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A homage to Hindu civilization.
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    Will Pakistan be the next Syria-like battleground?

    by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD November 25, 2017

    China is nervous.

    Over the last few months, the Chinese have encouraged and participated in talks between Iranian and Pakistani officials about the increasing tension along their joint border in Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan.

    The Chinese are concerned about their multi-billion-dollar investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is the regional linchpin of their global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). CPEC is a transportation infrastructure and natural resources development project that aims to connect Asia through land-based and maritime economic zones. The backbone of CPEC is a road and rail network connecting China to the Pakistani seaports of Gwadar in Balochistan Province and Karachi in Sindh province, both located on the Arabian Sea along the strategic sea lanes to the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal and Africa.

    China has good reason to be jumpy because Balochistan is in the early stages of a developing Sunni-Shia conflict not unlike what eventually exploded in Syria and Yemen.

    Traditionally known as secular and tolerate, Balochistan has largely succumbed to Pakistan's decades-long program of Islamization, comprising a proliferation of Islamic fundamentalist schools, a Taliban headquarters and training sites and the logarithmic growth of extremist Sunni jihadi groups like the Islamic State (ISIS), some virulently anti-Shia and open to exploitation by states opposed to Iranian regional hegemony.

    At the diplomatic level, Pakistan is unhappy with Iran's growing ties with India, in particular with the their joint development of the Iranian port of Chabahar and its commercial links to Mumbai, India, which Pakistan sees as a competitor to the nearby CPEC port of Gwadar. Iran was angered by the appointment of Pakistani General Raheel Sharif as commander-in-chief of the Islamic Military Alliance (IMA), a counter-terrorism organization formed by 39 Muslim countries with its headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The IMA, the Muslim world's NATO, does not include Iran and other Muslim countries with Shia leaderships, like Iraq. Regional tensions have been further increased by Saudi Arabian efforts to isolate Qatar, Iran's only Arab friend.

    Like what transpired in Syria, signs of a Sunni-Shia proxy war are appearing in Balochistan. In April 2017, members of one of those virulently anti-Shia Sunni militant groups, Jaish al-Adl, based in western Balochistan, killed ten Iranian border guards, which followed similar attacks since 2015. Such incidents have prompted Iran to retaliate with mortar strikes into Balochistan or drone intrusions, one of which was shot down by a Pakistani jet fighter in June 2017.

    More ominously and largely undetected by U.S. intelligence, are the gatherings of large numbers of Sunni militant jihadi operatives in western Balochistan, rumored to be funded by Saudi Arabia and dedicated to additional and more deadly cross-border attacks on Iran. One such gathering is northwest of Panjgur, Balochistan in the hills nearby the village at map coordinates 27.179106, 63.659733.

    Also unnoticed by U.S. intelligence is the growing Iranian influence, funding and infiltration of elements of the Balochistan independence movement, which is a significant development, similar to the support given by Iran to Taliban groups in western Afghanistan.

    What remains astonishing to this author is the lack of attention U.S. policymakers devote to the situation in Balochistan, which already has and will increasingly have direct consequences on American and NATO operations in Afghanistan.
    The Taliban now has a permanent support infrastructure in Balochistan along the Afghanistan border, which is responsible for the majority of casualties, yet remains mostly outside of U.S. and NATO tactical response.
    More broadly, Chinese economic and military ambitions and the potential for another Syria-like conflict will undoubtedly overtake current U.S. strategy with no obvious Plan B on the horizon.
    That should make the U.S. nervous.
    Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of "Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution ". He receives email at

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    Early users of monsoon winds for navigation -- Sila Tripathi (2017)

    Abstract. The maritime history of India can be traced back to the Harappan Civilization. Studies suggest that even at that time, monsoon winds and currents assisted in navigation. Recent archaeological exploration and excavations along the Indian margin, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and coasts of Southeast Asia provide convincing evidence about a maritime network and connections between mariners of India and other parts of the world in ancient times. The author of Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (PES) (60–100 CE) has credited Hippalus (~45 CE), the Greek mariner, with the discovery of monsoon winds and the mid-ocean route to the Indian ports from the Mediterranean. However, archaeological findings of Harappan Civilization, as well as the Vedic and Sangam period texts, suggest that the mariners of India who were trading in the Indian Ocean and adjoining seas had knowledge about monsoon winds much before Hippalus. In this paper, an attempt has been made to demonstrate the fact that knowledge of the monsoon winds was familiar to Indian mariners during the Harappan Civilization as well as in the later period. 

    Full text:

    bagalo = an Arabian merchant vessel (Gujarati) PLUS daTo 'claws of crab' rebus: dhatu 'mineral' PLUS kolom 'three' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge' PLUS  xoli 'fish-tail' rebus: kolhe 'smelter', kol 'working in iron' PLUS .khareḍo 'a currycomb' Rebus: खरड kharaḍ 'scribe'करडा [ karaḍā ]Hard from alloy--iron, silver &c.; kharādī ' turner' (Gujarati)


    A potsherd is a broken piece of ceramic material, especially one found in an Archaeological excavation) of a boat belonging to the Mohenjo-Daro period.) Shows a masted boat of c. 2000 BCE.

    A planked boat with a steering oar on the quarter and a mast near amidships the evidence of a sailed boat in ancient India. “Masted vessels are depicted in outline on second/first century BCE coins from Chandraketugarh in Ganges delta and similar vessels are shown on a Sri Lanka monument and on first century BCE terracotta seals. Boats, with planking fitted together with joggles and projections, and fastened by flat, double-dovetail shaped clamps, are depicted on a second century BCE medallion from a monastery at Bharhut, and on the east gate of a first century BCE stupa I at Sanchi in central India. Two-masted ships, with a sheerling rising towards bow and stern, are seen on coins found along the Andhra, Bay of Bengal coast that had been issued by the second century CE Satavahanas. These vessels have a steering oar on each quarter and their shroud-less masts are supported by forestay and backstay. There is also a ship symbol depited on coins found on the Coromandel coast that were issued by the Pallavas in the fourth century CE.” (Sean McGrail, opcit., p.52) 



    A Bharhut sculptural frieze flanks an elephant rider signifying his palm and flanked by two ox-hide ingot hieroglyphs on both sides of the doorway. There are three other friezes which signify ox-hide ingots as hiereoglyphs flanking doorways.
    Indus Script: Supercargo of copper smithywork ingots 

    The pair of ox-hide ingots which flank doorways on Bharhut scultpural friezes also occur on an Indus Script inscription on Mohenjo-daro prism tablet m1429. The two ox-hide ingots are shown as cargo on a boat flanked by two palm trees and twwo auatic birds.

    Hieroglyph: కారండవము [kāraṇḍavamu] n. A sort of duck. కారండవము [ kāraṇḍavamu ] kāraṇḍavamu. [Skt.] n. A sort of duck. कारंडव [kāraṇḍava ] m S A drake or sort of duck. कारंडवी f S The female. karandava [ kârandava ] m. kind of duck. कारण्ड a sort of duck R. vii , 31 , 21 கரண்டம் karaṇṭam, n. Rebus: Rebus: karaḍā ‘hard alloy’ (Marathi)

    (tamar) -- palm tree, date palm rebus: tAmra 'copper' Thus, hard alloy ingot (ox-hide shape) are signified as supercargo.

    The other two sides of the tablet also contain Indus Script inscriptions. ayo 'fish' rebus: aya 'iron' ayas metal' PLUS karA 'crocodile' rebus: khAr 'blacksmith' Together,   Side 2: kāru ‘crocodile’ Rebus: kāru ‘artisan’. Thus, together read rebus: ayakara ‘metalsmith’.

    On side 3 of the tablt, there are 8 hieroglyphic 'signs' signifying the nature of the metalwork involved for the cargo. This is a two part inscription.

    Part 1 of the inscription from l.

    कर्णक m. du. the two legs spread out AV. xx , 133 , 3 rebus: karNI 'helmsman, supercargo'. The hieroglyph of a standing person with legs spread out is thus a semantic determinant of the adjoining hieroglyph: rim of jar: karNika 'rim of jar' rebus: karNika 'scribe, account'. The next two hieroglyphs from the left are a pair of ingots: dhALako 'ingots' dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'cast metal'. Thus, cast ingots.

    Part 2 of the inscription from l.
    karNika 'rim of jar' rebus: karNika 'scribe, account'
    ayo 'fish' rebus: aya 'iron' ayas 'metal'
    kolom 'three' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge'
    kolmo 'rice plant' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge' PLUS circumscript of oval: dhALko 'ingot'. Thus ingot for smithy/forge work.
    m1429 Prism tablet with Indus inscriptions on 3 sides.

    Slide 24. Moulded tablet, Mohenjo-daro.Three sided molded tablet. One side shows a flat bottomed boat with a central hut that has leafy fronds at the top of two poles. Two birds sit on the deck and a large double rudder extends from the rear of the boat. On the second side is a snout nosed gharial with a fish in its mouth. The third side has eight symbols of the Indus script.

    Material: terra cotta.Dimensions: 4.6 cm length, 1.2 x 1.5 cm width Mohenjo-daro, MD 602.Islamabad Museum, NMP 1384.Dales 1965a: 147, 1968: 39

    The shape of he boat on the moulded tablet is comparable to the Bronze Age Uluburn ship which had a shipwreck.I suggest that this boat carried a supercargo (rebus: karNi Most frequently-occurring hieroglyph on Indus writing corpora: 'rim-of-jar') of copper and tin ingots, based on a rebus reading of the hieroglyphs on three sides of the prism tablet, including a text in Indus writing, apart from the ligatured hieroglyph of a crocodile catching a fish in its jaws [which is read ayakara 'blacksmith'; cf. khar 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri); karavu'crocodile' (Telugu); ayo 'fish' rebus: aya 'metal (tin+ copper alloy)'.

    bagalo = an Arabian merchant vessel (Gujarati) bagala = an Arab boat of a particular description (Ka.); bagalā (M.); bagarige, bagarage = a kind of vessel (Kannada) Rebus: bangala = kumpaṭi = angāra śakaṭī = a chafing dish a portable stove a goldsmith’s portable furnace (Telugu) cf. bangaru bangaramu = gold  (Telugu) 

    Side B:

    karaṇḍa ‘duck’ (Sanskrit) karaṛa ‘a very large aquatic bird’ (Sindhi) Rebus: करडा [karaḍā] Hard from alloy--iron, silver &c. (Marathi)

    A pair of birds కారండవము [ kāraṇḍavamu ] n. A sort of duck. కారండవము [ kāraṇḍavamu kāraṇḍavamu. [Skt.] n. A sort of duck. कारंडव [kāraṇḍava ] m S A drake or sort of duck. कारंडवी f S The female. karandava [ kârandava ] m. kind of duck. कारण्ड a sort of duck R. vii , 31 , 21 கரண்டம் karaṇṭam, n. Rebus: karaḍa 'hard alloy (metal)'. tamar ‘palm’ (Hebrew) Rebus: tam(b)ra ‘copper’ (Santali) dula ‘pair’ Rebus: dul ‘cast metal’ (Santali)

    Rebus readings of the other 2 sides of the Mohenjo-daro tablet:

    Side A: kāru a wild crocodile or alligator (Telugu) ghariyal id. (Hindi)

    kāru 'crocodile' (Telugu) கராம் karām, n. prob. grāha. 1. A species of alligator; முதலைவகை. முதலையு மிடங்கருங் கராமும் (குறிஞ்சிப். 257). 2. Male alligator; ஆண் முதலை. (திவா.) కారుమొసలి a wild crocodile or alligator. (Telugu) Rebus: kāru ‘artisan’ (Marathi) kāruvu 'artisan' (Telugu) khār 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri)

    [fish = aya (G.); crocodile = kāru (Telugu)] Rebus: ayakāra ‘ironsmith’ (Pali) 

    khār 1 खार् । लोहकारः m. (sg. abl. khāra 1 खार; the pl. dat. of this word is khāran 1 खारन्, which is to be distinguished from khāran 2, q.v., s.v.), a blacksmith, an iron worker (cf. bandūka-khār, p. 111b, l. 46; K.Pr. 46; H. xi, 17); a farrier (El.) Side C: Text 3246 on the third side of the prism. kāḍ  काड् ‘, the stature of a man’ Rebus: खडा [ khaḍā ] m A small stone, a pebble (Marathi) dula ‘pair’ Rebus: dul ‘cast (metal)’shapes objects on a lathe’ (Gujarati) kanka, karṇaka ‘rim of jar’ Rebus: karṇaka ‘account scribe’. kārṇī  m. ʻsuper cargo of a ship ʼ(Marathi)
    Alloy ingots

    A pair of ingots with notches in-fixed as ligatures.

    ढाल [ ḍhāla ] f (S through H) The grand flag of an army directing its march and encampments: also the standard or banner of a chieftain: also a flag flying on forts &c. ढालकाठी [ ḍhālakāṭhī ] f ढालखांब m A flagstaff. (Paras'u?) Rebus: ḍhālako = a large metal ingot (G.) ḍhālakī = a metal heated and poured into a mould; a solid piece of metal; an ingot (Gujarati). I suggest that the gloss ḍhālako denotes the oxhide ingot.

    ḍhālako ‘large ingot’. खोट [khōṭa] ‘ingot, wedge’; A mass of metal (unwrought or of old metal melted down)(Marathi)  khoṭ f ʻalloy (Lahnda) Thus the pair of ligatured oval glyphs read: khoṭ ḍhālako ‘alloy ingots’ PLUS dula 'pair' Rebus: dul 'cast metal'.

    Forge: stone, minerals, gemstones
    khaḍā ‘circumscribe’ (M.); Rebs: khaḍā ‘nodule (ore), stone’ (M.) kolom ‘cob’; rebus: kolmo ‘seedling, rice (paddy) plant’ (Munda.) kolma hoṛo = a variety of the paddy plant (Desi)(Santali.) kolmo ‘rice  plant’ (Mu.) Rebus: kolami ‘furnace,smithy’ (Telugu) Thus, the ligatured glyph reads: khaḍā ‘stone-ore nodule’kolami ‘furnace,smithy’. Alternatives: 1. koṛuŋ young shoot (Pa.) (DEDR 2149) 

    Rebus: kol iron, working in iron, blacksmith (Tamil) kollan blacksmith, artificer (Malayalam) kolhali to forge.(DEDR 2133).2. kaṇḍe A head or ear of millet or maize (Telugu) Rebus: kaṇḍa ‘stone (ore)(Gadba)’ Ga. (Oll.) kanḍ, (S.) kanḍu (pl. kanḍkil) stone (DEDR 1298).  

    kolmo ‘three’ Rebus: kolami ‘furnace,smithy’. Thus, the pair of glyphs may denote lapidary work – working with stone, mineral, gemstones.

    ayo ‘fish’ Rebus: ayas ‘metal’.
    kanka 'rim of jar' (Santali) karṇika id. (Samskritam) Rebus: kārṇī m. ʻsuper cargo of a ship ʼ(Marathi) 
    कर्णक m. du. the two legs spread out AV. xx , 133 , 3 rebus: karNI 'helmsman' करण m. writer , scribe W. m. a man of a mixed class (the son of an outcast क्षत्रिय Mn. x , 22 ; or the son of a शूद्र woman by a वैश्य Ya1jn5. i , 92; or the son of a वैश्य woman by a क्षत्रिय MBh. i , 2446 ; 4521 ; the occupation of this class is writing , accounts &c ) (Samskrtam) कारणी or 
    कारणीक [ kāraṇī or kāraṇīka ] a (कारण S) That causes, conducts, carries on, manages. Applied to the prime minister of a state, the supercargo of a ship &c. (Marathi)  [kárṇa -- , dhāra -- 1] Pa. kaṇṇadhāra -- m. ʻ helmsman ʼ; Pk. kaṇṇahāra -- m. ʻ helmsman, sailor ʼ; H. kanahār m. ʻ helmsman, fisherman (CDIAL 2836) 

    कर्णिक  A knot, round protuberance

    कारण  a number of scribes or कायस्थW. करण m. a man of a mixed class (the son of an outcast क्षत्रिय Mn. x , 22 ; or the son of a शूद्र woman by a वैश्य Ya1jn5. i , 92 ; or the son of a वैश्य woman by a क्षत्रिय MBh. i , 2446 ; 4521 ; the occupation of this class is writing , accounts &c )m. writer , scribe W.

    karṇadhāra m. ʻ helmsman ʼ Suśr. [kárṇa -- , dhāra -- 1]Pa. kaṇṇadhāra -- m. ʻ helmsman ʼ; Pk. kaṇṇahāra -- m. ʻ helmsman, sailor ʼ; H. kanahār m. ʻ helmsman, fisherman ʼ.(CDIAl 2836)

    कर्णिक a. Having a helm. -कः A steersman.

    कर्णिन् karṇinकर्णिन् a. 1 Having ears; Av.1.1.2.-2 Long- eared.-3 Barbed (as an arrow). -m. 1 An ass.-2 A helmsman.-3 An arrow furnished with knots &c. (Apte)

    kāraṇika m. ʻ teacher ʼ MBh., ʻ judge ʼ Pañcat. [kā- raṇa -- ]Pa. usu -- kāraṇika -- m. ʻ arrow -- maker ʼ; Pk. kāraṇiya -- m. ʻ teacher of Nyāya ʼ; S. kāriṇī m. ʻ guardian, heir ʼ; N. kārani ʻ abettor in crime ʼ; M. kārṇī m. ʻ prime minister, supercargo of a ship ʼ, kul -- karṇī m. ʻ village accountant ʼ.(CDIAL 3058)
    கருணீகம் karuṇīkamn< karaṇa. [T. karaṇikamu.] Office of village accountant or karṇam;கிராமக்கணக்குவேலை.

    கருணீகன் karuṇīkaṉ n. < id. 1. Village accountant; கிராமக்கணக்கன். கடுகையொருமலை யாகக் . . . காட்டுவோன் கருணீகனாம் (அறப். சத. 86). 2. A South Indian caste of accountants; கணக்குவேலைபார்க்கும் ஒருசாதி.

    गांवकुळकरणी (p. 234) [ gāṃvakuḷakaraṇī ] m The hereditary village-accountant: in contrad. from देशकुळकरणी Districtaccountant.

    देशकुळकरण [ dēśakuḷakaraṇa ] n The office of देशकुळकरणी.देशकुळकरणी [ dēśakuḷakaraṇī ] 
    m An hereditary officer of a Mahál. He frames the general account from the
    accounts of the several Khots and Kulkarn̤ís of the villages within the Mahál; 
    the district-accountant.

    meḍ  ‘body’, ‘dance’ (Santali) Rebus: meḍ ‘iron’ (Ho.)
    kāḍ  काड् ‘, the stature of a man’ Rebus: खडा [ khaḍā ] m A small stone, a pebble (Marathi)

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    NaMo, give priority to Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga link and other Himalayan Component of Interlinking of Rivers to make all rivers South of Vindhyas jeevanadi

    MSTG link envisages diversion of 43 BCM of surplus water of Manas, Sankosh and intermediate rivers, for augmenting the flow of Ganga and provide 14 BCM of water in Mahanadi basin for further diversion to South through Peninsular link system.
    China cannot rob us of Brahmaputra

    Updated: November 27, 2017 21:36 IST | Nilanjan Ghosh

    Mystic river And its myriad influences. | TK Rohit
    Water flows in arid Tibet are much lower than in the Indian side. So, there isn’t so much water for China to divert

    Media has long been reporting on China’s plan of northward rerouting of the Brahmaputra waters (known as Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet) from the Tibetan borders through constructions of dams. This has emerged as a prime point of contention with China-India strategic relations. Brahma Chellaney, one of the foremost strategic thinkers of India, described the Chinese design of taking control over Brahmaputra water as “most dangerous”. The fear of drying up of the Brahmaputra has become widespread in Indian public psyche, especially in Assam. This hypothesis of perceived fear is termed in this article as the “Brahma hypothesis”.
    The growing water demand in Tibet and the option available in principle to China of building water storage and transfer projects on the Yarlung have given birth to such fears in India. The apprehension is this can affect Bangladesh further downstream. The concern has aggravated with the news of Chinese plans to build a 1,000-km-long tunnel to divert water from the Brahmaputra River in Tibet to the parched Xinjiang region. It has been reported in sections of the media that the perceived Chinese threats to divert the river’s water prompted the Centre to call an inter-ministerial meeting recently to discuss proposed projects on Brahmaputra.

    Amidst the clamour about Chinese projects on Brahmaputra, there has hardly been an objective data-based analysis of the popular “Brahma hypothesis”. These contentions deserve to be examined through data, hydrological regimes, upstream interventions and their downstream implications.

    Identifying the flow

    The Brahmaputra is identified as the flow downstream of the meeting of three tributaries, namely Luhit, Dibang and Dihang, near Sadiya. The link of Brahmaputra with Yarlung Tsangpo, which originates from the Angsi glacier near Mt. Kailash, was discovered rather recently. Out of the total length of the Brahmaputra of 2,880 km, 1,625 km is in Tibet flowing as Yarlung Tsangpo, 918 km is in India known as Siang, Dihang and Brahmaputra and the rest 337 km in Bangladesh has the name Jamuna till it merges into Padma near Goalando.
    As a trans-Himalayan tributary, Yarlung is substantially fed by snow and glacial melts, in addition to rainfall. The normalised melt index (defined as the volumetric snow and glacier upstream discharge divided by downstream natural discharge) of the Brahmaputra is merely in the range of 0.15-0.2, signifying that snow and glacial melt, the main source of run-off in the Tibetan region, contributes negligibly to the total flow.

    Making the discourse realistic

    The Tibetan region lies in the rain shadow with the Himalaya acting as the barrier to the rain-laden monsoon. The annual precipitation in the trans-Himalaya Tibet averages about 300 mm annually. As the tributaries cross the Himalayan crest line, the annual average precipitation reaches about 2000 mm. A very large component of the total annual flow of Brahmaputra is generated in the southern aspect of the Himalaya in India by tributaries from Buri Dihing in the East to Teesta in the west.
    Data published by Chinese scholar Jiang and team show that the total annual outflow of the Yarlung River from China is estimated to be about 31 BCM while the annual flow of Brahmaputra at Bahadurabad, the gauging station near the end of the sub-basin in Bangladesh, is about 606 BCM. These figures do not support the linear thinking that the flow in a river is proportional to its length inside a country.

    Further, while the peak flows during monsoon at Nuxia and Tsela Dzong in Tibet, a measuring station at the great bend in the Tibetan plateau, are about 5,000 and 10,000 cumecs, as presented by Vijay Singh and colleagues, the peak flow at downstream Guwahati is around 40,000 cumecs and the one at Bahadurabad in Bangladesh is approximately 50,000 cumecs.

    During the lean season, the flow in Nuxia, as identified from a hydrograph given in Rivers and Lakes of Xizang (Tibet) (in Chinese), is 300-500 cumecs, while the one at Pasighat is to the tune of 2000-odd cumecs, the one at Guwahati is around 4000-odd cumecs, and Bahadurabad is about 5000 cumecs, all these being peer-reviewed data.

    This data shows that the Brahmaputra gets fatter and mightier as it flows further downstream. This is more so because of the flow contribution of the various tributaries like Dibang, Luhit, Subansiri, Manas, Sankosh, Teesta to name a few. This can be noted from the fact that at Guwahati (Pandu), the percentage annual yield of the main river course from Pasighat is barely 34 per cent, while the tributaries like Dibang, Luhit, Subansiri, as also the tributaries joining between Pasighat and Guwahati contribute the remaining 66 per cent. Further downstream, the mainstream contribution diminishes further.

    Another concern relates to the impact of the projects on the sediment flow. Can water diversion affect sediment flow? The flow volume and discharge in the Yarlung River is not sufficient to generate and transport carry the very large sediment load as in prevalent in the downstream Brahmaputra.
    The annual suspended sediment load near Nuxia in Tibet is around 30 million metric tonnes, (as suggested in a 2016 volume titled River Morphodynamics and Stream Ecology of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateauby Wang and colleagues), which is miniscule as compared to same load measured as 735 million metric tonnes at Bahadurabad.

    Therefore, the large amount of suspended sediment load that gets deposited in the downstream to form a fertile Jamuna floodplain cannot be carried by the Yarlung-Tsangpo stretch. It is created further downstream in India, where precipitation is almost 12 times higher than the rain shadow Tibet.

    A popular hypothesis

    Prima facie, it can be said that the impacts of water diversion (or even hydropower like the Zangmu Dam) in the Yarlung-Tsangpo cannot have substantial impact on the flow regime in the Indian boundary, especially in the Assam floodplains and Bangladesh. The concern of many in India has been based on the perception that structural interventions always reduce downstream flows, which, in case of Brahmaputra, is not true.

    Based on the hydro-meteorological data, it seems highly improbable that a cloudburst can occur in the rain-shadow Tibet so as to cause floods in Assam. Therefore, the “Brahma hypothesis” or the myth spread in the media does not stand the test posed by scientific data and knowledge. Informed science should inform public perceptions, policy, hydro-politics, and water governance, rather than jingoistic emotions or linear, reductionist logic.

    The writer is heads economics and water governance at the Observer Research Foundation, Kolkata. The views are personal



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    ROFL, now says he never represented Sunni Waqf Board.. Dear Waqf Board, did you end up paying him when he didn't even represent you?

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    Allahabad High Court ruled that the 2.77 acres (1.12 ha) of Ayodhya land be divided into 3 parts, with 1/3 going to the Ram Lalla or Infant Rama represented by the Hindu Maha Sabha for the construction of the Ram temple, 1/3 going to the Islamic Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining 1/3 going to a Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara.
    Image result for ram mandir ayodhya british india photosayodhya, ram mandir, babri masjid, ram temple, ayodhya history, Ayodhya news, babri masjid news, Indian expressImage result for ram mandir ayodhya british india photos

    Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code[IPC] it is prescribed that “Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons, with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

    When the site was acquired ILLEGALLY, in 1528 (to insult Hindu religion by defilement of the sacred site), to build a Babri mosque, how can Sunni Waqf Board (SWB) claim property right? Allahabad HC erred in allotting 1/3 property right to SWB.

    This original defilement of the site should be the key issue to be considered by SC.

    Can't Sec. 295 be applied retrospectively? GOI and UP should enact laws to acquire the site for a public purpose to undo the damage done to Hindu religion by defilement. SC should simply annull Allahad HC judgement acting beyond their brief and distributing 1/3 property rights to three parties. Instead, SC should ask GOI and UP Govts. to enact a law to acquire the property and hand it over to Ram Lalla, infant Rama.

    The fundamental right of Ram Lalla has to be respected. Any other action or arbitration will be a violation of this fundamental right. Article 300A (44th amendment which removed Property Right as a fundamental right) of the Constitution says: "No person can be deprived of his property except by authority of law." The property belongs to Ram Lalla who has been deprived of his property in 1528 Common Era (CE), without the authority of law. A constitutional right is higher than a Fundamental Right and constitutes a Basic Feature of the Constitution of India which cannot be violated by anyone.

    Article 300A. Persons not to be deprived of property save by authority of law.- No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.

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    Indus Script hypertexts document wealth accounting ledgers, recording production of zinc metal in Sarasvati Civilization.

    The hieroglyph used is svastika (Over 60 inscriptions with svastika hieroglyph have been recorded in Indus Script Corpora).

    sattva, 'svastika symbol' rebus: sattva'zinc', jasta'zinc, spelter; pewter'

    Indus Script tradition of metalwork wealth ledger account, continued in mints of Eurasia from Takshasila to Ruhuna (Katharagama) (which was the transit point in the Ancient Maritime Tin Route from Hanoi to Haifa).

    The mint artisans continued the tradition of wealth ledger accounting of Indus Script -- using hypertexts and punch-marked or embossed the hypertexts on ancient coins to signify their wealth-producing repertoire of metalwork in mints.

    Supplementary Plate Figure 2 of H. W. Codrington's Ceylon Coins and Currency (1924), records an 'Elephant & Svastika' coin discovered in Ruhuna, Sri Lanka (a province in which the heritage site of Katharagama is located).  

    See map (for location of Ruhuna): 

    An enlargement of Figure 2 of Codrington's Plate is presented below to show the symbols used on the coin (obverse and reverse). All the symbols used are Indus Script hieroglyphs.

    The objective of this monograph is to focus on one symbol which is a hypertext composition of both 'nandipāda' and 'śrīvatsa'. 

    This hypertext may be seen to the left of the svastika and mountain-range symbols on the reverse of the coin. This hypertext is a combination of three Indus Script hieroglyphs: 1. dotted circle 2. hillock and 3. two fish-fins.
    Ruhuna coin (Cited in Lakdiva coins of Codrington).

    Note on associated hypertexts on Ruhuna coin: 

    kuṭhi a sacred, divine treekuṭi 'temple' rebus kuṭhi 'a furnace for smelting iron ore' 

    goṭā 'round pebble' Rebus gō̃ṭu an ornamental appendage to the border of a cloth, fringe' गोटी gōṭī f (Dim. of गोटा) A roundish stone or pebble. 2 A marble. 3 A large lifting stone. Used in trials of strength among the Athletæ. 4 A stone in temples described at length under उचला 5 fig. A term for a round, fleshy, well-filled body. 6 A lump of silver: as obtained by melting down lace or fringe. goṭa 'laterite, ferrite ore' khoṭa 'ingot, wedge'.

    dhanga 'mountain range' Rebus: dhangar 'blacksmith'

    sangaḍa, 'lathe-brazier' rebus: sangara 'trade'

    khareḍo = a currycomb (G.) Rebus: kharādī ' turner, a person who fashions or shapes objects on a lathe ' (Gujarati) करडा [karaḍā] Hard from alloy--iron, silver &c. (Marathi)  खरड kharaḍa f (खरडणें) A hurriedly written or drawn piece; a scrawl; a mere tracing or rude sketch.  खरडा (p. 113) kharaḍā m (खरडणें) Scrapings (as from a culinary utensil). 2 Bruised or coarsely broken peppercorns &c.: a mass of bruised मेथ्या &c. 3 also खरडें n A scrawl; a memorandum-scrap; a foul, blotted, interlined piece of writing. 4 also खरडें n A rude sketch; a rough draught; a foul copy; a waste-book; a day-book; a note-book. 5 A spotted and rough and ill-shaped pearl: also the roughness or knobbiness of such pearls. 6 A variety of musk-melon. 7 Heat in stomach and bowels during small-pox, measles &c. 8 A leopard. 9 C Small but full heads of rice. 10 Grass so short as to require grubbing or rubbing up. 11 A medicament consisting of levigated or pounded (nutmeg, or anise-seed, or मुरडशेंगा &c.) fried in clarified butter. It is given to check diarrhœa. 12 Reduced state, i. e. such scantiness as to demand scraping. v लाग, पड. Ex. पाण्याचा ख0 लागला or पडला The water (of the well &c.) is so scanty that it must be scraped up (with a नरेटी &c.) धान्याला ख0 लागला; पैक्याला ख0 लागला. खरडें घासणें To fag at the desk; to drive the quill. 2 (With implication of indifference.) To write: answering to To pen it; to scribble away खरड्या kharaḍyā a (खरडणें) That writes or shaves rudely and roughly; a mere quill-driver; a very scraper. करड्याची अवटी  karaḍyācī avaṭī f An implement of the goldsmith. A stamp for forming the bars or raised lines called करडा. It is channeled or grooved with (or without) little cavities. करडा  karaḍā m The arrangement of bars or embossed lines (plain or fretted with little knobs) raised upon a तार of gold by pressing and driving it upon the अवटी or grooved stamp. Such तार is used for the ornament बुगडी, for the hilt of a पट्टा or other sword &c. Applied also to any similar barform or line-form arrangement (pectination) whether embossed or indented; as the edging of a rupee &c. 

    The hieroglyph 'elephant'.  karibha, ibha 'elephant' rebus: karba, ib 'iron' ibbo 'merchant'. 

    Svastika glyph: sattva 'svastika' glyph సత్తుతపెల a vessel made of pewter  त्रपुधातुविशेषनिर्मितम्
     Glosses for zinc are: sattu (Tamil), satta, sattva (Kannada) jasth जसथ् त्रपु m. (sg. dat. jastas ज्तस), zinc, spelter; pewter; zasath ् ज़स््थ् ्or zasuth ज़सुथ ्। रप m. (sg. dat. zastas ु ज़्तस),् zinc, spelter, pewter (cf. Hindī jast). jastuvu; । रपू्भवः adj. (f. jastüvü), made of zinc or pewter.(Kashmiri). Hence the hieroglyph: svastika repeated five times on a Harappa epigraph (h182). Five svastika are thus read: taṭṭal sattva Rebus: zinc (for) brass (or pewter).
    Image result for bharatkalyan97 five svastika

    The Meluhha gloss for 'five' is: taṭṭal Homonym is: ṭhaṭṭha brass (i.e. alloy of copper + zinc) *ṭhaṭṭha1 ʻbrassʼ. [Onom. from noise of hammering brass?]N. ṭhaṭṭar ʻ an alloy of copper and bell metal ʼ. *ṭhaṭṭhakāra ʻ brass worker ʼ. 1.Pk. ṭhaṭṭhāra -- m., K. ṭhö̃ṭhur m., S. ṭhã̄ṭhāro m., P. ṭhaṭhiār°rā m.2. P. ludh. ṭhaṭherā m., Ku. ṭhaṭhero m., N. ṭhaṭero, Bi. ṭhaṭherā, Mth. ṭhaṭheri, H.ṭhaṭherā m.(CDIAL 5491, 5493).

    dhollu'drummer' (Western Pahari) dolutsu'tumble' Rebus: dul 'cast metal'. karaḍa 'double-drum' rebus:  karaḍa'hard alloy'. 

    karã̄ n.' pl. wristlets, bangles' Rebus: khār 'blacksmith, iron worker'.

    dula'two' rebus: dul 'metal casting'

    karaka'rim of jar' rebus: karI 'supercargo, a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.' rebus: karika 'scribe, account'.  कर्णिका 'steersman, helmsman' (seafaring merchant)

    What has been documented in Indus Script Corpora is validated by the archaeometallurgical enquiries of Zawar mines by Paul Craddock. Though the evidence of industrial production is dated to period from 14th century, ancient texts of ca. 1st cent. CE, document the distillation processes for zinc. (pace Prafulla Chandra Ray, History of Hindu Chemistry, Calcutta, Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., 1903).

    Image result for history of hindu chemistry pc ray

    5 December 2017

    Origins of chemical industry -- Paul Craddock (2017)

    How excavations in India have changed our view on industrialisation 

    Image result for origins of chemical industry paul craddock

    One of the features of the Industrial Revolution was the translation of scientific laboratory techniques to viable industrial processes. This is usually regarded as a quintessentially European phenomenon – a product of the Age of Reason, with endeavours based on the results of reproducible scientific experiments and entrepreneurial industrialists.
    However, investigations have shown that such developments took place elsewhere more than a thousand years previously. Through similar means, the production of zinc by high temperature distillation was turned into a successful industrial process. The location for this birth of chemical industry? Northern India.
    Manuscript clues
    The production of zinc by conventional smelting methods presents considerable difficulties; instead of a liquid metal forming at the base of the furnace, zinc forms a highly reactive vapour (with a boiling point of 913°C) which exits the top of the furnace and promptly re-oxidises. Clearly, some method of containing and condensing the vapour out of contact with the air was needed – and our ingenious ancestors found a way.
    1217CW - Science in India - Plate 6.12
    Source: Image courtesy of Paul Craddock
    One of the 4 perforated plates per furnace on which the retorts sat with their condenser necks in the large holes
    There are descriptions of the laboratory preparation of zinc in Indian medical treatises dating from the beginning of the first millennium AD.1 The zinc ore, together with a list of rather exotic organic ingredients, were to be placed in a clay retort set over a collecting vessel filled with water and heated with a charcoal fire. The forming zinc vapour condensed in this process of downward distillation. By the early second millennium AD, these descriptions had become more detailed. The retort was to be shaped like a brinjal, or aubergine, the condenser shaped like a datura, or thorn apple flower, and the zinc ore was shaped into small balls, still using the exotic organic ingredients.
    The process worked. In the 16th century, when most of the north of India had been absorbed into the Mughal Empire, a great inventory was prepared by the court chancellor Abū L-Faẓl Allāmī. The inventory, known as the Ā-īn-i-Akbarī, was completed in 1596, is India’s Domesday book. This work notes with interest, Jast, zinc, ‘is nowhere found in the philosophical books, but there is a mine of it in Hindustan, in the territory of Jālor.’
    Excavating answers
    The mine is in present-day Zawar, in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan. From the 20th century there were several geological and mining reports of extensive old mines, together with ruined walls built of old retorts. I therefore set up an archaeological expedition to investigate these remains, strongly supported by Hindustan Zinc, who had re-established mining in the second part of the 20th century.2
    1217CW - Science in India - Plate 6.5
    Source: Image courtesy of Paul Craddock
    A view along the excavated furnace block, Zawar, India
    The excavations revealed the remains of intact installations dating to the 14th century. But these weren’t for single retort smelting: they were major blocks of seven furnaces, each containing 36 retorts, allowing 252 retorts to fire simultaneously. It is estimated each retort produced about 100–150g of the metal per firing, meaning each furnace block could produce about 25–30kg of zinc per day. Later, improved furnace blocks were found dating to the 16th century, which contained 108 larger retorts probably produced about 50kg per day. With many such blocks working at once, peak production from the mines must have been several hundred kilograms per day.
    Traditional processes around the world are often perceived as static, but that was certainly not the case here. The very first furnaces, dating from about 1000 years ago, had hand-made plates and condensers. In the later furnaces, these were always moulded with exactly the same dimensions and clearly must have been mass-produced in central workshops. While furnaces were still made individually, they had to conform to the precise dimensions of the components – clearly, the authority running the mines was asserting overall control and increasing efficiency. Similarly, the later mines were huge open cast operations that engulfed the earlier works.
    Sharing knowledge
    The mines of Zawar were certainly run by the state, and ultimately the Maharajah. The furnaces were probably run by individual operators, very likely belonging to the Jain sect, whose members, rather analogous to the non-conformist sects in 18th century England, were a merchantile and entrepreneurial class; at Zawar they were responsible for most of the temples. Clearly, the royal government was prepared to finance the development of a very radical process – the first high temperature distillation process anywhere in the world – from laboratory to the mines.
    The development of a laboratory technique into an industrial process must have had a strong incentive. Northern India lacks significant tin deposits and thus the usual copper alloy was brass rather than bronze. This would have been made by what was known in Europe as the cementation process, in which copper was reacted with zinc ore and charcoal in closed crucible.3 This process (which did not change until the 19th century) was very inefficient and produced a poor quality brass; brass made by mixing copper and zinc metals gave much greater control and a purer product, and thus Zawar zinc would have been prized.
    Sadly, a high tech process needs stable conditions in which to operate and retain and train highly skilled operatives. While production flourished at Zawar through the medieval period, it faltered following the Mughal invasion and slumped as political conditions in post-medieval India deteriorated. Eventually, the zinc was replaced by imports, initially from China and then from Europe. There’s a certain irony that the first viable European process for zinc, developed by the William Champion of Bristol, UK, and patented in 1742, was almost certainly based on knowledge of the Zawar process; what was long believed to be the first industrialisation of zinc was really selling the metal back to the true pioneers.

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    The spirit of Ramajanmabhoomi movement is based on the crucial premise that the disputed structure was created after dismantling the Temple. Even before the movement the archaeological exercise was undertaken. The archaeological evidence collected by Prof Lal and his team, of which Dr K K Mohammed was a part, confirmed the destruction of  pre-existent structure on the disputed sight. In his book, Njan Enna Bharatiyan, originally written in Malayalam, Dr Mohammad elaborated the whole process in this scientific exercise of revisiting history. Here are the excerpts from his book which can be crucial while discussing and deliberating on the Ayodhya issue: 
    Related imageImage result

    K K Mohammed August 13, 2017

    My life story will not be complete without narrating this part. This is not to offend anyone’s religious sentiments and thereby, encourage someone else’s sentiments. This should not be used for any such purpose either.
    It was in 1990 that the issue of Ayodhya became hot. Before that, in 1978 itself, as an archeology student, I had the opportunity to survey Ayodhya. 
    As a student of School of Archeology, Delhi, I was a member of the team headed by Prof B B Lal, which was carrying out an extensive survey at Ayodhya. We found that there existed brick foundations which supported the pillars of a pre-existed temple. No one had viewed such findings as controversial those days. We examined the facts with due sense of history as  archeological experts. 
    There were temple-pillars embedded on the walls of Babri Masjid. These pillars were made of a particular stone called Black Basalt. There were ‘Poorna Kalasas’ engraved at the bottom of the pillars as was the practice in the 11th – 12th centuries. In the temple art, ‘Poorna Kalas’ is one among the eight auspicious symbols of prosperity. Not one or two, 
    fourteen such pillars were there before the mosque was demolished in 1992. Though the mosque was under police protection and no one was allowed inside, we were not 
    prevented because we were members of the research team. Therefore I could see the pillars closely. The team headed by Prof B B Lal included officials of the ASI and us, the twelve students of School of Archeology. We spent around two months in various explorations at Ayodhya. Mir, the chief of the army of Babar constructed this mosque using  remnants of a temple which was either demolished by him or was already demolished by someone else. 
    While excavating on the back and sides of the mosque, we found brick platforms on which the Black Basalt pillars used to rest. It was based on these facts that I made a statement in 1990 that there existed a temple beneath the Babri Masjid. By then the atmosphere had surcharged. The Hindu and Muslim leaders had taken opposite positions. Moderates on both sides  were making some efforts to bring about a rapprochement. But the strident VHP had already taken over the Ram Janmabhumi issue as its agenda. The moderates among Muslims started thinking that it is better to leave Ayodhya for Hindus and solve the dispute. A few Muslim leaders were also of this opinion but no one dared say this. I knew that at least some Muslim leaders felt that leaving Ayodhya to Hindus would  take wind out of the sails of VHP. Had such voices got prominence, it would have been possible to diffuse the situation. But a few Leftist historians allied themselves with the confrontationist Muslims and distorted the matter.
    Few historians under the leadership of S. Gopal, Romila Thapar and Bipan Chandra started questioning the historicity of the Ramayana. They argued that there is no record of demolition of a temple before 19th century. They even declared that Ayodhya is a Buddhist – Jain Centre. This group assumed gigantic size with the induction of Prof R S Sharma, Aktar Ali, D N Jha, Suraj Bhan, Irfan Habib etc. Among  them Suraj Bhan was the only archeologist. The historians of R S Sharma’s group took part in various  official  meetings as experts from the side of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC). 
    Many of the BMAC meetings were conducted under the leadership of Dr. Irfan Habib who was the Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) . Though the Member Secretary M G S Narayanan of ICHR objected to the meetings of BMAC being conducted in ICHR, he was overruled by Irfan Habib. These Leftist group of historians had tremendous influence in newspapers and periodicals and articles published by them questioning the facts of Ayodhya created confusion in the minds of general public. It were these historians and publications which acted like their exclusive mouth piece and were responsible for the volte – face of even the moderates among the Muslims, who had favoured settlement. It was unfortunate that this atmosphere gifted legitimacy and a resultant belligerence to BMAC. The common Muslims who, at some point of time, toyed with the idea of ceding their claim in favour of Hindus, slowly started changing their position. Consequently moderates also took a stand that the Masjid cannot be given up. The interventions of the Communist historians brainwashed them. The joint mischief of these two groups resulted in blocking the doors of  settlement rather permanently. 
    Had only this compromise worked out it would have been a major turning point in the history of Hindu – Muslim relations in our country.This would have resulted in the natural solution to other various contentious issues also. 
    This lost opportunity demonstrated that not only the Hindu – Muslim fanaticism but the Communist fanaticism  is equally dangerous to our nation. 
    My statement came out on  December 15, 1990. By then the historians and archeologists had started fierce arguments from both sides. I made it clear in my statement that I have seen remnants of a temple beneath the Masjid.
    I was working in Chennai as Deputy Superintending Archeologist in ASI. I happened to read an article by Iravataam Mahadevan IAS in the Indian Express. Iravatam, who wrote extensively on the Sindhu script, was a widely respected scholar. After retiring  he was working as editor of the widely read Tamil newspaper Dinamani. 
    He wrote:- “If historians still doubt whether a temple existed beneath, such doubt can be removed by excavating once again. But it is wrong to say that to correct a historical wrong a historical monument (Babri Masjid) shall be demolished.” 
    I respected his balanced opinion and wrote a letter appreciating him. I mentioned that I was a member of the team which carried out excavations during 1976-77. “Your opinion that it is wrong to demolish a monument to avenge a historical wrong is laudable. You have shared your liberal views.” On the date of receipt of my letter he came to my office at Clive building at the Tamil Nadu Secretariat. He wanted permission to publish my letter. He said: “Since you are a govt. servant, writing on such sensitive matters without permission from the Government will be suicidal. It is sure that permission will not be granted by your superiors. Nevertheless, truth should not be kept hidden. Decide suitably.” 
    We discussed with Superintendent Archeologist B Narasimhayya and decided that such important information should not be concealed. Narasimhayya was the General Supervisor when we discovered the brick platforms while excavating under the guidance of Prof B B Lal. But we did not want to play into the hands of fanatic Hindus. We must keep equal distance from all communal elements.
    Finally my statement came in the Letters to the Editor column in all editions of Indian Express. Subsequently it was also published by all other papers in all languages. I got many phone calls –  threatening and appreciating me. But as decided I kept aloof from all that was going around me.
    Those days we conducted a UNESCO sponsored Silk Route Seminar in Chennai. I, along with one Shri KT Narasimhan, was the organiser. From Delhi, the Joint Secretary (Culture) Shri RC Tripathi and the Director General of ASI Shri MC Joshi came to attend. Both appreciated me for the successful conduct of the seminar. Dr Joshi said “If that Aligarh Professor were here, he would have felt ashamed.” He was referring to Dr Irfan Habib. Dr Joshi also told my personal details to Dr Tripathi.
    Thereafter Dr Joshi said:-“Now we have questions about your press statement. How did you go public on such an important issue without the permission of the Govt.? We are going to suspend you right now pending enquiry.”
    I said “Sir I knew that I was not going to get permission for such a matter. I spoke the truth in public interest.”
     I also recited a Sanskrit shloka – Lokasamgramevapi Sampasyan Kartumarhasi. 
    “Are you teaching me? I am a Brahmin from Allahabad” – Tripathi shouted. He added “I will suspend you right now.” Calmly I told him – “Swadharme nidhanam shreya” – meaning even death is preferable while on duty. Tripathi became cool and said – “Mohammed, I appreciate your firm stand. This is expected from an archeologist. But I am under pressure from the top to take action against you.” I said “I know Sir. I issued the statement after considering all consequences.”  
    Joshi was still not happy and asked – “Why did you give your name, address and designation on the newspaper?” “I thought it is required because no one should think that it is some insignificant Mohammed”. 
    Mahadevan met both of them next day and got the suspension changed into a transfer, from Chennai to Goa.  
    On  December 6, 1992 I was in conversation with the Rector of Bom  Jesus Church, Goa where the holy relics of St. Xavier are kept. Then came the news of the demolition of Babri Masjid. Next year Fr. Rigo feared that there will be attacks by Hindu fanatics on Christian churches of Old Goa on the anniversary of the demolition. We formed two teams. One team camped at Bom Jesus Church under Fr. Rigo and the second one under me in St. Cathedral and St. Assisi throughout the night. It was a thrilling example of Indian secularism that a Muslim, Hindu and Christian stood guard to protect a national monument.
    The most important artefact which came out during demolition at Ayodhya was the stone plaque called Vishnu Hari Shila. On the plaque it was inscribed in Nagari script of 11-12 century in Sanskrit that this temple is dedicated to Vishnu (Rama is the avatar of Vishnu) who killed Bali and the 10- headed (Ravana). 
    In 1992, when Dr Y D Sharma and Dr K M Srivastava studied the site they could find small statues of Vishnu’s avataras, Shiva, Parvati etc. made of clay. These belonged to the Kusana period (100 – 300 AD). In 2003, when excavations were again conducted as ordered by the Allahabad High Court, more than fifty brick foundations which once supported the pillars of the temple were found. The ‘amalaka’ which is usually found on the top of the temple and ‘makar pranali’ through which the ‘abhisheka’ water flows, were also excavated. The Uttar Pradesh Archeology Director Dr Ragesh Tiwari submitted a report that when the front yard of the Babri Masjid was leveled, 263 temple related artefacts were found.  
    After a comprehensive analysis of the evidences that had surfaced during the excavation and the discovery of historical artefacts, the Archeological Survey Of India came to the conclusion that there existed a temple beneath the Babri Masjid. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court also reached the same conclusion. To make the excavation impartial it was ensured that 52 Muslims were included in the team of 131 of excavators. Not only that, the excavation was conducted in the presence of the representatives and archeological historians belonging to the BMAC group viz Suraj Bhan, Mondal, Supriya Varma and Jaya Menon. 
    Could the excavation have been made more impartial?
    Even after the judgment of the High Court, the Leftist historians continued their somersaults. They had changed their positions previously also without any qualms. The reason behind this inconsistency was that those who participated in the excavations as representatives of the BMAC were mere historians. Three or four of them had some knowledge of archeology but even they were absolutely ignorant about the Field Archeology. Therefore they were mere dwarfs in front of eminent archeologists like Dr B R Mani. The people from the JNU and Aligarh Universities, who represented the BMAC, for their lack of knowledge of field archeology, were not counted by other archeologists of the ASI. The ASI was committed to truth and impartiality. 
    Meanwhile, an officer of the ASI claiming proximity to the VHP tried to usurp the position of Dr Mani. Had he succeeded in his design, the enthusiasm to establish the existence of a temple would have landed Ayodhya into a different battle. But the ASI did not budge and Dr Mani was not removed. The ASI once again proved its impartiality. 
    One of the prominent leaders of the BMAC Syed Shahabudin, in a letter to the then Union  Minister Anantha Kumar appreciated the ASI for boldly preventing the expansion of the temple by Jawahar Prasad, a BJP MLA, even while the BJP was ruling at the Centre. This official letter was forwarded to me by the Director General of ASI. I wrote a detailed response to Syed Shahabudin in which I mentioned Ayodhya issue also. I wrote that I took part in the Ayodhya excavation under Prof B B Lal and I had seen the remains of a temple beneath the Babri Masjid. I pleaded with him to understand this truth and create favourable Muslim opinion and take initiative to solve the Ayodhya issue. He assured me that he would discuss these facts in the next meeting with the  Muslim leaders. After the said meeting he informed me that no one had agreed to handover the Masjid to Hindus. 
    Later I had a long discussion with him. He did not agree to handover Babri Masjid to the Hindus. 
    While travelling back I deeply contemplated. If India were a Muslim majority-secular country (a Muslim majority country will never be secular though) and if a Muslim leader had tried to illegally expand a mosque within the precincts of a temple (which is also a national monument) and if a Hindu officer had opposed it, how many Muslims would have supported the officer? This is the greatness of Indian secularism. 
    Exceptions could be shown – that there were mass killings of Muslims etc. Considering everything in the proper perspective let me make one thing clear – communalism of Hindus is not of a fundamental trait. Mostly it starts as a reaction to some incidents. This is true of the  Godhra as well. 
    Once I went to Salala in Oman for an international excavation team based in Germany. The purpose was to excavate an underground city Al Balid. I came into contact with few Keralites there. They were from the Kannur-Thalassery area of Kerala and were sympathisers of SIMI. They invited me to a programme. Some of them knew my opinion about Ayodhya. But I put forth certain conditions. I will come and speak. My opinions can be questioned. But since I have come here on an invitation by Germans there shall not be any untoward incident. Discipline shall be maintained and counter point shall be tolerated. They agreed and I spoke about Rama Janma Bhumi. I started with the initial tolerant period of Islam. My recital of Koran was a surprise to them. I spoke in detail about the excavations and the discovery of artefacts. They listened in rapt attention. I concluded my speech thus:
    “Ayodhya for a Hindu is as important as Mecca and Medina for a Muslim. A Muslim cannot think of Mecca or Medina in the custody of another religion. Muslims should listen to the cry of a helpless Hindu who suffers the ignominy of his temples being in Muslim custody despite ours being a Hindu majority land. While Hindus believe Babri Masjid to be the birth place of Rama, this spot has nothing to do with Prophet Muhammed. This place has no relation with Sahabis or Khulafaur Rasyidins; neither with Tabiun nor Aulia or Salaf us-Salih. This is related only to the Mughal King Babar. Why such an importance is to be attached to this Masjid?”
    I further narrated an incident of my childhood. “When the Baitul Muqaddas of Jerusalem fell to Jews we assembled in Koduvally Juma Mazjid and cried to Allah to get back Baitul Muqaddas. An ordinary Hindu suffers the same pain which we suffered at the loss of Baitul Muqadda. I am not speaking about the educated and progressive Hindu. I am speaking about that Hindu of North India who, in extreme cold weather, wearing not even a shirt, without chappals, walks great distances just to have glance of Sri Ram. Can we not respect his pain and religious feelings a little?”
    The audience went through a spell of introspection. I continued:- After independence an exclusive country was carved out for Muslims. Bharat could have very well  declared itself a Hindu Nation. But since Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel, Azad etc all were great personalities, they refrained from doing it. Even after giving the Muslim minority a country of their own, Bharat was declared a secular country. You will not find such large-heartedness anywhere in the world. For this gesture, that old man in a dhoti had to sacrifice his life on the altar of secularism. 
    I stopped briefly for the audience to think further. I continued after a pause:-“But would Bharat have been a secular country if it were a Muslim majority land?” When there was no answer I said:-“No. If Bharat were a Muslim majority country it would never have declared itself secular after giving a separate nation to minority Hindus. This is the liberal mind embedded in Hinduism; the tolerant nature of Hinduism. We must understand this mind. We must respect this mentality. It will be good if you think about what would have been the plight of Muslims if people of some other religion were in majority in India in place of Hindus. Everyone shall understand such historical facts and be prepared to compromise. Then only we will become a secular country in the real sense. I have named this thought Reverse Thinking. If you are a Hindu, imagine that you are a Muslim and approach the problem. And if you are a Muslim, approach the problem as if you are a Hindu and try to solve it. We all belong to different religions, it is quite accidental.”
    A question came from the audience:-“If we surrender these three places what if VHP demands three thousand? Is not their list too big?”
    I answered:-“We are on the path of reconciliation. We dream of a dawn of peace through negotiations. Muslims are not needed to stand up against unreasonable demands; Hindus will do that themselves. That is the greatness of Hinduism. Do not forget that fanatic Hindu organizations like Bajrang Dal, VHP, Ram Sena etc. have not been granted general acceptance by Hindu society.”
    I felt the audience agreed with my opinion that the problem shall be solved by abandoning the claim on Babri Mazjid in favour of Hindus. But no one openly admitted. Sometimes we get the answers from the body language. The audience were mostly youngsters. After the program the organisers took me to a small room and asked:-“Why did you not inform all these facts to top leaders like Syed Shahabudin?”
    “I did not know him at that point of time. I came into contact with him after the Sher Shah Suri Maqbara incident and I wrote to him in detail thereafter.”
    There are so many religions in Bharat. In Europe, religiosity has reduced substantially. Religions in the West are existing today just because of inheritance and culture. Remember, it was largely Hindus who raised their voice against the growing Hindu intolerance. So also against atrocities like what happened in Dadri. They blocked the surging intolerance by returning their awards. People like Infosys Narayan Murthy and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan reacted.
    In India religion influences every facet of our life. Every religion has its own archeology and building technology. Bharat is the confluence of all these cultural barter. Hindu culture is the foundation of all these transformations. Budhism and Jainism are offshoots of Hinduism. Islamic architecture added beauty to this Hindu-Budha-Jain foundation. Christian architecture further enriched the beauty. Qtub Minar and Taj Mahal are examples of this. Iran Iraq and Turkey are the birth places of Minars and Domes. But they do not have any structure comparable to Qtub Minar, why? Why they could not construct at least a shadow of Taj Mahal? India could do this because we could mix Indian handicraft with Islamic structural ideas. We are growing in a composite culture. Let there be a Brahmadutt in every Muhammed and a Muhammed in every Brahmadutt. We must build up such a composite cultural Bharat.     (Translated by TG Mohandas)

    Rangaesh Gadasalli
    11285 points
    8 months ago
    Very good narration of Truth and nothing but the truth Sir. Now with all these historic documents we should approach the courts to get the complete possesion of the place as soon as possible. Hope the court takes serious notes of these and Allahabad court judgemnts and gives us a favorable judgement. If some thing else happens and the opposition tries to divide the place between Us and Muslims in the name of religious harmony, we will have to make this place and other Hindu holy places union territories and take control under center. We have waited for too long and Congress,leftists and Muslims have been able to deny us our place and rule the country with a divided Hindu vote. Once we build this temple and start focusing our efforts to get rid of Mosques in Varanasi and Mathura, Hindu Pride will return to Hindustan. Let us all helo the govt in this efforts.

    25 points
    8 months ago
    Excavation says - there no temples - only aborigin style constructions- why people fight for it?

    Jayasuryan JANARDHANAN
    5 points
    8 months ago
    Good work

    Arvind Tripathi
    5 points
    8 months ago
    Nice article with great logical explanation

    3240 points
    8 months ago
    Very well written and I appreciate K K Muhammad for speaking the truth. His book should reach every house in India. At least in kerala, it should reach everywhere. Kerala population is actually completely mislead by left historians and left publications.

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    Tesla, wireless energy transmission and Vivekananda

    Subhash Kak

    Nikola Tesla, who was both an inventor and mathematician, persisted with actual experiments and speculations on wireless transmission of energy that went beyond the physics of the day. This note presents a summary of Tesla’s ideas on wireless transmission to explain his intuition that he could use the capacity of ether to hold and transfer energy. This intuition was related to ākāśa, the Indian concept of ether, on which he communicated with Vivekananda.

    CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 113, NO. 11, 10 DECEMBER 2017

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    On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives

     See all authors and affiliations

    Science  08 Dec 2017:
    Vol. 358, Issue 6368, eaai9067
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aai9067

    Map of sites with ages and postulated early and later pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
    Regions of assumed genetic admixture are also shown. ka, thousand years ago.

    The peopling of Asia

    In recent years, there has been increasing focus on the paleoanthropology of Asia, particularly the migration patterns of early modern humans as they spread out of Africa. Bae et the current state of the Late Pleistocene Asian human evolutionary record from archaeology, hominin paleontology, geochronology, genetics, and paleoclimatology. They evaluate single versus multiple dispersal models and southern versus the northern dispersal routes across the Asian continent. They also review behavioral and environmental variability and how these may have affected modern human dispersals and interactions with indigenous populations.
    Science, this issue p. eaai9067

    Structured Abstract


    The earliest fossils of Homo sapiens are located in Africa and dated to the late Middle Pleistocene. At some point later, modern humans dispersed into Asia and reached the far-away locales of Europe, Australia, and eventually the Americas. Given that Neandertals, Denisovans, mid-Pleistocene Homo, and H. floresiensis were present in Asia before the appearance of modern humans, the timing and nature of the spread of modern humans across Eurasia continue to be subjects of intense debate. For instance, did modern humans replace the indigenous populations when moving into new regions? Alternatively, did population contact and interbreeding occur regularly? In terms of behavior, did technological innovations and symbolism facilitate dispersals of modern humans? For example, it is often assumed that only modern humans were capable of using watercraft and navigating to distant locations such as Australia and the Japanese archipelago—destinations that would not have been visible to the naked eye from the departure points, even during glacial stages when sea levels would have been much lower. Moreover, what role did major climatic fluctuations and environmental events (e.g., the Toba volcanic super-eruption) play in the dispersal of modern humans across Asia? Did extirpations of groups occur regularly, and did extinctions of populations take place? Questions such as these are paramount in understanding hominin evolution and Late Pleistocene Asian paleoanthropology.


    An increasing number of multidisciplinary field and laboratory projects focused on archaeological sites and fossil localities from different areas of Asia are producing important findings, allowing researchers to address key evolutionary questions that have long perplexed the field. For instance, technological advances have increased our ability to successfully collect ancient DNA from hominin fossils, providing proof that interbreeding occurred on a somewhat regular basis. New finds of H. sapiens fossils, with increasingly secure dating associations, are emerging in different areas of Asia, some seemingly from the first half of the Late Pleistocene. Cultural variability discerned from archaeological studies indicates that modern human behaviors did not simply spread across Asia in a time-transgressive pattern. This regional variation, which is particularly distinct in Southeast Asia, could be related at least in part to environmental and ecological variation (e.g., Palearctic versus Oriental biogeographic zones).


    Recent findings from archaeology, hominin paleontology, geochronology, and genetics indicate that the strict “out of Africa” model, which posits that there was only a single dispersal into Eurasia at ~60,000 years ago, is in need of revision. In particular, a multiple-dispersal model, perhaps beginning at the advent of the Late Pleistocene, needs to be examined more closely. An increasingly robust record from Late Pleistocene Asian paleoanthropology is helping to build and establish new views about the origin and dispersal of modern humans.

    Map of sites with ages and postulated early and later pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
    Regions of assumed genetic admixture are also shown. ka, thousand years ago.


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    The narrative includes a person playing a lyre. I suggest that this is an Indus Script hypertext. Hieroglyph: tanbūra  'lyre' Rebus: tam(b)ra 'copper'.
    Tanbur, a long-necked, string instrument originating in the Southern or Central Asia (Mesopotamia and Persia/Iran)
    Iranian tanbur (Kurdish tanbur), used in Yarsan rituals
    Turkish tambur, instrument played in Turkey
    Yaylı tambur, also played in Turkey
    Tanpura, a drone instrument played in India
    Tambura (instrument), played in Balkan peninsula
    Tamburica, any member of a family of long-necked lutes popular in Eastern and Central Europe
    Tambouras, played in Greece
    Tanbūra (lyre), played in East Africa and the Middle East
    Dombra, instrument in Kazakhstan, Siberia, and Mongolia
    Domra, Russian instrument

    Not far from Chogha Mish is Chogha Zanbil where a ziggurat has been identified.

    Image result for chogha zanbil
    Chogha Zanbil (Persianچغازنبيل‎; Elamite: Dur Untash) is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestanprovince of Iran. It is one of the few existent ziggurats outside Mesopotamia. It lies approximately 30 km (19 mi) south-east of Susa and 80 km (50 mi) north of Ahvaz...The Elamite name of this structure is Ziggurat Dūr Untash, (/ˈzɪɡəræt/ ZIG-ər-at; from the SemiticAkkadian word ziqqurat, based on the D-stem of zaqāru "to build on a raised area")

    I suggest that the word zaqāru is cognate sangar 'fortification' سنګر sangarS سنګر sangar, s.m. (2nd) A breastwork of stones, etc., erected to close a pass or road; lines, entrenchments. Pl. سنګرونه sangarūnah. See باره (Pashto). The hieroglyph in Indus Script which signifies sangar is: sangaḍa 'lathe, portable furnace'  This is the most frequently used field symbol together with 'one-horned young bull' which is signified by hieroglyph: konda 'young bull' rebus: konda'furnace'kundaṇa'fine gold'; kundar'turner'.

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    Map of the Arctic region showing the Northern Sea Route, in the context of the Northeast Passage, and Northwest Passage
    Map of the Arctic region showing shipping routes Northeast PassageNorthern Sea Route, and Northwest Passage, and bathymetry
    In August 2017, the first ship traversed the Northern Sea Route without the use of ice-breakers.According to the New York Times, this forebodes more shipping through the Arctic, as the sea ice melts and makes shipping easier.A 2016 report by the Copenhagen Business School found that large-scale trans-Arctic shipping will become economically viable by 2040.

    The huge implications of Russia’s northern sea route
    by F William Engdahl
     22 November 201765344334

    In terms of dealing with some of the world’s harshest weather conditions no country comes close compared with Russia. Now Russia has made it a highest priority to develop a Northern Sea Route along the Russian Arctic coast to enable LNG and container freight shipments between Asia and Europe that will cut shipping time almost in half and bypass the increasingly risky Suez Canal. China is fully engaged and has now formally incorporated it into its new Silk Road Belt, Road Initiative infrastructure.

    Before attending the Hamburg G20 Summit in July, China’s President Xi Jinping made a stopover in Moscow where he and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed the “China-Russia Joint Declaration on Further Strengthening Comprehensive, Strategic and Cooperative Partnership.” The declaration includes the Northern Sea Route as a strategic area of cooperation between China and Russia, as a formal part of China’s Belt, Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure. For its part, Russia is investing major resources in development of new LNG ports and infrastructure along the route to service a growing maritime traffic passing through its Arctic territorial waters.

    The Russian Federation, under the direct supervision of President Putin is building up the economic infrastructure that will create an alternative to the Suez Canal for container and LNG shipping between Europe and Asia. In addition, the developments are opening up huge new undeveloped resources including oil, gas, diamonds and other minerals along the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone, transversing its northernmost Siberian coastline.

    Officially Russian legislation defines the Northern Sea Route as the territorial waters along the Russian Arctic coast east of Novaya Zemlya in Russia’s Arkhangelsk Oblast, from the Kara Sea across Siberia, to the Bering Strait that runs between far eastern Russia and Alaska. The entire route lies in Arctic waters and within Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Preliminary geophysical studies confirm that vast oil and gas reserves exist below the sea floor along the Northern Sea Route of Russia’s EEZ waters, increasing interest of the Chinese government in joint resource development with Russia, in addition to the potentially shorter shipping times to and from Europe. For China, which sees increasing threats to its oil supply lines by sea from the Persian Gulf and via the Straits of Malacca, the Russian Northern Sea Route offers a far more secure alternative, a Plan B, in event of US Naval interdiction of the Malacca Straits.

    US Geological Survey estimates are that within the Russian Arctic EEZ some 30% of all Arctic recoverable oil and 66% of its total natural gas is to be found. The USGS estimates total Arctic oil recoverable reserves to be about one-third total Saudi reserves. In short, as Mark Twain might have said, there’s “black gold in them thar’ icy waters…”

    The United Nations Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), to which Russia and China are signatories, but the USA not, defines an exclusive economic zone to be an area “beyond and adjacent” to a state’s territorial waters and provides the state with “sovereign rights…[over] managing the natural resources” within the zone. China does not contest Russia’s EEZ rights, but rather seeks to cooperate in its development now formally within the BRI project.

    New Shipping Lanes

    The other interest in Russia’s Northern Sea Route is for more economical and faster shipping. In August this year in a test run the Russian LNG tanker, Christophe de Margerie, delivered Norwegian LNG from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in just 19 days, some 30% faster than the traditional Suez Canal route despite the fact that the vessel was forced to go through ice fields 1.2 meters thick. The Arctic Sea part of the journey was made in a record six and half days. The Christophe de Margerie is the first joint LNG tanker and icebreaker in the world, built to specification for the state-run Sovcomflot for the transportation of LNG from the Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic by a South Korean shipbuilder.

    Russia is also cooperating with South Korea in development of the shipping capabilities of its Northern Sea Route. On November 6, Russia’s Minister for Development of the Far East, Aleksandr Galushka, met South Korea’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Kim Yong-suk. The two countries agreed to pursue joint research into investments for an Arctic container line along the Northern Sea Route. The joint development will include shipping hubs to be created in each end of the Northern Sea Route - Murmansk in the west and Petropavlovsk - Kamchatsky in the east. Murmansk, bordering the northern regions of Finland and Norway, has ice-free access to the Barents Sea year around.

    Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine plans test sailings of container ships along the Northern Sea Route in 2020 with container ships capable of carrying 2,500-3,500 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, a measure of container size) on the route. In July 2016, an historical shipment of two major industrial components was made from South Korea to the new Russian Arctic port at Sabetta and from there, on the rivers Ob and Irtysh to the South Ural city of Tobolsk.

    New Arctic Port Investments

    Murmansk itself is site of one of Russia’s largest infrastructure projects. Major construction work is currently on going to complete the so-called Murmansk Transport Hub which includes new roads, railway, ports and other facilities on the west of the Kola Bay. Murmansk is already a key hub for reloading coal, oil, fish, metals and other cargo from the European part of Russia. It will serve as the main western gateway for the Northern Sea Route to Asia.

    The Russian Federation is also completing a new port at Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula. The Yamal Peninsula, bordering the Arctic Kara Sea, is location of Russia’s biggest natural gas reserves with an estimated 55 trillion cubic meters (tcm). By comparison, Qatar gas reserves are calculated at 25 tcm, Iran at 34 tcm. The main developer of the Sabetta Port on Yamal is Novatek, Russia’s largest independent gas producer, together with the Russian government.

    Sabetta Port is also site of the major new Yamal LNG Terminal that before end of 2017 will begin transporting Yamal gas via the Northeast Sea Route to China. When at full capacity, Sabetta Port will handle 30 million tons of goods a year making Sabetta the world’s largest port north of the Arctic Circle, surpassing Murmansk. Novatek has already pre-sold all its production volumes for Yamal LNG Terminal gas under 15- and 20-year contracts, most to China and other Asian buyers.

    Yamal LNG is far from the only area where Russia’s Novatek is cooperating with China. On November 4, Novatek announced it had signed further agreements with Yamal partners China National Petroleum Corporation and China Development Bank for the Arctic LNG 2 project that is potentially larger than the Yamal LNG project. The Arctic LNG 2 project of Novatekon Gydan Peninsula, separated from Yamal by the Gulf of Ob, is to begin construction in 2019.

    The Yamal LNG Terminal is a $27 billion project whose lead owner is Russia’s Novatek. When the US Treasury financial warfare targeted Novatek and the Yamal project in 2014 following the Crimea referendum to join the Russian Federation, China lenders stepped in to provide $12 billion to complete the project after China’s state oil company, CNPC bought a 20% interest in the Yamal LNG Terminal project. The China Silk Road Fund holds another 9.9% and France’s Total 20% with Novatek having 50.1%.

    Breaking the Ice, Russian-Style

    Opening the potentials of Russia’s Northeast Sea Route to full commercial LNG and container freight traffic flow from the west along the Siberian Arctic littoral to South Korea and China and the rest of Asia requires extraordinary technology solutions, above all in the field of ice-breakers and port infrastructure along the deep-frozen Arctic route. Here Russia is unequalled world leader. And Russia is about to expand that leading role significantly.

    In early 2016 Russia commissioned a new class of nuclear powered ice-breakers called Arktika-class operated by Atomflot, the ship subsidiary of the giant Russian state Rosatom nuclear group, the world’s largest nuclear power construction company and second largest in terms of uranium deposits producing 40% of the world’s enriched uranium.

    The new Arktika icebreaker is at present the world’s most powerful icebreaker of its kind and when ready for sailing in 2019 will be able to break 3 meters of ice. A second Arktika-class nuclear icebreaker is due to sail in 2020. At present Russia has a total of 14 diesel as well as nuclear-powered icebreakers in construction in addition to the just completed Christophe de Margerie. All those 14 new icebreakers are being constructed at shipyards in the St. Petersburg area.

    Rosatom to take lead

    Now the Russian government is about to dramatically escalate its development of icebreaker technologies with the clear aim of developing the shipping and resources along its Northeast Sea Route passage as a national economic priority.

    In 2016 President Putin made a personal priority of overseeing building up of an ultra-modern state-of-the-art shipbuilding center in PrimorskyKrai in the Russian Far East to balance the development of western yards around St. Petersburg and buildup Russia’s economic region around Vladivostok as Russia’s economy, reacting to the incalculable Washington and its sanctions, turns increasingly to self-sufficiency in vital areas.

    The Far East shipbuilding is centered on a $4 billion complete reconstruction of the old Zvezda shipyard in BolshoyKamen Bay owned by the Russian state’s United Shipbuilding Corporation. PrimorskyKrai is also home to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. When the giant new Zvezda yard is ready in 2020, it will be Russia’s largest most modern civilian shipyard, focusing on large-tonnage ship construction of tankers including LNG tankers, Arctic icebreakers and elements for offshore oil and gas platforms.

    On November 18 Russia’s Kommersant business daily announced that Russia’s president Putin wants to turn infrastructure development for the Northern Sea Route over to state nuclear corporation Rosatom. According to the report, Putin approved the idea, which was put to him by his prime minster, Dmitry Medvedev, and which would turn all state services for nautical activities, infrastructure development, as well as state property used along the corridor to Rosatom’s management. Among other implications the decision to make Rosatom solely responsible for the Northern Sea Route development suggests that nuclear-powered ice-breakers are to play a far larger role in the Northeast Sea Route developments.

    According to the report, which has yet to be formally confirmed, the Rosatom role was proposed by Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Rogozin, sanctioned by Washington, has been Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Defense Industry of Russia since 2011. If the new proposal becomes law, Rosatom will oversee all infrastructure and energy building along the 6,000 kilometers of the route through its arctic division.

    According to the source, that will mean Rosatom oversees just about everything, from building ports, to building communications and navigation infrastructure, as well as coordinating scientific research. Under the plan a new Arctic Division of Rosatom would centralize ports previously controlled by the Ministry of Transport as well as non-nuclear icebreakers operated by Rosmorport and Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet. The NSR Administration, the state institution responsible for safety of navigation, would also become part of this new “Arctic Division” at Rosatom. It would be a move to greatly streamline the present fragmentation of responsibility for different aspects of Russia’s Northeast Sea Route transportation development, one of the highest priorities of Moscow and a key building block in development of the China-Russia collaboration in BRI.

    Taking all into account what is very clear is that Russia is developing cutting-edge technology and infrastructure in some of the most extreme climate conditions in the world, in building its economy new, and that it is successfully doing so in collaboration with China, South Korea and even to an extent with Japan, contrary to the hopes of Washington war-addicted neoconservatives and their patrons in the US military industrial complex.

    F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.” Courtesy

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    On The Classification Of Indic Languages

    Several theories have been proposed to understand the evolution of languages but most fall short due to their Eurocentric bias as well as the false notion of comparing it with genetic evolution.

    On The Classification Of Indic Languages
    Posted On: 08 Dec 2017
    Subash Kak is a scientist and a Vedic scholar, whose research has spanned the fields of information theory, cryptography, neural networks, and quantum information. He is the inventor of a family of instantaneously trained neural networks (for which he received a patent) for which a variety of artificial intelligence applications have been found. He has argued that brain function is associated with three kinds of language: associative, reorganizational, and quantum. His discovery of a long-forgotten astronomy of ancient India that has been called “revolutionary” and “epoch-making” by scholars. In 2008-2009, he was appointed one of the principal editors for the ICOMOS project of UNESCO for identification of world heritage sites. He is the author of 12 books which include “The Nature of Physical Reality,” “The Architecture of Knowledge,” and “Mind and Self.” He is also the author of 6 books of verse. The distinguished Indian scholar Govind Chandra Pande compared his poetry to that of William Wordsworth.
    Language, as part of human expression, may be viewed in analogy with genetic expression. Evolution of language is a result of complex temporal and spatial processes where, if one could aggregate the processes, one may speak in terms of parent traits and the resultant descendent traits. Insights from the theory of non-linear dynamics indicate that the multitude of interactions amongst speakers would lead to the formation of just a few languages. Strongly interacting systems of very many components, like assemblies of neurons or human speakers, have only a few stable interaction states, called attractors, associated with their behaviour,1 and these, for speakers, are the various languages. In evolving systems, the nature of these stable states will also change. This is how isolated languages can be seen to change. But more significant than this process is the change due to interaction with other languages. With this background it is clear that a correct view of language evolution is within the framework of other interacting languages.
    But for about one and a half centuries, language evolution has been studied using models inspired by early, mechanistic physics. Like a physical system that evolves due to radiation and other incident forces, languages were taken to change spontaneously. The spread of languages was explained by another mechanistic metaphor, namely, that of transfer of populations and invasions. This led to models of language families. The German philologist August Schleicher pioneered the tree approach in the 1860's which assumes that when populations are isolated their speech get increasingly differentiated until they become distinct languages; this assumption allows one to set up a family tree of languages. Representation of language families is predicated on an assumed chronology of evolution. Soon after Schleicher, another German linguist, Johannes Schmidt, theorized that linguistic changes spread in "waves" leading thereby to a convergence amongst languages that might have been dissimilar to begin with. In 1939 the Soviet linguist N.S. Trubetskoy suggested that the similarities among the Indo-European languages were due to the wave model of Schmidt. Scholarly opinion has generally dismissed "wave advance" theories and languages are generally characterized in terms of family trees.
    On Language Families
    But language family representation that does not consider the previous history of interactions cannot be reliable; even in the case of an isolated population it is too simplistic. Using the analogy of biological family trees, the daughter language must carry characteristics of the parent languages, where the parents aggregate the influence of all dissimilar languages and dialects. If language grammar and vocabulary is likened to the genes of a biological organism, the daughter language picks up genes from both the parents. But since a language is defined by the interaction and behaviour of diverse speakers across space and time, the actual inheritance in the daughter language is a chance phenomenon. Nevertheless, genetic classification of languages routinely speak of a single parent language. For example, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian are seen to be the daughter languages of Latin without defining the other parents.
    Theories of language evolution arose in the heyday of mechanistic physics, before the laws of genetics and quantum mechanics had come to be known. Since the discovery of these laws, no successful attempt has been made to establish a rational basis for inheritance of characteristics in languages.2 Recent theories do claim to provide "genetic" classification, but the term "genetic" is used in an unscientific manner. It is used in a meaning equivalent to the old tree classification diagrams or in the operative sense of "random mutations". However, random mutations in biological evolution are supposed to represent the cumulative effect of complex interactions. Furthermore, significant mutations are seen only after many, many generations. The historical records related to languages exist over a time span that is relatively very brief and no convincing evidence exists that defines processes, over such a brief period, that are truly analogous to biological random mutations.
    The current state of linguistics is due, in part, to the central place the study of Indo-European languages has had on the subject. Implicit in such a study has been the Eurocentric notion of the special place of the hypothesized Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language and thereby its homeland. Circular arguments were used to postulate IE forms and then the words in the various IE languages were derived from it. The languages were related in terms of tree diagrams without considering the history of their interactions with other languages. Another recent tendency is to derive all languages from the same ancestor. Here the motivation is to use models that describe the genetic diversity of human populations. But I believe that we simply do not have the data at this point to determine whether language arose before the postulated early human migrations from the original single homeland of the humans. Neither do we know if there was a single such homeland.
     The comparative method that has been used to reconstruct features of ancestral languages may be compared to a sieve. Using a sieve of a certain size to find diamonds in dirt, one may theorize that such diamonds have a certain minimum size. But such a theory does nothing more than declare the limitations of the sieve! This is not to say that languages are not related, but that the relatedness is much more complex than the techniques used in historical linguistics indicate. No wonder then that linguists have reached seemingly contradictory conclusions:
     (i) There is such typological commonality between the Indo-Aryan, Munda, and the Dravidian languages that these languages should be considered a single super-group and India considered a "linguistic area," 3
    (ii) Sanskrit and Old-Indo-Aryan are strikingly similar to Old Iranian, a language taken not to have been influenced by Dravidian, so that the Avestan texts can almost be read as Vedic Sanskrit.4
    With the backdrop of the above points, we take up the question of the classification of the Indic languages to illustrate the pitfalls of current theories. We argue that based on genetic classification, both the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages have had common parents and these languages share many typological categories.

    Indo-European and Dravidian

    We first consider the wider question of the relationship between Indo-European and Dravidian. Three decades ago the Soviet linguists Vladislav M. Illich-Svitych and Aron Dolgopolsky proposed that a number of Eurasian language families including Indo-European, Dravidian, and Afro-Asiatic belong to a superfamily which they called Nostratic,5 derived from the Latin for "our (language)". Although the notion of the superfamily is sometimes taken to imply a common ancestor, it appears that a more reasonable assumption is that in the remote past the speakers of these languages interacted strongly resulting in many shared characteristics amongst the languages.
    The idea of the superfamily has been increasingly accepted in recent years. The spread of these languages has been ascribed to various mechanisms. One mechanism is the "wave of advance" model of Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza,6 according to which the surplus produced by agriculture led to rapid increase of population density over earlier hunter-gatherer communities. The second popular model is that of elite-dominance; here the spread is generally ascribed to invasions.
    It has been suggested that the ancestors of these three families may have lived in some proximity in Western Asia around 7000 B.C. Colin Renfrew sees the ancestors of the Indo-Europeans in Anatolia, those of the Afro-Asiatics in Jericho, and those of the Dravidians in the Zagros.7 If one postulates that early farming arose in these regions of Western Asia then the spread of farming by the "wave of advance" mechanism took their languages and genes into other areas. Although, the presence of Indo-European languages in Iran and India is explained by Renfrew as a later expansion by an elite that forced its language on the Elamite and the Dravidian speaking people, this is not convincing. This is a restatement of the theory articulated earlier by Childe8 and others which has no archaeological evidence to support it.9 There is no explanation for why suddenly hordes from Anatolia decided to push in the southeast direction and how they were ableto impose their language on an area which was already heavily populated.10
    There are other theories for the spread of the Indo-European languages, amongst which the most prominent is the "kurgan" theory of Marija Gimbutasz11 which is, however, concerned mainly with Europe. According to this theory kurgan warriors from north of the Black Sea invaded Europe in waves over the period 4300 to 2800 B.C. and imposed their languages on the indigenous Europeans. The expansion into Iran and India in the Gimbutas scheme is taken to be the old intrusive model as has been described by Mallory.12
    The spread of the Indo-European languages is thus related to the problem of the location of their original homeland. But as J.P. Mallory summarizes:
    Since the 19th century, attempts to resolve the problem of Indo-European origins have included evidence drawn from physical anthropology. This may be broadly divided into four traditions - pigmentation, cranial index, the correlation of physical types (based on multivariate analysis) and archaeological cultures, and genetics. None of these have satisfactorily determined the location of the Indo-European homeland.13
    The various choices for the homeland of the different language groups is quite arbitrary. It is foolhardy to associate a language to a reconstruction of an ethnic type based on archaeological records.
     If one considers the astronomical references in the Vedic literature, then one can postulate the presence of Indo-Europeans in North-west India in the fourth millennium B.C. and earlier.14 The priority of the Indic literature makes Northwestern India as another candidate for the homeland of the Indo-Europeans. But the question of the location of the homeland is in many ways an inappropriate question to ask with the current state of knowledge. The choice of the homeland and the original physical type is strongly correlated with the nationality of the proponent! Many North European scholars thus argued that the original Indo-Europeans were blond. It is not surprising then that most Western scholars did not consider Northwestern India as a viable candidate.
    Whatever model one might choose, the relationship amongst the Nostratic languages is ascribed to proximity about eight thousand years ago. In turn these languages are taken to be derived from a yet earlier parent or to have picked up their shared characteristics from their early interaction.
    The characterization of the Nostratic superfamily is based on the assumption that the relationship was defined at the pre-expansion phase. Such an assumption is inherent in a tree classification.
     The search for a single superfamily of all languages is driven by the assumption that language arose only at one place. This hypothesis cannot be proved or disproved, so its discussion falls outside the purview of science. Since there do not exist any isolated populations there is no way to determine if the commonality being seen now is a result of historical interaction or is to be explained as a remembrance of the common origins.
    In reality a tree classification is a misnomer. There is a further implicit assumption that the languages diverge from each other because their speakers are in societies undergoing different changes and are interacting with speakers of different languages.
    On Language Identity and Societal Processes
    Societal processes and organization determine how long a language will maintain its identity as the speech of a minority group. Thus Murray Emeneau reminds us that Saurashtran weavers in Tamil Nadu appear to have preserved their language for a period that could be more than a thousand years.
    After a period of at least fifteen centuries of migrations, Saurashtran still survives as the domestic language of the immigrant silk weavers of Madurai. The historical events of their migrations were certainly very complex. The sequence, partly known from their traditions, brings them from Saur astra (L ata-visaya) to Mandasor in Rajasthan prior to the fifth century A.D. (inscriptions there record the building of a temple in A.D. 437-438 and its repair in 473-474), then to Devagiri of the Maharashtran Y adavas (thirteenth century), to Vijayanagar (Telugu-speaking; fl. fourteenth-sixteenth centuries), and nally to Madurai. Whatever degree of exactness may be attributed to this tradition and history, the language certainly has traits that point to all the linguistic areas involved, but yet has been preserved over these many centuries of sojourn away from its place of origin. In every place the weavers were probably lower in the social structure than at least some of the neighbouring communities (inspite of their present brahmanical pretensions), but there was no American-like pressure for total linguistic conformity with these neighbours.15
    There are other examples that can be given from India. In contrast, minority groups have tended to lose their language within a generationor two in the United States. Language stability in India has been ascribed to stratification of society according to caste.
     Nevertheless, languages will influence each other. The question to ask is: How might the encounter between two languages take place? The answer to this would depend on whether the two languages come face to face suddenly as would happen if invaders brought a different language or if two languages grow together in vicinity. In other words the nature of the encounter depends on whether the languages meet as equals or if it is one-sided. For example, the interaction between Spanish and the American Indian languages has been one-sided. In a one-sided encounter the language of the conquering invaders is likely to be influenced little by the second language.
     The similarities between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian are well known. It is interesting that one of these similarities, namely reduplication of words which is generally assumed to have been borrowed by Indo-Aryan from Dravidian, is also to be found in the European languages. Thus in English we have words such as pooh-pooh, choo-choo that have identical reduplication; examples of a different type are chitchat, chiffchaff , knickknack, riffraff , ticktack, zigzag, hodge-podge, and thingy-wingy. Reduplication in the Indian languages is much more common than in the European languages.
     Considering the borrowings between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, Emeneau says:
    [T]he languages of the two families, Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, seem in many respects more akin to one another than Indo-Aryan does to the other Indo-European languages.16
    For this reason India is considered a linguistic area with "languages belonging to more than one family but showing traits in common which are found not to belong to the other members of (at least) one of the families".17 This indicates that the encounter between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian must have been a long and an equal one. Nevertheless, the limitations of the philological approach are apparent if one considers that this analysis has led to the conclusion that the conservative caste system was adopted by the Indo-Aryans from the Dravidians.
     Emeneau says:
    We are almost forced to a hypothesis that the Dravidians whom the Indo-Aryan invaders met in the riverine plains of North India had a caste system with linguistic traits mirroring it, which they shared with the Dravidians of the plains of the south.18 This raises a very thorny question. If the caste system and social stratification are to be invoked for the persistence of the Saurashtran language in South India for more than a millennium, and if the Dravidians had a caste system in the north before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans, then why was there no trace of the Dravidian language in the centuries before Christ in North India which was not too long after the supposed Aryan invasion?
    At the same time scholars have argued that all ancient Indo-European societies had classes that might have been the forerunner to the caste system.19
     But if the caste system was adopted by the Indo-Europeans from the Dravidians, then the original homeland of the two groups must have been in proximity and they must have interacted amongst each other. Emeneau proposes that the North Indians themselves were originally Dravidian speaking and they adopted Indo-Aryan after a long period of bilingualism. But Emeneau's proposal does not have facts to back it. There are social practices and other features that show that Marathi speakers represent a region where bilingualism of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian was once prevalent. But such features are not to be found in the region of the Indus, Sarasvati, and the Ganga valleys.
     The only way out appears to question the traditional classification of the Indic languages and the models of their evolution.

    A Scenario Based on the Current Archaeological Evidence

    The diffi culty with most language classification models is that they do not do justice to the linguistic and archaeological evidence from the Indian subcontinent. To get over the contradictions where the current models lead us, one may propose the following scenario: Around 7000 B.C. the Indo-Europeans were located in the Indus-Sarasvati valleys, northern Iran, and southern Russia; the Afro-Asiatics were in West Asia; and the Dravidians were located just south of the Indo-Europeans in a belt stretching from South India to southern Iran. Their existed many trading links between the groups. The Vedic period is to be seen as following a long interactive era between the Indo-Aryans and the Dravidians.20 The proof of this comes in many Dravidian features of the Vedic language.
    This scenario does not address or answer the question as to the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans or the Indo-Aryans. It has the virtue of explaining the astronomical evidence from the Vedic literature as well as explaining the deep structural commonality shared not only between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian but also between European languages and Dravidian.
     This scenario also explains the striking resemblance between Vedic form and a head unearthed at Nevali C ori in Anatolia by Harald Hauptmann.21 The site of Nevali C ori dates to about 7500 B.C. The striking thing about the head is that it is clean shaven except for a long tuft at the top that looks strikingly similar in style to the  sikh a that a student wore in the Vedic times. B.G. Sidharth22 has taken this similarity to mean that this Anatolian civilization was Vedic. Our model, that considers the Indo-Europeans to be already spread from Anatolia to Northwest India at the time of Nevali C ori, is consistent with such an identification.
    An important implication of our model is that there is no need to force the placement of events of the Vedic texts and the epics Ram ayana and Mahābhārata, that are clearly defined by their contexts in Indian locales, to places outside India where they cannot be reconciled to other evidence.


    The structural relationships amongst the Indo-European family of languages are well known. Not equally well known are the structural connections between the Indo-Aryan, the Dravidian and the Munda languages. These languages may be said to belong to the Prakrit family of languages. We use the label "Prakrit" since it has been traditionally used to describe all Indian languages.
    In other words we argue that in general one might speak of membership of a language to more than one family. We believe such a usage is more accurate than the term "linguistic area" used earlier by Emeneau.
     In recent years studies have been made to correlate genetic background of populations with languages.23 These studies have had some success in describing the spread of languages. It is significant that on many counts the vast majority of the Indian population, in North as well as South India, is classed as a single group.
    The evolution of the Prakrit family over millennia through prolonged interaction of the populations explains structural as well as biological commonality. The attested migrations of the Indo-Iranians into Europe explains the presence of several Dravidian features in the European languages.
    References / Footnotes
    1. S.C. Kak. 1993. \Feedback neural networks: new characteristics and a generalization." Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing, 12, pp. 263-278
    2. P. Baldi. 1983. An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. & M. Ruhlen. 1987. A Guide to World's Languages. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    3. M.B. Emeneau. 1980. Language and Linguistic Area. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    4. P. Baldi. 1983. An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
    5. M. Kaiser and V. Shevoroshkin. 1988. Annual Review of Anthropology 17.309-329.
    6. A.J. Ammerman and L.L. Cavalli-Sforza. 1984. The Neolithic Transition and the Genetics of Populations in Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    7. C. Renfrew. 1989. \The origin of Indo-European languages." Scientific American, October. 106-114.
    8. V.G. Childe. 1926. The Aryans. London.
    9. S.C. Kak. 1994a. India at Century's End. New Delhi: Voice of India Publications.
    10. S.C. Kak. 1987. \On the chronology of ancient India." Indian Journal of History of Science, 22, pp. 222-234.
    11. M. Gimbutas. 1985. \Primary and secondary homeland of the Indo-Europeans." Journal of Indo-European Studies, 13, pp. 185-202.
    12. J.P. Mallory. 1992. \Human populations and the Indo-European problem." Mankind Quarterly, 33, pp. 131-154.
    13. J.P. Mallory. 1989. In Search of the Indo-Europeans. London: Thames and Hudson.
    14. S.C. Kak. 1992. \The Indus tradition and the Indo-Aryans." Mankind Quarterly, 32, pp. 195-213, S.C. Kak. 1994a. India at Century's End. New Delhi: Voice of India Publications & S.C. Kak. 1994b. The Astronomical Code of theR. gveda. New Delhi: Aditya.
    15. M.B. Emeneau. 1980. Language and Linguistic Area. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    16. ibid
    17. ibid
    18. ibid
    19. G. Dum ezil. 1988. Mitra-Varuna. New York: Zone Books.
    20. S.C. Kak. 1994b. The Astronomical Code of theR. gveda. New Delhi: Aditya. M. Kaiser and V. Shevoroshkin. 1988. Annual Review of Anthropology 17. 309-329.
    21. H. Hauptmann. 1993. \Ein kultgebaude in Nevali C ori." In Archaeologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri dedicata, M. Frangipane, H. Hauptmann, M. Liverani, P. Matthiae, M. Mellink (eds.).
    22. B.G. Sidharth. 1992. \A Lost Anatolian Civilization|Is It Vedic?" Research communication, Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad.
    23. L.L. Cavalli-Sforza. 1991. \Genes, Peoples and Languages." Scientific American, November, pp. 104-110. & R.R. Sokal, N.L. Oden and B.A. Thomson. 1992. \Origins of the Indo-Europeans: Genetic evidence." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89, pp. 7669-7673.

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    yajñōpavītá n. ʻ investiture with the sacred thread ʼ TBr., ʻ the sacred thread ʼ Mn. [yajñá -- , úpavīta -- ]Pa. yaññōpavīta -- n. ʻ the sacred thread ʼ, Pk. jaṇṇōvavīya -- , °ōvaīya -- , °ōvīa -- n., K. yôñĕ m.; S. janoī f. ʻ breast -- strap in harness ʼ, jaṇyo m. ʻ sacred thread ʼ (?), L. jañjū m., P. janeaū°nēū m., WPah.bhad. j̈annū n., Ku. janyo, WN. janeu, N. janaï, Bi. janeu, Aw.lakh. janē, H. janeu°noī m., G. janoī f.; M. j̈ānhavī˜°vẽj̈ānvẽ°nū n. ʻ the sacred cord ʼ, j̈ānhavī f. ʻ silk cord worn round the neck by Śūdras at the Śrāddha ceremony ʼ; Ko. jānvẽ n. ʻ the sacred thread ʼ.Addenda: yajñōpavīta -- : Garh. jãdyo ʻ sacred cord ʼ?(CDIAL 10399)                                                                                                                                        18 DECEMBER 2017

    Weight Of The Poonool Wearers

    In the land of ancient architectural wonders, craftsmen also wear janeu, something ritualistic radicals don’t get
    Weight Of The Poonool Wearers

    Bhaskar, a Chennai goldsmith, is a Vishvakarma and wears a poonool

    Over the past century, the janeu—in addition to its age-old connotations—gathered an extra charge in Tamil Nadu, where to cut off the
     ‘poonool of a parppaan’ (the sacred thread of a brahmin) was considered an act of radicalism in the high noon of the state’s self-respect movement.

    Over the past century, the janeu—in addition to its age-old connotations—gathered an extra charge in Tamil Nadu, where to cut off the ‘poonool of a parppaan’ (the sacred thread of a brahmin) was considered an act of radicalism in the high noon of the state’s self-respect movement. That tradition of throwing a spanner in the works of rigid Brahminism has new adherents, armed with new, imaginative methods. A fringe group put up posters last August that declared its intention to hold a thread ceremony for pigs—to coincide with Aavani Aavittam, the day Brahmins and a few other communities change their sacred threads and renew their vows. While Brahmin groups were aghast at the proposed insult, others were merely amused. 

    “By tradition, only a father would put the poonool on his son. So, I have no objection if these Periyarists want to put a poonool on a pig. For them, anti-Brahminism equals to anti-Hinduism. But they do not equate any other community’s practice with Hinduism. Thus, they are only giving a special place to Brahmins,” says former Mylapore MLA and BJP leader S. Ve Shekher. 

    As D-Day approached, the protests petered out. The police clamped down on would-be protestors; a few doughty ones could just manage to march a few pigs, sans the threads. “The poonool is nothing but an upper caste symbol aimed solely at degrading other castes. Brahmins wear them only to assert their caste superiority. Our ‘Poonool for Pigs’ sought to discourage it, which has no place in a secular democracy,” argues a spirited L. Manoj, an ofæce-bearer of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, the organiser group. 

    HATRED FOR PIGS A poster for the ‘Poonool for Pigs’ programme In April 2015, the group had used the old method and tried to cut off janeus of Brahmins in Chennai, resulting in the hospitalisation of a victim— an old priest—and the arrest of æve members. In hindsight, Manoj admits that it was a mistake, as it had violated privacy of individuals. “Hence, we wanted to target the community for perpetrating the practice of poonool.”  

    In Tamil Nadu, only Brahmins have been targeted for wearing sacred threads, not other communities who wear them. The Vishvakarma caste, consisting of goldsmiths, carpenters, stonemasons, ironsmiths and metalworkers, has been left alone, even though its male members proudly where their janeu. “This further proves that brandishing cultural illiteracy as social reform has been one of the hallmarks of the Dravidian movement,” points out right-wing author Aravindan Neelakandan. Though Vishvakarmas and Brahmins are almost equal in numbers—forming about three per cent of the state’s population—targeting Brahmins solely gives, naturally, greater mileage for such groups. 

    “By targeting Brahmins and not other communities the so-called social reformists have themselves placed the Brahmins on a higher pedestal unwittingly,” points out Thuglak Editor S. Gurumurthy. 

    Bhaskar, a goldsmith on the narrow C.P. Koil street near Mylapore’s Kapali Temple, feels that Brahmins have not protested strongly in the face of such attacks. “These DK people know that we too wear the thread, renew them on Aavani Aavittam day and yet haven’t grabbed ours. If such a thing happened our community would have agitated as one man and jewellery stores would have shut down in protest,” he says with a note of pride, pulling out his poonool from beneath his shirt. Advertisement opens in new window Along with Vishvakarmas, a section of Chettys are the other non-Brahmins in Tamil Nadu who wear the thread. “We have our own purohits who preside over our rituals, including changing the holy thread on Aavani Aavittam. Our rituals may not be as exacting as those of the Brahmins, but we wear the poonool as it is a symbol of knowledge and skill passed on by our forefathers. It is a matter of pride for us,” explains Dinesh, a Vishvakarma who conducts the community’s rituals as a priest and teaches computer science in a local school. 

    Writer Kalachakaram Narasimmaa says that the sacred thread was merely a symbol of enlightenment, not one inherited by way of birth. “The poonool merely represents the four stages of one’s life, from brahmacharya to sanyasa and used to apply to all communities. Whereas others have discarded the practice, Brahmins have clung on to it. So wearing the thread does not give them any hierarchical advantage. Some observers feel that Brahmins are still being targeted through such protests as the Dravidian movement had failed to displace them from a position of pre-eminence in society. “Politically they might have been weakened, but when it comes to industry, law, media, cinema and arts and culture, the Brahmins still have a lot of clout. Many IAS ofæcers are Brahmins, as they are recruited directly. When every community started its own self-ænancing engineering college, the Brahmins started their own. This is nothing but a failure of Periyar and DMK’s anti-Brahmin propagaNDA,” points out political commentator Raveendran Duraiswamy. 

    Even as mere protocol, the poonool has failed to cut through the caste divide. The temple archakas (priests) from non-Brahmin communities, trained and appointed by the Karunanidhi government in 2007, continue to languish in a limbo. “After being selected from among thousands of applicants, 206 of us who were appointed archakas are left jobless as the Supreme Court, while upholding the appointment of non- Brahmin archakas, laid down a rider that their appointment should conform to the local customs (agamas) of the respective temple. This effectively æltered out the 206, who had spent a year-and-a-half in training to be archakas,” points out Ranganathan. 

    A Yadava by birth, he had applied when the DMK government decided to appoint archakas from amongst non- Brahmins and was selected for the course conducted at Thriuvannamalai Shiva Temple. “Not only were the enrolment orders hand delivered, we were even given new sets of apparel. And we also took Deekshaa from a holy person to wear the poonool, which was an important ritual in the process of training as an archaka. But the SC order indirectly beneæts Brahmins, making them defacto archakas, which has made our trai-ning meaningless,” rues Ranganathan.

    Ranganathan and a fellow archaka garlanded Periyar’s statue to protest the DMK’s reluctance to push for temples free from casteism. “Even the DMK government, which enacted the law to appoint non-Brahmin archakas, left the candidates marooned, refusing to even get the interim stay against their appointment in 2010 vacated. And after the ænal verdict it was a case of ‘operation successful, patient dead’,” pointed out S. Raju, advocate who fought the aggrieved archakas’ case in the Supreme Court. To publicise their woe, Ranganathan and a fellow archaka, wearing their sacred threads, even climbed on to the Periyar statue in Thiruvannamalai and garlanded it to protest the DMK’s reluctance to bring Periyar’s dream of casteism-free temples to fruition.

    “I think the DMK government lost its resolve to bring the issue to a logical conclusion. It again proved that Karunanidhi believed more in tokenism rather than real social emancipation. The subsequent government of Jayalalithaa fought the case with even more reluctance and was greatly relieved when the SC virtually maintained status quo,” observes a former advocate-general. 

    Ironically, Karunanidhi’s last creative work—before his retirement from active public life—was the script for the TV serial Ramanujar, which was telecast on his family-run Kalaignar TV. Karunanidhi claimed that he wrote about the saint since he had broken caste barriers by letting non-Brahmins worship in temples. The DMK veteran’s critics, however, could not help but point out that for someone who had excelled in anti-Hindu posturing throughout his political career, his swansong had a Hindu saint as subject. “And thereby hangs a thread,” someone chuckles.

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    Indic Academy and Takshashila Institute of India Studies [TIIS] are jointly conducting a 2-day course on History of History by Prof. Vishwa Adluri and Dr. Joydeep Bagchee. The course will be conducted at the Mythic Society in Bengaluru on Dec 20th & 21st. This course is a deeper exploration into the concepts of Time and History that were only briefly treated in courses conducted by them in July at NIAS Bangalore and IGNCA New Delhi. 

    Does history simply mean a chronological collection of events? If we record a number of people walking on a conveyor belt at an airport, is that history? History is always a narrative, and a narrative implies some guiding principle. A principle by which these facts can be arranged in a meaningful way. And some significance from that should be drawn for other human beings. Otherwise, what's the point? 

    Take the example of the Western approach to history. Thucydides, Herodotus -- they were already doing history. Egyptians -- no one has a documentary impulse to match the ancient Egyptians. History was always there. But it is not until the renaissance that history joins the humanities curriculum. And it is only in the 19th century Germany that history displaces all other subjects from the Humanities. We cannot speak today of anything that transcends history. What explains this rise of history to occlude all other human concerns? Why has it become the discipline of all disciplines? 

    Whatever Itihāsa means, it is not history in this sense. It provides us with a new way of thinking about what to expect from history, how we theorize history, what history's proper place is, and what kinds of narratives should guide history. The Mahabharata is splendid in thinking about history without the pristine origins to which we must fall back to (like an Eden). Or an Utopia ahead of us. 

    The Mahabharata bends linear time (genealogical, for instance) into a circular narrative. Linear history is subsumed under a cosmology. How else are we going to think forward if not to take up this thing called history and try to bend it? And there the Mahabharata is already ahead of us -- the Mahabharata is not a book of the past, it is a book of the future. 

    COURSE TITLEItihāsa and Various Meanings of History

    COURSE SUMMARY This course explores the several different meanings of history—as documentary history, as a geological or an archaeological record, as a narrative, as the experience of a particular people or religion, as world history and as progress from "religious superstition" to a "secular" utopia, and, finally, as itihāsa.

    Readings include Hegel, Paul Ricoeur, Georg Iggers, selections from Ranke, Sukthankar’s On the Meaning of the Mahābhārata, and sections of Philology and Criticism. We will also read the Ādiparvan from the Mahābhārata (books 1–4) and explore a more primordial sense of time, history, and dharma in the Indian epic. The interpretation of history as it emerges from the text itself is unique and timely: it addresses the crisis of historicism and teaches philosophy and ethics.  

    COURSE DATESDec 20th (Wednesday) & Dec 21st (Thursday) from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.


    Day 1: History and Myth

    Part 1: The Several Senses of History
    Part 2: Hegel's Master Narrative

    Day 2: Itihāsa-Purāṇa

    Part 1: The primordial sense of Time and History in Mahābhārata
    Part 2: Itihāsa-Purāṇa and overcoming of Historicism

    COURSE FEECourse fee is Rs.1,800 for students, Rs.3,800 for others. For faculty or students attending as a group of 4+ from a single academic institution can pay Rs.1,200 per person. This is Inclusive of course material, lunch on both days. Not inclusive of accommodation.

    Mythic Society, 14/1 Nrupathunga Road, Opposite Reserve Bank, Bengaluru

    REGISTRATIONPlease send email to with the subject HISTORY COURSE. We will respond with further course details and instructions on payment of the fee. The last date for email registration is Dec 15th.

    CONTACTFor further queries please write to Srinivas Udumudi at

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    Are the ancient Hindu myths of a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka true? Scientific analysis suggests they are.

    God or Geology? The Genesis of Ram’s Bridge

    Secular and religious Indians are butting heads over the origin of an important shoal.

    by Ariel Sophia Bardi 
    The ancient Indian epic poem, the “Ramayana—a foundational text in Hinduism—is also a heart-stopping thriller.
    Its wedded heroes, Ram and Sita, exiled from their royal kingdom, are forced to live as hermits. Ravana, a 10-headed demon king, entices Sita with a magical golden deer and steals her away to Sri Lanka. It is up to Ram to slay her kidnapper. But first, he needs to find a way across nearly 50 kilometers of ocean between India and Sri Lanka.
    Standing on the shores of what is today Tamil Nadu, India’s south-eastern most state, Ram, an avatar of the god Vishnu, calls upon an army of warrior monkeys to help him bridge the two coastlines by building a footpath.
    Five thousand years later, a team of Indian archaeologists is preparing to embark on an underwater expedition to plumb the shallow strait separating India from Sri Lanka. There, a submerged 50-kilometer chain of limestone shoals—known, fittingly, as Ram Setu, or Ram’s Bridge—has become a central fixture in the ongoing debates between secular and religious India. The primary question: is Ram’s Bridge natural or man-made?
    “It’s a very sensitive matter, because the area is associated with millions of Hindus,” says Dayanath Tripathi, former chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), which is sponsoring the expedition.

    In 2005, the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project proposed cutting a path through Ram’s Bridge to open a shipping lane deep enough for cargo ships to pass through. (The idea to dredge the area was first floated by the British in the 1800s.) The plan did not get much support, particularly among Hindu groups. Protestors petitioned the national government to reject the project, and instead declare Ram’s Bridge—believed to be a site of deep religious significance older than the Great Wall of China—a national monument. Subramanian Swamy, a parliament member, urged the government to protect the “historic and sacred place.”
    But the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), a branch of the Indian Ministry of Culture—and the main governmental body overseeing India’s heritage sites—argued in an affidavit that Ram’s Bridge is little more than a ridge of sandbanks produced by sedimentation.

    The submerged limestone shoal bridging India and Sri Lanka. Photo by Universal Images Group North America LLC/Alamy Stock Photo
    “There’s no evidence from an archaeological point of view [that it’s man-made]. There’s only the religious aspect,” says Tripathi.
    In 2013, the canal project was scrapped for an entirely different reason: the projected devastation of the local ecosystem, and a forecast of an increased tsunami risk. With dredging off the table, the dispute over Ram’s Bridge was placed on hold—until now.

    Alok Tripathi, an underwater archaeologist at Assam University in northeast India, will lead the upcoming expedition, set to begin this summer. Alok Tripathi (no relation to ICHR’s Dayanath Tripathi) worked with ASI until 2009, when he left citing personal reasons. Previously, Alok Tripathi headed the 2007 excavation of Dwaraka, an ancient Hindu holy site that lies submerged off the coast of Gujarat. He says the ASI’s* declaration that Ram’s Bridge was formed by geological processes was made because of inconclusive data.
    “Without fieldwork, nothing can be said,” he says.
    In a press conference in March 2017, the ICHR chairman, Y. Sudershan Rao, compared Ram’s Bridge to Helen of Troy, a Homeric myth “proven to be true” by excavations. (While the ancient city of Troy has been uncovered, no evidence of the Trojan queen has ever been found.)
    Alok Tripathi devised a plan to comb the shoals for signs of an ancient civilization, in a project that will take anywhere from months to years. “Definitely this area has got historical importance,” he says. “We expect that there should be archaeological remains.”
    But in an increasingly intolerant, nationalistic, and zealous India—whose image abroad has been marred by recent attacks on religious minorities and lynchings of suspected beef-eaters—the maritime expedition is being launched at a particularly charged time.

    India is a secular republic of some 1.3 billion people, with a diversity of ethnicities, languages, and religions. Yet Hindu nationalism is rising in India’s mainstream. In March, the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide election in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh. The win put a Hindu monk with a history of controversial claims in the state’s highest office. Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh’s newest chief minister, has publicly endorsed the idea of India as a Hindu rashtra—a Hindu nation.
    Adityanath’s contentious election has helped resurrect another national debate, one also centered on Ram. In the city of Ayodhya, considered to be Ram’s birthplace, a Hindu temple was converted in the 16th century into a Mughal-era Islamic mosque, known as the Babri Masjid. In 1992, mobs tore down the mosque, triggering a spate of deadly riots that killed upward of 2,000 people. 
    Accused of inciting the crowd was a senior BJP leader, Lal Krishna Advani, who is also a key supporter in the movement to have Ram’s Bridge declared a protected monument. Twenty-five years later, Advani is still awaiting trial on criminal conspiracy charges. The BJP remains committed to returning Ayodhya to its Hindu roots. Subramanian Swamy, the BJP politician who filed the petition to protect Ram’s Bridge, promised in May that the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be rebuilt within the next year.
    In India, archaeological investigations of religious sites such as Ram’s Bridge risk alienating some faction of the population—no matter the findings by Alok Tripathi’s team. Amid the current tensions, the maritime excavation is venturing into dark waters.
    Alok Tripathi, however, disagrees. “It’s purely an academic exercise,” he says. “If it’s done scientifically, there shouldn’t be any controversy.”
    *Correction: The declaration was made by ASI, not ICHR. Ariel Sophia Bardi is a multimedia journalist and researcher, currently based in South Asia. Her work has appeared in BBC, the Guardian, Slate, Roads & Kingdoms, the Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Quartz, and VICE.
    Ram Setu: 11 Interesting facts about ancient bridge bewteen India and Sri Lanka | Boldsky  Published on Dec 3, 2017Ram Setu or Rama's Bridge is a causeway that was created across the sea connecting Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu, India to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. The debate about whether the Ram Setu is natural or a man-made bridge is going on from years. Many discussions have led to some interesting things that make us astonished about the bridge. The Hindu religious theories believe that it is the bridge constructed by Lord Rama and his Vanara (monkey) army as mentioned in the epic Ramayana. Surprisingly, this causeway is visible from an aerial view even to this day. Check out here the mysterious story of this historic bridge between India and Sri Lanka. Gyan Published on Mar 13, 2013 The Government of India has decided to go ahead with its plans for building a shipping channel by breaking the Rama Setu, the oldest man-made bridge of our civilization, a civil engineering marvel of 5076 BCE. This bridge is believed to have been built by Rama and His team. Only if Rama is historical could this bridge be man-made. If the bridge is proved to be man-made, then Rama has to be Historical. This film brings to light the layers of bridge construction and the month and the year when the Rama Setu was built.
    Watch it and share it with others. It is not just another story but a 7100 year old engineering marvel of our civilization. link to our latest film on Dating of Rama-12:30 pm, 10 Jan, 5114 BCE: find it hard to digest that Rama is historical and He lived 7100 years ago. This is because we have been brought up with the understanding that Rama lived in Treta Yuga and when one hears the term Treta Yuga, the mind immediately imagines millions of years. However, study of various texts shows that the terms Yuga, Yojana do not have just one fixed value. Ancient texts talk of over 7 types of Yuga scales ranging from • 1 year being a Yuga (which is why we celebrate Yugadi every year) to • 60 years being a Manava Yuga (which is why we have a cycle of 60 years with names for each year) to • 12000 years being a Ayana Yuga (based on precession of the earth) to • 432000 years being a Kali Yuga unit from which comes Chathur Yuga of 4320000 years on an astronomical scale. Valmiki Ramayana does not specify which Yuga scale was used when mentioning Treta Yuga. Hence we cannot assume it to have been the astronomical Yuga scale alone. The date 7100 years fits in with Treta Yuga in the Ayana scale as well as the astronomic configurations mentioned in the text. Our book Historical Rama details how. Ramayana is an Itihasa meaning history. So Rama was historical. Rama was also an Avatar, a form in which divine forces had descended. Historicity need not take away divinity if one understands the true meaning of divinity. When a text has been classified as itihasa, it mentions facts as they were. So if the text mentions that wood of certain trees were used in building a bridge, it should have been so. Just because we are unable to understand how, need not take away authenticity from the fact and reduce it to a mere figment of imagination. What exactly was the technology that was used to prevent the wood and the stones from floating away, was beyond the scope of that text. But that need not mean that the people were devoid of technical knowhow. Please see the entire film for comments by marine archaeologists on the technical feasibility in those days. Research has found evidence of a wood layer as mentioned in the text. It is for our generation now to use this bridge not only as a showpiece for the world's oldest and available engineering marvel of an ancient civilization but also as a specimen to study further the engineering techniques of an ancient knowledge based civilization. These steps could yield lot more revenue and benefits along with undisturbed ecology and thorium than what could be yielded by a small shipping channel with a convoluted and limited use. The name Bharatha comes from "Bha" meaning knowledge, enlightenment and "ratha" meaning to relish. "Bharatha" is the land where people relish knowledge. Our land was named Bharatha for a reason. It was a knowledge base civilization. Let us not dismiss our texts and their contents as works of imagination or just containing some moral stories. There is relevant knowledge in them as otherwise these texts would not have come this far. It is for us to open our eyes and minds to see it. If interested to know more, you may read our book Historical Rama and watch a film by the same title which look at the historicity of Rama and this bridge in a wholistic manner using various disciplines. Comments on the same are welcome.

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    Connecting Sabarmati river to Ambaji Mandiram. Kudos to NaMo

    Reconnecting Ahmedabad to its river. Kudos to NaMo.

    Night View Riverfront. Gujarati Gaurav Divas, May 11, 2017

    River Promenade, an uninterrupted walkway along the river

    River Promenade, lower level

    View between Swami Vivekanand and Nehru Bridge

    Riverfront park

    Boating on the river, all the year round

    Flower Garden Day view. Flowershow inauguration Jan. 11, 2017

    View from Dadhici Rṣi Bridge
    Gandhi āśram Night view

    Reconnecting Sabarmati river to Ambaji temple

      Shakti Tirth   :  Mata Temple Tirth  

    Top Ahmedabad civic and police officials and authorities of Airports Authority of India supervising trial run of sea plane's possible landing at Sabarmati Riverfront of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

    Watch: Narendra Modi's plan to start sea plane service in India

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    China may be using a secret tunnel to divert Brahmaputra water into desert 
    Satellite photo of China blocking Brahmaputra river
    China blocks Brahmaputra completely | Vinayak Bhat
    Latest satellite imagery shows the river Brahmaputra disappearing into a 900 m underground tunnel in China.
    In what is perhaps the first evidence of a possible diversion project by China, latest satellite imagery shows a massive new dam on the Brahmaputra river — Yarlong Tsangpo in Tibetan — with an underground tunnel that seems to engulf the entire water flow for almost one kilometre.
    The Brahmaputra is sacred to Indians and Tibetans alike and has its origins in the Angsi Glacier in Purang county of Tibet. It has been in the news for water reportedly turning black on the Indian side and in connection with Chinese plans to divert it to the arid lands of the Taklamakan desert.
    Although the Indian government has said that there is no evidence of any water diversion project, satellite imagery from 26 November 2017, courtesy US commercial vendor of space imagery DigitalGlobe, indicates a new project in an advanced stage. This report – based on latest satellite images — examines only the actual ground position. Measurements are made on very low resolution images and may not be exact.
    The available images show a new 200 m wide dam that seems to have completely blocked the water of the Brahmaputra. The entire river seems to be forced into two inlets of almost 50 m width each towards the west of the river. The water flow comes out after around 900 m downstream in two outlets very similar to the size and shape of the inlets.
    The project – currently under construction – is located 60 km east of Shannan township as the crow flies. The location is also almost 40 km east of Sangri county.
    Source: Vinayak Bhat
    What has raised questions about this project is that another project – Tsangmo or Zangmu Dam — has recently been constructed just 13 km downstream. This run of the river dam was made operational in end-2015 and has a capacity of 510 MW power production. Beijing did not pay any attention to India’s objections to the Tsangmo dam.
    The construction of another dam 13 km upstream of Tsangmo which diverts the entire water inside the mountain suggests that its purpose may not just be hydropower generation. The purpose of this project is possibly for diverting a portion of the Brahmaputra to the parched areas of Taklamakan desert.
    The geography of the area, when studied deeply with the elevation profile, clearly indicates that China may actually be planning to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra approximately 1,100 km northwest of the project site.
    The path indicated on the image below shows the possible route of the underground tunnel which does not touch any water body on its way. The height difference at the project site and the point of Taklamakan desert suggest that a clear downslope will be available for the water to flow naturally without any additional constructions for large storage wells in between.
    Source: Vinayak Bhat
    India being downstream of the Brahmaputra has full rights over its waters and any diversion of water from this river could likely hurt Indian agriculture. During any emergency, a sudden release of water from this project can also cause havoc on the Indian side.
    Satellite imagery shows that polymer resin adhesives are being sprayed by China all around this project area as a dust suppressant system. The resin adhesives are commonly used for large construction projects but are never used for projects near water, according to some water projects construction engineers, since these polymer resin adhesives are said to be harmful to humans and animals.
    The resin sprays have been observed over the last two months. The rough estimate of time for water flow to reach India from this project location is 15 to 20 days. The colour of the Brahmaputra water in Assam acquiring a darker shade, according to reports in the media, could possibly be due to the use of these resin adhesives at this project site.
    Satellite images clearly show stone crushers and cement plants at the site. The products of this facility are obviously used inside these tunnels for construction purposes. The material being quarried from inside these tunnels is being piled along the river up to the road level. Most of the stones have been crushed to different sizes and some of it may be pushed into the river along with the water flow.
    A large number of tippers and other vehicles are seen carrying material to and from this area. An administrative area is also seen east of the project with a large number of red-roofed houses and barracks, possibly living quarters for staff and may also contain administrative buildings.

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    Justification for declaration of Ramasetu as National Monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

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    BJP president Amit Shah posts series of tweets on Manmohan Singh
  • When it comes to respected Manmohan Singh ji’s honesty, I would not like to say anything. The monumental loot and plunder under his watch speak for him in abundance!
  • We are seeing a very angry Manmohan Singh ji these days. We just want to ask him whether he was so angry when monumental loot & plunder was happening under his watch? The nation missed this anger then!
  • Only after the secret meeting was exposed, respected Manmohan Singh ji said that the discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations. Why did he not consider it appropriate to apprise GoI about such a meeting with a neighbour like Pakistan. Why did he try to hide it?
  • After strongly denying the meeting, why did respected Manmohan Singh take a sharp U-turn and declare that he attended the meeting.
  • The question that Congress and Manmohan Singh need to answer is, why did Shri Anand Sharma and Shri Randeep Surjewala vehemently deny that the meeting with a top Pakistani leader has ever happened?
  • Where was respected Manmohan Singh ji’s anger when Shri Rahul Gandhi tore an ordinance which his Cabinet had cleared? Where was his concern for the dignity of the Prime Minister’s office?
  • We want to ask respected Manmohan Singh ji why was he not angry & anguished when a CM of his country was called ‘Maut Ka Saudagar.’ Why is he still silent when PM of his country is called ‘Neech’?
  • We want to remind respected Manmohan Singh ji that he has done his best to mislead the people of Gujarat in previous elections but Gujarat has rejected him & Congress everytime.
  • If Congress is nervous after more than 60 rallies by Shri Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat, last day attacks on PM Modi are also not going to help them in Gujarat.
  • Amused to see the Congress party so desperate before the Gujarat elections. Just a day before polling, both Shri Rahul Gandhi and respected Manmohan Singh ji are only maliciously attacking PM .

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    Wednesday, December 13, 2017

    Science Channel on Ram Setu as man-made structure concurs with Historical Rama.

     A video released by Science Channel on Ram Setu shows scientists saying that the submerged structure linking India and Srilanka is man-made. It consists of series or rocks and boulders sitting on a stretch of sand bed.

    The significant information from this video pertains to the dates of the structures. It says that the boulders and rocks found on top of the sand dunes are 7000 years old while the sand dunes are only 4000 years old! The time period of 7000 years BP is the approximate period of Rama at whose behest this structure was built. But the sand dunes that support them being dated at 4000 years BP puts it at post-Krishna period. This could be possible only if the structure was re-built using the same old boulders when the sea level arose.

    Boulders of the Ram Setu seen under water.

    According to the geologist Dr Badrinarayanan, two dates of rise in sea level was found in this part of the sea, one,  between 7,300 to 5,800 years BP and another between  5,400 to 4,000 years BP. As per the video the bounders correspond to the former date while the sand bed underneath them corresponds to the second and last date of sea level increase. But Dr Badrinarayana finds the occurrence of two sets of corals corresponding to these two levels. 

    This raises the possibility that the original layer was much below the current one which corresponded to 7000 years BP. For a brief period of 400 years between 5800 – 5400 years BP the sea level came down, exposing the Setu Bridge above the sea level. But once again the sea level rose submerging the structure after 5400 years BP. That was when a fresh attempt could have been made to re-construct the bridge – which was done by raising the height by laying a sand bed and re-laying the same boulders and rocks on top of it. The sacredness of the structure and connection with Rama could have made the re-builders to have retained the same boulders and also re-lay in the same way done originally by the vanaras. Research is needed to ascertain these ideas, but the fact is that research is woefully nil in India in the case of Ram Setu. 

    What is seen in the picture below as white objects (pic taken from the video released by Science Channel) are in fact the visible regions of the Setu above water – the corresponding regions in Google map is shown below this picture.

    Till the 14th  century the structure was well above the water level. In the next 6 centuries no attempt was made to restore the bridge perhaps due to changing or deteriorating political scenes in the ensuing period. Today, in these times of stable nationhood, we must have by now started rebuilding the structure using the same boulders after the lifting up the foundation. 

    The formation of stable nation with the arrival of Independence did nothing to secure the site back to its glory. In the previous UPA government, the focus was denying the Ram Setu as man-made and historical. It is unfortunate the same trend is continuing even now. Nothing much had happened in India in terms of research in this site. It needs a foreign channel to tell the world that Ram Setu is manmade while it is precisely the same we have known for ages. So what are we going to do now – the Government, the research agencies of India and the people? 

    In the case of people, I wish to clarify two objections or doubts that we often hear on this subject.  They are given below. 

    (1) The time period of Ramayana: Rama belonged to Treta Yuga and the general opinion among the people is that Treta Yuga occurred 17 lakh (1.7 Million) years ago. There also exists a claim by NASA that Setu is 1.75 million years old. However there is no confirmation by NASA that it is man-made. There are many Indians who ascribe to this view as a proof of Rama’s times at 17 lakh years before present. 

    This is not logical as 17 lakh years ago was the time period when man was just beginning to walk upright. The geological conditions of that period also could not be the same as it is now. In this back-drop it is self-defeating to claim historicity of Rama linked to such an early period.  

    This issue can be approached from two angles (1) the veracity of NASA image and (2)understanding the true purport of the time period of Rama.

    Taking up the first, the NASA image is true as there exists a natural shoal between India and Srilanka. This shoal is actually formed by underwater volcanic material. This has been confirmed in the studies by geologists. From the events of Ramayana we know that a hill called Mainaka existed exactly in the region of the shoal which grew up above the water when Hanuman crossed the sea. Such growth can be linked to a volcanic activity or magma bubbling up. 

    Earlier to Rama’s times, the sons of Sagara (Rama’s ancestor) were reduced to ashes while digging at this region. (read my article here). Such a description invariably supports the eruption of magma or heat that led to a calamity to them digging up the shoal here. Studies in this region do support such eventualities as heat flow signatures were found supported by hot water springs while drilling. Thus there can no two opinions on the presence of a natural bed formed of the material of the mantle in this region for ages. What NASA had noted in the satellite picture was the exact region of sea bed where magma got piled up (like a suture) Dating of the bed might give us clues on when such eruptions or volcanism first started. 

    This confirms an opinion that the island of Lanka was an extension of India and not one that got separated by geological activity as held by some. The very name “Ilangai”(Lanka) in Tamil refers to a raised bund in the midst of water or surrounded by water.  Srirangam is an Ilangai by this definition. The ‘Maavilangai’ mentioned in one of Tamil Sangam texts refers not to Lanka as some people think, but to a raised land in the course of a river.

    (Bingala Nikantu, Ch 4:104)

    The natural bund between India and Srilanka served as an extension of habitation in this part for thousands of years. There is even proof of growth of wild rice since Ice Age in this part, signalling presence of habitation here.

    (Fuller et al: 2010)

    In the above picture, the connecting region between India and Srilanka is marked with ‘P’. It refers to growth of wild rice since 20,000 years before present. This can be taken as a proof of habitation in this part of India at that date. One can see that the linkage between the two countries was very wide. In the picture below one can see the light shaded regions around India and Srilanka (yellow-line border done by me). The land was extended till then when the sea level was low. As per the above figure, there is evidence of growth of wild rice in this extended region. 

    With such a naturally present land connection for a wider extent, Srilanka of those times existed as an extension of India much like the Kathiawar peninsula. 

    So there never existed a need to build a bridge in this part. Such a need could arise only when sea water completely inundated this connecting land. The inundation maps produced by Graham Hancock throw better hints on this issue.  A comparison of them for different time periods is given below to pin point the date when the need arose to link the two countries by human efforts. The availability of maps start from 21,300 years BP.

    Until 8900 BP, the land connection was there naturally, helping in the movement of people. But things changed after this period as sea level rose above the connecting land by 7700 BP. The below-maps show this.

    By 7700 BP sea water passed through the connecting land. By 6900 BP the connecting land was completely under sea water.

    So any construction of a bridge could have happened only before 7000 years. The naturally occurring base is already there. What people had to do was to raise structures on the base for a few meters. This was what Rama’s Vanara sena had done!

    This date tallies with the date of boulders (7000 years) mentioned in the Video released by Science Channel. 

    This date also tallies with Pushkar Bhatnagar's date of Rama (5114 BCE).


    Read also :- Rama lived 7000 years ago


    (2) Ramayana is a myth?: There is a group including those from the West claiming that Rama is a myth perpetuated to promote divinity. This arises from a notion that Gods are not born on earth. This notion helps in linking super natural feats with Gods. 

    The fact is that there is nothing super natural about Gods of Hinduism. There is One God, the All-pervading Brahman and every other God is a manifestation of this Brahman in its different stages of existence. Even man (individual atman) is no lowly creature as he can become God – the all-pervading Brahman. It is only because of Karma binding him, man is born a man (or an animal or a plant). And when he crosses over Karma he is one with Brahman or identical with Brahman. This is what the texts say.

    But the easiest way to understand how a man can become a God, the reply by Kalanos toAlexander is an eye-opener. For a question by Alexander on

    How may a man become a god?”

    Kalanos replied

    by doing that which is almost impossible for a man to do”. 

    (Source: works of Plutarch, the Greek historian and biographer of Alexander the Great -here)

    When a person does things that no other man can do or which are beyond normal human limits, then such a person comes to be regarded as a God. There comes a discussion on this topic in the Tamil text Silappadhikaram. 

    From Silappadhikaram

    Two women of this story (a real one) showed extraordinary nature. One was Kannagi who despite undergoing terrible times with her husband going after another woman and then coming back to her empty handed, lost him once for all, for the sake of her anklet which the king mistook as stolen from his queen. With all the sense of loss in her heart, Kannagi nevertheless went to the court of the king to establish that her husband did not steal. The king died on the spot on coming to know of his mistake. The strange part of the story is that his queen also died on the spot immediately after him, being unable to bear the loss of her husband.

    On coming to know of these developments, the Chera king asked his wife who among the two – the queen and Kannagi – was greater. The Cheran queen preferred Kannagi over the other on the basis that Kannagi put up with the suffering at the wake of the death of her husband to prove the world that he was innocent. So she was fit enough to be celebrated in human world whereas the other, the queen would be celebrated in the other world (heavens). This resulted in consecrating Kannagi as a deity in a temple. 

    This narration is in tune with what Kalanos said on doing the impossible. There had never been another Kannagi in history!

    In the same way Rama, a man born in this world did some extraordinary feats and exhibited extraordinary character that he came to be regarded as a God.

    From Ramayana 

    Rama never considered himself as a God. 

    He expressed, “I am a human being” (‘Atmaanam maanusham manye Ramam Dasharathatmajam’ -VR 6-117-11)

    But Brahma replied, “For destruction of Ravana you entered human body here, on this earth (“Vadaartham Raavanasyeh pravishto maanusheem tanum” – VR 6-117-28).

    So it is found within Ramayana that God reincarnates as a human being. Rama was such an incarnation. 

    As a human being, how do we recognise him as a God?

    By the impossible feats that no other man can do. 

    What was that impossible feat?

    This is expressed in Valmiki Ramayana itself through the words of Madodari, Ravana’s wife. On seeing Ravana fallen dead, Madodari wailed that she knew Rama was not an ordinary mortal and therefore should not be taken to task. Two things she mentioned as proof of this. One was the building of Setu! (The other was vanquishing demons at Janasthana)

     “The day when the terrific monkeys built a bridge on the great ocean, that day itself I believed that Rama was not an ordinary mortal." (VR 6-11- 11)

    Ravana was feeling secure sitting at Lanka as it was cut off from the mainland by the sea. Individuals might cross the sea in boats; but to cross the sea with a huge army to defeat him was impossible, Ravana thought. 

    The impossible feat of laying down a road or a bridge across the sea was unthinkable for any man. That is where Rama scored as super human – a God.

    There are other attributes that made him God – all those are impossible for ordinary mortals. Explaining them here is out of context for this article. 

    What we need to know is that divinity in Hinduism does not make god unreal and unborn.

    Rama was very much real as he lived and walked in this country. By the same reasoning of impossible accomplishments, Skanda, who lived in flesh and blood, came to be regarded as a God. He was perhaps the first man identified as a God in the Vedic civilization of the current era of Vaivasvata Manu. In his mantra for establishing Indra dhvaja, Manu invokes Skanda’s name. 

    By the same reasoning, Vamana, Parasurama, Balarama and Krishna were regarded as Gods. So there is no basis to say that Rama was only a mythical character. Ram Setu is one of the evidences his time period.

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    Gandhi family took all decisions, reduced Manmohan Singh to titular head: BJP

     | Updated: Dec 13, 2017, 19:52 IST
    NEW DELHI: The BJP on Wednesday used a series of email exchanges to accuse the Gandhi family of interfering in the work of the previous UPA government and reducing then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "just a titular head."

    "We have accessed email in which Jayanti Natarajan when UPA minister was even willing to go home to meet personal secretary of Rahul Gandhi. This was how people not a part of government interfered in governance during UPA," said Union minister Piyush Goyal at a press conference.

    "Email exchanges between Rahul Gandhi and Jayanthi Natarajan show that all decisions were directly taken by the family and PM Manmohan Singh was just a titular head," he charged.

    Goyal brandished a series of emails that he said showed how "projects were stalled and environment ministry was used" in the UPA government.

    He said that the emails showed that Rahul had instructed Natarajan to not give environmental clearance to the Nirma project in Gujarat.

    "Rahul Gandhi opposed Nirma and instructed Jayanthi Natarajan to not give environmental clearance. He was willing to kill jobs in Gujarat to undermine, to hurt the developmental agenda of Narendra Modi," he said.

    The BJP also accused him of giving then-environment minister "guidance" and instructions on the Lavasa issue.

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    Are the Ancient Hindu myths of a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka true?

    Video source
    Are the ancient Hindu myths of a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka true? Scientific analysis suggests they are.

    Are the Ancient Hindu myths of a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka true?

    Published on Dec 11, 2017...

    Are the ancient Hindu myths of a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka true? Scientific analysis suggests they are.

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    Time to declare Ram Setu as national monument: Kalyanaraman

    Dec 15, 2017, 1:25 am IST
    US science channel has reaffirmed that Ram Setu is man-made, the Centre should brook no further delay and declare it as National Monument”.
    “Declaring Ram Setu as National Monument would prevent future attempts to destroy the monument''.
     “Declaring Ram Setu as National Monument would prevent future attempts to destroy the monument''.
    Chennai: “The American science channel has stated what we have been saying all these years; in fact, it has only reiterated what our scriptures, what Ramayana, had said ages ago. Now that the US science channel has reaffirmed that Ram Setu is man-made, the Centre should brook no further delay and declare it as National Monument”.
    That was Dr S. Kalyanaraman, the president of the Rameswaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement, one of the petitioners before the Supreme Court praying for halt of the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP). The Apex Court had on September 14 in 2007 stayed the project and the stay is still operational.
    “Declaring Ram Setu as National Monument would prevent future attempts to destroy the monument. This is the significance of this Discovery Channel report now”, said Dr Kalyanaraman, whose movement had organized one of the biggest rallies ever, at Rohini Park in New Delhi on 31 December 2007, for a public demand for declaration of Ram Setu as a National Monument and heritage site.
    “Over 15 lakh people from all over India attended it. There were three podiums of huge height. All the Dharma Sansads were present to bless the event. There was only one call given by that mass of humanity: Protect Ram Setu”, Dr Kalyanaraman said.
    He said there had been reluctance on the part of the government to declare Ram Setu as a national monument. “This reluctance is based on the opinion of one ASI official that for declaring something as a national monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, it must be human intervention and it must be a built heritage. This is not really a correct argument because we have two natural monuments declared as national monuments and also as world heritage sites-Brahma Sarovar in Kurukshetra (a large lake) and Majuli Island in the Brahmaputra River in Assam (1457 sq km river island, one of the largest river islands in the world). But now even assuming that it requires human intervention as a built heritage, this Discovery Channel report takes away that ASI excuse”, he said.
    “Eminent geologists Badri Narayanan and K. Gopalakrishnan (he had made the huge minerals map of India, 6ftx6ft map) had proved by doing bathymetric study (studying the depth of sea at different locations) for the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, way back in 2007 what this Discovery Channel report is now saying”, he said, adding that there were also revenue records in south Tamil Nadu that showed villages existed on the Ram Setu and people used it as a causeway between India and Sri Lanka.
    “All these archeological studies, geological researches and scientific findings are all secondary to the foundational evidence of this being the collective memory of the people, the faith, the Shraddha, of the people and treating a visit to Ram Sethu as pilgrimage”, said Dr Kalyanaraman.

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    Language of the Snakes traces the history of the Prakrit language as a literary phenomenon, starting from its cultivation in courts of the Deccan in the first centuries of the common era. Although little studied today, Prakrit was an important vector of the kāvyamovement and once joined Sanskrit at the apex of classical Indian literary culture. The opposition between Prakrit and Sanskrit was at the center of an enduring “language order” in India, a set of ways of thinking about, naming, classifying, representing, and ultimately using languages. As a language of classical literature that nevertheless retained its associations with more demotic language practices, Prakrit both embodies major cultural tensions—between high and low, transregional and regional, cosmopolitan and vernacular—and provides a unique perspective onto the history of literature and culture in South Asia.
    “Andrew Ollett’s book is one of those scholarly breakthroughs that happen, with luck, once or twice in a generation. It reveals the richness of Prakrit language and literary modes with a precision and depth of insight never seen before.” DAVID SHULMAN, Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University
    “Ollett offers a brilliant, original, and thoroughly engaging investigation of the complex language order of premodern India. Bringing to the fore the less-studied role of the literary Prakrits, his work makes a major contribution to our understanding of the history of language and literature in early India and beyond.” R. P. GOLDMAN, Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in Sanskrit and India Studies, University of California, Berkeley

    ANDREW OLLETT works on the literary and intellectual traditions of premodern India.

    Language of the Snakes

    Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India

    Andrew Ollett
    Ollett, A. 2017. Language of the Snakes: Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India. California: University of California Press. DOI:

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     |  | CHENNAI

    Monday’s Supreme Court order staying the directive issued by Madras High Court to the Tamil Nadu Government to set up Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas has shocked the entire population of the State barring the Dravidian political parties.
    Monday’s Supreme Court order staying the directive issued by Madras High Court to the Tamil Nadu Government to set up Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas has shocked the entire population of the State barring the Dravidian political parties.
    The Madras High Court had ordered that the decision of the Tamil Nadu Government not to allow the opening of JNVs in the State was a violation of the fundamental right of the people. The AIADMK Government led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy decided to move the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court directive because it wanted to neutralise the political advantage which would have gone to the DMK and other Tamil chauvinist parties if the Government left the directive without challenging it, according to a political commentator, who himself was surprised over the move.
    On September 11, the Madras High Court had asked the Tamil Nadu Government to immediately take steps to set up JNVs in all districts and provide temporary sites and buildings to accommodate 240 children in each district. Tamil Nadu is the only State in the country which has not allowed the setting up of the centrally funded and sponsored JNV, an education system which offers public school ambience to the rural poor in the country.
    The argument by the Tamil Nadu Government was that the education policy of the State envisages a two-language formula while the JNV follows the three language pattern, viz, English, Hindi and the regional language. The contention of the Tamil Nadu Government was that the Madras High Court order was an encroachment into the State policy.
    “The stance of the Tamil Nadu Government is ridiculous. The Dravidian Governments are denying the fundamental rights of the children to get quality education at no cost. What is wrong in me getting a chance to study Hindi as an additional language?” said M Ravinson, a lawyer and president of Kumari Maha Sabha, the organisation which approached the Madras High Court with a plea to direct the Tamil Nadu Government to set up Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in the State. “The State Government has failed miserably in making quality education available to the underprivileged sections. The JNVs offer free public school education to the rural population and it should be launched in the State at the earliest. The standard of education offered by the Government schools in Tamil Nadu is poor,” said B N Alexander, an office bearer of KMS.
    Dr S Kalyanaraman, director, Saraswathi Research Centre, Chennai, said the Dravidian parties have an ulterior motive in keeping JNV off the State. “Their children and grand children are all studying Hindi and Sanskrit while the same privilege is denied to the poor children. The Government also argued in the court that Hindi and Sanskrit were not welcome in Tamil Nadu,” said Dr Kalyanaraman.
    Ravinson pointed out that the Tamil Andu Government’s argument that there was no three-language formula in school education in Tamil Nadu was wrong. “The State has many Kendriya Vidyalayas whioch follow three-language formula. The stay by the apex court is a set back for us but we will continue our fight for JNVs in the State,” said Ravinson.