RMF Summary: Week of March 5 - 11, 2013

March 7
Jesus Yoga - the website
Ravi shares a link.

March 7
I just tweeted this new blog. (Given the controversial nature of my blog, it took them 2 days to finally accept it completely unchanged.) ..

Karthik comments:
"... In a Daily Pennsylvanian report, Toorjo Ghose, one of the U Penn humanities sepoys who led the campaign to disinvite Modi, has sought to justify his position as not being contrary to free expression:

"Ghose said he did not believe it was a free speech issue because Modi had been invited as an honored, plenary speaker and this position was tantamount to the conference endorsing his development ideas.We are under no obligation as an institution to endorse his brand of politics and that's exactly what we would have done had the invitation gone through, Ghose said."

In fact, Ghose is lying, and U Penn had every obligation to let the Wharton students' invitation stand. By inviting Modi to speak at their conference, the student organizers of the Wharton India Economic Forum had expressed their intention to do exactly this: facilitate a distinguished guest who represents certain ideas of development and a certain brand of politics. The WIEF conference is organized by students of the Wharton School, and should they choose to endorse certain ideas of development by association with the guests they invite, it is entirely within their rights of open expression, guaranteed by the University of Pennsylvania itself, to do so.

See the Provosts' Guidelines for Open Expression, as listed on the U Penn website:

Of particular relevance here is:
"D. In case of conflict between the principles of the Guidelines on Open Expression and other University policies, the principles of the Guidelines shall take precedence."
The rank hypocrisy of Ghose, who himself availed of constitutional free speech guarantees by participating in the Occupy Philadelphia movement, stands vivdly illuminated. Apparently, open expression is fine as long as it happens to serve his own political proclivities.  Political positions in opposition to his own are to be silenced by any means necessary; blackmail, activism and thought policing are perfectly acceptable when it comes to obviating the WIEF student organizers' right to open expression. "
Rajiv's response: "This is why I am glad to see that Kartik and many others have posted their comments on Huffpost. This is how ideas spread, not through private whispering. Thanks to Kartik and others..."
Karthik further adds:
"It's an astonishing volte-face. The shrill Sepoys who relentlessly castigate Modi on allegations of human rights abuse, invariably respond with deafening silence to the Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh. In fact, some of them actually transform into David Duke-calibre Holocaust Deniers on that subject. One particularly nasty specimen is Sarmila Bose, who has crafted an entire "scholarly" career out of systematically minimizing the scale of Pakistan's atrocities. In a curious inversion of the usual Sepoy propensity to cite overblown atrocity-lit, Bose has actually deflated the well documented figures of three million murders and ten million displaced by the Pakistani army, to arrive at merely "thousands" of victims. 
... In Bose's case, the Hidden White Hand accidentally showed itself by clicking "Reply All" on a certain e-mail chain. The encouraging words of the Woodrow Wilson Institute's William B Milam, urging Bose to simply ignore those who questioned her credibility, were inadvertently sent to everyone who had been included on that chain... including her questioners! ..... 
Here is an article by Naheem Mohaiemen, a Bangladesh history scholar, which lays out a devastating critique of Bose's thesis. The debate continues, with Bose's response answered by a crippling rejoinder from Mohaiemen:

Hope the above references are useful."
March 9
An encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses
I just wanted to post a note about about my recent encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses. It was Saturday and while I had better things to do I started on fixing ...
...They started on the idea of "being saved". I asked, "saved from what"?
"Oh, don't you know, we are all born sinners", said the JW. I then asked why I was a sinner and the reply was exactly along the lines Rajiv Ji talks about - Adam/Eve and Original Sin, Virgin Birth blah blah blah. And therefore, he concluded that we must accept Jesus as our savior. I
gave him a small talk about my birth being divine and God being within myself and the notion of God realization etc. Then I asked him if he (the JW) would pay for my sin. He said No, but that Jesus would. I pointed out the fact that either he unwilling to do what JC would do and
therefore somewhat hypocritical, or expected another person to pay for his faults including any sin he commits. A blank stare ensued and by now they were a tad uncomfortable. Seeing his weakness I had to nuke now, so
I asked rather innocently "Does Jesus believe in the Original Sin"? He frantically searched his copy of the Bible and merely muttered, Umm, Jesus believed in the Old Testament ... and so must be... Was time for them to leave. [But I myself do not know if JC himself
believed in the original sin]...."

March 9
Universities in US & China are getting lessons on human values from
Universities in US & China are getting lessons on human values from the great epic - Ramayana ...

AHMEDABAD: Students at universities in China are getting lessons on human values from the great Hindu epic - Ramayana.

Wise sayings from Valmiki's text are being adapted by the universities teaching Hindi in China and are being made relevant to the current world situations. At least six leading universities in China including the prestigious Peking University, the Beijing Foreign Studies University as well as colleges in different parts of China are teaching Hindi, which has become a popular foreign language in China.

"We are taught verses from Ramayana as part of literature classes at the university," said Eric Huidram, a student-turned Chinese translator and interpreter from Manipur.

Several universities in the US have included reading the Ramayana as part of comparative humanities and literature sessions on Asia.

It was through the efforts of Chinese indologist Ji Xianlin that many Chinese learnt the language of Sanskrit and the epic Ramayana. Ji, who founded the Department of Eastern Languages at Peking University, translated Ramayana from the original Sanskrit to Chinese in poetry form. Ji's translated work of Ramayana and Mahabharata will be displayed at the culture park being planned at Kailash Mansarovar by India China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC)..."

[Sandeep's 'Rediscovery of India' is among the very best, if not the best blog whose content if filled with original Indian thought]
March 9
Fwd: [TheBecoming] Fwd: How Wharton Scored a Huge Self-Goal by dis-i
JP shares: How Wharton Scored a Huge Self-Goal March 5, 2013 By  Sandeep Balakrishna

[We will create a separate webpage for the collection of Rajiv's links below and display it on the right of the blog]
March 11
My Wikipedia entry is obsolete, misleading
".... fix the Wikipedia entry on me.
  • It gives too much importance to wendy doniger as though i have nothing useful or original of my own to say, and i am some sort of heckler bothering her.
  • even in the context of doniger it does not lead the reader to my extensive articles at Sulekha (at least half a dozen large ones) on the whole freudian psychoanalysis issue.
  • there is no mention of BI or BD- each even deserves its own page. There is abundant material available on these books at their respective web sites, and other places like the hitchhiker's guide.
  • no mention of my YouTubes
  • No mention of my writings on Huffington Post, FirstPost, Niti Central, Patheos, Beliefnet and lots of other places.
With all due respects may I point out that our folks often tend to suffer from:
  • Paralysis by analysis: this means going on and on with planning, analyzing some very large scale project that becomes too unwieldy to ever happen, rather than DOING something manageable quickly which can be extended later.....
....specific examples of changes to my Wiki entry that I feel would be fair. Here are some that come shouting out:

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