Thursday, August 30, 2007
The ritual is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan, on which sisters tie the sacred Rakhi string on their brothers' right wrists, and pray for their long life. Rakhis are ideally made of silk with gold and silver threads, beautifully crafted embroidered sequins, and studded with semi precious stones.
The Social Binding
This ritual not only strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters, but also transcends the confines of the family. When a Rakhi is tied on the wrists of close friends and neighbors, it underscores the need for a harmonious social life, where every individual co-exist peacefully as brothers and sisters. All members of the community commit to protect each other and the society in such congregational Rakhi Utsavs, popularized by the Nobel laureate Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The Friendly Knot
It won’t be wrong to say the fashionable friendship band in vogue today is an extension of the Rakhi custom. When a girl feels a friend of the opposite sex has developed a kind of love too strong for her to reciprocate, she sends the guy a Rakhi and turns the relationship into a sisterly one. This is one way of saying, "let’s just be friends", without hurting the other person's soft feelings for her.
The Auspicious Full Moon
In Northern India, Rakhi Purnima is also called Kajri Purnima or Kajri Navami, when wheat or barley is sown, and goddess Bhagwati is worshipped. In Western states, the festival is called Nariyal Purnima or the Coconut Full Moon. In Southern India, Shravan Purnima is an important religious occasion, especially for the Brahmins.
Raksha Bandhan is known by various names: Vish Tarak - the destroyer of venom, Punya Pradayak - the bestower of boons, and Pap Nashak - the destroyer of sins.
Rakhi in History
The strong bond represented by Rakhi has resulted in innumerable political ties among kingdoms and princely states. The pages of Indian history testify that the Rajput and Maratha queens have sent Rakhis even to Mughal kings who, despite their differences, have assuaged their Rakhi-sisters by offering help and protection at critical moments and honoured the fraternal bond. Even matrimonial alliances have been established between kingdoms through the exchange of Rakhis.
History has it that the great Hindu King Porus refrained from striking Alexander, the Great because the latter’s wife had approached this mighty adversary and tied a Rakhi on his hand, prior to the battle, urging him not to hurt her husband.
Rituals like Rakhi, there is no doubt, help ease out various societal strains, induce fellow-feeling, open up channels of expression, give us an opportunity to rework on our role as human beings and, most importantly, bring joy in our mundane lives.
“May all be happy
May all be free from ills
May all behold only the good
May none be in distress.”
This has always been the idea of an ideal Hindu society.
It is the celebration of brothers and sisters. It is one festival that primarily belongs to the North and Western regions of India but celebrated throughout the country with the same verve. Regional celebrations may be different but Raksha bandhan has become an integral part of those customs.
As per the traditions, the sister on this day prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal and rakhis. She worships the deities, ties Rakhi to the brother(s) and wishes for their well being. The brother in turn acknowledges the love with a promise to be by the sisters' side through the thick and thin and gives her a token gift.
The festival has been celebrated in the same way with the same traditions for centuries. Only the means have changed with the changing lifestyles. This too to make the celebrations more elaborate.
This is the day that still pulls the siblings together. The increasing physical distances evoke the desire to be together even more. They try to reach out to each other on the Raksha Bandhan day. The joyous meeting, the rare family get-together, that erstwhile feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood calls for a massive celebration.
The sisters tie that thread of love to their brothers amongst chanting of mantras, put roli and rice on his forehead and pray for his well being. She bestows him with gifts and blessings. The brother also wishes her a good life and pledges to take care of her. He gives her a return gift. The gift is the physical acceptance of her love, reminder of their togetherness and a symbol of his pledge. The legends and the reference in history repeated, the significance of the festival is emphasized.
Well that is kind of an end to the rituals but the celebrations actually start after that. For the parents, it is a family reunion. Tasty dishes, wonderful sweets, exchange of gifts and sharing of past experiences.
For those who are not able to visit each other, rakhi cards and e rakhis and rakhis through mails perform the part of communicating the rakhi messages. Hand made rakhis and self-made rakhi cards are just a representation of the personal feelings of the siblings.
Crux is that raksha bandhan brings people together in true spirit of all Indian festivals.
Raksha Bandhan is primarily a North Indian festival kindling the deepest emotions of love and affection amongst the siblings. Just like all Indian festivals, this is also celebrated with lots of verve.
The sister ties the rakhi on the brother's wrist and both pray for each others' well being followed by a pledge from the brother to take care of his sister under all circumstances. The brother then usually gifts something to the sister to mark the occasion. Celebrated enveloped in the festivities. The mirth that surrounds the festival is unsurpassed. Amidst the merriment the rituals are also followed with great devotion.
The rakhis and the sweets are bought and prepared generally before the Purnima. As per the tradition the family members get ready for the rituals early. They take a bath to purify mind and body before starting any preparations. The sisters prepare the thali for the poojan. It contains the rakhi threads, kumkum powder, rice grains, diya (an earthen or a metal lamp used for worshiping), agarbattis (incense sticks) and sweets.
First of all the offerings are made to the deities of the family. The sister then performs the arti of the brother and ties the rakhi. She then Tilaks (puts kumkum powder on the forehead) him and offers sweets. While performing the rituals the Sister chants
Meaning "The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds, I tie the rakhi to you O brother and wish that may you live long."
After her prayer for a long life for her brother, she says that she is tying the ever-protective Raksha to her brother chanting:
Meaning ," I tie you the rakhi that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons, O Rakhi I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee.
The brother in turn blesses the sister and promises to protect her from the evils of the world. He gifts something to her as a token of his love and affection. The rituals may differ a little from region to region but generally carry the same aura.
During the medieval era, Rajputs were fighting Muslim invasions. Rakhi at that time meant a spiritual binding and protection of sisters was foremost. A famous incident relates how rakhi by then had broken the religious barriers.
When Rani Karnawati the widowed queen of the king of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor touched by the gesture started off with his troops without wasting any time.
Alexander The Great and King Puru
The oldest reference to the festival of rakhi goes back to 300 B.C. at the time when Alexander invaded India. It is said that the great conqueror, King Alexander of Macedonia was shaken by the fury of the Indian king Puru in his first attempt. Upset by this, Alexander's wife, who had heard of the Rakhi festival, approached King Puru. King Puru accepted her as his sister and when the opportunity came during the war, he refrained from Alexander.
The relationships are the essence of celebration. This holds true for any Indian festival. Each festival brings the families together. That mere togetherness is celebration. It calls for a total festive environment. The celebration of one such relationship is Raksha Bandhan; the celebration of brother sister relationship. The sibling relationship is nowhere so celebrated as in India. The brother sister relationship is no where so worshiped as here. It is this affection and love that is celebrated on the Raksha Bandhan.
Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrating the bond of affection between brothers and sisters. The day when the siblings pray for each others' well being and wish for each others' happiness and goodwill. As the name 'Raksha Bandhan' suggests, 'a bond of protection', Raksha Bandhan is a pledge from brothers to protect the sister from all harms and troubles and a prayer from the sister to protect the brother from all evil.
The festival falls on the Shravan Purnima (full moon day of shravan month) which comes generally in the month of August. The sisters tie the silk thread called rakhi on their brother's wrist and pray for their well being and brothers promise to take care of their sisters. The festival is unique to India creates a feeling of belongingness and oneness amongst the family.
Though now it is considered as a brother and sister festival, it was not always so. There have been examples in history where in rakhi has just been a raksha or protection. It could be tied by wife, a daughter or mother. The Rishis tied rakhi to the people who came seeking their blessings. The sages tied the sacred thread to themselves to safe guard them from the evil. It is by all means the 'Papa Todak, Punya Pradayak Parva' or the day that bestows boons and end all sins as it is mentioned in the scriptures.
Rakhi for many centuries encompassed the warmth shared between the siblings but now it goes way beyond it. Some tie rakhi to neighbors and close friends signifying a peaceful co-existence of every individual. Congregations like Rakhi Utsavs, popularized by Rabindranath Tagore, promote the feeling of unity and a commitment to all members of society to protect each other and encourage a harmonious Social life.
The day has a deeper perspective in today's scenario. The occasion holds for a life long pledge to practice moral, spiritual and cultural values. The values and the sentiments attached to the rituals of this festival are worth inculcating by the whole human race, the sentiments of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
Raksha Bandhan assumes all forms of Raksha or protection, of righteousness and destroyer of all sin. The rakhi tying ritual has become so much a part of the families that come what may brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this particular day bringing back the oneness of the family, binding the family together in an emotional bond.
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As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AOL LLC, Nisha Kumar oversees all financial operations including financial planning, analysis and reporting as well as tax planning and compliance. She works closely with the senior management team at AOL establishing the company's financial objectives and strategies.
Before she was named to her current position, Kumar was Vice President, Operations, Time Warner Inc., where she worked on a variety of strategic and operational issues across Time Warner’s Internet, cable, networks, filmed entertainment and publishing divisions. Before that, she was Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions, during which she executed several cross-border, multibillion-dollar transactions for Time Warner.
Prior to her roles with Time Warner, Kumar worked at AOL, beginning in 2001. She served in the company’s Business Affairs group, working on cross-divisional investments for Time Warner.
Kumar has also served as Vice President, Corporate Development, at Internet company Priceline.com, where she was in charge of structuring and executing the company’s investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances. She also was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where she advised on and executed a variety of merger, acquisition and financing transactions.
Kumar graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and from 1999-2003 served on the junior board of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Metropolitan New York. Kumar currently serves as a director of the Human Care Charitable Trust, a hospital development in New Delhi, India.
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2002 First to offer free CD-quality streaming radio to broadband members
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AOL's network of Web properties is one of the top three in the United States, attracting an average of more than with more than 110 million unique visitors each month, according to comScore Media Metrix. Users are drawn to the robust AOL.com portal and to AOL's suite of popular destinations. MapQuest, for example, is the leading U.S. provider of online maps and directions. AIM is the #1 messaging service in the U.S. Other hits include TMZ.com- developed in partnership with Warner Bros.' Telepictures Productions, which quickly rose to become the #1 domestic celebrity site on the Web - and In2TV, which makes a wide variety of classic TV shows available free and on demand.
To capitalize on the growing demand for online video, AOL continues to improve the AOL Video portal, launched in 2006, to bring together content from leading brands, user-created video, pay-per-download feature films and full-length TV shows. AOL also has an industry-leading video search product, powered by company-owned Truveo.
AOL continues to improve on the essentials of the Web experience. In May 2007, for example, AOL launched a new Webmail service that provides consumers improvements in performance, usability and engagement and offers new opportunities for monetization. AOL also recently launched an upgrade to its AIM software, which a February 2007 technology review column in The Wall Street Journal concluded was the best instant messaging service available. It also has begun to redesign all its channels to offer a cleaner look and make the pages easier to navigate.
AOL also has one of the largest and most effective advertising operations on the Web. In the first quarter of 2007, advertising revenues climbed 40%, compared with the first quarter of 2006. For 2006, AOL's advertising revenues were 41% higher than 2005. With Advertising.com, AOL not only has one of the largest network of Web sites, but it also has the largest third-party display advertising network in the country. To expand the reach of its advertising platform as well as the tools and services available to marketers, AOL in the spring of 2007, acquired a controlling interest in Adtech AG, a leading international online ad-serving company based on Frankfurt, Germany. It also acquired Third Screen Media, a leading mobile advertising network and mobile ad-serving and management platform provider.
To supplement the advertising growth and enhance its already rich programming, AOL announced in April five new programs for the second half of 2007 and first half of 2008, partnering with DreamWorks, Endemol, Madison Road Entertainment, Mark Burnett Productions, Stone & Company and Telepictures Productions. The programs include "Gold Rush Goes Hollywood," "Million Dollar Bill" and "iLand."
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Finally, AOL continues to expand on a global basis as a Web services business. In addition to its existing portals in France, the U.K, Germany and Canada, AOL launched portals in India, The Netherlands and Austria, and it continues to explore opportunities elsewhere in Europe and Asia.
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Maneesh Dhir - EVP AOL International and Country Head, All AOL Business Units in India
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Telugu Desam supremo spent about half-an-hour with the Governor and later told waiting mediapersons that the Congress government had failed to maintain law and order in the last three years. “It’s high time that Dr Reddy steps down from the Chief Minister’s post. There have been several incidents of breach of law and order. The government did not act after the bomb blast at Mecca Masjid. This has emboldened terrorist elements to strike with more vigour,” Mr Naidu said.
He alleged that there had been a break down of law and order since Dr Reddy took over. The police had been acting with a vengeance and attacking the common man. “There’s no protection for innocent people. Unless the government pulls up its socks, terror incidents will continue to repeat. It should improve the intelligence and vigilance network to tie down the hands of terrorists from striking at public places,” he pointed out. Mr Naidu said the TD would hold peaceful demonstrations all over the State on Tuesday to highlight the “failure” of the Congress government in preventing terror incidents.
The lessons of politics had long since been firmly placed. The brain that constantly thinks, so much that close to him you could hear the clock tick-tock, obviously had long since perfected the plan of what to do, and how to lead, and which ideas to be led by. All power lies with people, we don't rule them, we provide them with governance, and we owe them a good government. A SMART government, one of his several coinages, reflects his inner political clarity and sense of accountability.He knew too well that opportunity comes only once, and if missed, we go right back, or worse. Totally dissatisfied with the development achieved till then, he knew his government had to be on the right track from day one. And must always be steered on course.
Thousands of years ago, and all along history, kings had vices for which common people had to pay. Politicians became the corruption, inefficiency and egocentric power play in modern politics. He dismissed them all. No dinners for ministers, no garlands at public functions, no personal paraphernalia, no one-upmaniship, no showbiz or sycophancy. History according to him is too full of wasted chance, and could no longer afford leader's vice. Simple and moral are the fundamentals to watch.Civilization cannot afford to go to sleep, he repeats, and adds, we need to work incessantly. His leaders and party cadre, and the government setup too, took lessons from his own 18-hours-a-day schedule, and followed suit. His popularity rose, not because of publicity but performance. Accountability was another factor he introduced. He went to the people, surprised as they were, to find a government at their doorstep. His surprise checks to ensure work was done, and pulling-up slack officials and rewarding merit, won the people's hearts.Above all, a transparent government. Long preached but always elusive, it was achieved. People were made partners in the development process, and equally responsible. Everyone must work and achieve. Only then the goal could be reached, but the goal now had a name: Swarnandhra Pradesh.But time was running out, and it was a testing period. Elections. Let us perform and leave the rest to the people, he told his party. The trust in people was not wasted. On the eve of the new Millennium, the TDP emerged victorious. On October 11, 1999, he was sworn CM again.
Naxals stand not for development. Therefore, people do not support them these days. They have refused any negotiation with the government also. So, I am treating the Naxal menace in the state as a law and order problem and we taking strict measures to ensure that their killings stop.
Part of the reason seems obvious. Our neighbour and arch-foe Pakistan is the biggest exporter of terror in the world. And we’re fighting a 'proxy war'with it in Kashmir. Geography is against us. But are we also against ourselves? Do we, through myriad sins of omission and commission, invite such attacks?
It is often said that India is a 'soft', instead of a 'hard', state. This means that we, collectively and individually, are willing or unwilling accomplices to a flagrant flouting of the laws of the land. From the street constable who can be bought for Rs 50 to let an errant trucker or motorist go free, to a chief minister who, indicted in a scam, can openly defy the legal system by saying that he is answerable only to the 'court of the people’, the Indian state — as exemplified by its representatives at various levels — is commonly seen to be up for sale or otherwise open to subversion from within.
Time and again, our top law enforcement agencies have been reprimanded by the judiciary for hopelessly bungling or inexcusably delaying investigations with regard to crucial criminal cases, be they terror related or otherwise.
The inevitable suspicion arises as to whether the perpetrators of such acts enjoy political or other patronage which puts them out of reach of the truncated arm of our law: they are above or beyond the law. On the other hand, many thousands of anonymous undertrials are buried alive in jails for years without hope of release or redress: they are not above the law; they are so far beneath it that the law literally can’t see them.
Every now and then the state, in the avatar of its legal system, finds high-profile scapegoats (a Sanjay Dutt or Salman Khan who make for good photo-ops for our law enforcement machinery but are 'safe'whipping boys in that their fans won’t go on a rampage to secure their release, as the minions of a political or communal leader certainly would) to whom it metes out showcase punishment for relatively minor misdemeanours and feels it has done its job. In the meantime, large swathes of the country have become virtual parallel states, ruled by so-called Naxals. Violent mobs can with impunity smash retail outlets of a corporate major which has dared to try and enter the retail food and vegetable business, for long the unchallenged domain of rapacious middlemen and big farmers.
What is the Indian state doing to prevent all this? Precious little. It is too busy ensuring that no one below 25 can have an alcoholic drink in a bar.
It is such tokenism that has made a mockery of the Indian state, a state which dithered ineffectively before caving in submissively to terrorist demands in the Kandahar hijacking episode by releasing convicted subversives. Little wonder we’re a soft target for terror. We’ve drawn an inviting bullseye around ourselves.
Can we — ought we to — pay the price of becoming a 'hard'state, like Israel? Or the US after 9/11, where civil liberties have been curtailed but where terrorist incidents have also been reduced?
A 'hard'state has to learn to be tough on itself first, in upholding its own rule of law and being seen to do so, before it can be tough against terror. Do we — should we — build the political and ethical sinews to do this? It’s a question for our collective conscience. And till we decide, we’ll have to learn to live with terror from outside, and our complicity with it within.
28 Aug 2007, 0141 hrs IST,Jug Suraiya,TNN
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People cannot be accused of being cynical if they dismiss these declarations as hollow and seem resigned for the next jehadi strike. For a country that for more than two decades now has been bled by relentless terror attacks, India has offered knee-jerk and sporadic attack-specific responses. In fact, it has been in a state of denial, first by claiming that no Indian was messed up with Al Qaida, and when that proved to be wrong, describing this vicious campaign of violence as the handiwork of a "handful of misguided youth".
The response has to change if the bleeding is to stop. The first corrective will come by recognising the huge problem. The right diagnosis is a pre-requisite for cure, and it ranges from acknowledging that the scourge is no fabrication by agencies to creating synergies among agencies, strengthening policing and by creating the necessary political will.
Just raising elite teams isn't enough nor is holding out threats to Pakistan sufficient. The key to the success of an honest counter-terrorism initiative lies in painstaking and sustained campaign to strengthen the criminal justice system and law enforcement machinery.
For all our aspiration to be a superpower, the harsh fact is that a lethal blend of corruption, inefficiency and political meddling have enfeebled our criminal justice administration and have sapped the police of will and strength to take on those killing the innocent.
Investigation into the Hyderabad carnage is still on, but there are pointers that the loss of life on Saturday could have been averted.
28 Aug 2007, 0029 hrs IST, Diwakar, TNN
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Thursday, August 23, 2007
Nehru even during his life-time went through the spectrum of individual and collective reactions to his leadership, from being adored as a revolutionary and vibrant personification of the forward-looking spirit of India to being described as a pampered young man who accidentally acquired national leadership due to the influence of his father and the favouritism of Mahatma Gandhi. He has been admired as a leader of the freedom movements, as the founding father of institutional democracy in India and as the architect of India's policy in all its manifestations, being the longest serving prime minister of India (from 1946 to 1964).
It would be pertinent to evaluate Nehru as a leader and a statesman because of the decisive and over-arching role that he played in Indian history in the 20th century. Regardless of criticisms, he was one of the most influential leaders of our freedom struggle. He was a pioneering articulator of Asian resurgence and was an unusually idealistic advocate of conscience in international politics. India's parliamentary democracy, free judiciary and media, the apolitical civil servants and armed forces, the commitment to secularism, social justice and equality before law, all originated in the blue print for free India which he worked out.
Nehru had a profound belief in India's destiny as a moral and stabilizing force in inter-state relations. He had faith in the Indian people and an equally strong hope that their maturity and civilisational wisdom would ensure for India an important role in the world. His education in the West, and his exposure to the political movements of Europe in the first three decades of this century, combined with his eclectic sense of history, made him realise that science, technology and economic modernisation and development were essential pre-requisites to fulfill the vision of a free India that he had in mind and to which he devoted three-fourths of his life.
These ingredients and influences, cannot be denied in generic terms but in is necessary to assess Nehru through the prism of India's realities today, and to judge him in the context of criticisms leveled against him as an individual and as a public figure.
This exercise should necessarily be an assessment of him as a leader of the freedom struggle, as a founding ideologue of the Indian Republic, as the prime minister, as an international statesman and as a leader beloved of the people of India, second only to Gandhi in this century. I can do no better than to recall two remarks made by senior members of the Congress over his role as leader of the freedom struggle. Acharya Kripalani, speaking at a seminar of the Gandhi Vichar Parishad in Wardha in 1954, said Nehru became a prominent leader of the freedom struggle basically because of the colonial mindset of the Indians. "He is an Englishman in Indian clothing." So the respect for him. I was one of the audience to which this remark was made. Though we were very young, we did not accept this assessment. We attributed it to the breaking away of Jayaprakash Narayan and Kriplani from the Congress at the point of time.
The second view was expressed years later by former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao when I asked him how Nehru came to such prominence in the freedom struggle. He said Congressmen made him their leader because of their conviction that he was committed to the cause of freedom and to the service of the people of India. But he also reminded me that Nehru had worked his way up through municipal elections in Allahabad and through mass movements in Pratapgarh of Uttar Pradesh.
As the ideologue of the Indian Constitution and the Indian polity, Nehru's contributions cannot be denied. It is his implementation of the doctrine of secularism and his approach to harmonizing the diversities of India which seem flawed in retrospect. The basic reasoning of secularism which he put forward was valid -- that a plural, multi-religious, civil society like that of India's could remain harmonious and united only if it is underpinned by religious tolerance and separation of religion from politics. The flaw, however, was that he did not underline the fact that the secular ethos of Indian society was rooted in two factors. That Hindus constituted the majority of the people of the country and that Hindu ethos at the profoundest intellectual and spiritual levels believed deeply in religious tolerance and respect for other religions.
If the majority of people in India were not Hindus, India would not have been a secular country. Instead of emphasising this, Nehru put the Hindu majority somewhat on the defensive, predicating Indian secularism on certification by the minorities, that the majority is secular. This resulted in a certain defensiveness and self-conscious denial of their religious and cultural identity by the Hindu community, which has perhaps made secularism a surface phenomenon in India's socio-political processes.
Similarly, Nehru's decision to reorganise the states on the basis of languages, while being good-intentioned, perhaps germinated the seeds of the present centrifugal territorial demands, affecting the unity of our country. While he was the builder of democratic institutions and conventions, one has to acknowledge that he did not groom a second generation of leadership in the party or the country, nor did he show any awareness of the need for anchoring the Congress in a trained cadre of party workers. He presumed that the commitment and organisational cohesion of the Congress during the freedom struggle would continue which was not to be because the party in a freedom movement is always different from a party in power in terms of ethos and motivations.
It is fashionable now to criticise Nehru's economic policies. He is castigated for making the public sector occupy the commanding heights of Indian economy. He is criticised for not linking up with western market economies.
It has to be remembered that the Indian private sector did not have the resources and motivation to invest in infrastructural sectors of the economy which required long-term investments and gestation periods. More importantly, between 1947 and 1955, all his efforts to get the major western powers involved in infrastructural development did not get a positive response. It was in consequence of this predicament that he entrusted the responsibility of mobilising resources and channelling them to fundamental sectors of the Indian economy to the government and the public sector.
While the decisions that he took seem logical and relevant to those times, the question to be answered is whether he would have continued the same policies had he lived into the '80s. Whatever his faults, he was alert and sensitive to changing domestic and international situations. Who knows, he might have been an equally active participant in the process of economic liberalisation and modernisation?
As an international statesman and foreign minister, there is a questioning of his founding the Non-Aligned Movement and its relevance today. It is true that the movement has not been very effective in safeguarding the interests of its member countries, particularly India. Two facts have to be kept in mind while evaluating Nehru's adherence to the movement. First, he made a distinction between being "non-aligned" and being part of "the Non-Aligned Movement".
He believed in non-alignment as a guiding principle of India's foreign policy so that India is assured of having the freedom of choice in making decisions responsive to its national interests without being subject to external influences. He articulated apprehensions about being part of a movement which in itself could become a bloc of countries. It was Krishna Menon who ultimately persuaded him to make India join the movement, arguing that the parallel interests of the countries of the movement would increase their influence in international transactions.
He did not believe in the non-aligned movement as a dogma. He rightly believed in non-alignment (as distinct from neutrality) as a guiding principle of India's foreign and security policies. Nehru can certainly be faulted for his idealism and belief in the sanctity of international law and agreements, in the light of his decision to go to the United Nations on the Kashmir issue and his faith in morality and goodwill as effective principles in inter-state relations. It was only at the end of 1962 after the military debacle against China that he acknowledged this reality, but it was too late. He can be blamed with Vallabhbhai Patel for the impatience which led to Partition about which Maulana Azad has written. In retrospect, Partition was good. It is preferable to India facing more profound centrifugal alienations than it is facing now.
Nehru was the beloved leader of his people. But when one intermeshes his individual persona with his public persona, one cannot but come to the conclusion that he was for the people, was committed to India's destiny being governed by the people but to a great extent was not "of the people". He was essentially a remote, aristocratic, glamorous and private person. Gandhi, Patel and Ambedkar were perhaps more immersed in the mass identity of Indians.
Regardless of the fault lines, Nehru remains the most important architect of free India. The words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes come to mind here. "A great man represents a great ganglion in the nerves of society, or to vary the figure, at a strategic point in the campaign of history and his greatness consists in seizing that opportunity and being there at that particular strategic point."
1889: Born in Allahabad. Grows up in an influential political family with European governesses and tutors. 1907-10: Takes the Tripos in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge and joins Inner Temple, London.1912: Returns to India. Joins the Allahabad High Court Bar. 1916: Marries Kamala Kaul. Their only child, Indira, is born the next year. 1919: The turning point in his life. While travelling on a train, he overhears General Dyer gloating over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Nehru vows to fight the British. 1920: Begins public career in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Attends special session of Congress at Calcutta as a delegate. 1930s: Forms the left wing of the Congress -- the Congress Socialist Party. 1937: Post-electoral victory of the Congress, Nehru disagrees to a coalition with the Muslim League. Also refuses to join hands with Fazul Haque's Krishak Party as well, throwing Punjab and Bengal into the waiting arms of the League.1938-39: Openly supports Gandhian philosophy in the Gandhi-S.C. Bose rift. Bose resigns as Congress president. 1946: Declares that the Cabinet Mission Plan would be altered once Congress is in power. Sparks insecurity in the League, leading to Jinnah's call for Direct Action.1947: Nehru becomes the first prime minister of Independent India. 1950s: Charts the course of India's development with his Five-Year Plan. Entrusts responsibility of mobilising resources to the public sector.1950s: Nehru outlines his foreign policy with disarmament as its focus. He spearheads the Non-Aligned Movement. The debacle with China in 1962 makes him realises he cannot ignore brewing tensions in neighbouring countries. Foreign policy is accordingly redefined. 1964: Dies in Delhi.
-- J.N. Dixit is a former foreign secretary, and the last generation to serve under Nehru as foreign minister. Among others, he is the author of Across Borders: 50 Years of India's Foreign Policy.
The India Today Group began with a single magazine in 1975. Today it is India's most diversified media group with interests in magazines, newspaper, television, radio, internet, books and music.The group's portfolio includes 13 magazines, 3 radio stations, 2 TV channels, 1 newspaper, leading classical music label, book publishing and India's only book club. Through its subscribers, readers, viewers and listeners the group reaches out to over 35 million individuals.Underlying all these channels of communication is an ethos of excellence and credibility. It believes in journalism which thrives on telling it the way it is without fear or favour.As part of its corporate social responsibility the group set up a charity fund to help the distressed. Since its inception fours years ago it has helped millions. Another public welfare venture of the group is a school with a holistic approach to learning.In the last 28 years the group has evolved with its namesake. It has recorded history as well as made it. It has reflected public opinion as well as shaped it. It has shared the triumphs as well as the tribulations. It has been India's strongest supporter as well as its harshest critic. And in that sense has delivered on its challenging mission to deliver India.
Comment posted by Creation
at 8/23/2007 6:25:00 PM
Nehru chai peeta tha ?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
This is a part of the speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru, as India's first Prime Minister, to the Constituent Assembly, in New Delhi, on the eve of India's Independence -- August 14, 1947.
The Independence Day of India, which is celebrated religiously throughout the Country on the 15th of August every year, holds tremendous ground in the list of national days, since it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning, the beginning of an era of deliverance from the clutches of British colonialism of more than 200 years. It was on the fateful morning of 15th August 1947 that India was declared independent from British colonialism, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the Country. India’s gaining of independence was a tryst with destiny, as the struggle for freedom was a long and tiresome one, witnessing the sacrifices of many freedom fighters, who laid down their lives on the line. Click here to view the webcast of Independence Day celebrations.
Here's a song for us...Indian expatriates...sing-along:
Lyrics of Aye Mere Pyare Watan
Aye mere pyaare watan aye mere bichhade chaman tuz pe dil kubraan
too hee meree aarajoo, too hee meree aabaru, too hee meree jaan
tere daaman se jo aaye, un hawaaon ko salaam
choom loo main us jubaan ko jis pe aaye teraa naam
sab se pyaaree subah teree, sab se rangee teree shaam
maan kaa dil banake kabhee seene se lag jaataa hain too
aaur kabhee nanheesee betee ban ke yaad aataa hain too
jitanaa yaad aataa hain too, utanaa tadapaataa hain too
chhodakar teree jameen ko door aa pahuche hain hum
fir bhee hain yahee hain tamannaa tere jarro kee kasam
hum jahaan paidaa huye, us jagah hee nikale ye dam
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
EC-Council's Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)
EC-Council's Tiger Team (ECTT)
That’s RIDICULOUS! (Ethical) Hacking is NOT some certification! (Ethical) Hacking is a mind-set. You’ve to have that element in you…it’s inborn…innate….No Ethical Hacking BOOT CAMP could ever make an (Ethical) Hacker out of a ROOKIE! Sounds Old School eh? I know. But it’s true. Undeniably.
(Ethical) Hacking is 75% Low-tech (Social Engineering etc.) -- 25% Console Skills.
So—go back to BBSs…UNIX Admins...Snake Charmers and Con Artists…you’d probably learn something substantial.
15-days, 3000 Dollars -- Ethical Hacking BOOT CAMP is ZILCH!
By the way, Information Security is a MYTH. Every device / INDIVIDUAL is vulnerable and could be compromised / conned. No infallible Information Security Gurus.
So . . . .
Let's Log Off -- now.
Let's go back to . . . .
Shady nook under that old ban'yan tree . . . cozy, perfect place for reading
Let's Log Off -- now.
See you real soon comrades -- in my Tree House! :-)
Comment posted by Creation
at 8/23/2007 6:28:00 PM
Do you really have a tree house ?
Monday, August 13, 2007
EC-Council’s Tiger Team is made up of Licensed Penetration Testers from different disciplines. The Tiger Team consists of Database Penetration Testers, Firewall Penetration Testers, Cisco Penetration Testers, Oracle Penetration Testers, Report writers, etc. A Chief Penetration Tester heads the Tiger Team. EC-Council’s Tiger Team consists of Licensed Penetration Testers around the world.
How do I join EC-Council’s Tiger Team?
Penetration Testers can join EC-Council’s Tiger Team after they obtain the LPT license. Once the penetration tester has received his /her license he or she would share a common platform with other LPTs and be a part of EC-Council’s Tiger Team through EC-Council’s member portal for LPT professionals.
EC-Council Tiger Team is available to conduct penetration testing services in your organization. We follow strict rules of engagement and offer complete testing services. Please contact us directly if you need our penetration testing consulting services.
The objective of a Licensed Penetration Tester is to ensure that each professional licensed by EC-Council follow a strict code of ethics, is exposed to the best practices in the domain of penetration testing and aware of all compliance requirements required by the industry.
Achieve EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) certification.
Complete LPT Training Criteria:
Fill up and submit LPT Application form with payment of USD 500.00.
Complete LPT practical assignment
Documentation on criminal background check, or an authentication from an investigation agency absolving a criminal history. Click here for police verification in your country
Resume with detailed professional experience, previous certification /certificates and references for verification to be submitted.
Agree to EC-Council Code of Ethics.
Attend LPT Workshop at selected EC-Council’s Accredited Training Centers around the world
EC-Council's endorsement as a licensed penetration testing professional and allows them to practice as penetration testing consultant internationally.
Industry acceptance as a legal and ethical security professional
Access to proprietary EC-Council software, templates and penetration testing methodologies.
License to practice and conduct security testing in organizations accredited by EC-Council.
Acquire knowledge from experienced hands, on penetration testing methodologies and latest penetration testing practices.
LPT is a professional certification that is used as a yard stick to measure penetration testing skills. A candidate can avail training to become a Licensed Penetration Tester by attending EC-Council’s CEH training program. The duration for the LPT training program is a total of three days. All of the LPT courses come with high quality supporting material, aids and resources.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Ho, yes, ho!
A hundred years is a very long time,
A hundred years ago.
They used to think that pigs could fly
Ho, yes, ho!
I don't believe it, no, not I.
A hundred years ago.
They thought he moon was made of cheese.
Ho, yes, ho!
You can believe it if you please.
A hundred years ago.
They thought the stars were set a-light,
Ho, yes, ho!
By some good angel every night,
A hundred years ago.
They hung a man for making steam,
They cast his body in the stream.
A hundred years ago.
A hundred years is a very long time,
Ho, yes, ho!
A hundred years is a very long time,
A hundred years ago.
There are two main kinds of shanties. First are the work shanties that are divided into short drag (short haul), long drag (halyard), windlass, and capstan songs. Second are the forecastle or fo'c'sle shanties. These are often ballads or tell of some historical event, and take their name from the part of the ship where the singing usually took place, the forecastle, which was the crew's quarters.
Short Drag Shanty
We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day
Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome some day
We'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand some day
We shall all be free
We shall all be free
We shall all be free some day
We are not afraid
We are not afraid
We are not afraid some day
We are not alone
We are not alone
We are not alone some day
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day
We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day
History of an American Folk Song
"We Shall Overcome" became particularly popular in the 1960s, during the Civil Rights movement in America, after Pete Seeger picked it up, adapted it, and taught it to his audiences to sing. However, the song had a half century (or so) to evovle and expand its meaning before Seeger and Joan Baez popularized it during the folk revival.
The melody dates back to before the Civil War, from a song called "No More Auction Block For Me." Originally, the lyrics were "I'll overcome someday," which dates back to a turn-of-the-20th-century song by the Reverend Charles Tindley of Philadelphia.
The song didn't appear on a large scale until 1946, during a labor strike at the American Tobacco Company. One of the women striking that day – Lucille Simmons – began singing slowly, "Deep in my heart I do believe we'll overcome some day."
Zilphia Horton, whose husband was the co-founder of the Highlander Folk School (aka Highlander Research and Education Center), learned the song from Simmons and, a year later, taught it to folk singer Pete Seeger.
The adaptation of the song to its current lyric is often attributed to Pete Seeger, but there is some debate over whether Seeger changed the lyric to "We Shall Overcome," or whether this was the doing of others at the Highlander School. At any rate, Seeger taught the song to other folksingers and, a decade later (1959), the song was brought back to the Highlander School.
Since then, "We Shall Overcome" has spread from folksinger to folksinger, through protests and peace rallies, song circles, and open mics. It was recorded by Joan Baez in 1963 and became a major anthem of the Civil Rights movement.
Lyrics derived from Charles Tindley's gospel song "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1900), and opening and closing melody from the 19th-century spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me" (a song that dates to before the Civil War). According to Professor Donnell King of Pellissippi State Technical Community College (in Knoxville, Tenn.), "We Shall Overcome" was adapted from these gospel songs by "Guy Carawan, Candy Carawan, and a couple of other people associated with the Highlander Research and Education Center, currently located near Knoxville, Tennessee. I have in my possession copies of the lyrics that include a brief history of the song, and a notation that royalties from the song go to support the Highlander Center."
Eileen Southern, The Music of Black Americans: A History, Second Edition (Norton, 1971)
Comment posted by Creation
at 8/23/2007 6:31:00 PM
That song reminded me of that hindi thing kiya tha ... yeah! Hum ho gay kamyab ..hum ho gay kamyab ek din ...lol
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Maqsood Qureshi a.k.a. Charles Sobhraj...the Lady-killer and Alpha Geek
Where do you live?
Oh--quite nearby--you know . . . South-eastern tip of the Arabian peninsula between 22º 50 and 26º north latitude and between 51º and 56º 25 east longitude. :-)
Define yourself in a few words.
Idealistic. Misfit. Lounge Lizard. Eccentric. Pervert. Scarecrow. Egghead. Skirt Chaser.
A pet peeve?
Profanity. Shock Jocks (Radio Disc Jockeys).
What do you love doing?
Reading. Ethical Hacking. Sleeping. MMS-Sex.
What do you love about Hyderabad?
What do you hate about Hyderabad?
People: their mind-set.
Florence Vanida Faivre
I want to be a pilot.
Parallel Cinema or anything starring Dilip Kumar + Anthony Hopkins + Robert Redford.
Favorite bedroom line?
#1 (Clonk!) It's a cinch! He'd have bought you biometric Chastity Belt! ;-)
#2 Baby show me how you can go from Zero to Bitch in 6.8 Seconds!
#3 Open sesame, Marjaneh! ;-)
The wildest thing you have done.
(Whiz-bang!) Hahahaha! So you thought RAPEX could save you eh? ;-)
People who have inspired me:
Osho. Charles Sobhraj.
Polo. Muay Thai. Flying. Horse Riding. Reading et cetera.
I'll tell you later.
What's your favorite poison?
I believe in assisted suicide.
Think you have the style, spunk and attitude to be a Rocking Rookie?
Postscript: Don't be put off . . . This is just for a goof. :-)
अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है? उठी ऐसी घटा नभ में छिपे सब चांद औ' तारे, उठा तूफान वह नभ में गए बुझ दीप भी सारे,मगर इस रात में भी लौ लगाए कौन बैठा है?अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है? गगन में गर्व से उठउठ, गगन में गर्व से घिरघिर, गरज कहती घटाएँ हैं, नहीं होगा उजाला फिर,मगर चिर ज्योति में निष्ठा जमाए कौन बैठा है?अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है? तिमिर के राज का ऐसा कठिन आतंक छाया है, उठा जो शीश सकते थे उन्होनें सिर झुकाया है,मगर विद्रोह की ज्वाला जलाए कौन बैठा है?अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है? प्रलय का सब समां बांधे प्रलय की रात है छाई, विनाशक शक्तियों की इस तिमिर के बीच बन आई,मगर निर्माण में आशा दृढ़ाए कौन बैठा है?अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है? प्रभंजन, मेघ दामिनी ने न क्या तोड़ा, न क्या फोड़ा, धरा के और नभ के बीच कुछ साबित नहीं छोड़ा,मगर विश्वास को अपने बचाए कौन बैठा है?अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है? प्रलय की रात में सोचे प्रणय की बात क्या कोई, मगर पड़ प्रेम बंधन में समझ किसने नहीं खोई,किसी के पथ में पलकें बिछाए कौन बैठा है?अँधेरी रात में दीपक जलाए कौन बैठा है?
Comment posted by Creation
at 8/23/2007 6:36:00 PM
इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लो!ज़मीन है न बोलती न आसमान बोलता,जहान देखकर मुझे नहीं जबान खोलता, नहीं जगह कहीं जहाँ न अजनबी गिना गया, कहाँ-कहाँ न फिर चुका दिमाग-दिल टटोलता,कहाँ मनुष्य है कि जो उमीद छोड़कर जिया,इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लोइसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लो!तिमिर-समुद्र कर सकी न पार नेत्र की तरी,विनष्ट स्वप्न से लदी, विषाद याद से भरी, न कूल भूमि का मिला, न कोर भोर की मिली, न कट सकी, न घट सकी विरह-घिरी विभावरी,कहाँ मनुष्य है जिसे कमी खली न प्यार की,इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे दुलार लो!इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लो!उजाड़ से लगा चुका उमीद मैं बहार की,निदघ से उमीद की बसंत के बयार की, मरुस्थली मरीचिका सुधामयी मुझे लगी, अंगार से लगा चुका उमीद मै तुषार की,कहाँ मनुष्य है जिसे न भूल शूल-सी गड़ीइसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि भूल तुम सुधार लो!इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लो!पुकार कर दुलार लो, दुलार कर सुधार लो!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
You're the most prettiest, sveltest, brightest and swankiest girl in my family!
Hold on! Don't look up!
I mean you're a good "little" intrepid girl! And, you'd seriously elope to France! LOL
I’m so proud of you.
Lt.Gen. His Exalted Highness Asaf Jah Muzaffar-ul-Mamalik Nizam-ul-Mulk Nizam-ud-Daula Nawab Mir Sir OSMAN ALI KHAN Bahadur Fath Jang ASAF JAH VII
Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Sep 09, 2002
Mir Osman Ali Khan's 120th birth anniversary falls today. A lecture on his life and times is being organised by the Nizam's Jubilee Pavilion Trust at the Nizam's Museum, Purani Haveli at 11 a.m.
ALTHOUGH THE great flood ravaged the domain of Hyderabad in 1908 three years prior to the ascent of the VII Nizam Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan to the throne, one of his first assignments was to invite Visweswaraiah to advise him on how a similar flood could be controlled and excess water be put to good use. In accordance with his suggestion, the embankment of the Musi River and construction of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar Dams at Gandipet were undertaken. If the old city suffered minimum damage in the recent flood two years ago the credit goes to the last Nizam for his foresight and commitment to the welfare of his people. What precautions have been taken after these waters shattered not just the homes but lives of so many citizens? Have we used advanced technology and scientific know-how to implement necessary precautions? Or has the incident been washed away like so many others from the memory of those in power and positions of responsibility?
Today, everyone is on the fast track and very few stop to remember the last Nizam -whose contribution to his people never was and never will be matched. The ruler who was praised by great leaders like C.Rajagopalachari, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Ambedkar and even the imperial British. Rabindranath Tagore wrote in praise of the first vernacular University established in 1917 by the Nizam, "I have long been waiting for the day when, free from the shackles of a foreign language our education becomes naturally accessible to all our people.'' Up to 11 per cent of the Nizam's budget was spent on education - schools, colleges, universities and even a Department for Translation was set up. Primary education was made compulsory and provided free to poor sections of society.
A corpus of one crore was earmarked for industrial development and the Nizam was responsible for the earliest public sector undertakings - Singareni Collieries and Nizam Sugar Factory. In 1911, the Nizam suspended capital punishment and replaced it with life imprisonment, something that was introduced only in 1964 in Britain. He separated the Judiciary from the Executive, another landmark in history. The City Improvement Board was set up by him and slums were replaced by planned colonies. Health and hygiene were amongst the several welfare programs he pioneered. Unfortunately public memory is short-lived and few people remember the contributions of the last Nizam. Bhaskar Rao, curator of the H.E.H. The Nizam's Museum reinforces, "The Nizam's secular outlook is more than evident in his keen interest to preserve the magnificent Buddhist frescos at the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Italian experts were specially invited for restoration and recreation of these works on canvas to preserve them for posterity. Each object in this museum speaks volumes of his enormous contributions.''
``Ours were glorious days, days of plenty under the flourishing regime of the Nizams. Hyderabad was known to bring bharkat to both the underprivileged and privileged classes alike,'' reminisces Themi Mehta, wife of well-known cricketer late Soli Mehta. Her grandfather Sorabjee Pestonjee Kanga, a Persian scholar, was the personal tutor to the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. On every birthday of the Nizam Kanga composed poetry and presented it in a silver casket to his `Sarkar' and student. Likewise, the Nizam reciprocated with utmost respect to his tutor and visited him twice every year - on Parsi New Year's day and on Kanga's birthday.
The 120th birth anniversary of the VII Nizam falls on September 9, the Ist Rajjab as per the Hijri calendar. To mark this occasion, The Nizam's Jubilee Pavilion Trust is holding a Memorial lecture on the Life and Times of the VII Nizam on Monday,(today) September 9 at 11 a.m. at the Nizam's Museum, Purani Haveli, Hyderabad.
Find out what no history textbook can ever emphasise enough about this true jewel of Hyderabad.
PADMINI B. PATELL