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B Shantanu Guest Columns : 1

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Why the War Against Terror cant be won...
Over the last few days, as news continued to pour in about Talibans seemingly unstoppable march across north-west Pakistan, the question that would not go away in my mind was: Why is this not on the national agenda?Is the Indian media really clueless? is it really so naive that it does not realise the gravity of the situation? or was this simply something that could be dismissed with a Yeh to hota hi rahta hai (and/or its variant: Kuch nayee baat batao yaar) ?And yet, the happenings in Pakistan ...
B Shant.. Dr Richard:
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"Imagining India" - A Book Review
At first glance, Nandan Nilekanis Imagining India is daunting.500+ pages, densely packed with statistics, policy prescriptions and anecdotes do not make for easy bedtime reading.yet I found it highly engaging and written in a very readable style. If there was ever a book you wished that reflected a birds eye of what ails India, Imagining India would come pretty close to it.On the very first page, in the preface, Nandan Nilekani recalls a conversation with a visitor in which he was asked:Why dont...
B Shant.. Dr Richard: We are urgently in need of k1dney donors in Apollo Hospital in India for the sum of 4Crore, Please Contact Dr Richard for more details. whatsapp plus 917085347110 [113 comments]
Tackling Terrorism: One Step at a Time
This is probably a less lucid post than most of what I write.In spite of that it has taken me a very long time to draft this.Aafter hearing of the blasts in Ahmedabad, I asked myself.what would I have done? What should the Government do? What can we do.as concerned, anxious and angry citizens?I decided not to write anything more about the attacks until I had some idea of the answers to this questions.This post is an attempt in that direction.It mainly deals with what the government should do/ or...
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Why Aurangzeb Demolished Kashi Vishw..
A few days ago, I came across this Aurangzeb was even-handed with Hindus, Muslimsstatement by TMMK leader M.H. Jawahirulla. He said:One of the greatest charges against Aurangzeb is of the demolition of Vishwanath Temple in Banaras (Varanasi). That was a fact.But late historian Bishma Narain Pandes research efforts exploded many myths about Aurangzebs rule. He explained why Aurangzeb razed the temple at Varanasi, TMMK leader M.H. Jawahirulla, who is a university professor himelf, told IANS....
B Shant.. Dr Richard: We are urgently in need of k1dney donors in Apollo Hospital in India for the sum of 4Crore, Please Contact Dr Richard for more details. whatsapp plus 917085347110 [104 comments]
Bharat Ratna to Bahadur Shah: Joke on In..
Amidst all the recent brouhaha around Bharat Ratna nominations, someone conveniently forgot the “truth” about some of our nominees. I am thinking of Bahadur Shah Zafar who was proposed for the award as a champion of Indias freedom and someone who actively opposed the British.The demand was made by Delhi Assembly Deputy Speaker Shoaib Iqbal…(who reportedly said that)… it was unfortunate that Emperor Bahadur Shah II, also known as Zafar, whose martyrdom and national stature rank among the highest...
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Fresh look at reservations and quotas - II
Let me say at the outset that I am not sure if there is/are any perfect solution(s) to this issue. In fact, I am not even sure whether any/all the ideas I am proposing (below) are practical and/or can be implemented. And yet, it is not possible to avoid the topic and I believe it is essential to have a serious debate on this. Please treat the thoughts below as catalysts to that discussion....
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Fresh look at reservations and quotas - I
This has been one of my longest posts in the making…taking almost two months since I first started putting down my thoughts on this issue.To a large extent this was because I wanted to be able to capture as many viewpoints as possible in writing this post and to get accurate references.This has been such a “loaded” subject that I hesitated a lot before venturing into it. At the same time, it is not a topic that any seriously concerned citizen can shy away from.So please consider this as an humbl...
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How to earn Rs 50 crores in 5 years
Mayawati-ji has roughly earned an average of Rs. 1crore each year since she was born. Considering her modest background and education, this is an extraordinary achievement. To give Mayawati-ji her due (courtesy Tavleen Singh ), “she has the courage to declare her assets and this makes her in a weird sort of way more honest than ninety percent of our politicians“. According to some reports, her assets in 2004 were a little over Rs. 1.67 crore. If true (and it certainly is a much more “believable”...
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Reforming Hinduism - too much to ask?
For example, even though a recent Supreme Court decision has confirmed that non-Brahmins are entitled to serve as temple priests, ”most religious leaders have remained conspicuously silent on the decision and, whether out of indifference or disapproval, have not publicly reflected on the potential consequences of the decision for Hindu society.”Their silence is not surprising.As I wrote in my post commenting on the barring of Dalits to the Jagannath temple in Kendrapara, “The news is the conspic...
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Exposing Purdah: The Truth Behind the Veil
To recap briefly, Smt Pratibha Patil, the Congress nominee for the post of President, while speaking at a function to commemorate the 467th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap in Udaipur said, “We have been practising purdah in Rajasthan, which was brought about since we had to fight the Mughals…We had to protect our women and children and that is why the women were kept behind closed doors.” (TOI front page, June 19 07 and other sources).The statement sparked a storm of criticism and provided...
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Exposed: Biase Indian Media"s Anti-Hindu...
Thanks to Shadow Warrior on whose blog I first came across this extraordinary piece of reporting: “Who says Indian Media isn’t biased?“*about the mass conversion of Dalits into Buddhism last Sunday in Mumbai.After reading that, I was left wondering how many actually converted (the point is not trivial and this is not about conversions per se - I will write a separate post on that)…but the links below illustrate - once again - how sloppy, inaccurate and biased reporting passes for respectable jo...
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Bharat Punarnirman Dal
The dogged persistence in the last few weeks seems to have paid off. By yesterday, I had spoken to four members of Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD) and three members of Bharat Uday Mission (BM or Bhumi). Sadly, no contact with their Presidents yet, but I now have a lot more clarity on what each of them are trying to achieve...
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Hinduism is NOT Monotheism in disguise!
A few weeks ago, I came across a provocative comment by Richard Dawkins which mentioned that polytheism in Hinduism is essentially “monotheism in disguise”.The comment prompted this post “Is Hinduism Monotheism in Disguise?” and my research (summarized below) on this topic.......
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Of Swastika, Nazis and sacred symbols
B SHANT..: The recent controversy around Germany’s proposal to seek an EU ban on swastikas (and later its abandonment: see here and here) prompted me to dig up and refresh this article which I wrote for my newsletter almost two years ago. (Mar ‘05) Swastika and its Religious Significance:As some of you may be aware, there has been a great deal of controversy in the UK regarding the wearing of a...
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Of Bangalore, Bengaluru & Fractured Identit...
B SHANT..: mentioned that while all these points were valid, they were missing an important, in my view, critical part of the debate – which is the question of identity. I argued that it is very difficult to put a price on identity and if the name change makes people feel more aware of their identity and proud of their heritage, these are strong enough grounds for considering changing place names....
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Guest Columnists and Authors

Adity Sharma (6), Ari Saja (7), Ashwini Ahuja (5), Bandyopadhyay Arindam (23), B Shantanu (28), Chanchal Malviya (14), Dr.C.K.Raju, Ph.D. (2), Damodar Kulkarni (3), Dr.Dipak Basu (77), Dr Nachiketa Das (11), Ganesh Sovani (20), Gaurang Bhatt (7), Dr.Gautam Sen (2), Gopal Alankar, Ph.D. (11), G.P.Srinivasan (8), Hari Sud (63), Jagmohan Singh Khurmi (3), Joydip Dey (2), Kalyan Viswanathan (7), Kazi Anwarul Masud (4), Kishan Bhatia (113), K Parthasarathi (18), Lachman Sippy (2), Lalam Arvindh Kumar (2), Lori Tompkins (4), Dr. Madan L. Goel (3), U. Mahesh Prabhu (50), Mayank Patel (2), M Joshi (15), Moorthy Muthuswamy PhD (33), Naagesh Padmanaban (8), U. Narayana Das (30), Narayan Kataria (6), Nithin Sridhar (31), Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (3), Prabhat Varun (5), Prashant Saxena (3), Raghbendra Jha (7), Rajani.V.Aithal (5), Raji Lukkoor (11), Raju Peddada (14), Rasik Sanghvi (10), R.Sajan (2), Saikat Maitra (3), Sameer Thakkar (3), Sarvesh Tiwari (4), Saumitra Sen (3), Saurav Basu (8), Shachi Rairikar (26), Souvik Chatterji (2), Dr Srinivasan Kalyan (6), Subroto Gangopadhyay (3), Sudha Subramanian (4), Sundara Krishnaswami (3), Tara Dhakal (3), Dr. T. R. N. Rao (6), Venkat Lakshminarayan (5), Vivek Gumaste (7), V Sundaram, IAS, Retd. (157),

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