Valentines day, an alternative story of origin.

A wooden rolling pin
“Velan” via Wikipedia

Got a mail forward from my sis Anu. Enjoy!

In spite of what you have been told by everyone, the truth is that Valentine’s Day originated hundreds of years ago, in India, and to top it all, in Gujarat!!

It is a well known fact that Gujarati men, specially the Patels, continually mistreat and disrespect their wives (Patelianis) . One fine day, it happened to be the 14th day of February, one brave Pateliani, having had enough “torture” by her husband, finally chose to rebel by beating him up with a Velan (rolling pin).

Yes…the same Velan which she used daily, to make chapattis for him….only this time, instead of the dough, it was the husband who was flattened.

This was a momentous occasion for all Gujarati women and a revolt soon spread, like wild fire, with thousands of housewives beating up their husbands with the Velan.

There was an outburst of moaning “chapatti-ed” husbands all over Anand and Ahmadabad. The Patel men-folk quickly learned their lesson and started to behave more respectfully with their Patelianis.

Thereafter, on 14th February, every year, the womenfolk of Gujarat would beat up their husbands, to commemorate that eventful day.The wives having the satisfaction of beating up their husbands with the Velan and the men having the supreme joy of submitting to the will of the women they loved.
Soon The Gujju men realised that in order to avoid this ordeal they need to present gifts to their wives….they brought flowers and sweetmeats.
Hence the tradition began.

As Gujarat fell under the influence of Western culture, that day was called ‘Velan time‘ day.

The ritual soon spread to Britain and many other Western countries, specifically, the catch words ‘Velan time!’. Of course in their foreign tongues, it was first anglosised to ‘Velantime’ and then to ‘Valentine’. And thereafter, 14th of February, came to be known as Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentines day everyone! 🙂

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Open letter to all my Muslim friends

Prelude: this introduction is unnecessary for the people who know me. But, just in case… I am atheist and against any organized religion. I am all against discriminating two human beings based on ‘my imaginary friends are different from yours’ basis. I am against all fundamentalism. I am ashamed of incidents of Godhra as well as Mumbai. I am not a Hindu or Muslim or part of any imaginary classification. I am a human being, I bleed red – just like you.

For a long time, any rationalists like me saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm?

Mass genocide of World War II changed that, innumerable riots in my country changed that, “Ram Janambhumi – Babri Masjid” changed that, Gujarat Massacre changed that, September 11th changed that. And now, the recent Mumbai Massacre changed that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense; it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labeled only by a difference of inherited tradition. Dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let’s now stop being so damned respectful!

On February 6, 2006, three Pakistanis died in Peshawar and Lahore during violent street protests against Danish cartoons that had satirized the Prophet Muhammad. More such mass protests followed weeks later. When Pakistanis and other Muslims are willing to take to the streets, even suffer death, to protest an insulting cartoon published in Denmark, is it fair to ask: Who in the Muslim world, who in Pakistan, is ready to take to the streets to protest the mass murders of real people, not cartoon characters, right next door in Mumbai?

I am sad. I am angry. Not only for the destruction of hundreds innocent lives. I am deeply hurt by these one after another blow to collective human spirit. I am scared by the increasing probability of the fact that now one non-Muslim will look at a Muslim with more mindful of doubts, fear and prejudices. I am scared for you my friend. Now, no one but you can take the first step against this marching parade of lunatics. Only you can start the jihad against this state-of-fear!

The only terrorist who were captured alive – is just a 21 years old boy!

What kind of brainwash can fill up a 21 years old heart with so much bitterness and hatred? Did he never hugged a kid? Never kissed a girl? Never walked in rain alone and thought, life is not bad after all?

Don’t you have the fundamental duty to condemn everything related to this monstrosity? Stop being just an apologist, I desperately need to see your rage! If your sacred-religious-holy-believe played even 1% part in this, don’t you have a moral obligation to be vocal against that? If your fundamental believes are susceptible to a misinterpretation in this humungous proportion, don’t you HAVE to stand up and scream – I am NOT part of this barbarism!

Instead, to my utter disbelief, I find that you are too busy to decide if Yoga is haram or not! 

Instead, I receive chain mails from some of you, somehow justifying the Mumbai massacre by the ill-treatments of Muslims in India. Well my friends, here are two points summary for you –

  1. Over 90% of Muslims in India are descended from people of converted muslims, people from lower socio-economical strata. They had no other options to escape from the barbaric and ugly manifestations of Hindu caste based discriminations. And unfortunately that sorry state of classification never changed. It’s nothing unique, many civilizations face the similar carry-forward effect of socio-economic strata in various form and format. The religious rigidity didn’t help much either.
  2. There are plenty of Muslims in India who are successful, ironically much more successful than Muslims in Islamic countries. Ever heard of Abdul Kalam? All the top actors in Bollywood are Khans! I can go on, but what’s the point!

Also, please do not try to tell me that all of these are just misinterpretation and Islam got nothing to do with it. Just as a random example –

They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

~Koran 4.89.

[Just an example verse; there’s a lot more of this nonsense. In case this comforts you – not only Koran; all Abrahamic religious scriptures are full with same tonality of aggressive medieval statements. Fundamentalist Hindu’s are oxymoron by definition, there are NO ‘fundamentals’ in Hinduism to start with. Still they are too all ready to take another human life in the name of their own imaginary friends]

It is the time for you to stand up my friends, to declare those can’t be the god’s words. This is the time to declare you are not only sorry about the incidents, rather you are ready to take on face-to-face with all those murderers.

Because, this kind of murderous violence only can stop when all the good Muslims, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.

Let there be light. It’s too dark here now.

Please also read : Thomas L. Friedman | Preet-O | Julia Suryakusuma

Jinhe naaz hai hind par (Bilqis)

Mera naam Bilqis Yakub Rasool
Mujhse hui bas ek hi bhool
Ki jab dhhundhhte thhe vo Ram ko
To maen kharhi thhi rah mein

Pehle ek ne puchha na mujhe kuchh pata thha
Dujey ko bhi mera yehi javab thha
Fir itno ne puchha ki mera ab saval hai ki

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mera naam shriman Satyendra Dubey
Jo kehna thha vo keh chukey
Ab parhey hain rah mein
Dil mein liye ik goli

Bas itna kasur ki hamne likha thha
Vo sach jo har kisi ki zuban thha
Par sach yahan ho jatey hain zahriley

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mujhe kehte hain anna Manjunath
Maine dekhi bhatakti ek laash
Zamir ki beech sarhak Lakhimpur Kherhi

Adarsh phasan jahan naaron mein
Aur chor bharey darbaron mein
Vahan maut akhlaq ki hai ik khabar baasi

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan hain
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mazha nau aahe Navleen Kumar
Unnees june unnees var
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees vaar

Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees vaar

Looto dehaat kholo bazaar
Nallasopara aur Virar
Chheeno zameen hamse hamein
Bhejo pataal

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan hain
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Rabbi Shergill’s new song Bilqis (Jinhe naaz hai) from his latest album “Avengi jaa nahin” builds upon one line from the song “Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan hain” from the movie “Pyaasa” (which in turn was a simplified version of Sahir Ludhianvi’s nazm “Chakley”). The powerful lyrics of the song presented in form of words of Bilqis Yakub Rassol, Satyendra Dubey, Manjunath and Navleen Kumar has wonderfully captured the emotional anguish and questions of victims of communal violence and the new-age martyrs who paid with their lives for raising voice against corruption and fighting for rights of dispossessed people. The interspersed Indian national anthem tune and the song reaching crescendo with “unnees” repeated nineteen times add the desired strong impact and leaves you spellbound. Throughout the song, you could feel the haunting voice of the martyrs questioning us – Where are those who were proud of India, Where are those who are proud…
Hope such beautifully composed song doesn’t get unnoticed and gets well-deserved recognition.

Translation in English:

My name is Bilqis Yakub Rasool
I committed just one mistake
That I stood in their way
When they were looking for Ram

First, one asked me but I knew nothing
Then another but my answer was the same
Then so many that now I have a question
Where are those who were proud of India
Where are those who are proud

My name gentlemen is Satyendra Dubey
I’ve already said what I wanted to say
Now I lie on the road
With a bullet in my heart

My only fault being that I wrote
A truth that was on everyone’s lips
But truth here turn poisonous

Where are those who were proud of India
Where are those who are proud

My name brother is Manjunath
I’ve seen the corpse of conscience lying
In the middle of the road at Lakhimpur Kherhi

Where ideals are stuck in slogans
And the royal courts are full of thieves
There the death of righteousness is old news

Where are those who were proud of India
Where are those who are proud

My name is Navleen Kumar
Nineteenth June and nineteen wounds
Nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen
Nineteen wounds

Nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen
Nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen
Nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen

Nineteen wounds
Loot the villages and open markets
Nallasopara and Virar
Snatch our land and send us to
Hell

Where are those who were proud of India
Where are those who are proud

Source

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Singing Condoms to solve India’s Overpopulation problem

A lighter dose after the last ‘heavy’ post.  Birth control and STD prevention are serious issues. That’s why hilarious ads with few dudes singing and dancing in colorful condom costumes are sometimes the only way to sufficiently get the “Safe Sex” message out to the people. It’s in Telugu, but with proper subtitle!

From YoutTube description : This is an entertaining and educational video in Telugu on Condom usage, to prevent from sexually transmitted infections and HIV, from Nrityanjali Academy, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.

 

Enjoy! 😀

Gujarat Riots: Tehelka Story

Prelude: I read this report through multiple RSS feeds yesterday night, and today morning mentioned this to one of my colleague, who is a ‘person of Indian origin’ 😉 and in general I respect his intelligence and opinions. Unfortunately we do not share same point of view about religion. All hell broke loose and the following debate was (very) heated!

Anyway, just to clarify,

  1. I am NOT only against ‘Hindu fundamentalism’, I am against all religious fundamentalism. Rather let me say, I believe (all) religions poison everything!
  2. Tehelka constantly target ‘Hindu right wing’, I agree, but the point is, they bring proof. Period! Why they don’t go after ‘other’ religious fundamentalists? Yes, I believe they should. But that doesn’t nullify the true investigative journalism they bring to the table. 
  3. There are no Perspective difference of ‘Truth’ when it’s proven. It’s called beyond reasonable doubt.

 

Tehelka has proof on camera that brings to light the compliance of the State machinery in Gujarat in the riots in 2002. It is reported that Narendra Modi gave the rioters 3 days to do what they wished. He asked the administration to look the other way, while the genocide unfurled.

Watch this video of Babu Bajrangi, A local Bajrang Dal leader and one of the main conspirators. And be very very scared and ashamed!

 

Contents of the full report at Tehelka:

 

First-hand accounts from the men who plotted and executed the genocide in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Sabarkantha. Mayhem was meticulously planned and carried out by VHP-Bajrang Dal cadres across Muslim localities. READ »


The VHP and the Bajrang Dal manufactured and distributed lethal weapons across the state, often with the connivance of the police.
READ »


Shocking accounts of how the guardians of the law colluded with the outlaws to make Gujarat’s horror even worse.
READ »


Key BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal activists speak openly of how Narendra Modi blessed the anti-Muslim pogrom .
READ »

How public prosecutors ran with the hare and hunted with the hound, keeping their sympathies strictly for the accused. Government Counsel Arvind Pandya on how he hopes to subvert justice by manipulating the Nanavati-Shah Commission, set up to ascertain the truth.
READ »

The truth behind Naroda Patiya, the grisliest massacre of 2002. Ahmedabad police’s collusion in the pogrom and its cover-up. Gory details of how former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was hacked limb by limb at Gulbarg Society, in the words of those who did it. READ »

How spontaneous mob fury was shown as a premeditated conspiracy by the police who produced fake witnesses by bribing, coercion and torture. READ »

Dead Dropping

I came across a new term “Dead Dropping” (well new for me) today in the newspaper in one article related to the recent Hyderabad bomb blast (though it has been used since as early as Jan 2006). What makes police hard to identify and track the groups involved in such terror acts is a simple but clever technique which they use to communicate among themselves. Dead dropping practice involves creating a common email account and saving a mail with the information to be passed in the draft folder instead of sending. The receiver can login with the common user name and the password and read the draft and get the info. As no email is actually sent, nothing can be traced. Human mind is indeed adaptive, and is able to make the best out of the available resources.