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All posts for the month May, 2016

Movie : Coffee Aani Barach Kaahi

Published May 23, 2016 by vishalvkale

I am not a movie reviewer, or blogger; but every once in a while, I come across a movie that leaves a deep impression, an impression spanning every aspect of the movie; which is what moves me to pen my thoughts on the aforesaid movie… the movie under review, Coffee Aani Barach Kaahi, is one such – a lovely light romantic movie that is, for me, unforgettable; one I can watch any number of times – like Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai….

THE CHARACTERS
Image result for prarthana behere
Jaai  {Prarthana Behere} – idealistic, highly romantic yet reserved, knows what she wants – for sure; stubborn as a mule – she wont say it. No sir, not her. Not even when pigs fly!


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Nishad {Vaibhav Tatwawdi} – Balanced, yet uncertain; competent in everything… except matters of the heart; practical even in love {what can I say? You try and talk sense into him!}. Boss, Nishad – the lady wont, repeat wont, say it. Your call, buddy.


Image result for neha mahajan
Abha {Neha Mahajan} – Vivacious, extroverted, open-minded, confident… and yup, kid sister to Jaai. Dont listen to her, Jaai- she doesn’t know Nishad, so her – aah, strategies – don’t count!


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Anish {Bhushan Pradhan} – comes to “see” Jaai, falls for Neha in the first scene; the frontispiece of the movie. A real gem – people like him are rare, and special… steals the show, almost…


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Paresh {Sandesh Kulkarni} – Without him, there is no movie. Cafe owner, and luckily for one person, one central character – the only other person with some sense of romance, Anish apart.
THE STORY
The story is one of a blossoming love between Nishad and Jaai… neither will say it for one excellent reason or another, both realise that the other person is THE person for them; one is stubborn as a mule, and with old-fashioned romantic ideas – Jaai wont say it, not ever, not her. Nishad? He wont either, for entirely different reasons. Not him – not ever, no way. NIshad is too uncertain, full of doubts, and reticent while being mature and balanced, and a deeply impressive personality; Jaai idealistic & romantic, wont take the first step. And she doesn’t – right till the very last climactic scene, when she stands dumb as a dodo, but no sir – she will NOT say it.

The difference is in the nut n bolts of the story; it has been presented as a flashback which tells a lovely heart-warming tale of falling in love; this has been interlaced with the scene of Nishad waiting for Jaai at the cafe for their “critical “ meeting. The flashback is in a conversation between Jaai and Anish – who has come with his parents to discuss marriage; Jaai tells Anish the story of her love when he bluntly asks – who is coming between us, as it is apparent to him that the lady isn’t interested. In that one scene – you get to really like Anish… Nishad – what can I say? The waiting scene at the cafe, which turns into hours, is when he starts talking with Paresh, the owner… 
THE REVIEW
Love is a subject that has been dealt with threadbare in movies; but if you dismiss this movie basis this fact, you will miss a movie that I call one of the best movies to come out of India in any language. This is a movie that grows on you, whose characters grow on you and entangle you in their story; a movie that is deeply engaging, practical and very, very realistic; a movie with zero melodrama, and a movie that creates a deep connect with the audience.
How do you attract, and keep audience interest in such a well-worn subject? By creating scenery and storylines, presenting fresh yet talented faces that have no audience expectations and hang-ups, dialogues and a presentation that tugs at heart strings, is very mature and balanced, and is something we can all relate to; something that is bubbly, full of life, soft and very engaging and lovable at first sight almost. This is not a trick that is easy to pull off – and this is where the movie succeeds big time; it has taken an old concept, and made it sufficiently fresh and different, that is carves a pedestal all for its lonesome.
The magic is in the treatment of the story, the dialogues, the situations presented, and the overall presentation and style. There is a complete absence of any melodrama, as the story unfolds beautifully along practical and close-to-real-life situations; there are no needless twists – and yet, the narrative is sufficiently taut, managing to keep you riveted right from the first scene quite literally, and keep you engaged right till the last scene when that idiot finally says it… {sorry Nishad}
The real beauty is in the sacrifice of the narrative speed; while the narrative of the movie is nice and taut – yet, in places, it has been deliberately allowed to meander here and there; these meanderings are very adroitly handled, and add to the story as well as the depth of the characters. Be it the reminiscence of an old couple on their 50thanniversary, or the interchange between the sisters- very scene is thoughtfully crafted, taking the story forward in some way. There isn’t a wasted scene in the entire movie from start to finish, and that is the most incredible part. This helps in creating a deep connect between the audience and the story, and a deeply absorbing tale unfolds.
If it is an Indian movie – there must be music; and songs – and the movie doesn’t disappoint, with some classy numbers. The songs aren’t too many, and are not forced either, which is great. The music is by Late Shri Gajanan Vatve and  Aditya Bedekar. One song that stands out is one that is also emblematic of the entire movie – different, yet loveable… Rang He Nave Nave, Duniya Hai Nai Nai; Mornings Are Just Magical, Shaame Bhi Hain Surmayee…. a mix of three languages…
The performances are universally excellent; that said – a word has to be said for Neha Mahajan, whose portrayal of Abha is real class. She steals the show – almost; as does Bhushan Pradhan, who in his portrayal of Anish, brings maturity and incredible balance through his impressive controlled performance. You of course get to like Prarthana as Jaai… But the movie, in my opinion, belongs to Vaibhav who steals the show despite having the least lines.. a superply controlled and soulful performance, with at times just his eyes doing the talking… truly class.

All in all, rated 5 stars. In my list, one of the best movies I have ever seen… in a list that has LOC Kargil, Golmaal, Angur, Mangalashtak Once More, Sumbaran, Ek Unaad Divas… 

Book Review : Rearming Hinduism – Nature, Hinduphobia…

Published May 14, 2016 by vishalvkale

BOOK REVIEW : REARMING HINDUISM
NATURE, HINDUPHOBIA, AND THE RETURN OF HINDU INTELLIGENCE
AUTHOR : VAMSEE JULURI
THE BOOK
Image result for rearming hinduism bookThe title of the book says it all in a succinct and to-the-point manner : this a book centering around the image and ridiculing of Hindus, the misunderstandings among the western scholars and people regarding Hinduism, and the rise of Hindu pride. It is a book which seeks to counter some claims and observations  made by Wendy Doniger in her book, which serves as the starting point of the book; it then subsequently branches out and raises the issue of misrepresentation of Hinduism in the international media and academia
It quite successfully takes the rising Hinduphobia in the international discourse; and raises several pertinent points; it looks at the propagation of myths and half-truths regarding our religion, as well as the penchant of the westerner to fit everything into one mould, as it were. The penchant of the westerner {as well as some among us Hindus as well} of regarding Aryan Invasion also features here in a short and sharp chapter.
The book is organised in two parts, with the first part focussing on the aspects highlighted in the above paragraphs; the second part is about the author’s personal view about Hinduism – to quote the author : “how one devout Hindu sees hope for humanity in the richness of Hindu thought. I present this part in a more personal and devotional tone / it is perhaps best read as a set of thoughts / about what it means to be Human as reflected in the ideals and stories of Hinduism
The Author, Vamsee Juluri is a professor of media studies at the university of San Fransisco : this is a vital aspect, as he is well exposed to western views on our religion, and it is a part of his job as well – as he writes and teaches about worldviews, assumptions, commonsense ideas about ourselves and the world, and how they might be distortions, myths and outright lies – again quoting the author here. This is also what I myself have written about extensively, although in my amateur style.
THE REVIEW
Frankly, this is a book with only a partial relevance to India – India is a nation, and Sanaatan Dharm a religion. That is one; second, it is also a book with no relevance whatsoever to Sanaatan Dharm in India – as this is a book written by a Sanaatan Dharmi living and working in the USA. The problem of Eurocentricism, and the attendant problem of the representation of our religion in the West is of no material importance or relevance to us as Indian citizens. It is also of precisely zero relevance to us as Sanaatan Dharmis, as followers of The Eternal Path.
The reason is that Sanaatan Dharm, as per my readings and understanding – places emphasis on an individual understanding and faith, and not on collectivity. Second, our religion also emphasises duty to the nation, the society one lives in – and for residents of the USA – that is the USA and its society. Thus, the problems being faced by Sanaatan Dharmis in the USA are of no concern to me; I have my own nation, my own people and we have our own lives and duties to perform.   Worrying about the status of Sanaatan Dharm in the USA is not one of those problems.
That is why I found a zero emotional connect with the obvious angst of the Author on the problem of Eurocentricism, and of the misrepresentation of Sanaatan Dharm in the USA. I just could not relate to it; I could partially relate to Eurocentricism, as it is an ever present theme in everyday life, given the state of the modern world, but that is all. On the topic of books by Westerners and Western Academia on Sanaatan Dharm, why should I have occasion to read them, given that I have an excellent resource of Indian books on the said topics available on Indian book stores?
In recent years, there is an emerging trend of excellent, well –presented and researched books on any number of topics of Indian Relevance spanning Economics to History to Religion, all written by Indians, and spanning all possible viewpoints. There is admittedly a problem of shelf-space to these on book stores, which tend to give emphasis to Western books; but this is now receding, with the strong emergence of quality Indian research on all topics under the sun. The movement is slow- but it is present. The trend of Eurocentric Macaulay’s Children in Indian discourse is waning, with the strong emergence of a parallel thought process and philosophy, as India finally throws off the colonial yoke and emerges in its own right.
That said, the book per se is written in a rather angry or should I say annoyed tone as it seems to me; it could be a cultural thing,  as I am in India while the author is in the USA. While he quite successfully, it seems to me, takes on the stated purpose of the book – the lack of a proper presentation is a small problem. I would have loved a properly bulleted and point-wise rebuttal of the claims of Eurocentric writers on Sanaatan Dharm. This has not been properly presented; the content is excellent, it needs a proper presentation to makeit more effective.
A clarification is needed here : the title of the book says ‘Rearming Hindusm’ – this has nothing to do with conventional arms, and is more to do with a spiritual rearming, and a reawakening of Sanaatan Dharmis. It seeks to challenge Hinduphobia and the attendant incorrect portrayal of our religion in Academia and the Newspapers and Magazines of the West, especially the USA

On the second part, there is a lot I agree with – but I will withhold comment – as Sanaatan Dharm is typically an individualistic faith, and each person has to find his or her own path. The author’s observations are interesting, deeply thought-provoking, and I highly recommend Indian Sanaatan Dharmis reading this book for the second part; my advise would be to read and re-read the second part, as it contains a series of deep observations, ideas and gems. You will find a lot of learning as well as agreement with in the second part… read the book for this alone, is my advise to you…

Is Something Seriously Wrong With Us?

Published May 9, 2016 by vishalvkale

A DANCE OF DEATH…
Another day, another month, another year – and yet another display of cruel insensitivity by us Indians, this time watching as a person burns to his death on a crowded street, with no one coming forward to help. It is one thing if you try to help, and were not able to – or if you try to help but were prevented by the intensity of the fire, but just standing and watching is quite another. What were you watching? It wasn’t a street drama; it was a dance of death being played. Either you stop to help – or bloody well move on so that other, better people than you can help!
Insensitivity, callousness, fear – or all of the above? Just what is the problem that causes incidents like the one in the article from The Indian Express below? We have seen many, many such sad and cruel responses from the public over the years, some of which I myself have documented on my blog from time to time. Each time, I think and, rather, hope – that these are isolated incidents, ones which are reported due to their transparently callous and cruel nature; that we are a nation of 1.3 Billion plus, and that isolated incidents aren’t the barometer…




IS SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH US?
But when similar happenings take place again and again and again – one has to conclude that there is something seriously wrong with at least some people among us; that we need to look in a mirror and see for ourselves what we are increasingly becoming. We have seen it before – driving on by a couple of victims, watching accident victims and more; and have demonstrated magnificent inaction and the ardent followership of it-isnt-my-problem-so-why-should-I-care.
But what happened in this episode just beggars belief; a display of inhumanity and cruelty beyond words, beyond description and beyond comprehension. I am frankly stunned, with bile rising in my throat and shocked numbness in my mind as I read the unbelievably shocking display of inhumanity, crass selfishness, callousness & total lack of empathy, and mind-numbing insensitivity on display in this terrifying episode.  People just standing and watching!
If this was all there was to it – it would have been routine for India – as we shall observe later in this article; what takes the cake here is that not only were people watching, they were taking videos and further uploading them on Youtube! This is something that you want to have a Video of? What for, pray tell? What makes it so fascinating? A human being is burning to death, an agonizing and horrific way to go, and the best you can think of is taking a video? What happened to plain human decency and feelings? And let us not forget common sense, which, by current evidence, is highly uncommon?
THIS IS A HABIT WITH US…
We have seen this many, many time before; this shocking inhuman behaviour by Indians of all hues, colors, education, livelihood, age and gender. Everytime there is a small road accident- even a biker falling – you will see crowds gathering and watching. Watching – mind it; doing nothing, precisely nothing, and just watching. In doing so, they clog up roads, disturb and delay people, waste resources as well as time – but they watch all the same.
What curious fascination, what amazing pull others’ misfortune holds for us as a people, isn’t it? We unfailingly watch, each and every time. But no- we never, ever, stop forward to help, to lend a helping hand. Why do you watch – do tell? Is it fun? Someone is hurt, is in pain, or is dying – and you stand and watch? How does that help? What satisfaction do you get from it? And if it is curiosity – what good will satisfying your curiosity do? Why don’t you help – or move on, if you don’t want to help? Moving on it actually preferable if you cannot actually do anything to change the status quo!
WHY BYSTANDING IS WRONG
In fact, the act of standing, of just watching, satisfying your “curiosity”, is actually quite harmful to the situation. This first of all prevents access to those people who are real “men” so to speak {sorry, ladies, no insult intended – just using an old English idiom}. These real men or women can help, want to help – isn’t it possible that their access is prevented by no-good bystanders who are creating a crowd? Further, crowd inaction might also dissuade those in the crowd with real humanity and guts, those who have feelings, but don’t act since the crowd isn’t doing so.
Not only that – let me go further. If you stop to watch even a small accident on the road just out of curiosity – please don’t. What good can you do? Either help – or don’t stop, be selfish – and move on. Clear the space for those who can help; that will be your contribution to the cause, and will be genuinely appreciated. What gets me is why be curious at all? It is fine to be curious, see and then lend a hand; it is not so fine if your curiosity leads to you watching! Why watch? You have seen the misfortune – so move on; why does someone else’s misfortune hold such a magnetic attraction? What does it say of you as a person? Not a lot, to be brutally frank.

If this article has touched you in any way – please think of how you respond and behave under such circumstances. This applies to me as well – I have also soul-searched, and asked myself – what would my response be? I know for a fact that I don’t stop if there are bystanders or a crowd, since it will only add to the clog and confusion; but how will I react when I am the first on the scene? I hope I never have to answer that. Whatever the reason for your inaction – callousness, cruelty, fear, other issues – they are your problems; the best you can do is not stop to watch, leaving the space for others who can help. And videos – boss, it isn’t cool to take videos of others’ suffering; it is cruel, callous, inhuman and shockingly sad….

Crafting A Great Brand : The Channel Perspective

Published May 1, 2016 by vishalvkale

One of the most neglected and underestimated aspects of Brand Building remains the contribution and role of the 3rd “P” of the marketing mix : Place. The other 3 Ps have been looked at threadbare in any number of excellent case studies, books, researches, in both India as well as the rest of the World. But, on this, the   third “P”, a few selective articles, case studies apart – I have not read anything in my reading so far. Funnily, this is at complete variance with my own on-ground experience in Sales for 16 years.
The question is and remains, how to go about building a great brand? Sure, you need a great product that fulfils a defined need from a set of prospective customers; it should be at a price-point acceptable to the customer-set {segment in Marketing Jargon}; this price point should not reduce the allure of the brand; and it should be backed by a strong marketing programme spanning Advertising and Sales Promotion activities – this is what most pundits will expound.
The question that occurs to me is this : you can have an optimal product-range, backed by a pricing that is in keeping with market needs and realities; with a strong marketing programme. All of this is also executed to near-perfection. Does this ensure success in the marketplace? The answer, basis long years of observation and work experience in sales across diverse industries and geographies is a clear and resounding no. In fact, the answer is very nearly an emphatic “almost never”.
All of the above is of no use if you cannot place your product in the right channel; please note : not just channel, but the right channel. Basis experience, I am only too painfully aware that a strong brand with a top-of-mind recall and strong associations etc {all the Jargon here} is not necessarily the sole, or primary consideration factor in the mind of the channel. Sure you will get placement – that is a guarantee almost. But placement does not mean tertiary sales.
What moves and how it moves from the retail shelves remains one of the least studied aspects of Marketing in contemporary Marketing Theory; again, basis experience, the power of the Brand is but one factor among several. And the list contains several items that prove to be googlies for even top brands, as many a brand have found out. Despite this, it is surprising that contemporary theorists in the field of Brand Building and Marketing pay no attention whatsoever to this vital aspect.
An example from my personal experience. In a state I was once heading, the leading brand {it was leading, still is among the top-2, frequently no. 1} just disappeared from shelves smack in the peak season : vanished,  like vanishing cream. The  reason was widespread dissatisfaction among the retail towards the online strategy, pricing and product availability of that company.  Where is the power of the brand here, and all those lovely associations and recalls? Nothing could work, as the channel united as one, leading to mayhem in peak season.
Another example : a product was washed out from 4 states in the space of a few months, due to massive claim pendency at the distributor level. Third example : I once asked my distributor, you sell xty-x of my products, and yty-y of my competition {y being much larger than x, obviously} – while our product range is not that much outclassed. His response contained one little gem, among the other points raised : I will, in front of you, give you an order of one truckload, and the competition an order of two units. Stay here and see who delivers first. The competition delivered within hours, I wasn’t able to even in 2 days. This leads to better profitability at the channel level, translating to increased penetration and marketshare.
There can be other examples – inability to penetrate markets and shelves due to legacy issues, relationship problems etc; lack of the right logistical base that ensures proper service and replenishment right till the smallest shop shelves; speed of roll-out etc. The point I am trying to make is that the Channel remains the only place where the customer comes into contact with the company offering, and the complete absence of appreciation beyond the clichéd POP and Sales Promotional activities belies the vital importance of the Channel.
You can always state that each of the above are one-offs; and you would be right. Problem is that I have seen these one-offs happening repeatedly, again and again – so much so that they aren’t really one-offs. The repeated happenings that I have seen in my career is leading me to question the basic premise of Marketing : the importance given to the various elements in the mix. It is also leading me to a basic theory basis my personal experience
Crafting a successful brand isn’t the  responsibility of just the Marketing Team, or the Brand Management Team alone : it isn’t their sole deliverable. The success of a company, of a brand – is the responsibility of the entire company, of every employee, and not just in customer-facing functions alone. This has been said before by pundits; my base point in the article is far beyond this; and focuses on the channel functions at the core.
Crafting a market victory requires a deep understanding the dynamics of the physical marketplace, and and in-depth understanding of the micro-level functions and realities. Let me give an example – a brand once came in with a revolutionary premise : MOP or market operating price,  strictly enforced. This is an ultra competitive market. We all laughed and ridiculed, yes  – including oh-so-smart yours truly. Two years later, this brand has shaken the foundations of the market with its surprising results; it may not be the market topper – but its rapid growth has stunned everyone.
There were other reasons – the right product at the right price etc. But that fact that the company keyed into the eroding profitability in retail, and the mayhem that price competition was causing in that industry gave it a small, tiny space in the marketplace for it to exploit. Initially, it was hard going but, eventually, the market began to accept. It is still early days, but the strategy belies a deep understanding of market realities.
They were also very innovative in customer contact at the retail points, with product dummies and trials in every point almost; massive visibility etc – the works. But this was carried out across the board, and with flawless execution. That is the next point I need to make- that the execution brilliance has to be uncompromising with a uniform experience across all customer contact points for a truly great brand to be crafted.
What does it take for a great brand to be crafted? Apart from all the points of the mix and its comparative importance of each component – flawless execution of strategy, and a uniform customer experience across all touchpoints. Having seen this in 3 industries, I can theorise that this is not industry-specific. This, combined with the other points – supply chain efficiency, deep understanding of channel functions, wants and ambitions, accounts transparency etc, are all prerequisites.
That is why I have a fundamental disconnect with most Marketing Theory around Brands : the exclusive focus on one {or two} selective item from the mix, which is completely absent from the real world I have seen and experienced. It takes much, much more than that to craft a truly great brand; Branding should encompass the entire gamut of activities required from production right till the after sales service. Every component plays a vital part in the brand story. And trust me – most top brand are clued into this…

That said – let me reiterate, in my career so far, despite having covered in excess of 2000 retail points at a minimum, I cant really say what really makes products move from the shelves. All I have experienced is that “Brand ” is only one among a set of factors, which I may pen in the due fullness of time and experience… that is, to me – the final frontier of Sales and Marketing : decoding the retail in the new and changed market dynamic and reality of connectivity and seamless inregration wrought by technology… this is the subject of the next article, whenever I manage to get around to it…

Re-Examining Indian History

Published May 1, 2016 by vishalvkale

There is an urgent need for history to be re-written, at least in India, and the real story to be told of India and its past – glorious as well as otherwise, one that so-called educated Indians call Fiction, which is in reality pure fact. The deleterious impact of the bullshit being absorbed by our citizens is there for all to see, and needs an entirely independent discussion. But the need for a retelling is now more acute than ever, given the half-informed trends in evidence regarding partition as well as our Vedic Past.
Furthermore, the completely jaundiced and ridiculously one-sided view of India from the West { as well as our religious and political internalities} which tends to propagate  stereotypes and incorrect views and fears needs to be met head; firstly these have manifest real world problems that arise from them. Secondly, this one sided view going unchallenged in Academia as well as popular discourse gives an incorrect impression of us as a people, as well as potraying our approach in a very poor light. If we know it is inaccurate, why is there o attempt to meet it head on?
Large parts of our history is pure, unadulterated fiction. I can and have written articles on it; having studied more than 3 dozen authentic books on Indian History. Suffice it to say that large parts of what we call fact is nothing but fiction. A couple of examples to start the discussion going; one controversial, the other absolute.
1) When was Ashok Born : 300-400BC, or more than a thousand years earlier?{Controversial; but interesting nonetheless}
2) The British Eradicated Sati? {Pure, simple fiction and utter bullshit, provable fact}
Yes, in the process of this re-examination and retelling – there will be tall claims, or rather, to be more specific : seemingly tall claims, as for example, from the Hindutva Brigade; but these are vitally needed interventions, bringing our ancient literature into focus, leading to heightened interest. You have to churn the milk to get cream.
Further, how many of those who reject these tall claims have actually perused the scriptures? I too used to be highly skeptical; but after reading our scriptures, while I still dont entirely accept the Hindutva claims. I do now realise the prevalent western versions are nothing but nonsense; pure and unadulterated nonsense. Similar is the case with Independence, wherein the full reality, basis a deep 7-year research of my own, has taught me that the reality is simply too complicated to understand, and that the prevalent version is close on incomplete, with some versions being inaccurate
I am not talking about bias, or about personal impressions emanating from a retelling of history from a person’s viewpoint; I am specifically stating a word – Bullshit, and equally specifically underlining another – fiction. Let me prove it with an example :
The British outlawed Sati, and were responsible for its eradication – law of 1829. Why doesnt the same history talk of the law of 1813, which clearly legalised Sati? That made the British the only rulers in the past 400+ years to have legalised it. Why doesnt the history talk of this significant factor? This is deliberate suppression of facts by the British.
Furthermore, the official record does not state that Raja Roy initially was against official intervention – even while vociferously campaigning against the barbarity. Neither does the record state the legalisation of sati in 1813. I wonder why? The official record makes no mention of a long list of anti-sati campaigners. Neither does it recognise that virtually every Mughal ruler had made strict laws against sati: including Aurangzeb. The first recorded law against this is by Humayun. That effectively puts paid to the “British ercadicated sati” claim. They didnt; it was the result of a centuries-long battle against this social evil directed and campaigned purely by Indians. That is what the entire record shows. So much for the much tom-tommed british claim of sati eradication!
The proof? Simple. These are the precise numbers – documented numbers – of sati cases around 1810-1840. These records very effectively destroy any such claim even without the lecture above. Between 1815 and 1828, 63% of all recorded acts of sati took place in CalcuttaIn 1824, of the 250000 women who became widows, 600 underwent sati.  In Varanasi, there were only 125 cases in 9 years from 1820.
The British exaggerated it enormously; there is evidence of this. This was since it could be used to justify their rule over us “heathens”. William Carey, the great reformer, wrote : “For the first time during 20 centuries… the waters of the Ganges flowed unblooded to the seas”. It is impossible that the British were not aware of the precise numbers: these figures are from their own records!
The controversial point – The Pauranic records list an entire 150 generation of kingsm which includes Devanampiya Piyadassi – or Ashok. A tracing of this lineage is at clear variance with the western dating 300-400 BC. Further, ancient historical records also do not agree, with one giving no mention of Kaling War as reason for conversion. Why is this never researched? Why are we dismissing this as myth? Who writes 150 generations of fictional kings, which happen to include several historically acknowledged characters?
More provable : Partition. Plenty of provable evidence now available of the reality, which is at complete variance with the stated record. Similarly 1857, Original records and eye witness account give a diametrically opposite story, that of a planned war. Why arent we told this? Why the silence on the 4 terrible British laws that lead to the worst known genocide in Human History, which we know nothing of? Those laws are on record in England! Why do we know nothing of what I call the Bengal Holocaust and its causes?
There is even evidence available that Babur may have been invited to India! There is evidence present of the internal economic structure and honesty of the people, and the overall atmosphere – which never reaches us, despite authentic proof being present of the wonder that was India. None of it reaches the Western books, which we all ape, through our own internal Macaulay’s Children here in India.I am not talking opinions, but authentic period evidence and writings and other proof.
We still believe in several fictional statements, and hang onto the belief instilled in us by The West and our own Macaulay’s Children; what is worse is that there is no attempt to start a genuine research of our own past. What if I make a statement that the pulsating universe theory is accurately told in our scriptures? I will be branded a fool, or a fundamentalist, or both.
My humble submission – there is actually a specific reference to the origins of the universe in the Upanishads that has uncanny resemblance with the Pulsating Universe Theory, which took the so-called great West umtpy ump billions of dollars investment. Sounds fantastic, doesnt it?
The problem is if we extrapolate the above to state that our ancestors knew the science behind it; there is no evidence that they either did, or didnt. That also does not mean you can deny the existence of the uncanny resemblance of the scriptural verses to the modern theories. Fact of the matter is that it is {they are} present, and was {were} penned several millennia ago.
This requires explanation, reasoned discourse and research, patience, a questioning attitude. What we get is a querulous attitude; impatience, either blind following and mirth-invoking claims or complete denial +superiority complex + taunts + disbelief. We need neither.
This refers not just to the Vedic example above, but to each and every point raised above. The Macaulays in India are currently in denial and mirth, when they should be researching, questionning and patient; the fans and followers are ballistic in their statements, when they should be mature, reasoned and patient. India needs a more reasoned and mature approach to the question of her own past, one that is based not on fiction and bullshit, but a reasoned argument, theory basis all known facts ,devoid of political intervention.

This post is a prelude to my next book review : Rearming Hinduism by Vamsee Juluri, wherein I will try and answer many questions raised above, namely – why don’t we try to meet these issues head on? Why do we accept the status quo as gospel?