9/30/2006

India's African Communities

Just came across an interesting article by BBC on the forgottern India's African Communities. Check out BBC 's website for some pictures.

"The children don't know anything about Africa because those who knew about Africa have died," Hassan says.

Many of them were brought as slaves, but some were merchants, travellers and sailors.

Wiki mentions the following regarding the history of slavery. .

The Arab or Middle Eastern slave trade is thought to have originated with trans-Saharan slavery, though it soon became centered around settlements and ports in East Africa. It is one of the oldest slave trades, predating the European transatlantic slave trade by hundreds of years. Male slaves were employed as servants, soldiers, or laborers by their owners, while female slaves, mostly from Africa, were long traded to Middle Eastern countries and kingdoms by Arab, Indian, or Oriental traders, some as female servants, others as sexual slaves. Arab, Indian, and Oriental traders were involved in the capture and transport of slaves northward across the Sahara desert and the Indian Ocean region into Arabia and the Middle East, Persia, and the Indian subcontinent. As many African slaves may have crossed the Sahara Desert, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean as crossed the Atlantic, perhaps more. Some sources estimate that between 11 and 17 million slaves crossed the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara Desert from 650 to 1900, compared to 11.6 million across the Atlantic from 1500 to the late 1860s. The Arab or Middle Eastern slave trade continued into the early 1900s.

9/21/2006

Gandhigiri websites :)

Just came across these links on Lage Raho Munna Bhai inspired Gandhirigi. Check out these if you are curious about what exacltly it means.



Another link is www.gandhigiri.co.in. If you are inspired to know more about Gandhi, the best source to start with is Gandhi @ Wiki. Gandhi's autobiography is also available online at wikisource, though I would recommend buying the book. Its not easy reading a whole book online.

Though I do not agree with many of Bapu's views, especially on the role of science and technology, lawyers and doctors in society, I would highly recommend reading his Hind Swaraj. Also keep in mind while reading this that this was written way back in 1909. Things were very different then and you need to see it in context. Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt if Bapu ever saw his charka as anything but a machine!

9/08/2006

WARNING: BJP men singing Vande Mataram.

Warning: This video is so funny you might die of laughter!!!

Check out CNN-IBN. Many of them dont even know its meaning and keep dodging questions :)




BJP's senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad was asked by the reporter to translate "sujalaaM suphalaaM malayaja shiitalaaM". To everybody's surprise, his ultra retarded (counter question) answer was:

I will definitely give an answer to this question. But before that, I need you to answer my question. When did color television first come to India ? (Translation by me)

I have no clue what his "answer" has to do with the question. Remember, this is coming from a senior BJP leader. The funnier part is still to come. BJP's national secratary, national spokesperson and more importantly, the Muslim face of BJP, Mukthar Abbas Naqvi is asked to sing this song.



He starts off funny and his last line is just hilarious. He ends Vande Matarm with

Kulnikusumathe Madhumati Shobhinim

The actual verse is pullakusumita drumadala shobhiniiM. What is Kulnikusumathe ??? Who is Madhumati and what is she doing here ??? I am glad that he didn't say "Madhumakhi". Maybe someone by the name Madhumati was his ex-girlfriend whom he can't forget. It is sad that we have these politician monkeys monkeying around stupid issues. Anyway, they make good subjects for comedy shows.

The clip reminds me of an interview by Steve Colbert of US Congressman Lynn Westmoreland who sponsored the bill to display the ten commandments in Congress.



This guy was asked to name the ten commandments. Not very surprisingly, he could list only three of them, with one of them being "sort of" right. You can see Steve counting them in the above pic :) Check out that funny clip here.

Bondas, Medu Vadas and Poincare Conjecture :)

Hindu has an interesting article on the Poincare Conjecture written by T. Jayaraman and R. Ramachandran totally adapted to desis. A two dimensional sphere is a bonda, a doughnut is a medu vada, a surface with two holes is two meduvadas glued while frying.

Nice article and funny sometimes, especially if you are not used to bondas and vadas. T. Jayaraman is a faculty at IMSC and R. Ramachandran is a science writer for Frontline (I think).

9/01/2006

Your orkut profile voted WORST :)

If you are reading this blog, chances are that your orkut profile has been voted worst. Orkut monitors people's online activities and they come up with the most boring person. Its updated on a regular basis. Check out

http://www.orkut.com/Profile.aspx?2uid=3849827725404266552

to know who the current prize winner is for the worst profile :)