Thursday, July 31, 2008

To be Alert

While watching the TV news last weekend focused on Bangalore and then Ahmadabad blasts, what we could see obviously was shock, panic and resolute citizens to help the affected and showing an instant spirit to fight terrorism. But will this enthusiasm last? Shall we ever get organized and consistent as well as disciplined to raise above all future threats so that no one can come in the way of our peace and progress?

In most of such cases it is temporary. And such short lasting steps by the authorities as well as by people like us leads to a wide scale frustration and pessimism in the society. We feel hopeless. This was quite evident when a news correspondent asked an apparently educated, high middle class gentleman at India Gate in New Delhi as why so many people still flock out of homes to visit public places on weekends when there is a red alert in the city? He simply replies- it is a part of life! One has to accept this reality, and accept whatever happens to us!

Why such a response? It reflects the mind of most of us in recent times. Are we assured of safety after we stay home for a few days? Is there any guarantee that things will be corrected once and forever if everyone complies with the red alert?

So, what is required is a consistent and everlasting approach by everyone o fight this menace. A well scheduled and regular program to tackle this problem is the only approach which can be successful. (It should be a software based program where nobody’s complacency can affect its ongoing implementation}

Here are certain issues which I could think in last couple of days, and would like to share with you-----

· Positive Energy in our reactions—what I could personally see in the American president’s actions against Afghanistan and Iraq was more of negativity than doing something constructive. The very approach from their side against that country, government and one particular community was full of bias and negativity...

· in my opinion, only positive energy and actions can correct such complex problems. One of my friends and senior executive in a corporate always advises me—rise well above your competitors and people surrounding you. Then no action of theirs can ever harm you or land you in any trouble. I know that in a complex situation like terrorism, it is very difficult to plan actions that making verbal suggestions. But it seems this is the reality.

· Viewing the events in last 3 days, it was apparent that making appeals to the public to be alert and aware was quite scattered. And worse was a lack of appreciation for people like one in Surat, who independently started thinking about a Maruti car which was lying in front of a general hospital for 2 odd hours which he enquired with local hospitals and then concluded that something is fishy about it. Such glaring examples of alertness should be promptly recognized, highlighted and appreciated in a way that each and every citizen is aware of such an incident.

· extending my view of such 3 Maruti cars being identified and then making conclusions that the numbers were of Baroda passing but fake and were of two wheelers. But why the story ends here? As far as my knowledge goes, it should take not more that 1 hour to trace the original owner of that vehicle from its distributors’ list. I hope that investigating agency must have done it but it should be made known to the public partially at least so that the informer feels some excitement and fulfillment that his alertness and actions is being followed by the agencies and what he has done is quite very important. Such scenario can encourage others to do the similar things.

· Further going to the matter of fake numbers, it was told by the media that this series of numbers- GJ 6 CD ---- is for two wheelers only. In fact this is a very important point and it makes things simpler for intelligence department. In most of the cases a vehicle has to pass a major road where a toll naka is there or a spot where there is police patrolling. Now the need is to update or link toll naka computer systems issuing tickets with RTO data, so that any fake number plate like this is instantly noticed. The system will reject a fake number of a two wheeler when issuing a ticket for a four wheeler. Even make of that vehicle can be linked with the RTO number, so that even amongst four wheelers, one can identify a fake number. Police posted for such patrolling should also be trained and equipped with such data, so as to make them efficient and prompt to detect a crime being executed at such an entry level.

· And record of toll naka can be helpful for tracing the route as well as precise timings of the movement of a suspected vehicle.

· Technology is the only one consistent tool with us along with resolute administration creating high morale across the departments and cadres. As it is well known that terrorist acts are implemented with a wide range of methods and that too in a highly unpredictable way, proper use of technology only can help us with high degree of accuracy and dependability. Why we are too slack in using it is a big question mark. Even if a phone call or an e mail is received and is being flashed repeatedly in media, there is no further progress beyond that in hours or days following it!

Viewby my friend Dr Harin Vadodariya

Inspiring One

God has always been planning things for me'

July 28, 2008

Shobha Warrier

Naga Naresh Karutura has just passed out of IIT Madras in Computer Science and has joined Google in Bangalore .

You may ask, what's so special about this 21-year-old when there are hundreds of students passing out from various IITs and joining big companies like Google?

Naresh is special. His parents are illiterate. He has no legs and moves around in his powered wheel chair. (In fact, when I could not locate his lab, he told me over the mobile phone, 'I will come and pick you up'. And in no time, he was there to guide me)

Ever smiling, optimistic and full of spirit; that is Naresh. He says, "God has always been planning things for me. That is why I feel I am lucky."

Read why Naresh feels he is lucky.

Childhood in a village
I spent the first seven years of my life in Teeparru, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, on the banks of the river Godavari . My father Prasad was a lorry driver and my mother Kumari, a house wife. Though they were illiterate, my parents instilled in me and my elder sister (Sirisha) the importance of studying.

Looking back, one thing that surprises me now is the way my father taught me when I was in the 1st and 2nd standards. My father would ask me questions from the text book, and I would answer them. At that time, I didn't know he could not read or write but to make me happy, he helped me in my studies!

Another memory that doesn't go away is the floods in the village and how I was carried on top of a buffalo by my uncle. I also remember plucking fruits from a tree that was full of thorns.

I used to be very naughty, running around and playing all the time with my friends. I used to get a lot of scolding for disturbing the elders who slept in the afternoon. The moment they started scolding, I would run away to the fields!

I also remember finishing my school work fast in class and sleeping on the teacher's lap!

January 11, 1993, the fateful day
On the January 11, 1993 when we had the sankranti holidays, my mother took my sister and me to a nearby village for a family function. From there we were to go with our grandmother to our native place. But my grandmother did not come there. As there were no buses that day, my mother took a lift in my father's friend's lorry. As there were many people in the lorry, he made me sit next to him, close to the door.

It was my fault; I fiddled with the door latch and it opened wide throwing me out. As I fell, my legs got cut by the iron rods protruding from the lorry. Nothing happened to me except scratches on my legs.

The accident had happened just in front of a big private hospital but they refused to treat me saying it was an accident case. Then a police constable who was passing by took us to a government hospital.

First I underwent an operation as my small intestine got twisted. The doctors also bandaged my legs. I was there for a week. When the doctors found that gangrene had developed and it had reached up to my knees, they asked my father to take me to a district hospital. There, the doctors scolded my parents a lot for neglecting the wounds and allowing the gangrene to develop. But what could my ignorant parents do?

In no time, both my legs were amputated up to the hips.

I remember waking up and asking my mother, where are my legs? I also remember that my mother cried when I asked the question. I was in the hospital for three months.

Life without legs
I don't think my life changed dramatically after I lost both my legs. Because all at home were doting on me, I was enjoying all the attention rather than pitying myself. I was happy that I got a lot of fruits and biscuits.

'I never wallowed in self-pity'

July 28, 2008

The day I reached my village, my house was flooded with curious people; all of them wanted to know how a boy without legs looked. But I was not bothered; I was happy to see so many of them coming to see me, especially my friends!

All my friends saw to it that I was part of all the games they played; they carried me everywhere.

God's hand
I believe in God. I believe in destiny. I feel he plans everything for you. If not for the accident, we would not have moved from the village to Tanuku, a town. There I joined a missionary school, and my father built a house next to the school. Till the tenth standard, I studied in that school.

If I had continued in Teeparu, I may not have studied after the 10th. I may have started working as a farmer or someone like that after my studies. I am sure God had other plans for me.

My sister, my friend
When the school was about to reopen, my parents moved from Teeparu to Tanuku, a town, and admitted both of us in a Missionary school. They decided to put my sister also in the same class though she is two years older. They thought she could take care of me if both of us were in the same class. My sister never complained.

She would be there for everything. Many of my friends used to tell me, you are so lucky to have such a loving sister. There are many who do not care for their siblings.

She carried me in the school for a few years and after a while, my friends took over the task. When I got the tricycle, my sister used to push me around in the school.

My life, I would say, was normal, as everyone treated me like a normal kid. I never wallowed in self-pity. I was a happy boy and competed with others to be on top and the others also looked at me as a competitor.

Inspiration
I was inspired by two people when in school; my Maths teacher Pramod Lal who encouraged me to participate in various local talent tests, and a brilliant boy called Chowdhary, who was my senior.

When I came to know that he had joined Gowtham Junior College to prepare for IIT-JEE, it became my dream too. I was school first in 10th scoring 542/600.

Because I topped in the state exams, Gowtham Junior College waived the fee for me. Pramod Sir's recommendation also helped. The fee was around Rs 50,000 per year, which my parents could never afford.

Moving to a residential school
Living in a residential school was a big change for me because till then my life centred around home and school and I had my parents and sister to take care of all my needs. It was the first time that I was interacting with society. It took one year for me to adjust to the new life.

There, my inspiration was a boy called K K S Bhaskar who was in the top 10 in IIT-JEE exams. He used to come to our school to encourage us. Though my parents didn't know anything about Gowtham Junior School or IIT, they always saw to it that I was encouraged in whatever I wanted to do. If the results were good, they would praise me to the skies and if bad, they would try to see something good in that. They did not want me to feel bad.

They are such wonderful supportive parents.

Life at IIT- Madras
Though my overall rank in the IIT-JEE was not that great (992), I was 4th in the physically handicapped category. So, I joined IIT, Madras to study Computer Science.

Here, my role model was Karthik who was also my senior in school. I looked up to him during my years at IIT- Madras.

He had asked for attached bathrooms for those with special needs before I came here itself. So, when I came here, the room had attached bath. He used to help me and guide me a lot when I was here.

I evolved as a person in these four years, both academically and personally. It has been a great experience studying here. The people I was interacting with were so brilliant that I felt privileged to sit along with them in the class. Just by speaking to my lab mates, I gained a lot.

'There are more good people in society than bad ones'

July 28, 2008

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude to Prof Pandurangan and all my lab mates; all were simply great. I was sent to Boston along with four others for our internship by Prof Pandurangan. It was a great experience.

Joining Google R&D
I did not want to pursue PhD as I wanted my parents to take rest now.

Morgan Stanley selected me first but I preferred Google because I wanted to work in pure computer science, algorithms and game theory.

I am lucky
Do you know why I say I am lucky?

I get help from total strangers without me asking for it. Once after my second year at IIT, I with some of my friends was travelling in a train for a conference. We met a kind gentleman called Sundar in the train, and he has been taking care of my hostel fees from then on.

I have to mention about Jaipur foot. I had Jaipur foot when I was in 3rd standard. After two years, I stopped using them. As I had almost no stems on my legs, it was very tough to tie them to the body. I found walking with Jaipur foot very, very slow. Sitting also was a problem. I found my tricycle faster because I am one guy who wants to do things faster.

One great thing about the hospital is, they don't think their role ends by just fixing the Jaipur foot; they arrange for livelihood for all. They asked me what help I needed from them. I told them at that time, if I got into an IIT, I needed financial help from them. So, from the day I joined IIT, Madras , my fees were taken care of by them. So, my education at the IIT was never a burden on my parents and they could take care of my sister's Nursing studies.

Surprise awaited me at IIT
After my first year, when I went home, two things happened here at the Institute without my knowledge.

I got a letter from my department that they had arranged a lift and ramps at the department for me. It also said that if I came a bit early and checked whether it met with my requirements, it would be good.

Second surprise was, the Dean, Prof Idichandy and the Students General Secretary, Prasad had located a place that sold powered wheel chairs. The cost was Rs 55,000. What they did was, they did not buy the wheel chair; they gave me the money so that the wheel chair belonged to me and not the institute.

My life changed after that. I felt free and independent.

That's why I say I am lucky. God has planned things for me and takes care of me at every step.

The world is full of good people
I also feel if you are motivated and show some initiative, people around you will always help you. I also feel there are more good people in society than bad ones. I want all those who read this to feel that if Naresh can achieve something in life, you can too.

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do."

Contributed by:Krishna (Krishna@dsrc.co.in)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Power of Positive Talk

Power of Positive Talk
I remember my dad teaching me the power of language at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success .

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn't realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high
.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad's voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree. I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy's mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don't fall!" And Tammy did. Fall.

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined. Whereas, my eight-year- old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly.

This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can't visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that. For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn't get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don't drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball. My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn't. I'll never make it pro, but I'm now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do.
Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren't paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.

The point is made.

If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won't. Either they will be at the party or they won't. I'm brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try. Do they think I don't know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I'll try" come out of my mouth unless I'm teaching this concept in a seminar.

If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can't make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I'm not sure if I will be at your party or not. I've got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite."
People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary.

My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism. These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction. So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, “I’m fat. Nobody will like me. I'll try this diet. I'm not good enough. I'm so stupid. I'm broke, etc. etc."

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue.

Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words. Notice when you or other people use them.
Ø But: Negates any words that are stated before it.
Ø Try: Presupposes failure.
Ø If: Presupposes that you may not.
Ø Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener...
Ø Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.
Ø Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt.)
Ø Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
Ø Can't/Don’t: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.

Examples:
Toxic phrase: "Don't drop the ball!"
Likely result: Drops the ball
Better language: "Catch the ball!"
Toxic phrase: "You shouldn't watch so much television."
Likely result: Watches more television.
Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"

Exercise: Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

An Emergency Call to Save Ram Sethu

An Emergency Call to Save Ram Sethu

Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) will destroy Ram Sethu and turn the Gulf of Mannar into an Ecological disaster.

We are sending out this S.O.S. to you in the hope that we can all come together in body, mind or prayer to help Save Ram Sethu.

The Supreme Court of India is hearing the Sethusamudram (SSCP) case from July 22 to July 29, 2008. The Indian Government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has filed an affidavit seeking permission to go ahead with the SSCP and submitting that the archaeological survey (ASI) is not important. The Government's turnaround - considering it had earlier suggested that the ASI is imperative – clearly indicates that the Government seems to be in a rush to execute a project that was first conceived not less than 144 years ago!

If the Supreme Court passes this case, the dredging of Ram Sethu is expected to begin right away. There are unconfirmed reports that Ram Sethu might be blasted with dynamite if dredging becomes difficult on the rough sea.

Save Ram Sethu Campaign takes strong exception to a wholly incorrect interpretation - an extreme distortion – of Hindu scriptures by lawyer Fali S. Nariman, who represented the Government of India before the Supreme Court on July 22 and reportedly quoted from "Kamba Ramayana" and "Padmapurana" and said that the destruction of the bridge by Lord Rama is mentioned therein.

Aside from the distastefulness of a lawyer of Mr. Nariman's stature distorting Hindu scriptures in an attempt to obtain favorable orders, Mr. Nariman's reference to Lord Rama as "superman" is blasphemous, scurrilous and an extreme distortion which we find insulting to our Hindu faith. Mr. Nariman should retract his statements and apologize to the Hindus.

Some months ago, the lawyers representing the Government had shocked the entire world by making a submission to the Supreme Court denying the very existence of Lord Rama. Now it has come up with a distorted interpretation from "Kamba Ramayana" and "Padmapurana" to justify the destruction of Ram Sethu for the sake of the SSCP. It seems to escape the Government's attention that historically or otherwise Ram Sethu is associated with Lord Rama and sacred to millions of Hindus in India and abroad.

We must act now to protect our sacred heritage from greedy, mindless destruction. We are imploring you to do the right thing - and the right thing is preserving Ram Sethu for current and future generations. Men with machines can destroy in minutes what can never be replaced. Do we want to be remembered as the people who were able to stop the destruction, or the people who allowed it to proceed?

We are a proud and ancient civilization and we must rise to the occasion against all impossibilities. We must salvage and wrest our rightful and magnificent heritage from the forces of ignorance, arrogance and greed.

When the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan statues, the world reacted with horror at their act of barbarism. What the Indian Government proposes to do to Ram Sethu is no less barbaric.Â

This threat to our religion is more than real and right on our threshold!

Please act now

We are looking for one million supporters willing to take a stand and not allow a syndicate of politicians and vested interests defile our sacred heritage. Can we count on you? Please call Indian Government representatives, Embassies and High Commissions in your area and register your opposition by phone and fax.

Please forward this to others, especially the youth, and ask them to get involved in protecting our religion.

Let the Indian Government know that destroying our Religious heritage for the profit of a few is unethical and the Government has no right to indiscriminately & selectively destroy it. Ram Sethu is our heritage and our history and we owe its protection and preservation to our future generations. The world is waiting and watching.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rose


How To Plant Your Garden

Hope this gets to you ... it's one of the Best ones...hope you enjoy.
......for those that garden....this is lovely........for those that don't......you will still enjoy this!!!!!!!




How To Plant Your Garden

First, you Come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses....

FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING, PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:





1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul




PLANT FOUR ROWS OF S! QUASH:

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness


PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:

1. Lettuce be faithful

2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another



NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:



1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another



TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:



1. Thyme for each other
2.. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends





WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE. THERE IS MUCH FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Terror in India

By now, all news media have given full accounts of the way terror has been stalking the country without any fear. The terrorist strikes in Bangalore and Ahmedabad on two successive days on 25th and 26th July 2008 have been condemned and the inaction of the Govt. has been strongly denounced by all the media and people at large.

And yet, the Governments of the day, whether at the State level or the Central level continue to demonstrate their impotence before and after each strike. THE STATE seems to be benumbed and to all intents and purposes continues to show scant regard not only for human lives but the threats to the very integrity and peace and harmony of the country.

For every terror strike, the primary responsibility remains that of the State Govt. and no amount of efforts to pass the buck on to the Center can diminish the responsibility of the State Governments for their failure to protect the lives and limbs of the residents of that State. The State Govt. is primarily responsible for law and order and it’s the best judge of the ground conditions in the State. It is the State Govt. that has to develop its own strong intelligence network and also have an inter-state mechanism to share such intelligence. If fear has to be instilled in the would-be terrorists in the State, it is the State Govt. that is primarily in a position to do so. The State Govt.s do not appear to have any programs to provide specialized anti-terrorist training, if need be, with help from foreign countries, to its police force and create a strong cadre for such anti-terrorist operations. Nor do the State Govt.s have even a basic policy of giving monetary rewards for informants, not only after an act of terror but at all times.

Therefore, in the case of Gujarat in particular, where the Gujarat Chief Minister has been daring the Terrorists all along shouting from roof tops, the blasts in Ahmedabad show that the terrorists are able to commit their anti-national acts anywhere and any time of their own choosing.

Most of the blame in case of the Terror attacks in Gujarat rests on the State Govt. who in over confidence and bravado has been caught napping. By all accounts so far, the execution of the plots was completely in the hands of people residing within the country. Unless the State Govt.s themselves develop a clear no-tolerance policy, any amount of help by the Central Govt. is bound to fail.

A

t JaipurAt jaipur

AT Malegoun

Ay Hyderabad

At banglore

At Ahmedabad

Having said all this, one must examine the total failure of the Union Home Ministry to take steps that are in its own power to take. Over the last few years the Central Govt. has shown a complete lack of sensitivity and seriousness and utter incompetence in creating an overall atmosphere that instills fear in the minds of terrorists. The firm actions taken by the USA after the terrorist attacks on its soil on July 11, 2001, are there for all to see. The Govt. of India just does not have even the will to state its policy, if there is one, on terror. If the Union Govt. is at all serious about rooting out terrorism from the country, there is nothing to stop it from taking actions and if at all it has to give directions to the States on the subject, the States are bound to listen and follow. Instead of first defining its stance and policy on terror clearly, the Govt. continues to issue wish-washy statements that have ceased to carry any meaning even for the people at large, let alone the terrorist elements. The Govt. is now talking of having a federal agency. Such proliefration of new agencies will have no effect or impact because of enormous problems of co-ordination which are mainfest even within the existing agencies. The talk of such an agency is just to show that the Govt. is serious when it is not.

All the actions or inactions of the Central Govt. so far show that far from being serious about rooting out terrorists, it actually does everything that achieves exactly the opposite and emboldens the anti-national elements.

The case of Afzal Guru is a case in point. Quite inexplicably, the Govt. has been sitting on his application for clemency for years. There is no logical or plausible explanation, at least in the eyes of the public why the Govt. cannot take a decision. The only conclusion possible is that the Govt. has made up its mind either to grant clemency or wait to give the terrorists a suitable opportunity when they can secure the release of Afzal Guru in exchange as was done in case of other terrorists.

No less intriguing is the absolute cussedness of the Central Govt. in not approving laws passed by certain State Legislatures, who in their wisdom think that such laws will help them to better support their own actions to tackle terrorism.

The level of intelligence gathered by the Central agencies also continues to be of poor quality and beyond giving regular cautionary advices to the States ‘crying wolf’, no specific intelligence seems to be provided either to the Central Govt. or to the State Govt.

It is common knowledge that hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis are entering the country illegally and are even able to secure official papers of residence. However, the hear-nothing, do-nothing Home Ministry does not even have an estimate or assessment of Bangladeshis entering illegally. It is common knowledge that in the commercial capital of the country Mumbai, thousands of illegal aliens were helped in getting papers by a Congress MP in the city. It is also known that some suburban areas around the periphery of Mumbai have become a favorite abode of criminal and anti national elements and so has Navi Mumbai. It is also generally recognized that many of the terrorists who have executed operations in the country in the last few years have used the Bangladesh route to enter or are Bangladeshis.

Such incidents raise legitimate questions in the minds of the people whether the Central Govt. is deliberately taking a soft line or is simply impotent and incompetent.

The continuance of a ‘Softee’ Shivraj Patil in the position of Home Minister lends strong credence to the perception that Govt. has not grasped the seriousness of the situation. In the history of the democratic Governments in the country, a more docile and incompetent Home Minister has never been seen. His removal from the Ministry will send the first signal that the Govt. recognizes his failure to do anything worthwhile in the crucial Ministry.

The Central Government has failed utterly and completely to inspire confidence in the people that the integrity of the country is safe in its hands.

There are two options to Terror. The first is to have zero tolerance and to deal with the terrorist elements ruthlessly. The second is to do nothing, by taking the view that that in a country of over a billion people, human lives have no meaning and hope and pray that the terrorists, if they are ignored, will tire themselves out. India seems to have adopted the second approach.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dhanalakshmi Raja (30) in Nagaiputhur village,

Belying the Tamil saying to the effect, 'even a soldier shivers at the sight of a snake', Dhanalakshmi Raja (30) in Nagaiputhur village, 240 km from Madurai, treated a wounded cobra lying in bushes near her home, on April 27, 2008. The snake was wriggling in pain. As a devotee of 'naga devatha' or god of snakes, she took the reptile to the nearby Muneeeswara temple. "My intuition suggested I should feed it with milk. But the snake was not in a position to drink since it had sustained injury on its head. It was then that the idea of feeding it with the help of a syringe struck me," she said. Soon she started nursing the wounds by applying antiseptic creams. However, it attracted opposition from the locals who wanted her to leave the snake back into the grove. "It did not allow anybody except Dhanalakshmi to come near. Devotees visiting the temple were scared," said Bhoopathy, a villager. Unperturbed, the woman stuck to her syringe. She wanted to 'discharge' her patient only after it got cured completely. PTI, May 5, 2008.

N Anand, fondly called "Bussy" Anand,

N Anand, fondly called "Bussy" Anand, is a busy man. A first-time MLA, he was elected from the Bussy assembly constituency in the Union territory of Puducherry in 2006 and hence the prefix. And when the 44-year-old legislator of Puducherry Munnetra Congress is not pushing for schemes, meeting voters or discussing local politics over a cuppa, he's clearing garbage, cleaning clogged drains and spraying mosquito repellent across the town. And he does this with his own money, spending Rs 75,000 to Rs 85,000 every month from his earnings. Anand's dual role began nine years ago when, disappointed with the government's slack conservancy work, he started a garbage collection unit of his own. Since then, he has been going to the 'field' himself, undertaking door-to-door collection of garbage from all households in his constituency. Anand's unit, which started with a single tricycle and two men in 1999, has 14 members today, equipped with four tricycles and gadgets "to carry out our mission". So much so that residents refuse to hand over garbage to the government conservancy staff and wait for Anand's unit every morning. Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, Chennai, June 16, 2008

Indian women team

Indian women team today withdrew from the beach volleyball championship in the four-day event being held at the elliots beach, Chennai, India, after it refused to adhere to the international volleyball federation dress code, stipulating wearing just top and garment. Indian team's withdrawal from the chennai challenger tournament later led to cancellation of the qualifying event. "The Indian players expressed reservations on wearing just a top and under garment as stipulated by the international volleyball federation," Martin Sudhakar, tournament director said. The tournament offers 6,400 US dollars (Rs. 2,88,000) for the winning team. (Based on a PTI report on July 17, 2008). IMPORTANT: The Indian women players were firm on their stand. Later in the day, they were allowed to play, wearing the dress befitting Indian ambience. Reported THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, Chennai, on July 18: "The organizers of the tournament `softened their stand and permitted Indian women players to compete in their traditional jersey and knee-length shots, taking into consideration the social and religious sentiments,' Martin said."

Valayappatti

Valayappatti near Srivilliputtur, Virudunagar district (Tamilnadu, Bharat) has a few 100 – year habits: No one smokes bidi or cigarette nor use tobacco. The villagers have never approached police help to solve problems. Village elders do it. The Village panchayat chief is elected by unanimous decision.. To cap it all, the youth in the village say they want to take all this to the next generation. There are 200 families, all agriculturists.

Based on a report in DINAMALAR, July 12, 2008.

Gurupuja

Founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak sangh, Dr. Hedgewar was poor but never sought a job as his full time was engaged in ccc work. However, he functioned as an LIC doctor, issuing certificates to policy holders, for a monthly salary of Rs. 30 for 4 months, unable to decline the request of Swayamsevaks, but offered all his earnings of Rs 120 before sacred saffron flag on Guru Pooja day. 2. A poor Vanavasi boy was working as a help at Rs. 60 a month in a vanavasi hostel run by Swayamsevaks. He had studied only upto 4th standard. Once an RSS Pracharak visited the hostel. The boy found out that though an M.Sc , LL. B., the pracharak worked for RSS expecting nothing in return. It inspired the boy. Then on, he worked at the hostel for 15 years without accepting any money. (Both anecdotes were narrated by Shri Mohanji Bhagwat, RSS Sarkaryawah at the South Chennai Guru Pooja function on July 20, 2008).

Friday, July 25, 2008

My mother used to ask me: "What is the most important part of the body?"

My mother used to ask me: "What is the most important part of the body?"

Through the years I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer. When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as humans, so I said, "My ears, Mommy."

Mother said, "No Many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and I will ask you again soon."

Several years passed before she asked me again. Since making my first attempt, I had contemplated the correct answer. So this time I told her, "Mommy, sight is very important to everybody, so it must be our eyes." Mother looked at me and told me, "You are learning fast, but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind."

Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge. Over the years, Mother asked me a couple more times and always her answer was, "No, but you are getting smarter every year, my child."

Then last year, my grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even my father cried. I remember that especially because it was only the second time I saw him cry. My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say our final good-bye to Grandpa.

Mother asked me, "Do you know the most important body part yet, my dear?"

I was shocked when she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me. Mother saw the confusion on my face and told me, "This question is very important. It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you was wrong and I have given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson."

Mother looked down at me as only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears. Mother said, "My dear, the most important body part is your shoulder."

I asked, "Is it because it holds up my head?"

Mother replied, "No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life, my dear. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it."

Then and there I knew the most important body part is not a selfish one. It is sympathetic to the pain of others. People will forget what you said... People will forget what you did.... But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.

True or not, the story makes you stop and think. Be blessed. Be a blessing. Get your shoulder
ready.

Deep Thoughts

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rare Photographs of Indian History


Women gather at a party in Mumbai (Bombay) in 1910.jpg


The Imperial Airways 'Hanno' Hadley Page passenger airplane carries the England to India air mail, s


The Grand Trunk Road, built by Sher Shah Suri, was the main trade route from Calcutta to Kabul.jpg


The daughter of an Indian maharajah seated on a panther she shot, sometime during 1920s.jpg


An aerial view of Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi, built between 1650 and 1658..jpg


A rare view of the President's palace and the Parliament building in New Delhi.jpg


A group of Dancing or nautch girls began performing with their elaborate costumes and jewelry.jpg


A group from Vaishnava, a sect founded by a Hindu mystic. His followers are called Gosvami-maharajah