Floods, neighbors, media and the morons

The Pakistan Flooding and the Indian offer to help

In the name of the religion, out of fear, out of greed…. – the mankind has shown its ugly side for centuries. Time over time, we have proved that we can be idiots, stupids and morons – all combined in one. Before the partition of 1947, the Indian Continent had a seamless and peaceful coexistence of multi-cultures and multi-religions. What followed during the 1940s decade was something that would have been incomprehensible for anyone with commonsense – hundreds of thousands dead, rape and loot in the open, a lawless society attacking their own neighbors with vengeance, the same neighbors they had treated like their own before the religious and political propaganda.

Fast forward to 2010. Pakistan is suffering one of the worst crisis since partition – the mother nature has shown its ugly side this time. Beginning in July 2010 following heavy monsoon rains, a vast spread flooding has surprised Pakistan in the worst possible way. Thousands dead, over a million homes destroyed, more than twenty million people injured or homeless….. At one point, one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater. Continue reading “Floods, neighbors, media and the morons”

Independence Day has become just a Feel Good Day

Happy Independence Day!

There is nothing new to say, nothing different than what we said last year on this day of August 15, the Indian Independence Day!

The Independence Day celebration has become just that – a day of mere celebration. There is nothing more to it. Every year on this sacred day, the politicians brag about our country; we memorialize and praise the sacrifices of all those who fought for freedom. Patriotic songs fill the air with a spirit of inspiration and bravery.

Home or abroad, August 15 is a day of pride for India and Indians, no doubt. It is a good day to remember our past, our history, our roots. It is one of biggest milestone in our nation’s history. However, year after year, with same repeat celebrations and ceremonies, we are actually undermining the importance of this day.

Many national and regional leaders use this day to make new promises, adding to the long list of useless and unfulfilled political assurances. The Indians living around the globe find another excuse for a parade, or a party or any other social event – whatever tickles your fancy. Continue reading “Independence Day has become just a Feel Good Day”

The Freedom – Happy Independence Day America

Freedom is a natural desire of any creature. Freedom is an emotion; it is a natural expression of a living thing to be unrestrained, to make its own path, to choose its own destiny. Animals or human – freedom is an expected lifestyle; anything short of freedom is a compromise that no one wants to make.

On 4th of July in 1776, America became a free nation, a free country. On this day today, on 4th of July, America celebrates the Independence Day. The day is a reminder of the sacrifices made and lives lost by so many brave souls. The day is a celebration of a nation’s glory and bravery that led to the independence from British Empire. Americans from all walks of life – of all colors – mark this holiday with parades, picnics, backyard barbecues and fireworks all over the country.

Freedom is a feeling beyond words. However, over the centuries, many have articulated this feeling beautifully. The following quotes highlight the emotion of freedom and its importance for any nation and for every living creature.

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?”
~ Mohandas Gandhi

“Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last.” ~ Martin Luther King

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” ~Thomas Campbell Continue reading “The Freedom – Happy Independence Day America”

Hitler and India – The Swastika

Given the gravity of the crimes he committed against humanity in general and against the Jews in particular, Hitler is considered one of the worst evils a human can be. The dictator was responsible for the death of millions of innocent people, just because they did not fit his distorted and evil vision of so called ‘pure race’.

Among Indians, Hitler is often discussed for his affinity or likings of Hinduism. Though there is no direct proof of this from his writings or speeches, the origin of German symbol of Swastika and his belief in supreme Aryan race are some times opined as his bias towards Hindu religion.

In Hinduism, the word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit word svastika meaning any lucky or auspicious object. The swastika is a mark (or a symbol) often made on persons and things to show good luck.

The Indian swastika is considered a sacred symbol among the followers of many Indians religions including Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It has long been a part of the Indian traditions, rituals and is often depicted in the religious or worship settings.

So, did Hitler take the traditional Hindu good-luck symbol of the swastika, rotated it by 45 degree and then used it as the German icon of his Nazi campaign? It was commonly used on the Nazi party’s flag, the badges, the armband and so on. Continue reading “Hitler and India – The Swastika”

Hitler and India – The Aryan Race

“How has the dejection come to you at this juncture? This is not fit for an Aryan. It is disgraceful, and it does not lead one to heaven, O Arjuna.” ~ Lord Krishna in Holy Book ‘Gita’

Hitler, the most hated dictator of modern era was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people, just because they did not fit his distorted and evil vision of so called ‘pure race’. We all know that Hitler and Nazi Germany wanted to propagate, what is often quoted as, the ‘Aryan race’. The term ‘Aryan Race’ and its meaning are often mistaken or distorted from what it really stands for.

Here are some of the key facts:

  • Aryans are the original speakers of the Indo-European languages. According to the most common definition, Aryans originate from the ancient Indo-Iranians, Indo-European peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran, Afghanistan, and India.
  • The word ‘Arya’ is found in Hindu religion and in Sanskrit, and it refers to the upper crust of ancient Indian society, or a noble person.
  • A German scholar has also linked the Indo-Iranian Aryan with the German word ‘Ehre’ meaning “honor”.

However, according to what Hitler and his Nazi regime believed, the Aryan descendants are supposedly a sub-group of the Caucasian (White) race. Hitler wanted to put forward this Aryan race as the ‘master race’ or ‘supreme race’. Continue reading “Hitler and India – The Aryan Race”

Hitler and India – Enemy of the enemy?

Hitler, the evil dictator, one of the most hated rulers of modern history.
Hitler was responsible for the death of millions of innocent people, just because they did not fit his distorted vision of so called ‘pure race’. For some reason, the Indians seem to have a bit different view of Hitler than rest of the world. However, it is not by choice. The fact is that Hitler, a globally hated figure, is not much discussed in Indian class-rooms, or outside-the-class for that matter. The world war history taught in our schools has focused on what India saw or what India gained/lost during that period of instability.

Indians, during 1940s, had bigger things to worry about. The partition of India was the main problem at our hand; we were too busy hating our own neighbors, who had no time for Hitler!

If anything, Hitler has always been a subject of curiosity amongst Indians. Most of the western world hates him with passion. We – the Indians – don’t see this hate or strong dislike of him until we leave India and go overseas.

Hate or no hate, Hitler has become a fascinating figure in India. The limited knowledge of his life amongst our cultures and the way he is portrayed in Indian school books leaves us wanting for more.

1940s – India and German

To understand the relation between India and Hitler, we need to remind ourselves about the world politics in the early 20th century.

In early 1930s Hitler was gaining popularity in Europe and rest of the world was starting to take notice of his fanatic views. Moreover, inside and outside of Europe, German was considered as one of the major world power with one of the most organized and most powerful army in the world. After an alliance with Italy, German practically ruled a large part of Europe.

Around the same time, in 1930s and 1940s, India’s struggle for freedom was starting to gain momentum. While Gandhi and his followers were taking a non-violence route to the ultimate goal of independence, there were others who were considering all means and possibilities, – including violence – to push the British Empire out of the country. Subhash Chandra Bose was one of them.

Subhash Chandra Bose and Hitler

As they say, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’!
In 1940s, around the same time when England (along with its allies) was fighting German in the World War II, Indian freedom fighters were looking for ways to beat England on the Indian soil. For these Indian fighters, German and Hitler – an enemy of the enemy – was hard to ignore from the possible list of friends.

In 1941, Subhash Chandra Bose, the Indian revolutionary leader, went to German seeking help for Indian freedom fight against British Empire. His main goal was to get Hitler’s help for organizing an Indian army to fight against England – the common enemy. Continue reading “Hitler and India – Enemy of the enemy?”

The Indians’ First Passage to America – Slaves and Servants

The sad history of the first Asian Indians in America

We feel free when we escape – even if it be but from the frying pan into the fire. ~Eric Hoffer

In the early days of America, migrants from India were commonly called as ‘East Indians’, ‘Asian Indians’ or ‘Asiatic Indians’. These terms were used to distinguish Indian Americans – those from India – from the American natives ‘Indians’.

The first ‘East Indians’ arrived in American in early 17th century. A historical study by Martha W. McCartney confirms the presence of ‘East Indians’ in America as early as 1624. But how and why they came to America is not a pretty tale or a proud story- nothing to write home about!

Most of the Indians came to America via England as servants or helpers of Englishmen. They traveled in British trading ships, arriving in the newly established British Colony in America. Some Indians also came to America – ‘the new world’ as they called it – as lascars or helpers aboard the trading ships of the British East India Company from the Indian ports directly.

Once in America, the Indian migrants were no longer simple helpers or workers, but more like slaves. Yes, it is true; the social status of earlier East Indians who settled in America was that of slaves and servants. Their rights were very limited; they did not have the freedom to leave their masters – the ‘owners’. Their names were often changed to the English names and surnames of their masters or ‘owners’.

Some of the earliest documented presence of East Indians in America comes from the newspapers of those days. For example, in case a servant or a slave would run away, the owner used the newspapers to advertise the ‘run-away slave’, describing his looks and offering rewards for his recovery.v0277new1

Here are some samples of the actual advertisements from the local newspapers, as archived by the historians:

Virginia Gazette
Williamsburg ,
August 4, 1768.
Richmond county, July 14. RUN away about the 20th of May last, an East-India Indian, named Thomas Greenwich; he is a well made fellow, about 5 feet 4 inches high, wears his own hair, which is long and black, has a thin visage, a very sly look, and a remarkable set of fine white teeth. A reward of 40s will be paid to the person who delivers him to the subscriber, besides what the law allows. WILLIAM COLSTON. Continue reading “The Indians’ First Passage to America – Slaves and Servants”

What! India invented ‘nothing’?

Discussions about discoveries & inventions on Columbus Day

“It’s a non-stop invention, this game of life, and as soon as you think you’ve got it, you lose it.” ~Tim Finn

More than 500 years ago, Christopher Columbus left Spain and headed west with 3 ships under his command; his intended destination was India. He seriously underestimated the size of the earth, and was hoping to reach India taking a western ocean route. On October 12, 1492, he ended on a new land – America. Still believing that he had landed in India, he called the native Americans on this new land ‘Indians’.

So what did your forefathers invented or discovered?

There is a long list of the inventions and discoveries that India has made. Not sure how true or accurate those lists are, we will let someone else worry about that. 🙂

However, looking at the discoveries or inventions that came from India, why is it that we always look for the small or little things? ..or it is just a skewed observation? 🙂

For example, here are some of the famous inventions/discoveries that India takes credit for:
Concept of zero: Out for all the number, we decided to invent something that has no value – zero. Come on now, we could have done something higher and larger, right? 🙂 Continue reading “What! India invented ‘nothing’?”

10 Simple but useful life lessons from Gandhi

Simple but very useful tips from Gandhi’s life

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Today is Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday. On this day, here are a few simple lessons that we can learn from his journey and his life:

1. Believe in the power of simple logic: Want to succeed in something? – Then work hard for it. Want to get something done? -Just do it! We complicate our lives for no reason. Keep it simple!

2. Let go of the ego: Our ego is our worst enemy sometimes, well, most of the times. We are not so special all the time 🙂 ! What we think of ourselves is not always what others think of us. We should always try to stay grounded and be humble.

3. Discipline in diet to control/lose weight: Looking for a way to maintain healthy weight? According to most of the studies done, the body weight is most dependent on our eating and dietary habits. Have a will-power to say no to the food, especially the yummy ones! Find a cause and fast for it, like Gandhi did! May be not to the same extremes, but you got the idea, right? 🙂

4. Be kind and caring: Don’t bully anybody; be kind to one and all. Don’t harm others – humans or animals; don’t hurt anyone’s feelings…. All this is also good for our own peace of mind. It keeps everybody around us happy, and makes us more conscious as a human being. Continue reading “10 Simple but useful life lessons from Gandhi”

2020: Corruption free India!

flag11_70There is no simple recipe to get rid of India’s corruption. The corruption and power abuse system is as old as the country itself. Corruption is part of India; it is a way life, fully integrated into the culture. We eat and breathe corruption.
Everyone knows that corruption is one of the biggest issues that India needs to tackle to progress and prosper. The government or the legal system cannot abolish corruption; a full public involvement needs to be on the forefront. If we dissect the cancerous disease of corruption, following are the starting points to tackle this beast:

1. A grass-root movement to change the culture: Everyone knows that corruption is a problem; we all complain about it. And yet, we are all a part of it. To make an impact, the public need to resist the culture of corruption. Just like there a non-violence campaign towards freedom, a no-corruption grass root movement is required.

2. A top-down system to regulate laws and discourage corruption: While public involvement is a must, the laws and regulations against corruption need to be in-place and in-practice. There has to be a more visible and more vocal message from the government to abolish systematic corruption in the government structure.

3. Empower middle class: As middle class grows and become more opulent, the average person becomes more effective in the society. If we can empower middle class, the rich and poor gap will start to diminish, a gap that is directly responsible for resources imbalance and corruption.
Continue reading “2020: Corruption free India!”

Hitler and India – A history divided!

“The world needs heroes and it’s better they be harmless men like me than villains like Hitler.” ~ Albert Einstein

Hitler, the evil dictator was responsible for the death of millions of innocent people, just because they did not fit his distorted and evil vision of so called ‘pure race’. Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf (in English: My Struggle), is selling like hot cakes in India as reported by London Telegraph. The book commonly branded as ‘Nazi Bible’ is banned in many countries. However, students in India are using it as a self-guide for business studies.

1947: 100's of miles long caravans of uprooted Indians leaving behind everything and moving to the new country based on their religion; Photo: wanabehuman.blogspot
1947:100s of miles long caravans of Indians leaving behind everything & moving to the new country based on their religion; Photo:wanabehuman.blogspot

There are all kinds of global opinion for and against this subject – should we be using this book as a guide for business studies?
The simple answer is: it depends. It depends where you live in the world; how much you know about Hitler; and how you feel about it. Hitler is not a commonly discussed figure in India or Indian society. Growing up, we did not know much about him. Hitler and Stalin were often mentioned in the same sentence. In the the schools’ history books, Hitler is mentioned mainly as a apart of the World War II studies. It is quite possible that many Indians, who don’t know as much about Hitler, are just in awe of his atrocities; they might be reading the book just out of curiosity. And lately, many more may be reading because of the media coverage and the story being reported all over the globe. Many may read Hitler’s biography because they  just want to know more about him and what made him the monster and evil that he is known to be. Continue reading “Hitler and India – A history divided!”

Long live Freedom, long live the Earth!

“We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The third is freedom from want…. The fourth is freedom from fear.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

America is celebrating its Independence Day today. The day honors the birthday of the United States of America and the signing of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ on July 4, 1776.

For any nation, Independence Day is the day to be proud of their past, to salute those who struggled and sacrificed for independence. It is a day to remember the importance of freedom. Thanks to our ancestors all over the world in different countries, we have the freedom to pursue our goals and dreams. We have the freedom to express our opinion, the freedom to decide what is good for us and our family.

Equally important, it is also a time to remember this: while we live a free life dictated by our own will, we also have responsibilities as the free citizens of the globe. We owe it to those who sacrificed everything for freedom; we also owe it to the future generation who will tread this planet after we are long gone.

Franklin D. Roosevelt envisioned a freedom from fear. Let us do our share in minimizing the fear of uncertain tomorrow by making this planet a better place to live for a long-long time. While we guard our dear freedom, let us also guard our future and the future of our kids by being responsible and caring inhabitants of this earth. We can do our share towards keeping this planet safe by reducing pollution and by eliminating waste. Let us educate ourselves and everybody around us to improve the environment, and to minimize the impacts of climate change. After all, we only have one planet to live on!
Continue reading “Long live Freedom, long live the Earth!”