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

Jaipur Literature Festival organisers under pressure to ban Taslima Nasreen from festival in future

NB: The report below states that the Rajasthan Muslim Forum, All India Milli Council, Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Personal Law Board referred to Taslima as a “disputed” personality; and that she was living in exile since 1994 for her controversial book, Lajja. On this ground they have demanded that she should not be invited again. If the report is correct, and the JLF's organisers have indeed decided not to invite her in future this signifies another retreat in the face of communal intimidation; and another nail in the coffin of freedom of expression. Taslima's opponents should know that her book Lajja depicted the torments undergone by a Hindu family during the communal riots in Bangladesh after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.  I n brief, she defended the human rights of religious minorities in her country. It is for this reason she was hounded out of Bangladesh.  Would not the Rajasthan Muslim Forum, All India Milli Council, Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Perso

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)