Showing posts from January, 2017

Mohan Guruswamy - The Sardar Patel statue is part of an attempt to manufacture a respectable genealogy for the RSS

Soon after Narendra Modi became prime minister, construction began on a colossal statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first deputy prime minister, on an inland island called Sadhu Bet facing the Narmada Dam near Vadodara in Gujarat. Planned at a cost of about Rs 3,000 crores and to stand 182 meters tall, this  Chinese-made bronze statue , when completed, will be the tallest in the world. There is no doubt that this statue will become a major place of political worship like Rajghat and the Indira Gandhi memorial in New Delhi. But beyond tourist commerce there is another reason driving this project. It is to give the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh a genealogy it does not have. Manufactured genealogy is a recurring feature of our history. Pre-Islamic invaders from Central Asia like the Hepthalites (White Huns) and Ahir Gatae from the region extending from Bactria in Central Asia to present-day Xinjiang in China conquered a good part of northern India and established kingdoms. The

January 30, 2017 is the 69th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination

Ishwar Allah Tere Nam Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे पीड परायी जाणे रे । पर दुःखे उपकार करे तो ये मन अभिमान न आणे रे ॥ Vaishnavas are those who Feel the pain of others, Help those who are in misery, But never let conceit enter their minds Gandhiji has been killed by his own people for whose redemption he lived. This second crucifixion in the history of the world has been enacted on a Friday - the same day Jesus was done to death one thousand nine hundred and fifteen years ago. Father forgive u s Hindusthan Standard   January 31, 1948 When newspapers across the world mourned the loss of Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi, who helped defeat the mighty British empire, struggled to win the battle with his own people ******************* Tributes to Mahatma Gandhi C. Rajagopalachari,  Governor-General Bharatmata is writhing in anguish and pain over the loss. No man loved Bharatmata and Indians more than Mahatma Gandhi. Let t

Becky Harlan - These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell

Over  three trillion trees live on planet Earth , and yet we know so few of their stories. Of course all trees play an important role—purifying the air, hosting the feathered and the furry, teaching kids (and kids at heart) how to climb—but some have spent more time doing these things than others. Quiver trees, for example, can live up to 300 years, oaks can live a thousand years, and bristlecone pines and yews can survive for millennia. Quiver tree,  Aloe dichotoma,  Keetmanshoop, Namibia .  The Quiver Tree Forest in southern Namibia is home to a spectacular collection of some of Earth’s most unusual trees, some of which are three centuries old. Strictly speaking, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow up to 33 feet high. The Bushman and Hottentot tribes use the hollow branches of this plant to make quivers for their arrows. The forest was made a Namibian national monument in 1995. Photo - Beth Moon In 1999, photographer Beth Moon took it upon herself to begin do

William Astore - Weapons, Warriors, and Fear as the New Order in America

The U.S. bestrides arms production and dealing like a colossus.  According  to the  Stockholm International Peace Research Institute , U.S. arms contractors sold $209.7 billion in weaponry in 2015, representing 56% of the world’s production... It’s estimated that there are more than  300 million  weapons in American hands, nearly enough to arm every citizen, the tall and the small (even  tots )... Strangely, most Americans remain either wilfully ignorant of, or indifferent to, what their country is becoming. That American-made weaponry is everywhere, that America’s warriors are all over the globe, that America’s domestic prisons are bursting with  more than two million captives , is even taken by some as a point of pride.  I came of age during  America's Cold War  with the Soviet Union, witnessing its denouement while serving in the U.S. military. In those days, the USSR led the world's weapons trade, providing arms to the Warsaw Pact (the military alliance it dominated)

Activists seek FIR against Meghalaya ex-governor V Shanmuganathan for sexual harrassment

In November, a young woman was invited by Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan to a job interview, and allegedly landed into a nightmare. "When I went there, he asked questions...on my personal life and forcefully hugged me and kissed me," the woman alleges in a handwritten and signed note to NDTV. The woman's complaint led to 98 members of the Governor's House in Shillong taking the unprecedented step of writing directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Their letter alleged that Mr Shanmuganathan had "compromised the dignity" of the Raj Bhavan and turned it into a "young ladies club". Mr Shanmuganathan was asked to explain when the centre received the letter earlier this week, but his troubles escalated rapidly after reports appeared in newspapers. His resignation last night has been accepted by the President. Before arriving in Delhi today, the 67-year-old visited the famous Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.  The letter by the Raj Bhavan staff, w

Khaled Ahmed : The Barelvi pushback

In the first week of 2017, Lahore was paralysed by roadblocks set up by the government to deny entry to mobs opposed to the  observance of the day Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was killed in 2011 by his police guard. Mumtaz Qadri, who shot him 27 times, was detailed to protect him against Islamist terrorists shadowing him for having opposed the blasphemy law. The name Qadri was a giveaway — carried by a sect that kills blasphemers — but Pakistan pretended not to know how murderous their schools of  religious thought had become. Taseer hadn’t insulted the Holy Prophet PBUH but had criticised the law for its flaws of excess, like death as minimum punishment without any room for mitigation. All religious parties backed by their seminaries are against amending the law to remove these flaws, but for the first time the country’s non-jihadist Barelvis had put on the warpaint and left the jihadists behind. The most extreme Barelvis — named after a city, Bareilly, in India where this s