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Book Folder
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>fwd.. relevant portions onleee..</i>

<b>Udayan Namboodri's "Bengal's Night without end". </b>
Published by India First Foundation, G-3,
Dhawandeep Building, #6, Jantar-mantar road,
New Delhi - 110 00. Phone: 011-2-334 8442, - 8443. 

"The book is just out.

.....Udayan names ppl and politicians who have made W Bengal the terrorist state that it is and that makes the critical difference. The ugly face of communism and <b>the details of how they brought abt 'land reforms' is as brutal as the manner in which the soviet union delat with the kulaks</b>. as i said, a must read. the first definitive book abt the <b>secretive state of W Bengal</b>."
Identity and Violence TUNKU VARADARAJAN on latest book by Amartya Sen.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->People like Mr. Sen overlook Muslim or Islamic failings for fear of appearing "unsecular." Any political conflict in which one side is characterized as "Muslim" is automatically disparaged as being anti-Muslim. Conversely, if there is to be fault-finding based on religion (or civilization), then both sides must be depicted as guilty. So al Qaeda and the American soldiers at Abu Ghraib are grouped together as examples of what happens when there is "identity thinking" amenable to "brutal manipulation."

There is also a tendency on the part of thinkers like Mr. Sen to diminish the political and scientific contributions of the West and to glorify the achievements of non-Western (and, where possible, Islamic) societies. So the Muslim emperor Akbar, the lofty Mughal, is lauded for his tolerance of all faiths. But no one stops to ask why the edifice of Islamic tolerance collapsed after his death in 1605.

Likewise, early Islamic-Arabic breakthroughs in mathematics are held up as proof of intellectual greatness--and, yes, at the time of their conception they were indeed great. But why did the Islamic world flounder later into a state of long-running anti-scientism? As always, Mr. Sen compares the very best of the non-West with quotidian practice in the West. This is a common problem with the defenders of Islam--or, in Mr. Sen's case, with the critics of the critics of Islam.

Mr. Sen, inescapably, is a member of Bengal's bhadralok, or gentleman class. (As the joke goes: One Bengali is a poet; two Bengalis are a film society; three are a political party; and four are two political parties--both leftist.) What Mr. Sen really wants is for all of us to be "fair" to each other. Fair enough. But his idealistic thesis twists and turns to remake the world in its own image. Ultimately, his picture--though pretty--bears little relation to reality. It makes me so sad.

Was fwd this email:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->See this site for free on-line books:
Thanks to xxxx for the link.

Browse Free Online Books: A Brief Summary In Plain Language Of The Most Important Laws Concerning Women by Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon
A Forgotten Empire (Vijayanagar) : a contribution to the history of India by Robert Sewell
A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar: A Contribution To The History Of India by Robert Sewell
A Gandhi Anthology by Mahatma Gandhi, Ed. By Valaji Govindaji Desai | Mirror
A Narrative Of The Siege Of Delhi - With An Account Of The Mutiny At Ferozepore In 1857 by Charles John Griffiths
A Record Of Buddhistic Kingdoms by Fa-hsien, Trans. By James Legge | Mirror
A Ride to India across Persia and Baluchist?n by Harry De Windt
A Treatise On The Art Of Dancing by Giovanni-andrea Gallini
A Virginia Girl in the First Year of the War. by C. Harrison
At Home And Abroad: A Sketch-book Of Life, Scenery, And Men by Bayard Taylor
At The Heart Of The Empire: Indians And The Colonial Encounter In Late-victorian Britain by Antoinette M. Burton
Bazaar India: Markets, Society, And The Colonial State In Bihar by Anand A. Yang
Buddhism In Tibet, Illustrated By Literary Documents And Objects Of Religious Worship, With An Account Of The Buddhist Systems Preceding It In India by Literary Documents And Objects Of Religious Worship
Buddhist Mahayana Texts by Edward B. Cowell
Caste And Capitalism In Colonial India: The Nattukottai Chettiars by David West Rudner
Culture And Power In Banaras: Community, Performance, And Environment, 1800-1980 by Sandria B. Freitag
Dialogue And History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895 by Eugene F. Irschick
Fall Of The Moghul Empire Of Hindustan by H. G. Keene
Forty Hadith: An Exposition On 40 Ahadith Narrated Through The Prophet [s] And His Ahl Al-bayt [a] by Ruhollah Khomeini, Trans. By Mahliqa Qara`i And Ali Quli Qara`i
Gandhi Today: A Report On Mahatma Gandhi's Successors by Mark Shepard
Goa And The Blue Mountains, Or, Six Months Of Sick Leave by Richard Francis Burton
Hints Toward Reforms, In Lectures, Addresses, And Other Writings by Horace Greeley
Hira Singh : when India came to fight in Flanders by Talbot Mundy
Hira Singh: When India Came To Fight In Flanders by Talbot Mundy
India And The United States: Estranged Democracies, 1941-1991 by Dennis Kux
India, The "enron Project" In Maharashtra: Protests Suppressed In The Name Of Development by Amnesty International
Indian Frontier Policy; an historical sketch by John Miller Adye
Indian Home Rule (or Hind Swaraj) by Mahatma Gandhi
Indian speeches (1907-1909) by John Morley
Indian Traffic: Identities In Question In Colonial And Postcolonial India by Parama Roy
Jewish History: An Essay In The Philosophy Of History by Simon Dubnow, Trans. By J. Friedlander And Henrietta Szold
Lighted to Lighten: The Hope of India by Alice B. Van Doren
Lights And Shades Of Missionary Life: Containing Travels, Sketches, Incidents And Missionary Efforts, During Nine Years Spent In The Region Of Lake Superior by John H. Pitezel
Mahatma Gandhi And His Myths by Mark Shepard
Modern India by William Eleroy Curtis
Mother India by Katherine Mayo
Nepal And Bhutan: Country Studies by Andrea Matles Savada
Objections To The Enfranchisement Of Women Considered by Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon
Papers Of A Pariah by Robert Hugh Benson
Pathway To God by Mahatma Gandhi, Ed. By M. S. Deshpande
Peasants And Monks In British India by William R. Pinch
Perspectives On Kerala History: The Second Millennium by P. J. Cherian
Reason And Passion: Representations Of Gender In A Malay Society by Michael G. Peletz
Reminiscences Of Famous Women by Harriet A. Townsend
Rhetoric And Ritual In Colonial India: The Shaping Of A Public Culture In Surat City, 1852-1928 by Douglas E. Haynes
Sanitary And Social Lectures And Essays by Charles Kingsley
Selected Works And Commentary by Mahatma Gandhi
Sketches Of Jewish Social Life In The Days Of Christ by Alfred Edersheim
That The True Dhamma Might Last A Long Time: Readings Selected By King Asoka by King Asoka
The Bhikkus' Rules, A Guide For Laypeople: The Theravadin Buddhist Monk's Rules Compiled And Explained by Bhikkhu Ariyesako
The Christian Home by Celestine Strub
The Imperial Gazetteer Of India by William Wilson Hunter, Ed. By James Sutherland Cotton
The Lost Lemuria by W. Scott-elliot
The Making Of A Social Disease: Tuberculosis In Nineteenth-century France by David S. Barnes
The Pirates of Malabar, and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago by John Biddulph
The Politics Of Sugar by Nancy Watzman
The Religion Of Revolution by Herbert S. Bigelow
The Rise Of Islam And The Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760 by Richard M. Eaton
The Travels Of Dean Mahomet: An Eighteenth-century Journey Through India by Dean Mahomet, Ed. By Michael H. Fisher
The Unholy Alliance by Charles Gregg Singer
The Words Of Gandhi by Mahatma Gandhi, Ed. By Richard Attenborough
Three Frenchmen in Bengal - The Commercial Ruin of the French Settlements in 1757 by S. C. Hill
Tribes Of India: The Struggle For Survival by Christoph Von Furer-haimendorf
Values In Islamic Culture And The Experience Of History by Nur Kirabaev And Yuriy Pochta
What Shall We Believe? by Aurelia Fule <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Anyone read any books or review of: Margin of Terror: A Reporter's Twenty-Year Odyssey Covering the Tragedies of the Air India Bombing. By Salim Jiwa

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hardial Singh Johal was involved in booking tickets used to put the bombs on airplanes and was at the Vancouver airport when baggage carrying the bombs was checked onto planes connecting with Air-India flights, Vancouver journalist Salim Jiwa writes in Margin of Terror: A Reporter's Twenty-Year Odyssey Covering the Tragedies of the Air India Bombing.

Mr. Johal was in contact with Sikh militant Talwinder Singh Parmar when the tickets were booked and again three days later, shortly after the bags were checked in at the airport.

Phone records indicated terrorist Inderjit Singh Reyat was at Mr. Johal's home after the bombs were delivered to the airport, Mr. Jiwa says in the book.

"I consider [Mr. Johal] to be the brain of the operation, the instigator and the project chief who enforced Parmar's 'executive action,' " Mr. Jiwa writes.

Mr. Johal was the only suspect known to be at the crime scene, Mr. Jiwa added in an interview yesterday.

Mr. Johal likely did more than anyone else to carry out the plot, he said.

Mr. Johal, who worked as a janitor at a Vancouver high school, died in 2002 of natural causes. Mr. Parmar, the religious leader of a militant Sikh separatist group, Babbar Khalsa, was killed by police in a shootout in Punjab in 1992.
came in mail:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
July 17, 2006

RESOURCE: Censored Book on Public Interest Litigation in India Now Online

Ed. note: Dr. Hans Dembowski wrote an important study of public interest litigation in India, concentrating on the Calcutta region,  published by Oxford University Press in 2001.  The ISBN is 0195653092.  However, for reasons not yet clearly established, the Calcutta High Court issued an order of contempt of court for the publisher and the author.  The matter remains pending now, five years later, and the hard copy book  has been withdrawn by the publisher. 

The document has now been put on the web and is available as Dr. Dembowski notes below.  I have also added, at the end of the post, a table of contents for the document.  The book was published in English; the site is bi-lingual, German and English.            <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

A controversial study on judicial activism and civil society in India is finally available again – accessible at the following URL:


Originally, Oxford University Press published Hans Dembowski's book _Taking the State to Court – Public Interest Litigation and the Public Sphere_ in early 2001. However, OUP discontinued international distribution that year, because the Calcutta High Court started contempt-of-court proceedings against the author and the publisher. The case has been kept pending since. No judgement was passed. For five years, academic debate has thus been blocked. The sociological study deals with several politically relevant matters, including urban planning, governance, the environment and, of course, the role of the judiciary. The entire book is available online in a pdf-version. Asienhaus is a German NGO, the pdf-files are free.

Thanks - and best wishes,
Dr. Hans Dembowski

Contents / Acknowledgements / Glossary

Chapter 1: Introductive Overview (page 1)

Chapter 2: Democracy, Development and Functional Differentiation (page 8)
2.1 Why Democratic Governance Depends on the 'Public Sphere'
2.2 Historical Connotations of 'Civil Society'
2.3 Neoliberal 'Good Governance' and Leftist 'Democratization'
2.4 Governance Problems after Colonial Rule
2.5 Governance in India

Chapter 3: The Changing Role of the Indian Judiciary (page 48)
3.1 Problematic Rule of Law in a Historical Perspective
3.2 The Courts and the Political System
3.3 Public Interest Litigation

Chapter 4: Environment and Politics in India (page 63)
4.1 The Emergence of Environmental Policy
4.2 Implementation Deficits
4.3 Opposition to Government Deficiencies
4.4 The Situation of the Calcutta Agglomeration

Chapter 5: The Conflict over the East Calcutta Wetlands (page 83)
5.1 Land Use in East Calcutta and Patterns of Urban Sprawl
5.2 The Pre-Litigation Pro-Wetlands Campaign
5.3 PUBLIC v The State of West Bengal
5.4 M.C. Mehta v The Union of India
5.5 PUBLIC's Pending Contempt Accusations
5.6 Surojit Srimani v the State of West Bengal
5.7 Conservation Initiatives of the State Government
5.8 The Wetlands Six Years after the First Judgement

Chapter 6:The Howrah Matter (page 142)
6.1 The Civic Situation in the Howrah Corporation
6.2 The Howrah Ganatantrik Nagarik Samiti
6.3 Moving the Judiciary
6.4 Individual Issues
6.5 An assessment: The Court's Role in Changing the Polity

Chapter 7: Enthnographic Observations: An Overarching Lack of Trust (page 181)
7.1 The Approach of 'Thick Description'
7.2 The Judiciary
7.3 The Environmentalist Network

Chapter 8: Conclusion: Rudimentary Public Sphere and an Unresponsive State (page 206)

Annexures and References (page 220)
Timetable of events concerning the East Calcutta wetlands /
Timetable of events concerning the Howrah Matter /
Rough Sketch of wetlands map /
References: Books, Journals and Reports /
References: Newspapers, websites, legal documents
Accessing Blocked Websites
<b>A Call To Honour </b>
<i>by Jaswant Singh</i>
Your Price : $ 11.00

A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India is an evocative account about a crucial period in India's hstory. After the passing of the Nehruvian era of conservative socialism and non-alignment in internatonal relations, India went on to redefine its character and goals in accordance with the demands of a post Cold War world. ISBN: 812910976x
Pages : 426

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Jaswant Singh on his Kandahar experience. An excerpt from his book — A Call to Honour

<b>THE FINAL WEEK OF 1999</b>

What are some of the landmarks that my diary notes miss out but which I feel are necessary to recount? The very first is, of course, the great torment I went through. On the afternoon  of 24 December was born the first girl child in the family, to Chitra and Manvendra, my daughter-in-law and son .We have a custom (largely in Rajasthan) of the  mother and father choosing someone to give the newborn baby the first drop of consecrated water from the Ganga, with possibly a small portion of honey and jaggery. Harshini, until then not so named but now a bouncingly beauteous creature who stuns all into submission through sheer charm, was but a weakly, rather mutedly mewing baby. She waited for her first feed until that ritual of the 'first drop' had not been completed. Even her mother could not feed her. It could just not be done, for they had decided that I should be the one to give that first drop. The theory and belief is that whoever gives that first drop, his or her attributes (misattributes) transfer to the new born. I don't know why it was felt that I should do it. But that was the position. This was conveyed to me, on telephone, around 4 pm, when I was at work in the Ministry of External Affairs. Filled with joy, I promised I would soon be at the hospital.

Fate had decided otherwise. Very soon thereafter news came of the hijack. As my diary records, even then I felt a very strange disquiet. It did not sound, if I can use such a phrase, a 'normal hijack'. I was planning to leave because the hijack was not directly the charge of the Ministry Of External Affairs. I wanted to go home, have a quick wash and dash to the hospital, then go to the Prime Minister's residence. Telephones had by then begun to ring with greater frequency, and lesser and lesser patience. Some came from family members whose obvious joy at a baby's arrival was marred, in their minds and hearts, by my insensitivity in keeping her waiting and wailing. I could not share with them, or anyone else at that time, that moment, that a hijack had taken place. And so it went tortuously on. I was finally able to visit the hospital only between 7.30 and 7.45 pm.

But before that, just after I had reached home from the ministry, information reached me that the hijacked IC 814 had landed at Amritsar. <b>I almost yelled into the telephone, forgetting all diplomatic decorum, the army resurfacing and in a language that brooks no misunderstanding: 'Get your bloody fingers out now. For heaven's sake, do anything, don't let the f…..g aircraft leave Amritsar!'</b>

Some accounts have already been written of the terrible agony of those who were kept confined in that aircraft from 24 December till almost 9.30 pm on 31 December - eight days and seven nights. The aircraft being in Kandahar, had thereafter become the responsibility of the Ministry of External Affairs.

We had no diplomatic representation in Taliban-held Afghanistan, obviously therefore, we had no representative in Kandahar either. It was clear to us from the beginning that, very deliberately, the aircraft had been maneuvered to land at Kandahar, so that the entire effort could thereafter be managed by forces inimical to India, specifically the ISI -- which became so obvious and visible as events began to further unfurl.

Deliberations on options were agonized, prolonged and extremely testing. What weighed with us were the pulls and counter pulls of options. The threat was real, it could not be brushed off, what if the aeroplane is blown up? I could not, in any sense accept the responsibility of letting 166 innocent men and women and one child, some of whom were not even Indian, blown apart on the midnight of 31 December as the millennium changed, for that was the intelligence that had firmly and convincingly come our way, 'that if there was no resolution, the hijackers would do just that - preferably in a suicide mission, with the aircraft in the air.'


It was not easy to decide to go to Kandahar. But somebody had to go. I asked Vivek Katju (we had by then established a satellite phone facility) to talk to Muttavakil and enquire if I could meet Mullah Omar. Within minutes Muttavakil's reaction came. 'Yes, why not? I am going to make contact.' And soon enough his response came: 'Sorry, you cannot, don't fly to Kandahar.' Muttavakil's minders in the ISI must have upbraided him for even this little relenting.

The airport at Kandahar was rudimentary and littered with the debris of war. Our aircraft was asked to go to one end of the airport and not proceed any further.

As soon as the three men went down the steps they were warmly embraced and there were joyous shouts. I don't have to explain who greeted them. Meanwhile, this issue of 'identification' of released TADA detenues was another giveaway of the ISI hand. The friends/relatives of the detenues to be exchanged were brought to Kandahar by them from Pakistan and they confirmed the 'correctness' of the released person.

Of the return flight, what memories do I carry? There was relief, because so much accumulated pain and agony burst open, like a long throbbing carbuncle. My officers and I had a place in the first row but I didn't even want to sit. So many of the released passengers were so visibly traumatized - there was no way I could do anything other than meet them individually, to welcome them and do the best that I could absorb and to assuage, at least in part , their pain. There was, I recollect, a young Frenchman who cried and cried and continued to do so endlessly. I knew, of course, what the cause of his breakdown was, but why only him? For his girlfriend, also French, who sat next to him said: 'This had become his state in the aircraft itself after the fourth day of captivity.' And then that Swiss gentleman, a picture of dignity and reserve. I knew he worked for the international community of finance. He would be returning safely to his country along with his girlfriend. It is he who had subsequently said that he marveled at the stoic reserve and courage of the Indians, for had it been a plane full of Italians what a chaos that would have been! <b>Then that rather overwrought young mother, still trembling with anger and suppressed fear-she came up to me in the aircraft and with her tiny hands, grimy because they had been so confined for eight days, had clutched at my throat and yelled as loudly as she could, 'Why have you come so late? Where were you all this time? You have betrayed all of us. Where are my children? Where is my family?' And she banged her head against my chest angrily and finally broke down, crying bitterly. I stood there in the aisle and just held her and Vivek Katju stood next to me and we watched</b>.

•  It was clear to us from the beginning that, very deliberately, the aircraft had been maneuvered to land at Kandahar, so that the entire effort could thereafter be managed by forces inimical to India, specifically the ISI
<b>Maloy Krinshna Dhar, an author of Open Secrets—India’s Intelligence Unveiled </b>says “An average IB officer does not even know the difference between various explosive devices and triggering mechanism”. This puts a question mark on Indian intelligence. Indian intelligence tends to ascribe every disturbance to a particular section of society without any concrete evidence and according to Dhar this should not come as a surprise as both the IB and RSS share the same ideology.

<b>Various issues are revealed in this work.</b> As one reads the book, one feels insecure as in today’s world privacy has become an alien concept. Often in a number of cases “the unscrupulous officials of the IB, R&AW and the CBI blackmail the innocent citizens”.

<b>The book exposes the various methods employed by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi to maintain the status quo and to suppress all rebellions. </b>Indira Gandhi used the IB to curb all opposition, and to spy on her elder daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi.

The book exposes the involvement of the various political leaders in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The date chosen by the Hinduvta leaders for the destruction of Babri Masjid i.e. 6th Dec coincides with the destruction of Somanth Temple by Mahmud Gazani in 1025 A.D.

Dhar offers a powerful critique of Indian democracy and says “Some sort of free election alone does not make a country democratic. It is a bold book and one should read it to get an insight into the dirty, corrupt, and deceitful world of politics. We should know the fact. <b>If you are interested to read complete book review, you can read here.</b>
any one looking to read this one. SOB mushy's memoir
Telegraph, Friday 25 August 2006
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>THE THREAT TO NATIVE IDENTITY 
Alternative DiscourSes in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentrism
By Syed Farid Alatas,
Sage, Rs 550</b>

A short poem in Ladera Este, Octavio Paz’s book of poems, speaks of a man who “invented a face for himself”. His original face eventually carries “ the wrinkles from that Face” while “his wrinkles have no Face”. These lines touch upon the imperceptibility of the cultural mask of a colonized race. <b>In Black Skin, White Masks, Frantz Fanon describes “the colonized slave” as “less independent than the Hegelian slave” because, unlike the latter, he does not run away from but “turns towards the master and abandons the object”. </b>

Post-colonial studies in the last three decades have shown that, in the Asian context, the cultural transaction between the colonizer and the colonized has not been as simplistic and unidirectional as Fanon’s view suggests. What Fernand Braudel termed as ‘borrowings’ and ‘diffusion’ in the article, “A history of civilizations”, are very much evident in this cultural negotiation. <b>But the ‘turning-towards-the-master’ syndrome still persists in the Asian cultural perception. </b>

<b>In Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science, Syed Farid Alatas defines the same syndrome as “cultural imperialism”, which, to his mind, entails a wholesale, as also a critical, incorporation of the Western paradigms and methodologies in the Asian social sciences, anthropology, culture studies, psychoanalytic practices, development theories and so on.</b> Alatas demonstrates that this “ Euro-centric bias” is operative in both the epistemological and rhetorical level. He explains its origin and goes on to trace dissenting voices raised in different phases of a broad-based programme called “the endogenous intellectual activity”, which intends to indigenize derived notions of the West, while fostering native theories like that of Ibn Khaldun, the Arab social scientist, alongside it. In this context, Alatas points out the significant emergence of “meta-analysis”, which juxtaposes diverse Asian communities under a common theoretical platform to examine their internal structures.

Some of the counter-hegemonic discourses that Alatas refers to are Edward Said’s Orientalism, Samir Amin’s Eurocentrism, and Syed Hussein Alatas’s essay, “The captive mind in development studies”. He cites, as his “endogenous” models, T.K. Oommen’s Alien Concepts and South Asian Reality: Responses and Reformations and Sudhir Kakar’s Shamans, Mystics and Doctors: A Psychological Inquiry into India and its Healing Traditions, both of which contrast the Asian self with the Western.

Alatas’s study encompasses a pan-Asian perspective within a wide spectrum of subjects. His chief objective is to strike at the base of the Foucaultian knowledge-power homology, which sustains the audacious claims of truth by most Western theories. But thankfully enough, Alatas cautions his reader against another extreme — namely a nativistic parochialism, be it Asian or Western.

From Kanchiforum.
<b>Hindus Under Siege , a book by Dr. Subramanian Swamy</b>
<img src='http://www.kanchiforum.org/hindus_under_siege/hindus.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />


We are a group of volunteers who are a part of a forum called Kanchiforum. Being devotees of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, we sincerely beleive that, since the Kanchi Acharyas' arrest and subsequent incidents in the country, the Hindu Cause is being neglected.

We would like to seek your cooperation in promoting a book that has been released recently, and would appreciate if you could please provide some coverage.

The book has been written by Dr. Subramanian Swamy and is titled "<b>Hindus Under Siege - The Way Out</b>".  The inaugural function was in Delhi on 18th September in the presence of RSS Sarsanghchalak Sri K S Sudarshan, Kanchi Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji and Sri Murli Manohar Joshi and many other distinguished guests.

For this book, Dr. Swamy had also received the blessings of Sri Bharati Tirtha MahaSwamiji of the Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham and Sri Dayananda Saraswathi Swamiji of Arsha Gurukul Vidyalaya, PA, USA.

Some details of this book are available at http://www.kanchiforum.org/hindus_under_si...dex.php?key=ifm . The book is available in hard cover, and is nominally priced.

We would appreciate if you could please help us in promoting the book.

Thanks and best regards

- xxxxx

<b>Purchase details:</b>
In India
Cost: Rs. 250
Contact: haranand at rediffmail.com or call 11-416 03490 (Delhi)

Cost: $10 (shipping included)
Contact: kksfusa at hotmail.com or call (516) 938 0990

Cost: £5
Contact: hus at kanchiforum.org or call (44) 789 197 6349
Can anyone enlighten me about this Swami character, isn't this the one who has his daughter married to a Muslim and used to be part of the secular camp, then how come this sudden transformation?
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Oct 14 2006, 04:49 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Oct 14 2006, 04:49 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Can anyone enlighten me about this Swami character, isn't this the one who has his daughter married to a Muslim and used to be part of the secular camp, then how come this sudden transformation?

He is a neo RSS convert. At one time time he was quite anti-RSS and even compared it with LTTE.

Suddenly, he has found solace in writing on 'Clash of Civilizations' type topics.

However, he raises some of the pertinent questions which secular dyed politicians are too scared to deal with including BJP.

Only time will tell if he is genuinely concerned with Hindus' related issues or he just thinks that is the way to become PM as somebody prophesised to him.

I think he has fallen out with all other mainstream parties including Madam and perhaps trying to get closer to BJP.
Book is good and it raise valid point.
Whether he is re-born or not, but book is good.
<!--emo&:drool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/drool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='drool.gif' /><!--endemo--> Swami ji's research:
From The Telegraph, 3 nov., 2006

<b>Anti-Utopia: Essential writings of AndrÉ BÉteille Edited by Dipankar Gupta, Oxford, Rs 595</b>

André Béteille, a sociologist par excellence, has produced works of consistent eminence for the past four decades. In terms of theory, methodology and application in social policy, Béteille has taken Indian sociological studies to a new height. Dipankar Gupta has brought together the essence of Béteille’s writings by selecting and compiling his essays in this book. It comes with an introduction by Gupta and the essays range from the conceptual understanding of sociology, the significance of comparative method and ideas of inequality to concrete issues of Indian reality such as caste, class, civil society and distributive justice.

During Béteille’s college and university years in Calcutta, and even till date, Marxism has been the most dominant intellectual force, but he found himself unsympathetic to it, on account of the utopian promise that Marxist theories made. <b>According to Béteille, social inequality can be tamed, even controlled, by interventions of various kinds, but cannot be done away with. To this end, he proposes various social policies, including those of positive discrimination. Classless society is utopian; a stratified society with social inequality as well as intervention is the best possible bargain any society can have.</b>

Béteille worked for his thesis with M.N. Srinivas but there was a significant departure in his theoretical orientation. Srinivas made a difference to the way social anthropology was researched in India through his emphasis on in-depth fieldwork. Béteille acknowledged the importance of fieldwork but was conceptually in another league — that of Weberian sociology. Functionalism was the order of the day, Orientalism and English empiricism were also in fashion. Hermeneutics, structuralism, interpretative sociology and phenomenology were not in vogue. But Béteille was open to these sociological theories and his major contribution was to actually use the Weberian mode of analysis in his doctoral thesis on caste, class and power in a South Indian village. He used Weber’s concept of class, status and power in the context of Indian ground realities. Till then, village studies were either documentary in character, governed by functionalism, or romanticized generalizations. <b>Béteille critiqued Dumont’s Homo Hierarchicus for portraying the Indian caste system as an ubiquitous totality. Caste in India is neither uniform nor continuous.</b>

For Béteille, like Weber, the comparative method is the essence of sociological research. But comparison, according to him, should not be a compulsive search for difference and exotica — a search for similarities is an equally rigorous analytical pursuit. Sociology, explains Béteille, is a systematic study of the nature and forms of social life with special emphasis on social institutions, groups like caste, class and so on. Comparative analysis by placing all societies on the same plane of enquiry should be the starting point. Sociology seeks to understand desirable ways of living as well as how people actually live. It is a descriptive and interpretative discipline rather than being idealistic and prescriptive in nature.

<b>Béteille’s study of caste reflects his commitment to the comparative method and his distaste for utopian thinking. Caste for him is not a timeless, static phenomenon binding all Hindus unequivocally. The British rule, along with the impetus from Indian scholars and social reformers, and opportunities used by Indian trading and artisan classes, made transformations in the caste system possible. Most importantly, caste has lost much of its ritual purity.</b> Constitutionally backed positive discrimination and affirmative action for the backward castes and classes have increased. This is surely the result of active participation and support of intellectuals and civilians belonging to the more privileged castes. Political activism in democratic India has come a long way.

<b>With modernity and the emergence of strong public opinion, the individual has gained recognition, with a concomitant undermining of traditional group loyalties. Béteille places his futuristic vision in the establishment of a civil, secular and open society, where citizens are on an equal platform with the State.</b>

André Béteille’s contribution to the way sociology is researched and taught in India has been immense. Dipankar Gupta’s selection of some of Béteille’s most influential essays would prove to be indispensable for students and scholars of sociology and social anthropology.


(A Western journalist opening his eyes to the true India)
By François Gautier

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (Paperback)
by Sam Harris

Sam Harris cranks out blunt, hard-hitting chapters to make his case for why faith itself is the most dangerous element of modern life. And if the devil's in the details, then you'll find Satan waiting at the back of the book in the very substantial notes section where Harris saves his more esoteric discussions to avoid sidetracking the urgency of his message.

Interestingly, Harris is not just focused on debunking religious faith, though he makes his compelling arguments with verve and intellectual clarity. The End of Faith is also a bit of a philosophical Swiss Army knife. Once he has presented his arguments on why, in an age of Weapons of Mass Destruction, belief is now a hazard of great proportions, he focuses on proposing alternate approaches to the mysteries of life. Harris recognizes the truth of the human condition, that we fear death, and we often crave "something more" we cannot easily define, and which is not met by accumulating more material possessions. But by attempting to provide the cure for the ills it defines, the book bites off a bit more than it can comfortably chew in its modest page count (however the rich Bibliography provides more than enough background for an intrigued reader to follow up for months on any particular strand of the author' musings.)

Harris' heart is not as much in the latter chapters, though, but in presenting his main premise. Simply stated, any belief system that speaks with assurance about the hereafter has the potential to place far less value on the here and now. And thus the corollary -- when death is simply a door translating us from one existence to another, it loses its sting and finality. Harris pointedly asks us to consider that those who do not fear death for themselves, and who also revere ancient scriptures instructing them to mete it out generously to others, may soon have these weapons in their own hands. If thoughts along the same line haunt you, this is your book.--Ed Dobeas --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
In this sometimes simplistic and misguided book, Harris calls for the end of religious faith in the modern world. Not only does such faith lack a rational base, he argues, but even the urge for religious toleration allows a too-easy acceptance of the motives of religious fundamentalists. Religious faith, according to Harris, requires its adherents to cling irrationally to mythic stories of ideal paradisiacal worlds (heaven and hell) that provide alternatives to their own everyday worlds. Moreover, innumerable acts of violence, he argues, can be attributed to a religious faith that clings uncritically to one set of dogmas or another. Very simply, religion is a form of terrorism for Harris. Predictably, he argues that a rational and scientific view—one that relies on the power of empirical evidence to support knowledge and understanding—should replace religious faith. We no longer need gods to make laws for us when we can sensibly make them for ourselves.

But Harris overstates his case by misunderstanding religious faith, as when he makes the audaciously naïve statement that "mysticism is a rational enterprise; religion is not." As William James ably demonstrated, mysticism is far from a rational enterprise, while religion might often require rationality in order to function properly. On balance, Harris's book generalizes so much about both religion and reason that it is ineffectual.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

came in email:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
The India Lobby in the United States, 1900-1946
by HAROLD A GOULD, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Virgina, Charlottesville </b> which is a fascinating history of the India lobby in America in the pre-independence era.

Could I please take the liberty of sending you a review  by TCA Srinivasa Raghavan which appeared in Business Standard just two days ago?

Business Standard
New Delhi, 8 November 2006
Forgotten patriots

Harold Gould
Price: Rs 750; Pages: 460
Tca Srinivasa-Raghavan
New Delhi, 7 November
As soon as you start reading this book, the question comes to mind: why didn’t some Indian historian write it? And the answer, of course, is that they are all still obsessed with colonial history. Hopefully, this book will lead to a gradual change in focus, and our prolific historians will start looking at the Indian encounter with America as well.

What makes this book doubly valuable is that compared to India’s experience with Europe, there really isn’t much to go on by way of source material. Yet Gould shows that you can make even that little go a long way. The end notes after each chapter are eloquent testimony.

When you are done reading this book, you are left with yet another question: if so few Indians in the 1930s and the 1940s, with such meagre resources, could be such effective lobbyists with the US Congress, why are we so bad at it now when there are so many more Indians there and far richer to boot?

The key difference, Gould suggests, is nationalism. Indians—mostly Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs—were driven by a fierce sense of nationalism and they took it upon themselves to further the cause of Indian independence. There was also racism, of course, that made them lobby so hard. They won the latter battle eventually in 1946, when their citizenship rights were restored and immigration was allowed under a quota.

Some of the things Gould reveals—or more accurately, reminds us of—will not be palatable. For example, he says there was a group of Indians who actively assisted the British in their propaganda in the US against Gandhiji and the Congress. He names them as Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai; Sir Firoze Khan Noon and Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, both members of the Viceroy’s Council; Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan; and Sir Samuel Ebenezer Raghunandan. Here Gould adds “note that all had been knighted and that many were Muslims” (page 336). When I read this, I wondered: would an Indian historian have pointed this out?

Gould also shows that the “mole” business is not a US prerogative. It turns out that there was a pro-Indian mole in the State Department as well. This man, a junior official by the name of Robert Crane, passed away only recently, in 1997. He had been brought up in Bengal as a child by his missionary parents.

In 1944, just a year after he joined the State Department, he leaked the letter written by the American envoy to India, William Phillips, to President Roosevelt. The journalist who was given the letter was none other than Drew Pearson, who was very influential.

The letter was highly critical of British policies in India. The British tried to counter the effects of the leak but without much success. Their efforts to show that they were wonderful rulers had no takers any more. From then on the US government also started putting pressure on the British to quit India.

Another major victory, in some ways more important, came when the Indian lobby won the right to immigration. Most of the US political establishment was not willing to let in people of colour. But effective and persistent lobbying finally won the day. We owe a lot to those forgotten lobbyists like J J Singh. It is truly amazing that India has forgotten them so comprehensively and that it takes an American to remind us about our debts of gratitude. <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
From Pioneer, 21 Nov.,2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Selfless volunteers

MV Kamath

<b>RSS: A Vision In Action, HV Seshadri (ed); Sahitya Sindhu, Rs 100</b>

Whether one likes the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or not, wisdom lies in knowing more about its vision, approach, organisation and the services it has rendered to the people. Many are familiar with the work of the Christian missionaries, but how many are aware of the splendid work done by the RSS and its subsidiary bodies? The sheer magnitude of the constructive work done by the RSS is so dazzling that it beats one's imagination. HV Seshadri has done well to compile many of the unrecorded services rendered by the RSS in the course of the years and let the reader make his or her own judgement.

A peculiar feature of this compilation is that names of volunteers who have rendered services are seldom mentioned because, says the editor, they "run into thousands". Quite believable. Everytime there was a national calamity, the RSS was there with its helping hand.

Whether it was during the largescale massacre of Hindus in East Pakistan in 1950, or during the devastating Bihar famine in 1966, the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the Uttar Kashi Earthquake in 1991 and in several such occasions when their assistance was desperately called for, it was not the 'secular' Congress that rushed to help the distressed, but the RSS swayamsevaks.

One suspects that if there were no RSS, we would have needed to invent one. What is significant is that aid was given irrespective of the sufferer's caste, creed or religion. Everyone was treated as human being. <b>During the 1965 India-Pakistan war, police duties like traffic control in Delhi were transferred to the RSS. The military looked upon it as a friend-in-need. Whenever the Army felt the need for any kind of civil assistance, it would just ring up the Sangh karyalaya.</b>

When the war was at its peak, a military train carrying wounded jawans arrived in Delhi. Hundreds were urgently needed for blood transfusion. The Army officers telephoned the Delhi Sangh karyalaya. It was midnight. The very next morning, 500 swayamsevaks reached the military hospital to donate blood. According to the hospital rules, each of them was offered Rs 10, but they returned the amount saying it could be better used for the wounded jawans.

To read this book is to be inspired. It records the RSS's efforts at meeting internal threats, at upholding symbols of national veneration, the various dimensions of social service rendered by the Sangh, its striving for social harmony and equality, its striving for social harmony and equality and its role during the Emergency.

When the RSS set up a home for abandoned children called 'Matru Chhaya', it could hardly have dreamt what service it would be rendering to the kids. Childless couples came forward to adopt many. Out of 90 babies brought up in Matru Chhaya during the last decade, as many as 60 (out of whom 34 are girls) have been adopted.

The trouble with the RSS is that it does not know how to blow its own trumpet, despite the fact that it has spread to nearly 30,000 places, encompassing a total of 50,000 actual working centres. That it has won the unqualified admiration of such patriots as Jayaprakash Narayan speaks for itself.


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