In the aftermath of Uri..

Michael Kugelman has this in the The Diplomat about the possibilities in the aftermath of the Uri attack by the Pakistanis. He starts off with reference to the “jingoistic” mood prevalent in India and refers to a viral video  on social media which “threatens” to punish and obliterate Pakistan for its mis – deeds. Well, Mr Kugelman, it indeed encapsulates the mood in India but let me tell you one thing, it is anything but violent. Violence is what the Pakistanis are perpetrating in Kashmir. If India reacts, then it will come down like a tonne of bricks on Pakistan.

Other than the usual, nuclear argument which both nations posses, Kugelman points to the fact that India has limited capabilities to wage one (war).  Research by South Asia security analysts George Perkovich and Toby Dalton, drawing on interviews with Indian military officials, concludes that the “surface attraction” of limited airstrikes is “offset significantly, if not equally, by risks and inadequacies.” Additionally, it contends that “there is vast room for improvement” in intelligence collection capacities. It also asserts that India’s capabilities to stage joint air and land operations are wanting. “Even at the level of exercises,” Perkovich and Dalton write, “the Indian Army and Air Force have not inspired each other’s confidence in their capacity to conduct effective combined operations in realistic warfare conditions.” In effect, India’s military has more than sufficient numbers—only the militaries of the United States and China have more than its 1.3 million active personnel—but less than sufficient capacity.

Another reason he cites is that India lacks sufficient evidence to tie Pakistan to the attack.

He ends with the predictable and stale conclusion of not doing anything as both overt (lack of capability) and covert (fraught with risks) warefare are not in the realm of possibility.

I am sure the Indian bureaucracy and advisors concur with Mr Kugelman. We have been hearing the predictable ‘”diplomatic isolation'” (whatever that means?) of Pakistan. I mean these mandarins should take lessons from the great Chanakya and throw away their Foreign policy 101 manual or whatever crap they read. I mean, is it really possible to “diplomatically isolate” Pakistan??? Duh!! Arent there supposed to be no permanent friends nor enemies and only permanent national interest in Foreign Policy? Look at the Russians. They are in the midst of a joint military exercise with Pakistan of all nations. I mean Russia has crossed the Lakshman Rekha. Arent the Russians driven by national interest? I mean they getting ever close to China. This drill with Pakistani forces was a natural by – product.

India should wake up. National interest is paramount.

Sanatan Dharma – Countering the lies..

Stumbled across this wonderful blog by Maria Wirth .Really heartwarming to see a German at the forefront of highlighting the richness of Indian heritage and culture. Wow! 🙂

Her recent piece tries to uncover the false narrative spun out not only by the media but also by the more powerful people behind them.

Here it goes ..

“Brahman is not what the eyes can see but That whereby the eyes can see. Brahman is not what the mind can think but That whereby the mind can think” (Kena Upanishad).

Profound insights indeed!!

The intellectual elite there were deeply impressed and wanted more of it. Prominent personalities like Voltaire, Mark Twain, Schopenhauer, the Schlegel brothers, Paul Deussen and many others spoke in glowing terms about India’s heritage. In the early 20th century scientists like Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Pauli, Oppenheimer, Einstein or Tesla were in their research inspired by Vedanta and acknowledged it.

Naturally the intellectual elite spoke in glowing terms of this great philosophy i.e. Sanatan Dharma.

“…Teach children all over the world negative aspects about Hinduism (all Indian traditions got an “ism”- ending in the English language which made them look dogmatic) and after some 15 years, the new generation will not even want to know anything about Hinduism. They will be convinced that it is worthless because their teachers said so…. Neither were we told in school that all societies have a caste or class system and that the Vedic analogy of a society being like a human body was actually ingenious…”

The Macauley strategy of replacing the indigenous education with English education really worked. Isnt English the only way one would be able to spread propaganda? Caste system anyone?

India has the most terrible caste system” was, and still is, a strategy to put Hinduism and Hindus down, fairness was not to be expected. Otherwise it would become quickly clear that the sins against humanity by the Whites and Arabs were far greater than those by Indians. Slavery, colonialism, the Christianization of the Americas, the Muslim invasions, and even today discrimination against women, racism especially against Jews and Blacks, cruel oppression and terrorism in the name of religion took the lives of many millions of human beings. 

Indians come nowhere near their horrific record and have no need to go on the defensive. Yet unfortunately Hindus fall into the trap and become defensive. They enact more laws in favour of backward castes or women, but they of course cannot satisfy those who do not want to be satisfied.


If Hindu Dharma were better known – and it needs to spread for the benefit of humanity – it will become clear that it was portrayed as the worst option for humanity, because nobody should know that it is actually the BEST option.

Signing off in style with the above.

A tale of two crimes

Pretty awful this. An on duty traffic cop, Vilas Shinde, was brutally assaulted by a youth at a Khar petrol pump,  succumbing to his injuries in the hospital the next day. What was even more unfortunate that this slain cops mother too died of shock a few days later. Spare a thought to the family of the deceased.

Isnt this news worthy enough to hog a lot of space in prime time news and front pages in leading English language dailies? Well apparently not. Its all about the narrative. The fact that the attacker belonged to a certain community makes it “sensitive” case & fit to be blacked out or swept under the carpet.

What instead hit the headlines was the news of another set of volunteers of Ganpati visarjan getting into a alleged scuffle with a cop. This fits the narrative, doesnt it? Its probable that to generalise the former more serious crime, this second instance was blown up by the media to pass it off as a more general “increasing instances of attacks on cops”.

Selective outrage have sadly become the hallmark of media coverage these days. Time to give them a royal ignore!


Curd anyone?

Excellent piece on the recent Dahi Handi height controvery by Sanu. I was just wondering about this trend of a “random” NGO filing a “random” PIL on some “random” matter in the courts with the consequent court rulings rubbing only one community the wrong way.

Then there is whining about being “overworked” & “understaffed” (well, all of us in the corporate world can vouch for that though ;)) with an “avalanche” of litigations and yet on the other hand they have the time to entertain such litigations? I mean height of dahi handis, weight of school bags (both trivial municipal level matters) as also banning diesel vechicles etc. These are clearly in the domain of the elected.

Then, the more serious issue of having transparency in the selection of higher levels of judiciary. Judiciary, in this case prefers independence over accountability (thought provoking piece!). Anil Dharker in the ToI has this

The writing’s clearly on the wall. Judicial reforms is the crying need of the hour. All the stake holders need to sit together reform the last standing citadel of absolute power. The effectiveness of any institution can be gauged from the faith, the common man has in it. Clearly, the judiciary falls short in this regard as the common man just doesnt stand a chance against the mighty and the well connected with respects to legal disputes as the case invariably would drag on for months, years or even decades !!

Of flawed equality & Sabrimala Temple entry to women

Are we are really equal? I mean if one looks beyond the obvious fundamental standpoint, there are various inequalities that are built in viz., physical attributes, mental & emotional quotient, art / culture and math orientation, our work place designations / hierarchies etc. I would also add controversial caste into the above list. Caste is a case of poor choice of words. Clearly, whoever coined it in the Indian sense must have had an ulterior motive attached. Anyway, that is a topic for another day. The point is, the above is I would say this is diversity & not inequality.

Sabrimala temple entry for women has been a topic of the usual media frenzy, totally devoid of any facts and based more on superficial western beliefs and value system. The belief that the deity is in its Bramhachari avatar is a belief. Full Stop. Beliefs should be respected. Other Indian traditions in the exclusive domain of women arent highlighted. Why?

IndiaFacts has this from Nitin Sridhar. Thought provoking piece. The author builds on the flawed concept of equality which he attributes as a corollary of western belief system and its irrelevance in the Indian context due to the rich tradition of diversity in India. Sanatan Dharmic traditions and beliefs are basically complex adaptive systems constituting sub – systems which have adapted to the ever changing environment. It is this very attribute that has frustrated the futile attempts of those trying to break it.

#RighttoPray hashtags should be countered with #Backoff.

From Gandhar & Purusapur to Kandahar & Peshawar

Afghanistan, lying to the North – West of India, conjures images of massive waste lands ravaged by war over the years. Soviet occupation followed by the Taliban and subsequent US occupation has left the country devasted. Taliban were particularly destructive as they even blasted the statues of Buddha at Bamiyan. However, what is unknown is that Gandhar (present day Kandahar, Afghanistan. Remember Gandhari, the famous mother of the Kauravs from Mahabharata? Thats correct. She is believed to have hailed from Gandhar) was once the epicentre of trade, commerce and spirituality and a confluence point of united India and Persia.

Rajiv Malhotra has this and this excellent pieces.

It was a province of the Persian king Darius I in the fifth century B.C.E. After conquering it in the 4th century B.C.E., Alexander encountered the vast army of the Nandas in the Punjab, and his soldiers mutinied causing him to leave India. Thereafter, Gandhara was ruled by the Maurya dynasty of India, and during the reign of the Indian emperor Ashoka (3rd century B.C.E.)  

Takshashila became an important centre of Buddhist learning, especially in Ashoka’s time. Under the Kushanas, in the late first century A.D… international trade and urbanization reached unprecedented levels in the Indus valley and Purushapara (Peshawar) became the capital of a far-flung empire and Gandhara the second home of Buddhism, producing the well-known Gandhara-Buddhist art.

Gandhara’s capital was the famous city of Takshashila. According to the Ramayana, the city was founded by Bharata, and named after his son, Taksha, its first ruler. Greek writers later shortened it to Taxila. The Mahabharata is said to have been first recited at this place.

During other times, the capital of Gandhara was Purusapura (abode of Purusha, the Hindu name for the Supreme Being), whose name was changed by Akbar to Peshawar. Near Peshawar are ruins of the largest Buddhist stupa in the subcontinent (2nd century C.E.), attesting to the enduring presence of Buddhism in the region. Purusapura is mentioned in early Sanskrit literature, in the writings of the classical historians Strabo and Arrian, and the geographer Ptolemy. Kaniska made Purusapura the capital of his Kushan empire (1st century C.E.). It was captured by the Muslims in C.E. 988

What follows is a veritable carnage, loot, genocide of the worst nature.

Mahmud converted the Ghaznavids into Islam, thus bringing Islam into the sub-continent’s local population. In the 11th century, he made Ghazni the capital of the vast empire of the Ghaznavids, Afghanistan’s first Muslim dynasty. The atrocities by Mahmud of Ghazni makes the Taliban look benign by comparison.

Will Durant explains: “The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within

“Each winter Mahmud descended into India, filled his treasure chest with spoils, and amused his men with full freedom to pillage and kill; each spring he returned to his capital richer than before. At Mathura (on the Jumna) he took from the temple its statues of gold encrusted with precious stones, and emptied it coffers of a vast quantity of gold, silver and jewelry; he expressed his admiration for the architecture of the great shrine, judged that its duplication would cost one hundred million dinars and the labor of two hundred years, and then ordered it to be soaked with naptha and burnt to the ground. Six years later he sacked another opulent city of northern India, Somnath, killed all its fifty thousand inhabitants, and dragged its wealth to Ghazni. In the end he became, perhaps, the richest king that history has ever known.”

This plunder and loot started by this mass murderer of Turkish descent was effectively followed by others. Its now the turn of another bad guy, Ghori.

“In 1186 the Ghuri, a Turkish tribe of Afghanistan invaded India, captured the city of Delhi destroyed its temples, confiscated its wealth, and settled down in its palaces to establish the Sultanate of Delhi ..

..Kutb-d Din Aibak, was a normal specimen of his kind — fanatical, ferocious and merciless.

..Balban, punished rebels and brigands by casting them under the feet of elephants, or removing their skins, stuffing these with straw, and hanging them from the gates of Delhi.”

…Alau-d-din (the conquerer of Chitor) had all the males — from fifteen to thirty thousand of them — slaughtered in one day.”

..Muhammad bin Tughlaq.. He killed so many Hindus that, in the words of a Moslem historian, “there was constantly in front of his royal pavilion and his Civil Court a mound of dead bodies and a heap of corpses, while the sweepers and executioners were weaned out by their work of dragging” the victims “and putting them to death in crowds.” In order to found a new capital at Daulatabad he drove every inhabitant from Delhi and left it a desert….””

The moral definitely is ,.. civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within..”  The missing link clearly is that why and how we became so utterly defenseless and helpless. In the land of Ram, Krishna, Arjun, Bheem, Chanakya its hard to believe that we were so incapable of putting up a credible defense against these marauders. Are we missing something here?   


Election season upon us – 2

With UP elections round the corner, almost everything appearing in the mainstream media should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Cow vigilantism is another fancy term coined by the Indian main stream media in the run up to a major state election. Remember ‘intolerance’? Although not as abstract but certainly more potent. If ‘intolerance’ set the stage for a counter attack, this is the actual event.

So whats ‘vigilantism’? According to a vigilante is “member of a vigilance committee,” 1856, American English, from Spanish vigilante, literally “watchman,” from Latin vigilantem (nominative vigilans) “watchful, anxious, careful,” from vigil (see vigil). Vigilant man in same sense is attested from 1824 in a Missouri context. Vigilance committees kept informal rough order on the U.S. frontier or in other places where official authority was imperfect.”

Wikipedia says, “Vigilante justice” is often rationalized by the concept that proper legal forms of criminal punishment are either nonexistent, insufficient, or inefficient. Vigilantes normally see the government as ineffective in enforcing the law; such individuals often claim to justify their actions as a fulfillment of the wishes of the community. 

Various articles like this , this and this with loaded statements have appeared off late in the media. The second last one appeared in NYT whose author was previously associated with several “exposes” for an organisation whose founder worked for Tehelka. And ofcourse, the last being an article by Congress MP Tharoor in an elite publication. Not surprisingly, Tharoor starts off by painting these random, unrelated and sporadic acts of crime as being more generalised, planned and well entrenched. In the process, tries to whip up a heightened sense of fear. Dismissive and condescending references to large parts of North India as “Cow Belt” (strangely even mentions “the refusal to eat beef” as common in these states, as if its the norm elsewhere in India) is also not surprising considering his political identity. After the crushing defeat of the Congress party, it has cranked up its ally machinery viz., business associates (read media houses) whereby abstract concepts are conjured up and thrown around liberally. Unrelated acts of crime are sought to be publicised and a relentless coverage (sometimes even misreporting is resorted to) to create a politically charged atmosphere before elections, only to subside after the elections get over. If it were “Church attacks” before Delhi, “Intolerance” and “Dadri” before Bihar, it is now, on expected lines, “Una” and “Cow vigilantism” before UP. Not to deny the criminal act of assault, they happen everywhere on the planet as much as they happen in India, but a broad generalisation and painting it with a broad brush is uncalled for.

If the target audience of “Intolerance’was the minorities, the target audience this time includes the lower castes. The strategy of maligning the government in front of a global audience had worked back then. A similar ploy is at play now.

Even the recent silver medal winning performance of an India shuttler PV Sindhu wasnt spared the lethal caste angle when little known The News Minute website in its factually erroneus article had implied how “millions” of Indians were searching for her caste rather than couple of thousand (as a % of total population is neglible). A superb rebuttal by Sanu . Not surpringly, it got stupidly picked up ToI and Indian Express. Really guys? A couple thousand random searches means India searching ? Wow!