Posted in Political

The Diwali Dhamaka 2022

Rishi Sunak takes PM oath on Bhagwad Gita; heralds a new era in British history. Lights the Diwali Diya outside the 10 Downing street. The global Hindu has arrived. If not already with Sundar Pichchai, Satya Nadella etc., etc…


When India lost the 4th wicket I switched off tv in yesterday’s world cup T20 cricket match at MCG, Melbourne against arch rival Pakistan. Then a quick browse put the score at 80/4 with 70+ runs to score in 39 balls. Impossible but achievable I thought and went back to watching the match online. What a game of cricket that was. Virtual feast of batting from Virat Kohli who has been out of form lately. The pressure was building up immensely and the 90,000+ crowds in the stands jeered flagwaving adding to the tension in the air. After a point, it didn’t matter to me. The match was worth the money and time. Ravichandran Ashwin’s quickfire intelligence missing the wide won the match for India in the last ball. Exalted but I am no more that gung ho over cricket like I used to be once upon a time. I know this is still big Diwali 5000 wala for Indians glued to their tv screens across India. A win in the world cup mattered and more importantly against Pakistan. And today came the icing in the cake. Rishi Sunak becomes the first Indian origin prime minister of UK and media celebrates it as ‘reverse imperialism.’ Moment to cherish. 10000 wala nothing less! What a Diwali pataka!!! Brilliant fireworks. ISRO also, not to be outdone, launched a batch of 36 satellites including its heaviest for UK into space late last evening as Diwali gift for the nation! What a Deepavali India! Good job, well done! Proud of you Bharat! Happy Diwali everyone! Jai Hind!

Posted in Indian Art Culture Music

Secularizing and Trivializing the Hindu.

A Hindu voice heard across the spectrum was talking about how everything Hindu is diminished systematically that over years, even Deepavali has been rendered secular: Gone were the flowers, diyas, puja mandaps, gods and goddesses, bright colours, lehengas and finally even the bindi from the Deepavali season sale. New age Diwali ads propped up bindiless plain faces celebrating green Diwali without the sparkling fire crackers. Newspaper magazines screamed how unhealthy Diwali sweets were. Everything about Diwali polluted planet Earth. And this is not just about Diwali. Navratri is the women-centric nine day Hindu festival of India where and when womanhood is celebrated. Out came this tweet a couple of years back: ‘this Navratri let us see to that NO DURGA/GIRL IS RAPED, NO PARVATHI/WIFE IS BEATEN, NO SATI/WOMAN IS BURNT ALIVE, NO LAKSHMI/HOUSEWIFE HAS TO PROSTITUTE, NO SARASWATHI/TEEN IS SCHOOL DROPOUT, NO GODDESS/LADY IS ALCOHOLIC OR UNDER INFLUENCE OF SUBSTANCE etc., etc. You cannot demonize Hindu festivals more than this. This year we are seeing less of this drama. Probably because our guys have been coming up with good retorts: such as how this Christmas you MUST NOT BINGE ON HIGH CALORIE CAKES, how its cruel to kill turkey for thanksgiving, how for Eid you must not cull animals in consideration of rights issues. The greatest Ozone depleter is in fact beef-cattle raising. Substitute the Durga-Lakshmi-Saraswathis with Biblical characters. You have a script ready! That seems to be working kind of. Now menacing the Hindu festivals is finally easing. Its not just about Hindu festivals, everything Hindu is getting either neutralized as secular or trivialized ever so slowly yet steadily over years. A cultural appropriation is already taking place with churches in India playing a vital role in ‘taking over Hindu religious customs and incorporating them in Christian way of life in India.’ Kerala churches have Jayastambhas now and that’s just the tip of the ice berg. They have started observing all Hindu festivals in churches now claiming Hindu ancestry starting with Sankranthi/Pongal. You have the Christian Rangolis, Mantras and every other paraphernalia that is Hindu neatly fit into Christianity so cleverly. Christianity is already trying to absorb the Sanatana Dharma in its entirely in the very land of Dharma and its happening right under our noses. You see how Yoga is now practised doing away with Om chanting and they even have the Christian yoga lately. Meditation is also secular and no more a Hindu concept. You have to keep in mind that Gautam Buddha was first and foremost a Hindu. Dharma is a passive way of life. Proudly and unapologetically and unabashedly a Hindu. One of the profound things to happen to human civilization is Hindu Dharma. The day Dharma dies, god forbid, it won’t be long before Mother Earth ends her life. So wherever and whenever there is a violation/disregard/misappropriation of/for Hindu way of life and culture, voice it. Move mountains to see that Dharma prevails.

Posted in Political History

Proof for ‘Dravida’ identity in Soundarya Lahari

तव स्तन्यं मन्ये धरणिधरकन्ये हृदयतः

पयःपारावारः परिवहति सारस्वतमिव ।

दयावत्या दत्तं द्रविडशिशुरास्वाद्य तव य-

त्कवीनां प्रौढानामजनि कमनीयः कवयिता ॥ ७५ ॥

tava stanyaṃ manye dharaṇidharakanye hṛdayataḥ

payaḥpārāvāraḥ parivahati sārasvatamiva ;

dayāvatyā dattaṃ draviḍaśiśurāsvādya tava ya-

tkavīnāṃ prauḍhānāmajani kamanīyaḥ kavayitā . 75

Translation of 75th sloka in Soundarya Lahari composed by Adi Shankara in the 7th century CE in Sanskrit:

Oh daughter of the king of mountains,
I feel in my mind,
That the milk that flows from your breast,
Is really the goddess of learning, Saraswati,
In the form of a tidal wave of nectar.
For, milk given by you, who is full of mercy,
Made the child of Dravida*,
The king among those great poets,
Whose works stole one’s mind. ॥ 76 ॥

The Arya – Dravida dialogue is raging debate always in India. Anyone born north of the Vindhyas is Aryan – today’s north Indians. Those from the south of dividing line of Tropic of Cancer or the Vindhya ranges are the south Indians or the Dravidians. There are conflicting theories on the Aryan-Dravidian divide. Some paint everyone the same while some point out to racial differences. In recent times, attempts are made to establish that the Aryan Dravidian division is a British concoction to aid ‘divide and rule’ practice of the Raj and a mischief and that there is no evidence to the contrary. Most of what you read about the so-called Aryan-Dravidian oneness floated by US based and Indian/Hindu intellects sound too very convincing that you have to pinch yourself to ask whether indeed you the dusky south Indian could be the same as the Punjabi or Bengali or the Maharashtrian or the Kashmiri or the Bihari or the Gujarati for instance. The fact is that when you are a Tamil or Kannadiga or Andhriite or Keralite, you know you are Dravidian and you are way different from the Aryan Indians. Yet we are Indians, that is the point. So it is extremely disturbing when you are repeatedly told that there is no credence to the Aryan-Dravidian division theory propounded by the British Raj.

Well, evidence emerges from Soundarya Lahari that i am learning online. The hundred slokas in Sanskrit composed by Adi Shankara in the 7th (seventh) century CE is the irrefutable proof to the existing Aryan Dravidian equations of those times in ancient India when Islam was not yet born and Christianity had not yet reached most parts of the world.

And ages before Bhagvad Pada and Adi Shankara, we have had references right from Ramayana that is now deemed possible in another plane of time. Lord Ram who ruled Ayodhya was Aryan. Ravan who ruled Sri Lanka was Dravidian and in all probability spoke Thamizh as against Ram’s Sanskrit! Kerala celebrates the festival of Onam until today waiting for Mahabali’s return. This is one province in India where Hindus have not celebrated Deepavali until very recently. Keeping with times however, Diwali is set to become more popular.

The seventy fifth sloka of Soundarya Lahari mentions (Adi) Shankara (as understood) breastfed by Mother Goddess which is the reason for his mukthi and/or enlightenment and the gift of prowess of language at such an young age. Penned by Adi Shankara, the sloka mentions in the words of Bhagavad Pada (guru to Adi Shankara), Devi breastfeeding the ‘Dravida shishu’ or the Dravidian baby. Another historian from the ancient Bharat, Kalhana who was from Kashmir, also is recorded to have made mention of the Dravidian kingdom (of whose existence we have no evidence) in his acclaimed work ‘Rajatarangini.’

I have copy-pasted this from wiki:

Rajatarangini:- is a metrical legendary and historical chronicle of the north-western Indian subcontinent, particularly the kings of Kashmir. It was written in Sanskrit by Kashmiri historian Kalhana in the 12th century CE. The work consists of 7826 verses, which are divided between eight books called tarangas.

Accordingly the Aryans are the north Indian brahmins with surnames such as Mishra, Bhat, Pandit, Bhattacharya, Sharma etc.. Among the Dravidians, the south Indian brahmins are referred to as ‘Mukhya Dravida’ (which inconspicuously refers to the rest of the south Indians as Dravida).

Even our Hindutva activists and RSS and BJP cannot defy or overrule Adi Shankara and Bhagavad Pada I suppose? I wonder how the so-called the Hindu thinktank and the self-certified custodians of Hindu Dharma and Hindu interests around the world can miss such a grand evidence staring right at their faces in very important and renowned Sanskrit literary works that date back by some 1500 years at least. The men who wrote these scriptures were protagonists of Sanathana Dharma holding the beacon for others to follow in the entire Bharat Varsha.

Okay I get it. You want to refuse Dravidian ideology because you want a united India. And in your estimation, a united India is singular in identity. But you cannot simply brush under carpet the genealogy of an entire Dravidian race. Thamizh is as old as Sanskrit. A parallel civilization existed and flourished in Thamizh Nad when there was Indus valley civilization in the north. In fact, we had a more advanced civilization (rever Keezhadi).

Being Dravidian may be different but that does not make any of us less patriotic or less Indian. I have NOT stepped onto Delhi and I am not exactly keen. I have not been to the north at all. But I am as much Indian at heart as any of the north Indians and who knows, much more a Hindu probably than most north Indians. Neither is the Hindi language a prerequisite to Indian citizenship.

I think it is time to put the Aryan-Dravidian debate to rest. Well, there is a third ethnic branch in India which is the yellow race or the North Eastern people from the seven sister states. Dubbed the ‘chinkis’ for their chinese features, the north easterners too face the flak in northern India. These chinkis are those who are making life easy for us all around India – from working in billing/cash counters in shopping malls and waiting at our tables in restaurants to servicing at the beauty salons. They fill out a big gap in India for disciplined labour at low cost in essential FCMG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods division) industry. But for them our society will be bereft of quality workers in the secondary sector of the Indian economy.

Diversity is the beauty of India. Why the denial. Unity in diversity is our strength. Let be. Why should the Dravidian history be suppressed. Dravidians need not have to sync with everything Aryan. We can still be equal and patriotic Indian citizens harbouring nationalist ideology.

I never for once imagined Rabindranath Tagore planting the word ‘dravidian’ in his composition that went on to become India’s national anthem without a shred of evidence to such an entity or distinct regional identity. With that one single coinage he covered and clubbed the entire south in one master stroke. Merited the Nobel just for that!

EVR will be the eternal hero whether you like it or not. EVR was relevant in Indian history especially Dravidian history. He matters to the masses. If not for EVR entire scheduled community of Tamil Nadu would be now converted Christians. Human rights matter over matters of faith. The south is forever proudly defiant. Far more literate. Progressive in thinking. It is possible for some of us to retain our Dravidian roots and at the same time admire Modi. Not many self-congratulatory and self-appointed saviours of Hindu Dharma can get that.

When Sanathana Dharma survived without a Mecca or Vatican, a Koran or Bible, an Imam or Pope, the one and only unorganized religion of the world that is Hinduism can look after itself, don’t fret. I shall not entrust my precious Hindu Dharma into the hands of bigots and hypocrites who want to lie deliberately and twist history. Hindu Dharma shall prevail to eternity with or without you.

Religions have to evolve with time. Hinduism has evolved for better with centuries. Like any religion, we have our flaws but we are working on them. Flaws in Hindu Dharma gave birth to Buddhism and Jainism which again slipped into the rhetoric rendering them pointless.

We are a nation who wouldn’t even want to table the facts of Keezhadi archeological excavations to the world. Jainism reached Thamizh Nad first over Hindu Dharma. And unto then, the ancient Thamizh had no recorded religion. Hinduism fast replaced Jainism and not always without violence. Now I am waiting for someone like Shashi Tharoor to steal my ideas and speak in UK next!

Posted in Economic

Diwali Sale

Surprisingly the safety shoes for engineers and office shoes are best at Hush Puppies that we normally associate with dainty feminine strappy sandals! I am not into HP at all like many women are. Just own a single pair over 12 years old but that still is doing good which can double up as testimony to the brand. Men aren’t big shoppers like we ladies are. So my hubby just wanted to have a look not buy really before comparing prices. Caught off guard when the sales girl told us that a 50% off was on. The catchy ‘buy one get one free’ thing we all lap up so enthusiastically and end up piling the mountain of clothes that we hardly get to wear! The leather shoes were too good and we ended up buying a pair for him on good bargain. So we asked the girl why wasn’t the thing advertised? Not even a board display? We know what a sale at HP means to discerning customers. Boy haven’t we been amused by the rush year after year. To which the girl who was also their cashier replied, in middle east, any sale had to have a premier first, and then get the ministry clearance. There would be audit inspections so that the sale is effective and not a hogwash. So the sale we have in the malls with their global brands just do not happen at the whim of the enterprises. Its a long drawn legal-bureaucratic affair culminating in the sale we all throng. The process for initiating the sale commences months earlier seeking approvals and submitting figures waiting for sanctions. Really? I am a resident of middle east for 15 years now although I fly up and down on and off. I am aware of the rules and regulations and guidance regarding bumper prizes, lotteries etc., that we have in the shopping malls. The sale must give genuine discounts and must not be eye-wash. A sale meant a REAL SALE in this part of the world – of that much I was aware. Which is why we the NRI community as well as other expats always prefer to wait for the sale. Its a big, big draw for us women naturally who would go for the bags and shoes and clothes and skincare not to leave out the home linen and even cutlery. The footfall in the malls you know when you see it – like you are having a stampede!

In other words the counter girl said, the application for sale was processed but until it was received, the sale could not be announced to the world. Any walk-in customer could be appraised of the prevailing discounts, that’s all.

Really impressed with the system we have here that makes sure that the consumers’ interests are well protected and that we have value for money. The discounts are genuine and are a shopper’s delight. Good administration is all about regulation and fair and even and transparent functioning of institutions that hold the power to influence a society. The benefits if any are passed on to the masses without holding back. How many checks at every level.

I wonder what is the protocol that we have in India when it comes to the marathon sale beginning with Aadi discounts in Chennai showrooms to gallop at full throttle through the Navrathri and then the unstoppable Diwali season followed by Christmas and Pongal. The merchandise under purview is not limited to clothing. Jewelry shares the top spot with silks and other apparels. Even bags and shoes and watches are on sale. The entire spectrum is on the ‘off’ mode to put it in nutshell. From electronics to even bank loans and cell phones and laptops, virtually everything is subsidized on Diwali offer.

But then,

  • ARe the sale of clothing/merchandise/electronic/jewelry/footwear/accessories or whatever we have in India regulated? If so, by which authority, state or central govt.
  • Are the sale genuine sale. Is the discount REAL DISCOUNT compared to the MRP (marked up retail price). One often gets a feeling that the prices are hiked before the sale and during the sale the prices are at par with MRP levels in India.
  • Do we have any inspection checks at every stage to ensure that the sale announced are genuine and that the consumers are not taken for a ride.
  • Are the govt sops passed on to customers during the sale.

I don’t deny that India is an ocean and we do already have in place various mechanisms to facilitate workings of these nature. Yet I would like to know or confirm from someone that there is in place such an effective system in India when it comes to discounts offered by retailers during festive sales in India. What a timing. Aren’t we now precisely primed for the Deepavali. We are bred on the psychology of waiting for the Diwali or New year sale for going for the latest smart tv or Android phone or clothes or even for booking that flat in ECR. We Indians are hopelessly addicted to ‘sale’ aren’t we. My friend used to joke, ‘osila kudutha phenyl kooda kudippom’ which means if phenyl is offered for free drink, we shall drink it too! Sadly this is our mass mentality.