May 28, 2005

Bomb Blasts in Indonesian Christian Town Kill 19

It is interesting that while Christian groups and so-called human rights groups never tire of attacking "Hindu fundamentlism" they should maintain a petrified silence over Islamic attacks on fellow Christians.

Christian strategy seems to be to buy time negotiaing wiht the Jihadis and try to make up for the losses in India.
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May 28, 2005

By REUTERS

Filed at 3:26 a.m. ET

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Two bomb blasts ripped through a crowded market in a Christian town in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, killing 19 people in an attack likely to raise fears sectarian bloodshed could again break out in the region.

Police said the attacks occured in the lakeside town of Tentena, on the eastern island of Sulawesi, part of an area where three years of Muslim-Christian clashes killed 2,000 people until a peace deal was agreed in late 2001.

Periodic unrest has flared since, but Saturday morning's attack is among the worst. Local officials said tension had risen in the wake of the bombings.

``There are already 19 people dead, that is the information we received from officials at the scene,'' Sukirno, deputy police chief for Central Sulawesi province, told Reuters.

``The first bomb exploded in front of the Tentena market, the second explosion took place about 15 minutes later.''

A hospital official said 32 were wounded, many seriously.

Sukirno said police were investigating what type of bombs were used in the attack and how they were detonated. Indonesia's national police chief was heading to the area, police said.

El Shinta radio station said the second explosion was the stronger of the two.

``The situation is getting tense,'' Andi Asikin, the mayor of Poso town not far from Tentena, told El Shinta.

``People are upset because their families are victims. Crowds of people who are relatives of the victims are condemning the act. They are demanding officials hunt the perpetrators.''

Much of the past Sulawesi violence focused on Poso, which is about 1,500 km (900 miles) northeast of Jakarta.

Picturesque Tentena, famed for its churches and surrounded by clove-covered hills, lies 40 km (25 miles) to the south of Poso. Police were checking vehicles leaving Tentena, while security had been tightened, residents said.

``The market was packed. It lies in the heart of the town. Victims have been taken to hospital,'' one unidentified caller told El Shinta, Indonesia's leading news radio station.

The Sulawesi conflict drew Muslim militants from groups such as the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian network blamed for numerous bomb attacks across Indonesia.

Some 85 percent of Indonesia's 220 million people are Muslim. But in some eastern parts, Christian and Muslim populations are about equal in size.

The two explosions follow heightened warnings from Western governments about terrorist attacks in the world's most populous Muslim nation, although few foreigners venture to the Poso region because of its history of bloodshed.

On Thursday, the United States closed all its four diplomatic missions in Indonesia because of a security threat.

Attacks against Western targets and blamed on Jemaah Islamiah include blasts at Bali nightclubs in October 2002 that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, and one last September outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta that killed 10.

The Tentena bombings follow an attack by gunmen on a police post in the Moluccas islands further to the east that killed five police this month.

The Moluccas islands, 2,300 km (1,440 miles) east of Jakarta, was also the scene of vicious communal fighting between Muslims and Christians from 1999 to 2002 that left more than 5,000 dead. A peace agreement was reached there in early 2002.

May 27, 2005

15 lakh youth join Bajrang Dal

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source :www.organiser.org

“Under a special recruitment drive, undertaken from November 20, 2004 to January 15, 2005 in 39 Prants of the country, the Bajrang Dal has recruited 15 lakh youth. “Now they would be imparted training on how to protect Hindu dharma and culture,” said Shri Prakash Sharma, national convener of Bajrang Dal. He was speaking at the national teachers training camp of the Dal held in Mumbai recently.

Shri Sharma said that the Bajrang Dal had decided to impart training to one lakh workers and also to present a trishul each to at least five lakh workers. He further said that two-day training camps had already begun from January this year and special camps would be organised in 41 Prants in May-June. He pointed out that the Bajrang Dal had more than 38,000 units, 4,500 weekly meeting centres and 1,500 gyms all over the country. He added that a large number of Bajrang Dal activists would go on the Amarnath Yatra on July 21 to resolve to fight against terrorism at Budha Amarnath. Working president of VHP, Shri Ashok Singhal and Akhil Bharatiya Dharam Jagaran Pramukh of VHP, Shri Mohan Joshi were also present at the camp.

CIA ::::: Take That, Cyberterrorism!

Story location:

05:00 PM May. 25, 2005 PT

WASHINGTON -- The CIA is conducting a war game this week to simulate an unprecedented, Sept. 11-like electronic assault against the United States. The three-day exercise, known as "Silent Horizon," is meant to test the ability of government and industry to respond to escalating internet disruptions over many months, according to participants.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because the CIA asked them not to disclose details of the sensitive exercise taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia, about two hours southwest of Washington.

The simulated attacks were carried out five years in the future by a fictional new alliance of anti-American organizations that included anti-globalization hackers. The most serious damage was expected to be inflicted in the closing hours of the war game Thursday.

The national security simulation was significant because its premise -- a devastating cyberattack that affects government and parts of the economy on the scale of the 2001 suicide hijackings -- contradicts assurances by U.S. counterterrorism experts that such effects from a cyberattack are highly unlikely.

"You hear less and less about the digital Pearl Harbor," said Dennis McGrath, who has helped run three similar exercises for the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. "What people call cyberterrorism, it's just not at the top of the list."

The CIA's little-known Information Operations Center, which evaluates threats to U.S. computer systems from foreign governments, criminal organizations and hackers, was running the war game. About 75 people, mostly from the CIA, along with other current and former U.S. officials, gathered in conference rooms and pretended to react to signs of mock computer attacks.

The government remains most concerned about terrorists using explosions, radiation and biological threats. FBI Director Robert Mueller warned earlier this year that terrorists increasingly are recruiting computer scientists but said most hackers "do not have the resources or motivation to attack the U.S. critical information infrastructures."

The government's most recent intelligence assessment of future threats through the year 2020 said cyberattacks are expected but terrorists "will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons." Authorities have expressed concerns about terrorists combining physical attacks such as bombings with hacker attacks to disrupt rescue efforts, known as hybrid or "swarming" attacks.

"One of the things the intelligence community was accused of was a lack of imagination," said Dorothy Denning of the Naval Postgraduate School, an expert on internet threats who was invited by the CIA to participate but declined. "You want to think about not just what you think may affect you but about scenarios that might seem unlikely."

An earlier cyberterrorism exercise called "Livewire" for the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies concluded there were serious questions over government's role during a cyberattack depending on who was identified as the culprit -- terrorists, a foreign government or bored teenagers.

It also questioned whether the U.S. government would be able to detect the early stages of such an attack without significant help from private technology companies

Hinduism - Buddhism different religions?

Fwd. The use of the very word, 'tribal' which is a western indological
aberration, is loaded with disdain. The jaati and janajaati of
Hindustan are the bedrock of dharma which is the the land called
Hindustan. K.

Hinduism is a culture of the land called Hindustan. Because it is a
culture, it undergoes changes from time to time and from place to
place. No culture is strictly homogeneous.Therefore, even if some
people may say Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism are different from
Hinduism, it is not true. Some anti-Hindu people try to divide Hindus
by trying to prove that Hinduism is different from these religions.
Many Leftists try to propagate that tribals are also not Hindus. We
must condemn those, who try to divide Hindus ib various ways.

Keshav Acharya

Hinduism - Buddhism different religions?

By Nandakumar Chandran

In modern perception today Buddhism is regarded as a religion distinct
and apart from Hinduism. It is our view that such an understanding
lacks historical validity and is also logically flawed. In the
enterprise of clarifying Buddhism's relationship with "Hinduism" we
will in the essay below adopt the following strategy:

1. Show the inadequacy of the modern understanding of the word
"religion" in representing Indian religious traditions.

2. Understand the historical context of the definition of "Hinduism".

3. Understand the inadequacy of the arguments, which distinguish
Buddhism as a religion distinct from "Hinduism".

4. Understand why Buddhism is regarded as a religion distinct from
"Hinduism" today.

5. Attempt to understand the true relationship between Buddhism and "Hinduism".

Some fundamental problems with regards defining "religion" in India

A religion in the modern sense is generally understood in the Semitic
mould as a faith distinguished by its belief in a historical prophet
and a holy book. Thus the combination of Jesus and the Bible or
Mohammed and the Quran establish the distinct identity of Christianity
and Islam. According to these religions salvation or access to God is
possible only if you accept the authority of their prophet and holy
book. So each of these religions hold that theirs is the only true
path and the claims of all other religions are false and invalid. At a
secondary level apart from theological distinctions the adherents of
these religions also distinguish themselves by their distinct cultural
traits - like naming themselves after the holy men of their religions,
dressing in a distinct way or observing cultural practices particular
to their own religion. So it is in these factors - primarily the
exclusive belief in prophet and holy book and secondarily in
theological beliefs and distinct cultural practices - that the
individual identity of a religion and its adherents rests.

But if we look at India the concept of a prophet is totally lacking -
no saint has ever claimed that "he is the only way". With regards the
scriptures, a few streams of the Miimaamsaa consider the Vedas to be
infallible and the sole authority on matters spiritual - but even here
they're careful to stress on the importance of reason in interpreting
the scriptures. Simply put: even the Vedas cannot make fire cold. But
the majority of the religious streams were agreed about the relative
value of their scriptures and accepted the authority of other sources
too - logic, the views of enlightened men etc. So no religious stream
in India has ever claimed that they and only they represent the sole
way to God based on their prophet and holy book and all others are
false. Simply put the argument is that God/reality is not validated by
a prophet or a holy book and is open to anybody with the right
inclination. So each religious stream at best claims to be a better
and more effective path to access God/reality.

With regards theological views, all religious streams of India
consider man to be caught in an endless cycle of rebirths, where each
life is inevitably sunk in suffering due to the transient nature of
the world. Salvation is escape from the cycle of rebirths. Knowledge
of the true nature of ones own self is what brings about salvation
(even for Buddhism the "I" is without substance and it is on
understanding its true nature that the root of the bonds which tie a
human being to samsaara - "I" and "mine" - are erased and thus
liberation effected). This saving knowledge can arise either by
intuition or by the grace of God. But it is imperative that one must
lead a life of control of the psycho/physical faculties and practice
compassion and charity. This is fundamental dharma and no religious
stream has ever disputed it.

Where the various spiritual streams differ is in their metaphysical
worldviews (whether there is one or many souls, where there's a primal
matter or infinite atoms etc) and their own particular path to effect
liberation - but this path is not anything totally new but an emphasis
on a particular set of spiritual practices of the fundamental dharma.
For e.g. Advaita might lay greater emphasis on self-introspection,
while Mahaayaana Buddhism might give more importance to ethics and
meditation or Yoga, which teaches mind control.

With regards cultural practices, it is to be noted that only serious
practitioners of the Indian spiritual streams, who in most cases were
monks, did anything significant to distinguish themselves from the
adherents of other spiritual streams. For example the Saamkhya
ascetics wore red robes and the Buddhist and Jainaa monks named
themselves in a particular way. But the laity of the various streams
existed together with little to distinguish between themselves. For a
Shaivite or a Vaishnavite or a Nyaaya logician to become a Buddhist
only meant abandoning a few of his existing views and practices on
spirituality and adopting new ones as taught by Buddhism. To embrace a
new path only meant adopting a slightly different way of life more
conducive to one's own spiritual inclinations. Sometimes those who
converted to a new path, not satisfied with their current path, went
back to their original fold - the great Purva Miimaamsaa philosopher
Kumaarilla Bhatta being a notable example. But this seldom involved
any change in existing cultural practices as they were all
born/married/died the same way, ate similar food, dressed similarly,
enjoyed similar past times and upheld similar ideals about the purpose
of life. It was not unusual for an orthodox Brahmin family to have a
son who was a Buddhist, married to a woman who believed in the
teachings of the Mahaaveera. They all belonged to the same
civilization and lived as one people under the shade of the dharma.

So considering all these it is a flawed theory that considers Buddhism
as a religion distinct from "Hinduism" based on modern notions of
religion.

Understanding "Hinduism"

If we see in the four thousand years worth of religious literature in
India we cannot find a single reference to the word "Hinduism"
anywhere! "Hinduism" is a word concocted by Europeans to refer to the
myriad streams of religious faiths in the land of Hindustan. "Hindu"
only means an inhabitant of the sub-continent east of the river
Sindhu. The Persians pronounced "Sindu" as "Hindu" which the Greeks in
turn pronounced as "Indu" - thus the word to refer to the denizens of
the sub-continent. Even "India" is but a Greek word for Hindustan.

Only after the advent of Islam and later Christianity in India, the
natives of the sub-continent who did not belong to either of these
religions, used the word "Hindu" to distinguish between themselves and
the adherents of these alien religions. Though the definition is
strictly geographical in nature but interpreted in the religious sense
a "Hindu" can be a Shaivite or a Vaishnavite or an Advaita Vedaanti or
a follower of one of the numerous such sects - each with their own set
of Gods and Goddesses, their own holy book(s), their own spiritual
founder/teachers and their own specific way of effecting liberation.
And historically we do not see even heterodox streams like Buddhism or
Jainsim being excluded from such a definition. Neither in the works of
the aastika nor naastikaa schools do we find any distinction like
"Hindu and Bauddha" or "Hindu and Jainaa". Within themselves it is
always "Vedaanti and Bauddha" or "Naiyaayika and Jainaa". Only when
there's a reference to Christianity or Islam does the word "Hindu"
come into play. So to both the adherents of the alien and native
religions "Hindu" meant a follower of one of the native religions of
India, including Buddhism and Jainism.

But even then before the advent of Europeans into the sub-continent
nobody is known to have clubbed together the myriad spiritual streams
of India under a single definition of "Hinduism". Under this
definition all the adherents of the aastika and assorted miscellaneous
sects excluding the Jains and Buddhists, were classified under
"Hinduism". Though there's is no problem with regards what constitutes
"Hinduism" itself, still if you look at the reasons why Buddhism and
Jainism are identified as separate religions distinct from "Hinduism",
then we find that the definition of "Hinduism" itself becomes
untenable.

Problems in distinguishing between Buddhism and "Hinduism"

There're seven main factors, which are normally used to distinguish
Buddhism as an entity apart from the various sects that make up
"Hinduism":

1. Repudiation of the authority of the Vedas: It is generally held
that the Buddha repudiated the authority of the Vedas. But it is very
important to understand level this "repudiation" extended to. Nowhere
do we find the Buddha saying that the teachings of the Vedas are
false. He only questioned whether those who revered the Vedas had
experienced/seen the reality which they claimed that the Vedas talked
about - so he was not disputing the validity of the Vedas per se, but
only those who claimed to know the reality that the Vedas talked
about.

The Vedas have traditionally been divided into the karma kaanda and
the jnaana kaanda - the ritualistic and the knowledge sections. By the
time of the Buddha the ritualistic section had gained prominence with
Brahmins performing elaborate rituals and sacrificing animals in the
name of Vedic karma. The Buddha was not opposed to rituals per se as
we find in the Nikhaayas that he has no problem in participating in a
Vedic ritual with a Brahmin - he only opposed the prominence given to
the Vedic rituals in the scheme of spiritual liberation and the
sacrifice of animals in this process.

As has been noted by a lot of scholars, both ancient and modern, the
Buddha's teachings compare very favorably the to jnaana kaanda of the
Vedas - the Upanishads. In contrast to the orthodoxy who tried to
present the whole Vedas as absolutely valid, the Buddha only shifted
the emphasis on the knowledge section. In this he considered the
teachings of anybody who had "crossed the further shore", including
himself, to be as authoritative as the Vedas.

The "relativity" in the Buddha's approach to the Vedas is not unique
to him. All the orthodox schools except the two Mimaamsaas too pay
only lip service to the Vedas - where their doctrines agree with the
Vedas they are eager to show it off - but where it doesn't they ignore
such contradictions. For each school, only the Sutras of the founder
truly play the part of the scripture. The Naiyaayikas dilute the
validity of the scripture by accepting anything that's proved by
logic.

Even with respect to the two Miimaamsaas, it is only the Purva
Miimaamsaa, which can be said to accept scriptural injunctions as
absolute. In contrast the schools of the Uttara Miimaamsaa exhibit
various positions regarding the scripture: Advaita accepts the
relativity of the Vedas and asserts that scriptural teachings are only
to "instruct" - also from the ultimate standpoint Advaitins consider
even the Vedas to be in the realm of ignorance. The Visishtadvaita
school considers the Divya Prabandham to be on par with the Vedas. The
Saiva Siddhaanta school considers the Saiva Aagamaas to be more
authoritative than the Vedas.

Regarding Vedic rituals with the exception of the Miimaamsaas, all the
orthodox schools too are interested mainly in the jnaana kaanda and
are indifferent to the karma kaanda. Even with the Mimaamsaas, it is
only the Purva Miimaamsaa for which rituals form a very vital aspect
of spirituality - the Vedaantic schools in contrast emphasize on the
importance of the jnaana kaanda over the karma kaanda. Also
historically the Saamkhya and Dvaita Vedaanta too were strong in their
opposition to animal sacrifices in the name of religion.

Considering all these it is very difficult to establish Buddhism as a
religion distinct from "Hinduism" merely on the basis of the Buddha's
"repudiation of the Vedas". It is also to be noted that historically
Buddhist universities like Takshila and Nalanda didn't teach Buddhist
philosophy alone - the Vedas and the philosophies of aastika schools
were also taught in these institutes.

2. The caste system: it is generally held that the Buddha rejected the
caste system in contrast to the other schools, which accepted the
varna system. This too is not really true.


In the Ambatta Sutta we find the Buddha scorned as a lower caste
Kshatriya by a Brahmin. The Buddha in response points out to the
Brahmin that while the Brahmin was born of wedlock between a Brahmin
and a lower caste woman, the Buddha's ancestors resorted even to
incest to preserve the purity of the race of the Saakhyaas! Thus the
Buddha declares himself to be superior to the Brahmin.


The practical implication of the doctrine of karma itself is that one
is born in a higher caste due to the virtues of past lives. The Buddha
himself admits that to be born as a Brahmin in a spiritually conducive
environment reflects a life of dharma lived in past lives.


Nowhere in the dialogues of the Buddha do we find him declaring all
castes to be equal - nor is it supposed to be so even after they join
the Buddhist order. In the Nikhaayas we find Brahmin disciples of the
Buddha addressed as Brahmins even after they have joined the sangha.


Even after the Buddha, his followers in many instances have harped on
his "royal" birth to assert the validity of their religion - quite
like Jainism it is a regular practice in Buddhist literature to assert
the superiority of the Kshatriya caste over the Brahmin caste.


The Jaatakaas too assert that the Buddha in all his past and future
existences will be born only as a Brahmin or a Kshatriya and never in
a caste lower than these two. According to Buddhist prophecy even the
future "Buddha-to-be" - Maitreya - is supposed to be born as a
Brahmin.

Due to the reasons given above we find it hard to accept that the
Buddha was against the caste system. The Vedic religion allowed only
the dvijas (the top three castes) access to spiritual knowledge - the
Buddha only opened up such knowledge for the lower castes and women.
So this does not necessarily mean that the Buddha was opposed to the
caste system per se, but only disputed the claims of spiritual
supremacy of the Brahmins and asserted that anybody with the right
inclination can take up spirituality. Also the Buddha was not
particularly against Brahmins - for we find recurring instances in the
Nikhaayas where the Buddha affirms that it is a virtue to give alms to
Brahmins. So in reality the Buddha was only against the exaggerated
claims of the spiritual prowess of Brahmins, but not against Brahmins
or the caste system per se.

On a related note, we'd like to point out that this is the exact case
with respect to the Bhakti saints too. If the bhakti saints can be
accommodated within the ambit of Hinduism, then why not the Buddha?

It is also to be noted that even for the Saamkya and Yoga systems
anybody who's enlightened is considered a guru irrespective of caste.
The Visishtadvaita and the Saiva Siddhaanta reveres many non-Brahmin
teachers as saints.

Considering all these it is very difficult to establish Buddhism as a
religion distinct from "Hinduism" merely on the basis of the Buddha's
alleged "repudiation of the caste system".

3. Philosophical views: It cannot be said that just because of
distinct metaphysical views Buddhism is a distinct religion - for the
same can be said about all the schools which constitute "Hinduism"
too. They all have distinct metaphysical views, which distinguish them
from each other. Here it is sometimes pointed out that Buddhism does
not accept a creator God - but the same applies to even orthodox
schools like classical Saamkhya and the Purva Miimaamsaa.

4. Anatta: it is sometimes said that while the traditional view of
"Hinduism" is based on the Atman (Self), the Buddha in contrast taught
the anatta.

But here it is to be noted that anatta only meant that which is not
the Self - the non-self. It doesn't mean "no self". Nowhere do we find
the Buddha denying the reality of the Atman. He just maintained
silence when questioned about the Atman.

The Buddha's attitude to philosophy was that it was more meaningful to
understand the known than wasting time speculating about the unknown.
Thus it is the non-self - the skandhas or aggregates -, which should
be contemplated on and understood. But his stress on the non-self
doesn't mean that the Buddha negated the self - Naagaarjuna puts
anatta in the right perspective when he questions in his
Mulamaadhyamaka Kaarikaa : without the self how can the non-self
exist? The Buddha only taught the insubstantiality of the individual
self, but not no-substance or no-soul.

It is also to be noted that the great Advaitin teacher Gaudapaada
quite in line with Mahaayaana Buddhism asserts that it is only those
who go beyond the notions of the existence or non-existence or both or
neither of the Self, are truly omniscient.

So Buddhism cannot be distinguished from "Hinduism" based merely on
simplistic notions of the concept of anatta.

5. Teachings: Even with regards his teachings there's nothing in what
the Buddha taught that cannot be found in texts earlier to Buddhism.
The four noble truths are unanimously accepted right across the Indian
philosophical spectrum - right from the Upanishads to the darshanas
these truths are accepted as fundamental reason for a life of the
spirit.

The origins of the theories of anatta, kshanikavaada (momentariness),
pratitya samutpaada (dependant origination) can all be found in the
Upanishads (this has been noted by as orthodox a thinker as Kumaarilla
Bhatta in his Tantravaartikam). Schools generally picked out what they
could relate to in the scriptures and expanded on them. The Buddha too
only did the same thing.

Even with regards to later Buddhist philosophy it didn't develop in
isolation and only developed in relation to other schools of
philosophy. Naagaarjuna was primarily responding to Gautama's Nyaaya
Sutras. Vaatsyaayana the classical commentator of the Nyaaya Sutras
addresses many of Naagaarjuna's concerns. Likewise the Buddhist
logician Dignaaga answers Vaatsyaayana; the Naiyaayika Udhyotakaara
responds to Dignaaga; and Dignaaga's disciple Dharmakirti addresses
the concerns of Udhyotakaara. This was the way Indian philosophy
developed. So directly or indirectly each school influenced the
philosophy of other schools. So Buddhism developed only in relation to
its native cousins and thus its identity itself depends on its cousins
to a great extent.

6. Aastika vs. Naastika: as noted above many of the so-called aastika
schools stood for the same things that Buddhism did. So it is not easy
to identify aastika schools with Hinduism either. Also historically
even schools like Saamkhya and Advaita Vedanta have been branded
"naastika" in certain quarters.

Further the hostility we observe in the texts of aastika schools
against Buddhism itself cannot be used as a point to establish
Buddhism as an independent entity apart from the aastika schools.
Because even as the aastika schools were opposed to Buddhism, they
were mutually antagonistic to each other too. Also we find many
aastika scholars like Gaudapaada who are sympathetic to Buddhism and
revere the Buddha. As traditional a scriptural text as the Devi
Bhaagavatham considers the Buddha as the Lord descended in human form
to prevent cruelty to animals in Vedic sacrifices.

So it is not possible to distinguish Buddhism with "Hinduism" based on
simplistic notions of aastika and naastika.

7. Vihaara vs. Temple: Apart from these technical distinctions it is
also pointed out that Buddhists have their own temples or vihaaraas.
But the same applies to even traditional Shaivites, Vaishnavites,
Shaaktaaists etc - each will go only to temples which house their
deity and none other. Vaishnavites will not go to a Shiva temple nor
will Shaivites go to a Vishnu temple.

In conclusion we find that it is not possible to distinguish Buddhism
as a religion distinct from "Hinduism" on the basis of the reasons
given above. It is true that at the time of the Buddha, he did preach
something quite distinct in the prevailing environment with regards
caste, philosophy, spiritual practice etc. But it did not take long
for the other spiritual streams to accept and reconcile the validity
of these teachings with their own worldview. In some cases even
Buddhism itself wasn't able to live up to the original world view of
the Buddha: Departing from the original monastic tradition, Mahaayaana
with the intent to increase the scope of the sangha in spreading the
dharma tried to reconcile spirituality with worldly life - thus the
introduction of the bodhisattva ideal in the model of the brahmin
householder to spread the dharma. This naturally compromised
Buddhism's traditional opposition to the Brahmins; in the religious
sphere it embraced theism; philosophically it accepted reality to be
pure consciousness. So as time passed the differences narrowed so
drastically that Buddhism could no more sustain its individual
identity in any meaningful sense and thus could no more be
distinguished from other religious streams. The same is the case with
the non-Miimaamsaa schools, which were all assimilated into one or the
other form of the Vedanta. Jainism quite like Buddhism dominated
certain parts of India at certain points in time - but it too met the
same fate as Buddhism. Jainism has all but disappeared from its
one-time strongholds and survives only in tiny pockets mainly near its
historical birthplace in Northern India, where it is held together
more by clannish loyalties rather than any meaningful religious
distinction with the sects of Hinduism. But for all practical purpose
most Jains today consider themselves as Hindus only.

So why is Buddhism regarded as a religion distinct from "Hinduism" today?

By the time modern Indologists started their enquiries into Indian
culture, Buddhism was no more a living religion in India and so these
scholars couldn't evaluate it as a living religion on its own in its
native soil. Jainism too had lost its once dominant position in India
and survives only in tiny pockets in North Western India. Influenced
by their own exclusive Christian backgrounds western Indologists seem
to have viewed Indian religious streams in the same mould - basing it
on the validity of a single scriptural text - the Vedas, or a prophet
- the Buddha or the Mahaaveera. The ancient distinction between
aastika and naastika based on the acceptance or otherwise of the
validity of the Vedas and the supremacy of the Brahmin in the chatur
varna system seems to have strengthened their opinion on the validity
of such distinctions between "Hinduism" and Buddhism/Jainism. Plus
what they saw of Buddhism in practice in countries like Tibet, China
and Japan, obviously influenced them to identify Buddhism as a
religion distinct from "Hinduism".

But as noted, we cannot distinguish between Buddhism and "Hinduism"
the way the latter can be distinguished from Christianity or Islam.
Also historically the development of Buddhism in India is different
from the way Buddhism developed in other countries. Buddhism in India
grew only in relation to its native cousins and its relationship with
them is different from its relationship with the religions of the
alien lands it spread to. So while it might be meaningful to
distinguish between Buddhism and Taoism or Shintoism as distinct
religions primarily because of the native cultural and philosophical
contexts in which each religious stream developed, the same doesn't
hold for its relationship with the so-called "Hinduism".

Understanding the relationship between Indic spiritual streams:
Dharmic Substratum

One of the important questions to be asked in understanding Buddhism's
relationship with Hinduism is: Did the Buddha consider himself to be
starting out a totally new tradition apart from the Vedic tradition?

This cannot be so because the Buddha accepted that what he was doing
was only continuing the ancient arya tradition - puraana aarya dharma.
It is in this spirit that though his name was Siddhaartha, the Buddha
let himself be addressed to by his Vedic gotra name - Gautama - and
also in many cases took care to refer to other people by their Gotra
names - Vaccha (Vatsa), Kaashyapa etc. This clearly indicates that he
considered himself to be a part of the existing tradition.

Also the very fact that Buddha accepted that he had gone through
various births and it was due to adherence of the dharma in past lives
that he has come to the present stage of Buddhahood, itself implies
that there was dharma prior to him and he was an integral part of it.
But like various teachers prior to and after him, he only gave that
extra individual addition to the dharma, which was his own individual
contribution to the understanding of the dharma. But this doesn't make
his school a totally new tradition divorced from its cultural
ancestors and contemporaries - if this is so then all other schools
too have to be considered likewise.

So there is little doubt that even as other spiritual streams the
Buddha considered himself to be a part of an age-old tradition. And
historically too all the spiritual streams were acutely conscious of
their traditional connection to the underlying age old religious
tradition of the land and took care to emphasize it - in fact each
school claimed that they were the true representatives of the
tradition.

With regards to the identity of this tradition there are two possibilities:

1. The Buddha considered himself part of the Vedic tradition, but
disputed the Brahmanical interpretation of the Vedas. OR

2. There's an even earlier dharmic substratum of which even the Vedic
tradition is but a part - and it is this ancient dharmic substratum
that the Buddha considered himself as reviving/following.

Either way there is little doubt that the Buddha considered himself to
be following in the footsteps of his civilizational ancestors in
spreading the dharma. The same is the view of his rivals too. It is
due to this common dharmic ancestor that all religious streams of
India share many common beliefs in philosophy and spiritual practice:
that there's a cycle of rebirths and each life is filled with
suffering due to the transient nature of the world; karma which
conditions each existence based on past actions; salvation is knowing
the reality inherent in oneself which is effected by living a life of
dharma (control of the psycho/physical faculties, compassion and
charity) in combination with meditation or devotion - thus does one
escape the cycle of rebirths.

The underlying civilizational unity underlying all the spiritual
streams of India is more than evident in the shared philosophical
heritage that they all subscribed to. All streams predominantly worked
under the same philosophical framework and mainly used Sanskrit as the
lingua franca amongst themselves. In this regard it is to be noted
that Panini's Ashtadhyaayi and Patanjali's Mahaabaashyam, the
classical works on Sanskrit grammar, have been commented upon by both
Buddhist and Jaina authors too.

Thus the various spiritual streams of India are better understood from
the standpoint of the dharma. It is from the same dharmic tree that
all the great spiritual streams of India, including Buddhism, sprung
as branches to teach their own brand of dharma with the common goal of
salvation from the cycle of rebirths. It is in this spirit that each
school referred to other schools only as a darshana (school of
philosophy) or a siddhaanta (spiritual philosophy) and not as
independent religions. Hence the significance of works like Sarva
Darshana Samgraha or Sad Darshana Samuccaya.

In conclusion given the civilizational/dharmic unity underlying all
the spiritual streams of India we have to find a more integrative way
to define and represent the various spiritual streams of India.

You could write to him at Nanda Chandran : vpcnk@HOTMAIL.COM

The link to this article in Nanda's site is below.

Link 1
Link 2

What revolutions do to intellectuals

"All sorts of revolutions abhor dissent. And dissent comes only from true intellectuals, who wish not to be constrained within any framework. The enclosed quote narrates what happened during the so-called cultural revolution in China. Such things have happened many times in the past. That societies recover from such vandalism is a credit to the dynamism of societies. "says Ashok Chowgule , Industrialist and Leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad .

Suppressing words, either written or spoken, had formed the base of his career. As deputy head of the Cultural Revolution Group, from 1966 onwards, Zhang Chunqiao's role was to purge the party ranks of artists and intellectuals, creating instead "new-born things" that would be worthy of the revolution. Intellectuals were sent to work in the fields to clear their minds of bourgeois notions. As head of the Revolutionary Committee in Shanghai Mr Zhang used the Red Guards, ruthless gangs of
students and workers, to burn books.

Obituary of Zhang Chunqiao, The Economist, May 19, 2005

Why is Bill Clinton coming to Nagappattinam?

Why is Clinton visiting Nagappattinam? Maybe, it is more than a humanitarian call, in defense of human rights. Can investigative journalists investigate further and unravel the unfathomable mysteries of the heart?

Methinks, Clinton is in the employ of the Christist churches. Last time, he went to Gujarat, in the wake of a natural disaster.This time, he is coming to Tamilnadu, in the wake of a natural disaster.

Who else has a vested interested in fishing in troubled waters caused by a natural disaster? The christist church.

A visit to Nagappattinam for a photo-op by an ex-president of USA, after the attempts of Vivek Oberoi to provide tsunami relief were check-mated by the christists, is a wake-up call to all to understand the nature of christist attacks which get mounted incessantly. Some attacks are clevery camouflaged; some are blatant like the acquisition of real-estate all along the Coromandel coastline, to create a number of churches to rival the number of hindu mandirams.

A Roberto de Nobili avatar is also due to arrive: Fr. Clooney.

May 26, 2005

$192 billion will be spent to fight terror worldwide this year

This year, nearly $192 billion will be spent for fight against terror in the
world.

According to research conducted by the Homeland Security Research
Corporation (HSRC) based in Washington, this figure is likely to triple
within the next three years.

The research indicates that 44 percent of the expenditures is from the US.

By 2010, expenses for fight against terror will reach $350 billion and 36
percent of this will be met by the US alone. The number is predicted to
surpass $517 billion in 2015.

Experts preparing this report said these estimations have originated from
the homeland security and defense expenses of each country. The calculations
are based on the assumption that the tension today will continue rather than
a repeat of a big attack similar to 9/11.

The document, announced as the first of its kind in the world is 400 pages
long and on sale for $3,950 from HSRC.

China Deploys Advanced AWACS

PLAAF Deploys Advanced AWACS

China has successfully developed an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control
System) radar plane. The aircraft, a modified Russian-made transport, is
currently undergoing testing with the People's Liberation Army Air Force
(PLAAF) near Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

The surveillance plane, a modified Russian IL-76 transport, is reportedly
fitted with a Chinese-made airborne radar system at Xian Aircraft Industry
Co. (XAC). The aircraft made its first flight in November 2003, and has been
designated as Kong Jing-2000 or KJ-2000.

Two KJ-2000s, one based on a Russian radar plane purchased by China and one
converted from a Chinese Air Force IL-76MD transport have been delivered to
the PLAAF for operational evaluation and tests. According to reports from
Beijing, a total of four aircraft will eventually be built.

The newly developed airborne radar planes are expected to join a growing
force of advanced aircraft poised to take Taiwan by storm. The PLAAF radar
plane is designed to command and control the massive numbers of jet fighters
deployed by the PLAAF.

Officially, all of the Russian-made IL-76 transports belong to the China
United Airline (CUA), the commercial branch of the PLAAF. The IL-76 aircraft
are registered with the four digit numbering used by civilian aircraft.

However, these Russian transport aircraft are painted in the civil China
United airline scheme. In fact the IL-76 jet transports are actually
operated by the PLAAF 13th Air Division based at Wuhan, Hubei Province and
the PLAAF 34th Air Division based at Nanyuan AFB, Beijing.

The airline and aircraft in question are not civilian, despite their
peacetime color paint scheme. In fact, these very same "civilian" China
United Airlines IL-76 transports dropped paratroopers, tanks and artillery
directly on to the battlefield during the fall 2000 Chinese military
exercises.

The Chinese airline in question, China United, is owned and operated by the
People's Liberation Army Air Force. According to a 1994 U.S. military
report, the Clinton administration knew that China United Airlines was owned
by the PLAAF.

Documentation obtained using the Freedom of Information act shows that China
United Airlines is actually one of several businesses wholly owned and
operated by the PLAAF.

Chinese Airline Front Company

"China United Airlines (CUA) is a commercial entity of the PLA Air Force,"
states a 1994 report on the Chinese military issued by Lt. Col. Dennis
Blasko, former U.S. defense attache to Beijing.

China United has been very successful as a front company operating in the
west for the Chinese military. In 2000, the Chinese air force obtained ten
U.S. made airliners for use as military aircraft. According to Aviation Week
and Space Technology, the Chinese Army Air Force obtained the ten Boeing
737-300 jet transports through a purchase by China United Airlines.

U.S. defense intelligence officials confirmed that the Chinese Air Force is
currently operating the ten Boeing China United airliners as military troop
transports.

China United Airlines also operates a sophisticated spy aircraft for the
PLAAF, again using the CUA peacetime paint scheme as flying camouflage.
China United Airlines aircraft B-4138, a Russian-made TU-154M three-engine
airliner, flies under an international civilian number as a passenger plane.


However, defense analysts confirmed that B-4138 is actually a Chinese air
force spy plane equipped with a sophisticated radar and communications
equipment. The heavily modified TU-154M airliner is equipped with an array
of communications antenna on the rear and a huge radar dome on the bottom of
the aircraft.

General Liu

PLAAF Major General Liu Taichi was the chairman of China United Airlines.
The youngest son of a revolutionary marshal, Gen. Liu was also the deputy
head of the PLAAF equipment department.

Gen. Lui often traveled to the United States as a civilian, using his
position at China United as a cover. He also became a familiar face inside
U.S. aviation companies such as Boeing. During the Clinton years, Gen. Liu
bought six Boeing planes for use as VIP aircraft.

"He was one of Boeing's best customers," said a former business associate of
the PLAAF commander in a recent article published by the Wall Street
Journal.

The Clinton administration also approved the sale of a used Delta Airlines
Boeing 767 to China United. The Boeing 767 was intended to become Chinese
President Jiang Zemin's personal plane. The 767 was refitted at a Texas
airport with sophisticated American-made electronics, including satellite
communications and navigation systems.

Ironically, the aircraft was also fitted with a series of covert
eavesdropping devices, including bugs placed inside President Jiang's
airborne bedroom, bathroom and secure telephone systems. The 767-bugging
incident led to the arrest of Gen. Liu.

Strategic Partner

Throughout the 1990s, the Clinton administration engaged the Chinese air
force using civilian programs as cover. The Clinton administration was
clearly aware of China United and its PLAAF ownership.

The Clinton administration allowed PLAAF generals to tour Federal Aviation
Administration facilities and U.S. Air Force bases around the United States,
dressed as civilians. Chinese officers even managed to visit Edwards Air
Force Base in California.

According to USAF documents, PLAAF officers toured Edwards Air Force Base in
May 1999 for military purposes. The PLAAF officers were given training on
USAF combat missions, including "bombing and strafing" and "combat
readiness."

In 1999, the Clinton administration offered the PLAAF the latest in advanced
"mobile radars," command and control systems, GPS navigation, and
"Surveillance Avionics" such as "Air to Air," "Air to Ground" and "Surface
Area Movement" surveillance radars.

The USAF documents also include training manuals from the USAF 334th
Training Squadron in both English and Chinese. The documents show that
Clinton administration officials proposed to train PLAAF military air
controllers.

The USAF documents show that PLAAF officers were given a "simulated"
training mission. The training included a "two ship formation of F-16s from
Luke AFB, Arizona" on a "bombing" and overflight mission in a training area,
code-named "Baghdad," northwest of Prescott, Arizona. The simulated exercise
also included "in-flight refueling" with a tanker aircraft under control of
a USAF AWACS plane.

The U.S. government has frequently approved the sale of military transport
aircraft to China under innocent civilian disguises, including several
Lockheed C-130 heavy-lift transport aircraft that were purchased by Air
China, an airline 100 percent owned by the communist government.

The C-130 Hercules is current used by the USAF as a heavy transport plane
and has recently been used in Afghanistan and Iraq as an aerial gunship.

If any single lesson is to be learned, it is that China is not a strategic
partner but a determined adversary willing to use guile, camouflage and - if
necessary - force to obtain its national goals.

The buildup of advanced Chinese weapons systems under the guise of civilian
programs is simple deception designed to fool the ignorant and provide cover
for the greedy. It is time to close down PLA Inc. and all of its franchise
businesses.

Source : NewMax

CIA Overseeing 3-Day War Game on Internet

By TED BRIDIS, AP Technology Writer
2 hours, 37 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The CIA is conducting a secretive war game, dubbed
"Silent Horizon," this week to practice defending against an
electronic assault on the same scale as the Sept. 11 terrorism
attacks.

The three-day exercise, ending Thursday, was meant to test the ability
of government and industry to respond to escalating Internet
disruptions over many months, according to participants. They spoke on
condition of anonymity because the CIA asked them not to disclose
details of the sensitive exercise taking place in Charlottesville, Va
., about two hours southwest of Washington.

The simulated attacks were carried out five years in the future by a
fictional alliance of anti-American organizations, including anti-
globalization hackers. The most serious damage was expected to be
inflicted in the war game's closing hours.

The national security simulation was significant because its premise —
a devastating cyberattack that affects government and parts of the
economy with the same magnitude as the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide
hijackings — contravenes assurances by U.S. counterterrorism experts
that such far-reaching effects from a cyberattack are highly unlikely.
Previous government simulations have modeled damage from cyberattacks
more narrowly.

"You hear less and less about the digital Pearl Harbor," said Dennis
McGrath, who helped run three similar war games for the Institute for
Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. "What people call
cyberterrorism, it's just not at the top of the list."

The CIA's little-known Information Operations Center, which evaluates
threats to U.S. computer systems from foreign governments, criminal
organizations and hackers, was running the war game. About 75 people,
mostly from the CIA, gathered in conference rooms and reacted to signs
of mock computer attacks.

The government remains most concerned about terrorists using
explosions, radiation and biological threats.
FBIDirector Robert Mueller warned earlier this year that terrorists
increasingly are recruiting computer scientists but said most hackers
"do not have the resources or motivation to attack the U.S. critical
information infrastructures."

The government's most recent intelligence assessment of future threats
through the year 2020 said cyberattacks are expected, but terrorists
"will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons." Authorities
have expressed concerns about terrorists combining physical attacks,
such as bombings, with hacker attacks to disrupt communications or
rescue efforts.

"One of the things the intelligence community was accused of was a
lack of imagination," said Dorothy Denning of the Naval Postgraduate
School, an expert on Internet threats who was invited by the CIA to
participate but declined. "You want to think about not just what you
think may affect you but about scenarios that might seem unlikely."

"Livewire," an earlier cyberterrorism exercise for the Homeland
Security Department and other federal agencies, concluded there were
serious questions about government's role during a cyberattack,
depending on who was identified as the culprit — terrorists, a foreign
government or bored teenagers.

It also questioned whether the U.S. government would be able to detect
the early stages of such an attack without significant help from
private technology companies.

May 24, 2005

Facts about the 1999 India-Pakistan conflict in Kargil

FACT 1. Pakistan used 5,000 of its troops to infiltrate into various peaks in the Kargil sector.

Some local "Mujahideen" were used, but only as porters. The NLI troops occupied a total of 132 posts. ”An Analysis of the Kargil Conflict 1999" by Brig. (Ret) Shaukat Qadir of Pakistan Army It says; "They were occupying 132 posts of various sizes. Whereas the total number of troops occupying these posts never exceeded 1000 (from all ranks),four times this number provided the logistical backup to undertake the operation. While the occupants were essentially soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI),there were some local Mujahideen assisting as labour to carry logistical requirements." "Pakistan: The Eye of the Storm", Owen Bennett Jones pp 91-92 Jones says; When they speak off the record, however Pakistani politicians and army officers tell a very different story, freely conceding that denials about Kargil were nothing more than barefaced lies. The Northern Light Infantry, they admit, did cross the line of control. The truth is that, just as in 1947 and 1965, Pakistan tried to fudge its offensive by saying it was carried out by volunteers and not regular troops. In reality, the Islamic militants probably accounted for no more than 10 per cent of the total force and were given only portering duties. Not all of them were from the NLI: some were commandos from the Special Services Group.
-------------------------
FACT 2. The PAF and PN were not consulted in the operation.
The Pakistan Chief of Air Staff refused to support the Army after he was informed of this operation. From Shaukat Qadir's analysis; "Soon thereafter ,the first formal briefing of the entire operation was made for the benefit of the prime minister in April,in the presence of the other services. Since the CNS was on a visit abroad, the navy’s reaction was voiced cautiously, but the CAS was openly critical and skeptical of the conclusion that India would not opt for an all-out war. He also voiced the view that in the event of war, the air force would not be able to provide the support that the army might seek."
---------------------
FACT 3. After the initial setback, Indian Army gained many tactical victories fighting uphill despite the fact that the Pakistani NLI had dug in bunkers and were well stocked and armed.
From Shaukat Qadir's analysis; "Under cover of fire, elements of 2 Rajputana Rifles captured what the Indians called ‘Tololing top ’,(Point 45907),the most dominating height directly overlooking Dras,on 12 June. An adjacent post was captured on 13 June, and Tiger Hills (Point 5140), another dominating height, fell on 20 June. The army had continued to assert that no posts had fallen to the Indians,which reaffirms the contention that no effort was made to explain such a loss, or why it could not recur. However, in this case, it appears that Sharif found the Indian claims more credible than the Pakistan army’s denials." "Limited Conflict Under the Nuclear Umbrella: Indian and Pakistani Lessons from the Kargil Crisis " by Ashley J. Tellis, C. Christine Fair, Jamison Jo Medby of RAND Corp" In the above publication, the authors, while discussing the various Pakistani views of the Kargil operation, write; "A second common variant is that Kargil was a tactical success but a strategic failure. This view was also articulated by a number of in-formants and has been reiterated in various articles. Shireen Mazari, for example, has written that “the military aspect of the Kargil action was simply brilliant.” Later in the same piece she laments that India was able to “turn a military defeat into a diplomatic victory . . . [and] that Pakistan was unable to translate a tremendous military success into a politico-diplomatic victory.” Interlocutors who held this view asserted—often against the weight of evidence—that the Pakistani Army’s operational performance at Kargil was flawless, and they in-variably concluded that the Army’s attainment of strategic surprise at Kargil was in effect synonymous with the achievement of victory in the campaign writ large. Since those who hold this view entirely neglect the fact that the Indian Army, once mobilized, redeployed, and committed to eviction operations, actually secured repeated tactical victories—often against great odds—throughout the concluding half of the Kargil campaign, they continue to claim that Kargil must be chalked up as an operational victory for the Pakistani Army even if it otherwise appears to be an unnecessary political defeat for Pakistan at large."
----------------------------
FACT 4. Pakistan Army endorsed the decision to pull back the troops after the operation failed.
”Pak army’s research and analysis is weak " - An article by Pakistan Defense analyst Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa Agha in "The Friday Times" March 29 - April 04, 2002. While examining the analysis by Brig. Qadir, Dr. Agha says; "There is no mention of the Indian forces hitting back after they had taken the initial beating. There is also no reference to the situation when the Pakistan Army had run out of manpower properly acclimatized to fight at such heights. Reports suggest that during the last week of the operation Pakistan had to pull out men deployed at Siachin, leaving positions there vulnerable to an Indian attack. Hence, it was in the Army’s interest to convince the prime minister to negotiate peace with the adversary. The study, however, puts the blame squarely on Nawaz Sharif who, it is claimed, had chickened out and gone to talk to the Americans and the Indians." "Pakistan: The Eye of the Storm", Owen Bennett Jones Jones says; "Most insiders say…that (Gen.Musharraf) was in full agreement with Shrif’s decision to go to Washington.”
-----------------------
FACT 5. Pakistan Army lost 2,700 men in Kargil, thereby suffering a more devastating blow than in the 1965 and 71 wars as all this happened in one small theatre of ops.
Vajpayee 'was ready to solve Kashmir' "In his first ever interview since being deported from the country about 14 months ago, Nawaz lifted the curtain on the events that led to his downfall in October, 1999 in an interview to Urdu daily Jang where he made no secret that Kargil was a bigger disaster than 1965 and the 1971 wars because Pakistan lost over 2,700 soldiers. The entire Northern Light Infantry was wiped out. "When I reminded Musharraf of his claim that the operation will be risk-free, he replied that the Indians had resorted to carpet bombing, which looked rather naive to me," he said. "Didn't you know that this will happen?" Nawaz said he had asked his army chief. "Let me add here that Pakistanis fighting in Kashmir were without shelter, and some of the soldiers in the bunkers and outposts had been exposed to the extent that they lost their skulls by the dozens. The Indians were closing in on us when the Washington agreement was arrived at for an honourable pull back," he told the paper."

May 23, 2005

KASHMIR STRUGGLE : Letter DAWN from Pakistan House Member M. P . Bhandara

‘Kashmir struggle’

Following letter from Pakistan House Member M. P . Bhandara, which appeared in DAWN.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/05/22/letted.htm#6

THIS refers to Mr Khalid Hasan’s letter (May 16) in reply to mine (May 10). The gravamen of Mr Hasan’s charge is that President Musharraf has conceded “on essentials to India on Kashmir without receiving any reciprocating gesture”. Let us first examine this charge on legal merits.

UN resolutions are of two types. Resolutions passed under Chapter 7 are mandatory involving sanctions and those under Chapter 6 are not. Unfortunately, the UN resolutions on Kashmir do not indicate under which chapter the resolutions were passed.

Pakistan has all along stressed that the resolutions were passed under Chapter 7 because their substance provides for a detailed implementing mechanism and thus by implication has a binding character.

Unfortunately, this point of view has never been supported by any of permanent members of the Security Council, including China. Pakistan has not requested for a formal opinion from the office of the UN secretary-general on this issue; perhaps there is wisdom in not doing so.

Even assuming that the Kashmir resolutions were passed under Chapter 7, SC resolution 1172 has changed the legal matrix altogether. This 1998 resolution recommends that India and Pakistan should address the issue of Kashmir bilaterally. This resolution in effect endorses the mechanism provided by the Shimla Agreement followed by the Lahore and Islamabad declarations. Thus the SC has in effect altogether changed the character and remedies of the original resolutions.

The Pakistani public has been deliberately fed on a diet of half truths by our governments as regards the status of the UN resolutions. The original resolutions also called for the withdrawal of our troops from Azad Kashmir before a plebiscite could be held. We agreed to this condition but long after the horse had bolted from the stable.

Our undeclared policy since 1965 (Operation Gibraltar) up to Kargil was to front freedom-fighters. In the 1990s many of these fighters were loose guns. This misdirected, misconceived jihad was read as state-sponsored terrorism by the world community. Pakistan’s jihadi option of the 1990s virtually destroyed our Kashmir case. Even the veteran Sardar Qayyum, supreme head of the Muslim Conference, in a recent interview declared: “Jihad has become a business. In fact, the worst damage to the Kashmir cause has been caused by the Jihadis ... Jihad has no future.”

I shall take Mr Hasan’s word that Mahatma Gandhi visited Srinagar on August 1, 1947 to advise the ruler to remove his pro- independence prime minister. It is a measure of this great man that in the last days of his life seeing the obtaining facts, he made more than a dozen statements advocating a settlement in accordance with the wishes of the people. It is for this reason he declared a few days before his assassination: “I have been severely reprimanded for what I said concerning Kashmir.” His assassin Nathu Ram Godse, inter alia, cited Gandhi’s Kashmir statements in his non-defence in court.

Mr Hasan refers to my reflections on a visit to Srinagar as a more or less a “rosy eyed account”. Perhaps he should read the article again. I have described Srinagar as city under siege with “broken people” as inhabitants. Is it not a case of Mr Hasan seeing the Kashmir dispute through the rosy-coloured spectacles of yesterday’s jihad?

M.P. Bhandara
Rawalpindi

THE REALITY OF DECPTIVE CONVERSION TECHNIQUES

Dr. BABU SUSEELAN


For centuries Hindus have been forcefully converted into Islam and
Christianity. Religious conversion has profoundly affected our cultural
legacy by the after-effects of the genocidal coercive religious conversion.
It has left its wounding imprint on our individual psyches and our
collectiveconsciousness. Although coercive religious conversion of Hindus in
India and abroad has deep historical roots, recent deceptive religious
conversion techniques used by global evangelical movements pose serious
political, social, ethical and psychological problems.

Recently Pope Benedict XVI, in a new encyclical has issued a call to
Catholics to go out and actively convert non-Christians around the world. He
also directed Christians to introduce and practice western values in pagan
nations. In this era of globalization, corporate evangelists with unlimited
funds use sophisticated, deceptive psychological mind altering techniques
to lure, brainwash and convert innocent people.

How do we understand these deceptive psychological conversion techniques?
How do we prevent such unethical, dangerous brainwashing techniques, control
mechanism and fradulent psycho programming? The fraudulent mind altering
techniques employed by corporate evangelists are different from the coercive
methods used by Islamic invaders and Christian colonial powers. In India,
Islamic invasion and Christian colonialism and their forced religious
conversion of Hindus caused many breakdowns in social structure, values,
norms and religious traditions. During the European Christian colonization
ofIndia, there was an imposition of Christian culture helped by the
widespread false beliefs that turning to Christian culture would bring new
success and salvation to Indians. Their approach was defined in religious
terms but in reality their motivation was defined in political terms. With
their immense military power and cunning political strategies, they took the
offensive against Hinduism and forcefully converted Hindus by inducement and
deception. Many poor people were forced to change their religion and culture
in exchange for menial job and handouts. This had a disastrous effect on
India's political, cultural and social fabric.

DECEPTIVE CONVERSION TECHNIQUES

There are some critical differences between today's conversion techniques
and those of the past. Today corporate evangelical movements have unlimited
funds and employ professional psycho programmers. They use sophisticated
psycho linguistic programming and unethical, fraudulent mind manipulation
techniques to trap and convert innocent Hindus. Today Christian evangelists
look out for the socially marginal people who are after economic comfort for
psycho programming and mind altering conversion techniques. The mind
manipulation strategies and control mechanisms they use are sophisticated,
making it difficult to say whether they are members of a responsible
religious movements or from an unethical and potentially dangerous,
oppressive political movements with hidden agendas. The innocent,
uneducatedand downtrodden people are easy victims to such psycho linguistic,
brainwashing techniques and deceptive conversion practices.

MIND MANIPULATION

The organized evangelical movements with the active support of India's
secular addicts and corrupt political leaders lure innocent, poor Hindus
withtall promises and ready made friendships and peripheral social support.
But in return they demand total obedience to their rigid dogma.

Usually, a new recruit quickly finds himself or herself an object of
attention and loving regard from the fraudulent evangelical groups. The
innocent feel accepted in the group, perhaps for the first time. The
Christian group usually presents itself as a close-knit group with a common
purpose of altering the belief system of the new recruit. After the initial
conversion, the new recruits are invited to stay with the group, which
usually isolates the converts from all outside contacts and subjects them to
intense group interaction experiences. During this period the converts
continuously read the Bible and shout Christian slogans without fully
realizing the meaning. The lines of power are preserved, and control is
assumed. People are manipulated with roles, until they are roles. Thinking
and questioning is not generally welcome in such a controlled group. This
closed group has one purpose-to exclude input from outside family, community
and spiritual leaders. Their reasoning capacity is reduced and since there
isno alternative support group nearby they become prime target for full
indoctrination. Being forced into this position the individual becomes
dependent on the group. Once the convert becomes part of the group, free
individual decisions about religious matters are not allowed. Often the
converted group is brainwashed with the idea that all Hindus should be
viewedas hostile and should be converted. A critical moment now arises where
the new group develops mechanisms for social control and political
involvement. The goal is to decrease ties with larger Hindu society, with
thenation and increase the individual's commitment to the dogmatic faith and
to the church as a whole. For the converted people, Christianity will turn
into obsession, belief turns into dogma. Their closed system may behave like
an evil, toxic system. The church will reinforce and perpetuate the toxic
system with money and manpower.

HIDDEN DANGERS

For the individual, new life begins with the moment of conversion. The
emotional restructuring of reality is especially convincing to the innocent
victims because it gives ontological status to the dim anxieties and
feelingsof powerlessness with afflict poor, downtrodden people. The
convert'sHindu consciousness is suppressed by integrating the convert into
the rigid, inflexible dogma of the exclusive Christianity. Accordingly, the
overriding issue in life is no longer Hindu Dharma or spiritual life, but to
accept the closed dogma, blind faith, rigidity and exclusiveness of the
rigidChristian religion. Once adjusted to this framework, the convert
becomes dogmatic and close-minded. The role of the church is then to fully
enslave the new convert, replacing the convert's social, ethical, spiritual
frame of reference. The Hindu religious practices, signs, traditions, and
dharma are replaced with rigid, closed dogmatic paradigm. The time tested
Hindu spiritual practices are supplanted with meaningless Biblical slogans.
With no historical connection or rational, freethinking, the new convert
freezes into a "Philosophia perennis" little different from intellectual
imprisonment.



LIBERATE TO ENSLAVE

The convert is liberated from his or her tradition, spiritual practices,
ethical norms and social helping networks to enslave with irrational, blind,
dogmatic faith. The new convert's task is not free inquiry into Biblical
scripture, but a repetition of the official line until the lulling effect
mimics servitude. Moreover, a truncated Bible is posited, and new converts
hear little about moral, ethical and spiritual values of Hinduism. Rather,
there is a fixation on the Bible or church, because that is the means by
which the church shapes and maintains the social construction of reality
offered to its converts. Truth is perceived only in a flattened, pragmatic
sense with no awareness of ultimate reality or spirituality.

Having psycho programmed to accept the rigid dogma of Christianity, the
converts must then submit to the monopoly of the church. Spiritual desires
are suppressed and converts are forced to carry the toxic belief system and
to serve the true owner, the Christian clergy. The Christian priest, in
effect functions to consolidate cycle of guilt and punishments. Selective
functional, relative and utilitarian ethical concepts and morality are
enforced on the converts. Poverty and other social problems are reduced to
souls that are not converted. The church and other Christian institutions
areused as instruments of personal, family and social control and
conditioning. The converts are forced to reject tolerance, pluralism, temple
visit, Hindu religious practices and they are permitted no compromise with
other divinities. The convert must abandon all past spiritual practices and
must wholly belong to the new Christian God. They are psycho programmed to
consider Hindus as non-believers or devil worshippers and faith in Jesus is
the only way for salvation. Those who suggest the possibility of man
attaining Godly qualities are considered as Satan. The converts are
brainwashed to consider outsiders as condemned forever.

Ironically, however, once converts step outside the dogmatic church into
theoutside world, all structures are used to punish the convert. The brittle
identity conferred to the converts requires a vivid concept of enemies, the
antithesis that legitimizes its stridency. Hindus of course are seen as the
primary enemy. The converts becomes aliens in their land until delivered by
death.



PREVENTING DECEPTIVE CONVERSION

A common religious faith and spiritual bond is essential for the
establishment of civilization and its growth. As Arnold Tybee once said that
"a civilization's style is the expression of its religion". For centuries,
Hinduism has been the source of the vitality that has brought civilization
into being and kept them in being. Hinduism has enabled millions of people
around the world to cope with the difficulty of being human by giving
spiritually satisfying answers to the fundamental questions about the
mysteryof the universe and of man's role in it and by giving practical
percepts for daily living.

History proves that each time a people has lost faith in its religion; its
civilization has succumbed to domestic social disintegration and foreign
invasion. To prevent social, cultural and national disintegration,
deceptive,unethical conversion techniques should be stopped.

Now a true cultural reawakening is needed. A revival of Hindu faith,
surgingupward from the heart of the people would be powerful enough to
createa social and cultural revival, which is essential to curtail religious
conversion. Failure to prevent dangerous mind-altering methods will have
disastrous consequences for the cultural, social and political survival of
India. Hindu organizations, political, social, spiritual leaders,
professional organizations and the government should decide what is meant by
freedom to convert? Because of the grave consequences of the unethical
application and deceptive brainwashing techniques and psycho linguistic
programming, Hindus should educate the public about such dangerous
techniques. Hindu professionals and the media should come forward to expose,
neutralize and resist such mind control mechanisms. Hindus who are concerned
with individual freedom and ethics should confront India's secular addicts
who have equated fraudulent psycho, social, political intervention of
westernevangelical movements with religious liberty. These anti-nationals,
anti Hindu secular addicts are in collusion with the foreign missionary
groups to manipulate and control Hindu society in order to prevent any
social, political or cultural advancement of Hindus. Hindus should unite and
forbid the corporate evangelist's dangerous psychologically intrusive
programming techniques

Modi tormentors all, including many in BJP

Author : Swapan Das Gupta

Publication : Free Press Journal

Date : May 23, 2005

http://www.samachar.com/features/230505-features.html

In a country where individual worth is often measured against the
proximity to power, it is difficult for Opposition stalwarts to grab
headlines. For the past year, since the NDA lost the Lok Sabha election,
individuals in the BJP have adopted innovative methods to keep
themselves in the news.

Unsigned letters, angry walkouts and cryptic one-liners are the
tried and tested methods. But if there is one thing guaranteed to make
editors salivate and make news, it is the sheer delight of finding yet
another BJP functionary getting stomach cramps over Narendra Modi.

It is fashionable to hate the Chief Minister of Gujarat. For
secularists, Modi-hate is a badge of conviction. For American diplomats,
kicking Modi is an expedient diversion from the outrageous desecration of
the Koran by American military personnel. For sundry bureaucrats and
disgruntled policemen, attacking Modi is the recipe for winning awards
rather than facing disciplinary action. And for the media, putting the
knife into Modi has become equated with common sense.

What about the BJP? Here is a man who is the party's Chief
Minister of an important state, elected with a resounding popular mandate in
2002. Here is a man who has presided over one of the most dynamic state
governments in the country and whose skills in governance are
exemplary.

Even his detractors, who charge him with imperiousness, vouch for
his integrity. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that had it not
been for an image problem, arising from the post- Godhra riots of 2002,
Modi would have been the natural choice to lead the BJP after Atal
Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.

This may still happen but, for the moment, Modi is being
repeatedly tormented from within his own ranks. A confused leadership has tied
itself in knots by neither accepting him nor disowning him. The mere
mention of Modi is enough to put the BJP into a defensive mode. The
contriteness makes no political sense. If it is the considered view of the
party that Modi is a political liability, he should be asked to go.
Alternatively, the party must take a dim view of attempts to undermine him
from within.

It is not that the Modi issue hasn't been debated threadbare
within the BJP. Vajpayee made two attempts to remove him-first, during the
national executive session in Goa in 2002 and, subsequently, with his
Manhali statement after the Lok Sabha defeat in 2004. On both occasions,
the party chose Modi over petulance.

Despite this, the issue has been needlessly kept alive. From
starlet Smriti Irani threatening an indefinite fast, allegedly at the
behest of a senior leader, unless Modi stepped down to critical articles in
the party's official organ and an unprovoked outburst by veteran Sundar
Singh Bhandari, the anti-Modi pot has been allowed to keep boiling.

No wonder frustrated ministerial aspirants in Gujarat feel
encouraged to unfurl the banner of revolt every now and then. Abusing Modi,
it is felt, transcend s discipline. Worse, there has been no attempt to
discipline those who spoke out of turn. True, Irani was made to retract
her threat almost immediately but she continues in the BJP national
executive.

Dissidents like former chief minister Suresh Mehta continue to
make public statements against Modi. Those who tried their level best to
talk down the BJP election campaign in Gujarat three years ago, have
not abandoned their attempts to discredit a popularly-elected chief
minister from the same party.

It all boils down to the squeamishness over the 2002 riots. While
the party is entirely right in regretting the wave of butchery that
followed the pre-meditated killing of Hindu activists in Godhra, it should
have been categorical about the fact that the question of political
culpability was definitively resolved in the Gujarat Assembly election of
2002.

Modi's unequivocal endorsement by the electorate may be
unpalatable to the tribe of ambulance chasers who make a living by fuelling
minority insecurities, but it also happens to be the reality. The
legitimacy of Modi has been settled by the only way possible in a
democracy-through a popular verdict.

This is not to suggest that the Gujarat riots did not play a role
in shaping the verdict of the 2004 general election. There is ample
evidence to suggest that some gory video recordings of the Gujarat riots
were extensively used in West Bengal and Bihar to effect a Muslim
consolidation in favour of the Left and the RJD.

The Gujarat riots were certainly a factor behind the complete
failure of the NDA to win Muslim votes in 2004. The demonology around Modi
certainly paid electoral dividends for the secularists. At the same
time, the BJP must also take the blame for allowing the propaganda of its
opponents to go unchallenged.

The party has consistently failed to draw a firm line between
civil unrest and political culpability. Having diluted its war on
terrorism after Vajpayee embraced President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in
January 2004, the party turned its back on the high-voltage rhetoric that
marked Modi's interventions after Godhra. The BJP believed it could get
away with being deep saffron in Gujarat 2002 and avowedly Nehruvian in
India 2004.

All that is now history. What happened in Gujarat three years ago
was born of exceptional circumstances that, hopefully, won't recur.
Playing the Godhra card to scare Muslims into tactical voting now follows
a law of diminishing returns, as Lalu Yadav discovered to his cost in
Bihar. The BJP was rebuffed for its double-speak in 2004.

However, it need not fear the same issue becoming a political
issue in future unless, of course, it willfully resurrects the issue
through the churlishness of its own people. The party can learn a lesson
from the present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's unsuccessful Lok Sabha
campaign in South Delhi in 1999.

The Congress role in the anti- Sikh riots of 1984 (where the
number of Sikh deaths in the Capital was far in excess of the total number
killed all over Gujarat in 2002) was not a major campaign issue.
However, by charging the RSS with organising the riots, Singh invited a wave
of revulsion that ultimately cost him the election.

A lot of people don't like what they saw and heard about the
Gujarat riots. They were disturbed by the barbaric conduct of the mobs and
the attacks on innocent people. They want the killers to be brought to
justice. At the same time they are mature enough to recognise that an
entire state and a Chief Minister cannot be damned for life and all his
other achievements overlooked.

Neither are they amused by hysterical accusations of genocide
levelled against the entire Hindu community of Gujarat. In the coming
years, Modi will be judged for what he has done since securing re-election
in 2002. Only a minuscule of activists wants the riots to be re-lived
over and over again.

Modi needs an image makeover which casts him as a 21st century
reformer and not a medieval bigot. Ironically, it is spoilers in the BJP
that are trying their utmost to see the transformation doesn't happen.

May 22, 2005

Terror returns to Delhi: One dead, 50 injured

THE PIONEER
Staff Reporter/ New Delhi


In the first terrorist attack in more than three years in Delhi, one person died and more than 50 people were injured when two simultaneous bomb blasts in Liberty cinema and Satyam Cineplex rocked the Capital on Sunday evening.
... In cinema halls blasts



Ironically, the blast came on the day when the UPA government was celebrating completion of first year in office. Both the halls were showing Sunny Deol starer Jo Bole So Nihal, a film which has run into controversy due to certain references to Sikh scriptures. Late at night, the Union Cabinet met to take stock of the situation. The Prime Minister is likely to visit the injured on Monday.


Preliminary investigation conducted by the Delhi Police and other investigating agencies, however, has revealed that the twin blasts in both the cinema halls were caused by bombs laced with RDX and fitted with timers, a possible handiwork of trained subversives.


In the case of Liberty cinema, the bomb was placed under the seat in the sixth or seventh row from the front on the ground floor. The explosive at Satyam was placed in the toilet of the cineplex. The police are banking on the footage from the CCTV fitted at Satyam cinema to crack the case.


"This could also be the handiwork of Islamic fundamentalists owing allegiance to various terrorist outfits active in Kashmir valley. There is also the possibility that certain operatives of al-Qaeda known as "Sleeper Cells" could be behind the blast. Both the blasts were triggered by applying the same modus operandi. Fresh intercepts emanating from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and the Kashmir valley suggest that there could be some more subversive activities in the coming days," well-placed sources said.


Delhi Police officials maintained that keeping the threat perception in the mind, security has been intensified in Delhi and adjoining areas of the Capital to identify those anti-national elements who could be in hiding for carrying out some more blasts. While a high alert has been sounded in Punjab, the Capital's borders have been sealed. The modern multiplexes, which were full to the brim, being Sunday evening, were immediately evacuated lest a blast occur there too. Cineplexes running the controversial film in NCR towns too were immediately evacuated.


When asked specifically whether Sikh militants owing allegiance to Khalistan Commando Force headed by Paramjeet Singh Panwar or another militant outfit, Khalistan Zindabad Force headed by Navneet alias Neeta could be behind the blasts, intelligence sources said this aspect was also being looked into. Three Delhi Police teams have been dispatched to various areas of Punjab to investigate whether there was a Sikh militancy angle with subversives trying to exploit the anger among the Sikhs on the screening of the film.


However, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, who has been spearheading the protest demanding the banning of the film, has said that the blast was the handiwork of mischiveous elements. "The SGPC condemns the blast at the two cinema halls," she said.


Meanwhile, all hell broke loose on Sunday evening after the two blasts. It was at around 8.28 pm when the first blast was reported from Liberty cinema hall in Karol Bagh area. A bomb implanted near the sixth-seventh row inside the hall exploded. Minutes later, before the police and Fire service officials reached the place, the second blast occured in Satyam cineplex at 8.40 pm.


There was an immediate stampede in both the halls after the blasts. People started jumping over the seats in their rush to reach the Exit doors and in the process many of them received injuries. "Many person received injuries in the pandemonium that broke out. Shortage of air, left many traumatised, especially the women and children," said Commissioner of Police KK Paul.


"I was just shell-shocked and helpless. I could not think what happened and it was just a big bang on my ears," said Aashu who nearly lost his hearing after the blast. "I was sitting in the seventh row when the bomb went off all of a sudden. After that I could not hear anything. People started running here and there and somehow I came out of the hall," he added. Aashu has been admitted to Jeewan Mala Hospital near the Liberty cinema hall.


The injured persons were rushed to Jeevan Mala Hospital (15), Bara Hindu Rao hospital (7), Ram Manohar Lohia hospital (17) and Lady Hardinge Hospital (7). The doctors said that at least a dozen persons were seriously injured and admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. One death has been reported from Sir Ganga Ram hospital. A doctor attending the injured said that most of the injuries are due to metallic sharpnels. "One of the injured may need to have his leg amputated," said the doctor

Pinko history is back, errors and all

Udayan Namboodiri/ New Delhi
May 23 2005

Pinko History is back, saffron is out - "detoxified" under HRD Minister Arjun Singh's orders. Last fortnight, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) brought back history books, which flourished in the CBSE system for 35 years before the NDA government banished them in 2002.

Result: the revival of the old Left's catch-'em-young historiography.

In his zeal to please his communist backers, Mr Singh has ensured that the books by the "eminent" historians are reintroduced without even cosmetic changes in format and design. In fact the same typos, which were present in the last reprints are still there as are the pictures printed upside down.

Also back is Brahmin baiting. The depiction of ancient India as a feudal nightmare. RS "beef" Sharma is at his incorrigible best at convincing youngsters that despite what their parents told them, there is no such thing as a sacred animal in Hinduism. The Sikhs are derided, the Rajputs belittled and the scourge of terrorism declared non-existent.

Bipin Chandra labours hard to convince that the Turks, Mughals and Persians who ruled India for nearly 800 years preceding the British were all Indians.

Romila Thapar still holds that the Aryans were outsiders to India, calls Mahmud of Ghazni a great patron of Persian poetry. Arjun Dev glosses over the crimes of Communism and would like young Indians to know that the Soviets only "intervened" in Afghanistan and despite their withdrawal, there is no let up in the civil war there.

The caste system of the Hindus is condemned at every opportunity. But there is careful concealment of the achievements of ancient India in the sciences.

In her book for Class VI students, Ms Thapar makes only passing mention of Aryabhatta and Varamihira. There is not a line to inspire young India's realisation that their ancestors knew what Issac Newton and Galileo realised more than a millennium afterwards. "Books on medicine were also written," she says (page 81), but omits Shusruta, acknowledged as the father of surgery, Atreya and Charaka. Then, in her book for the next class, she simply says (under Education and Learning, page 27): "The discoveries of Aryabhatta in astronomy were not used in order to make further discoveries....Instead they were mixed up with ignorant and superstitious ideas about astrology."

The genocide on Indians perpetrated by foreign invaders from west and central Asia is given the miss. That, of course, is classical Nehruvianism.

But, insult is added to injury when Ms Thapar writes in the book for Class VII learners (page 37): "Firoz (Shah Tugluq) was concerned about the general welfare of his subjects...started new irrigation schemes, new towns... increased the number of educational centres, etc." But what about Jaziya (ital)?

This was the ruler who introduced the hated tax on Hindus to promote large scale conversion under duress. But Ms Thapar pretends it never happened.

The high priestess of secularist history, who shocked even her most committed cheerleaders last year with her apology of a book on Mahmud of Ghazni, not only glosses over Firoz's crimes but also calls the three centuries of Mughal domination as the "Age of Magnificence". She devotes 28 out of 120 pages with eulogies to the Mughals, but gives short shrift to Rana Pratap, Shivaji and the Sikh Gurus. She gives a gush-gush account of Jahangir, sympathises with all his difficulties, but forgets to mention the murder of Sikh Guru Arjan Dev ordered by him. Aurgangzeb's persecution of Hindus and Sikhs is also glossed over. There is no mention of the murder of Guru Govind Singh's sons and the brutal executions of Guru Teg Bahadur and Banda Bahadur.

In fact, Bipin Chandra, in his Modern India (both itals) for Class XII goers, conjures up a caste identity for Banda Bahadur. In a short paragraph (page 19) he says that Banda rallied around him the peasants and lower castes of Punjab. "The upper castes of Punjab joined forces against Banda Bahadur for his championship of the lower castes and rural poor. Also, he could not integrate all the anti-Mughal forces because of his religious bigotry".


It is clear that propaganda is passing off as school level history in India. Instead of uniting Indians of today with their past and leaving them with impressions of their history, which would linger throughout their lives as inspiration (after all, 99 per cent of students will not pick up a history book after Class X), the "eminent" historians have sought to confuse and mislead.

The primary blame for this must go to NCERT director Krishna Kumar, who went to great lengths to accommodate pinko history. In an earlier avatar, as member of a committee set up in 1990 to suggest the lightening of curriculum load on schoolgoers, Kumar had criticised the same books. But now, in his zeal to push a campaign to drill wrong information and spurious interpretation, he has ordered the ad hoc revision of the syllabus for the Social Sciences, which was developed by his predecessor, JS Rajput, through a painstaking process lasting nearly two years.

For instance, students of Class VI were supposed to be instructed on not just ancient India, but also Egypt, Mesopotemia and China. But, because the grand dame of (Left) academia, Romila Thapar's book was devoted only to India, Kumar waved a magic wand. The "new" syllabus matches the chapterisation in Thapar's Ancient India (italicise both) almost word for word.

(Tomorrow: Static history, confused historians)

http://www.dailypioneer.com/

EFFORTS FOR GLOBAL HINDU UNITY

Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan invited to South Africa

Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan invited to South Africa

Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan, Founder Trustee of Sister Nivedita Academy,
Sri Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram and Sri Bharatamata Mandir, Bangalore,
has been officially invited by Sri Ashwin Trikamjee, President of
South African Hindu Maha Sabha, to attend the 92nd anniversary of the
Sabha at Durban on Sunday, the 29th May 2005.

The occasion will be marked by the launch of a book containing the
resolutions adopted at the First ever Conference of All Hindu
organizations in South Africa in 2003—a conference which was
officially opened by the President of South Africa, The Hon. Thabo
Mbeki in August 2003.

Sadhu Rangarajan has been requested to grace the anniversary
celebration with his presence as Guest of Honour and to launch the
book on that day.

Sadhuji is scheduled to fly from Mumbai to Johannesberg, via Nairobi,
by Kenya Airways, on 26th of May, 2005. He will be the guest of Smt.
Sherita Kommal, Convener of Sister Nivedita Academy of South Africa,
till his departure to Nairobi in the middle of August, 2005, on his
return journey. He is expected to visit various towns and cities in
South Africa to meet devotees and also to visit Bostwana and Kenya
before returning to Bharat.


EFFORTS FOR GLOBAL HINDU UNITY

A meeting of the representatives of the various Hindu religious,
social and spiritual organizations and Hindu social workers in
Bangalore, to create a General Council of Hindus for mutual help,
coordination and cooperation in the task of protecting and promoting
the Hindu way of life and protecting the Hindu society from challenges
like conversion, was held at Sri Bharatamata Mandir on Saturday, May
21, 2005. This General Council will be represented in the All India
Council which in turn will be part of a Global Hindu Council.
Presiding over the meeting, Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan, Founder
Trustee, Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram, Sri Bharatamata Mandir,
Srinivasanagar, Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore 560 036 (Phone:
080-5610935 / 5613716. e-mail: sadhurangarajan@vsnl.com) issued the
following Statement:

"Hindu Dharma, which is known as Sanatana Dharma, Vishwa Dharma and
Manava Dharma, is an eternal, universal and all-comprehensive way of
life to elevate entire humanity into a higher plane of existence. As
Swami Vivekananda pointed out in the World parliament of Religions at
Chicago in 1893, Hinduism is the Mother of All Religions.

"However, today, this hoary and spiritual heritage of Bharatavarsha,
handed down through ages by great sages, saints and savants is under
threat from alien fundamentalist and fanatic religious creeds with a
goal to bring all nations of the world and the people through
violence, forcible conversion and material inducements. Hindus who are
about a billion all over the world are facing consistent and
systematic attack from these Semitic religions like Islam and
Christianity. The population of the Hindus in India and many other
countries has dwindled considerably during the last few decades
because of the onslaught of these destructive forces. The spiritual
and cultural values preserved through centuries are today being wiped
out through western education and materialistic values.

"At this juncture, the leaders of the Hindu society in Bharat and
various other countries where Hindus are settled are deeply concerned
about the future of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma. At home the
fissiparous tendencies are posing a threat to the very national
existence of the Hindus. Therefore it is felt that the crying need of
the hour today is to bring in unity and understanding among all
religious, social, spiritual and cultural institutions and Hindu
leaders of various cults, missions and sampradayas and to forge a
global forum to meet, discuss about the problems and threats facing
the Hindu society and to take effective and lasting efforts to
preserve the universal and eternal way of life handed down to us by
great sages and saints of Bharat.

"Therefore it is planned to create Global Hindu Coordination Council
where all sections of Hindus, to whichever cult, sampradaya or
organization they may belong, will be represented. Successful efforts
have already been made in various countries like US, Britain, Canada,
New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, etc., by our Hindu brethren
belonging to various organizations and institutions there to create
such coordinating body.

"We approach the leaders of all sections of the Hindu society at home
to fall in line and make such efforts at home too so that the dream of
setting up a global forum for all Hindus could be fulfilled very soon.
With this aim in mind, efforts are afoot to convene meetings of Hindu
leaders in every city, town and district centres of the country so
that the council of all representatives could be formed at the
grassroots level, ultimately enabling us to set up the All India Hindu
Council, which will be represented in the Global Hindu Council. We
seek your valuable help and cooperation in fulfilling this dream.
Vande Mataram!"

The meeting unanimously passed the following Resolution:

This meeting of the workers and representatives of Hindu organizations
and workers of the Hindu cause, held at Sri Bharatamata Mandir on this
day, 21st May 2005, resolves to constitute a General Council of Hindus
in Bangalore City and to invite all those who have not been
represented here today to a larger gathering at a later date to
constitute a Working Liaison Group to give a lead for activities to
protect Hindu thought and culture and Hindu society.