Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Libraries in America
Just returned from the Alameda Fremont library. This country is really fantastic. Every town has a reasonably good library. Fremont is a small town in north California with a population of about 220,000,  but today I got books from there on Surdas, Mirabai, etc , which perhaps may not be available even in India anywhere. In big cities of U.S.A. of course there are much bigger libraries.
 Apart from those two books, I have also borrowed books on the lives of Thomas Jefferson, Bolivar and Harper Lee ( who wrote the novel ' To Kill a Mocking Bird '). I also got books on the Second World War and the Cold War.
 Now my stock for a week or so is with me.
This is a message I received recently on fb ( I have deleted the name of the sender ) :
" Sir, many people who are "acting" as admiring you, appreciating you and following you on fb may not be as it appears. I was invited by one of my college friends to like your page. I guess they are enjoying, acting as if they are your ardent admirers and having a good time laughing. All of them warned me that you are a paid source. Sad but true. "
 Well, this is interesting news. But, seriously speaking, who would pay me.? And what is my rate ?
 Some time back I criticized a senior politician of a particular political party, and some people of that party announced that I had been gifted some land and a house by a rival party. I immediately requested that I should be informed the plot number of the land and details of the house so that I may take possession, but no one responded.
 As a Judge I was regarded such a hopeless case that no one even offered me a bribe, far from my accepting it.  I used to say in open Court to lawyers and others that they should at least offer me a bribe, may be I would succumb to the temptation, but no one did.
Krishna ke Sakha
Since this is the season of Holi, I am reminded of several visits I  made to Mathura and nearby places associated with the life of Lord Krishna,e.g. Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan, Barsana, Nandgaon, etc.
 The whole area is called Brajmandal ( or simply Braj ), and on entering it one gets transformed in one's mind to the times of Lord Krishna. People in Braj sometimes talk of Krishna as if he was still alive, or had been living there till recently.
 I found that the people of Braj are often celebrating festivals ( utsavs ). I asked some of them how many utsavs do you celebrate every year ?
  They replied " 366 days in a year "
 I was surprised, and asked " But when do you work for a living ? "
They replied " We do not have to work for a living..We are Krishna's sakhas. Others have to work to feed us. We only celebrate utsavs ".

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ban on Beef
I condemn the beef ban in Maharashtra.
I do not ordinarily eat beef out of respect for the feelings of my wife and other relatives, who are religious. But I have eaten beef in the past, and see nothing wrong in it. I may again eat beef if the occasion so arises
 Much of the world eats beef. Are they all wicked people ? In fact people in some parts of India eat beef, e.g. in many North Eastern states as it provides cheap protein.
 Those who raise a hue and cry against cow slaughter are not at all bothered by the suffering of tens of thousands of cows which are not properly fed. I have seen cows eating refuse and garbage. I have seen cows so thin that their ribs are protruding out of their flesh. But nobody is bothered about their suffering.
 I am more Hindu than these so called champions of Hinduism, who really know nothing about the great Hindu intellectualism of the past, but only know how to whip up communal hatred.
 I have studied, and truly represent, the great Hindu intellectual tradition ( see my article ' Sanskrit as a language of Science ' on my blog and the website ).
The Chaturvedis
Many people in India have the surname Chaturvedi. They are also called Chaubes ( just as Dwivedis are also called Dubes ). Many Chaturvedis are my friends.
 There are three interesting things about Chaturvedis :
 (1) They were originally concentrated in the area comprising of the present districts of Mathura, Agra, Firozabad, etc ( the Brajmandal ) in the state of Uttar Pradesh, though of course they later spread elsewhere, e.g. to Malwa where they are called Malviyas ( e.g. Pt.Madan Mohan Malviya ), and some even went abroad.. However even now there are a lot of Chaubes in the Mathura region and nearabout, and they are bhaktas of Lord Krishna.
(2) They call themselves Brahmins, but traditionally a Chaturvedi boy could only marry a Chaturvedi girl, and not other Brahmans like Mishras, Shuklas, Dwivedis, Trivedis, Bajpais, Pandes, etc
(3) They are usually fair, handsome and intelligent.
What is the historical origin of Chaturvedis ? This could be an interesting subject of research.
 I would like to present here my own views.
As I pointed out in my article ' What is India ?' ( see on my blog and the website ), India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America.. As I have explained there, people migrated into India for thousands of tears, mainly from the North West ( and to a lesser extent, from the North East), because people migrate from uncomfortable areas to comfortable ones, and India was a very comfortable region, with level land, fertile soil, plenty of water for irrigation, etc
So for thousands of years people kept migrating into India, and hardly anyone left India ( except on two occasions,as indentured plantation labour to Fiji, Mauritius, Guina, etc in the 19th century during British rule  and the diaspora of highly skilled professionals over the last 30-40 years to North America, etc ). Why should anyone migrate from India, which is comfortable, to a place like Afghanistan, which is cold, mountaneous, covered with snow for several months in a year, and so uncomfortable ?
 Of course, these migrations and invasions into India were probably not as a steady stream, but sporadically, in waves.
So my guess is that the ancestors of the present Chaturvedis came from the North West of India ( since they have Caucasian, not Mongoloid, features ) in some wave of invasion or migration, thousands of years ago, and settled down in the Mathura-Agra region.
 Now India had tremendous assimilitative capacity. Everybody who came here from outside got assimilitated here. So when the ancestors of Chaturvedis came and settled in India, the local Brahmins told them that they too will be regarded as Brahmins, but they must inter marry only among themselves. Other Brahmins would not marry them. So that is how Chaturvedis traditionally married only among themselves.
 I would often tease my Chaturvedi friends, by jokingly telling them that they were not Brahmins at all. This would make them very upset, and they would insist that they are Brahmins. Some would ask me what they were ?
 Sometimes, to please them, I would tell them that they are Greeks, descendants of the Greek soldiers who came in the army of Alexander the Great in 326 B.C., and settled down in India at the time of Alexander's General Seleucus Nicator, who inherited the Eastern part of Alexander's Empire on his death.
That is why, i would tell them, you are so fair, handsome and intelligent like the ancient Greeks
 But at other times, to pull their legs, I would tell them that they are descendants of barbarian Huns
The Holi of Brajbhoomi
Those who have not seen the Holi of Brajbhoomi have not seen India.
 It starts with lathmaar Holi in Barsana ( about 40 kms. from Mathura city ), when the young men of Nandgaon walk 9 kms to Barsana, where there is a temple of Radha, and are beaten on their heads by the womenfolk of Barsana with sticks ( lathis ). The young men have to wear headgear, otherwise they could get really injured.
In Barsana people greet each other by saying ' Radhey, Radhey ', and not ' Krishna Krishna , because Lord Krishna had abandoned them and had gone to Dwarka ( in Gujarat ), whereas Radha had remained behind to be with them. At the Radha temple in Barsana, which is on a hillock, women, young and old, can often be seen dancing.
The Holi of Brajbhoomi  lasts a full one week, ending with Dauji ka Huranga in the temple of Dauji ( Balram, elder brother of Lord Krishna ), 30 kms from Mathura city, across the Jamuna river. In between there is a deluge of colour at Mathura city, and places near Mathura associated with the life of Lord Krishna, e.g. Vrindavan, Gokul, Gobardhan, Nandgaon, etc  Near Gokul there is a mazhar of the poet Raskhan, who though a Muslim, was a devout bhakta of Lord Krishna. On his mazhar is inscribed his famous Hindi poem ' Manush hon to waheen Raskhaan '.
 During this week dramatic performances of Lord Krishna's life can be seen at several places, including his 'raas leela'.
 Once during this week I performed on barefeet the entire parikrama of Gobardhan, which is said to be the mountain Lord Krishna lifted on his little finger to protect under it his friends, when the enraged god Indra tried to drown them with rain. The parikrama is 22 kms long, in the form of a figure 8, the larger loop being 13 kms long, and the smaller being of 9 kms.
 The Holi week culminates with Dauji ka Huranga, at the temple of Balram, Lord Krishna's elder brother. This is performed in a square surrounded by walls of buildings. On this occasion womenfolk tear the upper garments of the menfolk, dip them in coloured water, and beat the menfolk with those torn, coloured, wet, clothes, while colours, blue, green, red, yellow, etc are thrown high into the air

Monday, 2 March 2015

" Zara mulk ke rehbaron ko bulao
  Yeh kooche yeh galiyaan yeh manzar dikhao
  Sanakhwan-e-tasdeeq-e-mashriq ko lao
  Sanakhwan-e-tasdeeq-e-mashriq kahaan hain ? "
                 Sahir Ludhianvi
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
When I wrote against Kejriwal and AAP  shortly after the Delhi elections ( see my article ' The Reality about Arvind Kejriwal ' on my blog ) I was furiously attacked by some persons.
 I wrote that I had carefully studied Kejriwal's speeches and writings and found nothing in the man. He is totally superficial, with no scientific ideas about how to solve the people's massive problems of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, healthcare, price rise, etc
.Kejriwal's  book ' Swaraj ' totally exposes his empty head. He writes there that to solve India's problems we have to devolve power to gram panchayats and mohalla panchayats. But anyone with even a little knowledge of realities knows that most of these panchayats are hotbeds of casteism, and centres of corruption
.I had mentioned in a judgment in the Supreme Court, Jagpal Singh vs. State of Punjab, 2011 ( see online ) that the pradhans and other office bearers, or their relatives or friends, of most of these gram panchayats had illegally or by some cunning device grabbed most of the gram sabha land which was meant for the common use of the villagers. So what nonsense is Kejriwal talking ?
 His Sancho Panza Ashutosh also talks rubbish when he says there is a clash of ideas in AAP ( see his tweet ). The idea which Kejriwal stands for, as mentioned in his book ' Swaraj ', is devolving power to panchayats, which, as I have already said, is total nonsense. And in any case, the rift in AAP is hardly over this idea but over the dictatorial attitude of Kejriwal and his chamchas.
Whom do I speak for ?
 I speak for the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the discriminated, the hungry and malnourished, the unemployed, the exploited,the old and infirm, the handicapped, the sick, the uneducated and illiterate.
 In other words, I am always with the underdog. I am permanently on the opposition benches.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A Vision of the Future
I do not believe in astrology, and regard it as superstition and humbug. But that does not mean we cannot make broad scientific predictions about the future. So here is what I predict :
1.  50 to 100 years from now there will be mass migrations of humans from the earth to the moon, the planets like Mars, and undersea, and permanent human settlements will be made there. This will be similar to the mass migrations from Europe to North America from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
 Of course there will be problems in this. For instance, there is no atmosphere on the moon, and so humans cannot breathe there. But surely there are rocks and soil on the moon containing compounds of oxygen, and by scientific techniques we can liberate that oxygen, and thus create an artificial atmosphere.
 Human beings could not ordinarily survive in many parts of North America because they are too cold, temperatures dropping to minus 20-40 degrees centigrade. But with central heating and heating in cars etc people live comfortably even in such hostile conditions.
 So by scientific methods artificial environments conducive to life can be created
2. 100 years from now most people will live for 200-300 years, and 200
  years from now people will not die, except by accidents.
  This may sound an astounding prediction, like the Shangrila of the novel ' Lost Horizon '. Till now our life span was regarded at most 80-90 years., But let me try to explain.
 Men do not normally want to die, and have wanted immortality. They could not become immortal in reality, so they sought to become so in imagination. The Egyptian Pharoahs built pyramids and made mummies to attain immortality, Hindus created the transmigration of the soul theory, and Christians and Muslim theology created Resurrection and Judgment Day ( Roz-e-mahshar ).
 But what was sought to be achieved in imagination till now will be achieved in reality in the future.
 Gerontology is the science which studies the ageing process. Our body is part of nature, and therefore obeys certain laws of nature. We grow in height till about the age of 16 or so. This growth in height is controlled by secretions from a certain ductless gland called the pituatary gland. After the age of 16 or so the pituatary gland stops secreting its hormones, and so we stop growing in height.
 Similarly, we have youth, middle age and then old age, and then we die. This ageing process is controlled by secretions of certain ductless glands in our bodies. There are thousands of such glands in our bodies, some not even visible to the naked eye.
 Science is that knowledge by which we understand nature, and can harness nature using this knowledge. So by scientific research we can find ways to control the secretions of our ductless glands, and thus can control the ageing process. In this way we can slow down the ageing process, and live much longer than we could normally live till now.
 3. At present cars travel on 2 dimensional roads, on the earth's surface, but 50-100 years from now, they will mostly be travelling on 3 dimensional 'roads'.
 Such cars will actually be flying, not travelling on the earth's surface. At a certain height above the earth's surface will be a 'road ', or rather an air corridor, through which such flying  cars will move. Above this may be another air corridor, and above that another, and so on. This will eliminate the present problem of traffic congestion and traffic jams, parking problems, etc, which are presently a big headache.
4. The nearest star to our own star ( the sun ) is Proxima Centauri, about 4.3 light years away. A light year is the distance light travels in one year. Light travels at about 186,000 thousand miles per second.
 Our Galaxy is known as the Milky Way. Within the Milky Way is a dwarf galaxy known as Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy ( discovered in 2003 ), about 25,000 light years away from our solar system.
 The spiral galaxy nearest to the Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2.5 million light years away from the Milky Way
 Now according to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, nothing can travel faster than light, because the energy required to accelerate to the speed of light becomes infinite. But if we cannot travel faster than light how can we ever reach Canis, far less Andromeda ? Even if we travel at the speed of light  ( which is impossible, according to Einstein ) it will take 25,000 years to reach Canis ( and the same time to get back ), and 2.5 million years to reach Andromeda.
 So we have to find some way how to travel faster than light, as in the serial Star Trek, if we ever wish to reach these distant heavenly bodies.
 Now according to Einstein's Special Theory of  Relativity, the energy of a particle of rest mass m moving with speed v is given by the equation
  E = mc2/sqrt(1 - v2/c2)
As the speed approaches the speed of light, the particle's energy approaches infinity.  Hence it is impossible, according to this formula, to accelerate an object with rest mass to the speed of light. This is sometimes called the "light speed barrier", but it is very different from the "sound speed barrier".  As an aircraft approaches the speed of sound it starts to feel pressure waves which indicate that it is moving close to the speed of sound, and before the existence and effects of these waves were well understood, they destroyed several aircraft in the mid 20th century; hence the old name of sound "barrier".  In fact, with more thrust and the right aerodynamics, an aircraft can certainly pass through the sound barrier.
The situation is different for light.  As the light speed barrier is approached (in a perfect vacuum) there are no such waves according to relativity (destructive or otherwise).  Moving at 0.999c is just like standing still with everything rushing past you at −0.999c.  Particles are routinely pushed to these speeds and beyond in accelerators, so the theory is well established.  Trying to attain the speed of light in this way is a matter of chasing something that is forever just out of your reach.
This explains why it is not possible to exceed the speed of light by ordinary mechanical means.
 However, this does not theoretically rule out FTL travel. Scientific research is being done to find out some way of travelling faster than light, e.g. with the help of tachyons ( hypothetical particles that always travel faster than light ), worm holes, warp drives ( Alcubierre drive ), etc .I am reasonably sure that by scientific research one day we ( or our descendants )  will discover the ways of  travelling faster than light, as visualized by the serial Star Trek, and then our descendants will be visiting these distant heavenly bodies.
5. In 50 years or so cancer and many other deadly diseases will be easily curable, and cures will also be found for the so called 'silent killers' like blood pressure and diabetes ( which presently require regular, life long medication )
6. In 100 years or so modern industry will have developed so much, and will have become so massive, that enough wealth will be generated for providing all human beings a decent life. Then humans will not have to wage an incessant struggle for bare survival, but will instead be engaged in large numbers. in scientific research for discovering the mysteries of nature, and in  artistic activity.
 There are several scientific discoveries yet to be made. For instance, we have yet to discover how to harness fusion nuclear energy, and when we discover that, much of our current energy shortage problem will be solved.
 Nuclear reactions are of two types, fission and fusion. In fission we split heavy atoms like of Uranium ( its 235 isotope ) or plutonium. In fusion we fuse two light atoms e.g. of hydrogen producing one atom of helium, and giving off energy in the process. Both can cause massive destruction, as bombs.  However,  while we have learnt how to harness fission nuclear energy ( all our nuclear plants producing electricity use the fission process ).  we have not as yet learnt how to harness fusion energy ( which is given off by the sun and stars, and reaches us in the form of sunlight or cosmic rays ). Since fusion uses hydrogen, and almost limitless hydrogen exists on the earth, being part of water ( which is H2O ), once we learn how to harness fusion nuclear reactions our energy requirements may be largely met.
  The problem, however, is that fusion takes place at very high temperatures, millions of degrees centigrade, and controlling that is extremely difficult. Research in CERN and other scientific institutes is going on in this connection
  When I discussed this idea with a friend who is doing scientific research in America he disagreed with me. He said that he will not recommend any young person to become a scientist, since funds for scientific research have been drastically cut in the United States, while armaments industries still get allocation of huge funds.
 However in my opinion this is only a temporary phenomenon, probably caused by the economic recession, and will sooner or later pass. Science is the way of the future. And I am visualizing the situation 100 years hence, not the situation which exists today.
7. 100 years from now most of the present social evils in the world will not exist e.g.poverty, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment, discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, colour, region, language, etc. There will be no exploitation of man by man, nor of women by men  ( e.g. prostitution ). Healthcare, housing, and good education will be free for everybody
8. There will be a World Parliament and World Government democratically elected and set up