ALEXANDER AND THE ANCHOR

History as a branch of academic research is the most spiritually liberating among the social sciences . It gives us a sense of belonging as we find ourselves interlinked not only to others around us but also to millions or even billions of men and women who came before us . The many versions of Indian History that have developed over the years still makes it a contentious subject , which is to be treated with care . There are the historians who adhere to the far left , others who are slightly left of the center and there is the right, sadly there have never been an attempt to develop a neutral , all encompassing path called the middle as far as Indian History is concerned . The problem with not having a neutral view point is the inability of the various competing stands to accommodate opposing views , making them stick to their initial versions , even though new findings might have proved the contrary  .Lets take an example ,  From the primary school level we were taught the tale of the great battle that took place in the northwest frontier province , between an Indian prince – porous and the great Greek conqueror Alexander , Usually  taught as a story of true morality , valor and friendship it got etched into our psyche . It will be many years before we understand the fact that the narration was purely European with no significant inputs , even porus the name of the Indian prince is the Greek version of Purushottama . The other startling fact is the significance of the above mentioned battle itself , not a single Indian source validates the war , almost all of them don’t even mention Alexander ( though Yavanas are mentioned a few times )  . Ironically , the war which Indian’s never remember happen have over the years become the anchor point in deciphering Indian history. The year 326 B C is considered as the only authentic point in the long history of nearly 2 billion people from where the history could be interpreted both forward and backward corresponding to the western history  , the Indian sources are brushed aside as fanciful exaggerations of some lunatic monks while equally mad rumblings of homer are celebrated  . Though this was another of the many propaganda wars employed by the British to authenticate their paternalistic rule , it still remains 70 years since independence .it is high time that we rewrite our history based on modern scientific approaches , so that it will become our history , not their interpretation of our follies.

iOur history starts with modern human beings settling  here nearly 35,000 years back . Evidences denote to them coming from the west , may be from central Asia or the Mediterranean . They first settled down in Baluchistan , and over the span of thousands of years they moved east and south , building stone age civilizations . The forested plains of  the Indus and its parallel river named t”saraswati” became the the first center of civilization in the subcontinent  . Saraswati during its youth was a mammoth river that flowed parallel to Indus from Himalayas to the Rann off kutch through what is now the Thar desert . It was fed by both yamuna and satluj making it the main trading route over the western plains ,This is what is now called the Indus – Saraswati civilisation , which is known for its first of its kind urban centers . Though most of the urban centers were on the bed of the dried sarasawati river , it took historians 100 years to accept its existence , this would not have been the case if the Indian records were ever considered as sources from Vedas to the great epic Mahabharata describes the river in all its glory . Before the satellite images showed the river tract in detail , western Historians and many in the far left dismissed the river as an imagination similar to the famed soma of the Vedas . They even tried to find rivers in central Asia and Afghanistan which were supposed to be the Aryan homeland . But with advancement in science and technology saraswati was reborn . The Aryan invasion theory is the next stumbling block , though genetic studies have shown a closer relation between the people of North and South India than with North Indians and people of central Asia , more research needs to be done in this field , that too without biases

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With the drying up of saraswati , the inhabitants of the cities and villages around it might have slowly abandoned them with a large part of them migrating to the ganga valley , the sudden surge in population  in peninsular India and the gangatic plains  right after the collapse of Indus cities corroborates this point. People re established their lost civilization in their new homelands and India  was reborn  , now with a wider geographical distribution  and the ganga valley became its epicenter . This brings us back to the question of 326 BC. The name “sandrakkottos ” is the villain here , which is translated by historians as chandragupta . As we know there are two chandraguptas who are prominent figures in the Indian history , one being a maurya and the other the Guptan king , both being the sovereigns when yavanas and mlecchas were on the ascend . Though sandrakkottos is now widely accepted as chandragupta maurya , many Indian records still leave it ambiguous .this is a span of nearly 500 years ,if we analyze the period after  the conquest and if sandrakkottos is taken as maurya , the history since then looks cramped with many dynasties overlapping each other , but if it was the gupta king it would loosen to a great extend . if true  these assumptions could move the Indian history back by a few hundred years .  The post mauryan history of India is so cramped with dynasties that the Hindu revival seems to have started just before the arrival of Muslim invaders . It is a known fact that a society in flux is the prime ground for new ideologies to thrive , Islam was never embraced on a wider scale and strangely the neo Hindus kept on fighting for over a millennia , which when compared to similar societies like Iran is extraordinary.   the description of the period between 5th and 9th century AD is illogical on many counts . one of the examples being the narration of the chola conquer of the gangetic plains , which appears true but cannot be accomodated in the current scenario. Pushing aside the Indian version of Indian history over time have proved fatal , Now it is time for us to recreate our history with no biases or political leanings away from Alexander’s anchor.

“THE HINDU” TOUCHES PATHETIC LOWS

With the people unanimously going against their daily dose of left wing ideological classes , THE HINDU touched new lows yesterday when it published a graphic representation of how CPI(M) could have fared better if our founding fathers had opted for proportional representation. If my history lessons are correct it was on the insistence of the left leaning intelligentsia at the time of independence that the system we have today was adopted and it was under the guidance of Pandit Nehru it blossomed.  what made Mr Ram and his colleagues to question our system all of a sudden? was it the emphatic win of  the BJP? or the decimation of the left ?? As a regular subscriber of the daily the second one seems to be the reason . The need for an electoral reform was first mooted on the may 16th by Mr D Raja of the CPI on NDTV which , the moderated Prannoy Roy brushed aside casually .Ironically it was discussed at great lengths the next few days in the “National newspaper”. The reports were overflowing with “expert opinions” made by the guardian angels of our democracy –  the “intelligentsia”  for the “much needed ” change as they were finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that the CPI was no longer a national party and was on the verge of losing their coveted party symbol .  “THE HINDU” , which left no stones unturned in berating the right , often equating Modi to Hitler , was seen going into a tizzy after may 16th , Not a single article was published appreciating the victorious team while the editorials were dedicated to the “QUEENS WITHOUT THRONES”  – J Jayalalitha and Mamta banerjee , The next day they went a step further by advising Mr  Modi on “how to rule” and published the much controversial article by Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi.Prejudices it seem run too long in this family held newspaper , It took them 6 days to come to terms with what happened and they indirectly appreciated BJP’s achievements on the OP-ED page on 22/5/14 (today).

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My dad says that “THE HINDU” was actually the “national newspaper” in his college days, I too remember good impartial articles in the past , but the last two years was when it became the mouthpiece of the left . We know left is a dwindling species in India and their voices need to be preserved for a functioning democracy , but being a mouthpiece for them and calling yourself a “national newspaper” is sarcastic. There is a huge space for a national newspaper that gives unbiased and relevant news , which is what is expected from “THE HINDU” . There is going to be an upsurge of the right after the elections , we readers expect Hindu  to be neutral in such a situation . Hence the news paper must  shed its leftist approach and bring us stories which reinforce your  tag of  being “THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER”.

foot note;

CPI(M) lost because of its inability to adapt with changing times and be fossilized in the 60s , how else can you describe a party chief who is a malayali speaking in English at Ottapalam (his home district) using a translator , Mr Karat , its time you admit the fact that you are just an intellectual and not a mass leader. coming to malayalees speaking English even Shashi Tharoor speaks fluent malayalam these days ( may be that is why he won).

SECTION 377 , THE KHOBRAGADES AND BJP

the two big parties in our country differ little in most aspects except the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s emphasize more on Hindu conservatism. over time i have come to this conclusion that the party is thoroughly confused about what these traditional values are , the most recent being its reactions to the section 377 of the IPC and the khobragade affair.The party  which is trying hard  to parade itself as the “republican party” of India is virtually xeroxing the manifesto of the grand old party of the United States. First was the cultural chauvinism , then the love for free market and now it is homophobia , It is high time that the party re invent itself on Indian lines than blindly copying the western model of conservatism . The conservatism outside India is backed by monotheistic religions and cultures .They attend the Sunday mass , eat turkey on thanks giving for killing native Americans and shoot each other without provocation. India from the ancient times was plural in every sense of the word , whether it be faith , culture or sexuality . The third gender and homosexuality were a well accepted aspect of Indian life since antiquity , especially when we were at the zenith of cultural and scientific achievements. The homophobic stand taken by the party is utterly against the teachings of this ancient civilization , where epics praise Arjuna  for his one year stint as a transgender in Mahabharata and  In Kerala it is believed that Lord  Ayyapa was born from the union of Lord shiva and Lord vishnu  . It is ignorance that made Mr  Rajnath Singh call the whole issue a western import , but sadly it is the BJP’S  version of conservatism which reinforces Victorian values which are alien to thecountry.

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BJP’S stand on Devyani Khobragade issue is another ill placed decision . The Khobrgades as a family is still a mystery  , though  they own properties worth crores of rupees they were caught for under paying their maid and are now shouting their innocence from television studios , yes the way Dr Devyani was treated goes against the diplomatic immunities enjoyed by her , but siding yourself with a family which have corruption labelled all over itself will not go down well with ardent fans of Mr Modi . For millions Mr Modi is the messiah of change  ,but making statements in chorus with congress in support of the family  on this issue is a huge let down .

THE OTHER HALF

yes , i agree sachin tendulkar is good at what he does and it is indeed sad that he is retiring , But blocking the airwaves for a whole week to honor him is absurd. cricket is adored by millions in this country , but counting everyone to be a cricket fan or for that matter a sachin fan is stupidity. The cricket fanaticism is a middle class phenomena , which makes it the religion of just the half of us  There is the “other half” including myself who are taken on a not so pleasant ride by our media when a cricket becomes the prime topic of discussion .  As happened last week we were  either made to watch the “news” or watch a general entertainment channel on such days . After a few shows I opted for bigg boss at 9.

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The Sachin fans are a crazy lot especially when it comes to their god , post retirement wanted nothing short of a Bharat Ratna to be awarded to him , Bestowing  India’s highest civilian honor for some one who sported controversy for refusing to carry the national flag was a surprise .  Sachin’s contribution to the development of our society is equal to nothing and if we take into account the exorbitant amounts he charge for commercials , he is actually draining us . On taking such an important decision the government never cared to look at the list of many other deserving candidates , which includes social activists who did selfless to our society . Frankly  sachin doesn’t deserve a bharat ratna for anything that he had done till date , If popularity is the basis for this honour , then actors   Amitabh  Bacchan and Rajnikanth deserves it more , especially for the quantum of work they did in the last 30 years. Sachin tendulkar as a cricketer was pathetic on the field when  the Indian team needed him the most and what he is recognized for in the cricket world  is purely for his personal achievements . This decision which the government have taken in haste have yet again tarnished its image among the public  , especially, the other half who were reduced to mute spectators in this whole saga ,

1975

emergency to me like most  born in the late 1980s is a dark period in our history , something which came down to us through vivid narrations , , It was Mrs Gandhi’s attempt at being the “Indian Empress” by imposing her will on a country of over half a billion. The excesses of the period are a topic of discussion even today , literature abound with detailS , whether it be “Midnights Children” or the movie “Hazaroon khwaishein aisi” . Ironically rarely does these discussions proceed to the question of – why emergency was imposed? , we don’t know much about Mr jayaprakash narayan before 1970s ,and  to the few who knew him the details are sketchy , still he is one of the revered saints of our time.

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The JP movement from a constitutional point of view was equally unlawful  as the emergency was and to an equally violent . The movement taken out against a democratically elected government is undemocratic right from its conception, and to this if we add the geographical limitation of the movement it looses its pan India appeal.. After the 1971 war Indira Gandhi had started showing signs of despotism , but mere signs  cannot be taken an excuse to ask for her resignation before the end of her term . The elections were due in 1976 but  Mr JP intensified his agitation in 1974 itself , Like a normal politician  he could have waited for the democratic process to  bring about change , but what he did was unwarranted . With his support base he tried to stall the functioning of the government and oust Mrs Gandhi through undemocratic means , which ultimately led to the events of 1975 .

I am in no way supporting Mrs Gandhi for what she did or the doings of her “princeling” , Emergency was and will remain a blot on our democracy , but painting JP in white and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in black is not fair . It is hard to digest the story of the socialist leader who retired from politics for serving the society suddenly donning the role of a messiah of the masses . He too had political ambitions , may be he regretted his initial decision to retire, during the final days  .comparing the JP movement to Gandhiji’s civil disobedience movement is stupidity . While Mrs Gandhi was thrust into power by the people on a huge majority , the British were not . Even at the Zenith of the movement against her Mrs Gandhi was still an all India force  , while JP was not.  this was latter proved by the dissipation of the janatha government at the same speed with which it came to power.

while discussing emergency we take JP for granted , but his intentions still remain a mystery . but solely blaming Indira Gandhi  for 1975 is not kind on the legacy of a leader of her stature.

HINDUS AND THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY

to know  the sheer scale of the success we as a nation is , you must read ramachandra guha’s ” India After Gandhi” . it is the riveting  story of a nation born out of chaos , which over the years slowly overcame obstacles , many of which life threatening , with ease and determination. we have had the various political scientists giving their take on why we as a country survives or is surviving , but most of them have given scant credit to the most important of the reasons – the majority community – ” hindus”.

i had always wanted to write a post on this pillar of indian democracy , but backtracked owing to the “communal” tag that comes with it.  the recent anti immigration laws by many European countries made me value the sense of openness that our community have shown over centuries and the level of tolerance it still foster. many had predicted at the time of independence that with the death of nehru , india will start taking baby steps towards being a hindu pakistan , which even after 65 years have not happened and to my knowledge is never going to. we have had the saffron party ruling the country for nearly eight years and still we remain more secular as ever before . the sheer force of the ram janmabhoomi movement that propelled BJP to power could have easily compelled it to build the temple at the site , but the secular section of the majority community , fought for it not to happen . many dooms day predictions are already out for the day when/if Mr Narendra modi will become the prime minister , but as we all know as far as the secular ones , which btw constitute 95% of the 1 billion hindus remain the majority , is never going to.

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hindus make up nearly 80% of our population , with their share in population varying from 3% in many northeastern states to 95% in himachal pradesh. the most interesting of the examples is my state of kerala were 45% percent of the people belong to the minority groups. the state could have easily gone the malaysian way , which have similar statistics and taken up their own bhumiputra movement  , what happened was just the opposite. now after 50 years of the states birth it is more egalitarian than malaysia will ever be.  kerala could not be compared with a north indian state , where generations have grown up hearing the folklore of shivaji and prithviraj chauhan and their fight against the invaders. even after this huge doses of victimhood they remain much at ease with their muslim neighbours , there is this misconception among the secular left wing observers that the north indian hindus could never accept secularism to the fullest , which is to an extent baseless , if it was the case , then how could you explain the success of the hindi soap on zee tv “qubool hai” ? .the story revolves around muslim characters with the lead actress invoking “allah” on every second breath. according to the rating charts it was once the second highest rated show in india. similarly  to me the khans of bollywood shows us  how the north indian masses have graduated with salman khan being revered as god by most of the lower class men from bihar and UP .

this brings us to the question of riots . if hindus were at ease with their other half how could they riot? . my answer would be the comparison with the white supremacist movements and neo nazis. these riots which mostly are politically motivated are the handiwork of these fringe groups , a phenomenon not confined to india alone . but unlike the countries of the west which have stabilised into  monolithic entities , we are in a state of flux like the europe of the 18th century , where outbursts could be magnified and old prejudices easily offended . as we progress towards a stable future these groups will certainly be pushed into obscurity .

i did my graduation at a MES (muslim education society) college whose president Dr Fazal Ghafoor once told us that he would always be thankful to the majority community of kerala for being secular as it is and helping the minorities prosper with them . which is a huge credit for the 95% of us . i conclude this post with the trajectory of BJP’s evolution , a party that began as the appendage of RSS is now a national party whose ideology is just called “right wing” , with more emphasis on free market than on hinduism.

GETTING AROUND VALLUVANAD

Much of the search terms directed at my site are often about getting around the Valluvanad region. This article tries to answer some of those queries…

The largest town by size in the region is Perinthalmanna ; which lies on the Palakkad – Kozhikode National highway . You could get there by train via the Nilambur line from Shornur , getting down at the Angadipuram Railway station. Perinthalmanna is well connected by road to almost all the major towns of Palakkad and Malappuram Districts.  There are limited stop private buses and KSRTC Town to Town buses to Palakkad( via Mannarkad) and Kozhikode (via Malappuram) every few minutes on NH 966 . KSRTC buses to at intervals of 20 to 30 minutes connect Perinthalmanna to Thrissur. Private local buses ply at frequent intervals to Manjeri, Malappuram, Nilambur, Melattur – Karuvarakundu, Alanallur, Mannarkad , Valanchery , Kottakal ,Cherpulassery and Pattambi.There are 2 private bus stands and a KSRTC bus stand here but private buses usually bye pass them. you could get Palakkad or Mannarkad buses from near the police station ; Calicut , Nilambur,Melatur,Manjeri, Valanchery and Kottakal buses from the bus stop near KMT silks ; Pattambi and Cherpulassery buses from the bus stop near Moulana hospital. Shornur could be reached either by taking a Pattambi or Cherpulassery bus from where there are buses to Shornur .

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Ottapalam , the cultural capital of Valluvanad lies on the Kulapully – Palakkad state highway. There is a private bus stand from where you could get both private and KSRTC buses. Ksrtc buses are are mostly the ones on Palakkad- Guruvayur route. There are  private buses to Thrissur (via shornur) ; Palakkad ; Guruvayur (via Pattambi) ; Thiruvillwamala ; Mayannur ;Mannarkad and Cherpulassery . There are a few fast passenger buses in the morning to Calicut. The Ottapalam railway station falls on the Shornur – Palakkad line . Only a few express trains halt here and the nearest major railway station is the Shornur Junction station .

Pattambi lies to the west of Ottapalam and Shoranur on the Palakkad – Guruvayur route. there is a Private bus stand and a ksrtc bus stand here . Like Ottapalam KSRTC buses are few and most of them ply on the Palakkad – Guruvayur or Perinthalmanna – Thrissur route. There are private buses to Shornur, Palakkad (via ottapalam),Guruvayur (via kunnamkulam), Cherpulassery, Perinthalmanna,  Valanchery, Ponnani (via edappal)  and Pallipuram. There is a railway station at Pattambi , lying on the Shornur – Calicut line , But only a few long distance trains have halts here . The nearest major railway station is Shoranur Junction.

Shornur is the railway gateway to Valluvand. There are regular trains to most places in India from here. Sadly Shornur is poorly connected by bus to rest of the region. you could get buses to Thrissur and Ottapalam from the railway station. Shornur bus stand caters to Cherpulassery , Pattambi and Chelakkara buses . For buses to Palakkad you would have to take the Ottapalam bus from the railway station and get down at Kulapully  (2 Kms from the station) which falls on the Palakkad Guruvayur route. Buses to Perinthalmanna are rare and the best option is to take the Pattambi bus and then board a Perinthalmanna bus from there.

Cherpulassery is equidistant from Pattambi , Ottapalam , Perinthalmanna and Shornur. The place is well connected to these places by private buses . Cherpulassery private bus stand also caters to palakkad and mannarkad buses. The nearest railway station is Shornur Junction.

Mannarkad is the farthest away from  any other major Valluvanadan town. It falls on NH966 between Perinthalmanna and Palakkad. There is a KSRTC bus stand and a private bus stand  here . The town is well connected to Palakkad and Kozhikode  by regular town to town KSRTC buses and private Limited stop buses. Private bus services connect Mannarkad to Agali (Anakatty), Melattur,Perinthalmanna,Cherpulassery,Palakkad and Ottapalam. The nearest railway station is Palakkad Junction railway station.

WHY MODI MUST WIN

yesterday cnn ibn – the hindu exit pole predicted a hung parliament in 2014 . though bjp is expected to emerge the largest party , the chances of it making the government is slim. which will automatically give congress another chance at the centre which will be a catastophe. hence it is important that mr modi must win and here are some of the reasons why –mod

1. congress is too arrogant and it thinks it to be their birthright to rule this nation

2.the so called youth power in congress is nothing but a bunch of elite parachuted from the top. rahul gandhi will no doubt be the next rajiv gandhi – clueless at the top.

3.the hereditary factor – rahul will virtually turn india into the longest running monarchy in asia.

4 . for the clean image of mr modi as far as corruption goes . one more cabinet with these faces ……. never

5. mr modi is a self made man. he could be a role model for many with no family connections.

6. he is neither a brahmin nor a kshatriya which is a big relief , as this country had just a handfull of leaders from other casts.

7 its better to have on your face communalism than the shadow one that we have , with fake encounters and counter fake encounters.

as you all must have noted my main reason for supporting him is him being  anti congress and anti gandhi clan. though he have a whole lot of other darker aspects to him , i think he is a better option mr rahul gandhi.