• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
India and US - III
What the US election results mean for India
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India was never mentioned in the elections, but India watchers and Indian Americans are curious about the fate of the Indo-US nuclear deal and the future of bilateral relations. The Democratic party has more Indophiles than the Republican Party, but it also has more non-proliferationists.

In the wake of the 1998 tests, friends of India of long standing in the Democratic Party were extremely critical of India. Many of them were apprehensive of the Indo-US nuclear deal and they went along with the related bills in the House and Senate Committees only after the non-proliferation concerns were incorporated in them.

Senator Hillary Clinton was non-committal on the deal till the modified bill reached the Senate, much to the chagrin of her Indian-American supporters.

The Bush administration is still hopeful that the lame duck Senate will still approve the deal and a bilateral agreement will be possible soon. But with the President himself rendered lame duck by the elections, it remains to be seen how the deal will fare in the session of the old Senate.
<b>I Am Macaca</b>
By S.R. Sidarth
Sunday, November 12, 2006; Page B02<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->....................
Allen's actions that day stood out because they were not representative of how I was treated while traveling around the state. Everywhere I went, though I was identifiably working on behalf of Allen's opponent, people treated me with dignity, respect and kindness. I cannot recall one event where food was served and I was not invited to join in the meal. In southwest Virginia, hospitality toward me was at a high point.

<b>After Allen's remarks, my heritage suddenly became a matter of widespread interest. I am proud to be a second-generation Indian American and a practicing Hindu. My parents were born and raised in India and immigrated here more than 25 years ago;</b> I have known no home other than Northern Virginia. The hairstyle inflicted upon me by two friends late one night also became newsworthy; for the record, it was intended to be a mullet and has since grown out to nearly the appropriate length

The larger question that this experience brings up is: How far has society progressed on the issues of race and openness? By 2050, according to most projections, the United States will be a minority-majority nation. But the fact that Allen believed I was an immigrant, when in fact I am a native Virginian, underlines the problems our society still faces.

Then again, Webb's victory last week gives me hope that Virginia will not tolerate playing the race card. It is still hard for me to accept that I could have had a pivotal role in the election results; I would not wish the scrutiny I received on anyone. <b>But I am also glad to have helped Webb. Every little bit counted, especially in an election decided by about 9,000 votes out of nearly 2.4 million cast</b>.

The politics of division just don't work anymore. <b>Nothing made me happier on election night than finding out the results from Dickenson County, where Allen and I had our encounter. Webb won there, in what I can only hope was a vote to deal the race card out of American politics once and for all</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The man behind the deal
<b>Philip Zelikow </b>may go down in history for a statement he made at a press briefing where he was described only as “State Department Official Number One”. It was at this March 2005 meeting that he declared the US had set itself a foreign policy goal of helping “India become a major world power in the 21st century”.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In New Delhi he should be known as one of the fathers of the Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As Tellis, now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, later explained, “I told Zelikow that the US had three choices when it came to the India relationship: do nothing; keep the relationship where it was; or go for something big.”

The relationship was at a crossroads. Zelikow recommended to Rice that the US go for the third option. In other words, the US should throw its diplomatic might into persuading the world to modify the non-proliferation regime. He had chosen the road never travelled before and that made all the difference.

<b>India gets deal, Pak deadly pack</b>
Issue Date: Sunday, December 10, 2006
Washington, Dec. 9: Even as a dedicated team from the Bush administration was mobilising Senators for a surprise unanimous vote in favour of the Indo-US nuclear deal, <b>another secretive group in the administration ensured that Pakistan was simultaneously compensated for the landmark change in Washington’s approach to India’s use of civilian nuclear energy</b>.

As members of the House of Representatives and Senators headed for Capitol Hill yesterday for the final rites approving legislative sanction for the deal, the <b>Bush administration quietly announced at the Pentagon that it would equip Pakistan with thousands of missiles, airborne early warning systems and associated equipment worth a phenomenal $1.04 billion</b>.

The proposed sale, notified to the Congress, comes close on the heels of unprecedented American participation in an International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) in Karachi a few days ago.

Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and several other US defence companies, which are enthusiastic supporters of the Indo-US nuclear deal and potential sellers of arms to India, participated actively in the five-day event.

Ironically, the official slogan of IDEAS, which was inaugurated by none other than General Pervez Musharraf, was “arms for peace” and its theme was “expanding global security”.

<b>The Bush administration’s profit-motivated attempt to sell nuclear technology to India and conventional arms to Pakistan is drawing criticism here. </b>

There are fears that this may upset the conventional military balance in South Asia, but will not prevent a nuclear arms race in the sub-continent.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, asked in the latest issue of the association’s journal: “What is the most serious weapons-related security threat?”

Then he answered: <b>“The latest geostrategic rationale for many US (arms) sales is the so-called war on terror.... US officials claim that the recent sale to Pakistan of F-16 jets with air-to-air missiles will help in the fight against al Qaida. In reality, they are for fighting India and they create a market for selling similar US fighters to India.”</b>

Norman Wulf, a former US presidential representative for nuclear non-proliferation, said: “I very much fear that what we have taught the other... governments is that... all proliferation is bad, is no longer valid. Rather, the principle is, well, if it is really important to you to have a good relationship with a country, or if it is really important for you to make this one sale, it is all right.”

The latest US arms sale to Pakistan involves 2,769 Radio Frequency TOW 2A missiles, 415 RF bunker buster missiles, fly-to-buy missiles in both these categories, 121 TOW launchers for wire-guided and wireless missiles, E-2C HAWKEYE 2000 Airborne Early Warning Systems, simulators and support equipment.

Some of these items are for Pakistan’s air defence network in aid of its naval forces. <b>By no stretch does Pakistan face any massive naval threat from the Taliban or from al Qaida. </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Therefore, these equipment can only be used against the Indian navy while the missiles can prove deadly for India in the event of a war.

For Indian officials and supporters of India here as well as Indian Americans, who worked tirelessly to pass the bill approving the nuclear deal in the early hours of this morning, the proposed sale to Pakistan of arms, which is primarily for use against India, has<b> come as a severe dampener. </b>

The Senate passed the bill unanimously while the House of Representatives approved it by 330 to 59. President George W. Bush is expected to sign it into law on Monday or Tuesday.

<b>But the arms sale to Pakistan in the midst of Indian elation is reminiscent of former secretary of state Colin Powell’s high-profile visit to New Delhi in 2004, when he declined to tell India about conferring “major non-Nato ally” status to Pakistan, but sprang the surprise in Islamabad.</b>
The latest on India-USA Nuclear deal and I quote the US State Department on the issue:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->09 December 2006

Congress Passes U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Bill
Passage secures administration goal with world's largest democracy

Washington -- Congress passed the U.S.-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act shortly before adjourning for the remainder of 2006. President Bush said in a White House statement that he is looking forward to signing the bill into law.

“I am pleased that our two countries will soon have increased opportunities to work together to meet our energy needs in a manner that does not increase air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, promotes clean development, supports nonproliferation, and advances our trade interests,” the president said.

The legislation codifies the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation agreement, announced July 18, 2005, by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington, and then signed in early March 2006 during Bush's state visit to India.  (See related article.)

The original version or the legislation was passed by the House of Representatives July 26, 359-68.  The Senate, however, made changes in the bill before approving it, 85-12, on November 16.  (See related article.)

In the United States, different versions of an approved bill are reconciled before being sent to the president.  In this case, the House and Senate conferees agreed on a final product December 7.  First the House and then the Senate passed this reconciled version of the bill December 8.

A key element of the agreement is the provision of assistance for India’s civilian nuclear energy sector, which currently provides only 3 percent of the country's electricity. India wants to raise that percentage for economic development purposes.

The United States sees the agreement as a way for India formally to comply with some of the same tenets codified in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which New Delhi never signed.  India has agreed to separate its nuclear reactors used for civilian purposes from those designated for military use.  Further, it has agreed to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor its 14 civilian reactors and to bring them under IAEA safeguards, to continue its moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, and not to transfer nuclear technology to third parties.
Already several political leaders in India have started giving their reaction in or against the agreement.The reported new deal for the sale of fresh arms to Paksitan will heat up the debate further.However, it is nothing unexpected as USa cannot suddenly forget Pakistan.
'<b>Americans could break nuke deal at any time'</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mumbai, December 12: Warning that the US could break the civil nuclear deal at any time, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman H N Sethna said India should ensure the pact would give it uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel and the freedom to reprocess spent fuel.
Without touching on the bill recently cleared by the US Congress that is yet to be signed by Bush, Sethna said if India signs the pact, it should make sure it receives an uninterrupted supply of fuel and has the freedom to reprocess spent fuel.

Claiming the deal is not favourable for India, the 83-year-old Sethna said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's hands are ‘tied’ as the country needs uranium fuel for expanding its nuclear programme to achieve energy security.

"I am sure the Prime Minister will not take any steps that would harm the country's interest," he said.

Asked if India can walk out of the deal, he asked ‘whether India will be able to withstand the pressure of sanctions? India cannot afford to do it after signing the deal’. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I have noticed a lot of grief among some Indians over this Indo-US Nuclear deal. The reason for their grief is their belief that India is signing its life away.

People have to realize one thing about deals or treaty; they are only valid as long as both parties want the deal or treaty to continue.

This Indo-US nuclear deal will be dead once it ceases to be in the interest of either USA or India. You can always find millions of reasons to walk out of a treaty.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The ‘non-binding’ myth

Arun ShouriePosted online: Thursday, December 21, 2006 at 0000 hrs


If India is thinking of giving up strategic weapons then India is heading towards disaster treaty or no treaty. One thing we have to keep in mind, USA does not need legality to attack a nation. They will do it if it is a militarily feasible option where benefits far outweigh the losses.

At this stage India’s top priority is energy. Those of us who are in India know this reality. Also, we need weapons to defend ourselves from a duo of China and Pakistan. However, at this stage, active animosity with USA is not in the interest of India. Especially, at this juncture when USA is willing to work with India on certain issues.

If India is too rigid then India will loose out on an opportunity to address massive energy problem India is facing. If USA is too rigid then they will loose India forever that means India will continue towards acquiring more weapons.

So USA can work with India to shape an India who will be economically strong but not armed to teeth.

Or USA can force India towards massive weaponization and poverty by blocking the energy supplies to India.

It does not take much material to make nuclear bombs. India has plenty of materials to make plenty of bombs. Blocking Uranium supplies to India will not do anything to cap India’s weaponization efforts. However, supply of Uranium to India under auspices of NSG will facilitate industrial growth in India. Therefore India is willing to make a promise that India will cut off its weaponization program once India reaches the point where it can counter China and Pakistan’s joint arsenal. It is a good deal for USA. Right now none of India’s nuclear reactors are under IAEA safeguards but after this agreement, the designated civilian reactors will come under IAEA safeguards meeting one of USA’s policy goals on global nuclear issue.
<b>The New Great Game; Why the Bush administration has embraced India</b>.
The Weekly Standard
December 25, 2006
Twining, Daniel

New Delhi Three recent events illuminate the contours and fault lines of Asia's emerging strategic landscape, amid the lengthening shadows cast by China's growing power.

First, the United States and India consolidated a wide-ranging military, economic, and diplomatic partnership on December 9, when Congress passed legislation enabling U.S.-Indian civilian nuclear cooperation. Then, at a summit in Tokyo on December 15, the leaders of India and Japan declared their ambition for a strategic and economic entente between Asia's leading democracies. This stands in sharp contrast to the intensifying rivalry between India and China: Tensions over territory and Tibet simmered at a summit on November 21, where Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh's assertion that "there is enough [geopolitical] space for the two countries to develop together" sounded more like hope than conviction.

As its relationships with the United States, Japan, and China show, India has reemerged as a geopolitical swing state after decades of marginalization as a consequence of the Cold War, its own crippling underdevelopment, and regional conflict in South Asia. <b>Although its status as a heavyweight in the globalized world of the 21st century is new, India's identity as a great power is not: It was for centuries one of the world's largest economies and, under British rule, a preeminent power in Asia</b>. Today, a rising India flush with self-confidence from its growing prosperity is determined not to be left behind by China's economic and military ascent. <b>"The [Indian] elephant," says an admiring Japanese official, "is about to gallop." </b>

The United States has an enormous stake in the success of a rich, confident, democratic India that shares American ambitions to manage Chinese power, protect Indian Ocean sea lanes, safeguard an open international economy, stabilize a volatile region encompassing the heartland of jihadist extremism in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and prove to all those enamored of the Chinese model of authoritarian development that democracy is the firmest foundation for the achievement of humankind's most basic aspirations.

India is the world's biggest democracy, a nuclear power with the world's largest volunteer armed forces, and the world's second-fastest-growing major economy.

Few countries will be more important to American security interests and American prosperity in the coming decades, as five centuries of Western management of the international system give way to a new economic and security order centered in the rimlands of the Indian and Pacific oceans.

<b>India has been a factor in the global balance of power since at least 1510,</b> when the establishment of a Portuguese trading colony at Goa broke a seven-century monopoly on the Indian Ocean spice trade by Muslim empires, unlocking the wealth of the East to European maritime states, which used it to build global empires. <b>Possession of India propelled Britain to the peak of world power in the 19th century</b>. "[T]he master of India," argued Britain's Lord Curzon, "must, under modern conditions, be the greatest power in the Asiatic Continent, and therefore . . . in the world."

During World War II, an Indian army under British command halted the Japanese army's relentless march across Asia, inflicting on Imperial Japan its first military defeat. India's location as an Indian Ocean and Himalayan power, its massive production of armaments, and its armed forces--which fought in Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia--<b>contributed decisively to the Allied victory over the Axis powers. </b>

Lord Curzon celebrated India's importance in The Place of India in the Empire (1909): The central position of India, its magnificent resources, its teeming multitude of men, its great trading harbors, its reserve of military strength, supplying an army always in a high state of efficiency and capable of being hurled at a moment's notice upon any point either of Asia or Africa--all these are assets of precious value. On the West, India must exercise a predominant influence over the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan; on the north, it can veto any rival in Tibet; on the north-east . . . it can exert great pressure upon China, and it is one of the guardians of the autonomous existence of Siam.

<b>Possession of India gave the British Empire its global reach. Britain lost its status as a world power when it lost India. </b>

Independent India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, shared Curzon's expansive vision, declaring India "the pivot round which the defense problems of the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia revolve." Wary Chinese strategists perceive a continuity of strategic design from Curzon to the Congress party today, accusing Nehru at that time of harboring ambitions for a "greater Indian empire," and more recently criticizing India's aspirations for "global military power."

"China and India," writes the Carnegie Endowment's Ashley Tellis, "appeared destined for competition almost from the moment of their creation as modern states."

The taproots of modern Sino-Indian conflict, argues historian John Garver, are found in the overlapping claims of traditional Indian and Chinese spheres of influence in Asia, and in "conflicting nationalist narratives that lead patriots of the two sides to look to the same arenas in attempting to realize their nations' modern greatness." These conflicts create acute security dilemmas as India and China compete for influence across Central, South, and Southeast Asia, where strategic gains by one power magnify the vulnerabilities of the other.

Indian officials perceive a Chinese design to box India into its subregion, curbing India's ability to project power beyond its borders. China's 1950 invasion of Tibet, traditionally the buffer between China and British India, established the trend. Beijing maintains pressure on New Delhi by politely declining to resolve their 2,500-mile border dispute, a legacy of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. China has deployed nuclear weapons along its disputed border with India in Tibet. "The potential political and psychological impact" of nuclear-armed missiles "literally a few miles from India's border . . . cannot be underestimated," argues political scientist Amitabh Mattoo. China has refused to extend its nuclear "no first use" doctrine to include India.

China's military assistance to Pakistan, including the extensive transfer of nuclear and missile components, inflates the power of a state with which India has fought three wars, enabling Pakistan to challenge Indian primacy in South Asia. Since the 1990s, China has pursued a consistent policy of encircling India by supplying military assistance and training to its neighbors. The top three recipients of Chinese arms exports are Pakistan, Burma, and Bangladesh; China has also established military supply and exchange relationships with Nepal and Sri Lanka.

China seeks to create "a string of anti-Indian influence around India" that is "designed to marginalize India in the long term," according to one Indian strategist. Prime Minister Singh laments "the desire of extraregional powers to keep us engaged in low-intensity conflicts and local problems, to weigh us down in a low-level equilibrium."

China is also expending money and manpower to construct strategic road and rail links in India's backyard. A high-altitude rail line linking Qinghai in China with Lhasa in Tibet, which began transporting Chinese military personnel in early December, reportedly features a planned southern spur leading to the disputed Sino-Indian border, enabling the rapid movement of Chinese military forces in the event of conflict. Beijing and Islamabad are conducting surveys for a rail line across the Karakoram mountains linking western China to northern Pakistan, which would tie up with Chinese-funded roads and railways leading to Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea. China is reported to be considering construction of a rail link to Nepal, traditionally a buffer state under India's influence.

China has reportedly constructed 39 transport routes from its interior to its contested border with India--which Indian planners perceive as more of a military threat than a commercial opportunity, since much of the border is closed to trade. China's program of road and rail works along its border with the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as Chinese territory, has led New Delhi to accelerate "strategically important" road construction in the region. China is also funding extensive road and rail projects in Burma, traditionally the land corridor for both commerce and armies between East and South Asia.

Around India, China is constructing deep-water port facilities capable of berthing warships at Gwadar in Pakistan, on the Arabian Sea; at Rangoon, Kyaukpyu, and other harbors in Burma; at Chittagong in Bangladesh; and at Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Chinese engineers are dredging Burma's Irrawaddy River, which will give China a usable waterway connecting Yunnan province to the Bay of Bengal. China operates naval and radar facilities on Burma's Coco Islands, just 30 miles from Indian territory and strategically situated near the Straits of Malacca, through which pass half of all world oil shipments and one-third of all ship-borne cargo. India recently used its influence with the government of the Maldives to veto a Chinese request for naval access rights just off India's south coast.

The Pentagon has highlighted Beijing's design to construct a "string of pearls" of naval facilities stretching from Southeast Asia to the Persian Gulf--a project that will help China protect seaborne trade and, potentially, contain the Indian Navy's projection of power in what it considers its home seas. China's construction of transport infrastructure and port facilities that encircle India, says analyst Vikram Sood, is "designed to put India in pincers."

Amidst the drama of Washington's opening to Beijing in 1971, Henry Kissinger told President Nixon that no country in the world, with the possible exception of Great Britain, shared a greater convergence of strategic interests with America than Mao's China. <b>Modern India's democratic identity, and a striking congruence of interests between Washington and New Delhi after the Cold War, give India the stronger claim to be America's "natural ally" in Asia. </b>

As Prime Minister Singh has said, "If there is an 'idea of India' that the world should remember us by and regard us for, it is the idea of an inclusive and open society, a multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual society. All countries of the world will evolve in this direction as we move forward into the 21st century. Liberal democracy is the natural order of social and political organization in today's world. All alternate systems, authoritarian and majoritarian in varying degrees, are an aberration."

Former ambassador to India Robert Blackwill argues convincingly that New Delhi may more closely share America's core foreign policy goals and perception of threat than any of our traditional allies. More people have been killed by terrorists in India over the past 15 years than in any other country. This makes India a natural partner to America in the campaign against terror, centered in the Pakistan-Afghanistan nexus in India's backyard. Facing an acute missile threat from China and Pakistan, India embraced President Bush's missile defense plans when, in 2001, the president dismayed many traditional allies by withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. India was among the first countries to offer America the use of its military facilities after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

India is encircled by failed and potentially failing states--including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. New Delhi shares Washington's interest in helping these countries develop durable democratic institutions. "India would like the whole of South Asia to emerge as a community of flourishing democracies," said Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran in 2005.

America is India's largest trading partner. Continued annual economic growth of 8-9 percent depends on partnership with the world's largest economic power in trade, investment, technology, and market access. India's dependence on imported energy--and its intense competition with China for control of oil and gas supplies, from Ecuador to Angola--gives it an abiding interest in energy cooperation with America and Japan, including protecting the sea lanes linking the Persian Gulf to Asian waters.

India is committed to balancing Chinese power in Asia. "India has never waited for American permission to balance China," says Indian strategist Raja Mohan. "I tell the Americans: You balanced China from 1949 to 1971, but then allied with Beijing from 1971 to 1989. India has been balancing China since the day the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950. We have always balanced China--and that's what we'll continue to do." India, Mohan insists, "will never play second fiddle to the Chinese."

The challenge posed to India's security and its identity as a democratic Asian power by the rise of authoritarian China is fueling the new warmth in India's relations with Washington and Tokyo.

"[T]here is a major realignment of forces taking place in Asia," explained India's foreign secretary in 2005. "There is the emergence of China as a global economic powerhouse. There will be increased capabilities that China will be able to bring to bear in this region and even beyond. India also is going to be a major player in Asia. . . . I think India and the United States can contribute to a much better balance in the Asian region."

India, according to Indian Express editor in chief Shekhar Gupta, faces a strategic choice between building economic and military power in partnership with America and playing underdog to China in a global anti-American axis. "Is it a good or bad thing for India that the Cold War is over and that, in a resultant unipolar world, it has a mutually beneficial relationship with the only superpower?" he asks. The alternative is for India "to be to tomorrow's China what Cuba was to yesterday's Soviet Union. . . . [G]o seek a referendum from the people of India on that."

Although Chinese military strategists worry less about India than about America and Japan, the prospect of an enduring Indo-U.S. military partnership attracts Beijing's full attention. Indian strategist Brahma Chellaney recounts, "On my visits to China, I have found as an Indian that the only time the Chinese sit up and listen is when the U.S.-India relationship comes up. India and the United States ganging up militarily is China's worst nightmare."

So, too, could be an emerging strategic entente between India and Japan. <b>Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has said, "It is of crucial importance to Japan's national interest that we further strengthen our ties with India," which he calls "the most important bilateral relationship in the world." </b>

Since assuming office in September, Abe has enthusiastically backed the concept of a quadrilateral security partnership among Japan, India, Australia, and the United States. Abe says the values of "freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law" are central to Japan's identity as an Asian great power. "I believe Japan should play a role in trying to spread such values, for example in the Asian region," he recently told the Washington Post's Fred Hiatt. This makes democratic India a natural strategic partner.

Indian officials are enthusiastic about what Abe calls the development of a "new Asian order" based on strategic cooperation among Asian democracies. As Japan's ambassador in New Delhi, Yasukuni Enoki, recently put it, an Indo-Japanese strategic partnership could become "the driving force behind an emerging Asia," creating what Prime Minister Singh calls "an arc of advantage and prosperity" that will "enhance peace and stability in the Asian region and beyond."

<b>Japan is expected to join India and the United States next year in high-profile naval exercises in the South China Sea. </b>The two countries are pursuing a comprehensive economic partnership that includes Japanese provision of advanced technology to India to accelerate its rise. "India is the key counterweight to China in Asia, along with Vietnam," says one senior Japanese official. According to India's Mohan, "You'll see the India-Japan relationship change more over the next few years than any of our other key relationships. <b>India-Japan is the next big game." </b>

Such cooperation between a rising India and a more muscular Japan raises the prospect of what Chellaney, in his Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India, and Japan, calls the emergence of an Asian "constellation of democracies" dedicated to preserving what the State Department's Nicholas Burns calls "a stable balance of power in all of the Asia-Pacific region--one that favors peace through the presence of strong democratic nations enjoying friendly relations with the United States."

To foster an Asian balance that safeguards its liberal principles, India will need to wield the appeal of its democratic values as a strategic asset. India played a key role in brokering Nepal's recent agreement to hold democratic elections, but it continues to appease Burma's military junta in ways that alienate its natural allies, the Burmese people. They voted overwhelmingly for the democratic, pro-Indian opposition in the country's last free elections.

"India's regional grand strategy must be based on our belief that what is good for us is also good for our neighbors; in other words, pluralistic political systems, the rule of law, the rights of the individual," argues Hindustan Times columnist Manoj Joshi. From Rawalpindi to Rangoon, Indian leaders will find that democrats make better neighbors than military dictators.

<b>India's quest for strategic autonomy and its identity as a great civilization mean that it will never be the kind of subordinate ally the United States cultivated during the Cold War. </b>The closest historical model for America's ambition to accelerate India's rise to world power may be France's decision to invest in Russia's economic and military modernization in the late 19th century. France's goal was to build Russia up as an equal partner to help manage the rise of German power in Europe--just as the United States today hopes to construct friendly centers of power in Asia to limit China's ultimate ambitions.

"We're fully willing and ready to assist in th[e] growth of India's global power, . . . which we see as largely positive," says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Turning the caricature of ally-bashing unilateralism on its head, in India, the Bush administration is working concertedly, writes journalist Edward Luce, "to play midwife to the birth of a new great power."

Now the enactment in Washington of legislation enabling Indo-American civilian nuclear cooperation is a compelling riposte to leaders on the left and right of Indian politics who remain skeptical of Secretary Rice's commitment that America will be "a reliable partner for India as it makes its move as a global power."

Senator Richard Lugar calls the agreement "the most important strategic diplomatic initiative undertaken by President Bush." India's "normalization" as a nuclear power through agreements with the United States, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the International Atomic Energy Agency will encourage it to remain a responsible nuclear state committed to upholding a global nuclear order from which it had previously been excluded.

Civilian nuclear cooperation with Washington gives India even greater incentives to maintain India's "impeccable" (Prime Minister Singh) and "excellent" (Secretary Rice) nonproliferation record. It should also encourage Indian cooperation containing Iran's nuclear weapons program: In February, India voted with the United States to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions.

The notion of a Sino-American partnership to contain India's rise as a nuclear power, as suggested by President Clinton's joint condemnation of India's nuclear tests with Chinese president Jiang Zemin in Beijing in 1998--and more recently by American critics of the U.S.-India nuclear deal--rankles Indian elites. They are confused by the determination of U.S. critics to hold India to a far higher proliferation standard than China has displayed in its transfer of nuclear technology to Pakistan. They are surprised that some American experts believe excluding India from the legitimate nuclear order is more faithful to the cause of nonproliferation than enmeshing India in the rules of the nuclear club. And they are baffled that the West would want to entrench a balance of terror between democratic India and authoritarian China that permanently favors the latter.

Economic dynamism is fueling India's geopolitical ambitions. This new vigor is somewhat mystifying when judged against the bureaucratic incompetence of the Indian state. Despite scandalous underinvestment in education, sanitation, health, and infrastructure, India's economy is growing at an annual rate of 8-9 percent and is forecast to surpass China as the world's fastest-growing major economy next year. India remains burdened by acute poverty, yet possesses an expanding middle class already larger than the entire population of the United States. It suffers from stifling and corrupt government, yet boasts world-beating companies with global reach. Its dizzying politics--which currently pit a profoundly reformist prime minister against old-fashioned Marxists and caste-based populists within his own governing coalition--do not lend themselves to the kind of strategic economic liberalization China's leaders have managed since 1978.

"To race China, first let's get our feet off the brakes," implores the former editor of the reformist Indian Express, Arun Shourie. If and when this happens, Indian power, prosperity, and culture could change the world.

India's rapidly expanding middle class is expected to constitute 60 percent of its billion-plus population by 2020. India is expected to surpass Japan in the 2020s as the world's third-largest economy at market exchange rates, and to surpass China around 2032 as the world's most populous country. India's relative youthfulness should produce a "demographic dividend": While its 400 million-strong labor force today is only half that of China, by 2025 those figures will reverse as China's population rapidly ages.

India's economic growth may be more sustainable than China's. Domestic consumption accounts for nearly two-thirds of India's GDP but only 42 percent of China's, making India's growth "better balanced" than that of China's export-dependent economy, according to Morgan Stanley's Stephen Roach. India's combination of private-sector dynamism and state incompetence means that "India is rising despite the state," in the words of economist Gurcharan Das. It is "an organic success from below" rather than one directed by government planners, and is therefore "more likely to endure."

Conventional wisdom that Indian democracy constrains economic growth, and is inferior to the ruthless efficiency of China's authoritarian development model, is wrong. India's curse--like China's until quite recently--has been an overweening state that squeezes out private investment and creates massive opportunities for corruption. "India's problem isn't too much democracy, it's too much socialism," says Prannoy Roy, the founder of India's NDTV.

This is rapidly changing as economic reform transforms India's economic landscape, fueling a vast domestic consumer market and providing a launching pad for Indian companies like Infosys, recently listed on the NASDAQ-100. More fundamentally, its democratic political foundation gives India a long-term comparative advantage by rendering less likely the kind of revolutionary unrest that has regularly knocked China's growth off course throughout that country's long history.

Infused with the missionary spirit and the ideology of the Open Door, Americans have long held a fascination with the prospect of changing China in our own image. Yet authoritarian China's rise and growing nationalism raise questions about when and whether China will embrace political liberalism.

India may be a better template against which to judge the appeal of democratic values on Asian soil--and a surer partner in managing security challenges, from Chinese power to global terrorism, whose threat lies in their lack of democratic control. A durable Indo-American partnership of values promises higher dividends than a century of failed attempts to forge an enduring Sino-American alliance in Asia.

<b>The United States is strangely popular in India. Polling regularly shows Indians to be among the most pro-American people anywhere--sometimes registering warmer sentiments towards the United States than Americans themselves do.</b> But this is not so strange: India and America are the world's biggest and oldest democracies. Both are multiethnic, continental empires with strong cultural-religious identities. Each inherited the rule of law from Britain. Indian and American foreign policies appear equally animated by a self-regarding exceptionalism and a habit of moralizing in international affairs.

Both India and America are revisionist powers intent on peacefully recasting the contemporary international order and ensuring themselves a prominent place in it. America's rise to world power in the 19th and 20th centuries is, in some respects, a model for India's own ambitions. As Indian analyst Pratap Bhanu Mehta told the New York Times, Indians have "great admiration for U.S. power" and want their country to "replicate" it, not oppose it. How many of America's European allies share such sentiments?

The CIA has labeled India the key "swing state" in international politics. <b>It predicts that India will emerge by 2015 as the fourth most important power in the international system</b>. Goldman Sachs predicts that, by 2040, the largest economies on earth will be China, the United States, India, and Japan. A strategic partnership of values among the last three, naturally encompassing the European Union, may defy predictions of a coming "Chinese century"--and set a standard of democratic cooperation and prosperity China itself might ultimately embrace on its own path to greatness.

<i>Daniel Twining, a former adviser to Senator John McCain, is a fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, based in Oxford and New Delhi, and the Fulbright/Oxford Scholar at the University of Oxford.</i>
<b>'93 blasts accused traced in US'</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, January 5: The US has informed India that it has traced Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, wanted by the CBI in connection with the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, and sought further evidence from New Delhi to decide whether he should be detained.

A CBI spokesman said in New Delhi that US authorities had been approached for deporting or extraditing Khan, against whom an Interpol Red Corner Notice is pending.

The CBI has received a communication from the Interpol in Washington about Khan's presence in the US. <b>He has reportedly acquired US citizenship</b>

A decision on whether Khan should be detained and sent back to India will be taken on the basis of evidence provided by New Delhi, the spokesman said.

Khan is accused of being one of the key conspirators in the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai that killed 257 people and injured over 700, besides damaging property worth crores of rupees.

He allegedly played a key role in smuggling arms and explosives into India during January 1993 for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The <b>CBI had got a Red Corner Notice for his arrest issued in 1994</b>.
Lets see whether US really serious about terrorism, we will know when US government revoke his citizenship and deport him to India.
<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Jan 1 2007, 12:29 AM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Jan 1 2007, 12:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The New Great Game; Why the Bush administration has embraced India</b>.
<b>"The [Indian] elephant," says an admiring Japanese official, "is about to gallop." </b>

So, too, could be an emerging strategic entente between India and Japan. <b>Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has said, "It is of crucial importance to Japan's national interest that we further strengthen our ties with India," which he calls "the most important bilateral relationship in the world." </b>

<i>Daniel Twining, a former adviser to Senator John McCain, is a fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, based in Oxford and New Delhi, and the Fulbright/Oxford Scholar at the University of Oxford.</i>

India absolutely must be very very very good friends with Japan. And every time we go to Tokyo for Tea, we have to stop by in Beijing first to say "Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai", "China is our Most Respected Friend", "We are proud to share a happy, peaceful, and friendly relationship with China"..etc. And then we sell Japan Bramhos etc. Urge Japan to convey our regards to Taiwan...(All in spirit of Friendship onlee)..
<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Indian Navy acquires USS Trenton

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Indian Navy on Wednesday acquired the 17,000 ton US warship USS Trenton.

Conmmodore P Murugesan, Naval Attach� at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, accepted the transfer of USS Trenton to the Indian Navy at a brief ceremony at the US Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. This is India's first acquisition of a US vessel.

The USS Trenton landing platform dock, which has been renamed INS Jalashva, is set to be the second largest ship with the Indian Navy, after the aircraft carrier Viraat.

Indian naval officials believe that this ship will 'add punch to India's maritime forces' with its capacity to participate in naval operations, peacekeeping operations, tri-service operations and humanitarian relief.

The Trenton has an unrivalled capacity to carry troops close to a battalion-strength and sustain them over a long duration.

The US Congress cleared the transfer of the vessel under the Foreign Military Sales Program in August 2005 while the government of India signed the 'Letter of Acceptance' on July 31, 2006.

The acquisition of the ship is yet another tangible manifestation of Indo-US military to military and defense cooperation as part of the US-India strategic partnership and, according to Indian naval officials, 'opens a new era in the history of Indo-US naval cooperation.'

The Indian Navy crew of 27 officers and 302 sailors joined ship on October 21, 2006 in Norfolk.

According to Indian naval officials, 'Indian Navy and US Navy crew operated shoulder to shoulder through classroom instructions, shipboard training in-port and underway training emphasizing on operational efficiency and safety.'

The training activities also included handling flight operations, assault craft operations, weapon firings, machinery space drills, specialist equipment operations and safety evolutions. The training also included two sea-sorties extending to about 20 days packed with operational training activity necessary to take charge of the ship by the Indian Navy.

PTI adds:

Six UH-3H Sea King helicopters were acquired along with the ship. The Indian Navy currently operates similar helicopters.

The primary role of the vessel is transporting troops and logistics for amphibious operations using landing craft and aircraft.

Its secondary roles include flight operations, logistic and technical support for other ships (such as providing spares, fuel and water), maritime surveillance and interdiction operations, humanitarian aid, disaster relief missions, non-combatant evacuation operations and serving as a hospital ship.

The ship measuring nearly 570 feet in length has a flight deck equivalent to the size of two tennis courts that is capable of handling all types of helicopters. It has a large 'well deck' the size of two basketball courts that can accommodate four mechanised landing craft, which carry troops and vehicles from the ship to shore.

It has a top speed of 20 knots and is equipped with four generators that can generate three MW or enough electricity to power a city of 26,000 people.

The flight deck can be used for emergency landings by VSTOL aircraft like the Sea Harrier. It can accommodate and support infrastructure for 900 troops or evacuees during humanitarian missions and is also equpped with sensors, electronics and self-defence gun systems.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
By - <b>Jakob De Roover</b>

Research Centre
Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap
Ghent University, Belgium
By - Jakob De Roover<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
There are a number of points I specifically agree with in the above article. For instance, De Roover writes how the HAF and VF have been forced to do the following in presenting Hinduism in America:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->That is, the many devatas are transformed into different ways of worshiping the one true God. Hinduism becomes a proper monotheistic faith. A variety of pagan Indian traditions are excluded because they are embarrassing to the sanitized biblical model of American pluralism.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The concept of the Divine in Hinduism is as infinite as the Divine itself. He/she has form, is formless, a universal energy. Reading about Brahman in the Upanishads and then reading the Tao Te Ching, one realises that they speak of this unmanifested, indescribable divine ... matter or intelligence or intellect or force or whatever the best description is. The Vedas and Upanishads and commentary by Adi Shankaracharya all explain Brahman with negation: 'not (just) this - beyond all this'. The Tao Te Ching also takes an indirect route to explain the Tao without being able to describe what is essentially indescribable. The Tao Te Ching also does an excellent job in conveying the idea in a human language and explain it to human thought.
In Hinduism, the same Brahman, that force inconceivable to limited imagination, is also manifest to us in a myriad of conceivable forms: Mahavishnu or his variations-(with particular and definite purposes) like Rama and Krishna, Shiva the Cosmic Intelligence, Shakthi the Power and Energy, Ganapathi without whom no Sacrifice bears fruition, and the like. In a different view, the same Gods return to explain the cosmos in a different manner: creation, preservation, dissolution or Goddess the infinitely generative (Parvati) or protective (as Kali), memory, knowledge, wisdom and speech (Saraswati), all kinds of wealth and contentment (Lakshmi). The Gods return again to be individual characters to their bhakthas, they fuse (as Ardhanareeshwara or Shankara-Narayana) to symbolise their oneness. They play the easily comprehensible (Krishna and his butter snatching, Muruga and his playfulness) to the incomprehensible: how each God is described in the scriptures devoted to or expounded by them as being Brahman: Devi (Devi Mahatmyam), Krishna in Gita, Shiva, Ganapathi, Muruga and all .
The Divine is also manifest as the Gods of nature: Rain (Indra), Fire (Agni), Sun, Wind, and the like.

The Divine is everything to us, (s)he is both personal and impersonal and beyond all conception - the Gita explains this repeatedly. There seems to be both personal interest/touch in creation, all while it is merely a natural process of Brahman, from what I could understand of it.

Roover again, on how the Christian understanding of Hinduism using the biblical framework, returned to us to affect Hindu perceptions of our own religion:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The scholars and human sciences of Europe took these Christian theological descriptions as the basic material of their theorizing. Later, Americans reproduced the same assumptions and images. The result is ‘Hinduism’ – the religion of the Hindus. Tragically, colonialism had the Indian pagans adopt this description of their own traditions. Today their intellectuals and educated layers also believe this ‘Hinduism’ exists. Consequently, the NRI community understands the predicament it confronts in a particular way: how should this religion of Hinduism be represented fairly and accurately in the American public sphere and educational system?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The author states that our real trouble is figuring out<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>how to break out of the straitjacket in which American pluralism and its theological structure have imprisoned the pagan traditions of India?</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I feel that his answer is partly hidden in here:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This straitjacket has a long history. It is the framework through which the western culture has always looked at other cultures. It is the paradigm that still sustains the dominant human sciences of today and their understanding of nonwestern cultures. It effectively transforms the Hindu traditions into pallid variants of biblical religion.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->We are not alone in Hinduism.
Christianity, Islam are both part of a group of three related religions, together with Judaism.
But our Hinduism is not alone at all, having similarities with many religions - all natural religions: Japan's Shinto has the Kamisama, the Divine, which manifests in many Gods. Like our Brahman:
http://www.basilisk.tv/ (History link)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A strong spiritual influence [of the Ninjas] was Shinto, "the way of the Kami." Kami is the Japanese word of "god" and rather than referring to a being, Kami refers to a sacred force that runs through the entire world.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Again, this is like Tao too. Then there is Le Grand Esprit of the North American native Americans: the Grand Spirit, even though the native Americans have totem animals and many other Gods or Spirits to guide them in life, all of whom are manifestations in some capacity of the Grand Spirit. The Ancient African religion of Ifa has the Divine manifesting as many Gods to love and guide all creatures. Hellenismos, the real thing - not the 'petty' religion christians have made it out to be over the last 1.5 millennia - is like our religion too: the Cosmic Power manifests as the Gods representing different aspects of Nature. Zeus is the active Creator, also a deity of Nature, also the Intelligence of the Kosmos itself. Read how the poetic ancient Greeks described Zeus in the section "Greek Wisdom" at http://www.sunyaprajna.com/Worldview/SRKcomments.html
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>The last and greatest of them, Porphyry, interprets an <b>Orphic hymn to Zeus</b> as follows: </i>

Now look at the wisdom of the Greeks, and examine it as follows. The authors of the Orphic hymns supposed Zeus to be the mind of the world, and that he created all things therein, containing the world in himself. Therefore in their theological systems they have handed down their opinions concerning him thus:
   Zeus was the first, Zeus last, the lightning's lord,
   Zeus head, Zeus centre, all things are from Zeus.
   Zeus born a male, Zeus virgin undefiled;
   Zeus the firm base of earth and starry heaven;
   Zeus sovereign, Zeus alone first cause of all:
   One power divine, great ruler of the world,
   One kingly form, encircling all things here,
   Fire, water, earth, and ether, night and day;
   Wisdom, first parent, and delightful Love:
   For in Zeus' mighty body these all lie.
   His head and beauteous face the radiant heaven
   Reveals and round him float in shining waves
   The golden tresses of the twinkling stars.
   On either side bulls' horns of gold are seen,
   Sunrise and sunset, footpaths of the gods.
   His eyes the Sun, the Moon's responsive light;
   His mind immortal ether, sovereign truth,
   Hears and considers all; nor any speech,
   Nor cry, nor noise, nor ominous voice escapes
   The ear of Zeus, great Kronos' mightier son:
   Such his immortal head, and such his thought.
   His radiant body, boundless, undisturbed
   In strength of mighty limbs was formed thus:
   The god's broad-spreading shoulders, breast and back
   Air's wide expanse displays; on either side
   Grow wings, wherewith throughout all space he flies.
   Earth the all-mother, with her lofty hills,
   His sacred belly forms; the swelling flood
   Of hoarse resounding Ocean girds his waist.
   His feet the deeply rooted ground upholds,
   And dismal Tartarus, and earth's utmost bounds.
   All things he hides, then from his heart again
   In godlike action brings to gladsome light.

Zeus, therefore, is the whole world, animal of animals, and god of gods; but Zeus, that is, inasmuch as he is the mind from which he brings forth all things, and by his thoughts creates them. When the theologians had explained the nature of god in this manner, to make an image such as their description indicated was neither possible, nor, if any one thought of it, could he show the look of life, and intelligence, and forethought by the figure of a sphere.

But they have made the representation of Zeus in human form, because mind was that according to which he wrought, and by generative laws brought all things to completion; and he is seated, as indicating the steadfastness of his power: and his upper parts are bare, because he is manifested in the intellectual and the heavenly parts of the world; but his feet are clothed, because he is invisible in the things that lie hidden below. And he holds his sceptre in his left hand, because most close to that side of the body dwells the heart, the most commanding and intelligent organ: for the creative mind is the sovereign of the world. And in his right hand he holds forth either an eagle, because he is master of the gods who traverse the air, as the eagle is master of the birds that fly aloft - or a victory, because he is himself victorious over all things.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Some of the statements about Zeus in this poem is like the description of Brahman in the Gita. It gives the lie to the christians who have maligned the Great Father Zeus. The Greeks used to say about him "For we are all indeed his offspring". Clearly.

One of the ways I thought Hindus can move forward with a proper representation of our religion is to leave the low-level talk of polytheism and monotheism to christoislamism which alone is concerned with this petty nonsense.
If you have children, explore the other natural religions and teach them how Hinduism is the expression of the Divine in India. How Hinduism is the Truths grasped by our ancient Indian ancestors. And why our Gods are special to us: in the same manner that the Gods of the other natural religionists are special to them - they represent their people's historic, accumulated, evolutionary understanding of the Divine. It is the greatest gift our ancestors have given us and something that the small-minded, petty babbling book or koran can never give even the remotest glimpse of.

De Roover also writes the following though:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In reality, however, the notion of God is absent in the Hindu traditions: there is no eternal person, whose will has created and governs the universe and who has revealed His true will to sections of humanity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> That is not true. Like Zeus and the other Olympic Gods and the various Kami (manifestations) in Shinto or the Yoruba in Africa, our Gods are represented in physical manifestation too. The Gita says that this entity or being, both formless and yet with myriad forms, is the creator and preserver of all of Creation (the whole Cosmos: all the universes) who pervades every particle of it. As time, (s)he guides everone and everything to their final destinations. There is a repeated cycle of creation, life and dissolution set in motion by the Cosmic 'Mind'.
Krishna explains who he is to Arjuna, who being a prince must have learnt the Vedas from his teachers like Bhishma and Drona. Krishna tells Arjuna: you have heard of Brahman, that which is everything and beyond everything you know - I am a manifestation of that.
And this is what Rama, Shiva, Devi, Ganapathi and the others all are.

As for our Hindu background: we are not alone, but are in the greatest and most worthwhile of company (and we are ourselves as worthwhile), sharing with other natural religionists such a unifying understanding of the Divine. It's time well-spent when we learn about these other ancient religions (after forcing ourselves to read through the babble/koran to realise we have nothing in common with these two) and realise how so many aspects of Hinduism have a parallel with other natural religions. No more time wasted on apologetics about non-issues like the monopoly-theisms discussions and about idols or what nots.
Husky- I am pleased to note that you are trudging the right path with respect to our closeness to other pagan religions (despite being misguided regarding the the common origin and heritage of Indo-Europeans). Studying that hymn to Zeus is important for all <i>Hindus</i> as part of grasping our larger tradition. Only then will our uniqueness in the modern world be reinforced and the need to preserve it realized - for it represent an integral aspect of human existence that is threatened with extinction by Abrahamistic mental diseases. Thank you for reminding me of it for I once wrote something about it and lost it. Now I need to revisit it.
<!--QuoteBegin-Hauma Hamiddha+Jan 24 2007, 05:51 AM-->QUOTE(Hauma Hamiddha @ Jan 24 2007, 05:51 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Husky- I am pleased to note that you are trudging the right path with respect to our closeness to other pagan religions (despite being misguided regarding the the common origin and heritage of Indo-Europeans). Studying that hymn to Zeus is important for all <i>Hindus</i> as part of grasping our larger tradition. Only then will our uniqueness in the modern world be reinforced and the need to preserve it realized - for it represent an integral aspect of human existence that is threatened with extinction by Abrahamistic mental diseases. Thank you for reminding me of it for I once wrote something about it and lost it. Now I need to revisit it.
[right][snapback]63452[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(1) In my mind I refer to the <i>Abrahamic heresies</i>: christoislamism, communism, fascism, racism, false secularism, false egalitarianism. As well as other frauds, including those Orwell brought to my attention with 1984.

(2) My sister used to translate the Greek and Latin religious poetry and prose for me: I was willing to listen and it helped her practise for her exams. Ever since then, having learnt about the Greco-Roman Gods, I've always had a fond place in my heart for them.

(3) <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->misguided regarding the the common origin and heritage of Indo-Europeans<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Were I misguided, I'm still less so than the 2 centuries of IE 'scholarship' driven by mostly wishful-thinking and racist-christian-colonial western self-conceit. For all that time, the Brits have imagined themselves to be these Oryans, these Indo-Europoids. Meanwhile, as Viren had posted, it has emerged that the British gene pool is 95% Basque-related - that is, their Basqueness makes them particularly not IE (genetically). I'm inferring the 95% from the following:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another wave of immigration arrived during the Neolithic period, when farming developed about 6,500 years ago. But the English still derive most of their current gene pool from the same early Basque source as the Irish, Welsh and Scots. These figures are at odds with the modern perceptions of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ethnicity based on more recent invasions. There were many later invasions, as well as less violent immigrations, and each left a genetic signal, but no individual event contributed much more than 5 per cent to our modern genetic mix.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The Brits therefore are people of whom we can be quite certain that they are speaking languages others have taught them sometime in history: turns out <i>they</i> are the borrowers. And by extension, the gene pool of the British settlers in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand is therefore also mostly Basque.
Ultimately it's a sad joke on them: imagining the Oryans were their ancestors, they made idols out of the Indo-Europeans - and the Brits only have themselves to blame to now be so disappointed.
Only Herr Commandant Witzel and the like can now still brag about the 'superior' 'Indo-Europeans' without slighting all of his own ancestors. And even then, Herr Witzel's native Germania is not a 'pure' IE 'race' either, at least not going by the significant percentage of non-IE words in their language. (And as Dhu wrote somewhere on the AIT-related threads, much of Greek vocabulary is also pre-IE; although I don't know if Greeks are that much interested in being grouped with IEs. The Hellenes don't appear to be.)

If I were European, I would give up on the IE dream, it had never given rise to any unifying European ancestry or linguistic origin, and now it has lost more of the west than before to genetically-proven <i>non</i>-IE origins.

(4) I have never contended that Samskritam did not have a close linguistic kinship with Avestan (Iranian), nor have I ever denied that the ancient Persians and Parthians were related to the Indians of the Northwest (themselves related to the rest of the Indian population) - this has always been apparent even for me.
It is rather obvious that the Iranian tribes emerged from India; it's anything but a mystery. However, the Indians and Iranians are not what they mean when the western scholars fantasize about the Indo-Europeans/Oryans. They are referring to some human subspecies of Caucasian, European: an imagined Super-Civilisator. Where is their evidence? Just to claim a part in the cake of the Parthian Empire, Microsoft Encarta has to say the Parthians are descended from the Scythians - the C-Asian Iranian-speaking people who roamed the regions a stone's throw above Afghanistan. And yet these amazing Scythians, (whom the IE scholars like to imagine are Caucasian even though they are specifically Iranian-speaking and quite a few seem Turkic or Mongolian by ethnicity) did nothing in C-Asia that is comparable to the Parthian achievements in Afghan-Iran territory, an empire which expanded into Mesopotamia. Does this mean the magic lies <i>in the lands</i> of India, Afghanistan, Iran (and Greece and Rome) rather than in the flattering-fantasy of an IE <i>people</i>?

(5) Also, no part of the IE dream has yet materialised: from IE linguistics derives PIE, from which derives the supposition of an IE people, which has led to speculations (and they are only that: eager speculations by often-racist or eurocentrist scholars) on a unifying Oryan religion/myths, society, culture, innovations, bla-bla-bla. Never was impressed. All they have is conjecture, they have nothing (except what what they gained by appropriating Greece and Rome) to show for it. Greece and Rome were never part of an idea of 'Europe' during their existence: the idea of a Europe emerged when the lands all became christian. Greece and Rome were part of a continuum stretching horizontally eastwards (competing with Persia and Parthia, trading with India) rather than northward from the Mediterranean. Rome conquered upto Britian and Germania in the north and that was merely expansion. Eventually Roman culture would have been diffused and perhaps the northern people would all have been welcomed as 'Romans' a few centuries onwards - who knows?; but it was all still in the preliminary stages when the whole thing collapsed. Rome also went southwards, into North-Africa. Only the march of islam prevented these countries from joining what is now 'Europe'.
Where's the historic 'Europe'? Europe is a by-product of christianity. (And foolishly, it leaves out Russia - probably because it is Orthodox and the Catholic Church could not stand it. On the other hand, excising Greece, for being Orthodox, would be like cutting out the heart of Europe.)

The whole IE thing still stretches my belief far beyond the capabilities of my generally-boundless imagination; and so I now refuse to even try accomodating it anymore. As for the sooper-dooper idea the IE studies has presented of a related mythology or religion: Zeus, Indra and Thor are all indeed Thunder Gods, it is true, but there are Thunder, Solar, Rain and other natural Gods outside of the 'IE' world too. There are many such cases of similarities between 'IE' Gods that turn out to not be unique only to 'IE', nor derived from IE. The basic Sky-father, Earth-mother 'motif' is there among North American native Americans (and Koreans, it seems), even though confused IE reconstructionists like to brag how it's a unifying religious notion particular to IE people. Grief, it's only one of the simplest (but still true) understandings of the Divine.

Regardless, even Bruce Lincoln whose <i>specific</i> area of study appears to have been IE myth and religion, does not recognise the category any more. Rajesh_g's post 114 in an IF thread excerpts from Arvidsson's <i>Aryan Idols</i>:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In the 1990s, Lincoln continued to critically study the history of Indo-European scholarship, which resulted in Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship (2000; a work that would have been very important to the ideas in my study had it been published before the Swedish edition). His studies of Indo-European mythology have now made him question the very belief in an objective historiography, and he sees the scientific search for knowledge as a site for political power struggles. The work of cultural studies is, according to Lincoln, "myth plus footnotes". In one of his latest articles, Lincoln has also chosen to modify the classification system of the history of religions. The myths that he earlier studied as "Indo-European" are now presented as "Eurasian" or as "Indo-European" (in quotation marks). With that, the category of {Indo-European} religion that saw the light with Oriental Jones' discovery in 1786 is eliminated.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->And good riddance, too. At least Lincoln and Arvidsson appear to be people who asked the questions that nearly no one else in IE scholarship are even thinking of. And their investigation to uncover these answers lead them to declaring the 'Indo-Europeans' themselves to be just convenient theorising.

I'm willing to be wrong. Often am. But I don't trust IE scholars to 'prove' it. Their proofs are either not reliable or incomplete or contestable: 'voila, the PIE'. They are themselves unreliable (unless they are self-reflecting like Arviddson and Lincoln - in which case they often turn their views on IE around significantly).
I'm through taking their word for it. They'll have to work doubly hard to present their case again, and I fear only an indisputable picture of history is going to convince me to reconsider.
So far, nearly all the scholars that want to say something about 'factual' Indo-Europeans are motivated by a racist dream of IEs (even if some of them are not racist themselves, the dream itself is), building on two centuries of eurocentrist and theologically duplicitous (christian-missionary) 'scholarly' foundations. Last people I'd trust. Not even as far as I could toss 'em.

(6) <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thank you for reminding me of it for I once wrote something about it and lost it. Now I need to revisit it.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->If you find it, please consider posting it at IF.

Here is a post from Jakob on a yahoogroup where he discusses some of what you have raised.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Sunil,

Several problems are involved here. On the one hand, the
conceptualization of God as an eternal person whose will has created
and governs the universe needs to be taken very strictly. On the
other hand, there are problems in the translation of texts from the
Indian traditions.

1. What does it mean to say that God is a person? Well, there are
different philosophical views on the notion of person, but they
generally agree upon two things: (a) a person has personal identity,
that is, can be recognized over time and space to be one and the
same person; (b) a person is an agent who has a will, plans or
purposes upon which he or she can act. An eternal person, then,
remains one and the same person forever and must have some kind of
eternal plan.

2. The universe is everything that was, is and will be. If one says
that God is a person whose will creates and governs the universe,
this means that everything that ever happened, that happens now and
that will happen in the future is His will. There is no possibility
for Him to commit certain actions intentionally, while other actions
are 'play' or 'unintentional'. Everything He does expresses His will
perfectly and that is what the universe is.

3. Taking these properties of God, it becomes clear that no being in
the Indian traditions is God. Naturally, certain sentences in some
texts can be translated in such a way as to correspond vaguely to
this notion of God. But where we to analyze these beings
conceptually, it would turn out that they cannot have these
properties. This prediction can be made with quite some certainty,
because if there were God in these traditions, their structure would
necessarily have been that of an explanatorily intelligible account.
That is, these traditions would have to be obsessed with the plan or
will of God and conveyed to humanity what its part is in that plan.
They would then consist of sets of doctrines which can be either
true or false. Consequently, there would have been conflicts over
orthodoxy and religious truth. Since all these things are not the
case in the Indian traditions, we can safely conclude that they do
not have this notion of God. No matter how some Sanskrit sentences
may have been translated in the past.



(A nice summary of the question of personhood can be found at
this URL:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_...hat_is_a_Person )<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Rajesh_g, cheers.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the conceptualization of God as an eternal person whose will has created
and governs the universe needs to be taken very strictly.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I get it now. It's right: we don't have a mold for our Gods to fit into. (S)he/it kind of morphs into and out of form, and the forms taken are not all of the same character or intent.

I now see that De Roover is speaking of the tight biblical description of the bible's god. I agree with him, if the quoted statement is taken as <i>no more</i> than what it says, but is considered literally. In that case, it's true:
We don't have a bearded angry jealous guy sitting in the Void (previously it was doctrine that he sat in the literal sky, but probes have explored space and can't find the bible's god), taking an active interest in making sure none of his human creatures on the central planet which the sun circambulates (to be consistent with biblical teaching) are going against his 10 commandments or his plan for eventual apocalypse and selective salvation. Else his gawdly Will manifests as biblical wrath that will punish lots of innocent humans besides animals.
(When I first heard that this was what the biblical belief was, I was astounded beyond all comprehension. But later, by the time I got round to islamic beliefs, I had become rather immunised to the extremes of ludicrousness.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the conceptualization of God as an eternal person whose will has created
and governs the universe needs to be taken very strictly.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Taking De Roover's statement loosely though, it does apply to Hinduism: the Cosmic Mind of Brahman has given birth to the balanced Laws of Nature which guides the Cosmos (through Rta) and the sentient beings (through Dharma, subset of Rta). Brahman did create all of it, and it is through these Laws of Nature which are in place that Brahman's will is manifest. And Brahman is eternal. So check all.
Likewise, it applies to the Tao. The Tao is eternal, which has created all of the Cosmos. The Tao's will is manifest in the balanced Laws of Nature (the Yin-Yang, think Purusha-Prakriti/Shiva-Shakthi). Likewise in Shinto. And like the Kamisama in Shinto takes many forms, Brahman in Hinduism manifests as Krishna, Durga, Shanmuga, Ayyapa, ....

But ultimately De Roover is right as to why drawing parallels between Hinduism and narrowly defined statements of biblical dogma is dangerous: the christoislamic idea of koranic/biblical god is very strict, so strict that I didn't notice the boundaries (until De Roover's explanation came along) and imagined the description applied to the boundless Divine of Hinduism.

Something else:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Where's the historic 'Europe'? Europe is a by-product of christianity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Acharya just posted a link in the Unmasking AIT thread which again shows up how all my little thoughts have already been thought of by better minds.
Acharya's link goes to a chapter of Ram Swarup's book <i>On Hinduism: Reviews and Reflections</i>, which states:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>India and Europe</i> opens with the "Philosophical View of India in Classical Antiquity", or India in the old Greek tradition. It assumes that Classical Greece provides Europe's antiquity and that the two are related in some special way. It is a debatable point but it has been assumed here as axiomatic. The fact is that at the time when Greece represented a living culture, it did not know Europe, nor Europe of that time knew Greece.

The Greeks knew themselves as Hellenists, not Europeans. And whenever they sought the origins of, or influences upon, their own philosophy and religion, they thought of Egypt, Chaldea and India, not of Europe. They received little from Europe and they bequeathed not much to it, at least at the time when they represented a living culture. In fact, Christian Europe as it was taking shape first grew in opposition to and later in forgetfulness of Greek culture. Christian Europe in its early period used Greek language and Greek philosophy to establish itself; then it attacked ferociously Greek culture. Christian Europe in its early period used Greek language and Greek philosophy to establish itself; then it attacked ferociously Greek religion and culture; it destroyed Greek literature, its schools and libraries.2 The work of destruction was so complete that even the memory of Plato and Socrates was obliterated and for a thousand years Christian Europe grew in complete ignorance of what it calls its classical antiquity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

When I wrote that Europe is a by-product of christianity, I did not mean to imply that Europe was ever united as one connected entity before now (now there's the European Union, and conferences between mutually respectful European heads of state). Throughout the history of christianised Europe, there was of course only war and several countries even sought the utter destruction of the other.
Merely meant that the other European countries were all part of what was the basically familiar world to them: on the south and east they were bounded by islam. A christian nation, however inimical to another European country, was generally considered better than forging ties with islamic ones.
(I also vaguely recall that the name 'Europe' itself comes from Greek religion, where Zeus as a Bull carried off a girl called Io and crossed the Mediterranean which somehow lead to the name Europa. But this only marked the geographic region, it never indicated that the lands were more intimately related let alone housed a close-knit set of societies and peoples.)
More elaboration from Balu.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RE: [TheHeathenInHisBlindness] Re: On the Future of the NRI Community

Dear Sunil,

If we want to grasp the nature of the discussions in the Indian traditions,
there is much we need to do beforehand: (a) identify the entity they were
talking about; (b) identify the specific questions they were answering; ©
identify the generic questions that defined both the outlines of the
acceptable answers and the formulation of the specific questions; etc. (The
'cetera' indicates that I do not know how to enumerate all the things we
need to grasp.) In the case of the propositions you have formulated, I
assume that 'God' is Vishnu (or even Krishna) and not, say, Shiva or Brahma
because you are talking about the Madhvas. However, to keep the discussion
faithful to your formulations, I will use the word 'God' to refer to Vishnu.

Your proposition 1: "Creation is a spontaneous activity of God, just like a
blissful person spontaneously breaks into a song without any rhyme or

Apparently, this is answering the specific question 'why' (in the sense of
'KaaraNa', mostly translated as 'the reason why') God created (the
Universe?). The analogy to a blissful person is a very strict one. That is,
in exactly the same way a blissful person does not break into a song for a
reason, God does not create for a reason. The underlying thoughts are these:
normally, one sings a song to express some emotion or the other or even
because he/she is feeling some motion or another (love, sorrow, devotion, or
whatever else), that is, the person "intends" to express something. The
blissful person does not need to express anything; he/she is not in need of
anything, including the need to express the bliss. That is what bliss
(ananda) is all about.

So, the assumption is that 'bliss', something we human beings experience, is
what God also feels. The only difference is that God feels this all the
time, whereas only some of us can (either occasionally or after some
tremendous effort) feel that bliss. (Additional claims that God's Bliss is
our bliss raised to "the power of infinity" and such like tell us the same
thing: there is no difference in kind but, at best, a difference in degree,
between God's emotion and ours.)

In other words, the analogy explicates the nature of spontaneity (and the
meaning of that word), whether it is God's spontaneity or human spontaneity:
doing something not because one is in need of (or lacks) something. There is
no difference in kind between us human beings and God but only one of
degree. Your next proposition elaborates on this.

Your proposition 2: "The creation of the world does not serve any purpose of
God. He is "AptakAma" - there is nothing he does not have nor is there
anything he will ever need." (The 'he' here must also be read strictly:
Vishnu is sexed and he is a 'male'.)

This further tells us that creation (of something by human beings) serves
some purpose or another. Consequently, one might be inclined to say that God
is "in need" of something that he does not have, and hence the creation.
This proposition tells us that God has "everything": he is more beautiful
than the most beautiful; stronger than the strongest; richer than the
richest; the teacher of teachers; braver than the bravest, etc. Again, these
are all differences in degree: he has more of everything we "desire", he is
"more" than any of us or other 'gods'; and so on. He really does not need
anything; he is bliss personified. Therefore, creation should not be seen as
making up for some or another lack in God. In this sense, creation does not
serve any purpose: one should say that God has "no purpose" in creating. He
just creates. In other words, there is no intention behind God's creation.
Spontaneity is the absence of intention or purpose of any sort, and the
analogy drawn in the first proposition shows that action without intention
is typical of a blissful person. Because God is bliss personified, God's
creation does not exhibit his purpose or express his intention. (Should it
do so, then God needs to express his purpose, which makes God into someone
"in need" of such an expression.) Hence the notion of creation as God's
"lila". That is to say, creation is completely without purpose. To use a
modern terminology, to speak of the universe as an expression of God's
intention or God's purpose is to commit a category mistake.

Your proposition 3: "The 'creation' of the universe is just the
transformation of the prakriti from its "avyakta" state to "vyakta" state.
All the laws of the universe are an expression of prakriti's innate triguna

Therefore, God 'functions' as a catalyst (to use this term from high-school
Chemistry) in the process of creation. This function enables the
'potentiality' of Prakriti to become 'actuality'. The laws of the universe,
consequently, do not express what God 'desires' or God 'wants' but express
the 'nature' of prakriti. That is, the universe retains its character of not
being the product of God's intention or God's plans or God's purpose.
Universe expresses what universe is like, what it always has been and always
will be: namely, "it is in the nature of the universe to be what it is". God
has added nothing to the universe that was not already there, nor has he
taken away something that was there earlier. "This is the way universe has
been, is, and will be, because it belongs to the nature of the universe to
be the way it was, is, and will be."

Your proposition 4: "God is at all times impartial and as an antaryami
immanent spirit, He is the power behind all the 'being' and 'becoming' (ie,
expression of their individual svabhAvas) of souls as well as prakriti".

Because God is bliss personified, he cannot be attached to anything or
anybody. Therefore, he is strictly impartial. He is the 'power' behind
everything and is everywhere: both in the individuals and in 'the universe'
(using 'the universe' for 'prakriti'). He must be an 'antaryami' (present
internally in everything and everywhere) because he would not "have
everything" if he was not. Were he not to be in a gnat or an ant, he would
lack something, namely "what it feels to be like a gnat or an ant". So, he
has to be everywhere.

Now, we can begin to sense the generic question behind these propositions:
If this is what 'bliss' is, that is, not lacking anything, and if this
entity is bliss personified and is present in each one of us (and elsewhere
too) are 'we' not, in reality, or in our essence, also identical to this
entity? Tat Tvam Asi, 'thou art that': is not this what one of the mahAvAkya
tells us? 'Aham Brhmasmi", as another of the mahAvAkya also tells us. Does
it really matter what you call this 'blissful entity' as? And so on.

From these propositions, if you draw the inference, which you want to,
"hence, he governs the Universe", you need to understand 'governing' as (a)
an impartial act; (b) by the 'power' in the 'core' of each one of us and ©
present in the rest of the Universe. One could also identify oneself with
one's 'core', and hence with the 'power' present in that 'core', and become
an advaitin. Alternately, one could differentiate this 'power' from oneself
and postulate 'another' entity: and hence the dvaita traditions.

In other words, the generic question behind these propositions brings us to
the Indian debates and Indian traditions, which are far, far removed from
the Semitic theological debates. The Biblical God is distinct from, and
alien to, the creatures He has created; he has plans and purposes in
creation; His intention (or will) expresses itself as the laws of the
Universe; we cannot know (or ask) why He created the Universe; even when He
tells us (through His revelation) why He did what He did, we do not
understand it adequately, and so on and so forth. This is what Jakob was
trying to tell you.

Friendly greetings

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)