Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Visiting the Zoo in Abu Dhabi is a Delight * 61

Till the sixties of the last century Abu Dhabi was a barren piece of land on the edge of the great Arabian Desert. The discovery of oil changed all that and now Abu Dhabi is one of the countries in the world with the highest per capita income. This oil boom had other effects also and resulted in greening part of the desert.
One of the areas greened is Al Alain a small city about 150 away from the capital Abu Dhabi. Visiting this place will make a visitor feel he has come to another part of the world. The Abu Dhabi national zoo is also located here. It is housed in a sprawling green belt and home to some of the best animals from Africa and other places.
The zoo charges an entrance fee of 100 Dirhams( $ 25) per person. Inside the zoo one can hire an electric car to move around and this will cost you another $ 25, but many prefer to walk around and have a look at the animals on foot. The zoo is planned as per international standards and the wild animals kept in enclosures as close to their natural habitat as possible. 
African animals like the Giraffe, Zebra, African lion, Rhinoceros and African elephant dominate the zoo. One can feed the Giraffes in a special enclosure and for this a feed of carrots and radish is available for 10 Dirhams. The birds section has vast enclosures with buzzards, eagles and other hardy species.  The African crocodile is also on display. The pride of the zoo is the white tiger from India. There are a pair of them and none the worse for the heat that can see temperatures touch 50 degrees centigrade in summer.

However it's a matter of regret that animals from India with the exception of the white tiger are not on display. The zoo does not have the Asiatic lion, Indian one-horned rhino and the famous Bengal tiger. Perhaps the zoo will add these animals in the near future. I made an entry in the suggestion book about this and I received an email from the zoo director that this lacuna will be rectified.
Visiting the zoo is a pleasure and one needs an entire day to do justice to this place. There are some nice eateries also and one can have  snacks like hamburgers and cold drinks with tea or coffee.  The zoo can be reached by state bus from Abu Dhabi or a taxi. I however drove in my own car and relished the drive,which is along a lovely speedway. I will recommend a visit to the Abu Dhabi zoo for all who plan a holiday in the United Arab Emeritus.

Christianity and its Spread by Sword * 67

Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples. This process has continued for close to 2000 years. Vast regions were converted to Christianity. One of the regions converted was Livonia, a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. The most prominent ruler of ancient Livonia was Caupo of Turaida. In modern times the state of Livonia corresponds to the Baltic state of Estonia.
The Crusades
Everybody has heard of the Christian crusades against the Moslems and the Jews. These battles form an important chapter in the history of the word. Little is heard about the Christian crusades against the pagan tribes of the lands bordering the Baltic Sea. Yet these are important and its worth highlighting how the Christian faith spread in the Baltic area of Northern Europe. Here also the sword played a prominent part
The Pattern of Conversion
The spread of Christianity in the Europe followed a distinct pattern. This reached the apex during the late middle ages. As a start the Christian armies destroyed the holy sites of the pagans and demonized their gods. Traditional religious ceremonies were classified as witchcraft. They were also criminalized with death as a punishment. The Christian’s were clever and in the process of the spread of Christianity absorbed pagan customs into Christian practices.
This was based on the Great Commission. The great commission is the instruction of Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to the entire world. Perhaps Christ never wished for the sword to spread his beliefs, but his overzealous followers did precisely that and Christianity spread by the sword. The refrain that Islam spread by the sword is also applicable to Christianity.
The conversion of the people of Livonia thus followed a well-trodden path. Livonia at that time was populated by tribes that followed Pagan practices. These tribes were fanatically opposed to Christianity. Pope Celestine III made plans to send a fleet with crusaders to the Baltic state, but he died before the plan could be executed. His successor Pope Innocent II carried the plan forward.
Christianity Spread and the Sword
Spread of Christianity
The pagan’s fought fiercely but the crusaders had the upper hand. Much of the conversion to Christianity of Livonia was carried out by Bishop Albert. He was assisted by a newly founded order called the Brothers of the Sword which was affiliated to the Teutonic order. This was in 1237. The Teutonic order launched a great conflict in the Baltic lands and the bloodshed lasted for close to half a century. The Teutonic order destroyed paganism in Livonia and adjoin lands
Till the arrival of the Christians the Baltic tribes followed pagan customs and rituals. From 1199 onwards the Roman Catholic Church decided to Christianize the heathens. Christian armies were more interested in conquest than conversion, but victory in battle presented a fait accompli to the tribes who converted to Christianity. Livonia and adjoining areas were conquered in wars from 1206-90. Paganism was destroyed, along with large scale massacres. The Christian armies spared no one and rich and poor alike were massacred without any compunction.
Christianity Reigns Supreme
For some time the Livonian people practiced their religion secretly The King of Lithuania, Mindaugas and his queen converted to Christianity, but continued to practice their pagan religion secretly. But the dice was cast against the tribes who finally converted to Christianity (Catholicism) by 1386. Lithuania was the last country in Europe to be converted to Christianity. There were no further crusades in Europe. This was the last expedition by the Christian armies and they won. They looted the conquered lands, but ensured that Christianity was accepted all over Europe.
The Christian armies would have also converted the entire Middle East, but here they were checkmated by the Moslem armies, who not only defeated them, but occupied large areas of Europe as well.
Last Word
A point that needs emphasis is that the Christianization of the Baltic lands including Livonia was done by the sword. A big hand in this was played by the Christian Brethren of the sword, who were members of the Teutonic order. This was on the direction of the Pope in Rome. The conversion by the sword was a hallmark of the Middle Ages.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Film Review: Film on Gandhi's Killing" Nine Hours to Rama"

Path Breaking Film

One of my friends gave me a nice old film about the assassination of the Indian Leader Mahatma Gandhi. He was assassinated on 30 January 1948 by a Hindu fanatic named Nathuram Godse. The film is based on a book by Stanley Wolpert and depicts a fictional account of the previous 9 hours in the life of Nathuram Godse, before he shot Gandhi. It is a 1963 film and was then banned by the Indian government. The film brings out the hatred of Godse for Muslims and his varied sex life with two women, one married and the other a prostitute. Horst Buchholz plays the role of Nathuram Godse and Gandhi is played by Indian star and writer JS Cashyap. The film depicts the how Godse planned the assassination of Gandhi.

The Film

The film was released 1963 and Nehru who saw it banned the movie. It was never shown in India though it won critical acclaim abroad. The film was sympathetic to Godse and that was something not liked by Nehru. Perhaps in case the film had been released in the 21st century it would have had a safe passage to the cinema halls in India.
Times have changed and many people in India consider Godse a hero. In fact he was a Hindu Maha Sabha member and at one time was a Gandhi follower. But he got disillusioned with Gandhi and his brand of politics that centered on a policy of appeasement of the Muslims. The fact is despite all that Gandhi tried, he was never accepted by Muslims as their leader.

Godse and Gandhi

Gandhi probably had it coming with over 2 million Hindus killed and hundreds of Hindu women raped and forcibly married into harems, the cups were full and in the surcharged atmosphere of 1947-48, this act of Godse was in a way a logical step. I am no supporter of Godse, but the fact is he articulated the feelings of millions of Hindus and Sikhs. I agree the Sikhs also retaliated against the Muslims , but it was a reflex action and came only after the butchery had been started by the Muslims on the call for “direct action” by Jinnah.
The film is a faithful depiction of that period and Horst Buchloz has done a very good role as portrayer of Godse. I wonder if the modern youngster’s know or heard about Horst Buchloz? Many questions have now risen about Gandhi, which were camouflaged by Nehru and the Congress party. In addition many people in India want to honor Godse with statues and remembering his birthday and day he was hanged to death in 1948.

Last word

The film is worth an look and one can down load it from the net or get a copy from the video library. In my view it is a timeless film and such films will always interest people who are India lovers as well as want to know the truth.

A Good Investment: Buy a Villa in Dubai * 64

Dubai has diversified from a fishing village at the turn of the last century to the present day mega city. The city in bid to attract the best and the richest has taken to construction of villas as a fish to water. Luxury villas are the new mantra to attract the rich and well heeled to Dubai. The idea is to give a grand life style to the visitor or an expat worker. The charm of owning your own villa with a private swimming pool and garage id definitely greatly desired and Dubai caters to this in a big way.
Villas in Dubai
The villas in Dubai can either be bought as an investment or hired during your holiday in Dubai. The latest architectural designs are formulated for these villas and owning one can definitely add an extra page to your life style. They are also good investment for your money. A lot of people prefer leasing the villas in case they are not sure about buying them.
As the rulers of Dubai have positioned it as a holiday get away you could if you have the money rent a villa. There are many companies in Dubai who can help you find a villa for yourself during a planned holiday in Dubai. If you are coming with your family you will have the chance of all staying together than in different rooms as in hotels. With the present economic scenario you can work out a good deal and that may not be too expensive.
Villas in Dubai cover a wide spectrum of costs .The prices vary from their size to location.Dubai in fact is dotted with Villas. Unlike apartments which are finding it difficult to sell themselves the villas are comparatively better off. Dubai boasts of posh villas at the Marina which are a statement of style and reasonably pricey. Similarly villas at Jumeriah which are a few minutes from the Jumeriah beach from Sheikh Zayed Road are also quite costly and only the rich stay here. You can also rent or lease a villa at the exclusive Palm Island. This is the high end of the spectrum of social life and celebrities including film stars, sportspersons and eminent persons could be your neighbors.
. Staying in a villa on the palm means that Atlantis Dubai one of the top end hotel resorts is nearby and you can always visit it for leisure activities. Villas in Dubai can be a statement of your life’s intent. In fact with the down turn of real-estate in Dubai some of the up market villas are available for lot less than the original price and can be good investment.
Other Thoughts
However there is a dark lining to the silver cloud. Dubai does not allow landlords or tenants to share their villas with another family. The general concept in Dubai is one family per villa and the authorities will not let you break that. In case you share you villa with another family then you are open to fine that could go up to AED 50000 one $130000.Thus breaking this law is not advisable. This law is perhaps rooted in the Islamic life of Dubai and has put off a lot of customers.
The matter may not end with a fine as Hussain Nasser Lootah, Dubai Municipality’s director general, in a statement is attributed to having said that a fine could also be followed by legal action as Dubai frowns on villa sharing. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sikhs Abroad are Second Class Citizens and Many are Attacked

My Thoughts on Sikh Immigrants to the USA and Canada

Confused Sikhs abroad defaming their own land and without a status ythemselves

Some years back when I left the  Indian Air Force, I paid a visit  to London.  On a Sunday, my host took me to the local Sikh gurudwara in East London. There was a large congregation, but the important point was that a Sikh got up on the podium and started a long winded attack on the Indian government. He claimed that the Sikhs were being persecuted in India and he called for the establishment of a seperate Sikh state or 'Khalistan'.
I wished to counter this as I am a Sikh and what that man had stated was an absolute lie, but my host advised me to keep silent to avoid bloodshed.  This is the bane of Sikhs abroad. They fueled the  Khalistan movement with lakhs of rupees  and this continued till the Khalistan movement was broken by the Sikhs themselves in the Punjab.
 The Sikhs abroad live in a different world. They have neither integrated into the community they live nor made any advancement in the social ladder. They  have formed a 'ghetto' mentality. This breeds its own problems and leads to hate crimes . Quite a few Sikhs do put on airs while on visits to India. The fact is that most Indians and that includes Sikhs have a second class status in the USA and Canada. This, they hide under a  veneer of arrogance, but the facts unfortunately leak out. Now there is another element that is added with hate crimes against Sikhs in USA and the UK. I am afraid this is brought upon them by Sikhs themselves. Always attacking Hindus and India seems to be a favorite of these Sikhs, who are in any case second class cirizens there.
The recent attack on the Sikh Gurudwara is  more the malise than an isolated incident. The Sikhs seem to have moved astray from the Sikh religion and some of them had to be declared 'Tankhiya' heratics after they started langar, the community kitchen on tables and chairs. The Gurus  has enjoined all to sit and eat as a community on the floor.
The Sikhs abroad must do some introspection and acts like killing their daughters who wish to marry outside the community need to be stopped. There is a hell of wrong going on and at the end of the day one of my friends just wrote to me that  that the so called El Doradao for which they had come to USA was a dream, just a dream that has died. Many would like to come back to India , but here they won't be able to make two ends meet or be able to eat two square meals ina day. In any case that is the reason they left.
One of my own relations a maticulate who went to Canada after failing to get a job in India, tried 4 times to come back and set up some worthwhile industry in Inida , but god did not smile on him. This is sad, but the Sikhs abroad must certainly do some introsepction.

Sikhs Abroad : Clutching at Straws to be Relavent

The Sikh Diaspora in Canada and the UK are a Misguided Lot

There are lakhs of Sikhs setlled in the UK and  Canada, not forgeting the USA. However in my interaction with Sikhs particularly in Canada and England I find them suffering for some  delusions. One can perhaps condone this if it remained a harmless delusion, but when it transcends the normal propriety of conduct and behaviour then some action is called for. 
Most Sikhs in the UK and Canada, in particular the Jat Sikhs have taken it upon themselves to foment terror activities with a view to establish Khalistan. This concept has been rejected by 95% of the Sikhs in India and Punjab as well as the USA, but the Sikhs from Canada and UK are stoking the embers of this impossible dream.
Most the Jat Sikhs in these 2 nations spit venom on India and the Hindus. Surprisingly they are silent on the activities of  Pakistan  for whom they seem to have a soft corner. Unfortunately they forget history and a visit to the Sikh Museum at Amritsar should enlighten them as the paintings of Sikhs being tortured and sacrificed are all there. The Ruler of Punjab at that time also murdered 2 of the children of GuruGobind Singh. Thus the venom against India and the Hindus is hard to reconcile. 
Talk of discrimination against the Sikhs by these Jat Sikhs hold no water as just a year or so back, the prime Minister and Army Chief of India were Sikhs. So one wonders what these people want. It is possible that the ISI is egging and encouraging them. They tried it from 1985-92 in the Punjab and miserably failed, so here they may be fishing in muddy waters.
Sometime back general Brar was attacked in London. This  is a pointer to the  state of affairs among the UK Sikhs. They themselves are second class citizens there and this agitataion for a Sikh state is a result of their frusterations in England and Canada. I have observed most of the Sikhs who migrated abroad were from the poorer sections of Sikh society who never made it good in the homeland. Hungry and destitute these Sikhs  came looking for El Doradao, when that didnt materialize they took their energy in the field of a Sikh state, actively fueled by Pakistan.
It is about time the Sikhs themselves opposed these  Sikhs fomenting terrorism  from the UK and Canada.  The Indian government must also be wary and  the British police must act decisively to cut these terror groups down.  I am a Sikh myself but when I visted gurudwara in East london I was struck by the rabid anti India ssentiment. Its about time something was done to counter these terror groups. These groups who were failures in India, must not be allowed to be part of the terror pantheon.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Modi has Pulled off a Diplomatic Coup: Meeting Sharif

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Lahore on Friday for a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in a surprise visit to this country -the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in more than 10 years. Modi was received by Sharif with a warm hug at the tarmac of Allama Iqbal International Airport after his unexpected stopover here on his way back home after a day-long trip today to Afghanistan where he went after concluding a two-day visit to Russia on Thursday.
Modi was accorded a red carpet welcome as PM’s special IAF Boeing 737 plane made a smooth touchdown at 4.20 local time(4.50 IST). He then took a chopper to proceed to Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence in the outskirts of Lahore.

There is no doubt that what Modi has done is nothing short of a diplomatic coup. Such steps require courage and Modi has shown he has that courage,  Compared to the insipid diplomacy of Mam Mohan Singh , MODIS approach is  vibrant. Hats off to him. All credit also to Nawaz Sharif in the sense that he agreed to play ball

One cannot see immediate tangible results, but such visits certainly defang the serpents of war. the questin that may well be asked , what next? I would like to draw the attention to teh RSS spokesperson, who has recently said that things will come back to an even keel  once India and Pakistan and bangladesh come home again. ie. unite as it was when Akbar and Ashoka ruled. Not possible as yet, but there is no harm in dreaming.

Don Bradmans Antics in Bombay: Was he a Racialist ?

Don Bradman was Great but not the Greatest
Donald Bradman played cricket for Australia. He played cricket at a time when the British empire reigned supreme all over the world. The Don has a test batting average of 99.94 and on the basis of this average many people consider him the greatest player ever in cricket. But a recent interpolation through the computers where all the innings of the Don were analyzed reveals that if the Don had played on all wickets in India ,South Africa and West Indies his batting average would have been considerably lower. For the Don played all his cricket only in England and Australia. Thus his experience was limited to playing on Australia and English wickets.
Don and India
There are many people who opine that the Don had great love for India and he would have toured India if given the chance. but his attitude belies this claim. In 1948 while on the way to England his ship docked at Bombay( Mumbai). Many Indian cricketers including Vijay Merchant went up to the Don's cabin and requested him to come on deck to greet the many Indian's who were his admirers. But the sad part is the Don refused to come out of his cabin. A man who would not come out of his cabin to meet Indian is not expected to tour India even if given the chance.
Fair weather batsman

The Don was a fair weather batsman and scored heavily on wickets conducive to batting. On the 1947 Indian tour of Australia Don Bradman failed on a rain soaked wicket in the second test. Though in the other tests on batting wickets he scored heavily.
The Don's average of 99.94 did not hold true when facing Douglas Jardine 'e team in the famous body line series when Harold Larwood ran into the Aussies as a tornado. He averaged just about 60 in that series and was effectively cut to size. At that time England had only one super fast bowler in Harold Larwood. I shudder to think what would have happened in case Bradman had to face a quartet of lethal fast bowlers like Marshall, Roberts, Holding and Garner. Wearing or not wearing a helmet is hypothetical as in that age and time nobody wore a helmet.
Jim Laker in his autobiography has written that Bradman was suspect against high class spin. Jim laker took 19/90 against Australia( 1956) and this is the only record ever that will stand for all time. He claims that when Australia was racing to 404 for a win and Bradman made 173*, he was let of twice of his bowling. In any case Bradman never faced the likes of Ghulam Ahmed, Subhas Gupte and Mankad on rank turners, where the ball turned square like at Calcutta and Kanpur at that time. we have only the computer to rely on interpretations.
Last Word
Bradman was a great player, but to label him the greatest is a misnomer. I would rate the West Indian Vivian Richards higher than him. He was the real king of cricket and his swagger and walk to the wicket itself intimidated the bowlers. Talking of helmets, he didn't wear one. More over he played all around the world and all types of wickets and everywhere he left an indelible mark.
Bradman is no more. But most people are apt to hero worship, hence people forget about the Don's antics at Mumbai and his failure on rank turners. Not with standing this Don Bradman was perhaps the greatest Australian batsman, though not of the world.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Rajput Hindu Girls as concubines in Muslim Harems

The Rajput are known for bravery, yet they gave their daughters and princesses to the Moslem harems as concubines.
The Moslem rule is a watershed in the history of India. Right from the Khilji dynasty and the Mughul rule the forefront of the action was against the Rajputs. However, it is fact of history,that mostly the Rajputs were bested by the Moslems. Despite their bravery,the end result was defeat and more defeat.

All this really commenced from the time Ghori faced Prithviraj in the battles of Tarain. Ghori won and the Rajputs were a demoralised lot. Again the advent of Babur saw the Rajputs unable to defeat him and he occupied the throne at Delhi. Akbar followed  and the Rajputs decided to give him battle under Rana Sangha. But he was defeated and fled from the battlefield. All this makes  sad reading and one cannot help concluding that these defeats played on the psyche of the Rajputs.
Rajput Defeat and Repurcussions
The so called brave Rajputs , hit upon a novel plan. Perhaps it was thrust on them.In effect it really meant to use sex as a means to achieve their position,what they had not achieved on the battlefield. Thus the Rajput Rajas and Cheftains started giving their daughters into marriage and as concubines into the Harems of the Moslem rulers. These poor Hindu princesses were ushered into these harems and became part of hundreds of other women to a life of purdah and seclusion till they died. In addition  many of them had to convert to Islam. It is worth noting that the liberal Akbar had over 500 women in his harem,a large number of them Hindus.
There are also cases where in the Mughul ruler when he heard of the beauty of a Rajput Hindu princess sent his emissary with a message that the girl be given into his harem. Woe betide a Rajput who desisted. But history records that this phase of the Rajput Moslem rulers relationship had the end point of their women being given to the Moslem harems as concubines and hand maidens. In return for this the Rajput Cheftains were allowed to keep their small Jagirs and kingdoms on payment of tributes to the imperial ruler.

Last word
Social scientists must study this aspect of Rajput behaviour. It is difficult to visualize what prompted the Rajputs to do this i.e. to hand over their girls to the Moslem harems , when the Moslems never allowed the reverse to happeni.e. marry Moslem girls into Rajput households.
This was certainly a dark period in India's history and one can feel for the poor Hindu princesses who had to spend their lives in Moslem harems as sex objecst of the Moslem rulers.  Perhaps we must have a fresh look at the so called bravery of the Rajputs

The Harem : a MIddle East Innovation later accepted in India by Muslims

The Harem in India

The Harem is peculiar to Islam and Indian Moslems also adopted it for their multiple wives and concubines in India.
Harem is something peculair to Islam. No other religion accepts the concept of a harem. It is an exclusive place where the women are kept confined by the Muslim noblemen or kings for their pleasure. In India the concept of Harem was brought in by the Muslim rulers who ruled Hindustan for nearly 900 years. The harem and its ethos were imported from Turkey and Saudi Arabia and are sanctified by Islam.

Harem in India 
The Muslims when they ruled India believed in the Islamic law of multiple wives and concubines. But as rulers they also thought it their right to have a number of Hindu Girls as part of their harem. Some of the girls were forcibly abducted or captured and in some cases pressure was brought on the local Hindu kings to give their daughters to the Muslim Kings. Some of the local chieftains like the Rajputs willingly gave their daughters and princesses to the Muslim rulers in return for petty benefits.
The Harem was a large place with an independent adminstration.The life was reasonably easy and comfortable, but the women were never allowed to go outside. Hindu women were forced to convert to Islam on threat of torture and death. But a few emperors like Akbar allowed their Hindu queens to continue their Hindu rituals inside the Harem or Zenena.
The Harems were guarded by eunuchs and no male was allowed inside,except the king or the ruler himself. The Harem was like a form of imprisonment and  many women who entered it left only once they died. However the older women and mothers were given greater respect. The harem had a life of its own,in fact it was a world within a world.

Last Word
 The Mughal emperors kept hundreds of women in their Harems. Akbar reportedly had over 500 women. A lot many of them were Hindus. As the Hindus were a subjected lot they had no choice and in case an emperor liked or heard of the beauty of a Hindu princess, he would order that she be brought to his harem. In case the request was not complied with he would take punitive measures against the local raja. But in variably, the Hindu Kings handed their daughters into the harems. This is certainly a sad commentary on the state of affairs in India at that time. It was left to the British and the Raj to stop this practice and the Hindus could heave a sigh of relief.

The Midnight Coup That Propelled Sam Maneckshaw as COAS( Army Chief)

How Sam Maneckshaw became the Indian Army Chief

The Indian army has a checkered history of over 200 years. Presently it is the second largest army in the world after China with a force level of 1.1 million The India army chief is thus a very important person. We are all aware that Sam Maneckshaw was the Chief of Staff during the war with Pakistan in 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. But not many are aware of the shenanigans involved in his becoming the army chief.
To understand the entire scenario one has to go back to 1962 and the India-China war. At that time Maneckshaw was not in command of any troops on the front. The command was with Lieutenant General Kaul who by a combination of circumstances and the folly of Nehru failed. The entire blame cannot be laid at the door of Kaul, as the policy makers were Nehru and Krishna Menon.

After the war Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh came into prominence and restored the morale of the Eastern Command. Maneckshaw had little to do with all this. The 1965 war and again Maneckshaw had little to do as the main commander was again General Harbaksh as the Go Cin C Western Army Command. He covered himself with glory and reports now indicate that his decision not to withdraw beyond the Beas River was instrumental in saving India, when even the Army Chief General JC Choudhry had panicked and recommended a withdrawal.

At that time the front runner for the post of the army chief on the retirement of general Choudhry was General Harbaksh Singh. Maneckshaw was unfortunately no where in the picture as he had no battle experience of commanding a corps or a command in actual war. It appears Ms Gandhi had indicated that General Harbaksh would be the Army Chief.

 It appears that Mr. JRD Tata the top Industrialist and a Parsi intervened at that time. He supported Maneckshaw as the army chief on the ground that he was a Parsi. Ms Gandhi not averse to playing Empress readily agreed. She over ruled her Defense Minister Swaran Singh and announced Sam Maneckshaw a Parsi as Army Chief. Thus a battle hardened soldier like Harbaksh was sidelined in favor of a man who had not commanded a single division in actual war. Perhaps she thought that it would be a good idea to get the support of JRD in the long run.
All these cloak and  dagger affairs took place at midnight and Harbaksh who was designated army chief in the evening was a nobody in the morning

Motorcycle Troops of the Wehrmacht * 69

The German army is perhaps the only army in the world that made use of the motorcycle for armed raids and attacks. The Germans converted their BMW and Zundapp machines to military use by an innovative addition. They mounted the side car of the motorbikes with a rotating rapid fire machine gun. While the bike was piloted by a driver, his buddy who sat in the side car manned the machine gun.

In the flat plains of Europe the motorcycle patrols were a great success and every regiment had its complement of motorcycle troops. The motorcycle troops were also excellent for scouting and terrorizing the villages of occupied Europe. It was not uncommon for these motorbike troops to enter a village square with bursts of machine gun fire and terrorize the villagers of occupied Europe.
The Motorcycle troops were also used in the assault on Russia. They were part of the infantry and moved with them. In the summer they served their purpose but with the onset of winter these machines faced severe problems and the causalities mounted. Many motorbikes got stuck in the massive mud and drift and were rendered useless. The Wehrmacht thus had to withdraw many motorcycle units from the Russian front.

In Eastern Europe and the west these bikes with the mounted machine gun served a definite purpose. Many captured bikes were also painted in the colors of the Wehrmacht and modified with side cars and machine guns and put to use with the German army. The BMW proved to be the best of the machines and its twin cylinder gave it plenty of power. However the allies and the Russians did not copy the German tactics and never fitted their bikes with machine guns. They put them to auxiliary use only.
one can say that the motorcycles were a great help in occupied Europe, but in Russia and teh the North African campaign they were not a success

The use of the motorcycle as a weapon of war in the arsenal of the German army is something that needs study. The German genius of innovation was an asset and they were able to add a new page to the concept of war.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dreams and Russian Girls:Satisfying that Exotic Dream

Man's Russian Girl Dreams

One of the dreams of a man is to have a lovely, fair and auburn or golden hair girl as a friend and date. Another desire of man is to savor a relationship with an exotic woman, someone who is far away and creates an aura of mystery. Anastasia web caters to this desire. It shows the door to exotic women from Russia and periphery countries like Ukraine and the Baltic states.

Russia for long was under Communism and as Sir Winston Churchill called under an ‘Iron Curtain’. At that time it was very difficult to date Russian women. This was a period when an aura was built up around Russian girls and women. It is human nature to look for something inaccessible and Russian women behind the Iron Curtain were greatly desired. The collapse of communism opened the way to Russian women as dates and friends and even marriage. Anastasia web panders to this taste of the American and Canadian men for Russian women.

The site is a family run business that is committed to providing great value and service to its clients all over the world. The site is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents and the Central & Eastern Europe Travel Board, The site is owned by David and Elena Besuden who met in 1992.
Any prudent man will have questions about the site and these are addressed in succeeding paragraphs.

 Anastasia Web has been in existence since 1993. The site is a fast letter based international dating service, featuring beautiful women from Russia and the Ukraine. Its products can be listed below

a) The site primarily caters to men from USA, Canada and Western Europe and opens a door to friendship and dating Russian and CIS states women.
b) Anastasia has a sister site at for Russian and CIS women. It has over 60,000 men profiles.
c) The site profiles women who are all verified.
d) organizes romance tours for its members to Russia and the CIS countries. These tours give you a chance to meet your date in flesh and blood.These tours are organized frequently on a regular basis.
e) The site has over 150000 girls and women from Russia and the CIS countries as its members. As most of the girls know very little English the site has translation services that are a great hit.
f) The site is for Adults and operated by Anastasia International, Inc. You must be over 18 to become a member of the site.
g) Membership is free and one can easily become a member of the site at the click of a mouse. But further services are to be paid for and will cost money. This is done by purchasing credits.
h) Anastasia web will also help you rent apartments for your use in Russia, where you can stay with your Russian date or girlfriend.
Anastasia is a site that tries hard not to be labeled a scam site. But generally credits purchased are not refunded back. However if you have booked a romance tour and want to reschedule it the site will let you do the same.
The main office address in USA is
40 High St
Suite #1
Bangor, ME, 04401

Lastly the site arranges excellent romance tours which are a great success. There have been a few cases of prostitutes becoming members of the site, but the chance that you will meet a nice Russian girl is high. The site caters to an exotic dream of a Western man for a Russian girl as a date and even as a wife.

Napoleon and Waterloo: A Defeat that Ended an Era

The Crucial factor why Napoleon Lost at Waterloo.

Napoleon lost at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. This is a simplistic statement for the battle could have gone the French way in case the elements had favoured them.  Napoleon had a smaller army than the allies. The French army numbered 75,000 soldiers while the Allies led by the English, Prussians and Russians numbered 120,000. Thus the principle of war ‘concentration of Force’ as stated by Von Clausewitz favoured the collation.
Napoleon was aided by the veteran Marshal Ney while the coalition troops were led by the Duke of Wellington and Marshal Gerhard Von Blucher. Napoleon was an experienced campaigner and well understood the principles of war. He was aware that in case he was to win he had to get on the offensive and drive a wedge between the British and Russian armies. In case he had achieved this the battlefield would open and he could annihilate the Russians first before turning on the English.
A day prior to the battle Waterloo and the surrounding areas were swept by heavy rain. As Napoleon looked at the sky he must have felt a sense of dismay, as the rain and resultant slush would delay his charge as well as make it a slow moving affair. He had not envisaged that the elements would play havoc with his war plans.
Early on 18th morning the rain had stopped but the all-round slush remained. Napoleon after due deliberation decided to launch the offensive, but he had lost crucial time and more important the element of surprise was lost. When Marshal Ney led the assault the die had been cast in favor of the coalition army.  Napoleon rued his options, but they were limited as he could not also withdraw to a better defensive position.
 The charge of Marshal Ney after some initial success got bogged s down and Napoleon knew that the battle was lost. Had the weather remained fine and the charge launched earlier there is a distinct possibility that Napoleon would have carried the day.
With the bulk of the French army on the offensive Wellington struck at the headquarters of Napoleon and was able to make significant headway. Orders were given to Marshal Ney to turn back but by the time he returned the bulk of the French army had been destroyed and he ran straight into the coalition forces.

 Napoleon left the battlefield and hid in a small village, till he surrendered to the English who exiled him to St Helena an island in the South Atlantic. It was a tremendous defeat and signalled the end of Napoleon’s rule, but in hindsight we can see that had the elements of nature not intervened Napoleon may well have won the battle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Alberto Moravia and his novel " The Empty Canvas" is my Favorite

Alberto Moravia who died in 1990, is Italy’s greatest writer of the 20th century. I have read many of his books but nothing beats his ‘The Empty Canvas’ a novel that is considered one of the 100 great books of the 20th century. The novel was written in 1963 and also made into a movie.

The book is one of the explicit sexual statements of Alberto Moravia. It relates the story of a small time painter named Dino who is infatuated with a beautiful young model named Cecilia. However though Cecilia has sex with Dino she also shares her body with another lover an actor named Luciani.

The old painter Dino is unhappy at this and proposes marriage which she rejects. He plans to seduce her by taking her to his mansion which is owned by his mother. However the girl continues giving sexual favors to Luciani. A distraught Dino bangs his car against the wall and is injured. When he is in hospital he realizes that the affair must stop and despite Cecilia wanting the affair to continue he sends her packing.

Perhaps Alberto Moravia brought in his personal experience in this book as it was the period he left his wife and began to live with another woman.
The novel is among Moravia’s finest work and even after 50 years its worth a read. Originally published in Italian as La Noia, the translated version of the book is freely available. Moravia wrote many other books that have a charm of their own. Notable are " the women of Rome"  " Two Women" and "Time of Indifference"