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Gandhi, and the origins of the Hindu Mahasabha

Haridwar, 1915, Kumbh Mela. The usual Cholera outbreak at the Kumbh was consuming thousands of pilgrims. Meanwhile, on 13 Feb, a little away from the bathing masses, an umbrella organization of the various provincial Hindu Sabhas was being established. The formation of this umbrella organization was not a sudden decision though. At the Indian National Congress session in 1910 (Allahabad), the delegates passed a formal resolution to establish the All India Hindu Mahasabha, and a draft constitution was supposed to be prepared. In parallel, another group of Congress delegates, vexed with the Minto Morley Reforms of 1909 that created separate electorates for Muslims, tried to form their own Hindu Mahasabha. They too couldn’t get much work done.World War I began soon after. The Punjab Hindu Sabha took the lead in 1913, and proposed that by the 1915 Purna Kumbh at Haridwar, all the Hindu leaders should arrive at a consensus and establish an umbrella organization. Alm…
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Dharmic Nationalism, Gorakhnath Math, and Ram Janmabhoomi

The Nath Tradition and Dharmic Nationalism
The Nath Sampradaya (tradition) has historical references only since the 12th century CE with Gorakshanath/Gorakhnath or may be from 9th C. with Matsyendranath yogi. The Naths started calling themselves by that name only after the British rule started in India.
However, the Nath tradition, by virtue of being one of the Shaivite traditions, and the syncretic influence of Buddhism and Jainism, is but a newer name (new, as in the medieval era) for the ancient Sidda tradition. The codification and practice of Hatha Yoga is attributed to this tradition. They consider Shiva as the Adi Nath (the first guru). If you are connecting this with Jaggi Vasudev’s Adi Yogi statue, and Hatha Yoga courses, you are making the right connection.
The Siddas/Naths have spread throughout the country since ancient times, but due to the bewildering variety of languages, cultures and socio-economic conditions, the names morphed, the rituals differ ever so slightly, and…

Telangana - Some thoughts..

Dear Visitors - this blog has been in coma since January 2010, and now I have revived it to post my thoughts on the Telangana resolution by UPA yesterday. I will try to keep posting here from now on till the 2014 elections. (Lets see how well I keep my promise ! ).

Ok. So, the UPA Co-ordination Committee has passed the resolution to form Telangana as the 29th state of the Republic of India. It must be noted that this is just the beginning of the process, and there are a few more steps to be completed.

Hearty congratulations to all those who have agitated for a separate state of Telangana ! There have been the inevitable incidents of violence and several unsavoury remarks made by some of the T-activists, but by and large it has been a democratic and peaceful movement. The leaders and activists all deserve kudos for this achievement. More importantly, it is good that a people's movement has ended in success.

So, what are the next steps?

1. The Union Home ministry has to…

Solutions, any one ?

Firstly, here's wishing you all a very happy new year ! And advance wishes for Sankranthi/Pongal !

In 2008 Jan, we (the entire extended family) went on a trip to Varanasi, Allahabad and surrounding places. In 2009 Jan, we did the Rameswaram, Kanyakumari circuit. This year, we have a new born at home, and therefore, no Sankranthi trips. Hopefully in May, I will head to some place in cooler climes for a week or two. Lets see.
On the political front, as expected, the all-party meeting convened by Mr.Chidambaram has not yielded any specific outcomes other than an appeal to stop the bandhs and let people go about their daily lives. It looks like the political tamasha is going to continue for some more time. However, not a single politician or 'intellectual' is talking about any feasible solution.Says a lot about the kind of people we allow to become leaders.

Let me make an attempt to list down the main concerns of various stakeholders, so that we can have an idea a…

An Open Letter from NRI Telugus to Madam President and Mrs.Sonia

Found this on the Great Andhra website. Reproducing the map and the full text of the letter, adding emphasis where I find it relevant.

The President of India,Rashtrapathi Bhavan,
New Delhi.

Respected Madam President,
We look forward to you for your kind intervention in the matter of the demand for a separate Telangana State, as it is engineered and pushed forward by self-seeking and short-sighted small - time power brokers, politically unemployed, arousing passions and raising a bogey of “non-development” --- the two hallmarks of the Telangana movement. It hardly needs a mention that edifice of their case is based on twisted facts and doctored statistics.

The movement has already taken its toll, and it is fast moving towards spreading disaffection and hatred among people.

Thus there is an urgent need to arrest the movement and call it a bluff. Even a casual look at the statistics cited in this exhaustive note would conclusively establish how fallacious their argument is. Far from the Tel…

Is President's rule the only option left, for now?

I was hoping to tackle the issue of Telangana Vs. Samaikya Andhra (Unified AP) from various angles today.However, a discussion on the economic and cultural issues and the 'victimhood narrative' of Telangana, Rayalaseema and Kalinga Andhra has to wait, because the political issues have come to fore again.

Before reviewing the current political scenario, I just want to make it clear regarding where my affinities lie.The question of separate statehood has surely become an emotional issue for many people.And I don't want the emotions to cloud over a dispassionate analysis of the issues involved.

I am 37.5 years old and lived for 11 years each in Telangana (Bodhan, Mahboobnagar and Hyderabad) and Rayalaseema (Nandyal and Kadapa).I have also spent a few early years in Vijayawada and my wife hails from Guntur district, not to speak of the many friends I have from all parts of the state.I am sure there are lakhs of people like me who straddle all three areas of the state. To expect …