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Indian Interests

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Prem
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 26 Mar 2012 08:13

India, South Korea boost business, defence ties; ease visa norms
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/237 ... iness.html

India and South Korea have targetted doubling their annual trade to $40 billion by 2015, even as they boosted defence ties and signed a pact to ease visa norms to promote greater business and people-to people to contact.Bilateral trade has risen by 65 percent over the past two years since the implementation of our Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. We have therefore set a new target of $40 billion by 2015," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a joint media interaction with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak after their talks here."We also agreed to accelerate work in progress to upgrade the Agreement and make it more ambitious," added Manmohan Singh, who is on a two-day official visit to South Korea, after which he will attend the March 26-27 Nuclear Security Conference here.The talks, Manmohan Singh said, were "aimed at adding momentum and substance to our Strategic Partnership. Ours is a partnership built on shared values that provide a firm foundation for further development", adding the two leaders "agreed that our strong economic ties are fundamental to our growing interaction".

Prem
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 26 Mar 2012 08:25

Not tonight darling, I have socialitis! Even an inept government, a prisoner to populism, isn't stopping India from growing
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/in ... z1qBho7zJA

In a long chat I had with the International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, the conversation veered around to India as an investment destination. I am now going to tie this up with a session that I moderated at the India Today Conclave, which had an eclectic panel lined up - the opposition in the form of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, the treasury benches represented by petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy, Planning Commission chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia and top-shot industrialist Sanjiv Goenka, who turned the power situation around in West Bengal. What emerged from this debate was clear and simple: there is consensus outside Parliament for getting a move on and form a bipartisan approach to leave aside populism, which has become a bane for the economy. The upshot was that growth in India is despite the government. It might be unpalatable for the politician to read or hear this bit. But this a hard fact. It now needs to be accepted in this country. Seven per cent growth can be achieved with a government on auto pilot. Now nearly eight years of failed governance is a sureshot testimony to this fact. What ails the country's polity.

dangerously rising fiscal deficit has put paid to the best laid plans of aggressive social spending. Now I bring you to Montek Singh's comment at the same conclave. 'The growth genie is out of the bottle irrespective of what the government does or does not do.'Accepting and agreeing with my prognosis, he said the economy will grow rapidly no matter what the government does, it is a private sector economy. This is the sum and substance of what 'socialitis' represents vis-a-vis governance. Socialitis is thus equal to paralysis. It could even at a pinch be a synonym for socialitis. The growth genie is out of the bottle irrespective of what the government does or does not do. Lord Indra, or the rain god, determine the tipping point. How? Well, if agriculture, which now contributes a mere 18-19 per cent to the GDP, despite close to 600 million people living off the agrarian economy, gets a good shower or two and manages to cross 4 per cent growth, then the economy gets a jump start and logs 8.5 per cent-plus. ( River Linking can fix this)Where does that leave the policy mavens and our politicos who sit in judgment on the economy? Twiddling their thumbs. This alignment of political and economic interests is crucial if India is really to get to the next level of competence. India could grow faster, but unfortunately it is satisfied and satiated with whatever it is getting. Nine per cent-plus can easily be achieved on a regular basis; we have done it in the past and this is what will create jobs. Jobless growth is a scary prospect. If India needs to monetise its demographic dividend, then it has to get a leg up by rapidly introducing serious structural reform to widen and deepen the economy. The finance ministry under Pranab Mukherjee needs to shed its socialist inhibitions and confidently bite the bullet on the issues of importWe are nearly a $2 trillion economy and growing at the speed of knots. All this without the government actually doing anything to help it chug along. Christine Lagarde had a simple comment to make on this absence of governmental support for reform. She wants India Inc to raise its voice.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby devesh » 26 Mar 2012 10:34

Akbaruddin Owaisi (Hyderabad MLA) has made a statement that processions taken out on Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanthi should be banned. he further said that they will soon by taking out a pro-Palestine rally. apparently there was supposed to be a Shobha Yatra in Hyd on April 1st, but the govt is not allowing it according to some sources: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/gk047k

BJP MLA Kishen Reddy (from Hyderabad, also BJP State President) has posted a message on Twitter that Rama Navami will be held peacefully and processions are a part of this process, and nobody will stop them.

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga is also tweeting that the procession has been banned, and that he was supposed to take part in it.

here is another source: http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/13373.html

Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) : MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi of ‘MIM (Majalis Ittehadul Muslimin)’, a Muslim organization, has demanded to impose ban on processions taken out on Hindu festivals viz. ‘Ram-Navami’ and ‘Hanuman-Jayanti’. Hindu organizations are angered due to such demand by Owaisi. (In a country where Hindus are in majority, a Muslim MLA, demanding ban on processions taken out during Hindu festivals, indicates that Hindus are staying in Pakistan and not in India. Today, Muslims are demanding ban on Hindu processions; tomorrow, they will demand for demolition of Hindu temples and will, later, demand that Hindus should become either Muslims or leave their womenfolk behind. Lack of unity among Hindus is responsible for such situation and there is no alternative for Hindus to establish a Hindu Nation to change this situation. – Editor SP)

Owaisi’s anti-Hindu demand has been strongly condemned by Mr. Raja Singh, a councilor from Mangalhat area, Shiv Sena, all India Hindu Mahasabha, Janasangh Party, Ramrajya Parishad, ‘Shatdarshan’ Saints and religious leaders through releasing respective press releases. (Hindu organizations should not just stop at registering protest but they should form a strong expansive unification ! – Editor SP)

On one hand, this anti-Hindu Muslim has made a demand to ban Hindu festivals and on the other hand, he has demanded assistance from the State Congress Government for celebration of ‘Milad-Un- Nabi’, a Muslim festival on large scale. Owaisi’s MIM party is a partner in ruling Congress-led front in A.P. Both the parties jointly rule Municipal Corporation of Bhagyanagar. (Owaisi seems to be quite sure that Congress Govt. in A.P. would take no action against him even if he does anything against Hindus; therefore, he can dare to say such things. In short, Hindus need to remember that under Congress regime, the way in which Hindus genocide took place in North, in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir, similar condition would be faced even in South. Hindus now need to unite for their survival ! – Editor SP)

In old Bhagyanagar area, there is ‘goonda-raj (rule of criminals)’ of MIM. In this ‘goonda-raj’, Congress Govt. is playing equal part. Two years back, action of ‘MIM’ workers was the cause of riots in the old city. Mr. Raja Singh, the councilor of Bhagyanagar Municipal Corporation has stated that trying to create obstacles in processions of Hindus on ‘Ramnavami’ and Hanuman Jayanti by the Government will generate furor among Hindus and the Government would be responsible for the same.

Akbaruddin Owaisi’s statement has been strongly condemned by Shiv Sena, All India Hindu Mahasabha, Janasangh Party and Ramrajya Parishad in a joint meeting. If the Congress Government and MIM tried to cause obstacles, all organizations would take to road; but in any case, the procession would be taken out. No permission is required to be taken from anyone, says the joint circular letter issued by all parties. Mr. B. Mahesh Chander, the area-President of Shiv Sena chaired the meeting. The other participants of the meeting were B. Vishal Toshniwal, Bhagatram Agrawal, D. Devendra, Divyang Singh Lodh of Hindu Mahasabha, Damodar Reddy, Rajbhushan Rao, A. S. Prakash Rao and Pravin Soni etc.

Dr. Binduji Maharaj of ‘Shatdarshan Sant-Mahant Sangh’, a spiritual organization said in a meeting at ‘Nirmal Akhada’ of RSS that the demand made by Akbaruddin Owaisi was spreading venom in society and he should be arrested under National Security Act. Leaving such persons free, who are trying to provoke people, would disturb peace. Even during the program of ‘Milad-un-Nabi’, watch should be kept over Owaisi.

BJP has also protested against the statement made by Owaisi and has said, “Statement made by Owaisi will cause rift between minority and Hindus. The State Government should take stringent action against Owaisi.” (Hindus should note that none of the parties barring Shiv Sena and BJP, has protested against the statement of Owaisi. Congress rulers and Opposition party viz. Telugu Desam are keeping quiet on the issue. Hindus should undertake a strong fight, in lawful manner, for protecting their rights; else their existence will be in danger. – Editor SP)



fallout from the recent BJP win in Mahabubnagar? I suppose we should have expected it.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 26 Mar 2012 10:39

devesh wrote:Akbaruddin Owaisi (Hyderabad MLA) has made a statement that processions taken out on Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanthi should be banned.


I was talking about riots in Bihar a few days ago. One of the riots began when such religious processions were pelted with stones and bottles by some people.
Last edited by abhishek_sharma on 26 Mar 2012 18:49, edited 1 time in total.

devesh
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby devesh » 26 Mar 2012 10:48

yes, indeed. the history of riots during Partition is the same. the faithfools show their manliness on processions, and there starts the fun.

I am unsure what the INC's game is here. INC always played these games in Hyd, until TDP came to power. if BJP is on the up and the old precedence left in place by TDP is no longer valid, then INC could revert to those games. I'm not sure what INC is playing at here, though. they know that these riots would only end in "polarization" of the "hindu vote". so why risk it?

or are the faithfools no longer under INC control?!

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Aditya_V » 26 Mar 2012 10:49

Devesh, is there a Youtube recording of this , and are there any official orders from the AP Government on the Ban on such processions.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby devesh » 26 Mar 2012 11:41

http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=15604

Support Hyderabad's Union with India; Remove Ban on Ram Navami Celebrations

Dear Hon. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (His Excellency Sri. Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy)

Jai Hind and Ugadi Greetings.

We humbly urge you to affirm Hyderabad's Union with India by removing the Ban on Ram Navami Celebrations in 2012.

We request the Hon. Chief Minister to take immediate action to release the festival organiser Sri. Raja Singh (Hon. Corporator, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) who has been arrested under false charges with the aim of deterring peace-loving citizens from holding the festive Shri Ram Navami procession in the city on April 1, 2012.

We urge the Government of Andhra Pradesh to not suppress the legitimate voice and religious festivities of the peace-loving Hindu community (89% of the state’s population) due to undue political pressure exerted by the fundamentalist Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), whose support-base is limited to only the extremist fringes of the Muslim community (9% of the state’s population).

We also humbly remind the Hon. Chief Minister that in 2011, the “Shobha Yatra” (Sri Ram Navami Procession in Hyderabad), passed off peacefully without any untoward incident. So, there is no excuse to either ban the procession in 2012 or arrest the organisers.

We implore the Hon. Chief Minister to take immediate cognisance of the fact that Andhra Pradesh exists today in its present form as a spiritual legacy of Saint Bhadrachala Ramadas, Poet Tallapaka Annamacharya, Swami Ramananda Teertha and Vijayanagara Emperor “Andhra Bhoja” Sri Krishna Deva Raya. All of our state’s luminous personalities revered Sri Rama as an incarnation of Lord Venkateshwara whose blessings will always be with only those who side with Dharma. Will they condone the banning of festive Shri Ram Navami procession in Hyderabad city on April 1, 2012 ?

We request the Hon. Chief Minister to direct the police officials to stop pandering to extremist Jihadi elements by willfully turning a blind eye towards MIM terror and take immediate steps to prevent the atrocities being committed by these extremist culprits on those Lakhs of Indian citizens and who refuse to kowtow to the Talibanisation of Hyderabad.

We gently remind the Government of Andhra Pradesh to revisit history and remember how these treacherous Razakars of MIM had unleashed a terrorist movement starting in 1947 and killed thousands of civilians and soldiers to prevent Hyderabad from joining India.

For the Government of Andhra Pradesh to be held hostage and to abjectly surrender before the thuggish diktats of the same MIM makes us wonder if Hyderabad is within India or if Hyderabad is a separate country where Indian laws are not applicable.

Banning the Sri Ram Navami Procession is highly blasphemous and is akin to banning the Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi procession (commemorating the birthday of Prophet Mohammad) or banning the Moharram procession (mourning the death of Imam Hussein) – neither of which have been actually banned or obstructed by state officials in Hyderabad. On the other hand, the MIM has demanded state funding of a much grander Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi celebrations this year, which is likely to be officially approved.

So, why are the Telugu-speaking Hindus being officially discriminated against and that too, openly? The Hindus of Hyderabad only demand an equal right to celebrate their sacred festivals and festive processions with the same religious freedom and official protection that the Muslims have. Is that asking for too much, sir?

Therefore, we demand justice for Sri. Raja Singh and official permission for the Shri Ram Navami procession.

We also request that Sri. Raja Singh be released immediately from the jail, where notorious Muslim criminals have also been lodged. It is a conspiracy of the MIM to keep Sri. Raja Singh in jail and to have him tortured and killed by these notorious Muslim criminals, in order to silence the voice of patriotic Indians in Hyderabad.

Given the religious nature of this issue, we do not expect fair-play or professional neutrality from Mr. Jaffer Javed (Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police) whose team is currently interrogating Sri. Raja Singh on a foisted charge. We therefore request that Sri. Raja Singh be given additional security, be it in jail or outside it.

We urge an end to official abetment and collusion with fanatic Razakars of MIM who endanger India's National Security, worsen the Law and Order situation, commit wanton Atrocities on citizens, indulge in illegal possession of guns and openly violate the fundamental Human Rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution, thereby creating an adverse impact on National Security in this vulnerable region.

We request an immediate enquiry into the drastically worsening Law & Order situation in Hyderabad due to the rabid, communally inflammatory speeches of MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi - whose blasphemous public denigration of Lord Shri Rama can be seen in this shocking video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvjsgp8Mx-I

In 2008, Akbaruddin Owaisi presented Rs 3.5 Lakh as a reward to Abdul Quadeer, the dismissed police constable who is serving life imprisonment for killing his superior officer ACP Sattaiah in Hyderabad during the communal riots of December 1990. This is unacceptable to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Please see the photograph and proof here:

http://twocircles.net/2008oct06/asadudd ... ident.html

His brother and MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi synergised with terrorist group Hezbollah in a secret location in Lebanon. This is unacceptable to the citizens of India. Please see the photographs here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/44526787@N ... otostream/

We urge you to kindly take stringent action against both the Owaisis under National Security Act (NSA) and Section 153A (spreading enmity between communities) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) to stop their repeated transgressions of the law. We wish to respectfully point out that the Government of Andhra Pradesh is duty bound by the Indian Constitution to preserve our country’s security, failing to accomplish which could prove to be quite disgraceful for the Government.

We implore you to please stop these MIM Jihadi monsters while you still can; before they grow more powerful and turn Hyderabad into another Kashmir. This will mark the beginning of a truly meaningful Ugadi or "Yuga Adi" ('the beginning of a new age') - free from MIM terror - for the citizens of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh.

With great power comes great responsibility. The citizens of Andhra Pradesh have pinned all their hopes on your elected Government to serve the interests of the majority of the people of the state. Please do not fail us.

In conclusion, we would like to respectfully remind Your Excellency that “Dharmo Rakshati Rakshithah” (Dharma, if protected, will indeed protect you).

CC:

Hon. Governor of Andhra Pradesh (Sri. E.S.L. Narasimhan)

Hon. Home Minister, Government of Andhra Pradesh (Smt. Sabitha Indra Reddy)

Hon. Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Andhra Pradesh (Sri P.Goutham kumar, IPS)

Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Andhra Pradesh Assembly (Sri N.Chandrababu Naidu)

Hon. BJP State President and MLA (Sri G.Kishan Reddy)

Hon. Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India (Mr. Sarosh Homi Kapadia)


Thanking you,

Sincerely Yours,

[Your name]

Click Here to Sign the Petition
https://www.change.org/petitions/remove ... lebrations

devesh
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby devesh » 26 Mar 2012 11:42

the ban seems to be real. as for the specific GO passed by AP govt, I can't find it. or I'm not looking in the right place. and I don't see why people have to ask for "youtube videos" and "online proof" when they have access to google as much as anybody else. google chacha is everybody's friend. a quick search lists a number of sources which are fighting the ban....

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 27 Mar 2012 09:54

http://conclave.intoday.in/conclave2012 ... issueid=38
Freedom is Fight/War
Salman Rushdie's full speech at India Today Conclave 2012

And what is true of Imran is also true of seminarians of Deoband or any of the other people presenting themselves as spokesmen on Muslims' behalf who seem more interested in highlighting these culture wars than looking at the realities of lives of Muslims in the subcontinent. By the way, The Satanic Verses is a book which I would be willing to place a substantial bet that Imran Khan has not read. Back in the day when he was a playboy in London, the most common nickname for him in the London circles was ‘Im the dim'. The force of intellect which earned him that nickname is now placed at the service of his people, and its enemy, it seems is my book. If Imran really wants to argue about the literary merits of The Satanic Verses, I am happy to meet him in a debate on that subject anywhere and any time. Well, maybe not anywhere.

Now, there is a tendency to say, "That's a Western idea. That's not how we think over here." But the Indian tradition also includes from its very earliest times, very powerful defences of free expression. When Deepa Mehta and I were working on the film of Midnight's Children, one of the things that we often discussed was a text dear to our hearts, the Natya Shastra. In the Natya Shastra we see the Gods being a little bit bored in heaven and deciding they wanted entertainment. And so a play was made, about the war between Indra and the Asuras, telling how Indra used his mighty weapons to defeat the demons. When the play was performed for the Gods, the demons were offended by their portrayal. The demons felt that the work insulted them as demons. That demoness was improperly criticized. And they attacked the actors; whereupon Indra and Brahma came to the actors' defence. Gods were positioned at all four corners of the stage, and Indra declared that the stage would be a space where everything could be said and nothing could be prohibited.

So in one of the most ancient of Indian texts we find as explicit and extreme a defence of freedom of expression as you can find anywhere in the world. This is not alien to India. This is our culture, our history and our tradition which we are in danger of forgetting and we would do well to remember it.There was an article I just read in this week's The Hindu newspaper which reminds us that S. Radhakrishnan would talk about how many of the earliest texts of Hinduism do not contain the idea of the existence of God; and contemporaries of the Buddha, quoted also in this article, would say that there is no other world than this one, and would deny the idea of a divine sphere. So again, in the oldest parts of Indian culture, there is an atheistic tradition in which the ideas of blasphemy and heresy have no meaning because there is no divinity to blaspheme or be heretic against. This is our culture. This is not an imported culture. It's not alien to the Indian tradition. This is the Indian tradition, and those who say it's not are the ones who deform that tradition.
These ancient sages thought, and I think, that God is an idea that men invented to explain things they didn't understand. Or to encapsulate wisdoms that they wanted to capture. That Gods in fact are fictions. So when there's an attack by Gods or their followers on literature it's as if the fans of one work of fiction were to decide to attack another fiction. Fictions should not go to wars. There is room on the bookshelves for all of them. I remember within my living memory, an India in which my parents' generation were very very knowledgeable about the culture of Islam, Hinduism so on; but would nevertheless sit around in the evenings and tell jokes, satirise and poke fun at and debunk certain aspects of religion; and there was no sense that something shocking or wrong was being done. This was just normal, everyday conversation.The people are more sensible than their leaders. India deserves to be led better than it's being led. It deserves leaders who can bring her back to the non-sectarian, non-communal land which the nation's founders envisaged. And here, at the gatherings like this one, the idea of that India can be, not so much forged as renewed. Forged anew. And it can be done only if all of us have the ability to speak our minds. To speak freely without fears of religious or governmental reprisals. The human being, let's remember, is essentially a language animal. We are a creature which has always used language to express our most profound feelings and we are nothing without our language. The attempt to silence our tongue is not only censorship. It's also an existential crime about the kind of species that we are.

Prem
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 27 Mar 2012 10:02

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/arts/ ... .html?_r=1
When an illustrious Indian dance company performs in New York, as the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble did at the Joyce Theater last week, we can take both pleasure and instruction from it. Music and dance operate in thrilling proximity; the visual sensuousness is in many ways exceptional; the levels of technical achievement and stylistic polish are high. Best of all we’re given a window into a culture far from our own. Dance forms all over Southeast Asia stem from the Natya Shastra, the treatise on the performing arts written between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200; more than 100 of its dance positions are illustrated in a centuries-old bas relief at the temple at Chidambaram, a number of which are precisely the same as those we see in some Indian classical forms today.
When I watched the Nrityagram performance last week, many of these positions fell into place in my mind in a way they had not early in my visit to India, when I saw the same choreography in rehearsal. Henceforth it will be interesting to recognize them with other Indian dancers. What impressed me more, however, was the boys’ youthful mastery of the basics of Odissi style. Hardly had they made their processional entrance, in single file, than in unison they demonstrated a tribhanga — a celebrated Odissi S-bend position in which dancers create a series of upward curves at knee, torso and shoulder — and contrasted it with the sculpturally square position called chowk, all amid a swaying dance of ritual invocation. These and other features make it tempting to declare that the traditions of Indian dance are in good health. When I got off the plane in Bhubaneswar, Orissa’s capital city, I was gratified to see that the main poster image for the state featured Odissi dancing. Dance and religion are still vitally connected. While in Tamil Nadu I attended the celebration of Shivaratri, the night when Shiva, god and dancer, is honored with open-air dance festivals at the temples of both Chidambaram and Thanjavur, each running for five nights. Watching the marathon of dance I felt honored to attend and in awe of a culture where dance and worship fluently interlock.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Rudradev » 28 Mar 2012 06:55

ATTENTION ALL

AMAZON DISCUSSION BOARD DEBATE

http://www.amazon.com/review/R131VOBJ2D ... ssionsNRPB

A Khalistani named Harmeet Singh has posted an anti-Hindu, anti-India diatribe in the guise of a "review" of Rajiv Malhotra's book "Being Different" on Amazon.com at the above link.

Earlier, he had posted the same review on an anti-India site known as Eurasia Review. Many of our members challenged him thoroughly and he had to run away from that debate by asking the moderators to close it down.

At Amazon, he cannot hide behind the Eurasia Review moderators any longer. He had suppressed the post that I'd originally made to his Eurasia Review blog... but I've posted it as a comment on his Amazon review!

Mr. Harmeet Singh's adverse reaction to Rajiv Malhotra's book (it is too thick to be called a "review" by any reasonable standard of criticism,) clearly reveals a highly ephemeral degree of familiarity with the source material. Rather than engage with, or even understand the ideas being espoused in "Being Different"... Mr. Harmeet Singh has slipped off the book's surface on the oil slick of his own prejudices and rocketed away on a completely tangential Hindu-bashing rant.

It is therefore difficult to come up with a response to this supposed review beyond mild amusement, but here is an attempt.

Mr. Harmeet Singh gets it wrong when he says that Malhotra is attempting to elevate Dharmic tradition, by virtue of its "sanctimoniousness" (sic), beyond the reach of Western scientific analysis. Malhotra does not subvert science, but in fact welcomes scientific inquiry into Hindu traditions of yoga, ayurveda and adhyatma vidya. Modern experimentation on the biopharmacology of ayurveda, or the physiological effects of yogic practice, have been under way in scientific research institutions for decades.

Malhotra does not object to these traditions becoming the subject of scientific analysis; he does, however, insist that the end product of such analysis should not be a "cultural digestion", where credit for the "discovery" of yogic and ayurvedic benefits goes entirely to the Western scientist, with the Indian vaidya or yogi relegated to the status of a native informant or lab specimen.

The West should not be able to slice up Indian tradition at will, pick and choose what it likes and assimilate only those parts. The West should not be able to claim credit for those aspects of Indian tradition that it finds beneficial while condemning the remainder of Indian tradition as backward, heathen, oppressive, divisive, etc.

In short: Western science should not be able to simply take credit for the benefits of Dharmic Inner Science while disparaging Dharmic tradition in the same breath. Just as the Europeans should not get credit for suddenly creating 40 million square miles of valuable land out of the great blue ocean by "discovering" America one fine day in 1492.
Does Mr. Harmeet Singh disagree with this? Or is it just easier for him to continue regurgitating the standard leftist Hindu-bashing parrot-feed which appears to cloud his view of anything Dharmic? (All in the name of "reason", of course.)

Mr. Harmeet Singh gets it wrong once again, when he says that Malhotra is somehow attempting to place Dharmic tradition beyond the realm of "moral" critique by the West . Interestingly, it also appears that Mr. Harmeet Singh completely subscribes to Western standards of "morality" as the only universal "morality", because these standards apparently form the basis of his own reality-challenged diatribes against Hinduism.

Malhotra is hardly in a position to argue that the deconstruction of India through Western categories of social science and morality must stop; that is a position being spuriously attributed to him by Mr. Harmeet Singh. What Malhotra does argue in "Being Different" is that Western standards of morality are not universal; that Dharmic standards of morality also exist, that they are equally valid as ethical and spiritual tools, and that they should be used to reverse the gaze and deconstruct the West through Dharmic categories. Nowhere in the book does Malhotra claim that the Dharmic point of view is superior to Western ones by virtue of "sacredness" or "sanctity"; only that it is different, and that it deserves as much respect as it accords for being different.

Mr. Harmeet Singh, on the other hand, seems to have been taken hostage by Western universalism to such an extent that the only definitions of "morality", "science" and "reason" he considers valid are Judeo Christian ones. Through the opinions implicitly expressed in his review, he illustrates why Mr. Malhotra's book is in fact a work of dire necessity.

Finally, Mr. Harmeet Singh's assertions about "caste" demonstrate a yawning abyss of ignorance; specifically his assertion that "caste" is a specifically Hindu phenomenon and absent from other Indian religions! Perhaps "caste " is not the reason why dalit Christians must sit on different pews from high-caste Christians in the churches of South India? Maybe "caste" has nothing to do with the the rampant discrimination between Ashraf and Ajlaf Muslims?

Most laughably of all, Mr. Harmeet Singh makes the claim that Sikhism is "caste free!" I have to ask him... why, then, are about 30% of India's Sikhs considered Scheduled Castes, and eligible for affirmative action under the Indian constitution? I have to ask him, has he ever heard of Shri Guru Ravidass, and whether the Ravidassia Sikhs have ever faced any discrimination from other followers of panthic Dharma? What does Mr. Harmeet Singh say about the heinous murder of Dera Sach Khand leader Sant Rama Nand by a mob of savage butchers in an Austrian gurdwara three years ago? If Sikhism is "caste free," then what is Mr. Harmeet Singh's scientific and well-reasoned explanation for this? Just thought I'd ask!


Please join in the linked discussion at Amazon.com and show this guy that he cannot get away with lying through his teeth in the public sphere.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 28 Mar 2012 07:41

Terror arrests: ATS says Hindu leaders were target

Delhi Confidential

Accommodating the Chinese

The Chinese embassy is not quite happy about the choice of accommodation for visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao, who along with his delegation, is scheduled to stay at the Oberoi Hotel. Considering that the venue of the BRICS summit is Taj Palace Hotel, they have been raising the issue of travelling back and forth and possibility of protests mid-way. They are particularly peeved since the Brazilian delegation is staying at the venue itself. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is staying at the ITC Maurya Hotel next door, and the South African delegation is staying at Taj Mansingh. The Chinese have asked for extra security at the Oberoi Hotel, and even at the Claridges Hotel where a section of their delegation is staying.

Games MPs play

If doodling during budgetary speeches is Mamata Banerjee’s forte, her party MPs are not too far behind. As Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s reply was being heard in respectful silence in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Trinamool MPs generally looked sullen, except Saugata Roy and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who, sitting next to each other, cheerfully went through at least two games of noughts and crosses :rotfl: . Roy looked pleased at the end but it was hard to tell from the press gallery who won.

Dilli Darbar

Even municipal elections in Delhi can have MPs from the farthest corners of the country taking a keen interest. Among the leaders pushing their candidates’ case with the Congress high command was Lakshwadeep MP Hamdullah Sayeed who reportedly was pushing for the candidature of his brother-in-law from Ballimaran. This was one instance of attempted nepotism that the Congress managed to say no to.

BACK TO PMO

THE latest addition to the Prime Minister’s Office’s (PMO) is 1987-batch Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer B V R Subrahmanyam as Joint Secretary. He will be in-charge of key infrastructure ministries. Subrahmanyam is returning to the PMO after a stint at the World Bank — he was earlier Private Secretary to the Prime Minister in UPA-I. Incidentally, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji, who was Joint Secretary in the PMO from 2004 to 2009, also served in the World Bank in between the two postings. Subrahmanyam is replacing Punjab cadre IAS officer Vinni Mahajan, who has been appointed Principal Secretary (Health) in Punjab.

No Admission

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal’s office is almost always inundated with requests related to school admissions and seldom are these entertained. However, when a request comes from the CAG’s office it can hardly be ignored. CAG Vinod Rai is learnt to have requested admission of two students to a Kendriya Vidyalaya and wrote to Sibal to facilitate their applications through the minister’s discretionary quota in KVs. The request, however, could not be entertained. Sibal, it may be recalled, had relinquished the ministerial quota soon after taking over the ministry.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby krisna » 28 Mar 2012 07:45

If doodling during budgetary speeches is Mamata Banerjee’s forte, her party MPs are not too far behind. As Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s reply was being heard in respectful silence in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Trinamool MPs generally looked sullen, except Saugata Roy and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who, sitting next to each other, cheerfully went through at least two games of noughts and crosses :rotfl: . Roy looked pleased at the end but it was hard to tell from the press gallery who won.


Media can mean different things to opposition party and the ruling combine. :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby shyamd » 28 Mar 2012 12:17

asaduddin owaisi went to see Hezbollah with permission of MHA.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Agnimitra » 28 Mar 2012 20:10

Another article from the Harmeet Singh types.

Sex slaves sold in the name of religion

Apart from educating the article writers, one has to admit that if it weren't just left-leaning organizations that were actively trying to tackle such social ills, then we wouldn't have to do such cultural damage control. If Dharma-inspired orgs took up the cause, it would have been far better. Unfortunately that is usually not the case.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby darshhan » 28 Mar 2012 22:03

Rudradev wrote:ATTENTION ALL

AMAZON DISCUSSION BOARD DEBATE



Where are RajeshA ji , Carl ji and VaroonShekhar ji in this hour of need?

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Agnimitra » 28 Mar 2012 22:21

dashhan ji, I did my bit (webasura). But like I said, unless Dharmik orgs are in the forefront of the fight against social ills in India, the left-leaning social service orgs will hold the loud speaker on all these problems and superimpose them over the actual message of the Vedic core.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby devesh » 29 Mar 2012 00:50

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RajivMalh ... ssage/2405

Pondicherry Uturner from Germany: a case study

At the recent seminar on BD in Pondy (video yet to be uploaded), an interesting episode occurred when a German lady stood up during Q&A and said: after living in Pondy for 22 years as follower of Sri Aurobindo, she had gone back to Germany and got re-baptized as a Christian.

This was a precious moment for my research and I wanted to capture it on camera with her permission, especially since she was being very candid and explicit. She made a long statement on her experiences and reasons, which will become one of my case studies for uturns. (Somehow, the Indians at the event were embarrassed and wanted to hush up and "move on" but she and I wanted to discuss this at greater length.)

I am glad that she has sent the following message to me via a third party. I want you to understand this as it gives insights into uturners - our gurus and leaders simply have no clue and want to hush up this phenomenon. But I have hundreds of such case studies of which several typical ones representative of the broad spectrum will get featured.

Notice how she argues that digestion is for the "higher good". I have had similar explanations given to me by many "friends of dharma" over 30 years. This included one lady in Princeton who was a very interesting uturn case on digesting dharma into "western science" and who got recognized by Templeton Foundation, and this has led Prof. Mary Evelyn Tucker to produce a highly acclaimed TV series on the cosmos that is having an impact. All Hindu cosmology is removed!

The German uturner wrote as follows:

I'm always amazed, how close Christian perception and Sri Aurobindo's vision of the perfect world are and the description of the evolving divine plan behind it all. Opposed to Advaita (at least Shankara), Islam and Buddhism both these philosophies (to avoid the word 'religion')have their aim neither in a blissful void nor in a promising paradise above, but in the realization of a new earth and a new creation, a new human race as a reflection of the Divine Himself. Different images and terminology, but the core, the 'essence' is the same. Just to mention two examples: take 'Sin' for 'Death' and 'Purgatory' for 'Sadhana', God for Love. Although one should never impose the concept of one belief or ideology on another, as Rajiv put it in his talk, the similarities are striking! Of course, the frame changes according to the particular culture and time. As Richard states in his article on the 'Serenity Prayer':'The prayer stresses the importance of accomodating the vision of perfection to an imperfect world without losing the urge to improve the world with the aim of perfection.'

I entered into a profound discussion on this subject with the local priest of 'Notre Dame des Anges', Pondicherry and now here, in Tiruvannamalai, where I'm staying near the ashram, with the the priest of 'Grace and Compassion'Convent. To my surprise both of them showed great interest in my survey and comparison of Indian spiritual wisdom and Christianity and asked me to come back and continue our conversation. Fr. Savarinmuthu here had spent 4 years at the Vatican and is a doctor of theology. He told me with a cunning smile, that he had always dreamt to explore the life and spiritual wisdom of different ashrams in Tamil Nadu(in disguise of course!), but never had had the time to do so. Both priests are secretly craving for spiritual experiences and a deeper knowledge, the wisdom behind the written word, they confessed. You won't believe, the one in Pondy even admitted quite openly that he sometimes is overwhelmed by doubts(during the eucharist! Ouch!)that what he is doing and preaching is the Truth and that he is battling with contradictions inside himself and the dogma of the CC. Interesting!

I feel deep compassion and sympathy for them, because they are pushing towards a greater Truth, yet are bound by a petrified dogma and stagnant institution. They try to remain loyal , but at the same time wish to break free. And I feel the Truth doesn't lie in the persuit of some higher intellectual knowledge and philosophy, but in the emotional and psychic opening of the being. What is lacking with them and most of the common clergy, no matter of which denomination, is the direct spiritual experience and the vision of the Truth, which is a fact indeed and no illusion. Only then is it no longer a 'belief' but a reality. Maybe deep down they can sense there is something beyond, yet there is nobody to teach them how to get there. Maybe it is the call of this new consciousness that urges them to question the old and proceed to different planes? Anyway, I promised to come back with some books or excerpts, as they have only very little time to read. My priestly friend here would even like to study Rajiv's book. If you still have one spare copy left, he would be truely greatful!

This might develop into a highly exciting project and I wonder where it could lead me to? Maybe to U-turners of the opposite direction: Indian Catholic priests, who discover the wealth of their own eastern wisdom and by this gain deeper insight into the western sacred scriptures?

By the way, maybe not all spiritual U-turners kick their Indian masters but try and introduce something new and more valuable into their own traditional framework of belief in order to widen and transform? Toxic spikes are the weapons of the old world I feel and not necessary at all. There is nothing to defend and nothing to fear, everything is heading for a greater aim. There is a saying 'You are what you eat' - there may occur a subtle up-lifting of the western dogma, from the ferocious tiger to the gentle beauty. Christianity will never be able to devour Indian spirituality here in India, that's for sure, as it is a silent minority. In the West, to the concern of the institutional churches, Christianity is gradually declining, giving way to the interest and followership of Indian scriptures and gurus. Indian wisdom may get twisted, misinterpreted, adapted to western thinking and slowly devoured, but it will never totally disappear: like medicine it will be digested and assimilated of the body ('tiger'), but for its (body's)good and its transformation into something NEW and 'Suprascripture'(my own new creation:). In the end the act of devouring may turn out to be an act of the Divine and nothing of the little ego, its petty fears of extinction and its national pride. Maybe from the (hopefully!)ever remaining fundamental difference between eastern and western culture and spirituality there will rise a third, something new, more powerful but softer, more peaceful but active, more disiplined but open to change and spontaneity. When contrasts meet distinction doesn't necessarily have to dissolve, both elements can exist side by side, like in a child, which is the mixture of both his parents, in genes, looks and character, without his parents having to disappear.




check out the part where the lady says that West digesting "East" is "good for West".

also, the two priests in TN who she interacted with have interesting ideas. the underlying predatory wish to "go hunting" and see what's happening in the "hindu" culture and adopt them for their own cause.....

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 29 Mar 2012 06:14

Views from the Right

Aggressive federalism

In a special edition on federalism, the RSS weekly Organiser has focused on the resurgence of regional players in the polity, alongside the apparent decline in the Centre’s authority. “The buzz of the season is the assertion of power by regional satraps. The UPA at the Centre was forced to back down on a number of important legislations, policies and diplomatic positions as a consequence of strident and debilitating pressure from regional allies.”

“Will the next government be a coalition of regional aspirations with national parties playing second fiddle,” the Organiser asks.

The Sri Lanka switch

After taking the position last week that India should not back the resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the RSS has now turned around to back Sri Lankan Tamils and assert that the government of India should take the right action, which it did by voting for the resolution.

A statement issued in the Organiser by the RSS’s Number Two, Sarkaryavah Bhaiyyaji Joshi, dwelled on large-scale violations of human rights in northern Sri Lanka during the final stages of conflict.

“The RSS had always held that innocent civilians shouldn’t be made to suffer in the conflict of Sri Lanka and the Tamils, as equal citizens of that country, should be able to enjoy all legitimate rights along with the remaining Sinhala people. We call upon the Sri Lanka government to do the utmost to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamils in that country and also ensure proper rehabilitation, security and political rights to them,” the statement said. Only last week, the RSS had said that India should not support the US-backed UNHRC resolution, contending that it would open scope for the US to play a similar role in Kashmir and the Northeast.

Muddied waters

The latest edition of the RSS’s Hindi journal, Panchjanya, focuses on environmental issues.

The cry of the birds, the greenery in the hills and the freshness of springs and waterfalls is slowly vanishing as the pace of urbanisation and industrialisation increases, says the Panchjanya. It says that even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official Twitter account has raised these concerns.

It draws attention to a recent Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) report, which claims that Delhi’s atmosphere has become so poisonous that 3,000 deaths occur every year. It refers to another report by the Energy Resources Institute, which flags the issue of industrial waste in the Yamuna, making lead, manganese and nickel content rise in the water. As a consequence, vegetables and fruits grown by small farms along a 22 kilometre stretch near Delhi now contain excessive amounts of these elements and are not fit for consumption.

What is more shocking, says the Panchjanya, is that there have been 276 schemes and projects to clean the Yamuna since 1993, in which a total of Rs 1,700 crore has been spent. Yet, the Yamuna waters have become dirtier and more toxic. A fresh budget of Rs 1,656 crore has been allocated by the Centre to clean the Yamuna under the Yamuna Action Plan Phase III, but one should not expect much from this plan, the Panchjanya says, adding that the Ganga suffers a similar fate.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Aditya_V » 29 Mar 2012 14:57

Don't Know where to put this but in Kerala it seems Mnerga has its own unions affiliated to communists. How bad can this get.

NREGP workers stage collectorate march

Hundreds of women workers attached to the National Rural Employment Generation Programme Workers’ Union (NREGPWU) have taken out a massive march to the Collectorate here on Wednesday to press their various demands that include wage revision.

Communist Party of India(Marxist) district secretary, K. Ananthagopan, inaugurated the march. The union district president, A. Padmakumar, presided the meeting and secretary, R. Sanalkumar, delivered the keynote address.

Mr Ananthagopan said the wages of NREGP workers should be enhanced to Rs 200, besides providing them employment for 200 days a year.My comment - Most of these schemes no effective work is done except mud moving, so in effect these are freebees, 200 *200, is INR 40K per year for nothing

He has called upon the Government to implement the Ayyankalai Employment Guarantee Programme for urban areas introduced by the previous Left Democratic Front Government.

Mr Sanalkumar said the working hours of NREGP workers should be revised to 9 am to 4 pm and provide them an insurance cover worth Rs 1,00,000.

He said paddy farming should also be brought under the purview of NREGP as part of the food security scheme.

The Government should provide 30 kg rice to all NREGP works at a subsidised rate of one rupee a kilogram, he said.


So 40K per year + 30*30 INR 900 per year or per month + Insurance premium. Wonder if the worthy can ask who will pay for this?

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 30 Mar 2012 06:46

From the Urdu Press

Work for Akhilesh

The Lucknow-based weekly, Jadeed Markaz (Urdu in Devnagari), in a commentary on March 18 writes: “As soon as the vote counting finished on March 6, one witnessed something like a flood of violence. Partly, the reason for it was that in a fit of enthusiasm, Samajwadi Party (SP) workers raised a furore... Another reason was a conspiracy hatched by some district officials... But the strict posture of the young chief minister brought order among party workers with one stroke that brought a sudden change in the behaviour of the conspiring officials...”

Describing Uttar Pradesh’s new CM Akhilesh Yadav as the “sun of hope” (ummeed ka suraj), Lucknow’s daily, Aag,writes that “the youth have welcomed the announcement about the unemployment allowance. Kanya Vidya Dhan was a very popular move by the previous SP government. The present plan of giving scholarships to Muslim girl students can be taken as an extension of that plan.” The Kolkata-based daily, Azad Hind, in its editorial on March 12 writes: “Now that the son of a secular-minded leader, Mulayam Singh, has come to power, there is every hope he would never let his secularism be wounded and the thousands of young Muslims rotting in the state’s jails for years, without a hearing, would be accorded justice... and given government jobs.” The Delhi-based weekly, Nai Duniya, edited by SP leader Shahid Siddiqui (March 18), draws attention to the fact that “Akhilesh, in the first meeting of his cabinet made it clear that the promises made for Muslims were not merely for securing their votes, as has been done by the Congress for the last 64 years.”

Drama Didi

DESCRIBING West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee’s response to the railway budget presented by Dinesh Trivedi, as “a drama of the TMC,” the daily Siasat, published from Hyderabad and Bangalore writes: “Instead of emphasising reducing the burden on railway passengers, Mamata Banerjee decided to remove her own party’s leader, Dinesh Trivedi... The people are surprised the Congress went down on its knees (ghutne tek diye) before the TMC...” Another Hyderabad daily, Munsif, in its editorial on March 20 raises a constitutional issue: “The question is whether a decision with regard to the appointment of a minister can be taken in this manner?” The daily Inquilab, published from Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Kanpur and Bareilly, in its editorial on March 20, states Mamata was unhappy with a “self-assertive” Trivedi and was looking for an opportunity get him removed from his ministerial post. Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on March 16, hazards a guess regarding the predicament of the prime minister following the TMC drama. It writes: “The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh might now be realising he had lost a reliable ally in the form of the Left Front for a profit-less nuclear treaty and the one with whom he forged an alliance is not letting him sit in peace...”

Budget session

THE Union budget has been criticised by almost all sections of the Urdu press: ‘Sara bojh aam aadmi par’ (the entire burden on the common man, Siasat), ‘Mehangayi barhane wala budget’ (price-raising budget, Munsif), ‘Rookha-pheeka budget’ (dry and tasteless budget, Inquilab), ‘Zindagi ho gayi garaan kuch aur’ (life has become costlier, Rashtriya Sahara), ‘Pranab dada ki mehfooz chaal’ (Pranab dada’s safe move, Rahnuma-e-Deccan), ‘Raahat kum, masaeb zyada’ (less relief, more trouble, Qaumi Tanzeem), ‘Aam budget mein aam aadmi ko hi jhatka’ (jolt to the common man in the general budget, Sahafat).

The “paltry allocation” in the budget for minorities’ welfare has drawn criticism, with some even hinting at political motives. Noted columnist, Naseem Aarfi, writes in Delhi daily, Jadeed Khabar (March 20): “The share of the Ministry of Minority Affairs is only Rs 3,135 crore, a paltry increase of Rs 385 crores (14 per cent) compared to last year’s Rs 2,750 crore. This resulted from the lack of firm decisions for minorities before the budget.” Islamuddin Mujahid, in Munsif (March 23), says: “It seems the Congress has exacted revenge on Indian Muslims following their defeat in the UP.”



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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Kanson » 30 Mar 2012 12:26

While there is discussion about 'Breaking India', here is some snippets on how somewhere from remote corner of this country a religious minded person strengthened Hindu religion through Constitution. I submit this to you as a way of paying gratitude to His Holy person.

If we wish to have a proper assessment of His Holiness's important role in the revival of religion we have to look back to the days of the Freedom Movement.

Being a Sannyasin he did not, he could not, enter active politics. But in his hear of hearts he supported National Freedom in the truest sense, for he wanted not only the foreigners to go, but also the foreign outlook of our people to go. He has been wearing khaddar right from the days of Gandhi's boycott of mill-cloth. Unfortunately, the freedom-fighters relegated religion to the background and made politics their sole concern. His Holiness rightly feared that by the time the freedom-fighter succeeded in getting political independence of our country, India would have heavily lost her spiritual and religious instincts. He actually warned many political leaders to this effect. But, alas, they did not feel the importance of what he said. So His Holiness himself had to work out schemes incessantly for the upkeep of religion at those critical times when politics alone was all in all. But, for his statesman like vision at the time of framing our constitution the very important articles touching religious freedom and the maintenance of religious institutions which are now happily enshrined in our Great Charter could not have been there. I wish in particular to bring to the notice of enlightened people the silent and stead fast work he did in his direction. I wish in particular to bring to the notice of enlightened people the silent and stead fast work he did in this direction. For not less than five full years, I know personally, he was immersed in the one thought of getting constitutional authority for religious freedom and the upkeep of religious institutions. I remember vividly that midnight in Melur near Kumbhakonam when he solemnly and seriously advised and warned us to take the initiative in protecting religion through the Constitution. We failed to grasp his point. Suddenly he electrified us with the stern mandate that it was high time for us to dedicate ourselves to the great task.

What happened within the next few days revealed his prophetic vision. The Parliamentary Delegation of the British Government came to India to negotiate points touching Indian Freedom an din particular to suggest a new Constitution for the nation. Except for the head of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham all other Peethadhipatis seemed to be in utter darkness about the delegation and the need to place before them convincingly our suggestions and the present and future status of religion and religious institutions. We wondered whether at all the delegation would give us an interview. Anyhow according to his instruction we sent a number of telegrams to the delegation, which as we expected wee not all responded to. But somehow His Holiness seemed to be optimistic and his optimism was a enigma to us all. The fools we were! Was he not the author of the Divine Plan?

Quite unexpectedly a telegram called me forth to Madras in connection with a different purpose. When I entered into "The Hindu" Office in Madras on that quite different errand, the late lamented Kasturi Srinivasan, the then Editor of "The Hindu", sprang a surprise over me by telling that the Parliamentary Delegation would be visiting "The Hindu" Office in the next few minutes. A tea party was arranged in honour of the delegation at the Hindu Office. And so, I stood face to face with those eminent people, who did not even reply to our numerous telegrams. The secretary of the delegation entered first and Sri Kasturi Srinivasan introduced me to him. It told him that our telegrams were not responded to. He was kind enough to advise me to place our points personally before Mr. Sorenson (M.P.) who was the most important member of the delegation. As matters were so quickly developing I had no time to prepare any written memorandum. I explained by word of mouth to Sorenson and desperate condition of our religion and religious institutions and drew his attention to His Holiness' ides of getting Constitutional safeguard for these. Sorenson was kind enough to ask me to meet him once again in Delhi.

I returned to His Holiness to break the news of this wonderful turn of events. After a little meditation His Holiness advised to prepare a memorandum touching religion as a fundamental right. Fundamental right! It was a time when not much was thought about fundamental rights in general, and still less about religious belief as a fundamental right I may not be wrong if I say that this was the birth of Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution itself.

I met Mr. Sorenson at Delhi and submitted our memorandum. He was deeply impressed with, nay moved by, His Holiness' concern of our people and for his very practical wisdom.

Of course, the Parliamentary Delegation was not a success. But the idea of enshrining religious belief as a Fundamental Right had unmistakably and unassailably and unassailably struck root, thanks to the foresight of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Paramacharya. The ball has definitely beet set rolling!

Then came the Cabinet Delegation. When we once again moved the Head of the Delegation, Sir Stafford Cripps, to our suggestion, he said that ultimately it was only the leaders of India who were going to frame the constitution, and so advised us to meet them.

Even as I recall those days, I am thrilled to think of the divine power of the Yogi then living in a remote village in the far southern part of the country. We were just instruments. It was his power that revealing itself through us.

It was the peak hour of India's Freedom Movement when nothing but politics seemed to be worth attention. Anyhow we made bold to meet Sardar Patel and spoke to him about religious freedom. He just flared up to say that Hinduism spoke with different tongues and was not fit for survival. It told him about the efforts of His Holiness to bring to the forefront the underlying unity among what seemed to be different tongues. Sardar Patel was highly impressed and said that he simply could not believe that there could be a Mathadhipati in India who did not just think in terms of his own Siddhanta but thought of the generality. he said that something could be done towards what we wished, if only we really made efforts to unify the different sects of Hinduism.

Then started our holy pilgrimage through out India to bring together all the Siddhantins and make concerted efforts. With the miraculous Tapo-sakti of His Holiness we were able to meet all the religious Heads of India, and for the first time in our history were able to bring them together under one label. "The All India Maths Conference". This coming together of religious sects gave a new strength to the plea regarding religious belief as a Fundamental Right and getting constitutional safeguard for religious institutions.

India became independent. The Constituent Assembly was set up to frame our Great Charter. In the great excitement of those days none seemed to pay any attention to religion and religious institutions as subjects to be covered by the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution. The tapasvin of Kanchi was then camping at Ambi village. He called forth eminent lawyers of Madras to suggest suitable clauses concerning religion and religious institution for inclusion in the Constitution. These great lawyers prepared lengthy clauses at great pain, but only to be rejected by the Adviser of the Constituent Assembly. The Adviser suggested a simple clause, but His Holiness's legal knowledge was superior to that of the Adviser and so he found out over subtle defects even in that simple clause. His Holiness himself made a very important change in it. The suggestion of His Holiness was welcomed by Constitutional pandits wholeheartedly with a sense of wonder at His Holiness' astonishing legal acumen.

Anyhow political leaders were not prepared to give unchecked freedom to religion and religious institutions. So this freedom was diluted by the addition of the phrase "in accordance with law'. This would mean that the State could thoroughly interfere in religion and religious institutions, because this condition would bind religious institutions with whatever new law a none-too-religious Government may bring forth. At His Holiness' behest a representation was made to, members to suitably amend the clause at the stage of the second reading. When we met Dr. Ambedkar in this connection, we did not have any hopes, because we knew of his staunch and stern views. But behold the power of Paramacharyas' penance Dr. Ambedkar told in all earnest that he was for religion and religious institutions. He declared that religion and religious institutions was split into four parts by the framers of the Constitution, so that the restrictive phrase "in accordance with law" applies only to fourth part.

Now in final form Article 26 of the Constitution reads as follows:

"...Every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right (A) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes (B) to manage its own affairs in matters of religion (C) to own and acquire moveable and immovable property and (D) to administer such property in accordance with law."

If such a constitutional guarantee has been got for the independent running of religious institutions it is in no small measure due to the initiative of His Holiness Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Paramacharya. Originally the wording was only "Every religious denomination shall have the right" etc. Nobody found any discrepancy in this wording, including the august Constitution-makers. His Holiness alone saw that this was not enough. No Hindu thinks that he is first and foremost a Hindu. He thinks only a terms of his subsect. e.g., that he is a Vaishnavaite, a Saivite, a Smartha or a Saiva Siddhanthin and son on and so forth. Similarly no religious institution in India is running under the label of Hinduism. We only have Vaishnava, Saiva, Smartha, Saiva Siddhantha, etc. etc., Maths and Monasteries. So the word "religious denominations" could not have constitutional application to many of these institutions. Therefore His Holiness felt that the wording should be changed as "every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right, etc." His supreme will was ultimately carried out!

In all this His Holiness remained behind the screen. But he was the one moving spirit and great political leaders, eminent lawyers, distinguished parliamentarians and experienced jurists just carried out his prophetic schemes for the maintenance of our religious belief and for the constitutional safeguard for our religious institutions. This aspect which has not seen the light of the day till now deserves to be written in letters of gold in the history of our religious; perhaps also of our Constitution - making.

In particular I want to draw the attending of the public to two great incidents, which will ever remain fresh in my memory.

When we were meeting the Matadhipathis through out India, myself in company with some others, had an unforgettable audience with the then Pontiff of Sri Sringeri Sarads Peetham-Poojya Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathi. He was divine personality. Though the Head of a Math he was very often immersed in deep meditation. He appeared before us as a huge mass of divine consciousness. His very first question to us was, "Where did Shri Kamakoti Acharya perform Vyasa Puja?" We replied that it was at Madhyarjuna (Tiruvidaimarudur). His Holiness Sri Sringeri Sankaracharya made glorious reference about His Holiness. We narrated to him the politico-religious situation and about our Kanchi Kamakoti Paramacharya's efforts to unify all the religious institutions in order to make a concerted move to get constitutional safeguard for our religion. He replied with a beaming face, "Only Sri Kanchi Acharya understands the atmosphere precisely and knows what is fittest to do in the prevalent atmosphere. We all depend on what he does in this regard. We are very grateful to him. If the Hindus are able to maintain Dharma even to this extent it is primarily due to Sri Kanchi Acharya."

Then and there he called one Shri Sangameswara Sastri and ordered him to accompany us to other Maths having connection with Sri Sringeri like Theerthamukthapuri to help us in persuading those Mathadhipathis to join hand in our Paramacharya's schemes.

We returned to Sringeri after visiting these Maths and conveyed our gratitude to His Holiness Sri Sringeri Acharya. In turn His Holiness asked us to convey His gratitude to Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Acharya for his task towards religious revival.

Another incident of great importance. Originally the Drafting Committee has included religion and religious institutions in the "State List" of the Constitution. When His Holiness Sri Kanchi Acharya's attention was drawn to this he said "Religion of India is one. It does not differ on the basis of States. Similarly the religious institutions also belong to the whole of India. Therefore this item should be transferred from the State List". Though His Holiness did not put it in words, it is possible that [b]he also saw prophetically that some day even parties professing ir-religiousness may come to power in some of the States in which case religious institutions would have to suffer very badly[/b].

We conveyed the views of His Holiness to the members of the constituent Assembly, but they were afraid to take up the issue because even then Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was feeling that the Central List was overburdened. Anyhow as the Tapo-shakti of His Holiness would have it, somebody made bold in the party meeting to refer to the amendments we wanted. And the wonder of it! No less a person than Jawaharlal Nehru himself changed his opinion on the spur of the moment, and proposed that religious institutions should be included in the Concurrent List. The proposal was moved all at once. This was a very great gain, but it was a great gain for Hinduism, and for that matter, any religious which has a following in India.

Source: http://www.kamakoti.org/souv/5-41.html

PS: At times we lament our poor state of Indian democracy which was subverted by hooligans of various hues. But, for even to stand here after all those abuses, wonder how many behemoth efforts went in to strengthen the Indian democracy! All my respect to great person!

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Altair » 30 Mar 2012 16:45

People who are capable and confident enough to pro-actively take steps to further Indian interests should go ahead and do it by themselves. Some people have a serious problem with authority and hierarchical reporting structure. They like to be their own boss and dream to run their own goddamn Intelligence agency from their basement.
They need to start building enough network of trustworthy people across borders and try suggesting whom to strike and if possible when. Modern social networks can be very very helpful!
Results are guaranteed!

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Jarita » 30 Mar 2012 20:43

Perspective from RM on the acquisition spree in India
..and getting just as fat!

This just in from the New York Times;

How India Became America

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opini ... ica.html?_\
r=2&hp

Rajiv comment: The content of the article is just the opposite of the title
given to this thread. The content celebrates what it calls "the Americanization
of India". This is India getting digested into Americanism, the expansion of the
American Frontier. The writer is delighted that "old" things like "caste" are
giving way to India's "advancement" in Americanization, and his reference points
for Americanization is its popular brands and pop culture lifestyle.

If India had digested America, then America (like the proverbial deer) would
cease to be itself - it would be the Indian dhabbhas replacing Pizza Hut,
MacDonalds, etc all across USA. This is not the case. America is stronger with
this brand expansion into India. To say that India has digested America would be
like saying that British colonialism was also India digesting Britain. (Many
Brits at that time did write claiming this to be the case, and many stupid
Indians loved to hear it.)

So what is the difference between X digesting Y, and X becoming taken over by Y?
If the tiger upon eating the deer turns into the deer, and the deer remains
alive and well, then it would be a case of tiger being taken over by the deer.

Following is a different kind of example in India-US transactions: India did
appropriate American fast foot know how in the 1990s when a tiny number of
American fast foods entered; at that time Haldiram and several other Indian
establishments responded rather than being overwhelmed. They internalized the
fast food cleanliness, quick service, franchise methodology BUT RETAINED INDIAN
OWNERSHIP, TASTES, ETC. In other words what was considered good and worth
borrowing was Indianized, reformulated in Indian terms and conditions, all under
Indian control.

However, that was just one stage. Later on, people like Pepsi made acquisitions
of Indian fast food chains like Haldirams, so these Indian "responses" have
become part of American MNCs. Hence, in the long run, this has turned into the
expansion of American MNCs into India, not the other way around.

10 years ago, less than 10% of the Indian Sensex companies' market cap was owned
by FII's (Foreign Institutional Investors), and now it is 25% and increasing.
This means that the share of foreign ownership in Indian corporates is
increasing. Typically, the Indian "promoters" of the shares are few billionaires
families who own about 50% of these companies, and the remaining 50% is divided
between the Indian public and foreign investors. Of the latter 50%, the foreign
investors' share has dramatically increased. The trend is therefore: Indian
corporates are getting owned by a few Indian billionaire families plus foreign
owners.

The only difference between this and the colonial era is that now there are also
super wealthy Indians sharing the pie and in fact facilitating this massive
transfer of wealth into foreign hands. I cannot celebrate this Americanization
of India and concentration of power as the article does.

Which civilization's framework dominates in these examples? Clearly it is the
western framework. A thousand very small, one-family enterprises owning retail
stores get put out of business by a massive supermarket with US capital. So the
decentralized ownership in the traditional Indian style of free enterprise gets
replaced by a centralized corporate ownership ultimately in foreign hands. In
this process the Indian middlemen get richer as facilitators of wealth transfer.

Much of India's wealth is now foreign owned. The Indian GDP growth rate includes
the portion that is foreign owned. BD is not a book on economics but separately
I think and argue these points with economists. What is now going on in India is
simply UNSUSTAINABLE - please watch my video at the ISEC talk I gave in
Bangalore: http://beingdifferentbook.com/isec-bangalore-event/

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Sanku » 30 Mar 2012 22:28

^^^ RM is talking about GNP vs GDP. Yes, India's GNP is distinctly lower than its GNP this data is easily available.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 30 Mar 2012 23:07

Kansongaru, Sri Chandrasekhara Swamigaru had some of the best legal minds in South India as his disciples. In Vizag my maternal Grandfather was one.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 31 Mar 2012 06:42


abhishek_sharma
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 01 Apr 2012 01:26

Image

From Facebook

Manny
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Manny » 01 Apr 2012 08:22


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Aditya_V » 01 Apr 2012 12:37



One think I noticed by the Self proclaimed Liberals in Indian Media. When a controversial Westerner's visa is in question they shout free speech, when the US supposedly refuses an Indian CM a Visa, US is expressing its right to decide who it can give Visa and India should not interfere. If at all there are foreign agents within these country, it is within these orgs.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Aditya_V » 01 Apr 2012 12:38

abhishek_sharma wrote:Image

From Facebook


Like the line only when he travels with the SPG protectee

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby nvishal » 01 Apr 2012 12:50

Image

Image

India agrees to be part of Trans-Asian Railway Network
PATNA: In a major policy decision, the Indian Railways has agreed to participate in the Trans-Asian Railway link between Europe and South East Asia via Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.

The muslim countries(iran, pakistan, turkey etc) in the west need a land route to enter south-east asia. If india disagrees, they go through china.

In simple words, this is a security v/s economy situation. Choose one.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 04 Apr 2012 00:58

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 040212.php
Climate model to predict malaria outbreaks in India
Scientists from the University of Liverpool are working with computer modelling specialists in India to predict areas of the country that are at most risk of malaria outbreaks, following changes in monsoon rainfall.
The number of heavy rainfall events in India has increased over the past 50 years, but research has tended to focus on the impact this has on agriculture rather than the vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and Japanese Encephalitis. The University's School of Environmental Sciences is working with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR) Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation (C-MMACS), Bangalore, to develop technology that will help decision makers and planners target areas that are prone to large scale climate variability and malaria epidemics.
The number of malaria cases in India has dropped from two million a year to 1.5 million in recent years, but the percentage of the more dangerous form of the disease, P. falciparum infection, has increased in some areas. The model could help inform early intervention methods to prevent the spread of malaria at key points in the seasonal monsoon cycle, reducing the economic and health impacts of the disease.
Dr Andy Morse, from the University's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "We already know that an anomalous season of heavy rainfall, when heat and humidity are high, allows insects such as mosquitoes to thrive and spread infection to humans. In order to prepare health services and prevent epidemics we must have a way of predicting when these events are likely to occur in areas that are not accustomed to annual outbreaks of malaria. "Liverpool has developed human and animal disease models that can be integrated into seasonal forecasting systems to give a picture of what the climate impacts on disease risk will be like in four to six months time."Dr Prashant Goswami, from C-MMACS, India, said: "We are rapidly developing our computer modelling capabilities using technology that can address the impacts of climate variability on agriculture and water systems. This knowledge, together with the Liverpool models of vector-borne diseases, will help us develop systems to predict when changes in the monsoonal rain may occur and which areas are most likely to see an increase in malaria. "Health authorities in India are already very successful at controlling malaria cases, but this new research should support decision makers in keeping ahead of the more serious occurrences of the disease, which is starting to increase across the country alongside the changing climate conditions

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 04 Apr 2012 06:21

Delhi Confidential

Foreign Frenzy

As the mercury rises in the Capital, foreign assignments give government officials a pleasant break from the heat. Many in the HRD Ministry are heading for foreign shores this season. So while Minister Kapil Sibal has already flown out with a delegation to Israel this week, next weekend another delegation piloted by the ministry will head out of the country. Under a HRD Ministry initiative, department officials along with some state education ministers, who are part of a central committee on community colleges, are going on a tour of community colleges of USA. The US trip is likely to be followed up with another to Australia sometime later.

...

Lucky Number

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s official car’s licence plate number ends in 786 — considered lucky by Muslims and much sought after. Sibal smilingly dismisses it as “pure coincidence” but his associates say it is something he is happy with, and brings a smile on the faces of several people in his constituency, Chandni Chowk, which has a significant number of Muslims.


Views from the Left

Statement of purpose

The CPM has long argued that the UPA’s neoliberal policies are impoverishing the people. Now, the party is considering a study to identify their impact on “different sections” of the population, believing that its own political future, after recent electoral setbacks, rests on mobilising these sections. In the latest issue of CPM weekly People’s Democracy, the party general secretary, Prakash Karat, writes that it will have to organise the struggles of the working class to expand its political base and influence.

Karat writes in a front-page article on the ongoing 20th Party Congress, that in the current situation, “what is of crucial importance is the strengthening of the CPM and its independent growth all over the country.”

“Along with this, we have to strengthen Left unity and gather all the Left forces to project Left politics. The party has to work to build a Left and democratic alliance which can be the real alternative to the parties of the big bourgeoisie and the bourgeois-landlord order... In the course of building such an alliance in order to fight both the Congress and the BJP, the party will seek to cooperate with other democratic and secular parties on people’s issues and in defence of secularism,” he writes.

Tribal entitlements

An article in People’s Democracy says the inadequate allocations for tribal development made in the Union budget shows that the UPA is not interested in meeting its constitutional obligations towards tribal populations.

“In accordance with constitutional obligations, the total allocations under the Tribal Sub Plan should [be] equal to the proportion of the schedule tribe population within the country — that is, about 8.5 per cent. In the 2012-13 budget proposals, Rs 21,710.11 crore have been allocated for tribal specific schemes under the TSP... However... [this] is misleading because the percentage of TSP allocation to the total plan budget has actually declined marginally from 4.3 per cent in 2011-12 to a projected 4.1 per cent in 2012-13,” it says.

How poor is poor

The People’s Democracy editorial focuses on the poverty estimates for 2009-10 by the Planning Commission, which claimed an overall reduction in the incidence of poverty by 7.3 per cent.

It said that these figures, based on daily per capita consumption of Rs 28 in urban cities and Rs 22 in rural areas, were a “a gigantic fraud...in the making for some time”.

“After a huge public outcry, the government was forced to revise these ridiculous claims... The government had announced that poverty estimates henceforth would be based on a new methodology... According to reports, the methodology approved by the cabinet will mean that a family of five earning members earning more than Rs 27,000 per annum would be automatically excluded from the BPL list... This not merely echoes the benchmark of the Planning Commission’s [sic], but is, in fact, worse,” it says.

It argues that the plan panel itself prescribes a minimum intake of 2400 calories daily to sustain oneself. “In 2010, this would have cost at least Rs 44. Today, it would be much more, at least a double of what [sic] the latest figures that have been doled out by the government.”

Compiled by Manoj C.G

ramana
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 04 Apr 2012 07:36

Good chance for Delhi folks to listen to guruji.


IHC & Subbu Forum

invite you to a Public Lecture on



Geopolitical Consequences of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis:

Back to the Drawing Board



by



Amb. Shyam Saran

Former Foreign Secretary & Chairman, RIS



Chair: Dr. Sanjaya Baru

Director for Geo-economics and Strategy, IISS &

Hon. Senior Fellow, CPR



Saturday, April 7 at 7:00pm

Gulmohar Hall



Habitat World, India Habitat Centre,

Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003



Ideal entry is from Gate No. 3 on Vardhman Marg



Please join us for tea at 6:30pm

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby abhishek_sharma » 05 Apr 2012 06:57

Views from the Right

SHOOTING THE MESSENGER

Launching an attack on the government because of the army chief controversy, the latest issue of Organiser says the “besieged UPA government” is using its allies and willing sections of the opposition to mount a “sack the army chief” campaign.

In an editorial, it alleges the government is trying to bypass crucial issues raised by army chief General V.K. Singh. “There have been several reports in... recent months exposing the inadequacies in the army... But it did not stir the conscience of the political class in the country nor the bureaucracy...” it says.

It argues that criticism of the general has increased after he went public. “What is important is not how and when he said, but what he said... Gen Singh’s letter to the prime minister is disturbing. He must have brought these issues to the notice of the defence minister earlier. Failing to get any response he knocked at the doors of the prime minister,” says the Organiser.

The editorial says the Bofors kickbacks now look “like a peanut in front of the pumpkin-sized commissions and deal-money being discussed”. It also advised the BJP and alliance partners like JD(U), which had sought the sacking of the chief: “By targeting Gen Singh and blaming both sides (government and the army chief) equally, the opposition is giving safe passage to the government... Don’t shoot the messenger because the message was bad,” it says.

UTTARAKHAND DEFEAT

In an interview in Organiser, the former chief minister of Uttarakhand, B.C. Khanduri, conceded that internal reasons led to the BJP’s defeat in the recently-held assembly elections in the state. “When I took over in September 2011, the party felt that the position of the party was not good. I got only three months and 14 days to work as chief minister before the code of conduct was implemented. The internal problem resulted in the loss of several seats,” Khanduri says.

The former CM, who faced a shock defeat in his constituency, implied that a conspiracy was behind his failure. “In the party forum, I have said something and I have requested the party high command to look into the matter. The high command knows the truth and it will take action against the conspirators. I think the culture of infighting or conspiracy within the party is a very serious matter...” Khanduri said.

BRICS, INDIA AND CHINA

The Panchjanya has commented on the just-concluded BRICS summit in New Delhi. It argues that the Delhi declaration adopted at the summit shows that the BRICS nations — comprising almost half the world’s population — are attempting to negate US pressure. According to Panchjanya, the attempt to dilute the influence of the dollar is evident in the decision to have a master agreement on extending credit facilities in local currency. At the same time, it has warned India to be cautious of China, which it claims has always tried to attack the unity and stability of the country. “China’s gameplan to end American supremacy and become a world power is not hidden from anyone... If Indian government fails to see through China’s gameplan and becomes a pawn in its expansionist programme, it would mean serious trouble for the country”, it says.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby A_Gupta » 05 Apr 2012 07:24

http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2012/0 ... ious-kind/
Troop movements of the curious kind.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 05 Apr 2012 09:16

A_Gupta wrote:http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2012/04/04/troops-movements-of-the-curious-kind/
Troop movements of the curious kind.


The military forum thread on Indian Army has three four pages of lively discussion on this topic. Please follow it there or continuity.

ramana

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Jarita » 05 Apr 2012 21:01

Wah! Wah!

http://dharmanext.blogspot.com/2012/04/ ... l?spref=tw

Robert Vadra .. And The Tip Of The Iceberg


Rohini Singh & Sruthijith KK, The Economic Times

Vadra Makes Low-Key Entry into Real Estate

Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law ties up with DLF, buys tracts of land in tier-3 cities in Haryana & Rajasthan

New Delhi-based entrepreneur Robert Vadra, married into the country’s most powerful family, has made a quiet and relatively unheralded entry into the real estate business, including a partnership with DLF Ltd, India’s largest realty firm.

Vadra, the son-in-law of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has stayed away from electoral politics, maintaining that he wants to be known as a businessman. In interviews he has said that his focus is on Artex, a small company specialising in jewellery and handicraft exports.

That seems to be changing as 42-year-old Vadra, known for his punishing fitness regime and love for fast bikes, has sought to scale up and diversify his business activities since 2008, acquiring tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel in Delhi, and attempting an entry into the business of chartering aircraft.

Regulatory filings available in the public domain and reviewed by ET reporters reveal the changing graph of Vadra’s business interests. These include wide-ranging transactions with the DLF Group. Several of his companies have received loans, some unsecured, from DLF group companies, including the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed flagship DLF Ltd.

A JOINT VENTURE AND SOME LOANS

Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd, a company wholly owned by Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra, is a partner, along with DLF Hotel Holdings and others, in a partnership firm that owns the business hotel Hilton Garden Inn in the upscale South Delhi business district Saket. The hotel is located within the DLF Place mall, also known as DLF Courtyard.

“The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Saket is a small business hotel. I have interest in hospitality and am happy to be part of the hotel,” Vadra told ET, speaking on the phone from Europe, where he is travelling presently. He said the business association with DLF stemmed from a long-standing friendship with the family that controls the realty giant.

“I have known the DLF people for a long time and they are friends of mine. I had wanted to invest in real estate and one thing led to another. Right now, I can only be part of a small hotel. If I were taking favours from people I would be doing far bigger things. But I am doing this on my own. I can’t expand immediately but I hope to expand a few years down the line,” he added.

DLF HAS GIVEN LOANS TO VADRA'S COMPANIES

DLF has also extended loans to various companies owned by Vadra. Some of these are unsecured loans or debt without any collateral. As on March 2009, Sky Light Hospitality had received unsecured loans amounting to 25 crore from DLF Ltd. As on March 2010, only 10 crore remained. It's unclear from the statement of accounts if the rest was paid back or written off.

Sky Light Hospitality has, in turn, loaned money to other Vadra-owned companies such as Blue Breeze Trading Pvt Ltd, North India IT Parks Pvt Ltd, Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd and Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd. Blue Breeze Trading, a company incorporated in 2007 with Vadra and his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as first directors and equal shareholders, is in the business of chartering aircraft. The company, however, seems to have done little business, apart from acquiring agricultural land.

Priyanka Gandhi ceased to be a director as on July 2008. She is no longer a shareholder. Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd also had a 5 crore loan directly from DLF on its books as on March 2010. The joint venture firm Saket Courtyard Hospitality had received 3.58 crore of unsecured loans from DLF Hotel Holdings Ltd, the group company that owned 50% stake in the JV.

"The business relationship of DLF Group with Robert Vadra has been in his capacity as an individual entrepreneur and on a completely transparent and arms-length basis. DLF has always respected and complied with Mr Vadra's explicit directions and wish to not utilise his name or association in any manner whatsoever. The business relationship has been conducted to the highest standards of ethics and transparency," a DLF spokesman said in a statement. The company said it intended to respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by ET on March 9. At the time of going to press, no response was received.

LAND IN TIER-3 TOWNS

Vadra’s companies have also been acquiring tracts of land in recent years. Sky Light Hospitality acquired 5 bighas in Sohna, Haryana, for 7.9 crore during the first year of operation - 2007-08. In 2008-09, the company's fixed assets included land acquired in Manesar for 15.3 crore and by the next fiscal, the company also had bought land in Bikaner for 79 lakh. The acreage of land is unknown.

Vadra's company, North India IT Parks, has been the most prolific acquirer of land. During 2009-10, the company acquired 160.62 acres (including 85.62 acres of agricultural land) in Bikaner for 1.02 crore. Another Vadraowned firm, Real Earth Estates, acquired varying quantities (undisclosed) of land in Hayatpur, Bikaner, Hassanpur, Mewat and New Delhi's pricey Greater Kailash (Part II) neighbour-hood, during 2009-10. The company paid a total of 7 crore.

Sky Light Realty has bought an undisclosed amount of agricultural land in Palwal, Haryana, and Bikaner, Rajasthan, which collectively cost the company 89 lakh. The company also has land in Hayatpur, Haryana, which cost 1 crore. The company has also paid 5.2 crore to DLF for buying seven flats at DLF's Magnolia apartment complex in Gurgaon.

Another 5 crore has been spent on flats at the Capital Green complex owned by DLF Estates Pvt Ltd. This might be related to a 'Booking of Flats' business under a joint venture between Sky Light Realty and Sky Light Hospitality, both Vadraowned companies. Vadra said he could explain the details of these transactions after he returns and reviews the documents on which this newspaper has based its questions. However, he said buying up land in tier-3 cities was part of a deliberate strategy akin to value investing.

“I've been investing in real estate every time I make money from my other businesses. I make investments in tier-3 towns because it is cheaper to invest there. I usually liquidate my real estate assets whenever I can, but I have no intention to develop. I invest like anyone else, in remote areas," Vadra told ET.

However, at least one of his companies has expressed its intention to enter the construction business. The directors' report accompanying the audited accounts of Real Earth Estates for 2009-10, says: "During the year, the company has purchased land in the state of Haryana and Rajasthan. A plot in Delhi has also been purchased during the year. The company has entered into joint venture arrangement with Sky Light Realty. Very soon the company hopes to enter into the field of construction. Necessary legal formalities are being completed in this respect."

There have been murmurs in the past about Vadra's interest in realty. Vadra's lawyers served a legal notice on the realty firm BPTP Ltd in 2006, alleging the firm has been "intentionally, falsely, and fraudulently claiming that several of their projects were part-owned by Robert Vadra and that he was helping them in their Real Estate Development Business”.

Vadra told ET that BPTP has been exploiting his name. "BPTP has been exploiting my name for a long time. In the past I have served them legal notices as well," Vadra said. "I've been married for 14 years but I keep away from politics. I am still grounded. I am because of my own talent and I have to prove myself. I do not try to benefit from my family. I never take obligations from people because if I do then they will ask me for something bigger in return,” he said.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

But DLF was different. "I have a good understanding with DLF. Our children are friends, we are friends. They are seasoned businessmen. They are not daft. They are educated, sensible people and are reasonable and shrewd in their business. They don't need me to enhance them. They've existed for years," he said. DLF, founded in 1946, has enjoyed spectacular commercial success and built much of Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi.

Moradabad-born Vadra, whose mother is Scottish, rose to national prominence when he married Priyanka Gandhi in 1997. Because he is married into the Nehru family, Vadra's life and activities attract a great deal of interest.

Vadra maintains a small group of friends in Delhi and is known for his interest in fitness, cycling and aviation. He has been forthcoming in recent interviews about his fitness regimen, cycling and the motorcycles he own. He is often seen at public ceremonies and state events with Priyanka Gandhi. The couple has two children - Raihan and Miraya. "People can imagine all kinds of things about me but people who matter to me know me and know how I am," Vadra said.


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