Monthly Archives: March 2016

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


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

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


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



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.



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 :

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. 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, 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? 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


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


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](type without brackets). Hit enter .
  • For Example ping 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:// (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, 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 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 ( 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 “”. 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.


  • Google’s


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 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.

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