First @VHSIndia Convenors’ Meet – Chennai

On January 26th 2015, Dr Subramanian Swamy, National Convenor of Virat Hindustan Sangham had convened a meeting of all State Convenors and special invitees in Chennai. The day began with customary Flag hoisting on the occasion of Republic Day, by Dr Swamy followed by singing of the National Anthem by the delegates and volunteers.

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The meeting began with a Welcome by Sri Jagdish Shetty, National Co-Ordinator, who gave an overview of the activities so far after launch of Virat Hindustan Sangham.

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Apart from the State Convenors, the meeting saw attendance of Special Invitees, Sri Kalyanaraman, Sri MR Venkatesh, Sri Chellappan, Sri TR Ramesh and popular tweeples who have been avid supporters of Dr Swamy and VHS

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This was followed by Self-introduction of all the State Convenors and status of registrations and other activities in respective states.

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Dr Swamy in his opening address re-emphasize the agenda and objectives of Virat Hindustan Sangham and clarified that VHS is BJP friendly party and also encouraged those inclined to even offer their candidature in the organizational elections of BJP.

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Every activity of VHS shall complement the agenda and activities of BJP and other units of the Sangha Parivar. The objectives and Five dimensions of a Virat Hindustan to usher in a National Renaissance:

  • Rediscover the Identity of an Indian,
  • Project the correct Indian history,
  • Promote Sanskrit as a link language,
  • Integral Humanism as an economic philosophy, &
  • Ram Rajya as model for good Governance

Dr Swamy further reiterated his oft repeated philosophy, success is all about mindset and not numbers. 1000s or Lakhs with a wrong mindset will never succeed as a few with the right kind of mindset. That is what Virat Hindustan Sangham strives to achieve in youths, especially educated tech savvy youth who have to be provided with a direction for National renaissance & also to counter sense of false history they have been educated with. It is thus very important at this juncture to provide authentic information, and instil a sense of pride on our ancestry and heritage

Dr Swamy further recommended every one to learn one additional script other than their own and the easiest and preferred one would be Devnagari. We also need to propagate and popularize Sanskrit as a language to provide that vital unadulterated link across the diverse nation. It has also been proven by the western world that Sanskrit as a computing language is most suited than any other.

Having set the mood of discussion it was left to the delegates to discuss and arrive at concrete action plans to realize these objectives in the interest of the Nation.

Sri TR Ramesh, Sri Chellappan, Sri Ramesh Sethuraman also shared their thoughts on the potential issues that could be on our agenda and actions thereof. Temple worshippers society, engagement with sympathetic Media Professionals and Making E-Learning materials of our authentic history at affordable costs was on the immediate agenda.

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Sri Kalyanaraman then addressed the delegates and emphasized on the urgency and need for an organization like VHS to bridge the gaps in the coverage by the Sangha Parivar units.

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Lunch break was in itself an eventful affair. Time to catch up with my Chennai Friends while feasting on the delicacies on offer, thanks to Chandralekha ji and team

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Post lunch, the discussion was held on organizational matters, including renomination of State Convenors as State Presidents,  appointment of Vice President, General Secretaries and Treasurer. A State Executive committee and nominees to National Executives was also discussed & finalized. This organizational structure would be replicated down to booth level in the days to come. The meeting further discussed on identifying and setting up various functional Cells to focus on specific Professional groups.

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It was also decided that the National Executive would be held on 28th February 2015 or 1st March 2015 in New Delhi. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks with a special mention to Chandralekha ji and her team who hosted this meet flawlessly, including lunch and refreshments

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Leela Samson – (Un)worthy Inheritor of Proud Legacy

Leela Samsonthe Censor Board Chief (as with her usual condescending ways) calls most members of the board uneducated and an embarrassment. When legal notice was issued by 2 of the members, she was forced to apologize and play with words saying she meant “Cinema Illiterate” – What is her literacy on Cinema anyway?

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Reminds me of her days in Kalakshetra, Chennai where she was far more vicious and yet could get away due to the backing of the Powers-that-be. She changed the logo of years (since 1936) because it had Lord Nartana Ganesha with Lord Shiva‘s Emblem.

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Citing superstition, she ordered stopping worship of all Lord Ganesh images in the campus for which traditionally puja was offered. But students at considerable risk to their own career with the help of some Hindu Cultural Organizations did not get cowed down and protested strongly. She had ordered removal of  Lord Ganesh Idols  but had to restore the one in front of theater due to protest.

Height was when she refused permission and threatened expulsion of students from participating in inaugural dance piece in the Health and Happiness Program Organized by His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ‘s The Art of Living in Chennai between Dec 5th to 8th 2006. As with done earlier in different states in the Silver Jublilee year of the Art of living (Mohiniyattam in Kochi, Odissi in Bhubhaneshwar and so on), it was decided to host  a performance of 500 dancers (one of whom happened to be my Daughter 🙂 showcasing Bharatnatyam as TN’s contribution to dance. She opposed participation of Kalakshetra students giving a ridiculous  Reason: It is a “Hindu Event”. She had no qualms to revel in the glory that this Hindu Dance form brought her. Unfortunately for her, the Student-Artistes ignored her threat, came and participated in the event, reminding her that Art is bigger than the Artist. She then continued harassing the Faculty who participated and coordinated in the event, till Karma caught up with her in the form of a CAG report.

CAG report severly indicted her ways of functioning – Principal Accountant General (Civil Audit) of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry raised objections to the awarding and upgrade of civil works, procuring of unused sound systems worth Rs.62 lakh and consulting an architect (and not a competent third person) to analyse tenders for the Koothambalam auditorium’s renovation.

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Controrversial Renovated Auditorium (Koothambalam)

All the renovations and spending meant Kalakshetra took Rs.8 crore from the consolidated fund.Apart from renovation processes, the report showed irregularities in 16 appointments at the institution.

That is Leela Samson the renowned artist for you. Someone who faked her qualification to become Director of Kalakshetra, but thanks to her GodMother in Delhi, every rule in the book was bent to make it happen.  Legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale will not be too pleased at her protege’s exploits

PS: A cursory Googling of “Leela Samson Controversy” would throw up results predominantly of “The Hindu” (not surprising, foretelling the things to come) and most of them drumming up support for her

The Golden Ring

Returned back from a very brief sojourn to Chennai – sweltering heat and profuse sweating pretty much describes the trip. Someone approached me for my opinion on the course to pursue (this person was at career crossroads) and it set me thinking. Seeking advice is such a serious business of late, since there seem to be no dearth for people who ask for and dish out advices.

Should someone’s opinion about us matter too much to us? Shouldn’t we apply some discrimination in taking advices or opinions and act accordingly? Why live life to someone else’s standards, especially if they don’t qualify to be your counsel in the first place? Let us be wise builders and role models. Take care of yourself, and those you love…today, and every day!

Reminded me of a story that a senior teacher and Disciple of His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar ji Founder of Art of Living (you can follow Him on Twitter here : https://twitter.com/#!/SriSriSpeaks )

Read on….

A school boy went to see his teacher to talk about a problem that was troubling him.

“Everyone says I am good for nothing” he complained. “No one believes that I will ever achieve everything. They think I am stupid and lazy. How can I become a better person? What do I have to do for people to appreciate me?”

Without looking at him, the teacher answered “I am sorry, lad, but at the moment I have problem of my own that is occupying my mind, so I can’t help you” he paused and then continued, “But perhaps if you first help me to solve my own problem I could look at how to help you with yours.”

“Of course, Sir” said the boy. But inside he felt let down and small.

The teacher took a gold ring off his little finger and held it up saying, Take your horse and go to the market. There you must sell this ring for me as I need the money to repay a debt. Obviously you must get the best price you can, but whatever you do, don’t accept less than one gold coin for it. Go, and come back with the money as fast as you can.”

The boy took the ring and left. When he arrived at the market, he started to show it to the stallholders. They seemed very interested and were keen to know how much the young boy wanted for it. But when he started to talk about a gold coin, some of them felt about laughing while others just walked off without a backwards glance.

Only one old man was kind enough to explain to him that a gold coin was too much too much to ask for an old ring. Trying to help the young boy, he offered him a bronze coin for it, and then a silver coin. But following the instructions of his teacher not to let it go for less than one gold coin, the boy refused all offers.

After having approached every stallholder and passer-by in the market without success, feeling extremely downhearted at his failure, he got back on his horse and returned to his teacher. How he wished that he had a gold coin himself that he could use to buy the ring, thus freeing the teacher of debt so that he in turn could help him with his own problem!

He went up to his teacher and said, ”I am sorry, Sir, I have failed to achieve what you asked of me. I could have got two or three silver coins for it, but I believe that we can’t mislead anyone about the value of this ring.”

“What you say is very important” replied the professor with a smile. ”First of all we have to find out the real value of this ring. Get back on your horse and take it to the jeweler. Who else can know its value better than he? But whatever he offers you for it, don’t sell it to him. Come back to me with my ring.”

The boy went and to find the jeweler and held out the ring to him to examine. The jeweler scrutinized it through his magnifying glass, weighed it, and said “Tell your teacher that if he wants to sell it today I can only give him 58 gold coins for it.”

“58 gold coins!” exclaimed the boy.

“Yes. And in a while I might be able to give him 70, but if it’s an urgent sale…”

The boy ran back to his teacher in a state of excitement to relate what had happened.

“Sit down” said the teacher. After having listened to the child’ story, he said, “You are like this band of gold; a unique jewel of immense value?” So saying, he put his ring back on his little finger.

The student then realized, a lot of them who adversely commented on this guy were like a stall holder who aren’t qualified enough to realize his worth. It also was an eye-opener in the sense that he realized the importance of seeking guidance or opinion from the right person – teacher was the jeweler who realized his potential which was that of a gold band.
The point to note, never go for an advise when you are too anxious as some researcher points out as a result of his study. When you are deep in the well, you cannot have a proper perspective of possible solutions to extricate yourselves out of that situation. Approach someone who generally has no stake in the solution but understands you well (but make sure he is the jeweller and not a stall hold

Remember a solution is not necessarily a stress reliever. You would end up with more than one solution as a result of this advises received. Helps to Sleep over it for a while – As the chinese proverb goes – When confused, take a pillow and go to bed.