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Showing posts from November 27, 2005

THE ANDAMAN’S MYSTERY: A NOTE OF CAUTION

Scientific American, India September 2005 THE ANDAMAN’S MYSTERY: A NOTE OF CAUTION I was glad to read in “The Andaman’s Mystery” (News Scan, July) about the recent genetic findings related to the early inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The findings by the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology seem to fit in with other recent discoveries, especially by Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, emeritus professor at Stanford, and his team, as well as by Stephen Oppenheimer, member of Green College, Oxford University. It is now generally agreed that all non-Africans have descended from South Asians, which means people living south of the line running from Yemen to the Himalayas. The Andamans fall in this belt, but may not represent the oldest Indian population. Isolated groups like those on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are subject to a phenomenon known as genetic drift. While some early traits are preserved, others are lost over time. As a result, such groups are usually n

HARAPPAN HORSE: POLEMICS AND PROPAGANDA

Controversy Editorial comment As the Aryan invasion version of history has begun to crumble, there are parties in Indian and Western academic circles that have a special interest in preserving it. It is unnecessary to go into reasons behind this beyond noting that considerations of politics and careers have much to do with it. This is not unusual in any field: whenever there is a paradigm shift, as is now the case with the Vedic-Harappan convergence today, the old order suddenly finds the ground shifting under its feet. A debate, at times acrimonious is natural and inevitable in the circumstances. But what was unusual in this case was the tactics adopted by a few of the participants, notably Michael Witzel, the Prince of Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard. He went beyond criticizing the work of N. Jha and N.S. Rajaram, to charging that they, in their book The Deciphered Indus Script had fabricated the image of a horse in order to show that the Harappan civilization was Ve

CLOSING THE CHAPTER ON THE ‘ARYAN PROBLEM’

Recent findings combined with the British admission of its complicity in propagating the Aryan invasion as an imperial tool should put an end to the debate. Navaratna Rajaram Background No single aspect of ancient Indian history and historiography has so dominated historical discourse as the so-called ‘Aryan problem.’ There is the Aryan invasion that is supposed to have brought the Vedic civilization and the ‘Aryan’ language (Sanskrit), the Aryan race, and even an Aryan nation thousands of years later, of all places in Germany! Even archaeology has not escaped the Aryan assault, with scholars claiming that the Harappan civilization was non-Aryan, destroyed by the invading Aryans, who, of all things are supposed to have introduced the horse into India, ignoring the fact that horse fossils in India are over a million years old. Recent findings in population genetics, literary studies and official British admission regarding the ‘special conditions’ (as Huxley called it)

Joint Statement of the India - U. S. Defense Policy Group

December 04, 2001 New Delhi The third meeting of the India-U. S. Defense Policy Group (DPG) was held in New Delhi on December 3-4, 2001. The meeting was co-Chaired by Dr. Yogendra Narain, Defense Secretary to the Government of India and Mr. Douglas Feith, Under Secretary for Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense. During his visit to New Delhi, Mr. Feith called on Defense Minister George Fernandes, Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh, Principal Secretary to PM and National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and Chief of Army Staff. During their meeting on 9 November 2001 in Washington D.C., Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Bush reiterated their commitment to transform India-U. S. relations. The common democratic traditions of our countries remain the bedrock of their relationship and the foundation for long-term strategic cooperation. Collaboration within the community of democratic states constitutes the best strategy for preserving the security, the liberty, and the pro

Volcker and cover-up

By Prof. M.D. Nalapat The Congress president has sacrificed one of her most loyal followers, Natwar Singh, in order to provide a diversionary screen behind which a captive UPA government can collude with the Swiss authorities and certain tainted UN officials to prevent the facts brought out by Paul Volcker from becoming the basis for a criminal investigation that traces the individual(s) responsible for bartering the national interest. Of course, our hapless PM knows the consequences of full disclosure. An unseen hand prodded the otherwise lethargic Sitaram Kesri into withdrawing Congress support to H D Deve Gowda, once CBI Director Joginder Singh began tackling the Bofors scam honestly. After Deve Gowda fell, so did the effective prosecution of that arms deal. During the NDA regime, even Ottavio Quatrocchi was enabled to escape to Kuala Lumpur, taking with him all hopes of recovering the money paid by the Swedish arms manufacturer to certain quarters. Deve Gowda had 15 MPs support

Sonia Volcker-gate: decimation of the Congress Party and putting nation's foreign policy on sale

Sonia Volcker-gate: decimation of the Congress Party and putting nation's foreign policy on sale Section 1. All President's men, Volcker-Antonia, financial crimes and national security This has all the makings of a best-seller and a gripping movie from Bollywood involving princely families, Italian and Swiss companies, international wheeler-dealers and high stakes in geopolitics. But the tragedy is that, apart from glaring indications of criminal wrong-doing which the criminal justice system of India should deal with in due course, the nation's financial security and foreign policy has been compromised by the transformation of the Congress Party under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi (aka Antonia Maino) into a multi-national trading enterprise. What has happened with all the money acquired? Business expansion and diversification. Sources alleged that just after the deal, Jagat Singh began making several investments, like in the liquor business in Punjab. What was