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The Battle For Sanskrit book review by Akash Ravianandan

The Battle For Sanskrit book review by Akash Ravianandan

This book review is not by any intellectual but a commoner. However the book strikes some very fundamental notes, that even commoners can understand the central conviction of the author which being packed with sufficient data and reason provokes the reader to ask- Is India on the verge of an intellectual re-colonization? The book provides sufficient reason for us to believe so. In some sense, one can also claim that India is indeed already intellectually colonized in which case the book provides sufficient reason that we are at the cusp of no return. Indeed how we act now, will determine whether Indian civilization will get diluted and reduced to museum exhibits or thrive and truly turn towards standing on her own feet.

The book begins by tracing the history of Orientalism from Sir William Jones to present day Sheldon Pollock. While Sir William Jones was trying to fit India within the Christian Grand narrative and employing the Biblical lens to study India, Sheldon Pollock applies the materialistic (Charvaka 2.0) Marxist lens to study India. Ironically, India lost the Golden opportunity of turning the tide when orientalism was exposed for its racist bias by Edward Said.


Volunteer for a Better India


With a call of “Give one Hour to the Nation” VFABI aims to bring youth together to address the critical issues affecting India like crime against women, the declining child sex ratio, sexual and reproductive health and rights, various issues affecting youth, environmental sustainability, drug and substance abuse, inequality in education and entrepreneurial opportunities, corruption and child protection issues.

Thus sensitizing public through voluntunteerism, patriotism and rekindling hope in people to take charge and responsibility for making a better India. This is an opportunity for making a difference to our city, Delhi-NCR, our country and above all to one’s self. It is a Citizen’s Action Plan. 

As this silent spiritual revolution unveils, scores of activities are being undertaken under 6 themes – Environment, Education, De addiction, Girl Child and Women’s Safety, Senior Citizens and Good Governance/ Voice against Corruption. All this will culminate into a confluence of countrymen in the historical Ramlila Grounds in Feb 2013.

Since sometime, Guruji, (His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji) has been talking about “a silent spiritual revolution”.


Information Warfare

Information Warfare

So the trend continues… Nirbhaya got some award from the US government. Why is it that only negative things about India get awards? Is it a plot by west to glamorize, popularize that only negative things happen in India (and hence make us believe that we cannot be good unless we follow them blindly)? Books - The God of small things, The inheritance of Loss, The White Tiger have won booker prizes and they all portray grossly exaggerated worst things about India. Slumdog millionaire got Oscar award and the name of movie itself shows what it contains. Bollywood makes hundreds of movies every year, couldn't they find a single movie that shows good things about India? The story of the book 'The Inheritance of loss' is based in Kalimpong, a hill station in the Himalayan foothills. When this book came out, the locals of this town protested against the book because it was far from the reality of their town. 

Caste divide, poverty, gender biasing, dirt - that’s all there is in India if one follows India by the western prize winning Indian stories. True, we have these problems in India, but which society is perfect. Teenage pregnancies, teenagers going on shooting spree, broken families, drugs, extra-marital affairs, child abuse - these are rampant in a western society.


“Not Today” Another Wake Up Call For India

Not Today

If Church produces a movie, you won’t get a prize for guessing the theme of the movie. Christianity is great, Jesus died for you – all expected & well taken. But it’s stepping on someone’s foot when you say that mine is good because yours is bad. When a religion operates like there is a fixed set of customers and you can grow only at the cost of others, its actions need to be monitored carefully.

One such movie that came out recently is ‘Not Today’. Looking at its website (http://www.nottodaythemovie.com), there is no hidden agenda, no beating around the bush – it’s admitted openly on the website that the movie is produced by church. It’s a blatant display of Christian chauvinism and illogical insult to Hinduism with childish reason, but expectedly packaged in nice flashy wrapping. Verbatim from the website - “For three thousand years, one dominant religion branded more than one fourth of our nation's population as sub-human—nearly three hundred million people known by many as Dalits.”

The protagonist of the movie is a super-rich 20 year old American guy who drives a Lamborghini and comes to India partying on a whim. Seeing the poverty, he tries to help a poor father who had to sell his 7 year daughter for money and so forth.


5 Questions for Bollywood

5 questions for Bollywood

Dear Bollywood-ers,

After a series of rapes in the country, many people have accused the contents of your movies as one of the main causes of rapes. These allegations are vehemently denied by many of you including Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor etc. Not surprisingly, because you guys have lot of money, because you are popular, your argument is heard more prominently in the media. Based on this, I have some questions for you:

1) Ekta Kapoor recently said - If you men see an item number and get excited, is it the girl’s problem?

My question is what is the purpose of item number in a movie? Is it not to excite people? If a smoker gets lung cancer, do you say that it’s the smoker’s body’s fault because not all smokers get cancer? With almost no role in the story of a movie, isn’t an item number a cheap way to publicize a movie?


Are We Secular or Multicultural?

Are we Secular or Multicultural

Is Bharat a Secular Country ? Or are we better off, being a Multicultural Country ? What's the difference, you would think ? Is it Right ?

The difference is hypocrisy and the lack of it. A country with 83 % of Hindu population wants to show to the world that we care for everybody else, so much, that we are shy of embracing our own dominant religion, Hinduism, even if one of our names is Hindustan.

Western countries do not pretend to be secular, they wear their religion on their sleeves. All the government machinery celebrate Christmas openly and with great fanfare. We see decorations, public celebrations, Christmas trees in all government offices. Ministers and members of parliament openly celebrate their official festival, with no false pretence of being secular.

Western countries have more immigrants than Hindustan. It is very common to see all kinds of people, from all over the world, living side by side, many times not even knowing each other's names for years.


Demand More: Stand Up For Your Social Responsibilities


A couple of weeks back, a jewellery company named Gitanjali published a full page ad in a major English daily, featuring Sanjay Dutt. This was during the days when Sanjay Dutt topic was hot in the media - a court had found him guilty on charges of possessing weapons illegally and powerful politicians were advocating pardoning him.

Assuming that this company has no political or social interest and is only concerned with selling its jewellery in the market, it’s clear that marketing managers of this company think that using Sanjay Dutt, in spite of him being found guilty by a court recently, will increase the sales of their products. It speaks volumes about the perception of ordinary citizens about terrorism and overall political and judicial system.

If the analysis of marketing managers of Gitanjali is right, we Indians don’t give much regard to our judicial system, be it in a positive or negative sense. For high profile cases, either we know in advance who is right, who is not - even before court announces it or we know that whatever court concludes doesn’t have to be right. After twenty years of deliberations,