23 June, 2009

Triple eclipse doesn't bode well for humanity

DNA, 23rd June, 2009

If India is racked by tumults from its restful neighbours in the near future, blame it on the universe. This year, starting from July 7, the world will witness a rare celestial drama of a triple eclipse over a period of just one month. If history is any indication, this does not augur well for the world, say the authors of the book Will History Repeat Itself, brought out under the Bharat Gyan series. There could, however, also be positives to emerge like Kurukshetra's great lesson and the divine Gita message, say the authors.

July 7 will witness a lunar eclipse followed by a solar eclipse on July 22 and another lunar eclipse on August 6. Six more triple eclipses will occur over the next decade, point out DK Hari and Hema Hari, the authors. Basing their arguments on arche-historical-astronomical analysis, the authors say the three eclipses that occurred during the first recorded triple eclipse in 3067BC brought the Kuruskshetra war; the second in 3031BC submerged Krishna's Dwaraka and saw the internecine war of the Yadavas.

The Kuruskshetra war killed 47 lakh men and beasts in two weeks. And, it is believed that the war used nuclear-like weapons (even weapons so fearsome that they could kill a baby in the womb, while leaving the mother unharmed). The 20th Century eclipse series saw two world wars and the world's first and only nuclear attack. "It was a war of clans; of brothers -- India and Pakistan are like brothers. Could there be a parallel?" The authors wondered aloud at a media-briefing held in the city on Monday.

Triple eclipses are also linked to Biblical stories of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Pleading not to dismiss the celestial happenings as "exotic tales" Hari said the effect of the realignment of heavenly bodies are based on a scientific fact. "When the Earth is caught between the Sun and the Moon, a huge gravitational pull between the Sun and the planets affects the speed of the Earth's rotation. This, in turn, will affect the motion of tectonic plates that could fall out of sync with the Earth's rotational speed. Tremors are the result."

Commenting on the book, Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravishankar said man is powerless in the cosmic scheme of things, but his spirituality could save him from a cataclysmic impact. "The microcosm and macrocosm are interconnected. Nothing exists in isolation," he observed.

18 June, 2009

Poison on the Platter - an eye-opening film on Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

Above: 'Poison on the Platter', is an eye-opening film, made by Mahesh Bhatt and Ajay Kanchan, illustrating how all of our lives are gonna be (adversely) affected by genetically modified foods. It is no more a farmer’s issue alone, it’s a matter of the consumers’ right to food safety. You and I wouldn’t even be able to separate/choose a normal Brinjal from/over a GM one, if Bt Brinjal - a GM crop produced by the mighty agri-MNC Monsanto - is let through by our corrupt regulatory body. Let’s put up strong resistance, demanding a ban on GM food/crops for 5 years, until they are proven safe for human consumption by independent, long-term studies.

12 June, 2009

26/11 could not have happened sans local support: slain NSG commando’s father

Times of India, 12th June, 2009

The kin of security personnel killed in Mumbai terror strikes on Friday suspected that gunmen who carried out the attacks could have had local support.

K Unnikrishnan, father of slain NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan, and Kavita Karkare, wife of slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare, said there might have "sleeper groups" of terrorist oufits in the city.

"I can't believe that only ten people came and did so much damage in a city like Mumbai. There must have been support for them and there are sleeper groups which might have helped them," Unnikrishnan said at a function organised by Sahara India.

Kavita Karkare also criticised the security establishment for its shortcomings and said it was likely that there was an element of local support.

"There are many people supporting them (terrorists) and we should bring about a change," she said.

Karkare blamed the political establishment, state government, Intelligence machinery and Coast Guard for "lapses" which led to the attacks in which over 180 people were killed.

Sahara India pledged financial support to the next of kin of the 18 police and security forces personnel who were killed while taking on the terrorists in the city on November 26.

The wife of encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, Smita, rued that society had already "forgotten" the lessons from the terror strikes.

01 June, 2009

Ban on smoking on screen not practical: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Times of India, 31st May, 2009

Toeing a different line from that of his predecessor on banning smoking and drinking on screen, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said such a restriction was not "practical" and filmmakers should first stop showing "objectionable things" such as murder and arson.

Azad said he did not agree with the view that people get influenced by such scenes on screen and imitate them in real life.

His predecessor Anbumani Ramadoss has earned the ire of filmstars for trying to impose a ban on smoking and drinking on screen.

"It is just entertainment. There are so many objectionable things which are shown on screen like murder, arson and so on...Then such things should be banned first...I think we should try to implement whatever we can," Azad told reporters when asked to comment on the issue.

"They are so many criminal acts shown on films. Film is entertainment which is also related to reality. These things happen in society. So, many of these things are shown in films and then you stop films also," he said.

According to Azad, imposing a ban on such things was "not practical.

"We cannot do anything which is not practical. Such things (banning smoking and drinking on screen) are very difficult. Cinema is part of entertainment and it is just to enjoy," he said.