Wednesday, November 4, 2009

State enforcing sales tax on yoga |

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    • By TIM TOWNSEND, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • ST. LOUIS
    • On Sunday, Missouri became the only state to enforce a sales tax on what many see as a spiritual pursuit -- the practice of yoga.

      The debate between Missouri's yoga community and the state centers on whether yoga is a spiritual practice or just exercise. If it's one, it's constitutionally protected and can't be taxed. If it's the other, Missouri's cash-strapped budget has a new source of revenue.

      On Monday, yoga studio owners pledged to fight for their students and educate state legislators about yoga's spiritual roots.

Foreign missionary restrained from preaching - The Times of India

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    • Invoking visa norms, Kerala police on Monday restrained Ghana-based Christian missionary Bernard Blessing from religious preaching at a gospel convention organised by Pentecostal Church in Thiruvanantapuram.

      Blessing, who was to address the three-day "Power Conference organised by Pentecostal groups, had come to India on an x-visa, also called an entry visa. "It (x-visa) does not confer on the holder any right to make religious preaching,'' Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner M R Ajith Kumar said.
    • The police action came after Hindu outfits quoted advertisements released in Blessing's name which read, "A harvester for the Lord Jesus Christ... Experience Jesus, Transform Kerala''. They alleged Blessing would be violating visa norms. Not wanting to take chances, the cops issued notice to the organisers asking them to stick to rules.
    • Blessing is the president of Rescue Life International, a ministry based in Accra, Ghana.

Varanasi has an astrological park for mental peace -

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    • Varanasi:
    • A unique astrological park in Varanasi comprising of different plants named after astrological planets is gaining popularity among the women who say that they attain mental peace by watering those plants.
    • Various plants related to nine planets and twenty-seven constellations as mentioned in Hindu scriptures have been raised in this park. Believers visit this garden to worship these special plants to seek peace of mind.

काठमांडू,नेपाल, नेपाल में पशु बलि रोकने के लिए बौध्दों ने मांगी भारत से मदद

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    • नेपाल में बौध्दों के एक समूह और पशु अधिकार संगठनों ने नेपाल में हजारों पशु-पक्षियों की बलि पर रोक लगाने के लिए भारत सरकार और पशु कल्याण संगठनों से मदद की अपील की है। इस पशु बलि को रोकने के मुद्दे पर नेपाल सरकार का कहना है कि वह तराई में आयोजित होने वाले हिंदू समारोह पर इसलिए प्रतिबंध नहीं लगाएगी, क्योंकि इससे लोगों की धार्मिक भावना को ठेस पहुंच सकती है।
      भारतीय मूल के बौध्दों के एक संगठन, तमांग राष्ट्रीय मुक्ति मोर्चा के अध्यक्ष डी.बी.बोमजान ने कहा है, ''हमने भारत में बिहार, उत्तर प्रदेश तथा अन्य सीमावर्ती राज्यों के प्रशासन से अपील की है कि नेपाल में गधीमाई मेले में बलि चढ़ाने के मकसद से भारत से होने वाली पशु-पक्षियों की तस्करी पर रोक लगाने के लिए कदम उठाए जाएं।''
    • काठमांडू

Vande Mataram row: BJP trains guns on PC

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    • Citing the contribution of Muslims to the building of modern India, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Tuesday that India cannot view Islam as an "alien faith".


      "We cannot view Islam as an alien faith. Our Muslim brethren are honoured citizens of India. This is the land of your forbears; this is the land of your birth; and this is where you will live and work. It is a matter of pride for us that all major religions of the world, including Islam, exist and thrive in India," Chidambaram told a gathering of clerics and followers at the Deoband seminary here.
    • "The demolition of the Babri Masjid was a manifestation of religious fanaticism and an act of extreme prejudice. Likewise, taking to the path of violence in the name of religion must also be deplored in unequivocal terms."

Supreme Court seeks Sethu report - The Times of India

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    • More than 15 months after reserving verdict on legality of the controversy-marred Rs 2,400 crore Sethusamudram project and awaiting scrutiny by the high-level Pachauri Committee, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre about the progress made by the expert panel
    • "Matter was kept pending because the Centre wanted to get it examined by the expert panel. At some stage, the Centre has to disclose its stand. It cannot be continuously adjourned for a long time," the Bench said and asked additional solicitor general Harin Raval to get back to the court within four weeks with a clear stand of the Centre and a status report on the progress made by the expert panel.
    • Swamy had alleged that NIO had submitted a "devastating report" to the government red-lighting the Sethusamudram project and that the Centre was "deliberately" keeping it under wraps.

Pakistan Observer - Bullshit edition

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    • The recent terrorists’ attacks in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Islamabad and on GHQ are the continuation of series of planned commandos’ actions against security forces and innocent people. These commandos are also known as Indian Black Cats and American Black Water terrorists’ organization.

      The Taliban fighting in Afghanistan have already refused to help militants operating in Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that nation is fully supporting army in elimination of terrorism. Anti Pakistan forces are not digesting security forces success, since win over militants would bring stability in the country which is against their set design. There are reports that recently established “Indio Israeli Intelligence Agency “(Triple IIIA) has infiltrated their agents through RAAM (Afghan Intelligence Organization) in Pakistan, Iran and China. The agency has hired Afghan citizen and local criminal elements for launching sabotage acts in the said countries.
    • The investigations of Mumbai Drama and Samjota Express and blasts at Margao in Gao has reveled that wife of state transport minister has a link with Sanatan Sanstha, a right –wing Hindu Group is involved in the blast. Reportedly Lt col Prohit nominated accused of Samjota Express has also illicit relations with the wife of Minister too. The relationship forced her to join Hindu terrorist organization.

** Travesty as tribute « INDIA VIEW

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    • A. Surya Prakash


    • But, the prize for the most misleading advertisement must go to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Desperate to cling to power at any cost, Mrs Gandhi had jailed 1,40,000 people and held them without trial in gross violation of their fundamental rights. Yet this Ministry, as if to mock at all those who were jailed by Mrs Gandhi, quotes her as having said, “The struggle for freedom began when the first man was enslaved and it will continue until the last man is free”. Phew! Should we say more?
    • Is there any other democracy in the world where people permit the Government to squander their money for such gross falsification of history and for the promotion of a single political party? But we must be grateful for small mercies: The Ministry of Law and Justice did not issue advertisements praising Mrs Gandhi for upholding and defending the Constitution!

Inflation revisited - It does not stop at 49.5 percent

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    • The CPI numbers, which represent the true effect of prices on end consumers tell us another story. As we see from the chart above, the CPI is running very hot - almost 13 percent for all items and 15% for food. This is a direct consequence of NREGA and other inflationary policies.

      The NREGA policy will hurt the economy grievously. If you take out 20% of labor force from the economy, you will get 20% less output. Short term gains for politicians, a true long term disaster in the making. Low end industries and labor intensive jobs get priced out causing a death spiral.

      Right now it is hurting the poorest because food prices are going high. As an example, mid-day meal schemes in Hyderabad serve "plain rice and watery dal" because that's all they can afford. Of course, the public mid-day meal schemes suffer from other more serious problems. । विस्फोट.कॉम - अकाल अकेले नहीं आता है

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    • अनुपम मिश्र
    • कई बातें बार-बार कहनी पड़ती हैं। इन्हीं में एक बात यह भी है कि अकाल कभी अकेले नहीं आता। उससे बहुत पहले अच्छे विचारों का अकाल पड़ने लगता है। अच्छे विचार का अर्थ है, अच्छी योजनाएं, अच्छे काम। अच्छी योजनाओं को अकाल और बुरी याजनाओं की बाढ़। पिछले दौर में ऐसा ही कुछ हुआ है। देश को स्वर्ग बना देने की तमन्ना में तमाम नेताओं ने स्पेशल इकोनॉमिक जोन, सिंगूर, नंदीग्राम और ऐसी ही ने जाने कितनी बड़ी-बड़ी योजनाओं पर पूरा ध्यान दिया। इस बीच यह भी सुना गया कि इतने सारे लोगों द्वारा खेती करना जरूरी नहीं है। एक जिम्मेदार नेता की तरफ से यह भी बयान आया कि भारत को गॉंवों का देश कहना जरूरी नहीं है। गॉंवों में रहने वाले शहरों में आकर रहने लगेंगे, तो हम उन्हें बेहतर चिकित्सा, बेहतर शिक्षा और बेहतर जीवन के लिए तमाम सुविधाएं आसानी से दे सकेंगे। इन्हें लगता होगा कि शहरों में रहने वाले सभी लोगों को ये सभी सुविधाएं मिल ही चुकी हैं। इसका उत्तर तो शहर वाले ही देंगे।
    • लेकिन इस बात को यहीं छोड़ दीजिए। अब हमारे सामने मुख्य चुनौती है खरीफ की फसल को बचाना और आने वाली रबी की फसल की ठीक-ठीक तैयारी। दुर्भाग्य से इसका कोई बना-बनाया ढॉंचा सरकार के हाथ फिलहाल नहीं दिखता। देश के बहुत बड़े हिस्से में कुछ साल पहले तक किसानों को इस बात की खूब समझ थी कि मानसून के आसार अच्छे ने दिखें तो पानी की कम मॉंग करने वाली फसलें बो ली जाएं। इस तरह के बीज पीढ़ि़यों से सुरक्षित रखे गए थे। कम प्यास वाली फसलें अकाल का दौर पार कर जाती थीं। लेकिन आधुनिक विकास के दौर ने, नई नीतियों ने किसान के इस स्वावलंबन को अनजाने में ही सही, पर तोड़ा जरूर है। लगभग हर क्षेत्र में धान, गेहूं, ज्वार, बाजरा के हर खेत में पानी को देखकर बीज बोने की पूरी तैयारी रहती थी। अकाल के अलावा बाढ़ तक को देखकर बीजों का चयन किया जाता था। पर 30-40 साल के आधुनिक कृषि विकास ने इस बारीक समझ को आमतौर पर तोड़ डाला है। पीढ़ियों से एक जगह रहकर वहॉं की मिट्टी, पानी, हवा, बीज, खाद- सब कुछ जानने वाला किसान अब छह-आठ महीनों में ट्रांसफर होकर आने-जाने वाले कृषि अधिकारी की सलाह पर निर्भर बना डाला गया है।

नारी: एक एयर होस्टेस नौकरी अपनी एयर लाइन की करती हैं पुरुषों की नहीं ।

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    • अगर आप एयर इंडिया मे काम करती हैं और एयर होस्टेस हैं और बद किस्मती से किसी फ्लाईट के दौरान आप के साथ पाइलट छेड़ छड़ कर देता हैं तो आप को अपने बलात्कार तक रुकना होगा क्युकी छेड़ छाड़ तो प्रूव होती ही नहीं हैं । अगर आप फ्लाईट के बीच मे हंगामा करती हैं तो वो insubordination माना जाता हैं और आप को इसके लिये दण्डित किया जा सकता हैं । अगर आप फ्लाईट के नीचे उत्तर आने के बाद मीडिया से बात करती हैं तो भी आप कम्पनी के कानून का उल्लंघन कर रही हैं । आप को केवल और केवल ऑफिस पहुच कर ही अपनी शिकायत अपने अधिकारियों को देनी होगी ।

महाजाल पर सुरेश चिपलूनकर (Suresh Chiplunkar): कश्मीर के रजनीश मामले ने

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    • मुझे पूरा विश्वास है कि राखी सावन्त की फ़ूहड़ता या राजू श्रीवास्तव के कपड़े उतारने की घटनाओं को छोड़ भी दिया जाये तो कम से कम कोलकाता के रिज़वान मामले या चाँद-फ़िज़ा की छिछोरी प्रेमकथा को जितना कवरेज मिला होगा उसका एक प्रतिशत भी रजनीश /आँचल शर्मा को नहीं दिया गया। कारण साफ़ है… "रजनीश हिन्दू है" और हिन्दुओं के कोई मानवाधिकार नहीं होते हैं, कम से कम कश्मीर में तो बिलकुल नहीं।
    • रजनीश शर्मा का ये मामला कोलकाता के रिज़वान से भयानक रूप से मिलता-जुलता होने के बावजूद अलग है, यहाँ लड़की मुस्लिम थी, लड़का हिन्दू और कोलकाता में लड़की हिन्दू थी और लड़का मुस्लिम। दोनों ही मामले में लड़के की हत्या करने वाले लड़की के पिता और भाई ही थे। लेकिन दोनों मामलों में मीडिया और सेकुलरों की भूमिका से स्पष्ट हो जाता है कि ये दोनों ही कितने घटिया किस्म के हैं। रिज़वान के मामले में लगातार "बुरका दत्त" के चैनलों पर कवरेज दिया गया, रिज़वान कैसे मरा, कहाँ मरा, किसने मारा, पुलिस की क्या भूमिका रही, रेल पटरियों पर लाश कैसे पहुँची आदि का बाकायदा ग्राफ़िक्स बनाकर प्रदर्शन किया गया, तमाम "बुद्धूजीवी", बुकर और नोबल पुरस्कार वालों ने धरने दिये, अखबार रंगे गये और अन्ततः पुलिस के एक वरिष्ठ अधिकारी को सस्पेण्ड किया गया, रिज़वान को मारने के जुर्म में लड़की के पिता अशोक तोडी पर केस दर्ज हुआ, अब मामला कोर्ट में है, कारण सिर्फ़ एक - इधर मरने वाला एक मुस्लिम है और उधर एक हिन्दू… इसे कहते हैं नीयत में खोट।

The Chindia Chimera

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    • Omkar Goswami
    • It seems to me that there are two-and-a-half types of people who say that we should always try to accommodate China. The first are the uncompromising peaceniks. For them, it is their manifest fancy — and hence, the Almighty’s desire — that Asia’s two largest nations live together in never-ending friendship, happiness and peace.
    Omkar Goswami
    • The second bunch of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai fellows are what I call the “Chindia chaps”. Typically, these are Indians who have been to Beijing and Shanghai, and even to places like Chongqing and Xian, more than once — often as guests of Chinese institutions or international bodies organising conferences in China.
    • No Chinese in high government or advisory position that matters ever speaks of Chindia. Only Indians do. It is as if creating Chindia gives India the entrée to the high table, as a mythically equal partner of China.  
    • The remaining half is business. I say half with a reason. At one level, Indian business would love to operate in China on a much larger scale — for which it requires our government to be accommodating with the Middle Kingdom.
    • The pro-China groups in India are barking up the wrong tree. They don’t, and won’t, understand that China doesn’t give a fig about India. It has a very simple two-fold view of itself: to be the most powerful and influential nation in Asia and, with the US, become the Club of Two that defines global polity. India has no place in this scheme; and China will never hesitate to put us down if there is the slightest hint of our questioning this dual mandate.
    • The author is chairman of CERG Advisory.

|| Satyameva Jayate || - Who are these “caste Hindus”?

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    • Excerpt from  an OpEd in the Indian Express
    • As it is, many of the caste Hindus in the village apparently piped down after they were told that their actions were illegal and merited consequences — an example of how the law can be made to work.
    • So who exactly are these caste Hindus?

      A news-report in the Times of India casts some light

    • The Vanniyars of Chettipulam near Vedaranyam — designated among the most backward communities — had initially agreed to permit the Dalits into the Arulmigu Kamatchiamman Sametha Ekambareswarat Temple during peace talks organized by the administration days ago. But, on Wednesday morning, they gathered in large numbers in front of the temple and went berserk at the sight of police and revenue officials escorting the Dalits.
    • Why did the editorial writers at Indian Express not mention this? What was the point about using the words “caste Hindu”? Were they not aware of the identity of those who were opposing temple worship? or is it so much easier (and tempting) to write “caste Hindus” and forget about it?

      *Thanks to Sh Chowgule for flagging this on a Yahoo! group

|| Satyameva Jayate || - Saluting our Heroes: Maj Somnath Sharma, PVC

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    Maj Somnath Sharma
    • A tribute to Major Somnath Sharma, Indian’s first “Param Veer” who sacrificed his life on this date, 62 years ago.
    • 22nd October 1947: Armed tribals cross the border near Muzaffarabad, burn the twon  and overrun Uri. They also manage to capture the power station that supplies eletcricity to Srinagar, plunging the city into darkness. Reports suggest that the armed groups include regulars from the Paksitani Army “in mufti”.
    • One day, Sharma’s orderly Bahadur was badly wounded in action and was unable to return to the camp. Sharma lifted Bahadur on his shoulders and began walking. When Thimmayya found his officer lagging behind under the weight of his orderly, he ordered him — ‘Leave this man, Som and rush back to the camp.’

      Somnath retorted, ‘Sir, it is my own orderly that I am carrying; he is badly wounded and bleeding, l will not leave him behind.’ He eventually managed to carry Bahadur back, saving his life. He was awarded a ‘Mention in Dispatch’ for this act of bravery.

    • Back in New Delhi, as news of developments in Jammu & Kashmir trickled in, Major Sharma’s regiment was asked to move to Srinagar. Although technically ‘unfit for active duty in war’ (with a broken arm and a plaster from wrist to the elbow), Major Sharma insisted that he had to lead his company. He took charge of his new assignment at Srinagar airport on 1st Nov.
    • Three days later, Major Sharma’s body was recovered. Though mutilated beyond recognition, a few pages of the Gita that he always kept in his breast pocket and the empty leather holster of Tewari’s pistol helped to identify the body. The pistol was gone.
    • In the battle of Bagdam, Major Sharma, one JCO and 20 other ranks were killed. But their sacrifices did not go in vain. He and his men stemmed the tide of the enemy advance on Srinagar and the airfield for some very crucial hours. He has set an example of courage and qualities, seldom equaled in the history of the Indian Army. Major General Amarnath Sharma received India ’s first and highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, on behalf of his brave son.
    • As I read this, I had tears in my eyes…As you go about your day today, please spare a moment to remember these heroes.

Mr P Chidambaram says, Majority Hindus should protect minoriries in India - National Issue |

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    • Explaining the government's perception of terrorism, he made it clear that communalism of the Hindutva brand would be opposed as intensely as the threat from jihadi terrorists. "The demolition of Babri Masjid was a manifestation of religious fanaticism and an act of extreme prejudice," he said.

      Striking a balancing note, Chidambaram talked of a `golden rule' of majority Hindus protecting the Muslim minority elsewhere in the country, and the Muslim majority in Jammu and Kashmir defending the other communities in that state.

      Taking note of the situation, he said, "Alas, some think that the golden rule is dispensable or that it can be applied selectively."


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    • Many tribals, failing to find a real leader who can lead them into light, have fallen prey to a few who have made them believe that like Mao, they too will free them from the yoke of a state that has done nothing for them, a state that cannot be distinguished from the colonial regime that preceded it, a state that suppresses them using the same tools of governance that it found demeaning when their reins were in white hands.

      Those few - call them Maoists, Leninists, Naxals, whatever - left a viciously violent legacy, wherever they held sway, be it the Soviet Union, China or Kampuchea. In the last century, they murdered close to 110 million people, many more than the 38 million who were killed in all the wars of the century put together. That is what they will do in India too, should they get power in the name of the people whose cause they are championing. What they did recently in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere in India should have left no one in any doubt that this path has the same ending, no matter where it is followed.
    • If the bauxite had remained in the mountains, how would Roy have travelled to get her Booker? Now that she has discovered , like a certain Gandhi did nearly a century ago, that to keep her and 'neo-colonialists' like us motoring and flying and connected to the whole world, the tribals of India will have to pay a price that she finds unacceptable, why does she not walk the Gandhi talk? Why does she not begin by making a personal sacrifice to reduce the burgeoning demand for metals and minerals worth trillions of dollars that lie inside the mountains? Will she, or anyone else, like to go back to the lives their ancestors led a few hundred years ago, to save the environment and to effectively ensure that those who have missed the progress bus do not catch it ever? Or would she rather live in a country that follows the development model of, and is run by, the likes of Lenin, Mao and Pol Pot? Does it matter to her that China, not the one that Maoists want to emulate, produces 10 times more steel than India? Have China's tribals paid a heavy price or are they happier, wealthier and better fed than ever before?
    • Why is she not talking about the fact that arms and ammunition that Maoists have require money which tribals don’t have, as she herself admits? Why is she silent about the manner in which Maoists are extorting money from the very corporate houses and mining companies that they are supposed to be fighting against?