Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Jadav Payeng has single-handedly grown a sprawling forest on a 550-hectare sandbar in the middle of the Brahmaputra. It now has many endangered animals, including at least five tigers, one of which bore two cubs recently. The place lies in Jorhat, some 350 km from Guwahati by road, and it wasn't easy for Sunday Times to access him. Locals call the place 'Molai Kathoni' (Molai's woods) after Payeng's nick name, Molai.

It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng , only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.

"The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage . I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested," says Payeng, now 47.

Leaving his education and home, he started living on the sandbar. Unlike Robinson Crusoe, Payeng willingly accepted a life of isolation. And no, he had no Man Friday. He watered the plants morning and evening and pruned them. After a few years, the sandbar was transformed into a bamboo thicket. "I then decided to grow proper trees. I collected and planted them. I also transported red ants from my village, and was stung many times. Red ants change the soil's properties . That was an experience," Payeng says, laughing.

Soon, there were a variety of flora and fauna which burst in the sandbar, including endangered animals like the one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger. "After 12 years, we've seen vultures. Migratory birds, too, have started flocking here. Deer and cattle have attracted predators," claims Payeng . He says locals recently killed a rhino which was seen in his forest at another forest in Sibsagar district.

Payeng talks like a trained conservationist. "Nature has made a food chain; why can't we stick to it? Who would protect these animals if we, as superior beings, start hunting them?"

The Assam state forest department learnt about Payeng's forest only in 2008 when a herd of some 100 wild elephants strayed into it after a marauding spree in villages nearby. They also destroyed Payeng's hutment . It was then that assistant conservator of forests Gunin Saikia met Payeng for the first time.

"We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar. Locals, whose homes had been destroyed by the pachyderms, wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead. He treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," says Saikia. "We're amazed at Payeng. He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero."

Monday, 18 February 2013

MaGlEv : SPeeD bEyonD wHeeLS

The highest speed attained by a manned superconducting magnetically levitated (maglev) train is 581 km/h (361 mph) by the MLX01, operated by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute, on the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on 2 December 2003.

Magnetically levitated ('Maglev') vehicles harness the power of magnetism to lift them off the ground and propel them forward, using elecromagnets made of superconductive metals. Instead of running on conventional metal tracks, they run on specially constructed 'guideways'. Because there is no contact between the maglev vehicle and its guideway when running, problems with friction and wear-and-tear faced by conventional trains are largely eliminated, allowing, in theory at least, higher operating speeds and greater reliability. Superconductors are created when metals are cooled to specific temperatures, causing their electrical resistance to vanish - in this case niobium-titanium alloy is cooled with liquid helium to –269ºC (- 452.2 ºF). Because superconductors display no resistance to electrical currents, coils made from these materials create magnetic fields dozens of times stronger than those of permanent magnets.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

"Satyameva Jayate" wInnIng hEArts !!!!

          Satyameva Jayate means Truth stands invincible. It is a Hindu mantra from the ancient scripture Mundaka Upanishad. Upon the independence of India, this was adopted as the national motto of India.
        Aamir Khan Productions’ Satyamev Jayate on Star Plus has managed to create a buzz amongst the masses. It is being watched by millions across the globe. But one question still lingers in everyone’s heart. Will it manage to stir the emotions of Indian citizens and trigger a revolution? 
       One cannot be sure about the revolution but yes, the series has and will definitely create an impact in the minds of the people. And you never know…it might bring in a positive change. Aamir is doing a great job.
      True to his word, Aamir Khan met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot yesterday and requested him to speed up the trial of female foeticide cases. Aamir had promised in the first episode of his TV debut show Satyamev Jayate that he will take this case forward with the Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice so that a fast track court is formed. 

     PTI reported Aamir Khan as saying, “He has assured me that the government is already working on the issue and will continue to do so.” Aamir further added, “The CM told me that after watching the first episode, he had called a meeting of senior officials. It is an important issue for the entire country and he has decided to take it forward strongly.”

     Aamir Khan claims to address the roots of social evils, engages statistics, experts and pending court cases to illustrate his findings while offering solutions to overturn Indian feudal structure, all within an hour’s televised show, intensified with tears, hopes and resolutions. And the unprecedented success of ‘Satyamav Jayate’ underlines that this tactic is effectively working. If a generation had somehow failed to awaken following Rang de Basanti, it is wide awake, this time.
      Each episode is a testament to this resounding success. Aamir poses significant questions in the beginning, acknowledges the conventional answers, moves on to  dismantle those very assumptions, and the audience bursts into tears at its own ignorance and at the promise of a new tomorrow bereft of the maladies.
     Just when the cynics wonder if he has turned self-righteous, it turns out ‘Satyamev Jayate’ works precisely because Aamir identifies himself entirely with the audience. He, too, learns of the bitter truths about Indian society from the very show itself, live on the stage. “Mujhe bhi aaj yeh seekh mili hai” is oft-repeated. Along with the audience, he is shocked at the barbaric, with them he sheds the tears, with them he signs petitions. The routine criticisms usually reserved for holier than thou shows simply find no outlets here.
      Finally, it is the content area where the Aamir Khan effect shines. Female infanticide, dowry tortures, child sexual abuse – the themes so far – are societally entrenched as innately problematic, inherently evil and acutely in need of redress. They are so commonplace that they should have ideally lost any shock value by now; and yet Satyamev Jayate revels in the euphoric disconnect of the audience with their harmful consequences.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

"Sehwag dividing Team India" sAyS AusTraLiAn MeDiA !!!

( TOI )

 Is Team India divided or has the defeat in two Tests in Australia and four in England caused fissures in the team? Or as in the past, Australia is playing mind games and our cricketers should not be bothered at all?

An article in Australian newspaper Herald Sun says, "Virender Sehwag is the man polarizing opinions in the Indian rooms." The paper quotes Australian pacer Ryan Harris as saying that the "Indians were fighting among themselves" and the team does not have unity.

According to the article there is a division in the team on who should captain the Indian team. According to the report, some players are in favour of Sehwag as captain while a section wants Mahendra Singh Dhoni to continue as skipper.

The paper also talks about former Indian coach Greg Chappell who had observed in his autobiography Fierce Focus that young members of the team were too afraid of some of their seniors to speak in the team meetings.

Meanwhile, Australian vice-captain Brad Haddin has taken aim at struggling India, saying the tourists "break quicker than anyone in the world" and turn on each other when things are not going their way.

Wicketkeeper Haddin turned up the heat on India, trailing 2-0 ahead of Friday's third Test in Perth, by revealing that Australia had discussed the tourists' mental frailties.

"We spoke about a bit of that when we were batting," Haddin was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The longer we could keep them out on the field the bigger chance we had of breaking them."

"We know this side can be as fragile as any team in the world if things aren't going their way and they can turn on each other and the media turns on them pretty quick."

"We knew if we could keep them out there and put the numbers like we did on the board we knew we'd get the rewards because they break quicker than anyone in the world."

We know that Australians are good at mind games!

Monday, 26 December 2011

oNcE AGaIn !!!!!!!!!!! " INdiAn StuDEnt ShOT DeAd "


LONDON: An Indian student was shot dead Monday in Manchester, northern England, by a white man, police said, announcing an investigation.

Anuj Bidve, 23, was murdered in the early hours as he walked with friends from his hotel in Salford, an area to the west of Manchester, towards the city centre.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) called it an “awful” and “unprovoked” attack and vowed their investigation would “leave no stone unturned”.
“This is a tragic incident and our first thoughts are for the family,” said chief superintendent Kevin Mulligan.
“There is going to be a huge amount of concern in the community and I can reassure the family and the community by telling them we have launched a major investigation and no stone will be left unturned until we find the people who are responsible for this.”
When asked if the murder could have a racial motivation, Mulligan said: “We are investigating every possible aspect.”
Bidve, who was studying a micro-electronics postgraduate qualification at Lancaster University, around 40 miles from Manchester, was enjoying a short break in the city with eight friends.
The group was stopped by a man who spoke to them before shooting Bidve at close range.
Mulligan urged the killer, described as a white man in his 20s, to surrender himself to the police as soon as possible.
Bidve’s family in India has been informed.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

BhaGwAd GitA's sALes go uP afTer RuSSia cOntrOversy


The Bhagwad Gita is a bestseller, controversy or no controversy. The holy book notches up steady sales through the year. In the last financial year, for instance, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, one of the major publishers of the ancient Hindu scripture, sold around six lakh copies of Gita in 13 languages.

Bookshop owners in the city maintain that the Gita sells throughout the year. They have also noticed a small rise in the sales since the controversy erupted late last week. "Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Nepali - the book sells steadily in each of the languages we publish. Gita is a manual for life. Those who filed the case against it in Russia probably did not understand it," B B Tripathi, chief account officer in the book sales department, Gita Press, Gorakhpur told TOI over phone.

Mirza Afsar Baig of the Midland bookstore in the city's Aurobindo Marg has been selling books for over two decades.

"The controversies that crop up around books never cease to amaze me. I've sold over 60 copies of Swami Chinmayananda's The Holy Geeta in the last two days alone. There was a similar interest in Salman Rushdie after his Satanic Verses was banned," says Baig. There was also a rise in interest in books on the Prophet Mohammad and Islam after a US pastor threatened to burn copies of the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary last year, he says.

The city's International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON) reported no spurt in sales. However, the organization is confident that the controversy will get more people interested in the subject.

In June this year, the state prosecutor's office in the Russian city of Tomsk, Siberia, filed a petition asking for a ban on the Gita, interpreting it as war-mongering, extremist literature.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Anna finds "virtue in political class " !!!!

Let me at the very outset confess that I was impressed by Anna Hazare’s latest show of protest. There was a certain variety to the debate. One didn’t feel being shepherded in the direction chosen by the organizers.
What made the exchange doubly meaningful was the acceptance by Anna and his core team of the supremacy of Parliament and the value of our multi-party democracy. They shed their distrust of the politicos to co-opt the collective Opposition for a full-throated attack on the ruling coalition they charged with prevarication on the Lokpal issue.
From being anti-politician, the Anna campaign has turned anti-Congress, triggering suspicion about its agenda when the government lacks an overwhelming majority in the House. So much so that Mamata Banerjee was urged to break her silence to lend support to the cause the way she helped scuttle FDI in multi-brand retail.
Coming back to Anna’s bid to rope in political parties, Kiran Bedi who incurred the disapproval of many for her Ramlila maidan caricature of the neta biradari, was subdued and discreet. But not Arvind Kejriwal, who launched into his usual act of leading others by the nose. His unilateralism invited rebuff from the CPI’s A B Bardhan and the BJP’s Arun Jaitley—who said the legislation’s fine print be left to Parliament.
The BJP leader dittoed Bardhan, who had earlier chided Anna’s supporters for their wholesale derision of the political class while claiming to be the “sole repository of wisdom and honesty.” Perceived by many as autocratic and intolerant, Kejriwal heard them without demur. It didn’t make sense from his standpoint to lock horns with the Opposition lineup that supported broadly the Jan Lokpal version to make the PM, the CBI and the lower bureaucracy accountable to the proposed Ombudsman. There was no unanimity on the judiciary and the MPs’ conduct in the House. A measure of Anna’s success was the presence on the stage of the initially skeptical JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav. The attraction was two-way; Anna needing political support in the last lap in Parliament and Opposition parties eyeing electoral gains by associating with the anti-corruption movement.
It would be interesting to watch whether their support for the legislation is rooted in political expediency or principled commitment? In this limited sense, the civil society, if its agenda solely is to have a strong Lokpal, will need to guard against any deliberate Opposition ploy to embarrass the UPA for electoral gains in the impending polls through non-passage of the Bill.
The way Kejriwal sought to embarrass Aruna Roy’s representative Nikhil Dey — who argued that police be strengthened rather than excluded from the anti-graft architecture —- showed his reluctance to share popular space with other civil society groups. Similarly dismissed by him were concerns over putting together an army of 35,000 honest Lokpal staff.
Such conduct on Kejriwal’s part indicated double-standards. He played the Anna group’s big boss after attacking the ‘high command culture’ that denied individual freedom of action in political parties to even elected representatives.
Be that as it may, the dialogue, as it were, threw up arguments for and against Anna’s demands and tactics. The CPI-M’s Brinda Karat raised issues the anti-graft campaigners were a shade shy of raising: Corporate-instigated corruption and the fears of weaker sections that the Lokpal could become another stick in the hands of socially and economically empowered sections.
Amid the rhetoric, it was left to the CPI’s D Raja to draw attention to parliamentary procedure. He pointed out that the government was expected to come up with a new draft bill (in place of the one brought earlier and rejected by Anna’s team and the Opposition) on receipt of the parliamentary standing committee’s report, very much part of which are dissenting notes by 17 of the 28 members. Like many others, he urged Anna to show flexibility and not insist that his draft on the proposed institution was unalterable.
The battle now has shifted to Parliament, the only forum with powers to legislate. The occasion will simultaneous be the Congress’s last opportunity to come clean in the fight against corruption.