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We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas.




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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Missing Links of History and ATM NIRIKSHAN

Missing Links of History and ATM NIRIKSHAN

Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams: Chapter 173

Palash Biswas

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HISTORY is all about Victories in War and civil War, Dynasties, Rulers, Hegemonies, Ruling class. Present day History involving the great events may prove the fact.
Survival of the FITTEST remains the PRIME THEME.
DELUSION of GOD is near impossible.
Hegemonies are always DIVINE. Let it be AMERICANISM, Roman Empire or Greek mythology or Anglo Saxon colonialism or our own ARYAN Holy Scripts.
History remains a CRUEL, Mercy less FACE of Humanity devoid of humanity.
SLUM DOG Realities are often marginalised.
History misses the BEATS of the day to day life of the REAL People enslaved.
History is always Captured and Manipulated.
Thus, we never know about our ancestors and their dreams, our identities and nationalities and simply we lose mother tongue and culture.
Eventually we have to suffer from UN CURABLE Dementia!
Americas did exist before colonisation.
So did exists all great colonies in AFRICA, ASIA, EUROPE and Australia. But we know very little about the History of PAST.
In fact, we are quite unaware of Present day day to day History as facts and information are manipulated by Global Hegemonies!
Even a developed nation like GREAT BRITAIN has a DARK Age before the arrival of ANGLO Saxons. Invader BRAHAMINICAL ARYANS did everything to delete every trace of the NON ARYAN or PRE ARYAN legacy.
Even SUBALTERN studies centre around personality CULT. Indian Anti APARTHEID anti VEDIC ARYAN movements have not been studied on multi dimensional level. Hence, we never know the required details about either the People or the time.
Only today, I got a little mag , ATMA NIRIKSHAN published from KONTAI, Midnapur. The paper published a brilliant article of BIG BANG and materialistic Interpretaion of history focusing on NON EXISTENCE of GOD.
The fact is that all over the DEVELOPED countries, HATRED CAMPAIGN against MUSLIMS and GLOBALISATION of Hindutva associated with ZIONISM, US Corporate Imperialism, Weapon industry and ILLUMINATI, have led the WESTERN SOCIETY to the DENIAL of SCIENCE and they tend to dismiss even a personality like DARWIN to reincarnate the JEWISH CHRISTIAN GOD.
The periodical newspaper is publishing three serials altogether.
One is related to the HISTORY of INDIA, SECOND about the MYTH of GANDHI and third an autobiography by a Bengali Dalit writer DHURJOTI LASHKAR.
From the first article, I came to know that GURUCHAND Thakur and MUKUNDA BIHARI MALLICK had submitted a demand of charter to the BRITISH Government demanding SEPARATE ELECTORATE for the SC ST people way back in 1911.
It was unknown to most of the people.
As we thought that the BRITISH RAJ offered COMMUNAL REWARD as a DIVIDE and RULE Policy. It was not.
Only because, in 1911 itself the CHANDALS and DOMS of Bengal were called as NAMOSHUDRAS in the Census report of 1911. The SC people were counted separately which became the base of the Communal reward.
Harichand THAKUR has begun ABOLISH UNTOUCHABILITY movement way back in 18th century long before AMBEDKAR.
MID and GURUCHAND Thakur were responsible to make it official in 1911 Census report.
Then the Revolution in USSR in 1917 and the UPRISING of enslaved nationalities led by LENIN and STALIN inspired the BRITISH RAJ to introduce the GOVERNMENT of India ACT!
Dr Ambedkar was the nominated member of the ASSEMBLY by BOMBAY PRESIDENCY. Thus, he was invited as a representatives of SCHEDULED Castes in the ROUND TABLE MEETING in LONDON to decide on COMMUNAL Award. But Guruchand Thakur and MUKUNDA Behari Mallick who demanded Separate ELECTORATE for SC and ST way back in 1911, were not invited.
Jogendra Nath Mandal was against the COMMUNAL AWARD and PUNE Pact was signed in 1936 deciding for the BRAHAMINICAL RAJ riding of GANDHIAN BETRAYAL!
Jogendra Nath Mandal opposed PUNE pact only after the second conference of ALL INDIA Scheduled Caste Federation. But JOGENDRA Babu hit the JACK POT when he got DR BR AMBEDKAR elected from EAST Bengal for the CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY.
It is IRONICAL that the land which elected AMBEDKAR is a foreign land called BANGLADESH. The People who have voted for AMBEDKAR were made to face the HOLOCAUST by the REVENGEFUL BRAHMINICAL HEGEMONIES BENGALI as well as INDIAN. now they have lost HOMELAND and PREDESTINED to be deported once again in NO MAN`S LAND.
Mukund BIHARI Mallick who withdrew from the CONTEST supporting AMBEDKAR, has no place in indian history. Mallick and GURUCHAND THAKUR were not in the mainstream politics as JOGENDRA BABU had been as the minister of Bengal, then as the LAW MINISTER of India`s Interim GOVT. and at last the Law minister of PAKISTAN.
It is the History we must know!
I discussed the ISSUE with DR GUNADHAR BURMAN, the editor of ATM NIRIKSHAN immediately after I read the articles and challenged the FACTS. But he convinced me with DOCUMENTS!

Aboriginal Indigenous history of India is quite INCOMPLETE without MOHANJODORO, HARRAPA, TAKSHSHILA and SWAT Valley in Pakistan.
It remains INCOMPLETE without the Land Left behind by our people who ruled BENGAL once upon a time, Now Called Bangladesh.
The INVADERS have become the Masters of BENGALI Nationality and the ABORIGINAL INDIGENOUS Communities who INHIBITED and RULED BENGAL even in 19th CENTURY have been DRIVE OUT of BENGALI GEOPOLITICS. History has killed our LEGACY, Identity and NATIONALITY. We may trace NEITHER our ANCESTORS nor their DREAMS!

In Bengal, the missing links are mind blowing! I have been writing on the topic often! I have visited different parts of Bengal to trace the missing links. I have also visited the VICTIMS of HISTORY, the Aboriginal Indigenous and Minority communities in UP, BIHAR, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, North Eats, Himalayas, Jharkhand and CHHATTISHGARH.
In Bengal, I visited extensive areas in South Bengal and North Bengal, from Jhargram to Murshidabad, Burdwan to HASNABAD, Darjeeling to Sundarvana.
I have intensified my studies in Murshidabad, Maldah and BIRBHUM to trace our ancestors.
I have already written how HISTORICAL Evidences are being destroyed in Criminal negligence in Murshidabad, Karna Subarno, Sundarvana,Midnapur, PURULIA, Gaur and Maldah and all over BIRBHUM and BURDWAN!
Life before the Pala dynasty that controlled mainly what is now Bihar and Bengal from the 8th-12th Century, also consist the DARK AGE of Bengal.
We know nothing about anything in between SHASHANK and RAMPAL of PALA dynasty! We know nothing significant about PRE SHASHANK Bengal and have to depend on myths and legends, totems and religion!
Whatever we know about Shashank, it is ARYAN version and we never know the Real ruler.
We know about his victories and wars, but we never know his time and the people.
More over, we never know about all those INDIGENOUS States, kingdoms and rulers which existed even in British Raj all over in Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and North East, East Bengal,Orissa, Andhra, Chhattishgargh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and so on.
We know very little about TRIBAL and PEASANT Insurrections countrywide. We are quite unaware of INDIGENOUS Aboriginal History anywhere on this GLOBE.
We know very little about Mahasthan Gargh, Baghmundi, Panchkot, DHULBHOOM, SINGHBHOOM, LALGARH, Maanbhoom, Santhal Pargana, CHHOTANAGPUR, NATORE, UDDIYAN, RANI RASMANI or RANI Bhavani. Personalities like Rani Bhavani, Rani Rasmani, BIRSA MUNDA, TITUMIR, SIDU KANHO, CHARU MAJUMDAR, Harichand Thakur, Panchanan Burman, DEVI CHOWDHURANI, BHAVANI THAKUR have been made LEGENDS only.
I am hopeless to note the detachedness of HISTORY Congress and UNIVERSITIES. ACADEMICIA is never intersestd to investigate TRUTH.
We often talk about the SILK ROUTE but we never tried to know the Missing INDIAN historical links scattered in Central Asia and Middle East.
We never try to understand PAN AFRICANISM.
Even the Indian nation is VERTICALLY divided in North and SOUTH
ARYAN North is not interested to link itself to DRAVID South.
We don`t care about our legacy extended in neighbourhood into the DIVIDED SOUTH ASIAN Geopolitics. Then, the Entire hiamalayan region from Kashmir to Nagaland and Manipur do breathe under AFPSA, Military rule. We never know about their plights and they are quite isolated from the rest of the Nation.
EAST never cares for the WEST. CENTRAL India lies alone. Indian history never tried to get the MISSING Links of History to UNIFY the NATION and the people.
In fact, history remains a PHENOMENON of glorification of ETHNIC CLEANSING, ANNIHILATION and genocides, EXODUS and HOLOCAUST.
History always justifies the HEGEMONIES as it justifies the Clash of CULTURE, ILLUMANITI, ZIONISM, BRAHAMINISM, Manusmriti, Caste System, APARTHEID, Colonies, Wars, Civil Wars, Repression, Persecution, Displacement, ARSON, Invasion, Exploitation, CAPTURE and Dominance, Enslavement, Brain Washing and Mind control, MASS DESTRUCTION, OPEN MARKET, Nuclear BIOLOGICAL Chemical Warfare, Invasion, Monopolistic AGGRESSION, Global GOVERNANCE, Underworld, MAFIA, Crimes against Humanity and WAR Against TERROR!
Those who are missing since the 2002 post Godhra communal riots in Gujarat are soon to be declared dead by the authorities with the expiry of seven years' stipulated time.

As a result, official death figure of 2002 riots will go up from 952 to 1180, as 228 persons, who are missing will be presumed to be dead after seven years.
As per the law, any person, who is missing for seven years, is declared dead after the stipulated period. "We have prepared a list of missing people and sent it to the revenue department, which would declare the missing persons as dead," said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Balwant Singh.
I am happy what the HISTORY CONGRESS and UNIVERSITIES never cared to do, Archaeologists did the thing. Excavators are active in GAUR, I have seen. but I always complained that KARNA SUBARNA region is criminally neglected. Now the Excavators succeeded to get a MISSING Link to know something about the DARK AGE of Bengal.
Just see the news!

Hunt for ancient stupa under teacher’s plot

An excavated wall at the site. (Shiharan Nandy)
Calcutta, Feb. 26: A schoolteacher’s plot in a Murshidabad village has yielded remains that archaeologists believe are of a pre-eighth century structure, possibly a stupa.

Excavators spent the last six days digging a 2,500sqm mound at the centre of Mohammed Qassem Ali’s four bigha plot at Deka-Bichkandi, in Kandi subdivision. The excavators believe what lies beneath could throw light on life before the Pala dynasty that controlled mainly what is now Bihar and Bengal from the 8th-12th Century.

“Qassem has been co-operative and is as excited as we are,” said Amal Roy, the superintendent of the state archaeology department team camping at Deka.

Residents of the area always regarded the mound as special. Some called it Deuliapar, others knew it as Haari Rajar Garh — named after a local hero who is said to have died fighting Mughal invaders.

The excavation has revealed a 6x6m section of a brick wall with decorative stucco of floral motifs, geometric patterns and beaded chain designs.

A fragment of a terracotta plaque dug out today showed legs of a kneeling figure. Parts of the forearms of the figure were found along with pieces of pottery and iron nails.

“We have uncovered seven lines of bricks to a depth of a metre. The bricks are larger and perhaps older than those in Jagjivanpur, an archaeological site nearby, and of various shapes. Moulded bricks, terracotta tiles and the plaque indicate these are from the pre-Pala period,” Roy said.

“There is an impressive brick structure underneath.... But we need more dateable evidence,” said Gautam Sengupta, the state director of archaeology and museums.

“This (the area) is in the Karna Suvarna region and is 2km from Panchstupi, or the village of five stupas. This could be one of the lost stupas. One stupa is Barkona Deul at Muniadihi in Murshidabad. It isn’t far from this site,” Roy said.

Work will continue at Deka-Bichkandi till the monsoon.
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Bangla Language and Script
The Aitareya Brahmana and the Aitareya Aryanyaka clearly reveal that the non-Aryan Pundaras (pundara) of North Bengal and the Vangas (vangd) of eastern ... - 18k - Cached - Similar pages -
The Early Vaishnava Poets of Bengal - II. Cha.n.dî Dâs
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Religion in Ancient Bengal: Before Guptas
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Pundravardhana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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India will oppose protectionism: Pranab
As US President Barack Obama vowed to eliminate tax benefits for American firms shipping jobs to foreign countries, India has said it is against any protectionist move as it would affect its IT industry.
"The IT industry will be affected due to the impact of financial meltdown...substantial number of Indian workers are there…we will have to address this issue...we are opposing protectionism, not only here but at every forum," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Karan Thapar in an interview for Devil's Advocate programme.

"We can't just go for country specific solution for such problem...issue is that our IT industry will be affected," he said.

Mukherjee added that the protectionism of any kind at this time should be avoided and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also made it quite clear at G-20 meeting last year.

On February 26, Obama in his maiden budget speech said the US government would do away with tax breaks for firms outsourcing jobs to overseas destinations, including India. At the same time, the administration would be providing tax relief to 95 per cent of American working families.

Nearly 1,000 US firms, which have shipped their jobs overseas, are expected to be affected with the proposed elimination of tax incentives. The plan mainly refers to one of the provisions in the tax code that allows companies to pay less taxes for profits earned from foreign shores.

However, the US is yet to outline the ways to abolish tax breaks for the entities outsourcing jobs. Majority of the Democrats are against the provision, saying the same was encouraging firms to move jobs overseas and even cut the local positions.

Navy to oversee maritime security, says Antony
Kochi In the backdrop of the Mumbai terror attacks exposing the chinks in coastal security, government designated the Navy as the central authority responsible for the country's overall maritime security on Saturday.

"The Navy will be assisted by Coast Guard, state marine police and central agencies for the coastal defence of the nation," Defence Minister A K Antony said in Kochi.

Observing that the 26/11 attacks have shaken the entire nation and brought out the need for strengthening coastal security, he said the government has approved certain important measures for strengthening maritime and coastal security against the threat from the sea.

"Against the backdrop of multiple agencies involved in coastal security, and the resultant problems of coordination, the Navy has been designated as the authority responsible for maritime security," he said.

The government has also decided that it will set up joint operation centres (JOCs) at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair under charge of Naval commanders-in-chief.

"The JOCs will be jointly manned and operated by Navy and Coast Guard with inputs from diverse agencies including Coast Guard, Navy and concerned Central and state agencies," he added.

Accordingly the Naval and commanders-in chief would be designated as commanders-in-chief of coastal defence, Antony said.

The Navy would get a specialised force called 'Sagar Prahari Bal' comprising 1,000 personnel for protecting naval assets and bases on both east and west coasts and island territories.

Antony said that a national command control communication and intelligence network, for real time maritime domain awareness between the operations rooms of Navy and Coast Guard, both at the field and the apex levels, will be established.

"The Navy will control all Navy and Coast Guard joint operations. This will ensure that the assets are optimally deployed and there is synergy between the two organisations," he added.

"With these measures, the government expects that a new focus would be given for effectively managing threats from the sea and security for our over 7,500 km long coastline," the minister said.

Government has also decided to enhance the assets of Navy and Coast Guard by increasing the number of ships, boats, helicopters and aircraft besides manpower.

The Navy would also get 80 fast interception crafts for sea-front patrolling. The Coast Guard would get a new regional headquarters in Gujarat, which would be designated as 'north-west region' and a new post of Commander Coast Guard to look after surveillance of the state's coast.

The government has also decided to install Vessel and Air Traffic Management System for all offshore development areas, as has been done in the western offshore region by the Petroleum Ministry.

"It would also procure immediate support vessels for offshore security by both Navy and the Petroleum Ministry. Till then crafts would be hired for patrolling," Antony said.

The Coast Guard would be additionally designated as the authority for coastal security in territorial waters, including areas patrolled by state coastal police.

The Coast Guard Director General would be designated as Commander of Coastal Command and would be responsible for overall coordination between state and central agencies in matters relating to coastal security, the minister said.

The government would also set up nine additional Coast Guard stations to integrate into the 'hub and spoke concept' with coastal police stations along with manpower.

These stations would be located at Karwar, Ratnagiri, Vadinar, Gopalpur, Minicoy, Androth, Karaikal, Hut Bay and Nizampatnam.

The Coast Guard would be empowered both in terms of providing assets and necessary manpower for their enhanced role in guarding the coast line.

New posts of Additional Director General and three deputy DGs have also been sanctioned in addition to 20 per cent increase in ships and 30 per cent increase for shore support, Antony added.

To improve the intelligence set-up of Coast Guard, adequate manpower resources would also be given.

Antony said that a new static coastal radar chain under comprehensive network of intelligence stations along the entire coastline, including islands would be set up.

"This will be implemented by the shipping, road transport and highway ministry in coordination with Coast Guard. Further, communication transponders on vessels below 300 tonnes are also proposed to be installed. This work will be done by the shipping ministry in coordination with Coast Guard," Antony said.

"These measures approved by the government are expected to give a new thrust for strengthening coastal security and meet the challenges of threats from the sea," he added.

Antony said a new static coastal radar chain and a comprehensive network of AIS stations along the entire coastline, including islands, would be set up.

"This will be implemented by the shipping, road transport and highway ministry in coordination with Coast Guard. Further, AIS transponders on vessels below 300 tonnes are also proposed to be installed. This work will be done by the shipping ministry in coordination with Coast Guard," Antony said.

"These measures approved by the government are expected to give a new thrust for strengthening coastal security and meet the challenges of threats from the sea," he said.

Asked if the government would henceforth provide the Navy, the smallest of the three armed forces, its due, Antony said: "In the future, we have to give more support to the Navy. We have to be more careful in the seas, as 90 per cent of India's international trade is carried out through the sea route."

ICRC wants Israel to end segregation§ionid=351020202
Thu, 26 Feb 2009 18:47:57 GMT

The Israeli war on Gaza has left thousands of houses completely destroyed.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls a reluctant Israel to action, saying it must lift its blockade of Gaza.

In a statement released on Thursday, the humanitarian agency said since Israel ended its major military operations in Gaza, the people in the territory have been struggling with the lack of water, medicine and housing.

Israel has imposed a 19-month blockade on the Gaza Strip and in late 2008 began a major offensive against the sliver of land, killing more than 1,300 people -- many of them women and children.

By allowing the expansion of settlements and thus cutting access to the various territories, it has also launched a segregation campaign that restricts the movement of Palestinians in their native lands.

"The first and most urgent measure should be to end the isolation of Gaza, particularly by lifting restrictions on the movement of people and goods," responded ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger on the issue.

ICRC figures suggest that the Israeli invasion completely destroyed at least 2,800 houses and damaged 1,900 others, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. Other accounts put the devastation higher.

The Red Cross also criticized Israel for preventing the entry of construction materials into Gaza. Machinery and spare parts, the aid organization said, are also badly needed in the strip.

Hamas was also taken to task and requested to allow a Red Cross representative to meet with Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian fighters in 2006, and to stop rocket attacks on Israeli targets.

Palestinian fighters in Gaza say they will end rocket attacks into Israel if Tel Aviv stops its military operations against the Palestinians and lifts its blockade on the strip.

Israel, however, has refused to stop the aggression.

According to the ICRC, Israel has put some 43 percent of farmland in Gaza within an imposed buffer zone in which the Israeli army has been carrying out regular military operations leading to the destruction of fields and harvests.

It is also a positive development for the Present day History that Bangladesh's powerful Army has reaffirmed its support for the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after a mutiny by paramilitary troops killed at least 80 people, mostly Army officers.

Militray COUP was on the cards, many people feraed. Pakistan as well as Bangladesh are ruled by Miltary hegemonies and they oblige the BRAHAMINICAL Hegeonies in India. The people accross the politicla borers consits of mostly Indigenous, aboriginal, minority and converted aboriginalindigenous communities. The HEGEMONY ruling the COUNTRY is the GLOBAL ZIONIST MANUSMRITI APARTHEID Hegemony. History would never tell the TRUTH as informations are always MUTILIATEd as the facts. but it is great RELIEF that DEMOCRACY survives the ONSLAUGHT in bangladesh for the time being!

"Let me tell you all again that the Bangladesh army is subservient to the government," Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed said.

"We are a people's army serving the nation and upholding democracy. Please stay calm. We are trying to address the situation and resolve (disputes) with the help of everyone," he said after a meeting with Hasina at her residence late on Friday.

Meanwhile, in ISLAMABAD a different kind of DRAMA is enacted as taking his fight with President Asif Ali Zardari a step further, former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) chief, Nawaz Sharif has said that he is still ready to mend ways with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), but unwilling to commit the “sin” of talking to Zardari.

“I am still ready to talk to Benazir’s PPP. But I consider talking to Zardari the biggest sin,” ‘The Nation’ quoted Sharif, as saying.

Addressing a Parliamentary Party meeting at his Raiwind residence, Sharif charged Zardari of behaving like a ‘dictator’ by imposing Governor’s rule in Punjab province.

“President Zardari has imposed a ‘democratic dictatorship’ in the country,” he said.

Sharif said he would not hold talks with Zardari regarding his disqualification, and dethroning of his brother,Shahbaz Sharif, from the Punjab Chief Minister’s chair.

The impoverished South Asian nation Bangladesh has suffered several military coups since independence in 1971. This week's mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border guards was over pay and command and was not politically motivated, officials said.

The mutiny came as a stern test for Hasina, who took office last month after winning elections in December that brought to an end two years of emergency rule by an army-backed government.

Hasina has the task of trying to convince much-needed foreign investors and aid donors she can bring stability to a country where 40 per cent of the 140 million population live in poverty.

The mutiny ended late on Thursday when the rebels laid down their arms after an amnesty offer, made by Hasina late on Wednesday, was followed by threats of stronger action as regular troops, backed by tanks, surrounded the BDR complex in Dhaka.

Hasina's long-standing rival, Opposition leader and former premier Begum Khaleda Zia, offered to cooperate with the government in its investigations into the mutiny but criticised Hasina for offering the BDR rebels an amnesty.

"This gave them time to kill more people and conceal their brutality," Khaleda said late on Friday.

More than 50 bodies were recovered on Friday, many from a mass grave, with BDR commander Major-General Shakil Ahmed among the dead. Two more mass graves were found on the BDR compound on Saturday, and diggers said they already found 10 bodies and expected more.

BDR officers are usually drawn from regular army units and the mutiny was launched as officers arrived for a meeting.

An unknown number of people were still missing and the death toll could rise to more than 100, officials have said.

Moeen said the deaths of so many army officers was an irreparable loss for the Army and the country.

He spoke as rumours swirled through the capital that he might step down or that the Army might launch ‘reprisal’ strikes over the killing of so many of their colleagues.

Former Army Chief Lieutenant-General Harunur Rashid warned that the mutiny might not be an isolated incident.

"It may be a conspiracy to destroy the progress of the new democratic government," Rashid told the ‘Prothom Alo’ newspaper.

As the search for victims and survivors went on, a day of mourning was observed on Saturday, with flags flown at half mast across the country and special prayers said for the dead.

In Dhaka, activity on the streets appeared normal. Offices and schools were closed for the weekend.

Home Minister Shahara Khatun said there was no fear of a deterioration of law and order or a repeat of the mutiny, which spread to about a dozen smaller towns across Bangladesh.

But police said many BDR soldiers had fled the headquarters complex with arms and ammunition, as well as money and jewellery they had taken from the homes of dead officers. More than 200 BDR soldiers have been detained already across the country.


They say when difficulties come they come in procession. For us it is the other way round.
Success keeps coming to us one after another and we keep enjoying them in our otherwise
hard and hectic life.

This time it is not from Tumkur District but from far off Bidar District. This is no mean
success. A huge one indeed. It is a saga of recapturing 25 acres of land by Dalits from a
very powerful company. Imambad is a tiny village near Janavada of Bidar District. Dalit
people of this village had gained 200 acres of land through government grant. They had the
ownership document with them. However, little by little the Naranga Government Sugar
Company managed to take away all the land from the Dalit people. They fenced the land
and made them their own.

Mr. Muddale is the Coordinator of the Booshakthi Vedike of REDS. He went through many
training in REDS on land issues. Recently he also went through a personality development
course in Booshakthi Kendra. Inspired by the success stories of REDS he decided to invest
his energy on the recovery of the land lost by his people. He first wrote a letter to the
Management under the Right To Information Act asking them to give him the ownership
details of the 200 acres of land in their possession. There was no response. When he went
personally and asked them they gave lame excuses. He went up in appeal. Sensing his
persistence the Management wrote a letter to him saying that they had nothing to do with
the 200 acres of land in question.

This was something that we all wait for. From there started our struggle. Muddale who also
runs a Newspaper contacted her friends in the Media, spoke to the people and to the Police.
In the meantime the Company tried to give money to the people asking them to transfer the
land legally to the Company. The people stood firm and refused to part with land

This morning Muddale informed the police and went with the people to take possession of
their land. There were four guards of the Company. The people showed them the letter
from the Company pretending ignorance about the land and asked to leave the place. They
left. The people broke the fence and each one took possession of his/her land according to
the land documents that they have.

Today it was possible to take back only 25 acres of land. There are 175 acres more. The
struggle to take back that land is going to be much more difficult, as the Company will put
its act together now. But our people are also determined not to let the devil enter their
lives. Into that heaven of freedom…..let my people awake. It is time to congratulate our
brave leader Muddale and the Booshakthi Vedike.

TEAM REDS, Jyothi and Raj

Rural Education for Development society


Tumkur 572102

Karnataka - India

Phone: ++91-816-2277026

Fax: ++91-816-2272515


Jyothi's Mobile: ++91-9880184667

Raj's Mobile: ++91-9845144893

A relevant correspondence. Pl see.

Sorry Anita!
I had some hesitation to interact with someone UNKNOWN as my GMAIL ID had been hijacked and Misused earlier. CYBER CRIME has blocked FREE Interaction s you should agree.
I am a professional Journalis as well as writer.
I belong to a Partition victim Bengali untouchable Family. My father sacrificed his life and property for the cause of REFUGEE REHABILITATION. I bear the legacy of STRUGGLE.
In india, we are not so free or sovereign or empowered as you happen to be.

I have been engaged in Nationality, Environment and refugee movements for at leats three decades and more.
Now I am engaged in pro Active Social Activism to GLOBALINISE Black Untouchable RESISTANCE against Caste system, APARHEID and TRIIBLIS Satanic ZIONIST IMperialist Order.
I supported BARRACK Obama right from the Beginning.

You may get more about me and my activities from my BLOGS!

I am not interested in any Romantic or Monetary, Business marketing affair.

If you feel the sympathy and support for our DEPRIVED and ENSLAVED people, pl WELCOME! I would like to hear from you.
otherwise, please enjoy yourself and don not reply.

I am sending you my latest writeup to help you understand my concern!
Palash Biswas
Pl Read:
Anita wrote:
Thanks for your respond, I am quite sorry for the little delay to your respond this has been do to official job, I can't afford to overlook. I have been very busy with much job on my table in preparations for the on-coming Worker's recruitment/resettlement programme taking place here in United States of America , Europe, Asia and Africa . I don’t know if you will be interested on this programme? Through this programme, we will meet our selves here in United States. Sometimes, but if you are in USA let me know for us to meet for more introduction because life certainly can feel that way and what better shelter from the storms and trials of daily life than friendship and to know that there is someone out there whom you can fall back on.
Really, people came into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there .to serve some sorts of purpose or help figure out whom you are or who you want to become. I am the second child of my parent, we are three in numbers, two girls and a boy, I'm Anita by name, and Elvis my brother and Clara is the last. We are American citizens. The name of my father is Paul Peter Wake and my mother's name Evelyn Peter. My father is an ex security man in a bank here in Florida while my Mother is currently working with the American department of Education Orlando , Florida . My hobbies are reading, watching movies, listening to soft music, long driving, and swimming. I hate delay, sluggishness and procrastination. Love some one who is faithful and does not smoke nor drink too much. Our country is a free society and a land of hope for all. It is also a land of dreams and victory for those who think widely, some call it Heaven on Earth, that’s all my profiles now. I have attached 2 of my pics and 1 of my parents for you to view, let me view yours my dear!
Hope to hearing from you soon.

Rice calculations for the World

Dear Friends:
How are you doing? Lets assume that we truly lived in a global world and had the political will to feed everyone irrespective of their qualifiers (as in country, creed, caste, education etc..) then recent data on rice production and the requirement of rice shows clearly that supply and demand both match but the mechanism to match the supply and demand is grossly at fault. This raises fresh questions on our governance, social and our human values which we claim to live by everyday.
Here are some interesting "linear" (meaning everyone is assumed to consume same amount of rice but it varies in practice though not drastically) rice calculations for the world population:
1. 0.4 kg/ person/ day*6 billion persons*365 = 876 million metric tons. (1000 Kgs are there in a metric ton) .
I get the data of 0.4kg from my hi-skool which used to keep 200g/person/serving which is generally on higher side unless you are a blue collar worker or you are in a job which requires physical labor.
2. According to International Rice Research Institute (, "World rice production in 2007 was approximately 645 million t. At least 114 countries grow rice and more than 50 have an annual production of 100,000 t or more. Asian farmers produce about 90% of the total, with two countries, China and India, growing more than half the total crop."

Seems like for all practical purposes we are only a little short in growing enough rice for the whole world but western world consumers relatively small amounts rice. I wonder why there should be food shortages barring distribution and discrimination problems.
More comments are welcome on this blog .
Awareness mailing list is grateful to Shreyas, Ved, Anish, Devi and whole Free/Open source coummunity (Yo GNU/LINUX!!) for their tremendous technical support. Awareness thanks Harsha and Abhisek for providing real time petition support and related follow up services. We are also grateful to numerous contributors who make us more aware about the Indian world around us. Awareness provides only content delivery services.
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Here's a fact worth pondering: If the money that taxpayers in California have already provided for the Iraq war - $83.1 billion - could somehow be magically rerouted to the state government's coffers, the lawmakers in Sacramento would now be faced with the problem of what to do with a massive surplus.

by Norman Solomon

Thursday 26 February 2009 (originally at San Francisco Chronicle)
Early this winter, the PBS "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" interviewed the medical director at a community clinic in Northern California. He recalled the sight of military equipment moving along railroad tracks next to his office. "I've joked with my colleagues," Dr. David Katz said, "if we could just get one of those Abrams tanks we could probably fund all the primary care clinics for a year."
The comment didn't make it on the air - it was only included in video on a PBS Web site - and that was unfortunate. We need more public focus on what our tax dollars are buying.
As medical providers and patients struggle with low funding and high barriers to adequate health care, the nation's largesse for war continues to soar. Every day, the U.S. Treasury spends close to $2 billion on the military. Such big numbers are hard to fathom, but it's worth doing the math.
In Yolo County, for instance, where Dr. Katz watches Abrams tanks roll by his beleaguered clinic, taxpayers have already provided the IRS with $449.8 million to fund the Iraq war. That's enough to provide health care to 168,154 children for a full year.
Those figures come from the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan group with a nifty - and often chilling - online calculator (www. Type in the name of your locality, and huge military costs suddenly hit close to home.
More than 40 percent of federal tax dollars go to military spending. The outlays buy a mighty war machine while depleting our own communities.
In San Francisco, taxpayers have already sent the U.S. government $2.2 billion for the Iraq war - enough to provide health care to 828,378 children for a year. In Oakland, the figure is $826.7 million, costing out to a year of health care for 309,036 children. In San Mateo County, taxpayers' tab for the war in Iraq has reached $2.6 billion, enough to cover a year of health care for nearly 1 million kids.
To make matters worse, this money wasn't just squandered. It financed warfare that damaged - often fatally - the health of Americans and Iraqis.
When the National Priorities Project crunched the numbers for the entire Bay Area, it found that taxpayers have already sent the IRS a total of $22.6 billion for the Iraq war. In retrospect, other options for that money are heartbreaking. For a full year, it could have provided 9,284,504 people with health care. Or it could have paid for 67,522 affordable housing units.
In pursuit of green goals, the Bay Area's share of expenditures for the Iraq war could have provided upward of 10 million homes with renewable electricity for four years.
Mostly, the dividing line between foreign policy and domestic economy has narrowed to the vanishing point. As we know from our personal lives, priorities - whether openly examined or not - are pivotal. And government budgets tell the tale of social priorities writ large.
Here's a fact worth pondering: If the money that taxpayers in the state have already provided for the Iraq war - $83.1 billion - could somehow be magically rerouted to the state government's coffers, the lawmakers in Sacramento would now be faced with the problem of what to do with a massive surplus.
We shouldn't expect that a reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq will do much to slow the rocketing costs of America's global military ventures. The Obama administration plans to double U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan by early 2010, which will set a new deployment baseline in that country for years to come. And a significant boost in the overall size of the U.S. armed forces is on the bipartisan agenda in Washington.
Meanwhile, along the railroad tracks near Katz's clinic in Yolo County, the Abrams tanks are likely to keep rolling. Each one has a price tag of $4.3 million. And we're paying for it.

What a community could buy for the cost of a war:
To use the National Priorities Project calculator, go to
Norman Solomon, a national co-chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign, lives in Marin County. He is the author of "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

“The battle...has to begin here. In America. The only institution more powerful than the U.S. government is American civil society. The rest of us are subjects of slave nations. We are by no means powerless, but you have the power of proximity. You have access to the Imperial Palace and the Emperor’s chambers. Empire’s conquests are being carried out in your name.”
Arundhati Roy
Mohd. Haque to alochona, bangla-vision, reform-bd :
[bangla-vision] BDR mutiny - to destroy our army, our strength as a nation
My mother cooked fish curry, steamed vapa pitha until around 16 freedom fighters filled their stomach. They came around 10 pm at our house and left before dawn. My father always accompanied them and I was busy ferrying vapa pitha. My father felt my two brother's company among them as they were after their formal training in Shiliguri’s jungle perhaps were preparing for ambush or crawling somewhere on the front line, empty stomach. The same spirit should have energised my sick mother to feed these hungry guests at the middle of the night remembering her sons.

When they left I learned they are from the elite of the freedom fighters, got special training and facilities as well, called Mujib Bahini.

Mujib was not present to oversee the fight but that is how it was manifested. An army of fighters that include army, EPR, police and little trained but dedicated common youths formed the liberation army, while the elite contingent started emerging enjoying preferences and different philosophy.

Military was sidelined by the founder of the nation himself, Rakhyi bahini was created as an elite and privileged force in place of regular army. That was unprecedented in any modern state. An independent nation’s won army and its strategy to strengthen it was missing as we emerged as a proud nation.

1975, what we have seen again onslaught on army whatever the pretext may be. Bright, experienced and well trained officers had to demise from the army off and on.

Many coups, mutiny until the death of Zia cost many lives, again many bright and trained officers from the army including Major General Ziaur Rahman and Brigadier Khalid Musharraf. During this time a simple major wished to be the president of Bangladesh, a nation was just born and its military remain shaky, Chain of command kept loose.

Mutiny stopped but made to indulge in non military activities or exposed to public corruptions and this continued till 1990. This also weakened the military’s strategic alliance with the state and the society at large. Institutional instability continued.

The indulgence did not stop, chain of commands were not strengthened rather left exposed to create many social controversy and conspicuous discourse. Not a healthy attitude toward our national army. A group of people remains critical about its strategic importance. Frustration surrounding it remained high during one democratic regime to another.
On the background of this controversy and discord came the 1/11, military institutions were put on the front line of disintegration one more time. What is being expected of or cherished out of its state’s strategic, political and social activities, rather pulled it down from its remaining trust and integrity, otherwise necessary for a strong defence institution of a state. Another paradigm to weaken the military system further institutionalised.

So was the general trend of the development of our military institutions and its strategic alliance with the state. Whom should we blame?

On 25th of February a direct onslaught in the name existing frustration!

Resembling many others, my mother cooked middle of the night despite her frail health, my father proudly served them food and other necessary items, when the nation was not even born, out of their pure love to built our own strength and power.
They are not alive to see how their wisdom and dream being shattered by putting the military on a strategic decline and wane and the state at peril.

Today, looking at the complete massacre, destruction and even disrespect of the dead by their own compatriots, happen to outnumber the total officers killed during nine months of our glorious liberation, in one night, I only feel devastated.
It is very crucial that we remain vigilant against any imprudence act of the government or by any quarters, because our lives and dream are at a dangerous crossroad. Our psychological strength should remain indomitable.
Hawala money in India linked to terrorist financing: US
Washington Cautioning that the 'hawala' money in India is directly linked to terrorist financing, the US has suggested to New Delhi to strengthen its anti money laundering and counter terrorism-finance legislations.
It also recommended that New Delhi should work towards becoming a full-fledged member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body for development of policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
While noting that the Indian Parliament passed the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, early this week, a US State Department report has suggested that India should make necessary legislative amendments to bring its anti money laundering and counter terrorism finance regime in conformity to FATF.
"Given the number of terrorist attacks in India and the fact that in India hawala is directly linked to terrorist financing, India should prioritise cooperation with international initiatives that provide increased transparency in alternative remittance systems," said the report in its section on India related to money laundering.
The report, released by Assistant US Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, David T Johnson, quoted RBI estimates that remittances to India sent through legal, formal channels in 2007-2008 amounted to USD 42.6 billion.
According to Indian observers, the report said funds transferred through the billion dollar hawala market are equal to between 30 to 40 per cent of the formal market.
"In that case the hawala market could amount to between USD 13 billion to USD 17 billion," the report on International Narcotics Control Strategy, said.
Given the large number of expatriates, India continues to retain its position as the leading recipient of remittances, according to the World Bank.
India's strict foreign-exchange laws and transaction reporting requirements, combined with banking industry's due diligence policy, makes it difficult for criminals to use formal channels to launder money, the report said.
However, large portions of illegal proceeds are often laundered through ‘hawala’ or ‘hundi’ networks or other informal money transfer systems.
The report appreciated the steps taken by India post 9/11 with regard to money laundering and its possible use by terrorist network. However, several key steps are still required to be taken by New Delhi, it felt.
Listing out the steps New Delhi still needs to take, the report said India should become a party to the UN Conventions against Transnational Organised Crime and Corruption.

"Also, India should pass the Foreign Contribution Regulation Bill for regulating nongovernmental organizations including charities," it said.

"India should devote more law enforcement and customs resources to curb abuses in the diamond trade. It should also consider the establishment of a Trade Transparency Unit (TTU) that promotes trade transparency; in India, trade is the back door to underground financial systems," the report said.

The hawala system can provide the same remittance service as a bank with little or no documentation, at lower rates and with faster delivery, while providing anonymity and security for its customers, the report said.

According to the report, while most money laundering in India aims to facilitate widespread tax avoidance, criminal activity contributes substantially.

Some common sources of illegal proceeds in India are narcotics trafficking, illegal trade in endangered wildlife, trade in illegal gems (particularly diamonds), smuggling, trafficking in persons, corruption, and income tax evasion, it said.

Pub attack: Girls can have their own way, says Advani

Bangalore Senior BJP leader L K Advani said there can be ‘no compromise’ on the issue of last month's attack on girls at a Mangalore pub as the act was ‘against Indian culture and ethos’.
"I strongly condemn the attack on girls in Mangalore. There can be no compromise on this. It's wrong", Advani said on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore.

"It (the attack) is basically against Indian culture, Indian ethos. Girls or boys, they have their own way", he said, adding that one may not approve the girls in pub but that does not mean one attacks them.

Right wing Sri Ram Sene activists had attacked women and others at a Mangalore pub last month which triggered nationwide outrage against the Sene and the BJP government led by B S Yeddyurappa.

Proposed Defence Expenditure & BDR Mutiny –
M.B.I. Munshi
There are I believe certain features of the BDR mutiny that cannot be easily dismissed as mere conspiracy theorizing and which I wish to elaborate on in this short article. I would hope that readers will respond to my arguments and start a debate on this crucial national issue –
1. I am completely stunned and shocked like many others at the savagery and cruelty displayed by the BDR jawans during the revolt. We are informed that many of the victims had been first shot, then bayoneted with some having their eyes pulled out and then dumped in stinking and dirty sewers. The atrocious acts committed on the women were even more incomprehensible and debasing with many being first gang-raped and then their bodies burned. What level of hatred (or madness) is required for a human being to carry out such despicable acts? Not even the Pakistani forces resorted to such behaviour in our liberation war in 1971. The obvious reason for this restraint is that the mutilation or defilement of dead bodies is strictly prohibited in Islam. It is a great sin to humiliate or abuse the body of a dead person whether friend or foe. It is on this ground that I am of the opinion that the mutiny and killing could not have been done by Muslims who would have this sin carved into their souls for eternity. This could have only been planned and orchestrated by outsiders and non-Muslims.
2. The main ground for my suspicions on outside inspiration is the enlarged defence expenditure proposed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently. The type of military equipment that was to be procured were highly sophisticated and would have significantly enhanced our defence capabilities. I am of the opinion that the BDR mutiny and these defence expenditures are linked due to some quarters not wishing Bangladesh to have an effective fighting force. Who could possibly feel threatened by the government proposal and would then seek to have it cancelled and also to send a warning signal to the government and military not to move forward with the procurements or even disable the defence forces in a preemptive act of sabotage?
3, Related to point 2 is whether the Prime Minister hoodwinked the nation by pretending to seek the procurement of the weapons and thereby allow Bangladesh to establish an effective fighting force defending the country but she had no real intention to follow through on either issue. She made a similar comment to the BDR only a few hours before the mutiny started but according to some opinions she hesitated to act against the mutineers. Why in Gods name did it take 3 days for artillery and tanks to move to the spot? Why were such inexperienced negotiators allowed to enter the compound and parley with the mutineers with a very hasty amnesty agreement being cobbled together in only a matter of a few hours?
4. How is it that our neighbouring country's press and media were able to identify the culprits and planners of the mutiny within only a few hours of the revolt occurring? More pertinently those identified by the Indian reports had nothing to gain from this conspiracy and rebellion. Instead to identify possible suspects one should first list those who had most to gain and determine then whether they had the means and resources to carry out such an operation. From the eye witness accounts now appearing we know that this was pre-planned and premeditated. The army officers were taken by surprise without forewarning of the attack. We know now (according to firsthand testimony of survivors of the carnage in the BDR HQ) that Gen. Shakil Ahmed had in fact raised the BDR jawan's grievances with the Prime Minister who promised to look into the issue. If this be the case why was it necessary for the jawan's to then kill the officers regardless.
5. The intelligence and televisions pictures similarly raise some important questions. If the mutiny was planned by Islamist groups why were mutineers seen chanting `Joy Bangla' instead of `Allah hu Akbar' or `Bangladesh Zindabad'. The rumour that the BSF had been inciting the BDR jawans to attack the army should also be verified. There is also some doubts over why India proposed a Peace Mission even before Dhaka made a request.
6. There are rumours circulating that many of the army officers killed in the attack had only been transferred to the BDR in the last two weeks to one month. If this is really the case then this might show that the transfers were deliberately planned and the killings premeditated to wipe out some of the best and most brilliant officers in the army. These claims must be verified.
All these points deserve an answer and by seeking to find the truth we will discover if any outside forces were indeed involved or whether this was a brief act of national madness.

Bangladesh plans major defence procurement
The Hindu – February 23, 2009
Dhaka (PTI): Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's new government in Bangladesh has decided to launch a massive defence procurement drive to strengthen the armed forces and to equip them with modern weapons and military hardware.
Planning Minister Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khondoker told parliament yesterday that the purchases would be made during the current and next fiscals. He said the forces would be made well equipped and trained in line with the country's financial capabilities.
"For equipping the army, plans have been taken to procure helicopters, tanks, APCs (armoured personnel carrier), anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, sniper rifles, different types of modern radio systems, explosives, night vision and related hardware, other types of weapons and vehicles in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010," he told the house.
A process was now underway to procure three new frigates to earn the "three dimensional" capabilities for the navy to face the 21st centuries challenge, he said.
"A process to sign a procurement deal has been completed to buy appropriate anti-ship missiles for Bangladesh Navy's ultra modern frigate while it is now awaiting the government's final nod... Works are underway to install anti-aircraft missile in the ship (frigate)," Khondoker said.

Mutiny tests Hasina's mettle
By Alastair Lawson BBC News

Many see the surrender of the rebels as a success for the government despite the bloodshed

Barely two months after being elected, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has found herself having to deal with a crisis in which the stakes were terrifyingly high.

The death toll from this week's mutiny staged by the country's border security force, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) may be steadily rising, but the consensus among commentators in Dhaka is that a far bigger blood bath has still been averted.
The prime minister has been credited with not allowing the military to take control as they have in the past.

"On this point nearly everyone is agreed," says the BBC's Bengali section head, Sabir Mustafa. "From the outset Sheikh Hasina took command of the crisis and handled it with confidence and determination.

"There was every chance after the the mutiny began that the army could have taken matters into their own hands, stormed the BDR headquarters and carried out revenge killings for the loss of their officers. That would unquestionably have led to a far higher death toll than we have at present. "But this did not happen because the prime minister ensured that the army stayed under her command and the crisis was solved by politicians."

High discontent
The prime minister's address to the nation on Tuesday night has been widely acclaimed as an important turning point in the crisis.

Sheikh Hasina's address to the nation was a turning point
In it she sent out a strong message to the mutineers that they had no option but to lay down their arms.

She also tacitly informed the army that she was the person in charge of the crisis and she would be the person who would be dealing with it.

The fact that the stand-off was resolved by Bangladesh's democratically elected government rather than the military - which for many years has been a dominant force in the country - is hugely important.

It shows the outside world that Bangladesh is run by a stable civilian administration and that the army is now accountable to it.

It is a message that will not go unnoticed by outside investors, foreign aid agencies and the UN - all of which are eager to strengthen their presence in the country.
Measures also need to be taken immediately for officers of the BDR to come from within the regiment itself

Waliur Rahman, BBC, Dhaka
So if Sheikh Hasina wins plaudits for her decisive handling of the stand-off - despite the relatively high number of casualties - could she have foreseen such a development in the first place?
Most commentators agree that she was in no position to do so.

They argue that the prime minister only came to power in December and had no time to be fully aware of the high level of discontent within the BDR.

Some reports from Dhaka say she was prevented from meeting rank-and-file BDR members when she visited their headquarters on Tuesday, just hours ahead of the coup.
It is alleged that army officers who command the BDR's 70,000 personnel felt that such a meeting would not have been appropriate and deleted it from the prime minister's schedule.

This move reportedly triggered a heated argument just before the mutiny between some BDR personnel and senior army officers - it was the "straw that broke the camel's back" according to Sabir Mustafa.

Recent hostilities
So if the prime minister is exonerated, who should take the blame for not foreseeing the mutiny?

Most fingers point at the country's various intelligence agencies. It is likely that the mutiny will lead to a substantial revamp of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, National Security Intelligence and the Special Branch of the police who, it is argued, should all in different ways have been more alert to the dangers.

The army has not emerged from the mutiny with much credit
Another likely spin-off from the mutiny is reform of the BDR, which needs to be done urgently.
"At the moment the country's borders are closed and there are 70,000 paramilitary border personnel with no leadership," says the BBC's Waliur Rahman in Dhaka.

One suggestion is that retired army officers - with no connection to the recent hostilities - be put in temporary charge of the BDR until longer term replacements can be found.

"Measures also need to be taken immediately for officers of the BDR to come from within the regiment itself - rather than just from the army - and steps need to be taken to promote more non-commissioned officers," says Waliur Rahman.
The army itself cannot expect to emerge from the mutiny unreformed. The top commander is due to retire soon and the expectation is that his successor will be a political appointee who will have no qualms about deferring to Sheikh Hasina.
"Efforts are now almost certain to take place to consolidate civilian control over the army, possibly by the formation of a national security council," says Sabir Mustafa.

"The army have not emerged from this crisis with much credit. There was widespread resentment - even before the mutiny - that junior officers in particular lorded it over everyone.
"People did not like the military's lack of accountability."
Meanwhile the military must rebuild following the loss of several senior officers in the coup.

With the army weakened and an opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party still smarting from its recent poll trouncing, Sheikh Hasina seems to have emerged from the mutiny in a stronger position than ever.

by John J White , III
About Dr John White
This article attempts to explain the original meaning of the famous "Swastika" symbol occurring so often in ancient art. We will argue from Ice Age archaeological evidence that the ancient "Swastika" was a double-symbol of the Earth Mother Goddess, indicated by the equal-arm cross, and the Earth Father God, indicated by the attachment of a coiled serpentine figure to the tip of each cross arm. These are symbols of the gods of the ancient fertility religion known at Earth Mother Culture (EMC). Most of the ancient "Swastikas" observed are an abbreviated form that obscures the original meaning. Other examples of the EMC double-symbol usage will be mentioned.
Our purpose is to establish a very basic observation about the use of symbols in ancient art. The notion offered is that many of our ancestors had a simple fertility-based religion that is revealed, in part, by the repeated use of simple symbols in their art that we can now interpret to have relatively fixed meanings. The general pervasiveness of this Earth Mother Culture led eventually to a method of sacred name construction called Earth Mother Sacred Language. All of this took place long before the development of writing, at which time knowledge of the old Earth Mother Culture was retained only in fragments and selected traditions.
It is through the preponderance of symbols and words occurring in an acceptable or reasonable cultural context that this firm summary can be made. This approach does not refute the data of thousands of man-years of modern archaeology, but it does state that a simpler, sharper, more focussed, more logical method of cultural interpretation has been found. We predict that this is a dominant description of man's spiritual culture down through most of the Bronze Age and some of the Iron and Medieval Ages.
I took up the field of ancient culture interpretation in late 1991 when I retired from the Defense R&D Industry, ie, contract research for the Department of Defense. My earliest conclusion about ancient culture was that the Phoenicians and their descendants were likely among the more adventuresome and underrated people in history. They were traders and pirates but seldom conquerors like the Romans. My favorite Phoenician-oriented exploration book was Fair Gods and Stone Faces by Constance Irwin,1 and it probably stimulated my current interests more than any other source. My discoveries about EMC symbols and EMSL names emerged steadily once I settled on a scope of research. The statements of purpose clarified from actions dictated by a decision to pursue insight about man's earliest attempts to communicate via artistic symbols and sacred names.
The Burrows Cave research opportunity with its strong Phoenician-derived-cultural flavor came along before I had achieved a comfortable ancient history education. This was an amazing match of interest with opportunity. I found myself publishing papers long before I was ready by my earlier professional standards. Except for scrawny bearded faces, there was little established methodology for identifying a Phoenician influence. I was immediately drawn to the recurrence of simple symbols2,3 in art, but the much needed interpretations of meaning were seldom available. The far more fertile research topic on sacred words came from a scientific intuition that some ancient names showed a hint of word-element agglutination that authors did not stop to point out, discuss, or explain. Earth Mother Sacred Language (EMSL) was the outcome of this parallel research effort.4,5
The "Swastika" symbol, the center piece of this paper, is the subject of many speculations.6,7 The social scientist, it appears, does not excel in boiling topics down to a basic interpretation applicable in a cultural era of ancient times. The point is, we shouldn't be overly distracted by corruptions of interpretation or pronunciation that occur in later times when the original cultural context of a subject idea has become vague at best. And in the case of simple symbols, we can't be paralyzed if we locate the use of a favorite symbol for another cultural purpose altogether, eg, the hexagram, which was adapted by the Hebrew culture long after its earlier use as a fertility symbol of Earth Mother Culture (EMC).
The oldest example of a "Swastika" symbol, as I interpret it, was discovered in the book Flight of the Wild Gander by Joseph Campbell8 circa 1998. It took some time to locate an older source of his figures that could be republished in this Journal. Campbell was a remarkable social-science scholar, in many ways the best I have encountered to date. He dominated the Establishment in his role as the Grand Spokesman for the elucidation of the Role of Mythology in the History of Man. The key to his success was his early grasp of the usefulness of a thorough knowledge of the modern German language. He apparently thought that the scientific and organizational approaches to the study of man, as fumbled around by his history-oriented contemporaries, failed to appreciate the benefits of art insights and the simplified elements of normal psychology. Thus we were treated to a comprehensive synthesis of the experience of man's pursuit of religious insight and inspiration, ala CG Jung, using the historical data to illustrate points of passing interest, but suggesting that the picture is too haphazard to be comprehended in organized societal and historical terms. Some of his metaphysical insights are truly amazing! But I think I can guarantee that well-trained scientists will eventually cope with the scattered data of ancient culture and make much more of the information than the current Establishment foot draggers.
I personally cannot be gratified by the mumbo-jumbo of psychological unification, although clearly I am attracted to certain specific emotional notions that I relish to consider at appropriate times. Isn't it possible that Mythology is a vessel holding many poorly understood cultural insights and practices? While I lack the talent to constructively discuss the many contributions of Joseph Campbell, I will simply counter that I value scientific organization, pursuit of simple concepts, and repeated review of published data, which allows a slow but sure absorption and identification of underlying values/truths/techniques/ideas of my ancestors without relying on many prejudgments or biases. My preferred micro-method, steeped in the traditions of classical physics, is rather slow, but it locates truths and approaches that are relatively permanent and can be built upon both horizontally and vertically. Surely we can agree that research is not a productive activity for dilettantes!
Now having opened a vague can of worms, let me give an example of what I advocate. My confidence that EMC was more organized, rational, proselytized, accepted, and universal during the Bronze Age and before is a hard sell, but I think I have made progress. I have been finding good data faster than I can write it up! It is difficult for me to be a pessimist.
For example, you will find that the older I-E languages9 have a common root for words that mean "night" in English. Some examples are German "nacht", Spanish "noche", Latin "nox", Greek "nux", Lithuanian "naktis", and Sanskrit "nakta". The point is that the corruptions are minor, and all of these words have the EMSL translation of naga or the-naga. How could such agreement occur unless the implied religious perception became common in 6000 BC or before? It is safe to say that the basic interpretation of this discovery is that the old Earth God was thought of as The God of the Night, just as his son, The Sun, was thought of as The God of the Day. Notice that this point of highly universal cultural truth was uncloaked with a minimum of mumbo-jumbo about the psychic experiences or responses of ancient mankind.
If you think that little that is causal can be discovered about ancient life, let me challenge your senses. Recall that the French word for "night" is "noir", which is an r-word instead of the g-words give above. Notice, however, that "noi-r(e)" means consort-of-earth in EMSL, that is, father or serpent.4 Thus the French adopted a local Western European r-word for night, whereas the others use a more Asiatic g-word with the same alleged meaning. Don't you love this kind of luck!
Can you take a little more of this argument? Well it is fairly clear that the symbolic color of the Earth Mother is red, of the Earth God is black, and of the Sun/Sky God is white(pale)/ yellow/blue. (Studies of the colors of national/tribal flags and folk costumes are consistent with this argument.) Now we can argue that red is an Earth Mother name (the notion of ancient medicine was that babies were made from the mother's blood) and pale/yellow/blue are Sun God names in EMSL. But the word black, if anything, is a (negative) Sun name. Surely something is wrong here! Negro derives from the Niger River in Africa and does not mean black explicitly. Ebony is an EMSL synomym of the African cultural name Bantu; they refer to the "father" but not to the Eurasian concept of "black". Latin has the word pullatus for black clothes, but this is another Sun word. Greek uses the newer word melas, which leads to "mal", "melanin", "Melanesia", etc. Something more basic is needed!
The solution to this puzzle comes from perceiving that the German schwartz and English swarthy are a corruption of an older word swatze/svatze, which means the-father in EMSL. Not only is va the root for the Germanic word vate(r) for "father", but one of the oldest Scandinavian goddess names was Vana.5 Thus the consort of Vana would have been called Va. And with all of the serpent images in ancient Scandinavian art, Va was surely the old Earth God. Many of the linguistic traces have been lost, but we have thus established a linguistic notion that the color black does have a connection with the ancient God of the Night, aka The Father or The Serpent.
Now let us finish this essay on ancient notions of "night/black" with an exercise on the obvious. I refer to our dinner tables where we keep "salt" and "pepper" shakers. Salt is "white" and "pepper" is close to "black"; the "salt" and "pepper" words are surely quite old. The word "salt" means the-sun in EMSL, whereas "pepper" or more correctly "pepa" means father-father. How can such consistent meaning for words persist without a coherent system of name construction like EMSL? Is it too much to remind you that our favorite fruit, the tomato, is primarily "red" in color and has a name that means the-mother?

Figure 1. An Example of the medical profession symbol, the ancient symbol of knowledge (after Webster's Dictionary, 1951).
Figure 2. Ice age Bird Figureines from Mezin [ca 10,000 BCE] with Inscribed Swastikas (after Hancar 10 from research by Volkov11
I have inserted two essays above to assist with my true mission, namely to clarify the basics of Earth Mother Culture. First I reminded you that Joseph Campbell8 was a serious mentor and a great inspiration to take the understanding of the meaning and the symbols of EMC to a new level. Second I introduced you to some new insights about the strong influence in the past of the great Earth God or Earth Father of our ancestors. We live in a world that has been in denial about this god for most of the last 1-4 millennia. The serpent in the Garden of Eden story is clearly a remnant of this culture. Surely you recognize that the worldwide circumcision-type ceremonies were likely practiced in the old Serpent cultures. (The ancient king, the serpent priest or living earth god, shed his blood [a sacrificial symbol] for the religious benefit of the people!) And certainly you can affirm from our use of the modern symbol of the medicine profession [the caduceus] shown in Figure 1 that the Sun (eagle wings) and the Serpent were the great gods of wisdom and knowledge in ancient times. This concept remains unopposed!
Figure 2 shows a sampling of the art of from the Ice Age site at Mezin in the Ukraine located approximately 100 km northeast of Kiev.10,11 The artifacts were bird figurines carved from mammoth ivory with inscribed patterns that included elaborate swastikas [ca 10,000 BCE]. We view these items as sacred images of the Earth Mother, represented as the Bird Mother, inscribed with symbols indicating her Earth Father consort, the Serpent. This is the essence of paleolithic EMC when it was principally a fertility cult!
In 1939 Franz Hancar of Vienna wrote a survey10 on the various paleolithic "Venus" statues that had been discovered. He included the Mezin bird figurines but did not make a firm claim for the existence of EMC. The source of the Mezin figures appears to be the articles by FK Volkov11 in 1909, however the finds could have been earlier or involved others. The swastika patterns were first recognized by VA Gorodcov,8 and it was Hancar10 who called them the oldest swastikas found thus far. Campbell8 quotes the conservative ca 10,000 BCE date for Mezin. I subsequently found the book by Klein12 who cites Abramova13 as an authority on Mezin. The actual layer for the artifacts could be as old as 17,000 BCE, but perhaps I misunderstood. None of these sources discusses the actual workof FK Volkov.11
From Figure 2 we observe that the original swastika was an elaborate form with spiral arms, whereas the more modern symbol is like the gammadion (geometrical) form with short arms.14b Truncation to the gammadion form does not change the meaning of this symbol in connection with the Earth Mother or Goddess culture, but it lessens the chance of interpretive insight. The crux of the matter is this: the swastika is a double-symbol for a fertility religion having two gods, the Earth Mother and the Earth Father. To get to this point, you must study the symbols of ancient art until you conclude that the principal meaning of the equal-arm cross is reference to the Earth Mother. In addition to these context-related sources, numerous examples14a,c of ancient minimal art of human females and birds make the same suggestion about the cross. The point then is that the ancient swastika was an equal-arm cross with a serpent-symbol spiral attached to the tip of each arm. You can see this in Figure 2, and it is over 12,000 years old. Further to this point, we have published14d,e sacred bird images from ancient Australia and Shang China with inscribed snakes. Serious confirmation indeed!
Perhaps you are not acquainted with ancient double- symbols. A familiar double-symbol is the caduceus used for the modern symbol of the medical profession (see Figure 1). Our interpretation is symbols of the Sun (eagle wings) and Serpent as the gods of wisdom/knowledge in ancient times. The frequently used "Yin/Yang" symbol refers to the Swastika gods. The so-called circle cross is a double-symbol alternative to the swastika. We interpret the circle to be the Serpent in the "uroborus" configuration, implying the protective aspect of the Male Principle. Finally, the hexagram is an ancient symbol of sexual union of the gods, the downward-pointed triangle being the female and the upward-pointed triangle being the male.
Most of the ancient connections are quite simple. Surely you grasp the idea that the Sun was the Son of the Earth Gods in many cultures. That is why Sun and Son have the same sound! Referring to the old hexagram symbol, you surely know that "sex" and "six" have the same sound in many languages (eg, German, Latin). The reason for this is that the hexagram sex symbol has six points! Send us your alternative explanation.
It is the nature of the closure of what might be called scientific proof that the pieces of an original puzzle can come together with some unsuspected clarity and perhaps new unsuspected predictions of reality. Two examples from physics illustrate the point, and they come across each year to diligent new graduate students as virtual miracles. In the course of developing electromagnetic theory, James Clerk-Maxwell added a previously undetected mathematical term to the equations. As a result, he showed that the ordinary description of electricity and magnetism was capable of predicting the existence of electromagnetic waves, including light. His closure was that these waves were predicted to travel at the speed of light, a value so large that it was barely measurable at that time. He was correct! The essence of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity is the requirement that the speed of light must have the same value for all observers in non-accelerating frames of reference. The result of this assumption is the prediction that mass is a form of energy. The closure of this discovery is that the energy released in a nuclear explosion actually comes at the expense of the loss of a small amount of this mass form of energy. We had no clue before Einstein published his article!
It is easy to understand that the word "Swastika" could have great significance and yet be called by some abstract name with an obscure meaning. An example is the Indo-European word "raga", which means "king" or "high person", but is made up of two sounds that give no hint of the correct meaning. But fortunately that is not the case for the very old word "Swastika", and hence we can obtain a bonus if you agree that the finding makes some sense.
There are three spellings and two pronunciations of our special word. They are "Swastika" and "Suastika" pronounced with a w-sound and "Svastika" pronounced with a v-sound. The Indo-Germanic word is pronounced with the v-sound, which is the usual EMSL-sound with V = B = F = P generally assumed.4 The Oriental and Native American languages prefer the w-sound rather dominantly but with the old v-meaning.15 The English/Welsh language speakers pronounce the Germanic-w with the w-sound instead of the v-sound. They have many other w-sounds that are non-Germanic in origin.
The point of this discussion is to gain understanding that "Svastika" is a double-name EMSL word, naming both male and female gods. Thus we view the word "Svastika" as "S(a)va-stika" with the EMSL translation The-father (&) the earth. Isn't this exactly what the above discussion of the double-symbol meaning of the "Svastika" claimed? All of this is very simple, but is there really any reason to expect something else? Could this be some outrageous linguistic accident that any scholar can see right through? The Establishment can only hope for one of its great linguistic knights to awake from academic slumber. Send us your claims, your refutations, or your real research!
Let me remind the reader that we still use remnants of this scheme of linguistics in our words for "fathe(r)". The Germanic languages prefer the name "vate(r)". Of all the EMSL rules,4 surely the argument for the occurrence of imbedded definite articles (eg, te/the) in names is one of the easiest to accept. And surely the goddess names "Ban(a), Bona, Fauna, Vana, Venus" could be consorts of gods named "Ba, Bo, Fau, Va, Ve". And finally one could write a book on all of the "Ga/Ka" sounds that occur in ancient sacred names. Our largest continent is called "Asia" but pronounced "Agea/Ashea", as in the names "Agean" sea or "Achaean" people. And, of course, the "Ocean" is a part of the great Earth. Her name is pronounced "Okea(ni)/Ogea(ni)", which just happens to be a sacred name for the Earth. In one of the more sensible Flat Earth Theories, the Greeks alleged that the Ocean waters were contained by a great encircling serpent (what else!) named "Okenos", which has the EMSL translation Of-the-serpent. Here we have demonstrated the value of literal closure! The most common EMSL name-usages are probably the words "Ga/Naga" and "Ka/Kana".
It is a challenge to summarize a topic that we have laid out so many times from so many internally consistent points of view. We suggest that our ancient ancestors followed a simple, straightforward fertility religion for thousands of years prior to the officially recognized date of ca 6500 BCE at Çatal Hüyük in modern Turkey.8
A flaw in the conventional interpretation is the requirement that followers of what I call EMC must have "Venus" statuettes for archaeological artifacts. If you survey the art of the native peoples of the world, you will see that many have some recognizable form of this old culture. Very few of them make "Venus" statuettes! The point is that they chose to use easy to make symbols instead.
Finally, Figure 3 presents some Swastikas from the historic-era with snake-like arms. This suggests that many historic-era people knew the old Swastika meaning. These examples plus the general EMC context of most Swastika-usage suggest that the present model is the dominant interpretation.
Figure 3. Selected Swastika symbols from ancient art of the historic era having snake-like arms: A-Tray from Rhodes (585 BCE) [Brit Mus]; B - Vase from the Greek culture (ca 500 BCE) of Messapia in So. Italy [Toledo Art Mus]; C - Bird vase from E Greek culture (ca 500 BCE) [Roy Ont Mus]; D - Bowl from E Greek culture (615 BCE) of Denos [Brit Mus]; E - Figurine shield from Joche III (ca 300 CE) in Peru [St Louis Art Mus]; F - Woodland Indian (ca 1000CE) pattern die [McClung Mus, Univ TN]; G - Vase from the Canosean culture (300 BCE) of Greek Italy [Roy Ont Mus]. Line drawings (A & F) by BH Moseley from JJ White photographs.
Constance Irwin, Fair Gods and Stone Faces, St Martin's Press, New York, 1963, 347p.
JJ White and BH Moseley, "Burrows Cave: Fraud or Find of the Century? (aka Men of Tyre in Ancient Illinois and Other Worldwide Destinations)", The Ancient American 1(2), 4-15 (1993).
JJ White, "Tyre - Circle Cross Connection Found at Burrows Cave", Midwestern Epigraphic J 7, 91 (1993).
JJ White, "Earth Mother Sacred Language: A Key To Ancient Names Worldwide", Midwestern Epigraphic Journal 10(1), 23-33 (1996).
JJ White, "Self-Consistency of EMSL: The Case of the Words 'Man' and 'Ban', Midwestern Epigraphic Journal 12/13, 55-62 (1998-9).
Gertrude Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols, Scarecrow Press, New York, 1962, pp 1193, 1517; she was a thorough scholar, and yet her essay gives no hint of the original EMC usage and meaning.
Barbara G Walker, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Castle Books, Edison, NJ, 1996. See, pp 733, 964-965.
Joseph Campbell, The Flight of the Wild Gander, HarperPerennial, New York, 1990, pp 136, 146-147, 150, and 165. FP 1951
Eric Partridge, Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, Greenwich House, New York, 1983. See, "night", p 435.
F Hancar, "Zum Problem der Venusstatuetten im eurasiatischen Jungpaläolithikum", Praehistorische Zeitschrift, XXX-XXXI Band, 1939-40, 1/2 Heft, pp 85-156. See Taf VII, p 127 and Taf VIII, p 129.
FK Volkov, "Paleoliticeskaya stojanka v Mezine", Tr XIV archeol sjezda v Cerigove, t III, 1909; F Vovk, "Paleoliticni znachidki s Mizeni", Zap Ukr nauk tovaristva, k IV, 1909.
RG Klein, Ice-Age Hunters of the Ukraine, University of Chicago, Chicago, 1973, p 86.
ZA Abramova, Paleolithic Art in the Territory of the USSR, AN SSSR, Moscow, 1962, plates 31, 32, and 35.
JJ White and BH Moseley, back page art, Midwestern Epigraphic NL 12(5), 17(3), 18(1), 18(2), and 19(3).
JJ White, "Applications of Earth Mother Sacred Language", Midwestern Epigraphic Journal 14, 135-138 (2000).
A Massive Moral Black Hole
Rami G Khouri
Beirut, Lebanon
Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper...
Washington Post - United States

Israel and its foundational ideology of Zionism have always had a structural problem with how to accommodate Arab and Jewish nationalism in a single country. Most of the world believes that the best answer is two Israeli and Palestinian states side by side, with a negotiated and fair resolution of the Palestine refugee issue that is the core of the conflict for Palestinians and Arabs. Some Israelis feel the solution is to expel Palestinians within Israel, and treat those living under Israeli occupation as residents but not as citizens with equal rights. Few Israelis accept the principle that Palestinians and Israelis should enjoy fully equal rights in two adjacent states, with the Palestinian refugeehood issue resolved through negotiations on the basis of UN resolutions and prevailing international law.
The dilemma increases every year for Israel, as the Palestinian population grows; the 1.5 million Palestinians in 1948 are now over 8 million; the 800,000 Palestinian refugees of 1947-48 are now nearly 4.5 million. No wonder Israelis increasingly fear the "demographic threat" and seek solace in right-wing parties that now form a majority in their parliament. Openly racist parties now seem perfectly legitimate in the Israeli political system -- parties that would be rightly shunned, say, in Europe or the USA.
Israel still has not come to grips with the fundamental dilemma that its creation in 1947-48 came at the expense of the integrity and rights of the native Palestinian Arabs, who now find themselves in exile, under occupation and siege, or living as second-class citizens inside Israel. That fact must be acknowledged and rectified if there is ever going to be peace for Israelis and Palestinians and many others in the region.
Proposals to expel Arabs or disenfranchise them in order to safeguard the Jewish purity of Israel are racist, Apartheid-like ideas that will never work logistically and should never be considered morally. The fact that such ideas are part of mainstream Israeli society today should be a great shame to otherwise impressive Jewish ethical traditions. There is only one resolution of this dilemma, and Moses passed it on to his people thousands of years ago to spread to all humankind: "pursue justice and only justice," and treat all people alike on the basis of a single standard of law that is adjudicated by fair judges.
Speaking of Israel disenfranchising and expelling Arabs reminds us of this massive black hole in the morality of the state that says it represents all the Jewish people. If so, the Jewish people and their state have some serious work to do in moral and psychological rehabilitation. Failing that, they risk being taken over completely by a growing mob of electorally legitimized political skinheads and moral thugs who use the fear of ordinary Israelis to create an edifice of state racism that will only perpetuate the fears and vulnerabilities of the Israeli and Jewish people, rather then resolve them.
Patrick Mac Manus
Midgaardsgade 13, 3. th.
2200 København / Copenhagen N
+45 22 45 41 78
Foreningen Oprør / Rebellion (Denmark):
&A: Bangladesh border guards mutiny
Bangladesh border guards have surrendered after their two-day mutiny in the capital, Dhaka. Some 200 guards have been arrested.
The fate of more than 100 officers who were taken hostage is still unclear. BBC News looks at the background to the situation.
Who was behind the mutiny?

The revolt started on Wednesday at the headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in the Pilkhana area of Dhaka.
The border guards released hostages taken during the mutiny
The BDR are a paramilitary force, officially part of the home ministry, responsible for Bangladesh's border security.

They also perform anti-smuggling work and are required to help civil and military authorities as directed by the government.
The BDR has 70,000 men stationed at 42 camps across the country, including 40,000 along the country's 4,000km (2,500-mile) border with India and Burma.

Why did the BDR mutiny?
The mutineers want the BDR command and officers to be drawn from their own ranks rather than from the regular army - most BDR officers are seconded from the army for two to four years.

The mutineers also complained about pay and conditions. The average BDR guard earns about $70 (£50) a month, which is equivalent to the wages of a low-ranking government clerk.

"An ordinary guard doesn't get decent pay or food and spends a lot of time living in harsh, remote areas," a Dhaka University professor told the AFP news agency. The mutiny was reportedly sparked off by the refusal of senior officers to consider more pay and better conditions for the troops.

What impact might the mutiny have on Bangladeshi politics?
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was sworn in at the start of the year after two years of an army-backed interim government.
Sheikh Hasina promised to address concerns over pay and conditions
The BDR mutineers were not thought to be asking for any political change.

In a televised address earlier on Thursday, Sheikh Hasina promised the mutineers that her government would address their concerns over pay and working conditions.
But she also threatened "tough action" if they did not surrender their arms. It seems that this message had the desired effect.

What are the consequences for Bangladesh?
Bangladesh's 37-year history has been a turbulent one, with many incidents of political turmoil and violence. The country has a population of more than 140 million - 40% of whom are below the poverty line - and it is dependent on foreign aid and investment.

There are fears that further political unrest could deter investors and donor countries. Current economic growth could miss its target of 6.5%, partly due to the global financial crisis, but political instability could push it down even more, according to some economists.
On Thu, 2/26/09, Zoglul Husain wrote:
I am referring to today's Naya Diganta report on US human rights report on Bangladesh, 2009 (given below, please click). The hypocrisy of the US and UN Human Rights needs to be exposed. No where in the report you will find that, in the first place, it was the US, (Israel in the background), India, UK, EU, their allies and the UN, who jointly conspired to stage-manage the political conflict between 28 October 2006 and 11 January 2007 in order to cancel the election scheduled on 22 January 2007 (which the BNP was deemed to win) and bring in a military-controlled interim government for two years for staging the sham election on 29 December 2008 under army deployment and which was totally rigged to bring in the government we now have, with the majority for the government pre-planned, except that their 'minus two theory' failed because of Khaleda's stand.

Concerned people in Bangladesh know how the ambassadors of the above countries, in the above period, were running here, there and everywhere like crazy, including visits to army personnel (!!). It is them who planned, managed and monitored the activities of the totally illegal so-called Care Taker Government (CTG). So it is them who grossly and ruthlessly violated the human rights in Bangladesh during the tenure of the so-called CTG. When these people, who kill millions in wars staged on their false propaganda and conspiracy, talk of Human Rights, their pretentions need to be unmasked. We should, however, establish Human Rights of our own accord and for our own sake.

The report is similar to UNHCR report on Bangladesh, published by HRW, 14 January 2009,,,,BGD,,49705fac37,0.html
TitleWorld Report 2009 - Bangladesh
PublisherHuman Rights Watch
Publication Date14 January 2009
Cite asHuman Rights Watch, World Report 2009 - Bangladesh, 14 January 2009. Online. UNHCR Refworld, available at: [accessed 27 February 2009]
World Report 2009 - Bangladesh
Events of 2008
A military-backed interim government ruled Bangladesh for the second year in a row in 2008 under a state of emergency. This was despite the absence of any visible internal or external threats justifying emergency rule. Fundamental rights were suspended during most of the year, but were partially restored in the run-up to parliamentary elections in December and the expected return to democratic rule.
In the second half of 2008, the government released dozens of senior politicians and businesspersons arrested in an anti-corruption drive initiated in 2007. Extrajudicial executions, custodial torture, arbitrary arrests, and impunity for members of the security forces continue to characterize the human rights situation in Bangladesh.
Political Developments
The military-backed government headed by "Chief Advisor" Fakhruddin Ahmed claimed to be a non-party "caretaker government" constitutionally mandated to undertake routine government functions and ensure that the Election Commission can hold free and fair parliamentary elections. However, it interpreted its mandate broadly, and throughout 2008 adopted dozens of ordinances with little or no direct link to preparations for national elections. In December 2007 the President issued an ordinance for the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission. At this writing, the commission had not yet been made operational.
Many of the country's political and business leaders were detained and charged in an unprecedented and initially welcomed anti-corruption drive that began in 2007. The drive has been plagued by perceived political favoritism and has so far had limited impact in reducing overall corruption.
In the course of negotiations between the government and political parties over planned December 2008 elections, authorities released former prime ministers Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and Sheikh Hasina, leader of the Awami League, together with dozens of other high profile prisoners who had been held on corruption-related charges.
Extrajudicial Killings
The police force and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) – an elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism force – continue to kill people in what the authorities refer to as "crossfire" killings, "encounters," and "shootouts," but which in fact are thinly disguised extrajudicial executions. After strong national and international criticism the number of killings decreased in 2007 and early 2008.
According to the human rights organization Odhikar, law enforcement officials killed 116 people between January 1 and September 30, 2008. Alleged members of outlawed left wing political parties are often targeted. On July 26, the mother of Dr. Mizanur Rahman Tutul, the head of the outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (Red Flag faction), informed the media that RAB officers had arrested her son in Dhaka. She urged the government to save him from "crossfire." According to the police, Tutul was killed in a shootout between his group and the police on July 27, the day after his mother talked to the press.
Torture remains widespread in Bangladesh and is frequently used by law enforcement officials to coerce confessions in criminal investigations and to extort money. It is also used for politically motivated purposes against perceived government critics and alleged national security suspects. The bodies of those who are killed by RAB and the police regularly have physical marks and injuries indicating that they have been tortured.
After their release in 2008, businesspersons and politicians targeted in the government's anti-corruption campaign alleged that the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) – Bangladesh's most important military intelligence agency – illegally detained them at its offices inside the military cantonment in Dhaka for days or weeks and subjected them to physical torture, harsh interrogations methods, and sleep deprivation. Former detainees also allege that the DGFI used threats and extortion to force suspects to transfer arbitrary sums of money to state coffers and individual accounts.
Freedom of Expression and Assembly
Emergency provisions limiting the rights of expression and assembly remained in force during most of 2008, but the interim government lifted some restrictions in advance of elections.
Military and civilian government agencies have regularly interfered in the day-to-day work of the media. While direct intimidation and harassment of journalists was less frequent during the second part of 2008, members of DGFI provided "friendly advice" to journalists on editorial content and the media continued to exercise a high degree of self censorship, especially when reporting on allegations of corruption and other illegal acts by members of the armed forces. Military figures and their associates continue to increase their ownership of both electronic and print media.
2008 saw a sharp decrease in the number of criminal defamation cases filed against journalists. At this writing, no journalist had been murdered and none were known to be arbitrarily detained.
Law enforcement agencies continue to use excessive force to break up demonstrations. On May 19, the Bangladesh Rifles, a paramilitary law enforcement agency, reportedly injured at least 50 people demonstrating against an assault on a sub-district commissioner by members of the Rifles.
In June 2008 security forces detained thousands of grassroots political activists following the refusal of the major political parties to participate in a government-initiated dialogue about the country's political future until party leaders were released from detention. Most of those arrested were released shortly afterwards.
Freedom of Association
Union activities remain banned under the state of emergency. But factory workers continue to hold frequent, large-scale demonstrations protesting non-payment of salaries, below-minimum wages, and the failure of employers to respect basic labor standards. Several union and labor rights activists were arrested during 2008, while others went into hiding for fear of being subjected to harassment. In January 2008, National Security Intelligence agents arrested Mehedi Hasan of the Dhaka branch of the Worker Rights Consortium, an organization that monitors labor practices on behalf of US colleges and universities. Hasan was detained for ten days.
Women's Rights
Discrimination against women is common in both public and private spheres. There are few women in decision-making positions and women generally are paid lower wages than men. Maternal mortality rates remain extremely high, despite significant improvements over the past 20 years. Domestic violence is a daily reality for many women and dowry-related crimes are reported to be increasing.
Following adoption of a new National Women's Development Policy in March 2008, a number of Islamist groups organized violent protests, arguing that provisions calling for equality in acquisition and control of property violate Sharia inheritance rules. In response to the protests, the government established a committee of Islamic scholars which among other things recommended that references to equal rights be taken out of the policy. At this writing, it remained unclear whether the policy would be amended or its implementation shaped by the recommendations.
Section 377 of Bangladesh's criminal code, an inheritance of British colonialism, punishes consensual homosexual conduct with up to life imprisonment.
The interim government's efforts to hold people accountable for corruption stand in sharp contrast to its complete inaction with regard to abuses committed by members of the security forces. No progress has been made in recent years to address the longstanding problem of impunity and at this writing not a single member of the security forces had been sentenced to prison for extrajudicial killings or torture.
Impunity for security forces and officials has been further entrenched by a constitutional provision permitting authorities to suspend court enforcement of fundamental rights during the state of emergency.
Despite considerable civil society pressure, there has been no move by the interim government to prosecute individuals believed responsible for atrocities in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.
Human Rights Defenders
Bangladesh's NGO Affairs bureau, which approves projects and funding of NGOs, has created obstacles for some human rights organizations seeking permission to receive foreign donor funding. Organizations critical of the regime and outspoken against human rights abuses appear to be particularly affected. There were some reports of staff members of nongovernmental human rights organizations being harassed by members of the security forces.
Key International Actors
Foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations, including the US, UK, and EU, stressed the importance of parliamentary elections being held before the end of 2008 and publicly urged the interim government to relax or lift the state of emergency before the elections.
Several international donor agencies such as the Asia Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank are providing support to the government's anti-corruption efforts. They have rarely raised publicly any concerns about abuses resulting from the campaign.
The United Kingdom conducted human rights training for selected RAB members in 2008, apparently in hopes of future cooperation with RAB, on organized crime, Islamic militancy, and terrorism. The US also has explored possibilities for future cooperation. The EU and some foreign missions continue to raise concerns about extrajudicial executions and other abuses.
Multinational companies buying garments from Bangladesh were slow in reacting to the state of emergency ban on trade union activities even though their own codes of conduct stress the importance of freedom of association. In September 2008 some major brands asked the interim government to lift restrictions on such activities
Bangladesh is due to be reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council in February 2009.
Topics: Human rights activists, Impunity, Womens rights, Freedom of association, Freedom of assembly, Freedom of expression, Torture, Torture, Extrajudicial executions, Homosexuals, Gender discrimination, Political situation,
Indian peace mission signal


New Delhi, Feb. 26: India is offering to send a peace mission beyond
borders to give security to the Calcutta-Dhaka-Calcutta Moitree
Express on an explicit request from Dhaka in the wake of the mutiny by
soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles, highly placed sources in New Delhi
have told The Telegraph.

As of today, the Moitree Express that runs between Calcutta and Dhaka
is suspended — it runs between the two capitals on Saturdays and
Sundays — because of the BDR uprising. Indian and Bangladeshi armies
are currently engaged in a first joint training mission in Jalpaiguri
for two weeks since February 22.

Yesterday, as two Indian goods trains that make a daily run to
Darshana in Bangladesh to transport essential commodities were to
enter Bangladesh, there was no one available at the BDR outposts
beyond the border pillar to open the massive iron gates that would
allow the trains into Bangladesh. The commanding officers of the BDR —
actually army officers — had to clang open the gates themselves.

Since Sri Lanka, such a venture to Bangladesh would be the first
international bilateral peace mission by India. The Indian
Peacekeeping Force of the army to Sri Lanka got embroiled in a tragic
war and was aborted at enormous cost to life and limb.

In this instance, India is considering paramilitary forces such as the
Central Reserve Police Force, the Railway Protection Force or, if
Dhaka agrees, even the Border Security Force, with the exclusive
mandate of escorting the trains, protecting passengers and preventing
damage to engines and rakes of the goods trains.

The train from Calcutta crosses the border after Gede in Bengal,
passes through a metal carriageway, at the entrance for which the
gates are opened by the Border Security Force on the Indian side,
rolls over the tracks on no-man's land, still through the metal cage
at the end of which huge gates are opened by personnel of the
Bangladesh Rifles for the train to enter into Bangladesh.

At this point, the security of the train is handed over from India's
Railway Protection Force to its Bangladeshi counterpart and for the
border security to the Bangladesh Rifles.

In the proposal that is now being considered -- because the Bangladesh
Army does not trust the Bangladesh Rifles and the Bangladesh Rifles
has no confidence in its officers of the Bangladesh Army -- an Indian
agency is offering to take over the responsibility.

For the UPA government in New Delhi and Sheikh Hasina's government in
Dhaka, it is a grand statement that local disputes will not be allowed
to take bilateral and cultural linkages hostage. Pranab Mukherjee and
Sheikh Hasina, personal acquaintances themselves, are understood to be
considering the move seriously.

They have concluded it is not worth shutting down the train that has
meant so much when it was opened on Poila Boishakh last April.

It also is an eloquent illustration of Manmohan Singh's message to
neighbours that India is willing to give friendly countries a stake in
its development. The train is popular with Bangladeshis many of whom
visit India for medical care.

Last year, there was a move from a hawkish section of the
establishment in New Delhi to stop the train altogether when police
alleged the hand of elements of the Harkat ul Jehad Ul Islam, based in
Bangladesh, in blasts in Hyderabad. But a determined officer in Dhaka
and the ambassador there put up a strong defence of continuing with
the service.

Of the 538 km between Calcutta and Dhaka, 418 km is in Bangladesh and
120 km is in Bengal (India) but the symbolism it covers is greater
than the distance.

Betrayal and slaughter
- BDR chief, wife killed

New Delhi, Feb. 26: Major General Shakil Ahmed, the chief of Bangladesh Rifles, and his wife have been killed in the mutiny that briefly spiralled out of Dhaka but ended this evening after a show of force by rolling tanks.

As many as 56 of the 72 army officers deputed to the Bangladesh border force are feared to have been gunned down by the mutineers who rebelled over pay disputes. However, the official toll has been put at 14 — eight officers and six civilians.

The murder of Ahmed’s wife stood out for betrayal and brutality: a personal security guard emptied his gun on her in the family’s quarters inside the BDR complex, highly placed sources told The Telegraph. “Her body was put in a jeep and the vehicle was set ablaze,” a witness said in Dhaka.

The treachery carried echoes of another subcontinental tragedy — the assassination of Indira Gandhi who was gunned down by her bodyguards.

Reports reaching New Delhi said one of Ahmed’s two daughters was also killed along with her mother. But another version in Dhaka said the daughters escaped because they were in a school outside the compound, writing examinations. The Telegraph could not confirm either version independently.

Shakil Ahmed
By the time the wife fell to the bullets of the guard, probably a runner who took care of errands, the major general himself had been shot by a sepoy in a fit of rage, according to multiple sources in Dhaka as well as Delhi.

So many officers were present at the border force headquarters in Dhaka because the BDR Week was being celebrated. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated the celebrations on Tuesday — the event ironically setting the stage for the worst crisis to confront her since storming to power two months ago.

A day before that, disgruntled soldiers of the BDR met Ahmed and some of his juniors — all army officers on deputation to the BDR — and urged them to raise their grievances with Hasina at or after the function. Some even asked that Ahmed should do so in his speech.

These grievances were over salaries, perquisites (better living conditions) and greater opportunities for deployment in UN missions. But Ahmed did not raise these issues, at least in public, prompting one person to ask Hasina abruptly why the BDR was being discriminated against.

Tempers flared up because the day before, Hasina had lauded the army’s role in restoring democracy and announced a hefty raise for the military — something the aggrieved BDR was also expecting.

Accounts of what happened after Hasina left vary. One version suggests the person who raised the question was disciplined soon after but others said the flashpoint came the following morning.

On February 25, during the daily morning parade when Ahmed was taking the salute, one trooper raised his voice and asked the chief why he did not take up the BDR’s grievances with Hasina.

Ahmed told the soldier to “fall out” and asked a junior officer to punish him. According to one account, the trooper was to be put into the doghouse — a small confined space where he would roil in the sun. In another account, he was to carry a recoilless gun or a rifle over his head and run several rounds around the courtyard till his legs felt like jelly and his arms limp.

A comrade could not take this. Soldiers at parade to give the salute to the superior are not usually armed unless they are ready to go into action. The comrade ran to the corner where arms were stockpiled, pulled out a pistol, scurried back and, in a fit of rage, pumped the major general with bullets in the courtyard.

But mutineers who came out this evening claimed that Ahmed opened fire on the sepoy who questioned him, triggering the mutiny.

In minutes, the courtyard was showered with bullets, some from pistols, some from recoilless guns manned in twos and threes and, later, aimed at helicopters.

Some men manned mortars. Shells littered the streets of Dhanmandi and New Market. A rickshawpuller was killed. So were Colonel Mujibul Haq, once a leader of the simply named Operation Dal Bhaat in the Dhaka sector, and Lt Colonel Enayet, the commander of the 36 Battalion.

The rebels held out for several hours even after Hasina offered a general amnesty last evening, insisting that the army be withdrawn and they would surrender only to one of their superiors.

Eventually, the government asked Subedar Major Mohammad Touhid, said to be the senior-most in the original border force cadre, to accept the arms.

By then, Hasina had gone on air to warn of tough measures. “We don’t want to use force,” Hasina said. “But don’t play with our patience. We will not hesitate to do whatever is needed to end the violence….”

She also sent in tanks as another persuasive measure. Twenty tanks and 15 armoured vehicles with heavy machine guns from the ninth division — notorious for its role in coups — rumbled into Dhaka, taking up positions in residential neighbourhoods around the BDR complex.

The mutineers then hoisted a white flag and completed the surrender by late evening.

Before the surrender, unrest broke out in several parts of Bangladesh, possibly whipped up by the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami. At least three BDR commanding officers were reportedly shot dead in Rajshahi, Satkhira and Teknaf.

Sources said Touhid could be holding fort for the time being but eventually an army officer of the rank of major general would be given charge of the border force.

However, in future, the officer cadre of the BDR would be sourced from the State Armed Police, a force meant for emergencies.


Dark Ages
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the period of European history, see Middle Ages and Early Middle Ages.
For other uses, see Dark Ages (disambiguation).

Petrarch, who conceived the idea of a European "Dark Age." From Cycle of Famous Men and Women, Andrea di Bartolo di Bargillac, c. 1450
Dark Age or Dark Ages is a term in historiography referring to a period of cultural decline or societal collapse that took place in Western Europe between the fall of Rome and the eventual recovery of learning.[1][2][3] The dating of the "Dark Ages" has always been fluid, but the concept was originally intended to denote the entire period between the fall of Rome in the 5th century and the "Renaissance" or "rebirth" of classical values.[4] Increased understanding of the accomplishments of the Middle Ages in the 19th century challenged the characterization of the entire period as one of darkness,[4] and thus the term is often restricted to periods within the Middle Ages, namely the Early Middle Ages; though this usage is also disputed by most modern scholars, who tend to avoid using the phrase.[1][5]

The concept of a Dark Age was created by the Italian scholar Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) in the 1330s and was originally intended as a sweeping criticism of the character of Late Latin literature.[6] Later historians expanded the term to refer to the transitional period between Classical Roman Antiquity and the High Middle Ages, including not only the lack of Latin literature, but also a lack of contemporary written history, general demographic decline, limited building activity and material cultural achievements in general. Popular culture has further expanded on the term as a vehicle to depict the Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its pejorative use and expanding its scope.[7]

1 Dark Ages of Latin Europe
1.1 Petrarch
1.2 Reformation
1.3 Enlightenment
1.4 Romanticism
2 Modern academic use
3 Modern popular use
4 Quotations
5 See also
6 Notes
7 Bibliography
8 External links

[edit] Dark Ages of Latin Europe
Main article: Middle Ages in history
Further information: Late Antiquity, Decline of the Roman Empire, Migration period, and Early Middle Ages
The term "Dark Ages" was originally intended to denote the entire period between the fall of Rome and the "Renaissance"; the term "Middle Ages" has a similar motivation, implying an "intermediate" period between Classical Antiquity and the modern era. In the 19th century scholars began to recognize the accomplishments made during the period, thereby challenging the image of the Middle Ages as a time of darkness and decay.[4] The term "Dark Ages" is now rarely used in scholarship,[5] and when used, it is often restricted to the Early Middle Ages.[1]

The rise of archaeology and other specialties in the 20th century has shed much light on the period and offered a more nuanced understanding of its positive developments.[7] Other terms of periodization have come to the fore: Late Antiquity, the Early Middle Ages, and the Great Migrations, depending on which aspects of culture are being emphasized. When modern scholarly study of the Middle Ages arose in the 19th century, the term "Dark Ages" was at first kept, with all its critical overtones. On the rare occasions when the term "Dark Ages" is used by historians today, it is intended to be neutral, namely, to express the idea that the events of the period often seem "dark" to us only because of the paucity of artistic and cultural output,[8] including historical records, when compared with both earlier and later times.[5]

[edit] Petrarch

"Triumph of Christianity" by Tommaso Laureti (1530–1602), ceiling painting in the Sala di Constantino, Vatican Palace. Images like this one celebrate the triumph of Christianity over the paganism of Antiquity.
The concept of a Dark Age was introduced by Petrarch in the 1330s.[4][6] Writing of those who had come before him, he said, "Amidst the errors there shone forth men of genius, no less keen were their eyes, although they were surrounded by darkness and dense gloom."[6] Christian writers had traditional metaphors of "light versus darkness" to describe "good versus evil." Petrarch was the first to co-opt the metaphor and give it secular meaning by reversing its application. Classical Antiquity, so long considered the "dark" age for its lack of Christianity, was now seen by Petrarch as the age of "light" because of its cultural achievements, while Petrarch's time, lacking such cultural achievements, was seen as the age of darkness.[6]

As an Italian, Petrarch saw the Roman Empire and the classical period as expressions of Italian greatness.[6] He spent much of his time traveling through Europe rediscovering and republishing classic Latin and Greek texts. He wanted to restore the classical Latin language to its former purity. Humanists saw the preceding 900-year period as a time of stagnation. They saw history unfolding, not along the religious outline of St. Augustine's Six Ages of the World, but in cultural (or secular) terms through the progressive developments of classical ideals, literature, and art.

Petrarch wrote that history had had two periods: the classic period of the Greeks and Romans, followed by a time of darkness, in which he saw himself as still living. Humanists believed one day the Roman Empire would rise again and restore classic cultural purity, and so by the late 14th and early 15th century, humanists such as Leonardo Bruni believed they had attained this new age, and that a third, Modern Age had begun. The age before their own, which Petrarch had labeled dark, thus became a "middle" age between the classic and the modern. The first use of the term "Middle Age" appeared with Flavio Biondo around 1439.

[edit] Reformation
During the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants wrote of the Middle Ages as a period of Catholic corruption. Just as Petrarch's writing was not an attack on Christianity per se – in addition to his humanism, he was deeply occupied with the search for God – neither was this an attack on Christianity: it was a drive to restore what Protestants saw as biblical Christianity. In response to the Protestants, Roman Catholics developed a counter image, depicting the age as a period of social and religious harmony, and not "dark" at all.[9]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a line from Gilbert Burnet's 1687 collection Travels mentioning "the darker ages" is the earliest recorded use of the term in English.[1]

[edit] Enlightenment
During the 17th and 18th centuries, in the Age of Enlightenment, religion was seen as antithetical to reason. Because the Middle Ages were seen as the "Age of Faith," it was seen as a period contrary to reason, and thus contrary to the Age of Reason.[10] Immanuel Kant and Voltaire were two Enlightenment writers who were vocal in attacking the religiously dominated Middle Ages as a period of social decline. Yet just as Petrarch, seeing himself on the threshold of a "new age," was criticizing the centuries up until his own time, so too were the Enlightenment writers criticizing the centuries up until their own. These extended well after Petrarch's time, since religious domination and conflict were still common into the 17th century and beyond, albeit diminished in scope.

Consequently, an evolution had occurred in at least three ways. Petrarch's original metaphor of light versus dark had been expanded in time, implicitly, at least. Even if the early humanists after him no longer saw themselves living in a dark age, their times were still not light enough for 18th-century writers who saw themselves as living in the real Age of Enlightenment, while the period covered by their own condemnation had been extended and was focused also on what we now call Early Modern times. Additionally, Petrarch's metaphor of darkness, which he used mainly to deplore what he saw as a lack of secular achievements, was sharpened to take on a more explicitly anti-religious meaning in light of the draconian tactics of the Catholic and Orthodox clergy.

In spite of this, the term "Middle Ages", used by Biondo and other early humanists after Petrarch, was the name in general use before the 18th century to denote the period up until the Renaissance. The earliest recorded use of the English word "medieval" was in 1827. The concept of a dark ages was also in use, but by the 18th century, it tended to be confined to the earlier part of this medieval period. The earliest entry for a capitalised "Dark Ages" in the Oxford English Dictionary is a reference in Henry T. Buckle's History of civilisation in England in 1857.[1] Starting and ending dates varied: the Dark Ages were considered by some to start in 410, by others in 476 when there was no longer an emperor in Rome, and to end about 800, at the time of the Carolingian Renaissance under Charlemagne, or to extend through the rest of the 1st millennium up until about the year 1000.

[edit] Romanticism
In the early 19th century, the Romantics reversed the negative assessment of Enlightenment critics. The word "Gothic" had been a term of opprobrium akin to "Vandal" until a few self-confident mid-18th-century English "goths" like Horace Walpole initiated the Gothic Revival in the arts—which for the following Romantic generation began to take on an idyllic image of the Age of Faith. This image, in reaction to a world dominated by Enlightenment rationalism in which reason trumped emotion, expressed a romantic view of a Golden Age of chivalry. The Middle Ages were seen with romantic nostalgia as a period of social and environmental harmony and spiritual inspiration, in contrast to the excesses of the French Revolution and, most of all, to the environmental and social upheavals and sterile utilitarianism of the emerging industrial revolution. The Romantics' view of these earlier centuries can still be seen in modern-day fairs and festivals celebrating the period with costumes and events.

Just as Petrarch had turned the meaning of light versus darkness, so had the Romantics turned the judgment of Enlightenment critics. However, the period idealized by the Romantics focused largely on what is now known as the High Middle Ages, extending into Early Modern times. In one respect, this was a reversal of the religious aspect of Petrarch's judgment, since these later centuries were those when the universal power and prestige of the Church was at its height. To many users of the term, the scope of the Dark Ages was becoming divorced from this period, denoting mainly the earlier centuries after the fall of Rome.

[edit] Modern academic use
When modern scholarly study of the Middle Ages arose in the 19th century, the term "Dark Ages" was at first kept, with all its critical overtones. Although it was never the more formal term (universities named their departments "medieval history" not "Dark Age history"), it was widely used, including in such classics as Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which expressed the author's contempt for the "rubbish of the Dark Ages."[11] However, the early 20th century saw a radical re-evaluation of the Middle Ages, and with it a calling into question of the terminology of darkness.[5] Historiographer Denys Hay exemplified this when he spoke ironically of "the lively centuries which we call dark."[12] It became clear that serious scholars would either have to redefine the term or abandon it.

When the term "Dark Ages" is used by historians today, it is intended to be neutral, namely, to express the idea that the events of the period often seem "dark" to us because of the paucity of historical records compared with both earlier and later times.[5] The term is used in this sense in reference to the Bronze Age collapse and the subsequent Greek Dark Ages, the Dark ages of Cambodia (ca. 1450-1863), and also of a hypothetical Digital Dark Age which would ensue if the electronic documents produced in the current period were to become unreadable at some point in the future.

Since Late Middle Ages significantly overlap with the Renaissance, the term "Dark Ages" has become restricted to distinct times and places in medieval Europe. Late 5th- and 6th-century Britain, for instance, at the height of the Saxon invasions, might well be numbered among "the darkest of the Dark Ages," with the equivalent of a near-total news blackout in terms of historical records, compared with either the Roman era before or the centuries that followed. Further south and east, the same was true in the formerly Roman province of Dacia, where history after the Roman withdrawal went unrecorded for centuries, as Slavs, Avars, Bulgars, and others struggled for supremacy in the Danube basin, and events there are still disputed. However, at this time the Byzantine Empire and especially the Arab Empire experienced Golden Ages rather than Dark Ages; consequently, this usage of the term must also differentiate geographically. While Petrarch's concept of a Dark Age corresponded to a mostly Christian period following pre-Christian Rome, the neutral use of the term today applies mainly to those cultures least Christianized and thus most sparsely covered by the Catholic Church's historians.[citation needed]

However, from the mid-20th century onwards, other scholars began to critique even this nonjudgmental use of the term.[5] There are two main criticisms. First, it is questionable whether it is possible to use the term "Dark Ages" effectively in a neutral way; scholars may intend this, but it does not mean that ordinary readers will so understand it. Second, the explosion of new knowledge and insight into the history and culture of the Early Middle Ages, which 20th-century scholarship has achieved, means that these centuries are no longer dark even in the sense of "unknown to us." Consequently, many academic writers prefer not to use the expression at all,[13] and a recently published history of German literature describes the term as "a popular if ignorant manner of speaking."[14].

[edit] Modern popular use
Further information: Middle Ages in film, Historical novel, and Sword and sorcery

Medieval artistic illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th century copy of L'Image du monde (ca. 1246)
Films and novels often use the term "Dark Age" with its implied meaning of a time of backwardness. The movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail humorously portrays knights and chivalry, following the tradition begun with Don Quixote. A 2007 television show on The History Channel called the Dark Ages "600 years of degenerate, godless, inhuman behavior."[15]

The public idea of the Middle Ages as a supposed "Dark Age" is also reflected in misconceptions regarding the study of nature during this period. The contemporary historians of science David C. Lindberg and Ronald Numbers discuss the widespread popular belief that the Middle Ages was a "time of ignorance and superstition," the blame for which is to be laid on the Christian Church for allegedly "placing the word of religious authorities over personal experience and rational activity," and emphasize that this view is essentially a caricature.[16] For instance, a claim that was first propagated in the 19th century[17] and is still very common in popular culture is the supposition that all people from the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat. According to Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, this claim was mistaken, as "there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity and even know its approximate circumference."[17][18] Ronald Numbers states that misconceptions such as "the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages," "the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science," and "the medieval Christian church suppressed the growth of natural philosophy," are examples of widely popular myths that still pass as historical truth, though they are not supported by current historical research.[19]

[edit] Quotations
"What else, then, is all history, but the praise of Rome?"—Petrarch
"Each famous author of antiquity whom I recover places a new offence and another cause of dishonour to the charge of earlier generations, who, not satisfied with their own disgraceful barrenness, permitted the fruit of other minds, and the writings that their ancestors had produced by toil and application, to perish through insufferable neglect. Although they had nothing of their own to hand down to those who were to come after, they robbed posterity of its ancestral heritage."—Petrarch
"My fate is to live among varied and confusing storms. But for you perhaps, if as I hope and wish you will live long after me, there will follow a better age. When the darkness has been dispersed, our descendants can come again in the former pure radiance."—Petrarch
"Between the far away past history of the world, and that which lies near to us; in the time when the wisdom of the ancient times was dead and had passed away, and our own days of light had not yet come, there lay a great black gulf in human history, a gulf of ignorance, of superstition, of cruelty, and of wickedness. That time we call the dark or Middle Ages. Few records remain to us of that dreadful period in our world's history, and we only know of it through broken and disjointed fragments that have been handed down to us through the generations."— Howard Pyle, Otto of the Silver Hand (1888)
"The Middle Ages is an unfortunate term. It was not invented until the age was long past. The dwellers in the Middle Ages would not have recognized it. They did not know that they were living in the middle; they thought, quite rightly, that they were time's latest achievement."—Morris Bishop, The Middle Ages (1968)
"If it was dark, it was the darkness of the womb."[20] — Lynn White

[edit] See also
Fall of Rome
Plague of Justinian
Migration Period
Middle Ages in history
Middle Ages
Islamic Golden Age
Muslim conquests
Carolingian Renaissance
Medieval demography
Crisis of the Late Middle Ages
Great Apostasy

[edit] Notes
^ a b c d e "Dark ages". The Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved December 5, 2008. "Dark Ages: a term sometimes applied to the period of the Middle Ages to mark the intellectual darkness characteristic of the time; often restricted to the early period of the Middle Ages, between the time of the fall of Rome and the appearance of vernacular written documents."
^ "Dark Ages". Merriam Webster's Dictionary & Thesaurus. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
^ "Dark Ages." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
^ a b c d Franklin, James (1982), "The Renaissance Myth", Quadrant 26 (11): 51–60,
^ a b c d e f William Chester Jordon. Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Supplement 1, 2004. Kathleen Verdun, "Medievalism" pp. 389–397. Sections 'Victorian Medievalism', 'Nineteenth-Century Europe', 'Medievalism in America 1500–1900', 'The 20th Century'. Same volume, Paul Freedman, "Medieval Studies", pp. 383–389.
^ a b c d e Mommsen, Theodore E. (1942). "Petrarch's Conception of the 'Dark Ages'". Speculum (Cambridge MA: Medieval Academy of America) 17 (2): 226–242.
^ a b Tainter, Joseph A.; Barker, Graeme (ed.) (1999). "Post Collapse Societies". Companion Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Abingdon, England: Routledge. pp. 988. ISBN 0415064481.
^ Clarke, Kenneth (1969), Civilisation (BBC Books)
^ Philip Daileader. The High Middle Ages. The Teaching Company. ISBN 1565858271. "Catholics living during the Protestant Reformation were not going to take this assault lying down. They, too, turned to the study of the Middle Ages, going back to prove that, far from being a period of religious corruption, the Middle Ages were superior to the era of the Protestant Reformation, because the Middle Ages were free of the religious schisms and religious wars that were plaguing the 16th and 17th centuries."
^ Robert Bartlett. "Introduction: Perspectives on the Medieval World", in Medieval Panorama. 2001. ISBN 0892366427. "Disdain about the medieval past was especially forthright amongst the critical and rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment. For them the Middle Ages epitomized the barbaric, priest-ridden world they were attempting to transform."
^ The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 6, CHAPTER XXXVII, paragraph 619
^ Denys Hay, Annalists and Historians, p. 50.
^ Encyclopedia Britannica "It is now rarely used by historians because of the value judgment it implies. Though sometimes taken to derive its meaning from the fact that little was then known about the period, the term's more usual and pejorative sense is of a period of intellectual darkness and barbarity."
^ Graeme Dunphy, "Literary Transitions, 1300–1500: From Late Mediaeval to Early Modern" in: The Camden House History of German Literature vol IV: "Early Modern German Literature". The chapter opens with the words: "A popular if ignorant manner of speaking refers to the mediaeval period as "the dark ages." If there is a dark age in the literary history of Germany, however, it is that which follows, the 14th and early 15th centuries, the black hole between the Middle High German Blütezeit and the full blossoming of the Renaissance: a dark age, not because literary production waned in these decades but because a combination of 19th-century aesthetics and the curricular needs of the 20th-century university have so often allowed their achievements to fade into relative obscurity."
^ The Dark Ages from the History Channel.
^ David C. Lindberg, "The Medieval Church Encounters the Classical Tradition: Saint Augustine, Roger Bacon, and the Handmaiden Metaphor", in David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, ed. When Science & Christianity Meet, (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr., 2003), p.8
^ a b Jeffrey Russell. Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians. Praeger Paperback; New Ed edition (January 30, 1997). ISBN-10: 027595904X; ISBN-13: 978-0275959043.
^ Quotation from David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers in Beyond War and Peace: A Reappraisal of the Encounter between Christianity and Science. Studies in the History of Science and Christianity.
^ Ronald Numbers (Lecturer). Myths and Truths in Science and Religion: A historical perspective [Video Lecture]. University of Cambridge (Howard Building, Downing College): The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
^ Quoted in The Tenth Century: How Dark the Dark Ages?, edited by Robert Sabatine Lopez. Holt, Reinhart and Winston (1959).

[edit] Bibliography
Wells, Peter S. (2008-07-14). Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered. W. W. Norton. pp. 256. ISBN 0393060756.
López, Robert Sabatino (1959). The Tenth Century: How Dark the Dark Ages?. Rinehart.

[edit] External links
"Dark Ages" in Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
"Decline and fall of the Roman myth" by Terry Jones.
Retrieved from ""


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Caste, Culture, and Hegemony: Social Domination in Colonial Bengal - Google Books Result
by Śekhara Bandyopādhyāẏa - 2004 - Social Science - 252 pages
It was under his son ... the Matua sect prescribed for its devotees a simple religion of personal devotion that did not require the ... On the other hand, ...
Backward-caste Hindu Saints - HinduWiki, Hindu 108 Upanishads ...
21 Dec 2008 ... It is said that he poured water from his mouth on the Shivlingam and ... The Brahma Dharma movement sought to unite peoples of all ... Sant Guru Chand Thakur, Bengali, son of Sri Harichand Thakur, ... Sant Harichand Thakur (1811-1839), Namsudra, Bengali, founded Vaishnava Matua sect to worship Hari ... - 78k - Cached - Similar pages -
More on Dalit Panchayats and Matua Dharma of Bengal | Palash ...
His son Guruchand Thakur led the dalit awakening movement in Bengal. ... in Dalit Movement and Harichand Thakur established Matua Dharma refusing ... and 12. utter the name of your Lord while working with your hand. ... Apart from praising Hari and meditating upon him, the Matuya believe in kindness to the living. ... - 72k - Cached - Similar pages -
Dev Bhoomi : Uttarakhand
Hari Chand-Guru Chand Thakur Dharam Mandir. This temple is run by the people of Matua Sect. Many spiritually inclined people have rendered their services ... - 23k - Cached - Similar pages -
Places Of Worship
Name, Hari Chand Guru Chand Thakur Dharam Mandir. Address, Main Market, Dineshpur, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand ... Deity Worshipped (if any), Matua Dharm ... - Similar pages -
Yahoo! 360° - Entries tagged "myanmar"
In the evening, Dharma Rain Centre, Indian Committee for Cultural Freedomand Friends of Tibet will jointly organise a Panel Discussion on "HumanRights: ... - 183k - Cached - Similar pages -
Welcome to
Mr. Heera and his Adi Dharam Brotherhood UK invited Baba Mangu Ram Muggowalia to ... Ambedkartimes pays floral tributes to beloved Ajit Chand Nimta Ji ... Then Ms Kalyani Thakur, Cashier/ Kosadhaksha of the Sanstha submitted the ...... on the subject of ‘ The creators and their creation of the Matua Sangits’ which ... - 431k - Cached - Similar pages -
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172, 2286, 3, dharm singh s/o pritim singh, 15, Bakarpur. 173, 2287, 2, 3, karnail singh s/o joginder choudhary ...... 1429, 9528, 3, 2, charnu ram s/o thakur singh, 7, joli ... 1479, 16588, 5, 3, hari chand s/o sh babu ram, 15, Jolla kalan ..... 1833, 20500, 4, 2, gandha ram s/o matua, 13, Kheri Jattan ... - Similar pages -
nandigramunited: MANEATERS may not Save the MANKIND! Israel brands ...
“The 75-year-old person migrated to his country of origin from Bangladesh to .... More over the Namoshudra ICON HARICHAND THAKUR established MATUA DHARMA rejecting .... On the other hand, in a move that could further delay auctions, ...... In the Hooghly incident, the Hari woman's family was forced to pay the money ... - 522k - Cached - Similar pages -
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Scholarly articles for dalit movement in bengal
Dalits and the democratic revolution: Dr. Ambedkar and ... - Omvedt - Cited by 68
Untouchable!: Voices of the Dalit liberation movement - Joshi - Cited by 40
Dalit Visions: The Anti-caste Movement and the ... - Omvedt - Cited by 22

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Dalit movement in India and its leaders, 1857-1956 - Google Books Result
by Rāmacandra Kshīrasāgara - 1994 - Political Science - 459 pages
... movement in Bengal which was based on the thoughts of Dr Babasaheb ... It has witnessed many upheavals and movements. Dalit liberation movement in Delhi ...
The Power of Women's Organizing: Gender, Caste, and Class in India - Google Books Result
by Mangala Subramaniam - 2006 - Social Science - 161 pages
In the sections that follow, I trace the emergence of the dalit movement, particularly the ... The movement found support from the communists in Bengal, ...
India Together: Dalits rights and issues: An overview - February 2002
The widespread adaptation of the word dalit symbolizes the change in the ideology of the dalit movement -– frm a passive acceptance of amelioration handed ... - 32k - Cached - Similar pages -
1 Aug 2000 ... They are the real culprits of our society and the 'Dalit Movement' as well. The Brahminical forces (Hindi Micro-Minority) can do no harm to ... - Similar pages -
Out-Caste: The Dalit Movement: From where, where to
7 Mar 2008 ... The Dalit movement is regarded by many scholars as the most ... well as Dalit movements in Maharashtra, Punjab, western UP, Bengal, Kerala, ... - 87k - Cached - Similar pages -
Dalit movement At The Cross Road By V.B.Rawat
9 Aug 2005 ... Whether there was a Dalit movement or there were separate caste movement .... in West Bengal, Malas in Andhra and a few others in Tamilnadu. ... - 42k - Cached - Similar pages -
More on Dalit Panchayats and Matua Dharma of Bengal | Palash ...
Mind you, Bengal along with Maharashtra has been the very base of Dalit Movement in India. People all over the world knows about Jogendra nath Mandal. ... - 72k - Cached - Similar pages -
Dalit Panchayat Movement: Some good news from
A social political initiative is needed as it happened during Colonial rule while Bengal became the centre stage of National Dalit Movement along with ... - 81k - Cached - Similar pages -
Caste Discrimination Translated into Ethnic Cleans | Palash Speaks
27 Mar 2008 ... Muslims in East Bengal were dead against partition. They wanted undivided Bengal.And bengal was the centrestage of national dalit Movement ... - 79k - Cached - Similar pages -
'Absence of a strong Dalit movement makes a big difference in ...
Another state where there is no Dalit movement is West Bengal. Another state where Dalits and Muslims have been at the receiving ends both in education and ... - 30k - Cached - Similar pages -
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