Circa the British rule in India, a man named Senapathy decides to rebel against the British in a violent way, learns a rare martial art that enables him to kill with his bare hands, and travels to Singapore, joins the Indian Liberation Army formed by renowned Subhash Chandra Bose, is one of the soldier’s to engage the British into war. He subsequently joins a death squad in order to destroy British tanks. While all of the others succeed in carrying out their mission, Senapathy is captured, jailed, beaten, and mercilessly tortured by the British. Upon his release, he is looked after by a woman named Namrata, whose honor he had saved from the British – who had captured two truckloads of women protesters, burned their clothing, and forced them to commit suicide. Namrata and Senapathy marry, India gains independence, and they soon have two children – Chandrabose and Kasthoori. Years later Chandra quarrels with his honest and straight-laced father, leaves home, so that he can earn enough money to bribe the transport secretary to get him a job as a Transport Officer. Tragedy strikes the family when Kasthoori is grievously hurt in a house-fire. They get her to the nearest hospital – but the doctor wants them to file a police report or pay him Rs.500/-; At the police station – the Inspector wants Rs.250/- or a report from the Village Administration Officer; who in turn wants Rs.150/- so that he can start preparations for the report. This delay results in Kasthoori’s death – and a vengeful Senapathy decides to teach corrupt officials a lesson – a lesson that will serve to remind other corrupt officials to do their work diligently without accepting any bribes. What Senapathy does not know is that his very son Chandra is now part of this system – and he must now make up his mind to make an exception or carry on his gruesome task – knowing fully well that the Central Bureau of Investigation is hot on his tail. Written by rAjOo ([email protected])
Cheras, on a Roll till the Rise of the Chozhas
For most of the hoary past recorded in available and lost Tamil Sangam literature and corroborated in Sanskrit lore as well, the Tamil country was ruled by three royal clans, the Chozhas, the Cheras and the Pandyas.
Interview with Dr Sohini Ray as narrated to Sreeparna Lahiri
Sreeparna Lahiri, from Medha-Journal was a child student in Manipuri Nartanalaya, Kolkata in the late 1970s, at a time Sohini Ray was a prominent child artiste in the institution. Many years later they re-met in California and once Sreeparna has asked Sohini how was it that she became so involved in the field coming from a completely different background. The idea of the interview came from that conversation.
In the first part (How to West Defines India I ) I had discussed the role the West plays in every aspect of Indian life today and how it influences our cumulative (as a nation and society) self-image. Now let us try and delve further into the specifics of this Struggle between the Left and the Right in this Indian context (who seem to be at constant loggerheads vis-a-vis their stand on the West).
Ever since the internet became popular, starting with newsgroups, followed by managed websites and to the current day of bloggers, if there's one desi topic that's generated a large number of opinions, comments, heated discussions, it's the topic of arranged and love marriages and their related benefits and drawbacks. The participants usually belong to one of the two camps: Traditionalists who claim that arranged marriages create a harmonious society, low divorce rate, stable environment vs. the Modernists who claim that arranged marriages go against personal freedom (especially for women), are subtly forced, and create a boring, sexually frustrated society. The two camps have been talking past each other, each getting shriller than the other.
It is only recently that Hindus are discovering that the terms of discussion for Indic practices have been conducted for the last few centuries primarily based on Western terms, standards and nomenclature. It is only in the last decade or so that Hindus have started looking at themselves through their own eyes and worldview, rather than blindly accepting what non-Hindus have perceived their culture to be. Among all their practices, if there one nomenclature that has been blindly accepted most by Hindus without any debate is: The Caste System. This article does not debate the merits and demerits of Caste and its origins (since it has been documented thousands of times and is available everywhere over the internet), but it solely focuses on the name under which it is commonly known, because as we shall see, nomenclature means a lot.