Archive

Archive for December, 2010

The IPI-TAPI Story

December 31, 2010 3 comments

Soon after 26/11, before David Headley-Tahawwur Rana revealation, a 2ndlook reader indicated US complicity in Mumbai attacks.

A Pakistani Cartoon.

A Pakistani Cartoon.

The Pakistani jihad in Kashmir

For many years India has been negotiating with Iran and Pakistan for a gas pipeline through Pakistan for conveying Iran gas – usually referred to as IPI gas pipeline – $7.4 billion (Rs. 33,374 crore) Iran-Pakistan-India 2,300km gas pipeline project. Iran and Pakistan threatened to go ahead with China instead. Seems like an empty threat.

Soon after 26/11, a reader of the 2ndlook pointed out that biggest beneficiaries of 26/11 was possibly China and the West. So would be the Central Asian oil producers. After 26/11, the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline  was a dead duck. He speculated that the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), a 1,044-mile pipeline, would be a clear winner. It seemed so outlandish at that time – but it has actually happened. By the way, India attended the first TAPI summit held at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in April 2008.

Some interesting parallels

The point man for the sponsors of the Mumbai 26/11 attack was David Coleman Headley – a CIA agent – the brains behind the 26/11 attack. After 26/11, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) oil/gas pipeline was in jeopardy. Even before that as India and the USA were readying the world for a nuclear deal, the last meeting on the IPI pipeline between Iran, Pakistan and India happened in July 2007.

Instead, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) is being pushed by the Americans. Now all this would have been unremarkable – except that a 2ndlook reader predicted this turn of events 2 year ago.For many years India has been negotiating with Iran and Pakistan for a gas pipeline through Pakistan for conveying Iran gas – usually referred to as IPI gas pipeline. Who wins. Many think it is China.

Are we just getting some bedtime stories?

Are we just getting some bedtime stories?

With India fixated on Pakistan how much does our security apparatus think of the West being the conspirators behind this attack? Two years after the 26/11 attack, this rather curious post appeared in Times of India.


Champions at Genocide – Taimur Leng and Churchill

December 31, 2010 7 comments
Cartoonist Leslie Illingworth's faithfully reproduces Churchill's views on India. (Cartoon courtesy - cartoons.ac.uk; Published - Daily Mail, 20 May 1947).

Cartoonist Leslie Illingworth's faithfully reproduces Churchill's views on India. (Cartoon courtesy - cartoons.ac.uk; Published - Daily Mail, 20 May 1947).

Hitler believed that the so-called Nordic race, which in his view included Germans and Britons, was destined to rule the world. He sought to emulate, not supplant, the British Empire: the German empire would comprise the Slavic countries to the east. As he saw it, the United Kingdom would retain its colonies but assume the role of Germany’s junior partner in world domination. (read more via Churchill’s Dark Side: Six Questions for Madhusree Mukerjee—By Scott Horton (Harper’s Magazine).

Eat what you can digest

Looking at the lukewarm  coverage, desultory reporting and the general indifference to Madhusree Mukerjee’s masterly work on the Bengal Famine, I am drawn to some intriguing conclusions.

‘Modern’ Indians can be satisfied with perception and propaganda. Easier to digest, I presume. Empirical evidence be damned. Between the Rightist Islamic-atrocities and the Marxist effete-feudal theologies, Indian history suffers. At this rate, India will become another case of ‘forget-nothing-learn-nothing’.

Indian military might

The commentators are very enamored by ‘victims-of-Islamic-atrocities’ narrative – even though India’s military might would have reduced these ‘invasions’ to extensive plunder-pillage-massacre expeditions. In the few cases where these ‘invasions’ were able to consolidate, the regimes were short-lived.

British jaziya tax?

The crippling taxes that these Islāmic ‘invaders’ were able to impose, were less crippling than Western colonial extraction. At the end of the Mughal Raj, India was still a formidable economy. Even after, the Mughal rulers had bloated their treasury to the largest in the world. By the time the British were sent packing, Indians were left struggling for roti-kapda-makaan.

Taimur and Churchill

The Delhi massacre of Taimur Lame, the Mongol looter accounted for less than 2 lakh victims (most estimates are 1,00,00). The Bengal Famine engineered by the British accounted for 40-50 lakh victims (British estimates are 10,00,000-20,00,000). Taimur was a Hindu-hating Islāmic plunderer. Churchill and the British Raj oozed the milk of human kindness? From every pore and orifice of their bodies?

Westernization – the new religion

So enamored with the new religion of ‘Westernization’ are we, that no criticism will be accepted or tolerated. Compared to the ‘co-operation’ with the Islāmic plunderers our ‘collaboration’ with the West is in no way less damaging or in any way less culpable.

Not a welcome message, I guess.

<!–[if !mso]>

Eat what you can digest

Looking at the lukewarm coverage, desultory reporting and the general indifference to Madhabi Mukherjee’s masterly work on the Bengal Famine, I am drawn to some intriguing conclusions.

‘Modern’ Indians can be satisfied with perception and propaganda. Easier to digest, I presume. Empirical evidence be damned. Between the Rightist Islamic-atrocities and the Marxist effete-feudal theologies, Indian history suffers. At this rate, India will become another case of ‘forget-nothing-learn-nothing’.

Indian military might

The commentators are very enamored by ‘victims-of-Islamic-atrocities’ narrative – even though India‘s military might would have reduced these ‘invasions’ to extensive plunder-pillage-massacre expeditions. In the few cases where these ‘invasions’ were able to consolidate, the regimes were short-lived.

British jaziya tax?

The crippling taxes that these Islamic ‘invaders’ were able to impose, were less crippling than Western colonial extraction. At the end of the Mughal Raj, India was still a formidable economy. Even after, the Mughal rulers had bloated their treasury to the largest in the world. By the time the British were sent packing, Indians were left struggling for roti-kapda-makaan.

Taimur and Churchill

The Delhi massacre of Taimur Lame, the Mongol looter accounted for less than 2 lakh victims. The Bengal Famine engineered by the British accounted for 40-50 lakh victims. Taimur was a Hindu-hating Islamic plunderer. Churchill and the British Raj oozed the milk of human kindness? From every pore and orifice of their bodies?

Westernization – the new religion

So enamored with the new religion of ‘Westernization’ are we, that no criticism will be accepted or tolerated. Compared to the ‘co-operation’ with the Islamic plunderers our ‘collaboration’ with the West is in no way less damaging or in any way less culpable.

Not a welcome message, I guess.

Shortlink

http://dlvr.it/CQTYh

The case against Indian historians

December 24, 2010 47 comments
Eminent Historians - Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud By Arun Shourie (Image courtesy - amazon.com).

Eminent Historians - Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud By Arun Shourie (Image courtesy - amazon.com).

Shourie’s two legs

Arun Shourie’s book, Eminent Historians, covers an important subject – Indian history. Shourie makes out a case that Indian media and academia have done a bad job of cleaning up Indian history. Colonial inversions, ommissions and distortions continue to plague Indian history – more than sixty years after British were sent packing. If Indian history is in bad shape, Marxist historians are to blame – says Shourie.

Using extensive primary sources, ranging from the Koran to Guru Granth Sahib (Chapter 13), from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Mao, Shourie’s builds excellent scaffolding. He uses his famed journalistic skills to uncover accounting scams in the academia.

The tactics used by these ‘non-productive’ academics to smear and attack critics, evade accountability are well exposed by Arun Shourie (Chapter 5 & 6). Whether dealing with the decline of Buddhism, or the outright falsification of Indian history, deliberate avoidance of evidence, while obvious in some cases (AIT, AMT) to see it exposed again is a shock (Chapter 11 & 15).

Two-legged theory

Since, Arun Shourie’s thesis is, by this time, well-accepted, more on this may not be useful. Instead, an examination of the non-Marxist structures are worth examining

Arun Shourie’s book, Eminent Historians, walks on two legs – the legs of religion and right-wing political ideology. Two rather weak concepts. It is worth remembering that the concepts of political Right and Left were defined, when European economies struggled with the end of slavery (1830-1860) and serfdom (1830-1910).

How isms work. A popular cartoon n the internet.

How isms work. A popular cartoon n the internet.

Right … Left … Same difference

Faced with a restive labour force, Europe adopted two distinct paths. Left and Right. In both cases the end results were the same – concentration of wealth, power and land in the hands of the elite. To European citizenry, it finally was a choice between two elites – a Leftist coterie and Rightist cliques.

These European concepts never worked well in India, where polity changes followed a different trajectory.

History in a box

Unfortunately, Shourie also limits Indian history to India’s boundaries. He cannot see the global canvas on which Indian history has played out over the last thousands of years.

Or the agenda of ‘external’ forces that continue to define Indian history. For instance, of the 911 World Heritage Sites, just three Hindu temples figure on the list. It has recently been decided that 2 temples each in Indonesia, Thailand and Nepal would be added.

Money isn’t everything?

Regrettable as it is, Arun Shourie also expects Indian historians to work on starvation diets and shoe-string budgets of Rs.12,000 (Chapter 2, 3 & 4). In the best of times, Rs.12,000 is not enough to pull out one sheet of sensible history.

To be fair to Indian academia, they have been usually under-funded and over-looked. Is it surprising that Indian historians seem to be writing and catering to the West?

Hagiography isn’t quite history

A large part of Arun Shourie’s narrative rests on accounts written by Islamic court-historians (Chapter 10, 12). These court-historians were appointed and rewarded to write glowing and exaggerated acconts of their patron’s campaigns. These hagiographic accounts of Islamic conquerors, written by court-historians, do talk of slaughter, loot, enslavement, mass conversions.

The most interesting exception is Shourie’s reference to Guru Nanak Dev’s description of Islamic atrocities in Guru Granth Sahib (Chapter 13) .

Gold, gems, jewelry

Temple destruction can be better understood by two things. One – temple wealth. A recent report revealed that the Tirupati temple alone has more than 8000 kg of gold. (Business Standard Page 1; December 18 2010) How much gold do the temples of Sabarimalai, Jagannath Puri, Madurai Meenakshi have? This temple wealth is not a modern phenomenon.

Would these temples not be tempting targets for loot and enslavement expeditions? Add to this temple wealth, the opportunity to capture slaves and extract ransom. Or capture of valuable military targets like horses, elephants, camels, gunpowder from India.

Islamic armies comprised of landless peoples, without wealth, many of them slaves,  drafted into a loot and enslavement expedition by Islamic brigades. Fed on a thin gruel of riches from loot and plunder, the religious sanction and justification was the topping, the cherry on the cake. Religion, after all, was invented in the Desert Bloc to give a cover to the loot and enslavement expeditions.

The Desert Bloc has consistently resorted to ‘relegiofication’, a tactic defined by Eric Hoffer – and something that Arun Shourie also refers to (Chapter 18).

Learning from history

From their Islamic rulers, the Spanish also learned  how to use religion to cover loot and enslavement expeditions. Spanish loot and enslavement expeditions to South America were also couched in religious garb. Portuguese, in the Mughal court were viewed suspiciously, as they too tried to give their trading activities a religious cover.

A Picasso rendition of the killings in Kora by Americans soldiers.

A Picasso rendition of the killings in Korea by Americans soldiers.

Till 1857, the British followed the Spanish model, and used religious logic, to justify their plunder and massacre in India. The British used religious differences to foist artificial Muslim ‘leaders’ on India – to finally partition India. While Shourie is critical of these Muslim ‘leaders’ (rightly), of Nehru (partly to blame), he is gentle in his criticism of the British role (Chapter 14).

The Desert Bloc has liberally and continuously used religious logic, to justify their plunder and massacre. In modern times, the new religion is ‘democracy’, ‘fredom’, ‘threat of communism’, etc. for wars by the West in Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. In the name of ‘progress’, regime changes were attempted and /or made in Chile, Congo, Cuba, Haiti, Hawaii, Iran, Pakistan, Panama et al

Western propaganda has made us aware of atrocities, genocides, massacres in Islamic and Marxist regimes. Strangely, Arun Shourie has no objections to non-communist and non-Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres – in India and the world. While Shourie talks of 1400 years of Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres, (page 222) there is not a word of Western (more during Christian rule) atrocities, genocides, massacres. Is it ignorance – or just plain infatuation with the West, Arunbhai?

Arun Shourie effectively brings out how Indian-Leftist political parties looked towards Soviet Russia and China now, for direction, inspiration – and even instructions (Chapter 9).

How different is that from Shourie’s own loyalty to ‘capitalist-Western’ ideology. His rose-tinted view of capitalist ideologues makes his thesis brittle (Chapter 18). Is this because Arun Shourie has still not discarded his World Bank lenses? To the extent of minimizing the role of slavery in Greek and Roman territories (Chapter 16; page 188). Shourie’s inability to see Soviet collapse, in economic terms (collapse in oil prices), but only in ideological terms is shocking (pages 220-221).

More than priests

It may also be worthwhile to examine the role of Brahmins in military strategy. Recall how Alexander massacred thousands of Brahmins, after they organized a successful opposition to Alexander’s campaign.

Bakhtiyar Khilji’s (errata – earlier wrongly mentioned as Allauddin Khilji) destruction of Nalanda (1193 AD)may have been due to the collaboration between gunpowder producers and the Indian academia. How could the area around Nalanda become the world’s largest producer of saltpetre – a high-technology, essential and scarce element for gunpowder, unrivalled in the world.

Purbias, soldiers from the Eastern India (Bihar and Bengal) were in great demand, due to their expertise in explosives. Recruited by Ranjit Singhji’s armies, preferred by the British, the Purbias were also at the vanguard of the 1857 Anglo-Indian War.

The British villification of Indian Brahman also started soon after the kaala paani campaign by Indian Brahmans slowed British recruitment of indentured labour.

The imagery of rampant Islamic invaders, to which Arun Shourie subscribes, massacring helpless Indians, does not quite hold up – except in Islamic and Colonial narratives. The court historians’ caricature of Indians as perennial victims of invading hordes does not sit well – with facts, logic or commonsense.

I am not impressed

If these ‘official’ Islamic court-historian accounts are true, the final tally of conversions was not very impressive (Chapter 10). Just 25% of the Indian population was Islamic, at the time of independence. Divided into about 12 major sects, like Sunni, Shia, Bohri, Khoja, Ahmadiyya, etc., most Muslims were economically and educationally backward. Not quite the picture of successful invaders. (Many faces of Islam by Mohammed Wajihuddin – ToI: December 23 2010: Page 21).

Timur (1336–1405), the Mongol ruler, shown in this painting from Zafer Nameh (Book of Victory) from 1600. (Image source - BRITISH LIBRARY / HIP / ART RESOURCE; Image courtesy - saudiaramcoworld.com).

Timur (1336–1405), the Mongol ruler, shown in this painting from Zafer Nameh (Book of Victory) from 1600. (Image source - BRITISH LIBRARY / HIP / ART RESOURCE; Image courtesy - saudiaramcoworld.com).

Colonial history … and historians

The Islamic-conquest of India, is a narrative popularized by colonial historians. First, while Shourie talks of Islam through the prism of Arabic Muslims, we must remember it was not the Arabic dynasties of Sufyanids, Marwanids, Ummayads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Aghlabids, Hafsids who conquered and ruled over India. The answer to the riddle of Islam in India, is not in Arabia but 2000 miles east. In the vast steppes of Mongolia.

Muslim Mongolians

The biggest surge in Islamic population came after Mongol rulers, descendants of a non-Islamic Genghis Khan, converted to Islam. The success of Islamic invasions of India too increased after the Mongol Empire became Islamic.

It was not the Arabs, but the Turko-Afghans, from Ferghana to Kabul, who were able to establish rule over India. This region of Ferghana to Kabul, peppered with temples, stupas, Buddhist monastries was considered as a part of India. Military campaigns from this area were no foreign invasions.

Without Indian alliances

This aspect of non-foreign campaigns is more important than just chauvinism. India’s military lead over the rest the world was as formidable as its wealth.

War elephants, an Indian monopoly and specialty, were a feared armour corps, unmatched by any army in the world for 3000-4000 years. Persians, who were clients for Indian war elephants, paid a heavy price after ignoring Indian war elephant corps. The Persians could not stand up to the Arabs; were overrun and Islamized.

Indian cavalry units were legenday – as the inventors of the stirrups. As the largest producer of saltpetre, India’s gunpowder production was twice as large as the rest of the world combined. Behind the might of the British Empire was Indian saltpetre – an essential and scarce element for gunpowder. Behind the British Naval power, was Indian shipbuilding. With such overwhelming military advantages, invading India was not everyone’s cup of tea.

Thus, intra-India alliances were essential for access to elephants, cavalry, explosives and other war material – paving the way for military success.

Maghoki-Attar ("Pit of the Herbalists") named after a nearby spice bazaar, a 12th century mosque, in Bukhara, built on top of a a Zoroastrian temple  (5th century) built after destroying a Buddhist temple.

Maghoki-Attar ("Pit of the Herbalists") named after a nearby spice bazaar, a 12th century mosque, in Bukhara, built on top of a a Zoroastrian temple (5th century) built after destroying a Buddhist temple.

Slaves for monument building

Monument building surged soon after the Mongol Empire became Islamic. This monument building needed slave labour. Slave-traders catered to the demand for slaves from the vast Mongol Empire, capturing Indians, protected by the Turko-Afghan regimes, like the Mughals in India.

The corridor of slavery

Usually overlooked, never factored, slavery accounted for a large amount of ‘traffic’ from India to Central Asia. The Khyber Pass was the largest corridor for slave trade and traffic, till it was overtaken by trans-Atlantic African slave trade by Europeans, 15th century onwards.

The name Hindu Kush was not due to the killings by invading armies, but the deaths of Hindu captives, as they were transported to Central Asian markets, across barren, cold mountain passes.

The Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarkand built by Taimur, the Mongol, after his India raid.

The Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarkand built by Taimur, the Mongol, after his India raid.

More than aphorisms

The important question that Shourie needs to ask – and he does not is, “Why did people give up pagan or other systems for Desert Bloc religions?” Or for that matter why did people accept Buddhism? Mostly, religion conversions were not forced, I believe. It was also not pretty statues, sonorous chants, elaborate temples or majestic mosques.

The reasons maybe somewhere else.

Dharma and moksha

Indic polity, society, culture, ethics did not allow slave trade. For the marginally ethical, religious conversion was the license to participate in slave trade. Conversion to Islam was a way to wealth and power. Much like Westernization is today.

The other distinction which Shourie blurs many a time in his book, is between Islamic rulers and generals (the perpetrators of these massacres and atrocities) and the ordinary Muslim of today (Chapter 14). If the Vatican has committed massacres and atrocities, will we hold every Christian guilty? For crimes committed by a ‘Hindu’ Government, will Arun Shourie hold ordinary ‘Hindus’ responsible?

Same logic.

But Shourie’s logic sometimes escapes me. For instance when Shourie goes onto ‘expose’ double-standards. He criicizes the system for not opposing Mayawati’s ‘murti-abhiyaan’ – but will not accept State installation of statues of Lord Rama (page 200).

Duh!

Follow me … Worship me

Remember, how Hiranyaksha asked his own son, Prahlad and his subjects to treat and pray to him as god. Are Desert Bloc religions different from Hiranyaksha’s religion?

Arunbhai, the real battle is the battle between a sur Bharattantra and the asuric Desert Bloc ideologies. And these battles play out over centuries.

Arun Shourie’s book is an invaluable contribution to the ‘failure-by-Indian-historians’ thesis. Shourie allows his anti-left bias (for good reasons) to over-ride his better judgment, I believe. That is why Arun Shourie is so depressing, when the Indian position seems to inspire optimism the world over.

Astronomy and dating of Indian texts

December 14, 2010 5 comments
DATING THE ERA OF LORD RAM:Discover The Actual Dates Of The Lifetime Of Lord Ram (Paperback) by  Pushkar Bhatnagar

DATING THE ERA OF LORD RAM:Discover The Actual Dates Of The Lifetime Of Lord Ram (Paperback) by Pushkar Bhatnagar. Click for larger image.

A new 2ndlooker …

Ganesh Arnaal, a web pioneer, the brain behind mdspeak.com, and a recent 2ndlooker, took the trouble of sending over two books to me. The first book was Dating the Era of Lord Ram by Pushkar Bhatnagar.

Sixty seconds’ worth of distance run

A few years ago, using Valmiki Ramayan and the Planetarium software, the late Pushkar Bhatnagar was able to verify the dates in Valmiki Ramayan – which are presumably that of the real Raghu Ramchandra’s life also. Results were further tested on two other astronomy software platforms by Pushkar Bhatnagar, suffering from cancer of the kidney.

Ancient astronomy

Valmiki Ramayan provides some 50 astronomical descriptions – a combination of planets, stars, sun, moon, solar and lunar eclipses, seasons, months, weather and climate. All allusions do not give all details, but lesser descriptions fit the geater matrix.

Some of the planetary and star positions, given in Valmiki Ramayan, visible to the naked eye, occur once in 25,920 years, explains Pushkar Bhatnagar. For instance, 2 solar eclipses and 1 lunar eclipse in a short span of 11 months are described in Valmiki Ramayan.

The cosmic spectacle on Sri Rama Navami – 10th January 5114 BCE – Birth Day of Rama Observation at 12.30 p.m. (Picture from Dating the Era of Lord Ram by Pushkar Bhatnagar; picture courtesy - kalyan98.wordpress.com).

The cosmic spectacle on Sri Rama Navami – 10th January 5114 BCE – Birth Day of Rama Observation at 12.30 p.m. (Picture from Dating the Era of Lord Ram by Pushkar Bhatnagar; picture courtesy - kalyan98.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

Assuming that Raghu Ramchandra was born in the last 30,000 years, Pushkar Bhatnagar has worked out the birthdate of Raghu Ramchandra – 10th January, 5114 BC, 7000 years ago. This inner consistency in Valmiki Ramayan is remarkable – considering that we are talking about a 7000 years old text.

Augean stables

The one apparent drawback in Pushkar Bhatnagar’s book is the lack of an index. Surprising omission. Apart from technical errors like English calendar. What he calls the English calendar is actually the Gregorian calendar – a recent invention, which is a simple solar calendar.

The Indian calendar system is more comprehensive – synchronizing the lunar, solar, planetary and constellation movements. The only one of its kind in history. To add to this complexity, throw in a competing system. The Shaka Samvat calendar, used in Western and South India. The Indian calendar system requires fabulous mathematical skills, tools and techniques. These were skills that thousands of Indians students of jyotish gyan mastered and transmitted across centuries.

Cynics is what cynic does

There has been speculation that these astronomical observations in ancient Indian texts were ‘recent’ insertions or simply a ‘mythological’ technique. Pushkar Bhatnagar claims that some unnamed Western historians have alleged that these astronomical observations were mala fide insertions to ‘back-date’ Indian history.

Shakuntala Devi reveals a few of her 'tricks' in her book - Figuring - The Joy Of Numbers  By Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi reveals a few of her 'tricks' in her book - Figuring - The Joy Of Numbers By Shakuntala Devi

Pushkar Bhatnagar depends on modern mathematics to certify that such mathematical calculations were not possible in ancient or even during colonial periods – but only after the advent of computers and modern astronomical softwares. Hence, Pushkar Bhatnagar claims, these astronomical observations in Valmiki Ramayan are not subsequent insertions.

Shakuntala Devi

He is wrong. Shakuntala Devi Paranjpe, an Indian mathematical wizard, could do huge calculations in milliseconds to seconds. In some cases, faster than computers, is something, she says, she learnt from her father.

Unlike many other calculating prodigies, for example Truman Henry Safford, her abilities did not wane in adulthood. In 1977 she extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally. On June 18, 1980 she demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London. She answered the question in 28 seconds. However, this time is more likely the time for dictating the answer (a 26-digit number) than the time for the mental calculation (the time of 28 seconds was quoted on her own website). Her correct answer was 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730. This event is mentioned on page 26 of the 1995 Guinness Book of Records ISBN 0-553-56942-2.

Shakuntala Devi - Photo courtesy - reuters.com; By Vijay Mathur).

Shakuntala Devi - Photo courtesy - reuters.com; By Vijay Mathur). Click for larger image.

Shakuntala Devi Paranjpe’s father was adept at jyotish gyan – apart from acrobatics, card tricks, etc. Jyotish gyan, one of the six vedangs, necessary to understand the vedas. Hence, these calculations were possible in ancient (and modern times) using Indian mathematical tools. But not by using modern mathematical tools.

The answer lies in exposing the cynicism – and not by giving answers or convincing them. Remember – what Peter says about Paul, says more about Peter than about Paul.

The dogs that did not bark …

December 11, 2010 3 comments

A popular cartoon on the 2G 'Scam | Cartoonist: Satish Acharya; source & courtesy - cartoonistsatish.blogspot.in | Click for a larger source image.

The league of 2ndhanders

This is N Ram of The Hindu, triumphantly using what he thought, was the clinching argument. Speaking about journalistic etiquette of Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi on the Niira Radia Tapes.

N.Ram: One thing I know, Karan. This would not be tolerated in The BBC or The New York Times or The Financial Times …

Karan Thapar: … (interrupts) … I will take that as a hint …

N.Ram: … (continues) … Your career would be over, once that  happened …

Karan Thapar: I will take that as a hint even though you have not said it upfront that if it would not be tolerated by the The BBC or The Financial Times and I  presume you include the Hindu and although you have not named it you are also suggesting that it should not be tolerated by the Hindustan Times and NDTV …

(via The Last Word, broadcast on  27th November 2010 at 7.45 pm with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN; click on the link to get the video; transcript mine.)

A gap-fill PM ... waiting for Rahul-baba to takeover. (Cartoonist - Manjul).

A gap-fill PM ... waiting for Rahul-baba to takeover. (Cartoonist - Manjul).

Checkmate?

This was N Ram’s clinching argument! His BIG idea! Is this all he can summon to damn this behaviour. Can he not think beyond BBC, Financial Times, New York Times, as a benchmark?

Ask me.

N Ram stands damned more than Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi. For how long will the owner-editor for India’s oldest English newspaper allow BBC, Financial Times, New York Times, to decide the standards on which The Hindu will be run?

Looking at N Ram’s aesthetic moorings, is it surprising that The Hindu remains unappetizing, like stale rasam!

Holmes …

Importantly, and interestingly, no one else on the panel found this ‘standard’ worthy of objection, laughter, derisive dismissal – anything at all.

Excerpt from the Silver Blaze

Inspector Gregory: “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Inspector Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Sherlock Holmes: “That was the curious incident,”

Related links

Some Telephone Conversations

All Lines Are Busy

The Vir Sanghvi- Niira Radia Tapes

Africa – A Problem of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’

December 9, 2010 1 comment
The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

EU trade policy has long been hijacked by European business, which wants raw materials at cheap prices. EU priorities are a mirror image of positions adopted by corporate lobby groups. The commission frankly states: “We will rely on EU business to provide much of the information on the barriers which affect their trade or investment with third countries.”

There is a serious risk that Europe’s budget and unemployment crisis will put policymakers even more in hock to the demands of big business.

Opposition from Africa

It is hardly surprising that European policy faces mounting opposition from most African countries, which have long opposed signing investment agreements with the EU. The Raw Materials Initiative should be opposed by Europe’s citizens, too, because it distracts from the need to reduce their own consumption. Europeans already consume four times as much as the average African. (read more via The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : The European Union’s ugly resource grab).

Idea of ‘exploiting’ resources on the cheap

To take away rights from people ‘who do not know the value’ of such resources (Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Africans) and transfer property rights to the ‘discoverer’ of these resources is an old idea which strangely finds legitimacy, even after 400 years of bad experience. Ranging from Spain to Belgium, with the Dutch and the English, all joined in this ‘resource’ grab. And this saga continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

Bankruptcy of ideology – ism, cracy and archy

In some case, modern nation-States based on various ‘isms’ (Capitalism, Communism, Socialism) combine with various ‘archy’ (monarchy, oligarchy) and ‘cracy’ (democracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy) continue to ensure that power and wealth remains in the hands of very few. The Rest of Us have to be happy with illusion of being equal, of having power over leaders, etc. And no.

This power does NOT flow from the barrel of the gun – but from limiting access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). Instead of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’, what the world needs is a system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

India Non-Violent Struggle? The Myth

December 9, 2010 7 comments
Blaming political opponents is easier. Naxalism is one such trick. For 250 years, the Indian State has not solved this problem.

Blaming political opponents is easier. Naxalism is one such trick. For 250 years, the Indian State has not solved this problem.

The Madhya Pradesh Government are in consultation with the Centre on the action to be taken regarding Maharajah Pravinchandra Bhan Dev, Ruler of the erstwhile tribal State of Bastar in southern Madhya Pradesh. Among the charges against the Maharajah are that he has been inciting the Adivasis who number about eight lakhs to violence. The situation there is very delicate and calls for careful handling. The Adivasis still look upon the Ruler of Bastar as a representative of the Goddess Danteswari Mata in whose name the Maharaja ruled just as the Travancore Maharajahs ruled in the name of Lord Padmanabha. (read more via The Hindu : Today’s Paper / MISCELLANEOUS : This day that age).

Sense of priority

Bastar’s tribal peoples were never the quiet type. The British discovered that early in the day. The newly minted Indian State also discovered this – as this 50 year-old news-item shows. And that can be said for most tribals across the plateau. The tribal disaffection with the idea of the ‘modern’ State has been a permanent feature. It is all credit to the Unlettered Indian (aka The Indian Voter) who has been able to distinguish between shades of power grab.

Militant Maoists are seeking to using this disaffection for a power-grab. Just like Kashmiri terrorists. To impose a worse form of the ‘modern’ State – the Islāmic type in Kashmir or the maoist type in various tribal lands.

Increasing power and spending is the way of all 'modern' States! (Cartoonist - Daryl Cagle)

Increasing power and spending is the way of all 'modern' States! (Cartoonist - Daryl Cagle)

Sense of priority

These same tribals, now branded as Maoists, Naxalites, organized themselves into many armies and fought British armies for more than a 100 years. For the same reasons. Land grabbing by the State. The Indian State would do well to learn from the British experience. Probably, the modern Indian State does not know its own history – and believes in its own propaganda.

Official history, strangely, does not tell us that between 1800-1947, apart from the Anglo-Indian War of 1857, there were more than 75 battles, skirmishes, revolts, mutinies, involving thousands, up to lakhs of Indians, across India. And more than double that many conspiracies, hold-ups, explosions, bombings, which were not organized. These more than 200 violent actions have been completely glossed over by post-colonial India’s historians. Obviously, more than 200 incidents of violent opposition to British misrule over 150 years (1800-1947) deserves better treatment by official historians. Especially, the people who fought most of these battles.

The tribals.

Sense of priority

The Anglo-Mysore Wars, Anglo-Maratha Wars, the Sikh Wars, the Afghan Wars plagued British misrule in India.The 1857 Anglo-Indian Wars were a landmark in opposition to colonialism. These were the major conflicts that continued to blaze across India.

Apart from these major conflagrations, significant opposition to the British misrule came from Indian forest-dwellers and migratory peoples. The Chotanagpur area (Surguja, Ranchi and Hazaribagh areas) passed to the British from Mughals in 1765. War and famine followed. The Bengal Famine of 1770 (1769-1773) was much written and analysed. The Jharkhand area remained on the boil for nearly 150 years after Buxar.

On the conflict side, the Paharia Revolt (1766-1778), by the hill-dwellers of Rajmahal Hills, soon followed. Santhals, opened a wide front against the British. One of the first of many such campaigns, started operations from the Tilapore forest against the British from 1781-1785 – led by Tilka Manjhi (also spelt Majhi). The dates of Tilkha Majhi’s revolt, vary widely – some continuing till 1799. The Tamar revolt (1783-1789) was another revolt in the modern Jharkhand area which occupied British attention in India – while they were fighting the American colonies. The Anglo-Santhal battles continued for the next 100 years. The Kol (also Khol, Khole) continued these insurrections in early 19th century.

Immediately after Buxar, in 1764 Major Hector Munro, who took charge of “the Company’s army, found the sepoys in a state of open revolt. There is no instinct of obedience in native armies in India” complains the English ‘historian’. In 1780, the East India Company faced revolt in Benares from Raja ‘Cheyt Sing’ who was appointed to “furnish the company with three regular battalions of Seapoys” who instead ‘massacred , in cold blood, thirteen of Capt.Wade’s men, who fell into his hands in the Hospital at Mirzapoor’.

If this was not enough, there were the Sannyasi rebellions (1763-1800).

Sense of priority

The only system that will meet the aspirations of the tribals, the Kashmiris, is something that will give them access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). A system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

%d bloggers like this: