Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Twist of the Tale from the Mahabharta: Love and Sex and Draupadi

Rape of Draupadi and the Bheel Mahabharta

Draupadi and sex with the Snake God Visaku

The paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, the painter from Kerala show Draupadi the canter piece of the Mahabharata as a very beautiful woman. The epic written by the poet Vyasa in 4000 BC paints a very alluring picture of Draupadi. She was reported to have a flawless milk white complexion with golden hair and a tiny waist that accentuated her loveliness. Her beauty was extolled by bards and seers and in modern parlance she could be termed sexy and voluptuous. Draupadi had married 5 brothers known as the Pandva’s. These 5 brothers also had other wives, but Draupadi was a common wife to all of them. This had taken place as the mother of the Pandva’s, Kunte had made her sons promise that they would share everything in life and so when Arjuna won Draupadi in a swayamwara, she perforce had to wed all the brothers namely Yudhistra, Arjuna, Bhima , Nakula and Shedeva.
How Draupadi felt on marrying 5 men is not discussed in the Mahabharata. The epic by Vyasa however has an added chapter in a version of the book available with the tribal Bheels, who reside in Central India and the state of Rajasthan. This fact has emerged only in the 19th century as the Bheels were a secluded community. The Bheels are part of Hinduism but have their own set of Gods as well. The foremost among them is Visaku, the snake god who rules the Patal or the nether world. The snake god is greatly revered among the Bheels and the version of the Mahabharata of the Bheels known as the Bheel Mahabharatadescribes in detail the sexual encounter of the snake god with Draupadi.
As per the Bheel Mahabharata, the Pandva’s were away in a conference, sammelan when this episode started. It appears that Visaku was infatuated with the beauty of Draupadi and for long he pined for her. Despite her being married did not deter the snake god, who decided that come what may he would mate with her. He confided this to his wives and told them that he would return soon. He chose a time when the Pandva’s been away in the sammelan and rode his steed furiously to the palace of Draupadi.
On seeing him Draupadi asked him why he had come. The snake god replied that he was infatuated with her and come what may; he would have sex with her. Draupadi admonished the snake god saying that she feared for his life as surely Arjuna would kill him. The snake god however enveloped Draupadi in his arms and strongly kissed her.
Arjuna the bravest warrior of the Pandva brothers now returned and confronted Visaku. A furious battle enveloped and Arjuna was defeated. Visaku tied up Arjuna and hung him in the bedroom. He now accosted Draupadi and after repeatedly kissing she asked her to prepare a sumptuous meal for him. While Visaku reclined on the bed, Draupadi prepared a 32 course meal for the snake god. After the snake god had partaken of the meal he approached Draupadi. The Bheel Mahabharata mentions that Draupadi acquiesced and allowed Visaku to remove her sari and inner garments. He followed up with celestial sex as he repeatedly mated with Draupadi. He spent the entire night in rare transports of love, sex and joy. The snake god left in the morning and Draupadi untied Arjuna. From the account in the Bheel Mahabharata the amorous encounter took place right in front of Arjuna who could not do anything but watch.
This continued for many nights and finally Arjuna asked Draupadi to find out how Visaku could be killed. Draupadi decided that she would do this job and one night while Visaku was inside her asked him his weakness. She came to know that Visaku only feared Karna the illegitimate son of Kunte who had a special weapon gifted to him by the Sun God. The Bheel Mahabharata records that Karna destroyed 7 heads of Visaku and then Visaku begged for his life. Karna spared him, but banished him to the nether world.
These chapters in the Bheel Mahabharata defy tradition and are not part of the original epic. Perhaps they are an interpolation later, but one cannot be sure. One reason could be that the Bheels worship the snake god Visaku and seek to glorify him.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Peep into English Poetry ** 80

A Summary of the Poetry from John Dunne to Milton

See all 3 photos
See all 3 photos
John Dunne
See all 3 photos
George Herbert
Poetry of John Dunne and Milton
The period from John Dunne to Milton spans just half a century. Both poets are considered among the foremost English poets and have an assured place in the history of English literature. John Donne lived from1572 – 1631, while Milton lived from 1608-1674. For some time the life of both poets overlapped. Both poets have made a mark in English literature. Milton became famous earlier and the value of John Donne as a poet was recognized much later. In fact a good 200 years later.
John Dunne
John Dunne was a satirist, lawyer and cleric in the Church of England. He is considered one of the foremost exponents of metaphysical poetry. Metaphysical when applied to poetry means poems with love, science, romance and sensuality integrated with man’s relationship with God. These poems are lyrical poems containing intense meditations. John Dunne was greatly influenced by the church as such his poetry had a religious bent.
Metaphysical poets
Along with Dunne the other metaphysical poets were George Herbert (1593-1633), Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) and Henry Vaughn. They had their own distinct styles which was sensual and included love poetry, religious poems and sermons. The Metaphysical poets were overtaken by the romantic poets a century later. Marvell had a connection with John Milton. He was his secretary and once when Milton was jailed during the Restoration; it was Marvell who had him set free after he had petitioned for his releaseThe poets Andrew Marvell and George Herbert never published their poems during their life time and their verses were published posthumously.
John Milton
John Milton who lived during the same period was a scholarly man of letters. He was also a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England, led by Oliver Cromwell. His monumental work ‘Paradise Lost’ puts him in the top bracket of English literature. Milton had the mortification of losing his eyesight towards the end of his life, yet he took it in his stride and there is no remorse or self pity at this handicap being thrust on him.
In contrast to John Dunne and his compatriots, Milton was not a metaphysical poet. Though he lived during the same period his style and themes were of an entirely different genre. Milton concentrated on social issues and religion. In his epic ‘Paradise Lost’ Milton’s goal was to justify the ways of God. His primary aim was to explain the ways of God to man.
Milton achieved international recognition during his lifetime. During this period he wrote ‘Areopagitica’ a condemnation of pre-publication censorship. Milton was an erudite man and wrote in English, Latin and Italian.
Milton and Dunne’s interpretation of Mans Relationship with God.
Milton and Dunne are studies in contrast. Milton in ‘Paradise Lost’ recounts the fall of man in the Genesis. He relates graphic conversations of Adam and Eve with God. He describes the demons and their exile to Hell. Donne on the other hand in ‘Holy Sonnet XIV’ creates an entirely different scenario. He illustrates man’s utter dependence on God. John Dunne was highly religious and his poetry brings out the rationality and beauty of faith in God. Both the poets thus wrote poetry touching two different aspects of man’s relationship with god. The fact is that both poets had god as a central theme, though they interpreted man’s relations with the almighty differently.
Milton and Politics
Milton was aware of John Donne. He travelled every day from school to home and crossed St Paul's. In all probability he listened to the sermons put on during this time by John Donne. Milton’s poetry had a different approach from Donne and the Metaphysical poets. He was more alive to the political scenario of that period. England was in turmoil with Cromwell and Milton sided with him. Cromwell is a towering figure in English history and at that time he was all powerful. That may have rubbed off on Milton, as he sided with Cromwell. John Donne was not that politically inclined, influenced as he was more by the church.
Last Word
Poetry of both poets Dunne and Milton is a treasure. The short period saw other poets emerge during the time of these two poets. Nothing however matches the luminosity of these two. Both poets made the English language richer and now almost 400 years later we can appreciate the greatness of these two poets.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Capturing Tibet ** 89

How the Chinese took over Tibet

Tibet has a border of 3300 miles with India. But the Himalayas were a great barrier and as such cultural and military contacts between India and Tibet was minimal. The Tibetan’s were however closely connected with the Chinese since ancient time, but at no time was Tibet a part of China. The current Tibetan culture has been formed since the time the Lama culture was established in Tibet. The Tibetan form of Buddhism came from India when the Bodhisattva left from South India to preach Buddhism to the Tibetans. Buddhism became a state religion and was spread in Tibet by the edict of the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai became the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism was called upon to assume full political power as well. The Dalai Lama to protect Tibetan culture from outside influence forbade outside contacts and Tibet grew in isolation of world development.
The 19th century was a tumultuous period for Tibet’s history as the Western powers gained control in Asia and Tibet was also involved into the stream of western invasions. In 1893, the Ch’ing court signed the “Tibet India Treaty” also referred to as Sikkim-Tibet Treaty under duress as Britain was the paramount power and controlled India and also had a big say in China
To emphasize British power an invasion under Colonel Francis Young Husband was launched against Tibet in 1903. The Tibet army was routed and the British Army seized Lhasa in 1904, forcing Tibetan officials to endorse the Lhasa Treaty. The 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso (1876-1933) fled to Mongolia and was stripped of his powers. This gave the Chinese under the Ch’ing government to established direct rule over Tibet for the first time in 1910. At that time the Dalai Lama fled to British India.
Chinese rule did not last long and In 1912, Tibet became an independent country when the Ch’ing Dynasty was overthrown by the Hsinhai Revolution. The Dalai Lama returned to Tibet from British India and proclaimed the independence of the Empire of Tibet. Tibet was effectively an Independent nation till 1951.
However, the Communist China’s People’s Liberation Army occupied Tibet in 1951 and set up the Tibet military division in the following year. China abandoned the “Empire of Tibet” and established the Tibet Autonomous region. The Chinese had a free hand as Nehru the Indian Prime Minister fed on theories of British imperialism refused to intervene and thus Tibet was lost as a buffer state to India.
Tibet is now effectively controlled by China and the Chinese define the 14th Dalai Lama as the “leader of the counterrevolution elements”. He had escaped to India in 1959 after a plot was uncovered to murder him.
He is the legitimate “head of state” of the “Empire of Tibet” and the government in exile in India is the legitimate government of Tibet region. Unfortunately this is all on paper as the Chinese control Tibet and there is no way the status Quo of 1950 can be restored.

A Bizzarre Facet of Hinduism: Tantra Sex * 64

The Aghori Clan, Black Magic and Sex in the Graveyard

ESP through Sex

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.
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. 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.
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 graveyard 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 nd his consort Shakti. In many case the ritual involves sex with menstruating women and subsequent release of sexual energy. 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.
On aspect of this ritual is that there has to be no force involved and the women has to take an equal part in the ritual which is usually done in the dead of night. The ritual is fairly elaborate and lasts for over an hour from the time of undressing of the woman in the centre of the graveyard to the final act and orgasm. It is the duty of the man to delay orgasm till the ritual is completed. Many tantric philosophies have refined this process for common and every day use.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ManMohan Singh was indeed the Running Dog of the Nehru-Gandhi Family: His role in the Suppression of Evidence on Death of Bose

The Ex- Prime Minister
ManMohan Singh was prime minister of India or almost 10 years. His stint in power was a no event and all along he served the interests of the Nehru- Gandhi family. One is pained to observe that there is evidence that Man Mohan Singh   committed many acts and sins of commission and ommission, but circumstances point to the fact that there is not a single incident during those 10 years, that he did anything worthwhile. His sole aim seemed to be to please the Gandhi- Nehru family. Country and truth be dammed.

Man Mohan and Bose
The role of Manmohan Singh in the sorry episode of the death of Subhas Chandra Bose is a glaring example of his servility to the Nehru-Gandhi family.  I will remind readers that a commission of enquiry headed by Justice Mukherjee was set up to inquire into the death of Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose was rumored to have faked his death and evidence  was available that he escaped to Russia, the then Soviet  Socialist state . Stalin was in power at that time.
 Justice Mukherjee
Justice Mukherjee visited Russia and enquired whether he could access the files of the KGB regarding Bose. Mukherjee has recorded that he was told in Moscow that the information could be made available in case the Prime minister of India made a request to his Russian counterpart. Mukherjee duly  briefed Man Mohan Singh and requested him to make a request to the Russian leader to hand over the KGB files.

Manmohan Singh like a true loyalist of the Nehru- Gandhi family never made any request and later as the PM he rejected the findings of the Mukherjee commission. This is in sharp contrast to Narendra Modi the present prime minister who has made a request to Russia to declassify the files regarding Bose. There are reports that Bose was killed in a Soviet  POW camp in Siberia and Pandit Nehru was well aware of the fact. Probably the Russians asked Nehru about it, but he declined to intercede and allowed Bose to be sent to gallows. This may sound far fetched but there is an element of truth in it.Pundit Nehru had everything to gain by the death of Bose.He was mortally scared of Bose coming back as that would have been curtains for him as India's prime minister
Role of Man Mohan Singh
Manmohan Singh did the indefensible. In an effort to keep the legacy of Nehru alive, he made no effort to bring out the truth. One is appalled at the attitude of this man, who let the Indian nation down just to please the Nehru-Gandhi family.  One hopes the truth will now be out and  Man Mohan Singh and worse Nehru will be unmasked as traitors. I have a lurking fear that Nehru may be the real villain of  this sordid drama. Let the truth be out.

Failure of Christianity in India * 72

Why Christianity Failed to Spread in the Sub-Continent despite 200 years of British Rule
Updated on January 21, 2014
Jesus was perceived as a "White God"
Church in tribal area
Inside an Indian Church
White Missionary with converts
The British ruled India for close to 200 years. Generally it is accepted that the Battle of Plessey (1757) under Robert Clive which the British won, marks the start of British rule. By a policy of divide and rule the British became the paramount power in the sub continent. This continued till 1947 when the British had to leave India very reluctantly. The retreat from the sub continent was brought about by Adolf Hitler who severely weakened England that it just could not hold on to its colonies. In short the victory in the Second World War was a Pyrrhic victory.
British Rule and Missionaries
During the almost 200 years of British rule, a lot of good took place as the British laid the framework of a modern nation. This also fuelled a nationalism which went beyond caste and religious lines. Gandhi and Bose successfully channelized this nationalism as well as instituted a sense of pride in the culture of the sub continent which was dominated by a vast Hindu population and minority Muslim believers.
The British being the paramount power also allowed Christian missionaries to come to India. Their purpose was to civilize the people of the sub-continent and convert them to Christianity. A lot of impetus was given by the Pope who made unlimited funds available for the missionaries to facilitate the conversion of the Hindus and Muslims to Christianity.
The Role of the Missionaries
The missionaries spread out in the hinterland of India concentrating on tribal areas and poor Hindu and Muslim residents. These were given ample gifts and were told that these were sent by Jesus Christ and as such they should convert to Christianity. This inducement by the church marked the hall mark of the thrust under guidance from Rome to convert as many as possible to the Christian faith. I will add that the main trust was from the Catholics from Rome and in comparison the Protestants were not that zealous in their attempt to convert Indians to Christianity.
Failure of the Missionaries
Despite unlimited funds and food aid, the missionaries made little headway in the sub continent. They did do some good also as they set up schools and hospitals, but the overall framework was to spread the gospel. In this they felt anything including inducements was justified. Fr the missionaries the end justified the means. But despite a vigorous thrust for 2 centuries the missionaries could barely convert 2% of the population to the Christian faith. The reason is not far to seek as Christianity came face to face with Muslim and Hindu religion and the missionaries just could not , despite all the inducements counter the appeal of Hinduism and to a lesser extent Islam.
Reasons for Failure
One of the reasons which I think stand out now is that all the missionaries were whites and these appeared to the people as Alien. The Christian god Jesus was thus associated with white race and most people in the sub continent were averse to being ruled by whites. Another reason was that despite the concerted attack on Hindu ideals and philosophy the people felt that Christianity as a religion lacked the deep spiritualism of the Hindu faith. This was a major reason as despite preaching the gospel along with inducements, the locals never converted to Christianity. In fact there were cases of missionaries being attacked and many were killed. Many people felt that if the Church was sincere, why it was not advocating freedom from British rule.
This was a major flaw and like in America a where the church condoned and supported slavery, the church in India also never advocated an end of British rule. In fact with the protection of the state they penetrated deep into India but the result was an abysmal failure.
Last Word
One other reason for the failure of Christianity is that the rulers were Protestants and they looked at the actions of the missionaries with askance. In fact most Protestants were keen to revive Indian culture and many studied Hindu philosophy, but Protestants made no concerted attempt to convert the local people to Christianity.
The failure of the Church and Catholic faith to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity will remain a discussion point. It will not be wrong to say that Christianity in particular the Catholic faith met its waterloo in India.

Maids: hangover of the Raj

Of the Raj, Maids and Mistresses from Bangladesh

The Maid culture and India

The Raj was one factor in Indian history, which has no parallel. It was in some ways a benign rule and some ways an autocratic rule wher the British rulers were the sahibs. Not withstanding this, what ever we see from Mumbai Central station, tothe postman, the rail and roads are an enduring gift of the Raj.
The Raj left a lot behind and most have endured. The Raj also left behind the maid mistress culture. What was this culture? This culture involved hiring maids, who in the absence of the wife also served as willing mistresses of the gora sahibs (white masters). This was more a necessity as the wives went to home (England) and were away for months. Voyages took weeks at that time. Add to this the lonely and remote areas where the English man worked and the result is a foregone conclusion. The maids were welcomed into the arms of the sahibs. This isthe genesisof some Anglo-Indians as some maids conceived.
The Raj went into history, but maid culture like other things also stayed back. The new elite now took over from the sahib and the maid mistress culture continued. This has been given another dimension with the advent of the maid fromBangladesh.Bangladesh is like a waste paper basket and the masses are poor. This generates its own pressures and the result is large scaleillegal migrationto India. TheBangladeshwomen and girls who come to India are poor and unskilled.
The vast influx of unskilled Bangladesh women and girls makes them fit for only work as maids. Here also their knowledge of the nuances of working as maid leaves a lot to be desired. But then these girls are not averse tosleeping with the master. This is more the rule than the exception. There is no doubt that this is exploitation, but that is the fact of life. Most Bangladesh maids end up with the master in bed.
The wives when they learn about it make a hue and cry and sometimes they terminate the maid’s services, but the new one is no better. Sex is something that cannot be ignored and maids fromBangladeshare prone to it. During thedays of theRaj most maids loved to sleep with the English master, this has not changed. TheBangladeshmaid’s mostly illegal migrants are shielded and given food, shelter and clothing. The police can’t get to them as the master covers them, but the price is sleeping with the master. I don’t condone it, but it is a fact of life
There is an excellent movie " after the rains" that delienates the relationship between a maid and her master during the days of the Raj. This sort of relationship did not end with the Raj, but got more deeply entrenched.  Bangladesh girls are part of this scenario

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Doctrine of Necessity: Tryst with Pakistan

Pakistan and the Doctrine of Necessity

The Pakistan Supreme Court

Pakistan must be the oddexception that has accepted the 'Doctrine of Necessity' in law and made it an instrument of state policy, TheDoctrine of Necessity flows from ancient Roman law which accepted that in case there was serious disorder in society, force could be used to restore order. In other words a government had the right to intervene andenforce restrictions for the common good,

This doctrine has never been used, as it is open to various interpretations and generally law court have avoided it, but in Pakistan this made an appearance in 1954 when the Chief Court of Pakistan ( later the Supreme Court) overturned a ruling of the Sind High Court and accepted thedoctrine of necessity on a reference by the then Governor General of Pakistan. This involved the dissolution of the Pakistan constituent Assembly.

Since that time this doctrine has been at the neck of Pakistan and has been used to justify military rule. The Pakistan Supreme court justified the rule of Ayub Khan and also in 1978 justified the military coup of General Zia ul Haq. In this the Supreme Court proved to be rubber stamp to legitimize military rule. Perhaps the judges had no choice and the failure to approve Martial law would have had very bad consequences for the justices.

In 1998 the Supreme Court again like a house wife justified the coup of general Musharaff. Earlier they had also helped General Zia to hang Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in what is perceived as a kangaroo court. Pakistan has the dubious distinction in following the path of least resistance by invoking the Doctrine of Necessity to justify a military coup.

Things appear to have changed slightly now with the new Chief Justice I Choudhary passing a resolution against the use of this Doctrine in Pakistan in the future. One will have to wait and see if the observationof the CJP will stand the test of time.

Afghanistan: Retreat or Stay ? * 74

Afghanistan is a Test Case for the USA

The Future and the USA

The Scenario at the end of World war II
The Second World War ended in 1945 and after that the sad fact is that the USA has been at the receiving end of most wars it has fought. It all started with the Korean War which lasted 3 years and took the head of General MacArthur. But the result was a stalemate and after 3 years of fighting the USA had nothing to show. North Korea remained and the border remained at the 38th parallel. In effect the war in Korea was not a decisive victory for the USA which had to settle for an armistice with the communist powers. Over the decades the situation has not changed and North Korea and china remain the bigbears as before.
Vietnam War
Next was the Vietnam War. It ended in an ignoble retreat, something that US arms can never forget. 12 years of fighting ended in a whimper, for as it turned out the USA had backed the wrong horse. Despite all the air effort of carpet bombing by B-52's of the US Air Force , North Vietnam did not buckle down. On the ground despite great acts of individual bravery, the US army had no answer to the Viet Cong and the result was a defeat. Lyndon B Johnson must take the blame for a misreading of Vietnam and his decision after the Tonkin Gulf incident to escalate the war boomeranged badly on the USA. General Westmoreland was the man who presided over the defeat.
Iraq and the AfterMath
The Iraq war is touted as a victory. Is it? The situation there is more volatile than when Saddam ruled. Now the entire country is in the grip of anarchy with bombs and terror attacks a byword. What if an Islamic regime is ushered in? The fat will then be in the fire. The US embassy in Baghdad is like a fortress: a sad commentary on the US war effort in Iraq, that no American diplomat can walk the streets of Baghdad free and unhindered.
Afghanistan: The Last frontier
Now we come to Afghanistan. Here again the USA was in a bind and looking for a way to get out of this morass. A decision to withdraw was taken by President Obama after he and the US army realized that 11 years of fighting in Afghanistan had led to no results and no objective achieved.
But a withdrawal here will have far reaching effects. The Islamic militants supported by Pakistan will be emboldened and the next step will be an attack on the American home land. America's retreat from Afghanistan is a black mark. It cannot be categorized as anthing else. One reason is the US will to fight a long war has evaporated. Obama would like to keep some troops to train the Afghan army after the bulk withdraws. But the same thing happened in Vietnam and the moment the Americans left the Vietcong over ran the government in Saigon.
What is the USA to do in Afghanistan? The choice was clear cut. Stay and fight or retreat. Unfortunately the USA has decided to withdraw an euphemism for a retreat. The road now appears clear for the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
The future
Its about time Obama weighed his options. The choices are hard, but he cannot throw in the towel. He realizes teh situation but the ground realities are not what 11 years of fighting can show. President Karzai is exiting and another general election for President is on. The Afghan people have voted in thousands defying the diktat of the Taliban and al Qaeda who had asked them to boycott the polls. This is a heartening situation, but in Afghanistan the gun rules and despite the Afghan people wanting a new dispensation, the chances that the country will still slip into anarchy are pretty bright.
Last Word
The USA cannot afford to return from Afghanistan empty handed. Obama and the new President must work out a viable solution to curtail the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Maybe a new President one years hence may have a different solution. The fact remains that Afghanistan is a test case for the USA and future world history may well be written as to how the USA faced the problem in Afghanistan.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Travels in Dubai * 88


 The more one stays in the United Arab Emeritus, the more it grows on the visitor. In particular Dubai has become a veritable El Dorado, the proverbial city of gold. Its hard to imagine that this mega city was just a fishing village at the turn of the last century. It was a British colony and whatever little progress was made at that time was courtesy the English rule. The people just tended camels and dived into the sea to fetch pearls.
Oil the Black Gold
The discovery of oil changed all this. This 'black gold' brought in unheard prosperity. Overnight the Emeritus in general and Dubai in particular was transformed into a great financial centre and tourist and shopping paradise. Not many know that last year Dubai airport was the second busiest airport in the world after New York. It catered to 61 million travellers.
Shoppers Paradise

Dubai is also a shoppers paradise and some of the biggest shopping Malls have come up there. The Malls are unique and show an imagination that is hard to duplicate. There are theme malls, travel malls and plain shopping malls. Dubai is a shoppers paradise with goods available without any taxes and duties. In addition there are heavy discounts and makes Dubai a shoppers paradise.
Ibn Batuta Mall
One of the theme malls is a massive shopping mall named after the famed traveller Ibn Batuta. As is well known this great traveller, who lived during the 13th century visited distant lands like Persia, India, China and Egypt. His travels are a source of great information of that period and a storehouse of knowledge. The shopping mall is dedicated to him and is uniquely planned. The mall has sections dedicated to each of the regions Battuta visited. This is the beauty of the mall and separate sections are allotted to places like India, China, Persia, Arabia and smaller places the great traveller visited.
Flavor of the Mall

Each of these sections bring out the distinct flavor of that region and also markets goods from that region. I am happy to note that the India pavilion is the biggest and most well stocked section. It is closely followed by China. Ibn Battuta visited Delhi in 13th century and travelled the entire breadth of North India to Dacca.
All the pavilions are a source of delight and bring out the flavour of that region. The Chinese section as a real Chinese sailing boat displayed. One needs an entire day to explore this mall. In addition authentic food of that region is readily available. The food sections of each area are a gourmets delight. I will recommend a visit to this mall to all and sundry. It will be a day well spent. The mall is about 25 km from the city centre and can be reached by taxi or the unmanned metro. One can also take the AC city bus.

Guru Gobind Singh the Warrior Saint * 68

My Dream and The Life of Guru Gobind Singh
Updated on December 23, 2013
Guru Gobind Singh
Symbols of the Khalsa
The Greatest Indian Martyr
The Dream
Yesterday I had a dream. It was a strange dream as I saw the warrior Guru Gobind Singh on a horse and I wondered what it meant. I awoke up and looked out of the window and could only see the moon shining. I was a bit shaken and I assumed it was a message from the Guru to write about him and his message.
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. He was the man who gave a form to the religion founded by Guru Nanak. He appeared on the scene in the Punjab when the Muslim rulers had run amuck and killings, abductions of Hindu girls and beheadings of Hindus not converting to Islam was the order of the day. The guru made the supreme sacrifice. Two of his sons were killed in battle and two younger boys were interred alive by the Muslim ruler with shouts of glee all around.
Muslim Rule in the Punjab and Creation of Khalsa
To understand the contribution of Guru Gobind Singh one has to look at the rule of the Muslims in Punjab. The Hindus were a terrorized lot. They had lost their lands, their women were carried away into Muslim harems and anarchy ruled the Punjab.
Baptism with Sword and Blood
The Guru seized the moment and created the Khalsa a militant force on 13 August 1699. It was a baptism the like of which was never seen as at a vast congregation the Guru asked for the heads of 5 men who could sacrifice their lives for the true faith.
Five men volunteered and the Guru bedecked in his dress with a naked sword brandished it in the sunlight. He took the men one by one and to a place behind the dais and returned with his sword streaming with blood. It was apparent to all that the man had been beheaded. He did this five times and each time he returned with a blood stained sword.
Creation of the Khalsa or the Pure
The guru was a great motivator. After the fifth man was taken, he returned with all the five men alive. He had not severed the heads of the men, but only cut a goat. He created on that day the Khalsa to fight the Muslims and enjoined all true Sikhs to have 5 K’s. These are Kesh( hair), Kanga( comb), Kacha( underpants), Kada( Bangle) and Kirpan (sword). These became the symbols of the Khalsa as the Guru led the Sikhs into battle against the Moguls.
The Dasam Granth
His magnum opus ‘The Disarm Granth’ is a repository of his wisdom. In this he mentions that in his previous birth he was a Yogi in the Himalayas when he was ordered by the almighty to take rebirth to fight the all around tyranny. The Guru was this born in Patna now a hallowed Sikh Gurudwara (Patna Saheb).
The guru led the Sikhs into battle and the battles at Chamkor and other places are a tribute to his genius. The word ‘warrior saint’ as coined aptly fits him.
The Mogul Emperor Makes Peace with the Guru
The Moghul emperor Bahadur Shah was impressed by the Guru and invited him to Delhi. The guru came with a vast entourage and when he reached a place called Motibagh he shot an arrow which traveled 10 km and hit the Charpoy (bed) on which Bahadur shah was relaxing. The emperor was surprised and when he met the Guru mentioned that what the Guru had done was a miracle. No the guru replied ‘it was my skill’. There is a Gurudwara at Motibagh commemorating the place where the Guru fired his arrow.
Guru Gobind in the Deccan
Bahadur Shah took the guru to the Deccan and there he died stabbed to death by two Muslims. He knew his end was near and decreed that the guru ship had ended and the Sikhs would hence worth consider the holy book of the Sikhs ‘The Granth Sahib' as the last Guru. He also appointed the great Banda Bahadur to lead the Sikhs after him.
Last Word
The Guru‘s contribution is immense. He sacrificed his entire family and his life for the cause of freedom. He created the Khalsa and as such he is revered among Hindus and Sikhs as the bravest of the braves. His quote ‘If all else fails it is righteous to draw the sword’ is a living testimony as the USA grapples Islamic terror and beheadings.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Justice Katju's Opinion on the New SC Ruling Against Government Law for Appointment of Judges

Justice Katju a former Judge  of the Supreme Court States 

"I was asked my opinion on today's Supreme Court verdict declaring the National Judicial Accountability Commission #NJAC Constitutional Amendment Act unconstitutional.

So far as my own opinion is concerned, it matters tweedledum or tweedledee whether we have the Collegium system or #NJAC, as I believe that the Indian judiciary is beyond redemption.

What kind of a judiciary is it which often takes 20-30 years to finally decide a case(including appeal, revision, writ petition etc.)?

There are over 32 million cases pending in the Courts of India and it is estimated that even if no new case is filed it will take 360 years to clear the backlog. People who for some reason get involved in a litigation are weeping and crying because date after date is given but the case is not taken up for hearing.

Is it a judiciary or a joke?

I may only mention some facts about my parent High Court at Allahabad.

1. Criminal appeals filed in the High Court in 1985 are now coming up for hearing, that is, after 30 years. Similar is the position of civil appeals.Is this a High Court or a joke ?

2. The list of most benches is hardly touched, and only fresh matters taken up. This means that if on the first hearing of a case it is adjourned for some reason ( e.g. a counter affidavit is called for by the Court ) the case will thereafter never come up for hearing unless a heavy bribe, often of thousands of rupees, is paid in the registry to the concerned official. And even then, the case is very unlikely to be heard as in most benches the list of the court is rarely touched.

3. There is a senior judge who presides over a bench hearing writ petitions. He reportedly disposes off 150 cases or more a day, but without opening the file, and by simply saying, with half closed eyes " Suit, suit " ( i.e. go and file a suit, which in crude language means go to hell, because sending someone to a suit is like sending him to hell, as it will now make him run from pillar to post for 20-30 years or more before the suit and its appeals are finally disposed off )

4. There is a Judge who comes to Court at 11.30 or 12 ( the Allahabad High Court sits at 10 a.m. ), dismisses all listing applications ( i.e. applications praying that some pending case be listed ), and rises whenever he likes.

5. If the hearing of a bail application is adjourned for some reason ( e.g. the govt. counsel wants to file a reply ) one never knows when the bail application will be listed again.In my opinion, it matter little whether we have a Collegium system or the NJAC because the Indian Judiciary is in my opinion beyond redemption.

Similar is the position in many other High Courts.

Apart from the above there is now massive corruption even in the higher Judiciary. While many judges are upright, many others (which may be 50% or even more) are not. The subordinate judiciary is said to be 75% or more corrupt.

Mr. Shanti Bhushan, a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court and former Union Law Minister filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court a few years back stating that half of the previous 16 CJIs have been corrupt, and he could not certify the integrity of 2 more of them. Even after that affidavit was filed many Chief Justices of India who retired had serious allegations of corruption against them, and there are serious allegations of corruption against the present CJI Dattu. Many of these CJIs, SC and HC judges were those appointed through the Collegium system.

One judge originally from Madras High Court against whom there were very serious allegations of corruption almost made it to the Supreme Court as the SC Collegium unanimously  recommended his name but it was only because of the objections of the Tamil Nadu lawyers who produced documentary proof of his corruption that  this move could not materialize. In fact, a bill for his impeachment was moved in Parliament but it become infructuous when he resigned.

So it makes no difference what system of appointment of judges we have, as the entire judicial system has broken down"

The Naive Nehru and his Biting the Dust vs China

How Nehru was Misled by his Proteges on India - China Border Dispute

India and China are rivals in Asia, but China has stolen a lead over India. The blame for this squarely rests on Nehru who showed himself to be a naive leader easily misled by his advisors


The Chinese President Xi visited India a few days back. Despite the bon home nearly 1500 Chinese troops intruded across the line of actual control in Ladakh. What did this signify? What were the Chinese trying to convey at a time when their President was signing pacts after pacts in Gujarat and Delhi?
The fact is the Chinese were reminding India of 1962, when the Chinese army had struck across the border and surprised the Indian army and the Indian Prime Minister JL Nehru. At this juncture one can look back to that period and see that it was an unreal time and the 3 principle characters in this sordid drama were Nehru, General Kaul and Mullick.

India’s China War and role of Kaul and Mullick

What actually happened in 1962? After the defeat at the hands of China the government commissioned an inquiry under General Henderson Brooks to pinpoint the reasons for the Indian debacle. This report was never made public and still gathers dust in the archives of the Ministry of defence. The popular perception in India among the people is that China launched an unprovoked attack on India in 1962. However now it is known that perhaps this may not have been the case. Two Books one by Brigadier Dalvi titled ‘Himalayan Blunder’ and the other by Neville Maxwell ‘India’s China war ‘paint an entirely different picture. These books point out that Nehru lived in an unreal world and never understood the concept of military might. Despite a weak and under armed army he asked the army to launch ‘forward policy’.

This effectively meant Indian troops entering areas held by Chinese troops and trying to set up posts with a view to exercise Indian control over Ladakh. This alarmed the Chinese. How did Nehru come to approve this policy without the necessary muscle in the Indian army? It appears Nehru went by the advice of two people namely his distant cousin Lieutenant General BM Kaul and BN Mullick, the then chief of the Intelligence Bureau. Both these men completely misled Nehru.

Nehru and BM Kaul

In the sordid events of 1962 the role of Lieutenant General BM Kaul is of great importance. He had won the confidence of the Prime Minister Nehru. Kaul was a Sandhurst graduate, but the negative side was that he had spent the entire world war as a staff officer and never saw actual battle against the Japanese. He had mainly worked as a PRO (public relations officer).

This man by the fact that he was a Kashmiri like Nehru as well as related to him led him to inveigle into the inner circle of Nehru and became the main advisor on all military matters. The forward policy as defined by Nehru was on the advice of Kaul. The military and political leadership failed to realize the grave provocation to the Chinese. They also failed to realize that the posts manned by 8-10 soldiers were unsustainable in a conflict. A Chinese reaction was inevitable and Kaul has gone down in history as a losing general, while Nehru has had his reputation tarnished as a great world leader. He lost to the wily Mao.

The Role of BN Mullick

Another character who played a significant role at that time was BN Mullick who was the Intelligence Chief during those crucial days. BN Mullick to ingratiate himself with Nehru gave the advice Nehru wanted to hear. His advice was bereft of any military or other intelligence and he was able to convince Nehru that the Chinese would not attack or risk a war with India. Unfortunately Mullick fed Nehru with information, Nehru wanted to hear. Mullick’s intelligence information was a joke. The fact is this man misled Nehru as well and gave a sense of false confidence to Nehru.

Last word

It's more than 50 years since the war was fought. The Chinese again are needling India. It is a fact that India has not been able to build up infrastructure to match the Chinese as the Central leadership has let India down.

Hopefully with Modi as the Prime Minister the policy of appeasement and neglect of the northern border will change. One must remember the Chinese understand only the politics of the mailed fist. Failure to realize may well give China another brownie point in the game of world history.
all photos from wiki free