Monday, August 29, 2005

Out for a long time

Sorry folks, I have been out for so long. Had a bad fever and still recovering from it.
My next blog is going to be based on Rumi. Some of his love songs. Hey Arjuna you can use these songs for those beautiful girls that u love :)

"One day You will take my heart completely and make it more fiery than a dragon.
Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet"

"Like a thief reason sneaked in and sat amongst the lovers eager to give them advice. They were unwilling to listen, so reason kissed their feet and went on its way. " - Wow :)

"From the heart of the lovers, blood flows like a vast river. Our body is the windmill and love, the water. Without water the mill cannot turn"

Monday, August 22, 2005

The True History Behind "Jana Gana Mana"

"The Bengali poet Babu Rabindranath Tagore sang a song composed by him specially to welcome the Emperor." (Statesman, Dec.28, 1911)

"The proceedings began with the singing by Babu Rabindranath Tagore of a song specially composed by him in honour of the Emperor." (Englishman, Dec.28).

"When the proceedings of the Indian National Congress began on Wednesday 27th December 1911, a Bengali song in welcome of the Emperor was sung. A resolution welcoming the Emperor and Empress was also adopted unanomously." (Indian, Dec. 29, 1911)

Is this true, Many leaders during those time believed that it was composed for the King, and some great people started an email thread stating the same. Naturally it created a wave among young indians that our national anthem was really just a song in praise of the emperor.
Some time ago, i read about it and had sent a personal email to all my friends countering this falsified thread. Just two days ago, someone bought this topic again, and I was like comeon people find out and then talk, don't just jump to conclusion.

These are the few things that i found about the origin of the song - Read it and then read the song u will understand the significance of each line

"The National Congress people asked Tagore for a poem of welcome. He tried to write it, but could not. He got up very early in the morning an wrote a very beautiful poem, not one of his best, but still beautiful. When he came down, he said to one of us, 'Here is a poem which I have written. It is addressed to God, but give it to Congress people. It will please them. They will think it is addressed to the King.' All Tagore's own followers knew it meant God, but others did not." (The Indian Express, June 3, 1968)

The Calcutta Congress session began on December 26, 1911. The proceedings on the first day began with Vandemataram. The second day was entirely devoted to things connected with the welcoming of King George V, and this day the song Janaganamana was sung, and at the closing ceremony Rajbhuja Dutt Choudhary's


Tagore's own statement about this, showing this allegation to be myth:
In a letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore later wrote, "A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."


jaya heBharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya he, Jaya he,
Jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya,
jaya he!

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha,
of the Dravida and the Orissa (Utkalla) and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

Oh my fellow Indians, Please see to that the name of the great Poet is not tarnished. For some
reason (my personal observation) we just seem to jump on the very first oppurtunity to defame our country and our people. Out here in US it seems more - A group of indians see another group and the first statement - dekh desis kade hain(look there is a group of indians - and the way it is told is with a sort of ridicule and contempt - how come this group of people are here) - Not everyone does it - but a lot of people do it.

We need to learn to respect ourself, our country and our people. Jai Hind

Friday, August 19, 2005

Touch Wood

Many of us must have used this expression, do we know its origin ? So i decided (one more of my knowledge quests) to find out. Here is some of the little tidbits that i found.

Def: To touch wood or knock on wood is a superstition action to ward off any evil consequences or bad luck, perhaps because of some recent action you’ve taken or untimely boasting about your good fortune.
  • The custom is thought to originate from Pagan times when trees were held in high esteem. People believed that 'wood spirits' inhabited the trees and woodlands. To touch a tree with respect is thought to indicate that the person was in search of protection from the particular wood spirit.
  • It is thought also that the action may be a result of the Christian belief in The Crucifixion. Christ was crucified on a cross made of wood and hence touching wood may now be a sign of this belief, and a sign of deep compassion and reverence for Christ's resurrection. This would of course have no connection with the Pagan reasoning, but perhaps the action may be seen as result of two distinctive belief systems.
  • Pre-Christian rituals involving the spirits of sacred trees such as the oak, ash, holly or hawthorn.
  • An old Irish belief that you should knock on wood to let the little people know that you are thanking them for a bit of good luck.
  • There’s also a belief that the knocking sound prevents the Devil from hearing your unwise comments.
The phrase itself is relatively modern, as the oldest citation for the British version of the phrase, touch wood, that I can find dates only from 1899. The American equivalent knock on wood is roughly contemporary, with my first example from 1905. One Dutch tradition that is said to still be practised is the touching of the underside of a wooden table when such a thought is muttered, perhaps to divert the attention of the evil eye and negative influences.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Kabir - Another Weaver of Ideas & Philosphy

Kabir is one saint, I truly wish to follow. His ideas are simple, revolutionary(at the time he said and even now), and easy to implement. My search in understanding his philosphy is still on. This blog is a small introduction to him.

Kabir was born in India in 1398 AD. He lived for 120 years. According to one of the legends, he was of a virgin birth. It is said that his mother becomes pregnant after visiting a Hindu shrine. Upon delivery the child is given up for adoption. Kabir was raised among a Muslim community of weavers. He was never formally educated and was almost completely illiterate. According to legend, the only word that he ever learned how to write was "Rama".

The basic religious principles he espouses are simple. According to Kabir, all life is an interplay of two spiritual principles. One is the personal soul (Jivatma) and the other is God (Paramatma). It is Kabir's view that salvation is the process of bringing into union these two divine principles.

The social and practical manifestation of Kabir's philosophy has rung through the ages. It represented a synthesis of Hindu, and Muslim concepts. From Hinduism he accepts the concept of reincarnation and the law of Karma. From Islam he takes the affirmation of the single god and the rejection of caste system and idolatry. Not only has Kabir influenced Muslims and Hindus but he is one of the major inspirations behind Sikhism as well. The Holy Guru Granth Sahib contains over 500 verses by Kabir. The Sikh community and others who follow the Holy Granth, hold Kabir in the same reverence as the other ten Gurus.

Kabir openly criticized all sects and gave a new direction to the Indian philosophy. This is due to his straight forward approach that has a universal appeal. It is for this reason that Kabir is held in high esteem all over the world.

The hall mark of Kabir's poetry is that he conveys in his two line poems (Doha), what others may not be able to do in many pages.Another beauty of Kabir's poetry is that he picks up situations that surround our daily lives. Thus, even today, Kabir's poetry is relevant and helpful in guiding and regulating our lives, in both social and spiritual context.

Some of the his poems -

Moko Kahan Dhundhere Bande, Mein To Tere Paas Mein,
Na Teerath Mein, Na Moorat Mein,
Na Ekant Niwas Mein, Na Mandir Mein,
Na Masjid Mein, Na Kabe Kailas Mein,
Mein To Tere Paas Mein Bande Mein To Tere Paas Mein,
Na Mein Jap Mein, Na Mein Tap Mein, Na Mein Barat Upaas Mein,
Na Mein Kiriya Karm Mein Rehta, Nahin Jog Sanyas Mein,
Nahin Pran Mein, Nahin Pind Mein,
Na Brahmand Akas Mein, Na Mein Prakuti Prawar Gufa Mein,
Nahin Swasan Ki Swans Mein,
Khoji Hoye Turat Mil Jaoon Ik Pal Ki Talas Mein,
Kahet Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho Mein To Hun Viswas Mein

Where do you search me? I am with you
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons, Neither in solitudes, Not in temples,
nor in mosques, Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash,
I am with you o man I am with you,
Not in prayers, nor in meditation, Neither in fasting, Not in yogic exercises, Neither in renunciation, Neither in the vital force nor in the body,
Not even in the ethereal space, Neither in the womb of Nature,
Not in the breath of the breath,
Seek earnestly and discover In but a moment of search,
Says Kabir, Listen with care Where your faith is, I am there.

This one most of u out there must have heard - For my fellow procastinators ;)
Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub

Do Tomorrow's work today, today's work now
if the moment is lost, when will u complete the work

For my friend Arjuna, the concept of Advaita by Kabir
Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin‚ Jab Hari Hai Mein Nahin
Sab Andhiyara Mit Gaya‚ Jab Deepak Dekhya Mahin

When "I" was then Hari was not, Now Hari "is" and "I" am not
All the darkness (illusions) mitigated, When I saw the light (illumination) within

For all us fault finders
Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye,
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

I searched for the evil in the world, didn't find a single one,
When searched within myself, I found out that none were more evil than me

An attitude that we need to develop - Nothing wrong in asking for yourself, but do remember others too
Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye
Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye

Give so much O God, suffice to envelop my clan
I should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor goes unfed

Major Extracts from - One of the best sites on Kabir,
Do make it a point to read more dohas from this site

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Jerk-O-Meter - One scary device

Imagine that a phone can check the way you talk and tell u to behave - only my sister or mother do it - now phones are also going to start doing that - No thanks to MIT ;)

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing software that measures how interested a phone caller is in your conversation.
The Jerk-O-Meter analyses speech patterns and tonal changes to measure on a scale of one to 100 how engaged the subject is about the call.
If it detects that the recipient is losing interest in the call it flashes up messages like 'Don't be a jerk!' or 'Be a little nicer now'.
"The Jerk-O-Meter is a real-time speech feature analysis application that runs on your VoIP phone or cellphone that remedies precisely that experience," said a spokesman for the Human Dynamics Group at MIT Media Lab.
"It uses speech features for activity and stress (and soon empathy) to measure if you are 'being a jerk' on the phone.
"The phone displays messages in case you are, and can be set up to inform the person on the other end of the line that you're extremely busy."
The final code should be ready next year and the first applications will probably be in the telesales industry.
The MIT Media Lab's other projects include mathematical modelling of conversations during speed dating to improve the chances of getting a date, and cinema audience monitoring tools that can gauge reactions to a film.

Who was Mangal Pandey ?

Since this weekend, the hype is over the latest Amir Khan Movie - Mangal Pandey. I decided to gather information about the first freedom fighter. Was he really a freedom fighter, Did he start the mutiny ? What was his real role ? Gathered from various souces - the major being the Extracts from a book by Rudrangshu Mukherjee - got from Indian Express .

This blog is a faithful reproduction of different articles - None written by me :)

Shree Mangal Pandey was born in village Nagwa District Ballia. He was famous for bravery amongst his colleagues.An english scholar "Fisher" has written that Shri Mangal Pandey was having all qualities of a good soldier. He was so brave and capable to embrace his death peacefully.

How he ignited the flame and Why ?
It could have been any ordinary Sunday in the cantonment of Barrackpore. The month was March, and odd time in terms of the weather in Bengal. It was nearly the end of spring. It was hot but summer was still a few weeks away. In the early morning and after sunset a cool breeze came in from the river...
The sepoy lines in Barrackpore were quiet during the afternoon of 29 March in 1857. Most of the sepoys were lounging around, and the white officers were in their bungalows enjoying their siesta before preparing to go out with their families to attend evensong. Nobody anticipated that the serenity was about to be disrupted and history about to be made.
In the late afternoon, a sepoy of the 34th Native Infantry, wearing his regimental jacket but in a dhoti instead of the regulation trousers, appeared before the quarter-guard. It was obvious that he was greatly agitated. He had with him a loaded musket and his talwar. He belonged to the 5th Company and his name was Mangal Pandey. He strode around in the quarter-guard, shouting to his comrades. He asked the bugler to sound the assembly and yelled at his comrades to join him: “Come out, the Europeans are here! Why aren’t you getting ready? It’s for our religion! From biting these cartridges we shall become infidels. Get ready! Turn out, all of you! You have incited me to do this and now you ***, you will not follow me!” This kind of open insolence was not common among sepoys, and a naik quickly carried the report of Mangal Pandey’s disorderly conduct to Sergeant-Major James Hewson. The naik, in his report to his white superior officer, added that Mangal Pandey was under the influence of bhang.
In a few minutes, Hewson was dressed and was at the parade ground. He summoned the jemadar of the company and demanded to know why the sepoy had not been arrested. The jemadar explained his helplessness, “What can I do?” he said. “The naik has gone to the adjutant. The havildar is gone to the field officer. Am I to take him myself?” Hewson ordered him to fall in his guard with loaded weapons. Hewson later recalled that some of the men grumbled and that the jemadar did not insist on the men falling in or loading. As the sergeant-major approached Mangal Pandey, the latter took aim and fired. The ball missed Hewson who took shelter behind the bell-of-arms (a bell-shaped building where weapons were stored). A couple of sepoys tried to persuade Mangal Pandey to surrender his weapons. By this time, the adjutant, Lieutenant Baugh, had arrived on horseback. The incident was now poised to take an even more dramatic turn.
Baugh galloped into the quarter-guard shouting, “Where is he? Where is he?” He was warned by Hewson, “To your left! Ride to the right, Sir, for your life. The sepoy will fire at you!” Mangal Pandey did exactly that and hit Baugh’s horse, which collapsed. Baugh extricated himself, drew one of his pistols from the saddle holster and ran towards Mangal Pandey who was reloading his musket. Baugh fired from around 20 yards and missed. He then drew his sword and rushed towards the sepoy. According to Baugh’s recollection, he had proceeded about halfway when Mangal Pandey drew his talwar. Baugh looked back to see where his horse was as he wanted to get his other pistol but the animal had wandered off. He decided to engage the sepoy and he was joined by Hewson, sword in hand...
Baugh, in his turn, had received a cut on his left hand, which disabled it. He had another deep cut on his neck and a gash on the back of his head from a musket butt. More serious harm to Baugh and Hewson was prevented by Sheikh Paltu, a Muslim sepoy, who held Mangal Pandey by his waist while the British officers escaped from what could have been their deaths. The saviour of Baugh and Hewson released Mangal Pandey only when members of the quarter-guard threatened to shoot him if he did not let go of Mangal Pandey.
The commanding officer of the 34th Native Infantry, Steven Wheler, now appeared in the parade-ground. He ordered the jemadar to arrest the defiant sepoy. The jemadar replied, “The men won’t go.” Wheler repeated the order twice and the jemadar told his men to advance. They proceeded a few pace, stopped and refused to go any further. Wheler realised the futility of trying to enforce his order...
By now the news of the commotion in the parade ground had reached Major-General John Hearsey who commanded the Presidency Division. The General asked why the sepoy had not been arrested and he was told that the guard would not take orders... Hearsey then rode up to the quarter-guard. He pointed his pistol at the jemadar and said, “The first man who refuses to march when I give the word is a dead man. Quick march!” He then went towards Mangal Pandey; the guard followed while his sons covered the jemadar with their pistols. It was now Mangal Pandey’s turn to act. This is what he did, in the words of Hearsey:
“It appeared the mutineer had suddenly altered his mind, I suppose seeing there was no chance of escape... He turned the musket muzzle towards his own breast hurriedly, touching the trigger with his toe. The muzzle must have swerved, for the bullet made a deep graze, ripping up the muscles of the chest, shoulder and neck, and he fell prostrate; we were on him at once. The guard calling out — ‘He has shot himself.’ A Sikh sepoy of the guard took his bloody tulwar from under him, for in falling he partly covered his sword with his body. His regimental jacket and clothes were on fire and smoking. I bid the jemadar and the sepoy to put the fire out, which they did... Dr Hutchinson being present, it was soon ascertained that the wound, though severe, was superficial, and the man was conveyed to the hospital.”
One could say that as Mangal Pandey left the parade ground for the hospital, he moved away from history into myth. He did not die of his wounds. He was tried. the verdict was a foregone conclusion. He was hanged a few days later, on April 8. His actions created a name for the mutinous sepoys of 1857: the British officers called them Pandies.

And the questions quoted by the author
One incident on a fateful Sunday in March. Was it linked to what was to happen in north India in the summer of the same year? Who was Mangal Pandey and why did he act the way he did? What were the cartridges that he had spoken about? Why did he say he was acting for ‘our religion’?
Even one hundred and forty-eight years after the event and after a considerable amount of research on the subject, we have little or no precise knowledge about Mangal Pandey. There is a name
and there is an action. There is no record about where he came from. Who were his parents? Was he married? When was he recruited and by whom? Answers to all these questions are unknown and speculative. Mangal Pandey has no curriculum vitae to put up to the
board of history. He could have preserved this anonymity, like innumerable other sepoys, had he not shot at his superior officers in Barrackpore. His was an unexpected intrusion into history.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Plan to make License Plate Chipped

Plan in on move to create high tech license place a.k.a adding a chip to your license plate with all your registeration information, so that one is able to read this information using radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags to make vehicles electronically trackable. Presently this system is being tried out in Britian but US is keeping a close watch on the proceedings as they are keen to use this technology.

Imagine first we had cameras - now this - Cops don't even have to get down - all they have to do is get your information and in comes the letter - Boss u were speeding or u just broke the lights ;)

If only we can use this concept in India plus not give the power of giving tickets to cops - we can abolish corruption, I know [not critizing our people] any corrupt person will find a way but still it can be a great tool to use.

Definately there are pros and cons -- Read more about it,1848,68429,00.html?tw=rss.TOP

Monday, August 08, 2005


Who exactly is Thiruvalluvar ? Coming from Mumbai, my knowledge of Thiruvalluvar is just that he was a great saint, his teachings are seen on some of the buses in Chennai, there is a bus running by his name and he is seen at the start of every Balachander movie. I know, people are going to jump up and say what kind of tamil guy is he - but come on I have no other way of knowing until unless i start reasearching on my own. And that i did. The reason I started researching was, while talking to one of my friends about Thiruvalluvar, he said that the picture that u see of him is just somebody's imagination - nobody really knows how he looks, who he was, from what era he was, which religion he belonged. All they know is about his teachings.

These are many things that i read about him on the web. Some said that he was a weaver by profession, some said that he was a king - similar to Gautam Buddha, some said that he was from a Brahmin descent, some said he was a poet. But the best description was - The 'Tiru' part of his name is an honorific given to him as a mark of respect. 'Valluvar' is perhaps a respectful form of 'Valluvan', which indicates 'weaver' or 'town crier'.

Best description that i found was from this website - - Just some tidbits

Known as Thiruvalluva-nayanar (literally, "the sacred devotee"). It is said that he was a weaver by profession and that he belonged to the Valluva caste, whose profession it was in the ancient days to announce the commands of kings by beating of drums. He was born in Madura and lived in Mylapore, a suburb of what is known today as Chennai. The period in which this universal bard of Mylapore lived, is controversial. It is, however, generally accepted as between the first century B.C. and second century A.D., or roughly 2000 years ago. Some say that Valluvar was a Jain. It is true that he has used several of the Jain technical terms. However, we are quite warranted in imagining Valluvar as a true cosmopolitan and friend of all religions, the thoughtful poet, the eclectic, to whom the teachings of the Jains were as familiar as those of the Hindus. He seems to be one who was not hindered by any caste prejudices from familiar intercourse with foreigners and whose one thought was to gather knowledge from every source. There is, in fact, no trace in the Kural of many systems, doctrines, and practices, current in South India at different periods, because perhaps, they had been eliminated from the sage's own eclectic system of faith and practice, and also because his work is didactic and not controversial.

"The Tirukkural is the precious gem of universal Ethics. What the Bhagavad-Gita is to the Hindus and the Bible to the Christians, the Kural is to the lovers of Tamil."

"the masterpiece of Tamil literature—one of the highest and purest expressions of human thought. That which above all is wonderful in the Kural is the fact that its author addresses himself, without regard to castes, peoples or beliefs, to the whole community of mankind; the fact that he formulates sovereign morality and absolute reason; that he proclaims in their very essence, in their eternal abstractedness, virtue and truth; that he represents as it were, in one group the highest laws of domestic and social life; that he is equally perfect in thought, in language and in poetry, in the austere metaphysical contemplation of the great mysteries of the Divine Nature, as in the easy and graceful analysis of the tenderest emotions of the heart."

A Question to anyone who reads this blog - How is it that we have such great teachers - We quote these people - and still we don't follow them ? Recently I was listening to Annamacharya songs - wherein he tells that there is no higher caste or lower caste - all are one and the same in the eyes of god - All the brahmin teachers/so called higher caste people sing this song - praise the poet - but still once they come out of the house they differentiate people. Do they ever listen or ????

Friday, August 05, 2005

An Interesting Book

I guess everyone should have this book - It is a cool collections what you should know about your body - Picked up some parts from the CNN Book review section for people to read

The book, subtitled "Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini," is co-authored by humorist Mark Leyner ("Et Tu, Babe" and "My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist").

Some of the intersting questions in the book --

So, then, why do your teeth chatter when you're cold?
Chattering teeth is one way the body tries to generate heat. When the body gets too cold, the area of the brain called the hypothalamus alerts the rest of the body to begin warming up. Shivering, the rapid muscle movement that generates heat, then begins. Teeth chattering represents localized shivering.

Are toilet seats disease carriers?
As for toilet seat-as-disease carrier, during the course of their research, Goldberg and Leyner found reports of gonorrhea, pinworm and roundworm found on toilet seats -- but catching something from it isn't common. The authors discovered that an office setting might be worse for your health than toilet seats. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, found the typical office desk harbors some 400 times more disease-causing bacteria than the average toilet seat.

What causes morning breath?
Goldberg says morning breath results from anaerobic bacteria, the xerostomia (dry mouth) or the volatile sulfur compounds (which are waste products from the bacteria). Other contributing factors to foul oral odor includes medication, alcohol, sugar, smoking, caffeine, and eating dairy products.

Why do beans give you gas?
Beans contain high percentages of sugars that our bodies are unable to digest, Goldberg explains. When the sugars make it to the intestines, bacteria go to work and start producing large amounts of gas.

And the classic why do men have nipples?
While only females have mammary glands, we all start out in a similar way in the embryo, the authors explain. The embryo follows a female template until about six weeks, when the male sex chromosome kicks in. Men, however, have already developed nipples by that time.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Presently Listening...

Two completely different type of songs:

Kandu Kandu from the Malayalam movie Mampazhakkalam - Recommended by Arjun( Song + its imagination(Listen to this song and imagine a pretty girl dancing bharathanatyam in slow motion near a temple pond with lotuses floating in the water that is green in color). Such a soft and melodius song - wow it takes your breath away. And I don't understand a single word of Malyalam - so u can understand how good the song should be.

Zaherili Raatein - Hindi movie - Chocolate. Complete techno kind of music, listen to the song when u drive in the night - Inky black sky - complete darkness around you - pin drop silence, and atleast one love failure ;) [if one doesn't have one it is because either they didn't try or they are extremely lucky - an altogether different discussion :)]. Then u will enjoy this song - in all other situations u may not enjoy it to that extent. The rhythm, the beats, the pain everything will merge with you.

"Dard badtha hai chuthe hi, itne chotein,
Ab tho halat bi hai aisi, meri sineki,
Zaherili raatein ninde udjathi hain,
bhoolon tujhe tho, yaad tu aati hai"

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

One Blog every Second

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ohio Election vs Bihar Election

This is according to Harper Magazine's Mark Crispin Miller. No claims to say that I believe what he says, but after History Channel this is the second person who seems to say that this election was rigged big time. What i found interesting was they drew inspiration from our very own Bihar - for people who may find it offensive - I can say Great Minds think alike ;)

Some of the points that i found interesting - For the complete article please read it from Harper's latest Magazine

1. Before the day of election - 59 daily newspaper endorsed Kerry or no one - this is including the Financial times and The Economist. All these newspapers during the last election had backed Bush. 26 State exit polls predicted wins for Kerry, a statistical failure so colossal and unprecedented that the odds against it happening A/c to National Election Data Archive Project were 16.5 million to 1.

Since Ohio was the deciding state this time - Major electoral games (ahem frauds) are listed here
2. One of the key players - Kenneth Blackwell - Secretary of State Ohio - co-chair of Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio. According to New York times, new registerations rose to 25 % in Ohio's Republican Precent and 250% in Democratic Precent. At Kenyon college which is predominantly Democratic area - there were only 2 machines for 1300 would be voters - people had to stay in line for hours and finally got tired and left the place. In contrast, at nearby Mt Vernon which you must have got it by now a predominantly Republican area, there were ample of waiting machines and no lines. Not that there was a shortage of machines, as in the nearby storage facility 125 machines collected dust.
3. Analysis had shown that the county needed minimum of 5000 machines, but the election officials decided that they could make ado with 2866 machines ????
4. Another cool thing that the State seceratry tried to pull off - he tried to reject all Ohio voters registerations forms which were not printed on white, uncoated paper of less than 80 lb test weight. Naturally under public pressure he had to withdraw that rule ;)
5.Tried to dienfrachise voters through a process called caging - basically question the right of voters who were homeless, serving abroad or simply because they did not sign anything that was concerning Republican Party.
6. Issued directives to not let Media cover the election by saying that they would be "loitering" around voting areas. Media officials were supposed to be atleast 100 feet away from the polling areas. Foriegn monitors who were there to study the election process were also banned from the voting area for the same reason. In 11 other states they were allowed to watch with no problems
7.Major counting errors , One reported by washington post in Ohio's Mahoning county - 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of kerry votes to Bush column - but did not ask why. In Perry county number of Bush votes exceeded registered voters as high as 124%. Youngstown reported 25 million negative votes - to make up the difference ;)
8. Dirty tricks on election day -
- Voters were falsely told that their polling place had changed. By phone or by door hangers
- Phone calls instructing that they were not supposed to cast votes until the next day
- Special volunteers came up to deliver completed absentee votes
- At several polling places, election personnel or hired goons "challenged" voters - to produce
documents confirming their eligibility to vote

And so much more -- And we complain about Bihar ; )

Any Comments people


After a long time, watched Roja today. Everyone when they think about this movie, talk about Mani Ratnam's direction or A R Rahman's music. Yes I wanted to see this movie too for Mani Sir's direction. But there was one scence that struck me. When Nazer walks into Roja's room and tells her that he is very happy today that the goverment has agreed to release the terrorist in return for her husband's release. He tells her she will be happy as she will get her husband back, the ministers will be happy that they have got their scientist back, he is happy that this years of efforts are wasted, he is happy that those 23 military men who died catching the terrorist - their lives are wasted. He is happy for all of that.

I am sure that 99% of the people must have still sympathized with Roja, her plight, her frusteration - rarely someone must have thought about the others. What do we really do in such a situation, naturally no one can determine the cost of a life - is her husband's life important - is the 23 lives not worth anything - Can these two numbers be compared ? Can we say that 23 is bigger than 1 - so we should give 23 more importance ? It may look like I am rambling now. but In reality I am trying to put myself in a place where in I would have to make the decision, And what decision would I take ?

I know what the right decision would be - No Negotiation - If you do it once - u would have to do it again and again. There are people out there who die so that we can sleep in peace. Their efforts should not get wasted. Their life is more important than ours for they choose to protect us. And it is the duty of each one of us to respect it and give more importance to it.

Jai Hind.