The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice. -- Sri Aurobindo (from the message broadcast on the eve of August 15, 1947)

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Nazism: Sri Aurobindo and Netaji Subhash

Dwarves flinging dung: This is a particularly distasteful post on Netaji; Traitorji Subhash Chandra Bose, the premise of the post is that since Netaji supported the axis power, he betrayed country. Although it is fashionable nowadays to disparage the famous, this diatribe lacks any sense. First a little perspective, during second world war there were broadly (and when I say this, I really do mean it) two camps,
  • one which adhered enemy-of-enemy-is- my-friend school of real politics and favored aligning with Nazis and Fascists, Netaji belonged to this, so did a lots of educated Indians.
  • There was another school which supported allied war efforts for many reasons, Guru Aurobindo belonged to this, he saw Nazism for the monster it was and decided that even at its worst English imperialism was better than German Reich.
The idea that Europeans have superior genes to “savages” was principle of this “pseudo-science”. Nietzsche, as all 19th century philosophers misappropriated Indian symbols to propound an “Aryan Race”, Hitler in turn like other cunning demagogues perverted further for his invidious ideology. The point of this is to show that for whatever reasons leaders and elites in west did not realize the horror of this monster.
What is more the horror of holocaust was not realized until end of war. (This is not completely true, west knew of atrocities against Jews before war, but decided to look other way, when the war commenced, the Jews who survived the horror told the story, but disinformation are not uncommon in war, so there was no agreement on how much credibility to put at this.)
No wonder than Netaji decided that alliance with Hitler was “useful”for purpose of Indian independence.My views on this, I respect and admire Netaji for his selfless love for India. However I do not agree with his ideology, just as I do not agree with ideology of Veer Savarkar or Bhagat Singh. I admire Guru Aurobindo for his clear belief that Nazi Germany posed a greater threat to world than Imperial English. Only a true patriot and courageous man could do that. posted by doubtinggaurav Monday, February 27, 2006 @ 8:32 PM

Our Weapon is our culture

India teaches that the purpose of Life is to uphold DHARMA, and the main planks for living are Sarva Loka Hitattvam; Sarva bhuta Samatvam. As Aurobindo said India is the only country, which directed the entire human energy towards the aim of seeing and achieving divinity in this life. Thousands of books, monuments, arts, daily life, rituals, music, painting, sculpture, even clothes and ornaments, show a grand movement towards peace, and through peace intellectual scaling of heights in thought and finally Jeevan Mukti, through the four Purusharthas.
But due to the injection and infection of an ephemeral value system of the west a national amnesia has come over us .We are in a coma as a nation, which is now of our own making. We have to get out of the coma and be awake to the beckoning of Vivekananda / Aurobindo / Tilak / Bose, not to speak of all the Udghosha of the Upanishads.
The clash A part of this waking up is to throw out all those poisonous concepts spread by Macaulay at a national level and CPB at a regional level in Andhra. CPB spread his own type of poison – Brahmins abhor Jangams hinting that; Brahmins excommunicated Vemana, suppressed Vemana, held tight their palm leafs, did not even know how to save their books!
Aurobindo states on Sanskrit as the vehicle of our culture, (which is equally applicable to Telugu for Andhras and otherlanguages for their states). Indian scholarships have one advantage an intimate feeling of the language, which the European cannot hope to possess. For a European, Sanskrit words are dead counters while to the Hindu they are living things, the very soul of whose temperament he understands and whose possibilities he can judge to a hair. posted by darsnik Friday, February 17, 2006 at 7:53 AM

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A free and fair global trading order

Text of US President George W. Bush’s address to the Asia Society in Washington on February 22 The Indian Express Friday, February 24, 2006
India is the world’s largest democracy... Like our own country, India has many different ethnic groups and religious traditions. India has a Hindu majority and about 150 million Muslims. That’s more than any other country except Indonesia and Pakistan. India’s government reflects its diversity. India has a Muslim president and a Sikh prime minister. I look forward to meeting with both of them. India is a good example of how freedom can help different people live together in peace. And this commitment to secular government and religious pluralism makes India a natural partner for the United States.
Secondly, the United States and India are working together to support democracy around the world. Like America, India overcame colonialism to establish a free and independent nation. President Franklin Roosevelt supported India in its quest for democracy, and now our two nations are helping other nations realise the same dream. Last year we launched the Global Democracy Initiative, which is a joint venture between India and the United States to promote democracy and development across the world.
Third, the United States and India are working together to promote global prosperity through free and fair trade. America’s economic relationship with India is strong and it’s getting better...The growing affluence of India is a positive development for our country. America accounts for 5 per cent of the world’s population. That means 95 per cent of our potential customers live outside our borders. More than a billion of them live in India. We welcome the growing prosperity of the Indian people and the potential market it offers for America’s goods and services. When trade is free and fair, it benefits all sides.
At the end of World War II, the United States chose to help Germany and Japan recover. America understood then that as other nations prosper, their growing wealth brings greater stability to their regions and more opportunities for products Americans manufacture and grow. The same is true today with developing nations such as India. As India’s economy expands, it means a better life for the Indian people and greater stability for the region. It means a bigger market for America’s businesses and workers and farmers.
We must also recognise that India’s growth is creating new opportunities for our businesses and farmers and workers. India’s middle class is now estimated at 300 million people. Think about that. That’s greater than the entire population of the United States. And this middle class is buying air conditioners, kitchen appliances, and washing machines — and a lot of them from American companies like GE and Whirlpool and Westinghouse. And that means our job base is growing here in the United States. Younger Indians are acquiring a taste for pizzas from Domino’s, Pizza Hut. And Air India ordered 68 planes valued at more than $11 billion from Boeing — the single-largest commercial airplane order in India’s civilian aviation history. Today India’s consumers associate Americans’ brands with quality and value, and this trade is creating opportunity here at home.
My attitude is this: if the rules are fair, I believe our companies and our farmers and our entrepreneurs can compete with anybody, any time, anywhere. India’s important as a market for our products. India is also important as a partner in opening up world markets. As a new nation, India emphasised self-sufficiency and adopted strong protectionist policies. During this period, its economy stagnated and poverty grew. India now recognises that a brighter future for its people depends on a free and fair global trading order.
The great changes that are taking place inside India and Pakistan are also helping to transform the relationship between these two countries...Some people have said the 21st century will be the Asian century. I believe the 21st century will be freedom’s century. And together, free Asians and free Americans will seize the opportunities this new century offers, and lay the foundation of peace and prosperity for generations to come.

Stiglitz's opposition of market-based reforms is a facade

BHARAT JHUNJHUNWALA The Hindu Book Review Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006
THE NEW DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS - After the Washington Consensus: K.S. Jomo and Ben Fine — Editors; Tulika Books, 35 A/1, III Floor, Shapur Jat, New Delhi-110049, and Zed Books, London and New York. Rs. 650.
Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz was the Chief Economist of the World Bank in the 1990s. He criticised the World Bank and the IMF for pushing market-based economic reforms and ignoring other parameters of development such as good governance, environment and education. He was removed from his post for this `indiscretion'. He has since become the chief proponent of `new development economics', which holds that the market alone will not secure economic development.
It seems that Stiglitz is a serious opponent of the World Bank's neoliberal ideology. However, according to K. S. Jomo of University of Malay, Kuala Lumpur and Ben Fine of University of London, Stiglitz's opposition of market-based reforms of the World Bank is a facade. In this book they say that Stiglitz wants to bring issues such as governance, environment and education within the purview of the market.
Truly, the market promoted by Stiglitz has a broader and deeper reach though it appears he is opposing the supreme role of the market. On the other hand, Jomo and Fine give many examples of the positive role of the state in economic development. The government had a critical role in bringing forth rapid economic growth in the East Asian countries in the 1990s. It regulated domestic competition to optimal levels. It did not allow excessive competition while also preventing establishment of monopolies.
This carrot-and-stick policy led to the domestic companies growing rapidly. That was the source of the Asian Miracle. The domestic banks and companies were provided easy loans under government guidance in Japan. The Chaebols were similarly supported by the government in Korea. These examples show that the government can have a positive role in economic development.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Literature needs to serve today's world

Sartre's "What is Literature?" is a great essay, extremely well-written and illustrated like many of his other work. It attempts to be persuasive in ever line and paragraph, and may even succeed at times but for the narrow view of literature espoused, particularly with the role of literature in modern society. I am forced to agree with Sartre when he says that literature needs to serve today's world; but it would again be a limited idea, inherently defective and contradictory to Sartre's advocacy of the primacy of free thought and expression. All literature written today cannot serve today's world, some need to and can, but others should exist in equal terms, whether accepted by today's world or not. Literature can be a tool for societal change but its primary role may not be this Marxian view at all, particularly in today's globalised world. Thejaswi Shivanand Location: Bangalore, India posted by Dumaketu Saturday, October 29, 2005 @ 11:43 AM 14 comments

Nationalism: Tagore and Derrida

In addition to deconstruction, I have liked Derrida's work on nationalism, national symbols and languages as they are more current and relevant in today's world. Although the force of nationalism has been a major one shaping twentieth century society, resulting in two very destructive world wars, the Cold War, today's America, it has been surprisingly ignored by analysts and particularly, modern philosophers. In India, it has shown up as a problem in the past decade. Perhaps Tagore's "Nationalism" is one of the finest general books on the subject and mostly remains current even after 80 years of publication, with typical Tagorean lucidity of thought and writing and a felicitous ability to explain the inherent instability of mostly non-existent national identities, something that Derrida also clarifies so well. posted by Dumaketu Saturday, October 29, 2005 @ 11:43 AM 14 comments

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Savitri Era Learning Forum

Blog Awards

Vincent Horn of the same-name blog announced his Blog Awards for the recently concluded year. Winners of the Vinny are …
Best New Blog - Boulder Anti-Apathy Cluster
Most Geeky Blog - Coolmel
Most Fluffy Blog - Indistinct Union
Best Group Blog - Generation Sit
The Bodhisattva Blog - Steve Pavlina
Best Non-dual blog - Mystery of Existence
Weblog of the Year - Coolmel
It’s a wonderful assortment of excellent blogs, worthy of a read – even if every one isn’t Buddhism related.
And here are the awards of ebuddha of Integral Practice, which we’ll dub the eBuddhys:
Best New Blog - Integral Options Cafe
Best Integral Politics and Social Commentary Blog - Joe Perez
Best Integral Techie Blog - Coolmel
Best Integral Theory Ken Wilber blog - Indistinct Union
Best Integral Theory Non-Ken Wilber blog - SELF (Savitri Era Learning Forum) blog
Best Multimedia Integral Blog - Mark Davis Lippman
Best Art Integral Blog - Matthew Dallman
Best Non-Dual Blog - Mystery of Existence
Best Individual Writing Integral Blog - (1) enthusiastic stylings of Stuart Davis, (2) the passionately sober Vince, (3) the resonant writings of Syntegral, (4) the wry intellect of The Human Bean posted by Zen Unbound @ 1/27/2006

Religion: Radhakrishnan and J.N.Mohanty

An eminent Indian philosopher, Prof. J.N.Mohanty says “he is bored to death” to read Radhakrishnan! Prof. Mohanty should know! His beautiful little autobiography of just 130 pages (Between two worlds:East and West, OUP), is a precious little gem! It is endlessly illuminating and insightful. It would pay a rich dividend for intellect and I would strongly recommend for any connosieur of intellectual tastes. Mohanty had occupied the same high positions in teaching philosophy as Radhakrishnan,in Kolkatta and Oxford, besides doing original research in Germany under such eminent original thinkers like Edmund Husserl, perhaps the greatest German philosopher who revived the modern German philosophy...
Religion lost its central role in modern man’s life. And to quote Prof. Mohanty, a great Indian philosopher, more rooted to native Indian soil, more down to earth, more a Gandhian (his family members were great Gandhians, one was a Chief Minister of Orissa) than, I would say, the academic minded Radhakrishnan, says: "Conventional religious belief impedes both thinking and action.” Moreover, Mohanty is much more open-minded than Radhakrishnan. Says Mohanty "I do not deny God’s existence because I hold a materialistic world view that matter is all that there is. On the contrary, I totally reject materialism as a bad philosophy. Idealism, for me is a quite plausible philosophy. But these things have nothing to do with God’s existence" He says, I think more pointedly, the need for freedom of the mind. One must feel free to think. “Thinking is hard; to follow the path of thinking is harder still.” You can’t find such candour in Radhakrishnan.
And at the same time without knowing modern man’s many questions today, many questions can’t be answered only by referring to the sciences. The Templaton Foundation gives every year a Prize for the “Progress in Religion” and Radhakrishnan was also a recipient of the prize and this foundation does research in the interface between sickness and religions. A Templeton Foundation Prize winner writing in the recent issue of the Times Higher Education supplement says that there is a more interaction between scientists and the theologians (of all religions) to know more about, among other things. “How we can promote more toleration, the biological and social bases for forgiveness in areas of human conflict”.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s much laboured argument for a belief in God, though he was speaking from the Hindu religion’s point of view is almost identical to what is expounded in the three major Western religions, namely, Christian, Jewish and Islamic ones! At the current state of research in what is called the man’s next frontier in knowing his own self is a mix of many areas: brain research, genetic make-up and man’s capacity to manipulate so that every human being, in theory at least, to have the same genetic capabilities. Incidentally, one Indian researcher, V.S. Ramachandran at the university of San Diego, California, is the director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition. He says we, humans are just DNA vessels, self-replicating molecules. What it means for our mind, consciousness? Questions that don’t seem to have adequate answers from the new knowledge. India Local News posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2005 at 2:46 pm and is filed under Society & Culture.

Remembering Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)

"The will of a single hero can breathe courage into the hearts of a million cowards "
(Sri Aurobindo, 1920) Hindu Voice UK Issue 2: February 2006
Sri Aurobindo was one of the greatest philosophers, mystics and visionaries of modern history. He was a major leader in India's freedom movement. Later in life he became a sage and scholar. His teachings have attracted many people from all around the world. The ashram that he founded is still thriving today, and centres bearing his name can be found in many countries - including here in the UK. Born in Calcutta, Sri Aurobindo was sent to England for his studies at the tender age of six. After his schooling he went on to study at Cambridge University in 1890.
Sri Aurobindo wrote extensively and has left behind a breath-taking legacy of works, most of which are in English. He wrote works on the Vedas and Mahabharata, a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. He also wrote plays, poetry and stories. He presented a Hindu view on international issues such as war, self-determination, the possibility of international unity, as well as the shortcomings and potentials arising from the League of Nations which had been set up following the First World War. He wrote important books presenting what he called an "aggressive defence of Hindu culture" because he felt that it was necessary to reverse the process of Hindus getting affected and alienated by constant negative propaganda. He even wrote commentaries on those non-Indian non-Hindu philosophers for whom he had respect, such as Plato. His most famous works are the descriptions of his own spiritual life and thought.
In all these years, Sri Aurobindo never lost track of happenings in the outside world. He continued to keep in touch with many disciples through letters and he read newspapers regularly to stay aware of important happenings. He issued public statements from time to time. When India's Independence Day came, it fell on the same day as Aurobindo's birthday. It was a fitting tribute that this should be so.

United Nations University

MU signed pact with United Nations University- IndiaEduNews.net Thursday, February 23
Chennai: In a significant development, University of Madras has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tokyo-based United Nations University. It was signed between the Madras University Vice-Chancellor S.P.Thyagarajan and Senior Vice Rector, UN University, Ramesh Thakur at Chennai on 22nd February.
The agreement accorded Madras University as an associated institution of the UN varsity. According to the new pact the two university will pursue a joint programme of action through the newly set-up Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. The MOU will enable inter-assisted research, training and teaching programmes in the areas of peace studies, conflict resolution and ecological security. It will cater to multidisciplinary research/teaching activities. The new centre will focus on peace initiatives and conflict resolutions in the south Asian region and facilitate learning/sharing of the experiences with academics/institutions/civil societies in other regions.
"The Centre will foster interaction between academia and civil society in the areas of peace building and conflict resolution and undertake research in issues of peace and non-violence. The Centre will also facilitate collaborative research projects and teaching/training projects in the areas of mutual common interest,`` Mr. Thyagarajan said.

Bush rolls out new India map

Mr. Bush strongly defended the outsourcing of American jobs to India, which he described as the reality of a global economy...He added that India's growth — its middle class is now estimated at 300 million people, greater than the population of the United States — had opened a vital new market for American goods, from jets to fast food. "Younger Indians are acquiring a taste for pizza from Domino's," Mr. Bush said. "And Air India ordered 68 planes valued at more than $11 billion from Boeing." By ELISABETH BUMILLER The New York Times : February 23, 2006
Indian Express: Thursday, February 23, 2006 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 22: After nearly six wasted decades of political alienation between the world’s largest democracies, US President George Bush today unveiled what he called an “ambitious and practical” five-fold path for the transformation of relations with India. Addressing the 50th year of the Asia Society in Washington a week before he arrives in India, Bush underlined five areas of shared interests between India and the United States:
  1. These include the war against terrorism,
  2. supporting democratic institutions in other countries,
  3. promoting economic prosperity through free trade,
  4. addressing global challenges of health and environment
  5. and developing clean-energy technologies, especially new techniques of nuclear power generation.

In a speech that lasted over half an hour, Bush set the tone right in the beginning: “More than five centuries ago, Christopher Columbus set out for India and proved the world was round. Now some look at India’s growing economy and say that that proves the world is flat.” America’s relationship with India and Pakistan, he said, is important “for our economic security..and for our national security.” He then went on to define this relationship against the backdrop of India’s growth story, its secular, pluralistic democracy, its growing affluence and its young talent. “The people of America and India understand that a key part of defeating the terrorists is to replace their ideology of hatred with an ideology of hope. And so we will continue to work together to advance the cause of liberty”, Bush said.

Bush sang a paean to Indian democracy and demanded that Pakistan ensure “open”, “free and fair” polls in the general elections slated for 2007, as he emphasised his conviction that democracy is the best antidote to terrorism. Highlighting India’s role in strengthening political pluralism around the world, Bush pointed to the contributions India is already making to the success of fledgling democratic institutions in Afghanistan. “India’s work in Afghanistan is a good example of India’s commitment to emerging democracies. India has pledged $565 million to help the Afghan people repair the infrastructure and get back on their feet”, Bush said.

Reminding American people that India had a Muslim President and a Sikh Prime Minister, Bush said, “India is a good example of how freedom can help different people live together in peace. And this commitment to secular government and religious pluralism makes India a natural partner for the United States.” “In the past, the Cold War and regional tensions kept us apart, but today, our interests and values are bringing us closer together”, Bush argued.

Directly confronting and rejecting the traditional American hostility towards India on nuclear non-proliferation and more recent concerns about outsourcing American jobs, Bush underlined America ’s own interest in India’s growth and prosperity. Extending full civilian nuclear cooperation to India would help reduce the pressure on oil prices and in creating a better global environment, Bush said. Sharing clean energy technologies with India, Bush insisted, “will help reduce stress on global oil markets and move our world toward cleaner and more efficient uses of energy.”

Bush was even more forthright on business process outsourcing that has led to protests from trade unions and Democratic opposition in Washington. “It’s true that a number of Americans have lost jobs because of companies that have shifted operations to India,” Bush said. “Losing a job is traumatic. It’s difficult. It puts a strain on our families.” Opposing protectionism as a response, Bush said outsourcing improves the competitiveness of American industry by reducing costs and creating new jobs in the US.

He also pointed to the fact that growing prosperity in India will produce more opportunities to export American goods to India. But Bush also insisted India cannot hope to have a “one-way free trade” and that it should do more to lift caps on foreign investment and open its borders to US farm and industrial products.

The United Nations as a Spiritual Institution

A. Walter Dorn Interreligious Insight April 2005
To better understand Sri Chinmoy’s spiritual vision and appreciation of the spiritual nature of the UN, it is appropriate to examine the philosophy of his august and eminent mentor, Sri Aurobindo, at whose ashram in Pondicherry, India, he lived, meditated and studied for twenty years. Sri Aurobindo was one of the spiritual and intellectual pioneers of international organization, as well as one of the early intellectual leaders of India’s independence movement. Writing at the very dawn of the idea, when an organization of independent nations for peace was merely a vague notion in the minds of a few, he charted the future of this great dream.

During World War I, when Europe was convulsing in a self-destructive dance of war, Sri Aurobindo wrote masterfully and prophetically about the need and “inevitability of some kind of world-union of free nations”. His works, titled, “The Human Cycle”, “The Ideal of Human Unity” and “War and Self-Determination” (1915-18), were pathfinders in laying out the foundation and planting the seeds, perhaps deep in the consciousness of humanity, for the development of international organization. In 1916, Aurobindo advocated a “first scheme to which the life of humanity could turn for a mould of growth in its reaching out to a unified existence”.
Perhaps not by coincidence, that same year, Woodrow Wilson became the first serving American president to endorse the concept of a world organization for peace. After the Great War, as it was called, President Wilson pushed for a League of Nations and chaired the Commission of the Paris Peace Conference that drafted the League’s Covenant, thereby bringing into being the world’s first international organization for peace and earning him the title of Father of the League. Wilson would declare in February 1919: “A living thing is born.”[ix] (As an aside, Woodrow Wilson’s daughter, Margaret Wilson, moved to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India after her father’s death and lived there until 1944, the same year that Sri Chinmoy entered the Ashram as a permanent resident.)

For Aurobindo, “the whole secret of earthly existence” is that all life is in “progressive evolution of a Spirit”.[x] He welcomed Wilson’s initiatives in Paris, hoping that international law would be “an effective force which will restrain the egoism of nations as the social law restrains the egoism of individuals”, and delighted when the League of Nations “was in travail of formation”.[xi] In the inter-war period, however, he bemoaned the fact that the League was “constantly misused or hampered from its true functioning by the egoism and insincerity of its greater members”.[xii] Prophetically, he had noted in 1916, that difficulties and disappointments were “bound to help” the process of unification, since once begun it would be “impossible for humanity to draw back”.

When the United Nations was created after the World War II, Aurobindo recognized it as a continuation and improvement of the League: the same spirit, the same general structure, and, unfortunately, some of the same flaws. He lamented, for instance, that the “oligarchy of big Powers” witnessed in the League was a strong surviving element with the new United Nations, as seen in the “preponderant place assigned to the five great Powers in the Security Council and clinched by the device of the veto”.[xiii]
More positively, Aurobindo prophetically wrote, shortly before he left the earth in 1950, that the arrival of the world-threatening Cold War was a confrontation that could be eliminated and harmony established. Much further in the future, he envisaged a “single world-State” as “the final outcome which the foundation of the UNO [i.e., United Nations Organization] presupposes”.[xiv] (He also envisaged a “United States of Europe” which was made concrete less than a half century later in the formation and solidification of the European Union.) In most of Aurobindo’s writings, the motor of evolution for international organization arises from “the drive of Nature towards larger agglomerations” for “the law of the community or nation … is to harmonise its life with that of the human aggregate and to pour itself out as a force for growth and perfection on [sic] humanity”.[xv] Behind this evolutionary process lay the notion of the "nation-soul".

Nolini Kanta Gupta, Aurobindo’s close friend and disciple as well as the Secretary of the Aurobindo Ashram, provided an incisive articulation of the nation-soul concept: A Nation is a living personality; it has a soul, even like a human individual. The soul of a nation is also a psychic being, that is to say, a conscious being, a formation of the Divine Consciousness and in direct contact with it …[xvi] He further presaged Sri Chinmoy’s view and experience in his statement that “[t]he individual can know of and come in contact with the nation’s soul in and through his own soul”.[xvii] Sri Chinmoy elaborated upon this idea of the evolving soul of international organizations.
While the United Nations has its own soul, it also is a “garland of nation-souls”. In this case, the total, the “group-soul” to use Aurobindo’s expression, is more than the sum of the parts. While a garland of flowers is a joy to behold, the United Nations is more than its member states. From the spiritual point of view, it is something greater, vaster and deeper than the sum of its parts. For instance, the UN Secretaries-General have become the spokesmen for humanity, not just the voice of an assembly of nations.
Dr. Walter Dorn is Associate Professor at the Canadian Forces College and the Royal Military College of Canada and teaches peacekeeping and international organization to military officers from Canada and abroad. He has served in UN peacekeeping missions and at UN Headquarters. He is editor of World Order for a New Millennium: Political, Cultural and Spiritual Approaches to Building Peace (1999). His web site is www.cfc.dnd.ca/dorn.

Resurgence of Asia and World Union

Sri Aurobindo 15th August 1947
Another dream was for the resurgence and liberation of the peoples of Asia and her return to her great role in the progress of human civilization. Asia has arisen, large parts are now quite free or are at this moment being liberated: its other still subject or partly subject parts are moving through whatever struggles towards freedom. Only a little has to be done and that will be done today or tomorrow. There India has her part to play and has begun to play it with an energy and ability which already indicate the measure of her possibilities and the place she can take in the council of the nations.
The third dream was a world union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind. That unification of the human world is under way; there is an imperfect initiation organized but struggling against tremendous difficulties. But the momentum is there and it must inevitably increase and conquer. Here too India has begun to play a prominent part and, if she can develop that larger statesmanship which is not limited by the present facts and immediate possibilities but looks into the future and brings it nearer, her presence may make all the difference between a slow and timid and a bold and swift development.
A catastrophe may intervene and interrupt or destroy what is being done, but even then the final result is sure. For unification is a necessity of Nature, an inevitable movement. Its necessity for the nations is also clear, for without it the freedom of the small nations may be at any moment in peril and the life even of the large and powerful nations insecure. The unification is therefore to the interests of all, and only human imbecility and stupid selfishness can prevent it; but these cannot stand for ever against the necessity of Nature and the Divine Will.
But an outward basis is not enough; there must grow up an international spirit and outlook, international forms and institutions must appear, perhaps such developments as dual or multilateral citizenship, willed interchange or voluntary fusion of cultures. Nationalism will have fulfilled itself and lost its militancy and would no longer find these things incompatible with self preservation and the integrality of its outlook. A new spirit of oneness will take hold of the human race.
15th August 2004 is the 57th Anniversary of the Indian Independence. It coincides with the 132nd birthday of Sri Aurobindo, as you may know. Aurobindo's message for the day of Independence 57 years ago on 15th August 1947 was broadcast through All India Radio. (page 404ff of the book 'On Himself' published by the Ashram Press, Pondicherry).

Creating economic opportunities and employment

I am sure there are many well meaning people out there and their concern for Orissa must be genuine. However I consider am unworthy of advising/preaching/finding faults. Not by compulsion but by choice I decided to live in Orissa and do my little bit for the state. That is precisely what I am doing. Living in the state, creating economic opportunities and employment for more than 350 educated people (only Oriyas) single-handedly (well, almost), paying back loans and paying taxes, obeying traffic rules, not paying chaanda for any puja nor putting up loudspeakers and disturbing the peace, not encroaching on public or private lands nor constructing illegal structures, visiting my electorate regularly and trying for redressal of the varied problems (sometimes unsuccessful and sometimes successful,inspite of the horrible bureaucrazy), making efforts to create sustainable assets with the MP Local Area Development Fund. I am not boasting but truly, all this and so much more keeps me totally busy. Therefore, I wish you and all your friends victory in your efforts.
Sincerely, Tathgata Satpathy MP, Bhubaneswar www.orissapolitics.cjb.net

Preventable blindness

Preventable blindness is one of the most tragic and wasteful health problems. By eliminating avoidable blindness we can dramatically improve the education, employment and quality of life for many millions of people. The treatments available for the prevention and cure of blindness are among the most successful and cost effective of all health interventions.
Orissa has an estimated population of 37 million people, 75% of whom live in rural areas. With a blindness prevalence rate of 1.40%, an estimated 5,13,897 people are blind. The main causes of blindness are cataract, uncorrected refractive errors / aphakia, glaucoma, corneal scar. Of these causes, 80 – 90% are preventable or treatable. There is a shortage and maldistribution of health manpower; infrastructures and facilities to tackle the identified eye care problem. The lack of adequate & appropriate training programmes in the state also compounds this problem in addition to the brain drain of trained eye care professionals.
An estimated 102,779 Oriya’s become blind each year, about 61,667 because of cataract alone. Cataract surgical services are available in most of the existing eye units in the state. Current performance of the cataract surgery in the state is around 86,386 eyes per year against the need for 3, 43, 602 eyes per year. There is acute shortage and maldistribution of ophthalmic personnel, with over 80% of present personnel in the big cities of the state, the majority of the paramedical personnel who did not have any formal training.
Keerti Bhusan Pradhan Senior Faculty LAICO-Aravind Eye Care System (A WHO Collaborating Centre) 1-Anna Nagar, Madurai-625020 Tamilnadu, India Phone:0452-4356500/4356514 (direct) Mobile: 9443830116 Fax: 0452-2530984 Email: keerti@aravind.org Website: www.aravind.org

Sanskrit drama competition

Vasantostsava-2006 www.IndiaEduNews.net Wednesday, February 22 New Delhi: The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Deemed University under the Ministry of Human Resource Development is organizing VASANTOTSAVA, the Sanskrit drama competitions for the students of its various Campuses on 23-24 February, 2006, in Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi from 10.00 a.m. The plays to be performed include Dootghatotkacham, Dehi Padapallavam, Mrichhakatikam, Mattavilasprahasnam, Snushavijayam, Bhukailasam, Naganandanam, Subhadraharanam, Madhyamvyayogaha and Ablasamarthyam.
In addition to this "Ashtavadhanam" in Sanskrit By Dr. Dorbala Prabhakar Sharma, Kovvuru, Andhra Pradesh will also be presented. The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan is an apex body for the propagation and development of Sanskrit language. The Sansthan imparts Sanskrit education up to the Doctorate level through its ten Campuses at Allahabad, Jammu, Puri, Guruvayoor, Jaipur, Lucknow, Sringeri, Garli, Bhopal and Mumbai. 23 Adarsh Mahavidyalayas and a number of Voluntary Organizations located at various parts of India also function under Sansthan. "Vasantotsava" is being organized since 2004 & has been acclaimed by Sanskrit lovers and scholars.

Bring Your Own Film Festival opens at Puri beach

Puri orissadiary.com Wednesday, February 22, 2006: A five-day film festival kicked off on the sandy beach of Puri from Tuesday. The event is being organised by BYOFF (Bring Your Own Film Festival). Young and amateur filmmakers will find this platform handy to showcase their talent. It also provides an opportunity for young singers and artists. The festival was inaugurated by a marine fisherman L Lokanath.
The unique programme will present nearly 150 filmmakers from India and abroad. About 20 foreign filmmakers are likely to participate in the event, sources said. Everyday nearly 14 hours have been allotted for screening of different films in various languages.
"The best part of this programme is that it does not follow any selection procedure. Any filmmaker can participate and screen his or her film," Manas Choudhury, an organising member said. Besides, it would also help promote tourism. "This season in Puri, one will witness an influx of foreign tourists who will definitely enjoy the programme on the sea beach," said Kapilash Bhuyan, a film personality.
This year, the BYOFF team has added one more aspect in its programme. "We will screen eight world classic movies like Bicycle Thief, Seven Samurai, Charulata and Singing in the Rain and many others in the Town Hall so that common people can enjoy and know more about BYOFF," Mr Choudhury added.

Mixed ethnicity growing common among the Indian-Americans

One in nine Indian-Americans is biracial
USA, January 15, 2006: by Lavina Melwani www.littleindia.com
Genetics is their football and they are out to smash all stereotypes. Races meet and merge in their faces. Long Indian eyelashes cover eyes of pristine blue; glowing ebony skin mixes with Caucasian features. Think Halle Berry, think Tiger Woods, think Saira Mohan, think Lisa Ray, Sarita Chowdhury. These are the faces of the future, faces where cultures and races blend, where different essences combine to create a new fragrance haunting but you're never quite sure of what it is. Musk? Attar? Tuberoses? Or a mix of all?
Welcome to the brave new world of children of intercultural unions, families that defy the old rules -- hopscotching over national borders, crisscrossing cultures and a babble of languages to create a new race, a new reality. It's almost as if the great showman in the sky, sitting in his dir ector's chair and bored with the same old, same old, is experimenting and bringing some pizzazz to the leela or celestial play. Bi-racial marriages, barred by law in 16 states just 40 years ago, are now commonplace in America, and the 2000 Census recorded more than 6.8 million multi-racial Americans. What will surprise Indian Americans, however, is that they at the front of the ranks. According to the 2000 US census, 220,000 Indians -- almost 12 percent of the total Indian population of 1.9 million -- identified themselves as multi-racial, i.e. they listed themselves as Indian and one other racial group, which is five times the national average of 2.4 percent. Nationwide, almost 2.5 percent of all Whites, 4.8 percent of Blacks and 14 percent of Asians identified themselves as multi-racial. For the complete article with many interviews, click "source" above. Hindu Press International

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

California Institute of Integral Studies

California Institute: Liberal Anti-India, Anti-Israel, Anti US Center
By Yatindra Bhatnagar September 24, 2003
California Institute of Integral Studies, a 35-year-old institute of specialized learning founded by Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, a prominent philosopher and scholar from India, and his wife Bina, has become one of the most active centers for political activities that specialize in anti-India, anti-Hindu, anti-Israel and anti-Republican liberal, pro-Pakistan and leftist propaganda, all in the name of peace, solidarity, and justice.The speakers at the CIIS events are mostly leftists, so-called liberals, Pakistanis, anti-Hindu, pro-Palestine, and anti-Republican Party, singing almost the same tune, without any diverse opinion. The most active is the Department of Cultural Anthropology with Dr. Angana Chatterjee as the prime mover, and activist.All these are not even remotely connected to the “Mission and Educational Philosophy” and “the Seven Ideals” of the CIIS and the vision of its founder.
Dr. Chaudhuri was a staunch disciple of Yogiraj Aurobindo of India, and was sent to San Francisco by Aurobindo himself.The astonishing part of the whole situation is that one of the faculty members, Dr. Angana Chatterjee, professor of Cultural Anthropology and her husband, professor Richard Shapiro, have been frequently organizing seminars, talks, discussions etc denouncing Israel, alleging the rise of “Hindu militancy,” in India and the US, criticizing India’s Central, and a few state governments, specially, the Gujarat government, and also indulging in open opposition to the Republican Party, the war in Iraq, President George Bush, his Cabinet and his policies.
Often political candidates are promoted and their election literature is distributed at seminars organized by the Department of Cultural Anthropology under Dr. Chatterjee.The recent Dialogue for Peace, Democracy Today, Human Rights, Globalization, War and Peace, September 19, had all the ingredients of anti-Israel and pro-Palestine propaganda. Though the topics did not specifically include views on India and Hindu groups in India and the US, Dr. Chatterjee, and a couple of others, did not fail to pour out their venom against India, its Central and state government of Gujarat, Hindu groups and some development activities. That was all one-sided as usual. posted by Naxal Watch @ 8:02 AM

Friday, February 17, 2006

India needs 8 liberal art centres: Pitroda

From Shyam Bhatia DH News Service Washington: Sam Pitroda, the US-based techie who helped revolutionise India's telecommunications, has revealed himself to be a fan of the liberal arts. Orissa-born Pitroda, who graduated in physics, electronics and electrical engineering, is associated with the bright yellow STD PCO boxes that are available even in the remotest parts of the country. For the past five months as Chairman of the Knowledge Commission, however, he has been working towards a completely different goal that represents the antithesis of his own personal educational experience.
" I believe that leadership qualities come from social sciences", Chicago-based Piroda told Deccan Herald in an exclusive interview. " I find that the biggest key to success is understanding people and engineering schools don't teach you how to understand people." Picked out by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last October to head the Knowledge Commission, Pitroda's brief is to assess access to knowledge, creation of knowledge, knowledge education and knowledge services, or, as he puts it, the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge. Improving liberal arts education is one of the ideas that has come out of the meetings that Pitroda has had so far with other members of the commission. "We have good technical education, we have good medical education, we have good business education, but we don't have comparable liberal arts education", says Pitroda who is also chairman and CEO of World-Tel Ltd.
"We already have some liberal arts schools and we need to strengthen them, we may also have to create new ones." At the very least, he believes, both Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru universities need to be strengthened with more investment to raise their standard to that of Oxford and Harvard. His idea has been well received by other members of the commission, who include Dr P M Bhargava, Nandan Nilekani, Deepak Nayyar, Ashok Ganguly, Andre Beteille, Jayati Ghosh and Pratap Bhanu Mehta. Asked where the money will come from for the eight new universities or liberal arts institutes he hopes to see created across the length and breadth of the country, Pitroda laughs and replies, "I think with $150 billion foreign exchange reserves I am not worried about it." www.orissapolitics.cjb.net

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rule of Three

Three’s company, rest’s crowd. From Bikes To Airlines To Cement, Troikas Corner 80% Of Market. Krishna Kant & Vivek Sinha The Economic Times Tuesday, February 14, 2006. What's common between Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto, TVS, Maruti Udyog, Hyundai, Tata Motors, LG, Videocon, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Holcim, Grasim, India Cements, Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels and Oberoi groups.
All these companies are part of a troika that dominates their respective sectors, with a combined market share of up to 80%. From bikes, cars, consumer durables, mobile handsets, paints, tyres, steel, aluminium, airlines, hotels to cement, an increasing number of sectors in India are now led by a set of top three players, with the rest of the companies being forced to become niche players or also-rans.
Says AT Kearney (India) managing director Vivek Gupta, “It is a natural phenomenon in a growing economy, though we cannot say it is a sign of maturity. A sector starts with a few players and then there is a burst of new players. It is followed by consolidation, and ultimately a handful remain in the game,” he adds. Until recently, in most of the sectors, the market share was dispersed among half-a-dozen equally strong players. Mergers and acquisition combined with general market dynamics have, however, now concentrated the market share among the top three.
Marketers call it the Rule of Three. Economists call it oligopoly — the dominance of a few players in a sector. Though internationally it has always been like this. Recall the big three in the American automart or the dominance of Federal Express, UPS and DHL in the global express courier and logistics market. A similar pattern is now emerging in India. Take the passenger car market, for example. Though there are over a dozen players in the industry and new players entering every year, Maruti Udyog, Tata Motors and Hyundai together account for over 85% of all cars sold in the domestic market.
During April-December ‘05, these three accounted for 5.56 lakh cars of the 6.23 lakh sold, or 87% of the total market. Ditto in motorcycles. Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors. The three now account for over 90% of the market. Out of every 100 motorcycles bought in India during the April-December period, 92 were either Hero Honda or Bajaj or TVS. Says Hero Honda vicepresident PS Sunder, “It didn’t happen by design and over a period of time we (top three) nurtured the network (dealers and customers) better than the others.” In the paints sector Asian Paints, Goodlass Nerolac and Berger dominate the market. Over the years the sector has gone through a consolidation where some players have got extinguished while few others have been relegated to niche segments.
The phenomenon is not restricted to manufacturing sector alone. Service sector is witnessing an equally large polarisation. Till a few weeks ago, the passenger sector in India had half a dozen thriving players with the new entrants eating away the marketshare of the existing players. Post Jet Airways and Air Sahara deal however, the top three- Jet-Sahara combine, Indian Airlines and Air Deccan rule the roost with over 80% of the domestic aviation market.
Move over to the hospitality sector. Despite the expansion of international chains, the three desi majors — Indian Hotels (Taj), ITC Hotels and Oberoi Hotels continue to dominate the luxury and business hotels segment. “Every sector passes through an evolutionary and revolutionary phase. In the latter there is either a steep growth or a steep decline. Those companies survive who are able to manage the growth or the decline phase as has happened in airlines,” says Jagdeep Kapoor of Samsika Marketing. In consumer durable LG, Videocon and Samsung are by far the drivers of business. Says Girish Rao, head of sales at LG Electronics, “In durables we have seen single product companies going down the ranks. The three top players are also the ones who have a multiproduct portfolio across segments.”

Nandan Kanan National Park

The sun temple in Konark, Orissa better known as 'Black Pagoda' is a magnificent structure built of black granite designed as the chariot of the Sun God, drawn by seven exquisitely carved horses situated on the Chandrabhaga beach of Konark. It is famed as a world heritage site. The exquisite 'Natyamandir' or the 'dancing hall' of this 700-year old shrine is an architectural wonder with well-adorned sculptures in Odissi dance poses. This is the venue of a joyous festival of classical dance and music which is held annually on December. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform in the open air auditorium. The festival is a celebration of the much appreciated Odissi, Bharathnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chau Dance - a lavish feast for the eyes and ears. The sound of Ghungroo bells, flute and Pakhauj gives it a festive mood. There is also a crafts mela, with a variety of handicrafts and tasty cuisine during the festival. The festival is jointly organised by Orissa Tourism and Odissi Research Centre. http://leoirene-travel.blogspot.com/

Why India?

The rock-bottom romantic triangle of Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi By Robert Fisher Oct 1, 1999
"Your karma has brought you here today," said my guide, "to meet me. It was in your destiny, and mine, too." How very Indian, I thought. Western logic told me that what really brought me to the village of Khajuraho was Indian Air Lines, which bumped me here instead of carrying me on to my intended stop, Varanasi. But now I remembered a friend's question a month earlier.
"Why India?" she said. I could have replied along these lines: "Because it's the single most fascinating country in the world. Even more than the United States, it's a subcontinent unto itself, heir to a violent and colorful history, but also home to at least two of the world's major religions [Buddhism and Hinduism], not to mention some minor ones. Moreover, it's the planet's biggest democracy and will, within 25 years, have the largest population of any country, exceeding even China. Its people, for the most part, are still untouched by our modern ways of thinking. We'd better be paying attention to what's going on there, don't you think?" Instead, I said, "Because it's cheap, really cheap." I mean decent hotels for $5, meals for under $3, auto rickshaw rides ...KeepMedia

Monday, February 13, 2006

Colonial past, both internal and external

I have just returned after the release of my father's autobiography at BBSR.("Jatri", cuttack: agraduta publications, 2006. my late mother, as you know, was poet bidyut prabha devi.) i am currently working in a slighly different but related area that might indirectly answer some of the concerns your members have been voicing. i believe the roots of orissa's "backwardness" lies in its colonial past, both internal and external. recovering and dealing with this past, it seems to me, is absessential before we can effectively deal with concrete problems. i do appreciate the comments of others. as for me, it is to these aspects that i am currently devoting my attention and energies. i hope i am not misunderstood.
You may, if you wish, direct friends to read my latest book: "early women's writing in orissa 1898-1950: a lost tradition", new delhi: sage publications 2005. there are other publications including in the EPW which i am willing to pass on to interested friends. also our friends could look up www.museindia.com the latest issue is devoted to conemporary oriya lit. as their contributing editor, i have guest edited this issue. all the best to you. pls keep up the good work. there are many ways of serving the cause. mine is only one of them. Dr. Sachidananda Mohanty Professor, Department of English University of Hyderabad Hyderabad 500046 (A.P) INDIA sachimohanty@yahoo.co.in

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Boycott, Swadeshi, Socialism and Free-market

First the concept of swadeshi, just like concept of Ahimsa was to applied for a context. This context was a foreign power ruthlessly suppressing Indian enterprise, by applying exorbitantly high rates of taxes and duties on imports, exports and even operation of industries. This was coupled with a highly biased policy towards British industries. This meant that Indian industries access to resources for production was severely restricted, as also their access to English and other colonial markets.
In contrast British industries had an unlimited access to resources as well as market. The prices of products that were bought from Indian artisans and farmers were not decided by market, the prices were suppressed by coercion either in form of draconian laws or by applying cruel force.Similarly British products were protected from competition by laws or by brute force. What we had at that time is called legal monopoly in economic speak.
For reference Adams Smith Wealth of Nation is a good source (I never got to finish the book, boy! Economics can be boring) Our entrepreneurs operated in these difficult circumstances, we often forget to give credit to our industrialist of pre-independent era, but I will say they also served as much as a Satyagrahi. It was in this situation that a decision to boycott all foreign products and promoting Indian industries was taken, in effect it was to counter neutralize legal monopoly that this movement aimed to. In effect it was similar to concept of Ahimsa. It can be confirmed from writings of Guru Aurobindo.
However this changed after Mahatma Gandhi assumed the leadership of freedom movement. While he was without doubt a inspiring man, he was a terrible economist. He, moved by the the toiling masses proposed going back to traditional way. The traditional way, according to him was a self dependent village, this however meant rejecting industrial revolution as well as any convenience resulting from it. And this Mahatma did, his ideal of a life was that of a poor in material wealth,but rich in spiritual wealth. This ideal of his was called Gandhian Socialism and it was different from Nehruvian socialism, which called for a industrialized but centralized economy. What this meant that Swadeshi which was conceived against colonial oppression, became a instrument for protectionist capitalism, therefore it can be called a perversion of what was initially a noble idea.
And here I must stress that protectionist and crony capitalism pose a far serious challenge to notion of free market than communism. As examples from history show that oppression from unethical capitalism more often than not result in support of communism.The net result is that by opposing competition we only benefit inefficient and uncompetitive industrialists harming a larger number of Indians, as consumers and as producers as well. posted by doubtinggaurav Monday, February 06, 2006 @ 8:26 PM

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sensex pierces through 10,000 mark

Home > Top Stories > Business Monday, February 06, 2006 Nation World Business Sport Entertainment Infotech Business Press Trust of India Posted online: Monday, February 06, 2006 at 1515 hours ISTUpdated: ExpressIndia
Sensex pierces through 10,000 mark, Nifty too sets record: Monday, February 06, 2006 at 1528 hours IST Mumbai: India's stock market benchmark Sensex on Monday pierced through the magical 10,000 points level for the first time on aggressive buying by funds. The market barometer was at 10,002.83 points, higher by 260.25 points. Similarly, wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty spurted by 66.55 points to set a record high of 3007.15.

Hydrogen Economy

On 18 March 1974, the 'Hydrogen Romantics' - proposed the Hydrogen Economy or Hydrogen Energy System as the permanent solution to interrelated global problems of the depletion of the fossil fuels and the environmental damage caused by their utilization. In this system, hydrogen is produced from water using any and all primary energy sources. It will then be used in every application where fossil fuels are being used today.
Hydrogen is the lightest, the most efficient, the most cost effective, and the cleanest fuel available. In use it does not produce green house gases, acid rain ingredients, ozone layer depleting chemicals or pollutants and neither does its use cause oil spills. Each country will be able to produce hydrogen using its own available primary energy sources, and therefore obtain direct control over its economy. Hydrogen will produce clean and abundant energy for sustainable development.
During the first quarter century, from 1974 through 2000, utilising the research and development activities in universities and energy related industries, and through information dissemination activities, such as conferences and publications, the foundations of the Hydrogen Energy System were established. By the year 2000, the transition to the Hydrogen Economy had started. In Japan and in the U.S.A., hydrogen fueled cars are available for leasing. In Europe, the Americas and Australia, Rapid Transport Authorities have started operation of fleets of hydrogen fueled buses. Several types of hydrogen fuel cells as well as hydrogen hydride electric batteries are available commercially for electricity generation.
Many countries have initiated programmes for roadmaps for conversion to the Hydrogen Economy. However, present modeling studies indicate that if no incentives are provided for clean energy, full transition to the Hydrogen Economy will take three quarters of century. UNIDO-ICHET Introduction

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Luxury has become the mantra

The author, Shalini Amarnani is a freelancer. Moneycontrol 2006-01-30 12:52
I-pods, wines, digicams, cars...if you love shopping and need to know which are the best shopping bets this year, here is a guide. So go on and splurge. Luxury has become the mantra of Indians. With malls and luxury stores sprouting everywhere they are spoilt for choice. Rajan Malhotra, President, Big Bazaar category management (apparels) says “Our chain of stores have seen an overall improvement in demand in the last few months. Right from food to apparel to luggage and many more have seen a buying trend.”

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Consumption driven lifestyle

The Indian economy is undergoing a transformation right before our eyes. India has transformed itself from a predominantly agriculture driven economy to one that is Services driven. The share of Services sector in India's GDP has now grown to 58% in 2004-05. A large pool of highly qualified English speaking workforce coupled with low labour cost has already made India a major outsourcing hub. Burgeoning middle-class, low interest rates and a consumption driven lifestyle are expected to further boost the Services sector. But sustained growth in Services will also to a large extent depend on India's investment in its Infrastructure.
The growing realization about this fact is reflected in India's Infrastructure spends which by FY 04-07 is projected to increase to a whopping Rs. 8340 bn from Rs.3955 bn in FY 01-04. Be it roads, railways, airports, telecommunication or urban infrastructure. Every aspect of infrastructure is seeing investments from both the public and the private sector. Thus there exist a strong linkage between the two and it is the combination of these booming sectors that makes for an ideal investment opportunity. Principal Infrastructure and Services Industries Fund