CORE Report on Torture in Manipur 2015


save manipur from (AFSPA)

Originally posted on CORE-WEBSITE:

A report prepared by the Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE) on the practice and incidents of torture in Manipur documented by the organisation’s autonomous humanitarian action service for victims of torture, the Human to Humane Transcultural Centre for Torture and Trauma Victims (H2H). The documentation was done for the period from 2014 to May 2015 and includes information on the rehabilitation efforts made by H2H for the victims and their families. The report is released on the occasion of the UN International Day in Support for Victims of Torture, 26 June 2015.


CORE Press Statement_UN International Torture Day 26june2015

“…views the prevailing climate of impunity in Manipur leading to the perpetuation of the practice of torture and related trauma as leading to one of the worst forms of psychosocial anguish and deeply ingrained social anomie. Furthermore, the administration of justice and efforts to understand and address…

View original 163 more words

Ravana Tenheads serves Ghalib and dubstep on the same plate

Ravana Dub Wise modified

I’ve spent most of it partying,” he says simply when I ask him about his life so far.
The 38-year-old is easy to miss in a crowd, or even when he is at the console spinning his discs. In plain clothes and even plainer demeanour, the only things that stand out about this underground artist are his long salt-and-pepper hair, his signature music and his stage moniker: Ravana Tenheads. Then of course, he has 10 SoundCloud accounts, but we’ll come to that in a bit.

“My real name is Shravan. In 2002, when I became a DJ, I had to have a stage name. A friend suggested I remove the “Sh” from my name. That’s how Ravan was born, it evolved into Ravana and subsequently into Tenheads,” he says.

Born in Mumbai, brought up initially in Banaras, Shravan moved to Delhi when he was eight. A lack of faith in the education system meant he took to music instead as a teenager. “Metallica and heavy metal first got me interested in music,” he says. All these influences later formed the base for how most of his music shaped up: dark, heavy and downright unapologetic.

A dubstep artist, Ravana Tenheads mixes heavy bass lines and beats with “Third World” ambient sound samples and most uniquely, with vocals that range from songs by Girija Devi and Parveen Sultana to the Radia tapes to his mother’s voice to speeches by P Sainath, Osho, and Vandana Shiva to dialogues from Gulzar’s 1988 TV serial Mirza Ghalib. It is this last bit that forms his brilliant and highly trippy Ghalib series.

“The idea came last year when I was hanging out at a friend’s place. He had several books of Ghalib’s poetry. I don’t read at all, but I am a fan of documentaries and 1980s Doordarshan serials,” he says.
“I remembered having this serial on Ghalib on my hard drive. I went back home, played it alongside a mix of music by various artists, and it just gelled together so well!” He went a step further and made what he now calls ‘conflict music’ out of Mirza Ghalib dialogues and music by a British electronica artist of the 1990s called Muslimgauze.

“Ghalib’s was a time of upheavals and revolts, his poetry reflected the tension in the society of that time. Muslimgauze made music on Middle Eastern conflicts of the 1990s. Same emotions, different eras. I just brought elements of both together, added my touches, and found a vent for my own angst over life and society.”

“Why are you angry?” I ask him. “I worked for three years in one of these big corporate places,” he says. “You look at their people and you see their dazzling cars, their nightly drinks. They don’t worry where their next meal is going to come from. But these corporations suck the life out of them. Then there’s the dirty, dirty politics. And of course, the helplessness of being a citizen of this country.”

Shravan says that now that he has found his foothold in music, he’s finally found a meaning to life and a way to live it. “I do a gig once a month, I do odd data-entry jobs once in a while, I live minimally and I save most of what I make and invest it all into my music. I hardly go out now, I party large once a month, I hang out with my friends at a park,” he laughs.

After DJing for several years, Ravana Tenheads made his first track in October 2011. “Funnily enough, it was thanks to Metallica again. When their show in Gurgaon got cancelled, I went over to a friend’s house. He had a 10-year-old Apple computer which he sold to me for just Rs 3,000. I made my first track on it.” Since then, he has made over 150 tracks, all of which can be found in one of his ten SoundCloud accounts.

“Initially, I had only one page: Lankesh. As my music developed, I realised I could categorise them into different groups, so each group became a different account.”

So while Shoorpanova, dedicated to Shravan’s sister and girl power, has female vocals, RavanaORama has tracks that denote harmony, “because what is good without bad, or Ram without Ravan?”

Kumbhakarna becomes active once every 3-4 months when he uploads one single track. “It is my darkest, heaviest, and most intense SoundCloud page,” he says. “There’s another account called Scratchoski with tracks of classical music and scratchings by me.”

I point out that old school musicians may not call that music. “Old school, new school, how does it matter? We who belong to the underground belong to no school. We hate schools. And colleges too. We’re like anarchists,” he laughs.

Follow @satarupapaul on Twitter

Real Estate of Religion:Satya Sagar

Originally posted on Kafila:

Guest Post by SATYA SAGAR

Several years ago a friend of mine filed a petition in the Indian Supreme Court against – believe it or not- the tenth incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu! Or at least, against a fellow who claimed to be ‘Kalki Bhagwan’ and has in the past two decades drummed up a significant following in the southern part of India.

Blasphemous as the claim of this fake avatar was the court battle itself was not really about the finer details of Hindu mythology or theological doctrine.Based on several years of painstaking investigation and research it was my friend’s claim that ‘Kalki Bhagwan’, had taken money from the public for ‘rural development activities’ and fraudulently diverted it to his personal bank accounts as well as that of his close relatives.

From being an ordinary clerk working for the Life Insurance Corporation in Chennai thirty years ago today the…

View original 1,928 more words

Ancient Trees : Bethmoon

Beth Moon, a photographer based in San Francisco, has been searching for the world’s oldest trees for the past 14 years. She has traveled all around the globe to capture the most magnificent trees that grow in remote locations and look as old as the world itself.

“Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment” writes Moon in her artist statement.

Sixty of Beth Moon’s duotone photos were published in a book titled “Ancient Trees: Portraits Of Time”. Here you can have a sneak preview of the book, full of strangest and most magnificent trees ever.

More info:

What does Dr.Ambedkar say about the Bhagvat Gita?


Q. What is the Bhagvat Gita? What is its purpose? 


Turning to the view of the orthodox Pandits, we again find a variety of views. One view is that the Bhagvat is not a sectarian book. it pays equal respect to the three ways of salvation (1) Karma marga or the path of works (2) Bhakti marga or the path of devotion and (3) Jnana marga or the path of knowledge and preaches the efficacy of all three as means of salvation. In support of their contention that the Gita respects all the three ways of salvation and accepts the efficacy of each one of them, the Pandits point out that of the 18 Chapters of the Bhagvat Gita, Chapters I to 6 are devoted to the preaching of the Jnana marga, Chapters 7 to 12 to the preaching of Karma marga and Chapters 12 to 18 to the preaching of Bhakti marga and say that this equal distribution of its Chapters shows that the Gita upholds all the three modes of salvation.

Quite contrary to the view of the Pandits is the view of Shankaracharya and Mr. Tilak, both of whom must be classed amongst orthodox writers. Shankaracharya held the view that the Bhagvat Gita preached that the Jnana marga was the only true way of salvation. Mr. Tilak[f15] does not agree with the views of any of the other scholars. He repudiates the view that the Gita is a bundle of inconsistencies. He does not agree with the Pandits who say that the Bhagvat Gita recognizes all the three ways of salvation. Like Shankaracharya he insists that the Bhagvat Gita has a definite doctrine to preach. But he differs from Shankaracharya and holds that the Gita teaches Karma Yoga and not Jnana Yoga.

It cannot but be a matter of great surprise to find such a variety of opinion as to the message which the Bhagvat Gita preaches. One is forced to ask why there should be such divergence of opinion among scholars? My answer to this question is that scholars have gone on a false errand. They have gone on a search for the message of the Bhagvat Gita on the assumption that it is a gospel as the Koran, the Bible or the Dhammapada is. In my opinion this assumption is quite a false assumption. The Bhagvat Gita is not a gospel and it can therefore have no message and it is futile to search for one. The question will no doubt be asked : What is the Bhagvat Gita if it is not a gospel? My answer is that the Bhagvat Gita is neither a book of religion nor a treatise on philosophy. What the Bhagvat Gita does is to defend certain dogmas of religion on philosphic grounds. If on that account anybody wants to call it a book of religion or a book of philosophy he may please himself. But essentially it is neither. It uses philosophy to defend religion. My opponents will not be satisfied with a bare statement of view. They would insist on my proving my thesis by reference to specific instances. It is not at all difficult. Indeed it is the easiest task.

Q. What are the dogmas of religion that the Bhagvat Gita defends?


The first instance one comes across in reading the Bhagvat Gita is the justification of war. Arjuna had declared himself against the war, against killing people for the sake of property. Krishna offers a philosophic defence of war and killing in war. This philosophic defence of war will be found in Chapter II verses II to 28. The philosophic defence of war offered by the Bhagvat Gita proceeds along two lines of argument. One line of argument is that anyhow the world is perishable and man is mortal. Things are bound to come to an end. Man is bound to die. Why should it make any difference to the wise whether man dies a natural death or whether he is done to death as a result of violence? Life is unreal, why shed tears because it has ceased to be? Death is inevitable, why bother how it has resulted ? The second line of argument in justification of war is that it is a mistake to think that the body and the soul are one. They are separate. Not only are the two quite distinct but they differ in-as-much as the body is perishable while the soul is eternal and imperishable. When death occurs it is the body that dies. The soul never dies. Not only does it never die but air cannot dry it, fire cannot burn it, and a weapon cannot cut it. It is therefore wrong to say that when a man is killed his soul is killed. What happens is that his body dies. His soul discards the dead body as a person discards his old clothes—wears a new ones and carries on. As the soul is never killed, killing a person can never be a matter of any movement. War and killing need therefore give no ground to remorse or to shame, so argues the Bhagvat Gita.

Another dogma to which the Bhagvat Gita comes forward to offer a philosophic defence is Chaturvarnya. The Bhagvat Gita, no doubt, mentions that the Chaturvarnya is created by God and therefore sacrosanct. But it does not make its validity dependent on it. It offers a philosophic basis to the theory of Chaturvarnya by linking it to the theory of innate, inborn qualities in men. The fixing of the Varna of man is not an arbitrary act says the Bhagvat Gita. But it is fixed according to his innate, inborn qualities.[f16]

The third dogma for which the Bhagvat Gita offers a philosphic defence is the Karma marga. By Karma marga the Bhagvat Gita means the performance of the observances, such as Yajnas as a way to salvation. The Bhagvat Gita most stands out for the Karma marga throughout and is a great upholder of it. The line it takes to defend Karma yoga is by removing the excrescences which had grown upon it and which had made it appear quite ugly. The first excrescence was blind faith. The Gita tries to remove it by introducing the principle of Buddhi yoga[f17] as a necessary condition for Karma yoga. Become Stihtaprajna i.e., ‘Befitted with Buddhi’ there is nothing wrong in the performance of Karma kanda. The second excrescence on the Karma kanda was the selfishness which was the motive behind the performance of the Karmas. The Bhagvat Gita attempts to remove it by introducing the principle of Anasakti i.e., performance of karma without any attachment for the fruits of the Karma. [f18]Founded in Buddhi yoga and dissociated from selfish attachment to the fruits of Karma what is wrong with the dogma of Karma kand? this is how the Bhagvat Gita defends the Karma marga.4 It would be quite possible to continue in this strain, to pick up other dogmas and show how the Gita comes forward to offer a philosophic defence in their support where none existed before. But this could be done only if one were to write a treatise on the Bhagvat Gita. it is beyond the scope of a chapter the main purpose of which is to assign to the Bhagvat Gita its proper place in the ancient Indian literature. I have therefore selected the most important dogmas just to illustrate my thesis.

Q. Whose are the Dogmas for which the Bhagvat Gita offers this philosophical defence? Why did it become necessary for the Bhagvat Gita to defend these Dogmas?


Two other questions are sure to be asked in relation to my thesis. Whose are the Dogmas for which the Bhagvat Gita offers this philosophical defence? Why did it become necessary for the Bhagvat Gita to defend these Dogmas?

To begin with the first question, the dogmas which the Gita defends are the dogmas of counter-revolution as put forth in the Bible of counter-revolution namely Jaimini’s Purvamimamsa. There ought to be no difficulty in accepting this proposition. If there is any it is largely due to wrong meaning attached to the word Karma yoga. Most writers on the Bhagvat Gita translate the word Karma yoga as ‘action’ and the word Janga yoga, as ‘knowledge’ and proceed to discuss the Bhagvat Gita as though it was engaged in comparing and contrasting knowledge versus action in a generlized form. This is quite wrong. The Bhagvat Gita is not concerned with any general, philosophical discussion of action versus knowledge. As a matter of fact, the Gita is concerned with the particular and not with the general. By Karma yoga or action Gita means the dogmas contained in Jaimini’s Karma kanda and by Jnana yoga or knowledge it means the dogmas contained in Badarayana’s Brahma Sutras. That the Gita in speaking of Karma is not speaking of activity or inactivity, quieticism or energism, in general terms but religious acts and observances cannot be denied by anyone who has read the Bhagvat Gita. It is to life the Gita from the position of a party pamphlet engaged in a controversy on small petty points and make it appear as though it was a general treatise on matters of high philosophy that this attempt is made to inflate the meaning of the words Karma and Jnana and make them words of general import. Mr. Tilak is largely to be blamed for this trick of patriotic Indians. The result has been that these false meanings have misled people into believing that the Bhagvat Gita is an independent self-contained book and has no relation to the literature that has preceded it. But if one were to keep to the meaning of the word Karma yoga as one finds it in the Bhagvat Gita itself one would be convinced that in speaking of Karma yoga the Bhagvat Gita is referring to nothing but the dogmas of Karma kanda as propounded by Jaimini which it tries to renovate and strengthen.

To take up the second question : Why did the Bhagvat Gita feel it necessary to defend the dogmas of counter-revolution? To my mind the answer is very clear. It was to save them from the attack of Buddhism that the Bhagvat Gita came into being. Buddha preached non-violence. He not only preached it but the people at large—-except the Brahmins—had acepted it as the way of life. They had acquired a repugnance to violence. Buddha preached against Chaturvarnya. He used some of the most offensive similes in attacking the theory of Chaturvarnya. The frame work of Chaturvarnya had been broken. The order of Chaturvarnya had been turned upside down. Shudras and women could become sannyasis, a status which counter-revolution had denied them. Buddha had condemned the Karma kanda and the Yajnas. he condemned them on the ground of Himsa or violence. He condemned them also on the ground that the motive behind them was a selfish desire to obtain bonus. What was the reply of the counterrevolutionaries to this attack? Only this. These things were ordained by the Vedas, the Vedas were infallible, therefore the dogmas were not to be questioned. In the Buddhist age, which was the most enlightened and the most rationalistic age India has known, dogmas resting on such silly, arbitrary, unrationalistic and fragile foundations could hardly stand. People who had come to believe in non-violence as a principle of life and had gone so far as to make it a rule of life—How could they be expected to accept the dogma that the Kshatriya may kill without sinning because the Vedas say that it is his duty to kill? People who had accepted the gospel of social equality and who were remaking society on the basis of each one according to his merits—how could they accept the chaturvarnya theory of gradation, and separation of man based on birth simply because the Vedas say so? People who had accepted the doctrine of Buddha that all misery in society is due to Tanha or what Tawny calls acquisitive instinct—how could they accept the religion which deliberatly invited people to obtain boons by sacrifices merely because there is behind it the authority of the Vedas? There is no doubt that under the furious attack of Buddhism, Jaimini’s counter-revolutionary dogmas were tottering and would have collapsed had they not received the support which the Bhagvat Gita gave them. The philosophic defence of the counter-revolutiona.ry doctrines given by the Bhagwat Gita is by no means impregnable. The philosophic defence offered by the Bhagvat Gita of the Kshtriya’s duty to kill is to say the least puerile. To say that killing is no killing because what is killed is the body and not the soul is an unheard of defence of murder. This is one of the doctrines which make some people say that the doctrines make one’s hair stand on their end. If Krishna were to appear as a lawyer acting for a client who is being tried for murder and pleaded the defence set out by him in the Bhagvat Gita there is not the slightest doubt that he would be sent to the lunatic asylum. Similarly childish is the defence of the Bhagvat Gita of the dogma of chaturvarnya. Krishna defends it on the basis of the Guna theory of the Sankhya. But Krishna does not seem to have realized what a fool he has made of himself. In the chaturvarnya there are four Varnas. But the gunas according to the Sankhyas are only three. How can a system of four varnas be defended on the basis of a philosophy which does not recognise more than three varnas? The whole attempt of the Bhagvat Gita to offer a philosophic defence of the dogmas of counterrevolution is childish—and does not deserve a moment’s serious thought. None-the-less there is not the slightest doubt that without the help of the Bhagvat Gita the counter-revolution would have died out, out of sheer stupidity of its dogmas. Mischievous as it may seem, to the revolutionaries the part played by the Bhagvat Gita, there is no doubt that it resuscitated counter-revolution and if the counterrevolution lives even today, it is entirely due to the plausibility of the philosophic defence which it received from the Bhagvat Gita— anti-Veda and anti-Yajna. Nothing can be a greater mistake than this. As will appear from other portions of the Bhagvat Gita that it is not against the authority of the vedas and shastras (XVI, 23, 24: XVII, I I, 13, 24). Nor is it against the sanctity of the yajnas (III. 9-15). It upholds the virtue of both.

Q. Again, what is the Bhagvat Gita?


There is therefore no difference between Jaimini’s Purva Mimansa and the Bhagvat Gita. If anything, the Bhagvat Gita is a more formidable supporter of counter-revolution than Jaimini’s Purva Mirnansa could have ever been. It is formidable because it seeks to give to the doctrines of counter-revolution that philosophic and therefore permanent basis which they never had before and without which they would never have survived. Particularly formidable than Jaimini’s Purva Mimansa is the philosophic support which the Bhagvat Gita gives to the central doctrine of counterrevolution—namely Chaturvarnya. The soul of the Bhagvat Gita seems to be the defence of Chaturvarnya and securing its observance in practice, Krishna does not merely rest content with saying that Chaturvarnya is based on Guna-karma but he goes further and issues two positive injunctions.

The first injunction is contained in Chapter III verse 26. In this Krishna says: that a wise man should not by counter propaganda create a doubt in the mind of an ignorant person who is follower of Karma kand which of course includes the observance of the rules of Chaturvarnya. In other words, you must not agitate or excite people to rise in rebellion against the theory of Karma kand and all that it includes. The second injunction is laid down in Chapter XVIII verses 41-48. In this Krishna tells that every one do the duty prescribed for his Varna and no other and warns those who worship him and are his devotees that they will not obtain salvation by mere devotion but by devotion accompanied by observance of duty laid down for his Varna. In short, a Shudra however great he may be as a devotee will not get salvation if he has transgressed the duty of the Shudra—namely to live and die in the service of the higher classes. The second part of my thesis is that the essential function of the Bhagvat gita to give new support to Jaimini at least those portions of it which offer philosophic defence of Jaimini’s doctrines—has become to be written after Jaimini’s Purva Mimansa had been promulgated. The third part of my thesis is that this philosophic defence of the Bhagvat Gita, of the doctrines of couter-revolution became necessary because of the attack to which they were subjected by the revolutionary and rationalistic thought of Buddhism.



Jantar Mantar Protests. New Delhi India 3rd December 2014

Jantar Mantar is located in the Heart Of New Delhi, In

Connaught Place

This Over The Years Has Also Become The Center For Protest In Delhi. One Of The Most Surreal Places You Will Ever Visit, Anywhere In The World, Considering Connought Place IS Also The Hub Of Big Corporations, Shopoholics, Drug Addicts, Romancing Lovers, To Name A Few. Showcasing Some Of The Protest Photos From 3rd December 2014.