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India & Its Neighbours, ToI Columns »

[26 May 2014 | No Comment | 172 views]
At NaMo’s swearing-in, Chanakya’s Raja-Mandala on display

For students of statecraft and history, the invitations to SAARC leaders for the swearing in ceremony of PM-designate provide a fascinating example of Acharya Chanakya’s Raja-Mandala doctrine at work.  In Kautilya’s Artha-Shastra, in Book VI, “The Source of Sovereign States”, Acharya is quoted as saying;
“The king who is situated anywhere immediately on the circumference of the conqueror’s territory is termed the enemy….The king who is likewise situated close to the enemy, but separated from the conqueror only by the enemy, is termed the friend (of the conqueror).”
This of course, is part …

A Hindu Identity, An Indian Identity, Conversions, Missionaries in India, India & Its Neighbours, ToI Columns »

[26 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | 123 views]
What happened to my wonderful kaleidoscope?

The official website of the “Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner” of India mentions that, “Religion returns in Indian census provide a wonderful kaleidoscope of the country s rich social composition..”.  It also proudly states that “In fact, population census has the rate distinction of being the only instrument that collets the information son this diverse and important characteristic of the Indian population.(sic)”.  The site has a helpful and neat table of data from the 2001 census on the main page as well as the distribution of population …

Geo-Strategic Issues (incl. Nuclear, Oil, Energy), Human Rights and Legal Issues, India & Its Neighbours, Politics and Governance in India »

[13 May 2012 | 13 Comments | 1,065 views]
In the heart of New Delhi, 2500 “refugees” who came in from the cold*

First, some “facts”. “Facts” within quotes because no one quite appears to know the “truth”. I am therefore relying on emails, first-person (albeit unverified) accounts, news-reports and of course, the wonderful world of internet..As you will realise after reading this, the whole thing appears mysterious – and raises more questions than answers. Earlier yesterday morning, I was alerted to this news-report (from the HT) by Sh Krishen Kak (emphasis added, throughout):
Over 2,500 refugees from Myanmar have landed right in front of the 13th century tomb of Sultan Garhi — an …

Ancient Indian History, India & Its Neighbours, Indian History, World History »

[7 Oct 2011 | 14 Comments | 1,668 views]
Krishna and Rath Yatra in Ancient Egypt?

Dear All: It is my pleasure to publish this remarkable essay by Bibhu on the Krishna worship, the Rath Yatra festival and the Gods of ancient Egypt. Please do read and share (emphasis added)…
*** Krishna worhsip and Rathayatra festival in Ancient Egypt? by Bibhu Dev Misra ***
An interesting piece of information caught my attention during my journey across the sacred sites of Egypt during early 2010. During the light and sound show in the magnificent temple complex of Karnak, I heard a voice booming over the loudspeakers: “I am Amon-Ra…The …

China related, Geo-Strategic Issues (incl. Nuclear, Oil, Energy), India & Its Neighbours, Politics and Governance in India »

[29 Jun 2011 | 16 Comments | 2,062 views]
“Inch-by-inch” in far-away Demchok..

How many of you read this “news” on 27th? I am guessing most of you missed it. I did too…until I was alerted to it by a friend on fb.
…The government ban on construction in Demchok, one of the disputed points in eastern Ladakh, is riling residents, who claim that the Chinese side is speedily ramping up its infrastructure and the Centre is just ‘watching’
..Even the Leh administration cannot go ahead with any construction activity here without getting it approved from the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of External Affairs.
“When …

India & Its Neighbours, National Heroes »

[25 Nov 2010 | 5 Comments | 506 views]
Saluting our Heroes: Maj R Parameshwaran, PVC

From the Indian Army website:
The Param Vir Chakra is awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air. The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
*** Saluting our Heores – Major R Parameshwaran, PVC ***

This is my humble tribute to Major R Parameshwaran, a Param Veer who sacrificed his life on this date,  23 years ago.
Late October 1987, somewhere in northern Sri Lanka: “Operation Pawan” – the campaign in Jaffna …

British Rule in India, India & Its Neighbours, Indian History, Modern Indian History, National Heroes, Women in Hinduism & India »

[19 Nov 2010 | 22 Comments | 3,742 views]
Remembering the queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi Bai

Today is the birth anniversary of one of India’s bravest women, a heroine of our struggle for Independence, Rani Lakshmi Bai. The Rani’s story is a remarkable tale of courage, determination and leadership…Her name is found in all our school text books but her story – like other historical figures – usually gets a perfunctory treatment in the classroom.
सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी

बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झांसी वाली रानी थी
One of the finest introductions to the story of Rani …

Hindu Festivals, India & Its Neighbours, Indian Culture, Arts and Music, Politics and Governance in India, Politics of Minority Appeasement, Women in Hinduism & India »

[17 Oct 2010 | 7 Comments | 556 views]
|| Shubh VijayaDashami ||…and pl spare a thought for Deganga

Happy VijayaDashami, Durgotsab, Durga Pooja, Dasra and Dussehra to all…
On this auspicious day, let us pledge to do our best to get rid of the three major evils that plague India – poverty, illiteracy and an ineffective, incapable & thoroughly corrupt political leadership – and promise ourselves to work towards building a proud, strong and united Bharat….
And as you go about your day today, please spare a thought for the forgotten residents of Deganga – “Humiliated and simmering with rage, abandoned and forsaken by their own“ – who are …

British Rule in India, India & Its Neighbours, Modern Indian History, Politics and Governance in India »

[15 Oct 2010 | 9 Comments | 842 views]
This weekend, worrying about Assam

Many of you may have read Nitin’s recent article in Yahoo! India on an unusual approach to deal with the matter of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. As he noted, the problem is old…and a real threat to national security…(emphasis added)
“Probably the most important event in (Assam) during the last 25 years — an event, moreover, which seems likely to alter permanently the whole future of Assam and the whole structure of Assamese culture and civilization — has been the invasion of a vast horde of land-hungry Bengali immigrants, mostly Muslims, …

Distortions, Misrepresentation about Hinduism, Distortions, Misrepresentations about India, India & Its Neighbours, Jammu & Kashmir related, Pakistan related »

[29 Jul 2010 | 9 Comments | 758 views]
…and Dalrymple gives Kashmir to India!

Dear All, it is my pleasure to publish this brilliant satire by Pankaj Saksena on William Dalrymple’s foray into international politics and foreign affairs (first published on his blog, “The Literary Falcon“). Read and share widely. ..
*** …and Dalrymple gives Kashmir to India! by Pankaj Saksena ***

It has been proved once again that violence is not the key to any solution. Guided by secular wisdom, peaceful negotiations will solve any problem.
In a brilliant intellectual coup, William Dalrymple, the brave defender of downtrodden Indian Muslims, the upholder …