Saturday, June 28, 2014

How history was made up at Nalanda - Arun Shourie



How history was made up at Nalanda

Arun Shourie | June 28, 2014 8:13 am

The writer, a former Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP, was Union minister for communications, information technology and disinvestment. This article has been excerpted from his book, 'Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud', published by HarperCollins India



"The mine of learning, honoured Nalanda" — that is how the 16th-17th century Tibetan historian, Taranath, referred to the university at Nalanda. At the time I-tsing was at the university, there were 3,700 monks. The total complex had around 10,000 residents. The structures housing the university were as splendid and as extensive as the learning they housed. When excavations began, the principal mound alone was about 1,400 feet by 400 feet. Hieun Tsang recounts at least seven monasteries and eight halls. The monasteries were of several storeys, and there was a library complex of three buildings, one of them nine storeys high.

As the Islamic invaders advanced through Afghanistan and northwestern India, they exterminated Buddhist clergy, they pillaged and pulverised every Buddhist structure — the very word "but", the idols they so feverishly destroyed, was derived from "Buddha". Nalanda escaped their attention for a while — in part because it was not on the main routes. But soon enough, the marauders arrived, and struck the fatal blow. The ransacking is described in the contemporary Tabakat-i-Nasiri by Maulana Minhaj-ud-din.

Minhaj-ud-din rose and came to the notice of the rulers of the time — Qutb-ud-din Aibak and others — because of his raids and depredations, and because of the enormous booty he gathered, booty sufficient for him to set himself up as a plunderer in his own right. "His reputation reached Sultan (Malik) Qutb-ud-din, who despatched a robe of distinction to him, and showed him honour," the historian writes. With its high wall, its large buildings, Nalanda seemed like a well-endowed fortress to Ikhtiyar-ud-din and his force. He advanced upon it with two hundred horsemen "and suddenly attacked the place". Minhaj-ud-din continues,

"The greater number of inhabitants of that place were Brahmans, and the whole of those Brahmans had their heads shaven, and they were all slain. There were a great number of books there; and when all these books came under the observation of the Musalmans, they summoned a number of Hindus that they might give them information respecting the import of those books; but the whole of the Hindus had been killed. On being acquainted (with the contents of the books), it was found that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindu tongue, they call a college, Bihar [vihara]."

"When that victory was effected," Minhaj-ud-din reports, "Muhammad-i-Bakhtiyar returned with great booty, and came to the presence of the beneficent sultan, Qutb-ud-din I-bak, and received great honour and distinction…" — so much so that other nobles at the court became jealous. All this happened around the year 1197 AD.

And now the Marxist account of the destruction of this jewel of knowledge. In 2004, D.N. Jha was the president of the Indian History Congress. In the presidential address he delivered — one to which we shall turn as an example of Marxist "scholarship" — this is the account he gives of the destruction of Buddhist viharas, and of Nalanda in particular:

"A Tibetan tradition has it that the Kalacuri King Karna (11th century) destroyed many Buddhist temples and monasteries in Magadha, and the Tibetan text  Pag Sam Jon Zang refers to the burning of the library of Nalanda by some 'Hindu fanatics'."

"Hindu fanatics"? The expression struck me as odd. A Tibetan text of the 18th century using so current an expression as "Hindu fanatics"? Especially so because, on Jha's own reckoning, Hinduism is an invention of the British in the late 19th century? So, what is this "Tibetan text"? What does it say? Had Jha looked it up?

Pag Sam Jon Zang was written by Sumpa Khan-Po Yece Pal Jor. The author lived in 1704-88: that is, 500 years after the destruction of Nalanda.

That is the first thing that strikes one: our historian disregards the contemporaneous account, Tabakat-i-Nasiri, and opts for a text written 500 years after the event. But had he read the text at all? Could a self-respecting Marxist have at all believed what is written in it?

This is how Sarat Chandra Das, the translator and editor of Pag Sam Jon Zang, sets out the account of the destruction of Nalanda as given in this text:

"While a religious sermon was being delivered in the temple that he (Kakuta Sidha, a minister of a king of Magadha) had erected at Nalanda, a few young monks threw washing water at two Tirthika beggars. The beggars being angry, set fire on the three shrines of dharma ganja, the Buddhist university of Nalanda — that is, Ratna Sagara, Ratna Ranjaka including the nine-storey building called Ratnadadhi which contained the library of sacred books" (pg 92).

Two beggars could go from building to building of that huge campus and, with all the monks present, burn down the entire, huge, scattered complex?

And, the account of the relevant passage reproduced above is the one set out by Sarat Chandra Das in his Index. That is, it is just a summary of the actual passage — in an index, it scarcely could be more. What does the relevant section, and in particular the passage about the burning down of the library, say?

The author is giving an account of how Dharma has survived three rounds of destructive attempts. One round was occasioned by the fluctuating relations between Khunimamasta, a king of Taksig (Turkistan?), and Dharma Chandra, a king of Nyi-og in the east. The latter sends gifts. The former thinks these are part of black magic. He, therefore, swoops down from "dhurukha" and destroys "the three bases" of Magadha — monasteries, scriptures

and stupas. Khunimamasta drives out and exiles the monks. Dharma Chandra's uncle sends many scholars to China to spread the teaching. He receives gold as thanksgiving. He uses this and other gifts to appease rulers of smaller kingdoms to join the fight against the king of Taksig (Turkistan?). The uncle thereafter revives "the three bases". Almost all the shrines are restored and 84 new ones are built. And so, the dharma survives.

In the next round, "the teacher who taught prajnaparamita for 20 years is assassinated by burglars from dhurukha. His blood turned into milk and many flowers emerged from his body. (Thus) he flew into the sky."

We now come to the crucial passage, the one that Jha has ostensibly invoked. I reproduce the translation of it by Geshe Dorji Damdul in full:

"Again at that time, there was a scholar by the name Mutita Bhadra, who was greatly involved in renovating and building stupas. Eventually he had a vision of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. He flew to Liyul by holding the garment (of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra) and there he made great contributions to the welfare of sentient beings and the Dharma. Reviving the Dharma that way, the Dharma flourished for 40 years in the Central Land (Magadha?). At that time, during the celebration over the construction of a shrine in Nalanda by Kakutasita, a minister of the king, some naughty novice monks splashed (dish) washing water on two non-Buddhist beggars and also pressed (the two) in-between the door and (the door frame.) Angry over these gestures, one (beggar) served as the attendant to the other who sat in a deep pit for 12 years to gain the sidhi of the sun. Having achieved the sidhi, they threw ashes of a fire puja (havan) they did, on 84 Buddhist shrines. They were all burned. Particularly, when the three dharma ganja of Nalanda — the shrines which sheltered the scriptures — as well got consumed in fire, streams of water ran down from the scriptures of Guhyasamaja and Prajnaparamita, which were housed in the ninth storey of the Ratnadhati shrine. This saved many scriptures. Later, fearing penalty from the king, the two (beggars) escaped to Hasama in the north. However, the two died due to immolation, which happened on its own."

Surely, no self-respecting Marxist could have made his account rest on not just one miracle — acquiring sidhis and raining fire on to the structures — but two, for we also have the streams of water running down from the scriptures.

But we strain unnecessarily. There is a clue in Jha's lecture itself. He doesn't cite the Tibetan text, he does what Marxists do: he cites another Marxist citing the Tibetan text! To see what he does, you must read the lines carefully. This is what we saw Jha saying:

"A Tibetan tradition has it that the Kalacuri King Karna (11th century) destroyed many Buddhist temples and monasteries in Magadha, and the Tibetan text Pag Sam Jon Zang refers to the burning of the library of Nalanda by some 'Hindu fanatics'."

As his authority, Jha cites a book by B.N.S. Yadava, Society and Culture in Northern India in the Twelfth Century. What did Yadava himself write? Here it is: "Further, the Tibetan tradition informs us that Kalacuri Karna (11th century) destroyed many Buddhist temples and monasteries in Magadha."

Jha has clearly lifted what Yadava wrote word for word — at least he has been faithful to his source. But in the very next sentence, Yadava had gone on to say: "It is very difficult to say anything as to how far this account may be correct."

Words that Jha conveniently left out!

Yadava had continued, "However, we get some other references to persecution."

He cited two inscriptions and a Puranic reference. And then came to the Tibetan text. Recall what Jha wrote about this text: "…and the Tibetan text Pag Sam Jon Zang refers to the burning of the library of Nalanda by some 'Hindu fanatics'."

And now turn to what Yadava wrote about this very text: "The Tibetan text Pag Sam Jon Zang contains a [I am leaving out a word] tradition of the burning of the library of Nalanda by some Hindu fanatics."

Close enough to pass for plagiarism? But wait, there is originality! Notice, first, that two Hindu beggars have become "Hindu fanatics". Notice, next, that the words "Hindu fanatics" that Jha had put in quotation marks as if they were the words that the author of the Tibetan text had used to describe the arsonists, were actually the words of his fellow Marxist, Yadava. But the best clue is the word that I omitted from what Yadava had actually written. Yadava's full sentence was as follows: "The Tibetan text Pag Sam Jon Zang contains a doubtful tradition of the burning of the library of Nalanda by some Hindu fanatics."

Just as he had left out the words, "It is very difficult to say anything as to how far this account may be correct," Jha now leaves out the word "doubtful". And all this in the presidential address to the Indian History Congress.

In a word, l There is a Tibetan text written five hundred years after the destruction of Nalanda l Sarat Chandra Das annotates it, and includes in his Index a summary in English of a passage in the text

— the summary naturally leaves out telling components of the original passage

l Yadava looks only at the summary in the Index — "non-Buddhist beggars" becomes "Hindu fanatics"

l Yadava notes that the account is based on a "doubtful tradition"

l Jha omits the word "doubtful"

l And we have a presidential address to the Indian History Congress!

Given what we have seen of Marxist historians even in this brief book, the brazen-faced distortions — to the point of falsehood — do not surprise me.

What does surprise me is that no one looked up either the source that Jha had cited or the text.

Indeed, in concluding his section, Yadava had stated:

"A great blow to Buddhism was, no doubt, rendered by the Turkish invasions, leading to the destruction and desertion of the celebrated Buddhist monasteries of Magadha and Bengal. Many Buddhist scholars fled to Tibet and Nepal."





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Imposing Hindi in social media

சொன்னால் விரோதம்இது, ஆகிலும் சொல்லுவன் கேண்மினோ!

The BJP has once again demonstrated its uncanny ability in giving re-birth to those parties that have been shown the doors by the people of Tamilnadu. This time the lucky to be resurrected party is the DMK! The technique used by the BJP is Hindi imposition. A shrewd politician that he is, the no-age-barred Karunanidhi can be expected to steal the lime light and hearts of Tamils in the coming days on anti- Hindi plank – at a time when he most needed an issue for resurrection.  

Assuming that readers are informed of the nuances of the current issue, I am straight away going into basic points.

# Hindi is in use in many, may be all Governmental transactions. But to make it the language of the social media is nothing short of imposition. The initial reaction from the Govt side was that the two circulars under issue were prepared by the previous government. 

So what? What prevents them from taking a re-look at them? While they think it necessary to re-look at the credentials of the PAs for Rajnath or Smriti Irani, what makes them think that these circulars don’t need a re-look, particularly when the countrymen are under the belief that this govt is totally federal in functioning, keen on taking along all the States? 

# The next reaction from the Govt side was that the circulars pertain to Hindi-speaking States only. 

What does this convey? Are the information conveyed through social media meant for Hindi speaking Indians only and not to all Indians? Don’t they want all Indians on social media know of the Govt’s views and rules? What kind of Governance is envisaged by this? 

# The follow-up reaction was that this is being done to promote Hindi in Hindi speaking States.

Isn’t that the job of the respective States? Why such selective care by the Central Govt for Hindi for the sake of Hindi speaking States? 

# Then came a justification that Hindi is a mix of Tamil. Telugu, Malayali, Gujarati etc...
So they want to promote a language that is not distinct on its own. Such a language can be promoted as a major language of the country where all the constituent (!) languages of that language that are distinct and more ancient than Hindi can be allowed to decay! 

# For this, they say, no no we wont allow the other languages to decay; we respect all the Indian languages. 

What do they mean by this? Sending their circulars in all the languages? What a waste of time, manpower and money this pertains to! 

Instead send your information in the already established link language namely English. English is already established as a link language within India and outside India. The framers of the Constitution did recognise the relevance and predominance of English throughout India even at that time and particularly acknowledged the inevitability of English in legal matters. They did concede that Hindi was insufficiently developed to cater to the needs of official purposes. In other words, Hindi like other regional languages had to be developed with new vocabulary for a plethora of English words that convey legal and official matters. For the first 15 years after Constitution came into being, English was to be used as official language. By then Hindi had to be developed and must replace English. This is the opinion of the Constitution writers at that time.

But did the Govt of the day develop Hindi sufficiently by then? Mr Naqvi is waxing eloquent  that Gandhi, Nehru, Lohia et al wanted to develop Hindi as a link language.  But what really happened at that time? They divided the country on the basis of regional languages and allowed the regional languages to develop. Whatever the Constitution-writers wanted for Hindi was developed for languages, say, like Tamil in such a way that official Tamil has grown well with lot more vocabulary. And the country has come very far in these 60+ years. The so-called purpose for a common language is no longer being felt now.

In the process, the non- Hindi speaking regions have developed well in English as can be seen in the growth of IT-savvy people coming from South India than North India. The Nobel winning people or other such people achieving great heights in the world have come from non-Hindi speaking regions with English as their language of occupation. 

In contrast only the Hindi speaking people of North India still continue to be averse to or incapable of learning a language other their own. Not many of them know English or any other language. I wonder whether this measure to promote Hindi is a kind of favour to them as their votes matter to any party to form the Govt. They cannot be asked to learn another language. Is it why they are asking us to learn their language? 

I remember in the late 80s how the ‘angrezi hatao’ campaign was carried out in North India. Fear of English as a colonial vestige is absurd. There are so many things that are colonially inherited. The very form of Government, of governance, law etc are vestiges of colonial era. They are all intruding our lives whereas the language (English) has had the least bad effect on us. I am posting below the mail I sent to The Hindu at that time.

I am tempted to say that an average North Indian is lazy to study a new language that can be used as a link language with others in India. Look at the literacy rate in the Hindi belt. They have to do a lot more on making them study. That is why they stick to Hindi and ask others to use it as a link language!

The funny part of this propaganda in other parts of India, particularly in Tamilnadu is that by learning Hindi one can increase the chances of getting employment in North India. As though every Hindi speaking one has got employment because of Hindi or jobs are waiting to be filled in North India! The basic point is that wherever one gets a job, he or she will automatically pick up the language of the place. Just a spoken level of language will do. But there again there is a glaring difference. South Indians going to North India somehow pick up Hindi to speak to them. But North Indians coming to South India won’t pick up the language of the region. They form a coterie within themselves, speak their own language and make us feel that we have erred in not being able to talk to them in their language. This is very common in colleges and work places in Tamilnadu. If the current steps in Hindi imposition continue in stealth ways, be warned that trouble will erupt as North- South Indian clashes helping in the resurrection of Karunanidhi.

One of the refrain from a BJP spokesperson is that, “It is not a crime to work in Hindi.... what objection is there if we work in Hindi?” 

What a clever use of words! In fact it is a crime under the present law to impose Hindi; but by asking them not to do that, we are being made to appear as though WE call it a crime. What objection do we have if they use Hindi?  Only that, we will be secluded from knowing what is happening. For that they would say, ‘that is why we ask you to learn Hindi”. What a clever ploy! 

At a time the nation has come too far from language issues and is doing well with the plethora of languages as they are now, at a time the people are impatiently waiting to realise their goals of good education, good job, more money etc, in what way this Hindi- only attitude is going to give value addition? 

BJP leaders are quoting redundant Chinese and Japanese examples. They don’t know the recent trend there. An English instructor is the much sought after person and one of the highly paid persons in China and Japan. Particularly the Chinese are anxious to grab the education and employment market globally through English knowledge. 

Let people not be lured by the Chinese or Japanese premier talking in their mother tongue. Everyone feels comfortable speaking in their mother tongue. A Chinese speaks in Chinese and Japanese in Japanese language. Same way, a Hindi speaking person prefers to speak in Hindi and a Tamilian would prefer to speak in Tamil only! Why the non- Hindi people of India should be expected to speak or learn a language that is not their mother tongue. Modiji spoke – only when he had to come to national scene and to reach out to the Hindi belt. He had other advantages too as Ashok Malik points out. Necessity is the deciding factor for whether a language must be learned or not or where to use it.

 When we already have English well established in India and particularly in a far advanced State like Tamilnadu which is in no way inferior to any State in nationalism, this kind of imposition of Hindi is outdated and lacks credibility.

Today no one thinks that Hindi binds. Learning that language or any other language is one’s choice depending on one’s own reasons. It must not be forced in to their lives like this. Once it was said that Hindi movies did what Hindi imposition could not do. But recently a “Kolaveri di” song did what no Tamilian wanted to do intentionally. The entire India learned the meaning of sparse Tamil words in that song.

That song itself is a reminder of what the present generation wants – it is English! Even a coolie wants his child to be educated in English. This is not English- mOham. As a language of communication, command over English gets one better jobs. 

Learning a language must begin as early as possible in life.  There is a scientific reason for it. Learning a language happens best between 2nd and 4th year of one’s life. That is when Broca's area is developing that helps in learning languages. A child is able to pick up the mother tongue effortlessly because of the growth in that part in brain in its formative years. Though that area is intact, I have read a research article in the 90s that says that language learning aided by Broca's area is high during the growth of that part in childhood but not so high afterwards. That means learning a language a little later is also a difficult task for a child. Though it is possible for some people to learn many languages even at later times due to the level of activity of their Broca’s area, not all can accomplish it.

This is a fact checked with any parent of school going kids. Many kids struggle to learn a new language or develop skills in a language which can be attributed to the stoppage of  growth of Broca’s area. Other cognitive abilities can be developed and sustained by practice at any time later.
சித்திரமும் கைப் பழக்கம்,
செந்தமிழும் நாப்பழக்கம்
கற்கின்ற கல்வி மனப்பழக்கம்

The second line in this beautiful old Tamil verse tells about learning of Tamil verses by heart and not language skill. In other words, repetitive nature that develops a skill is spoken in this verse. Learning a language is not a repetitive or rote learning exercise.

I am saying this to show how it is not easy to learn a new language other than their own by all people. Only a few are gifted with an active Broca’s area. In such a scenario, making our kids learn a language merely for a reason that it is going to “integrate” the child with rest of India, is it a strong enough reason to tax the children? Are they not better ways to make them integrated with Indian Oneness? 

To all those people who have been defending Hindi in those circulars, I am asking them to sit with their kids through their study years. Like millions of parents of this country, let them sit with their kids, struggle with them through their learning and preparations for exams for languages and other subjects. Let us see what they will say for this language-fuss.

Give our kids what makes them empowered and employed. Certainly Hindi is not going to get them their next meals. 

But the languages must be safe guarded. The language policy of the Govt must focus on creating facilities or Universities in all States for minimum 4 to 5 languages of which Sanskrit must be one and regional language must be another. Apart from them other language departments must be there to encourage cross- language studies. This would encourage language studies and exchange of language scholars between States.

As far as I can know, Tamil is the oldest language that contains proofs and hints for linking the past with the present day India and the world at large. It holds the key for unraveling the past of the world.  Along with Sanskrit it had influenced other languages of India. An impetus to cross language studies in the above mentioned ways will open a new chapter in knowing Indian past that is not yet probed. The Govt’s efforts must be aimed at working towards that goal by offering enough support, respect and reach for such studies. Such studies done in every state concentrating on the State and its surrounding languages, would truly help in integrating all the regions as they would show how there had been a give and take between different Indian languages. Such revelations can even blunt language chauvinism in the long run. 

(PS) I deliberately avoided giving the meaning of the two popular verses in Tamil in this article. An avid reader into this topic will feel disappointed in not being able to know what they convey. This is done to drive home the point that language is for communication and conveying an idea. It can not be used to “integrate” or “Unite” India, or enrich a language. There are other better ways to unite India. As far enriching the language, let it be taken care of by its speakers and respective governments.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Foreign funding of the NGOs – a threat to growth and national security.


In 2011, NGOs in India received Rs 10,334 crore from overseas

Vicky Nanjappa

Who are the NGOs in India with maximum funding in India? Which are the countries funding them? How many NGOs are registered under the law? Vicky Nanjappa finds out.

Following the Intelligence Bureau report that foreign-funded non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty and Action Aid are serving foreign interests and pose a danger to national security, the overseas donations received by all NGOs have come under the scanner.


It appears that the IB report has really shaken up the administration and that they are now investigating all NGOs and their funding. According to available figures, the extent of funding is not small at all. Some 23,172 NGOs across India received foreign contribution amounting to Rs 10,997.35 crore in 2008-09. In 2009-10, some 22,275 NGOs received funds amounting to Rs 10,431.12 crore and in 2010-11, some 22,735 NGOs received Rs 10,334.12 crore.

According to the Foreign Funding Contribution (Regulation) Act, it is mandatory for NGOs to be registered under this law to receive funds from abroad. Figures reveal that only 38,436 associations are registered under the act, of which 21,508 groups have received funds amounting to over Rs 10,000 crore. NGOs in Delhi top the list with Rs 1815.91 crores. Tamil Nadu with Rs 1663.31 crores and Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1324.87 crores) come second and third in this list.

Explaining the dangers of receiving foreign funding, R Vaidyanathan, professor (finance) and UTI chair professor in the area of capital market studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, says, "Many NGOs that do receive foreign funding are not covered under the Right to Information Act. Hence, finding information about their finances becomes difficult. Additionally, some groups don't even have websites, which only makes it more cumbersome to find out details about their finances."

He added, "Furthermore, foreign funding means the agenda of the NGO is being decided by foreigners. This is clearly evident from the issues being raised. A couple of years, everyone was talking about HIV, but today no one talks about it. Why? Has it been eradicated? Today, everyone has turned their focus on rapes, trying to portray to the world that the phenomenon is particular only to India. Greenpeace is quick to say no to coal, nuclear power and hydel power. Do they expect Indians to live on candle light? The poorest of the poor in India should be helped, provided with aid, but with Indian rupee and not US dollar."

An IB official, who was part of the team that prepared the report, adds that the NGOs which have come under the scanner have great purchasing power. "They pay off people to stage protests and their only intention is to hamper growth. They get obscene amounts of money and the agenda is set by the foreign countries that want to ensure that India is not self-reliant," he alleges.

He added that taking cognisance of the IB report, the Indian government is likely to set up a special team to look into the issue. The officer elaborated, "There is going to be no mercy shown to those who have fallen prey to foreign agenda and are trying to weaken India. They will need to come clean on their funding and we shall find out where they have received every single paisa from."

Currently the CBI is probing the funding received by the following NGOs:

NGO name
Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam
Abul Kalam Azad Islamic Awakening Centre
New Delhi
Khwaja Khushal Charitable Trust
Anjumane Hussamia Educational Association
Vishwa Dharmayatan Trust
New Delhi
Shri Ratnesh Khandelwal
Heritage Foundation
Uttar Pradesh
IGEP Foundation
New Delhi
Samast Muslim Khalifa Sunnatwal Jamat Navsari
Evangelical Lutheran Church
Madhya Pradesh
Tuticorin Diocese Association

In addition to this, another list of NGOs is being investigated by the respective state police forces. They are:

Rajasthan Harvest Ministries, Jaipur;
Matsyagandhi Mahila Welfare Association, Andhra Pradesh;
Madrasa Jamiyad Ravatul-e-Hat, Gujarat;
Mount View Academy, Madurai,
and Reach International Education and Social Welfare Trust, Tamil Nadu;
Bhartiya Cattle Resource Development, New Delhi;
Good Vision, Kanyakumari;
Trust for Rural Uplift and Education, Tirunelveli;
AID India, Chennai;
Saccer, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu;
and Centre for Promotion of Social Concern, Tamil Nadu.

Blacklisted NGOs

There are 833 NGOs which have been blacklisted, as they were found to be misusing funds. Of these, 192 were from Andhra Pradesh, 125 from Bihar, 83 from Tamil Nadu, 75 from Karnataka, 72 from Uttar Pradesh, 42 from Rajasthan and 35 from Kerala. 

In addition to this, 32 from Orissa, 26 from West Bengal, 24 from Maharashtra, 23 from Delhi, 20 from Haryana, 18 from Manipur, 15 from Madhya Pradesh, 13 from Gujarat, 10 from Nagaland, eight from Jharkhand, five each from Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh, three from Jammu and Kashmir, two from Pondicherry and one each from Arunchal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Uttaranchal.

Biggest donors

United States: Rs 3105.73 crores.
Germany Rs 1046.3 crores.
United Kingdom: Rs 1038.68 crores.

Biggest benefactors

Gospel for Asia Inc, USA: Rs 232.71 crores.
Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Spain: Rs 228.60 crores.
World Vision Global Centre, USA: Rs 197.62 crores.

Biggest beneficiaries

World Vision of India in Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Rs 208.94 crores
Rural Development Trust, Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh: Rs 151.31 crores
Shri Sevasubramania Nadar Educational Charitable Trust, Chennai: Rs. 94.28 crores

Related post:-

Christian money that is sent to invade the Hindu space.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The art of karma management



The art of karma management

Hasmukh Adhia | Jun 12, 2014, 12.02 AM IST


All human beings are always busy doing something. But very few know the Art of Karma. Fascinated by idealism of complete renunciation, Arjuna wanted to give up his karma as a warrior, believing that it would be a sin to kill his opponents, many of whom were his revered relatives. Should he give up his assigned karma? Krishna says 'no' and explains to him and to all of us the concept of why and how karma should be done.

Your chosen duty is described as 'swa-dharma' in the Bhagwad Gita. Everyone has to carry out their swadharma without carelessness and ego. Also while performing one's chosen duty, our attention should be on the quality of action, rather than being attached only to the fruits of action.

There are two types of fruits we get out of any activity — main fruit and subordinate fruit. For instance, in a game of sports, the main benefit we get is that of getting physical fitness and the subordinate fruit can be winning. Even if we lose, the main fruit is not going waste. Both winner and loser get physical fitness.

In life, the main fruit of discharging our duty properly is purity of mind which comes, although we do not notice it until it is pointed out to us. With purity of mind we get peace of mind, harmony and ability to enjoy what we have, independent of all other objects of so-called pleasure which we do not have. Subordinate fruits are wealth, position, rank, name and fame. Even if the latter does not come, the main fruit of purity of intellect is always obtained in any karma yoga.

Let us take the example of a driver who is engaged by a taxi company for a regular salary. He may be getting tips from some clients, which is his extra income. Suppose he starts thinking only about increasing his extra income, not even remembering that he is being paid fully for his job already, he would give best service only to those clients who give him tips, and neglect all others who do not. In the process, he is risking his main salary also, because there is a possibility of some of his clients complaining to his boss about his negligence and he may lose his job. Can he be happy this way?

We also forget, or do not notice, that God is giving us the main fruit of being happy and contended, even if other things are not coming in ample measure. God has already given us so much by way of infrastructure of free oxygen, water and sunshine which has been made more and more comfortable by many of our predecessors. Is that not good enough reason for us to feel grateful and in return give our own contribution to make this world a better place still? Can an ungrateful person be ever happy in life?

This does not mean that we only live on air and sunshine. As per the infallible theory of karma phala, one will definitely have good results for good work done. That taxi driver can surely hope to get extra income if he continues to give good service to all, whether they give tips or not. But moment we try to be selfish and work only for money or position, we`re in trouble.

So the Gita`s message is: `Do your best always, do not be utterly selfish and have no ego.` That indeed is the art of karma yoga. Post your comments at


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Some suggestions to Finance Minister - by Prof R.Vaidyanathan



Memo to FM: An education bank, easy loans to India Uninc, tax breaks for savers – and my dog

Prof R. Vaidyanathan 

Professor of Finance at IIM Bangalore.                                                  



Since it is customary to give unsolicited advice to the finance minister in the run-up to the budget, here are some. In order to make it easy for the finance minister to quickly get the gist, the suggestions are short, and, in most cases, the operative details are in bullet points.

Setting up an education finance bank:

  • We need a specialized Education Finance Bank, similar to HDFC in housing, which can also raise deposits.

  • The initial capital of Rs 5,000-10,000 crore can be provided by various finance institutions

  • All education/skill formation courses can be financed by this bank. It can be tailored to finance course from MBAs to ITIs and even schooling.

  • Loans can be only for domestic education

  • Interest earned by depositors in this bank can be exempt from taxes to augment resources

  • All certificates issued for courses completed with bank loans will reflect the EMI payable

  • Employers should, by law, be asked to deduct EMIs like TDS and remit to the bank. This will minimise NPAs which are high in education loans today

New financial architecture for the non-corporate sector

  • The share of the non-corporate sector in GDP is nearly 50 percent (Agriculture 18 percent, government 18 percent, and corporate sector 14-15 percent; See My book India Uninc,  published by Tata Westland)

  • The finance minister should focus on the non-corporate 50 percent rather than the pink paper-obsessed 15 percent called the "organized" corporate sector

  • The service sector, comprising activities like construction, trade, hotels and restaurants, transport, professional business services, etc,  constitutes nearly 67 percent of our economy. These are also the fastest-growing sectors, with more than 8-9 percent compounded annual growth over the last decade.

  • The non-corporate sector, consisting of partnership and proprietorship firms, is dominant (more than 70 percent) in service sector activities

  • The share of bank financing has come down from around 58 percent in 1990 to 36 percent in 2011 to this sector.

  • The 42 million non-farming enterprises are owned to the extent of 51 percent by OBCs (38 percent), STs (4 percent), and SCs (9 percent). OBC ownership is more than the proportionate share of the OBC population. This is the foundation of entrepreneurship in India. If India is an entrepreneur-led economy unlike China, it is because of this sector. The credit supply to this critical sector from organized financing institutions is below 10 percent (Economic Census 2005). This sector is fleeced by local money lenders.

  • We need a separate financial architecture for this sector – free from rigid banking rules and flexible on lending practices. The institution should be free to raise cheap resources with safeguards for depositors and investors. Only a non-banking financial company can reach this sector. A committee of the finance ministry, the ministry of small and medium enterprises, ministry of rural development, and the Reserve Bank may be appointed to frame rules for this new financial architecture free from Basel-based banking norms. If a statement to this effect is included in the budget speech, this will persuade the RBI to fall in line.

FII/FDI role

  • FII and FDI investments put together have never exceeded 8 percent of our domestic investment

  • 92 percent of our investment has come from domestic savings

  • Household savings (including proprietorship/partnership firms) has been nearly 75 percent of our domestic savings

  • The finance minister should thus say no to arm-twisting by FIIs and foreign investors. Globally, funds are in search of markets – nearly $18 trillion of pension funds is looking for good investing avenues. We should thus allow FDI while leveraging our political advantage  – like China

  • The FM should also say no to reversing retrospective taxes since this has been done by many European countries, including UK. Indian asset transfers should be taxed by India. Period

Enhancing domestic savings

  • Since domestic savings constitute more than 90 percent of our investments, there is a need to increase the tax-exempt savings limit (80C, including public provident fund) to Rs 2 lakh from the current Rs 1 lakh.

  • The income-tax exemption limit should be raised to Rs 5 lakh for individuals and Rs 10 lakh for HUFs to distinguish between individual salary earners and partnership/proprietorship firms

  • Interest earned on deposits with the education bank should be exempt from taxes

Give my dog a break

Animal lovers spend on veterinary doctors/medicines. This cost is not recognised anywhere

  • Individuals get tax deductions upto Rs 15,000 for medical and drug expenses

  • For domesticated animals like dogs/cats, one can consider expenses of up to Rs 10,000 per annum per animal. This will get thank you votes from animal lovers.

Dividend tax

  • As of now dividends are not taxed at all in the hands of receivers

  • There are many individuals earning Rs 500-600 crore a year and still not paying taxes. Many of them could be promoters of companies or high-earning employees who have large sharehodings due to Esops.

  • Technical arguments are given about double taxation of income to "justify" this zero tax, but it is morally unacceptable that the rich should pay zero tax. Dividend incomes above a certain minimum level should be taxed at the marginal rate of 30 percent.

Scrap FCRA

Significant amounts of money flow into the country through the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act. In the last decade, more than Rs 85,000 crore has come in for the NGO sector from global patrons. Of the 40,000-and-odd NGOs registered under FCRA, at least half of them do not file proper accounts with the ministry. Some of them are religious organizations. With the enactment of compulsory spends on corporate social responsibility (CSR) under the new Companies Act, the time has come to scrap FCRA and ask the NGOs to seek local funds.

Domestic black money

  • The Supreme Court-constituted SIT is looking into illicit money kept abroad

  • For domestic black money, the following steps can be considered: withdrawal of notes in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations over a period of one year; and bringing in a law to make holdings of cash beyond Rs 10 lakh (or a more relevant figure) as a crime. This needs amendments to the Coinage Act, FEMA, RBI Act, etc. This step was suggested in a recent report on steps to curb black money. Currently, if you have excess cash holdings, the tax department has to prove that the holdings are disproportionate to known sources.

Enhancing Resources

As suggested in a Firstbiz story, there are many low-hanging fruit available to the finance minister in the budget. This could add up to nearly Rs 1,00,000 crore of non-tax revenue. The extra resources can come from selling the shares held by the Special Undertaking of UTI (around Rs 50,000 crore), selling the residual stake of Balco and Hindustan Zinc (over Rs 20,000 crore), listing the subsidiaries of Coal India separately (to raise another Rs 10,000-15,000 crore), and asking all banks to raise capital from the market as long as government holdings do not fall below 51 percent. This will save the Rs 11,200 crore already allocated for bank recapitalisation.

Database of the tax system

We need to revive the All India Income Tax Statistics (AIITS), a publication which used to offer a wealth of data on taxes paid, exemptions given, etc, category-wise (ie, companies, HUFs, partnerships). It also used to give sector-wise details – retail trade/chemists/doctors/lawyers, and so on. Its publication has been stopped since 2001. Some of this information is now available only in the diaries of tax officials. If transparency is the best disinfectant in finance, its publication should be resumed.

Release of the black money report

A report by three Delhi-based institutions regarding black money has been submitted to the finance ministry. These reports can be released to the public for wider dissemination. There is no need to treat this as a state secret, since these are academic reports, and don't pertain to Swiss bank data.

Financial commission to monitor all inward funds

India gets funds from varied sources – some known, some unknown. Not all FII/FDI/FCRA, export remittances and hawala deals can be traced. The government should constitute a financial commission to monitor all inward remittances of funds and evolve appropriate measures if they are suspicious in nature.