India Travel News

Window on India
December 8, 2006

News Bullets

Sensex may cross 14,000
The Sensex touched the mind-boggling 14,000 mark, briefly though, this week. Just 20 to 30 points short of the 14 K, the market is raising its toes in desperation to touch again that coveted all–time peak. When it crashed in mid-May, even the most optimistic of the analysts felt that it would stabilize somewhere near 12,000. But none thought that 14, 000 would be possible this year. India going strong!

Laxmi Mittal richest UK resident
The Sensex may or may not cross the 14 K mark, but Indian Steel Prince Laxmi Mittal has crossed the 14 billion Pounds mark. He tops the Rich List of Britain of The Sunday Times and is worth 14.8 billion Pounds. He continues to be the richest person in the UK. Queen Elizabeth II has a wealth of 270 million Pounds and ranks 180th in the list. Seven out of 10 Rich persons in the list are non-British.

Earthlings may find cousins on Mars soon
Scientists are excited to find that water could have had flown on the surface of the Mars in ‘’very recent past’’. Images taken by the NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor brings forth the evidence of a fast flowing of water there. Some remarkable changes have been found in the photographs of two gullies first taken in 1999-2000 and then taken in 2004-2005. Masses of new deposits were noticed along the channels through which water may have cascaded down forcefully.

Men from most loved professions in jail
India loves immensely mainly three professions: Cricket (the religion), Film-acting and Politics (in that order). Celebrities from other professions attract very little love. But one each from these most loved three professions is either behind the bars or about to be behind them. Tribal leader Shibu Soren is already in jail convicted of the murder of his secretary. Cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu is also convicted of a murder but is still out as he has a month’s breathing time before he makes appeal to the Supreme Court. In fact, Siddhu is three-in-one: Cricketer-turned-politician, who has come to rule the idiot box. Film-star Sanjay Dutt too is standing in the queue having been convicted of possessing sophisticated weapons. Love has spoilt the brats!

A Government Quote

‘‘All the three organs of the State have by and large functioned within their determined sphere demarcated by the Constitution. It is a matter of pride to all of us that our democracy is vibrant and alive,’’ said Law minister H.R. Bharadwaj, on Thursday in Lok Sabha, when MPs raised the Parliament roof over judicial ‘over-activism’, after the Supreme Court’s Wednesday’s judgement that no prior sanction was needed to prosecute former MPs accused of corruption.

Internet Quote

‘‘Kings believed that they had divine sanction to rule. Our parliamentarians are no different!’’ …said Chandran on December 7.


Endurance, thy name is Indian woman! - By Pratap Thorat

Sunita Pandya Williams, only the second woman of Indian origin after the legendary Kalpana Chawla, will go into the space, in a few hours from now. She is not an astronaut going on a brief tour. This 41-year-old lady will stay in the space for six long months braving all the health problems arising from weightlessness. This bike-riding and hiking partner of Kalpana Chawla is going as a flight engineer to the International Space Station on NASA’s mission - Expedition 14.

Another Indian girl hit headlines overseas, this week. Preeti Desai created history by winning the ‘Miss Great Britain’ title. It was for the first time that a person of Indian origin had grabbed that crown. Now Preeti will represent Britain in the Miss Universe contest.

Back home, India does not have enough big fig-leaf to hide its shame brought to her by the worst type of violence and savagery against two self-respecting females, at Khairlanji village of central India. Their only crime was they belonged to a downtrodden and a so called untouchable caste of yesteryears and still tried to live with dignity. Mother Surekha tilled the farmland to give good education to her kids. One son was a graduate. Daughter Priyanka was in the 12th class and an NCC cadet looking forward to join the army. Mother resisted the villainous villagers, slightly up in the social hierarchy of India’s wretched caste system, who were out to forcibly take over the farmland. Mother and daughter were paraded naked for three hours in the village, raped for hours to death and even after the unthinkable deaths came the badly mutilated corpses were raped. That is India - a country of impossible contradictions.

A Sunita in the US, or a Preeti in the UK, makes you feel proud. But the next moment a defeated you feel – good, they were born there! You are filled with so much of contempt, for a while though. Preeti’s story emanates from sufferings of a traditional Indian woman that happens to be her own mother. Hema, her mother, was born in a poverty-stricken Indian village. She could not speak English, when she was brought to England after her marriage, in 1980. She felt inferior. Some family members made her feel more inferior because she failed to give birth to a son and instead produced two daughters. Her suffering pushed her into prolonged depression. Preeti was helping her father in the fireworks business. But she decided to stay at home full time to look after the ailing mother. Hema has recovered now. After winning the title, Preeti dedicated it to her mother. Hema feels more elated because a daughter has made her far more proud than a son could. Hema’s family members should know that women don’t need to chase men. What they need to chase is their own potential.

It is often said that prolonged endurance tames the bold. In India it seems that endurance thrust upon women for centuries has also brought out the bravery in some from the gentler and timid lot. Wounds and hardships provoked their courage. Suffering and sorrows of centuries steeled their nerves and evolved stronger genes. Fortitude and endurance have now become their genetic characteristic.

Take the case of Ohio-born Sunita. She was not born in the land of Buddha. But in-built in her was Buddha’s teaching: Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.

Sunita Pandya Williams is out to endure all the threats of the space. By now she must have been launched into the space. The US Naval Academy, where the candidates were trained, gave her a special prize for ‘highest endurance’. Her father recalled an incident, when she was in the high school. Parents took Sunita to watch the Boston Marathon. So many people were running. Sunita was not a participant, but couldn’t control herself. She ran the Marathon. In the middle of the run her weak sneakers let her down. So she ran the last 21 kms bare-foot. That is the inborn endurance of her original Indian genes.

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