Friday, April 20, 2018

Fwd: The strategy of high moral ground in J&K+RM to purse India’s defence cooperation agenda in SCO+Ethnic bodies oppose citizenship bill

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

It's about time India got over the defensive mindset in relation to a former colonial power. Here, the contrast between India and China is sharp. Beijing is not arguing with London about the opium wars or Britain's leading role in China's "hundred year humiliation". Instead, they are trying to seduce Britain, especially the city of London, into China's commercial and financial orbit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emphasis, instead, must be on strengthening India's contribution to the Commonwealth.
Fourth, reviving the Commonwealth is not about India taking over from Britain. It is about reordering the relationship between Delhi and London'.
India's structural dominance of South Asia makes it a natural target of resentment and suspicion which New Delhi has often found difficult to overcome. India is also part of the domestic politics of most regional states where anti-India sentiment is often used to bolster the nationalist credentials of various political formations. State identity in South Asia often gets linked to oppositional politics vis-à-vis India
3. RM to purse India's defence cooperation agenda in SCO 16.4.18 by P Stobdan
4. The strategy of high moral ground in J&K by Lt Gen PG Kamath 18.4.18
One can see that these three agreements that determined the inter-se relations between J&K and Indian Union, were signed between two families of Nehru and Abdullah. They indeed bear the direct responsibility for the present mess, violence, terrorism and chaos prevailing in the state. 

5. Resetting Indo Nepal ties Oli shows pragmatism by C Uday Bhaskar 18.4.18
6. Ethnic bodies oppose citizenship bill 18.4.18
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Quick notes: Indian surrender, TVR Shenoy...

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Deep State

America has one - India has one too

Quick notes: Exit tax, Friend of my enemy...

  • Exit tax on fleeing millionaires: There is an exodus of millionaires from India, and the govt suspects the rich are trying to escape scrutiny and tax liability.

  • Strategic loss for India? Iran invites China for Chabahar development. "Any Chinese presence at Chabahar, even if not involved in the operation of the port, could be used as a way of undermining India’s influence with local authorities".

  • The Friend of My Enemy: Iran is not comfortable with India because of its strategic partnership with the US and the new India-Israel relations. Ali Khamenei mentioned the Kashmir issue in some of his sermons for the first time, comparing it to the injustice meted out to Palestinians.

  • Uprising? New nationalist movement emerges from Pakistan’s Pashtun protests

  • Trump flirts with re-entering TPP: “If you want to send a message to China, the best way to do that is to start doing business with their competitors”

  • Death: Whatever is, is you. You are the unlimited, which is not susceptible to the senses. By limiting yourself to the body, you have closed yourself to the unlimited potential which you really are

  • A Challenger to Silicon Valley Emerges: The U.S. approach is “We’ll build a better product and just win over all the countries”. The Chinese approach is “we’ll fund the local partner to beat off the American companies”. All the rest of the world will basically be a land grab between the U.S. and China. Chinese-led venture funding is about 15 times its size in 2013, outpacing growth in U.S.-led financing, which roughly doubled in that time period.

  • Brain drain: Taiwan battles a brain drain as China aims to woo young talent away 

  • From Sanskrit to Macedonskrit: "Stop translating, I understand what you are saying. You are speaking here some corrupted form of Sanskrit".

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Various War Scenarios Around the Region

Some interesting war scenarios for countries around the region, and how they would play out:

Cohen Warns Russia Will Retaliate Against US Action

Stephen Cohen, former member of US Council on Foreign Relations, and an expert on Russia as well as South Asia, warns that if the US carries out missile strikes against Syria then Russia will likely retaliate in response to the death of any Russian soldiers:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Quick notes: Fund crunch, Saving democracy...

  • Proud of you, but no funds for you: Acute fund crunch hits ISRO programmes.

  • AI - comparing India and China: India's policy initiatives are not comprehensive yet and lag other G20 countries. China, on the other hand, today harbours one of the biggest clusters of AI scientists.

  • Digital India blunder: Modi govt involved FB and Google on hundreds of initiatives under the Digital India programme.“It is but natural that they will use data in every manner. India does not have a privacy law and a data protection law.” 

  • Saving democracy from Facebook: The govt should stop using FB, Google and Twitter for e-governance, and thereby stop providing free advertising for these companies for print and broadcast media.

  • Reality or perception? As Dalit anger grows, RSS warns Modi-Shah to step up

  • Samskrutam: Ananda Himani

  • Break Free from Endless Materialism and Outwardly Seeking: Our sense organs are designed to face outwards. So they will perceive and interpret all external stimuli. Following a path which shows us how to direct our attention inwards lessens the stronghold that the senses have on us. In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna describes the senses as powerful horses, which drag our mind. The reins of the horses which are five in number are the five senses, while the reins are in the hand of Lord Krishna. He is the intellect, which helps us to discriminate between what is needed by me versus what my wants are.

  • RBI survey: More than half the people surveyed expect no improvement in their incomes, job prospects or the economy a year from now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

why india's tourist sites are so awful, and what can be done: my swarajya piece

Fwd: Demolishing the Steppe Sons hoax (Part 2): R̥gveda & Sarasvati (Harappan) civilization are two faces of the same coin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kalyan
Date: Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 3:32 PM
Subject: Demolishing the Steppe Sons hoax (Part 2): R̥gveda & Sarasvati (Harappan) civilization are two faces of the same coin

This is an addendum the post :

In June 2017, BB Lal made commented on an article (June 17, 2017) in The Hindu by Tony Joseph. BB Lal's comments are an effective refutation of the Steppe Sons hoax of The Economist. I reproduce BB Lal's comments below.

My attention has been drawn to an article published by Tony Joseph in The Hindu, dated June 17, 2017, which, in essence, tries to say that The Vedic Aryans came to India from outside. I would like to apprise the readers of the reality of the situation. I have published many books on the subject, each one dealing with a specific aspect of the issue. The latest book, The Rigvedic People: Invaders?, Immigrants? Or Indigenous?, published in 2015 by Aryan Books International, New Delhi clearly explains, using evidence of archaeology, hydrology, C-14 dating and literature,  why the Aryans were neither Invaders nor slow Immigrants, but were indigenous. I present here my arguments, as briefly as possible.

          At the root of the trouble lies the dating of the Vedas to 1200 BCE by the German Scholar Max Muller. He did it on a very ad hoc basis and when his contemporaries, such as Goldstucker, Whitney and Wilson, challenged his methodology, he surrendered by saying, "Whether the Vedas were composed in 1000 or 2000 or 3000 BC no one on earth can ever determine." The pity is that in spite of such a candid confession by Max Muller himself many of his followers even today stick to this date, or at the most give concession to 1500 BCE.

          In 1920s the Harappan Civilization was discovered and dated to the 3rd millennium BCE on the basis of the occurrence of many Indus objects in the already dated archaeological contexts in Mesopotamia. This led to the immediate conclusion that since, according to Max Muller, the Vedas were not earlier than 1200 BCE, the Harappan Civilization could not have been the creation of the Vedic people.

          In 1946 Mortimer Wheeler (later knighted) excavated Harappa and discovered a fort over there. On learning that in the Vedic texts Indra has been described as puramdara i.e. 'destroyer of forts', he jumped to the conclusion that the Vedic Aryans, represented by Indra, invaded India and destroyed the Harappan Civilization. But, it must be stressed that there no evidence of any kind of destruction at Harappa.

In support of his Invasion thesis, however, Wheeler referred to some skeletons at Mohenjo-daro which he said represent the people massacred by the Invading Aryans. But the fact is that these skeletons had been found in different stratigraphic contexts, some in the Middle levels, some in the Late and some in the debris which accumulated after the desertion of the site.  Thus, these cannot be ascribed to a single event, much less to an Aryan Invasion. 

            The ghost of 'Invasion' re-appeared in a new avatara, namely that of 'Immigration'. Said Romila Thapar in 1991: "If invasion is discarded then the mechanism of migration and occasional contacts come into sharper focus. These migrations appear to have been of pastoral cattle breeders who are prominent in the Avesta and Rigveda." Faithfully following her, R. S. Sharma elaborated:  "The pastoralists who moved to the Indian borderland came from Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex or BMAC which saw the genesis of the culture of the Rigveda."

          These assertions of Thapar and Sharma are baseless. In the first place, the BMAC is not a product of nomads. It has fortified settlements and elaborate temple-complexes. It has yielded a very rich harvest of antiquities which include silver axes, highly ornamented human and animal figurines and excellently carved seals. But what is more important is that no element of the BMAC has ever been found east of the Indus which was the area occupied by the Vedic people. So there is no case whatsoever for the BMAC people having migrated into India. 

          Now, if there was no Aryan Invasion or an Aryan Immigration, were the Vedic people indigenous? To answer this question we must first find out the  correct chronological horizon  of the Rigveda. It refers to the river Sarasvati nearly seventy times. The river dried up before the composition of the Panchavimsa Brahmana, as this text avers. Today this dry river is identifiable with the Ghaggar in Haryana and Rajasthan. On its bank stands Kalibangan, a site of the Harappan Civilization. An Indo-Italian team, under the leadership of Robert Raikes, bore holes in the dry bed to find out its history. Raikes wrote an article in Antiquity (UK), captioning it: 'Kalibangan: Death from Natural Causes.'  C-14 dates show that the flourishing settlement was suddenly abandoned because of the drying up of the Sarasvati around 2000 BCE. What are the implications of this discovery? Since the Sarasvati was a mighty flowing river during the Rigvedic times, the Rigveda has got to be earlier than that date. Thus, at least a 3rd millennium-BCE horizon is indicated for the Rigveda.

          We now pass on to another very important statement in the Rigveda. Verses 5 and 6 of Sukta 75 of Mandala 10 enumerate all the rivers serially from the Ganga and Yamuna on the east to the Indus and its western tributaries on the west. In other words, this was the area occupied by the Rigvedic people in the 3rd millennium BCE (the minimal date arrived at for the Rigveda, referred to in the previous paragraph). Now, if a simple question is asked, 'Which archaeological culture flourished in this very area in the 3rd millennium BCE', the inescapable answer shall have to be, 'The Harappan Civilization'. In other words, the Rigveda and Harappan Civilization are but two faces of the same coin.  
The Harappan Civilization, which attained its maturity in the 3rd millennium BCE, had its formative stages at Kunal and Bhirrana in the Sarasvati valley itself, taking the beginning back to the 5th -6th millennium BCE. In other words, the Harappans were the 'sons of the soil'. And since, as already established, the Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda are but two faces of the same coin, the Vedic Aryans ipso facto were indigenous. They were neither invaders nor immigrants.

 The application of DNA research to the Aryan debate is nothing new. The renowned scientist Sanghamitra Sahoo and colleagues had declared: "The sharing of some Y-chromosomal haplogroups between Indian and Central Asian populations is most parsimoniously explained by a deep, common ancestry between the two regions, with the diffusion of some Indian-specific lineages northward."

This north-westward movement of the Vedic people is duly supported by both literature and archaeology. The Baudhayana Srautasutra, a later Vedic text, mentions that Amavasu, a son of Pururavas and Urvashi, migrated westwards and his progeny are the Gandharas, Persians and Arattas. Moving through these regions, a section of the Vedic people reached Turkey where a 1380-BCE inscription from Boghaz Koi refers to a treaty between the Hittite and Mitanni kings mentioning as witnesses the Vedic gods Indra, Varuna, Mitra and Nasatya. Further, there a treatise on horse-training by one Kikkuli, which uses Sanskrit terms like ekavartana, dvivaratana and trivartana, meaning thereby that the horses under training should be made to make one, two or three rounds of the prescribed course. What more evidence is needed to support a westward migration of the Vedic Aryans themselves?

Let us, therefore, analyze the facts coolly and not remain glued to the 19th century paradigms! 

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Can Bolton Toe Trump's Line on Pakistan?

Can Trump's new National Security Advisor John Bolton (replacing H R McMaster) faithfully implement Trump's policy to bring Pakistan to heel?

PwC's Innovation Benchmark Report 2017: PwC

Fwd: Steppe sons, A new study squelches a treasured theory about Indians’ origins -- The Economist

typical harvard research.

david reich is an 'aryan' invasion theory believer. he assumed it, and then "proved" it. 


this is so bogus! of course #deepstate flunkey magazine jumps all over it.

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From: k

Steppe sonsA new study squelches a treasured theory about Indians' origins

The Aryans did not come from India; they conquered it
 April, 5th 2018| DELHI

A CENTURY and a half ago linguists invented a new map of the world. Their research showed that a single family tree stretches its branches almost unbroken across most of Eurasia: from Iceland to Bangladesh, most people speak languages descended from "Proto-Indo-European". The philologists had a theory to explain why Sanskrit, the ancient forebear of Hindi, has closer cousins in Europe than in south India. They speculated that at some point before the composition of the Vedas, the oldest texts of Hinduism, an Aryan people had migrated into India from the north-west, while their kin pushed westward into Europe.

Long before the Nazis dreamed of an exalted master race, imperialists seized on what some dubbed the "Aryan invasion" theory to paint Britain's rule of India as the extension of a "natural" order. Indians, too, found a use for it. Caste-bound Hindu conservatives declared that the paler-skinned intruders must be ancestors of higher-caste Brahmins and Kshatriyas. Such talk stirred a backlash in southern India, where generally darker-skinned speakers of Dravidian languages were urged to see themselves as a separate nation.

Hindu nationalists took a different tack. The West, some said, had made up the theory to set Hindus against each other. Christian missionaries and communists were using it to stoke caste hatred and so to recruit followers, they claimed. Worse, the theory challenged an emerging vision of Mother India as a sacred Hindu homeland. If the first speakers of Sanskrit and the creators of the Vedas had themselves been intruders, it was harder to portray later Muslim and Christian invaders as violators of a purity that good Hindus should seek to restore. So it was that some proposed an alternative "Out of India" theory. This held that the original Aryans were in fact Indians, who carried their Indo-European language and superior civilisation to the West.

Yet, even as Hindu nationalism has gained politically, culminating in the current rule of the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), evidence has mounted against the out-of-India hypothesis. Philologists have determined with a fair degree of certainty that the Vedas were probably composed between 1500BC and 500BC. Archaeology, meanwhile, indicates that a sophisticated urban civilisation had flourished in the Indus Valley around a thousand years earlier, but had collapsed before the Vedic Age.

The culture depicted in Sanskrit texts has different traits. It was largely rural and pastoral, relied on iron instead of bronze and appears to have used horses, chariots and bows and arrows—all of which are absent from the original Indus settlements. Proponents of the Aryan invasion conclude that a large influx of outsiders would neatly explain all this. Another clue: the proportion of Indians who can tolerate cows' milk decreases markedly towards the east, suggesting that cattle-herders migrated into the country from the west.

Even so, fierce exchanges in Indian social media have greeted every new study. Academic researchers have found themselves branded Christian missionaries, "sickularists" or even Chinese agents. Lately, however, such controversy has shifted from linguistics and archaeology to genetics. As techniques of extracting, analysing and tracking DNA through time and place improve, a clearer picture is emerging.

An accumulating pile of research using DNA from both ancient human remains and modern people indicates strongly that, beginning around 2000BC, north-west India was indeed infused with new blood. The newcomers appear to have shared the same roots in what is now southern Russia as did the invaders of a similar-sized peninsula to the west called Europe. Strikingly, too, the genetic markers identifying this group seem to be far more prevalent among modern north Indian Brahmins than among other Indians.

Because of the difficulty in collecting ancient DNA, such research has until recently relied on relatively few samples. But an international team of 92 scholars, including David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard University who has pioneered techniques to analyse DNA more quickly and precisely, is set to publish data recovered from 362 "ancient individuals" from across South and Central Asia. Among their conclusions: there was probably an early migration of agriculturalists into India from what is now Iran, around 4000BC, and this was followed two millennia later—just before the Vedic Age—by a large influx from what is now southern Russia (see map).

The wider study not only confirms that "Aryans" (geneticists avoid the term) probably migrated from the steppes around the Volga and Don rivers to both India and Europe at around the same time. It also shows that their genetic markers later spread southwards across India, and are indeed particularly prevalent in "groups of priestly status".

This article appeared in the Asia section of the print edition under the headline "Steppe sons"