Friday, October 7, 2016

EDITOR'S COLUMN

Friends, 

Greetings of the festival season to our readers, well wishers and patrons, as we touch the completion of 16th year of our existence in the print media.
Looking back, after crossing every milestone, over the distance covered, it is a feeling of quite satisfaction. In a world full of ‘nay’ sayers, team at I&C proved that it is possible to survive the socio/political negatives of the society around us, by the dint of purposeful application of a focused approach. Thank God, like one of our ardent supporters Prof. Ravishankar Rao had put it, we lived to tell the story of our endurance in reasonable style. We at I&C are grateful to all those who helped us survive the rigours of this long and difficult journey. 
However, despite this long journey of sixteen years, our circulation has not grown to a satisfactory level. We need participative support in enlisting subscriber base from readers and well wishers. We do hope coming months shall have an upward movement in subscriber base.
This month we are beginning with the serialization of “The Persistence of Caste- Khairlanji Murders & India’s Hidden Apartheid”, by Prof Anand Teltumbde. A grandson of honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Prof Anand has been in the forefront of fight against caste. The Khairlanji massacre, one of the most heinous episode in the contemporary history of India got him worked up to write this book. We have no permission yet, to publish serially, although both the publisher Navayana and author Prof Teltumbde have been formally contacted since over 60 days for the purpose. We do hope to receive the permission in the meanwhile. Our last serial has concluded with our September edition.
The book is very relevant and contemporary, hence, we are serializing the book ‘The Persistence of Caste” beginning this October 2016, with due apologies to both the Author & the publisher of the book.
Month-in-Perspective has covered as usual happenings of the past month. Whatever could be covered within the space constraints, we have managed to write on.
However, there are important events like attack on Uri by the terror groups from across the western border, has not been covered. Government in Delhi and political parties are toying with the idea of an agreed national approach to the issue. For far too long Pakistan has tinkered with the Idea of India. They have to be dealt with firmly and decisively.
Rio de Janeiro Olympics has come and gone. For a nation of over 1.27 billion population, India managed just 2 medals- a silver and a bronze.  Of course, the emergence of a female gymnast is an amazing development. The two medalists and the gymnast, who missed her bronze narrowly, are the real achievers in an India, where there is hardly any official support for athletes and players. They have won these medals, purely due to their dedication, not because of any government help. Government need to do more. However in Focus, while touching on Rio, we discussed about the Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand, who managed three Olympic gold for India in Hockey. We have tried to detail the journey of the hockey maestro. May be this time, the government may after all award Bharat Ratna to the Hockey genius. Rest are as usual. Do revert with your inputs.

J. Shriyan
  

MONTH-IN-PERSPECTIVE

NEW DELHI: Ever Since, state governments in different parts of the country started losing power in state assembly due to number games of different political parties at the centre, elections to state assemblies were timed differently. When we spoke of general elections, it was always both Loksabha for centre and Vidhan Sabha for states all over the country. It was a massive exercise. For a long time, close to 30 years only Congress was at the centre with most states also ruled by Congress. When some political parties in Kerala, West Bengal and the then Madras or Tamil Nadu or  Akali Dal in Punjab started gaining acceptance and became ruling parties in states, party at the centre had engineered the collapse of these state governments at different times, thus elections became imperative. But every time, it would be for the next 5 years and not for the remaining balance part of the government that lost power. 
Of course, not withstanding what President Mukherjee had said about combining both Loksabha & Assembly elections in coming years, purely as an administrative measure, it is easier to have state elections separate from Loksabha elections. Now that, it has become a trend, every year there is election to Vidhana Sabha or Assembly in some state or the other. Thus, ever since the new government of BJP dominated NDA has come to power in May 2014, there has been state elections every year. Hence, the Prime Minister of the country, who also happens to be the top spokesman for his party, becomes less of a national leader and more of a party leader. It is sad but a fact of life.
Thus when he started as the PM candidate of BJP for the first time there was a freshness of approach and many were bowled over to give him and his party a chance at the centre. So, for the 1st time in almost 30 years, a single party government became possible at the centre. Narendra Modi, as the Prime Minister for the first time, in his maiden speech on the 15th Aug. 2014 was a toast of the nation in general. He had promised a lot in his election campaign and his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort indicated he meant what he said.
However looking back over last 27 months of NDA at the centre, what he had promised has not happened to a great extent. Of course, the opposition itself does not have its slate clean. When he started off, “It was development, jobs, growth and good governance, promise of alleviating poverty bringing back black money, bringing Acche Din for all”. But looking back over the shoulder, all these talks have largely remained incomplete. It is true there have been many efforts to bring about better life for aam aadmi. But Acche Din is distant. No doubt his clarion call for Swatch Bharath has remained in the national consciousness as a national imperative. How can you be dirty and still desire to be a ‘Super Power’! Smart City, Bullet Trains can all wait. There are farmers dying for want of some assistance, school children are not fed in drought affected areas. Modi must ask Yogendra Yadav, for details. YY had gone to Apex Court recently. It has even pulled up the centre. Seeing things are not as hunky dory on the ground, Modi started changing goal post. Suddenly, he has shifted to nationalism as the core issue to his party cadres. Modi should not think, Indians forget fast, they do remember, when needed. Modi should not take Indians for granted. 
On completion of 2 years, ministers were dispatched to different parts of the country. Nirmala Sitaraman had come to Mangalore. When asked about safe drinking water after 70 years is still a distance dream, she shifted the question to one Chaudhary, a minister of state, who said it is for the state government to attend. They clearly had no answer, when retorted “is Swatch Bharath in central list?” Safe drinking water for all is a priority not a Bullet train. Hope there is somebody in his cabinet, who is not a ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, who has the courage to disagree with the PM, to make a valid point.

There was this report recently about the suspension of 4 Home Ministry officials of the central government. Reportedly it was due to an apparent lack of awareness of ground conditions, of which they were supposed to have been fully in the know of.
Zakir Naik, was in the news in recent times for all wrong reasons, has this Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). This IRF has been receiving foreign funding and was registered to receive the same. Sometime ago, the license of FCRA for IRF had expired but was not renewed in time.
However, a full blown controversy blew up on the activities of Zakir Naik, the televangelist. Reportedly inspired by his talk, terrorists had struck in Bangladesh causing mayhem in the country. India took a serious note of the same and acted to investigate the activities of this controversial evangelist.
Activities of this Zakir Naik, was already under the scanner from different perspective since quite sometime. But the blast in Bangladesh and their findings on the man, pushed matters faster in India.
It was during this sensitive period probably IRF approached for renewal of their FCRA license. As usual they may be having friends in right places and they are aware of the tricks involved in getting such licenses renewed. And our babus, used to the usual system of work culture got the license renewed despite knowing fully the ongoing investigation of the controversial outfit. But these babus obviously were over confident that it will be all hunky dory.
But that was not to be and the Union Minister of Home Affairs acted with alacrity to show these babus their place.

Quoting, Michel De Montaigne, a French essayist, a paper had quoted “Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.”
They were comparing a statement of our great ‘messiah’ turned opportunist Arvind Kejriwal. Reliance Jio in its enthusiasm to praise P.M. Modi had put his image in one of their ads. Of course, it was patently wrong on their part. P.M. Modi, appearing all over the media, for both right and wrong reasons, certainly did not desire it from Reliance stable. But Reliance had pulled a fast one.
But, ever on the lookout for a chance to pounce on P.M. Modi, Kejri couldn’t resist from going to the market to scream “Modiji you keep modeling for Reliance ads… P.M as Mr. Reliance. Any more proof required that Modiji is in Ambani’s pockets?” he has reported to have remarked on seeing the Reliance Jio ad.
Ever since Aam Aadmi Party has come to power in Delhi, Kejriwal has always accused P.M. Modi that PM is trying to destabilize AAP govt. in Delhi, since BJP had lost the election rather badly.
This antic of blaming PM Modi has been incessant as if he has become paranoid. Basically, the desire to be in the limelight has been a primary weakness of Kejriwal and it is irresistible. Because of his tantrums most media members have started making fun of him. But the overconfidence with which he is attacking Modi, he is clearly suffering from some kind of  a streak and he does not seem to recognize it. No wonder the above referred news paper called him even stupid and he is going about merrily as a hen, which laid only an egg but instead thinks it delivered an asteroid. Indeed Arvind Kejriwal is losing slowly and steadily his sense of proportion. That’s rather sad for an Anti-corruption poster boy. 

Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party is seeing the beginning of its end? The hope and enthusiasm that the party generated when it started off is slowly and surely waning. All had thought, one day AAP can become the one stop solution to all India’s socio/political ills. Despite its immature premature exit, when it formed the government with the help of Congress for the first time, it came back with an unprecedented unheard of majority in the Delhi Assembly. To win 67 out of 70 seats was not just a dream run, it was a dream itself. Kejriwal himself couldn’t believe the result.
It is true that Arvind Kejriwal, along with his band of committed party horses had all the visions of a clean and honest governance. But the sheer size of the majority, of an almost non-existent opposition, made the convener Kejriwal go over the bend. Power suddenly went to his vitals and he started to assert himself and decided to dump all those who questioned his decisions.
The day he dropped two very prominent members of AAP, disintegration had started. He displayed dictatorial tendencies when he dropped from the party, not just decision making body of AAP, two of the stalwarts in Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. Power corrupted this Kejriwal so much he even used intemperate language which was recorded to embarrass him. But the thick skinned IRS did not feel at all to sideline likes of Shashi Bhushan, who contributed Rs. 2 crores for the initial launching of AAP. It was the height of ingratitude.
Slowly, his antics became more and more vocal. The messiah that Kejriwal thought to be, slowly degenerated into crass opportunism. Nursing an all India ambition, he started attacking Narendra Modi, for all his problems. He routinely blamed Lt. Governor Jung for all his failures. Some 14 of his MLAs were arrested for different illegalities. Some 3 ministers were dismissed for wrong doing. Except providing initially free water and subsidized power, the overall picture of governance has been rather poor. All those who stood by him, for the hope he generated, are clearly disappointed. While he is trying to spread his tentacles in other states like Punjab and Goa, things are getting more and more difficult for AAP to find increasing support. It clearly looks a dream that has gone sour.
Can you believe seeking or offering undue sexual favour was not bribe hitherto! Unbelievable as it may sound, but the truth is Union government in waking up to this naked reality, so late in the day. Reportedly the select Committee of Rajya Sabha deliberating on amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, has accepted the recommendation of Law Commission for the inclusion of ‘undue advantage’ of seeking sexual favour to do an act of commission or omission, involving pecuniary benefit to parties involved.
It is strange that the law enforcing authorities in India did not think of sex as a medium of exchange for the purpose of getting some work done.
There are lots of people in power, at all levels, who are not corrupt in financial terms. They do not take commission or expensive gifts or go on paid travels/holidays. But they can be influenced by woman or wine. I know of a small financial institution, which would give loans in lakhs sometime even in crores. Two of its chairmen, at different times, were victims of some personal weaknesses. Borrowers would take one of them for evening wine and dine, late into the night and get loan papers signed. The other one was a bachelor and probably teetotaler but would succumb to female baits.
Taking money as an illegal gratification is considered a moral turpitude for the purpose of dealing with law on corruption. But here are two gentlemen, and there are innumerable in position of power, who sold their souls and compromised on the security aspect of loan proposals. If all three Ws, Wealth, Woman and Wine are taken as weakness in men, why the same yard stick is not applied when dealing with sleaze?! That’s funny. Even sage Vishwaamithra was corrupted by Menaka! 
Modern history of nations, the world over, is replete with stories of men in high positions, whether in politics or in private sector corporate positions, even bureaucrats in government departments have sold themselves for sex as consideration for an act of commission or omission involving financial gain to the person offering the favour or succumbing to a demand.
The concerned legislators must take the call to include not just sex, but also for wine and other attractions which can be traded for some pecuniary gain. This practice is more in private corporations where money may not be an attraction. At least from now on all concerned will be careful in understanding the larger issues in proper perspectives.

JNU has in recent times blew lot of dust, more often completely irrelevant and unnecessary. In the name of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, some students had created ruckus within the JNU Campus, in the controversial 9th Feb event. In the name of freedom of speech, a section of students even demanded the balkanization and destruction of India. And unfortunately, there were politicians and media men and women who somehow did not think that call for the destruction of the country is seditious. They condemned police crackdown on these anti-national elements. It was politics of a worst kind, all in the name of freedom of expression.
College authorities, after due investigation had imposed financial punishments like fine, hostel debarment and rustication from the institute. 21 students, who have been handed these punishments by college authorities, for their anti-national acts, had approached the appellate authority for such institutions with their appeal for reconsideration of sentences or penalties.
Reportedly, the appellate authority has found all of them guilty of serious indiscipline and have kept all terms of punishment as it were set by the High Level Enquiry Committee of the college, except financial penalty. Some have been given remissions in the penalty.
This should send a strong message to not just intransigent student community, but the opportunistic political class and their friends in media, not to insult the nation in the name of freedom of expression.

That Digvijay Singh of Indian National Congress is a controversial person, is never in doubt. He walks in and out of controversy routinely. Recently he had remarked while talking about Kashmir unrest, as “Indian Occupied Kashmir”, giving Pakistanis a handle to beat India with. That was rather a stupid and insensitive remark, can even be termed as anti-national.
Because of his regular involvement with foot-in-mouth utterances, this Digvijay Singh is not taken seriously.
However, the other day, for a change he has made a serious charge and luckily also happens to be an accurate and correct charge. Nitin Gadkari, like Sharad Pawar is an ambitious man, if possible, he would like to have a pot-shot at PM gaddi.
He has been a minister incharge of infrastructural constructions in Maharashtra. Hence, he is in the know of the potential of infrastructural development as a money spinner. One of the Contractors involved with Maharashtra government is IRB Road Builders, with whom Gadkari has close relationship. This IRB Road Builders are the same group who got RTI activist Satish Shetty of Pune killed, for exposing them in a land scam in Pune. Through the help of Gadkari, IRB Road Builders got the CBI case closed. However it appears to have been reopened. But nothing seems to be happening. Under the circumstances, there are enough missiles to fix Nitin Gadkari, in what Digvijay Singh has disclosed in his letter to Prime Minister Modi.
Singh had accused Gadkari of awarding contract for the construction of tunnel in J&K, for some Rs: 10,000 crore, to the same IRB Road Builders, besides, helping with classified government information to his son and brother-in-law, relating to the higher use of ethanol in blending with petrol or the electronic rickshaw manufacturer being given the benefit of government scheme of 3% interest loan to its buyers. Thus for the first time, there is substance is what this joker Singh had stated. Only, the media and opposition must pursue it to a logical conclusion. 
     
WEST BENGAL: Apex Court verdict on the land at Singur, acquired by Tatas, during the Left regime in West Bengal has the potential of sending negative message to the industry. Temporarily Mamata Banerjee may celebrate her victory with the court annulment of land acquisition. But she knows pretty well that this political score has led to some economic self goal by her opportunistic stand.
It is true that Apex Court took the call to set right the wrongs under the Eminent Domain clause of 1894 law of British Parliament. It was patently anti-people for the benefit of those colonial masters. Democratic government of India unfortunately persisted with the law to continue the repressive erstwhile measure.
Recent experience of Modi government at the ordinance route adopted but failed miserably is a case in point. It is true that land is limited. But we have a growing uncontrolled population dependent on land. We also need employment creation for our people and therefore industries are to be created. Industries cannot come unless land is made available to industries. But it is also true that dishonest industrial houses always acquired more land than needed and then traded it with others for commercial gain. This has been an ongoing practice of most industry houses. Friendly elected governments, both at centre and state, who cry with the poor but always sided the rich, helped these industry houses, for mutual gain at individual and party level. This left the people, the owners of land, in lurch.
Hence, the need of the hour is the mutually beneficial policy initiative where the interest of small land holders, who are large in number, is protected. At the same time, industry pays a fair price without its hidden agenda. It has to be a win-win situation for both, which hitherto was only win for industry houses. Hope the government of the day takes the call where the processes of land acquisition should strike a balance between the rights of land owners and the needs of industries.  
BIHAR:  “Principal gets 17 years jail for death of 23 kids” was a report datelined Patna. On 16th July 2013, the school, Dharmshanti Middle School in the village Gandaman in the Saran district of Bihar, had served, as usual, Mid Day Meal to its 89 students. Post lunch 48 children fell ill, 16 children died in school itself, another 7 to 11 died in the hospital. Others were treated for different levels of food poisoning.
Reportedly, the Head Mistress was buying grocery from the shop owned by her husband. The cooking oil used for cooking was stored in a container, which earlier stored pesticide. Despite being told about the odd smell of the oil, prior to cooking, Head Mistress overruled the cook to assure that the oil was safe to use. Subsequent forensic tests reportedly confirmed the existence of very toxic level of monocrotophos, an agricultural pesticide.
After eluding arrest for some time, both HM & her shop keeper husband were arrested. It took little over 2 years for the court of additional district and session judge of Saran district, to sentence Ms. Meena Devi, the HM of the school. However, strangely, the husband, the supplier of killer oil was acquitted.
There has been in the past, incidents of food poisoning, in different parts of India, including, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam, West Bengal. Some deaths apparently had taken place, but not on this scale as happened in Saran district of Bihar.
Since then, there has been administrative measures in place to ensure safety of food provided to school children. And no recurrence of this kind had taken place.
However, not many in the print media or electronic media had covered the happening with the seriousness it deserved. Yes, they were children of poor farm hands, and neither media will have any TRPs.

MAHARASHTRA: If Union Ministry of Home Affairs have suspended 4 MHA officials for granting the renewal of a questionable outfit’s foreign contribution license, despite the full knowledge of why license should not have been renewed, the same could have been done against AAI and DGCA.
Airport Authority of India, and Director General of Civil Aviation were recently pulled up by the Bombay High Court for illegal skyscrapers around Mumbai airport.
The court was hearing a PIL by one Yashwant Shenoy, about the construction of a residential building close to the boundary wall of international airport.
According to the PIL, the building is 34 metres high, when permission can be only up to 19 metres. From this height, easily the runway of the airport can be seen, informs the PIL.
It was clear, but for the PIL, the whole issue could have gone unchallenged. It is very unlikely, that the private builders could have gone ahead without the concurrence of both AAI and DGCA, since they both have to give the clearance for the building in the vicinity of airports. Big money too may have changed hands, damn the safety of passengers or that of airport.
No wonder, the court asked these two government departments “It seems you have nothing to do with the passengers’ safety and security”, and reportedly asked them to initiate action against the builder and has asked BMC to demolish the building.
Should BMC give notice of demolition, the builder is likely to approach the same court with his side of the story. Hope truth comes out to fix responsibility for the apparent illegality by the builder and the role of AAI & DGCA in the murky affair.  

There is a debate raging in Bombay Municipal Corporation. As usual BJP/Shiv Sena ruling combine in the BMC, has tried to introduce Yoga, ostensibly to improve the health of school children. In Mumbai, almost all Christian children go to Church Schools hence they do not have the problem of CIVIC diktats for Municipal Schools. Only Hindus and Muslims go to Municipal Schools and therefore children in these schools are at the receiving end of ruling corporators' shenanigans.
When it comes to accepting yoga, there is opposition across the spectrum in Indian schools. Not because it would or would not help health, but because, it is seen as a Hindu religious symbol. Whole of western world has accepted yoga as part of daily regimen for physical and mental wellbeing. But in India itself, there is opposition from both Christians & Muslims, especially the later being vociferous.
Of course, the BJP and Shiv Sena have their own votebank programme for promoting yoga in schools, but they should not force it on those who do not want it. It is also true that good section of Muslims may not mind Yoga per se, but not Suryanamaskara. They are unhappy to bend before the Sun. So be it. Why force them? Since Muslim children are doing most of the exercise, Surya Namaskar may be given a go by. Why insist? BJP & Shiv Sena will only make more adversaries if they force this Suryanamaskara on Muslim children. They should desist in the name of co-existence. Living together is more important than Yoga or Suryanamaskara.           
KARNATAKA: Third world countries, more often than not, do suffer from want of resources. But it also suffers, unfortunately, from mental poverty as well. It is one thing, not to have resources, but to have resources, however inadequate, and to leave it unspent, despite all the well paid manpower resources, is quite another. In fact, this is no less a tragedy for a country like India.
There is this safe drinking water project, at which public are to get 20 liters of safe drinking water for a mere Rs. 2/-. There have been budget allocated to different states. Unfortunately, a report has come to light that 15 districts of Karnataka have returned Rs. 12.6 Crores, unspent. Districts are Bangalore, Bellari, Bidar, Chikmagalooru, Chikballapur, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Haveri, Kalburgi, Kodagu, Kolar, Koppala, Uttara Kannada and Yadgir. Reportedly, amount was lying in the bank a/cs of these districts and government has withdrawn these amounts and transferred it to more efficient districts.
In the entire history of almost seven decades of independent India, if plundering by politicians with the help of babus, has been the reason for stunted growth of the country, the efficiency and lack of commitment of babudom has its equal share in bungling the national developmental paradigm.
Both politicians and babus, only worked to promote their own selfish interest and that of their friends and cronies.
These leaches are so well paid and looked after, it’s a crime that they should neglect their fundamental duty of at least spending the money allocated to such an important project as safe drinking water. It is well known that, there are pockets all over the country with water bodies chemically contaminated including traces of fluoride found in different levels. Therefore, these babus responsible for this criminal dereliction of duty should be suspended and may even be prosecuted. Only then, a sense of purpose may dawn on the incompetent self centered babus and their political partners in crime.

The Cavery water dispute, which led to violent demonstration, both in Bangalore and Chennai has a history, as old as India’s independence. Most years, when monsoon was below normal, we had this problem of water being released from Krishna Raj Sagar reservoir. As a nation, we are poor learners from past experience. The water problem is real, erratic monsoon is real. So what has to be done?, is a question ever present.
At different times, we toyed with the idea of interlinking of rivers. The debate started in the sixties with KL Rao, the then irrigation minister. Over 50 years, and we are still nowhere near the decision to link rivers. Andhra took some initiative to link Krishna and Godawari, to address the recurrent drought situation in Andhra.
Every time, there is problem of water, some discussion takes place and then lapse into inertia and amnesia, until the next time round, when problem explodes on our face.
There have been debate on the adoption of reverse osmosis technology to setup desalination plant to convert sea water into potable water. It is supposed be very expensive. But aren’t people’s life expensive? Aren’t the destruction of life and properties expensive? What is expensive, how much expensive has not been answered. There has to be initiative at least among Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, to form a team to go into this desalination plant project either as a PPP arrangement or any viable proposal.
It is absolutely within the realm of possibility, if all three states come together to form a Territorial Water Board and work out the economic model with all kinds of alternatives including public participation for their ideas. Other ideas like river linking, large water harvesting schemes, reviving dead water bodies, recharging ground water tables etc., can be thought of as well. Hope soon some such initiatives emerge.

KERALA: Bandh as a means of protest is probably prevalent only in India and no-where else. Except communist controlled unions, others do not indulge in this archaic form of protest. Even in Kerala, since Communism is still strong, Bandhs do not get support from Congress or other political parties. One of the most important reasons, why Bandhs fail, is the difficulties faced by ordinary public in going about their life. This time round, whether, it was the all India Bandh called by communist controlled trade unions, then bankers union called their own bank Bandh, and then you had Cavery water dispute Bandh called by Kannada agitationists in Karnataka. None of these Bandhs have helped in solving the problem for which Bandh was called, instead there have been loss of life and property, completely unwarranted.
One of the most suffered sections of society is the unorganized labours who suffer the most on Bandh days. They do not get their work for the day and therefore no payment. Daily wage earning class are the worst sufferers. But these trade union leaders, obsessed with their own issues are not concerned with the plight of these daily wage earning class.
What the organizers of these Bandhs do not understand and appreciate is the colossal scale of national loss of production due to mandays lost. But while, call for Bandh or strike is a legitimate right of the working class it should not be resorted at all in the national interest. Which means, the government of the day must invite their proposal, why they are going to strike work, or is there any way, it can be talked out. Of course, the governments too, have their own agenda of agreeing and disagreeing. Probably there could be some via-media where both the government and Bandh organizers could of declaring and calling for Bandh. It has not solved in past, it is not likely to solve problems in future, so why Bandh?!       
         
WORLD: Tragedy in the Muslim world is unabated with the emergence of ISIS. Continuing conflict in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Yemen has increasingly made ordinary Muslims in these countries easy targets of terror attacks. Unfortunately, it is a fight between Sunny and Shia denominations. What is it that keeps these two groups daggers drawn at each other? Is it the leadership of these groups that has failed to reign in the intransigent section of its society? There is so much talk about Islam being a religion of peace and yet appears to have completely failed to stem the unremitting violence!
A recent blast at a wedding party that left some 60 dead, on the Syrian Turkey border town of Gaziantep has underscored the sheer helplessness of ordinary Muslims. That the blast was triggered by a boy of some 13 years, at the orders of some ISIS jihadi group, exemplifies the depth to which the rot has set in.
It is extremely saddening to see women and children are the worst sufferers of this unending chasm between these warring groups. What is even more tragic is that, the scar of these attacks and counter attacks will leave generations to come, affected. The power game that the Muslim world is playing among its own different dominations can leave its society completely divided forever. That is very tragic. Will there ever be deliverance?, is a hugely unanswered question making its rounds.       
  
One thing I never understood, why there are different players for different formats of the game of cricket. It’s the same ground, same cherry and same willow, and yet, a player succeeds on one format but fails in another format. It’s bit funny. It is clearly the mental approach to the ball, be, it Test, 50 overs or T20 or even IPL. And KL Rahul proved it beyond any shadow of doubt that it is possible to play in all formats with the same aplomb. In fact he has rewritten the rules of the game. From now on selectors must not go by their own likes and dislikes, which is the norm.
On 27th Aug. India played a T20 match in the U.S for the 1st time. It was clearly KL Rahul’s Day. But India had lost the 1st ever T20 international against West Indies in Florida, by just one run to equal the West Indies total of 245 runs. And there was a need of 2 runs to win the match. Of course the team was entirely dependent on Mahindra Singh Dhoni, to score the needed 2 runs in the last ball. In the event, he was caught, India being at 244. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and therefore India losing by one run is just fine. What we needed to celebrate was that the game was stretched to the last ball, and West Indies is not Zimbabwe. They have world class players. They were expected to play for their country with equal commitment. Under the circumstances, West Indies carried the day. But what sadly, is the Indians, by their very nature, did not celebrate the performance of KL Rahul, NITK lad from Surathkal, Mangalore. He scored 110 runs and remained not-out after facing 51 balls with the help of 12 fours and 5 sixes. That Indian captain failed to connect his last ball into 2 runs, is not the point. But this youngster in his 20’s need to be celebrated, win or lose.

Just the other day, 4th Sept, Mother Theresa, who passed away in 1997, after serving the destitutes of Kolkata was canonized by the Vatican. She will be known as St. Theresa from now on. The principle of canonization depends on some ‘miracle’ performed by the person to be canonized. Western world always ridiculed India for its belief in ‘Super Natural’ powers. Hence I find it rather odd, if not funny, that the whole world congregated at Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square to witness the canonization. But, quite frankly, with due respect to the feelings of all Christians from India or elsewhere, does it really matter that she has been canonized or she will be known as Saint! But personally, I would think my mother or any mother or even Mother Theresa as a mother to thousands on the streets of Kolkata is far greater than any Saint. She would remain permanently etched in the memory of all those, whose life she had touched with her limitless compassion. I bow in deep reverence for the persona she was. 

On September 3, most newspapers all over India informed that All India Muslim Personal Law Board filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court almost asking the highest judicial authority of India to keep off from interfering with the ‘triple talaq’ issue greatly troubling Muslim women.
A sample part of the affidavit goes like this, “If the husband does not at all want to live with her (wife) legal compulsion of time consuming separation proceedings and expenses may deter him from taking the legal course. IN SUCH INSTANCES, HE MAY RESORT TO ILLEGAL, CRIMINAL WAYS OF MURDERING OR BURNING HER ALIVE”. Another sample, “Personal laws of a community cannot be rewritten in the name of social reform”. “Polygamy ensures sexual purity and chastity and whenever polygamy has been banned, it emerges from history that illicit sex has raised its head”.
There are many pearls of ‘wisdom’ in the affidavit. Except reporting, media had no comment to offer for quite some time. If it was to do with Hindus, good part of the media would have gone hammer & tong almost instantly shouting hoarse. Strangely even electronic media did not yet find time to debate the affidavit.
Two Muslim ladies of Muslim Mahila Andholan had gone to court challenging this triple talaq.
A relook at the above paragraph clearly shows that this AIMPLB is still in their primitive days of lawless medieval era where woman was only subjugated to the carnal desire of man. They simply do not fit into a civilized democratic way of life. That the husband can murder his wife if he cannot get rid of her instantly is to exhibit a jungle criminal mindset like Taliban, with no respect for the rights of his wife. The affidavit has clearly shown their contempt for social reforms. They are caught in a time warp. How can they co-habit with other communities in a globalised atmosphere?
I am convinced that millions among Muslims would certainly decry the AIMPLB aberration, which is not having even a legal status.
Highest arbiter of the land must call the bluff of this Muslim board. 

That fugitive underworld criminal Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar is in Pakistan is a well documented information since long time. He has always been there. There is no news value from the information let out by the United Nations. Almost a year ago, Foreign Office in the UK had uploaded information on its website about all his properties both in the UK and in Pakistan.
The denial republic that is Pakistan, had always refuted the existence of this fugitive within its borders. But then they had also denied the existence of terror master mind Osama Bin Laden. Of course it could have passed off as true, but for U.S Navy Seals, who in a rare feat of military exercise eliminated this terrorist right inside Pakistani garrison in Abbottabad.
Hence, there is a school of thought, floating a similar idea, if Indian military do an Osama on Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar! By hindsight, it may be the only way to capture this fugitive of over 20 years, dead or alive, to bring curtain down to some of the darkest pages of our contemporary history. Of course some other friendly countries may have to be roped in, to plan any such La Osama type operation annihilation.

We Indians are great in competitive politics, even if we are going to take sides with enemies. This is especially so, if it is between Congress Party or BJParty. And we do have jokers like Digviyay Singh, who will not blink to say Indian Occupied Kashmir, referring to Kashmir. Although his party will disown his statement, he will never regret. He is as incorrigible as that.
We have recently heard of the Ramya Saga. Having returned from Pakistan, Ramya, a former Congress MP had reportedly remarked “Pakistan was not hell”. She was responding to an earlier remark by Defense Minister Manohar Parikkar (DMMP). DMMP had during the course of a conversation had said that “Going to Pakistan was akin to a visit to hell”. He was making that statement in a context. His remark is half truth. Some parts of Pakistan, those infested with violence may be like hell, but there are areas in Lahore, which are pretty and ‘mehmaan navaazi’ is Pakistani culture. But DMMP is not a particularly polished individual and he can be excused for the remark since it was in a context.
This cinema brat Ramya was part of SAARC Youth Parliamentarians Conference. Being a lady and that too from film industry, she would be definitely better attended to. And she had every right as a good guest to praise her hosts. But, the streak of competitive politics among us is so great, she couldn’t help drag DMMP remark. She thought, she would score political points by joining issue with DMMP. In the event, it was not taken kindly. But like Diggy Raja there are jokers in BJParty as well, who filed a case of sedition against Ramya. Now that was little too much. While Ramya has all the right to praise her hosts, who may be our so-called enemy country, she was patently stupid in dragging DMMP remark to make her statement. Similarly, BJParty walas should have faulted her mixing of DMMP remark rather than going to the market crying sedition, ‘go to Pakistan’, ‘leave India’ etc. Both are wrong and therefore both do not deserve the space, we are currently wasting on.                            

What They Said

I have been a reader of I&C since some 15+ years. I am a deeply satisfied reader for its originality, genuineness, and no-nonsense approach. Writings are direct without any add-on embellishment or taking sides on issues. Over the years, its quality, both in contents and physical appearance, have undergone metamorphosis. To think that the publisher of I&C could do it for 15 long years, reaching it to subscribers without fail, so consistently, every month for a mere Rs. 1,000/- shows the innate commitment of the indomitable spirit behind this journey ‘Towards a purposeful regimen’. Hence I feel it is my duty to send this Permanent Membership subscription of Rs. 10,000/- and is sent along. With deep appreciation.                                                            Dr. Nalini M. Rao, Andheri, Mumbai.


Your focus (I&C- Sept), Violence against Dalits, is a welcome piece of writing, with photographs of Dalit sufferings for all the independent years of India. Indeed, independence for whom? The story of violence against, helpless Dalits, is a reflection of the failure of majority community, anti-social elements within the majority Hindu Community. Despite well meaning enactments in the statute books, the suffering of Dalits has gone on, in different forms. After 70 years of free India, Dalits have suffered more in free India than earlier, which is a sad commentary on the insensitivity of majority community and the entire system. Even God seem to have failed this section of Indians.
-Ramkrishna P, Surathkal.

I have been reading the English monthly ‘ISSUES & CONCERNS’ since quite a long time. With its thoughts for the month, interesting news bits, feature articles on contemporary issues and regular columns by eminent personalities like Dr. B.M Hegde and renowned journalist late M.V. Kamath ctc., the magazine makes an interesting reading. Without much advertisements and other things it is really an uphill task for its publisher to bring out the magazine regularly since long. We can feel a commitment behind the publication of the magazine. Hats off to its publisher.
-K. Sharada Bhat, Writer and social activist, Udupi.

Focus in I & C Sept. – “India @ 70 – Violence against Dalits: Whose life is it anyway!” has made a very disturbing reading. It made me think, rather deeply about the social structure in India, which despite 70 years of socio/political freedom, has somehow gives an impression that, we as a society, have failed our less fortunate brothers. Indeed our society has evolved, but instances of cruelty, both physical and mental, has been happening for all these years, while we were telling the world that we are on the threshold of becoming a Super Power.
Images you have  provided made me feel how cruel the society is. “They were made to eat human excreta as punishment”, made me sick. What kind of a people we are? It is disgusting. I was lost into the infinite vacuum of sheer helplessness. Thanks for keeping my senses alive. 
– Chaitra Padukone, Nitte, via email

(I&C Sept-2016) Comment on Sushma: Of course, Madam Sushma is the best ever external minister, at the same time we can’t forget the efforts of her deputy Gen. V.K.Singh, the man in the spot.
-Sanathana Kumar Punja, Via FB.

(I&C Sept-2016) Comment on AAP: AAP MLAs are arrested for various reasons such as domestic violence. Abetting suicide, fraud etc.. As I said earlier Kejriwal has the habit of blaming Narendra Modi for anything and everything. Be it death due to too much heat, too much cold, cyclone or floods somewhere. . If you take percentage of MLAs arrested to total MLAs it nearly 50% of MLAs are arrested. That is reason I said Kejriwal may have to think of shifting Assembly Sessions to jail premises.                                                                                             -Raghuchandra Kotian, Via FB


FOCUS

RIO, DHYAN CHAND & TENDULKAR:

A MISSING SENSE OF PROPORTION

As the grand opening and equally grand closing of the 31st Olympiad at Rio de Jeneiro would go into the pages of history, stark realisation would have dawned on the dreamers of India becoming a Super Power. The truth is India cannot be a super power before for a very long time to come.
As a nation, we are a society of contrasts. Either we over do or we never do. A country of some 1.27 billion, had sent some 117 participants, highest ever, in different track events and games. The contingent of 117 came back with 2 medals, a silver and a bronze. Thank God, we did not come back empty handed. The fear that we might just return with nothing was hanging like a sword of Damocles. All those who were thought to be medal prospects fell by the way side. Both medal winners were there to win the medal. In fact the whole contingent of 117 were supposed to be medal prospects.  Or else they will not be at the Olympics. But then, there were very bright prospects and not so bright ones. In the event, it was the not so brights who brought all the glitter for the country.
P.V. Sindhu, the toast of the nation, who remained in the shadow of her more high profile senior Saina Nehwal hogged all the lime light, with  both Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, claiming her to be theirs. There was a competition as usual to over do. Andhra gave her a cash reward of Rs: 3 crores. Not to be left behind, Telengana gave her Rs: 5 crores, half a dozen states followed with their awards, including BMW cars. And Tendulkar was handy to hand it over. Other medalist Sakshi Malik too got cash awards, but not to match that of Sindhu. Sindhu was suddenly floating in crores, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratan (RGKR) came calling. This year the government gave RGKR to four of them, highest for any year. However Pullela Gopichand, whose Badminton Academy played the stellar role in making Sindhu a winner on a big stage, was not adequately honoured. Gopi was involved with even Saina, until she herself left him. Yes, we overdo some time but do nothing many a time.
Paralympics that followed the formal closure of Olympiad 31, had only 19 participants from India, but they returned with 4 medals and 2 of them Gold. But no crores, no sponsors, no Sachin Tendulkar, no Khel Ratnas and not even mobbing media and of course no BMWs. Why? Not even Maruthi! Government of Narendra Modi, and other state governments too went euphoric with both PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik. But nobody, no sound bytes from the corridors of power, for the Paralympics heroes.
Coming to the 117 athletes and players, some of them reportedly figured as low as 15th or lower in the ultimate outcomes. So how did they manage to reach Rio, when their chances could have been so low? Shouldn’t their coaches be sacked, or what did the Indian Olympic Association do? They did not do their homework? Or is it as usual, friends, relations and cronies?!
We have heard of officials travelling business class and staying 5 star, while athletes and players travel economy and made to stay in dormitories. We have heard of Minister Vijay Goel wanting to be in the limelight and was more interested in taking selfies.  We heard of task forces being formed to monitor performances, but what about sporting bodies being in the vice-like grips of deep rooted vested interests. There are VK Goels and RK Khannas, who are in their 80s and still does not want to give up control of sports bodies under them. There are many others who only promoted nepotism and indulged in favouritism. 
It is true that as a nation we lack playgrounds, our sports infrastructure is crumbling or non-existent and of course lack of appropriate funding are some of the problems of development of sports as a national activity. But we also do not have a sports policy. A recent shocking report in the print media informed about a provision of 30 paise per child in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) sports budget provision. It is incredible, but true. Wasn’t it the same U.P, which celebrated the birthday of Mulayam Singh, the ruling Samajawadi Party Supremo in his village, and paid Rs. 5 crore to cinema actor Salman Khan for giving a dance number with Alia Bhat joining in? This is the kind of priorities, India suffer from.  
It is also true that as a society, we do not give enough importance to sports as a stepping stone in character building. Of course, the general level of health also reflects on the performance of athletes and players in Olympic events, where stamina, physical endurance, general level of strength has a prominent part, in making a person a winning candidate.
However, when all is said and done, there is some serious lacunae when it comes to recognition of talents in public space. As is our wont, of being in excess on some occasion, but very low on many occasion, has been our usual practice.
We have this glaring example of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar being given the highest civilian award of Bharath Ratna. This is a case of extreme going overboard, to please a section political class from Maharashtra. Politicians being politicians, most of the times they think of only vote bank, when they do not think of their friends, relatives & cronies. How an act of commission or an act of omission, is going to influence the psyche of people?, who when the day of voting comes, this act of commission or omission, can influence their decision to vote for a particular party, is their eternal calculation.
It was Sharad Pawar, the NCP Supremo, who recommended Sachin Tendulkar. Sharad Pawar, inspite of not being a cricketer himself had become, the President of BCCI, Chairman of ICC and then the boss of Maharashtra Cricket Association. He was in political partnership with Congress Party at the centre. In 2013, when Tendulkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna, Congress was the head of ruling UPA II. They too thought this act of bestowing to the cricketer, the nation’s highest award, will yield political dividend to Congress also. Both Sharad Pawar and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, did not think, that they were insulting Bharat Ratna, by awarding it to a mere cricketer. They did not stop at Bharat Ratna, they even nominated Tendulkar as the Rajya Sabha member. That was indeed a big joke. A mere 10th standard, probably incomplete, how was he expected to ask questions of national relevance in either politics or in economics! It clearly was beyond his comprehension. But it was the politics, a case of overdoing to the extreme.
In the past no-sportsperson was ever given, this Bharat Ratna, but there was a proposal for couple of years, before Tendulkar was proposed. In fact, the same year Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand too was being considered for conferring the highest civilian award. But Sharad Pawar, in a moment of sheer opportunism recommended Tendulkar, and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. An RTI filed with CIC claimed that the Prime Minister’s office in 2013 had ignored the sports ministry recommendation to give the award to Dhyan Chand.
However if sports person was to be given this highest civilian national award, then Dhyan Chand deserved it hands down. Between 1928 and 1956, India had won 6 Olympic gold medals, and Dhayan Chand was part of most of them. However, it was in 1936 that he wrote the history of Indian Hockey in golden letters. 
His wizardy was on full display in Berlin Olympics of 1936. Reportedly some 40000 crowd had gathered to witness the spectacle of final hockey showdown between India & Germany. In the audience were, Adolf Hitler, besides top Nazi officials, so also Maharaja of Baroda, who travelled to Berlin along with many prominent Indians and Britishers of the time. 1936, was 11 years before India formally got independence. Indians had gone to the Olympics as a British Colony, yet reportedly our players sang Vande Mataram before the game began instead of British National Anthem, so also in the locker room they had managed to unfurl the Indian tricolor. Reverently, the team saluted the flag, prayed and marched onto the field.
Being in different groups, India had won all matches, similarly Germany too had won all matches. Thus, both India and Germany were to play the final. Like a paper puts it “The hockey world was about to see Dhyan Chand in one of his most memorable mesmerising display of stick work”. The India/Germany final had the vast crowd at the edge of their seats. It was a very fast paced game. Germany managed to stop India from scoring by making it difficult for Indian forwards to take control of the ball.
India somehow, managed to score a single goal before half time, through Roop Singh, the brother of Dhyan Chand. But recognizing, the frailty of 1 goal lead, Dhyan Chand cautioned Indian team not to be complacent. Thus, as soon as 2nd half started, there was a newer rhythm in the Indians’ ball movement and control, hence, in minutes, Dhyan Chand scored 2nd goal of the match for India. However, in the next 5 to 10 minutes, Indians led by Captain Dhyan Chand scored 4 goals one after another. Whole stadium was aghast at the masterly display by India and their points man Dhyan Chand. When match ended with India wining 8-1, Dhyan Chand had scored 6 of them despite injury to his dentures, where he broke a teeth.
If the Olympic hockey final in Berlin, was the high water mark for the hockey wizard, it is pertinent to know his rise as the undisputed hero of the game of hockey.
Dhyan Chand was born on 29th Aug 1905. Incidentally, this day is observed as National Sports Day, and all awards like Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratans, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards are given on this day by the President of India at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. Having born to a British Indian Army man, Sameshwar Singh, young Dhyan Chand had travelled extensively during his school going days to different parts of India because of his father’s transfers. Thus, his school education did not continue properly. At the age of 16, he joined the British Indian army. Although, hockey was never his passion before joining the army, he took keen interest in the game of stick once he joined the army. With British Army discipline, he consciously practiced after his duty hours in the army. There were no sports clubs or sports camps or sports facilities. He had to practice his love for hockey only on moon lit nights, but he would do it, every time the moon was there. Hence the word Chand became a part of his name Dhyan. From Dhyan Singh he became Dhyan Chand. None at that time, ever had any inkling that this boy from Allahabad, would make history as probably the greatest hockey player of all time. During his active hockey playing life of some 26 years, from 1922 to 1948, he had reportedly scored more than 400 goals during his international career. He was known for his clever stick work. It was rumoured that Dhyan Chand used to practice ball control by sprinting along the length of railway tracks while balancing the ball on the track rail. Before participating in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, the Indian hockey team with Dhyan Chand had travelled to Great Britain to take part in the London Folkestone Festival in 1927. Indian team played 11 matches against local teams and won them all. Even the national team of Great Britain had lost to the Indian team. The humiliation was too much, and Great Britain decided not to send their team to Amsterdam Hockey Olympics. On May 17, 1928, Indian National Hockey team made its Olympics debut against Austria, winning 6-0, with Dhyan Chand scoring 3 goals. Since then, till 1956, they strode like colossus. They defeated the home team of the Netherlands in final by 3-0, with Dhyan Chand scoring 2 of them. This was the 1st of the 6 straight Olympic gold for India. Local papers had described “This is not a game of hockey, but magic. Dhyan Chand is the magician of hockey”. Seeing the ball glued to his stick in Netherlands, authorities even broke his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside. The Los Angeles Olympic of 1932, the Indian team played its final against the host USA, and USA lost against India by 24-1. It remained a world record for over 70 years. And Dhyan Chand had scored the highest with 8 goals. Describing the Indian team as a ‘typhoon out of the east” the Los Angles news paper had remarked “They trampled under their feet and all but shoved out of the Olympic stadium, the eleven players representing the United States”. On its way back, Indian Hockey Team, to pay for their expenses, arrived in England to play some internationals against Netherland, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia so also Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Of the 37 games played India won 34, drew 2 and one abandoned. Dhyan Chand scored 133 of India’s 338 goals.
Before the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Indian Hockey Federation sent a team to New Zealand under Dhyan Chand’s captainship. They played some 48 matches with 28 in New Zealand & the remaining in Australia & Ceylon. Total score by India in this tour was 584 goals with 201 by Dhyan Chand in 43 games, and India winning all 48 games. Legend has it that while in Adelaide, Australia, Dhyan Chand came once face to face with cricket’s greatest, Don Bradman. On seeing Dhyan Chand in action Don had remarked, “He scores goals like runs in cricket”. Such was his wizardy. However, his exploits in Berlin drew deep appreciation of Germans. Post German press accolades there were posters all over Berlin! “VISIT THE HOCKEY STADIUM TO WATCH THE INDIAN MAGICIAN DHYAN CHAND IN ACTION”. Reportedly Hitler offered a senior army position of Colonel to Dhyan Chand, which he smilingly declined to accept.
But India did not give him his due. Some weeks ago, on Dhyan Chand’s birthday, some hockey greats of yesteryears demonstrated at Jantar Mantar demanding Bharat Ratna to Dhyan Chand. And cricketer like Tendulkar, who only retired from first class cricket after being forced to quit, had all good things going for him, money, fame, power, and was given even Bharat Ratna. And Dhyan Chand died unsung, of liver cancer, in penury, in the general ward of AIIMS. DOESN’T INDIA AS A NATION SUFFER FROM A SERIOUS SENSE OF PROPORTION?!
                    
J. Shriyan

FEATURE

Cancer and its secrets

Prof. B. M. Hegde,
hegdebm@gmail.com

Cancer research is all fraud and so are cancer charities.” 
Linus Pauling. Two Nobel Prizes.

Cancer is not a disease. It is the body’s adaptation response to a hostile environment. When the environment becomes hostile the cells cannot survive. To avoid death those cells mutate. Those mutated cells become cancer in our definition which is more for monetary benefits to the industry than for the benefit of the poor patient. “I do not know what cancer is. Cancer cells work exactly like normal cells although they might look different under the microscope. No one can kill cancer cells without killing normal cells,” wrote Albert Szent Gyorgi, a Nobel Laureate biologist, in his landmark book Introduction to Sub-molecular Biology.

Western medicine is only interested in labelling diseases. They need a diagnosis for their statistical analysis. Many so called cancers which are diagnosed using biopsy and labelled thus are not cancers at all! Ductal carcinoma in situ in the breast is not a cancer at all and should not have that label of carcinoma attached to it. Left alone the lady will live a normal life. Treated with our three pronged strategy they will perish, at best, within the next five years, which is called cancer cure!Asymptomatic prostate cancers, many thyroid cancers in young girls, and many others do not qualify to be labelled as cancers in the true sense of the word. Diagnosis itself has become a disease now.

Professor Mary Tinnetti of Yale University has written in her thought provoking article, End of the Disease Era, thus: “The time has come to abandon disease as the focus of medical care. The changed spectrum of health, the complex interplay of biological and non-biological factors, the aging population, and the inter-individual variability in health priorities render medical care that is centered on the diagnosis and treatment of individual diseases at best out of date and at worst harmful. A primary focus on disease may inadvertently lead to under-treatment, overtreatment, or mistreatment.”(Tinneti ME, Fried T. Am J Med 2004; 116:179) This is very glaring in the cancer treatment where overtreatment rules the roost. My personal observational research over the last five decades has convinced me that the treatment of cancer in western medicine has not saved any lives! Of course, I have not kept any records to show to others but that is what I have learnt for my own wisdom. Neither am I a cancerologist. The latter might label me a quack!

In view of what I wrote above that cancer cells are mutated body cells which did mutate to survive in the hostile atmosphere in the first place, it is logical that we better change the environment for the cancer cells to survive. Extended to healthy human beings it means that one could avoid hostile atmosphere inside the body for cells to feel suffocated.

Oxygen:
Cells feel better in oxygen rich environment. Praanaayaama of the right variety which makes the body get better oxygenation is the ideal thing to follow on a daily basis for healthy people and on extended time periods once or twice daily for patients with cancer. There are charlatans teaching yoga for money, most of whom do not know what real praanaayaama is. It is better to learn from genuine people if you are ignorant. After practice for a long time, normal breathing also takes on the abdominal character and becomes your second nature (Belly-button breathing).

Food:
If the body is slightly alkaline as it usually is with a pH of 7.4 or so it is good for cell survival. Acid environment is fatal for the cells. Naturally vegetarian diet is the ideal to keep it that way. Less cooking adds to the advantage. Juicing has become fashionable in the west. Vegetable juices are very good food at all times. Fruits also are good. Millets seem to help a lot instead of the usual cereal diet. Sugar is poison; avoid it like a poisonous snake. Meat, especially cooked meat, produces an acid environment inside for the cells to get suffocated tolive forcing them to mutate for survival. Dairy is also not a good thing. Fresh salads of mixed vegetables could replace much of our usual cooked meal. Overeating and obesity feed the cancer cells well. Many cancer patients on conventional treatment die because of cancer cachexia as they develop anorexia. Good food is vital to avoid cachexia.

Mind:
Human body is just the human mind itself. In fact, human body is an illusion of the human mind. So it is not what you eat that kills you but, it is what eats you (your negative thoughts) that kill you. Please avoid hatred, anger, jealousy, greed and frustration like poison. Universal compassion, an inbuilt safety valve for man, is good food for cancer. Here we come closer to our ancient wisdom of “paropakaaraartham idam shareeram.” You are born here for the benefit of society. That gives meaning to life. Finding a meaning to life is said to be the best insurance against many ills according to Dr. Victor Frenkle in his book: In search of meaning.

Work and Sleep:
Work, they say, is worship. Work rejuvenates the body cells and also makes one forget the fear of disease which it the killer many a time. As long as one can, one has to work to keep oneself busy even with cancer. Never get to bed as it is very difficult to get out of it.
Sufficient sleep, for patients up to seven-eight hours, will be good for cells to recover. Natural sleep is better than drug induced one.

Spirituality:
In my concept spirituality is simply sharing and caring. However, it has been shown in cancer and many other disease managements that to have faith in something superhuman that runs the destiny of this world would be better for recovery and to avoid precocious death. Materialism has an end when the going gets tough. Frustration sets in followed by depression. The latter is a good tonic for cancer. To believe in something that runs this world would make one humble. Humility gives a boost to our immune system. Prayers, even intercessory prayer, have been shown to be good for quick recovery. Of course, there are the sceptics who pooh-pooh these ideas. Scepticology is a very good tool in the hands of the drug dealers who want to sell drugs for every disease although very sophisticated studies have shown that all reductionist drugs are being destroyed in the human body as they are not recognised as self. The good effects are due ONLY to the placebo effect. (Bingel et. al. The Placebo Effect Sc. Translational Med. 2011; 3: 70)

In conclusion, cancer is not a disease and does not deserve the fearful status that it has been given by the lay public. When fear goes cancer also tries to go away! Common sense measures listed above would go a long way to mitigate suffering. No one deserves to suffer from cancer. Make friends with cancer and life becomes better. Do not hate cancer; love it instead.

TRAGEDY CALLED INDIA

Dead Child denied Ambulance

Uttar Pradesh: In yet another heart-rending incident, a woman ran from one hospital to another with her daughter's body and was forced to spend a night outside the emergency wing of the district hospital with the dead child after ambulance drivers allegedly refused to take them to their village as it was in another district.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Gulnad, a resident of Baghpat district, was suffering from a viral infection and undergoing treatment at P L Sharma government hospital but, her condition deteriorated and doctors referred her to Lala Lajpat Rai Medical College (LLRMC) Hospital.
Her mother Imrana took her to the LLRMC hospital where doctors declared her brought dead. Imrana charged that she pleaded with the hospital ambulance driver for two hours to take the body to her village Gauripur but he refused, saying he is not allowed to travel to other districts.

Child falls unconscious as Cop drags

Madhya Pradesh: A GRP constable was caught on camera dragging a minor, suspected to be a pickpocket, by a towel tied around his neck at Gwalior Railway station, promoting authorities to take the cop off field duty and launch a probe. The incident occurred at platform number 1 and a purported video of the act has gone viral after which Government Railway Police (GRP) took head-constable Hari Narayan Singh (50) off field duty. A passenger had lodged a complaint with the GRP that his pocket was picked. Singh suspected that the boy was the culprit and caught hold of him. In the video, Singh is purportedly seen dragging through the minor through the platform who appears to have fallen unconscious.

Boy dies on father’s shoulder for want of medical help

Kanpur: Deteriorating health facilities at hospitals in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh have been magnified by the death of a 12-year-old boy on his father’s shoulder because he was denied timely access to medical facilities at different hospitals.
The incident took place on August 26 when Ansh, a resident of Kanpur’s Fazalganj area, was admitted to a medical facility with high fever.
After being treated in private hospitals for two days, his father finally took him to the Hallet Hospital.
Doctors at the hospital told the father to take Ansh to the children’s ward, but by the time Ansh’s father, Sunil, carried Ansh to the children’s ward, the 12-year-old boy died.
“My son had high fever. He was studying in class sixth. He was very good at his studies. Doctors at the children’s ward told me had I arrived 10 minutes before, my son would have been saved,” the father said carrying his dead son on his shoulder.
“It is negligence on the part of the Hallet Hospital. They did not provide treatment to my son. They didn’t even provide me a stretcher. I was running from here to there carrying my son on my shoulder,” a teary Sunil said.


HEALTH

Newer ways to treat common ailments

Agra: A retired colonel of the Indian army, who served as a medical expert in the Kargil area, has innovated new techniques for treating 25 odd common chronic human ailments. A book brought out by Berlin’s Lap Lambert Academic Publications lists the areas that he has successfully worked in with these unique techniques which need to be further refined and perfected for wider use and acceptance.
Colonel Rajesh Chauhan, an alumni of the AFMC, is currently an honorary national professor. He served the Indian army and also worked in Botswana. Chauhan said: “We feel that the world continues to be guided by age-old beliefs and theories and it is high time we began thinking afresh, looked at different realities with different perceptions.
Having worked in very hostile terrain and in extremely difficult conditions without the benefits of modern science it was possible to apply mind on new possibilities and utilise whatever resources were at our command. This proved a trigger for innovative techniques to address a whole lot of human ailments and come out with promising results.”
He said specifically new thinking and new approaches to treatment of medical conditions like migraine, primary hypertension, sleep apnoea, non insulin dependent diabetes, benign prostatic hyperplasia, presbycusis, lumbar canal stenosis, frozen shoulder, arthritis of knees, stroke, coronary blockage, haemorrhoids, external abdominal hernias, etc., have proved rewarding and people have already benefited from the techniques.Chauhan said the problem was that we had stopped looking for alternative possibilities to mainstream treatment. “Possibly, by being convinced and satisfied, we have never tried to look beyond what has already been established or accepted by the world. “Through my book I have tried to provide new perspectives on 25 common medical conditions with the intent that it may and should initiate a fresh look, discussions, debate and research around the world,” he said.
Chauhan claimed that a large number of patients with these chronic problems had been successfully treated by him using his own innovative techniques. “By going to the root of the problem and attacking it using a different line of treatment, varying the doses, trying new interventions and above all using the common sense approach to health, in tune with the nature’s unique designs, patients have been relieved of their persisting problems relating to deafness, heart, diabetes, DNS, arthritis, blood pressure,” Chauhan said, adding that he has an open mind and individualises treatment to suit a specific need.

TURMERIC: takes on colon cancer!

A compound found in turmeric, a spice widely used in curries, could play a very important role in preventing and treating colon cancer, which frequently is caused by lifestyle factors, such as diet, say researchers including one of Indian-origin. The researchers found that combination of two plant compounds that have medicinal properties - curcumin and silymarin - holds promise in treating colon cancer. Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric and silymarin is a component of milk thistle, which has been used to treat liver disease.
"Phytochemicals may offer alternate therapeutic approaches to cancer treatments and avoid toxicity problems and side effects that chemotherapy can cause," said corresponding author Uthayashanker Ezekiel, Associate Professor at Saint Louis University in Missouri, US.
The findings were published in the Journal of Cancer. The researchers studied a line of colon cancer cells in a laboratory model. They found treating the cells initially with curcumin, then with silymarin was more effective in fighting cancer than treating the cells with either phytochemical alone.
"The combination of phytochemicals inhibited colon cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. In addition, when the colon cancer cells were pre-exposed to curcumin and then treated with silymarin, the cells underwent a high amount of cell death," Ezekiel said.Ezekiel, an alumnus of Madurai Kamaraj University in Tamil Nadu, sees promise in using the phytochemicals to help prevent colon cancer, but noted the research is a preliminary cell study, with more research ahead before scientists know if the compounds are an effective treatment for people who have colon cancer. Scientists next would need to study how the curcumin and silymarin impact the actions of molecules, such as genetic transcription and expression, that cause cells to change, Ezekiel said. Then the compounds would be studied in an animal model, then in humans."Concentrations of curcumin and silymarin that are too high could be harmful to people," he said. "We still have much to learn, and for now, it's so much safer to add a little spice to your diet and get your curcumin from foods that contain turmeric, such as curry, rather than taking high doses of the compound," Ezekiel pointed out.

SERIAL : 1

THE PERSISTENCE OF CASTE

A HISTORICAL OUTLINE

Anand Teltumbde

Turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform, you cannot have economic reform, unless you kill this monster. 
B.R. Ambedkar

India’s caste system has always bewildered the world. Much has been written about it; more still awaits the writing. Many scholars have tried to fathom its origins but have ultimately contributed only further conjecture. Many have tried to define it but have failed to capture its complexity. For most, it was a relic of Indian feudalism which, it was thought, would disappear once capitalism was established. Writing in 1853, the year the railways were introduced in India, Karl Marx prophesied that the new mechanized transportation system would catalyse the collapse of caste. Today, India has the world’s second largest railway network and has created, since independence, a sizeable infrastructure for capitalist industry. But all that could not kill caste, which proved more than capable of adjusting to the new reality. After independence in 1947, rural India was transformed through a modernizing project that included, among other things, land reforms and the capital-intensive technologies of the Green Revolution in agriculture. Capitalist production relations came to the villages and seemed to shake the caste structure to its roots – but caste survived nonetheless.
Since the mid-1980s, a now neoliberal India has taken remarkable strides towards globalizing its economy and, with an impressive recent growth record, has increasingly been projecting itself as an emerging superpower. The world is dazzled by its success. Caste was expected to fall away under pressure of the global order. That has not happened. On the contrary, it appears to have grown far more vicious, if caste atrocities are taken as a proxy measure.
Indeed, caste has showed an amazing resilience. It has survived feudalism, capitalist industrialization, a republican Constitution, and today, despite all denial, is well alive under neoliberal globalization.

Caste and the Indian Diaspora
In the globalized, transnational world of the twenty-first century, the need for an accurate understanding of this vicious institution can never be over-emphasized. A call for international recognition of caste as a racist violation of human rights has been addressed to the world community, not once but twice in the last decade-it went ignored in both the resolution adopted by the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban and in the outcome document of the Review Conference held in 2009. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, declared in 2009 that ‘the time has come to eradicate the shameful concept of caste,’ and that ‘the international community should come together to support these efforts as it did when it helped put an end to apartheid.’
It is such international pressure that led to the introduction of the Equality Bill in the UK parliament in March 2010, a bill that outlaws discrimination based on caste and is likely to become the first piece of legislation in the world to treat caste as an aspect of race. In 2009, the UK’s Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance (ACDA) conducted a study that showed how 58 percent of the 300 people surveyed had been discriminated against because of their caste, while 79 percent said they did not think the police would understand if they tried to report a caste-related ‘hate crime’. However, the Indian government has always managed to successfully oppose the terming of caste-based discrimination as racism-this would perhaps have been different had there been a more widespread comprehension of the issues at stake.
Caste is neither so ‘country-specific’ nor, from a Western perspective, so distant an issue as may be thought. It has been carried far beyond the borders of the subcontinent with the spread of the Indian diaspora.’ Wherever Indians have gone, it has followed them; wherever they have settled, caste has also established itself. Some scholars hold that it is Hinduism – an ‘ethnic religion’, unlike other major faiths – that is a key element in defining the Indian diaspora. Arguably, this ‘key element’ can be discerned as caste, which other scholars unequivocally name as providing a more enduring marker of diaspora identity than religion. The important thing to note is that caste in the diaspora is not confined to intra-community relations alone; it notionally extends in the minds of its practitioners, beyond their boundaries to incorporate the population native to their adoptive place of domestic.
The manifestation of caste within the diaspora depends upon the position occupied by the dispersed groups within the hierarchic cast continuum. Where dispersion happened at its lowest band, as in South Africa, Malaysia and other countries where those of Indian origin are largely descended from colonial indentured labour, caste manifests least as compared to places that received dispersion at higher strata. In South Africa or Malaysia, for example, caste identities are not dominant – among other reasons because their maintenance was of little value to the migrants to these places, drawn as they were from the lower ranks of the caste hierarchy. That, however, did not prevent the small segment of higher caste migrants from keeping their distance from the ‘lowly’ labouring classes, diasporic as well as black. In East and West Africa, Indian trading caste settled in these parts for over a century, have fastidiously preserved their caste existence, even to the extent of recreating the abominable practice of so-called untouchability – in the absence of actual ‘untouchables’ (or ‘dalits’ as they are prevalently called in India), this degraded status has been accorded to the native black population. A similar development is observable in Europe, where, during the post-World War II reconstruction effort, many dalits migrated and settled as workers. In America and Canada, South Asian immigrants from both dalit and nondalit backgrounds mostly arrived in pursuit of higher education and settled later in modern professions; these segments are, by and large, more sophisticated than those in Africa and Europe, yet the problem of caste continues to manifest itself among them, even if in subtler terms.

Caste, Varna and Jati
The word ‘caste’ (from the Latin castus) was loosely applied to the Hindu system of social stratification by the sixteenth-century Portuguese, India’s first modern European colonizers. Since casta in Portuguese means ‘pure’ or ‘chaste’, the word connoted the Portuguese understanding of the phenomenon as being akin to race, species or lineage, as they thought the system was intended to preserve purity of blood. A more particularized view emerged with later European observers who became aware that, while systems of social division have existed throughout history across the world, the form prevalent in India was not to be found anywhere else.
Caste, as such, is a form of social stratification involving a mode of hierarchically arranged, closed endogamous strata, membership to which is ascribed by descent and between which contact is restricted and mobility impossible. The Indian word for caste is jati. When we refer to ‘caste’, we really speak of jati, although many tend to confuse it with varna, which refers to the basic ‘classes’, four in number, established in Hindu scripture. The chaturvarna or four-varna system enshrined a hierarchical segmentation of society into the following primarily professional orders: Brahmins (the priestly castes), kshatriyas (the warrior/fighting castes), vaishyas (the business/trading castes) and, at the lowest rung, shudras (the working classes: artisans, agriculturists, food gatherers, hunters, fisher folk and the like). While there are only four varnas as given in Hinduism, there are thousands of jatis. These may have evolved as subdivisions of particular varnas, but by the present day, they have developed characteristics very distinct from their originals.
Varna represents Hinduism’s hierarchical framework, but it is jati which really dictates the rules and regulations of life for the average Hindu. Each jati has its own special norms dictating permissible food, occupation, marriage, social interaction and so forth, and form each jati/caste come numbers of subcastes, making the whole system highly complicated. While the caste cluster within a varna easily admits the varna hierarchy, the castes within it contend among themselves for superiority, the more vigorously with those in their hierarchical vicinity. Perennial internal tensions paired with the jatis’ acceptance of their inferiority/superiority within the broad varna framework have lent the system its dynamism as well as its longevity.
The beginnings of the caste system are obscure and so is its evolution. There is a broad consensus, however, that it evolved through the varna system and reached its maturity between 600 and 200 Before Common Era. Its laws were codified between 200 BCE and the second century CE in the Manusmriti, or the Laws of Manu, ascribed to the mythological ancient lawgiver, Manu, who is credited with the creation of the Hindu social code. Of the varnas, the Brahmins occupied the highest place, being said to have materialized from the mouth of Brahman, the divine being. The origin of the kshatriyas and vaishyas was ascribed respectively to Brahman’s arms and thighs; shudras, the lowest of the order, were deemed to have sprung from his feet. Testifying to education’s primacy in ancient India (and to the system’s exploitative ingenuity), the three upper varnas were also given the name dwija, the twice-born, denoting the ‘second birth’ they were said to undergo at the upanayana ceremony, performed in childhood and making their transition into the world of formal learning. This initiation, again, was the prerogative of only men. The ceremony and with it education were and are proscribed for shudras. Also debarred were the large numbers of people caste society excluded from its confines: its ‘outcastes’, those today called dalits.
to be contd...

MEDICAL FRONTIERS

Indian teen claims cancer breakthrough

London: A 16-year-old Indian-origin boy from UK's Surrey has claimed to have found a treatment for the most deadly form of breast cancer. Krtin Nithiyanandam thinks he has devised a way to turn the triple negative breast cancer into a kind which responds to drugs.
Around 7,500 women each year are diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a type of disease which does not respond to today's most effective drugs. Many breast cancers are driven by oestrogen, progesterone or growth chemicals, so drugs that can block those fuels, such as tamoxifen, make effective treatments. "Most cancers have receptors on their surface which bind to drugs, but triple negative don't have receptors so the drugs don't work," Krtin said. Thus, it can be only treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy which lowers chances of survival. Researchers have found that some women with triple negative cancer respond very well to treatment while others quickly decline. The problem lies in whether the cancer cells are "differentiated" or not. Differentiated means they look more like healthy cells and tend to grow and multiply quite slowly, and are less aggressive. However, when cancer cells are "undifferentiated" they get stuck in a dangerous primitive form, never turning into recognisable breast tissue, and spreading quickly, leading to high-grade tumours. The teenager, who last year won the Google Science Fair for creating an Alzheimer's test which can spot the disease 10 years before diagnosis, said, "The goal is to turn the cancer back to a state where it can be treated. The ID4 protein stops undifferentiated stem cell cancers from differentiating, so you have to block ID4 to allow the cancer to differentiate."
According to him, the solution lies in upping the activity of tumour suppressor gene called PTEN, which al lows chemotherapy to work more effectively , so the dual treatment could prove far more effective than traditional drugs. Krtin plans to deliver the therapy in a nanoparticle containing RNA -the messenger molecule which carries instructions from the DNA. The RNA nanoparticle would be encoded to silence or boost gene activity. Krtin said the next step in his research, which got shortlisted for the final of the UK based young scientists programme titled "The Big Bang Fair", would be to develop a system that would allow the introduction of PTEN and ID4 inhibitors in vivo.

Man in Coma can be revived

Los Angeles: In a first, US scientists have used low-intensity ultrasound to jump-start the brain of a 25-year-old man recovering from coma. The advance may lead to a portable device that can non invasively "wake up" patients in vegetative state.
It uses sonic stimulation to excite neurons in the thalamus, the brain's central hub. "Until now, the only way to achieve this was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted inside the thalamus," said Martin Monti from University of California, Los Angeles. Researchers used a device about the size of a coffee cup saucer which creates a small sphere of acoustic energy that can be aimed at different regions of the brain to excite its tissue. They placed it by the side of the man's head and activated it 10 times for 30 seconds each in a 10-minute period.



TECHNOLOGY

Clothes can repair itself!

Washington: Coatings made from squid proteins may help clothes that could fix their own rips, a new study by the US Naval Research Laboratory has claimed. The coating may not only lead to self-healing clothes, but also help create garments tailored for protection against chemical and biological warfare and that can repair themselves.
The researchers investigated molecules from the suction cups on squid tentacles for use in self-repairing films.They focused on proteins from razor-sharp, tooth-like structures around the openings of these suction cups that help squids latch onto its prey . Previous research suggested proteins from these “squid ring teeth“ are tough and elastic under both wet and dry conditions. When a fabric covered in this coating is soaked in water, the proteins diffuse towards holes and tears in the coating, linking segments of coating and fabric together to make repairs. “We were surprised at the rapidity of the healing process and the strength of the healed materials,“ said study co-author Walter Dressick.