Category Archives: India

Mr. BKS Iyengar’s Light shines on

Like millions of others, I have been influenced by this great yoga teacher, though I have never met him. I have read The Tree of Yoga. I refer to Light on Yoga and Light on Pranayama. I study Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I use props to aid my alignment. I am aware that yoga is a strong discipline, not a casual affair. I find something in today’s practice that was better than yesterday’s practice. Thank you, Guruji, for the great gifts you gave us.

“When I practice, I am a philosopher,
When I teach, I am a scientist,
When I demonstrate, I am an artist.”
BKS Iyengar

India bans smoking in public …

India has banned somking in public.  This is a bold move.  On the upside it will reduce deaths and illness from both passive and active smoking, will encourage healthier lifestyle and will also support a transition to a more enlightened social dynamic (as the “cowboy” image is depreciated).  But it will not be easy to implement in such a chaotic and diverse culture.  There may even be a tendency to abuse the new law.  It is certainly a bold, pioneering step in teh right direction.

Indian ban on smoking in public by BBC

Commentary Indians told to stub it out in public by BBC

Money wins over humanity, by a wide margin

Humanity’s interest in raising the poor and destitute from the threshold of survival is insignificant. But our interest money, even the virtual money crated by trading opinions in the stockmarket, remains supreme. Whether Boston or Bombay, money, that metaphysical asset, seems to feed our souls.

It took minutes for the top guns to swing into action when the Sensex fell by several hundred points. But no Minister came forward to calm the nation when India hit the 94th rank in the Global Hunger Index.

It all happened around the same time. The day the Sensex crossed 19,000, India clocked in 94th in the Global Hunger Index — behind Ethiopia. Both stories did make it to the front page (in one daily at least). But, of course, the GHI ranking was mostly buried inside or not carried at all that day. The joy over the stunning rise of the media’s most loved index held on for a bit the next day. The same day, India clocked in as the leading nation in the number of women dying in childbirth. In this list, the second, third and fourth worst countries put together just about matched India’s 1.17 lakh deaths of women in childbirth. This story appeared in single column just beneath the Sensex surge.

Next came the fall of several hundred points in the Sensex. That is, barely a couple of days later. It took minutes for the top guns to swing into action. Fingers were in every dyke. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram lost no time in reassuring worried investors via the media. Other top officials were all over television, doing the same. “FM soothes the Market’s nerves” ran the ticker. The barrage — both media and official — kept up through the day. The panels of experts convened to celebrate the 19K summit were reconvened to explain why they’d tripped off the cliff. They then droned on about the merits of P-Notes, regulation and the future. What stood out, of course, was the swiftness of both government and media response to each twitch in the index.

Continue reading Indexing inhumanity, Indian style by P. Sainath here.