Major Gogoi Case – Why are we taking a back foot?

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This debate over Major Gogoi, I am not at all happy. Is this what we patriotic Indians are supposed to indulge in? The most important thing we are missing in this is, those who are questioning the Major are angry that the Major hasn’t opened fire, killing at least 500. Had the 500 been killed, the outrage would have been massive and they will, finally, succeed in diverting the attention of the world towards the funded movement in the state of Jammu and Ladakh. The Chief of Army’s personal intention in this case is an indication how precarious the Major’s position has turned. What exactly did we do wrong here? What are the open issues regarding this?
1. No one is questioning those questioning the acts of the Major why they are interested in the deaths of at least 500 Kashmiris. How exactly are they getting benefitted?
2. Why was a voice given to the yob forced to grace the bonnet? Army should have taken him to Delhi and forced a medal around his neck, in gratitude for the service he provided to Indian Army in saving the lives of many. Punishment will come, say, like a government job in Abujmad or Nagaland.
3. This happened, fine. Why are we giving the mercenaries a voice in mainstream media? Why are we allowing them, first of all, to present their views? All those who are spewing venom on mainstream media should be voluntarily boycotted by everyone.
4. What sort of action is being taken on those people spewing venom online, on mainstream media and elsewhere? These are recorded statements and should be used to charge them.
5. The biggest question is not even that. An FIR is filed against the Major and J&L govt is humming and hawing to take back the case. If he is a soldier and if he is under the jurisdiction of Indian Army, why is the power to file FIR given to a state government? The case should have been filed by the Army police and investigated. As a byproduct, does this also mean J&L govt can order his presence under his jurisdiction till the case is not settled? Is this not against the national interests?
At least now, I think we need to come up with a concerted attempt to sort this issue out. We need the government to be creative like this Army Officer. This is a festering wound which needs to be urgently taken down.

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Initiation of Mahabhishekha Ceremony – The Oath

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The priest who, with this, wishes that a Ksattriya should conquer in all the various ways of conquest, to subjugate all people, and that he should attain to  leadership, precedence, and supremacy over all kings, and attain everywhere and at all times to universal sovereignty, enjoyment, independence, distinguished distinction as king, the fulfilment of the  highest desires, the position of a king, of a great king, and supreme mastership, that he might cross (with his arms) the universe, and become the ruler of the whole earth during all his life, which may last for an  infinitely long time, that he might be the sole king of the earth up to its  shores bordering on the ocean ; such a priest should inaugurate  the Ksattriya with Indra’s great inauguration ceremony. But, before doing so, the priest must make the king take the following oath : ” Whatever pious works thou mightest have done during the time which may elapse from the day of thy birth to the day of thy death, all these, together with the position, thy good deeds, thy life, thy children, I would  wrest from thee, shouldest thou do me any harm.”  The Ksattriya, then, who wishes to attain to all this, should well consider and say in good faith all that is above-mentioned

From Aitareya Brahmana – Panchika 8

 

The Templar Salvation – Raymond Khoury

I bought this book because the previous book of the author, The Last Templar was a superb book. But, well, sifting the pages through, it looked as if the success of the previous book got into the author’s head. Plot is equally simple, the English, as usual, superb, the philosophical discourse worth reading multiple times. But, the space alloted to muscle play and the focus on violence ticks one off, with too much focus put on the protagonist and the supervillian.

The book starts with the sack of Constantinople in 1203. The Templars are assigned to rescue a hoard from the imperial library. They turn up in a monastery where they are executed by the horrified monks who understood what they carried with them.

In the contemporary frame, the story starts with Tess Chaykin kidnapped from Jordan and Sean Rielly going to Vatican to speak with the authorities to get access to Vatican Archives along with an Iranian exile whose family is threatened by the same kidnapper. Since the book on Templars is not allowed to be seen, Sean and the Professor lie their way through and rob the library. This follows a mad chase in Vatican, resulting in a bomb blast killing people and Sean realizing that the person beside him is not the Professor, but the kidnapper itself. He reveals that the Professor is in the car which exploded and that Tess is in the other. In exchange for the details of the car, he surrenders the book to the kidnapper – Mansoor Zahed. Now, Sean is before the Vatican authorities explaining what happened and gets his permission to carry on the quest – to stop Zahed and stop him in his quest, related to Templars.

It turns out that one Templar, Conrad, hundred years after the sack of Istanbul, and a fugitive, comes across the swords of the executed knights and reaches the monastery with two of his compatriots. They take the horde and plan to go to Cyprus but are ambushed by the people who helped them to reach there. Two of them are killed and the third, escapes with the help of the daughter of his pursuer. Unable to carry the horde with them, they leave them with some markers and proceed on.

Next stop is Istanbul where Zahed beats them to get the details they want, and kills the person who is forced to give him in the headquarters of Eastern Orthodox Church. Sean recognizes Zahed, and goes on in a mad chase after him, finally losing him when Zahed sees to that a bus falls into the river. They know the general area where Zahed is headed to, but not the specifics. Tess second guesses it and while Zahed goes to the monastery where the knights were executed. Tess’s companion at Jordan is with Zahed as a captive and when he tries to escape with the help of his guide, the guide is executed. In the meanwhile, using a drone, the authorities track Zahed and approach him, but he uses his captive as a human bomb and in the ensuing carnage, escapes with Tess, who will now, be her new expert. They catch up with the killed guide’s uncle, a local Byzantine expert and find the grave where Conrad is supposed to be buried. But, they find only two bodies there and knowing that Conrad lost his left hand, they conclude he didn’t die there. The Byzantinist helps them by saying there is a mural of his in a church nearby and leads them there. There, they find two gospels and a confession letter by Hosius, who instead of following Constantine’s orders to destroy the rejected gospels, hid them in plain sight. Sean catches up with them and in the ensuing melee, the Byzantinist is killed and Tess escapes into the underground warren where the Church is located, Sean gets an upper hand over Zahed and Zahed espaces trapping them.

After coming out, Sean and Tess understand that the next stop is Konya where they finally discover the horde. And that the horde was guarded by Conrad’s female companiaon’s descendants – Conrad is killed in a fight with Muslims. Well, Zahed, as always is waiting for them, captures the horde, takes the captive Sean with him and escapes to Iran. Sean, in a desperate fight, kills Zahed and his companion and is rescued from the plane, which drowned, taking down the complete horde with it. The Vatican representative, a high ranking cardinal is relieved that the horde is destroyed but is sad that no one knows what’s in it. When it seems all is lost, the old woman gives the negatives of photographs of every page in the book to Tess who says, it’s not to prove, but to know.

The book is an interesting read, with too much attention given to detail – be it topography or fights, a solid read on philosophy behind Christianity and on the overall plot and writing style. But, it is a pale comparision to the previous one.

Mr Howe’s Account of the East Indian Manner of Inoculation which gives a Sanction to the present Practice in England , 1767

And we sing paeans for Jenner..

The inhabitants of Bengal knowing the usual time when the inoculating Bramins annually return, observe strictly the regimen enjoined, whether they determine to be inoculated or not; this preparation consists only in abstaining for a month from fish, milk and ghee, (a kind of butter made generally of buffalo’s milk) the prohibition of fish respects only the native Portuguese and Mahometans, who abound in every province of the empire.

When the Bramins begin to inoculate, they pass from house to house and operate at the door, refusing to inoculate any who have not, on a strict scrutiny, duly observed the preparatory course enjoined them. It is no uncommon thing for them to ask the parents how many pocks they chuse their children should have: Vanity, we should think, urged a question on a matter seemingly so uncertain in the issue; but true it is, that they hardly ever exceed, or are deficient in the number required.

They inoculate indifferently on any part; but if left to their choice, they prefer the outside of the arm, midway between the wrist and the elbow for the males; and the same between the elbow and the for the females. Previous to the operation, the operator takes a piece cloth in his hand (which becomes his perquisite, if the family is opulent), and with it gives a dry friction upon the part intended for inoculation, for the space of eight or ten minutes; then with a small instrument he wounds, by many slight touches, about the compass of a silver groat, just making the smallest appearance of blood; then opening a linen double rag (which he always keeps in a cloth round his waist) takes from thence a small pledget of cotton charged with the variolous matter, which he moistens with two or three drops of the Ganges water, and applies it to the wound, fixing it on with a slight bandage, and ordering it to remain on for six hours without being moved, then the bandage to be taken oft and the pledget to remain until it falls off itself; sometimes (but rarely) he squeezes a drop from the pledget, upon the part before he applies it; from the time he begins the dry friction, to the tying the knot of the bandage, he never ceases reciting some portions of the worship appointed, by the Aughtorrah Bhade, to be paid to the female divinity beforementioned, nor quits the most solemn countenance all the while. The cotton, which he preserves in a double callico rag, is saturated with matter from the inoculated pustules of the preceding year, for they never inoculate with fresh matter, nor with matter from the disease caught in the natural way, however distinct and mild the species. He then proceeds to give instructions for the treatment of the patient through the course of the process, which are most religiously observed; these are as follow:

He extends the prohibition of fish, milk and ghee, for one month from the day of inoculation; early on the morning succeeding the operation, four collons (an earthen pot containing about two gallons of cold water) are ordered to be thrown over the patient from the head downwards, and to be repeated every morning and evening until the fever comes on, (which usually is about the close of the sixth day from the inoculation) then to desist until the appearance of the eruptions (which commonly happens at the close of the third complete day from the commencement of the fever) and then to pursue the cold bathing as before, through the course of the disease, and until the scabs of the pustules drop off. They are ordered to open all the pustules with a fine sharp-pointed thorn, as soon as they begin to change their colour and whilst the matter continues in a fluid state. Confinement to the house is absolutely forbid, and the inoculated are ordered to be exposed to every air that blows; and the utmost indulgence they are allowed when the fever comes on, is to be laid on a mat at the door; but in fact, the eruptive fever is generally so inconsiderable and trifling, as very seldom to require this indulgence. Their regimen is ordered to consist of all the refrigerating things the climate and season produces, as plantains, sugar-canes, water melons, rice, gruel made of white poppy seeds, and cold water, or thin rice gruel for their ordinary drink. These instructions being given and an injunction laid on the patients to make a thanksgiving Poojah, or offering to the goddess on their recovery, the operator takes his fee, which from the poor is a pound of cowries, equal to about a penny sterling, and goes on to another door, down one side of the street and upon the other, and is thus employed from morning until night, inoculating sometimes eight or ten in a house. The regimen they order, when they are called to attend the disease taken in the natural way, is uniformly the same. There usually begins to be a discharge from the scarification a day before the eruption, which continues through the disease, sometime after the scabs of the pock fall off; and a few pustules generally appear round the edge of the wound; when these two circumstances appear only, without a single eruption on any part of the body, the patient is deemed as secure from future infection as if the eruption had been general.

When the before recited treatment of the inoculated is strictly followed, it is next to a miracle to hear that, one in a million fails of receiving the infection, or of one that miscarries under it; of the multitudes I have seen inoculated in that country, the number of pustules have been seldom less than fifty, and hardly ever exceeded two hundred.