Monday, December 07, 2009

Science, Superstition, or Bollywood?

NDTV Imagine’s new reality show, “Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka” has been going on the air from 7 December 2009 at 9:30 p.m. and as a daily prime timeslot from Monday to Thursday. The show is based on Past Life Regression Therapy (PLRT), where some Bollywood celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, Sanjay Dutt, Karishma Kapoor , Celina Jaitely, Shekhar Suman, and Monica Bedi will appear with other common people to subject themselves in PLRT. According to news source, Dr. Trupti Jain, the PLRT therapist of the reality show claims that she will use a meditative technique to take people back in time to rid them of their present-day fears, phobias, and physical ailments by finding their roots in their previous lives.
The idea of Past Life Regression is based on Hindu philosophy. In Bhagwat Gita, it is told that the soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. According to this theory, the ‘atma’ or soul takes rebirth or reincarnation, as people often leave their old cloths to wear a new one. The ancient Indian Yoga philosopher Patanjali told about the soul being burdened with the accumulation of impressions (samskara) of karmas from previous existence. He advocates the practice of yoga meditation for alleviating the soul from such interminable encumbrances.
The Buddhist concept of Nirvana works along similar lines. The main motto of Nirvana is to stop this reincarnation.
Greco-Semitic religions do not believe in a past life. These religions believe that humans are only born once and only die once and that there is no endless cycle of life and death and rebirth, an idea inherent in reincarnation theory. These religions also believe that after death, we face final judgment, meaning that there is no second chance, like there is in reincarnation and karma, to live a better life. You get one shot at life and living it according to God’s plan; and that is it.
The idea of rebirth and reincarnation was introduced to the West through theosophy. Madame H.P. Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, introduced these ideas to the Western world. But much before the formation of Theosophical Society, Allan Kardec, a French spiritualist, wrote about reincarnation and karma in his book, The Book of the Spirits (1857). But the first person to use regression as a therapy was probably Dr Denys Kelsey.
A book co-authored with Joan Grant, Kelsey's Many Lifetimes (1967) is the first book on PLRT and focuses more on the therapeutic aspect of the technique rather than on stories of relived experiences.
Practitioners of PLRT use methods of hypnosis for inducing patients to regress to their past lives and identify the root of their present problems. This is the first phase (the 'realistic-cathartic' stage according to Jungian psychotherapist, Roger J. Woolger). The next step ('symbolic-archetypal') is for the patient to project the present himself/herself onto a past personality. The third step is to come to terms with what has been relived through regression in this 'integral-mystical' stage. However, the therapy proves to be beneficial only when the patient is able to accept the past trauma and is ready to progress beyond that. If the patient does not accept that past trauma, the therapy fails.
It is highly debatable if there is any scientific basis of this process, though the experiences described by the ‘subjects’ may be ideas hiding within their sub-conscious mind.
NDTV Imagine may use this therapy in a reality show to increase their TRP, but I have some doubts about the truthfulness of this method:
1) Why does no one who subjects himself or herself to this therapy ever finds himself or herself as an animal or an insect or a bird or even a plant? Hindu reincarnation theory states that the atma can travel through different ‘yonis’ or species.
2) If we take it, then, as a hypothesis that humans reincarnate into humans only, then how does the population of humans increase from day-to-day? Even today, we find the birth rate is higher than the death rate.
3) In the show aired on 7th December 2009, therapist Trupti Jain asked the’subject,’ who had allegedly lost her past life in a plane crash in 1966, if there was a watch inside the plane near the dead body. How could Dr.Jain know that there would be a watch there inside the plane near the dead body?
4) Ravi Kishan, the host of the reality show, claims on the screen that no hypnosis is used for the programme, but viewers witnessed Dr. Jain hypnotize the ‘subject’ to apply her therapy.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Are We In Danger?

I haven’t seen Bollywood movie “Wake Up Sid”. I haven’t read it’s review. I was not aware about it’s info till today. It came to my knowledge that Film-maker Karan Johar on Friday apologised to MNS supremo Raj Thakre for using the word 'Bombay' instead of 'Mumbai' in his new film 'Wake Up Sid'. It is reported that Raj has warned the film maker to prepare for the consequences , as they have hurt Marathi Manas by using the word Bombay in place of Mumbai.
I can’t understand, how the spelling or pronunciation of wrong words hurt the sentiments of a particular mass. Odisha, my own state has been spelt as Orissa, Udissa or Urissa, by non Oriya speakers and I don’t think, by spelling such they have any intention to dishonour my state or its people. It is just a question of ignorance, habit and tradition. Germany is spelt as Deutschland by Germans. In German, France is still called Frankreich, which literally means "Realm of the Franks". In Spain, they pronounce their country as Espana and their language as Espanol. In German Spain is known as Spanien. In Spanish they call France as Francia.In Danish it is spelt as Frankrig.
There are a lot of examples that show the name of one city and country has been spelt differently from language to language. When we are living in a global perspective, how can we expect that we would make every one to bind with our law. It is also very disgusting and anti democratic that Raj Thakre as an individual should issue any ‘forman’ (order) to stop the movie. It is the duty of judiciary not the MNS chief to make decision on any such matter. No one did bar Raj Thakre to ask for justice to the court of law.
This ‘news’ made me to worry. Are we going on the way to burry our democracy. Our democratic rights and are we becoming more intolerance to democratic values. Aren’t the radical elements making us fool by exploiting mass sentiments?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

They Did It

"Girls sink gender bias in Mahanadi" was the headline of The New Indian Express , when four girls, studying in under graduation classes in Orissa started an expedition to tame the Mahanadi River by covering 297 km on a raft in 7days.They are Rajashree Mohapatra (16), a plus two student of Chandol college in Kendrapada , Rosalini Pattnaik (28) , an LLB student from Khurda, Rosalini Behera, (18) a plus three student of Puri's A D College, and Sonaphoola Sabar (18), a plus three student of Nuapada College . The girls, coming from different backgrounds and having a zest for adventure, participated in the first-ever Women Mahanadi River Rafting Expedition started under the guidance of Rabindra Kumar Bhuiyan , the director of National Adventure Foundation (Orissa Chapter) in the State, who coached the rafters. It is also aimed at promoting river rafting as an adventure sport. The expedition which started from Sambalpur on August 12 and ended on Tuesday.
Since 1997, boys have been always participating in the rafting expedition to Paradip along the Mahanadi from the picturesque Baliput (Satkosia) by covering a distance of 270 km in seven days.But this time the girls crushed the boy’s record by covering 297 km in 7 days. The girls decided to challenge them and proposed their coach for a rafting expedition on the Mahanadi from Sambalpur to Paradip with a deadline to cover a distance of 296 km in seven days. Seeing their enthusiasm, the coach went ahead with the proposal and the rafting expedition started on August 12, as reported by
The site adds: “The girls informed that they had to face lot of difficulties during the expedition and especially when three of the crew members fell from the raft at Ghanteswari. However, nothing happened as they were wearing life-saving jackets and our coach was able to rescue them, they added……..We enjoyed each and every moment of the expedition as it was an adventure sports and most of us were first-timers, said Rajashree Mohapatra. The expedition proved the unflagging stamina and determination of the girls, said Bhuiyan. The team reached at Kalapada in Kendrapada on Monday and the expedition culminated at Paradip on Tuesday.”

Friday, May 29, 2009

Caminho das Índias ( Way to India)

Caminho das Índias (English translation: Way to India) is a Brazilian popular TV soap opera, with highest rating among Brazilian TV audience. Produced by Rede Globo , its core director is Marcos Schechtman and serial directors are Fred Mayrink, Leonardo Nogueira, Luciano and Roberto Sabino Carminatti. The story is written by Glória Perez, and its first broadcast started on the network on January 19, 2009. it is a love story of a bania (tradersman caste) girl and a dalit (un touchable) boy of Rajasthan,india.

Juliana Paes, Márcio Garcia, Rodrigo Lombardi, Christiane Torloni, Débora Bloch, Alexandre Borges, Humberto Martins, Humberto Martins, Antônio Calloni, Eliane Giardini, Eliane Giardini, Nívea Maria, Bruno Gagliasso, Paula Pereira and Carolina Oliveira are some of artists who played well in the serial. It is also an astonishing factor that the directors do not beg any help from Bollywood for their venture. The story author Glória Perez, is also a popular Brazilian TV episode writer. Her daughter, actress Daniela Perez, was murdered by a co-star on December 28th 1992 in Rio de Janeiro .

You can see some of the video clippings from the links below:

An emotional scene from Caminho das Índias

A famous Bollywood film songs used in Caminho das Índias

A love scene from Caminho das Índias

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Gandhi's heritage returned back to India

At last, Mahatma Gandhi's personal belongings including his iconic round-rimmed spectacles , sandals and pocket watch , the national heritage of India have been returned back to home . The round metal spectacles were a trademark of Gandhi's persona and are basic to his illustrations to date. A simple line drawing of Gandhi's face in profile with the glasses, accompanied by his famous quote — "be the change you want to be" — is recognised the world over. His pocket watch attached to a string attracted comment and is noticeable in the early 1930s photographs of Gandhi. The said belongings were subjected to auction sale by Antiquorum Auctioneers . 'There was a lot of confusions and controversies because the Indian government was trying to get these items.
Before the auction began, about 40 bidders had registered, from Australia, Germany, Austria, India, Canada and the US, among other countries. In comparison, there were only six registered bidders in October for a watch belonging to Albert Einstein, which sold for almost $600,000.
The above auction proposal was highly criticized by media houses for trying to make money on 'the altar of Gandhi's legacy.’ At the last moment, Los Angeles collector James Otis had decided to pull out the auction , but that was ruled out by the auctioneers' chairman, Robert Maron .
Inside the auction room was a mix between elite Indian-born businessmen and diehard watch collectors. One of the potential bidder was Sant Singh Chatwal, an Indian-American businessman who is close to former president Bill Clinton.

'I made up my mind to go up to maybe half a million,' Chatwal, told the Times in a phone interview before the auction. 'We'll see how it goes.'
'Anything when it comes to Gandhi is emotional, sentimental and patriotic when it comes to Indians,' said Shyan Gulati, chief executive of the Infopeople Corp, an information technology company based on Wall Street.
Describing the scene at the auction house as a Who's Who of New York's Indian elite, Gulati said: 'In the last ten years, Indian professionals are doing extremely well all over the world and they'd like to contribute.'
Bidding began at $20,000 and rose to the final price within seven minutes. Finally, Indian liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya is very pleased with his purchase of a set of Mahatma Gandhi's personal belongings including his iconic round-rimmed spectacles . Liqour tycoon Mr.Mallya expressed his happiness as he could bring the national heritage home. He purchased the items for $1.8 million .
Mahatma Gandhi was known for his anti alcohol propaganda . During India's independence struggle against Britain, Mohandas K. Gandhi identified the consumption of alcohol as a major social evil and urged a ban on drinking. To respect his anti-alcohol ideas , the Indian Government wrote a section into the Constitution declaring its intention to enforce prohibition.
Vijay Mallya is an Indian businessman and Rajya Sabha MP and the Chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines, which draws its name from United Breweries Group's flagship beer brand, Kingfisher. Mallya took over as Chairman of the United Breweries Group in 1983. Since then, the group has grown into a multi-national conglomerate of over sixty companies with an annual turnover which has increased by 639% to US$11.2 billion in 1998-1999 . The focal business areas of the group encompass alcoholic beverages, life sciences, engineering, agriculture, chemicals, information technology, aviation and leisure. He owned McDowell Crest, which took loans in crores of rupees from the general public.
In May 2007, United Breweries Group announced the all-cash acquisition of scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay for 595 million pounds (approximately 4,819 crore INR ). In 2005 he took over Millennium Breweries Ltd (formerly known as inertia industries ltd), which owned the two premium beer brands named SANDPIPER and ZINGARO .
Besides liquor business , Mallya owned Kingfisher Airlines and F1 racing team Force India (earlier Spyker).He sponsors the East Bengal and Mohun Bagan football clubs in Kolkata and also in cricket he ssponsors the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League .
It is an irony that Mahatma Gandhi , who was known for his anti alcoholic views , had to depend upon a liquor tycoon to rescue his belongings .

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Slumdog Millionaire"

"Slumdog Millionaire" scooped up eight Oscars on Sunday, the most of any movie this year, including best motion picture, best cinematography, sound mixing, film editing, original score for composer A.R. Rahman and best song, "Jai Ho" for Rahman and lyricist Gulzar.Among the "Slumdog" honors, Briton Danny Boyle was named best director for the often dark but ultimately hopeful, a Dickensian-style tale set in an Indian city. Similar to the way Charles Dickens used Victorian London, Danny Boyle wanted to portray the dark side of Indian city , where a slum dweller poor boy Jamal Malik (Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who competes on a TV game show : "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show¹s questions. Each chapter of Jamal¹s increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show¹s seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out.
The film has raised a controversy over the country whether the western world is only interested in tales of poverty or at the most snake charmers and Kings and Queens .Some has raised the question that when India has 5600 newspapers... magazines in over twenty-one different Ianguages., with a combined readership of over 120 million ,when the country has reached the moon and back and when the third largest pool in the word of doctors, engineers and scientists are from India ,and also our country has the third largest army in the world ; how it is justified to glamourise those people who just to earn money, make movies which portray India as slum and poor Indians as Slum Dogs!! (See : )
But I differ from that blogger .My first point is ,with all the success we have achieved , is n’t it true that we couldn’t check widespread use of child labour and still the millions of abandoned street children who live on its railway platforms, or amputees and mangled polio victims who beg for small change at road junctions ? Why don’t we solemnly try to eradicate this social disease?
My second point is , it is a total misconception in our mind that only India or South Asian countries have the slums .Readers can access the description and conditions of slum in France, United Kingdom and USA from the following links :
There is again a misconception about the slums , which I think media is responsible to create such fallacies. I have seen refrigerators,televison sets,modern domestic accessories ,two wheelers and even if four wheelers are also the common assets of the houses of Dharavi slums of Mumbai and Makarapura of Vadodara . The average city based Indian slum dwellers family can earn approximately 15,000 INR , which I think is sufficient for a standard living in India . What they lack are the education, cleanliness, pure water facility and good roads .We have to accept the challenges It is more required to make them educate rather than to provide any financial help .The government officials are more responsible in creating such slum areas .If city maintenance department of the municipal corporations have a strong will, we can make them proper habitation before they start to create any new slum area.

In last few years, the Indian films like “Lagan” and “Tare Zameen Pe” were also listed in the failure group for Oscar. so, it is also an unavoidable question that what made Oscar to see more in Danny Boyle rather than these movie makers?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

How I would celebrate Valentine Day?

Valentine’s Day is coming. Every year on Valentine's Day, the fundamentalists raise their voice against this day, saying this celebration would spoil Indian Culture. The Muslim fundamentalists are always against this tradition and Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia have banned it. Last year Al Qaeda issued a warning to singer Asalah Nasri of Egypt not to sing on account of Valentine day's celebration. Now the Hindu fundamentalists are also raising voice against it. For last few years, the country witnessed a large campaign by Hindu fundamentalist political parties calling the celebration of Valentine’s Day be forbidden.
The right-wing political parties like BJP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang, and Ramsena have issued Taliwani Fatwa against this day. In Bihar, though both BJP and JD (U) are enjoying power jointly, but they have a rift on this day. The JD(U) youth and students' wing supported the celebrations and criticised those opposed to it. Unlike the JD(U), the BJP youth wing and ABVP are against the celebration of Valentine's Day.
But, it is ironic that now some people from the West are also raising their voice against Valentine’s Day. I have come across a blog where blogger David Penner wrote that he hated Valentine Day because, "This is just another shining example of corporate America perverting a day dedicated to a martyr into a day dedicated to the almighty dollar.” He again wrote, "It's your family for Pete's sake, you don't have a choice to love them or not. It's programmed in your genetic makeup. You have to love them.” And he further writes, “My next reason is that it reminds people who are single that they don't have anyone. Way to go Hallmark! Sometimes I wonder just how many suicides you and every other card company are responsible for on one day of the year."

Another blogger from New York, a married lady, having the screen name ‘aquamarine’ wrote in her blog that "We already know that Susan, JLB, and sometimes Belle, don't like Valentine's Day. I will say that I have nothing against the holiday, but don't feel that a lot of time, effort, and money need to go into ‘celebrating’ Valentine's Day."
Whatever their ideas are, they are. But I think this day should be celebrated as "Free Hugs Day" in India to show our love for the common man; for the common cause; and for the solidarity in the war against terrorism as the day is not meant for only couples or ‘lover one’ , but a day to admire and approve our love for mankind .

Monday, January 26, 2009

Now Hindu Talibanis !

In Television screen , the scenes were displayed that how the girls were chased and thrashed by activists of the Sri Ram Sena as they tried to flee from the pub on the busy Balmatta Road in the heart of Mangalore on 25 January . There were also allegations that some of the girls were molested. The girls were accused of acting against the tradition of Hindu religion and the founder of Sri Ram Sena, P Muthalik , remains unapologetic about the incident saying it is just a small thing, its not abnormal as reported by times of India in its 26 January issue .This incident was happened in the state where BLP lead government is responsible for law and order and very promptly Rajnath Singh , the BJP Supremo denied any link of BJP with Sri Ram Sena . But that Sena has a website at and readers can judge how our shrewd politicians are truthful to the people.
The first allegation from these so called tradition rescue Sena was that girls were wearing Western dresses, they were attending pubs , taking liquor . There are many men in the pub also wearing Western clothes, taking alcohol and Sena had no objection for them .Only their objection was aimed for ‘women’s such activities’ which they think is against Hindu tradition . But who authorized them to safe guard Hinduism ?From the ancient period , Sanatan Dharma is an open platform to invite all ideas , cultures and traditions .Hinduism is a symbol for accumulating any form of life , any belief and any lifestyles .It is the fundamentalists , who make the people mess for their vested ideas and for their political gain .
What these BJP supported fundamentalist wings are indulging is similar to the Talibanis once started in Afghanistan and now in FATA of Pakistan . I don’t find any difference between BJP of India and Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan and Bangladesh . They all are sponsored unit for the fundamentalists. It may prove a set back for our Nation and people .We all should stand against these anti social Talibanis .

Thursday, January 08, 2009


B Ramalinga Raju has tendered his resignation as chairman of Satyam Computer Services startling confessions of fraudulence in company's books of accounts. Satyam's balance sheet as on Sep 30, 2008, carries non-existent cash and bank balances of Rs 5,040 crore. It also carries an accrued interest of Rs 376 crore which is totally non existent, and understated liability of Rs 1,230 crore on account of funds arranged by him. It also has over stated debtor’s position.

“Way back in 2004, American media had reported that it was not only dreaded terrorist Osama whom the Americans were afraid of, but Ramalinga Raju was a feared man too as millions of jobs were being outsourced to Indian companies like Satyam.” (News Sources)

"Having been a job-creator for corporate India for years, Raju has now turned into a money-grabber through financial bungling and corporate governance malpractices," (brokerage firm SMC Global's Vice President Rajesh Jain told PTI. )

On January 6 , Mr. B Ramalinga Raju, who founded Satyam, India’s fourth largest IT firm , more than two decades ago and just three months ago, received a Golden Peacock award from a group of Indian directors for excellence in corporate governance, has tendered his resignation as chairman of Satyam Computer Services startling confessions of fraudulence in company's books of accounts showing balance sheet as on Sep 30, 2008, carries non-existent cash and bank balances of Rs 5,040 crore and also carries an accrued interest of Rs 376 crore which is totally non existent, and understated liability of Rs 1,230 crore on account of funds arranged by him. It also has over stated debtor’s position.
Prior to this resignation, the consequent happenings with Satyam are as follows:
On Dec. 16 –Raju announced his plan to buy two building firms part-owned by his sons for $1.6 billion.and later after 55 percent plunged in the company's share price in hectic U.S. trading , he turned down the deal just in mere 12 ours .On Dec. 23 - Satyam barred from business with the World Bank for eight years for providing Bank staff with "improper benefits". Its shares fall another 14 percent to their lowest in more than 4-½ years. Mangalam Srinivasan, an independent director, resigned from Satyam on Dec. 26 .followed by three more of directors on Dec. 29 .after resignation of Mr.Raju on Dec.06, the Satyam scrip crashed, losing 77.69 percent of its value to close at Rs.39.95 over its close of Rs.179.10 on previous day . The Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was down 7.31 percent or 755.62 points to 9,580.31 points, after opening higher than previous day’s close of 10,335.93 points. The broader Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 2,920.4 points, 6.18 percent lower than its previous close.
This case for India is similar to what happened to Enron in the U.S. Raju’s irresponsible fraudulence may threaten future foreign investment flows into Asia's third-largest economy and casts a cloud over growth in its once-booming outsourcing sector along with 53,000 Satyam employees may feared to lose their jobs.