Archive for December, 2009

2,000 Gujarat tribals return to Hinduism in Surat

2,000 Gujarat tribals return to Hinduism in Surat
http://deshgujarat.com/2009/12/21/2000-gujarat-tribals-return-to-hinduism-in-surat/

By our correspondent
Surat, 21 December, 2009
As many as 2,000 tribal people(officially registered about 1700) from remote parts of eastern and southern Gujarat tribal belt today reconverted to Hinduism in a function held at Adajan area in Surat.
Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Shree Swami Narendracharya Maharaj of Nanij presided over the purification ceremony — a several-hour long function. Wearing dhotis and sporting the sacred thread, the converts’ heads were tonsured to signify their rebirth. During the purification ceremony, the converts who felt cheated after going to Christianity apologized to their forefathers for betraying their faith. Converts were purified by Panchagavya and Bhabhuti. Converts were given fresh ‘Vastram’. The affidavits will be made and later registered to complete the formalities
The entire conversion process was similar to the one when 350 years back Shivaji Maharaj brought Netaji Palkar into Hindu dharma by performing the purification process.

Youth gets bail in elopement case Kolkata:

Youth gets bail in elopement case Kolkata:
17 December 2009

KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Wednesday granted the anticipatory bail plea of a 26-year-old youth from Murshidabad who had been accused of kidnapping and marrying a 15-year-old girl.

Sairul Sheikh, a resident of Bakultala in Behrampore, had been accused of kidnapping and forcibly marrying Anita Roy.

A division bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Justice S P Talukdar allowed Sheikh’s plea after his lawyers Joymalya Bagchi and Rajib Lochan Chakraborty submitted that the marriage was legal under Muslim Personal Law. Holding the marriage legal, the court granted Sheikh’s anticipatory bail application.

Anita’s mother Jyotsna had lodged a complaint with Behrampore PS that her daughter had been missing since October 14. On October 15, she came to know that son Sairul had “kidnapped and married” her minor daughter.

Bajaj Ad in Samskrit

Recently, Bajaj has produced an ad on Discover bike. It talks about Samskeit speaking village Mattur near Shimomga. Very nice to hear Samskrit words. Here is the link to the video of the advertisement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FTVGNdDp2o

Three Different Reports – One Common Theme

Read an interesting article on growing islam in the west and threat as perceived by thinkers in west. We too have the same situation in india. I think, the world started realizing the danger of islam.

http://www.mediasyndicate.in/medsyn/1260379825.htm

Vegetarian diet is better for the planet, says Lord Stern

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/26/palm-oil-initiative-carbon-emissions

Eating meat could become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving because of the impact it has on global warming, according to a senior authority on climate change.
Lord Stern of Brentford, former adviser to the government on the economics of climate change, said people will have to consider turning vegetarian to help reduce global carbon emissions.
“Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better,” Stern said.
Farmed ruminant animals, including cattle and sheep, are thought to be responsible for up to a quarter of “man-made” methane emissions worldwide.
Stern, whose 2006 Stern Review warned that countries needed to spend 1% of their GDP to stop greenhouse gases rising to dangerous levels, said a successful deal at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December would massively increase the cost of producing meat.
People’s concerns about climate change would lead to meat eating becoming unacceptable, he predicted.
“I think it’s important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating,” he told the Times. “I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food.”
Stern, a former chief economist at the World Bank and now IG Patel Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, also warned that helping developing countries to cope with the adverse effects of global warming would cost British taxpayers about £3bn a year by 2015.
Meanwhile, an international effort to ensure that biofuel used by Britain and other western countries to tackle global warming does not damage the environment is on the brink of collapse.
The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an initiative of companies and campaigners, is divided over the need to control carbon emissions and could break up within days, insiders say.
Ministers last year introduced a demand on fuel suppliers to replace 2.5% of petrol and diesel sold with biofuel, at least 8% of which is currently palm oil.
The RSPO was established to set and enforce environmental standards for palm oil production, but has run into trouble after palm plantation companies in Indonesia and Malaysia blocked efforts to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.
“If this issue is not resolved and greenhouse gas emissions are not included in the standard, then I don’t see how the RSPO can continue to act as a certifying body,” said Marcus Silvius of environment group Wetlands International, who sits on the RSPO’s working group on greenhouse gases.

Central minister E. Ahmed refuses to light lamp

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/chennai/ahmed-refuses-light-lamp-028

Ahmed refuses to light lamp
December 13th, 2009
By Our Correspondent Tags: Ahmed, lighting

Dec. 12: Union minister of state for railways and Muslim League leader E. Ahmed refused to light a kuthuvilakku, a traditional Tamil custom for observing auspicious occasions, at a national seminar.

The minister, who flew into the city on Saturday especially to inaugurate the seminar on ‘Status of Infrastructure’, organised by the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, caught the other dignitaries offguard when he declined to accept the candle offered to him to light the kuthuvilakku on the podium.

One of the organisers told this newspaper that the minister refused to light the lamp because it is an un-Islamic action.

“The Muslim community does not light lamps. It is against Shariah, the code which governs Islam,” said another. IJCCI president N. Krishnaswami told this reporter not to make an issue of this.

Some time back, Mr P.K. Kunhalikutty, a Muslim League leader who was Kerala’s industries minister, courted controversy when he refused to light the lamp while inaugurating a state function at Thiruvananthapuram. Noted playback singer K.J. Yesudas, one of the guests, walked out protesting against the minister’s action.

“It is a barbaric action by this minister who is part of the Congress-led coalition in the Centre,” said a prominent TN Congress leader.

UPA now admits Saraswati existed

UPA now admits Saraswati existed

Rajesh Singh/Santanu Banerjee | New Delhi/ Daily Pioneer/ Dec.13, 2009
http://epaper.dailypioneer.com/THEPIONEER/PIONEER/2009/12/13/ArticleHtmls/13_12_2009_001_005.shtml?Mode=1
Earlier, had refused to agree despite Govt agencies confirming existence of river
I n a significant shift from its earlier stand that probes conducted so far showed no trace of the mythical river, the Union Government has recently admitted that scientists have discovered water channels indicating “beyond doubt” the existence of the “Vedic Saraswati.”
The Government’s fresh submission came in response to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha on December 3 by Prakash Javadekar (BJP), who wanted to know whether satellite images had “established the underground track of Saraswati, and if so, why should the precious water resources not be exploited to meet growing demands.”
To this, the Union Water Resources Ministry quoted in writing the conclusion of a study jointly conducted by scientists of ISRO, Jodhpur and the Rajasthan Government’s Ground Water Department, published in the Journal of Indian Society of Remote Sensing. Besides other things, the authors had said that “clear signals of palaeo-channels on the satellite imagery in the form of a strong and powerful continuous drainage system in the North-West region and occurrence of archaeological sites of pre-Harappan, Harappan and post-Harappan ages beyond doubt indicate the existence of a mighty palaeodrainage system of the Vedic Saraswati river in this region… The description and magnanimity of these channels also matches with the river Saraswati described in the Vedic literature.”
A leading educationist and currently chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Yash Pal, who had published in 1980 in his own words “a small paper on the existence of Saraswati river which attracted attention,” concurred with the view.
“Surveys so far have brought out clearly the path the river had taken when in flow,” the national research professor told The Pioneer. He did a stint with ISRO (which has played a pivotal role in the probes so far) from 19731980 where he set up the Space Application Centre.
On whether the Union Government should assume a proactive role on the issue of reviving the river to tackle the water shortages, he said, “With advancement of technology more research should be conducted. The river was not lost yesterday; perhaps due to tectonic shifts it disappeared ten thousand years ago. We have to keep these issues in mind.”
All through its tenure until now, the UPA Government had denied the existence of the mystery river. Then Culture Minister Jaipal Reddy had told Parliament that excavations conducted so far at nine sites had not revealed any trace of the lost river Saraswati. He stated that the UPA Government had not extended the sanction for the project given by the NDA Government. Giving a progress report of the Saraswati River Heritage Project launched by the NDA Government, he had said that though the project report was prepared in September 2003 envisaging a cost of Rs 36.02 crore, it was later slashed to Rs 4.98 crore.
The Leftists, who commanded great influence over the first five years of the UPA regime, too, were dismissive of the evidences. Senior leaders even castigated probe agencies for `wasting’ time and money over the study of the mystery river. Three years ago, senior CPI(M) leader and Politburo member Sitaram Yechury slammed the ASI for its efforts.
A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, which he headed in 2006, said, “The ASI has deviated in its working and has failed in spearheading a scientific discipline of archaeology. A scientific institution like the ASI did not proceed correctly in this matter.”
These assertions had come despite mounting evidence of the river collected by central agencies such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Geological Survey of India (GSI), Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Central Groundwater Authority (under the Water Resources Ministry). The Government had also failed to acknowledge expert opinion that the river’s revival could tackle the increasing water demands of more than 20 crore people in the North-West region of the country.
The first national impetus for research on Saraswati came during the NDA regime when the then Union Culture Minister Jagmohan in June 2002 announced excavations to trace the river’s course. He named a team of four experts – Baldeo Sahai of ISRO, Ahmedabad, archaeologist S Kalyan Raman, glaciologist Y K Puri and water consultant Madhav Chitle – for the task. But even earlier, States like Haryana had begun their study of the `underground river.’ Talking of the progress, SL Aggarwal, an official in Haryana Irrigation Department said, “Work on the 3.5 km stretch of river Saraswati between Jyotisar and Bibipur would be completed in one-and-a-half months and then we would be able to revive the ancient river and be able to use the water for irrigation purposes.” The Haryana Government recently sanctioned Rs 10.05 crore for the project of revival of the river, with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission carrying out geophysical and geoelectric surveys for drilling of wells in association with Kurukshetra University for exploratory purposes.
A non-government organisation (NGO), Saraswati Nadi Sodh Sansthan, has also been working for the revival of the ancient river through its entire track. Two seminars were held on this issue on October 22, 2008 and November 21, 2009 at Kurukshetra where representatives from ONGC, Geological Survey of India and Indian Space Research Organisation were invited.
Rajasthan too has been an active participant in the project. Some four decades ago the Archeological Survey of India (GSI) had conducted excavations at a village named Kalibanga in Srigananagar district of Rajasthan, unearthing a full- fledged township beneath a mound, locally called `Thed.’ The ASI researchers came to the conclusion that the sight belonged to the Harappan period.
Subsequent studies revealed that this flourishing town was situated on the banks of the Saraswati which once flowed from this part of the Rajasthan desert.
About two decades ago, scientists at Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) at Jodhpur launched a project to track down the traces.
They concluded that the ancient channels were a dead river that could well be Saraswati. Interestingly, here, the ancient texts and the geographical history of the region were constant bases of reference of the studies.
Analyses of images earlier taken by the American satellite Landsat in the 1970’s clearly showed the presence of underground water in a definitive pattern in the Jaisalmer region. As part of the project, then, underground water researchers were asked to dig bore wells at places from where this lost river used to flow. They selected Chandan Lathi near Jaisalmer for this purpose.
To the surprise of researchers, the water found after digging the bore wells at places on the course of the river was not only sweet but available in plenty.
Encouraged by this discovery, they dug two dozen bore well in the area, from where the river used to flow, and in all of them they found sweet water.
A few years later Dr Vakankar, a noted historian, as part his Itihas Sanklan Yojna, visited this and other sites linked with the river.
Together with another expert Moropant Pingle, he concluded that the Saraswati used to flow from this part of Rajasthan, Sirsa in Haryana, Bhatinda in Punjab and Srigangangar district in Rajasthan.
With the Government indicating a shift in its position, it remains to be seen whether the research work by central agencies that had come to a near halt, will now resume.
(With inputs from Lokpal Sethi in Jaipur and Nishu Mahajan in Chandigarh)