Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Aryan invasion of India: the biggest lie propagated by Leftist Historians

 Aryan invasion of India: the biggest lie propagated by Leftist Historians

One of the main ideas used to interpret—and generally devalue—the ancient history of India is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500-1000 BC, who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture. This so-called pre-Aryan civilization is said to be evidenced by the large urban ruins of what has been called the ‘Indus valley culture’ (as most of its initial sites were on the River Indus). The war between the powers of light and darkness, a prevalent idea in ancient Aryan Vedic scriptures, was thus interpreted to refer to this war between light and dark-skinned peoples. The Aryan invasion theory thus turned the ‘Vedas’, the original scriptures of ancient India and the Indo-Aryans, into little more than primitive poems of uncivilized plunderers.
This idea – totally foreign to the history of India, whether north or south – has become almost an unquestioned truth in the interpretation of ancient history.
Today, after nearly all the reasons for its supposed validity have been refuted, even major Western scholars are at last beginning to call it in question.
In this article we will summarize the main points that have arisen.
This is a complex subject that I have dealt with in depth in my book ‘Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization’ for those interested in further examination of the subject.
The Indus valley culture was pronounced pre-Aryan for several reasons that were largely part of the cultural milieu of nineteenth century European thinking. As scholars following Max Muller had decided that the Aryans came into India around 1500 BC, since the Indus valley culture was earlier than this, they concluded that it had to be pre-Aryan. Yet the rationale behind the late date for the Vedic culture given by Muller was totally speculative. Max Muller, like many of the Christian scholars of his era, believed in Biblical chronology. This placed the beginning of the world at 4000 BC and the flood around 2500 BC. Assuming to those two dates, it became difficult to get the Aryans in India before 1500 BC.
Muller therefore assumed that the five layers of the four ‘Vedas’ and ‘Upanishads’ were each composed in 200-year periods before the Buddha at 500 BC. However, there are more changes of language in Vedic Sanskrit itself than there are in classical Sanskrit since Panini, also regarded as a figure of around 500 BC, or a period of 2500 years. Hence it is clear that each of these periods could have existed for any number of centuries and that the 200-year figure is totally arbitrary and is likely too short a figure.
It was assumed by these scholars – many of whom were also Christian missionaries unsympathetic to the ‘Vedas’ – that the Vedic culture was that of primitive nomads from Central Asia. Hence they could not have founded any urban culture like that of the Indus valley. The only basis for this was a rather questionable interpretation of the ‘Rig Veda’ that they made, ignoring the sophisticated nature of the culture presented within it.
Meanwhile, it was also pointed out that in the middle of the second millennium BC, a number of Indo-European invasions apparently occurred in the Middle East, wherein Indo-European people– the Hittites, Mittani and Kassites – conquered and ruled Mesopotamia for some centuries. An Aryan invasion of India would have been another version of this same movement of Indo-European people. On top of this, excavators of the Indus valley culture, like Wheeler, thought they found evidence of destruction of the culture by an outside invasion confirming this.
The Vedic culture was thus said to be that of primitive nomads who came out of Central Asia with their horse-drawn chariots and iron weapons and overthrew the cities of the more advanced Indus valley culture, with their superior battle tactics. It was pointed out that no horses, chariots or iron was discovered in Indus valley sites.
This was how the Aryan invasion theory formed and has remained since then. Though little has been discovered that confirms this theory, there has been much hesitancy to question it, much less to give it up.
Further excavations discovered horses not only in Indus Valley sites but also in pre-Indus sites. The use of the horse has thus been proven for the whole range of ancient Indian history. Evidence of the wheel, and an Indus seal showing a spoke-wheel as used in chariots, has also been found, suggesting the usage of chariots.
Moreover, the whole idea of nomads with chariots has been challenged. Chariots are not the vehicles of nomads. Their usage occurred only in ancient urban cultures with much flat land, of which the river plain of north India was the most suitable. Chariots are totally unsuitable for crossing mountains and deserts, as the so-called Aryan invasion required.
That the Vedic culture used iron – and must hence date later than the introduction of iron around 1500 BC – revolves around the meaning of the Vedic term ‘ayas’, interpreted as iron. ‘Ayas’ in other Indo–European languages like Latin or German usually means copper, bronze or ore generally, not specially iron. There is no reason to insist that in such earlier Vedic times, ‘ayas’ meant iron, particularly since other metals are not mentioned in the ‘Rig Veda’ (except gold that is much more commonly referred to than ayas). Moreover, the ‘Atharva Veda’ and ‘Yajur Veda’ speak of different colours of ‘ayas’ (such as red and black), showing that it was a generic term. Hence it is clear that ‘ayas’ generally meant metal and not specifically iron.
Moreover, enemies of Vedic people in the ‘Rig Veda’ also use ‘ayas’, even for making their cities, as do the Vedic people themselves. Hence there is nothing in Vedic literature to show that either the Vedic culture was an iron-based culture or that their enemies were not.
The ‘Rig Veda’ describes its Gods as ‘destroyers of cities’. This was used also to regard the Vedic as a primitive non-urban culture that destroys cities and urban civilization. However, there are also many verses in the ‘Rig Veda’ that speak of Aryans as having cities of their own and being protected by cities up to a hundred in number. Aryan Gods like Indra, Agni, Saraswati and the Adityas are praised as being like a city. Many ancient kings, including those of Egypt and Mesopotamia had titles like destroyer or conqueror of cities. This does not turn them into nomads. Destruction of cities also happens in modern wars; this does not make those who do this nomads. Hence the idea of Vedic culture as destroying but not building the cities is based upon ignoring what the Vedas actually say about their own cities.
Further excavation revealed that the Indus Valley culture was not destroyed by outside invasion, but according to internal causes and, most likely, floods. Most recently a new set of cities has been found in India (like the Dwaraka and Bet Dwaraka sites by SR Rao and the National Institute of Oceanography in India), which are intermediate between those of the Indus culture and later ancient India as visited by the Greeks. This may eliminate the so-called ‘dark age’ following the presumed Aryan invasion, and shows a continuous urban occupation in India back to the beginning of the Indus culture.
The interpretation of the religion of the Indus Valley culture made incidentally by scholars such as Wheeler who were not religious scholars, much less students of Hinduism – was that its religion was different from the Vedic and more like the later Shaiv-ite religion. However, further excavations – both in Indus Valley sites in Gujarat, like Lothal, and those in Rajasthan, like Kalibangan – show large numbers of fire altars like those used in the Vedic religion, along with bones of oxen, potsherds, shell jewellery and other items used in the rituals described in the ‘Vedic Brahmanas’. Hence the Indus Valley culture evidences many Vedic practices that cannot be merely coincidental. That some of its practices appeared non-Vedic to its excavators may also be attributed to their misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of Vedic and Hindu culture generally, wherein Vedism and Shaivism are the same basic tradition.
We must remember that ruins do not necessarily have one interpretation. Nor does the ability to discover ruins necessarily give the ability to interpret them correctly.
The Vedic people were thought to have been a fair-skinned race like the Europeans, owing to the Vedic idea of a war between light and darkness, and the Vedic people being presented as children of light or children of the sun. Yet this idea of a war between light and darkness exists in most ancient cultures, including the Persian and the Egyptian. Why don’t we interpret their scriptures as a war between light and dark-skinned people? It is purely a poetic metaphor, and not a cultural statement. Moreover, no real traces of such a race are found in India.
Anthropologists have observed that the present population of Gujarat is composed of more or less the same ethnic groups as are noticed at Lothal in 2000 BC. Similarly, the present population of the Punjab is said to be ethnically the same as the population of Harappa and Rupar 4000 years ago. Linguistically the present day population of Gujarat and Punjab belongs to the Indo-Aryan language-speaking group. The only inference that can be drawn from the anthropological and linguistic evidences adduced above is that the Harappan population in the Indus Valley and Gujarat in 2000 BC was composed of two or more groups, the more dominant among them having very close ethnic affinities with the present day Indo-Aryan-speaking population of India.
In other words there is no racial evidence of any such Indo-Aryan invasion of India but only of a continuity of the same group of people who traditionally considered themselves to be Aryans.
There are many points in fact that prove the Vedic nature of the Indus Valley culture. Further excavation has shown that the great majority of the sites of the Indus Valley culture were east, not west of Indus. In fact, the largest concentration of sites appears in an area of Punjab and Rajasthan near the dry banks of ancient Saraswati and Drishadvati rivers. The Vedic culture was said to have been founded by the sage Manu between the banks of Saraswati and Drishadvati rivers. The Saraswati is lauded as the main river (naditama) in the ‘Rig Veda’ & is the most frequently mentioned in the text. It is said to be a great flood and to be wide, even endless in size. Saraswati is said to be ‘pure in course from the mountains to the sea’. Hence the Vedic people were well acquainted with this river and regarded it as their immemorial homeland.
The Saraswati, as modern land studies now reveal, was indeed one of the largest, if not the largest river in India. In early ancient and pre-historic times, it once drained the Sutlej, Yamuna and the Ganges, whose courses were much different than they are today. However, the River Saraswati went dry at the end of the Indus Valley culture and before the so-called Aryan invasion, or before 1500 BC. In fact this may have caused the ending of the Indus culture. How could the Vedic Aryans know of this river and establish their culture on its banks if it dried up before they arrived? Indeed the Saraswati as described in the ‘Rig Veda’ appears to more accurately show it as it was prior to the Indus Valley culture, as in the Indus era it was already in decline.
Vedic and late Vedic texts also contain interesting astronomical lore. The Vedic calendar was based upon astronomical sightings of the equinoxes and solstices. Such texts as ‘Vedanga Jyotish’ speak of a time when the vernal equinox was in the middle of the Nakshtra Aslesha (or about 23 degrees 20 minutes Cancer). This gives a date of 1300 BC. The ‘Yajur Veda’ and ‘Atharva Veda’ speak of the vernal equinox in the Krittikas (Pleiades; early Taurus) and the summer solstice (ayana) in Magha (early Leo). This gives a date about 2400 BC. Yet earlier eras are mentioned but these two have numerous references to substantiate them. They prove that the Vedic culture existed at these periods and already had a sophisticated system of astronomy. Such references were merely ignored or pronounced unintelligible by Western scholars because they yielded too early a date for the ‘Vedas’ than what they presumed, not because such references did not exist.
Vedic texts like ‘Shatapatha Brahmana’ and ‘Aitereya Brahmana’ that mention these astronomical references, list a group of 11 Vedic Kings, including a number of figures of the ‘Rig Veda’, said to have conquered the region of India from ‘sea to sea’. Lands of the Aryans are mentioned in them from Gandhara (Afghanistan) in the west to Videha (Nepal) in the east, and south to Vidarbha (Maharashtra). Hence the Vedic people were in these regions by the Krittika equinox or before 2400 BC. These passages were also ignored by Western scholars and it was said by them that the ‘Vedas’ had no evidence of large empires in India in Vedic times. Hence a pattern of ignoring literary evidence or misinterpreting them to suit the Aryan invasion idea became prevalent, even to the point of changing the meaning of Vedic words to suit this theory.
According to this theory, the Vedic people were nomads in the Punjab, coming down from Central Asia. However, the ‘Rig Veda’ itself has nearly 100 references to ocean (samudra), as well as dozens of references to ships, and to rivers flowing in to the sea. Vedic ancestors like Manu, Turvasha, Yadu and Bhujyu are flood figures, saved from across the sea. The Vedic God of the sea, Varuna, is the father of many Vedic seers and seer families like Vasishta, Agastya and the Bhrigu seers. To preserve the Aryan invasion idea it was assumed that the Vedic (and later Sanskrit) term for ocean, ‘samudra’, originally did not mean the ocean but any large body of water, especially the Indus river in Punjab. Here the clear meaning of a term in ‘Rig Veda’ and later times – verified by rivers like Saraswati mentioned by name as flowing into the sea – was altered to make the Aryan invasion theory fit. Yet if we look at the index to translation of the ‘Rig Veda’ by Griffith for example, who held to this idea that ‘samudra’ didn’t really mean the ocean, we find over 70 references to ocean or sea. If ‘samudra’ does not mean ocean, why was it translated as such? It is therefore without basis to locate Vedic kings in Central Asia far from any ocean or from the massive River Saraswati, which form the background of their land and the symbolism of their hymns.
One of the latest archaeological ideas is that the Vedic culture is evidenced by Painted Grey Ware pottery in north India, which appears to date around 1000 BC, and comes from the same region between the Ganges and Yamuna as later Vedic culture is related to. It is thought to be an inferior grade of pottery, and to be associated with the use of iron that the ‘Vedas’ are thought to mention. However it is associated with a pig and rice culture, not the cow and barley culture of the ‘Vedas’. Moreover it is now found to be an organic development of indigenous pottery, not an introduction of invaders.
Aryan-indus valley
Painted Grey Ware culture represents an indigenous cultural development and does not reflect any cultural intrusion from the West i.e. an Indo-Aryan invasion. Therefore, there is no archaeological evidence corroborating the fact of an Indo-Aryan invasion.
In addition, Aryans in the Middle East, most notably the Hittites, have now been found to have been in that region at least as early as 2200 BC, wherein they are already mentioned. Hence the idea of an Aryan invasion into the Middle East has been pushed back some centuries, though the evidence so far is that the people of the mountain regions of the Middle East were Indo-Europeans as far as recorded history can prove.
The Aryan Kassites of the ancient Middle East worshipped Vedic Gods like Surya and the Maruts, as well as one named Himalaya. The Aryan Hittites and Mittani signed a treaty with the name of the Vedic Gods Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Nasatyas around 1400 BC. The Hittites have a treatise on chariot racing written in almost pure Sanskrit. The Indo – Europeans of the ancient Middle East thus spoke Indo-Aryan, not Indo-Iranian languages, and thereby show a Vedic culture in that region of the world as well.
The Indus Valley culture had a form of writing, as evidenced by numerous seals found in the ruins. It was also assumed to be non-Vedic and probably Dravidian, though this was never proved. Now it has been shown that the majority of the late Indus signs are identical with those of later Hindu Brahmi, and that there is an organic development between the two scripts. Prevalent models now suggest an Indo-European base for that language.
It was also assumed that the Indus Valley culture derived its civilization from the Middle East, probably Sumeria, as antecedents for it were not found in India. Recent French excavations at Mehrgarh have shown that all the antecedents of the Indus Valley culture can be found within the subcontinent, and going back before 6000 BC.
In short, some Western scholars are beginning to reject the Aryan invasion or any outside origin for Hindu civilization.
Current archaeological data do not support the existence of an Indo- Aryan or European invasion into South Asia at any time in the pre- or proto-historic periods. Instead, it is possible to document archeologically a series of cultural changes reflecting indigenous cultural development from prehistoric to historic periods. The early Vedic literature describes not a human invasion into the area, but a fundamental restructuring of indigenous society. The Indo-Aryan invasion as an academic concept in 18th and 19th century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of the period. Linguistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archaeological and anthropological data.
Aryan-great bath
In other words, Vedic literature was interpreted on the assumption that there was an Aryan invasion. Then archaeological evidence was interpreted by the same assumption. And both interpretations were then used to justify each other. It is nothing but a tautology, an exercise in circular thinking that only proves that if assuming something is true, it is found to be true!
Another modern Western scholar, Colin Renfrew, places the Indo- Europeans in Greece as early as 6000 BC. He also suggests such a possible early date for their entry into India.
As far as I can see there is nothing in the Hymns of the ‘Rig Veda’ which demonstrates that the Vedic-speaking population was intrusive to the area: this comes rather from a historical assumption of the ‘coming of the Indo-Europeans’.
When Wheeler speaks of ‘the Aryan invasion of the land of the 7 rivers, the Punjab’, he has no warranty at all, so far as I can see. If one checks the dozen references in the ‘Rig Veda’ to the 7 rivers, there is nothing in them that to me implies invasion: the land of the 7 rivers is the land of the ‘Rig Veda’, the scene of action. Nor is it implied that the inhabitants of the walled cities (including the Dasyus) were any more aboriginal than the Aryans themselves.
Despite Wheeler’s comments, it is difficult to see what particularly non-Aryan about the Indus Valley civilization is. Hence Renfrew suggests that the Indus Valley civilization was in fact Indo-Aryan even prior to the Indus Valley era.
This hypothesis that early Indo-European languages were spoken in North India with Pakistan and on the Iranian plateau at the 6th millennium BC, has the merit of harmonizing symmetrically with the theory for the origin of the Indo- European languages in Europe. It also emphasizes the continuity in the Indus Valley and adjacent areas, from the early Neolithic through to the floruit of the Indus Valley civilization.
This is not to say that such scholars appreciate or understand the ‘Vedas’ – their work leaves much to be desired in this respect – but that it is clear that the whole edifice built around the Aryan invasion is beginning to tumble on all sides. In addition, it does not mean that the ‘Rig Veda’ dates from the Indus Valley era. The Indus Valley culture resembles that of the ‘Yajur Veda’ and they reflect the pre-Indus period in India, when the River Saraswati was more prominent.
The acceptance of such views would create a revolution in our view of history, as shattering as that in science caused by Einstein’s theory of relativity. It would make ancient India perhaps the oldest, largest and most central of ancient cultures. It would mean that the Vedic literary record – already the largest and oldest of the ancient world even at a 1500 BC date – would be the record of teachings some centuries or thousands of years before that. It would mean that the ‘Vedas’ are our most authentic record of the ancient world. It would also tend to validate the Vedic view that the Indo-Europeans and other Aryan peoples were migrants from India, not that the Indo-Aryans were invaders into India. Moreover, it would affirm the Hindu tradition that the Dravidians were early offshoots of the Vedic people through the seer Agastya, and not un-Aryan people.
In closing, it is important to examine the social and political implications of the Aryan invasion idea:–
First, it served to divide India into a northern Aryan and southern Dravidian culture which were made hostile to each other. This kept the Hindus divided and is still a source of social tension.
Second, it gave the British an excuse in their conquest of India. They could claim to be doing only what the Aryan ancestors of the Hindus had previously done a millennium ago.
Third, it served to make Vedic culture later than and possibly derived from Middle Eastern cultures. With the proximity and relationship of the latter with the Bible and Christianity, this kept the Hindu religion as a sidelight to the development of religion and civilization to the West.
Fourth, it allowed the sciences of India to be given a Greek basis, as any Vedic basis was largely disqualified by the primitive nature of the Vedic culture.
This discredited not only the ‘Vedas’ but the genealogies of the ‘Puranas’, and their long list of the kings before the Buddha or Krishna were left without any historical basis. The ‘Mahabharata’, instead of a civil war in which all the main kings of India participated as it is described, became a local skirmish among petty princes that was later exaggerated by poets. In short, it discredited most of the Hindu tradition and almost all its ancient literature. It turned its scriptures and sages into fantasies and exaggerations.
This served a social, political and economic purpose of domination, proving the superiority of Western culture and religion. It made the Hindus feel that their culture was not the great thing that their sages and ancestors had said it was. It made Hindus feel ashamed of their culture – that its basis was neither historical nor scientific. It made them feel that the main line of civilization was developed first in the Middle East and then in Europe and that the culture of India was peripheral and secondary to the real development of world culture.
Such a view is not good scholarship or archaeology but merely cultural imperialism. The Western Vedic scholars did in the intellectual sphere what the British army did in the political realm – discredit, divide and conquer the Hindus.
In short, the compelling reasons for the Aryan invasion theory were neither literary nor archaeological but political and religious – that is to say, not scholarship but prejudice. Such prejudice may not have been intentional, but deep-seated political and religious views easily cloud and blur our thinking.
It is unfortunate that this approach has not been questioned more, particularly by Hindus. Even though Indian Vedic scholars like Dayananda Saraswati, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo rejected it, most Hindus today passively accept it. They allow Western, generally Christian, scholars to interpret their history for them, and quite naturally Hinduism is kept in a reduced role. Many Hindus still accept, read or even honour the translations of the ‘Vedas’ done by such Christian missionary scholars as Max Muller, Griffith, Monier- Williams and HH Wilson. Would modern Christians accept an interpretation of the Bible or Biblical history done by Hindus, aimed at converting them to Hinduism? Universities in India also use the Western history books and Western Vedic translations that propound such views that denigrate their own culture and country.
The modern Western academic world is sensitive to criticisms of cultural and social biases. For scholars to take a stand against this biased interpretation of the ‘Vedas’ would indeed cause a re-examination of many of these historical ideas that cannot stand objective scrutiny. But if Hindu scholars are silent or passively accept the misinterpretation of their own culture, it will undoubtedly continue, but they will have no one to blame but themselves. It is not an issue to be taken lightly, because how a culture is defined historically creates the perspective from which it is viewed in the modern social and intellectual context. Tolerance is not in allowing a false view of one’s own culture and religion to be propagated without question. That is merely self-betrayal.
(David Frawley is an American Hindu author, who has written several books Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology. He is also the founder and director of American Institute of Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ramayana not a work of fiction

Ramayana not a work of fiction

Monday, 15 June 2015 | Kumar Chellappan | Chennai
Ramsevak Kol, a tribe from the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, stands head and shoulders above other Indians.  Genetic studies prove that he is one of the descendants of King Guha of Ramayana.  An international team of researchers consisting of geneticists, anthropologists, archaeologists and historians have found that Ramayana, written 10,000 years ago, is a chronicle of events and characters recorded by Sage Valmiki and not a work of fiction.
The mystery behind the characters in Ramayana has been solved by a team led by Dr Gyaneshwer Chaubey, ace genetic scientist of the Estonian Biocentre in Estonia. A three-year long research by Dr Chaubey and his team drawn out from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, Delhi University, Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur and Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas has found that the Bhils, Gonds and the Kols, categorised as Scheduled Castes and Tribes by the modern day administrators of India are the true descendants of characters featured in Ramayana. The peer reviewed scientific paper authored by the team has been published by PLOS ONE, a respected scientific portal.

The Kol tribe, found mainly in areas like Mirzapur, Varanasi, Banda and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, are the descendants of the Kol mentioned in Ramayana, according to Dr Chaubey and his team. Remember Guha, the chieftain of Sringiverapuram who helped Lord Rama, Sita and Laksmana cross the Ganga during their journey to the forests? “Guha, the Nishad King, is the ancestor of the present day Kol tribe we found in these regions. This ancestry was established by genetic studies. These groups of people carry the basic indigenous genetic traits of India. Ramsevak and thousands like him spread across the States of UP, MP, Odisha, Chhattisgargh are the true descendants of Lord Rama and his contemporaries,” Dr Chaubey told The Pioneer from Tartu in Estonia via video conferencing.
Dr Chaubey and Prof VR Rao, an anthropologist in Delhi University, said that the studies proved that these groups of people have maintained their genetic continuity for more than 10,000 years. “This again sets at rest the Aryan invasion theory. There is no inflow into the genetic traits of these tribes from outside elements,” said Saroj Bala, a specialist in Vedic and Ramayana studies, who shot into fame by calculating the date of birth of Lord Rama based on planetary positions.

Prof Rao said the studies confirmed that the characters mentioned by Valmiki in Ramayana are real life characters. “King Dasaratha, Rama and others were not fictional characters,” he said.  Dr S Kalyanaraman, an Indologist of repute, said the Kols are the iron smelters about whom there are mentions in Indus Script excavated from the banks of Indus as well as River Saraswathi.

“This paper by Gyaneswer Chaube and team is an attempt to explain the roots of Hindu civilisation which has been distorted by creating false ethnic identities by the categorisation of people,” said Dr Kalyanaraman. He said a comprehensive study incorporating all tribes should be undertaken which would prove that the breaking up of essential unity of Bharatiya identity based on caste and ethnicity are academic fiction with no basis and a distortion of the history of ancient India.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

19 Warbirds Of The Indian Air Force That Keep The Skies Safe

19 Warbirds Of The Indian Air Force That Keep The Skies Safe

The Indian Air Force is one of the largest air forces in the world. It has a mix of potent planes which includes heavy multirole fighters that keep the enemy fighters at bay, deep penetration strike aircraft for taking out ground targets deep into enemy territory, and airlifters for transporting troops and equipment to the most inhospitable areas. The Indian Air Force is keeping the skies safe and here are the warbirds that make this possible.


1. Sukhoi 30 Mki
Indian Air Force
India's premier multi-role air superiority fighter, it can fly at twice the speed of sound and has a range of more than 3,000 km which can be extended with in-flight refueling.
2. Mig-21 BIS
Indian Air Force
India's first supersonic fighter, the Mig-21's iconic tailed delta wing configuration makes it the most easily recognisable planes in the world. It is scheduled for retirement in the coming years.
3. Mig-29
Indian Air Force
This air superiority fighter was responsible for keeping the Pakistani F-16 at bay during the Kargil War. Currently being upgraded to the UPG standard.
4. Mirage 2000
Indian Air Force
Capable of carrying nuclear weapons, it was the precision bombing during the Kargil War by the Mirage 2000 that was responsible for flushing out the bad guys. The fleet is being upgraded to I/TI standard and will remain in service till 2040.
5.  Mig-27
Indian Air Force
wikimedia commons
One of the few swing-wing fighters in service across the world, the Mig-27 was an upgrade to the Mig-23. It serves the role of a ground attack aircraft in the Indian Air Force.
6. SEPECAT Jaguar
Indian Air Force
Anup Kumar Chaturvedi
The twin-engined Jaguar is unique in the way it mounts its air-to-air missile over the wings. This frees up space for bombs on the under wing pylons. The Indian Air Force also uses it for naval strike role.
7. HAL Tejas
Indian Air Force
Inducted into the Indian Air Force, the Tejas is expected to receive the Final Operation Clearance (FOC) this year. This means that IAF pilots will soon be able to fly it to its limits. An improved Mk 2 version is also in the works.

Transport Aircraft

8. Boeing C-17 Globemaster
Indian Air Force
Significantly boosting the Indian Air Force's heavy lift capabilities, the C-17 has been at the forefront of the recent rescue missions in the Middle East and Nepal. With a total order of 10 planes, India will become the largest operator of the plane outside of the US.
9. Lockheed Martin C 130J Super Hercules
Indian Air Force
Capable of landing on unprepared landing strips, the C-130 is central to India's war fighting capabilities against China. The IAF landed one at Daulat Beg Oldie, one of the highest airstrips in the world.
10. Ilyushin IL-76
Indian Air Force
Before the Globemaster, the IL-76 was India's heavy lifter of choice. It still is in service and supplements the IAF whenever there's need for long distance transportation.
11. Avro HS 748
Indian Air Force
Siddarth Bhandary
India was the only other country to have produced this long serving tactical transport. The type will soon be replaced by the Airbus C295.
12. Antonov An-32
Indian Air Force
wikimedia commons
Derived from the civilian An-26, the launch customer of the An-32 was the Indian Air Force. The high mounted wing and engines allow this tactical transport to land on unprepared landing grounds.
13. Dornier Do 228
Indian Air Force
Sean D'silva
The Short Take Off and Landing Dornier is IAF's short distance utility transporter. A new order for 15 more planes was placed by the IAF this year and DRDO is using it as a Flying Test Bed for research work.

Special Mission Aircraft

14. Ilyushin IL-78
Indian Air Force
B Harry/ACIG.org
Based on the Il-76, the Il-78 aerial refueling aircraft plays an important role in extending the operational range of aircraft like the Su-30, Mig-29 and Mirage 2000. The Il-78 can refuel up to three planes at a time.
15. Beriev A-50 Phalcon
Indian Air Force
Another derivative of the Il-76, the A-50 came about as a result of a tripartite agreement between India, Israel and Russia. The 'eye in the sky' can look deep into enemy territory and directs fighters towards enemy planes.
16. EMB-145 AWECS
Indian Air Force
India's second line of Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems aircraft, the Embraer 145 is going to induct three of these. Friendly countries have expressed interest in the aircraft and it may soon be exported.


17. BAE Hawk
Indian Air Force
Gordon Zammit
Used for providing the final stage training to IAF pilots, the Hawk can also be used in combat role. The Hawk will also be used to form IAF's display team, the Surya Kirans, this year.
18. HAL HJT-16 Kiran
Indian Air Force
  India's homegrown intermediate jet trainer has been used for training IAF pilots. But it is more famous for giving its name to the Surya Kiran display team. The Kiran is likely to be replaced by the HJT-36 which is under development.
19. Pliatus PC-7
Indian Air Force

IAF's rookie pilots are trained on the Pliatus, which features a tandem cockpit with the trainer sitting in the back monitoring the pupil sitting in the front. IAF has recently placed an order for 38 more of this basic trainer.

By Abhisek Saxena and Ajai Shukla  - India times.com

Sickular Politicians praising Islam? Non-Muslims, seek shelter! And Muslims, too!

Politicians praising Islam? Non-Muslims, seek shelter! And Muslims, too!
Dr. Koenraad Elst
koenraad estThe Organization of Islamic Cooperation has launched the term “Islamophobia”, which was immediately adopted by the US, the EU, academic bodies like the American Academy of Religion, and then the media and the chattering classes in the West, in India and elsewhere. Its users translate it as “hatred of Islam” but it really means “fear of Islam”. It treats warnings against the threat Islam poses to rival convictions as well as to freedom and democracy as a psychic disease on a par with claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) or arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders). It is an excellent way to poison the debate by declaring your enemies insane. In reply, we will coin the term “Islamophilia”. Being more generous and open-minded than our opponents, we have not chosen a psychiatric term to designate them. Like francophilia, “love of everything French”, it is merely a descriptive term: love of Islam. We consider this love irrational, but do not include an intrinsic irrationality in the term chosen. Someone who whitewashes Islam or shields it from criticism is an “Islamophile”.
When George Bush spoke to the American people after the bomb attacks of 11 September 2001, he told them to assemble in their churches, their synagogues and their mosques. He made it a point to emphasize that the Muslim Americans too were part of the nation. The revenge invasion of Afghanistan that he was planning, would merely be a “war on terror”, not a war on Islam. Meanwhile, American politicians fell over each other to be seen visiting mosques or celebrating Iftar parties. No, this was not a war on Islam, eventhough American and British soldiers were killing Muslims in Afghanistan and later in Iraq by the thousands. Every next bombing in or invasion of Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, Mali and again Iraq would be accompanied by vows of: “Islam is the religion of peace”, “Islamic State (of Iraq and al-Sham) is not the true Islam”, nay, “IS are monsters, not Muslims”. George Bush, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy, François Hollande, all the killers or Muslim civilians (say, Afghan wedding parties) and of fighters for organizations explicitly invoking Islam, have praised Islam to the skies and refrained from criticizing Islam or giving any quarter to critics of Islam. When a Western politician starts praising Islam, Muslims had better seek shelter.
One of the striking things about these Islamophile leaders is their breath-taking pretentiousness. Whereas IS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a doctor of Islamic Studies, Islamophiles like Cameron with his pompous “monsters, not Muslims” statement are simply zeroes in Islamic theology and law. Al-Baghdadi can win hands down in any dispute before an Islamic court. Everything IS has become notorious for, from kidnappings and rapes through slave-takings to executions of dissidents and unbelievers, has been prefigured in Mohammed’s own conduct. The new Caliph knows that the cornerstone of Islamic law, recognized by every single Islamic jurisconsult or judge, is the Prophet’s precedent behaviour. What Cameron is saying, effectively comes down to asserting that “Mohammed was non-Muslim”, or even: “Mohammed was a monster”. Mind you, I have not said it, but the British Prime Minister has implied it.

Media bias
The media, in their vast majority committed to shielding Islam from criticism, will connect the dots in a simplistic and thoroughly wrong manner. They report on the frequent killings of Muslims by Western soldiers and drones, and on the other they promote and highlight the thoroughly false notion of Islamophobia, so they pontificate that “Islamophobia has caused increasing international violence against Muslims”. On the contrary, Islamophilia is the professed conviction of the leaders who kill Muslims. By contrast, critics of Islam like Raimundus Lullus, Voltaire, the late Sita Ram Goel, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, including ex-Muslims like the late Anwar Sheikh, Taslima Nasrin, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, have never harmed a single Muslim. Even mass-murderer Anders Breivik, the darling and lonely trump card of the Islamophiles, strengthens our case: while not actively an Islam critic, he was at least a quoter of Islam critics (though he reckoned his own act would be used by the Islamophiles to discredit them by association, which he considered good as he wanted to eliminate the “illusion” of reasonable and democratic methods in favour of the violent option) and the killer of 77 people, but he had spurned the easy option of throwing a bomb into a full mosque and instead  pointed his machine gun at juvenile multiculturalists of the Norwegian Labour Party. So, even his grisly case confirms that Islam critics don’t kill Muslims while Islamophiles do.
This applies even to India: Jawaharlal Nehru presided over the state that was forced to wage war with Pakistan over Kashmir in 1947-8, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Behari Vajpayee faced down Pakistani invasion in 1965 c.q. 1999, and Indira Gandhi waged the Bangladesh war in 1971, killing many Pakistani Muslims in the process; yet none of them can be quoted as ever criticizing Islam, while some if not all of them have actually praised Islam. For none of the Western or Indian leaders concerned, it can credibly be argued that they didn’t mean what they said in favour of Islam. All of them had to operate in and were groomed by a climate of Islamophilia. Both the so-called “secularists” in India and the multiculturalists in the West combat and criminalize any sign of Islam criticism. Even the “Hindu nationalist” party BJP, to which Vajpayee belonged, has never criticized Islam. Those numerous secularists who allege that the BJP hates islam are welcome to quote a statement of that tendency from the BJP party paper; I at least have never seen one.
Every single medium considers itself an objective vantage-point from which to evaluate all the other media. So, they all say that “the media” except themselves are anti-Islamic and spread a negative view of Islam. This is another make-believe: the media not anti-Islamic by any means, they shield Islam from criticism as much as they can and they impose on all inconvenient facts about Islamic movements the best possible spin. Yet it is true that nonetheless, the media do spread a negative view of Islam in spite of themselves, viz. in their raw reporting. What impact does a newspaper editorial in praise of Islam have, when the next page reports on kidnappings and forced conversions by Boko Haram or slave-takings and beheadings by the Caliphate? The public knows by now that “haram” and “caliphate” are Islamic terms. It can read for itself that the first thing Boko Haram did with the kidnapped girls was to forcibly convert them to Islam; clearly they are not “monsters without religion”. So the negative influence of the media on the public’s perception of Islam is not due to media bias, on the contrary, it is only due to reality peeping through in the news reports.   

Casus belli
The Islamophile leaders do not just happen to kill Muslims, both fighters and civilians (“collateral damage”), they do so specifically for Islamophile reasons. According to US Foreign Secretary John Kerry, one of the reasons for sending bomber airplanes to Iraq to fight IS, is to eliminate the “distortion of Islam”. In reality, the Islamic State is giving a truthful picture of what Islamic doctrine stands for. It emulates the Prophet’s behaviour, a model for all Muslims. Not just the “fanatics” but all deliberate Muslims sanctify the Prophet as the “perfect man”. So, no distortion there. Yet, Islamophiles propagate the notion that “IS is not the true Islam”. They like to drown the fish by claiming that there are many schools of Islam; but none can show us an Islamic school where it is taught that “Mohammed was wrong”.
Publicity-conscious Muslims have even tried to support them by issuing a statement condemning IS. Here at last was proof from the horse’s mouth that the real Islam is a religion of peace after all; or is something wrong with this idyllic picture? Caliph al-Baghdadi will have no trouble repudiating this statement in a court of Islamic law nor in the court of reason. For instance, among the reasons cited why IS does not live up to the standards of real Islam, is its practice of slavery. But it is easy to show that Mohammed took and sold slaves, and that Mohammed took a captive Jewish woman into his harem after massacring her male family members. IS’s practice of enslaving non-Muslims, selling them or using them for sexual gratification is nothing but an emulation of Mohammed’s model behaviour, by definition valid in Islamic law. What the Muslim spokesmen are saying, or at least what they want the silly Islamophiles to believe, is that Mohammed himself was a bad Muslim, a “monster”. The abolition of slavery was imposed from outside on the Muslim world, principally by Britain, and was not abolished in the Arabic heartland of Islam until 1962 The peculiar institution was only reluctantly done away with in Muslim society, and the Caliphate is merely reviving an institution intrinsic to Islam – as the authors of this statement fully well know. But they have no second thoughts about fooling the non-Muslim Islamophile, especially because these are only eager to be duped.
The situation now is that pious Muslims (not “monsters” but pious Muslims) are being killed by the bombers of Islamophile President Barack Obama and his equally Islamophile allies. Thus, Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem, who sent six bomber aircraft to Iraq, also parroted the line that “IS terrorists have nothing to do with Islam”: the same combination of Islamophilia by conviction with Muslim-killing in reality. Also among the victims are the Yezidi women being used as sex slaves, the Assyrians and Yezidis who formally converted to Islam to save their lives, as well as numerous cases of the fabled “moderate Muslim” among the civilians of the region. Islamophiles have a lot of blood on their hands.

By: Koenraad Elst

Yoga has a religion: it is Hinduism

Yoga has a religion: it is Hinduism
My immediate response to the assertion that ‘Yoga has no religion’ is a flat denial.
My immediate response to the assertion that ‘Yoga has no religion’ is a flat denial. Because I know Yoga, Yoga is a friend of mine and I can truthfully attest to the fact that Yoga does indeed have a religion. He’s a Hindu. Therefore anyone making the claim that Yoga has no religion is either ignorant or is a liar (maybe both) since it is categorically and emphatically false. Do I make myself clear?
Oh, they mean the practice of yoga, the set of physical and mental exercises that originated in India and is widely used across the world for improving physical and spiritual well-being? Well, well, then let me address that ‘Yoga has no religion’ claim. Spoiler alert: it is a stupid, meaningless statement made by the congenitally ignorant demonstrating a mentally disabling but well-deserved inferiority complex.
‘Yoga has no religion’ belongs to a category of statements that are syntactically sound but semantically empty like the statement Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.‘ (Briefly hold the cursor over the link for a reference. Always a good idea to do so.)
The statement is indeed well-formed and has the usual English subject-predicate structure with ‘Yoga’ as the subject and the predicate ‘has no religion.’ And unless the subject refers to a human being (real or imaginary), the statement is semantic nonsense: it is neither true nor false. Meaningful statements are either true or their converse is true. Consider the statement ‘Cars have no possessions.’ It is meaningless because neither it nor its contradiction is true. People have possessions; inanimate objects don’t.
Cars can be possessions, however. Or a car may be abandoned and therefore have no possessor. Cars can be possessed but cars do not possess. That distinction is important and worth keeping in mind if one is interested in not coming across as an imbecile.
Yoga is a technique (I am not referring to my aforementioned friend who has a PhD in material science, not spiritual science), a way of doing or thinking about things just like modern science, or motorcycle maintenance, or psychoanalysis, or minimalism, or gymnastics, or terrorism. All of those things are not people. Only people have the capacity to understand, believe in, and profess ideologies such as a religion. Thus it is meaningful to say that James has or does not have a religion. If James is a self-identified atheist, one can truthfully assert that ‘James has no religion.’ But saying ‘Material science has no religion’ is revealing asininity.
A related cretinous statement to ‘Yoga has no religion’ is ‘Terrorism has no religion’ — usually made by the same retards. Terrorism is a technique or a strategy, not a person. A terrorist is a person. Therefore a terrorist can be said to have or not have a religion. Thus, for instance, when a terrorist asserts that he is following the commands of Allah as revealed to the prophet of Islam and preserved in the Islamic holy book the Koran, and kills innocents as he blows himself up, it makes sense to say, ‘the terrorist is a Muslim’ but it makes no sense to say ‘Terrorism has no religion.’
Those statements are just plain abuse of language. One does not have to take a course on general semantics or become an expert on Korzybski’s thesis to stop misuse of language. I argue for the proper use of language, and basic sanity in general.
Anyway, let’s get back to yoga — note the lower-case ‘y’. Yoga is a technique that was developed in India centuries ago, and belongs to Hinduism (and its theological off-springs such as Buddhism and Jainism) in the sense that those who created it self-identified as Hindus (regardless of whether they used the word ‘Hindu’ or ‘Sanatana dharma’) and is preserved in the sacred scriptures of what is known as Hinduism. All of yoga’s ancient practitioners have been Hindus and only in modern times, have non-Hindus started using the technique. Practicing yoga does not make one a Hindu. But merely because non-Hindus or non-Indians can (and do) practice yoga does not alter the fact that yoga is a Hindu tradition and its provenance is entirely Indian.
mozartLet me use this analogy. I love bhajans. I love Buddhist chants. I love Christian sacred music. Mozart’s ‘Requiem in D minor‘ or Bach’s ‘St Matthews Passion’ or Handel’s ‘Messiah’, move me to tears. That music is absolutely, distinctly Christian. My appreciation of it does not make me a Christian, and the fact that non-Christians can relate to the music does not uproot the music from its Christian ground. Music does not have a religion but different religions have different musical traditions. Meerabhajans are Hindu; Tibetan chants are Buddhist; Gregorian chants are Roman Catholic.
Yoga is Indian and more specifically Hindu in that sense. Hindu sacred texts contain its principles; Hindus were its principal authorities; Hindus, and only Hindus, practiced it for centuries. The yoga asanas such as the Surya Namaskar are Hindu practices. Wikipedia notes, ‘Its origins lie in India where its large Hindu population worships Surya, the Hindu solar deity. This sequence of movements and asanas can be practised on varying levels of awareness, ranging from that of physical exercise in various styles, to a complete sadhana which incorporates asanapranayamamantra and chakra meditation.’
Also, here’s an everyday clue that yoga is Hindu: only Hindus name their children Yoga or Yogananada; Christians, Muslims, Jews don’t.
Indeed, many prominent Muslim and Christian authorities have issued religious edicts prohibiting their coreligionists from doing yoga. These people are quite understandably wary of yoga — it is a Hindu practice and is more than likely to ‘corrupt’ them. Yoga is a gateway, a mechanism, a means, a road to reaching enlightenment. Enlightenment is a uniquely Indian spiritual goal. Unlike in the Abrahamic religions which focus entirely on pleasing a monotheistic god who demands absolute obedience, the Indic religions’ goal is liberation or moksha, the removal of the illusion that one is not the Supreme Being.
Spiritual advancement, not obedience to some super-big-daddy-in-the-sky, is the goal of yoga. Etymologically, yoga is a cognate of ‘yoke’ — to unite, to bind. The idea is to yoke yourself to the ultimate principle behind the universe, the universal consciousness. Yoga is essentially about mind and its control. And if one starts with the physical bits, who knows whether one will gravitate towards the non-physical bits. And that would not be very good for the proselytizing religions.
My position on who should do yoga, who should be prohibited, who should be forced, etc, is very simple. It is in keeping with my fundamental principle: do what you will. I don’t like coercion and I do not coerce. If you want to do yoga, fine. If you don’t want to do yoga, fine. Do whatever you want to do, do it to your heart’s content but don’t coerce — in yoga or anything at all.
You may ask, what brought on this rant. Well, wonder no more. It was this tweet:
shahidNo sir, yoga is an integral part of Hinduism. Yes, it may be practiced universally but it is and will remain Hindu. Get used to it. I guess it sucks for you but you just have to suck it up.
[Free language lesson thrown in: ‘Suck it up’: Idiom — to accept whatever calamity, pain, suffering, anguish or whatever unpleasantness is occurring (and stoically endure it).]
I am not familiar with Shahid Siddiqui’s work but I have a hunch that he may have claimed ‘Terrorism has no religion.’ Bombs have no religion too. Nor do planes, and automobiles. Come to think of it, my derrière has no religion, too. So what.
(This was first published on the author’s blog)
Dr. Atanu Dey is an economist and author of the book, “Transforming India.”

Monday, June 1, 2015

India's intellectuals

 India's intellectuals

From a lecture by former JNU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kapil Kapoor before the Indore-based India Inspires Foundation, I have to relate a particularly relevant part, viz. about our Indian "intellectuals". Any mistakes in my rendering are of course mine.
These intellectuals are to be distinguished from Hinduism's traditional men of knowledge, or Rishi-s. The Rishi-s were devoted to the welfare of society, and they encouraged responsibility, self-reliance and cheerfulness. By contrast, our present "intellectuals" are only Buddhi-Jivi-s, those who "use their intellect to make a living". 
They have certain typical characteristics:
* They are worried, with a perennially worried look on their carefully careless-looking faces. They think that everything is bad, particularly all that really or allegedly stems from Hindu religion: caste, sati (eventhough the Sati after whom the custom was named, set herself on fire while her husband Shiva was alive, and eventhough all Hindu scriptures from the Rg-Veda on down condemn this rare Rajput practice), superstition etc. They worry about minorities and gender, and about the environment: whatever Hindus do, is polluting. Thus, while their consumerist lifestyles are above criticism, Hindus throwing around coloured powder on Holi are harming the ecosystem. Nowadays they worry about the farmers, eventhough they can't tell a hoe from a plough.

* They have a sense of bad luck. Thus, why did they have to be born in a poor "developing country" rather than in America? (Well, at least the status of "developing country" is useful in so far as it keeps the donations coming, which money is then funneled towards the established intellectuals so that their children can get Ph.D.s in America.)   They bemoan everything. They are like Rudali-s, professional mourners; except that Rudali-s only mourn at a occurrence of a real loss, a king's death or so, whereas these intellectuals mourn all the time. Shiites flagellate themselves on Muharram to mourn Hussain's defeat; these intellectuals have a Muharram every day.
* They suffer from a Hanuman complex. Hanuman was so strong that the gods were afraid of him and cursed him to forget his strength until someone would remind him. So, they forget about the past glories of their own civilization. The first European travelers wondered why the Indians had no maps; well, because maps are for people who have to go elsewhere because they need something from there, but Indians had everything in their own country. Our intellectuals see only the poverty that Islamic and British colonization and Nehruvian socialism have wrought (which they falsely attribute to Hindu influence, terming Nehruvian economic failure the "Hindu rate of growth"). They are always appealing for state intervention, like today’s middle class, who always ring up for help; or like the Devata-s (gods) in the Puranic myths, helpless before their Asura (demon) enemies. It is always the Asuras who are self-reliant, while the  Devata-s are only there to shower flowers.
* They have a Tittiri complex. The Tittiri is a Indian bird that sleeps on its back with its feet skywards, as if supporting the heavens so that they don't fall. Likewise, the intellectuals think that their enduring concern is needed to save India.

And a little extra to cap it all: intellectuals are good at talking about a book without having read it. This they call "meta-study". (Or as their hero Ayatollah Khomeini said about Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses: "You don't need to jump into a dungheap to know that it stinks.")

"This essay was originally written by Dr. Koenraad Elst"