Learning From History – At Peace With History (The Sceptical Patriot)

Just finished reading “The Sceptical Patriot”, a book that examines the veracity of popular “India Facts” like Invented the zero, Sanskrit is the best language for computers, India never invaded another country, India was once the most prosperous nation, Plastic surgery was developed in India … The author deals with several such “facts” that gets bandied over email, facebook, dinner conversations and more. He deals with them in a layman-friendly and mildly-funny text of 200 odd pages.

The aim of the book and also this post is not to mock, belittle or ignore India’s past achievements but to take a realistic view based on the evidence available. Continue reading “Learning From History – At Peace With History (The Sceptical Patriot)”

Question the guru. Question the sanskars.

Indian newspapers recently carried stories of the police allegedly using mumbo-jumbo tantriks to talk to the dead to solve murder mysteries.  Soon after came stories of a reputed media house publishing a book that claimed to unravel the journey of the soul and life after death. Later a well-known computer scientist supported the police’s attempts to talk to the dead. A few months prior to this was the Unnao gold dig where archeologists started digging for gold based on a seer’s dream. These are just a few of the countless cases of irrational behaviour that are so blatant and mainstream in India.

Why is it that despite science being such a prized subject in schools and colleges, do Indians do so badly at adopting a scientific approach? Continue reading “Question the guru. Question the sanskars.”

I Believe In Dr. Narendra Dabholkar

DabholkarI have been volunteering for Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Maharashtra Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith), usually referred to as Anis, for over 3 years and was fortunate to be closely associated with Dr Dabholkar over that period. I write this in great shock, disbelief and sorrow.

For over two decades, Dr. Dabholkar fought against rampant superstitions in our society and for the cause of rationalism and humanism. While radicals and those with vested interests regularly tried to malign him and project him as someone opposed to religion, that was never the case. Continue reading “I Believe In Dr. Narendra Dabholkar”

Astrology vs Science & Reason | Which side are you on?

A few months back came the shocking news of the Palkar family suicide in Pune, where Arun Palkar(40), a well off electrical contractor consumed sleeping pills along with his wife (37) and children aged 11 & 6. He did so because he believed that Shani (Saturn) and Mangal (Mars) were so unfavourably placed in his horoscope that irrespective of what he did, he & his family would never be happy. It is likely that he even planned the suicide so as to rescue his family from present & future suffering. Continue reading “Astrology vs Science & Reason | Which side are you on?”

Terror Attacks – Why Ahmedabad? Why Bangalore? Why India?

Terror Attacks In Ahmedabad Bangalore Cities In IndiaIndia has again seen a painful chapter of bombings. Over 20 bombs targeted the Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmadabad and killed 10s of innocent civilians and injured 100s.

While I feel very sad and rattled by the developments, I also fail to make sense of them. I only have questions for the militants on a killing spree and also questions for myself and all Indians.

Continue reading “Terror Attacks – Why Ahmedabad? Why Bangalore? Why India?”

Magical Men Of 21st Century India

“The Key Selling Point Of The GodMen Is Their Talk About Things That Make No Sense”

Right from childhood, stories that had their foundation in magic and ‘chamatkars’ always appealed to me. I must have watched 10s of combinations of stories like – Ramu’s son is ill and no doctor is able to cure him; Ramu goes to a godman who whips up a magical powder; Ramu applies the powder on his son’s forehead and the kid is magically cured. As a child, I remember being in awe of the godman and thinking, “Wow! This man is amazing!”. Friends readily contributed their own stories of how the godman was indeed magical.

Continue reading “Magical Men Of 21st Century India”

Should I keep rowing or should I abandon ship and swim for that glittering island?

A few days back, a friend told me about his plans to head for a foreign country because he has had enough of India. He isn’t one of the ‘crazy about US’ kinds who think that all things American are cool or who only talks about English music and Hollywood. He is as connected to India as most of us. Yet he is convinced that he has to move out of India.

That discussion has got me thinking about the topic of young Indians migrating from India. This article is my attempt to put down the various factors that are at work in this matter.

I will discuss the history of Indian migrations and then look at why people migrate and why they don’t. If you are expecting a yes or no answer about migrating, I unfortunately can’t provide that.

Although I am taking an Indian perspective, I think most points would be relevant to all developing nations.

Also please note that I am trying to take an objective view on the subject and not a patriotic or emotional one.

Continue reading “Should I keep rowing or should I abandon ship and swim for that glittering island?”