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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards

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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards
<b>Lord Krishna is still all-time favourite on TV, movies</b>
By Radhika Bhirani
radhika.b@ians.in

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entert..._100202978.html
June 10th, 2009-

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Lord Krishna is one of the most popular Hindu gods who is portrayed in multiple images as the naughty child, divine lover and eternal philosopher. And television producers and filmmakers are cashing in on his aura to woo audiences.

While TV shows like “Jai Shri Krishna” on Colors and Nick’s latest animated show “Little Krishna” have been entertaining viewers, the big screen has also been abuzz with animated movies like “Bal Krishna” and “Krishna: Aayo Natkhat Nandlal” in recent times.

Prem Sagar of Sagar Arts, which has been popular for producing mythological shows like “Ramayan” and “Shri Krishna”, says it is the “universality” and “completeness” of Krishna’s character that makes for interesting storytelling.

“It is not like only Krishna is the most popular mythological character being shown on TV. There are shows on other gods like Shani, Sai Baba and Maa Durga as well. But what makes Krishna stand out is the fact that he is complete in all aspects,” Sagar told IANS over telephone from Mumbai.

“He has so many different shades to his character - romance, bravery, diplomacy, he was cunning, but positively…He is an epitome of completeness,” he added.

Krishna is equally loved by devotees for his mischievous escapades like stealing butter and curds as a child, his romantic interludes with Radha and his sacred message of the “Gita” to Arjuna on the battlefield.

Such a diverse nature in one person is what interests viewers about Krishna, says Nina Elavia Jaipuria, senior vice president and general manager of Nick India.

“Krishna is a prankster, a superhero, a lover, a musician - all captured into one and has immense universal appeal,” Jaipuria told IANS.

Lord Krishna was introduced on TV in 1987 with B.R. Chopra’s mega <b>mythological</b> <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> show “Mahabharata” and seven years later came Ramanand Sagar’s “Shri Krishna” that was completely dedicated to the blue god.

People have since then endeared him as a character despite the flurry of ’saas-bahu sagas and reality shows that have seeped into the Indian television scenario.

Sagar says that people of “every age, sex, society and income group identify with Krishna” and that is what has made him stay an on-screen favourite over the years.

According to Ashish S.K., the brain behind “Little Krishna” on Nick, it is a wise idea to use mythological stories in an engaging and entertaining manner.

“Indian mythology has a lot of stories to offer. Many times people ask us why we make animation movies based on mythology only, but then we ask why not?

“When the animation industry was in its nascent stage abroad, even they made films on their popular folklores like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Snow White’ - but that was because they didn’t have any such mythological stories to tell.

“When we have these stories, why not take them to a wider audience through animation,” said Ashish, who is CEO of BIG Animation, a subsidiary of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG).

Sagar, who has been in the business of producing and conceptualising mythological shows for decades, feels the creation of such programmes helps bring kids and new generations closer to our culture.

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)
  Reply
<!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo--> Rajan Zed, president, USH, believes that "a deeper study of Hinduism would complement her interest in yoga and other things Indian". Of late, Julia is the only Hollywood star to enchant Hindu groups. Some time ago, the Pretty Woman star was applauded for sporting a bindi and showing respect to Hinduism during a trip to the Taj Mahal. Zed had claimed that it (sporting a bindi) was "a mark of respect that has not gone unnoticed". The other reason why Julia is a hit among Hindu groups is because her production company, Red Om Films, has the sacred 'Om' in it.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?opt...d=1&issueid=111
  Reply
<!--QuoteBegin-Capt M Kumar+Jun 25 2009, 06:53 AM-->QUOTE(Capt M Kumar @ Jun 25 2009, 06:53 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo--> Rajan Zed, president, USH, believes that "a deeper study of Hinduism would complement her interest in yoga and other things Indian". Of late, Julia is the only Hollywood star to enchant Hindu groups. Some time ago, the Pretty Woman star was applauded for sporting a bindi and showing respect to Hinduism during a trip to the Taj Mahal. Zed had claimed that it (sporting a bindi) was "a mark of respect that has not gone unnoticed". The other reason why Julia is a hit among Hindu groups is because her production company, Red Om Films, has the sacred 'Om' in it.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?opt...d=1&issueid=111
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My niece and her husband went to Hanuman temple in mid West. There their daughter was playing with another devotee's daughter. My niece suddenly recognised her as Julia Roberts and greeted her. She told them her Hindu name was "Annapurna" and she is a regular at that temple. A Hollywood swamyji had named her that. The child's name is similar one. So she was wearnig her bindi not as a fashion statement or mark of respect.
  Reply
Hindu Economics and Charity

In a recent article on Wall Street Journal, its bureau chief in New Delhi Paul Beckett has wondered why India’s rich were not generous enough towards charity, has exhorted them to ‘open their wallets’, and implicitly made reference to the Hindu roots of the phenomenon.

His misguided opinion is a typical example of how the western journalists posted in India develop their views and spread the typical stereotypes about India, whose spirit they have never tried to, or succeeded in, grasping. His usage of the derogatory term “Hindu Rate of Growth” reminds us of a similarly stale and offending commentary on the growth of Indian Industry by another western journalist stationed in India, Edward Luce, in his ‘In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India’. Unfortunately for them, these western commentators on the economics of India are prisoners of their cognitive cocoon, and while physically being here, they fail to understand the experience of Hindu Civilization and keep ignorantly applying the norms and standards of their own culture when commenting about India.

Rajeev Srinivasan has masterfully responded with his incisive reply to the ignorant premise taken by Beckett on the “Hindu Rate of Growth”, and Dr. Koenraad Elst has dissected at length Luce’s outlook in a recent article. Here we shall share some random thoughts from the historical perspectives on Hindu outlook to economy and charity, and try showing how, there is continuity even today, although latent, of the same outlook prevailing among the more traditional Hindu shreShThins of our age.

The very reason why industry is needed to flourish, according to kauTilya, is to spread dharma in society which alone can beget lasting and all-round happiness. artha, the economy, he says, is the most important function of society, as it is solely from this basis that both the fulfillment of dharma and pursuit of desires can be accomplished (“arthaiva pradhAnaiiti kauTilyaH arthamUlau hi dharmakAmau iti: AS 1.7.6-7). Economy is like a tree, further says kauTilya, if whose roots are rooted in dharma, it produces the fruits of happiness. Achievement of such dhArmika wealth further promotes dharma and produces more wealth and gives more pleasure. This is the achievement of all the gains. (dharma-mUlatvAt kAma-phalatvAchArthasya dharma-artha-kAma anubandhA yA^arthasya siddhiH sA sarva.artha.siddhiH AS9.7.81)

Creation of wealth for the welfare of society was considered so important that bR^ihadAraNyaka upaniShada relates that bramhA was compelled to create the vaishya-s skilled in industrial enterprise and organizing business, since the first two varNa-s proved incapable or disinclined in doing so. (“…sa naiva vyabhavat, sa viShamasR^ijat, yAnyetAni devajAtAni, gaNASha AkhyAyante…”).

So, continuous creation of wealth is of absolute importance for the stability of society, which is required for the growth of dharma. kauTilya holds that if happiness is the objective and strength is the power, then wealth is one of the three types of those strengths to achieve it. (“shaktiH siddhishca | balaM shaktiH | sukhaM siddhiH | shaktistrividhA … kosha-daNDa-balaM…” AS6.2.31-34), and it is one of the reasons, why a government is needed, that is for prospering the society and spreading the dharma. A government is required for security of wealth, and once peace and industry is ensured (through a 6-fold policy that he enumerates), all-round wealth is automatically created. (“shamavyAyAmau yogakSemayoryoniH | shamavyAyAmayoryoniH ShADguNyam…” AS6.2.1&4).

But not only ensuring the right environ for society to generate and secure the wealth, but also the guarantee that the wealth really reaches the people, is counted by kauTilya as a basic prerequisite. (“…loka-priyatvam artha-saMyogena vR^ittiM… AS1.7.1). Therefore, the wealth of society is to not only be protected but also distributed. It is the people who are, for him, the center of good governance, and without attention to them a society, he says, is like a barren cow, useless and yielding no milk. (“puruShavad hi rAjyam; apuruShA gaurvandhyeva kiM duhIta… AS7.11.24-25”)

Hoarding of wealth, without either consuming it or distributing it, is throughout denounced by all the Hindu thinkers and dharma-shAstrakAra-s. Traditional wisdom tells us that charity, enjoyment, and destruction, wealth is only destined to go in one of these three ways. One who neither spends in charity, nor enjoys it, his is sure to go by the way of the third, i.e. destroyed. (“dAnaM bhogo nAshastistrI gatayo bhavanti vittasya; yo na dadAti na bhu~Nkte cha tasya tR^itIyA gatirnAshaH — vikrama charita, Andhra, 3.86).

A more aesthetically presented view of the same thought, from another source: ‘the wealth of those who simply hoard theirs, is eventually enjoyed not by them but by the others, like the honey collected through the industriousness of someone else is eventually consumed by someone else!’ (“ati-saMchaya-kartR^iNAM vittamansya kAraNaM; anyaiH saMchIyate yatnAdanyaishcha madhu pIyate”: vallabhadeva.474).

Another author intuitively compares unconsumed and hoarded wealth with daughters, who are lovingly brought up with care and affection by parents, only to eventually go off to someone else’s household! (upabhogakAtarANAm puruShANAm arthasaMchayaparANAm; kanyAratnamiva gR^ihe tiShThantyarthAH parasyArthe: v.482)

One must also notice that while wealthy are appealed to spend towards their social responsibility throughout the wide array of shAstra-s, quoting which at length would amount to compiling several volumes, it is not the charity alone for which the wealthy are being exhorted for the welfare of society, but also simply for consumption and enjoyment of their wealth, thereby keeping money in circulation to ensure a wider and broader distribution of wealth. The circulation of money ensures the chain reaction of wealth-creation in society, as kauTilya says, wealth creates more wealth, like the roaming elephants procreate and gather more elephants (“arthair arthA prabadhyante gajAH pratigajairiva…AS9.4.27”).

chANakya does recognize that the wealthy could easily grow a tendency of hoarding their riches and not share it with the commonwealth of the society, therefore not only does he warn the King to be cautious of such hoarding capitalists and keep them under watch, but in the spirit for which kauTilya is known, also suggests some innovative ways of how the King could justly rid such ones of some of their wealth when needed. One nice contrive he suggests is not devoid of some humour, although kauTilya must have been serious prescribing it. The King might employ a spy who takes the garb of a rich merchant, or even employ a real trustworthy merchant, who shall then go to the intended business and borrow the desired sum in gold or silver or some other costly or imported merchandise, and then having procured this loan, this spy can suitably “allow himself to be robbed”, maybe at the same night!

So no wonder, another text informs the accumulators, that their wealth, unless they spend it more generously or conduct charities, will invite only the attention of crime and decay. ‘One who neither enjoys his wealth nor donates it to those worthy of it, must rest assured that his accumulation would find its way either to the houses of the thieves or eventually rot in the belly of the earth’. (saMchitaM kratuShu nopayujyate yAchitaM guNavate na dIyate; tat-kadarya-pariraKShitaM dhanaM chaurapArthiva gR^iheShu gachcHati)

One well-known snippet of wisdom differentiates between the charitable rich and the shameless accumulators, by employing the simile of clouds and ocean, and says that ‘the glory of donors always thunders from the sky like the clouds that generously give us water, while those who keep on accumulating wealth without returning, always rot at the lowest strata of rasAtala like the ocean which only knows to receive and store’. (gauravaM prApyate dAnAt na tu vittasya sa~nchayAt; sthitiH uchchaiH payodAnAM payodhInAM adhaH sthitiH)

Some of the popular aphorisms attributed to chANakya advise us likewise, that ‘while a man must learn to be content with his wife, his wealth, and his food, he should never tire in zealously conducting these other three things: learning, recitations, and more charity’. (santoShas triShu kartavyaH sva-dAre bhojane dhane, triShu chaiva na kartavyo-dhyayane-japa-dAnayo : chANakya-nIti-darpaNa 7.4)

Another one points to the right and wrong ways of picking up fields for conducting charity: ‘Feeding a man who is not hungry is as useless as clouds raining over the ocean, and donating to someone who is not needy is as useless as lighting a lamp in the daylight’. (yathA vR^iShTiH samudreShu tR^iptasya bhojanam; vR^ithA dAnam samarthasya vR^ithA dIpo divApi cha: CND5.16)

This reminds us of that famous benchmark of charity established in the bhArata, narrated by a mongoose towards the end of the ashwamedha yaj~na of the pANDava-s. The mysterious mongoose who had half of his body as golden, announced to an astonished yudhiShThira that all the donations and charities made by pANDava-s during the yaj~na for which they were proud, were useless and not equal to even one fistful of crushed barley (saktU) donated by the family of a certain brAhmaNa. He then went on to narrate a tale of how one side of his body turned golden by just witnessing the sacrifice of that family which had nothing to eat and was starving, and having found this little crushed barley after tedious effort, as they were about to eat it, a guest appeared and begged them for it, and this starving family happily decided to offer it to him. That is charity, says mongoose in the fourteenth book of bhArata, adding since then he is roaming around to see another charity of that magnitude to turn the rest of his body golden too, but not succeeding.

We are also reminded of that prayer of kabIra, a householder saint, ‘sA.I itanA dIjiye jAme kuTuma samAya, maiM bhI bhUkhA nA rahUM sAdhu a bhUkhA jAya’: (Lord grant us just enough so that my family may survive; just that much, in which we don’t sleep hungry nor a sAdhu returns hungry from our doors.)

What about the charity with black money accumulated by the corrupt businessmen? Not acceptable, says this medieval jaina text that deals solely with the regulation of donations. ‘Donating such ill-earned money is of as much benefit’, it says, ‘as the medicine to that patient who refuses to follow the restrictions of pathyApathya prescribed by his doctor!’ (yo vahyAshArjitArthassann kurvansa bahudhA vR^iShaM; doShI vA~ncHAnniva svAsthyaM bhuktvaivApathyamauShadhaM : dAnopashAsanam.179). It sternly says that like an infertile woman can not conceive, even if she goes to bed with a thousand men, auspiciousness does never arise in someone with evil methods and ill-gotten money, no matter how much charity done. (sahastra-jana-bhogepi vandhyAyAM najuto yathA…101). The same work also says that, in contrast, only the charity from the honest money earned by the noble businessmen flourishes in the aid of dharma; it never exhausts, never meets loss, nor is ever stolen, since if charity of honestly-earned money serves dharma, dharma too protects such earning and such charity. (satpuruSho-rjayati dhanaM yat sakalajaneShTa-sAdhu-vR^iddhashchaiva syAt; tasya dhanasya cha hAnirnAnupahata-dharma-bala-suguptasyaiva. 180)

The prospective receivers of charity had a right to reject the donation too, and they did reject such donations on many occasions. Comes to our mind that instance related in the ancient drama mR^ichcHakaTikA where a brAhmaNa stoutly declines the invitation to partake of a lunch and receive donation from a householder. The jaina text referred above probably explains why. That, by receiving the ill-gotten money, earned through various sins, the receiver (dvija) of such charity has to also share with the donor those sins, and is verily destroyed. (nija-pApArjitam dravyam dvijebhyo dadate nR^ipAH; tairnaShTA rAjabhirviprA dAnam doShadamuchyate. 9)

Another very important aspect which might be hard for the secularized variety to fathom is that it is the temples and the maTha-s, vihAra-s and the jinAlaya-s which were and are the trustees of the charitable commonwealth of society, and giving to them meant returning to the Lord who can then multiply it and return it back. While it is a well known knowledge and demands citing no special evidence, what is interesting is to notice that business in ancient India did more than simply financial contribution to the religious institutions – they also regulated as well as facilitated such charities, and behaved as the responsible trustees also for the small private donations as a very organized activity. We can do no better than quote Prof. R C Majumdar at some length:

“…furnished by an inscription of huvishka at mathurA, dated in the year 28 (c. 106 AD), (the prashasti) refers to an akShaya-nIvI (perpetual endowment) of 550 purANa-s each to two guilds, one of which was that of flour-makers (comment: so that this guild will now use the interest from this money for the intended charitable purpose on behalf of the donor). An inscription in a cave at nAsik, dated in the year 42 (120 AD), records the donation of 3000 kArShApaNa-s by UShavadatta, son-in-law of the shaka chief nahapAna. The gift was intended for the benefit of the Buddhist monks dwelling in the cave, and the entire sum was invested in the guilds dwelling at govardhana in the following manner: 2000 in a weavers’ guild, the rate of interest being one per cent per month, and 1000 in another weavers’ guild at the rate of 0.75 per cent per month. It is clearly stated that these kArShApaNa-s are not to be repaid, their interest only to be enjoyed.”

“An inscription at Junnar records the investment of the income of two fields with the guild at koNAchika for planting kara~nja trees and banyan trees. Another inscription at junnAr records investment of money with the guild of bamboo-workers and the guild of braziers. A third inscription at junnAr record the gift of a cave and a cistern by the guild of corn-dealers. An inscription at nagarajonikonDA, dated 333 AD refers to a permanent endowment created by a person for the maintenance of the religious establishments made by him. The endowment consisted of a deposit of 70 dInAra-s in one guild and 10 each in three other guilds, out of the interest of which specific acts had to be done. Only names of two guilds are legible, namely those of pAnika (probably sellers or growers of betel leaves) and pUvaka (confectioners).” “The Indore Copper-plate Inscription of Skanda Gupta dated in the year 146, i.e. 465 AD, records the gift of an endowment, the interest of which is to be applied to the maintenance of a lamp which has been established in a temple for the service of the Sun-God.”

“We learn from an inscription of vaillabhaTTasvAmin Temple at Gwalior, dated 933 VS, that while the merchant savviyAka, the trader ichcHuvAku and the other members of the Board of the SavviyakAs were administering the city, the whole town gave to the temple of the Nine durgA-s, a piece of land, which was its (viz., the town’s) property. Similarly it gave another piece of land, belonging to the property of the town, to the viShNu temple, and also made perpetual endowments with the guilds of oil-millers and gardeners for ensuring the daily supply of oil and garlands to the temple. This long inscription preserves an authentic testimony of a city corporation with an organised machinery to conduct its affairs. The corporation possessed landed properties of its own and could make gifts and endowments in the name of the whole town.”

“Mention is made, by name, of four chiefs of the oil-millers of shrI-sarveshwara-pura, of four chiefs of the oil-millers of shrI-vatsasvAmI-pura, and four chiefs of the oil-millers of two other places, and we are told that these together with the other (members) of the whole guild of oil-millers should give one palika of oil per oil-mill every month (to the temple). Similarly, the other endowment was to the effect that the seven chiefs, mentioned by name, and the other (members) of the whole guild of gardeners should give fifty garlands every day.”

Such was the public charity and maintenance of social wealth, through cooperative and democratic organization. Prof. Majumdar notes that, “the objects with which these endowments were made are manifold, and due performance of them must have required extra-professional skill. Thus one guild is required to plant particular trees, while several others, none of which had anything to do with medicine, were to provide it for the sick.”

Several other inscriptions, particularly and more clearly from, although not limited to, the draviDa country reinforce this view. Prof. Majumdar notes how a combination of a village pa~nchAyata, democratically elected, organized the charity in draviDa country, and used to form the very basis of the economic functioning of the villages and to the spread the benefit of the commonwealth: “An inscription of rAjArAja choLa records the gift of a sum of money by a merchant, from the interest of which the Assembly and the residents of tiruviDavandai had to supply oil to feed a perpetual lamp. Sometimes these endowments involved two-fold banking transactions. We learn from a choLa inscription that a merchant made over a sum of money to the residents of taiyUr on condition that they should pay interest in oil and paddy to the Assembly of tiruviDavandai for burning a lamp in the temple and feeding 35 Brahmanas. There are other examples, too numerous to be recorded in detail, where the South Indian records represent the Village Assemblies as public trustees or local banks.”

Temples likewise served as the repository of public wealth, and lent their money for public works in the time of its need like famine, floods or epidemic. “An inscription at ala~NguDI dated in the 6th year of rAjArAja refers to a terrible famine in the locality. The villagers had no funds to purchase paddy for their own consumption, seed grains and other necessaries for cultivation. For some reasons, the famine-stricken inhabitants could expect no help in their distress from the royal treasury. Accordingly the Assembly obtained on loan a quantity of gold and silver consisting of temple jewels and vessels from the local temple treasury. In exchange for this the members of the Village Assembly alienated 8314 velI of land in favour of the God. From the produce of this land the interest on the gold and silver received from the temple was to be paid. A Chola inscription also records that the Assembly borrowed money from temple treasury on account of “bad time” and scarcity of grains.” Yet another one informs how “the Assembly received an endowment of 100 kAsu from an individual for providing offerings in a temple and for expounding shiva-dharma in the Assembly-hall built in the temple by the same person. They utilized the sum for repairing damages caused by floods to irrigation channels.” [above quotes from Prof. R C Majumdar are from his masterpiece “Corporate Life in Ancient India”]

When the above was happening in the choLa country, a little while from now, rAjendra choLa’s friend and ally in North India, bhojadeva the paramAra would be establishing new standards of charity for merchants in his own country. The collective Hindu subconscious remembers the times of Bhoja as much for his charity, as for his valour and scholarship. It is this impression which is reflected when the jaina AchArya merutu~Nga states that two commodities were always precious and in demand in the kingdom of bhoja: Iron and Copper. Iron because of the excessive consumption by his military, and copper for the prashasti plates for donations! We might probably add the construction of temples and schools to the list. It was not the royal charity alone, but also the works performed by the merchants of his kingdom, such as in the famous bhojashAlA university, its central figure the vAgdevI of dhArAvatI was commissioned not by bhoja, but by a jaina lady named soShA hailing from a merchant family of his capital from her own money.

We can still happily notice the continuity of the same thought, to a large extent, prevailing even today among the more traditional wealthy Hindus. It comes as no surprise to learn that the donations to temples far exceed the amount spent on “charity” as claimed on the Income Tax returns. According to the Finance Ministry, the businesses filing corporate income taxes had recorded a total expenditure of about USD 2 billion during the year 2007. On the other hand the annual budget of Tirupati shrine alone, for the same year, exceeded USD 500 million: almost all of which goes to the charitable activities managed by the temple trust, besides a portion for the maintenance of the shrines. Now add to this amount the donations received by the other important Hindu shrines all over India!

For Hindu society, charity is not the only outlet of financial contribution to the society. We also hear the stories of complete financial sacrifice in the cause of the nation, such as that by the great jaina shreShThin of mewADa, whose name is permanently etched in golden letters on the rocky walls of the fort of Udaipur: Seth Bhamashah Oswal. In a few years after the battle of haldIghATI, mahArANA pratApa siMha was not left with any resources to carry on his resistance against the moghal tyrant. Disheartened, he is said to have decided to give up, just when, apparently inspired by ekali~Nga mahAdeva in a dream, patriotic ShreShThin met mahArANA and laid down at his feet all his wealth. Seth Bhamashah, the guild leader of the merchants of mewADa and mArawADa, was no small man, nor his donation a small sum. With this financial sacrifice of patriotic businessman, mahArANA reorganize his senA and proceed to launch a renewed and rejuvenated tumultuous struggle. ShreShThin went further than just donating his money, and also advised mahArANA to attack and regain first the trade routes and stifle the supply chains of the moghals in west. It is by following this advise that in less than a decade, mahArANA quickly brought the imperial control to its feet and reclaimed almost entire mewADa. Seth also led from the front, leading a regiment of mahArANA’s army, and fighting on battlefields along with an equally valiant brother of his, seTha tArAchanda oswAl.

Likewise, how can we forget the contribution of another great vaishya warrior, who a little before this time, rose to reclaim the Hindu independence in dillI by spending all his wealth on raising a senA to crush the foreigners and picking up a sword himself: himU, the son of a powerful merchant from mithilA. Moslem chroniclers use for himU the abusive epithet of ‘bakkAla’, a derogatory term for ‘shopkeeper’, alluding to his business background.

An important aspect which one notices is that the underlying principle, stressed by the traditions in the enterprise of charity, is humility. Charity was not a matter of show for the Hindu, as it is generally in the west and as the westernized Hindu corporate is now learning these days as it seems, but something which was to be done silently. shAstra-s teach one to conduct charity in such a way that while one’s right hand donates, the left does not even get the wind of it. It is these who are called the real udAra-s and dAtA-s, and it is their charity which is considered the real charity. ‘Among the hundred men born’, says this well known piece of wisdom, ‘only one is found to be brave and among thousands born only one could become a paNDita, among ten thousands born only one grows to become a good orator but truly rare and precious is the birth of such real donors, when they happen or don’t happen, knows who!’ (shateShu jAyate shUraH… dAtA bhavati vA na vA)

This reminds us of the well-known kiMvadanti about a friendly exchange between tulasIdAsa and abdur-rahIm. We know that tulasIdAsa was well-known within the circle of Akbar, with at least one copper prashasti discovered at kAshI in context of an endowment made by Todarmal which relates to his considering tulasIdAsa as his master. According to this well-known narrative, once an acquaintance of tulasIdAsa needed some money for arranging the wedding of his daughter, and asked tulasIdAsa for financial help. Todarmal who used to govern kAshI was away those days for some military campaign in North West, so tulasI sent this man, with a letter of recommendation to rahIma, the adopted son of Akbar and the symbolic head of the moghal clan, khanekhAnA, who was known to be wealthy and charitable. rahIma received the man with humility, returned him with more money than requisitioned for, and also sent a humble letter of thanks for tulasIdAsa. Hearing of rahIm’s humility, and reading the letter, tulasI replied back with a dohA, saying: “sIkhe kahAM nawAbajU denI aisI dena, jyauM jyauM kara Upara uThata tyauM tyauM nIche naina” (‘Wherefrom did our dear nawAb learn this mode of giving / Higher rise his arms in charity, lower turns his gaze in humility’). To this rahIma is said to have replied, “denahAra koi aura hai deta rahata dina-raina, loga bharama hama para dharahi tA te nIche naina” (‘The giver is someone else, who keeps giving day and night / people confuse us to be the donor, causing us the embarrassment’). At one place, rahIma himself says that, ‘we consider those not alive, who only live on alms, but we consider those even deader, from whom charity does not come’. (“rahimana te jana to muye je jana maMgahi jAya; unate pahile te muye jinate nikasata nAhi”)

We are reminded of another great mArawADI ShreShThin from va~Nga, the father of bhAratendu harishchandra, seTha harSha chandra, whose name is still taken with respect in the city of kAshI due to massive investments he made in the service of sarasvatI. bhAratendu, his son, or shall we say sarasvatI’s son, went further and practically spent all his wealth in reviving Hindu culture, especially its languages, at a time when it was most needed: setting up schools and printing presses, establishing journals and granting scholarships all over the North India, and leading the intellectual assault from the front himself.

We remember Lala Lajpat Rai, the scion of a well known wealthy family from panjAb, who decided to dedicate all his wealth in the cause of the freedom struggle. At one place we read in the memoir by the elder son of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the grateful reminiscence of the services that the legendary lAlAji silently did from his wealth for the freedom struggle. Shastriji’s son recounted here that lAlAji used to send money orders every month to those countless families whose bread winners were either languishing in British prisons or had been martyred. He also contributed in a major way towards founding of the Hindu University at kAshI.

Talking of the Hindu University of kAshI, let this be reminded that it started and continued to operate its massive infrastructure, solely on the private contribution from the wealthy Hindu businessmen and royals from across bhArata. It is only later, post-independence, that the government began contributing to it.

Yet another important institution comes to mind that was started at kAshI for the Hindu revival even before this, the kAshI nAgarI prachAriNI sabhA, which made no small contribution in inflaming that flame of Hindu revival which now seems to have been all but extinguished. Even the functioning of that sabhA was the effort of the private Hindu charity effort.

Many years back, our father used to be in the employ of the shreShThin-kulabhUShaNa GD Birla’s family for some years, and we are in intimate knowledge of how this family was and is committed to spending on public welfare, and especially for the spread and growth of dharma, much of which may not be known in public. We need not enumerate how this house is even today on the frontlines of charity, and doing so silently. We also remember the naidU shreShThI-s who founded the shAlA where we studied for a few years when living in the draviDa country. The wealthy founder of the institute had four sons, and the philosophy of this gentleman used to be to treat society as a fifth one and share the wealth among five, not four. Their attitude to philanthropy was also typical and somewhat peculiar. They used to impart Industrial Training to the needy and then finance the machine tools for them to become self-employed and be responsible for themselves.

Coming back to Beckett, we think he might be right when he said that charity was practically a competitive sport in US business. He probably had in mind the native Indians charitably pushed into the business of gambling and gaming? Or he probably meant the proposal of the State of California to make gambling legal in the state for charity purposes? Or maybe he had in mind the recent case of the State of Connecticut suing the charity founded by the NBA star Charles D. Smith, Jr. for spending away the funds collected for charity on cruise vacations, cars and beauty services!
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<b>India's Rich, Open Your Wallets
</b>


By PAUL BECKETT

On Saturday, Bill Gates will pick up the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development from India's president. He will be the first businessman to receive the prize since it was instituted in 1986.
[Paul Beckett]

Paul Beckett

He won't be collecting it for Microsoft but for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was awarded the 2007 prize last year but is only receiving it now.

In theory, it could have been an Indian businessman receiving this prestigious award. But it isn't. The reason: The Gates Foundation has invested almost $1 billion in the past decade on philanthropic work in India.

I don't believe any individual Indian businessman could come remotely close to matching that.

Why not? Obviously, the Gates Foundation is backed by Mr. Gates's huge riches, which have for years made him the world's richest man.

Yet India has its fair share of billionaires, multimillionaires and millionaires who could be giving away a good proportion of their money for the betterment of their country but aren't, at least not on even a fraction of the Gates scale.

Amid the broad adoption of U.S. business culture in Indian industry, this lack of dramatic, sustained, well-organized individual giving – practically a competitive sport in U.S. business circles -- is sadly conspicuous by its absence. (Corporate social responsibility, a growing field, is a different beast.)

“They must do more because they've got new wealth.”

"We need to see more of the sort of vast private endowments that Western people make to foster art and other cultural projects," says Gautam Thapar, chairman of industrial group Avantha. His grandfather set up Thapar University in the Punjab as a philanthropic exercise more than 50 years ago and the family still funds it today.

I've heard many reasons wealthy Indians don't give more, or even much.

Mr. Thapar says it's because the tax regime has not been favorable to the accumulation of great wealth in individual hands.

The more jaded say it is connected to a lack of community spirit – an extension of the attitude that makes people maintain a spotless home but look the other way at the trash on the street. That is belied by the fact that ordinary Indians, when asked to give, give generously to those in need.

Others maintain it is because there are no good outlets for their donations: there are few prominent national charities or foundations that instill trust in potential donors or are transparent enough to demonstrate that funds are being put to good use.

That may explain why much of the sustained good work you do hear about is done, literally, on an individual level -- building a road in an ancestral village or sponsoring village children in school.

Tarun Das, chief mentor to the Confederation of Indian Industry, says it is because India's wealthy are "too easily satisfied by giving a little and they're probably insecure that, if they give too much away, will there be enough?"

Fortunately, this aspect may be changing. After years of the so-called "Hindu rate of growth," India's economy has romped along for long enough that it has instilled some confidence in the nation's wealthy that the sky won't fall tomorrow.

And there are some Indian entrepreneurs who are starting to set an example. Shiv Nadar, chairman of HCL Technologies, says he has put 450 crore (about $94 million) of his own money into his educational initiatives – an engineering college in Chennai and a series of residential schools for poor kids in Uttar Pradesh, among other initiatives.

Now 64 years old, Mr. Nadar says he wishes he had gotten into philanthropy sooner. "I read something that if you knew grandchildren were so much fun, you should have had them before children," he says. "So if I had known not-for-profit was so fulfilling, I should have got started there much, much earlier."

He'd like to see more of his peers involved. "There is no point in just writing a check," he says. "It is your time that is more valuable." So far, however, he says they are virtually invisible.

Even if a nascent philanthropic culture is emerging, Mr. Das says of his fellow (well-to-do) Indians: "They must do more because they've got new wealth. I feel they can multiply what they do as individuals and corporations by one hundred times."

Maybe some will be inspired to do so when they see Mr. Gates collecting a prize.
—Paul Beckett is the WSJ's bureau chief in New Delhi

Write to Paul Beckett at paul.beckett@wsj.com
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Another big trend in India is the adoption of Western clothes by Indian women in Bollywood awards events and even in commercials for papad etc.
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<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Aug 3 2009, 10:05 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Aug 3 2009, 10:05 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another big trend in India is the adoption of Western clothes by Indian women in Bollywood awards events and even in commercials for papad etc.
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It was always there, Mumtaz wearing deep front cut Lungi/Long skirt or Shammi Kapoor escort middle eastern women. Only difference, previously , people used to see them with disgust, now they are acceptable.

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<b>India's Left media under shock</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->They are a reflection of how this overwhelmingly young nation, where three-fourths of its billion-plus people are under the age of 35, is looking backwards far more than it looks ahead.

Surprise: there seems to be no great difference in the opinions of the different age groups, even on issues like culture, clothes and the immoral influence of TV or homosexuality.

And if you thought northern India was the cow heartland trapped in medieval values versus the progressive south, think again.

The poll was carried out in street corners and homes by GfK Mode for Hindustan Times and the CNN-IBN news channel among male and female adults in metros, large towns and small towns with a sample size of 3,500 people.

And to give faces to those numbers, Hindustan Times reporters from across India bring stories of those social attitudes from the bylanes and the living rooms in a six-part national reporting project this week, leading up to Independence Day.

The college principal in Kanpur who banned jeans for women can smirk in private — nearly two out of three youngsters between the ages of 18 and 35 support a dress code in public, and far more people favour it in big cities than small towns.

<b>And all those who support clothing restrictions — that the media slam as ‘Talibanisation’ — seem to be reflecting what a large part of urban India thinks. An overwhelming 70 per cent of respondents actually endorsed a ban on Western clothes in schools and colleges.</b>

Did our youth recoil in horror at the idea?

Not quite.<b> Sixty-four per cent in the 18-25 age range actually liked the idea. Some 85 per cent people between 26 and 50 complained that Western values are replacing Indian values, and two-thirds of the respondents felt that young Indians are blindly following Western values and culture</b>.

Most dissed the TV – 79 per cent say television is promoting immoral values that are against Indian culture.

<b>About 64 per cent of the men interviewed in big cities and small towns, and 82 per cent in small towns, said that sex before marriage is still taboo in Indian society.</b>

<b>Seventy-nine per cent of urban Indians feel that rape and sexual harassment are linked with the way women dress. Eight out of 10 women agree with that.</b>

A saving grace:<b> 67 per cent feel women make better bosses at work, with small towns giving them an even a bigger thumbs-up (75 per cent) than metros (70 per cent). Even a majority of men agree.</b>

The English language is a winner for India, urban Indians say. Nine out of 10 respondents think speaking it is important to succeed.<b> But four out of 10 respondents feel that English speakers are only concerned about themselves.</b>

<b>Sixty-two per cent of parents in metropolises, and 80 per cent in small towns, are worried about their children using social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and Twitter.</b>

The north actually appears more liberal than the south and the east on several counts, and thinks like the south on many other issues.

For example, <b>70 per cent in the north say people should be free to wear what we want – compared to 54 per cent in the south. Women wearing Western dresses in public places have the support of 52 per cent in the north and only 30 per cent in the south.</b>

And <b>two out of three Indians regard homosexuality as a disease — one that can be cured</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
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It shows that Indian media and education is not representative of the Indian culture and heritage, It has been taken over by sociologists and social manipulators who want to change Indian society for the western market.
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<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Aug 10 2009, 10:34 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Aug 10 2009, 10:34 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->It shows that Indian media and education is not representative of the Indian culture and heritage, It has been taken over by sociologists and social manipulators who want to change Indian society for the western market.
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I would have never guessed it, until you said so. <!--emo&:bhappy--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_woot.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_woot.gif' /><!--endemo-->
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<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> Though Ekta’s parents will not be with her at the Bahamas as she competes for the Miss Universe 2009 crown, her family’s best wishes are with her. Her mother says, “Though you can’t predict anything, my husband and I, our friends and family, everyone is praying for her. We are really looking forward to seeing Ekta at the pageant. I have told Ekta not to lose her cool and answer the questions thoughtfully. I have also <i><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Impact'>advised her to keep chanting Gayatri Mantra as it will give her strength.”</span>http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/fashion/shows/Ekta-to-chant-Gayatri-Mantra-for-Miss-Universe/articleshow/4924603.cms</span></i>
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<b>Sanjay Dutt with his wife Manyata during Mata ki chauki at his home on the occasion of Navratri in Mumbai</b>.
check all pictures.
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<b>New Delhi residents told to improve manners ahead of Commonwealth Games</b>
<i>Residents of New Delhi, long regarded as India's rudest and most vulgar citizens, have been ordered improve their manners before the city hosts the Commonwealth Games next year</i>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->His outburst, which has the support of the city's chief minister, confirmed what most Indians beyond the capital have long known and regarded as a source of national shame: <b>their capital's streets are lined with men spitting, urinating, defecating, pushing, shoving, leering at young women</b>.

Other common complaints against <b>"Dilliwallahs" include pushing to the front of queues, boasting loudly of one's political or civil service connections, taking seats from disabled or elderly passengers on trains and tossing household rubbish onto the streets.</b>

Mr Chidambaram singled out the<b> city's motorists who dangerously weave in and out of lines and cut up fellow motorists, while seasonal wedding parties jam the roads with elephants, horses and brass bands without a care for their fellow residents.
He appeared to blame the hundreds of thousands of rural migrants who flood into the city everyday from backward provinces like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for the malaise, and warned that if newcomers wanted to live in a "mega-city" they would have to change.</b>

<b>"People come to Delhi. This is the capital and we cannot stop them. But if they come to Delhi, they will have to adhere to the behavioural requirement, the discipline of the city,</b>" he said.

Delhi's chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, supported his comments and promised to launch a campaign to tame the city's wilder habits and builder a greater sense of civic pride before the Commonwealth Games open in October 2010.
<b>Indian commentators suggested the city's rude and aggressive culture had developed over decades and would be difficult to change in one year.</b>

<b>"The basic fact is that all Indians, by and large, lack civic sense. We keep our own yard clean but don't give a damn about outside or the park next door. It's the individualistic nature of Indians,"</b> said Pavane K. Varma, a senior Indian diplomat and the author of Being Indian.

<b>He said partition at Independence had brought a flood of people from Pakistan who had lost everything and had rode roughshod over others to claw back their wealth.
"People have had to fight for what they have and be aggressive to retain what they have. That brash culture has remained with Delhi," </b>he said.

<b>R V Smith, the celebrated Anglo-Indian chronicler of Delhi's transformation since he first moved to its old city shortly after Independence, said in those days Delhi was a courtly city with a refined etiquette. "In the winter, people would offer you a cup of tea, free of charge, and in the summer, they would give you a [cold] sherbet. In parts of Old Delhi that still exists,</b>" he said.

<b>He blamed rising wealth and the city's rapid population growth for the decline. "Now people have no manners. I remember when we used to visit Connaught Place in the 1950s, we used to wear our best suits. It was mannerly and dignified. But the more developed it has become the ruder people are,</b>" he said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I fully agree.
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<b>Family suicides a phenomenon of middle-class India</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->NEW DELHI: Last week Arvind Pathak and wife Mamta decided death was the only solution to their growing financial difficulties. The 38-year-old

MBA poisoned his 11-year-old daughter, then his wife. He consumed the poison himself and raced out of his house, screaming about what they had just done. Pathak is the latest in a growing list of couples who conclude that life can never solve their myriad problems.

<b>When families decide to die together, it’s time to be worried. Psychiatrists and sociologists say the breakdown of community structures, growing aspirations and the lack of institutional support mechanisms are primarily responsible for pushing middle-class families into committing suicide, children passive part of such pacts.

“You won’t find family suicides among the poor or the super-rich, only among the middle-class. The super-rich have hereditary fortune to cushion the fall, while villages still have a community insurance, </b>says sociologist Yogendra Singh.

<b>Even among farmers, it’s the middle-class ones who commit suicide, says Singh. The new entrants to the high-income bracket, without back-up fortune can’t cope. The absence of any institutionalised support group aggravates matters. “Something must substitute the breakdown of community support. Often in the West, the Church plays a role,” says Singh.</b>

In cities,<b> it’s a lonely world. Pathak wasn’t on talking terms with his brother, had borrowed from his father. His wife had lost her teaching job and they had also borrowed money to build a house. He simply succumbed to the pressures. </b>

Not knowing who to turn to got to the Thevers in Mumbai. Babu Thever, a 37-year-old Tamil film distributor, killed his children and wife along with himself in August last year. Thever suffered from an incurable disease. The deaths shocked relatives and friends who never thought Thever had been stressed.
In October last year, US-based MBA 45-year-old Karthik Rajaram killed his mother-in-law, his wife and three sons and then killed himself in his upscale home near Los Angeles, California. In his letters, he narrated his financial difficulties that resulted in “an unfortunate, downward spiral”.

In urban India, communication is at an all-time low, million-loads of SMSes notwithstanding. What is needed is inter-dependence within families, says psychiatrist Dr Avdesh Sharma. “Electronic communication is not the answer. With families barely meeting, close ones miss any alarming signals,” says Sharma.
The decision to commit suicide is not taken overnight. <b>“Group suicide is not an overnight decision. It takes time to think of dying. This is where neighbourhood, family, friends fail to identify the flag signs, there from weeks ahead,</b>” says psychiatrist Jitendra Nagpal.

The real trouble begins when a wife identifies with the situation’s helplessness. There’s a perceived sense of martyrdom, that without the husband, the family’s lives will be even more traumatic. <b>“Today’s alienated societies, unaware neighbourhoods must realise that family suicide pacts are a society’s problem,” he says. It’s the same lack of sensitivity that blinds society to an injured man on the road</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
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There was a Zeetv news report yesterday on the shopping extravaganza in Delhi wrt Karva Chauth. Looks like in Northern Metros, Karva Chauth has been mercantilized as Valentine's Day is in the West. Good move to provide alternatives to St Valentine's day.

Only issue is KC is for married folks only.
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Starting a new thread as I thought we have to know the unique features of different regions, their evolution etc. Earlier I thought I should post this in "Bengal History & Origin". But then the essence of discussion will digress.

See the news item from PTI: http://bit.ly/110at8 (http://www.ptinews.com/news/381682_Pass ... tion-in-WB)

We can just dismiss this kind of incidents as mob violence. But I feel we are missing some major feature of the population of Bengal. That is, it is ready to fight for any perceived injustice on its members. I may be wrong also. I think Nandigram, Singur etc give out that unique feature in some way.

The same kind of incident happened in Kerala some years back. There was a railway bridge which collapsed and trains got stopped. As it was major Harbour line, the Railways worked round the clock to get it reparied. The local people didn't protest till the bridge is repaired. When the first train was supposed to move after the bridge repair, people started a dharna in the railway track. They said the compensation has not been fully paid (parts of it were still pending) and the trains can start running once they are fully paid. The entire population of the town was with this dharna. Railway authorities had to make the full payment immediately.
There is some characteristics & unique features of Bengal & Kerala which makes them favor Communist party. May be people like Brihaspati , Ramana can comment on it.

Another example I would like to give is from literature. If you see the literature in Tamil for the last 2000 years the focus is heavily towards Ethics, Morals, righteousness etc. Starting from very first Tamil work available (Tholkapiyam which starts with Vedic invocation), Tirukkural, Agananuru, Purananuru, till 18th century works, the focus is on things like:

i. How should the King rule
ii. conduct of administration
iii. How should society live
iv. What are the family values
v. What is dharma, what is adharma, conduct of seniors
vi. conduct of traders, etc

The single main theme running through various works is Ethics, Morals, values etc. Even though there are lot of religious literature (bhakti, Jnana literature), when compared to this "Ethics" literature, they can be considered small.
The aesthetic sense to an extant is less (or very less) compared to Moral sense. The poems on just nature, pure beauty of landscapes would be less compared to "Ethics".

While in architecture, the Tamils produced wonderful temples, magnificent sculptures (both metals & stone based), in literature there is a paranoid obsession with what is "right & wrong".

Compare this with Kerala literature. My friend told me literature of Kerala has a lot of focus on aesthetic sense, nature etc and not much focused on "ethics". Can somebody with good understanding of Malayalam literature, validate this?

Now the question will be why should we discuss this?
The answer is politics & geopolitics takes a lot of influence from culture, unique features of regions. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.G. Ramachandran was always perceived as "good" man. In all his movies he was a good guy, no villain character at all - even for a change. He never used to drink alcohol or smoke in movies. He always fights against injustice & wrongs in movies. Even today there is big following in Tamil Nadu for M.G.Ramachandran (he is usually referred as MGR) even after his death.

All the new political entrants in Tamil Nadu politics are also following the "goodie goodie" model. Every single film of Vijayakanth is about how he is a good man fighting injustice. Even the new actor Vijay (who is being wooed by Congress Party) has been focusing only on goodie goodie roles for the last 10 years or so.

I feel, the same cannot happen in Kerala. If actors like Mohanlal or Mammooty keep on doing goodie goodie roles in Malayalam films and try to enter politics, they might not succeed. I find that the movies from Kerala focus more on love, relationships, the twists in life etc than on "goodie goodie" stuff.

Dharampal who wrote the wonderful book "The Beautiful Tree" documenting the educational system all over India before British destroyed it, observed some wonderful points. He spent many years researching the archives of India Office in London. He said British studied Indians, their behavior, attitude very well so that they can rule & loot the country. One example Dharampal quotes is British records state how many revolutionaries or people taking to arms were caught. Many Indians in 18th & 19th century were caught before killing British officials, soldiers etc because for a few moments the revolutionaries were dithering whether they were doing the right thing or not. Many revolutionaries left (at least for a few moments) that they are hitting the enemy unseen and not inviting the enemy to a open fight. In the moments of dithering many of them were caught.

Dharampal used to say that British understood, documented some parts of Indian culture so that Britain can find new ways of ruling Indians.

By saying that Tamils have focused more on “Ethics” and less on “aesthetics” & Malayalees focused more on “aesthetics” and less on “Ethics”, I am not giving a value judgment. My aim is not to put down any region, culture, community, language etc. I am attempting to study the uniqueness of various communities & regions. As Prof. Balagangadhara says we have to study culture to see if the solutions we are proposing to the societies are effective.

Wanted to study unique features of people from Karnataka, Andhra, Orissa, Maharashtra, Punjab etc. This is kind of academic study.

My request:
Please don’t bring in straw man arguments & completely unrelated issues. There are people who will say “I put India first, the nation first and all these cultures go to hell” or “I only care about what is written in constitution and I fight for a India and these are pure bunkum”

This thread is not for discussing constitution, India as first etc. This is an honest attempt to understand unique features of various regions & their impact of politics, geo-politics etc. So please avoid chest thumping.

My second request would be to avoid the so called “questioning” game. Somebody from Bangalore can start questioning like “Define Tamil Culture”, “Define Malayalam literature” , “You cannot call Tamil Literature has unique focus because Tolkapiyam was written in different date from Tirukkural”, “The Tamil writers for the last 2000 years were born in different areas & times, so you cannot club them together” , “Define precisely Tamil Hindu literature”

I am sure that even with these requests, some people will start the provocations, chest thumping, “Questioning” to derail the thread and get it locked. So my request to others is to avoid these provocations whatever they might be and focus on the aim. Baits will be laid & traps will be set, people have to be careful so that they don’t fall for them.
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[url="http://www.mediabistro.com/agencyspy/what_the/haagen_dazs_delhi_says_no_indians_allowed_146068.asp"]Haagen Dazs Delhi Says No Indians Allowed[/url]

[Image: IndiaHaagenDazs.jpg]
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Quote:Streets in IT hub also deserted

PTI | Bangalore

The bustling streets of this IT hub, which wore a festive look with people thronging shops to splurge on the occasion of ‘Makara Sankranti’, were deserted on Friday with most of them preferring to stay indoors during the solar eclipse with superstition ruling the roost.



Ironically, it was superstition that apparently deterred people from venturing out “in the post-Amavasya eclipse as it was ominous”.

Faith and tradition is still very strong among young educated yuppies , people were praying. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />

This IT generation with Budh plays important role, also keeps them in tradition.
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[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bihar-girl-calls-off-wedding-after-grooms-dirty-dancing/articleshow/5570848.cms"]Bihar girl calls off wedding after groom's 'dirty dancing'[/url]
Quote:PATNA: In Sarairanjan village of Bihar’s Samastipur district, a homeopathy doctor did an encore of sorts when she refused to exchange marriage vows with her banker bridegroom after exchanging garlands with him on Thursday because he danced along with other ‘baraatis’ to celebrate the occasion. Ravi Kumar Chaudhary, a Gaya native and PO with United Bank of India, had to return empty-handed, and with a broken heart.



He knew the girl and had been in touch with her since the marriage was arranged in 2005.



Her businessman father, Yogendra Mahto, stood by her side and asked the marriage party to return.



‘‘Dancing in a drunken state in such an ‘uncivilized manner’ is not acceptable to me and my family,’’ he said. A desperate Ravi even called in police. Decked in traditional red bridal attire, the girl still didn’t budge.



Good going
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TTD employees attend duties in traditional Indian dress

Tirupati, Mar 20 : The employees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams attended their duties in traditional Indian dress today.



As per the decision taken by the TTD Executive Officer IYR Krishna Rao, the dress code was being implemented from the auspicious Telugu New Year.



Mr Rao, TTD Joint Executive Offier N Yuvaraj, TTD Special Officer Mr A V Dharma Reddy and other higher officials supervised the dress code and visited every office in the Administrative Building of TTD and enlightened the staff about the importance of traditional dress code in Hindu Dharmic Institution like TTD.
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