Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Use USB's or MP3 players with care

While everyone likes Christmas presents, recipients are well advised to supplement their joy with a small measure of distrust if they receive USB flash drives, MP3 players or digital photo frames. This applies to home as well as business users. These devices may contain malware whether this was intended by the sender or not.

So do not play the gifted USB's directly unless you do
1) thorough virus scan
2) Note your antivirus must be updated its database to latest available on internet.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Real Kashmir - Writing from Nashik

It is commonly believed that the :Partition of India occurred on communal basis ,and evn the ddemography of the respective countries show that prima facie it was so.the division did not occure on a communal basis. The continuous area who did not want to remain in India were allowed to cecede. The Muslim majority areas going to Pakistan and the Rest remaning in India.d.Even the end result prima facie create impession that the partition was on communal basis. For the simple reason that even after cessation of Muslim majority areas quite substantial Muslim remained in India and in fact at one time India had more Muslim that there were in the entire Pakistan.

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This is further borne out by the fact tmmediately after separation of the areas and constitution of Pakistan the P:resident of Pakistan Mr. Jinnah wrote to the King of Kashmir whichhad not till then decided to join which division to exspedite his decision and opt for any of the two parts of India. Pt. Nehru also similarly addressed the King. But he kept vacillating. Pakistan which believed,contrary to facts that the partition was on communal basis and all Muslim majority area should cecede to Pakistan began go have misgivings with the procrastination of the King.There were runblings there which were heard in India also. Mr. N.V.Gadgil who was the Miniser for Roads and Buildings mentioned in his book that when he heard these rumblings he found that there was no direct road from Delhi to Srinagar .just in case. He approached the Defence Minister for help for taking up building of an all-weather road for the purpose and Baldeo Singh also promptly offered military assistance.The news of this project must have reached Pakistan and to forestall India it must have managed an encroachment into the State under the guise of tribal invasion. Even then the King of Kashmir was in two minds. In fact there was a third alternaive, a la Murari in :Philosophy was on his mind. He wanted independence for Kashmir not merging with either. While this is generally interpreted as a selfish thought of self-aggrandisement on the p;art of the King the fact that Kashmir has both Hindu and Muslim populations. (and also Buddhist) and they had excellent intercommunal harmony accession either way would have disturbed it and may perhaps;s have led to the grisly massacres which followed the Partition of the country.He was still in two minds when news of invasion by Pakistan was received. Fortunately at this time the Sheikh Abdullah was at the head of the Kashmir P:eoples Party and he was against the communal dvision of the country. The King paniced when the :Pakistani forces making good progress almos came knocking the doors of Shrinagar.India was in a fix as it could not send its forces into Kashmir unless it acceded to India.Indian representatives were discussing the matters with the King. Sheikh Abdullah who was waiting outside in a hall sent word to the King to agree to execute the Instrument of Accessioin . It was then that the King affixed his signature to it and the Indian Forces immediately rushed into Kashmir and stopped Pakistan on the way.

The rest in history.The matter went up to UNO and there gorentangled in world politics. As some people in India also believe that thee Partition was on communal basis(which it was not) a similafr view among Muslims in Kashmir is quite understandable. However, as detailed above it was a case of certain ares deciding to separate and the constitution of tgheir population was not the issue ar stake. These nuances afre not clear even to some people in India and so we can understand if the Kashmiri Muslims think on these lines.However, this permission to cecede is not available to areas which are already parts of India and by executing the Instrument of Accession Kashmir has become a part if India legally and constitutionalyThe facility of cessation is not available to any part of India as constituted after the Partition.So the Kashmiri Muslims thinking along these lines have no locus standi.The argument that the King executed the Instrument of Accession late and also cannot help.Incidentally it is interesting to note that when the Indian and P:akistani forcesw were engaged into combat over Kashmir both the forces were under one C-in-C and both the forcea were re;porting their progress of the engagement from time to time to him.

As the matter stagnated in UNO Pakistan tried to create trouble in Kashmir through the Terrorists. Initially theybhad some success and they were able to hold up public life to ransome. However, through resolute resistence to their machinations the situation has improved undergone a transformation for the better. In fact recently GOI withdrew thirty thousand forceds from Kashmir wherethey had been working for defence.Another positive indication is that where p;reviously publicdemonstrations were held against army action it has now changed to action againsgt terrorist action.Year after year elections are taking place and despie threas frin the terroriss there has bdeen quite good poling and the governments constituted has also worked full terms.The Tourism industry which was thelife blood of Kashmir had badly suffered in the past butit has been revived and is in full swing.Earlier some area of Kashmir was out of bounds for the tourists but now most of these restrictions have been done away with. Incidents of holding the country to ransome by long ‘bandhs’ have also come down. Attempts are afoot to take the Hindus who had migrated outside back to Kashmir.

Website Development Nashik

The fact is that the enmty between Hindus and Muslims is a byeproduct of the politics of separating Kashmir from India.. While some Kashmiris have fallen for the secessionist argments there is still no bitterness between them.In fact, even the tourists frequenting Kashmir for tours and travels say that they have not come across any hostility among the people tosward them. One experience is noteworthy.

A couple recently married had gone toi Srinagar for their first outing.They had gone on hemselveds and so had made thorough enquiries above bus connectons and hotel reservatioin. Their bus reached Srinagar around midnight. To add to that p;ower had failed on that night and darkness ruled everywhere.They engaged an auto for going to the hotel. It was near the busstand and the hotel had advised that the rickshaw wouldcharge Rs.5/- He,however,demanded Rs. 10[- Looking to he unearthly hour and the blackout the couple did not mind.The Srinagar city is surrounded by forest. The auto entered the forest leaving behind the buildings. The couple got nervous.To impress on the driver that they were not novices the boy said,’ Well, last time we visited this hotel there was such thicket. Are you sufre you haved not missed any turn?’ The diver kedpt mum.The suspicion of the couple that he was upto some mischief strengthened and they were on their highest alert.Presently theauo stopped. ‘Your hotelis on the right. The power seems o have failed here also. Come with me.Let Behenji, sit in the auto. We will go first.’ But the wife would have none of it. She insisged on accompanying them fearing molestation in seclusion. TheyNevN all walked andknocked on a door.It opened and one hotel worker came out with candle light..’The lights have just failed.I hope you were not much inconvenienced.’ They got in. The auto driver was paid. But he loitered. The young couple was rather intrigued. Suddenly the driver blurted out,’Sir tell me truly. Were you both arfait?’ The young man’s face fell.Without waiting for him to answer the driver said, ‘Sir, this is Kashmir. Sheikh Abdulla’s Kashmir.Rest assured we will not harm you who give us our food.. .Never mind who you are Hindu or Muslim .When you said that last time you had come here by another route I realisedyou were afraid for there is no other route to this place..’ The youth was ashamed. As a way of asking pardon he offered another tenner to thedriver who however refused to take it.He went out hurt.

Website Development

This is the real Kashmir which is slowly emerging. Welcome it with both hands!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dial 1098

If you have a function/party at your home and if there is excess food available at the end, don't hesitate to call 1098 (only in India) - child helpline. They will come and collect the food.

Please circulate this message which can help feed many children..

"Helping hands are better than Praying Lips".

Pass this to all whom you know and whom you don’t know as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two News

Read this two news item which recently appeared

November 23-An application has been filed in the Court for permission to withdraw all life-supporting systems from Aruna Shanbag, a one time nurse in the KEM Hospital lying the for the past 25 years in a brain-dead condition as there is no hope of recovery.She was the victim of a violent rape by

The following two new items appeared recently in papers

Mumbai Nov.23

Aruna, now 59, joined Mumbai's King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital as a nurse in 1966. She was brutally attacked by ward boy Sohanlal Valmiki in 1973. Aruna was menstruating at the time, so Valmiki sodomised her after strangling her with a dog chain, cutting off the oxygen supply to her brain.

The attack left Aruna blind, paralysed and comatose for 36 years. Valmiki was convicted for attempt to murder and for robbing Aruna's earrings, but never tried to rape. He was sentenced to R.I. for seven years.

A Supreme Court bench headed by chief justice KG Balakrishnan expressed concern when lawyer Shekhar Nafde, appearing for Virani, suggested that Aruna not be fed. Nafde said this could not be considered a plea for euthanasia; Aruna's case was not about human rights, he said, and her life was

. The court has issued notices to the Centre and to the Maharashtra government on the, that "under the law of the country, we cannot allow a person to die observing ".


Ruchika molestation: 6 months jail, Rs 1,000 fine for ex-DGP

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Nineteen years after he allegedly moested a teenaged girl who later committed suicide, former Haryana Director General of Police S P S Rathore was today sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 for the crime.

Special CBI Magistrate J S Sidhu convicted Rathore of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra. Rathore got bail immediately after the
order was pronounced and was told to furnish bail bonds of Rs 10,000. His wife and defence counsel, Abha Rathore, stood surety for bail.

In August 1990, Ruchika, a budding tennis player, was allegedly molested by Rathore, then an IG and president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, at his office-cumr esidence -- Ruchika's
friend and classmate Aradhana was eyewitness to the incident.

When I read these two items one after the other I remembered the famous dialogue in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice when the Court certifies that the loan document contgaining the condition of having a pound of flesh in case of default was quite in order. The usurer Shylock exclaims, “Oh, a Dadniel(Dharmaraj) has come to judgement.I feel that while giving such a light punishment the fact that the rape did not lead to killing of the victim must have weighed on the Court.The Defence plea that he has become old and has recently undergone a major o;peration could also have coloured Court’ vision.Similar consideration must have weighed with the Court which allowed bail to the accused immediately after initial arrest and even now after conviction. The accused has declared his itetion to file an appeal against this award and I have no doubt the Appellate Court would show equal understanding while deciding it.

Website Development Nashik

In the earlier case the Court found that there had been no rape. Perhaps in his wisdom Hon. Court found that sodomising was not rape perhaps because that act is normally associated with male victims. Otherwise the atrocity was no less heinous- the striking down with a blunt instrument to break resistence. The code of punishments for rape is quite stringent. Of course in latter Ruchica case the atrocity did not lead to death. That came about months latter and moreover was self inflicted by the victim upon herself as self-punishment. In any case even if the outcome at the end was equally tragic since the accused was not the perpetrator.he could not be held responsible legally. But morally? Well it is not the morals but the evidence that matters in courts .The sense of justice of the Court is strong.. Court cases contains a case where the perpetrator of the crime did ;proceed to commit rape but when he saw the pleading in the eyes of the girl he withdrew. The Court did not find him guilty of rape.(One of my jocular friend suggested that possibly the earlier judge was castist and cast of the accused mattered for him!

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So it does appear that even if the accused was technically guilty the matter was not so serious in the eyes which gave bail freely to the accused. The ;parent department of the accused was so considerate that it gave him promoitions after promotions. Normally these are held up for government servants accused of serious lapses till the turn of the bureauacrt comes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The fight of village Kurihara with death.

There is one offence in the world for which there is no punishment if it is committed but there is a penalty if it fails



All countries follow this thumb rule. First because they cannot help since the culprit has cleverly escaped beyond their jurisdiction. But when he/she is caught in the act the first thing they is to pull him/her up before the court..

Japan is the only country in the world which does not prescribe any punishment such as imprisonment or imposition of penalty even if the ‘culprit’ fails badly. Is it because Japan does not consider that Life has no value? It is more likely that its action or rather inaction arises out of sympathetic appreciation of the forlorn condition of the ‘culpit’.

While Suicide is not only a criminal offence but is also a sin everywhere Japan has a hoary tradition of suicide called ‘harakiri’ Anybody committing harakiri is not only honoured but in some cases one is ordered to resort to harakiri e.g. a royal command to a knight who has failed in his duties or has committed an offence bringing bad name to himself and to his house. And harakiri is a very cruel way of killing oneself. The candidate pierces his sword in his stomach and swirls it round in the belly. The practice has an ancient origin in the heroic tradition (A similar convention obtains in the West where the captain of a steamer which sinks is by convention refuses to save himself if the sinking has drowned any member of the crew or passenger and drowns himself . You might have have seen in the Titanic the Captain resolutely standing on the deck in salute slowly going on sinking.) Since 2003 a forest at the base of Mt. Fuji known as Aokigavhara has become ‘a sacred place’ for suicide .because 78 middle-aged persons committed suicide there by hanging themselves on tree branches .

Is it because of this that Japan is a country where there are maximum number of suicides in the world and they are going up. Japan is almost in the grip of a suicide mania cutting across all social strata and age groups. According to the recently released statistics almost a hundred people take their lives daily which roughly works out to almost one suicide every fifteen minuts. On a rough calculation Japan suicide rate is almost as large as America which is twice its size, Traffic accidents are supposed to be the worst killers but if we set them against thesuicide statistics of Japan for every casualty due traffic accidents Japan would have five suicides.

Website Development Nashik

The lack of religious prohibition against suicide is already referred to above., The Japanese idea of forebearance is also rather acute.They are generally reluctant to share their mental health and stress-related problems even with their near and dear ones..An idea of self-sacrfice for others obtains in all societies. But this romanticism goes up in Japan to view suicide as an honorable act, a way of taking responsibility for failure, among other issues. The breakdown of families and social networks and the resultant increasing isolation of individuals also contribute to the problem.

The latest available statistics present -35,000(34427 precisely)- are very despairing. The latest NPA(National Police Agency) figures make the picture still darker showing an increase of 7.1%. figures for 2003 paint an exceedingly grim picture, showing that a record 34,427 . Besides the statistics it is the age analysis of the self-killers is disturbing.Of the above 4,603 or 17% were young .This number is more by 668 over the last year.The proportion of men of these is nearly three quarters but then usually men are more prone to take a recourse to such steps everywhere.The seniors claimed 33.5 % of this (dis)credit.

Suicide is an offence under the Indian Penal Code and it is also considered sin( a backdoor attempt to escape the consequences of the sins of a previous birth/births by suicide is not considered effective since the backlog would have to be filled up in the future birth/births India has been rocked from 1990 by large number of suicides among farmers. As is the usual wont government initially denied them as rumours. but as more and more information came up it accepted that the farm sector was under stress. However, they tried to run down the statistids since this was a sentimental issue.Govt. tried to underplay the cases.During the five years from 2002 oer 18000 farmers killed themselves.The most suicides occurred in Andhra Pradesh(The Telangana Region),Maharashtra(The Vidarbha Region),Karnatak,Kerala and Punjab. The Maharashtra govt. appointed a commission. Over a quarter (4453) of the all India figure (17060) was from Maharashtra(National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) .These suicides have been going on since 1995 and the NCRB report ssho 36428 cases from l995 to 2006 .An other study shows a decrease since 2001 as thousands abandoned agriculture in distress. Even Govt. Statistics shows 5000 farmers committed suicides during the four years from 2005-2009. while 1,313 cases reported by Andhra Pradesh between 2005 and 2007. In Karnataka the number stood at 1,003, since 2005-06 till August 2009. In the last four years, cases in Kerala were about 905, Gujarat 387, Punjab 75 and Tamil Nadu 26.[9].It was only then that relief operations started

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As against this the story of the village Kurihara(Japan) is quite inspiring. The suicides there went up and became almost double of the ‘national’rate of Japan.With the economic recession the world over which also affected Japan there was a fear that this rate would go even further up.Had the Japanese ‘naional ‘tradition obtained in India it is not impossible that this would have been taken as a feature of Indian Culture. a la the Samuri and Kamikazee. We almost did it. It was only when a correspondent conducted a detailed survey of the region and filed reports that government woke up. The grim situation was not repeat not the result of government’s own investigation. As seen above attempts were made to dilute it first denying it and then painting it with dull colours

Not so the Kurihara City Welfare Ofice (Chief Toshira Osawa). Instead of treating the suicides as just due to depression as has long been the pracicx, the city offered financial and legal counseling along with ‘hope loans’(nozomi). The suicide rate there fell from 50(48.6 to be precise) per one lakh people in 2005 to 30(27.5 to be precise).The city officials are confident that it will fall further never mind even if the national rate may go up.The place has given a lead to other places.

A concrete case of how this plan helped is that of citizen Ishikawa.He is a middle aged person working in a office and also on his family farm. Last year he found the school fees and the necessary purchases for tilling the soil going above his head. He sought loans but for Banks in Japan there are no easy loans.They see to it that their loans are fully guaranteed with sureties. And so if one defaults payment it makes him feel guilty and despaired. Researchers at the Tokyo University have found that there is high correlation between suidice rate and economic indicaters such as GDP. In any society,Japanese or other, the weak are always beaten down. As the Japanese economy has languished since he 80s there was a rise in thesuicide rate there. Outsiders tend to associate it with the Samurai ritual of hara-kiri(self disembowlment) or with the Kamikaze pilots of WWII.As regards such notions the Mayor of the city Kurihara has this to say’But it is not true.People are driven to suicide becausehey are sruggling in their daily lives.And I like people to know that even a little city in rural Jap;an can take steps to effectively tackle the problem’ He had a survey of over 500 ;people done . He found that a high number of middle aged,self employed men who had been contempoated suicide because of financial strains.

The Website Development Blog

The City Welfare Office has brought out a leaflet which reads

Plesased call us.Counselling is the first step on the way to solve your problem.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Textile mills

‘’’’’’’ladSo and so Textile mill downs its shutters….

The papers were at one time full of such news iiems.i As a consequence of such closure thousands of workers faced a grim future .Earlier also such news items appeared but these closures were temporary due to stike of work by the mill workers.The loss of wages for the period was more than made good of during the negotiation that followed. The Labour Unions were quite strong then.

However, in the sixties the business collapsed and the mills bagan to shut down one after the other .And while the workers did receive compensation as per regulations it could hardly last long. The Labour Unions which appeared quite strong when the Mills were running and could bring about a strike at the drop of a hat were unequal to the challenge of mass unemployment of the workers that brought by the closures.There was talk of Workers’ Cooperatives but it remained only wastage of ,as they say of the vapour of the mouth.

Website Development Nashik

However ,while this was largely true of the textile sector this did not happen everywhere especially at places where the Labour Movement was strong and not just a medium for tom-toming leadership.And in fields which were not as organized as the textile industry.

Kerala which is famous for its strong Leftist bend and which gave the first Communist Govt. in the world which had come out the Ballot Box.

A major construction cooperative venture in North Kerala ULCCS 9Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society)showed what even labourers at the lowest rung of the labour ladder on which construction workers are said to stand could scale the ladder and reach the top.This is a large constructive cooperative society in North Kerala. At Madappally(Dt Kozihikode) The directors or even the shareholders of this society were no multi-millionaire merchants interested in investing in some profitable venture. They were just workers mostly uneducated stone mine workers oppressed by poverty and caste suppression. Out to generate employjment for the poor and the backward.

They began with just a dozen( 14 to be pecise) members nearly 75 years ago in 1925.Slowly the strength built u;p to a thousand (950-odd to be specific) Of these almost a hundred were disabled workers. From the village and the surrounding areas.

The society has a unique system of taking memers

Naure of work. Nature of work Period of

Labourer Sttone crushing One year becomes member

Road Project Road construction Road construction-Satisfactory work

Site supervisor Site supervision Site construcion Satisfacrory work

Project Manager Handling of project work.Satisfactory work

Director In due course

Seven directors of the firm had had only schooleducation.

All members ,including are daily paid workers, the director gets a marginal 15 percent above the member worker

Age of retirement 60 years of age

With various benefits

The President holds just an IIT certificate and he joined as a Site Supervisor He is also the Chairman and the Managing Director of an I.T. park ;proposed.

For the last three years the Society is facing an acute shortage of fresh hands. as the youths are not interested in manual workers.They have therefore logged on to an IT venture as an investment for the coming generation. The land for the Park comes out of land acquired them for mixing etc which is lying idle after completion of the work.The society has set apart 10 acres of such sp;are land(15 acresw) for rhe proposed IT park. Ths State Govt. has promised all cooperation required for the project as this would be the first such Park in North Kerala.The profits from the Park when it become operative would be distributed amoing the members. The government has spared the services of the CEO of the state-run IT Park at Kochi. When it becomes fully operative it will give employment to 15000.Part of the funds would be for the society’s own resources while the rest would be borrowed from banks. At present the assets of the ULCCS are as high as 125 crores.The value of the projets execduted by it last year is 75 crores. The paidup capital of the society is approx Rs.4 crores which partly comes from the members andrest from government grants in the form of loans.The share price is realized from the workers at the rate of 10 percent of their wages. Members can increase their shares till they retire.

The official Website Development Blog

The project shows that can be done by ordinary people when they are determined. The IT ;park that would come up; would be the first park with social ownership;

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hamara Bajaj

Hamara Bajaj rides into its Sunset

This is a very popular scene in the Westerns of Hollywood. The Hero riding alone
into the settig Sun on his horse alone . In the backgrond can be heard the
noise of revelry in the village he has freed from the atrocities of the villain.
However in this forlorn ride of the hero there is a promise of his emerging in
another locality similarly under the clutces of a Signor.However, there is no
such relief in the picture of Hamarea Bajaj riding into the sunset.Even the actual
sunset holds the promise of sunrise in another hemisphere of the globe.But there is
no such relief in the picture of Hamara Bajaj riding into the sunset. It is not
going to come back or emerging somewhere else.

The recent interfiew of Rahul Bajaj to NDTV sounded pathetic.At one time
Bajaj scooters became so popular that it produced and sold one
lakh vehicles in a single financial year in 1977. And after the Hamara Bajaj
campaign, it sold even one million scooters by 1995.

One can quite understand and sympathise with him when he says he felt that
the defision of his son Rajiv to cease the prodution was not in order. He
however, adds that it may be right to him but he himself felt that it may
perhaps be possible that Bajaj will hit the road again.

For decades, they were coveted status symbols — products so sought after in
India that waiting lists extended for years and marriages were put on hold until
a bride's father could secure one as part of her dowry

And now the last Bajaj Scooter will ride out of the factorhy in March 2010.

However,one is not sure that the rider into the sunset is doing the right thing.
For it is not as it were that all villains have been liquidated. The Hindu avtars
also were rather hasty in going back to their own home(Nijdham) and were therefore
forced to come back again and again.

For it does not appear that people are,as it were,fed up with scooters.For while
Bajaj are quitting the field others who are already in the field are launching
exp;ansion plans and even new manufacturers are coming in.Mahindra has stepped
in recently.Honda Motor ccles and scooters India has posted a redovery,may be
modest at l.2% The scooters have their own buyers. It is significant to note
that with all its protestations of falling markets for schhters and preference
citing almost 60 percent drop in demand Bajaj remained the second lartewst bike
maker with sales rising by 12-odd percent3 poin5w during April-November(approximately
one million scooters. This looks further impressive when we look at the sales of
the market leader Hero Honda whose sales reorded a modest rise of 1.2 % during the
same period And it holds more than half the market.Again TVS scooter which stands
next captured 23 percent market share.It looks that the scooter market is here to
stay. One interesting aspect of the schhoer market is that even when it came in and
also now it is considered as a feminine vehicle not fir for He-Men to ride.The
manufacrurers remaining in the field and those comint newly have caught the music
of he wrists and have taken steps to change the medicine accordingly.
Mr. Rajiv Bajaj has sounded a hopeful note when he recently said that perhaps they may
in time come back in the scooter market with some nofel innovations.

Let us hope that Hamara Bajaj rides again towards the Sunrise.The villagers are not
entirely free from the scourge of the villains. They are waiting for the hero to return!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Science and Spirit

The article(TOI 23-10-08) is a simple and straightforward account by Mr. Mohit of his ‘unusal’ experiences. He has endeavoured to find a rational explanation for some of them. Where this has not been possible ,instead of stretching or cutting them a la Rosicrus(the Greek bandit) he has honestly admitted that they do not fit his frame of experiences.

Mr. Mohit is a film director and a film world is primarily a pseudo world. But his reference to the writings of the Nobel Laurete Sir Peter Medaware shows that he also takes a lively interest in matters scientific. But his treatment of the strange hallucinations of the four-year old daughter of his friend as possible ‘carryovers’ of Past Life shows a strange weaknesse. For aught we know these could be her sighting such scenes-actual or virtual. Our TV serials abound in such scenes and children do see them despite child-bloc or parental carelessness. Her hearing of noise of boot-steps and their stopping after the disposal of the old shoes could reasonably be figments of her imagination. At Pune(Maharashtra) when a house lying empty for a long time and was considered haunted was hired out as a paper godown for the-then famous Chitrashala Press the ghosts seemed to have moved out. Such move of ghosts in old,empty houses perhaps the medieval scientific dictum ‘Nature shuns vacuum’ sending ghosts in for occupation. In Boughra area(Rajsthan) halts at night are prohibited posting guards for the purpose. Daredevil young who night-halted there, hoodwinking the guards

were bored (I almost said to death) since they had no visitations. A general prejudice that only a few can have such visitations shows that these are apologies for weaknesses.

Website Development Nashik

Mr. Medawar seems to have raised life to an unscrutable status. This has in turn led to seeking look for out-worldly explanation for matters relating to it. Shorn of its metaphysical appurtances Life is but a particular association of chemical elements.The life on Earth is based on CO2 but is theoretically quite possible there are other worlds where the base may be entirely difeferent. However, carbon has so infused us that we believe any different form of life cannot have objective existence. The Nobel Laurete rejects this out of hand.

This presumption of uniqueness of Life tends to ignore its natural origin and development raising it to some abstract supernatural status leads to the creation of gods and demons.As knowledge advance these figments of imagination slowly melt away.

ek Mast kavita

नाशरदाचे चांदणे
नासोनियाचे दिस
घडय़ाळाचे ओझेहाताला

कमळाच्या पाकळ्यांची
यादवी छळते मनाला
धनुष्यआलंय मोडकळीस
पण जाणीव नाहीबाणाला

विळा, हातोडा अन् कंदिलाला
आजच्या युगात स्थान नाही
डब्यांना ओढू शकेल एवढी
रेल्वे इंजिना जान नाही.

मन आहेमुलायम
पणमायाकुठं दिसत नाही
हत्तीवरून फिरणारा
सायकलवर बसत नाही

कितीही उघडी ठेवाकवाडे
पणप्रकाशआत जाणार नाही
विसरलेलेआठवले तरीही
गवईगीतगाणार नाही

बंडखोरपक्षांचा थवा
पार्टीसाठी आतूर
कुंपणच खातंय शेताला
अन् बुजगावणही फितू

ॅड. अनंत खेळकर, अकोला

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vendors of Dreams

There are vendors and vendors of dream in the society. The Politicians sell dreams of Utopias. The builders sell dreams of heavenly abodes. They describe the dreams they offer in such attractive

terms that people suspend their judgement and go in for them.We see long queues of voters at polling booths on the eve of elecftions clutching the Voter's I Card in had patiently awaitig their turn

with distant dreams in their eyes. We also see them at the Estate Agent's office or at the sites seeing with blown up eyes the ready sample flats and the towering minars rising skyward there.Both

these vendors are respected members of the society and an opportunity to talk with them is considered as an honour.

However, the vendors of lottery tickets by the roadside is not looked up with great respect even though he offers an opportunity to make millions with the investment of a few rupees. Even if you

were to loose that much change through a hold in the pocket you may not even think twice about it.I am talking about State Run Lotteries not some lots thrown by charltans.Though I find that even

there are queues of people furrively making payments and receiving a token of sorts whose only authenticity is voluntary and which will not stand scrutiny in a Court of Law.However, it is found that

none of these vendors, whether it is a State Lottery or Playing Figures the vendors are not much looked up to and in fact are looked down upon though the offers made by them are concrete and if

you win you are entitled to and will get the prize amount. In fact, lottery tickets which are declared winners could be deposited in Banks for encashment. The'matka' transaction are cash.However,

in spite of such reliability the vendors are not looked up to very highly. And,in fact, the 'matka'walas are treated as downright criminals.

I run a lottery stall by the roadside. Usually such stalls are run by roadsides or at a nondecrept place in a shop.Even if some of our customers have won lakhs we continue to be the same vendors

eking out our life on the marginal commissions that we get on the sales. Of course our customers at the time of making the purchases from us are perhaps no better financially than us which may

perhaps be the reason why they go in for the lottery tickets hoping to get a break from the stranglehold of want. Most of our customers are regular/. If somebody drops out we know that he must

have made his millions and does not feel any need to make such roadside purchases. From the result sheets we can see that a ticket or tickets sold by us has won the race and even if the customer

,unless he is a regular one, we may not be able to recognise by face. Some who make marginal wins do show up and thank us for giving them the winning ticket.

But I met some customers who will always leave a mark on my memory. They did not win millions. Such never showed up and we do not blame them for that. It is not,as it ware, that we signled out

the precise ticket that would win and gave it to them. In point of fact the choice is enirely theirs. Some are guided by combination of figures, some by auspicious nature of the time of purchase

etc.However, there are some who make who make it good,may be even marginally, do share their joy with us for which we are thankful to them. Of course we have not done much.Just sold a ticket
for money. We did not and cannot give any concession on any size of purchase. And yet we feel good. I sometimes think of those great souls who work for others without expecting any

remuneration and also make their lives. How very fulfilled they may be feeling. I had attended the felicitation ceremony of one such Great Soul and with all the life of thousands hehad helped to

improve he was saying,'I am sorry I could not do much for them!' To tell you the truth, even if we are not legally not entitled to any commission on the sum won we earnestly desire that the winner

would give us something. I won't call them beggars for in a way they are the ones who feed us. In fact,if anything,the appellation would fit us more.

And yet when we come across some people we are flabbergasted.They are needy no duubt which is he reason why they went out and purchased the ticket hoping to get some help through it. And

yet there are some great souls, yes there is no alternative nomenclature for them,great souls who breakaway above the water they are drowning in and extend a helping hand to anoher being

drowned.When you learn about them you will also agree.

There was a regular customer of mine. He was a poor man wih a brood working as a cook in fesivals. He used to win marginally on some occasions.One day when I went to erect the stall I found

him with his family members waiting for me. He waied for me to complete my insallation and then offered me the ticket he had pufchased from me a few days ago. The customers usually approach

me for finding out the outcome of he purchase. I took up the ticket and looked into the latest result sheet received. I was glad to find that he had won a nice sum ,not too high,just nice. I

congratulated him and offered to encash it(as we usually do) or else...' 'I knew I had won!' He beamed 'from today's papers. I just wanted to confirm it."He said gleefully and would I please give him

the cash. I gladly gave it. And then the unforeseen happened...
He touhed my feet,made his wife and children also to follow sut despite my protests. And...
As if this was not sufficient he took out a nice sum and offered it to me for my selling him the winning ticket!
Of course I am a businessman,may be a small one and I could certainly used that money and found it useful. But I was ashamed to accept them. I could see his entire family before me-thefamished

look, the dirty clothes, the torn saree on his wife.I vehemently protested against it. But I saw that he was hurt so for his satisfactioin I took just one rupee and returned the rest to him . I could see the

tears in his eyes. I immediately swerved sideways because I rfound that my eyes were also welling up.
To avoid any further embarassment I told him in dry tones that he may now please permit me to open my stall.

A yet anoher customer of mine,perha;ps it would be difficult to call him a customer for he made only one puchase from me,came to me once. I observed one old couple passing by my shop. They

stopped abruptly before my stall. There appeared to be some argument going on. Suddnly the old lady walked u;p to my stall stamping her feet. She addressed me
'Now you tell him,Baba.We have Laxmi fetching water in our house.And this guy wants to purchase a lottery ticket. What difference even a Million rupee prize would make to us? Tell him.Hehas

crossed sixty and his intellec has become knotty!"
She certainly had a point and a strong one at that. Of course the prospect of losing a prosective custmer rather made me nervous! Before,however,I could symtaxise the words the old man lifted

teburden on my soul
"But just because we purchased a ticket does not mean wegot a prize.Isn't it? If we do we can distribute it to the needy. Can't we?"He confronted me.
Therewas no alternative for me but to confirm it. But the old Momwas not to be outdone," Well, we can do it with our own money. Or even more than this prize !"
After some going ahead and filling in took place the missus agreed to the purchase subject to the stipulation that ,if won, the amount would go to her for distribution.Agreed.
That was that and also that was not that. Lady Luck could have helped her compatriot by ensuring that theticket would not draw any prize. But did not oblige. The ticket won a modest prize.I

received an invitation to attend a function for the disposal of the prize money. He had invited the managers of some philanthropic instittions and hedistributed th prize money suplemented with

some of his own money equally among all. My contribution to it was NIL. However, I somehow felt myself blessed that I have, may bde just a wee bit,helped in this donation.

I,therefore, am not at all ashamed to run this stall by a nondecipt roadside. Such people indeed paid me more,much more than the cost of the ticket. I am still inrigued if I am feally entitled to that credit.

Oneness Principle in the Elegant Universe

Oneness Principle in the Elegant Universe

On going through the pleas of some philosophers like Mr. Bhumik one cannot help remembering Kanad, the author of Visheshik Darshan. He was so convinced about the Atom being the fundamental particle of the universe that when on his death bed he was advised to remember God he said “kanay namah kanay namah kanay namah”,(salute to atom) and breathed his last.Charvak the founder of Atheism ,held fast to his convinction despite all the odds.

Science was in an infantile stage at the time and spiritualism was rampant. And yet the Kanads and Charvaks held fast to their convictions. In the West Bruno preferred to be burnt at the stakes rather give up his convictions. And Galilio even he overtly submitted to the Papal dictat that earth was at the centre and and it was the Sun who went round her still whipered in an inaudible voice“but still the earth revolves reound the sun 'The science was in its infancy. And still the worthies did not stoop to compromise.

Against this background the pleas of the likes of Mr.Bhumik appear jarring. Of course, scientist are not the modern “avtars” of the demons like Hiranyakashypu with mess in the hand asked for a physical proof of the existence of God. Today's scientist's only plea is that scientific knowledge with us does not need the presumption of existence of God. His mind is open and should God ,if there is God ,makes a convincing materialization he will not hold back.

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Mr.Bush the last President of USA, accepted that Bible may calnot be literally true. And yet inUSA it is the biblical story of Creation that is taught in schools though, the Darwinian theory is also briefly almost apologetically referred to as an opinion). Infact, there are biological museums where it is the Theory of Creation as per the scripture that is exhibited.

Scientists like Mr.Bhumik may not be so gross but there is no unequivocal acceptance of the principle that the universe is governed by the Laws of the Nature. They introduce a Law -giver by the back door. They call it a “stabilizing force”,”architect”, meaning that science and spirituality are two sides of the same coin. He conveniently forgets that for a coin to be a genuine it has necessarily to be of the same material .Will this other type of a coin stand any of the tests of physics? He admits that these are desparte concepts.He tries to get over this problem by charactrerising it as deep and hidden.

His “evidence” reminds me of the exuberance with which Einstein theory if E=mc2 was received by Theists. Einstein’s theory is that the universe is in the final analysis nothing but energy. Now, energy is unseen. Low and behold !God is also Nirgun and Nirakar. Even a scientist of the calibr of Sir James Jeans allotted God space to be at the centre of the atom from where he gave motion to the electrons. The motions of the electrons were not measurable and he felt that the diety at the centre of the atom drove them. On this Einstein had remarked,”at this point Sir Gem Jeans left the realm of science and stepped into poetry.Professor S.M.Matte had said that unseen energy is still a physical energy. Professor H.R Mahajani in his light article “God commits suicide” has imagined that with his contracting frontiers with the advent od science God had prepared Himself for suicide.

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That will not make any difference to the believers. The formless character of God would come handy for them.

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