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Archive for August 2006

Maybe Arjun Singh was right

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A friend of mine sent me this piece below. Was Arjun Singh thinking of this when he raked up the controversy about ‘Vande Mataram’? read on…

Jana Gana Mana” – Just a thought for the National Anthem!

How well do you know about it?

I have always wondered who is the “adhinayak” and “bharat bhagya vidhata”,whose praise we are singing. I thought might be Motherland India

Our current National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” is sung throughout the country.

Did you know the following about our national anthem, I didn’t.

To begin with, India ‘s national anthem, Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, was written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919.

To honour their visit Pandit Motilal Nehru had the five stanzas included, which are in praise of the King and Queen. (And most of us think it is in the praise of our great motherland!!!)

In the original Bengali verses only those provinces that were under British rule, i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat ,Maratha etc.were mentioned. None of the princely states were recognized which are integral parts of India now Kashmir, Rajasthan,Andhra, Mysore or Kerala.

Neither the Indian Ocean nor the Arabian Sea was included, since they were directly under Portuguese rule at that time. The Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka implies that King George V is the lord of the masses and Bharata Bhagya Vidhata is “the bestower of good fortune”.

Following is a translation of the five stanzas that glorify the King:

First stanza: (Indian) People wake up remembering your good name and ask for your blessings and they sing your glories. (Tava shubha naame jaage; tava shubha aashish maage, gaaye tava jaya gaatha)

Second stanza: Around your throne people of all religions come and give their love and anxiously wait to hear your kind words.

Third stanza: Praise to the King for being the charioteer, for leading the ancient travelers beyond misery.

Fourth stanza: Drowned in the deep ignorance and suffering,
poverty-stricken, unconscious country? Waiting for the wink of your eye and your mother’s (the Queen’s) true protection.

Fifth stanza: In your compassionate plans, the sleeping Bharat (India) will wake up. We bow down to your feet O’ Queen, and glory to Rajeshwara (the King).

This whole poem does not indicate any love for the Motherland but depicts a bleak picture. When you sing Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, whom are you glorifying? Certainly not the Motherland. Isit God? The poem does not indicate that.It is time now to understand the original purpose and the implication of this, rather than blindly sing as has been done the past fifty years.

Nehru chose the present national anthem as opposed to Vande Mataram because he thought that it would be easier for the band to play!!! It was an absurd reason but Today for that matter bands have advanced and they can very well play any music. So they can as well play Vande Mataram, which is a far better composition in praise of our Dear Motherland – India .

Wake up, it’s high time! Shouldn’t Vande Mataram be our National Anthem.

Comments and thoughts welcome! Thanx Josh!

Written by jayanth

August 29, 2006 at 12:18 am

Posted in Opinion

Firewalls in Dharmasala

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I watched ‘Firewall’, an IT thriller, during a trip to Bangkok. It is a very interesting movie and features a tired and haggard Harrison Ford, a far cry from the sprightly ‘Indy’ days. The movie itself was so-so and had a lot of plot ‘hitches’ including the usage of parts from a broken fax machine and an iPod to capture account numbers of a screen, that fact that a camera phone is allowed in a high security room of a bank and many such.

But the most glaring ‘hitch’ was when Ford opens up his computer on the street to track the GPS dog finder and find his family. This assumed a city wide wi-fi network being available in Seattle. I did argue this with a friend who thought maybe it did exist in the city where Microsoft is based. The argument was unresolved, but we did not know we were talking about something that could be common in the future.

And the future is now. Google recently launched a free wifi service in the city of Mountain View, Colorado. We don’t know if this is a first of many, a employee comfort initiative (there are about 1000 Google employees living in Mountain View) or a convoluted scheme to expose more ads. This news article has all the details.

Ram Viswanathan of Chennailiving wants such coverage here in Chennai, crying out in frustration against the vagaries of a BSNL broadband connection. Well, maybe not in Chennai, but if you are on vacation with a laptop in Dharmasala in the foothills of the Himalayas, you may be lucky.

Reports Wired.com:

Across the border from Chinese-occupied Tibet, the tech infrastructure in this high mountain village is a mess.

But a former Silicon Valley dot-commer and members of the underground security group Cult of the Dead Cow are working with local Tibetan exiles to change that using recycled hardware, solar power, open-source software and nerd ingenuity. The volunteers are building a low-cost wireless mesh network to provide cheap, reliable data and telephony to community organizations.

And the most interesting thing about this network is that more than a ‘firewall’, it needs a way to keep monkeys away from the dishes and antennas.

Footnote: Maybe the Dharmasala wireless mesh does need a ‘Firewall’. The day after the article appeared on wired.com the website of the agency setting this up was hacked, allegedly by the Chinese. (Moral: Chinese do read wired.com)

Written by jayanth

August 18, 2006 at 11:33 am

Posted in Opinion