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- 12/04/12--06:37: _Thorium will help s...
- 12/04/12--18:02: _Babri Masjid demoli...
- 12/04/12--18:06: _Kejriwal questions ...
- 12/04/12--21:39: _Sainthood of Devasa...
- 12/05/12--01:47: _Walmart entered Ind...
- 12/05/12--03:06: _Missionary visa to ...
- 12/05/12--05:50: _Supreme Court direc...
- 12/05/12--15:29: _The beautiful tree,...
- 12/05/12--15:34: _A midnight raid at ...
- 12/05/12--16:12: _Origin of the Light...
- 12/05/12--18:41: _Bull and horse, mig...
- 12/05/12--20:30: _How Walmart will us...
- 12/05/12--22:08: _Direct cash transfe...
- 12/06/12--03:35: _Ayodhya: Punish bog...
- 12/06/12--15:54: _Tamil Nadu sits on ...
- 12/06/12--17:33: _Day-night band visi...
- 12/06/12--17:52: _A new global role a...
- 12/06/12--18:24: _Pakistan’s Sectaria...
- 12/07/12--05:40: _TED Video: Low cost...
- 12/08/12--18:01: _Twice-born Nehru-Ga...
- 12/04/12--06:37: Thorium will help shape China’s energy future
- 12/04/12--18:02: Babri Masjid demolition and nation building -- Subramanian Swamy
- 12/04/12--18:06: Kejriwal questions Gujarat land deals, BJP responds
- 12/05/12--03:06: Missionary visa to Christians -- Dr. Ashok Singal
- 12/05/12--05:50: Supreme Court directs Karnataka to release Cauvery water to TN
- 12/05/12--20:30: How Walmart will use Indian Govt. to sell its refrigerators
- 12/05/12--22:08: Direct cash transfers cannot be trusted -- Sandhya Jain
- 12/06/12--15:54: Tamil Nadu sits on caste tinderbox - Kumar Chellappan
- 12/06/12--17:33: Day-night band visible space imaging - NASA images of the globe
- 12/06/12--18:24: Pakistan’s Sectarian Death Squads - NYTimes
- 12/07/12--05:40: TED Video: Low cost napkins for Indian women
- 12/08/12--18:01: Twice-born Nehru-Gandhis -- Kanchan Gupta
Son of China’s ex-president: Thorium will help shape country’s energy future
Author: Subramanian Swamy
Published Date: Dec 4, 2012 11:44 PM
Last Updated: Dec 4, 2012 11:44 PM
On December 6, 1992, a superstructure called the Babri Masjid standing in the city of Ayodhya, came crashing down.
On December 6, 1992, a superstructure called the Babri Masjid standing in the city of Ayodhya, came crashing down. It remains even today a traumatic event for the nation, because modern Indians not yet been weaned on a true history of India but on Macaulayian version view the destruction of the structure as criminal vandalism.
However, the real act of vandalism was the superstructure built on a hoary and existing temple, and the vandals came from abroad to demolish the temple, and to build a mosque on the same spot.
Could the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992 have been avoided ?Two years earlier before the demolition, by a coincidence, on the same month and day, I had met representatives of the VHP and BJP at a house, next door to mine, on Mathura Road. The newly sworn in Prime Minister Chandrashekhar had asked me [I was then his newly sworn in senior most Cabinet Minister] as the new Union Law& Justice Minister, I should talk to them about withdrawing their proposed massive nation-wide stir slated to begin on December 9, 1990 for building a Ram temple at the site of the super-structure that had then stood in its gloomy glory. The Prime Minister told me to assure the VHP that our government would getthe Babri Masjid removed with the consent of Muslim leaders through discussions.
The VHP and the BJP leaders I met readily agreed to call off the stir since we were a new government, while the decision to launch the stir was taken when V P Singh was PM.
Thereafter in January 1991 Chandrashekhar himself initiated the talks with the Muslim leaders. Unfortunately, despite the progress in the talks, our government did not last long enough to fructify it.
Had the government lasted for a year more, I am confident we would have amicably liberated the Ram Janmabhoomi for building a befitting Ram temple, and with the consent of the Muslim community, even though the government was in a minority in Parliament.
From my personal experience as a minister in a minority government, I can therefore say that lack of majority is no excuse for implementing any agenda, if the leadership had the mindset to get things done.
As a Minister of Law &Justice, for instance, I got the controversial Sessions Judge of Faizabad, K M Pandey made a High Court judge, despite the fact that the previous V P Singh’s “three-legged” government had issued orders on file that since Pandey had directed the locks on the so-called Babri Masjid be removed in 1986, he should never be made a High Court Judge.
Mulayam Singh was Chief Minister of UP, and thoroughly opposed to Pandey, but with firmness I however got his protests sufficiently moderated to him permitting me to go ahead. He cooperated because he knew I would do it anyway-- make Pandey a Judge of the High Court--and hence he acquiesced since he wanted other things done for him by me,.
The same clarity enabled the Chandrashekhar Government to get Saifuddin Soz’s kidnapped daughter freed without releasing any dreaded terrorists. There are methods for doing that mostly based on retaliation and not negotiation. In each such case, it is the mindset of those elected to high office that matters, not the size of the Parliamentary majority or the lack of it.
It was this mindset that enabled the Chandrashekhar Government to nearly solve by an agreement the question of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The government, however, fell before it could be clinched.
But can a masjid be demolished in legally authorised way? The Supreme Court has held in the Faruqui vs Union of India case [(1994)6 SCC360], that a masjid is not an essential part of Islamic theology, and these can and have been be demolished for public good.
In Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and even in British undivided India, masjids and mosques have been demolished to build roads. Saudi Arabia even demolished the Bilal Masjid in Mecca where Prophet Muhammed used to read namaz, to build a palace for the Sheikhs.
Masjids, like churches, are not religious places in the sense a temple is--masjids and churches are places not of, but for worship, i.e., buildings which serve as facilitation centres for namaz and prayer. Namaz can be read anywhere, even on a railway platform. In USA, the VHP buys disused Churches and converts them into temples, and yet no Christian there objects.
But temples, once it is shown that prana prathista puja was performed to build it, is where God or the deity resides, and therefore a temple belongs to God forever. As Union Law & Justice Minister in 1991, I got our government’s legal team to prove this to the satisfaction of the House of Lords in Britain, to bring back a Nataraja statue taken from a disused Thanjavur temple.
Of course, merely because of this fact about masjids and churches, no one in a democracy can take law into his own hands to demolish these masjids and churches. Nor will the Hindu public wait forever for justice.
But on the other hand, a government can remove in a legal and orderly way the masjids in Ayodhya, Kashi, and Brindavan, in fact, in 300 other places, to rebuild the original temples under law. We can get the Muslims’ cooperation on this. I am confident of this.
Hindus should not therefore be defensive in the face of an onslaught by the fashionable secularists about removing mosques built on where temples had once stood.
Babri Masjid was built as an affront to the Hindus. Otherwise it could have been built anywhere else since namaz can be offered anywhere. Hindus can be proud to have prevailed in history because despite 800 years of Islamic and 200 years of Christian domination, Bharat today is still over 80 per cent of Hindus in population, and a continuing Hindu civilisation.
Hence, now we must resolve to rectify what is essential to rectify and reclaim. For that renaissance, restoration of the three holy sites in Ayodhya, Vrindavan, and Kashi is vital. For these three holy sites, we patriotic politicians must resolve: Come our way by saam or dhaam or go the highway by dand.
But it is easier said than done to expect that Indian politicians would do or die for it. As our present rudderless democracy’s drift, we are today in a “match-fixing mode” even in electoral contests. In Tamil Nadu, the DMK and the AIADMK are bitter enemies, but in most crucial constituencies, match-fixing arrangements for money have been worked out for decades between Sasikala of the AIADMK and Arcot Veerasamy of the DMK, who are alter egos of their respective top leaders, and determined to keep out the Hindutva forces from Tamil Nadu.
The same match-fixing disease has spread to other parties nation-wide. We have to cure it before it completely debilitates and destroys our democracy as it has done in Banana Republics of Latin America such as Colombia and Peru. The reluctance today to confront and expose the anti-Hindu personages in Parliament, Academia and Media is because of this disease of “match-fixing”. It is said by the leaders in Parliament that such attacks would be “personal” and “counter productive”.
There is, however, nothing “personal” in such directed and organised attacks. Just as the world focused on Hitler or Mussolini, without thinking of it being personal, therefore we should identify and expose especially the person who has emerged as the fountain head of the anti-Hindutva campaign today.
But patriots cannot prevail in this struggle, if in our midst there are in the helm of affairs those suffering from the “Arjuna virus”. The late Swami Chinmayananda once pointed out, referring to Arjuna initially declining to fight at Kurukshetra because he could recognise his duty in the hour of crisis, as the Arjuna virus. The Babri Masjid legacy today is that virus. We must cure it even if we have lost 65 years waffling in British imperialist induced self-doubt about our ancient history.
The logic and substance of this article is very convincing. However, I think, we should spend our energy and abilities on social problems. "Namaz" can be offered anywhere and the muslims do that in any case. Hindu philosphy allows us to consider everything in creation as "Divine" and godly. So, there is no need to rake up these highly emotional and convtroversial probems. Let us do something good for one another in a subjective manner and live in peace as one Nation.Thanks for allowing me to comment.
Posted by K S Krishnan at 12/05/2012 03:26 Reply to this Report abuse
You know wishful thinking Krishnan but you are as naive as other hindu Indians who first thought the muslim invaders were friends and then the Britishers were traders. Historically, when Hinduism was strong and didnt attack anyone but also didnt allow anyone to attack India had its Golden perioid. Once you are only spending energy on solving social problems but keep your doors open, dont protect your territory the enemies think you are weak and attack you. Swamy is right here....he is not only convincing the article is also based on facts. You cannot be doing good for one another when the minorities in India are funded by a rogue terrorist nation Pakistan that keeps pumping counterfeit notes and terrorists into India.
Posted by John Abraham at 12/05/2012 04:58 Reply to this Report abuse
The article by Subramanian Swamy is nothing but one sided story told by a mental patient. He needs to get his brain checked ,if he has one. There has been a countless evidence that there was no temple on the Ayodhya site. The writer either is ignorant of this fact or is simply too stupid to arose religious sentiments among the peace loving hindus , christians and muslims. I suggest he should not be allowed to give such inflamatory articles in the public media.
Posted by MICHAEL at 12/05/2012 06:36 Reply to this Report abuse
i don't think your claim is true. archealogical society of india itself has clearly declared the existance of a temple underneath the masjid.
Posted by nc at 12/05/2012 06:46 Reply to this Report abuse
PRESS RELEASED BY SMT. NIRMALA SITHARAMAN (NATIONAL
SPOKESPERSON OF BJP) ON BASELESS ALLEGATION MADE BY SHRI
The BJP completely rejects the baseless allegations made during a press
conference by Shri Arvind Kejariwal of the Aam Admi Party on various issues
related to the Gujarat government in general and Shri Narendra Modi in particular.
Most issues raised by Shri Kejriwal have been investigated by the Shri M.B. Shah
Commission. This Commission which was set up under the Commission of
Enquiries Act and only recently the Commission has submitted its report and the
Cabinet has accepted the report.
Following in the tracks of the Congress Party, on the issue of the GSPC – KG
Basin, Shri Kejriwal is also looking for a scandal where one doesn't exist. Every
contract issued or any contract cancelled are done with prior information of the
Directorate of Hydro Carbon. So was it done in this matter too. This contract was
cancelled in the year 2010. Not a rupee was given out to anyone in this matter.
On land allocation in Gujarat for SEZs, questions have been raised. Gujarat
adopts a transparent policy on valuation of land. Every allotment goes through an
elaborate process before finalisation.
First, a District Evaluation Committee evaluates the land. Then the Chief Town
Planner counter checks it at the State head quarters. Then a high level
Committee of Secretaries finalise the valuation. After this, a report is sent to the
Cabinet for its approval. Even at that stage every effort is made to match the
valuation with the market valuation of a neighboring land. In this process the
district administration also participates.
Thus there is an elaborate process which oversees such operation. In the year
2011 the Hon. Supreme Court had applauded the transparent process which is in
place in Gujarat. The apex Court dismissed a PIL on the allotment of Gauchar
It is of importance to put on record here that land was given away at throw away
prices by some earlier governments, sometimes even arbitrarily. Shri Shankar
Singh Vagela's government had given away 33 lakh square meters of land at
Re.1/sq mtr. In one instance when the then Finance Minister had tried to give
away 1.5 lakh sq mtrs of land at Re 1/sq mtr, the then Chief Minister Shri Vaghela
overruled the Finance Minister and enhanced the allocation from 1.5 lakh sq mtrs
to 3 lakh sq mtrs. All this without a transparent process of valuation. The process
which prevailed then was completely arbitrary. The allotment at Re 1/sq mtr is not
a feature under Shri Narendra Modi.
Lands in Kutch given for SEZ are non cultivable, waste land, which get
submerged during high tide. Due permission have also been obtained for them
under the Coastal Regulatory Zone rules. We wish to assure that no land has
been acquired from farmers by the Government of Gujarat for Adani.
Lands given to Adanis for Port and Port back-up are on 30 years lease. Every
year the lease rent is changed. After 30 years, this developed land will come back
to the Government -ie to the Gujarat Maritime Board.
Lands in Kutch cannot be compared to lands in Gandhinagar, an urban area
where land is scarce.
Another issue about allotting lands for residential purpose in Gandhinagar for
MPs, MLAs, judges and bureaucrats has been raised by Shri Kejriwal. It is a
scheme which has existed in Gujarat from Congress' days. In the last five years
Shri Narendra Modi has stopped giving plots to MLAs and MPs at concessional
rates. This matter is sub-judice, in the Gujarat High Court.
Land given to judiciary was a step taken by earlier governments.
Allegations have also been made about power purchasing agreements. A few
facts in this regard :
1. The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) signed an agreement with
Adani Energy & Power on 02-02-2007.
2. Power was to be bought/supplied at Rs 2.35 per unit.
3. This rate then and even now is the lowest.
4. The rate of Rs 2.35 per unit still stands.
5. For want of environment clearance the coal from Naini coalfield allocated to
Gujarat could not serve the purpose.
6. Adanis, because they are importing coal, claimed loss and appealed to the
government of Gujarat for raising the price per unit. The Gujarat
government refused flatly.
7. Adanis appealed to the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission – GERC.
Even they rejected their appeal.
8. Furthermore the Appellate Tribunal, in Delhi, an appeal of Adanis as per the
Electricity Act, also rejected their appeal.
So allegations on this count are completely false.
The BJP states firmly that all assumptions and conclusions drawn by Shri Kejriwal
are false and baseless. Gujarat is in the process of elections to its legislative
assembly. Allegations at this time can only be politically motivated.
Co-Convener, Media Cell,
In Gujarat elections, Modi and Congress “appear” to be politically pitched against each other. But documents reveal that behind the curtains, they are happy doing business with each other and with same set of people.
Modi “gifts” away 20% of GSPC’s stake
(10% of it given to Shobhana Bhartia’s husband’s company. She was nominated to Rajya Sabha by Congress):
Gujarat State petroleum Corporation (GSPC) is an oil and gas exploration company of Gujarat Government. GSPC acquired gas blocks in KG Basin in August 2002. According to government’s own estimates, the gas fields allotted to GSPC were worth $20 billion.
Modi government entered into production sharing agreements with Geo Global and Jubilant Enpro Pvt. Ltd. Modi gave away 10% of participating interest to each of these two companies completely free of cost. In turn, Geo Global was supposed to provide technical assistance. The first question is – how were these two companies identified? According to records, it was not through any competitive bidding. These two companies were simply given away the participating interests in these gas fields free of cost.
What is the value of benefits given to Geo Global and Jubilant Enpro Pvt. Ltd?
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance is an operator of gas fields in the same area. Mukesh Ambani invited British Petroleum last year to provide technical assistance and entered into a similar production sharing agreement giving 30% stake to British Petroleum (BP). Mukesh Ambani’s fields were valued at $ 24 billion at that time. BP had to pay $ 7.3 billion (Rs 35,000 crores) to acquire 30% stake and to provide technical assistance.
In sharp contrast, Gujarat government gifted away 10% stake to Geo Global and Jubilant Enpro Pvt. Ltd each. Therefore, the value of this “gift” given by Modi Government would be Rs 10,000 crores to each of the two companies.
Who is Geo Global?
Geo Global was incorporated just six days before their agreement with GSPC. On the day of the agreement, its total capital was $ 64 (Rs 3200) only. The company is owned by some Jean Paul Roy. So, from Rs 3200 worth company, it became a Rs 10,000 crore worth company within six days.
Whereas Modi government is trying to defend its agreement with Geo Global saying that Geo Global provided technical expertise, Geo Global in its own admission to Securities and Exchange Commission in US has said that it does not have the necessary expertise. CAG has raised serious doubts about Geo Global’s technical competence. In fact, the “technical expertise” provided by Geo Global was so flawed that, according to CAG, Gujarat government had to hire another technical consultant.
Therefore, the sole purpose of this transaction seems to be to gift oil fields worth Rs 10 thousand crores and to gift 10% profits of GSPC to Jean Paul Roy.
Interestingly, GSPC has spent $ 3 billion as cost of exploration. Since Geo Global has 10% stake, 10% of this cost i.e. % 300 million (Rs 1500 crores) should have been borne by Geo Global. However, Modi government paid this money on their behalf and did not recover it from them.
Why did Modi do that? Who is Jean Paul Roy? What is Modi’s relationship with Jean Paul Roy?
Congress partners with Modi in this loot:
The following three points indicate how Modi and Congress are joint partners in this business:
1. Who is Jubilant Enpro Pvt. Ltd? Jubilant Enpro Pvt. Ltd is owned by Shyam Sunder Bhartia, who is husband of Mrs Shobhana Bhartia. Mrs Shobhana Bhartia was nominated to Rajya Sabha by Congress. She has been known to be extremely close to Congress and Gandhi family.
Isn’t it strange that Modi grants a Rs 10,000 crore illegal benefit to someone so close to Congress? Isn’t it strange that Congress keeps mum about Modi’s scam for so many years?
2. When CAG started its audit, Modi government perhaps got scared. So, they recommended to the Central Government on 18 Aug 2010 to cancel the agreement with Geo Global. Interestingly, despite tens of letters and reminders to the central Government, UPA government is not giving permission to cancel the agreement with Geo Global. Why? Is Jean Paul Roy related to Congress also?
3. Interestingly, Jean Paul hasn’t received benefits from just Modi in Gujarat. He has received similar illegal benefits from UPA government at centre also. A look at Geo Global’s website shows that Geo Global received its first contract from Modi government in February 2003. Subsequently, on the basis of that contract, Jean Paul has entered into several production sharing contracts in KG Basin, Cambay Basin, Deccan Syneclise Basin and Bikaner Nagaur basin. Many of these contracts have been entered into with OIL, which is a Central PSU. The contracts with OIL happened during UPA’s regime.
Therefore, Jean Paul Roy seems to be both Modi’s and Congress’ man.
Modi buys peace with Congress and Judiciary
Gujarat Government has been allotting plots of land to its MPs and MLAs in prime areas of Gandhinagar. The plots have been allotted at highly concessional rates of Rs 45 per sq mtr. The plots were allotted so that the MPs and MLAs could construct their houses on these plots. But most of them have sold these plots at much higher rates.
Why did the Congress, which is the Opposition Party, not raise its voice against this scheme? Because MPs and MLAs from Congress also have got plots and they have also benefitted from this scheme.
This matter was challenged in Gujarat High Court. Gujarat High Court stayed the sale of these plots. In order to keep the judges also happy, Modi gave concessional plots to all the sitting, retired and promoted judges of Gujarat High Court in April 2010. Barring a few judges, all the other judges accepted this Modi’s offer. Since then, this petition has not been heard by Gujarat High Court. The MPs and MLAs are openly selling their plots despite Gujarat High Court ban on sale.
Has Judiciary been effectively silenced?
If Congress is Mukesh Ambani’s dukaan, then is Modi government Adani’s dukaan?
In 2007, Gujarat needed electricity. Modi government was buying it from Adani on temporary basis at Rs 5.45 per unit. Modi government decided to enter into long term power purchase agreements, which would be cheaper. It called for bids. The bids were manipulated to favor Adanis. Gujarat High Court passed a stinging order against Modi Government for brazenly manipulating the bidding process and for favoring Adanis.
In February 2007, Gujarat government entered into two agreements with Adanis to supply electricity at Rs 2.35 and Rs 2.89 per unit respectively.
Interestingly, two months before this, Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC), which is Gujarat Government PSU, had offered to the Gujarat Government to supply electricity at the rate of Rs 2.25 per unit. This was much cheaper than what Adanis were offering. GMDC had its own coal blocks and it had offered these coal blocks to KSK Energy Ventures Ltd, who in turn agreed to supply electricity cheaper at Rs 2.25 per unit.
Rather than accept GMDC’s offer to supply cheaper electricity, Modi government decided to purchase electricity at much higher rates from Adanis. Why did Modi do that?
A few days after signing the agreement, Adani started blackmailing Gujarat government. They refused to supply electricity till they were supplied coal by Gujarat Government. GMDC said they would be happy to supply coal if Adanis agreed to supply electricity at reduced rates of Rs 2.25 per unit, the rates at which KSK was supplying electricity, who was receiving coal from GMDC.
Rather than reprimanding Adanis and cancelling their contract for this blackmail, Modi personally intervened. Mr Jose, the Chairman of GMDC was transferred out. GMDC was asked to supply 50% of its coal from Naini block to Adani. Extracts from file noting made by Mr Modi:
“M/s Adani had been given a commitment by GMDC for coal to be provided by them from the Morga –II mines project for a 1000 MW plant on the basis of which M/s Adani in turn submitted his bid in the competitive tariff bid at GUVNL at Rs 2.35 at Gujarat bus bar. In other words, a commitment of GMDC exists towards M/s Adani. Therefore, it is suggested that the 50% of Naini block of 1750 MW can be considered to be given to M/s Adani with GMDC as the mine developer.”
The above file noting made by Mr Modi is completely false. GMDC did not make any commitment, whatsoever, to Adani.
Despite this, Adanis unilaterally cancelled their contract for supplying power in 2009. Gujarat government in turn started buying same electricity from Adani under short term contracts at Rs 5.5 per unit.
So, in effect, Adanis walked away with coal blocks without supplying the electricity at cheaper rates.
Therefore, Modi’s love for Adanis cost Gujarat people very dearly. All these years, the people of Gujarat were forced to pay much more for electricity.
Finally, Gujarat government had to enter into power purchase agreements with other parties at much higher rates.
Adanis granted land at throwaway prices:
Modi has allotted 14306 acres (roughly 5.67 crore sq meters) of land to Adanis in Kutch area itself. This land has been transferred to them at rates ranging from Re 1 per sq meter to Rs 32 per sq meter for SEZ. In fact, most of the land has been allotted at less than Rs 10 per sq meter. Most of the land is allotted in Mundhra village, where the market rate is Rs 200 to Rs 315 per sq meter for industrial use and Rs 1000 to Rs 1575 per sq meter for commercial use. If we take Rs 10 per sq meter as the average price at which land has been given to Adanis and if we take Rs 300 per sq meter as the average market price, it means that Modi has given an illegal benefit to Adanis to the tune of Rs 1600 crores.
Similarly, Modi has allotted land to Adanis in many other parts of Gujarat at throwaway prices.
However, when Indian Air Force asked for land from Modi, IAF was charged 8 times the market rate. IAF was offered 100 acre land at Rs 8800 per sq meter. It is only after PM’s personal intervention that rates to IAF were reduced.
(All documents pertaining to the case have been uploaded on our website http://aamaadmiparty.org/Services/DisplayNews.aspx)
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 6:48 PM
Subject: DHARMA MESSAGE SERIES NO. 52
DHARMA MESSAGES SERIES NO. 52
DEVASAHAAYAM PILLAI’S BENEDICTION (Devasahaayam pillai vaazhthapettavan);
Message and news appeared on the benediction of Devasahaayam Pillai (formerly Neelakantan Pillai) who died in 1757 January 14th in Kanyakumari District TN.
It is said that this benediction was based on the Bishop’s report to Pope in Vatican that Pillai was shot dead for embracing Christianity from the Hindu Nair family. The sad part of this benediction was that there is not even a single report in the history of India on killing a person for embracing other religion. In fact many south Indian kings invited Christians and gave them facilities for building their commercial centres, churches and preaching the religion. Under this circumstances who shot dead Devasahaayam Pillai and for what purpose ? How it did not appear in the Indian history ? Is this a similar fake story like that of St Thomas ?
During 1757s, south India was the fighting ground and battle field for British, French and Portuguese for building their power. Many kings and even people were shot dead like Pazhassi Raja by the western invaders. No Hindu ruler had ever killed using pistol or gun in these land in the name of religious conversion from Hindu dharma.
In fact the Portuguese missionary cruelly killed tens of thousands of Hindus for not converting to Christianity and that fellow was declared as ‘Saint’ Francis Xavier. Hundreds of churches are built in his name. Still Hindus did not react in the past or present.
Under that circumstances shooting and killing Neelakanta Pillai for converting into Christianity is a fabricated story. Either aiming at tarnishing Indian culture and Hindus or for converting the remaining Hindus of Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu by elevating a Hindu to Christian Benediction level.
By Keeping the Hindu name Pillai, the shrewd Christians know that a part of Hindus can be dragged into the fold of the churches. The church is accepting the Hindu names, rituals, customs, books, methods and so on for converting the illiterate Hindus.
The Devasahaayam Pillai with chains in hands, cross near by, in Tamilain dress on the Altar of every church can fasten the conversion in Tamil regions using his name.
By creating such a false story, the Bishops are tarnishing the Hindu and Indian image of tolerance and sarva dharma sama bhaavana. They wanted to project that Hindus also killed Christian missionaries. However no Hindu organisation realised such a motto through the benediction of Devasahaayam Pillai.
Mr. Pillai was soldier in any one of the foreign army of British, Portuguese and French who fought each other for their supremacy and might have shot dead for working for or against others.
Hindus do not bother elevating anyone inside or outside India to any level. But in the name of this Benediction what happened is that Hindu dharma and Indian culture got degraded, belittled, denigrated because it carries the message that Indians killed a Hindu for embracing Christianity through this fake story !
IISH COMMUNICATION TEAM
Encashment of virtuous Tamil Hindu psyche: Sainthood of Devasahayam Pillai
by C I Issac
05 Dec 2012
Roberto de Nobili Read: Arun Shourie on de Nobili, descendant of Brahma.
Idol of Devasahayam being carried to the stage| Express
divine blessings: The Chairman of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Angelo Cardinal Amato proclaims Devasahayam Pillai blessed at the ceremony at Nagercoil on Sunday; and | Express
The Vatican in its third millennium is committed to plant its Cross over Asia as was done in previous millenniums over Africa and the Americas. In the case of Asia, the church generally signifies India and particularly Tamil Nadu, the most vulnerable place of Hindu social formations of India (the reasons for this vulnerability are not the subject of this article).
Earlier in the seventeenth century, Roberto de Nobili of Montepulciano, Tuscany, a padre of the Society of Jesus, in his zeal to convert the Brahmins adopted their mode of life and so had to cut himself off completely from intercourse with fellow missionaries. Through fraudulence, he depicted the entire Hindu tradition as the corrupted form of Christianity. With this end he claimed to have discovered a fifth Veda which he called Jesus Veda. He worked in Madura, Mysore, and southern Karnataka till old age and almost complete blindness compelled him to retire to Mylapore.
Proselytism enterprises in the Tamil south attempted to baptize Thiruvalluvar and the Kural. In 1969, M. Deivanayagam with the blessings of the Church published a book in Tamil to portray Thiruvalluvar as the disciple of St. Thomas. The timely interference of national forces aborted the vicious and malicious designs of Arulappas and ‘Paul Iyers’ like ‘Jayachandras’ of modern south India.
The forces of the Conversion Lobby is now experimenting with another strategy to bestow the halo of sainthood upon a traitor, Neelakanda Pillai, of the kingdom of Travancore. This 18th century convert is now being repackaged as ‘Devasahayam Pillai’ in the absence of any proper historical evidence, in order to build an icon of martyrdom to the cause of ‘faith’.
According to the Catholic Church of Kanyakumari district, Neelakanda Pillai was an employee in the palace service of Travancore. Here it may be appropriate to quote Swami Vivekananda: “For every conversion that is lost to Hinduism, it is not just one lost, but one more enemy to Hinduism”.
During the Second Vatican Council (11 October 1962 to 8 December 1965) under pontiffs John XXIII and Paul VI, two thousand saints were removed from the nomenclature of ten-thousand-odd saints of the Catholic Church on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to their continuation in the galaxy of saints.
Pope John Paul II was known for his agenda of elevating 482 persons to sainthood; about 300 were put on a pedestal of different stages on the road to the final destination of sainthood. It was an all time record in the long history of 261 pontiffs so far. But his successor Benedict XVI is striving to overtake him. Yet Fr. Damien, who died on 15 April 1889 and served the ostracized lepers of Molokai in Hawaii, waited until 11 October 2009 in a long queue for sainthood. Fr. Damien’s elevation to sainthood is not beneficial to the Church from the conversion point of view.
The two thousand-odd saints had a purpose in the last millenniums and were served well. But in the changed scenario the Church has no use for them and so they were ousted from the pantheon of saints! Now the Vatican is running after Mother Theresa-like pragmatic saints who have acquired socio-political relevance in the contemporary world order. Several ‘removed saints’ are still adored in the Catholic churches of Kerala.
One such saint is St. George [Gee Varghese in Malayalam]; he is dear to the Church materially and mystically and that is why the Church of Kerala renounced the dictum of the pontiff. St. George of Edthuva and Aruvithura are indivisible in Kerala Catholic faith because this saint is acceptable to the Hindus, especially from southern Tamil Nadu, and hence he is a money-minter for the Church. His morphology is rather more Hindu than Occident; hence his acceptance. Above all, the Church in an era of globalization is more pragmatic than any business firms of Kerala.
The focus of this study is the authenticity of the story of the execution of Neelakanda Pillai alias Devasahayam Pillai of Nattalam in the present day Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu by the Travancore Raja in 1752 on the ground that he embraced Christianity. The Catholic Church alleges that the Brahmin chief priest of the kingdom and certain members of the royal family along with the Nair jati levelled false charges of treason against Devasahayam Pillai before the Dalawa (dewan).
According to the advocates of Neelakanda Pillai’s sainthood, his conversion to the Christian faith generated intolerance amongst the upper jati Hindus / Nairs, thus they conspired against him; hence the case of treason. There are various other stories in circulation concerning the poignant end of Neelakanda Pillai. One story says that during the reign of Ramayyan Dalawa, authorities framed charges against him: disclosing of state secrets to rivals and Europeans. Dalawa ordered the execution of Neelakanda Pillai and he was taken on the back of a buffalo to Kuzhumaikkad where he was executed on charges of sedition.
Another story is that in 1752, the King and his Dalawa ordered his deportation from Travancore into the Pandya country at Aralvaimozhy. There, he was let off in the forest where he began deep meditations and people from adjacent villages began visiting him as a holy man.
Here the pertinent questions are whether the practice of religious persecution existed in the State of Travancore; whether Neelakanda Pillai converted to Christianity and specifically to Catholicism; whether a man from Nair jati embraced the Latin Catholic Church; if he converted to Catholicism was it possible to remain in the palace service, and what is the immediate purpose of elevating him to the sainthood.
P.K. Balakrishnan, author of Jati Vyavasthithiyum Kerala Charithravum (Mal. pub.1983, pp 342 ff), makes it clear that even though the social relations of Kerala were based on jati / birth-based discriminations, religion was not a matter of social concern. The great poet Vallathol attested to the harmonious co-existence of diverse religions as Kerala’s time tested tradition. Krishna Chaitanya, a noted social historian of Kerala writes: “The Keralite, whatever his religion, grows up in a multicultural milieu, which has been an established reality in the land for centuries” (Kerala, p 62).
Recently the Dalai Lama, while attending a Christian function at Cochin, attested to the age-old Indian tradition of equal respect for all religions (and not religious tolerance) in the following words: “India exemplified how different religious faiths and traditions could live in harmony and she is the noble paradigm spiritual harmony and coexistence” (Matrubhoomi Daily, The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, Cochin 26 November 2012).
This traditional characteristic of Kerala society was acknowledged by an eminent historian: “The Hindu rulers of ancient Kerala followed a policy of enlightened religious toleration … The progress of the faith was, in many respects, due to the tolerant policy pursued by the rulers of Kerala…” (A. Sreedhara Menon, A Survey of Kerala History, 1970, pp 92, 104).
Above all, Marthanda Varma’s broadmindedness to accept De Lannoy, a Danish Christian, as commander-in-chief of his forces is sufficient and self-explaining testimony to the general Hindu social psyche of the day. In short, Kerala’s track record in the history of harmonious coexistence of religions is exemplary of the broad Hindu outlook since the dawn of its civilization to the present. Hence a story of Devasahayam Pillai’s tragic end is fictitious and un-historic.
As Neelakanda Pillai hailed from an aristocratic Nair household of 18th century Travancore and was well placed in the palace service, the genuineness of the story of his conversion to Christianity is unbelievable and fabulous in the history of proselytism of Kerala. Social disability attributed to certain jatis by smriti rules, the ruling ideology of ancient Kerala, is the prime villain responsible for the mass exodus of certain jatis to alien religions in the changed political scenario.
In this situation, the conversion of a Nair before European domination over Kerala’s political life is an absurd story and an act of building castles in the air. If for the sake of argument one accepted the conversion of Neelakanda Pillai to Latin Catholicism, the question of his social acceptance in the highly jati conscious society is vital. One has to keep in mind that the Latin Catholics, even today, are untouchables to the Syrian Catholics of Kerala. Conversion would make his social rank in the mlechha (out-cast) category and thus he would miss his socio-political acceptance automatically.
Thus, without any external intervention, all his social status and prerogatives along with his employment in the palace service would be automatically terminated. Hence there was no room for false fabrication of charges by a Brahmin priest against him. While in the palace service, Neelakanda Pillai was very clearly not converted to an alien faith.
A 20th century story associated with Neelakanda Pillai’s conversion is narrated by C.M. Augur in “The Church History of Travancore” (1902, Kottayam). It explains the story without any relevant documentary evidence. This is a deliberate conspiracy plotted by the Church.
Similarly, the Malayalam literary magazine Bhasposhini (Vol. XXVIII, No. 7, 2004), part of the Christian-owned Malayala Manorama group, published the story of the conversion of one Ramavarma, heir-apparent to the Cochin royal family, to Christianity under the influence of Dr. Herman Gundert, a protestant missionary in 19th century Malabar. The cover story says he received baptism from Dr. Herman Gundert on 3 September 1856m and assumed the name Yakoob (Jacob) Ramavarman (1814-1858).
The story of his conversion is presented to the reading public in a more camouflaged manner by the magazine, which debates the question of the first autobiography in Malayalam and concludes that Yakoob Ramavarman is the first autobiographer of the Malayalam language. This is a paradox which was not noticed by three outstanding literary historians of Kerala, Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer, T.M. Chummar and Dr. K.M. George, but was discovered by Bhasposhini in its cover story. The irony is that T.M. Chummar and Dr. K.M. George are upper jati Christians of Kerala. The purpose of the debate over the nonexistent and unpublished autobiography was to give stimulus to the enterprise of apostasy in Kerala.
Anyway, the attempt did not produce any desired output. The reason is that Gundert was a Protestant and in Protestantism saints have no relevance; hence making and marketing Yakoob Ramavarman as a saint turned unfeasible for the time being. In short, the proselytism entrepreneurs of India who cast its covetous eyes over the unorganized Hindus are always eager to experiment newer and newer tricks to trap them and has a periodic recurring character (sambhavami yuge yuge).
Neelakanda Pillai’s alleged conversion to the Catholic faith under the influence of De Lannoy was another serious contradiction that persists in the fabrication of this story, which acquired impetus in the 1980s. Those who fabricated the above story did not know the then persistent politico-religious relations of the West.
De Lannoy was a Danish subject in communion with the Protestant Church. When the Dutch captured Fort Cochin, they occupied St. Antonio Church of the Catholics, where Vasco da Gama was buried, and changed it to St. Francis Church. Now this church belongs to CSI, a Protestant order. Later, the British occupied it and at the time of independence they handed it over to the CSI.
In Europe at the time of Neelakanda Pillai, the Catholics and Protestants were in a belligerent mood. Therefore De Lannoy would never allow Neelakanda Pillai to receive baptism from the Catholics. Moreover, at Udayagiri Fort, De Lannoy maintained a Protestant Church. Above all, the Dutch were the gurus of conversion in those days, so why would De Lannoy send Neelakanda Pillai to the Catholic fold for a simple ritual of baptism?
From the days of Roberto de Nobili (1606), the Papacy was enthused to convert the Tamil south but failed. In recent times it has attempted to hijack the great saint Thiruvalluvar, the spinal cord of Tamil identity, who lived a century before Jesus, by forging history! The church is peddling the story that Thiruvalluvar met Saint Thomas at Mylapore and converted to Christianity. This did not go down well and so now it is experimenting with Devashayam Pillai. The archival sources remain silent about Neelakanda Pillai’s conversion or execution.
The birth of newer saints will boost the morale of the nuns and clergy. In an age that criticizes the Church’s educational business and proselytism, miracles by native saints can attract more Hindus. Under the fascination of miracles of saints, if Hindus are converted to Christianity, no one can blame it as a proselytizing enterprise. That is the logic behind the elevation of people to sainthood in strategic regions.
In an age of sons of the soil, such a strategy may yield better. The offertory of a Hindu to a wayside chapel of a designated saint does not fall in the category of an income-generating business, like educational institutions or hospitals. This benefits the Church in two ways - it can continue conversion and amass money without public censure. In an age of liberalization and globalization, marketing strategies are essential for the faith also. Hence European churches are using the potential of the Indian Church for outsourcing holy mass and other sacraments. In the marketability perspective, Kerala waysides are perfect spaces for the sale of saints and their miracles.
The author is a retired Professor of History, and lives in Trivandrum
Devasahayam Pillai beatified
Author: Express News Service
Published Date: Dec 3, 2012 8:37 AM
Last Updated: Dec 3, 2012 10:21 AM
Lakhs of people on Sunday attended a ceremony to mark the beatification of Martyr Devasahayam Pillai, the first layman from India to be given this honour by the Catholic Church.
The grand ceremony was held at the Carmel School grounds near Ramanputhoor in the town by the Diocese of Kottar where Pillai was born. The Chairman of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Angelo Cardinal Amato, participated in the function as the Papal Delegate and presided over it.
During the ceremony, Kottar bishop Peter Remigius, together with the postulator of the cause, approached Cardinal Amato and requested him to proceed with the beatification of Devasahayam Pillai while the bishop read some important anecdotes from the life of Pillai.
Following this, the Cardinal read the ‘apostolic letter’ in Latin and declared Servant of God Devasahayam Pillai ‘Blessed’ and noted that it had been permitted to celebrate his festivals in select places according to diocese laws on January 14 every year. Afterwards, the bishop read the translated version of the apostolic letter in Tamil and, at the end of the reading, a Latin hymn was sung as a large picture and the relics of Pillai were carried to the altar in a solemn procession. They were placed by the side of the altar, adorned with candles. The celebrant passed incense over the relics and a hymn on the blessed was sung. Later, Bishop Remigius thanked Pope Benedict XVI for proclaiming Pillai blessed and the bishop and the Papal representatives embraced each other.
Senior Catholic clergymen, including Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio, several cardinals from India, 40 bishops and almost 2,000 priests and nuns were joined by lakhs of faithfuls from different parts of the country to witness the ceremony.
State Forest Minister K T Patchaimal, Nagercoil MLA Nanjil Murugesan, Kanyakumari MP J Helen Davidson and politicians cutting across party lines were present at the event.
The entire story of devasagayam is fabricated to further conversions and the pope has given legitimacy to this. Its immoral, anti national and malicious.
Posted by gautham at 12/03/2012 19:05 Reply to this Report abuse
Fabrication? Immoral, anti-national and malicious? Has Mr. Gautham ever lived aruond or visited Padmabhapuram, Puliyoorkurichy, Colachel, Peruvilai, Nattalam, Vadakkankulam, Aralvaimozhy, Kaatadimalai, Kottar etc? How much is he aware of the history of Travancore Kingdom of 17-18 Centuries? 2-line comments perhaps are more a swinging clubs in the dark of his own maliciousness and flawed mindset than a sense of openness to things that have taken place in Thovalai, Agastheswaram, Kalkulam and Vilavancode Taluks.. Gita - AB.
Posted by Gitanjali at 12/03/2012 21:47 Reply to this Report abuse
Well said Gita. No one should talk without knowing the ground reality. People should visit St. Xavier's Church, Kottar, Nagarcoil before making some wrong comments. To be blessed in Christianity is not a joke -Jose
Posted by Jose at 12/04/2012 10:16 Reply to this Report abuse
Blessed Daivasahayam Pillai pray for the world to have the bliss and happiness to believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God. " But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God"( John 1:12). Good Jesus, You are " the Way, the Truth and the Life".
Posted by I.C. Se... at 12/04/2012 00:47 Reply to this Report abuse
Neelakandanpillai was a traitor of the Travancore kingdom. He was a spy He allied with Dutch. In spite of his treacherous act, Dutch was defeated. He stole timber from the forests of Travancore and smuggled it to Tirunelveli. He was caught red handed, He was assasinated by the law of the land for his various heinous acts. Now 200 years later the church wants to glorify him, thinking that everybody has forgotten the truth. This only proves that the churrch's' vested interest.
Posted by Ben at 12/04/2012 11:11 Reply to this Report abuse
My dear friend, truth never fails. Even 200 or 2000 years passed Truth is Truth. All the facts about Devasahayam Pillai is are with evidence. He is a person know learned who is real God. He Knew Him, lived for Him and will live in the hearts of all people. Facts can not be hidden. Pope never approve false recommendations. The study the things analyse it, verify the history and evidences thoroughly and then only give approval for beautification. Devasahayam Pillai lived for truth. Truths can't be hidden by such false statements. You may not know anything about history. You talk in an anger that a person converted his religious beliefs. Everybody has their own religious feelings as he had.
Posted by Joseph Stephen at 12/04/2012 12:20 Reply to this Report abuse
[!User Complaint!] Mr Ben please reserve your ignorance for yourself.Whatever has happened is well documented by people with credibility.Learn to understnd this before making sweeping statements.
Posted by I.Stephen at 12/04/2012 14:59 Reply to this Report abuse
Fable of ‘Martyr’ Devasahayam Pillai – The Church’s lies exposed
The First Indian to become a Saint!
The Son of soil becomes a Saint!
A great hullabaloo in the district of Kanyakumari!
As a first step towards making a Saint out of one Devasahayam Pillai, the Pope declared him a 'martyr' on June 28, 2012. Frontline newspapers and magazines carried this news item as the day's headlines and celebrated this announcement as if the whole world has been made holy.
Now what is the ulterior motive behind the beatification? Do the so-called facts rest on the solid foundations of history? Who becomes a 'martyr'? Should we not turn the spotlight on these questions?
A martyr is none but a warrior, who enlists himself in the army of the Pope, who reigns in Europe thousands of kilometers away from Kanyakumari; and this 'valiant martyr' thrives in the conquest and conversion of the vanquished, in the process sacrifices his life. The 2nd-century Church Father Tertullian wrote that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church," implying that the martyrs' willing sacrifice of their lives leads to the conversion of others.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_martyrs )
As to the question of motive behind this 'supreme sacrifice', and the motive behind this beatification is verily religious conversion. This has been further confirmed by Pope John Paul II and he does not stop with that. He glorifies these 'martyrs' as "warriors conquering in the name of the Vatican".
“The Church of the first millennium was born out of the blood of martyrs”, he says and calls on the universal Church not to forget the legacy of martyrs. He encourages taking up “these nameless, unknown soldiers as it were of God’s great cause.”
(source:http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org/RELEVANCE-OF-MARTYRDOM.php retrieved on 30.11.2012 )
What is to be noted here is the phrase - "nameless, unknown soldiers".
To which army do these warriors belong to?
For whose cause is this army waging war?
Which nation is this marauding army conquering?
Which culture is this army destroying?
What is its motive?
The deeds of this army explain themselves. And to commit these very deeds alone the religion resting on the personna of Jesus Christ became a hand maiden for the ruthless army. Then the question arises about the role and functions, and the very purpose of this religion.
A Religion is one, which elevates a person to a conscious state of his/her humanness, and from there on raises humans to a state of Divinity. There are no two opinions on this. If a religion were to adhere to the above enunciated and accepted principle, then it deserves to called religion. However if the core objective of this ‘religion’ is conquering lands and nations, the question arises, what should people belonging to this religion be called?
Furthermore, in the process of conquering nations, when these marauders attempt to convert the natives to Christianity through fraudulent means and threat, and when the natives retaliate and kill some of these "warriors", such ' foreign legions ' who have been killed by the natives are those who are glorified by the Church establishment as "martyrs".
It is to be remembered that this very same Pope John Paul II admitted shamelessly on this soil, on the auspicious day of Deepavalli, "We converted Europe in the first millennium; America in the second millennium; in the third millennium, we shall plant the Cross in the whole of Asia".
As remarked by Father Tertullian, the Catholic Church requires 'harvest of souls' and as a consequence, 'martyrs'. To accomplish this task, the Church is seriously involved in unearthing 'martyrs' in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North Sri Lanka. This fact has been admitted by the Kottar Diocese in their website.
"A suitable method for not forgetting the memory of the martyrs is to collect the essential documentation of their heroic testimony and update martyrologies", believes Pope John Paul II.
(source:http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org/RELEVANCE-OF-MARTYRDOM.php retreived on 30.11.2012)
The man who was caught in this 'holy excavation' is none other than 'our own indigenous martyr', Vedha-saatchi Devasahaayam Pillai. The history of Devasahaayam Pillai has been enumerated thus in the websites of Christian Assemblies:
Devasahaayam Pillai was born Neelakantha Pillai in the year 1712 in the upper caste Nair family. Subsequently, he served in the Padmanabhapuram Palace belonging to the Thiruvithaangoor (Travancore) Princely State. It was during this period that he is acquainted with the Dutch general of Maarthaandavarma Raja, De Lannoy.
As a consequence of this association, he was attracted towards Christianity. In the year 1745, he was converted to Christianity by one Fr. Giovanni Battista Buttari of Vadakkankulam Church. On becoming a Christian, he adopted the name Devasahaayam Pillai and moved closely with the people belonging to the lower castes and converted them to Christianity too. Not able to tolerate these acts, the people belonging to the upper castes like the Brahmins and Nairs, instigated the king and leveled a spate of allegations upon him. Consequently, Devasahaayam Pillai was arrested on February 23, 1749. Between the three years - 1749 and 1752, Devasahaayam Pillai was put to untold tortures and finally at a place called Kaathaadi Malai, on the Nagercoil-Tirunelveli road, near, Aaralvaaimozhi he was shot dead on January the 14th by the soldiers of king Maarthaandavarma Raja.
(http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org & http://cbci.in/FullNews.aspx?ID=648 ) (Retrieved on 30.11.2012)
What is the purpose of excavating this history? The website of Kottar Diocese explains it thus:
The past 259 years have shown such a continuity of presence of the Servant of God in the minds, piety, spirituality and prayer of the people of God in Tamil Nadu, south Kerala and northern Sri Lanka that he cannot be counted as one of “these nameless, unknown soldiers” in those areas. However, bereft of recognition by the Church and official acceptance by the authority in the Church, it is impossible to make such a meaningful event bear fruit in the Church and society at large.
(source:http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org/RELEVANCE-OF-MARTYRDOM.php retreived on 30.11.2012)
What is the significance of the statement“to make such a meaningful event bear fruit in the Church and society at large"? The import of this statement is that Devasahaayam is a commodity, an instrument for the Church. The Church itself has made it amply clear that there is no spiritual motive behind this act, whatsoever.
If that be so, what are the areas in which this 'commodity' is to be utilized?
The answer to the aforesaid query is readily answered herein: "a continuity of presence of the Servant of God in the minds, piety, spirituality and prayer of the people of God in Tamil Nadu, south Kerala and northern Sri Lanka" leading to more religious conversion.(http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org/RELEVANCE-OF-MARTYRDOM.php)
But still the big HOW remains? And more still, WHICH footprints of tradition is the church scheming to destroy through the act of beatification? The puzzle has been unraveled by the Christians themselves on December the 2nd, 2012 at Nagercoil, where the beatification of Devasahaayam Pillai took place.
Cardinal Angelo Amato agreed to designate January 14 as the day to celebrate Devasahaayam Pillai Festival to mark the canonization of Devasahaayam Pillai. The date January 14 is significant. Januray 14 is Pongal, the joyous Hindu festival of harvest, celebrated with fervor in Tamil Nadu, Northern Sri Lanka and South Kerala. The Makara Jyothi of Sabarimala also appears on that day.
The website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) announces that Devasahaayam Pillai was murdered on January 14 or January 15.(http://cbci.in/FullNews.aspx?ID=648)(Retrieved on 30.11.2012). The CBCI is keeping the date of the murder of the “historic” Devasahayam Pillai conveniently open and flexible for only one reason.
The reason for this "seeming vagary" is that the Thamizh month of THAI is sometimes born on January 15. The design behind this "seemingly innocent vagary" is very apparent - to link the Christian Devasahayam Pillai Festival to the Hindu festival Pongal so that Christians may celebrate both. The ignoble motive being – to appropriate Pongal sometime in the near future as also being a Christian festival.
This is typical Church modus operandi in Enculturation.
Many Christian festivals have been so "created" in line with the festivals of the local people. In the process, the reasons behind these festivals and the cultural identities in the minds of the locals have all but been annihilated, for which history bears testimony. By keeping the date of the death of Devasahayam Pillai conveniently open, it is amply clear that the 'Devasahaayam Pillai Festival' too has been craftily created by the Church to destroy the ancient tradition of celebrating Pongal.
Religious conversions notwithstanding, the website of Kottar Diocese clears all vestiges of doubts, if any, about the political motives that lurk behind.
During the talk of Bl. John Paul II quoted above, delivered at Lourdes, he spoke of “a new kind of religious persecution” spreading in the world today. It is very true in India today. There is an anti-Christian atmosphere being spread by Hindu fundamentalists, fully supported by certain political outfits for their own political motives. It is as if the Indian Church has already entered into “an era of persecution.
(Source:http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org/RELEVANCE-OF-MARTYRDOM.php retreived on 30.11.2012)
Not just politics, Christianity dons many caps, adapting itself with the belief systems of the local people in whose midst it plans to plant the church and the cross. Inculturation, which means to fraudulently convert the natives using their own native symbols, cultural and religious practices, severing them from their native religious and cultural roots and thus conspiring to bring them under the suzerainty of the Church. This goal shall be achieved through the beatification of 'martyr' Devasahaayam Pillai, states the website of Kottar Diocese:
Another point that makes this martyrdom relevant today is the role the laity have to play in the mission of the Church Ad Gentes. The laity are not simply “belonging to the Church”, indeed “they are the Church”.It is then only natural that one speaks of the mission ad gentes of the Laity, because “The Church on earth is by its very nature missionary” and the missionary activity of the Church flows immediately from the very nature of the Church.
(source:http://www.martyrdevasahayam.org/RELEVANCE-OF-MARTYRDOM.php retreived on 30.11.2012)
People may believe that such beatifications (that are designed for the very purpose of religious conversions) may be based upon strong historical foundations. More so, if such words like, 'son of the soil', 'laity' are suitably woven in, then the people of the regions would be overwhelmed and would never dream of investigating further to know the Truth. This is a fact that the Church knows only too well. However, on research, we stumble upon the fact that this fable of 'son of the soil' is contrary to the truth.
Renowned historian Sridhara Menon in an interview to the Pioneer dated 20.1.2004 asserts - "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 well-concocted story and a figment of the imagination."
MGS Narayanan, former Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research(ICHR), 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.
Shri. Nagam Aiyya, who recorded the history of Travancore princely state observes, "It is one evidently started by the later converts, from a habit of apotheosizing their ancestors or heroes; so common among the people. (Travancore Manual Vol II page 129-130, M.Nagam Aiya)
These fiction writers have gone to great lengths to establish that Christians were tortured under the reign of the king of Travancore. On the contrary, what does history offer evidence to?
The very Maharaja of Travancore, who is said to have persecuted Devasahaayam Pillai on account of Pillai converting to the Christian religion and for converting others to Christianity,has in fact extended tax exemption for the lands that he gifted to the Church at Varappuzha.(Travancore Manual, Vol-I page 16, T.K.Veluppillai)
Devasahaayam Pillai allegedly was drawn to Christianity by the Dutch general De Lannoy, according to this church authored fable."The Maharaja of Travancore, Kaarthigai Thirunaal met the expense of building Udayagiri church at the request of De Lannoy and granted a salary of 100 panams to the Vicar", records Shri. TK Velupillai, in the Travancore Manual, Vol-I, page 16.
Far from being religious bigots, these kings may in fact even be termed foolish for entrusting the administration of the Devoswom Board to Col.Munroe, a European Christian.
It is pertinent to recall here that in the times when Neelakantha Pillai converted to Christianity, there were bloody and violent clashes between Catholics and Protestants in Europe and in other parts of the world.
This catholic-protestant internecine war had its echo in India too. On capturing the Kochi Fort, the Holy Antonio Catholic Church where the mortal remains of Vasco da Gama were interned after his death was renamed 'Holy Francis Protestant Church". This Church is presently under the control of the Protestant Church of South India (CSI).
The Dutch De Lannoy was a Protestant Christian. His Church at Udaygiri Fort was a Protestant Church. Moreover, the Dutch in India were vested with the right to authorize baptism of the newly converted. Under such circumstances, why should De Lannoy send Neelakantha Pillai to a Catholic denomination for baptism into Christianity? Besides, would it not be 'profitable' to be baptized by the General of the Maharaja? What benefit would accrue to the upper caste Neelakantha Pillai, were he to be baptized by the Catholic Church, which had no political power then?
We have to conclude therefore that those who fabricated the fiction called "Devasahaayam Pillai", had neither any knowledge of the socio- political climate of the Travancore princely state, nor did they have any idea of the then prevalent situation in Europe.
During the times of Maarthaanda Varma Maharaja, the army of Travancore had Izhavas, Christians and Muslims, records Shri. T.K Velupillai in his Travancore Manual, Vol-IV, page 122, quoting Colonel Wilks.
Indian Historians would naturally be biased in favour of the Hindus; hence it is unacceptable to us, say the Christians but insist that the fiction that the Church peddles as history is the ultimate truth.
Let us take on their argument head on. Pope Clement XIV in his letter dated 2nd July 1774, to the Maharaja of Travancore expresses "his kindness towards the members of his church resident in Travancore". (Travancore Manual Vol-I, page 387, M. Nagam Aiya).
Is Pope Clement XIV lying? Or is Pope John Paul II lying? Or Is the Kottaar Diocese lying? Or is the incumbent pope, Pope Benedict lying? If the king gave grants of land to the church, if there were Christians in the king’s army, if the king entrusted the administration of the Devasvom to a foreigner, who was also a Christian, these self-contradictory ‘facts’ by subsequent popes cannot all be true. So who really is lying?
For the sake of the General De Lannoy who allegedly drew Devasahaayam Pillai to Christianity,De Lannoy,the Maharaja of Travancore Maarthaanda Varma waged war against the General of Anjango. Do you know the reason? De Lannoy fell in love with the daughter of the General of Anjango! (Travancore Manual Vol II page 130, M. Nagam Aiya)
If the fable, fiction and fraud scripted by the Church today to beatify ‘Martyr” Devasahayam Pillai is to be believed, then Maharaja, Maarthaanda Varma, who gladly waged war for a lovelorn Da Lannoy, ordered the torture and shooting this man whom De Lannoy converted to his faith.
In this Christian fable, the minister Raamaiyyan Dalavai is said to have disapproved of the close association of De Lannoy with Devasahaayam Pillai and this is also purportedly one of the reasons for the anger of Raamaaiyyan Dalavai against Devasahaayam Pillai. This closeness aggravated Dalavai’s vengeance or so goes the fraudulent narrative of the spin doctors fabricating the story of this ‘martyr’ who was tortured to death by the Maharaja of Travancore.
It is recorded by T.K.Velu Pillai in his Travancore manual Vol IV, page 77, that capital punishment is awarded to crimes (1) inciting or committing acts of insurrection, andpre-meditating or attempting the death of the Raja, (2) Murder, (3) Gang robbery
Based on these observations, we have to view the history of Travancore as recorded by Shri Nagam Aiya.
“Probably as a palace official, Nilakanda Pillai was detected tampering with political secrets, on the strength of which action must have been taken against him, years after he was converted to Christianity. Baptism could not have had anything to do with it....” (Travancore Manual Vol-II page 130, M.Nagam Aiya)
This fraudulent rendition of history does not stop with the religious conversion of Devasahayam Pillai; it flavors the narrative with a contemporary caste-conflict human interest element."Since, he mixed with the people of lower castes, the people of higher castes began hating him, hence he was killed". The Church has shamelessly inserted the caste factor into this fiction. Needless to say there is not even an iota of historical evidence of inter-caste conflict.
What is the past record of the "secular and holy" Catholic Church? If we are to understand the 'yeoman service' rendered by the Catholic Church to eradicate untouchability, then we may have to turn to the order of Pope Gregory XV, titled Bulla Romanae Sedis Antistitis, dated January 31, 1623,which accedes to the requests of the missionaries to accommodate themselves to certain caste practices and usages of the new converts.
This papal bull was issued 120 years before Neelakantha Pillai converted to Christianity. Until now, this proclamation has not been withdrawn or modified. As a result, untouchability against dalit Christians and segregation continues to rage with full force in Indian Churches till date.
Even in Vadakkan Kulam, where Devasahaayam Pillai is purported to have been converted to Christianity, did not the Vellala Christians and other caste Christians refuse to go to the same Church and when they did, did they not sit separately? How did Christianity which proclaims loudly that is against untouchability and caste itself, claim to have eradicated casteism, and permit this to happen in the times of Devasahayam Pillai and in the very Church of Devasahaayam Pillai? How can it explain the practice of untouchability and segregation in its churches even today?
A fictitious incident is given the colour of Truth, painted with the brush of social reform and to this gigantic fraud, the Vatican has extended its seal of approval and legitimacy.
Is it valour, is it piety to destroy the tradition of a country and the culture of its native populace by honoring these so called warriors or "martyrs" as the Church calls them, who in reality harvested the souls of Hindus and betrayed the trust of the people who welcomed them and allowed them to build their churches in their midst and generously allowed them to practice an alien religion?
There is no meaning in posing these queries to the Pope, his bishops, cardinals and his foot-soldiers. In the process of establishing the rule of the Pope, if a warrior of the Christian army dies, he becomes a martyr. The same warrior, if he butchers the people of the conquered lands, he becomes a "Saint". This is the history of Christianity and this is how Christianity expanded across continents and this is how Christianity became global.
A House of Inquisition should be established to torture those who refuse to convert to Christianity in India, wrote St. Francis Xavier. For this purpose, he wrote a letter to Pope John III in 1545(Source: Joseph Wicki,Documenta Indica, Vol. IV, Rome, 1956)and by establishing the House of Inquisition at Goa, Francis Xavier was instrumental in the genocide of the Hindus of Goa. Today, this Francis Xavier is a Saint! In his name, there is a Church at Kottaar in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu! Besides, there are many such churches in other parts of Tamil Nadu and North Sri lanka!
Today, this same Kottar Diocese has beatified Devasahaayam. Not surprising because Kanyakumari has a very large Christian population and the man who killed for Jesus Christ and in the name of the Pope has converted significant numbers of Hindus in the coastal areas of Southern Tamil Nadu too. For converting the few remaining Hindus, the fiction of this Christian ‘warrior-cum-martyr’ who was tortured and killed by the Maharaja of Travancore has now been scripted by the Church.
The self-serving ungrateful Church, with this fraudulent rendition of history has made a murderer of a noble and generous Hindu king and Hindu society has been portrayed as a regressive society. The Hindus have been painted as a barbaric race. Indeed, a fraud has been committed.
What is the net result?The son of the soil is a martyr and a saint- through such enticing proclamations, the Christian laity is instigated to do more to convert Hindus and to plant the cross in every village .
Weaving such fiction and selling fables as facts is nothing new to the Church and they are past masters in this craft. The fable of St. Thomas, who supposedly landed on the shores of Mylapore Beach, in Chennai is one such fable. This fictitious "Thomas" (doubt not) was created, was 'made' to stay at Chennai and was 'made' to be murdered by a Brahmin priest and in an attempt to package the fiction as fact, the Church continues to maintain that the skeletal remains of the 'fictitious' Thomas is interned in the Santhome Basilica. Worshipping relics is a calculated Abrahamic tactic.
Just like the St. Thomas fairy tale is the "Devasahaayam fairy tale. To put it bluntly, the Church does not have a shred of evidence even for the historicity of Jesus Christ. It does not matter to Hindus at all but to Christians who dismiss the Hindu religion as myth and pass off their religion as history, it should matter that they cannot prove the historicity of Jesus Christ.
And that is precisely the reason why, the present Pope observed that, Jesus Christ may have been actually born 200 to 500 years before the officially accepted date and year of his birth. If that be so, then the fundamentals of Christianity are on shaky ‘historical’ foundation.
Secular intellectuals and politicians should tell us if this beatification of the Soldiers of Christ who want to conquer our land and reduce to rubble the land of the Cheras, Cholas and the Pandyas is moral, ethical and in the real interest of communal harmony.
A fraud is a fraud is a fraud.
How Wal-Mart got a foot in the door of India's retail market
Wal-Mart prepared its entry into India's supermarket sector in 2010 with a $100m investment into a consultancy with no employees, no profits and $14,000 in revenue.
Reuters | Dec 5, 2012, 11.40AM IST
MUMBAI: Wal-Mart Stores Inc prepared its entry into India's supermarket sector in 2010 with a $100 million investment into a consultancy with no employees, no profits and a scant $14,000 in revenue.
The company, called Cedar Support Services, might have been a more obvious selection four months earlier: it began its corporate life as Bharti Retail Holdings Ltd, according to documents filed with India's Registrar of Companies.
The Cedar investment is now the focus of an investigation by India's financial crimes watchdog into whether Wal-Mart broke foreign direct investment rules by putting money into a retailer before the government threw open the sector to global players.
Wal-Mart said it was in compliance with India's FDI guidelines, and had followed all procedures. It said India's central government had sought "information and clarification", which Wal-Mart has provided.
However, several lawyers said the transaction appeared to violate at least the spirit of India's long-standing ban on foreign investment in supermarkets, which it only lifted in September 2012. When Wal-Mart made the investment in 2010, it was legal for foreigners to own consultants but not retailers, so the shift in Cedar's business description raised eyebrows.
"This is a complete camouflage," said Hitesh Jain, a senior partner at ALMT Legal in Mumbai who advises retailers but is not involved with Wal-Mart. "It can be looked at as a violation of FDI rules because Cedar also operates supermarkets, which was a restricted sector back then."
The law, however, is murky.
Others stressed that the way Wal-Mart structured the transaction might make it legal. According to the documents filed with India's registrar, the investment was in the form of debt that was convertible into equity. That clouds the issue of whether Wal-Mart took a stake in Cedar or provided financing.
Bharti and Wal-Mart both declined to provide additional details on how the transaction was structured.
Senior government officials told Reuters that India's central bank had asked the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, to look into whether Wal-Mart violated the law by investing in a supermarket retailer before foreign investment rules were relaxed.
If Wal-Mart did break the law, it could face a penalty of up to three times its initial $100 million investment, they said.
That would not only be a setback for Wal-Mart, it would also weaken consensus-building efforts by India's minority government, led by the Congress party. The party is desperate for more support from across the political spectrum after its decision to let foreign players into India's retail market came under fire from the opposition and even some of its own allies.
Wal-Mart and other retailers lobbied for years to gain access to India's market, lured by the promise of a middle class that will one day rival China's. But local opposition has been fierce because of concern that Wal-Mart and its peers will knock millions of mom-and-pop stores out of business.
Reuters pieced together details of Wal-Mart's investment in Cedar by examining records from India's Registrar of Companies and through interviews with government officials involved with the matter, as well as several lawyers who work with retailers.
The documents reveal a web of companies set up under the Bharti umbrella, which runs India's largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel. The group, which also has retail interests, signed a joint venture with Wal-Mart to run wholesale stores in 2007, shortly after India allowed full foreign ownership of wholesale retail operations.
That same year, the Bharti group formed Bharti Retail Holdings Ltd, which in turn owned a subsidiary called Bharti Retail Ltd which operated supermarkets and hypermarkets.
In December 2009, Bharti Retail Holdings changed its business description to consulting services from retail, the documents filed with India's Registrar show. A month later, the company changed its name to Cedar.
The timing of the change in name and business is significant because when Wal-Mart invested in Cedar in March 2010, foreign companies could legally own 100 percent of an Indian consulting firm but not a supermarket retailer.
Cedar issued "compulsorily convertible debentures" to Wal-Mart Mauritius Holdings Co Ltd, which would be exchanged for 49 percent equity 18 months after the issue date. The conversion date has since been pushed back twice, to September 2013, which would be after India's relaxation of rules on retail investment.
Cedar's cash flow statement for 2010 shows that the funds raised from the debentures were used to finance activities and an attached schedule to the balance sheet shows a transfer of 1.75 billion rupees ($32 million) to its retail unit, raising questions over whether Wal-Mart's money went into the retail business.
MP Achuthan, a communist member of Parliament, has accused Wal-Mart of breaking the foreign direct investment law and said he wanted the company to be penalised. Achuthan also wants India to scrap its foreign retail investment policy.
"I am surprised and shocked that the government didn't see this. This kind of an investment could not have happened without the government's knowledge," Achuthan said. "It is impossible."
Wal-Mart's Indian partner, Bharti Enterprises, said it had followed the rules but did not address specific questions emailed by Reuters.
"We are in complete compliance of all regulations. All details have been shared with the relevant authorities," a Bharti Enterprises spokesman said.
Two senior government officials said there had been an initial round of communication between the Reserve Bank of India and the Enforcement Directorate. The RBI asked the law enforcement agency to conduct the investigation.
"RBI believes there is a need to investigate," said a senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. He said both Wal-Mart and Bharti were being investigated because "Wal-Mart allegedly made the investment and Bharti allegedly received it."
Separately, Wal-Mart said last month it was looking into bribery allegations in several countries including India, Brazil and China. It conducted an earlier probe in Mexico.
Debt or equity?
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is under intense pressure to roll back the decision to permit foreign retailers. Parliament ground to a halt on November 22 over opposition to the reforms until the government agreed to a vote, set for Wednesday.
A year ago, political pressure forced the government to make a U-turn after it first approved foreign investment into supermarkets, an abrupt shift that brought into question India's ability to build consensus behind long-awaited reforms.
When Wal-Mart made the investment in Cedar in 2010, Indian law permitted foreigners to own "cash-and-carry" wholesale stores, but they were barred from owning what India calls multi-brand retailers, or stores like Wal-Mart's namesake supermarkets that sell a wide array of products and brands.
Whether the investment in Cedar violated India's law depends on two issues, according to the lawyers: if Cedar was in fact a retailer rather than a consultancy, and how the investment was structured.
Cedar's articles of association filed with the Registrar show it called itself a consultancy, but a few pages later it describes a "competing business" as one involved in retail and operates supermarkets, hypermarkets and discount stores.
Even if investigators determine Cedar was a retailer, lawyers said Wal-Mart's investment may still be legal if the transaction is deemed to be debt. Wal-Mart could then argue that it did not acquire a stake but instead extended a loan.
But according to RBI guidelines set in 2007, compulsorily convertible debentures are considered equity. That would mean Wal-Mart jumped the gun, said Alok Dhir, managing partner Dhir & Dhir Associates.
Dhir said there may be one way around that problem. If Wal-Mart and Bharti included a "put" option on the debentures, it could be considered debt because Wal-Mart would no longer be required to convert the debt to equity.
It is not clear whether this transaction included such a clause, and Wal-Mart and Bharti declined to comment.
Under Indian law, Wal-Mart can be found in violation even if each step it took was within bounds. If the combination of those actions led to a result that circumvented the law, a court can consider the bigger picture, four lawyers said, citing a 1985 Supreme Court of India decision.
However, there are numerous grey areas.
For example, the RBI does not require Indian companies to declare what they do with money they receive from foreign investment.
"Even if the investigation is able to prove that funds were invested into the retail business, the companies can say they are not legally bound to declare it and present an argument," said Ravi Singhania, managing partner at law firm Singhania & Partners.
The fact that Wal-Mart's investment was capped at 49 percent and would not give it majority control of Cedar after the debt is converted could also help the companies build a case that the investment was legal.
The rules allow Indian-owned and controlled companies to use foreign capital to fund businesses which their subsidiaries operate. However, lawyers said there is no clarity on whether it is a breach if the unit of the Indian entity operates in a restricted sector, which supermarkets were until September.
Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 21:40
Questions arise over Wal-Mart investment in Cedar Support
The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart has come under question in India for the nature and manner of its investment in Bharti Retail. Rajya Sabha member MP Achuthan raised the matter in Parliament during the Monsoon Session and now Mamata Bannerjee has also gone public with a demand that the investment be annulled for allegedly violating Indian norms.
CNBC TV18 delves deeper into the story, one that revolves around alterations to the Articles of Association, the methodology of valuation of the investment and the end use of funds among others.
Newer facts emerging from a mix of sources allege that a March 2010 investment by Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart Holdings worth Rs 456 crore in Cedar Support Services Ltd, a company that was originally known as Bharti Retail Holdings, was illegal, with the entire structure rigged in a manner that was aimed at getting around the complete bar on foreign investment in the Indian multi-brand retail sector.
Our sources have provided detailed account of these allegations. Detailed questionnaires were sent to the Bharti Group as well as Wal-Mart. While the latter did not respond to any of the queries, a Bharti spokesperson said, “We are in complete compliance of all regulations. All details have been shared with the relevant authorities”
The allegation is that Cedar Support Services (earlier Bharti Retail Holdings) was carrying out multi-brand retail business in India through a 100 per cent subsidiary – Bharti Retail.
There were some amendments to the Articles of Cedar in December 2009 enabling it to provide services as a real estate consultant. In itself, this change was innocuous, especially as India allows 100 per cent FDI in consultancy services and that too under the automatic route.
The next step unfolded on 29 March, 2010: Cedar issued nearly 455 million zero per cent compulsorily convertible debentures with a face value of Rs 10. These were convertible into nearly 426 million equity shares at a premium of 70 paise per share. In effect, Wal-Mart Holdings invested Rs 456 crore in a company that was a real estate consultant. Till early last month, the Government of India told Parliament that the Reserve Bank of India does not have any record of FDI in Cedar. Specific questions as to whether Bharti or Wal-Mart has at any point ever informed the RBI about this were not answered by the two companies.
So what did Cedar do with these funds – roughly 100 million US dollars? The entire funds are alleged to have been invested by Cedar in its wholly owned subsidiary – Bharti Retail, the company that has been engaged in the business of multi-brand retail. India permitted 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail only this September.
Specific questions as to whether Bharti or Wal-Mart has at any point ever informed the RBI about this were not answered by the two companies. Incidentally, Wal-Mart will own 49 per cent in Cedar upon conversion of the debentures. The original conversion date was September 2011, which was then extended to September 2012. With over a fortnight having passed from the end of the extended tenure, it is not known if the option has been exercised.
There are other curious aspects that emerge from the joint venture agreement executed between Wal-Mart, Cedar and Bharti Retail (the Cedar subsidiary that operates multi-brand retail stores under the Easy Day brand name).
Cedar was a consultant in the services space, questions are being asked as to why did this agreement of 25th March 2010, have Bharti Retail as a party? The allegation is that the Articles of Association of Cedar show that Wal-Mart has the right to sell the debentures or Cedar shares to Bharti Shareholders based on a valuation that used for the retail industry and comparable trading multiples for Indian retailers. The Articles further impose certain restrictions on transfers and allotment of shares to competitors – with the competition being not a similar company but a retail operation.
The question arises whether this money was ever intended to be used for the services or for investment in operating multi brand retail? The government’s earlier response has been only to point towards the RBI, but given the nature of the allegations, it is clear that a detailed clarification is perhaps needed from all involved.
RBI has no data of Wal-Mart's Rs 455 crore in Bharti unit
Agencies | Sep 6, 2012, 05.34AM IST
NEW DELHI: US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc has invested Rs 455.8 crore in a subsidiary of Bharti Ventures in 2010 via its Mauritius arm but the RBI has no FDI data of the same, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said on March 29, 2010, Cedar Support Services Ltd (a subsidiary of Bharti Ventures) issued 45.58 crore compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs) with face value of Rs 10 each.
These CCDs were convertible into 42.6 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of 70 paise per share. CCDs are a type of debenture in which the whole value of the debenture must be converted into equity by a specified time. "The debentures are unsecured and convertible at the option of the subscriber ( Wal-Mart Mauritius Holdings Co Ltd) within 18 months from the date of issue," he said.
"As per the balance sheet for the period January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 filed by Cedar Support Services, it is reported that, on March 29, 2010, the company issued 45.6 crore, 0% CCDs with face value of Rs 10 each convertible into 42.6 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 0.7 per share," the minister said.
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Subject: missionary visa
Missionary visa to Christians
By Dr. Ashok Singal, Bikaner, Raj.
New Delhi, November 9, 2012: The Secular Government of India has made an official provision for the spread of Christianity. In its 18 types of visa to outsiders, Indian Ministry of External Affairs has created a special category for Christian Missionaries for their peaceful entry in India and undeterred performance of their holy duty of religious conversions.
The visa for missionaries is termed as “Missionary Visa” which is elaborated as “Visa to foreign missionaries, other than those holding No objection to return to India Endorsements, are granted only after clearance by concerned Ministry/Dept. in India”.
India Missionaries Visa is issued to those going to India for a religious purpose. It may take up to 3 months to process a Missionary Visa. The Missionary Visa is a single entry visa valid for the duration approved by the Government of India.
Interestingly Government of India’s officially granting Visa to Christian missionaries goes against the core secular value of Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India terms India as a ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’. India’s Missionary Visa is a safe passage for all the elements whose only target is religious conversion in the name of education, social projects etc.
Notably India’s neighbours like China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have no such nonsense visa type except Sri Lanka who issues visa for Religious Category for the members of the Clergy. Many African nations also have provisions like Missionary visa.
India possesses an unforgettable bloody past of cruel tactics used for conversion by Jesuit missionaries in various parts of India. Places like Goa and north eastern states have witnessed brutality of Christian missionaries to convert Hindus.
Instead of combating Christian Missionaries from disrupting India's religious harmony, the Government of India officially issues "Missionary Visas" and thereby promotes the wanton destablisation and destruction of India which is evident from several years.
On one hand, Congress led UPA Government is encouraging safe channel for Christian Missionaries and on the other hand it is trying to impose a draconian law on majority of Indians. Indian government working under UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is eager to pass Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011.
Sonia Gandhi, a proud catholic is the chairman of National Advisory Council. Under her leadership a committee consisting people like notorious Teesta Setalvad, Harsh Mader, Ram Puniyani, Shabnam Hasmi have drafted the Bill. The draconian and anti social provisions of this new Law will encourage elements like Missionaries and to those who are relentlessly working to divide India on religious grounds. Prime focus of this anti-Hindu and anti-national bill is to protect all religious entities who are trying to lure Indian society and convert them by each way possible.
India’s Missionary Visa policy is another indication of government’s anti Hindu mindset. Provision of Missionary visa encourages conversion by missionaries which are threatening religious rights of scores of Indians.
GOI, respect SC directive, create National Water Grid
Would it not be rational to discuss and find options available to increase the flows of water in Cauvery?
Published: December 5, 2012 18:11 IST | Updated: December 5, 2012 18:13 IST
Supreme Court directs Karnataka to release Cauvery water to TN
This August 9, 2012 photo shows cauvery river bed in Tiruchirapalli.
A view from Srirangam bridge at a time when water flowed abundantly in Cauvery.
In an interim relief to Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court directed Karnataka on Wednesday to release 10,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day its neighbouring State and asked the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) to hold its meeting to decide the amount of water required by the States.
A bench of justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur said its interim order will continue till the CMC files its report. It asked the committee to meet on Thursday or the day after and posted the case for further hearing on Monday.
“CMC is requested to hold the meeting on December 6 or 7 to find out water requirement for crops in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for the month of December and the report would be submitted to the concerned authority.
“In the meantime, we direct that till the CMC submits its report, Karnataka shall release 10,000 cusecs water per day from today. We make it clear that the order will continue till CMC submits its report,” the bench said.
The bench said that its immediate concern is to save the crops which are allegedly dying because of lack of water and it would decide other issues later on.
“Both States are distressed and we have to see that we can save crops of both the states. We would keep our eyes open to the requirement of both the states and find out practical solution of the problem,” the bench observed.
Cusec is a measure of flow rate of water and is abbreviation for cubic feet per second (which is equivalent to a flow of 28.317 litres per second) and 11,000 cusecs flow for a day amounts to 1 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) water.
“The Beautiful Tree”
Indian Education prior to arrival of the British in India
(A Historical Perspective) (Part I)
History mirrors culture and traditions of a people and defines their social and national identity. No civilization can remain alive if its past values and traditions are not recorded truthfully without any element of fancy, preconceived ideological interpretations and distortion. People who are unaware of their roots will move towards a cultural holocaust and the eventual destruction of their civilization. George Orwell has rightly said: “The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their History.” He also pointed out: “Who controls the present controls the past, who controls the past controls the future.”
Unfortunately, victors write history of vanquished people and their civilizations and the Indian history is no exception. It was imperative for the British for their imperialist rule to portray Indians as an inferior and primitive people in respect of their culture, education, traditions and intellectual accomplishments. Some of the 19th century British Indologists and historians like William Wilberforce, T. B. Macaulay and James Mills (History of British India-1817) depicted Indians as superstitious, primitive, morally depraved and culturally backward. Macaulay stated that ‘the totality of Indian knowledge and scholarship did not even equal the contents of ‘a single shelf of a good European library’ and that all the historical information contained in books written in Sanskrit was ‘less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England.’ This type negative and distorted portrayal of India became the framework for writing history of India by the subsequent European and British historians.
This deliberate distortion of the Indian history by the Europeans, mainly the British, has had a profound psychological impact on the minds of the future generations of Indians. The total mental and political subjugation made most Indians to accept the distorted image of them as real. Thus, suffering from the Stockholm syndrome, they started seeing India from the eyes of their former masters, the British. Further distortion of the Indian history took place afterIndependence due to the strong political influence of the Marxist historians who portrayedIndia prior to the British rule in the most negative and demeaning manner. As a result, many educated Indians in India and abroad have developed a mindset of self-denigration and self-flagellation by rejecting and running down most things Indians including their culture, traditions and their ancestors’ achievements in education, science and technology.
Against this prevailing background, Mahatma Gandhi said at Chatham House, London on October 20, 1931 that: “I say without fear of my figures being challenged successfully, that today India is more illiterate than it was fifty or a hundred years ago, and so is Burma, because the Brit¬ish administrators, when they came to India, instead of taking hold of things as they were, began to root them out. They scratched the soil and began to look at the root, and left the root like that, and thebeautiful tree perished.”
Sir Philip Hartog, W. H. Moreland and others responded to Gandhiji’s above indictment against the British Raj but they were merely following the well laid down path of defending the British government’s policies in India. William Wilberforce had followed the same defensive posture 125 years before Hartog. After 1857 (Indian War of Independence), the British government made sure that any attempt to defame the British rule in India was defended aggressively with all the means available at its disposal.
Till 1966, very little material was available about the conditions of education, social and economic conditions in India prior to arrival of the British in India. Of Course, Pandit Sundarlal had published in 1939 a voluminous work on the British rule in India wherein he had devoted a full chapter on ‘The Destruction of Indian Indigenous Education” quoting from various British records. But it was only in 1966 that Dharampal, a Gandhian social worker, took up the challenge to find out the true picture of the conditions prevailing India prior to 1770 when the British had acquired a large area of India under their control. His thorough research of the available historical British documents in India, particularly in Madras, and Britain over a period of two decades revealed the truth about India prior to British colonization. Based on his research, both in India and Britain, he published five books including a book called: "TheBeautiful Tree" (Ref. #1) on the indigenous education in pre-colonized India.
His study on the indigenous Indian education as narrated in ‘The Beautiful Tree’ is based on the early 19th century source material available from: (a) the published reports by William Adam, a former Christian missionary on education in some districts of Bengal and Bihar in 1835-38, (b) Surveys made by the British government about indigenous education in Bombay Presidency in 1820s, (c) Other government surveys made in Madras Presidency during 1822-25, and (d) G. W. Leitner’s exercise on indigenous education in Punjab. The following picture of the Indian education prior to 1770 emerges based on the British Government’s published records compiled by Dharmpal:
v The indigenous education in India was carried out through Pathshalas, Gurukuls, and Madrassahs. The first two institutions were in existence for thousands of years based on the ancient Vedic system. They were supported by revenue contributed by the entire community including peasants and sustained the cultural traditions of the Indian society for time immemorial.
v As per William Adams report based on the British government educational surveys on state of education in Bengal 1835-38, there existed about 100,000 village schools in Bengal and Bihar around 1830s. This was further collaborated by Max Mueller and Ludlow referring to Keir Hardie’s work on India. Max Mueller asserted, on the strength of official documents and missionary reports, that there were 80,000 schools in Bengal or one for every 400 of the population. In History of British India,Ludlow mentions that “in every village, which has retained its old form, I am assured that the children generally are able to read, write and cipher; but where we have swept away the village system, there the village school has disappeared.”
v The report of the Bombay Education Society for 1819 mentions: “There is probably as great a proportion of persons in India who can read and write, and keep simple accounts….” The same report for 1820 observes: “Schools are frequent among the natives, and abound everywhere.” In April 1821, Mr. Prendergast, a member of the Executive Council of the then Government of Bombay mentions in his minute: “ I need hardly mention what every member of the Board knows as well as I do that there is a hardly a village, great or small, throughout our territories, in which there is not at least one school, and in larger village more, many in every town and in large cities in every division where young natives are taught reading, writing and arithmetic, upon a system so economical , from a handful or two of grain, to perhaps a rupee per month to the school master, according to the ability of parents, and at the same time so simple and accounts with a degree of accuracy, in my opinion , beyond what we meet with among the lower orders in our country.” (Cp. Commons Report 1832, P. 468)
v Dr. Leitner’s (Principal of the Government College) Report on the system of Indigenous Education in Punjab (around 1850) remarked: “In short, the lowest computation gives us 330,000 pupils (against little more than 190,000 at present) in the schools of the various denominations, who were acquainted with reading, writing and some method of computation; whilst thousands of them belonged to the Arabic and Sanskrit colleges, in which oriental literature and systems of Oriental Law, Logic, Philosophy and Medicine, were taught to the highest standards.”
v In a Minute dated 10/3/1826 (Commons Report, 1832, P.506), Sir T. Munro (Madras Presidency Governor) observed that, taking the male part of the population only, and taking children of between 5-10 years of age only, as school going population (assumed to be one-ninth of the total population), there were 713,000 male pupils that would be at school.
v The British government reports from all provinces recorded their observations in respect of the prevailing education system in India as under:
(a) The content of studies was better than what was studied in England.
(b) The duration of study was more prolonged.
(c) The method of school teaching was superior and it is this very method which is said to have greatly helped the introduction of popular education inEngland but which has prevailed in India for centuries.
(d) The conditions under which teaching took place in the Indian schools were less dingy and more natural, and it was observed, the teachers in the Indian schools were generally more dedicated and sober than in the English versions.
(e) It has been generally assumed and the myth has been created that the education of any kind in India at any time was mainly available to the higher and middle strata of the society. Whereas Shudras and lower castes were completely denied and left out from the Indian education system. However, as per the various tables (1822-25) attached to the British Government reports show a very different picture. The average percentage of Brahmins, Kshtriyas and Vaishys students was no higher than 40% and the rest of 60% of students were from Shudras and lower castes. In several cases, Shudras formed 70% of students in some districts.
(f) Most of the schools functioned for long hours, usually starting about 6 AM, followed by one or two short intervals for meals etc., and finishing at about sunset.
(g) The main subjects reported to be taught in these Indian schools were reading, writing and arithmetic.
(h) The Average age of attending a school was five years. And the period of study ordinarily lasted from about 7 to 15 years.
Institutions of Higher Learning in India:
(a) Adam’s First report –A Survey of Post-1800 Material in Bengal:
He mentions that on average there were around 100 institution of higher learning in each district of Bengal. He concluded that 18 districts of Bengal had about 1,800 such institutions and some 10,800 scholars studying in them.
(b) In Madras Presidency, there was a total of 1,094 ‘colleges’ of higher learning
(c) In the nature of professional specialization, Brahmins studied mainly Theology, Metaphysics, Ethics and Law. But in the disciplines of Astronomy and medical science, most scholars came from other castes and background. For example, in Malabar, out of 808 studying astronomy, only 78 were Brahmins; and of the 194 studying Medicine, only 31 were Brahmins. According to other Madras Presidency surveys, of those practicing Medicine and Surgery, it was found that they belonged to a variety of castes. Among them, the Barbers, according to the British medical men, were the best in Surgery.
(d) Other European travelers’ accounts record existence of hundreds of colleges and universities of higher learning throughout India before the arrival of the British inIndia.
Comparative Status of Education in England till 1800:
Based on the available reports on the Education system in Britain till about 1800, the following picture emerges.
(a) ) By mid-16th century, the enactment of a law required ‘that the reading of Bible was restricted to nobles, gentry and merchants but was denied to journeymen and laborers, so as to ‘allay certain symptoms of disorder accessioned by a free use of scriptures’. According this law, the ploughman’s son should go to the plough, the artificer’s son to apply the trade of his parents’ vocation, and only gentlemen’s children were allowed to acquire the knowledge of government.
(b) Around 1780, the Sunday schools were started as a ‘missionary enterprise’ with the idea that ‘every child should learn to read the Bible.’ School education, especially elementary education at the people’s level, remained an uncommon commodity till around 1800
(c ) The number of attending schools was estimated at around 40,000 in 1792, at 674, 883 in 1818 and at 2,144,377 in 1851. The total number of schools, public and private in 1801 was stated to be 3,363 and by 1851 the number had reached 46,114.
(d) Average period of schooling in 1835 in England was just about one year, and even in 1851, only two years.
(e) As late as 1834, the curriculum in the better class of national schools was limited to religious instructions, reading, and writing. In some country schools, writing was excluded for fear of evil consequences. It was not till 1851 that mathematics became a part of the regular school work and even at that time those who taught the subject were not regarded as persons of full standing on the staff masters.
(f) For higher level of education, Britain had the Universities of Oxford andCambridge from the 13th and 14th centuries but these institutions were restricted to the upper class aristocracy. In the beginning of 19th century, there were 19 colleges with about 500 fellows in the colleges and 19 professors at Oxford. The number of students around 1800 was about 760 which rose to 1,300 in 1820-24. Theology and classics were the main subjects which included Greek and Latin languages and literature, moral philosophy and the elements of the mathematical sciences and physics.
The foregoing analysis explodes the myth, lies and distortion perpetuated by the 19th century British Indologists about the education system and Indian civilization in general prior to the British colonization. The British Government’s own records from their governors of the early 19th century, collected and analyzed by Dharmpal, reveal the truth and leave not an iota of doubt that education was very widely diffused amongst all strata of the Indian society where every village had a school. It clearly establishes that the literacy rate in India before the arrival of the British was probably very high in the region of 70-80 percent. Besides, the quality of education, both in schools and colleges, was of very high standard. In comparison, most people in Britain were illiterate till the 18th century, considering the small number of schools in existence and the quality of education was far below the level of the Indian education.
As mentioned by Gandhiji above, that ‘The beautiful tree’, which brought knowledge, culture and well-being of the entire Indian nation, perished within a few decades of the British take over of India and turned the country into a country of illiterates, abject poverty and ignorance. In the second part of this article, we’ll analyze based on the British records the causes of decay and decimation of not only the education system but the entire social, economic and cultural life of the world’s one of the most ancient culturally rich and economically prosperous civilizations.
References: #1 (The Beautiful Tree – Dharampal:Collected Writings Vol. III) Part I & Part II of the articles are based on this book by Dharampal.
“The Beautiful Tree”
Indian Education at end of British Rule
A Historical Perspective (Part II)
As explained in the article Part I, based on the extensive research of the records of the early 19th century of the British Government carried out by Dhrampal (The Beautiful Tree- Ref.#1), a Gandhian social worker, India had the extensive education system widely diffused amongst all strata of the Indian society with a very high rate of 70-80% literacy at the beginning of the British political dominance. This deep-rooted ancient Indian education system called ‘Beautiful Tree” by Gandhiji made India not only prosperous but also a world center of knowledge, culture and high learning where students from all over the world came to attend its famous universities like Takshashila and Nalanda. Let us examine as to how the ‘Beautiful Tree’ was uprooted and destroyed by the British within a few decades of their take over of India.
As documented by Dharmpal based on the British records, the indigenous education in pre-British India was mainly carried out through the institutions of Pathshalas and Gurukuls which were in existence for thousands of years based on the ancient Vedic system. These traditional historical institutions were ‘the watering holes’ of the village level culture. Such a vast system of education called ‘shiksha’ was made possible by the sophisticated operative fiscal arrangements wherein a substantial proportion of revenue was assigned for the performance of a multiplicity of public purposes. The entire community at the village level including peasants contributed a portion of its revenue to sustain the education and cultural traditions of the Indian society for several millenniums.
The political, social and economic system prevailing in India prior to arrival of the British was highly decentralized in which the ‘village’, to an extent, had all the semblance of the state. One may call this ‘village republic’ which controlled all revenue generated at the village level and had the authority to dispense its resources as it deemed fit. In spite of the so-called ‘oriental despotism’ as coined by the British historians, ‘the Indian society and polity for thousands of years was basically organized according to ‘non-centralist’ concepts.’
From the beginning, the main goal of the East India Company was to maximize its revenue from India at any cost and by any means without any concern for welfare of the ‘natives’. Even after the British government took over power in India from the East India Company, the basic goal remained the same, to plunder India. In 1875 Salisbury, the Secretary for State of India urged in the British Parliament that “as India must be bled, the bleeding should be done judiciously.”
At the time of arrival of the East India Company around 1700 AD, India was one of wealthiest and culturally most advanced countries in the world. India’s share of the world’s GDP in 1700 AD was 24.44% as compared to UK’s 2.83%, China’s 22.30% and USA’s 0.14%. By 1913, India’s share of world GDP came down to 7.55% and that of UK went up to 8.31%. At the end of the British rule in 1947, India’s share of GDP fell down to 4.16% (ref. #2). William Digby in his book, ‘Prosperous’ British India, London, 1901 mentions the drain of capital from India during the 19th century amounted to Pound Sterling 6,080,172,021 which would today work out to more than a trillion US Dollars.
Imposition of heavy land revenue through a total centralization and the oppressive manner in which it was collected, the British policies made most Indian farmers landless and poor. With the falling grain production, the famines became a common occurrence. Whereas in the first half of the 19th century there were seven famines with an estimated deaths of 1.5 million people, there were 24 famines with an estimated deaths of over 20 million people in the 2nd half (ref. #3).
In his report of August 17, 1823 to the Board of Revenue, A. D. Campbell, Collector of Bellary (Madras Presidency) (ref. #4) sums up the status of education in India in his time:
“I am sorry to state that this is ascribable to the gradual but general impoverishment of the country. The means of the manufacturing classes have been, of late years greatly dimin-ished, by the introduction of our own European manufactures, in lieu of the Indian cotton fabrics. The removal of many of our troops, from our own territories, to the distant frontiers of our newly subsidized allies, has also, of late years, affected the demand for grain, the transfer of the capital of the country, from the Native Governments, and their Officers, who liberally expended it in India, to Europeans, restricted by law from em¬ploying it even temporarily in India, and daily draining it from the land, has likewise tended to this effect which has not been alleviated by a less rigid enforcement of the revenue due to the state. The greater part of the middling and lower classes of the people are now unable to defray the expenses incident upon the education of their offspring, while their necessities require the assistance of their children as soon as their tender limbs are capable of the smallest labour.”
“It cannot have escaped the Government that of nearly a mil¬lion of souls in this district, not 7,000 are now at school; a proportion which exhibits but too strongly the result above stated. In many villages, where formerly there were schools, there are now none; and in many others, where there were large schools, now only a few of the children of the most opulent are taught, others being unable, from poverty, to attend or to pay what is demanded.” “Of the 533 institutions for education, now existing in this district, I am ashamed to say not one now derives any support from the state.” “There is no doubt that in former times, especially under the Hindoo Governments very large grants, both in money, and in land, were issued for the support of learning.”
The deliberate and ruthless economic exploitation of India by the British led to the decimation of Indian agriculture and industry which in turn uprooted and destroyed the sophisticated village economy on which the successful education system depended and flourished.
Other contributing factors for the decay of the Indian education system could be attributed to: (a) introduction of the English by Thomas Macaulay and Christianizing of education and (b) denigration and demonizing of the Indian culture, Hindu scriptures, social institutions, customs and traditions.
Surprisingly, Macaulay and Karl Marx had similar views about India though both were ideologically polls apart. Whereas Marx was against capitalism and imperialism, Macaulay was a fundamentalist Christian and a hard-boiled and incorrigible imperialist with a missionary zeal to rule India by Christianizing her through imposition of the English language in the Indian schools.
Macaulay opined that Indian culture was based on “a literature ... that inculcates the most serious errors on the most important subjects ... hardly reconcilable with reason, with morality ... fruitful of monstrous superstitions.” He asserted that Hindus had nothing to show except a “false history, false astronomy, false medicine ... in company with a false religion.” He further wrote: “It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a CLASS who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a CLASS of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.” (ref. #5)
Reflecting similar views, Karl Marx in 1853 wrote: “England has to fulfill a double mission in India: one destructive, the other regenerating—the annihilation of the old Asiatic society, and the laying of the material foundation of Western society in Asia.” (ref. #6) It seems that the European colonialists like the British took the clue from Marx in structuring similar policies of deliberate destruction of ancient cultures, traditions and economies of several nations of Africa, Asia and Americas.
It would be hardly any exaggeration to conclude from the foregoing analysis that the diabolic policies of the British colonialists led to the ultimate death of “The Beautiful Tree”. One of the wealthiest and prosperous countries in the world endowed with rich culture, extensive education, learning and literacy around 1700 AD was turned by the British into a third world country with abject poverty, ignorance and very high illiteracy by the time they left India in 1947.
#1 (Beautiful Tree- Dharmpal)
#2 (GDP figures based on Angus Maddison’s book-‘The World Economy’ -2001)
#3 (The History & Culture of the Indian People-volume ten- R.C. Majumdar)
#4 (TNSA: BRP: Vol.958 Pro.25.8.1823 pp.7167-85 Nos.32-33)
#5 (Macaulay’s minute on Education in India on 2nd Feb. 1835)
#6 (First published in New York Daily Tribune, August 8, 1853)
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2012
On Shri Ram Janmabhoomi
The case for the Shri Rama Janmabhoomi movement can be stated as follows:
1. The issue is not one of bricks and mortar, i.e. it is not merely an issue of a temple. One more or one less temple does not give Ram bhakts any more or less opportunity to offer their prayers. The issue is related to our nationalism and our culture.
2. The Hindus believe that the place where the Babri structure stood is the birthplace of Shri Ram. This belief has a continuous tradition of more than 3000 years, as has been established by the archaeological investigation at the site. Such a long belief has to make it into a fact.
3. If the birthplace was somewhere else, there was no need for people to hold this place as sacred. After all, no one could imagine that some 2500 years later the holy site would be vandalised.
4. In 1528 AD, the temple that stood at the site was deliberately destroyed with an objective of constructing the Babri structure in its place. The purpose of the construction was not religious but political, and the purpose had also been intentionally offensive. The intention was to give the Hindus a continuous ocular demonstration that Islam was reigning supreme, even over Hinduism's holy places.
5. As a second best option, within 50 years the Hindus constructed a Ram Chabootar within the compound of the Babri structure. This was with an intention of keeping their claim to the site alive. Continuous pooja were being undertaken at the Chabootar. Now it is happening where the Shri Ram deity exists.
6. Hindus have been making continuous effort for the recovery of the site. In 1885, a judge of the British colonial regime accepted that the site was holy for the Hindus. In the post-independence period, too, legal cases have been continuing for the recovery of the site.
7. During the time of the Chandrashekar government, in December 1991, a major effort at a solution through dialogue was started. Hindus have given historical, literary, archaeological and revenue records to establish the antiquity of the belief of their tradition, and the destruction of the temple in 1528.
8. All these efforts were frustrated not so much by an obscurantist Muslim leadership, but by the political and intellectual community who wear the label of secularism on their sleeves.
9. The issue has become politicised not because of the demand for the return of the site, but because of the denial of the holy significance of the site for the Hindus, and of the deliberate destruction of the temple in 1528.
More information is available at the following URLs:
FAQ - Shri Rama Janmabhoomi Movement_English
Articles related to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi
Evidence For The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir
White Paper on Ayodhya & The Rama Temple Movement
A midnight raid that changed course of history
NEW DELHI: On the night of December 22-23, 1949, an idol of Ram Lalla "mysteriously" appeared inside Ayodhya's Babri Masjid, setting in motion a chain of events that was to change the course of Indian politics in later decades. Little is known about what happened on that fateful night. But a new book now reveals how the events unfolded and claims those who pulled the strings of the Ayodhya strategy were also those accused in the Mahatma Gandhi murder case.
Authors Krishna Jha and Dhirendra K Jha interviewed a number of surviving eyewitnesses and accessed archival material to uncover the buried story of how the mosque turned into a temple overnight — a tale that describes the motivations of local players, the administrative collusion and the grand plan of a nationwide rightwing political mobilization intended to pitchfork Hindu Mahasabha as a major political player in post-independent India.
Central to the cast of local characters was Baba Abhiram Das, a well-built, 6-foot-tall local sadhu of the Nirvani akhara, who led three others into the mosque with the idol. Abhiram, later known as 'Ramjanmabhoomi Uddharak' (liberator) or simply as Uddharak Baba, died in 1981.
The researchers pieced together events of that night through extensive interviews with Abhiram's brother and cousins, who were all in Ayodhya in 1949. Two of his cousins —Indushekhar Jha and Yugal Kishore Jha — claim to have followed Abhiram into the mosque.
But that was not the original plan. According to the researchers, Abhiram was to have been accompanied by Baba Ramchandra Das Paramhans, who later became a central figure in the Ayodhya movement. Another sadhu, Vrindavan Das, was to join the two with an idol of Lord Ram. The trio was supposed to go inside the 16th-century mosque around 11pm — with a sympathetic guard looking the other way — plant the idol below its central dome and keep the deserted place of worship under their control till the next morning, when a large band of sadhus would pour in for support.
But that night, Paramhans "went missing", surfacing again in Ayodhya a few days later, the researchers claim. Forty-two years later, Paramhans had his own version of the event, telling The New York Times he was "the very man who put the idol inside the masjid".
According to the book, Ayodhya: The Dark Night (HarperCollins), to be released later this month, Abhiram went ahead with the plan regardless. The lone occupant of the mosque, muezzin Muhammad Ismael, was beaten up and made to flee. As the intruders sat inside the mosque waiting for dawn, Gopal Singh Visharad, Faizabad unit president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, was at a printing press, readying posters and pamphlets announcing the 'miracle' ofRama Lalla 'reclaiming' the Babri Masjid.
That morning, Ayodhya woke up to cries of 'Ram Lalla' from inside the mosque. Significantly, say the authors, one of the first persons to reach the spot was Faizabad DM, K K K Nair, a Malayalee known for his rightwing Hindu leanings. Though he was at the spot at 4am, the DM did not inform his superiors in Lucknow about the takeover till 9am, allowing time for Ram bhakts to gain complete control of the mosque. According to the book, on December 21, a day before the surreptitious planting of the idols, Nair had met a group of sadhus at a low-profile Ayodhya temple, Jambwant Quila, where the plan was given final shape.
Many of local Mahasabha leaders involved in the plan were the acolytes of Mahant Digvijai Nath, head of the Gorakshapeeth in Gorakhpur and president of the UP unit of Mahasabha. A day after the Ayodhya event, he became all-India general secretary of the party.
The book claims Digvijai Nath — a main accused in the Gandhi murder case but later let off — was the master strategist of the Ayodhya takeover. His old association with DM Nair helped the plan immensely. The larger design, the authors argue, was to make Ayodhya the fulcrum of a right-wing mobilization. The effort failed then, but later became the basis of major political movement culminating in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
December 3, 2012, 10:14 AM IST
Ayodhya, The Battle for India’s Soul: Chapter One
By Krishna Pokharel and Paul Beckett
Our story begins in 1949, two years after India became an independent nation following centuries of rule by Mughal emperors and then the British.
What happened back then in the dead of night in a mosque in a northern Indian town came to define the new nation, and continues to shape the world’s largest democracy today.
The legal and political drama that ensued, spanning six decades, has loomed large in the terms of five prime ministers. It has made and broken political careers, exposed the limits of the law in grappling with matters of faith, and led to violence that killed thousands. And, 20 years ago this week, Ayodhya was the scene of one of the worst incidents of inter-religious brutality in India’s history.
On a spiritual level, it is a tale of efforts to define the divine in human terms.
Ultimately, it poses for every Indian a question that still lingers as the country aspires to a new role as an international economic power: Are we a Hindu nation, or a nation of many equal religions?
The Sarayu river winds its way from the Nepalese border across the plains of north India. Not long before its churning gray waters meet the mighty Ganga, it flows past the town of Ayodhya.
In 1949, as it is today, Ayodhya was a quiet town of temples, narrow byways, wandering cows and the ancient, mossy walls of ashrams and shrines.
The town’s residents included both Muslims and Hindus. But most noticeable were the Hindu holy men known as sadhus, with painted foreheads, long beards and loose robes. They flocked there, as they do today.
Hindu scriptures say Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, making it one of the religion’s holiest places. (Ayodhya means “unconquerable” in Sanskrit.)
Among the sadhus, back then, was Abhiram Das, a muscular priest with a strong voice, a severe visage and a quick temper, according to two of his surviving disciples. In his mid-40s, he had arrived in the town 15 years before from the countryside of Bihar, to the east, they say.
He revered Ram. And, his disciples say, he made it his mission to restore Ram to the exact place he believed the god had been born: a site then occupied by a mosque called the Babri Masjid.
The mosque was named after the Mughal ruler, Babar, whose troops had built it more than 400 years before. Inside, the mosque had space for about 90 people to pray, according to two elderly Muslims in Ayodhya. Verses of the Koran were written on the walls inside. On the minbar, or pulpit, under the central dome was inscribed in Persian: “Place for the angels to descend.”
The complex had two courtyards, ringed by a perimeter wall and separated by a wall with a railing. In the outer courtyard was a small wooden platform with an idol of Ram where Hindus worshipped.
Abhiram Das wanted to establish Ram inside the building itself. He was not alone in his quest: a movement of sadhus dedicated to that goal was gathering momentum.
They claimed the mosque had been built from the ruins of an ancient temple to the Hindu god, which Muslims disputed. The site had been an occasional flashpoint for violence between the two communities in the past.
Abhiram Das told his disciples that he had a recurring dream that Ram made an appearance under the building’s central dome, the two disciples said.
One day in mid-1949, the sadhu repeated his vision to the city magistrate in neighboring Faizabad, the city which oversees the administration of Ayodhya.
His words immediately struck a chord with the magistrate, Guru Dutt Singh, according to an account given by Mr. Singh’s son, Guru Basant Singh. Mr. Singh’s reply, his son said: “Brother, this is my old dream. You are having it now; I am having it for a long time.”
The two men started to talk about how a statue of a young Ram might be surreptitiously put in a Muslim place of worship, Mr. Singh’s son said.
The use of idols marks one of the great differences between Hinduism and Islam. Islam strictly prohibits idol worship because God, to its followers, is an invisible and indivisible entity. Hinduism holds that God can exist in many forms and devotees worship idols as mediums to God. So a statue of Ram itself would be a deity.
There are various versions of what transpired a few weeks later. Many Hindus have come to believe that it was a miracle. Mr. Singh’s son, speaking in detail for the first time about those events, said it was, rather, a carefully-planned plot to return Ram, in the view of his father and Abhiram Das, to the deity’s place of birth.
At the time, India as a country was only two years old, its promise as a fledgling democracy challenged by the fact that it was rent in two – geographically, demographically, socially, emotionally — by the Partition that created the Muslim nation of Pakistan in the territory’s northwest and northeast.
The migration of many Muslims to Pakistan consolidated the Hindu majority in the new India. Muslims comprised 24.4% of India’s population in 1941; they were down to 10% of post-Partition India a decade later, according to census data.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, was striving to stabilize the new country. He was determined to establish India as a secular nation that respected the religious beliefs, or lack of them, of all its citizens.
“All of us, to whatever religion we may belong are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations,” he said in a message to the nation when India became independent on Aug. 15, 1947.
Still, many Hindus felt aggrieved about Pakistan’s creation and the choice given to Muslims to move or stay. They used a term that would be repeated countless times over the following decades: Muslim “appeasement.”
Even within Nehru’s Indian National Congress party, there were many who supported the drive to make India a Hindu-dominated country. Some in Congress were actively involved in the formation of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, a conservative Hindu political party, several years before.
The party opposed the creation of Pakistan and blamed Congress for it. The man who killed Mahatma Gandhi in early 1948, Nathuram Godse, was an activist of the Hindu Mahasabha. He was hanged in November 1949.
Partition had little effect in Ayodhya, though. Many Muslims stayed, maintaining a cultural mix that had existed for hundreds of years.
Muslim artisans made many of the idols that Hindu devotees worshipped in the temples. Hindu priests bought clothes and flowers for temple statues from Muslim vendors. One temple in Ayodhya even had a Muslim manager.
“Why would we leave our country?” said Mohammad Hashim Ansari, a local tailor, who was then in his late 20s. “We belong to this land.”
Guru Dutt Singh, the Faizabad city magistrate, was tall and obstinate, with a neatly-trimmed moustache. He graduated from Allahabad University in what was then the United Provinces; today, it is in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
He joined the Provincial Civil Services but, his son said, refused to kowtow to his colonial masters. He insisted on wearing a self-fashioned turban in contrast to the hats favored by the British.
During a posting to Bareilly, when he first met one of his superiors, Michael Nethersole, the British man asked him: “Why don’t you wear a hat?”
“Why don’t you wear Indian headgear?” Mr. Singh retorted, according to his son.
Yet Mr. Singh also demanded respect for rank: He scolded his son for cheekily referring to Mr. Nethersole, as “Leather Sole” because “He is, after all, a district magistrate,” his son recalled being told. Mr. Nethersole’s descendants couldn’t be traced.
In his duties, which included preventing riots, Mr. Singh sought to be even-handed about religion, his son said. At times, he told Hindus that he would lock them up if they created trouble.
At other times, he called Muslims for consultation and said, “I consider you as my younger brothers; I’m your elder brother and we both belong to Mother India,” his son said.
What Mr. Singh considered his neutrality at work, however, fueled his resentment at what he saw as “the appeasement of minorities” – Muslims, in other words — his son said.
His father was not in favor of the creation of Pakistan. But once it existed, he believed, “If a country has been made for you, you should all go there,” his son said.
Mr. Singh was a devout Hindu, eschewing alcohol and maintaining a vegetarian diet. He visited Ayodhya at least annually, staying in a guest house at a temple. Since college days, Ram had been his religious focal point.
Ram is one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, who is part of Hinduism’s holy trinity: Vishnu is the protector; Brahma is the creator; Shiva is the destroyer.
According to Hindu scriptures, Ram was born in Ayodhya tens of thousands of years ago. He was the eldest son of the Hindu King Dasharath of the Solar Dynasty, so-called because the monarchs were believed to be descendants of the sun. Ram is revered as “maryada purushottam,” an excellent man of honor.
It was to Ayodhya that Ram returned from exile after rescuing his wife, Sita, from the demon god Ravan in Sri Lanka, according to an ancient Sanskrit version of the Ramayan, the Hindu text about Ram’s life.
Benevolently, Ram ruled over his kingdom from Ayodhya, becoming the epitome of good governance, the Ramayan says. And, in the twilight of his life, he was said to walk through a door in Ayodhya directly to heaven.
As Mr. Singh aged, his conviction grew that he wanted to put Ram back where he believed he belonged, his son said. He thought Muslims should yield the Babri Masjid.
“He used to have this tussle in him that ‘While I so much respect their religion, why don’t they reciprocate?’” his son said.
In the mid-1940s, Mr. Singh met K.K. Nayar, an administrator in the national Indian Civil Service, Mr. Singh’s son said. The service was a precursor to today’s Indian Administrative Service and the two men were stationed in the same city.
Mr. Nayar was from Kerala in the south. He was erudite and more soft-spoken than Mr. Singh. The two men found common cause in their reverence of Ram and their desire to take action, Mr. Singh’s son said. Both men were also sympathetic to the Hindu Mahasabha, the conservative Hindu political party, but refrained from actively supporting it because of their government jobs, he said.
Together, the men asked the official in charge of appointments in the United Provinces to post them at the same time to Faizabad, which administered Ayodhya, according to Mr. Singh’s son.
Mr. Singh moved there in 1948 as city magistrate. Around the same time, Mr. Nayar moved there as district magistrate, the most senior administrative post in the district. Both men are now deceased. Mr. Nayar’s son declined to be interviewed.
The Singhs moved into Lorpur House, a yellow, British-era mansion. Starting in mid-1949, Mr. Singh, Mr. Nayar, Abhiram Das and other local officials met there to plan how to install Ram in the Babri Masjid, according to Mr. Singh’s son.
As the family’s only child, Guru Basant Singh was then about 15 years old. He said he was in charge of serving tea and water at the meetings and at times hid behind the door to listen in on the planning.
The meetings were held in secret after sunset, he said. A Hindu servant was posted at the door with instructions to tell any visitors that his father was resting.
His version of events is confirmed by Mahant Satyendra Das, one of Abhiram Das’s surviving disciples, who is now the government-appointed head priest at the site of the mosque.
He joined Abhiram Das in 1958. That year, the sadhu gave him a detailed account of events, said Mr. Das, who recalled their discussion in an interview. (The two men share a surname but were not related.)
“Top district officials” including K.K. Nayar and Guru Dutt Singh, worked with Abhiram Das on how the idol might be put in the Babri Masjid, which was locked and guarded, Mr. Das said the sadhu told him.
One guard, a Hindu, took the afternoon and evening shift. Another guard, a Muslim, took night watch, Mr. Das said he was told.
The Hindu guard agreed to let Abhiram Das and a small group of sadhus sneak into the mosque with an idol of Ram during his watch, Abhiram Das told his disciple, adding: “We took the Hindu guard into confidence by telling him about the virtues he will earn by being part of this extremely holy work.”
The Hindu guard would then hand over the keys to the Muslim guard at midnight, as usual, Mr. Das said the sadhu told him.
On the other hand, the Muslim guard was “briefed” by Guru Dutt Singh and K.K. Nayar “what he had to do,” according to Guru Dutt Singh’s son. He was threatened with his life if he did not cooperate, Mr. Singh’s son said. The guards and their descendants couldn’t be traced.
The statue of Ram would be about seven inches tall, made of eight metals, and would depict an infant – a “Ram Lalla” – befitting the place of his birth.
Both Mr. Singh, the city magistrate, and Mr. Nayar, the district magistrate, knew how furious Nehru and the government in New Delhi would be if the mosque was infringed upon, said Mr. Singh’s son. They both decided that they would resign rather than obey any order to remove the statue, he said.
Other details fell into place and the meetings ended around October 1949, according to Mr. Singh’s son. Now, the planners had to await their moment.
In late November 1949, religious friction in Ayodhya was on the rise. Sadhus and devotees of Ram lit sacred fires outside the mosque and read from the Ramayan as they listened to speeches about how Ram should be returned to his birthplace. Members of the crowd scuffled with local Muslims.
The planners, said Mr. Singh’s son, set their date for soon after: The night of Dec. 22, 1949, a Thursday.
“We decided that since the country has now got political liberation, we should also liberate the birthplace of Lord Ram,” Abhiram Das told Mr. Das, the latter said.
In the chill of the north Indian winter, the Hindu guard ended his shift that night. But before he left, as planned, Abhiram Das and two other sadhus gained access, Abhiram Das told his disciple.
When the Muslim guard came for his round of duty, the Hindu guard handed over the keys. Around 3 a.m., an auspicious time in Hinduism, Abhiram Das and the other sadhus started ringing small bells inside the mosque. They lit a lamp and sang to the tiny idol that was placed on the pulpit under the central dome: “God appeared, compassionate and benevolent,” the sadhu told his disciple.
The Muslim guard made a statement to local authorities soon after that at around 3 a.m. he saw the area under the central dome bathed in a golden light, according to Mr. Singh’s son and others. He said the light illuminated a tiny figure of Ram that seemed to have appeared by itself.
The Muslim guard’s “revelation” and the statement had been planned in advance to appear to bear witness to a religious miracle, said Mr. Singh’s son.
Bindeshwari Prasad, a sadhu living in Ayodhya, was there that night, the youngest of a group of sadhus camped outside, he said in an interview at the red-brick ashram where he now lives. He described the events in mystical terms.
“I and other people sleeping there that night saw Ram Lalla in our dreams; we all woke up at 3 in the morning,” Mr. Prasad said, his voice a whisper and his skin stretched like bark on his aged body. He claimed they could see the idol on the floor through the railings.
Abhiram Das was there, he recalled. The lock to the mosque was broken and the group of sadhus entered. “We went near the Lord and sang religious hymns and worshipped him,” said Mr. Prasad.
Armed constables, alerted to what was happening, shot a few rounds in the air, Mr. Prasad said. A bullet grazed his abdomen, he said, pointing to the spot. He said another sadhu took a bullet in the toe.
Mr. Singh’s son said the police had instructions only to fire in the air, as part of the planning his father and the others had done.
Back at Lorpur House, Guru Dutt Singh was kept informed of what was happening by two messengers who worked in a bicycle relay from Ayodhya to Faizabad to convey the latest news, his son said.
Mr. Singh, in turn, entrusted a Hindu employee in the household to take hand-written messages to K.K. Nayar with a special order to give the missives only to him. “That was how they communicated,” said Mr. Singh’s son.
When the officials realized the statue had been successfully installed, and the mosque was filled with sadhus, Mr. Singh and Mr. Nayar took a car to the site, according to Mr. Singh’s son and Mr. Prasad.
Later that morning, Mr. Singh offered prayers, or puja, in Lorpur House, his son said: “I don’t know what he said but it is my understanding that he was telling God, ‘Let happen what has been happening.’”
Then Mr. Singh imposed an order that prohibited the gathering of large groups of people in Ayodhya. But he made it clear to police that they were not to obstruct Hindus, his son said.
After, Mr. Singh left his Faizabad home for nearby government accommodation where visiting officials stayed. He gave instructions that if anyone inquired about his whereabouts, they were to be told he was “out of station,” his son said.
Word spread quickly to neighboring communities. Thousands of Hindu devotees came to see the idol in the mosque.
Abhiram Das helped whip up enthusiasm. That day, Dec. 23, he visited a local school. Rajendra Singh, the son of a local officer of the Hindu Mahasabha, the conservative Hindu party, was a pupil then.
“Lord Ram has appeared! Lord Ram has appeared!” he recalled Abhiram Das saying.
There was a dissident voice among the local sadhus. Akshaya Brahmachari was about 35 years old at the time and a devotee of Ram.
He also was a local Congress party officer who defended the rights of Muslims to remain in India “as equal citizens” rather than move to Pakistan, according to a disciple, Meera Behen, who was then a high school student.
There was rising friction in town that day as loudspeakers announced “the appearance of God, exhorting all Hindus to come for audience,” Mr. Brahmachari wrote in a memorandum a few months later. But local officials, including K.K. Nayar, showed no interest in removing the idol or defusing the situation, he wrote.
He added: “Communal poison was spread in an organized manner and the attitude of the officials gave the idea to the people that either the Government wanted all that to happen, or they had completely given in to the communalists.”
TOMORROW: The fight to keep the idol in the mosque and the legal battle that ensued.
Ayodhya, the Battle for India’s Soul: Chapter Two
By Krishna Pokharel and Paul Beckett
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s prime minister, was greatly perturbed by an idol of Lord Ram being placed in a mosque.
Polished, intellectual and skeptical of religion, Nehru was trying to propel the nation into an era of modern socialism and scientific thinking. But the events in Ayodhya forced him to grapple anew with the centuries-long friction between Hindus and Muslims – and to try to counter the spreading belief that a deity had materialized in the dead of night.
“I am disturbed at developments at Ayodhya,” Nehru said in a telegram on Dec. 26, 1949, to Govind Ballabh Pant, chief minister of United Provinces, which roughly included what is now the state of Uttar Pradesh. “Earnestly hope you will personally interest yourself in this matter. Dangerous example being set there which will have bad consequences.”
The provincial government wanted the statue removed. K.K. Nayar, the district magistrate in Faizabad, who also oversaw Ayodhya, refused. He wrote to a provincial official that removing the idol was “fraught with the gravest danger to public peace” and would lead to a “conflagration of horror,” according a copy of his correspondence.
Around that time, Guru Dutt Singh, the city magistrate, resigned. His son, Guru Basant Singh, said his father quit because “his work was done” and the idol’s installation, which Mr. Singh helped plan, had succeeded.
Local Hindus added religious items to the mosque: more idols; six black ammonite stones; a small silver throne; brass utensils for worship; and clothes for the deity, according to an official list compiled later.
Muslims weren’t welcome. Mohammad Hashim Ansari, a local tailor, headed to the Babri Masjid with a few others the morning after the idol of Ram was installed, said Mr. Ansari and another local Muslim who was there. The police stopped them at the gate. The Muslims returned home, they said.
Nehru kept pushing. In early January, he wrote again to Mr. Pant. The chief minister called him soon after.
Mr. Pant “intended taking action, but he wanted to get some well-known Hindus to explain the situation to people in Ayodhya first,” Nehru wrote in a separate letter to the governor-general of India dated Jan. 7, 1950.
Weeks passed. The idol stayed.
The discord in Ayodhya threatened Nehru’s desire for India to be a democracy in which all beliefs were equally respected. He also feared that it would have repercussions “on all-India affairs and more especially Kashmir,” the disputed territory between India and the newly-created Pakistan, he wrote to Mr. Pant on Feb. 5, 1950.
Nehru added that he would be willing to make the 600-kilometer trip from Delhi to Ayodhya himself. But, he also noted, “I am terribly busy.”
Nehru didn’t make the trip. By March, he was sounding defeated as local officials continued to balk at removing the idol.
“This event occurred two or three months ago and I have been very gravely perturbed over it,” he wrote in a letter to K.G. Mashruwala, an associate of Mahatma Gandhi.
Nehru lamented that many in his Congress party had become “communal” toward Pakistan and India’s Muslims. “I just do not know what we can do to create a better atmosphere in the country,” he wrote.
In 1952, Nehru visited Uttar Pradesh to campaign for Mr. Pant in an election, according to a person who heard him speak. He told the crowd, in Hindi, “The Ayodhya event has put me to shame,” this person said.
In January 1950, a decades-long legal battle began between Ayodhya’s Hindus and Muslims over the site of the Babri Masjid. The first case was filed by a Hindu , Gopal Singh Visharad, in the Victorian Gothic district court building in neighboring Faizabad.
Mr. Singh Visharad – “Visharad” denotes expertise in Hindu scripture — was a lawyer who had moved to Ayodhya because he wanted to live in a Hindu holy place, according to his son, Rajendra. Rajendra was the schoolboy who witnessed Abhiram Das, the sadhu, spreading the word on the morning of Dec. 23, 1949, that Ram had appeared in the mosque.
A stern-looking man with a broad nose and a thick moustache, Mr. Singh Visharad, then 42 years old, was the Ayodhya secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, a conservative Hindu political party that opposed Nehru’s Congress. He was close to Mr. Nayar, the district magistrate, and Guru Dutt Singh, the city magistrate, according to Rajendra Singh.
Mr. Singh Visharad had celebrated the appearance of the Ram Lalla idol and worshipped at the site for a few days, his son said. But when he went there on Jan.14, 1950, the police stopped him at the gate.
By then, another local magistrate had already issued an order seizing the building. A receiver was named and the place was locked for devotees. As an interim arrangement, the receiver appointed a small team of priests to attend daily to the statue of Ram Lalla at the site because it was, after all, a deity that needed feeding, bathing, and clothing, according to Hindu ritual.
In his lawsuit, Mr. Singh claimed the right to worship the deity in the building “without any obstruction whatever” and asked for a “temporary injunction” to prevent government officials from removing the idols.
The judge granted the injunction but didn’t rule on the question of his right to worship.
The next day, Anisur Rahman, a Muslim about 30 years old, filed a court petition of his own — the first Muslim legal volley in the dispute. Mr. Rahman made tin boxes that he sold from a shop in the local market in Ayodhya. He lived with his family close to the Babri Masjid.
Weeks before the idol was installed, he had sent messages to district officials that he saw “imminent danger” to the mosque from the sadhus gathered around it, according to the official records of Mr. Nayar, the district magistrate.
Mr. Nayar had dismissed Mr. Rahman as an “exception” among Muslims in Ayodhya whom, he wrote, “are far from agitated,” according to the records.
Petitioning the High Court in Allahabad, a major city in the state, Mr. Rahman sought to have any cases claiming title to the site of the Babri Masjid heard by a court outside Ayodhya and Faizabad.
He claimed that “in view of the highly strained relations between the two communities and also district authorities not being free from communal bias,” there was no prospect of a fair hearing around Ayodhya.
He also noted in an affidavit that district authorities had done nothing to help Muslims take back their mosque after the idol was installed. Instead, they had seized the building.
Mr. Rahman’s effort was countered by about 20 Muslims from Ayodhya, who signed identical affidavits in a local courtroom.
They said they had no objection if the Hindus continued to possess the Babri Masjid. “Babri Masjid has been built by demolishing Ram birthplace temple,” they said. “It’s against the Islamic law to pray there,” the affidavits said.
Mr. Rahman’s petition was dismissed. Muslim lawyers today doubt the authenticity of the Muslims’ affidavits.
Mr. Rahman sold his shop. Sometime in the early 1950s, he migrated with his family to Pakistan, according to several local Muslims. His descendants could not be traced.
A Muslim shopkeeper in Ayodhya recalled Mr. Rahman telling him, before leaving: “We don’t get any justice here. Nobody helps us.”
In late 1950, a mercurial sadhu filed a similar court case to Gopal Singh Visharad’s. He was a member of Ayodhya’s famous Digambar Akhara, a group of Hindu holy men devoted to Ram.
Both Hindu suits named five local Muslim men as defendants, alleging they had put pressure on local government officials to remove the idols by making “baseless and dishonest assertions.”
The most prominent among the defendants was Haji Phenku, one of Ayodhya’s biggest property owners at the time.
At court, Mr. Phenku, then 65 years old, and the other Muslims refuted the allegations, according to legal papers. They also claimed that the Babri Masjid had been used by the Muslims as a mosque ever since it was built in 1528. They said no Hindu temple existed at the site before the construction of the mosque.
Mr. Phenku boarded a horse cart at his residence at least once a month to travel from Ayodhya to the courthouse, about 10 kilometers away, said his son, Haji Mahboob Ahmad, in an interview.
When Mr. Phenku returned home, he recounted his experience, often with frustration. “The judge again adjourned the hearing and asked us to appear on the next date,” Mr. Phenku said repeatedly, according to his son.
Gopal Singh Visharad, the lead Hindu petitioner, regularly cycled to court. He was resigned to the fact that it would be a prolonged dispute because he believed the government didn’t want to deal with the implications of a verdict, according to his son.
The hearings dragged on, with little progress, for nine years. Then, in 1959, another suit was filed by a sect of sadhus known as the Nirmohi Akhara.
The name means “Group Without Attachment,” a reference to the fact that the 12,000 sadhus it claims as members have abandoned the material world for the company of their deity, Ram. The sect had tried, in the late 19th century, to build a temple near the mosque but had been prevented by the court.
Bhaskar Das is the head of the sect. Now in his mid-80s, he is a thin man and an imposing sight. His wrinkled head is shaved close with a longer outcropping of hair knotted in a tail at the back. A Y-shaped pattern of white paint, accentuated with vermillion stripes, starts at the bridge of his nose and runs in two lines up his forehead.
Mr. Das came to Ayodhya in 1946 to learn Sanskrit at the age of 18. Soon after, he visited an idol of Ram located on the wooden platform where Hindus worshipped in the outer courtyard of the Babri Masjid. The Nirmohi Akhara maintained the platform.
“I felt belongingness with Lord Ram” and decided to lead the life of a sadhu, Mr. Das said in an interview at the sect’s ashram in Faizabad, a collection of four-story white buildings off a street clogged with traffic.
In its 1959 petition, the group claimed that Ram’s birthplace “has been existing before the living memory of man.”
It also claimed that the Babri Masjid building had never been a mosque but had been a temple since ancient times and was rightfully the possession of the Nirmohi Akhara. The suit was added to the others.
Two years later, in December 1961, representatives of the local Muslim community responded.
Leading the case was the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Board of Waqfs, a body created by Indian law to be responsible for the protection and preservation of “waqfs,” or Muslim religious and cultural sites.
It listed Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the tailor, and other Ayodhya Muslims as co-petitioners.
The board, based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, claimed that the Babri Masjid was registered with it as a public mosque and is “vested in the Almighty.”
In 1964, the court consolidated all four suits – of Gopal Singh Visharad; the sadhu from the Digambar Akhara; the Nirmohi Akhara, and the waqf board.
The litigants became used to the delays that plague India’s court system today. It took 17 years to settle on the appointment of a new receiver at the Babri Masjid site after the death of the first receiver.
In court, the judge would listen for about 15 minutes, set a date for the next hearing, and adjourn, according to two people involved in the case.
“Many judges came and went but the case was not decided,” said Haji Mahboob Ahmad, 74 years old. He replaced his father, Haji Phenku, as the defendant in one of the Hindu suits after his father died in 1960.
Guru Dutt Singh and K.K. Nayar – the administrators who were instrumental in the idol’s placement — turned to politics. They played no further direct role in the Ayodhya dispute.
Mr. Singh joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a Hindu nationalist party, within six months of resigning his administrative post. The party was founded by a former president of the Hindu Mahasabha, the first conservative Hindu party in India.
In the 1951 national election, the Jana Sangh won three seats in Parliament, compared with 364 seats won by Nehru’s Congress party. Mr. Singh became the Jana Sangh’s district chief in Faizabad, said his son.
A photo from the late 1960s in the reception room of the family’s Faizabad residence shows Guru Dutt Singh with a young Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then national president of the Jana Sangh and later prime minister of India.
Mr. Nayar was transferred to another post in early 1950. He took voluntary retirement in 1952. He settled in Faizabad and joined the Jana Sangh with his wife. In 1967, he was elected to the national Parliament from a constituency near Ayodhya.
Among the sadhus of Ayodhya, the idol’s installation was overwhelmingly supported.
Akshaya Brahmachari, the young sadhu who had opposed the move, argued with others that “all Ayodhya is Ram’s birthplace,” according to his disciple, Meera Behen, and others who knew him. He asked: “Why do you diminish His glory by putting him in a mosque?”
He was assaulted and banished from the sadhus’ fraternity. He went to Lucknow and sat on a series of fasts from Jan. 30, 1950, in a bid to press the government to remove the idol. But a state government minister responded that, “Ayodhya’s situation is better now and the case is pending in a court of law at the moment. The final decision can be taken only after a judgment from the court.”
Abhiram Das, the sadhu who championed installing Ram in the mosque, organized festivals to commemorate the event.
One pamphlet printed by him in December 1953 exhorted Ayodhya’s residents to participate in a reading of the Ramayan, the Hindu holy text, at the site. Another pamphlet mentions him as the “savior” of Ram’s birthplace.
Hindu control of the site and the lack of action by the courts frustrated Ayodhya’s Muslims. Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the tailor, said that in 1954 he and about 100 local Muslim men sought permission to offer prayers at the site. It was denied.
When they tried to force themselves into the mosque, they were arrested and spent two months in jail, Mr. Ansari later testified in court.
Tomorrow: An incident 2,000 kilometers away catapults the dispute in Ayodhya onto the national stage.
Ayodhya, the Battle for India’s Soul: Chapter Three
By Krishna Pokharel and Paul Beckett
In the 1980s, the Ayodhya dispute escalated from a local issue to a national one. It fed, and was fed by, other points of tension in Indian politics and society that set Hindus and Muslims on a collision course over the span of the decade.
Each side came to feel that its religion and status in India was under threat – and both sides responded with political pressure and shows of force.
It started in 1981 in Meenakshipuram, an unremarkable village deep in the countryside of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, more than 2,000 kilometers from Ayodhya.
The village hit the national news when its low-caste Hindus – about 400 families, villagers say — converted, en masse, to Islam.
“We became Muslims to become equal,” said 65-year-old N. Hidayathullah, one of the converts, in an interview on the porch of his modest home, as a herd of goats wandered by.
The families had felt ill-treated by local upper-caste Hindus, he said. “Nobody told us to convert; it was our desire to be treated with respect,” he added.
At stake was more than belief: In India, how you worship defines your community, most likely your marriage and whom you vote for, your approach to life, and your identity.
In 1984, Hindu leaders responded to what they viewed as the threat of Islam emanating from the Meenakshipuram conversion.
About 500 sadhus — Hindu holy men — from across India gathered at Vigyan Bhavan, a government-owned conference center in New Delhi. They comprised a “dharma sansad,” or religious parliament.
The meeting was put together by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a conservative Hindu organization founded in the 1960s. The chief organizer was Ashok Singhal, then the VHP’s joint general secretary.
The son of a government official in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, Mr. Singhal graduated with a degree in metallurgical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1950. Now 86 years old, he has worked to promote Hindu causes ever since. “Our culture is under siege,” he said in an interview at the VHP’s offices in New Delhi.
The religious parliament began with a song by a group of musicians. “This country’s soil is sacred,” they sang, according to a later account of the event published by the VHP. “Every girl is an image of a goddess, every boy is Ram.”
After a sadhu blew a conch shell, speeches began. Among the speakers was Karan Singh, a former minister in Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. At the time, he was an independent member of Parliament. Courtly and soft-spoken, he is the son of the last Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr. Singh was the founder of an organization to espouse the values of universal brotherhood and human welfare contained in the Vedas and Upanishads, Hindu sacred texts. He formed it in direct response to the events of Meenakshipuram, he said in an interview in the book-lined study of his Delhi mansion.
The mass conversion to Islam “was, first of all, a clear statement that the way Hinduism was functioning is not acceptable to a large number of people,” Mr. Singh said. At the time, the message was: “People are leaving because we are not following our principles.”
At the religious conference, Mr. Singh spoke about the need to reconnect individual life and politics with the tenets of Hinduism, and to rid society of the dowry system and the stigma of “untouchability” that relegated lower-caste Hindus to an underclass, according to the VHP’s account of the event. He also rued the fact that Hindu holy sites had been neglected.
“We cannot even light a holy lamp” at Ram’s birthplace in Ayodhya, he told the sadhus. “How shameful a matter is it for 80% of this country’s residents who call themselves Hindus?”
The gathering issued a code of conduct for individuals, families and society. Its code for the country’s statesmen included the demand that three important holy sites be “given back to Hindu society.”
The Babri Masjid, the mosque in Ayodhya that many Hindus claimed was Lord Ram’s birthplace – “Ram Janmabhoomi” in Hindi — was top of the list.
Ram appealed to Hindus of all castes: one story recounted in the Ramayan, the text about his life, has him happily eating berries given to him by a lower-caste woman.
A few months after the religious parliament, the VHP followed up with a rally for devotees led by a motorized chariot. Hindu scripture says Ram rode a chariot into battle.
The rally started at Sitamarhi in Bihar in late September 1984. The district is believed by Hindus to be the place where Sita, Ram’s wife, emerged from the earth.
Thousands of the faithful joined the procession, which reached Ayodhya 12 days later. There, they descended to the banks of the Sarayu river, cupped its water in their palms and, according to several participants, took an oath.
The crowd totaled about 50,000 that day, according to Mr. Singhal of the VHP, who was among them. Similar oath-taking ceremonies were held at major rivers around the country.
The Hindus at the Sarayu that day wanted to go further than keeping a tiny statue of Ram inside the Babri Masjid. They wanted to build a house of worship where Ram sat: “We will give up everything to build Lord Ram’s temple at his birthplace,” they swore, according to several people who took part.
The organizers say they were surprised by the number of supporters. “People found that this is an agitation which will be successful,” Mr. Singhal said. “Such a large number of people came from small villages to witness and join the movement.”
A day later, the chariot started rolling again. But its journey was interrupted when, on Oct. 31, 1984, Mrs. Gandhi, the prime minister and Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter, was shot dead at her New Delhi home by two Sikh bodyguards.
Soon, Ayodhya would become a defining issue for the country’s new leader: Mrs. Gandhi’s 40-year-old son, Rajiv.
Rajiv Gandhi was a political beginner. Eschewing politics, he worked as a pilot for Indian Airlines and married an Italian, Sonia Maino.
He was elected as a member of Parliament in 1981, following the death of his younger brother, Sanjay, in a plane crash. Soon after Mr. Gandhi succeeded his mother, he called for national elections. His Congress party won the biggest Parliamentary majority in India’s electoral history.
Mr. Gandhi brought the promise of a new kind of Indian leader. He was young and interested in promoting technology. Within months, however, he was deeply embroiled in the historical tussle between Muslims and Hindus and the sense of victimhood that both sides felt.
The catalyst was a case brought by a Muslim woman called Shah Bano. She had been divorced by her husband several years before and was left destitute. She asked the Supreme Court to force her ex-husband to pay maintenance.
In the spring of 1985, the Supreme Court ruled in her favor, citing the provisions against destitution in Indian criminal law that applied to all Indians.
Prominent members of the Muslim clergy viewed the ruling as a threat to Islamic law, which had long governed their personal matters. It does not require the equivalent of alimony. But the justices had ordered a divorced man to pay maintenance.
At first, Rajiv Gandhi backed the verdict. Arif Mohammed Khan, a Muslim and minister in Mr. Gandhi’s government, made a long speech in Parliament in praise of the ruling.
In an interview, Mr. Khan said he did so at the prime minister’s request. Afterward, he received a note from Mr. Gandhi, he said, which congratulated him on a “wonderful performance” and a “great speech.”
But the Muslim clergy protested, heaping pressure on the prime minister. They demanded he counter the verdict through an act of Parliament. “The Muslim clergy found this as an opportunity to mobilize the Muslims and project themselves,” said Mr. Khan.
Mr. Gandhi succumbed and started preparations for a law that would effectively overturn the Supreme Court ruling.
But he also wanted to find a way to mollify Hindu outrage over the Muslim protests and to counter anticipated Hindu claims that Muslims were being appeased by the government, said Mr. Khan.
The prime minister, he said, found his answer in a court case in Faizabad, the city next to Ayodhya.
The case sought to have the lock removed on the main gate of the Babri Masjid, granting greater public access to the idol that had been sitting in seclusion under the central dome for almost four decades.
Mr. Gandhi’s calculation, Mr. Khan said, was that the Hindu focus on the Shah Bano case “will be redirected to Ayodhya.”
Umesh Chandra Pandey filed the petition to open the lock in late January 1986. He was a 30-year-old lawyer and occasional journalist who then lived in Faizabad.
His interest in the issue had begun three years earlier, when the editor of a local Hindi newspaper asked him to write a feature on the festival commemorating Ram’s birthday, Mr. Pandey and the editor said in interviews.
Mr. Pandey said he also heard leaders from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad claiming that there never had been an official order to lock the Babri Masjid gate.
“I thought, ‘If this is so, then how has this lock been put there?’” he said.
Adding drama and urgency, a prominent sadhu had threatened to set himself ablaze if the lock was not removed, according to Mr. Pandey and other accounts. Other sadhus threatened to get themselves arrested by trying to unlock the gate themselves, according to the VHP’s Mr. Singhal.
Mr. Pandey, a short man who speaks in emphatic phrases, said he spent a couple of weeks examining court papers. He came to the conclusion that there had never been a formal order putting the lock in place, he said. (Priests who cared for the idols in the building entered through a side gate.)
Soon after Mr. Pandey filed his petition, he found out that a copy had been sent to the state agency in charge of internal security, he said.
The petition also attracted the interest of Rajiv Gandhi and Arun Nehru, a cousin of Mr. Gandhi’s and a powerful adviser to the prime minister, according to Arif Mohammed Khan, the government minister at the time.
Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Nehru wanted to ensure that the petition succeeded so Hindus would feel assuaged, Mr. Khan said. The prime minister asked Mr. Nehru to coordinate the government’s participation in the case, including dealing with the state government of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Khan said.
Other officials from the time say Mr. Nehru, the adviser, was the more influential in seizing on the issue and the prime minister acquiesced. Yet others say Mr. Gandhi was unaware of what was happening.
Either way, said Mr. Khan: “The buck stops at the door of the prime minister” as the head of the government.
When asked about the episode in a brief telephone conversation, Mr. Nehru responded: “That’s none of your damn business.”
The government ensured that two senior local officials appeared – unusually — before the judge, rather than submitting affidavits, Mr. Khan said. They testified that law and order could be maintained if the lock was removed, a key consideration in the judge’s deliberations.
Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqui, one of the lawyers representing Muslims in their legal claims to the Babri Masjid site, said he also asked to be heard before the judge.
“You may, there is no hurry,” he said the judge responded. “The matter is continuing for 36 years – you will be allowed sufficient time.” He was referring to the fact that litigation over the site had begun in 1950.
On the afternoon of Feb. 1, 1986, the judge ruled there had been no official order that placed the lock on the mosque’s gate. He ordered the lock opened “forthwith,” according to witnesses. The judge is now deceased.
Within 30 minutes, a senior police officer in Ayodhya broke the lock. A camera crew from Doordarshan, the government-run television channel, was there. The event was broadcast to the nation.
Mr. Pandey, the man who filed the petition, said he couldn’t sleep that night. The next morning, he went to the site.
“I was without words,” he said. “But I was thankful to God that I was able to look and to offer my prayer.”
The gate opening was the first that millions of Hindus had heard of Ayodhya and the battle over Ram’s birthplace. It energized them en masse because Ram was a role model. Grandmothers told their grandsons to aspire to be like him: obedient to their parents, faithful to their family, honest in their dealings.
Rajiv Gandhi received the news during a visit to the Maldives, according to Mani Shankar Aiyar, his speechwriter at the time.
In the hours before a state banquet, the prime minister was putting the finishing touches on his formal dress and on his speech when he received a telephone call, Mr. Aiyar said in an interview. Mr. Gandhi was told the lock was opened, Mr. Aiyar said.
The lock opening quickly took on a mystical aspect. Mr. Pandey claimed that on the afternoon of the decision, a monkey sat on the roof of the Faizabad court house. A monkey was symbolic because Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, was a loyal friend of Ram.
The animal, unusually for a monkey, sat still for more than 30 minutes, Mr. Pandey said. Then, when the judge issued his order, the monkey walked to the flagpole on the courthouse roof and touched the Indian flag, according to Mr. Pandey. “I don’t think this can happen without the Almighty’s permission,” he added.
The lock opening shocked Muslim elders and lawyers who had been following the Ayodhya dispute because they saw in it a threat to their mosque and to their religion. They gathered the next day in an orphanage in Delhi.
“Today, it appears we have become second-class citizens,” said one elder, close to tears, according to two people who were there.
The leaders worried that the next step would be the Babri Masjid’s destruction.
On Feb. 3, 1986, two days after the lock was opened, a small group of Muslim lawyers petitioned the high court in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, to order that nothing more happen to the site, according to two of the lawyers.
The judge issued a notice that the “status quo” be maintained.
Zafaryab Jilani, one of the lawyers, was then just shy of his 36th birthday. The lock opening would vault him to the forefront of the Muslim movement seeking to retain the Babri Masjid site for Islam.
Born in a town close to Lucknow, Mr. Jilani pursued his legal studies at Aligarh Muslim University.
There, he gained his first experience in organizing protests. He said he was part of a small group that, in 1970, led students in opposing government plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school’s incorporation by an act of Parliament.
The students were angry about previous government measures that stopped Muslims from being the sole administrators of the university. Faced with the protests, the government scrapped the golden jubilee festivities and, ultimately, undid the administrative changes.
After the Babri Masjid lock opening, Mr. Jilani started organizing protests again.
He and a handful of associates called meetings of prominent local Muslims; it included one gathering of about 200 in a hall in Lucknow, Mr. Jilani said in an interview.
They created the Babri Masjid Action Committee to organize public strikes and demonstrations– and to push back against what the leaders viewed as Hindu aggression.
On Feb. 7, 1986, Mr. Jilani said he and about eight others met the then-chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Vir Bahadur Singh. The chief minister denied any involvement in the lock opening, Mr. Jilani said.
“I haven’t done it. Whatever has been done, it is at the behest of some other leaders, top leaders,” Mr. Jilani said the chief minister told them. Mr. Singh died a few years later.
A week after that meeting, the new committee held its first event: a “Black Day,” or state-wide public strike, Mr. Jilani said. Later, tens of thousands protested in Lucknow and other cities.
In May 1986, the government used its huge majority in Parliament to push through a law that effectively reversed the Shah Bano ruling and made it clear Muslim personal law would prevail.
Mr. Gandhi’s supporters say the prime minister was only trying to clarify that matters of Muslim personal law would be governed by Islam, as they had been for decades.
The law’s passage cemented the idea among many Hindus that the government was kowtowing to Muslims. Muslim leaders, on the other hand, were angry about the lock opening. The prime minister’s plan to do something to mollify both sides had gone awry.
Arif Mohammed Khan, the minister who had supported the Shah Bano ruling, resigned from the government. He recalled that Mr. Gandhi said to him at the time: “The situation is such that I am feeling very helpless.”
And, as Mr. Gandhi’s grandfather, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, had feared in 1950, the new prominence of the Babri Masjid dispute complicated the delicate political equation in the late 1980s in Kashmir, the Himalayan region fought over by India and Pakistan.
Militants who favored a separate country of Kashmir used the opening of the lock on the mosque to rebuke Indian Muslims who favored embracing India’s secularism and democracy.
The militants said, according to Mr. Jilani: “Your government is not sincere with you, how do you expect that government to be sincere with us?”
Tomorrow: The last chances at a settlement slip away.
Origin of the Light Sivalensis type Horse from India
Was steppe the home of the Aryans? Premendra Priyadarshi
December 6, 2012
Bull and horse, migrations of bos indicus and equus sivalensis into Ancient Near East
Bull and horse are two domesticated animals mentioned in the early text of Rigveda and evidenced in Indo-European language studies. Study of the migrations of these two animals may yield a pointer to the possible migrations of peoples ca. 3rd millennium BCE into Ancient Near East, thus providing clues to unravel the chronologies of ancient history.
A seal with Indus script.
Cylinder seal; BM 122947; U. 16220; humped bull stands before a palm-tree, feeding froun a round manger or a bundle of fodder; behind the bull is a scorpion and two snakes; above the whole a human figure, placed horizontally, with fantastically long arms and legs, and rays about his head.
A zebu on a plaque from the Elamite Diyala Valley (Lamberg-Karlovsky and Potts 2001: 225).
Tepe Hissar. Lapis lazuli stamp seal. Bronze Age, about 2400-2000 BC. From the ancient Near East. This stamp seal was originally almost square, but because of damage one corner is missing. Originally two figures faced each other. The one on the left has largely disappeared. On the right is a man with his legs folded beneath him. It is suggested that at the top are rain clouds and rain or a fenced enclosure. Behind the man are a long-horned goat above a zebu. This last animal is related in style to similar creatures depicted on seals from the Indus Valley civilization, which was thriving at this time. There were close connections between the Indus Valley civilization and eastern Iran. One of the prized materials that was traded across the region was lapis lazuli, the blue stone from which this seal is made. The Sar-i Sang mines in the region of Badakhshan in north-east Afghanistan were probably the source for all lapis lazuli used in the ancient Near East. From here it was carried across Iran, where several lapis working sites have been discovered, and on to Mesopotamia and Egypt. Another source for lapis lazuli exists in southern Pakistan (a region of the Indus Valley civilization) but it is unclear if they were mined at the time of this seal. D. Collon, 'Lapis lazuli from the east: a stamp seal in the British Museum', Ancient Civilizations from Scy, 5/1 (1998), pp. 31-39 D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)
Figure 1. Map of Iran, with Jiroft, Konār Ṣandal, and sites of the 3rd millenium BCE with chlorite vessels.
Tepe Yahya/Jiroft frieze. Zebus and lions. A zebu gores a lion (the zebu seems to be then on the verge of domestication, Figure 7f.
c. 2900 BCE. Khafajah. The best known of the chlorite bowls is from Khafajah; it is of Mesopotamian manufacture. • A man kneels upon the hindquarters of one of a pair of standing zebu bulls facing away from each other. In each hand he holds a stream of water which flows over the head and finishes in front of each bull. Plants grow from the right stream, plants grow behind the left bull, and a plant grows in front of each bull. Above the man are a rosette, a crescent and (possibly) a snake. Above the left stream is some sort of carnivore, perhaps a panther.
• An identical man stands behind or between two couchant panthers, rears together and tails raised but heads turned to face each other. In each hand he holds a snake; by his head is another rosette.
• An eagle and a lion attack a bull which is lying on its back. Plants grow from behind the lion. To the left of this group is a scorpion. Below the lion’s hindquarters is a scene of two bears standing about a date palm licking their paws.
"In the first half of the 3rd millennium B.C.E., the Iranian plateau (Figure 1) was at the crossroads of trade with its neighboring regions...In the first half of the 3rd millennium, Fars appears as the development center of the first writing, called “proto-Elamite,” which was soon used throughout Iranian plateau. In its southern part of Kerman, tablets have been identified 75 km away to the west of Jiroft at the small site of Tepe Yahya (Yaḥyā), located at about 130 km north of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf...The region of Jiroft, lying far away from the large centers of civilization, had not until now attracted the attention of researchers. It is located at a distance of 1000 km from the valley of the Euphrates in the west and from the Indus River in the east. Tepe Yahya and Shahdad (Šahdād), 200 km to the north-northeast of Kerman, were occupied at the end of the 3rd millennium and hint at a culture specific to the south of Iran."
Chlorite vessels. Plate IV. Various: miniature vessels a-b: tronconical vessels, single-horned zebu (h 8.2 cm);
Figure 6. Zebus: a: details of decoration on a tronconical vessel; b: line of zebus led by a man; c-d lying zebus.
vŕ̊ṣan -- ʻ strong, great ʼ, m. ʻ male, bull ʼ RV. [√vr̥ṣ?] वृषः 1 A bull; असंपदस्तस्य वृषेण गच्छतः Ku.5.8; Me.54; R.2.35; Ms.9.123. -2 The sign Taurus of the zodiac. -3 The chief or best of a class, the best of its kind; (often at the end of comp.); मुनिवृषः, कपिवृषः &c. -इन्द्रः an excellent bull. -ध्वजः 1 an epithet of Śiva; येन बाणमसृजद्वृषध्वजः R.11.44. -2 an epithet of Gaṇeśa. -पतिः 1 an epithet of Śiva. -2 a bull set at liberty. वृषण a. 1 Sprinkling, fertilizing. -2 Strong, stout. -णः 1 The scrotum, the bag containing the testicles M. vaśẽḍ, oś°, vaśĩḍ, °śãḍ, vasãḍ, osãḍ(ẽ) n. ʻ bullock's hump ʼ.(CDIAL 12084). vr̥ṣabhá ʻ powerful ʼ, m. ʻ lord, male, bull ʼ RV. Pa. vasabha -- m. ʻ bull ʼ, Pk. vasaha -- , vis°, vus° m.; N. basāhā ʻ bull not used for ploughing ʼ; Bi. basahā ʻ bull bought by religious mendicants ʼ; Mth. basahʻ bull ʼ, Bhoj. basahā, OAw. basaha, H. basah m.; M. vasū m. ʻ bull calf, bull branded and set at liberty ʼ, vaśẽ, ośẽ n. ʻ bullock's hump ʼ; -- Si. vähäp ʻ ox, steer ʼ (EGS 162) ← Pa. -- X ukṣán -- q.v. (CDIAL 12085) ऋषभः [ऋष्-अभक्; Uṇ 3.123] 1 A bull. -2 (With names of other animals) the male animal, as अजर्षभः a goat. -3 The best or most excellent (as the last member of a comp.); as पुरुषर्षभः, भरतर्षभः &c. -4 The second of the seven notes of the gamut; (said to be uttered by cows; गावस्त्वृषभभाषिणः); श्रुतिसमधिकमुच्चैः पञ्चमं पीडयन्तः सततमृषभहीनं भिन्नकीकृत्य षड्जम् Śi.11.1; ऋषभो$त्र गीयत इति Āryā S.141 ऋषभतरः A small or young bull.
ūrar (u-stem), ags. ūr, ahd. ūro, ūrohso, lat. Lw. ūrus `a kind of wild ox', schwed. mdartl. ure `randy bull, a bull in heat' (`*one that scatters, drops, one that inseminates' as Old Indian vr̥šan- etc, see under)
u̯r̥sen- `discharging semen = virile', Old Indian vr̥šán- `virile', m. `manikin, man, stallion'. thereof derived av. varǝšna- `virile', Old Indian vŕ̥ṣ̣a-, vr̥ṣabhá- `bull', vŕ̥ṣṇi- `virile', m. `Aries, ram' (= av. varǝšni- ds.), vŕ̥šaṇa- m. `testicles'
http://dnghu.org/indoeuropean.html Indo-European Language Lexicon, and an Etymological Dictionary of Early Indo-European Languages. Etymologisches Woerterbuch (JPokorny)
Some etyma for the dewlap:
S. kamari f. ʻ dewlap ʼ, M. kã̄baḷ f. kambala2 m. ʻ dewlap ʼ VarBr̥S. Pk. kaṁbala -- m. ʻ dewlap of an ox ʼ(CDIAL 2772) Pa. gala -- m. ʻ throat, dewlap (CDIAL 4070). L. galmã, (Ju.) g̠almã̄ m. ʻ dewlap of cattle ʼ through *galamalā or poss. < *kamlā X gal.(CDIAL 4071). Sh. (Lor.) grĩ ʻ dewlap(of bull), collar (of coat) ʼ, bro. grī ʻ neck ʼ; OB. gīva ʻ throat ʼ, grīvāˊ f. ʻ nape of neck ʼ RV.(CDIAL 4387). Sa. gErwEl `ring, ring-formed marking (especially on neck, on peacock's feather, on a cobra's neck), striped, speckled, vari'. (Munda etyma) दृतिः m., f. [दॄ-विदारणे तिकित् ह्रस्वश्च] 1 A leathern bag for holding water &c.; इन्द्रियाणां तु सर्वेषां यद्येकं क्षरती- न्द्रियम् । तेनास्य क्षरति प्रज्ञा दृतेः पादादिवोदकम् ॥ Ms.2.99; Y.3.268. -2 A fish. -3 A skin, hide. -4 A pair of bellows; हृतय इव श्वसन्ति Bhāg.1.87.17. -5 Ved. A cloud. - A dewlap (of cow or bull); सवत्सां पीवरीं दत्वा दृतिकण्ठामलंकृताम् Mb.13.79.18. Maṇila [cp. *Sk. maṇila dewlap?] (Pali); having fleshy excrescences (as on the dewlap &c )(TS.Skt.) Ta. aṇal neck, side of the upper jaw, chin, throat, windpipe, beard, dewlap; Ka. aṇal under part of the mouth, the mouth. (DEDR 114). मवल् । सास्ना f. the dewlap of an ox.(Kashmiri)
Archaeological and genetic studies are summarized in Section 1. Bull and Section 2. Horse:
Section 1. Bull Indo-Europeans domesticated the cow, the bull and the horse. Root? gu̯au/-gu̯ou-: Sanskrit go-, Avestan gāu-, Tocharian keu /ko, Armenian kov, Lithuanian gùovs, German Kuh, Irish bó, all for 'cow', Albanian ka/kau, Greek βοῦς, 'ox, cow', Latin bōs, bovis, Croatian and Serbian vo, 'ox'. See discussions at http://new-indology.blogspot.in/ http://www.scribd.com/doc/115702890/Ant-0760438 Ant 0760438
This remarkable study traces the migrations out of India into the Ancient Near East: “Uncertain early occurrences of zebu depictions in Mesopotamia include a highly dubious figurine from Arpachiyah near Mosul in north Iraq, of 5th-millennium date (Mallowan & Rose 1935: figure 48:14), depictions on seals from Nineveh of about 3000 BC (Zeuner 1963: 239), a clay tablet from Larsa with seal impression showing a zebu (Epstein 1971: 508), and a marble amulet from Ur in the form of a zebu (Hornblower 1927), both the Larsa and Ur items perhaps dating to around 3000 BC. At about the same time, late 4th millennium, representations of zebu are found as figurines and painted pottery motifs at Susa in southwest Iran (Epstein 1971: 508; Zeuner 1963: 239). These often questionable occurrences suggest that zebu may have been familiar beasts to some of the inhabitants of south Mesopotamia by 3000 BC, although their physical presence there has yet to be confirmed by the scant archaeozoological evidence. Significantly, zebu are not so far attested in any form, artistic rendering or faunal remains, in regions to the west or north of Mesopotamia before 2000 BC. From 2500 BC onwards there are increasing representations of zebu in the form of figurines and motifs on seals and painted pottery in the material culture of the Indus valley and beyond, at sites such as Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, as well as the Quetta-Pishin valley and the Makran coast of Baluchistan (Epstein & Mason 1984: 15; Zeuner 1963: 236). From here zebu probably reached Oman and the head of the Persian Gulf (Potts 1997: 257), and spread to the world-view of south Mesopotamia by the 3rd millennium BC. A stone bowl sherd, of mid 3rd-millennium date, from Tell Agrab in the Diyala region northeast of Baghdad, shows an impressive zebu bull (Zeuner 1963: 217), and a well-executed sketch of a zebu head and shoulder is preserved on a clay tablet of later 3rd-millennium date from Tell Asmar, also in the Diyala region (Frankfort 1934: figure 18). In Iranian Seistan zebu bones and figurines are attested in great quantities at the site of Shahr-i Sokhta in the period c. 2900-2500 BC (Ports 1997: 255), while later, questionable, examples occur at Anau in Turkmenistan (Pumpelly 1908: plate 47:4). As to north Mesopotamia, a well-shaped and painted example of a zebu bull from level IV at Tepe Gawra (FIGURE 3:1) dates probably to the mid 2nd millennium BC but may be earlier (Speiser 1935: plate 77:5). Also in north Mesopotamia, zebu are attested at Tell Brak in the form of figurines (FIGURES 3:2, 4) and bifurcate vertebrae (FIGURE 5) from levels dating to 1700-1600 BC (Matthews 1995: 98-9), as well as figurines from mid 2nd-millennium levels (McDonald 1997: 131) (FIGURES 3:3-4). Perhaps significantly, zebu are not depicted in the glyptic art of Brak in the 3rd millennium, a rich source of depictions of domesticated and wild animals (Matthews et al. 1994), nor are they depicted on the elaborately painted ceramics of highland Anatolia and the Caucasus of the early 2nd millennium which host depictions of many other animals (Ozfirat 2001). Approximately contemporary with the Brak zebu evidence, at around 1700 BC, is a fine example of a figurine from the nearby site of Chagar Bazar, sporting a painted representation of what may be a harness (Mallowan 1937: figure 10:30). From Beydar, to the northwest of Tell Brak, comes an ivory furniture inlay with zebu in relief, dated to 1400 BC (Bretschneider 2000: 65) and a plain zebu figurine comes from mid 2nd-millennium BC levels at Tall Hamad Aga in north Iraq (Spanos 1988: Abb 18:2). An early 2nd-millennium context at Ishchali in the Diyala region yielded a fine clay plaque depicting a bull zebu ridden by a man who grasps the animal's hump in one hand while inserting his knees under a simple belt around the its waist (Frankfort 1954: plate 59:c). [FIGURES 3-5 OMITTED] A fragmentary zebu figurine comes from late 2nd-millennium levels at Tell Sabi Abyad in northwest Mesopotamia (Akkermans 1993:31, figure 23:85). Large quantities of zebu figurines, varying in their degree of elaboration, have been found in Late Bronze Age deposits at Tell Munbaqa in north Syria (Machule et al. 1986; 1990; Czichon & Werner 1998: Taf 80-5) (FIGURE 3:5). There are also zebu figurines from the Late Bronze Age site of Meskene-Emar on the north Syrian Euphrates not far from Munbaqa (Beyer 1982: 104) (FIGURE 3:6), from mid 2nd-millennium BC period II at Umm el-Marra west of the Syrian Euphrates (Curvers & Schwartz 1997: figure 21) and from level VII of Alalakh in northwest Syria, dated to early/mid 2nd millennium (Woolley 1955: plate 57:a). Cylinder seals of 13th-century BC date from Upper Mesopotamia depict humped cattle pulling ploughs (Wiggermann 2000: figure 7) and there is a zebu pendant of 13th-century BC date from Assur on the Tigris in north-central Iraq (Boehmer 1972: 168, Abb 51). Zebu figurines appear in level 3A of Haradum on the Iraqi Euphrates, dated to the mid 17th century BC (Kepinski-Lecomte 1992: figure 159:6-7). On a Kassite seal from Mesopotamia, dated to c. 1500 BC, zebu are depicted drawing ploughs (Epstein 1971: 515). A study of cattle astragali from archaeological sites of western Asia has detected the gradual development of distinctive cattle breeds throughout the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, followed by an episode of rapid change at the end of the 2nd millennium, that is at the end of the Late Bronze Age (Buitenhuis 1984: 216). Buitenhuis connects this episode with the large-scale introduction of zebu into western Asia at this time, leading to cross-breeding of taurine and zebu stock (Buitenhuis 1984: 216). As we have seen above, it is possible that zebu had already been introduced to Mesopotamia by the mid 3rd millennium BC, but it seems that their spread into Syria and the Levant did not occur until the mid-later 2nd millennium.”
Roger Matthews, 2002, Zebu: harbingers of doom in Bronze Age western Asia? Antiquity, Volume: 76 Number: 292 Page: 438–446
http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/085/0544/ant0850544.pdf Across the Indian Ocean: the prehistoric movement of plants and animals Dorian Q Fuller, Nicole Boivin, Tom Hoogervorst & Robin Allaby Antiquity 85 (2011): 544-588
“...in the ﬁrst millennium BC, the Indian Ocean actually began to open up in the broad sense. By Iron Age times, systematic trade between urban systems was taking place across the Bay of Bengal and between India and the Red Sea. This period also potentially provides the ﬁrst evidence for Asian species introduction into the moist tropics of Africa. While this claim still rests heavily on the banana phytoliths from Nkang in Cameroon, other lines of evidence, from plant and animal genetics, and linguistics, suggest that the later centuries BC were a period of increasing ﬂows across the Indian Ocean, mainly it appears, at least from a species point of view, from east to west. The insular Southeast Asian involvement in this is certainly clear for the period of the Malagasy peopling of Madagascar sometime in the ﬁrst millennium AD, but there is a likelihood that this was only the latest of a series of such movements.”
A schematic representation of some key Arabian Sea-Savannah zone biotic transfers of prehistory (the “Bronze Age horizon”). The question of how precisely African crops reached India beginning around 2000 BCE has now attracted the attention of archaeologists and botanists for decades...First, there was an earlier circum-Arabia or Arabian Sea phase of the Middle Bronze Age (from 2000 BCE), in which domesticates were transferred between the northern African savannahs and the savannah zones of India (Figure 1). Then there was a later mid-Indian Ocean phase that may be regarded as generally Iron Age (late centuries BCE to early centuries CE), which began to draw South India, South-east Asia and East Africa into the wider remit of trade/contact, setting the stage for a genuinely Indian Ocean world. In addition, we would like to draw attention to the significance of transfers of commensal animals and weeds, a largely unstudied but potentially revealing body of evidence for early human contacts across the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean." ”We will suggest that there are two broad phases and sets of processes in intercontinental transfers. First, there was an earlier circum-Arabia or Arabian Sea phase of the Middle Bronze Age (from 2000 BCE), in which domesticates were transferred between the northern African savannahs and the savannah zones of India (Figure 1). Then there was a later mid-Indian Ocean phase that may be regarded as generally Iron Age (late centuries BCE to early centuries CE), which began to draw South India, South-east Asia and East Africa into the wider remit of trade/contact, setting the stage for a genuinely Indian Ocean world.” "About twenty years ago Cleuziou and Tosi (1989: 15) referred to the prehistoric Arabian peninsula as a “conveyor belt between the two continents, channelling an early dispersal of domestic plants and animals.”
(Dorian Q. Fuller et Nicole Boivin, 2009, Crops, cattle and commensals across the Indian Ocean http://oceanindien.revues.org/698)
"Zebus are a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent... Zebu have humps on the shoulders, large dewlaps and droopy ears. (Definition: Zebu". Online Medical Dictionary.) ... They are classified within the species Bos primigenius, together with taurine cattle (Bos primigenius taurus) and the ancestor of both of them, the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius). European cattle are descended from the Eurasian subspecies, while zebu are descended from the Indian subspecies. There are some 75 known breeds of zebu, split about evenly between African breeds and South Asian ones. The major zebu cattle breeds of the world include Gir, Guzerat, Kankrej, Indo-Brazilian, Brahman, Nelore, Ongole, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Butana, Kenana, Boran, Baggara, Tharparkar, Kangeyam, Chinese Southern Yellow, Philippine native, Kedah - Kelantan, and local Indian Dairy (LID). Other breeds of zebu are quite local, like the Hariana of Haryana and eastern Punjab or the Rath of Alwar in eastern Rajasthan.The Sanga cattle breeds originated from hybridization of zebu with indigenous humpless cattle in Africa; they include the Afrikaner, Red Fulani, Ankole-Watusi, and many other breeds of central and southern Africa. Sanga cattle can be distinguished from pure zebu by having smaller humps located farther forward on the animals. "(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebu )
Zebu migrations, DNA studies and Aryan Invasion as an indological propaganda.
The myth of Aryan Invasion (now Tourist or Influx) Theory is the propaganda of indologists believing in Biblical creationism, Tower of Babel and eurocentric racism. A remarkable study reported in the Economist explodes the myth and propaganda.
The reporters of Economist did not realise the importance of zebu as an abiding image of Sarasvati civilization and a cultural continuum in Bharatam. Even today, people can see the zebu roaming the streets of many towns and cities of Gujarat and other states. The zebu, bos indicus, was as Bharatiya in origin as the creators of the civilization and the textual traditions exemplified by a vast library of texts, well before the other parts of the world had any domesticated cultivation together with domestication of animals apart from the use of metallurgical advances to create new modes of social organization.
Mirrored at http://sarasvati95.googlepages.com/zebumigrations.doc
Zebu, bos indicus with a pronounced hump, are the signature tunes on many inscribed objects of Sarasvati civilization on many epigraphs.
See, foe example, http://kalyan97.googlepages.com/tabernaemontana.jpg On this seal impression with a set of hieroglyphs (epigraph), the zebu is shown together with tagaraka, tabernae Montana, hair fragrance flower (used as a homonym for tagara 'tin'). The zebu is called adar d.angra; read rebus: aduru d.angar 'native metal smith' (aduru 'native metal' – Kannada; d.angar 'smith' (Hindi).
The DNA study on domestication of cattle shows an interesting picture of migrations of zebu cattle out of Bharatam. This is evidence against the myth of the so-called Aryan invasions presented by many indologists.
Domestication's family tree
DNA is revealing that taming animals was not a simple process
The Economist 26apr01
FEW subjects, these days, can escape the embrace of genetics. That is especially true of archaeology. The study of genes has already illuminated humanity's history, showing how and when the species spread from its African roots to the farthest corners of the world. Now it is uncovering details of the most significant period of that history, the beginning of agriculture.
The latest piece of the jigsaw was published in this week's Nature by Christopher Troy of Trinity College, Dublin, and David MacHugh of University College, Dublin. They and their colleagues have been trying to work out whether modern European cattle were domesticated from the now extinct auroch ( Bos primigenius) that once roamed the continent, or are the descendants of cattle that were brought from the Middle East by the settlers who are believed to have introduced agriculture to Europe around 7,000 years ago.
To answer this question, Dr Troy and Dr MacHugh turned to mitochondrial DNA. This particular form of the genetic material is more abundant in a cell than is the familiar DNA of the cell's nucleus. That is because each cell has many mitochondria. They are the cellular components that release energy from glucose, and they have their own DNA because they were, in the distant evolutionary past, free-living bacteria. By contrast, a cell has but a single nucleus. Extracting mitochondrial DNA from old bones is therefore easier than extracting nuclear DNA.
That is what Dr Troy and Dr MacHugh did. They took mitochondrial DNA samples from four fossil aurochs found in Britain and compared them with the mitochondrial DNA of modern cattle from Europe, Africa and the Middle East . As time passes, mutations accumulate in the DNA, as one "letter" of the genetic code is replaced by another. By looking at the number of differences between the DNA-sequences of two creatures it is possible to see how closely related they are. It is also possible to estimate how much time has passed since they shared a common ancestor, since the rate at which letters are substituted usually remains constant for particular types of creature.
As the diagram shows, the aurochs, though related to Middle Eastern and European cattle, are on a branch by themselves. The aboriginal Europeans did not, it seems, have the wit to domesticate cattle. It took a bunch of immigrants to show them how.
That, until recently, would have been regarded as a textbook example of the way that agriculture developed. Species, it was theorised, were domesticated only once and the result "diffused" to the rest of the world. Over the past few years, though, other genetic studies have revealed a more interesting pattern.
The diagram of the cattle family tree published by Dr Troy and Dr MacHugh incorporates another branch, discovered a little while ago by Daniel Bradley, one of their collaborators who also works at Trinity College. Dr Bradley was responsible for testing the theory that modern cattle are the result of not one but two separate domestications. This theory, which predates even Charles Darwin, is based on the very different anatomies of cattle found in Europe and the Middle East, compared with those from India. In particular, the westerly cattle lack the shoulder humps of zebu, the Indian breed.
Those who support the idea of a single domestication suggest that the distinctions could be the result of subsequent selective breeding. Dr Bradley, though, used mitochondrial DNA to show that the most recent common ancestor of Bos taurus (the western cow) and Bos indicus(the zebu) may have lived as much as 1m years ago¬well before Homo sapiens existed.
'Til the cows come home
In Africa, the story is more confusing. African cattle have features of both Bos taurus and Bos indicus, but their mitochondrial DNA suggests that, despite this apparently intermediate nature, they all belong to Bos taurus. Mitochondrial DNA, however, is unusual in being passed down only from mothers to offspring (sperm leave their mitochondria behind when they fertilise an egg). When Dr Bradley examined the nuclear DNA of cattle, and in particular that of their Y chromosomes, which confer maleness, he found a different picture.
Zebu-like cattle in Africa did, indeed, turn out to have Indian genes in them. But those genes have come, overwhelmingly, from male Indian cattle. That suggests cattle originally came to Africa from the Middle East , as geography might predict. But it also suggests that, when trade eventually brought Indian cattle to Africa, the zebu took the fancy of African stock-breeders, who deliberately studded their females with Indian males. That explains the mixture of characteristics, and also why the female-linked DNA looks Middle Eastern and the male-linked DNA looks Indian.
Cattle are not the only animals to have been domesticated on more than one occasion. Mitochondrial DNA suggests that goats, sheep, pigs, yaks and buffalo were each domesticated at least twice. Dogs were domesticated at least four times. And the mitochondrial tree for horses is so tangled that it is impossible to say exactly how many times people first slung themselves into the saddle.
That is intriguing for two reasons. First, it suggests that lots of people had the idea of domesticating animals independently, rather than the process being tried out only once for each species. Second, it adds weight to the idea that the reason such a limited number of animals has been domesticated is not because people stopped when they felt they had enough species for their needs, but rather because they tried many times and frequently failed. It was only with the ancestors of the species that now grace farmyards that they got results.
Melinda Zeder of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, who studies the process by which goats were domesticated, observes that the wild forms of those species that have been domesticated tend to live in groups and have fairly clear dominance hierarchies. This makes it easy for them to fit in with humanity. Animals such as gazelles, which would, on the face of things, be good candidates for domestication, do not have such hierarchies, so they would not easily submit to the discipline that the farmyard requires. Whether the free-spirited gazelle is better off than the cosseted goat, cow or sheep is an open question.
“…CATTLE have had an important but incompletely understood association with early human civilization, and study of their origins may enlighten us on hitherto unknown aspects of prehistory. All modern cattle have been considered to have the same roots in captured aurochsen from the primary domestication centers of Anatolia and the Fertile Crescent (PERKINS 1969; EPSTEIN 1971; EPSTEIN and MASON 1984; PAYNE 1991). However, this is an opinion that may be an artifact of the history of archaeology (MEADOW 1993). For example, LOFTUS et al. (1994) have provided molecular evidence for a predomestic divergence between zebu, or humped cattle (Bos indicus), and taurine, or humpless cattle (B. taurus), using mtDNA displacement loop (D-loop) variation. A subsequent study has also argued that modern mtDNA sequence distributions are suggestive of biologically distinct origins for the indigenous B. taurus populations of Africa and Europe (BRADLEYet al. 1996)…”
—Phylogenetic relationships among bison, Indian, African, European, and Japanese cattle populations constructed using pairwise FST distances and the neighbor-joining method.
"The earliest remains of cattle in a domestic context occur in Anatolia from at least 8000 YBP (PERKINS 1969 Down). The site of Mehrgarh in Pakistan shows evidence for cattle herding as early as 7000 YBP, and the earliest securely identified African domestic cow dates to only 500 yr later (MEADOW 1993 Down; ROUBET 1978 Down)"
"But there is evidence that cattle were also brought under domestication farther east, in what are now Pakistan and India."
"According to our genetic analyses, African cattle originated neither from Indian humped cattle nor from Near Eastern cattle. Those findings support the separate-origins theory of cattle domestication favored by
archaeologists, who had maintained that in Africa, too, cattle domestication was local."
"However, recent DNA evidence suggests that cattle evolved into different types before they were domesticated. The authors of 1994 and 1996 papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences believe Indian cattle diverged about 200,000 years ago and formed a genetically distinct group (B. indicus). Long before Near Eastern cattle were domesticated, the remaining group split again about 25,000 years ago into two groups that are the forebears of African and European cattle."
"Rather, cattle were independently domesticated in what are now India and Pakistan, in the Fertile Crescent, and possibly in Africa."
J Kantanen et al., 2009, Maternal and paternal genealogy of Eurasian taurine cattle (Bos taurus), Heredity (2009) 103, 404–415; doi:10.1038/hdy.2009.68; published online 15 July 2009 http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v103/n5/full/hdy200968a.html “Maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been used extensively to determine origin and diversity of taurine cattle (Bos taurus) but global surveys of paternally inherited Y-chromosome diversity are lacking. Here, we provide mtDNA information on previously uncharacterised Eurasian breeds and present the most comprehensive Y-chromosomal microsatellite data on domestic cattle to date. The mitochondrial haplogroup T3 was the most frequent, whereas T4 was detected only in the Yakutian cattle from Siberia. The mtDNA data indicates that the Ukrainian and Central Asian regions are zones where hybrids between taurine and zebu (B. indicus) cattle have existed. This zebu influence appears to have subsequently spread into southern and southeastern European breeds. The most common Y-chromosomal microsatellite haplotype, termed here as H11, showed an elevated frequency in the Eurasian sample set compared with that detected in Near Eastern and Anatolian breeds. The taurine Y-chromosomal microsatellite haplotypes were found to be structured in a network according to the Y-haplogroups Y1 and Y2. These data do not support the recent hypothesis on the origin of Y1 from the local European hybridization of cattle with male aurochsen. Compared with mtDNA, the intensive culling of breeding males and male-mediated crossbreeding of locally raised native breeds has accelerated loss of Y-chromosomal variation in domestic cattle, and affected the contribution of genetic drift to diversity. In conclusion, to maintain diversity, breeds showing rare Y-haplotypes should be prioritised in the conservation of cattle genetic resources.”
Section 2. Horse
Origin of the Light Sivalensis type Horse from India - Premendra Priyadarshi. Demolishing the Aryan Invasion theories. http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2012/12/origin-of-light-sivalensis-type-horse.html
Notes on rebus readings
1. K. ḍangur m. ʻbullockʼ, L. ḍaṅgur, (Ju.) ḍã_gar m. ʻhorned cattleʼ; P. ḍaṅgar m. ʻcattleʼ, Or. ḍaṅgara; Bi. ḍã̄gar ʻold worn -- out beast, dead cattleʼ, dhūr ḍã̄gar ʻcattle in generalʼ; Bhoj. ḍāṅgar ʻcattleʼ; H. ḍã_gar, ḍã̄grā m. 'horned cattleʼ.2. H. ḍã_gar m. = prec.(CDIAL 5526). dāntá ʻ tamed ʼ TBr., m. ʻ tamed ox ʼ Rājat. [√dam]Pa. danta -- ʻ tamed ʼ, Pk. daṁta -- ; Gy. as. danda ʻ bull ʼ; Ḍ. dōn, pl. dāna m. ʻ castrated bullock ʼ (← Sh.?); Dm. dân ʻ bull ʼ, Kal. dōn, obl. dōndas; Sh.gil. gur. dōnṷ m. ʻ bull ʼ (Lor. ʻ castrated bullock ʼ), jij. dɔ̈̄du; K. dã̄d m. ʻ bull, bullock ʼ, kash. dānd, rām. pog. ḍoḍ. dānt, S. ḍ̠ã̄du m.; L. dã̄d, mult. ḍã̄d m. ʻ bullock fit for the plough ʼ, awāṇ. dã̄d ʻ bull ʼ, WPah. cam. dānd, bhad. bhal. cur. khaś. dānt.(CDIAL 6273).
Ka. aduru native metal. Tu. ajirda karba very hard iron.Ta. ayil iron. Ma. ayir, ayiram any ore. (DEDR 272).
Brahmiṇi or Brahmaṇi bull is also called the zebu. It has a pronounced hump, long horns, droopy ears and a large dewlap. Scientific name was originally bos indicus; it is called bos taurus indicus adapted to tropical environments, domesticated in Bharat over 10,000 years ago. It is allowed to roam free in many parts of Bharat, considered a sacred bull; this may have led to the name Brahmani. adar, adar ḍangra a brahmini bull, a bull kept for breeding purposes and not put to work (Santali) It is also called khunt, khūṭ Brahmani bull (Kathiawar G.); khūṭṛo entire bull used for agriculture, not for breeding (G.)(CDIAL 3899). Decoded rebus: khūṭ ˜community (Guild). Cf. khūṭ a community, sect, society, division, clique, schism, stock (Santali) The zebu (Brahmaṇi bull) is: aḍar ḍangra (Santali); rebus: aduru = gaṇiyinda tegadukaragade iruva aduru = ore taken from the mine and not subjected to melting in a furnace (Ka.) ḍhangar ˜blacksmith (Mth.)
Decoding epigraphs on seals, Mohenjodaro1118 and Kalibangan 032 : ayaskāṇḍa (of) aḍar ḍangra khūṭ ˜native-metal-blacksmith (making) excellent metal. kamari 'dewlap'; rebus: kamar 'artisan'.
Direct cash transfers cannot be trusted
By Sandhya Jain on December 6, 2012
The Aadhaar biometric data collection system is so fraught with danger of misuse that the Election Commission’s intervention to stall the direct cash transfer scheme linked to it, while timely, is inadequate. Hopefully the Supreme Court which has admitted a petition challenging Aadhaar for lack of constitutional validity will effectively scuttle both hare-brained schemes bulldozed by the UPA.
Direct cash transfer is UPA’s desperate strategy to shore up support to its tottering regime. Its actual impact, as suggested by reports from pilot projects, is the outright stoppage of subsidy to supposed beneficiaries on one count or other. Even supposing that every poor household in the country ultimately receives an Aadhaar number-linked bank account, there is no guarantee that the cash subsidies will land in beneficiaries’ accounts and not be diverted by the kind of middlemen who currently divert subsidised kerosene to the open market. As a recent scam in Citibank shows, it is easy to manipulate internet banking!
Aadhaar makes subsidy-diversion scams easier (scamsters don’t have to sell grain or kerosene to benefit, but simply divert the cash to another account). This would double the suffering of the poor who – as pilot projects show – are forced to buy subsidised items at market prices. Worse, as a glitch (honest or contrived) can erase a household from the system, thousands of individual households can be left high and dry without redressal from such a mechanised system.
As the direct cash transfer scheme affects the entire economy which is already reeling due to stagnation, the Opposition parties should insist on deeper scrutiny by experts and a parliamentary debate with voting. Henceforth, schemes that could hurt the economy must not be rolled out in an ad hoc manner to nurture the politics of the ruling dispensation. The scheme cannot be justified on grounds that it was announced in the budget because it was not fleshed out and voted on in the budget.
The Election Commission has understandably taken the legal view that the scheme must not be implemented in poll-bound Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh where the Model Code of Conduct is in operation. In a mild censure, it has said that the announcement was “avoidable” during the election process.
But the issues involved are much larger, and the action will now shift to the Supreme Court which, on November 30, issued notice to the Centre on a PIL by Justice KS Puttaswamy (retired) of the Karnataka High Court, seeking to restrain it from issuing Aadhaar unique identification cards as the Bill giving it statutory backing is still pending in Parliament. The petition claims that Aadhaar cards are being given to non-nationals, and that as the cards are being manufactured by private companies there is a likelihood of biometric and other data being misused.
This website has already pointed out the perils of misuse of biometric data, and the blatant misuse of funds by NGOs. From the time the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao decided to use NGOs to widen the rGeach of overnment social welfare programmes, the leakage (read diversion) of public monies has reached mind-boggling proportions. From under Rs 9000 crore in the early 1990s, the various centrally-sponsored welfare programmes now surpass Rs 237,000 crore (2011).
One can easily correlate the rise of public funding via NGOs with the rampant growth of corruption in this sector and the rush of kin of politicians and bureaucrats into this sunrise ‘industry’. Many analysts have noted that the mushrooming of NGOs in any sector has seen a proportionate rise in problems in that sector, rather than otherwise. Take, for instance, the sterilisation of street dogs (their population has increased nationwide).
Now, with the help of 140 NGO-run resource centres, the UPA has launched the electronic transfer of funds into the bank accounts of 150 million poor households verified through Aadhaar! This is unconstitutional and arbitrary as the National Identity Authority of India Bill, 2010, on which Aadhaar is based, was rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in 2011. The UPA has since coercively implemented Aadhaar via executive order of January 2009.
Justice Puttaswamy in his petition asserts that Aadhaar impinges on the right to privacy of individuals as there is no assured confidentiality and security of the biometric information collected by private agencies. The Government has also not promised to ensure that non-citizens (illegal immigrants) do not receive the benefits of cash transfer. This affects the health of the economy and the security of the nation. Worse, the Government is aware that similar schemes have failed in Britain, the US, Australia, China, Canada and Germany.
The Apex court action has not come a day too soon as Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit is preparing to roll out Aadhaar-based cash transfer from December 15, to build goodwill in time for the Assembly election next year.
That cash transfer is an election scheme is evidenced by the fact that the enrollment forms for the intended 4.87 lakh beneficiaries carry the photographs of the Prime Minister and the Delhi CM. As Dr Subramanian Swamy pointed out in his complaint to the Election Commission, beneficiaries have to get their forms approved by the area MLA. Obviously, it is another Congress ‘loan mela’ scheme to bestow favours on traditional Congress voters.
December 6, 2012
Babri demolition: How HC verdict discredited ‘eminent’ historians
By R Vaidyanathan
It runs to more than 8,000 pages and it contains is a marvelous set of documents on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri case. On the 20th anniversary of the demolition, it is worth looking at some aspects of the judgment delivered by the full bench of the Allahabad High Court in September 2012.
The judgment, which awarded two parts of the disputed land to Hindu groups and one to the Muslim one, is now being contested by the parties in the Supreme Court, but it offers an extraordinary insight in to our culture, history, and civilisational ethos. It dwells at length on Persian sources, German writings, French observations, Urdu literature and, of course, Sanskrit evidence. It deals with archeology, history, linguistics, anthropology, zoology, literature, the puranas, the jataka tales and many other subjects and disciplines.
The sweep of the judgment and the canvas covered is mind-boggling and it makes one proud of our judiciary. This judgment will be quoted discussed and dissected by legal as well as academic experts for several decades.
But we shall not discuss the judgment’s core aspects, and focus instead on what it has to say on our “eminent historians” who were shown to be not so eminent, and their attitudes fairly unacademic.
Many “independent experts”, historians and archeologists appeared on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board but in the end the special bench of three judges unanimously dismissed the objections raised by them about the ruins of a temple under the demolished structure. It was Justice Sudhir Agarwal who put their claims to judicial scrutiny.
Interestingly many of these “experts” had deposed twice in the court — once before the ASI excavations and another after. Before the excavations they asserted that there was no temple beneath the disputed structure and after it was dug up they began to claim that what was unearthed was a mosque or stupa. Not only that, they found themselves withering under judicial scrutiny in spite of writing signed articles and issuing pamphlets and long public letters.
The judge asked pointed queries which might never been asked by their students.
The cross-examination covers several pages and a gripping reading. It shows the levels to which our academics have fallen and become hand maidens of the political machinery. Let us look at some of their statements, and how they do nothing to enhance their profession’s reputation.
Activists of the Bajrang Dal Party hold torches while standing behind a model of Ram Temple on the 14th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. AFP
Supriya Verma an, “expert” who challenged the excavations done by the ASI, had not read the radar survey report on ground penetration that led to the court order for excavation. Verma and Jaya Menon, another “expert,” were not present at the time of actual excavations but alleged that pillar bases at the excavated sites were planted.
Suvira Jaiswal says: “Whatever knowledge I gained with respect to the disputed site is based on newspaper reports or what others told.” She also confessed that she “prepared a report on the Babri dispute after reading newspaper reports and on the basis of discussion with my medieval history expert in my department”.
Jaiswal made an important clarification: “I am not giving (my) statement on oath regarding Babri Mosque without any probe and not on the basis of my knowledge; rather I am giving the statement on the basis of my opinion.”
When opinion can be history why are they all screaming that “faith” cannot be an equally relevant criterion?
Archaeologist Shereen Ratnagar admitted she did not have any “field” experience as far as Babri was concerned and had written an “introduction” to the book of another “expert” who deposed before the court, namely Prof D Mandal. This expert witness for the Waqf Board admitted he wrote his “Ayodhya: Archaeology after Demolition” without even visiting Ayodhya and with an eye to the presidential reference to the Supreme Court. Mandal also admitted that “Whatsoever little knowledge I have of Babur is only that Babur was (a) ruler of the 16th century. Except for this I do not have any knowledge of Babur.” The judge, Agarwal, was sufficiently moved to say about Mandal that “the statements made by him in cross-examination show the shallowness of his knowledge on the subject”.
Suraj Bhan was providing evidence based on medieval history but another expert of Muslim parties, namely Shireen Musavi, says that Bhan is an archeologists and not a historian.
The ASI report submitted to the court after an excavation of the site had brushed aside the so-called Historians’ Report to the Nation authored by RS Sharma, M Athar Ali, DN Jha and Suraj Bhan, released in May 1991. This document was a plea to the government of India “to include impartial historians in the process of forming judgment on historical facts”. As an example of this “impartial” history, it was argued that “the full blown legend of the destruction of a temple at the site of Rama’s birth and Sita ki Rasoi is as late as the 1850s. Since then what we get is merely the progressive reconstruction of imagined history based on faith.” But Bhan confessed that the grandly titled Historians’ Report to the Nation was written under “pressure” in six weeks and “without going through the record of the excavation by BB Lal”.
Shireen Musavi suggested that “the legend of Ayodhya being the birthplace of Rama is found from the 17th century, prior to which there is no legend about Rama’s birthplace in medieval history”. However, during cross-examination, Musavi admitted: “It is correct that in Sikh literature there is a tradition that Guru Nanak had visited Ayodhya, had darshan of Ram Janmasthan and had bathed in the River Saryu.”
Prof Mandal retired from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Allahabad University. He was appointed on an ad hoc basis as Lecturer in 1972 but prior to that he claimed to have worked as exploration assistant since 1960. Initially he appeared as an expert to depose that there was no archaeological evidence to show either the existence of any temple at the disputed site or that a temple was demolished before construction of the disputed structure. The statements made by him in cross-examination show the shallowness of his knowledge and provide a sample about all these “eminences”
A few of his quotes: “I never visited Ayodhya”. “I do not have any specific knowledge of the history of Babur’s reign.” “Whatsoever little knowledge I have about Babur is only that Babur was the ruler of the 16th century. Except for this I do not have any knowledge of Babur. I do not have knowledge of anything in 2nd Para of the editorial preface to my book (exhibit 63) in which Romila Thapar has written that Vishwa Hindu Parishad, BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, for the first time, raised the issue of the Babri Masjid being located on the place which was earlier Rama’s birth place. I also do not know whether or not it is correctly written on page 10 of the aforesaid preface that Ayodhya is a site of pilgrimage for adherents of Ramanand school.” “The Communist Party issues a red card, and I am its holder. It is true that I have no faith in religion.”
Further: “It is true that I have not seen the disputed building as yet. I did not make any physical investigation of stone used in inscriptions carved out in the disputed building. Likewise, I also did not make physical investigation of basalt stone.” “My finding in my book (exhibit 63) is not based on any article. My finding is based on materials written in this connection and given in the book (paper no.118C-1/35) filed in Suit No.5/89 and chiefly on the photograph (paper no118C-1/36) depicting the excavation undertaken by Prof BB Lal near the Babri Mosque. It is also correct to say that I drew findings, taking the brief report of BB Lal, as given in paper no.118C-1/35 (Ram Janambhumi: Ayodhya) and the reproduction of the photograph taken by him to be sacrosanct.” “Many of my colleagues inspired me to write the book (exhibit 63).”
Mandal also said: “It is also true that I had requested one of them to write an introduction to my book, and the colleague thus requested was Miss Shereen Ratnagar.”
The learned Judge rightly observes: “A bare perusal of the above makes it clear that he virtually made a critical analysis of the book that is Paper No.118C1/36, a small booklet published by Prof BB Lal and beyond that made no further study/research, etc. Only on that basis, he wrote a book, and analysed the belief of the people whether the disputed structure was constructed after demolishing a temple or that there existed any temple of 11th or 12th century which was demolished before its construction. The own admissions and clarification this witness has given, we find that the entire opinion of this witness is short of the requirement under Section 45 of the Evidence Act, 1872, to qualify as an opinion of an expert which may be considered relevant on a fact in issue, by this court. “
The list goes on. Justice Agarwal refers to the signed statement of these experts and notes that “instead of helping in making a cordial atmosphere, it tends to create complications, conflict and controversy. The experts carry weight with public opinion and conclude that ‘one cannot say that though I had made a statement I am not responsible for its authenticity since it is not based on my study or research, but what I have learnt from what others have uttered.”
Clearly, the expertise of eminences has been exposed. If such a thing had happened in physics or chemistry or medicine or accounting, the concerned person would have been taken to task by their professional associations. Unfortunately, the social science disciplines in India are under the grip of Left charlatans and they are not accountable to any. It is important that they are made accountable. Many of the things they said hardened positions on both sides, and they cannot now wriggle out and claim what they said was not their expert opinion.
Their respective universities would do well to initiate action against them or take other disciplinary steps to improve the reputation of the profession of historian. The textbooks written or edited by them for schools and colleges should be revoked and other books of less eminent — but more honest — historians should be prescribed
They need to be made accountable and brought to book, howsoever highly networked or “eminent” they are. Is the HRD ministry, and various universities, listening?
The author is Professor of Finance and Control, IIM Bangalore, The views are personal and do not reflect that of his organisation.
Tamil Nadu sits on caste tinderbox - Kumar Chellappan
December 7, 2012
Clear and present danger: TN sits on caste tinderbox
FRIDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2012 00:40 KUMAR CHELLAPPAN | CHENNAI
Tamil Nadu faces peril, a real peril of caste war. The Scheduled Castes and Tribes known by their generic name Dalits, supported by the Lefts and the Opposition DMK have come out against Vanniyar, Mudaliar, Thevar, Nadar and Gounders, the non-Dalits.
“We want amendment of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 which is being misused to settle personal scores. We also want a thorough probe by a sitting judge of the high court into the inter caste marriages took place during the last two years in Tamil Nadu,” S Ramadoss, the PMK founder, told The Pioneer. The PMK represents the Vanniyar community, a major intermediate caste in the State.
The immediate provocation for these demands is the recent riots in Dharmapuri district following a marriage between a Vanniyar girl and a Dalit youth. The girl’s father committed suicide when she eloped with the youth. This led to a riot which resulted in the destruction of more than 200 houses in Dalit hamlets. The Dalits blame Vanniyars for attacks on their homes.
But the Vanniyars have a different story to tell. “We are against instigated inter-caste marriages in which girls belonging to non-Dalit castes end up as victims,” said Ramadoss. He said inter-caste marriages are love dramas being used as a weapon by the Dalit youth to settle personal scores with the non-Dalit castes.
Ramadoss, says more than 2,000 Vanniyar girls have fallen victims in Cuddalore district alone because of the love dramas. “The girls fall easy prey to the modern day Romeos who selectively target girls from upper middle class families. Certain Dalit leaders are encouraging such marriages,” he charged.
Interestingly, all these non-Dalit castes have been accorded the status of Most Backward Communities (MBC) by various Governments in Tamil Nadu. They enjoy the fruits of reservation. Though the line of separation is thin, the community leaders shudder at the thought of their daughters tying the knot with Dalit boys.
“We are not like Khap Panchayats which you see in north India. We are ready to accept natural love. But what we see in Tamil Nadu is instigated inter caste marriages targeting our communities,” said GK Nagarajan, general secretary of Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhakam, a party of the Gounder community.
Nagarajan has reasons to be upset. A survey by his team of youth in 11 districts in TN have found that out of the 955 inter-caste marriages registered in 2011, 712 ended in divorce. “The broken dreams led 12 girls to suicide . In addition to this, 37 parents committed suicide because they could not bear the sufferings of their daughters who were tortured and ditched by the husbands within months of the marriages,” said Nagaraj.
Both Nagaraj and Ramadoss demanded a thorough probe by a high court judge into all inter-caste marriages registered in Tamil Nadu during the last two years They also alleged that the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act 1989 is being misused for blackmailing and harassing people belonging to the intermediate caste. The filing of a case based on the SC/ST protection act is a sure recipe to doomsday because the onus is on the accused to prove their innocence.
Arjun Sampath, general secretary, Hindu Makkal Katchi, said the Dalit youth were being instigated by the Missionaries and Church. “The Church is not directly involved in the operation. But there are certain Dalit leaders who are funded by the Missionaries and Evangelists. They instigate the youth to selectively love Hindu girls,” said Sampath. He said though both the State and Central intelligence agencies are aware of the modus operandi, they are maintaining silence over the issue.
Asha, a Madras High Court advocate and a social activist said there was some justification in the demand for amending the SC/ST Act 1989. “There are many instances where the law is misused. It could be one of the reasons for the poor rate of conviction under this category,’ she said.
But Thol Thirumavalavan, the leader of VCK, a Dalit outfit, charged that the poor conviction rate was because of the inadequacy of the present law.
“We want stronger law to deal with atrocities committed on the Dalits,” he said.
B Haran, political commentator said the issue of un-touchability could not be linked with inter-caste marriages. “Untouchability can be nullified only through talks between the respective communities initiated sincerely by top government officials and socio-cultural organizations,” he said. According to Haran, the recent massacre of seven Thevar youths in Madurai was a turning point in Tamil Nadu politics. “I did not find any human right activists or NGOs criticising the murder. There is nothing surprising in the coming together of the intermediate castes. This was expected earlier though I have a fear whether it would augur well for the society,” said Haran.
What is of interest is that Dr Ramadoss, who has been fighting for political survival, has got a lifeline with the coming together of the castes. It is too early to say what the intermediate castes would do in the next Lok Sabha election. They command nearly seven per cent of the total votes. “In a state like Tamil Nadu, a fluctuation of even five per cent votes could cause havoc,” said Haran.
Though Dr Ramadoss denied reports that he was preparing for a hard bargain for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he claims that the 81 per cent of the non-Dalit groups in the state have expressed solidarity with him.
NASA releases Diwali night map of India
Agencies Posted online: Thu Dec 06 2012, 11:16 hrs
Washington : NASA, the national space agency of the US, today released a black and white satellite imagery of India this Diwali night, cautioning people against the fake image in circulation on the social media.
"On November 12, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of southern Asia," NASA said releasing a picture of India on this Diwali night.
“The image is based on data collected by the VIIRS 'day- night band', which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared. The image has been brightened to make the city lights easier to distinguish," it said.
NASA said most of the bright areas in the imagery released by it are cities and towns in India, the country with the world's largest Hindu population.
"India is home to more than 1.2 billion people and has 30 cities with populations over 1 million. (For comparison, China has 62 cities with more than 1 million residents and the United States has 9)," it said.
Cities in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan are also visible near the edges of the image.
"An image that claims to show the region lit for Diwali has been circulating on social media websites and the Internet in recent years. In fact, it does not show what it claims. That image, based on data from the Operational Linescan System
flown on US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites, is a color-composite created in 2003 by NOAA scientist Chris Elvidge to highlight population growth over time," NASA said.
"In that image, white areas show city lights that were visible prior to 1992, while blue, green, and red shades indicate city lights that became visible in 1992, 1998, and 2003 respectively," it said.
"In reality, any extra light produced during Diwali is so subtle that it is likely imperceptible when observed from space," NASA said.
Twinkle twinkle in the sky, what's that blue firefly I spy: If you were an alien this is what the earth would look like!
AP | San Fransisco, December 6, 2012 | 08:19
A NASA image acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in October 2012 shows the United States at night.
Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.
The new images released Wednesday are courtesy of a newly launched NASA-NOAA satellite that's equipped with a sensor to observe the planet at night.
In this image from Oct. 13, 2012 provided by NASA, the Nile River valley and delta is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite.
There's the Nile river bathed in city lights. A map of the United States shows the populated East Coast lluminated. Light from fishing boats can be pinpointed.
In this image from Sept. 24, 2012 provided by NASA, the Korean Peninsula is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite.
The satellite also captured the glow from natural sources including moonlight, northern lights and naturally-occurring fires.
This image provided by NASA shows the eastern seaboard of the US at night as Hurricane Sandy came ashore on Oct. 30, 2012.
After Superstorm Sandy made landfall in late October, hard-hit New Jersey, lower Manhattan and the Rockaways appeared dark in the satellite images compared with surrounding areas - the result of widespread power outages.
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/134762734/Bali-Yatra---cultural-historical-memory-of-Indian-Ocean----powerpoint-slide-show-(November-2012)Bali Yatra – cultural-historical memory of Indian Ocean -- powerpoint slide show (November 2012) The Indian Ocean: in need of a regional organisation to match its growing influence.
A new global role awaits India
Ashley J. Tellis
A stable India should seek to shape the world, rather than respond to situations.
India has come of age, and holds its own in negotiations. — Shanker Chakravarty
December 4, 2012:
On the eve of India’s founding, no one could have imagined how successfully it would come to navigate the international system. At that time, there were legions of sceptics who believed that the half-life of this new country would be measured in years, perhaps decades at most.
The question of when India would split apart was one of the staples of public discussion going back to Churchill’s celebrated remark, “India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.”
Today, however, India’s unity is taken for granted. In one of the greatest feats of modern history, India has built a cohesive nation despite incredible poverty and diversity. India has done just as well in regard to its territorial integrity. India as a unified territorial entity has survived despite being located in an extremely contested and unsettled regional environment. And, India has managed, despite great material weakness, to protect its political autonomy.
INDIA HOLDS ITS OWN
No one who has had the pleasure of negotiating with Indian colleagues on the other side of the table will conclude that this is a country that is incapable of protecting its interests. When I was working on the civil nuclear negotiations, my team was often accused of being unable to protect American interests, and of course there were a few Indians who made the same complaints about their team. But there were no Americans who walked away from that conversation believing that India is incapable of holding its own!
The reason why many outsiders invariably end up complaining about India being reactive is precisely because Indians have held on to the view – with good reason – that success in navigating the world derives principally from success in political, economic, and social management at home. This has characterised the way New Delhi has thought about its relationship to the world.
The first constant is an abiding obsession with economic growth. Whereas India began managing economic growth primarily through autarky and dirigisme, today it is shifting to a vision that has greater room for globalisation and a greater acceptance of market forces.
It is still an incomplete transition, but the fact that it is underway offers the greatest opportunities for developing the US-India relationship, not simply at the level of strategy or diplomacy, but where it matters most, in people’s cheque books and their pockets.
Second, India has focused on building state capacity and empowering its citizenry from the very beginning. It is far from completing this task successfully, and yet this is one area where India’s success will be determined entirely by its internal actions. Outsiders — including well-meaning outsiders like those in the US — can help, but only on the margins.
The choices that India makes with respect to its own institutions and how it invests in its people will make the real difference to India’s strategy. There are big debates now, centred around the balance between the state and the market in achieving India’s goals. The US can provide ideas from the sidelines, but this is an argument that Indians will have to work through themselves.
The third and last component of India’s grand strategy has been a desire to enhance its national security while minimising security competition. India settled for such a conservative strategy because it has always been aware of its own weakness. Weaknesses within and the unsettled environment without have pushed Indian policy makers to become defensive positionalists, focused not necessarily on improving India’s position in the world, but rather on preventing its position from deteriorating further. At its core, Indian policy therefore has always focused on avoiding the foreclosure of options.
This approach sometimes rattles an anxious US, which would like to see a far more energetic India that acts as a shaper of its environment rather than as a country that simply protects its equities. The US government must remember, however, that India’s defensive positionalism is intimately linked to its own stage of development.
The day that India overcomes the internal challenges will be the day that India gets into the shaping business as opposed to simply the adjustment business.
India today finds itself between the times. It has accomplished the core task of what states are supposed to do: to protect political integrity in the broadest sense. Such success came against great odds, but India’s tasks are now becoming far more complicated because popular expectations within are rising just when new great powers – and new threats – are becoming manifest in its extended neighborhood.
As India succeeds, people — including many in the US — have great expectations of it. Therefore, how India understands itself, its role, and its contributions will concern not only Indians, but everyone involved in the US-India partnership.
Americans need to appreciate that no matter what labels India uses, its size, its history, and its aspirations will always ensure that New Delhi marches to the beat of its own drum. No matter what its circumstances, India will not become the kind of treaty ally that some Americans would like to see.
The fact that India seeks to plot its own course, however, is not necessarily a threat to American interests. In fact, Washington ought to ask itself not what India can do for the United States, but what India will become: Will India be strong, even if independent, or will it be weak?
An India that is strong is fundamentally in American interests, a perspective well-recognised when I served in the George W. Bush administration. We did not engage in nuclear cooperation with India on the expectation that there would be a quid-pro-quo. We did not push the transformation of US-Indian relations merely out of expectations that India would help us to realise narrow interests.
Rather, if India could find the sources of its own strength, its success both as a democracy and as a rising power would contribute towards creating a balance of power in Asia that is ultimately favourable both to US and Indian interests.
(The author is a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a member of CASI’s International Advisory Board.)
This article is by special arrangement with the Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania
Pakistan Reels With Violence Against Shiites
Many members of the Hazara Shiite community killed by Sunni extremists are buried in a graveyard in Quetta, Pakistan.
By DECLAN WALSH
Published: December 3, 2012
QUETTA, Pakistan — Calligraphers linger at the gates of an ancient graveyard in this brooding city in western Pakistan, charged with a macabre and increasingly in-demand task: inscribing the tombstones of the latest victims of the sectarian death squads that openly roam these streets.
For at least a year now, Sunni extremist gunmen have been methodically attacking members of the Hazara community, a Persian-speaking Shiite minority that emigrated here from Afghanistan more than a century ago. The killers strike with chilling abandon, apparently fearless of the law: shop owners are gunned down at their counters, students as they play cricket, pilgrims dragged from buses and executed on the roadside.
The latest victim, a mechanic named Hussain Ali, was killed Wednesday, shot inside his workshop. He joined the list of more than 100 Hazaras who have been killed this year, many in broad daylight. As often as not, the gunmen do not even bother to cover their faces.
The bloodshed is part of a wider surge in sectarian violence across Pakistan in which at least 375 Shiites have died this year — the worst toll since the 1990s, human rights workers say. But as their graveyard fills, Hazaras say the mystery lies not in the identity of their attackers, who are well known, but in a simpler question: why the Pakistani state cannot — or will not — protect them.
“After every killing, there are no arrests,” said Muzaffar Ali Changezi, a retired Hazara engineer. “So if the government is not supporting these killers, it must be at least protecting them. That’s the only way to explain how they operate so openly.”
The government, already battling Taliban insurgents, insists it is taking the threat seriously. During the recent Mourning of Muhurram, when Shiites parade through the streets over 10 days, the Interior Ministry imposed stringent security measures such as blocking cellphone signals for up to 12 hours — to try to prevent remote bomb detonations — and banning doubled-up motorcycle riding. Even so, Sunni bombers struck at least five times, killing at least 50 Shiites and wounding several hundred. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the biggest attacks, highlighting an emerging link between that group and traditional sectarian militants that has worried many.
Yet the unchecked killings have also raised wider questions about Pakistani society: about the spread of a cancerous sectarian ideology in a public that even just a decade ago seemed more tolerant, and about what might be spurring the growing audacity of the killers, some of whom are believed to have links to the country’s security services.
The murders in Quetta, for instance, involve remarkably little mystery. By wide consensus, the gunmen are based in Mastung, a dusty agricultural village 18 miles to the south that is the bustling local hub of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the country’s most notorious sectarian militant group.
Like so many Pakistani groups that combine guns with zealotry, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi thrives in a wink-and-nod netherworld: it is officially banned, but its leader, Malik Ishaq, was released from jail last year amid showers of rose petals thrown by supporters. Now Mr. Malik lives openly in southern Punjab Province, protected by armed men who loiter outside his door, allowing him to deliver hate-laced statements to visitors. Shiites are “the greatest infidels on earth,” he told a Reuters reporter last month.
In Quetta, his followers are similarly unfettered. In targeting the Hazara — who, with their distinctive Central Asian features, are easy to pick out — Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants block busy highways as they search vehicles for Hazaras and daub walls with hate slogans. “The face is the target,” said Major Nadir Ali, a senior Hazara leader and retired army officer. “They see the face, then they shoot.”
In the worst killing this year, militants dragged 26 Hazara men from a bus headed for a religious pilgrimage site in Iran, and executed them in front of their wives. The episode occurred near Mastung.
There is a growing sense of siege in the Hazara community here. Shards of glass are still lodged in the head of Waqar Husain, an engineering student who survived a bomb attack on a crowded university bus last June. Four students died in the attack, and four lost their sight. “It changed my view of life in Quetta,” he said.
Now largely confined to home, Mr. Hussain is still not safe. Threats come via Facebook and Twitter, he said, through taunting messages about the “Shia kaffir” — infidels.
The campaign of fear has forced the Hazara to retreat into ethnic enclaves on the edge of the city. Businesses have moved from the city center to Alamgir Road, a Hazara quarter where discreetly armed men stand watch on street corners. Even the ambulance drivers are armed.
One driver cocked his pistol before leading the way to the site of a recent attack. Across the street, the flag of a banned Sunni group fluttered from a shop with graffiti that read: “There is one treatment for Shiites — it is called jihad.”
The rattle of attacks is just one of several conflicts plaguing Quetta, a once quiet provincial capital now riven by a range of ethnic fissures and violent intrigues, lending it an air of power-keg tension.
Most famously, the city is, or was, home to the “Quetta Shura,” the secretive Afghan Taliban leadership council. But for the Pakistan Army, the main enemy are ethnic Baluch separatists, who killed three soldiers in a bomb attack in central Quetta on Nov. 21.
Foreigners are no longer safe, either treated as Western spies by suspicious officials or abducted as part of a soaring trade in kidnapping. Last April the decapitated body of Khalil Dale, a British Red Cross doctor, was found near Quetta, three months after suspected militants abducted him for ransom.
With such a dizzy array of threats, it is perhaps unsurprising that the security forces have failed to stem sectarian violence. But many analysts see a more disturbing cause: a fatal ambivalence inside the police and military toward jihadi groups.
While the military ostensibly severed its relationship with Islamist groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi after 2001, some activists suspect that, at a local level, ties linger. “The authorities are turning a blind eye,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch. “The most charitable explanation is that they are incompetent. The alternative is that the military enjoys an informal alliance with Sunni extremists.”
A senior official with the Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force in charge of securing Quetta, denied accusations of collusion. The situation is “challenging,” he admitted, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “But there is no problem with the Hazara. We pursue all criminals, irrespective of sect, caste or religion.”
Regional politics also plays a role. Iran and Saudi Arabia financed rival Shiite and Sunni militant groups in the 1990s, as part of a proxy war for influence. Experts say that, while the Iranian financing has slowed dramatically, private Saudi funds continue to pour in.
In a State Department cable dated December 2009 and published by WikiLeaks, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton noted that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
The sense of siege has turned to flight for many younger Hazaras, who are leaving their homes in Quetta for Australia, 6,000 miles distant and the largest center of the Hazara diaspora. It is an expensive, dangerous journey: after paying up to $15,000 per head to people smugglers, many are forced to brave perilous journeys in rickety boats across the Indian Ocean. Too often, the boats sink en route, taking hundreds of lives.
Muhammad Hussain, a 39-year-old teacher, said two of his brothers had left for Australia in the past four years — one had almost certainly drowned, he believed; the other, who left four months ago, had still not sent news.
“We just don’t know what happened,” he said, twisting his fingers anxiously as he spoke.
Video: Pakistan’s Sectarian Death Squadshttp://nyti.ms/THCJhb
Excellent! Must watch!
Note the standing ovation he gets in the end !!
Hats off to Arunachalam—these are the people who are building India--
Published on May 26, 2012
http://inktalks.com In under 12 minutes, listen to the fascinating journey of a workshop helper - from being rejected by the same women whose lives he wanted to change - to now gearing up to create jobs for a million women.
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sooku 4 months ago
So - you don't need IIT, you don't need IIM, and you don't need the HRD ministry.
To innovate, all you need is drive. Let that be heard around the world!
Finally, the best thing this man ever did is to NOT get a MBA.
He would have brainwashed into a toxic, self-destructive philosophy.
Sreevathsav S 2 months ago
11 people wanted golden brush with verbs and tens being at the right place
All Comments (141)
mdpharmin 1 week ago
Wonderful,... i salute..
adhominems 1 week ago
i feel so empowered watching this.
cyn833 1 week ago
LOL so true .... ha ha ... good observation !
Reply ·in reply to Abdul Rahman Noor(Show the comment)
cyn833 1 week ago
well said!! completely agree with it :) :) :) he's very genuine :)
Reply ·in reply to sooku(Show the comment)
manju rejeesh 2 weeks ago
Arun Kanna 2 weeks ago
he hals coimbatore.. great person.. money doesn't matters but his attitude matters more than anything else..
Sachi Ar 2 weeks ago
Still 5 rupees Reynolds ball pen in hand .....Respect :)
Sachi Ar 2 weeks ago
Here is My Salute !!!
Cobi Simon 2 weeks ago
This guy is a total inspiration to those who are insecure about themselves(like me) and can't speak up in public. The biggest fear of an individual is public speaking and this guy makes it look like child's play. So hats off to you sir!!
Shaili Parikh 3 weeks ago
Respect for this guy. He motivates me to live life with honesty and hope, not with luxury and discontent :-)
For Sonia, we natives must remain grateful to Dynasty
Author: Kanchan Gupta
But as Gujarat shows, unwashed Indians have come a long way from the days when they were held in thralldom by the twice-born Nehru-Gandhis
The idea of Dynasty as representative of a maai-baap sarkar, whether we like it or not, retains a certain appeal among the under-classes, more so in far-flung areas where people lead isolated lives and are still dependent, if they can afford it, on Doordarshan and All India Radio for information. Many do without even that; concerns of the chattering classes are irrelevant for the under-classes. That’s how the Congress has willed it for more than six decades, creating a vast vote-bank of impoverished masses whose ignorance is converted into political capital at the time of elections.
And so it was that Congress president Sonia Gandhi chose to address an election rally in a tribal-dominated area of Gujarat on Friday, speaking down to the gathered masses as the patron-in-chief of the underprivileged. Such has been the callous neglect of this region during decades of Congress rule in Gujarat that concerted efforts over the past decade to integrate tribals into the ‘Gujarat Story’ have just about begun to show results. That malign neglect is conveniently forgotten by the Congress and its holding company, the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty, at the time of elections when the underclasses are exhorted to remember on voting day the great ‘deeds’ (and ‘sacrifices’) of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi; selective amnesia is a game at which the Darbar and its supine darbaris excel.
Balasaheb Thackeray had once rudely described Sonia Gandhi’s arms while waving at crowds during a rally as the wipers of a car stiffly gliding across the windscreen. The description was not far from the truth: She performs this gesture unsmilingly — an empress acknowledging the existence of bothersome subjects who need to be reminded every few years about the ‘Hand’ that feeds them lest they turn into ingrates and spurn their benefactor. That done, the speech follows, shrill and high-pitched, read-out from a text prepared by a speech-writer who often gets the facts wrong, confusing, say, Haryana with Gujarat. What remains constant is the emphasis on ‘we’ (the Dynasty) did this, but for ‘us’ you would not be around to listen to ‘me’. Be grateful for small mercies.
Exalted royalty, even when its blood is numerous shades far removed from blue, does not mention plebeians by name. Neither does Sonia Gandhi mention Narendra Modi’s name at her election rallies. Yet she heaps calumny on him while praising the Dynasty. In the process, she ends up contradicting herself and stands exposed; but then, royalty is never wrong. The credit for bringing Narmada’s water to Gujarat’s farmers goes to Jawaharlal Nehru, Sonia Gandhi tells her captive audience. At another rally, this time in water-scarce Saurashtra where irrigation canals have led to a tremendous increase in farm output in the past decade, she theatrically declares farmers are being denied water from Narmada. Indira Gandhi initiated Gujarat’s economic growth and Rajiv Gandhi took those initiatives to fruition, she claims. Later, on the same day at another venue, she denounces Gujarat for lagging in economic growth! She flies in on a helicopter and finds faults with Gujarat’s roads that are easily the best in the entire country, a fact admitted even by Modi’s worst critics. And then, at a different place, says Gujarat owes its roads to the Congress-led UPA Government’s Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana! Thus an NDA initiative becomes, through a sleight of speech, a UPA gift. She doesn’t add her name to the list of those to whom the natives should be eternally grateful; she doesn’t need to. That job is left to a darbari who will not only demand that people genuflect to her but also Rahul Gandhi.
Unerringly Sonia Gandhi also makes it a point to mention, not once but several times over, that Gujarat — and by extension six crore Gujaratis — is a beneficiary of Central funds, largesse of the Delhi Darbar. It would seem she wants the people to believe that her personal munshi sends money from the royal treasury, of which she is the keeper, to the States. This is not money to which Gujarat and Gujaratis have a rightful claim but charity doled out at the sweet will of the Dynasty. Where does the money go, she asks tauntingly. If only Sonia Gandhi knew, which she clearly doesn’t, or perhaps chooses not to know so that she can continue to believe that the Dynasty is not only the owner of the Congress but also the public exchequer, that Gujarat contributes more than `60,000 crore in taxes to the Union Government and gets back a piffling few thousand crores of rupees as its ‘share’, she would have possibly thought twice before making this absurd claim. The States of the Union owe nothing to the Union Government; if anything, the Union Government owes its very existence, including the opulent luxury and comfort afforded to Sonia Gandhi and her darbaris, to the States.
Nor does India owe a farthing to the Dynasty. Sonia Gandhi is welcome to believe, and preach, that but for Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi this would be a nation of beggars, that native effort has contributed nothing to India’s growth and development, and, that the road to salvation does not lie through enterprise but entitlement. But that can at best fetch diminishing returns. For evidence, travel through Gujarat where the vast overwhelming majority now sees the state as an enabler, not a provider. Strangely, for all her sophistry, Sonia Gandhi fails to realise and accept that the days when the Dyasty held voters in thralldom are over. Election after election to State Assemblies has demonstrated that voters are no longer persuaded by the professed munificence of the Dynasty, or the alleged charity of the Delhi Darbar. Contrary to the propaganda of jholawallahs who are appalled by economic growth and its concomitant social development, there’s something edifying about prosperity that serves to push the masses closer to the classes, reducing the gulf that enabled the latter to rule over the former with impunity for the past many decades.
There’s a newfound sense of dignity, a discovery of faith in the individual’s potential to excel and break free of the shackles of poverty. The neo-middle class, motivated by unbridled aspiration, is here and it will determine, to a large measure, the nature of governance in the coming years. Driving through the hinterland of Gujarat, that’s what struck me the most on Friday. Critics are free to cavil at Modi for imagined and manufactured lapses. But that isn’t going to change the reality. He has succeeded where most leaders have failed: In instilling a sense of pride among all Gujaratis. That’s at once admirable and enviable. It should comes as no surprise to Sonia Gandhi that glorification of the Dynasty, and the restricted list of do-gooders that she tauntingly flaunts, cuts little or no ice. In Gujarat, elections are truly a mega festival of democracy where the object of adulation and veneration is not a Nehru-Gandhi but a man of the masses called Narendra Modi. If Sonia Gandhi finds that distressing, so be it.
Kanchan Gupta is Editorial Director of NiTi Digital. During a break from journalism he served in the PMO as an aide to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and as Director of Maulana Azad Centre in Cairo. His blog, Agent Provocateur, reflects his political views. Among the blogs he keenly follows is Usual Suspects. His Twitter handle is twitter.com/KanchanGupta
Website: kanchangupta.blogspot.com (The writer is a senior journalist based in Delhi)