Thursday, October 23, 2003
Re: Will India Split?
Point to note - we are NOT one nation - a nation is an ethnically and linguistically related people, which Indians are not. This does not mean we should not be a united country. But it certainly means that we should be very careful in protecting our unity, and avoid disparities as much as possible. Otherwise, fissures could develop along these faultlines - be they language, geography or race/ethnicity.
Another thing overlooked by Rajdeep Sardesai is the importance afforded by the establishment to the history and culture of the North. Not a single guy in Columbus with whom I have talked abt this could tell me where Kamrup was. Why should India's history be that of Mauryas, and then the Guptas, and then Harsha and then the Sultans and then the Mughals? Why are Cholas and the kings of Kamrup or Palas given as much weightage as say, the comparatively sized kingdom of Harshavardhana?
For that matter, why did Sivaji Ganeshan have to receive Chevalier before he got Dada Saheb Phalke? In fact, if you pull up the list of DSP awardees, one glaring fact that jumps at you is that there have been only four awardees from the Telugu and Tamil industries, and except B.Nagi Reddy, the others, Nageswara Rao, Dr.Rajkumar, and Sivaji Ganeshan, were awarded when the south was supposedly ascendant in New Delhi - with southerners being the Prime Ministers.
Question is, WHY?
Will India Split?
I have been, for some time now, been crying myself hoarse abt the looming threat to the integrity of the Indian state - the growing disparity between the forward states and the so-called cow belt. Some people have even called me a secessionist for that... here is an article by Rajdeep Sardesai on the same thing.
I think even Sardesai is overlooking the influence of an actual change in power equations, as against the apparent one that he talks abt, that will happen if the constituencies are delineated in 20 years. This is a bigger threat than even what Sardesai says.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Re: Boykin's remarks
Sorry it got posted many times. connection was giving me trouble the other day. i dont see the post here now though.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the "glory of God residing in inanimate objects", but its a question of grades of Transcendental Knowledge, not about realms of possibility.
Re: Boykin's remarks
Besides, I have as much belief in that Boykin made all those statements bearing in mind all these philosophical arcanities I have in the compassion of Bush's conservatism. Essentially, both are covers for being a bigot.
re: Boykin's remarks
I understand u are being emphatic here... now, stop repeating that time and over! :)
As impressive as ur definition seems, I really am not able to see just what the basis of this claim is. In deed, you seem to be talking abt polytheism, rather than idolatory. Idolatory, to me, is the simple acceptance of the fact that the glory of the Ultimate is also capable of residing in (in)animate physical objects, and denial of this is, in fact, demeaning the Ultimate. Yes, this argument does give a more-than-abstract nature to God (shorthand for the Ultimate). But hey, is not God not be of that quality too?
Friday, October 17, 2003
Dumbass of the year Award Nominee
I nominate Lt. Gen. William Boykin for the Dumbass of the Year,2003 award, for his speeches before Evangelical Churches, made in full uniform, talking about how his God is more powerful than theirs (Muslim's), who, he helpfully informs us, is an idol!
Pardon me, but aren't Muslims less idolators than Christians, who, after all, do have graven images of Christ, and occassionally, do represent God in paintings?
I see a very big danger in this confusion of God, Country and Honor among the adherants of the religious right. It's never been a good trend anywhere in the world. And America is no exception to it.
Good news from Ayodhya... while I do not, ever, admire Mulayam Singh Yadav, we should appreciate the fact that the planned protest at Ayodhya turned out (rather was made) a damp squib.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
the word "normal" for heterosexual couples did not imply that homosexual couples were "abnormal" in the biological/psychological sense, but just that heterosex is the "norm", while gay-marriage is still rare. Spare me the cane and chill out!
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
CA benefits for same sex partners
> Re: california ruling on homos
First of all, Carl, it is NOT a ruling - it is a political decision, taken by the legislature, and signed into law by the outgoing Governor, and supported by the incoming one. "Ruling" is used only for a judicial decision.
>> "Carl, do I see something deeper in those double quotes?"
> Pardon? That's the first gay-related news item I have ever posted.
Sure, sir, I know. Dunno if it's ur reputation, but it occured to me that the wording of ur link, as phrased by you, was pretty suggestive. First of all, same sex couples as not abnormal. And yes, they are spouses too.
And having said that, I must appreciate u for having decided to touch upon the issue.
Re: california ruling on homos
>"Carl, do I see something deeper in those double quotes?"
Pardon? That's the first gay-related news item I have ever posted.
Call for Discussion!
I think some strong discussions are overdue on this blog - I can think, off my head, issues like same-sex marriage, India's nuclear posture, and WTO. With Niagamanth aboard, I think we have a fair spectrum in here.
Re: CA benefits
> Gay partners of employees now will recv same benefits as a normal "spouse"
Carl, do I see something deeper in those double quotes?
Ramki, did you read the tripe Rep. Robert Guida and Saghir Tahir spouted forth in the article Ram Narayanan fwded?
A tentative response:
Recently you published an article by Rep. Robert Guida, with the inconspicuous postscript that he also speaks for the honourable Rep. Saghir Tahir. The article is a classic of mendacity. The following list of *verifiable* facts will show how the article serves up boldfaced lies under cover of even more sensational allegations that ordinary Americans are unlilely to verofy, and some dubious rhetoric to boot.
Firstly, Rep. Guida (and Rep. Saghir no doubt) casually slip in allegations that the Indian Government is "persecuting" Kashmiri Muslims. Anyone remotely familiar with the situation in that troubled region knows that the lines aren't so clear. In the state of Jammu & Kashmir, around 60% of the inhabitants were Muslim. Most Hindus have been ethnically cleansed by terrorists -- a strange phenomenon in a situation of what, Guida says, is Indian Government persecution. Of the Muslim Kashmiris, the Shi'a are pro-India, and are generally the ones responsible for tipping Indian police off about terrorist infiltrators from Pakistan coming into their area. That's because they have heard and seen the Pakistani Government's massacres of their Shi'a brethren in Pak-occupied Kashmir, as well as the regular Shia-killing carried out in all Pakistani cities by the out-of-control Wahabi-funded groups in Pakistan.
Now it is true that at one time a small section of Sunni Kashmiris, intoxicated with the idea of a "pure" Islamic state, were successfully seduced by what Guida calls the "original premise of partition", a fascist separatist ideology peddled by Pakistan that Guida asks all Americans to support. However, the majority of Kashmiri Sunnis have never supported this divisive agenda, and they expressed this sentiment in the most recent elections in their state, coming out to vote despite the desperate efforts of terrorists to scare them away from the polling booths. The international media have documented this landmark development in full, and the facts are eminently verifiable. But Guia asks the American people to ignore the voice of democracy in a multicultural nation and lend support to the "premise of partition" peddled by a violent, fascist minority with support from across an international border.
Secondly, I fear the honourable Representative may have embarassed himself by making some vague allusion to an FBI "report" that the BJP-lead coalition government in India diabolically massacred 200 Hindus just to sway an election in its favor. We demand that Rep. Guida substantiate this outrageous allegation. We can hazard an educated guess as to where such ridiculous speculation comes from, for the Pakistani "free" media was rife with op-eds alleging that the CIA masterminded the 9/11 attacks just to fabricate a casus belli for military intervention in the Islamic World. It appears that such Machiavellian speculation is common in some parts of the world, and the innocent Rep. Guida caught it from a close associate.
We demand that Rep. Guida also substantiate all the lurid facts and nicely rounded-off figures about rape and murder with documents having more credibility than an arbitrary internet website.
Guida also has a problem with one single statement of no-nonsense determination that the Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee made. But the same man was also responsible for initiating peace talks *twice* with the Pakistanis -- the first time with a democratically elected Pakistani, Mr.Nawaz Sharif, who was exiled in a coup lead by General Musharraf, whom Mr.Guida regards as a committed ally against terrorism. Gen. Musharraf was also the mastermind of the Kargil War, derailing the Lahore peace talks that Mr.Vajpayee initiated.
All this and more is readily verifiable, and it only astounds me how Rep. Guida (and the honourable Rep. Tahir) thought such a trashy article could pass muster. I hope this brief rejoinder finds a place where your readers can educate themselves and learn to double-check such wild allegations made under cover of a confused logic and rhetoric. Islamist jihad is built on the twin pillars of Saudi money and the nuclear weapons Pakistan has acquired. Americans need to fortify themselves with all the facts before again embracing this dangerous "ally" and reaping another bloody harvest a la 9/11.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Gay partners of employees now will recv same benefits as a normal "spouse"
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Ramki, the absolute breakdown of law and order, and basic civilized values in the state of Bihar under this wicked government affords no occasion for even half-humorous compliments. The people of this wretched state need to be re-civilized.
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Hats off Madam Chief Minister
I am glad that Mrs. Rabri Devi has decided to, for once, show that she is not just a benami for her husband. I hope she continues this trend - she might set a great example for other women in India. You may not be educated. But, you can be empowered, and need not act as a stand in for the man of your household.
This shameful trend of having the wife be a dummy for hubby occurs too often in Panchayats also. It should stop.
Re: Church and State
Carl, Certainly not - The Pope does not limit himself to the role of a temporal head of a religion. For example, when he visited India, he was hosted in the Rashtrapati Bhavan - an honor that say, a Grand Ayatollah from Najaf would not have recd. In this sense, he is similar to the Dalai Lama, playing a dual role. In that sense, when the Vatican issues a decree such as what I was talking abt, it is acting in a manner that amounts to interference. Besides, the Church, by explicitly calling politicans (or rulers) to rally around its cause, is violating the separation of Church and State in many countries.
Last time Pope came to Delhi, I did not find too much reason in the argument of some that he should not be recd by the PM or the President. Now, I think I see their point.
Friday, October 10, 2003
Re: Church and State
the church does not bother itself with the decency of not trying to use the religion in influencing policies of other countries
Ramki, the Vatican's sovereignty is moral and spiritual by definition and transcends national boundaries dividing the community of the faithful. Papal judgement on national policies of nations with significant Chrissy populations is not the same as a temporal leader's interference in another country's affairs. Many of the faithful look to the Papa for a comment presumably backed by scriptural authority. Therefore your criticism on this count is unwarranted.
But you can certainly argue about whether Papal decrees are truly guided by scripture, the correct interpretation, and even whether there is something fishy about the scriptures themselves.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Correct me if I am wrong.... an infallible authority should have no occassion to confess to a mistake, right? Well, the Pope apologised for the atrocities committed against the Jews in Jerusalem. And yet, the Church claims that the Papacy is infallible.
So, which one is the truth? That the Church feels sorry, or that the Papa is always rite?
PS: An interesting precedent - when he surrendered to the Americans in 1945, Emperor Hirohito rescinded all claims to divinity and infallibility.
More lies from Holy Father...
When it comes to its own theology and human lives, the Catholic Church has never left its choice ambiguous - theology, of course! More evidence of that. Turns out lying is an okay sin, if it stops the the Big sin (oh my!) of some one using a condom. The Guardian quotes an upcoming BBC report that the Catholic Church is spreading lies about the use of condoms. Turns out, the Church is telling people in countries stricken by AIDS not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which the HIV virus can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.
This is inhuman, unconscionable, when literally millions are dying due to this scourge, and good hearted people are investing their life time and billions of Dollars in educational programs to teach people of these countries the methods of preventing contracting this desease.
But hey, the Church lost its soul centuries back!
There is a difference between 'discouraging' homosexuality, and the vicious campaign that the Vatican has been carrying out, from the medieval days against homosexuals, and homosexuality.
Sure, Dalai Lama may not feel comfy with gays... but then, how many gays has his monastery burnt at stake?
What is outrageous to me is that even today, the church does not bother itself with the decency of not trying to use the religion in influencing policies of other countries. Hence the recent edict that enjoins upon the Catholic politicians a 'duty' to oppose same sex marriages.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Not a well-known fact-- even the Dalai Lama is reported to have "discouraged" homosexuality.
Saturday, October 04, 2003
I realize I am sounding increasingly bitter with the Catholic Church. Let me place on record that some of my dearest friends are Catholics. It is not the religion itself I am speaking against. It's the hypocritical clergy hierarchy. It's no different from my equally bitter criticism of the hypocrisy among some so-called orthodox Brahmins when it comes to caste. Having been raised amidst a lot of such conservative lot, I know just how deep this runs.
The New Standup Comedian
Reuters reports that Pope John Paul II told the Archbishop of Canterbury, the nominal head of the Anglican Church, Rev. Rown Williams that Anglican Homosexual Clergy Blocks Unity. Really, a man who can tell such hilarious lies with a straight face should consider doing stand up comedy.
Every survey report on the topic has suggested that an inordinately high percentage of Catholic priests are, in secret, homosexuals. But the Most Revered Papa has the gall to preach to the Anglicans? But hey, the Catholic Church has never lagged in the hypocrisy department!
Friday, October 03, 2003
Re: MY India
In addition, Javed Akhtar was also talking along the same lines. Only problem is that I've heard this before, but they haven't been able to make any impression. To do so, they should follow a simple two-step procedure that is guaranteed to work:
1) All such right-thinking Indian Muslims should band together under ONE banner. Javed Akhtar was talking of another org he is planning to set up.
2) Vocally and in a high-profile manner, they should volunteer to do kar seva for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. In other words, build the temple with their own contributions of money and labour.