Monday, March 30, 2015

Aghora Clan, Black magic and Sex in Graveyard

Black Magic

 Black magic is a word heard by almost all people; though very few are aware of the nuances involved. It actually means to please the devil that is the reverse of God. These black arts date to ancient times and many are laced with religion. These are pagan beliefs and are prevalent all over the world.

Who are the Aghori ?

 On such aspect of black magic is practiced in India by the Aghori clan. They are a part of the Hindu faith and are believed to have split off from the Kapilka order around 1000 AD, but the practices and beliefs go back to 4000 BC or the Vedic age.
The Aghori are worshippers of the God Shiva. Actually they worship the fierce manifestation of Shiva the Lord Kaal Bhairov.They are an extremely secretive community and use sex as part of their rituals to achieve supernatural powers. The use of sex is part of the belief that orgasm and sex in the company of the dead will give rise to super powers. It really is a form of channelizing of sexual energy and forms a part of tantra sex. This was propagated by Acharya Rajneesh and many westerns are influenced by it.

Tantra Sex

The Aghori clans perform tantric sex in a graveyard of the Hindus where the ashes of the cremated are strewn.  The ritual involves smearing a naked woman with the ashes in the grave yard and consummation of the act to the beat of drums and recitations of mantras. These mantras are the one that help release the sexual energy and leads to powers like ESP.

In the sex act the man and woman take the form of Shiva and his consort Shakti.  In many case the ritual involves sex with menstruating women and subsequent release of sexual energy.

Last Word
 This clan has its headquarters at Varanasi in Utter Pradesh. Many foreigners flock to this ashram in the hope of achieving ESP and other powers. Though this part of the act of developing super powers through sex is not substantiated, the fact remains that many men of this Aghori clan do have subtle powers that cannot be explained.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

How the Armed Forces Status was Devalued by the Political Leadership with Acquiescence from the General Staff

The Indian armed forces , in particular the army has a long and cherished history. It was a creation of East India Company and was known as the British Indian Army. During the days of the Raj, it is understandable that the army was a privileged force as it was the instrument of  power. After 1947 the Indian political leadership led by Nehru failed to realize that the army still continued as an instrument of power and national glory. perhaps Nehru had read , but never understood the purport of Mao tse Tung's famous quote" power comes from the barrell of a gun". This failure to understand the geo-political power structure and role of the armed forces led him to neglect the men in uniform. Another reason was his fear of a military coup and he bargained to downgrade the army perks and privileges at the first opportunity.

An aspect of the thinking of the political leadership( Congress party) can be gauged from a ridiculous statement made by Dr Rajendra Prasad, president of India in 1955, when he advocated that the army be disbanded and replaced on border by a police force.

The political leadership from 1951 started the process of devaluation of the men in uniform. the question that is avoided by most army top brass is about the role of the Indian Chefs of army starting with general Cariappa. These worthies just twiddled their thumbs  when the process of devaluation of rank and prestige was set in motion. Every  year the armed forces ranks were downgraded in the order of protocol and the sad part is that it was accepted by the army top brass. One fails to understand  that the Army chief who headed the most organized force in the country and yet he and his ilk never lifted a finger to protest as the devaluation of rank, pay , perks and pension was set in motion.Pay commissions downgraded the ratio of pension drawn to salary to 50% from the earlier 70% and overall the soldier was demeaned. I recollect in one of the pay commissions the soldier was equated to a peon. All this under the nose of the general staff.

The 1962 war did change some perceptions but the still the army chiefs never asserted themselves. After the 1971 war, the army chief could have got the moon, but for some reason the army never put its foot down on anything. It is all very well to blame the "Babus" for all the ills of the army, but I ask what did the general staff do ?  this is one of the ironies of history that the Indian general staff acquiescence with the government in all its manipulations. To cry wolf now has no meaning. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Muslim Wahabi groups are Poised to Devour the Pakistan State

Islamic terror groups have many hues and facets. Some of them are nurtured by the Pakistan government, in the fond hope that they will fight India and help wrest Kashmir for Pakistan. This is the bone of contention as after the vivisection of Pakistan in 1971 and creation of Bangladesh with Indian help, Pakistan wants revenge. Kashmir is one place they feel that they have a chance with its Muslim majority Population. Unfortunately the Kashmiri people are reasonably happy with India and do want to join a sectarian society like Pakistan
However terror groups cannot be kept on a leash and the Pakistan policy has boomeranged on it. Another more militant and ruthless Jihadist groups have emerged in Pakistan, who wishes to overthrow the Pakistan government and establish an Islamic caliphate based on the Sharia
Full Grown Terror Movement in Pakistan
 The Pakistan policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hound has badly backfired. The Wahhabi groups led by the Pakistan Taliban and Tehreek e Insaf have launched a violent struggle against Pakistan. The Jihadists fueled by the dream of a militant Islamic state, have been attacking airports and Pakistan army posts all over Pakistan. The recent Fedayeen attack on Karachi airport which left 37 dead is a pointer. Incidentally Karachi airport was heavily defended, yet its security was breached.
The Mountainous North West is the Center of Terror
 The North West of Pakistan that includes Waziristan and FATA (Federal Administered Territory) is highly inhospitable land. Spread over inaccessible mountains, this area for centuries has always defied authority. Even the British hold over this area was at best tenuous.  Now this mountainous area on the edge of Pakistan and Afghanistan is the epicenter of the Jihadi movement. Fighters from this area infiltrate to all parts of Pakistan and wreak uncontrollable destruction with Fedayeen attacks and suicide bombers.
The Armed Forces and Police are Suspect
In this fight against terror, the US is urging the Pakistan army to fight and destroy the movement in the mountains. This is easier said than done as the lower ranks of the Pakistan army and the Police have their sympathies with the so called Mujahedeen.
The police is suspect as was seen from the fact that the Punjab governor a liberal man who was against the blasphemy law was shot dead by his own body guard and the trial of the accused could not commence  as no lawyer is available to prosecute the killer who has the halo of a martyr. The sad part is that when this man was brought to court he was  showered with rose petals.
Even in the Pakistan army in one of the recent operations against the Pakistan Taliban, soldiers questioned why they were fighting the Mujahidin, when the real enemy was Hindu India.
The Battle in the North West Frontier
 After the recent brazen attacks on the pillars of Pakistan by the Wahhabi groups, which has shaken the foundations of the Pakistan state, the Government has asked the army to move against the militants in the tribal areas. The army has launched an operation, but it is 10 year too late.
Concept of Strategic Depth
Why did not the Pakistan army launch an operation earlier and snuff out the Taliban when they were relatively weak. This is because a section of the Military and civil establishment thought that the Jihadi groups would give the Pakistan army “strategic depth” to fight India.  It was a most silly notion, but it was championed by some powerful generals and the ISI. They never realized that the terror movement they were nurturing in their backyard would try and devour the Pakistan state itself.
The Future
Realization has at last dawned on the military and political establishment in Pakistan that the bigger danger is from the west. That is the reason that almost 70000, troops have been withdrawn from the Eastern border with India to fight the jihadi movement in the west. It’s a tossup as to what will be the result. The Pakistan army may not win a decisive victory, which eluded even the Americans and earlier the British, who fought in these areas in the 19th century.

The only course is to make peace with India and concentrate on the movement that wishes to destroy Pakistan. It requires a complete change of strategy and thought and yet it’s unlikely that Pakistan can get away from its India obsession.

" The Lustful Turk" by Anonymous is great Erotic Literature; Not to be Missed

Must Read “The Lustful Turk” by Anonymous as it opens an erotic world of the 19th Century

The Lustful Turk" is a lovely erotic book attributed to an anonymous writer. The book was first published anonymously in 1828 by John Benjamin Brookes and reprinted by William Dugdale( 1800-1868). Incidentally Dugdale  was a sort of revolutionary, who had the courage to publish erotic books and for this was sent to jail many time. He died when he was incarcerated at the Clerkenwell house of correction in 1868
The  Basis of the Story
 The story matches the famous “Night in a Moorish Harem" and once you start you cannot put it down. The story is set in the 19th century when the white slave trade was on and the Arab Sheikhs desired golden and fair colored European virgins for their harems. Woe, betide a man who did not bring a true virgin replete with hymen for the Arab Beys and Sultans.

The Plot

The story concerns two white girls who are kidnapped and incorporated into the Beys harem. They win his confidence and rise up in the hierarchy of the harem. The book is simply lovely to read and I wonder who wrote it. It is obviously written in the 19th century like "Venus in India ".
The author has followed a unique method of narration, which is through letters from the Heroine Emily Barlow to her friend Sylvia Carey. The story starts when Emily sails from England to India and her ship is captured by Moslem pirates and she is taken to Ali, the Dey of Algiers. He rapes her but awakens untold desires in her bosom.
Later Ali arranges becomes enamored of Sylvia and gets her abducted.  He follows a terrific charade as he puts her up for auction in the slave market and as per plan rescues her and wins her love. Ali now loves both girls and the descriptions are about the best I have read.
The End

The novel also incorporates interpolated stories concerning the erotic misadventures of three other girls. The ruler(Ali’s) member is cut with a knife by a slave girl and  a chastised Ali sends the girls back to England.

History Page;The Hittite Empire in the Bronze Age

Wall Mural from that age                                     


Development of Civilization in Middle East ( Turkey)
The Middle East and the Near East has been the cradle of world civilization. Much before the birth of Christ, this region supported advanced civilizations that were the precursor of modern civilizations. One of the civilizations in this region was the Hittite empire that flourished from eighteenth century BCE–ca. 1178 BCE. This period coincides with the Bronze Age and the start of the Iron Age. Historians have concluded that the Hittite empire though strictly belonging to the Bronze Age was in real terms the forerunners of the Iron Age. The Bronze Age lasted in the Near East from 3600-1200 BCE. This period is identified when people started using copper and its alloy bronze. This characteristic is considered as a feature of an urban civilization. The Hittite empire thrived during this period.
The Hittite Empire
This Hittite Empire was founded by a leader who is referred to as Labana. Later rulers expanded the kingdom and in 1595 BC attacked Babylon. The Bible (Old Testament) mentions that the Hittites ruled from 2300 to about 1100 BC. The Book of Genesis describes the Hittites as the descendents of Heth through Canaan, youngest son of Ham.

The Hittites Empire was head quartered at Hattusa in North Central Anatolia. This area comprises present day Turkey. It is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Armenian Highland to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Hittites are considered ancient Anatolian people who developed an advanced civilization. The empire came to an end in the Bronze Age in 1180 BCE, when the empire broke up into smaller independent Neo-Hittite states, some of which survived till the 8th century BC.
Zenith of Hittite Empire
The Empire reached its zenith around mid 1400 BC under Suppiluliuma I. The Hittites developed an advanced military arsenal and were the first to use the chariots for war in the near and Middle East. The chariots were used earlier in India as brought out in the Mahabharata during the battle of Kurukshetra in 4000 BC.
Archaeological evidence is available that shows that towards the end of the Hittite empire the use of iron artefacts was prevalent; This from 1400 BC and started from the time of Suppiluliuma I. Historians have concluded that the Hittites were a fairly advanced civilization. The Capital of the Hittite Empire was Hattusa. This was almost the heart of the Empire surrounded by the Halys River, which formed a natural demarcation of the region.
Consolidation of Hittite Empire
The Hittite Empire was the dominant force in this region and during the reign of Mursili II, the empire encompassed a vast area, that touched modern Lebanon in the south and the Kaskian territories in the west.
Historians consider the Hittite Empire as part of 3 distinct periods. These have been classified as the Old Hittite Kingdom (ca. 1750–1500 BCE), the Middle Hittite Kingdom (ca. 1500–1430 BCE) and the New Hittite Kingdom (the Hittite Empire proper, 1430–1180 BCE).
The Sun Sets on Hittite Empire
The Hittite Empire had its downward curve during the fifteenth century BCE. During this period the Empire was weakened till it was again restored to glory by Tudhaliya I from ca. 1400 BCE. Suppiluliuma I and Mursili II were other two kings who consolidated Hittite Empire.
After the exit of these rulers the Empire came into clash with the Egyptians and the Assyrians. In 1300 BCE the Hittites fought wars with the Egyptians and the Assyrians, but the sun had set on the empire. Civil war broke out and the empire disintegrated into smaller states which also collapsed by the 8th century BC.
Last Word
The Hittite Empire is a significant event in world history, but due to a paucity of written records it is generally placed below the Indo –Aryan and Chinese civilizations.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gandhi: Some Unpalatable facts that Show a Frightening Resolve to Further his Image

Some Facts about Gandhi: He was a man  interested only in his Image

Gandhi is the holy cow in the world and many people talk of him as a saint. Much of this adulation is perpetuated by Richard Attenborough with his Film “Gandhi”. However Gandhi is not what he claimed to be. In fact he was an out and out politician who just wanted to further his ideas and was ruthless to anybody who opposed him. As an example Gandhi described the militant Indian youth fighting against British Imperialism as ' misguided souls ‘. He often said that militant nationalism was injurious to India's struggle for freedom. In reality he knew that if those methods became popular among the Indian masses his own popularity would decline, and his ' Mahatma Hood ' may disappear.

When the British sentenced Bhagat Singh to death, Gandhi made no effort to save his life.  He never wrote any letter to the British Viceroy to commute his sentence, nor did he issue any public appeal for this purpose, and he never went to meet Bhagat Singh in jail when the latter was on hunger strike. Gandhi's compromise with the British on their executions made him unpopular, and he was greeted with negative slogans and black flags wherever he went.

By diverting the genuine freedom struggle against the British from its revolutionary path to harmless and nonsensical channels like satyagraha, Gandhi was ensuring that British rule over India would continue.
It is said that Gandhi gave us Independence in 1947. This is totally false. In fact by diverting the genuine revolutionary independence struggle against the British in India to harmless and nonsensical channels like ' Satyagraha ' Gandhi was ensuring that India should not become independent.

Why then did the British leave? Surely it was not because of the dramas Gandhi was carrying out like  fasting , salt march, non-cooperation and such things. I ask , does a nation  give up its Empire because of this? Did America win independence from England by satyagraha, or by bullets fired by George Washington's Continental Army in the American War of independence (1775-1781)? Did Latin America win independence from Spain by satyagraha, or by Bolivar's battles? Did Lenin come to power by Satyagraha or a revolution with guns?The fact is the British left of their own will after being emaciated by Hitler and losing the support of the British Indian army.
The image conscious Gandhi,an egotist?

It is a travesty of Indian history that the Congress party came to power after the British left and they rewrote history where the real patriots who fought for independence are barely mentioned. They have been reduced to a footnote in the history books. The Mahatma and his coterie, are depicted as the real freedom fighters, nothing could be further from truth

Musings on OROP and the Ministry of Defense

Two facets of neighbours

Recently I read a letter written by Lt General SK Bahri, PVSM to the Raksha Mantri making a very relevant point, that the civilian officers of the MOD are not involving the service headquarters in the formulation of the tables in the implementation of the OROP. From the letter of the Lt General it appears that the experts in the defense services are not involved in the formulation of the tables and government implementation letter. I do believe in every word the general has written.

At the outset I must state here that General SK Bahri has done a great service to the military fraternity by writing on a very important point to the RM. All credit must also go to General Satbir Singh and his team  for fighting and representing to the government facts for the approval of OROP. But I must also say that this sanction for OROP would not have come if the PM, Narendra Modi had not given a fiat to the RM and FM to approve OROP. After all this demand was pending for 2 decades and many representations made to previous governments and nothing happened. If Modi had not intervened, there is every chance that OROP would not have come. Please read

Where do we go from here? The one fact that is consistently highlighted is the complete irrelevance of the general Staff and COAS for the last 2 decades plus or shall I say 6 decades?. By a combination of circumstance coupled with lack of will power the general staff is unable to pressurize the government on any point. To always blame the ‘Babus’ is not correct.

 The fact is the top brass are like lost sheep in a valley. If the top brass had any say,  the MOD would not have had  the temerity to ignore the services in the formulation of the tables and the government of India letter. This makes sad reading and one wonders why in a country like India with a massive army such things happen. I have earlier also pointed out that even in a pacifist nation like Burma the army calls the shots.
I am a dreamer and hope that things will even out. Maybe at one stage a strong army chief will come who will fight for national interests, for it is in the national interest to look after men who have donned the uniform for the nation. More important there has to be an awareness that the Indian soldier is ‘our’ man. He is the pride of India and this has to be instilled in the hearts of the common Indian.

My father ( retired Group Captain) , my great uncle ( Army doctor during WW II) and me have put in over a 100 years in the service of the Indian armed forces, I hope I have the right to write these lines.

Book Review : Venus in India by Charles Devereus

Venus in India 
Cover of the famous book, a must read erotica

Erotica is a subject that is both hated and loved. The prude will look down and term it obscenity, while another person will consider it an essential part of life. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in-between.
One of the classics of erotic literature has India as a background and the Anglo Afghan war as a part of scenario. The novel is a memoire and delineates the life of a young officer of the British army in a cantonment in the North West frontier.
It’s a lovely book and the hero seduces 3 sisters who are daughters of a British colonel. The love scenes are graphic, but written almost like poetry in motion and making the erotic scenes more like a dream.
The writer of the book is supposed to be a man named Charles Devereus. But there is no record of any such officer in the British Indian army. It was perhaps written to keep the writers name anonymous. Now people conjecture that it was perhaps written by Major Crommelin Henry Ricketts, who retired in 1871 and belonged to the 5th Cavalry stationed at Madras.  He had a long stint of 21 years in the Indian army.

The 3 sister Mabel, Fanny and Amy have written their names in the world of erotica. A wonderful book if you have time to spare for once you start you won’t be able to leave it. The book weaves an exciting tale and show cases army life in the North West Frontier during the days of the Raj.
Military life was hard, but Major Ricketts had a rollicking time

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Visiting Ladakh the exotic area of India

Ladakh was always an independent kingdom that paid allegiance to the Dalai Lama sitting in Lhasa. In fact records show that Ladakh was an independent country for close to 2000 years. After the spread of Buddhism, Ladakh became an outpost of Tibet and the Dalai Lama was recognized as the ruler.
In the nineteenth century (1825-30) the Sikh general of Ranjit Singh named Zorawar Singh, conquered this state and established Sikh rule over it. The Tibetan forces were routed and the entire state was annexed by Ranjit Singh. With the end of Sikh rule, the British as a reward to the Prime Minister of the Sikh Empire for his treachery Gulab Singh was made maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh became part of his kingdom. When the state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947, Ladakh also became part of the Indian union.
The State

Ladakh is a mountainous state with its capital at Leh. The city is at a height of 12000 feet above sea level and boasts the highest operational airfield in the world. The people are predominantly Buddhist and the state is rich in monasteries and pagodas. The capital Leh is connected by air to Delhi and Chandigarh. Hence reaching Leh is not a problem. The airfield is managed by the Air Force with one corner being earmarked for the civil terminus. There is no rail link and if one has to travel by road the route is tortuous and starts from Srinagar.
Travelling in Ladakh
Three years back Ladakh had a cloud burst and much of the state was destroyed. However the state has recovered from the effects of the cloudburst and one can now safely visit Leh and Ladakh. The good news is that the main market in Leh, including adjacent hotels and guest houses  remained unaffected.

The roads to popular destinations which were affected have been repaired. Thus the roads to Nubra Valley, Pangong lake, Tso Moriri and the old monasteries are again accessible. Visiting the monasteries is itself like a dream as one will come across an atmosphere that is not prevalent anywhere else except in Tibet. The Monasteries are the repository of Buddhist culture.
Jesus and Ladakh
Many research scholars have speculated that Jesus did not die on the cross and came to Kashmir. Records in the Monasteries are available which refer to Isa Masih (Name for Jesus). The beauty of Ladakh lies in its monasteries. One can spend hours here and also peruse the libraries. Visiting the bare brown colored Himalayas is a delight. One will see that there is hardly a tree in the entire region. It’s an experience that has to be relished. I am lucky as thanks to my career in the Air Force I spent so much time in Ladakh and must have landed at Leh at least 20-30 times.

Last word
Visiting Ladakh is an experience that is unique. I will recommend a visit to this exotic land. One can fly direct from Delhi to Leh. It will be an experience landing at the highest airfield in the world. I can safely say there is no place like Ladakh anywhere in the world.

Tale of Lilith : First Wife of Adam?

 Mythology: Was Lilith the First Wife of Adam

Lilith a beautiful Goddess who cursed
Not many Christians are aware of Lilith.  Even in missionary schools  nobody mentions about Lilith . Now we know that Lilith is part of Jewish folklore and has a Biblical reference, Isaiah 34:14. This refers to Lilith as a demon of the desert.
Lilith is characterized as an enemy of new born children. Many confuse Lilith with another demon Lamasthu, who is known as a child slayer. The ancients regarded Lilith as a female version of incubus or a succubus.h
Who was Lilith?
Who really was Lilith? Post biblical literature regards that Lilith was the first wife of Adam. The myth makes interesting reading in the present age. Early Biblical literature (Alphabet Ben Sir) mentions that between the 7th and 10th century when God created Adam he also created Lilith. It goes on to mention that Lilith was a headstrong woman who refused to submit to Adam and to avoid this she left Adam. However realizing the gravity of the situation God brought Lilith back with the help of 3 angels. The question that must arise in the mind of the reader is where Eve came in. God created Eve after Lilith left.
She was told by the angels in case she did not go back to Adam and submit to him her new born children would be devoured. Lilith did come back to Adam after this threat but she cursed that all newborn male infants up to their 8th day and female newborn infants up to their 20th day would all die. This belief remained strong in Jewish European communities and women wore protective amulets or kept them near their beds. 
Last Word
Lilith and her legend is being resurrected now and Jewish feminist theorists are working to create a new image of Lilith and trying to reinterpret her presence in respect of the popular story of Adam and Eve. Many would like Lilith to be rehabilitated in mythology and folklore.

"Grapes of Wrath" a Classic from American Literature Revisited

Remembering John Steinbeck’s Novel “Grapes of Wrath”

John Steinbeck's ‘The Grapes of Wrath ' is one of the classical American novels of all time. The novel took 3 years to write and is a book of passion about life of fellow Americans. The theme of the novel is to say the least unusual and relates the story of 300,000 farmers from Oklahoma, east Texas and Arkansas in U.S.A. who had to abandon their farms because of the great Depression and drought and had no choice but to migrate westwards towards California.

Steinbeck has created a character called  Tom Joad as the hero, who is head of one such family.  Joad is one of the migrants who has lost his livelihood and decides to travel west to California, which he assumed like others to be a land of plenty.
However, they were met there with hostility by the local people, who thought that the migrants (who became known as 'Okies') would take away their jobs or depress their wages by competition, and bring in slums and diseases. They jeered at the migrants, attacked them, and sometimes burned their camps.
John Steinbeck, aa great novelist

The migrant families lived in horrible conditions, without proper food, water or sanitation, and often travelling from place to place looking for work. Families which once owned a farm and raised vegetables, corn, chicken and pigs were now living in squalor in card board houses. Their clothes soiled, and barely enough food to eat.
Steinbeck brought out the horrors of America, which were buried under the carpet; People who were so poor that they could not buy food and drank water from dirty irrigation ditches.
In one poignant scene the novel describes how a young malnourished woman, Rose, whose own child died stillborn, breast feeds a starving old man who would have died otherwise.
  The novel describes vividly the journey of the Joad family from Oklahoma to California. On the way the, the grandparents die and some members of the family split and go away. The Joads allow a priest, Jim Casey, to join them on the way. Casey loses his belief in God on seeing the misery, and remarks “There’s no sin, and there am not no virtue, there's just stuff people do ". 

Writing the book became a single obsession for Steinbeck. He wrote 5 or 6 days a week,  and worked  himself to exhaustion.
Steinbeck called his novel ' The Grapes of Wrath '. Ripe grapes spill their juices when pressed for wine. The migrant families were ripe with wrath or anger that was ready to spill forth.
 Steinbeck's book was published in 1939 and created an uproar in America. Some people like California planters and big businessmen launched a campaign to defame Steinbeck and discredit his book. He was labeled a liar and accused of being swayed by communist ideas. All this greatly discouraged Steinbeck and he wondered where the world was heading.

 But there was a silver lining in Ms. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt who after visiting the migrant camps commented that Steinbeck had not exaggerated anything in the book 'Grapes of Wrath' “.
Henry Fonda in "Grapes of Wrath"

Hollywood paid its tribute to the novel and Twentieth Century Fox made Grapes of Wrath. The film starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad. All credit to producer Darryl Zanuck who made the film exactly as Steinbeck had depicted. The Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorite Books and deserves all the accolades one can think off.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Custom of "CHADDAR" and widow of elder Brother Marrying Younger Brother


 “Chaddar” literally translated means Bed sheet. Before I write anything further on this subject its worth stating that in  Hindu society particularly in the Punjab a woman had no share in the property. Thus in case a husband died his wife would have a difficult time as she inherited nothing. All this was only changed in 1955 when Nehru brought about the Hindu marriage act
How Society Reacted to Widows Rehabilitation
 Punjabi society had its own solution for a problem of a widow and her future life. They adopted a custom that took care of this problem. Nobody is aware how this custom originated. The custom involved the wife of a deceased man marrying the younger brother (her brother in law). This was done in a brief ceremony where the widow placed a white Chaddar (bed sheet) on the younger brother. From that moment she became the wife of the younger brother. This was done to keep the woman in the same family and provide protection to children from the first marriage. Otherwise her life was doomed. As can be assumed woman was forced into this alliance by the mother in laws.
Practical Aspects of Chaddar
  Placing the chaddar had its own problems. In some cases a widow became the second wife of her brother in law. In other cases the bridegroom was much younger than the widow, yet the marriage was consummated. There were cases of a widow entering a new house hold where there were already pubescent daughters. This had its own problems but the generally placing the chaddar on the younger brother gave a new lease of life to the widow in terms of sex, companionship and status.
Effect of the Chaddar on Land Holdings
One reason for placing the chaddar is to stop fragmentation of land holdings. In the Punjab land has tremendous value and agricultural land in particular is a status symbol. This is particularly prevalent among the Jat community, who are the major owners of land in the Punjab.
Once a woman cast a chaddar on her husband’s younger brother she became his wife and all the land owned by the elder brother came to the younger brother. Thus fragmentation of the agricultural lands was avoided and land remained within the family.
New Life for the widow.
Women in Hindu and Sikh society had no place after she became a widow. Widow remarriage started vary late only in late 19th century.  By having the ceremony of the Chaddar, in fact gave a new life to the widow. She again became a married woman a ‘Suhagan’. There was no stigma attached to such marriages and the religious leaders supported this custom.
Children born of the elder husband also found a home. Though some piquant situations were created in that an earlier wife (in case the brother was married) had to adjust to the new wife also.
Success of Such marriages
Such marriages were generally successful. One reason for this is the fascination in Indian folklore for the Bhabhi or wife of the elder brother for the younger brother. Umpteen tales and ballads talk of the love between a Bhabhi and her Devar (younger brother of the husband). Thus all marriages fell in a groove and were generally successful.
The opinion of the widow was never taken and she was expected to place the white chaddar around her husband’s younger brother at the earliest opportunity after the funeral of her husband. Grieving and mourning for any length of time was not in vogue.

Many writers have written about this custom. But the most famous novel on this subject is “Ek Chaddar Mailee see” (One soiled Bed sheet). This novel which was also made into a film mirrors the clash in Punjabi society when such marriages took place.
The novel relates the tale of a husband who is murdered by some people who suspected he had raped their sister in a temple. The widow named Rano is forced to place the chaddar around the shoulders of her brother in-law who is 10 years younger to her and who she had treated all along as a child. The pubescent daughter becomes very zealous of her mother and uncles marriage and even tries to end her life. The novel highlight’s such incidents, but overall the effect of placing the chaddar on the younger brother’s shoulders was good.
Last word.
The custom has now almost frittered away as with greater awareness and new laws brought in by the government incorporating rights for women, the chaddar is almost obsolete. But when it was active it served a purpose.

Do the Christians Feel for India ? Looking to Rome will not do

A question that is going around in the minds of many people is whither Christianity? here is a faith that has extra territorial loyalties and yet they claim all the rights as Indians. I am talking basically of the Roman Catholics and not other sects like the Protestants. The Catholics have never immersed themselves fully in Indian culture and it is a matter of fact that their missionaries slander Hindu gods   and claim that the only way to salvation is Jesus Christ. I had a friend , I will not name me here and this man who was a priest started every conversation by condemning the RSS as anti - Indian. I could die laughing on a bed of nails at the type of arguments put forward by my friend.                                                                                    
Christianity came to India during the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar. they had their best time when the British ruled India. The missionaries during the days of British rule spread out in the hinterland and tribal areas and made strenuous attempts to convert the people , but they failed. In two centuries of state supported conversion, they could only convert 2% of the Indian population, despite inducements of money and gifts.    

The Christians not used to any discussion and opposition to the spread of their faith by inducements or otherwise have now cried foul at some sporadic incidents, which by themselves have been minor ones. An example is a stone thrown at a church in Panvel and another in Haryana.     The Catholic community has blown these minor incidents as an attempt to attack catholics.  They are citing the case of  the   rape of the Nun in Bengal as an example. Unfortunately this particular crime is a law and order case and rapes are taking place all over India and not limited to Catholics, but Catholics would have us believe that this rape is an example of discrimination against catholics. 

I am afraid the Catholics do not know what persecution is or was in India when the Moslem invaders destroyed thousands of temples and executed hundreds of priests. Used to a protected life and looking for support from Rome, the Catholics feel that     a stone or two thrown by a miscreant is 'persecution'.
One lady who came as a missionary and has publicly stated that her aim was to convert the people to the Catholic faith Mother Teresa  is a perfect example. Poverty was not her concern and all she did was to spread the gospel. 

Its about time the Catholics realized that they cant have the bread and butter as well. They can't look to Rome and have suspect loyalty to India   . They can't denigrate Hindu gods and claim that their faith is the best. I hope they see reason and live their life. One should be clear that with 200 years of British rule the catholics failed to carry out mass conversion, and ended up converting only a few shudras or lower castes; they are not likely to succeed now. So live and let live.                                                                                  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

General VK Singh is Known to Shoot Himself in The Foot: The Pakistan Day Imbroglio

The incident in the Pakistan High Commission on celebration of Pakistan day could have been avoided. the star player in this entire episode is general VK Singh who has not exactly covered himself with glory, with a childish and amateurish approach,
23 March was Pakistan day celebration and as usual the High Commission had sent out invitations to many dignitaries including the Government of India. They as usual also invited the leaders of the separatist Hurriat to attend also.
General VK Singh as the Minister of State was deputed to attend the dinner and and he reportedly left after 10 minutes. The problem is that late at night he tweeted two contentious tweets. Firstly he tweeted that he attended ass a 'Duty" and secondly he tweeted his "disgust". This was totally unnecessary  More so he undermined the authority of the Prime Minister  who had deputed him to attend the dinner.
If Singh had any objection he should have brought it out before the dinner and not after the dinner, late at night. Obviously Modi and the government is not pleased and the general has been pulled up. I wonder if the general is thinking he is bigger than India. He was a representative of India and it was a matter of protocol. There was no excuse of the general tweeting his 'disgust'. I am afraid the general has done himself great harm and has cut his wings in the rise to further position and  power.  I won't be surprised if he is  eased out. In any case he has cut a sorry figure.

Kissing is very Important: Don't Lose Sight of it

Kissing and Expression of love

First Kiss
My friend vividly recalls his first kiss with his wife a decade ago. They were sitting on the couch in her dad's living room and as he leaned over to kiss her, he lost his balance and fell off the couch, pulling her down with him. This was because he was so nervous and tensed up. The fact is that most couples feel abashed to talk about their first kiss more out of embarrassment than anything else.
But one thing that must stand out is that there is no harm in asking what your partner prefers. However make it a point not to ask this question at the time of kissing.
Art of Kissing
Most men all over the world feel that that the women don't open their mouths wide enough while women feel men are too demanding. Basically it boils down to the fact that there is a lack of variety. Kissing does not mean just kissing the lips but there is a need to kiss different parts of your partners face. Remember what theKama Sutra of Vatsyayana says- the two most memorable effect of a kiss is pleasing your partner and that will please you immensely.
Gentle Kisses are Love
Modern sociologists recommend something similar to Vatsyayana. They suggest gentle kisses on the neck, move up to the ear, then go to the lips. Take some small breaks and then come back to the lips. The idea should be to enjoy a kiss in a relaxed manner.
Kissing is an expression of Love
Steamy kissing sessions normally take place while dating and on honeymoons. But later on, when people are in a long-term relationship, they too often stop kissing and lose that intimate connection. A Redbook poll reveals that 79% of women said they don't kiss their husbands nearly as much as they'd like. Bear in mind that just because you are familiar with a partner over the years there is no reason not to kiss frequently. Kissing is an expression of love and once when you kiss you don’t have to say ‘I love you’.
Last word
Maybe reading the Kama Sutra will be a help. It describes many ways of kisses and for a couple these can be a great fillip to their relationship in case they can add variety to their kissing by kissing in as many ways as possible.
Kissing is also a sign of honesty for in case you love and cherish your partner the urge to kiss will always be there.

Art Of Seduction: Age Old but Needs Finesse

Best way to conquer a woman

The best way to conquer a woman is by seduction. Seduction is an art by itself. This art gives great satisfaction to a man. It is akin to a victory in battle; hence the art of seduction’s importance cannot be underestimated. Seduction is the road to conquest and conquering women is one of the foremost desires of man down the ages.
Before we proceed further we must bear in mind that each woman is unlike another. There can be no similarities as each woman has a different mental makeup and psyche.
A man must work out a seduction with meticulous detail .There is a possibility that a man  may be interested and admire a woman staying next to your building or some lady who’s your colleague. You may lust for her and fantasize about her in the nude. The only way the dream can be fulfilled is by seducing the woman. It is akin to conquest of an enemy. Bear in mind that seducing a woman is not a complicated affair and if you go by your instinct there is every chance that you will possess the woman and effectively conquer her. I will state a few golden rules
1. The first thing to remember that the age old art of giving compliments is something that will always bring dividends. Every woman loves to get compliments from her man!  and the way she carries herself elegantly.
2. Being mysterious is another key to seducing a woman. Try to be a bit mysterious in the beginning, send her flowers and gifts titled from a secret admirer and when you get a clue that she is getting restless to know who you are, then set up a time and place where you would meet her.
3. By nature, women are romantic and love the excitement involved in romance. Make every date special and make your girl feel that she’s most beautiful woman that you have ever seen. Women love to be pampered so be sweet gentleman.
4. Making eye contact is another great way of seducing a woman. You can stroke her hands with your fingertips or touch her hair lightly and whisper in her ears or just express your feelings through your eyes. The more expressive you are with your moves the better it is.
5. Women find confident men sexy. Most of the times when in a conversation with your girl, she would give you the recipe of how she can be seduced. So keep your ears open and analyze what she says.
6. Don’t jump in a relationship. Move step by step. First, win her heart and then move further. Make your conversations interesting and then listen to her on what she has to say. The best way is to win the mind and heart and the body would follow automatically.

7. Another secret of turning on a woman is kindling her emotions. If you can win her emotionally then winning the physical aspect is not very difficult. If you have the ability to move her emotionally then you wouldn’t have a problem in winning her in entirety..

Sunday, March 22, 2015

History of the Chamar Regiment from 1943-46. Raising and disbandment


The British Raj lasted for close to 200 years. During this period the British laid the foundation of the present Indian army. However the British laid down a selective recruitment policy. Their policy embraced two major concepts.
a) The British by  virtue of their experience in India enunciated the concept of martial and non-martial races. They considered the Sikhs, Jats, Rajputs, Punjabi's, Gurkha, Maharatta etc as martial races and only recruited from them for the British Indian army.
b) The British maintained caste and class based regiments. Thus the Indian army had Sikh regiments, Rajput regiments etc. This militated against the Principles of War, but in actual battle conditions these caste based regiments were very successful. Many regiments covered themselves glory.

World War II
 The British were happy with the force level of the Indian army which was about 450,000.  This army served the British cause and also helped fight oversea wars for the British from China to Tibet. The army also helped to maintain law and order in India.
The advent of Hitler and his starting the Second World War with Japan as his ally shook the British. As the Japanese over ran SE Asia in 1942-43 the inadequacy of the British Indian army was exposed. A decision by the Imperial government in London headed by Winston Churchill was taken to augment the force level of the Indian army. It was planned to raise its strength to 2.5 million.

A committee appointed by the British Indian army recommended the inclusion of Chamars in the Indian army. The Chamars are lower caste Hindus and are mostly cobblers. However they had a history of fighting as soldiers in Central India against the Jats. A decision was taken to raise a regiment of Chamars. However the British retained the caste character of the army and also kept in mind the martial traditions while recruiting.
The Raising of the Chamar Regiment.
The Chamar regiment was raised towards the end of 1943 and was thrown into battle against the Japanese Imperial army. It formed part of 168 Division of the Indian army and was commanded by Brigadier Dyer.
 The Regiment fought very well and pushed the Japanese back along with other Indian forces out of Burma. Rangoon was captured and no mean part was played by the Chamar Regiment. Many distinguished officers like General Ayub Khan served in the Chamar regiment.

Disbandment of the Chamar Regiment
In 1945 the Second World War came to an end after the dropping of the Atomic bombs on Japan. Suddenly a force of 2.5 million became a luxury and an emaciated England could ill afford such a large army. It was decided to restore the Indian army to pre- war force levels.
Mass scale demobilization was ordered and the newly raised regiments faced the first axe. The British retained the old Sikh, Gurkha and Jat regiments and demobilized all others. Almost 2 million soldiers were sent home. The Chamar Regiment was also disbanded in 1945 end and it ceased to exist except in the history books.

Legend of Bidhi Chand and Horses Dilbagh and Gulbagh


Bhai Bidhi Chand is an important man in Sikh history. Over a period of time many legends have been built around his name, but there is no doubt he was a very brave man. Bhai Bidhi Chand was a Hindu from the Chinna caste and was born about 40 km from Amritsar around 1550(his exact date of birth is disputed)

His early life is nondescript and he whiled away most of the time. Later as a young man he joined a gang of thieves and spent time robbing and selling the stolen property. One day he stole a buffalo from the village. The villagers were incensed as they realized that Bidhi Chand may have stolen the buffalo. They gave chase and Bidhi Chand had no option, but to hide in the cottage of a Sikh named Bhai Adali.

Conversion to Sikhism

Bhai Adali offered to save Bidhi Chand, but made a condition that he give up being a thief and join the congregation of the 5th Guru Arjun Dev. A frightened Bidhi Chand agreed and presented himself at the durbar of the 5th Guru. He became a reformed man and began to serve the Guru. After the martyrdom of the 5th guru he continued in service of the 6th guru Hargovind

. During this period he carried out a daring act for which he is remembered in Sikh history and two paintings of his exploits are on display at the Sikh museum in Amritsar.

Presentation of the Horses

It so happened that an Afghan trader who was an admirer of Guru Hargovind wished to present two thoroughbred Arabian horses named Dilbagh and Gulbagh to the 6th Guru. While bringing the horses from Kabul, the Muslim governor of Lahore seized them and kept them in the Lahore Fort.

The Afghan trader petitioned Guru Hargovind and asked that the horses be rescued so he could present them to the guru. A smiling guru asked for a volunteer and Bidhi Chand wished to be given this task. Accordingly the guru gave the task to Bidhi Chand and also blessed him.

Rescue of the First Horse

Bidhi Chand entered the Lahore fort disguised as a grass cutter. At night he drugged the guards with wine and escaped with one of the horses, by jumping over a low wall. He took the horse to the Guru, but the horse would not eat anything as it missed his companion. The guru called Bidhi Chand and told him
“ Look, this horse is not eating anything as he misses his companion. Bidhi, either you return this horse back to the governor or bring the second horse also”
The guru then suggested to Bhai Bidhi Chand that he had only done half the work and either he should complete the work as he thought fit..

The Second Horse

Bidhi Chand again entered the Lahore fort, this time disguised as a soothsayer. He promised to find where the first horse was and also how the horse was taken away. For this he requested to mount the horse as after that it will be clear how the horse was taken away. The guards readily agreed and allowed Bidhi Chand to mount the horse.
This was a fatal mistake as Bidhi Chand with a shout mounted the horse and dug in his heels and with the horse leapt over the low wall into the river Ravi, which runs by the side of the fort.

It was a daring act and soon he rode into the arms of Guru Hargovind with the second horse. Thus both the horsesDilbagh and Gulbagh were united and became part of the guru's stables.

Last Word

The tale of the bravery of Bidhi Chand is part of Sikh folklore and is generally considered authentic. He was a brave warrior for the Guru and took part in many battles before leaving for his heavenly abode in 1640. His story is also read by children in India in comic form

The Fastest Bowler of them all: Roy Gilchrist

The fastest of them all

The West Indies have produced a spate of fast bowlers. Maybe it is in their genes, but the fastest bowlers have come from the Caribbean’s. One such pace bowler was Roy Gilchrist, though in present times many feel that he may have been unfairly treated.
I have no doubt that at one time Roy was the fastest in the world and mind you he was faster than Wes Hall, who was pretty fast himself. While hall played many tests and took close to 200 wickets, Gilchrist played only 13.
Gilchrist came to India with Gerry Alexander's team. He opened the bowling in the test matches and the Indian batsmen had a torrid time against him. I remember reading that Pankaj Roy while facing Gilchrist at the Eden Gardens commented that he just could not see the balls delivered by Gilchrist.
Gilchrist however had a strained relationship with the captain, Gerry Alexander. In fact he had been left out of the Kanpur test because of indiscipline. But he was back with a bang in the remaining tests. Gerry an old world cricketer did not like the superfast beamer that Gilchrist bowled sometimes and had cautioned him on many occasions.
The dam burst at the end of the tour when the West Indies played a match against Punjab which was captained by Swaranjit Singh an Oxford blue and class mate of Alexander. Gilchrist bowled to Singh, who hit him for a four. This irked the pace bowler who bowled a beamer. Alexander who was the wicket keeper went up to Gilchrist and admonished him for it. Gilchrest marked his run up and bowled another beamer at the head of Singh, which narrowly missed his turban.
This was the last straw; Alexander took Gilchrist off and wrote a report about him to the West Indies board. Gilchrist never again played for the West Indies. It was a sad end to a really fine fast bowler whose mean streak took the better of him.

Extra Marital Love affair: The Overall Picture

What is an extra marital affair? In simple language it is a physical relationship by either spouse with another woman or man out side marriage. It means a relationship with a man or a woman who is not your legal partner. Generally it is seen that men are more prone to extra marital affairs. Why? This again is rooted in the genes of a man. Through out history   sociologists have come to the conclusion that man is by nature polygamous while a woman  is by nature monogamous. This has its inevitable fall out in an extra marital love affair. 
Generally such love affairs are not platonic in nature and to qualify as an extra marital affair a physical relationship is a requirement. A platonic love affair will not come under the definition of an extra-marital love affair.

What if your man is having an extra marital affair? How can you tell? This is a million dollar question and though the answer is simple yet a certain amount of alertness on the part of the wife will go along way in unraveling a knotty problem. 
Tell Tale Signs
a) Firstly a man is apt to forget simple things which he is told to do by his wife. He may forget to bring the required vegetables or attend to an important issue at home. He may forget to pay the school dues of the son or daughter. 
b) A man will start keeping late hours and be more and more out of home.  He could say there is extra work in his office or he is doing overtime on the directions of his boss.   If he is the boss himself he may say that the board of directors has given him some additional tasks to complete. In case this happens over a longer period then its best to check up from the office. But be discreet, that is the name of the game.
c) The husband will stop going out to dinners and functions with his wife. In case he does go, the frequency would be greatly reduced.  The wife would not that the husband is a little aloof during these outings and she wills not that the man wants to 'get it over' and head back quickly.
d) A husband instead of attending to small jobs in the house on Sundays and holidays will make some excuse of an 'important meeting' or something else and go away. This is a sure sign that something fishy is on.
e) Lastly the husband would not be performing his marital duty in bed and would fall asleep soon with the refrain ' I am tired'.   Thus sex would not be there.  When this happens the alarm bells must ring in the wife's head.
A woman or wife can also have a marital love affair. But as women are more emotional and sensitive the extra marital love affair is likely to deeply affect the wife's psyche. Unlike men who can mask their emotions and love 2 women at the same time, a woman is unable to do that. She is likely to become neurotic and tense and that could adversely affect her temper and attitude.

 Extra marital love affairs are best broken off after some time as the consequences can be devastating for the couple and more important for the children. There could also be a divorce and that in India is not easy and can drag on for years, unless it is a mutual divorce.
Extra marital affairs however have been going on since the dawn of civilization and are unlikely to fade away. The important thing is to be a realist and accept what has happened and look forward. Forgiveness of the partner is also important.

Right or Wrong

The last part of this post concerns whether it is morally wrong to have a extra marital love affair. Here I will add that the rules are a little different for a man and a woman. A woman having a extra-marital love and sexual relationship is on a road to  no return and may not be correct as women by nature are more emotional. However in case of a man, the game is different. A extra-marital love can  give a fillip to a marriage as well as a man by nature is polygamous. So a extra marital sexual alliance for a married man  may well be in the long run not such a bad thing at all. But he must know where to draw the line.