Battery technology set to break barriers

Battery technology set to break barriers

 
Wind farm
Once renewable energy can be stored for use on demand, Britain could become self-sufficient in its energy usage CREDIT: CHARLOTTE GRAHAM/REX SHUTTERSTOCK 


The world’s next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy policy.

You can track what they are doing at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). There are plans for hydrogen bromide, or zinc-air batteries, or storage in molten glass, or next-generation flywheels, many claiming “drastic improvements” that can slash storage costs by 80pc to 90pc and reach the magical figure of $100 per kilowatt hour in relatively short order.

“Storage is a huge deal,” says Ernest Moniz, the US Energy Secretary and himself a nuclear physicist. He is now confident that the US grid and power system will be completely “decarbonised” by the middle of the century.

The technology is poised to overcome the curse of ‘intermittency’ that has long bedevilled wind and solar. Surges of excess power will be stored for use later at times when the sun sets, and consumption peaks in the early evening.

This transforms the calculus of energy policy. The question for the British government as it designs a strategy fit for the 21st Century – and wrestles with an exorbitant commitment to Hinkley Point – is no longer whether this form of back-up power will ever be commercially viable, but whether the inflection point arrives in the early-2020s or in the late 2020s.

One front-runner – a Washington favourite – is an organic flow battery at Harvard that uses quinones from cheap and abundant sources such as rhubarb or oil waste. It is much cheaper and less toxic than current flow batteries based on the rare metal vanadium. Its reactions are 1,000 times faster.

Energy
Harvard professor Michael Aziz working on his revolutionary ‘rhubarb battery’ CREDIT: HARVARD

Professor Michael Aziz, leader of the Harvard project, said there are still problems to sort out with the “calendar life” of storage chemicals but the basic design is essentially proven.

“We have a fighting chance of bringing down the capital cost to $100 a kilowatt hour, and that will change the world. It could complement wind and solar on a very large scale,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

The latest refinement is to replace toxic bromine with harmless ferrocyanide – used in food additives. The battery cannot catch fire. It is safe and clean. “This is chemistry I’d be happy to put in my basement,” he said.

The design is delightfully simple. It uses a tank of water. You could have one at home in Los Angeles, Lagos, Buenos Aires, Delhi, or Guangzhou, storing solar power in the day to drive your air-conditioning at night. It could be scaled up for a 500 megawatt wind farm.

energy
The Harvard organic flow battery. It can run off rhubarb CREDIT: US ENERGY DEPARTMENT

Italy’s Green Energy Storage has the European licence. It is building a prototype with the Kessler Foundation at Trento University, backed by EU funds. “We have a chemistry that is ten times cheaper than anything on the market,” said Salvatore Pinto, the chairman.

“We are speaking to three utilities in Europe and we will install our first battery as a field test next year,” he said.

It is a race. Tim Grejtak, an energy expert at Lux Research, said Lockheed Martin and Pacific Northwest labs are both working on their own organic flow batteries, while others are developing variants with designed molecules.

I do not wish to single out this particular technology. I cite it as an example of how fast the picture is evolving as the world’s scientific superpower mobilizes in earnest, and investors start to chase the immense prize. Consultants Mckinsey estimate that the energy storage market will grow a hundredfold to $90bn a year by 2025.

Once storage costs approach $100 per kilowatt hour, there ceases to be much point in building costly ‘baseload’ power plants such as Hinkley Point. Nuclear reactors cannot be switched on and off as need demands – unlike gas plants. They are useless as a back-up for the decentralized grid of the future, when wind, solar, hydro, and other renewables will dominate the power supply.

I will be writing about the economics of offshore wind in coming days but bear in mind that renewables generated 18pc of UK power last year, and this is expected to double by the late 2020s as wind and solar capacity reach 50 gigawatts (GW). Once the power can be stored for overnight use, there will be extended periods in the summer when no base-load is needed whatsoever.

Perhaps the Hinkley project still made sense in 2013 before the collapse in global energy prices and before the latest leap forward in renewable technology. It is madness today.

The latest report by the National Audit Office shows that the estimated subsidy for these two reactors has already jumped from £6bn to near £30bn. Hinkley Point locks Britain into a strike price of £92.50 per megawatt hour – adjusted for inflation, already £97 – and that is guaranteed for 35 years.

That is double the current market price of electricity. The NAO’s figures show that solar will be nearer £60 per megawatt hour by 2025. Dong Energy has already agreed to an offshore wind contract in Holland at less than £75.

Michael Liebreich from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the Hinkley Point saga will be taught for generations as a case study in how not to run a procurement process. “The obvious question is why this train-wreck of a project was not killed long ago,” he said.

enery
All the extra power capacity added since the mid-1990s in Europe has been renewableCREDIT: EWEA

Theresa May has inherited a poisonous dossier, left with the invidious choice of either offending China or persisting with a venture that no longer makes any economic sense. She may have to offend China – as tactfully as possible, let us hope –  for the scale of the folly has become crushingly obvious.

Every big decision on energy strategy by the British government or any other government must henceforth be based on the working premise that cheap energy storage will soon be a reality.

This country can achieve total self-sufficiency in power at viable cost from our own sun, wind, and waters within a generation. Once we shift to electric vehicles as well, we will no longer need to import much oil either. Rejoice.

 

Autodesk Just Gave Every Fab Lab Access to $25,000 in Design Software

Autodesk Just Gave Every Fab Lab Access to $25,000 in Design Software

 

Last year Autodesk granted Fab Labs, a global network of workshops and makerspaces connected through the Fab Foundation, access to Tinkercad, 123D Circuits, and Fusion 360 Labs, but that was just the beginning. Earlier this year, Autodesk expanded their generosity to the Fab Foundation’s Fab Academy (which is the foundation’s training initiative) by offering them access to their entire Product Design Collection, and today Autodesk announced that they will be offering all registered Fab Labs in the Fab Foundation’s network 10 licenses to the Product Design Collection.

product-design-collection-badge-1024

The Autodesk suite of software is a reliable favorite of professionals and hobbyists alike, and having access to these tools is invaluable to a student or part-time inventor who might not otherwise be able to get their ideas off the ground.

The Product Design Collection includes the 14 software programs and would cost a person $2,460 a year to buy all of them as a collection, but individually purchasing the software would be even more expensive (Inventor Professional alone would be $1,890 and AutoCAD another $1,680). This means that each Fab Lab stands to gain $24,600 worth of software and that (given the fact the network includes over 1000 Fab Labs) there’s $24,600,000 in software available to the Fab Foundation’s members.

This offer is part of Autodesk’s extensive efforts to support the global maker movement through free software to students, educators, non-profits and educational institutions (like the Fab Foundation), theirEntrepreneur Impact Program for start-ups and hobbyists, and by open-sourcing design files for our 3D printer Ember.

Speaking about their partnership with the Fab Foundation specifically, Autodesk’s Rama Dunayevich, Senior Manager of Brand Partnerships, speaking about the partnership with the Fab Foundation specifically “At each step of the way, we are learning more about how best to support Fab Labs so we can improve and deepen our relationship. We are using an initial one-year renewable subscription term to collect feedback and data to be in a better position to consider further expansions, refinements and customization based on that data.”

The details of Autodesk’s offer are as follows:

Participating Fab Labs will receive a grant that includes 10 subscriptions to the Autodesk Product Design Collection for the Fab Lab which can be used on or off-site by its members. The subscription includes the professional-grade 3D design tools needed to succeed in the changing landscape for product makers, hobbyists and manufacturers including Fusion 360, Inventor Professional, AutoCAD, ReCap 360 Pro, 3ds Max, 25 gigabytes of cloud storage and more.

The Product Design Collection includes:

·         Inventor Professional

·         AutoCAD

·         AutoCAD Architecture

·         AutoCAD Electrical

·         AutoCAD Mechanical

·         AutoCAD 360 Pro

·         Cloud storage (25 GB)

·         Factory Design Utilities

·         Fusion 360

·         Navisworks Manage

·         ReCap 360 Pro

·         Rendering in A360

·         Vault Basic

·         3ds Max

Fab Labs registered as part of the Fab Foundation’s network of global Fab Labs can apply for the grant now. There is no limit to the number of grants Autodesk is willing to fulfill and no additional requirements besides being a registered Fab Lab.

To become a registered Fab Lab your space must have 5 different types of fabrication tools (CNC machining, 3D Printing, microelectronics workstations, etc.); it must be free and open to the public (for at least some portion of time if operated out of a private school or university); abide by the Fab Lab Charter; and participate in your community.  You can register here. There is no licensing fee and someone from your region will confirm that you meet the qualifications.

This announcement is being made now to coincide with the Fab 12 conference being held in Shenzhen. This conference is a gathering of Fab Labs members to discuss the future of community led, education-focused workspaces and participate in workshops centered on different fabrication projects.

Muslim doctor: My patient refused to let me treat her because of my religion

 

 

Muslim doctor: My patient refused to let me treat her because of my religion

 
 
 
 
 August 10

Making my rounds in the hospital one day, I put my stethoscope to a patient’s chest while she kept her eyes fixed on the television screen over my shoulder.

Hours before, bombs had torn through an airport and a train station in Brussels. My 65-year-old patient watched a flurry of images on Fox News showing unfathomable carnage, and I went through the all-too-familiar ritual of hoping that the perpetrators would not be identified as Muslim, that members of my faith would not be considered guilty by inexplicable association.

The sounds of my patient’s voice rose, eclipsing the thump of her heartbeat that I was painstakingly trying to hear.

She sounded distressed, anguished even, about the loss of the innocent lives on the TV screen. “These foreign people only come here to kill and ruin things,” she said. Then she said Donald Trump is right: America should ban all Muslims from immigrating here.

And then perhaps she noticed the subtle change in my facial expression. “I’m sorry, but your people and people who look like you make me uncomfortable,“ she said.

She refused to let me treat her.

I stood aghast at the bedside, wondering how my humanity and years of medical training had been negated by the acts of a sinister few an ocean away. With her words, the ascendant xenophobia of our time infiltrated the sacred patient-doctor relationship.

I had understood, in the abstract, the threat of Trump’s demagoguery and petulance. But until that moment, the bile he spewed seemed confined to Twitter and to rallies in faraway places. I didn’t think it would ever reach me, a physician, born here in the United States.

I should have known better.

Medicine is not practiced in a vacuum. It’s subject to the same influences affecting the rest of our society. In our current political environment, the toxic, Islamophobic rhetoric intended to incite and galvanize voters is of course seeping into hospitals and clinics.

A study published last year in AJOB Empirical Bioethics of Muslim doctors, who comprise 5 percent of U.S. physicians, found that 1 in 10 of these doctors has had a patient refuse their medical care because they are Muslim. Clearly my experience was not isolated.

That day, I deferred to my medical students to hastily complete the patient’s physical exam while I stepped aside and observed from the periphery. My impulses wrestled with my discretion, trying to suppress my desire to respond. Anger would only further alienate the patient, I knew.

I wondered what my responsibilities to the patient were in the face of this bigotry. Did any remain?

As a physician, I thought first of the Hippocratic oath, a doctor’s steadfast commitment to a patient. We doctors heal the affluent or the dispossessed. We heal regardless of sexual orientation, gender, religion or race. This oath compels us to invariably protect the patient from our biases and darkest demons. But it offers little wisdom when the physician is the one subjected to intolerance.

I needed more. And as I attempted to reconcile my desire to preserve my wounded personal dignity with the principles enshrined in the Hippocratic oath, I found my Islam.

Clarity arrived as I remembered one of my favorite verses from the Koran: “Believers, stand firm for God, be witnesses for justice. Never allow the hatred of people to prevent you from being just. Be just, for this is closest to righteousness.”

The concept of justice captured in this verse animated Muslims during the nascent stages of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad’s unprecedented message of egalitarianism threatened the entrenched social order and thus provoked considerable malice at the time. Yet this early Muslim community endured the ridicule and persecution because it was inspired by something far greater than itself.

Retreating into cynicism and rage was too tempting in the aftermath of my experience with the patient, but it would be an affront to the legacy and sacrifice of those that came before me.

In the end, this was all part of my personal inner jihad, which literally means “a struggle.” For a Muslim, jihad means the struggle of the soul to topple the barriers which prevent the realization of a divinely inspired life, a life that promotes the virtues of compassion, understanding and justice. A selfish focus on my own damaged ego detracted from this purpose.

My decision to work as a physician in the public setting of a hospital meant that I was an ambassador for my faith, whether I wanted to be or not. That’s an important role: the Pew Research Center has found that Americans are more likely to have a favorable opinion of Muslims if they know one.

As I reflected on the conversation with my patient that had gone awry, I realized the value in the seemingly mundane conversations I share daily with other patients. Perhaps the exchanges about their lives and mine are transformative. Our interactions allow us to see our common hopes and fears in each other.

Trump and others of his ilk have sought to sow division by stripping groups like Muslims, African Americans, Mexicans and women of their common humanity. His candidacy has brought long-hidden rancor into the open, even into our hospitals.

The finest and noblest traditions of medicine, however, are transcendent. My personal faith subsumes the Hippocratic oath and preaches mutual respect and tolerance. These are the sources of my continued dignity.

And they allowed me to knock on the same patient’s door again the next day.

Jalal Baig is an oncologist and a writer in Chicago.

Chinese Hui Muslims

China’s Complex Relationship With Islam Is Reflected in Ties to Hui

Play
 How Islam Coexists With Communism in Atheist China 5:41

YINCHUAN, China — This imam wears heels — and a gold-flecked headscarf.

Ma Lijuan is one of the faces of state-backed Islam in officially atheist Communist China.

Female imams like her are unique to China’s Hui, a Muslim minority group — as are their women-only mosques.

Ma hails from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, a sparsely populated province straddling an arid plateau on the Yellow River basin in north-central China.

“Here, [religion] is very normal for us,” said Ma, 33. “Our constitution grants us the freedom of religious belief, and we are thankful to live here.”

Image: Ma Lijuan
Ma Lijuan, an imam at Nanguan mosque in central Yinchuan, teaches Quran classes to dozens of women who repeat her chants in Arabic. David Lom / NBC News

Ma, who is married with two boys, helps lead a congregation of hundreds at the Nanguan Mosque in the provincial capital of Yinchuan. The mosque — with its onion-shaped domes and treed courtyard — dates to the 1900s but was refurbished in the 1980s.

“As a teacher, spreading Islamic truth is my duty,” Ma told NBC News. “When we are educating a Muslim woman we are also educating a family.”

Every morning Ma teaches Quran classes to dozens of mostly middle-aged and older women who repeat her chants in Arabic. She speaks in a gentle yet confident voice, and her infectious laugh punctuates conversations.

Ethnically Chinese Hui Muslims speak Mandarin and in recent decades have nurtured a coexistence with the Communist Party. The party has in return rewarded the community — which traces its roots to 10th-century Arab traders who married Chinese women — with the latitude and support to establish mosques, religious schools and museums.

However, the two haven’t always had such a harmonious relationship.

During the Cultural Revolution, religious communities throughout China were persecuted, and the Hui were no exception. After the country emerged from the tumult in 1976, the Hui reinstated the practice of their faith.

Play
 Former Red Guard Remembers Communist Revolution 1:53

China’s constitution provides for freedom of religion, but within very strict limits. Five “recognized religions” — including Christianity and Islam — are permitted to worship at state-approved sites. Proselytizing in public is illegal and unregistered groups, such as Tibetan Buddhists or Falun Gong, routinely encounter problems.

Not all of China’s 23 million Muslims, a legacy of traders who centuries ago ventured from the Middle East along the Silk Road, practice as freely as the Hui do.

Turkic-speaking Uighurs have increasingly chafed at large-scale immigration of China’s dominant Han Chinese. Ethnic tensions fueled violence that Chinese authorities point to as justification for religious restrictions and repressive tactics.

Image: A veiled Muslim Uighur woman in Kashgar in 2014
A veiled Muslim Uighur woman walks passed a statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar in China’s restive Xinjiang Province in 2014. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

This year the government barred Uighur Muslim civil servants, students and children in the far western region of Xinjiang from fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The rest of the year, burqas, long beards and calls to prayer over loudspeakers are banned throughout Xinjiang. People under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter mosques at all.

The government’s unease with Islam intensified with the rise of Islamic extremism and as groups like ISIS recruited followers in China. Late last year, a digital recording of an ISIS chant in Mandarin calling on Muslims to “wake up” and “take up weapons to fight” was posted online.

“It would be naïve to say China does not face a problem with jihadi-style extremism,” said James Leibold, an expert on China’s ethnic minorities at Australia’s LaTrobe University. “But I don’t think that problem is nearly on the scale that the government perceives it to be. They have overblown it, which is dangerous and counter-productive because it whips up anti-Islamic fear and suspicion.”

Gallery: Uighurs in Kashgar: China’s Muslims Try To Preserve Traditions

Aware of how its crackdown in Xinjiang might affect its image in the Middle East, China recently issued a white paper on religion that declared “no Xinjiang citizen has been punished because of his or her rightful religious belief.”

Beijing, meanwhile, has invested heavily in Yinchuan and the surrounding area.

The makeover includes a new airport terminal to handle what local officials hope will accommodate a flood of Muslim tourists from the Middle East as China seeks to boost its image in and trade with the Arab world. The government is also promoting Hui-made products and real estate developments as part of its ambitious “One Belt, One Road” strategy to revitalize trade along the ancient Silk Road.

 

Image: Hui men in the courtyard of Najiahu mosque
Hui men in the courtyard of Najiahu Mosque. Janis Mackey Frayer / NBC News

Even street signs are being translated to Arabic.

“Unlike some other minorities, Hui people follow the leadership of the government,” said singer Ma Shouyun. “The state supports our religion very much.”

Because of all that the Hui are allowed to practice in relative peace.

On a recent evening as the call to prayer echoed across a courtyard, dozens of men adjusted their white caps under the shade of a locust tree and filed into Najiahu Mosque. It is a ritual practiced five times a day by Muslims all over the world.

But even in Yinchuan amidst state support most Hui remain conscious of their delicate position. When the conversation with Ma, the singer, shifted from Hui culture to Islam, a nearby shopkeeper interrupted him.

“No questions about religion,” she warned him, sparking a tense discussion with bystanders about the risk of irritating officials.

Few of them noticed the singer take off his TV microphone, straighten his cap and quietly walk away. 

A Palestinian Village Tries to Protect a Terraced Ancient Wonder of Agriculture

Photo
 
Palestinian farmers in Battir, a West Bank village near Bethlehem, use a Roman-era irrigation system to water their crops. Credit Abir Sultan/European Pressphoto Agency

BATTIR, West Bank — In this scenic Palestinian village in the West Bank hills near Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem, a week is said to last eight days, not seven. That is because Battir’s eight extended families take daily turns watering their crops from the natural springs that feed their ancient agricultural terraces, a practice they say has worked for centuries.

The water flows through a Roman-era irrigation system down into a deep valley where a railway track — a section of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway built in Ottoman times — roughly marks the 1949 armistice line between the West Bank and Israel. The area is dotted with tombs and ruins upon ruins of bygone civilizations.

When the World Heritage Committee of Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — meets in St. Petersburg, Russia, over the next two weeks, this pastoral area will be thrust into the spotlight at least momentarily as the villagers and conservation experts fight to save what they say is a unique living cultural and historical landscape.

The experts say the Battir terraces are under imminent threat because Israel plans to build a section of its West Bank security barrier right through the valley, parallel to the railway track. They are seeking to have Battir nominated as a World Heritage site on an emergency basis, a move that might persuade Israel to change its plans for the construction.

“The people here constructed their village while always preserving the terraces,” said Hassan Muamer, 27, a civil engineer working for the Battir Landscape Eco-Museum. “It was part of the mentality,” he added. “It is living history.”

But the effort to secure a nomination for Battir has been bogged down by internal Palestinian disagreements, designs and interests. The formal submission of the case was blocked at the last minute on the grounds that it had come too late. Instead, the Palestinian delegation to Unesco is pushing a higher-profile, more political effort to have Bethlehem’s venerated Church of the Nativity and pilgrimage route inscribed on the list of World Heritage sites on an emergency basis.

A panel of experts has already determined that although the church needs renovation and conservation, it does not appear to be in imminent danger and therefore does not qualify for emergency status. Leaders of the three churches that share control of the Church of the Nativity, always leery of prospective changes to the delicate status quo, also expressed some early reservations.

Continue reading the main story

 

 

When Unesco granted Palestinians full membership in the organization last October, Israel and the United States viewed the development as part of a contentious, wider Palestinian campaign for international recognition of statehood in the absence of an agreement with Israel. The step cost Unesco one-quarter of its yearly budget — 22 percent, or about $70 million, contributed by the United States, and 3 percent contributed by Israel.

Now some Palestinian and Western officials say that by pushing the case of the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, the Palestinian leadership is putting prestige above professional and technical considerations.

In response to the criticism, the Palestinian ambassador to Unesco, Elias Sanbar, wrote a letter condemning what he called “a persistent campaign of rumors aimed at discrediting Bethlehem’s candidacy” by “those who do not want to see Palestine exercise its legitimate rights.” He attached a statement from two of the three church leaders expressing their thanks to the Palestinian leadership for its efforts to safeguard and advance the Christian congregations’ freedom and cause.

Photo
 
Battir is seeking World Heritage status from Unesco. Credit The New York Times

Still, experts in the Palestinian territories say Battir is in more urgent need of protection.

“If Battir is submitted only next year, it may be too late,” said Giovanni Fontana Antonelli, the cultural heritage program specialist at the Unesco office in Ramallah, in the West Bank. “If the wall goes through the valley, it will totally destroy the integrity of the site,” he added.

Noting that the terraces are supported by dry stone walls made up of many millions of stones, Mr. Fontana characterized the valley as “not monumental but historical, an example of outstanding engineering.”

“The work of human beings there needs to be valued,” he said. “It is the work of centuries.”

Israel says its barrier, a system of fences and walls, razor wire and patrol roads, is essential to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from reaching Israeli cities.

The villagers have petitioned the Supreme Court in Israel to have the barrier rerouted here to prevent the destruction of the striking beauty of the area and its ancient system of cultivation. A court decision is pending. The conservationists hope that a recommendation from the World Heritage Committee may help persuade the court not to reject the villagers’ petition.

Local Palestinians like Raed Samara, a planning and development expert who has been active in promoting the case of Battir, say construction of a barrier would destroy the tranquillity that has prevailed here for decades.

The steep slopes across from Battir are in Israel, making this shared landscape a transboundary site in the Unesco lexicon.

“Nobody thinks that Israel’s security concerns are not legitimate or important,” said Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, an organization that works to promote cooperation on environmental issues in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. But, he added, “there are alternative ways to bring about security without destroying 4,000 years of cultural heritage for the Israelis, the Palestinians and all of humanity.”

On a recent evening, Mohannad Abu Hassan, a schoolteacher, was working a small triangular plot in the valley with his son Muhammad, 12. Water poured in from one corner as they turned the rich soil planted with green beans, zucchini, eggplant and chard. As soon as they were finished watering, a sprightly elderly woman, a distant relative, skipped down to a nearby plot across the railway track and turned her water on. In the old core of the village, children bathed in the cool waters of the central spring.

Until the late 1940s, Battir was the last stop before Jerusalem on the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway. The train platform used to turn into a bustling market, and the villagers maintained strong connections with the city. The train does not stop here anymore, and most of the produce is now for home use or for local sale. But the villagers are keeping up with the times, swapping news about the Unesco effort through a Facebook group of 2,000 residents and supporters.

Akram Bader, the mayor of Battir, recently traveled to Unesco headquarters in Paris to push his case and plans to go to St. Petersburg. “For three months I couldn’t sleep,” Mr. Bader said. “I cannot imagine my village divided. If we have lived in peace these last 60 years, we can live the same way forever.”

Lung cancer “breathalyzer” wins $100K Entrepreneurship

  • MIT $100K grand-prize-winning team Astraeus Technologies (left to right): Graham Lieberman, Jay Kumar, Alexander Blair, and Joseph Azzarelli.

    MIT $100K grand-prize-winning team Astraeus Technologies (left to right): Graham Lieberman, Jay Kumar, Alexander Blair, and Joseph Azzarelli.

    Photo: Michael Last

    FULL SCREEN

  • MIT $100K grand-prize-winning team Astraeus Technologies (left to right): Graham Lieberman, Jay Kumar, Alexander Blair, and Joseph Azzarelli.

    MIT $100K grand-prize-winning team Astraeus Technologies (left to right): Graham Lieberman, Jay Kumar, Alexander Blair, and Joseph Azzarelli.

    Photo: Michael Last

    FULL SCREEN

  • MIT $100K grand-prize-winning team Astraeus Technologies (left to right): Graham Lieberman, Jay Kumar, Alexander Blair, and Joseph Azzarelli.

    MIT $100K grand-prize-winning team Astraeus Technologies (left to right): Graham Lieberman, Jay Kumar, Alexander Blair, and Joseph Azzarelli.

    Photo: Michael Last

    FULL SCREEN

Lung cancer “breathalyzer” wins $100K Entrepreneurship Competition

Team’s smartphone-connected device can detect lung cancer early from a single breath.

Rob Matheson | MIT News Office 
May 12, 2016

A team of MIT and Harvard University students who invented a smartphone-connected sensor that detects lung cancer from a single breath took home the grand prize from Wednesday night’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Astraeus Technologies won the $100,000 Robert P. Goldberg Grand prize at the 27th annual competition, beating out seven other finalist teams that pitched business ideas to a panel of expert judges and a lively capacity crowd in Kresge Auditorium. Five other teams innovating in big data, creative arts, and food service took home separate category prizes totaling $40,000.     

Astraeus has developed a postage-stamp-sized device, called the L CARD, that detects certain gases indicative of lung cancer. When someone blows onto the device, a connected mobile app turns a smartphone screen red if those gases are present and green if they aren’t. 

Inventor Joseph Azzarelli, an MIT PhD student in chemistry, demonstrated the device on stage by spraying a syringe filled with the lung-cancer-signaling gases onto the device, causing the smartphone screen to flash red. “The L CARD reacts and sends instantaneous information to the physician that further attention is required,” Azzarelli said while a ripple of excitement spread through the crowd.

“We love that demo as much as you guys do,” added team member Jay Kumar, a student at Harvard Medical School.

After the competition, Azzarelli told MIT News the prize money will go toward product development and first-round clinical trials in research hospitals in the area.  

Cheaper, safer screening

Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer in the United States, causing more deaths than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined, according to the World Health Organization. “Part of the reason lung cancer is so deadly is that the current gold standard screening test — the low-dose CT scan — is wholly inadequate in a variety of ways,” said team member Graham Lieberman, an MBA student at the Harvard Business School.

Kumar delved into more detail, explaining that CT scans cost about $800 for each scan, have a high false-positive rate, and expose patients to radiation that can increase their cancer risk.

Due to the risks and costs of CT scans, Lieberman added, only about 1.6 million of the 94 million Americans at risk for lung cancer — as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are scanned each year. “A cheaper, safer screening device can be applied to a much larger percentage of that population,” he said.

The L CARD (which stands for Chemically Actuated Resonate Device) is essentially a modified near-field communication tag. Certain volatile organic compounds unique to the breath of lung cancer patients modify the tag’s radio frequency identification signal. A smartphone then pings the device and determines, from the modified signal, if those volatile compounds are present.

Kumar said the devices are an order of magnitude (about 10 times) more accurate than CT scans and can be made for less than $1. Astraeus will sell L CARDS directly to hospitals and clinics for use during routine annual checkups, he said. “We’re going after lung cancer,” Kumar said. “The root cause is bad screening: We’ve developed a better screening test, and it’s cost effective.”  

Last night’s win was the second for Astraeus in the $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, which consists of three independent contests: Pitch, Accelerate, and the Launch grand finale. Astraeus, which formed last November, also won the $10,000 Danny Lewin Grand Prize and the $3,000 Founders.org Audience Choice Prize at the Accelerate competition on Feb. 10.

Going through the competition helped the team focus on all the steps it takes to establish and expand a business, Azzarelli told MIT News. “Going into the $100K — the Launch competition in particular, which is taken so seriously by so many — really forces you to think, ‘If we’re really going to do this, at the level we really want to do it at, how are we going to move forward,’” Azzarelli said.

Big winners

Several additional awards were granted last night to finalist and semifinalist teams: Finalist team Spyce, which developed a tumbler-type machine stocked with raw ingredients that autonomously cooks and serves meals in bowls to customers, won the $5,000 Audience Choice award.

A $10,000 data prize from Booz Allen Hamilton went to semifinalist team ReviveMed, which developed a platform that can be used to repurpose safe but shelved drugs at pharmaceutical firms, for other uses. Two teams split a $10,000 Thomson Reuters Data Prize: finalist teamHive Maritime, which is developing analytics and optimization algorithms for shipping routes and vessel speeds, based on predicted queues at ports and canals; and semifinalist teamSwift Calcs, which is creating a cloud-based computational platform for engineers to collaborate on calculations.

Taking home the $15,000 Creative Arts Prize was Tekuma, which developed a service that matches people who want to rent property with artists who create and curate art, and ships the art to the rented space.   

Five other finalist teams pitched ideas: AquaFresco developed a water-recycling technology that lets people use one batch of soapy water to clean their laundry for several months;DoneGood is an app that lets people rate businesses based on practices such as being green, supporting diversity, buying locally, and adequately supporting workers, among other causes; Lux Labs created a nanoscale film that selectively filters light to reduce energy consumption on mobile devices and improve efficiency of solar cells; Solugen invented a green, safe, scalable process for producing hydrogen peroxide, which is used for things like semiconductor fabrication, plastic production, and water purification; and ABA Power is making aluminum-based batteries that have 30 times the energy density of traditional lithium batteries and are manufactured with zero emissions.

Since its debut in 1990, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition has helped launch 160 companies worldwide that have raised an additional $1.3 billion in funding, have a combined market value of $16 billion, and have employed more than 4,600 people.

This year, 160 teams applied to the entrepreneurship competition. That number was winnowed to 50 semifinalist teams for the Launch contest. Judges then chose eight finalists to compete in Wednesday’s grand finale event. Semifinalist teams receive mentoring, prototyping funds, media exposure, and discounted services.

Tesla’s inherent safety saves five joyriding teenagers in Germany

Tesla’s inherent safety saves five joyriding teenagers in Germany

The car left the road, flew through the air and rolled into a field.


What’s left of the Model S after a teenager crashed and then rolled it into a field.
Sabine Hermsdorf

Do you have a teenage child that likes to borrow your car and then destroy it in a spectacular crash? We sincerely hope the answer to that question is a resounding “no,” but in the off chance that you do, you may want to consider changing your current vehicle for a Tesla Model S. Last week in Germany, the joyriding daughter of a Tesla owner discovered first-hand just how safe the electric vehicle is, after losing control at high speed and rolling into a field.

According to German newspaper Merkur, the 18-year old and four of her friends were messing around in her father’s Model S before losing control. The car flew more than 80 feet (25m) into a field before rolling once and coming to a halt. Although three of the occupants had to be helicoptered to hospitals in Munich for treatment, none of their injuries were life-threatening, a testament to the safety of Tesla’s skateboard chassis.


Enlarge / The skateboard chassis used by the Model S and Model X is extremely safe, with crumple zones that are unconcerned with engines that can transfer kinetic energy into the passengers during a frontal collision.
Jonathan Gitlin

Unlike a conventionally powered car, the Model S (and Model X) have no large engine up front to intrude into the passenger compartment during a collision. This means the front and rear crumple zones can effectively dissipate the kinetic energy of a crash, as seen to good effect in the photographs taken after the accident.

While the Model S was heavily damaged, one doesn’t need much of an imagination to think that a similar crash in a front-engined internal combustion vehicle would have had a much worse outcome for the car’s five occupants. (According to comments left at electrek.co, about the only way to fatally crash a Tesla appears to be driving one off a cliff at high speed.)

Well done, Tesla.

Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand

Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand

Unusually high winds allowed Denmark to meet all of its electricity needs – with plenty to spare for Germany, Norway and Sweden too

 
Offshore windfarm, Middelgrunden, Copenhagen, Denmark
 The Conservative UK government has announced a withdrawal of support for onshore windfarms. Denmark’s windfarms have strong government backing. Photograph: Max Mudie/Alamy

So much power was produced by Denmark’s windfarms on Thursday that the country was able to meet its domestic electricity demand and export power to Norway, Germany and Sweden.

On an unusually windy day, Denmark found itself producing 116% of its national electricity needs from wind turbines yesterday evening. By 3am on Friday, when electricity demand dropped, that figure had risen to 140%.

Interconnectors allowed 80% of the power surplus to be shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for use later. Sweden took the remaining fifth of excess power.

“It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for trade body the European Wind Energy Association. “Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonisation – and also security of supply at times of high demand.”

The figures emerged on the website of the Danish transmission systems operator,energinet.dk, which provides a minute-by-minute account of renewable power in the national grid. The site shows that Denmark’s windfarms were not even operating at their full 4.8GW capacity at the time of yesterday’s peaks.

http://interactive.guim.co.uk/uploader/embed/2015/07/denmark_wind_farms/giv-21277ih0cdT3kzSgL/

A surge in windfarm installations means Denmark could be producing half of its electricity from renewable sources well before a target date of 2020, according to Kees van der Leun, the chief commercial officer of the Ecofys energy consultancy.

The British wind industry may view the Danish achievement with envy, after David Cameron’s government announced a withdrawal of support for onshorewindfarms from next year, and planning obstacles for onshore wind builds.“They have a strong new builds programme with a net gain of 0.5GW in new onshore windfarms due before the end of the decade,” he said. “Some 1.5GW from new offshore windfarms will also be built, more than doubling the present capacity. We’re seeing a year-on-year 18% growth in wind electricity, so there really is a lot of momentum.”

Joy said: “If we want to see this happening on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s ageing grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market.”

Around three-quarters of Denmark’s wind capacity comes from onshore windfarms, which have strong government backing.

Savarkar justified the idea of rape as a political tool

Reading Savarkar: How a Hindutva icon justified the idea of rape as a political tool

The controversial figure castigated Maratha ruler Shivaji for sending back the daughter-in-law of the Muslim governor of Kalyan, whom he defeated.

Decades before the sexual assault of women during the 2002 Gujarat and 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, Hindutva propounder Veer Savarkar justified rape as a legitimate political tool. This he did by reconfiguring the idea of “Hindu virtue” in his book Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, which he wrote in Marathi a few years before his death in 1966.

Six Glorious Epochs provides an account of Hindu resistance to invasions of India from the earliest times. It is based on historical records (many of them dubious), exaggerated accounts of foreign travellers, and the writings of colonial historians. Savarkar’s own febrile and frightening imagination reworks these diverse sources into a tome remarkable for its anger and hatred.

Savarkar’s account of Hindu resistance is also a history of virtues. He identified the virtues that proved detrimental to India and led to its conquest. He expounded his philosophy of morality in Chapter VIII,Perverted Conception of Virtues, in which he rejected the idea of absolute or unqualified virtue.

“In fact virtues and vices are only relative terms,” he said.

Virtues or vice?

Savarkar added that the test of determining what is virtue or vice is to examine whether it serves the interests of society, specifically Hindu society. This is because circumstances change, societies are always in a flux. What was deemed virtuous in the past could become a vice in the present if it is detrimental to mankind, he said.

For instance, said Savarkar, the caste system with its elaborate rules of purity and pollution helped stabilise Hindu society. But some of these rules became dysfunctional, degenerating into “seven fetters” of Hindu society.

These shackles, according to Savarkar, were untouchability, bans on drinking water from members of other castes, inter-caste dining, inter-caste marriage, sea-voyage, the ban on taking back into the Hindu fold those who were forcibly converted to Islam or Christianity, and ostracism of those who defied these prohibitions.

These “seven fetters” proved advantageous to the Muslim conquerors, wrote Savarkar, because they exploited caste rules to increase their population.

The conquerors forcibly converted Hindus who had been defeated, provided them with food and water, abducted women who were either kept as concubines or wives, certain that the ban on taking them back into the Hindu fold left them with no option but to live as Muslim, the Hindutva propounder wrote. This meant the “transformation of a man into a demon, the metamorphosis of a God into a Satan”.

Rape as a political tool

It is in this paradigm of ethics that Savarkar mooted the idea of rape as a political tool. He articulated it as a wish, through a question: What if Hindu kings, who occasionally defeated their Muslim counterparts, had also raped their women?

He expressed this wish after declaring, “It was a religious duty of every Muslim to kidnap and force into their religion, non-Muslim women.” He added that this fanaticism was not “Muslim madness”, for it had a distinct design – to increase the “Muslim population with special regard to unavoidable laws of nature.” It is the same law, which the animal world instinctively obeys.

Sarvarkar wrote:

“If in the cattle-herds the number of oxen grows in excess of the cows, the herds do not grow numerically in a rapid number. But on the other hand, the number of animals in the herds, with the excess of cows over the oxen, grows in mathematical progression.”

He cites examples from the human world too. For instance, he wrote, the African “wild tribes” kill only their male enemies, but not their women, who are distributed among the victors. This is because these tribes consider it their duty to increase their numbers through the progeny of abducted women. Similarly, he wrote that a Naga tribe in India kills women of rival tribes whom they can’t capture because they believe, rightly so, that paucity of women would enhance the possibility of their enemies dwindling in number.

Savarkar said that the Muslim conquerors of Africa too followed this tradition. Immediately thereafter, he spoke of the well-wishers of Ravana who advised him to return to Rama his wife, Sita, whom he had abducted. They said it was highly irreligious to have kidnapped Sita. Savarkar quotes Ravana saying, “What? To abduct and rape the womenfolk of the enemy, do you call it irreligious? It is Parodharmah, the greatest duty!”

It is with the “shameless religious fanaticism” of Ravana that the Muslims, from the Sultan to the soldier, abducted Hindu women, even the married ladies of Hindu royal families and notables, wrote Savarkar, adding that this was to increase the population of Muslims, to demographically conquer India, so to speak.

Savarkar is venomously critical of Muslim women who, “whether Begum or beggar”, never protested against the “atrocities committed by their male compatriots; on the contrary they encouraged them to do so and honoured them for it”.

Savarkar, even by his own standards, takes a huge leap by claiming that Muslim women living even in Hindu kingdoms enticed Hindu girls, “locked them up in their own houses, and conveyed them to Muslims centres in Masjids and Mosques”.

Muslim women were emboldened to perpetrate such atrocities because they did not fear retribution from Hindu men who, argued Savarkar, “had a perverted idea of women-chivalry”. Even when they vanquished their Muslim rivals, they punished the men among them, not their women, he said.

“Only Muslim men alone, if at all, suffered the consequential indignities but the Muslim women – never!” wrote Savarkar.

When Shivaji was wrong

This regret prompts him not to spare those who commend Shivaji for sending back the daughter-in-law of the Muslim governor of Kalyan, whom he defeated, as well as Peshwa Chimaji Appa (1707-1740), who did the same with the Portuguese wife of the governor of Bassein.

Savarkar wrote:

“But is it not strange that, when they did so, neither Shivaji Maharaj nor Chimaji Appa should ever remember, the atrocities and the rapes and the molestation, perpetrated by Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori, Allauddin Khalji and others, on thousands of Hindu ladies and girls…”

Savarkar’s febrile imagination now flies on the wings of rhetoric. He writes:

“The souls of those millions of aggrieved women might have perhaps said ‘Do not forget, O Your Majesty Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and O! Your Excellency Chimaji Appa, the unutterable atrocities and oppression and outrage committed on us by the sultans and Muslim noblemen and thousands of others, big and small.

“Let these sultans and their peers take a pledge that in the event of a Hindu victory our molestation and detestable lot shall be avenged on the Muslim women. Once they are haunted with this dreadful apprehension that the Muslim women too, stand in the same predicament in case the Hindus win, the future Muslim conquerors will never dare to think of such molestation of Hindu women [emphasis added].”

Their chivalry was perverted, said Savarkar, because it proved highly detrimental to Hindu society. This chivalry was “suicidal” because it “saved the Muslim women (simply because they were women) from the heavy punishment of committing indescribable serious crimes against Hindu women”, Savarkar laments.

Even worse, he said, was the foolish notion among the Hindus that to have “any sort of relations with a Muslim woman meant their own conversion to Islam”. This belief became an impediment to Hindu men inflicting punishment on the “Muslim feminine class [fair (?) sex]” for their atrocities [words in parenthesis Savarkar’s].

Savarkar’s readers cannot but see that he has overturned the code of ethics and freed the Hindus from the shackles that prevent them from descending into barbarism. But Savarkar doesn’t seem convinced of his persuasive powers.

So under a subsection titled, But If, he seeks to hammer in his point. He asks readers:

“Suppose if from the earliest Muslim invasions of India, the Hindus also, whenever they were victors on the battlefields, had decided to pay the Muslim fair sex in the same coin or punished them in some other ways, i.e., by conversion even with force, and then absorbed them in their fold, then? Then with this horrible apprehension at their heart they would have desisted from their evil designs against any Hindu lady.” 

He adds:

“If they had taken such a fright in the first two or three centuries, millions and millions of luckless Hindu ladies would have been saved all their indignities, loss of their own religion, rapes, ravages and other unimaginable persecutions.”

Thus, the use of rape as a political tool stands justified.

But why should Savarkar’s idea of rape as a political tool apply today, given that Six Glorious Epochs deal with India’s past?

This is because Savarkar very explicitly stated that a change of religion implies a change of nationality. It was Savarkar, not Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who first categorised Hindus and Muslims as two nations. From the Hindutva perspective, the two nations – Hindu and Muslim – have been locked in a continuous conflict for supremacy since the 11th century.

In the Savarkarite worldview, only those ethical codes should be adhered to which enable the Hindus to establish their supremacy over the Muslims. Thus, he reasoned, it is justified to rape Muslim women in riots because it is revenge for the barbarity of Muslims in the medieval times, whether proven or otherwise. After all, today’s riots are a manifestation of the historical conflict.

This is why BJP leaders clamour to celebrate the heroes of what they call Hindu resistance. The most recent example of this trend is Union Minister VK Singh, who wants Delhi’s Akbar Road to be renamed after Maharana Pratap. It is from Savarkar they have got their cue.

Later in Six Glorious Epochs, Savarkar adopted a distinct Nietzschean tone to cry out: “O thou Hindu society! Of all the sins and weaknesses, which have brought about thy fall, the greatest and most potent are thy virtues themselves.”

These virtues were cast aside in Gujarat in 2002 and Muzaffarnagar in 2013. That is something to remember as some people come out to pay homage to Savarkar who was born on this day 133 years ago.

This is the second article in a two-part series on VD Savarkar. The first part can her read here.

Read Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History here.

Ajaz Ashraf is a journalist in Delhi. His novel, The Hour Before Dawn, has as its backdrop the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It is available in bookstores.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

Was Veer Savarkar really all that brave?

History revisited: Was Veer Savarkar really all that brave?

Savarkar was chargesheeted in the assassination of Gandhi but exonerated, largely because no corroborative evidence of his involvement was furnished.

On May 28, India will commemorate the 133rd birth anniversary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was born on this day in 1883. Bharatiya Janata Party leaders will recall his valour, because of which he has been given the honorific, Veer.

But, really how veer, or brave, was Veer Savarkar?

Savarkar died in 1966. During his 83 years, he was involved in the political murder of three British officials. From the nationalist perspective, these murders have been cited as examples of Savarkar’s revolutionary zeal to violently uproot British rule, unmindful of the consequences.

Savarkar was also chargesheeted in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was subsequently exonerated, largely because no corroborative evidence of his involvement was furnished. It has helped perpetuate the myth of Savarkar the brave.

But this myth has been shattered because of the new evidence gathered over the years. He manipulated his followers to assassinate British officials, yet took care to conceal his links to the crimes he conceived. He did not hesitate to betray his acolytes, as he did Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Gandhi.

His famed fortitude was rarely on display during his years of imprisonment in the Andamans. He tendered craven apologies to the British, willing to bargain for his own freedom, not the country’s.

Political Murder No. 1

On July 1, 1909, Madanlal Dhingra shot dead Sir William Curzon Wyllie, political aide-de-camp at the India Office, London. Earlier, Dhingra had planned to assassinate former Viceroy Lord Curzon and former governor of Bengal, Bramfield Fuller, at a function they were to attend. But Dhingra was woefully late for the meeting, by which time Curzon and Fuller had left the venue.

Dhingra was arrested, tried and hanged for killing Wyllie. The British suspected Savarkar’s involvement, but had no concrete evidence against him. The evidence surfaced months after Savarkar died in 1966, courtesy Savarkar’s biographer.

Following Savarkar’s death, Dhananjay Keer reissued his 1950 publication,Savarkar and His Times, as Veer Savarkar. Keer wrote that the new edition contained a “plethora of new material”, which was made available to him by Savarkar himself.

In the 1966 edition, Keer said that Savarkar gave Dhingra a nickel-plated revolver on the morning of Wyllie’s assassination and told him, “Don’t show me your face if you fail this time.” Keer also confided in Robert Payne, author of Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi, that Savarkar had trained Dhingra for months, and often mocked him for having missed the opportunity to assassinate Lord Curzon and Fuller.

These new details in Keer’s 1966 edition prompted the lawyer and historian AG Noorani to note wryly in his seminal work, Savarkar and Hindutva: The Godse Connection:

“One wonders whether Savarkar also stipulated that they [the new contentions] should be published only after his death. The interval of sixteen years between the two editions is inexplicable on any other assumption.”

Political Murder No. 2

Before leaving for England to study law, Savarkar had been a member of a secret society, Mitra Mela, which was subsequently renamed Abhinav Bharat. Its goal was to overthrow the British through violent methods.

Savarkar’s older brother, Ganesh, alias Babarao, was an Abhinav Bharat member too. The police nabbed Ganesh Savarkar and stumbled upon a stockpile of bombs. Ganesh Savarkar was sentenced to transportation for life on June 8, 1909.

His comrades decided to retaliate. On December 29, 1909, Anant Kanhere shot dead AMT Jackson, district magistrate of Nasik, as he was watching a Marathi play, Sharada, in a theatre. Jackson had committed Ganesh Savarkar to trial, but was not the judge who had banished him to the Andamans.

From Kanhere’s accomplices, whom the police arrested, were discovered Savarkar’s letters. The Browning pistol used in the assassination was linked to Savarkar, who was accused of sending 20 such weapons to India from England. A telegraphic warrant of arrest was sent to London, and Savarkar surrendered to the police on March 13, 1910. He was brought to India.

For his role in the assassination of Jackson and for waging war against the King, Savarkar was sentenced to transportation – for two terms of 50 years each – to the Andamans. He arrived in Port Blair on July 4, 1911.

Savarkar’s apologies

The condition in the Cellular Jail in Andaman Islands was undoubtedly horrific. For instance, Savarkar was yoked to the oil mill. Quite understandably, his revolutionary fervour fizzled out. It must, however, be pointed out that he wasn’t the only person singled out for barbaric punishment.

In 1911 itself, Savarkar petitioned the authorities for clemency. The text of the 1911 petition hasn’t been found. But Savarkar referred to it in his petition to the British on November 14, 1913, seeking mercy and requesting a transfer to a jail in India. He wrote:

“The Mighty alone can afford to be merciful and therefore where else can the prodigal son return but to the parental doors of the Government?” 

In return, Savarkar offered to serve the “government in any capacity” as it thought fit. He declared he no longer believed in violence, justifying his conversion to constitutionalism because of the reforms the British government had introduced.

Savarkar said his conversion to the constitutional line would bring back “all those misled young men in India and abroad who were once looking up to me as their guide [emphasis added]”. In one stroke, the Indian revolutionary movement was disowned.

The British government was not convinced, but his cringing petition did help alleviate his plight. He was made a foreman. Noorani points out, “Few revolutionaries would have accepted this ‘honour’ from their captives who were also rulers of their captive land.”

Savarkar’s trait of encouraging others to take the precipitous course without joining them was evident in the Andamans as well. Historian RC Majumdar quotes Trailokya Nath Chakravarti, an inmate of the Cellular Jail, saying that Savarkar encouraged him and others to go on hunger strike but neither he nor his brother joined it. Even inmates older than Savarkar participated in the strike.

Savarkar justified his decision saying he would have been put back in solitary confinement and denied the right to send an annual letter to India. Savarkar does seem a leader who endorsed revolutionary action as long as he wasn’t required to pay the price.

Return to the mainland

In May 1921, Savarkar was transferred from the Andamans to the Indian mainland. Three years later, the government put forth conditions to Savarkar for his release from the Yerwada Jail in Pune.

These conditions were: Savarkar was to reside in Ratnagiri district; he could not go beyond the district’s limits without the government’s approval; he was not to engage in political activities publicly or privately; these restrictions were for five years, subject to renewal at the expiry of this period.

Savarkar accepted these terms, shattering the myth spun around his much-serenaded bravery. But there was also a humiliating coda to these conditions, not known until Frontline magazine published, in 1995, an additional undertaking Savarkar agreed to give the government.

Savarkar declared he had a fair trial and just punishment. He also wrote: “I heartily abhor methods of violence resorted to in days gone by, and I feel myself duty bound to uphold Law and the constitution…”

For sure, Savarkar was no Nelson Mandela.

In 1925, there was a Hindu-Muslim riot over Rangeela Rasool, a scurrilous booklet on Prophet Mohammad. The communal conflagration soon spread to parts of Punjab. Savarkar wrote an inflammatory article in the English newspaper, Mahratta, in March 1925.

The government communicated to Savarkar that any such writing in the future could lead to a reconsideration of his release. The warning had Savarkar foreswear that he would have no truck with the idea of Swaraj.

Political Murder No. 3

During the period of conditional freedom, Savarkar is said to have inspired yet another assassination attempt. On July 22, 1931, VB Gogate fired two shots at acting Governor of Bombay Sir Ernest Hotson during his visit to Ferguson College, Pune. But Hotson survived miraculously.

Nobody suspected Savarkar’s role. However, Keer in the 1966 edition ofVeer Savarkar disclosed that Gogate had been a staunch Savarkarite and had met him days before the assassination. Was Keer suggesting that Savarkar had inspired the failed assassination attempt on Hotson?

Savarkar’s role in Gandhi’s assassination

When Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, Savarkar was taken into police custody on February 5. Seventeen days later, he wrote a letter to Bombay’s Commissioner of Police:

“I shall refrain from taking part in any communal or political activity for any period the government may require in case I am released on that condition.”

It was this gratuitous offer, which had the government suspect him of having a central role in the assassination of Gandhi. But his role could not be proved in court. It subsequently came to light because of the depositions his aides made, years later, after Savarkar’s death.

There were two attempts made on Gandhi in January 1948. The first was made on January 20 – it was a botched up affair for which a Punjabi refugee, Madanlal Pahwa, was arrested. The second attempt was successful – Nathuram Godse shot Gandhi dead on January 30, 1948.

There were eight accused in the Gandhi assassination case – Nathuram Godse and Gopal Godse, his brother, Narayan D Apte, Vishnu Karkare, Madanlal Pahwa, Shankar Kistayya, VD Savarkar, and Dattaraya Parchure. The ninth member of the group – Digambar R Badge – turned approver. It was his testimony to the court that linked Savarkar to Gandhi’s assassination.

Badge gave a detailed account of the two visits he, Godse and Apte made to Bombay’s Savarkar Sadan, on the second floor of which their mentor resided. The first visit was made on January 14, which was the day on which Badge had handed over to Godse and Apte two gun-cotton slabs, five hand-grenades and detonators.

Badge, however, did not enter the Sadan. Apte later confided in Badge that he and Godse had met Savarkar, who told them that Gandhi and Nehru should be “finished” and had “entrusted that work to them.”

On the second meeting of January 17, Badge entered the Sadan. Godse and Apte went to the second floor. After 10 minutes or so, they came down the flight of stairs, followed by Savarkar. Badge testified that he heard Savarkar tell Godse and Apte, in Marathi, “Be successful and return.” However, Badge did not see Savarkar.

The trial court judge, Justice Atma Charan thought Badge was a “truthful witness”, but exonerated Savarkar only because there was no corroborative evidence in support of the approver’s deposition.

This was also because Godse and others did their best to ensure their mentor wasn’t implicated in the assassination case. For instance, Godse made out that his relationship with Savarkar wasn’t beyond what a leader has with followers.

Godse said that he and others decided in 1947 to “bid goodbye to Veer Savarkar’s lead and cease to consult him in our future policy and programme… I re-assert that it is not true that Veer Savarkar had any knowledge of my activities which ultimately led me to fire shots at Gandhiji.”

The prosecution had harped on Godse and Apte’s devotion to Savarkar. Savarkar, as was his habit, disowned them:

“Many criminals cherish high respect to the Gurus and guides of their religious sects… But could ever the complicity of the Guru or guide in the crimes of those of his followers be inferred and held proved only on the ground of the professions of loyalty and respect to their Gurus of those criminals?”

Savarkar’s deposition deeply hurt Godse, a fact testified to by lawyer PL Inamdar, who had defended Gopal Godse. In his account of the trial, Inamdar wrote:

“How Nathuram yearned for a touch of Tatyarao’s [Savarkar’s] hand, a word of sympathy, or at least a look of compassion in the secluded confines of the cells. Nathuram referred to his hurt feelings in this regard even during my last meeting with him…”

The new evidence

On the release of Gopal Godse from prison in October 1964, a felicitation ceremony was organised for him on November 11, 1964. On that occasion former editor GV Ketkar claimed that Nathuram would often discuss with him the advantages of killing Gandhi.

It created a furore in Parliament, prompting the setting up of a commission of inquiry under Justice JL Kapur in March 1965. The commission was to ascertain whether there had existed prior information to assassinate Gandhi and whether or not it was communicated to the government.

Months later, in February 1966, Savarkar voluntarily courted death, by stopping all consumption of food and water. He said it was better for a person to die willingly at the end of his life mission. But did Savarkar take this decision because he wanted to evade the prospect of the commission inflicting ignominy on him late in life?

That question cannot be answered. But it did perhaps free Savarkar’s bodyguard, Appa Ramachandra Kasar, and his secretary, Vishnu Damle, to depose before the commission. They testified to the close relationship Savarkar had with Godse and Apte, even travelling together for Hindu Mahasabha meetings. They also said, quite damningly, that Vishnu Karkare had brought a Punjabi refugee boy (Pahwa) in the first week of January to Savarkar for an interview that lasted 30-45 minutes.

In 1967, Gopal Godse published Gandhi Hatya, Ani Mee (Gandhi’s murder and I), in which he said Nathuram Godse came to know Savarkar way back in 1929 in Ratnagiri and had daily personal contact with Savarkar.

The new depositions prompted Justice Kapur to summarise: “All these facts taken together were destructive of any theory other than the conspiracy to murder by Savarkar and his group.”

Is it possible that despite their deep relationship with Savarkar, Godse and Apte might not have confided in their mentor their plan to kill Gandhi? Perhaps the answer to it lies in History & the Making of a Modern Hindu Self, published in 2011.

Its author, Aparna Devare, cites personal communication she had with her great-uncle, Dr Achyut Phadke, whom Narayan Apte had taught physics in high school. Phadke told Devare that Apte would openly talk of his and Godse’s plan to assassinate Gandhi. It does seem incredible that Apte wouldn’t confide in Savarkar about what he openly spoke to schoolchildren.

BJP’s love for Savarkar

Savarkar is the progenitor of the political philosophy of Hindutva, which the Sangh Parivar adheres to. It is this that has made them perpetuate the myth of Savarkar’s bravery, and ignore his betrayal of his diehard followers and his entreaties to the British government.

But what really symbolises a breakdown in consensus over the ethical norms in the country is that we dedicate public buildings to the Father of the Nation as we do to Savarkar, who mentored the killers of Gandhi if not directly guided them.

Worryingly, the cult of Savarkar persists. Lt Col Shrikant Purohit formed Abhinav Bharat, which has been accused of bombing Malegaon, the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and the Samjhauta Express. The underground outfit to which Savarkar belonged was also called Abhinav Bharat. It does suggest a more than 100 years of continuity of a violent ideology.

This is the first article in a two-part series on VD Savarkar. You can read the second part here.

Ajaz Ashraf is a journalist in Delhi. His novel, The Hour Before Dawn, has as its backdrop the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It is available in bookstores.

Now a chewing gum that treats Islamophobia

Now a chewing gum that treats Islamophobia
A satirical video that challenges discrimination against Muslims
 
 

 

In an attempt to challenge rising Islamophobia in the United States, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has released a mock commercial. The one-minute satirical video, released on Facebook, raises awareness about the kind of discrimination  Muslims in the US face in their everyday lives – including being labelled a terrorist.  The commercial is for “Islamophobin” a chewing gum that promises to cure people of bigotry and intolerance “within five minutes”. There’s no better way to “spread love” than using humour. 

Watch the video: 

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F232828710187333%2Fvideos%2Fvb.232828710187333%2F808122139324651%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560

16 Oldest Masjids in The World

16 Oldest Masjids in The World

Minaret and courtyard of Ummayad Masjid, Damascus (Syria)

Ever wondered about the oldest masjids in the world? If the answer is affirmative, you have come to the right place.

In this post, we have enlisted some of the world’s oldest masjids, in order of their respective age (the oldest one comes first, followed by the next oldest masjid, and so on). 

16 Oldest Masjids in The World

1. Masjid al-Haram, Mecca (Saudi Arabia)

Masjid Al-Haram, Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
Masjid al-Haram, Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
Image: Maria Alexandra

Masjid al-Haram is the oldest and largest masjid in the world surrounding the Holy Ka’abah. Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) and his son Prophet Isma’il (PBUH) raised the foundation of the Ka’abah, as mentioned in the Quran.

2. Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (Palestine)

Masjid Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (Palestine)
Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (Palestine)
Image: Godot13

Masjid al-Aqsa or Bait al-Muqaddas, the first Qiblah of Muslims, was constructed forty years after the construction of Masjid al-Haram.

3. Masjid al-Quba, Medina (Saudi Arabia)

Masjid Al-Quba, Medina (Saudi Arabia)
Masjid al-Quba, Medina (Saudi Arabia)
Image: Abdelrhman Habashy

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) laid the foundation of Masjid al-Quba when he first reached Medina, in the year 622 CE.

4. Masjid an-Nabwi, Medina (Saudi Arabia)

Masjid an-Nabwi, Medina (Saudi Arabia)
Masjid an-Nabwi, Medina (Saudi Arabia)
Image: SeekQuran

Masjid an-Nabwi was built by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in Medina in the year 622 CE, few months after Masjid al-Quba.

5. Masjid al-Qiblatain, Medina (Saudi Arabia)

Masjid al-Qiblatain, Medina (Saudi Arabia)
Masjid al-Qiblatain, Medina (Saudi Arabia)
Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Masjid al-Qiblatain (Masjid of the two Qiblahs) was built in the year 623 CE. This is where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the Revelation to change the direction of prayer (Qiblah) from Jerusalem to Mecca.

6. Huaisheng Masjid, Guangzhou (China)

Huaisheng Masjid, Guangzhou (china)
Huaisheng Masjid, Guangzhou (china)
Image: EastAsia

Huaisheng Masjid was built around 627 CE by Hz Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqas (RA), an uncle of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was part of the first Muslim envoy to China sent in the 620s.

7. Jawatha Masjid, al-Ahasa (Saudi Arabia)

Jawatha Masjid, Al-Ahasa (Saudi Arabia)
Jawatha Masjid, al-Ahasa (Saudi Arabia)
Image: Almrsal

Jawatha Masjid in al-Kilabiyah village of al-Ahasa was built in the year 628 CE by the tribe of Abd al-Qais. It has since been renovated many times.

8. Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kerala (India)

Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kerala (India)
Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kerala (India)
Image: നിരക്ഷരൻ

Cheraman Juma Masjid, built in 629 CE, was the first masjid in India. It was built by Hz Malik Dinar (RA) in memory of the noble Chera King Cheraman Perumal.

9. Palaiya Juma Palli Masjid, Kilakarai (India)

Palaiya Jumma Palli Masjid, Kilakarai (India)
Palaiya Juma Palli Masjid, Kilakarai (India)
Image: Kilakarai

Palaiya Juma Palli Masjid is located in Kilakarai, a town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was constructed by Yemeni merchants as per the orders of Bazan ibn Sasan, the Governor of Yemen, in 630 CE.

10. The Masjid of Uqba, Kairouan (Tunisia)

Uqba Masjid, Kairouan (Tunisia)
Uqba Masjid, Kairouan (Tunisia)
Image: MAREK SZAREJKO

The Great Masjid of Kairouan, or the Uqba Masjid, was established by the great General Hz Uqba ibn Nafi (RA) in the year 670 CE.

RELATED  13 Masjids That Are Surrounded By Water

11. Umayyad Masjid, Damascus (Syria)

Minaret and courtyard of Umayad Masjid, Damascus (Syria)
Umayyad Masjid, Damascus (Syria)
Image: american_rugbier

Caliph al-Walid I commissioned the construction of Umayyad Masjid in the year 706 CE, and it was completed in 715 CE, shortly after the death of Caliph al-Walid I.

12. The Great Masjid of Aleppo, Aleppo (Syria)

Great Masjid of Aleppo, Aleppo (Syria)
Great Masjid of Aleppo, Aleppo (Syria)
Image: yeowatzup

The Great Masjid of Aleppo was built by Caliph Suleyman ibn Abd al-Malik in 717 CE, following the successful construction of Umayyad Masjid, Damascus. Sadly, the minaret of this beautiful masjid has been destroyed recently during the Syrian Civil War, and as of now, the masjid is no longer in use.

13. al-Zaytuna Masjid, Tunis (Tunisia)

Minaret of Al-Zaytuna Masjid, Tunis (Tunisia)
al-Zaytuna Masjid, Tunis (Tunisia)
Image: Citizen59

al-Zaytuna Masjid was built in the year 732 CE by the liberator of Tunis, Hassan ibn Nu’man (RA).

14. The Great Masjid of Xian, Xian (China)

Xian Masjid, Xian (China)
The Masjid of Xian, Xian (China)
Image: Dennis

The Great Masjid of Xian was built in the year 742 CE, during the rule of Tang dynasty. It served as the religious center of Arab merchants and traders based in China.

15. Koutoubia Masjid, Marrakech (Morocco)

Koutoubia Masjid, Marrakech (Morocco)
Koutoubia Masjid, Marrakech (Morocco)
Image: Stuart Pinfold

Construction of Koutoubia Masjid began somewhere around 1150 CE. It was completed during the reign of Sultan Yacoub el-Mansour (1184-99).

16. Djenne Masjid, Djenne (Mali)

Djenne Masjid, Djenne (Mali)
Djenne Masjid, Djenne (Mali)
Image: mauro gambini

Djenne Masjid, the largest mud-structure building in the world, was initially built in 13th century. It is said that Sultan Koi Kunboro, a popular ruler, embraced Islam and transformed his own palace into a masjid.

Idea of Bharat Mata is European import: Irfan Habib

Idea of Bharat Mata is European import: Irfan Habib

 
 

‘Bharat’ was first used in an inscription of King Kharavela in Prakrit, says the historian

Wading into the political controversy around the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (glory to Mother India), veteran historian Irfan Habib said here on Monday that the idea of Bharat Mata was an import from Europe and there was no evidence of any such imagination in either ancient or medieval India.

“Bharat Mata has nothing to do with India’s ancient or medieval past. It is a European import. Notions of motherland and fatherland were talked about in Europe,” Prof. Habib said, delivering a lecture in the memory of late historian Bipan Chandra at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

This statement comes at a time when leaders of the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS have upheld the slogan as intimately related to nationalism in India.

In the Maharashtra Assembly, All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Waris Pathan was suspended recently for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai,’ with Congress MLAs also siding with the BJP and the Shiv Sena on the matter.

Later, talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the event, Prof. Habib elaborated on his statement. “Bharat is mentioned in ancient India. It was first used in an inscription of King Kharavela in Prakrit. But representation of the country in human form as a mother or father was unknown in ancient India or medieval India,” he said. “This was an idea that emerged in Europe with the rise of nationalism, and it was found in Britain, Russia, etc.”

He added that Madar-e-Watan in Urdu was also a case of the European idea being borrowed.

Prof. Habib had irked many in the Sangh Parivar months ago too, when he reportedly drew parallels between the RSS and the IS.

In another lecture dedicated to the scholarship of Prof. Chandra, historian Aditya Mukherjee recalled freedom as a key value of the Indian national movement.

“Mahatma Gandhi had said that liberty of speech was unassailable even when it hurt. I hope the government is listening,” he said.

Why Kerala Eats With its Hands

Why People Eat With Their Hands in Kerala

You may have often wondered why people eat with their hands in Kerala. Eating food with your hands feeds not only the body but also the mind and the spirit. That is the Vedic wisdom behind Kerala’s famous Banana Leaf Experience whose pleasure can only be appreciated fully, it is said, if one eats with hands and not fork and spoon.

(10 best Kerala recipes)

Traditionally, Indians — not just in Kerala — have always eaten with their hands but the experience and its virtues have been elevated to a gastronomic art by the chefs at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, a picturesque 26-acre resort in the northern Kasaragod district of Kerala, flanked by the famous backwaters and the Lakshadweep Sea.

(Celebrating Onam: A Taste of Kerala in Restaurants All Over India)

And to lend logic to the eating-by-hand experience for fussy foreigners, especially Westerners who would think twice before scooping up curry with their fingers, the maitre d’hotel lays before each guest at Latitude – the multi-cuisine restaurant with an accent on regional Kerala cuisine and a scenic view of serene waters and swaying palm fronds .

(All About Onam Sadhya – The Grand Feast)

“Our hands and feet are said to be the conduits of the five elements. The Ayurvedic texts teach that each finger is an extension of one of the five elements. The thumb is agni (fire) — you might have seen children sucking their thumb, this is nature’s way of aiding the digestion at an age when they are unable to chew; .

(10 Best Onam Recipes)

The ‘banana leaf experience’ has been redefined by the hotel from the traditional ‘sadya’, or banquet, in Malayalam, says Ashok Pillai, the executive sous chief. Sadya is traditionally a vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf on special occasions, during weddings and other celebrations. All the dishes are served on the leaf and eaten with hands sans cutlery, the palm and fingers being cupped to form a ladle.

A sadya can have about 24-28 dishes served as a single course and is usually served for lunch as it is quite heavy on the stomach. Preparations begin at dawn and the dishes are made before 10 in the morning on the day of the celebration. “At Vivanta by Taj at Bekal we have given a twist to the experience by adding delectable preparation of fish or meats as per request,” Samir Khanna, the affable general manager, told IANS during a recent trip.

The centerpiece of sadya is navara, a medicinal rice type, that is one of the native genetic resources of Kerala and famed for its use in Ayurveda. Navara is used as a nutritional rice and health food and is said to be therapeutic for conditions such as arthritis, paralysis, ulcers, urinary tract infections, neuralgic and neurological disorders.

(Your Guide to Celebrating the Auspicious Festival)

For a novitiate to Kerala cuisine, the food does not stop coming, and the helpings are as much as you can ingest. Most people stop at the second helping and react in surprise when waiters with buckets of curry offer to ladle more on the leaf-plate.

Foreigners, after their initial cultural reservations about eating with their hands, awkwardly slurp and lap up the food, any messiness be damned. As a concession to non-vegetarians, karimeen or pearl spot, the local fish, is served fried or in curry form.

(10 Things You Must Eat in Kerala)

Since the “experience” requires some preparation, those guests who want to partake of it need to intimate the chef in advance and tables are laid out separately in the restaurant for those who are eating on the banana leaf.

A typical sadya menu –

Banana Chips

Jagerry Chips

Achar

Kerala Pappadom
Parippu Curry (Simmered lentils enhanced with ghee)
Pachadi (Preserved cucumber in Yoghurt)

Inchi Puli (An emulsion of tamarind, jaggery and ginger)

Kichadi (Coconut enriched gravy with pineapple)
Erissery (Mashed Pumpkins and red beans in coconut)
Kaalan (Raw banana cooked in mildly spiced coarse coconut)

Olan (White pumpkin simmered with beans in coconut milk)
Avial (Ethnic vegetable cooked dry with coarsely ground coconut and yoghurt)
Thoran (Any local vegetable cooked dry with coarsely ground coconut)

Kootu Curry (Assortment of vegetables and spices)
Sambar (Stew of lentil and vegetables)
Pulissery (Tempered yoghurt with turmeric with curry leaf infusion)

Pachamoru (Spiced butter milk)

Banana Payasam (Dessert with jaggery, coconut milk flavored with cardamom)

Other Recipes

Paal Payasam
Kozhikodan Biryani
Thenga Choru
Kerala Chicken Roast
Kerala Fried Prawns
Kerala Vegetable Stew
Meen Moilee with Steamed Rice
Malabari Parotta

 

 

Positive Action vs. Negative Reaction: An American Muslim Doctor Reacts

Positive Action vs. Negative Reaction: An American Muslim Doctor Reacts

By Maryam Sultan

The day after my toughest 24-hour call of residency at the hospital so far, I got called a “f—ing terrorist” by a stranger in the parking lot of my local supermarket. As I loaded groceries into my trunk at that moment, there was so much that I wanted to say to the man who claimed to know me after just viewing the back of my head. I most wanted to ask him what he was doing the night prior while I was dealing with minimally-conscious 18-year olds, trying to figure out what to give a 13-year old with a brain injury for sleep that wouldn’t affect his participation in therapy the next day, and working to stabilize my paralyzed patient’s blood pressure long enough for him to complete his life-sustaining hemodialysis session. And then I’d ask the strange man with the not-so-witty comment what part of that qualified as terrorism. But I didn’t say anything. I just continued loading my groceries and didn’t even give him a second glance. Would it have changed his mind had I yelled out that roughly 10% of American physicians are Muslims, according to the American Medical Association? Or that, per the Islamic Medical Association of North America, approximately 20,000 American physicians- who have all had nights like mine described- are Muslim? Probably not. And so, at the peak of my anger, coupled with fatigue and sadness, I chose to remain silent. I remembered 2 verses in one of my favorite chapters of the Qur’an, and was pleased to have the opportunity to act on them. In describing the “slaves of the Most Merciful”, Allah says:

“And when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace.”  Surat al-Furqan: 63

25_63
“And when they pass by ill speech, they pass by it with dignity.”  Surat al-Furqan: 72

25_72

 

I chose to maintain my dignity and let this one man’s comment float past me. I did not want to be the angry Muslim woman yelling at a man in a parking lot who would pretend to not hear my words and would have gotten a kick out of riling me up. Not only would that be a pointless, if not deleterious, use of my energy, but it would place me in a potentially dangerous situation as well. I understood that expressing my anger would bring no benefit- not to me, not to him, and not to my religion.

shutterstock_111899072

In our da’wah (inviting to/teaching about Islam), we seek to bring positivity to others. When Allah sent Prophet Musa [Alayhis] to Pharoah, the man whose arrogance before God and cruelty to his creation was unparalleled, Allah commanded his prophet to “speak to him with gentle speech; perhaps he may take heed of the reminder or become conscious of God.” Surat TaHa: 44

20_44

 

With the understanding that our goal in da’wah is to teach and remind others in a way that will instill in them God-consciousness, it becomes clear that responding in anger to those who taunt us is not the ideal mode of achieving this goal. Among such individuals, if words of peace cannot be expressed, a dignified silence is a fine alternative. However, our da’wah should not be in large-part a reactive one. We should not be waiting for our next opportunity to wittily respond to a bigot. Rather, it is important to proactively express Islam in our actions and speech on a regular basis.

On the night preceding the parking lot incident, da’wah for me, despite being the only doctor in a 120-bed hospital, was getting my new patient’s family chairs at 9pm when I realized that they had been standing in their son’s hospital room for the past 2 hours— the father had a bad back and the 8-year old sister just sat on the floor during my exam. It was me taking the time to explain their son’s treatment plan at length using language that they could understand. My da’wah that night was essentially me doing my job well and doing it with kindness. Then, when this patient’s mother from a rural west-Texas town asked me to tell her again how to properly pronounce my last name and expressed regret that I would not be her son’s doctor on Monday, I knew that my da’wah was successful.

While we may whine when the actions of those who appear outwardly Muslim are used to judge the entire Islamic religion, it would behoove us to reframe that thought into a positive one. That those of us who choose to “wear” Islam on a daily basis are constantly portraying our religion is a huge opportunity. It is for good reason that our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) stated that he “was not sent except to perfect good character.” [Musnad Ahmad, 8595] A person’s character is one of the first and most-consistent aspects of the self by which others may gauge him/her. It defines how at-ease others feel around us, as stated in the Qur’an: “And had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would have fled from around you”  Surat Aale-Imran: 159.

3_159

 

It is in our best interest to persistently work to improve our manners in an effort to improve our da’wah. Increasing in acts and words of kindness, demonstrating a good work ethic, and smiling often are all rooted in Islam and work wonders in opening closed hearts. The more often that you say “Good morning” with a smile to your Fox News-watching neighbor, the more seriously will she reconsider her favorite news channel’s portrayal of people who look and dress like you. It is upon us to seek out these opportunities and act upon them in a positive manner, rather than negatively reacting to other situations, and I expect that our satisfaction with our da’wah will increase exponentially when we do.

Internet Blocked? A Baker’s dozen Hacks to Free Internet

Courtesy : http://lifestyle9.org/learn-how-to-unblock-blocked-websites/

Blocking the user access to various social media websites and other internet services have become one of the most common tactics that is followed widely in organizations and educational institutions like schools and colleges.These usually involve websites like Facebook, bebo, MySpace and so on. When it comes to the question how to unblock blocked websites, you must have already heard about different techniques. When all those tactics fail to bypass the internet filters, just give a try to the following tricks. It works!

Trick No: 1

Access the restricted websites using unblock website proxy servers

Do you have any idea on how web proxies work? No? Let me explain now. It acts like a middle man or an inter-mediator between your system and  the internet. It downloads your requested pages directly from its server and in turn it transfers the pages to the users. When you use proxy servers, your requests bypass all the internet filters and even those annoying firewalls.

youhide.com is one such website proxy server (for unblocking) which also helps in protecting your online identity.  Apart from doing the job of unblocking websites and bypassing the internet filters, it even helps you handle your sensitive data in a much secured way. If the website you want to access has no SSL certificate, you don’t need to worry about it. Because, when you  access the websites through web proxies like youhide.com, it will automatically add SSL security on the fly.  This way you can make your data go hidden from the malicious programs and potential hackers as well. Isn’t that great now?

Hidemyass.com is one of the most popular and reliable proxy servers which was available at free of cost until quite recently before. Now it comes with the price tag though.You can make use of the following free proxy servers to achieve the premium like service anyway.

Some Free web proxies that help you unblock the blocked websites

  •  Zend2.com
  • youhide.com
  • freeproxysites.org
  • anonymouse.org

Note: These days many school boards and organizations block proxy servers too. Sadly, if this is the case then trick no 1 will not work but don’t be disappointed because we do have many other options too. You can give a try with other techniques explained here.

Trick No: 2

Internet Archive (Wayback Machine)

how to unblock websites

 

It’s a non profit organization. To be more technical, we can call it as Way back machine. It stores the data of any website in an archive format. You cannot expect it to have up-to-date copy for all the time though. It will show you the website in such a way like how it was looked on some particular dates. So when you enter the name of the website in the Wayback Machine, hopefully you can get its recent cached copy. Apart from using this to access the blocked websites, you can make use of this amazing feature to visit websites which are down or suspended now. It is a very useful site for webmasters too.

Trick No 3

Translation services

how to unblock a website

I can hear your question. How to unblock websites using the Translation Services? Think a bit! Follow the below instructions so you can unblock websites in not more than a minute. You can use the translation services like Yahoo! Babel Fish or Google Translate. But to do this, your filters should allow access to search engines. Eager to know how to unblock a website? Follow the below steps

Step 1: Type the URL of the website you want to access in the translation field.

 

Step 2: Choose the language in the “Translation from” and “Translation To” Field. In “Translate From” field select the language that is different from your current web page language. For example, if your current language is “English” then select any other language like ” French, Spanish, German etc” in “Translate From” field. In ” Translate To” field choose  “English”.  This method is one of the most effective ways  to unblock the blocked website. So I hope you are now clear with how to unblock websites. However, the article doesn’t end here. There are some more tricks too. Read on.

Trick No : 4

HTTP into HTTPS

Even if you are searching all over the internet on how to get around blocked websites, i bet you can’t find any simpler method than this one.

All you need to do is to just replace http with https in your URL. Obviously this will cause a confusion to the software program restricting the access.

On the flip side, we can’t expect this hand trick to work every time.

 

Trick No : 5

Unblock Websites Through IP Addresses

how to unblock website

how to unblock blocked websites websites using IP Address? If this is something that you are literally looking for then just read on. When all the above tricks to unblock websites fail, you can try this method.

unblock teh blocked websites

  • Find out the IP Address that is been allocated to the website you wish to open. Getting the IP address is pretty simple.
  • Open the command prompt & type [ping yourdomain.com](type without brackets). Hit enter .
  • For Example ping youtube.com. This command will return the IP address of your desired website.Isn’t that cool? Now instead of the real URL, enter the IP address in the browser’s address bar . This trick has higher probability to open up any restricted website.

Trick No : 6

Convert IP Address into Decimal URL

how to unblock blocked websites

You can unblock a blocked website using IP address. But some website sites have their IP address blocked too.

If this is the case, try converting the IP address into its decimal values.

For example, instead of using http:// 74.125.236.160/ (IP address of Google), you can use the decimal format of the IP address HTTP://1249766560.

How will you convert the IP address into Decimal value?  Go to the website http://www.ipaddressguide.com/ip, type the blocked website’s IP address that you want to convert.

Trick No : 7

Use TOR- Effective And Risky Way

how to unblock blocked websites

Have you ever heard about TOR ( The Onion Router)? Well, it is one of the best free software for those who are looking for how to unblock blocked websites.

Tor is an internet browser that is specially designed to encrypt the confidential military communications.  UNRL (The US Naval Research Lab) has designed this browser.  Tor channels data via multiple nodes to prevent the scrambling of original data. To use Tor, you need to download this piece of software from torproject.org. Then you can start to browse your unblocked website through the Tor. Even though browsing through this site is little bit slow, it is considered as one of the effective methods to access the blocked sites.

Warning: Keep in mind that the Tor is so famous with the cyber criminals; the users of the Tor may be flagged as the immoral intent, so use this browser with caution. If you like to use Tor with ambiguity, it is recommended to create a different new identity on each time you use the web. It helps you to guarantee that you’ll never be attached to the identical server twice. The new identity can also helps to browse faster, because each time you change the identity you will be switched to another browser.

Trick No : 8

Unblock Websites via VPN

Another worth noting trick on how to get around blocked sites is none other than using VPN (Virtual Private Network). It will create a protected tunnel between VPN server and your System. Once you are connected with a VPN Server, your entire communication will start to travel via a secured tunnel, hence 3rd parties can’t able to track it. In this technique, your IP address that is your online identity will be anonymized, hence you are free to access your restricted websites. In addition, VPN also provides higher range of security than the available proxy servers do. There are many VPN software available to provide you this service, the following are best of them:

  1. HotspotShield VPN
  2. Hola unblocker
  3. TunnelBear VPN
  4. ProXPN VPN

How To Use Hola Browser
how to unblock blocked websites

Hola unblocker is the free VPN Proxy service that permits you to access the censored or blocked websites in your school, college or country. This simple and very effective software never affects the speed of your Browsing. This browser extension is available in all famous browsers.

  1. Install the Hola extension
  2. Go to the blocked website
  3. Click the icon of the Hola extension (you can see it at the browser’s top right spot)
  4. Choose the country you like to bypass the site and enjoy accessing of the blocked site

How To Get Hotspot Shield VPN

how to unblock blocked websites

Go to the official website of Hotspot shield (www.hortspotshield.com) in your browser and download the free version.

  • Install it on your PC
  • Open your browser Firefox, Opera, Mozilla, Safari or whatever it is. You can see the Hotspot Shield placed at the top.

Trick No : 9

Use blocked sites with Google Cache

Google maintains cache for each and every file published on the internet on every single day.  To access the cached version of any website type  the following in Google search box “cache:websitename.com”. Anyway to use this trick, your network should allow access to Google anyway.

This will give you the sites from the old Google Cache. Before using this trick just ensure that the browser caching is enabled in the browser. Keep in mind that this technique wouldn’t provide the current version, but still it can help you to get the piece of information you wish to read.

Trick No : 10

Use URL Shortners

how to unblock blocked websites

Wondering how to unblock websites using URL shortner? It’s one of the best possible ways around. Generally, to short the lengthy website url, we use this service.It shortens the url length.  By using these sites, you can sidestep the access and security of the website, as they redirect the URL of the blocked website to the unblocked one.

Try using the following url shortners.

 

  • feed.ly
  • Google’s goo.gl
  • Tinyurl-tinyurl.com
  • MooURL-moourl.com

 

Trick No : 11

Try Opera Mini Simulator

how to unblock blocked websites

Opera mini is a web-based version of Opera. This demo version is designed to access the blocked websites that offer their mobile version. But it does not mean, you can’t access the websites that doesn’t offer a mobile version. You can. Only drawback is, quality will be much lower.

  • Just install opera mini 5 beta into your mobile device
  • Open the simulator, type the URL of the restricted site you like to open.Press Enter
  • Now you can gain access to the unblocked website.

Trick No : 12

Get The Help Of Web2Mail

 

As you are looking to find a way to unblock websites, i suggest you to try Web2Mail.With this site, you can enjoy the access of the blocked websites. Send a message to the email www@web2mail.com with the subject line that refers to your “intended site url”. Web2mail take this mail as a request for the website or webpage and return you a mail. That mail contains the website that you requested. For getting daily email for the selective webpage, you need to subscribe. You can sign up an account in the web2mail to receive websites by mail.

Trick No 13 :Internet Options – Restricted Websites

If switching between http and https does not work, check out the error message if you get any.

If it says that the page couldn’t be opened because of the “restrictions imposed on this account”, it may be due to the family safety software. In such cases, your choices to bypass the internet filters are limited. You can use trick no 11.

What if the error message doesn’t have anything to do with your account? In this is the case, the chances are, site you were trying you to access may be blocked by the internet options.

You can unblock blocked websites with the following simple procedure

1. Open control panel.

2. Click on the internet options. Under the security tab, click the restricted websites.

3. Hit on the button labeled “sites”. Check out whether the site you are trying to access is on the list. If it’s there, simply removing it from that list would give you access to that particular site.

This option is one of the simplest and least useful ways to get around the blocked websites because organizations and big concerns would not simply block the sites through this basic blocking method. They prefer network level restrictions which are often hard to overcome.

The Bottom Line

When the network administrator notices people bypassing the internet filters using one way or the other chances they will catch up the rule breakers soon. So keep your eyes wide open folks. Be little careful while applying these tricks. Going against your school rules or organization policies may make you land in some serious troubles. So use these kinds of access violations with more caution at your own risk.

 

Learning how to unblock blocked websites is not a bad thing. But to enjoy a trouble free life, make sure you play it safe.

ഫലസ്തീന്‍ പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയെ വെടിവെച്ചുവീഴ്ത്തിയ ഇസ്രയേല്‍ സൈന്യം വീല്‍ചെയറിലെത്തിയ യുവാവിനെ ചവിട്ടിവീഴ്‍ത്തുന്ന ദൃശ്യങ്ങള്‍ വൈറലാകുന്നു

ഫലസ്തീന്‍ പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയെ വെടിവെച്ചുവീഴ്ത്തിയ ഇസ്രയേല്‍ സൈന്യം വീല്‍ചെയറിലെത്തിയ യുവാവിനെ ചവിട്ടിവീഴ്‍ത്തുന്ന ദൃശ്യങ്ങള്‍ വൈറലാകുന്നു

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone


Comments

 

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

World’s largest solar plant goes live, will provide power for 1.1M people

World’s largest solar plant goes live, will provide power for 1.1M people

noor morocco solar power plant

The parabolic mirrors of Noor’s solar power plant.

 Credit: ACWA Power

Up to 11% of the world’s electricity could come from concentrated solar by 2050

  •  
 

The world’s largest solar power plant, now live in Morocco, will eventually provide 1.1 million people with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year.

The $9 billion Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant could eventually start exporting energy to the European market.

The Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), paid for with funds approved by The World Bank, is located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, about 6 miles from Ouarzazate town. It began operation on Thursday. While the World Bank and other development partners provided financial support, the Noor solar plant is a wholly Moroccan project.

“With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,” Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb, said in a statement. “The returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation.”

Noor concentrated solar power
 

The World Bank

On the left, phase 1 of the Noor Concentrated Solar Power plant is generating energy. On the right, phase 2 will be completed in 2017 and phase 3 in 2018.


The plant will be able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, which allows for the production of electricity even at night.
Overall, the new Noor CSP plant will increase Morocco’s energy independence, create 1,600 jobs during construction and 200 jobs during the power plant’s operation, and increase the installed capacity of solar power stations from 22MW in 2013 to 522MW in 2018, according to The World Bank.

noor solar power plant morocco
 

ACWA Power

A parabolic mirror at the Noor solar power plant in Morocco.

Unlike concentrated photovoltaic solar power, CSP plants do not create electrical current through the photovoltaic effect, where particles of light (photons) break electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity. Instead CSP uses either lenses or parabolic mirrors to concentrate the sun’s light onto a small point where water or another substance is heated.

The heat is used to create steam, which runs a turbine that produces electricity. In the Noor CSP, concave mirrors focus on molten salt, heating it anywhere from 300 degrees to 660 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ivanpah concentrated solar power plant
 

BrightSource Energy

Much like the Noor CSP, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert.

Currently, the Noor CSP can generate 160 megawatts (MW). But as additional phases are completed, in two years it’s expected to generate more than 500MW — enough power to meet the needs of 1.1 million Moroccans.

Phase 2 (Noor 2 and 3 plants) are due to open in 2017 and 2018 and will store power for up to eight hours. In all, the Noor CSP plant will cover an area of 6,178 acres.

brightsource energy luz power tower stateline solar
 

BrightSource

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert. Like the Noor CSP, sunlight is concentrated onto a tower containing molten salt. 

 

At full power, the new solar power plant will reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year, which would equate to 17.5 million tons of carbon emissions over 25 years, according to Climate Investment Funds.

The International Energy Agency estimates that up to 11% of the world’s electricity generation in 2050 could come from CSP.

Morocco’s goal is to have 42% of its energy come from renewable resources by 2020.

The whiteboards of tomorrow: 3 interactive 

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

The hanging of Afzal Guru is a stain on India’s democracy

 

The hanging of Afzal Guru is a stain on India’s democracy

Despite gaping holes in the case against Afzal Guru, all India’s institutions played a part in putting a Kashmiri ‘terrorist’ to death

 

 
Police bring Afzal Guru to court in Delhi in 2002

 Indian police bring Afzal Guru to court in Delhi in 2002. Photograph: Aman Sharma/AP

Spring announced itself in Delhi on Saturday. The sun was out, and the law took its course. Just before breakfast, the government of India secretlyhanged Afzal Guru, prime accused in the attack on parliament in December 2001, and interred his body in Delhi’s Tihar jail where he had been in solitary confinement for 12 years. Guru’s wife and son were not informed. “The authorities intimated the family through speed post and registered post,” the home secretary told the press, “the director general of the Jammu and Kashmir [J&K] police has been told to check whether they got it or not”. No big deal, they’re only the family of yet another Kashmiri terrorist.

In a moment of rare unity the Indian nation, or at least its major political parties – Congress, the Bharatiya Janata party and the Communist party of India (Marxist) – came together as one (barring a few squabbles about “delay” and “timing”) to celebrate the triumph of the rule of law. Live broadcasts from TV studios, with their usual cocktail of papal passion and a delicate grip on facts, crowed about the “victory of democracy”. Rightwing Hindu nationalists distributed sweets to celebrate the hanging, and beat up Kashmiris (paying special attention to the girls) who had gathered in Delhi to protest. Even though Guru was dead and gone, the commentators in the studios and the thugs on the streets seemed, like cowards who hunt in packs, to need each other to keep their courage up. Perhaps because, deep inside, themselves they knew they had colluded in doing something terribly wrong.

What are the facts? On 13 December 2001 five armed men drove through the gates of the Indian parliament in a car fitted out with a bomb. When challenged they jumped out of the car and opened fire, killing eight security personnel and a gardener. In the firefight that followed, all five attackers were killed. In one of the many versions of the confessions he was forced to make in police custody, Guru identified the men as Mohammed, Rana, Raja, Hamza and Haider. That’s all we know about them. They don’t even have second names. LK Advani, then home minister in the BJP government, said they “looked like Pakistanis”. (He should know what Pakistanis look like right? Being a Sindhi himself.) Based only on Guru’s custodial confession (which the supreme court subsequently set aside, citing “lapses” and “violations of procedural safeguards”) the government recalled its ambassador from Pakistan and mobilised half a million soldiers on the Pakistan border. There was talk of nuclear war. Foreign embassies issued travel advisories and evacuated their staff from Delhi. The standoff lasted months and cost India thousands of crores – millions of pounds.

Within 24 hours, the Delhi Police Special Cell (notorious for its fake “encounter” killings, where suspected terrorists are targeted in extrajudicial attacks) claimed it had cracked the case. On 15 December it arrested the “mastermind”, Professor SAR Geelani, in Delhi, and Showkat Guru and his cousin Afzal Guru in Srinagar, Kashmir. Subsequently, they arrested Afsan Guru, Showkat’s wife. The Indian media enthusiastically disseminated the police version. These were some of the headlines: “Delhi university lecturer was terror plan hub”, “Varsity don guided fidayeen”, “Don lectured on terror in free time.” Zee TV, a national network, broadcast a “docudrama” called December 13, a recreation that claimed to be the “truth based on the police charge sheet”. (If the police version is the truth, why have courts?) The then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Advani publicly applauded the film. The supreme court refused to postpone the screening, saying that the media would not influence judges. It was broadcast only a few days before the fast-track court sentenced Geelani and Afzal and Showkat Guru to death. Subsequently the high court acquitted Geelani and Afsan Guru. The supreme court upheld the acquittal. But in its 5 August 2005 judgment it gave Afzal Guru three life sentences and a double death sentence.

The BJP called for an immediate execution. One of its election slogans was “Desh abhi sharminda hai, Afzal abhibhi zinda hai”, which means (in stirring rhyme), “Our nation is ashamed because Afzal is still alive”. In order to blunt the murmurs that had begun to surface, a fresh media campaign began. Chandan Mitra, now a BJP MP, then editor of the Pioneer newspaper, wrote: “Afzal Guru was one of the terrorists who stormed parliament house on 13 December 2001. He was the first to open fire on security personnel, apparently killing three of the six who died.” Even the police charge sheet did not accuse Afzal of that. The supreme court judgment acknowledged the evidence was circumstantial: “As is the case with most conspiracies, there is and could be no evidence amounting to criminal conspiracy.” But then, shockingly, it went on to say: “The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation, and the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender.”

Who crafted our collective conscience on the parliament attack case? Could it have been the facts we gleaned in the papers? The films we saw on TV? Before celebrating the rule of law, let’s take a look at what happened.

The people who are celebrating the victory of the rule of law argue that the very fact that the Indian courts acquitted Geelani and convicted Afzal proves that the trial was free and fair. Was it?

The trial in the fast-track court began in May 2002. The world was still convulsed by post 9/11 frenzy. The US government was gloating prematurely over its “victory” in Afghanistan. In the state of Gujarat, the massacre of Muslims by Hindu goon squads, helped along by the police and the state government machinery that had begun in late February, was still going on sporadically. The air was charged with communal hatred. And in the parliament attack case the law was taking its own course. At the most crucial stage of a criminal case, when evidence is presented, when witnesses are cross-examined, when the foundations of the argument are laid – in the high court and supreme court you can only argue points of law, you cannot introduce new evidence – Afzal Guru, locked in a high-security solitary cell, had no lawyer. The court-appointed junior lawyer did not visit his client even once in jail, he did not summon any witnesses in Guru’s defence, and he did not cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. The judge expressed his inability to do anything about the situation.

Even so, from the word go the case fell apart. A few examples out of many: The two most incriminating pieces of evidence against Guru were a cellphone and a laptop confiscated at the time of arrest. They were not sealed, as evidence is required to be. During the trial it emerged that the hard disk of the laptop had been accessed after the arrest. It only contained the fake home ministry passes and the fake identity cards that the “terrorists” used to access parliament – and a Zee TV video clip of parliament house. So according to the police, Guru had deleted all the information except the most incriminating bits. The police witness said he sold the crucial sim card that connected all the accused in the case to one another to Guru on 4 December 2001. But the prosecution’s own call records showed the sim was actually operational from 6 November 2001.

How did the police get to Afzal? They said that Geelani led them to him. But the court records show that the message to arrest Afzal went out before they picked up Geelani. The high court called this a “material contradiction” but left it at that.

The arrest memos were signed by Bismillah, Geelani’s brother, in Delhi. The seizure memos were signed by two men from the J&K police, one of them an old tormentor from Afzal’s past as a surrendered “militant”.

It goes on and on, this pile up of lies and fabricated evidence. The courts note them, but for their pains the police get no more than a gentle rap on their knuckles. Nothing more.

Anyone who was really interested in solving the mystery of the parliament attack would have followed the dense trail of evidence on offer. No one did, thereby ensuring the real authors of the conspiracy will remain unidentified and uninvestigated.

The real story and the tragedy of what happened to Guru is too immense to be contained in a courtroom. The real story would lead us to the Kashmir valley, that potential nuclear flashpoint, and the most densely militarised zone in the world, where half a million Indian soldiers (one to every four civilians) and a maze of army camps and torture chambers that would put Abu Ghraib in the shade are bringing secularism and democracy to the Kashmiri people. Since 1990, when the struggle for self-determination became militant, 68,000 people have died, 10,000 have disappeared, and at least 100,000 have been tortured.

What sets Guru’s killing apart is that, unlike those tens of thousands who died in prison cells, his life and death were played out in the blinding light of day in which all the institutions of Indian democracy played their part in putting him to death.

Now he has been hanged, I hope our collective conscience has been satisfied. Or is our cup of blood still only half full?

Olympic Fencer, a Muslim, Can Fight Fully Covered

Photo

 
Ibtihaj Muhammad of Maplewood, N.J. is expected to be the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab. CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times
 

The fencing team events rotate in and out of the Olympics; there was no team event for women’s saber in 2012, a disappointment to the Americans, who had won the bronze medal in the event at the world championships in 2011 with Muhammad on the team. Olympic rules permitted a maximum of two Americans in the individual event, leaving Muhammad out.

The Americans have continued to shine in women’s saber in the years since and have now won five consecutive team medals at the world championships, including a gold in 2014. Muhammad was a part of all five teams, giving her a great chance at an Olympic medal in Rio.

The team is led by Mariel Zagunis, the most accomplished fencer in American history, winner of individual Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008 and still one of the best in the world. Russia and Ukraine are the main opposition.

Muhammad’s accomplishments led her to be invited when Mr. Obama made his first visit as president to an American mosque last week in Baltimore. Muhammad was among the prominent American Muslims invited to a round-table discussion with the president before his speech.

The subject was “the varying concerns that people have within the Muslim community, like Islamophobia, mass incarceration, anti-Muslim rhetoric,” Muhammad said. “I talked about my experiences as a minority member of Team U.S.A.”

Muhammad is glad her mother noticed the fencers in the cafeteria that day.

“On a Saturday, you’ll see 200 kids here learning to fence” under the auspices of the Peter Westbrook Foundation, she said at the Fencers Club in Midtown Manhattan. “Sports gives girls a sense of confidence that’s very hard to find in this society.”

 

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

#TraditionallySubmissive eh?

Photo from TweetImage copyrightTwitter/@Soukeina
Image caption‘#TraditionallySubmissive? I don’t think so @David_Cameron’ read the caption with this tweet

It’s not clear what exact words David Cameron used in private conversation but many Muslim women have taken to Twitter to tell him that they are not quite the timid creatures he is reported to have portrayed them as.

Using the hashtag #TraditionallySubmissive some have posted pictures of themselves and their achievements to politely put the British prime minister straight.

tweeted photoImage copyrightTwitter/@AyyLaLaLaLa
photo of tweetImage copyrightTwitter/@asmaam
Tweeted picture of graduateImage copyrightTwitter/@RuwaydaMustafah

The trouble started when Mr Cameron announced a £20m fund to provide English lessons in homes, schools and community facilities. The government says that 22% of Muslim women living in England speak little or no English and that the cash will help rectify that situation.

Announcing the cash, Mr Cameron said more Muslim women should speak English so that they are less isolated within British society.

He was also reported by The Telegraph as having privately suggested that some young men are vulnerable to radicalisation due to the “traditional submissiveness of Muslim women,” which prevents them from speaking out. And these are the words – whether they were actually said or not – that inspired the hashtag.

Explaining his thinking, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “I’m not saying there’s some sort of causal connection between not speaking English and becoming an extremist – of course not, that would be a ridiculous thing to say.

“But if you’re not able to speak English, you’re not able to integrate, you may find, therefore, that you have challenges understanding what your identity is and you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from Daesh (so-called Islamic State).”

tweetImage copyrightTwitter/@loveinaheadscarf

Shelina Janmohamed, the author of the memoir “Love in a Headscarf” told BBC Trending she was offended by Mr Cameron’s reported remarks.

“My heart just sank when I saw the headlines,” she said. “It’s just making things harder for Muslim women. That’s just one stereotype about Muslim women, it’s not how we all are. We are vibrant, diverse, we’re talented and we have opinions. The prime minister is always saying we need to take up British values, so I responded in the most British way I could – with sarcasm.”

So Janmohamed created #TraditionallySubmissive as a way to counteract the idea that Muslim women are submissive. She encouraged her followers to tweet about their successes, professions, hobbies and views. In just a few hours more than 33,000 people tweeted using the hashtag, many of them alongside pictures of themselves. Some trumpeted the achievements of other British female Muslims such as Nadiya Hussain, the winner of last year’s Great British Bake Off TV series..

photo of tweetImage copyrightTwitter/@arifadavdani
Tweet with pic of Nadiay HusseinImage copyrightTwitter/@SaffiyyaM

Follow BBC Trending on Facebook

Join the conversation on this and other stories here.


The social media campaign has even been supported by Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has been retweeting many of the pictures to her millions of followers.

Photo of tweetImage copyrightTwitter/@FizaAzlam

Janmohamed told BBC Trending that although many of the tweets are funny, there’s a serious message behind them. “The serious point is, these Muslim women are not hiding, they are participating, they want the prime minister and government policy to respond to their participation. Muslim women in the UK have asserted they have something to say and he ought to listen. I’d love David Cameron to respond,” she said.

Blog by Emma Wilson

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

Ashwagandha Cured Cancer?

Herbal therapy gives cancer patient hope

 

KIRSTY MCMURRAY

 
 
 
 
Last updated 05:00 27/01/2012
 
tdn hari
CAMERON BURNELL
Cancer survivor Hari Nath used a herb to free himself from throat ulcers thought to be caused by chemotherapy.
 

Alternative medicine is proving the answer for one Taranaki cancer patient who claims his immune system was wrecked by chemotherapy.

Hari Nath, a chemical engineer from New Plymouth, was 20 kilograms underweight and in a wheelchair when he travelled to India to find a solution to the painful recurring throat ulcers he developed after being treated with intravenous chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

He said he tried everything modern medicine had to offer, including controversial drug thalidomide, at hospitals in Bangalore and Kerala, but nothing worked apart from high doses of the steroid prednisone, which worsened his diabetes, and left him prone to infection and in an emotional tailspin.

Every time he tried to reduce his dosage of the steroid his ulcers would return – making it so painful to eat even liquidised food that he had to numb his throat with an anaesthetic before he could get anything down.

“Even to watch him eat was a torture,” his wife Geetha Nath said.

Mr Nath turned to alternative medicine, but with equally little success.

He tried several traditional Indian Ayurvedic remedies, but abandoned them when he found no improvement.

“After a year of unsuccessful struggle and a life with pain killers and antidepressants, the feeling of hopelessness crept in and I googled to search for a naturally occurring steroid equivalent and stumbled across a herb called ashwagandha (witheria somnifera) used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine over thousands of years for improving immune system,” he said.

He did some more research and found on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre’s website that studies had been done where the herb had killed cancerous cells in mice.

“I decided to make myself the mouse,” he said.

Mr Nath consulted both an Ayurvedic doctor and his oncologist before beginning treatment with ashwagandha, and got the go-ahead from both of them. They were out of other ideas.

Being a chemical engineer, Mr Nath had a keen scientific interest in his health.

“I took the results of all my blood tests since I was diagnosed in 2002 and plotted them on a graph.”

Shortly after starting to take the herb, Mr Nath began to feel better.

Within a week he was able to halve his steroid dose without the ulcers coming back, and a month later his blood tests began to show a remarkable improvement.

“A blood test showed a sharp jump in total white cell counts with my lymphocytes increased from previous level of 600-700 to a whopping 2500-2800. Interestingly my ESR [indication of inflammation/infection] also had a sharp dip from 80 to below 20, ” he said.

Three months later he was able to stop taking the steroids altogether and got back to a healthy weight and state of mind.

Mr Nath said that if a year before someone had suggested he take a herb to treat his problem he would’ve dismissed it out of hand.

“It got to the point where I had no choice, I had to do something.”

Since then he’s discovered that clinical trials using ashwagandha to treat cancer patients were in progress in the United States and India, and patents pending in the US and Japan.

“I had contacted the concerned head of clinical trials and was told that they had several positive feedbacks from cancer patients on ashwagandha,” he said.

In November last year he was finally able to return home to New Plymouth and has been ulcer and cancer-free since.

“Now I am hoping for a long remission and possibly a complete cure,” he said.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

The romance of an Indian Muslim Freedom Fighter and a Lithuanian Jewish Woman

A Story of the Holocaust and the AIDS Epidemic: The romance of an Indian Muslim Freedom Fighter and a Lithuanian Jewish Woman

KR3

By Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod

In 1992, the editor of the Times of India telephoned one of Mumbai’s most prominent businessmen, Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied. The editor asked Hamied “as a Muslim leader” his opinion on communal riots that were taking place in the city. Hamied replied: “Why aren’t you asking me as an Indian Jew? Because my name is Hamied? My mother was Jewish!” His maternal grandparents perished in the Holocaust.

KR1

KR2

K.A. & Luba

Hamied, chairman of one of India’s largest pharmaceutical firms, is the son of an aristocratic Muslim scientist from India and a Jewish Communist from what is now Lithuania. Defined by his parents’ extraordinary marriage, he unites his father’s scientific skills, business acumen, and Indian patriotism with his mother’s compassion for the less fortunate. He charges the Western pharmaceutical industry with “holding 3 billion people in the Third World to ransom by using their monopoly status to charge higher prices,” and has devoted himself to making life-saving inexpensive generic medications for the inhabitants of poorer countries.

KR3

India’s Robin Hood” Yusuf K. Hamied: Maker of generic life-saving medications and scourge of the giant multi-national pharmaceutical houses

Khwaja Abdul Hamied (1898-1972)

Yusuf Hamied’s father, Khwaja Abdul (K.A.) Hamied, was born in Aligarh. His paternal grandfather Khwaja Abdul Ali (1862-1948) traced his lineage through spiritual guides to the Mughal emperors of India back to Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (1403-1490), a great Naqshbandi Sufi in Uzbekistan. His mother Masud Jehan Begum (1872-1957) came from the family of Shah Shuja ul-Mulk, the pro-British Amir of Afghanistan (1803-1809 and 1839-1842), whose family fled to India after his assassination in an anti-British uprising. Khwaja Abdul Ali’s uncle was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1819-1898), the great Muslim educational and social reformer.

KR4

K.A. Hamied with his his father, brothers, nieces, and son Yusuf

KR5The family of K.A. Hamied

Khwaja Abdul Ali entered the judicial service of the British government in India, but his son K.A. Hamied passionately opposed “the evils of foreign rule.” When Mahatma Gandhi’s noncooperation movement called for a boycott of government-run educational institutions, Hamied organized a strike at his school, Muir Central College. As a result he was expelled from the university, then arrested when he tried to disrupt graduation ceremonies.

Hamied now returned to Aligarh, where Muslim nationalist leaders founded a new university, Jamia Millia Islamia, which refused government funding. Hamied taught chemistry there. He also supervised the production and sale of khadi, or homespun cloth, which Gandhi had made a central element of Indian nationalism. At his maternal uncle’s home, he first met Gandhi as well as Motilal Nehru and his son Jawaharlal.

KR6

K.A. Hamied would continue to be active in Indian political affairs throughout his life

KR7

K.A. and Luba Hamied with his good friend Zakir Hussein, who became President of India

While teaching at Jamia, K.A. Hamied began a lifelong friendship with Zakir Hussain, later President of India. Hamied and Hussain later left for Germany to pursue graduate studies. Hamied studied with one of the world’s leading chemists, Professor A. Rosenheim.

Luba Derczanska (1903-1991)

One day in 1925, Hamied joined some friends on a lake cruise near Berlin. One of the passengers on the boat was a young woman named, Luba Derczanska. Luba was born in Wilno in Russian Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) and had come to Berlin to study. From their first meeting, the romance between Abdul Hamied and Luba Derczanska blossomed. In 1928, Hamied married Luba in Berlin’s only mosque, and the following year they were again married in the Choral Synagogue in Wilno and the marriage was “solemnized” at a Register Office in London.

Luba was active in Communist circles in Berlin, and sought to bring her Indian beau into the movement: the first gift that she ever gave Hamied was a postcard of Lenin and for a time the couple were regulars at party meetings. (In later life, Hamied had very strong reservations and concerns about Communism.) Hamied was a prominent member of Indian revolutionary circles in India.

KR8

K.A. Hamied and Luba with Maulana Mahommad Ali (trademark crescent in his hat), the leader of the pan-Islamic political protest Khilafat Movement. Berlin, 1928    

Their parents were open-minded and welcoming, and the warmth with which Luba’s parents Rubin and Paulina greeted Hamied on his first visit to Wilno was matched by the welcome extended to Luba by Abdul Ali and Masud Jehan when she went to Aligarh.

KR9

The Hamieds with Luba’s family in 1929. In the center are Luba’s brother Zorach and aunt. Zorach Derczanski came to India in 1934. The aunt came to India in 1938 and was joined there in 1946 by her non-Jewish husband Arthur Taenzler, a German flying ace in World War I 

Their son Yusuf was born in Wilno during his parents’ last visit there before the Holocaust. Yusuf is the Arabic form of the Hebrew name Joseph. It was the name of Luba’s grandfather, and hence pleasing to her family, as well as the first name of the Polish president, Józef Piłsudski, and so flattering to the Hamieds’ Polish friends. A month after his birth, Yusuf’s parents took him back to Bombay.

KR10

The Hamieds with her Jewish parents and their children Yusuf and Sophie

KR11

Yusuf and Sophie with their paternal grandmother Masud Jehan Begum, who was descended from the family of Amir Shuja ul-Mulk of Afghanistan

Though Luba was not an observant Jew, her son Yusuf chose to memorialize her in the most active Indian synagogue. He heavily supported the reconstruction of the Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue in Thane.

KR12

Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue, Thane

Hamied’s Views on Religion

K.A. Hamied defined himself as an Indian who happened to be a Muslim, and he became openly hostile to the Muslim League. He rejected the notion that Hindus and Muslims were “separate nations” as Jinnah argued. Unlike his brothers who opted for Pakistan, he always hoped for reconciliation in India between Hindus and Muslims.

In a speech to the Inter-Religious Seminar in Delhi on October 18, 1971, K.A. said that the “study of religion is my special hobby” and that “the basic attributes of this mysterious power, by whatever name we call it, are the same in all religions.” He quoted Zoroaster, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad  and Guru Nanak as “prophets” and said that “an ideal man must be a good man by virtue of his actions in society (and) may belong to any religion so long as he follows the tenets of his religion”.

KR13

K.A. Hamied believed that there should be “no compulsion in religion”

Hamied always enthusiastically urged a partnership between Jews and Muslims. He loved to talk about Islamic Spain, where Jews and Muslims had joined to create a golden age, and once said that “if the Jews, with their wealth, knowledge and scientific skill and Arabs made a common cause, they would have a strong empire covering West Asia and the entire coast of South Mediterranean”.  He even “asked President Nasser as to why he was seeking help from the communists, who weremulhids (non-believers in God) to fight Jews, who were nearer to Islam.” He always emphasized that “the Arabs and Israelis should see the necessity of getting out of this whirlpool of Russian and Western power politics” and “sit together at a round table conference away from Western powers to thrash out their differences and carve out a new future based on ancient friendship, alliance and mutual regard”.

The Holocaust

He regularly visited Germany, where he had many friends as well as business dealings. Once, Germans mistook him for a Jew and insulted him. He foresaw something far worse than discrimination and insults, and urged his Jewish friends to leave Germany. They insisted that, as members of the intellectual élite, they had nothing to worry about.

The horrors of the Holocaust were to touch Hamied and Luba directly. In June 1941, Nazi troops occupied Wilno, and almost immediately began the extermination of the city’s Jews. Luba’s siblings survived: her brother Zorach was working for Hamied in Bombay, and her Communist sisters had escaped to Moscow before the coming of the Germans.

However, the Nazis murdered her elderly parents who were unable to emigrate. Hamied tried to obtain visas so his in-laws could come to India. The papers finally came through two weeks after the Derczanskis were killed.

Their son Yusuf was very moved when in 2008, during a visit to his birthplace, Vilnius, he went to the Ponary forest, where German units massacred up to 100,000 people, the great majority of them Jews. Recently, he commissioned statues of Gandhi and his Lithuanian Jewish disciple Hermann Kallenbach in Vilnius. In honor of his mother, he sponsored a concert there by his life-long friend Zubin Mehta.

Yusuf, though focused on the lessons of the Holocaust, does not feel threatened personally as a Jew. He sees anti-Muslim mob violence in Bombay as particularly chilling, since to him it evokes the fear that Indian Muslims may share the same fate as European Jews. He remembers his father’s stories of Jewish friends who believed that their elevated place in society would protect them, and he says that Indian Muslims who echo this sentiment are as naive as European Jews were.

CIPLA

After several years in India, Hamied gained success as a businessman, and in 1935 he founded the Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories (CIPLA). It has since become one of India’s most important pharmaceutical companies.

KR14

KR15

K.A. And Yusuf Hamied created a successful multinational pharmaceutical company with a social conscience

K.A. Hamied had written in The Times of India on December 11, 1964 that patent law should enforce “compulsory licensing” to other manufacturers to prevent monopolistic predatory pricing. Later Yusuf picked up this same battle in the case of the astronomical pricing of AIDS medications by patent holders. By retro-engineering the first medication and antiretroviral cocktail effective against HIV and AIDS and selling them at a fraction of the price, he helped saved millions of lives.

Perhaps with the murders of his own grandparents and six million other Jews in mind, Yusuf has called Big Pharma “global serial killers,” “traders in Death,” and “death profiteers.”   He sees the lack of access to life-saving medication by poor people in the developing world due to cost as a form of “selective genocide in healthcare” driven by Big Pharma’s desire for profits.

KR16

Yusuf Hamied addressing the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, 1976

Note:  A more comprehensive study of the Hamieds by the authors will be included in one of seven forthcoming volumes dealing with Jews in South Asia. This project, conceived by Kenneth X. Robbins, has already resulted in the publication of Western Jews in India and Jews and the Indian National Art Project as well as the current  American Sephardi Federation exhibition, Baghdadis & the Bene Israel in “Bollywood & Beyond: Indian Jews in the movies. Objects and Arifacts from the Kenneth And Joyce Robbins Collection. Dr. Robbins is presently working with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts on a comprehensive exhibition dealing with Jewish communities in India and contributions to India made by Jews.

Authors:
Dr. Kenneth X. Robbins is a collector and independent scholar. He has curated more than a dozen Indian exhibits and five scholarly conferences. In addition to publishing more than seventy articles, he is co-editor of Western Jews in India: From the Fifteenth Century to the Present (2013), Jews and the Indian National Art Project (2015), and several other volumes about Jews in South Asia.

Dr. John McLeod holds a Ph.D. in Indian history from the University of Toronto, and is Professor of History at the University of Louisville. He is the author of Sovereignty, Power, Control: Politics in the States of Western India, 1916-1947 (Brill, 1999; South Asian edition Decent Books, 2007) and The History of India (2nd edition, ABC-Clio, 2015), and (with Kenneth X. Robbins) is the co-editor ofAfrican Elites in India: Habshi Amarat (Mapin, 2006). He is currently completing a biography of the Indian statesman and community leader, Sir Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree.

How a Muslim-Jewish romance shaped a pharma with conscience

How a Muslim-Jewish romance shaped one of India’s biggest pharma firms

January 25, 2016 Quartz India

In 1992, the editor of The Times of India telephoned one of Mumbai’s most prominent businessmen—Yusuf K Hamied. The editor asked Yusuf, “as a Muslim leader”, his opinion on communal riots that were taking place in the city. “Why aren’t you asking me as an Indian Jew? Because my name is Hamied? My mother was Jewish,” Yusuf replied. His maternal grandparents perished in the Holocaust.

 

 


Yusuf K. Hamied.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Yusuf, chairman of one of India’s largest pharmaceutical firms, is the son of an aristocratic Muslim scientist from India and a Jewish Communist from what is now Lithuania. Defined by his parents’ extraordinary marriage, he unites his father’s scientific skills, business acumen, and Indian patriotism with his mother’s compassion for the less fortunate. He charges the Western pharmaceutical industry with “holding three billion people in the Third World to ransom by using their monopoly status to charge higher prices.” And he has devoted himself to making life-saving inexpensive generic medications for the inhabitants of poorer countries.

 

 

Yusuf’s father

Yusuf’s father, Khwaja Abdul (K.A.) Hamied (1898-1972), was born in Aligarh. His paternal grandfather Khwaja Abdul Ali (1862-1948) traced his lineage through spiritual guides to the Mughal emperors of India back to Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (1403-1490), a great Naqshbandi Sufi in Uzbekistan. His grandmother Masud Jehan Begum (1872-1957) came from the family of Shah Shuja ul-Mulk, the pro-British Amir of Afghanistan (1803-1809 and 1839-1842), whose family fled to India after his assassination in an anti-British uprising. Khwaja Abdul Ali’s uncle was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1819-1898), the great Muslim educational and social reformer.

 

 


K.A. Hamied remained active in Indian political affairs throughout his life.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

K.A. and Luba Hamied with his good friend Zakir Hussein, who became India’s president.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Khwaja Abdul Ali entered the judicial service of the British government in India, but his son K.A. passionately opposed “the evils of foreign rule.” When Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement called for a boycott of government-run educational institutions, K.A. organised a strike at his school, Muir Central College. As a result, he was expelled from the university, then arrested when he tried to disrupt graduation ceremonies.

 

 

K.A. now returned to Aligarh, where Muslim nationalist leaders founded a new university, Jamia Millia Islamia, which refused government funding. He taught chemistry there. He also supervised the production and sale of khadi, or homespun cloth, which Gandhi had made a central element of Indian nationalism. At his maternal uncle’s home, he first met Gandhi as well as Motilal Nehru and his son Jawaharlal.

 

 

While teaching at Jamia, K.A. began a lifelong friendship with Zakir Hussain, later India’s president. K.A. and Hussain later left for Germany to pursue graduate studies. K.A. studied with one of the world’s leading chemists, professor A Rosenheim.

 

 

Yusuf’s mother


K.A. Hamied and Luba Derczanska.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

One day in 1925, K.A. joined some friends on a lake cruise near Berlin. One of the passengers on the boat was a young woman named, Luba Derczanska (1903-1991). Born in Wilno in Russian Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania), she had come to Berlin to study. From their first meeting, the romance between K.A. and Luba blossomed. In 1928, they married in Berlin’s only mosque, and the following year they were again married in the Choral Synagogue in Wilno, and the marriage was “solemnised” at a register office in London.

 

 

Luba was active in Communist circles in Berlin, and sought to bring her Indian beau into the movement: the first gift that she ever gave Hamied was a postcard of Lenin and for a time the couple were regulars at party meetings. (In later life, K.A. had very strong reservations and concerns about Communism.) He was a prominent member of revolutionary circles in India.

 

 


K.A. Hamied and Luba Derczanska.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Their parents were open-minded and welcoming, and the warmth with which Luba’s parents, Rubin and Paulina, greeted K.A. on his first visit to Wilno was matched by the welcome extended to Luba by Abdul Ali and Masud Jehan when she went to Aligarh.

 

 

Their son Yusuf was born in Wilno during his parents’ last visit there before the Holocaust. Yusuf is the Arabic form of the Hebrew name Joseph. It was the name of Luba’s grandfather, and hence pleasing to her family, as well as the first name of the Polish president, Józef Piłsudski, and so flattering to the K.A.’s Polish friends. A month after his birth, Yusuf’s parents took him back to Bombay.

 

 

Though Luba was not an observant Jew, Yusuf chose to memorialise her in the most active Indian synagogue. He heavily supported the reconstruction of the Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue in Thane.

 

 


Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue, Thane.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

K.A. Hamied and Luba with Maulana Mohammad Ali (trademark crescent on his hat), the leader of the pan-Islamic Khilafat Movement. Berlin, 1928.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Jews-Muslims partnership

K.A. defined himself as an Indian who happened to be a Muslim, and he became openly hostile to the Muslim League. He rejected the notion that Hindus and Muslims were “separate nations” as Jinnah argued. Unlike his brothers who opted for Pakistan, he always hoped for reconciliation in India between Hindus and Muslims.

 

 


K.A. Hamied with his his father, brothers, nieces, and son Yusuf.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

The family of K.A. Hamied.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

In a speech to the inter-religious seminar in Delhi on Oct. 18, 1971, K.A. said that the “study of religion is my special hobby” and that “the basic attributes of this mysterious power, by whatever name we call it, are the same in all religions.” He quoted Zoroaster, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, and Guru Nanak as “prophets” and said that “an ideal man must be a good man by virtue of his actions in society (and) may belong to any religion so long as he follows the tenets of his religion”.

 

 


K.A. Hamied believed there should be “no compulsion in religion”.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

K.A. always enthusiastically urged a partnership between Jews and Muslims. He loved to talk about Islamic Spain, where Jews and Muslims had joined to create a golden age, and once said that “if the Jews, with their wealth, knowledge and scientific skill and Arabs made a common cause, they would have a strong empire covering West Asia and the entire coast of South Mediterranean”. He even “asked president Nasser as to why he was seeking help from the communists, who were mulhids(non-believers in God) to fight Jews, who were nearer to Islam.” He always emphasised that “the Arabs and Israelis should see the necessity of getting out of this whirlpool of Russian and Western power politics” and “sit together at a round table conference away from Western powers to thrash out their differences and carve out a new future based on ancient friendship, alliance and mutual regard”.

 

 

The Holocaust

He regularly visited Germany, where he had many friends as well as business dealings. Once, Germans mistook him for a Jew and insulted him. He foresaw something far worse than discrimination and insults, and urged his Jewish friends to leave Germany. They insisted that, as members of the intellectual élite, they had nothing to worry about.

 

 


The Hamieds with Luba’s family in 1929. In the center are Luba’s brother Zorach and aunt. Zorach Derczanski came to India in 1934. Her aunt came to India in 1938 and was joined in 1946 by her non-Jewish husband Arthur Taenzler, a World War-I German flying ace.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

The horrors of the Holocaust were to touch K.A. and Luba directly. In June 1941, Nazi troops occupied Wilno, and almost immediately began the extermination of the city’s Jews. Luba’s siblings survived: her brother Zorach was working for K.A. in Bombay, and her Communist sisters had escaped to Moscow before the coming of the Germans.

 

 

However, the Nazis murdered her elderly parents who were unable to emigrate. K.A. tried to obtain visas so his in-laws could come to India. The papers finally came through two weeks after the Derczanskis were killed.

 

 


The Hamieds with Luba’s Jewish parents and their children Yusuf and Sophie.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Yusuf and Sophie with their paternal grandmother Masud Jehan Begum, who was descended from the family of Amir Shuja ul-Mulk of Afghanistan.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Their son Yusuf was very moved when in 2008, during a visit to his birthplace, Vilnius, he went to the Ponary forest, where German units massacred up to 100,000 people, the great majority of them Jews. Recently, he commissioned statues of Gandhi and his Lithuanian Jewish disciple Hermann Kallenbach in Vilnius. In honour of his mother, he sponsored a concert there by his life-long friend Zubin Mehta.

 

 

Yusuf, though focused on the lessons of the Holocaust, does not feel threatened personally as a Jew. He sees anti-Muslim mob violence in Bombay as particularly chilling, since to him it evokes the fear that Indian Muslims may share the same fate as European Jews. He remembers his father’s stories of Jewish friends who believed that their elevated place in society would protect them, and he says that Indian Muslims who echo this sentiment are as naive as European Jews were.

 

 

Most important pharma company

After several years in India, K.A. gained success as a businessman, and in 1935, he founded the Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories (CIPLA). It has since become one of India’s most important pharmaceutical companies.

 

 


K.A. and Yusuf Hamied created a successful multinational pharmaceutical company with a social conscience.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

K.A. and Yusuf Hamied created a successful multinational pharmaceutical company with a social conscience.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

K.A. had written in The Times of India on Dec. 11, 1964, that patent law should enforce “compulsory licensing” to other manufacturers to prevent monopolistic predatory pricing. Later, Yusuf picked up this same battle in the case of the astronomical pricing of AIDS medications by patent holders. By retro-engineering the first medication and anti-retroviral cocktail effective against HIV and AIDS and selling them at a fraction of the price, he helped saved millions of lives.

 

 

Perhaps with the murders of his own grandparents and six million other Jews in mind, Yusuf has called Big Pharma “global serial killers,” “traders in death,” and “death profiteers.” He sees the lack of access to life-saving medication by poor people in the developing world due to cost as a form of “selective genocide in healthcare” driven by Big Pharma’s desire for profits.

 

 


Yusuf Hamied addressing the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, 1976.(Kenneth X. Robbins & John Mcleod)

Note: A more comprehensive study of the Hamieds by the authors will be included in one of seven forthcoming volumes dealing with Jews in South Asia. This project, conceived by Kenneth X. Robbins, has already resulted in the publication of Western Jews in India and Jews and the Indian National Art Project as well as the current American Sephardi Federation exhibition, Baghdadis & the Bene Israel in “Bollywood & Beyond: Indian Jews in the Movies. Objects and Artifacts from the Kenneth And Joyce Robbins Collection.” Dr. Robbins is presently working with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts on a comprehensive exhibition dealing with Jewish communities in India and contributions to India made by Jews.

 

 

This post first appeared on Café Dissensus. We welcome your comments atideas.india@qz.com.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

Dilemma

Mohamed Iqbal Pallipurath

 

Dr. Chinnaramaswamy Iyengar was bewildered. Never in his 25 years tenure as professor of IIT Delhi (Mechanical Engineering Department, Thermal Science Stream, Applied Quantum Chromodynamics Section, Hyperspace Heat Transfer Subsection, and Specialisation Picard-Iyengar Tesseracts) had he ever been confronted with such a dilemma, “But we cannot accept an incomplete application form. “Mr…., er, Miss…, I mean… “ He gazed in mute appeal at the new student, dressed nattily in the latest androgynous fashion of the year 2112.

                “Just call me Yar, sir, without the appellations” said the new student.

“What?!”

Dr. Iyengar was appalled. A strict disciplinarian, he had always been impersonal-in his dealings with students. And now this!

His spectacles oozed down his nose. He was one of those diehards who hold old traditions dear. Nowadays, when you could install a force field generator in a single hair of your eyelashes at any ophthalmologist’s clinic by laser microsurgery, he defiantly wore his anachronism.

“I don’t mean the Hindi word sir“, The rich tenor voice was continuing pleasantly “Just part of my acronym O-YAR. Stands for Organic Yttrium Articulated Robot”

“What?!”

“Yes Sir!! I am part of a new secret experiment being conducted by the Non-Human Resources Development Council. I am required to register for an M.Tech  course under the quality improvement Programme”.

“What?!”

Dr. Iyengar appeared to possess a rather limited vocabulary.

“I have no doubt sir, that you would have received a copy of the G.O. connected with my enrolment here”

Dr. Iyengar forced his grey cells to work. He remembered no G.O. But then, he thought, bureaucratic lethargy increases exponentially with its age. More than one and a half centuries after independence, Indian bureaucracy had reached colossal heights of bungling inefficiency. The extinction of bamboo in the beginning of the 22nd century was attributed by many conservationists to the Paper Mountains created by millions of smug bureaucrats at the drop of a hat. If paper had not been replaced by cheap holograms which could present the printed word on thin air as it were, no organism with cellulose in its cellular makeup would have survived.

“May I suggest sir, that you peruse this copy I have at your leisure?”

Wordlessly Dr. Iyengar accepted the hologram but his eyes remained on the features of the new student.

They were not bad features at that. Familiar as he was with anthropomorphic robots, he was nonetheless dumbfounded by the life like object he saw. Longish hair was brushed back from a broad forehead, sparking wide set eyes, an aquiline nose and a rather wide mouth over a determined chin.

Dr. Iyengar recovered the use of his vocal cords.

                “Do you mean to tell me that you are …..er.., synthetic?”

“No, not at all sir, my flesh and bones and blood vessels are quite real and do function normally as in a human being. It is mainly in the central nervous system that the difference lies. It’s all made of organic chip circuitry. As you know we have never been successful in growing human nerve cells in vitro”.

Dr. Iyengar nodded. Unlike others who personify the tongue-in- cheek definition of a specialist as one who knows more and more about less and less, he took an active interest in fields other than his own. The VLSIC of the 21st century had been relegated to museums by the development of huge organic molecules which could act as diodes and transistors, thereby increasing the density of a circuit a thousand fold. A super computer of the 2010s could now be placed on a desk. And not a big desk at that. 

“And your power sources?”

“I have three independent ones. The first a fusion reactor with force field plasma containment, the second ordinary metabolic processes as in living organisms but with a catalysed ATP* energy release and finally an Iqbal modified Stirling engine drawing energy from the ambient with the heat sink in hyper space. The last will be of particular interest to you I think, sir.”

“Yes indeed.”

Dr. Iyengar’s eyes gleamed.

“And to think I never heard of this project!”

“Well sir, the whole project was shrouded in secrecy. The Americans would have loved to get hold of something like this”.

“Hmpf…yes indeed.”

Deprived of all its Asian born scientists and professionals, during the reverse brain drain of the 2020s, American economy and technical invincibility had collapsed like a pricked balloon. Hard core capitalism had gone the way of hard core socialism: down the drain.

* Adenosine Tri Phosphate, the chemical responsible for the release of energy from food.

 

The “Arab Spring” and “Occupy Wall Street” movements of the early 21st century had dealt Autocracy and heartless Capitalism, blows from which neither recovered.

The occidental was now inferior to the oriental; at least technologically. India led the world in technology. Technology! Dr. Iyengar snapped out of his reverie.

“Tell me,” he asked, “Why do you have to study? It should have been a simple thing to program all the requisite data into your memory.”

“Quite so sir, but one of the main reasons for my creation is to study the efficacy of the present higher education system and its effects on the social interactions of the student.”

“Social interactions?… Hmmm…”

The good doctor suddenly became aware of the registration form in his hands.

“But you have to fill up this column.”

“I leave it to your discretion sir; I can take care of the physical aspect by simply changing my objective reality module.”

“Oh in that case,…” Dr. Iyengar took hold of his hologram stylus and firmly ticked the box marked – “Male”.

 

 

Classified Evidence: US Soldiers Raped Boys In Front Of Their Mothers

Classified Evidence: US Soldiers Raped Boys In Front Of Their Mothers

John Vibes
December 17, 2014

 

(TheAntiMedia) According to a number of global mainstream media sources, the Pentagon is covering up a disturbing video that was never made public with the rest of the recent torture report.

According to various well respected journalists, including Seymour Hersh, the appalling video was recorded at Abu Ghraib, the notorious US torture dungeon in Iraq that made headlines roughly a decade ago, when the inhumane tactics being used at the prison were exposed.

Sadly, it seems that the evidence released years ago was only scratching the surface.

While the video has remained under wraps thus far, Hersh says it is only a matter of time before it comes out.

Giving a speech at the ACLU last week after the senate torture report was initially released, Hersh gave some insight into what was on the Pentagon’s secret tape.

In the most revealing portion of his speech he said that:

251005Abu_Ghraib

“Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”

“It’s impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had, I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we’re dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will. We will. You know there’s enough out there, they can’t (Applause). …. So it’s going to be an interesting election year.”

Put into context with another speech that Hersh gave earlier this year, it becomes clear that the women who witnessed these young boys being raped were actually their mothers.

At a speech in Chicago this past June Hersh was quoted as saying:

“You haven’t begun to see evil… horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.”

Other stories at the London Guardian also talked of young Iraqi detainees getting violently raped by US soldiers.

Ten years ago when the initial Abu Ghraib scandal was in the news, the Guardian published the testimony of an Abu Ghraib detainee who allegedly witnessed one of these brutal attacks.

Former detainee Kasim Hilas said in their testimony that:

“I saw [name blacked out] fucking a kid, his age would be about 15-18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [blacked out], who was wearing the military uniform putting his dick in the little kid’s ass, I couldn’t see the face of the kid because his face wasn’t in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures.”

Now, over a decade later the evidence of these events are beginning to surface, but the Department of Defense is still doing their best to keep it under the radar. That is why now more than ever, it is important to keep the pressure on and force the release of this evidence, while the torture report is fresh in the minds of the general population.


This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive our latest articles. 

John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

Sorry, vegans: Eating meat and cooking food is how humans got their big brains

Sorry, vegans: Eating meat and cooking food is how humans got their big brains

 
 November 26, 2012

Vegetarian, vegan and raw diets can be healthful, probably far more healthful than the typical American diet. But to call these diets “natural” for humans is a bit of a stretch in terms of evolution, according to two recent studies.

Eating meat and cooking food made us human, the studies suggest, enabling the brains of our prehuman ancestors to grow dramatically over a few million years.

Although this isn’t the first such assertion from archaeologists and evolutionary biologists, the new studies demonstrate that it would have been biologically implausible for humans to evolve such a large brain on a raw, vegan diet and that meat-eating was a crucial element of human evolution at least a million years before the dawn of humankind.

Calories to grow our brains

At the core of this research is the understanding that the modern human brain consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy at rest, twice that of other primates. Meat and cooked foods were needed to provide the necessary calorie boost to feed a growing brain.

One study, published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined the brain size of several primates. For the most part, larger bodies have larger brains across species. Yet humans have exceptionally large, neuron-rich brains for our body size, while gorillas — three times as massive as humans — have smaller brains with one-third the neurons. Why?

The answer, it seems, is the gorillas’ raw, vegan diet (devoid of animal protein), which requires hours upon hours of eating to provide enough calories to support their mass.

Researchers from Brazil, led by Suzana Herculano-Houzel, a neuroscientist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, calculated that adding neurons to theprimate brain comes at a fixed cost of approximately six calories per billion neurons.

For gorillas to evolve a humanlike brain, they would need an additional 733 calories a day, which would require two more hours of feeding, the authors wrote. A gorilla already spends as much as 80 percent of the tropics’ 12 hours of daylight eating.

Similarly, early humans eating only raw vegetation would have needed to munch for more than nine hours a day to consume enough calories, the researchers calculated. Thus, a raw, vegan diet would have been unlikely, given the danger and other difficulties of gathering so much food.

Cooking makes more foods edible year-round and releases more nutrients and calories from both vegetables and meat, Herculano-Houzel said.

“The bottom line is, it is certainly possible to survive on an exclusively raw diet in our modern day, but it was most likely impossible to survive on an exclusively raw diet when our species appeared,” Herculano-Houzel told LiveScience.

The study puts an upper limit on how big a brain is able to grow while on a premodern raw, vegan diet. But the researchers could not determine whendaily cooking began. Was it about 250,000 years ago, when humans were nearly fully evolved with big brains, which is supported by archaeological findings? Or was it about 800,000 years ago, when prehumans began their most dramatic brain-growth spurt, an era for which there is little archaeological evidence of controlled fires for cooking?

 
Meet the meat-eater

If cooking wasn’t routine before the dawn of modern humans, eating meat certainly was.

The second study, published in October the journal PLoS ONE, examined the remains of a prehuman toddler who died from malnutrition about 1.5 million years ago. Shards of a skull found in modern-day Tanzania reveal that the child had porotic hyperostosis, a type of spongy bone growth associated with low levels of dietary iron and vitamins B9 and B12, the result of a diet lacking animal products in a species that requires them.

The child was around the weaning age. So either the child’s mother’s breast milk lacked key nutrients or the child himself did not consume enough nutrients directly from meat or eggs.

Either way, the finding implies that meat must have been an integral, and not sporadic, element of the prehuman diet more than 1 million years ago, said the study’s lead author, Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo, an archaeologist at Complutense University in Madrid.

This supports the theory that meat fueled human brain evolution because meat — from arachnids to zebras — was plentiful on the African savanna, where humans evolved, and is the best package of calories, proteins, fats and Vitamin B12 needed for brain growth and maintenance.

“Carnivore animals, whether terrestrial or aquatic, are bigger-brained than herbivores,” Dominguez-Rodrigo told LiveScience. He added that “there is no [traditional] society that live as vegans,” essentially because it wouldn’t be possible to get Vitamin B12, which is only available in animal products.

Vegetables still healthful

Both sets of researchers said their conclusion — that cooked food and meat were necessary for human brain development — is not a statement of how the human diet must have been but rather how it likely was in order to make humans “human.”

With supermarkets and refrigeration, humans today can and increasingly do eat a vegetarian or vegan diet year-round. And given the amount of heart-stopping saturated fats in factory-produced animal products, a plant-based diet can be more healthful.

Yet both extremes of the meat argument — the unapologetic meat-eater and the raw vegan — should remember that few of today’s so-called natural foods were around as little as a few hundred years ago, from the modern invention called corn-fed beef to genetically altered strains of Queen Anne’s lace called the carrot.

There are many reasons to go vegetarian, go vegan and even go raw, but evolution isn’t one of them.

 

Wanjek is the author of “Hey, Einstein!,” a comical nature-vs.-nurture tale about raising clones of Albert Einstein in less than ideal settings. His column, Bad Medicine, appears regularly on LiveScience.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

Beards may be more hygienic and bacteria-resistant than shaven skin, study finds

Beards may contain bacteria which could potentially be developed into new antibiotics, a study has found.

Researchers found that clean-shaven men were actually more likely to harbour infection-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics when compared to bearded men.

The study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, tested swabs from the faces of 408 hospital staff with and without facial hair.

According to the results, clean-shaven men are more than three times as likely to be carrying methicillin-resistant staph auerus (MRSA) on their cheeks as their bearded counterparts.

Clean-shaven men were also more than 10 per cent more likely to have colonies of Staphylococcus aureus on their faces, a bacterium that causes skin and respiratory infections, and food poisoning.

Researchers suggest this may be due to micro-abrasians caused by shaving in the skin, “which may support bacterial colonisation and proliferation”.

The report reads: “Overall, colonisation is similar in male healthcare workers with and without facial hair, however, certain bacterial species were more prevalent in workers without facial hair.”

Dr Adam Roberts, a microbiologist from University College London, was able to grow over 100 different bacteria from beard swab samples in a separate analysis.

Among the petri dishes, he found the presence of a microbe that appeared to be killing the other bacteria.

Dr Roberts isolated the microbe and tested it against a form of E. coli that causes urinary tract infections, and found the microbes killed the bacterium efficiently.

 

Science Explains Why a Beard Makes You Look Hotter

 02/04/2015 08:19 pm ET | Updated Apr 06, 2015
  •  
    Jonha RevesencioBusiness strategist exploring the intersection of business, leadership and technology

The next Movember, which is also known as No-Shave November, is still several months away. However, this does not mean that you should switch to a clean-shaven look, especially if you are interested in attracting the attention of a potential mate.

scientific study conducted by the Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society also indicated that specific types of facial hair have a major impact on how others perceive individuals with a beard.

Therefore, depending on your personal preferences, you might want to grow ayeard or stick with thick stubble.

So what type of beard is right for your lifestyle? That depends on which qualities you want to be associated with:

 

  1. Most Attractive – Female participants in studies that have analyzed male facial hair have rated heavy stubble as the most attractive look. Men equally enjoyed the appearance of heavy stubble or a full beard.
  2. Healthiest – Men and women indicated that men who have a full beard appear to be healthier than those without any type of facial hair.
  3. Best Parenting Skills – This was another category that both genders ascribed to men who maintain a full beard.
  4. Masculinity – The perception of a man’s masculinity increases with the amount of facial hair that he has. So if you want to be seen as a highly masculine individual, you should consider cultivating a full beard.

 

 

2015-02-05-BeardMakesYouLookHotterWeKnowMemes.jpgMeme showing men with beard look ‘hotter’, Photo Credit: WeKnowMemes.com

 

Men who are clean-shaven or who have a light amount of stubble were rated as being the least attractive by women and men.

Additionally, it is interesting to note that a heterosexual woman’s interest in masculine looking men becomes more pronounced during the ovulation portion of her fertility cycle. In other words, if you and your female spouse or partner have been trying to conceive or are dealing with intimacy issues, it could be beneficial to grow your facial hair out.

After all, increasing your level of attractiveness in your partner’s eyes is definitely a good way to boost their sex drive.

There are also scientifically proven health benefits associated with having a beard. According to researchers from the University of Southern Queensland, beards are able to block up to 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays, and this will reduce your risk of contracting skin cancer.

Men who suffer from asthma could experience some relief from symptoms by growing a beard because this will help prevent dust and pollen from getting into their respiratory system. As an added bonus, a full beard will keep your skin looking healthier and more youthful.

It sounds like it is time to toss out your razors, gentlemen, but make sure that you take steps to keep your beard in good shape so that you can look your best!

 

Abstract

Facial hair strongly influences people’s judgments of men’s socio-sexual attributes. However, the nature of these judgments is often contradictory. The levels of intermediate facial hair growth presented to raters and the stage of female raters’ menstrual cycles might have influenced past findings. We quantified men’s and women’s judgments of attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities for photographs of men who were clean-shaven, lightly or heavily stubbled and fully bearded. We also tested the effect of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use on women’s ratings. Women judged faces with heavy stubble as most attractive and heavy beards, light stubble and clean-shaven faces as similarly less attractive. In contrast, men rated full beards and heavy stubble as most attractive, followed closely by clean-shaven and light stubble as least attractive. Men and women rated full beards highest for parenting ability and healthiness. Masculinity ratings increased linearly as facial hair increased, and this effect was more pronounced in women in the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, although attractiveness ratings did not differ according to fertility. Our findings confirm that beardedness affects judgments of male socio-sexual attributes and suggest that an intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.

 

I didn’t even know I thought beards are more attractive until my boyfriend shaved his facial hair for Halloween. He looked so different, I felt I was cheating on him with his clean-shaven twin. And I dated that twin for over a month while we waited for his beard to grow back. (And you know, that waiting is the worst part — dealing with the itchy, in-between beard phase.) But we should commend our boyfriends’ patience — Men’s Journal saysthere’s a lot to maintaining a beard: “Trimming, shaping, fading, cleaning, combing, and conditioning is all part of the game and changes depending on what style you want and type of facial hair you were born with.”

Thinking back to men before that boyfriend, I realized more were bearded than not. Maybe it was in my psyche from when I was growing up, surrounded by uncles who had beards in Chicago — perhaps as a result of the near-arctic winters and their effort to keep warm? Or maybe it was an influence of where I live now, in L.A., and the prevalence of hipsters and bearded men there — particularly in trendy neighborhoods like Silverlake and Venice — versus other parts of the country? Or perhaps the surge of bearded celebrities seeped into my head, like George Clooney, Ben Affleck, and Zach Galifianakis?

Celebrity or not, beards can change a man’s look nearly overnight (well, quite a few overnights to get the desired result, depending on what you want that to be).

http://giphy.com/embed/jraneQUaew59u

No matter what type of beard your boyfriend may have, we can all agree that beards (seemingly) change the man. You can even check out this dating site,Bristlr, that caters to men with beards and the people who love them. My reasons for loving bearded boyfriends include:

1. Men With Beards Look Older, Wiser, And Tougher.

http://giphy.com/embed/WirijtpYByXLO

Maybe this goes back to what I said about being raised among a lot of bearded men, like a Freudian thing. I think we women who like men with beards are not anti-clean-shaven men, we just prefer bearded ones, like these on Instagram. When you look at the men sans a beard versus with a beard, the latter makes them look more mature and someone who’d win an onscreen fight against their non-bearded nemesis. Beards make men look years older, in a very appealing way.

2. Beards Are For A Good Cause.

http://giphy.com/embed/8RWX5fIQpKoDe

Aside from beards looking good, they’re also for a great cause. Movembertook our men’s beards away while men focused on growing moustaches (and sometimes beards), but No-Shave November brought them back. Movember raises money for prostate or testicular cancer while No-Shave November raises money for cancer, as well, and partnered with the American Cancer Society in 2013. They figure that if men grow out their beards for the month of November instead of spending money going to the barber, they can donate that money toward cancer research instead.

3. Beards Are Seductive (And Soft).

http://giphy.com/embed/zVJ7fipMe954s

If you don’t believe me, have the guy you’re dating grow one. A friend of mine was practically the spokeswoman for anti-bearded men and happy her boyfriend was clean-shaven. But when he decided to participate in No-Shave November, she dreaded the bearded result, then grew to love it (and he still has the beard today). Just check out these before and after photos of men with beards and decide for yourself which look you prefer.

4. Beards Are Part Of Our History.

According to Live Sciencethe popularity of beards and facial hair has varied over time, sideburns being most prevalent in 1853, sideburns with mustaches in 1877, and solely beards in 1892. Facial hair is so popular that there’s even an annual World Beard and Moustache Championship (last year’s was in Portland and this year’s is in Austria). Judging criteria includes “…which contestant’s facial hair best enhances his overall appearance, style, and personality. In the freestyle categories the judges will be asked to consider originality and creativity as well.” There are 18 categories within three primary categories, complete with pictures: Moustaches, Partial Beards, and Full Beards. One of the official rules states: “artificial facial hair is not permitted.”

Artificial facial hair? Yep, beards are so hot right now that some people are spending around $3,000-7,000 on beard transplants (depending on how much hair they want filled in) — and you may not even realize it. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a facial plastic surgeon in New York, has been doing them for over 12 years. He went from doing a handful ten years ago to a few a week as of last year (in Midtown East and Miami).

5. Beards Make Guys More Attractive — Science Said So.

A study in Evolution and Human Behaviorfound that women rate bearded men as more masculine, healthy, and more likely to make good parents. After showing participants pictures of clean-shaven, lightly or heavily stubbled and fully bearded men, researchers explained:

“Our findings confirm that beardedness affects judgments of male socio-sexual attributes and suggest that an intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.”

So there.

Images: beardbrand/Instagram; Giphy (1-5)

വാത്മീകി രാമായണത്തില്‍ രാമന്‍ മാംസാഹാരിയെന്ന് വിവരിക്കുന്നു

Reposted from Rajeev Edappal’s post

sriraman-non-veg

RSS-1

ഗോംമാംസം ഭക്ഷിച്ചതിന് ഒരു മനുഷ്യനെ തല്ലിക്കൊന്ന കാലഘട്ടത്തില്‍ ആരെ മുന്‍നിര്‍ത്തിയാണോ സംഘപരിവാര്‍ സംഘടനകള്‍ ഇത്തരം കൃത്യം നിര്‍വ്വഹിച്ചത് എന്ന് നോക്കുന്നത് നന്നായിരിക്കും. ശ്രീരാമന്‍ മാംസാഹാരിയാണോ സസ്യാഹാരി ആണോ എന്ന് പരിശോധിക്കുകയാണ് ഇവിടെ. വാത്മീകി രാമായണത്തില്‍ കൃത്യമായി തന്നെ രാമന്‍റെ ആഹാരശൈലിയെ കുറിച്ച് വിശദീകരിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്.

വാത്മീകി രാമായണത്തില്‍ പല ശ്ലോകങ്ങളിലും കൃത്യമായി തന്നെ രാമന്‍ മാംസാഹാരിയെന്ന് വിവരിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്.വനവാസത്തിന് പോകുമ്പോള്‍ രാമന്‍ കൗസല്യയോട് പറയുന്നുണ്ട്,

“चतुर्दश हि वर्षाणि वत्स्यामि विजने वने |
मधु मूल फलैः जीवन् हित्वा मुनिवद् आमिषम् || २-२०-२९”.

മലയാള പരിഭാഷ ഇങ്ങിനെ,”പതിനാലു വര്‍ഷം ഞാന്‍ ഇറച്ചി ഒ‍ഴിവാക്കി, ഫലമൂലാദികളും തേനും മാത്രം ഭക്ഷിച്ച് കാട്ടില്‍ ക‍ഴിയാം- അയോധ്യാകാണ്ഡം 2-20-29″

സുന്ദരകാണ്ഡത്തില്‍ ഹനുമാന്‍ സീതയോടു പറയുന്നുണ്ട്,

“न मांसं राघवो भुङ्क्ते न चापि मधुसेवते |
वन्यं सुविहितं नित्यं भक्तमश्नाति पञ्चमम् || ५-३६-४१”.

മലയാള പരിഭാഷ ഇങ്ങിനെ,”രാമന്‍ ഇപ്പോള്‍ മാംസം ക‍ഴിക്കുന്നുമില്ല, ലഹരി ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നുമില്ല, വൈകുന്നേരങ്ങളില്‍ കാട്ടില്‍ നിന്ന് ലഭിക്കുന്ന സസ്യാഹാരങ്ങളാണ് രാമന്‍ ഭക്ഷിക്കുന്നത്, സുന്ദരകാണ്ഡം 5-36-41″

ആരണ്യകാണ്ഡത്തിലെ ഒരു ശ്ലോകം ഇങ്ങിനെ,

“निहत्य पृषतम् च अन्यम् मांसम् आदाय राघवः |
त्वरमाणो जनस्थानम् ससार अभिमुखः तदा || ३-४४-२७”.

മലയാളം പരിഭാഷ ഇങ്ങിനെ,”രാഘവന്‍ ഒരു മാനിനെ കൂടി കൊന്നു, അതിന്‍റെ ഇറച്ചിയുമെടുത്ത് ജനസ്ഥാനയിലേക്ക് പോയി, ആരണ്യകാണ്ഡം 3-44-27″, അതായത് വനവാസകാലത്തും രാമന്‍ മാംസം ഭക്ഷിച്ചിരുന്നുവെന്ന് വ്യക്തം.

വാത്മീകി രാമായണത്തെ പുതുക്കിപ്പണിഞ്ഞവരില്‍ ജൈന-ബുദ്ധമതങ്ങള്‍ ചെലുത്തിയ സ്വാധീനമാണ് രാമന്‍ സസ്യാഹാരിയാണെന്ന വിശദീകരണത്തിലേക്ക് എത്തിച്ചത്. രാമന്‍ മൃഗങ്ങളെ ബലി ക‍ഴിച്ചിരുന്നുവെന്നും മൃഗത്തോലു കൊണ്ടുണ്ടാക്കിയ വസ്ത്രം ധരിച്ചിരുന്നുവെന്നും വാത്മീകി രാമായണം വ്യക്തമാക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. രാമായണത്തില്‍ മാത്രമല്ല വേദങ്ങളിലും മാംസാഹാരം ഒരു ജനകീയ ശീലം ആയിരുന്നുവെന്ന് വ്യക്തമാക്കുന്നുണ്ട്.

മാംസാഹാരികള്‍ക്ക് നേരെ നടക്കുന്ന സംഘപരിവാര്‍ അക്രമം കരുതിക്കൂട്ടിയുള്ള വര്‍ഗീയ നീക്കങ്ങളാണെന്ന് വ്യക്തമാക്കുന്നതാണ് മുകളില്‍ വിവരിച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന ശ്ലോകങ്ങള്‍. രാമന്‍റെ പേരില്‍ നടക്കുന്ന അക്രമത്തെ രാമന്‍റെ ജീവിത കഥ സാധൂകരിക്കുന്നില്ല. താത്കാലിക രാഷ്ട്രീയ ലാഭങ്ങള്‍ക്കും മ്ലേച്ഛമായ വര്‍ഗീയ ചിന്തകള്‍ പരത്തുന്നതിനും മാത്രമാണ് ഇത്തരം അക്രമങ്ങള്‍. ജനാധിപത്യ ഇന്ത്യ ഒറ്റക്കെട്ടായി ഈ ഇരുട്ടു മനുഷ്യന്‍മാര്‍ക്കെതിരെ അണിനിരക്കേണ്ടിയിരിക്കുന്നു

 
 

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

Israel to announce major land appropriation in Jordan Valley

Israel to announce major land appropriation in Jordan Valley

Government to declare 370 acres near West Bank settlement south of Jericho as state land in largest such seizure since 2014

 January 20, 2016, 4:18 am 213
The Jordan Valley. (photo credit: CC BY Trocaire, Flickr)
The Jordan Valley. (photo credit: CC BY Trocaire, Flickr)

The Israeli government will announce the allocation of 370 acres of West Bank agricultural land near the Palestinian city of Jericho as state lands, the largest such land appropriation since August 2014.

The area, part of which has been worked in recent years by Israeli farmers, is situated north of the West Bank settlement of Almog, in the Jordan Valley, according to an Army Radio report on Tuesday. Additional details about the move were to be published Wednesday morning.

Israel has previously used an 1858 Ottoman law stating that land which lies fallow for several years could revert to government property as the legal basis for such moves.

The procedure was approved by Israeli government officials and was to receive final approval in the coming weeks, according to the report.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Map data ©2016 Google, Mapa GISrael, ORION-ME
 
 
Map
Satellite

The move comes amid heightened tensions with the European Union, which earlier this week said in a declaration that its agreements with Israel didn’t extend over the Green Line, angering Jerusalem.

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro also said Monday that Washington was “concerned and perplexed” by Israel’s settlement policy which he said raised “honest questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.”

“This government and previous Israeli governments have repeatedly expressed support for a negotiated settlement that would involve mutual recognition and separation,” he said. “Yet separation will become more and more difficult” if Israel continues to expand settlements, Shapiro said.

The anticipated appropriation was expected to garner negative responses from the European Union, United States and Palestinian Authority, Army Radio reported.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry body serving as the Civil Administration in the West Bank, confirmed the report saying that the move was awaiting final approval, having already received the green light from senior officials and professional experts.

The last such move by the Israeli government, in August 2014, involved the appropriation of nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land near the site of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens months before. The Israeli army declared that there was no claim of Palestinian ownership on the land in question, but the action was roundly condemned by the US and European governments.

The head of Peace Now said at the time that it was the largest such confiscation of West Bank land by the Israeli government since the 1980s.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

How a Nation of Tech Copycats Transformed Into a Hub for Innovation

How a Nation of Tech Copycats Transformed Into a Hub for Innovation | WIRED

HOW A NATION OF TECH COPYCATS TRANSFORMED INTO A HUB FOR INNOVATION Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon Ricoh’s Theta S Camera Captures CES in 360 Terrifying, Beautiful Degrees Misfit’s Wearables Hide Their Tech Behind Cool Minimalism SLIDE: 1 / OF 6 . Caption: Employees at rising mobile star Xiaomi take a break at their office in Beijing. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 2 / OF 6 . Caption: A worker at ecommerce giant Meituan. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 3 / OF 6 . Caption: Offices of livestreaming enterprise YY. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 4 / OF 6 . Caption: Zepp Labs employee testing hardware at the company’s office in Beijing. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 5 / OF 6 . Caption: Meituan office lobby. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 6 / OF 6 . Caption: Jerry Liu, CEO of ShenZhen YueJiang Technology, during an open house at a XinCheJian hackerspace. ZACHARY BAKO Advertisement Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon Ricoh’s Theta S Camera Captures CES in 360 Terrifying, Beautiful Degrees Misfit’s Wearables Hide Their Tech Behind Cool Minimalism SLIDE: 1 / OF 6 . Caption: Employees at rising mobile star Xiaomi take a break at their office in Beijing. ZACHARY BAKO THE YOUNG PROGRAMMER had an idea, and everyone thought it was nuts. Just out of college, he’d gotten a job writing software for YY, a livestreaming company based in the mas­sive city of Guangzhou, in China’s Pearl River Delta. More than 100 million users every month stream them­selves, or tune in to broadcasts of others, singing, playing video­games, or hosting talk shows from their Beijing apartments. The audience chats back, prolifically, via voice or text. The programmer thought YY should try something new: use its proven streaming technology to run a dating service, which would operate kind of like a TV dating show. A host would set up an online lounge, then invite in some lonely singles and coax them to ask each other questions and maybe find a partner. Company executives were dubious. “The CEO almost killed it,” says Eric Ho, chief financial officer, sitting in YY’s head­quarters, atop three floors of furiously coding engi­neers and designers. Are you sure you want to do this? the CEO asked the kid. This is very stupid. I don’t think people will like it! But the programmer was hungry and persistent, so they waved him on: Give it a try. The old attitude—keep your head down and stay safe—is vanishing, swept aside by the surge in prosperity. In China, this type of employee didn’t used to exist. Ten years ago, high tech observers complained that the nation didn’t have enough bold innovators. There were, of course, wildly profi­table high tech firms, but they rarely took creative risks and mostly just mimicked Silicon Valley: Baidu was a replica of Google, Tencent a copy of Yahoo, JD a version of Amazon. Young Chinese coders had programming chops that were second to none, but they lacked the drive of a Mark Zucker­berg or Steve Jobs. The West Coast mantra—fail fast, fail often, the better to find a hit product—seemed alien, even dangerous, to youths schooled in an educational system that focused on rote memorization and punished mistakes. Graduates craved jobs at big, solid firms. The goal was stability: Urban China had only recently emerged from decades of poverty, and much of the countryside was still waiting its turn to do so. Better to keep your head down and stay safe. That attitude is vanishing now. It’s been swept aside by a surge in prosperity, bringing with it a new level of confi­dence and boldness in the country’s young urban techies. In 2000, barely 4 percent of China was middle-class—meaning with an income ranging from $9,000 to $34,000—but by 2012 fully two-thirds had climbed into that bracket. In the same time frame, higher education soared sevenfold: 7 million graduated college this year. The result is a generation both creative and comfortable with risk-taking. “We’re seeing people in their early twenties starting companies—people just out of school, and there are even some dropouts,” says Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese venture capitalist and veteran of Apple, Microsoft, and Google, who has spent the past decade crisscrossing the nation, helping youths start firms. Now major cities are crowded with ambitious inventors and entrepreneurs, flocking into software accelerators and hackerspaces. They no longer want jobs at Google or Apple; like their counterparts in San Francisco, they want to build the next Google or Apple. Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon SLIDE: 1 / OF 4 . Caption: YY programmer Mo Wengang, who pitched the idea of using the company’s streaming tech for a dating service. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 2 / OF 4 . Caption: YY employees line up for a mid-afternoon snack. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 3 / OF 4 . Caption: The offices of YY in Guangzhou. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 4 / OF 4 . Caption: The offices of YY in Guangzhou. ZACHARY BAKO Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon SLIDE: 1 / OF 4 . Caption: YY programmer Mo Wengang, who pitched the idea of using the company’s streaming tech for a dating service. ZACHARY BAKO Anyone with a promising idea and some experience can find money. Venture capitalists pumped a record $15.5 billion into Chinese startups last year, so entrepreneurs are being showered in funding, as well as crucial advice and mentoring from millionaire angels. (It’s still a fraction of the US venture capital pool from 2014, $48 billion.) Even the Chinese government—which has a wary attitude toward online expression and runs a vast digital censorship apparatus—has launched a $6.5 billion fund for startups. With the economy’s growth slowing after two decades of breakneck expansion, the party is worriedly seeking new sources of good jobs. Tech fits the bill. The new boom encompasses both online services and the hardware arena. Recent local-kid-makes-good models like Xiaomi, the fast-rising Beijing mobile phone firm, or WeChat, Tencent’s globe-conquering social networking app, are leading the way forward. Homegrown firms have distinct advantages, namely familiarity with local tastes, the ability to plug into a first-class manufacturing system built for Western companies, and proximity to the world’s fastest-growing markets in India and Southeast Asia. The combination of factors is putting them in a position to beat the West at its own game. Xiaomi, for example, was the fourth-highest seller of mobile phones worldwide last year, behind Samsung, Apple, and Huawei. As for YY, it turns out it was good that the executives indulged their enterprising programmer. The dating show launched last year and became a hit. It also generated serious profits. YY has no advertising; it earns revenue when users fork over real Chinese currency to buy virtual items they give as gifts to each other or to the “broadcasters” streaming their own lives online. YY takes a 60 percent cut of each purchase, with the recipient getting the rest as actual cash. (Popular broadcasters make so much money that they live off their YY earnings.) At a laptop on Ho’s table, I peer at the screen, where a dating event is livestreaming. Money is flying around as male and female guests give each other—and the host—virtual presents: rings (worth $1.55), kisses (16 cents), and love letters (5 cents). Some items are pricier yet; for about $1,000, you can buy someone a virtual Lamborghini. In its first nine months, YY’s dating show brought in about $16 million, a sum growing rapidly every month. Last year YY itself brought in $580 million, and three years after going public on the Nasdaq, its market cap tops $3 billion, even after the market gyrations of 2015. The next Silicon Valley has emerged—and it’s in the East. CHINA’S TECH BOOM in the late ’90s produced its own Web 1.0: search engines, email and blogging tools, news portals, and Alibaba’s sprawling online sales market. Back then, China very much needed local copies of US companies, because US firms often couldn’t operate easily in China. The government blocked many foreign sites by using a complex system of filters known as the Great Firewall of China. Local firms had an edge anyway: They understood the particular demands of the Chinese digerati in the early ’00s, when Internet access was still scanty. Ten years ago, for example, eBay tried to dominate in China but failed, partly because many small businesses—the places that might otherwise have used eBay to sell their products to the world—didn’t yet have computers or a connection to the Internet. At Alibaba, however, founder Jack Ma understood this, so he assembled a huge sales force that fanned out across the country, teaching merchants how to get wired. (He also outcompeted eBay’s PayPal with Alipay, which holds a buyer’s payment in escrow until they receive their goods and pronounce themselves happy with the purchase; this helped build trust in online markets.) Riding that first crest, firms like Baidu and Alibaba became the “big dragons” of Chinese high tech, minting millionaires much as Microsoft had in the ’90s. The success of copycat firms paved the way for “little dragons”—creative, upstart Web 2.0 firms that emerged in the late ’00s. The big dragons provided role models, but even more significantly, they built the infrastructure crucial for today’s high tech boom, including the cloud services that allow any twentysomething to launch a business overnight and immediately start billing customers. One of the most successful in this second wave is Meituan, a firm that has become an ecommerce giant by enabling small merchants across the country to broadcast deals to nearby shoppers who have opted in, on the web and within Meituan’s mobile app. When I visit the Beijing headquarters, it looks like a tropical forest: There are leafy green plants plunked down between each workstation, while humidifiers puff clouds of moist air upward. It’s nearly silent, but there’s a lot of money flowing through the office. Suspended above dozens of coders is an LCD the size of a table for four that reads “8,309”: the number of deals Meituan has broadcast so far today. The firm’s revenue has skyrocketed in its five years of operation; in 2014 it processed more than $7 billion in deals for its 900,000 partners. It’s aiming to reach $18.5 billion by the end of this year. China’s techies don’t want jobs at Apple or Google—they want to build the next Apple or Google. Meituan’s CEO, the slender and soft-spoken Wang Xing, is a serial entrepreneur who tracks the emerging creative shift in Chinese startups. He had already made Chinese clones of Facebook and Twitter when, in 2008, he noticed the rise of Groupon. “There’s no doubt that we got influenced by Groupon,” he admits. But by then he was seasoned enough to spot the flaws in the discounter’s business model. Groupon took a big cut—up to 50 percent—of the revenue from each deal, which left participating merchants bitter. They’d routinely lose money by issuing Groupon deals, so they’d grit their teeth and hope it would attract new permanent customers; usually it didn’t. Wang, in contrast, wanted to make Meituan the easiest way for small merchants to charge their customers and stay in contact with them. Setting Meituan’s cut at only 5 percent ensured that merchants nearly always made money. He also began developing proprietary ecommerce tech. Wang whips out his phone to show me a recent example. His programmers fanned out to movie theater chains across the country, laboriously connecting Meituan’s app to their booking systems. It was a hassle, but now moviegoers can not only buy a ticket from the Meituan app, they can pick their seats. Wang clicks on The Hobbit to show me. “When you go to the theater you don’t have to wait in line and talk to any people—you can just go to a vending machine and scan your passcode” to get in, he says. It’s slick and simple, and now one-third of all movie tickets in China are bought via Meituan. Last year it was 10 percent of the firm’s annual income. Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon SLIDE: 1 / OF 4 . Caption: Zepp Labs’ cofounder Robin Han at the company’s offices in Beijing. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 2 / OF 4 . Caption: Zepp Labs’ cofounder Xiaowei Dai uses the company’s tech to capture his golf swing. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 3 / OF 4 . Caption: Hardware startup Zepp Labs in Beijing. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 4 / OF 4 . Caption: A Zepp Labs employee tests hardware. ZACHARY BAKO Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon SLIDE: 1 / OF 4 . Caption: Zepp Labs’ cofounder Robin Han at the company’s offices in Beijing. ZACHARY BAKO It’s an adroit move, because service—and convenience—is what China’s urban middle class increasingly craves. Sporting high-end mobiles and elite fashion from Europe, they pull out their phones for nearly every purpose: using Alipay to cover a cab ride to a DJ’d party in the artistic outskirts of Beijing; opening WeChat and using its location-sharing function so their friends can find them; posting selfies on Meitu, a picture-sharing service with built-in beautifying filters. The service economy commanded 44 percent of all money spent by the Chinese middle class in 2013, a figure that consulting firm McKinsey expects will grow to 50 percent by 2022, as young urbanites splurge via their phones on everything from massages to takeout food, hairstyling, and nail salons. Even the market meltdown of this year doesn’t seem to have dented middle-class consumption: During China’s travel-focused Golden Week national holiday in October, box office sales were up 70 percent over the previous year, and overseas trips were up 36.6 percent, according to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts. Ecommerce, already big in China, has an astonishing amount yet to grow—a tremendous number of everyday services are not yet online. For example, 80 percent of China’s hotel rooms are still booked offline. And people are eager for ecommerce not just because it’s convenient, but because it’s much less corrupt and opaque than brick-and-mortar businesses. As Kai-Fu Lee points out, the latter are, by American standards, riddled with inefficiencies and hucksterism. “In the US, hundreds of years of fair competition made commerce relatively fair and transparent,” he says. Not so in China. “If you were to sell real estate, there is no transparency. If you buy a used car, there is no Consumer Reports or Ralph Nader.” By removing middlemen and creating reputation systems, ecommerce firms are making transactions more transparent and trustworthy, he argues. “So a mobile social-based solution will be dramatically better,” Lee says. Corruption is just one of the many challenges China faces. The country’s leaders and investors also contend with nontransparent banks, government regulators on the take, rampant pollution, fierce crackdowns on political speech, and a rural population yearning for better jobs in the cities. It’s not clear whether the party can solve all these messy problems. In the short run, though, the high tech gold rush has produced manic and fierce competition. Whenever a new category opens up, it’s immediately swarmed upon by dozens or even hundreds of entrepreneurs. By comparison, competition in the US is mild; for example, there are only two major firms—Uber and Lyft—duking it out for car bookings. But Lee estimates that in its early days, Meituan had to fight 3,000 competitors dotted across the country. Whoever is left standing is battle-hardened. That’s Wang now. Halfway between the old guard and the new, he has become an angel investor himself, on the lookout for youngsters with daring ideas: the next little dragons. One company he’s investing in is eDaijia, which, rather hilariously, lets car owners find someone to drive their vehicle home when they’re drunk. “They are totally dominant in China, and last year they went to Seoul,” he laughs, “because, they told me, that’s the most drunk city in the world.” CHINA’S CREATIVE BOOM in web services is significant enough, but arguably it has an even bigger edge over the US in hardware. The country has spent 30 years becoming the manufacturing capital of the world, so coastal cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou are now crammed with electronics facilities, from tiny three-person shops to Foxconn’s 30,000-employee city-factory complexes cranking out iPhones. All have a deep knowledge of how to make things, so it was almost inevitable that homegrown entrepreneurs would get in on the act. Living next to the factories or being able to stroll the electronics markets, they’re the first to know when trends in hardware emerge: for example, when a cutting-edge sensor arrives that lets you collect new forms of data—or when the cost of an existing one suddenly drops to a penny, allowing it to be sprinkled anywhere, like dust. The high tech gold rush has produced manic and fierce competition among the swarms of entrepreneurs. “It’s easier in China than in other places,” Robin Han says, “because we have Shenzhen.” Han is the 32-year-old cofounder of Zepp Labs, a Beijing-based hardware startup that is the darling of the sports world: It makes a square sensor that tracks your swing—of a golf club, a baseball bat, a tennis racket—then uses an iPhone app to help you improve. Han got the entrepreneurial itch five years ago as a PhD student working in Microsoft’s Beijing research office. Big-company life might be stable, but you could toil for years on a project that might never become a real product. Success was out of your control, he tells me, sitting in the brightly lit Zepp office, where, behind him, two dozen coders and designers pilot keyboards. Han had noticed gyroscopes being used in HTC and HP phones as well as Nintendo Wii remotes and figured they would go down in price as big companies continued to include them in their products. That had potential. He and a friend, Peter Ye (now Zepp’s head of R&D), loved sports and hit on the idea for a swing sensor. Players could analyze their motions or compare them to those of professionals; coaches could scrutinize an entire team’s practice swings, even remotely. Han and Ye started with golf. They figured duffers would be willing to spend money on a sensor that promised to improve their game. They lead me to the basement, where they have constructed a huge batting-and-golfing cage. “We spent a lot of hours in here perfecting the sensors and working on our swings,” Han says. The walls are studded with marks from errant balls. Their prototype worked so well it attracted the attention of an Apple rep who was touring China, looking for products for the Apple Store. Satisfying Apple’s precise aesthetics required them to slowly refine the design through 14 prototypes, but it paid off: Since the Zepp sensor launched in Apple Stores worldwide in 2012, Zepp has activated more than 300,000 of them. Han and Ye got Zepp Labs off the ground with $1.5 million in seed money from angel investor Xiao Wang and worked their contacts to find a good factory to help prototype and mass-produce their device. That last step—finding a talented, Foxconn-class factory that has deep experience in elegantly solving design challenges—has traditionally been the hard part of getting things made in China. But in recent years, that’s gotten easier too. A set of middlemen has emerged specifically to help bridge that gap, including Highway 1, a program by the manufacturing giant PCH: It picks gadget inventors from around the world and finds topflight factories willing to take a risk manufacturing a product by an unknown new talent. There’s also been a hackerspace movement in China. The first one—Shanghai’s XinCheJian—was cofounded in 2010 by Chinese Internet entrepreneur David Li, when he noticed how cheap prototyping tools were allowing kitchen-table inventors to produce increasingly slick prototypes. Now local creators from across China mix with expatriates who flock to XinCheJian from around the world, brainstorming ideas with each other and going on tours of factories organized by Li to help them understand how China’s hardware ecosystem works. Much like a gym, members pay monthly fees to XinCheJian, which gives them access to the hackerspace’s tools and, just as important, advice and networking from fellow inventors. “I always encourage people: Get to your prototype fast, try to find manufacturing partners, and get your Kickstarter campaign finished,” Li tells me, sitting at the hackerspace’s main table, in front of a fridge emblazoned with a sticker that reads DO EPIC SHIT. The rooms behind him are filled with metal lathes, electric tools, and rows of 3-D printers. One successful product that recently emerged from XinCheJian is Wearhaus headphones, which enable one person to stream music from their phone while friends listen in, letting them privately enjoy the same music while, say, coworking or studying. The first run of 3,000 headphones sold out, and now a larger run is in the pipeline. THE ACME OF China’s innovation boom can be found in four office towers that loom over a sprawl of condos in the suburbs of Beijing. These are the headquarters of Xiaomi. Founded in 2010, the company has become famous for making mobile phones comparable to the iPhone—fast processors, large screens, and a sleek operating system called MIUI—but at half the cost. It may be even more famous for its chiefly online sales model and explosive growth. Xiaomi sold 61 million phones last year, and for part of 2015 it was the top-selling mobile brand in China. Though it’s still private, last year investors said it was worth $45 billion. Xiaomi was founded by a serial entrepreneur who got a chance to make his early mistakes—and fortune—10 years ago: CEO Lei Jun founded the online bookseller Joyo, which he later sold to Amazon. He quickly became an angel investor, pouring money into the next generation of innovators, like YY, and making connections with the country’s brightest young designers and engineers. By 2010, a new vision had taken hold: to build an operating system and a new business model for selling mobile phones. Lei formed Xiaomi and hired a team of crack talent to quickly produce a gorgeous mobile phone OS and put it online in August of that year. China’s techies loved it. But only the most nerdy were willing to endure the hassle of downloading an OS to their existing phones. If Xiaomi wanted to get the system into the hands of millions, it would need to make—and sell—handsets. Foxconn became one of Xiaomi’s primary manufacturers. Meanwhile, the startup hit upon a hugely effective sales system. Each new model would initially be sold in a limited quantity—perhaps 50,000—via a weekly flash sale on its website. The exclusivity drove fans wild. The lucky few who scored phones would flaunt them to their envious hipster friends—and later, Xiaomi would open up a larger run to satisfy pent-up demand. Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon SLIDE: 1 / OF 5 . Caption: David Li, cofounder of hackerspace XinCheJian. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 2 / OF 5 . Caption: XinCheJian’s first 3-D printer, an open-source machine called Printrbot. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 3 / OF 5 . Caption: A vintage oscilloscope at XinCheJian in Shanghai. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 4 / OF 5 . Caption: The SofaBike at XinCheJian. ZACHARY BAKO SLIDE: 5 / OF 5 . Caption: Every Wedneday evening, XinCheJian hosts an open house where makers present their ideas to the public. ZACHARY BAKO Related Galleries How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car Space Photos of the Week: A Supermassive Black Hole Burps The Best Photos of CES 2016: Drones, VR, and … a Pigeon SLIDE: 1 / OF 5 . Caption: David Li, cofounder of hackerspace XinCheJian. ZACHARY BAKO Xiaomi’s office is brightly lit and decorated with huge paintings. A mutt that workers adopted off the street sleeps in his doghouse on the first floor. One flight up, a sprawling room is filled with customer-service reps chattering into phones, attempting to solve users’ issues around the world. Though China is Xiaomi’s largest market, in 2013 the firm hired Hugo Barra, previously Google’s product manager for Android, to oversee global expansion. “These are phones for the generation that will never have access to a computer,” Barra says. “They’re discovering the Internet from their phones.” Xiaomi’s edge, he says, is that it continuously produces new upgrades. “We build hardware, but we take a very software way of doing it. We do a software update every week!” These updates often incorporate the voluminous feedback that Xiaomi gets from its deeply involved fans: A single post by Xiaomi’s team on the company’s customer forums can receive 100,000 replies discussing the latest tweak to the operating system. Indeed, Xiaomi’s willingness to talk online with its customers has been a key part of both understanding the demands of young consumers and cultivating their manic devotion. Xiaomi sells its phones at close to cost; much of the company’s revenue comes from its line of accessories, like headphones and step-tracker wristbands, as well as from app store purchases of things like new OS skins. The hope is that eventually even more revenue will come from the many ecommerce transactions that Xiaomi owners will engage in, buying everything from meals to plane tickets to clothing. But to see the company’s broader vision for the future, you need to head downstairs to a spare and elegant showroom. It’s filled with Internet of Things devices that the company is bringing to market, all of which can be operated remotely via the mobile OS. There’s a smart lightbulb, a connected webcam, a bathroom scale, a TV, a power strip—and an air purifier, a crucial appliance for the Chinese, who must contend with the country’s out-of-control air pollution. Once you buy one product, you’ll very quickly buy the others, because they all work so well together, Barra boasts. “The game in China is building walled gardens and getting them to stay in your garden.” Xiaomi didn’t design and manufacture this hardware itself. The executives went on a hunt for the country’s hungriest cutting-edge startups, then invested in them and demanded they produce Apple-quality design. It is astonishing to see the ecosystem laid out. It makes Google’s toe-dip into the Internet of Things—its Nest smart thermostat and security camera—look several years behind the curve. Western entrepreneurs now flock to hardware and software accelerators in China’s coastal cities. China’s creative generation, in other words, has proven it is ready to compete head-on with the world’s top high tech brands. “Apple and Samsung are right to be worried,” says Bunnie Huang, a well-known hardware hacker. (Indeed, Samsung’s global share of the smartphone market dropped to 21.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015, from 32.2 percent in the same period of 2012.) When it comes to hardware, Chinese inventors benefit from proximity to the world’s largest base of consumers, which is growing fast. Xiaomi’s first major foreign expansion wasn’t to the US but to the much huger—if poorer—India, where it sold 1 million phones in the third quarter of this year. Sew up China and India, it realized, and that’s a third of the planet. In context, the US, where many consumers already own smartphones, isn’t a particularly big market. Yet while Chinese firms like Xiaomi are challenging the big tech firms, the flow of opportunity goes both ways: It’s getting easier and easier for Western entrepreneurs to go work in China. They now regularly flock to hardware and software accelerators in the coastal cities so they can meet local collaborators or find factories. One French woman arrived in Shanghai last year to team up with Chinese coders and create an online market for French wine, targeting the chic restaurants where urbanites dine. Young American inventors congregate at H@xlr8r in Shenzhen, where they prototype everything from retro animated-GIF cameras to customized-pill-creation robots. China is essentially becoming a mecca, a destination for people with ideas—much as Silicon Valley did a generation ago. RELATED STORIES CADE METZ China’s Alibaba Just Beat the US in a Global Machine Battle ISSIE LAPOWSKY Techies Are Trying to Get Chinese Consumers to Rack Up Debt ANDREW CURRY Building a New Silicon Valley in a Post-Soviet Dictatorship I saw that one day toward the end of my visit. I dropped by David Li’s XinCheJian hackerspace, where Li was meeting with a startup team he’d been mentoring, including a Dutch-Italian man named Lionello Lunesu, who has lived in China for eight years, and a Latino man named Berni War. They were looking over their latest prototype, which had been sent by courier from a nearby factory. It was a little device that gives you alerts from your computer or phone, almost like an Apple Watch that sits on your desk instead of on your wrist. “For David, we’re not going nearly fast enough,” Lunesu says. Li picked up the gadget and stroked its sleek white sides. “That’s the same plastic they use for the iPhone 5c,” he says. The entrepreneurs grin. A lot of this opportunity is not available in the US. That’s why they’re here. Contributing editor CLIVE THOMPSON (@pomeranian99) is the author of Smarter Than You Think. Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

My review on Arnab Goswami’s newshour debate on Zakir Naik’s issue

My review on Arnab Goswami’s newshour debate on Zakir Naik’s issue

 

Sunday, 3 January 2016 | comments

By: Iftikhar Islam 

While watching news on Times Now I saw the news scrolls related to Mangalore and the name “Naik” appeared. I was confirmed, this news is about Dr. Zakir Naik which was related to the hashtag #CommunalDoublegame, the topic of Arnab Goswami’s Debate 1 (on 30th Dec 2015). The hashtag clearly displayed the intention of Arnab Goswami and his stance against Zakir Naik. But in the debate he crossed the expectations and painted Zakir Naik and other communalists with the same brush. No doubt he will speak against Zakir Naik but I thought he may do it in a diplomatic way – following the ethics of journalism. 

With half-baked research, Arnab laid various severe allegations against Dr. Zakir Naik that are absurd, ill-intended and malicious in nature. He has crossed all the levels in degrading Dr. Zakir Naik which he think he has done a wonderful thing. If he was truthful in his debate, then he would have invited people from IRF who knows Dr. Zakir Naik closely; or at least those who organize or listen to Dr. Zakir Naik’s speeches regularly. The cowardness of Arnab is exposed clearly when he started debating with those who doesn’t even know anything about Dr. Zakir Naik. 

It is said in Hindi “Kutta bhi apne ilakhe mein sher banta hai” (Even dog becomes lion in his area). I openly challenge you Mr. Arnab to have a debate with me on the same topic. Only sitting in the studio and asking questions to the fans of Dr. Zakir Naik who cannot respond you while sitting at home. Is this an ethical journalism? You would have called them and asked in the studio in front of the Nation. Now Nation wants to know the answers to your allegations. Are you ready to take up the debate again? Brave men face the challenges while the cowards run.

 
Arnab Goswami Dr. Zakir Naik debate on Times Now


Let me briefly refute the allegations laid on Dr. Zakir Naik: 

Dr. Zakir Naik is a self-proclaimed scholar: 

It is ridiculous to speak without knowledge and when a journalist of high caliber speaks ignorantly then it becomes dangerous. Dr. Zakir Naik has never claimed himself to be a scholar in religion. I challenge Arnab and his whole team to produce a single sentence or incident where Dr. Zakir Naik has claimed himself to be a scholar. He says “I am a student of Islam and Comparative religions”. He further says “The value of Dr. Zakir Naik is ZERO in Islam”. 

On the other hand Arnab is a self-claimed “honest” journalist. When Minakshi Lekhi, an advocate, accused Arnab of taking money, he got furious and said “Never ever make an accusation to an honest journalist”
 
Dr. Zakir Naik supports Osama Bin Laden: 

Zakir Naik never supported Osama Bin Laden. He has neither spoken in favour not against him. He is a man who handles open Q&A sessions in which any person from the audience can pose any question on the subject of ‘Islam and Comparative Religions.’ When any one ask him about Osama Bin Laden he says I neither believe him to be a saint nor terrorist. I haven’t met him. Media can turn hero into villain and villain into hero. He is just silent on the issue because the Quran says “O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.” (Quran 49:6) 

Regarding the statements Arnab Goswami quotes of Dr. Zakir Naik, it is out of context and more than a decade old. If you see the video completely you will get to know what Zakir Naik wants to say.
 

Dr. Zakir Naik says 9/11 is an inside job: 

When Zakir Naik did said 9/11 is an inside job? Watch his (all-time favourite) video on the topic “Is Terrorism a Muslim monopoly?” you will get the complete understanding of what Zakir Naik said about 9/11. He just quotes the people who says 9/11 is an inside job. So according to your logic the government should also restrict even those people from addressing public gatherings?

Even if Dr. Zakir Naik says 9/11 is an inside job, what is wrong in it? Haven’t you researched about 9/11 yet? If no, then it is embarrassment on us having this kind of un-researched journalism in our country. Shame on you to claim having “investigative” journalism. 

Just for a hint, study about False Flag Operations. I feel sorry to give an advice to a high caliber journalist of the nation. 

Vandemataram issue: 

Arnab feels “strange and ironical” when Zakir Naik says singing Vandemaratam goes against Islam and Hinduism. This shows how ignorant and illiterate Arnab is and how scholarly knowledge Zakir Naik possess. What Arnab knows when it comes to Islam or Hinduism? He just knows to shout and scream.

Vandemataram has some lines which directly goes against the teachings of Islam as well as the sacred scriptures of Hinduism. If Arnab Goswami doesn’t have the knowledge about religions then he should keep his mouth shut. Is vandemataram the criteria to judge the patriotism for the country? Is vandemataram the criteria to restrict people from addressing the large gatherings?


Dr. Zakir Naik provokes audience:


Arnab said, “I think he is saying the things deliberately to provoke the audience because that brings him viewer[ship]”. I can just laugh on Arnab’s analogy. How many lectures Arnab have seen of Dr. Zakir Naik? Dr. Zakir Naik has debated many prominent personalities in the world. Even after the debates nothing has happened. If Zakir Naik would have provoked the audience, then there would have been protests against him immediately. Why there are protests now, for those words he uttered more than a decade ago, and that too quoting him out of context. The reality is that people are accepting Islam openly in his programs that seems to be danger for them in the future. 

Dr. Zakir Naik speaks venom:


You need to understand the meaning of ‘venom’. By the way in which school have you studied Arnab? Who has appointed you in Times Now? What you do at 9 pm daily in your studio? Do you spread love? You spread brotherhood? What you do in the studio is venom. You speak those things which even you – if you sit quietly – ponder upon it, you will laugh on yourself.


“Let’s come to the common term first”, “Go back to the scriptures”, “Believe in one God” are these statements venom? After the debate, in the concluding sessions he say “I was just replying to allegations, I am not here to hurt the sentiments of the people” even this is venom? “I don’t know who Osama is, I have never met him… I cannot say whether he is a saint or a terrorist”, “When you get the news verify it”, even now he is speaking venom? When the media asked him about Sadhvi Pragya Singh, he said the same thing “I don’t know who Sadhvi Pragya Singh is, I cannot say whether she is a saint or a terrorist” Do you mean to say these sentences are venom as well? 

Shiva and Ganesh issue: 

Arnab says he didn’t even want to quote what Zakir Naik has said about Shiva and Ganesh. Why didn’t Arnab quote Zakir Naik on this issue? He very well escaped saying, “you want to me repeat what he says in the context of Shiva and Ganesh, I won’t repeat it.” Why?

The explanation Zakir Naik has given is in the context when non-Muslim friends and neighbors force or offer Muslims to eat Prasad. In answer to this he gave an example of Shiva and Ganesh and ask them to prove that ‘Shiva is God’ then we will eat ‘Prasad’. Because Muslims cannot eat those food on which anyone’s name is taken besides God. Even if anyone has taken the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the food, the food becomes prohibited for the Muslims.


In the context to explain that Muslims won’t eat food which is offered to any deities beside God, he narrated the story of Shiva and Ganesh. If it is false, then correct Zakir Naik with true version of the story. Dr. Zakir Naik is open for correction. The narration is only for the sake of knowledge, not to degrade or hurt anyone. Dr. Zakir Naik often quotes this ayat (verse) of the Quran which says “Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest in the ignorance they will revile Allah” (Quran 6:108) 

If the true story hurts you then stories and films should hurt you more. Those who write stories and make films should be restricted from making more films. The Director of the film ‘O My God’ Umesh Shukhla; and Producers Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Yashvini Yardi; should be banned for showing all those stuffs in the movie. The team of the film ‘PK’ – Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Abhijat Joshi, Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma and others – should be restricted from making more films.

Why only target Zakir Naik and leave others? Only because Zakir Naik is a Muslim? Or more and more people accept Islam in Zakir Naik’s gathering?


This is a brief response to some of the allegations which Arnab has deliberately put on Dr. Zakir Naik. I could have given point by point refutation to Arnab Goswami. I don’t want the response to get lengthy. There are many illogical and nonsensical statements given by him which I thought of not worth responding. 

I didn’t touch the four points he has given to compare Zakir Naik to the other communalist. It is not worth responding. The audience of Zakir Naik consist of the people of all faiths but that communalist have only people of his community. All the four points which Arnab mentions fit the other communalist and not Zakir Naik.

Before concluding the response, I would like to throw some light on how Arnab fools the viewers: 

Misquoting the Law: 

He quoted section 295 of IPC against Zakir Naik. Here are the exact words of the section. “295. Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class. — Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defile­ment as an insult to their religion..”

Does this section fits Zakir Naik in ANY manner? I hope Arnab understands these simple words of the section. You don’t have to be a lawyer to interpret this section and apply on Dr. Zakir Naik. The other sections of IPC and CrPC and Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India is subject of discussion when it comes to application on Dr. Zakir Naik. Being a student of Law, I can just laugh on Arnab.


Arnab lacks research:


By quoting unwanted section for Dr. Zakir Naik, he showed the level of research he has. The other allegations and sentences he quoted against Zakir Naik has already been answered by Dr. Zakir Naik before and relayed on Peace TV multiple times and available on YouTube. The allegations are taken from a decade old tapes which Zakir Naik already answered in his new tapes.


Arnab and his team doesn’t know the countries in which Zakir Naik is banned. Times Now was regularly displaying US and UK in the countries that banned Zakir Naik. When did US banned Zakir Naik from entering in their state?


Arnab fools the viewers by inviting unrelated persons as panelists, keep few photocopies of the papers, scream and do not allow the person to speak. Even if he allow once, he takes the time to refute and does not allow the person to refute his baseless allegations and goes on to another panelist and divert the question.


Henry Anatole Grunwald said “Journalism can never be silent…” and Arnab took it seriously!


If you want to know about Dr. Zakir Naik in the right perspective, then watch his videos for yourself (here: www.youtube.com/DrZakirChannel) and you be the judge whether Zakir Naik is the prince of peace or preacher of hate.

 

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

I’m not bothered, says Asaduddin Owaisi after getting a threat from ISIS

I’m not bothered, says Asaduddin Owaisi after getting a threat from ISIS

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president was asked to ‘keep his mouth shut’ and not speak against the terror outfit, on Twitter.
Scroll Staff  · Jan 07, 2016 · 03:03 pm  · India
I'm not bothered, says Asaduddin Owaisi after getting a threat from ISIS
Photo Credit: IANS
27.4K
Total Views

 

 

 

President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi said on Thursday that he had received a threat over Twitter from the Islamic State, asking him to stop speaking against the militant group. “It’s better for you to shut your mouth on the Islamic State if you don’t know the truth, Islamic State will invade India soon (sic),” a user who went by the name Abu Talout al-Khorasani tweeted to Owaisi. While The Times of India reported that al-Khorasani was an IS sympathiser, Zee News claimed the account was managed by IS. The user with the Twitter handle @abotalout also called Owaisi a “disgrace for Muslims of India.”

The Muslim leader responded to the tweets and said, “Sir you are a bloody Takfiri if you want to debate on Evil ISIS I am ready you will not be able to counter my Theological Points (sic).” Takfiri is someone who accuses any Muslim of straying from Islam. Terror outfits, including the IS, use this ideology to target opponents.

Owaisi has not filed a police complaint over the tweets. “I am not sure if they are ISIS sympathisers or IS militants, but I am not bothered by the threat. I get hundreds [of] such threats every day,” he said. Owaisi also told The Times of India he was confident security agencies would identify the user and take action. “Anything on Twitter is in the public domain. It will surely be noticed. Anybody with affiliations to banned organisations will attract the attention of the authorities,” he said.

The Hyderabad MP had earlier declared ISIS “rebels of Islam” and said that they had no right to speak about the religion. Speaking to The Indian Express about the influence of the IS in India, Owaisi had called the group an “evil, draconian force” and said, “ISIS is a threat. I just want everyone to realise this…If you pick up Urdu papers from the last two years, [you’ll find that] scholars and leaders, including me, have been criticising, condemning the activities of ISIS. It has nothing to do with Islam.”

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

Israel debates how to stop BDS even as it continues to lose friends abroad

Israel debates how to stop BDS even as it continues to lose friends abroad

 

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

On Wednesday, a debate was held in the British Parliament on the issue of Palestinian child prisoners detained by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

 

The same day, two thousand miles away, Israel’s Knesset hosted a discussion on how to combat the growing, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Together, these two parliamentary meetings serve as a useful illustration of why Israel’s international image continues to deteriorate – and why it is not likely to improve any time soon.

First, to Westminster, where Labour MP Sarah Champion sponsored a debate on Palestinian child prisoners. The majority of the debate was taken up by a detailed account of the situation as it currently stands, including how children are taken from their homes at night, and the injustices and discrimination inherent in Israel’s use of military courts to try and jail Palestinian children.

Instructively, however, the debate did not just focus on the human rights abuses being perpetrated by Israel, but what can be done to stop them.

Champion, describing the transfer of Palestinian detainees out of the OPT as a war crime, urged the government to establish “a watch list” of those responsible, and to “ensure that any individual on the watch list who attempts to enter the UK is detained for questioning and, if sufficient evidence is available, charged and prosecuted, subject to the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, meanwhile, asked Champion whether she agreed “that it is now time for action”, and suggested that “the UK could call for the suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement”, on the basis that it includes “a clause saying that if there are human rights abuses, there is a right to suspend the agreement.” Champion called the recommendation “superb.”

Two members of Labour’s frontbench similarly urged further meaningful steps to be taken: shadow Foreign Office minister Diana Johnson insisted that “the British Government need to do much more to hold the Israeli Government to account”, while shadow minister for human rights Andy Slaughter criticised what he called “the apartheid regime that exists…in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Interestingly, given how strong the support for Israel has been, and continues to be, within the Conservative Party, three Tory MPs also voiced criticism of Israeli policies. Tania Mathias, for example, noted the “sad coincidence” that the debate was taking place the same week the UN human rights envoy to the Palestinian territories resigned because Israel denied him access.

Conservative MP Bob Stewart predicted that, unless Israel changes its illegal policies, “people such as me, who actually are big supporters of Israel, will lose the urge to be supporters.” Similarly, Tory MP David Jones, calling himself a friend of Israel, said that “the way that Israel is conducting itself is in a way that should bring shame to any self-respecting democracy.”

Attempts to defend Israel during the debate were feeble and predictable. Labour MP Ian Austin was literally laughed at, after he asserted that the detention of children under-12 simply “does not happen.” Conservative MP John Howell referred to Palestinian “incitement” six times in one minute, and also declared that “we should focus our attention on the Saudi execution of minors.”

Andy Slaughter put it succinctly when he said “government Members—and, indeed, Opposition Members—who seek to defend the occupation are increasingly clutching at straws in doing so.”

In the Knesset, meanwhile, Wednesday saw some 150 politicians and activists gather for a two-hour discussion organised by the Caucus to Fight Delegitmization on how to fight the BDS campaign. The caucus has five, cross-party co-chairs: Michael Oren (Kulanu), Anat Berko (Likud), Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp), Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu).

Read: Israel sets up special ministry to tackle BDS

The meeting was chaired by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who called for “a network to face a network”, echoing the wording used by think-tank the Reut Institute. Erdan is responsible for coordinating the government’s efforts to sabotage the various global campaigns designed to hold Israel to account, with a NIS 100 million budget for 2016.

Erdan described delegitimization as “a challenge with strategic potential”, and BDS as “part of a broader campaign that covers many areas, including education and culture.” BDS activists’ aim, the minister warned, is “to restrict the IDF’s actions and discriminate in international institutions.”

The Labor party’s Nachman Shai emphasised how the fight against the growing boycott united both coalition and opposition alike. MK Berko called BDS “jihad dressed up in a suit.” Mostspeakers were well-known pro-Israel advocates, including Irwin Cotler, former ambassador Ron Prosor, NGO Monitor head Gerald Steinberg, and Shurat HaDin’s ‎Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

MK Michael Oren, meanwhile, in remarks made to the press beforehand, claimed that BDS activists “are well-funded, highly organized and very sophisticated.” According to Oren, Israel is yet to “come up with an answer [to BDS]”, and suggested a role for the Israeli military and intelligence services.

Desperate stuff, and the suggestions made during the meeting were more of what has already been tried: former Israeli soldiers visiting North American campuses, ‘exposing’ BDS activists, and so on.

Also see: A look at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement in 2015

Meanwhile, in London, British politicians – including many who still describe themselves as ‘friends’ of Israel – despaired of the treatment of Palestinians under a discriminatory occupation, and, crucially, called for the government to go beyond mere words.

Israel’s leaders still don’t understand. BDS is not some well-resourced, evil conspiracy but a grassroots response to Israel’s colonialism, occupation, and apartheid. Without drastic changes on the ground, support for this form of pressure will only grow – including in Westminster.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

മരുഭൂമി തന്നത്

മരുഭൂമി തന്നത്

by ഉണ്ണി കെ. വാരിയർ

 

 
M. A. Yousuf Ali

എം.എ.യൂസഫലി

 
 
 

പഞ്ചനക്ഷത്ര സൗകര്യങ്ങളുള്ള ഈ ഒാഫിസ് സമുച്ചയത്തിന്റെ പതിനൊന്നാം നിലയിൽനിന്നു നോക്കുമ്പോൾ മരുഭൂമി പാൽക്കടലാണെന്നു തോന്നും. വെളുത്ത് കണ്ണെത്താ ദൂരത്തോളം കിടക്കുന്ന മണൽ. ആകാശവും മണൽപ്പാടവും ഒരുമിച്ചാകുന്നതുപോലും എവിടെവച്ചാണെന്നു തിരിച്ചറിയാനാകുന്നില്ല. മണലിൽ വീഴുന്ന വെയിൽ കണ്ണാടി നിരത്തിവച്ചതുപോലെ വെട്ടിത്തിളങ്ങുന്നു. അകലെ നീണ്ടു കിടക്കുന്ന റോഡിലൂടെ പറക്കുന്ന വാഹനങ്ങളുടെ മേൽ വെയിൽ തട്ടുമ്പോൾ തിളക്കം കാണാം. റോഡിനിരുവശവും ന‌ട്ട ഈന്തപ്പനകളുടെ പച്ചപ്പുമാത്രം. ഇടയിൽ ഒരു തടാകത്തിന്റെ നീല നിറം. ചൂടുകാറ്റ് അതിന്റെ സകല ശക്തിയുമെടുത്തു വീശിത്തുടങ്ങിയ കാലമാണ്. തീക്കൂനയ്ക്ക് അരികെ നിൽക്കുന്നതുപോലെ തോന്നുന്ന കാലം. ഇത് അബുദാബി നഗരത്തിന്റെ പുറകുവശമാണ്. ഒാഫിസിന്റെ മറുവശത്തേക്കു നോക്കിയാൽ ബഹുനില കെട്ടിടങ്ങളുടെ നീണ്ട നിരകാണാം. ഒരോന്നും അടുത്തുള്ളതിനോടു മത്സരിച്ച് ഉയർന്നു നിൽക്കുന്നതുപോലെ. മണലിനു നടുവിലുണ്ടാക്കിയ നഗരമാണിത്. ലുലു ഗ്രൂപ്പിന്റെ ആസ്ഥാനമന്ദിരമാണിത്. പതിനൊന്നാം നിലയുടെ ചുമരുകൾ ചില്ലുകൊണ്ടായതുകൊണ്ടു ഇവിടെനിന്നുള്ള നഗരത്തിന്റെ ആകാശക്കാഴ്ച വളരെ വിശാലമാണ്. ഇരു കൈകളും പുറകിൽക്കെട്ടി എം.എ.യൂസഫലി മരുഭൂമിയിലേക്കു നോക്കി നിൽക്കുകയാണ്. ഏറെ നേരത്തെ മൗനത്തിനു ശേഷം എം.എ.യൂസഫലി പറഞ്ഞു,

‘ ആ തെരുവുകൾക്കപ്പുറത്തുള്ള വീട്ടിലാണു ഞാൻ താമസിച്ചിരുന്നത്. പൊള്ളുന്ന ചൂടിൽ എസി പോലുമില്ലായിരുന്നു.ടെറസിൽ ആകാശവും നോക്കി എത്രയോ രാത്രി ഉറങ്ങാതെ കിടന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. വണ്ടിയിലേക്കു സാധനങ്ങൾ കയറ്റി തളർന്നുറങ്ങിയപ്പോയ ദിവസങ്ങളുമുണ്ട്.’

യൂസഫ് ഭായ് എന്ന് എല്ലാവരും വിളിക്കുന്ന യൂസഫലി ഇപ്പോൾ ലോകത്തെ ആദ്യ ആയിരം കോടീശ്വരന്മാരിൽ ഒരാളാണ്. ഇന്ത്യയിലെ കോടീശ്വരന്മാരിൽ നാൽപതാമൻ. നാലു പതിറ്റാണ്ടുകൊണ്ടു യൂസഫ്ഭായ് സ്വന്തം സാമ്രാജ്യം തീർക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. നിമിഷങ്ങൾകൊണ്ടു വളർന്നുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന സാമ്രാജ്യം. എതിർത്തു പറഞ്ഞാൽപ്പോലും ചിരിച്ചുകൊണ്ടു നേരിടുന്ന യൂസഫലി തന്റെ ജീവിതത്തെക്കുറിച്ചു ഏറെനേരം സംസാരിച്ചു. ആഘോഷവും രോഷവും കണ്ണീരും നന്മയുമെല്ലാം നിറഞ്ഞ ദിവസങ്ങൾ. തന്നെ വേദനിപ്പിച്ചവരെക്കുറിച്ചും യൂസഫി ഇടയ്ക്കു പറഞ്ഞു. അപ്പോൾ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ മനസ്സും മുഖവും കലുഷിതമായതുപോലെ തോന്നി.

∙ മലയാളി എന്നെങ്കിലും താങ്കളെ വേദനിപ്പിച്ചതായി തോന്നിയിട്ടുണ്ടോ .

മലയാളികളെല്ലാം വേദനിപ്പിച്ചു എന്നു പറയില്ല. എന്നാൽ അവരിൽ അപൂർവ്വം ചിലർ എന്നെ വേദനിപ്പിച്ചു. ഒരു വലിയ പത്രം അബുദാബിയിൽ അച്ചടിക്കാനായി ഞാനാണ് ഇവിടത്തെ സർക്കാരിനു ഗാരന്റി നൽകിയത്. മാസങ്ങൾക്കു ശേഷം അവരുടെ ചാനലിൽ എം.എ.യൂസഫലി കൊച്ചിയിൽ രണ്ടു സെന്റു സ്ഥലം കയ്യേറി എന്നു രാവും പകലും പറഞ്ഞുകൊണ്ടിരുന്നു. ഞങ്ങളുടെ പുതിയ ലുലു സെന്റർ തലങ്ങും വിലങ്ങും ഷൂട്ടു ചെയ്തു കാണിച്ചു. ഞാൻ ചെയ്ത സഹായം ആരും ഒാർക്കണമെന്നില്ല. പക്ഷെ സത്യത്തിനും ദൈവത്തിനും നിരക്കാത്തതു പറയരുത്. എന്നെ കുറ്റം പറയുന്നവർ യഥാർഥ യൂസഫലി ആരാണെന്ന് അന്വേഷിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. 42 വർഷം ഈ മരുഭൂമിയിൽ കിടന്നാണു യൂസഫലി വളർന്നത്. ഞങ്ങളുടെ ടീമിന്റെ കഠിനാധ്വാനത്തിന്റെ ഫലമായാണു ഇതെല്ലാമുണ്ടായത്. അബുദാബിയിലെ ഏറ്റവും വലിയ മാൾ ആയ മുർഷിംമാൾ നിർമ്മിക്കാൻ എനിക്കു 44 ഏക്കർ സ്ഥലമാണു ഇവിടത്തെ രാജകുടുംബം ചില്ലിക്കാശു വാങ്ങാതെ തന്നത്. ഭൂമിക്കു മാത്രം ഇന്നു 3600 കോടി രൂപവരും. എനിക്കു വീടുവയ്ക്കാനായി 600 കോടി രൂപയുടെ ഭൂമി സമ്മാനമായി തന്നു. ഇതൊന്നും ചോദിച്ചു വാങ്ങിയതല്ല. ഈ രാജ്യം എന്നോടു കാണിച്ച സ്നേഹമാണത്. അവർ നിസ്സാരനായ എന്നിൽനിന്നു ഒന്നും പ്രതീക്ഷിച്ചുതന്നതല്ല. ഞാനീ നാടിനു നൽകിയ സ്നേഹത്തിന്റെയും ആദരവിന്റെയും ആകെത്തുകയാണിത്. ഇവിടെയൊരു വലിയ കച്ചവടം നടത്തുന്നതിന്റെ പ്രതിഫലമാണ്. കുറെപ്പേർക്കു ജോലി കൊടുത്തതിന്റെ നന്ദി പറച്ചിലാണ്. ഇതെല്ലാം ഇവിടെ കിട്ടിയ ഞാൻ എന്റെ സ്വന്തം മണ്ണിൽ രണ്ടു സെന്റു സ്ഥലം കയ്യേറിയവനാണെന്നാണ് അവർ വിളിച്ചു പറഞ്ഞു. ഏതു വാർത്തയിലും എന്തെങ്കിലും അടിസ്ഥാന സത്യം വേണ്ടേ. ഞാൻ ആരോടും പരാതി പറഞ്ഞില്ല. രാവും പകലും വാർത്ത വന്നുകൊണ്ടിരുന്നു. എനിക്കു വേണമെങ്കിൽ തടയാമായിരുന്നു. ഞാനതു ചെയ്തില്ല. ഇവർക്കൊന്നും യൂസഫലിയെ അറിയില്ല. പക്ഷെ എന്നെ അധിക്ഷേപിക്കുന്നതിനു മുൻപു ഞാൻ എങ്ങിനെ ഈ നിലയിലെത്തി എന്നവർ അന്വേഷിക്കണം. മരുഭൂമിയിലെ പൊള്ളുന്ന ചൂടിൽ ട്രക്കിൽ സാധനങ്ങൾ കയറ്റിക്കൊടുക്കുന്ന കാലം എനിക്കുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. (യൂസഫലിയുടെ ശബ്ദം പതിവില്ലാതെ ഉയർന്നുയർന്നു വന്നു.കലഹമണെന്നു കരുതി സെക്രട്ടറിമാർ വാതിൽക്കലെത്തി. യൂസഫലി ഇരു കൈത്തലങ്ങളും നിവർത്തിക്കാണിച്ചു പറഞ്ഞു, )

‘ഇത് അധ്വാനിച്ചവന്റെ കൈകളാണ്. പടച്ചവന് എല്ലാമറിയാം. പടച്ചവനു നിരക്കാത്തതൊന്നും ഞാൻ ചെയ്തിട്ടില്ല, ചെയ്യുകയുമില്ല. എന്റെ സമ്പാദ്യത്തിലെ ഒരു ചില്ലിക്കാശുപോലും അനഭിമതമായ വഴിക്കുന്ന വന്നതല്ല. ഒരു തുട്ടിൽപ്പോലും പാപത്തിന്റെ കറയില്ല. ഇതു ദൈവാനുഗ്രഹമായി വന്നതാണ്. അധ്വാനത്തിന്റേയും പ്രാർഥനയുടെയും പ്രതിഫലമാണിത്. ’ ശബ്ദം ഇടറുന്നതിനിടയിൽ ഇരു കൈകളും വിടർത്തി യൂസഫലി ഖുർആനിലെ വരികൾ ഉറക്കെച്ചൊല്ലി. അതിനർഥം ഏകദേശം ഇതായിരുന്നു, പരമകാരുണികനായ ദൈവം സത്യവും ദയയുമുള്ളവന്റെ കൂടെയായിയിരിക്കും ’ യൂസഫലിയുടെ ഇതുവരെ കാണാത്ത ശബ്ദവും രോഷവും വേദനയും കണ്ട സെക്രട്ടറി പതുക്കെ വാതിൽ അടച്ചു പുറത്തുപോയി. ഒരു മിനിറ്റു കണ്ണടച്ചു സ്വയം സമാധാനിപ്പിച്ചെന്നപോലെ യൂസഫലി ചിരിച്ചു. ‘ഞാനിതു പറയുന്നതു റമസാൻ മാസത്തിലാണ്. ഞാൻ ആരുടെ മുതലും മോഷ്ടിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. കള്ളത്തരത്തിലൂടെ ഒന്നും സമ്പാദിച്ചിട്ടുമില്ല. പടച്ചവനു മുന്നിൽ ഞാൻ പറയുന്നു, യൂസഫലി തെറ്റായ വഴിക്കു സമ്പാദിച്ചതുണ്ടെങ്കിൽ അതു നിങ്ങളോളോരുത്തരും കാണിച്ചു തരിക. ഞാനതു തിരിച്ചു തരാം. വേണമെങ്കിൽ അതിലിരട്ടി തിരിച്ചു തരാം. ’

യൂസഫലി നിമിഷങ്ങളോളം മിണ്ടാതിരുന്നു. ഷർട്ടിന്റെ കൈ മുകളിലേക്കു കയറ്റിവച്ചു പിരിമുറുക്കം മാറ്റി.

‘സഹോദരാ ഇതൊക്കെ തുറന്നു പറയാത്തതു പേടികൊണ്ടല്ല. വേദനകൊണ്ടാണ്. മനസാ വാചാ കർമ്മണാ ചെയ്യാത്തതു കേൾക്കുമ്പോൾ ആരുടെയും നെഞ്ചു പൊള്ളിപ്പോകും. ഞാനൊരു സാധാരണ കച്ചവടക്കാരനും ഇടത്തരക്കാരൻ മനുഷ്യനുമാണ്. ഈ മരുഭൂമിയിലെ ചൂട് 52 ഡിഗ്രി കടന്ന കാലത്തു കിടക്കാൻ ഒരു എയർകണ്ടീഷനർ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നെങ്കിൽ |എന്നു മോഹിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. യൂസഫലി പിന്നീടു ഫോബ്സ് കോടീശ്വരന്മാരുടെ പട്ടികയിൽ വന്നിട്ടുണ്ടാകാം. നിങ്ങൾ കാണുന്നത് ആ യൂസഫലിയെയാണ്. പക്ഷെ എന്റെ ഉള്ളിന്റെ ഉള്ളിലുള്ളതു നാട്ടിക എന്ന ഗ്രാമത്തിൽനിന്ന് ഒരു പാടു സ്വപ്നങ്ങളുമായി കപ്പലുകയറിയ യൂസഫലി എന്ന ഇടത്തരക്കാരനാണ്.

∙ സാധനങ്ങൾ ചുമന്നു കയറ്റി എന്നു പറയുന്നതു ശരിക്കും നടന്നതാണോ അതോ വികാരാവേശത്തിൽ പറഞ്ഞു പോയതാണോ

യൂസഫലി വികാരത്തിൽ എന്തെങ്കിലുമൊന്നും പറയാറില്ല. അബുദാബിയിൽ ജനറൽ സ്റ്റോർ നടത്തുന്ന കാലത്തു പലപ്പോഴും പെട്ടികൾ കയറ്റിക്കൊടുക്കാൻ ആളുണ്ടാകില്ല. അത്യാവശ്യമായി ചരക്കും പോകുകയും വേണമായിരിക്കും. അപ്പോൾ ഞങ്ങൾതന്നെ ചരക്കു കയറ്റിക്കൊടുക്കും. എത്രയോ ദിവസം അതു ചെയ്തിട്ടുണ്ട്. അതു പറയുന്നതിൽ ഇന്നും അഭിമാനമുണ്ട്. അന്നും ഇന്നും മനസ്സിലുള്ളതു മുഴുവൻ സമയവും അധ്വാനിക്കാനുള്ള മനസ്സാണ്. അബുദാബിയിൽ വന്നപ്പോഴുള്ള സമ്പാദ്യവും അതായിരുന്നു.

∙ ദുബായിയിലേക്കുള്ള നീണ്ട കപ്പൽ യാത്ര ഒാർമ്മയുണ്ടോ.

43 വർഷം മുൻപായിരുന്നു അത്. ഒൻപതു ദിവസം യാത്ര ചെയ്താണു 1973 ഡിസംബർ 31നു ഞാനിവിടെ എത്തിയത്. കൊച്ചാപ്പ എം.കെ.അബ്ദുള്ളയ്ക്ക് അന്നിവിടെ കച്ചവടമുണ്ട്. അദ്ദേഹമാണ് എന്നെ സ്വീകരിക്കാൻ വന്നത്. അന്നത്തെ ഗൾഫ് ഇന്നു കാണുന്ന പകിട്ടുള്ള ഗൾഫല്ല. ശരിക്കും മരുഭൂമിയായിരുന്നു. വലിയ കെട്ടിടങ്ങൾപോലും അപൂർവ്വം. അത്യാവശ്യ സാധനങ്ങൾ എല്ലാം കിട്ടുന്നൊരു ജനറൽ സ്റ്റോർ എന്നു വിളിക്കുന്ന പലചരക്കു കടയിൽനിന്നാണു ഞങ്ങൾ തുടങ്ങിയത്.

∙ അന്നത്തെ അബുദാബി ……….

കുറച്ചു സമയമേ വൈദ്യുതി ഉണ്ടാകൂ. രണ്ടു നല്ല റോഡുകളെയുള്ളു. എയർകണ്ടീഷനർ വലിയ പണക്കാർക്കു മാത്രമുള്ള ലക്ഷ്വറിയായിരുന്നു. അന്നിവിടെ ഇത്രയും മരങ്ങളില്ല. ചൂട് പലപ്പോഴും 50 ഡിഗ്രി കടക്കും. പക്ഷെ എന്റെ മനസ്സിനു ചൂടില്ലായിരുന്നു. അതു നല്ല തണുത്ത ഭാവി സ്വപ്നംകണ്ട് കിടക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. എന്നെ രക്ഷിച്ചതും ആ സ്വപ്നങ്ങളാണ്. അന്നൊന്നും രണ്ടു വർഷംകൂടുമ്പോൾപോലും നാട്ടിൽപോകാൻ പറ്റില്ല. ടിക്കറ്റെടുക്കാൻ കാശുണ്ടെങ്കിൽപ്പോലും എടുക്കില്ല. ഇവിടത്തെ ജോലി മുടങ്ങുമോ എന്ന പേടിയായിരുന്നു. എവിടെയെങ്കിലും എത്തിയിട്ടു നാട്ടിൽ പോകാമെന്നായിരുന്നു അന്നത്തെ ചിന്ത. (ഇന്നും യൂസഫലിക്കു നാട്ടിൽ പോകാൻ ടിക്കറ്റെടുക്കേണ്ട ആവശ്യമില്ല. കാരണം, സ്വന്തം വിമാനമുണ്ട്. )

∙ കുറച്ചുകാലം അഹമ്മദാബാദിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ലെ

ഞങ്ങളുടെ കുടുംബം നാലു തലമുറകളായി കച്ചവടക്കാരാണ്. കാർഷിക വിളകളും മറ്റു കച്ചവടം ചെയ്തവർ. എന്റെ രക്തവും അതുതന്നെയാണല്ലോ. പിതാവിന്റെ അനുജൻ എം.കെ.അബു അന്ന് അഹമ്മദാബാദിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. ഞങ്ങൾക്കവിടെ ജനറൽ സ്റ്റോറും പ്രസ്റ്റീജ് കുക്കറുകളുടെ ഏജൻസിയും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. അന്നാണ് ആദ്യമായി പ്രഷർകുക്കർ എന്താണെന്നു മനസ്സിലായത്. നാട്ടികയിൽ അന്നും സാധാരണ പാത്രവും വിറകടുപ്പുമാണ്. കുക്കറിന്റെ പിടി, വാൽവ്, വാഷർ തുടങ്ങിയയെക്കുറിച്ചെല്ലാം അന്നു വിശദമായി പഠിച്ചു. എത്ര കാലംകൊണ്ടു ഇവ മാറ്റേണ്ടിവരുമെന്നു മനസ്സിലാക്കി. പണ്ടു മുതലേ ഒന്നിലേക്ക് ഇറങ്ങിയാൽ അതേക്കുറിച്ചു പഠിച്ചുകൊണ്ടേയിരിക്കുക എന്റെ ശീലമാണ്. അഹമ്മദാബാദിൽവച്ചാണു ബിസിനസ് മാനേജുമെന്റു ക്ളാസിൽ ചേർന്നത്.

∙ ബിസിനസ് പഠിച്ചത് അവിടെനിന്നാണല്ലെ.

കച്ചവടം സ്കൂളിൽപോയി പഠിക്കാവുതല്ല. അതൊരു കുട്ടി നടക്കാൻ പഠിക്കുന്നതുപോലെയാണ്. എപ്പോഴാണ് പഠിച്ചതെന്നു പറയാനാകില്ല. ഒാരോ ചുവടുവയ്പ്പും ഒരു പാഠമാണ്. എനിക്ക് എന്നും ചായ തരുന്ന ഈ കുട്ടിയിൽനിന്നുപോലും ഞാൻ എത്രയോ കാര്യങ്ങൾ പഠിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. കണ്ടിട്ടും മനസ്സിലാകാത്തതു ചോദിച്ചു മനസ്സിലാക്കും. അന്നു പോപ്പ്സി എന്ന പുതിയ മുലക്കുപ്പി പുറത്തിറങ്ങി. ഞങ്ങളുടെ കടയുടെ മുന്നിൽ ആ മുലക്കുപ്പിക്കുവേണ്ടി പ്രത്യേത ഡിസ്പ്ളെയൊരുക്കി. അന്നുവരെ കാണാത്തൊരു പരിപാടിയായിരുന്നു അത്. കമ്പനിക്കാർ ഞങ്ങൾക്കു പ്രത്യേക സമ്മാനം നൽകി. പുതിയതായി എന്തെങ്കിലും ചെയ്യണമെന്ന മോഹം അന്നും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു.

∙ പണ്ടു കച്ചവടം ചെയ്ത സ്ഥലത്തു പിന്നീടു പോയിട്ടുണ്ടോ.

കഴിഞ്ഞ തവണ പ്രവാസി ഭാരതീയ സമ്മാൻ വാങ്ങാനായി അഹമ്മദാബാദിൽ പോയപ്പോൾ ഞാൻ പഴയ തെരുവിലൂടെ നടക്കുകയും കീ ട്രേഡേഴ്സ് എന്ന കട കാണുകയും ചെയ്തു. കച്ചവടമാകെ മാറിയിരിക്കുന്നു. എന്നാലും 46 വർഷം മുൻപുള്ള നിലം അതേ പോലെ നിലനിർത്തിയിരുന്നു. ഞാൻ കടയിൽ കയറി ഇനിയും നിറം മങ്ങാത്ത ആ നിലത്തു കുറച്ചുനേരം നിന്നു. യൂസഫലി ആദ്യമായി വലിയ സ്വപ്നം കണ്ടതു ഈ നിലത്തു ചവിട്ടിനിന്നായിരുന്നു. ആ കട കണ്ടപ്പോൾ എനിക്കു യൗവ്വനം തിരിച്ചു കിട്ടിയതുപോലെ തോന്നി.

∙ അക്കാലത്തു താമസിച്ചിരുന്നത് എവിടെയാണ്.

പാഞ്ച്ക്വ എന്ന സ്ഥലത്തെ ചെറിയൊരു മുറിയിലായിരുന്നു താമസിച്ചിരുന്നത്. എത്രയോ രാത്രികളിൽ ഞാൻ മാനം നോക്കി കിടന്നിട്ടുണ്ടെന്നോ. മനസ്സിൽ ആഗ്രഹങ്ങൾ കുത്തി നിറച്ച കാലമായിരുന്നു അത്. എവിടെയെങ്കിലും എത്തണമെന്ന മോഹം മനസ്സിൽ കിടന്നു തിളയ്ക്കുകയായിരുന്നു.

∙ ഗൾഫിലേക്കുള്ള ആദ്യ യാത്രയിൽ ഒൻപതു രാത്രികൾ കടലിൽ ചിലവഴിച്ചതു ഒാർമ്മയുണ്ടോ.

ഞാൻ ഉറങ്ങിയില്ല എന്നതാണു സത്യം. വാരികകളുടെ രണ്ടുകെട്ട് ഞാൻകൂടെ കൊണ്ടുപോയിരുന്നു.അവ വീണ്ടും വീണ്ടും വായിച്ചു. ബോബനും മോളിയും വായിച്ചാണു ടെൻഷൻ കുറച്ചത്. രാത്രി ഉറങ്ങാതെ ആലോചിച്ചുകൊണ്ടു കിടക്കും. പുതിയ രാജ്യം, പുതിയ ഭാഷ, പുതിയ കച്ചവടം അങ്ങിനെ മനസ്സിൽ പല പേടികളുമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.

M. A. Yousuf Ali

എം.എ.യൂസഫലി

∙ അബുദാബിയിൽ എത്തിയ ശേഷമോ

നല്ല വെള്ളവും സൗകര്യങ്ങളുമില്ല. കുറച്ചു നേരം മാത്രമെ വൈദ്യുതി കിട്ടൂ. ചൂടു മൂലം പകൽ അധികമാരും പുറത്തിറങ്ങില്ല. കാര്യമായ വ്യവസായങ്ങളുമില്ല. എന്നാലും ഞങ്ങൾ മോശമില്ലാതെ കച്ചവടം ചെയ്തു. പല സാധനങ്ങൾ ഞങ്ങൾ പലരിൽനിന്നു ശേഖരിച്ചു വിൽക്കുന്നുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. എന്തുകൊണ്ട് ഇവ നേരിട്ട് ഇറക്കുമതി ചെയ്തു വിറ്റുകൂടാ എന്നു തോന്നിയ നിമിഷമാണു ലുലുവിന്റെ ജനനം എന്നു പറയാം. അങ്ങിനെ ചിന്തിച്ചില്ലായിരുന്നുവെങ്കിൽ ഒരു സാധാരണ കച്ചവടമായി ഞങ്ങളുടെ കച്ചവടവും മാറിപ്പോയെനെ. ഇറക്കുമതി ചെയ്യുന്ന സാധനങ്ങളുടെ വഴി അന്വേഷിച്ചു പോയതോടെ പുതിയ ലോകം തുറന്നു തുടങ്ങി. അവരും ഞങ്ങളും നേരിട്ടായി കച്ചവടം. പിന്നീടു ഞങ്ങൾ ചെറുകിട കച്ചവടത്തോടൊപ്പം ഇറക്കുമതിക്കാരുമായി വളർന്നു. അങ്ങിനെയാണു ലുലു ചെറിയ കടകളും പിന്നീടു വലിയ കടകളും സൂപ്പർമാർക്കറ്റുകളും ഹൈപ്പർമാർക്കറ്റുകളും മാളുകളും തുടങ്ങിയത്.

∙ അന്നത്തെ ജീവിതം ……

ബ്രദർ, അന്നൊന്നും ജീവിതത്തിൽ ഇത്രയല്ലെ കിട്ടിയുള്ളു എന്നു പറഞ്ഞു സങ്കടപ്പെട്ടിരിക്കാൻ സമയമില്ല. രാത്രി വൈകുംവരെ ജോലി ചെയ്താലെ മുന്നോട്ടു പോകാനാകുമായിരുന്നുള്ളു. രാത്രി വൈകി വന്ന ശേഷം ചൂടുകൊണ്ടു ഉറങ്ങാൻ പറ്റാത്ത രാത്രികളുണ്ട്. പലപ്പോഴും രാത്രി ദേഹത്തും ടെറസിലും വെള്ളമൊഴിച്ചു ആ നനവിൽ കിടന്നുറങ്ങിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. എയർകണ്ടീഷനൊന്നും അന്നു സ്വപ്നം കാണാൻ പോലുമാകില്ല. അതും സ്വപ്നം കണ്ടു കിടന്നിരുന്നെങ്കിൽ ഇവിടെ എത്തുമാകുമായിരുന്നില്ല. നാളെ എന്ത് , നാളെ എന്ത് എന്നാണ് അന്നും ചോദിച്ചിരുന്നത്. ഇന്നും ഒാരോ രാത്രിയും ചോദിക്കുന്നത് അതാണ്.

∙ ഇപ്പോഴും രാത്രി ഉറക്കം കുറവാണോ?

ഞാൻ അഞ്ചു മണിക്കൂറെ ഉറങ്ങൂ. എന്നും മുടങ്ങാതെ യോഗ ചെയ്യും. അഞ്ചുനേരവും നമസ്ക്കരിക്കും. എന്നും എന്റെ ഉമ്മയേയും ബാപ്പയേയും കാരണവന്മാരെയും ഒാർക്കും. കഷ്ടപ്പെടുന്നവർക്കായി പ്രാർഥിക്കും.

∙ യൂസഫലിയൊരു അമ്മക്കുട്ടിയായിരുന്നോ ?

ഉമ്മയാണോ ബാപ്പയാണോ കൂടുതൽ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ടതെന്നു ആർക്കെങ്കിലും പറയാനാകുമോ. ബാപ്പ കച്ചവടത്തിന്റെ തത്രപ്പാടിലായിരുന്നു. വളർത്തിയത് ഉമ്മയും വല്യൂപ്പയുമാണെന്നു പറയാം. കാരുണ്യം, ദയ, നന്മ, സ്നേഹം നല്ല ജീവിതം ഇതെല്ലാം പറഞ്ഞുതന്നത് ഉമ്മയാണ്. ഇല്ല എന്ന് ഉമ്മ ആരോടും പറയില്ല. വിശക്കുന്നവനു മുന്നിൽ ഉമ്മ ഒരിക്കൽപ്പോലും വാതിലടച്ചിട്ടില്ല. അന്ന് എന്റെ ഗ്രാമമായ നാട്ടികയിൽ നല്ല പട്ടിണിയുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. മിക്കവരും പാവപ്പെട്ട മത്സ്യത്തൊഴിലാളികൾ. അഭിമാനത്തിന്റെ പേരിൽ വിശപ്പു മറച്ചുവയ്ക്കാനൊന്നും അറിയാത്തവർ. വിശക്കുന്നുവെങ്കിൽ വിശക്കുന്നു എന്നവർ ആരോടും പറയും.

∙ സുഹൃത്തുക്കളായ കുട്ടികൾ ഭക്ഷണം കഴിക്കാൻ താങ്കളുടെ വീട്ടിൽ എത്തുമായിരുന്നുവെന്നു നാട്ടികയിലെ സഹപാഠികൾ പറഞ്ഞിരുന്നു. …..

അതെ, വിശക്കുന്ന എല്ലാവരോടും വീട്ടിലേക്കു വരാൻ ഉമ്മ പറയുമായിരുന്നു. ജാതിയോ, മതമോ ഒന്നും നോക്കിയല്ല ഇതു ചെയ്തത്. എന്റെ അനുജൻ അഷറഫലിയോടൊപ്പം പഠിക്കുന്ന കാലത്തു ടി.എൻ.പ്രതാപൻ എംഎൽഎ ഞങ്ങളുടെ വീട്ടിൽ വന്നു ഭക്ഷണം കഴിക്കുമായിരുന്നു. മത്സ്യത്തൊഴിലാളിയായ പ്രതാപന്റെ വീട്ടിൽ പലപ്പോഴും ഭക്ഷണം വേണ്ടത്ര ഉണ്ടാകുമായിരുന്നില്ല. ഇതു പ്രതാപൻതന്നെ പറഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഉള്ളതിൽനിന്ന് ഉമ്മ ആർക്കും കൊടുക്കും.

ഉമ്മ മരിച്ചു രണ്ടോ മൂന്നോ ദിവസം കഴിഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ ഒരു സ്ത്രീ വീട്ടിൽവന്നു. അവർ എന്നെ കാണണെന്നു നിർബന്ധം പിടിച്ചു.അവർ വള പണയം വച്ച റസീറ്റ് എന്നെ ഏൽപ്പിക്കാൻ നിർബന്ധം പിടിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. അവരുടെ റസീറ്റിലെ പണം കൊടുക്കാൻ സെക്രട്ടറിയോടു പറഞ്ഞു. പക്ഷെ ആ വയസ്സായ സ്ത്രീ എന്നെ കാണാതെ പോകില്ലെന്നു വാശിപിടിച്ചു. അവർ പറഞ്ഞു, ഇതു മോന്റെ ഉമ്മയുടെ വള പണയം വച്ച റസീറ്റാണ്. എന്റെ മകളുടെ കല്യാണത്തിനു പണമില്ലാതെ വന്നപ്പോൾ സഹായം ചോദിച്ചു ഉമ്മയുടെ അടുത്തു വന്നിരുന്നു. കയ്യിൽ പണമില്ലാതിരുന്നതിനാൽ ഉമ്മ വള ഊരിക്കൊടുത്തു. മോൻ യൂസഫലി വന്നാൽ പണയം എടുക്കാനുള്ള പണം വാങ്ങിത്തരാമെന്നു പറഞ്ഞിരുന്നു. ആ വയസ്സായ സ്ത്രീ പണത്തിനു വന്നതായിരുന്നില്ല. വള തിരിച്ചെടുത്തു ഉമ്മയ്ക്കു കൊടുക്കാനാകാത്ത സങ്കടം സഹിക്കാനാകാതെ വന്നതായിരുന്നു.

അന്നു ഞാൻ പല തവണ ഉമ്മയെ ഒാർത്തു കരഞ്ഞു. എത്രയോ കാലമായി കയ്യിൽ കിടക്കുന്ന പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട വളപോലും ഉമ്മ ഊരിക്കൊടുത്തു. ആഭരണത്തെക്കാൾ തിളക്കം നന്മയ്ക്കുണ്ടെന്നു ഉമ്മയ്ക്ക് അറിയാമായിരുന്നു. പടച്ചോനുമായി കൂടുതൽ കൂടുതൽ അടുപ്പിക്കുന്നത് ഇത്തരം പ്രവർത്തികളാണ്. ഉമ്മ കാണിച്ചതന്ന വഴിയിലാണു ഞാനെന്നും നടന്നിട്ടുള്ളത്. എന്റെ വല്യുപ്പ കാഞ്ചി കുഞ്ഞഹമ്മദാജിയും വല്യുമ്മ കുഞ്ഞുബീവിയുമാണു ഉമ്മയെ കാരുണ്യത്തിന്റെ പാഠം പഠിപ്പിച്ചത്.

∙ ഉമ്മയെ ഒാർത്തല്ലാതെ യൂസഫലി കരയാറുണ്ടോ .

പലരും കഷ്ടപ്പാടുകൾ വിവരിച്ചു എഴുതിയ കത്തുകൾ കാണുമ്പോൾ കരച്ചിൽവരും. രോഗം പിടിപെട്ടവരുടെ ദുരന്തമാ എന്നെ ഏറ്റവും വേദനിപ്പിക്കാറ്. പത്രത്തിൽ ഇത്തരം വാർത്തകൾ വായിക്കുമ്പോഴും ഞാൻ കരയാറുണ്ട്. അവരുടെ വേദനയിൽ എനിക്കു ചെയ്യാവുന്നതു ചെയ്യാറുണ്ട്. എനിക്കുതന്ന സൗഭാഗ്യങ്ങളിലെ പടച്ചോന്റെ കൃപയോർത്തും കരയാറുണ്ട്.

∙ പണം കൊണ്ട് ഒന്നുമാകില്ലെന്നു താങ്കൾ പലപ്പോഴും പ്രസംഗങ്ങളിൽ പറയാറുണ്ട്. പണമുണ്ടെങ്കിൽ മിക്കകാര്യവും നടക്കില്ലെ.

എന്റെ ഉമ്മ അബുദാബിയിൽനിന്നു ദുബായിയിലേക്കുള്ള യാത്രക്കിടയിലാണു വാഹനാപകടത്തിൽ മരിച്ചത്. ഇതേ അപകടത്തിൽ പരുക്കേറ്റു മൂന്നുമാസം വളരെ സൗകര്യങ്ങളുള്ള ഖലീഫ ആശുപത്രിയിൽക്കിടന്നു ബാപ്പയും മരിച്ചു. എന്റെ എല്ലാ സ്വത്തും എഴുതിക്കൊടുത്തും ബാപ്പയെ രക്ഷിക്കാൻ ഞാൻ തയ്യാറായിരുന്നു. പക്ഷെ ഈ സമ്പാദ്യമെല്ലാം സാക്ഷിയായി നിൽക്കെ ബാപ്പ യാത്രയായി. പണത്തിന് എന്തും ചെയ്യാമായിരുന്നുവെങ്കിൽ ബാപ്പയെ രക്ഷിക്കുമായിരുന്നില്ലെ. എന്റെ ബാപ്പയെ തിരിച്ചുതന്നിരുന്നുവെങ്കിൽ അവിടെനിന്നു വെറും കയ്യുമായി മടങ്ങാൻ പോലും യൂസഫലി തയ്യാറായിരുന്നു. എന്റെ വിധിക്കുമുന്നിൽ എന്റെ എല്ലാ സ്വത്തും തലതാഴ്ത്തി നിന്നില്ലെ. പണത്തിനു പരിമിതികളുണ്ട്. അത്യാഹിത വിഭാഗത്തിൽ കിടക്കുന്ന ബാപ്പയുടെ വിവരവും കാത്തു ആശുപത്രിയിൽ നിൽക്കുന്ന ഒാരോ നിമിഷവും യൂസഫലിക്കു നിങ്ങൾ ഉണ്ടെന്നു പറയുന്ന പ്രൗഡ പ്രതാപങ്ങൾ ഒന്നുമില്ലായിരുന്നു. നിസ്സഹായനായ ഒരു മനുഷ്യൻ. അവിടെ പണത്തിനു എന്തു സ്ഥാനം.

∙ വല്യുപ്പയാണോ യുസഫലിയുടെ റോൾ മോഡൽ

അല്ല. പ്രവാചകനാണ് എന്റെ റോൾ മോഡൽ. ഒാരോ മനുഷ്യനും എന്തു ചെയ്യണമെന്നു പ്രവാചകൻ പറഞ്ഞുതന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. വീട്ടിൽ, നാട്ടിൽ അങ്ങിനെ ഒാരോ സ്ഥലത്തും ഉണ്ടാകേണ്ട ജീവിതരീതിയെക്കുറിച്ചുവരെ പറഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്. കച്ചവടം ചെയ്യേണ്ടത് എങ്ങിനെയെന്നു പറഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്. സത്യം സത്യമായതു മാത്രം ചെയ്യാനുള്ള മാർഗ്ഗരേഖയാണു പ്രവാചക വചനങ്ങൾ.

∙ കുട്ടിക്കാലത്തു വളർത്തിയതിൽ വല്യുപ്പയ്ക്കു വലിയ പങ്കില്ലെ.

വല്യുപ്പ മടിയിലിരുത്തി പറഞ്ഞുതന്നെ കാര്യങ്ങളാണു എന്നെ ഇവിടെ എത്തിച്ച ഘടകങ്ങളിലൊന്ന്. എത്ര വലുതായാലും മറ്റുള്ളവർ ചെറുതാണെന്നു നീ കരുതത്. ആരെയെങ്കിലും ചെറുതായി കണ്ടാൽ നിന്റെ തകർച്ചയുടെ തുടക്കമാണെന്നു നീ അറിയുകയെന്നു വല്യുപ്പ എന്നോടു പറഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഇന്നും ഒരാളെയും ഞാൻ ചെറുതായി കാണാറില്ല.

∙ഫോബ്സ് മാഗസിന്റെ കണക്കുപ്രകാരം ലോകത്തിലെ 737 ാമത്തെ കോടീശ്വരൻ, ഇന്ത്യയിലെ നാൽപ്പതാമത്തെ കോടീശ്വരൻ.15,000 കോടി രൂപയുടെ വ്യക്തിഗത സ്വത്ത്, ലുലുവിന്റെ വിറ്റുവരവ് വാർഷിക മാത്രം 36,000 കോടി രൂപ. ഒന്നുമില്ലായ്മയിൽനിന്ന് ഇതെല്ലാമായ എം.എ.യൂസഫലി എന്ന സാധാരണക്കാരനു അഹങ്കരിക്കാൻ തോന്നിയിട്ടില്ലെ.

ഒരിക്കലും ഞാൻ അഹങ്കരിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. കാരണം, ഇതു യുസഫലിയുടെ മാത്രം അധ്വാനംകൊണ്ടും കഴിവുകൊണ്ടും ഉണ്ടായതല്ലല്ലോ. ഞാൻ ഒരോ കൊല്ലവും നോമ്പുതുറക്കുന്നതു അറബ് രാജ്യങ്ങളിലെ ഭരണാധികാരികളോടും രാജകുടുംബാംഗങ്ങളോടുമൊപ്പമാണ്. അവരുടെ മുന്നിൽ ഞാൻ എത്രയോ നിസ്സാരനല്ലെ. അവരെ കാണുന്നതോടെ നമ്മുടെ മനസ്സിലെ അഹങ്കാരം തനിയെ ഇല്ലാതാകില്ലെ. വലിയവരെ നോക്കണം, കാണണം, എന്നാൽ മനസ്സിലാകും നാം ആരാണെന്ന്. കണ്ണാടിയിൽ മാത്രം നോക്കി ജീവിക്കരുത്.

M. A. Yousuf Ali

എം.എ.യൂസഫലി

( യൂസഫലിയുടെ ഒാഫീസ് മുറിയൊരു വിശാലമായ ലോകമാണ്. തൂവെള്ള കസേരകൾ, വിലകൂടിയ ലതർ സോഫകൾ, വിവിധയിടങ്ങളിൽനിന്നു സമ്മാനമായി കിട്ടിയ പ്രൗഢഗംഭീരമായ വസ്തുക്കൾ. രാജ, ഭരണാധികാരികളുടെ വാത്സല്യം നിറഞ്ഞ ചിത്രങ്ങൾ. തേക്കിൽ തീർത്ത തിളങ്ങുന്ന മേശകൾ. അതി മനോഹരമായ വെളിച്ച സംവിധാനം. വാതിൽ തുറക്കുമ്പോൾ അകത്തുനിന്നു പലപ്പോഴും യൂസഫലിയുടെ പൊട്ടിച്ചിരി കേൾക്കാം. ചിലപ്പോഴെങ്കിലും ഒരു ഗ്രാമീണ കൂട്ടായ്മയുടെ ഛായ.)

∙ പലപ്പോഴായി പണം വാങ്ങുകയും താങ്കളുടെ പദ്ധതികളെ എതിർക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന രാഷ്ട്രീയ നേതാക്കളോടു ദേഷ്യം തോന്നാറില്ലെ.

എന്തിനു ദേഷ്യപ്പെടണം. അവർ രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാരാണ്. അവരോടു ദേഷ്യപ്പെട്ടു രാഷ്ട്രീയം കളിക്കണമെങ്കിൽ അതിലും വലിയ രാഷ്ട്രീയം യൂസഫലിക്ക് അറിയണം. എനിക്കു കച്ചവടമല്ലാതെ ഒന്നുമറിയില്ല. അറിയാത്ത കളിക്കുപോയി തോൽക്കുന്നത് എന്തിനാണ്. കാര്യം നടത്താനായി ഒരാൾക്കുപോലും ഞാൻ പണം കൊടുക്കാറുമില്ല.

∙ ഭൂമി നികത്തുന്നതിനെ എതിർക്കുന്ന വി.എസ്.അച്യുതാനന്ദനാണ് തൃശൂരിൽ ഭൂമി നികത്തി നിർമ്മിച്ച ലുലു കൺവൻഷൻ സെന്റർ ഉദ്ഘാടനം ചെയ്തത്. അന്നദ്ദേഹം പറഞ്ഞതു ചേറിൽനിന്നു വിരിഞ്ഞ ചെന്താരമയാണു ലുലു എന്നാണ്. വിഎസ്സിനെപ്പോലുള്ള പിടിവാശിക്കാരനെപ്പോലും കൂടെ നിർത്തി മനസ്സിൽ താരമ വിരിയിച്ചു കൊടുക്കുന്ന മാജിക്ക് എന്താണ്.

വി.എസ്.പിടിവാശിക്കാരനായി എനിക്കുതോന്നിയിട്ടില്ല. ഞാൻ അദ്ദേഹവുമായുള്ള ബന്ധം ഉപയോഗിച്ച് അവിഹിതമായി ഒന്നും ചോദിച്ചിട്ടില്ല, നേടിയിട്ടുമില്ല. അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ രാഷട്രീയ പ്രവർത്തനത്തിന് എന്റെ ആവശ്യമോ സഹായമോ വേണ്ടതാനും. നിയമപരമായി മാത്രമെ ഞാൻ കാര്യങ്ങൾ ചെയ്തിട്ടുള്ളുവെന്നു അദ്ദേഹത്തനറിയാം. ഞാനതു തെളിയിക്കാനും തയ്യാറാണ്. ഭൂമി ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്താനുള്ള നിയമം കേരളത്തിലുണ്ട്. അതു പാലിച്ചു ഭൂമി കാർഷികേതര ആവശ്യങ്ങൾക്കു വിനിയോഗിക്കാം. പുറത്തുനിന്നു പലരും പലതും പറയും. അവർക്കു ചോദിക്കാനുള്ളതു ചോദിക്കട്ടെ. യൂസഫലി മറുപടി പറയാം. പക്ഷെ എല്ലാവരോടും മറുപടി പറഞ്ഞു സയമം കളയാൻ യൂസഫലിയില്ല. വി.എസ്.അച്യുതാനന്ദൻ നേരെ വാ, നേരെ പോ എന്ന രീതിയിൽ പെരുമാറുന്ന മനുഷ്യനാണ്. ശരിയായ വഴിയിൽ കാര്യങ്ങൾ ചെയ്തതുകൊണ്ടാണ് എനിക്കു വി.എസ്.അച്യുതാനന്ദനെപ്പോലുളള്ള ഒരാളുടെ മുന്നിൽ ആരുടെയും ശുപാർശയില്ലാതെ ചെന്നു നിൽക്കാനാകുന്നത്. ഈ നേതാക്കളൊന്നും പണം കാണിച്ചു വീഴ്ത്താവുന്നവരാണെന്നു ഞാൻ കരുതുന്നില്ല. അതിന്റെ രീതിയുമല്ല. അവരെല്ലാം നല്ല ബുദ്ധിമാന്മാരും ദിശാബോധമുള്ളവരുമാണ്. അവർക്കു പറയാനുള്ളതു പറയും, അതിൽ എന്റെ തെറ്റുകൾ ഉണ്ടെങ്കിൽ തിരുത്തും. യൂസഫലിക്കു പറയാനുള്ളതു യൂസഫലിയും പറയും. ഇവരെ കൂടെ നിർത്താനായി ഞാൻ ഒന്നും ചെയ്യാറില്ല. ശരിയായ രീതിയിൽ ചെയ്താൽ ആർക്കും നമ്മളോടു എതിർപ്പുണ്ടാകില്ല.

∙ പാർട്ടിക്കകത്തുപോലും വി.എസ്സും പിണറായി വിജയനുമായി ഒരുപോലെ അടുപ്പമുള്ളവർ ഇല്ല. താങ്കൾ പിണറായിയുമായും നല്ല അടുപ്പത്തിലാണല്ലേ.

ഇനി അതിൽപ്പിടിച്ചു കുഴപ്പമുണ്ടാക്കരുത്. പിണറായി വിജയൻ കേരളത്തിന്റെ വികസനത്തെക്കുറിച്ചു നല്ല കാഴ്ചപ്പാടുള്ള ആളാണ്. കേരളത്തിന്റെ വികസനം പലതുംകൊണ്ടും മെല്ലെപ്പോകുന്നതിൽ പിണറായി വിജയൻ അതീവ ദു:ഖിതനാണെന്ന് എനിക്കിറിയാം. അത്തരമൊരു ആകാംഷ ഈ നാടിനെക്കുറിച്ചു ചിന്തിക്കുന്ന ഒരാളുടെ മനസ്സിലെ ഉണ്ടാകൂ. ( നേതാക്കളെയും രാഷ്ട്രീയത്തെയുംകുറിച്ചു യൂസഫലി വളരെ സരസമായി സംസാരിച്ചു. പല നേരമ്പോക്കുകളും പങ്കുവച്ചു. അതിനു മുൻപു സംസാരം റെക്കോർഡ് ചെയ്യുന്ന ഫോൺ ഒാഫാണെന്നു വളരെ സൗമ്യതോടെ ഉറപ്പാക്കി. )

കാറിലിരിക്കവെ യൂസഫലി അബുദാബിയിലെ വലിയ കെട്ടിടങ്ങൾ ഏതാണെന്നു പരിചയപ്പെടുത്തി. അബുദാബിയുടെ ഷോപ്പിങ് ചരിത്രത്തിൽ പുതിയ ചരിത്രമെഴുതിയ ലുലു മുഷ്റിഫ് മാളിനു മുന്നിലൂടെ കാർ കടന്നുപോകുമ്പോൾ അവിടെ കാറുകളുടെ തിരക്കുണ്ടെന്നു സ്വയം ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തി. നൂറുകണക്കിനു കാറുകൾ അകത്തേക്കു കടക്കാനായി കാത്തു നിൽക്കുന്നു. നാൽപതു വർഷം മുൻപു ഈ മരുഭൂമിയിലൂടെ സ്വയം വാഹനമോടിച്ചു പലചരക്കു സാധാനങ്ങൾ കടയിലെത്തിച്ചിരുന്നത് ഈ മനുഷ്യനാണെന്നു വിശ്വസിക്കാൻ പ്രയാസം തോന്നും. കാർ വീടിനോടടുക്കുകയാണ്.

∙ കൊച്ചിയിലെ ദ്വീപായ ബോൾഗാട്ടി പാലസ് യൂസഫലിക്കുവേണ്ടി കേന്ദ്ര സർക്കാർ നികത്തുകയായിരുന്നുവെന്നു പറയുന്നുണ്ടല്ലോ.

നിങ്ങളും കേട്ടതു പറയുകയാണ്. ബോൾഗാട്ടി പാലസ് പാട്ടത്തിനു കൊടുക്കാൻ തീരുമാനിക്കുന്നത് എട്ടു വർഷം മുൻപാണ്. അന്നു ഞങ്ങൾക്കു കൊച്ചിയിൽ പ്രോജക്റ്റുമായി വരുന്ന കാര്യം ആലോചിച്ചിട്ടേ ഇല്ല. എട്ടുവർഷത്തിനു ശേഷം പരസ്യമായി ലേലത്തിനുവച്ച ഭൂമിയാണത്. അവിടെ എന്തു ചെയ്യണമെന്നുപോലും പരസ്യ നിബന്ധനയിലുണ്ട്. ലേലത്തിൽ പങ്കെടുക്കുകയും ലുലു അതിൽ വിജയിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു. ആ ഭൂമി വിറ്റ് എനിക്കു പണവുമായി നാട്ടികയിലേക്കു പോകാനാകില്ല. സർക്കാരിന്റെ ഉടമസ്ഥതയിലുള്ള ഭൂമിയാണത്. മത്സരിച്ചു ലേലത്തിൽ പിടിച്ചതാണോ യൂസഫലി ചെയ്ത തെറ്റ്. ഭൂമി ലേലം ചെയ്തു കൊടുക്കരുതെന്ന് ആരും പറഞ്ഞില്ലല്ലോ. നിയമ പ്രകാരം ഞങ്ങൾ ആ ഭൂമിയെടുത്തു രാജ്യത്തെ ഏറ്റവും മനോഹരമായ കൺവൻഷൻ സെന്റർ നിർമ്മിക്കുകയാണ്.

∙ ഇത്രയെറെ പ്രശ്നമുണ്ടായ സ്ഥിതിക്കു ഇനിയും കേരളത്തിൽ നിക്ഷേപിക്കുമോ.

ഇടപ്പള്ളി ലുലു സെന്ററിൽ ഞങ്ങൾ നിക്ഷേപിച്ചതു 1600 കോടി രൂപയാണ്. ബോൾഗാട്ടി കൺവൻഷൻ സെന്റർ 60 വർഷം നടത്തിയാൽപ്പോലും ലാഭത്തിലാകില്ലെന്നു മനസ്സിലാക്കാൻ കഴിയുള്ളവരാണു ഞങ്ങൾ. ലുലു സെന്റർ നഷ്ടമാകുമെന്നു പലരും സൂചിപ്പിച്ചിരുന്നു. പക്ഷെ അതു ജനങ്ങൾ ഏറ്റെടുത്തു ആഘോഷമാക്കി. ടൂറിസം രംഗത്തുപോലും പ്രതിഫലനം കണ്ടു. ബോൾഗാട്ടിയിലെ ലുലു വരുന്നതോടെ സിംഗപ്പൂരിലും മറ്റും നടക്കുന്ന രാജ്യാന്തര കൺവൻഷനുകൾ ഞങ്ങൾ കൊച്ചിയിലേക്കു കൊണ്ടുവരും. ഹോട്ടലുകാർക്കും പച്ചക്കറി ഉൽപ്പാദിപ്പിക്കുന്ന ചെറിയ കർഷകർക്കും ടാക്സി ഡ്രൈവർമാർക്കുംവരെ ഇതിന്റെയെല്ലാം നേട്ടം കിട്ടും. ലുലുവിന്റെ കാക്കനാട് ടെക്നോപാർക്കിൽ 11,000 പേർക്കാണു ജോലി സാധ്യത. തൃശൂരിലെ പഞ്ചനക്ഷത്ര ഹോട്ടലിന്റെ പണി തുടങ്ങിക്കഴിഞ്ഞു. കേരളത്തിലെ നിക്ഷേപം ലാഭത്തിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിൽ മാത്രമല്ല. ഇവിടെ നിക്ഷേപിക്കുന്നതിൽ ഞങ്ങൾ അഭിമാനിക്കുന്നു. ലോകത്തോട് ഇതിലൂടെ ഞങ്ങൾ പറയുന്നു, ഇന്ത്യയും കേരളവും നിക്ഷേപ സൗഹൃദ പ്രദേശമാണെന്ന്. ഇത് ഈ രാജ്യത്തോടുള്ള ഞങ്ങളുടെ കടപ്പാടുകൂടിയാണത്. ഏതെങ്കിലും നാലുപേർ ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയാലോ, ചീത്ത വിളിച്ചാലോ യൂസഫലി വിരണ്ടുപോകില്ല. നിങ്ങൾ പറയുന്ന കുത്തകകളിൽപ്പെട്ട ആളല്ല ഞാൻ. അധ്വാനിച്ചു വളർന്നൊരു സാധാരണക്കാരനാണ്.

(കാറിന്റെ സീറ്റിൽ യൂസഫലി ശക്തമായി തട്ടി. വാക്കുകളിലെ മൂർച്ച പ്രകടമാണ്. മരുഭൂമിയിൽ യുദ്ധം ജയിച്ചൊരു പോരാളിയുടെ ശബ്ദവും ശക്തിയുമാണിത്. കൊടി കണ്ടാൽ വിരണ്ടുപോകുന്നൊരു ശരാശരി ഗൾഫുകാരന്റെ ശബ്ദമല്ല. അദ്ദേഹം കേരളത്തിലെ നിക്ഷേപങ്ങളുടെ കണക്കുകൾ വിവരിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് ഉറക്കെ സംസാരിച്ചു. )

∙കേരളം എം.എ.യൂസഫലിയെ മനസ്സിലാക്കിയില്ലെന്നു തോന്നുന്നുണ്ടോ.

എനിക്ക് അർഹിക്കുന്നതിലും കൂടുതൽ ആദരവ് ഇവിടത്തെ ഇടതു, വലതു സർക്കാരുകൾ തന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. എന്റെ കേരളീയർ എന്നെ അതിരുവിട്ടു സ്നേഹിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. മലയാളികളായ 25,000 പേർക്കു നേരിട്ടു ജോലി നൽകാനായതിൽ എനിക്കു സന്തോഷമുണ്ട്. ഒരു പ്യൂണിനുപോലും ജോലി കൊടുക്കാൻ പറ്റാത്തവരാണ് എനിക്കു നേരെ വിരൽ ചൂണ്ടുന്നത്. യൂസഫലിയുടെ ജോലി യൂസഫലി പരമാവധി ചെയ്യാൻ നോക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. തെറ്റുകൾ പറ്റിയാൽ ഏറ്റുപറഞ്ഞു തിരുത്താറുണ്ട്. യൂസഫലിയെ തോൽപ്പിക്കണമെങ്കിൽ നിങ്ങൾ സ്നേഹിച്ചു തോൽപ്പിക്കണം. അതിനു മുന്നിൽ ഞാനെന്നും കീഴടങ്ങിക്കൊടുത്തിട്ടുണ്ട്. എന്റെ നേരെ വിരൽ ചൂണ്ടിയവരോടു പോലും എനിക്കു പരാതിയില്ല. ഒരു ദിവസം അവർ യൂസഫലിയെ തിരിച്ചറിയും.

( നിക്ഷേപത്തേക്കുറിച്ചു പറയുമ്പോൾ അദ്ദേഹത്തിനുള്ളിലെ കച്ചവടക്കാരനാണു സംസാരിക്കുന്നത്. അതിന്റെ തന്റേടവും പ്രകടമാണ്. എന്നാൽ യൂസഫലിയെന്ന വീട്ടുകാരന്റെ സ്വരം ഇതല്ല).

∙ പിതാവും മാതാവും അപകടത്തിൽ മരിച്ചതിന്റെ ഷോക്കിൽനിന്നു കരകയറി ബിസിനസ്സിന്റെ തിരക്കലേക്കു വൈകാതെ തിരിച്ചെത്തിയത് എങ്ങിനെയാണ്.

പ്രാർഥന. പടച്ചോനിൽ അടിയുറച്ച വിശ്വാസം. ചുറ്റും നിൽക്കുന്നവരുടെ സ്നേഹം.

∙ മരിക്കുന്ന ദിവസം യാത്ര പറഞ്ഞത് ഒാർമ്മയുണ്ടോ .

അന്നു ഞാൻ ലണ്ടനിലേക്കു പോകുകായിരുന്നു.കെട്ടിപ്പിടിച്ചപ്പോൾ ഉമ്മ പറഞ്ഞു, നീ വല്ലാതെ അലയരുത്. നിന്റെ തടി നോക്കേണ്ട സമയമായി എന്ന്. ബാപ്പ ചോദിച്ചു, എന്തിനാണു നീ ഇങ്ങനെ അധ്വാനിക്കുന്നതെന്ന്. ഞാൻ ചോദിച്ചു, അഹമ്മദാബാദിലും നാട്ടികയിലും ബാപ്പ അധ്വാനിച്ചതുവച്ചു നോക്കുമ്പോൾ ഇതു വല്ലതുമാണോ എന്ന്. ബാപ്പ എന്റെ തോളിൽ തട്ടി ചിരിച്ചു. കാറിൽ കയറുന്നതിനു മുൻപു ഉമ്മ ഒരിക്കലൂടെ എന്നെ ഉമ്മവച്ചു. അതു പതിവില്ലാത്തതായിരുന്നു.

∙ താങ്കളുടെ പേരക്കുട്ടികൾക്കു വല്യുപ്പയുടെയും വല്യുമ്മയുടെയും സ്നേഹം പൂർണ്ണമായി കിട്ടിയില്ല. അതു നികത്താൻ താങ്കൾക്കു കഴിയുന്നുണ്ടോ.

ഞാനെന്റെ മക്കളോടു പറയും, എന്റെ വല്യുപ്പ എന്നെ ചുമലിലേറ്റിയപ്പോൾ അനുഭവിച്ച ആനന്ദം എന്താണെന്നു ഞാൻ വല്യുപ്പയായപ്പോഴാണു മനസ്സിലായതെന്ന്. ബാപ്പമാർ അനുഭവിക്കുന്നതിലും വലിയ ആനന്ദമാണിത്. എന്നെ പ്രാർഥിക്കാനും പ്രവാചകനിൽ അർപ്പിച്ചു ജീവിക്കാനു പഠിപ്പിച്ചതു വല്യുപ്പയാണ്. സ്നേഹം, കരുണ അങ്ങിനെ പലതും മനസ്സിൽ തെളിയിച്ചതും അദ്ദേഹമാണ്. എന്റെ പേരക്കുട്ടികൾക്കും അതു കൊടുക്കാൻ കഴിയണെ എന്നാണെന്റെ പ്രാർഥന.

M. A. Yousuf Ali

എം.എ.യൂസഫലി

∙ താങ്കളുടെ മക്കളെയും മരുമക്കളെയും നേരിട്ടു ലുലു ഗ്രൂപ്പിന്റെ ബിസിനസ്സിലേക്കു കൊണ്ടുവരാതെ വഴി തിരിച്ചുവിട്ടത് എന്തിനാണ്.

എന്റെ സഹോദരനും കസിൻ ബ്രദേഴ്സുമെല്ലാം ചേർന്ന വലിയൊരു ടീം ഇപ്പോൾ ഉണ്ട്. അവരതു നടത്താൻ പ്രാപ്തരുമാണ്. പുതിയ തലമുറയുടെ ബിസിനസ്സ് പുതിയ തരത്തിലുള്ളതാണ്. അവർ അവരുടെ വഴിക്കു പോകട്ടെ. അവർ സന്തോഷിക്കുന്നതും അതിലാണ്.

∙ഖുർആൻ സൂക്തകങ്ങൾ ഉദ്ധരിച്ചു സംസാരിക്കുന്നതു കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. മത പഠനം കുട്ടിക്കാലത്തു നടത്തിയതാണോ .

കുട്ടിക്കാലത്തു നന്നായി പഠിച്ചിരുന്നു. എന്റെ യാത്രകളിൽ ഞാൻ ഖുർ ആൻ കേൾക്കുകയും വായിക്കുകുയം ചെയ്യും. പണ്ഡിതരുടെ പ്രഭാഷണങ്ങൾ കേൾക്കും. ഖുർആനെക്കുറിച്ചു വരുന്നതെല്ലാം ഞാൻ എടുത്തു സൂക്ഷിച്ചുവയ്ക്കും. കഴിഞ്ഞ ദിവസം മനോരമയിലെ ഒരു വാർത്തയിൽ ഖുർആനിൽനിന്നൊരു ഉദ്ധരണി കണ്ടിരുന്നു. മറ്റു മതങ്ങളുടെ സംരക്ഷണത്തിനും ആദരവിനും ഖുർ ആൻ നൽകുന്ന ശ്രദ്ധയാണ് അതിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നത്. ഞാൻ ചിലരെ ചിലരിൽനിന്നു തടുത്തില്ലായിരുന്നുവെങ്കിൽ മതങ്ങളുടെ കലഹം ഉണ്ടായെനെ എന്നതാണ് അതിന്റെ സത്ത. എല്ലവരുടെയും സന്തോഷത്തിൽ സന്തോഷിക്കുകയും അവരുടെ സങ്കടത്തിൽ സങ്കടപ്പെടുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നവനാണു ഹൃദയമുള്ളവനെന്നു ഖുർആൻ പറയുന്നുണ്ട്. അങ്ങിനെ ഹൃദയമുള്ളവനെ മുഹസിൻ എന്നാണു പറയുന്നത്.

∙ താങ്കൾ മുഹസ്സിനാണോ .

ആകാൻ പരമാവധി ശ്രമിക്കുന്നു. ഒരാൾ എന്നെക്കാൾ നന്നായി കച്ചവടം ചെയ്യുന്നതിലോ സമ്പാദിക്കുന്നതിലെ എനിക്ക് അസൂയയില്ല. മാത്രമല്ല അത്തരക്കാരെ തേടി കണ്ടെത്തി പരിചയപ്പെടാനും അവരിൽനിന്നു നല്ലതു എടുക്കാനും ഞാൻ ശ്രമിക്കാറുണ്ട്. അന്യനോടു അസൂയയില്ലാതെ കച്ചവടം നടത്തുന്നു എന്നതായിരിക്കാം ഞങ്ങളുടെ വിജയത്തിനു ഒരു കാരണം. എനിക്കു റീട്ടെയിൽ കച്ചവടരംഗത്തെ ഭീമന്മാരായ വാൾമാർട്ടിനോടുപോലും അസൂയയില്ല. എന്നെങ്കിലും അതിലും വലിയ ശൃംഘലയായി ലുലു വരണമെന്ന ആഗ്രഹം മാത്രമെയുള്ളു. അത് കൂടുതൽ അധ്വാനിക്കാനുള്ള ശക്തിയായി മാറുമെന്നുമാത്രം.

( വീടിന്റെ വാതിൽ തുറക്കുകയാണ്. സെക്യൂരിറ്റി ഗാൾഡുകളുടെ അകമ്പടിയോടെ പടവുകൾ കയറി. ഇതു യൂസഫലിയുടെ കൊട്ടാരമാണ്. നാൽപതു വർഷം മുൻപു ചൂടുമാറ്റാൻ ബക്കറ്റിലെ വെള്ളം ദേഹത്തൊഴിച്ചുറങ്ങിയ അതേ യൂസഫലിയുട വീട്. നടന്നാൽ അകത്തെത്താൻ ഏറെ സമയമെടുക്കുന്ന മുറികൾ. ഇറക്കുമതി ചെയ്ത പേർഷ്യൻ കാർപ്പറ്റുകൾ. ലക്ഷങ്ങൾ വിലമതിക്കുന്ന ഷാന്റിലിയറുകൾ. ലോകത്തിന്റെ നാനാഭാഗത്തുനിന്നും ഭരണാധികാരികളും വലിയവരും സമ്മാനിച്ച സമ്മാനങ്ങളുടെ ശേഖരം. പല തരക്കാർക്കുള്ള അതിഥി മുറികൾ. സ്വർണ്ണ നിറത്തിലുള്ള അലങ്കാരത്തോടെയുള്ള തീൻമേശകൾ. ചുമരുകളിൽ തേക്കിന്റെ ഭംഗിയാർന്ന കൊത്തുപണികൾ. പഞ്ചനക്ഷത്ര ഹോട്ടലുകളെപ്പോലും അമ്പരപ്പിക്കുന്ന സൗകര്യങ്ങൾ. നോമ്പുതുറയും നമസ്ക്കാരവും കഴിഞ്ഞു യൂസഫലി മുറിയിലേക്കു വന്നു. അതിഥികളുടെ വലിയ നിരയുണ്ട്. നിരനിരയായി നിന്ന പരിചാരകർ പെട്ടെന്നു പാത്രങ്ങളുടെ അടപ്പു തുറന്നു. വിവിധ രാജ്യങ്ങളിൽനിന്നുള്ള ഭക്ഷണ സാധനങ്ങളുടെ നീണ്ട നിര. യൂസഫലി ഒാരോരുത്തരോടും വിഭവങ്ങളെക്കുറിച്ചു വിവരിക്കുന്നു. ചിലരെ നിർബന്ധിക്കുന്നു, വിളമ്പിക്കൊടുക്കുന്നു. നാലു പതിറ്റാണ്ടു മുൻപു നാട്ടികയിലെ വീട്ടിൽ കഞ്ഞി വിളമ്പിവച്ചു മകന്റെ സഹപാഠികളായ കുട്ടികളെ കാത്തിരുന്ന ഉമ്മകൂടി ഈ കാഴ്ച കാണാൻ ഉണ്ടാകണമായിരുന്നു. രാത്രി വളരെ വൈകിയിരിക്കുന്നു. എല്ലാവരും ഇറങ്ങുകയാണ്. യൂസഫലി വീടിനു പുറകിലെ വിശാലമായ പച്ചക്കറി തോട്ടത്തിലേക്കു നടന്നു. അവിടെ നാട്ടിലും വിദേശത്തുമുള്ള പച്ചക്കറികളുടെ സമൃദ്ധി. ഒരു കൈ നീട്ടി അദ്ദേഹം ചെടികളെ തൊട്ടുകൊണ്ടു നടന്നു. )

∙ യോഗ ശീലിച്ചതാണോ ഈ കഠിനാധ്വാനത്തിലും രക്ഷയാകുന്നത്.

അഞ്ചു മണിക്കൂറിൽ കൂടുതൽ ഉറങ്ങാറില്ല. യോഗയിലൂടെയാണു എന്റെ ശരീരത്തിനും മനസ്സിനും വേണ്ട വിശ്രമവും ശക്തിയും കൊടുക്കുന്നത്. നാം ശരീരംകൊണ്ടും മനസ്സുകൊണ്ടും അധ്വാനിക്കുകയാണ്. ഉറങ്ങുമ്പോൾപോലും മനസ്സു ജോലി ചെയ്യുന്നു. ഏതു ജോലിയിലും വിശ്രമം വേണ്ടേ. അതാണു യോഗയിലൂടെ കണ്ടെത്തിയത്. ഈ വിശ്രമത്തിനു ശേഷം കൂടുതൽ നന്നായി മനസ്സും ശരീരവും ജോലി ചെയ്യാറുണ്ട്. മുസ്ലീങ്ങളുടെ നമസ്ക്കാരവും ഇതുപോലെയാണ്. പ്രാർഥനയോടൊപ്പം ശരീരത്തിനും മനസ്സിനും നൽകുന്ന ശ്രദ്ധകൂടി അതിലുണ്ട്.

∙ഗൾഫിലെ രാജ കുടുംബങ്ങളും ഭരണാധികാരികളുമായി താങ്കൾക്കുള്ള അടുപ്പും പ്രസിദ്ധമാണ്. ഗൾഫിലെ രാജകുടുംബങ്ങളുമായി ഉന്നത ബന്ധമുള്ള പത്തു പേരുടെ പട്ടിക വിദേശ മാധ്യമങ്ങൾ തയ്യാറാക്കിയപ്പോൾ താങ്കളും അതിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. ഇതെങ്ങിനെ സാധിച്ചു.

ഗൾഫ് യുദ്ധകാലത്തിനു തൊട്ടുമുൻപാണു അബുദാബിയിൽ പുതിയ ഹൈപ്പർമാർക്കറ്റ് ആസൂത്രണം ചെയ്തത്. കിട്ടിയതല്ലാം പെറുക്കി പലരും നാടുവിടുന്ന കാലമായിരുന്നു അത്. ഞാനും പിന്മാറുമെന്നു പലരും കരുതി. എനിക്കു രണ്ടാമതൊന്നു ആലോചിക്കേണ്ടിവന്നില്ല. ഞാൻ വലിയ പരസ്യത്തോടെ ലുലു തുടങ്ങാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചു. അതറിഞ്ഞ് ഇവിടത്തെ രാഷ്ട്ര പിതാവും യുഎഇയുടെ ആദ്യ പ്രസിഡന്റുമായ ഷെയ്ഖ് സയ്യിദ് ബിൻ സുൽത്താൻ അൽ നഹിയാൻ എന്നെ വിളിപ്പിച്ചു. എന്തുകൊണ്ടാണു രാജ്യം വിടാതെ ഇവിടെ പണമിറക്കുന്നതെന്നു ചോദിച്ചു. ഞാൻ പറഞ്ഞു, ‘അങ്ങയുടെ രാജ്യത്തുനിന്നാണ് ഞാനിതെല്ലാമുണ്ടാക്കിയത്. ഈ രാജ്യമൊരു പ്രതിസന്ധി നേരിടുമ്പോൾ അതെല്ലാം കെട്ടിപ്പെറുക്കി എവിടെയെങ്കിലും പോയി സുഖിക്കാൻ എന്നെ മനസാക്ഷി സമ്മതിക്കുന്നില്ല. യുദ്ധം വരുമായിരിക്കും. അപ്പോൾ ഈ രാജ്യവും അങ്ങും നേരിടുന്ന വിധി എന്തോ അതേറ്റുവാങ്ങാൻ ഞാനും തയ്യാറാണ്. ഇവിടെനിന്നു കിട്ടിയതല്ലാതെ എനിക്കു വേറെ ഒന്നുമില്ല. ’ ഞാനിതു പറയുമ്പോൾ ഗൾഫിനെ യുദ്ധം ഉലയ്ക്കാൻ തുടങ്ങിയിരുന്നു. രാഷ്ട്ര പിതാവ് എന്നെ ആലിംഗനം ചെയ്തു. ആ സ്നേഹം അടുത്ത തലമുറയിലേക്കും അദ്ദേഹം കൈമാറി.

∙ ഈ ബന്ധമാണോ കച്ചവടം വലുതാക്കിയത്.

എന്റെ വ്യക്തിപരമായ ആവശ്യത്തിനുവേണ്ടി ഗൾഫിലെ ഒരു രാജകുടുംബത്തെയും ‍ഞാൻ സമീപിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. രാജ്യത്തിനും കേരളത്തിനും വേണ്ടിയാണു അവരുട സഹായം തേടിയിട്ടുള്ളത്. അതെല്ലാം അവർ തരികയും ചെയ്തു. എന്റെ രാജ്യത്തിനുവേണ്ടിയല്ലാതെ ഒരിക്കലും ഞാനാ ബന്ധം ഉപയോഗിക്കുകയുമില്ല.

∙യുദ്ധത്തിനിടയിലും ഇവിടെ നിൽക്കാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചതൊരു വലിയ റിസ്ക് ആയിരുന്നില്ലെ. പ്രാർഥനയിലൂടെയോ മറ്റോ ആണോ ഈ നിർണ്ണായക തീരുമാനമെടുത്തത്.

എന്റെ മനസാക്ഷിക്കു ശരി എന്നു തോന്നുന്നതു ചെയ്തു. അതെ എന്നും ചെയ്തിട്ടുള്ളു. പലതും തെറ്റിക്കാണും. തെറ്റു വരുമ്പോൾ തിരുത്തും. കച്ചവടത്തിൽ എന്നും റിസ്ക്കുകളുണ്ട്. കേരളത്തിൽ ലുലു കൊണ്ടുവരാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചതിനു പുറകിലും റിസ്ക്കുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. കേരളം ഇത്ര വലിയൊരു നിക്ഷേപത്തിനോടു നന്നായി പ്രതികരിക്കുമോ എന്നും സംശയമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. റിസ്ക്കെടുക്കാൻ എനിക്കു പേടിയില്ല. പ്രാർഥനയും കച്ചവടവും രണ്ടും രണ്ടാണ്. പ്രാർഥനയിലൂടെ എന്തെങ്കിലും വെളിപാടു കിട്ടി തീരുമാനമെടുക്കാനുള്ള ദിവ്യത്വമൊന്നും എനിക്കില്ല.

∙ഹിന്ദുക്കൾക്കായി ഗൾഫിൽ ആദ്യമായൊരു ശ്മശാനം ഉണ്ടാക്കാൻ നേതൃത്വം നൽകിയതു താങ്കളാണ്. ഇതിനു പുറകിൽ ………..

വാഹനാപകടത്തിലും മറ്റും മരിക്കുന്നവരുടെ മൃതദേഹം ചിന്നിച്ചിതറിയതു മോർച്ചറികളിൽ പോയി ഞാൻ കണ്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. തകർന്നതിനാൽ അതു എംബാം ചെയ്തു നാട്ടിലേക്കു കൊണ്ടുപോകാനാകില്ല. ഏറ്റെടുക്കാനാളില്ലാതെ അതു മോർച്ചറിയിൽ കിടക്കുമായിരുന്നു. അവരുടെ വേണ്ടപ്പെട്ടവരുടെ വേദന എനിക്കു മനസ്സിലാകും.വേണ്ടപ്പെട്ടവരുടെ അന്ത്യകർമ്മങ്ങൾ വേണ്ടതുപോലെ ചെയ്യുക എന്നതു എല്ലാവരുടെയും മനസ്സിലെ ‌ആഗ്രഹമാണ്. ഞാൻ ഇവിടത്തെ ഭരണാധികാരികളോടു സംസാരിച്ചു. അവർ വളരെ ദയാപൂർവ്വം അതിനു അനുമതി തന്നു. അവരോടു ഇക്കാര്യം പറയാനുള്ള നിമിത്തം ഞാനായി എന്നു മാത്രം. എത്രയോ കുടുംബങ്ങളുടെ കണ്ണീരിനുള്ള സമർപ്പണമാണിത്. ഈ നാട്ടിലെ ഭരണാധികാരികൾക്കറിയാമായിരുന്നു ഞാൻ ഈ നാടിനോ നിയമങ്ങൾക്കോ വിശ്വാസങ്ങൾ എതിരാകുന്ന ഒന്നും ആവശ്യപ്പെടില്ല എന്ന്.

∙ അടുത്ത കാലത്തു മനസ്സിനെ വല്ലാതെ തൊട്ട എന്തെങ്കിലും ഒാർക്കാമോ.

ചാവക്കാട്ടുകാരനായ ചിന്നക്കൽ മൊഹസിൻ എന്ന സുഹൃത്ത് അടുത്ത കാലത്തു ഇവിടെ വന്നു. 40 വർഷം മുൻപു ഞാൻ വരുമ്പോൾ അദ്ദേഹം ഇവിടെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. കുറെക്കാലം കാണുമായിരുന്നു. അദ്ദേഹത്തിനു എന്നെ കാണണം എന്നു പറഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ വീട്ടിലേക്കു ക്ഷണിച്ചു. ഭക്ഷണം കഴിച്ചു പിരിയാൻ നേരത്തു അദ്ദേഹം എന്നെ കെട്ടിപ്പിടിച്ചു കണ്ണിൽ വെള്ളം നിറച്ചുകൊണ്ടു പറഞ്ഞു, ‘യൂസഫ് ഭായ് നിങ്ങൾ പഴയ യൂസഫ്ഭായ്തന്നെയാണ്. എന്റെ ഏറ്റവും വലിയ സന്തോഷവും അതാണ്. നിങ്ങൾ കോടീശ്വരനായതല്ല. വണ്ടിയിലേക്കു സാധനങ്ങൾ ചുമന്നു കയറ്റിക്കൊടുക്കുന്ന നിങ്ങളെ ‍ഞാൻ എത്രയോ ദിവസം കണ്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. അന്നുണ്ടായിരുന്ന അതേ മനസ്സുതന്നെയാണു ഇന്നും നിങ്ങളുടേത്. ’

ഇതു കേട്ടപ്പോൾ എന്റെ കണ്ണും നിറഞ്ഞു. പഴയ കാലത്തുള്ളവർ എന്നെ അതേ മനസ്സോടെ കാണുന്നുവെന്നതും ഞാൻ മാറിയിട്ടില്ലെന്നതും വലിയ ബഹുമതിയായി തോന്നി. നമ്മുടെ ജീവിതത്തിൽ ബാക്കിയാകുന്നത് ഇതെല്ലാമാണ്. സമ്പാദ്യംകൊണ്ടുമാത്രം ജീവിതം തീരില്ലല്ലോ. എന്റെ ഉമ്മയിൽനിന്നും കാരണവന്മാരിൽനിന്നും കിട്ടിയ ഈ മനസ്സു കുട്ടികൾക്കും പേരക്കുട്ടികൾക്കും കൊടുക്കാനായാൽ അതായിരിക്കും ഞാൻ കൈമാറുന്ന ഏറ്റവും വലിയ സമ്പാദ്യം. യൂസഫലിക്കു അതിനു കഴിയണെ എന്നു ഞാൻ പ്രാർഥിക്കാറുണ്ട്. കഴിയുമായിരിക്കും.

∙പലപ്പോഴും ഒരു കോർപറേറ്റു മേധാവിക്കു ചേരില്ല എന്നുതോന്നുന്ന തിളങ്ങുന്ന നിറങ്ങളുള്ള ഷർട്ടും മുണ്ടും ധരിച്ചു താങ്കളെ കണ്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്.

സഹോദരാ, ഞാൻ കോർപറേറ്റു മേധാവിയല്ല. ഇതിന്റെ ടീം ക്യാപ്റ്റൻ മാത്രമാണ്. ഇത് 34,000 ജീവനക്കാർ ഒരുമിച്ചു നിൽക്കുന്നൊരു ടീമാണ്. എനിക്കു നിറമുള്ള ഷർട്ടുകൾ ഇഷ്ടമാണ്. നാട്ടിലെത്തുമ്പോൾ അത് ഇട്ടു നടക്കും. ഇവിടെ ചില പരിമിതികൾ ഉണ്ടല്ലോ. എന്റെ വസ്ത്രങ്ങൾ ഞാൻ മാത്രമാണു തിരഞ്ഞെടുക്കുക. യാത്രകൾക്കിടയിൽ ചെറുതും വലുതുമായ എല്ലാ കടകളിലും കയറി നോക്കും. ഒാരോ കടയും ഒരു പാഠപുസ്തകമാണ്. വില കൂടിയ ബ്രാൻഡു മാത്രമെ ഇടൂ എന്നില്ല. നാട്ടികയിലെ ഒരു കൊച്ചുകടയിൽ തൂങ്ങിക്കിടക്കുന്ന അവിടുത്തുകാരൻ തയ്ച്ച ഷർട്ടു കണ്ടാലും ഇഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടാൽ വാങ്ങും.

(ലുലു ഗ്രൂപ്പിന്റെ ചീഫ് കമ്മ്യൂണിക്കേഷൻസ് ഒാഫിസർ വി. നന്ദകുമാറിന്റെ കൈകളിലേക്കു ചൂണ്ടി അദ്ദേഹം പറഞ്ഞു, നന്ദു കെട്ടിയിരിക്കുന്ന വാച്ച് ഞാൻ സമ്മാനിച്ചതാണ്. എന്റെ കയ്യിലുള്ള വാച്ചിനെക്കാൾ എത്രയോ വില കൂടിയതാണത്. എന്നെ വില ഒരിക്കലും മോഹിപ്പിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. )

∙ വസ്ത്ര ധാരണ ശൈലിയിൽ ഭാര്യയ്ക്കു റോളില്ലെ.

ആർക്കുമില്ല. എനിക്ക് എല്ലാ ദിവസവും ടൈ കെട്ടിത്തരുന്നതു ഭാര്യയാണ്. ഇനിയും ടൈ കെട്ടാൻ ഞാൻ പഠിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. ഇടയ്ക്കിടെ പഠിക്കാൻ നോക്കും.

∙ ബിസിനസ്സിലും ഭാര്യയുടെ സാന്നിധ്യം കണ്ടിട്ടില്ല.

എന്റെ ഭാര്യ നല്ല വീട്ടമ്മയാണ്. കുട്ടികളെയും പേരക്കുട്ടികളെയും നോക്കി സുഖമായി ജീവിക്കുന്നു. എന്നെപ്പോലെ ഒരാൾ വൈകീട്ടു വീട്ടിലെത്തുമ്പോൾ വേണ്ടതു മനസമാധാനമാണ്. അതവിടെ ആവോളം ഉണ്ട്. അതിനു കാരണക്കാരി എന്റെ ഭാര്യയാണ്. അങ്ങിനെ പറയുമ്പോൾ ഈ ബിസിനസ് ഗ്രൂപ്പിന്റെ വളർച്ചയിൽ അവർക്കും പങ്കുണ്ട്. കുടുംബത്തിന്റെ കെട്ടുറപ്പും സന്തോഷവുമാണല്ലോ പലപ്പോഴും വിജയങ്ങളിലേക്കു വഴിയൊരുക്കുന്നത്.

∙ ലോകം മുഴുവൻ സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്നതിനിടയിൽ ഇഷ്ടപ്പെട്ട മൂന്നു സ്ഥലങ്ങൾ പറയാമോ

മക്ക, മദീന, നാട്ടിക. (നാട്ടികക്കാരനായ പ്രൈവറ്റ് സെക്രട്ടറിമാരിൽ ഒരാൾ പതുക്കെ ചിരിച്ചു. ലുലു ഗ്രൂപ്പിൽ നാട്ടികയിലെ 3000 കുടുംബങ്ങളിൽനിന്നുള്ളർ ജോലി ചെയ്യുന്നുണ്ട്. പുതിയവരെ കണ്ടെത്താനുള്ള ഇന്റർവ്യൂകളിലും നാട്ടികയ്ക്കു പ്രത്യേക കൗണ്ടറുണ്ട്. )

∙ഈ യാത്രകൾക്കിടയിൽ എത്രയോ പാർട്ടികളിൽ പങ്കെടുത്തിട്ടുണ്ടാകും. ചെറുപ്പത്തിൽ എങ്ങിനെ മദ്യപിക്കാതെ പിടിച്ചുനിന്നു.

മദ്യം സ്റ്റാറ്റസ് ഉയർത്തുമെന്നു കരുതിയാണു പലരും പാർട്ടിയിലും മറ്റും മദ്യപിക്കുന്നത്. അതു സ്വന്തം വ്യക്തിത്വം വിൽക്കലാണ്. ഏതു സ്ഥലത്തും അവനവനായി നിൽക്കാൻ പറ്റണം. അതൊരു ബിസിനസ് പാഠമാണ്. എന്റെ കുടുംബത്തിലെ ആരും മദ്യപിക്കുന്നതായി കണ്ടിട്ടില്ല. വീട്ടിൽനിന്നു കണ്ടു പഠിക്കാത്തൊരു കാര്യം ജീവിതത്തിൽ ശീലിക്കാനുള്ള സാധ്യത കുറവാണ്.

∙ അച്ഛനമ്മമാരെ ശ്രദ്ധിക്കാതിരിക്കുകയും അവർക്കു പണമയയ്ക്കുകയും ചെയ്യാത്ത ജീവനക്കാരെ ശാസിക്കുന്നതായി കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. ജോലിക്കാരുടെ വ്യക്തി ജീവിതത്തിൽ ഇങ്ങിനെ ഇടപെടാമോ .

എന്റെ കൂടെ ജോലി ചെയ്യുന്ന ആരെയും ഞാൻ ജോലിക്കാരൻ എന്നു വിളിക്കാറില്ല. അവർ എനിക്കു സഹപ്രവർത്തകരാണ്. സ്വാഭാവികമായും അവരുടെ വ്യക്തി ജീവിതം നന്നാകേണ്ടതു ഈ സ്ഥാപനത്തിന്റെ കൂടെ ആവശ്യമാണ്. വീട്ടിലേക്കു പണമയക്കാത്തവരെ ഞാൻ ചീത്ത പറയാറില്ല. അങ്ങിനെ ചെയ്യുന്നുണ്ടെന്നു അച്ഛനമ്മമാർ പറഞ്ഞാൽ ഞാനവരെ വിളിച്ച് ഇന്നുതന്നെ പണമയക്കാൻ പറയും, നിർബന്ധിക്കും. എന്നിട്ടും അനുസരിച്ചില്ലെങ്കിൽ ‍ഞാൻതന്നെ അച്നമ്മമാരുടെ അക്കൗണ്ടിലേക്ക് എന്നാൽ കഴിയുന്ന തുക എല്ലാ മാസവും കൊടുക്കും. ഇതറിയുന്നതോടെ പലരും ഇവിടെ വന്നു കണ്ണീരോടെ തെറ്റു തിരുത്തിയതായി പറയും. ചിലർ ഞാനയച്ച പണം മടക്കിത്തരാൻ നോക്കും. എന്റെ സഹപ്രവർത്തകരുടെ കുടുംബത്തിൽ സമധാനാനമുണ്ടാകേണ്ടത് എല്ലാവരുടെയും ആവശ്യമാണ്. എന്റെ ഒാഫീസിൽ ലക്ഷങ്ങൾ ശമ്പളം വാങ്ങുന്ന ഉയർന്ന പദവിയിലുള്ളവരിൽ ഭൂരിഭാഗവും ഇവിടെ സെയ്ൽമാന്മാരായോ എക്സിക്യൂട്ടീവുകളായോ വന്നവരാണ്. പുറത്തുനിന്നു കൊണ്ടുവന്നവരല്ല. ഇതൊരു കുടുംബമാണ്. പേരക്കുട്ടി വളർന്ന് അച്ഛനും മുത്തഛനുമാകുന്നതുപോലെ.

∙ കേരളത്തിലെ ചെറുപ്പക്കാർക്കു കൂടുതൽ തൊഴിലവസരം കിട്ടാൻ എന്തെങ്കിലും ……

വലിയ നിക്ഷേപമുണ്ടാകണം. ലുലു വലിയ നിക്ഷേപമല്ല. എനിക്കു പരിമിതികളുണ്ട്. പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി നരേന്ദ്ര മോഡി പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ച മെയ്ക്ക് ഇന്ത്യ, ഡിജിറ്റൽ ഇന്ത്യ തുടങ്ങിയ പദ്ധതികളിൽ നിക്ഷേപിക്കുന്നതു രാജ്യത്തെ വൻകിട കോർപറേറ്റുകളും ലോകത്തെ വൻകിടക്കാരുമാണ്. അവരുടെ മനസ്സിൽ ഇപ്പോൾ കേരളം ഇല്ല. അതുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട പരിപാടിയിൽ പ്രസംഗിച്ച 10 വൻകിട കോർപറേറ്റുകളിൽ ആരും കേരളത്തിൽനിന്നുള്ളവരല്ല. അവരുടെ പ്രസംഗത്തിൽ എവിടെയും അവർ കേരളത്തെ പരമാർശിച്ചതുപോലുമില്ല. അവർക്കിപ്പോൾ കേരളത്തിൽ പദ്ധതികളുമില്ല. രാജ്യം മുന്നോട്ടു പോകുമ്പോൾ കേരളം നിന്നിടത്തുതന്നെ നിൽക്കേണ്ടിവരും. അതുണ്ടാകാതിരിക്കമെങ്കിൽ കുത്തക എന്നു വിളിച്ചു അവരെ അധിക്ഷേപിക്കുന്നതു നിർത്തണം. ലോകം മുഴുവൻ അവർ നിക്ഷേപിക്കുമ്പോൾ ഇവിടെയുള്ള വിരലിൽ എണ്ണാവുന്ന ചിലർ എതിർത്തിട്ടു കാര്യമുണ്ടോ. അവർ നിക്ഷേപിക്കാതെ പോകും. അവർക്കൊന്നും നഷ്ടപ്പെടാനില്ല. എതിർക്കുന്നവർ കേരളത്തിലെ ചെറുപ്പക്കരുടെ ഭാവിയാണു തകർക്കുന്നത്. അവർ ഈ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരോടു ചെയ്യുന്നതു കൊടും ക്രൂരതയാണ്. നിക്ഷേപകർക്കു തോന്നണം ഇവിടെ വരണമെന്ന്. അപശബ്ദം കേട്ടാൽ അവർ വരുമോ. അവർക്കു സുരക്ഷിതമായ സ്ഥലമാണു വേണ്ടത്.

∙ കേരളം സുരക്ഷിതമല്ലെ.

കൊച്ചിയിലെ ലുലു ഐടിപാർക്കു പൂർത്തിയായാൽ 11,000 പേർക്കു ജോലി കിട്ടും. ഇതിലും വലിയപാർക്കുകൾ വന്നാൽ കേരളത്തിലെ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരിൽ ലക്ഷക്കണക്കിനു പേർക്കാണു ജോലി കിട്ടുക. അവർക്കു കിട്ടുന്ന കോടിക്കണക്കിനു രൂപയുടെ വിഹിതം ഇവിടെയുള്ള ഒാട്ടോക്കാർക്കും മീൻകച്ചവടക്കാർക്കും പച്ചക്കറി വിൽക്കുന്ന പാവം സ്ത്രീക്കുംവരെ കിട്ടും. കൊച്ചിയിലെക്കാൾ ചതുരശ്ര അടിക്കു 400 രൂപ കുറവാണു ബാംഗ്ളൂരിലെ നിർമ്മാണ ചിലവ്. ജനുവരിക്കു ശേഷം കൊച്ചിയിൽ ബന്ദും ഹർത്താലും സമരവുമായി 14 ദിവസം നിർമ്മാണം നടത്താനായില്ല. പാവപ്പെട്ട ആയിരങ്ങൾക്കു 14 ദിവസത്തെ കൂലി പോയി. അതായതു പകുതി മാസത്തെ ശമ്പളം. സമരം നടത്തിയവർക്കു ഒന്നും നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടില്ല. അവരുടെ കച്ചവടം സുഖമായി നടന്നു എന്നു മാത്രം. ഇരു കയ്യും നീട്ടി സ്വീകരിക്കാൻ സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങൾ കാത്തുനിൽക്കെ ആരാണു ഇവിടത്തെ വിവാദങ്ങളിലേക്കു വരിക. റോഡും, കെട്ടിടവും വൈദ്യുതിയുമെല്ലാം ഇവിടെ വിവാദമാണ്. ഇടതു, വലതു സർക്കാരുകൾ നിക്ഷേപത്തെ സഹായിക്കാൻ തയ്യാറാണ്. അതുകൊണ്ടുമാത്രം കാര്യമായില്ലല്ലോ. സഹകരിക്കേണ്ടതു ജനമാണ്.

∙ കേരളത്തിലെ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരുടെ ഭാവി …..

കേരളത്തിലെ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരുടെ കാര്യത്തിൽ എനിക്കു വല്ലാത്ത ആശങ്കയുണ്ട്. കേരളം വിടുന്ന മിടുക്കന്മാർ ലോകത്തിന്റേയും രാജ്യത്തിന്റേയും മറ്റു ഭാഗത്തു പോയി ജോലി ചെയ്തു അവിടെ സ്ഥിരതാമസമാക്കുകയാണ്. പണ്ടത്തെപ്പോലെ കേരളത്തിലേക്കു മടങ്ങുന്നില്ല. അതുകൊണ്ടുതന്നെ അവരുടെ മിടുക്കരായ രണ്ടാം തലമുറ ഇവിടെ ഉണ്ടാകുന്നുമില്ല. 20 വർഷത്തിനുശേഷം ഇവരുടെ അഭാവമാണു എന്നെ പേടിപ്പിക്കുന്നത്. വൻകിട കോർപറേറ്റുകളും കേരളത്തിലേക്കു വരണം. അവരെ രാജ്യം ക്ഷണിച്ചുകൊണ്ടുവരുന്ന നിർണ്ണായക സമയമാണിത്. നാം അവർ വരുമ്പോൾ കൊടിയേന്തി സ്വീകരിക്കരുത്. അവർക്ക് ഇവിടെ നിക്ഷേപിക്കണമെന്നു നിർബന്ധമില്ല. നമുക്കാണ് ആവശ്യം. നാം അവരോടും പറയണം, ഇതു എല്ലാംകൊണ്ടും സുന്ദരമായ ഭൂമിയാണെന്ന്. നമുക്കു രാജ്യസ്നേഹത്തിന്റ പതാകയുമായി അവരെ സ്വീകരിക്കാനാകണം. 3000കോടി നിക്ഷേപിക്കാൻ എത്തിയ യുസഫലി ചെറിയ ആൾ മാത്രമാണെന്നു കേരളത്തിലെ സമര ശബ്ദക്കാർ തിരിച്ചറിയണം. വരേണ്ടതു വലിയവരാണ്.

∙ ലുലുവിന്റെ സാന്നിധ്യം …..

ലുലു സെന്റർ വന്നതുകൊണ്ടുമാത്രമുണ്ടായ നേട്ടങ്ങളിലൊന്നു പറയാം. അവിടെ കണ്ട ജൈവപച്ചക്കറികൾ ലോകത്തിന്റെ പല ഭാഗത്തുനിന്നും എത്തിയ പലരുടെയും ശ്രദ്ധ ആകർഷിച്ചു. അവർ കർഷകരുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ടു കയറ്റുമതി തുടങ്ങി. കേരളത്തിലെ ജൈവ പച്ചക്കറികൃഷി കയറ്റുമതിയിൽ 40% വളർച്ചയുണ്ടായി. ഇതിൽ ചെറിയൊരു പങ്കു ലുലുവിനും ഉണ്ട്. ഈ രംഗത്തു കേരളത്തിനു വലിയ സാധ്യതയുണ്ട്. പക്ഷെ കാണാൻ നാം അവസരം കൊടുക്കേണ്ടെ. കേരളം കൃഷി ചെയ്യാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചാൽ മാർക്കറ്റുണ്ട്. അതു നമുക്കൊരുമിച്ചു കണ്ടെത്താം.

∙ ചെറുപ്പക്കാരോടു എന്തു പറയാനുണ്ട് .

നാടിനു വേണ്ടതു നല്ല പഠിപ്പുള്ള ചെറുപ്പക്കാരായ രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാരെയാണ്. യൂറോപ്പിലെ പല രാജ്യങ്ങളിലും പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിമാരും മന്ത്രിമാരും 50 വയസ്സിൽ താഴെയുള്ളവരാണ്. അവർ നല്ല വിദ്യാഭ്യാസമുള്ളവരുമാണ്. പലരും സാമ്പത്തിക വിദഗ്ധരാണ്. അങ്ങിനെയുള്ള ചെറുപ്പക്കാരെ രാഷ്ട്രീയത്തിനു വേണം. രാഷ്ട്രീയം ജീവിതമാർഗ്ഗമാകരുത്. പാർട്ടികൾ ലോകത്തെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ പാർട്ടികളിൽ നടക്കുന്ന മാറ്റം മനസ്സിലാക്കണം. പ്രായമായർ ഉപദേശകൻ മാത്രമാകട്ടെ. തീരുമാനിക്കുന്നതു ചെറുപ്പക്കാരാകണം. രാഷ്ട്രീയം പഠിപ്പില്ലാത്തവരുടെയും അക്രമികളുടെയും വേദിയാകരുത്.

(അബുദാബി നഗരമിപ്പോൾ രാത്രിയുടെ ഭംഗിയിലാണ്. വെളിച്ച വിതാനത്തിനിടയിലൂടെ യൂസഫലിയുടെ കാർ നീങ്ങി. ഇവിടെ റമസാൻ മാസത്തിലെ നോമ്പുതുറയുടെ ആഘോഷമാണ്. അതിനിടയിലും രാജ കുടുംബത്തിന്റെ വ്യക്തിപരമായൊരു ചടങ്ങിൽ യൂസഫലി പങ്കെടുക്കും. രാഷ്ട്ര പിതാവും യുഎഇയുടെ ആദ്യ പ്രസിഡന്റുമായ ഷെയ്ഖ് സയ്യിദ് ബിൻ സുൽത്താൻ അൽ നഹിയാന്റെ ഒാർമ്മ ദിനമാണിന്ന്. അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ പേരിലുള്ള പള്ളി അബുദാബിയുടെ സ്വപ്ന സൗധമാണ്. രാജ്യം പഴയ രാഷ്ട്രപിതാവിന്റെ സ്മരണയ്ക്കു വേണ്ടി സമർപ്പിച്ച ആദരം. ലോകത്തെ വിശാലവും മനോഹരവുമായ പ്രാർഥനാലയങ്ങളിലൊന്നും ഇതാണ്. പ്രാർഥനക്കായി പതിനായരക്കണക്കിനാളുകൾ കാത്തുനിൽക്കുന്നു. ലോകത്തിന്റെ നാനാഭാഗത്തുനിന്നുള്ളവർ, ദേശീയനേതാക്കൾ, സ്ഥാനപതികൾ. പ്രത്യേക വഴിയിലൂടെ യൂസഫലി മുന്നോട്ടു പോയി. രാജ കുടുംബാംഗങ്ങളോടൊപ്പം മുൻ നിരയിൽ അദ്ദേഹത്തിനുള്ള സ്ഥലം ബാക്കിവച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു. ഒരു ഇന്ത്യക്കാരന്റെ തല ഉയർന്നുപോകുന്ന നിമിഷം. ഈ പള്ളിയിലെ ഈദു നമസ്ക്കാരത്തിനു അരലക്ഷം പേരാണു പങ്കെടുക്കുക.

രണ്ടു മണിക്കൂറിനു ശേഷം യൂസഫലിയുടെ വിമാനം അബുദാബിക്കു മുകളിലൂടെ പറന്നു. ഖത്തർ രാജകുടുംബത്തിന്റ നോമ്പുതുറക്കു ശേഷമുള്ള വിരുന്നിലെ അതിഥികളിൽ ഒരാൾ യൂസഫലിയാണ്. താഴെ വൈദ്യുത വിളക്കുകളുടെ പ്രഭയിൽ വർണ്ണചിത്രംപോലെ അബുദാബി. എണ്ണയുടെ സമൃദ്ധിയിൽ രാജ്യം വെട്ടിത്തിളങ്ങുകയാണ്. കോടാനുകോടി വൈദ്യുത വിളക്കുകളുടെ പ്രപഞ്ചം. വജ്ര നെക ്ലസ്സുപോലെ താഴെ റോഡുകൾ. വിമാനത്തിന്റെ ചില്ലുജനാലകൾക്കപ്പുറത്തെ ഇരുട്ടിൽ ഇപ്പോൾ നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളേയും ചന്ദ്രനേയും കാണാം. പുതിയ ഷർട്ടിൽനിന്നും വിട്ടുനിന്ന കോടി നൂൽ പൊട്ടിച്ചു കളയുമ്പോൾ യൂസഫലി പറഞ്ഞു, ‘പെരുന്നാളിന് ഉമ്മ എനിക്കു പുതിയ കുപ്പായം എടുത്തുവയ്ക്കുമായിരുന്നു. ’ 

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html