Archive for February, 2012

Savarkar’s contribution to the shuddhi movement

Posted in Uncategorized on 26/02/2012 by satyapravah

From: Team To: aryaputra_1… Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2012 3:11 PM

Subject: Savarkar’s contribution to the shuddhi movement

The atmarpan divas of Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (28 May 1883-26 February 1966) falls on 26 February. It was on this day that Savarkar left his mortal coil in the highest tradition of Yoga by giving up food and water. Having done all his earthly duties, he embraced death in a spirit of sublime self-contentment. It is fitting to recall Savarkar’s manifold and inspiring contribution to nation-building. A cause that was very close to Savarkar’s heart was that of shuddhi. The word shuddhi means purity or purification. The concept is central to traditional Hindu thought and practice. The Hindu dharmasastras lay great stress on purity with regards to behaviour. A person was deemed to be an outcaste if he violated the rules and norms of behaviour as laid down in the dharmasastras. Such a fallen person could be taken back into his caste and hence into the Hindu fold if he performed suitable penance. In this broad sense, the term shuddhi can be found in various juridicial texts and commentaries. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the term came to acquire a more particular meaning, namely the incorporation into Hindu Dharma of non-Hindu persons or groups by means of ceremonial action. The importance of the shuddhi movement in Hindu consolidation, nay in the very survival of India as a Hindu nation cannot be over-emphasized. Shuddhi in its particular sense has a hoary tradition with solid scriptural basis. Maharishi Deval, Swami Ramananda, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Harihar II, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Chhatrapati Sambhaji, the Peshwas, Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Kashmir, Swami Dayananda, Swami Shraddhananda, Mahatma Hansraj, Vinayak Maharaj Masurkar are some of the better known proponents of the shuddhi movement. The contribution of Savarkar to the shuddhi movement is that of a philosopher, worker, leader and leader of leaders. Savarkar stated a profound truth in his maxim “Change of religion is tantamount to change of nationality”. While Savarkar was not against voluntary acceptance of any religion after due thought, he was certainly against unethical methods employed by predatory religions to increase their flock. Savarkar lamented that Hindu rulers did not realize the grave consequences of mass conversions by Islamic rulers and failed to carry out shuddhi even when they had the opportunity and strength to do so. Along with his elder brother Babarao, Savarkar carried out a unique shuddhi movement in the hell-hole of the Andamans. Savarkar has written extensively on his shuddhi campaign in his My Transportation for Life. The Pathan warders would coerce or lure susceptible Hindu prisoners to convert to Islam. The Savarkar brothers carried out this shuddhi campaign in the face of violent assaults and an attempt on their life. In the absence of a formal shuddhi ceremony, Savarkar would ask the reclaimed prisoners to eat the tulsi leaf and chant from the Ramcharitmanas or the Gita. Savarkar’s shuddhi campaign inside the four walls of the Cellular Jail had a salutary effect on the free Hindu residents of the Andamans. They started getting themselves enumerated as Hindus in the census. During his internment in Ratnagiri, Savarkar continued his shuddhi campaign. Through speeches and writings, he mobilized public opinion in favour of shuddhi. In memory of Swami Shraddhanand who was martyred (27 December 1926) in the cause of shuddhi, Savarkar started the Shraddhanand weekly. He personally brought back several Christian and Muslims into the Hindu fold. The reversion of the Dhakras family (25 May 1926) who had converted to Christianity 15 years earlier was performed with much enthusiasm by Savarkar. In 1928, he made efforts to get their daughter married and performed her kanyadan. He traveled from Ratnagiri to Kharepatan to attend the thread ceremony of their two sons. It was during Savarkar’s stay in Ratnagiri that he met Vinayak Maharaj Masurkar of the Ramdasi tradition. Masurkar had started the Brahmacharyashram at Masur in Satara district (hence popularly known as Masurashram). It was Savarkar who told Masurkar Maharaj to bring back to the Hindu fold the hundreds of Rambhakts who had crossed over to alien religions. As a result, the Masurashram embarked on a shuddhi campaign in Portuguese-ruled Goa and brought back to the Hindu fold 7815 Gavdas who had been converted to Christianity. Coincidentally, it was on 26 February 1928 that the first batch of 1150 converted Gavdas underwent shuddhi in Tiswadi, Goa. Savarkar collected funds in Ratnagiri to assist Masurkar Maharaj in his endeavour. Savarkar was one of the very few individuals who was privy to Masurkar’s plans to carry out shuddhi of the Gavdas. As leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar relentlessly championed the cause of shuddhi, saying that shuddhi and sangathan went hand in hand. On 21 August 1955, 40 fishermen who had been converted to Christianity were brought back to Hindu Dharma by Shankaracharya Yogeshwaranandji at Dadar, Mumbai. So overjoyed was Savarkar, that he exclaimed, “May I be reborn to carry out shuddhi work, such is its importance!” In his will, Savarkar had instructed that a sum of money be given six monthly to organizations engaged in shuddhi work. On this, the atmarpan divas of Savarkar, let us dedicate ourselves to the holy cause of shuddhi! Thanks, Team

secrecy, thy name sonia gandhi: now its issue of hiding income details, but why?

Posted in Uncategorized on 26/02/2012 by satyapravah

SECRECY, thy name SONIA GANDHI: Now its issue of hiding Income details, but why?

Source: News Bharati Date: 2/24/2012 12:03:02 PM

New Delhi, February 24:,-thy-name-SONIA-GANDHI–Now-its-issue-of-hiding-Income-details,-but-why-.aspx?NB=&lang=1&m1=&m2=&p1=&p2=&p3=&p4=&NewsMode=int

A question of denial of information about Sonia Gandhi and Gandhi family has come up. This history is being repeated as the Nation is asking a question that what does Sonia Gandhi have in her income tax returns that she doesn’t reveal. This question arises when Ms Gandhi flippantly showed a dust bin to a Right to Information application. Isn’t this a betrayal of Nation? Given are some representative reactions about the secrecy that has maintained by not only Congress Party but also the otherwise hyper and over-smart media of India. The Rajdeeps, the Burkha’s The Thapars, the Roys, the Arnavs and who not, all had kept a fatal silence on the issue of Cong chief Sonia Gandhi’s surgery abroad which had triggered many unanswered questions in the minds of entire nation and also in the minds of much suppressed Congress workers who are crouching under the dynastic rule of the Gandhi Family. Secrecy, thy name Sonia Gandhi. Now its issue of hiding Income details, but why? Secrecy continues to shroud Sonia’s illness (, 8 Aug 2011) Dynastic secrecy protected by India’s tame media (, 3 Oct 2011) Sonia goes under scalpel in US as secrecy surrounds her ailment (, 4 Aug 2011) The Hindu Article Questions Secrecy about Sonia Gandhi’s Health (IndiaTV, 22 Sept 2011) Dynasty wrapped in needless secrecy (The Pioneer, 7 Sept 2011) Sonia Gandhi’s health can’t be a state secret, it’s not about privacy (Asian Window, 5 Aug 2011) India’s media accused of omertà over Sonia Gandhi’s health (Guardian, UK, 22 Sept 2011) The omertà on Sonia Gandhi’s illness (The Hindu, 22 Sept 2011) This issue has again jumped up when, V Gopalakrishnan, a Chennai-based RTI activist, filed an RTI application with the Income Tax Department seeking details of Sonia Gandhi’s tax returns from 2000-01 to 2010-11. The Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, New Delhi, who is also the chief public information officer (CPIO) wrote to Sonia Gandhi in January to seek her response to the request for release of information pertaining to her tax records. Sonia Gandhi declined permission for the release of the information, saying that disclosure of such private information to a third party, even if ostensibly made under the guise of transparency in public life, amounted to unwarranted invasion in the privacy of the individual. She took support of Section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 that the information that an assessee submits to the Income Tax department was confidential and private in nature and could not be disclosed. The report notes that Sonia Gandhi also cited “security risk” as a consideration behind her reluctance to disclose the information – and added that there was “no public interest” involved in disclosing such information. Importantly, on an earlier occasion, a similar application had been rejected even without seeking Sonia Gandhi’s response. The Times of India, which is following this issue, has reported that that this was the second time that the CPIO had rejected such a petition from Gopalakrishnan for information on Sonia Gandhi’s income tax returns. After Gopalakrishnan went in appeal, the appellate authority said that by not seeking out a response from Sonia Gandhi, the CPIO had ignored the possibility that she might be willing to disclose her personal income-tax information. There comes the question, when even the Prime Minister discloses his assets every year, why Sonia Gandhi, an MP is reluctant to disclose her income tax information. This clearly demonstrates Sonia Gandhi’s Italian bloodline and her Papal beliefs which inspire her to keep secrecy about herself and her acts. In normal circumstances and in case of any politician, such details come under the realm of confidential information. But in a democracy the transparency of government is at the stake. In her article ‘The omertà on Sonia Gandhi’s illnesses’ published in The Hindu, Nirupama Subramaniam states, “It is not surprising that the Congress should be secretive about its leader’s health. What is surprising though is the news media’s submission to the secrecy on an issue that is of public concern.” She further comments, “…the media are clearly not in the mood to extend their kid-glove treatment of Ms Gandhi’s illness to some other politicians: it has been open season with BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s health problems arising from his weight. Clearly, it’s different strokes for different folks.” Swapan Dasgupta has commented that to some extent, concern over Sonia’s health can never remain a matter concerning the Gandhi family alone. The personal well-being of someone who is the acknowledged ‘leader’ of the Government—one who rules but does not rule—is a matter of public concern in all democracies. Swapan Dasgupta mentions in his article ‘Dynasty wrapped in needless secrecy’ published in The Pioneer expresses surprise saying that that when it comes to the ‘first family’, the media’s thirst for investigative journalism evaporates into handout journalism. He Says, “This is despite the fact that the country has been routinely misled on many occasions. When Sonia failed to be present in the opening sessions of Parliament, it was put out (by unnamed sources) that she was suffering from ‘viral fever’—an explanation that was believable in the context of the epidemic doing the rounds of Delhi. When, last year, she abruptly cancelled her meeting with the visiting British Prime Minister it was again put out that the family had to rush overseas because Sonia’s mother wasn’t keeping too well. Dasgupta says that no one ever claimed ownership of these doubtful explanations of the Gandhi family’s movements. For year after year, even as fawning courtiers celebrated Rahul Gandhi’s birthday, the birthday boy never happened to be in the country. However, for the media the Congress General Secretary’s travel itinerary was never the subject of any inquiry. Even the Right to Information Act has failed to yield any information on the subjects—presumably because they have ‘security’ implications. In 2007, a stunning exposure on Sonia Gandhi’s secret billions in Swiss banks came, surprisingly, from Switzerland itself. In its issue of November 19, 1991, Schweizer Illustrierte, the most popular magazine of Switzerland, did an exposé of over a dozen politicians of the third world. The magazine included Rajiv Gandhi, who had stashed away their bribe monies in Swiss banks. Schweizer Illustrierte is not an ordinary magazine. It has a wide distribution of some 2,15,000 copies and has a readership of 9,17,000 — almost a sixth of Swiss adult population. Citing the then newly opened KGB records, the magazine had reported, “Sonia Gandhi the widow of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was controlling secret account with 2.5 billion Swiss Francs (equal to $2.2 billion) in her minor son’s name’. The $2.2 billion account must have existed from before June 1988 when Rahul Gandhi attained majority. The loot in today’s rupee value equals almost Rs 10,000 crore. Swiss banks invest and multiply the clients’ monies, not keep them buried. Had it been invested in safe long-term securities, the $.2.2 billion bribe would have multiplied to $9.41 billion (Rs 42,345 crore) by 2009. If it had been put in US stocks, it would have swelled to $12.97 billion (Rs 58,365 crore). If, as most likely, it were invested in long-term bonds and stocks as 50:50, it would have grown to $11.19 billion (Rs 50,355 crore). Similarly the archives of the Russian spy outfit KGB, is far more serious. It says that the Gandhi family has accepted political pay-offs from the KGB — a clear case of disloyalty besides bribe. In her book The State Within a State: The KGB and its Hold on Russia-Past, Present, and Future, Yevgenia Albats, an acclaimed investigative journalist, says: “A letter signed by Victor Chebrikov, who replaced Andropov as the KGB head in 1982 noted: ‘the USSR KGB maintains contact with the son of the Premier Minister Rajiv Gandhi (of India). R Gandhi reports confidentially that a substantial portion of the funds obtained through this channel are used to support the party of R Gandhi’.” (p.223). Albats has also disclosed that, in December 2005, KGB chief Victor Chebrikov had asked for authorisation from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, “to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.” And even before Albats’ book came out the Russian media had leaked out the details of the pay-offs. Based on the leaks, on July 4, 1992, The Hindu had reported, “the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service admits the possibility that the KGB could have been involved in arranging profitable Soviet contract for the company controlled by Rajiv Gandhi family”. All this shows that the ‘Secrecy saga’ about Sonia Maino-Gandhi is endless. The Gandhi family has been awarded an iron wall to keep their secrets intact which has a cloud of mystery around them by both Congress Party and Indian Media. This is definitely a betrayal of Aam Aadami, the common man of India is only a distant spectator who has no right even to ask about. The Nation should realise that it is not a mere question of secrecy of any one ‘person’, but a string of sincerity, transparency, loyalty and more importantly national Security is involved in this. Time to Think! (Sources for Reference: The, 3 Oct 2011,, 4 Aug 2011, IndiaTV, 22 Sept 2011, The Pioneer, 7 Sept 2011, Asian Window, 5 Aug 2011, Guardian, UK, 22 Sept 2011, The Hindu, 22 Sept 2011,, 24 Feb 12,, 7 Jan,, Schweizer Illustrierte 19 Nov 1991)

Why a Frenchman built a Bhavani & Shivaji museum

Posted in Uncategorized on 14/02/2012 by satyapravah

Why a Frenchman built a Bhavani & Shivaji museum Francois Gautier | Monday, February 13, 2012

The first phase of FACT’s ( Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History has been inaugurated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mrs Ajit Pawar and Nitin Gadkari. The exquisite Bhavani Bharat temple is one of the only two temples in India dedicated to Mother India (the other is in Haridwar) which Sri Aurobindo and Lokmanya Tilak wanted to build in Maharashtra 100 years ago. The VIPs then inaugurated three exhibitions: a miniature painting exhibition on the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj; an exhibition on Hindu Tolerance Throughout the Ages; and another exhibition that proves scientifically that the famous Aryan invasion never actually happened. Why does a Frenchman build a Bhavani Bharti temple and museum? I am proud to say I owe a debt to India, because this country has granted me so much, spiritually, professionally and even sentimentally. I was a young boy of 19, living in Paris, the city of my birth, when I heard that a caravan of cars was driving from Paris to Pondicherry. I had never thought about India, and had no interest in spirituality, but something in me pushed me to go. It took us six weeks to cross 10 countries and after many adventures, we reached Delhi. Right from my first night here, I felt I had come home and that India was a land of vast knowledge, a truth that eludes most westerners, because some of the paradox of the still apparent poverty and filth that blinds them. I had this feeling of being home, of Mother India, in the most unlikely places, even in Srinagar. I covered Kashmir as a journalist for the largest French political daily during the worst period of unrest, from the late eighties till the Kargil War. There was only one hotel opened for journalists in those days, the Ahdoos on the banks of the river Jhelum. Curfew was on, but at night I would step out of and walk on the bund that stops the river Jhelum from overflowing into Srinagar. One could hear gunfire and sometimes even grenades in the distance, yet I could feel the presence of the millions of saints, yogis, avatars and simple people who have prayed and meditated for thousands of years in Kashmir. It seems today like an abstract experience, but on the spot, it was so strong and vivid and I felt that this was the very reason why India should keep Kashmir. The Bhavani Bharti temple is thus an expression of my gratitude. This museum is also a place of knowledge. People can learn something about the history of their country while viewing the nearly 20 exhibitions FACT has made, and come out from this place being a little more knowledgeable about the history of this great civilization that is India. It is a tragedy that the Indian education system today produces so many brilliant youth, who are just good for export, as they are not made to learn about their own history. It’s also very sad that most history books describe Shivaji Maharaj as a petty chieftain, or Sri Aurobindo as an extremist. Some may ask why Pune and dedicate it to Shivaji Maharaj? I came to Pune seven years ago, knowing about Shivaji Maharaj, having researched him for my books and being a long standing admirer. I asked my driver to take me to the main museum here, which is called Kelkar. I was surprised and shocked to find that there was not a single exhibit on Shivaji! That day, the idea of a Museum of Indian History, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj started taking shape in my mind. Pune is also the ideal place, as Marathas have a stronger national fibre than in other states and I felt the museum will be better protected here. This is a difficult project. Whoever has never attempted to raise money for a museum should give it a try… I have met hundreds of potential donors, but when I say I want to build a Museum of true Indian History, it wipes off the smile of their faces and they say they have to consult their board, or that they only give to health and education! But is it not time that the History of India, which has been mostly written by the British, or by historians employed by the British, like Max Mueller, be exhibited as it happened? This is a Rs20 crore project and we need your support. Please pass along the message to your friends. FACT is a registered Trust and has US and Indian tax exemption, as well as FCRA. Bhavani Bharti temple & Shivaji Maharaj Complex, Shinde Road, off Marathwada Institute, Wadgaon, Pune 47. Open from 9am to 7pm. Entrance free. Aarti in temple morning and evening —

The author is the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde and the author of The Guru of Joy

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Posted in Uncategorized on 14/02/2012 by satyapravah

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. “Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? **