Sunday, January 31, 2010

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Lecturing Pak to accept Indian domination

Dr Raja Muhammad Khan | Following the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, the people of Pakistan remained apprehensive about its role and future designs in South and Southwest Asia. Majority of analysts believe that the US has a long-term broad based agenda of regional domination with the intent to contain the rising Chinese influence and a resurgent Russia. Besides, it intends to dominate the natural resources of Central Asia and Caspian region to either deny the region to China and Russia or establish its own subsequent control there.Apart from these bigger agendas, the bulk of the Pakistani masses have been concerned about three legitimate consternations, which seriously threaten the safety and security of Pakistan. The first is the threat to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal from none other than the United States. The second concern is about the growing US interest in procuring land in Pakistan and use of Pakistani air bases for the drone attacks in FATA. The third issue, which even gravely bothers Pakistan’s security, is the unprecedented Indian involvement in Afghanistan, which also is likely to have a direct linkage with United States.

In order to address the Pakistani concerns, US high officials have made extraordinarily visits to Pakistan in last few months. These visitors include; Richard Hallbrook, Admiral Michael Mullen, General David Howell Petraeus, and the US secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The last and very infrequent visitor was the Secretary of Defence, Robert M. Gates. Prior to his visit of Pakistan, Mr. Gates had visited India. In New Delhi, the Secretary audaciously supported the Indian viewpoint in regional politics and tried to convey to Pakistan that India is regional power and other states including Pakistan will have to accept its hegemony. While replying to a question regarding the possibility of future terrorist attacks in Indian soil and its likely response, Mr. Gates categorically said, “It is not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience will be limited, were there to be further attacks”. The statement harked back the memories of the period of President George W. Bush, whose only pictogram is present in the Obama’s cabinet in the form of Robert Gates, the former Director of CIA.

Secretary Gates’ statement has three undertones; first; Pakistan is responsible for terrorist attacks. Second; the US will support India to launch an offensive against Pakistan in case of any terrorist act, which even may be India’s own stage-managed drama like; an attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001, Samjhauta Express bombings of Feburary-2007 and Mumbai attack of November 2008. Third; any act of none-state actors, who may be from any country, religion or ideology can trigger war between India and Pakistan.

In his meetings with the civilian and military leadership, which also include off the record lecture cum debates and later during a selective media interaction, the visiting US Secretary of Defence tried to elucidate the U.S stance on Pakistani concerns. The Defence Secretary made it clear that, “The United States does not covet a single inch of Pakistani soil. We seek no military bases here and we have no desire to control Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.” Mr. Gates also declared these concerns as tainted perceptions and nothing more than cynicism, spread by “same enemies threatening both Pakistan and the US within the context of terrorism” and are creating dissection in the Pak-US relationship.

Regarding the Indian involvement in Afghanistan and its covert activities for the promotion of terrorism in Pakistan, the visiting dignitary expressed the view that, since either country has its concern about the other’s involvement in Afghanistan, therefore, back channel discussion should act as a forum. Debate during these meets should be transparent, while taking into account each other’s concerns. We regard the Secretary Gates commitments, but how can we ignore the ground realities. On more than one occasion, the US officials have confirmed that they have been using some of Pakistani air bases for air attacks on Afghanistan and are still using at least two of them for drone attacks in Pakistan. The US State Department also proclaims a tacit approval of drone attack against terrorists from the Government of Pakistan. Surely, this is an overt use of Pakistani soil rather a covert one.

The US may have no intention to establish military bases in Pakistan, but the people of Pakistan would like to know about the likely uses of hundreds of acres of land, purchased by the United States in Islamabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Karachi. This is coupled with enhanced strength of US nationals in Islamabad, Lahore, and elsewhere in Pakistan in the guise of diplomats. More so, U.S nationals have been permitted to hire hundreds of houses and were issued licences of prohibited bore weapons. Police and intelligence agencies have tried to arrest quite a few of them in Islamabad and Lahore, while carrying such weapons, but the authorities had to set them free on the orders of Interior Ministry. Does the US really need such an armed diplomatic corps in Pakistan, or else, another East India Company is in the making? Acquiring land on three strategic locations by the US gives out many speculations about its future designs. Veiled in the guise of security staff to the US embassy, there is presence of hundreds of the Blackwater personnel in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and may be elsewhere in Pakistan. Amazingly, our Interior Minister is constantly denying the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan, a truth accepted by the US Defence Secretary during his recent tour. What is not understood is why we try to be more loyal to the US than its own nationals are. Being a Pakistani national, Mr. Malik could have the courage to accept their presence as Ex, if not Blackwater. The masses would also like to know why their heavy luggage, either sealed in wooden or tin boxes, were allowed to pass through the airports without legal formalities of screening during immigration.Concerning Pakistan’s nuclear programme, how we can believe the wordings of Robert Gates, when on a fortnightly basis we receive a new version of threat and US contingency to control it, about our nuclear programme. Apart from its think tanks, and powerful media, US officials have expressed their reservations regarding the safety and security of Pakistani nukes. After having known the effective command and control system, being exercised through National Command Authority (NCA) and Strategic Plans Division (SPD), should the US and others not trust once for all that Pakistani nukes are as safe and secure as the ones with the P-5 countries. Had there been any nuclear theft case in Pakistan like India, where three such cases took place in 2009 only? Besides U.S itself being the first nuclear proliferator, India has been involved in the proliferation of nuclear material and technology to and from many countries. Nevertheless, the international community and the U.S have never pointed a finger towards it. They mistakenly expect that Pakistan would give them access to its nuclear weapons. It is indeed a hard-earned capability by the Pakistani nation, never to be compromised at any cost.

It is very unfair to believe that, America, being an occupying power in Afghanistan, is unaware of Indian activities against Pakistan, while making use of that soil. In most of the cases, the militants use Indian and even Western origin weapons against Pakistani security forces in FATA as well as in Balochistan. At the official level, Pakistan has provided evidence of Indian involvement in these terrorist activities to the US as well as to India. Therefore, Roberts Gates’ over-generalization cannot absolve him from the reality. As the sole super power, US should adopt an unbiased approach while dealing with the nuclear-armed neighbours of South Asia. Moreover, the US needs to be more judicious, while matching its deeds with its words and commitments.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The monkies stand for honesty

Picture the opening scene of 2001, A Space Odyssey amid some bizarre Aztec-like ruins with a backdrop of the Flinstones’ Bedrock and you come close to getting a picture of what Hampi is like. It’s an incredible landscape of gigantic boulders peppered with never ending ruins of temples and palaces. It’s heaven for anybody who likes to wander off on their own to discover. Even though it attracts a large amount of domestic and international tourists it’s incredibly easy to get away from the hoards by bike or on foot and find your own private ruins to uncover. And in Hampi town itself there is always more than enough going on in the bazaar if you are growing tired of old broken down buildings. For example we began one day by getting blessed by Lakshmie the elephant. If you put a rupee in her trunk she passes it over your head to fill you with good will or good luck or whatever it is that holy elephants wish for humans. In most probability the only thing she is wishing is to be left alone.

Along with the usual menagerie found on any Indian street, Hampi also had the most mosquitoes. We were averaging six newly discovered bites each day. Almost as ubiquitous as the mossies were the monkeys. I never get tired of seeing them no matter how many I’ve come across now. The novelty hasn’t worn off remotely. Would you like to see the monkey temple? a rickshaw driver called out to us one afternoon as we strolled along a road in Hampi. What a silly question I thought to myself. I mean who wouldn’t want to see a monkey temple? Before we knew it we were out in the countryside climbing six hundred steps on a very steep hill lined with all kinds of monkeys. Sometimes I had to wonder as the monkeys patiently watched the tourists throw bananas at them and then take photo upon photo squealing in delight every time a baby monkey wandered by – just which of us are the real monkey here?

After three days we reckoned we had seen just about every monkey and every ruin there was in a 20 mile radius. While trying to figure out how best to spend our last few hours there we decided to sit by the river and lap up the sun. We gazed down at the usual scene of people washing themselves and their laundry. All of a sudden we spotted six elephants having their own baths right then and there amidst the usual daily life of the Hampi locals. Next to all chores being performed by humans the elephants just walked about and were being washed themselves. It was truly a stunning sight! Before we knew it it was time to leave. India had found its own perfect way to keep us entertained, bemused and in awe before it was time to start travelling again.


Indian govt team visiting mining site of Niyamgiri hills to probe land grab charge against Vedanta

Following is a report by IANS published in Yahoo India News:

Bhubaneswar, Jan 30 (IANS) A central team is visiting a mining site in Orissa’s Niyamgiri hills to probe the allegation against British mining major Vedanta that it had grabbed forest land, officials said Saturday.

The union ministry of environment and forests team, led by senior official Usha Ramnath, visited Niyamgiri hill in the district of Kalahandi and inspected the site to find out if the mining major has flouted government guidelines, district collector R. Santhanagopalan told IANS.

The two-member team that arrived in the state Thursday is expected to hold discussions with local tribals and officials before departing for New Delhi Monday, he said.

It is the second union forest and environment ministry team to visit the site in the past one month in the wake of allegations that the company had carried out construction work on government land in violation of ministry guidelines.

Vedanta Alumina, part of the Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta Resources Plc, has built an alumina refinery at an investment of $800 million at the foot of the Niyamgiri hills, where production has already started.

The firm, which is currently sourcing bauxite from other states at market rates, said mining permission in the hills was essential for it to reduce cost of production.

The project to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills – held sacred by the locals and awaiting central nod – has been vehemently opposed by residents and social activists.

A state investigating team had conducted a probe in November in the same site, some 600 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, and said it did not find any illegal construction activities by the company.

‘The construction was done in non-forest area which the government has already handed over to the firm, and it is not unlawful,’ Santhanagopalan, who had led the state government team, said.

‘There was no construction by the firm either found in the mining lease area or outside of the plant area,’ he said.

The union forest and environment ministry teams have however not revealed their findings.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Photos from Day 4 in India

Today I was back on my own and surprisingly got a fair amount done.  I spent 2 hours at ISB, part of that time making friends with our contact there, part of the time mapping things out.  I talked with a potential photographer for the event to obtain samples and lay the groundwork for some hard bargaining later.  I sent a bunch of emails, saw another hotel, met a nice guy from Bangalore in my guest house and even squeezed in a short nap to make up for some of the early mornings and late nights I’m working.

I think my favorite part about being here, or anywhere in India, is riding in a car or an auto.  I love that chance to see so much so fast and take it all in.  No substitute for stopping and meeting people and such, but its still a good way to figure out where is what in a city.  Today my driver reversed the car backwards faster and further than I think I’ve ever experienced in my life.  I thought I’d seen everything driving in India, I’ve been on buses, trains, cars, autos, in near accidents, I’ve even slept 8 hours on a bus in the rain because the door of the bus fell off and I was in the front seat.

But never have I felt quite as much like I was on a roller coaster as today driving backwards so fast.  It was really fun.

Anyways, some pictures from the day:


US supports Pakistan’s Taliban plan–India livid


WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday was noncommittal but did not rule out Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s plan to ask for Taliban names to be removed from a UN blacklist to spur reconciliation.

Karzai said before heading for a major international conference on Afghanistan in London this week that he would also seek Western support for a plan to offer money and jobs to cajole Taliban fighters into laying down arms.

“I will be making a statement at the conference in London to the effect of removing Taliban names from the UN sanctions list,” Karzai told reporters in Istanbul.

The idea had previously met resistance but “as we are talking today, there is more willingness that this can be reconsidered,” he said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs noted that top US generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal had drawn parallels between Afghanistan and reconciliation schemes that had worked with factions in Iraq.

Gibbs did not comment in detail on Karzai’s plan.

But he said Washington was open to “a similar path to what happened in Iraq… provided that whoever this is accepts the Afghan constitution, renounces violence, and publicly breaks with groups that advocate violence.”

“That’s, I think, what people expect under the notion of reconciliation.”

Karzai wants to bring low- and mid-level fighters into mainstream society to end the gruelling insurgency, but the leadership of Islamist insurgent groups active in the battered country is hostile to negotiations.

McChrystal, the NATO military commander in Afghanistan, has voiced support for negotiated peace.

“As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there’s been enough fighting,” US General Stanley McChrystal said in an interview with Britain’s Financial Times published Monday.

“I believe that a political solution to all conflicts is the inevitable outcome. And it’s the right outcome.”

The White House has several times brought up the tactics of then US-Iraq commander Petraeus, who worked with local Sunni leaders fed up with Al-Qaeda after the Iraq war troop surge.

Karzai was in Istanbul for talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday, to be following by a meeting with leaders of his country’s neighbors on Tuesday.

Under a plan announced by US President Barack Obama in December, 30,000 extra US troops will be in Afghanistan this year — on top of more than 70,000 already there — before they begin withdrawing in July 2011.

Karzai will fly on to Berlin and then London, where the conference will focus on corruption, security, good governance and reconciliation with the Taliban. US does not rule out Karzai’s Taliban plan


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recruitment in Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition Pusa

About the organization:

Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition Pusa (IHM Pusa)

(Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India)

Pusa, New Delhi – 110012

Job or Vacancy Description:

Applications are invited for the following posts :

Lecturer cum Instructor : 06 posts

(UR-4, OBC-2),  (Special Subjects),

Pay Scale : Rs. 9300- 34800 Grade Pay Rs.4200,

Age : 35 years as on 01/01/2010

Assistant Lecturer cum Assistant Instructor : 12 posts

(UR-6, OBC-3, SC-2, ST-1),  (Special Subjects),

Pay Scale : Rs. 9300- 34800 Grade Pay Rs.4200,

Age : 30 years as on 01/01/2010

How to Apply :

Complete application alongwith recent photograph and attested copies of relevance certificates may be submitted to the Principal, Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi – 110012  latest by 24/02/2010.

Tentative Last Date: 24-02-2010

Vacancy Details

[Click above to download the vacancy details]


"Phir mile sur mera tumhara" ( મિલે સુર મેરા તુમ્હારા)

I can recollect the sweet and ever mesmerising memories of younger age. And one of them is the “national” unity song- “Mile sur mera tumahara…to sur bane hamara” sung and expressed by almost all regions, arts, expressions and colors . It was and is quite touchy….touchy to each inch of mind and body….almost mingled with the soul……..and almost complete the proud feelings of being an Indian.
India even made up of 31 states,1618 languages,6400 castes,6 ethnic groups and almost hundreds of festivals each year……so where will you find such a vivid diversity of cultures in unity!!!!!! And that is India!!! Incredible India!!!
Now, the same “national”unity song launched in new forms, new colors with young and bright talents of India,able to conquer the world. I have seen it on Zoom TV and you won’t believe but I statue-d a bit!!!!! So,amazing and mesmerising….I couldn’t stop myself from singing along with it……….Please…please do watch and listen it once… will be your best moment with the TV ever,I guarantee you….. I feel myself a most proud human being as an Indian….
Just for you, a Prathana/prayer from Rastriya swayam sevak sangh(RSS) in holy feet of mother land…called India..It is truly a artistic or poetic marvel in our language of god…Sanskrit…feel it…with heart and say loudly…..I love India….!!!!!

नमस्ते सदा वत्सले मातृभूमे
त्वया हिन्दुभूमे सुखं वर्धितोहम् ।
महामङ्गले पुण्यभूमे त्वदर्थे
पतत्वेष कायो नमस्ते नमस्ते ।।१।।
प्रभो शक्तिमन् हिन्दुराष्ट्राङ्गभूता
इमे सादरं त्वां नमामो वयम्
त्वदीयाय कार्याय बध्दा कटीयं
शुभामाशिषं देहि तत्पूर्तये ।
अजय्यां च विश्वस्य देहीश शक्तिं
सुशीलं जगद्येन नम्रं भवेत्
श्रुतं चैव यत्कण्टकाकीर्ण मार्गं
स्वयं स्वीकृतं नः सुगं कारयेत् ।।२।।
परं साधनं नाम वीरव्रतम्
तदन्तः स्फुरत्वक्षया ध्येयनिष्ठा
हृदन्तः प्रजागर्तु तीव्रानिशम् ।
विजेत्री च नः संहता कार्यशक्तिर्
विधायास्य धर्मस्य संरक्षणम् ।
परं वैभवं नेतुमेतत् स्वराष्ट्रं
समर्था भवत्वाशिषा ते भृशम् ।।३।।
।। भारत माता की जय ।।


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Be Careful.................

The Indian government has changed the rules on how you are allowed to travel in and out of the country on a tourist visa (even on a multiple entry visa). The bottom line is that if you are on a tourist visa and you leave the country – even for a quick stop over in Nepal or Bangkok or Singapore for just a few days – you will not be allowed in back into India for 2 months. Now, you will hear stories of people who left and came back in with no problem – but you will also hear of people who could not come back in. It’s not worth the risk until the details are straightened out. Make sure you confirm what your passport will and will not allow you to do while entering and leaving India.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

US Voters Want Congress To Drop Health

Sixty-one percent (61%) of U.S. voters say Congress should drop health care reform and focus on more immediate ways to improve the economy and create jobs. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% of voters nationwide disagree and think Congress should press ahead with health care. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say given the country’s current economic situation, the Obama administration should wait on health care reform until the economy improves. That’s a 10-point increase from March of last year. Thirty-three percent (33%) still say the White House should move forward with health care reform. Seventy percent (70%) of voters nationwide say the health care issue was important in the special Senate election in Massachusetts. That number includes 49% who say it was very important. Only 15% think the health care issue was not very or not at all important in the Tuesday election.…But, not Obama.
This can explain why he has become the unpopular president.

Click On Links:
H.R. 3962 Summary
Impeach Obama
Scott Brown President?
Harold Ford Jr. Wants Obama’s Job
Obama, Guantánamo?
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Profile
Top 20 US Conservatives/Liberals
Obama Joker Poster
The House Negro And The Field Negro
The Votes On H.R.3962
Obama Health Reform Lies
Hillary Clinton Warned America About Obama
Obama’s Health Care, A Bad Idea
Obama On Abortion
Obama’s Health Care, A Bad Idea
Obama Lies About Abortion Funding in Healthcare Bill
Obama’s Health Care Plan
About Emptysuit



Are We There Yet?

The Beach at Mamallapuram


The plane to Chennai is mostly full of Indians returning home.  And, they were chatty with each other, very animated. It was hectic on the plane.  At one point, the co-pilot had to come to the back of the craft to find a flight attendant.  It was that busy.  If course, I was distracted by the massage I was getting on my kidneys.  The three year old had been relentlessly kicking the back of my seat for three hours.  Non-stop steward calls, non-stop movement, demands, questions.  And, I had this feeling of being stared at.  Maybe I stuck out.  It reminded me of the way I used to feel when I was living in Indonesia:  not being able to go anywhere, a store, even sit on the front steps of my gated home without someone seeing, knowing, and even more amazingly, telling me about what I did the next day at work. There was no need to keep a journal there, everyone else was doing it for me. After a while in Indonesia, I felt hampered by this as it is so very different from America.  I think India may be very similar – and there is good and bad in that. 

But, I could feel my body say, “Oh yeah.  This again.”  Of course, I did read in the cultural guide that Indians have no word for privacy.  It doesn’t exist in their language.  

And the anxiety builds in my body, and suddenly I remember my Yoga Teacher Training, and I remember Grace and MyLinda saying, “Come each day with a beginner mind.  Everyday.”  And  I know I must do this in order to survive in this richly diverse land.  

And, I’m scared. 


I get a taxi when I land in Chennai and head to Mamallapuram – my first destination.  I get to the guesthouse around 3 in the morning, after driving past cows, piles of trash, and the local theme park, Dizzee World.  There is no towel, no soap, no trash can, no blanket, no toilet paper.  It’s humid. The air conditioner doesn’t work, and the sheet on the bed is questionable. 

I can not sleep.  Finally, it’s morning.  I wake.  I shower.  The water trickles out.  It’s cold.  Flashback to Indonesia.  However, instead of standing there and crying and then deciding to bathe with a wet wipe as I did then, I simply say out loud, “You are going to do this.  It’s just cold water.”  I did it.  I am clean.  Relatively. 

Digging clothes out of my backpack.  What the hell have I done?  What am I doing here?  I want to crawl back in the bed and just lie there.  For a long time.  I want to go home. 

There is a knock at the door.  The person who runs the guesthouse is standing there with a towel, a clean sheet, a roll of toilet paper, and a bar of soap.  “You booked with A/C, right?” he asks.  “Yes,” I say.  “So sorry.  I will turn on now.  You got put in wrong room.  I lower price for last night.  How long you stay?”  Ah, hope is peaking through.  “Not sure,” I say.  “Maybe four, five days.”  I really don’t know, and I have no clue where I am headed next.  I’m just waiting for that idea to magically appear, waiting to be guided.  “Ok,” he says.  “Just pay when you leave.” 

I trundle out the door and directly to an Internet café.  I let my friends and family know that I have arrived safely.  I bought a coke.  I still want to go back to bed. I’m not tired.  I’m deflated.  My confidence has left me stranded.  My strength hiding.  I reach deep inside.  I find a bit of will.  I blaze off down the street.  Just walking.  Just looking.  And the streets are littered with shops, selling statues, tunics, anything kitchy you need.  I don’t need this stuff.  I’m not looking for things.  The haunting line, “What am I doing here?” comes again.  But this time, it was followed by an answer, “You are redirecting yourself.  You are repurposing your life.  You left your life because it was not fulfilling to you.  There is no person responsible for this, no one to blame, no one reason other than you want more out of life. Now, go find the beach.  And I did.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mughal dreams and good names

So, 4 days into the trip and I am proud to announce that this is officially the longest time I had gone without a hairdryer since… well, since I started using one! I have gone all native.

Today, I saw scenes right out of the arabian nights. Today, I climbed to the top of one of the hills surrounding Jaipur and was all alone looking down at the busy squares below me. Today, I got lost in the secret passages of the palaces from the Mughal past. Today, I improved my hindi.

I really can’t quite describe the amazing things I saw, so here goes my best shot. Imagine rocky hills that stretch in all directions around you. There is a wall, very much like the wall in the far east though not as long I suppose, that snakes through these hills. And rising from one of the tallest hills, there sits a palace, very much like the one from aladdin or ali baba, gleaming white from the hot afternoon sun, with its intricately carved towers and beautiful balconies. The roads leading up to it zig zags upwards and look, there are even elephants!

Oh, alright. Maybe a photo then.

And another one from the top.

I also saw queen’s apartments, the king’s chambers, courtyards and gardens and ponds and all the wealth (of the past) that can quite give the european monarchs (of the past) a good run for their money.


I am still amazed at the way people here just come up to speak to you. Really. It’s sometimes all I can take to not laugh, and go now what? What do you want me to buy? Today, someone asked, photo aap? Aap photo? I supposed that means if I wanted a photo. Aap I suppose means you. What is your good name? – is another of my favourites – just like I read in the books, they actually do say that! Do I have like a bad name? And even if I did, when would I use it to introduce myself with it? 


Seminar to mark 1,000th year of Thanjavur temple

THANJAVUR: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is organising a two-day seminar to commemorate the 1,000th year of Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur on January 21 and 22 (Thursday and Friday), according to Sathyabhama Bhadrinath, Superintending Archaeologist, Chennai circle, ASI.

She told presspersons here on Wednesday that the theme of the seminar is “Brigadisvara temple the monument and its symbolism”.

Brihadeeswara Temple - "Also known as the Big Temple, it was built by Raja Raja Chola - I. One of the most spectacular piece of South Indian architecture, the temple took 12 years to complete, and King Raja Raja Chola - I, performed the Kumbhabhishekam (consecration ceremony) in 1011 AD. The temple was built in honour of his victorious reign, during when the Chola kingdom (10th to 14th centuries AD) extended till Ceylon and some parts of the Malaya archipelago."

The seminar to be held at South Zone Cultural Centre would be inaugurated by Thangam Tennarasu, Minister for School Education and Archaeology.

National and international scholars would be attending this seminar to discuss on varied subjects relating to the temple.

Brihadisvara Temple is one among the all stone temples built by Chola Kings. The other three are the temples at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Darasuram and Thirubuvanam. Epigraphy, engineering aspects, inscription evidences of the temple would be discussed in the seminar.

The aim of the seminar is to create awareness about the world heritage monument among the public about this greatest creation and to promote its preservation, SathyabhamaBhadrinath said.

Nagasamy, Former director of state Archaeology, Champakalakshmi, former history professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr. Subbaryalu, former professor of Tamil University, professors from Anna University will participate in the seminar.

Conservation work taken up inside the temple is in its final stage.

It will be over in a month and then the temple will be ready for Kumbabhishekam, Sathyabhama Bhadrinath said.

Kumbabhishekams were held earlier in 1975 and 1998. A touch screen will be put up giving details of the monument.

Sighnages will be put up. A toilet built to international standards has already been put to use. There is provision for physically challenged persons also in the toilet.

ASI is planning to create new shoe repository on the right side of Keralandhagan gopuram at the entrance of the temple.

A cloak room, a handicrafts centre and an eatery are also on the anvil.

Sathyabhama Bhadrinath also said that the ASI had agreed in principle for holding a sound and light programme in the temple.

It was waiting for the feasibility report to give its approval.

She said that the moat around Big Temple has not yet been handed over to the ASI by the Thanjavur Municipality.



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sathya Sai Organisation Needs No Defense

Sathya Sai Organisation Needs No Defense

Robert Priddy (a caustic critic and defamer of Sathya Sai Baba and others) said the following about Dr G Venkataraman and Joe Moreno’s defense of the Sathya Sai Organisation:

Robert Priddys Ridiculous Claims About The Sathya Sai Organisation

Robert Priddys Ridiculous Claims About The Sathya Sai Organisation

Robert Priddy: “Despite Moreno’s oyymoronic claim that the Sathya Sai Organization needs no defending, it has been defended by Dr. G. Venkarataman of Radio Sai and also massively by Moreno himself. This defense was done because of documented evidence and testimony on a large scale of its unaccountability, planned disinformation and deceptions of the public, covering up and ignoring crimes, including murder and sexual molestations of which all its leaders are aware. They have failed to exercise duty of care and ignored mandatory reporting.”

It is entirely true that the Sathya Sai Organisation does not need to be defended from any bona-fide or legal complaints because none have ever been filed with the police or courts of law in India.

The only defenses offered by Dr G Venkataraman and Joe Moreno for the Sai Organisation are those that expose the massive fraudulence of critic’s smear, disinformation, hate and defamation campaigns against Sathya Sai Baba on the internet.

Robert Priddy said that the Sai Organisation “failed to exercise duty of care and ignored mandated reporting” regarding allegations of sexual abuse (an argument parroted by Barry Pittard). Actually, the only people who have “failed to exercise duty of care and ignored mandated reporting” regarding sexual abuse are alleged victims and their mothers and fathers who have all (without exception) failed and refused to file a single police complaint, court case or public grievance in India against Sathya Sai Baba. These irrefutable facts strongly argue that Sathya Sai Baba never abused anyone and alleged victim’s accounts are highly unbelievable and come from non-credible sources.

The big question that Robert Priddy, Barry Pittard and other critics continually ignore is:

WHY should the Sai Organisation resort to the legalistic process of “mandated reporting” regarding internet rumors when all of the alleged victims (without exception) and all of their mothers, fathers and relatives (without exception) have all failed and refused to resort to the legalistic process of “mandated reporting” themselves against the Sai Organisation?

Robert Priddy’s argument is reverse logic. Instead of harping on the legal and moral duties of the Sai Organisation, he should be focusing on the legal and moral duties of alleged victims and their mothers and fathers (all of whom have never filed any sort of legalistic complaints in India against Sathya Sai Baba).

Priddy’s argument is akin to accusing a person of theft, demanding that the thief publicly repent and turn himself into the police although there are no police complaints or court cases alleging theft!

Robert Priddy can interpret Moreno’s exposure of his embarrassing lies as a “defense” of the Sai Organisation if he so chooses. In fact, if anyone is defending the Sai Organisation, it is Robert Priddy! Why? Because Robert Priddy’s claims are so exaggerated, his pathos so caricatured, his libels so brazen, his arguments so flawed, his bitterness so palpable, his hissy fits so shrieking, no one in his/her right mind can believe anything Robert Priddy has to say against the Sathya Sai Organisation.

Robert Priddy is an LSD Advocate and publicly defends Alaya Rahm (the prime interviewee on the Secret Swami Documentary) although Alaya self-disclosed (in official court records) that he was a college drop-out and a decade-long daily-user of illegal street drugs and alcohol seeking a large money settlement from the Sathya Sai Baba Society Of America! The end result of Alaya’s court case: Self-Dismissed With Prejudice! Robert Priddy is also a fierce defender, promoter and associate of Conny Larsson, an ex-devotee turned self-professed Prophet and Psychic Trance Medium! And to top it all off, Robert Priddy fabricated sexual molestation claims against Moreno. If Robert Priddy has the temerity to falsify sexual molestation claims against Moreno, what other stories of sexual molestation is he falsifying as well?

Thank goodness that very few revel in Robert Priddy’s bigoted campaigns to substitute rumor and gossip for bona fide evidence. The only defense the Sai Organisation requires is against the voluminous lies, conspiracies, propaganda and rhetoric dispersed against it by people who have shown themselves (time and again) to be pathological prevaricators.


An Appeal

Please take a minute to read this post from Give India Foundation Incorporated, a trusted and credible NGO in India since 1999. To cast your vote on facebook please visit  here .Please click to visit their official website and their Blog for more information.You can email them at for any queries. Cast Your Vote Now! Every Vote Counts!

The Issue

Children have the right to study and enjoy their childhood. However 50% of school age children in India are not in school today. It is estimated that there are anywhere between 10-20 mn children working as labourers in hazardous industries and being exploited when they should be learning and playing.

Education is the only  key to unlocking these  children’s future, the key which will allow them to lead a dignified and financially independent adult life.

The Plan

GIVE Foundation will use the $1mn grant to for educational sponsorships costing $43 per child per year thus providing access to education to more than 20,000 children through our partner NGOs. All partner NGOs have undergone due diligence, and are highly transparent and credible organizations. They are located across India and provide access to education to underprivileged children, including the girl child, tribal children and children from remote rural areas.

However, so that your vote COUNTS and goes FURTHER we will take the balance of about $90,000 and run a matching campaign that raises an additional $1mn from individual donors. This balance will also help meet the operating costs of running this program, including costs of project monitoring, and tracking including regular quarterly updates.

Each $43 sponsorship will provide books, school bags and uniforms to the children as well as the education i.e. teachers salaries and other costs to ensure a quality education.

The Outcome

More than 20,000 children will be educated for a year with the grant support. In addition over 20,000 children will be educated for a year through matching donations raised from individuals, thus ensuring that in all, more than 40,000 children are educated.

The program aims to make the underprivileged children of India self-reliant and independent by providing them a mainstream education. It is a movement to strengthen the future of the nation, an attempt towards a better life.

Each child we help is one less child that has to work for a living; one less child that has to experience illiteracy; one less child that has no hope for the future.

We believe that there are enough people who want to see this happen, enough people to ensure that we get 40,000 votes that will in turn help to educate 40,000 children. One VOTE = one CHILD!

Vote here :




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Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's a Man's World, is it?

Your first thought must be, this is one of those womans lib tirades. Far from it, this focuses on the all so fundamental right for the female of species to simply exist.

The late soul singer James Brown crooned “It’s a man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl” and damn right he was too. The song incidentally is a firm favourite of mine. Why else would God create woman if he thought men were self-sufficient?  Human’s these days seem to think otherwise however, how else can one describe the gender selection practices that are still being carried out in certain parts of the world today predominantly in Asia.

It was reported recently that China will have 30 million more men than women by 2020. China’s one child policy is well publicised and indeed they had a good reason for introducing the law when they did. Having said that it must be extremely difficult to have the state dictate how many children one can have. Disastrously  this has led to the awful practice of gender selection as culturally the male child is valued over the female in China. Consequently this has led to fetuses being aborted if the gender is female and ultimately the forthcoming problem of gender imbalance. One could then question, didn’t anyone see this coming? How do they intend to procreate in the future if they completely rid themselves of the female of species? Why do some cultures persist in their thinking the male child holds more value?

In india another country in which gender selection is widely practiced, the reason often cited is the high bride price that has to be paid when a woman gets married. For poor families, having a female child could lead to financial ruin and so instead they avoid having them in the first place. There’s an easy enough  resolution to that you and I would think, do away with the bride price! Again it’s boils down to that cultural thing. One would hope our thinking should be progressing as the years go by and not regressing or remaining stagnant? isn’t it about time we looked at practices carried out and branded “culture” and do away with all the counter productive and sometimes downright evil practices such as this?


Jyoti Basu: The Last Titan

Jyoti Basu became a Communist while studying law in Britain. He came in contact with the British Communist party. He joined the Communist Party of India on his return in 1940.

He began working in the railway trade union movement and became an important functionary of the B.A. Railroad Workers Union and the All India Railwaymen’s Federation. In 1946,he was elected to the Bengal legislative assembly from a railway constituency.

He was the Secretary of the provincial committee of the CPI from 1953 to 1961. He became a member of the Central Committee of the CPI in 1951. When the CPI (M) was formed he became one of the founder Polit Bureau and Central Committee members, positions he continued in, till his death. He played a significant role in developing the CPI (M) in West Bengal along with Promode Dasgupta.

Jyoti Basu made his mark as the leader of the opposition in the assembly between 1957 and l967. He was twice Deputy Chief Minister in the United Front governments between 1967 and 1970. His role in the government in supporting the struggle for implementation of land reforms and in not allowing the police to be used against workers and peasants’ struggles was notable.

Jyoti Basu belonged to the leadership of the CPI M) which steered the Party through the difficult days of semi-fascist terror in West Bengal in the early seventies. After the sweeping victory of the Left Front in 1977, Jyoti Basu became the Chief Minister of the Left Front government, a position he held continuously for more than 23 years, a record in the country.

Under his leadership, the Left Front government embarked on land reforms on a scale unprecedented in the country; it instituted a panchayati raj system which was radical for its times, which gave the poor peasants and small farmers a say in running the panchayati institutions.

West Bengal became an oasis of communal harmony and secular values under his leadership. One has to recall how as Chief Minister he dealt with the situation after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 when violence against Sikhs broke out in various parts of the country, but nothing was allowed to happen in West Bengal. Similarly he dealt firmly with efforts to instigate trouble after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Jyoti Basu became a symbol for the Left, democratic and secular forces in the country. In West Bengal, the people adored him and respected him for his championing of their cause. He became the role model for all Communists and progressives on how to work in parliamentary institutions and serve the people. During this seven decades of work in the Communist party, he spent three and a half years in prison and two years underground.

Jyoti Basu as Chief Minister and as a Left leader played an important role in pushing for restructuring Centre-State relations and rallying other Chief Ministers and political leaders for the cause.

He played a prominent role in bringing together Left and secular parties against the Congress government in the nineteen eighties and later against the BJP in the nineties.

Jyoti Basu was a Marxist who never wavered in his convictions. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the setbacks to socialism, he provided the leadership along with his colleagues in the Polit Bureau to make a reappraisal of the experience of building socialism and to pinpoint the errors and to correct wrong notions and understandings while remaining true to Marxism-Leninism.

He was a Marxist who was not dogmatic and continued to learn from his vast experience in charting out the course for the Party.

He emerged as the pre-eminent and most popular leader of the Party, but he always worked as a disciplined member of the Party, setting an example for all. In his long career in the Party, he undertook various responsibilities including being the first editor of People’s Democracy.

He had a lifelong association with the trade union movement and was the Vice-President of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions since its inception in 1970.

He stepped down from the Chief Ministership in 2000 due to ill health and advanced age. But he continued to work and discharge responsibilities till the end of his life. He became the source of inspiration and a fount of advice for the Party and the Left movement in the country. Irrespective of political affiliation, across the political spectrum, he was respected by all and accepted as a national leader.

The Left movement in the country was fortunate in having such an accomplished and dedicated leader at the helm of affairs in West Bengal and in the leadership of the CPI (M) for such a long time. His precious legacy is there for all of us to cherish and nurture.

Lal Salaam to a great Communist!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Of Fosbury Flops and Angst-Ridden Ditties

Read a piece yesterday about how Air India chooses to treat Sarods and maestros (Had blogged previously about Air India’s unsurpassed consumer relations skills here). The moment I read that though, I couldn’t help but think of this classic video:

Never knew locating decent acco in London would be so much of a goshdarned  hassle. I don’t think I have researched as much even for my final drafts! Hell, for my IPC paper…., but, I digress :)

My stomach’s screwed up. Like, seriously seriously screwed up. Its currently doing Fosbury Flops and Ferris Wheel imitations every half an hour. Like  clockwork. Of Swiss Vintage. From the Old School. Probably serves me right; Karma, comeuppance, the works. There’s only so much cheap, Jewish fast food that one should hog! (Do not worry :) ; the only way yer getting that reference is if you stay in Golf Green and/or frequent the narrow bylanes of Bijaygarh)


Cashew Kernel Exports Decline to 1,07,496 Metric Tonnes

Hello Friends here we come up with the Latest Agri Commodities updates from various parts of the country. .

Cashew Kernel Exports Decline to 1,07,496 Metric Tonnes

. Cashew kernel exports decline 4% in 2009 . India’s cashew kernel exports have showed an overall drop of a marginal 4 per cent to 1,07,496 metric tonnes during the calendar year 2009 compared to the previous year.


During the period January to December 2009, the value of kernel exports was marginally lower by 2.2 per cent to Rs 2,869 crore as against the year ago period.


The drop in exports was mainly attributed to a sharp rise in domestic consumption. The exporters had to draw down to meet the domestic demand than export commitments. The local consumption is pegged at around 1,30,000 tonnes for the year.


According to Kochibased Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), the unit value realization was up by 2 per cent to Rs 266.87 per kg in the export market during 2009. . :)


In Other major Commodities Updates we have news on the Govt Plans to buy 280 lakh tone of rice for central pool.


Govt plans to buy 2.8 cr tonne of rice for central pool


The government hopes to buy 280 lakh tonne of rice for the Central Pool during the ongoing 2009-10 marketing season, more than earlier target of 260 lakh tonne, even as the grain production this year is expected to be lower by 13 million tonne.


According to the latest official data, total rice purchases by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies stand at 178.30 lakh tonne as on Thursday, slightly below 182 lakh tonne procured in the same period of the 2008-09 season.


The country’s rice production from the current Kharif season is estimated to be lower at 71.45 million tonne, compared with 84.58 million tonne in the last year season.




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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Failed Indian Audacity

A colleague of mine who (would be called as Victor for now) met me the other day. The background is that I have been looking for a place for a couple of weeks now and so when I met him, I asked him about it and he argued that he knew this awesome place well in my budget and in the prime location ! What happened on that front is a whole different story all together .  J!

On the way, Victor said “Oh F***, I want to eat authentic Indian food so badly. I live so near to Journal Square and I am yet to eat it.” I didn’t say anything; just kept on listening to him.  He looked at me and said “How often do you eat Indian food anyways?” I still looked and said “sometimes, but not that often as you might expect!”

He looked puzzled. He looked outside of the car and then looked back at me. He didn’t say anything but by now, I was amused by the doubts in his eyes for my “Indian-ness” ( if that is a word J!). He continued to finally ask me “You don’t like being called an Indian, do you?” I gawked inside but showed no reaction outside. I took a breathe of silence and I looked at him back.

It doesn’t matter what I said in response to that or what he said next, but what matters is that he touched at a bigger issue here –  “My failed Indian identity and/or the lack thereof” and “Audacity of failure of Indian-ness in people who live away from the motherland”

I was both amazed and puzzled by his allegation. The fact that my ethnicity is Indian is the premise he made.  Around five million of the Indian citizens or people of Indian descent live in different countries across the globe, the question that haunts some of the first generation immigrants is “how much of Indian-ness  is right for being an Indian living outside of India.”

I don’t wear ethnic Indian clothes every week. I don’t eat Indian food everyday. I don’t have that many Indian kids facebook-ed with me. I don’t speak Hindi that much. But still I listen to the “Give me some sunshine, give me some rain” song from 3 Idiots.

Is that enough Indian-ness that is the question Victor asked me in the background however.

Indian-ness as I say it, is nothing but how we feel about India, and how we carry India in our day to day life. My name is Indian, and so is my last name. My skin is a little lighter than others in my community but still is Indian J!  People across the world know India as – land of snake charmers. Most of the educated and techno savvy people know India as the “banglored” location (As President Obama said once)! Some of them know it as a more mystic India because of it’s diversity and religious pluralism.

Movies? Let me ask you two questions about them. Have you seen Indian movies? Any movie? Well if you have seen Slumdog Millionaire that hardly counts as Indian. Any and most of the people I know from India, vehemently disagree to Slumdog Millionaire and to the fact that it represents India in any form.

So you still can’t think about any movies? But still probably would know that Indian movies involve songs, dancing around trees, a lot of melodrama and crying. But ask any Indian, that’s not all we have in movies. Agreed I hardly watch any Hindi Movies ( yes it is not India movie) now a days, except some of my old favorites but doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I still have playlists on youtube for hindi songs and as I favorite-ly have named it “my hindi oldies : )“

Wearing different but Indian clothes will make me Indian? Eating curry with wheat bread three times a day will make me more Indian? Does the cup of wine and healthy Italian food tell my ethnicity as English or perhaps American? I think my friend Victor’s thoughts are misplaced when he says, just because I can speak his language better than he can, and wear English clothes and workout, doesn’t at all mean that I am not Indian and am away from my origin. Discover India!

As usual, this blogger enthusiast will continue to tell you more stories.  There is so much of India in each of us and yet we look for India on Wiki and Google. I believe Indian stories are going to be told day and day out for next decades to come. Why I Iraqi friend asked? Because India is yet to be discovered in her true sense by this world !!


Dawn - Pakistan warns India against hegemonistic mindset

From Dawn, the Karachi based newspaper founded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Iftikhar A. Khan, Thursday 14 Jan, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan warned India on Wednesday against its relentless pursuit of military preponderance and said it would have severe consequences for peace and security in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

The National Command Authority, which met here under Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, took serious note of recent Indian statements about conducting conventional military strikes under a nuclear umbrella and said such irresponsible statements reflected a hegemonic mindset, oblivious of dangerous implications of adventurism in a nuclearised context.

The NCA also took note of the developments detrimental to the objectives of strategic stability in the region. It observed that instead of responding positively to Pakistan’s proposal for a strategic restraint regime in South Asia, India continued to pursue an ambitious militarisation programme and offensive military doctrines.

“Massive inductions of advanced weapon systems, including installation of ABMs (anti-ballistic missiles), build-up of nuclear arsenal and delivery systems through ongoing and new programmes, assisted by some external quarters, offensive doctrines like ‘Cold Start’ and similar accumulations in the conventional realm, tend to destabilise the regional balance,” the meeting noted.

A statement issued by the PM House said: “Pakistan cannot be oblivious to these developments.” It was the first meeting of the NCA after President Asif Ali Zardari promulgated the National Command Authority Ordinance and divested himself of the powers of its chairman in November last year.

The meeting expressed satisfaction over the safety and security of Pakistan’s strategic assets and effectiveness of its strategic deterrence. It emphasised the importance of Pakistan’s policy of credible minimum deterrence and maintaining strategic stability in South Asia.

The authority reaffirmed Pakistan’s policy of restraint and responsibility and its resolve to continue efforts to promote peace and stability in South Asia. It underscored the need for preventing conflict and avoiding nuclear and conventional arms race in the region.

The NCA noted that the India-specific exemption made by the Nuclear Suppliers Group and subsequent nuclear fuel supply agreements with several countries would enable New Delhi to produce substantial quantities of fissile material for nuclear weapons by freeing up its domestic resources.

It reiterated that while continuing to act with responsibility and avoiding an arms race, Pakistan would not compromise on its security interests and the imperative of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence.

The meeting reviewed plans for generation of nuclear power under IAEA safeguards as part of national energy security strategy to ensure sustained economic growth and welcomed the renewed international interest in nuclear power generation to meet the challenge of climate change.

As a country with advanced fuel cycle capability, it said, Pakistan was in a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under IAEA safeguards, and participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel supply assurance mechanism.
The NCA expressed satisfaction at steps taken by Pakistan at the national level for nuclear safety and security, which would continue to be important considerations in the context of national nuclear power development plans.


It reaffirmed that as a nuclear weapon state Pakistan was committed to working as an equal partner in international efforts for general and complete nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In this regard, the NCA stressed the need for non-discriminatory policies and accommodation of the reality of Pakistan’s nuclear weapon status for promoting global non-proliferation goals.

The meeting emphasised that promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament objectives in South Asia were linked with regional security dynamics and the need to address existing asymmetries and resolution of outstanding disputes.

The NCA stressed that as the sole disarmament negotiating forum the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva should play its due role in global nuclear disarmament. As far as a Fissile Material Treaty at the CD was concerned, Pakistan’s position would be determined by its national security interests and the objectives of strategic stability in South Asia, it said.

“Selective and discriminatory measures that perpetuate regional instability, in any form and manner, derogate from the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and, therefore, cannot be accepted or endorsed. Pakistan will not support any approach or measure that is prejudicial to its legitimate national security interests.”

An official told Dawn after the meeting that India’s ‘Cold Start’ strategy was a threat to strategic stability of South Asia. India’s growing military prowess, capabilities and aggressive designs implied war-provoking intent by practical manifestation of the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine.

He said the hit and mobilise concept would further squeeze space for diplomacy and political manoeuvres for avoiding a conflict. This strategy was likely to increase the threat in an unpredictable manner at various rungs of the escalation ladder, he added.

He said it was inherently flawed to further engage nuclear South Asia in an arms race rather than diverting efforts and resources to alleviate social needs of poor segments of society. Strategic equilibrium prevalent in the subcontinent would be impacted with negative repercussions, he said.

Explaining the concept of the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine, a defence analyst said it envisaged applying linear ground forces for multiple thrusts, backed by massive fire power well before Pakistan completed its mobilisation and international community could intervene.

He said the doctrine laid stress on offensive strike, but without giving battle indicators of mobilisation to maintain chances of strategic surprise while remaining below nuclear threshold. Political decision for war would be taken at the outset.

Talking about the broad contours, he said traditional operational art of maintaining distinction between strike and defensive formations would be done away with. The war was planned to be fought by integrated battle groups (IBGs) synergised and supported by Indian Air Force and Navy.

Since the IBGs would be pre-positioned closer to international border and the Line of control, these would commence operations with least build-up and preparation and would thus achieve surprise under the doctrine, he added.

Shaping the battlefield through new concept of war, incorporating all available technical-driven assets and fire power platforms would remain the hallmark of an Indian offensive.

Analysts observed that in Indian military planners’ view there was space available for a short notice, short-duration war with curtailed objectives despite the nuclear factor. Nuclear capability has added to Pakistan’s security by impinging upon India’s liberty of action under the nuclear overhang.

As the efficacy of all-out conventional war within the nuclear environment became questionable, India started studying the possibility of a limited conflict with curtailed application of military instrument and objectives.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Honda's small car to have 80 per cent localisation

The concept of the small car “new small” which Honda had displayed in the Auto Expo 2010 is scheduled to be launched in 2011. If this is news that you think you already knew, check this out.

The small car of Honda’s will have around 80 per cent of its components made in India. Now that’s a news that we bet you might not have heard of right? Honda also expects that the small car that it will produce in India, sell as many as units as its best seller ‘City’ does.

“Our new small car, to be launched in 2011, will have a rate of around 80 per cent in localisation of components,”Honda Siel Cars India Director (Marketing) Tatsuya Natsume told reporters during the 10th Auto Expo in New Delhi.

The small car from Honda will be rolled out from the company’s plant in Greater Noida and Honda will take all measures to meet the demands of the customers as soon as the car is launched.

Honda also is looking to increase the use of local components of its existing models in India to around the same percentage. While its City and Jazz cars have around 75 per cent localisation of components, the Civic has 71 per cent and the Accord 28 per cent.


How Interior Design Rendering Works Its Magic.

In the field of architectural design, 3D rendering has become an important selling tool, attracting a wide variety of clients, from architects to designers and property developers. 3D rendering can be used in numerous activities. It can prove useful when wanting to market new products, when showing interior design ideas or when you wish to visualize planning applications.

Among the many services that 3D rendering companies offer, the most common are interior rendering, exterior rendering, landscape rendering, site plan illustrations, 3D floor plans and animations.

If you want to market a newly built or renovated property, 3D interior design rendering might be just the thing you need. Weather it is a commercial or a residential property, the client needs to visualize it before purchase. In order for this to happen, 3D interior rendered images offer a realistic display of the exact features and designs that will be incorporated into the final product when the project is complete.

Opting for 3D interior computer rendering allows the specific products to be dropped into the virtual setting of the property in a very realistic manner. As a consequence, clients get to see a complete image including furniture, electrical items, bathroom and kitchen cabinets allowing them to make the purchase decision in a more informed manner, thus enhancing their satisfaction level.

Some companies offer 3D interior design rendering to clients that want to renovate their homes using their own choice of furniture, artwork and surfaces, textures and fabrics. Some computer rendered images can even be animated so as the clients can be walked through each section of the project. It gives a more realistic feel to the whole application. This service is often used for new designs of apartments, lobbies and commercial facilities.

Interior designers can benefit a great deal from 3D computer rendering. Since they are faced with the ordeal of getting their ideas across, there is always the danger of not being clear enough, despite the numerous sketches that they present to their clients. The reality is that clients can’t read plans and sketches. They need to actually see it. Especially when there are changes that need to be made. It is very easy to make alterations to an image so that the client can get exactly the design he desires.

There have been troubles to what the cooperation between designers and 3D artists is concerned. The 3D artists had problems understanding briefs while the designers still had a hard time grasping the concept of 3D image rendering. Despite all this, progress has been made starting with the simplification of the whole process. Nowadays, interior designers have access to a complete 3D rendered catalogue and library of decoration and furniture items that allow them to fill a scene regardless of whether that item is actually in stock or not.

Creating the dream home is now possible through 3D interior design rendering which takes companies one step closer to providing the ultimate customer satistfaction services. One can get a better and more realistic understanding of what his house will look like before the project is even complete. This way both client and company are better focused and know exactly what they need to do.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Harry Reid Said Obama Has No "Negro Talk"

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” If this was a republican, he would be labeled every racial title known. Black, African American, Negro (on the census) would be urging him to resign. I’m waiting to  hearing from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton on Reid’s comments. Is this happening? NO! Let me see if any black Bloggers are addressing this, NO. Reid did pacify the Obama Kool-Aid Drinkers with and apology stating, “I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments.” Reid, you didn’t know what you were saying when you wrote this on page 37 your yet-to-be-released book about the Obama campaign?

The Atlantic posted excerpts from the book that included a comment Bill Clinton made about Obama to then Sen. Ted Kennedy saying, “A few years ago this guy would have been getting us coffee.” Hillary Clinton initially wanted to make a big deal about Obama’s previous use of drugs. This action by the Democrats is deeply rooted in their belief about Black people. They continue to use the black race to promote their agenda and when in private refer to the black people as “negros.” In my post The Race Card I explained the role the Democratic party has played with the black race. Many black people need to know the history of that party, and the people from the 60’s era. Harry Reid is from that era and still consider black people as “negros,” even his beloved Obama. Reid has stated, “I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda.” Only because Reid was benefiting from the election. Obama on the other hand was just the pawn, read my post The House Negro And The Field Negro.

When Obama’s U.S. Senate seat was up for bids, Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones. Reid called Blagojevich to argue he appoint either state Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth or Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Reid pushed against Jackson, Davis and Jones because he did not believe the three men were electable. All three of these men are black. Tammy Duckworth and Lisa Madigan, both white. He feared losing the seat to a Republican in a future election. From the Sun-Times. The history of the Democrat party is one of slavery, secession, segregation, and now socialism. The Ku Klux Klan was birthed by the Democrats as a terrorist wing to intimidate blacks, and whites, who sought to promote economic and education independence and social justice for blacks. It seems like Reid wants to keep that tradition. Reid compared conservative opponents of his massive takeover of the American health system to slaveholders and segregationists. He said, “If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. … When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, ‘Slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.” Reid was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1966.

Reid’s comments are included in the book, “Game Change”. Reid is facing a tough 2010 re-election bid. He is sinking in the Nevada polls, trailing former state Republican party chairwoman Sue Lowden by a 10 percentage points, 50 percent to 40 percent. 52 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Reid, 33 percent had a favorable view and another 15 percent said they’re neutral.

Click On Links:
Negro Used in the 2010 Census Form
If I help him, he’s going to help me
Barack Obama Said He Was Black Before The Election
Obama Shoe Shine Boy
White America Hate Barack Obama
The Race Card
Michelle Obama called “Ghetto Girl”
Michelle Obama Chimp Image On Google
Barack And Michelle Obama Radical Cartoon
Obama Doll Found Hanging From Building
The House Negro And The Field Negro
Black People Don’t Like Black Conservatives



The Life and Times of Rani Lakshmi Bayi

The year was 1857 and the problem facing Maharajah Uthram Thirunal of Travancore was of severe gravity. His only niece, Rani Pooradam Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi  had died 11 days after giving birth to a son, Prince Moolam Thirunal. As in the past 5 cases, adoption would be the only recourse for the perpetuation of the royal line and the Maharajah wrote thus to the Paramount Power:

You are well aware, I believe, of the peculiar importance of the position held by the Ranees in our family and indeed in the whole policy of the country, religious as well as social. Their presence is absolutely and indispensably necessary to the performance of all religious ceremonies both in our family and in the principal Pagodas. In that female line is vested also, as is further well known to you, the right of inheritance and succession in our own family as well as in the great bulk of our subjects… I now propose to bring in two, the most eligible female members from among our relations.. as Senior and Junior Ranees.


HH Rani Lakshmi Bayi

The two “most eligible” princesses chosen were the first and second daughters of Bharaninnal Amma Thampuran of Mavelikkara. Accordingly, after receiving due sanction, on the 27th of December 1857, Bharani Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi and Bharani Thirunal Parvathi Bayi were adopted into the Travancore Royal Family and installed as the Ranis of Attingal. This is the story of the Senior Rani Lakshmi Bayi who achieved much celebrity in the 19th century, not only due to her singular achievements and accomplishments, but also because of her uncompromising loyalty towards her spouse, Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran.

At the young age of 8, Lakshmi Bayi had been installed as Queen of Travancore. Along with her sister, she was taught everything a princess was expected to know. In 1859, less than two years after the adoption the Maharajah decided to get the Rani married and three young suitors were presented to her. One of them was Kerala Varma of Changanassery, the grandnephew of the Maharajah’s father. The other was Kerala Varma from Kilimanoor while the third was a Ravi Varma, also from Kilimanoor. The choice had to be made most carefully. A royal consort would father future Maharajahs and hence intelligence, good looks etc were all essential qualities. Rani Lakshmi Bayi chose the Koil Thampuran from Changanassery. She had rejected Ravi Varma because he was dark skinned and her sister Rani Parvathi Bayi had selected the second person. Ravi Varma, perhaps as a consolation, was married to Bhageerathi, the sister of the Ranis in Mavelikkara, and went on to become famous as Raja Ravi Varma.

Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran


Rani Lakshmi Bayi and Kerala Varma were happy in almost all respects. The Rani was a very talented musician while her husband’s erudition in Sanskrit and his ability in writing eventually earned him the appellation of Kerala Kalidasa and “Father of Malayalam Literature”. In 1865, Arumana Ammachi (Panapillai Bharathipillai Lakshmipillai Kochamma), the consort of Prince Visakham Thirunal commenced English education under the tutelage of some missionaries. The Rani was inspired and within a month began learning English along with her sister. The Rani’s artistic talent and her scholarly pursuits brought for her, along with the popularity she already enjoyed, a great deal of acclaim and respect. She was, by all means, a perfect role model and princess.

Yet there was one thing that marred the happiness of the Rani’s marriage to Kerala Varma: she was childless. In Travancore this had, beyond personal sorrow, serious dynastic implications. In those days the Rani could have easily disposed of her consort and selected another husband. She, however, was far too attached and in love with Kerala Varma to even contemplate a divorce. The fact that the Junior Rani had had several sons was, perhaps, a consolation but the absence of females in the family was, once again, a recurrence of some kind of a curse.

Maharajah Ayilyam Thirunal

Within a decade of her marriage with Kerala Varma, problems began to creep into the royal family. The Maharajah Ayilyam Thirunal, who ascended the musnud in 1860, was on bad terms with the Elayarajah Visakham Thirunal, who it was rumored had tried to secure the removal of his brother with the connivance of Dewan Rajah Sir T. Madhava Rao. The Dewan had been “retired” with a handsome pension, but the relationship between the Maharajah and his brother remained tense. Kerala Varma, who was a protege of the Elayarajah, became the Maharajah’s pawn to punish his brother. 

The Rani was placed in a very delicate position due to the Maharajah’s distaste towards her husband. On the one hand she was obliged to obey her uncle and on the other, her love for her husband made her protect him. For about 5 years Rani Lakshmi Bayi managed to maintain the status quo in the family. But then in 1875 an anonymous letter, supposedly authored by Kerala Varma, reached the Dewan Seshayya Sastri warning him of the Maharajah’s intention to do away with him. 

Kerala Varma had earlier been ordered to move to a palace at Poojappura and was permitted to visit the Rani only once a week on Fridays. But the Valiya Koil Thampuran often flouted the rules set by the Maharajah and did otherwise. To add to the atmosphere of intrigues and conspiracies, the Maharajah’s palace on the beach was set on fire one night, by suspected partisans of the Elayarajah and Kerala Varma. The surfacing of the controversial letter was the final straw. The Maharajah, after securing the approval of the Madras government, ordered the arrest of Kerala Varma.

For the crime of treason, the transportation of Kerala Varma from the Palace of his residence, namely Thevarathu Koikkal to a different town has been ordered by the Dewan of Travancore. Accordingly, I arrest the said Kerala Varma.


Maharajah Visakham Thirunal


The Rani’s voice was full of terrible fury as she replied. In a ringing voice, as Kerala Varma stood behind her, she ordered the policemen to leave the premises of her residence. Trivikraman Thampi, who as a good friend of the Valiya Koil Thampuran was already embarrassed by his obligation to arrest him, stood confused, as the Queen rebuked the order given by the King. The police left the palace as the Rani hastily wrote a letter to the Maharajah asking him to forgive her husband. The reply was prompt and negative. 

“Use any means necessary to carry out the orders”, commanded the Maharajah to Nanu Pillai, deputy Dewan. Pillai went to the Rani’s palace and attempted to pacify the furious lady. But when she refused to budge, he stood aside and gave orders to physically remove the Rani. The Brahmin officers forced the Rani to a side as a pair of handcuffs were clapped onto Kerala Varma’s hands. He was now a prisoner of the state. He was escorted into the carriage waiting outside which quickly began to move.

Just then, from the southern gate of the palace, appeared a figure. Rani Lakshmi Bayi ran out of Saraswathi Vilasom, with all the speed she could gather, crying out piercingly for her husband. The police stopped her and she collapsed into a heap on the road, as Kerala Varma was driven away. A gun shot was heard and the Maharajah got his signal. Kerala Varma had been taken. 

News reached the Rani that her husband had been taken to Allepey and imprisoned at the palace there. She wrote to the Maharajah that she would accompany her husband to prison but was prohibited from doing so. The Maharajah then wanted to strip Kerala Varma of his title as Valiya Koil Thampuran, which he held as consort to the Senior Rani. Subtly the matter of divorcing Kerala Varma was broached to the Rani but she refused immediately. The Maharajah decided to force her hands. The Sreedpadom estate which she managed, and derived a good amount of income, was taken over by the Maharajah and the Rani’s allowances were curtailed. But the Rani, although her position restrained her physically, had a mind of her own and dealt with all these problems. She would often raise loans from loyal friends and associates of her consort and manage her affairs. The Maharajah even threatened the annulment of her adoption, but the Senior Rani was far too well educated to be cowed down by such threats which could not be legally sustained. 

The Rani did find some solace in her sister and the support the Visakham Thirunal provided her. Through the efforts of his family Kerala Varma was, in 1877, allowed to go to his family home in Harippad and thereafter confined there. The years passed and the Rani stoically maintained her stand, knowing that a day would come when she would be reunited with her husband. 

That day came in 1880. Ayilyam Thirunal died and was succeeded by Visakham Thirunal. The first act of the new Maharajah was to order the release of the Valiya Koil Thampuran who returned to Trivandrum. Thus after a period of 5 years the Rani was reunited with husband again. The most troublesome phase in the life of Rani Lakshmi Bayi had passed. 

Rani Lakshmi Bayi (portrait)


The story of Lakshmi Bayi’s unwavering loyalty towards her husband reached England and the ears of Queen Victoria. In 1881 the Senior Rani was invested with the Order of the Crown of India by the Queen, as a mark of distinction and special favour. Years later in 1894 Kerala Varma would also be awarded the Order of the Star of India. Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore came to epitomize a character so pure, graceful and respectable that even when she visited Madras, sometime in the early 1880s, she was greeted by large crowds of people.

The 1880s was a happy period in the life of the Rani. The absence of female members in the family still irked her, but there was always hope that her sister, whose only daughter died when a few months old, would give birth to a girl. In 1885 Visakham Thirunal died and his nephew, the adoptive younger brother of the Rani, Moolam Thirunal ascended the gaddi. The reign of Moolam Thirunal from 1885 until the early 20th century was very progressive and successful and the Maharajah was even accorded a personal 21 gun salute by the British. In 1893 the Junior Rani died.

The royal family now came to consist of Maharajah Moolam Thirunal, Elayarajah Revathi Thirunal and Princes Chathayam Thirunal and Aswathy Thirunal. The Rani was exceedingly proud of her nephews, and the youngest also had the distinction of being the first Indian prince to graduate with a college degree. Yet the death of Rani Parvathi Bayi brought the problem of dynastic perpetuation to the forefront again. By 1894 the Senior Rani was greatly troubled by the prospects of the royal family. 

The Rani now looked upon her two nieces in Mavelikkara, Ayilyamnnal Mahaprabha Thampuran and Thiruvadirannal Kochukunji Thampuran, daughters of Bhageerathi and Raja Ravi Varma to give birth to daughters who could, subsequently, be adopted into the royal family. With this in mind, in 1894 the Rani, accompanied by her mother and nieces, went to Rameshwaram to undertake the Sethusnanam. Legend has it that she had a divine vision here which conveyed that her wish would be granted. Yet the seriousness of the problem was such that it never left her mind. In a letter to Mahaprabha she wrote:

Many thoughts in connection with this trouble my mind perpetually. If only the girl had survived (the Junior Rani’s daughter) how consoled I would have been. Oh God! I do not have the strength to think on this! The fortunate ones are those who can live happily without such thoughts.


Rani Lakshmi Bayi with Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (standing) and Sethu Parvathi Bayi in 1900


Her wish was granted. In November 1895 Mahaprabha gave birth to a daughter, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, and in November 1896 Kochukunji’s daughter, Sethu Parvathi Bayi was born. The birth of her grandnieces brought great joy to the Rani but less than a month later, on the 5th of December, the Elayarajah Revathi Thirunal Kerala Varma died and Chathayam Thirunal became Elayarajah. But her little grandnieces returned to occupy her thoughts and her letters from this period show an eager interest in their upbringing, with the Rani advising her nieces in Mavelikkara on everything from the diet of the children to which temples they must visit. Although there were now suitable children she could adopt, nothing was done immediately regarding the same. In 1896 the former Dewan Seshayya Sastri wrote to the Rani regarding the urgent need to adopt heirs into the dynasty, recollecting a dream he had of the Rani presenting two little girls to Sree Padmanabhaswamy at the Trivandrum temple. It seemed that these two girls were destined to be queens of Travancore.

In the year 1899 the Senior Rani formally informed the Maharajah Moolam Thirunal of her desire to adopt heirs to succeed to her estate and its appurtenances. The adoption was not an easy affair. It is said that Moolam Thirunal was not very keen on it and the Elayarajah was positively opposed to the idea. The Maharajah’s consent was gained, and the First Prince Aswathy Thirunal was also agreeable. In addition Raja Ravi Varma exerted his influence with the Governor General and the adoption was sanctioned in spite of the Elayarajah’s opposition. The ceremony took place on the 31st of August 1900. 

Maharajah Moolam Thirunal


The Rani lavished all her affection on the newly installed little Junior Rani and First Princess of Attingal. With great enchantment she would write of how the little girls would call her “grandmother” and the Valiya Koil Thampuran “grandfather”. But her happiness was short lived. In October 1900 Aswathy Thirunal had suddenly died and such was the shock sustained by the Rani that she herself fell ill. Such was her health that she had to entrust the little princesses to the Valiya Koil Thampuran’s care as she herself was in no position to look after them. Her condition began to deteriorate further and another unhappy event sounded the possibility of her imminent demise. On the 6th of June 1901 the Elayarajah Chathayam Thirunal died and the Rani was by now so weak that when the news was communicated to her, she “grieved but little”. A week later, on the 15th of June 1901 Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran noted in his diary:

My angel, my life, my darling, my all in all, my love, my pride, my idol, my sweetheart – alas! and what not- expired quietly at 8 pm.

Rani Bharani Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi had died. 

Junior Rani Parvathi Bayi


Lakshmi Bayi had been a great queen and had gone through terrible experiences during her lifetime. Yet her greatest sorrow was her childlessness and constant worry about the future of the royal line. Perhaps, hence, soon after she had fulfilled her duty towards the dynasty by adopting successors, her role ended and she drifted into the pages of history. Below is the little description of the Rani that a Frenchman, Pierre Loti made:

The Queen holds her receptions in a room on the first floor… but she herself in national costume, looks like a charming personification of India. She has a regular profile, pure features and magnificent large eyes, in fact all the beauty of her race. In accordance with the tradition of the Nayar family her jet black hair is wound round her forehead. Enormous rings of diamonds and rubies hang from her earlobes and her naked arms, which are much bejeweled, are unconcealed by her velvet bodice… Oh! it is easy to imagine the degree of refinement to which a noble lady of sovereign race may attain in this country where even the lower classes are cultured, but the especial charm of the Maharanee lies in her benevolence and in a reserved and gentle sweetness… so before leaving I seek to impress her image on my mind, for her face does not seem to belong to our times, and it is only in old Indian miniatures that I have had a glimpse of such princesses.

Note: The adopted princesses Sethu Lakshmi Bayi and Sethu Parvathi Bayi grew up into worthy successors of the Rani. The elder one ruled Travancore for 8 years as Regent after the death of Moolam Thirunal in 1924 while the younger one was the mother of the last Maharajah of Travancore and the driving force behind the throne from 1932 until 1947. Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran was in 1901 appointed guardian to the little Ranis and remained so until his death due to a car accident in 1914. (For the portrait of Rani Lakshmi Bayi, of which I have used a cropped part, I am grateful to Sharat Sunder Rajeev and for the letters that have been quoted to Dr. Lakshmi Raghunandan.)


Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Elephant and the Dragon – The Rise of India and China and what it means for all of us by Robyn Meredith.

Fantastic book, giving a great introduction into India and China, their relative strengths and weaknesses. Well written and easy to understand. If you want to read an introduction into China only – read China shakes the world. If you are also interested in India than read this book as it covers most arguments from China shakes the world and contrasts them to India. Easy read and relatively short with just over 200 pages.

Title: The Elephant and the Dragon – The Rise of India and China and what it means for all of us
Author: Robyn Meredith
Year: 2007
Pages: 253
ISBN: 978-0393062366


US Economy to Surge Up in 2010 : Economists

World Largest Economy to Expand in 2010


Market forecasters and analysts have put forth the view that US economy will most probably turn in its best performance this year since 2004 owing to the factor that companies have increased the investment and hiring. With the increase in the spending of perks, also, it seems a near probability. . Many US economists have  said that the world’s largest economy may expand 3-4% in 2010.


As per the top economists, the rebound in stocks and rising incomes will prompt Americans to do what they do best — consume.


Faced with dwindling inventories and growing demand, companies will soon become confident the expansion will be sustained. . Market experts and economists believe that Household spending would pick up the steam as US economy would move into the second half of 2010. . The overall picture for 2010 will be an economy growing rapidly enough to bring down the unemployment rate to an average of 9.6%. The rate will reach about 9% by the end of 2010, major economists quoted.


US employers expect to hire more new workers in 2010 than they did in 2009, a sign the US recession may be easing its grip, a research showed.


One-fifth of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees this year, up from 14% in 2009, according to an online job site that surveyed considerable number of hiring managers and HR professionals. . Just 9% said they plan to cut headcount in 2010, down from 16% in 2009, according to the nationwide survey.


The number of employers who say they’re going to add full-time workers is up from last year, and that is very good news. There’s definitely an uptick. .


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kailash Temple

Hello Believers,

Kailash Temple(Kailashnath Temple), also Kailasanatha Temple is one of the 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex located at Ellora, Maharashtra, India, and represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. It is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. While it exhibits typical Dravidian features, it was carved out of one single rock. It was built in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I.

The Kailash Temple is notable for its vertical excavation — carvers started at the top of the original rock, and excavated downward, exhuming the temple out of the existing rock. The traditional methods were rigidly followed by the master architect which could not have been achieved by excavating from the front. The architects found to design this temple were from the southern Pallava kingdom.



Stone carved pillar at Kailash

Kailash Temple.

It is estimated that about 200,000 tons of rocks was scooped out over hundreds of years to construct this monolithic structure.[4] From the chisel marks on walls of this temple, archeologists could conclude that three types of chisels were used to carve this temple.

Thanks for sharing!