The Candid Eye

November 5, 2009

Reaching Out Spiritually

Source: Kolkata mirror

A man dressed in a beatific smile, with a hand constantly reaching out to bless the ones streaming in can most prospectively be a saint’s. One such saint, Swami Sri Madhusudan, has been walking Kolkata’s streets, doing exactly this, under the Art of Living (AOL) Padayatra program Anugrahotsav (the divine present).


Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar welcomed by the people

Swamy Sri Madhusudan welcomed by the people - Image Courtesy:

Swamiji is in the city to spread Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Said Swamiji about this spiritual-walking movement, “We are reaching out to more and more people as it is the need of the hour. They are waiting for us. We’ll give not only practical wisdom but also walk on the road.”

Swamiji’s yatra has covered many parts of Kolkata including Manicktala, Beliaghata, Salt Lake, Rajabazar, Thakupukur, Kalighat, Howrah, etc. On these walks, mostly covering half to 1 km, he is accompanied by AOL volunteers. Members are seen carrying placards with messages of peace, singing devotional songs, inviting and encouraging people to take Swamiji’s blessings, distributing smiley badges, fruits, biscuits and pictures of Swamiji himself.

Ravi Ranka, volunteer, AOL says that in India people have faith in blessings of saints. “You can do good by many a means – by feeding others, helping at mental, financial, spiritual level. This movement is a spiritual one – the character of individuals changes by being blessed.”

According to Seema Hirwani, another volunteer, this is an awareness program, which holds masses psychologically and thus facilitates linking between themselves and the larger society and spiritual self. “We are going to slum areas mostly as it is in these areas that the level of spiritual awareness is less and Swamiji’s blessing will give them an outlet which is restricted to the people of the upper strata usually.”


People seeking blessings of Swamy

People seeking blessings of Swamy Madhusudan - Image Courtesy:

India, known for it’s faith in the divine, has always had miracles during such journeys. One such miracle took place during this program. “We went to Nadia and this woman who had been confined to a wheelchair got up and started walking after Swamiji’s blessing!” recounted another volunteer.

Ajoy Saha, teacher at AOL, said that AOL envisions one world family with a smile on every face. Swamiji will be in Kolkata till November 6, whereon he will visit other northeast states and return to other parts of West Bengal including Durgapur, Purulia, Murshidabad, Aila affected area Basanti, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Gangtok, among others.

Defining spirituality as ‘something very open, the essence of religion’, Swamiji’s message to people is, “People needs to broaden their vision, delve deep into their roots, see things in an open perspective, be centered and calm and responding to the needs of the moment without panicking, getting stressed or violent.”

Having toured many parts of India, did Swamiji find anything different in Kolkata? “I felt the people in Kolkata are more deeply devotional than in other parts of the country.”

October 19, 2009

BPL families pay 16 crore rupees as bribe to our goverment servants!!

Have you ever gotten your driving license or family card or voter’s id or any thing on time,from a government office without paying anything ?You can consider yourself lucky if you have/get any of these things without paying any money as bribe.Jharkand goverment officials are the ones who are welathier than their counterparts in the world.These leeches suck the blood not only from wealthier people but also from the downtrodden people of the state.

Jharkhand State

Jharkhand State

Jharkhand government employees do not spare even people living below poverty line (BPL) when it comes to extracting bribes. The extent of greed can be assessed from the fact that the total bribe paid by BPL families in Jharkhand in 2008 was around Rs 16 crore.

This revelation was made in the annual survey report of Transparency International India (TII). To ensure that the results of the survey holds ground at the time of any verification, TII had documented complaints of every person who paid bribe. TII project director Vineeta Singh said the amount of bribe paid to the officials was small because the affected people paid the same from their pocket.

TII executive director Anupama Jha shared the findings during the launch of `Pahal’ for improving governance in rural areas of Jharkhand. “Anyone can gauge the extent of corruption in the state by the total bribe paid by the poorest of the poor in Jharhand. In 2008, the total bribe paid by BPL households was around 16 crore,” Jha said. The number of BPL households in the state is around 25 lakh.

Corruption in India

Corruption in India : Image Courtesy -

The finding shows that corruption was highest in basic services which are free for BPL families like health, school education and water supply. Corruption is also rampant in police department and schemes under NREGA, land record and banking.

Another surprising fact that came out during the survey was that less than 5% of BPL families were aware of Right to Information Act. Director general of state administrative training institute AK Singh, a Cabinet secretary-rank officer, admitted that most government employees accept bribes.

“`Jharkhand is perhaps the only state in the country where even ministers demand a bribe and the percentage is fixed. I have worked in Bihar but there the ministers do not fix any fixed percentage for bribe on every tender,” Singh said.

Singh referred to an incident of building construction department where he was asked to pass the estimate of a building before floating a tender when the work was over. “I was surprised when my colleagues brought the file for approval of estimate of the building which was already complete,” Singh said.

Source: TOI

September 5, 2009

Naxalism – threat to unified nation of India – 4

Panel 18Panel 19

Panel 20Panel 21

July 24, 2009

Distortion of Indian history – Part 5

Who built the Grand Trunk Road in India, running from West Bengal in India to Peshawar in Pakistan?


If this was a question in general knowledge quiz in India, Sher Shah Khan Suri , the Mughal ruler would come to be answer from anyone who has mugged up the history textbooks.

What is the fact behind this? Who was Sher Shah Khan Suri? How did he rise in power during Mughal encroachments? 

A very interesting description of this all is found in this article by Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari, a renowned Indian Historian.

Sherkhan is often credited for the Grand Trunk Road, along with the water, shelter and trees plantation along the road. However, to quote Dr. Radhasyam Brahmachari, who has done an extensive research on history records and current texts, Sherkhan could hardly have built this HUGE road ranging 6240km, Read on (Original, complete article is here):-


“It has been mentioned above that the history books also tell that Sher Shah ascended the throne of Delhi on May 17, 1540, by defeating Humayun in a battle near Kannauj and in the same year organised a military campaign to suppress the revolt of the Gakkars in Punjab . He moved east, the next year, to suppress a similar revolt in Bengal in March, 1541 AD. The next year, he moved against the Rajput kings in central India and conquered Malwa. The very next year (i.e. in 1543 AD), he organised a campaign against the Hindu king Puran Mal and took control of the fort at Raisin and then moved against the Rajput king of Marwar. In 1544 he subdued the Rathore king, Maldev and in the subsequent year, he died in an accident in 1545 AD, in Kalinjar.

So, the rule of Sher Shah lasted only for five years and out of these five years, he spent nearly one year to gain control over the fort of Kalinjore.[6] During the rest of his reign, he was on hectic movement from east to west and north to south for suppressing revolts or conquering new forts. It should be mentioned here that the period under consideration was a period of political chaos and lawlessness and to restore order, Sher Shah had to fight many battles and that too with partial success. Thus the question naturally arises-Was it possible for Sher Shah (or any other ruler of that time) to build such long roads within such a short span of time? Furthermore, is it possible to make roads, nearly 6,240 Km long, today using modern technology, within a period of 4 or 5 years? The real story is that, Abbas Khana court-chronicler of Sher Shah had written some lies to please and glorify his master and our historians took those narrations at their face value, without applying their common sense to estimate the credibility of those blatant lies.

A close scrutiny of events, during the time of Sher Shah, also reveals that, despite his vast efforts, he did not succeed in bringing the vast stretch of land, from Dhaka in Bengal and River Indus in Punjab , under his control. So, how could Sher Shah carry out such a gigantic project like making a road from Bengal to Punjab , when the territory in question was not under his supreme control? 


From this discussion, it is clear that Sher Shah is mis-credited for road construction north India, by historians who un-necessarily want to glorify the period of Mughal rulership in India. 

As for the original question of who built the GT Road, well, Dr. Radhasyam Brahmachari rightly suggested that the trade and many war affairs between Indian Kings that have centuries of history much before the Mughal invasions, could not have been possible without the good network of roads, wide enough to carry chariots, elephants and armies used for the combats. Mughal only used the existing network and some of them renamed it or took credit for building them, as per their chroniclers. The current generation of historians need to become aware of the true history facts and revise their knowledge.

In fact the road seems to have a very old usage, and was called Uttarapatha meaning Northern Way, as mentioned here.

Today, the Grand Trunk Road remains a continuum that covers a distance of over 2,500 km. From its origin at Sonargaon in theNarayanganj District of central Bangladesh, it reaches India, passing  through Kolkata, Bardhaman, Durgapur, Asansol, Dhanbad, Aurangabad, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh, Delhi, Karnal, Ambala, Ludhiana,Jalandhar, Amritsar. Within India, the major portion of the road – the stretch between Kanpur and Kolkata – is known as NH 2 (National Highway – 2), the stretch between Kanpur and Delhi is called NH-91 (National Highway – 91), and that between Delhi and Wagah, at the border with Pakistan, is known as NH-1. From the Pakistan border the Grand Trunk Road (part of the N-5) continues north through Lahore via Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock District and Nowshera before it finally reaches Peshawar. (Route source from Wikipedia.)

Also read the Part 1  , Part 2 , Part 3 , and Part 4 of this series. Next article is here:- Part 6.

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