The Candid Eye

January 31, 2010

Kerala Court gives a big blow to Caste based reservation!!

Filed under: Congress,Education,India,Indian Politics,UPA — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday urged backward communities to stop depending on reservations and compete for jobs and education with mainstream sections.

Caste Based Reservation in India : Image Courtesy -

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S.R. Bannurmath and Justice A.K. Basheer pointed out that time had come to review caste-based reservation as achieving excellence in educational and professional fields required competitiveness.

Vote bank politics : Image Courtesy -

The bench made these comments while dismissing a petition filed by the Kerala Muslim Jamaat Council challenging the state government’s decision to give reservation for the poor among upper castes in degree and post-graduate courses.

Terming the petitioner’s stance as “uncharitable,” the judges said that reservation to the poor among upper castes would in no way affect the rights of backward classes and pointed out that many among the forward communities had slipped to penury after land reforms were enacted.

The bench said that reservation has caused revolutionary change in the socio-economic situation of the people from the backward classes and time had come for them to stop depending on quotas. “Now they have to wake up from the slumber of satiated insouciance,” it said. Instead, backward classes should try to gain jobs and admission in educational institutions through open competition.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

January 30, 2010

Court questions rail surcharge on Kumbh pilgrims

Citing the subsidy given to Haj pilgrims, a recently floated Hindu Personal Law Board has moved the Allahabad High Court seeking its intervention in getting free rail passes for poor pilgrims and a 50 percent concession to all others going to attend the Maha Kumbh Mela that is on in Haridwar now.

Kumbh Mela

“The present policy of the government is discriminatory and in violation of the provisions of the Indian Constitution which disallows any discrimination on religious lines,” the board’s counsel Ashok Pandey said.

A division bench of the court here directed the railway administration to submit the circular whereby the surcharge was being levied by the Indian Railways on pilgrims travelling to Haridwar for the Maha Kumbh Mela.

According to the pubic interest litigation (PIL) moved Wednesday: “The railway administration are charging a surcharge ranging from Rs.3 to Rs.15 per ticket from every rail traveller going to Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela period.”

Board secretary V.L. Misra told reporters here Thursday: “Since the local railway administration refused to provide us a copy of the circular, we urged the honourable court to direct them to submit a copy directly to the court.”

The Court has fixed Feb 3 for the next hearing.

Source: Express Buzz

January 29, 2010

Hold on guys, help is here!!

Art of Living Foundation’s counselling helpline for youth and parents, which began operations last week, averaged 70 calls a day.

It was early afternoon on Friday when the phone rang for the first time at the Art of Living’s (AoL) Hopeline office in Camp. A young volunteer picked up the phone and heard a girl’s shaky voice.

Art of Lliving bangalore

“I need help,” said the 20-something on the other line and thus began the journey of Pune’s first 24-hour helpline.Alarmed by the rising number of student suicides and just days after foundation Chief Sri Sri Ravi Shankar left the city after public discourses, AoL Foundation started the helplines across three locations in the city.

“We receive an average of 70 calls daily. The callers are mostly youngsters seeking help for depression — sometimes with suicidal thoughts. Our job is to first listen to them, let them speak their heart out, relate to them and finally get them to come to us for counselling,” said Dinesh Ghodge, Director, World Alliance for Youth Empowerment, AoL.

Stress management

Besides offering temporary counselling through the helpline service, the foundation also offers various free courses for the youngsters on how to manage stress on a long-term basis.

“We convince them to come into our office, because that’s where the real counselling takes place. We integrate them into our free courses that prepares them to deal with situations on a long-term basis, so the question of calling a helpline or having suicidal thoughts doesn’t arise again,” said Pooja Tirke, teacher and volunteer at AoL Hopeline.

Until recently, Pune had only one helpline run by Connecting, an NGO that operated the service between 2 pm to 8 pm to handle callers with suicidal thoughts.

Source: Mid Day

January 28, 2010

Exclusive: Islam Is … Finally Being Fixed on Google

Filed under: Google,Islam — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , ,

A glitch in the “don’t be evil” company’s search engine appeared to censor searches for information about Islam. And after nearly three weeks, the company is finally fixing the problem.

After nearly three weeks, Google is finally repairing a glitch that hid search suggestions for the phrase “Islam is,” which had led some to conclude that Google — whose mantra is “don’t be evil” — had been censoring its search results.

Google has fixed the bug on Islam finally!!

A Google spokesman tells that “the bug fix is in the process of rolling out, and suggestions will be visible within the next few days.” Twitter comments from readers across the country confirm Google’s statement; reports from Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia and more concur that the fix is rolling out across the country.

When had asked Google for an explanation on Jan. 8, a company spokesman explained that the weird absence of results was just a software problem: “This is in fact a bug and we’re working to fix it as quickly as we can.” But the company would not respond to requests for clarification, nor would it offer a timeline for repairing the problem.

And until this morning, nearly three weeks had elapsed without a patch for the glitch, which clearly turned out to be more complex than initially assumed. When asked this morning for an estimated repair date for the bug, a Google spokesman would say only that the company was working on a fix, adding that “this is not an editorial thing.”

Meanwhile, the other major search engines continued to return a wealth of results about what Islam may be. Bing and MSN both suggest that “Islam is the light,” while Yahoo proposes that “Islam is the way of life.” And coyly points out that “Islam is the light, doll.”

Our initial report on the “Islam is” bug generated a firestorm of controversy among readers.

cncfan wrote, “I quit using Google last year, got fed up with their censor and promoting their left-leaning ideas.” And Jerzyboy commented, “This is just one more ‘flag’ that Internet search engines have a lot of power to steer public opinion. Let’s hope that Bing et-al offer a way to diversify results and get away from the bias of Google or anyone else.”

mark.msjacobs and others sided with Google on the issue: “Since the results for Mohammed yield some pretty negative stuff, I’ll give Google the benefit of the doubt on this one.”

According to Google’s Web site, the query suggestions that appear as you type are drawn from from searches you’ve done (if you’re logged in), searches done by users all over the world, sites in the search index and ads in Google’s network.

The company also explains that “We try to filter out suggestions that include pornographic terms, dirty words and hate and violence terms. If you encounter a term that should not be suggested, please let us know by posting in the Google Web Search Help Forum.”

Many quirky items do make their way through the filters, however. Search for “can j” and the first suggestion asks, “Can Jesus microwave a burrito?” The bizarre metaphysical question is a reference to “The Simpsons” TV show, where Homer Simpson once asked, “Can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot even he could not eat it?”

An intriguing corollary: Google does offer search suggestions for future tense queries as well. Search for “Christianity will” and Google suggests “Christianity will end, it will disappear,” and “Christianity will end.” Input the same query about Islam and Google notes that “Islam will dominate the world” and “Islam will destroy Europe.”

Source: FOX News

Related Post: Google blocking negative search recommendation on Islam

One Republic – Two flags!!

In our republic, which boasts of one nation, one people and one union, we have two flags. One for India and the other for Kashmir.
No one asks why? An wonderful article from Tarun Vijay on having TWO flags for ONE republic.

If the mere picture of a foreign national irks, embarrasses and makes the government apologetic, should a flag, put on a par, parallel to the flag of our republic for which we swear to live and die, make us happy and proud?

There is one tricolor, which is our soul. We sing for it, love it, feel thrilled when it’s fluttered on any part of this planet. That’s us and our invincible tricolour.

And here is another flag. We hardly know about it. A piece that has to be displayed on the bonnets of the Ambassador cars the governor, the chief minister, the Union home minister or even the Prime Minister uses to negotiate a Kashmir road. Suddenly there are two flags, two people, two lands. And still one republic? Ask Justice Sagheer Ahmad and hear the “give more autonomy to J&K” call. More, still more, autonomy for what? A seperate flag and wanting to be more seperate?

Whose flag is it, any way? They say it’s Kashmir’s flag. So why don’t our rulers hoist it too in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi? A bit red-faced, they say it’s just for Kashmir.

Indian Flag : Image Courtesy - TOI

Jammu & Kashmir Flag : Image Courtesy - TOI

So why not Bihar and Uttarakhand and Punjab  and, please, Tamilnadu too have their separate flags?They say Kashmir is special and other states are NOT.


Why not every state in India is special?

Why not every Indian citizen is equally special?

We, the Indians, the people of India.

Who gave the Constitution to themselves on January 26, 1950, hence the republic and the parade for it.

We can’t buy an inch of land in Kashmir because there is a provision in the Indian Constitution that bars it. That’s called Article 370.

It says we are not authorised to be citizens of Kashmir. But we are Indian citizens?

So what?

Article 370 says we are not naturally Kashmiri citizens, even if we are Indians.

If we are Indians, we can be Biharis, Tamilians or Arunachalis. But not Kashmiri.

There was a man whose name was Syama Prasad Mookerjee. He died protesting separate provisions for Kashmir. The news agency IANS reported recently: “Mukherjee was imprisoned for entering the state without a proper permit in violation of Article 370. His entry was in protest against the separate constitution, head of the state and flag of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mukherjee wanted that Jammu and Kashmir be declared an integral part of India and governed like any other state of the country.”

Mookerjee (that’s how he spelt his name) died mysteriously in a Srinagar jail.

Who cares for such a “mad” man, giving his life for national integration in its truest sense?

Live peacefully, in your Lutyens’ bungalow and offer government constructive cooperation.

That makes life easy, you know.

Let me reproduce some extracts from the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir? It has a separate identity from the Indian Constitution and no law that the Indian parliament passes is applied in J&K unless the J&K assembly  passes it too and it has the right to overrule the Indian parliament and change the contents of the laws passed by the parliament situated in New Delhi.

The J&K constitution says —


We, the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, having solemnly resolved, in pursuance of the accession of this State to India which took place on the twenty sixth day of October, 1947, to further define the existing relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof, and to secure ourselves-

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and opportunity; and to promote among us all;

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation;


Part II of “The State” of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir:

Relationship of the State with the Union of India – The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.

On April 7, 1958, the Plebiscite Front of Sheikh Abdullah adopted a resolution specifically citing Article 370, and stated that : “Jammu and Kashmir state has not yet acceded to any of the two dominions, India and Pakistan. Therefore, it will not be right to call Pakistani invasion on Jammu and Kashmir as an attack on India.” Using Article 370 Kashmiri Muslim leaders have opposed any family planning and welfare schemes formulated by the government of India, and the programme was implemented only in the Hindu majority Jammu. The former chief minister, G M Shah, had said that the aim of the government family planning programme was to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. The former external affairs minister M C Chagla had told the United Nations that the Article was a temporary measure. The two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and G M Sadiq too wanted this Article to be repealed.

Articles 3 and 5 of the State constitution of Jammu and Kashmir state that it will remain an “inseparable” part of India and Parliament should immediately repeal Article 370.

Friends on the internet suggest, “Those Kashmiri Muslims who have declared themselves to be Pakistanis should be asked to apply for Pakistani citizenship, and if their applications fail, they should be declared stateless persons and no longer citizens of India, and therefore no longer citizens of any part of the dominions of the Republic of India.”

Article 370 (though originally Article 306-A) drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyengar in close consultation with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah reads as follows:

“Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir:

1. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,
(a) the provisions of Article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir;

(b) the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to,
(i) those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws far that State; and

(ii) such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.

For the purposes of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948;

(c) the provisions of Article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to that State;

(d) such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify:

Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State:

Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of that Government.

2. If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in the second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

3. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify:
Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 370 the President, on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, declared that as from the 17th Day of November, 1952, the said Article 370 shall be operative with the modification that for the Explanation in Cl. (1) thereof, the following explanation is substituted namely.

Explanation – For the purpose of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office.”

That’s our republic. And the second flag. And the two peoples in one land. Viva the flag hoisters.

Where is the pain and where is the shoulder?

January 27, 2010

India inmates take yoga to reduce their jail sentences

Filed under: India,Yoga — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Prisoners in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are being freed early if they complete yoga courses.For every three months spent practising posture, balance and breathing the inmates can cut their jail time by 15 days.The authorities say the lessons help to improve the prisoners’ self-control and reduce aggression.

Early Release for Indian Prisoners who do Yoga : Image Courtesy -

Some 4,000 inmates across the state are benefiting from the scheme, and many go on to become yoga instructors.

‘Angry thoughts’

The state’s inspector general of prisons, Sanjay Mane, said: “Yoga is good for maintaining fitness, calming the behaviour, controlling anger and reducing stress.”When a prisoner attends yoga sessions and fulfils some other conditions, he will be considered for a remission if his jail superintendent recommends his case.”

Prisoners can also gain credit for attending adult literacy courses or studying for degrees.An inmate at Gwalior central jail, Narayan Sharma – who has now moved on to become an instructor – says it helps to banish the “angry thoughts” in his mind.

“It was these thoughts that made me commit crimes,” he said.”I hope that after we are released, we can use what we have learned and promote yoga in society so that people no longer commit crime.”

Source: BBC

January 26, 2010

Republic Day!!

Filed under: India,Indian History — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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Wishing you all a happy Republic Day!!

Happy Republic Day!!

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