Project GreenHands- See the power of common man!

By Sanchit on Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Common man planting tree

See the below video to find out what YOU, ME and the COMMON MAN can do for the enivronment. Very simple, very powerful and very Inspirational. Must see!

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Create great collage from random words

By Sanchit on Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Make collage

Create beautiful collage from random words, URL of any blog or blog feeds. Just enter the words or link and see the website create beautiful random collage which can be customized to one's liking.


Credit for finding the website to Pins N Ashes.

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Quote from the movie- Anatomy of a murder

By Sanchit on Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Anatomy of a murder quote

Twelve people go off into a room:
twelve different minds,
twelve different hearts,
from twelve different walks of life;
twelve sets of eyes, ears, shapes, and sizes.
And these twelve people are asked to judge
another human being as different from them
as they are from each other.

And in their judgment,
they must become of one mind - unanimous.
It's one of the miracles of Man's
disorganized soul that they can do it
and in most instances, do it right well.
God bless juries.

Movie- Anatomy of a murder.
Rating- 9/10.
Genre- Courtroom Drama.
Details- HERE.
Review- HERE.

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Indian Politics- The story untold

By Sanchit on Monday, June 28, 2010

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Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Indiana Legends for the SUPER 4 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event of blog world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai.

Politics India

Look at the above picture. What are the words that come to your mind when you think about Indian Politics? Chances are that the words mentioned in the picture are the ones you think about. The issue with Indians is that they think negatively about everything. They don't realize that Indian politics has 1 of the best value systems in the world! As they say "Beauty lies in the eyes of Beholder", we also need to look at Indian politics and politicians through a different viewpoint to see the values and morals they follow and the sacrifices they make.

In India it is believed that age is just a number. One should be young at heart. Same is believed by Indian politicians. Therefore we have people on the other side of 40 representing "youth" of India!

Rahul Gandhi youth

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
- John Acton

One of the biggest problem that India faces today is Corruption. The Indian govt acknowledges that and it has taken measures to eradicate corruption from the system. Therefore we have a PM who have absolutely no power. No power no corruption!

Manmohan singh

The Indian govt acknowledges the gender bias prevalent in the country and is working wholeheartedly to improve the condition of women. As a step forward for this process APJ Abdul Kalam was denied a second term and Pratibha patil was appointed the president of India. So what if she takes 100's of her relatives on tour with herself or her family is involved in various scams the govt is looking at the bigger picture here i.e. Women Empowerment while we worry about petty things.

One thing that is different in India from most other countries is that here elders are given due respect. Its good to see that the same values are also followed by the politicians of India. Otherwise why would a Navin Jindal back "Khap panchayats" , who went to Supreme court for his right to hoist the national flag over his house! We may think that its all about vote bank politics but that's the difference between us and politicians. While we look for hidden motives they simply follow the values and morals.

Its always taught not to think bad even about your enemy. While we the mere mortals are not able to do that politicians not just do that they go 1 step further and help the enemy in times of need. That's why congress leaders joined hands with their enemies and helped them during the Gujarat riots!

Surprisingly our politicians also have very good knowledge about medical science. They know that genes and traits are carried forward from 1 generation to another. So we may keep thinking that its dynasty politics but the truth is that they choose the best candidate available for the job. Sadly they also have some misconceptions about it. One of them is that communalism is a communicable disease! Maybe they got confused between the similar sounding words. That why many politicians stayed away from Amitabh bachchan after he endorsed Gujarat (the state which is believed to be affected by this particular disease!).

Congress Amitabh

"Atithi Devo Bhava" the literal meaning of this phrase is that Guest is just like god. Indians truly believe in this phrase. That's why whether its a Kasab or an Anderson all are provided with utmost comfort during there stay in India. In case the person wishes to leave he is provided with a government plane and if he decides to stay back crores are spent so that he gets the luxuries of his life. Whats more grateful is that the guests aren't required to pay from their pockets for the services. Since Indians believe in sharing the burden of others taxpayers take care of the expenses while the guests enjoy!


Its not only the taxpayers who share the burden political parties and ministries also share the burden of each other. Otherwise why would NCP take it upon itself to educate people about the ill effects of eating sugar! That's the job of Health ministry. But in politics its all about helping each other.

Indian govt doesn't believe in geographical boundaries created by man. Therefore we have a MP who is not even an Indian! The govt also believes in giving second chance to the people. Therefore a person who has been banned for representing the country for life in a certain sport for match fixing can still become a MP and represent the country in a different way!

"B Positive". While the ordinary Indian came to know about this mantra after watching the movie "No Entry", Indian politicians were aware of it since long ago. Therefore whether its Bofors scandal, Black money or the Bhopal gas tragedy Indian govt doesn't worry much and is always positive about these issues!

Congress india

There are uncountable examples to talk about when it comes to principles followed by Indian politicians. But a post about Indian politics cannot be completed without talking about the people because a democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Just like the politicians Indian people also have many good qualities. One of them is lack of unreasonable pride. Unlike others they don't believe that only they can make a good decision. Also they trust fellow Indians and respect their decisions. To show these qualities most Indians give their counterparts a chance to decide the government while they sacrifice their right to vote for some unimportant stuff like watching movies, sleep etc. Therefore its no surprise that the politicians that are chosen reflect the qualities the general people have.

Every country has the government it deserves.
- Joseph de Maistre

Indian elections


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- Image credit to original artists and uploaders.

Update: This post topped in the Super 4 round of Bloggers Premier League in the category "Satire on Indian Politics" - Bloggers Premier League

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A tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam

By Sanchit on Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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APJ Abdul Kalam tribute
Fame is something that descends on people who show exceptional qualities in their deeds and words. But, it really needs much more for a person to find a place in the hearts of millions of people and at the same time, keep his feet on the ground. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, whom we fondly call APJ Abdul Kalam, is such a man who touches the lives of millions people with his charismatic persona. He is not just an Ex-President of India or the undisputed father of Indian missile technology; he is perhaps the only Indian who stands closest to Gandhiji, the father of our nation, for whom ideals and actions never ran in parallel lines.

Son of the soil

Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at Dhanushkodi in the Rameswaram district of Tamil Nadu. He was neither educated abroad, nor was his family financially very strong to support his academic pursuits. His father, Jainulabiddin Marakayar, had to rent boats out to fishermen to pay for his school fees. His father possessed great innate wisdom, true generosity of spirit and was a spiritual person.

Kalam received secondary education at the Schwartz School, a missionary institute in Ramanathapuram, and later joined the St Joseph's College at Tiruchirrapalli, where he graduated with a Bachelor in Science. Abdul Kalam went on to study Aeronautical Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology.

He was the first graduate in the family. His brothers did not even finish their school studies. He distributed newspapers at a young age to help with household expenses.

An Indian to the core, the only brief overseas exposure that he got during his formative years was in 1963-64 when he was invited by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to spend four months in the United States at the Wallops Island Rocketry Centre and the Langley Research Centre.

A vegetarian, a teetotaller and a confirmed bachelor, Abdul Kalam recites the Quran and the Bhagvad Gita with equal ease.

`Flying’ dreams and disillusionment

After completing his third year at MIT, Kalam joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore as a trainee. When he came out of HAL as a graduate of aeronautical engineering in 1958, he was eager to join Indian Air Force as a pilot. The other alternative was to seek a job at Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTD&P) of the Ministry of Defence. He applied for both and attended interviews. He stood ninth in the batch of 25 in IAF, and only eight officers were selected to be commissioned in the Air Force. He felt the long cherished dream slipping away from his hands.

Disillusioned, Kalam visited Hrishikesh, bathed in the Ganga and met Swami Sivananda whom he later remembered as “a man who looked like Buddha". According to his own personal accounts, Sivananda asked Kalam about the reason for his sorrow. Kalam told him about his unsuccessful attempt to join the IAF and his long-cherished desire to fly. Sivananda guided him saying: "Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life. You are not destined to become an Air Force pilot. What you are destined to become is not revealed now but it is predetermined. Forget this failure, as it was essential to lead you to your destined path. Search, instead, for the true purpose of your existence. Become one with yourself, my son! Surrender yourself to the wish of God." Back from Hrishikesh, Kalam received appointment letter from DTD&T and joined the organisation as a senior scientific assistant. There he led a small team that developed a prototype hovercraft.

Tryst with space science

In 1962, Kalam moved out of DRDO and joined Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he succeeded in putting the 35-kg Rohini-I satellite on a low-earth orbit with help of the SLV-III (Satellite Launch Vehicle). After spending 19 fruitful years in ISRO, he returned to DRDO in 1982 to head the country's Integrated Missile Development Programme, which culminated in the successful launch of the Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and Nag missiles.

Dr. Kalam was Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister & Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. He was Chief Scientific Advisor to the Govt of India till he demitted office in November 2001.

Dr. Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a recipient of several other awards and Fellow of many professional institutions.

People’s President

Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002, with a focus to transform India into a developed nation by 2020.

During his term as President of the national, Abdul Kalam earned the respect and love of people and was often referred to as the People’s President. Throughout his Presidential term, Kalam made it a point to inspire the young minds and prompt the young generations to dream big to achieve bigger goals for the nation.

Kalam visualised a glorious profile of India to emerge by the year 2020. Its details are as follows:

1. A nation where the rural and urban divide is reduced to the minimum.

2. A nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.

3. A nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.

4. A nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.

5. A nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.

6. A nation where the best of health care is available to all.

7. A nation where the governance is responsive and transparent.

8. A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.

9. A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues in a sustainable growth path.

10. A nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.

When he was interacting with a group of journalists, just before he stepped down as the President, he said he was proud of his three achievements as the President of India. One was to make Rashtrapati Bhavan a ``People's Bhavan'' by throwing open its majestic doors to people from all walks of life. The second was to spread and popularise his PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) concept. And the third was to get acceptability for his Vision 2020 for India.

During that interaction, he also he hinted at his distress over reports that he had sought a second term. He clarified that he had always maintained that he would accept another term only if there was consensus on his name. (The only party that opposed to his candidature was the Congress and have a look at the Congress choice HERE and HERE.) He said that he had never talked about numbers.

Man of composure

As we prepare this tribute to Abdul Kalam, controversy is raging over an incident in which former President Kalam was frisked by the staff of America’s Continental Airlines. 77-year-old Kalam was frisked in violation of the mandatory protocol at Delhi International airport before he was to board the Newark-bound Continental Airline flight on April 21.

The issue came up in the Parliament and the airlines tendered apology over the incident. However, kalam refused to give up his composure. “Whatever is reported is true. However, I have no complaints against anybody,” he was quoted as saying, when asked about the incident.

Source: B S Anilkumar,India Syndicate

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A tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

By Sanchit on Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Atal bihari vajpayee tribute

The young MP whom Nehru foresaw as future PM

In 1957 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was first elected to the Lok Sabha, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was so impressed by the oratorical skills of Vajpayee that the former commented to his fellow parliamentarians that this young MP would lead the nation one day. It took 39 years for Nehru's prophesy to come true. Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India from May 16-June 1, 1996, and a second time from March 19, 1998 to May 13, 2004. As destiny would have it, Vajpayee has been the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to occupy the office of the Prime Minister of India through three successive mandates. Vajpayee has also been the first Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi to lead his party to victory in successive elections. A veteran parliamentarian whose career stretches over five decades, Vajpayee was elected to the Lok Sabha nine times and to the Rajya Sabha twice, a record by itself. As India's Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Chairperson of various important Standing Committees of Parliament, he has been an active participant in the shaping of India's post-Independence domestic and foreign policy.

A respected voice in the Opposition

Vajpayee has been in power only for six years, but his greatest contribution to the nation is as a respected voice in the opposition. As the leader of erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh, he expanded its political appeal, organization and agenda beyond the narrow confines of his party and his broad appeal brought respect, recognition and acceptance to what was perceived as a right-wing Hindu nationalist party. Vajpayee, along with many BJS and RSS colleagues, particularly his long-time and close friends Lal Krishna Advani and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, founded the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980 and became its first President. Vajpayee is the first political leader to run a ruling coalition successfully for the full tenure of the government and to end the single-party dominance of the Congress in power. He could do so only because of his broad acceptability across the political spectrum.

From the Opposition Bench to seat of power Vajpayee proved that he is as effective in the Government as he is in the Opposition. His tryst with power came when he held the post of External Affairs Minister in the Morarji Desai Government from March 24, 1977 to July 28, 1979.

In a tenure lasting two years, Vajpayee made many significant achievements. He went on a historic visit to China in 1979, normalizing relations with China for the first time since the 1962 Sino-Indian War. He visited Pakistan and initiated normal dialogue and trade relations that were frozen since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War and subsequent political instability in both countries. Vajpayee represented the nation at the Conference on Disarmament, where he defended the national nuclear program, the centrepiece of national security in the Cold War world, especially with neighboring China being a nuclear power. Although he resigned in 1979 on the dual membership issue, he had established his credentials as an experienced statesman and a respected political leader. During his tenure as Foreign Minister, he also became the first person to deliver a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi (in 1977), which he describes as the "most unforgettable" moment in his life.

As PM, Vajpayee achieved major milestones

After a brief stint as Prime Minister in 1996, Vajpayee headed a coalition government from March 19, 1998 until May 19, 2004. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by several milestones. In May 1998, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, Rajasthan. The five tests shocked and surprised the world, especially considering that the government had been in power for only a month. In late 1998 and early 1999, Vajpayee began a push for a full-scale diplomatic peace process with Pakistan, with the historic inauguration of the Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999. The Kargil war(1999), the Kandahar hijack episode in December 1999 and the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, were some of the crises faced by Vajpayee as Prime Minister. Vajpayee is credited with having evicted the last intruder from Kargil with minimum casualties on the India side. The enactment of Prevention of Terrorist Act(POTA) was a bold move initiated by the Vajpayee government to check rising terrorism in the county.

It was repealed by the subsequent Congress government. Vajpayee introduced many important economic and infrastructural reforms, encouraging the private sector, eradicating waste and restrictions and encouraging foreign investment, research and development and privatization of incompetent government entities. His major initiatives towards infrastructural development of the country included the Golden Quadrilateral and inter-linking of rivers. But these projects did not make much headway after BJP was voted out of power in 2004.

A man of the masses

Vajpayee is truly acknowledged as the greatest living political orator in India. There is not many to match his ability as a crowd-puller and a vote-catcher. A man of the masses, his leadership of the NDA gave a new meaning to the concept of coalition government in India. By virtue of his consensual approach, secular outlook and wide acceptability even among political rivals, Vajpayee is often referred to as the `right man in the wrong party'. He was the only leader in the Sangh parivar with the moral courage to publicly denounce the Babri Masjid demolition. Perhaps, had he been in the Congress party minus its dynastic moorings, Vajpayee would have equalled or surpassed Nehru's record as prime minister. His absence was greatly felt during the 2009 general election, the first election in four decades when he kept completely aloof from campaigning due to ill-health. BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj attributed the setback received by BJP in the last general election to the abscence of Vajpayee on the campaign trail. It is a tribute to his personality that even after he retired from active politics, Vajpayee still retains a position of esteem and respect among common people seldom offered to politicians in India.

Advani fails to measure up to Vajpayee's stature

A look back at Vajpayee's political career will be incomplete without a comparison with his closest political partner L K Advani. Advani is the undoubted inheritor of Vajpayee's mantle. Before retiring from active politics, Vajpayee announced: "from now onwards, Lal Krishna Advani and Pramod Mahajan (a BJP leader from Maharashtra, shot dead by his own brother) would be the Ram-Laxman of the BJP. But Advani has failed to measure up to the stature of Vajpayee. Advani himself has revealed the reason for this. "The party is with me, but the people are with Vajpayee", Advani once said light-heartedly, commenting on the fact that there was none to match Vajpayee's mass appeal. Advani faced severe criticism for carrying on a personalised campaign against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the last general election. This is what distinguishes Vajpayee from Advani. Vajpayee has never been in the habit of hitting his opponents below the belt. He had an uncanny ability to use political satire as a powerful tool to disarm his rivals. History may judge Vajpayee as a leader who lent dignity to Indian politics.

Source: P Venugopal, India Syndicate

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You and I would pay for Bhopal mess, not Union Carbide

By Sanchit on Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Taxpayer money misused by congressThe Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to re-examine the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy has recommended that the Central Government dole out an additional compensation worth Rs 1,500 crore to the victims. Where will this Rs 1500 crore come from? Through additional taxes. In short, you and I would have to pay up for the crime that we have not committed. And what about Union Carbide Corporation – the company that was grossly negligent in running the plant at Bhopal despite repeated warnings? Not a penny.

And the GoM has another impossible wish - to bring the former chief of UCC - the 91 year old Warren Anderson - back to India after allowing him to flee more than 25 years ago. For what? To crucify him? To make him pay up? To settle old scores?

Instead of the tax payer being made to pay up, why not ask those who allowed Anderson to flee to cough up Rs 1500 crore? We have many on the list of suspects - Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, the then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh, the CBI. Two of them are no more, so the Congress, not the Centre, should pay up. This because the decision to allow Anderson to go was taken at a personal level; it was NOT a government of India decision.

Not surprising, the GoM report has given a clean chit to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi vis-a-vis the circumstances in which Anderson was allowed to leave the country after being arrested. The report cited the absence of any records either in the Ministry of External Affairs or the Home Ministry which could indicate that the former PM was in the know of things. If there was no evidence, the GoM could have summoned the then foreign secretary Rasgotra or questioned the then US envoy. That ofcourse would have caused a major embarrassment to the GoM and the Congress (read Sonia Gandhi).

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Top 10 places you can't go!

By Sanchit on Sunday, June 20, 2010

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The world is full of secret and exclusive places that we either don’t know about, or simply couldn’t visit if we wanted to. This list takes a look at ten of the most significant places around the world that are closed to the general public or are virtually impossible for the general public to visit.

10. Mezhgorye

Mezhgorye is a closed town in Russia which is believed to house people working on the highly secret Mount Yamantaw. The town was founded in 1979. Mount Yamantaw stands at 1,640 metres (5,381 ft) and is the highest mountain in the southern Urals. Along with Kosvinsky Mountain (600 km to the north), it is suspected by the United States of being a large secret nuclear facility and/or bunker. Large excavation projects have been observed by U.S. satellite imagery as recently as the late 1990s, during the time of Boris Yeltsin’s pro-Western government after the fall of the Soviet Union. Two garrisons, Beloretsk-15 and Beloretsk-16, were built on top of the facility. Repeated U.S. questions have yielded several different responses from the Russian government regarding Mount Yamantaw. They have said it is a mining site, a repository for Russian treasures, a food storage area, and a bunker for leaders in case of nuclear war.

9. Vatican Secret Archives

The archives are not secret despite their names. You can view any document you wish. But you cannot enter the archive. You must submit your request for a document and it will be supplied to you. Despite the foolishness of the recent junk from Ron Howard and Dan Brown (Angels and Demons) the documents are all available and there are no copies of suppressed scientific theories or great works that were banned. The only documents you can’t access are those which are not yet 75 years old (in order to protect diplomatic and governmental information). Indexes are available for people who want to see if a document exists in the archives. The Vatican Secret Archives have been estimated to contain 52 miles (84 km) of shelving, and there are 35,000 volumes in the selective catalogue alone.

8. Club 33

Contrary to popular belief, Disneyland has a full liquor license which is used when the place closes down to the general public to accommodate private parties. But there is one place in Disneyland that is always open to sell booze: Club 33. Club 33 is a private club located in the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at “33 Royal Street” with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it. Fees for joining range from 10 – 30 thousand US dollars and membership comes with a car park. If you want to join the club, you have to go to the end of the fourteen year waiting list.

7. Moscow Metro-2

Metro-2 in Moscow, Russia is a purported secret underground metro system which parallels the public Moscow Metro. The system was built supposedly during (or from)the time of Stalin and codenamed D-6 by the KGB. Russian journalists have reported that the existence of Metro-2 is neither confirmed nor denied by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) or the Moscow Metro administration. The length of Metro-2 is rumored to exceed even that of the “civil” (i.e. public) Metro. (It is said to have 4 lines and lie 50 to 200 m deep. It is said to connect the Kremlin with the FSB headquarters, the government airport at Vnukovo-2, and an underground town at Ramenki, in addition to other locations of national importance. Needless to say, the fact that no one confirms its existence makes it pretty difficult to visit.

6. White’s Gentlemen’s Club

White’s is the most exclusive English gentlemen’s club. It was founded in 1693 by Italian Francesco Bianco (Francis White) to sell the newly discovered hot chocolate but eventually became a typical (but extremely private) gentlemen’s club. The club is famous for its “betting book” in which members make bizarre gambles. The most famous of which is a 3,000 pound bet on which of two raindrops would slide down the window first. So why is this club on the list? Women are excluded completely from membership, so that is half our audience out. Secondly, men who want to join this exclusive club can only do so if invited by a sitting member who has the support of two other members. Unless you are a member of royalty, or are extremely powerful in politics or the arts, you are unlikely to ever see the exclusive White’s invitation.

5. Area 51

Area 51 is a nickname for a military base that is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, onthe southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large secretive military airfield. The base’s primary purpose is to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The intense secrecy surrounding the base, the very existence of which the U.S. government barely acknowledges, has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore. The sign above states that deadly force can be used if people enter the Area 51 zone.

4. Room 39

Room 39 or Bureau 39 is arguably one of the most secretive organizations in North Korea that seeks ways to obtain foreign currency for Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s Chairman of the National Defense Commission. Room 39 was established in the late 1970s. It has been described as the lynchpin of the North’s so-called “court economy” centered on the dynastic Kim family. It is unknown how the name originated. Very little is known about Room 39 due to the secretive nature surrounding the organization, but it is widely speculated that the organization uses 10 to 20 bank accounts in China and Switzerland for the purposes of counterfeiting, money laundering, and other illicit transactions. It is also alleged that Room 39 is involved in drug smuggling and illicit weapon sales. It is known, however, that the organization has 120 foreign trade companies under its jurisdiction and is under the direct control of Kim Jong-il. North Korea has denied taking part in any illegal activities. Room 39 is believed to be located inside a ruling Workers’ Party building in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea.

3. Ise Grand Shrine

The Ise Grand Shrine in Japan (which is actually a series of over 100 shrines) is the most sacred shrine in Japan. It is dedicated to Amaterasu (the Sun goddess) and has been in existence since 4BC. The main shrine is alleged to hold the most important item in Japan’s imperial history: the NaikÅ« (the mirror from Japanese mythology which eventually ended up in the hands of the first emperors). The shrine is demolished and rebuilt every 20 years in keeping with the Shinto idea of death and rebirth (the next rebuilding will be in 2013). This ranks very high on the list of places you will never go because the only person who can enter is the priest or priestess and he must be a member of the Japanese imperial family. So unless we have a Japanese prince or princess reading the site, no one here will ever see anything more than the thatched roof of the Ise Grand Shrine.

2. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center

This is a place that is not only closed to the public, but it is a place that the public hope to never have to enter! In most “end of the world” films we see these days, there is always a highly classified area where US government officials and a chosen few get to go in the hopes that they can escape the impending doom. The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is the real thing. It was set up in the 1950s due to the cold war but continues to operate today. It is a “last hope” area. For obvious reasons its operations are highly classified. It is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The center is already functioning and even in small local disasters in the US, much of the telecommunications traffic is routed through it.

1. RAF Menwith Hill

RAF Menwith Hill is a British military base with connections to the global ECHELON spy network. The site contains an extensive satellite ground station and is a communications intercept and missile warning site and has been described as the largest electronic monitoring station in the world. The site acts as a ground station for a number of satellites operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office, on behalf of the US National Security Agency, with antennae contained in a large number of highly distinctive white radomes, and is alleged to be an element of the ECHELON system. ECHELON was reportedly created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s, but since the end of the Cold War it is believed to search also for hints of terrorist plots, drug dealers’ plans, and political and diplomatic intelligence. It has also been involved in reports of commercial espionage and is believed to filter all telephone and radio communications in the nations which host it – an extreme violation of privacy.

Post taken from- HERE

Original source- HERE

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Hollow promises of UPA govt- No effort to raise condition of women

By Sanchit on Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Condition of women in IndiaNEW DELHI: Despite claims made by the UPA towards gender empowerment, nothing could be further from the truth. Under the Congress-led UPA, not only has allocation for women-centric schemes in the Union Budget dropped from 9.2% in 2004-2005 to 3.2% in 2009-2010, but worryingly, gender specific schemes form only 2.4% of the women and child development ministry's total budget.

An analysis of the budgetary allocation by Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) has revealed that child development schemes form 97.2% of the WCD ministry's budget. The lion's share is taken up by the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) leaving only a measly 2.4% for women-related programmes.

Also, while allocation for the WCD ministry in the Union Budget has increased from Rs 2,454 in 2004-2005 to Rs 7,218 crore in 2009-2010, as a proportion of the Budget, this marks a decline from 9.2% to 3.2% in the same period.

"Priorities for women and children have gone up in absolute numbers but in relative terms, it's a marginal increase and is still abysmally low. So UPA's claims regarding creation of a separate ministry must be taken with a word of caution," Bhumika Jhamb, CBGA's programme officer, said.

The lack of priority given to women shows up in data. According to the `People's Mid-Term Appraisal' by CBGA and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, health and education indicators are less than heartening. The percentage of married women aged 15-49 years who are anaemic increased to 56.2% in 2005-2006 from 51.8% in 1998-1999. While girls constitute 48.4% of primary enrolment, they also constitute half of the `out of school children' -- three percentage points more than their share in the population -- pointing to gaps in gender-wise provision of education.

As a consequence of poor public facilities and low health status, over 120,000 mothers die due to child birth-related problems every year and shockingly, maternal mortality rate is still over 300 per 1 lakh deliveries. Another indicator of women's condition is that about 35% women in India have experienced physical or sexual violence.

Feminist groups have demanded higher allocation in the budget for women for decades. It is time the government kept its promise.

Article at Times of India

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Congress leader were involved in Gujarat riots!

By Sanchit on Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Congress involved Gujarat riotsCongress leaders are understandably the most vociferous in displaying righteous outrage at the unfortunate speech delivered by Varun Gandhi, just as they spare no occasion to castigate Narendra Modi for the Gujarat riots of 2002. However, their words would have more credibility if they expressed comparable shame at the fact that their party led the way in showing that riots and massacres can be used as means to manipulate vote banks. Apart from the infamous massacre of Sikhs in 1984, the 1970s and 1980s witnessed a series of communal riots presided over by the Congress party in places like Meerut, Malliana, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

The arrest of Congress leader Meghsingh Chaudhary at the instance of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigative Team for his active participation in the Gulbarga Society massacre in Ahmedabad in 2002 confirms what knowledgeable people in Gujarat have for long alleged that many Congressmen enthusiastically joined hands with members of the sangh parivar in the anti-Muslim riots of 2002.

Full article at Times of India

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Shocking video of US military killing over a dozen people in Iraq including 2 Reuters news staff

By Sanchit on Sunday, June 20, 2010

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war crime in IraqWikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement".

Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.

WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.

WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.


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Some lesser known things about Narendra Modi

By Sanchit on Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Narendra modi interesting facts"My son is not against anybody. For him Desh Prem [love of the nation] is more important than anything else in life," says Hiraben, mother of the caretaker Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi.

When you tell her that Muslims dislike her son, she says, "Ask the Muslims of Vadnagar. They will never say anything against my son. He is not against Muslims. He always used to tell me that if there is one person who is ready to die for the country, it is him."

On entering Vadnagar in Mehsana district, there is a huge poster of Modi next to those of the burning Sabarmati Express and Akshardham temple. Everyone here knows where Hiraben lives. The roads are narrow, but made of concrete. Cows and buffaloes greet you on the road to Modi's house near Modi gully.

One has to walk down the gully, as cars cannot enter. The resident are proud of the fact that a boy, who once used to run around in front of them, has become the chief minister and is the most popular leader in the state.

However, Modi is one of those rare politicians who has not done anything for his family and the locality where he grew up.

He has visited his family only five times ever since he left home in his teens to join the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He never attended marriages and other social functions in his family, but came when his father died. And apart from a telephone call every Diwali, Modi does not have any contact with his mother.

Hiraben's husband, Damodarbhai, was a small-time businessman and they had five sons and one daughter -- Soma, Narendra, Amrith, Prahlad, Pankaj and Vasanti [daughter].

Hiraben lives with the youngest son, Pankaj, who works in the information department of the state government in Gandhinagar. In spite of the fact that his brother is the chief minister, Pankaj takes a local bus to office. On an average he spends four hours travelling everyday, as the family does not even own a scooter.

Hiraben says she doesn't resent the fact that her son never helps her financially. "My son is a man of principle. He will only help if people at large are benefited. Our whole family believes in simple living. In fact, we always taught Narendra to live honestly. So why should I feel bad if he does not help us financially," she says.

Hiraben is in her late eighties and cannot walk without the help a cane. She wears thick spectacles and dresses up in a simple white sari. Though her elder sons are settled in Ahmedabad, she says she will not move away from Vadnagar. "I love my motherland very much and I cannot move to Ahmedabad because I don't like that place so much."

Reminiscing, Hiraben says, "Once he [Modi] found a one-rupee coin on the road... I told him to spend it on himself. But instead he gave that coin to a poor man's daughter in our village, who needed money to buy books and pencils".

"I remember once he got home a baby crocodile, which was in bad condition. He wanted to nurse it, but we asked him to release it in the river. He agreed, but reluctantly. I know he loves everyone."

Hiraben says her son does all his work, including washing and ironing his clothes. "And yes, no matter what the temperature is, he always takes bath in cold water," she adds. Ask her which party she will vote for, Hiraben says, "Of course BJP! I always used to vote for the Jan Sangh [the BJP's parent party]. If you have parents then you cannot change them. In the same ways, if you have one party you must vote for that party only."

Like all mothers, Hiraben misses her son very much. "After all I am his mother. But luckily, now I see him on television everyday and give him blessings. I feel very proud of him."

Rediff link

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Bait Modi, get rewarded by central govt!

By Sanchit on Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Narendra ModiIt may be coincidental, but what a coincidence! A number of public figures who openly criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the recent past have been rewarded by the UPA Government, either in the form of a Padma or even a Rajya Sabha nomination.

The recent nomination of noted lyricist and screen play writer, Javed Akhtar, to the Rajya Sabha is one such coincidence. He has time and again proved his worth by scripting classics and authoring memorable songs. But equally significant has been his petition filed in the Supreme Court that put the Narendra Modi Government on the mat, by raising a stink on all encounter killings in the State.

Filed in 2007, the petition is pending in the apex court. It was the same year when Akhtar added another feather to his cap — the Padma Bhushan — in the field of literature and education. With notice issued on his petition by the Supreme Court, the petition assumed significance after the Gujarat Government was pulled up by the Supreme Court after the State police admitted its mistake in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing.

With two other instances of Ishrat Jahan and Javed Sheikh alias Pragnesh Pillai also coming under the spotlight, Akhtar’s petition was separated from the bunch of petitions filed on the Godhra riots and is slated for further hearing on May 14 this year.

Akhtar’s case alone is not a coincidence. The same year when he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Government awarded Teesta Setalvad with Padma Shri — in recognition of her ‘fight for justice’ for Godhra riot victims. Her NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace, was formed in response to the 2002 Gujarat carnage and her petition filed in the Supreme Court laid the foundation for reopening of riot cases, shifting of trial outside Gujarat in several cases and protection to witnesses. The apex court is seized of the petition.

Another public figure that shot to prominence with her classical dance and won recognition and several awards, is no less known for her tirade against the Modi establishment. Danseuse Mallika Sarabhai too is on the list of Padma Bhushan awardees this year. In 2009, she stood in the Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate from Gandhinagar (Gujarat) challenging the might of BJP leader LK Advani. For Mallika, who has earlier been endowed with the Padma Shri, the recent accomplishment has come as an added privilege. It was after the Gujarat riots that Sarabhai was vocal in her criticism against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

One other awarded personality who has found fault with Modi, accusing him of conniving with the perpetrators of the post-Godhra riots, is former Chief Justice of India VN Khare.

As Chief Justice, Khare had castigated Modi Government for failing its “raj dharma” of protecting the life and liberty of its citizens. On his retirement in 2004, Khare gave an interview to a leading national daily where he commented particularly on the State’s ‘collusion’ that he claimed forced him to react to the petitions filed by Teesta and her NGO. He was quoted as saying, “I found there was complete collusion between the accused and the prosecution in Gujarat, throwing rule of law to the winds. The Supreme Court had to step in to break the collusion to ensure protection to the victims and the witnesses.”

It was under him that the riot cases began to be monitored on a periodic basis and the Best Bakery case, where 21 accused were acquitted, got reopened. Khare was the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award for his contribution in the field of public affairs in 2006.

Daily Pioneer link

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Raavan- Movie review

By Sanchit on Saturday, June 19, 2010

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Raavan movie reviewJust 1 word can be used to describe the movie- POOR. 45 minutes into the movie when you start looking at your watch you know that something went wrong somewhere.

Raavan is one of those movies where everything could have gone right. One of the best directors, arguably the best music director, nice concept, a grand epic to base it upon, breathtaking locations, powerful star cast and what not. But this is 1 of the few projects where everything went wrong. Direction is poor, music is average, acting is ordinary and it would be a shame to call it an adaptation of Ramayana. It seems like some elements of the epic were desperately inserted into the movie to get some free publicity by promoting it as a modern adaptation of Ramayana. The only saving grace for the movie is cinematography. The locations are breathtaking and you have to give it to the cast and crew for filming almost 90% of the film drenched in water.

The 1st half of the movie is dull and slow. It begins at a slow pace and maintain that till the intermission. Thankfully for the viewers things get a bit interesting in 2nd half but fails to keep the viewer interested. The story unfolds at such a pace that you don't want to know what will happen next, you just want it to get over.

specially of the lead cast is ordinary. Abhishek bachchan fails to leave an impact on the viewers. With the make-up and close camera shots even a child could have done that job. His actions seem to be forced and overdone. Aishwarya can't act which was evident from the trailer itself but her acting in the movie is irritating to say the least. Extremely poor dialogues doesn't help her cause either. Vikram starts off ordinarily but his overall act is OK. Anyways he hasn't got much to do here. Govinda who could have been a show stopper here shockingly doesn't even have a role to talk about. His entry scene and specially the lines he say at start to Vikram may give users goosebumps and raises expectation sky high. But apart from that Govinda doesn't have any significant scene in the movie! Mani Ratnam should really explain to people why he wrote such a poor character for someone who was supposed to play "Hanuman" in the adaptation. Only 2 actors that pulled it off were Ravi kishan and Priyamani. Ravi kishan played his part effortlessly and Priyamani gave one of the strongest performances in just 10 minutes of screen time.

And considering the movie a modern adaptation of Ramayana is just nonsense. What sort of adaption is it where "Ram" is not good, "Raavan" is not bad, "Shrupnakha" is the victim!, "Lakshman" is the culprit and "Hanuman" doesn't have any significance. The so called "Raavan" doesn't have any traits like the original one so the characters in the movie are made to say idiotic dialogues like "Sir log kehte hain Beera (Raavan) ek saath 10-10 jagah rehta hai! " to force the audience to believe in the character.

And I couldn't stop myself from mentioning it here. Check the jump of Aishwarya rai from the cliff. Such ordinary effects make you wonder if it is really a Mani ratnam movie or you are watching some low budget movie.

To conclude Mani ratnam totally messed it up this time. If you miss this one you wouldn't have missed much.

Rating- 4/10

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Who is the Congress trying to fool over Afzal guru?

By Sanchit on Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Congress fooling people over Afzal guruFor all those who don't know Afzal guru was the mastermind behind the parliament attack which happened around 10 years ago. He has been given death sentence by Supreme Court of India yet it doesn't look like anything will happen in near future! Now the general belief in people is that the delay is because he has sent a mercy petition to the president and he will be hanged when his turn comes and when president rejects the petition. But president would reject the petition when it reaches him (her in this case). In reality the congress govt have been sitting on the file for years and have not sent the file to the president! Now the basic question is "Why?" and the answer is there for all of you to see. Another bigger question is-

Who is the congress trying to fool over Afzal guru?


When Parliament was attacked on December 13, 2001, the Congress and all political parties described it as an attack on democracy. Ten years later, the Congress dismisses an important letter on the punishment to be given to Mohd Afzal Guru as `routine’ and tucks it into some dog-eared file.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs sends a letter to the Delhi Government on April 27 asking the government headed by Shiela Dikshit to furnish its views on the mercy petition of Afzal Guru. The letter gets buried and the MHA sends a reminder. Again no reply. And the Home Ministry of the Delhi Government is under Shiela Dikshit herself!

The MHA letter was rather strongly worded, but the Delhi Chief Minster chose to sit over the file. In fact, the Delhi Government has been sitting on Guru's file since September 2006!

This is not the first time that Sheila Dikshit is getting a letter from the MHA located a few blocks away from her office. A similar notice was sent in April last year. At that time, Dikshit had said she would study the matter after the elections and take appropriate action. But, a year after the Lok Sabha elections, Dikshit has not decided on the matter.

It was in August 2005 that the President sought the MHA's views. The MHA, in turn, sought the opinion of the Delhi Government as the comments of the government of the state where the crime has been committed are sought before deciding a mercy petition. That is where Afzal Guru is stuck - on the table of Shiela Dikshit.

So who is fooling the public? The MHA or the Delhi Government or both?

So, is the Congress going soft on terrorists just for petty vote bank politics? One Congress leader sits over an important letter on Afzal Guru, another senior leader - Digvijay Singh -- visits Azamgarh, the hotbed of terrorists and give the Batla House encounter in Delhi a new spin.

Probably Shiela Dikshit does not want to take any action on the letter before the Commonwealth Games. If Guru is hanged now, there may be a backlash and this is the last thing that the Delhi Govt wants before the Games. One minor backlash and the Games would be `up for a toss'.

The BJP is right when it says that the clean chit to two suspected Indian accomplices of 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab and the delay in hanging Parliament attack culprit Afzal Guru was fast giving India the reputation of being soft on home-grown terrorists.

"I have not received any letter (from the MHA). Maybe the Home Department (of the Delhi government) received it," said Dikshit. Maybe? This is no routine letter on the weather or traffic jams in Delhi. This was a letter on a terrorist who attacked the symbol of democracy.

The reminder from the MHA came just a week before a Mumbai court sentenced Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab to death for the 26/11 attacks.

The letter had a sense of urgency as Kasab cannot be hanged before Afzal Guru. Questions are bound to arise on why.

"We are aware questions may be asked on what we are doing about the Afzal Guru case once the file pertaining to Kasab's death sentence lands with us if somebody files a mercy plea," a senior MHA functionary was quoted in The Indian Express.

Source: R Shankar, India Syndicate



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12 Commandments for the modern world

By Sanchit on Monday, June 14, 2010

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Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Indiana Legends for the SUPER 5 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event of blog world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

Centuries ago God is believed to have given to the people of Israel a list of religious and moral imperatives commonly known as 10 Commandments from the mountain referred to as Mount Sinai. It is believed that these were
later authored by God and given to Moses in the form of two stone tablets. They are recognized as a moral foundation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Following is the list of 10 commandments given to people-

10 Commandments

Now times have changed. People have changed. The issues and problems faced by people in the world have grown much more complex. In light of these changes there is need to interpret some of the commandments in better way, extend the meaning of some others and add new ones to cater to the issues and problems of today. Following is the list of 12 commandments for the modern world-

1.) You shall have no other Gods before me- Here "me" represents the Human mind. There is no reason why God would give you a mind of your own to think and then would want you to blindly believe others without questioning! Therefore one should not believe in anything which doesn't satisfy his reasoning and common sense.

Believe nothing,
no matter where you read it,
or who has said it
not even if I have said it,
unless it agrees with your own reasons and your own common sense.

2.) You shall not make images about other people in your mind- Most of the times people make certain images about other people based on either hearsay or because of 1 unpleasant experience. Years later people themselves may change but their impression on others remain the same leading to biased attitude. Therefore 1 should not be rigid in judging others.

3.) You shall show respect and tolerance towards other faiths- One should not take the name of God in vain (from the original commandments). Therefore if others are forced to take the name of God without their will it wont have any effect as "God" would be just another word for them. So people should realise the futility of forcing others to change their beliefs and instead should show respect towards theirs.

4.) You shall not interfere in others lives unless it affect yours- Much of the problem in this world today is because people want others to live life according to them! Everyone gets an independent life and therefore should have the right to live it according to his own way provided he doesn't cause any harm to others.

5.) Honour the Earth and nature- Father and mother definitely need to be honoured (from the original commandments) as they are the reason for our existence and sustain us during our initial years. But there is something else also that is responsible for our existence and that is Mother Earth. Therefore people should show respect towards the nature and should strive to make Earth a better planet which can sustain lives for many more years to come.

6.) You shall learn to kill- Kill the evil in you. Be happy with who you are but don't let pride take over you. For from pride originates the other sins: melancholy, sloth, despair, envy, wrath, greed. Therefore learn to kill the evil traits to maintain the purity of life.

7.) You shall put your health before wealth- Of all the things important to human today only body is 1 which is not made by him. Money, luxuries etc are all because of efforts of man rather than the body which he gets as a gift. Therefore one should put his health before anything else while there is time because it is the only thing which he can't get later on.

8.) You shall try to steal others pain and sorrow- Pull up the weaker, help the poor and respect the other, for you may find yourself at the other end of the ladder someday. A comforting shoulder and little time is what people need instead of money and gifts.

9.) You shall be truthful to yourself- People generally lie because of two reasons-

i.) They are ashamed of their deeds.
ii.) They pretend what they want to be rather than what they are.

In either of the case people run from their true self. Till people have the support of lie they would never work sincerely to correct their deeds or become what they want to be. Therefore people should be true to themselves for their own betterment.

10.) You shall use force as a last resort- Try to negotiate with peace before deciding that force is needed because the fight today is not between right and wrong. It is between one man's beliefs V/s the others and the beliefs of weaker are not wrong but they just don't matter. Therefore try your best to save a life as a drop of blood saved is gifting life a moment more.

11.) You shall learn to accept failures- A rose has no beauty without the thorns. Your life has no beauty without failures. They are just there to make you desire success more. No one is perfect, it's the desire & heart that makes life beautiful.

12.) You shall become the master of your life- Its unfortunate that most actions and responses of people today are not because of their own will but because of external factors. A little unpleasant moment is enough to keep a person angry for whole day even when he may want to be happy. People should take control of their lives so that they dictate the terms instead of taking orders and letting external factors influence them.

Insight about the commandments-

1.) Commandments 1,2,3,5 and 9 are different interpretations of the original ones, commandments 6 and 8 have been changed and rest of the commandments have been omitted in favour of new ones.

2.) Some of the issues tried to be addressed upon through these commandments are- Religious intolerance, superstitions, environmental degradation, conflicts/wars, animosity between people, health issues etc.

DISCLAIMER- This post is a work of fiction. There is no intention to hurt any one's beliefs or feelings.

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