Hundreds of NGO also joined this rally against corruption. Later they submitted memorandum to president of India with signature of 30 lakh people collected nearby Delhi.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Hundreds of NGO also joined this rally against corruption. Later they submitted memorandum to president of India with signature of 30 lakh people collected nearby Delhi.
Rig Veda laid stress on giving, Greek scholar reminds Chennaiites
Chennai, 28 Feb. 2011, Express News Service
THE Rig Veda of the fifth century BC laid stress on dhaanam (giving) as the important feature of the Kali Yuga, said Prof Nicholas Kaz a n a s, re n ow n e d G re e k scholar in vedic studies.
Stress on giving could be found in several Hindu texts, from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishads to Manusmriti and Bhagavad Gita, he said.
He was delivering a lecture on the Vedic civilisation at Dwaraka Doss Govardhan Viashnav College on Sunday.
While there were several similarities between the Rig Veda and ancient texts of other religions, the speaker noted that the Rig Veda was distinct for stressing on nonmaterialistic life, while other philosophies were materialistic. The ideas expressed by Plato, about the activities to be carried out by people, matched that of what the Rig Veda proposed: engage in agriculture, trade, singing hymns, eat and drink moderately, he explained. And it was also easy to point out that the five regulations prescribed by the Rig Veda -ahimsa, sathya, asteya, brahmacharya and aparig raha -could be mapped with five of the Ten Commandments of Christianity, he revealed.
Speaking about the several problems faced by the world today, he said it was wrong for man to depend too much on technology.
Recent research had shown that when youngsters in 1970 Germany could identify 350 colours, youngsters in 2002 could identify only 130. Man regresses as technology progresses, he observed.
Also present at the event was P Haridas, secretary of the college.
by N. Kazanas
This paper examines the general IndoEuropean issue and argues in favour of Indoaryan indigenism against the AIT (Aryan Invasion/Immigration Theory) which has been mainstream doctrine for more than a century. The extreme positions that there was no ProtoIndoEuropean (PIE) language or that this language is as currently reconstructed are refuted: the evidence suggests there was a PIE language but this cannot be reconstructed and all efforts and confidence in this reconstruction are misplaced. Indeed, all reconstructions of Proto-languages seem futile and, since they are in no way verifiable, should not be used as evidence for historical events. Indeed all the data used as evidence by the AIT are wholly conjectural and arbitrary and often consist of misrepresentations and distortions, as will be clearly demonstrated in detail. All the arguments used for the AIT have been analytically presented by E. Bryant (2001) and summed up in his concluding chapter. These will be examined one by one and shown to be fallacious. We shall also refer to some material not in Bryant - e.g. genetic studies after 2001CE and mythological motifs never examined in this connection.
(Download the PDF file - 291kB)
In this paper I argue that the IndoAryans (IA hereafter) are indigenous from at least 4500 (all dates are BCE except when otherwise stated) and possibly 7000. In this effort are utilized the latest archaeological finds and data from Archaeoastronomy, Anthropology and Palaeontology. I use in addition neglected cultural and linguistic evidence. I find no evidence at all for an invasion. The new term "migration" is a misnomer since a migration could not have produced the results found in that area. The Rigveda (=RV) is neither post-Harappan nor contemporaneous with the ISC but much earlier, ie from the 4th millennium (with minor exceptions) and perhaps before.
The bibliography of this study is available as a separate pdf file.
This paper was published in the Journal of IndoEuropean Studies 2002.
(Download the PDF file - 300kB)
|'The RV Date - a Postscript', by N. Kazanas |
This examines some of Prof M Witzel's (erroneous) notions which perpetuate the AIT (=Aryan Invasion Theory) and which had not been discussed in 'The RV and IndoEuropeans'. It presents some new evidence and new ideas for a pre-3100 BC date of the RV and the indigenous origin of the IndoAryans and criticizes Prof Witzel's vicious attacks on some Indian and non-Indian scholars, who promote the indigenist point of view.
(Download the PDF file - 78kB)
|'AIT and Scholarship', by N. Kazanas |
N Kazanas wrote 'AIT and Scholarship' in May-June 2001. This was first posted here. It deals with some additional (erroneous) notions of Prof M Witzel and the major (but not all) aspects of his 'Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts' (EJVS 7-3, pp 1-93, 2001). Apart from the AIT, this study examines other cases of corruption in academic disciplines like Egyptology, Anthropology etc, where evidence against maistream views is discarded, as well as the etymology of the terms 'academia' and 'academic' and the development from Plato's Academy in Athens to modern notions.
(Download the PDF file - 233kB)
|'Reply to prof. Witzel', by N. Kazanas |
Prof Witzel wrote a very superficial critique of 'AIT and Scholarship' ignoring the title, lampooning the presentation of the development of modern academia and making all kinds of irrelevant remarks (5/7/01). So N Kazanas wrote a reply selecting some of the mosts salient points in 'Addendum to "AIT and Scholarship"': reply to Prof Witzel and incorporating some (lengthy) remarks of V Agarwal. All this was completed and posted in sept 2001 here. The most significant point, apart from Prof Witzel's irrelevances, is N Achar's firm discovery that some astronomical dates in the Mahabharata indicate the date of 3067 BC for the Great War.
(Download the PDF file - 138kB)
|'Final Reply', by N. Kazanas. |
Reply to nine critics in the debate on Indoaryan Οrigins initiated by and published in theJournal of Indo-european Studies, 2002-2003.
(Download the PDF file - 170kB)
|'A Reply to Michael Witzel's 'Ein Fremdling im Rgveda'' by Vishal Agarwal, |
11 August 2003.
(Journal of Indo-European Studies, Vol. 31, No.1-2: pp.107-185, 2003).
The " A Reply to Michael Witzel's 'Ein Fremdling im Rgveda' " was sent to us by V.Agarwal (Minesotta, USA). It was written in July 2003 as a reply to Prof M. Witzel's 'Ein Fremdling im Rgveda', 2003, Journal of Indo-European Studies, and was posted on the Journal's website. It provides supplementary material to N. Kazanas' 'Final Reply' covering various aspects not dealt with by, or unknown to the latter. One should note that when Kazanas mentions "black copper" (kRshNa-/karshaNa-ayas or Syama- 'swarthy metal') he nowhere means bronze as Witzel takes it (p 175) and Agarwal need not have elaborated the bronze-aspect.
(Download the PDF file - 596kB)
This essay is published in 2004 Indian Linguistics. It challenges many generally accepted notions in IndoEuropean linguistics like the 5-grade ablaut, labio-velar sounds, roots etc. At the same time it discloses the great antiquity of Sanskrit (or Vedic) and argues that the Sanskrit retroflex sounds are ProtoIndoEuropean, but lost in the other IE stocks.
(Download the PDF file - 159kB)
Published in VVRI 2006
This paper examines more than 400 lexical items that have cognations in 3 or more IE branches (Vedic, Greek, Italic etc) and denote as far as possible invariable things, qualities and activities (bodily parts, relations and actions like breathing, dressing, rising etc). Sanskrit appears to have lost far fewer items and preserves much greater inner organic coherence than the other branches. This supports the general idea that Sanskrit is much closer to Proto-Indo-European and that, since this could happen only in sedentary conditions, the Indoaryan speakers of Sanskrit did not move (much) from the original homeland. Moreover, the criticism that this conclusion does not take into account the large literature in Sanskrit is shown to be fallacious. This collection of words is a good treasury for any comparisons.
(Download the PDF file - 415kB)
Friday, February 25, 2011
In 1986, I was passing Kanchipuram, so I made a detour and went to the Kanchi Mutt. Parmacharya was there giving Darshan to hundreds of people. I also stood in the crowd. But the pujaris saw me and whispered to the Parmacharya that I had come. So he asked me to come close and sit before him. After the crowds had left, he looked at me as if to ask me why I had come. The Babri Masjid issue then was hotting up, and so I said Parmacharya that I was planning to visit Ayodhya to study the situation. I asked the Mahaswami what stand I should take. Parmacharya looked at me very sternly and said “you are a politician. Why do you have to take a stand on a religious issue? You stay out of it. You spend your energies on improving our economy or our relations with
religious leaders of both religions to come together and work out a compromise. But you stay out of it. I then told Parmacharya that my friend, and leading Babri Masjid agitator Mr.Syed Shahabuddin wanted to see his holiness, and whether I could do bring him next time. The pujaris around the Parmacharya protested. They said that Shahabuddin was anti-Hindu, and he should not be allowed inside the Mutt.
The Parmacharya waved away their objections. He gave me permission to bring him to the Mutt. Then he said to the Pujaris. “Only Subramanian Swamy knows the art of befriending Americans, Chinese and Israelis at the same time. He can also be a friend of Shahabuddin.” Then turning to me, he said: “Keep this quality. Never be afraid of making friends with anyone.” I have followed this advice despite heavy criticism from the media. I have made friends with Morarji, Chandrasekhar and Indira Gandhi after terrific quarrels with them. Sometimes one needs to quarrel to come to an understanding of each other’s strength. Generally, I love to oppose those in authority because for a strong democracy, opposition is necessary. But Indian society being feudal, those in power underestimates who oppose them. And in my case, people in power have always underestimated me because they think I am alone. But they don’t realize I have friends everywhere, in all
political parties and in all important countries. That is why I have won all my battles against Government.
Because I have never betrayed anyone, these friendships remain for a long time. In 1990, I could have betrayed Chandrasekhar and fallen for temptation offered by Rajiv Gandhi to become PM. But when I discouraged this idea, Rajv Gandhi’s esteem of me and trust in me went sky high. Because of the trust I develop my friends from all over the world confide in me. People ask me often “How do you get so much accurate information”. This is the answer. I have secret friends and open enemies. Most other people have the opposite: secret enemies and open friends.
Thus Shahabuddin trusted me to bring him to the Mutt with honour. In early 1987, I brought Shahabuddin to see Parmacharya. I brought the fierce Muslims-rights agitator Mr.Syed Shahabuddin to Kanchipuram to have a darshan of the Parmacharya. Shahabuddin had told me many a times that he had an urge to see the Parmacharya. He never explained why. Nor I asked him why since I assumed everyone would like to see a living God on earth.
Although Shahabuddin is a strict Muslim, he accepted two fundamental points defining a patriotic Indian Muslim. The first point, a patriot would accept that though he is a Muslim, his ancestors are Hindus since 99.9 percent of Muslims of India are descendents of converts. Muslims who think that their ancestors are Persians or Arabs or from
Shahabuddin had accepted the two points and that is why I defended him against the charge that he was communal. But the RSS [which is not pro-Hindu, but merely anti-Muslim], saw in Shahabuddin a convenient hate figure, and dubbed him a “second Jinnah”. Naturally bigots of the RSS protested when they came to know that I was bringing Shahabuddin to meet Parmacharya. When we arrived at the Kanchi Mutt, the Mutt-Pujaris told me that Parmacharya had wanted me to bring Shahabuddin right into the inner part of the Mutt where he was staying. We were made to sit before a shut door, and told Parmacharya would come soon.
The door was opened by Parmacharya himself. When Shahabuddin saw him, he started to weep, with tears rolling down his cheeks. He folded his hands in a ‘namaste’ and said “Oh my Lord Parmacharya, please save my community and save the nation”. I was taken aback [Much later when we were back on our way to Chennai, I asked Shahabuddin why he broke down , before the Parmacharya. He simply said that he could not control himself when he saw the radiant face of the Parmacharya.
Parmacharya asked Shahabuddin what troubled him. He said “The Babri Masjid has been shut to Muslims by a Court Order and I pray to you to help us open it to us”. [At that time, 1988 there was no talk of its demolition by RSS]. Parmacharya told him that Hindus and Muslims should work out a compromise. He suggested a number of proposals, such as joint prayers, or Hindu Prayers on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Muslims Namaz on other days with Sunday being denied to both. All these compromise proposals, Shahabuddin said, would be unacceptable to devout Muslims.
I added in my proposal. Koran prohibits Namaz in constructions built by demolishing other religions holy places : therefore if it can be proved that a temple was demolished by Babar’s men to build the mosque in Ayodhya, and then the Muslims themselves should agree to the Babri Masjid demolition.
Parmacharya looked at me with a benign smile. He had earlier warned me to stay away from this issue, instead asked me to concentrate on political and economic issues. But Shahabuddin quickly agreed that Koran prohibited reading namaz in such places, but contested that Babri Masjid was built on a temple site. He said he had construction blue prints to prove his point. Two hours of discussion had taken place, and therefore the Mutt pujaris were getting impatient. A big crowd was waiting for the Parmacharya’s darshan. So Parmacharya closed his discussion by asking Shahabuddin to bring his blue prints and come again. Surprisingly, again Shahabuddin prostrated before him, and then we both left.
Shahabuddin never came back again. But two years later, I became the Law Minister. I confronted the Muslim organizations with a proposal that the Government would appoint a Supreme Court Judge in a one man Commission of inquiry to determine whether or not there was a temple before the Babri Masjid was built. And if the conclusion was that there was a temple, then Muslims must agree to give up the Masjid. If not, then the Hindus would vacate the masjid.
Surprisingly, while all the Muslim organisations agreed to my proposal, the fanatic Hindu organizations refused to agree. Our government did not last long enough for me to go ahead with the Commission of Inquiry anyway disregarding the fanatics. Nor could I persuade the successor Narasimha Rao Government to follow my proposal. It would have amicably resolved the issue. But alas, Babri Masjid was finally demolished in bitterness.
Perhaps Parmacharya was telling me not to get involved from the beginning because he foresaw that it would be demolished as a part of destiny. If Babar’s violence was undone 450 years later, then RSS violence on
In April 1990, I received an urgent summons from Parmacharya to come to Kanchipuram. So I rushed. When I saw him, he merely smiled, put up his palm in blessing and then waved me on to go away! I was puzzled. Why was I asked to rush to the Kanchi Mutt from
That May meeting turned out to be crucial for me, because it created a rapport with Rajiv which I did not have before. Rajiv too had great regard for the Parmacharya and therefore his selection of me to pair with Rajiv, meant for Rajiv that I could be trusted. From that date onwards, Rajiv trusted me blindly with no reservations. Parmacharya thus not only altered my outlook, but he also ensured from time to time that I came on the right path. Once for example, in 1992, the two junior swamis, Jayendra Saraswati and Vijendra Saraswati had asked me to collect some funds for a Ghatikasthanam library that they wanted to build in honour of the Parmacharya. They even printed letter heads to make me the “Patron” of the project, but insisted on a donation. With great difficulty, I collected Rs.15 lakhs and gave it to them as Janata Party’s gift. When Parmacharya came to know about it, he sent me a query: “Why should you donate to the Mutt when you are
yourself begging for funds from the people to run your party? Please do not do it in the future”. Since then I have stopped giving donations to any cause. Beggars cannot donate.
Naturally, when Parmacharya attained samadhi in 1994, I felt like an orphan in public life. HE was always there when I had a dilemma to set things right. But I had the God’s grace to see him, a living divinity, for 17 years. Many of his opinions and directions I can never reveal, because he said them knowing fully well that I will keep it to myself. But by guided and listening to him, I have become so strong mentally as a person, that I feel that no one can cow me down or demoralize me no matter how bad a situation I am in.
Parmacharya taught me that the easiest way to finish an enemy is to make him a friend. He had urged me not to hate the sin, but the sinner. Of course, sometimes the easiest way is not available because of ego clash, and so the sinner has to fought to be made to realize the sin. But one has to keep in mind that there is a God’s scheme, redemption for the sinner what we call as prayaschitam. The ultimate revenge belongs to the divine. As human beings we have no right to revenge; only self-defence and righteous struggle. As Hindus, this is easy to understand because we believe in the law of Karma. People who see me fighting fiercely with Indira Gandhi, Chandrasekhar and Jayalalitha and then working with them get confused or even disgusted at what they perceive as my opportunism. I do not make up with those I quarrel with at height of their power, but when they cease to be in office. The reason for this flexibility in making friends out of enemies of
yester year is the advice that Parmacharya once gave me in 1977: ”
These three fundamental concepts of morality are
1. I shall not speak lie, even if I withhold truth.
2. I shall practice what I shall preach.
3. What I do will be transparent for all to see.
I consider myself therefore free to plan my political strategy as I see best, without regard to criticism from my political opponents, but within these three moral limits.
An interesting article in TOI focuses on the need to retain the original flavor of the language while translating foreign words. The names of places are also discussed in this article. In this context, I wish to say that the original names of places conceal a history behind them. Even the names of people as a collective noun has a history behind them.
One example I can say is the name 'Pandya'.
Pandyan is the family name of the kings who ruled from Madurai.
No one knows exactly why they got this name.
But while searching for the lost roots in the submerged Kumari, I came across a number of hints from Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
One hint is that Pandyan kingdom had a mountain called Rishaba.
In Tamil Pandya or Pandy also means rishaba.
The Pandyan king who fought for the Pandavas in Kurukshethra war was described as a bull (rishabha) in 2 places.
From Shugreeva's description of the South that is now enveloped with the waters of the Indian ocean, it is known that a mountain existed there by name Rishbha.
Rishbha is the vahana of Lord Shiva.
The Pandyans were shiva worshipers and derived their family name as Chandra vamsa owing to the moon adorning the head of Shiva.
All these put together give a justification for why they were called as Pandyas which means the bull.
In my next article (41st) in the series on Thamizan diraavidanaa, more details will be covered.
It is worthwhile to analyze them to know / construct the history of the past.
What would you call 'global warming' in Tamil?
Arun Janardhanan, TNN, Feb 25, 2011, 12.50am IST
"We are yet to find the right Tamil words for many expressions of the present times, such as sustainable development' or carrying capacity'. When instruction in English is spreading at the cost of local languages, our discourses on issues should be in the language of common man, in the ambient language," said Theodore Bhaskaran, historian and film critic.
Bhaskaran said that local languages were facing a threat as it was difficult to develop new words and ideas. He said the British, who had done immense work in the field of natural history in India, had completely ignored the local context of names. He also blamed the government and media who transliterate English words into Tamil rather than translate them. King Cobra, for example, is translated into Tamil as Raja Naagam', when a traditional Tamil name already exists for the reptile, Karunagam'.
Bhaskaran said the reason for this could be the fact that environmental concerns remain as a pre-occupation of the elite who use English. As a result, the linguistic heritage built over the centuries is being lost rapidly. "Not just the names, but even proverbs, metaphors and similies connected to the external world, to nature, are being lost. When metaphors die, ideas pass away and a way of thinking is buried," Bhaskaran said.
According to Dr S Balusami, senior Tamil professor in Madras Christian college, the problem arises when a language receives a new concept or idea. "What we are doing now is mere transliteration of words. An inferior feeling always prevents us from using the root words but going for the English substitutes. A new word should emerge from the roots, not as a translation. Tolkappiyam describes it as a problem with all regional languages as Tamil has had this problem during the period of Sanskritisation too," said Balusami.
Historian and writer Nanditha Krishna said that preserving the local language and names had nothing to do with changing street names into Tamil. "Such ideas have no justification in this time, especially when we replace the foreigners' names forgetting their contributions to the development and planning of this city," she said.
The local names always portray the history, character and the nature of a place. Egmore was originally Elumboor, meaning the seventh village in Tamil, as it was the seventh village to be bought by the East India Company. "Kodambakkam is a mispronounciation of ghoda bagh, the stable of the Nawab of Arcot, Pondy Bazaar was named after WPA Soundarapandiyan of the self-respect movement. Teynampet was named after the coconut groves that once flourished there, while Mylapore was named after the peacocks and peahens that once roamed here," said Nandita.
Dr G Ramachandran, a senior etymological researcher on Tamil and world languages, also agreed that there is more of transliteration happening than translation. "If we consider our language to be inferior to another, we kill the possibility of the development of the language. In other states, a regional language is the second language afte the mother tongue. But due to the anti-Hindi agitation in Tamil Nadu, English became the second language and now it is dominating Tamil too," said Ramachandran.
LECTURES BY / INTERACTION SESSIONS WITH RENOWNED VEDIC SCHOLAR
(Director OMILOS Meleton Cultural Institute,Greece)
Date : 26th February 2011
Time : 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Venue :Central Lecture Theatre (CLT),
near Gajendra Circle, IIT Madras, Chennai
Topic : "The Collapse of Aryan Invasion Theory and the prevalence of Indigenism"
Chair person: Prof. Govardhan, Dean Students, IIT Madras (Viswanath: 9092684801)
Date : 27th February 2011
Time : 10:30 A.M. to 12 Noon
Venue : Jagadguru Vallabhacharya Auditorium,D.G Vaishnav College Campus,
Gokulbagh, 833 Periyar EVR High Road, Arumbakkam, Chennai
Topic : "Vedic civilization and its relevance to modern times"
Chairperson: Dr S. Narasimhan, Principal, DG Vaishnav College, Chennai. (24751264)
Date: 28 February 2011
Time: 3: 30 PM to 5 PM
Topic: Interaction session with Vedic-Sanskrit studies research scholars
Venue: Kuppuswamy Sastri Research
Institute, Sanskrit College, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai 600004
Chairperson: Dr. Kameshwari, Director (24985320)
Date : 1st March, 2011
Time : 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Venue : ORI. Platinum Jubilee Auditorium, Marina Campus,
University of Madras, Chennai.
Topic : "All inclusiveness of Veda".
Chair person: Dr. Siniruddha Dash, Professor and Head Department of
Sanskrit, University of Madras. (9444469505)
Date : 2nd March 2011
Time : 11:45 AM to 1 PM
Venue : College Auditorium, Vivekananda college, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.
Topic : "Vedic Civilisation and its spread"
Chair person: Dr S. Swaminathan, Principal, Vivekananda College. Chennai. (Dr. Ramachandran 9444079958)
Date : 2nd March 2011
Time : 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Venue : International Headquarters Hall of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai
Topic : "The All Inclusiveness of Rig- Veda"
Chair person: Smt.G.Sundari, President, Adyar Lodge, Chennai. (24912474)
About the speaker
Prof. Nicholas Kazanas, is a scholar of Vedic Studies.
Prof. Nicholas Kazanas was born in the Greek island Chios in 1939. He
studied English Literature at University College, Economics and
Philosophy at the School of Economic Science and Sanskrit at the
School of Oriental and African studies - all in London; also post-
graduate at SOAS and at Deccan College in Pune. (India).
He taught in London and Athens and since 1980 has been Director of Omilos Meleton
Cultural Institute.He is on the Editorial Board of Adyar Library
He has also produced a three-year course of
learning Sanskrit for Greeks.
From 1997 he has turned towards the Vedic Tradition of India and its place in the wider Indo-European culture.
This research comprises thorough examination of Indo-European cultures, comparing their philosophical ideas and values, their languages, mythological issues and religions.
He has translated in Greek many Gnostic texts (Gospel of Thomas, etc) and has composed an extensive study on Christ's original teaching (one in Greek and one in
He has also translated the ten principal Upanishads (ISA,
KENA, KATHA, MANDUKYA, BrHADARANYAKA, etc.) from the original
Sanskrit text into Greek.
He is on a promotional tour for a new world-class, peer-reviewed, academic journal to be edited by him, called Vedic Venues: Journal of the Continuity of Vedic Culture.
Mr.Ajith S. Ranganathan: 9840337088;
Mr.Kalivaradan : 9382817652
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Rs 100 cr – cost of keeping Kasab alive
By the time the Kasab verdict is executed, India would have spent a tidy sum on the terrorist
The Bombay High Court has upheld the death sentence on Ajmal Kasab who was involved in the terror attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008. This verdict was on expected lines. Before you say 'at last', tarry. This is not the final call. The verdict will have to be confirmed by the Supreme Court and then it will land on the President's table where mercy petitions of nearly 30 convicts are gathering dust - some of them are under a thick blanket of political dust (example Afzal Guru).
By the time Kasab stands before the noose, he would, in all probability, become a middle-aged man. This is because the 30 guys before him would have to meet their fate as pronounced by various courts.
Considering the fact that Afzal Guru, who was involved in attacking Parliament ten years ago, is still on death row, Kasab's turn may come somewhere around 2018 or beyond. By then we would have spent close to Rs 100 crore in keeping him alive and secure.
The Maharashtra government spends close to Rs 9 lakh a day to keep the 21-year-old terrorist from the Pakistani town of Faridkot 'safe' till he goes to the gallows. The government had spent Rs 31 crore on Kasab by November 2010. The figure is close to Rs 40 crore now.
"The state's debt has crossed the Rs 1.85 lakh crore mark. But of course, where security of the state and the country is concerned, we don't discuss the financial situation,'' a senior government official was quoted in an agency report.
The Rs 31 crore figure is strictly unofficial since the government is wary of letting out any information on Kasab. Following the directives of the Centre, besides procuring weapons for emergency use, vehicles and equipment, two special cells were created inside Arthur Road jail and JJ hospital for Kasab.
The official was quoted as saying: "There was a huge expenditure on the construction of a special cell inside the high-security Arthur Road jail. It has been designed in such a manner that even if a truck laden with explosives were to ram into it, the cell would not be dented. Such safeguards are essential to protect Kasab's life - and to establish Pakistan's involvement in the attack.''
Besides the special prison cell, another cell was created inside JJ Hospital for Kasab's treatment.
Nearly Rs 1 crore was spent for the creation of a bullet-proof cell on the JJ Hospital premises for Kasab. The irony is that after the money was spent, Kasab was never taken there. Instead, doctors were summoned to the Arthur Road jail, whenever Kasab had a health problem.
And Kasab, who was wounded before being captured, has been attended to by around 20 doctors for his various ailments in the past year.
The Maharashtra government also spends a large amount on the deployment of central forces to guard the Arthur Road jail.
Apart from all this, tax-payers money was used to realign Mumbai monorail along the Arthur Road jail because Kasab is in there. Almost Rs 44 crore will be overspent to redo the monorail plans for the 720 metre stretch along the Arthur Road jail.
While no official estimate is being given for how much the monorail's cost will increase, an engineer for the company building the track revealed to a local media that the cost along the stretch could rise by as much as 45 per cent to 50 per cent.
The government also had to spend Rs 2 crore to build a 20-ft tunnel in the jail so that Kasab could go from his cell to the special court in the jail and back. Rs Rs 2 crore for 20 feet makes this construction one of the costliest one in the country.
Over 250 specialised workers were involved in making the tunnel bomb, bullet and chemical weapons proof. The special court and Kasab's cell were also reinforced with iron plates; and to beat it all, Kasab's cell, the corridor and the special court was centrally air conditioned, according to media reports.
One may ask why Kasab cannot be hanged immediately. Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily has an interesting answer:
"The question is that it is not Afzal or anybody. You know you cannot pick and choose and hang people. There is justice. Terrorists who killed Indira Gandhi are still waiting. He has to be hanged. There is one more terrorist who is involved in terrorism. He is waiting. I am not defending anyone but I am for evolving a system for mercy petitions." (And in India we all know how long it will take to 'evolve a system')
The Minister also said that there were many people waiting in the death row in Pakistan, who included Indians. "And do you want all of them to be hanged immediately ?" he asked.
He was replying a few months ago to a question on Guru on a TV channel, who is among 28 convicts whose mercy petitions are pending before the President.
Source: India Syndicate with inputs from agencies
Monday, February 21, 2011
'Distress' and 'regret'
By S Gurumurthy
20 Feb 2011
That leaks make news is well known. More sensitive the leaks more shocking the news. The alleged 'apology' of L K Advani to Sonia Gandhi to the Bharatiya Janata Party task force report on black money abroad saying that she held secret Swiss bank accounts was indeed a stunner. The leak shocked the BJP to grief, surprised the Congress to joy, and bewildered the media to splits. A plain reading of Advani's letter shows that he has not regretted for the task force report mentioning Sonia's name at all. Yet, thanks to the media spin, the whole country believes he has.
Here is the story of the 'regret'. The task force of the BJP consisting of four specialists — Ajit Doval, a security expert, Prof Vaidyanathan, a financial expert, Mahesh Jethmalani, a senior lawyer and myself, an experienced chartered accountant — had submitted a meticulous report, running to almost 100 pages, on the black money stashed away abroad. Citing two unbiased sources, the task force report had said that Sonia Gandhi family reportedly held huge funds in Swiss banks. This should have made big national news; but it did not. Why?
The Delhi media in strength had attended the release of the task force report by the tall leaders of the BJP and National
Democratic Alliance (NDA) on February 1; but it hardly reported either the news or the contents of the report. That the task force had mentioned the name of Sonia Gandhi was presumed to be the reason for the self-censorship of the Delhi media. But, ironically, what the release of the task force report could not achieve, the leak of the 'apology' letter seems to be achieving. The clever leak of Advani's letter, intended to abort any discussion on Sonia Gandhi family's alleged Swiss bank accounts, has inevitably drawn her into it. Because, as the Delhi media discusses what the 'apology' is for, it is forced
to refer to the Swiss account of Sonia Gandhi family mentioned in the task force report.
The report cited two independent, credible sources for the alleged secret Swiss accounts and other secret funds of the Sonia Gandhi family. The first was an exposure in the most popular news magazine of Switzerland, Schweizer Illustrierte (November 11, 1991). The Swiss magazine had alleged that some 14 leaders of third world countries had stashed away their bribes in Swiss banks; the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi with $2.2 billions in secret accounts was one of them. The next was a research book, based on the declassified KGB documents, written by Yuvegina Albats, a Russian journalist. The KGB documents cited by Albats said that, in the year 1985, when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister, he had expressed gratefulness to the KGB for financial favours shown to the Gandhi family. The task force report had also pointed out that A G Noorani, well-known columnist, first wrote about these exposes in The Statesman newspaper in 1988; later, Subramanian Swamy put out the photocopies of the Swiss magazine and the extracts of Albats' book in the Janata Party website from 2001; subsequently, well-known columnist Rajinder Puri wrote about Albats' expose in his column in 2005; afterwards, I wrote
about it in detail in the year 2009 and again in January this year in The New Indian Express; finally, Ram Jethmalani wrote
on it in India Today. The task force pointed out that the Gandhi family did not contest nor dare sue any of the writers or publishers in or outside India. It had also contrasted their silence with how Morarji Desai, when he was 87, filed a $50 million damages suit in US when Seymour Hersh wrote in his book that Desai was a CIA agent, disproved the charge and saved his and the nation's honour. The task force asked why the Gandhi family did not emulate Desai to establish the honour of Rajiv Gandhi and the nation. The task force had also pointed out that to make the matters worse, when an advertisement containing the alleged Swiss accounts in Sonia family name was issued in The New York Times issued by some NRIs at the time of Sonia Gandhi's visit to US in 2008, the Indian National Overseas Congress sued for $100 millions in damages to defend the honour of Sonia Gandhi but did not contest the allegation about Swiss money; and it also withdrew the suit!
After the task force report was released, on February 15, Sonia Gandhi wrote a secret, not open, letter to Advani expressing her disappointment at a person of his stature releasing the task force report of the BJP endorsing what she called as "scurrilous allegations" against her family, which she had treated with "contempt". Are the exposes of Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats scurrilous? On February 16, expressing happiness at her denial of the allegations, Advani said that had she denied it earlier the task force would have factored it in its report. He concluded, "Even so, I deeply regret the distress caused to you", which made the Congress to gloat over. Explicitly, it is no regret for the report mentioning her family's alleged Swiss accounts. A dignified regret for the personal distress has been turned into a political apology.
The task force has asserted that it is the author of the report. The BJP or NDA could accept or reject its report. But, they considered the report, accepted and released it. The task force members have reiterated that they stand by every word of their report including about the alleged secret funds of the Sonia Gandhi family based on the sources cited. The task force is an independent body of domain specialists. It has castigated all political parties and all political leaders as lacking in credibility, thus not sparing the BJP, which had sought its views. The leak has only helped to confirm the independence of the task force. And more, it has also helped to lift the self-censorship of the Delhi media and open the alleged Sonia Gandhi family Swiss accounts for public debate
S Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues
Sunday, February 20, 2011
On my return from Kolkata last night, I found your letter dated 15th February awaiting me.
I am happy that you have denied the reports relating to you and your family alluded to in the Task Force's Report on Black Money.
If these had been denied earlier, the Task Force would have taken your denial into account. Even so, I deeply regret the distress caused to you.
With best regards,
L K Advani
Mr Nehru said these men, who draw a starting salary of around `9,000, as against the `4,500 fixed during the AIADMK regime, had an advantage as they could now demand more dowry.
"Unmarried new appointees from Kanyakumari district can get at least 100 sovereigns of gold and `10 lakh as dowry only because of the appointments given to them by the DMK government," Mr Nehru said.
His cabinet colleague, Suresh Rajan, Kanyakumari MP Helen Davidson, the local MLA and Kanyakumari district collector Rajendra Ratnoo were present on stage.
They applauded the transport minister's speech on dowry, which is a punishable offence according to section 4(A) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 that bans advertisement or propaganda of dowry in any form.
Friday, February 18, 2011
An RTI petition has brought out the shocking state of affairs of even famous temples such as Murugan temples at Palani, Thiruttani, Thirupparamkundram and Marudamalai and the Meenakshi Amman temple of Madurai incurring revenue losses. The total loss of revenue in the last 10 years incurred by 148 temples in Tamilnadu was found to be to the tune of 2,640 crores of rupees. The cause was attributed to mismanagement of temple properties. The recovery of dues was not properly done by the temple administration.
Misuse of temple property is happening at two levels - by the individuals and by the administration. Less than a month ago, an article in the Organiser magazine (given below) brought to light how the funds from Hindu temples are not being used for the Hindu temples, but diverted for other purposes. Stephan Knapp who has been doing a yeomen service for the Hindu cause has highlighted in one of his books that 85 % of the revenue of the Thirupathy Balaji temple goes to the government exchequer from which the money is diverted for purposes not connected with Hindu causes.
We don't know the exact state of affairs happening in the temples in Tamilnadu. The recent RTI petition has brought only the loss in terms of recovery of money from temple properties. We do not know how much is being spent on temple welfare. As far as I know the festivities in many temples are being run with the support of devotees only. The misuse and mismanagement of temple property has not yet been investigated.
From astrological point of view, misuse of temple property gets manifest in many forms. But the unfortunate thing about is that the effects do not get manifest in the same birth itself. It comes in a future birth when people would suffer for having cheated the deity by misappropriating the temple properties.
By this it is interpreted that God gives enough time to set right the wrong done to the temple / deity / temple property in the same birth itself.
When it is not done it is being carried over to a future birth when people would not know why they suffer.
From the horoscope it is possible to ascertain whether one has done an offence to a deity in a previous birth.
- The Bhadak planet is an indicator of the offence done to a deity in some form in the previous births. All lagnas have a bhadak-sthan. The 11th,9th and 7th are the signs of the bhadak planet for moving, fixed and common signs respectively.
- If the bhadak lord is positioned in dussthanas such as 6th,8th and 12th , that is sure sign of harm done to a deity.
- If there is a malefic in the 12th to the bhadak lord, that also foretells harm done to the deity.
- If the bhadak lord is conjoined with Gulika, Mandhi or Saturn or Mars, that also is an indicator of harm done to a deity.
- If the bhadak lord or the lord of dussthana joins a malefic in the 4th house, that also shows a harm done to the deity.
- Similarly if the lords of dusthanas (6th / 8th / 12th) occupy 2nd or 12th house, it shows that the native had misused the property of the deity signified by that planet.
The misused or misappropriated property will be Dhatu or Moola or Jeeva according as the lagna happens to be moving, fixed or common.
Dhatu stands for metals and minerals such as gold, silver, copper etc. If the lagna happens to be moving (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) and the bhadak and dusthana lords come under above mentioned combinations and / or the dusthana lord is in 2nd or 12th, the crime was stealing or misuse of the jewellery of the deity.
Moola refers to land and plant kingdom such as land, trees, plants etc. If under the above mentioned conditions, the lagna happens to be fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), it means that the native had misappropriated the moola properties of the deity denoted by the afflicting planet.
Jeeva refers to jeeva dravyas or living entities such cattle and other animals that belong to the deity or temple. When the lagna happens to be a common sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), it shows jeeva dravyas have been misused or stolen.
The plants also are classified as Dhatu, Moola and Jeeva. If the afflicting planet occupies the lagna it also denotes harm to the deity with specific reference to dhatu, moola or jeeva.
Saturn, Mars and Moon are Dhatu planets.
Sun and Venus are Moola planets.
Jupiter and Mercury are Jeeva planets.
Propitiation must be done in accordance with the sign / planet by identifying the deity represented by the afflicting planet.
The deities can be identified as follows:-
- Sun in the 1st Drekkana of common sign – Lord Subramanya.
- Sun in the 2nd Drekkana of a common sign – Lord Ganesha
- Sun in other drekkanas and signs – Lord Siva.
- Moon strong / waxing – Durga
- Moon weak and in Martian signs – Chamundi
- Mars in odd / satwic signs (satwic signs are Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius and Pisces) – Lord Subramanya
- Mars in odd and other signs – Lord Bhairava
- Mars in even signs – Chamundi, Bhadrakali.
- Mercury in movable and common signs – Any avatar of Vishnu.
- Mercury in the 1st and 2nd Drekkana of fixed signs – Lord Krishna
- Mercury in the 3rd Drekkana of fixed sign – Vishnu in general.
- Jupiter – Vishnu
- Venus in own sign – Annapurna
- Venus in a benefic sign - Lakshmi
- Venus in enemy sign – Yakshi
- Saturn in any sign – Sastha / deity of one's native place.
Hope people understand that playing with deity and its wealth does not do them any good.
Temples in state suffer Rs 2,640 cr revenue lossFeb. 17: In the last 10 years, around 148 temples in the state under the control of Hindu religious and charitable endowments department have incurred a revenue loss of Rs 2,640 crore, according to the response to an RTI petition.
Mr V. Thiagarajan, state president of the Hindu Baktha Jana Sabai, told Deccan Chronicle that it was the mismanagement by temple administrations that caused such a huge revenue loss. The temples usually generate revenue through various means such as renting out shops, houses and lands besides auctioning of parking lots and sale of temple pooja tickets etc.
"There is no denying the fact that majority of the temples has been blessed with good revenue," he said. "The audit report also points out that administrative mismanagement has led to revenue loss."
Several important temples in Tamil Nadu figure in the list including Palani Murugan Temple (`68 crore), Meenakshiamman Temple (`40 crore), Tiruttani temple (`7 crore), Tiruparankundram temple (`9 crore), Chennai Kaligambal temple (`7 crore) and Marudamalai Subramaniasamy Temple (`7 crore).
Usually a joint sitting of the top honchos of the endowments department comprising the commissioner, additional commissioner and joint secretary is held every year to discuss threadbare the objections raised in the audit report.
"However, no such meeting has been held in the last 10 years raising doubts of large-scale irregularities by the temple administration," said Mr Thiagarajan.
Despite a directive from the Madras High Court asking the endowments commissioner to take steps for the recovery of amount from the temple trust board and the executive officers of the respective temples, no action has been taken so far, said Mr Thiagarajan.
The Hindu Baktha Jana Sabai would file civil suit against the endowments department if it fails to act, he added.
Meanwhile, a memorandum has been sent to the Chief Minister, Dr M. Karunanidhi, seeking his intervention in directing the endowments commissioner to initiate recovery.
The HR&CE commissioner, Mr P.R. Sampath, refused to speak on the issue but another official, on condition of anonymity, said that both the trustees of temple trust board and the executive officers were pulling strings to get the arrears waived.