Sunday, 22 October 2017

Vedic people

In my school days, the Aryans populating India were of central Asiatic origin who entered India from the north west. Then there was this hue and cry stating that this is a biased view of the white man and that we were existing in the subcontinent all along. The mitochondrial DNA studies gave this theory credence. However, the Y chromosome DNA  seems to show that we were from the steppes.
The initial theory that we were from central Asia was on linguistic basis. So looks like point to the linguists.
What I find interesting is that the difference in the inference obtained from mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome DNA means the people migrating into India were predominantly male and they then cohabited with the local women to produce the current population. There is no evidence of a military campaign by these people of the  steppes. If it was not military, then why did they not bring their womenfolk? It seems odd because, in military campaigns, men leave women behind with the intention of getting back to their families after the campaign. These men did not seem to have returned.
What happened to those women left behind in the steppes?
Secondly, if we are to accept that these were the Vedic people, then why do the older vedic rituals give importance to women? A man cannot conduct any religious ritual without his wife beside him. Rituals like marriage of children, shrardh of their parents most yagnas etc.(true even now. The wife has to start proceedings by giving light to the homam fire)
This is odd on two counts- one, they left their women behind and two they gave importance to "alien" women.
One hypothesis could be that they did not leave the women behind. The women were decimated for some reason- some gender specific epidemic or large scale abduction by the less civilised humans living around them. So these men came searching for peace and family life and found it here.

Well so much non-evidence-based conjecture !
But that's the good thing about a blog. One can write about whatever hypothesis one chooses!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

When I was a child, festivals were fun. They were about good food, perhaps new clothes, some token praying (from the kids' point of view). The tradition for Ganesh chaturthi for example.... My mother would get some clay(clay was easily available to make angeethis) and one day before, we kids would make a small ganesh idol. The next day that would be kept for the puja and on the day after that, immersed in a well nearby or a bucket of water which would then be used to irrigate the tulasi plant.
Now we have become "more traditional". everyone has a huge POP ganesh painted with gaudy, toxic colours and menacing young men coming around to collect "chanda". These ganesh pandals block roads causing a traffic jam.They go on for days playing loud music on speakers which cause your chest cavity to vibrate in resonance. And then the finale is that they immerse all this in already stressed water bodies.
So noise pollution, and water pollution. Oh did I leave out air pollution? never mind Deepavali is just round the corner.
Why have all our festivals become so violent?
They used to be so benign.
Someone should start a twitter campaign
 #make festivals traditional again.
 #no modern technology in religion
No loudspeakers, no toxic dyes, no POP, no fireworks,  

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Phillip Ball writes about the narrative in the UK
Many intellectuals”, he says, “sneer at patriotism.”  he quotes Norman Lamont, a Brexiter.
"So there’s your choice (once again): get behind Brexit and be a patriot and, or oppose it and be unpatriotic. Loyalty to country (and thereby to “democracy”), or loyalty to the EU: it’s one or the other. "
At another place, he says "Here is Theresa May, in her barely literate foreword, on the national sentiment:...."
more than what she says, the fact that he feels she is "barely literate" is what I notice.
Then there is Trump.
And for those in India, does it  sound familiar- "be a patriot" ?
But at least Brexit was done through a referendum. 

This sudden contempt for the experts, the decisions made based on ideas put forth by "barely literate" people, decisions that affect a huge number of people who willy-nilly bear its consequences, where will it all lead us?

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The proposal to link all the rivers of India has been revived.
Many people get many ideas. But each idea must be studied for its short and long term effects.
Is it really a good idea to link rivers?
Have we studied the effect this will have on the ecosystems of the different rivers and their flood plains, and most importantly their deltas? Is it even possible to predict what effect it will have? What about the decrease in the inflow of fresh water into the Bay of Bengal? Will it effect water circulation in the Bay and will this affect our monsoons? If yes, can we predict what will happen and are we prepared for it? I doubt if even the best models (if any) we have can accurately predict the consequences of linking all our rivers.
 As usual, are we just jumping into the water without testing its depth?

But then we currently do not like experts.... what do experts/scientists/economists/environmentalists know?
 Ok, if we don't believe in science, at least, let us be fully religious and believe that god who created these rivers must have meant for them to be different rivers. Will we do a Ganga aarti in Thanjavur or Vijayawada?
In fact, even if we just believe that nature is god-given and must not be messed with, we will all be better off. I am quite ignorant, but to me it seems that the "mantra pushpam" that is recited everyday in most temples and religious ceremonies, is a reminder to respect nature if we wish to live in prosperity. I think all this yagnas and pujas for forests, rivers varuna bhagavan etc would at least teach us to have a healthy respect for nature. But currently,we neither believe in scientific evidence, nor in our old religious traditions of worshiping nature.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A headline "Could the Mumbai deluge have been avoided? Experts say Yes".

But we don't like experts. What do experts know? They have only studied a subject for 20 years of their lives. What do economists know about econoimcs? what do environmentalists know about the environment?
Vedas are thousands of years old.
It is written in the vedas that Mumbai will get flooded in 2005 and 2017 and again after a few years. To mitigate the effects, we must protect cows and do proper yagna. Our devotion to Ganesha has been deficient,so we are suffering.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

I like the new mantra we have, thanks to the recent events.
"I did my best".

Why are you late to class?
I did my best to reach on time.

Why is your presentation to the client not done?
Oh I did my best.

Mumbai floods?
The municipality did its best.

So everyone is doing his or her best. No wonder we are the BEST

Thursday, 17 August 2017

I hear a lot of lamentations about the demise of the joint family system. Such people never lived in one or were surely not the daughters-in-law of a joint family.
In an average joint family, the father-in-law lays down the law and all must obey about how much money is to be spent, who is allowed what who goes where etc. On the domestic front, the mother-in-law decides who should do what work, what and how much to cook and who should be given how much food. Usually, the daughter in law gets to do all the work and has to eat last what, if any, is left over.
The situation is better if the household is wealthy, where cooks and maids do the heavy work. still, what to do, where to go when to even visit relatives is never in the daughter in law's hands.
There is a study that shows intra-family status of the mother determines the child's nutrition level.
I have experienced life in a joint family for short spells, and though it is fun to play with cousins, the work that the women do is tremendous. However, cunning women can game the system and make life easier for themselves, worse for others.
The accepted standard model is however, ill treat the daughter-in-law.
The joint family for all its ideal of binding people together, does not guarantee that a man will not physically abuse his wife. That also happens with the in-laws looking on.
 In short, joint family is good for the top dogs.

Vedic people

In my school days, the Aryans populating India were of central Asiatic origin who entered India from the north west. Then there was this hu...