Doctors are often conceived as gods on Earth by their piteous patients, for they are the only ray of hope during their time of utmost distress. But, alas! These hapless patients are being used as guinea pigs, by some greedy, unscrupulous Doctors in the guise of treatment. The lure of some monetary benefits and free foreign tours from multinational Pharma companies have laid doctors doing fatal drug trials,(phase wise drug tests applied on Human beings after tested in Laboratory and on Animals),without the consent of the patients. According to the data, presented by the Health & family welfare Minister Mr. Gulam Nabi Azad to parliament, from 2006 till February 2011 total 4066 clinical trials were held in India in which 2163 patients died of Serious Adverse Events (SEAs).In January of this year the apex court of India taking notice of these inhuman drug trials had severely reprimanded Government of India’s apathy towards such happenings. The Court while hearing a PIL filed by an Indore based NGO Swasthya Adhikar Manch on Illegal Drug trial cases, has remarked that “The drug trials are creating havoc in the country,” it further jibed the central Government for slipping into “Deep slumber” .The Apex court advised the Government “to protect the health of the citizens of the country. It is your obligation. Deaths must be arrested and illegal trials must be stopped”.
A glaring example of these inhuman unethical drug trials came to notice when “in 2004, doctors at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, an exclusive institute for the victims of the 1984 gas leak disaster, recruited unsuspecting survivors for clinical trials, without their knowledge or consent.” The PIL further claims “It is said that 14 participants died during the course of the trials. In an Indore-based hospital, 32 people died in clinical trials between 2005 and 2010.” Growing public outrage forced the Madhya Pradesh Government to set up an enquiry committee to investigate the matter.
There is great reluctance among the people in developed countries, like the US to offer themselves as subjects for clinical trials. Besides the Pharama Giants are also not inclined to conduct drug trials in Developed countries as such trials there involve huge cost owing to various reasons. Hence, Pharma giants have turned their attentions to third world countries, like India where there is no dearth of opportunities for such clinical trials. It is a fact that the cost of conducting clinical trials in India is the least, keeping in view the various facilities-infrastructural or otherwise available here. A study shows that clinical trials in India cost approximately $20 million while the same would cost between $300 million and $350 million abroad. Similarly India has a largest pool of very talented manpower, besides India has second largest number of plants approved by the USFDA for undertaking clinical trials. Above all, India has a teeming population languishing under staggering poverty and it is because of this the population is ever ready to offer itself for clinical trials in return of money even if such money is no match for the risks that is sure to affect the subjects’ lives or even kill them. Further, unethical clinical trials are rampant in India thanks to the ever growing numbers of greedy and unscrupulous doctors who have sold themselves to the Pharma companies and who shamelessly and surreptiously conduct trials on the unfortunate the patients who approach them for treatment. Not only the doctors, even the Govt. is surrendering to the arm twisting of the Pharma giants. The revision of the Y schedule of the Drugs and cosmetics Act 1945 and the amendment of the 1970s Patent act (whereby it has allowed Product Patent in place of process patent) are the results of such arm twisting. Studies by reputed organizations like Gurugaon based Ziven consultancy show India’s clinical research market was worth Rs 1,345 crore in 2008 and it will cross 50,000 crores by 2015.
However, after the Court’s strong words against Government’s negligence, it came out with a Gazette Notification on 30th January tightening the Clinical Trials compensation Guidelines. The subject of clinical trials would now get free medical treatment as long as required in any untoward condition, or else the Sponsor would be debarred from further tests in the Country. An independent commission would decide the quantum of compensation in case of death of the subject during clinical trials. Anand Rai, a petitioner in the Supreme Court case on clinical trials remarked on the revised guidelines thus
“This is the first time ethics committees will have to report serious, adverse events to the drug controller, and informed consent forms will also be reviewed. These regulatory and monitoring norms should have been in place all along,”
He further expects the Government to “address concerns raised by the victims who have suffered in the absence of these basic regulatory norms.” According to the guidelines issued by central government if the local Contract Research Organisation(CRO) or its Sponsor MNC(Multi National Company) fails providing free medical treatment as long as required to the Subject incase any untoward incident happens during drug trials, That organization or sponsor would be banned from further tests in India. But the question is– would it be sufficient a punishment for the death or serious injury caused to an Indian citizen due to over dosage or negligence during Clinical Trials? He urged the Government that it should,“besides deciding on compensation and redressal of victims’ concerns, doctors who violated ethical practices should also be punished to send a strong message,”
The regulatory bodies responsible for putting a check on illegal drug trials have failed in the main in performing their duty simply because they are severely under-staffed and ill-equipped. Also, they lack the requisite skill to trace any case of illegal drug trial. The 59th report on the functioning of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) by Parliamentary standing committee on Health and Family welfare reveals how and to what extent our regulatory bodies are ill-equipped and under-staffed. Again, the prevalence of corruption in the regulatory bodies has made it well nigh impossible for the proper execution of the guidelines. Historically, Profit-motivated western MNCs have never cared for ethical responsibilities, so it is implausible to believe that these avaricious mercenaries would abide by the ethical guidelines issued by GOI. The rich people will never be used as subjects in the drug trials; it’s the poor and downtrodden of the Third world countries, who will be subjected to such trials. Governments of these countries have always been succumbing to the bullying of the western countries.
According to Mira Shiva, Head of the Public Policy, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), and coordinator of the All India Drug Action Network, “that these trials are done totally from a market point of view and that too for Western markets…… An extremely ethical trial for a nonsensical drug, does that make it great?” Government should use mass media to bring awareness on the issue of clinical trials among the common people, it should be made compulsory for the local investigators or registered ethical committees to tell the volunteers risks involved in the drug trials in their own mother languages.Criminal proceedings against CROs, Doctors and their foreign sponsors if there is any violation of the Guidelines .We should not let another Bhopal Gas tragedy happen in our motherland.
On the 15thof August, 1947 Indians achieved their independence from the clutches of imperialist British. However, it came with the disastrous reality of partition of their sacred homeland. Taking a cue from the Roman maxim ‘divide et impera ‘ the British rulers let Hindu-Muslium animosity to grow further , which had already existed from the first Islamic invasion of India by Muhammad Qashim. Pan-Islamism grew significantly, during & after the khilafat agitation, with the British government aiding & abetting the Muslims. This religious frenzy gave birth to a separate home land for Muslims, Darul Islam but unfortunately India or Hindu hatred among the Muslim leaders of Pakistan has never died out. Before the partition, Hindus constituted 26% of the total population of Pakistan. This shrank to 15% after the horrific, bloodiest exodus of population in1947. The decline of the Hindus has been continuing till today. Hindus have been enduring the mediaeval Islamic brutalities since the inception of Pakistan. Persecution of minority Hindus is on the rise in recent times. Hindu Women are being kidnapped, raped, mutilated, forced into prostitution or sold to any harem as sex slaves. The heart rending cases of Rinkle kumari, dr. lata kumari Asha kumari etc. are some glaring examples of how inhumanly Hindus have been treated in Pakistan.
Rinkle Kumari,a 17 years old (according to her birth certificate)Pakistani Hindu girl, her name might not have heard by many in India. Her sordid & hair raising story has attracted the attention of the international media & various national governments towards the plight of Hindus in Pakistan. Rinkle kumara was abducted at gun-point on the night of 23rd February by goons of ruling PPP’sMNA (member of national assembly) , Mian abdul haq, from her village of Mirpur Mathelo in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Mia abdul haq a.k.a Mian Mithoo, is the co-chairperson of ruling PPP & the current Pir of Bharchundi sharif dargah. He along with his two sons, Mia Aslam & Mia Raffique , Sayed Naved Shah, a local gangster were indicted of the inhuman treatment to Rinkle. She was taken to the Madrasa of Bhirchundi sharif where she was married to Naved Shah & converted to Islam, renemed her Faryall Bibi, forced to sign the Nikah nama. Police registered an FIR on 25th Feb after social activists and local Hindu took to the street demanding justice for Rinkle. Rinkle’s story reveals to what extent the radical Islamists have got a foothold in Pakistani politicics, judiciary, Media & people. The judgments given by the civil court, Ghotki , High court of Sind & supreme court/ Apex court of Pakistan were a mockery of Justice and basic human rights of a minority girl. A Hindu Lady Journalist from Sindh described the situation at civil Court, Ghotki in the following words.“in the Court room the kidnapped girl Rinkle, told, while crying, about threats & harassment by gunmen to accept Islam & to marry Naveed Saha, otherwise she would be killed along with her whole family”. In spite of the repeated requests by her family members to meet her, the court never allowed them to meet her. But Mian Mithoo & his goons frequently met and threatened her in the police custody & also in the asylum where she was put for a few days. Hindus were barred from entering the court premises but the Civil Court was filled up with Mithoo’s gunmen & supporters both inside & outside. They were screaming the Islamic war cry Allah-o-akber. Marvi Sirmed, a fearless popular lady social activist described it thus “While four family members of Rinkle Kumari were allowed in the premises and two in the Court room, thousands of Mithoo’s men chanted slogan outside the court & hundred’s were present inside the court. An open display of weapons was a clear message to the court & judges, who could not ask any of the weapon wielding Allah-O-Akber chanting beards out of the court.” She even repeatedly pleaded to the Chief justice of Pakistan that she had not eloped with Naved Saha, but she was forcibly kidnapped, married & converted to Islam. She wanted to go back to her family. According to a family friend of Rinkle Kumari “When Rinkle came in to court without letting her meet her parents, she was brought to give statement in fromt of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. She only stated that she doesn’t want to go anywhere, but her mother. Then Chief Justice of Pakistan met with Rinkle alone for about 20munits & he let her mother meet her for only 10munits. Afterwards Rinkle was crying before Chief Justice of Pakistan, she wanted to go to her parents. CJP said that, girl wants to go with her parents but there is confusion as the girl had embraced Islam & had spent married life, so how can she turnaround from her previous statement?” What she had spoken in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in despair would let anyone cry “Pakistan me sablok ek dusre ke saath mile hue hain, yahan insaaf sirf musalman ke liye hai. Hindu ke liye koi insaaf nahin hai, mujhe yaheen court room main mar dalo, lekin Darul-Aman nahin bhejo, yeh sub lok mile hue hai yeh hamain maar dalenge.” Mian Mithoo had killed Rinkle’s grandfather in her village to threaten her. With Rinkle two other Hindu girl cases of abduction have been making headlines. One is Dr. lata Kumari, a Doctor at Aga Khan Hospital & Asha Kumari who was working at a beauty parlor in Jacobabad, Pakistan. They were both kidnapped and forcefully married to some Islamic man. Dr. Lata Kumari & Asha Kumari were both converted to Islam and Name respectively, Hifza Bibi & Haleema.
These are not isolated cases, in a report Asian human right commission warned that 20 to 25 Hindu girls were being abducted & forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan every month. Young Hindu girls are their chief target. Islamic fanatics are kidnapping Hindu girls, selling them to Harems of much older Muslim sexual perverts. Due to these brutalities many Hindu families has been seeking refuge in India. According to Foreigner Regional Registration Office, Delhi till mid 2011, there are around 8 to 10 Hindu families coming to India in a month, but in the past 10 months as estimated 400 families have come. Indian Govt. adding insult to their injury by denying refugee status to them. Many of these Hindus were also driven back to Pakistan, the Islamic hell. Our shameless, moronic,vote hankering politicians have been busy legalizing illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, while driving away these helpless Hindu from India soil. Even BJP the so called Hindu fascist party, which claims to die for Hindu cause, has also maintained a stoic silence barring some lip services in the parliament. According to the latest rumors in social networking sites Rinkle Kumari might have been killed.
By Subramanian Swamy | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
The terrorist blast in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, requires decisive soul-searching by the Hindus of India. Hindus cannot accept to be killed in this halal fashion, continuously bleeding every day till the nation finally collapses. Terrorism I define here as the illegal use of force to overawe the civilian population to make it do or not do an act against its will and well-being.
Islamic terrorism is India’s number one problem of national security. About this there will be no doubt after 2012. By that year, I expect a Taliban takeover in Pakistan and the Americans to flee Afghanistan. Then, Islam will confront Hinduism to “complete unfinished business”. Already the successor to Osama bin Laden as al-Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organisation and not the USA.
Fanatic Muslims consider Hindu-dominated India “an unfinished chapter of Islamic conquests”. All other countries conquered by Islam 100% converted to Islam within two decades of the Islamic invasion. Undivided India in 1947 was 75% Hindu even after 800 years of brutal Islamic rule. That is jarring for the fanatics.
In one sense, I do not blame the Muslim fanatics for targeting Hindus. I blame Hindus who have taken their individuality permitted in Sanatan Dharma to the extreme. Millions of Hindus can assemble without state patronage for the Kumbh Mela, completely self-organised, but they all leave for home oblivious of the targeting of Hindus in Kashmir, Mau, Melvisharam and Malappuram and do not lift their little finger to help organise Hindus. If half the Hindus voted together, rising above caste and language, a genuine Hindu party would have a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the assemblies.
The first lesson to be learnt from the recent history of Islamic terrorism against India and for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus. It is to undermine the Hindu psyche and create the fear of civil war that terror attacks are organised.
Hindus must collectively respond as Hindus against the terrorist and not feel individually isolated or, worse, be complacent because he or she is not personally affected. If one Hindu dies merely because he or she was a Hindu, then a bit of every Hindu also dies. This is an essential mental attitude, a necessary part of a virat (committed) Hindu.
We need a collective mindset as Hindus to stand against the Islamic terrorist. The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus. If any Muslim acknowledges his or her Hindu legacy, then we Hindus can accept him or her as a part of the Brihad Hindu Samaj (greater Hindu society) which is Hindustan. India that is Bharat that is Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and others whose ancestors were Hindus. Others, who refuse to acknowledge this, or those foreigners who become Indian citizens by registration, can remain in India but should not have voting rights (which means they cannot be elected representatives).
Any policy to combat terrorism must begin with requiring each and every Hindu becoming a virat Hindu. For this, one must have a Hindu mindset that recognises that there is vyaktigat charitra (personal character) and rashtriya charitra (national character). For example, Manmohan Singh has high personal character, but by being a rubber stamp of a semi-literate Sonia Gandhi and waffling on all national issues, he has proved that he has no rashtriya charitra.
The second lesson for combating terrorism is that we must never capitulate or concede any demand, as we did in 1989 (freeing five terrorists in exchange for Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya) and in 1999, freeing three terrorists after the hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC-814.
The third lesson is that whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the nation must retaliate massively. For example, when the Ayodhya temple was sought to be attacked, we should have retaliated by re-building the Ram temple at the site.
According to bleeding heart liberals, terrorists are born or bred because of illiteracy, poverty, oppression, and discrimination. They argue that instead of eliminating them, the root cause of these four disabilities in society should be removed. This is rubbish. Osama bin laden was a billionaire. In the failed Times Square episode, failed terrorist Shahzad was from a highly placed family in Pakistan and had an MBA from a reputed US university.
It is also a ridiculous idea that terrorists cannot be deterred because they are irrational and willing to die. Terrorist masterminds have political goals and a method in their madness. An effective strategy to deter terrorism is to defeat those political goals and to rubbish them by counter-terrorist action.Thus, I advocate the following strategy to negate the political goals of Islamic terrorism in India.
Goal 1: Overawe India on Kashmir.
Strategy: Remove Article 370 and resettle ex-servicemen in the valley. Create Panun Kashmir for the Hindu Pandit community. Look for or create an opportunity to take over PoK. If Pakistan continues to back terrorists, assist the Baluchis and Sindhis to get their independence.
Goal 2: Blast temples, kill Hindu devotees.
Strategy: Remove the masjid in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites.
Goal 3: Turn India into Darul Islam.
Strategy: Implement the uniform civil code, make learning of Sanskrit and singing of Vande Mataram mandatory, and declare India a Hindu Rashtra in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus. Rename India Hindustan as a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors were Hindus.
Goal 4: Change India’s demography by illegal immigration, conversion, and refusal to adopt family planning.
Strategy: Enact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion. Re-conversion will not be banned. Declare that caste is not based on birth but on code or discipline. Welcome non-Hindus to re-convert to the caste of their choice provided they adhere to the code of discipline. Annex land from Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from that country staying in India. At present, the northern third from Sylhet to Khulna can be annexed to re-settle illegal migrants.
Goal 5: Denigrate Hinduism through vulgar writings and preaching in mosques, madrassas, and churches to create loss of self-respect amongst Hindus and make them fit for capitulation.
Strategy: Propagate the development of a Hindu mindset.
India can solve its terrorist problem within five years by such a deterrent strategy, but for that we have to learn the four lessons outlined above, and have a Hindu mindset to take bold, risky, and hard decisions to defend the nation. If the Jews could be transformed from lambs walking meekly to the gas chambers to fiery lions in just 10 years, it should not be difficult for Hindus in much better circumstances (after all we are 83% of India), to do so in five years.
Guru Gobind Singh showed us how just five fearless persons under spiritual guidance can transform a society. Even if half the Hindu voters are persuaded to collectively vote as Hindus, and for a party sincerely committed to a Hindu agenda, then we can forge an instrument for change. And that is the bottom line in the strategy to deter terrorism in a democratic Hindustan at this moment of truth.
The writer is president of the Janata Party, a former Union minister, and a professor of economics
“The modern rendering of the world doesn’t necessarily tell us the truth. The transformation from barbarians to “civilised” citizens is a pure misconception. The glimpses into the past give us a different picture, as the history of temples in Kerala demonstrates. At least the ancient “barbarians” never stooped to hate crimes. In contrast, there has never been a time as vicious as today, when innocents are torn down by miscreants for the sake of their deity, personified Hate.” – George Augustine
The raid and plunder of Hindu temples, which would qualify as the oldest and still ongoing reality show in the world, took a thrilling turn recently by the surfacing of Lord Padmanabha’s wealth in a tele-tsunami, flooding living rooms all over the world with news ripples. To a predominantly Mammon-worshipping, literally iconoclastic world which equates honour and even spirituality with money, the evidenced wealth seems to have bestowed a grudging admiration not only for Lord Padmanabha, but for temples and even for Hindus in general. In the Forbes richest deities’ list, Lord Padmanabha would top the world. It should be a stark reminder of the age (kaliyuga) we live in, when values hang upside down.
Probably for the same reason, what came to the fore in the latest episode is the overpowering haze of deliberate misinformation pervading the media, originating from the very guys who are supposed to tell us all what is what. Some reporters displayed such a feverish vigour in championing vested interests that they overlooked basic facts and their frenzied reports exuded an overall sense of being caught up in a sensational scandal.
In a concerted bid, purportedly licensed temple raiders tried in vain to convert the wealth into a nidhi(treasure), which would have then brought the wealth under the purview of the Treasure Trove Act offering the government a firm grip on it. However, the temple’s wealth in unknown quantities was no secret treasure as it was known all along to all those who had anything to do with the temple, including its countless local devotees. The Mathilakam Records (1941) and the Palace Manual besides a news report in the Hindu dated December 6, 1931, mention the wealth stored beneath the temple in no uncertain terms.
The bid was not entirely a foolish venture on the part of potential temple thieves, for there is legal precedence for raising rapacious hopes. As recent as 2007, the Kerala High Court had ruled that temple property unearthed while excavating a pit for a new nadapura for the ancient Sree Mullakkal Bhagavathy temple in Wadakkancherry was a “treasure trove” and therefore would belong to the government as per Section 3 of the Kerala Treasure Trove Act, 1968. The government’s clinching point was that nobody knew that the gold and silver coins (valued at Rs. 61,280) of antique value were lying in the soil under the temple at least for more than a hundred years.
The Mullakkal Kshetra Seva Samithi lost the case and a compensation, as was due, was offered to the Cochin Devaswom Board which managed the temple. The judgement recognised the coins as the temple’s property, but it qualified as “treasure”. There is no doubt whatsoever that the buried coins were part of what escaped Kerala’s Indiana Jones, Tipu Sultan, who was meticulous in raiding and plundering most of the ancient temples of that region. All the coins (14th to 17th C) found here predated the time of Tipu. People who knew about this little “treasure” were in all likelihood killed or converted to Islam by the fiend. It is famously known that the consecrated murti of Lord Guruvayurappan, another current hostage of the Kerala government, had to be buried and the utsava moorthy take refuge in Travancore during Tipu’s raids in North Kerala.
When the “treasure” tactic did not seem to work in Thiruvananthapuram, efforts got under way to establish the wealth beneath the temple as state wealth accumulated by the erstwhile Travancore State, which would then be the people’s wealth and liable to be taken over by the government. However, history proves that claim, too, to be bogus. Records show that the temple is much older than even the Travancore kingdom. Available records go back to 910 CE, whereas the kingdom was born in the mid-18th century. Even during the Travancore times, the state’s tax treasury known as “karuvalam” was separate from the temple treasury “ituveippu”, which was the deity’s treasury. So there is no doubt whatsoever as to who owns the unevaluated riches.
In India, a Hindu deity is a legal entity and can own and enjoy properties, a legacy from another era of Indian history that is still kept alive in their new role of “hostage of fortune”. The temples manage their wealth through their representatives. So, to divert the deities’ riches, one needs only to become their legal caretakers, a role the Kerala government has been enjoying for sometime now for several rich deities in the state. The money, gold, gemstones and other riches that accumulate every year at Guruvayur and Sabarimala are diverted to the impoverished Kerala government coffers on a regular basis on their way to being distributed, among other things, as salaries to teachers of Christian and Muslim institutions who are privately appointed by their respective clergy. The wealth of these two temples alone appropriated by the Kerala governments in the past few decades would come to enormous sums – “nidhi” in current parlance. A revenue department official once told me years ago that without the Sabarimala season, the government treasury would never be able to break even.
The myth of a civilising world
The modern rendering of the world doesn’t necessarily tell us the truth. The transformation from barbarians to “civilised” citizens is a pure misconception. The glimpses into the past give us a different picture, as the history of temples in Kerala demonstrates. At least the ancient “barbarians” never stooped to hate crimes. In contrast, there has never been a time as vicious as today, when innocents are torn down by miscreants for the sake of their deity, personified Hate. For example, the 2008 Mumbai massacre was a pure hate crime.
The ancient history of Kerala as far as we can unravel with any certainty is closely bound with its ancient temples and the Namboothiris who built them. Their origin and development are still inconclusive in terms of accurate dating, but there is no doubt that their origin is entangled with that ofParasurama, the Brahmin warrior who settled other Brahmins all along the West Coast of India, from Maharashtra downwards. Kerala is mentioned as “Bhargava (Parasurama) Kshetra” in puranic literature. However, the Namboothiris and their temples emerge in dated history only after theKalabhra Interregnum (3rd to 6th centuries CE), which is termed the “dark ages” of South India. They also do not find mention in the Sangam literature (600 BCE to 300 CE).
Christians in South India are at present burning the midnight oil trying to fabricate history by depicting the Kalabhra Interregnum as a “Christian golden age”, but it is justified only as far as the “darkness” of the age is considered. Marxists are trying in tandem to establish a pre-Hindu “Dravidian” Kerala, which the Aryans are supposed to have invaded after conquering and consolidating North India. They have picked Muziris, the port on the Malabar Coast mentioned in ancient books, which sold gemstones and peacocks besides spices and fragrance to ancient civilisations, for this project and weredigging up a village on the coast named Pashanam after renaming it as Pattanam (town). These ventures will be dismissed by a serious historian without even a question mark only on the grounds that in terms of civilisational aspects (rationality), Kerala never had a history to start with, apart from its Brahmins and their temples.
As a land ruled by the Brahmins, the temples and their deities were the de facto rulers of ancient Kerala. Every gramam (village) and every desam (region) had a temple which administered the day-to-day affairs of the village or region. These deities were the legal owners of the village. The Travancore Raja’s offering of the State to Lord Padmanabha (trichadidanam) in the 18th century can actually be traced to this ancient tradition.
It was under the presiding deity that all spiritual, civil and criminal issues of the village or desam were settled. These temples with shadadhara prathishta (with the 6 yogic chakras) were built according to the Sanskrit treatise Tantrasamuchayam Silpabhagam and are easily distinguishable from those built for and by other communities in later times. The outer temples known as “valiambalam” in Malayalam were technically termed “sabha” indicating their original function. All offenders in the village were originally tried by the sabha at the temple in front of the presiding deity and punished according to the Vedic books for prayaschitta.
It would be a hard exercise indeed to think of today’s people of Kerala, even by themselves, as truthful, pious and highly civilised. In recent days an epithet has even been coined: “God’s own country & the Devil’s own people”. But indications are indeed on the contrary. Despite the baseless modern-day accusations of oppression and class wars, the Kerala population seems to have been generally a peaceable and pious group of people characterised by simple living and high thinking. Seeing the satvic food they partook, it was a wonder for the Portuguese when they arrived that the natives ate so poorly. Even some of the despicable practices in ancient Kerala seem extremely civilised when compared to what went on in other lands during the same period, especially in the non-Hindu world. There is no evidence of a jail existing in Kerala before foreigners settled in this region.
After the centralised Kulasekhara rule disappeared in Kerala at the beginning of the 12th century, the emboldened local Rajas also started attacking temples which were under the control of the Namboothiri sabhas, not for their hidden treasures, but because they were traditional power centres that challenged these Rajas. Thedestruction of Thrikanamathilakam (14th C) and Panniyur villages along with their temples, which challenged the dictates of the Kozhikode Samuthiri, are the most important events that signature the power shift taking place in Kerala.
Guruvayur temple was a keezhedam (subordinate temple) of Thrikanamathilakam temple until the fall of the latter. But the Kerala Rajas, as can be evidenced by the present Travancore royal household, were not plunderers, but pious rulers who ruled their land according to the rajyadharmaprescribed by the Hindu smrithis. It is a fact that Kerala Rajas started fighting each other only after the advent of foreigners (see Ibn Batuta’s accounts in the 14th C). Prior invasions always came from across the eastern hills. The donation of war loot to temples by Hindu Rajas as a common practice was a symbol of what they really thought any wealth was for – not for material aggrandisement, but for spiritual elevation.
In Kerala, it was the Portuguese who first began the temple raids. There are several Portuguese accounts of these raiders, but their dependency on some of the Rajas curtailed an all-out enterprise in the region. Then came Tipu Sultan down the eastern hills. [For more details on Tipu’s raids, see Sandhya Jain’s article of 12 July “Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy has been roused” on this site]. In 1719, the Guruvayur temple came under attack by the Dutch who made away with most of the deity’s wealth including the gold of the flagstaff. They also set fire to the western gopuram before they left. It was rebuilt in 1747. This coincided with the rise of Raja Marthanda Varma of Venad who founded the Travancore kingdom and inflicted a severe defeat on the Dutch when they attacked Travancore. Had the Raja been defeated, we can all guess what the fate of Lord Padmanabha’s wealth would have been.
While consolidating power for his kingdom, Raja Marthanda Varma also forcibly took over several temples from the Brahmins. The Sri Padmanabha temple was taken from the Pathillam Namboothiris (presumably 10 Brahman families) who were its traditional caretakers. Incidentally, two other famous temples similarly taken over from the Namboothiris by the Raja around the same time were Sri Vallabha temple of Thiruvalla and the Sthanumalayan temple in Suchindram. These temples even then were not only centres of wealth, but also power centres that challenged Kshatriya rule following the Parasurama tradition, and Raja Marthanda, in his attempt to break away from current tradition, was left with little choice.
The takeover of temples for their wealths climaxed in Travancore after Colonel John Munroe took over as the British Resident in early 19th century. Simultaneously, he prevailed upon the Travancore royals to part with land and money for Christian missionaries and forest thieves. The takeover of temples entered a new phase after 1947 when the British left with whatever they could manage. Then entered the local thieves hiding under different imported ideologies, Nehruvian-Stalinism, Marxism, or whatever you may call it, their eyes fixed on the temple wealths. The temples were already bereft of all political power whatsoever, so all that was left was their wealth and their potential role as golden geese.
Sri Padmanabha temple is the last of the old temples that has not been robbed or kidnapped, for which the whole world should be grateful to the Travancore royals not only for their honesty, but for their cleverness and agility in safeguarding this material symbol of immense spiritual wealth. These temples are a symbol of a bygone era in Kerala, when spirituality was the supreme ruler and everything else was subordinate to it. This was the case everywhere in India at one time or the other. It might have survived in Kerala a little longer due to its (relative) inaccessibility in those times to vandals and marauders. These temples being hostages of fortune under charlatans is the supreme evidence of the age we live in, when true spirituality is imprisoned by a criminal materialism as espoused by the world-dominating Abrahamic thought. –Vijayvaani, New Delhi, July 15, 2011
» George Augustine is a professional translator
12 July 2011
PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: Rajeev Shukla, the journalist who began his career as a lowly reporter in the Hindi daily Northern India Patrika in Kanpur in 1978 before turning to politics in 2000, is to become a minister in theManmohan Singh government this evening.
The 52-year-old will be the minister of State in charge of parliamentary affairs.
Shukla, a member of the Rajya Sabha from his home-state Uttar Pradesh, earned his journalistic spurs during his three-year stint in the late 1980s at the weekly Hindi magazine Ravivar, where under its then editor Udayan Sharma, he broke a story on the former prime minister V.P. Singh.
Singh, a bugbear of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on the Bofors issue, had signed away large tracts of land he held as the “Raja of Manda”. Shukla reported that Singh’s wife had objected to the sale, saying he was not in his right mental balance at the time.
That story propelled Shukla into the Congress orbit.
Shukla later held several senior editorial positions later in the ABP-owned Sunday and The Sunday Observer, which had been purchased by Dhirubhai Ambani‘s Reliance Industries.
The arrival of satellite television saw Shukla host a weekly interview programme on Zee called Rubaru, before he branched off to launch his own production house called BAG Films (BAG for Bhagwan, Allah, God) with wife Anuradha Prasad (sister of BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad) in tow.
The couple now own a news channel (News24), an entertainment channel (E24), a radio station (Dhamaal 24), and a school of media and convergence studies.
Shukla entered the Rajya Sabha in 2000 as a member of the short-lived Uttar Pradesh Loktantrik Congress, winning votes disporportionate to his political lineage and vintage from the BJP, Congress and the BSP. His vote tally set tongues wagging in Lucknow.
“The grapevine said during the run-up to the elections that two powerful industrial groups backed Shukla.”
Shukla soon become a prominent functionary in the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), rising to be vice-president. DNA reported that a firmed owned by him had bought a stake in Shah Rukh Khan‘s Kolkata Knight Riders, at whose matches Rahul Gandhi has been one of the more famous faces from the VIP box.
When Shah Rukh Khan was detained in the United States in the run-up to his film My Name is Khan in 2009, he famously said that the first person he called to bail him out was Rajeev Shukla.
Anuradha Prasad watches her husband Rajeev Shukla take oath as minister in this photograb from the couple’s news channel, News24
Posted by Sanatana Jnana at 04:43
The Air India board, keeping with the government view that the airline should take more steps to reduce expenditure and increase revenue,
is likely to announce an incentive cut on Wednesday.
“The board may make an announcement of a 50% cut in the productivity-linked incentives (PLI) for the executive staff (senior manager upwards, officials who are not unionised),” said an Air India official. Last month, the board proposed a 50% reduction in PLI and flying allowance paid to the crew till an alternative formula was worked out. It was met with strong resistance from the unions.
The airline has been trying to introduce salary cuts for some time now. It has sought help from the government in the form of equity infusion and soft loan and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has reportedly reviewed its turn-around proposal recently. A note to this effect would be placed before the Union cabinet soon. Mukherjee apparently iterated the stand taken by the government that the airline could not expect a bail-out package without making cost-cuts and improving revenue earnings.
While some unions have agreed to the cuts, others are against it. On Tuesday, members of the pilots’ and engineers’ trade union of erstwhile Indian Airlines voiced their protest against incentive cuts and delayed salary payments.