Thursday, March 28, 2013


The past & present of Indian environmentalism - The Hindu
"n the West, the environmental movement had arisen chiefly out of a desire to protect endangered animal species and natural habitats. In India, however, it arose out of the imperative of human survival. This was an environmentalism of the poor, which married the concern of social justice on the one hand with sustainability on the other. It argued that present patterns of resource use disadvantaged local communities and devastated the natural environment.................

Steady deterioration
Meanwhile, the environment continued to deteriorate. The levels of air pollution were now shockingly high in all Indian cities. The rivers along which these cities were sited were effectively dead. Groundwater aquifers dipped alarmingly in India’s food bowl, the Punjab. Districts in Karnataka were devastated by open-cast mining. Across India, the untreated waste of cities was dumped on villages. Forests continued to decline, and sometimes disappear. Even the fate of our national animal, the tiger, now hung in the balance.
A major contributory factor to this continuing process of degradation has been the apathy and corruption of our political class. A birdwatcher herself, friendly with progressive conservationists such as Salim Ali, Indira Gandhi may have been the Prime Minister most sensitive (or at least least insensitive) to matters of environmental sustainability. On the other hand, of all Prime Ministers past and present Dr. Manmohan Singh has been the most actively hostile. This is partly a question of academic background; economists are trained to think that markets can conquer all forms of scarcity. It is partly a matter of ideological belief; both as Finance Minister, and now as Prime Minister, Dr. Singh has argued that economic growth must always take precedence over questions of environmental sustainability.

An environmentally literate Prime Minister would certainly help. That said, it is State-level politicians who are most deeply involved in promoting mining and infrastructure projects that eschew environmental safeguards even as they disregard the communities they displace. In my own State, Karnataka, mining barons are directly part of the political establishment. In other States they act through leaders of the Congress, the BJP, and regional parties.

In 1928, 45 years before the birth of the Chipko movement, Mahatma Gandhi had said: “God forbid that India should ever take to industrialisation after the manner of the West. The economic imperialism of a single tiny island kingdom (England) is today keeping the world in chains. If an entire nation of 300 million took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.” ........................

Monday, March 25, 2013


The following has to be read, keeping in mind the chronic economic crisis which has assumed the character of a contagion, haunting Europe. These days the focus is on Cyprus. Even US and China will not be immune to this economic plague. And soon India will also follow suit with misery to ‘innocent’ millions. Anyway the world is in the grip of a general economic slowdown. The problems facing all nations are similar, and now familiar to all of us. In layman’s terms there is sluggishness in demand for the manufactured products coupled with an increase in prices of all essential commodities. Most Governments are not able to solve this problem permanently and they do not know how to handle this, other than make certain knee-jerk reactions.  Against this background, let us consider two icons of India’s culture.

During the Victorian times India had been portrayed as a land of ‘snake-charmers’ & ‘fakirs’. Sir Winston Churchill had called The Father of our Nation as a ‘half-naked fakir.”  This is the impression carried by most Europeans about India & Indians. Even  prominent Indians  were not spared if we consider the epithet used by Churchill. Later for  advertising   our international air-carrier, the icon of the ‘Maharaja’,  was widely used. These were the icons that mostly represented India  abroad, conveying the idea that India is the land of mysticism- carrying the burden of  useless, impractical and out-of-the world ideas.

What non-Indians thought about India , had an impact on Indians regarding their self-image of themselves and their nation. Almost all modern Indians internalized , what  non-Indians , especially Europeans,  ie. our colonial masters thought about India.

The two  images, ubiquitous and  familiar to Indians across many generations are that of (1) gods & goddesses with many arms AND (2) Yogi. The former appeared  grotesque in the eyes of Europeans and others  belonging to the monotheistic faiths.  The most familiar yogic picture that one encounters is that of the Buddha. The eyes of most yogic icons are closed or half-open(half-closed). And the yogic posture conveys stillness. (ie nischalatha)

The most pleasing icon or image depicting that of a god or goddess with many arms is that of the Nataraja, ie The dancing Shiva.  Anand Coomaraswamy , the late curator of Indian art at the Boston Museum of Fine arts , had expressed the essence of this icon as :- “Nataraja  image, symbolizes  the primal rhythmic energy underlying all phenomenal appearances and activity; here is perpetual  movement, perpetually poised – the rhythm of the spirit . (p.69, The dance of Shiva).

Thus  we have here two images, associated with movement (action), which conveys a multitude of ideas and meanings - about creation of the universe including the life-forms in the same, about the condition of life, about how life has to be lived to transcend the repeated ,endless, tortuous cycles of birth and death.

One image, ie of the dancing God symbolizes extreme movement –action- karma which bring forth the world with all its life ie. All names and forms into being. The gods and goddesses with multi-arms  depicts this extreme creative karma. And the yogic picture of stillness (nischalatha-physically still, mentally still  but mentally alert) teaches or shows the way , how humans who are  caught in this whirl-pool of  creative activity and forced to undergo movement (karma),  can transcend this movement  or action and obtain permanent peace and happiness.  Because movement  starts a process , resulting in  the feeling of ‘I’, the embodied feeling, associated with the feeling of separateness , ie this (action, movement) is the cause of birth and death, the endless’ tortuous life (death) cycles one has to undergo.  The movement in the cause is present also in the effect. Effect here means , human-beings and all other forms.  Indian civilization is the product of this tension  -tension between the Cosmic creative process  and the means of transcending the same. Cosmic creative process involves necessarily action/movement,  which being the products of creation we (all names and forms)  have naturally inherited.  Movement  or action results in fruits of action , (ie further action/movement and its by-products) which is binding in the sense that it  may give us  temporary pleasure  but displeasure and discomfort at some future point of time.

All cannot become Yogis which is the ideal state to be attained by each human being. “For none ever remains inactive  even for a moment; for all are compelled to action by the gunas inherent in Prakriti”. (Gita 3.5). Eventhough  ‘stillness with omniscience’ is the ultimate state one has to strive for in the em-bodied form, this is not possible for many due to a variety of reasons.   Further it is said,   “ Do thou thy allotted task: for action is superior to inaction; with inaction even life’s normal course is not possible.” (Gita 3.8) .Since one is made to move (because movement is there in the intermediate cause, and what is present in the cause will be present in the effect) involuntarily, (as per Gita 3.5) ,it is BEST such motion/karma is channelized to meet the basic requirements of maintaining -the body and that of a  harmonious  society of which one is a member. This is the implication of Gita 3.8.  Therefore our civilization sought that optimal movement , applicable  to each individual  based on his inherited qualities(gunas). Optimal movement is that  movement  between extreme action/movement and perfect stillness. This perfect stillness is impossible for almost all, because the cause of our coming into being itself is movement. (repeat :-the qualities of the cause will be present in the effect).  The optimal movement was sought because, ‘prakriti’ always forces us to do ‘karma’(movement, action) .

Thus the wise ancients were confronted by the following facts (1) They knew the solution  for permanent and lasting happiness. This meant transcending the creative process of movement. In a way beating the system. One must never be born, generating the feeling of separateness ie. ‘I’ (Aham)  (2)  The creative  movement  forces all created beings  into movement. Majority cannot resist  this forced movement . And movement/action has the tendency to bind. (3) How to channelize this movement, enabling individual’s well-being and also that of society. This channelized movement should be such that, it will not be binding and pave the way for future release. (moksha).  Deliberating  over these ‘truths of being’ our ancients have offered the ideal solution of  ‘varnashrama-dharma’. The ‘varnashrama’ is thus a very ‘scientific’ approach to organizing society and fulfilling its needs based on optimal action (movement) of its members.

One need not subscribe to the transcendent theory of karma & rebirth, violating one’s religious belief.  But none can ignore the ancient and unbroken continuity of the Indian civilization based on  this philosophy of life. This philosophy signifies sustainability of life and living. This is the panacea that India can offer to the strife ridden post-modern world.

The  crisis in Europe/US is due to hyper-activity of its members. As per the Indian world-view, we may consider almost all Europeans and US Citizens  to be hyper-active. Hyperactivity is considered by moderns as  a mental and  neuro-behavioral disorder occurring mostly in children. But as per Indian norms, the adults in continental Europe and N.America  are victims of this mental and physical disorder. The Industrial revolution is a consequence of this. For they (machines) have multiplied and made,  the movements (actions) vigorous  and endless. Irrespective of day or night or seasons, man-made machinery keeps on moving/working (karma), and ultimately it is humans moving/acting to the rhythm of the self-perpetuating machinery. Result, machinery controls human movement. This results in binding and more binding without any hope of release and freedom.

 Both Indians and Europeans had studied ‘movement/motion’. One culture studied movement of ‘Grahas’ (planets) to determine how they affect each individual life. This is the science of Jyotisha. The prognosis  this science enabled, advised individuals to restrain their movement and be self-conscious about the same.  The other culture (Western) intensified the study of the movements of mundane objects and formulated the ‘Laws of Motion’. The knowledge from their study they utilized to make machines, capable of infinite and vigorous movement , controlled as well as un-controlled. These machines, as everyone knows have become insatiable of energy and other resources. It has distorted social values and ethics, eg. concentration of resources or wealth and power in the hands of a few. In addition it is endangering the very existence of human beings on this earth due to pollution and fast depletion of  natural resources essential for human living.

The image of the ten-headed Ravana, having twenty arms,  symbolizes this Western Culture afflicted with hyperactivity. Ravana is not God, but only a king. The twenty arms  denoted his  hyperactivity, which sealed his fate. Similarly the hyperactivity of US and Europe  have landed them in trouble. Already two deadly World Wars  had been fought. Numerous other examples may be quoted –the cold-war, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Their hyper-activity resulted in more and more industrialization, possible by more and more sophisticated machinery. To sustain this production or to keep pace with the ‘movement of the machinery’ they perpetually need more markets and resources.  Not having learnt the lesson,   they propose to cure themselves , by resorting to even more activity. More industry and more production and consumption are the medicines prescribed.  And the effectiveness of the medicine is  measured  by a term  called GDP. GDP thus  a marker of movement.

“For none ever remain inactive even for a moment; for all are compelled to action by the gunas inherent in prakriti.” -Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 verse 5. Understanding  the above ‘scientific’  fact, it was the duty of  rishis, administrators and kings to channel the action of the people. Rishis like Manu, gave the blueprint  for organizing society on the basis of varna and prescribing rituals. The basis of varna is karma based on the gunas.  The so-called meaningless rituals are ‘artifices’ to regulate karma(movement). Kings and administrators  channeled the actions of the public by resorting to yagas (yajnas) , building temples, temple tanks, canals etc. All learned men tried for the optimal movement of each individual in society with minimum rise in entropy, affecting society. In modern times, Gandhiji  exhorted his country-men to resort to spinning on the hand-driven ‘charkha’.  Gandhiji  was NOT a mad-man, but a visionary.

The ancient vis-à-vis modern approach to agriculture, education, travel, health etc and many other actions affecting life, highlights this contrast between stillness (less movement) and vigorous movement. A measure of successful movement is more and more speed. ‘More’ in ‘less’ time. (Thus movement applies both to ‘quantity’  as well as ‘quality’)  Speed may thrill, but it ultimately kills. Another effect of movement (mental as well as physical) is   it makes life short with abrupt end or prolong it with pain. Even  in the divine realm, movement is accompanied by –birth, sustenance & destruction. But here the sustenance period is substantial compared to the life of humans, extending over numerous generations. Wishing all,  a ‘state’ of permanent happiness, our seers warned us not to get caught in the wheels of birth-death, representing movement.

Modern  mundane knowledge seeks to study and amplify movements, which threatens human life on this planet. Creative movement and manipulation of movement is the privilege of the divine realm. Let us humans not imitate it, if the purpose of all that we do is for the well-being of mankind.


A tea industry anniversary - The Hindu

"Whatever the environmentalists may say about the felling of forests in the Nilgiris and the Western Ghats, there’s no gainsaying the fact that it was coffee, first, then tea, rubber and spices that sustained the economy of the Madras Presidency in the first half of the 20th Century. And of them all, tea was the most important."

Madras Presidency was administered by the British, and majority of Tea Plantations were owned by them. The benefits  mainly  accrued to the Britishers  and the costs  were/are borne by the natives.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Weaving livelihood through cultivating organic cotton - The Hindu - (LINK)

“The transformation towards organic started sometime during 2007 when initially 39 farmers took to the sustainable practice. It took two more years for all the farmers to shift to organic. In 2001 American bollworm infestation was very high and even 15 sprays of toxic chemical pesticides wouldn’t help.

“Today, this village does not worry about pests on cotton. They use their simple, naturally made bio-pesticides to control any pest problems,” says Mr. Ananthoo, co- convener of ASHA —Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture — and coordinator of Safe Food Alliance, Tamil Nadu and an organisation called Restore in Chennai."


Rediscovering indigenous fare - The Hindu

The introduction of commercial crops by the British has changed the cropping pattern on the Blue Mountains from a diverse food crop system to a mono culture cash crops scenario. In its wake dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides has increased.

The cascading effect is the lack of food security and nutrition especially among the small and marginal communities and reduced water retention capacity of the soil among other things.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Caste - Video Nugget about the same.

Journalist Harsh Mander is featured in this small video clip.

(Copy & Paste the above link on the address bar and press ENTER) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013



Thus the arrow of  time (from past to future) affects knowledge. The preservation and transmission of Original and complete knowledge   will inversely depend on time. Further at a much later time,   a person initiated into learning and knowledge, may have access to only say two or three branches of knowledge, out of the six recorded ones. And based on these three branches of knowledge , if he attempts to generate new knowledge, it is bound to be incomplete and even may lead to wrong inferences or conclusions, which we may call as faulty knowledge.( Since he is unable to refer to the full body of knowledge.)

Thus  overall we have a  multiplier effect due to  ‘knowledge erosion’, in terms of (a)  loss of human intellectual capacity and (b) generation of  new and   faulty knowledge. This faulty knowledge will then become the foundation for successive knowledge generation. Thus at a later stage , for eg. in this modern age ,in geometric proportion, faulty knowledge is generated in society!!

A classic example of this effect of fragmentation &  compartmentalization  of knowledge, leading to erroneous conclusions  in modern times can be cited in the field of medicine. To diagnose , we prefer a generalist (MD) than a specialist. A diseased condition may be due to various causes, and the physician trained in and practicing  diagnosis , considers the whole human body, than considering a particular organ or limb. This fragmentation of medical knowledge, between generalist and specialist  has proved to be costly for the public, the medical student , and taxing on the govt.  to provide resources for each specialization, without any corresponding  effect in improving public health and creating a healthy society.  Simultaneously  social intelligence has reached such a nadir, that the public instead of resorting to self-regulation, indulge in all sorts of unhealthy practices with the implicit belief that  ‘new-knowledge’, doctors, hospitals and new technologies are  available  on tap to cure their diseases.  (eg. Liver malfunction treatment  for alcoholics)) Thus fragmentation of knowledge that became inert, ossified  due to storage  has proven to be costly for the individual and society. Neither the  general physician could assimilate the complete knowledge of all specialization branches  paving for deeper knowledge, nor  the specialist have knowledge of other areas, and in the later’s case his knowledge is compartmentalised. (Deep but not wide and all encompassing). While considering this example, let us not forget even for a moment that modern medicine is itself built-up on faulty foundations. The  healing powers of the mind and other factors are not considered in the practice of modern medicine. Profits only matter here (in modern times), and the recent case of heavy fine imposed on the pharmaceutical giant Glaxosmithline  serves as a grim reminder.

Moderns have tried to get over this problem, by collaborative efforts, ie by bringing together ‘experts’ in various fields, to solve a particular crisis or problem. But we have to understand that a priori, these  expert’s knowledge is based on  knowledge  subjected to ‘erosion’ and fragmentation.

Thus we have two cumulative outcomes– (1)  slow and steady deterioration and loss of intellectual faculties of human beings, prompted some men with vision to record knowledge  & (2) writing and recording of knowledge  has further diminished the intellectual faculties of humans. 

Thus at this juncture in time, in this post-modern era, incomplete and partial knowledge is the basis of our decisions (solutions)  and actions, which being imperfect ant not the right solution, is not going to solve any of our problems, but will compound it !!!!!

(Critical feed back of  part2, appreciated)


It has been argued in ‘The Act of Writing' (Previous Post) that invention of writing with   alphabets ( denoting sound  syllables), marked a sharp decline in human intellectual capacity. Intellectual capacity is denoted by (a) storing vast amounts of data, facts and information, processing the same and recalling it when required,  (b)knowledge and wisdom  derived from such fast processing  (which in turn determines our actions), & (c) knowledge of arts, crafts, and the ability to appreciate and enjoy the same, etc

When knowledge is recorded it becomes ossified. The dynamism of knowledge is lost. The free flow of knowledge is impaired.

Let us now consider a hypothetical situation. Say at the time when humans fully matured physically and culturally (conforming to Darwin’s theory), humankind had a body of knowledge comprising of different  branches, say  U, V, W, X, Y, X , ie Total knowledge K=U+V+W+X+Y+Z. For a long time this knowledge was transmitted orally , through sounds. Anyone who is considered learned will have to learn all this (complete knowledge) orally and commit to memory, since  re-course to writing was not at hand. Thus the whole body of knowledge , without loss would have been transmitted from generation to generation , and across geographical locations without loss or minimal losses.  Any  further knowledge that is generated will be a derivative  of the above body of total knowledge. Now suppose that after a few thousand years,  writing system developed and the above  complete knowledge had been committed to writing. Now it is human tendency that something that is stored, will remain in disuse for a long time. The attitude is-‘ it is available  on tap, so we will retrieve it when necessary’. Such a scenario, ie absolute  necessity or requirement  of stored knowledge,(knowledge of a particular nature, but essentially a part of the total knowledge , integrating the same seamlessly, that had been tucked away in a medium) is not likely to arise for a long time into the future, and it is likely that what is stored will be eventually forgotten. Even when  a need arises, be it for the stored knowledge or some material, the effort will be to freshly generate the same,  overlooking what is stored years back. The people who had done the storage will not be immediately available, or  unable to recollect from  their individual memory(the physical storage location) due to aging .   If they had lived a generation before,  they may be dead. Thus there is a continuous chipping away from the collective body of useful and full (complete)  knowledge. When one is faced with incomplete knowledge of a situation or object, decisions regarding the same will have to be based on assumptions or guesswork. This leads to error in judgement and results. Ie New knowledge thus generated is faulty.

The  issues discussed in the above paragraph about  incomplete or partial knowledge  generating faulty knowledge , is further illustrated with another example.  Assuming  that the total body of knowledge K=U+V+W+X+Y+Z, and these knowledge branches are related (complementary).  Consider a  experiment involving  two identical individuals A and B. Consider further that on all parameters A and B are sharing equal values, except on the knowledge front.  Imagine that A’s knowledge is total  ie. Ak=K= U+V+W+X+Y+Z, and B’s knowledge Bk= W+X+Y+Z < K.  Individual B is not knowing about subjects U & V, but which has got some connection or other to subjects W, X, Y & Z. Now  A & B are confronted with a problem requiring solution based on their knowledge, and each has to give it independently.  Whose solution is likely to be better and totally reliable. ?? Without doubt we could say that we could depend on A fully.  And any further decisions  or knowledge based on A’s conclusion can also be depended  upon.

But if B’s solution is accepted, it may solve the problem temporarily, but not perfectly. Further any further development or knowledge based on B’s solution will contain error, and this error will multiply , if this solution is used as the input for further solutions.
(Critical feed-back appreciated)

Part 2 follows ....

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Act of Writing Denotes a Quantum DECREASE in Human Intellectual CAPABILITIES !!!????

It is  widely accepted  and without any challenge that writing ability of man denotes that phase of his intellectual ‘evolution’, enabling him to record, retrieve and further  spread/impart  his thoughts and ideas among members of his community, even without being physically present.  But the question is, does writing  serve as a marker of man’s intellectual growth  or does it provide evidence of  a quantum decrease in human intelligence ?

How many of us still remembers and uses the multiplication tables up-to the number 12.? Maybe up-to the number 10 we  may be sure of the outcomes. We will unconsciously say that 8x8=64, or 9 x 5 = 45, and consciously are certain of our numerical ability in this case. Beyond 10 we will be very confident of say 11x11= 121, or 12x12=144. In between we may not be exactly sure, and we will manually multiply  ie do arithmetic  in the margins or if a calculator is at hand, reduce our mental effort and strain by using the same.

Similarly how many of amongst us would have memorised a poem  or devotional hymn  during the last ten years ?  Or how many amongst us know the full lyrics of a favourite playback song ? 

Or how many amongst  us can remember   telephone numbers other than the ones that we frequently use? The ten digit mobile numbers has  complicated the issue  by making it unwieldy to commit to our memory. 

Well there are exceptions like the Indian calculating prodigy  Shakuntala Devi or the people we see in certain TV shows. But for the majority of the population, the skills in memorizing, processing and recalling when required  is continually diminishing. 

Since all information  can be stored and retrieved easily with the help of gadgets like cell phones and computers, and calculations could also be done through these machines, and since their usage is becoming common among the general population, it is inevitable that human intellect will wane, even if the size of the brain remains the same. If as per Drawins theory , human beings and animals evolve  to changes in their living conditions (envirionment), this need not  be, as is generally considered  uni-directional, ie from a lower to a  higher plane. It can also be the reverse.   IF  memorizing, processing data and information,   and retrieving useful knowledge  is  considered as a function of the brain, and when machines take over these functions, the brain capacity is bound to diminish due to non-usage.  There  is this famous quote from John Stuart Mill “Organs are strengthened by exercise and atrophied by disuse”.

The assumption underlying the above passages is that , non-use of mental or intellectual capacity because of overdependence on machines, will lead to the diminishing of our intellectual capabilities within and across  generations. Therefore  machines that are capable of enhanced  storage, faster processing and retrieval  are required and it (these machines)  will be taken (wrongly) as a mark of further human progress and technological development.

Thus we ‘claim’ that society is evolving towards higher goals and ideals, and individual members of society  are reaping the benefits with better living conditions with the help of science and newer technological innovations.  But there is nothing substantial to back this claim , since we see that intellectual capability is receding with more and more technology. And in opposition to our empirical observations, not in tandem with or in conflict with our experience, we are made to think that only a sophisticated and more intelligent society can only provide ‘cutting-edge’ science and technology and machines based on the same. In fact , technology (materialistic knowledge) and more technology and  even sophisticated, cutting-edge technology,  is the mark of a society, whose members are subjected to intellectual atrophy.(And this intellectual atrophy is accompanied by physical atrophy,resulting in more and more dependence on drugs)

Thus in the case of India, we  see out ‘bright’ young students going to foreign institutions of higher learning in  ‘sophisticated’ and technologically advanced countries. They, with their parent’s wholehearted assent  willingly submit themselves as slaves,- intellectually as well as culturally - to societies inferior in intellectual capacity , simultaneously squandering valuable foreign exchange. 

Now these bright young students and their parents had been sold that idea that human beings are constantly evolving towards a higher plane. First life started as a microbe. And life evolved over eons and we human beings are the final product of that evolutionary process. After evolutionary process reached the perfect culmination with human beings as end products, it took these beings many thousands of years to reach the present stage. We had been taught that after physical evolution, social evolution took many stages. through predictable and linear steps, with stages in-between. Ie hunters, cave-dwellers, hunter-gatherers, pastorialists, and agriculturalists and finally technologically and financially driven industrialists. All through these stages their intellect was developing and flourishing.  Science points out the evidences. First on the walls of the caves, they drew figurines, then pictorial alphabets, then graffiti and other writings on the cave walls, then writings on clay tablets, then use of stylus & papyrus, then paper and pen, printing technology and finally words and pictures in digital form. Now each of these stages of development of recordings of symbols and writing, from crude instruments to magnetic/transistor media,  means less and less dependence on human intellect per se or as per science, dependence on the brain power, since everything that could be memorized  was recordable  on a medium and easily recalled at will. Thus progressively human brain capacity to memorize data, process it ie. thinking and convert it into useful information or knowledge had been steadily diminishing. This steady  decline of intellect is compensated by more and more dependence on machines and technology, and nations who had fully resigned to this inevitable destiny of human condition , we call as developed nations. 
Thus we are now faced with a problem similar to that faced   in evolution theory,-one of many gaps in the theory, ie. “which came first : the egg or the hen?”.  Did  the act of recording or  writing, the cause for a diminishing intellect or  anticipating a decline in human intellectual capacity over  time, did wise men take steps in recording knowledge that otherwise would be lost.? Is this how alphabets and writing came into being. ? Which ever choice you make, it will  have the  effect of  casting a long dark shadow on the evolution,- or rather is it devolution ?- of knowledge from the past to the present. If human intellect is waning, the knowledge purported to be generated by the same will be faulty.!!!!The consequences of which we are facing in our day to day life .
(Critical feed-back  appreciated)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Kerala Livestock Improvement Act 1961, Act 17 of 1961

The Kerala Live-Stock Improvement Act , 1961 was a law enacted by the Kerala State Legislative Assembly. (

The above law ,is a classic example of how the ambitious and perverse ideas of a class of men, who had set out to ‘save’ human-kind and ‘improve/reform’ the world, like the Rev.William Carey ,had taken hold of the imagination of people and their law-makers. ie elected representatives And influenced by such alien ideas, to what extent efforts were taken for the fructification of such short-sighted ideas.

The above Law with threats of punishment like fines & imprisonment upto one month, instilled fear in the ordinary people- NOT to rear local pure species/ breeds of live-stock. When the law got enacted our poor farmers were already having local breeds. They were required by law to get licence for bulls possessed by them and if they belonged to the local variety had to castrate such poor creatures. The local breeds were arbitrarily classified as inferior. The net effect of this kind of myopic policy is that a few breeds out of a total 11 local ones (in Kerala) got extinct.

Luckily, Section No.22 of the Act , inadvertently prevented a complete extinction of all the local species. Section 22 states “Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to a bull dedicated to a religious institution in accordance with any religious usage or custom and directly maintained by that institution.” The Hindu religious practice of donating cows, and male calves to TEMPLES, has helped in reviving certain species from the verge of extinction. These facts are explained by Dr.Sosamma Iype and Professor Varkey,in the article ‘Holy Cow! Small is beautiful’ by P.Sainath. (

In this context it will be interesting to go through the first clause of the “Serampore ‘Form of Agreement” (1805) written by Rev.William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward. The Missionary language, expressing ideas and intentions are a bit tedious.( “ Oh! May our hearts bleed over these poor idolators, and may their case lie with a continued weight on our minds, that we may resemble that eminent Missionary, who compared the travail of his soul, on account of the spiritual state of those committed to his charge, to the pains of childbirth. But while we thus mourn over their miserable condition, we should not be discouraged, as though their recovery were impossible. He who raised the Scottish and brutalised Britons to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, can raise these slaves of superstition, purify their hearts by faith, and make them worshippers of the one God in spirit and truth. The promises are fully sufficient to remove our doubts, and to make us anticipate that not very distant period when He will famish all the gods of India, and cause these very idolaters to cast their idols to the moles and to the bats , and renounce for ever the work of their own hands.” (ref. First Point) .A portion of this last sentence ie ‘ casting their idols to the moles and the bats’ was repeated once again in the same agreement, (9th point, last paragraph) and is sound proof of the hold of this fervent hope in the missionary mind.

At the end of it all, inspite of the retrograde law enacted by our legislative assembly and still in force, the ‘superstitious idolatory’ of The Hindoos, has helped preserve the now much sought after local species of cows.

Considering the whole situation,the soul of Rev.Carey will be squirming in the grave !!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The Law of Karma  - Is it   easy to understand , but difficult to practice.?

‘Spandan’ =A small  movement = Karma.

For  the first  creative spandan(Vibration), ‘ichha’ (desire) must be there in the supreme being.
So ‘ichha’ is the first ‘karma’ ?
Before ‘iccha’ there is absolute stillness. (nischalatha). Of the supreme being.
This is the state that  ‘jiva’ is longing for.

Our seers all the time  were wishing us to reach this absolute stillness, the ultimate stage, where there is no karma. They  denoted this stage as pure consciousness or pure knowledge and the process as moksha.

And what are we upto!? We are entangling ourselves with more and more movements !!!! Modern machines are one such entanglement. Machines dictate our movement. Eg. A employee working on an assembly line, superbly demonstrated by Charlie Chaplin in one of his movies.- Machines can be avoided .

 But can we avoid the machinery responsible for the production and distribution of resources for maintaining our body.? (Can't  we name this machinery as SOCIETY ?). Can work be apportioned to maintain this 'machinery', so that there is 'controlled' and 'conscious' movement of members constituting society. Isn't this the logic of 'chatur-varnyam' or 'varnasharama-dharma' ????

Or take the 'ultimate' machine,  ie. our own body. This machine is essential for the feeling of 'seperateness' of the 'jiva'  and is indispensible in embodied form. This machine and 'social machinery' is intimately connected. Thus movement = action= work= karma has to be regulated for harmony between individual body and society.

Such regulated movements, will help one progress  to a state where there is 'no movement' at all.Absolute stillness accompanied by Bliss !!! Sat-chit-ananda.

Therefore for individual happiness and to save our planet, the current practice of engaing in work has to be shelved. Is not this modern work ethic Protestant as hinted by Max Weber ?