LAND ACQUISITION ACT

Today (17/3/2015) as i write this article (5:50 PM)  , the joint opposition led by Mrs Sonia Gandhi is making its way to the parliament house from Raisina hill  . This rare show of opposition unity is a part of the ongoing campaign against the amendments to The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 ,made by the NDA government through an ordinance in December 2014. To understand the issue  , let us analyze the various land acquisition bills so far.

1.Land Acquisition Act, 1894

The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 came into effect on March 1st 1894 . After independence the law was extended to the rest of India excluding the state of Jammu And Kashmir .The highlights of the bill are:

  • The act is divided into 8 parts , each relating to various procedures involved .
  • Part 2 deals with acquisition which include  preliminary notification in the official gazette by the district Collector , Hearing of objection , Declaration of land for public purposes (after objections are taken into account) , marking out and measuring of land and the final allocation of land .
  • In cases of urgency the collector can acquire the land without any of the following procedures after just 15 days of notification . In case of unforeseen emergency the period can be as short as 48 hours. The quantum of compensation in these cases would be determined by the collector himself.
  • Part 3 explains the reference to the court if compensation was found in adequate .
  • The quantum of compensation depends on – market value and the damage sustained by the owner. But these are to be neglected in urgency .
  • part 5 deals with the payment of compensation.
  • part 7 deals with acquisition of land for companies , which must be public sector enterprises or co operative bodies where the government holding is over 51% of share.

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2 .The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

This act which came into effect on January 1 , 2014 , was aimed at giving a humane , participative , informed and transparent face to the procedure of land acquisition. The highlights are:

    • It applies to public sector undertakings , infrastructure projects ,public private partnerships and private companies under taking public projects  .
    • For private companies consent of 80% of the affected families is required for acquisition while public private partnerships requires consent of at least 70% of the families.
    • The act is divided into 13 chapters,
    • chapter 2 explains the determination of social impact and public purpose . A social impact assessment study is to be undertaken in consultation with the local government ( panchayats and municipalities ) , which must be made available to the public . The authority responsible for the social impact assessment study must also prepare a social impact management plan to address the impact of the project.
    • The social impact assessment report will be evaluated by an independent multidisciplinary expert group , whose recommendations will be made available to the public.
    • chapter 3 restricts the acquisition of irrigated multi cropped land to safeguard food security.
    • chapter 4 speaks about the notification and acquisition along with the preparation of rehabilitation and resettlement scheme . It also explains the determination of the quantum of compensation along with the guidelines to adjust it to the market value.
    • chapter 5 deals with the rehabilitation and resettlement awards for the affected families , including mandatory employment to the members of such families.special provisions are provided for the SCs and STs .
    • In cases of urgency the collector can acquire the land without any of the following procedures after just 30days of notification . In case of unforeseen emergency the period can be as short as 48 hours.
    • chapter 6 explains the manner and procedure of rehabilitation and resettlement under a commissioner for the purpose.
    • chapter 7 says about the constitution of Monitoring Committees For Rehabilitation and Resettlement at the state and national level.
    • chapter 8 deals with the setting up Land Acquisition , Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority.
    • chapter 10 explains the payment procedure.
    • If the land acquired remains unutilised for 5 years it would be returned back to the family or to the land bank of appropriate government.
    • The provisions of this Bill shall not apply to acquisitions under 13 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.

3 The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Resettlement(Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.

  • The provisions of the Bill was extended to apply to acquisitions under 13 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.
  • Exemption from social impact assessment , consent and food security provisions for the process of land acquisition for strategic and development activities such as national security or defence of India including preparation for defence and defence production; rural infrastructure including electrification; affordable housing and housing for poor; industrial corridors; infrastructure
    and social infrastructure projects including projects under public private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Government .
  • In order to ensure better health and educational facilities in the country, it is proposed to include private hospitals and private educational institutions in the definition of ‘public purpose’.

The amendment is being criticized for taking away the social impact assessment , consent and food security provisions . But the government stands by its decision as it believes these provisions would make the acquisition process faster , without loosing its pro poor appeal. The 2013 act is one of the finest pieces of legislation ever made in the field of land acquisition anywhere in the world , hence it is up to the current government to keep the true essence of that legislation in whatever decision it takes

INDIA’S OCEAN

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the two Indian ocean island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius may not have got the media buzzing . But strategically speaking , they are by far the most important ones he have undertaken . As our aspirations are expected to grow over the years , a better relation with our Indian ocean neighbors could prove a game changer in the long run . We are the only country in the world to have an ocean named after us , though the nomenclature may be accidental , geography has it that there is not a single landmass of notable size south of kanyakumari , making us the prime care taker and possibly the potential benefactor of its resources . With the rising east , the trade through this route is only set to increase , making us not just a global power but a significant player in the future multipolar world.

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The primary objective  of any nation is self preservation , with hostile neighbors to the north and west , India cannot have its coastline left undefended . unlike the pacific or the atlantic oceans , the level of militarization of the Indian ocean is still low , Though this could facilitate uninterrupted  free trade but in the longer run it could have fatal as seen with the rising piracy over the horn of Africa .T The united states and Britain do have a military base at Diego garcia in the Indian ocean , but the assertion of power over the entire region was limited, china was the first to initiate a long term military cum trade agenda for the region through the “string of pearls ” initiative . India had never shied away from showing its unease at the opening of a potential hostile front in the south , with the conflict over the control  of the south china sea now heating up ,  India  is compelled to assert itself in the region through its own security initiative. The SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) initiative , aimed at greater engagement with the Indian ocean region was initiated by The Prime Minister , under which the Indian government have signed MoUs for the development of assumption island( Seychelles) and agalela island  (Mauritius)  as trade and defense outposts . The Prime Minister’s visit also coincided with Seychelles and India launching a Coastal Surveillance Radar Project and commissioning of Barracuda into the service of the Coast Guard of Mauritius ,  our first steps to ensure maritime security in the region.

Indian ocean could indeed be India’s ocean if we could use its abundant resources to fulfill our growing demands , The blue economy project aimed at harnessing these resources was extended to these countries , so that our interests are met without harming the nations over the ocean’s rim nor the ocean’s ecology. our passive demeanor over the race for arctic resources has already put us in the back foot . A similar situation in the Indian ocean will be unacceptable , hence pioneering the blue economy initiative to explore the bounties of the ocean is the right step towards India’s resource self sufficiency.

The prime minister’s previous foreign visits were more hyped than the one discussed above , yet his subtle initiatives this time are going to reap huge dividends in the future for India as a nation.

SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTIONS – WHY DO THEY FAIL ?

If you are familiar with my blog , it would not be a surprise to know the fact that I am not a huge fan of social networking .For me it is a world far away from reality where everyone assume fake identities to fulfill their perversions . It is like a village assembly in a universe of masked men  , where these men shout their throat out for no reason , as nothing could be tracked back to any particular person , Sadly , the proponents of social media are quiet vocal about the democratization their medium have brought about in the society. This platform they say ,have given voices to millions of grievances , resulting in political upheavals against oppressive regimes and autocratic rulers.  What they fail to recognize is the fact that a crowd of masked men without a convergent ideology is nothing short of a herd of wild animals , which when allowed to roam free will first kill others and then start fighting one another resulting in unending strife.

These social media revolutions start with a sane voice (masked though) , who meticulously analyze a situation and raises her voice against what is the root cause of degradation . initially the analysis is shared among the like minded anonymous members  , Later it is picked up by one or many propaganda machines who adapt it to their whims and fancies , hence growing into a movement  , With every additional member the initial idea gets distorted and when the simmering explodes , sane voices are drowned by a roar , one which makes no sense .Though started in Tunisia in 2011 , it was Egypt that took it to the next level with the power of social media being celebrated at the tahrir square , Millions of Egyptians who took to the streets demanding better economic conditions , soon turned into an anti regime protest , culminating with the resignation of  President Hosni Mubarak . The new Muslim Brotherhood government divided the movement right in the middle turning it into two camps – the brotherhood and the secular . Coptic Christians were the first targets , then the Sunnis started turning on themselves , killing each other in the most barbarous of ways . These fissured lines were used by the people at helm of the previous regime ( The Army) to return to power . Though a full blown civil war was averted , nothing special was gained , Syria was not as lucky . President Bashar Al Assad is no Hosni Mubarak , and like his father he is ready for a long drawn conflict .

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Due to the so called “mass involvement” these social media revolutions  tends to get undue coverage in the real media  . It may also be due to the fact that the mainstream media these days finds sanity irrelevant in front of eye balls .Indian elections last year were the most celebrated in the history , with it Facebook and twitter broke new grounds . Live tweets filled with abuses scrolled our tv screens for over 6 months.  If they were to be believed the Indians would have voted NOTA as our Prime Minister , but at the polling stations masks came off and the country elected a government with a clear mandate for the first time in 30 years . India Against Corruption and its leaders fizzled out at  jantar mantar sittings itself leaving behind the AAP . Though started as a platform on social media aam admi party seems have learnt the lessons of responsible governance leaving behind the utopian society it once preached . Today , Mr Kejriwal , according to me is on the right path as he restructures the AAP  into a political party with himself at the helm .

A narrow , purpose driven revolt without an ideological backbone or a charismatic leader is a recipe for disaster , as is the case with Arab Spring . Many competing ideologies will survive under a single banner in the long run only with a leader of excellent caliber or a team of leaders with a shared vision . The social media makes each and every user a leader , who over time become a liability to the whole purpose in hand . They want change but never really comprehend what this actually means to them , frustrations of all sort are directed against those in power , the resulting anarchy leads to a power vacuum  which ultimately destroys itself.

READ MORE:

SEE GANDHI AS A MAN https://valluvanadtimes.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/the-man-behind-the-idol/

A REAL REVOLUTION https://valluvanadtimes.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/manjhis-bihar/

MANJHI’S BIHAR

It was ironical , watching all the major news channels cater to the suave , urban , Delhi based audience with paparazzi style commentary on an election to a half state half union territory at the expense of a political revolution taking place at the same time in a state with population larger than Germany . The Bihar fiasco deserved better coverage  for its symbolism , that is , The self assertion of the oppressed maha dalits in a state with one of the worst inter caste relationships . The political ramification of this incident holds more importance nationally  than the aam admi party vs BJP hoopla . Though JD(U) civil war was reported , a detailed analysis of the subject was missing beyond Nitish Kumar and Jitan Ram Manjhi.

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Caste is still as relevant to the Hindu society as it was at the time of independence , Though talked about in hush tones these days , it is still observed with great vigor  . Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are most often cited  as the most polarized on caste lines  , ironically other states are no better . Manjhi represents that section of the state which lies below the intermediate castes who had restricted the benefits of affirmative action from reaching those below them and now holds power once held by the upper castes . In the 1990s they started filling up the vacuum created by the flight of the upper castes to large cities by acquiring property left behind , turning them into mini zamindars. on the other hand the dalits , for whom the mechanism of affirmative action have been in place never really benefited . As Jatin Ram Manjhi said he could have remained silent like other Maha dalit leaders in the fear of being sidelined by the yadavs and paswans , as was the case in Bihar ,  But through the coup he pulled over Nitish Kumar , he has broken the stereotype .His assertion against the OBC strongmen , who have become the dominant force throughout the country , could be seen as the culmination of the 65 years of frustration against the system which have become redundant . This could be the beginning of a revolution similar to the awakening of the middle castes which started in Tamil Nadu in 50s , but ironically this time it will be against them. Though the first steps towards this confrontation began a few years back in Tamil Nadu itself , it precipitated itself in Bihar.

This brings us back to the primary question of finding a  more practical solution to the caste problem , Laws could  work only till a point , beyond that it is up to the society . But Indian society from time immemorial have been passive , unless struck by a shock , either from inside  or outside. So we have a society where the numerically strong OBCs hold disproportionate amount of power thanks tto the constitutional safeguards without sharing it with people above or below them in the caste hierarchy . Upper castes rarely show their dissent , may be feeling themselves secured in their apartment blocks or may be due to caste guilt ( Indian counterpart of white guilt ) . It is the Scs who suffer , pushed against the wall , they are slowly turning against the system , In kerala this is manifested by the rise  in RSS membership among the Dalits as the OBCs here are the Muslims and are seen as the oppressors .To avert another caste crisis , at present we don’t have a Buddha or Gandhi amongst us, As long as we aspire to move forward , caste will always be the stumbling block .To this my question is –  Why not abolish the caste system and re engineer our society on a more egalitarian terms ? , This may sound naive but i am speaking with a clear precedent in mind . Till 1951 no one dared to touch the sacred Hindu laws , but  Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr.B R Ambedkar turned the religion around with a set of sane laws in the form of Civil code we follow today . why can’t we start a revolution towards a similar end ? . If it ever happen this could be the first of its kind , where a society transforms itself by a mass effort with out a cult figure , yes , I know  it is far fetched edging on lunatic , but having no choice , it is high time that we reinvent ourselves.

READ MORE

MORE TOILETS https://valluvanadtimes.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/toilets-or-temples/

IF YOU HATE CRICKET https://valluvanadtimes.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/the-other-half/

MAYILVAHANAM

Mayilvahanam buses brings nostalgia to the hearts of every valluvanadan  .Those buses with  green , blue , red and white livery were the only ones we knew , they literally connected valluvanadan heartland with the outside world . Today as they wind up their historic journey , this is my ode to what we proudly call “our KSRTC”….

Being born in 1989 my Mayilvahanam experience started much later compared to many of my readers . My mother used to go to college in a CTS which she reminisces quiet often and the strange part is that she still remembers the names of conductors and drivers of those “circular” buses . As other means of transport were rare those employees held an important place in their lives as they took them to their destinations safe and on time. My first memories of those buses were when i used to go to my maternal home in the “Ennapadam” bus from Cherpulassery to Shornur . It was a blue / green bus that ran from Mannarkad to Thrissur and would usually be  full when we board , more people used to get in as we passed through the many stops making it tilt towards either sides violently owing to the weight  as we sped through many a narrow lanes.  Then came my school days when my mother and I used to take our morning and evening “Velichapad – Valanchery” .  It was again a blue/green bus from Ottapalam to Valanchery via Cherpulassery and pattambi . The name Velichapad was the pseudonym of its driver who according to my mother was short tempered like a valluvanadan Velichapad . If we did not get our regular bus the next was a red/white Palakkad – Guruvayur one which was so jam packed that i still have nightmares about my journeys in it. As years passed these many Mayilvahanams became part of my life . The Palakkad – Guruvayur route was their bastion , so were the many routes connecting all the major Valluvanadan towns like Cherpulassery , Ottapalam , Shornur , Pattambi ,Perinthalmanna , Mannarkad and Valanchery.  The Kozhikode buses were legendary whether it be Walayar, Kollengode or Mangalam dam , and there was the Shornur – Anakatty bus that passed Pattambi early in the morning. The strange thing is that most of these buses started from the small discreet border towns along the Kerala – Tamil nadu border like Gopalapuram or Meenakshipuram and went to Guruvayur.

Each brand of Mayilvahanam buses had their workshops at Shornur . I still remember the bus bodies being built inside those sheds with spare buses waiting for maintenance  spilling on to the main road . Like KSRTC they used to have checkers .During my college days (2010s) , he used to board the Kozhikode – Vadakenchery bus from Thootha on random days and check the tickets from the conductors ticket book . There  were spare buses and it was common for the passengers to be ferried into the spare bus at Kulappully if the main bus experienced any trouble.

As of 2017 there are only a handful of Mayilvahanams left and myself being a Mayilvahanam fan like any other Valluvanadan would deeply miss our Vahanams.

 

 

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THE MEN BEHIND THE IDOLS

Indians have no dearth of gods .we have 330 million of them accumulated over 5000 years  and a few hundreds who got inducted recently . But the interesting fact is that once they cross the threshold of divinity , these erstwhile human beings  loss  all their human attributes and become objects of unconditional worship .If  anyone dared to dissect their life on a humanly scale he is subjected to inquisition ,labelled heretic and ex communicated . This remains the standard  procedure to silence those out of pitch voices who tries to examine the authenticity of fables woven around ancient figures or those surrounding  post modern gods like Gandhi and Nehru.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the evolution of Krishna cult centered around lord Krishna , it would be interesting to find that the Krishna we worship today is derived from three stories .one centered around an ancient king named Krishna from 1000 BCE , a folk hero named vasudeva from 200 BCE   and a vedic god named vishnu . If we look at Lord Krishna as a man , the most striking feature would be his mastery of realpolitik which was  instrumental in turning a family feud into  a war of epic proportions . This shrewdness and manipulation tactics of his, made him the favorite of bards who retold the legendary puru war a million times , With the absorption of the vasudeva cult centered around Mathura he became a folk hero and ultimately the god with him being identified as vedic vishnu . once this man attained godliness his imperfections were brushed aside or polished to be made compatible with the new stature . Hence his is thirst for power was renamed karma and his follies became dharma .  Even with all these reinventions over the years he shows human vulnerabilities through out the epic  the dilemmas he faced at the face of total annihilation in front of a magadhan army led by jarasandha , his brilliant military tactics throughout the Mahabharata war which in all cases sacrificed ethics for victory and most importantly as a political mastermind who won the war without even fighting.

This phenomenon of bestowing divinity to men still continues , post independence it was  Mahatma Gandhi’s turn . Gandhi is portrayed today on a scale which is nothing short of what  lord krishna enjoys , A human being with all the godly features who always took the right decisions , even it meant calling off mass agitations just when they were to bear fruits . But if we remove the veil we could find a whole new person to whom we can all relate to .we could easily relate to a man who was a staunch supporter of the empire (the system) , slowly discovering himself to become its greatest nemesis ,  But we rarely get to see that part of him in popular narrations. But why bestow godliness to every one ? Divinity was a weapon employed during medieval times when rationality was a taboo and banned , but today the times have changed we respect imperfections . The current hue and cry over Pandit Nehru could be seen as the final step of him attaining divinity . . The Nehruvian historians and the congress party must accept Pandit Nehru for who he was and not as what they think of him , His not so appreciable record in the economic front and the biased  foreign policy cannot be whitewashed . Even with these  he will be remembered as the man who built India brick by brick .

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VALLUVANAD HELP DESK

The search terms directed to my site are usually not related to any of my posts . They usually are queries about getting around Valluvanad ….. here are the answers for many of the frequently asked questions :

1. Ottapalam to Mannarkad buses

There are regular private buses in this route via Ambalapara -Thiruvazhiyode- Sreekrishnapuram or Cherpulassery-Thiruvazhiyode-Sreekrishnapuram .

2.Perinthalmanna – Palakkad early morning buses

There are round the clock KSRTC buses in this route , while private buses to my knowledge start running by 5 am

3.Reasons for backwardness of Palakkad

Its huge size , tribal population and lesser diversity in political representation (it is a CPM stronghold)

5. Cherpulassery airport –

The nearest is Calicut International airport app…60 km to north west.

6. Train timings from Angadipuram to Pattambi –

There are no direct trains  , but you could get down at Vadanamkurussi (en route Shornur ) and board a Pattambi or Guruvayur bus.

7. Chelakkara –

Though culturally similar to Valluvanad it was a part of the Kingdom of Cochin and now falls under Thalappily taluk of Thrissur district . There are no direct buses to Calicut from here . you will have to first get to ottapalam then to perinthalmanna from where there are regular buses to Calicut. There are regular train services to Calicut  from Shornur which is 13 km from Chelakkara.

8.Shornur to Palakkad bus –

There are only a few direct buses in this route . you will have to first get to Kulapully , which is the second private bus stand of Shornur , 2 km from the Railway station and  then get a palakkad bus , which are quiet frequent.

9.Hotels at Cherpulassery –

There are quiet a few , one of the star hotels is Mithilla Regency.

10. Cherpulassey – Palakkad route buses –

This is route with private buses at regular intervals with a few KSRTC buses in between via kongad.

11. Distance between cherpulassery and calicut –

85 kms .there are a few private buses  and a handful of Ksrtc buses.

12.Bakeries at Shornur –

Shornur actually is a small town , there are Nila bake houses at Kulapully and Cheruthurutty.

13. Valluvanad and Tippu –

The relation is a bit complicated.

14.Angadipuram to Palakkad train –

why ?? there are buses both Ksrtc and private every 5 minutes. If it is of utmost necessity you could get Palakkad trains from Shornur.

15.Shornur to Ooty –

First get to pattambi/cherpulassery , then to perinthalmanna – nilambur – gudallur – ooty.

16. Cherpulassey to  Mannarkkad –

The distance is about 25 kms. there are regular buses.

17. Jewellers at Shornur –

No major jewellery chains here… Thrissur is just 45 minutes away.

18. Why is shornur junction so congested with trains ? –

It is here that the main railway route in Kerala split in four directions …..to calicut , thrissur,palakkad and nilambur.

19.Cherpulassery CBSE school –

The major one is the Sabari central school.

20. Angadipuram to Kadambuzha –

There are both private and ksrtc buses to valanchery from here , then proceed to Kadambuzha,

21. Hospitals at cherpulassery –

Kerala medical college hospital ,Cooperative hospital,Shankar hospital.

22. Cherpulassey nearest railway station –

Vallapuzha , The nearest major station is Shornur , 17 km to south.

23. Buses from Shornur to Calicut –

None – train is better – Else get to Pattambi then Valanchery , from where there are direct buses to  calicut.

24. Perinthalmanna old bus stand –

It is a shopping complex now….sorry.

25.Pambin kavu –

It is a sacred groove commonly found in this region , which is thick with foliage and is considered to house serpent (gods).

26. Chirayath bus –

They have nearly many buses in the Thrissur- Ottapalam route , with a few running longer trips to cherpulassery , mannarkad and palakkad.

27. Cherpulassery – Ottapalam –

17 kms , regular private buses ply on this route.

28. Shornur to Attapadi –

nearly 80 km – There is one bus early in the morning formerly a  mayilvahanam now kavitha. otherwise get to Cherpulassry from where there are regular buses to Mannarkad and thence to Anakkaty. There are a few shornur – mannarkad direct buses too.

29.Ottapalam to Edappal –

Take a bus to Pattambi(Guruvayur limited stop) , then change over to an Edappal bus , which are frequent via kootanad or thrithala.

30.Perintalmanna – Cherpulassery –

17km , buses every 5 minute from the pattambi road junction or moulana hospital junction.

31. Calicut to Ottapalam bus timings – there are 3 buses from Calicut Bus stand  between 1 and 2 : 30 pm .

33. Angadipuram over bridge – YES…its reality now.

34 . wadakkanchery over bridge – yes , finally.

35 . Shankar hospital , Cherpulassery – It is right next to the bus stand on the pattambi road.

“SAVE YAZIDIS”

“SAVE GAZA” posters are a common sight in Malabar these days ,These posters usually contain horrifying images of victims of the Israeli airstrikes followed by a warning hinting at a possible retribution . They also  blame the western powers for turning away from the ground reality and usually end with an anti imperialistic slogan questioning this double standards followed by these powers. Though the Palestinian crisis is one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the past century , the hue and cry made over here miles away from the conflict zone is questionable . Two main groups are responsible for the wide spread dissemination of these “messages” in this area with sizable Muslim population , one being the communist party of India (Marxist) and the other are the various Wahhabi organizations that have sprung up in the region . Taking political mileage out of an international crisis is nothing new to Indian politics , in fact it was The Father Of our Nation who started the trend by supporting the Khilafat Movement .From the umpteen number of communal clashes since 1930s , including the recent ones in Gujarat , we Indians are also familiar with the fact that Religion and politics is a highly explosive mixture . Still we abundantly mix the both whether it be Sangh Parivaar , the Wahhabi or as in the case above even the communists. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Malabar aided by the oil rich countries of the Persian gulf is a reality that we cannot shy from , the same is true with the visible tilt among the Hindu youth towards the Sangh . Posters like these whether well intended or not will only fuel the further polarization of the region . What is sad is the fact that the communists are using the desperate polarization tactic to break into the core vote bank of the Muslim League at the expense of its ideology . This article is not meant to delve into this situation but to the double standards we adopt with respect to a group of ” DEVIL WORSHIPERS ” in Iraq called the “yazidis” .

Independent India according to Pandit Nehru was to become the voice of the oppressed . But over the years , electoral compulsions have made us more selective of the causes we support . Though the mainstream political parties and the fringe groups may highlight the Palestinian cause , they never issue a poster condemning a non sectarian issue like the extermination of Yazidis by the ISIS .  Yazidis are a minority in northern Iraq , who are one of the few remaining tribes in the middle east who have  not yet been islamised . Like the Druze , a minority community in isreal , Yazidis are stuck in  the Jew-sunni-shia conflict unfolding in the middle east. The ISIS have already given the ultimatum for them to convert to Islam or die , which if happens , would be nothing short of the holocaust..

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we malayalees carry the pride of molding a perfectly secular society on our sleeves .But over the years we have become more compromising of the true ideals of secularism. The fear of being branded communal have made us hide our real feelings behind this mask named tolerance . To break out of this glass house let us lend our collective voice to the yazidis and start placing “SAVE YAZIDI ” hoardings .

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.

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