Saturday, November 28, 2009



Last week, I came across a copy of a supposedly leading national newspaper, named… well; naming it here would be unethical; which carried some utterly slanderous & uncouth remarks about a well-known spotless personality and I found myself musing over as to what ‘Journalism’ is actually, all about and what are the salient standards and ethics that journalists are supposed to follow and maintain. A bit of an online research revealed the following:

One of the leading voices in the U.S. on the subject of Journalistic Standards and Ethics is the Society of Professional Journalists. The Preamble to its Code of Ethics states:

...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility.

Well, that more or less, sums it up for the standing of the daily I was talking about and establishes the standards and ethics that ought to be maintained by objective journalists catering to all media the world over.

Professional journalism, in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, I would say has been in a nascent stage ever since the establishment of the penal settlement. Throughout this circumstantially protracted period of infancy, there’ve been umpteen instances of aspiring individuals venturing to establish newspapers and magazines from time to time, but none succeeded in totality, except ‘The Daily Telegrams’, the daily paper run by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, which has irrefutably established itself as nothing but the raw, undisguised mouthpiece of the A & N Administration.

Although there have been quite a good number of individual freelance writers catering to the most reputed of national newspapers in the mainland India, some of whom rose to national and international fame beyond the territorial limits of the Islands as well. Their magnificent works on multifarious subjects were recognized highly and widely. But there has, constantly, been an inscrutable dearth of standard professional newspapers in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands all the while, which is a matter that inspires further research and analysis. 

“‘The Light of Andamans was born out of the zeal and determination of one man; Paras Ram, to fight against the suffocating Kafkaesque atmosphere on the society that existed even after 30 years of Independence under bureaucratic rule. It was a hangover of the Raj that extended much too long in the Islands,” writes Govinda Raju, the seasoned & proficient present editor of the weekly, who basks in his lyrical sobriquet – ‘Raz Andamani’.

He, further, writes in the ‘about us’ section of the online edition of the weekly, “He started The Light of Andamans in 1975. But it was not a smooth sailing. It was printed in letter press and there were only three such presses in Port Blair.

Paras Ram, the founder of ‘The Light of Andamans’

After a few issues, the bureaucrats found it too unpalatable for their refined taste. Words went out to ensure that the paper was not printed. He took the next logical step and set up a press of his own after pledging his house to the bank.

“‘The Light of Andamans had always been a crusader, taking up the causes that no other newspaper would touch. In doing so, it very often stepped on the toes of the authorities and had to face persecution in the form of denial of advertisements and numerous court cases against Mr. Paras Ram. He was arrested and prosecuted for his free and fearless reporting. But he continued in the same vein till ill health caught up with him. He had to give up and the publication came to a halt in 2003.

Basudev Dass and Govinda Raju of Gezira Publications Private Limited contacted Mr. Paras Ram in the year 2005 for transfer of the title in a bid to revive the second oldest newsmagazine from extinction and also to carry forward the mission that Mr. Paras Ram had started. He willingly agreed to transfer the title without any financial consideration.

The Newsmagazine, under the new management, has undergone a sea change both in form and content. It turned into a full-fledged tabloid with 12 pages with plenty of photographs making both pleasing to the eyes and soothing for the mind. The quality of printing, the layout everything is unique as compared to other journals of the same genre. The contents are both refreshing, and thought provoking as well.

It has acquired a position where it influences the policies of the Administration and the Government of India in vital matters concerning the development of the islands, protection of aboriginal tribes and addressing the problems of the disadvantaged groups. The newsmagazine is known and appreciated for its bold, free, fair and balanced reporting.

Govinda Raju

Govinda Raju and his team have worked very hard to rebuild the reputation, goodwill and a healthy new image of the newsmagazine brick by brick and I personally feel that the established codes of standards and ethics would always be upheld and maintained by ‘The Light of Andamans’ as long as the fervent ‘Raz Andamani’ is in charge.

Now, with the impressive, professionally done online edition at the weekly is more easily accessible to readers from all over. I wish the exceptional newsmagazine all the very best and look forward to gorge on every issue every week!!!

"A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself" - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Hi, friends! If you all remember, it was during the month of September 2009 that my dear blogger friend, Paritosh had conferred the coveted Superior Scribbler Award on me. It was a prized recognition for an Islander like me from the rarely noticed far-flung Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and I have, hence, relished it to the maximum. After all, it’s not for nothing that the Great Mother Teresa said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

That apart from making me gratefully ecstatic had left me with the crucial responsibility of passing it on to the next Five deserving bloggers, as per the rules of the Award. It was not an easy task as not only did I have the responsibility to confer the cherished recognition on the deserving candidates but also to ensure that the honor and glory of the Superior Scribbler Award is also upheld in the process.

Here are the Rules of the Award:

1.    Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to five most deserving blog friends. Check.

2.    Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. Check.

3.    Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog and link to the original post at The Scholastic Scribe which explains The Award. Check.

4.    Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit the original post at The Scholastic Scribe and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins This Prestigious Honor. Check.

5.    Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules to his/her blog. Check.

Now, finally, after a long scrupulous scrutiny of the blogs that I’ve been following, I’m ready with my list of the deserving blogger friends.

And the Superior Scribbler Award goes to…

1. Neha Gandhi - For being so real and suave in presenting her posts throughout her vivacious blog – BREATHE and artistically believing that “breathing and expressing” go hand in hand, which is so very true about being an adorable blogger. She has fared so well in “inhaling and exhaling a lot of thoughts, love, gratitude & information”. Hence, I would relish passing on the Superior Scribbler Award to Neha Gandhi.

2. Arul Kumaran - An upbeat and promising young & enterprising management professional & blogger who excels in illustrating the multifarious intricacies of Human Resource and Marketing Management. Some surprisingly astute tips & tricks of the trade which make his rich blog – MBA Bazzar a fantastic source of knowledge and information for anyone from any walk of life. Hence, I pretty contentedly pass on the Superior Scribbler Award to Arul Kumaran.

3. Nupur - For making the RANDOMNESS of life such an enticingly addictive subject to read with some genuinely heartwarming real-life episodes presented in a classy manner which makes it a very human blog. Well, no surprises – Nupur is the next Superior Scribbler for me.

4. Sauvik Chakraverti - Finally, there’s someone who firmly talks about some genuine solutions and not barely problems. Tribals have benefited the least from the Indian state and its development policies. Worse still, their lands and livelihoods have been ruthlessly destroyed over time.” This is just the pick of the basket from the ANTIDOTE (“Libertarian Opinion from Indyeah”) wherein a daringly eloquent Sauvik Chakraverti, who is a seasoned author and journalist, blogs with a sense of carefree gumption and spontaneous concern about the multifarious burning issues that the largest democracy in the world is constantly faced with. To me, he is undoubtedly a Superior Scribbler.

5. Pankaj Sekhsaria - And last but no way the least, writer, photographer and freelance journalist, Pankaj Sekhsaria, author of 'Troubled Islands’ - Writings on the indigenous peoples and environment of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, is nobody short of a real Samaritan who has been blogging his heart out with utmost passion ATCROSSROADS for the past couple of years about the issues and concerns of the vital territory of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. A factual source of inspiration to me and many others, Pankaj Sekhsaria is a truly deserving Superior Scribbler.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009



The Marathi-Manus quibbles about being deprived of several things - admissions to reputed colleges, job opportunities or a vacant seat in a crowded bus. But there are reasons and far neglected root causes to all of these problems he is facing since years… Our constitution gives every Indian equal right to mobilize and explore newer dimensions of life, work and opportunities. He can be the next Ambani, a CEO of a multinational organization, a space researcher or a lead vocalist of a death metal band, the world is an open space of opportunities. But that's possible only when he manifests the true meaning of 'Marathi-Manus Jaga Ho' - wake up!”


Hi, friends! This is an excerpt from a pretty thought-provoking article – Marathi Manus, Lead or Misled?, written by my good blogger friend, Neeraj Shinde in his blog - the Neeraj Norms...., that I read a couple of days ago and was overwhelmed.


The ground-breaking article has been adjudged as Blogadda’s “Spicy Saturday Picks” for the last week. Blogadda says – “This post is a must read for all of us so that none of us get into regionalism. It is important for all of us to realize that we are ‘Indians’ first and then comes our States, where we live. Neeraj has this post with a very strong and relevant message. Neeraj, it’s applaudable for someone to raise and write about it.”


And I feel compelled to share my comment that I posted on his blog about the article, with you all here as I fervently believe that the article deserves to be circulated to the maximum possible since this is a highly sensitive and significant issue of national interest and the article does optimum justice to it.



My comment: Nice expression of the status quo in Maharashtra, Neeraj!


It's not the awesome leadership of Raj Thakerey, it's the awe and hatred inspiring hooliganism of his under-developed psyche that has made what he is, out of him today.


All thanks to his diseased weaknesses, he now stands head and shoulders with the likes of the indifferent and inhuman underworld dons. If he, at all, had the true strength and integrity required for being a decent leader of the masses, things would have been different, today, and he would have won hearts all over the country.


What can an ungrateful pervert of a son do for his own mother, when he can't value his very roots and doesn't care for his grandma?


He needs to be told that we, here, in the far-flung Andaman & Nicobar Islands have named the Port Blair Airport after Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) who was a Maharashtrian and not an Andamani. He didn't stay back in the Andamans after the Indian Independence. But, nevertheless, there's no prejudice anywhere in anybody's mind about the designation of the Airport.


"Sarva dharma sambhav" and "Vasudhaiiva Kutumbakam" are the peerless values and ideologies that have made the entire world proud of India.


I reckon the Maharashtra government needs to forcefully implement adult education in a bid to educate the pathetically ignorant so-called self-proclaimed leaders like Raj Thakerey.



Roshmi Sinha says: "When there is any act of terror or any strike on our nation by any foreign power, these same "outsiders" are the ones who defend the motherland. The so-called "sons of the soil" are found "cowering in a deeply dug rat hole" having perhaps wet themselves..."

I am referring to the proponent of the 'MM theory' and his ilk elsewhere in this country...

Bangalore too has that breed of 'worthies'. Just check how many from this part of the country join the army/navy/air force/commando teams...

Who are the ones protecting the vast coastland, our skies and our lands... from external threats...??? The vast majority of them, that is. Staying away from home and hearth for days on end If these folks/states start developing this 'MM theory' (albeit with suitable customization) what would be the scenario...??? I shudder to think.

 Picture courtesy:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



1. INDIA is the world's largest, oldest, continuous civilization.

2. India never invaded any country in her last 10000 years of history.

3. India is the world's largest democracy.

4. Varanasi, also known as Benares, was called "the ancient city" when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 BCE and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.

5. India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.

6. The World's first university was established in Takshashila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

7. Sanskrit is the mother of all the European languages. Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software - a report in Forbes magazine, July 1987.

8. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.

9. Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast regaining its rightful place in our civilization.

10. Although modern images of India often show poverty and lack of development, India was the richest country on earth until the time of British invasion in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by India's wealth.

11. The art of Navigation was born in the river Sindhu 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word, Navgatih. The word ‘Navy is also derived from the Sanskrit word, 'Nou'.

12. Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun: (5th century) 365.258756484 days.

13. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians.

14. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10**53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BCE during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera 10**12(10 to the power of 12).

15. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has proved what has been a century old suspicion in the world scientific community that the pioneer of wireless communication was Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose and not Marconi.

16. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

According to Saka King Rudradaman - I of 150 BCE, a beautiful lake called Sudarshana was constructed on the hills of Raivataka during Chandragupta Maurya's time.

17. Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada) was invented in India.

18. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago, he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. Over 125 surgical equipments were used. Deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity is also found in many texts.

19. When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established the Harappan culture in the Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization).

20. The four religions born in India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are followed by 25% of the world's population.

21. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

22. India is one of the few countries in the World, which gained independence without violence.

23. India has the second largest pool of Scientists and Engineers in the World.

24. India is the largest English speaking nation in the world.

25. India is the only country other than US and Japan, to have built a super computer indigenously.

Famous Quotes on India (by non-Indians)

  1. Albert Einstein said: We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
  2. Mark Twain said: India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.
  3. French scholar Romaine Rolland said: If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
  4. Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA said: India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.

Facts to Make Every Indian Proud

Q. Who is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems?
A. Vinod Khosla.

Q. Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of today's computers run on it)?
A. Vinod Dahm.

Q. Who is the seventh richest man in the world?
A. According to the latest report on, it is Mukesh Ambani, who is the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, India's largest private sector company.

Mukesh Ambani

The eighth richest man in the world is Lakshmi Mittal who heads the worlds largest steel company, ‘ArcelorMittal’. 

Lakshmi Mittal

Q. Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world's No.1 web based email program)?
A. Sabeer Bhatia.

Q. Who is the pioneer of digital technology including HDTV and MPEG4 and is the creator of program languages such as C, C++, and UNIX to name a few)?
A. Arun Netravalli. He has been the President of Bell Laboratories and Chief Scientist for Lucent Technologies. 

Arun Netravalli

Q. Who is the Director of Hewlett Packard?
A. Rajiv L. Gupta. He was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rohm and Haas Company, a worldwide producer of specialty materials, from October 1999 to April 2009.

Rajiv L Gupta

Q. Who is the greatest batsman in the history of cricket?

A. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. No one walks out to bat taking the hopes of a billion people to score a century every game and still scores 12000 runs in tests and almost17000 runs in one days and more than 40 centuries in both forms of the game. Not to forget he peaked in his career when India had one of their weakest teams. 

Sachin Tendulkar

38% of doctors in USA are Indians.

12% scientists in USA are Indians.

36% of NASA scientists are Indians.

34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.

28% of IBM employees are Indians.

17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.

13% of XEROX employees are Indians.

Indians are the wealthiest among all ethnic groups in America, even faring better than the whites and the natives. There are 3.22 millions of Indians in the USA (1.5% of population).

All of the above is just the tip of the iceberg, the list could be endless. But… if we don’t see even a glimpse of that great India in the India that we see today, it clearly means that we are not working up to our potential; and that if we do, we could once again be an ever shining and inspiring country setting a bright path for the rest of the world to follow. I hope you enjoyed it and would pledge to work towards the welfare of INDIA.

“Proud to be an Indian”


(I took this off some forwarded mail and hence don't know who the author of this original document is ... and if the author comes across this... Jai Hind! )