Friday, January 20, 2006

Remembering Maniappan Kutty

The photograph of a weeping seven-year old boy lighting the funeral pyre of his murdered father is heart-breaking indeed. His father, Maniappan R Kutty, who was on an assignment with the Indian Army in Afghanistan, was brutally killed by Taliban terrorists. The child may not understand the cruelties and horror of Taliban. But he will surely understand the apathy and ineptitude of our officials in saving his father's life.

Soon he will understand how the nation came to a halt to release Rubaiya Syed, the daughter of former home minister Mufti Mohammed. He and his younger brother will also learn about the Kandahar hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC814 and the threatening street processions of Indian communists like Brinda Karat to release the Taliban terrorists. Both the children of Maniappan, Ajay and Akshay, when they grow up will wonder why none of these street leaders, who support the central govt., utter a single word to help their father. One can understand the silence of the malayali external affairs minister, E Ahamed, a known fundamentalist. He represents a communal party and Maniappan did not belong to his community. So why bother to save the infidel?

Both these innocent children might ask their mother one day, "Amma, the union government of the day had the entire support of Kerala MPs and 'secularists'. But why did they keep quiet when Achan was kidnaped and murdered?" Maniappan's widow has a lot of explaining to do to her kids.

But what if the Taliban had kidnapped Rahul Gandhi, when he visited Afganistan recently? Can E Ahamed afford to relax and have long telephonic chats with his well-wishers in Arab countries? Instead the Government would have utilized its entire resources to negotiate for the safe release of Rahul, even if it meant the release of all Taliban and ISI terrorists. Even Brinda Karat and Arundati Roy would abuse and accuse our security personnel for keeping so many 'innocent' terrorists!

Maniappan was financially supporting his old parents, his in-laws and his own family. Moreover the Army needed his valuable service and he had a dream of starting a small business once he retired. Maniappan was a commoner toiling for his family and country but he was truly unfortunate. His relatives were stunned by the total apathy of the Kerala Government towards Maniappan's life. They recalled the case of Sam Kutty, hailing from nearby Mavelikkara, who was kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq some years ago. The government had then acted quickly to establish contact with the Iraqi government. The central government also sent a Minorities Commission member to Iraq for his rescue!

Now the Kerala ministers, MPs and MLAs are again pro-active in pressurizing the Saudi Govt. to pardon Naoushad, who attacked and injured a Saudi national. Naushad's life is not at all under threat but one of his eyes! The notorious E Ahamed, is now working overtime negotiating with the Taliban's financiers - the Saudi government. The eye of Noushad is indeed more valuable than the life of our army personnel, for the communal minister.

Sadly, it is yet another case of apartheid towards the majority community in Kerala. There are numerous state commissions to look after the welfare and safety of the already rich minorities. But is there a single state commission to look into the welfare of the poor majorities? Even the temple hundi is 'managed' by communal politicians like Oomen Chandy and KM Mani (who plans to take control of 200,000 acres of forest land by manipulating land laws!). These minority politicians have successfully converted Kerala into a suicide capital by pushing the majority into suicide (or convert) using land loot laws and blade mafia. But who cares for the un-organized majority?

Keralites lack nationalism and patriotism thanks again to the minority-controlled media, which tries to defame our national culture and heritage. Mostly it's the elders who understand the value of our Defense personnel. Maniappan was an army personnel and he and his family deserved more respect from our state Government. Instead the governments even humiliated his family by delaying the financial settlements. The usual promises were made but we all know how it works.

None of the Non-resident Keralite associations condemned the murder of Maniappan, though he was residing abroad when he was kidnapped. Not surprisingly, some of them have time to coordinate with E Ahamed to get pardon for Naoushad.

The usually salivating conversion predators were absent to make 'charity announcements', since Maniappan's family was educated and would not be an easy prey to their 'charity business'.

The silence of our self-acclaimed social leaders like Sukumar Azhikode, Zacharia, Shabana Azmi and Arundati Roy was appalling! One wonders whether they sympathize with the terrorists and jehadis or they really care for the common citizens of India.

Maniappan never deserved to die like this. Our central and state governments provide red-carpet welcome to the rich Gulf and US returnees. Maniappans of this country who toil hard for our nation deserve more respect than the over-the-night rich NRIs, some of whom shamelessly support terrorist organizations like NDF, NLFT, communists etc

The present government with the support of communist and communal parties (Oomen Congress and Muslim league) will further emasculate our defense personnel and try to appease terrorists like Mahdanis, Ishrat Jahans in compromising our national security. Muslim League leaders involved in numerous sex harassment cases need not worry of any legal action since their petro-dollars could easily buy our 'secular' journalists and FIRs.

Terrorism has reached the corridors of our scientific establishments but still our leaders are not bothered. Of course, they have time to amend the constitution favoring the greedy donation-oriented minority educational institutions!

There may not be any global organizations or commissions or national human rights activists to voice on behalf of Maniappan's family. Nonetheless, let us not forget the moral support of Maniappan's friends, relatives and the Infosys foundation which donated ten lakhs for the family. Hindu organizations led by Shri Kummanam Rajashekaran are petitioning the President of India for the immediate fulfillment of all government promises to Maniappan's family.

Let us hope the family gets justice soon. With discriminatory and minority appeasing governments at the center and state, Maniappans among us may have to sacrifice their lives to save the eyes of other NRIs.

At least, let us start thinking of the dedicated services of our defense personnel and learn to respect those courageous men and women. The minority appeasing governments may not appreciate the valuable work of Maniappans since they have time only to look after the welfare and funding of the already rich organized minorities! But it's high time our younger generation stands for the truly oppressed and the persecuted among us. Those who 'bark' that they are always persecuted and attacked (a minority tactic for getting international funds for conversion terrorism) are truly enjoying the state loot with media & govt. support, while those who are working hard for our security and safety, suffer silently. Public cannot be indifferent and lethargic to realities anymore.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Media bias and apartheid in Kerala

In the recent Tamil hit, 'Ayya', the story revolves around a village, and the life of its local MLA, Ayyadorai. Villagers irrespective of their castes and creed love the kind-hearted Ayyadorai. Unity among the communities unnerves the local politicians (criminals banking on caste politics), who hate to see the village prosper with communal harmony under an efficient and clean administration. As in real life, the movie depicts the politicians trying their best to disrupt the caste unity. They succeed to an extent. Since this is a movie everything ends well with stronger unity among the different communities.

Now let us see what happened when two prominent communities in Kerala decided to unite and fight to ensure social justice and equality. It was a landmark decision indeed. Caste differences have been truly a curse of our nation. So shouldn't everyone in the literate state, be proud when communities try to shed their age-old differences and unite?

We are all from the same race though the British and Marxists successfully propagated the Aryan Invasion myth to spread hatred among communities. But can we expect anything good from our politicians? The politicians, religious heads, terrorist groups and even some prominent writers went on abusing the community leaders daily and the media had field days. All of them branded the leaders as communal fanatics trying to make the 'minority communities' insecure! How can the unity between two diverse communities cause apprehension in the so-called 'Minority' communities? Is Kerala, a battlefield of numerous warring communities, for one to be insecure of others?

But what is more baffling is -who is this 'minority'? Our constitution provides special rights and privileges to the numerically less ‘minority’ communities (The architects would have thought of Parsis, Jews etc). But of late, this right is used to discriminate and harass non-minority institutions especially in the education sector. Even the central govt. constitutes numerous commissions on minority education, minority welfare, and minority reservations as if all other unorganized communities do not belong to this country. (Rightly the Supreme Court is continuously rejecting these communal proposals) Last week the govt. was thinking to communalize the reputed institutions like IITs and IIMs, by a discriminatory admission policy on religious lines! This will only demoralize the minorities, making them feel inferior to others.

In a multi-cultural nation like ours, everyone may or may not follow certain belief systems. And among each belief system, there would be numerous castes or sub-sects, though some may deny it vehemently. Even the followers of atheist philosophy like Marxism, worships foreign personalities like Karl Marx and Stalin as their ‘gods’ and respect the caste/sect system especially during elections.

Doesn't that make each Indian belong to a 'minority' community? The Supreme Court agrees. (But criminals in our political parties cannot accept it since it is not appeasing or appealing to the so-called organized minorities). Dividing communities as 'majority' and 'minority', an age-old British game, could bleed the nation further, says the court. It also suggested that once a community gains respect socially and economically, its 'minority' status should be removed irrespective of their numbers. What a landmark judgment. But did anyone hear our media honchos or human rights activists or writers like Zacharias and Azhikodes supporting this nationalist judgment? But they find extra energy and enthusiasm to bark and froth at leaders who want to ensure social justice and equality in our state! One really wonders whether these 'activists' are well paid by some 'invisible hands' to bark according to some evil plans.

In fact, the organized minorities have fully exploited the rights in a state like Kerala. Today they own more than 90% of educational institutions and still demand all kinds of state benefits and bounties. Is this fair on the part of the state to favor only the richer and organized sections? We all believe in social justice and equality for all, but how come only a section enjoys everything at the cost of others? Anyone who questions this social in-equality will be backstabbed and harassed as we had seen in the case of an honest CM.

This reminds one of the social apartheid of Africa, where the white 'minority' enjoyed all state privileges and discriminated the majority blacks, who had equal or more rights! In colonized India, the white minority had enslaved our ancestors for years. (We still think like slaves while the organized minorities are looting the state shamelessly) Any ‘slave’, who opposed the fascist white minority, was branded as a terrorist. Nation bled with the oppressive policies of the British and the rest is history.

This maybe a cruel analogy, but just think of how the community leaders, who decided to form a unity agenda to ensure equality, were abused and described as fundamentalists, fascists and communalists. Just because they had the audacity to ask for their well deserved rights as national citizens. They never asked to remove the special rights enjoyed by the minorities, though none deserve them at all. Still it's very fashionable for our media and political class to brand anyone supporting the majority cause as a ‘fundamentalist’. Of course it's another matter that they did not bother to give importance to the landmark SC judgment on minorities.

But many of them have time to petition for the release of a dreaded terrorist, who had ruthlessly killed thousands of our citizens. Today as a matter of fact, the Kerala MLAs and MPs respect this terrorist more than our visionary saints like Sree Narayana Guru or Chattamby Swami. Political pimps, media personnel and human rights pseudo-activists barking on Gujarat riots or Sikh riots have no time to assess the rise of communist-NDF terror in Kerala, which is killing many lives and destroying properties at will. What else can we expect from these morons who described the ethnic genocide of 1921 as freedom struggle!

Let us also see, how the so-called 'minority' communities treat the so-called 'majority' communities, especially where they are in a numerical majority. Kashmir and Northeastern states are the best examples of states following intolerance, conversions, ethnic cleansing and severe discrimination against any non-believers of their religion or ideology. Kannur district in Kerala is witness to the terror of majority – ‘minority’ Marxists – against the non-believers. NDF is another terrorist outfit based in Malappuram, targeting anyone with a nationalist mind. No doubt, they are well funded by foreign elements, which would prefer a weaker India. Marxist media, which barks a lot on human rights violations, surprisingly keeps mum on the apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Kashmir or NE states.

So in reality, anyone following the Sanathana Dharma is doomed and has to face the state sponsored apartheid today. As long as no one is there to question or correct this, communal governments with the help of corrupt media will go to any extent to tarnish our native culture, traditions and heritage.

Today, the predatory Kerala government thoroughly discriminates our temples and strictly follows the oppressive policies initiated by Colonel Munro on our cultural heritage! In the name of Sabarimala development, we see the enthusiasm of our communal government to commercialize and destroy the holy shrine after looting its revenue. Instead of exposing the evil communal agenda of the government, the media is competing to bash the leaders, who exposed the govt. corruption.

We cannot hope and wait for the birth of another saint to correct the injustice and discrimination against the majority. But we could use their teachings to empower the deprived lot and ensure social justice and equality. Also let us not follow the footsteps of naxalites like Kancha Illaias, who do not believe in our constitution or saints, and goes after anti-national elements for quick publicity and funding!

Let us not forget that apartheid cannot be eliminated by being apathetic to the discrimination of the majority and media hatred on our rich cultural heritage. Unity calls made by the leaders for the social uplift should be supported wholeheartedly. Social empowerment is necessary to protect and preserve our spiritual heritage from the media attack and political hatred.

Let the Kerala media continue their bias but how long can they sustain the fabrications and hoaxes. They cannot continuously ignore the sentiments of the majority subscribers, who face extreme social apartheid. What if the discriminated customers boycott their subscriptions with the media, propagating lies and hatred? Just a thought, but it is a useful pill for their dishonesty and bias.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Leftist tyranny and intolerance

A teacher is brutally murdered in front of students in a classroom in Kannur district of Kerala. The murderers shout victory slogans and the kids shiver in fear. The kids are mentally traumatized and receive psychological counseling. The district court rightfully gives death sentence to all the killers, who incidentally belong to Kerala's communist party. The party shamelessly collects money from the locals to legally fight the case in the high court for their criminal members! Senior party leaders from Kannur had no inhibition in eulogizing the murder, even during their multi-crore state conference extravaganza.

When the high court upheld the verdict of the lower court, the Kannur party leaders vehemently abused our judiciary for not acquitting their terrorist members! The judge was given police protection immediately after the verdict. Since the judge could not be attacked, the party vents its anger by murdering another individual, who had shifted loyalties from the party. There is no end to the Marxist sponsored murders as in Bengal and the Human rights commission has no time to 'bark', if the killers belong to Marxist party, as most of the commission members are indeed Leftist sympathizers.

How did a party, which stood for numerous political and social reforms in the sixties in Kerala transform into a terror party, murdering their political opponents at will and being intolerant to their critics? Their Stalinist tendencies are getting exposed nowadays? The party sponsored violent strikes and hartals have resulted in huge loss to public property and wounded even the police force and numerous innocents. Still none of our media studies or analyses the relevance of communist sponsored strikes in depth. It could be because of –the fear of a Stalinist backlash from their gang leaders or the presence of 'silent' sympathizers in the media's editorial board.

The party gained its initial popularity mainly due to the followers of Saint Sree Narayana Guru. But surprisingly it had never given due respect to Guru or its followers. Instead they have always harassed and humiliated the followers of Guru. They won the 1987 assembly election projecting KR Gowri as the CM. After the election, she was sidelined to facilitate the whims and fancies of EMS Namboothiripad, who had fanatical hatred for ezhavas and other backward communities. In 1996, another Ezhava leader, VS Achuthananthan was projected as their CM candidate. But this time, they saw to it that he was defeated in the party strong-hold. During their rule, the CPM cadre had demolished and destroyed number of Guru statues all across Kerala.

The same Marxists do not have any hesitation in worshipping and eulogizing notorious communist criminals like Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao etc. Their student wing SFI justified Taliban terrorists in one of their editorials. Their parliamentarians have been working hard to release a dreaded terrorist from the Coimbatore jail, with an eye on vote bank. Aren't they giving a clear message that they do not believe in democracy (rightly no communist country is democratic), though they talk vociferously on democracy and freedom?

Present day Marxist leaders never stop wagging their tongues, if the subject is proletarian rights. But as per India's finance minister, the communist party has a net asset worth of more than 4000 crores in Kerala itself! They have indeed grown into a business empire with 'non-proletarian' assets like TV channels, print media, furniture business etc. The party has also major capitalist plans to venture into theme park business, shopping malls and professional colleges. Money is not a problem for the comrades, who manage 'goonda' gangs in different parts of the state. Will a party supposedly standing for the underprivileged, spend crores of rupees for their party congress extravaganza immediately after Tsunami's fury on the poor coastal villages? Even their state secretary is spending millions of rupees for building his own house. After all, everyone is aware of the Rs 400 crore - scam involving the secretary and a Canadian firm, SNC Lavlin. But will they ever give a single penny to the government for the gross public destruction they caused through hartals, bandhs, and strikes?

Like the Taliban, the leftist fanatics are spread across the nations and they even camouflage as academic intellectuals, journalists and also as NGO associates (eg Sabrang, FOIL etc). Their reports and journals are known to propagate lies and hatred with an anti-India bias. They never lose an opportunity to align with Pakistani associations to tarnish India and its leaders in the international arena. But these dim-witted hypocrites have no problem when more than 400,000 Kashmiri pundits are displaced or when poor fishermen are murdered en masse in Marad beach. They do not care when Tibetans are crushed by the bully China or Maoists finish off Indians and Nepalese (there is no Maoism in Pakistan or Bangladesh!), but they cry out whenever terrorists like Ishrat Jahans are hunted down. They are happy China and Pakistan piles up nukes, missiles and bullies smaller neighboring states. But they get agitated (are they Indians?) when India increases her defense expenditure to protect its citizens or when India improves its trade and military ties with US and Japan. The self-proclaimed 'socialist progressives' cannot digest when India and its citizens – urban or rural – progresses in a democratic framework.

Their dogmas cannot adjust to Indian values and its tolerant culture. Since their ideology is inferior, they have to resort to negative tactics to foment divisiveness in our society. The party not only wants to organize class wars using their Marx-Mao-naxalite theories, its leaders also want to divide the country in the name of 'pseudo-secularism' by appeasing one section of society while deriding and harassing others including the underprivileged .

Any nation with a secular constitution would be following a Uniform civil code. But in India, the main opponents of this law are the leftists and certain religious fanatics. In a country, with the tradition of Sanathana Dharma, the leftist fanatics have been proclaiming themselves as 'atheists' and the torch-bearers of secularism, while all along following the rigid, dogmatic, fascist , and out-dated 'religious' teachings of 'Lord' Marx. Time and again, they have proved their allegiance to China and rigid marxist dogmas rather than to our nation and its progress. Feeble nationalist voices in the party are immediately silenced by anti-nationals, who would be having large stakes in shady deals like SNC Lavlin, People's plan campaign and the non-transparent Smart city contract.

It's high time the media exposed this terror party, which breeds on caste and communal politics in Kerala. The communist leadership knows very well that Hindus in Kerala will never get united and they could be easily exploited and tampered with (as in the case of Ezhava community). For the state secretary and his close cohorts, it is the votes from the organized communities that count. They have lot of things in common, especially, the strong desire for the annihilation of the non-believers.

Anyone who believes in democracy, equality and freedom of expression, with scant regard for archaic Marxist dogmas is a class enemy for the present day communist leaders. Today the communists have gained sufficient expertise to eliminate their class enemies one by one to establish a Stalinist dictatorship as in Bengal. If people do not respond to the dangers of leftist tyranny, then god alone can save the 'god's own country'.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Donation - a legalized loot

With the emergence of mushrooming private professional colleges, the 'donation' mafia could loot an average student at multiple levels– nursery, school and professional college! Is this donation worth other than getting a degree certificate? Then why is that our performance in all-competitive exams especially at the national level, so pathetic?

During a chat with a relative in Kerala , I casually asked about her daughter's admission to a Kindergarten. Rs. 8000 as donation to get a seat and of course the usual hefty monthly fees. There are even some 'premium' schools which charge Rs One Lakh as donation to admit a child! As the facilities and other amenities increase, the donation value and monthly fees also increases! There may or may not be an admission test. That depends on your capacity to donate more than the required limit. The more you donate after the fixed limit, you could even 'buy' the admission test and interview for your kid.

Everyone wants to provide the 'best' education for their kids. The donation mafia thrives on this parental desire. But if the same 'best' education is producing people with a non-inquisitive mind and having a slavish attitude, then what is the value of this education? The British would be smiling with gratitude seeing the future generations of their slaves following the 'desired' path. The same slavishness makes us so pathetic that we are clueless even when the 'guillotine' of Pushpagiri Medical college management targets meritorious students and their parents.

Though the Supreme Court has voiced strongly against the commercialization of education, no one seems to take it seriously. Parents are ready to go to any extreme to get an admission for their kids at 'richer' schools, where kids of VIPs usually study. Worse still, they don't even care how the donation and fees in the name of children's education are utilized. They are also least bothered whether the profit (after building labs, extra buildings) is getting utilized to fund scholarships for the less privileged or finance the education of the poor in the locality or for any social benefits.

Major portion of Kerala govt. budget would be set apart for the education sector. But as in other departments we have been ill fated to get visionless communal leaders as education ministers. The result is evident in the discriminatory allocation of funds as well as the pathetic state of our public schools. Moreover the government aids some 'powerful' private school managements that are always ready to charge hefty donations from middle to low-income families. It's really strange why the government continues to provide aid to such schools. There are evil private managements registered under charitable trusts to hoodwink and shamelessly exploit the 'socialist' mind of an average Malayali. (Our government seems to follow the foot-steps of the 'donation' mafia in charity business, as we saw in the Tsunami fund collection form the public. God only knows how they used it)

Leftist intellectuals, who always make noise on trivial issues (more money you provide for their speech, the noise gets louder and longer), are tight-lipped against this donation mafia. Does this prove that leftists have succumbed to the pressures and lures of the 'donation' community? Their urge to start a professional college shows that they too have understood the weakness and meekness of Keralites for an engineering or medical degree. Who cares for ideologies, when there is a huge opportunity to exploit the public weakness and 'legally' loot them?

With the emergence of mushrooming private professional colleges, the 'donation' mafia could loot an average student at multiple levels– nursery, school and professional college! Is this donation worth other than getting a degree certificate? Then why is that our performance in all-competitive exams especially at the national level, so pathetic? Even at the state level, the performance of Govt. colleges (during pre-degree system) in professional entrance exam would far exceed that of the richer private colleges. Of course the students from Government colleges would have to depend on private tuitions to fare better since the classes would be interrupted regularly by the 'adventures' of misguided leftist students. If the efficiency of public schools could be improved with the right attitude of government teachers and with right allocation of government funds without any nepotism, it would definitely eliminate the donation mafia. But when will that happen with the education ministry being thoroughly communalized since 1956?

If literacy is also dependent on the ability to reason and analyze, then our state would be very much backward in quantitative and qualitative terms. And until we gain that ability, the donation mafia will thrive and gain more powers, which would be detrimental to our progress. The government and academicians should also realize that Kerala had produced pioneers mathematics and astronomy like Madhava, Nilakanta and Parameswara who invented the theory of infinite series, radius of circumscribed circle and the basis for calculus, centuries before Liebniz and Newton*. Today we learn their theories through Newton series, Taylor series, Gregory series etc, though the world is slowly recognizing the original wizards. If Kerala School of Mathematics could produce geniuses in 1400 CE, we all should be ashamed that today with the help of a British curriculum and greedy managements we produce 'brown' slaves. It's time for the educated Kerala to thoroughly revamp the education policies and curriculum after weeding out the communal politicians and leaders to save our younger generations.

*Refer links and chapters in Ian Pearce's site under Kerala School of mathematics
Also refer the works of V. Lakshmikantham and S. Leela in 'Origin of Mathematics',

Friday, August 19, 2005

An Indian Ocean Community

By Kumar Chellappan

Indian citizens can find jobs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos Oman, UAE and Australia, and people from these countries can make it to India or any other countries in the 'Indian Ocean Rim' freely. Farmers sending their agricultural products to the countries in the Indian Ocean Rim without any hassles! Sounds like a pipe dream? No. There are strong cultural and commercial bonds between these countries dating back to thousands of years. "It is the arrival of the colonial powers which destroyed the seasoned relations between these countries," says Mr Ravi Kumar, an authority on East Asian studies. An alumni of the Madras Institute of Technology, Mr Ravi Kumar has been studying the age old bonds between nations in south Asia for the last two decades.

The call for a common currency for South East Asian nations by former Prime Minister Mr AB Vajpayee may seem strange for the average Indian. But there are demands from countries like China, Vietnam and Thailand for the construction of Trans-Asian highway and railway which in the long run would culminate in the formation of a community of Indian Ocean nations in the lines of European Union.

It is the similarity in the cultural traditions which has inculcated a sense of oneness among the intellectuals in these countries. All these countries lie along the rim of the Indian Ocean. They do have a lot of things in common though national boundaries and international lines of control separate them. But the economic potential of the community of Indian Ocean nations is capable to send jitters down the spines of both the USA and the European Union.

Mahathir Mohammed, who ruled Malaysia as Prime Minister for twenty two years had some Indianness in him. The name Mahathir stands for 'Maha Dheer', which is the Sanskrit word for the most gallant. In Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, all the ministers including Prime Minister take oath in the name of the 'Sri Paduka', the Sanskrit version for the footwear of Rama. Remember that Bharata ruled Ayodhya for 14 years worshipping the Rama Paduka during the Lord's 'vanvas'.

The President of Malaysia takes oath of office and secrecy in the name of 'Seri Paduka Dhuli', which means the dust of Rama's Paduka. This is because Paduka Dhuli is considered holier than Paduka itself. In Malay, the word Bhasha stands for language, yet another link to Sanskrit. The husband is addressed as Swami, a teacher as Guru, a senior teacher as Maha Guru, a student as Siswa and a senior student as Maha Siswa . Modern buildings are named in Sanskrit – Chaya Surya, Wisma Putra and Wisma Duta to name only a few.

The president of the republic is addressed as Raja Parameswara, the Royal Queen is addressed as Raja Parameswari and the second son of the sultan is addressed with reverence as Laxmana. Most of the royal customs are also based on practices found in Sanskrit literature.

The Royal prince must take a bath called "Ganga Snan" before his Sunnat or before ascending the Royal Throne. The Royal throne itself in Bahasa Malaya is called "Simhasana". Most royal and wedding ceremonies are accompanied with feasts taken on banana leaves. Yellow rice is sprinkled on brides or bride grooms or prince as a mark of blessings. Once Dr Mahathir Mohammed remarked that if anyone watches his wedding video, he might mistake it for a Hindu marriage.

One of the oldest classics in Malay language is the 13th century classic, "Hikayat Seri Ram", the Malay version of Sanskrit Ramayana. It describes King Dasharatha as the great grand son of Adam, and Ravana becoming the emperor of four worlds by the blessings of Allah. Hikayat is studied in Malaysia as a piece of literature.

The wives of Malaysian leaders have formed the organization 'Vanitha Pushpavalli' for their social activities. Most Malay government officers wear black caps (as part of their uniform) similar to those worn by the Maharashtrians . Sarong (similar to South Indian Dhoti) and Kurta is still the official dress of Malay ministers in all important ceremonies. Kite flying, gilli danda, playing with tops are some of the traditional games of Malays. "Wayang Kulit" or shadow puppet shows still popular in the eastern state of Kelantan is based on Ramayana and Mahabharata characters.

Malaysia is not the only country which rejoices in its Sanskrit and Indian ancestry. Brunei and Indonesia have also borrowed most words from Sanskrit. The capital of Brunei is Bandar Sri Bhagwan (Port of the Lord) while Singapore is derived from the Sanskrit word Simha meaning a lion. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is pronounced in the local language as Jaya Karta, the city of victory. Other prominent cities are Prambanan ( Park of Brahama), Yogya Karta (City of Yogi), Madura, Sumatra, Bali and Surabaya. There is no need to specify that the island Bali is named after the character in Ramayana.

Mr Gus Dur Abdul Rehman Wahid, the former President of Indonesia, who was requested to attend the consecration of a mosque in Surabaya City in the island of Java asked the organizers to arrange for a Hindu pundit from India to perform the Vigneswara Pooja before the Quran could be recited by the Islamic priest. A Hindu Tantrik priest was flown in from Kerala exclusively for the purpose and Mr Wahid sat through the ceremony.

Sukarno, the late Indonesian president, has been named after Karna, the legendary character of Mahabharata. Sukarno's father used to read Koran on Fridays and Ramayana and Mahabharat on all other days. Karna was his favourite character in Mahabharat. He wanted his son to be as brave and philanthropic as Karna. He also wanted his son to be on the side of Dharma and Righteousness which made him name his son as SuKarna meaning a good Karna.

The name of his daughter, Meghawati Sukarnoputri is yet another indication of the influence of Sanskrit in Indonesia. Meghawati is the Sanaskrit word for "full of clouds". Sukarnoputri is yet another Sanskrit word meaning Sukarno's daughter. The incumbent President of Indonesia is yet another proof of the country's link with Sanskrit and Indian heritage. The name Susilo Yudhoyono speaks lot about the person's personality. We in India may hold our breath when we are told that one of the prominent politicians in Indonesia is named Karthikeya Mohammed.

Late Swami Ranganathanandaji, in his book "Eternal Values For a Changing Society", has mentioned about a discussion he had with Sukarno during his visit to Indonesia in 1964. "Though the President agreed to meet me for just 20 minutes, our discussion went on for more than an hour. Sukarno told me that every night he reads at least two pages from the collected volumes of Swami Vivekananda before going to bed," the Swamiji has written in the book.

Garuda, the national carrier of Indonesia is named after the official vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Countries like Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar are known by the name Suna Boomi which is yet another synonym for Swarna Bhoomi or the Golden Land.

There is a river which originates in the Himalayas and flows through all the south east Asian nations. River Mekong's original name was Ma-Ganga ( Mother Ganga), which took the name Mae-Kong (which is the Chinese name for mother Ganga). Though known by the Anglicized name of Mekong, the age old Ma Ganga continues to be the lifeline of China, Laos, Vietneam and Cambodia where the river is held in high reverence.

Thailand, is yet another country which boasts of its Indian and Sanskrit lineage. Thailand, is the western name of Siam- Desh, Land of Vishnu. The King's name is Bumipal Adulyatej , the westernized version of Bhoomipal Atulyatej which means the ruler of the earth with unparallel illuminousity. He is also designated as Rama IX as a mark of respect to Lord Rama of Ramayana. The capital city Bangkok's original name is Krung Deva, city of angels.

An incident, which occurred in 1977 in New Delhi, is a pointer to the Indian influence in the south east Asian countries. The Vietnamese foreign minister who came to India as state guest expressed her desire to visit the birth place of Chatrapathi Shivaji. The reason put forward by the Vietnamese minister was very interesting. "Shivaji was our inspiration to take to the jungles to fight the Yankees. The Viet Kong guerillas consider Shivaji as the world's first ever guerilla," she had said.

There is no need to elaborate on the number of Vishnu temples in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Religion and life style may be different in some ways, but the fact remains that there exists an invisible bond which unites the people across these countries.

"It is said that language is the lifeline of a country. Going by these words and terms, one need not doubt further about the Indian connection of these countries," said Mr Ravikumar.

There is a general feeling among the south east Asian scholars that in the wake of the tsunami disaster of Dec. 26, 2004, the need for creating the Indian Ocean Community (IOC) as a cultural network has gained urgency. The IOC should become the network for cooperation among the rim states of Hindumahasagar, as Indian Ocean is known throughout the south east Asian countries.

On the tsunami waves should rise the realization that Indian Ocean
unites more than 60 states of Asia-Pacific, 50 of which were affected by the tsunami disaster. These nations should get together, to start with, as an Indian-Ocean Free Trade Zone as a first step towards the ultimate constitution of an Indian Ocean Community which will rival the European Community with a total national asset exceeding 3 trillion dollars. The Community can become a veritable powerhouse for spurring economic development and growth in the world economy which is now in the doldrums caused by slump in the US stock markets. "This is a community which has its roots in sea-faring merchants who navigated the Indian Ocean and established cultural contacts over a long period of over 2 million years. This cultural bond will be strengthened by the Indian Ocean Community, expanding the present groupings of SAARC, ASEAN and APEC," says Dr Kalyanaraman, Convener, Saraswathi Research Foundation, a Chennai based think tank.

Kerala Beer'healthy~beer'

But will the socio-political and other communist fundementalists allow this in Kerala?
wait..the dogs will start barking soon.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Decolonize our Temples

It's almost 70 years since our temples were opened to all. The decade after the Temple Proclamation Act, our country got freedom from the British. Though our people could experience the essence of democracy and freedom, subsequent democratic governments saw to it that our temples – the abodes of god – were controlled and put under leash. So in fact, our own leaders follow the British legacy of interfering with the temple matters. And years of slavery have made us too 'soft' to question the mismanagement of our state-run temples, controlled by an entity called Devaswom Board.

One main reason for the control is the huge revenue generated from the offerings and poojas. But how is this revenue utilized? Why do the political parties showing too much enthusiasm in getting into the management of Devaswom boards? And why do we see even the atheists and communists getting into the management committees & forming their unions using their political muscle? Does anyone in the public know how the money is channeled? We assume the money will be used for the maintenance of the temple and also its poojaris and other staff. But do you think all our ancient temples are well maintained? Or even the poojaris are well rewarded?

Nowadays we hear a lot on development proposals for Sabarimala & Guruvayoor, only to hear a reversal of certain projects (like the Erumeli railroad), after few days! We also hear that crores of rupees getting sanctioned by the govt. for municipal projects, only to know that it's the same crores given by the devotees of the local temple!

Temples, not only houses the god, but they are also a source of our history and culture. Each temple has a story and significance of its existence. Aren't we responsible to share it with our future generations? And why do we- the public and media - shy away from this great responsibility? Does tolerance mean, being passive to the high-handed interference of politicians on the temple managements?

The situation is very different in temples managed by private trusts or families. For example, the famous Attukal temple is well managed by the Attukal temple trust. Apart from administering the temle, the trust also actively involves in charity & education of the poor ( As in Sabarimala, we see a swell in the number of devotees visiting Attukal every year. Another very good example is Thozhuvancode Sree Chamundi Devi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, managed by the family of the Kalari guru of the erstwhile Ettuveettil Tharavaad.

But can we expect our politically managed Devaswom boards to look after the welfare of the poor? For that matter, we very well know how efficient & trustworthy our governments are. In one stroke, using the Kerala Land Reforms Act, 13000 acres of Guruvayoor's land had been reduced to 230 acres (as per Deveswom website), and still the government tries to loot its revenue. Even the British would be ashamed at our government's atrocities on Kerala temples. Add to this, the illegal encroachments blessed by certain communal parties like Kerala Congress. The Devaswom Borad would be bloated with political appointees, whose primary allegiance would be with their party rather than the well being of an ancient temple or its devotees.

Religion and faith are personal to the devotees and it would be better if the government keeps away from the religious matters. Spiritual heads are there to look after that. And that's exactly what's happening with Churches & Mosques. But somehow, our state governments, following the footsteps of the British want to control only the temples & their assets. They will never meddle with matters related to Church or Mosques.

If socially responsible trusts like the Attukal Bhagavathy trust, could manage a famous temple professionally, other responsible trusts could also take up the administration of Sabarimala or Guruvayoor. Private trusts with active involvement of devotees would be far better than the management by our inefficient and corrupt political leaders. Sanyasins could also play an active role in guiding the temple managements. The autonomous administrative issue is by itself a different topic and should be widely discussed with devotees and other religious heads (without the interference of politicians), before arriving at a logically acceptable solution for all.

But the devotees have a responsibility to save the abodes of gods from the state sponsored loot and mismanagement, before it's too late. Responsible media has a bigger role in structuring the public opinion in bringing autonomy to the temples. If necessary the devotees and media should organize a 'Temple Free Movement' to liberate our temples from the state-sponsored 'colonialism'.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Decolonise education

Decolonise education: Michel Danino

PALAKKAD: The present education system continues to be hostile to the Indian culture and therefore reforms need to be undertaken so that students are not deprived of their right to know more about our heritage and civilisation, according to French-born Michel Danino, convener of the International Forum for India's Heritage (IFIH).

Talking to this website’s newspaper Michel Danino, who has been living in India for the past 28 years, felt that Indian civilisation has contributed to the history of countries like China, Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Arab world.

Michel Danino, who has documented the influence of Indian culture in these countries, said that even after the independence there was no rethinking on the educational syllabus and the British model was continued. Great social thinkers like Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Rabindranath Tagore had felt that the education system under the British was hostile to the Indian culture.

Michel Danino, who delivered a lecture on Indian civilisation, organised by the Kerala chapter of the Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage, here, noted that even after the independence it was felt that Indian culture and traditions were regressive and steeped in the past and therefore it was better to continue with the British system ostensibly to speed up the development.

SURVEY ON EDUCATION: The results of the survey which would be officially released in a few months conducted by the IFIH in association with the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) involving 10,000 students drawn from all states found that they were not happy with the present system and felt frustrated by the mechanical system of learning.

Tremendous pressure, enormous syllabus enforced through ceaseless exams, non-involvement of students in drafting the syllabus and stiff competitions were the order of the day and the only aim of the schools were to mould the students for a job. The feedback from the survey also showed that 90 percent of the students wanted more worthwhile values to be taught and more inputs about Indian culture.

Therefore, Michel feels that the Indian education needs to be decolonised in the interest of the future of students.

INTERACTIVE CDs: Michel Danino said that the IFIH has a proposal to bring out interactive compact discs encompassing all aspects of Indian history. The CDs will have lectures, visuals, maps, library, resource centre and portions of the curriculum. These CDs would be distributed at a nominal price to interested schools and teachers would be trained on the learning tools.

Michel Danino, who is now based in Coimbatore, felt that traditional knowledge need to be integrated with scientific knowledge. He felt that in India scholars only interact with scholars and not the lay man. Similarly, an average teacher is also ignorant. The IFIH proposes to bridge this gap, he said.

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