This blog aims at bringing out the past glory and history of India, Hinduism and its forgotten values and wisdom. This is not copyrighted so as to reach genuine seekers of these information. Its my prayer that only genuine seekers - and not vandals & plagiarists - come to this site.
Mr Shekher who met Mr Karunanidhi at the latter’s Gopalapuram residence on Monday, in his capacity as founder of the Federation of Brahmin Associations of South India (FEBAS), submitted a memorandum demanding a quota for Brahmins.
He said several lakh persons in the community were being denied of educational and employment opportunities as they hailed from the forward community.
It was very vital to provide them reservation because many of them in the community were economically backward and underwent grinding poverty, he said.
Speaking to this newspaper, he said the chief minister had responded positively and agreed to consider the demand.
The AIADMK legislator representing the Mylapore Assembly constituency, who recently floated the FEBAS, said it was the duty of the chief minister to provide social justice to all sections in the society.
“The community will reciprocate positively if the state government introduced the reservation for Brahmins,” Mr Shekher said.
The federation has decided to support the Brahmin candidates fielded by the political parties for the May 13 Lok Sabha polls, he said adding he would soon tour the state to unite the Brahmins and actively lobby for reservation.
a)Which are the various tax havens, where the ill-gotten wealth of Indian businessmen and politicians is stored?
There are presumably more than 70 Tax havens in the world. Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British /US islands. At least forty countries market themselves aggressively as tax havens [Source: Internal revenue Service USA on Abusive a Off-shore Tax Avoidance schemes –Talking Points Jan 2008]
The well known Tax Havens are Switzerland/ Liechtenstein/Luxemburg/ Channel islandsetc
b)How much Indian money do you think would be locked away in Swiss banks? What is the basis for the estimate you make?
Financial flows in the context of this report includes the proceeds from both illicit activities such as corruption (bribery and embezzlement of national wealth), criminal activity, and the proceeds of licit business that become illicit when transported across borders in contravention of applicable laws and regulatory frameworks (most commonly in order to evade payment of taxes).
1)In 2006, the most recent year of the Global Financial Integrity-[GFI] study, developing countries lost an estimated $858.6 billion to $1.06 trillion in illicit financial outflows.
2)Even at the lower end of the range of estimates, the volume of illicit financial
flows coming out of developing countries increased at a compound rate of 18.2 percent over the 5 year period analyzed for the study.
3)On average, for the five-year period of this study, Asia accounts for
approximately 50 percent of overall illicit financial flows from all developing countries.
4) This report shows that the average amount stashed away from India annually during 2002-06 is $27.3 billion. It means that during the 5 year period the amount stashed away is 27.3x5=136.5 billion. It is not that all these amounts had gone to Swiss. It has gone to different tax and secret shelters. The share of Swiss banks in dirty money being a third of the global aggregate, some $ 45 billion out of the 136.5 billion stashed away from India would have been hoarded in these years in Swiss banks. This appears in page 30 of the report mentioned above
5)The important point is that this is only for 5 years. More amounts were stashed away during the Nehruvian socialist regime. So the loot for 55 years would be several times the above-cited money. In fact in those days the Indian rupee commanded a better value per Dollar. So fewer rupee could get more dollars. So the estimation that the Indian money stashed away may be of the order of $1.4 trillion.
c)How did the money get there in the first place? (if you could elaborate a little on this, that would be great)
There are several methods /reasons. Under invoicing/over invoicing of exports and imports and getting the balance stored abroad.Kick backs from major defense/civilian contracts. Not bringing the earnings abroad. In the olden days smuggling of Gold and illegal money. Transactions done abroad and not reported here. Hawala funds. Funds earned by artists/ Entertainment industry /sports people and stashed abroad. When you want to indulge in Adharma hundred ways are open!
d)Do you feel international terrorist organisations use the tax haven route, to send across money all over the world, to finance their nefarious activities?
Even our NSA—M.K Narayanan has spoken about it in Berlin
e)You recently wrote, "Under pressure from federal authorities, Swiss bank UBS is closing the hidden offshore accounts of its well-heeled American clients, potentially allowing their secrets to spill into the open." Do you feel the government of India should also demand all the Indian black money in Swiss banks, back?
Of course. India should and must act. We are not a banana republic.
f)How can the government go about doing the same? What are the different ways in which it can try and get this money back?
Put it on the Global Agenda. Put it in G 20 Put it in IMF Put it in EGMONT GROUP. Also take a lead among all developing countries. Support US /German/French Efforts.
g)Do you feel Swiss authorities and other tax havens will co-operate with us on this issue, if we do take the initiative?
It is not due to our pressure but that of US which will make them co-operate. When a family is in deep financial crisis then it tries to look at the small amount saved under the sugar jar by the grandma. Same way developed economies are desperate for every dollar. Even if we do not act due to their efforts the list of crooks may be out .Then we will be in a dangerous social situation since Who's Who of India will be there. Instead we should get it and get the funds and decide on the steps to sterilise it and punishment etc. Otherwise world will laugh at us. We will be worse than a Nigeria [Sani Abacha] or Phillipines [Markose]
h)Do you feel the government will do this, given that a lot of black money of politicians is stored in the Swiss banks?
Public pressure will make them do it. Plus the evolving global situation against Tax Havens. The money belongs to the poor farmers and unorganised workers of India.
i)Also Indian businessmen have a lot of their ill-gotten gains in these banks. Do you see pressure being applied by them on the government on not to get this money back?
The world situation is such that Indian Business man will want to bring it back now given the attractive returns in India. The entire PN route was conceived for that.
j)You wrote in your column that the German foreign intelligence agency BND got names of 1400 clients of the Liechtenstein based LTG bank who were supposed to be suspected tax evaders. Of the 1400, 600 were supposed to be Germans. Do you think of the remaining there will be Indians as well? Has the Indian government approached the German government for the list?
Indian names will be there. Our Tax evaders and crooks are like Maha Vishnu present in all continents and all tax havens in the sea, on the earth, in the air. But our Government has been lukewarm in this issue. It should have despatched immediately senior officials plus the FM to get the names.
Princeton university to host first-ever Hinduism week
Arthur J Pais in New York
March 27, 200912:27 IST
Princeton,one of America's eight Ivy League universities and widely regarded as one of the world's leading universities, is creating history.
For the first time, the New Jersey-based university which was founded in 1746 and where Albert Einstein taught for many years and which is also home to Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, will hold a week full of celebrations related to Hinduism.
Although student groups have presented a Hinduism week at Princeton in previous years, the organisers said this is the first year the celebration will be hosted by the Office of Hindu Life founded last year. And this sponsorship gives the event a high official profile.
Called Hinduism in the 21st Century: A week of Awareness and Celebration, the March 28-April 5 events will explore the intersection of India's spiritual traditions with the modernity of American life. The events are co-sponsored by the student group, Hindu Satsangam.
Organisers believe the celebrations will not only resonate with Hindu students and professors and staff and Princeton's Hindu community, but also serve as an impetus for those from the broader community to learn more about the faith. The events will be of interest to over 1,000 Indian families in and around Princeton.
'In presenting such a variety of programming, we wish to convey the diversity within Hinduism itself,' said Vineet Chander, Princeton's coordinator for Hindu life and principal organiser of the event. 'At the same time, we hope that each event will allow us to go deeper in exploring our theme, and gain insight into the faith as a fluid, living tradition faced with both challenges and opportunities in the modern world.'
Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America which runs the GaneshaTemple in Queens, New York, will give the keynote address during a vegetarian banquet. Mysorekar will speak about challenges and opportunities facing the next generation of Hindu-Americans. She also will be honored by event organisers with the first Hindu-American Inspiration of the Year Award.
Other highlights of the week include a field trip to one of the first Hindu temples established in the United States, the Ganesha Temple which is over three decades old; a panel discussion exploring the tensions between the academic and practitioner's approaches to Hinduism (with professor Ravi Gupta from the College of William [Images] and Mary and professor Deepak Sarma of Case Western Reserve University); the Bhagavad Gita's case for monotheism (with professor Gupta), and a discussion about Hinduism's take on the real-life struggles faced by American college students.
Hinduism in the 21st Century also pays homage to the popularity of yoga and spiritual vegetarianism -- perhaps Hinduism's biggest contribution to American pop-culture -- with an interactive yoga class and a discussion of Hinduism and animal rights, held jointly with the student group Princeton Animal Welfare Society, a press release said.
The celebration is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required to attend some of the events; check the Hindu Satsangam's web site: http://www.princeton.edu/~hindu/
Department of Biological Sciences, FloridaInternationalUniversity, University Park, Miami, FL33199, USA.
The mtDNA composition of two Muslim sects from the northern Indian province of Uttar Pradesh, the Sunni and Shia, have been delineated using sequence information from hypervariable regions 1 and 2 (HVI and HVII, respectively) as well as coding region polymorphisms. A comparison of this data to that from Middle Eastern, Central Asian, North East African, and other Indian groups reveals that, at the mtDNA haplogroup level, both of these Indo-Sunni and Indo-Shia populations are more similar to each other and other Indian groups than to those from the other regions. In addition, these two Muslim sects exhibit a conspicuous absence of West Asian mtDNA haplogroups suggesting that their maternal lineages are of Indian origin. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the maternal lineage data indicates differences between the Sunni and Shia collections of Uttar Pradesh with respect to the relative distributions of Indian-specific M sub-haplogroups (Indo Shia > Indo Sunni) and the R haplogroup (Indo Sunni > Indo Shia), a disparity that does not appear to be related to social status or geographic regions within India. Finally, the mtDNA data integrated with the Y-chromosome results from an earlier study, which indicated a major Indian genetic (Y-chromosomal) contribution as well, suggests a scenario of Hindu to Islamic conversion in these two populations. However, given the substantial level of the African/Middle Eastern YAP lineage in the Indo-Shia versus its absence in the Indo-Sunni, it is likely that this conversion was somewhat gender biased in favor of females in the Indo-Shia. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The current scenario of all round deterioration in moral values and thirst for power reminds me of the ‘Song of Mother Earth’ found in Vishnu Purana.
The Earth is in-conquerable. Yet people think that they can conquer her and claim the land to be theirs.
Many kings with perishable frames have come and claimed that the non-perishable earth is theirs! Blinded with deceptive notions of individual occupation, they have indulged the feeling that suggests, "This earth is mine--it is my son's--it belongs to my dynasty.”
But they all have gone. Gone are even the traces of their names and identity.
This blinded perception continues even in the democratic times of today making this appear a ‘Monarchic democracy”. The dynastic control over the political parties has become the norm of times. Every self proclaimed leader is seen fighting to get a share in ruling this land for himself, his sons and his relatives - not out of love for giving people a golden age, but for making times golden for themselves.
Mother Earth has seen thousands of this kind of breed in the past. Earth has seen even a better crop of leaders in the past who wished to possess her. The present day leaders come near them only as a contrast to those olden kings as if to show how a ruler should not be.
The pre-election scenario looks like a thriller of who is going to go with whom, who is going to ditch whom and who is cleverer in reaping better returns after the elections.
Mother earth laughs at all these selfish mortals.
Such a scene was explained by sage Parashara to Maityeya in Vishnu purana.
The Chant of the Earth was earlier communicated to King Janaka by Sage Asita and was repeated by sage Parashara in Vishnu purana.
The Song of Earthgoes like this (Vishnu purana, 4-24):-
"How great is the folly of princes, who are endowed with the faculty of reason, to cherish the confidence of ambition, when they themselves are but foam upon the wave.
Before they have subdued themselves, they seek to reduce their ministers, their servants, their subjects, under their authority; they then endeavor to overcome their foes.
'Thus,' say they, 'will we conquer the ocean-circled earth;' and, intent upon their project, behold not death, which is not far off. But what mighty matter is the subjugation of the sea-girt earth to one who can subdue himself.
Emancipation from existence is the fruit of self-control. It is through infatuation that kings desire to possess me, whom their predecessors have been forced to leave, whom their fathers have not retained.
Beguiled by the selfish love of sway, fathers contend with sons, and brothers with brothers, for my possession.
Foolishness has been the character of every king who has boasted, 'All this earth is mine--every thing is mine--it will be in my house for ever;' for he is dead. How is it possible that such vain desires should survive in the hearts of his descendants, who have seen their progenitor, absorbed by the thirst of dominion, compelled to relinquish me, whom he called his own, and tread the path of dissolution?
When I hear a king sending word to another by his ambassador, 'This earth is mine; immediately resign your pretensions to it;' I am moved to violent laughter at first, but it soon subsides in pity for the infatuated fool."
Then continued sage Parashra,
“These were the verses, Maitreya, which Earth recited, and by listening to which ambition fades away like snow before the sun.
I have now related to you the whole account of the descendants of the Manu; amongst whom have flourished kings endowed with a portion of Vishńu, engaged in the preservation of the earth.
Whoever shall listen reverently and with faith to this narrative, proceeding from the posterity of Manu, shall be purified entirely from all his sins, and, with the perfect possession of his faculties, shall live in unequalled affluence, plenty, and prosperity.
He who has heard of the races of the sun and moon, of Ikshwá.ku, Jahnu, Mańd́hátri, Sagara, and Raghu, who have all perished; of Yayáti, Nahusha, and their posterity, who are no more; of kings of great might, resistless valour, and unbounded wealth, who have been overcome by still more powerful time, and are now only a tale; he will learn wisdom, and forbear to call either children, or wife, or house, or lands, or wealth, his own.
The arduous penances that have been performed by heroic men obstructing fate for countless years, religious rites and sacrifices of great efficacy and virtue, have been made by time the subject only of narration.
The valiant Prithu traversed the universe, every where triumphant over his foes; yet he was blown away, like the light down of the Simal tree, before the blast of time.
He who was Kártavíryya subdued innumerable enemies, and conquered the seven zones of the earth; but now he is only the topic of a theme, a subject for affirmation and contradiction.
Fie upon the empire of the sons of Raghu, who triumphed over Daśánana, and extended their sway to the ends of the earth; for was it not consumed in an instant by the frown of the destroyer?
Mańd́hátri, the emperor of the universe, is embodied only in a legend; and what pious man who hears it will ever be so unwise as to cherish the desire of possession in his soul?
Bhagíratha, Sagara, Kakutstha, Daśánana, Ráma, Lakshmana, Yudhisht́hira, and others, have been.
Is it so?
Have they ever really existed?
Where are they now?
we know not!
The powerful kings who now are, or who will be, as I have related them to you, or any others who are unspecified, are all subject to the same fate, and the present and the future will perish and be forgotten, like their predecessors.
Aware of this truth, a wise man will never be influenced by the principle of individual appropriation; and regarding them as only transient and temporal possessions, he will not consider children and posterity, lands and property, or whatever else is personal, to be his own.”
Dr Abdul Kalam suggests a 5-point agenda for the MPs of the coming Lok Sabha. Will they listen?
1) Increase the pre capita income of the constituency by 3 times in their 5-year term 2) Increase the literacy rate by 20% in 5 years 3) Work towards improving the water resources in the constituency. 4) Ensure value added employment to everyone in conformity with his or her qualification. 5) Bring down infant mortality to less than 10 per 1000 in the next 5 years.
Former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam has set a five-point agenda for the new MPs of the 15th Lok Sabha, the elections for which will be held shortly.
He also appealed to the people to exercise their franchise, pointing out, “the right to vote is sacred and it’s an onerous responsibility that we owe to the motherland.” “Assess the present percapita income of your constituency with the aim of increasing it by three times in five years. Also, you must work towards raising the literacy rate in your constituency by at least 20 per cent during your five-yearterm,” Dr Kalam said, in a message to the future MPs through the India Vision Group that has now launched a campaign to ‘Celebrate Democracy: Vote India’.
The former President said the MPs in the next Lok Sabha should also “take statistics of the water-bodies in their constituencies and review the status of their desilting and interlinking through the five-year term.” He said the MPs should create programmes for providing value-added employment for every member in the constituency, “consistent with her or his qualification.” The fifth mission in the MPs’ agenda, Dr Kalam said, should be to bring down the infant mortality in the constituencies to less than 10 per thousand in five years. The present infant mortality rate is 50 per thousand.
Savings to the extent of 25 to 30% of the GDP or one's own income is said to be healthy economics for a nation or for the individual. The figures for Indian savings in Swiss bank show amazing wealth trends of Indians - a few Indians!
"The story of Independent India has been a continuation of the social structure left by the British colonial regime with the ruling class appropriating a significant percentage of the national income. The impoverishment of the 65 per cent of the people dependent upon the village economy is the most serious impediment to India regaining its rightful place in the comity of nations as an engine for increasing total world output. Maddison had shown that "India had the world's largest economy in the 1st century and 11th century, with a 32.9 per cent share of world GDP in the 1st century and 28.9 per cent in 1000 CE. United India had 22.6 per cent of global GDP in the year 1700 compared to 23.3 per cent of entire Europe".
It is possible to regain that stature for India in the world economy. Two immediate steps should be taken.
The monies held in Swiss Bank accounts by Indians should be nationalised under Benami Transactions Prohibition Act, 1988 and the onus of proving legitimate holdings should be on the account holders. Swiss Banks should be asked to remit the monies into the Indian treasury. Holding benami accounts is a cognizable offence. This was an Act intended to prohibit benami transactions and to establish the right of the State to recover property held benami. Under 5 of the Act, Property held benami liable to acquisition- (1) All properties held benami shall be subject to acquisition by such authority, in such manner and after following such procedure, as may be prescribed. (2) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that no amount be payable for the acquisition of any property under sub-section(1)
2. The dismal trend of negative growth rate in agriculture should be reversed.
Deposits in Banks located in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:
Christian missionaries make no secret of the fact that they use medical services, education, and employment opportunities to lure impoverished indigenous populations throughout the world into conversion to Christianity.
According to the popular and scholarly history of Christianity, the early Christian Church found its greatest appeal and attracted its greatest number of converts from the poor people of the Roman Empire. The early Christian churches raised money though a tithe, or ten per cent income tax, levied on their members, and the early Christian Church is said to have had a strong "sense of community", which implies that it had a well-organized social, financial, and political network among its membership.
Using your wealth to purchase other people's loyalty is a game as old as humanity itself. Rich men use their wealth to attract women, unscrupulous employers use material incentives and disincentives to manipulate their workers, and wealthy countries like the USA use their national wealth to keep their citizens loyal to the cause of aggressive and genocidal Imperialism. But historical longevity and common practice don't make the manipulation or exploitation morally or ethically right.
Organized religions are inherently POLITICAL organizations. There is a fundamental difference between the financial enterprise and political machinations of an organized religion versus a mass of independent unaffiliated believers, philosophers, and mystics who do not support any organized religion.
Christianity and Islam are known as proselytizing religions because they make an organized and systemic effort to gain converts, and they often provide services, products, or employment to attract converts. Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism show far less zeal about gaining converts, which is why you almost never hear about Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist missionaries.
Modern medical and nursing schools usually teach their students the moral principle that the provision of medical services should never be used as a means to proselytize or promote a religion, but that does not deter many Christian health care providers from doing exactly that. Most of the medical and charitable organizations based in Christian countries are fronts for Christian proselytizing activities.
One of the largest international medical relief organizations based in the USA, Northwest Medical Teams, states in their recruitment brochure that their chief "mission" is to "spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ", that their medical relief services are subordinate to their stated goal of proselytizing Christianity, and that their medical relief work is merely an "aegis", or facade, for spreading Christianity.
The religious and cultural Imperialism performed by missionaries nearly always goes hand-in-hand with political and economic Imperialism. Christian missionaries often work in partnership with the CIA, with the US government, and with wealthy corporations to subvert the religion, the culture, the economy, and the politics of vulnerable indigenous populations. The CIA often uses planes owned by Christian missionary organizations and flown by Christian missionary pilots to smuggle drugs, arms, and prisoners.
During the CIA's illegal Iran/Contra scam of the 1980s, Christian missionary pilots and planes smuggled drugs into the USA and arms into Central America and Iran. Now the CIA is using Christian missionary planes to smuggle heroin from Afghanistan, cocaine from Latin America, and for "rendition" flights of "Terrorist" prisoners to secret prisons that practice torture and commit extra-judicial executions.
The USA's Faith Based Initiative law provides Christian missionary organizations with taxpayer funds that are used to proselytize Christianity to indigenous populations throughout the world. Christian missionaries are the leading edge of a religious, cultural, economic, and political aggression supported by the US government.
When missionaries bring outside wealth to an impoverished Third World country and use that wealth to provide services that are meant to attract converts, they are interfering with the local social and economic structure as well as the local cultural traditions. Indigenous people who take advantage of the privileges provided by the missionaries and convert to Christianity partake in a social organization that uses foreign wealth as a tool to eliminate the indigenous culture and replace it with Christianity.
A small and reclusive population of a few hundred people with a primitive Stone Age culture lives on North Sentinel Island, in the Andaman chain, which is administered by the government of India. To protect the culture of the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island, the Indian government has wisely banned anyone from visiting the island. I approve of the Indian government's policy of protecting the unique culture of the North Sentinels from outside influence. If anyone on North Sentinel Island should ever desire to leave, they could build a boat and do so.
Among a total of 195 nations in the world today, fifty-seven of those nations have a legally established, official State Religion. There are fourteen nations that claim Christianity as their State Religion, twenty-six nations that claim Islam as their State Religion, six nations that claim Buddhism as their State Religion, and the Jewish State of Israel. The Jewish State of Israel discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens and within its borders Israel officially prohibits the proselytizing of any religion other than Judaism. Many people believe that Israel has a right to exist in this manner as a Jewish State.
Many Islamic countries strive to protect the cultural identity of their citizens by enforcing a ban on preaching any religion but Islam. Considering the aggressive, insidious, and highly political nature of Christian missionary programs, the banning of non-Moslem religious preaching by Moslem governments makes sense.
Currently there is no officially Hindu State anywhere in the world, but perhaps India should become a Hindu State in order to protect its indigenous religion and culture from the predatory missionaries and State-sponsored cultural Imperialism that are coming from both Christian and Moslem countries. If the Jews have the right to establish and maintain Israel as a Jewish State, then the Hindus certainly have a right to establish and maintain India as a Hindu State.
When Western leaders talk about a "Clash of Civilizations", what they really mean is Judeo-Christianity and corporate Capitalism versus all non-Christians and non-Capitalists. Christian missionaries are essentially colonialists working for Christian cultural Imperialism.
When the Hindus of India rise up in riot and drive out the Christian missionaries and the Christian "cash converts", they are doing what the Iraqi, Afghani, and Palestinian Freedom Fighters are doing. They are protecting themselves and their indigenous culture from wealthy and unscrupulous invaders who have no respect for them or their culture. I wish the Hindu nationalists well in their efforts to defend and maintain the independence and survival of their indigenous culture and religion against the onslaught of predatory and disrespectful foreigners whose goal is to replace indigenous traditional cultures with a global Christian empire.
If Christian missionaries want to come to India and try to make converts to Christianity, let them come with empty pockets and compete on a level playing field. And if most of the locals don't want the missionaries interfering with their traditional way of life, they have the right to make the missionaries and their converts leave.