May 14, 2005

Pagan Power in Modern Europe

Pagan revivalists draw inspiration from Hinduism in their quest to reclaim their own ancestral heritage
In this special report for Hinduism Today, Belgian writer Hughes Henry profiles a leader of Europe's Pagan renaissance

Christopher Gérard uncovered his Pagan past at the age of 14 with his bare hands--literally. A precocious child in a Belgian family which three generations before had parted company with the Christian church, he was fascinated at the age of ten by a book on Greek mythology provided by his father. Two years later, he was learning Greek and Latin and, by 14, ready to explore Europe's Pagan past first hand. He joined in with a team of archeologists in the south of Belgium to excavate a 4th-century Gallo-Roman temple. "When I dug into this temple, which had been destroyed by the Christians, I was shocked," he recounts. "I was barely 15, yet I understood in a powerful hands-on, nonintellectual way, how harsh had been Europe's conversion to Christianity. They burned temples, smashed statues, massacred the priests and established extremely harsh laws. By 392 ce, Paganism died."

Now 36, Gérard stands at his altar to answer my questions. He points out the diverse array of religious objects set in a helter-skelter arrangement. There is a Ganesha which he found in the Ganges, a Cernunnos made of Irish bog clay, the horned god of the continental Gallic celts, and here's a trisula... "The trisula looks just like a Celtic artifact," states Gérard, "but it comes from Nepal. It's unbelievable how certain items which appeared to be perfectly Celtic are found in the Himalayas." What means so much to Gérard is that these artifacts symbolize for him "the vast Indo-European culture that existed from one end to the other of the European and Asiatic continents, from Iceland all the way to Korea." He finds endless inspiration in this idea that our roots--be we European, Indian, Asian--are common and deep. His dedication to that vision earned him little more than derision in his native Belgium. But when he went to India, he found what used to happen in Europe 10,000 years ago still goes on there and can be observed daily at home and in temples.

Gérard is the influential editor of Antaios, a journal of polytheistic studies which he resurrected in 1992. It had been created and directed by Mircea Eliade and Ernst Jünger from 1959 to 1971. Both Eliade, a renowned scholar of religion, and Jünger, a German novelist, had great influence on Europe's Pagan revival at the highest intellectual levels. Gérard counts as among his greatest blessings the compliments on his work paid him by the famed Jünger, who died last year at age 103.

Antaios has become the main publication of the Société d'Etudes Polythéistes. Founded last year, the "Society for the Study of Polytheism" is composed of intellectuals for whom Pagan memories are indispensible in the face of ruinous modern trends. They have a specifically European view of these trends, which needs to be understood to grasp the approach of Gérard and others.

The new Europe: Gérard, like many great European thinkers today (and including Christians), believes that Europe has, in fact, already entered its "post-Christian" and "post-rationalist" phase. The church is becoming decreasingly important. Membership is dropping daily, the priesthood is declining, historical challenges are being made to the theology (such as those which resulted from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and multiple scandals have reduced the influence of the church. The current European mind is no longer significantly shaped in its thinking and activities by the Christian theology, whose basic tenets have become largely irrelevant to modern Euro-life.

"Post-rationalist" means that many have abandoned "rationalism," the philosophical position--popular for the last 300 years--that men should resolve their differences through reason, which provides the most valid basis for action or spiritual truth. Out of rationalism developed science, and the now-abandoned hope that mankind was on the brink of creating Utopia--a socially, politically and morally perfect society--by its own efforts, without the help of Gods or religion.

The waning of both rationalism and Christianity has left a mental, moral and spiritual vacuum. Mostly, say Gérard and others, that vacuum has not been filled, except inadequately by mindless consumerism. The worst aspect of this consumerism is its awful power to obliterate ethnicity and cultures all over the world, making it potentially the most destructive imperialism ever. The only sustainable culture that these elite Pagans can imagine to fill this vacuum would be one based on a return to a conscious polytheism, a return to the Gods. The 19th century French poet, Gérard de Nerval, even prophesied, "They will return, these Gods you have never stopped longing for. Time will bring back the order of ancient days."

Hindu Connection: The term Pagan, which means "of the countryside," was the term applied by the converted Christians of the cities to the unconverted country folk. Later, as Christianity became dominant, it acquired a twisted, negative connotation. Today it specifically means "one who is not a Christian, Muslim or Jew." The term has become so abusive, that many Pagans today will not use it. But because it makes such a clear division with the monotheistic religions, Gerard and others of a like mind proudly claim it.

Europe's Pagans have not failed to observe that Hindus, too, are Pagans. Gérard has been to India many times. He said, "India is a conservatory of traditions going back into our most ancient prehistory. The Paganism of our ancestors has miraculously survived there in spite of Muslim invasions, Christian missions and all the other agents of ethnocide [the systematic destruction of a culture]. The brahmins, brothers to our Druids, have never stopped offering ritual worship as we used to do 40 centuries ago. Pilgrimage to India is basic for every European Pagan because it allows him to reconnect with the living tradition, which is moreover Indo-European.

"Yes, India is the land of the Gods par excellence," he went on. "The experience of the divine presence in India is within the reach of anyone who searches even a little bit. The temples are full of flowers and offerings, and you only have to flow along with the crowd, melt into it and place yourself in the hands of the Gods. I do not advocate conversion to Hinduism, but I do recommend its inspiration. I told this to the brahmins that took me into their homes. One said, 'Establish your reawakened Paganism on a valid foundation and there'll come a day when it will catch on. It won't be long.' As true Pagans, they feel no need to convert anyone. "

While still in Europe, Gérard developed a correspondence with the late Ram Swarup, one of the great Hindu thinkers of our day. They met on Gérard's first trip to India. "This extraordinary person and delectable Indian gentlemen was one of my only contacts. He welcomed me as his son. We had long conversations in his Delhi house, and he introduced me into Indian society that would have been closed to me otherwise. He helped me take my first steps toward a more real and concrete knowledge of the Indian concept of karma." In 1996, two issues of Antaios were dedicated to the Hindu renaissance which seems to Gérard to exactly parallel the Pagan renaissance in many important ways. It included interviews with Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel, Alain Daniélou and others.

His personal life: Christopher Gérard is a classical philologist and studied ancient languages, including Sanskrit. He has been trained through three academic specializations: literature, philosophy and linguistics into which he immersed himself at the l'Université Libre de Bruxelles, a liberal, non-Catholic "positivistic" university. He has published in French a highly acclaimed translation of Against the Galileans written by Emperor Julien, the last Pagan emperor of Rome. Today Gérard teaches languages, a professional career which he separates from the philosophical itinerary that brought him to create the Society for the Study of Polytheism. "The Society is my personal unfoldment which I am sharing with others who have made the same choice. One can convert to the major, organized religions or to a school of ethics, but one cannot convert to Paganism. One simply belongs to it.".

In his daily life, his affiliations to Paganism have been mostly philosophical. "I have two small altars where I burn incense when I have time and I'm in the mood, but I'm not really a pious practitioner. Modern living being what it is, I am not much into practice, but my thought, on the other hand, goes on uninterrupted."

Modern-day Pagans hold a wide variety of beliefs, but most believe in the divinity of nature, in enthusiastic tolerance, and in icons and rituals. People like Gérard feel that specific creeds and mystical traditions will eventually evolve. As do Hindus, the Pagans value plurality and diversity.

To be a European Pagan at the dawn of the 21st century is not always easy. If Gérard does it in a discrete manner by appearing to emphasize thought, it is because he has already experienced pressure from the still-influential Catholic Church in Belgium, which is wary of Paganism's revival. "A hundred years ago," Gérard explains, "the idea was rampant in public opinion that Pagans were barbarians, grown-up children who worshiped pieces of wood. Today one tends to describe them as villains, as Nazis. In a very subtle way, Paganism is disenfranchised as a faith and presented as a highly dangerous and regressive movement."

Unfortunately, Gérard says, this idea is encouraged by certain groups who call themselves Pagans, but who at the same time participate in reinforcing the characterization that Christianity made of Paganism--that it is some form of devil worship. He mentions as examples some marginal provocateurs who have mixed satanism, revisionism and witchcraft to the point of caricature. "This current of thought, which has developed mainly in the United States in the Protestant context, claims witchcraft as its own, which makes me boil. They start off with the principle that in the European countryside a tradition of black magic has survived as an aspect of Paganism. They claim to be bringing forth an organized, conscious religion which has survived through the centuries as an underground movement. This is a historical hallucination and, alas, they are founding a Pagan renaissance upon this decadence."

"Moreover, we find in Wicca," Gérard complained, "a consumeristic aspect. Certain of these people will present themselves as Druids somewhere in Oregon for six months, then suddenly somewhere else they are Egyptian priests. It is neither profound, nor constructive. It is a parody." "But," he said at another time, "All that will evolve and there will come inevitably some self-generated discipline into it. The second generation and the third will undergo mutations that we can hardly foresee today."

Gérard launched anew the French-language Antaios on November 8, 1992, the anniversary of the day Christian emperor Theodose banned all Pagan worship in the Roman Empire. "I was motivated not so much by belief," explains Gérard, "as by loyalty to my Pagan ancestors, who were loyal to their Gods, worshiping underground, always resisting, and who punctuate our history." The journal's intent is to "reestablish the bond with the natural religions of our continent which were repressed by the official culture and layered over with Christianity," as well as bond with all polytheists, including Hindus, Shamanists, Taoists and Shintoists.

"I am taking the high road," Gérard asserts, "an ascetic path, but one which to my way of thinking is the only valid path which in the long run has got what it takes. It's a slow and sometimes discouraging undertaking. At times it can seem a little bewildering. Europe is yet far from being re-Paganized, but little by little, thinkers catch the idea and feel reconquered. Generally, it doesn't take much: an image, an attitude, an experience, rather than a speech, and everything that has been repressed has come back ever so strongly. Our role is that of waker-uppers."

Despite the short-term challenges, Gérard is optimistic. In his 1997 interview with Samain journal, he stated quite emphatically that "The rennaisance of pre-Christian religions in Europe is an objective, unquestionable fact! In less than 30 years, and especially since the 80s, the Pagan groupings have multiplied, for better or for worse. From Belgium to Estonia, from Sicily to Ireland, the Pagan rennaisance is obvious. Bookstores are full of books on the ancient native religions. In Great Britain, you cannot avoid the Pagan network. They even have university professors who are openly Pagan. In Iceland, Paganism became an official religion in 1973. Everywhere in Europe, Christian dominion over the mind is gradually but surely vanishing. Witness the return of the Druids, the shamans and the priests of the Gods."

"I have no idea what forms this Paganism will have in another 30 years," he went on. "I think we will be surprised. The Gods will manifest more and more--it's a matter of survival for the Earth, our Mother. That we Pagans are ever more numerous to worry over Her future is surely a sign of the Gods who act through us."

A religion has clergy, followers and joint projects. Hindus are awaiting the time when there is less defensive talk and more dynamic religious action from Pagans in Europe. Following the example of Hindus in India and other countries would be the good start. The world waits to welcome the Pagan clergy to sit with all others at the December Parliment of World Religions in South Africa.

By Hughes Henry, Belgium

Sri Ram Swarup on Europe's Pagans
Rediscover the ancient spiritual truths to heal the wounded present
In an interview in the June, 1996, issue of Antaios, Hindu thinker, Ram Swarup, explained how Hinduism could assist with the renaissance of Paganism in Europe.

Pagan renaissance is overdue. It is necessary for Europe to heal its psyche. Under Christianity, Europe learned to reject its ancestors, its past, which cannot be good for its future also. Europe became sick because it tore apart from its own heritage, it had to deny its very roots. If Europe is to be healed spiritually, it must recover its spiritual past--at least, it should not hold it in such dishonor.

There is a lot for European thinkers to do. The task won't be easy, and it will require decades of fervent dedication and a lot of introspection as well. Europe has been subjected for centuries to a systematic spiritual Semitization. It will be no small task to change this situation. Europe shall have to rediscover its ancient sensibilities about its people, environment, animals, nature. Earlier, the European Renaissance of the 17th century was incomplete. It was revival of Greek and Roman literature and art-forms without Greek and Roman gods. If the Renaissance had taken its full course, it would also have become aware of its Eastern, its Hindu, links, but it was soon aborted. In fact, an opposite movement started, an anti-renaissance movement, in the shape of Protestantism, a movement of "back to the Bible," "back to the Apostles."

I hope that the Neopagan movement will understand the importance and the immensity of the task. In certain Western milieux, Paganism has been welcomed because it was supposed to usher in sensuality and hedonism, sexual freedom. But those Pagans must understand that the ancient Pagan philosophers were great mystics and great moralists, and the European Pagan movement will have to understand Paganism in this way.

I believe that Hinduism has a very important role in the religious self-recovery of humanity, particularly of Europe. The reason is simple. Hinduism represents the most ancient tradition which is still alive. It has preserved in its bosom the whole spiritual past of humanity.

For self-recovery, these countries have to revive their old gods. But this is a task which cannot be done mechanically. They have to recapture the consciousness which expressed itself in the language of many gods. Here, India can help them with its tradition of yoga. In my book, The Word as Revelation: Names of Gods, I spoke of a new kind of pilgrimage: a return to the time of the Gods. Meanwhile, European scholars can do a lot. They should write a history of Europe from the Pagan point of view, which would show how profoundly persecuted Paganism was. They should compile a directory of Pagan temples destroyed, Pagan groves and sacred spots desecrated. European Pagans should also revive some of these sites as their places of pilgrimage.

Citizens of Pakistani Origin , active in extremist cells of European Union

European Union has released its latest report ," TERRORIST ACTIVITY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: SITUATION AND TRENDS REPORT (TE-SAT) " , which outlines the terrorism situation in the European Union over the last twelve months and analyse the trends established in the member countries . The report is intended to inform the European Parliament on the phenomenon of terrorism targeting the Member States.

An overview of terrorist activities is offered in two parts, the first of which relates to activities carried out by various indigenous groups within the European Union Member States, while the second part focuses on international terrorist activities affecting the European-Union.

The report says that EU has become a recruiting ground for Jihadi activities around the world and also a logistical base . The report further thrown light on activities of citisend of Pakistani origin , "recent disruptive activity in more than one Member State has revealed active extremist cells of European Union citizens of second generation Pakistani origin.

"The sheer number of arrests of Islamic terrorists or supporters in the European Union is also an indicator that Europe is not only a target for al-Qaeda and other Jihadist groups but it is also to be considered as place for recruitment and logistical support for Jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya. Fully trained fighters returning from these fighting grounds are a potential threat due to their level of training.

Interesting developments in the field of Islamic extremist activities, over the period of reporting, include the increasing number of Moroccan nationals subject to
investigative action within Member States, as well as the fact that recent disruptive activity in more than one Member State has revealed active extremist cells of European Union citizens of second generation Pakistani origin. "

Activities Individuals of Pakistani Origin :


"Terrorist activity in France involving individuals of Pakistani origin or connected to the situation in the Kashmir attention has also recently emerged from the
investigations relating to the so called “shoe bomber”. Furthermore, a French national arrested in 2003 and involved in a project of attack in Australia, had also stayed in a Lashkar-e-Tayyiba camp in camp in Pakistan.

Since 1st January 2004, 85 individuals were arrested, 23 of them were indicted and
imprisoned. "


"Special attention was given to individuals that integrate the Maghreb network of
support to Islamic terrorism that operates in Portugal, which was partially dismantled in 2003, as well as to others of Indo-Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, that hold connections to organisations suspected of promoting Islamic radicalism.

In June 2004 a Moroccan citizen was detained and then expelled from Portuguese
territory. He is suspected of attending training camps in Afghanistan and of integrating a network involved in the preparation of terrorist attacks. In the framework of the same operation, another fifteen individuals of Arab origin, most of them also Moroccan were also detained for the purpose of identification. Since they were in an illegal situation, they were deported to their respective countries.

Following the collection of information pointing towards the fact that members of risk communities were carrying out terrorism support some propaganda material of the
terrorist organisation Milliat-e-Islami, previously named Sipah-i-Shahaba Pakistan
was found. The analysis of the collected information indicates that Portugal might be used by that organisation for activities of logistic support and recruitment. It’s worthy to mention that the address where the Sipah-i-Shahaba material was found was referenced as a meeting place for various members of Islamic extremist organisations.

After the 1st European annual meeting (Ijtima) of the Tabligh Jamat movement which
took place in Lisbon’s Central Mosque in May 2003, a second round occurred again at
the same place, between 27th and 29th August 2004. Investigations are going on in a
wider framework of Tabligh Jamat movement activity, on a Pakistani citizen
connected to a set of suspicious banking transactions."

May 13, 2005

Top Karntaka Police Official involved in Christian Conversions

15/05/2003 At 12:21

H.T. Sangliana Director General of Police (Prisons) of Karnataka is directly involved with few Christian Missionaries in Conversions in Rural Areas of Karnataka.

Sangliana, an I.A.S of 1969 Batch from Meghalaya, was the Police Commissioner of Bangalore City and Director General of Police till recently. Sangliana, a North Eastern Christian, has been in the news for quite some time in Karnataka for being too much biased with Christian and Muslim organizations.

The moment he assumed charge of his office, he first tried to keep track on all the Hindu organizations. He was given a free hand by the previous Chief Minister of Karnataka S.M. Krishna and few of his cabinet colleagues.

The First time when Sangliana came to limelight was in Nov 2001, when few Hindu Organizations protested against some Christian Missionaries in Doddabalapur (Bangalore Rural), where mass conversions were being held. Violence broke out when the Christian missionaries attacked the Hindus. But the DGP instead of taking action and arresting the missionaries, instead ordered the arrest of all members of Hindu organizations and got them booked under false cases, many of whom are still undergoing imprisonment.

There are plenty of instances where this Police Top Brat was involved; he has ordered Arrest of over 1,000 activists for just attending in the All India R.S.S meet held in Hebbal Bangalore in 2001. He ordered Arrest of the Activists without any warrant. These activists were brutally beaten and tortured by the Police Officers.

In another Instance, Sangliana stood and supported the Church people, when they were involved in demolishing of Maa Bhagavathi temple in Devanahalli (Bangalore Rural) and Sri Durgamba Temple in Banaswadi (Bangalore) in 2002. In both the cases the temples were demolished for construction of Churches despite strong protest by various Hindu Organisations other than R.S.S. The Protestors had failed as they had no alternative left because the church members were supported by the Chief Minister himself and two of his cabinet colleagues T.JOHN (Infrastructure Minister) & J.ALEXANDER (Bharthinagar M.L.A) and above all VYALAR RAVI (A.I.C.C KARNATAKA), who has close links to Sonia Gandhi. Today 84 Churches have come up in this area in the span of last two years.

Sangliana and few other officers from the Police Department give lectures about Bible to all students every Saturday at the BIBLE COLLEGE OF INDIA, Bangalore. These colleges consists over 1,000 Students who are mostly from North Eastern States.

The Hindu community people have been the target of Sangliana even during the celebrations of any of the Hindu Festival or any National Celebration. The DGP was strict with Hindu people; he drafted a time frame for celebrations of Ganesh Chathurthi and other Hindu Festivals. In fact, since the last year he has banned the use of traditional fire-crackers during Diwali celebrations.

Very recently, after India’s success over Pakistan in the World Cup cricket match, when Indians were celebrating the victory, a group of over 300 Muslims protested the celebration and attacked the celebrating Hindus with dangerous soda bottles. Over 84 Hindus were severely injured and 14 of them died in the attack by the Islamists.

But to everybody’s surprise only 8 Muslims were arrested and 518 Hindus arrested for just taking part in the celebration. The very next day all the 8 Muslims who were arrested by the police, were ordered to be released without paying any bail amount by the DGP Sangliana, C.K. JAFFER SHARIEF (CONGRESS M.P) and ROSHAN BAIG (TOURISM AND HAJ MINISTER KARNATAKA). Till today, there are over 312 Hindus still undergoing imprisonment in Bangalore jail, as they do not have enough money to pay out for bail.

When a group of around 20-25 men meet the Chief Minister of Karnataka, the Chief Minister brushed aside their plea and told them the following words: “ IT IS BETTER THAT YOU PEOPLE MIND YOUR BUSINESS, IF YOU ARE SO MUCH CONCERNED ABOUT ANTI-NATIONALS, YOU MAY JOIN THEM IN THEIR CELL , I WILL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS”.

We know that Chief Minister of Karnataka is bound by his loyalty to his Italian Leader Sonia Gandhi, In fact, the Chief Minister, his son and other members of his party are getting monetary benefist from few Italian Companies who are actually close to his madam. So he alone is not be blamed for all the happenings in Karnataka, but the entire Government Machinery of Karnataka has failed to put a check on the activities and rise of Missionaries and Madarassas in Karnataka. It is still not late, before it is completely in the hands of Anti-Hindu Forces.

Mayawati : Dalit ki Beti OR using DALIT tag to amass disproportionate assets

Go Mayawati Goooooooo

New Delhi: Infuriated by CBI questioning her in a disproportionate assets case, BSP President Mayawati on Thursday threatened to withdraw her party’s outside support to the government, unless “harassment” of a Dalit was stopped immediately. Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha immediately after the House met for the day, a visibly agitated BSP supreme said her party might have to withdraw support to the government.

(Remarks by G.C.Asnani : This so-called leader of Dalits considers herself to be above law because she thinks that she and her followers are exempt from punishment due to the certificate of Dalitism. Many leaders of Dalits have accumulated too much money by absolutely immoral methods; such leaders carry vote-banks with them and get a shelter under any political party which wants to rule over the country. Ms Mayawati is enjoying the support and protection of the ruling Congress Party. Hence, she threatens to bring down this brittle government if her money is investigated. Shall we call this Rule of Law or Rule of Lawlessness?)

Date of Sangam Age

The following update has been added to the entry on Sangam Age coins
at with three additional
maps added to the album:

1. Creation of Gulf of Khambat by submergence of Narmada and Tapati
rivers 10000 years ago.jpg

2. Sky diary of November 3031 BCE fig26 Narahari Achar.jpg

3. Winter Solstice Jan 13, 3066 BCE fig17 Narahari Achar.jpg

Date of Sangam age

Winter solstice, January 13, 3066 BCE (See figure 17 of Narahari
Achar's work on Mahabharata date)

The date of the winter solstice gets corroborated by the chronology of
Kaus'i_taki Brahmana which should not be far-removed from the date of
S'atapatha Brahman.a which has been established by Dr. BN Narahari
Achar based on the Brahmana observations that the Kritthika (Pleiades
group) rose exactly at the east point (eta_ ha vai pra_cyai dis'e na
cyavante: S'Br. II Kanda, Ch. 1, Br. 2,3).

In Kaus'i_taki Brahmana there are two statements:

sa vai ma_ghasya_ma_vasya_ya_mupas'asatyadangabha_vai sannupeme (KBr. XIX,3)

mukham va_ etat samvatr.sarasva yatr. pha_lguni_ paurn.ama_si_
mukhamuttare puccham pu_rve (KBr., V,1)

[cf. S'Br. VI.2.2.18; Taittiriya Br.].

These observations indicate that

the sun reached the winter solstice at the full moon Ma_gha
the year was considered to be at its end at the full-moon at the star
group Purva Phalguni_.
Dr. Phanindralal Gangooly notes: "From all of which we gather that the
summer solstitial colure of the earliest Brahmana period when this was
the case was 3100 BCE (PC Sengupta, Age of the Brahmana, in Indian
Historical Quarterly, Vol. X, No.3, 1934). The vernal equinoctial
colure passed through the star Rohini or Aldebaran. In the later Vedic
times the sun's turning north very probably took place a fortnight
earlier. The S'atapatha Brahmana says that 'some want to have a few
nights more; if they want some more then they should begin the
sacrifices on the night on which the moon becomes first visible before
the full moon at the Phalgunis.' (S'Br. II,6.4 Br. 11). These
sacrifices were begun as soon as the sun turned north. It shows that
the solstices had preced by about 15 degrees and that the date when
this took place was 2000 BCE. The earliest Brahmana period may be
called the Rohini-Phalguni_ period. Even at this time the five early
luni-solar cycle was known. (pancas'a_radauyo va_ eva yajn~a iti: TBr.
2.7.11). The calendar was luni-solar in characte. The chief signals
for the beginning and the end of the year were the full-moon at the U.
Phalguni_ and that at the Purva Phalguni_ respectively; from which the
intercalary month were detected." (Phanindralal Gangolly, ed., The
Surya SIddhanta, a text-book of Hindu Astronomy, Delhi, Motilal
Banarsidass, first edn. 1860, repr. Delhi 1989, Introduction, pp.

36 years after the Mahabharata war, Kr.s.n.a sees the signs of
destruction of the yadava:

caturdas'i_ pancadas'i_ kr.teyam ra_huna_ punah

tada_ca bha_rate yuddhe pra_pta_ ca_dya_ ks.aya_ya nah (XIV.3.17)

Narahari Achar uses planetarium software to confirm the dates of
celestial observations observed and recorded by Dvaipa_yana Veda
Vya_sa in Mahabharata and notes: "The simulations (figure 26) have
confirmed that according to the sky diary in the year 3031 BCE, there
was also an eclipse season with three eclipses. A penumbral lunar
eclipse on October 20 was followed by an annular solar eclipse on
November 5. This was followed by another penumbral lunar eclipse on
November 19, within an interval of less than fourteen days, exactly as
described in the epic. Figure 26a shows an example of a penumbral
lunar eclipse." Figure 26
of Narahari Achar's work on Mahabharata date confirms the occurrence
of eclipse sequences as described in the text in November 3031 BCE
within an interval of less than fourteen days.

Tamil Velir kings coming from Dwaraka. 49 generations ago is cited in
Sangam text (Patirruppattu):

neeye, vad.apa_l munivan tad.avinul. to_nr-i
cempu punaintu iyar-r-iya puricai
uvara_ i_kai tuvarai a_n.t.u
na_r-pattonpadu var..imur-ai vanta
ve_l.irul. ve_l.e_ vir-ar- po_r
ta_r an.i ya_naic ce_t.t.u irunko_ve

tuvarai a_n.t.u na_r-pattonpadu var..mur-ai vanta ve_l.irul. ve_l.e
means 'king among kings, ruling Dwaraka and descending from 49
generations' and refers to a Cera king (i.e. king in Kerala).

Averaging 25 years per generation, the 49 generations mentioned in
this verse traces the genealogy of back by 1225 years. If the
movement of the people (yadava, a_yarkulam) from Dwaraka is related to
the submergence of Dwaraka as mentioned in the mausala parvan of
Mahabharata, the early presence of in Dwaraka may be traced to
c. 3000 BCE and hence, dating the of Sangam Age in southern
Bharat to 1775 BCE (that is 3000 BCE minus 1225).

It is unclear if the Yadava civil war is relatable to the
extraordinary events related to the submergence of land by the
incursion of the sea. There is scientific evidence for the series of
tectonic events caused by plate tectonics and the creation, circa
10000 years ago, of the Gulf of Khambat by submergence of ancient
channels of Rivers Narmada and Tapati. Similar recurring events may
have resulted in the migrations of the from Dwaraka (Tuvarai)
to Cera (Kerala) region, that is from ks.etra to Paras'urama
ks.etra according to the Bharatiya tradition.

Kr.s.n.a fore-sees the upheaval in Dwaraka and advises Yadu-s to start
on a pilgrimage, beyond Prabha_sa (Somnath)

After Kr.s.n.a's soul departs the mortal body---

Vivr.ddhamu_s.ika_ rathya_ vibhinnaman.ika_statha_ kes'a_ nakha_s'ca
supta_na_madyante mu_s.ikairnis'I (MBh., Mausala, 2.5)

Ci_ci_ku_ci_ti va_s'anti sa_rika_ vr.s.n.ives'masu nopas'a_myati
s'abdas'ca sa diva_ra_trameva hi (MBh., Mausala, 2.6)

Anvakurvannulu_ka_na_m sa_rasa_ virutam tatha_ aja_h s'iva_na_m
virutamanvakurvata bha_rata (MBh., Mausala, 2.7)

Streets swarmed with rats and mice, earthen pots showwed cracks or
were broken from no apparent cause, sarika_s chirped ceaselessly day
and night, sa_ras hooted like owls, goats cried like jackals, pigeons
departed from their homes, and asses brayed aloud in disconsonant and
awful voices (Ganguly, 1998).

Nirya_te tu jane tasmin sa_garo makara_layah dra_raka_m
ratnasampu_rn.a_m jalena_pla_vayat tada_ (MBh., Mausala, 7.41)

Tadadbhutamabhipreks.ya dva_raka_va_sino jana_h tu_rn.a_t tu_rn.ataram
jagmuraho daivakiti bruvan (MBh., Mausala, 7.43)

The sea, the abode of monsters, engulfed the gem-filled Dva_raka with
waves soon after the people departed the place. Seeing this astounding
incident, the citizens of Dva_raka ran away, exclaiming, 'O, our
fate'. (Ganguly, 1998).

It is conjectured that Yadava civil war is relatable to similar events
of incursions of the sea caused by plate tectonics and consequent
migration of yadu-s away from Saurashtra, Gujarat in circa 4th/3rd
millennium BCE.

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

13 May 2005

West weakening Russia's influence on the post-Soviet space : FSB Director

There are forces in the West interested in weakening the Russian positions on the ex-USSR space

"Certain political forces in the West in the best cold-war traditions apply the double-standards policy with regard to Russia. They purposefully and consistently seek to weaken Russia's influence on the post-Soviet space," Federal Security Service (FSB) director Nikolai Patrushev told the lower house of parliament.

One confirmation is the developments in Georgia, Ukraine and other countries, Patrushev said.

"Russia is unwanted as a strong ally," he said.

The FSB director added that, economically, many foreign countries are not even interested in stability in Russia. According to Patrushev, foreign countries are practicing about 60 antidumping laws, whose total damage for Russia comes up to $5-6 billion.

In the FSB figures, up to 2.5 million foreign nationals may be found in the territory of the Russian Federation. Patrushev said that illegal immigration is a negative effect of globalization and a real threat to the national security of Russia and many economically advanced countries.

"There is a real danger of using channels of illegal immigration for penetration into Russia by members of terrorist organizations, arms and drug trafficking," he said.

Last year the FSB border service detained over 5,000 trespassers of the state border; 500 foreign nationals were denied entry into Russia, Patrushev said.

He also stressed that a stronger protection of the state borders is required to prevent the penetration of members of terrorist organizations into the Russian territory.

Successful Net-Centric Operations Require Joint Testing

By Lawrence P. Farrell Jr.

The wars U.S. forces are fighting today—and can be expected to fight in the foreseeable future—undoubtedly are shaping the military services’ requirements for new and improved technology.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly, have underscored the importance of joint operations and equipment interoperability among the services and with coalition allies.

The concept that describes the ability of weapon systems to work jointly is “net-centricity.” Military planners and defense policymakers have wrestled for years with a fundamental question: How can U.S. military operations be “net-centric” when most weapon systems were developed in isolation and are not interoperable?

The U.S. Joint Forces Command, which was given the responsibility to help set joint requirements for the services to achieve network-centric systems, is working on a number of efforts, including a joint command-and-control battle management roadmap and experiments in joint missions areas. According to JFCOM, the transformation of the military to achieve net-centricity is the command’s primary mission.

At the Defense Department, meanwhile, there is an ongoing effort worth highlighting, because it focuses on joint tactics, techniques and procedures. It essentially zeroes in on testing the ability of war fighters to operate jointly with today’s equipment, organization and doctrine.

Obviously, joint operations and joint requirements are far from new concepts. But the joint test and evaluation of multiple systems in a single operational scenario is not something that has been done on a routine basis. It requires a lot more cooperation and planning than ever before.

Under the Defense Department’s Joint Test & Evaluation program (JT&E), the military services or regional combatant commanders can seek funds to help solve operational issues through the development of joint tactics, techniques and procedures, changes to operational processes and command-and-control architectures. Joint issues are resolved using operational T&E techniques, not experiments or demonstrations.

In a presentation to an NDIA symposium last month, Mike Crisp, deputy director for air warfare at the Defense Department’s operational test and evaluation office, said the services need “joint operational solutions,” rather than just new hardware acquisitions.

The $40 million JT&E program marks a step in that direction.

A nominating organization—a military service or unified command, for example—can propose JT&E projects. The selected efforts receive funding for operational tests, but the services must provide personnel, test assets, venues and facilities.

Key to this endeavor is the development of better modeling and simulations that can replicate operational settings in a realistic fashion. Current models have not reached the level of “physics-based” reality that is needed, but the technology gradually is improving.

The JT&E office so far has funded a number of projects, including:

• Integration and interoperability of special operators and conventional forces.

• Development of a method to assess command-and-control architectures as they relate to mission assurance.

• Joint tactics, techniques and procedures to improve Link 16 information exchanges.

• Command-and-control and joint tactics to integrate and synchronize friendly space control capabilities into the joint force commander’s targeting cycle.

• Logistics command-and-control architecture to support joint force logistics and operations.

• Joint tactics, techniques and procedures to enable theater commander to integrate component fires at the operational and tactical levels.

• Convoy survivability procedures to minimize combat casualties.

• Standard joint procedure for tube loading the 2.75-inch folding fin aerial rocket on U.S. Army and SOCOM helicopters with engines running and blades running.

• Aircraft operations in high-threat environments

• Joint forward operations base force protection.

More details on these can be found on the program’s web site

A number of issues, however, need to be addressed to make this program successful. Getting the proper resources is a major concern. The services need new technology and facilities for joint testing. Clearly, it’s too expensive to bring together assets such as ships and aircraft in battle group for testing. More advanced simulation technologies are critical to this effort. One example is the joint engineering distributed plant, or JDEP, a massive hardware-in-the-loop simulation managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency. But more modeling and simulation is needed at the program and system level. These technologies are expensive, but they are necessary to ensure that systems will work as expected when they are sent to war. In other words, they will allow forces to test their systems the same way they fight.

As the Defense Department and the services continue on the path toward network-centric operations, it is imperative that the joint testing of weapons systems become integrated into the broader development and engineering cycle. This is an important goal, especially at a time when interoperability and connectivity among the services and their coalition partners are not just luxuries, but necessities.

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May 12, 2005

No LTTE dictatorship, India tells Norway

IANS New Delhi May 12: India has expressed continued support to the Norway-facilitated peace process in Sri Lanka but made it clear that it is bitterly opposed to any ‘dictatorship’ of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas.

The foreign secretary, Mr Shyam Saran conveyed the message to Norway’s peace envoy, Mr Erik Solheim during a 90-minute meeting at the South Block here on Wednesday. It was Mr Solheim’s first meeting with Mr Saran, who last week paid a four-day visit to Sri Lanka where he reiterated New Delhi’s objections to any break-up of the country and also spoke about India’s continuing interest in the country’s Tamil affairs.

Sources with access to the Solheim-Saran meeting said the Norwegian emissary was told explicitly that while the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could earn its due under the peace process, India would never accept ‘a LTTE dictatorship.’

The underlying message was that the LTTE had to stop killing its rivals, allow other Tamil groups to function and not impose its hegemony in the Sri Lankan northeast, where the group controls a large territory. India has outlawed the LTTE for its role in the 1991 assassination of former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi and there is growing concern in New Delhi that the Tigers seem to be strengthening themselves without fully embracing peace and democracy. Indian diplomats point out that while many LTTE members and supporters too have been killed in recent times, the Tigers do most of the overall killings.

New Delhi is also concerned over the growth of LTTE’s Sea Tigers and the group’s demand that its naval unit should be treated on a par with the navies of India and Sri Lanka and also over the construction of an airstrip by the rebels in the island’s north.

At his meeting, Mr Solheim gave a detailed presentation of the proposed joint tsunami pact between Colombo and the LTTE, an issue that threatens the survival of Sri Lanka’s coalition government.

The agreement seeks to put in place a mechanism to regulate international aid flow to be used in the reconstruction of the tsunami-ravaged areas, including in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The Janatha Vimukti Peramuna (JVP), the second largest partner in the government, and a smaller party made up of Buddhist monks argue that the proposed pact would legitimise LTTE’s control in the northeast.

Norwegian peacemakers argue that the fear is baseless. Sri Lanka’s leading parties have also thrown their weight behind the tsunami agreement. The Sri Lankan President, Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga arrives here on Saturday on a two-day visit to discuss the pact, among other things.

The JVP has threatened to quit the government if the accord was signed by Colombo with the LTTE. According to the proposals Norway has drawn up after studying various ideas and objections, a three-member body comprising one Sinhalese, one Tamil and one Muslim will be set up in Colombo.

This body will decide in principle how much of the international aid should go to the north and east — the war theatre — and how much to other parts of Sri Lanka. All decisions are to be taken on the principle of consensus.

In the northeast, the tsunami destruction covers up to a two-km area from the sea, all the way from Amparai in the southeast to Jaffna in the north. Mannar and Vavuniya districts in the northeast escaped the tsunami.

Like the body in Colombo, the Tamil-majority northeast will have a similar mechanism to decide the aid allocation within the region. Fifty per cent of representation of this body will go to Tamils and the other half to Muslims and Sinhalese. An LTTE chairperson will have the casting vote if there is a tie on any issue. Local bodies will also be formed in every district of the north and east.

Said one official monitoring the scheme: “The entire mechanism can function only if there is a spirit of consensus. Otherwise it will simply collapse. It is meant to tackle only the tsunami aid and covers only those areas hit by the tsunami disaster.”

“People in these bodies will have to work together, understand each other’s problems and allocate aid money. While the LTTE can very well take care of areas it controls and the Sri Lankan government areas under its control, such bodies will be crucial for those places in the region which have a dual power structure, particularly areas where the government is supposed to be in control but where the LTTE also operates, legally or illegally.”

Added the official: “The mechanism should succeed. If it doesn’t, then people around the world will argue that if Sri Lankans cannot agree to such a simple thing, how can they ever have lasting peace?”

Gutkha baron gets death threats from International Terrorist Dawood Ibrahim

Gutkha baron gets death threats from Dawood

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 1456 hours IST
Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 1458 hours IST

Mumbai, May 12: Gutkha baron J M Joshi, facing allegations of forging links with the underworld, today said he has received threatening calls from alleged henchmen of Pakistan-based don Dawood Ibrahim.

Joshi told PTI several threatening calls were made at his office and residence in the past one month.

"I have been given a 12-hour security but it is not (not) enough," Joshi said.

Joshi, owner of Goa Gutkha, said his statements against the don and his associate Hamid Antulay had angered Ibrahim. "I have learnt that someone has been given a contract to kill me," Joshi said.

Joshi returned to India earlier this year to face probe in regard to his alleged links with underworld. Initially, Mumbai police probed the matter but later the case was transferred to CBI.

He has since been questioned by CBI who are investigating the case. Joshi has also undergone lie detector test conducted by CBI.

During interrogation, co-accused Jamiruddin Kalia alias Jumbo revealed that Joshi and another gutkha king Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal had links with Dawood and had helped the don in setting up gutkha business in Pakistan.

Jumbo also alleged that at their instance gutkha pouch manufacturing machinery was exported to Pakistan via Dubai. Based on the allegations, a Mumbai court had issued non-bailable warrant against both gutkha barons but cancelled them after they returned to India from Dubai.

Joshi had earlier also received threats from gangster Ravi Poojari.


a.k.a. Dawood Ebrahim
a.k.a. Sheikh Dawood Hassan

Dawood Ibrahim ("IBRAHIM"), the son of a police constable, has reigned as one of the pre-eminent criminals in the Indian underworld for most of the past two decades.

IBRAHIM's syndicate is involved in large-scale shipments of narcotics in the U.K.and Western Europe. The syndicate's smuggling routes from South Asia, theMiddle East and Africa are shared with Usama bin Laden and his terrorist network. Successful routes established over recent years by IBRAHIM's syndicate have been subsequently utilized by bin Laden.
A financial arrangement was reportedly brokered to facilitate the latter's usage of these routes. In the late 1990's, IBRAHIM traveled in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban. IBRAHIM's syndicate has consistently aimed to destabilize the Indian government through inciting riots, acts of terrorism, and civil disobedience.
He is currently wanted by India for the March 12, 1993 Bombay Exchange bombings, which killed hundreds of Indians and injured over a thousand more. Information, from as recent as Fall 2002, indicates that IBRAHIM has financially supported Islamic militant groups working against India, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT). For example, this information indicates that IBRAHIM has been helping finance increasing attacks in Gujarat by LeT. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Army of the Righteous) is the armed wing of Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irsha (MDI) – a Sunni
anti-US missionary organization formed in 1989. The United States added LeT to the list of designated terrorists in October 2001. The group was banned by the Pakistani government, and its assets frozen, in January 2002. .

Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List - Alphabetical master list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons

PAGE 60, 3rd column , 2nd Name

IBRAHIM, Dawood (a.k.a. EBRAHIM, Dawood;
a.k.a. HASSAN, Sheikh Dawood), Karachi,
Pakistan; Passport No. G869537 (Pakistan)
(individual) [SDGT]

If you have any information please report to

Sangam Age coins with Sarasvati hieroglyphs

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

This note is mirrored at
with an album of pictures of coins.

A remarkable evidence of continuity of the hieroglyphs of Sarasvati
civilization is provided by Sangam Age coins (dated to circa 300 BCE
to 300 CE). Some scholars date the Sangam Age to c. 1000 BCE. Almost
every glyph used on the coins is a legacy from Sarasvati hieroglyphs.

Ancient ports of Sangam age in southern Bharat

"Muziris or Musiri (Kodungalur/Cranganore), Tondi (Kadalundi/Ponnani),
Marandai, Naravu (Naura and Nitriyas, of the Greek writers), Balita
(Varkkalai) and Porkad (Bakare) were the principal ports of the
Cheras. Kaver-pum-pattinam (Khaberis), also known as Puhar, in the
East Coast was the chief port of the Cholas until it was submerged,
like Dwaraka of Mahabharata times, by the encroaching sea…The Pandyas
had about three ports on the East Coast and they were, Korkai, Saliyur
and Kaiyal…Mamular, a Sangam period poet mentions about the Magadhan
capital, Pataliputra. He also refers to the treasures hidden in the
river Ganga by the Nandas, the predecessors of Mauryas…The IInd and
XIIIth rock edicts of Asoka Maurya (273-232 BCE) refers to Chola,
Pandya, Satiyaputa (Satyaputra) and Keralaputa (Keralaputra or
Chera)…Kharavela, the king of Kalinga (modern Orissa) in his
Hathigumpha inscription (c. 155 BCE) boasts about his destruction of a
large league of Tamil states, said to be 113 years old (155 + 113 =
268 BCE), at the time of the inscription." (pp. 5-9)

Pandya coin 1 with Sarasvati hieroglyphs (Plate I, coin 1): silver,
1.1 X 1.1 cm. 1.4 gms. Obverse: The first symbol is Sun symbol with 12
rays. Second is six armed symbol or sadarachakra. Its structure is a
circle with a dot on the centre and on the outside border there are
three arrow heads and taurines placed alternatively. Third is a stupa
like symbol. (kot.hagara like the glyph shown on Sohgaura copper
plate). Fourth is a tree without railing. The fifth is a trisul wit an
axe. Reverse: stylized fish symbol.

Pandya coin 2 with Sarasvati hieroglyphs (Plate I, coin 2): silver,
1.3 X 1.5 cms. 2.46 gms. Obverse: the first symbol is sun. Second is
sadarachakra or the six armed symbol. Its structure is a circle with a
dot in the centre. Around the circle four out of six arms are seen.
Arrow head and dumb-bell (taurines) alternate each other. The third
symbol is a dog, seizing a young hare or rabbit. The fourth symbol is
a square tank and within that are four square tanks. Out of the four,
two tanks have taurine symbols and other two have fish symbols. The
fifth is a duck. Reverse: Stylised fish symbol.

The stylized fish symbol is comparable to the Sarasvati hieroglyph of
a fish ligatured with an inverted V sign ^ on top. (The inverted V
sign ^ also appears on the Dholavira sign-board inscription).

Tortoise symbol is seen on the silver punch-marked coin hoards found
in Amaravathi, Mambalam, Venbavur, Veerasigamani, Kauniankuttai,

Pandya coin 29 with Sarasvati hieroglyphs (Plate 3, coin 29): copper,
1.8 X 1.7 cm. 6.8 gms. Obverse: On the top left side a three arched
hill; on the central portion five pillared structure (like the
kos.t.hagara of Sohgaura copper plate), a three arched hill with a
U-shaped graph above; in the lower portion on the left side a stylized
standard device, an emephant and a tree in railing. Reverse: stylized
fish symbol.

Krishnamurthy compares the glyphs on Pandya coins with the glyphs
shown on Audumbara Coin 5 (KK Dasgupta, A tribal history of Ancient
India, p. 57). The Audumbara coin has on the obverse a tree in
railing, an elephant facint it and a legend in Kharoshthi script. The
reverse of the coin shows a three tiered structure and a trisula with
an axe on the left and a legend in Brahmi script. The coin is assigned
to c. 200 to 100 BCE.

Chera coin 95. glyphs: tree, elephant, river, fishes, hill, standard,
axe, six spokes, s'ankha

Chola coin 277. glyphs: dotted circle, taurines, double-axe, elephant,
tree, hill, river, fishes

Source: R. Krishnamurthy, 1997, Sangam Age Tamil coins, Madras, Garnet

May 11, 2005

'Post-Godhra toll: 254 Hindus, 790 Muslims'

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 at 1345 hours IST
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 at 1354 hours IST

New Delhi, May 11: The government on Wednesday informed the Rajya
Sabha that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in the
post Godhra riots of 2002.

Stating this in a written reply, Minister of State for Home Affairs
Sriprakash Jaiswal said a total of 223 people were reported missing,
2,548 sustained injuries, 919 were rendered widows and 606 children
were orphaned during the riots.

He said an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh was paid by the government to the
next of kin of each person killed and Rs 5,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000
and Rs 50,000 to those injured up to 10 30, 40 and 50 per cent

In addition, he said relief was also extended by the state government
to the victims of the riots under the heads of cash doles and
assistance for household kits, foodgrains to Below Poverty Line (BPL)
families in affected areas, housing assistance, rebuilding earning
assets, rehabilitation of small business, assistance to indusries/shop
and hotel and so on.

The state government, he said has informed that a total of Rs 204.62
crore has been incurred by it towards relief and rehabilitation
measures. The Gujarat government has also informed that they had
published the data as recommended by the NHRC, he added.


4GW (fourth generation wafare) is the term used by military thinkers to describe conflict at the start of the 21st century. In general, 4GW is an extremely effective method of warfare that the US and its allies will find very difficult to defeat (a slow burn, rather than complete eradication, may be the best possible outcome). John Robb have outlined the basics of 4GW warfare below to enhance your understanding of the term.

4GW can be defined as a method of warfare that uses the following to achieve a moral victory:

Undermines enemy strengths (this may seem obvious, but most of modern warfare has involved direct attacks on enemy strengths -- find the enemy army and destroy it).
Exploits enemy weaknesses.
Uses asymmetric operations (weapons and techniques that differ substantially from opponents).

The rise of 4GW is both a product and a driver of the following:

The loss of the nation-state's monopoly on violence.
The rise of cultural, ethnic, and religious conflict.
Globalization (via technological integration).

4GW is fought on the tactical level via:

Rear area operations -- 4GW warriors do not confront a nation-state's military but rather it society.
Psychological operations -- terror.
Ad-hoc innovation -- use of the enemy's strengths against itself.

Generations of Warfare
The generational development of warfare can be outlined as:

First generation -- wars of Napoleon, conscription and firearms (the decline of mercenaries).
Second generation -- the US civil war and WW1, firepower and nation-state alignment of resources to warfare.
Third generation -- WW2, maneuver and armored warfare.
Fourth generation -- ad hoc warriors and moral conflict.

Many of the methods used in 4GW aren't new and have robust historical precedent. However, there are important differences in how it is applied today. These include:

Global -- modern technologies and economic integration enable global operations.
Pervasive -- the decline of nation-state warfare has forced all open conflict into the 4GW mold.
Granularity -- extremely small viable groups and variety of reasons for conflict.
Vulerability -- open societies and economies.
Technology -- new technologies have dramatically increased the productivity of small groups of 4GW warriors.
Media -- global media saturation makes possible an incredible level of manipulation.
Networked -- new organizational types made possible by improvements in technology are much better at learning, surviving, and acting.

Winning a 4GW conflict
Victory in 4GW warfare is won in the moral sphere. The aim of 4GW is to destroy the moral bonds that allows the organic whole to exist -- cohesion. This is done by reinforcing the following (according to Boyd):

Menace. Attacks that undermine or threaten basic human survival instincts.
Mistrust. Increases divisions between groups (ie. conservatives and liberals in the US).
Uncertainty. Undermine economic activity by decreasing confidence in the future.

May 10, 2005

Balochistan : Guns and Peace Don’t Go Hand in Hand

by Ghulam Asghar Khan

AS was expected a twelve-member parliamentary delegation comprising of treasury and opposition members came back empty-handed from Dera Bugti. The Bugti chief, Nawab Akbar Bugti was very bitter over the killing 62 of his tribesmen by the security forces, including a number of Hindus, mostly women and children. But it was just a joyride for the non-entities who could not possibly make any contribution to end the stalemate between the Nawab and the power that really mattered.

Islamabad’s unnecessary delay in negotiating a political resolution of the confrontation with the Bugti chief resulted in Thursday’s bloodshed in Dera that could have been averted had the right channels been used to approach embittered Nawab Akbar Bugti. Threats like “if you don’t cooperate we will use force” are not going to work with the Baloch leaders.

The three military operations carried out in the past back-fired and are the real cause of the prevalent unrest in the province. Why not face the hard fact that there could be no peace in Baluchistan without the cooperation of the Baloch Sardars, who in fact, are respected by their tribesmen. This is a hard fact, which the rulers in past have ignored and the same blunder is being repeated by the hawks in Islamabad. Holding an olive branch in one hand and a gun in the other cannot restore peace in Baluchistan.

The Pakistan President, General Musharraf’s untimely warning to stop fighting or “they will not know what hit them” was certainly counter-productive. Such threats failed to cow down the Balochs in the past, and if repeated it might as well lead to more bloodshed. During his Tuesday’s meeting with the parliamentary committee, Nawab Akbar Bugti retorted that his tribesmen had the will and determination to defend themselves and fight for their “just rights”.

From the very beginning the parliamentary committee on Baluchistan was wrongly constituted by putting wrong men at the top who were ignorant of the socio-cultural traditions of the Baloch tribes.

Nawab Bugti branded the committee as a toothless entity, which neither had the mandate to discuss issues independently nor the power to take any decision on addressing the concerns voiced by the Baloch leaders and people.

Mr Zafarullah Jamali, the former prime minister, with his Baloch background would have been a better choice to head the committee and wouldn’t have been treated scornfully by Nawab Bugti. Why was he not considered to handle such a sensitive matter, only the Prime Minister, Mr Shujaat Hussain could answer? Realisation came when the committee under Mr Hussain and the two sub-committees under him failed to yield any fruitful results.

After the jumble, a late offer was made to Mr Jamali to join the committee, which was contemptuously rejected by him. In a curt rejoinder, he told the Mr Hussain that he would not accept any charity by Mr Jamali of the non-representative Baluchistan committee.

He rightly blasted the government over its handling of the Baluchistan issue and not including him in the committee that was to sort out the jinx in the province to which he belonged.

Mr Hussain did not have the answer to why the former prime minister was not made a member and what were behind the scene forces that made him inflict such an insult on a Baloch who could have played a very positive role to bring peace in the province.

Mr Jamali’s anger was not misplaced. “A matter of national emergency was haphazardly handled by the government,” retorted Mr Jamali. He also voiced his serious concern over the laxity and delay on the part of the government in diffusing the simmering Baluchistan situation.

He emphatically stated that the people of Baluchistan were all patriotic and sincere to national unity provided they were allowed to play more meaningful role in the national mainstream. Mr Jamali correctly pointed out that the committee was a hodgepodge and would fail to produce any positive results. So it was an exercise in futility. It was the self-evidence truth for which Mr Jamali didn’t need any eloquence.

Mr Hussain who failed to iron out the in-party turmoil in Sindh was not the man to take upon himself a very complicated issue of Baluchistan especially when none of his team members had the grit to face the Baloch leaders. The alienated populace is certainly rallying round the nationalists and take the Baloch Sardars spearheading “PONM” as their redeemers.

At the same time, the developmental projects launched in Gwadar without their participation are sufficient to substantiate the anti-Islamabad and anti-Punjabi stance of the PONM. Since the Baloch leaders were not taken into confidence, the Balochis certainly believe that Gwadar was in the clutches of land-grab mafia from the Punjab. That is why military action in the province at this juncture would completely lack public support. It might even given rise to an unfortunate situation that the military rulers faced in East Pakistan in 1971.

The BLA (Baluchistan Liberation Army) which was in hibernation for a long period of time, was revived by a single most critical macro-factor initiated by the military regime of General Musharraf.

By sidelining the mainstream Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-B and their natural allies like the BNP, ANP and others in favour of the MMA the General alienated the old non-bigot tribal leadership as well as the moderate urban middle classes who saw no place for themselves in the military MMA dispensation.

At the same time by undermining the cause of provincial autonomy at the altar of local and federal governments, the military government has threatened the very roots of constitutional consensus of 1973 reached between Bhutto and nationalists. In the delicate scenario of 1970s, they agreed to sign the 1973 consensus. Constitution on the explicit condition to except their demands for provincial autonomy. Bhutto conceded and NAP-JUI coalition governments were formed in Baluchistan and NWFP.

Later Bhutto refused to play with the provincial governments led by Mengal in Quetta and Mufti Mahmud in Peshawar. That was the beginning of disaster when Bhutto sacked both the governments and arrested Mengal and Mufti, both provincial governors.

The federal government obtained an order from the apex court banning the NAP and charged everyone with high treason to be tried by the Hyderabad tribunal. As a consequence, a nationalist insurgency erupted that sucked the army into the province, pitching the Baloch tribes against the national army.

The parliamentary committee has become dysfunctional before even submitting any prescription for the malady. No surprise package as was envisaged by the PML chief would bring peace to the turbulent province unless the provincial autonomy guaranteed in the 1973 is restored in toto. This is the only prescription that would keep the federation intact.


BRAC: Information available for affected bases

by Master Sgt. Mitch Gettle
Air Force Print News

5/10/2005 - WASHINGTON -- The secretary of defense is expected to announce the proposed Base Realignment and Closure list during a press conference May 13.

Air Force officials said they understand the effect BRAC can have on servicemembers, retirees, employees and their families.

To assist people with vital BRAC information, the Air Force will provide a toll-free number, (888) 473-6120, for military and civilian members affected by the BRAC list. Besides the toll-free phone number, the Air Force has an informative BRAC Web page at

“This number will be available starting May 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT) until further notice,” said Col. Thomas Fleming, Air Force BRAC response cell director. “We will have trained people from 10 different Air Force organizations to answer or assist with any questions people may have.”

Airmen can seek information through their chain of command. They may also contact the public affairs office at their nearest Air Force installation.

BRAC is the congressionally authorized process the Department of Defense uses to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support its forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate new ways of doing business.

“People are our most valuable asset; and though BRAC is a careful and impartial analysis, people will be affected,” Colonel Fleming said. “We care about our people, and we want to keep our people informed and provide them the best possible information on the changes that will affect them.”

The Air Force Web page will have a breakdown of affected bases from the BRAC list, said Jeff Whitted, Air Force News Service operations division chief.

“We will also have links to frequently asked questions, news articles, and DOD and Air Force information concerning BRAC,” he said. “As we receive new information, we will post it to this page.”

Local communities surrounding these installations will also be affected. Communities can address their concerns with the president’s commission at regional BRAC commission meetings or by contacting the commission at (703) 699-2950 for more information. Phone hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, Mondays through Fridays.

The BRAC process will take months to be finalized. The secretary of defense’s BRAC recommendations are not final. The president’s BRAC commission will review the list for conformity with the office of the secretary of defense’s force structure plan and published selection criteria and report its findings and conclusions to the president by Sept. 8.

Pakistan to get Missiles worth $226 M from US


1. 40 AGM-84L (air-launched)

2. 20 RGM-84L (surface-launched) Grade B Canister HARPOON Block II missiles as well as associated equipment and services.

The total value 1 + 2 , if all options are exercised, could be as high as $180 million.

3. 300 AIM-9M-1/2 SIDEWINDER air-to-air missiles as well as associated equipment and services.

The total value 3 , if all options are exercised, could be as high as $46 million.


On 6 May 2005, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan of 40 AGM-84L (air-launched) and 20 RGM-84L (surface-launched) Grade B Canister HARPOON Block II missiles as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $180 million.

The Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of 40 AGM-84L (air-launched) and 20 RGM-84L (surface-launched) Grade B Canister HARPOON Block II missiles; containers; missile modifications; training devices; spare and repair parts; technical support; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; technical data and publications; U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $180 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be a key ally in the global war on terrorism.

Pakistan intends to use the purchase to upgrade and modernize its existing HARPOON missile capability. The Pakistani Navy currently has AGM-84 Block I air/surface/subsurface launch capability. The modernization will enhance Pakistan’s legitimate self-defense capability. The AGM-84, HARPOON Block II upgraded targeting capability significantly reduces the risk of hitting non-combatant targets thus improving Pakistan’s naval operational flexibility. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be: The Boeing Company of St. Louis, Missouri and Delex Systems, Incorporated, of Vienna, Virginia. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Pakistan permanently. There may be U.S. Government or contractor personnel in-country on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical and management oversight and support requirements.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the sale has been concluded.

Date: 6 May 2005 Transmittal No. 05-19

Pakistan – AIM-9M-1/2 SIDEWINDER Missiles
On 6 May 2005, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan of 300 AIM-9M-1/2 SIDEWINDER air-to-air missiles as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $46 million.
The Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of 300 AIM-9M-1/2 SIDEWINDER air-to-air missiles, missile containers, test sets and support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $46 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be a key ally in the global war on terrorism. This system will provide the Pakistani Air Force the ability to fly with armed surveillance aircraft during missions along its western border. The Pakistani Air Force currently lacks this self-defense capability. These missiles are needed to allow Pakistan to defend its borders, participate in coalition operations and exercises and operate a modern Air Force.
Pakistan will replace its existing AIM-9L missiles and maintain its current air-to-air intercept capability. Pakistan, which already has AIM-9 missiles in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractor will be Raytheon Systems Corporation in Tucson, Arizona. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require temporary assignment for two-week intervals twice annually to participate in training, program management and technical review.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the sale has been concluded.

Washington Times cartoon on Pakistan

WASHINGTON -- A Washington Times cartoon has led to calls for President Pervez Musharraf's resignation in Pakistan, while the opposition has called for a nationwide protest on Friday.

"Gen. Musharraf's friendship with America has only brought shame and suffering to the people of Pakistan," said Liaquat Baloch, a spokesman for the opposition religious alliance, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.

The six-party alliance has called for a countrywide protest on Friday and is also raising the issue in the Pakistani parliament.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Naxalites: biggest threat to Indian security

Naxalites: biggest threat to Indian security


A nightmare is beginning to unfold in the heart of India: latest intelligence reports say that armed Naxalites have a presence in 170 districts in 15 states of India as of now, and spreading wide and far.

Just months back, the Naxals were present only in 156 districts in 13 states. Not just numbers, what adds to the administration's worry is that they are armed with sophisticated weapons.

From the peasant uprising in Naxalbari village in Darjeeling district of West Bengal in May 1967, the movement is today a complex web that covers some 15 states of India, and with active links to the Maoists of Nepal.

When the group started under the leadership of people like Kanu Sanyal and Charu Majumdar in West Bengal it was still part of Communist Part of India (Marxist), but split away, took to underground and stayed there to build a powerful network spanning hundreds of villages.

In 1969 they had floated the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). The group has split several times and some of the have returned to the democratic process.

Security agencies began to worry afresh in September 2004 when two of India’s leading armed movements, the Maoist Communist Centre and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), popularly called the People’s War Group, merged to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Multi-layered Operation

This united front of the armed movement is the deadliest that Indian police forces have ever faced. Today it is a "multi-layered operation", says a senior IPS officer involved in fighting the threat.

"A wide network of armed cadres, who takes guidance from ideologues, and both get unflinching support from ordinary villagers who have lost faith in the government and its machinery."

It is not surprising that the Karnataka government has re-routed the Special Task Force originally set up to hunt down forest brigand Veerappan to take on the Naxal movement.

It also exposes a major gap in the strategy of Indian states to meet the Naxal challenge and demand. This also shows in the response of the state police forces, acting with “abysmal crudity" to tackle the menace, says professor of politics Valerian Rodrigues.

There are dozens of complaints pending with the National Human Rights Commission and state human rights commissions against alleged fake encounters. In response, Naxals are toughening their stand and adding to the violence in an already volatile situation.

A cycle of violence and bloodshed is being unveiled across the rural landscape of middle-India. The result has been that rural India is as unruly as it has never been.
Government is worried

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has repeatedly expressed his concern over the Naxal spread, and recently referred to the "virtual collapse" of law and order in some parts of the country.

His home minister Shivraj Patil has been more forthcoming about the entire issue, arguing that there is a need to identify "causes" of Naxal violence.

Issues such as economic disparities, social injustice and lack of development are among the catalysts of naxal movements, Patil points out.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee lists Naxalism among the three important security threats facing India. He argues that there is no alternative to dialogue in a democracy. And dialogue is what the Andhra Pradesh government has been trying for the past few months with the Communist Party of India (Maoists).

The cease-fire declared between the government and the Naxalites is tentatively holding, but many accuse the state of being soft on the Naxals who they believe are resting and recuperating.

Former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani says there has been a sudden growth in Naxal activities ever since the new United Progressive Alliance government came up.

"Threat to internal security has increased manifold in the past few months with Naxalite activities on the rise in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states," Advani said recently.

It's another matter that as home minister, Advani could not figure out a concrete strategy to tackle the biggest challenge facing India from within.

Sophisticated Weapons, Growing Reach

Intelligence agencies in New Delhi say that they have been warning the Centre of further complications emerging in the Naxal activities. Among them is the easy access they have to modern sophisticated weapons from Europe and rest of the world.

On January 8 this year, some 200 ammunition cases with Pakistani and British markings were recovered in Indrakhori area of Balrampur district in Chattisgarh, where the Naxals have deep roots.

The state police claimed that local Naxal commanders who were interrogated admitted receiving arms from Pakistan, but did not disclose how it came in.

Sophisticated weaponry with Naxals "is scary", says a senior security officer in New Delhi, while admitting that there is no comprehensive input to prove such continuous flow of weapons.

There have been some unsubstantiated intelligence inputs about Naxals links with northeast separatists, ISI and so on, "but there is concrete evidence," says a senior intelligence officer.
Bigger worry than Kashmir?

The official says if the Naxal growth continues at the present pace then they could be much more dangerous than Kashmiri militants because of their extensive network in India’s hinterlands and loyalty they command among villagers.

Intelligence agencies have for long also been warning that Indian naxal groups are working with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) to create a "Compact Revolutionary Zone" that spreads from Nepal into Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

"That is a theoretical proposition but it definitely gives an idea of how wide-spread the Naxals are in the subcontinent," says a senior intelligence officer.

The "Combat Revolutionary Zone" spreads from Nepal through Bihar and the Dandakaranya region of Andhra Pradesh.

The naxals are now engaged in plugging gaps in north Bihar and North Chhattisgarh to complete the CRZ, says the officer.

In Jharkhand, ever since its creation in 2000, some 200 policemen and some 1,000 civilians have died in Naxal violence ever since the state was created.

Some 22 districts are affected in the state. In Bihar too the situation is not better.

The Naxal movement is also powerful in Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of central India. These are also areas where India’s most precious assets are located.

“All these areas (are) where greater part of India’s mineral resources, hydro-electric and other resources are located,” Prime Minister Singh recently admitted.

Democracy will prevail, but when?

Ultimately the Indian democracy will prevail, believe analysts within the government and outside. Rodrigues, who believes that the present state tactics will not solve Naxal issue, says that ultimately India’s strong democracy will win.

"The movement cannot go beyond a point. It cannot reach out to peasantry where new forms of productivity and employment exist. Its ability to spread to urban centres is also questionable," says Rodrigues.

As of now, there seem to be no new tactics to fight the threat.

Some states like AP have initiated talks with Naxal outfits, but these have not yeilded any visible results. If indeed the government plays the waiting game in the hope that democracy will ultimately triumph, the cost that India pays will be very high.

May 09, 2005

KPS Gill can save America in Iraq


9th May 2005

Carte Blanche
Posted online: Monday, May 09, 2005 at 1050 hours IST

New Delhi, May 9: 20, 30, 65. Killed! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Iraq, is on fire, democracy, dictatorship, foreign rule be damned. What George Bush needs to stop the carnage is a Made in India Rambo and his name is KPS Gill.

The Bush Administration has tried everything from the largest mobilisation of forces since World War II , the spending of the highest amount of money, to the deployment of the most high-tech armament that has been used on the war front ever to get rid of the killer opposition in Iraq, that has fought on in a never-say-die spirit to the Americans' dismay.

After throwing away hundreds of American lives, inducing collateral damage that has caused thousands of Iraqi casualties, what America has to show for it, besides international ire, is the capture of a few aces in the pack of the former Iraqi leadership, prime among them being Saddam Hussein.

However, no matter how much money Bush throws at Iraq, no matter how much money he shovels into Iraq, no matter the size of the army he fields in Iraq, the Americans are doomed to fight the kind of war there that was last seen by it in Vietnam. In short a bloody conflict that will drag on forever until the public back home, tired of waiting for a victory signal from their President, will start marching in the campuses waving peace signs crying for "the boys to be brought back home".

To prevent the accumulation of body bags, and before the American public opinion turns against the US administration, what America should look at is a bit of outsourcing, getting the job done via India, that is. And, it is something that even the American public will like. It will be the mother of all outsourcing bargain.

Here's the deal, Mr Bush.

Go back a score of years into the recent Indian history and you'll find a little civil war in the Punjab being fought for the creation of a quaintly named Khalistan.

It had great similarity with the American imbroglio in Iraq and let's say even Afghanistan.

The Americans created the evil of Osama bin Laden and Taliban in Afghanistan after the fall of the Communists when years of Russian bolstering of the Reds in Kabul failed (shades of America in Vietnam).

Uncle Sam created the regime of Saddam Hussain as a bulwark against the Iranian Islamic movement after the fall of Shah. To keep Ayatollah Khomeini occupied, when Saddam launched the war against Iran, US supplied Iraq with arms and money.

Needless to say, both bin Laden and Hussain turned to bite Uncle Sam in the...ankles. American blood didn't stop flowing post-9/11, it's still bleeding in the forgotten war in Afghanistan and in all too pervasive war Iraq.

In Punjab in the early 1980s the Congress party, trying to teach the Akalis a lesson for their anti-Emergency activities when the-then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi went despot, tried to prop up an unknown cleric Bhindranwale. From Giani Zail Singh, later to become President of India, to Buta Singh (Home Minister) and a host of other high-powered Congressmen played politics to trouble the Akalis.

However, just as with Saddam and bin Laden, Congress lost control of Bhindranwale as he grew his base and power to virtually become a law unto himself. He went on to generate life into a moribund movement for Khalistan through terror. Ultimately, it led to the unleashing of the Indian Army on Sikhdom's holiest symbol, the Golden Temple-Akal Takht complex to get rid of the terrorist holed up there. It virtually destroyed the later and caused damage to the Temple.

This in turn led to the assassination of Prime Minister Gandhi by her own bodyguard, incensed at the attack on the Sikh holy of holies. However, the terror continued all over India except the South. To get rid of this threat India tried everything. A bit of good was done by supercop Julius Ribeiro. But it was ultimately 'Superman' KPS Gill who put the fear up the terrorists with his carrot and assassination policy that ultimately brought a quick death to the Khalistan movement.

Gill, a Sikh, first put the morale back in the police force, giving them enough power to hunt and destroy almost at will all the known terrorists, target their families to an extent.

And for those who were mere suspects he put the fear of a very difficult and perhaps agony-filled near future to prevent them from any rash action. And, he used torture liberally to wrench out names of those involved.

Secondly, because a lot of help was coming from across the border from Pakistan, a virtual siege state was declared near the frontier to nab anyone moving there.

Since NRIs were funding the movement to a large extent, diplomatic manoeuvres, targeting the dalals who were routing the money, as well as identifying and dealing with the spoilt rich Indian origin people dried up money too.

The good, bad and ugly policy caused much heartburn in the Sikh community, but ultimately the common people whose business and life had been disrupted by terrorism, themselves turned against the Khalistanis and that was the last nail in the coffin of that movement.

Now, we say to America, you want to save Iraq, you want to shelf the body bags that are flying off the assembly lines, then come and talk to the our Sikh Rambo.

He may just be willing to lend a willing ear. After all, Superman never retires. He is merely turned out to pasture, and at the moment he has not much to deal with, just a few skirmishes at the Indian Hockey Federation where the latest skirmish ended in victory for Mr Gill - when he got rid of India's best hockey player Dhanraj Pillai and his little rebellion. His terror tactics has scared the heck out of our players, so much so they can't perform anymore.

We are sure the Indian Embassy in Washington will supply his phone number, if you ask Mr Bush...

Using Jatropha as alterenate fuel

It is interesting [ rather tragic] that lakhs of acres are going to be
used in Karnataka for growing Jatropha ,which will be used in Europe
as alternative fuel. An English company is going to reap the full
benefits of the important alternative fuel.
Our politicians including Mr. Mani Shankar[ Fuel Minister who only
fuels controversies] always waxes eloquent about this Jatropha-- Why
our own IOC etc are not showing interest in this as a mixture for fuel
or additive to Petrol.

Should UK be the first destination for all Indian inventions/products/processes?
-- RV
An alternative to fossil fuel An alternative to fossil fuel

Staff Correspondent

1.25 lakh acres of land is expected to be brought under jatropha
cultivation in the next five years

MYSORE: An ambitious contract cultivation programme, `Jatropha
Curcas,' was launched here on Sunday, marking the beginning of
large-scale cultivation of the bio-diesel crop that is emerging as a
viable alternative to the fossil fuel, whose resources are fast

Mark Quinn, managing director of the U.K.-based bio-diesel supplier D
1 Oils, which has firmed up a long-term contract with Labland
Biotechs, Mysore, for procurement of 10,000 to 50,000 tonnes of
jatropha oil a year, handed over the first plant of Jatropha Curcas to
a grower in the city.

The contract farming programme seeks to bring 1.25 lakh acres in the
State under jatropha cultivation in the next five years.

D1 Oils, a global leader in the field of bio-diesel, refines the
jatropha oil and supplies it as bio-diesel to European countries,
where it is blended with fossil fuel in keeping with the eco-friendly
ceiling on emission levels in automobiles.

Labland Biotechs, a bio-technology company established in Mysore, will
distribute elite clones of jatropha to farmers and purchase back the
quality seeds obtained from these plants. The seeds are used for
extracting jatropha oil.

Mr. Quinn said Mysore, which enjoys a pride of place in the history of
the land, is all set to embark on another "historic" venture in the
production of jatropha-derived bio-diesel that enjoys a world-wide
market. Jatropha crops can be grown on wasteland as it requires a
minimal amount of water. Even though Labland Biotech is offering Rs.
4,500 for every tonne of crude oil extracted from jatropha seeds, Mr.
Quinn sought to downplay the remuneration farmers can expect by
growing the crop.

"It is paying only if it is grown as a value addition crop alongside
other crops," he said.

The managing director of Labland Biotechs, Sudheer Shetty, said their
company already has an estimated 16,000 acres of land in different
parts of the State under jatropha cultivation.

Labland Biotechs, which has entered into a deal with D 1 Oils for
supply of tissue culture derived jatropha plants for global
distribution, has envisaged the involvement of educational
institutions at taluk level for the successful operations of the
entire programme.

Under the novel techno-commercial venture, Labland will sign a MoU
with recognised educational institutions for setting up a Jatropha
Information Dissemination Centre (JIDC) in each taluk. The educational
institutions will depute personnel to Labland Biotechs for training in
cultivation and maintenance of jatropha.

The trained personnel of the institutions will in turn prepare a team
of enthusiastic students to impart training to farmers at various
phases in the cultivation and maintenance of jatropha at the field
level. On the occasion, Labland Biotechs signed a MoU with Hoovaiah
Gowda, Principal of Sahyadri Science College, Shimoga.

Miracle that's India, yet we demonise it

Vivek Gumaste (A Reader)
Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 1102 hours IST


Publication: Indian Express

Growing up in the southern city of Bangalore in the early 70's, I was
appalled to see differing political factions of Iranian students
indulging in open street fights. What an uncultured group these
people are, I thought to myself. It was a classic example of washing
one's dirty linen in public in a different country. It evoked a sense
of disgust in me. It is the same feeling that I sense, here in New
York, when I view the local desi scene in the context of the denial
of an US visa to Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

I do not wish to dwell on the pros and cons of the issue at hand but
would rather like to analyse what such episodes do to our image as a
nation and a people. How does it reflect upon of all of us - the
secular groups, the nationalist factions or whatever (I hate these
labels for they mislead). Is this the right forum to wash our dirty
linen? Does it serve any purpose apart from demoralising us?

We as a nation appear to be excessively obsessed about how we are
perceived. What will the world think of us is question that we often
ask ourselves and is a mantra that is chanted again and again. Now
who or what is this "world" that we keep referring to? Is it the
Western governments? Is it the Western media? Or is it the lay public
in these countries? And how is this opinion shaped? Does it stem from
an independent judgment? Or is it a reflection of how we project

During colonial times the British encouraged an unsavoury image of
India in order to justify their rule; the natives are unfit to rule
themselves was their premise. According to them, snake charmers,
emaciated cows on the streets and ubiquitous dirt seemed to embody
India, prompting even Mahatma Gandhi to dub such descriptions as
nothing more than `a drain inspectors report'. Writing in Young
India, Mahatma Gandhi said, "Katherine Mayo's book Mother India is
the report of a drain inspector sent out with one purpose of opening
and examining the drains of the country to be reported upon. If Miss
Mayo had confessed that she had gone to India merely to open out and
examine the drains of India, there would be little to complain about
her compilation. But she says, in effect, with a certain amount of
triumph "the drains are India.."

As these stereotyped images of India conjured during colonial times
fade away today, another one, uglier and more repulsive than the
previous, is being created. Events are being exaggerated or blown out
of proportion in order to sensationalise news items and thereby make
them more appealing to a Western audience. However the culprits this
time are not the West or Europeans. The detractors are our own
homegrown writers enthusiastically misusing a newfound access to the
world stage with each one trying to outdo the other in this calumny.

Pankaj Mishra is the author of the novel, the Romantics and is a
regular contributor to the New York Times. On the eve of Clinton's
visit to India in March 2000, in a scene that conformed to a Nazi how
to manual, 33 Sikhs are rounded up and gunned down in cold blood by
Islamic militants. The hideous crime shocks the nation and
reverberates throughout the world. But Pankaj Mishra chooses to see
it differently. In an article titled, "Pride and Blood in Kashmir",
(NYT, March 22, 2000) he uses this barbaric act, not to castigate the
militants for their brutality, but to censure the Indian Government
for its highhandedness. He quotes a Border Security Force personnel
who tells him, "I don't believe in this human rights nonsense."
Pankaj Mishra concludes, "The military arms of all-powerful
authorities in New Delhi have been used to suppress regional
discontent." In effect he is telling the outside world that Indian
democracy is a sham.

In another article (Hinduism's Political Resurgence, NYT, February
25, 2002), Pankaj Mishra goes one step further preferring Pakistan
under the dictator Musharraf to democratic India under the
BJP: "While General Musharraf strives toward a secular polity, the
ruling politicians of India head in the opposite direction." Imagine
the irony when he surmises: "Oddly, the illiberal tendencies a
military dictator seeks to expel, with popular support, from Pakistan
seem to be finding a hospitable home in democratic India."

These writers are at their worst or best (from their perspective)
when they report on anything to do with Hindu nationalism. Reproduced
below is a paragraph from Pankaj Mishra's, "The Other Face of
Fanaticism" (NYT, Feb 2, 2003). Referring to the Gujarat violence he
writes: "The scale of the violence was matched only by its brutality.
Women were gang-raped before being killed. Children were burned
alive. Grave-diggers at mass burial sites told investigators "that
most bodies that had arrived..were burned and butchered beyond
recognition. Many were missing body parts-arms, legs and even heads.
The elderly and the handicapped were not spared." Is this the image
of India that we wish to project to the outside world? Again am I
saying: hush up these evil acts?

No. Use the right forums to seek redress if that is your real
intention. Do not sensationalize events to garner personal glory.

A. Ghosh's report in Time magazine is along the same lines. He speaks
of how people boasted of the killings associated with the Gujarat
riots and then adds:

"Some, if not all, of this was undoubtedly pure braggadocio. The
stories sounded fake, or at least embellished for effect. "It was
like a bunch of schoolboys boasting about imaginary achievements,"
said my friend. "But these so-called achievements were murderous."
What was especially scary was the casual, matter-of-fact tone in
which this conversation was conducted. "These guys seemed no more
agitated than they would have if they were talking about the
weather," said my friend. "It was like an everyday discussion."

If Ghosh realises that these incidents are not entirely true
(embellished for effect) and suggestive of `pure braggadocio' as he
himself puts it, why does he feel the need to document them
especially in an international magazine? Apart from netting him a by-
line and falsely maligning Indians does it serve any function?

Look how Meenaksi Ganguly writing in Time uses one man's words to
denigrate the Hindus as a whole: "Another man, who claimed to have
killed nine Muslims that day, offered this explanation: "I am just a
Hindu. That is enough, because I was acting for all Hindus."

Their writing is graphic in a most negative way and is meant to
portray the worst of India. Read this excerpt from Shashi Tharoor's
article, paying close attention to the words I have italicised
(India's Past Becomes a Weapon, NYT, March 6, 2002): "In 1992 a
howling mob of Hindu extremists tore down the Babri Masjid, which
occupied a prominent spot in a town otherwise overflowing with
temples. The mosque had been built in the 1520's by India's first
Mogul emperor, Babur; the Hindu zealots vowed to replace it with a
temple to Ram. In other words, they want to avenge history by undoing
the shame of half a millennium ago". Such writings effectively
conjure up an image of a country filled with bloodthirsty religious

As these articles indicate, most articles about India appearing in
the foreign news media are penned by Indians or people of Indian
origin. During the months of March-April 2002, the Washington Post
had 12 reports (most of them not complementary) on the Gujarat riots:
six were by Rama Lakshmi, 5 by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and 1 by Salman

In the debate about Gujarat, Indian newspapers are extremely fond of
referencing an `international' organisation; the New York based Human
Rights Watch. But do you know who authored the report on Gujarat put
out by HRW? Smitha Narula, a person of Indian origin.

So an objective evaluation reveals that what we perceive as western
opinion is really not so. It is in fact a veneer that has been
deviously crafted by Indian political groups pursuing a narrow

What makes these Indian writers depict India in this fashion? There
are two reasons for this. One is that the Western public (like the
public everywhere) craves for melodrama which these Indian writers
are ever willing to provide even at the cost of truth and honesty. In
addition, the urge to `get published' in the Western press drives
these individuals to dramatise events. Secondly this is the result of
an ideological warfare that is being waged by the Indian left against
the Hindu right. Unfortunately, the so-called liberal wing in India
has a large cadre of well-educated (not intellectuals, mind you)
Westernised journalists who are able to interact with their
counterparts in the West and thereby propagate their one-sided views.

Compared to the pessimism that pervades the writings of Indian
authors, Western writers tend to be more fair and positive about
India. Reproduced below is an abstract from an op-ed piece titled,
Vote France Off the Island (NYT,Feb 9,2003) by the noted columnist
Thomas Friedman: "Sometimes I wish that the five permanent members of
the UN Security Council could be chosen like the starting five for
the NBA All-Star team - with a vote by the fans. If so, I would
certainly vote France off the Council and replace it with India. Then
the perm-five would be Russia, China, India, Britain and the United
States. That's more like it.

Why replace France with India? Because India is the world's biggest
democracy, the world's largest Hindu nation and the world's second-
largest Muslim nation, and, quite frankly, India is just so much more
serious than France these days. France is so caught up with its need
to differentiate itself from America to feel important, it's become
silly. India has grown out of that game. India may be ambivalent
about war in Iraq, but it comes to its ambivalence honestly. Also,
France can't see how the world has changed since the end of the cold
war. India can."

In another article captioned, Where Freedom reigns (NYT, August 14,
2002) Friedman concludes: "The more time you spend in India the more
you realise that this teeming, multiethnic, multi-religious,
multilingual country is one of the world's great wonders -- a miracle
with message. And the message is that democracy matters.

This truth hits you from every corner. Consider Bangalore, where the
traffic is now congested by all the young Indian techies, many from
the lower-middle classes, who have gotten jobs, apartments -- and
motor scooters -- by providing the brainpower for the world's biggest
corporations. While the software designs of these Indian techies may
be rocket science, what made Bangalore what it is today is something
very simple: 50 years of Indian democracy and secular education, and
15 years of economic liberalisation, produced all this positive

Reading this article made my heart well with pride. I made a copy of
the article and had my American-born daughters read it again and
again. Even when commenting about something unpleasant like the Hindu-
Muslim riots of Gujarat, a foreigner like Friedman is willing to
analyse the events objectively. His observations are tempered with
good sense and good judgment. Though critical of the riots and the
Hindu nationalist BJP; he is reluctant to demonise events. His keen
journalistic eye observes that the riots did not spread to other
parts of India as one would expect.

"No, India is not paradise. Just last February the Hindu nationalist
BJP government in the state of Gujarat stirred up a pogrom by Hindus
against Muslims that left 600 Muslims, and dozens of Hindus, dead. It
was a shameful incident, and in a country with 150 million Muslims --
India has the largest Muslim minority in the world -- it was
explosive. And do you know what happened?

Nothing happened.

The rioting didn't spread anywhere."

So am I saying that violent crimes and brutal injustice should be
hushed-up or swept under the rug? Am I suggesting that a foreigner's
view is more important than an Indian's?

The answer is no on both accounts. My only grouse is with the forum
that one uses for this purpose. Such type of exposure on the
international front hardly serves any constructive purpose.

The world is not going to shower accolades on us for washing our
dirty linen in public. They will only use this information to
chastise us and imply obliquely that we are not yet ready to be
granted a permanent seat in the UN. Further it tends to strengthen
colonial notions of Indians as uncivilized natives incapable of
resolving their problems in a sophisticated manner.

All said and done, India still boasts of an infrastructure that
works. Our courts do hand out fair judgments. Our newspapers posses a
degree of freedom that is unmatched in the world. That this freedom
has been blatantly misused in recent times is another story. More
importantly, we have a functioning parliament that allows every
grievance to be voiced publicly. So if one genuinely desires redress
without ulterior motives, these are avenues that can be tapped and
should be. Recourse to the world stage is relevant only in cases of
suppressed nations which India is not.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the writer and not
necessarily those of the