Saturday, August 23, 2008
Prof Dr Colonel (Retired) K Prabhakar Rao
In all societies across the world and in various religions offerings are made to the God. Is it for appeasing him or as a sense of gratitude? Some do it as ritual while do it expecting some benefit. Does the God accept these offerings? Can he be influenced by such offerings? Will he make judgment by taking these into account or remains inert? Such questions need answering.
In Hinduism, rituals are highly elaborated and prolonged. It is a common practice in all-human societies to thank the almighty on various occasions. There are various occasions such as birth of a child, marriage, success at examination, returning from the war front, success in procuring a job, overcoming ill health, success in business, obtaining an American Visa particularly in India, Getting an award from government or some prestigious agency etc. winning elections particularly in India, Foundation stone laying ceremony for a house in India etc. All these are occasions for celebrations and rejoicing with family and friends. In all such occasions, offerings are made to the God as a token of thanks. Does God expect such actions? Or he is least worried and remains inert?
The point to note is that Hinduism dwells on law of Karma (Action) (1). One must perform action without getting attached to it and without craving for the fruit there of. When some one expects favorable result and if he does not get it, causes pain and suffering. When he is detached, there is no pain or pleasure. But in practice, it is very difficult to achieve this state. When a person has to perform the action detached from it, where is the requirement of any offering to any one? Where is rejoicing in such state? Offering means some sort of thanksgiving. You thank some one when his help or blessing has done your job; or you hold him responsible for helping you in getting the job completed and results achieved. So you thank him. There is an element of selfishness in all such actions and it is a human trait. Lord Krishna said: -
“Karmanye vadhi karasthe maa phale shu kadachana
Maa karma phala heturbhoorma te sangostva karmani” (Bhagavad-Gita 2:47 PP 173, 211-269)
One must do the act as a duty in this world
Devoid of attachment the acts must be doe
For the fruits there of one should not crave
This does not mean that they be away from action (Translation)(2)
Although Lord Krishna in his Gita has taught the law of Karma to Arjuna on the battlefield, Hinduism has been engulfed in various rituals in which offerings take a prime place and have great importance. This is the tragedy in all world religions. Whatever correctly has been preached in scriptures or prophet is not followed in toto. Every function starts with offerings to the Lord. Vedic scriptures are full of writings praising the Gods and appeasing them. In Hindu rituals, coconut is offered to the God for appeasement. In bye gone times, animal sacrifice was predominant in Hindu rituals. This was in practice as offering of human animal instincts to the God. Over a period this practice diminished (Not completely given up). The government also banished animal sacrifice at the temples. The practice of giving offerings to the God in terms of money, gold, silver, diamonds and valuable ornaments is most widely practiced at Balaji (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Kali yuga) temple in Tirupati that is only to Vatican. The annual income runs into several crores. The practice goes unabated at other lesser-known temples throughout India. Some offer hair to the God for appeasement. It is considered as giving up one’s ego. Every one likes hair on his head whatever is left, may be few strands and takes great care in preserving it. It is believed that men who get bald particularly at younger age develop inferiority complex and results in reduction of self-esteem and loss of confidence. Millions of dollars are spent in research every year to find a solution to baldness. But it is eluding. Thus shaving off ones head at the temple as an offering is shedding ones ego in front of God and it is believed that god would be pleased. It is a Hindu belief and widely practiced. God is omnipotent and enlightened.
The inner soul of Human being represents a tiny fraction of this Brahman. Every action done by the man is the result ability given to him by the God. Whatever we derive out of our actions, infact belongs to the God. Therefore, we offer food to God as offering in gratitude before we consume (3). It is believed that by doing this, God is pleased. This therefore has found universal acceptance except in some quarters. How much one gives, what is the quantum are of no consequence. It has to be voluntarily given with devotion. Any thing offered with selfish motive has no acceptance of God. In this context it is essential to remember a story from the puranas. A hunter (Boya) was once was stuck in a forest in night hours and he had no way to go home and spent his time on top of a tree. He was shivering in cold and utter darkness. He spent the night plucking the (Bilwa) leaves and dropping them on ground to kill time. He was remembering God while doing this in his heart. Under the tree there was a stone image of Shiva in the form of a Lingam and all these leaves were falling on the image. The God was finally pleased with the devotion of the hunter and accepted the leaves as offering and gave him the liberation that was difficult to get even for the great saints. Bilwa leaves are much cherished by Shiva. Thus God is not bothered about what you give and how much you offer. It is the purity of soul and selfless devotion that attracts God.
In this context, it is essential to draw to attention the life and teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswathi (1824-1883) who found Arya Samaj in India on 13 April 1875. He was great scholar of Hindu scriptures and made great mark on Hindu faith and the lives of people in India. He was the son of a Brahmin and was called Moola Shankar. It was an orthodox family of those times and rituals were most common. When he was young, once on a festival day, he saw offerings being made to Lord Shiva at his home. In the night, he saw a rat arriving at the idol, which took away some offering. Moola Shankar saw this and questioned his father, “ How an idol that is worshipped as the God and can not protect and take care of offerings given to him can take care of people on the earth?” Death of his younger sister and uncle made impact on him. He ran away from the house when parents tried to get him married when he was still young and subsequently developed into a great Vedic scholar and found Arya Samaj. He condemned idol worship, priest hood, animal sacrifice, pilgrimage, and ancestor worship, offerings made in temples, untouchables, caste system, child marriages and discrimination against women. These were no doubt revolutionary in those years and drew great criticism. Soon he found great following (4). He was against offerings to the deities at temples, which is a question of discussion at present.
Christianity and Judaism are completely engulfed in the matter of offerings. Bible is clear on the aspect of offerings, In Judaism sacrifice is known as a Korban, from the Hebrew root karov, meaning "to [come] close [to God]".
The centrality of sacrifices in Judaism is clear, with much of the Bible, particularly the opening chapters of the book Leviticus detailing the exact method of bringing sacrifices. Sacrifices were either bloody (animals) or unbloody (grain and wine). Bloody sacrifices were divided into holocausts (burnt offerings, in which the whole animal was burnt), guilt offerings (in which part was burnt and part left for the priest) and peace offerings (in which similarly only part of the animal was burnt). Yet the prophets point out that sacrifices are only a part of serving God and need to be accompanied by inner morality and goodness.
Following are relevant from Bible under Christian belief (5):-
"Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. ( 2 Corinthians 9:7 CEV )
Bible teaches that one should plan his offering, purpose in the heart what one will give to God and has to be generous. He does not take leftovers. In Hindu rituals too any food cooked is first offered to God and then only consumed after it receives his blessings. Generous giving pleases God. Generous giving helps to further God’s work speedily. Generous giving honors God. One should remember that not giving generously is the first step to falling away from God. Not giving generously turns you off of the narrow path and on the path to destruction. The offerings we give Him are an expression of our love for His saving grace. For that reason, our offerings must be perfect. We must give them with pure motives. Giving generously shows complete surrender to God. Giving generously shows thanksgiving to God. “God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, since He himself give life and breath and all things, Not because God needs it (Acts 17:25). "God permits us to show our appreciation of His mercies by self-sacrificing efforts to extend the same to others. This is the only way in which it is possible for us to manifest our gratitude and love to God. He has provided no other." "God planned the system of beneficence [tithes and offerings, in order that man might become like his Creator, benevolent and unselfish. Thanks giving is a prescribed practice in Christianity and is practiced. Every time we bring an offering to God, his heart catches fire because our hearts are aligning with his. God sent Jesus to us to bear his heart and teach us how to align our hearts with his. God sent Jesus to bear his soul so that his heart and our hearts can come together - so that we can have an intimate relationship and connection with him. That is why it is so important for us to bring our tithes and offerings to God. We are demonstrating where our hearts and priorities lie. God isn’t looking for our money, he is looking at our hearts. We have to shift our thinking about giving and make sure that we approach our finances from a kingdom mindset (6)
In Islam sacrifice is practiced. The most important ritual of Id-Ul-Zuha or Bakrid is the sacrifice of an animal in celebration of the festival. The festival is of enormous significance for Muslims as it commemorates the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim. There is a lot of symbolism behind the sacrifice of an animal. The sacrifice symbolizes the devotee's utter devotion to Allah or the supreme. It shows that the worshiper is willing to lay down his life and all material wants and possessions in the altar of the almighty. It also means he should be wiling to do all and â€œsacrificeâ€? all for the right cause or the cause of truth. There is also a fascinating legend behind the celebration of this festival. It is said that the Prophet Ibrahim was put through a tough test to prove his love and fealty to the almighty. He was asked to sacrifice his son Ismail to prove his love. The Prophet made an offering on the Mount Mina near Mecca. Prophet Ibrahim, torn between his devotion to Allah and love for his son blindfolded himself before he sacrificed his son. After the sacrifice, when he opened his blindfold he found that a goat laid on the altar and his son was alive and smiling. And ever since, the story of Ibrahim's sacrifice has been remembered and Muslims offer sacrifices allover the world on this day (7).
Most of the world religions practiced animal sacrifice as offering to appease the Gods. Animal sacrifice has turned up in almost all cultures, from the Hebrews to the Greeks and Romans (particularly the purifying ceremony Lustratio) and from the Azrecs to the Yoruba and Indians . However, the practice was a taboo among the Ancient, and they tended to look down on cultures that practiced this custom. . Some villages in Greece also sacrifice animals to Orthodox saints in a practise known as kourbània. The practise, while publicly condemned, is often tolerated for the benefits it provides to the church and the sense of community it engenders. In India, animal scarifice has been banned. But it goes on in some fashion or other. It is a very common sight in Asam and remote aeas and in Asrumachal pRadesh to find a balck chicken speared and is the spear is dug in ground in a field. It is a scarifice to appease Gods and drive away evil spirits. In India., the usual practice at present is to take the garlanded animal to be sacrificed to the deity and some worship is performed. The priest recites some hymns. The animal is then led away from the temple to a near by place where a butcher awaits the animal. The animal is then pinned down by one or two men while the butcher slices the throat with a sharp knife or sickle. The life disappears in a second while the lifeless animal lies stiff. The practice of sacrificing a buffallo among Gurkhas still is practiced during festival in north India. Human sacrifice was practiced in some societies in past to appease Gods.
Human sacrifice was practiced by many ancient cultures to appease Gods. People would be ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease a God or spirit. While not widely known, human sacrifices for religious reasons still exist today in a number of nations.Some occasions for human sacrifice found in multiple cultures on multiple continents include (8):
a.Human sacrifice to accompany the dedication of a new temple or bridge.
b.Sacrifice of people upon the death of a king, high priest or great leader; the sacrificed were supposed to serve or accompany the deceased leader in the next life. Such ancient graves were found in the past where king was buried with many of his horses and servents and queens.
c. Human sacrifice in times of natural disaster. Droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. These were seen as a sign of anger or displeasure by deities, and sacrifices were supposed to lessen the divine ire and displeasure.
d. Human sacrifice offered while digging for hidden treasures. In India there have been many instances. Indian folklore is full of such stories.
e. Human sacrifice offered to deity to obtain some extraordinary powers
f. Human sacrifice offered during practice of witchcraft
Some of the best known ancient human sacrifices were those practiced by various Pre Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica the Aztec were particularly noted for practicing this on an unusually large scale; a human sacrifice would be made every day to aid the Sun in rising, the dedication of the great temple at Tenochtilan was reportedly marked with the sacrificing of thousands, and there are multiple accounts of captured Conquistadors being sacrificed during the wars of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. In Scandinavia, the old Scandinavian religion contained human sacrifice, and both the Norse sagas and German historians relate of this, see e.g. Temple at Uppsala and Blot. There is evidence to suggest Pre-Hellenic Minoan cultures practised human sacrifice. Sacrificed corpses were found at a number of sites in the citadel of Knossos in Crete. The north house at Knossos contained the bones of children who appeared to have been butchered. It is possible they may have been for human consumption as was the tradition with sacrificial offerings made in Pre-Hellenic Civilization (9).
The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur (set in the labyrinth at Knossos) provides evidence that human sacrifice was commonplace. In the myth, we are told that Athens sent seven young men and seven young women to Crete as human sacrifices to the Minotaur. This ties up well with the archaeological evidence that most sacrifices were of young adults or children. Scythinans were known to be very cruel and practiced human sacrifice. They made skull cups and drank in them. Human sacrifice still happens today as an underground practice in some traditional religions, for example in muti killings. In remote areas of Nagaland in India and the adjoining belt, head hunting was practiced by the primitive tribes some time ago. Even cannibalism was known to exist. However no such activities are reported now. Human sacrifice is no longer officially condoned in any country, and these cases are regarded as murder. In Hindu narratives, practicing human sacrifice and eating human meat was a work of the demons (see Demon). In the Aeneid by Virgil, the character Sinon claims that he was going to be a human sacrifice to Poseidon to calm the seas (of course Sinon was lying). Human sacrifice is a common theme in the religions and mythology of many cultures. Appeasing Gods was the motive behind all these gruesome activities.
Self sacrifice is another way of offering ones own life to the God to appease him. This was very much practiced in ancient India in some areas. Here the individual torments self and performs some acts as jumping into fire or climbing on to a vertical lance and gives up himself by lying flat on the tip of the javelin or lance or spear. The lance penetrates the stomach and sacrifice is performed to appease God. Some people do walking on fire and burning embers that is done even today. The Japanese practice of Hara-kiri and Bushido, and seppuku are the examples of self sacrifice that is ritually done. In the Japanese practice, at some instances, the person who has been sentenced to death sacrifices himself in front of the God ( Buddha) by stabbing himself in stomach and twisting the knife or dirk( Wakizashi) and drawing across there by disembowelling himself and bowing down after a ritual and stretches his neck. The executioner ( Kaishaku) with a perfect helpless target in front of him then smartly stands up and beheads him with a strong falling heavy knife and crimson blood gushes out like fountain from the severed head (10). In all these activities, one thing is very common. That is to offer himself to the God (unknown power) willingly and it is expected that he would be appeased. Even Jihad practiced by some misguided youth from Islam has the element of self-sacrifice. Suicide squads composing of Islamic youth are indulging in Self-sacrifice and also killing innocent victims. WTC 9/11 was part of this madness. There is a strong belief among Muslims that those who sacrifice themselves in Jihad fighting for the cause of Islam would straight way go to heavens to enjoy all pleasures.
From the above discussions, it is confirmed that all sects and civilizations of past and present and various religions in general conform to the practice of offerings to the lord in various forms. It may be simple thanks giving at Church or at a gathering. Singing hymns from scriptures, offering food at homes and temples, animal sacrifices at temples and houses ( May be concealed and hidden and in disguise), Even human sacrifices done to appease gods by the ignorant in the past and even in present occasionally ( Hidden ). One point is clear. Religions sanctify appeasement of Gods and one has to be thankful to God for his various achievements. This has been sanctified. There may be an odd preacher such as Dayanad Saraswathi such as from Arya Samaj and Buddha in India who condemned all types of offerings. Buddha never tried to answer the term God. Although religions at many places in scriptures do not recommend human sacrifice, most of the religions do approve animal sacrifice to a greater extent. Does it mean that life of animal is inferior to human being? Lord Buddha never thought so. Even Jains do not believe so. But fact is that animal life is considered inferior to human life. That is why eating of animals and birds and reptiles persist in the world. Cannibalims was probably never accepted by any civilized society. Judaism and Islam is clear on this aspect of animal sacrifice. Hinduism is equally clear on this aspect. In many Hindu sculptures at various places human sacrifices are depicted. Animal sacrifices are described fully to a great extent in Hindu scriptures revealing that it was practiced in all glory in the past. Animal sacrifice is banned now in India but still practiced in some form or other or in hush hush. However human sacrifice is considered as murder in all world countries and none approves it. In other religions the practice goes on unabated. In general, it is accepted that God needs appeasing as per the current practice although in real sense no appeasement is required and truthful living and truthful conduct is necessary to earn Gods appeasement. No rituals and sacrifices are probably required to appease God and these are mostly outwardly show of faith.
1.Swami Chisbhavananda, Commentary on Bhagavad-Gita, Tapovan publications house, Tirupparaiturai, Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu, India, 1965, PP
2.Prof Dr Colonel (Retired) K Prabhakar Rao, Critical studies into philosophies of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism with respect to human values, self realization, welfare of human beings and global peace, Ph D Thesis, Alameda University, USA, 2006,
3.Swamini Vimalananda and Radhika Krishna Kumar, Enduku cheyyali manamu? (Why we should do it?) Translated into Telugu by Swamini Srutananda, Chinmayaranyam publications trust, Main road, Bheemavaram, Andhra Pradesh, 2007, PP 31-36, 73
4. Swami Dayanand Saraswathi, Wikipedia.
5. New Testament, Contemporary English version, American Bible Society, New York.
6. The importance of briging offerings to God, http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:KKiFfED_zuwJ:deanandjill.com/category/offerings-to-god/+Offerings+to+God+and+Christianity&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=in
7. Bakrid, (Id ul Zuha) Festival Hyderabad, http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:eUJMdNmVJL4J:www.asiarooms.com/travel-guide/india/hyderabad/festivals-and-events-in-hyderabad/bakrid-(id-ul-zuha)-festival-hyderabad.html+Why+Bakrid+festival+is+celebrated+by+Muslims&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=in
8.Sacrifice. Wikipedia. http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:o85VS4pPqBkJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrifice+Sacrifice&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=in
10.Inazo Nitobe, Bushido, With introduction by William Elliot Griffs, GP Putnams Sons, New York and London, The knickerbockers press, 1905, PP 117-119
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Prof Dr Colonel (Retired) K Prabhakar Rao
On the political front, India basically suffers from the self-glorification as a world peacemaker and apostle of peace. It beats it’s drum as the world peacemaker although it fought many wars with Pakistan and continues to fight in Jammu and Kashmir ( J & K) a proxy war. It is fighting many separatist outfits in North Eastern front apart from the militant communists all over the country except in few states. Yet it claims as the land of peace. With departed MK Gandhi in backdrop as father of nation, many acclaim it as a unique nation that won freedom by non-violence and admired India. During the tenure of Pundit (Enlightened) Jawaharlal Nehru, the first and much acclaimed Prime Minister, it founded Non Aligned Movement (NAM) along with President Sukarno of Indonesia, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, Charismatic President Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt and preached world peace and some world nations joined the out fit. Most of these nations were insignificant and poor nations and had no say on world affairs. They were just clapping crowd and trying to find some identity on world forums. Super powers had their own inhibitions about NAM and cared hoots to it. John Dulles the famous Secretary of State, USA in the past called Non alignment as a sin much to the indignation of the NAM leaders who fumed and fretted. NAM has now literally died although Indian politicians from Congress party in particular do not accept and are sure to shout at pitch of voice of its success. The coffin of NAM has been put in the trench and nails are yet to be driven hard. Although NAM stood for no internal quarreling its own members fought bitter wars. Although India theoretically remained non-aligned, in practical sense it rubbed shoulders and embraced Soviet Union vigorously. On various occasions India’s relations with USA were not cordial if not hostile. It was touch me not love affair for years. However things appear to have changed recently with disappearance of fad of socialist euphoria in the country and privatization and deviating from the policy of controls and restrictions and more so after fall of USSR, there is a strong allegation that India has landed in the US camp. Time only would tell us the realities. Communist leaders in India no more sport typical dress with a satchel across the shoulders and simple dress with slippers outwardly showing poor look. They are now clad in spotless whites sporting gold rings and move in air-conditioned limousines with escorts too. Children of most of these leaders are in West/USA earning US dollars. Democracy- practicing communist parties no way differs from other political parties and suffer the same ills and turned to be opportunists doing horse-trading in parliamentary politics. Recent parliamentary crisis in India on the nuclear deal is the best example to prove the point.
The present terrorism in India is due to its own self-doing, wrong policies and mishandling, appeasement of minorities and ill planning and lack of vision. The vacillating and appeasing short sighted policies towards minorities right from the days of Independence in 1947 and even before has made a section of Indian minorities very bold and a portion of this section has taken towards terrorism and anti national activities. When Grand mosque in Middle East was bombed by Israel, Muslims in old city in Hyderabad destroyed Hindu temples and damaged property. During Indo pak cricket matches some of the Muslims in Hyderabad waved Pakistani flags. Cancerous Kashmir problem is a self-doing of Pundit Nehru who referred the matter to UNO when India was on the brink of victory in 1948 and till to day it is an unresolved issue. Blood of Indian soldiers has been wasted. It remains as the classical mishandling for eternity in the life of Pundit Nehru. He was riding on his popularity in India a newborn nation projecting as the land of peace and non violence (Although peace did not prevail and violence was the order of the day)) decided to seek justice from UNO. Although he was eminent leader and much acclaimed worldwide he failed to see the practical implications of seeking solution through UNO. He did not realize how useless was the world body when it came to resolving the issues of others. UNO was basically dominated by Western powers. India always suffered the dogma of a wronged nation at the hands of west. It repeats like a parrot till today the divide and rule policy of Lord Robert Clive of East India Company and claims that the Europeans have carried India’s wealth away by enslaving India. Divide and rule policy was not an invention of Lord Robert Clive. It was there from time immemorial. This is one of the state craft taught in the ancient political treatises and was practiced by past rulers. Any number of examples can be quoted. This was very much taught and practiced by Kautilya (Chanakya) the master politician and teacher of Magadh Empire in the court of Chandra Gupta Maurya a contemporary of Alexander the great. But why this was allowed at first Instant? Who are to be blamed for this? Is it not true that Indian rulers to settle their own scores requested help from the Englishmen and French men? It is like two cats fighting for a piece of bread seeking the help of a monkey and finally monkey escapes with the bread.
History of Hyderabad right from the days of Chinkhilijkahn, Nizam I was engulfed in the games of politics between the French and the Englishmen with whom the ruler hob knobbed. The rulers played into the hands of these foreign men. Salabat Jung who ruled for 10 years, as Nawab of Hyderabad after Nizam I was a puppet of the French. He was not bestowed with the honor and title of Nizam II although ruled for 10 years. His brother Nizam Ali who became the puppet of the English men became Nawab with a title Nizam II and deposed him. Salabat was imprisoned. Why such things should happen? This no one answers. Why blame Europeans when our own house is not in order and is in shambles? They were surely more dynamic and enterprising. Remember, in past only those ruled who were dynamic and took risks. We call them usurpers and colonial in disposition. Indians are to be blamed for passing the country into the hands of Englishmen and no one else.
Is Indian race inferior and unable to protect own country? Probably this is not true fully. Muslim raiders on several occasions were defeated on western front by Hindu princes. Lack of unity became the concern. King Jai chand connived with Mohammed Ghori of Kabul and this helped him in defeating Prithviraj Chauhan at Kanoj in the past leading to Muslim rule in India. Indians did not lack in valor and spirit but surely lacked cohesion. The same thing continues today even in modern times. States in India keep fighting each other. Recently Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunannidhi passed damaging statement against Lord Rama the Hindu deity that was most disgusting. In Maharashtra, leaders gave statements condemning North Indians leading to crisis. In Tamil Nadu no one wants to speak Hindi and all English and Hindi writings are smeared with black Tar. In Andhra Pradesh, Andhrites and Telanganites fight for separate state hood. Brahmins have been hounded out of Tamil Nadu and one can hardly find a Brahmin in government service in this state. In Maharashtra State people fight for dividing the state in to Vidarbha. Karnataka also wants to be split as Upper Karnataka and lower Karnataka. Tamil Nadu was the first state that threatened after independence to break away from India in case Hindi was imposed on them. Even today, the leaders are damn scared of Tamilnadu owing to this issue and try to appease them on various issues. Hatred among various castes is being built up day and day that can lead to a serious crisis at any point of time. Frequently Karnataka and Tamil states are at loggerheads on various issues. Buses are also burnt in these agitations. People forget that buses are their own national property. Thus Indians lack unity and self-discipline and oneness although they act as if they belong to one nation. Burning buses is a hobby for Indian masses in all agitations.
An interesting incident from the past is a must to remember. When Subhas Chandra Bose the most charismatic leader of Indian independence struggle reached Germany during World War II to get help from Adolph Hitler the Fuehrer of Germany in throwing out the Englishmen from India by waging war, he faced a very difficult question. It is believed that Hitler asked him how a vast country like India was allowed to be taken over by the White people and why all these years they could not be thrown out. Probably Hitler harbored very poor notion about Indians as a race that suffered under the rule of Englishmen without waging a determined war to throw the whites out. Probably subhas had no worthwhile answer. Although Subhas enjoyed the status of Head of a state in Germany and great respect and was provided with facilities, the help was much limited and soldiers under his command did mostly patrolling duties and really did not participate in major events on German front. This was a preparatory period for him before he moved to Japan to play a dynamic role as commander of Indian National Army (INA) on the Japanese front. His actions no doubt shook the foundations of British rule in India.
Were not Indians enslaved due to own bickering and in fights, jealousy for fellow kings? What prevented entire Indian princes to rise en block against English rule in 1857 that was called Sepoy (Soldiers) Mutiny by the English men while Indian Historians glorify it as the first war of independence. In this war, many princes and rulers stayed away and helped the East India Company. Rulers of Gwalior, Hyderabad, Kingdoms of Punjab and south such as Mysore, Travencore Cochin stayed away. There was no common cause. Every one fought for his grievance. Mostly it was inspired due to the loss of kingdom as the result of failure to produce a legal successor. It happened at Jhansi and Nagpur. They were enraged. If all rulers had united and fought probably Englishmen would have been defeated decisively. But some rulers derived advantage by abetting Englishmen and won laurels and titles for their loyalty. Was this not a blot on Indian character? One such ruler of a major state was Afzaluddaula, the 5 th Nizam of Hyderabad. For abetting the English men he was awarded titles and honors. Princes and rulers lined up before the queen for the chain of awards and titles. All these rulers have vanished in to pages of history (Dark?) who betrayed the cause of India. But history books in India are scared to call a spade a spade thus misleading the young minds at schools.
Were we not scientifically backward and miles behind west in thinking and in action too and more taken over by religious rituals, euphoria of festivals, meditation, babas, swamis, Gurus and blind faiths and cockeyed beliefs to most extent? Probably Indians dominated the field of philosophy that however did not give freedom from alien rule. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan the former President of India was the world famous philosopher apart from Jiddu Krishnamurthi in contemporary India. Swami Vivekanaanda was an exception and exemplary. Yet philosophy did not drive Englishmen out. While Europeans ventured over seas to reach other places at distance, Indians suffered at the hands of ancient beliefs that forbade traveling over seas and they were treated as outcastes. Indians imagined their Gods flew in the air sitting over various mounts ranging from a crow to bull; peacock to eagle, the westerners invented aeroplanes, tanks and helicopters and changed the course of world and warfare too. Indians clapped in appreciation, but claimed that in Ramayana Rama and Ravana ( Devil king) and Kubera ( Richest deity) used divine aeroplanes and Indians knew these already. We claim that Tippu Sultan the ruler of Mysore in 18 th century and known as Mysore Tiger was the father of rocketry in India who used rockets at battle of Srirangapatnam with East India company. Then who prevented Indians from developing further the missiles and rockets. We have ventured only after westerners mastered the art. Where the technology disappeared? No one knows. The concepts of forts have disappeared with the flying machines. Indians spent their time in arts, singing classical music, sculpture, music, classical dance, rituals, writing scriptures, poetry, temple building and other easy going and time- pass activities, while West exploited science and raced towards modernity and to further exploitation of science to the fullest. The funniest thing to note is that Indians claim that every thing of modern science is already there in Vedas, the Hindu scriptures. Then who prevented Indians from exploiting them to their advantage? Discussing about various explosives, missiles and even nuclear weapons, Indians claim that all these were great Astraas (Weapons) and were known in Vedas and warriors in yore used them. They cite Mahabharatha and Ramayana war and claim that the Brahmastra (Weapon of Lord Brahma) was the ultimate weapon. But why we were unable to develop and use them before whites developed them although we claim that our ancestors knew them and they were given in the scriptures? How the science has disappeared that Indians knew? Many claim that Europeans stole them from our scriptures. A joke indeed. Indians are experts at the art of blaming others for their own inability, ignorance and failures. They shout more at pitch of the voice and do less in reality. Empty vessels make more noise, some one rightly said.
India is plagued by Terrorism in J and K. Scores of Muslim fundamentalist out fits have surfaced in India and these are abetting another partition of India. The appeasement policies in India have done great damage to the nation. Most of the Muslims in India feel that they have special status as citizens and are now even demanding special reservations in jobs and education. Pseudo secularism that is being practiced in India has done the greatest damage to the nation. Some Muslims objected to singing Vandemataarm song that inspired millions during freedom struggle. Why? At every point and at every time Indian rulers succumbed to Muslim pressure for the fear of minority backlash. At the time of independence Muslims voted enblock for creation of Pakistan, but many stayed back with dual loyalties. Although Sardar Patel said that once Muslims stay back with India they could have only one loyalty, his fears came true. Many Muslims in India love Pakistan and Arab countries more than India. This was exhibited several times in the past. When Taliban damaged Bamiyan Buddhas in their country, Imam of Jama Maszid in Delhi uttered anti national statements and he was let off Scot-free. No action was initiated against him. A Muslim leader from South also threatened that they would demand another partition some time ago. Some Muslim men also claimed Mughalistan in northern India. The Muslim leader who threatened another partition was from a strong political minority out fit from Hyderabad. As usual, he is happily going around. Taslima Nasreen the Bangladeshi writer was attacked in Hyderabad by the Muslim legislators and goons and they were glorified as heroes by the local Muslim leadership. They were even garlanded by the leader of a local Muslim party. No action was taken to punish the culprits. They even gave threatening calls to kill her. Some time ago some of the Muslim legislators in Hyderabad attacked doctors at Hospitals that led to a prolonged strike by them while many patients and poor suffered. As usual the goons and legislators escaped. Some patients died too awaiting treatment. Why such things happen India? Indian justice is highly delayed. It is unable to even hang the anti nationals like Afzal after awarding death sentence. Some time ago a youth torched bogies of Kakateeya Express train in Andhra Pradesh and several passengers died for none of their fault. The culprit was caught and tried and was awarded death sentence. However it was commuted to life imprisonment because he was from a Dalit community and was poor. What happened to the several people who lost lives due to the crazy guy. None is bothered. Recently a young lover in Andhra Pradesh cut off the neck of his girl friend because she refused to marry him. He was given death sentence and later on his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment because he was young. Killing of girls by the mad lovers is a regular and common feature in Andhra Pradesh. Justice is weak and delayed. Country suffers from the euphoria of minority appeasement and practice of pseudo secularism. Every political setup in India is based on appeasement of minorities to create vote banks.
India is hated by every one of its immediate neighbors. Bangladesh that was liberated by Indian blood gnaws its teeth at India. None of the Arab countries came to India’s help in Indo Pak wars in the past and India takes up all Arab causes at world forums and beats the drum of Arab cause. India miserably failed in Sri Lankan operation and reduced to rather pulp by LTTE guerillas and in utter embarrassment withdrew its army called peace keeping Force not before many Indian soldiers were killed. India failed to arrest rise of communists in Nepal and ultimate destruction of a Hindu state. Communists obviously from China are now right at Indian borders with Nepal. There was no forethought on the issue and the political leadership has frittered long-term security interests of the country away. Lack luster policies and failure to contain communist militancy has created a communist corridor in the country running from Nepal to Tamil Nadu along the Eastern wing of India. India has failed to realize that Communist take over of Nepal is the first step of China in annexing portion of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in years to come. Who is to be blamed for this? With Indian Army suffering serious officers shortage and the unhappiness over the recent pay commission and many officers waiting in a queue to say good bye to uniform, what sort of defense India can put up against the Chinese threat apart from the J and K crisis on western front. Bright youth in society are not willing to join Defense services. Youth are no more opting for armed services and are running to west and to corporate sector. Army officers themselves discourage their sons to take up Defense service as the career. Third-rate stuff is seeking opening in the services. From beginning, India leaned towards Socialist set up as a result of European exploitation of India and after 1947; Indians rubbed shoulders with Soviets and Chinese vigorously. Nehru coined the slogan ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai...’The slogan did not work. All these things are self-doing and no foreign power can be blamed for the present state of affairs.
The Chinese built roads right up to our borders and strengthened their positions. Advises by senior military commanders were ignored in the past. Defense preparedness was left to winds. Army became a ceremonial set up and neglected. They were busy with guard of honors, regimental dinner nights proposing toasts, parties, riding horses, playing polo matches, organizing tambola games in officers’ messes and of course swinging hands and saluting on republic day parades. All this resulted in most shameful defeat in 1962 at the hands of Chinese army that can never be forgotten. In few years after the defeat, Nehru died heart broken. The country was let down by the much glorified politicians who framed poor policies and pursued them ignoring sane advise from the bright men. They cared more for elevating their personal image abroad than country’s welfare and security. Some probably expected Nobel peace Prize too that never came across their way. Communists in India were literally given free run and they found a strong militant base in different States and have exploited this to maximum. Political interference has discouraged strong police actions in containing Communist militancy and in a state like Jharkhand, militant Communists are running a parallel government. In Andhra Pradesh senior Communist militant leaders along with cadres were surrounded at Nallamala forests some time ago by the vigilant police and were surely to be annihilated. But sadly the seize was lifted and they were allowed to go free and to have nice time. In recent times police parties were ambushed in a lake at Orissa border and many were slain. How this can happen without political patronage? Police hands are tied. Can a government eliminate militants with such spineless and weak policies? The answer would be surely NO.
The multiparty parliamentary system has done greatest damage to the nation. Although we claim to be the second largest democracy in the world. The parties are family based and dynastic enslaving is the order in these political parties. For most of the political leaders, politics is a thriving business. Each and every leader grooms his or her son or daughter to take over after him. For this, he leaves no stone unturned. It is rather strange that Indians are not yet free from dynastic rules. After Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter, then his grand son became prime ministers as leaders of Congress party. They were rather thrust into chairs by the sycophants who in turn got coveted posts and positions. Men and stalwarts like PV Narsimha Rao who led congress and nation in most difficult times was given a cold shoulder after he lost his clout and was even in death was dishonored. His half burnt body was staring at sky on a Hyderabad road. It had to be gathered and burnt again. What a shameful and disgusting affair indeed meted out to a very senior stalwart of India by their own party? Now ground is being prepared for Rahul, son of Rajiv ( known as prince) to be pushed in to the throne. He is not to be blamed. Sycophants clap that he is the only guiding beacon to the nation and the most deserving candidate for the throne while Dr Manmohan singh is still alive and is in the chair as Prime Minister. This is the classical example of political sycophancy and dynastic slavery in India. They cannot expect to win at elections without Gandhi’s name. What slavery it is indeed? Without Gandhi’s name congress cannot survive in the country. They have no way out if Bharateeya Janata Party (BJP) has to be kept away from the rule. In the name of parliamentary democracy, mockery goes on in the country Infact. There are cases where members of parliament were caught red-handed taking bribes and money for asking questions in parliament. There are different rates for different questions. Legislators in the country are facing charges for passport scams and smuggling out humans on false passports. Political stalwarts are involved in cases of murders. In the recent political crisis in the country, Congress managed to get the numbers at the voting not before luring other parties with a carrot. Now the chief minister in a state has to be changed to satisfy a person who supported congress in voting. The inner blackmail politics go on. This is the real Indian democracy for which we beat chests going around and try to equate us with USA and UK. We are nowhere near them and many light years are away.
On the social front we find that the people of the country lack basis civic discipline. At every corner of the road and street they throw litter and it rots over for days breeding germs and insects causing serious pollution. The cities are over grown and basic civic amenities People chew beetle nut as regular habit and spit at all places around. In most of the flats in the localities entire stairs are dirtied by the people who spit there. What a shabby habit? Many people smoke in public transport and throw the cigarette buds under the seats. People do not believe in queues. They push around at all places such as railway bookings, paying counters for telephone, electricity bills etc. Buses do not stop at the bus stops. People collect as mobs at the bus stands and run after the buses that stop at a distance. Weak and old cannot get into buses. They also get trampled down. Recently more than 100 people died mostly elders, children and women when they were trampled down at a hill temple in a northern state. Children flying kites race on the roads and streets and chase falling kites. Accidents are common and some die too. At temples exorbitant fees are collected to see the god. What a shame? Poor cannot see God because they cannot pay. They have to wait hours together in waiting lines. Temples are mismanaged by the committees. Their lands are swallowed and sold to leaders at throwaway prices. In the name of modernization, ancient temples that are Indian heritage are defaced and modified. Other religions are allowed to propagate near Hindu temples. After great uproar this is slightly under control. Some Hindu religious leaders are booked and farmed in cases to settle scores. But such things do not happen with other communities. They are arrested at midnight and taken away by flight and even denied bail. Criminals like Veerappan roamed freely in South Indian Tamilnadu forests for more than 25 years with impunity till he was shot dead by Police. But a Pontiff of Kanchi religious center was denied a bail in a case filed against him. Indians spend very lavishly at weddings and food is wasted. The entire refuse and remains of food and paper plates are thrown outside the wall after the marriage where dogs and pigs fight next day for the remains. Some unfortunate humans too join them for the remains. What a gory scene it presents. Such things are most common in all the streets. What a devastating scene it presents indeed? Real India is represented there. Scores of young brides get killed, murdered and commit suicides due to dowry harassment by the in laws. Most of them turned into suicides.
Reservations based on Caste continue unabated in India although it was meant for a limited period by the Constitution. The appeasement politics and vote banks have taken the toll of merit. Instead of keeping reservation on economic basis, caste has become the deciding factor. Meritorious students are helpless on this account and they are shown the door. Consequently the bright youth are leaving the country to settle in USA and at other places. India has turned into a supplier of technical manpower to west. Reservations have done great damage to the various government services and the infamous inefficiency of these government services is attributed to lack of balanced development and growth of personnel. He field of education has run into rough weather in recent times. South India dominated the field of engineering education in private sector. Scores of engineering colleges are opened indiscriminately throughout the southern states and this has resulted in very poor standards. We turn out engineers from these colleges where majority of these students who graduate as engineers cannot express or write faultless English. These graduates are apology to the term engineers. These Institutions are managed by many dubious men including politicians, land developers ( A better word for land grabbers), liquor barons, School managements, Junior college managements and corporate colleges. Most of them lack vision and academic orientation. Moneymaking is the sole aim for most of them. With glut in college numbers suitable faculty members are not available at these Institutions leave alone qualified principals and staff change colleges very frequently. The business houses reject most of the graduate engineers as unfit material. Lesser said is better about the education standards in these engineering, medical and other colleges.
India although has done well on IT sector and its Rupee has done well against Dollar recently, the country suffers extreme poverty and distribution of wealth is improper. There are multi-storied buildings while next to it people sleep on footpaths. There are hunger deaths just opposite the five star hotels. There are many suicides for failure of crops. Corruption is so rampant in the country that roads and dams constructed recently were breached due to few heavy rains. There appears to be no accountability for such failures. Militancy is on rise in India. Police firings are very common on slightest pretext and it appears as if police wages a war against its own population. Such violators get Scot-free. Many states are engaged in fighting each other over various issues such as river water distribution and building dams. The chief ministers of these states throw mud at each other and derive pleasure in such activities.
Thus India has its own way of life and still continues to produce more and more population and mouths to feed. The development whatever is achieved is nullified by ever increasing population. India has produced nuclear weapons, missiles, aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks, guns and all types of small arms. On agriculture front it literally achieved self-sufficiency. Yet tragedy is that it still remains the poor country and suffers at the hands of terrorists. The main problem plaguing the country is the lacking of self-discipline and character, committed leaders with vision devoid of self interests (It occupies a good position as a corrupt country in world ratings). Such large country cannot win gold medals in world sport events and ranks among the lowest. A Communist Russian in past commented, after seeing India, He started believing God. That summarizes everything and once for all.
Dr K Prabhakar Rao.
Monday, August 4, 2008
ARJUN TANK AND PRINCE ARJUNA
Prof Dr Colonel ( Retired) K Prabhakar Rao
In a spacious hall in heavens, there are some magnificent chairs arranged resembling thrones. In one of these chairs a prince is seen sitting. He is dressed in an attire of yore worn by Kings of India. He is wearing golden crown. He is holding a large bow and set of arrows are stacked close by. The prince is seen reading a newspaper. A soldier with a lance in medieval dress enters and states that a visitor was waiting to see him.
Guard. Respected prince Arjuna. Oh mighty one. A guy is waiting to see you.
Arjuna. That is fine and please brings him- in with all courtesy.
(The guard bows and goes out. In few moments the visitor walks in. He is in full Indian Army uniform and wearing the rank of a field Marshal. He has bushy moustache and is sporting a side cap slightly tilted. The visitor is hesitant to salute the prince and seeing his discomfort Arjuna rises up )
Arjuna. Welcome. Dear Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw of great India. Welcome. I am happy to see you here. You were the first General of India who came and saw me till today although there were many here some time ago and they left to take rebirth on earth as they are not yet free of bondage of life and death and its cycle. I do not know in what form they are born now.
Manekshaw. Thank you sir. In fact I wanted to salute you. But I found my joints very stiff. You know I am very old. Recently I came to heavens after suffering old age and ill health.
Arjun. That is all right. Take it easy. Sir! How come you are here?
Manekshaw. I plan to see all stalwarts of yore. You were one of the bravest of yore.
Arjun. Thank you for your compliments. Let us have a drink (He claps and the guard enters and Arjuna asks him to fetch drinks for them)
Manekshaw. Thank you sir. Why take trouble now?
Arjuna. It is Ok. Tell me what is the news in India. Just now I read the newspaper from India and I saw some gadget has been given my name. Do you know any thing about it?
Manekshaw. Yeah. It is the India’s main battle tank. It is called Arjun.
Arjun. What is this tank? I am not aware of it. I know that tank means an open box with or without lid. A pond is also called a tank.
(In the mean time a beautiful half naked damsel enters with drinks trolley and snacks. She pours drink for the two. Both lift glasses and say “ To the God the almighty” and Manekshaw touches Arjunas glass with his own. It makes a clicking sound. They say cheers.)
Manekshaw. (Slightly coughing). Sir, In India we say To the President while toasting drink. Sir, Tank in army means a strong metallic track driven heavy vehicle that is fitted with a powerful gun that can rotate full circle and rise up and down too. The gun can fire ammunition and destroy enemy. It is a very important weapon in modern warfare. Soldiers hide in these tanks and fight wars. They can also fire machine guns hiding in.
Arjuna. What a shame! Soldiers hiding and fighting war? How can they do? It is against all codes.
Manekshaw. Sir. Rules were there in your days too. Did you not kill great sire Bheeshama charya in Mahabharatha war by hiding behind Sikhandi ( a female born changed into male)? Was it correct? Think a bit. ( Sips from the glass)
Arjuna. (Looking this way and that way) That was inevitable. Otherwise Bheeshmacharya could never be slain. In fact we asked the great sire to reveal how he could be overcome. ( In between picks up roasted cashew nuts from the plate)
Manekshaw. True. The tank has become inevitable in modern warfare due to invention of machine guns and explosives.
Arjuna.What is so great about Arjun Tank, which bears my name?
Manekshaw. Sir. The Indian main battle tank project was taken up when I was already a General and was army chief. The Indian researchers took thirty long years to produce some thing after many failures. The assembled this box with imported engine, gear box and transmission. They made the box rather. The tank has earned much discredit although research organization is trying thrusting it down army’s throat. Many guys are apprehensive of it. We do not know when the tracks fail. It was great calamity, as the tank cannot move once tracks snap. It will be sitting duck
Arjun. I read in newspaper that it has become very heavy and large. Cannot be transported easily on available bridges and rail wagons.
Manekshaw. True. It is mere liability. (Coughs)
Arjun. I feel bad because my name is being sullied. You know I won all the battles. But this tank cannot fight any war. Then why have my name. You should have named it Uttar Kumar the son of King Virata of Mahabharatha. He could only boast and do nothing. He ran away after seeing Kauravas army when we were serving in court of Virata during our exile.
Manekshaw. What can I say? We hoped that it could be as mighty as you. But we found it an apology.
Arjun. I find that every thing in Andhra Pradesh State is being named after Rajiv Gandhi the former Prime Minister and son of IndiraGandhi. It would be better if the tank is also named after him. Why my name? I am much unhappy.
Manekshaw. ( Sips from the glass. As the glass is empty the dame in waiting pours from the jar with style). Thanks dear. He looks at the girl thanking her and appreciating.
Arjun. You people must try to achieve when you name a project with great name. Or else better do not name it so. Call it Russian way as T 30, T 40, T 54, T 90 now. They have not named them as Lenin or Gorbochev, Tolstoy, Rustupin.
Manekshaw. (Obviously getting embarrassed). Thank you sir, I shall convey to my army. Thank you for advises. Sir, I shall take leave. Good night sir. It is late night.
Arjun. Best of luck to you Sam. Keep coming and be in touch.
(Manekshaw stiffly marches out holding his baton while Marshal music is heard…. Saare jahan se atchaa… Hindostan hamara… hamara.. ( India is greatest in the world))
DR K PRabhakar Rao