Monday, 21 December, 2009

Let Us Remember- The Day when Islamic Jihadis Killed Hindus in Kashmir

I got this as email from a friend in Panun Kashmir, the group working to get Kahsmiri Hindus their homeland

This is a fight of every Hindu, not just Kashmiri Hindus. The Congress / National Conference / PDP regime is no different than that of Aurangzeb - where Hindus are publicly killed and raped.

If you would like to contribute to this cause in any way (time / effort / money / mobilization / media), please mail me at and I shall forward to the relevant people at Panun Kashmir.

At Chinamaya Mission,Lodhi Road,New Delhi

This year’s Homeland Day is one more occasion for profound remembrance and understanding.

Saturday, 19 December, 2009

Kashmir : Times have Changed, Issues are Different - Article by Tavleen Singh

Times have Changed, Issues are Different
Tavleen Singh
There was a time when it seemed as if a solution in Kashmir could bring peace with Pakistan. That time has gone. The Taliban now have a grander plan for the subcontinent.
The average Indian is so bored with Kashmir these days that I always hesitate to raise the subject in a column. If I do this week it is because a meeting took place in Delhi that has to go down as one of the most extraordinary in recent times. It was organized by social activist Madhu Kishwar under the auspices of the Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies, on November 7, and I went along because she invited a glittering array of politicians from Kashmir. I have not been to Srinagar in more than five years and thought the meeting could be a good way to revive my interest in a subject I once wrote a book on.

Among those who came to the meeting in the library of the Nehru Memorial were Mehbooba Mufti, Muzzafar Baig who was Deputy Chief Minister in the last government, Mohammad Sufi Uri from the National Conference, Professor Abdul Ghani Butt from the Hurriyat and Yasin Malik from the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). The meeting was chaired by Ram Jethmalani and attended by journalists, academics, Kashmir activists and sundry others. It was a full house.

Madhu, an eager beaver peacenik as ever was, began the day’s discussions by emphasizing loudly and often that we were gathered together to find solutions. Despite this, things got off to an interminably dull start because Mr Uri from the National Conference made a long, boring speech that was full of historical grievances that everyone present was more than familiar with.

Muzaffar Baig took over from him and was more interesting because he offered a solution. He said that Kashmir’s borders needed to be made irrelevant as Dr Manmohan Singh has himself often promised. Instead of redrawing maps there should be a softening of the borders so that Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians could come and go freely and there should be ‘‘dual currency’’.

In view of what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, this suggestion seemed so naively oblivious of geo-political realities that I went up to him when he finished speaking and asked if he had heard of the Taliban. Was he aware that this group of Islamist jihadis was close to threatening the existence of Pakistan and Afghanistan? How long would it take the Taliban to conquer Kashmir if Indian troops were withdrawn? He laughed sheepishly.

In any case the meeting carried on peacefully and in a dull sort of way until the late afternoon when it came to Yasin Malik’s turn to speak. I had not seen him in many years and was impressed to see him look dapper and elegant in a black, velvet jacket and a black and white polka-dotted shirt instead of the drab, Kashmiri clothes he usually wears. He looked more like an urbane Srinagar businessman than the terrorist he once was, but he was not allowed to forget his past. No sooner did he rise to speak than the meeting deteriorated into chaos. The hall was filled with insults hurled at him by a group of young Kashmir Pandits who till then had sat silent and unnoticed.

‘‘We will not allow this monster to speak,’’ they yelled, ‘‘ask him who raped and killed Sarla Bhatt? Ask him how many Hindus he has killed? He is a terrorist. He has no right to be here.’’

They said other things as well, angry, ugly things, and they made so much noise as they stood up and shouted their abuse that the meeting was totally disrupted for several minutes. Yasin Malik was infuriated and ready to leave. It was only after many entreaties from Madhu and Mr Jethmalani that he agreed to speak. But then Mr Jethmalani put his foot into it by saying that he himself loved Pakistan more than Pakistanis loved Pakistan and that all Indians should develop a similar love for Pakistan.

Then he added there would have been no militancy in Kashmir at all if the 1987 elections had not been rigged to coincide unfortunately with a large number of mujahideen in Afghanistan suddenly becoming ‘‘unemployed’’ because the Soviet Union withdrew its troops.

Yasin Malik decided to pick this up as the starting point of his speech. He said, ‘‘I was shocked to hear Jethmalani Sahib say what he did. I was the one who started the armed struggle in Kashmir and I was neither Afghan nor unemployed. I picked up the gun because it seemed there was nothing else to do. We had tried peaceful means to achieve azaadi and failed.’’

He then gave details of how the JKLF was among the groups that had set up the Muslim United Front to contest the Assembly elections in 1987. ‘‘We contested the elections because we thought that if we won we would declare Kashmir independent through a resolution in the Assembly but they were not prepared to give us our basic democratic rights. So we had no recourse but to pick up the gun.’’

He added that he had given up violence because he was persuaded by the ‘‘Indian civil society’’ that solutions could come peacefully. He felt betrayed, he said, because he now knew that all the Indian civil society could do was talk.

The Kashmiri Pundits were not going to take that lying down even if the panelists were, and they started yelling that the armed struggle had never ended. What about the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen? Who were they? And who were the other militant groups that continued to kill innocent people in Kashmir?

In the end there was more rancour and rage than debate, and the solution to our Kashmir problem remained as elusive as ever. Sitting next to me at one point was General Lakhvinder Singh, a hero of the Kargil war, and I asked him if he thought that there was any chance of reducing the deployment of Indian troops in Kashmir. He said, ‘‘We’ve tried it. And wherever we have reduced deployment we have seen an immediate increase in militant activities. It is not as easy as these politicians make it sound.’’

It is not easy at all because it is clear to many of us who have followed the Kashmir story carefully for many, many years that the problem has changed. There was a time when it seemed as if a solution in Kashmir could bring peace with Pakistan. That time has gone.

Kashmir’s struggle for so-called azaadi has been subsumed by the worldwide jihad. The Taliban have a grander plan for the Indian subcontinent. They want to conquer Islamabad, and when that is done they want the flag of Islam to fly over India.

The original article appeared here.

Friday, 18 December, 2009

There is a method to their madness

By Vir Sanghvi

Most of us forget nearly everything we learned in university within months of graduating. I doubt if I am an excep­tion. But there's one par­ticular Politics tutorial that comes back to haunt me again and again each time Pakistan is discussed.

I was' at university during the Cold War so all dons were slightly obsessed with the way in which the rivalry between NATO and the Soviet bloc would play out. One of them told us that he was an admirer of Henry Kissinger's strategic thinking.

In those days, we were taught the doctrine of MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction. The US and the Soviets both had so many nuclear weapons that each could easily destroy the other. Any Russian leader or American president who ordered a nuclear strike knew that he was, in effect, ordering the destruc­tion of his own country: The other side would retaliate with so much force that the 'original attacker's country would be destroyed . ' .

If neither side could afford to go to war - because the nuclear destruc­tion that followed would devastate both countries ~ then the threat of war could not be used 'as a negotiating tool'. After all, only a madman would start a nuclear war that would lead to total destruction.

Kissinger's bright idea, my don explained, had been to convince the Russians that President Richard Nixon was unstable. He drank late into the night, flew into rages, went down on his knees in the Oval Office to ask Jesus for instructions. In other words, Nixon was a madman.

The moment one of the players in this game of MAD is mad or unstable, then the threat of war suddenly becomes a negotiating ploy again. Who knows, Kissinger would tell the' Russians, if you provoke this mad Nixon, he might just press the nuclear button after he has had too much to drink!

The strategy had worked, my don said. Arid he was now convinced that the Cold War would not be ended by visionary statesmen but by tacticians who pretended to be mad for strategic advantage.

Can it be a coincidence that when the West finally 'won the Cold W31; it was after eight years of sabre-rattling Ronald Reagan who most liberal commentators (and Russians) regarded as a foolish, unstable,reactionary, war-monger’?

I thought back again to this Madman theory of politics on the first anniver­sary of 26/11 as I witnessed the sorry spectacle of Pakistani commentators and defence experts appearing on Indian TV to deny all responsibility for those monstrous attacks. I first thought: are these people mad?

Then, remnants of my education kicked in. “Oh my God”, I said to myself: “They are using the Madman theory of politics!”

Look at it this way. When our prime ministers (whether it is Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh) talk to Pakistan, they act like statesmen. They are reasonable, flexible and willing to go the extra mile, When Pakistanis talk to us, it is an entirely different story.

Whomever we talk to always plays the Kissinger role and warns us that there is a mad Nixon-like figure hovering in the background, who could go off the handle at any time. Even as we talked peace to Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan was sending militants into Kashmir. Years later, when I asked Benazir about it, she said: what could I do? It was the ISI. They don't listen to us.

Then, when Vajpayee went to Lahore and held hands with Nawaz Sharif, the photo-ops were followed by the inva­sion of Kargil. What a tragedy but there's nothing I can do, said Sharif. The army acts on its own. They are all mad!

Then, when General Musharraf turned up in Agra, I asked him how we could trust him after what he had done in Kargi. He denied the army's involvement. There was a mujahideen factor, he said. The Pakistani army could not be blamed.

A year ago, AsifZardari talked peace at the HT Leadership Summit. He offered a hand of friendship, he said. Weeks later, 26/11 happened. Zardari's explanation: he wanted peace but what could he do? There were power­ful Islamic groups that he had no con­trol over. And they were lunatics and fanatics. And so on. Nobody India speaks to wants war or terror. But there is always some uncontrollable force that does and, sure enough, war and terror follow.

Because the Pakistanis maintain a careful ambiguity about where power actually resides within their society, they are able to speak in many voices at the same time. Time after time, Indian leaders fall for this. Even as astute a tactician as Indira Gandhi bought Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's claim that he would not include the acceptance of the Line of Control in Kashmir as the international border in the Simla Agreement because "public opinion in Pakistan is so strong that I will be lynched when I go back". Now Pakistan denies Bhutto ever agreed to this.

Can you, imagine Indian leaders behaving like this? Can you conceive of Vajpayee saying "I know I promised peace but my generals attacked you anyway"? (As Sharif did after Kargil.) Can you conceive of Manmohan say­ing "I want to talk peace but the Hindu fundamentalists will kill me if I appear too reasonable"?

Because we're a stable nation with a single centre of democratic authori­ty, we talk with one voice. And each time, that works against us.

Pakistan has perfected the Madman theory so completely that even the Americans have now been taken in. Islamabad says: "if you don't give us billions of dollars and lots of arms and extract some concessions from India, then our country will self-destruct and you will have instability and Islamic extremism in the region." And the US gives in.

Within the Indian intelligentsia, Pakistan uses a variation of the same argument: if you don't do as we say, then our country will self-destruct.

So gullible Indian intellectuals say things like "It is our 'job to save Pakistan.” Or even, "A strong and sta­ble Pakistan is in India's best interests.” (Is it? Why? So it can send more ter­rorists here and keep shifting the blame? Would India really be worse off if Sindh seceded? If Baluchistan revolted?)

If history has taught us anything, it is this: talking peace with Pakistan gets us nowhere. Every peace talk is followed by war or terror. About the only time in recent memory when we have had a degree of peace was between 1972 and 1989. And how did we achieve near­ly two decades of peace? By winning the Bangladesh war. But, let's be realistic: peace is not possible either. It's time to stop act­ing like statesmen when we are deal­ing with cunning madmen. There's only one language that works in these situ­ations.

And that, sadly enough, is the lan­guage of strength.

Saturday, 12 December, 2009

Revive Sanskrit and save Hinduism

Revive Sanskrit and save Hinduism
By J.G. Arora
--Author's e-mail:
Central Chronicle, Bhopal: March 3, 2006

There is a Sanskrit aphorism, "prithivyam trini ratnani / jalam annam subhashitam" (there are three precious treasures on earth: water, foodgrains, and apt quotations). To these three riches can be added the fourth one known as Sanskrit: the vast ocean of wisdom and knowledge.

Sanskrit is the symbol and heart of India. It is the most precious possession of India. As per Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899), famous for his Sanskrit-English dictionary, "India's national character is cast in a Sanskrit mould and in Sanskrit language. Its literature is a key to its vast religious system. Sanskrit is one medium of approach to the hearts of Indians."

Till a few centuries ago, glorious Hindu religion, culture and philosophy used to stretch from Gandhar (modern day Afghanistan) to Indonesia. And Sanskrit language was the instrument for this prominence. But repeated Muslim invasions of Indian subcontinent brought destruction of many prestigious centres of learning leading to decline of Sanskrit. 

Sanskrit and Macaulayan education
Literally meaning "refined and sanctified", and priding itself as cultured, Sanskrit is acclaimed as the best, sweetest and divine language (bhashasu mukhya madhura divya geervaan bharati). Sanskrit is the divine language revealed through the sages (Sanskritam naam daivi vaak anavyakhyata maharshibhihi). But though excepting Tirukkural which is in Tamil, almost all Hindu scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata are written in Sanskrit, Sanskrit has been driven out of Indian schools and colleges by Macaulay's education introduced in India in 1835.

Macaulayan education downgraded Indian languages including Sanskrit and replaced them with English. This education was introduced to de-Hinduize Hindus as is evident in Macaulay's following letter dated October 12, 1836 to his evangelist father,  "Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully; we find it difficult to provide instruction to all. The effect of this education on Hindus is prodigious. No Hindu who has received an English education ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. It is my firm belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respected classes 30 years hence. And this will be effected without our efforts to proselytize; I heartily rejoice in the prospect."

De-Hinduized by Macaulayan education, and brain washed by Macaulayan media, most of Hindu intellectuals, MBAs, business persons, doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, engineers, teachers and the rest are self-alienated and do not know Sanskrit, and do not know much about Hindu religion or heritage, or about Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata or Tirukkural.

India was expected to discard Macaulayism after the British left in 1947. On September 10, 1949, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar even sponsored an amendment making Sanskrit as the official language of India. But the said amendment was defeated in the Constituent Assembly. However, Sanskrit was included in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution.

But shockingly, Macaulay's missionary-oriented colonial education and neglect of Sanskrit is still gripping Independent India. After banishing Sanskrit from Indian schools and colleges, Macaulayists call Sanskrit 'the dead language'.

Sublime thoughts in sublime language
Sanskrit contains sublime thoughts in sublime words. All the Vedas, Upanishads, Aadi Kavi Maharishi Valamiki's Aadi kavyam Ramayana with 24,000 stanzas, Mahabharata, the longest poem in the world with over 1,00,000 stanzas, eighteen Puranas and several other holy books are all written in Sanskrit. Mahabharata also contains Bhagavad Gita. A verse of Mahabharata proclaims that what is found in Mahabharata may appear elsewhere but what is not in Mahabharata would be found nowhere.

To understand and appreciate beauty of Vedas, Sanskrit provides six Vedangs: Shikhsha (phonetics), Vyakarna (grammar), Chhanda (metre), Nirukta (etymology), Kalpa (religious practice) and Jyotish (astronomy).

Mention is made here of a few Vedic gems;
Mata bhumih putro aham prithivyaha (earth is our mother and we are its children); kevalagho kevalaadi (one who eats alone, eats sin); apritito jayati sama dhanani (only the forward march achieves success); tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati (His radiance pervades entire universe); satyam vad dharmam char (speak the truth, be righteous); sarve janah sukhino bhavantu (may every one be happy). And the list is endless.

Immortal Sanskrit literature;
Sanskrit has the oldest and richest literature in the world.

First Mantra of Rig Veda (1.1.1) is the first known poem in the world. English language prides having just one Shakespeare. Sanskrit has got thousands of Shakespeares. It is pitiable that the educated Indian knows nothing about them or about Sanskrit.

Sanskrit contains both sacred and temporal writings. After Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata, Sanskrit magnificence continued through Bhasa, Kalidas, Bharavi, Magh, Bana, Kalhana, Adi Shankracharya, Chanakya and many others like Bhartirihari and his famous Shatkas. Bharat's Natyashastra and timeless Sanskrit dramas also adorn Sanskrit firmament. Vishnu Prabhakar's didactic fable Panch Tantra guides humans to this day. Panini's Ashtadhyayi is a timeless treatise of Sanskrit Grammar.

Sanskrit contains vast knowledge also about astronomy, astrology and mathematics. And Aryabhatt's Aryabhattiyam can be cited in this regard. Sanskrit also has Ayurveda (medical science) and Dhanur Veda.

And philosophy begins with the hymns of Rig Veda. Sanskrit explains all the six traditional systems of philosophy viz. Nyayah, Vaisheshikam, Sankhyam, Yogah, Mimansa and Vedant. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are still acting as the lodestar for many travellers of life. These Yoga Sutras describe eight steps to achieve victory of mind over matter. And they are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharana, Dhyan and Samadhi.

Sanskrit also describes modern scientific tools discovered by Indian scholars thousands of years ago. Concept of shoonya (zero), concept of earth revolving around the sun, concepts of gravity, gyaamiti (geometry), triknomiti (trignometry), infinity, concept of time ranging from Krati (one 34,000th of a second) to kalpa (1000 maha yugas i.e. billions of years), decimal system: All this knowledge, and much more, is written in Sanskrit.

An impeccable language;
Sanskrit is a scientific and systematic language with a perfect grammar. It is computer compatible.

As per Sir William Jones (1746-1794), Sanskrit is "more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either". Sanskrit is independent, and is not derived from any other language. Sanskrit easily explains complex thoughts in a simple manner. The single theme of 'sublime' permeates Sanskrit literature.

Besides being rich in words (for instance, Sanskrit has got over a hundred synonyms for the word 'water'), Sanskrit is the language of the heart. It has got exact words to describe various human emotions. As per NASA, Sanskrit is "the only unambiguous language on earth". Even translated Sanskrit works have won admiration of scholars all over the world.

Sanskrit will revive Bharat's glory;
Macaulayan education has banished Sanskrit from schools and colleges dubbing it as a dead language. But death of Sanskrit means death of Hindu religion, Hindu Sanskriti (culture), Hindu heritage and Hindu identity.

The language which has all along sustained us cannot be allowed to fade away. Sanskrit must be revived and taught in schools and colleges since its survival is a must for survival of Hinduism and for rediscovery of hidden treasures of Bharat Varsha.

As per eminent historian Will Durant (1885-1981), "Civilization is not something inborn or imperishable; it must be acquired anew by every generation, and any serious interruption in its financing or its transmission may bring it to an end."

Mere ritual celebration of 'Sanskrit Day' on Shravani Poornima every year cannot revive lost Sanskrit glory. Only concrete action can restore Sanskrit and enable the present and future generations to know their rich legacy. Mere pious platitudes will not help since even Gods do not help inactive people. As per Rig Veda: 4.33.11, "Na ruteh shrantasya sakhayay devaha" (Gods do not help inactive people).

राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ की प्रार्थना का मर्म

राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ की प्रार्थना का मर्म

कुछ समय पूर्व मैंने सुधि पाठकों का परिचय राष्ट्रीय स्वयसेवक संघ की प्रार्थना से कराया था,

हमारी प्रार्थना का मर्म बहुत ही सुन्दर रूप से इस बौद्धिक में माननीय रंग हरी जी ने समझाया है. यह बौद्धिक तृतीय वर्ष के दौरान दिया गया थ.

Thursday, 3 December, 2009

How Internet is changing large corporation - customer dynamics

Dave Carroll’s story depicts the value of great customer experience and illustrates that spending a little can save millions when it comes to your brand’s reputation.

In 2008, Dave was flying United Airlines with his band Sons of Maxwell when a passenger sitting next to the window exclaimed that the baggage handlers were “throwing guitars out there.”

Carroll’s guitar was broken. He spent the next nine months in a service maze pursuing compensation. Eventually, customer service at United Airlines told him they were closing the incident and would not respond to any further emails.

Carroll vowed to write three songs about the experience and post them on YouTube, hoping to achieve a million views with all three combined. But he did much better. He hit one million on the first song within one week, and is at six and a half million views at last count. A media frenzy ensued and United’s market capitalization dropped $180 million over the next three weeks.