Thursday, December 15, 2022

No Lady-aa, Modi-aa – It’s Modi Only if he chooses to contest from Tamilnadu.

 A political blog from me after a long time!

With the 2024 Lok Sabha election nearing fast, we are getting to hear multiple interpretations on the state of things. Foremost is about the state of alliances in Tamilnadu. With EPS looking unwilling to align with the BJP, there is a common perception that it will lead to a 3-cornered contest which would work to the advantage of the ruling DMK.

This stark fact is known to the BJP as well and as such we can expect the BJP think tank at the center to create a 2-cornered contest. They won’t allow a 3-cornered contest in Tamilnadu. How this will take shape is palpable from certain quick developments seen in the recent days. These developments work in two ways – political and creation of an environment.

Politically, the game of waiting on EPS is almost over.  After his return from Delhi, Annamalai has upped the ante for go-it-alone mode which means retaining the lead in the NDA alliance and not depending on the ADMK. This might send shock waves in both the ADMK and the BJP over the prospect of three or multi cornered contest, but think of the way politicians behave. Politics means life time business for most in the two Dravidian parties. They cannot exist without power or brokerage. They will sway towards the side where the winds are favorable. The early indication on the ADMK camp has become palpable recently.

OPS was a given a breathing space just a few days ago when he was given an audience with the top brass of the BJP including the Prime Minister on the sidelines of the swearing-in of the Gujarat Assembly. OPS, and not EPS was spotted in the front row of that ceremony. Is the central BJP having second thoughts on EPS? Have they decided to lend tacit support to OPS with a view to garner Thevar segments?

Imagine a scenario when OPS severs from the ADMK and forms his own faction; he will be taken into the NDA. But do you think that the whole of lot of seasoned politicians in the EPS camp would remain as dump spectators? They knew very well that they cannot win in a 3-cornered contest in 2024. The situation will be no different in 2026 too. Political acumen dictates that they join with OPS, though there may not be many direct entrants to the BJP. I expect a considerable number of MLAs (both sitting and ex) to throw their weight behind OPS. This would be more certain, if the DMK also is headed for a split.  

Yes, split in the DMK appears very certain given the hard fact that the CBI is tightening its noose around Kanimozhi. From Delhi Rajagopal’s inputs it looks certain that Kanimozhi along with A. Raja is going to face legal troubles. Does this not offer an opportunity to fix a deal to make Kanimozhi do a Shinde in Tamilnadu? (Tempted to link Annamalai’s soft corner for Trichy Surya for the likely utility he can offer in this scenario).

The elevation of Udayanidhi had not come a day later that there are more cons than pros in his elevation. The old-timers who are not willing to carry a fresh sand bag (Manal Moottai) in Udayanidhi would be more than willing to side with Kanimozhi who would be happier to start her own party “KDMK” (Karunanidhi DMK).

This is likely to get the support of M.K. Azhagiri too whose bastion (Madurai) is becoming the focus of attention for the BJP as the venue for G-20 meetings. Azhagiri may be lying low but his supporters are just dormant and bidding their time. Moreover, would Azhagiri lose a chance to promote his son when he gets a chance to checkmate the rise of Stalin’s son?

If the DMK is splitting, it means NDA’s chances are increasing. The ADMK split would be complete with more heavyweights coming to OPS camp. Should I need to tell that OPS and Kanimozhi would be part of the NDA then?

A split DMK and a split ADMK would make the contest in favor of the NDA.

The final nailing would be given by the Prime Minister Modi, the Master Strategist!

What Rangaraj Pandey told in Tamilnadu Dialogues would become true. Modi would contest from Tamilnadu – preferably from Kanchi – in addition to his present constituency Varanasi.

The environment comes into focus here.

The focus of Kasi-Tamil Sangamam on ordinary people from mofussil and rural regions of Tamilnadu would have a pro-Modi impact on the rural populations who care to go to the polling booth. The local booth-worker network of the TNBJP has a big role.

Modi’s love for Bharatiyaar makes me think that he may be toying with the idea of contesting from Kanchipuram – a place mentioned by Bharatiyar in the context of Kashi (making a communication equipment to deliver the poems of Kashi-poets to Kanchi). If he contests from Kanchipuram, it would have an impact on the whole of Chennai which is mostly a DMK stronghold. That hold of the DMK would be broken by Modi contesting from Kanchi.

With Kanimozhi faction and OPS faction coming into reality and joining the NDA (no other go once they come out) and scores of others coming under the NDA, it would enable an all-round presence throughout Tamilnadu. Modi entering the fray in Tamilnadu in that scenario would definitely charge the atmosphere. This is more probable in the given situation and the kind of developments in the last few days – that can avert a 3-cornered contest.

The loser will be EPS who seems to think that is a la Jayalalithaa!

Jayalalithaa was taller enough to challenge Modi – and ask the electorate to choose between Lady and Modi. But today there is no challenger to Modi and EPS is no Lady! High time EPS realizes this or else… Handling Tamilnadu to opt for 2-cornered contest is not a tough task for the strategists of the BJP.

PS: The hate Modi campaign by Dravida Model people is centred around GST and Demonetization. It's good these two are now under the purview of the Supreme court. A favourable verdict before 2024 elections will go a long way in defusing the hate campaign of the D Stock. 

The only other hate factor is the propaganda that BJP is 'matha- vaada katchi'. By consolidating majority vote bank, possible to do a cake-walk

Friday, December 9, 2022

Pre-historic migration from Northern to Southern hemisphere decoded from the Mahābhārata.

 Mahābhārata contains several small stories or events of the past, some of them appearing strange to comprehend. A common thread through such weird stories pertains to bizarre characters, odd behaviour of saintly people and unnatural or abnormal relationship issues that continue to be remembered till date or picked out selectively from the texts to debase the texts and the characters in those events. We tend to interpret them in our own way, with our own perceptions, while being unaware of the original line of thought supposed to have been delivered through those events.

One such story contains directives on how to interpret seemingly odd descriptions and the characters of the story, which offer remarkable understanding of the story when applied. Amazingly, the decoding of that story on such lines reveal that it was actually talking about migration of people from North to South of the equator in a distant past when the North was reeling under severe shortage of food due to climate change. The fundamental clue on understanding the story rests with the etymology of the proper nouns used in the story – of the Sanskrit names – and connecting them with the characterization of the people and the events in the story.

This story appears in Chapter 94 and Chapter 95 of Book 13 of the Mahābhārata. The translation in English can be read HERE. The central characters are the seven Rishi-s (sages) who govern mankind from their celestial abode in the seven stars of Ursa Major (Sapta rishi Mandala). As per Hindu Thought the rishi-s keep changing in each era following a change in mankind and their way of life. Figure 1 shows the location of the seven rishi-s of the current era. They are Marici, Vasishtha, Angirasa, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu.

Additionally, the name Arundhati also appears. She is the wife of Vasishtha who accompanies him from behind. The stars Alcor and Mizar represent Arundhati and Vasishtha as they were never seen away from each other; more importantly Alcor was never seen overtaking Mizar, in the same way that Arundhati was never known to have gone in front of her husband Vasishtha but towed behind him. For this reason, invoking Arundhati as a symbol of an ideal wife who doesn’t cross the path of her husband is part and parcel of Vedic marriages even today.  

Fig 1: The seven sages of the Saptarishi Mandala for the current period

Interestingly, the same names of the seven sages do not appear in the story under discussion thereby revealing that it was about a previous era when different set of rishi-s governed mankind. Their names as they appear in the story are Atri, Vasishtha, Kashyapa, Bharadwaja, Gautama, Vishwamitra and Jamadagni.

Atri and Vasishtha have remained in the group of that time. Additionally, Arundhati’s name also appears in the story as a devout wife following Vasishtha, thereby indicating the fixed alignment between Alcor and Mizar even in those times.

The story talks about the shift of the seven sages due to famine conditions. The story happened at a time of severe drought when the seven rishi-s, the chaste wife Arundhati, their maid servant, Ganda and her husband Paśusakha were struggling to get food. The first horrendous information of the story appears here where it is said that they decided to cook the dead prince, the son of Śibi’s son whom they received in a sacrifice, to satiate their hunger!

As they began cooking the dead body in a vessel, the dead person’s grandfather, Śibi (Vrishadarbha’a son) appeared there and offered to remove their hunger by giving them cattle. The sages refused to accept the kine and left the place without eating the dead one they were cooking. Seeing them leave, the king got angry and invoked a demoness, he named as Yātudāni, to follow the sages and slay them. But he sounds a caveat that Yātudāni must first ask for their names  and comprehend the meaning of their names; only after understanding the etymology of their names, can she slay them. This odd stipulation comes up as a valuable clue to  decipher the story.

Śibi is a plant growing in Northern latitudes

The story starts with Śibi whose son’s son was cooked by the sages for eating. Śibi is the Sanskrit term for the plant Typha angustifolia,  which grows abundantly in high Northern latitudes such as Siberia and Scandinavia.

Fig 2: Typha augustifolia (Śibi)

It grows where there is water. The entire plant is edible. But a time came when this plant could no longer grow due to climatic changes. The narration about sages preparing to eat the dead son of Śibi’s son shows that times were so bad that people were left with nothing but the dead and dried Śibi plants to eat. I locate the place of this plant in the narration at Altai mountains where Denisovan gene was discovered from a fragment of a bone. Let me justify this in the course of this write-up.

The sages were offered kine which they refused, as they didn't want to subsist on flesh. They started moving in search of food and met a mendicant accompanied with his dog on their way. This man was called as 'Śunasakha' which means 'friend of dog'. In Hindu Thought the dog signifies Yama, the God of death. He is also the God of Dharma who delivers good and bad according to one’s karma. The dog appearing well-fed would literally mean that many people had died and the dogs had scavenged on the dead people. As a personification of Yama, it can be deduced that God Yama appeared robust in having delivered fair judgement. But who was his friend – the Sakha of Śuna? We will decipher it in the course of the story.

The dog and Śunasakha accompanied the sages in their wanderings in finding food. At last, all of them  reached a Lotus-pond. That pond was guarded by Yātudāni, the demoness sent by Śibi, the king. Yātu means wind. Yātudāni denotes a state of heavy winds afflicting people. Coming from drought-struck Śibi’s land, it seems to indicate cold winds blowing from that region that was reeling under lack of sunlight and water. Now that Yātudāni was located in the region of lotus-pond, it could refer to the limit or boundary of the cold and dry winds.

The presence of lotus pond indicates a changed climatic condition where water was available. The lotus planet, like Śibi is completely edible. So, the sages had at last reached a humid  place where food was available. Yātudāni stopped the rishi-s who wanted gather the lotus-stalks from the pond for eating. She demanded that they tell the meaning of their names. One by one the sages started telling the meaning of their names, but Yātudāni could not comprehend any of the names!

The demoness could not understand the meaning of Arundhati, Ganda and Paśusakha too. Arundhati means the one who never obstructs. She expressed that meaning by saying that she always stayed by the side of her husband. Ganda described the meaning as the raised portion of the cheek. By getting associated with  Paśusakha as her husband, it is understood that Ganda refers to ‘raised grass land for grazing’. Paśusakha means ‘friend of cattle’.

All these are connected with a community of householders who depended on simple country life and  cattle wealth. Ganda and Paśusakha joining the sages in Śibi’s land shows that the region was dotted with raised land where cattle could be grown but had to be abandoned due to dry conditions. The sages and others were spared by the demoness as she could not understand the etymological meaning of their names and she was subsequently killed by Śunasakha (friend of dog). This is indicative of cessation of adverse wind patterns that afflicted people all the way from Śibi’s land.

The sages collected the lotus stalks for eating, but these stalks were stolen by Śunasakha. Ultimately it turned out that Śunasakha was Vāsava (Indra, the lord of people) who guides and protects people. He followed the entourage of sages to help them avoid un-agreeable foods and reach a place conducive for living. His stature as Indra, the ruler of mankind, has made him appear robust and well-fed. The deity of Dharma (Yama) was his constant friend and therefore he was Śunasakha. The story ends with the departure of Indra and the seven sages to their respective celestial abodes. People had started their routine life in the new place dotted with lotus ponds.

Migration from Śibi to lotus regions

The derivations from this narration are that two plants mark the two locations of human settlements. The two plants namely Śibi (Typha angustifolia) and lotus are complete foods. Even in times of starvation, people had managed to subsist on these two plants. Lotus is consumed in places like China and Thailand but it grows well in Vietnam. All parts of the plant are entirely consumed by the Vietnamese.

Fig 3: Lotus lakes in Vietnam


Lotus is indigenous to the Tropics in and around  Sundaland. Taking this as a cue, I am locating the region of Typha angustifolia to the north of China because that makes an easy route for people to have migrated northward or southward during times of distress. The northern most location for Typha angustifolia in this stretch is Altai Mountains! The lotus growing Vietnam formed the southern location of migration

Fig 4: The North and South limits of the migration

Since there is evidence of Denisovan genes found in Altai (Here) connected with Australian aborigines (Here)  and also of Papuans and Pacific islanders (Here) it is possible to deduce that a former migration had occurred in this corridor - from Australia to Sundaland to China to Altai.

The narration in Mahābhārata is about a southward migration through the same corridor when North became inhospitable and South was warm and wet. This could have happened during Glacial Maximum and Minimum periods, with migrants finally settling down in regions around Sundaland. The old memory transmitted through generations in the form of a simple story can be picked out by means of the clue given in that story itself – that etymology plays a great role in unlocking the secrets hidden in those stories.