Category Archives: Unclassified

हम सब बलिदान ना सही पर देश कै लिए इस छोटा सा काम तो कर सकते हैं ना

Author Unknown

आप सबसे निवेदन है, यह मैसेज सिर्फ 3 लोगों को जरूर भेजें… और उन तीन लोगो को कहे की यह मैसेज आगे तीन लोगों को भेजें, हम सब बलिदान ना सही पर देश कै लिए इस छोटा सा काम तो कर सकते हैं ना:

1. कचरा सड़क पर ना फैंकें।
2. सड़कों, दीवारों पे ना थूकें।
3. नोटों, दीवारों पर ना लिखें।
4. गाली देना छोड़ दें।
5. पानी लाइट बचाएँ।
6. एक पौधा लगाएँ।
7. ट्रेफिक रूल्स ना तोडें।
8. रोज़ माता पिता का आशीर्वाद लें।
9. लड़कियों की इज्जत करें।
10. एम्बुलेंस को रास्ता दें।
देश को नहीं, पहले खुद को बदलें। अगर समय हो तो आगे भेजे। 😊✅🍃

Narain Kataria, the way I knew him

Narain Kataria, the way I knew him

By Gaurang Vaishnav
Vice President, Global Indians for Bharat Vikas (GIBV)

As I sit to write a few words about Sri Narain Kataria, who passed away on November 3rd, memories rush in like a torrent of floods. 40 years is a long time to be friends with someone, who also is a mentor. It is hard to write in the past tense for a giant Hindu leader who was with us till yesterday. I came to know Katariaji, as we affectionately called him in 1975-1977 when some of us NRIs were fighting Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s emergency rule. That intense struggle of 18 months brought us quite close. Later on Katariaji joined Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) as a member of its Governing Council. He also became a Life Member of VHPA.

Working with him, I realized that here was a man who was totally fearless, unwavering in his commitment to protecting Hindus and not caring to be politically correct. Katariaji had amazing ability to connect with one and all. He built strong relations with the Jewish leadership, Progressive Christians, Hindus from the Caribbean, Hindus from Afghanistan, Hindus from Bangladesh, Hindus from Pakistan, and the list goes on.

Kataria photo-20001 - Copy

Narain Kataria (extreme left in striped shirt at a planning meeting of the year 2000 UNO Millennium Peace Summit)

Sometimes, some of us would get upset with a person who might not play the game by the rules but Katariaji’s standard response was, “he is also doing something for Hindus, he is our brother.” In that sense, he was an अजातशत्रु  (Ajatshatru, a man without enemies.) But that doesn’t mean that he was all goody-goody and naïve. He had no doubts about the danger that the Islamic Jehad, terrorism sponsored by it and Christian conversion paused to the very existence of the Hindus and Bharat, i.e., India. He minced no words to articulate his views on every forum. He spoke at rallies and demonstrations, he gave dozens of interviews on TV and he wrote his views in incessant emails that reached 100,000+ readers. He fought enemies of the Hindu society tooth and nail without respite.

There is a phrase, अत्र, तत्र, सर्वत्र (Atra, Tatra, Sarvatra, i.e., Here, there and everywhere) that aptly described Katariaji. If it was a cause of Hindus, he was there; if it was a program or event that would further Hindu cause, he would be there. He would not mind driving from Queens, New York to the farthest end of New Jersey, Washington DC or Boston if he felt that he should be there to provide moral support. Katariaji was accompanied most of the time by three persons- Arish Sahani, Nand Ramsinghani, and Subhash Arora. It was as if they were peas of a pod. At times, one or two of this quartet might be missing, but not Katariaji. He was a person of limited means, but he never shirked from giving. 100 dollars here, 500 dollars there, 1000 dollars somewhere else; there was no end to it. Only a few days back I was talking with him and the subject veered to finances. I asked him how he did it because I knew that only recently he had given assistance to a couple of Hindu activists from Bharat and Bangladesh. He said that it was getting difficult, but his children were well placed and didn’t need his money. His social security took care of his basic needs and his investment income went to support Hindu causes. He ended it saying, अरे भाई  देना पड़ता है,  कैसे चलेगा ? (Are Bhai, Dena padata hai, kaise chalega?, i.e., Brother, we have to give, how would I not, when someone asks?)

Katariaji was a master organizer, yet he was not a man of an organization. He told me, अरे भाई, मैं काम कर लेता हूँ , पर मुझे  और झंझट पसंद नहीं ।   (Are Bhai, main kaam kar leta hun, par muze aur zanzat pasand nahi.” i.e.,  I accomplish all the work but I cannot stand all the rules and constraints of an organization.) Thus he had excellent relations with some of the premier organizations, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Global Indians for Bharat Vikas (GIBV), Paramshakti Peeth (of Sadhwi Ritambharaji), Ekal Vidyalaya, etc., but he was not bound by any of them.

In mid 90’s Katariaji founded Indian Americans Intellectual Forum (IAIF) to bring thinkers and writers on one platform and facilitate dissemination of ideas to protect and strengthen the Hindu society. He started with the celebration of the Hindus as an annual Hindu Sangathan Divas in 1996, which morphed into Hindu Unity Day. I am a witness of 20 years journey of Hindu Unity Day. I might have missed only one or two programs in the two decades.  It started as a very much disorganized function. There would be so many cultural items and then speeches that the program would drag on and on. It was as if there was a start time but no end time! The program used to be in a squalid, old school building.  Over a period of time the program became very professional, drawing best minds to articulate Hindu issues; it became completely disciplined and moved to the modern facility of the auditorium at New York’s famous Ganesh Mandir.  Katariaji’s intense efforts resulted in having the 700 seat capacity auditorium being “houseful” year after year. It became a much sought after and “in demand” program. At the Hindu Unity Day, people were treated to thought-provoking talks by luminaries like Dr. Subramanian Swamy (a regular speaker over the years), Sadhwi Ritambhara, Rajiv Malhotra, Suresh Chavahnke (Owner of Sudarshan TV) and dozens of others. Hindu Unity Day also became a venue for networking of several Hindu organizations.

Kataria-3

Narain Kataria at Hindu Unity Day, 2015 (at microphone)

Katariaji excelled in the art of demonstration and rallies. I stood with him at countless demonstrations in front of the Bharatiya or Pakistani Consulate offices. Sometimes we would have 100 participants and sometimes only 10. But it didn’t matter to him. He was just focused on giving publicity to an issue at hand. At times, it was a march. It was mindboggling to see Katariaji whipping up a frenzy with a bullhorn. He never tired of slogan shouting. Katariaji was in such a robust health that at that time I didn’t know his age and assumed him to be my contemporary. It was much later that I found out that when we were protesting against 26/11 massacre in Mumbai on a cold November day in 2008, he was already 78! That was a demonstration where a big contingent of Jewish people joined us, again, thanks to Katariaji’s efforts and connections.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited New York in 2014 September, Katariaji was assigned the task to bring busloads of people to the Time square where the organizers were planning to have live coverage of Modiji’s speech inside the Madison Square Garden for the overflow crowds. About two weeks before the event, Katariaji’s wife who had some ailments suddenly passed away. He didn’t inform any of us. Only a few very close people knew about it and we came to know about it only a few days after the fact. When we asked him, he said that this was bound to happen and he kept doing assiduously the task of bus management for Modiji’s program.

Katariaji had one distinct achievement. In 2007, he was sued by Overseas Congress on behalf of Sonia Gandhi for “defaming” her in a New York Times full-page advertisement. He was one of the four persons, thus sued. The advertisement costing upward of $30,000 was placed on behalf of all the NRI activists of USA to expose misdeeds of Sonia Gandhi just when she was going to address UNO on non-violence Day. The multimillion dollar suit was designed to break activists like Katariaji. The case was dismissed by the court since Sonia Gandhi and not Overseas Congress was the aggrieved party. A second case was filed then in a New Jersey court which met the same fate. This was a huge victory for NRIs who had been fighting Sonia Gandhi’s regime in Bharat by proxy. It cost upward of $50,000 in legal fees, but such was Katariaji’s standing in the society that all us activists came together to take care of the legal fees.

IMG_2827

       Narain Kataria at Sonia Gandhi protest- in black jacket with megaphone

Kataria-1

           Narain Kataria at Global Dharma Conference, September 12, 2015 (extreme right)

Last I worked together with Katariaji in September of this year. We were asked at a very short notice by the organizers to get banners and placards prepared and get volunteers to greet Modiji when he was to arrive at his New York hotel. Katariaji asked me to raise the funds and he took care of getting the banners and placards made. We stood together on September 23rd to greet Modiji and on 25th in front of the United Nations Building.  Katariaji played a very important role to diffuse the threatened anti-Modi demonstration by some misguided Patidars from Gujarat. Though Katariaji was a known and respected figure, he never hankered for publicity or being on the stage.

There is only one regret. The organizers for Modiji’s program in New York both in 2014 and 2015 took advantage of Katariaji’s sincerity and nobility.  While many a questionable characters were invited to a dinner with Modiji in 2014, Katariaji, who had worked very hard despite losing his wife during this time, was ignored and not invited. In 2015, he was asked to do all the running around, but when it came to having an audience with Modiji, he was not invited; of course many former Congress supporters and people who had not done anything for Modiji were given an opportunity to meet Modiji.  I had brought up this subject with Katariaji and for the first time, I saw that he was pained. Not that he expected anything, but it was painful to him that many less deserving people were getting to meet Modi and him, who at the advanced age of 85 was standing with placards in the cold was overlooked. He asked me to take it up with powers that be so that in future sincere workers wouldn’t be taken advantage of by so-called “leaders.”  I am writing this because society should know what kind of leaders it has, that surround Modiji when he comes to the USA. With all that, Katariaji told me, we have to keep working; we are not working for Modiji or BJP. We are working for the Hindus and for Bharat.

Very few people would know that Katariaji was fond of music and played the banjo very well. As a matter of fact, he gave me an audio cassette of his recording long time back.

Kataria-2

It will be very hard to replace or replicate Katariaji, one of the tallest Hindu leaders in the USA. We will miss his can-do attitude, unbridled enthusiasm, and boundless energy. We will miss his sharp pen, accurate sense of the history and resounding voice. New York and the tri-state area will never be the same again.

Last I talked with Katariaji was on October 21st, I asked the usual question: “How are you, how is your health?” And his stock answer as always was: “Vaishnavji, I am not going any place. I think I will be OK for another 20 years, there is so much to do.”

Dear Katariaji, yes, there is so much to do and we will take up from where you left off. I will say goodbye to you with your special greeting, “Jay Ho!”
Funeral Arrangements:

Saturday, November 7, 2015, ‎
‎11:00 AM to 1:00 PM‎
Park Funeral Chapels
‎2175 Jericho Turnpike
Garden City Park, NY 11040‎
Tel.: (516) 747-4300‎

We, the First Generation Hindus owe this to the Second Generation

For my USA Friends:

Namaste. How many times have you said in a discussion that the older generation should give up control and let the younger generation take over? Whether it be a Mandir or a social organization, we always lament that the “old hands” do not give a chance to the younger generation.

Well! Here is a group of second generation Hindu Youths, Hindu Students Council (HSC) that has put tremendous efforts into organizing a Global Dharma Conference, inviting best minds to speak, and top notch artists to perform in a concert that is bound to leave one spellbound.

I have seen these young people working day and night, bent over their laptops, working late night and through the nights, munching on snacks to keep going, making deals and negotiating best prices, contacting organizations and individuals for support and participation. I have seen them putting signs in the middle of the night on Oak Tree Road and other places; I have seen them working out minute details of taking proper care of Swamijis. VIPs and artists, I have seen them grilling Expo Center staff to get all the information and commitment that they need; I have seen them choosing a balanced menu and working hard to get best prices from the food vendors and I have seen them worrying how all bills were going to be paid; I have seen their team spirit, spirit of Seva without worrying about name or fame and I have seen their Can Do attitude in face of indifference and apathy of our generation.

This is a challenge to us, first generation Hindus. If we really want the second generation to take over the mantle from us, we have to make sure that they succeed in this spectacular undertaking. We have to make sure that their financial needs are met. If they run in red, no second generation Hindu organization will dare to do a conference on this scale again. It will be our loss as a Hindu society.

So my earnest request as a first generation Hindu to you is, support Hindu Students Council and its Global Dharma Conference generously. Open your heart and chip in. If you could attend the conference (even a part of it), nothing like that. But even if you cannot, please donate for this worthy cause. Your children will be proud of you. Go to <http://www.dharmaconference.com/> and click on “Donate.”

What is this conference about?

There is a unique opportunity to listen to some of the best minds of India- Spiritual, Yogic, activist, media, political and educational, all under one roof and also enjoy a world class concert featuring top artists from India and Bali. Yes, I am talking about Global Dharma Conference being organized by USA campus based Hindu Students Council which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Please see the attached program schedule to get a feel for variety that this conference offers.

Global Dharma Conference
September 11-13 (Friday to Sunday), 2015
Raritan Expo Center
Edison, NJ

  • Think of this:
    Well known columnists and political analysts: Kanchan Gupta, Rajeev Srinivasan and Rupa Subramanya
  • Rajesh Jain who conceived the idea of 272+ to lead BJP to a spectacular victory in 2014 elections and who owns the NitiCentral portal
  • Atul Kothari, an educationist of repute
  • Rajiv Malhotra, Dr. David Frawley, Dr.Subhash Kak, Aditi Banerjee
  • H.R. Nagendra, a former NASA scientist and the personal Yoga teacher of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • Shri AShok Singhal, former International President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and one of the tallest Hindu Leaders.
  • There are swamis galore- Swami Paripornanda, Swami Tatwamayanada and Swamini Svatmavidyananda (Arsha Vidya Gurukulam) , Swami Tadatmananda (Arsha Bodha Center), Swami Shantananda (Chinmaya Mission), Swami Guruvanand.
    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji will address the gathering by a video link.
  • Concert will feature Flute virtuoso Rakesh Chaurasia (nephew of Hari Prasad Chaurasia), Ghatam player Giridhar Udapa and Balinese dance troupe Balam Dance Theatre. There would of course be Garba and Bhangra.

Do your Dharma of supporting our young generation’s efforts to preserve, nurture and propagate Hindu Dharma and Culture.

Please go to www.dharmaconference.com to get more details and register; time is running out.

Thank you.

The Global Dharma Conference (GDC) is an experiential event bringing together college students, young professionals and others from around the world for 3 days of thought provoking sessions, blissful yoga and meditation workshops,
DHARMACONFERENCE.COM

Dr. Subramanian Swamy at Global Indian Business Council

GIBC (Global Indian Business Council) and GIBV (Global Indians for Bharat Vikas) work in tandem to speed up development of Bharat.

GIBC hosts Dr. Subramanian Swamy at networking dinner & seminar

GIBC Directors with Dr. Swamy.

Atlanta, GA: Over 150 Atlantans attended the economic seminar hosted by the Global Indian Business Council (GIBC) on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Global Mall, Norcross, GA. A networking Dinner at the Ashiana Banquet Hall followed the seminar addressed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and well-known economist.

Dressed in his traditional kurta (loose shirt), Dr. Swamy enumerated the opportunities opened by the 18-month-old government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking with his usual wit and candor, Dr. Swamy used deep historical knowledge and current economic figures to elaborate his own vision of economic growth of India. He explained the importance and the need for ensuring a level playing field to balance an unfair advantage to MNCs due to cheap and easily accessible Capital in USA and relatively cheap labor and logistics in India. He observed the US multi-national companies could borrow capital at 3% in USA for investment in India and take advantage of cheap Indian labor. On the other hand,India’s own small retail traders face a staggering 12% interest rates within India rendering them incapable of competition with the MNCs from overseas. Yet when it comes to allowing the Indian construction companies to compete/borrow capital in the US market by bringing with them their own lower-paid workforce fromIndia, theUSimmigration offices balk at the thought of cheap labor entering from India.

He added, “The foreign direct investment lately has brought unique technologies and fostered innovation in India, primarily due to open heart welcome by the Indian government.” Swamy pointed out that 65% of the growth in the European Industrial Revolution as well as in the more recent American electronics and communications-based industrial revolutions came from innovation, versus less than 35% of India’s Soviet-style development until 1990. Swamy emphasized that India enjoys a huge Demographic Dividend presently with an average age of only 26 years compared to over 40 in Europe and Japan and 37 in the USA. The challenge for India thus is to educate this young population and inculcate risk-taking innovations and entrepreneurship in them. Using the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) logic, a US dollar is an equivalent to Rs. 24, which hitherto puts, India among the top 5 economies in the world. With China possibly encountering problems similar to those faced by Japan for several decades in the past, India could even rise to become the #2 economy, second only to the United States projected Swamy. Both the US and Indian democracies share the open, transparent structures that are vital to innovation and advancement.

Dr. Swami argued for abolishing the income tax in India, which mostly burdens only the working middle classes and particularly the young professionals.. The annual loss in revenue to the exchequer from the income tax cuts could be easily made up by fairly auctioning communication spectrum and coal rights at market rates. He reiterated that additionally far more investment resources could be freed by bringing back illegally accumulated holdings in offshore accounts in some 70 nations if the Government of India showed the resolve without corruption.

Dr Subramanian Swamy with Consul General Nagesh Singh (R). Photos by Vakiti Creations.

Earlier, welcoming Dr. Swamy, GIBC President-elect Dhiru Shah, praised him for his relentless challenges against corruption in India and for his advocacy in support for economic reforms to liberate the Indian economy from its socialist dogmas and needless bureaucratic shackles. Shah also thanked Nagesh Singh, Consul General of India for his leadership and for making the Consulate General of India (CGI) Atlanta inclusively accessible in its outreach to the entire Indian American community in the Southeast USA.

Outlining the mission of GIBC, Shah stated that GIBC was launched in 2014 in Atlanta with a clear objective of facilitating global economic development with emphasis on India through business, trade and commerce. GIBC has already organized three successful economic seminars in Atlanta and one full day seminar in Ahmedabad in January 2015. To help the US and foreign companies to navigate the Indian rules and regulations, GIBC opened its first full-fledged office in Ahmedabad, India earlier in January 2015.  A second office in New Delhi is to be opened in the immediate future. Collaborations with business chambers in Australia have also been setup, while other similar ventures are in the works.

Introducing CG Nagesh Singh, GIBC VP Ashwin Patel remarked that CG has inspired and won hearts of the Atlanta community with initiatives within two months of his arrival. In his remarks, CG Nagesh Singh welcomed Dr. Swamy adding “Since the time I was in university, I have admired you for all the qualities mentioned by my predecessors but I admired you most was for is that you give it as good as you get.”

Another guest speaker, Sahil Jaggi, International Marketing manager of Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, spoke of the global shipping company’s large and fast-growing presence in India. He praised the initiatives that have made huge improvements in customs clearance and logistics in India, and was optimistic about strides in streamlining the processes and logistics.

GIBC’s Subash Razdan, with his characteristic humor, introduced Dr. Swamy as the charismatic and dashing American-trained professor who had inspired his generation at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) inDelhiduring his stint at IIT as the Head of the Humanities Department in the early 1970s.

During the Q&A session, CG Nagesh Singh pointed to the growing India-USA initiatives to boost education in India, including an exchange program with US-based experts. He pointed to Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley and his summit with President Obama as moves in the right direction to facilitate these endeavors. In response to the plight of the farmers, Dr. Swamy pointed to the need to empower Indian farmers with aggressive use of technology to open up global markets for them.

Sushumna Chander acknowledged with thanks all the Sponsors of the GIBC event including Ravi Chander, CEO of Softpath-Systems Atlanta, Dr. Ravi Sarma Medical Doctor of the Suburban Hematology-Oncology Associates and one of the pioneers of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in Riverdale, Nagesh Kassam, an IT engineer, who coordinates the Patanjali Yog Peeth/Ayurveda store at Global Mall, Vinay Bopana, software engineer/volunteer for the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation and many others

Raman Gandhi was the emcee for the evening.

Readers Comment on Republican Presidential Debate

Some readers’ comments on an article  in New York Times on August 7, 2015

Winners at the G.O.P. Debate Did Not Include Bush and Trump

Nate Cohn

Select comments:

historylesson

Norwalk, CT 5 hours ago

What is most disturbing about this column is the total lack of discussion about the horrific things a bunch of men said about women’s lives and health. Mr. Cohn, do you have any idea what it is like to listen to these men pontificate about pregnancy termination, and women’s right to live?
Forget Trump’s vicious remarks about the way women look. He’s no physical prize himself, and ugly remarks about a woman’s appearance may wound, but they don’t kill.
Last night a candidate said he believed in no exceptions for abortion, not even when the life of the mother is at risk. Do you have any idea of the enormity of
that statement? What is says about Walker’s humanity? Yet you pick him as a winner? Forget outrage for a minute — where is your acknowledgement of this issue, and what those ten men said? Especially since you state the outcome of the debate “depends a lot more on how the news media covers the debates than the performances themselves.”
Well, you’re news media. You covered this debate by failing to mention that Walker prefers to let women die than end a life threatening pregnancy.
Walker’s answer re abortion was “concise and sharp.” Which seems to matter more to your analysis than the lives of women.
What I saw last night was ten men thoroughly ill-equipped to run our nation.
What you watched seems to be an entirely different show.

Lianna

Potomac, MD 2 hours ago

By not running far to the right like many of the other candidates on stage, I think that John Kasich proved he was the only one that could appeal to moderate democrats, independents, and republicans; thus making him the most viable candidate for the general election, but the least likely to win the GOP nomination. By not getting caught up in the name-calling/Benghazi/e-mail foolishness that some of the other candidates were distracted with, Kasich was able to eloquently tell the American people of his accomplishments. His heartfelt response about gay marriage seemed to resonate with many.

The republican base is too caught up in hearing about what Hillary Clinton did and could care less about hearing what their candidates will do; which is why Kasich stands no chance unless he starts to call Hillary a pant suit wearing devil. The one who spews the most vitriol at Hillary will win. Issues are not of any importance to GOP voters easily distracted by shiny, new objects like Donald Trump.

Sophia

chicago 12 hours ago

Wow. I completely disagree about Walker. He came across as uninformed about the Middle East and truly horrible on women’s issues. Regarding abortion, he doesn’t think there should be any exception for the life of the mother.

Think about that.

This callous disregard for our very lives is outrageous. Walker’s attacks on the teachers of Wisconsin are well-known to me, since I live in Illinois, but I hadn’t been aware that his anti-choice stance extends to a complete disregard for women’s lives let alone our health, freedom of choice, privacy, and our knowledge of what’s best for ourselves, our bodies, our futures, our finances and our families including our existing children.

That’s outrageous. I’m surprised that Nate Cohn didn’t find that alarming, reactionary and undemocratic.

Attitudes this extreme need to be reported. Not everybody had the time or opportunity to watch the debate, therefore they depend upon journalists for facts and interpretations of facts.

A man who is willing to let a woman die shouldn’t be anywhere near a powerful political office in the 21st century, let alone in America where we supposedly believe in equal rights for women.

newsjunky

Boston 6 hours ago

Well it wasn’t child appropriate viewing. I watched with elementary school children. Rubio and others who wouldn’t consider saving “the life of the mother” reduced my grandson to tears. That was the debate electricity in our house. Is it likely that adults are also revolted by this position – when they think of their wives, daughters sisters, and friends?

Humble Pi

Providence RI 6 hours ago

I don’t think that extreme anti-women stance was limited to Walker. It appeared that one by one, they were all pushed to say that they endorsed forcing women to die or raise a rapist’s child rather than have a medical procedure to save themselves, physically or psychologically. Rubio blurted it out, and Huckabee – well, we should be prepared to be charged as murderers in the unlikely event of a Huckabee administration. I think there’s not one of them qualified to lead a nation that includes women. Period.

Moira

Ohio 5 hours ago

I can’t believe you treat Walker’s stance on abortion so cavalierly. He doesn’t believe in abortion even to save the life of the mother, let the woman die. This needs to be screamed from the rooftops. There is a man who is a governor in the United States, a man that wants to be President, that thinks it’s perfectly fine for a woman to die instead of having an abortion that could save her life. This is outrageous and totally unacceptable. Walker is an ignoramus and dangerous to women and that was crystal clear to every woman who watched last night. Too bad you missed it Nate.

Jim in Tucson

Tucson 7 hours ago

Ironically, Trump has put Fox News in a very difficult position. By all rights, his refusal to unconditionally support the final Republican presidential candidate should disqualify him from any further debates. But by denying him a place on the stage, Fox would certainly force him to run as an independent, which would just as certainly hand the keys to the White House back to the Democrats. As it stands right now, Fox can’t guarantee the Republicans can retake the Presidency, but it can certainly guarantee the Democrats do.
Sixteen years after Ralph Nader put George W. Bush the White House, Donald Trump might well do the same for Hillary. Revenge may not always be a dish best served cold; warmed-over might work as well. Either way, the irony is delicious.

G. Morris

NY and NJ 4 hours ago

I found most of the candidates frightening. They would not allow a 15 year girl access to abortion if she were raped. They are telling young American women they do not have the right to live if they develop serious medical issues while pregnant. I hate abortion. Abortion rates in Western Europe are a small percent of the United States. Ask candidates why that is? Affordable access to effective birth control would allow our abortion rate to plummet while defunding Planned Parenthood would make the abortion rate rise.

Kasich appeared to be the only candidate to care whether Americans could survive their political values/bigotry.

barnesen

brooklyn 3 hours ago

The Republican platform: “I hate Obama, I hate Hillary, Obama is wrecking the country, Hillary will wreck the country, the terrorists are coming.”

4 hours ago

II wanted to see a group of candidates who would respond in earnest to important policy questions. I did not see much of that. The questions were often unprofessional and off-point for the overarching issues we face today. And the responses mostly were not very insightful.

Why does this party still boast it will repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank? Why do they reflexively say they want to cut Social Security and Medicare? Why do they proudly say they will not expand Medicaid, all in knee-jerk fashion? There are real human beings out there who need these. Are these people so out of touch that they cannot see how these issues affect the daily lives of real people?

And then there is the willingness to start another war. Again, real people will fight those wars and possibly die. Do these candidates care about that? Show me people with heart and a true desire to be a statesman, not a bunch of armchair generals. John Kasich seemed to have some warmth and humanity and a knowledge that what he may do will affect people’s lives. The others all seemed out solely for themselves.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/08/upshot/bush-and-trump-arent-among-the-gop-debate-winners.html?mabReward=A4&action=click&pgtype=Homepage®ion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

The Bengal Famine: How the British engineered the worst genocide in human history for profit

There are some who say that British made India a single country by their administrative reforms. Some say they brought Railways, post and telegraph, education to India. Of course they do nto want to see what damage they did to our country’s religion, culture and heritage and what economic deprivations visited upon our forefathers because of British’s callous and inhumane attitude.  Read on to understand teh monster, aka Colonial British rule.

http://yourstory.com/2014/08/bengal-famine-genocide/

| August 15, 2014 at 7:30 am

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Winston Churchill

The British had a ruthless economic agenda when it came to operating in India and that did not include empathy for native citizens. Under the British Raj, India suffered countless famines. But the worst hit was Bengal. The first of these was in 1770, followed by severe ones in 1783, 1866, 1873, 1892, 1897 and lastly 1943-44. Previously, when famines had hit the country, indigenous rulers were quick with useful responses to avert major disasters. After the advent of the British, most of the famines were a consequence of monsoonal delays along with the exploitation of the country’s natural resources by the British for their own financial gain. Yet they did little to acknowledge the havoc these actions wrought. If anything, they were irritated at the inconveniences in taxing the famines brought about.

Image source

The first of these famines was in 1770 and was ghastly brutal. The first signs indicating the coming of such a huge famine manifested in 1769 and the famine itself went on till 1773. It killed approximately 10 million people, millions more than the Jews incarcerated during the Second World War. It wiped out one third the population of Bengal. John Fiske, in his book “The Unseen World”, wrote that the famine of 1770 in Bengal was far deadlier than the Black Plague that terrorized Europe in the fourteenth century. Under the Mughal rule, peasants were required to pay a tribute of 10-15 per cent of their cash harvest. This ensured a comfortable treasury for the rulers and a wide net of safety for the peasants in case the weather did not hold for future harvests. In 1765 the Treaty of Allahabad was signed and East India Company took over the task of collecting the tributes from the then Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. Overnight the tributes, the British insisted on calling them tributes and not taxes for reasons of suppressing rebellion, increased to 50 percent. The peasants were not even aware that the money had changed hands. They paid, still believing that it went to the Emperor.

Image source

Partial failure of crop was quite a regular occurrence in the Indian peasant’s life. That is why the surplus stock, which remained after paying the tributes, was so important to their livelihood. But with the increased taxation, this surplus deteriorated rapidly. When partial failure of crops came in 1768, this safety net was no longer in place. The rains of 1769 were dismal and herein the first signs of the terrible draught began to appear. The famine occurred mainly in the modern states of West Bengal and Bihar but also hit Orissa, Jharkhand and Bangladesh. Bengal was, of course, the worst hit. Among the worst affected areas were Birbum and Murshidabad in Bengal. Thousands depopulated the area in hopes of finding sustenance elsewhere, only to die of starvation later on. Those who stayed on perished nonetheless. Huge acres of farmland were abandoned. Wilderness started to thrive here, resulting in deep and inhabitable jungle areas. Tirhut, Champaran and Bettiah in Bihar were similarly affected in Bihar.

Prior to this, whenever the possibility of a famine had emerged, the Indian rulers would waive their taxes and see compensatory measures, such as irrigation, instituted to provide as much relief as possible to the stricken farmers. The colonial rulers continued to ignore any warnings that came their way regarding the famine, although starvation had set in from early 1770. Then the deaths started in 1771. That year, the company raised the land tax to 60 per cent in order to recompense themselves for the lost lives of so many peasants. Fewer peasants resulted in less crops that in turn meant less revenue. Hence the ones who did not yet succumb to the famine had to pay double the tax so as to ensure that the British treasury did not suffer any losses during this travesty.

After taking over from the Mughal rulers, the British had issued widespread orders for cash crops to be cultivated. These were intended to be exported. Thus farmers who were used to growing paddy and vegetables were now being forced to cultivate indigo, poppy and other such items that yielded a high market value for them but could be of no relief to a population starved of food. There was no backup of edible crops in case of a famine. The natural causes that had contributed to the draught were commonplace. It was the single minded motive for profit that wrought about the devastating consequences. No relief measure was provided for those affected. Rather, as mentioned above, taxation was increased to make up for any shortfall in revenue. What is more ironic is that the East India Company generated a profited higher in 1771 than they did in 1768.

Image source

Although the starved populace of Bengal did not know it yet, this was just the first of the umpteen famines, caused solely by the motive for profit, that was to slash across the country side. Although all these massacres were deadly in their own right, the deadliest one to occur after 1771 was in 1943 when three million people died and others resorted to eating grass and human flesh in order to survive.

Image source

Winston Churchill, the hallowed British War prime minister who saved Europe from a monster like Hitler was disturbingly callous about the roaring famine that was swallowing Bengal’s population. He casually diverted the supplies of medical aid and food that was being dispatched to the starving victims to the already well supplied soldiers of Europe. When entreated upon he said, “Famine or no famine, Indians will breed like rabbits.” The Delhi Government sent a telegram painting to him a picture of the horrible devastation and the number of people who had died. His only response was, “Then why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?”

Image Source

Image source

This Independence Day it is worthwhile to remember that the riches of the west were built on the graves of the East. While we honour the brave freedom fighters (as we should), it is victims like these, the ones sacrificed without a moment’s thought, who paid the ultimate price. Shed a tear in their memory and strive to make the most of this hard won independence that we take for granted today. Pledge to stand up those whose voice the world refuses to hear because they are too lowly to matter. To be free is a great privilege. But as a great superhero once said, “With great freedom comes great responsibility.”

The End of the Death Penalty in USA?

A lengthy but interesting read from Slate:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/07/death_penalty_at_the_supreme_court_kennedy_may_vote_to_abolish_capital_punishment.single.html

Recent Supreme Court opinions suggest there are five votes to abolish capital punishment.

Returning to Social Media, Sharing my thoughts

Many friends have asked me about my absence from social media (principally Facebook, Blog, Twitter) for some time. I had expected to return to it after my last post some time in January (after absence of more than two months) but somehow that did not happen.

I had assumed that all my contacts knew that I was visiting Bharat but apparently that is not the case. I have people telling me- “Oh, we didn’t know you were in Bharat. When did you come? When are you going back?” So I should let all know that I have been in Bharat since mid December and will be here till late April.

Unlike in the past, this time my travel is limited as the objective of this visit is different. This time my wife and I have decided to spend quality time with my mother who is 91 years old , in her own home. Here in Karnavati (i.e., Amdavad). As such she stays in USA with us brothers but obviously she loves to be here in the house where she has spent decades and has many sweet memories. Naturally, we couldn’t be traveling around leaving her alone at home, so our outings are limited to a few hours in and around Karnavati.

This is first time that we are spending extended time in Bharat and I had to learn a lot about how to get the house going- be it reconnection of phone line, gas line, finding a cooking lady, finding servant, getting Internet connection, doing all grocery shoppng, etc. It has been fun as well as a challenge.

In the new environment, I find that my attraction (or is it addiction?) to computer has lessened considerably. I do check my emails regularly and at times visit Facebook briefly but have not ventured to write blogs.

I am enjoying watching early morning stars, long morning walks (1.5 to 3 miles), sipping warm milk while reading Indian Express leisurely on the swing (Jhoola) in our compound , sweeping fallen leaves from trees, watching some TV, afternoon naps, sitting with my mother reminiscing of days gone by, reading whatever I fancy

(I am reading simultaneously Mahabharat’s Shanti Parva , Dilip Kumar’s autography and an engineering book) and doing a host of myriad other things, including finding a right contractor to repair our house.

It is strange that I have not remembered for a moment in this time my house in Edison, NJ where I have lived for 15 years.

There s a lot to write about and God willing I will have multiple blogs in near future.

These are the subjects floating in my mind:

  • Township developed for followers of a particular Sampradaya
  • Visit of villages with a doctor
  • Jamnagar, and swachcha Bharat
  • Rajkot, Visiting an Old Age Home
  • Yeh Bambai Meri Jaan
  • GIBV conference on Make in India
  • Vibrant Gujarat?
  • What a determined young lady could achieve- Innovative Quality Group (IQG)
  • Inside the mind of a young volunteer engaged in village education
  • Father Vallace, proud Gujarati, my professor of Calculus
  • Observations on a morning walk- 1
  • Observations on a morning walk- 2
  • Obama and 26th January
  • Kettle calling pot black
  • Delhi Election
  • Hindus at receiving end, again
  • Million Rupees coat!
  • Losing a loved one- de ja vu
  • Slip between a cup and lips

There may be some additional ones. I do not know how many of these I will be able to write. Perhaps I will just make blogs using bullet points only.

In the mean time, naturally I would like to speak with and meet as many of my friends , contacts and relatives as possible. I could be contacted at vicharak@gmail.com or 98791-93725.

It is nice to get back in touch with you!

Gaurang Vaishnav

Abstinence?

In a Moment of Introspection…..

 Abstinence has a special place in Hindu Dharma; so it is with almost all religions.  Abstinence implies eschewing all pleasures derived from five senses, i.e.,  hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste.  It is not just the fasting but withdrawing mind from sense objects so that while abstaining from these, mind does not crave for them.

In modern times, especially since the advent of social media, there has been sensory overload. What starts out like a trickle and before one knows it becomes a raging flood ,is the social media.  One gets so immersed in it, be it Facebook, twitter or a blog. We spend umpteen hours  in front of the screen;  it could be your computer, iPad/tablet or smart phone.  We start out small. First out of curiosity or peer pressure. Then we get “friends”  and “likes”; “retweets and favorites.”  We write, we read, we approve, and we argue, we share, we frown, we curse, we jeopardize live, real life relations and communications at the altar of the social media and in some sober moment, we decide to cut down or just quit cold turkey.  But alas, kicking this habit is not any easier than quitting smoking, drinking, etc.

So here is yours truly, who has abstained from the social media for 41 days (except for  four or five forwarded tweets). It started out with compulsion and then took a life of its own.  In end October I was traveling to California from New Jersey for an important meeting, so  I knew that I would not be touching Facebook or twitter for five days as has happened in past.  For a person who spends considerable time on social media not only for entertainment or self-expression but also for research and cataloging, abstinence from social media for five consecutive days is too much. But unknown to me at that time, it was a start of a new journey.  On my way to California, I developed sever pain in my leg. It was excruciating and covered length of the leg from waist to toe. Any movement- walking, standing, sitting down, lying in particular position brought nerve-wracking bouts of fresh pain signals. This was followed by blisters on the back of the leg that followed the path of the pain.  A visit to the hospital upon return home revealed that it was a case of shingles.   The doctor prescribed medicines, one of them being narcotic pain killer but he simply shrugged his shoulders and told me that I had to wait it out  and pain (which is a nerve pain) will take its own time to subside.

The medicines made me groggy and for a few days I did not know whether it was day or night when I opened my eyes.  Sitting in front of computer was out of question. One, pain would increase moment I sat down and two, I could not concentrate.  So after a few failed attempts I gave up. For someone who has always prided in good to excellent health, this illness was ego shattering.  I may take Tylenol or Advil may be four or five times in a year. Now here I was popping pills every four hours!  I have taken more of Tylenol and assorted ibuprofen in one month than what I had taken in previous 40 years.

As things started getting better, I had strong desire to get back to Facebook, twitter and my blog. However, something inside kept pulling me back.  I was supposed to travel to Bharat mid-November (did not happen) so I had lot of things to take care of.  I had not yet cleared the backlog of personal work that had accumulated during my six week trip to Bharat for election campaign.  May be I was feeling guilty that with all the pending work inside and around the house, I could/should not spend time on computer.

As I started getting better, suddenly I had this revelation- yes, I could live without social media and world would not come to an end!  So I watched inside me to see if I was thinking about Facebook, etc. Surprisingly, I was not.  I decided to keep going, almost “fasting” from social media as long as it was natural and not forced or contrived.

During this period I started reading three books. As such I have a library of more than 1000 books of all kind and in different languages. Many of the books I scan for providing reference in some of my write ups; others I refer to, to compare notes with something I might have read or where I may be getting in a debate with others on social media or in other forums and some I read for pure personal pleasure.  These three books were on my “to read” list or in the modern slang, on my bucket list. These were:

The Legend of Pope Joan, In Search of The Truth by Peter Stanford; The Roman Empire by Colin Wells and in Gujarati , Prati Nayak (anti-Hero), a book about Mohammad Ali Zinnah by Prof. Dinkar Joshi.  I am yet to complete them so someday I will write about them.

Also immediately after coming back from Bharat in May I read two books that I had bought there. Durbar by Tavleen Singh and Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths by P. C. Parakh, former Secretary, Ministry of Coal. Someday, I will write about them too.

I have few more books on my immediate reading list. These are Majority Report and three books on Narendra Modi.

I will also write about my observation of the temple complex of Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi as well as about a comment by one reader that NRIs did not have right to advise Indians about whom to vote in the election, etc.

With all that on my plate, my immediate task is to write about an uplifting experience at Denver airport on way  to San Jose, California.

Now do you see, why it is healthy to stay away from social media?

Finally,  we (yes this time, I am not alone) are leaving for Bharat tomorrow and this time it is going to be a considerably longer stay.  From mid-January onwards I will stay put in Karnavati (that is Amdavad.) Between now and January 9, I would be traveling within Gujarat with a short visit to Mumbai.  I plan to attend Vibrant Gujarat. As a matter of fact GIBV (Global Indians for Bharat Vikas)’s Forum for Global Leadership of India (FGLI) has arranged a full day seminar on January 10th on Technology which will be keynoted by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology.

You may reach me by email (vicharak@gmail.com) or by sending me a message on Facebook.

Hopefully I would be able to meet many of my friends who have traveled on the same path for bringing change to Bharat for the better.  Shubham Bhavatu!

Hildaraja's Blog

about my reactions and responses to men and affairs

બોઝિલ

EXISTANCE ON THE EARTH IS STILL BOZIL ..

રઝળપાટ

- મારી કલમ ના પગલા

World Hindu Economic Forum

Making Society Prosperous

Suchetausa's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Guruprasad's Portal

Inspirational, Insightful, Informative..

Aksharnaad.com

અંતરની અનુભૂતિનો અક્ષર ધ્વનિ..

Ramani's blog

Health Mantras Hinduism Research Global Hinduism History Science Vedic Tamil Texts

Jayshree Merchant

Gujarati Writer & Poet

થીગડું

તૂટી-ફૂટી ગયેલા વિચારો પર કલમ થી માર્યું એક થીગડું.....

Swami Vivekananda

Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides, news too..

Acta Indica › The St Thomas In India History Hoax

Articles on the dubious Saint Thomas in India legend by noted historians, researchers, and journalists

2ndlook

Take a 2ndlook | Different Picture, Different Story

उत्तरापथ

तक्षशिला से मगध तक यात्रा एक संकल्प की . . .

Vicharak1's Weblog

My thoughts and useful articles from media

%d bloggers like this: