Saturday, March 07, 2015

Islam,Science,Ijtihad

I found this letter in a Pakistani paper as very illuminating. This applies equally to Indian science. I am reposting this blogpost from my 2007 post in my sister blog as I found this to be relevant now


" WHY is it that for the last three hundred years, the Muslim world has been so deficient in producing scientists and philosophers? Why is it that even now when the Muslim world commands such immense resources, we lag so far behind the West in scholarship and technology?
The answer is clear: for three hundred years, the door of Ijtihad that is creative thinking has been closed. Almost oneninth of the verses of the Quran stress ‘tafakkur’ and ‘tadabbur’.
Yet, by and large, the Muslim world pays no heed to them, that is, they turn their back on critical thinking.
Instead, we are fond of platitudes.
We love clichés. We bask in the glory of the past. We dread the new, the original, and the novel. We revel in interpretations, but we flinch from creativity. We are good at repeating moth-eaten, time worn thoughts, views and traditions. Using Toynbee’s terminology, we are in the stranglehold of the ‘nemesis of mimesis’. Intellectual stagnation and spiritual degeneration are our dismal lot.
It is ingrained in our psychology that correct answers already exist, and are to be found in books or from authorities, religious or secular. Teachers disperse truth, parents are always right and leaders are omniscient. They act like philosopher kings, often uttering unchallenged banalities. Questioning authority is disrespectful and un-Islamic.
It is time to deconstruct, following the true Quranic spirit of iconoclasm
.
Scholars may differ about problems concerning science, but they are unanimous as regards the need for a particular weltanschauung (world view) for the birth, growth and blossoming of science. Science cannot develop in an atmosphere vitiated by obscurantism, dogmatism, fanaticism, intolerance and irrationalism. Science needs an intellectual environment whose keynote is enlightenment with rationalism, pluralism and humanism as its driving forces.
Historically it was the renaissance which prepared the ground for the emergence of modern science. The Dark Age which preceded the renaissance in Europe was dominated by scholasticism with philosophy as the handmaiden of theology. D’Alembert called scholasticism “the so called science of the centuries of ignorance”. The scholastics used to discuss such ‘profound’ problems as the number of angels who could dance on the tip of a needle. Bacon compared the scholastics to the spiders, content to weave cobwebs, ignoring the universe and what was happening around them.
Scholasticism suffered from (i) indifference to facts (ii) arguments from authority (iii) undue emphasis on verbal subtleties (iv) reasoning in matters which observation alone could decide (v) blind faith.
Modern science had to make way by routing scholasticism. It was Descartes (1596-1650) who performed this task. He was not only the founder of modern philosophy, but also, along with Galileo and Newton, one of the creators of modern science. He started off on his philosophical odyssey by the dictum: “In order to reach the truth, it is necessary, once in one’s life, to put everything in doubt.” Modern science has flourished in an atmosphere marked by philosophical skepticism. It does not take anything for granted. It puts to doubt all dogmas, all certainties. The beliefs of a scientist are tentative, not final. They are not based on authority, but on evidence. Modern science is iconoclastic in dealing with convictions based on tradition or authority. As opposed to scholasticism which believed in order to understand, modern science understands in order to believe. As such there is no dichotomy between modern science and the Quranic spirit, with its constant appeal to reasoning, thinking, knowing and deliberating: afala takaloon, afala tadabburoon, afala tafakkaroon.
Science demands immense patience in observation and great boldness in framing hypotheses. The test of scientific truth is patient collection of facts combined with bold guessing as to the law binding facts together.
Science demands an inquisitive spirit, a pioneering zeal and an enterprising élan. Science advances when there is unity between theory and practice. Any dichotomy between theory and practice spells disaster for scientific progress. The Greek science withered away, because it wholly and solely depended on deduction. Though the Greeks scaled the most sublime heights of speculative thought, their aversion to experimentation and manual work, closed the door for further scientific advancement.
Induction was a great gift of Islam to humanity. “Neither Roger Bacon nor his later namesake has any title to be credited with having introduced the experimental method,” says Briffault in his book Making of Humanity, and adds, “The experimental method of Arabs was by Bacon’s time widespread and ea gerly cultivated throughout Europe.” According to Iqbal, “For purposes of knowledge, the Muslim culture fixes its gaze on the concrete and the finite.” He exalts the scientific spirit at the expense of speculative flights into metaphysics. By giving examples of Ibn-i-Khaldun’s view of history, Ibn-i-Maskwaih’s theory of life as evolutionary movement and Musa al-Khwarazmi’s shift from arithmetic to algebra, Iqbal concludes: “All lines of Muslim thought converge on a dynamic concept of the universe.” Thus Islam rejects a static view of the universe and regards it as always changing and evolving. According to the Quran, change is one of the greatest signs of God, and is explicitly implied in the verse: “Every day has its own glory.” The Islamic principle to keep pace with the changing world and an evolving universe is Ijtihad (exertion to form an independent opinion). Creativity is the essence of Ijtihad. The driving force of the scientific technological revolution (STR) is creativity, developing new ideas and sailing in uncharted seas.
Science must precede technology, because science is the tree and technology is the fruit. Today, as never before, the political stability of a country depends on its economic prowess, which is determined by the STR.
In order to usher in STR, we have to take the following steps:
Firstly, our educational system must be geared to strengthen mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology and computer science in our curriculum.
Secondly, our method of teaching must change, emphasising the intelligent grasp of the subject rather than memorising formulas and theorems.
Thirdly, our mass media must be mobilised to popularise science, and scientific thinking i.e. rational, critical and creative thinking.
Fourthly, our scientists must be made to feel that the country stands in need of their leadership.
Fifthly, there is an urgent need of structural change in our scientific institutions.
Every genuine scientist must be encouraged by rapid promotions and handsome rewards. Our scientists serving abroad must be brought back home by offering them handsome salaries. The rotten concept of ‘seniority’ must be done away with to be replaced by the contribution made by a scientist, which is universally acknowledged. Lastly, what is most needed is the political will on the part of the government to regard literacy, education (in particular) and research as its first priority, and involve all scientists, educationists and the entire intelligentsia in carrying out this urgent task.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Bails for accused without resposibility













   Recently a Mysore realtor was threatened by a local don that he will be killed unless he paid his demand. The realtor went to police and the goon was arrested. But the local court released the goon who engaged a lawyer who knows.The goon with his accomplices killed the realtor next day itself. the court is not responsible for this death. 
There are bailable and non bailable offenses in IPC and Police Inspector incharge will be hauled up even for giving bail for bailable offenses. So they pass the buck to courts who without any responsibility release these terrorists with knowing lawyers arguments..Recently Pakistan has enacted an amendment to its constitution to have Military courts to try the terror accused as civilian courts are influenced by threats bribery etc. POTA, TADA all are allowed to lapse due to socalled Human rights lawyers whose only concern is Human rights of criminals and not their victims.It is time we have also a law like POTA as terrorists and naxalites do not want democracy to succeed. They believe in anarchy and terrorizing the citizens..
The saga of bail application by a terrorist accused Shri Madani in the High court as well as Supreme court of India will be revealing as one goes through the following llinks. When sessions court denies bail, he gets it in High court if not the Supremo court is always there with the battery of Human rights lawyers. Now this terror accused was one of the 33 Terrorists whose release was demanded by Kandhahar hijackers of Indian airlines flight which was later trimmed down. This has no relevance to Coimbatore blast case,Chinnaswamy stadium ,Bangalore case nor was the BJP Bangalore office blast case etc etc because as per IPC, prosecution cannot link these cases. this may be OK for ordinary cases of IPC but terror cases have to be different and evidence in those cases will not be straight forward as in other cases due to the fear which the terror accused causes through his organisation amongst the witnesses and also Judiciary. This can be seen in the case of Prof Hafeez Saeed of LET/JUD whose conviction cannot be obtained in Pakistan court due to lack of witnesses and the very fear his organisation brings upon the prosecution and even state of Pakistan. Now the Pakistan state has to resort to Military courts to try those accused in terror cases by amending their constitution. The Supreme court released him on bail with some funny condition that the State of Karnataka must ensure Madani does not influence witnesses!!!!His wife who is facing trial in the killing of two college girls of Tamilnadu bus who was not allowed to go out of Kerala is now allowed to meet her husband. The recent Church road blast in Bangalore, Patna blast and Pune blast are all getting connected to Al Uma of Coimbatore blast fame , Bhatkal module of Indian Mujahadeen , one can see the sophistication of terror perpetrators. But then to prove in court of law how they are connected cannot be done through normal Indian law which is based on Indian evidence act. Most of these guys will soon get released on bail and Supreme court justices can have their clear conscience because they followed the law to the T. and they are not responsible when the next terror strike occurs by the same terrorists.
Normally one finds the Human rights lawyers all try to follow one common agenda which is akin to EU/ US agenda with regard to LGBT community Climate change , rights of terror accused, smugglers,hawala traders etc and ofcourse Nuclear non proliferation They are also members of SCBA the powerful lawyer club which boasts of members like Kapil sibal, Singhvi, Chidhambaram, Arun Jaitley, Shiv shankar prasad etc etc.
Soon India will find the same dilemma which USA faces with regard to Gitmo or EU with its own terror accused. If India wants democracy to survive they have to deal with this problem soon.The daring way a mafia accused being taken for treatment was killed in broad day when he had 10 police escort vehicles shows how the killers are getting bold and have scant regard for the slow Indian Criminal justice system.
 
 



http://www.rediff.com/news/special/madani-is-more-than-a-terror-suspect-for-kerala-cm-chandy/20140731.htm


http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/aug/18madani.htm      (cooimbatore blast denied bail)

http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/India/20140711/2422837.html  (Bail granted 2014)





Thursday, October 02, 2014

Goddess Saraswathi, My Grandmother's story


            Today they are celebrating Saraswathi Pooja in Tamilnadu  while Karnataka celebrated the  pooja yesterday. This brought to my mind the story my grand mother told when I was studying 2nd  or 3rd class about the Goddess. I was asked to mug up mathematical tables from 1 to 12 by my teacher. I found ti very difficult but some how managed. Then when I wanted my Grandma to check, she said I must mug up tables upto 16. I found this a tall order and I asked her will it ever end? Then she recounted the following story about an arrogant Brahmin and the Goddess.
        There was this Brahmin who could recite all the four Vedas and all the Upanishads by heart and all written things available at that time. This proud Brahmin asked every one and all the elders what more he has to learn and they could not answer and finally an aged Yogi asked him to do Taps to Goddess of Learning Saraswathi who could guide him.Accordingly he did the tapas and Goddess appeared and the Brahmin put the same question to Her. The Goddess then took the Brahmin to the sea shore and took a handful of sand and said to him that though  She is the Goddess of learning, her  knowledge is only this handful and the whole seashore is there to learn which I am trying to do constantly. Then the Goddess told the Brahmin that he has only mugged up the texts while not LEARNT the first thing which comes out of learning which is humility. Then the Goddess asked the shamed Brahmin to Learn and not read the texts without learning.
          

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ISIS/ISIL/IS a creation of ???

    There was this dictator Saddam Hussein who was ruling Shia majority Iraq with iron hand.  He was covertly helping US interests by fighting Iran but overstepped his limits when he invaded Kuwait.But still he was kept in place as 9/11 has not happened. Then after decimating the Taliban and allowing Pakistani instructors to escape in Kunduz, USA wanted change of regime in Iraq. They brought out a tale called WMD and invaded Iraq. Soon Saddam was ousted and executed. A shia majority regime of Maliki was put in place.
    Then we had a dictator called Gaddafi  of Libya who was also following US orders after the Reagan bombs killed his children.But USA decided to remove him and it did.To day Tripoli is a play ground for all Jihadi elements from Alqueada, Al Nusrah front to some supported by Quatar, etc etc.
   Then there was Assad, another benevolent dictator who was ruling Syria . Then suddenly there was clamor to remove him by Saudies . A redline called chemical weapons was woven but suddenly USA decided not to intervene itself.thus disappointing Saudies and Israel. It is here ISIL was formed by Turkey and covert Israeli support with Qatari money. The man power was coming from early release of Pakistani army regulars who were being recruited in Bahrain and other south asians. The Sunni Iraqi army regulars disbanded by USA and not given honourable rehab formed the local lifeline.The socalled Free Syrian army was also part of the recruitment process along with gifted American arms.
    One thing common about Saddam,Gaddafi and Assad are that  they are without beards!!
    A cursory look at the map of the area will show that IS as it is called now cannot exist even for a day without Turkey's help. the oil it produces in Iraq's captured areas are sold by tankers through Turkish ports.Turkey created a covert action story in which nearly 50 of its diplomats in area bordering Iraq and Turkey were captured by ISIS and held as hostage. and so Turkey will not join US coalition to fight the IS a very laughable story. But then the beheading of US/UK citizens was carried out under whose orders.This is the crux of the question if IS is functioning under Turkey/Quatari control. Is IS turning out to be just like Alqueada created by CIA but turning rogue and carried out 9/11.
    Then there is the curious case of Un peace keepers in Golan heights being captured by Al Nusrah front and was released only now. The Philippine soldiers disobeyed orders of Indian General and faught their way out while the Fijians stayed as hostages..What is curious is the attitude of Israel which has not raised a finger against this capture of Golan heights by a terrorist group.
       I  feel  There is some redrawing of MAPs is going on in which Golan heights will be annexed by Israel while the present Area conquered by ISIL/IS will become a new buffer state between Turkey and Iraq/Syria while Kurds will get their freedom. The new buffer state will become part of Turkey to compensate for Kurdish loss.
     The innocents from India and other nations flocking to middle east to save Muslim Umma  as usual are the suckers in this great game big powers play.










http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/irish-officer-to-take-deputy-lead-of-un-golan-heights-mission-1.1916908.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

COMMONALITY in terrorist attacks emanating from Pakistan.

 The recent terrorist attack aimed at Karachi airport,  The Indian parliament attack, The 26/11 attack against Taj hotel  in Mumbai, PNS Mehran attack in Karachi, Bagran base attack etc have one thing in common.
   1. The  attackers numbered always TEN.
   2. They always wanted to take hostages and negotiate
   3. They try to setup a mini control room once they have the hostages in their control.
   4. During the attack they split into small teams of  two each or five each depending upon the operational needs and try to occupy the high point in the area and set up a small attack post so that they command the access points of  opposing the Government  security forces from a  vantage point. The high point can be one or two or more depending on the needs of the situation of the attackers.Basically this gives them time and also Media exposure which they always try to have.
   5.Invariably the JUD chief Prof Hafeez saeed  comes out with dissemination of false propaganda blaming  India for attacks inside Pakistan . But the recent Karachi attack which was blamed on India is now accepted by Uzbek front while even the TTP accepting it has become diversionary. Prof Saeed stands discredited even before his own diehard supporters. In India  there are Seminarists  who blame Pakistan for attacks inside India.. This is invariably picked up by so called security experts in both countries who spew venom against the other without any logic or proof. For this  normally proofs sited or some Indian or Pakistani ID cards or uniform or grenade markings etc which is available to each other in plenty. In recent Karachi attack, some Indian Army medicines and syringes were cited as proof of Indian involvement!!!
    6.  The identity of the attackers is never revealed and invariably all are from Pakistan once meticulous  investigation is done as in the case of 26/11.
      India must be on guard for similar type of attacks taking place. But this may not be directed against   Airports only. This can be against Nuclear or other power projects, Air or naval bases or other security related bases of DRDO,ISRO etc etc.This also can be any soft target like schools, Government buildings etc etc. The recent discovery of Sri Lankan Muslim nationals whose mother tongue is Tamil is being infiltrated by Pakistan' embassy in colombo should be an eye opener.That They ried to infiltrate through Malayasia shows the sophistication of the ISI of Colombo. But now that it is exposed also is a good sign for Malaysia also is now very careful aboutISI operations from its soil. Sri Lanka media students are given $2 million by Pakistan embassy as scholarship shows the importance Pakistan attached to this relationship.
     Now once we read the press statement of PIB and the decision taken by the honourable Home minister is what a typical bureaucrat will do to save his skin. when the attack actually happens. I hope the new Minister of home applies his mind more.  The number of QRTs is increased  to serve what purpose? I remember the last Mmubai attack and the  Commando team from Navy called MARCOS was called in to help neutralise the terrorists holed up in Taj. The MARCOS numbered nearly 200 but their training was so poor that they gave the number of terrorists holed ups as minimum of 30 while it could be even 50 while actually it was only 4!!!. But the MARCOS team just did not know what to do except to come in front of Media covered with black handkerchiefs and give their account.
    Finally it was Maj Unnikrishnan led NSG team from Delhi which neutralised the terrorists.In Mumbai itself we have the ATS of State police, MARCOS OF Indian navy, QRTs of Indian airforce and now QRTs of Airport security of CISF. Do these guys trained on par with NSG commandoes just like cobra force of Hyderabad police? Do they have bullet proof vests of heigher quality? do they have better quality NVGs as the recent attack in Karachi has shown that the terrorists are equiped with NVGs of very good quality. So do the  CISF QRTs trained to fight at night and practise constantly? It is the training which finally gives the force the self confidence to fight.



  

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
09-June-2014 18:55 IST

Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister held a meeting here today to review the security arrangements for airports in the country, especially in the light of the terrorist attack on Karachi airport, Pakistan on June 08, 2014.

The meeting was attended by heads of all concerned security agencies, including National Security Advisor (NSA), Director Intelligence Bureau, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), National Security Guard (NSG), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, as well as the Secretary, Civil Aviation, the Union Home Secretary and other senior officers.

Government of India has put all airports on heightened alert to guard against any terrorist attack on any Indian airport. The number of CISF Quick Reaction Teams has been increased and all security personnel have instructed to enhance their level of alertness. Steps to tighten access control at the airports and to strengthen perimeter security have been taken. Anti hijacking units at the airports are carrying out mock exercises. It was also decided to complete the security audits at all airports with a view to strengthen the security at the airports.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Exit polls and SENSEX

     After 12th evening the Media has been going hyper about Modi becoming PM and BJP getting
comfortable majority on its own etc .All sort of exit polls are being compared by experts and they all predict BJP will get near 300 atleast. My prediction is BJP may just get about 200 though I am a BJP supporter.
Then why this hullaboo in the Media. I think this is generated by interested FII and their lackeys in India who want to make a quick killing.With Sensex reaching 24000, I think the whole country is going gaga over Modi.
    I will advise all those Indians who dabble in stocks to exit now when the going is good and make a killing. I expect the Sensex to fall well below 22,000 after the counting will start. So SELL SELL your stocks and book profits now.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Indian Democracy and Briyani Gang

    I was watching one of those 50 or odd Tamil news and entertainment channels which have sprung up recently due to elections and saw a group of Briyani Gang in 4 buses who have come with full family including children asking for Rupees 800/-  per head which was promised to them for attending the Election meeting as part of the crowd. They were not allowed to get in and so they missed the Briyani being served there. These guys were also going to another meeting soon for another political party and so were agitated for not getting their money and Briyani.
    In Karnataka I donot see much of election meetings as one sees in Tamilnadu or even in Andhra. May be spoiler is the Election commission of India. A funny rule is that if the candidate just stands with folded hands not on the dais but below the speaking Leader and then cash spent is not counted for his electoral expenses otherwise if he stands next to the leader it will be added to his electoral expenses. What a silly rule? The EC has done so many whimsical rulings which had no logic except to show its power once in 5 years over the bureaucracy.These election expenses are another farce and seasoned parties know how to get over it and also placing their favorite babus well before the code of conduct is invoked. The colour of Indian Democracy by festoons, giant cut outs, caps, masks and ofcourse the Briyani crowd is very badly curtailed by the socalled rules of election commission. It is the election time the ordinary people get their pounds of worth from the elected Reps who splurge the money. But the Indian Election commission has been a spoiler and they just do not know how Indian mind works nor how they are very clever when they vote.
     Recently there was this visit by Shri Ananth Kumar who is standing from our area along with BJP MLA Mr. Satish Reddy of this area and also BJP Corp-orator Mrs. Latha. and of course the main point man of nearby village of Iblur Mr. Muniraju..Our condominium have 1700 votes and they were bargaining with us for the Main road construction ( not done for the last 5 years) if only we voted for Mr. Kumar. Mr.Ananth Kumar was talking about Vajpayee era and not about Modi and I know he will be a dissident when elected on behalf of Advani. Soon enough we had a visit from Mrs. Rohini Nilekenni. She talked about Mr.Nilekenni's  role in INFY and creating lakhs of jobs in Bangalorre and also about AADHAR. She also talked about his honesty  and how he is going to work for inner party democracy in Congress. When she found that the mood is pro Modi, she even talked about a credible opposition and Nilekenni will be one in the parliament.. She just did not understand politics of the streets as finally people vote not for lofty ideals but for roads etc which Ananth kumar and his team was knowing well. When I suggested to her as the local Government is from Congress, she should appoint a points-man to whom we can go for our roads, Kathas and ration cards as we find the local BJP MLA is the only one available for any job. She said MR.Nilekenni is planning to appoint one local man for every one of 7 Assembly constituencies after the election !!!!Well I could see Mr.Ananth Kumar had his ears and within next day came to our office and after talking to our association office bearers got the main  road made within  same night in flat 2 hours , the election commission ban not withstanding. That is street politics and sadly Nilekenni just did not have it in him. By this act Mr. Ananth Kumar not only got our votes but also surrounding 7 or 8 odd blocks in the area which might be having a combined vote bank of nearly 5 to 6 thousand. The goodwill will actually continue during the next local election also. I talked to a village elder of Iblur village and he said that Mrs.Rohini Nilekenni only gave lecture and did not understand their needs which is 2 streets in their village not getting Cauvery water while 4 streets get it. It requires a special valve which might cost about rupees 5000/-. I Donot think Mrs Nilekenni even talked to the local villagers about this..

It is all good to hold debates about voting rights and  make people aware etc.. but how many of IT people from layouts and apartments come out and vote?? As long as we do not vote nothing will ever change. Some of us vote because we can read the manifesto and feel happy about it...But poor people are better off  in that they take money,booze, briyani from ALL the candidates and then do their ground work and then vote for the guy who gives the most in goodies and services and they ensure that  elected MLA/MP continues to give these  throughout his term.They do not  read manifestos but   talk to the guys and drive a hard bargain for all  including their family and village which may include illegal electric connections,  Cauvery water connection and admit cards in state run schools for children who skip classes, Yeshvashni scheme for health , bail for thier drunkard husbands  etc etc.
This is what i read in a newspaper about one of the voter/candidates interactive seminars. As long as the talk stayed within the old boundaries -- roads, drains, toilets, parks, and other civic stuff - all candidates uniformly promised the same things. They, and they alone, could and would fix it. Then when a participant threw in the question about Akrama Sakrama, and suddenly they were all on edge. Basically the candidates donot want to talk about illegal mining to some cases or benami farm holdings or gifting of sarkari lands to some religious trusts,boards or burial grounds which may later turn out to be used for some other commercial purposes.
   In a recent seminar at a local college some sprightly kids said that they do not vote because they do not find a suitable candidate or most of the        candidates are corrupt or just everyday politics bored them except when they tend to criticize Mayawathi's elephants,laloo's fodder scam or Kumaraswamy's espousal of fielding ex convicts . Generals Zia-ul-Haq,Musharaff etc are all ramrod straight, uncorrupted in the normal sense of the way and one looks at Shasthriji, Indira Gandhi, Vajpayee etc and you see these dhothi/saree clad leaders will not win a pageant but Democracy wins in India and every country is jealous of us..But these IT kids will not ponder.They will use the NOTA button not knowing they are actually defranchising themselves. I am sure they would not have braved the sun even if Narayana Murthy has contested from this seat. They will not vote for Nilekenni because that will make Rahul the PM as if they would have voted for him in case he stood as independent. They celebrate International woman's day and they send emails in support of pink jaddi campaign but ask them about pending legislations in parliament, they just have no clue.Infact I do not  think they have ever posted their comments in various legislation s which are in public domain especially affecting women's rights, children rights or rights and welfare of senior citizens and of the disabled.
But this time our folks have tasted blood with a road and our voting may be better compared to last time when only 73 voted out of 760 voters. I feel sorry for Nilekenni because I think he will loose along with Mr.Balakrishnan. But I hope they learn to become good politicians along with being honest,educated and good persons.




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Varanasi the Eternal city

      Varanasi, the eternal city as it is called had different meaning to me being a flier. Mostly we used to land at Varanasi for refueling which used to be quite quick. the very good Samosa's which the Airport Canteen served was an added bonus. Ofcourse we used to land during Mango season for the "Dusseri" mangoes as it used to be cheap and tastier.
    So it was one of those VIP trips and we have to spend a day extra. Myself and my senior colleague  Sainani went to visit the famous Shiv temple and were utterly disappointing at the dirtiness all around.But to me the most blood boiling thing was the presence of Gyan vapi Mosque inside the sanctum of the holy Shiv temple. and most  of the Idols   were lying in a disorganized manner nearby. I failed to understand the adamant attitude of the Muslims of this holy city who should have handed the Mosque to the temple authorities long time ago. When an Indian Christian like me felt so agitated, I could understand the feeling of ordinary Hindus from all over India who are visiting the temple complex due to interior tourism. In fact BJP should preserve this anachronism as it must be fodder for its growth.Now with Modi standing from this place, many workers visiting this temple city will become BJP's loyal supporters.
       
   Myself and Sainani then visited the surrounding bazaar which was selling perfumed supari in various colours in very cheap rates.Also snack sold in road side dhabhas were tasty and cheap. Then we entered the ghats and Sainani visited a Panda who told about his ancestors.Then we did a great thing. Hired a local boat which was rowed by a young Muslim boy who took us to a small island in the Holy Ganges. I asked Sainani to take a dip and his sins will be forgiven .He retorted I am confusing 'Kasi" with Varanasi. That was his knowledge and he was thrilled when I told him Kasi and Varanasi were the same. He had a dip and the rowing back was very peaceful in twilight and watching all the ghats. One can easily feel why Varanasi is called the Eternal city, a city which people believe to be may be nearly 5000 years old

Friday, March 07, 2014

Ukraine, Russia and India

        Non alignment is immoral is what John Foster Dulles called India's policy. We were not part of CENTO/SEATO as Pakistan was;but essentially Indian elite was pro west as none of their children went for studies to Soviet Union nor Communism  was followed except by the communists. Pakistan got its  Sabres and so also F 104 star fighter from the USA as gift. India had its Gnats but every one knew that it is no match to the Star fighter.It is then Leftist Defense Minister Krishna Menon turned to Soviet Union and got MIG 21 deal with complete transfer of technology.But  it infuriated the Indian  elite in Business, Media and Bureaucracy especially the import lobby in Defense forces.There was this virtual salvo against Krishna Menon as MIG 21 was one of the top line fighters of Soviet union and also in the world at that time. Soon we had IL 14s, AN12s, MI4 helicopters etc etc.The clever way USA used to inject one system into one client state  which used to be compensated by EU countries in the third world who have disputes with the client state was  broken . The Veto of Soviet Union was the one which used to save India from Kashmir plebiscite demand and various other pin pricks we used to get in UN from western nations. India used to be completely isolated except support from Bhutan with regard to issues affecting our security like the Goa operation, Hyderabad independence and ofcourse 1971 war where we were forced to have a Friendship treaty with Soviet Union which stopped the hostile Chinese from intervening as they did in 1965.
     This past history is relevant today as Russia faces a tricky situation in Ukraine. A democratically elected Government was thrown out and Pro EU leadership was installed in Ukraine through covert action.The Americans are trying the same thing in Venezuela now as they did in Syria. But in Ukraine they did something which goes to the heart of newly created Russia whose Black sea fleet is located in Crimea which is part of Ukraine.Crimea not only has 55% Russian origin citizens but also 12% Tartars who also support the Russians. What EU did in Ukraine or what Russia is doing in Crimea may not be legitimate but it has opened a soft under belly of Russia.
   Now it is here India has to take a stand which must stand out.Russia has no land border with India. It has given us latest Cryogenic engines when west was scuttling our ISRO plans. While US tried to sell us refurbished F16s for the MMRCA deal, Russia is now collaborating in fifth Generation fighter. Russia has a land border with China which once flared up.Even two days back Americans were gifting $300 million to Pakistan military.I feel it is in our national interest to support Russia when the world media is out to bamboozle it.The present Indian government may not be able to do it. I think Modi the BJP nominee can take the gauntlet and give a statement in support of Russia which will stir things up a bit. Khobargade affair, Generic drugs, Solar panel dispute in WTO etc etc will all vanish if only Modi stirs things which will give India long term benefits.