Thursday, January 27, 2011


Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Poornima / Kali Yugaabda 5112 / Vikruti Thai 5 (January 19, 2011)

Posted on January 28, 2011. Sorry for the delay.  – Moderator.


The United Commercial (UCO) Bank has opened the country's first  'lockless' branch at Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra. Shani Shingnapur is a small town in Ahmednagar district whose presiding deity is Lord Shani. More than 5,000 devotees visit the temple every day, while on weekends the number crosses the 1 lakh mark. "We took note of the general belief and faith of the people. Ever since the most revered temple came into existence several years ago, the village has not witnessed a single crime. In fact, all houses in the entire village have no doors. We took the risk and started the lockless bank a week ago," a senior bank official said. Our branch has doors, but they will never be locked. Adequate precautions are being taken for the safety of lockers and important documents," he said. It is believed that because of Lord Shani's power, the village has not witnessed a single theft or robbery in the recent past. People here fear that if there is a theft or robbery, then the culprit and their family have to bear the wrath of Lord Shani.   From a report by Shri  Prafulla Marpakwar in THE TIMES OF INDIA,  January 17, 2011


CHRISTELLE Gourdine, a French national of Guadeloupean, a  Caribbean island (and of Indian origin), has been fascinated by her Indian roots for many years. Christelle was born in France. Guadeloupe is a group of islands in the Caribbean and is an overseas territory of France. Christelle's parents were part of the 55,000-strong Indian community in Guadeloupe just over 10 percent of the population till they moved to mainland France. Christelle, who works with a major French bank, is currently writing a book to explain the Indian presence in Guadeloupe and to relate their links with India. For her, it was the sound of the drums the dholaks and nagaras being played during festivities in Guadeloupe that triggered her interest and made her aware of her Indian origin. "I was deeply disappointed when I could not find any links to my ancestors in India despite travelling to so many places. Finally, I went to Varanasi to do a last ritual for my ancestors. But when I took a dip in the Ganga, I had an intensely emotional moment. It changed the way I felt. I decided to write a book about my ancestry, my search and the story about Indians in Guadeloupe. It is a story that deserves to be written so that we know about our heritage," Christelle says. (After slavery was abolished in French territories in 1848, the French planters in Guadeloupe decided to import workers from India after the good results they had seen in Reunion Island, the French territory in the Indian Ocean. From 1,854 to 1,889, 42,326 Indian workers were taken in 93 ships to Guadeloupe. Return from Guadeloupe was practically impossible. The French authorities felt it was too expensive to ship the workers back and so used various means to prevent their return. Indians were forced to give up their culture, tradition, language as well as their religion. Many resisted and tried to maintain their rituals and traditions in secret. From a report by IANS and THE NEW  INDIAN EXPRESS, January 21, 2011.


In February 2009, Vikram Pandit, Indian-American CEO of CITIGROUP, pledged to US Cong ress that he won't receive a salary of more than $1 until the financial giant hit severely by the 2008 meltdown, returned to sustained profitability. Now, after two years, the turnaround has happened with Citi reporting this week a profit of $10.6 billion for 2010. A grateful Citi board lost little time to reward Pandit by fixing his annual base salary at $1.75 million with immediate effect. Pandit's last full compensation was in 2008, when he received $10.8 million, including $985,333 in base salary. He took charge of Citi in December 2007 just when the meltdown was gathering pace in tandem with the aggravating subprime mortgage crisis. THE NEW SUNDAY EXPRESS, January 23, 2011.


Six-year-old M. Aditya has become the youngest rated Indian chess player, according to the January 2011 list released by FIDE, the international chess body. Initiated into the sport at the age of two, Aditya has shown considerable progress in quick time. Aditya, who is the reigning Chennai District under-7 champion, trains at T. Nagar Chess Academy. Srinivasa Rangan, personal coach of Aditya says, "Usually it is difficult to teach Knight movements to beginners. But this kid was very special and he hit the ground running. It was amazing to see him play a full game when he was a little more than three years old." Arvind, Aditya's elder brother, is a FIDE-rated chess player and that has helped in shaping his skills. "Chess has helped him learn computers as well. He used to play chess on the internet when he was four. He could not read and icons were his only guides," said Meenakshi, Aditya's mother. THE HINDU, JANUARY 18, 2011.


Encouraged by the resounding success of the first-ever four-day World Sanskrit Book Fair in Bangalore, the former Chief Election Commissioner and vice-president of the National Advisory Committee of Samskrita Bharati, Shri N. Gopalaswami said that the fair was likely to be held every year. Speaking to reporters along with Samskrita Bharati general secretary Shri C.M. Krishna Shastry and Karnataka coordinator Satyanarayana, he said that chief ministers and ministers of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand had expressed their desire to hold such fairs in their states and it would be considered. He said that the exhibition Jnana Ganga would be taken to all schools for the benefit of children. He said that books, especially on teaching Sanskrit and the Bhagavad Gita as a guide on management were in great demand and publishers sold books worth Rs. 4 crore (early estimate) in five days. Samskrita Bharati would undertake programmes to teach simple Sanskrit to children. To start with it would begin in Bangalore. On the success of the fair, Krishna Shastry said vice-chancellors of 13 Sanskrit universities and 12 former vice-chancellors along with chairmen of seven Sanskrit academies and 12 oriental research institutes, apart from scholars from India and abroad attended it. He said these institutions had given Ph.D. to more than 800 researchers across the country in Sanskrit.  THE HINDU (Bangalore), January 12, 2011.