Veda is ultimate source of knowledge: United Nations

The tradition of Vedic chanting of India has been declared a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco for being "the ultimate source of knowledge and one of the world's oldest surviving cultural traditions."

In a meeting held between director-general Koichiro Matsuura and president Jaun Goytisolo at Unesco headquarters in Paris on November 8, Unesco declared, "Although Vedic texts were recorded in writing 15 centuries ago, their principal means of transmission remains oral. The outstanding value lies not only in the rich content of its oral literature but also in the unique and ingenious techniques employed by the Brahmin priests in preserving the texts intact over three and half millennia. The complex recitation technique, requiring rigorous training from childhood, is based on a specific pronunciation of each letter and specific speech combinations to ensure that the sound of each word remains unchanged.

Mr Matsuura added: "The Vedic heritage comprise a multitude of text and interpretations collected in four Vedas. The Rig Veda is an anthology of sacred hymns; musical arrangements of hymns from the Rig Veda and other sources are found in the Sama Veda; the Yajur Veda abounds in prayers and sacrificial formulas used by priests; and the Atharna Veda, attributed to the legendary sage, Atharvan, includes hymns, charms and spells. The Veda also provide an extraordinary historical panorama of Hinduism and offer insight into the early development of several fundamental artistic and scientific notions, such as the concept of zero. Although the Vedas continue to play an important role in contemporary Indian life, this ancient oral tradition now faces many difficulties owing to current economic conditions and modernisation. Experts claims that four noted schools of Vedic recitation may be in imminent danger of disappearing."


Garuda: Belur, Mysore - Hoysala Period. 13th century AD.


The UNESCO declaration will bring international recognition to the excellence of the Vedic chanting tradition of India, which have survived for centuries encoding the wisdom contained in the Vedas through an extraordinary effort of memorization and through an elaborately worked out mnemonic methods. The purity and fail-safe technique devised for Vedic chanting in the olden days led to access to one of the ancient literatures of humanity in its entirety. The Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture took the initiative to put up the candidature of the Vedic chanting to UNESCO. A presentation was prepared by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. The Department has also prepared five year action plan to safeguard, protect, promote and disseminate oral tradition of Vedic tradition in terms of their uniqueness and distinctiveness, encourage scholars and practitioners to preserve, revitalize and promote their own branch of Vedic recitation as the custodians of their own traditions and direct the efforts primarily to making the tradition survive in its own context.

Navya Shastra (NS), a US-based global organisation of Hindu scholars, activists, priests and lay people, has taken umbrage at the clubbing of the "seminal texts of a world religion" with folk arts. "The Vedas and its chanting tradition form the fountainhead, the very epicentre, of the religious beliefs of over 800 million people." Vikram Masson, co-chairman, NS says: "Be it a farmer in Tamil Nadu or a fisherman in Bengal, some part of his spiritual worldview has been inspired by the utterances of the rishis. By closeting the Vedas with other cultural expressions, UNESCO has marginalised and diminished the most important scriptures in the Hindu tradition." Reasons Koichiro Matsuura, DG, UNESCO: "This proclamation doesn't simply recognise the value of some elements of the intangible heritage; it entails the commitment of the state to implement plans to promote and safeguard the masterpiece. "The government should have taken other measures to safeguard the Vedic tradition. It could have sought the assistance of home-grown philanthropic organizations. The Vedas, central to Indian culture for over 4,000 years, don't need outside honors to confirm their importance."  



Vedas are a symbol of India's culture and tradition and they have to be preserved for thousands and thousands of years.


In the southern state of Kerala, Vedic chanting is very much part of the curriculum at the Brahmaswam Madham school in the town of Thirssur. Sitting cross-legged on the wooden floor of a 700-year-old temple, 25 young boys and their teachers pray to Lord Krishna. Clad in white sarongs, the boys are bare-chested, and their chanting is accompanied by ritualistic hand movements. Here the children are learning about ancient Indian scriptures and how the Vedas are considered to be the source of all human knowledge. Although Vedas were written down in ancient times, they are mostly passed on from one generation to another orally. AM Kesavan, who is 20, has spent 12 years at the school and wants to be a Vedic teacher. "Vedas are a symbol of India's culture and tradition and they have to be preserved for thousands and thousands of years," he says. "My part in it is to acquire this knowledge and pass it on to the future generations." Kesavan and his fellow students begin the day with a dip in the pond at the crack of dawn. It is followed by Suryanamaskar - the worship of the sun god. From then onwards, most of the day is devoted to learning the scriptures.

The students and teachers hope recognition by Unesco will help improve their lot and bring in the much-needed funds to repair the school. The last several decades has seen only neglect and official apathy.

(source: Veda is ultimate source of knowledge: UN - The Asian Age - November 11, 2003 and Solar Flares - - December 15' 2003. For more on the Vedas, refer to chapter on Hindu Scriptures and Press Information Bureau - Government of India and UN boost for ancient Indian chants - BBC).  For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

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Vyasa's 'History of the Future' - By N S Rajaram 

The Bhavishya Purana – History of the Future – occupies a unique place in the ancient Indian historical tradition. It is attributed to the same Vyasa. Its origins go back to the same hoary age that saw the great conflict of the Mahabharata War. This is clear from references to the Bhavishya in literary works of that era. The Bhavishya belongs to that genre of Indian historical writings known as the Puranas. The ancient Indian historical writing is composed of two kinds of works – Purana and Itihasa. Between the two Itihasa refers to recent history and Puranas to collections of ancient chronicles. (Iti-hasa in Sanskrit means ‘as it happened’). The Mahabharata being a compilation of contemporary events by Vyasa is considered an Itihasa. The Puranas preserve ancient accounts, beginning with the Creation. Thus the Puranas include cosmology along with the chronicles of kings and dynasties. 

The ancient Hindus attached great importance to the study of such works. The famous Indian political theorist Kautilya (300 BC) laid down the rule that the king must devote his afternoons to the study of Itihasa and Puranas – modern and ancient history. The Bhavishya is one of the most important of the Puranas of which there are 18 major and 108 minor ones. These collectively preserve the names and achievements of important men and women going back thousands of years.  



So Puranic dates, which gives 3102 BC for the Mahabharat War, were rejected as impossible for they contradicted the Biblical superstition. It would be sheer folly on our part to ignore these hoary works because of some 19th century colonial prejudices. 


The body of available literature from ancient India exceeds that from all other ancient civilizations combined, taken several times over. It may differ in form and style from a modern history text, but that does not mean it doesn’t exist. It would be sheer folly on our part to ignore these hoary works because of some 19th century colonial prejudices. Ancient Greeks and Chinese scholars who visited India, spoke admiringly of the Indians’ preservation of their past. In addition to missionary zeal and political usefulness, racial prejudice current in the colonial era contributed its share to their ‘scholarship.’ Preconceived notions about the superiority of the ‘Aryans’ (a Sanskrit word meaning noble, but distorted by Europeans to mean a race) led to the invention of various spurious measures of ‘Aryan-ness’ to be used in support of their prejudice masquerading as a scientific theory.  

The scholarship of these men and women was dominating by Biblical superstitions, racial prejudices and political considerations. Until about a hundred years ago, many scholars believed in the Biblical Creation Theory according to which the world was created at 9:00 AM on 23 October 4004 BC! At last as 1800, many English language schools in British India and other parts of the world taught about the Biblical Creation. Using the genealogy given in the Genesis, this theory yields a date of 2448 BC for the Flood. Hence colonial scholars ruled out any possibility of civilization anywhere before that date. 

So Puranic dates, which gives 3102 BC for the Mahabharat War, were rejected as impossible for they contradicted the Biblical superstition.

The spiritual age that preceded the material age saw the creation of the Vedas – the oldest literature in the world. It is called the Vedic Age. Vyasa was the last great sage of the Vedic Age. He was the man who organized the spiritual knowledge contained in the Vedas. It is for this reason that he is known as Veda Vyasa or ‘arranger of the Vedas’ rather than by his actual name of Krishna-Dvaipayana - (Dark Man, the Island Born).  And this despite the fact that he is the author of the Mahabharata, probably the single greatest literary work in the world.

(source: Nostradamus and Beyond – N S Rajaram   p. 60 - 64). 

For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor


The Puranas, Nile and John Hanning Speke

The Puranas have a remarkable connection with one of the most important discoveries of the 19th century. In 1858, John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) – Speke was commissioned in the British Indian Army in 1844 – made the discovery that Lake Victoria was the source of the River Nile in Africa. Speke wrote that to some Indian Pundits (Hindu scholars) the Nile was known as Nila, and also as Kaali. Nila means blue and Kaali means dark – both apt descriptions for the Nile near its source. These are mentioned in several Puranas including the Bhavishaya. 

This went against the conventional wisdom, for Lake Victoria was unknown at the time. Sir Richard Burton, the leader of the Nile expedition, had identified Lake Tangyanika as the source. Speke, however, following upon the advice of a Benares (Varansi) Pundit, insisted that the real source was a much large lake that lay to the north. Following this advice Speke went on to discover Victoria. The Pundit had also told him that the real source were twin peaks as Somagiri, ‘Soma’ in Sanskrit stands for moon and ‘giri’ means peak, and Somagiri therefore are none other than the fabled Mountains of the Moon in Central Africa! The Pundit must have known all this. He published his book Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863).

(source: Nostradamus and Beyond – N S Rajaram  p. 60 - 67). For more refer to chapter India and Egypt).

Significant also is the fact that Lieutenant Speake, when planning his discovery of the source of the Nile, secured his best information from a map reconstructed out of Puranas. (Journal, pp. 27, 77, 216; Wilford, in Asiatic Researches, III). 

It traced the course of the river, the "Great Krishna," through Cusha-dvipa, from a great lake in Chandristhan, "Country of the Moon," which it gave the correct position in relation to the Zanzibar islands. The name was from the native Unya-muezi, having the same meaning; and the map correctly mentioned another native name, Amara, applied to the district bordering Lake Victoria Nyanza.

"All our previous information," says Speake, "concerning the hydrography of these regions, originated with the ancient Hindus, who told it to the priests of the Nile; and all these busy Egyptian geographers, who disseminated their knowledge with a view to be famous for their long-sightedness, in solving the mystery which enshrouded the source of their holy river, were so many hypothetical humbugs. The Hindu traders had a firm basis to stand upon through their intercourse with the Abyssinians."

(source: Periplus of the Erythrean Sea - W.H. Schoff p. 229-230). http:/ 

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Indian Numerals in the Islamic World 

It was the Indians who invented zero and the place-value system, as well as the very foundations of written calculation as we know it today. These highly significant inventions date back at least as far as the fifth century CE. 

The Arabs encountered them at the beginning of the 8th century CE, when Hajj sent out an army under Muhammad Ben al-Qasim to conquer the Indus Valley and the Punjab. But it is far more likely that the army had nothing to do with it, and that it was necessary to wait for a delegation of scholars before Indian science was transmitted to the Islamic world. This is, indeed, Ibn Khaldun’s (1332 - 1395) explanation, who says in his Prolegomena that the Arabs received science from the Indians, as well as their numerals and calculation methods, when a group of erudite Indian scholars came to the court of the caliph al-Mansur in year 156 of the Hegira (= 776 CE) Muqaddimah, translated by M. De Slane, II, p. 300).  

Ibn Khaldun’s version corresponds closely with earlier texts, especially with a tale told by the astronomer Ibn al-Adami in about 900, which is referred to by the court patron Hasan al-Qifti (1172-1288) in his Chronology of the Scholars. 

“Al-Husayn Ben Muhammad Ben Hamid, known as Ibn al-Adami, tells in his Great Table, entitled Necklace of Pearls, that a person from India presented himself before the Caliph al-Mansur in the year 156 (of the Hegira = 776 CE) who was well versed in the sindhind method of calculation related to the movement of heavenly bodies, and having ways of calculating equations based on kardaja calculated in half-degrees, and what is more various techniques to determine solar and lunar eclipses, co-ascendants of ecliptic signs and other similar things. This task was given to Muhammad Ben Ibrahim al-Fazarri who thus conceived a work known by astronomers as the Great Sindhind. In the Indian language sindhind means “eternal duration”.  

Much can be learned from this. The repetition of the word sindhind is significant; it is the Arabic translation of the Sanskrit “ siddhanta, the general term for Indian astronomic treatises, which contained a complete set of instructions for calculating, for example, lunar or solar eclipses, including the trigonometric formulae for true longitude. The “sindhind” method thus stands for the set of elements contained in such treatises. As for the word kardaja, which is also frequently used, it means “sine” and derives from an Arabic deformation of the Sanskrit ardhajya (literally “semi-chord”) which Indian astronomers used, from the time of Aryabhatta, for this trigonometric function which is the basis of all calculations in the Indian siddhanta system.   


All Indian astronomers noted their numbers by using Sanskrit numerical symbols: this notation gave  them a solid base for noting numeric data and was based on a decimal place-value system using zero.

(image source: Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America. Inc - 2002 calendar).


This method is presented in the mathematician and astronomer Brahmagupta’s (628) Brahmasphutasiddanta and the astrologer Varahamihira’s (575) Panchasiddhanta. But is was explained long before these treatises in the astronomer Aryabhata’s Aryabhatiya (510). All Indian astronomers noted their numbers by using Sanskrit numerical symbols: this notation gave  them a solid base for noting numeric data and was based on a decimal place-value system using zero. In other words, when the Arabs learnt Indian astronomy, they inevitably came up against Indian numerals and calculation methods. So that the arrival of the two branches of knowledge precisely coincided. This is confirmed by Al-Biruni’s Kitab fi tahqiq I ma li’l hind (c. 1030), which tells of his 36 years stay in India.

Long before the Arabic conquest, the Persian king Khosroes Anushirwan (531- 579) sent a cultural mission to India and brought back many Indian scientists to Jundishapur. It was at Edese, Nisibe, Keneshre and Jundishapur…..that the first works in Sanskrit were discovered. During the assimilation of Indian science, the Arabs were helped by many Hindu Brahmins, who were often received at the court of Baghdad by enlightened Caliphs. They were assisted by Persians and Christians from Syria and Mesopotamia, who, being fervent admirers of Indian cultures, had gone so far as to learn Sanskrit. The Buddhists also greatly contributed, especially those converted to Islam, such as Barmak who was sent to India to study astrology, medicine and pharmacy and who, on his return to Muslim territory, translated many Sanskrit texts into Arabic.   

Abu’l Hasan al-Qifti (  ? ) Arab scholar and author of Chronology of the Scholars, speaks of  Arab admiration for Indian place-value system and methods of calculation.

“Among those parts of their sciences which came to us, the numerical calculation….it is the swiftest and most complete method of calculation, the easiest to understand and the simplest to learn; it bears witness to the Indians’ piercing intellect, fine creativity and their superior understanding and inventive genius.”

(source: The Universal History of Numbers - By Georges Ifrah   p. 511 - 589). For more refer to chapter on Hindu Culture1 and Quotes321_340). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

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Indian Numerals in the Western World  - The Slow Progress of Indo-Arabic Numerals in Western Europe   

Indian inventions were not transmitted directly to Europe: Arab-Muslim scholars played an essential part as vehicles of Indian science, acting as “intermediaries” between the two worlds.”   

When the Europeans first encountered numeral systems and computational methods of Indian origin, Europeans proved so attached to their archaic customs, so extremely reluctant to engage in novel ideas, that many centuries passed before written arithmetic scored its decisive and total victory in the West. 

Renaissance arithmetic: An obscure and complex art 

“I was borne and brought up in the Countrie, and amid husbandry; I have since my predessours quit me the place and possession of the goods I enjoy, both businesse and husbandary in hand. I cannot yet cast account either with penne or Counters.” (source: The Complete Essays - By Montaigne Vol. II 1588, p. 379). 

These words were written by one of the most learned men of his day: Michel de Montaigne, born 1533, was educated by famous teachers at the College de Guyenne, in Bordeaux, traveled widely thereafter, and came to own a sumptuous library. He was a member of the parlement of Bordeaux and then mayor of that city, as well as friends of the French kings Francois II and Charles IX. And he admits without the slightest embarrassment, that he cannot “cast account” – or, in modern language do arithmetic! 

Could he have been aware of the fabulous discoveries of Indian scholars, already over a thousand years old? Almost certainly not. Cultural contact between Eastern and Western civilizations had been very limited ever since the collapse of the Roman Empire. The first operating method (counters) stands in the highly complicated tradition of Greece and Rome; the second (penne) which Montaigne would no doubt have ascribed to the Arabs, was in fact the invention of Indian scholars. But no one had thought of teaching it to him; Montaigne, like most of his contemporaries, no doubt viewed it with mistrust and suspicion. 

This situation did not alter in the conservative bureaucracies of the European nations throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. It is now perhaps easier to understand why skilled abacists were long regarded in Europe as magicians enjoying supernatural powers. All the same, even before the Crusades, Westerners could have made full and profitable use of the Indian computational methods which the Arabs had brought to the threshold of Europe from the 9th century CE. But there was another, more properly ideological reason for European resistance to Indo-Arabic numerals. 

Written arithmetic using Indian numerals. European engraving, 16th century. Paris. Palais de la Decouverte.


Even whilst learning was reborn in the West, the Church maintained a climate of dogmatism, of mysticism, and of submission to the holy scriptures, through doctrines of sin, hell and the salvation of the soul. Science and philosophy were under ecclesiastical control, were obliged to remain in accordance with religious dogma, and to support, not to contradict, theological teachings. Some ecclesiastical authorities thus put it about that arithmetic in the Indo-Arabic manner, precisely because it was so easy and ingenious, reeked of magic and of the diabolical: it must have come from Satan himself! It was only a short step from there to sending over-keen algorists to the stake, along with witches and heretics. And many did indeed suffer that fate at the hands of the Inquisition. 

The very etymology of the words “cipher” and “zero” provide evidence of this. When the Arabs adopted Indian numerals and the zero, they called the latter sifr, meaning “empty”, a plain translation of the Sanskrit shunya. From abstract zero to infinity was a single step which Indian scholars took early and nimbly. The most surprising thing is that amongst the Sanskrit words used to express zero, there is the term "ananta, which literally means "Infinity".

(source:  The Universal History of Numbers - By Georges Ifrah   p. 511 - 589).  For more refer to Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea: It's weird, it's counterintuitive and the Greeks hated it. Why did the Church reject the use of zero? - By Charles Seife,1419,L-LATimes-Books-X!ArticleDetail-26133,00.html
For more refer to chapter on Hindu Culture1 and Quotes321_340).

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On hallowed ground of Tilla Jogain - By Salman Rashid

The first time ever I trod the hallowed ground of Tilla Jogian was in October 1974. Young, callow and utterly unread, I had no idea regarding its history or how sacred that hilltop was. But even as my friend Shahid Ahmed and I wandered among the deserted ruins, there was a feeling, more than palpable, of the holiness of the site. We spoke in whispers, we walked on tiptoes. And we half expected some grizzled old guru, his snow-white beard reaching down the navel leaning on a crooked and gnarled staff to appear from somewhere and denounce us for violating the inviolable with our frivolous visit.

But no one appeared. Save for several hedgehogs in the thickets and the droves of birds singing in the tall trees we met with no one. The decrepit rest house built sometime in the 1890s had lost part of its roof. Once it was used by the Deputy Commissioner of the Jhelum district as the summer headquarter. In those pre-electricity days, the 1000 metre (3300 feet) height of Tilla Jogian above sea level meant comparatively milder summers. And so every year in May the DC moved up to the cool, pine-shaded hill to hold office and dispense justice. There he stayed until the beginning of September.

That was also the time when the monastery of Tilla Jogian thrived. Its hostels were home to acolytes of the Kunphutta (pierced ears) sect of jogis from all over India tutored by dozens of accomplished masters of the creed. That had been the way since its inception in the 1st century BC. That was when the great guru Goraknath lived and established both the sect and the monastery. History tells us of two illustrious ones among the guru's disciples: Raja Bhartari, the philosophical prince of Ujjain, who gave up the throne early in the 1st century BC to become a jogi. And in that same period, Puran the prince of Sialkot much wronged by his libidinous step-mother. Both found spiritual fulfillment in the tutelage of Guru Goraknath.

Over the years I returned again and again and saw modern Ahmed Shah Abdalis systematically doing their work: yet another floor uprooted, another samadhi destroyed, the British milestone that said 'Jhelum 25 miles' stolen, dozens of the ancient olive trees cut and burnt and more and more buildings defaced with graffiti. But what not even the most vicious vandal has been able to damage is the aura of Tilla Jogian. The tangible feel of it being a special place; a place much favoured by higher beings. And even if the hum of religious worship may never rise above the sound of wind soughing through the pine trees of Tilla Jogian; even if no jogi ever returns here to seek his own nirvana, that is one thing no vandal will be able to remove from the monastery of Guru Goraknath. 


Established in the 1st century BC by Guru Goraknath, the founder of the sect of Kanphatta (pierced ears) jogis, the monastery thrived for two thousand years. For two thousand years followers of different persuasions resorted here to become jogis. Most names are lost, but we know that Guru Nanak spent the prescribed forty days worshipping his Lord in the quiet seclusion of Tilla Jogian. 

(source: On hallowed ground - By Salman Rashid - and Footloose - The News International).

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Ancient Indian medicine

Medical literature of ancient India has been systematised periodically into works of singular excellence. One such work is the Caraka Samhita (a revised version of Agnivesa's earlier work), named after its author, the master physician Caraka, whose time and place are a matter of debate. 

His Samhita, a compendium of systematically arranged text and verse, is an intellectual watershed containing the collective knowledge of medicine existing down the ages from the Vedic to the post-Vedic eras. It contains the stream of Ayurvedic knowledge coming from divine origins, as tradition would have it, first propounded by Brahma and then passed on through Dakshaprajapati, the Asvins, Indra, Bharadwaja and Atreya Punarvasu to Agnivesa.

And as Ayurveda is considered an "Upa Veda" or a derivative of the Vedas, it rests heavily on the sophisticated medical contents of the Atharva Veda and the associated Garbhopanishad (the Upanishad related to human intra-uterine gestation) along with less esoteric but equally valuable inputs from folk medicine.

In keeping with Indian tradition, wherein all science is moored in philosophy and related metaphysics, Caraka draws on the Sankhya, Vaisesika and the Nyaya schools of philosophy to define terminology and concepts, to explain and elaborate the philosophy behind the principles and practice of internal medicine.  


Caraka: Miniature painted by Salomon - probably adapted from an Indian original neg. 

(image source: WHMM 5329 - Courtesy of The Wellcome Trustees).


In concordance with other Ayurvedic texts (such as Susruta Samhita and Astanga Hridaya), the Caraka Samhita has 120 chapters arranged in eight Sthanas or sections: Sutra, Nidana, Vimana, Sarira, Indriya, Cikitsa, Kalpa and Siddhi. The purpose of the work very clearly was two-fold. The first was to teach and train medical students in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and clinical medicine supported by a grounding in medical ethics. The second was to serve as a compendium of continuing medical education programmes with consensus statements evolved at medical conferences by a sifting of evidence through a process of peer review.

Caraka Samhita therefore is contemporary in terms of concepts of medical training and practice. It is no wonder then that the book has remained a beacon to medical practitioners down the ages. The author is one such individual, who though a modern cardiac surgeon and eminent medical administrator and academician, has been attracted intellectually to this ancient text.

(source: Ancient Indian medicine - By Uma Krishnaswamy - For more refer to chapter on Hindu Culture2).  


Oath of Initiation -  Caraka Samhita

Charaka Samhita contains an Anushasana - the Atreya Anushasana (seventh century BC) - predating the famous Hippocratic Oath by two centuries. This oath bears testimony to the high level of professional ethics in ancient India.

(source: Reich WT (ed.) Encyclopedia of Bioethics, revised edition Vol 5. Simon & Schuster MacMillan, New York, 1995). For more refer to chapter on Hindu Culture2).

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A devotee of the Goddess Ambaji flummoxes physicians 

Doctors and experts are baffled by an Indian hermit who claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for several decades - but is still in perfect health. 

Prahlad Jani, a holy man, or fakir, who is over 70 years old, has just spent 10 days under constant observation in Sterling Hospital, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. During that time, he did not consume anything and "neither did he pass urine or stool", according to the hospital's deputy superintendent, Dr Dinesh Desai. Yet he is in fine mental and physical fettle, say doctors. Most people can live without food for several weeks, with the body drawing on its fat and protein stores. But the average human can survive for only three to four days without water.

Followers of Indian holy men and ascetics have often ascribed extraordinary powers to them, but such powers are seldom subject to scientific inspection.

He grew up in Charod village in Mehsana district and wears the dress of a devotee of the goddess Ambaji - a red sari-like garment, nose ring, bangles and crimson flowers in the hair. He also wears the vermilion "tika" mark on his forehead. His followers call him "mataji" or goddess.

He says he has survived several decades without food or water because of a hole in his palate. Drops of water filter through this hole, he says, sustaining him. "He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this," said Bhiku Prajapati, one of Mr Jani's many followers. "A hole in the palate is an abnormal phenomenon," says Dr Desai. His colleague, Dr Urman Dhruv, told the BBC a full medical report is being prepared on Mr Jani's 10 days under observation. Doctors say they cannot verify his claim to have not eaten or drunk for decades - but by observing his feat under laboratory conditions, they hope to learn more about the human body. It is likely that doctors will want to examine Mr Jani again in order to solve the medical mystery he has presented them with. 

Neurologist Sudhir Shah said it took the hospital more than a year to persuade Jani to undergo surveillance. He said he wanted the ascetic to undergo experiments at NASA, as Jani's supposed feat could come in handy for astronauts. 

Fasting fakir flummoxes physicians - BBC and Doctors baffled as Indian man claims not to have eaten for 68 years -

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Tourism hubs to pop up along 800-km long Saraswati ‘riverbed’

Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Jagmohan has already announced an ambitious Rs 5-crore Saraswati Heritage Project, which aims to develop the ‘‘Saraswati river belt’’ as a ‘‘cultural-tourist’’ hub with 15 circles or centres.

Earlier this year, the minister had sanctioned Rs 8 crore to the Archaeological Society of India (ASI) to search for the river, which is believed to have run dry a million years ago. Now he seems to have zeroed in on a 800-km belt, stretching from Adi Badri in Haryana (the source of the river, says the ASI) to Dholavira in Gujarat. The 15 hubs — located in far-flung archaeological sites like Kapal Mochan and Kaithal in Haryana to Baror and Juni Kuran in Rajasthan, and Narayan Sarovar in Gujarat — will showcase important discoveries made by the ASI in their Saraswati excavations over the past few months.

‘‘The ASI and other organisations have been excavating almost 1,500 sites along the banks of the Saraswati and have made some exciting discoveries of mounds and artefacts,’’ says Jagmohan. ‘‘The 15 hubs along the riverbed will be developed as a destination for both tourism and research and will have a green belt for picnics, a documentation centre and a museum.’’ The hubs will also have pavilions exhibiting models of the Saraswati basin in its cultural and topographical perspectives, and dormitories for scholars and tourists, all of which will be set in verdant gardens, with pools of water symbolizing the river.

The Saraswati Heritage Project is part of Jagmohan’s vision for tourism in India. A year ago, he initiated ‘Regeneration India’, a Rs 300-crore project to boost ‘‘cultural and spiritual tourism’’, which will largely tap the growing domestic market. The focus is on ‘‘synthesis of the spiritual and aesthetic’’ for development of mind and body, says Jagmohan, rather than focusing on ‘‘material possessions, rest and recreation alone’’.

He has just completed the development of the Kurukshetra hub, where the epic battle of the Mahabharata is said to have been fought. Says the minister: ‘‘Last year alone, domestic traffic increased by three crore. I have multiple objectives — to bring to life culturally significant monuments, towns and sacred spots, improve the surrounding area and infuse keen civic sense to make it a pleasant experience. I also want to encourage visitors to come in contact with the profound minds which created all these wonders.’’

‘‘If St Peter’s in the Vatican can attract so many million visitors, why can’t we develop our cultural centres and introduce the new generation to the profundity of ancient India?’’ he asks. 

(source: Tourism hubs to pop up along 800-km long Saraswati ‘riverbed’ - For more on Jagmohan refer to chapter on Quotes271_300).

Dholavira to get tourism hub status: Jagmohan

Commenting on Dholavira, where the Centre has already spent Rs 1.30 crore over the past one year and will spend another Rs 1 crore in the next one month, he said, “We intend to convert Dholavira into one of Gujarat’s and India’s main tourism hub. I am even planning to organise a Wold Archaeologists’ Meet in Dholavira with the sole intention of inviting archaeologists from all over the world to this site that is between 5,000 and 7,000 years old,” Jagmohan said.

On Dholavira, Jagmohan said excavations so far have revealed that this was a mature, urban civilisation with excellent drainage and town planning. “If it is proven that the Saraswati river existed along the several sites between Haryana and Gujarat, there this belt, including Dholavira, will be the greatest excavation undertaken anytime in the world,” the minister said. About Somnath, the minister said the Central government will undertake improvement of infrastructure and other facilities around the temple, including the sea front. Similarly, the Union government will spend around Rs 3 crore on promoting the Sun Temple at Modera in Patan district.

(source: Dholavira to get tourism hub status: Jagmohan - Business Standard). For more refer to chapter on Aryan Invasion Theory). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

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A huge 1,000-year temple Shiva Temple surfaces in Southern Tamilnadu

It was an excavation that revealed an ancient Hindu temple. But, oddly, the excavation was not intended to be one. Village Kottamadaikadu in Kayalpattinam block of Thuthukkudi district in Tamilnadu is situated on the sea shore of Bay of Bengal. A major industrial unit, M/s Dharangadhara Chemical Works (DCW) manufacturing Caustic Soda, was the pride of the village, providing job opportunities to locals. But it rendered itself an eyesore to the people when it sought to dump its acid slurry on a 5 acre plot on the beach, which is bound to end up as a threat to the eco system, especially the sub soil water table feeding a population of one lakh in the surrounding villages. When DCW men dug up a one square kilometre trench to dump the slurry, idols of deities and remains of 1,000-year temple belonging to the early Chola period surfaced, reported Kadhiravan, a Tamil daily published from Tirunelveli on May 3, 2003.



The idols included that of Lord Nataraja, Uma and Durga. They were made of Panchaloha. That is, their value in the antique market would be more than Rs. 10 lakhs as per the estimate of a schoolmaster of the village who has studied archaeology.

These idols as well as a few pooja utensils, found during the second round of digging in June were reportedly handed over to the Tehsildar at Tiruchendur by the Company officials. But the villagers, some of whom are eyewitnesses to the presence of a six-foot stone idol of kali at the dug up site, questeioned the mysterious disappearance of the same. Later it was found lying in a lake inside a forest nearby. The tehsildar retrieved it and kept it under his custody.

(source: A huge 1,000-year temple Shiva Temple surfaces in Southern Tamilnadu).

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Beatification Boon: Asia Firmly on Catholic Roadmap - By Balbir Punj

The controversy over her sainthood apart, it is amusing to note the manner in which the beatification of Mother Teresa of Kolkata was received in the supposedly secular media in India. Newspapers and television channels vied with each other to report the spectacle at the Vatican.  

In contrast, when an NDA minister, Sanjay Paswan espouses tantra as being part of Indian spiritual tradition, he is lampooned and dismissed as an obscurantist. One cannot help observe the irony of Pope John Paul II worn down by Parkinson's disease beatifying Mother Teresa for the miracle cure she performed when she herself needed sophisticated medical attention in her lifetime. While she was alive, Mother Teresa did not perform any supernatural acts, least of all miracles of healing. She only prayed to God for them.  

The media and secularists don't even bother to examine why the Vatican is determined to elevate her to sainthood so quickly after her death. Few have cared to find out why Mother Teresa was nominated by three American Conservative and controversial senators Pete Domenici, Mark O Hatfield, and Hubert Humphrey for the Nobel peace prize. Most Indian were thrilled with the fairytale of a white Slavic nun from remote Albania giving up a comfortable life in Europe to nurse the children of a lesser God in Motijheel slum of Kolkata.

The Church usually beatifies its servants for their efforts in popularising Christianity. It is customary for the Vatican to set up an inquiry committee to scrutinise claims in support of beatification. It traditionally included an office called advocatus diaboli (or Devil's Advocate) whose purpose was to test the veracity of any extraordinary claims. Pope John Paul II abolished this office altogether in order to create instant saints. Ironically, the Vatican committee did not even deem it necessary to interview the doctor who treated Monica Besra. Her physician, Dr Ranjan Mustafi, has made it clear that Monica never suffered from any cancerous tumour and that her tubercular cyst was cured by a course of prescribed medicine.  


Sant Goswami Tulsidas (1532-1623).


In the Indian tradition, people and posterity decide who is a saint or who is not. It is not for any institution to certify a person's spiritual status. This is probably due to the decentralised and diffused nature of Hinduism. Kabir, Ramdas, Tulsidas, Mirabai are saints by the people's verdict, not by the act of any institution.  

It is most important to understand whether this act of beatification was motivated. John Paul II who completed 25 years of the papacy the same week is a conservative determined to push a Catholic roadmap. Pope John Paul II wishes to create many role models for people who have not been reached yet. It is not out of place to remember his mission as distinctly pronounced in November 1999 in New Delhi — the evangelisation of Asia in the third millennium on the lines of Europe in the first millennium and America in the second. The beatification of Mother Teresa is a step in that direction.

(source: Beatification Boon: Asia Firmly on Catholic Roadmap - By Balbir Punj -  

The saint business - By Rajeev Srinivasan

It requires only a slight change in perspective to understand the whole rationale behind the M Teresa sainthood circus, which will culminate in a major song and dance on October 19th. That perspective is: the Vatican is the world's oldest, largest and richest multinational corporation. And perhaps the most rapacious. Microsoft, eat your heart out! The current Pope understands this basic fact. His is clearly a keen business brain. He also believes more is better, for he has manufactured more saints in his tenure than all his many predecessors put together! 

And finally, to our heroine M Teresa. Now MT, it appears, was an ordinary, garden variety missionary godwoman prone to uttering pious homilies. The good citizens of Calcutta welcomed her when she showed up there and announced her intention to do 'good works,' whatever that meant. MT toiled in well-deserved obscurity for years until she got a huge lucky break. Malcolm Muggeridge, a British newspaperman who got religion in his old age, stumbled upon her and induced the BBC to do a feature on her. The rest, as they say, is history.

(source: The saint business  - By Rajeev Srinivasan -

Mother Teresa and Bhopal Tragedy

At the end of 1984, one of the worst ever industrial disasters hit the Indian town of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh state: 2,500 people were killed almost instantly by a poisonous-gas leaked from a pesticide factory owned by a subsidiary of Union Carbide. Thousands were choked by the toxic fumes and many had their health permanently damaged. State officials in Bhopal said there were no contingency plan to evacuate people from the city during the operation to neutralize stock of the deadly methyl isocyanate gas remaining in the underground storage tank which had leaked. Mother Teresa took an early plane to Bhopal and, greeted at the airports by large crowds of angry relatives of the gassed victims, advised them, ‘Forgive, forgive.’

On the face of it, a strange injunction. How did she know there was anything to forgive? Had anybody asked for forgiveness? What are the duties of the poor to the rich in such a situation? And who is authorized to recommend, or to dispense, forgiveness? In the absence of any answer to the questions, Mother Teresa's flying visit to Bhopal read like a hasty exercise in damage control, the expedient containment of righteous secular indignation.

Blessed Bluffs?
West Bengal Government snubs Teresa celebrations

Few government officials in this leftist stronghold are taking part. "Our party cadres will soon launch campaigns against the so-called miracles of self-professed godmen," said Anil Biswas, secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

"There is no rationality behind miracles," he said. Health Minister Surya Kanta Mishra said the government did not agree with the Vatican's conclusion that Monica Besra was cured by the power of the late nun. "We believe that the tribal woman Monica Besras stomach tumour was cured by prolonged medication in two hospitals, not by any miracle. Doctors, who treated her at the hospitals, have already supported our claim," Mishra told AFP. "We are ready to accept the works of Mother Teresa, but not the miracle theory," he said. Critics, who accused her of failing to address core reasons for Kolkata's poverty such as income inequality and limited reproductive-health options for poor women.

In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, she called abortion the "greatest destroyer of peace". Accordingly, many advocates of the family planning and pro-choice movements were critical of her views and influence. In 1975 she supported Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s suspension of democracy in India. She also supported Gandhi's son, Sanjay Gandhi, in his highly unpopular population control campaign, which involved forcible sterilization. 

(source: Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image - By Anne Sebba p 112 - 113. and The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice - By Christopher Hitchens p. 86 - 89 and  West Bengal Govt snubs Teresa celebrations - sify.comFor more on Mother Teresa refer to Mother Teresa, The Final Verdict - By Aroup Chatterjee.  A saint vs a patriot - By Arvind Lavakare,, Saint of the Rich and chapter on Conversion). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and to Joshua Project: Bringing Definition to the Unfinished Task- Country India -

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Shalom in Pushkar 

It was a curious sight on a chilly November morning. A couple of Israeli Hassidic Jews, clad in the black hats and coats worn by the members of their orthodox order, were striding down the streets of the holy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan. 

“We Israelis love Pushkar. There is so much peace here. There’s a big problem with terrorism back home,” he said in broken English. 

It wasn’t hard to fathom why the two like Pushkar so much. The stillness of the lake, the beautiful sunset, the serene surroundings, the coloured lights adorning the buildings on the banks made for a wonderful experience. The easy-going locals are also friendly to tourists. The tourists benefit the local economy and the authorities are only too happy to welcome the droves.

Walking down the streets of Pushkar, it’s difficult to miss the Hebrew signboards that greet you from shops. Most of the tourists are ordinary Israeli backpackers travelling on shoestring budgets. They are here for the same reason as Eli. “I’ve just finished my conscription period in the army. It’s so different here from the turmoil and stress back home,” says Avishay, who’s in Pushkar with his girlfriend. “I’ve spent three long years in the Israeli army while my girlfriend has spent two years. Israel is tiny unlike India and even women have to fight for us to survive,” he adds. . Pushkar as a destination has become popular by word of mouth in Israel. The number of tourists is increasing every year,” he points out. But he also has a grouse. “We come here throughout the year. But during the Pushkar fair, prices go up and we get a raw deal. We know that American and European tourists are important but...,” he trails off.

The expensive hotels in Pushkar are mostly occupied by wealthy American and European tourists. The Israelis often have to cram up in dingy rooms. “There are five of us staying in a single room in a guest house and it costs us Rs 350. We don’t have as much of money as others,” grins Naor.

The terror and fear that so many Israelis seem keen on forgetting cast its shadow over the Pushkar fair last year when there was a serious terrorist threat. Then district authorities based in Ajmer even had to station commandos here. Although the threat has receded this year, it’s a grim reminder for the Naors and the Elis that Pushkar and Jerusalem exist in the same world.

(source: Shalom in Pushkar  - - 11/12/03)..

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U.S. adopts Indian Catamaran technology

Washington May 28 2003: The United States adopted ancient Indian catamaran-making technology to construct fast ships which were used with dramatic effect in the Iraq war, says a media report.

Among the equipment the Americans used to win the Iraq war were 100-feet catamaran ships to ferry tanks and ammunition from Qatar to Kuwait.

The ships, built with technology adapted from ancient Tamil methods to make catamarans, can travel over 2,500 kms in less than 48 hours, twice the speed of the regular cargo ships, and carry enough equipment to support about 5,000 soldiers, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Having a shallow draft, the boats can unload in rudimentary ports, allowing troops to land closer to the fight. — PTI

(source: U.S. adopts Indian Catamaran technology - and For more refer to chapter on War in Ancient India, Pacific and  Seafaring in Ancient India). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

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Hindu-Sikh relations - By Khushwant Singh

Guru Nanak (1469-1539) born of Hindu parents, (his father Kalu Mehta was a Revenue official and Vedi (bedi) Khatri by caste) proclaimed his faith around 1500 AD in one God who was Nirankar (without bodily manifestations) and a caste-free society. Those who accepted his creed described themselves as Sikhs or his disciples. They remained a part of the Hindu social system. Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru, declared: “We are neither Hindus nor Muslims.” Nevertheless, in the Adi Granth he compiled around 1600 AD a little over 11,000 names of God that appear over 95 per cent are of Hindu origin: Hari, Rama, Gopal, Govind, Madhav, Vithal and others. Some like Allah, Rab, Malik are Muslim. The exclusively Sikh word for God, Wahguru, appears only 16 times. 

The Granth Sahib is compiled. It contains the works not just of the Gurus but also of Jaidev, Nam Dev, Trilochan, Parmanand, Sadhna, Beni, Ramanand, Dhanna, Pipa, Kabir, Ravidas, Mira, Surdas – Hindu poets and seers, Sufi bhakatas, each from a different part of the country. The Granth, a scholar reminds us, invokes the name of Krishna ten thousand times, of Rama two thousand four hundred times. It invokes Parabrahma 550 times, Omkar 400 times. It invokes the authority of the Vedas, Puranas, Smritis about 350 times. The names of the Nirguna Absolute – Jagdish, Nirankar, Niranjan, Atma, Paramatma, Parmeshwar, Antaryami, Kartar – are invoked twenty six hundred times. Those of Saguna deity – Gobind, Murari, Madhav, Saligram, Vishnu, Sarangpani, Mukund, Thakur, Damodar, Vasudev, Mohan, Banwari, Madhusudan, Keshav, Chaturbhuj, etc, - are invoked two thousand times. 

The rapture of the Gurus in describing Rama and Krishna, their reverence for Yashodha and Krishna, for Krishna and Radha, their repeated affirmations that in this day and age, in this Kaliyuga, the unfailing, indeed the only panacea, is to chant the name of Rama – what does all this mean? The description of the formless, attributeless Absolute is explicitly derived from the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita; the legends of the Puranas – of Krishna and Sudama, of Prahlad and Hiranyakashyap – are recounted to what do these facts testify? 

Guru Tegh Bahadur is executed explicitly for his defence of the Hindus of Kashmir, he is executed in the company of his Hindu devotees. Guru Gobind Singh composes a paen to Rama – Ramavatara – and another to Krishna – Krishnavatara. He declares as his aspiration: 

Sakal jagat mein khalsa panth gaaje
Jage dharma Hindu, sakal bhand bhaje 

Let the path of the pure prevail all over the world
Let the Hindu dharma dawn and all delusion disappear. 

He declares as his goal: 

Dharam vedamaryaada jag mein chalaaun
Gaughaat kaa dosh jag se mitaaun 

May I spread dharma and prestige of the Veda in the world.
And erase from it the sin of cow-slaughter.

(source: A Secular Agenda: For saving our country, For welding it - By Arun Shourie p. 3 - 11).



Guru Gobind Singh invoked the names of Shiva, Sri and Chandi - Maharaja Ranjit Singh went to Hardwar to bathe in the Ganga and expressed the wish that on his death the diamond and Koh-i-Noor should be gifted to the temple of Jagannath at Puri. 


Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh Guru who founded the Khalsa Panth in 1699 AD, invoked the names of Shiva, Sri and Chandi.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh also had Brahmins perform havans, regarded cows as sacred, punished cow-killing with death, went to Hardwar to bathe in the Ganga and expressed the wish that on his death the diamond and Koh-i-Noor should be gifted to the temple of Jagannath at Puri. Till then relations between the Hindus and the Sikhs were of naunh-maas — as the nail to the flesh out of which it grows. Inter-marriages between Hindus and Sikhs of same castes were common. Many Hindu families brought up their eldest sons as Khalsas, whom they regarded as Kesha Dhaaree Hindus (Hindus who did not cut their hair or beards). (For more on Ranjit Singh refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

Seeds of Hindu-Sikh separatism were sown by the British after they annexed Punjab in 1839 AD. They made reservations for Khalsa Sikhs in the Army, Civil Services and legislatures. Thus an economic incentive was given to Khalsa separateness. The feeling was eagerly nurtured by leaders of both communities. The lead was taken by Swami Dayanand Saraswati of the Arya Samaj. He visited Punjab and in his intemperate speeches described Guru Nanak as a semi-literate imposter (Dambhi). Sikhs picked up the gauntlet and made Swamiji or mahasha a synonym for a bigoted Hindu. Sikh separatism was boosted by the Singh Sabha movement started in the 1880s. It found expression in a booklet by Sikh scholar Bhai Kahan Singh of Nabha entitled “Hum Hindu Naheen Hain” — we are not Hindus. Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs started treading different paths. The Hindus opened DAV and Sanatan Dharm schools and colleges. The Sikhs opened Khalsa schools and colleges. They closed ranks to face Muslim dominance and later against the demand for Pakistan. Though Muslims conceded that Sikhs were Ahl-e-Kitaab (people of the Book) as were the Jews and the Christians, they regarded them too close to the Hindus to be accommodated in Pakistan. When Partition came, Punjabi Muslims drove both Hindus and Sikhs out of their country.

With the affluence that came with the Green Revolution, the younger generation of Sikhs in increasing numbers began to give up the Khalsa tradition of keeping their beards and hair unshorn. They became clean-shaven (mona) Sikhs. The dividing line between the two communities became blurred because a mona Sikh was no different from a Hindu believing in Sikhism, no different from millions of Punjabi and Sindhi Hindus who revered Granth Sahib and frequented gurdwaras.

(source: Hindu-Sikh relations - By Khushwant Singh -

Bharat Gupta, associate professor at Delhi University writes: " the 19th century Sikh separateness was redefined by the earlier British historians first and the Indians later. Sikhism was made to appear as a new religion, Anti Vedic, and a mixture of Indic-Islamic tenets, not based on philosophical tenets but on things like dress and food and architecture of Gurdwaaras and supposed rejection of caste. In this fabrication, the Khalsa has been fore grounded, almost equated with all Sikhism, and the Naamdhaaris, Nirankaaris, and such denominations of the Sikh tradition have been ignored, even persecuted"


Japji Sahib is Based on the Upanishads - says Khuswant Singh

Sikhs are kes-dhari [sporting unshorn hair] Hindus. Their religious source is Hinduism. Sikhism is a tradition developed within Hinduism. Guru Granth Sahib reflects Vedantic philosophy and Japji Sahib is based on the Upanishads. 

Sikhism, like unity of God, casteless society, etc. were also preached by other Vaishnava bhaktas [saints] of the time. 

In the Encyclopedia Britannica Khuswant Singh has said that Sikhism is a tradition developed within Hinduism or an extension of the bhakti movement. Again, in The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 12, 2001) he states that Sikhism is a branch of Hinduism.

(source: Japji Sahib is Based on the Upanishads - By Khuswant Singh -


Sikhs and Hindus

Hindus are conditioned to regard Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism as "panths" or sects. My folks told me that the elder son would become a Sikh while the younger remained Hindu; that the Gurus were devotees of Ram and Krishna; that the Marathi sant-poet Namdev's hymns are included in the Granth Sahib; that, prior to the tenth Guru, there was no separate name for the followers of Guru Nanak and they were considered a part and parcel of Hinduism; that Guru Gobind Singh gave the name "Sikh" to those who were willing to fight the tyranny of the Mughals. I was taught that Hinduism is a generic name given to all the faiths which have roots in India and believe in Parmatma (God), Prarthana (prayer), Punerjanma (reincarnation), Purushartha (Karma) and Prani Daya (kindness to all living beings). Sikhism believes in all...

At a meeting in Bombay on August 19, 1964, Tara Singh declared, 

"Sikhs and Hindus are not separate. Sikhs will survive only if Hindus survive. Sikhs are part and parcel of the Hindu Society. Guru Govind Singhji brought in Gurumukhi the wisdom and philosophy from our scriptures and Puranas. Are we going to give up this heritage? In fact Hindus and Sikhs are not two separate communities. Name is Sikh and beard... Mona (non beard) Sikh and Sevak... That is all... Sikhs live if Hinduism exists. If Sikhs live Hinduism lives. They are not two separate communities. They are one indeed. "

What are the roots of Sikhism...? Here are some stanzas from the Gurus and the Guru Granth Saheb:

* Taha hum adhik tapasya sadhi / Mahakal kalika aradhi ~ Guru Gobind Singh.
(There I worshipped and did penance to seek Kali.)

 * Ram katha jug jug atal / Sab koi bhakhat net Suragbas Raghuver kara / Sagri puri samet Jo en Katha sune aur gaave / Dukh pap tah nikat na aave ~ Guru Gobind Singh
(The story of Ram is immortal and everyone should read it. Ram went to heaven along with the whole city. Whoever listens to or sings His story, will be free of sin and sorrow.)

* Vedahun vidit dharma pracharyun / Gohat kalamka vishva nivaryun Sakal jagat mein Khalsa Panth gaajey / Jagey dharm Hindu sakal bhand bhajey ~ Guru Gobind Singh
(May I preach the Vedas to the whole mankind / May I remove the blot of cow-slaughter from the whole world / May the Khalsa Panth reign supreme / Long live Hinduism and falsehood perish).

* Kahaiya Hinduan daro na ab tum / Im likho pathon dil sain Guru Nanak ki gadi par / Ab hain Tegh Bahadur Unko jo Muhummadi kar lihoon / To ham hain sab sadar Arya Dharma rakhak pragatiyo hain ~ Guru Tegh Bahadur
(Hindus, do not fear, Guru Tegh Bahadur is Guru Nanak's successor. If Muslims bother you, I'll take care of them. For I am the protector of Hinduism.)

* Tin te sun Siri Tegh Bahadur / Dharam nibaahan bikhe Bahadur Uttar bhaniyo, dharam hum Hindu / Atipriya ko kin karen nikandu Lok parlok ubhaya sukhani / Aan napahant yahi samani Mat mileen murakh mat loi / Ise tayage pramar soi Hindu dharam rakhe jag mahin / Tumre kare bin se it nahin ~ Guru Tegh Bahadur's reply to Aurangzeb's ordering him to embrace Islam.
(In response, Shri Tegh Bahadur says, My religion is Hindu and how can I abandon what is so dear to me? This religion helps you in this world and that, and only a fool would abandon it. God himself is the protector of this religion and no one can destroy it.)

* Sakal jagat main Khalsa Panth gaje / Jage dharam Hindu sakal bhand bhaje ~ Guru Gobind Singh.
(The Khalsa sect will roar around the world. Hinduism will awaken, its enemies will flee).

Betrayal - By Varsha Bhosle - and VHP and Master Tara Singh). For more refer to chapters on Islamic Onslaught and European Imperialism). Watch History of Ayodhya - For more refer to Sikh and Hindus: A Common Heritage - and Divide and Conquer - By Sumer Singh Chauhan.

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Lala Lajpat Rai (1865-1928) – Epitome of Patriotism 

If the history of the freedom movement in India is conceived in terms of inspired patriotism, sacrifice, ethical values and service to the people, the name of Lala Lajpat Rai would shine like a polestar on the firmament of our liberation struggle. 

An embodiment of renunciation and all worldly ambitions, he fought like a wounded lion and secured for himself the crown of martyrdom he so coveted. He lived and died for the country. “Every blow that they hurled at us drove one more nail in the coffin of the British Empire.” Roared the lion of Punjab, an echo of which is heard till this day as a voice of prophesy amply fulfilled.  

The drama of well rehearsed British brutality was enacted on 30th October 1928 outside the Lahore Railway Station where Lalaji led a peaceful and disciplined protest of an All-White Simon Commission. The British police for whom Lalaji was a scare, pounced upon the peaceful demonstrators without any provocation. Lalaji received the first lathi-blows from the superintendent of Police, Mr. Scot, who personally conducted this brutal operation.  

The 63 year old Lalaji died in a Lahore hospital 18 days later on November 17, 1928.

Bhagat Singh, who was an eyewitness to the whole episode, called it a national humiliation. Lalaji wrote several books including one on Shivaji, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Lord Krishna.

(source: Lala Lajpat Rai – Epitome of Patriotism). For more refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

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Overworked and Tired Stereotypes? or Hindu Baiting?
Freely used Labels/Tags
On Hindus and Hinduism in Western/Indian Media

Idol worshippers, Animistic, Caste system (versus racism), Pagans, Sati, dowry extortionists, Hinduism as a cult, poverty, primitive, phallic cults, dowry deaths, widow burning, superstition, evil, erotic, devdasis, tantric, Hinduism as cow worship and Kama sutra, violent, world negating, Yoga as Devil worship, Saffronists, Hindutva fanatics, chauvinists,  Muslim killers, nun rapists, Hindu Fundamentalists, BJP Hindu Nationalists party (as opposed to The German Christian Democrat Party?)  'Communalists,' 'fascists' 'Nazis, Hindu Growth Rate, Hindu Dominated India (as opposed to Muslim dominated Saud Arabia/Pakistan ?) Hindu Zealots, Saffronization, code coolies, India - a land of tigers, elephants, snake-charmers, grinding poverty of Calcutta, Mother Teresa, heathens  -  etc ......

For more refer to interesting article What about the accountability of the press that questions the accountability of everyone else? - By Arvind Lavakare - and
Call For An Intellectual Kshatriya - by Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari.  For more refer to chapters on FirstIndologists and European Imperialism). Visit Media Mischief in India.

Abuse of the word Hindu - India's "Succular" (sic) thinkers, writers, artistes and politicians

The word Hindu is being used as a term of abuse. Hindu fanatic, Hindu fundamentalism, Hindu nationalist, Hindutva. Mostly, that is how the word Hindu gets used and nearly always pejoratively.

It bothers me that I went to school and college in this country without any idea of the enormous contribution of Hindu civilisation to the history of the world. It bothers me that even today our children, whether they go to state schools or expensive private ones, come out without any knowledge of their own culture or civilisation. 

You cannot be proud of a heritage you know nothing about, and in the name of secularism, we have spent 50 years in total denial of the Hindu roots of this civilisation. We have done nothing to change a colonial system of mass education founded on the principle that Indian civilisation had nothing to offer. For me, evidence of our contempt for our culture and civilisation manifests itself in the fact that there is not a single Indian city where you will find a major bookshop that sells books in Indian languages. Is this not evidence of a country that continues to be colonised to the core? 

Our contempt for who we are gets picked up these days by the Western press, which routinely uses the word Hindu in a pejorative sense.

I believe that the Indic religions have made much less trouble for the world than the Semitic ones and that Hindu civilisation is something I am very proud of. If that is evidence of my being ‘‘communal’’, then, my inner voice tells me, so be it.

(source: This inner voice too needs hearing - By Tavleen Singh - For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

India Bashing in American Press

"The last year was, it seems, pretty good for India. 'The Golden Year,' a major newsweekly proclaimed in a recent cover story. The stock market is bouncing around near record highs, foreign exchange reserves have topped $100 billion and malls are being built by the dozen. India's growing middle class is coming into its own amid a surge in conspicuous consumption. And India is celebrating with an orgy of self-congratulation. 'If it is good news, it must be India 2003,' Deputy Prime Minister Lal K. Advani declared in a speech. . In a country still stereotyped as being little more than teeming slums and chanting holy men, columnists now offer advice on taking advantage of low-interest rates to get home loans. But the teeming slums are still there, along with disease, rampant unemployment and an ever-widening divide between rich and poor."

The problem with the report isn't in its listing of statistics, or in its uncalled-for slight against "chanting holy men," but in its lack of comparison to other countries.

Compare, for example, this report: "During this year the number of homeless New Yorkers residing in shelters each night has reached the highest point in New York City's history. In November 2003 more than 38,500 homeless men, women, and children were sleeping each night in the New York City shelter system, including 16,900 children, 13,400 adult family members, and 8,200 single adults. Thousands more sleep on city streets, park benches, and subway trains."  Or compare the fact that 400 homeless people freeze to death each winter in Moscow, or the fact that the 2003 heat wave in Europe killed 35,000 people, 14,000 in France alone. Or consider that America, with a population of just under 300 million has 8.7 million unemployed, while India with one billion population, or three times as many people, has 41.6 million unemployed, a rate a little less than twice that of the US -- which could be considered rather good for a "developing" country.  In the dog days of August, thousands of French people began dying. The numbers kept going up, and in the end, it appears as though almost 15,000 people have died.

"I guess some people are simply outraged since this new India goes against the stereotypes they have nursed in their minds for so long."

India Bashing in American Press - and As India toast economic gains, 260 million poor left behind – By Tim Sullivan and comments posted on For more refer to Civilizational failure - By Rajeev Srinivasan and India Shining and Call For An Intellectual Kshatriya - by Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari).

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Japan’s Mini Mahabharata

Mention of a staged "Mahabharata" at once brings to mind Sir Peter Brook's 10-hour version of the Hindu epic poem, which debuted at the Avignon International Drama Festival in 1985. 

This inspired version by Director Satoshi Miyagi staged recently in Tokyo lasts just two hours. The original "Mahabharata," written in Sanskrit, comprises 100,000 stanzas, and is filled with history, philosophy and spirituality which describes a civil war in the Bharata kingdom, near present-day Delhi, between the five sons of the deceased King Pandu and their 100 stepbrothers. Director Miyagi has selected one episode, known as the "Nalacaritam," portraying "Mahabharata" as a pan- Asian drama set in Japan's mythical past

The play tells the story of a gorgeous goddess- princess named Damayanty who, despite receiving proposals from many divine suitors, chooses to marry the human Nala, a prince of Bharata. After a few years of peaceful married life, Nala is seduced by the devil. Having lost his self- respect, Nala gambles away his money and property and forfeits his succession to his younger brother. After husband and wife are exiled, the despairing prince possessed by a devil, abandons Damayanty. Nala struggles to overcome his wicked heart, while his beautiful wife is steadfast in her love for him. The two are finally reunited and wisely rule the troubled kingdom. Though the play emphasizes the power of faith and loyalty, its strength is the way it lays bare human weakness in the face of temptation and offers the abiding possibility that we can learn from our mistakes. The audience, before the show get to see the "Gandharan and Indian Sculpture in the Second and Third Centuries" so they can slip into the play's world all the better. The play incorporates various elements from southeast Asian culture: live Indonesian gamelan music played on a range of percussion instruments; wayang kulit (Indonesian shadow play); and the use of a masked, white-robed "chorus. The director had divided the roles in this way to express the "special tension created by the sudden changes in this play."

(source: Japan’s Mini Mahabharata  - Hindu Vivek Kendra). For more refer to chapter on Hindu Scriptures). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor and Glimpses XVII

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Mantra: The Sacred Sound of India 

“India is not merely, or even principally, the land of Vedanta. It is the land of mantra. To know and to love Indian religious life means coming to terms with mantric utterance.” -    Harvey Alper  

Hearing and saying the mantra is an act of worship that “tunes” one to the basic sound or vibration of the universe. By continual hearing and chanting one purifies and transforms one’s life until it is vibrating in harmony with the Divine, which is itself pure sound. Indeed, we find Indian religion filled with many different versions of “sound theology.” The concept of mantra as powerful sacred sound is associated with one of India’s ancient scriptures, the Rig Veda. India  

Sri Aurobindo puts it vividly, “The language of the Veda is itself a sruti, a rhythm not composed by the intellect but heard, a divine Word that came vibrating out of the Infinite to the inner audience of the man who had previously made himself fit for the impersonal knowledge.” 

The Vedic seers supersensuously “heard” these divine mantras not as personal but as divinely rooted words, and spoke them in the Hindu scripture or Veda, as an aid to those less spiritually advanced. Chanting a Vedic mantra has a spiritually therapeutic effect upon the devotee and a cosmic significance as well. 

(source: Mantra: Hearing the Divine in India - By Harold Coward and David Goa). 

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Proud Tagore, Racist Kipling

Rabindranath Tagore and Rudyard Kipling, both were Nobel Prize winners and contemporaries, but gave each other the royal snub, said an Oxford-educated English literature scholar.  

"Kipling, as everyone knows, was ragingly racist, and Bengalis, in his mind, epitomized everything that was wrong about Indians," said Tirthankar Bose, a Vancouver-based doctorate in English from Oxford. "He was no friend of Bengalis."

That's why, said Bose, Indian Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore completely ignored the famous adventure writer and winner of the Nobel in 1906, Kipling, author of legendary tales like "Jungle Book" and "Kim." 

"Though there are several interactions between Tagore and many prominent English authors, there's virtually nothing with Kipling, complete absence. This is because of Kipling's much-proclaimed opinion of Bengalis.

"Kipling refused to acknowledge Tagore as a great author and was completely ignored in return." 

And who is a Bengali? Well, said Bose, if you believe Kipling, he is a cowardly, effeminate, pseudo-intellectual, who blabbers like a baboon and is completely incapable of any worthwhile labour.

"I do take offence at Kipling's scorn for Bengalis," said Bose, also a Bengali, speaking on "Kipling's fearful Bengali" at New Delhi's India International Centre on Wednesday evening.  "But I would argue that the insults heaped are more towards a certain type of Indians rather than just the Bengalis. 

"And, of course, Kipling was a huge liar. With his sense of adventure and storytelling, fact and fiction often got completely mixed up," laughed Bose. "Poor guy is dead and I'm alive. But he did have terribly imperialist views."  Drawing examples from Kipling's stories and letters, Bose painted a picture of a little educated man, with an obsessive superiority complex and puffed up colonial vision. 

"In Kipling's mind, the good Indians are the lower order, the servants, the peasants and old oriental nobility -- all of whom maintained the hierarchy and superiority of the British. "But he hated the educated Indians, all of whom he called Bengalis because most of them were Bengalis, who had learnt Western ideas of liberalism and equality, and who demanded parity with the British. In his mind, quite unthinkable."

In a letter to his cousin that Bose forked out in his research, Kipling talks of his Bengali secretary as "too soft, too gentle, very good with numbers and book keeping but with no power for manual labour, arrogant, degenerate..."

 "And in 'Jungle Book', he talks of the banderlog (monkeys) who kept chattering all the time - who were these? The Banerjees and the Chatterjees - the Bengalis!" grinned Bose, "quite viciously racist." 

And it is because of these extreme views that Kipling was given the cold shoulder by Tagore -- who otherwise liked and respected many English litterateurs. "It was a distinct case of the 'empire writes back'," smiled Bose. 

(source: Proud Tagore, racist Kipling - For more refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

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Israel celebrates Janmashtami 

Harish (Israel): The chants of 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' reverberated the air in this small Israeli town as devotees, irrespective of caste and creed, descended from all over the country to celebrate the Krishna Janmashtami.

Harish has become the home of Krishna devotees, popularly known as 'Hare Krishnas', who have settled down here and formed a small community. They staged plays revolving around stories of Krishna's childhood, besides singing and dancing just like devotees in India. The event was accompanied with a somptous feast of 108 dishes, a number that has come to be identified as pious by the faithful.

Ithamar Theodor, who teaches Indian culture at the Department of Asian Studies of Haifa University, said, 

"There is a general attraction towards Indian culture. It is not just a religious attraction but more of a cultural attraction."

"The process of Americanisation in Israel has left a void which is very well filled by the Indian cultural aspects ranging from its spirituality, philosophy, music and a whole range of other alternatives," he said. 

(source: Israel celebrates Janmashtami -

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Attack on a Cultural Icon or Cultural Racism?
Peddling pornography in the name of Academic freedom?

"The Christian resolve to find the world evil and ugly, has made the world evil and ugly."

                                          -  Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844-1900) German philosopher.

Tavleen Singh columnist with Indian Express has recently commented in her article A Dark and Distorted Hinduism:

"..American professors who have written scholarly tomes on Hinduism make Hinduism sound like a mix of voodoo and pornography. Hindu gods and religious symbols have been put through Freudian analysis to establish such bizarre conclusions as Ganesha’s trunk representing a “flaccid phallus” and his love of sweets as a desire for oral sex. He also has Oedipal problems! This Freudian analysis goes beyond the gods to actual Hindu religious practices, and it is then that these scholars show not just their abysmal ignorance but their deliberate distortion of reality. They teach students in American universities that Brahmins drink menstrual blood and other human fluids and that this is Tantra. They teach that Shiva temples are dens of vice where priests routinely murder and rape unsuspecting pilgrims."

Refer to A Dark and Distorted Hinduism and Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America - By Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas and Aditi Banerjee


Petition Against the Book insulting Lord Ganesha and Hinduism - There is a Book titled: Ganesa - Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings by Professor Paul Courtright, Department of Religion, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. First Edition in USA published in 1985 by Oxford University Press, Inc. First Indian Edition, Published in 2001 by Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Ltd., with a nude cover picture and insulting interpretations directly from the book.

Preoccupation with body parts?

Here are some of the author’s vulgar interpretations:

• "Its (Ganesa's) trunk is the displaced phallus, a caricature of Siva's linga. It poses no threat because it is too large, flaccid, and in the wrong place to be useful for sexual purposes." (Page 121)

• “He [Ganesa] remains celibate so as not to compete erotically with his father, a notorious womanizer, either incestuously for his mother or for any other woman for that matter.” (Page 110)

• "So Ganesa takes on the attributes of his father but in an inverted form, with an exaggerated limp phallus-ascetic and benign- whereas Siva is a "hard" (ur-dhvalinga), erotic and destructive." (Page121)

• "Both in his behavior and iconographic form Ganesa resembles in some aspects, the figure of the eunuch, ……. Ganesha is like eunuch guarding the women of the harem.” (Page 111)

• "Although there seems to be no myths or folktales in which Ganesa explicitly performs oral sex; his insatiable appetite for sweets may be interpreted as an effort to satisfy a hunger that seems inappropriate in an otherwise ascetic disposition, a hunger having clear erotic overtones." (Page 111)

• "Ganesa's broken tusk, his guardian's staff, and displaced head can be interpreted as symbols of castration" (page 111)

• "Feeding Ganesa copious quantities of modakas, satisfying his oral/erotic desires, also keeps him from becoming genitally erotic like his father." (Page 113)

• "The perpetual son desiring to remain close to his mother and having an insatiable appetite for sweets evokes associations of oral eroticism. Denied the possibility of reaching the stage of full genital masculine power by the omnipotent force of the father, the son seeks gratification in some acceptable way." (Page 113).

There are plenty of other insidious passages in this book aimed at tarnishing not only the image of Ganesha, but Shiva and Parvati as well: “After Shiva has insulted Parvati by calling her Blackie [Kali], she vows to leave him and return to her father’s home and then she stations her other son, Viraka—the one Siva had made—at the door way to spy on her husband’s extramarital amorous exploits.” (Page 105-106).

We believe these are clear-cut examples of hate-crimes inflicted on innocent Hindus who worship Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati.

The American Council of Learned Societies named "Ganesa" the best first book in the history of religions published in 1985.

Some comments from petition:

"Behind the garb of academic freedom, such analysis shows the sick , sex-trauma suffering perverted mind of the author." 

"In this age of supposed religious tolerance and respect, such sexual innuendos against Hindu religious forms are quite out of place and would never be tolerated relative to Islam or Christianity. It is time to remove such culturally insensitive scholarship from the Hindu field as well. Ganesh is a symbol of OM and of various yogic practices, which the so-called scholar fails to note altogether."

"We are concerned at what can only be described as an attempt by western Christian theologians to debase an ancient and rich philosophical heritage. Perhaps with the view to downplay the influence of Hindu philosophical systems on Judeo-christian institutions and to undermine and insult beliefs strongly held by hundreds of millions worldwide."

"Never mind that the content of the book appears to a psycho babble (a la Wendy Doniger) of a Freudian nut. I wish this guy would give up 'Studying' Hinduism like this as a 'clinical subject' and take up the study of the mating habits of worms or something like that!"

"I am sick and tired of people claiming an understanding of another culture and religion while degrading it irreverently. Mr. Courtright is a blasphemer and should be treated in a befitting manner." "Courtright's work on Ganesa is not a work of serious academic inquiry. It is anti-Hindu hate speech under the guise of research - a telling reflection on the quality of American academia" "The book is neither scholarly, nor correct. Write like that and wonder why everyone hates Americans! Indeed!!"

Morehouse College chemistry professor K.K. Vijai, said the book reads like "a crude kind of revolting pornography." T. R. Rao, a Hindu computer science professor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, La. He started to read it but said he could not get past page 124. "It was excruciating for me to read," Rao said. "The god I pray to was made to look like . . . a eunuch. He was competing incestuously with his father for his mother."

(source: Petition Against the Book insulting Lord Ganesha and Hinduism - this link is no longer functional) and For more on Lord Ganesha refer to chapter Symbolism in Hinduism and On Lord Ganesha and Book insults elephant god, angry Hindus say). Washington Post and Hinduphobia - By Rajiv Malhotra - Refer to Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America - By Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas and Aditi Banerjee. Also refer to The Post and Manufacturing Consent - By Sankrant Sanu - and to Hindus and Scholars - By Arvind Sharma). Also refer to chapter on First Indologists

For interesting article refer to Prof. Courtright's Pseudo-psychoanalytic Depiction of Shri Ganesha: Authentic Scholarship or Bigotry? - By Shree S. Vinekar, MD and Concerned Community and Animal House: The South Asian Religious Studies Circus and Alerting Naked Emperors in an Age of Academic Arrogance - By Narayanan Komerath and What is the 'political' agenda behind American studies of South Asian Tantra? - By Rajiv Malhotra. Refer to Wendy's Child Syndrome - By Rajiv Malhotra - Refer to Prof. James G. Lochtefeld and chapter on First Indologists.

Paul Courtright blames Hindus for uproar

These sentences are part of a chapter which explores a psychoanalytical interpretation of how the story of Ganesha's birth, beheading and restoration as ‘Gana-Pat’ might shed light on unconscious dimensions of family relations." 

(source: Paul Courtright blames Hindus for uproar -  

For more refer to chapter on First Indologists).

Dr. Ramesh Rao professor at Truman State University, Mo, writes: 

"Using Freudian analysis to interpret the beheading of Ganesha, and what the elephant head of Ganesha as well as his other characteristics symbolizes, Prof. Paul Courtright has transgressed the boundary of 'ethical' and 'responsible' inquiry. As recently as November 12, Wendy Doniger, Courtright's mentor, spoke in London on 'Gods, Humans and Animals in the Ramayana' and regaled her British audience with lurid tales about the possible sexual relationships in the epic.

(source: A Hindu God Must Indeed Be Heathen - By Ramesh Rao - India Abroad 11/28/03). 

Swapan Dasgupta noted Indian journalist has observed: 

"Beginning sometime last year, American Hindus have mounted a spirited attack on the bastions of Indology in the North American universities. The movement was triggered by the reprint of Ganesa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings by Paul Courtright of Emory University in Georgia. It was claimed by American Hindus, quite rightly too, that the projection of the Hindu god as a personification of incestuous licentiousness was deeply offensive."

What is significant is that, for the first time, there is an organized Hindu protest against wilful misrepresentation of India’s culture and heritage. At a time when the United States of America perceives India as a strategic partner, both economically and politically, does it behove the American academic establishment to patronize those who perceive Hindu to be a four-letter word?

(source: Reclaiming the Hindu Gods - By Swapan Dasgupta - January 30' 2004).


Saying anything good about Hinduism and you are automatically labeled as belonging to the Sangh Parivar by insecure Western Academia and their brown Indian counterparts?

Ms Doniger of University of Chicago was speaking at London's SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). She was invited by SOAS to give her insight into Hinduism in a series called "Understanding Hinduism". When challenged, she called herself a Sanskritist and proceeded to give an idiosyncratic psychoanalytic interpretation of the chapter of the Ramayana where Sita was abducted by Ravana-she employed the terms of displacement and projection (Freud) when talking about the lust of Lakshman for Sita and Rama's jealousy of Lakshman and his fear that his younger brother might replace him in Sita's marital bed.  


The Foreword to Courtright's book is written by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty. In her typical colloquial, superlative, ecstatic, juicy style, she praises the book of Courtright to the seventh heaven, without adding anything substantial. Except one thing: she bares the secret of the Hindu lore about the writing of the Hindu epic Mahabharata: “…the Mahabharata tale in which the Ganesa dictates the epic to Vyasa!” The Hindu tradition is unanimous in informing us that it was Sage Vyasa who had dictated the epic to Ganesa rather than the other way around as Doniger states. Indeed, Wendy's children have a unique way of seeing things – so unique that it is not tainted by reality and objectivity. Doniger, for her part, reciprocates the lavish praise. She writes, “This is a book that I would have loved to have written.”

(source: and When The Cigar Becomes A Phallus - By Vishal Agarwal and Kalavi Venkat. For more on Ramayana, refer to chapter on GlimpsesX and Hindu Scriptures). Refer to Wendy's Child Syndrome - By Rajiv Malhotra - - and Refer to Taking Back Hindu Studies - By Dr. Srinivas Tilak and Protestant Pedagogues Peeved at Protest Against Porn-Peddling - By Narayanan Komerath - For more refer to Call For An Intellectual Kshatriya - by Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Washington Post and Hinduphobia - By Rajiv Malhotra - and What is the 'political' agenda behind American studies of South Asian Tantra? - By Rajiv Malhotra and to chapter on First Indologists and European Imperialism). Also refer to The Post and Manufacturing Consent - By Sankrant Sanu - and to Hindus and Scholars - By Arvind Sharma).

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RISA Lila - 2 - Limp Scholarship and Demonology - By Rajiv Malhotra
Neocolonial chauvinism and Hindu-bashing arrogance?

Many Diaspora leaders have opted not to articulate their indigenous viewpoint (many, no doubt, never had a native Indian viewpoint in the first place, having been raised in a Eurocentric education system). Several spiritual leaders remain cocooned within the security of their introverted spiritual groups, and lack the required skills for successful negotiation in the global context on behalf of their cultural identity. Therefore, it is challenging to find knowledgeable individuals who are committed to a fair and balanced approach to tradition, and are willing to stick their necks out amidst a hostile environment, whereas it is not hard to find atheist, Marxist Indians in academia today, who are happy to trash Indian traditions.

Ram makes no secret about the privileged position occupied by Westerners in the study of Hinduism: “'Western' scholars alone are entrusted with writing in the New York Times or the (London) Times Literary Supplement, again and again - and we ask ourselves, is it just that none of us is really good enough to be asked to write about our culture and our philosophies, or is it something else...”

Ramdas Lamb explained this as follows: “Western academia rightly claims to promote multicultural awareness. Additionally, however, it also has the potential and tendency to promote a hegemonic Westernized globalization, in which it picks and chooses which aspects of other cultures are to be considered acceptable and which aspects can be denigrated and rejected at will. In this way, some elements of Western scholarship not only ignore other cultures' self views, but express a disdain for them in much the same way as the colonialists of the past. "

At the same time, a faith-community has a right to express its thoughts and feelings about our scholarship, without everyone being branded as fanatical extremists, as a reminder to us that the subject of our study is a living sacred tradition in which deep emotions and meanings are invested. Scholarly discernment is required also to know the pain of those whose traditions we make the object of our study.

Why Ganesha is a strategic target of Demonology?

The denigration of sacred symbols serves to embarrass young impressionable Hindus, so that they feel pressured to dilute their Hindu identities. Ganesha is a very strategic symbol in this regard. 

One of Lokmanya Tilak's major tools was the use of Ganesha as a symbol of nationalist self-assertion against the British:


Subconsciously, Western scholars have a latent aversion to Ganesha because of the role his symbolism played in anti-Colonial activity. 


Lokmanya Tilak promoted two annual festivals - one dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesha, the other honoring Shivaji, the great Maratha hero

Refer to Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America - By Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas and Aditi Banerjee.


“His Marathi style was particularly effective and made a direct appeal to villagers, who would gather to have it read to them. Tilak also promoted in his papers the celebration of two new annual festivals – one dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesha, the other honoring the Maratha hero Shivaji. His purpose in organizing these festivals was to develop in the Maharashtrian people a sense of pride in their common history and religion. The psychoanalytic hypothesis is as follows: 

Subconsciously, Western scholars have a latent aversion to Ganesha because of the role his symbolism played in anti-colonial activity. 

In evaluating this theory, one must consider that Western scholars have recently given Ganesha a Nazi image, clearly with the motive to demonize him.  For example, Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, one of the foremost art museums in the US, features some of the rarest and most precious art objects of Asia, and its coffee table book explains the large 11th century Ganesha carving in the collection, as follows: "Ganesa, is a son of the great god Siva, and many of his abilities are comic or absurd extensions of the lofty dichotomies of his father." And then goes on to say: "Ganesa's potbelly and his childlike love for sweets mock Siva's practice of austerities, and his limp trunk will forever be a poor match for Siva's erect phallus."

(source: RISA Lila - 2 - Limp Scholarship and Demonology - By Rajiv Malhotra - For more refer to chapter on First Indologists). For more on Lord Ganesha and Shivaji, refer to chapters Symbolism in Hinduism and GlimpsesVIII). Refer to articles Taking Back Hindu Studies - By Dr. Srinivas Tilak and Protestant Pedagogues Peeved at Protest Against Porn-Peddling - By Narayanan Komerath - Call For An Intellectual Kshatriya - by Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Washington Post and Hinduphobia - By Rajiv Malhotra - Also refer to The Post and Manufacturing Consent - By Sankrant Sanu - and Alerting Naked Emperors in an Age of Academic Arrogance - By Narayanan Komerath - and What is the 'political' agenda behind American studies of South Asian Tantra? - By Rajiv Malhotra and to Hindus and Scholars - By Arvind Sharma). Also refer to chapter on First Indologists).

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How Lord Ganesha opened the doors of Hinduism - By D V Ghokale

Conversion to hinduism started in India as a social movement to bring ex-Hindus back into their native faith. During the British rule many Hindus were converted to Christianity. This was often done quickly and simply by having the converts drink the water from local wells or rivers blessed by Christian ministers ceremoniously tossing in scraps of bread. Many Hindus became outcasts overnight through that process, and Christian missionaries got a lot stronger. These Hindus were converting mainly because of poverty.

Enter Lokmanya Tilak. In 1893, Tilak had taken the private celebration of Ganesha Chaturthi and turned it into a public community festival lasting for eleven days consisting of speeches, plays, musicals, songs and dances and more. His purpose was two fold: religious and political. He noticed that Christians not only got together for congregational church services on Sunday, but also celebrated holidays like Christmas and Easter as a group. This united the entire Christian community. Hindus had no festivals that did quite the same thing. As public as Diwali and Holi were, they were still not community festivals. This new form of Ganesha Chaturthi was designed to unify the Hindu community. On the political side, the eleven-day festival gave voice to people's secular aspirations through the presentation of poems, plays and speeches that the British government just could not monitor due to the sheer number of celebrations occurring everywhere. Tilak and other Indian leaders made fiery speeches that could have gotten them arrested any other time. As we now well know, Ganesha Chaturthi succeeded beyond Tilak's greatest expectations and to this day is a chance for political and social expression in every small city and town

During this time some ex-Hindus approached Tilak with their problem of not being able to get back into Hinduism. Even relatives would not accept their banished brothers and sisters back, and nobody would marry their children. Tilak started speaking out against the injustice of this one-way street. He convinced many that we had a ridiculously self-destructive system that was only hurting our own people. Then he declared that mass conversions of ex-Hindus would be a regular feature of Ganesha Chaturthi everywhere, every year.

To give conversions the sanction they lacked, Tilak himself attended as many of these ceremonies as possible during the eleven days of celebration. He also encouraged other leaders and influential Hindu priests to do the same. This gave conversions the recognition they lacked before. Ex-Hindus soon came to be accepted back into the fold. Once they were accepted, conversion no longer needed to be part of Ganesha Chaturthi and conversion faded away from the usual festival routine. It became a non-issue.

All Hindus owe a debt to Lokmanya Tilak for taking the lead in the late nineteenth century in righting a wrong perpetrated not by Hinduism but by Hindu society. Conversion to Hinduism has now been socially accepted for a hundred years.

(source: How Lord Ganesha opened the doors of Hinduism - By D V Ghokale - Hinduism Today). For more refer to chapters on European Imperialism, FirstIndologists and Conversion).

For the first time, a man of stature attempted to arouse a strong national feeling among all Indians by appealing to their sense of the historic past. Animated by the pugnacious spirit of the Marathas……he re-established the annual festival of …Ganesha.

The British were faced with continuing revolutionary activity in Bengal, which repression, and the arrest of Tilak and other radical leaders, had failed to check. Encouraged by the display of Muslim separation from the Hindus, they decided to grant the Morley-Minto Reforms in 1909, associating qualified Indians with the government. On this memorable date, it can be said that the decline of British power in India started and went on continuously until final independence was granted in 1947.

(source: The Soul of India – by Amaury de Riencourt p 303 - 305). 

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Motilal Banarasidas has offered an apology

Motilal Banarasidas Publishers has offered an apology and withdrawn the book "Ganesa" from circulation.

"I am obliged that you have gone through the book and made us aware about the extremely objectionable passages including the cover of the book. In fact, the book was published in 1985 by Oxford University Press and we never heard any adverse comments, hence without getting that reviewed we undertook the publication since it was originally published by an internationally established publisher. We did not care to go through the book thinking that this would be academically well acceptable. We are extremely sorry that the content of the book has hurt the sentiments of our beloved readers and the community at large. We offer our SINCEREST APOLOGIES to all our readers. We have already withdrawn the circulation of the book from the market and discontinued the sale. Further, we ensure that no such lapse shall ever occur in future. This need not be reiterated that MLBD has ever published any such offensive matter knowingly in the entire history of their publication for the last 100 years. Being one of the best known publishers devoted to Hinduism and ancient Indian culture we would never think to tarnish the image of any religion. This has been an omission on our part and we are really apologetic to the readers for its publication."


A scholar who does not know how to present other cultures by their own criteria should not be allowed to teach those cultures. His freedom of speech is not guaranteed by his ignorance. His degree is a privilege of knowledge, not ignorance. 

(image source: (source: Much Maligned Monsters: A History of European Reaction to Indian art - By Partha Mitter).

Refer to Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America - By Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas and Aditi Banerjee.


Closing Ranks?
Western academicians have called to boycott Motilal Banaridas in the future.

The call by Prof Cynthia Humes Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Claremont McKenna College on the RISA list said:

""If you are drawn to booth #521 in Atlanta, check the publisher and don't buy Motilal Banarsidass publications. If you are considering publishing, don't send anything to Motilal Banarsidass, because if this is true, you never know if they will withdraw their support of your scholarship years later due to a petition. If you are in the publication process with them, and if you are in a position to do so, withdraw your manuscripts and offer them elsewhere. We have a voice, too." And she continued in another post on the same day, functioning as the chief strategist on boycotting Motilal Banarsidas: “If I were he [i.e. Courtright], I would get some of those famous Emory lawyers on the case and sue both the company [i.e. Motilal] as well as Jain individually. 

Motilal Banarsidas is the only major Indology publisher with global reach and reputation that is controlled by Indians. Therefore, it is important to remind it of who the boss is, and thus also teach other Indians a lesson on the limits to their independence.

Prof. Antonio de Nicolas, professor Emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York has warned that if scholars did not use that particular rigorous standard, 'then the scholar is using those cultures in name only and his goal is their destruction, if not in intention at least in fact."

A scholar who does not know how to present other cultures by their own criteria should not be allowed to teach those cultures. His freedom of speech is not guaranteed by his ignorance. His degree is a privilege of knowledge, not ignorance. Freedom stops here. Opinions are not the food of the classroom at the hands of Professors. They guarantee knowledge."

"Would Dr. Courtright like to open a door to the enemies, or outsiders, of Christianity to do the same with the Bible, for example? Would he or others find it offensive if a Hindu scholar with full credentials and knowledge described the Creation myth of the Bible as an absurd and gross sexual representation? For one thing Freud would not be needed. The Bible is very explicit. The creation myth (history) says very clearly that the Creator created the world by ejecting his semen (ruh=pron.ruah) and mingling it with the waters. In other words, the creator created through masturbation. And if you stretch the story all the way to Jesus and follow the patrilineal lines given to him turns out that Yaweh is his father. Can you be more gross? And would any Ph.D in Religion be able to answer this attack?"

Prof. Kathleen Erndl gave her colleague a 'shabash': “I'm happy to see RISA members rallying to support our colleague, whether we agree with every word or not.” Closing ranks is typical of many RISA members, contradicting its claim of objectivity and individuality. Amod Lele, a Ph.D. student at Harvard, lacking any thesis of his own, continued his predictable role as bandwagon follower and sepoy-in-training. 

"The sad thing about some scholars in Indology is their inability to appreciate or understand religious sensitivities. Those who are bereft of any religious sensitivity cannot understand this, just as those who are hard of hearing cannot appreciate glorious music. But if the deaf start writing treatises on symphonic music, it could lead to laughable situations."

"It is ironic that in spite of more than a century and a half of dedicated Western Indology, the understanding of Hinduism among the educated in the West is at an appallingly deplorable level. So many Hindus rightly wonder what the goal of this scholarly enterprise is all about."

(source: Hindu Unitycom and 
RISA Lila - 2 - Limp Scholarship and Demonology - By Rajiv Malhotra - and A Hindu God Must Indeed Be Heathen - By Ramesh Rao - India Abroad 11/28/03. For more refer to chapter on First Indologists).

"Paul Courtright and Jeffrey Kripal (author of Kali's Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna) should be given wide publicity in India - Indians should realize what will happen if they neglect their heritage. Kripal's and Courtright's books should not be banned. People cannot throw off the shackles they wear until they recognize them as such. And being "hurtful to Hindu sentiments" is irrelevant. 

They are fundamentally dishonest, they do not pass elementary tests of plausibility. Open and free discussion will eventually put an end to this academic fashion."

(source: comments on Refer to articles Taking Back Hindu Studies - By Dr. Srinivas Tilak and Call For An Intellectual Kshatriya - by Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and What is the 'political' agenda behind American studies of South Asian Tantra? - By Rajiv Malhotra and Alerting Naked Emperors in an Age of Academic Arrogance - By Narayanan Komerath - Also refer to chapter on First Indologists

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Tallest Nataraja statue to be airlifted for Switzerland 



Chennai: A 11 foot tall panchaloha statue of Lord Nataraja, weighing about two tonnes, sculpted in a village near Swamimalai in Kumbakonam taluk in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, is to be airlifted from Chennai for Switzerland. Nearly 24 sculptors in Thimmakudi village toiled day and night for the past six months to create the worlds tallest Nataraja statue, now on its way to Chennai from the village.

The Nuclear Power Corporation in Geneva, Switzerland, had requested the Indian nuclear power corporation for a panchaloha statue. The job was entrusted to the sculptors in the village. The total cost of the statue was around Rs 15 lakh. It has been crafted as per the agama rules.

(source: Tallest Nataraja statue to be airlifted for Switzerland - For more on Nataraja refer to chapter on Symbolism in Hinduism). 

CERN and Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer

The Council (European Organization for Nuclear Research) meeting closed with a ceremony to unveil a statue of Nataraja offered to CERN by the Government of India as a symbol of India’s long-standing relationship with CERN. 

(source: CERN and Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer- CERN). 

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Preparing for Harvest - By V K Shashi Kumar of

The article "Preparing for the harvest…." Runs into full 11 pages followed by an editorial A Private faith made dangerously public - By Tarun j. Tejpal

"A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well funded, superbly neworked, backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy, it has India as one of its key targets, reveals V K Shashikumar in a disturbing expose". "Missionary-run operations have put in places a system which enables The US Government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse".

Like most stories, this one started with an innocuous tip. Correspondent V K Shashikumar stumbled upon the database that been painstakingly prepared over a decade by
AD 2000 & beyond movement. A careful read triggered numerous questions. The numbers and the spread of the new converts were mind-boggling.

Conversions in India are not illegal, provided they are not forced or induced by financial lure or economic gain…Who were the many strategists, the financial backers? How were they circumventing clearly laid out procedures according to which converts have to go through the district magistrate and the police?

The only way of finding definite answers was by assuming Christian identities, which V K Shashikumar and Maya Bhushan Nagvenkar both did, they worked on investigation and piecing together the story for more than three months. In this time they sent out more than 500 emails and read through more than 10000 pages of propaganda and information. Armed with news names, fresh email id, and visiting cards, they scoured various parts of India to did out what they discovered was a huge network  A net work that had been spurned by born-again president Bush and his team of evangelist advisors.

The conversion drive was more than just a numbers game; it was an unabashed exercise about exploiting the legal loopholes. And the aim was sinister, for it was all being done in the name of God and his messengers who have scientifically mapped Christian population areas down to every district level and block. Frightening and equally sinister was the revelation that US transnational organisation had personal data down to the last man, important because he was the vehicle who could get the next convert. And so our investigation unfolded. Till we ready with our comprehensive report."

The Tehelka reporters have done a pioneering Job in the history of Indian Journalism, by exposing the missionary and political nexus that emerges from the citadels of Washington DC, Ottowa, Sydney, London, Berlin and Stockholm, and Auckland. Backed by the religious right in America, Associations in India see the HIV/AIDS pandemic as an opportunity to evangelize"

(source: A Private faith made dangerously public - By Tarun j. Tejpal and  IndianCivilization -
Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism. Refer to Joshua Project: Bringing Definition to the Unfinished Task- Country India - 

Saving lives, Harvesting Souls - 

Backed by the religious right in America, associations in India see the HIV/AIDS pandemic as an opportunity to evangelise. VK Shashikumar and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar explore how faith based organisations bring the infected into their fold

Our experience shows that HIV/AIDS has definitely opened up windows to reach out to the “unreached” (non-Christians). . Many evangelical organisations in India, like the Friends Missionary Prayer Band and the Emmanuel Hospital Assoc-iation run care and support institutions. In India, these FBOs look at HIV/AIDS as leprosy of the twenty-first century. “It’s an opportunity for us to be able to share God’s love to accept, to make them part of us, to avoid stigma and discrimination against them,” Mathai told Tehelka.

Saving lives, Harvesting Souls -

The sound of silence

The lions of Indian activism climbed on rooftops with their megaphones when Tehelka previously exposed allegations of corruption against George Fernandes: They demanded that everyone remotely linked to his work should resign and go to jail. However, given their hush silence over this latest Tehelka report, one wonders whether these Indian lions have turned into Western lapdogs and become the bearers of global evangelism.

Indian activists have orchestrated a massive hue and cry over NRI funding of suspicious Hindutva activities -- such open inquiries are indeed important in bringing transparency. However, the dual-purpose funds being channeled from Western institutions dwarf the alleged size of suspicious Hindutva funds. Foreign organisations pressuring for a politically weak, unstable and fragmented India seem to have bought the complicity of enough five-star activists and intellectuals.

However, some other countries have spoken up against similar schemes -- see Thailand, for example.  

There are various cross-ideological alliances for activism in India where separatists of various kinds, Islamists, Christian fundamentalists and Leftists converge for collaborations. They blame Indian culture and Hinduism in particular as the fabric that holds India together, and wish to see it dismantled. A well-established coterie of Indian-Americans has been actively filing one-sided complaints against India's alleged human rights violations to US authorities, with varying degrees of authenticity. Such activism has led to the recent blacklisting of India by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. This Commission itself exists largely to protect the freedom of Christian evangelists to convert internationally. Rarely, if ever, has it condemned Christian countries over freedom of religion or investigated allegations against the proselytizers' practices.

(source: The Conversion Agenda - By Rajiv Malhotra - and Who is responsible for anti-India campaign in US? - By Rajiv Malhotra - - March 11, 2004).

India's Supreme Court says nobody has the "Right to Convert"

New Delhi: In a landmark judgment that comes a slap in the face of Christian fundamentalists and their secular friends, the Supreme Court declared that there is no such thing as a fundamental right to convert any person to one's own religion, and the government can impose certain restrictions keeping in view of public order. The court said: "The Article postulates that there is no fundamental right to convert another person to one's own religion because if a person purposely undertakes the conversion of another person to his religion, that would impinge on the freedom of conscience guaranteed to all the citizens of the country alike."

(source: The Hindu Renaissance - Vijayadashami, Shanivar, Ashvin Shuddha 10, Yugabda 5105  p. 55). Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism.

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Monorities face BJP- RSS terror:  alleges US outfit
The Rise of Hindu Extremism and the Repression of Christian and Muslim Minorities in India?

The Sangh Parivar "family of organisations" has been held responsible by the Washington-based Centre for Religious Freedom of using "terror and violence" to "subjugate or drive out the 14 per cent of the population who are Christian and Muslim."

Refer to Kashmir Holocaust and For violence against Hindus - refer to Hindu Human Rights Refer to My People, Uprooted: "A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal"  - By Tathagata Roy. Refer to America's inhuman rights record - By Arvind Lavakare - and Visions of the End of the World – By Dr.  Subhash Kak - Watch History of Ayodhya -

The report on India is titled "The Rise of Hindu Extremism and the Repression of Christian and Muslim Minorities in India."

The report is a scathing attack on the Parivar, listing in minute detail instances to support its contention that the Sangh Parivar is working to ensure the "predominance of Hinduism in Indian society, politics and culture" through terror and violence.

The report also expresses concern over the anti-conversion laws enacted in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, noting that nationwide restrictions on religious conversions are under active consideration.  

(Note: Sri Lankan cabinet approves law outlawing conversions - The Sri Lankan Cabinet has granted initial approval of a draft bill designed to prevent religious conversions, according to a June 24 report by Compass Direct news service. The Act for the Protection of Religious Freedom, much wider in scope than the one proposed by the JHU, was based on recommendations put forward by the Buddha Sasana Commission of 2002. The 2002 commission called for the introduction of anti- conversion laws and the creation of an informal court system or “Sanghadhikarana,” presided over by Buddhist monks. In January 2004, a group of Buddhist monks launched a fast, demanding that the government enact anti-conversion laws within the next 60 days. Parliament agreed in principle and the fast was called off.

Sri Lankan Christians have asked the international community to support them in protest against the new legislation, according to Compass Direct. The bill is intended to strengthen the "mutual trust/unity that exists among religions and with a view to protecting the religious freedom that people have enjoyed in the past. An act to provide for the prohibition of conversion to another religion forcibly or by use of force or inducement, or by fraud, or by unethical means or in any other manner ...."(source: Sri Lanka too to pass anti-conversion law and No conversions, Israel warns its Missionaries - for more refer to chapter on GlimpsesVI).

(Note: Nobody has right to convert: says Supreme Court of India - There is no such thing as a fundamental right to convert any person to one's own religion and the government can impose certain restrictions keeping in view public order, the Supreme Court has ruledsource: Nobody has right to convert: Supreme Court of India -

The report links this to the use of political power to "Hinduize the school curriculum, declaration of intent to change the Constitution to undercut the rights and status of minorities, and support for laws that restrict conversions to non-Hindu religions among lower castes and tribal people." The director of the centre, Ms Nina Shea, is quoted as saying, "Despite the continued integrity of some of India’s proud democratic institutions, the hate-filled, often violent Hindu nationalist trend, with key BJP support, is threatening India’s tradition of tolerance and its reputation as a liberal, pluralistic democracy." She added: "A country once personified by Mahatma Gandhi is becoming known for religious hatred and violence."  



Mahatma Gandhi, a devout Hindu, called religious conversions a fraud on humanity. "If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytizing". Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (a fervent secularist) said that that while conversion by an individual out of deep conviction was unexceptionable, there was no room for mass conversions of the kind indulged in by Christian missionaries by inducement and alienation."

Refer to Terrorism in Mumbai - chapter Glimpses XVIII


(Note: Mahatma Gandhi called religious conversions a fraud on humanity. "If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytizing". "I resent the overtures made to Harijans." "Stop all conversion, it is the deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth." Poverty doesn't justify conversion. For more refer to chapter on Conversion).

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (than whom it is hard to imagine a more fervent secularist) said that that while conversion by an individual out of deep conviction was unexceptionable, there was no room for mass conversions of the kind indulged in by missionaries by inducement and alienation."  Israel passed in mid-1970s a much more stringent law under which conversions by adopting the same methods as mentioned in the Tamil Nadu ordinance are punishable with five years rigorous imprisonment).

(source: The Rise of Hindu Extremism and the Repression of Christian and Muslim Minorities in India and For more refer on Gandhi refer to chapter on Quotes1_20, Conversion, GlimpsesVI and The Sunshine of Secularism). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and  Sri Lanka too to pass anti-conversion law and No conversions, Israel warns its Missionaries - for more refer to chapter on GlimpsesVI).  Lanka Buddhists on a ''fast unto death'' against unethical conversions - More than a hundred buddhist monks are on a 'fast unto death' here demanding the United National Front (UNF) government to bring in laws to curb 'unethical religious conversions'. ''We would continue the fast until the government took action to enact laws with immediate effect to prevent unethical means to convert Buddhists and Hindus in the island nation,'' Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya head Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera said.Thera said and added more than 7,000 Hindus have already been converted unethically). Also refer to America's inhuman rights record - By Arvind Lavakare - and Visions of the End of the World – By Dr. Subhash Kak - Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization -

It can only happen in India - By Chitananda Rajghatta

The outside world is watching with absolute fascination and bemusement, the prospect and process of the world's largest democracy hoist an Italian Roman Catholic woman as its Prime Minister. Even the great bastion of democracy, the United States, does not allow foreign-born citizens to become chief executive, thus keeping the highest office out of reach of eminence grises such Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright. No wonder the Bush administration was moved to marvel the miracle of Indian democracy, although true to form, the State Department, even in this remarkable moment, could not refrain from the usual advice about talks with Pakistan yada yada yada....

Meanwhile, have a good laugh on this one. While India was bringing about momentous changes in leadership, a semi-official US Commission on International Religious Freedom castigated New Delhi for its record on protecting the rights of minorities. Yeah, right, that's why India will now have a Christian Prime Minister to go with a Muslim President (a widow and a bachelor to boot). The bastion of democracy, religious freedom and human rights — the mostly white Christian United States, to paraphrase the description of India by western correspondents — is set to elect its 44th President — another Christian white male.

(source: It can only happen in India - By Chitananda Rajghatta - 

Make the tough decisions - By Paul Marshall

To expand its support and hold its political coalition together, the national BJP moderates its stance, but then it courts extremists to appeal to its base. Meanwhile, it is Hinduizing the school curriculum, undercutting minority rights and supporting laws forbidding lower castes to change their religion to escape their low status under Hinduism. 

(source: Make the tough decisions - By Paul Marshall - Paul Marshall has edited its recent book The Rise of Hindu Extremism. For more refer to Indians Against Christian Aggression and A Private faith made dangerously public - By Tarun j. Tejpal and Visions of the End of the World – By Dr. Subhash Kak -


EU - European Union Concern over Gujarat riots - The Indian Government initially reacted with indignation at what it saw as the EU's meddling with internal matters, as well as the leaks of the EU report into the Gujarat riots, the most violent in a decade.

Refer to Paris Burning - Riots in France and Intifada in France and Cars, windows smashed in Sydney race riots - Australia.

Racism in France 

What would the world have said if rampaging youth all over India had almost simultaneously set fire to over 6,000 cars, destroyed scores of buildings, shopping malls and schools and smashing whatever came in their way? That India was a land of lawlessness? That Indian police were inefficient in maintaining law and order? The world would have laughed at India. But when such incidents happened in France, the press has been remarkably silent. Comment has been low-key. It is as if the media is almost embarrassed at what happened in France in the first ten days of November.  It is the price that former imperial powers have to pay for their colonial sins.

(source: Racism in France - By M V Kamath -


India - Still The object of Islamic conquest

India , as the object of Islamic conquest, endured, over the centuries of Muslim rule and misrule, tens of millions of Hindu victims. India is a country that, at its Independence, was forced to give up large chunks of its territory on both sides to form West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), in order to accommodate Muslim demands. In Pakistan , at Partition, 15% of the population was Hindu; it is now 1.5%. In Bangladesh , at Partition, 34% of the population was non-Muslim (Hindu and Buddhist); it is now 7%. Meanwhile, in India , the Muslim percentage of the population steadily rises.

In the Pakistan-held parts of Jammu and Kashmir , 400,000 Hindu Pandits have, by Muslim pressure, been driven out. In Indian-held Kashmir , terrorist attacks by Muslims, supported by Pakistani groups unchecked by, and at times supported by, the Pakistani army, have attempted to murder and terrorize the Hindus and drive them out.

But every counter-attack by Hindus pushed to the limits of their endurance is given front-page coverage. We all know about the Hindu attacks on the mosque deliberately erected on the Hindu temple at Ayodha. We all know about the Hindu attacks on Muslims in Gujarat -- why, the State Department banned Narendra Modi, who ran the Gujarat government, from entering the United States .

But the provocations that prompted those attacks, the burning to death of Hindu pilgrims, is quickly glossed over in a sentence. And all the other Muslim attacks, steadily, all over India -- those repeated bombs in Mumbai, killing bankers and tea-wallahs alike, set off by the Muslims who run the Bombay underworld (the head gangster sought, and found safe haven, in Pakistan), and even the attack by Muslims on the Parliament building in New Delhi --somehow none of them ever quite make any impression on the non-Indian world. That world remains so deeply uninterested in what is endured by Indians, and unsympathetic (but why?) to Hindus.

(source: Required: a different attitude by the Indian government, and by all the Infidel governments - By Hugh Fitzgerald -  Jihad Watch).


Hindu Extremism in India Report - Inaccurate, Biased and Distorted - By Ravi Razdan

I am writing to express my outrage at the venomous and factually incorrect report below by the biased Dr Paul Marshall. You charter mentions "...defends against religious persecution of all groups.." not just some or the politically expedient ones. This report reads more like a tirade against the evil Hindus with all violent acts against them either not mentioned or being obfuscate by Dr Marshall's "clever" prose.

Here are some facts which this report totally ignores:

a) Half of million Kashmiri Hindus; living there from times before the advent of Islam were ethnically cleansed from the valley by the Islamist.

Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Movie

A pogram?

India has for the first time published detailed figures on the number of people killed in the religious riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002. The government told parliament that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, 223 more people reported missing and another 2,500 injured.

(source: Gujarat riot death toll revealed - BBC). Refer to Anti-U.S. Riot Turns Deadly in Afghanistan Anti-U.S. Protests Erupt in Afghanistan Over Quran Desecration Report; 4 Dead, 71 Injured - Shouting "Death to America!" more than 1,000 demonstrators rioted and threw stones at a U.S. military convoy Wednesday, as protests spread to four Afghan provinces over a report that interrogators desecrated Islam's holy book at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay).

58 Hindu women and children were torched alive by Islamist in the train prior to the Gujarat riots not "reportedly killed".

Recovering charred bodies of Hindus

Torching alive innocent citizens is in total violation of Indian values and traditions and is a blot on the fair name of this ancient civilization. 

Refer to Terrorism in Mumbai - chapter Glimpses XVIII

Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Movie Refer to Goebbelsian secularism and Gujarat riot myths busted - By Abraham Thomas -


b) 58 Hindu women and children were torched alive by Islamist in the train prior to the Gujarat riots not "reportedly killed". Mr Marshall like a typical Jihadi blames it on a overturned stove! I did not know that overturned stove also paralyzes people so they can't move and leave. (Refer to chapter Glimpses V for more on Godhra and Let's Call it Post-Godra Riots).

58 pilgrims, including 26 women and 12 children, returning from Ayodhya when the Sabarmati Express carrying them was torched near Godhra railway station and the subsequent sectarian violence. These gory incidents shocked the nation to no end. Torching alive innocent citizens is in total violation of Indian values and traditions and is a blot on the fair name of this ancient civilization. It is a gross violation of human rights of innocent citizens who were roasted alive or brutally killed or maimed for no fault of theirs.

(source: Facts Speak For Themselves: Godhra and After).   For violence against Hindus - refer to Hindu Human Rights. Refer to My People, Uprooted: "A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal"  - By Tathagata Roy

c) No mentions of Marad massacre of Hindu fishermen again by an armed gang of Islamist leaving a mosque after Friday prayers.

So does your organization see Muslim extremism and killing of Hindus as a good thing to be encouraged ? Is that why it is being ignored in this report. Islamist intolerance for minorities and their general aggressiveness is well known throughout the world, India is no exception.Your report needs to reflect that reality. Either fix this report or have a separate report on Muslim extremism in India. I look forward to your thoughts on a speedy way of rectifying this bias "

(source: and For Brutalities on Hindus in Bangladesh, refer to chapter on GlimpsesV and for cleansing of Hindus refer to Cleansing of Hindus in Tripura). For more on Godhra refer to Blaming the Hindu Victim: Manufacturing Consent for Barbarism). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and Refer to Kashmir Holocaust

Indologist Koenraad Elst has pointed out: "Hindu Society has been suffering a sustained attack from Islam since the 7th century, from Christianity since the 15th century, and this century also from Marxism. The avowed objective of each of these three world-conquering movements, with their massive resources, is the replacement of Hinduism by their own ideology, or in effect: the destruction of Hinduism. This concern is not at all paranoid (as the spokespersons of these aggressors would say), even if the conversion squads are remarkably unsuccessful in India. Consider the situation in Africa: in 1900, 50 % of all Africans practiced Pagan religion; today Christian and Islamic missionaries have reduced this number to less than 10 %. 

That is the kind of threat Hinduism is up against. 

(source: Negationism in India - By Koenraad Elst   p 78 - 79). Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization - Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism. Watch History of Ayodhya -

Tendentious reporting on Gujarat


Washington Post. 

Dear Editors,

The Report on Gujarat you published is seriously unbalanced. There is an eager acceptance of the thoroughly politicised explanation that the Sabarmati train fire, sending forty women and children to a horrible death and prompting the Godhra riots, was an accident. Many who exult in this improbable account also insist that President Bush engineered 9/11 to justify the invasion of Iraq . The violence that followed it stands condemned and the State authorities must always bear moral responsibility for such events on their watch. However, it was scattered across the state of Gujarat and the army was summoned immediately, contrary to some malicious accusations.  

Criminal responsibility has not yet been attributed to the Chief Minister and smears to impute it are premature. The particular smear, for the umpteenth time about the Nazi sympathies of the RSS to which Mr. Modi is affiliated, is a canard that is repeated unfailingly to deliver a supposed coup de grâce. Let me remind you that the particular unfortunate statement in question, formally repudiated subsequently, served up to smear was made before Kristallnacht in November1938 and long before Hitler become the murderous monster for which he is universally reviled.  

At the time, his Nazi party had countless sympathisers in Europe, perceiving in him Europe 's saviour from the perversions of Bolshevism. They included much of the British Conservative Party, among them Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax.

The RSS may deserve ignominy for all sorts of reasons, but not for anti-Semitism because of one solitary statement approving what one leader misguidedly regarded as German patriotism. And it remains Israel 's staunchest supporter in India unlike the fiercely anti-Western and anti-Israeli commentators whose account of alleged Hindu extremism your correspondent has uncritically espoused.  

Yours truly, Dr. Gautam Sen - Indo-Jewish Association ( UK )

(source: Tendentious reporting on Gujarat). Refer to Goebbelsian secularism and Gujarat riot myths busted - By Abraham Thomas -


PM Manmohan Singh (UPA) labels "Gujarat riots" as a Holocaust

Manmohan is a prisoner of his own reputation. He is perceived as scholarly, serious, upright and kindly -- a cut above the average grasping politician. These attributes have conferred on him both respectability and acceptability. His limitations -- malleable, spineless and too wooden -- are known.

The PM is sufficiently well read to know that holocaust is a term that cannot be used casually. In contemporary usage, it refers to the organised elimination of some six million Jews by Hitler's Nazis. It carries connotations of institutionalised evil on a grand scale.

According to a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on May 11, 2005 by the Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal,
a total of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the post-Godhra riots of 2002 in Gujarat . It ranks just a notch below the killing of more than 1,000 Sikhs in Delhi (there were another 400 killings in other parts of India ) -- a tragedy that Rajiv Gandhi justified with a facile analogy to falling trees.

The murder of any Indian in sectarian violence is a blot. Yet, the incidents recur with monotonous regularity and the blame game goes on without interruption. It's bad enough for the Prime Minister to once again lower himself to what Nehru once disdainfully called "the level of the bazaar". His offence is compounded by his penchant for wilful exaggeration.

If the Gujarat riots were, indeed, another Holocaust, does it do the image of India any good in the eyes of the world? Or, is the Prime Minister so utterly contemptuous of the people of Gujarat that he would go to any extent to vilify them?
The Holocaust utterance tells us more about the PM's insecurities and paranoia than it does about what happened in Gujarat five years ago. 

Of course, Manmohan's Government has an intimate sense of what constitutes a Holocaust. In November 2005, Russia , Canada , Australia , Israel and the US moved a resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for January 27 to be observed each year as a memorial day for the six million Jews and other victims of the Nazi Holocaust. India voted against it.

The suggestion was that it was an attempt by the
UPA to cosy up to the anti-Semitic lobby that thrives in parts of West Asia . The real reason, I suspect, was that Manmohan felt that the actual Holocaust happened in Gujarat . It would be interesting to know what the people of Gujarat have to say about the Prime Minister's sense of history."

(source: False Eloquence does Manmohan in – By Swapan DasGupta -


Politics by Other Means - By Arvin Bahl
The outright distortions on HRW report

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a widely publicized report titled, “We Have No Orders to Save You: State Complicity and Communal Violence in Gujarat” published April 30, 2002.  It claims that the post-Godhra violence was planned even before the Godhra incident occurred and the attacks on Muslims in Gujarat were “state sponsored.” HRW reports about Hindu mobs chanting “Jai Sri Ram,” while they were attacking Muslims.  Similarly, a man named Yusuf Ajmeri led a 1000 strong mob with swords and guptis in their hands into a Hindu locality shouting, “Kill Hindus, Allah is with us." HRW mentions the burning of Bibles at the I.P. Mission School in the Rajkot district. But what is not mentioned is that forced conversions were going on.  The school distributed among its students copies of Navo Karaar, the New Testament in Gujarati. On the last page was an oath ("I accept Jesus Christ as my saviour," etc) to be signed by each student.

Politics by Other Means - By Arvin Bahl  - South Asia Analysis Group). Refer to Goebbelsian secularism and Gujarat riot myths busted - By Abraham Thomas -

Hindu preacher killed by Tripura Christian rebels - A tribal Hindu spiritual leader has been killed by separatist rebels in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura. Police say about ten guerrillas belonging to the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura the NLFT, broke into a temple near the town of Jirania on Sunday night and shot dead Shanti Tripura, a popular Hindu preacher popularly known as Shanti Kali.

The separatist group says it wants to convert all tribes people in the state to Christianity.

The BBC correspondent in the region says the killing has created tension between the majority of tribals, who are Hindu or Buddhist, and the small number of Christian converts. A tribal Hindu spiritual leader has been killed by separatist rebels in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura.  

(source: Hindu preacher killed by Tripura rebels - BBC - August 28 2000). 

Dr. Rochunga Pudaite, the founder and president of the Colorado Springs-based Bibles for the World, spoke about an outreach taking place in Tripura, the second smallest state in India which is almost surrounded by Bangladesh and has 19 tribes, although the majority of the population of Tripura is Bengali. During one of the Billy Graham Congresses on World Evangelization, Tripura was declared as one of the least evangelized areas of the world and as a result of that, we started sending out missionaries to them from our people and now we have over 65 churches in Tripura. "  

(source: Cleansing of Hindus in Tripura and mission network and Indians Against Christian Aggression). Also refer to America's inhuman rights record - By Arvind Lavakare - Refer to Kashmir Holocaust Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism. Refer to My People, Uprooted: "A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal"  - By Tathagata Roy and Refer to Terrorism in Mumbai - chapter Glimpses XVIII. Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Movie

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Terrorists in North-East India get support from America - By Kunal Ghosh 

This is the best time to remind the Americans that Baptist Christian terrorists are active in India's North-East and they derive their financial support from the southern parts of the USA where the Baptist Church has a strong following. Funds are collected in the form of donations in various church establishments in the name of evangelical work.  However, it has been suspected for a long time that a part of this fund gets diverted for buying arms for the Baptist terrorists of the North-East. Our ex-Chief Election Commissioner, T. N. Seshan, gave voice to this suspicion in a television panel discussion on Doordarshan as early as in 1993. Our Army is baffled by the seemingly unending supply of sophisticated and expensive supply of arms and equipment flooding into our North-East. All terrorists of various hues, the so-called Darjeeling Gorkha, the so-called Kamtapuri, Bodo, Ulfa, Naga, Manipuri, Tripuri etc, are flush with automatic rifles, land mines, remote control devices and so on. Money generated by the local extortion of businessmen and citizens account for only a small fraction. Therefore the greater part must be coming from abroad. It is suspected that the funds come from Islamic sources such as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan, the Gulf states etc. and Christian sources such as the Baptist Church in southern USA and the Presbyterian Church of the UK.

The most prominent among the terrorist outfits of Tripura is the NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura). It employs terror tactics to effect mass conversion to Christianity (The Statesman 1999, 2000; Ghosh 1999) and is a predominantly Baptist (Protestant) organisation.

It should be noted that the most dominant church in the Khasi hills is Presbyterian (Protestant) which is based in the UK. Christian terrorists have been active in various States of North-East India for a long time. Recently they have spread to North Bengal also. Reverend John Thwaites, a Protestant priest who had been in North Bengal for over three decades, was asked to leave the country in January 2001. No reason was given and he defied the order. The West Bengal Government quietly arrested and prosecuted him. There were demonstrations by his sympathisers during the trial which ended in August 2001. The judge sentenced him to three months simple imprisonment following which he was to be deported to his native land of the United Kingdom. 

It is inconceivable that those in southern United States who collect funds for the Baptist Church's evangelical work in India have no inkling of the end use of that fund. One among several end uses is buying weapons for organized terrorism.

(source: Terrorists in North-East India get support from America - by Kunal Ghosh - For more refer to Indian Against Christian Aggression). For more refer to chapter on Conversion and FirstIndologists). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp). Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization - Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism. Refer to Religious Freedom Report as a Political Weapon - According to the report, there seems to be mainly one discriminated minority in India : the Christian missionaries.  Refer to Persecution complex - Evangelical lawmakers behind creation of USCIRF

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Christian fundamentalist textbooks display a breathtakingly arrogant attitude towards Hinduism. 
Teaching Religious Intolerance - By Frances Patterson

To say that Christian fundamentalist textbooks portray non-Western religions in a negative way is to understate the case by several orders of magnitude. All the texts are imbued with an arrogance and hostility toward non-Western religions that is truly breathtaking.

This animus toward other religions is intimately tied to the theological roots of fundamentalist Christian perspectives. As researchers Gaddy, Hall, and Maranzo have noted, because Christian fundamentalists believe that truth can only be found in "God's infallible, literal Word revealed in the Bible, religious tolerance toward others with different values and different world views must be rejected." Materials from the three (A Beka Press, Bob Jones University Press, and School of Tomorrow/Accelerated Christian Education) publishers have a recurring theme: that the lack of material progress in various Third World countries and among indigenous peoples can be attributed to their religious beliefs.

In one textbook's discussion of India, for example, students are asked how Hinduism contributed "to this country's sad fate." Students are then encouraged to contrast India with the United States and told, "If we refused to kill disease-carrying insects, allowed filthy animals to roam around in public places, and refused to eat meat for nourishment, do you think we would be as prosperous as we are?"

Hinduism comes in for, perhaps, the strongest antipathy. In A Beka's texts, the term "pagan" is frequently used to describe the Hindu religion and the beliefs of its adherents. The term "evil" is also used.  


Christian fundamentalist textbooks display a breathtakingly arrogant attitude toward Hinduism. They cite the negative effects of Hinduism on India: "The effects of Hinduism have been devastating to India's history." 

(image source: India Ceylon Bhutan Nepal and the Maldives - By The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples).


Its fifth-grade history textbook emphasizes what it considers to be the negative effects of Hinduism on India: "The effects of Hinduism have been devastating to India's history." 

The seventh grade text quotes an unidentified scholar arguing that the Hindus are "incapable of writing history [because] all that happens is dissipated in their minds into confused dreams. What we call historical truth and veracity - intelligent, thoughtful comprehension of events, and fidelity in representing them - nothing of this sort can be looked for among the Hindus."


Christian fundamentalist textbooks display a breathtakingly arrogant attitude towards other religions

For sixth graders using one text published by Bob Jones University Press, each mention of Buddhism is accompanied by a brief passage comparing Buddhism's deficiencies with the true religion of Christianity. For example, students read that "although these [Burmese] Buddhists are sincerely trying to live a good life and do good deeds, they will never receive the peace they seek. These people need to know the Savior." In A Beka's elementary world history text, fifth graders read that Islam is "a false religion." In general, A Beka's history textbooks emphasize Africa's need for Christian evangelism. In addition to derogatory comments about the religious beliefs of non-Christian Africans, the textbooks assert that their religious beliefs have been the major cause of the continent's lack of cultural and material progress and political instability and repression. In A Beka's fifth-grade text, students read that traditional African religions were "false religious beliefs." While discussing the work of Scottish missionary Mary Slessor, the text uses the term "savage" on three separate occasions.....(Note: the spiritual dark continent? - Livingstone’s ambition for Central Africa was “Commerce, Civilization, and Christianity.”).

(source: Teaching Religious Intolerance - By Frances Patterson - For India's history refer to European Imperialism, Suvarnabhumi, and Hindu Culture and Qutoes). For more refer to chapter on Conversion and FirstIndologists). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp).

Non-Christians and Ethnic Cleansing?

If the latest in the Left Behind - By Tim Lahaye, Jerry B. Jenkins - series of evangelical thrillers is to be believed, Jesus will return to Earth, gather non-Christians to his left and toss them into everlasting fire:

"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."

These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.

(source: Jesus and Jihad - By Nicholas D. Kristof - New York Times - July 17, 2004). Refer to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits - And the World Remained Silent - Movie

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James Bond, Demi Moore for Kumbh Mela

Hardwar, Jan. 25: Hollywood superstars Pierce Brosnan and Demi Moore will arrive in Rishikesh on April 14 to take a holy dip in the river Ganga for the Kumbh. April 13, 14 and 19 are the most auspicious days for the holy dip. They will then proceed to Ujjain, which is one of the four centres of the mela. Even though the visit is being kept under wraps, sources revealed the two stars will put up either at Dayanand Ashram or Paramat Niketan in Rishikesh.

The Simhastha Kumbh Mela will take place at Ujjain after a gap of 12 years. The entire period, spanning from April 5 to May 5, is considered auspicious with five main bathing dates. Kumbh has always been a favorite with Hollywood stars. Madonna, Sharon Stone and Richard Gere have earlier visited the Mela.

Meanwhile, Hardwar is currently hosting the Ardh Kumbh Mela and the first auspicious date for a holy dip is January 26. Leaving nothing to chance, the district administration is geared up for the rush. Several development works, amounting to Rs 135 crores, have already been undertaken.

(source: James Bond, Demi Moore for Kumbh Mela - deccan  


'Swimming Pool' French Star Travels Rural India

Jean Marie Lamour, star of last year's French movie "Swimming Pool," plunged into the kaleidoscopic world of India's remote villages in the desert state of Rajasthan for his new film. Lamour and co-star Camille Natta spent six weeks there filming "Hari Om," a French-Hindi-English road movie that found them working and living in dusty towns, mobbed and cheered in villages, stared at by curious strangers and witnesses to the slow-motion life of India's rural expanse.  

"Our countries are very clean and organized ... but we lost a bit of the spirit in our countries. You didn't," Lamour said during a pool-side interview at a posh New Delhi hotel. "Hari Om" — the words of a Hindu incantation — looks at the turbulent relationship of a French couple vacationing in India. The trip proves to have more emotional and spiritual layers than they anticipated, changing their lives as Natta's character is driven through Rajasthan by an Indian taxi driver while Lamour follows seeking to rescue the relationship. "Even if there is a lot of poverty, (poor Indians) are not lonely," Lamour said. "And even if there are 10 in a room, they try to smile and enjoy what they have. In our countries, they always want a bigger house, a bigger car, whatever. They don't enjoy what they have." 

"In Europe, our misery is loneliness," added Natta, wrapped in a colorful, homespun khadi shawl. "A lot of people are very lonely because it is a very individualistic society. Here there is a sense of community." "I have discovered something in India which I wasn't expecting to see — a sense of freedom," Natta said.

(source: 'Swimming Pool' French Star Travels Rural India -

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String of arsons puts Houston's Hindus on edge

A string of arson attacks, under investigation by a two-county task force, may be targeting members of the Hindu faith, a leading member of a Houston-area Hindu temple says. "People are concerned and we would like to have the responsible leaders look into this," said Natubhai Patel, a member of the Shree Swaminarayan Temple. Patel and other members of the Hindu community believe the victims of all 11 fires under investigation by the task force were Hindus.

The fires, which occurred over the past six months, are being investigated by a task force of arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department, Fort Bend County, Harris County and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The fact that the victims have been Hindus suggests the Hindu community is being targeted, Natubhai Patel said. "We don't know really who would be behind it," he said. "It's anybody's guess."

(source: String of arsons puts Houston's Hindus on edge - Houston Chronicle - December 2 ' 2003).

Arizona Sikhs face threats from white supremacists 

Sikhs living in Arizona state in southwestern US are being targeted by hate groups since a court found a white man guilty of killing a Sikh following 9/11.

Arizona newspapers say that hate groups, allegedly led by white supremacists, have moved to the Phoenix area, known as the Valley. Balbir Singh was shot dead shortly in September 2001 in what was officially recorded as a hate crime. The East Valley Tribune, a local publication from Arizona said that white supremacist organisations with names such as Nazi Lowriders, the White Aryan Resistance (one of the most notorious groups in the country), Volksfront, the National Alliance and Ku Klux Klan have targeted the Valley. They are aggressively seeking new members, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Arizona Sikhs face threats from white supremacists - by Vasantha Arora

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Gone with Gandhi - India could have been a Christian nation now. All because of one church service!  

Then I remembered: A young Indian man once walked into a church service there. He was searching for something missing in his life. He was a Hindu, but not satisfied with his religion. He was considering becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. Later, he wrote about that church service: "The congregation did not strike me as being particularly religious. They were not an assembly of devout souls, but appeared rather to be worldly-minded people going to church for recreation and in conformity to custom." He sadly concluded that if this was Christianity, it added nothing to his Hinduism.

Thus he turned away from Jesus, never to seriously reconsider Him again. Tragic, unbelievably tragic, for that young man was Mohandas Gandhi.

Albert Einstein would later write about Gandhi: "The moral influence which Gandhi has exercised upon thinking people may be far more durable than would appear likely in our present age." India today is largely a reflection of that remarkable man. I ask you: what if the church service in Pretoria had been filled with the presence of God? What if the pastor had preached Christ instead of politics? What if Gandhi had been received warmly by truly caring believers? Why, the entire face of India could have been reversed.

India with its one billion souls could have been a Christian nation now. All because of ONE service!

When you go to church this weekend, you have no idea who may be there. Maybe even someone who will influence the whole world. So, do not be nonchalant about that service. Christ is observing... and perhaps even another Gandhi.

(source: Gone with Gandhi - India could have been a Christian nation now - Dan Betzer - CBN  and Hindu For more on Gandhi refer to chapters on Quotes1-20 and Conversion. Also refer to The Story of my Experiments with Truth and The Sunshine of Secularism). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and Indians Against Christian Aggression.

While traveling from Durban to Johannesburg Gandhi had his first experience of racial discrimination. Just three hours into his journey, the conductor came to examine the tickets. Although Gandhi had a First Class ticket, he was asked by the conductor to move to the coach, because the South African Railway did not allow colored people to travel First Class. Gandhi refused to move and was eventually thrown out of the train at night).   

Conversions subvert cultural plurality - By Sandhya Jain

Conversions are objectionable because they invariably involve loss of identity. This is unavoidable because the religions that proselytize are those that have aggressively destroyed the heritage and roots of the societies whose adherence they won, usually by violence. A cursory glance at the European, African, North and South American and Australian continents will testify to the veracity of this statement.

(source:  Conversions subvert cultural plurality - By Sandhya Jain - Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization - Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism.

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Conversions can be Human Rights violation - says Swami Dayanand

For those bleeding heart liberals, who go into a paroxysm of protest whenever there is an encounter death of criminal or a dadha, it would be interesting to note that conversions too constitute a human rights violation. Without denigrating one's religion, you cannot convert one to another. And this denigration is against human right that is there in the Bill of Rights.

So, all States in India and the Central government should ban all forcible conversions like the Tamilnadu and Gujarat governments have.

This was one among the several resolutions passed at the end of the three-day conference of Acharya Sabha, the apex body of Hindu Dharma. Around 55 matatheepathis, atheenams and mandaleshwars (including, among others, from Kancheepuram, Dwaraka, Udipi), had a brainstorming session in the city since 29 November and at the end of it resolved to seek a ban on forcible conversions and cow slaughter and implementation of uniform civil code.

The issue of conversion is part of that. Swami Dayanand, terming conversions as a form of violence, said 'one should never do this. This leads to uprooting'.

(source: Conversions can be Human Rights violation - says Swami Dayanand - Refer to chapter on Conversion and The Sunshine of Secularism). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and No conversions, Israel warns its Missionaries and Indians Against Christian Aggression. For more refer to chapter on GlimpsesVI). Refer to Joshua Project: Bringing Definition to the Unfinished Task- Country India - 


A rupee a day keeps conversion away, says Shankaracharya

Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth, has urged Hindus to contribute at least a rupee a day to a fund for the development of tribal areas -- so that "illegal" conversions can be curbed.

People are taking advantage of the poverty and underdevelopment of tribals to wean them away from Hinduism, the seer said while addressing the annual function of Ganjam college, 30 km from Berhampur in Orissa on Monday. The Shankaracharya also ridiculed the contention that tribals were not Hindus. Hinduism was the oldest faith in the world, and the time has come its followers to protect it, he said.

(source: A rupee a day keeps conversion away, says Shankaracharya - - PTI January 6 2004). Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization - Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism.

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India became the first power to defeat a European power in a naval battle - The Battle of Colachel in 1742 CE.

A dramatic and virtually unknown past, in an area of bucolic calm surrounded by spectacular hills: that is Colachel, a name that should be better known to us. For this is where, in 1741, an extraordinary event took place -- the Battle of Colachel. For the first, and perhaps the only time in Indian history, an Indian kingdom defeated a European naval force. The ruler of Travancore, Marthanda Varma, routed an invading Dutch fleet; the Dutch commander, Delannoy, joined the Travancore army and served for decades; the Dutch never recovered from this debacle and were never again a colonial threat to India. 



The ruler of Travancore, Marthanda Varma, routed an invading Dutch fleet; the Dutch commander, Delannoy, joined the Travancore army and served for decades; the Dutch never recovered from this debacle and were never again a colonial threat to India. 


The Battle of Colachel in 1742 CE,  where Marthanda Varma of Travancore crushed a Dutch expeditionary fleet near Kanyakumari. The defeat was so total that the Dutch captain, Delannoy, joined the Travancore forces and served loyally for 35 years--and his tomb is still in a coastal fort there. So it wasn't the Japanese in the Yellow Sea in 1905 under Admiral Tojo who were the first Asian power to defeat a European power in a naval battle--it was little Travancore. The Portuguese and the Dutch were trying to gain political power in India at that time. Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch in 1741. He was an able ruler. He established peace in his country - Travancore. It was a remarkable achievement for a small princely state; yet not one of my Indian friends has ever heard of the Battle of Colachel. This, in my opinion, is another example of our sadly skewed education -- we have adopted wholesale a Macaulayite curriculum that was designed to drum into Indians the notion that we were inherently inferior, mere powerless pawns in a European-dominated world.

We study events where Indians were crushed, massacred, trounced, humiliated: Plassey, Panipat, Tarain, Chittor, the failed First War of Independence, Jallianwallah Bagh. We study about every invader, from Alexander the Macedonian onwards, who came over the Himalayan passes and laid waste to the land. We study the disastrous history of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. We never hear of the far more lustrous history of the Peninsula -- not of Rajendra Chola's maritime Southeast Asian empire, nor the wealth and power of fabled Vijayanagar, nor the chivalrous chaver suicide squads in the Zamorin's kingdom at Kozhikode, nor even about perhaps the greatest of Indian philosophers, the Buddhist Nagarjuna. This is a serious lacuna --and yet we wonder why we as a nation suffer from an inferiority complex?

Delannoy lies entombed at an inland fort, Udayagiri, a few miles away from Colachel. At his tomb, there is an inscription: Stand, Traveller, and behold! For here lies Captain Delannoy, who served Maharaja Marthanda Varma and Travancore faithfully for three decades. This foreigner, this feringhee, served our country well, two hundred years ago. How little we know of the reasons this man agreed to serve an enemy prince. It could hardly have been coercion -- not if he stayed on for the rest of his life. It must have been a genuine respect for, and perhaps admiration and even affection for this land and this prince. It behooves us to understand that even at the height of the European colonisation spree, there were Indians capable of resisting and winning. Most of us know that in 1905, the Japanese under Admiral Tojo trounced the Russians in the Yellow Sea. This is considered the first example of an Asian power defeating a European power in a naval engagement. Yet here we have little Travancore defeating the Dutch two-and-a-half centuries ago; the same Dutch who went on to conquer and dominate the entire Indonesian archipelago. 

(source: The Battle of Colachel: In remembrance of things past - By Rajeev Srinivasan - and For more refer to chapter on Seafaring in Ancient India). For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

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Defening silence?

In its annual convention at Thrissur (Kerala), the Catholic Bishops Conference of India - CBCI has unanimously decided to recommend beatification for Devasahayam Pillai, said to be the army chief of Travancore Hindu king Martanda Varma. According to the Catholic sources, Devasahayam Pillai was executed by the king because the former had embraced Christianity. Catholics treat Pillai as a martyr on the basis of a story invented by historian Mackenzie. 

Professor A Sreedhara Menon, the noted historian and author of many books on the history of Travancore, says, "Leave alone execution, not even a single case of persecution was recorded in the history of Travancore in the name of religious conversion. It is a concocted story and figment of imagination." 

According to Professor Menon, during the 29- year regime beginning from 1729, Martanda Varma had executed several people, irrespective of caste, even some of his royal family, not in the name of conversion but charges of treason. He pointed out, "How can you say that the erstwhile Travancore rulers persecuted Christians when history records that they had even permitted the Diwans like colonel Munroe to take over the administration of Devaswoms?" 

Mr MGS Narayanan, the former chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research, said that he had never come across any one named either Neelakantan Pillai or Devasahayam Pillai as the army chief of Martanda Varma in Kerala' s history. The Vivekanand Kendra chief, Mr P Parameshwaran, has rightly pointed out that the CBCI's move is an attempt to hurt the Hindu sentiment. He says, "The CBCI's act of unanimously passing a resolution to canonise a traitor to the state simply because he converted to Christianity shows a very low level of decency and patrotism. How can such an august body pass a resolution without fully knowing the facts?" 

Quoting from the Travancore state manual, he said that Devasahayam was not an army chief of Martanda Varma, as the CBCI claims. He was an employee of the Varma royal household. Mr Parameshwaran insisted that Devasahayam Pillai was executed because he had tampered with the official palace records and passed them on to De Lannoy, commander of the Dutch army. 

Raja Martanda Varma executed him only after confirmation of the sedition. The king had the right over life and property of his subjects - in terms of the then existing laws. "To attribute this punishment to religious vendetta or intolerance is the height of injustice," said Parmeshwaran.Why a big section of our media is not debunking the CBCI's plans to harm Hindu sentiments, and the sense of patriotism, is a poser. It is the same pseudo secularists who made a lot of noise on the Jhabua nuns' rape-case. It is the same people who have chosen to keep mum on the rape and murder of a nine-year-old Hindu girl in the Catholic Mission School at Jhabua a few days back.

(source: Defening silence? - By Balram Mishra - Jaunary 20 2003). 

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Louisiana elections and India -  Different View points
Going gaga about Bobby Jindal - By Dilip D'souza

Yet here in India we swoon over him. We hail his political rise -- his attempt to become governor itself -- as one more sign of a resurgent India. We tell ourselves that he "has put India firmly on the global map." Hell-oo! What's going on here? I mean, I don't recall a single article about him in his own country that made much of his Indian roots, or pronounced that his election campaign had "put India firmly on the global map." So, applauding his success as a barometer of India's makes about as much sense as seeing Schwarznegger's victory as a triumph for India: apart from their names -- OK, their muscles too -- what's the difference between Arnie and Bobby? For that matter, it makes about as much sense as hailing Jayalalitha's electoral triumphs for "putting India on the global map." In fact, it's likely the lady from Tamil Nadu has done more to get India noticed than Jindal has.

No, what's REALLY going on here is our age-old obsession with America and the West. In this case, how we yearn for approval from foreigners, and specially American foreigners! How we long for them to recognize us as equals! Therefore, how we grasp for anything at all that can be put in that light. Even if it is nothing more than a young American's Indian name.

(source: Going gaga about Bobby Jindal - By Dilip D'souza -

There is the Holy Ghost, for African Americans, and St Landry, for whites. In between is the cemetery where, by law and then by custom, people of the same faith have been buried separately according to their race. In death as in worship the binary tradition of the south's racial history have persisted in deep southern states such as Louisiana. There is black and there is white and those basic differences will follow you to the grave and on to eternity.  In what is a tense and tightly fought campaign, the Republican candidate, Bobby Jindal, is neither black nor white but brown - the 32-year-old son of Indian immigrants. This in a state where 12 years ago a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, won a majority of the white vote.

(source: Is this the new face of rightwing deep south politics? - By Gary Younge - -

Black Voters and White Racists frustrate Louisiana GOP

An American-born, converted Catholic scion of an upper caste Hindu family is still just a “sand nigger” to Bubba. It was to have been the glorious culmination of an utterly cynical strategy. Louisiana would become the fourth state domino in less than six weeks to fall to the GOP juggernaut – only this victory would be the sweetest of all, propelling a young brown Republican into a Deep South governor’s mansion and ending forever the GOP’s stigma as the White Man’s Party. A Black Trojan Horse Democratic Mayor offered son-of-immigrants Bobby Jindal the keys to New Orleans, lending deeper color to the deceit. Wine-sipping white suburbanites anxiously anticipated the ascension of their Great Brown Hope, who would cleanse their privilege, purge all vestiges of guilt, and validate once and for all their assertions of color blindness.

Black folks and Bubba burst that bubble. When the election returns rolled in on Saturday night, November 15, Republicans discovered that their phony minority outreach strategy had failed its southern test, defeated by an abused but still remarkably unified Black electorate. The fact that Jindal is of East Indian extraction “apparently didn’t mean anything to the white rural voter.” There are two lessons that emerge from the Louisiana Governor’s race. First, the GOP’s historic “transformation” from the White Man’s Party to something more cosmetically cosmopolitan is a doomed farce. Bubba ain’t havin’ it.

In hindsight, the Jindal foray may have been a southern sideshow. As a U.S.-savvy writer to the Indian newspaper The Statesman commented, “Jindal wanted to be the Clarence Thomas from the Indian American community and he lost.” GOP leaders dearly love their colored pets, who serve psychological as well as political purposes. 

(source: Black Voters and White Racists frustrate Louisiana GOP - - November 20 2003 Issue 65).

Jindal, Judeo, Jogi, and Antonia - By Rajeev Srinivasan

The average voter in Louisiana is a racist, Christian fundamentalist bigot, whereas the Indian voter is extraordinarily tolerant and enlightened. This is the startling conclusion I am forced to arrive at from comparing the short, unhappy political lives of Bobby (ne Piyush) Jindal and Antonia Sonia Maino Gandhi, respectively.

Why do I surmise that the average Louisiana voter (caricatured as redneck Bubba) is a racist religious bigot? Because it is quite clear that if Jindal had been white, he would have won by a landslide: boy wonder resume and all that. All parties were clear that his skin color was a big deal. All parties were also clear that his neo-convert 'I've found Jesus' spiel sold well in the sticks: a 'pagan' Hindu would not have had a ghost of a chance in solidly Catholic Louisiana. I

If he had been foreign-born, he would also have had absolutely no chance, but fortunately, he was native-born. Sonia exhibited her fundamentalist streak as soon as she was anointed Congress supremo: she had a cabal around her that consisted solely of Christians. Vincent George, Ajit Jogi, Purno Sangma, Margaret Alva, et al. And state Congress bigwigs seem ripe for conversion: Y Rajasekhar Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), someone whose name escapes me in Tamil Nadu, both neo-converts. Incidentally, as in the above, the number of 'stealth' converts is increasing: church godmen must be advising neo-converts to retain their Hindu names, as a way of avoiding unwelcome judicial attention, as well as blending in.

(source:  Jindal, Judeo, Jogi, and Antonia - By Rajeev Srinivasan - Refer to chapter on Conversion and The Sunshine of Secularism). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and No conversions, Israel warns its Missionaries - for more refer to chapter on GlimpsesVI).

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Hate crimes against Indians in US on the rise - By Allabaksh Hyderabadi

Recently the US media had come down to downright racist abuses when the golfer Vijay Singh, one of the best international players, questioned the wisdom of inviting women golfers to compete with their male colleagues in top golf tournaments in the world. A Fijian by birth and nationality, Vijay Singh is obviously of Indian origin. That was enough for the self-righteous pundits in the US to denounce his Indian heritage. The preaching Americans held that India was a primitive land where things like gender equality were unknown. In other words, Vijay Singh represented an uncivilized society and, hence, had behaved true to form. 

And true to the India’s “primitive” and “uncivilized” traditions, the insults were quietly stomached by the Indian media, golf players (mostly big sahibs) and the (supplicating) government. The US, after all, is the sole super power. Displeasing anyone in that god’s own land can be pretty risky. So the US remains free to give sermons to India on gender equality, human rights and many other related and un-related issues-except one. And that is “hate crime”.

A decade back, the so-called “dot buster” gangs made Indian women special targets of their attacks. What attracted the ire of the American hooligans was the “bindi” or the “dot” that Indian women apply on their forehead. The only thing “offensive” about it was that it did not conform to the conventional make up of US women. The US did nothing to educate their citizens that the “bindi” was an innocuous part of an Indian woman’s make-up.

In recent days, the “hate” for ethnic Indians has stemmed from their success at IT-related jobs that allegedly threatens to throw many Americans out of job. The US government covertly or overtly supports the paranoiac Americans. Possibly, because the country is already in election mode. The US administration is too busy building up its imperial world to worry about small matters like removing prejudice or ignorance from the minds of their valiant people. Only “primitive” countries have the time for that sort of job.

(source: Hate crimes against Indians in US on the rise - By Allabaksh Hyderabadi -

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Indian Catholics consider including Sanskrit in prayers 

The synod of bishops from India and Philippines, which began on Sunday in India, is studying a proposal to include the Sanskrit word "Sachidanand" in liturgical prayers, in order to make Christianity more acceptable to Hindi speakers.

"The word 'Sachidanand,' meaning the Trinity of Gods, also conforms to the Christian precept of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," according to Archbishop Benedict Osta SJ of Patna (pictured). In India, Christians generally say prayers in English or in literal translations into local languages. Osta said the church was also considering publishing a Hindi-language magazine and setting up a press to publish liturgical books in Hindi.

The three-day meeting was called to find ways to make Christianity more amenable to Hindi-speakers.

(source: Indian Catholics consider including Sanskrit in prayers ). For more refer to chapter on Sanskrit and Conversion).

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Radhanath Sickdhar: The Man who discovered Everest

One day in 1852 in British-ruled India, a young man burst into an office in the northern Dehra Dun hill town and announced to his boss: "Sir, I have discovered the highest mountain in the world!" 

After four long and arduous years of unscrambling mathematical data, Radhanath Sickdhar had managed to find out the height of Peak XV, an icy peak in the Himalayas. The mountain - later christened Mount Everest after Sir George Everest, the surveyor general of India - stood at 29,002 feet (8,840 metres). Sickdhar's feat, unknown to many Indians, is now part of the Great Arc Exhibition in London's vibrant Brick Lane.

The Indian Government-sponsored exhibition celebrates 200 years of the mapping of the Indian subcontinent. The exercise, which was called "one of the most stupendous works in the whole history of science" was begun by William Lambton, a British army officer, in Madras in 1802. The survey involved several thousand Indians and was named the Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) in 1819. It covered more than 1,600 miles and countless people died during the work. Tigers and malaria were the main causes.

Sickdhar, who was 39 when he made his discovery, was one of the survey's largely unsung heroes.

The man from Calcutta was called a "computer" since he worked on computation of data collected by survey parties. He was promoted to the position of "chief computer" because of his good work.

'Rare genius'

"Mathematical skills were essential for Sickdhar's work and he was acknowledged by George Everest as a mathematician of rare genius," British historian John Keay, author of two books on the subject, told BBC News Online. "His greatest contribution to the computation was in working out and applying the allowance to be made for a phenomenon called refraction-the bending of straight lines by the density of the earth's atmosphere," said Mr Keay.

Sickdhar, the son of a Bengali Brahmin, was born in October 1813 in Jorasanko, Calcutta's old city. He studied mathematics at the city's renowned Hindoo College and had a fundamental knowledge of English.

A workaholic, Sickdhar never married, instead dedicating his life to knotty mathematical calculations. George Everest, surveyor-general, was always full of praise for the number-crunching genius. He wrote that Sickdhar was a "hardy, energetic young man, ready to undergo any fatigue, and acquire a practical knowledge of all parts of his profession." "There are a few of my instruments that he cannot manage; and none of my computations of which he is not thoroughly master. He can not only apply formulate but investigate them."

(source: The man who 'discovered' Everest - By Soutik Biswas - BBC).

There is a growing campaign in India for the mountain to be renamed after Radhanath Sickdhar, a young Bengali mathematical genius who provided the computation which allowed Waugh to name the mountain after his revered but insufferable boss - George Everest.

(source: Summit Special - 

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Peter Popham and Slandering Hinduism - By M V Kamath

Peter Popham, correspondent of the London weekly The Independent had this to say about Atal Behari Vajpayee inaugurating a Krishna Temple in Delhi with an appeal to Hindus to work harder. Wrote Popham: "It was an odd message to hear in the precincts of a temple built by the devotees of Krishna, the lover god, whose most famous exertions are devoted to satisfying the sexual appetites of Gopis, his cowherd mistresses." Popham then went on to dismiss Hinduism as aggregation of rites, superstitions, texts and practices with little internal consistency".

The Independent is a lively paper and it is welcome to its views on Hinduism, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Iskcon. What it is not entitled to is denigration of our gods in print. If it insists on doing so, it must face up to the consequences. Popham obviously does not approve of Vajpayee inaugurating a Hindu temple. He writes: "It was left to the Communist Party to object that in a secular state such as India, the prime minister has no business attending the opening of temples. But the BJP has few such inhibitions and with a name like Glory of India, the invitation must have been impossible to resist."

I do not know whether Popham believes that Britain is secular.  Its ruler has to be anointed king by the Church of England.  Vajpayee has not been anointed PM, nor has K R Narayanan been anointed President, by any Hindu priest, let alone a Shankaracharya. 

There is something wrong with these Englishmen.

Slandering religion - By M V Kamath - Mid-day May 21 1998).


Christianity - The Official Religion of England
British Constitution has a state religion

Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In the Church of England she appoints archbishops, bishops and deans of cathedrals on the advice of the Prime Minister. The two archbishops and 24 senior bishops sit in the House of Lords, making a major contribution to Parliament's work. One religious denomination in the United Kingdom is formally recognized and given a privileged status by the state. It is the "established" church of the nation. That church is the Church of England or Anglican Church. The Anglican Church alone is protected from expressions of contempt for its beliefs. The common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel limit free speech only when the Church of England is the subject. The head of state is required to be a member of that church and not marry a Catholic. The head of state is indeed the titular head of the Church of England.

Church in decline - Forty-three percent of the population of England consider themselves members of the Church of England. Only slightly more than half of these attend their church. Seventy-six percent attend less frequently than monthly. The membership has an ageing profile. The Church of England is rather like the BBC and the Bank of England in its relationship with the government and its status within the nation, all three being effectively nationalised. Unlike the Bank, however, its services are not considered essential by the majority of the population. And unlike the BBC it has a poor "market share.' Only 1.1m Britons regularly attend its services each week. With the recent, and very public, in-fighting over ordination of women and adoption of gay clergy, people can easily get the impression that the Church is irrelevant and out of touch with modern-day norms of accepted behaviour. Now, the Church of England is the official religion of the country, and is therefore endorsed by the Queen (likewise regarded as somewhat anachronistic these days) and the officials in Government. Again, not exactly a recipe for excitement.

(source: The Church of privilege). 

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Britain merely returning jobs it stole from India - By George Manbiot

Britain is merely returning the jobs it stole from India 200 years ago during the Raj, says a commentator in the Guardian about outsourcing. George Manbiot's comment on the phenomenon is likely to further incense British unions and call center workers that have been planning industrial action against outsourcing.

"We are rich because the Indians are poor....For centuries we have permitted ourselves to ignore the extent to which our welfare is dependent on the denial of other peoples. We begin to understand the implications of the system we have created only when it turns against ourselves." he wrote on October 21.

Britain's industrialisation was secured by destroying the manufacturing capacity of India. In 1699, the British government banned the import of woollen cloth from Ireland, and in 1700 the import of cotton cloth (or calico) from India. Both products were forbidden because they were superior to our own. As the industrial revolution was built on the textiles industry, we could not have achieved our global economic dominance if we had let them in. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, India was forced to supply raw materials to Britain's manufacturers, but forbidden to produce competing finished products.

Now the jobs we stole 300 years ago are returning to India. There is a profound historical irony here. Indian workers can outcompete British workers today because Britain smashed their ability to compete in the past. Having destroyed India's own industries, the East India Company and the colonial authorities obliged its people to speak our language, adopt our working practices and surrender their labour to multinational corporations.

So an historical restitution appears to be taking place, as hundreds of thousands of jobs, many of them good ones, flee to the economy we ruined.

(source: The Flight to India - By George Manbiot). For more on British Raj, refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

‘India can eat UK, rest of Europe for breakfast’

Countries like India and China will eat Britain and the rest of Europe for "breakfast, lunch and dinner" if they fail to stay competitive, Confederation of British Industry chief Digby Jones warned on Friday. "We are very worried about what is coming down the track in the erosion of competitiveness. "We are very worried that labour market flexibility will be further eroded in the next couple of years. Coupled to that is the growing militancy of some trade unions," he said.

"India and China will eat Europe for lunch, dinner and breakfast if we are not careful."

(source: ‘India can eat UK, rest of Europe for breakfast’ -  The Economic Times).

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Dabbawallahs - The Wonder of Tiffin-patiwala network management in Mumbai

Wherever you may be staying in Mumbai, in whichever corner you may be having your work-place in this metropolis of one crore plus population, you never ever fail to receive your home food in time at the lunch hour in your work-place!! Thanks to the network of the tiffin-patiwalas that has been functioning in an amazing way for the last 120 years and recognised as the best case of network management in the world even by the management gurus.

Six Sigma - Mumbai Dabbawala's - They make one error on every 16 million transactions. Forbes magazine has selected them as a colossal example of six sigma's success. 

Logistics at its best  - The Mumbai tiffinwallas are international figures now thanks to Forbes Global. The Forbes story details the efficiency which with they deliver the tiffins of their customers. Around 5000 tiffinwallas deliver 175,000 lunches everyday and take the empty tiffin back. They make one mistake in 2 months. This means there is one error on every 16 million transactions. This is thus a six sigma performance (a term used in quality assurance if the percentage of correctness is 99.999999) - the performance which has made companies like Motorola and GE world famous for their quality. 

Here is the complete story

Mumbai's "tiffinwallahs" have achieved a level of service to which Western businesses can only aspire. "Efficient organization" is not the first thought that comes to mind in India, but when the profit motive is given free rein, anything is possible. To appreciate Indian efficiency at its best, watch the tiffinwallahs at work. These are the men who deliver 175,000 lunches (or "tiffin") each day to offices and schools throughout.

Lunch is in a tin container consisting of a number of bowls, each containing a separate dish, held together in a frame. The meals are prepared in the homes of the people who commute into Mumbai each morning and delivered in their own tiffin carriers. After lunch, the process is reversed. And what a process - in it's complexity, the 5,000 tiffinwallahs make a mistake only about once every two months, according to Ragunath Medge, 42, president of the Mumbai Tiffinmen's Association. That's one error in every 8 million deliveries, or 16 million if you include the return trip. "If we made 10 mistakes a month, no one would use our service," says the craggily handsome Medge.

How do they do it? The meals are picked up from commuters' homes in suburbs around central Mumbai long after the commuters have left for work, delivered to them on time, then picked up and delivered home before the commuters return. Each tiffin carrier has, painted on its top, a number of symbols which identify where the carrier was picked up, the originating and destination stations and the address to which it is to be delivered. After the tiffin carriers are picked up, they are taken to the nearest railway station, where they are sorted according to the destination station. Between 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. they are loaded in crates onto the baggage cars of trains. At the destination station they are unloaded by other tiffinwallas and re-sorted, this time according to street address and floor. The 100-kilogram crates of carriers, carried on tiffinwallahs' heads, hand-wagons and cycles are delivered at 12:30 p.m., picked up at 1:30 p.m., and returned where they came from.  The charge for this extraordinary service is just 150 rupees ($3.33) per month, enough for the tiffinwallahs, who are mostly self-employed, to make a good living. After paying Rs. 60 per crate and Rs.120 per man per month to the Western Railway for transport, the average tiffinwallas clears about Rs.3, 250. Of that sum, Rs. 10 goes to the Tiffinmen's Association. After minimal expenses, the rest of the Rs. 50,000 a month that the Association collects go to a charitable trust that feeds the poor. Superb service and charity too. Can anyone ask for more? What is wonderful about this system is that it extends the design and uses the tiffinwallas, the end user and their cognitive and memory structure as well. Since one tiffinwalla is not going to pick more than 10-20 tiffins, he can easily sort recognize at the originating station and deliver it to the owner. Also within a building, the tiffinwala knows which floor to deliver. Within a floor a owner can recognize his tiffin amongst others. 

These tiffins carry only
* A symbol (not name) of the originating station
* A symbol for the destination station
* A symbol for the building where the addressee is. And what is more amazing is that this is run by people, most of whom are illiterate.

Prince Charles meets Mumbai's dabbawallahs - Their flawless management system of picking up, sorting and delivering dabbas, and the reverse process has become the stuff of legends. 

(source: Dabbawallahs  and The Wonder of Tiffin-patiwala Network Management in Mumbai and Prince meets Mumbai's dabbawallahs  -

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Mangal Pandey

The first war of freedom (1857-58) was the first funeral widespread uprising against the rule of the British East India Company. The doctrine of Lapse, issue of cartridges with animal fat to India soldiers, introduction of British system of education and a number of social reforms had infuriated a very wide section of Indian people, who rose in revolt at a number of places all over India. The East India Company was brought under the direct rule of the British crown as a result of this uprising. Of the very large number of freedom fighters, who led the struggle, four are being commemorated through the present series, which is a part of the larger series on India's Struggle for Freedom. 

Mangal Pandey, a resident of Ballia, in Uttar Pradesh, was a soldier in the army of the British East India Company. At the time of the First War of Independence, the Company introduced new rifles, which used animal fat for greasing the cartridges. Influenced by the example of his compatriots in Behrampur, Mangal Pandey refused to use the greased cartridges and broke into open mutiny on March 29, 1857, at Barrackpore near Calcutta and used his comrades to join him. Surrounding by guards and European Officers, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself and was seriously wounded. He was court-martialled on April 6 and hanged at Barrackpore on April 8, 1857.

(source: Indian Post). For more refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

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Pope calls for Targeting of Lower Caste Hindus for Conversion - By Indians Against Christian Aggression

John Paul II told a group of Indian bishops that the Church should target lower caste Hindus for conversion in an attempt to end caste-based discrimination. At the same time, he has condemned the caste system when he met with the bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Mylapore, Madurai and Pondicherry-Cuddalore, at the conclusion of a series of five-yearly visits by the prelates of India. In particular the Pope, declared to pursue certain segments of Hindu society: "At all times, you must continue to make certain that special attention is given to those belonging to the lowest castes, especially the Dalits," he exhorted the bishops.

In the past, the Church has heavily targeted weaker members of Indian society for conversion that are not as closely affiliated with mainstream Hinduism. Such “soft targets” that the church continues to aggressively target are lower caste Hindus, low income families, women, young children and adolescents and rural or tribal communities. The church has also justified their targeting of these groups by claiming they are “persecuted”. However, many have criticized the Church for simply exploiting the impoverished situation of these groups for the church’s gain with no genuine concern for their welfare. The Pope vowed to end "discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex or ethnic origin.” "Ignorance and prejudice must be replaced by tolerance and understanding," John Paul II said, repeating the words he expressed during a homily in Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi, on Feb. 2, 1986.


Missionaries in India.


Yet notably, the Pope never mentioned to end discrimination based on religion, an apartheid the Church is guilty of. Before the Pope preaches his next sermon, perhaps he should listen to his own advice: ignorance and prejudice of non-Christian faiths must be replaced by tolerance and understanding.

(source: Pope calls for Targeting of Lower Caste Hindus for Conversion - Indians Against Christian Aggression). For more refer to chapter on Caste System, Conversion and and The Sunshine of Secularism). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and Indians Against Christian Aggression and Sri Lanka too to pass anti-conversion law and No conversions, Israel warns its Missionaries - for more refer to chapter on GlimpsesVI). Refer to Joshua Project: Bringing Definition to the Unfinished Task- Country India - Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization -

"He had no business to talk about the legislation passed by the democratically elected governments in India. He has no such authority....There is complete religious freedom in India.."  - J Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, at a press conference, following the Pope's remarks on the anti-conversion law passed by her government.


Lower-caste villagers who converted to Christianity were barred from a Christmas Mass
Police guard church after some Christians block others from a Christmas celebration.

The villagers, known as Dalit Christians after the lower-caste Hindu social group they once belonged to, were prevented from attending midnight Mass at St. Ebiben's Church in Manjakuppam, in southern Tamil Nadu state, about 1,100 miles south of New Delhi, by high-caste converts, Father Christopher Rethinasamy said.

He said he was helpless to do anything because he feared an outbreak of violence. The Dalit Christians were made to wait an hour and half as Mass was conducted for the converts from the Vannia community, who were formerly high-caste Hindus. 
They were allowed entry an hour after the ceremony ended, after police intervened and negotiated with church authorities. 
"I know it is against the teachings of Jesus," Rethinasamy said. "But I had to go along with the decision of the Vannia Christians. I did not want the situation to deteriorate."

In the report  Last Among Equals, veteran broadcaster Mark Tully OBE reports from India on how caste discrimination in the Christian church is leading to exploitation, violence, and in some cases murder. The Christian missionaries came to India preaching 'blessed are the poor'. They converted the poorest of the poor, the low-caste (actually no-caste) Hindus or 'Untouchables', who were eager to escape the hardships that the caste system imposed on them. However, as Tully reveals, these so-called 'Dalit' Christians found themselves treated just as harshly by their Christian brethren as they had been by the upper-caste Hindus. 

Caste divisions in the church are particularly acute in rural areas like the village of Tutchoor, 60kms from Madras. Here, the upper caste Christians live on one side of the hill,  nearer the church. Their religious processions do not pass the Dalits' homes, and they even worship and are buried separately.

(source: Low-Caste Converts Barred From Mass in India  - LA 
Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism.

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Living as Dalit (Oppressed) Christians - By P.N. Benjamin

Though social justice is a profound idea, yet, like many other profound ideas, it gets profaned when men who mouth it are sans character. That is why "almost 20 million Dalit Christians have been tamed and reduced to eternal slaves of the organised Church bodies," as a statement issued by a Dalit Christian organisation revealed recently. By embracing Christianity, the Dalits have not found themselves emancipated from economic and social inequalities. Conversions have neither offered the Dalits a way of escape from the bondage of caste nor have they fostered the social transformation of the Dalit Christians. They still live under the same conditions of discrimination, exploitation and oppression.

The Dalit Christians are "twice alienated', both by the Government and the Church. On the one hand they are denied, as Christians, the rights and benefits availed of by their fellow Dalits, and on the other, as Dalits, they are dominated and persecuted by the upper castes and the elite Dalits within the Church. The majority of Dalit Christians suffers from economic disparities, demoralising social discrimination and cruel denial of equal rights. The Church has sinned more than others in perpetuating social injustices against Dalit Christians. In Indian Christian communities, caste discrimination takes many forms. There are some churches built for separate groups. These places of worship even today retain their caste identity. Another example of casteist practice is allotting separate places in churches. Usually, the Christians of Scheduled Caste origin occupy the rear of the church. A flaring instance of caste distinction is found among the dead. The dead of the Dalit communities are buried in separate cemeteries

According to a study, all the landed properties of churches in India put together, the church is the second biggest landlord in the country, next only to the Government. In addition, the Church institutions and Church or Christians-led NGOs receive foreign financial support amounting to over Rs. 2500 crores per year. There is no transparency with regard to these funds as well the massive income accruing from the elite schools, colleges and hospitals and also shopping complexes built all over the major cities in the country. The poor Dalit Christian does not even get the crumbs, leave alone participation in Church matters. After reading it, one is tempted to tell the CSI leaders: "Physician, heal thyself!"

The Church must realize that the Dalit Christians' plight calls for a deeper analysis of the problem so that Christian leaders do not throw stones at the caste system prevailing in Hinduism, but look to something more meaningful and constructive within itself.

(source: Living as Dalit Christians - By P.N. Benjamin - Deccan Herald January 9 2004). Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism.

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Time for Pope and Media to convert to reality - By Anil Nayyar

Pope John Paul's recent fulminations against 'discriminations' in Hindu Indian society should not come as a major surprise to anyone who knows the ways of the man who sits in the distant Vatican. It is almost a predictable charade from him. It is equally predictable that the 'secular' press in our land should dutifully carry the same in all earnestness. Ever since he targetted India as a fertile land for 'rich harvest', the Pope and his phalanx have found something to criticise in India. Sometimes it is riots. Sometimes it is about the laws against conversions. And now it is about casteism. The learned Pope has spoken as if casteism is a phenomenon of the Hindus. But as anyone who has interacted with Christians, here in India or elsewhere, will bear out that casteism, which is another form of discrimination, is alive and kicking (literally) among them (Christians). Perhaps, he is not aware of that, or not ready to be enlightened. But those wanting remove the wool from their eyes have to listen to some of the 'Dalit Christians' here and elsewhere. Just sample this letter in a 'Dalit Christian website: 'Dear Christian Followers, I am a Dalit, and I Studied in Christian Schools. I too become a Christian as my teachers forced me to believe Christianity. They explained that Jesus is the only God. They told me to come for the new life as God is coming to the world on year 2000. As I was a Christian I know their attitudes well. They want to convert more Christians. To that they chosen all the public places. Some times they criticize rival religion in the streets, which made a big controversy in India. I believe that they disturbed others in public places. They forced others to follow them. They lied in the streets that they become very rich and popular because of Jesus. These events made me to embrace the Hinduism .... Christianity is a Business in India. They converted more and more. Why? What is the need of Conversion? Why they should interfere in some other life?' That was one Vivek Kannan explaining about his predicaments after conversions.

But before the Pope or anybody else start saying that casteism is a legacy of Hindus in India, read this from an American in the same website: 'My wife Mariani and I began a Center for Interfaith Encounter (CIE) in St. Cloud, MN, in January 2000. We care deeply about all the oppressed of the earth whatever their religion, ethnic group, color or nationality. Our website: In the part of the US where we live, as Christians of color we have sometimes felt that we are dalits ourselves. We have sensed that white Christians in this corner of Central Minnesota, where non-Catholic Christians are approx. 35%, and where non-Christians form a little over 5% of the total population, Christians of color enjoy an identity that is, in some sense, not dissimilar to that of Dalit Christians. We became US citizens in late 1999, but for some white (North) Americans it is the color of our skins that defines who we are, namely, aliens who are in some sense religiously inferior to them. Who ever said that caste is the curse of Indian society alone? Casteism is a species of racism. Or maybe racism is a form of casteism experienced in First World societies. Indeed, to judge from our frequent experience even in religious spheres in the US of A, racism is another name for casteism of the civilized. 'Touche!  

If still the Pope and those from India to whom the pontiff had spoken are not convinced, and believe that Christianity is a panacea to Dalits, there are empirical studies by sociologists prove that the underprivileged status of the Dalit Christians remains the same. 

(The Plight of Christian Dalits: A South Indian Case Study (Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 1997); Jose Kananaikil, Scheduled Caste Converts and Social Disabilities: A Survey of Tamil Nadu (New Delhi: Indian Social Institute, 1990).

The research by Kananaikil shows that for many, even where there is a religious community which the new convert has joined, this does not automatically mean that the new convert is accepted into the new community as a full-fledged member. In Kananaikil's opinion, 'social prejudices die hard even in the holy places of churches and pagodas where a Dalit convert is called a neo-Christian or neo-Buddhist'. The Pope may not know this. For, he may be thinking about the rich harvest that he had so eloquently talked about. But what of our secular media? Should they also remain steadfastly blinkered? Time is ripe for them to convert to reality, that is.

(source: Time for Pope and media to convert to reality - By Anil Nayyar - For more refer to chapter on Caste System and Conversion). For more refer to The War against Hinduism - By Stephen Knapp and Indians Against Christian Aggression and Sri Lanka too to pass anti-conversion law and No conversions, Israel warns its Missionaries - for more refer to chapter on GlimpsesVI). Sign the petition - UN & Religious Proselytization - Refer to VINDICATED BY TIME: The Niyogi Committee Report  On Christian Missionary Activities - Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 1956 and The Sunshine of Secularism.

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Winston Churchill on Colonial bondage and Terrorism

Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) served as a soldier and journalist in India.  He had opposed limited self-government for India because he cherished, Britain's imperial history. A Labour MP asked in the British House of Commons whether the principles of the Atlantic charter would apply to India and elicited the celebrated reply from Winston Churchill that he had not become the first minister of His Majesty’s government to preside over the liquidation of the British empire.  

As Secretary of State at the War Office (1919), W Churchill authorized the RAF Middle East Command to use chemical weapons "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment", dismissing objections by the India Office as "unreasonable".

"I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes. (to) spread a lively terror." (The tribes were the Kurds of Iraq and the Afghans.) "We cannot acquiesce in the non-utilisation of any available weapons to procure a speedy termination of the disorder which prevails on the frontier", adding that chemical weapons are merely "the application of Western science to modern warfare".

Lesser breeds?

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."

Basing itself on lessons learnt in its Indian colonial possession as well as its wartime experience in Iranian Kurdistan, Britain cast around for pliable Kurdish figures whom it could appoint to positions of authority, focusing especially on tribal leaders - even going to the extent of 're-tribalising': For all its talk of its 'civilising mission' to non-Christian and non-white peoples, therefore, Britain was deliberately attempting to turn back the clock of social development, in the naked pursuit of its own capitalist interests.  

The British imperial General Stanley Maude, who, after marching his military forces into Baghdad in 1917 in order to establish British Empire rule, declared, “Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.”

(source: Winston Churchill on Terrorism and and Churchill - Drunk With Thrill Of Genocide - By Chris Floyd and and For more refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

(Note: Churchill is named Time’ magazine’s man of the year for 1940. and U.S. News and World Report have dubbed Winston Churchill "The Last Hero" in a 2000 cover story).

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Goa - Ancient History

Cut off from the rest of India by the tangles mass of the Sahyadri mountain ranges in the east, Goa has always been a "place-apart" a green, forested "pearl of the Orient," said to have been created by the Sea God when Parasurama - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu - shot his golden arrow into the Arabian Sea to determine the site of the perfect place for penance. Traces have been found of Neolithic occupation as far back as 2000 B.C. and for over 1600 years, from 300 B.C. to 1200 A.D. tiny Goa was ruled by Hindu kings.

(source: The Back of Beyond Travels to the Wild Places of the Earth - By David Yeadon).


Goa Governor calls for re-building temples destroyed by Portuguese

Governor Kidar Nath Sahani said the reconstruction of temples destroyed by Portuguese colonisers in Goa was a matter of “national identity and heritage”.

Mr Sahani as having said, “the reconstruction of temples demolished by the Portuguese and erstwhile regimes has great importance in the nation-building and in bringing about national awakening among the people.”

“People from all faiths should come together and extend cooperation in this mammoth task as it involves issues of national identity and heritage.”

The governor’s comments on Friday, were made at the site of the Shree Mahalsa temple in Verna, where the demolished temple is being rebuilt. Four smaller temples, Shree Sateri, Ganesh, Mahalaxmi and Nagadevata are also to be constructed. The reconstruction will cost Rs 4 crore. The government communique said that the old temple was demolished by the Portuguese in 1567. Goa was colonised by the proselytising Portuguese in 1510 and liberated only 451 years later in 1961. Hundreds of temples are believed to have been razed down by the colonial power.

(source: Goa Governor calls for re-building temples destroyed by Portuguese - For more refer to chapter on European Imperialism).

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Swami Vivekananda on tourist map of India

The Vajpayee government has decided to turn all the places that Swami Vivekananda visited in his Bharat Darshan into tourist centres.  

All the places that Swami Vivekananda visited in his Bharat Darshan into tourist centers.


Before his daylong visit to Calcutta tomorrow, Union tourism and culture minister Jagmohan said the project will begin with the renovation and restoration of Swamiji’s ancestral house in Calcutta. The Planning Commission has made Rs 3 crore available and “we have provided Rs 2.40 crore already. A library is being built in the house which would be thrown open to common people and would attract scholars and tourists from abroad”, he said.

Apart from the Vivekananda project, the ministry has sanctioned funds to develop tourism facilities at Bishnupur in Bankura, Darjeeling and Santiniketan, where Visva-Bharati University will be in charge. Jagmohan will visit the Dakshineshwar temple, for which he has sanctioned Rs 1 crore, essentially to stop erosion of the river bank there, a project that the Calcutta Port Trust will implement 

The Sarada Mission, for whose restoration the Calcutta Municipal Development Authority has been granted Rs 80 lakh, is on his itinerary, too. At Bishnupur, Rs 3.50 crore will be spent to construct and improve roads, build a motel and fair grounds and to reinforce the bund on the river. Santiniketan is getting Rs 53 lakh for environmental improvement and developing resorts.

Jagmohan said turning all the places Swamiji visited into tourist attractions was one way of uniting the diverse cultures of a vast country. “Though the project begins with Bengal, we are also planning to develop Kanyakumari. A sum of Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned, out of which Rs 2 crore will be spent on a light and sound show there and the rest on a museum and a place where tourists can stay.” Even the Delhi house on Roshanara Road, where Vivekananda used to stay, has been notified as a historical monument and is being restored at the initiative of the Ramakrishna Mission in the capital. 

(source: Swami Vivekananda on tourist map - For more on Swami Vivekananda refer to chapter on Quotes21_40).

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Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya - Life and Mission

"A giant among men, one of those who laid the foundation of modern Indian nationalism and, year by year, built up brick by brick and stone by stone, the noble edifice of Indian freedom." In these words, Jawaharlal Nehru, now Prime Minister of India, summed up the feelings of the nation at the death of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1946.

The name of of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861-1946) shines as one of the chief leaders of the Indian National movement in its earlier phases. He presided over Indian National Congress sessions in 1908 and 1918. He was also a great champion of the Vedic way of life and the rights of the Hindus for whose welfare and progress he worked actively with the Hindu-Mahasabha from around 1926. Born at Alahabad, on December 25th 1861, Madan Mohan was the son of Pandit Brij Nath, a highly respected scholar of Sanskrit of his time. Madan Mohan was first educated traditionally at two Sanskrit Pathshalas and later sent to an English school.

His most ambitious projects and one whose realisation was described by Mahatma Gandhi as his chief contribution was the founding of the Banaras Hindu University. Following the Jaliyanwala Baug episode, the government appointed the Hunter Committee to enquire into the Punjab disorders and followed it up with the indemnity bill. The nations protest against this found its voice in the speech of Pandit Madan Mohan in the legislative council of which he was a member. He was later elected President of the Jaliyanwala Baug Memorial Committee. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to the Second Round Table Conference in 1933. He also played an important part in the removal of untouchability and in giving direction to the Harijan movement.

Later, when the British Government stopped its annual grant to the BHU, and even his patrons, the Maharajas and rich businessmen were hesitant to help him, the Maharanis of the various Royal families handed over their jewellery to him, while the professors volunteered to work at reduced salaries. That was the kind of respect he commanded from his colleagues and admirers.



A devout Hindu himself, he wanted to see the same religious devotion in every Hindu of India. 


A devout Hindu himself, he wanted to see the same religious devotion in every Hindu of India. But his religious activities were by no means sectarian. As he stated in his presidential address at the Allahabad Congress, "I am a Hindu by faith and I mean no disrespect to any other religion when I say that I will not change my faith for all the possessions of this world or of any other. But I shall be a false Hindu and I shall deserve less to be called a Brahmin, if I desired that Hindu's, or Brahmins could have any unfair advantage as such over Muslims, Christians or any other community in India" 

Malaviyaji, as he was popularly known, breathed his last on November 12, 1946, he was 90 years old.

The noble work of this great patriot was acknowledged by Mahatma Gandhi on behalf of the nation in following words: "Great as are Malviyaji's services to the country, I have no doubt that the Hindu University constitutes his greatest service and achievement, and he has worn himself out for the work that is dear to him as life itself.... Everyone knows that there is no greater beggar than Malviyaji on the face of the earth. He has never begged for himself by the grace of God he was never been in want, but he became a voluntary beggar for causes he has made his own, and God has always filled his bowl in an overflowing measure".

The Vishwanath Temple, built by the Birlas, was planned by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. The Banaras Hindu University, built in 1917, is one of the oldest educational centres in India. 

(source: The Hindu and India Post and and and The Banaras Hindu University).

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On the lines of the Big Temple 

KING RAJENDRA Chozha (1012-44) was a great warrior, a good administrator and a patron of art and architecture, and his era was a golden period marked by all round development and progress. He established his military superiority in far off regions and this led to a cultural amalgamation. An ardent follower of Saivism, Rajendra Chozha constructed many temples for Lord Siva. After his success in Eastern India up to the Ganges, he built Sri Brahadeeswara temple at Gangaikondachozhapuram, in Perambalur district.  



The temple has been under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) since 1946. The Botany wing of the ASI has put up a lawn inside the temple. The dilapidated main entrance of the temple was completely dismantled and then reconstructed by the ASI about a decade ago. The ASI launched the first phase of renovation of the vimanam and allied works at an outlay of Rs.35 lakhs in October 2002. The Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai, T.Sathyamurthy says, the work is expected to be completed by November.

All the images atop the vimanam, which have got disfigured over the years, have been completely restored by using a mix of lime, earth, yellow oxide, `panai vellam' and `kadukkai'. Over 70 stapatis from Chidambaram and Kattumannarkoil in Cuddalore district, besides Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai, are giving finishing touches to the images atop the vimanam, meticulously restoring the beauty and charm of each figure. The ASI has also given a facelift to the supporting pillar walls of the temple.

Designed on the lines of the Big Temple in Thanjavur, the Brahadeeswara temple has a giant Adhikara Nandhi, 11 feet tall, 15 feet long, 8 feet wide. The maha mandapam has 158 pillars. The walls on either sides of the mukha mandapam are decorated with 19 carvings of Lord Siva, depicted as Vishnu Anugrahamurthy, Ravana Anugrahamurthy, Devi Anugrahamurthy, Markandeya Anugrahamurthy and Chandesa Anugrahamurthy and so on, each symbolising a specific incident as narrated in the puranas.

For instance, the Vishnu Anugrahamurthy shows Lord Siva blessing Lord Vishnu, Markandeya Anugrahamurthy depicts Lord Siva blessing Markandeya, after rescuing him from Yamadharmaraja. The carving of Chandesa Anugrahamurthy at the northeast of the mandapam, is said to be the most beautiful among them all. Legend has it that Chandesa, an ardent devotee of Siva, was so irked on being interrupted while offering worship to Lord Siva, that he severed his father's legs. He bathed the Lingam with the milk of cows. Historians say that by glorifying the Chandesa episode, Rajendra Chozha chose to submit all his success through the military conquests to Lord Shiva.

The eight-tier vimanam of the temple is 54.86 metres high and has been built on the model of the Big Temple in Thanjavur. To the west is Lord Siva in the form of Gangadhara. The episode of Bhagiratha's penance to bring the Ganges to the Earth is finely carved beside it. On the northern side, there is a large representation of a lion in plastered brickwork, through which runs a flight of steps leading to a well nearby, called Simhakinaru. Legend has it that the Chozha ruler let the waters of the holy Ganges into this well, for ensuring a sustained supply for the daily abhishekam of the deity.

Lord Brahadeeswarar at the sanctum sanctorum has been made of a special material called chandrakantha, so that even in the absence of light, it could be worshipped in the diffused light. The perimeter of the avudayar is 60 feet and that of the Lingam is 16½ feet. The Lingam is 13½ feet tall.

The Navagraham in the temple is unique — all the nine planets are carved on a single square slab with a chariot drawn by the Sun God. To improve the irrigational system, Rajendra Chozha constructed a large reservoir called Chozha Gangam, near Gangaikondachozhapuram. Set up to commemorate his victorious march to the banks of the sacred river Ganga, it was one of the largest reservoirs in the country at that time. For maintaining the temple as well as other temples, Rajendra Chozha instituted a number of grants and appointed official — Devaranayakam — to supervise the religious works.

Rajendra Chozha had two spiritual guides, popularly known as Isana Siva and Sarva Siva. Nambi Andar Nambi, one of the great Saivite scholars, was a contemporary of Rajendra Chozha. Both Raja Raja and Rajendra Chozha admired Karuvur Devar, a saint and hymnologist. 

(source: On the lines of the Big Temple - By M. Balaganessin -  For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

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Personal hygiene of ancient Indians 

The high level of personal hygiene practiced by Indians deeply impressed the Chinese traveler Xuan Zang, who came to India in A.D. 629 and spent sixteen years there. 

“They are very particular in their personal cleanliness, and allow no remissness in this particular. All wash themselves before eating; they never use that which has been left over; they do not pass the dishes…After eating they cleanse their teeth with a willow, and wash their hands and mouth. Until these ablutions are finished they do not touch one another.” 

Medieval European writers of etiquette books could only hope their readers would achieve this level of refinement.

(source: unknown). 

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Dutch give nod to 'guru currency'

A new "currency" issued by a group founded by Beatles guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may be used and has not violated Dutch law, the Dutch central bank has said.

The Global Country of World Peace, set up by the Indian mystic, issued the brightly coloured notes of one, five and 10 "raam" last October. Since then, more than 100 Dutch shops, some of them part of big department store chains, in 30 villages and cities have accepted the notes.

Raam roll-out

The raam is also circulating as the currency of Maharishi Vedic City in the US state of Iowa together with the US dollar, while raam-based bonds are being offered in 35 American states. Benjamin Feldman, 'Minister of Finance' of the Maharishi movement, told BBC News Online the raam could be used to battle poverty and create world peace. He said governments could use the raam to start up agricultural and other development projects around the world. "There are 1.5 billion people living in extreme poverty and currencies like the US dollar are not available to most of them. The raam can be used to build new houses, roads, schools and health clinics," Mr Feldman said. In the Netherlands, the raam notes are accepted in Dutch shops at a fixed rate of 10 euros per raam.

Mr Maharishi introduced his "transcendental meditation" methods to the West more than 40 years ago. Since then, he has built up a following of about six million people. His most famous followers were the Beatles, who traveled to India in 1968 to meditate with him. 

(source: Dutch give nod to 'guru currency' - BBC

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Who is Ganapati?

Ganesa is simple and open to all. Why does one complicate the picture? Ganapati is loving and lovable. He includes all, accepts all, purifies all, protects all. Ganapati/Ganesa is a name, representing a special form. 

Lord Ganapati/Ganesha, lord of the ganas, has been prayed to, worshipped, and adorned in one form or other since time began and space rolled out. Time and space, itself are his creation. He is the great god to be invoked before every act, and especially worshipped and prayed to when changes occur in one’s life. Worship of Lord Ganapati is immediate. One has but to think of him and he is there. Close your eyes and visualize his murti, and direct communication has been established. He sits ther on the muladhara cakra, present and available. Speak to him. He is listening. Of the 330 million gods in the Hindu pantheon, none is so widely loved and revered as Lord Ganesha. This friendly, slightly chubby pachyderm has found a place under every village tree, in every Hindu heart, in homes and temples around the world. No other deity is so popular, so frequently praised or prayed to. His giant belly contains the universe, and his left hand holds the sweetest of delights, spiritual liberation. He is protector and confidant. He is boon giver, remover of obstacles, champion of virtue, gentle guide, possessor of siddis, lord of the mind. He is good fortune manifest, time embodied, and abundance overflowing. He is the first ista devata, regardless of sectarian beliefs and emotional tendencies. His worship naturally and sweetly leads to the other great gods. Plump and lovable. He is the potent unifying force.   


Timeless Ganesha: He is the potent unifying force.   


Who is Ganapati/Ganesa? Ganesa is the Absolute. There is nothing that Ganesa is not. Ganesa is the unbounded deep in whom all the waves of all the world naturally rise and fall. He does not rise or fall. He is still. He is free of duality. When there is only One without a second, what is there to rise or fall? Where? On whom? What is "I" or "mine" or "this" or "that" or even, the "Absolute"?

Who is Ganapati/Ganesha? Ganapati is the Self. In a sentence Ganesha simply means "Self-realization is but the removal of obstacles to the recognition of the eternal, immanent, inner Self, here and now." Any time is the time of worship of Ganesha. All time is God's time. Any place is the place of worship of Ganesha. All places are God's places. To seek Ganapati outside oneself in the form of an "other" is to limit the places and times that one can commune with him. To seek Ganesha outside oneself is to make possible a permanent and omnipresent ability to be in his presence. To become Ganapati is the final word, for the, who is there to worship whom and with what?

Who is Ganapati/Ganesha? Ganesa is the physical embodiment of Tat tvam asi. Why look for Ganesa in the outside world? Why look for Ganesa just in the form of an elephant-faced plump deity? Individuals are so used to looking for unending fulfillment where it is not. Turn within. The inner energy will awaken. People are like a ferryman. They want the ferry of spirituality to move forward, but until they untie the rope of their ego, which is keeping them tied to the limited dock of the world, they won't move. So instead of repeating the mantra, "I, I, I," repeat Tat tvam asi, "That thou art," and realize its import.

(source: Ganapati: Song of the Self - By John A. Grimes  p.190 - 192). For more refer to chapter on Symbolism in Hinduism).

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Sandalwood - The wood scented by the Gods

Believed to be scented by the Gods, Sandalwood or Chandan as it is called in Hindi, is considered sacred by most of the Indians. It is the wood from which idols and prayer beads are made.

Being a wood with a heavenly smell, it is extensively used in cosmetic and soap manufacturing. The beauty-conscious Indian women used to rub their bodies with a sandal and turmeric paste for a blemish-free skin much before the western cosmetic industry made inroads into India. In many parts of the country, brides still have their ritual bath with sandalwood paste.

Sandalwood grows mainly in India in the state of Karnataka. The state accounts for about 70 per cent of the production, the rest mainly coming from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The tree grows naturally in fertile tropical forestlands with abundant rainfall. It is also cultivated. Till 1916, Karnataka, then the princely state of Mysore, was exporting sandalwood to France and other European countries for the extraction of oil. But during World War I when huge stocks of wood piled up in the state, an oil-extraction unit in Mysore and another one at Shimoga was set up. Since then, Mysore became synonymous with sandalwood oil.

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Vajreshwari Temple

The Vajreshwari temple is a relic of Maratha glory. Chimaji Appa, the younger brother of Peshwa Bajirao I, got it built after the Marathas conquered the Bassein fort in 1739.



The Vajreshwari temple is a relic of Maratha glory      Vajreshwari entered Indra's vajra to slay the demon Kalikat


The temple stands atop a hillock by the road. A flight of 52 steps leads up to the main gate. The Tansa, a small river, shone into view. It executes a crisp 'L' before slowly rolling into the cloud-draped hills. The Tansa flows here but the village is better known for its 21 hot water springs. The presence of these springs is attributed to the volcanic past of the region. In all, there are about 350 hot springs in the Tejsa, Tansa and Surya rivers of Vasai taluka.

The temple is dedicated to goddess Vajreshwari but the sanctum also has idols of goddess Renuka and goddess Kalika on either side of the main Vajreshwari idol. Smaller idols of Ganesha and other gods and goddesses are carved in the pillars and walls of the forecourt.Both Renuka and Vajreshwari are widely revered in the North. The Renuka lake in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh is named after Renuka, mother of sage Parshurama, while Kangra and Chamba have famous Vajreshwari temples.

The legend goes that Parshurama had performed a mahayajna at Vajreshwari and the hills of volcanic ash in the area are its residue. The Parshurama connection somewhat explains the worship of Renuka in the area but the Vajreshwari legend is quite complicated. In fact, there are differing beliefs about the goddess.

In Vasai, one belief is that the goddess came to be called Vajreshwari after she swallowed Indra's vajra (thunderbolt), which he had hurled at the sage Vashishtha. There is another belief that the goddess is called Vajreshwari because she entered Indra's Vajra to slay the demon Kalikat. 


The Vajreshwari Temple looks like an ancient fort After the victory of Vasai Fort, Chimaji Appa built this Temple besides the Mandakini Mountain, which was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption. That 's the reason why there are number of hot water streams near this place. There are small Sauna huts called Kundas. These hot water streams attract a large number of visitors because its water is known to have cured a number of skin diseases. There are about 350 such hot water streams in Tejsa, Tansa and Surya rivers in Vasai Taluka.

Last year, scientists of the National Chemical Laboratory isolated a molecule that inhibits the AIDS causing HIV-1 protease, from a microbe that thrives in the high temperature and alkaline conditions of a hot spring in Vajreshwari.

The idol of the goddess is very impressive and is being worshipped for last few centuries. Worshippers believe that the goddess fulfills the wishes of devotees. Short distance away from this temple are the natural hot water springs. The springs, in all about 21, have a healing power in their hot water. It is said to have been due to the presence of Sulphur in the water. People believe that rheumatic disorders and skin diseases are cured by the water. Ganeshpuri, a small township, where the famous Siddhapeeth Ashram, established by Swami Muktanand is quite near from these hot springs. The temple of Swami Nityanand, a great saint and sage who once had made this precinct as his abode, stands nearby the Ashram.

(source: River, springs and a green carpet welcome in Vajreshwari - By Abhilash Gaur -

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Prince Philip and a monument to the murderous brutality of British Colonialism

Long before Prince Philip's bizarre contestation of the number of dead at Jallianwala Bagh became public. Among the many things found on the plaque was the assertion that 2,000 people were killed by Gen. Dyer's troops. (The precise text is: "This place is saturated with the blood of about two thousand Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who were martyred in a non-violent struggle." It goes on to describe the events of that day.) "That's a bit exaggerated," Philip asserted, "it must include the wounded." Mukherjee, whose brother S.K. Mukherjee is the secretary of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, may already have been a little upset by the failure of the Queen and the Duke to record anything other than their signatures on the visitors' book. He did not, however, articulate his feelings, and merely asked Philip how he had come to this conclusion. "I was told about the killings by General Dyer's son," Mukherjee recalls the Duke as saying, "I'd met him while I was in the Navy."

That the solitary comment Prince Philip had to offer after his visit to Jallianwala Bagh was on this issue made clear that the living symbols of New Labour's imperial heritage were wholly unreconstructed. The Duke of Edinburgh was not willing to be humbled before a monument to the murderous brutality of British colonialism. The issue was not, contrary to some reportage, the number of people killed on that fateful Baisakhi day. The record ranged from 290, the initial government estimate, to 1,000, the figure broadly accepted by the Indian National Congress' independent inquiry (see separate story). Prince Philip's assertion may have been entirely accurate, but the fact that it was the only aspect of the massacre that exercised his imagination, caused offence. It suggested that the death of 379 people was in some way inadequate to appall the royal conscience, in the way the death of 2,000 people would have. Perhaps more important of all, the staggering arrogance that Prince Philip displayed in citing his source of information on the tragedy made clear the lack of integrity in the wreath-laying. 

That the visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had so little impact on the popular imagination in India merely underlines the fact that the visit was not, in any meaningful sense, about India at all. New Labour, the royal couple and the Sikh Right variously saw India as a theatrical set on which a Raj drama could be played for the benefit of an English audience. The occasion of the golden jubilee of India's Independence merely provided a backdrop, or rather a legitimating detail, for the theatrics. Prince Philip happily smirked on that day and smilingly commented that the entire Jallianwala Bagh tragedy was ''vastly exaggerated''!! Even before the shell-shocked Indian officials who were accompanying him could react to this insulting mockery to humanity, good old Philip happily went on to say that he had obtained all the ''facts'' about the incident straight from the horse's mouth, meaning he had heard the version of the massacre from the mouth of General Dyer's son who was the prince's colleague in the Canadian army. the British still think they own India and that Indians are Gunga Dins who should waiting on them hand and foot. In the visitor's book at the Jalianwala Bagh memorial, the gracious Queen was kind enough to bless the book by writing only ''Elizabeth R, October 14, 1997.''

The bumbling of Prince Philip -- who apparently had known General Dyer (the chief culprit in the massacre) in the army -- when he said that the massacre was not that violent and not that cruel, was an indication of where the monarchy is and how it thinks. Then there was a call to end the Kashmir problem, which is not the nicest thing to bring to a party for someone who had caused the problem in the first place.

(source: and swordoftruth and MediaWatch - By Shekhar Despande).


Prince Philip had to apologize a few years back when, on a business outing, he claimed a piece of machinery looked like it must have been made by an Indian. Little does he realize its those same Indians that prop up British medicine and thrive in the business sector and elsewhere.

(Note about Jallianwalla Bagh: April 13, 1919, the day of Baisakhi festival, a day of celebration for the start of the wheat harvest and the birth anniversary of the Khalsa. In Amritsar though the day was destined to be historic in another more tragic way and would shake Mahatma Gandhi's faith in British justice and force the moderate Gandhi to alter his way of thinking. Hundreds of innocents were massacred in Jallianwala Bagh by British India troops. The bagh, a memorial to martyrs, still evokes painful memories. Time obviously has not healed the wounds. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, set up the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust under Parliament). For more refer to chapter European Imperialism).

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The Rise of India
Growth is only just starting, but the country's brainpower is already reshaping Corporate America

Quietly but with breathtaking speed, India and its millions of world-class engineering, business, and medical graduates are becoming enmeshed in America's New Economy in ways most of us barely imagine. "India has always had brilliant, educated people," says tech-trend forecaster Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, Calif. "Now Indians are taking the lead in colonizing cyberspace."

Corporate America no longer feels it can afford to ignore India.


This techno take-off is wonderful for India -- but terrifying for many Americans. In fact, India's emergence is fast turning into the latest Rorschach test on globalization. Many see India's digital workers as bearers of new prosperity to a deserving nation and vital partners of Corporate America. Others see them as shock troops in the final assault on good-paying jobs. No wonder India is at the center of a brewing storm in America, where politicians are starting to view offshore outsourcing as the root of the jobless recovery in tech and services. An outcry in Indiana recently prompted the state to cancel a $15 million IT contract with India's Tata Consulting. And India could start grabbing jobs from other sectors. A. T. Kearney Inc. predicts that 500,000 financial-services jobs will go offshore by 2008. Indiana notwithstanding, U.S. governments are increasingly using India to manage everything from accounting to their food-stamp programs. Even the U.S. Postal Service is taking work there. Auto engineering and drug research could be next.

India's IT workers, in contrast, sense an enormous opportunity. The country has long possessed some basics of a strong market-driven economy: private corporations, democratic government, Western accounting standards, an active stock market, widespread English use, and schools strong in computer science and math. But its bureaucracy suffocated industry with onerous controls and taxes, and the best scientific and business minds went to the U.S., where the 1.8 million Indian expatriates rank among the most successful immigrant groups.

Whether you regard the trend as disruptive or beneficial, one thing is clear. Corporate America no longer feels it can afford to ignore India.

(source: The Rise of India -

India becoming economic power house: says Peter Drucker

Management Guru Peter Drucker has said India is becoming an economic powerhouse very fast and its progress is far more impressive than that of China.

In an interview to 'Fortune' magazine, he said "India is becoming a powerhouse very fast. The medical school in New Delhi is now perhaps the best in the world. And the technical graduates of the Institute of Technology in Bangalore are as good as any in the world." Also, India has 150 million people for whom English is their main language. So India is indeed becoming a knowledge centre, the 94-year-old management thinker said.

In China, there is enormous undeveloped hinterland with excess rural population, but the likelihood of the absorption of rural workers into the cities without upheaval seems very dubious, he said. "You don't have that problem in India because they have already done an amazing job of absorbing excess rural population into the cities. India's rural population has gone from 90 percent to 54 percent without any upheaval," he said. Everybody says China has 8 percent growth and India only 3 percent, but that is a total misconception. "I think India's progress is far more impressive than China's," he said. PTI

(source: India becoming economic power house: Peter Drucker - PTI).

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Dadasaheb Phalke - The Pioneer of the Indian Film Industry

Late Shri Dadasaheb Phalke - the pioneer of the Indian Film industry hailed from Nashik District. Born in Trimbakeshwar -  about 30 kms away from Nashik, he worked and spent his life in  Nashik. Dadasaheb’s name is Dhundiraj Govind Phalke. Born on 30th April 1870 in Trimbakeshwar he devoted his life for making silent movies.

Starting with the famous movie on mythological character “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913, he made 95 movies and 26  short films in the span of 19 years, till 1932. He earned a lot of money, but ploughed it back in the industry. When he stepped in to this venture, no one had anticipated this industry to flourish so much that thousands of people would be able to earn their livelihood from it, nor did anyone  foresee the amount of huge money transactions in it.


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Indian girl, 9, hits the mark in Matrix

Tanveer Atwal, a nine-year-old Los Angeles native of Indian origin, took a big step to the movies with a role in The Matrix Revolutions.

Atwal plays the crucial role of Sati in Matrix-3, the little girl who helps Neo (Keanu Reeves) realise the innocent power of love that survives mindless evil. Sati enters the Matrix when Neo is caught in a vicious identity crisis, trying to figure out his role in the man-machine conflict.

Sri Lanka born Bernard White and Tharini Mudaliar from India play Sati’s parents Rama-Kandra and Kamala in the film. Rama-Kandra explains to Neo the philosophy of karma and the very essence of love, making their two-minute conversation the turning point of the film.

Besides acting, Atwal's interests include reading, drawing, dancing and traveling. She speaks fluent Punjabi and Hindi.

(source: Indian girl, 9, hits the mark in Matrix -

And in the end of the new film Matrix Revolutions background music is Om! 

A Sanskrit shlokas sung in choir format when the movie ends.

Asatoma Sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrityorma Amritamgamaya, Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih!

For more on Matrix, refer to chapter on GlimpsesVII).

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Monsoon Magic: Creating Rivers of Hope in India 

It is no secret why floods and droughts occur in India — because some parts of the country receive much more than normal rainfall leading to floods, especially in the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers.   

At the same time, large chunks of peninsular India receive less than normal rainfall, leading to droughts. We cannot control rainfall in India. But we could manipulate the manner in which rainwater is allocated. It is a distribution issue; and like most distribution problems, it has to be solved by removing the demand and supply side bottlenecks. That is why I am so upbeat about the recently announced river interlinking plan for India’s peninsular and Himalayan rivers. The government’s grand proposal, which seeks to retrieve floodwater going waste to the sea and distributing it to water-scarce areas, will link 37 rivers through 31 links and 9,000 km of canals.   This is necessary because water resources in the Brahmaputra and Ganges basin make up 60 per cent of the country’s total resources. In contrast, water resources in Gujarat’s Sabarmati basin account for only 0.2 per cent of India’s total resources. 


Sabarmati washing: The River Sabarmati at Ahmedabad in Gujarat.


The result? The Brahmaputra region is the most flood-prone region; and Sabarmati the most drought-prone.  Relatively speaking, lack of water is a bigger problem than excess water in India. The country’s annual requirement of water is projected to increase from 634 billion cubic metres to 813 billion cubic metres by 2025. Unlike floods, which are restricted to eastern India, droughts persist over a much bigger geographical area. As a result, the impact on the economy because of a lack of water is much more severe.  once river interlinking enhances India’s irrigation potential by 140 million hectares, foodgrain production could double from the current level of 212 million tonnes to 450 million tonnes.  

So far, we’ve only looked at the benefits of the project when it is completed. Actually, the physical task of creating a network of water storage reservoirs across the country will also have a huge multiplier effect on the economy. Every once in a while, the country needs a big push to make it roll forward, and then gather a special momentum on its own. The Golden Quadrilateral Project is one such project: The government kick-off, linking India’s metropolitan cities, has created thousands of jobs for India’s rural landless, besides giving a fresh lease of life to India’s steel, cement and automobile industries.  

India now needs another heave to keep the growth momentum going. This is where the river networking project could fit in nicely. There will be huge requirements of steel, cement and other construction materials.   The big question: Will this mega project work? There is no reason not to hope. China has begun work on a $59 billion project to divert water from the damp south to the arid north. Scheduled to be completed by 2010, the first phase of the project will deliver water through two massive aqueducts. Each as big as a medium-sized river, the two aqueducts, up to 1,300 km long, will bring water from the Yangtze river to Beijing and the nearby industrial towns.  

(source: Monsoon Magic: Creating Rivers of Hope in India - By Sanjay C Kirloskar -


Brahmaputra river 

The Brahmaputra is said to be the only male river of India. It is deemed so because of its 'strength', gained from having a very healthy length and breadth.

The Brahmaputra river -- its name translates to: son of the creator -- actually originates at Lake Mansarovar near Mount Kailash in the Tibetan Himalayas. And the Brahmaputra is said to be the only male river of India. It is deemed so because of its 'strength', gained from having a very healthy length and breadth. The river flows for 2, 880 kilometres along India's northeastern border and encompasses a basin of around 924, 670 square kilometres.

Known by numerous local names -- Lohit, Dihaang Di and Budalohit -- the Brahmaputra is steeped in legend and myth. And the river is considered to be a symbol of synthesis of people of all religions, castes and creeds. One of the popular beliefs is that annually, on the auspicious occasion of Ashok Asthami, the waters from all pilgrim centres of India somehow mingle with the waters of this great river and overnight its waters become holy. And the river attracts huge crowds who congregate to take a dip in its magical waters.

(source: Brahmaputra river -

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Did You Know?

Max Muller:  A paid employee of the British Empire, who translated the RigVeda in a demeaning style. 
The hidden duplicity and secret of his life.

Max Muller (1823-1900) German philologist and Orientalist. He was a British agent, especially employed (in 1847) to write the translations of the Vedas in such a demeaning way so that the Hindus should lose faith in them. His personal letter to his wife and mother dated December 9, 1867 reveals this fact. 

He was highly paid for this job. He was paid 4 pounds per sheet of his writing which comes to 800 pounds of today (1999). This is an incredibly high price for only one sheet of writing. But the British were in such an imperative need to get someone to do this job and Max Miller was the right person, so they paid whatever Max Muller asked for.    

Max Muller's letters dated August 25, 1856, February 26, 1867, and December 16, 1868 reveal the fact that he was desperate to bring Christianity into India so that the religion of the Hindus should be doomed. 

His letters also reveal that:

He lived in poverty before he was employed by the British. His duplicity in translation was praised by his superiors, and in London, where he lived, there were a lot of Orientalists working for the British.

To Chevalier Bunsen, 55 St. John Street, Oxford, August 25, 1856, he wrote: 

“I should like to live for 10 years quite quietly and learn the language, try to make friends, and then see whether I was fit to take part in a work, by means of which the old mischief of Indian priestcraft could be overthrown and the way opened for the entrance of simple Christian teaching…Whatever finds root in India soon overshadows the whole of Asia.” 

To the Dean of St. Paul’s (Dr. Milman), Stauton House Bournemouth, February 26, 1867, he wrote: 

“I have myself the strongest belief in the growth of Christianity in India. There is no country so ripe for Christianity as India, and yet the difficulties seem enormous.” 

(source: The True History and the Religion of India: A Concise Encycloedia of Authentic Hinduism - By Swami Prakashanand Saraswati  p. 268 - 270). For more on Max Muller refer to chapter FirstIndologists and Aryan Invasion Theory).


As Max Mueller, the propagator of the Aryan invasion theory, wrote to his wife, "It took only 200 years for us to Christianise the whole of Africa, but even after 400 years India eludes us, I have come to realize that it is Sanskrit which has enabled India to do so. And to break it I have decided to learn Sanskrit." 

The soul of India lies in Sanskrit. And Lord Macaulay saw to it that the later generations are successfully cut off from their roots.

(source: Assaulting India's pluralist ethos - by D. Harikumar The Hindu). For more on refer to chapter on Education in Ancient India).

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Updated - October 28, 2008