Whose bricks are these

The Haryana Archaeology Department found something significant recently – some huge bricks 4500 years old.

Huge bricks belonging to the ancient Indian Kushan Dynasty have been found near the famous Kurukshetra battlefield, around which the Indian epic, Mahabharata, involving a fatricidal conflict between the Pandavas and Kauravas, is centered. [4,500 year-old bricks found near `Mahabharata' battlefield Kurukshetra]

Around 4500 years back, Indus Valley Civilization was in existence in the region. The Kushan Empire existed from 1st – 3rd centuries. Either the archaeologists or newspaper reporters have no clue about the chronology of Indian history.

Comments { 5 }

Parvathi gets her head back

In Hindu mythology, there are many stories about how Ganesha got his elephant head. One of them says that Lord Shiva cut off the head in a fit of anger and was adivced by Brahma to replce it with the head of the first living being he came across. Recently, Parvathi, Ganesha’s mother also got her head back and thankfully, it was the same one she lost.

This believe-it-or-not story comes from Cambodia, where once the statue of Parvathy was decapitated in the 15th century. This headless body was taken by French Archaeologists and exhibited in Paris.

Last autumn, the museum held an exhibition on Vietnamese art which paid tribute in its catalogue to a retired American diplomat, John Gunther Dean. The catalogue recounted Mr Dean’s efforts, as ambassador to Cambodia in the early 1970s, to rescue ancient Khmer art from the ravages of the Khmer Rouge, which was determined to expunge all record of Cambodia’s past.

To thank the museum, Mr Dean, now 80, offered a gift from his own collection of ancient Khmer artefacts. Last month, the gift arrived, the sculpted head of a woman found at the Bakong temple site in 1939.

“I asked him for a Khmer head because we only had headless statues but I didn’t think for a moment about a possible match,” said Pierre Baptiste, the museum’s curator for south-east Asian art.

“I brought the head into our [Cambodian] hall looking for a place that it could be exhibited,” said M. Baptiste. “I had a sudden notion the two pieces resembled each other but then thought, ‘no, things never happen that way’.

“I put the head on the statue’s shoulders. It shifted a few millimetres. I heard the little click that you get when two stones fit together and the head fell perfectly into place. It was as if it had put itself together. I still get goose-bumps thinking about it.” [ After 500 years, sheer chance reunites head and body of Hindu statue in Paris]

Comments { 1 }

Development will have to wait

There is one requirement for political parties to be accepted by the 100% literate populate of Kerala – they should have atleast two factions. The nice thing about having two factions is that you don’t need to waste time governing the state. When you have to fight the opponent faction all the time, who has the time to improve the state. Then, what is there to improve in the state? We already rank #1 in suicides and unemployment.

Factionalism is an artform perfected by Karunakaran, former chief minister of Kerala and the only witness to Parasurama throwing the axe ( the act which created Kerala). He wanted his son Muralidharan, famous all around Kerala for being Karunakaran’s son, to be given a good position. Sadly Muralidharan lacked the qualification even to be a road side eve teaser, and hence the Congress party ignored him. Karunakaran, who according to carbon dating is as old as Giant Sequoia tree, got angry. He quit the Congress Party and formed a new party called DIC (K), to remind everyone that it was a fight about “positions”.

After thinking of various way to humiliate the Congress Party, Karunakaran decided to join the Communists. That honeymoon lasted less than the time it takes for Arjun Singh to count the hair on his head. DIC (K) came running back to the Congress camp and decided to contest in 18 seats. Even people who were going to commit suicide forgot their worries for a moment and watched this reunion with excitement. Newspapers covered this news ignoring everything else. In the elections, all 17 DIC (K) candidates lost their deposits.

Now the Communists are in power and the Chief Minister is Achyutanandan, who claims that he too saw Parasurama throwing the axe. First of all the Communists did not want to give him a seat in this elections. Due to pressure exerted by “public”, he was given a seat which he won convincingly. Then there was no other option but to make him the Chief Minister, since he is one of the oldest Marxists. In fact Achyutanandan was a Marxist even before Karl Marx was born.

Since Achyutanandan was named the Chief Minister, cronies of Pinarayi Vijayan, Achuyutanandan’s nemesis, took all other cabinet positions. The aim was to make Achyutanandan a Chief Minister without portfolio. Achyutanandan, who in fact suggested the title The Communist Manifesto to Karl Marx, knew better. He ignored the portfolio list given by the party and gave his own list to the Governor.

It has been less than a week since the new Govt. took over and we already have the build up to a Mahabharata. Newspapers are already drooling at the prospect of this new guerilla warfare between the politburo, party state committee and the new Chief Minister. If anyone in Kerala is hoping for development, they will have to wait. This is more important.

Comments { 2 }

The Acorn corrects Bill Clinton

In the introduction for Madeline Albright’s new book, The Mighty and the Almighty, Bill Clinton wrote:

During my visit to India in 2000, some Hindu militants decided to vent their outrage by murdering thirty-eight Sikhs in cold blood. If I hadn’t made the trip, the victims would probably still be alive. If I hadn’t made the trip because I feared what religious extremists might do, I couldn’t have done my job as president of the United States

This faux pas was spotted by The Acorn. The Times of India carried an article crediting Nitin and now the publisher Harper Collins has acknowledged the error and said that it will deleted from all editions.

Great work Nitin.

Comments { 2 }

Will Suryanarayana get justice?

Indian Engineer K.Suryanarayana was murdered in Afghanistan by the Taliban. The Acorn wrote

Suryanarayana was a telecom engineer working for a Bahraini company. He was neither a soldier nor an employee of the Indian government. His Taliban kidnappers killed him simply because of his nationality and religion. His kidnapping may have been opportunistic or premeditated.[Send Special Forces to Afghanistan]

Now more damning evidence comes from Afghanistan. In an interview to Afghanistan’s Tolu channel, a Taliban commander claimed that Suryanarayana was beheaded by Mullah Latif, a militiaman working for Maulvi Mohammed Alam Andar, on the orders of the ISI. When such charges are raised, any responsible Govt. would immediately take up the issue with Pakistan.

When the 35 Hindus were murdered in cold blood in Doda, the Manmohan Singh ministry decided that such activities will not deter us from talking to terrorist supporters as Indian lives are meant to be sacrificed in the altar of peace. Due to this divine guiding philosophy and worrying concern that Pakistanis might feel offended, New Delihi has not taken Suryanarayana’s beheading as an issue with Pakistan. The official excuse is that we are waiting for Afghanistan to complete their investigation.

Pakistan meanwhile did not wait for India to make an issue of it and issued a denial. They have the standard denial template and all they had to do was fill in the date and cause and publish it. Now that Pakistan has denied it, there is no reason for us to worry about their involvement.

If the Indian Govt. does not have the guts to pursue this, we should use other sophisticated techniques. We have successfully used other pressure tactics which has brought terrorism to its knees. I am talking about sending the candle holders to Wagah border (after checking to see they have candles with them). But then, suddenly all those folks are missing.

Comments { 2 }