Monday, January 30, 2012

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Death by Hanging in India, Disturbing Thoughts

Death sentence is a serious subject and like any contentious subject there are arguments for and against this punishment. In India as well as in the United States of America death sentence is one of the legal punishments that can be awarded by a court. In India the Supreme Court has justified a death sentence in the rarest of rare cases. Terror including acts of extremism leading to murder and deaths qualifies as the rarest of rare cases. Such acts are aimed at striking society and create a fear psychosis among the people. Keeping such terrorists alive is an encouragement to others as well as the risk of future hostage situations, like it happened in the hijacking of the iAC flight from Kathmandu.
The issue has now blown out of proportion when a date was set for hanging the 3 assassins of Rajiv Gandhi the former Indian prime Minister. These 3 members who were part of an LTTE console given a specific task by the LTTE leader Velu Prabhakaran to kill Rajiv, carried out their mission successfully. That was in 1990 and now 21 years down the line, 9 sept 2011 was fixed for the hanging of these murderers.
This hanging galvanized regional and parochial thoughts and the Tamil Nadu assembly adopted a resolution asking that the hangings of these men be commuted to life imprisonment. This is indeed a very short sighted approach and brings to the fore that India has a long way to go to become a nation.
Close on the heels of this development The Alkali Dal the ruling party in Punjab has made a similar demand for Devinder Pal Singh Bhuller a member of the Khalistan commando force to be spared the noose. The Muslims are making noises that Afzal Guru the mastermind of the attack on the Indain Parliament be also spared and the J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has gone on record on his website requesting the same.
Where do we go from here? As it stands nobody accused of any terror attacks will ever be hanged for his offence as India is not a cohesive nation and regional loyalties and sectarian thoughts dominate the national stage. Sometimes one wonders whether the opinion of the Chinese Institute of Strategic studies that India may break up into smaller fragments may not after all come true

The Concept of Houris or Spotless virgins in Islam

Muslims consider the Koran as the word of God. Its contents are sacred.  Chapter 52-56 of the Koran specifies a reward for the true believers: men who follow all the injunctions as lay down by Allah and the Koran. These rewards are in the form of Houris or beautiful and spotless virgins. The Koran specifies that these women await at the gates of paradise to give pleasure to the faithful.
The Koran does not lay down any numbers, but the Hadiths’ specify that their number is 72. The Koran says that these houris or celestial nymphs are hairless except for the eyebrows and the head. The Houris characteristics are described in detail and are all feminine. The Koran specifies that in addition to the Houris, an unspecified number of boys will also be available.
Among the characteristics of the houris is their celestial quality of being eternal virgins. In that they will re-grow their hymens after each intercourse. They are supposed to be buxom with breasts that do not droop or sag. The concept of the Houris is unique in Islam. The nearest equivalent is the angel in Christianity and the Apsara in Hinduism. The Apsara are also celestial maidens who dance and sing for the believers. But the Angels and Apsara do not have any relation to physical pleasures, which is the purpose of the Houris.
The houris are an inviolable concept in Islam and they are a reward to the faithful who have spent a lifetime in service of Islam and obeyed all the injunctions as laid down. The Koran says that all those who die as a martyr to the faith will be rewarded with these houris.
The concept of the houris is terrific motivator in Islam and many young men have been motivated to kill themselves with the dream of Houris. It must be understood that Islam has a strong mystical tradition which places these heavenly delights in the context of ecstatic awareness of God.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Twin Angel – A Transcendental Concept
I attended an ashram of Swami Shraddanand some years back. The swami explained a difficult concept It is the he concept of a twin angel. This concept is  forms part of Meta physics which is still in it is  its infancy, but the ancients had mastered this concept and enunciated it in their scriptures. Thus we have the fact that every human has a twin angel who is a duplicate of the man.There is nothing like this in Hindu thought and much of the development of this concept is based on Christian and Islamic philosophy Hinduism does talk of astral travel and astral phenomena but the concept of a twin angel is certainly not there.

The Concept

This concept is born from ancient Persian Mysticism and also from the Sufi saints and has been inherited from that age. These concepts talk of an angel who is a twin of your self.  This belief  is also part of early Christian Gnosticism the angel who is a look-alike of yourself is referred to as the Twin Angel and is a means to communicate with the all mighty.  Islam recognizes angels and this forms one of the six articles of faith in this religion. It is the final destination on the path to salvation and merging with the almighty.
As per this concept each individual soul in this world has a celestial twin who is your duplicate and is like the shadow that is always near you and yet not seen or sensed.  But with austere practices this twin angel can be reached and he will communicate with God on your behalf. The concept of the twin angel is thus a thought process that is part of ancient Persian and  religious lore.

Angels – Messengers of God

It stands to reason that angels are messengers of God and it is Gods way to communicate with human beings. To achieve this state prayer, penance and austere practices are the norm. The concept of the twin angel was revealed to me at  Mumbai also  in a recent discourse which I attended by a Muslim Pir. He talked of divine revelation and the concept of a twin angel who is a look-alike of the man himself.
The twin angel if reached can work wonders for you. Not only will you feel enlightened, but will also develop uncanny powers. The Pir recounted how a man was at two places at the same time. Many people vouchsafed as to the presence of the man at a distance of about 40 miles from each other.  Yet the man himself was only at one place as the twin angel took his place at the second place.
How can one come close to the twin angel, so that he can reveal himself? This is a question that is simple but difficult to answer. One of the methods is to select a bare room devoid of any furniture and sit before a large n mirror in the Lotus pose. The person resolving to reach his twin angel should be absolutely nude and no one should disturb him or her. A small diva (earthen lamp) needs to be lighted before the mirror in absolute darkness in the middle of the night.

How to meet your Twin

The man who wishes to meet his twin is to concentrate on the flame and its reflection in the mirror and chant the holy mantras. The man must stare at the reflection of the flame without blinking his eyes as that will break the spell. This process is to be repeated for as long as possible and depending upon the purity of your thoughts the twin will appear before you. He will be your look-alike and can materialize in your place as well. Many researchers in this field like Henry Corbin have opined that the concept of a twin angel who is your look-alike has come down from Abraham traditions and the 3 great religions Islam, Judaism and Christianity are part of it. As per him Christ and other prophets had mastered their own twin soul. It was like a holy vision and the secrets of the world were then revealed to them.
One must be aware that there are also evil twin angels and this is recognized as Hamza in Islam. Woe betide in case you have evil thoughts and the evil twin appears. That could be a catastrophe.

Monday, January 23, 2012

King Fisher Bikini Calendar 2012 on to 2015 * 71

Vijay Mallya has again produced a bikini calendar for 2012.

Vijay Mallya is a man with a mission. He has now launched  his trade mark, the bikini calendar for the year 2012.These  are of course trying times for the liquor baron as his other flagship King Fisher Air is not doing too well and is in the red. But Mallya remains unfazed and now he has launched his king fisher bikini  calendar for 2012.This is the tenth edition of the KIng Fisher calendar, which has show cased some of the most beautiful girls who have made  a success in many fields. The most famous face is of Nargis  Fakhri a King Fisher girl who has just made a dream debut in Bollywood in the film Rock star opposite Randhir Kapoor. Other girls who have made it big earlier are katrina Kaif, Ujwala Raut, Yana Gupta and Lisa Hayden.
The girls  have been shot by photographer Atul  kasbeker who feels that this calendar is the best place for a girl to launch her career. This year the calendar has been shot in Sri Lanka and is likely to be a hit.

The calandar has evolved further and in 2015 we have some lovely girls again though Vijay mallaya is in the dog House.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Was Rushdie a Coward not to Attend the Jaipur Festival.

There was a literary festival at Jaipur.268 writers attended it and Salman Rushdie author and writer of the Satanic verses was invited. In fact Rushdie was to be the  star of the Festival. There is no doubt that Salman Rushdie  an Indian Muslim is a writer of class and occupies a high place in the field of literature.
It was known that a fringe element in India consisting of die hard Muslims were opposed to his coming to India. In addition the Congress government with its own agenda of supporting the Minority community played a dirty card. At their behest The Jaipur Police  created an imaginary  bogey of a threat to Rushdie’s life and also spread the canard that hired killers from mumbai underworld were coming to assassinate him. All this was hogwash.

But Rushdie should have known better. He panicked like a chicken despite many eminent persons telling  him not to worry and there was no threat. Yet Rushdie decided to skip the meet. Taslima the well known Bengali writer who has faced the wrath of the Islamists bravely, has tweeted in her blog that Rushdie was a coward not to come. She writes that cancelling his visit to India was another cowardly act after he had apologised to the Mullahs to get out of the Fatwa issued against him.

The fact is that Rushdie panicked unnecessarily and he could have easily made it to the Jaipur festival and in the bargain struck a blow for freedom 

General VK Singh Lets the Army and Nation Down by Going to Supreme Court

General VK Singh is due to retire on 31 May 2012 as per his recorded date of Birth which is 1950.  But General VK Singh contends that his date of birth is 1951 and is thus angling for an extension of another year. In case VK Singh’s contention is accepted then he will continue in service and retire in 2013. This is a very sad case and the General by approaching the Supreme Court has created a bad precedent.

General VK Singh had earlier approached the central government on 2 occasions and on both occasions, on the advice of the Attorney General; the plea of change in the date of birth of Singh was rejected. VK Singh was however not deterred and continued lobbying for a change in his date of birth and extension of his service career as the Army Chief. The Chief never thought what his actions would lead to and how it would affect the common soldier sitting in the trench in NEFA and the tent in the icy Siachan.

General VK Singh by approaching the Supreme Court with a writ petition has let the entire army down. It is a clear case of a man wanting to stick to office for the perks it carries, come what may. The army was so far an organization that was a byword for discipline and national outlook. VK Singh by approaching the Supreme Court has broken that tradition. What is the effect? What will happen if every general or soldier starts approaching the Supreme Court?General VK Singh has proved he is a very short sighted man and has no interest in tradition and discipline.

 Granted that VK Singh’s contention is right, it still does in no way confer on him a right to act the way he is doing to stick to office. His approaching the Supreme Court is an act of indiscipline. I shudder to think what this man has done. He has breached the hallowed traditions of the army by his actions. God save the Indian army with men like VK Singh ruling the roost. Perhaps it’s about time the government cracked the whip and retired this Army chief forthwith.

Salman Rushdie, a great Writer made a Pawn by Congress Government
Salman Rushdie was to attend the recent literary festival at Jaipur. Mr. Rushdie is a Moslem and an Indian. He also is a great writer who has written a string of books , which have been critically acclaimed. He has also written the Satanic Verses  which was banned in India by Rajiv Gandhi to appease the minority community. 
The Congress as a party has a history of appeasement  of the  minorities and thus thought to score an electoral point by derailing the effort of Rushdie to attend the literary festival at Jaipur. The Rajasthan Chief Minister made some preposterous claims which were all lies. He stated that most people in India were not keen that Rushdie should Visit India. This is evident when  people in India welcomed Rushdie the last time he came to Mumbai. This time many people and writers were looking forward to the visit of Rushdie.
Actually the Indian people respect Rushdie as a writer and even minority community writers had welcomed the participation of Rushdie in the meet. But the Government played a trick on Rushdie. The Rajasthan police at the behest of the center and the state Government( both ruled by the Congress Party) issued an advisory to Rushdie not to come as paid assassains were waiting for him.
In real terms  no killer was waiting for Rushdie and this was a fiction created by the Congress government. It is a sad day when freedom to travel and take part in literary festivals is made a political issue. This the Congress government has done hoping it will pay dividend in the coming UP elections. Unfortunately the Congress will soon find that   such devious acts do not translate into votes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Can One Forget Gina Lollobrigida

Gina Lollobrigida has a special niche for herself in Italian –Hollywood cinema. During her prime in the fifties and sixties she was a rage and had carved a special niche for herself. Her charm and sex appeal exuded from her and she was a veritable heart throb for millions of her followers.
Gina was born in 1927 and that would make her 84 years old now. Her active period in the show world was till 1996 when she retired and started devoting her time to American Italian heritage. Gina Lollobrigida despite being Italian and knowing very little English was a success on the Hollywood stage. She starred in many epic films.

Gina’s most telling and sexy scene is the Pagan dance in the film Solomon and Sheba where she starred with Yul Brynner. The Pagan dance brought out the sex appeal of Gina which transcended all boundaries of language and religion. Dressed in skimpy attire Gina does the Pagan dance with aplomb, that would shame many an eastern actress from Bollywood or Tamil films. More over none of the eastern actresses could carry of such a scene in the skimpy dress she wore.
Gina acted in many more films from Hollywood and in all of them she proved herself a versatile actress. Among her other films were Hunchback of Notre Dame with Anthony Quinn, Beat the Devil with Humphrey Bogart, Never so few with Frank Sinatra, Trapeze with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtiss among others.

In 1955 Lollobrigida appeared in The World's Most Beautiful Woman, for which she received the first David di Donatello for Best Actress award. Her film Come September in 1961 was a great hit all over the world where she co-starred with Rock Hudson.
During the period of the seventies and nineties, her career slowed down and finally retired from acting. She then became a activist of NIAF( National Italian American Foundation). She received a life time award from this foundation in 2008. The foundation looks after the heritage if Italian Americans.
Gina married only once and divorced in 1971. She has one child (a son). Gina Lollobrigida is remembered for her sex appeal and histrionics on the screen. Even now almost 5 decades later Gina is remembered as a Hollywood and Italian actress par excellence. Her films like Solomon and Sheba in re-runs and on the net are still a tremendous draw. I for one have seen her re-runs and am convinced she was the most beautiful screen actress to light the screen

My Thoughts on the Debacle at Perth
The Perth test match has just started and on the first day itself India is bowled out for 161. It was abject surrender. The sad part is that the big 4, Shewag, Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar between them have over 120 centuries, yet these man have come a cropper. Worse these so called self styled greats  have invariably failed on most occassions outside India.
The debacle abroad is nothing new. After all India were all out for 42 with Gavaskar and Vishwanath in the team in 1974. But this debacle is more ominous , as these men have built up  a unique record. But then as the saying goes' all the kings men and all the kings horses could not put Humpty Dumpty together again'.Similarly these 4 stalwarts have failed in saving India and in the bargain India has established a record of some sort with 6 defeats in a row on foreign soil. Perhaps soon it will be 7 as this test looks lost as well.
It is about time we realized that this quartet needs to be made  accountable. I wonder why Laxman and Shewag were not dropped after the  English tour. I think it is better to lose with youngsters then with these old fossils. in case younger plaers are to the forefront at least  a new look team for the future can be readied.
These 4 need a one way ticket to retirement and that includes the holy cow Tendulkar. His 100th century is not more important than India. We need to win and win handsomely and I am afraid these 4 cannot lead us there in any manner.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Face of religion
The religions don't teach anything, it is the interpreters who give a twist and end up propagating the other religion is false. That is a fact. Some time back when I was the project director in the tribal belt of Thane district, I happened to attend a Christian prayer meeting. I just went out of curiosity to see what was happening, as a large number of food packets were to be distributed to the tribals. These were arranged by the local Church.
I was surprised when the priest a handsome man in the mid thirties got up announced that the packets were sent by Jesus Christ and this showed that Christ loved the tribals. He went on to add ' Do your Gods send you these food packets ? They don't because they are false gods and Jesus is the true savior..'
I later called the Priest and admonished him. But what struck me was the fact that Jesus nowhere said anything that the priest was talking about, It was the zealous propagator of the faith who was spreading this canard. I am afraid this is not confined to the followers of the Christian religion alone and followers and preachers of all other religions at some point of time indulge in this rhetoric.
No religious philosophy decries any other religion. But the men who consider themselves guardians of the faith or the 'true believers' are the ones who have to say that the other religion is bad. Perhaps that is the only way they can justify their existence to themselves and their followers. Perhaps its one method of keeping the flock together. Decry the other religion so no one leaves you and you can feel smug in numbers. This is one of the reasons that in Muslim countries no other religious congregation is allowed or open worship permitted. This is an insular attitude and brings out the insecurity that stalks the so called ' believers'.
The world is changing , but the hold of religion has not waned. Karl Marx had spoken and written "religion is the opium of the masses'. Though his economic theory was all nuts, this statement of his certainly has some truth in it. Religion at present does not unite, but divides. It is a divisive force.
Coming down to brass tacks, the fact is that the over zealous preachers and self styled defenders like Imams, and priests of all religions cannot survive as leaders of their flock if they did not decry the other religion. It is the 21st century and I don't see it going away in this century at all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Obama's Birth certificate, A Needless Controversy
Recently I read an article by a respected   columnist Lance Winslow stating that Obama was born in Kenya and the certificate issued from Hawaii was a fake. He went on to write that getting a birth certification done in Hawaii is child’s play and one just makes a statement and a certificates is given.

Frankly I cannot comment on the last part of his article, but I have a few points of my own. Granted that what the columnist’s lance Winslow says is correct and Obama has got a doctored certificate. But my point is how come these insinuations are surfing only now after 3 years when Obama is completing his term as President and going for re-election. All this sounds fishy for in case there was some doubt about Obama’s birth certificate the matter was to be discussed at that time, before the election and somebody should have proved what is being insinuated now. I wonder why nobody raised any objection at that time. this is certainly food for thought.

 Frankly what I feel is that there is a fringe in the US population that has not reconciled to a black as president of the USA and this group is manufacturing all this information about Obama. Why even one writer referred to Obama as a communist in disguise who was ruining the USA. All this is fine but such talk is an insult to the US electorate that elected Obama as President. Obama may lose or win the next election is not the point, but there is a need to maintain sanity and decorum in everything.
All said and done the Presidency of Obama is certainly better than that of George Bush who unleashed wars and is in my opinion a war criminal ( just refer to the Tokyo war crimes tribunal and see what the definition of a war criminal is, it is an American drafted law).