थिति सर्वविदित है। लोग हताश हैं, निराश हैं, दुखी और मानहीन हैं। एक अजीब विपरीत व्यवहार सर्वत्र व्याप्त है : देशहित, लोक कल्याण, पारस्परिक सौहाद्र और जनता की कठिनाई का निवारण किसी की निगाह मैं नहीं है। कर्तव्य परायणता तो बीते समय की बात है। वह परिवार जो भूमि से जुड़े हैं, उनकी अवस्था शोचनीय है; पुरुष के लिए काम व आमदनी का साधन नहीं, स्त्रियों को परिवार को बांधे रखने का रास्ता नही। शराब सस्ती है, भोजन दुर्लभ। शहर में काम की कुछ संभावना है, लेकिन जीवन नरक है जैसे लोग न हों, निम्न प्राणी हों रहने की व्यवस्था नहीं, खर्च इतना की किराया के बाद कुछ बचता नहीं, बच्चों की पढाई प्रायः असम्भव है, पीने को स्वच्छ जल नहीं, डाक्टर और इलाज का व्यय तो दूर की बात है। 

ये हालात देश के साठ फीसदी लोगों का है। तीस फीसदी थोड़े बेहतर और थोडे ज्यादा बेहतर स्थिति में हैं। लेकिनशायद ही कोई जरूरतमंद की मदद करने की अवस्था में हो; कुछ जो हैं, उनकी जमीर ही मुड चुकी है। इस त्रस्त जीवन समुद्र में बाकी के दस फीसदी लोगों की एक अलग दुनिया है द्वीप प्राय, कटे हुए, सत्ता और सत्ता की राजनीती से जुड़े लोग जो अपने ही धन और सत्ता के विस्तार में व्यस्त हैं। 

इधर सामाजिक न्यायिक राजनैतिक व्यवस्था ऐसी की बंटी बांटी, हीन विचारों से आघातित, संवेदनहीनता से प्रताड़ित अपनीअपनी मूछें, अपना अपना दुख। सनातन पथ से कोसों दूर ! स्वार्थ, अधर्म, कन्याओं का अपमान, प्रकृति की अवमानना, वनों की कटाई, दूषित जल निधियां शाशनस्थ लोगों के नाक के नीचे। ऐसी व्यवस्था में निराशा, निर्लज्जता, चोरी, लूट और अकर्मण्यता न हो तो कैसे ? निम्न धर्म, दूषित संस्कार और ओछे विचार उसी के अनुरूप व्यवस्था को जन्म देंगे । इन्फ्लेशन मात्र एक संख्या बन रह जाएगी, करप्शन केवल समय का गर्भित संकेत।

मेरी समझ में कोई ऐसा हल नहीं है जो सर्वविदित न हो। हाँ, Financial Market और संस्थाओं को ईमान की पूँजी और बेइमान  के धन में फर्क करने के संस्कारतो होने ही चहिये। हमारे देश का हित अमेरिका की नीति व कानून से नहीं होगा। न ही हमारे राष्ट्र के इतिहास का सही आंकलन पश्चिम के विद्वान कर पायेंगे।

एक परिष्कृत व शक्तिशाली केंद्र हमारे देश की आवश्यकता है और शासन का विकेंद्रीकरण हम नागरिकों की जरूरत। किन्तु, आज के सन्दर्भ मेंयह पूरी तो तब होगी जब आप शीर्षस्थ पद पर आसीन होने का ध्यानस्थ प्रयास करेंगे :

हमारे लिए, देश के लिए, संसारालोक के लिए । 

आशाएं लिए,

भारत का एक आम नागरिक

Rusting Railways, Crumbling Pakistan

One fine journal report among few I have read lately.

The sad story of a theocratic kleptocracy riding the country into failing its own people.

Source :

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/world/asia/pakistans-railroads-sum-up-nations-woes.html?pagewanted=6&_r=2

Report Permalink :

Pakistan Railways
Pakistan Railways (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Capitalist – Their World And Ours

Quote : “… a for-profit enterprise lives and breaths profit…its their oxygen… again its not the objective of a for-profit private enterprise to save the world or help the poor…”

Precisely, my point. It describes their world succinctly.

Borlaug speaking at the Ministerial Methodist ...
Borlaug speaking at the Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology in June 2003

On the other hand, our world and our people

have nothing to do with it; we are not served

in the least by a capitalist’s profit.

We are served by enterprise, inventions,

innovations … not by private profits.

And “for-profit” capitalists are far from being

the only agents for change or at shooting

a new trail for us to take : Marx, Gandhi,

Luther King and Mandela were not.

Dr Norman Borlaug too was not one,

nor were the Curies.

In fact, the capitalist (and their profit) is redundant to our world and the people : it matters little whether they are there or not. They do employ people but most of it is exploitative; it yields money but leaves our people more physically sick, mentally choked and spiritually unhappy than they otherwise would have been.

Haven’t we heard of NikolaTesla ? Nobody has served the world and our people more than his inventions and

Nikola Tesla monument
Nikola Tesla monument 

innovations in modern times.

And he did not give a damn to profits or creating wealth

for himself.

You may read up Edison’s bio, for the contrast.

Similar is the story of the inventor of polio vaccine…

* * *

You say, you are shocked …

Well, it’s good if you are shocked into a glimpse of alternate reality — humanism, for us commoners amounting to 6 billion odd !

Rather than us not getting it, you seem pretty much history-blind and perspective-dumb. Let me explain :

1) Profit is not a bad word for me … it’s a necessity but not connected to the megalomania of the “capitalist.” It’s a business or organisation need, to pay for the cost of funding and operation partnerships, and to remain in business in future. That’s about it; nothing more … and surely not all that wealth accumulation romance that is driving more and aspirants crazy.

2) I don’t see why foregoing his royalty on intellectuall property from the least and less developed eonomies isn’t a much better, more efficient and direct proposition for Bill Gates than depriving them of its free use, collecting the royalty on a shrunk base, piling (hoarding) it up, and then issuing it in accord with his will and fancy as charity !

By foregoing his steep fees in perpetuity, the economies will be able to afford early tech-empowerment and surge faster into managing themselves better, usher in transparent governance and, in addition, enabling its people with all manner of direct and indirect spin-off products and services.

As for Gates, he’ll still be richer than 99.9% of earth’s population with returns from North America, Europe, Far East and sundry other economies with the ability to pay.

3) A compelling reason for foregoing tall piles of concentrated wealth in few hands is that it makes them unduly powerful, with their capacity to influence and make governments in accord with their wishes, and not for what govts are supposed to do — taking care of their land, resources and their people. These render democracies with oligarchical character, or to being subverted into the same plutocracy the world has overtly emerged out of.

That vulgar display of earthquake-proof Antila Mansion by Mukesh Ambani – 27 storeys for 5 people, is a case in point.

Did you notice how our Parliament and Legislatures have already been cast in their very image – 70% odd are crorepatis !

No, Parag, I will accept that it takes all kinds to make up this world, and the capitalist too has a place in it. But he isn’t someone who is aligned with what this world and its people need.

However, I wouldn’t want them to go extinct. But that’s only on account of my love for diversity !

Wheat is the third most produced cereal crop

Dare To Know …

What Is Enlightenment ?

Immanuel Kant 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding,” is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind–among them the entire fair sex–should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts.

Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas, these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use–or rather abuse–of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting nonage. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds.

It is more nearly possible, however, for the public to enlighten itself; indeed, if it is only given freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. There will always be a few independent thinkers, even among the self-appointed guardians of the multitude. Once such men have thrown off the yoke of nonage, they will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable appreciation of man’s value and of his duty to think for himself. It is especially to be noted that the public which was earlier brought under the yoke by these men afterwards forces these very guardians to remain in submission, if it is so incited by some of its guardians who are themselves incapable of any enlightenment. That shows how pernicious it is to implant prejudices: they will eventually revenge themselves upon their authors or their authors’ descendants. Therefore, a public can achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought. New prejudices will serve, in place of the old, as guide lines for the unthinking multitude.

This enlightenment requires nothing but freedom–and the most innocent of all that may be called “freedom”: freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters. Now I hear the cry from all sides: “Do not argue!” The officer says: “Do not argue–drill!” The tax collector: “Do not argue–pay!” The pastor: “Do not argue–believe!” Only one ruler in the world says: “Argue as much as you please, but obey!” We find restrictions on freedom everywhere. But which restriction is harmful to enlightenment? Which restriction is innocent, and which advances enlightenment? I reply: the public use of one’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment to mankind.

On the other hand, the private use of reason may frequently be narrowly restricted without especially hindering the progress of enlightenment. By “public use of one’s reason” I mean that use which a man, as scholar, makes of it before the reading public. I call “private use” that use which a man makes of his reason in a civic post that has been entrusted to him. In some affairs affecting the interest of the community a certain [governmental] mechanism is necessary in which some members of the community remain passive. This creates an artificial unanimity which will serve the fulfillment of public objectives, or at least keep these objectives from being destroyed. Here arguing is not permitted: one must obey. Insofar as a part of this machine considers himself at the same time a member of a universal community–a world society of citizens–(let us say that he thinks of himself as a scholar rationally addressing his public through his writings) he may indeed argue, and the affairs with which he is associated in part as a passive member will not suffer. Thus it would be very unfortunate if an officer on duty and under orders from his superiors should want to criticize the appropriateness or utility of his orders. He must obey. But as a scholar he could not rightfully be prevented from taking notice of the mistakes in the military service and from submitting his views to his public for its judgment. The citizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes levied upon him; indeed, impertinent censure of such taxes could be punished as a scandal that might cause general disobedience. Nevertheless, this man does not violate the duties of a citizen if, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his objections to the impropriety or possible injustice of such levies. A pastor, too, is bound to preach to his congregation in accord with the doctrines of the church which he serves, for he was ordained on that condition. But as a scholar he has full freedom, indeed the obligation, to communicate to his public all his carefully examined and constructive thoughts concerning errors in that doctrine and his proposals concerning improvement of religious dogma and church institutions. This is nothing that could burden his conscience. For what he teaches in pursuance of his office as representative of the church, he represents as something which he is not free to teach as he sees it. He speaks as one who is employed to speak in the name and under the orders of another. He will say: “Our church teaches this or that; these are the proofs which it employs.” Thus he will benefit his congregation as much as possible by presenting doctrines to which he may not subscribe with full conviction. He can commit himself to teach them because it is not completely impossible that they may contain hidden truth. In any event, he has found nothing in the doctrines that contradicts the heart of religion. For if he believed that such contradictions existed he would not be able to administer his office with a clear conscience. He would have to resign it. Therefore the use which a scholar makes of his reason before the congregation that employs him is only a private use, for no matter how sizable, this is only a domestic audience. In view of this he, as preacher, is not free and ought not to be free, since he is carrying out the orders of others. On the other hand, as the scholar who speaks to his own public (the world) through his writings, the minister in the public use of his reason enjoys unlimited freedom to use his own reason and to speak for himself. That the spiritual guardians of the people should themselves be treated as minors is an absurdity which would result in perpetuating absurdities.

But should a society of ministers, say a Church Council, . . . have the right to commit itself by oath to a certain unalterable doctrine, in order to secure perpetual guardianship over all its members and through them over the people? I say that this is quite impossible. Such a contract, concluded to keep all further enlightenment from humanity, is simply null and void even if it should be confirmed by the sovereign power, by parliaments, and the most solemn treaties. An epoch cannot conclude a pact that will commit succeeding ages, prevent them from increasing their significant insights, purging themselves of errors, and generally progressing in enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature whose proper destiny lies precisely in such progress. Therefore, succeeding ages are fully entitled to repudiate such decisions as unauthorized and outrageous. The touchstone of all those decisions that may be made into law for a people lies in this question: Could a people impose such a law upon itself? Now it might be possible to introduce a certain order for a definite short period of time in expectation of better order. But, while this provisional order continues, each citizen (above all, each pastor acting as a scholar) should be left free to publish his criticisms of the faults of existing institutions. This should continue until public understanding of these matters has gone so far that, by uniting the voices of many (although not necessarily all) scholars, reform proposals could be brought before the sovereign to protect those congregations which had decided according to their best lights upon an altered religious order, without, however, hindering those who want to remain true to the old institutions. But to agree to a perpetual religious constitution which is not publicly questioned by anyone would be, as it were, to annihilate a period of time in the progress of man’s improvement. This must be absolutely forbidden.

A man may postpone his own enlightenment, but only for a limited period of time. And to give up enlightenment altogether, either for oneself or one’s descendants, is to violate and to trample upon the sacred rights of man. What a people may not decide for itself may even less be decided for it by a monarch, for his reputation as a ruler consists precisely in the way in which he unites the will of the whole people within his own. If he only sees to it that all true or supposed [religious] improvement remains in step with the civic order, he can for the rest leave his subjects alone to do what they find necessary for the salvation of their souls. Salvation is none of his business; it is his business to prevent one man from forcibly keeping another from determining and promoting his salvation to the best of his ability. Indeed, it would be prejudicial to his majesty if he meddled in these matters and supervised the writings in which his subjects seek to bring their [religious] views into the open, even when he does this from his own highest insight, because then he exposes himself to the reproach:Caesar non est supra grammaticos. 2    It is worse when he debases his sovereign power so far as to support the spiritual despotism of a few tyrants in his state over the rest of his subjects.

When we ask, Are we now living in an enlightened age? the answer is, No, but we live in an age of enlightenment. As matters now stand it is still far from true that men are already capable of using their own reason in religious matters confidently and correctly without external guidance. Still, we have some obvious indications that the field of working toward the goal [of religious truth] is now opened. What is more, the hindrances against general enlightenment or the emergence from self-imposed nonage are gradually diminishing. In this respect this is the age of the enlightenment and the century of Frederick [the Great].

A prince ought not to deem it beneath his dignity to state that he considers it his duty not to dictate anything to his subjects in religious matters, but to leave them complete freedom. If he repudiates the arrogant word “tolerant”, he is himself enlightened; he deserves to be praised by a grateful world and posterity as that man who was the first to liberate mankind from dependence, at least on the government, and let everybody use his own reason in matters of conscience. Under his reign, honorable pastors, acting as scholars and regardless of the duties of their office, can freely and openly publish their ideas to the world for inspection, although they deviate here and there from accepted doctrine. This is even more true of every person not restrained by any oath of office. This spirit of freedom is spreading beyond the boundaries [of Prussia] even where it has to struggle against the external hindrances established by a government that fails to grasp its true interest. [Frederick’s Prussia] is a shining example that freedom need not cause the least worry concerning public order or the unity of the community. When one does not deliberately attempt to keep men in barbarism, they will gradually work out of that condition by themselves.

I have emphasized the main point of the enlightenment–man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage–primarily in religious matters, because our rulers have no interest in playing the guardian to their subjects in the arts and sciences. Above all, nonage in religion is not only the most harmful but the most dishonorable. But the disposition of a sovereign ruler who favors freedom in the arts and sciences goes even further: he knows that there is no danger in permitting his subjects to make public use of their reason and to publish their ideas concerning a better constitution, as well as candid criticism of existing basic laws. We already have a striking example [of such freedom], and no monarch can match the one whom we venerate.

But only the man who is himself enlightened, who is not afraid of shadows, and who commands at the same time a well disciplined and numerous army as guarantor of public peace–only he can say what [the sovereign of] a free state cannot dare to say: “Argue as much as you like, and about what you like, but obey!” Thus we observe here as elsewhere in human affairs, in which almost everything is paradoxical, a surprising and unexpected course of events: a large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. Nature, then, has carefully cultivated the seed within the hard core–namely the urge for and the vocation of free thought. And this free thought gradually reacts back on the modes of thought of the people, and men become more and more capable of acting in freedom. At last free thought acts even on the fundamentals of government and the state finds it agreeable to treat man, who is now more than a machine, in accord with his dignity.

Resource :  http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html

Journal : Ek Doctor Ki Maut

It is the name of a Hindi Movie meaning : The Death Of  A Doctor.

Ashok Khemka writes on Facebook :

“On 11th april, 2013, when I heard a news about the death of the great British physiologist Sir Robert Geoffrey Edwards, a pioneer in ‘In-vitro fertilisation (IVF)’, which led to the birth of the first test-tube baby, I became suddenly sad. The media all over the world was covering his death. No doubt he was a great physiologist : he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of in vitro fertilization.

“But I am not sad about his death. Actually I just remembered one of the my favourite Hindi Movie ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’, directed by Tapan Sinha, and the tragic story of Dr Subhash Mukhopadhyay, on whose life the movie is based.”

Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay was born on January 16, 1931 in Hazaribagh, now in Jharkhand. He graduated in 1955 with an honours degree in physiology and later, in 1958, earned a doctorate in reproductive physiology. In 1967, Dr Mukhopadhya obtained a second doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in reproductive endocrinology.

Kanupriya Agarwal aka Durga, the first test tube baby of India, was brought to life by Dr Subhas Mukhopadhyay on October 3, 1978, just 67 days after the world’s first test-tube baby, Marie Louise Brown, was born. In their procedure, Dr Edwards had collected the ovum by using a laproscope. But Dr. Mukhopadhyay did not; instead, he increased the number of ovum collected by using a hormone, to enhance the probability of fertilisation.

But the country failed Dr Mukhopadhya. In November 1978, an ‘expert committee’ was appointed by the Government of West Bengal under the State medical association to decide over the fate of a “convict” named Dr. Subhas Mukhopahyay. None of committee members had a clue about modern reproductive technology; none had ever seen an embryos in their lifetime.

Dr Mukhopadhya was charged for having claimed that he was the architect of a human test tube baby named Durga. The great Doctor denounced the Committee’s report in the media. He had made the impossible possible with few general apparatus and a refrigerator,  in his small Southern Avenue flat. He never bowed before the bureaucracy and his straightforwardness always evoked jealousy among his peers.

Committee’s Verdict :  “Everything that Dr. Mukhopadhyay claims is bogus.”

Thanks to inimical peers and disinterested bureaucrats, he suffered the punishment of being transferred to ophthalmic department, which sealed his prospect to work on hormones.

Facing social ostracization, bureaucratic negligence, reprimand and insult from the State government, and refusal of Government of India to allow him to attend international conferences, Dr Mukhpadhyay remained in a state of shocked and depression and finally committed suicide on June 19, 1981.

” Termite – in the form of corruption, ignorance, and arrogance of our bureaucrats and politicians – mercilessly finished one more ‘treasure of India’.

” I want to pay a tribute to him by sharing his triumph with you and also I want to share my sadness for the ‘Indian Peaple’ that lost ‘A Great Visionary in the field of Medical Science’.

” Please share this with all your friends, and let every Indian know about this great physiologist.”

For more Hidden Treasures of India, indly visit “http://inspirationalweare.blogspot.com/

Country, Culture And Countrymen

Bhagwad Gita – The most sacred Hindu text propagates sexism and casteism. Texts like these led to complete neglect of women (50% of the society) and segregated a section of society belonging to a particular caste (another 20% of the society). Should this not offend us, that 70% of Indian society was neglected and ostracized because of religious texts?
Gita Casteism
My reply :
Try interpreting it from memes of those times 5000 years ago, and not from our current colonialised “garbage” …
Women – is the principle, not gender. Men can equally vested with it. Its rooted in the things material, the earth, home, belongings … Focused on adding, increasing, nuturing … Attached.Caste – As population divider, derived from its Portugese root. In Gita, the term is “jati,” which is more a person qualifier or descriptive of psyche and life interest …

Vaishya are into material production, commerce and profit-taking;

Shudras are still more coiled in lower tendencies, anchored in the body – food, sex and subsistence – unmindful of what is electable and what is not.

What are the specifics ? Has the fellow visited Gujarat ? Is he looking for perfection in a land of chaos that has seen 100s of riots of all kinds and manner ? Did this person outrage in 1984 … a progrom and genocide proper, with over 20,000 killed ? What does he have to say about scores of people locked in the train at Godhra and burned with deliberation ?

Generics and fluff … But even the imagined can build emotions and generate outrage, isn’t it ?

* * *

India can do better than Modi or Rahul

Anti – Modi outpourings in uncouched and couched terms …

My reply :

X , Y … You wish ! Talking is one thing … and articulation is of special relevance – the gab of those who’ve done little otherwise except earn their bread for their exclusive selves ! Of course, they all have an opinion about someone who has learnt to articulate because he had to, not because he wanted to. And Bongs especially … how dare someone rises above the filth we are submerged in !

To clarify, I have little hope from politicians in general. But I have no axe to grind when I see a phenomenon… which Modi is. Not all our fathers, friends and relatives are equal to it : do I therefore have to box him in ? That’s not my case.

India will arise from what it has, not from people settled in other cultures ! You have views and opinions we have no need of. Frankly, I doubt your management antecedents … especially in Indian context that you have little idea about. 

I am grateful … that we have a Modi and the BJP, who might be full of faults but have that one thing that this nation needs : Continuity and the courage to disregard the “foreigner,” who’ve nothing but an ignorance to grind at our expense.

* * *

Foreigners … Why the hell should they be included in what India is. They’ll come if they find it profitable, money or otherwise. And take away, as it avails. That’s it. 

In fact, that’s the bane that needs to be nicked and snuffed : Foreigners in our affairs !

* * *

Rounding Up

He he … right wing goondas (as the Hindutva protagonist is perceived) ! How many of them have you faced or those who you know have actually experienced their doings ? If you can’t specify, it would be pointer to how imaginary are your emotions and intellectual build up on the matter.

West Bengal has just been “emancipated” from actual Left wing goondas. There are 1000s of stories ppl actually have to tell. I refer you to Basudeb Sen‘s FB TL … he wud be 75, a 60’s graduate, Harvard alumnus and an independent Director on Company boards for long.

Interestingly, did you notice Utsav Mitra’s announcement : He’ll quit his comfy IT job and join the BJP to actively participate and campaign in the run up to 2014 elections ? Then wonder why …

No, you are an Indian, and that needs no certification from anyone. But this being in the cloud, the “tower,” without any real idea of what is happening on the ground, would give you false material to start your ruminations about India, its situation, its trajectory through its present and future.

I am not holding my breath on any expectation of what would happen … who would proved right or wrong. That just isn’t my business. My call is a position I take on matters that matter to our people :

–  Islamic belief system that simply manufacture sub-humans,

–  Maoists that are lost in the yawning chasm between what they want and what they do,

–  Left scums who only have empty heads around figuring out “Party strategies” for their people-be-damned-ideology,

–  the scamming scamsters and subversives of the #Congress and its self-coiled allies …

    all of these I oppose actively, as far as I can.

Finally, I do not have much expectation from politics, much less from politicians !


So, we can still be friends … My brotherhood however admits only those who have sensed the unbroken continuity that our country represents, who can smell its culture and taste its traditions, and who know that it is the only evolved way to universal love and peace in our midst !

Journal : The Self-Denying District Collector !

#Salute this unworldly Civil Servant in a country ridden with corruption, immorality and incompetence … It is these rare instances of steeled moral fibre, honesty and truth, that fill my heart with joy and respect ! Such individuals become mirror to the weak or corrupt, wherever they stand.

“District collector, U. Sagayam of Madurai, Tamil Nadu – By refusing to take bribes, the Madurai collector has earned 18 transfers in 20 years, a modest house and bank balance and lots of respect”

Three years ago, as district collector of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, U. Sagayam voluntarily declared his assets: a bank balance of Rs 7,172 and a house in Madurai worth Rs 9 lakh. Once, when his baby daughter, Yalini, who had breathing problems, was suddenly taken ill, he did not have the Rs 5,000 needed for admitting her to a private hospital. At that time he was deputy commissioner (excise) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and there were 650 liquor licences to be given out. The going bribe for each was rumoured to be Rs 10,000.

(He needs a special mention here because the assets of an IAS officer-couple in Madhya Pradesh were valued at Rs 360 crore. They had 25 flats in three cities)

‘Reject bribes, hold your head high’, says a board hanging above Sagayam’s chair in his modest office. That’s the code he lives by, even if politicians are incensed they cannot bend him their way—he’s been transferred 18 times in the last 20 years—and has made enemies of both superiors and subordinates. “I know I sit under a dangerous slogan and probably alienate people,” he says. “But I have been the same Sagayam from Day 1. Standing up against corruption is not for a season. Nor is it a fad. It’s forever”, he says.

On a hot summer afternoon, on Madurai’s busy main road, the district collector, U. Sagayam, saw a young man talking on a cellphone while riding a motorbike. He asked his driver to wave the man down, got down from his car and meted out instant punishment: plant 10 saplings within 24 hours. Somewhat unconventional justice, some might say. But that’s how Sagayam works.

He also took on a mighty soft-drink mnc when a consumer showed him a bottle with dirt floating in it. He sealed the bottling unit and banned the sale of the soft drink in the city. In Chennai, he locked horns with a restaurant chain and recovered four acres valued at some Rs 200 crore.

Sagayam’s masters degrees in social work and law come in useful in his role as an administrator. He knows the rulebooks in detail and is not afraid of using them, however powerful the opponent. No wonder then that Sagayam’s career is marked with the scars of countless battles.

Sagayam’s wife Vimala has stood by him all these years but she was rattled by some of the threats during the elections. “He always says if you are right, nobody can hurt you,” she says. “But sometimes it becomes difficult.”

Sagayam says he learnt honesty on his mother’s knees.

Share it with others.

Source : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150944548480968&set=a.451805420967.234005.314469365967&type=1&ref=nf

Social Media Citizen Initiative

My thought for the initiative started

with a desire to meet people …

and forge personal links with individuals I would value …

People who are capable of saying, “I want nothing for myself …”

who are already espousing simple human values,

quite apart from the other affiliations they may or not have

politically, socially, professionally or community-specifically. 

 

The initiative will be, by its embracing nature, a global one.

But it will start small with a series of meetings with people in Delhi and around,

before spreading out to Social Media Citizen communities

coordinated by altruistic individuals in other Indian metros.

I imagine the moral support of people who are abroad is invaluable

even though they might not participate in the regular meets

except during their sojourns here …

or of those in India who are unable to travel and be physically present

for whatever reason.

 

We all would have no need of a harangue on what issues to champion

or outrage against. We have already been doing it in our own way,

to the extent we can or are comfortable with. There’s nothing more

to be added or explained.

 

And, this isn’t an organisation in the making with offices and office bearers,

or hard structured hierarchies. If at all, it will be voluntary, found on love

we have for each other, for the spirit we have to welcome or defy.

 

Far from big money, there is no money in this initiative !

Everybody remains as free and unburdened … but now

in association with others who may not exactly be of like mind

but are definitely of like spirit : socially conscious, politically sharp and empathetically universal.

 

I have opened a Google doc for individuals to self – enlist in the initiative

http://fe.gd/6sZ   Please do so. At the moment it has just one … !