Friday, March 24, 2006

Sonia's shenanigans and the media laps it up!

Sonia Gandhi has resigned from the membership of the Lok Sabha and also from a couple of chairperson posts. This resignation happened after Jaya Bacchan was disqualified from the rAjya sabha after she was found to be in "an office of profit" - whatever that means.

Now Jaya Bacchan was an MP of the Samajwadi party. Some major fight between the Bacchan family and the Gandhis might have resulted in this reaction. Jaya was not even allowed to resign. She was disqualified by the president and humiliated. The BJP and other opposition parties rightly opposed this and signaled double standards when they showed that Sonia Gandhi too was in the same boat as Jaya and she was still a member.

If you ask me, the BJP campaign has borne its results. It has made Sonia resign. It is good that Sonia resigned because she would have had to face the embarrasment of getting disqualified. Sorry, the preceding sentence does not reflect reality. Sonia and her troop of sycophants had almost enacted an ordinance to basically ensure that the no-office-of-profit-when-you're-MP-rule did not affect Sonia. The press saying that this act of Sonia takes the wind out of BJP's sails is incorrect. The BJP ship has reached its destination on this one at least.

Now Sonia, I must say, is really smart. She used this opportunity once again to show what a great tyAginI she is. And the Congress and its cronies are now blowing their trumpets on how Sonia is the right successor to the legacy of Gandhi and Buddha! I am ashamed to see the English media (TV mainly) is shamelessly lapping this up while ignoring the obvious.

If somebody doesn't pay his taxes and gets rapped by the tax guys, one doesn't call him a great man when he actually coughs up the money to IT. This is exactly what has happened.

Now we see that there is already a rule in existence and that has been used unjustly to oust an opponent. But unfortunately that rules applies to you too. And so, you better resign! That doesn't make you great. It makes you a person who has been driven to that action by the law. Using this for political mileage is indeed a shameless act on the part of the Congress.

At least the New Indian Express and Vijaya Karnataka had their headlines showing the same sentiment as me. They said that Sonia had fallen into her own trap! That is a good headline for me. At least some one is speaking the truth!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Does no one remember the Hindu contribution to Mathematics?

Does no one remember the Hindu contribution to Mathematics?

A well written article on things that should be obvious - but what can you do when a thousand idiots shout in your face that Hindus contributed nothing to science and technology?

To the question in the article, which is also its title, I say I remember and that too with not too much pride. Not too much pride because I know (as a Hindu) that Hindus were and are capable of this and much more. But only pride in things that happened thousands of years ago is not sufficient. Any group of people should have roots and wings (as a kindergarten school I saw recently aptly named) - roots to understand where they have come from and to establish their identity and wings to fly into the sky of unlimited opportunity that the future provides.

Or, as DVG so wonderfully says -
hosa chiguru haLe bEru kUDiralu mara sobagu |
hosayukti haLetattvadoDagUDe dharma ||
RushivAkyadoDane vijnAna mELavise |
jasavu janajIvanake - mankutimma ||

Just as a tree appears beautiful with new foliage and old roots, dharma (it is not possible to translate this word properly) too shines when it is endowed with eternal principles and new applications. Mankind benefits immensely when the wisdom of the sages combines with the innovations of science and technology.

The above is my pathetic attempt to convey the gist of the poem - but it is a quartet full of meaning and very relevant to the present for any group of people - be it Hindu, Muslim or Christian. This is what I want to see in any group, especially the Hindus, being one myself.

Articles such as the one linked are important as they serve to remind often that there were contributions from Hindus to mathematics. But just reminding ourselves of the things that were done by people in the past leads to a short-lived warm and fuzzy romantic feeling and not much else. We have to live in the present. The past is meant to assure us and to caution us - but that should be the only use of the past, though this is easier said than done.

Friday, March 17, 2006


ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಬದುಕಿರುವವರ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ದಿನವನ್ನು ವರ್ಧಂತಿ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ - ಶೃಂಗೇರಿಯ ಸ್ವಾಮಿಗಳ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ದಿನವನ್ನು ವರ್ಧಂತಿಯೆಂದಾಚರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಬದುಕಿರದವರಿಗೆ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ದಿನವನ್ನು ಜಯಂತಿ ಎಂದು ಆಚರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣಜಯಂತಿ, ಶಿವಾಜಿ ಜಯಂತಿ, ಗಾಂಧಿ ಜಯಂತಿ ಮುಂತಾದವು ನೆನಪಿಗೆ ಬರುತ್ತವೆ. ಇಂದು ಡಿವಿಜಿಯವರ ನೂರಹತ್ತೊಂಭತ್ತನೆಯ ಜಯಂತಿ. ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಅವರ ನೆನಪನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಸಂತೋಷಪಡುವದಕ್ಕೋಸ್ಕರವಾಗಿ ನನ್ನ ಬಹುಕಾಲಾನಂತರದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಬರವಣಿಗೆ.

ಮೊದಲೇ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಸಲ ಹೇಳಿದ ಹಾಗೆ ನನಗೆ ಡಿವಿಜಿಯವರ ಭಾಷೆ, ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು ಜೀವನದ ಬಗೆಗಿನ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಗಳು ಬಹಳ ಪ್ರಿಯವಾದವು. ಅವರು ನಡೆಸಿದ ಹಾಗೆ ಜೀವನವನ್ನು ನಡೆಸಬೇಕು. ಸಕ್ರಿಯರಾಗಿ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಜೀವನದ ನಾನಾ ಭಾಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪಾಲ್ಗೊಂಡವರು. ಆಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮದ ತುದಿಯಿಂದ ರಾಜಕೀಯದ ಕೊನೆಯವರೆವಿಗೂ ವ್ಯಾಪಿಸಿತ್ತು ಇವರ ಜೀವನಪ್ರೀತಿ. ಇವರು ನಿಶ್ಚಯವಾಗಿ ನಿರಾಶಾವಾದಿಗಳಲ್ಲ. ಹಾಗೆಂದು ಮಿತಿಮೀರಿದ ಆಶಾವಾದವು ಇವರದಲ್ಲ. ಬುದ್ಧ ಮತ್ತು ಕೃಷ್ಣರ ಮಧ್ಯಮಮಾರ್ಗದಲ್ಲಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವನವನ್ನು ನಡೆಸಿದ ಧೀರರು ಡಿ.ವಿ.ಜಿ. ಅವರ ಅಂತರ್ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಯಲು ಅವರ ಕಗ್ಗವೇ ಸಾಕು. ಅಷ್ಟೇಕೆ ? ಕಗ್ಗದ ಒಂದು ಪದ್ಯ ಸಾಕು.

ಅವರ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡ ಚಿಕ್ಕದೊಡ್ಡವರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಜ್ಞಾಪಕಚಿತ್ರಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸೊಗಸಾಗಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅದರ ಒಂದೊಂದು ಭಾಗವೂ ಬಹಳ ಸಲ ಓದಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದಾದದ್ದು. ಲಲಿತವಾಗಿ ಆತ್ಮೀಯವಾಗಿರುವ ಶೈಲಿ. ರೋಚಕವಾದ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳು. ಇವೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಸೇರಿದರೆ ಹೇಗಿರಬಹುದು ಎಂದು ಊಹಿಸಿ. ಇದಕ್ಕೂ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿರುವುದು ಜ್ಞಾಪಕಚಿತ್ರಶಾಲೆ. ತಮ್ಮ ಊರಾದ ಮುಳಬಾಗಿಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡ ಆಂಧ್ರ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣರ ಸಂಗತಿಯಿರಬಹುದು. ಸಜ್ಜನರಾಯರ ಸಜ್ಜನಿಕೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇರಬಹುದು. ವಿಶ್ವೇಶ್ವರಯ್ಯನವರ ನಿಃಸ್ಪೃಹತೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇರಬಹುದು. ಗೋಪೀನಾಥ ಗುರುವಿನ ಮೇಲೆ ಯಾರೋ ಕಟ್ಟಿದಂಥ ಕುಚೋದ್ಯದ ಪದ್ಯವಿರಬಹುದು. ಗುಂಡಪ್ಪನವರ ದೃಷ್ಟಿ ಎಲ್ಲೆಲ್ಲೂ ಹರಡಿದ್ದಿತು. ಆ ಕಾಲದ ಆ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಜನಜೀವನದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನೈಜವಾಗಿ ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿ ಮೂಡಿಬಂದಂಥ ಪುಸ್ತಕಶ್ರೇಣಿಯೆಂದರೆ ಇದೇ! ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ವಿಮರ್ಶಕರೆಂದು ಖ್ಯಾತರಾದ ಎಚ್. ಎಸ್. ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರರಾಯರು ತಾವು ಸ್ವತಃ ನಾಸ್ತಿಕರಾಗಿದ್ದರೂ ಈ ಜ್ಞಾಪಕಚಿತ್ರಶಾಲೆಯನ್ನು ಬಹಳ ಮೆಚ್ಚಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅವರ ಮೆಚ್ಚಿಗೆ ಹಾಗಿರಲಿ - ನನಗಂತೂ ಜ್ಞಾಪಕಚಿತ್ರಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ ಒಬ್ಬೊಬ್ಬರ ವಿಷಯವನ್ನು ಎಷ್ಟು ಸಲ ಓದಿದರೂ ತೃಪ್ತಿ ಬರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ.

ಡಿ.ವಿ.ಜಿಯವರ ಸಮಗ್ರ ಕೃತಿ ಶ್ರೇಣಿಯನ್ನು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಕಡಿಮೆಬೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ - ಆದರೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೊರತಂದಿದೆ - ಅದೂ ಎರಡನೆಯ ಸಲ. ನಾನು ಎಲ್ಲ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ - ಒಂದೊಂದಾಗಿ ಓದುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಅವುಗಳ ಸವಿಯೇ ಸವಿ. ಇಷ್ಟವಿದ್ದವರು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ರವೀಂದ್ರ ಕಲಾಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದ ಕಟ್ಟಡದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮತ್ತು ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ ಇಲಾಖೆಯವರನ್ನು ವಿಚಾರಿಸಿ. ಹನ್ನೊಂದು-ಹನ್ನೆರಡು ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳ ಶ್ರೇಣಿ.

ಡಿವಿಜಿಯವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವನಧರ್ಮಯೋಗದ ಆರಂಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿರುವ ಅವರೇ ರಚಿಸಿದ ಉತ್ತಮವಾದ ಶ್ಲೋಕದೊಂದಿಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಕಿರು ನಮನ ಕೊನೆಗೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತದೆ.

ಜಗದ್ರಣಾಂಗಣೇ ಯಸ್ಯ ಸ್ಮರಣಂ ಜಯಕಾರಣಮ್ |
ಪಾರ್ಥಸಾರಥಯೇ ತಸ್ಮೈ ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣಬ್ರಹ್ಮಣೇ ನಮಃ ||

ಜಗತ್ತೆಂಬ ರಣಾಂಗಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾರ ಸ್ಮರಣೆಯು ಜಯಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾರಣವೋ, ಅಂಥ ಅರ್ಜುನಸಾರಥಿಯಾದ ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣನೆಂಬ ಪರಬ್ರಹ್ಮಸ್ವರೂಪನಿಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ನಮಸ್ಕಾರಗಳು.
|| ಇತಿ ಶಮ್ ||

Monday, March 13, 2006

The greatest one-day match!

We were out most of yesterday and returned at around 8 PM. I happened to switch to ESPN to see what was happening. I saw South Africa at a handsome run rate (9+ runs/over) but the asking rate (8+ runs/over) seemed to be high too. I added up the score and the required runs and I was flabbergasted at the target. 435 runs?? How badly did the Springboks bowl?!!

Then I began to notice fours and sixes quite regularly. The man responsible was Herschelle Gibbs. He was over a hundred runs old then and was going quite strong. I was rooting for South Africa as Australia have been winning almost every game and I am really tired of seeing the same yellow shirts win each time. When Gibbs and Kallis got out, I thought - 434 is obviously a very difficult score to get but one had to give it to the South Africans for soldiering on fearlessly.

Then the gap began to narrow till Brett Lee's last over when only 7 runs were needed. When Boucher hit the final boundary, I leapt in joy and everybody at home shared my feeling. What a win for South Africa!

Australia's invincibility should end and it probably has. We need games to be more unpredictable for the good of cricket. Now, India, under Dravid, has vastly improved its game and so have England, Pakistan and South Africa. The cricket world as we see has become flatter now - no higher teams and no lower teams - but a bunch of teams with around the same level of ability. That should make the 2007 world cup very interesting!

Once again, congratulations South Africa!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

'Varanasi attack linked to anti-Bush protests'

'Varanasi attack linked to anti-Bush protests'

I did not expect LK Advani to make such a statement in the wildest of dreams. If someone wanted to protest Bush's visit, they should have done so when Bush was in India. Bombing a totally unrelated place for something else is total equine excrement. Reading his statement in detail, it seems as if Advani basically wants us to know that the elements behind the anti-Bush protests were the same as those that set off explosions in the Hanuman temple. Though I kind of agree with that statement, he should have worded it more carefully.

For me, this bombing is a clear act of terrorism. Such attacks will continue till the government actually tries to do something about it. On December 13 2001, the Parliament was attacked and yet India did nothing. Akshardham, the Delhi blasts and the Bangalore attacks happened - but still nothing. The Varanasi attack is just another in the sequence. Won't this encourage the terrorists to do more? I think we have a good executive and a good judiciary - but the legislative arm of the country has been rendered ineffective because it's been infected to the bone by self-serving politicians.

Outlook's web Bureau goes as far as insinuating that some extremist Hindus (read Sangh parivar) caused the explosions in vArANasI, so that it could create an excuse for them to indulge in violence against 'minorities'. That is a dangerous and irresponsible opinion. For all its evils, I don't believe that the Sangh organizations can indulge in such shameful violence, though they might resort to retaliatory violence. Outlook again accused Advani of using this tragic incident to extract political mileage, while a Muslim leader has been praised for his call for peace and restraint. I knew that Outlook was left-leaning - but I did not know that it could go to such lows.

Basically what is happening now is that the news channels are having a field day - they don't have to look for an item to report! This incident has happened. So expect them to show pictures of the injured and interviews with the relatives of the deceased ad nauseam for another week. Such insensitive and TRP-mongering news reporting brings out the worst cynic in me.

vArANasI is the cultural and spiritual capital of India. By attacking the temple of Hanuman - who is considered as an icon of strength and bravery - and that too in vArANasI, I can understand what message the terrorists are trying to convey. They are saying - "look, we bombed the temple of the God you worship as the embodiment of physical and mental strength, that too in your most holy city and nothing seems to be happening" to demoralise Hindus. I think it is time for Lord Hanuman to take the matter into His own hands now. If not, is it in our fate to witness even worse incidents before it is time?