happy dussera :यही कामना रावण का हो अंत राम की विजय करें सभी जयघोष - सियावर रामचंद्र की जय!

Dussehra in 2010 is on Sunday, the 17th of October

हर विजयादशमी के दिन एक रावण जल जाता है
हर दशहरे पर राम विजय का हर्ष उभर आता है

यही कामना रावण का हो अंत राम की विजय
करें सभी जयघोष - सियावर रामचंद्र की जय!

Mobile Phone No : +91 - 98 108 907 43

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jai shree ram

the lost city of dwaraka, the capital city of lord krishna, by s r rao

this blog is under salutation to shree shiaripura ranganatha rao :

Unearthing historical vestiges

Credited with path-breaking excavations of the Harappan port of Lothal and the submerged city of Dwaraka and the `decipherment' of the Indus script, the renowned archaeologist and scholar Prof. S.R. Rao continues to work on the Indus script and marine archaeology with indomitable spirit and energy.

DWARAKA ON LAND: The Dwarkadeesh Temple and other buildings.

PROF. S.R. Rao is a renowned archaeologist and scholar who has two path-breaking excavations to his credit (both in Gujarat) namely the Harappan port of Lothal and the submerged city of Dwaraka which have fetched him laurels. One of the first, to work on the decipherment of the Indus script, he has several books to his credit besides numerous articles. S.R. Rao shows enormous enthusiasm to unearth more submerged cities (considering he is in his Seventies). . Excerpts from an interview when he visited the city recently:

What drew you into marine archaeology?

Actually we had no idea of what it meant. It was in London that Ms Taylor, a librarian at the Institute of Archaeology who was also a diver asked me to take up some work on the Indian coast in the Seventies. She pointed to some shipwrecks of which I had no idea. When I was repairing the temple of Dwarkadeesh at Dwaraka (on land) I had to demolish a modern building in front of it and I found the 9th Century temple of Vishnu. I got curious and dug further deeper (30 ft) in 1979-80 on land. We found two earlier temples, a whole wall and figures of Vishnu. We dug further and actually found eroded material of a township lying at the bottom. Then arose the question of dating the remains of the township destroyed by the sea. Thermo-luminescence dating revealed a date of 1520 B.C. The Mahabharatarefers to Dwaraka and this was how we thought of marine archaeology.

How did you begin the excavations?

We had no experience in marine archaeology. It was a new discipline to India. The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) gave us some money and we went to the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, as there were some divers there and started work in 1981. Real work started in 1982. We hired boats. First we found some evidence in Beth Dwaraka island because local tradition points to the antiquity of this compared to Dwaraka.

What were the remains found at Beth Dwaraka?

According to the Mahabharata Krishna built Dwaraka at Kushasthali - a fortress in the sea which is in ruins. Then he built another at the mouth of the Gomti river. AtKushasthali (Beth Dwaraka spelt Dvaraka) we found a wall (560 metres long) visible on the shore itself. Dating of pottery found here gave a date of 1528 B.C. So we were satisfied we were on the right spot. We unearthed an important find - a seal (mudra). The Mahabharata refers to how Krishna wanted every citizen to carry some sort of identity - a mudra.

Did the mudra in a way confirm it was Krishna's Dwaraka?

ANCIENT FORTIFICATION: The long wall visible on the shore at Beth Dwaraka.

Yes. Besides plenty of pottery, we found an inscribed sherd with the following maha kacha shahapa (sea, king or protector). This is dated around 1600 B.C. while the mudra is dated to 1700 B.C. We found a 580 metre long wall.

Did you face problems getting hold of manpower and machinery?

One could not take a big ship because of shallow waters - we had to hire small boats. Another problem was divers. No archaeologist could dive. There were no underwater cameras or underwater television cameras (which had to be imported) and the NIO had the side scan sonar by which they did the survey. ). Once we even had to face a shark. The personnel had to be trained in India. We had to modify some boats to suit our needs. The position fixing is important. You may find something the previous day and the next day you should know where to go. Have the structures you found deteriorated over a period of time?

Not much since they are made of stone. Some may have fallen because of currents and cyclone. We were worried about the effect of the earthquake. Fortunately the main temple standing on the shore at Dwaraka has not been affected. So the underground remains will not be affected. In Beth Dwaraka cracks have appeared in the Dwarkadeesh temple.

How did you feel when you found Krishna's Dwaraka?

The excitement came when we found the mudra and the inscription. That was the confirming factor as by mere date one could not say it is Dwaraka. The Mahabharata mentions the city having 50 openings. We found about 25 or 30 bastions. There must be more because they must have protected the wall against currents. On the bastion invariably there are window openings. So that may be the reference.

Did this motivate you to study the epic deeply?

Not just that but other texts like the Puranas - Bhagavata, Skanda,Matsya and Vishnu which refer to Dwaraka.

Literary traditions attest to submergence of Poompuhar (Kaveripoompattinam or Kaveripattinam, the ancient Chola capital) also. How far have excavations progressed at this place?

Poompuhar is generally dated to about 2nd century A.D. But at Kaveripattinam we found a brick wharf with a wooden post dated to 3rd Century B.C. which indicates that it was a big port by then. We surveyed several kms along the shore. At 23-24 metres depth we found some stone structures along with some pottery. So there must have been a township about 4 kms inside the sea. The side scan sonar survey also showed some structures. Further work has to be done as it was only partly done.

Is some work going on at Poompuhar or anywhere else?

Nothing except at Mahabalipuram.

Do you think marine archaeology will corroborate the literary evidence like it has in the case at Dwaraka?

Yes. Further work is likely to yield very favourable evidence of the existence of Poompuhar.

How difficult is it to excavate on the east coast because it is so prone to cyclones unlike the Arabian Sea which is relatively peaceful?

Much more difficult. The sea is rough. We have limited time and the visibility is far better in the Arabian Sea. In the Bay of Bengal unless you go down to a depth of 8-10 metres depth one can't even see one's own hands.

Why is it so?

Because of suspended sand and sediments.

Why was minimal work done at Poompuhar?

The only problem was lack of funds.

What about shipwrecks and other areas being explored?

We got one shipwreck near Poompuhar, two near Lakshadweep. Nothing has been done except photographing the shipwrecks.

How old would the ships be?

What we have seen are late ones - 18th or 19th century. But for much earlier ones we have to go the West coast. How do you think funds can be channelised into archaeology? Is it purely a government initiative?

Yes it is a government initiative.

Can one get foreign funding?

We work in a sensitive area. Much of the data we collect cannot be published. Dwaraka is sensitive because it is close to Pakistan. Once one takes money from the foreigners they would be interested in seeing all the data collected.

Has marine archaeology been introduced as a course in universities?

No. The Goa University had asked me to send a proposal for the introduction of such a course. But no action was taken.

Is there a chair for marine studies in Andhra Pradesh?

Prof Gangadharan has been appointed as honorary professor. Recently a chair was sanctioned for marine archaeology. Nothing much has happened.

What can be done to improve matters in marine archaeology?


What is urgently needed is NIO or NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology)

Chennai, should train some archaeologists in diving or ask the navy to do it, establish a few more divers and three four centres in such a vast area - one in Chennai or Visakhapatnam, one in Mumbai and one in Gujarat area or even in Kochi. If you have three-four centres with trained divers each one will survey their own area and some excellent results will materialise.

If this is the state of affairs what is the future of marine archaeology?

There is nobody from India on the international committee which regulates excavations. The Navy is anxious to do something but they need archaeologists. The course has to be introduced in some university (coastal universities) and people should be imparted training. With such a rich maritime heritage something should be done. We have the double advantage of having both submerged cities and shipwrecks which others do not have.

You had finished working on the Indus script before you took up Dwaraka. What do you think of all the recent attempts on the script?

I kept quiet all these years because I let people talk what they want. Even today I am still working on the script. Recently we have confirmed that it is definitely an Indo-Aryan language and deciphered. Prof. W.W.Grummond of Florida State University has written in his article that I have already deciphered it.

It is normally believed that the world's ancient scripts are deciphered through bi-lingual inscriptions?

Not necessary.

What are you working on now?

An alphabet museum is being established most likely at Tirupati. I have worked out the whole concept. I have got copy of the seals of Lothal and a copy of the Rosetta stone from Egypt. We have decided to exhibit about 600 inscriptions in Semitic, Cuneiform, Hieroglyphics, Brahmi and Kharoshthi. The Epigraphical Society is also involved.

The Indus script keeps me busy. I am the president of Keladi (in Shimoga district) museum We are setting up an art gallery there.


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Metro Plus Chennai Hyderabad

संता बंता : laughter is the best medicine / zim / mandir

manmohan , sonia and rajeev : old memories, now and then

बंता: क्या खाना खाने से पहले आप भगवान् को प्रार्थना करते हैं?
संता: नहीं, मुझे ऐसा करना नहीं पड़ता क्योंकि मेरी पत्नी अच्छा खाना बनाती है!

· बंता: आप मिट्टी क्यों खोद रहे हो?
संता: मेरे दादाजी ने कहा है कि मैंने उनका नाम मिट्टी में मिला दिया है, बस वही ढूंढ़ रहा हूँ!

· संता अपनी शादी वाले दिन बहुत उदास था!
बंता: क्या बात है? आप उदास क्यों हो?
संता: मेरे ससुराल वालों ने बारात में कम लोगो को लाने के लिये कहा है! पता नहीं मुझे लेकर जाएँगे भी या नहीं!

· बंता: सुना है आप अपनी पत्नी के साथ बर्तन धोते हो?
संता: तो क्या हुआ! वो भी तो मेरे साथ रोटियाँ पकाती है!

· संता: अगर हम अपनी डाईट का ख्याल रखे तो हम 85 साल तक जिन्दा रह सकते है!
बंता: पर 85 साल तक जिन्दा रहना कौन चाहता है?
संता: जो 84 साल का हो गया हो!

· बंता: (रेस्ट्रान्ट में बैठे) ओह मारे गए! जिसमे आफिस का सारा कैश पड़ा है, वो सेफ तो खुला रह गया!
संता: चिंता न करो सेफ फिर भी सेफ है क्योंकि हम दोनों तो यहाँ है!

· संता (रेस्ट्रान्ट में साथ वाले टेबल पर बैठे बंता से): क्या आपका नाम संता है?
बंता: नहीं तो, क्यों?
संता: मेरा नाम संता है! आप मेरा कोट पहने हुये हैं!

· संता शराब पीते पीते रोने लगा!
बंता: क्या हुआ आप क्यों रो रहे हो?
संता: जिस लड़की को भुलाने के लिये मैं पी रहा हूँ उसका नाम मुझे याद नहीं आ रहा!

· बंता: डाक्टर साहब मेरी याददाश्त बहुत कमजोर है, इसका कोई ईलाज है?
संता: इसका ईलाज यही है कि आप यह भूल जाइये कि आपकी याददाश्त कमजोर है!

· बंता: आज मेरी प्रेमिका का जन्मदिन है! उसे क्या तोहफा दूँ?
संता: देखने में कैसी है?
बंता: मस्त है!
संता: तो मेरा नंबर दे देना!

बंता: मैं जरुरी काम से बाहर जा रहा हूँ! एम्. डी. साहब आये तो बता देना मैं लंच टाईम के बाद आ जाऊंगा!
संता: अगर वो न आये तो उन्हें मैं क्या कहूँ?

· बंता: पाप का प्रायश्चित करने के लिये हमे क्या करना चाहिये?
संता: पाप!

· संता: आखिर मेरी प्रेमिका ने हाँ कर दी!
बंता: अच्छा मुबारक हो! शादी कब है?
संता: शादी के लिये थोड़ी हाँ की है! वैसे हाँ की है!

· संता: मेरी फैक्ट्री में आग लग गई थी, बीमा कम्पनी ने मुझे 20 लाख रूपये दिये!
बंता: मेरे गोदाम में बाढ़ आ गई थी, बीमा कम्पनी ने मुझे 50 लाख रूपये दिये!
संता: पर आप अपने गोदाम में बाढ़ लेकर कैसे आये?

· बंता: मैं आपके बारे में वही विचार रखता हूँ जो आप मेरे बारे में रखते हो!
संता: अच्छा फिर तो आप बड़े कमीने और घटिया हो!

· बंता: तुम अगले जन्म में क्या बनना चाहते हो?
संता: काक्रोच!
बंता: वो क्यों?
संता: क्योंकि मेरी पत्नी सिर्फ काक्रोच से डरती है!

· संता: कल रात हमारे पड़ोसी को पता नहीं क्या हुआ, आधी रात को आकर हमारा दरवाज़ा पीटने लगा!
बंता: अच्छा! फिर आपने क्या किया?
संता: मैंने क्या करना था! मैं मस्ती में अपना तबला बजाता रहा!

· संता: अक्लमंद आदमी कभी यह दावा नहीं करता कि यही आखिरी सच है, सिर्फ मूर्ख लोग ही ऐसा यकीन रखते हैं!
बंता: क्या आप यह बात दावे से कह सकते हैं?
संता: यकीनन!

· संता: शादी के बाद युवराज सिंह ठीक खेलने लगेगा!
बंता: अच्छा! यह आप कैसे कह सकते हैं?
संता: फिर वह खेलते हुये लड़कियों को नहीं बॉल को देखा करेगा!

· बंता: सरकारी अस्पताल के डाक्टर और मरीज़ में क्या फर्क है?
संता: डाक्टर नर्स पर और मरीज़ फर्श पर मरता है!

Defamation litigation: a survivor's kit ; by subramanian swamy

Defamation litigation: a survivor's kit

By Subramanian Swamy

The Supreme Court judgment in the Nakkeeran case is the main tool in the survival kit for honest media and other critics of politicians against libel litigation.

ON SEPTEMBER 17, the Tamil Nadu Government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that it had ordered the withdrawal of 125 defamation cases filed against The Hindu and various other publications. This is a tribute especially to The Hindu `parivar' for showing guts and challenging the constitutionality of the cases filed against its representatives. The Jayalalithaa Government chose discretion over valour by not risking the Supreme Court striking down the libel statute itself as unconstitutional. Rather than lose permanently the weapon of state harassment of critics that defamation law represents, the Government chose to back down.

This is the second time that the AIADMK State Government has directed a carte blanche withdrawal of defamation cases. The first time was on January 1, 1994 when the Tamil Nadu Government withdrew numerous defamation cases filed against me in several Sessions Courts in the State. The reason then was the same: the Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah and Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy had heard extensive arguments from me as petitioner in person and the Tamil Nadu Government counsel on the defamation law, and then orally asked why the law should not be struck down. The Government counsel then asked for time, and came back a week later to say that all the cases against me had been withdrawn. Hence, the cause of action for my petition disappeared, and my petition became infructuous. I was personally relieved but the law survived for use on another day.

But Justice Jeevan Reddy, who had listened to me with great care, went on to write a landmark judgment in theNakkeeran case [1994] that incorporated the core of my arguments and citations from the United States Supreme Court and the United Kingdom's House of Lords. That judgment today c. The judgment however needs to be developed further by more decided cases further clarified by continued challenge to state-sponsored defamation litigation that has become far too frequent in the country, so that freedom of speech and expression can become more deep and extensive than at present.

Under the Indian Constitution, the fundamental right to free speech (Article 19) is subject to "reasonable restrictions." What is reasonable is subjective in a society; it can only be developed to some objectivity by cases decided in courts [`case law'] and according to the political culture of the times. At present, reasonableness is codified in two laws — first, in exceptions to criminal culpability incorporated in Sections 499 and 500 of the British colonial statute known as the Indian Penal Code (1870), and second, the limits to civil liability incorporated as tort law. In India, defamation proceedings can be initiated under either or both, together or in sequence. Most democratic countries have however done away with the criminal law, which is archaic and draconian. But India has not yet done so.

What is one to do if one receives a court summons for alleged defamation? For example, I once received a summons from a Delhi court because I had called a BJP leader, V.K. Malhotra, "an ignoramus." The remark was made by me during the Lok Sabha proceedings, but lifted by a sub-editor and inserted in a column I wrote for the magazine.

Under the law, I had to prove that it was true — or face imprisonment. Now, how does one prove that a person is an ignoramus in a court of law? Add to that the harassment I would have to suffer of travelling to court at least 10 times a year for at least five years to attend the case or face a warrant for my production in court. Or I would have to engage a lawyer who would charge me a hefty sum. All this for a mild rebuke of a political leader? The editor of the magazine decided he could not stomach it, so he apologised for printing the remark. I was left holding the bag.

However, I fought the case and won. Mr. Malhotra was directed to pay me Rs.8,000 as compensation for my petrol bills, which he paid with some reluctance. Now how did I do it?

I pulled out of my survival kit the first tool of defence: in a defamation case, the aggrieved person must prove "publication," which means Mr. Malhotra would have to prove first that I had, in the original text given to the magazine, written what was printed. The onus was on him to produce the original. Now which magazine keeps the original? He failed to produce it and I won.

In a 1997 press conference, I made some charges against Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. He used Section 199 of the Criminal Procedure Code to get the Public Prosecutor to file a defamation case. This meant the contest in court was between me and the state, and not between me and the Chief Minister personally. Thus the Government would spend the money out of the public exchequer and use Government counsel to prosecute me, a totally unequal contest and wholly unfair (even if legal).

If Section 199 had not been there, the Chief Minister would have personally been the complainant and I would have had the right to cross-examine him. Now which busy politician would like that? Hence, I pulled out the second tool in my survival kit. I filed an application before the judge making the point that the alleged defamation related to the personal conduct of the Chief Minister and not to anything he did in the course of public duty. I argued that Section 199 would not apply. Thereafter, the State Public Prosecutor quickly lost interest in the case. Had the judge rejected my prayer, I would have gone in appeal to the Supreme Court and got Section 199 struck down. But alas, I could not.

In 1988 another Chief Minister, Ramakrishna Hegde, filed a suit against me under tort law for Rs.2 crore damages for my allegation that he was tapping telephones and using his office to benefit a relative in land deals. Although ultimately, the Kuldip Singh Commission and a parliamentary committee studying the Telegraph Act upheld my contentions, I would have had a problem had the court decided the case before these inquiry reports came out.

So I pulled out the third tool in my survival kit, namely the U.S. Supreme Court case laws, the most famous of which was The New York Times case decided in 1964. Contrary to popular impression, U.S. case laws on fundamental rights are applicable to India following a Supreme Court judgment in an Indian Express case in 1959.

Furthermore, since 1994, these U.S. case laws have become substantially a part of Indian law, thanks to Justice Jeevan Reddy's judgment in the Nakkeeran case.

The principle in these case laws, restricted to public persons suing for damages, is wonderfully protective of free speech: if a person in public life, including one in government, feels aggrieved by a defamatory statement, then that person must first prove in court that the defamatory statement is not only false, but that the maker of the statement knew it to be false. That is, it must be proved by the defamed plaintiff to be a reckless disregard of the truth by the defamer defendant. This principle thus reversed the traditional onus on the defamer to prove his or her allegation, and placed the burden of proof on the defamed.

This reversal of burden of proof is just, essentially because a public person has the opportunity to go before the media and rebut the defamation in a way aggrieved private persons cannot do. If criticism and allegations against a public person have to be proved in a court of law, what is likely to happen is that public spirited individuals will be discouraged and thus dissuaded from making the criticism. This is what the U.S. Supreme Court in the famous New York Times case characterised as a "chilling effect" on public debate; it held this to be bad for democracy.

Hence the need to balance the protection of reputation in law with the democratic need for transparency and vibrant public debate. The U.S. Supreme Court admirably set the balance for freedom and democracy.

Since Mr. Hegde was an intelligent man, he recognised what my survival strategy meant. He would have come on the stand in court. He would have been examined and cross-examined on why what I said was not true, and how he knew that I had known all along that my charges were false and yet I made them. He therefore sent me a message one day wanting to know if I would call it quits. So his defamation case went from one adjournment to another, until it lapsed upon his death. Before his passing, Hegde and I met. Both of us agreed that it was unwise for politicians who have so much access to the media to rebut charges to file defamation cases and waste the time of already overburdened courts. I got the impression that some sharp lawyer was behind his temporary loss of judgment in filing the case.

Today, with developing case laws, defamation litigation has become a toothless tiger for politicians to use against the media. There are enough dental tools in my survival kit to ensure this. I am therefore writing a full Manual on how to expose dishonest politicians and get away without being harassed in court. I hope honest critics will no more hesitate to speak their minds about what they know to be the truth even if they cannot prove this in court beyond a reasonable doubt.

I am happy therefore that The Hindu chose to fight it out rather than capitulate. More should follow its lead for a better democracy and a freer media.

(The author, an economist, is a former Union Law Minister. As a rule he argues his own cases in court without the agency of lawyers.)



You said earlier that the government would never investigate charges against Sonia Gandhi. On what do you base your charge?

The prime minister knows fully well that if she is not there in Indian politics and she is not leader of the Congress party, his government will not last 10 days. She is his insurance.



So what should we Hindus do? First, recognise that being a pious Hindu is not enough. Hindus must unite and work to install a Hindu-minded government. If 35 per cent of the 83 per cent Hindus unite to vote for a party, absolute majority is attainable. If Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, RSS, and VHP decide to mobilise the voter to support a party that espouses an approved Hindu agenda, then the union government is within reach through the ballot box. Second, search for those Muslims who are ready to openly and with pride declare that their ancestors were Hindus. My guess is that about 75 per cent of Muslims will be ready to do so. These are the Muslims who can be co-opted by Hindus to fight Islamic fundamentalism. If we do not do so, then the Muslim clerics will have a free run of their fanaticism.

For this a required reading is Sri Sri Ravishankar?s Hinduism & Islam: Dedicated to the People of Pakistan Who have Forgotten Their Own Roots [www.artofliving.org]. In this Sri Sri Ravishankar has shown how ?Muslims have completely forgotten that their forefathers were Hindus, so they have every right to Vedic culture?. He in fact traces the pre-Islam origins of the K?aaba. Third, invest heavily in primary education to make it world class, ban the madrasas for any student below 21 years, and make Sanskrit a compulsory language for all students.

(The writer is a former Union Law Minister.)



Dr.Subramanian Swamy and Dr. Kalyanaraman felicitated by the U.S. compatriots

By janamejayan

Sanatana Dharma Foundation Honors Dr Subramanian Swamy and Dr S. Kalyanaraman for their Courageous Effort in Protecting the Historic Rama Sethu

Sanatana Dharma Foundation, Dallas, Texas organized its first Hindu Unity Day, at the DFW Hindu Temple, in Dallas on the 19th and 20th of July, 2008. Symbolizing Hindu Unity, Representatives of Dallas Chapters of several organizations like the Art of living Foundation, Ammachi Satsang, Hare Krishna ISCKON group, Gayatri Parivar, Brahmakumaris, Carribbean Mandir, Chinmaya Mission, Hanuman Temple, Sathya Sai groups, Datta Yoga Peetam and other prominent Hindu personalities from the local Dallas-Fort Worth community in Texas, were present at this unique event. Dr Subramanian Swamy’s latest book “Rama Sethu Symbol of National Unity” was released and distributed at the Event, to key members of these organizations and other prominent members of the community.

Dallas, Texas, July 26, 2008 — Dr Subramanian Swamy, PhD, visiting professor of Economics, Harvard University and former Union Law Minister of India, and Dr S. Kalyanaraman, Director, Saraswati River Research Center, and President of Sri Rameshwaram Rama Sethu Raksha Manch, received awards in Dallas, Texas for their courageous effort in protecting the historic Rama Sethu, from being destroyed by the Government of India in the name of a development project.

Rama Sethu is the original Sanskrit name given to a bridge built by the legendary King Rama, who crossed over to Sri Lanka from India to fight the King of Lanka, Ravana, recover his wife Sita, and restore Dharma (Order) in the land of India. While it is difficult to establish the exact historical age of these events, the bridge is thought to be at least 5000 years old, if not much older, making it the oldest causeway built across an ocean channel. The Rama Sethu is referred to in numerous ancient Sanskrit texts and scriptures, as a man made structure, and in recent times, it has been vividly photographed by both NASA and Indian Satellites.

When India fell under Colonial rule, the British renamed this construction as “Adam’s Bridge”. The Government of India, in recent years, has been trying to establish a Shipping Channel between India and Sri Lanka, by breaking and destroying the continuity of this ancient structure. Hindus in India and around the world have been protesting and fighting this decision of the Government of India, and have demanded that the Rama Sethu be declared a monument of historic importance and a world heritage site. On May 8th, 2008, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to go back to the drawing board to see if it can create an alternate shipping route, and at the same time, study the Rama Sethu as a monument of historic importance. It is yet to be seen if the Government of India will comply with the Court’s direction, and thereby uphold due constitutional process, or continue on its path of destroying the Rama Sethu, dis-regarding the Supreme court’s direction.

Sanatana Dharma Foundation, (www.sdfglobal.org) a Dallas based Non-Profit organization inspired by the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, (www.acharyasabha.org) the apex body of Hindus in India, presented the “Hindu Dharma Rakshaka Kshatriya Award” to Dr Subramanian Swamy & Dr S. Kalyanaraman on the occassion of the Hindu Unity Day organized at the DFW Hindu Temple in Dallas, Texas on July 19, 2008. Speaking on the occasion, the President of Sanatana Dharma Foundation, Kalyan Viswanathan, said that “This award, a first of its kind, has been instituted to honor and celebrate the ‘Kshatriya Spirit’, specifically the courage shown by Hindus in taking risks and standing up to fight for the protection and preservation of Dharma. The word Kshatriya is a Sanskrit word that refers to the royal and noble class of Hindus who historically defended their nation, and the Dharma of the land.”

The Highlight of the Hindu Unity Day Event was the speech by Dr Subramanian Swamy on his personal experiences during his defense of Rama Sethu in the Supreme Court of India, which was greeted by a spontaneous standing ovation. In presenting the “Hindu Dharma Rakshaka Kshatriya” Award, his fearless defense in the Supreme Court of India, getting a critical and timely stay order, the subsequent withdrawal of the Government of India’s petition, and the later Verdict of the Supreme Court were all highlighted.

Dr S. Kalyanaraman made a scholarly presentation on the River Saraswati, highlighting the recent research findings, the origins of the Vedic civilization on the banks of River Saraswati and the fact that it holds the central “Key” to the re-writing of the history of India and re-establishing the real historicity of the Vedas. While presenting the Award, his dedicated research in supporting the struggle of the Rama Sethu, and his pioneering contributions in researching and resurfacing the River Saraswati were lauded.

Symbolizing Hindu Unity, Representatives of Dallas Chapters of several organizations like the Art of living Foundation, Ammachi Satsang, Hare Krishna ISCKON group, Gayatri Parivar, Brahmakumaris, Carribbean Mandir, Chinmaya Mission, Hanuman Temple, Sathya Sai groups and other prominent Hindu personalities from the local Dallas-Fort Worth community in Texas, were present at this unique event. Dr Subramanian Swamy’s latest book “Rama Sethu Symbol of National Unity” was released and distributed at the Event, to key members of these organizations and other prominent members of the community.

Smt. Ranna Jani, President, DFW Hindu Temple in Texas speaking on the occassion on behalf of the Temple, thanked both Dr Subramaniam Swamy & Dr S. Kalyanaraman for coming to Dallas and sharing their experiences with the participants. On the second day, a workshop was organized, where challenges facing Hinduism today, were discussed. Presentations on the state of Hindu Temples in India, challenges posed by Christianity and Islam were also discussed. The session was very interactive, and educational, as per the feedback received.


the world is a home: DUBAI VISIT 2010

the world is a home: DUBAI VISIT 2010

mahatama gandhi- a victim of muslim pacification policy

One of the conditions imposed by Gandhi for his breaking of the fast unto death related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by the Hindu refugees. But when Hindus in Pakistan were subjected to violent attacks he did not so much as utter a single word to protest and censure the Pakistan Government or the Muslims concerned. Gandhi was shrewd enough to know that while undertaking a fast unto death, had he imposed for its break some condition on the Muslims in Pakistan, there would have been found hardly any Muslims who could have shown some grief if the fast had ended in his death. It was for this reason that he purposely avoided imposing any condition on the Muslims. He was fully aware of from the experience that Jinnah was not at all perturbed or influenced by his fast and the Muslim League hardly attached any value to the inner voice of Gandhi.

Gandhi is being referred to as the Father of the Nation. But if that is so, he had failed his paternal duty inasmuch as he has acted very treacherously to the nation by his consenting to the partitioning of it. I stoutly maintain that Gandhi has failed in his duty. He has proved to be the Father of Pakistan. His inner-voice, his spiritual power and his doctrine of non-violence of which so much is made of, all crumbled before Jinnah's iron will and proved to be powerless.

Briefly speaking, I thought to myself and foresaw I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred and that I shall have lost all my honour, even more valuable than my life, if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and would be powerful with armed forces. No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan. People may even call me and dub me as devoid of any sense or foolish, but the nation would be free to follow the course founded on the reason which I consider to be necessary for sound nation-building. After having fully considered the question, I took the final decision in the matter, but I did not speak about it to anyone whatsoever. I took courage in both my hands and I did fire the shots at Gandhiji on 30th January 1948, on the prayer-grounds of Birla House.

I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus. There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book and for this reason I fired those fatal shots.

I bear no ill will towards anyone individually but I do say that I had no respect for the present government owing to their policy, which was unfairly favourable towards the Muslims. But at the same time I could clearly see that the policy was entirely due to the presence of Gandhi. I have to say with great regret that Prime Minister Nehru quite forgets that his preachings and deeds are at times at variances with each other when he talks about India as a secular state in season and out of season, because it is significant to note that Nehru has played a leading role in the establishment of the theocratic state of Pakistan, and his job was made easier by Gandhi's persistent policy of appeasement towards the Muslims.

I now stand before the court to accept the full share of my responsibility for what I have done and the judge would, of course, pass against me such orders of sentence as may be considered proper. But I would like to add that I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me, nor do I wish that anyone else should beg for mercy on my behalf. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled against it on all sides. I have no doubt that honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future.



vivekananda- in world congress-views by ingham

Just a Few Other Gospels

Mansions of the Spirit: The Gospel in a Multi-Faith World
by Michael Ingham
Toronto, Ontario: Anglican Book Centre
(167 pages; $18.95, paper)

reviewed by Terry Mattingly

The first Parliament of World Religions brought 400 clerics and scholars to Chicago in 1893 and marked the birth of the modern interfaith movement. It also provides a pivotal scene in Mansions of the Spirit, a laity-level work of popular theology by Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham of Canada’s Diocese of New Westminster.

As Ingham tells the tale, the good guy is clearly Swami Vivekananda of Calcutta. The bad guy is the archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson—who symbolizes centuries of dogmatic, simplistic Christians who believe in heaven and hell and that where one spends eternity has something to do with a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and in the sacraments of his Church.

Many of the speakers at the 1893 gathering focused on how the world’s religions fit into a global, evolutionary move toward Christianity, broadly defined. But Vivekananda offered a dramatically different vision, stressing that truth takes many forms and that believers must learn to share each other’s truths—even if they clash.

His bottom line was the same as that proclaimed by many leaders in today’s Anglican establishment: the belief that the world’s many spiritual paths ultimately lead to one destination.

“Do not care for doctrines, do not care for dogmas or sects or churches or temples; they count for little compared with the essence of existence in each man, which is spirituality,” said the swami. “All religions, from the lowest fetishism to the highest absolutism, are so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realize the Infinite, as determined by the condition of birth and association. . . . Every religion is only an evolving of God out of material man.”

Vivekananda drew rave reviews, especially from the newspapers. But the archbishop of Canterbury, who refused even to attend the meeting, was not impressed.

“I do not understand how that one religion can be regarded as a member of a Parliament of Religions, without assuming the equality of other intended members and the parity of their position and claims,” wrote Benson. Four years later, a Lambeth Conference resolution reflected the same views: “The tendency of many English-speaking Christians to entertain an exaggerated opinion of the excellence of Hinduism and Buddhism, and to ignore the fact that Jesus Christ alone has been constituted Saviour and King of mankind, should be vigorously corrected.”

This Lambeth statement, notes Ingham, is a perfect example of an ancient theological perspective called “Christian exclusivism,” which still dominated the Church at that time. However, even a century ago, many Anglicans spoke out against the stand taken by their archbishop and the Lambeth Conference. And in the century since the Chicago parliament, “exclusivism” has come under constant attack.

At the World Congress of Faith in 1986, another archbishop of Canterbury summed up a very different approach to the gospel. Times had changed.

“Dialogue can help us recognize that other faiths than our own are genuine mansions of the Spirit with many rooms to be discovered, rather than solitary fortresses to be attacked,” said Robert Runcie, providing the title of Ingham’s book. “From the perspective of faith, different world religions can be seen as different gifts to the Spirit of humanity.”

Evolving into Inclusivism

For Ingham, the good news is that this more inclusive perspective influenced increasing numbers of mainline Protestant seminaries and churches during the twentieth century, especially the elite churches of Europe and North America. And he says there’s more good news: variations on this viewpoint have had a major effect on Roman Catholicism, in the era after the Second Vatican Council.

Yes, “Christian exclusivism” continues to shape the doctrines taught in legions of fundamentalist, evangelical, and Orthodox churches, and in most Two-Thirds World Anglican and Catholic churches. Nevertheless, Ingham’s book argues that people of faith can see a broader, more inclusive gospel emerging in postmodern Christendom.

The early Church’s dogmatic “exclusivism,” which warped the loving, prophetic teachings of Jesus, is giving way to a new age of religious pluralism.

“Claiming the authority of the Holy Spirit, the early church chose to proclaim Christ as liberator from the Jewish law,” writes the bishop of New Westminster. “A new covenant was proclaimed in place of the old. The church announced salvation through Christ alone.”

This was a tragic mistake, argues the bishop. The early Church was wrong. Today, after centuries of rigid orthodoxy, Ingham is convinced that more enlightened bishops, theologians, and mystics are outvoting the church fathers.

Along with many other members of the Anglican establishment, Ingham believes that the age of religious bigotry and intolerance is about to end. More Christians are grasping what the Canadian bishop believes is the universal imperative behind these words: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.”

While debates over sexuality continue to dominate news reports, Ingham’s book represents a snapshot of what may in reality be today’s most pivotal doctrinal issue.

Malls of the Spirit

Researchers have consistently noted that conservative Christian churches, those that dare to mention heaven and hell and proclaim variations of “Christian exclusivism,” are growing, while more progressive, pluralistic churches are in decline.

Ingham’s viewpoint, however, is not radically different from the pop spirituality that dominates shopping malls and movie multiplexes. The issue is whether people will flock to this approach in mainline pews, as opposed to the more entertaining version offered on cable TV and other niches in the modern marketplace.

In short, Ingham operates on a much smaller stage than Oprah. There is little evidence that pluralistic believers will flock to liberal mainline pews, and bring their wallets with them, instead of worshipping at the mall, the multiplex, or on the comfy couches that face their television sets.

At the heart of the bishop’s 167-page book is its survey of three doctrinal positions on issues of salvation. These are “Christian exclusivism,” “Christian inclusivism,” and “religious pluralism.”

In Christian exclusivism the Church has rooted its classic teaching in verses such as John 14:6, which quotes Jesus as saying: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Obviously, this stance can put a damper on interfaith work. One really needs to believe that all religions are true for constructive dialogue to take place, Ingham writes.

“If, on the other hand, one believes the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Muslim, and so on, to be a heathen and a pagan, mired in error and lost in darkness, then the opposite attitude will prevail,” he argues. “One might well adopt a posture of charity and compassion towards the other . . . but there will be no expectation of encountering afresh God’s truth, no hope of expanding the horizons of spiritual understanding.”

Historically, “Christian exclusivism” has been associated with a very conservative stance on biblical authority, and with belief in the literal truth of such creedal doctrines as the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the visible return of Jesus Christ.

The bishop does not mince words: “The problem with exclusivism is that it presents us with a god from whom we need to be delivered, rather than the living God who is the hope of the world. The exclusivist god is narrow, rigid, and blind. . . . Such a god is not worthy of honour, glory, worship, or praise.”

A second stance—“Christian inclusivism”—tries to find safe ground between a radical pluralism and the belief that salvation is found through faith in Jesus Christ alone. This approach stresses biblical passages such as John10:16, which states: “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.”

The key is that salvation can be found through other religious faiths, yet that salvation is ultimately the result of God’s saving work accomplished through Jesus Christ. Thus, other world religions may contain a partial, incomplete measure of the truth that is fully expressed in Christianity.

This stance, as articulated in the Second Vatican Council document, “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,” essentially argues that the faithful, honorable followers of other world religions who live righteous lives are “anonymous Christians” and are following the teachings of Christ, knowingly or otherwise.

But Christian inclusivism raises problems, notes Ingham. For starters, this viewpoint still teaches that Christianity is a more mature faith than the other world religions. Thus, true pluralists believe that it is narrow and imperialistic. Also, this equation can be turned around. Islamic believers could, for example, argue that Christians are merely anonymous Muslims. Another major problem arises for those plagued by doctrinal candor.

“The fact is, the religions of the world are not saying the same thing in different ways,” he notes. “As a Hindu friend once said to me, ‘What you are offering is not what we are looking for! “Salvation” does not mean the same as “enlightenment.”’ Non-theistic religions are not doctrinally compatible with theistic ones. The Buddhist concept of nirvana is not the same as the Christian idea of the kingdom of heaven.”

The third position argues that the religious pluralism seen in the world is not a tragic, hellish mistake, but part of the “evident will of God for humankind,” writes Ingham. The truth is that God intended people to use many paths to reach the divine. Thus, all world religions possess a piece of the greater mystery that humans have called God, or the gods. All religions contain errors as well as truths.

Yet the bishop insists that pluralism does not have to lead to relativism, or the loss of belief in truth. It also need not lead to syncretistic attempts to blend the many world religions into a single system. In the end, he believes it is best if believers in the various religions remain unconditionally committed to their own faiths—yet accept the validity of other religious viewpoints. The mature pluralist merely becomes adept at mentally adding the phrase “for us” at the end of doctrinal statements. For example: “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for us” (italics by the bishop).

United by Mysticism

But there is a problem. It can be very hard to define what is, and what is not, a valid religious tradition. Alas, some members of other world religions hold beliefs that are as embarrassingly dogmatic as those held by orthodox Christians. Alas, millions of believers around the world have not had the good fortune of earning graduate degrees from modernist seminaries. And then there are all those new sects and cults.

This could be seen during the 1993 Parliament of World Religions, an event that Ingham admits attracted “a number of new religious movements of sometimes dubious provenance, several ‘new age’ cults, and even a group of self-proclaimed pagans.” Thus, it was easy to wonder whether “this smorgasbord represented the genuine religious pluralism of modern society, or simply American cultural relativism. . . . Failure to distinguish between religion and sect invites substantial and valid criticism of interfaith endeavors.”

There’s the rub. Once it has been decreed that all religious paths lead to the same destination, all kinds of believers are going to want to create their own maps. Some of their paths may veer into embarrassing territory. At times, the bishop seems to wish that he could be part of some official interfaith board that would determine which spiritual paths are healthy and which are dangerous, which are refined enough to be admitted to the pluralist clubhouse and which are not.

But the bishop is sure that God’s work will be done one way or another.

In the end, religious believers must learn to seek unity in forms of religion that transcend logic, doctrines, and Scriptures. Ingham believes they will find it easier to express their common faith in images and stories and in terms of shared religious experiences—not in divisive attempts at linear arguments.

Believers may need to stop using the word “God” and speak of the Ultimate or the Real or the “Really Real.” They must learn to accept the Oneness of all things, including truths that appear to collide. They must grasp that a mature monotheism—rather than being radically narrow and absolute—can be expanded into a higher “God consciousness” as an ever-expanding circle of faith embraces what may appear to be many competing gods.

“The appeal to unity here is at the level of mystical experience,” he writes. “In the Hindu view, there cannot be any logical or theoretical reconciliation of religious teachings, but there is a common spiritual experience. . . . Buddhism would affirm this belief as well. The Buddha taught that ‘logic, inference, and reasoning’ are obstacles to enlightenment.”

This will trouble many Christians, he admits. But they will grow and mature, as they gain experience through dialogues in the interfaith movement. They will learn to embrace a pluriform concept of truth.

“If . . . we take the view that the growth of God-consciousness need not end with Jewish-Christians of the first century, that new understanding is possible and indeed necessary for world peace and survival, then we may feel ourselves impelled towards a yet wider view of God’s self-disclosure,” Ingham writes. “This would, in my view, be entirely consistent with Scriptural tradition taken as a whole and with the God of love made manifest in Jesus Christ.”

In other words, says the bishop: “A Christian is one who believes Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life. This is not to say there are no others.”

Terry Mattingly is a “journalist in residence” at the Washington, D.C. branch of Regent University. He writes a weekly “On Religion” column for the Scripps Howard News Service. This essay originally appeared on the Anglican Voice website, November 24, 1998.