Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Christmas treat that created problems for Indian American Relations



Recently a dispute arose between an Indian woman diplomat in USA and her Indian domestic Maid. The dispute grew into a legal battle between the two parties first and it has now has grown into a full fledged diplomatic battle between India and USA and the previous good relations between the two countries have been soured. Could the inside story behind this incident be a story of a Christmas Party that went wrong?

With prosperity in the developed part of the world, minimum wages of the poorest in such societies have gone up over the past several decades to a level that hiring of full time domestic staff has become unaffordable for most in such countries. However in the underdeveloped and developing world, poverty is still widespread and therefore servants and domestic staff are still affordable by many. Although its prevalence is coming down fast in India due to recent economic growth, the practice continues widely in many Indian homes. When a servant is employed in a home sometimes there is ill treatment and exploitation of the servant. This is especially so when the servant is a child. Exploitation becomes difficult if the servant is an adult except in the remote hinterlands of India because an adult can not be held against his or her will easily and he or she may leave. However, it is fair to say that there are also very many cases where the servant is treated well and becomes a part of the family. In the latter case it becomes an escape from poverty for such persons.


You would find in this blog stories and pictures of my adopted son Shyamu and grandson Golu.  Shyamu had joined my household as an illiterate domestic assistant some fourteen years ago. He is a fully literate knowledgeable man of the world now. Aside from this since birth I have seen only two other butlers in my Family in  a life of around sixty years. The first Hira lal and the second Jaswant both retired in very comfortable circumstances and the butler Hira Lal of my book The Babaji Affair has been modeled on precisely this Hira Lal of our family. I have written nothing about Jaswant and do not intend to because we did not hit it off very well although we still help each other in times of difficulty as brothers might.. He was jealous that my mother favored me in the household as a child rather than him. The story of domestic aides in my Ganddfather’s family was similar. All this has been recorded to indicate that exploitation of servants by masters is not a universal fact in India.

Indians diplomats, because they are used to domestic staff in their home countries, take along with them domestic staff when they are posted in different countries around the world. When such a posting is to another developing country such servants have a great time and enjoy the tenure happily with free board and lodgings, expenses, travel and a salary to boot that they can almost completely save to build a handsome savings account. However, when the posting is to a developed country such as USA the servants are tempted to settle permanently in the new country as economic immigrants. If they are being exploited by their masters they can hope to get help from human rights organizations in this quest. If they are not being exploited they may be tempted to lie about it in order to get such help.

Recently when the maid of an Indian Diplomat escaped into the big Apple she made accusations of ill treatment and secured asylum for herself and also the rest of her family later that was in India. In this quest she was it seems assisted by an American diplomat in India for whom the maid’s family worked in India and a New York State Attorney by the Name of Preet Bharara.   The said attorney has been used in the past to prosecute prominent South Asians in America so that perhaps charges of racism can be avoided by the American administration. A criminal case was filed against the lady diplomat. She was picked up on a New York street, stripped and her private parts were poked and peeped into. The incident caused an outrage in India.

However, all that may need confirmation by further investigation and legal processes. Wrong may have been done by the maid (and those who helped her) or the diplomat or both. Only the legal process can reveal the full truth. In the meantime the issue of catching women by force and handcuffing and probing into their cavities has caused a huge uproar in India and some reciprocal actions against American diplomats located in India.

It goes without saying that the lady in question, although she was prepared to deal with the legal process and face consequences if any for any possible violation by her is immensely traumatized and shocked by this wholly unnecessary and barbaric indignity. If it will help, this blogger wishes to say that the sympathy of all Indians and all decent persons of the world who value the most basic of human rights are with her. Being subject to such indignities by force in no way diminishes her dignity  just as those committed on the brave-heart Nirbhaya of New Delhi did not diminish hers. It only casts terrible shame on the perpetuators.


It seems in the past a former President of India (Abdul Kalam) and other senior Persons have been stripped forcibly by American authorities. It is not known if their cavities were probed but as clarified by US authorities that is standard procedure in USA.  There was no widespread outrage although India has not done the same with Bush or even less important Americans. The question then is why the outrage this time? The answer is that India is incensed with the issue. They are enraged at the forcible sexual peeping and insertions into women’s sexual parts.

Indians are perhaps more sensitive to the forcible stripping of women than any other nation on earth. A friend Ramakrishnan Ramanathan explained the reason for this in a discussion on this post on facebook. The most highly regarded ancient scripture of India is Mahabharata. It is a story of the first massive war on the planet in ancient times that began after a lady was stripped by force when on a visit to a friendly kingdom ( even though the stripping was interrupted by Krishna) and the chain of subsequent events arising from the incident.  The horror of that war is buried in Indian psyche. The Bhagvatgita another highly regarded text in India is a brief extract from the Mahabharata. Preet Bharara grew up in USA and has therefore missed this text in all liklihood or he would not have been part of such an incident and defended it later  in media.

The Possible Inside story behind the incident:

Perhaps the New York Marshalls wanted a special treat with the help of  New York attorney Preet Bahara this Christmas season in return for cooperation they have given him in the past. Their desire was to have a strip tease by a lovely lady with the freedom to fiddle and probe the naked woman in her private areas, all this completely under the full process of whatever is permissible in law and procedures as exist. They chose an Indian lady  because the Indians have been known to be docile about the issue. However, the subsequent uproar from Indians and also other parts of the world took everyone by surprise. If this story is true, it seems to have been an evil Christmas Treat that went horribly wrong. Christmas is about love and sharing not molestation and evil.

Both India and America are some of the greatest democracies on the planet. It would be wise that they should learn about their good sides from each other in a spirit of friendship rather than undesirable poking. Every human and every country has a good side and a bad side. It is worth strengthening that good and diminishing the bad in the interest of all humans. 

Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Indians and Americans and the rest of the world

The Aftermath, December 23, 2013


President Obama has taken off for a holiday with family. In New York Devyani Khobragade the diplomat enjoyed her Newly granted UN diplomatic status with immunity and respect and Preet Bahrara prepares for a nice and happy Christmas party with family. He has been christened as Uncle Tom in the Indian News Paper Times of India today morning, a term that was  first introduced by this blog along with a cartoon depiction in an earlier post to describe what appears to be the improper and unethical side of Uncle Sam (there have been several other firsts by this blog under the guidance of the lord, May Praise be upon Him)

Merry Christmas

 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to avoid Poop and Pee in your food and save money.



Our wonderful planet has a huge variety of delicious and nutritious foods. It is good to feast on this bounty, provided one can afford it. We also have persons like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the Queen, Bankers who play with our money and their minions the one per cent,  who need not worry about the expenses in case a food is expensive. However, for us lesser mortals, there are times in our lives if not all the time, when one has to look at the price label before throwing the packet in the cart.  During my own life, comfortable with the grace of the Almighty for the largest part, there have been occasions when one had to be very careful with expenses. The first was when I was a doctoral student in Canada, the second occasion arose when I had begun working and started a family at the same time.In later life an occasion arose when I built a home with my savings and also had to interrupt my career because of that and other family issues. However, following are three tips that will help any person who is hard up have nutritious food and yet keep the food budget very low

While many basic food ingredients are cheap, processed food is expensive and therefore an attempt must be made to build one’s meal starting with basic ingredients. For example wheat flour is cheap but bread more expensive, milk cheap but cheese more expensive and so on.

The additional benefit is that the food thus prepared is likely to be healthier. One would be sure that there is no poo in the cakes and pee in the soup, and horse meat in the burgers (that actually happened as you would find in older posts). That is unless you care for these other things. Some persons appear to like the flavor it seems including the eminent judges of the Crown's court in London if one went by all the peeing the cook was doing into their midday soups. :) References are provided in the older post for doubting readers. Moreover, perhaps a chemical used to enhance shelf life, taste and look and the onset of cancer and Alzheimer at an early date is also sure to be absent.

Thus prepare your own bread from wheat. If you do not know how to do it you will learn with just a little practice. Wheat is a good source of carbohydrates for most except a few who are allergic to the gluten in it. In the latter case there are a lot of other grass seeds such as rice on the planet that will do the trick. This would take care of your carbohydrate needs. You can easily add potatoes to that for variety if you wish. There are a variety of pasta fresco, leavened and unleavened breads that are consumed in different parts of the world, some exceedingly simple and quick to prepare at home. If readers were interested I can share the recipes in comments or a new post. The practice of purchasing prepared bread dates back to a time when Almighty greed did not prevail upon the land and it cost only a little more to procure prepared bread. However that is not the case anymore on much of our planet.

For proteins skip meat and the evil karma of killing other life. One can get great protein from eggs and milk instead and some fish that you can catch if there is a creek nearby. That is called Lovegan food described in detail in a much older post of this blog. One egg a day or even two if you lead an active life will not line your arteries with cholesterol but give you good health instead as per my experience and understanding. Some are allergic to milk as such but then yoghurt is made very easily at home and does not cause that allergy. We make that everyday in our own. Just ensure the yoghurt is consumed during lunch or before and not later for reasons that are left out for another post. Yoghurt consumed at night seems to sponsor viral attacks such as the common cold. Good fresh cheese called Paneer is made easily at home by adding a table spoon or two of vinegar to a pot of boiling milk. Just strain out the cheese, add a bit of salt and any seasoning you fancy and store in a fridge for up to a week. This kind of unprocessed cheese, because it is made at boiling temperature does not melt on cooking and can thus be added to a pot of stir fried vegetables or spaghetti sauce to increase taste and protein content. The pasta is made easily fresh at home by mixing equal quantities of semolina and wheat flour. One can also consume things like chick peas and black eyed beans but this poses risks of a phart at the wrong time, especially if one does not know how to handle them with the expertise of the Ikerians who are the longest lived humans on the planet - I meant the beans. There is an older post on them and their food habits in this blog.

For vegetable focus on leafy greens like spinach, celery, cabbage, lettuce and wild thing like goosefoot, dandelion and leaves of edible trees. If you have a bit of gardening space it is easy to grow them around your home. Many do in my small urban garden. These vegetables will provide the balance of minerals and things a human needs to remain healthy.

In the end just a bit more expense would be left for things like sugar, some cooking oil and tea. As regards the wine, that is very easily prepared at home and when it is young with live yeast along with their friendly companion bacteria  will colonize your guts into a healthy flower garden (called gut flora). Enjoy,-- the food :)

Photo is a public domain image from http://publicdomainpictures.net

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Millions of Indians perhaps Criminals, perhaps majority of adults

According to a decision of the Supreme Court of India yesterday, millions of Indians, perhaps the majority of them who have engaged in sexual activity are serious criminals deserving sentences of around ten years in Jail. This criminality arises from the way sexual intercourse of certain types is regarded in Indian law due to a section called section 377

This criminality would continue unless the following amendment is made to section 377. Indian law makers have not bothered to make the amendment for 150 years or so, ever since it was introduced. A High court judge who ruled against it was overruled by the Supreme court of India yesterday, restoring the criminality.


Needed Amendment of section 377:

An act of carnal intercourse between two consenting adults, even if it is not penile vaginal intercourse, shall not be regarded as against the order of nature but merely as recognition of the diversity of nature. In either case it shall not be deemed to be criminal conduct punishable by law.

If the act is not by consent it is or should be covered by other laws such as Rape , sexual and physical assault. if it is not in private it is covered by other obscenity laws already and need not to be a part of the wording here.

Such an amendment will once again make all heterosexuals and married couples who have engaged in oral sex even once in their life times as non-criminals. Otherwise it seems they are criminals deserving ten years in jail, convicted or not, found out or not as per Indian Law. It will also prevent categorizing millions of others such as transgender and gays (LGBT) being criminals because of their condition at birth. 

As per law now even if it is an act of love of the type it is criminal. It must be recognised that Love is the best definition of what is good in Nature next to truth and it is violence and imposition by force or inducement that is against the order of Nature next to lies..

In the absence of such an amendment perhaps more than half of India are criminals deserving a sentence of around ten years in prison, whether convicted or not.

Please do note, it is not extensive sexual intercourse one is talking of here. Mere momentary or inadvertent penetration that is not vaginal is sufficient to get you ten years in jail. It is something that may have happened once in the lives of all married persons who sleep together. All such are criminals. If they are not found out they can live with the guilt that they are criminals in hiding of the act and further of hiding it and suppressing evidence perhaps.

Further, self respect is even more important than social respect and a person hiding from the law compromises or loses that in very many cases. A person who has lost social respect can change society or live in a forest but one who loses self respect has no escape. In any case once a criminal in hiding one may be encouraged to take up the breaking of more laws since the pot (or perhaps the booty in this case) is already black. Perhaps that is why moral and financial corruption is so widespread and hypocrisy so rampant in modern India.

 
My personal view is that anal or oral intercourse is far less healthy and far more unhygienic than vaginal intercourse and therefore less desirable. It also exposes such persons to the possibility of grave physical damage. The human body has not been designed for it. I also believe that persons of LGBT orientations can interact sexually even without this form of sexual intercourse. However, I firmly hold that those who do must not be regarded as criminals and held to be as such. They are merely being human in the way that they are oriented often by birth and therefore to hold them criminally responsible is the height of human injustice. From a spiritual point of view I further believe as mentioned in many other posts that all sexual interactions except those for procreation are a hindrance to spiritual development. Admittedly it is something that is difficult to overcome. However those sexual indulgences that are a part of romantic love are less damaging than those merely for satisfaction of lust.

Questions of what is desirable or undesirable, religious or non-religious should be separated from what is criminal or non-criminal in order to understand it clearly. Mixing the two issues confounds and confuses it. The former are questions of culture and society, the latter of law alone.

Did someone say that the law is an Ass? Not sure about that but sure that very many Indians, millions and millions of them are criminals as the law now stands.In either case, this is more about an Ass with an R and a hole in it :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Preschool Arithmetic and a New Counting out Nursery Rhyme


One, two, three, four, five, is a popular nursery rhyme and counting-out rhyme. However when it came to Golu my grandson mentioned in some earlier posts of this blog it appeared to be a bit complicated for an under five preschooler. Therefore I decided to create a new simpler one called One, two, three, cat on a tree –  this is how it goes

 
One, Two, three, Cat on a tree, nursery rhyme

One, Two, Three
Cat on a tree
Four, five, six
Cat in a fix
Seven eight nine
Cat now fine
Zero after one makes ten
Cat climbed the tree again

New Preschool Aritmetic
Feel free to copy the rhyme and use anywhere, if you like. This was only some of the content I gathered to take Golu, my god-grandson up to a count of twelve (so as to cover the clock). Must admit though that I found the task of teaching a preschooler more challenging and in the end more delightful as compared to many engineering students I have taught in three of the finest universities on our planet. To make my attempt available to children everywhere, I have included the matter in a small illustrated book, called New Preschool Arithmetic that is available available at Amazon and elsewhere around the world. The drawing of children on the cover is a modified version of one by Martha Freud, niece of Sigmund Freud. Because of its age it is a public domain image now. In the original image, too big for the book cover, the girls were on a lower story of the house, but in this modified version the house has been reduced to a single story and the girls shifted to a new room there. Very appropriately the naughty cat has now climbed on the roof as originally drawn by Martha.



Elementary School Arithmetic

UPDATE: A set of five books for different age groups of preschoolers and elementary school children based on new age thinking that includes 'New Preschool Arithmetic' and intended to strengthen arithmetic knowledge of elementary school children is described at http://child-school.blogspot.in/2014/05/elementary-school-arithmetic-sad-modern.html