Saturday 28 February 2009

4 models of Volvo XC 90 in scale of 1:5 were hand built. These are remote controlled cars.

They are used during the European Athletics championship to transport discusses / javelin / hammers.

Since Tata Motors now owns Jaguar marquee, it would be great to use them such models in Golf tournaments and like to create buzz. Enjoy the video.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Out of Action - till 31st March 2009

Dear friends,

I shall be writing only intermittently till 31st March 2009.

Don't worry, all's fine.

It is just that there are many other activities that have come in - simultaneously.

So, do keep your patronage, spread the word, be in action, and cheers.

I look forward to coming back to connecting with friends here.

Monday 23 February 2009

Marketing - One Extreme

I got this video in a mail from Seth Godin, in early January.



I was reading Seth's earlier mails for inspiration on Marketing and I saw the video I am mentioning. 50 kids get Nintendo Wii as a Christmas gift. And Nintendo had built huge hype around Wii.

So, a team filmed reactions of these 50 kids as they open gifts.

Most people will find the hysterical reactions of kids as disturbing. I mean should a toy, matter so much.

Is it a surprise that the kids are becoming less mentally resilient. Lose perspective of life so easily.....

Please watch the video by clicking here. Viewer discretion is cautioned.

One Rank One Pension

The demand for One Pension who retired from One Rank of the Defence services is rather old.

However, it has been given lip service over the years by various governments.

I have started a blog One Rank - One Pension to collate resources about this and create a civil movement for the same.

Blog link: http://onerankonepension.blogspot.com/

Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com

Sunday 22 February 2009

Please Read This Before Reading Other Posts


I am no wannabe Politician


I want to make this very clear that the thoughts presented here are mine and mine alone.

While I do subscribe to many thoughts and ideas that various social and political organizations like RSS or BJP or others might suggest, I also disagree with many of their ideas and policies.

I am NOT an office bearer / or hold any position in any social / political organization. My ideas DO NOT represent the official belief / line of either BJP or the RSS (although there might be accidental concurrence).

If you disagree with any of the ideas presented here or the way they have been represented, I alone am responsible for that.

Accuracy of Data / Information presented here:

I am a huge stickler for accuracy of data. My goal is to build credibility, that takes time. I do not intend to ruin it by making casual statements.

If errors creep in, as sometimes they will, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I will be very prompt and transparent in OWNING IT UP AND CLEANING IT UP.

If you find factual inaccuracy in any of the statements made here, PLEASE REPORT IMMEDIATELY.

Leave a comment or mail me on tatra.yatra@gmail.com


Religion and other Sensitive Stuff


I believe that in a liberal, civil society, Religion should be irrelevant. When I hire a guy, I do not care what his favorite icecream flavour is. It is irrelevant. Similarly, one's belief system is a matter of personal choice, or atleast should be, in an ideal world.


The only reason that it is relevant and is discussed here, in this blog, is written below (and you can't even imagine how much of damage "हिंदू मुस्लिम सिख इसाई - हम सब एक हैं" - type of stuff has done - Hindu kids get totally misplaced ideas about how they are thought of as by the others.):


There are belief systems - and all Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) are part of that - that believe that existence of a differing thought / belief is not allowed. Now this is not an opinion, this is a core element of the practised religion for these faiths.


The problem is that such a belief system affects my life and existence.


If you believe that I am a Kaafir / Heathen / non believer, I can still live with it. However, If you believe that non believers have no right to exist and it is your sacred duty to ensure that, SORRY SIR, I am forced to fight back and enter a war that has been imposed on me.


At all times I realize and recognize that there are all kinds of people in any belief system / organization.

Just like there are Jehadi elements, there are moderate / liberal Muslims and I am privileged to know and work with number of them.Yes, I realise that there are people who worship Gods different from mine, and DO NOT believe that they need to adhere to the ideas about wiping out Kaafirs / Heathens like me.

So, if you are one of those and feel that I have gone overboard someplace in the language I used or otherwise, please mail me at tatra.yatra@gmail.com.

I intend to be a space for informed, rational, thoughtful, fact based discussion.

Having said that, I reiterate that the issues discussed here very relevant to me. They concern my life and well being and those of my next generation.

Essentially, my / our survival is at stake.

Hinduism / and India (for you can not divorce Hinduism and India) are under following attacks:

a) Jehadis
b) Christian Evangelists
c) Naxalites

With a) and b), it is very clear that there is no scope for discussion / dialogue. As far as they are concerned, it is a ZERO SUM game. They have little incentive not to wage this war on Hindus today.

Only by hitting back, by taking the war to their camp, by not taking damage ourselves, can we create a strong enough disincentive for them in this war.

And this world / country in todays space / time is a very very networked ecosystem. So, just like a butterfly flapping wings can cause storms half the world away, a few additional seats to Congress / other anti Hindu parties can do this:

a) They again come to power

b) They engage in actions like :
i) Giving Reservations to Muslims
ii) Giving Reservations to Dalit Christians and open floodgates for conversion

c) They create issues like breaking a 7, 000 year old monument - Shree Ram Setu to divert the scare resources / energies of Hindu Social groups in opposing it rather than doing constructive social work.

d) Entice Jehadis and Evangalists to attack Hindus even more.
i) Weak Anti Terror laws
ii) No implementation on ground due to lack of will / implicit support of Evangalists

So, few casual votes can generally push us Hindus closer to our end.

I always wonder that the society that exterminated themselves by their actions (like Ester Islands / Vikings) - did they not know when they cut the last tree (for example) that this will finish them.

I have no intention to share the fate of Vikings / Ester Island - hence this drive for self protection and preservation.

Either we can convert to Islam / Christianity or we can choose to defend our beliefs. The choice is ours.

Not being part of battle is ignoring the futility of the approach. In Kashmir, the Hindus that were systematically raped, killed, abused and thrown out over a 10 year period were fairly integrated with local Muslims.

Just to give one example of the Islamic influence - "Heerath Mubarak" are the wishes for Maha Shiva Ratri. Try telling Diwali Mubarak to a traditional Pandit ji from UP and you will hear a lecture on Mubarak comes from Urdu etc... In Kashmir, it had become a part of Hindu language.


Copying Stuff from this Blog

I do not write for money, I write to spread my ideas. So, please use whatever you find here with two caveats:

a) It is neither ethical nor legal and besides, I do not permit, if you use material from here for COMMERCIAL USE.

b) Please attribute the matter with a link to the blog.


Sending Ideas to me / Contacting Me

Please mail me at tatra.yatra@gmail.com.

Please leave your comments, good / bad / ugly, preferably intelligent.


Blog and Me

I started writing "स्वांत : सुखाय :" or for my own pleasure with a goal to have a post every day. Seth Godin said that you CAN NOT write a blog for a year and not get transformed. I am very far from writing for a year but as I cross 100 posts today - I am already feeling the same.

Rape As a weapon of Intimidation - Mass Rapes to break the society

Read this article at the New York Times about the brutality of Mass Rape as a weapon in civil war.

As I read the article, tears came to my eyes.

This is what our Hindu sisters and mothers have faced for 1, 000 years of Islamic presence in India.

This is what Hindu women face today in Bangladesh and Pakistan and where ever else we are Kaafirs (non believers).

This is how Hindus have been pushed out of Kashmir. By inflicting murder and rape.

The cost of not converting / not becoming a Muslim is so high. And yet, they persist. And remain Hindu.

Do you realize now, why, Hindu women preferred to commit "jauhar", jump in fire, jump in well, ask their husbands / brothers to kill them, whatever..................

BUT

Not allow a Muslim to touch them.

You have to visit Chittor Fort in Rajasthan and see where thousands of Hindu women lit a huge fire and jumped into the fire.

Death before Dishonour.

Death by sword of husband / brother is only once. Death after rape by Muslims was every moment.

What are WE doing for Hindu sisters in Pakistan and Bangladesh and Kashmir ??

प्रश्न


क्या स्वांत: सुखाय: लिखने का प्रचालन समाप्त हो गया है ??

या फिर SMS वोट की संख्या एवं TRP रेटिंग बेहतर होने के मानदंड बन गए हैं।

Saturday 21 February 2009

Yet another Booker for Arundhati Roy..

Yet another Booker for Arundhati Roy..

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

When Arundhati Roy visited the Delhi University campus on February 13, she was greeted with a slipper thrown by student group Youth Unity for Vibrant Action (YUVA). The slipper was auctioned for Rs 101, 000 at Jantar Mantar on Thursday.

"When Arundhati Roy came to our campus, a member named Asif Kumar threw his slipper at her to protest her statement that Kashmir should be given to Pakistan. Her statement is against our national interest," said Jairam Pandey, national convenor, YUVA.

The slipper was bought by businessman Amitabh Kumar.

"I was in Connaught Place for a meeting, when I went for a walk to Jantar Mantar after lunch. There I saw a demonstration by YUVA activists, who were auctioning the slipper" he said.

Online Marketing - Search Camp

Search Camp is being held in Chennai on 28th Feb and 1st March.

If you are in Search Engine Marketing, you should look at attending it.

Being in Action - New Blog only for Action oriented

I have been raising questions and points about what all can be done.

Well I have no intention of being only a writer. My inspiration is Goswami Tulsidas ji who was an activist - who did things on ground. Goswami ji was being the change.

I have set a blog called Param Vaibhavam -परं वैभवं

The words are derived from Sangh Prarthana asking god to give us boon so that we can take our nation to the highest Glory.

The link to the blog is here. http://paramvaibhavam.wordpress.com/

The goal of the blog is to put actionable projects. And do something about it.

I have listed a few projects, please suggest more and let us work to create a stronger India.

Friday 20 February 2009

Hitting at Prostitution - Using Law to do the same

Read this thought provoking article by lawyer and activist Catherine MacKinnon on how a change in law will impact fight against Prostitution.


About Catharine MacKinnon

MacKinnon was born into an upper-middle class family in Minnesota.

MacKinnon was the valedictorian of her high school and thereafter became the third generation of her family to attend her mother's alma mater, Smith College. She graduated at the top 2% of her class at Smith and moved on to receive her J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University. She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation fellowship while at Yale Law School

MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. She is also currently serving as the Roscoe Pound Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.


Premise
MacKinnon argues that prostitution and pornography are both attacks on women. She advocates (amongst others) legal approach to fight the same.

In her book, Are Women Human?, she writes:

“If women were humans, would we be a cash crop shipped from Thailand in containers into New York brothels?…

Would we be burned when our dowry money wasn’t enough, when men tired of us, starved as widows when our husbands died (if we survived the funeral pyre).”

In the interview, whose link I have provided, she speaks for modifying a clause in the Indian law governing prostitution.

You are currently in India to canvas support for an amendment of 5C of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act which, if passed, will decriminalise the prostitute and instead criminalise the client.


The real criminals are those who buy these women 20-30 times a day. We need to take the views of the prostitutes and turn these views into real law. This is the method I have used for the past 35 years. We need to understand the reality of sexual violence and recognise that this is a criminal act.

These women must be given a real choice......

......... the women I spoke to in my interactions in West Bengal and Bihar spoke about how they wanted to educate their daughters and were sending them to boarding schools. There was a real determination in them to do something else in order to escape their present profession. That is why I have been telling these women that their children must be given access to education. They also want real police protection which their entire community is being denied.

How will the removal of 5C of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act change the situation?

The removal of 5C will decriminalise the prostitute and instead criminalise the client.

This will immediately reduce the number of people visiting them.

Bharat's note: In an earlier post, I also suggested Government / Civil society creating online record of clients caught with prostitutes, with smiling photographs to shame people.

I expect that it will produce an 80% and more drop. Buyers are the engines that drive prostitution. We need to criminalise the buyers. Prostitution is male violence against women. Gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.

This has been done in Sweden which now has the lowest trafficking rate in Europe. I have been insisting (through my writings and lectures) that legalisation of prostitution will not solve the problem of prostitution.

People seem to believe that once this industry is legalised, the police will be able to handle the situation. But this is not the case.

Mass legitimisation in this country (India) will see an entire illegal industry explode under it.

This has happened in the Netherlands, Germany and Australia. People seem to forget that women do not want to be part of this legal industry. They do not want to be in it forever. They do not want to put their real names on a medical card; they do not want to give up on themselves.

Wherever prostitution has been legalized, the traffickers have increased. The industry begins to make huge profits and the poor are then trafficked and used in order to service the rich.


Then why is the Left / Liberal / English media promoting legalizing of Prostitution

The Times of India and Hindustan Times (its copy cat clone) have been a single point panacea. Legalize Prostitution.

Look at just two articles below, Google more and you would find many more.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/145540.cms
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1365283.cms


Know Why ??

Advertising Revenues.

That is why.


That is why both these newspapers continue to publish advertisements for "Massage Parlours".

It is my estimation that on the basis of number of prostitution hook ups that they facilitate, the biggest Pimps in India are Times of India and Hindustan Times.


Action Point:

Mail Sumir Chadha, a director on the board of Times Group, representing Sequoia Capital Ventures Fund.

His email id is sumir.chadha@sequoiacap.com


Mail him to tell that you feel that the Massage Parlour advertisements in the Times of India should be stopped. That Times of India can do without money which promotes prostitution.

More likely to cause action than talking to Vineet Jain.

Life Long impact of Feeding Colostrum to calves - equally valid for human kids

Feeding colostrum has huge economic impact

Colostrum (also known as beestings or first milk or "immune milk") is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals in late pregnancy and the few days after giving birth.

All mammals secrete colostrum at time of birth - cows as well as human beings.

In the Indian tradition, colostrum is sacred milk. It is left for the calf, not at all touched / used for human consumption - although it is very much more tastier than plain milk.

So, look at the recent findings in the USA - where the cows are reared for beef / killing.

The findings state:
........new research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Center near Clay Center, Neb., shows that calves receiving little or no colostrum were six times more likely to get sick in the first month of life (i.e., scours).

They were also five times more likely to die before weaning and three times more likely to get sick in the feedlot. "Recent studies stress the lifelong impacts of inadequate colostrum," he says.

I also found an article published in Indian Journal of Pediatrics that has documented the beneficial effects of bovine colostrum (cow colostrum) if human beings consume it (essentially where the human mother was unable to generate sufficient quantities).

This is also equally valid for human babies and human colostrum.

So, it is amazing so many of the "modern" birthing hospitals in India now THROW AWAY the colostrum.

You would think it is crazy. And sad.

But it is true.

I know someone personally whose wife underwent delivery in one of the five star hospitals in an Indian metro. And where they threw away the colostrum.

And this guy thought they were so so modern - "Bharat ji they did not even allow the child to drink the first milk". He was very impressed.

This is what you get when traditional values are looked down upon. And ridiculed.

Call for Action:
Send this post to as many people you know who are about to have kids. It would lead to us having healthier children.

The link for sending this post is below:

http://yatratatrasarvatra.blogspot.com/2009/02/life-long-impact-of-feeding-colostrum.html

Lord Rama was born in BC 5114, astronomical calculations show it

About the Quest
Since ancient times, Hindus have had a tradition of using astronomical references to date events. The approach has the brilliance of not being dependent upon any manmade calender - which any ways has an arbitrary start date and every other event is in relation to that - 2009 AD means 2009 years after birth of Christ, so you need to know when Christ was born to map out an event.

Astronomical references or telling the location of planets and stars (nakshatra) is a simpler and precise way to uniquely date an event without any other reference. It is also fairly unique as the entire combination of planets and stars to occur in the same configuration is very rare or almost impossible.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak (or Lokmanya Tilak as he was popularly called) attempted the same in 1920s. Bhandarkar Institute in Pune have tried to date events in Mahabharata using the same approach.

With advent of powerful softwares that allow rapid multiple calculations - it is now possible to recreate night sky as it looked from a location at a certain point in past / future / current.

So, the author mentioned below used these tools to fit in astronomical events described in the Valmiki Ramayan to reach the date of birth of Lord Ram.

About the Author:
Mr. Pushkar Bhatnagar is an engineer by training and education and an IRS (Indian Revenue Services) officer by profession. He pursues astronomy as a hobby.

He had been hospitalised and was on deathbed after detection of cancer in his kidney. A friend gave him the hindi translation of Valmiki Ramayan (original is in Sanskrit). He always had been a bhakta of Lord Ram.

One thing led to another and culminated in this book.


Book Details:



Sage Valmiki, a contemporary of Lord Ram, mentioned in his magnum opus Ramayana that when Lord Ram was born, the sun was located in Aries,Saturn was in libra, Jupiter and the moon were shining in Cancer, Venus was seen in Pisces while Mars was in Capricorn. Moreover, It was the ninth day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra.

The two illustrations on the cover display, with the help of a powerful software, that these unique astral conditions were present in the sky on January 10,5114 BC.

This path-breaking book employs the scientific advancement of the West to prove the antiquity of the East. Not only the date of birth, the book also discovers the dates of a number of events in the life of Lord Ram by using the Planetarium software.


Table of Contents:

Preface.

1. Introduction.
2. The basic concepts of observational astronomy.
3. A brief description of software used for dating.
4. The relevance of Valmiki Ramayana in astronomical dating.
5. The astronomical dating of the Ramayana: the date of birth of Lord Ram.
6. The astronomical dating of the Ramayana: the date of exile of Lord Ram.
7. The calendar during the times of the Ramayana: the calendar of today.
8. The astronomical dating of the Ramayana: the date of battle between Lord Ram and Khar - Dushan.
9. The date of the killing of Bali: a confirmation by a second solar eclipse.
10. The date of Hanuman ji meeting Sita Mata : confirmation by a Lunar eclipse.
11. The astronomical dating of Ramayana: other dates of the fourteenth year of Lord Ram's exile.
12. Archaeological evidence to support the findings.
13. The dating of Ramayana: Mahabharata War and the beginning of Kali Yuga.
14. Astronomical dating: explanation of some related issues.

Glossary.


How to Purchase the Book

In India, you can purchase the book from flipkart.com which I used (Incidentally run by two IIT D alumni who earlier worked with Amazon.com)

The book link for purchasing from flipkart.com is here:

Click here to purchase "Dating the era of Lord Ram".


Another source you could purchase from internationally is VedicBooks.net, I have never dealt with them, being based in India, so am clueless about their service.

The book link for purchasing from VedicBooks.net is here:

Click here to Purchase "Dating the era of Lord Ram"


Other Links

Read an account written by the author and his mail id by clicking here.

The Perils of not researching before posting

Ever since I started blogging, I have found that the writing part takes much lesser time than the research part.

Because my blog attracts people of a certain minimum intelligence and awareness, I have to be very very particular about facts. With Google today, it is very easy to look up facts.

This is like basic, a GIVEN.

So, imagine my surprise when I read this article by Tavleen Singh in the Indian Express.

Basically, she saw LK Advani advertising campaign on the Dawn newspaper website. The Dawn is a popular newspaper in Pakistan.

So, she commented, why is Mr. Advani asking for votes in Pakistan.

Had Ms. Singh done any research by going to Help section at Google Adwords, she would have realized that Google makes money using contextual advertising.

Google tracks IP (Internet Protocol) address, the unique (well almost) identifier of your internet location.

This allows Google to show relevant advertisements.

And Google has got so good at it that it tracks this not at country level, not at state level, not at City level, but (in metros at least) at the residential area level.

So, if you surfing net in Delhi, Google can detect ~ precisely that you are from which area of Delhi. And thus it shows advertisements relevant to you. So it would not show advertisements of a Bangalore store running a Sale since that would be irrelevant to you if you were in Delhi.

The key is where are you accessing Internet from.

So, when Ms. Singh surfs the Internet, she does it from Delhi. And smartly enough, LK Advani campaign shows up since she being a surfer from Delhi is a potential voter.

While she tried to spoof Mr. Advani, unfortunately the egg is on her face.

It is human to err, to seek forgiveness takes a big man.

I do hope in interest of journalist ethics, Ms. Singh would own up her error in the next post of hers.

That would be the only fair and ethical thing to do.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Spread of AIDS - Condoms and ABC, NACO and Bindaas Bol Condoms, CAG castigates NACO on airtime purchase

I am a data junkie. It perhaps started with a orientation towards trivia and quizzing but essentially now I am more and more of a Quant person. Show me the numbers.

So, this amazing talk by Harvard economist Emily Oster from TED.com debunks many of the "known" truths.




In the talk Emily mentions about Uganda which has the best track record in controlling AIDS by using a tool called ABC - which is

A Abstain
B Be Faithful
C Use Condoms

Emily also has a short article on this which you must read here.

During the 1990s HIV infection rates in Uganda fell, from around 15 percent to around 6 percent, a success that is unique on the continent. In 2000, researchers at USAID began to question why HIV infection rates had fallen only in Uganda and not in other African countries such as Zimbabwe and Malawi, where the epidemic had been raging for almost as long.

The difference, they concluded, was that most countries relied too heavily on condom promotion alone, whereas Uganda had a range of programs that encouraged abstinence and faithfulness as well as condoms a strategy that came to be known as ABC.

Also there are other cases of success in controlling AIDS where in the Maulavis (or the Islamic religious teachers) were used to spread the message of single partner sex. Because the Maulavis were respected in their local community and served as counsellors as well, when they spread the word about Being Faithful controlled AIDS and prevented your death, people listened.

In India, the positive intervention of Muslim clerics has played a vital role in eliminating Polio from a number of pockets.

In USA, the Bush Govt. was spending ~ USD 1 Billion per year on promoting abstinence. Partly it was because of George Bush being hardliner Christian and promoting Evangelical organizations and partly due to the success of strategy in Uganda.

And pray, what is the Indian response ?

In India, the National Aids Control Organisation - a part of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

NACO's website does mention use of FBO (Faith Based Organisations) or Religious groups to promote AIDS awareness but no data in mentioned unlike their work with NGOs about which NACO talks in great detail.

Shouldn't Abstinence be promoted more in a country where people routinely abstain for long periods of time for religious reasons (40 days abstinence by SabariMala devotees, 9 days by Goddess devotees).

But what you get instead is "Bindaas Bol" condom campaigns at any and all times on TV and Radio.

Sure, the guys who purchase airtime from private channels would be making huge cuts / kickbacks buying airtime inventories (they were recently castigated by the CAG or the Comptroller and Auditor General of India).

NACO’s use of the electronic media highlights “utter whimsicality and selective patronage in decision-making,” the report observes.

...........-- Rs 4.27 crore on sponsored telecasts of classical music and dance concerts at a particular cult shrine for short-message inserts; Rs 2.24 crore on just two chat shows. “Poor viewership,” is the CAG’s assessment.

Similarly, the audit notes, there is poor listenership for radio programmes that cost Rs 5.78 crore. Some programmes like the NACO Film Hit Parade are not even evaluated. On family health awareness campaigns, the CAG observes: “Short notice and wrong selection of places failed to attract even 20% of the targeted population.” As for information and broadcasting field media units, Rs 5 crore was spent with no monitoring, the audit reveals.


But spare us the embarrasment of crudely made, inappropriate Condom commercials.

And now some talk about AIDS data.

In her talk, Emily also mentions about how her use of statistical tools, led her to the conclusion that AIDS deaths were actually 2/3 LESSER than what was being claimed by UNO.

So, examine the data for number of deaths attributed to AIDS in India and the estimated HIV infected people .........

Indian Express article mentions that India already has become the nation with highest AIDS related deaths in the world.

The question is how are these numbers being arrived at. And what is the level of truth in these numbers.

This is not a trivial question.

On the NACO website, you will find amazing figures.......

The 2006 estimates suggest national adult HIV prevalence in India is approximately 0.36 percent, amounting to between 2 and 3.1 million people.

If an average figure is taken, this comes to 2.5 million people living with HIV and AIDS; almost 50 percent of the previous estimate of 5.2 million.


Excuse Me.

We are talking of errors of 50% ???? After 10 years of running the AIDS programme, the Govt. wakes up and says sorry, we miscalculated.

And got it wrong by only 26, 00, 000 people.

This seriously impacts or atleast should impact the kind of funding being pumped to eradicate AIDS.

Again quoting the NACO website, the fund outlay for the current anti AIDS programme is 7009 crores.

Let me write that out for you. Rs. 7009, 00, 00, 000.

Man are'nt we rich.

This huge amount of money would not have been flowing into NACO programme if everyone thought there were lesser AIDS patients.

AIDS is sexy, cool, hip. There is money pouring into it. So it makes sense to inflate numbers of HIV infected people and the AIDS affected people.

Call for Action : Examine Data. God is in Details.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Street Violence and Street Violence

There are two kinds of street violence.

The less often, rarer events are those indulged into by a publicity hungry, aspiring politician like Pramod Muthalik. There is a group of 10 - 15 people, who, in full media glare, carry out an "attack" on hapless couples - maybe be posing for the benefit of camera touting "media professional" greenhorns looking for a scoop of their lives.

Pramod Muthalik was a nobody. Someone kicked out of BJP and Shiv Sena, hungry for a MP ticket, and then willing to settle for an MLA ticket or may be even a corporation ticket.

And then the media made him a villain. And thus, cemented a constituency for him of jobless youth, coming from traditional family backgrounds who are going to equate class issues with religion issues.

Pink Chaddi campaign aims to rub this humiliation deeper.

Read this balanced article by Sagarika Ghose (I don't have much regards for her, but this article was surprisingly unbiased).


The other act of Street Violence happened over last one week.

And was ignored.

The victim was a part of the educated, English speaking elite - the editor of The Statesman Newspaper.

His crime ??

Reprinting an article from the Independent, UK. The original article by Johann Hari called "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?" raises a question that Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of 'prejudice'. And this, he believes is diminishing the space for a mature debate / discussion.

In response, the Muslim crowds were protesting. In increasing numbers every day. And then they started rioting, pelting stones and setting fire to passerby's vehicles. Standard fare for Jehadi street violence.

And then, THE EDITOR was ARRESTED.

At the core of both the issues, the common point is one - respect for individual, respect for law, respect for diversity of opinion.

But the responses to the similar actions are not similar.

When Muthalik breaks the law, left / liberal groups run amok, ridiculing every thing Hindu, posting photographs of a pink underwear draped over the Om sign, a Union minister launches a "pub bharo" (fill the pubs) movement (very conveniently forgetting the Directive Principles of Indian constitution that promote prohibition) and over 36, 000 people sign up a Facebook group supporting used women's underwear being sent to Muthalik's address that is published - what is privacy or Human Rights of Hindu accused.

When Muslims break law, vandalise, issue death threats, bring Kolkatta to its knees by street violence, the victim himself- person who has received threats from Jehadi Muslim groups - the editor of The Statesman - gets arrested. For "deliberately acting with malicious intent to outrage religious feelings”.

These malicious intent to outrage religious feelings happens only if these are Muslim feelings. If the feelings are those of Hindus - for example M F Hussain painting nude paintings of our goddesses, then it is a question of freedom of speech.

And the response of English media - Total Silence. Deafening Silence.

So, can I be blamed, if I believe, that if you are a Hindu in India, you get the end of the stick. It is indeed becoming a crime to be a Hindu in India.

Muslims can do any act of street violence. And get away with it. Ideally with the intervention and support of the party in power.

Be it CPM, Congress, Mulayam, BSP - what ever.

I am amazed that the left / liberals forget the lessons of Action Day, 1946, Kolkatta.

Muslim League had given a call for Action in 1946 in run up to Independence. The Action Day dawned and action meant slaughter, rape, loot and murder of Hindus.

The "secular" communist Hindus were shocked when they were set upon by communist Muslims.

But we are communists. Aren't we ??

Sure, but first I am a Muslim.

Forget that at your own peril.

Pink Condom Campaign

After Muthalik's Shree Ram Sene vandalised pubs in Mangalore, I had mentioned in an earlier post, that this will be an opportunity for the anti Hindu types to go ballistic and attack everything Hindu.

So, the left / liberal / Hindu baitors started a campaign of Pub Going, Loose, Forward Women. And then they started a Pink Chaddi campaign and used a morphed photograph of RSS volunteers.

As I mentioned in earlier post, I raised the issue (and so did many others) and the offending photograph was removed.

Many of the practising Hindus were upset that entire organisations like RSS were being defamed for no fault of theirs. Also acts of a few "misguided youth" were being used to demonise, demean and humiliate entire Hindu society.

Few like minded people (who felt what I mentioned above) have started the Pink Condom campaign. The idea is to send a Pink condom to the campaigners of Pink Chaddi who posted Mr. Muthalik's address.

The link is at http://thepinkcondomcampaign.blogspot.com/

What follows is the list of people (and their numbers) who ran a Pink Chaddi campagin to insult and malign RSS. Please call them and tell them, politely off course, that you did not like them using a morphed RSS image. Keep calling until they say sorry and publish written apology.

I am exploring with a few legal friends to sue all of these individuals for libel / defamation since they tried to accuse and malign RSS for a crime that RSS was not involved in.

Please make sure that the tone of phone call is kept polite. Also let us make sure that the time of call is kept civil. It should only be between 8 am and say 9 pm.

Perhaps some people could take turns to ensure that no one is calling at say 2 am in morning so that the idea is reinforced. Others might call at 11 am to make sure that the Pink Chaddi campaigners do not miss it.

And please send your unused condoms to the addresses given below. Please DO NOT send used condoms.

I know some people paint the numbers of people they want to harrass in Railway toilets and public toilets. PLEASE do not do this. Let us keep it very civil.

Also people can send SMS to the list of people below. There is no need to spend money for these anti Hindus. Simply go to the following websites which allow you to send SMS for FREE.

http://www.160by2.com/


There are many others but this one delivers the message for sure.

The text should be with in 80 characters. I am posting a suggested matter:

We are hurt by ur use of morphed RSS image. Pls tender written apology for same


Let us use Gandhigiri. I want to use crowd sourcing on this. Please spread the message to many people.

Our goal should be to make sure each of the Pink Chaddi campaigners gets at least 1, 000 SMS every day. And may be around 300 - 500 phone calls per day.

People to call and SMS:

Nisha (9811893733)
Divya (9845535406)
Padma (99400 25231)
Jeny (9840398852)
Ratna (9899422513)
Vivek (9845591798)
Aniruddh (98840 17695)
Benson (9845167575)
Areeba (9900569456)
Samir Gandhi (9246282223)
Kaushik (9703508756)
Nithin (9886081269)

Addresses:

Nisha Susan
C/o Tehelka
M76, M-Block Market
Greater Kailash 2

Ashwini
C-Wing, Lake Pleasant
Phase-2, Lake Homes
Powai
(Hand it over to the security guards in Mumbai)

Shalini M
A1201
Beaumonde Apts
Appasaheb Marathe marg
Near Chaitanya , opp Tata Motors
halfway between siddhivinayak/century mills
Prabhadevi – 400025

The Shakti Center/ Corporate Accountability Desk,
No: 42 A, I
floor,5 Avenue,
Besant Nagar,
Chennai - 600090

Show them the power of gentle persuasion by sending (un) used Pink Condoms. Let us spread the love.

Daniel Dennett on Dangerous Memes and spread of toxic ideas

Daniel Dennett is an American philosopher, who has (amongst others) tried to look at evolution of religious ideas through the lens of biology. Read his bio at TED.com here.

Here he talks about spread of Dangerous Memes.

A meme (pronounced /miːm/ - like theme) comprises a unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices; such units or elements transmit from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word mimema for mimic.[1] Memes act as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.
[2]


Here Prof. Dennett is talking about spread of toxic memes for things like Pornography and other ideas (like Fundamentalism).

This is very valuable for us to understand if we need to fight and win the battle. The battle for creating a Hindu Rashtra is essentially a battle for minds and thoughts and ideas.

Listen to this thought provoking lecture by Prof. Dennett.








Where Prof. Dennett warns us about being careful about spread of ideas and technologies, I was wondering how Manu Smriti is saying something similar. Essentially that access to powerful ideas and technologies is not for everybody.

And the criteria is not birth or caste or whatever. It is being सुपात्र (eligible - the right candidate). So Gurus refuse to teach critical mantra to their own sons if they do not find them eligible. The prefer to let the technology / idea die than to allow it to proliferate and cause damage to the society.

Think............

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Pink Chaddis and RSS and Pramod Muthalik and Facebook Group

It started with a friend of mine posting a link to the Pink Chaddi campaign on Facebook.

At that time, the group used a morphed image of RSS swayamsevaks (volunteers) with a heart on their shirts.

I found the morphed image demeaning and insulting to the RSS.

I posted following comments.
The group raises aspersion on RSS which has a solid record of national service. In doing this, it reflects sheer ignorance of the person who started this group and other people who choose to join it.

This is canard spreading and does not even merit serious response.

To put record straight - the goons at Mangalore were NOT RSS swayamsevaks. Just like Godse, who had also been a Congress member for years and had left RSS long before he shot Mahatma Gandhi.

No RSS Swayamsevak - who has been a regular at RSS Shakha - can even think of molesting women. Sure, they (and I am proud to be one of them) have different views on whether men/women should be drinking or not - but healthy acceptance of a differing view points is what makes for mature democracy.

Using RSS images to lampoon it is not justified. You have issues with Pramod Muthalik - use his image.

Know about RSS before making loose comments (visual in this case) about the RSS. I invite you to attend the RSS Shakha.

To which this friend responded with:
I am sure there is a larger cause besides the imagery. There has been plenty written below and not many associate that imagery with RSS per se, neither has there been any mention of RSS in the blog. There is a "LARGER PROBLEM" I request you to see that end of things rather than finding syntax errors in inconograghy.

And another person, a friend of this friend but unknown to me, posted following comment.

Why is it that people who do a good job, in this case RSS as said by the person, are insecure. If RSS didn't do it, they didn't even come out and say to Mr. Muthalik, sir first and foremost attacking women is against Indian Culture. When Togadia ji goes painting the town black on V day, i don't see shakha members standing at guard to protect people. Like one of the soldiers in A Few Good Men said in the end while the other one was screaming "What did we do wrong", "We failed to protect those who couldn't protect themselves."

And liek Amrish said the larger picture is more important than iconography. And the larger picture is of this increasingly intolerant hardline brigade who think they are the ones who are the sole keepers of culture. What is Indian Culture anyways but an amalgamation of the various cultures that we have intermingled with so far in our history?

To this my response was as follows:
The Sangh - as a social organisation with a limited resources - has a very clearly defined goal of "परं वैभवं नेतुमेतत् स्वराष्ट्रं" or the creation of a वैभवशाली and powerful India.

This is what our prayer every morning is - asking the Lord for strength and wisdom so that we can travel the right path - be it tortuous or with stones to achieve our goal.

Naturally, Sangh as a social organisation DOES NOT have an opinion on each and every event that happens in the world. They are too busy with ground work like running primary health centers, schools, orphanages, and so on.

The point I made is different - the iconography distinctly shows RSS cadres. There is NO proof / shred of evidence that RSS cadres were involved. You CAN NOT use RSS name / iconography to accuse it of something THEY NEVER DID.

In legal parlance this is called libel / defamation and has serious repercussions.

Disclaimer - I am just a humble SwyamSevak, not an official spokesperson for RSS. Any errors are mine, the glory is all of Sangh.

Sangh is last one to be insecure. The volunteers who happily sacrifice their lives protecting others' lives in countless natural disasters can not be insecure.

Sangh is a volunteer organisation with volunteers having day jobs like you and me - coming together for a common ideology.

My point consistently has been this - why is Sangh being dragged.

Let us not collapse or confuse issues. My issue is NOT that we need Taliban or moral guardians - although in a mature, liberal, civil society - even fringes should have a fair platform for dialogue or discussion.

The issue is unfairly and incorrectly using RSS images to demonise and hence insult hundreds of thousands of people for whom RSS is a way of life.

Try doing that with Muslim organisations.

And if Mr. Saurabh Yadav feels so strongly about creating vigilante groups - maybe usurping the functions of police in the process - please collect like minded people and create a civil movement for the same.

This is not a priority - at least as I see it - on the RSS agenda right now. As per my understanding, at this moment - their thrust areas are:

a) Education - Taking schools to areas where none exist

b) Water - Being a catalyst in creating a civil movement for responsible handling of water resources. You will see this on larger scale very soon

c) Agriculture - There are 600 model villages they have helped set up where farmers have switched to organic farming totally - including one whole Tehsil in Karnataka. The goal is to scale it up to thousands of villages.

Creating conducive pub environment somehow is just not there on Sangh's priority list.

Some of the thrust areas that got implemented when RSS could persuade government (NDA in this case) were:

a) Blending of Ethanol in petrol - to reduce our dependence on imported petrol.

b) Biodiesel from Jatropha - to reduce our dependence on imported diesel. "तेल बनेगा झाड़ी से, नहीं आएगा खाड़ी से "

c) Project to increase the protein content in Indian wheat by at least 2%.

None of them are very sexy ideas but they impact farmers and nation much more.
Perhaps it will prompt a rethink about who / what RSS is and does.

I am very happy to note that the offending images has since then removed from the Facebook as well as the blog of Pink Chaddi campaign. The campaign was being run from office of Tehleka.

It would be appropriate to take up selective choosing of issues.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

श्री शिव स्तुति - गुंदेचा बंधुयों द्वारा गाई हुई

प्रिय पाठक बंधू,

विगत कुछ दिनों से एक प्रदर्शनी कि तैयारी में लगे हुए थे। इसी के चलते नियमित रूप से ब्लॉग नहीं लिख पा रहा था.

आज वह दिन भी आ गया है। प्रभु स्मरण से दिन प्रारंभ किया एवं श्री शिव स्तुति - गुंदेचा बंधुयों द्वारा गाई हुई - आप लोगों के लिए प्रस्तुत है। आप भी आनंद ले।

इस लिंक द्वारा आप फाइल डाउनलोड कर सकते हैं.

१० फरवरी तक अनुपस्थित रहूँगा, फिर मिलते हैं।

शिव शिव शिव.........................................

Sunday 1 February 2009

TED.com talks - Conservatives and Liberals

I have become a huge fan of www.TED.com of late.

See this video by Jonathan Haidt who studies how -- and why -- we evolved to be moral. By understanding more about our moral roots, his hope is that we can learn to be civil and understanding of those whose morals don't match ours, but who are equally good and moral people on their own terms.

This particular talk is about the difference between Liberals and Conservatives.



What is the relevance for Indian polity - specially right of center ?

Consider following points : Traditionally Indian society has been very very liberal. If we look at how Buddhism spread and kind of uprooted the traditional Hinduism from the land and how Adi Shankaracharya reinstated Hinduism as the prominent religion, it was all and all through convincing and logic. So, in round one Buddhism spread because it became more appealing - partly because the practised Hinduism had become too ornate and irrelevant - which can happen only in a liberal society - so a thinker comes and gives his interpretation of how things ought to be and WOW Buddhism is born.

And to counter that we get another Super Sized intellectual and doer - Aadi Shankaracharya. Before he dies at the age of 32, he walks from his birth place in north Kerela to transverse entire India, reforming society, giving his vision and WOW - Hinduism comes back.

The beauty about this entire episode - which by the way happenned over a couple of centuries, is that neither tried to wipe out the other idea by sword.

So, let me tell you a story about Hemu's father. Hemu was the last Hindu king in North India. He lost the second battle of Panipat in 1556 to Akbar.

Hemu's old father is captured and brought to Akbar. And inspite of whatever bull shit you saw in Jodha Akbar, the fact of matter (as recorded in Akbar nama) is that Hemu's father is asked to convert to Islam.

It went like this:

Bairam Khan (Akbar's guardian): You must convert to Islam

Hemu's father: But Why ? I have not read your ideology and I do not feel the need to change mine

Bairam Khan (Akbar's guardian): You must convert to Islam or you will get killed

Hemu's father: So, should I let go of my beliefs simply out of fear of death?

So, Bairam Khan get Akbar to slaughter Hemu's ~ 70 year old father by cutting off the neck of this man whose hand and feet are tied and Akbar becomes Ghazi.

The amazing part of this conversation is that Hemu's father is not saying that he is closed to another idea or philosophy. What he is saying is that he will not do this out of fear.

We see similar behaviour in treatment of Arab traders who came to Kerela coast. They married local women and were given the name Mopalahs (or son-in-law).

In fact show me another society that is so open and liberal in accepting other's beliefs.

So, what is driving the Hindu anger ? What is getting the Pramod Muthalik's of the world to go and destroy pubs - unless it is an individuals drive to get his 15 minutes of (in)fame ?

Let me ruminate over that in another post. Till then enjoy the amazing video on morals that separate liberals and conservatives.