Category Archives: Indian traditions

Vibrant Lifeways in Sri Lanka via Its Literary Figures and Places

Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta  in The Hindu, 8 December 2018,  where the title is “In Sri Lanka, Life imitates Art”

As we travel through Sri Lanka, its strong literary voices come crashing in like waves, and life seems to imitate art

I sit in the huge living room of the old governor’s home in Jaffna. The walls, painted… a warm rose-red, stretch awesome distances away to my left, to my right and up towards a white ceiling. When the Dutch first built this house egg white was used to paint the walls. The doors are twenty feet high, as if awaiting the day when a family of acrobats will walk from room to room, sideways, without dismantling themselves from each other’s shoulders. —Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje

 Hectic colours: Second Cross Street Pettah 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under architects & architecture, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, modernity & modernization, plural society, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people

Donald Trump receives Award from the American Indian Nations

 

Donald Trump was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upstate New York.  He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American’s present standard of living. He referred to how he had supported every Native American issue that came to the news media.  Although Mr Trump was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke ‘eloquently’ about his ideas for helping his “red sisters and brothers.”  At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle.”  The proud Mr Trump accepted the plaque and then departed in his motorcade to a fundraiser, waving to the crowds. 

A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given to the Presidential Candidate. 

They explained that “Walking Eagle” is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, insurrections, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

Tamil Tigers: Dead Body Politics and Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an article  entitled “Tamil Tigers:  Sacrificial symbolism and ‘dead body politics’,” that was first presented in  Anthropology Today, June 2008,  vol.  24/3: 22-23. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla.

Scholars and journalists often mistakenly treat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) as a ‘secular organization’ at a time when stereotypes of the Islamic ‘terrorist’ or ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ dominate popular thinking about political extremism. Political scientists devote space to the Tamil Tigers in their global surveys of what they term ‘suicide terrorism’.[1] Recently, Roland Buerk of the BBC presented a similar view: ‘They are not religious and believe that there is nothing after death. Their fanaticism is born of indoctrination from childhood.[2]

Tiger fighters relax in camp but retain their kuppi with cyanide in chainsaround neck-Pic by Shyam Tekwani c.1989 whne embedded among the LTTE

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Qaeda, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, Eelam, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, Saivism, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan scoiety, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Suicide Missions as Witnessing: From Self-Immolation to Assassination and Mass Strike

Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30:  857-88.with the titleSuicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.

ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.

Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under arab regimes, atrocities, Buddhism, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, immolation, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, meditations, military strategy, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, religious nationalism, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war crimes, world events & processes

At Cricket in 1946: British India vs England

Anindya Dutta, in The Cricket Monthly, 25 June 2018, where the title reads “A dinner in 1946”

It was the last tour by undivided India to Britain. It was the summer of Merchant and Mankad, and independence was around the corner.The year was 1946. England was caught between the exhilaration of emerging victorious from the Second World War and the devastation the war had wrought upon the country, both in terms of people and resources. Rationing was still in place, and the economy was in tatters.For six long years, while war raged, cricket had taken a backseat. There had been little first-class cricket, and the battlefields claimed some of England’s most talented players, like the venerated Hedley Verity. There were only 11 first-class matches in the 1945 season. Nineteen forty-six was the first year when a normal county season was scheduled and Test cricket could again be played. Cricket was seen as a way to restore a feeling of normalcy to a country severely affected by war and its consequences.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, tolerance, Uncategorized, unusual people, world events & processes

The Mahathma’s Lines = The Reconciliatory Path We Need in Sri Lanka

Courtesy of KNO Dharmadasa

New Delhi, Oct 02 (ANI): On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, artists from over 124 countries have contributed in paying homage to the Father of the Nation through his favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’. The famous Gujarati hymn was penned by the 15th century poet Narsimha Mehta and was one of the favourite bhajans of Gandhi, who included it into the roster of prayers routinely sung before his meetings. During the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference (MGISC) and in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Gutierrez, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti, launched a medley version of the bhajan, sung by artists from over 124 countries. All Indian Missions abroad identified local artist groups to record the bhajan who gave rise to an eclectic, colourful and rich rendition of the hymn infused with the local flavour of the region. Videos from different regions of the world have also been put together in a fusion video of about five minutes to give flavour to the bhajan. Amongst the star performers is President of Nauru Baron Divavesi Waqa. Waqa’s gesture was not just a tribute to Gandhi but was also a personal gift from him to Prime Minister Modi. The medley version and individual country contributions are available on the External Affairs Ministry’s Youtube page. ———————————————————————————————- ☛ Subscribe to our Youtube Channel – https://goo.gl/k1Aee1 ☛ Visit our Official website: https://www.aninews.in/ Enjoy and stay connected with us!! ☛ Like us: https://www.facebook.com/ANINEWS.IN ☛Follow us : https://twitter.com/ANI ☛ Circle us : https://goo.gl/QN5kXy ☛ Feedback to Shrawan K Poddar : shrawankp@aniin.com

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, cultural transmission, democratic measures, heritage, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, social justice, Sri Lankan scoiety, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Romila Thapar lauds Iravatham Mahadevan in his Moment of Passing

Romila Thapar, in The Hindu, 27 November 2019, where the title is “Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan”

“He knew more about Indian epigraphy and the linguistic aspects of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan than some specialists”

I heard the news on Monday morning of the passing of Iravatham Mahadevan and was deeply saddened. Mahadevan, or Jani as his friends called him, was a special person of extraordinary talent and a much-respected scholar despite his having worked in administration for most of his professional life. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, life stories, unusual people