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Saturday, April 24, 2010

What is IPL?

The IPL is now being played at the political arena! The murky financial dealings and its links point not to just IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and his family but also to many political bigwigs and their relatives. As the IPL row gets bigger and bigger every day it is turning out to be a huge cause of embarrassment for the Prime Minister and a possible trump card for the opposition parties! The PM might have won the first round in the IPL row investigation by asking Shashi Tharoor to step down in the wake of his alleged mentor role in the Kochi IPL team but the issue is far from over! Now with more ministers and franchisees owned by business houses and film stars coming under the scrutiny by the IT department and more by the media the integrity of the Manmohan Singh-led government is being questioned! Will the government act tough and set its house in order? Will the government clean up the BCCI/IPL? Or will it buckle under pressure from its own quarters and sweep everything under the carpet to protect its political image and survival? And there’s more than one reason to find out which way the investigation is headed!
Reason 1: Today there were reports in the newspapers that the Prime Minister has asked the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the Home Minister P. Chidambaram to investigate the IPL row. Well, the PM had little option after he rejected the demand of the opposition for a joint parliamentary committee on the IPL row! This reported decision for an ‘in-party’ investigation into the IPL row will obviously enjoy the support of his own party and from his allies but could cast doubts on the integrity and the outcome of the investigation!
No doubt that Mr. Singh has upheld his clean image and public accountability after he asked Shashi Tharoor to step down after the opposition held him responsible for his alleged role in the Kochi IPL team and his pushing for a sweat equity for his friend Sunanda Pushkar. But unfortunately things didn’t end there! The IPL muck appears to run deep in to the political and sports system in this country. Now Sharad Pawar, the Union Agriculture Minister is alleged to have stakes through the 30% sweat equity for Sudanand Sule, his son-in-law in the Videocon-led bid for Pune IPL team which ultimately failed to bag the rights. Another NCP leader Praful Patel, the Civil Aviation Minister has been accused of partnering Adani  for the Ahmedabad IPL team. The minister is also accused of forwarding valuations details to Shashi Tharoor through his daughter just a couple days before the IPL bid for two new teams were to taken place.
The links doesn’t stop there! The IPL broadcasting rights is held by Multi Screen Media where Sharad Pawar’s son-in-law has a stake! And the World Sports Group (WSG) India Head has admitted that Rs. 125 crore was received as payoff from MSM and this was distributed among all beneficiaries including ‘one’  with political links!
Praful Patel’s daughter Poorna is the hospitality manager in the IPL and is accused of sending the IPL valuation to her father’s office from where it was forwarded to Shashi Tharoor! Also, Poorna is accused of using her father’s political powers to cancel a scheduled Air India flight and use it as a chartered flight to carry the IPL players from Chandigarh to Chennai!
Now if these charges are proven, which again depends on the genuineness of the investigation team, it could mean the end of Pawar and Praful as ministers in the Manmohan Singh government. However, this may not happen as it could mean upsetting the political balance of the Congress given the fact that the Government needs the support of NCP at the center, particularly after the tussle between the allies in the government over the W omen’s Reservation Bill.
Reason 2: Lalit Modi, the man behind the entire controversy and who has been accused of using his links set up in tax havens to get stakes in at least 3 of the 8 IPL teams, is not a softie and is expected to fight hard and could expose many in the government as partners in the IPL scam. Consider this: Modi is alleged to have enough ‘business contacts’  in the IPL who are close relatives of politicians serving in the government. Exposing them could prove risky for the survival of the government. Moreover, the government has a lot to answer when it comes to explaining its lethargy in not pursuing the IT angle into the multi-crore for the past 2 years!
On the other hand BCCI has in-house conflicts and needs a clean up. Patuadi, one of the country’s most respected cricketers and now a member of the IPL Governing Council has spilled the beans when he said that the Council had not shown much interest in the business affairs of the IPL (Ironically, Saif Ali Khan, the Bollywood actor and son of Patuadi had unsuccessfully bid for the Pune IPL team!) Also, the Board has members who have stakes in the IPL teams which is a clear case of conflict of interest.
And on the conflict between Modi and the BCCI, the former is not interested in relinquishing the post of the IPL Chairman and Commissioner and has even gone to the extent of questioning the calling of the meeting by the BCCI Secretary Mr. Srinivasan who is the owner of the company India Cements that owns Chennai Super Kings. Patuadi, a member of the IPL Governing Council said that it is conflict of interest if board members have stakes in franchisees.
Now here’s another reason why the government is suspected not to come clean on the IPL row! It’s the huge money that the IPL rakes in! The BCCI created the IPL and now wants the rebel Modi to get out. The BCCI cannot afford to shut down the IPL and lose the huge money! But it is also a truth that the Board itself needs a clean up! Unfortunately sports is not separate from politics in this part of the world and the BCCI is controlled by the political bigwigs.
The IPL row has just begun! And it all depends on how the government will choose to conduct itself in in the investigation process which will go a long way in creating an impression on the common man about the integrity and truthfulness of this government!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pre-Independence Phase: INDIAN ENGLISH DRAMA

Pre-Independence Phase:

            After the British set up their regime in India, the crippled Indian drama witnessed a revival. With the impact of Western civilization on Indian life, a new renaissance dawned on Indian arts, including drama. English education gave an impetus to the critical study of not only Western drama but also Classical Indian drama. English and Italian dramatic troupes toured India and performed many English plays mainly Shakespeare’s in cities like Bombay and Madras (now called as Mumbai and Chennai). The Portuguese brought a form of dance drama to the West-coast. Russian music director Lebedoff is said to have produced the first modern drama in Calcutta (Kolkata) towards the end of the 18th century. For the first time in the history of modern Indian theatre two comedies, Disguise and Love is the Best Doctor were translated from English into Bengali by Lebedoff and Goloknath Das, and on the 7th of November 1795, they were produced in Kolkata. The first Bengali theatre ‘The Hindu Theatre’ was established by Prasannakumar Tagore in 1831, and some English plays and translations also were staged.

Full post is deleted for maintaining Copyright 

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sanskrit Shubhashite


नीरक्षीरविवेके हंस आलस्यम् त्वम् एव तनुषे चेत् |
विश्वस्मिन् अधुना अन्य: कुलव्रतं पालयिष्यति क: |
अरे हंसा, जर तुच पाणी तथा दूध भिन्न करणे सोडुन देशील तर दूसरं कोण तूझ्या कुलव्रताचं पालन करेल ? जर बुद्धीवान किंवा कुशल माणुसच आपलं कर्तव्य करणे सोडून देईल, तर ते काम दुसरं कोण करेल??

यावत जीवेत सुखं जीवेत
ऋणं कृत्वा घृतं पीबेत
भस्मीभूतस्य देहस्य
पुनरागमनं कुतः
( जीवनात सुखाने जगावे. कर्ज काढून तूपरोटी खावी. एकदा देहाची राख झाल्यावर परत कोण येणार आहे?)
Cārvāka was truly atheist/materialist.

शतेषु जायते शुरः
सहस्रेचुच पन्डितः
वक्ता दशसहस्रेषु
दाता भवति वानवा ll
(खरेच, खरी दानत असलेला दुर्मिळ आहे)

स्वदेशेशु धनं विद्या
विदेशेशु धनं मति l
परलोके धनं धर्मः
शीलं सर्वत्र वैधनं l
(थोडक्यात, चांगले चारित्र्य हे सर्वत्र धनासारखे असते.)

अदाता पुरुषस्त्यागी धनं सञ्चिन्त्य गच्छति।
दातारं कृपणं मन्ये मृतोऽप्यर्थं न मुञ्चति॥

The person who does not donate [his wealth]; dies thinking of his wealth, [leaving it behind for others]. [On the other hand], the person who makes great donations; even after his death carries the fruit with him, and is the real ‘miser’.

आशा नाम मनुश्यणाम कश्चिदश्चर्य श्रुनखला
यथा बद्धा प्रधावन्ति मुक्ता तिश्ठति पन्गुवत

आशा हि एकच अशी साखळी आहे जी बान्धून माणूस पळायला लागतो आणि सोडल्यावर पान्गळा होतो

रविसन्निधिमात्रेण सूर्यकान्ता प्रकाशयेत्।
गुरुसन्निधिमात्रेण शिष्यज्ञानं प्रकाशयेत्॥

Only in the presence of the sun, does the sunflower bloom.
[In the same way], only in the presence of the preceptor, does a student’s knowledge shine!

धनधान्यप्रयोगेषु विद्यासङ्ग्रहणेषु च।
आहारे व्यवहारे च त्यक्तलज्जस्सुखी भवेत्॥

In earning wealth or foodgrains, or in the acquisition of knowledge;
While eating and in [business] dealings, one who is not shy will be happy.

क्षणशः कणशश्चैव विद्यामर्थंच चिन्तयेत् ।
क्षणत्यागे कुतो विद्या कणत्यागे कुतो धनम् ।।
अजरामरवत् प्राज्ञः विद्यामर्थंच चिन्तयेत् ।
गृहीत एव केशेषु मृत्युना धर्ममाचरेत् ।।

एकधा दशधा चैव शतधा च सहस्रधा।
रणे पार्थशरोवृष्टिर्दानं ब्रह्मविधे यथा॥

A gift given to a knowledgeable (one who knows brahman) person is like the arrow of Arjuna in the battlefield! When taken, it is single, when set to the bow, ten, when released, a hundred, on the way, a thousand, and when hitting the target, becomes a shower!


अनित्यानि शरीराणि वैभवं न वा शाश्वतम्।
नित्यसन्निहितो मृत्युः कर्तव्यो धर्मसङ्ग्रहः॥

The body is impermanent; nor are the material pleasures permanent.
Death is ever-imminent; therefore, one must always follow dharma.

उपकारिषु यः साधुः साधुत्वे तस्य को गुणः।
अपकारिषु यः साधुः स साधुः सद्भिरुच्यते॥२७०॥
—मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे

One who is good, when being helped/favoured, what is great (surprising) about his goodness?
When being wronged, one who still remains kind/helpful, he is [indeed] said to be good, by the learned.

आत्मनः शक्तिम् उद्वीक्ष्य मनोत्साहं च यो व्रजेत्।
बहून् हन्ति स एकोऽपि क्षत्रियान् भार्गवो यथा॥२५९॥
—मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे भासुरकाख्य-सिंह कथा ८

A hero who goes forth girt in energy and pride, having taken the measure of his own power and strength
Can single-handled smite his foes, even as Bhārgava (Paraśurāma) hacked down the warriors.

निर्विषेणापि सर्पेण कर्तव्या महती फणा।
विषं भवतु वा माऽभूत् फणटोपो भयङ्करः॥२२५॥
—मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे

Even by a non-poisonous snake, it is important to hiss and expand its hood.
Whether or not it has poison, the [sight of the] hood is itself scary.

दुर्मन्त्रान्नृपतिर्विनश्यति यतिः सङ्गात् सुतो लालसात्
विप्रोऽनध्ययनात् कुलं कुतनयाच्छीलं खलोपासनात्।
मैत्री चाप्रणयात् समृद्धिरनयात् स्नेहः प्रवासाश्रयात्
स्त्री गर्वादनवेक्षणादपि कृषिस्त्यागत् प्रमादाद्धनम्॥१८०॥
—मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे देवशर्मा-परिव्राजक कथा ४

A king is ruined by bad advice; an ascetic, by company; a child by pampering;
A brāhmaṇa by lack of learning; a noble family by evil sons; virtuous conduct by serving the base;
Friendship from want of regard; investment by mismanagement; affection from long absence/separation; And a woman by pride; a farm, from neglect; wealth, through misdirected charity

निःस्पृहो नाधिकारी स्यान्नाकामी मण्डनप्रियः।
नाविदग्धः प्रियं ब्रूयात् स्फुटवक्ता न वाञ्चकः॥१७५॥
— मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे देवशर्म-परिव्राजक कथा ४

One without ambition does not hold an authoritative position; One fallen out of love does not care to adorn himself. One who lacks learning displays no eloquence; One who is blunt in speech is never a cheat!
दुर्जन: परिहर्तव्यो विद्ययालंकृतो‍sपि सत् ।
मणिना भूषित: सर्प: किमसौ न भयंकर: ॥

विद्येने विभूषित असला तरी तो जर दुर्जन असला तर त्याला दूरच ठेवावे (टाळावे) कारण ज्याच्या डोक्यावर मणि (रत्न) आहे असा नाग भयंकर नसतो काय? (नागाच्या डोक्यावर मणि असतो अशी कल्पना आहे)
शकट पंच-हस्तेन दश-हस्तेन वाजिनम |
हस्ती शत-हस्तेन देश-त्यागेन दुर्जनम ||7||

बैलगाडी पासून पाच हात राखून चला,घोडा या प्राण्या पासून दहा हात दुरून चला,हत्ती च्या हजार हात दुरून चला,पण जर गाठ एखाद्या पातळ्यांत्री माणसाशी असेल तर तो देशच ताबडतोब सोडा!!!!!

Collected from various sources.
Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Dr. Ambedkar and Nationalism

Dr. Ambedkar and Nationalism 

Dr. Ambedkar was an iconoclastic social reformer who at the very formative years of his career realized what it meant to be an untouchable and how struggle against untouchability could be launched. The social reform movement of the caste Hindus could not win him to its side because of his existential understanding of the pangs of untouchability. The issue of untouchability, for social reformers, was a mere problem. This problem was exterior to them in the sense that it affects only the untouchables. They themselves had never experienced the sinisterous blows of untouchability. Though they were sympathetic to the cause of Dalits, but they belonged to the camp that imposed this inhuman system of social segregation on the Dalits.
Baba Sahib analysis of the origins of the untouchability and his action plans for its eradication were different from the approach and practice of the caste Hindu social reformers. What distinguished Baba Sahib from the other social reformers was that he looked at the problems of the Dalits from below, from a vantage point of the deprived and oppressed. This perspective led him to think differently from the dominant stream of social and political thought of his time. His major works on: Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development; Annihilation of Caste; Who Were the Shudras; The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? are testimonies to his independent and original thinking. He smashed the mythological basis of untouchability and laid bare its economic roots.
He built a strong case against the "Janama" (birth) thesis of the untouchability which foreclosed all the ways for Dalit emancipation. He exhorted its victims to oppose it tooth and nail. He said, "It is disgraceful to live at the cost of one's self respect. Self-respect is most vital factor in life. Without it, man is a mere cipher. To live worthily with self-respect one has to overcome difficulties. It is out of hard and ceaseless struggle alone that one derives strength, confidence and recognitionn". He drew a distinction between merely living and living worthily. For living a worthy life, Ambedkar said, society must be based on liberty, equality and fraternity. For Ambedkar, social tyranny is more oppressive than the political tyranny and "a reformer who defies society, is a much more courageous man than a politician, who defies government".
Ambedkar was one who defied society. In the beginning of his social reform crusade, he tried to get respect and equality for the Dalits by bringing reforms within the social set up of Hinduism. He continued his struggle for empowerment of the Dalits by seeking changes within the fold of Hinduism till 1935. When he realised that the salvation of Dalits was not possible while living within the fold of Hinduism, he started his scathing criticism and tirade against Hinduism and ultimately sought the emancipation of Dalits and its empowerment from outside the Hindu religion. Hence his conversion to Buddhism. For Ambedkar the issue of Dalit liberation was the foremost issue and he emphasized that Dalits themselves have to come forward for its realization. Thus, Ambedkar provided a subaltern perspective to see clearly the chameleon of Indian caste-ridden social set-up deceptively appearing in crimson colors and the ways to guard the interests of the Dalits.
Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar made stringent efforts to transform the hierarchical structures of Indian society for the restoration of equal rights and justice to the neglected lot by building up a critique from within the structure of Indian society. His was not a theoretical attempt but a practical approach to the problems of untouchability. He tried to seek the solution to this perennial problem of the Indian society not by making appeals to the conscience of the usurpers or bringing transformation in the outlook of the individual by begging but by seeking transformation in the socio-religious and politico-economic structures of the Indian society by continuous and relentless struggle against the exploitative system where he thought the roots of the untouchability lay. He thought that until and unless the authority of the Dharam Shastras is shaken which provided divine sanction to the system of discrimination based on the caste hierarchy, the eradication of untouchability could not be realised. He was of the opinion that untouchability emanated neither from religious notions, nor from the much-popularised theory of Aryan conquest. On the contrary, it came into existence as a result of the struggle among the tribes at a stage when they were starting to settle down for a stable life. In the process, the settled tribes employed the broken tribesmen as guards against the marauding bands. These broken tribesmen employed as guards became untouchables.
Dr. Ambedkar's views on Indian nationalism in opposition to the dominant discourse of Hindu nationalism as represented by Raja Rammohan Roy, B.G. Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Golvalkar and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on the one hand, and Communist-secular-socialist nationalism represented by M.N. Roy, R. P. Duta, T. Nagi Reddy and E.M.S. Namboodripad on the other, are not only distinct but also original. Hindu nationalism in essence aims at strengthening the Brahamanical supremacy in the post-colonial India. The communist-secular-social nationalism though based on abolition of class, its ideologues like that of the Hindu nationalism also belonged to the upper-castes and were myopic to the Dalits tribulations.
Dr. Ambedkar's conception of nationalism articulated and synthesized the national perceptions and aspirations of the downtrodden. Ambedkar's alternative form of nationalism, popularly known as ˜Dalit-Bahujan-nationalism's incorporated the subaltern philosophy of Jyotirao Phule and Periyar E.V. Ramaswami Naicker. It constructed an anti-Hindu and anti-Brahamanical discourse of Indian nationalism. It aimed at establishing a casteless and classless society where no one would be discriminated on the basis of birth and occupation. Within the Dalit-Bahuhjan framework of Indian nationalism, Ambedkar built up a critique of pre-colonial Brahmanism and its asymmetrical social set up based on low and high dichotomy of graded caste system. This system of inegalitarianism led to the process of exploitation by the unproductive Brahamanical castes of the various productive castes.
Ambedkar's understanding of the question of the identity and existence of the nation was based on his incisive analysis of the oppressive character of the Hindu community. Since the dominant Hindu discourse of Indian nationalism remained indifferent towards removal of the caste system; and the economic analysis of the communist secular socialist school also failed to highlight the issue of caste in its mechanical interpretation of class, Ambedkar's himself an untouchable and victim of untouchability “formulated his own framework from the perspective of the untouchables for the understanding of the system of caste and untouchability. The foundations of dalit-Bahujan nationalism lie in this framework developed by Ambedkar. It aimed at restructuring the Indian society into a casteless and classless and egalitarian Sangha (Ilaiah 2001: 109). Annihilation of caste was its central theme. Caste for Ambedkar was nothing but Brahmanism incarnate. "Brahmanism is the poison which has spoiled Hinduism" (Ambedkar 1995: 92). Ambedkar realised that any form of nationalism whose roots were steeped into Hinduism could not be a solution to the problem of dalits. Any discourse of nationalism bereft of annihilation of caste was just not acceptable to him. The agenda of annihilation of caste was so important to him that it became a central point of his struggle against colonial rule. In the first Round Table Conference, he minced no words in criticizing the British government for its failure to undo untouchability.
Swaraj without extinction of caste had no meaning for Ambedkar. In his undelivered speech to the Jat Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore, he said, “In the fight for swaraj you fight with the whole nation on your side. In this, you have to fight against the whole nation and that too your own. But it is more important than swaraj. There is no use having swaraj, if you cannot defend it. More important than the question of defending swaraj is the question of defending Hindus under the swaraj. In my opinion, only when the Hindu society becomes a casteless society that it can hope to have strength enough to defend itself. Without such internal strength, swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery". Thus, it was Ambedkar's subaltern perspective, which distinguished his conception of swaraj from that of the protagonists of the various shades of the national freedom movement. In his editorial in the Bahishkrit Bharat, Ambedkar wrote on 29 July 1927 "If Tilak had been born among the untouchables, he would not have raised the slogan ˜Swaraj is my birthright", but he would have raised the slogan ˜Annihilation of untouchability is my birthright".

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Monday, April 12, 2010

Equality of Man

Equality of Man 

The hard reality that different people are blessed with different intellects, temperaments, men are not equal. Division of society into groups based on common vocation, interest is common. Recognizing difference in temperaments, those possessing aspirations were Brahmins, those possessing energy with the urge to purify were Kshatriyas, those possessing energy without aspirations were Vaishyas and those possesing inertia were Shudras. The Kshatriyas and Vaishyas received education in the Brahman’s house but could not do the duties allotted to Brahmans. A Kshatriya was the protector and the upholder of Dharma. The Vaishya was the producer and distributor of wealth. A Shudra could serve the Brahman, follow arts and crafts, enter the army and when in distress follow the vocation of Vaishya. He could not study the Vedas but could study the Puranas, Epics. 
Thus a place was accorded in society to each group according to the duties and functions that it could perform best. If the west truly believed in the equality of man, what was the need for Martin Luther King? Inspite of material prosperity, there is racial discrimination in Germany; the Blacks of America are poor. 
The Dalits of today are critical of Manu Smriti, the caste system etc. While I empathize with their plight and the problems faced by them what prevents them from studying, working harder (not that do not), and facing up to life to improve their conditions. Do they not see that there are poor people belonging to the other three castes? Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Manohar Joshi is believed to have come to Mumbai virtually penniless. While some of you may questions the means, none can deny the hard work that has gone into making him a prosperous businessmen today. If a member of the backward caste can become a distinguished member of the country’s foreign service and be its President, cannot others attempt to reach half way? Are not problems faced by all of us? Are they unique to my dalit brothers? Also read ‘Rediscovering India’ section Dharampal. 
When two children of the same parents can have different intellects so also can people of the same country.
To understand the social philosophy we must try and remove certain ideas that we have been ingrained into our minds. Manava Dharma ruled out a competitive society because such a society has a tendency to stimulate egotism, greed, and untruth. On the other hand, by following the competitive model, there is no equality either. Employment is uncertain and worry, frustration engulfs you. Insecurity, frustration, tension, heart-attacks, blood-pressure follow. In a competitive society, the strong will prosper while the poor will be pushed towards the wall, their minds filled with envy and hatred. Some sociologists believe that the riots in India are a result of the class conflict between the have be and have nots.
Some of you might argue, that if there is no competition, how do, we decide admission into medical colleges, employees get increments, we bring out the best in individuals. Competition is a part of modern society but it is our approach to it that determines our state of mind. If we were to enter an examination hall worried about how tough the paper would be or start worrying about the results after appearing we are bound to get stressed. On the other hand if our approach were to be study hard, give it our best short and leave the rest for the future to decide we would be much happier. 
Manav Dharma takes into account the biological fact that every person is likely to inherit the traits and aptitudes of his parents. Family association would make more easily available for the child to uphold family traditions and value. Working with a community spirit leads to greater degree of cooperation. If one’s duties are clearly laid down the scope for greed, self-indulgence, a life of egotism is reduced. 
Some of you might argue that how system would work in a globalised economy and in mega corporations like General Electric, Unilever. We must realize that the Manu Smiriti was written thousand of years of ago. What was relevant then might not be wholly relevant today. But the concept of joint effort, cooperation, different traits in human beings are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. 



This essay is an attempt to discover and describe contemporary relevance of the essence of Sri Aurobindo’s vision of Indian Nationalism, as reflected in the writings, speeches and events of his political and Pondicherry life.

We live in a time when the idea of Indian Nationalism is often associated with Hindu religiosity, tradition and creed. Perhaps history does provide valid reasons to conjure up such an image of the great Indian Nation but this reputation of the term is shallow, 
ill-informed, fragmented and incomplete. It vitiates much of the true ideology and practice that India stands for; it is partly due to a derogatory image created for the many benefits of India’s foreign oppressors and partly due to the repeated failure of her own people to live by the true values she represents.

It is time we saw things as they are, with courage and clarity, and not through the coloured looking glass of an alien and self proclaimed authority. For it is our nation and it is in our highest interest to know her fully, deeply and honestly.

Sri Aurobindo and India

It was early 20th century, a time when the nation was looking for a new direction, a new light that would lead it to freedom and unity. After centuries of foreign rule, oppression, retardation and self-oblivion India was ready to be awakened. The grounds had been prepared sufficiently by the early reformers of the day. Bengal and Maharashtra were charged with passion. This was the momentous time when Sri Aurobindo (then Aurobindo Ghose) whose “genius shot up like a meteor and though on the high skies only for a time, who flooded the land from Cape to Mount with the effulgence of his light,” (Pattabhi Sitaramayya, as cited by Manoj Das in his Review of Record of Yoga, Vol. 1 & 2, stepped into the forefront of Indian politics. His life had been shaped deftly to fulfill this knightly role, first in the academic elite of England as a student and later in the years of his study and knowledge of India at the service of the Gaekwad of Baroda. Through his fiery articles in various national publications and through his founding of the extremist wing of the Indian National Congress, Sri Aurobindo supplied, with an accurate and forceful command, the new vision and the new energy that the country needed. He demanded, for the first time, a no compromise “Purna Swaraj”, and made it a national war cry and a national mission. He infused in the nation the spirit of do or die, the enthusiasm that swept the country and rose again and again in surging waves until it won India her freedom from the Raj. His role in India’s freedom struggle is pivotal and second to none other. He was proclaimed by his contemporaries as the prophet of patriotism, the leader of Indian Nationalism and declared unsparingly by the British as “the most dangerous man” to reckon with.

In the National radio broadcast message of India’s independence on 15th August 1947, which was also his own birthday, Sri Aurobindo spoke of the five dreams he had for India. India’s freedom and unity, Asia’s freedom and resurgence; India’s spiritual gift to the world in showing the way of a spiritual life; a world unity based on the recognition of national individuality and the acceptance of the idea that only in a full and free expression of national value can there be international oneness and that all nations are here to express different facets of the same world reality; and the advent and establishment of a new Truth consciousness upon earth to enable man to take the next step in evolution.
If the early phase of Sri Aurobindo’s life was devoted to the freedom struggle of India, his life at Pondicherry was devoted to yet another struggle for freedom - mankind’s freedom from its bondage to ignorance.
The New Formula

It is said that every age must figure out its own formula of ideology and action to overcome the crisis that plagues it. Although the Truth always remains unchanged, its application must undergo vast revision as per the time, the people and the place it seeks to establish itself.

In the following passage from Sri Aurobindo we find the possibility of formulating such an equation for our age:

“India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken her last creative word; she lives and has still something to do for herself and the human peoples. And that which must seek now to awake is not an anglicized oriental people, docile people of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident’s success and failure, but still the ancient immemorable Shakti recovering her deepest self, lifting her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of her Dharma.” (India’s Rebirth: A Selection from Sri Aurobindo’s writings, talks and speeches, back cover)

In this message lies the key to our present problems as a nation and as individuals. In this Dharma lies our passage to the change we seek; in it lies our highest creativity and originality, our noblest living and our greatest victory.

Our present times are those of mismatch, duality, excess and superficiality. We have long forgotten the habit of Dharma! We have sailed far from the reign of the Shakti! But in every crisis it is in the Vedas that we have found our guiding light. The triple formula of Satyam-Ritam-Brihat, the True, the Right, the Vast, holds true even today, if only we could reapply it to our modern variables! Only then we shall be empowered to initiate the change we seek. Until then all is a futile circling.
Dharma, according to Sri Aurobindo, is the crucial link between man’s animal tendencies and his higher divine possibilities. It is the ordering, fulfilling, training and uplifting of all that is lower and unbridled in him, in order to make it ready for a higher order. This law or Dharma varies and assumes freer lines as it rises in the ladder of evolution and type. Dharma is not a creed or a cult, “it is the right law of functioning of life in all its parts. The tendency of man to seek after a just and perfect law of his living finds its justification in the Dharma.”(SABCL, Vol. 14, p. 104)

Sri Aurobindo invites us to turn to this Dharma once again. He reinterprets and revisits its relevance to our crumbling modernity. He offers to us, through a grand synthesis of the past and the future, the victorious crown that this Dharma shall reinstate in our life and nation. He foresees that it is only our adherence to such a grand and unifying Dharma that can save us.
The Difficulty

Given the sheer vastness of India’s cultural diversity and the difficulties of the human nature, the agenda of an Indian Nation cannot be a thing straight and simple. It poses a complex problem for any aspiration of unity whether political, physical or psychological. Obviously such an Indian confederation must attempt a unity on all three levels for it to be lasting and real. What are the crucial guidelines and principles amidst the plethora of do’s and don’ts of modern India that will actually work in our times? Sri Aurobindo’s life, and the vision he works out through it, give clear directions in this regard and it appears possible to build a rich and feasible structure of ideology and practice for Indian Nationalism by reading into its core significance and putting together under a common penumbra its key elements.

Sri Aurobindo saw the difficulty of such an endeavour but he also saw through the secret of its possibility. To those who argued against a cultural solidarity for India as an impossible thing, he answered with certitude, “One might just as well say that different chemical elements cannot combine into a single substance as that different races cannot combine into a single nation”. (SABCL, Vol. 1, p.526)
The Sanatan Dharma

Sri Aurobindo defines culture as being the harmonious building of life and its activities around the highest conception of Truth envisaged by its people. The Indian Culture always sought to live for and by the Spirit. The aim of her Dharma in every age and in every activity of life was to secure this highest interest of the Spirit.

In ancient India Dharma was a living thing; its scope of action was all pervasive and all inclusive. Right from the Vedic times to the Upanishadic and later to the age of the Shastra and Purana, Dharma was clearly formulated and expressed according to the development of the people and their capacity to grasp the truth; it was made accessible through education and implemented at every stage of life with a joyous sense of duty and pride as the one thing important. There was the individual Dharma, the family Dharma, the clan Dharma, the Dharma of the king, the Dharma of the different stages of life right from childhood to youth and old age; there was the Dharma of crisis and the Dharma of mundane-ness. Dharma gave dignity to life. It brought people together; it was vast and differentiated at the same time. It was founded on the perception that there is but One Supreme Reality that expresses itself in the many and which seeks to be realized once again in the earthly life of the many through innumerable paths and means. It is this solidity of vision that gave the Indian Dharma its strength, resilience, flexibility and all pervasiveness.

It is to this universal and unanimous Dharma that the rishis gave the name Sanatan Dharma, the eternal and original Dharma, the Dharma that embraces and tolerates all Dharmas for each is a unique path to the Supreme. This global Dharma is the only religion India has, the only truth she abides by and attempts to recreate in all her vast history and in all her present strivings. No matter how distorted and forgotten it may have become today it is only this that wants to be rediscovered in this entire crisis.

Sri Aurobindo was categorical in his Uttarpara speech when he said that freedom and unity are not political aspirations for a larger self-interest; they are meant for God’s purpose in the world. Freedom is the first condition of existence, the first prerequisite for an individual or nation to live and grow by its inner truth, that which it is here to fulfill. India’s mission is a mission for the world. She does not live for herself as other nations do. She is here to show the world a new way of life, a new order and a new harmony founded upon the highest principles. How shall she do this if she is not herself free and united?

The Indian way must always be to see the inner truth of things, the truth of her diverse people and the truth of the people of the world. India must attempt in all her education, administration, commerce, polity, science and art to give a free reign to this truth so it may prosper and bring through that prosperity the Oneness and Harmony of a Divine order.

When her people shall know and feel the amplitude of the Sanatan Dharma, when they shall be convinced of its ultimate purpose, then India will rise again! This time she will be unstoppable for she will ride mighty on the Shakti of the Sanatan Dharma.
The Dharma of the Indian Citizen

A great Nation is built on great individuals. Not just the small elite but the common man, you and me, must now aspire to be great! Great in the Indian way! Great as in a large divine perfection. This aspiration which was common in India’s past, must become again a living force in the heart and mind of each Indian citizen. Greatness no longer for a personal agenda but for the cause of the Nation and finally for the purposes of the World. Vasudaiva Kutumbakam!

The perception of the value and use of human life must undergo a sea change. Each of us is a base and headquarter for Divine action in the world. “My life is Yours, Do what You will! I shall be your perfect instrument!” This should the new age motto! Nothing less and nothing more. When this view of existence becomes a driving reality then the new doors shall open up and the new way shall be revealed to us. All hangs precariously on this consent.

To Pause! To Rethink! To recognise that which is the highest in oneself! To follow that which is truest in oneself! To be ruthlessly sincere! To resist all that pulls downward, all that takes away for from Truth, all that is anything other than the highest one understands. This is the need of the hour! Let us recall the message of Krishna to Arjuna to do his best and leave the rest to the Divine! To do work as an offering to the Divine. To expect nothing except the joy derived from such a lofty ideal.

To replace our compulsive and exclusive stress on greed, ego, wealth and power with an active and integral search for divine perfection. To restore the noble balance between Artha, Kama, Dharma, Moksha, as it was in our glorious past. To give each its proper place in our life so that we may optimize life and work out efficiently what it is actually meant for. All the fatal ills of our day are the result of a long drawn overemphasis, to the extent of a catastrophic exclusiveness, of the glitzy cult of Artha and Kama, Materialism, Utilitarianism and Desire, and the convenient effacement of Dharma and Moksha, righteousness, truth, equality and the ideal of liberation from the ego!

To wake up to the one fact that matters most: all this exuberance of world play is only an attempt, a means of the Divine to break away from the dualities of ignorance and establish the truth of Oneness, Delight and Love! To accelerate this Universal intent by a conscious collaboration of one’s will and action is then the main demand of the modern man’s Dharma. Then equality, freedom and brotherhood will not be some vague and far off cry but a near and growing reality. It will then form the basis for great Nations and their march to form a great World.

Only when we have fulfilled reasonably the Dharma of the individual can we proceed to fulfill the Dharma of the citizen. Only then will our pale and nominal sense of Indian-ness turn into a vibrant and fertile love for India.

“The feeling of almost physical delight in the touch of the mother-soil, of the winds that blow from Indian seas, of the rivers that stream from Indian hills, in the hearing of Indian speech, music, poetry, in the familiar sights, sounds, habits, dress, manners of our Indian life, this is the physical root of that love. The pride in our past, the pain of our present, the passion for the future are its trunk and branches. Self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness, great service, high endurance for the country are its fruit. And the sap which keeps it alive is the realization of the Motherhood of God in the country, the vision of the Mother, the knowledge of the Mother, the perpetual contemplation, adoration and service of the Mother.” (SABCL, Vol. 1, pp. 125-26)

The Dharma of the patriot-citizen is to be fearless and ruthless in his allegiance to his country. He must be prepared to be the Kshatriya, the warrior who can smite when the need arises, who is selfless and courageous in the face of evil. He will not shun war and violence as immoral, but look upon them “as a stimulus, as a means of awakening”. Till humanity at large is not united enlightened battle and struggle will be used nobly to keep at bay the darker forces. “The sword of the warrior is as necessary to the fulfillment of justice and righteousness as the holiness of the saint”. (SABCL, Vol. 1, p. 127)

The patriot is also called upon to have a sharp intellect, a dispassionate, acute and seeing intelligence in search of the truth of things. The time for the “unaided intellect” is gone, says Sri Aurobindo. Reason shall be backed by Faith, Selflessness and Courage which come not from being “a Nationalist in the European sense, meaning in a purely materialistic sense”, but from a realization that “the three hundred millions of people in this country are God in the nation”. (Bose, 2007, p. 136)

To work for our country so she may prosper, to educate ourselves so she may shine, to suffer so she may rejoice, is the new mantra that Sri Aurobindo gives to the youth of Inida. The unity that he urged was not of opinion or speech or intellectual conviction. “Unity is of the heart and springs from love”. (SABCL, Vol. 1, p. 887)

To finish the work that India began with our Vedic forefathers is the call of our duty, the Dharma that we must now take up as Indians and as world citizens. Nationalism must finally grow into Universalism and Cosmopolitanism.

“Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it, because the lamp has not been kept trimmed for the welcome and the ears are sealed to the call. …But being pure cast aside all fear; for the hour is often terrible, a fire and a whirlwind and a tempest, a treading of the winepress of the wrath of God; but he who can stand up in it on the truth of his purpose is he who shall stand; even though he fall, he shall rise again; even though he seems to pass on the wings of the wind, he shall return. Nor let worldly prudence whisper too closely in thy ear; for it is the hour of the unexpected, the incalculable, the immeasurable.” (SABCL, Vol. 17, p. 1)

Works Cited:
Bose, Sugata (2007). The Spirit and Form of an Ethical Polity: A Meditation on Aurobindo’s Thought. Modern Intellectual History, 4 (1), pp. 129–144.
An individual or a nation cannot rise to its full height except through trouble and stress. The stone block patiently submits to hammering, cutting and chiselling to be made into the statue which pleases the eye and gladdens the soul.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA vol. 6-7, p. 248

Saturday, April 10, 2010



Tukaram was born in 1608 A.D. at a village called Dehu in Pune district. It is about seven miles from Alandi-the place honoured by the Samadhi of Jnaneshwar-and about three miles from the railway station at Shelarwadi on the railway line running from Bombay to Pune. Tukaram came of a well-to-do Sudra family belonging to the tradesman class called Moray. The family had established itself at Dehu for a long time. They had accepted Vithoba of Pandharpur for worship and they had also constructed a temple of their own dedicated to Vithoba. The family members, since many generations, had also accepted the ‘Wari’ of Pandharpur, i.e., the annual pilgrimages to Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the month of Ashadh (June-July) and again on the eleventh day of the month of Kartik (October-November). The childhood of Tukaram was almost uneventful.
As a consequence of the many misfortunes, Tukaram was so much disgusted with life that he left his house and village and disappeared into the Bhamnath forest nearby. For fifteen days he stayed there concentrating on the Almighty without food, water or sleep. After the fifteenth day, he realised his Supreme self and Vithoba visited him in His true form.
Tukaram now began to spend his life more and more in devotional practices, study of the poems and works of Jnanadev, Namdev and Ekanath, gita, Bhagavata, etc., with the result that slowly, but unconsciously, he began to make poems. Then one day, he had a dream in which Namdev appeared with Pandurang, woke him and advised him to make devotional songs. They would not hear of any excuses. Pandurang gave him the necessary inspiration and Namdev told him to complete the one hundred crores of poems which he had intended to make and of which he had completed ninety-four crores and forty lakhs, leaving a balance of five crores and sixty lakhs for Tukaram. The divine art of making poems came naturally to Tukaram and as they were of the nature of Bhakti, the people began to be more and more attracted to Tukaram-more so as he did not seek anything materially for himself or for his own worldly welfare.
Whenever Tukaram began to perform bhajan or Kirtan, people began to flock to the place, and with very few exceptions, people of all classes began to consider him as a saint and treat him with respect. This was of course resented by a small number of people and they tried their best to discredit him; and having failed in this, they sent a report against Tukaram to Rameshwar Shastri who was regarded as a learned Brahmin of the time.
Tukaram tried to convince the Shastri that he was a very innocent person. But Rameshwar was adamant and would not listen to any argument. He told Tukaram finally that he saw, in the poems of Tukaram, a deliberate attempt to explain the principles of the Srutis which Tukaram, as a Sudra by caste, had no right to do; he must therefore stop making poems of that sort in future, and as for the poems he had already made, they should be drowned in the Indrayani river. 
Tukaram held all Brahmins in great reverence, and therefore, he immediately brought out of his home all the poems, bound them together, tied a big syone round the bundle, and threw it into the river. Tukaram’s traducers, who were jealous of him, were greatly pleased. Tukaram did not mind their taunts, but he was worried. Here he was, merely singing the praise of God in his poems, and that was not the monopoly only of the Vedas and the Srutis. Moreover, he had been commanded by Panduranga Himself to spread Bhakti among the people through the poems.
Tukaram then sat on the bank of the river Indrayani in constant prayer to Pandurang to show him the correct path. For thirteen days he thus sat unmoved, without water, food or sleep. On the last day, one of Tukaram’s followers, in a dream, saw Pandurang coming to him and telling him, “Go to the river; there you will find the poems of Tukaram floating on the surface intact”. At once the man went to the river and brought to the bank the bundle of poems. Tukaram was moved by the mercy of god and delivered five poems blaming himself for doubting the world of God and for putting Him to so much trouble of having to preserve the poems in water for thirteen days. This, however, was not sufficient for Tukaram who always held the word of a Brahmin as worthly of respect as that of the Holy Scriptures and he had the orders of Rameshwar Shastri not to make poems any more.
Soon after this event, Rameshwar one day passed through the village of Vagholi and came to a village where a Muslim Fakir by name Anagadshah was staying. In Anagadshah’s compound, there was a big fountain throwing cool water all round. Rameashwar, seeing that fountain, was tempted to take a bath in the waters. Anagadshah was annoyed to see a stranger trespassing into his compound and cursed him that all his body should feel a burning sensation inwardly. Immediately Rameshwar began to suffer from the effects of the curse. All his efforts to make his body cool failed, and in despair, unable to bear the pangs, he went to Alandi and sat before the Samadhi of Jnaneshwar and prayed to him to relieve him of the burning sensation in his body. At night he saw Jnaneshwar in a dream. Jnaneshwar addressed him: “You entertain hatred in your mind towards Tukaram, who is the greatest devotee of Vithoba. Go and surrender to Tukaram; all your bodily pains will vanish”. Rameshwar, however, was afraid to go in person to Tukaram. He knew by that time all that had taken place at Dehu and he had come to recognize the greatness of Tukaram and therefore was afraid that Tukaram might curse him. So he sent a letter to Tukaram apologizing and asking for forgiveness. Tukaram had nothing but supreme love towards everybody, towards even his persecutors. On receiving the letter, he sent a reply to Rameshwar in the following verse:
“If the mind is pure, even your enemies become your friends; you have no danger from cruel animals like tigers or serpents. Even poison becomes as beneficial to you as the nectar of heaven. All unhappiness will be converted into happiness and even suffering due to the burning of the body will vanish. You will come to love all creatures as you love yourself; you will entertain equal towards all. Tuka says, ‘Narayan has showered His mercy on me. That is why I feel like this towards all beings’.”
As Rameshwar read the reply and came to the words, “and even suffering due to the burning of the body will vanish”, his body became free of all suffering and thus it was firmly impressed on him that he had done great injustice to Tukaram. From that time Rameshwar became a great admirer and an ardent follower of Tukaram.
By this incident, Tukaram’s name and fame spread far and wide; but he himself remained poor. He was always doing bhajan and Kirtan and he earned nothing. The burden of maintaining the family consisting of himself, wife and children fell on his poor wife. Tukaram was so absorbed in his Bhajan that generally he forgot about his dinner. His wife had to take his food, search for him and serve him wherever he was to be found. Mostly he was found on the Bhamgiri hill. Tukaram’s wife had to undergo many difficulties in maintaining the family; but she was a good though she was apt to lose her temper sometimes. Before his death, Tukaram himself acknowledged her devotion and purity.
Shivaji was a great admirer of Tukram and sent him a large number of costly presents and also invited him to his court. Tukaram refused both the presents and the invitation, saying that he had nothing to do with earthly kings. Then Shivaji himself came to Tukaram and stayed with him for several days and pressed him to accept some presents which Tukaram steadily refused. One day, Shivaji was so much impressed and moved by the praises, songs and bhajan of Tukaram that he, for the moment, wanted to give up his kingdom and take to Bhajan and follow Tukaram. But Tukaram dissuaded him from doing so. He reminded Shivaji of his duty to his subjects, to Hindu religion and to Dharma and finally advised him thus: “In order to realise God, it is not necessary to give up food or water and go to a forest. If the worldly pleasures come to you of themselves, enjoy them by all means, but only in the name of god who dwells in all of us. Do not desire anything and do not give up anything. This is my simple and only advice to you”. Shivaji returned to his court a happier and a more contented man.
He prayed to the Lord that he might be taken away soon to His lotus feet where he could remain worshipping Him continuously forever and anon. When Tukaram’s end was near, he told his friends that he would be going away in a few days. The night before his departure, Tukaram performed a Kirtan which was memorable in many respects. The subject was Harikatha. Tukaram said, “Harikatha is like the union of three holy rivers-God, the devotee and His Name. By listening to it, all one’s sins are burnt off and one is purified. Even the pebbleslying around become holy and fit to be worshipped. Those among you who wish to be fit for heaven should take the holy Prasad. This is the easiest way to attain heaven”. The next morning Tukaram said to his wife, “You will soon get a son called ‘Narayan’ and he will make you happy.
“Though you all bear the responsibilities or family life, never forget Pandurang never forget to worship Him and sing his praises. Pandharpur is very near you. It is the Vaikuntha on this earth. Go and worship the Lord there. It is my experience that the Name of the Lord alone will save you at the time of death. All of you have protected and maintained me in your midst for such a long time. 
I can never repay you and I am very grateful to you. I shall ever pray to Vithoba to bless you all and take you all to heaven after this life. This is my goodbye to you all and this is my advice to you. I prostrate before you and beseech you with tears never to forget the Name of the Lord. Always do Kirtan and Bhajan of Lord Narayana. Do not be anxious about your material welfare. The lord will look to it. This is all ephemeral. The Lord’s Name is eternal. Depend on it only. Ever sing the praises of the lord. Do Japa of Ramakrishna Hari and He will always save you? This is my last request and advice”.
Thus passed away one of the great saints of Maharashtra with God’s Name on his lips, singing praises of Him. Tukaram left this world in the year 1649 when he was forty-one years old. It is believed that Lord Vishnu sent His own chariot and servants to take Tukaram to His abode.

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Indian English Drama

Indian English DramaIntroduction

            What does one mean when one refers to ‘Indian Drama’? In one of the largest and most populous and certainly most culturally diverse countries of the world, where does one begin to situate, or even to begin with, discover any singular phenomenon of the kind? With its fifteen national languages, and more than eight hundred dialects, the spectrum of India’s cultural fabric, is decidedly complex and difficult to encompass. Hence, when one talks of Indian drama one enters a vast and intricate arena, both idiomatically heterogeneous and polyglot in character. A closer look at Indian drama from the time of Sanskrit drama and its traditions is, however, beyond the span of this study. The investigator here attempts to assess the place of Indian drama, still evolving and searching for a distinctive identity.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shocking details on the Plight of CRPF Soldiers

Indian Army chief VK Singh blamed the recent massacre of the CRPF officials on 'internal deficiencies', stating that the soldiers were not trained properly.

"This is a matter of concern... in what has happened, there were some internal deficiencies, which may be in their training or some other things and they (paramilitary forces) are thinking over it," he said. 
"The 62nd Battalion of the CRPF that was attacked was not trained by the Army. Our role is till now limited to training the personnel and giving advice to the government. Beyond that, our involvement is bound to have some implications…but that will be decided by the Home Ministry. The political leadership of the country has to decide whether the army is to be deployed for anti-Maoist operations. They will take a decision after considering so many aspects. It is difficult for me to say whether the army would be deployed or not."

The Indian Army has trained around 40,000 troops to tackle the Naxal menace. However, according to Singh, unlike in the Army, complete units of personnel do not come in for training and as a result not all troopers are trained fully. "At times, we don't get homogeneous entities for training. It means that if it is a Company (for training), it does not come to us as a Company (together), which happens in the Army," he said.

The other shocker is that the soldiers that are deployed to counter the Maoists are on an empty stomach, without adequate drinking water and medical facilities. The CRPF men can defend themselves against Maoist attacks but not against malaria and poisonous reptiles. "We are also fighting in the anti-insurgency mode. Army soldiers get dry fruits and other eatables in sufficient quantity during operations. We have to fight on empty stomach and dry throats. Our jawans need food that matches the task at hand," said a CRPF jawan. 
"Malaria is one of the biggest challenges of living here. People frequently fall sick. Some of us have to proceed on sick leave. What has made matters worse is the non-availability of medical facilities."
"Forget qualified doctors, there are not even decent medicine shops. The local doctors would prescribe the same regular medicines for disease. The nearest hospitals are some distance away. This is not only our plight but of everyone posted or deployed in remote jungle camps. At night, you are not sure of what may bite or sting you. Forget patrolling, one is not safe even in camps. If a snake or something as poisonous bites a victim, there may not be a chance to save him. Water is a big problem here. We have no clue how to manage in this place where we have to work under constant threat and high daytime temperatures." he added.

"There is no surety we would get drinking water. Sometimes we have to drink water from the same pond that animals use to quench their thirst. The unhygienic living conditions are leading to diseases and many personnel are falling sick," a constable said, "There is no pat on the back for a good job done but always some kind of harassment in the name of discipline."

On Tuesday as many as 76 CRPF security personnel were massacred as the Leftwing guerrillas attacked in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh, about 450 km away from Raipur. Only seven men survived the brutal and well-planned attack and one helicopter which was sent to rescue the men came under fire. The attack was the worst ever since March 2007 when the rebels slaughtered 55 policemen. More than 5,000 policemen, militants and poor villagers have died on account of Maoist attacks in India over the past few years. A crackdown is under way and 70,000 paramilitary troopers and policemen have been deployed.

Chhattisgarh's former security advisor K.P.S. Gill ridiculed the anti-Maoist operation in Chhattisgarh and dubbed it as 'flawed'. All the CRPF personnel reportedly violated the basic principles of anti-insurgency drive by moving in large numbers, providing an easy target for the attackers. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules Chhattisgarh, called for an "all-out offensive" against the Maoists.

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Naxalism in India

Naxalism, one of the biggest obstacle in Government’s path of  inclusive growth. First they don’t let schemes like NREGA,Mid-day implemented effectively and second they increase Home Ministry defence expenditure which could be utilized other way. Organization started by Majumdar in 1970 when he with the help of small farmers started violent movement against landlords and government. Name naxal is taken from the place ‘naxalbari’ in West Bengal from where this movement started.
People who was deprived of  basic resources like education,food,security found it easy to be with naxals as they assure them that they won’t kill them. The organization growth was tremendous. Their current leader Kishenji even talk about controlling whole of India by 2050 and West Bengal by 2011.
Who is culprit?
culprit at start is Government which at the time (1970es) was not able to deploy resources in every nook and corner of the country which let to origin of these kind of organizations. Later stages it seems people are also responsible who went on joining these organizations. In terms of support given to them (by government) to come out of these activities is not working.
It will not be easy. Right now they have presence in 200 out of total 604 districts in India. They control 20 districts completely. Government is working its day hard to solve, one of the best example will be Salwa-Judum started by Chattisgarh Govt. where they supported local tribes against naxalites and provided them with weapons(criticized a lot  by Human Right Organizations and NGOs who keep mute when naxals kills tribals). Other creative offer given by Jharkhand state was, voluntary surrender where person will be offerd 1 acre of land and 2 year of vocational training.
latest in 2009 there were talks going on to use Indian Armed Forces against naxalites, I feel if such a step is taken it will help not only tribes who are already living in danger of being killed by naxals but country as a whole and country will be achieve its  target of inclusive growth.
Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey
This is an attempt to recall legendary hero Mangal Pandey on his death Anniversary, today that is 8th April. 
Mangal Pandey was born on 19 July 1827 in the village of Nagwa in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. A sepoy in the 34th Regiment of the Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) of the English East India Company, he entered the annals of Indian history for attacking his British officers, sparking off the First War of Indian Independence or as the British termed it, the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. At Barrackpore near Kolkata on March 29, 1857, Pandey attacked and injured his British sergeant, besides wounding an adjutant. A native soldier prevented him from killing the adjutant and the sergant-major. He was arrested and sentenced to death. He was hanged on April 8, 1857.

The primary reason behind Mangal Pandey's behavior was because of a new type of bullet cartridge used in the Enfield P-53 rifle. It was rumoured that the cartridge was greased with animal fat (pig and cow fat), which neither Hindus nor Muslims consumed. The cartridges had to be bitten off to remove the cover, which was detested by both the Hindu and Muslim soldiers in the army. The general feeling was that British intentionally did it. What added to the discontent was that the Commandant of the 34th BNI(Bengal Native Infantry) was a known Christian preacher.

There are many who have questioned whether Mangal Pandey was a brave martyr or one who attacked his officer under intoxication. The Bollywood movie, The Rising in 2005 was based on the life and times of Mangal Pandey. His life was also the subject of a stage play titled The Roti Rebellion. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Assal Kolhapuri
Worlds biggest Lord Ganesha idol at kolhapur
Shivaji chouk, kolhapur .
                                                                           Tararani Statue, Kolhapur                                                       Baji Prabhu Statue at Fort Panhala
new palace, Kolhapur
Rankala lake, kolhapur . 
Shalini Palace , Kolhapur .
mahalaxmi temple, Kolhapur
View inside mahalaxmi temple, kolhapur .


Special marathi veg food 

A View from Panhala Fort, kolhapur


Spicy kolhapuri food- Misal ! 

Rankala lake, kolhapur . 

Jotiba temple, kolhapur . 


Sunset at Rankala lake, kolhapur 


Goddess Mahalaxmi, Kolhapur . 


Kolhapur Speciality-Kolhapuri Chappals


Kolhapur Speciality-Kolhapuri Chappals.. 

Granary, Panhalgadh fort 
Kolhapur(Pashchim Maharashtra) Shabd Khajana - Word Dictionary 

Assal Kolhapuri Tadka...!!!


Wand - 

Bhawa - 

Kata Kirrr - 
काटा किर्र्र
Jagyavar palti - 
जाग्यावर पलटी

Naad Khula - 
नाद खुळा

Shunya Mintat Avar - 
शुन्य मिनीटात आवर

Riksha Firavu nakos - 
रिक्षा फिरवू नकोस

Lai Bhari - 
लई भारी

Jagat Bhari - 
जगात भारी

Naad nahi karayacha - 
नाद नाही करायचा 
Nivaant - 
Tanun de - 
तानुन दे

Iskatlela - 

Nad khula... Ganpati pula - 
नाद खुळा... गणपती पुळा

Dokyavar padlayas ka??? - 
डोक्यावर पडलायास का ???

Chakkit jhaal - 
चक्कित जाळ

Aba Ghumiv!!! - 
आबा घुमिव !!!

Vadaap - 

Kay Marda - 
काय मर्दा

Tarrraaat palalas bagh - 
तर्राट पळालास बघ

Kaay Gudghyawar padlais kaay ?? - 
काय गुढघ्यावर पडलास काय ??

Tartarit - 
Ghasghashit - 

Shala karne - 
शाळा करने

Petlays ki - 
पेट्लास की

Khishat nahi ana, ani mala bajirao mhana..! - 
कीशात नाही आनाआणि मला बाजीराव म्हना..!

Chirkut - 

Ghumiv ki pitta!
 - घुमिव की पिट्टा!

Chyat dahi ! - 
चहात दही !

Khatkyawar bote.. jagyawar palti !
 - खटक्यावर बोट.. जाग्यावर पलटी !

X-Ray kadhlas kay ? - 
एकशरे काढ़लास काय ?

Aamba Padala - 
आम्बा पाडला 
Laai zaak - 
लई झाक 
Hudak aata basun
 - हुडक आता बसून 
Pudya Sodu nakos -
 पुडया सोडू नकोस


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