Sunday, September 6, 2009

Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women

Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women

Talking to an attractive woman really can make a man lose his mind, according to a new study.


Pat Hagan
Published: 10:28AM BST 03 Sep 2009

The research shows men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive.

Researchers who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use up so much of their brain function or 'cognitive resources' trying to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.

The findings have implications for the performance of men who flirt with women in the workplace, or even exam results in mixed-sex schools.

Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man.

This may be simply because men are programmed by evolution to think more about mating opportunities.

Psychologists at Radboud University in The Netherlands carried out the study after one of them was so struck on impressing an attractive woman he had never met before, that he could not remember his address when she asked him where he lived.

Researchers said it was as if he was so keen to make an impression he 'temporarily absorbed most of his cognitive resources.'

To see if other men were affected in the same way, they recruited 40 male heterosexual students.

Each one performed a standard memory test where they had to observe a stream of letters and say, as fast as possible, if each one was the same as the one before last.

The volunteers then spent seven minutes chatting to male or female members of the research team before repeating the test.

The results showed men were slower and less accurate after trying to impress the women. The more they fancied them, the worse their score.

But when the task was repeated with a group of female volunteers, they did not get the same results. Memory scores stayed the same, whether they had chatted to a man or a woman.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'We conclude men's cognitive functioning may temporarily decline after an interaction with an attractive woman.'

Psychologist Dr George Fieldman, a member of the British Psychological Society, said the findings reflect the fact that men are programmed to think about ways to pass on their genes.

'When a man meets a pretty woman, he is what we call 'reproductively focused'.

'But a woman also looks for signs of other attributes, such as wealth, youth and kindness. Just the look of the man would be unlikely to have the same effect.'

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kosovo was a war for values : David Clark

Source: The Hindu (

Kosovo was a war for values

David Clark

This conflict was not a dress rehearsal for Iraq. It was a case of western power used for a genuine humanitarian purpose.

Ten years after NATO jets went into action against Serbia, the Kosovo war remains as controversial as ever. Welcomed by many at the time as evidence of a humanitarian world order in the making, its legacy has been overtaken, subsumed and ultimately distorted by the debate about the war on terror. What Vaclav Havel called “the first war for values” is now more often described as a dangerous precedent. Even the veteran British MP, Clare Short, a forceful advocate of intervention in the Balkans, attributed Tony Blair’s foreign policy errors to the “taste for grandstanding” he acquired in Kosovo.
 There are several reasons for this, the most important undoubtedly the effect of the Iraq war in sowing doubt about the legitimacy and efficacy of western military power. In departing from the principle of non-intervention and lacking a U.N. mandate, Kosovo is often regarded as the original sin that made Iraq possible. Even Russia’s invasion and recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been characterised as blowback from Kosovo’s declaration of independence a few months before.
 Comparisons of this kind confuse more than they clarify. The war in Kosovo was a response to a humanitarian emergency, not a geopolitical power play. Even so, this point is still contested. Self-styled anti-imperialists, all too often apologists for the imperialism of any regime that opposes the west, have constructed an alternative history in which Slobodan Milosevic’s crimes are minimised or excused and a rapacious west portrayed as the instigator of violence. In this history, his efforts to reach a negotiated solution were sabotaged at the Rambouillet peace conference by Europe and the U.S.; and the deaths and refugee movements inside Kosovo were caused by NATO bombing. These critics talk as if the destruction of Bosnia was a figment of the imagination. The reality is that by the time of Rambouillet, western leaders had wised up to Milosevic’s game of rope-a-dope in which he negotiated peace in bad faith while continuing to unleash ethnic terror on the ground!
  They had already endured eight years of it. In Kosovo, Serbian forces had killed 1,500 and driven 270,000 from their homes before NATO acted. The violence accelerated immediately before and after the start of the bombing campaign, but opponents deliberately invert cause and effect.

Awful reality

A survey by eminent statisticians in 2002 confirmed what refugees had always maintained — they were fleeing an organised programme of ethnic slaughter. An analysis of available data revealed a strong correlation between deaths and displacements, and Serbian military activity. There was no correlation with NATO or Kosovo Liberation Army actions. And the speed and extent of Serbia’s mobilisation was indicative of a preconceived plan, not a spontaneous reaction to NATO bombing.
 About 850,000 people - half Kosovo’s Albanian population — were driven out of the country, many with their papers seized to prevent them returning. About 10,000 were murdered by Serbian forces. These atrocities may pass the legal test of genocide, but the reality was awful enough. The Serbian state carried out a crime against humanity - a ruthlessly executed plan to change the ethnic composition of Kosovo through expulsion and mass murder.
 Had Milosevic completed his ethnic cleansing, the Balkans would be a very different place. A nationalist successor regime in Belgrade would be dedicated to preserving his victorious legacy and destabilising the region with unfulfilled dreams of a Greater Serbia. Hundreds of thousands of Kosovan Albanians would still be in refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia. The expulsion of the Kosovans would have joined Al-Qaeda’s rap sheet of “Crusader” crimes against Muslims, an accusation doubtless echoed by the same critics who condemn NATO for preventing it. Let’s not forget that Milosevic waged his war in the name of Orthodox Christian supremacy, or that Ariel Sharon, obsessed with the “Islamic threat” of a Greater Albania, was among his most vocal cheerleaders.
 Kosovo also differed radically from the Iraq war in its intended effect on the international system. In the case of Kosovo, it was Russia that acted unilaterally in refusing to accept the balance of international opinion. Every member of NATO and EU country, and all Serbia’s neighbours, supported military action. Operations were conducted through the multilateral structures of NATO, with post-conflict authority handed to the UN. The governments carrying out this intervention knew it was a radical departure, but didn’t do it to undermine multilateralism or strengthen U.S. dominance. They wanted the international community to accept that the U.N.’s commitment to individual human rights should count for more than the sovereign rights of states and their rulers. They wanted to enforce international legal norms, not undermine them.
 Aspects of NATO’s conduct can be criticised. The use of cluster munitions, careless and illegitimate targeting, and high-altitude bombing all resulted in unnecessary loss of life. The failure of NATO troops to prevent revenge attacks on Serb and Roma civilians dishonoured their humanitarian purpose. But it is bogus to compare these serious errors to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing.
 A decade on, many problems remain. Reconciliation between ethnic communities has not been achieved; Serb enclaves are unwilling to cooperate with the Pristina government; and Serbia still refuses to face up to the loss of sovereignty over Kosovo. Yet independence has not led to the predicted upsurge of ethnic violence and extremism. The region’s countries are moving steadily, if awkwardly, towards a new kind of unity as EU members. This includes Serbia, whose democratic government has already handed over Radovan Karadzic to The Hague and is committed to meeting its international obligations. Ultra-nationalists are marginalised, and the region has the opportunity of a future free of violence and despair.
The war in Kosovo was ultimately a question of whether the fall of the Berlin Wall would mark a return to the ethnic barbarism and power politics of the pre-cold war era, or a better phase in European history. That legacy has not been honoured as it should have been. Nevertheless, Kosovo should be remembered as an example of western nations using their power, however imperfectly, to do something good and necessary. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2009
(David Clark served as Europe adviser at the U.K.’s Foreign Office, 1997-2001.)

Source: The Hindu (

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lasantha Wickrematunge : "And Then They Came For Me "

Editorial of "The Sunday Leader" Sri Lanka ; dt : 11.1.2009

And Then They Came For Me
Lasantha Wickrematunge

No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives
for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In
the course of the past few years, the independent media have
increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print-media
institutions have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless
journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my
honour to belong to all those categories and now especially the last.

I have been in the business of journalism a good long time. Indeed,
2009 will be The Sunday Leader's 15th year. Many things have changed
in Sri Lanka during that time, and it does not need me to tell you
that the greater part of that change has been for the worse. We find
ourselves in the midst of a civil war ruthlessly prosecuted by
protagonists whose bloodlust knows no bounds. Terror, whether
perpetrated by terrorists or the state, has become the order of the
day. Indeed, murder has become the primary tool whereby the state
seeks to control the organs of liberty. Today it is the journalists,
tomorrow it will be the judges. For neither group have the risks ever
been higher or the stakes lower.

Why then do we do it? I often wonder that. After all, I too am a
husband, and the father of three wonderful children. I too have
responsibilities and obligations that transcend my profession, be it
the law or journalism. Is it worth the risk? Many people tell me it is
not. Friends tell me to revert to the bar, and goodness knows it
offers a better and safer livelihood. Others, including political
leaders on both sides, have at various times sought to induce me to
take to politics, going so far as to offer me ministries of my choice.
Diplomats, recognising the risk journalists face in Sri Lanka, have
offered me safe passage and the right of residence in their countries.
Whatever else I may have been stuck for, I have not been stuck for

But there is a calling that is yet above high office, fame, lucre and
security. It is the call of conscience.

The Sunday Leader has been a controversial newspaper because we say it
like we see it: whether it be a spade, a thief or a murderer, we call
it by that name. We do not hide behind euphemism. The investigative
articles we print are supported by documentary evidence thanks to the
public-spiritedness of citizens who at great risk to themselves pass
on this material to us. We have exposed scandal after scandal, and
never once in these 15 years has anyone proved us wrong or
successfully prosecuted us.

The free media serve as a mirror in which the public can see itself
sans mascara and styling gel. From us you learn the state of your
nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to
give your children a better future. Sometimes the image you see in
that mirror is not a pleasant one. But while you may grumble in the
privacy of your armchair, the journalists who hold the mirror up to
you do so publicly and at great risk to themselves. That is our
calling, and we do not shirk it.

Every newspaper has its angle, and we do not hide the fact that we
have ours. Our commitment is to see Sri Lanka as a transparent,
secular, liberal democracy. Think about those words, for they each has
profound meaning. Transparent because government must be openly
accountable to the people and never abuse their trust. Secular because
in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society such as ours, secularism
offers the only common ground by which we might all be united. Liberal
because we recognise that all human beings are created different, and
we need to accept others for what they are and not what we would like
them to be. And democratic... well, if you need me to explain why that
is important, you'd best stop buying this paper.

The Sunday Leader has never sought safety by unquestioningly
articulating the majority view. Let's face it, that is the way to sell
newspapers. On the contrary, as our opinion pieces over the years
amply demonstrate, we often voice ideas that many people find
distasteful. For example,  we have consistently espoused the view that
while separatist terrorism must be eradicated, it is more important to
address the root causes of terrorism, and urged government to view Sri
Lanka's ethnic strife in the context of history and not through the
telescope of terrorism. We have also agitated against state terrorism
in the so-called war against terror, and made no secret of our horror
that Sri Lanka is the only country in the world routinely to bomb its
own citizens. For these views we have been labelled traitors, and if
this be treachery, we wear that label proudly.

Many people suspect that The Sunday Leader has a political agenda: it
does not. If we appear more critical of the government than of the
opposition it is only because we believe that - pray excuse cricketing
argot - there is no point in bowling to the fielding side. Remember
that for the few years of our existence in which the UNP was in
office, we proved to be the biggest thorn in its flesh, exposing
excess and corruption wherever it occurred. Indeed, the steady stream
of embarrassing expos‚s we published may well have served to
precipitate the downfall of that government.

Neither should our distaste for the war be interpreted to mean that we
support the Tigers. The LTTE are among the most ruthless and
bloodthirsty organisations ever to have infested the planet. There is
no gainsaying that it must be eradicated. But to do so by violating
the rights of Tamil citizens, bombing and shooting them mercilessly,
is not only wrong but shames the Sinhalese, whose claim to be
custodians of the dhamma is forever called into question by this
savagery, much of which is unknown to the public because of

What is more, a military occupation of the country's north and east
will require the Tamil people of those regions to live eternally as
second-class citizens, deprived of all self respect. Do not imagine
that you can placate them by showering "development" and
"reconstruction" on them in the post-war era. The wounds of war will
scar them forever, and you will also have an even more bitter and
hateful Diaspora to contend with. A problem amenable to a political
solution will thus become a festering wound that will yield strife for
all eternity. If I seem angry and frustrated, it is only because most
of my countrymen - and all of the government - cannot see this writing
so plainly on the wall.

It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while
on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. Despite the
government's sanctimonious assurances, there was never a serious
police inquiry into the perpetrators of these attacks, and the
attackers were never apprehended. In all these cases, I have reason to
believe the attacks were inspired by the government. When finally I am
killed, it will be the government that kills me.

The irony in this is that, unknown to most of the public, Mahinda and
I have been friends for more than a quarter century. Indeed, I suspect
that I am one of the few people remaining who routinely addresses him
by his first name and uses the familiar Sinhala address oya when
talking to him. Although I do not attend the meetings he periodically
holds for newspaper editors, hardly a month passes when we do not
meet, privately or with a few close friends present, late at night at
President's House. There we swap yarns, discuss politics and joke
about the good old days. A few remarks to him would therefore be in
order here.

Mahinda, when you finally fought your way to the SLFP presidential
nomination in 2005, nowhere were you welcomed more warmly than in this
column. Indeed, we broke with a decade of tradition by referring to
you throughout by your first name. So well known were your commitments
to human rights and liberal values that we ushered you in like a
breath of fresh air. Then, through an act of folly, you got yourself
involved in the Helping Hambantota scandal. It was after a lot of
soul-searching that we broke the story, at the same time urging you to
return the money. By the time you did so several weeks later, a great
blow had been struck to your reputation. It is one you are still
trying to live down.

You have told me yourself that you were not greedy for the presidency.
You did not have to hanker after it: it fell into your lap. You have
told me that your sons are your greatest joy, and that you love
spending time with them, leaving your brothers to operate the
machinery of state. Now, it is clear to all who will see that that
machinery has operated so well that my sons and daughter do not
themselves have a father.

In the wake of my death I know you will make all the usual
sanctimonious noises and call upon the police to hold a swift and
thorough inquiry. But like all the inquiries you have ordered in the
past, nothing will come of this one, too. For truth be told, we both
know who will be behind my death, but dare not call his name. Not just
my life, but yours too, depends on it.

Sadly, for all the dreams you had for our country in your younger
days, in just three years you have reduced it to rubble. In the name
of patriotism you have trampled on human rights, nurtured unbridled
corruption and squandered public money like no other President before
you. Indeed, your conduct has been like a small child suddenly let
loose in a toyshop. That analogy is perhaps inapt because no child
could have caused so much blood to be spilled on this land as you
have, or trampled on the rights of its citizens as you do. Although
you are now so drunk with power that you cannot see it, you will come
to regret your sons having so rich an inheritance of blood. It can
only bring tragedy. As for me, it is with a clear conscience that I go
to meet my Maker. I wish, when your time finally comes, you could do
the same. I wish.

As for me, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I walked tall and
bowed to no man. And I have not travelled this journey alone. Fellow
journalists in other branches of the media walked with me: most of
them are now dead, imprisoned without trial or exiled in far-off
lands. Others walk in the shadow of death that your Presidency has
cast on the freedoms for which you once fought so hard. You will never
be allowed to forget that my death took place under your watch. As
anguished as I know you will be, I also know that you will have no
choice but to protect my killers: you will see to it that the guilty
one is never convicted. You have no choice. I feel sorry for you, and
Shiranthi will have a long time to spend on her knees when next she
goes for Confession for it is not just her owns sins which she must
confess, but those of her extended family that keeps you in office.

As for the readers of The Sunday Leader, what can I say but Thank You
for supporting our mission. We have espoused unpopular causes, stood
up for those too feeble to stand up for themselves, locked horns with
the high and mighty so swollen with power that they have forgotten
their roots, exposed corruption and the waste of your hard-earned tax
rupees, and made sure that whatever the propaganda of the day, you
were allowed to hear a contrary view. For this I - and my family -
have now paid the price that I have long known I will one day have to
pay. I am - and have always been - ready for that. I have done nothing
to prevent this outcome: no security, no precautions. I want my
murderer to know that I am not a coward like he is, hiding behind
human shields while condemning thousands of innocents to death. What
am I among so many? It has long been written that my life would be
taken, and by whom. All that remains to be written is when.

That The Sunday Leader will continue fighting the good fight, too, is
written. For I did not fight this fight alone. Many more of us have to
be - and will be - killed before The Leader is laid to rest. I hope my
assassination will be seen not as a defeat of freedom but an
inspiration for those who survive to step up their efforts. Indeed, I
hope that it will help galvanise forces that will usher in a new era
of human liberty in our beloved motherland. I also hope it will open
the eyes of your President to the fact that however many are
slaughtered in the name of patriotism, the human spirit will endure
and flourish. Not all the Rajapakses combined can kill that.

People often ask me why I take such risks and tell me it is a matter
of time before I am bumped off. Of course I know that: it is
inevitable. But if we do not speak out now, there will be no one left
to speak for those who cannot, whether they be ethnic minorities, the
disadvantaged or the persecuted. An example that has inspired me
throughout my career in journalism has been that of the German
theologian, Martin Niem"ller. In his youth he was an anti-Semite and
an admirer of  Hitler. As Nazism took hold in Germany, however, he saw
Nazism for what it was: it was not just the Jews Hitler sought to
extirpate, it was just about anyone with an alternate point of view.
Niem"ller spoke out, and for his trouble was incarcerated in the
Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945, and
very nearly executed. While incarcerated, Niem"ller wrote a poem that,
from the first time I read it in my teenage years, stuck hauntingly in
my mind:

First they came for the Jews

           and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

           and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

           and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

           and there was no one left to speak out for me.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: The Leader is there for
you, be you Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, low-caste, homosexual, dissident
or disabled. Its staff will fight on, unbowed and unafraid, with the
courage to which you have become accustomed. Do not take that
commitment for granted.  Let there be no doubt that whatever
sacrifices we journalists make, they are not made for our own glory or
enrichment: they are made for you. Whether you deserve their sacrifice
is another matter. As for me, God knows I tried.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, If you are young at heart......

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If youre young at heart
For its hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If youre young at heart

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on its way

Dont you know that its worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart
For as rich as you are its much better by far
To be young at heart

And if you should survive to 105
Look at all youll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

And if you should survive to 105
Look at all youll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

Friday, November 7, 2008

Paulo Coelho on 'Progresive Writers'

Paulo Coelho on 'Progresive Writers'
(from the preface of 'Like the Flowing River')

a) A writer always wears glasses and never combs his hair. KAlf the
time he feels angry about everything and the other half he depressed.
He spends most of his life in bars, arguing with other dishevelled,
bespectacled writers. He says very 'deep' things. He always has
amazing ideas for the plot of his next novel, and hates the one he has
just published.

b) A writer has a duty and an obligation never to be understood by his
own generation ; convinced, as he is. that he has been born into an
age of mediocrity, he belives that being understood would mean loosing
his chance of ever being considered a genius. A writer revises and
rewrites eacj sentance many times. The voabulary if the average man is
made up of 3,000 words ; a real writer never uses any of these,
because there are another 1,89.000 in the dictonary, and he is not the
average man.

c) Only other writers can understand what a writer is trying to say.
Even so, he secretly hates all other wirters, because they are alwyas
jockeying for the same vacancies left by the history of literature
over the centuries. And so the writer and his peers compete for the
'most complicated book' : the one who wins will be the one who has
succeeded in being the most difficult to read.

d) A writer understands about things with alarming names, like
seminotics, epistomology, neoconcretism. When he wants to shock
someone, he says things like : 'Einstein is a fool', or 'Tostoy was
the clown of the bourgeoisie'. Everyone is scandalised, but they
neverthless go and tell other people that the theory of relativity is
bunk, and that Tolstoy was a defender of the Russian aristocracy.
e)When trying to seduce women, a writer says : 'I'm a writer', and
scribbles a poem on a napkin. It always works.

f) Given his vast culture, a writer can always get work as a literary
critic. In that role, he can show generosity by writing about his
freinds' books. Half of any such reviews are made up of quotations
from foreign authors and other half of analysis of sentances, alwyas
using expressions such as 'the epistemological cut', or 'an integrated
bi-dimensional vision of life'. Anyone reading the reviews will say
:'What a cultivated person', but he won't buy the book because he will
be afraid he might not know how to continue reading when the
epistemological cut appears.

g)When invited to say what he is reading at the moment, a writer
always mentions a book no one has ever heard of.

h)There is oonly one book that arouses the unanimous admiration of the
writer and his peers : Ulysess by James Joyce. No writer will ever
speak ill of this book, but when someone asks him about what it is all
about, he can't quite explain, making one doubt that he has actually
read it.

From the preface of 'Like the Flowing River'

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

some questions about Islamic interpretations

Some questions about Islamic interpretations
There is lot of confusion and misundertandning about Islam. Most people are not able to differenctiate between Islamic concepts and 'Muslims'. Theory is different from those who call themselves followers of those concepts. Same with communism, Chrisitianity, Buddhism, etc.

Interepretations of Koran varies and many chauvinsits intrepret it to suit their agenda, esp regarding to women's rights, marriage laws, etc.

and liberation movements in Palenstine, Chechenya and Bosnia are confused with religious fanatisim. The media did not correctly portray the very pertinanet statement of Bin Laden after 9/11 : ".. the Amercians will know no peace until the Palestinians do..." He is not crazy to attack his onetime mentor,
during the Afgan war against USSR.

I have deep respect and regard for all religious concepts and literature. only i am weary of the interpretations by bigots.

some questions and points :

1.Sachar committe report about the real conditions of Indian Muslims is true enough. but they and their insular leaders are mainly responsible for their status. Family planning, importance of education, esp in English and local languages (not Arabic in Madarassas, which is as useful as learing only Sanskrit) are not stressed. dogmatic attitude has made the typical muslim household with more than 3 children ; with low incomes large families cannot be pulled out of the cycle of poverty and backwardness.

2.Women's rights, esp reg divocrce, property rights are not fair. Triple talak, etc. My question is if Muslims want to follow the Shariath law instead of a uniform civil code, then what about Criminal law ? if there is a criminal offence aginst or by a muslim, why not shariat be used (like in Saudi) ; public flogging and stoning to death, etc.
If they can accept IPC for criminal offences, then what prevents them accepting a uniform civil code ? i think it is the male chauvinsitic agenda of the insular leaders...

3. Haj subsidy : the govt spends some Rs.250 crores every year to subsidise Haj pilgrimage. It is highly 'unsecular' and foolish.
I remember reading that the muslim tradition asks only those who can afford to go on Haj. and this 250 crores p.a can be exclusively used to build and operate free hospitals and schools in muslim areas. it will be most useful.

Chennai - 96  

Sunday, October 14, 2007

தொலைவிலிருந்து பார்க்கும் போது, நீ என் நண்பனைப் போல் தோன்றுகிறாய்.....

எனக்கு மிகவும் பிடித்த ஒரு ஆங்கில பாட்டின் தமிழாக்கம் :

....தொலைவிலிருந்து பார்க்கும் போது நீ என் நண்பனைப் போல் தோன்றுகிறாய், ஆனால் நாம் யுத்த களத்தில் இருக்கிரோம்.

தொலைவிலிருந்து பார்க்கும் போது இந்த யுத்தம் எதற்க்கு என்று எனக்கு புரியவிலை..


(Julie Gold)

From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow-capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flight

From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace
It's the voice of every man

From a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
There are no guns, no bombs, no diseases
No hungry mouths to feed

From a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of home, playing songs of peace
They're the songs of every man
God is watching us, God is watching us
God is watching us from a distance

From a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance I can't comprehend
What all this war is for

From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves
It's the heart of every man

It's the hope of hopes, It's the love of loves
It's the song of every man 

Saturday, October 6, 2007

a treasured possesion

To : Thriru Sujatha

Dear Sir,

"Enadu Ninavugal" by Kovai Ayyamuthu (1898-1975)
is a remarkable autobiography of a remarakble
personality. Freedom fighter, Gandhian, poet,
writer-director,entreupreuner and agriculturist,
whose career took many turns. Served in WW 1 in Iraq,
worked in Rangoon, became a mechant in Coimbatore ;
after hearing Gandhiji's call, joinned Congress
and established Kadar movement in Tirupur
and TN ; was collegue of EVR,C.S and Kamaraj and
Kalki Sadasivam in 1930s and 40s.(jailed in Vaikom

And was a sisya of Rajaji till the end. Helped
establish the Gandhi Ashram near Tiruchengode in 1925.
Quaerelled with Gandhiji over an issue and resigned
from Khadi movement in 1942 and went on to become a
successful trader and businessman in Coimbatore ;
wrote and directed the film "Kanchan" in 1947 at
Coimbatore Central Studios (jupiter films) ; and
finally settled down as agriculturist near Pollachi
in 1950. N.Mahalingam was his sisya.Subsequently
joined Swatanta party under Rajaji.
Worked tirelessly till the end.

His book continues to inspire me and i treasure it.

Thanks & Regards

Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect. Join Yahoo!'s user panel and lay it on us.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

God, dharma, human logic, astrology and life ; Maughum's Razor's Edge, etc

To : Thiru Sujatha Rangarajan

Dear Sir,

Hindu concepts of transmigration of soul, rebirth
can be used to justify or rationalise the unfairness
of life on earth. God' dharma or ethics is
incomprehensible to our human logic. Good people
suffer needlessly while evil people flourish and die
peacefully. so it seems. In Astrology, the fifth house
denotes prevoius births or purva punya sthanam.
And our current life and events are based on tallying
the good/bad things we had done in prevoius births.

Only if we can understand or accept such logic can we
justify or rationalise life's contradictions and

Hope you must have read Razor's Edge by your favourite
author Somerset Maughaum, based on Ramanar and India.
It is his most important work. Pls re-read Larry's
experiences and inferences again. About Godliness
and human life and soul.

Also R.K.Narayan's auto-biography "My Days" and
semi-autobiographical novel "English Teacher"  are
important books about tranmigration of soul. he says he
established contact with his late wife (who passed
away in 1939) ; and he is not unscientific.

Astrology, as in weekly predictions or sun-signs are
generalised and can be quite inaccurate. Only a
correct interpretation of horoscope can give accurate results
and analysis. The character of an individual, his
strenghts and weakness, biases , health, appearance
,etc can be predicted accurately in our Indian
methods. Pls try to meet Thiru.A.M.R of Kumudam
jodhidam for a discussion. Or you can enquire about
his merits and accomplishments with your contacts at
Kumudam office, etc. You may be in for a surprise.

I am from a DK background, but now an ametuer
astrologer ; and can understand many facets or life
and humans better now.

more later

Sincerely Yours

Monday, August 6, 2007

Vedic society and equality

The Editor,
The Astrlogical Magazine,

Dear Sir / Madam,

Subject: Vedic society and equality

Time and again you have upheld the lofty character and the superiority of the
vedas. I am a Hindu and a beliver. I have a smattering knowledge about our religion -
mostly through the English translations.I am a Sudra, one who was declared unfit to
have the sacred knowledge and to learn sanskrit. I have a few questions ; I don't insist
on your reply. But please try to honestly answer these questions to yourself. Of course
this needs a bit of courage.

1. Do you believe in the equality of humans - not as some theoretical ideal as prescribed
in Manisha Panchaka but as a everyday fact of life - the absolute equality of humans
before God, that everyone is entitled to pray, to reach God, to read the sacred literature,
irrespective of their social status ?

2. Do you believe that salvation is possible to all - Hindus, Muslims, Christians & Jews ;
Brahmana, Vaishya, Kshatrya, Sudra and Panchama ? That birth and social status
doesn't disqualify anyone from reaching the supreme knowledge ?

3. What are the steps that you have taken to propagate the sacred knowledge found in the
Vedas ? Any Christian who can read, can read the Bible in his own mother tongue.Have
you ever tried to translate noble portions of Vedas into Kannada, to begin with ?

4. Do you believe that the sacredness of the Vedas would be lost in the translation ? The
medieval Church believed that only the Latin Bible was sacred - even though the Bible was
written originally in Hebrew - and it should not be translated. If you believe so, what are
the steps you have taken to spread Sanskrit among us the Indians so that we can learn
the Vedas as they are ?

5. Can you deny that for centuries this Sanskrit was not taught to Sudras and Panchamas,
even though foreigners like Alberuni (11th Century), William Jones (18th Century) and
Max Mueller were allowed to learn it ? Max Mueller was able to learn the Vedas, but not
the Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, Sudras or the Panchamas. Why ? Does it mean that Panchamas
and Sudras are inferior to Milechas ?

We were prevented from learning Sanskrit and the Vedas, and now you ask us to
appreciate their wisdom.This is like asking somebody to appreciate a painting he had
never seen, not even in photo, just because some scholar thinks it is the greatest painting
in the world.

The white races conquered the Americas,captured most of Asia, sold the Africans into
slavery,exploited them ruthlessly,exterminated the Red Indians and the Australian natives,
and impoverished India, China and numerous other countries.But even they acknowledged,
at least in theory,that all men are created equal.(Please remember Purusha Sukta).

6. If a Vedic dictum runs contrary to the spirit of our times, which shall prevail ?

7. It had been held that while the Srutis are eternal, Smritis are subject to the effects of
time. Hence, the smritis must be revised to suit the times. What steps have been taken
in this direction ?

8. What shall be the basis of our society in future - Chaturvarna -reformed and refined, or
equality as assured by our constitution ? Please do not obfuscate.

The Celebrated Manu had provided a very nice escape route from the inconvenient questions
of ignorant busybodies like me. He had ruled that a Sudra (me ! ) who presumes to teach a
Brahmin (need not say who ! ) should be "shown his place". Unfortunately these Whites
had overthrown the Sacred Order of our Society and started off thousands of Sudras like me.

Under the old system (the Sacred Varna) I 'd be eking out a miserable living as an
illiterate artisan and you would be content to call it my karma, and would not educate me.
The modern education had enabled me to stand up like a man, to earn a living suitable to my
intellectual capacity, not to feel inferior or superior to anybody and to seek the truth for myself
instead of depending on a priestly class.Now, which system, do you think will get my undying
loyalty and vociferous support ? Why ?

The Western society is plagued by many social evils - juvenile delinquency, single parents,
violence, high divorce rates and others. But let us not presume that we can show them the way -
with our untouchability, dowry deaths, caste violence, rigid caste system, and people who still
think all men are not equal and women are certainly inferior.

The West has nothing to teach us in religion and philosophy, but we have everything to learn
about liberty, equality and that doctrine totally alien to us, fraternity. Please do not quote -
" Vasudeva Kudumbakam". The Sudras and Panchamas were not family members of that
Kudumbakam, but helpless servants.

I am yet to see one Hindu religious head who upholds the equality of humans,says that the
smrithis must be revised, accepts that some excesses had happened under Chaturvarna, that
untouchablity is not suitable to our times and proclaims that everyone is entitled to study the
Vedas. When we are considered not even humans,why should someone care for our support ?
Only some miracle had prevented a wholesale exodus of Hindu masses to Islam and Christianity.
(May be the sudras felt that thir "Superiors" will follow them there also and continue to be the
"Superiors" ! This what happened to Budhism and led to its downfall). But that does not mean
that every Hindu is swallowing all the half baked theories of their "Superiors".

Unless and until the guardians of the old order really regret the mistakes of the past,accept that
equality shall be the basis of our future society and teach the sacred knowledge to all deserving
people, more and more Indians will repudiate the Vedas, on which the old order claimed it was
based. Let charity begin at home. May He lead us all to wisdom and enlightenment.

Om Tat Sat.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Palestine and US follies

Dondu sir,

If Bin Laden wants to target Christianity, he would have attacked the Vatican first. He was
supported and sponsored by US during the cold war ; in Afhagnistan. (so was Saddam to contain Iran). Bin laden is neither
crazy nor a fool to turn aginst US for religious reasons. I had quoted his statement after 9/11.
US paid a dear price for its folly.
Germany will never be targeted by any terrorists because after learning a bitter lesson in WW 2, they have kept themselves aloof from all world affairs and remain low profile and neutral..

I too admire Israel for its acheivemnts and courage under adversity. and their economic miracle and ingenuity is great. they invented the drip irrigation and many innovative methods.
all this until 1990s.

now they are a powerful and arrogant bully who never learnt to make peace. Pls read about the peace movements within Isreal and the opinion of many Isrealis.
those 3 mossad chief's were realistic and pragmatic ; they never have any political ambitions.
and Sharon, the crafty politician who unleashed the current intifida to save his career is now in coma for over a year. karma vinay and ool vinai...he has the blood of thousands in his hands.

hopefully the recent debacle of attacking Lebnon and the conflict within PLA (hamas vs fatah) has made a unstable peace and makes the road map for peace a bit easy...

and US has a talent for creating a severe headache for itself and the world after spending a trillion dollars !!. Remember its Viatnam adventure. And Iraq (and esp arming Saddam in the 80s). They are somewhat crazy.

The only US (and NATO) action that
i wholeheartedly support was their
bombing of Serbia in 1999 to stop the Serbian genocide of mulims in
Bosnia. but for NATO bombing the
genocide would have continued.
US should have used the Bosnian
muslims it saved as a propoganda
weapon against 'Islamic' terrorits.


demillitarisation of Kashmir

an excellent suggestion. must be implemented at the earliest.

reminds me of another thing: regarding how to control islamic terrorism, somebody suggested that the rulers of the middle east , pakistan, etc should not be allowed to send their children to settle or work in the western countries. then they will be forced to improve their countries for their children's sake at least!

even osama's niece is in europe! i am sure that the kashmiri elites of all hues have sent away their children to safety, as had done our LTTE chief!

i wish all the very best for the people who support these leaders and make their children's future unsafe.

Athiyaman Karur R wrote

Dear Sir,

Reduction of troops in Kashmir can begin with
the withdrawl of special forces of security for
former CM Mufti Mohamad Sayeed and his family.
May be then, he may change his stand.



arguments thru emails

Dear shantha,

I am fine and rains are wreaking havoc here.

We shall continue our debates thru mails
which is better than even face to face
arguments. Impersonal and unemotional...

one more : why did Dawood Ibrahim mastermind
Mumbai blasts at a great personal risk.
Hitherto he was a hardened criminal after
money and power ; but he was never an idealist
like the suicide bombers of Jihadists.
Ans : revenge for the pograms against
muslims in the aftermath of babri masjid
demolitions in jan 03.

Unless and until Palestine and Kashmir
issues are settled amicable and demcratically,
(also US should get out of middle east while
Isreal should pull back, make peace and
recognise Palestinian statehood), Islamic
'terrorism' will never end.

I agree that jihad elements are insular
and fanatics and do no belive or understand
democracy or secular ideals. But the monstor
has been created by US, Isreal and stubborn
Indian govt which holds on to Kashmir at
all costs.

during partition in 1947, Punjab and Bengal
were divided by a surgical operation. The
same logic should have applied to J n Kashmir.
the muslim majority Kashmir should have gone
to Pakistan (the K in Pakistan (acronymn)
stands for Kashmir) while we should have
retained Hindu majority Jammu. this
unfinished business of partition is still
haunting us and cost dear...

did you read Tavleen Singh's account about
Kashmir that i had sent ?

see you later.



Dear Shiva,

I too is a Gandhi buff. Was fortunate
enough to visit Sabarmathi Ashram at
Ahamadabad in 1988. Spent some hours
there reliving the past...

And i couldn't control my tears when
i first visited Raj Ghat in Delhi in 1992.
Same at Birla Hosue at where i bought the
book "Gandhi" movie screeplay ; it is
a remarkable screeplay, better than the

He was a great man but still had his
defects and blunders, esp in his personal
life. His fanatic belief is naturopathy
made him stop the rare Pencillin injection
for his very sick wife in 1944 at Pune
prison. the British had specially flown
in the medicine from war torn UK. But
without the injection Ba died and he
was forlorn with greif and guilt....
Also his experiments with his grand nieces
were unneccessary and unscientific...

I have a biography of him by Vincent
Sheean (Lead Kindly Light) and another
one by Louis Fisher, apart from
Sathya Sothanai.

And i am an ardent fan of Rajaji who was
a close friend, associate and sambandhi
of Gandhiji. I try to read all the works of
Rajaji. His "Sathyameva Jeyathe" collection
of 4 volumes from his journal Swarajya is
a must read for us. His vison and depth
are peerless ; he is easily the greatest
leader and visonary of our times. His
warnings about pseudo socialism and
'license, permit, quota' raj are

I treausre an autobiography of Kovai
Ayyamutu (1898-1977) who was a sisya of
Rajaji and Gandhiji. He was a freedom fighter,
established Khadar movement in Tirupur ;
was a writer, poet and movie director ;
an entreupreuner and agriculturist and
finally an active memeber of Swathanthra
Party. He was a collegue and friend of
EVR Periyar in Vaikam movement in 20s.
Served in army in Baghdad in 1918..
I re-read this book once in a while for
inspiration. Kamaraj, C.Subramaniam,
G.D.Naidu and EVR's activities and anecedotes
are there....

Hope you have read JJ Sila Kuripugal of
Nagarkovil SuRa.

Also i was a fan of Writer Sujatha and have
read almost all his works. Met him twice
and regulaly chat with him every saturady
thru a versatile writer who
has been under rated.

ok. see you later.


Humour Trapped !!

Humour Trapped !!
1. Our complainant, who was working as a wireless operator in Motor Transport Section of Mumbai Police, came to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and lodged a complaint that his in-charge Hawaldar was demanding money for showing favor in the matter of distribution of duties. A trap was laid at the quarters of the said hawaldar. He was sleeping in the room. He woke up, accepted the bribe of Rs. 500, kept the bribe, amount under his pillow and again went to sleep! The Hawaldar had to be woken up and told that this was a trap from the Anti - Corruption Bureau. He pleaded that he was sleeping and that he was not aware as to who had kept the said amount under his pillow. However, this was untrue as the entire transaction had taken place in presence of independent witnesses.
2. A complainant lodged a complaint with us against a Mukadam of M - Ward, BMC, Mumbai, of a bribe demand of Rs. 1500. A trap was laid at the office of the M - Ward, BMC. Some of the raiding party members went to the second floor along with the complainant and the witnesses, while the remaining raiding party were waiting in front of the office near a Pan shop. The Mukadam met the complainant and asked him to accompany him outside the BMC office. They came to the same pan shop where the remaining members of the raiding party were waiting! The Mukadam asked for a paper bag from the pan shop owner and after blowing into the bag, he asked our complainant to drop the bribe inside the bag in the presence of entire raiding party! Thereafter, he was trapped. ( Normally we find it very difficult to get the raiding party to witness the bribe taking, since the bribe taker takes precautions.) At that time, he was aged about 57 years and 11 months and was to retire in a month's time. The Mukadam was convicted by the Court.
3. A complainant telephoned to the ACB office and informed that one Rationing official was demanding Rs. 50 from him for not deleting the name of his deceased father from the Ration Card saying that " Mare Huain Aadmi ke Naam Pe Ration khate Ho, Tumhare Upar main Case kar Doonga " ( You are taking the Rations of a dead man. I will register a case against you. ) The complainant was asked to come to ACB for lodging his complaint, but he could not come, as the Rationing officer insisted on immediate payment of the bribe. Our complainant wisely made a photo copy of the Fifty Rupee note he was going to pay as bribe to the Rationing official. Complainant also had another work of change of his residential address for which the same Rationing Officer demanded another bribe of Rs. 200. The complainant came to ACB the next day and lodged his complaint. A trap was laid at the kandivli Rationing Office and the Rationing official was trapped while accepting Rs. 200. During his personal search, another Rs. 50 was found in his pant pocket and which was the same that had been accepted by him on the earlier day!
4. A complainant came to ACB for lodging a complaint of demand of bribe against a an official of the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai. The Addl. DCP, ACB asked one of the ACsP of the Bureau to record the complaint and lay a trap. The ACP told the Addl. DCP that he was busy in some other matter and had no time for a fresh case. Ultimately, the Addl. DCP entrusted this work to one of the Police Inspectors of the Bureau. A trap was laid at the BMC office and the BMC official was trapped while accepting a bribe of Rs. 4500. When the BMC official was detained, he immediately disclosed that his son - in law is an ACP and is serving with Anti - Corruption Bureau. We were surprised to learn that that he was the same ACP to whom this trap has been entrusted earlier!!
5. Our complainant who was a policeman attached to the Sakinaka Police Station came to ACB to logged a complaint against a Junior Engineer of BMC L - Ward, Kurla, who was demanding a bribe of Rs. 17000 for showing favor in not demolishing the complainant's home. A Brihan Mumbai Muncipal Corporation Engineer was demanding bribe from a Policeman - a custodian of Law! A trap was laid at BMC L - ward office and the Engineer and his assistant were trapped. The Engineer was later convicted in the Court of Law.
6. Our complainant had approached a clerk in Tahsildar Office, Mulund and submitted an application for obtaining copy of the Electoral Roll, for which the official fee was Re.1. The clerk, however, demanded Rs. 200. Our complainant tried bargaining to reduce the amount of bribe but the clerk insisted on getting Rs. 200. The complainant reluctantly agreed to pay Rs. 200. At the same time, a neighboring lady clerk also demanded Rs. 200 saying "Mera Kya " ( What about me ) as she would also be doing part of the work!! The complainant approached ACB and a trap was laid at the Tahsildar office, Mulund and both these clerks were trapped while accepting Rs. 200 each. The case ended in conviction in Court.
7. A complainant lodged a complaint with ACB against a Police Sub Inspector attached to Pydhonie Police Station regarding demand of bribe of Rs. 4000=00. The surprising modus operandi of accepting the bribe was that the Sub Inspector gave our complainant a credit slip of his Bank and instructed him to deposit Rs. 4000 in his account! The officer filled in the details in the credit slip and after duly signing the same, handed it over to the complainant! After the complainant deposited the said amount in the bank, the PSI was trapped. He was convicted by the Court.
8.A complainant came to ACB and lodged a complaint against a Judicial Clerk for demand of bribe of Rs. 100 for issuing him a copy of the Judgment Order. The trap was laid in the premises of the Court. At the time of the trap, the Court typist and peon were also present in the vicinity. The complainant was about to pay Rs. 100 ( 10 currency notes of Rs. 10 ) to the Judicial Clerk, when the typist and the peon intervened saying " Hamara Kya" ( What about us ) to the complainant, who then had to distribute the trap amount Rs. 50 to the Judicial Clerk, Rs. 30 to typist and Rs. 20 to the peon! After this trap, the Court's work came to a stand still as there was nobody to assist the Honorable Magistrate!
9. A complainant came to ACB and lodged a complaint against a Junior Security Officer attached to F - South Ward, BMC for demand of bribe of Rs. 1500=00. When the trap was laid at his office, the officer was not present in his cabin. On enquiry, it was learnt, that the said officer was busy in a meeting with the Ward officer, in which the topic for discussion was "Prevention of Corruption in BMC" !! The complainant gave an intimation through a BMC Security Guard about his arrival, where upon the Security Officer came out, leaving the meeting with permission, and accepted bribe from the complainant!! He was trapped.
10. A complainant who is a hotelier and builder came to the ACB office and lodged a complaint of demand of bribe of Rs. 40, 000 by a Senior Police Inspector. During Pre - trap panchanama, the said Senior Inspector telephoned our complainant and demanded not only Rs. 40,000 but also a flat!. The complainant requested the officer to reduce the bribe amount, whereupon Inspector said " Paise Ka Baat Telephone Par Pe kar ke Mujhe Mar Do Ge Kya" ( By talking of money on the telephone, will you trap me ? ) The conversation was duly recorded by ACB officials. A trap was laid at the Police Station. He was, however, not present in his office chamber. The complainant approached his orderly, who rang up the officer at his residence. The Inspector told his orderly on telephone " Paise Jast Aahet, Lafda Nako, Room Madhye Thevu Nako, Baju Chya Dukandara Kade Thev " ( The money is large. I do not want any hassle. Don't keep it in the room. Keep it with the shop keeper next door. ) Accordingly, complainant handed over the bribe of Rs. 40, 000 to his orderly, who then kept that amount in the neighboring shop. The Senior Police Inspector, his orderly and the shop keeper were arrested.

a treasured possesion

To : Thriru Sujatha

Dear Sir,

"Enadu Ninavugal" by Kovai Ayyamuthu (1898-1975)
is a remarkable autobiography of a remarakble
personality. Freedom fighter, Gandhian, poet,
writer-director,entreupreuner and agriculturist,
whose career took many turns. Served in WW 1 in Iraq,
worked in Rangoon, became a mechant in Coimbatore ;
after hearing Gandhiji's call, joinned Congress
and established Kadar movement in Tirupur
and TN ; was collegue of EVR,C.S and Kamaraj and
Kalki Sadasivam in 1930s and 40s.(jailed in Vaikom

And was a sisya of Rajaji till the end. Helped
establish the Gandhi Ashram near Tiruchengode in 1925.
Quaerelled with Gandhiji over an issue and resigned
from Khadi movement in 1942 and went on to become a
successful trader and businessman in Coimbatore ;
wrote and directed the film "Kanchan" in 1947 at
Coimbatore Central Studios (jupiter films) ; and
finally settled down as agriculturist near Pollachi
in 1950. N.Mahalingam was his sisya.Subsequently
joined Swatanta party under Rajaji.
Worked tirelessly till the end.

His book continues to inspire me and i treasure it.

Thanks & Regards

Kamaraj, the 'kingmaker'

To : Mr.Ramachandra Guha

Dear Sir,

With regards to your article in Hindu :

Kamaraj was no doubt a great and honest leader and
freedom fighter. But he was not as noble or inncoent
as generally viewed by the masses. He (and the
syndicate) wanted to hold the levers of power behind
the screens. But for his efforts, Indira Gandhi would
never have been accepted as PM by Congressmen.

After Shastri's death, Morarji Desai was the tallest
and ablest leader ; honest and independent ;
Kamaraj and the syndicate feared that if Morarji
became PM, then they cannot control him ; so he
proposed Indira (a new face and young women), whom he
wrongly belived, can be controlled and maipulated from
behind the screens. Unfortunately for him, Indira Gandhi
turned out to be different and was ungrateful to him and
outmaouvered him ; subsequently he died a dis-illusioned
and unhappy man in 1975.

Pls refer M.O.Mathai's "Reminesenses of Nehru age"
and "Crisis of Conscience" by Rajinder Puri for more

And India had to pay a very dear price for the 17
years of dictatorial and populistic rule of Indira Gandhi,
who over centralised power and destroyed the inner
characters of many public institutions. and economy
and public morals were wrecked for ever.


arguments with dondu sir about Palestine & Israel


Israel was fighting for its survival until the 80s and
the end of the cold war in 1991 changed the equations.
Since the Oslo accords, Israel missed many excellent
oppurtunities to make lasting peace with Palestinians.

Isaeli politicians are like our own
communal and caste based politicians. they whip up
mass hysteria to up their careers. Netaynhu (spelling
!!) was one such guy. In 2000 he purposely visted a
controverisial area and mosque to stir up the current
infitida. His politcal career was ending and he played
a machiavillian role to re-surrect it. Pls re-read
about that.

Israeli people are as naive and gullible and
ill-informed like us. Three former Mossad chief's had
issued a joint statement some years ago, condmening
the actions of Israeli politicians in perpetuating the
violence. They argued that many actions of the state
will create further rift and create more Palestinian
anger.These there men must be knowing the
ground reality better than anyone..

US (because of the short-sighted lobbying by its
powerful Jewish lobby) blindly supported whatever
Israel did ; vetoed many UN resolutions which were
fair and correct. Bin Laden, who was sponsored by US
in the 80s turned against US mainly because of this.
Religious feelings (Islamic terrorism) is a misnomer.
after 9/11 he declared that US will know no peace
until the Palestinians do.

In my opinion, both US and Isarel acted foolishly and
arrogantly and US paid a very dear price for its
folly. I am not justifying bin laden,etc nor do i
support the Palestinian PLA blindly. But if a people
feel that injustice is meted out to them and they have
nothing to loose but thier lives,
then no one can stop suicde bombers
and rebellion.

Until and unless Israel and US understand this, there
will be no solution. and recently one Israli ex-mossad
man had asked the Palestinian leadership to bypass the
Israel govt and go to the Israeli people directly for
peace talks. Live and let live should be the motto ;
and the entire Arab world is now ready to recognise
Israel if it can recognise Palestine state.

We praise our Bhagath Singh, Vanjinathan and Subash
Bose. They were 'terrorists' in the eyes of the
British. So who is correct ? one man's terrorist is
another man's freedom fighter..

But Palestinian leadership is corrupt and divided. and
they do not seem to understand and accept the core
values of democracy...

When will all this end ?

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Friday, May 25, 2007

a mail to Reader's Digest

From: <>
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2000 11:30 PM
Subject: content

Dear K.R.Athiyaman:

Thank you for your interest in Reader's Digest World and
for your response to some of our past articles. We appreciate
your taking the time to share your feedback as one of our
longtime subscribers. Comments like yours -- and those
from other readers -- give us useful insights into subjects
of importance to our readers. We will be certain to share
your views with our editorial staff.

We surely hope that despite your disappointment with
the focus of some of our material, you'll find much to enjoy
in upcoming issues. We're continually striving to bring a
wide variety of quality articles to our readers -- your
feedback here helps us plan those future issues. We are
pleased to learn you are an admirer of our publication.
Thank you for your support. Keep in touch

Sincerely yours,

The Editors



The Editor,
Readers Digest

Dear Sir,

I am a long time reader and admirer of RD.Most of the
articles are objective, informative and unbiased.

Since your political views are right of center (I have no
objection to them), you have published a number of articles
justifying the American involvement in the Vietnam war.
It is not an unbiased or neutral viewpoint.Millions of Americans
(including Bill Clinton) had opposed the war vehemently.

There can be no justification (moral or ideological)
for the war.Questions about National sovereignty and
human right violations are not raised in your columns.
Just imagine if Mexico or Argentina had intervened
similarly in the American civil war of 1860s!
That after all these years, RD still tries in vain to
justify the sordid chapter in American history is ironical.
But I support American actions in Yugoslavia and and
I am not a communist.

While you publish articles about the private lives of
Mao Tse Tung,Castro and other left wing dictators,
no word about the personal affairs of John.F.Kennedy,
who was equally bad in his abuse of women.
It is not an objective or unbiased viewpoint.

Anyway if you can correct these flaws, RD will
be a truly great magazine.

I have enclosed an article about the havoc wrecked
in India in the name of socialism.

Thanking You,

With Regards,





As it seems to be the opinion of some of the gentlemen who compose the Committee of Public Instruction, that the course which they have hitherto pursued was strictly prescribed by the British Parliament in 1813, and as, if that opinion be correct, a legislative act will be necessary to warrant a change, I have thought it right to refrain from taking any part in the preparation of the adverse statements which now before us, and to reserve what I had to say on the subject till it should come before me as a member of the Council of India.


It does not appear to me that the Act of Parliament can, by any art of construction, be made to bear the meaning which has been assigned to it. It contains nothing about the particular languages or sciences which are to be studied. A sum is set apart 'for the revival and promotion of literature and the encouragement of thelearned natives of India, and for the introduction and promotion of a knolwdge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories.' It is argued, or rather taken for granted, that by literature, the Parliament can have meant only Arabic and Sanscrit literature, that they never would have given the honorable appellation of 'a learned native' to a native who was familiar with the poetry of Milton, the Metaphysics of Locke, and the Physics of Newton; but that they meant to designate by that name only such persons as might have studied in the sacred books of the Hindoos all the uses of cusa-grass, and all the mysteries of absorption into the Deity. This does not appear to be a very satisfactory interpretation. To take a parallel case: suppose that the Pacha of Egypt, a country once superior in knowledge of the nations of Europe, but now sunk far below them, were to appropriate a sum for the purpose of 'reviving and promoting literature, and encouraging learned natives of Egypt,' would anybody infer that he meant the youth of his pachalic to give years to the study of hieroglyphics, to search into all the doctrines disguised under the fable of Osiris, and to ascertain with all possible accuracy the ritual with which cats and onions were anciently adored? Would he be justly charged with inconsistency, if, instead of employing his young subjects in deciphering obelisks, he were to order them to be instructed in the English and French languages, and in all the sciences to which those languages are the chief keys?


The words on which the supporters of the old system rely do not bear them out, and other words follow which seem to be quite decisive on the other side. This lac of rupees is set apart, not only for 'reviving literature in India,' the phrase on which their whole interpretation is founded, but also for 'the introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories,' -words which are alone sufficient to authorize all the changes for which I contend.

If the Council agree in my construction, no legislative act will be necessary. If they differ from me, I will prepare a short Act rescinding that clause of the Charter of 1813, from which the difficulty arises.


The argument which I have been considering, affects only the form of proceeding. But the admirers of the Oriental system of education have used another argument, which, if we admit it to be valid, is decisive against all change. They conceive that the public faith is pledged to the present system, and that to alter the appropriation of any of the funds which have hitherto been spent in encouraging the study of Arabic and Sanscrit, would be down-right spoliation. It is not easy to understand by what process of reasoning they can have arrived at this conclusion. The grants which are made from the public purse for the encouragement of literature differed in no respect from the grants which are made from the same purse for other objects of real or supposed utility. We found a sanatarium on a spot which we suppose to be healthy. Do we thereby pledge ourselves to keep a sanatarium there, if the result should not answer our expectation? We commence the erection of a pier. Is it a violation of the public faith to stop the works, if we afterwards see reason to believe that the building will be useless? The rights of property are undoubtedly sacred. But nothing endangers those rights so much as the practice, now unhappily too common, of attributing them to things which they do not belong. Those who impart to abuses the sanctity of property are in truth imparting to the institution of property the unpopularity and the fragility of abuses. If the Government has given to any person a formal assurance; nay, if the Government has excited in any person's mind a reasonable expectation that he shall receive a certain income as a teacher or a learner of Sanscrit or Arabic, I would respect that person's pecuniary interests-I would rather err on the side of liberality to individuals than suffer the public faith to be called in question. But to talk of a Government pledging itself to teach certain languages and certain sciences, though those languages may become useless, though those sciences may be exploded, seems to be quite unmeaning. There is not a single word in any public instructions, from which it can be inferred that the Indian Government ever intended to give any pledge on this subject, or ever considered the destination of these funds as unalterably fixed. But had it been otherwise, I should denied the competence of our predecessors to bind us by any pledge on such a subject. Suppose that a Government had in the last century enacted in the most solemn manner that all its subjects should, to the end of time, be inoculated for the small-pox: would that Government be bound to persist in the practice after Jenner's discovery? These promises of which nobody claims the performance, and from which nobody can grant a release; these vested rights, which vest in nobody; this property without proprietors; this robbery, which makes nobody poorer, may be comprehended by persons of higher faculties than mine. I consider this plea merely as a set form of words, regularly used both in England and in India, in defence of every abuse for which no other plea can be set up.

I hold this lac of rupees to be quite at the disposal of the Governor-General in Council, for the purpose of promoting learning in India , in any way which may be thought most advisable. I hold his Lordship to be quite as free to direct that it shall no longer be employed in encouraging Arabic and Sasnscrit, as he is to direct that the reward for killing tigers in Mysore shall be diminished, or that no more public money shall be expended on the chanting at the cathedral.


We now come to the gist of the matter. We have a fund to be employed as government shall direct for the intellectual improvement of the people of this country. The simple question is, what is the most useful way of employing it?

All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India, contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are, moreover, so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them. It seems to be admitted on all sides, that the intellectual improvement of those classes of the people who have the means of pursuing higher studies can at present be effected only by means of some language not vernacular amongst them.


What then shall that language be? One-half of the Committee maintain that it shouldbe the English. The other half strongly recommend the Arabic and Sanscrit. The whole question seems to me to be, which language is the best worth knowing?

I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. -But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed both here and at home with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the Oriental learning at the valuation of the Orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is, indeed, fully admitted by those members of the Committee who support the Oriental plan of education.

It will be hardly disputed, I suppose, that the department of literature in which the eastern writers with any Orientalist who ventured to maintain that the Arabic and Sanscrit poetry could be compared to that of the great European nations. But when we pass from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded, and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same.


How, then, stands the case? We have to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue. We must teach them some foreign language. The claims of our own language it is hardly necessary to recapitulate. It stands pre-eminent even among the languages of the west. It abounds with works of imagination not inferior to the noblest which Greece has bequeathed to us; with models of every species of eloquence; with historical compositions, which, considered merely as narratives, have seldom been surpassed, and which, considered as vehicles of ethical and political instruction, have never been equaled; with just and lively representations of human life and human nature; with the most profound speculations on metaphysics, morals, government, jurisprudence, and trade; with full and correct information respecting every experimental science which tends topreserve the health, to increase the comfort, or to expand the intellect of man. Whoever knows that language has ready access to all the vast intellectual wealth, which all th wisest nations of the earth have created and hoarded int 4he course of ninety generations. It may be safely said, that the literature now extant in that language is of far greater value than all the literature which three hundred years ago was extant in all the languages of the world together. Nor is this all. In India, English is the language spoken by the ruling class. It is spoken by the higher class of natives at the seats of Government. It is like to become the language of commerce throughout the seas of the East. It is the language of two great European communities which are raising, the one in south of Africa, the other in Australasia; communities which are every year becoming more important, and more closely connected with our Indian empire. Whether we look at the intrinsic value of our literature, or at the particular situation of this country, we shall see the strongest reason to think that, of all foreign tongues, the English tongue is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects.


The question now before us is simply whether, when it is in our power to teach this language, we shall teach languages, by which, by universal confession, there are not books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own; whether, when we can teach European science, we shall teach systems which, by universal confession, whenever they differ from those of Europe, differ for the worse; and whether, when we can patronise sound Philosophy and true History, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines, which would disgrace an English farrier, --Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school,--History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long,--and Geography, made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter.


We are not without experience to guide us. History furnishes several analogous cases, and they all teach the same lesson. There are in modern times, to go no further, two memorable instances of a great prejudices overthrown, --of knowledge diffused,--of taste purified,--of arts and sciences planted in countries which had =recently been ignorant and barbarous.

The first instance to which I refer, is the great revival of letters among the Western nations at the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. At that time almost every thing that was worth reading was contained in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Had our ancestors acted as the Committee of Public Instruction has hitherto acted; had they neglected the language of Cicero and Tacitus; had they confined their attention to the old dialects of our own island; had they printed nothing and taught nothing at the universities but Chronicles in Anglo-Saxon, and Romances in Norman-French, would England have been what she now is? What the Greek and Latin were to the contemporaries of More and Ascham, our tongue is to the people of India. The literature of England is now more valuable than that of classical antiquity. I doubt whether the Sanscrit literature be as valuable than that of classical antiquity. I doubt whether the Sanscrit literature be as valuable as that of our Saxon and Norman progenitors. In some departments, --in History, for example, I am certain that it is much less so.

Another instance may be said to be still before our eyes. Within the last hundred and twenty years, a nation which had previously been in a state as a barbarous as that in which our ancestors were before the crusades, has gradually emerged from the ignorance in which it was sunk, and has taken its place among civilized communities. -I speak of Russia. There is now in that country a large educated class, abounding with persons fit to serve the state in the highest functions, and in no wise inferior to the most accomplished men who adorn the best circles of Paris and London. There is reason to hope that this vast empire, which in the time of our grandfathers was probably behind the Punjab, may, in the time of our grandchildren, be pressing close to on France and Britain in the career of improvement. And how was this change effected? Not by flattering national prejudices: not by feeding the mind of the young Muscovite with the old women's stories which his rude fathers had believed: not by filling his head with lying legends about St. Nicholas: not by encouraging him to study the great question, whether the world was or was not created on the 13th of September: not by calling 'a learned native,' when he has mastered all these points of knowledge: but by teaching him those foreign languages in which the greatest mass of information had been laid up, and thus putting all that information within his reach. The languages of Western Europe civilized Russia. I cannot doubt that they will do for the Hindoo what they have done for the Tartar.


And what are the arguments against that course which seems to be alike recommended by theory and by experience? It is said that we ought to secure the co-operation of the native public, and that we can do this only by teaching Sanscrit and Arabic.

I can by no means admit that when a nation of high intellectual attainments undertakes to superintend the education of a nation comparatively ignorant, the learners are absolutely to prescribe the course which is to be taken by the teachers. It is not necessary, however, to say anything on this subject. For it is proved by unanswerable evidence that we are not at present securing the co-operation of the natives. It would be bad enough to consult their intellectual taste at the expense of their intellectual health. But we are consulting neither, -- we are withholding from them the learning for which they are craving, we are forcing on them the mock-learning which they nauseate.

This is proved by the fact that we are forced to pay our Arabic and Sanscrit students, while those who earn English are willing to pay us. All the declamations in the world about the love and reverence of the natives for their sacred dialects will never, in the mind of any impartial person, outweigh the undisputed fact, that we cannot find, in all our vast empire, a single student who will let us teach him those dialects unless we will pay him.

I have now before me the accounts of the Madrassa for one month, -- the month of December 1833. The Arabic students appear to have been seventy-seven in number. All receive stipends from the public. The whole amount paid to them is about 500 rupees a month. On the other side of the account stands the following item: Deduct amount realized from the out-students of English for the months of May, June and July last, 103 rupees.


I have been told that it is merely from want of local experience that I am surprised at these phenomena, and that it is not the fashion for students in India to study at their own charges. This only confirms me in my opinion. Nothing is more certain than that it never can in any part of the world be necessary to pay men for doing what they think pleasant and profitable. India is no exception to this rule. The people of India do not require to be paid for eating rice when they are hungry, or for wearing woolen cloth in the cold season. To come nearer to the case before us, the children who learn their letters and a little elementary Arithmetic from the village school-master are not paid by him. He is paid for teaching them. Why then is it necessary to pay people to learn Sanscrit and Arabic? Evidently because it is universally felt that the Sanscrit and Arabic are languages, the knowledge of which does not compensate for the trouble of acquiring them. On all such subjects the state of the market is the decisive test.

Other evidence is not wanting, if other evidence were required. A petition was presented last year to the Committee by several ex-students of the Sanscrit College. The petitioners stated that they had studied in the college ten or twelve years; that they had made themselves acquainted with Hindoo literature and science; that they had received certificates of proficiency: and what is the fruit of all this! 'Notwithstanding such testimonials,' they say, 'we have but little of bettering our condition without the kind of assistance of your Honorable Committee, the indifference with which we are generally looked upon by our countrymen leaving no hope of encouragement and assistance from them.' They therefore beg that they may be recommended to the Governor General for places under the Government, not places of high dignity or emolument, but such as may just enable them to exist. 'We want means,' they say, 'for a decent living, and for our progressive improvement, which, however, we cannot obtain without the assistance of Government, by whom we have been educated and maintained from childhood.' They conclude by representing, very pathetically, that they are sure that it was never the intention of government, after behaving so liberally to them during thei education, to abandon them to destitution and neglect.


I have been used to see petitions to Government for compensation. All these petitions, even the most unreasonable of them, proceeded on the supposition that some loss had been sustained-that some wrong had been inflicted. These are surely the first petitioners whoever demanded compensation for having been educated gratis, -- for having been supported by the public during twelve years, and then sent forth into the world well furnished with literature and science. They represent their education as an injury which gives them a claim on the Government for redress, as an injury for which the stipends paid to them during the infliction were a very inadequate compensation. And I doubt not that they are in the right. They have wasted the best years of life in learning what procures for them neither bread nor respect. Surely we might, with advantage, have saved the cost of making these persons useless and miserable; surely, men may be brought up to be burdens to the public and objects of contempt to their neighbours at a smaller charge to the state. But such is our policy. We do not even stand neuter in the contest between truth and falsehood. We are not content to leave the natives to the influence of their own hereditary prejudices. To the natural difficulties which obstruct the progress of sound science in the East, we add fresh difficulties of our own making. Bounties and premiums, such as ought not to be given even for the propagation of truth, we lavish on false taste and false philosophy.


By acting thus we create the very evil which we fear. We are making that opposition which we do not find. What we spend on the Arabic and Sanscrit colleges is not merely a dead loss to the cause of truth; it is bounty-money paid to raise up champions of error. It goes to form a nest, not merely of helpless place-hunters, but of bigots prompted alike by passion and by interest to raise a cry against every useful scheme of education. If there should be by opposition among the natives to the change which I recommend, that opposition will be the effect of our own system. It will be headed by persons supported by our stipends and trained in our colleges. The longer we persevere in our present course, the more formidable will that opposition be. It will be every year reinforced by recruits whom we are paying. From the native society left to itself, we have no difficulties to apprehend; all the murmuring will come from that oriental interest which we have, by artificial means, called into being, and nursed into strength.


There is yet another fact, which is alone sufficient to prove that the feeling of the native public, when left to itself, is not such as the supporters of the old system represent it to be. The Committee have thought fit to lay out above a lac of rupees in printing Arabic and Sanscrit books. Those books find not purchasers. It is very rarely that a single copy is disposed of. Twenty-three thousand volumes, most of them folios and quartos, fill the libraries, or rather the lumber-rooms, of this body. The Committee contrive to get rid of some portion of their vast stock of oriental literature by giving books away. But they cannot give so fast as they print. About twenty thousand rupees a year are spent in adding fresh masses of waste paper to a hoard which, I should, is already sufficiently ample. During the last three years, about sixty thousand rupees have been expended in this manner. The sale of Arabic and Sanscrit books, during those three years, has not yielded quite one thousand rupees. In the mean time the School-book Society is selling seven or eight thousand English volumes every year, and not only pays the expenses of printing, but realizes a profit of 20 per cent. on its outlay.


The fact that the Hindoo law is to be learned chiefly from Sanscrit books, and the Mahometan law from Arabic books, has been much insisted on, but seems not to bear at all on the question. We are commanded by Parliament to ascertain and digest the laws of India. The assistance of a law Commission has been given to us for that purpose. As soon as the code is promulgated, the Shastras and the Hedaya will be useless to a Moonsief or Sudder Ameen. I hope and trust that before the boys who are now entering at the Madrassa and the Sanscrit college have completed their studies, this great work will be finished. It would be manifestly absurd to educate the rising generation with a view to a state of things which we mean to alter before they reach manhood.


But there is yet another argument which seems even more untenable. It is said that the Sanscrit and Arabic are the languages in which the sacred books of a hundred millions of people are written, and that they are, on that account, entitled to peculiar encouragement. Assuredly it is the duty of the British Government in India to be not only tolerant, but neutral on all religious questions. But to encourage the study of a literature admitted to be of small intrinsic value, only because that literature inculcates the most serious errors on the most important subjects, is a course hardly reconcileable with reason, with morality, or even with that very neutrality which ought, as we all agree, to be sacredly preserved. It is confessed that a language is barren of useful knowledge. We are to teach it because it is false History, false Astronomy, false Medicine, because we find them in company with a false religion. We abstain, and I trust shall always abstain, from giving any public encouragement to those who are engaged in the work of converting natives to Christianity. And while we act thus, can we reasonably and decently bribe men out of the revenues of the state to waste their youth in learning how they are to purify themselves after touching an ass, or what text of the Vedas they are to repeat to expiate the crime of killing a goat?


It is taken for granted by the advocates of Oriental learning, that no native of this country can possibly attain more than a mere smattering of English. They do not attempt to prove this; but they perpetually insinuate it. They designate the education which their opponents recommend as a mere spelling book education. They assume it as undeniable, that the question is between a profound knowledge of Hindoo and Arabian literature and science on the one side, and a superficial knowledge of the rudiments of English on the other. This is not merely an assumption, but an assumption contrary to all reason and experience. We know that foreigners of all nations do learn our language sufficiently to have access to all the most abstruse knowledge which it contains, sufficiently to relish even the more delicate graces of our most idiomatic writers. There are in this very town natives who are quite competent to discuss political or scientific questions with fluency and precision in the English language. I have heard the very question on which I am now writing discussed by native gentlemen with a liberality and an intelligence which would do credit to any member of the Committee of Public instruction. Indeed it is unusual to find, even in the literary circles of the continent, any foreigner who can express himself in English with so much facility and correctness as we find in many Hindoos. Nobody, I suppose, will contend that English is so difficult to a Hindoo as Greek to an Englishman. Yet an intelligent English youth, in a much smaller number of years than our unfortunate pupils pass at the Sanscrit college, becomes able to read, to enjoy, and even to imitate, not unhappily, the compositions of the best Greek Authors. Less than half the time which enables an English youth to read Herodotus and Sophocles, ought to enable a Hindoo to read Hume and Milton.

19. 18. TO SUM UP

To sum up what I have said, I think it clear that we are not fettered by the Act of parliament of 1813; that we are not fettered by any pledge expressed or implied; that we are free to employ our funds as we choose; that we ought to employ them in teaching what is best worth knowing; that English is better worth knowing than Sanscrit or Arabic; that the natives are desirous to be taught English, and are not desirous to be taught Sanscrit or Arabic; that neither as the languages of law, nor as the languages fo religion, have the Sanscrit and Arabic any peculiar claim to our engagement; that it is possible to make natives of this country thoroughly good English scholars, and that to this end our efforts ought to be directed. In one point I fully agree with the gentlemen to whose general views I am opposed. I feel with them, that it is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrow2ed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.


I would strictly respect all existing interests. I would deal even generously with all individuals who have had fair reason to expect a pecuniary provision. But I would strike at the root of the bad system which has hitherto been fostered by us. I would at once stop the printing of Arabic and Sanscrit books, I would abolish the Madrassa and the Sanscrit college at Calcutta. Benares is the great seat of Brahmanical learning; Delhi, of Arabic learning. If we retain the Sanscrit college at Benares and the Mahometan college at Delhi, we do enough, and much more than enough in my opinion, for the Eastern languages. If the Benares and Delhi colleges should be retained, would at least recommend tht no stipends shall be given to any students who may hereafter repair thither, but that the people shall be left to make their own choice between the rival systems of education without being bribed by us to learn what they have no desire to know. The funds which would thus be placed at our disposal would enable us to give larger encouragement to the Hindoo college at Calcutta, and to establish in the principal cities throughout the Presidencies of Fort William and Agra schools in which the English language might be well and thoroughly taught.


If the decision of his Lordship in Council should be such as I anticipate, I shall enter on the performance of my duties with the greatest zeal and alacrity. If, on the other hand, it be the opinion of the government that the present system ought to remain unchanged, I beg that I may be permitted to retire from the chair of the Committee. I feel that I could not be of the smallest use there-I feel, also, that I should be lending my countenance to what I firmly believe to be a mere delusion. I believe that the present system tends, not to accelerate the progress of truth, but to delay the natural death of expiring errors. I conceive that we have at present no right to the respectable name of a Board of Public Instruction. We are a Board for wasting public money, for printing books which are of less value than the paper on which they are printed was while it was blank; for giving artificial encouragement to absurd history, absurd metaphysics, absurd physics, absurd theology; for raising up a breed of scholars who find their scholarship an encumbrance and a blemish, who live on the public while they are receiving their education, and whose education is so utterly useless to them that when they have received it they must either starve of live on the public all the rest of their lives. Entertaining these opinions, I am naturally desirous to decline all share in the responsibility of a body, which, unless it alters its whole mode of proceeding, I must consider not merely as useless, but as positively noxious.

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