2000yr old Thirukural

Friday, November 27, 2009

Alternative Nobel for Indian couple from TamilNadu

Krishnammal Jagannathan and her husband Sankaralingam are chosen for this year’s Right to Livelihood Award in recognition of their dedicated service to the poor, particularly those deemed untouchables in the Indian society. For last sixty years, they have been working for the realisation of Gandhian vision of social justice.

Krishnammal Jagannathan, 82, and her husband, Sankaralingam, 95, have spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of the deprived, especially the Dalits, the former untouchables, who form the lowest rung of India’s ancient caste ladder.

Krishnammal Jagannathan.JPG
Krishnammal Jagannathan/ Photo credit: Voice of South

The couple – named Wednesday among the recipients of the2008 Right Livelihood Awards, often called the AlternativeNobel Prizes – have ensured over decades that thousands of acres of land were distributed to landless Dalit labourers in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The Jagannathans and their organisation, Land for the Tillers’ Freedom, were cited by the awards jury for “realising in practice the Gandhian vision of social justice and sustainable human development.”

Childhood vow

Krishnammal Jagannathan comes from a landless Dalit family and managed to get a university education in spite of her family’s poverty.

“I took a vow in my childhood that I must liberate Dalits, speciallywomen, from the clutches of the landowner,” she said while remembering the troubles of her mother, left a widow at 32 with 12 children.

“Six of them died, but she made every effort to see that the rest of us were brought up with some dignity, and she was poor and not educated,” Krishnammal Jagannathan said.

Despite India’s affirmative action policy, the Dalits are still among the country’s poorest, and a majority of them remain landless labourers and manual scavengers.

Building beautiful houses

Krishnammal Jagannathan said she would use the award money to build “beautiful houses” for the Dalit women who work hard in paddy fields by day and then return to do housework and often are beaten by drunken husbands at night.

“I have succeeded in getting land for 13,000 women,” said the prize winner, who with her husband is to share the 2-million-kronor (300,000-dollar) prize with the three other award recipients. “Now I want for them beautiful homes. The award money will help.”

“The award is a gift for my hard work over a long period,” she added.

And a very long period indeed, spanning more than 60 years.
Krishnammal Jagannathan met her husband when she joined Gandhi’s social re
form movement in the 1920s. Sankaralingam Jagannathan was born into a wealthy family but left his studies in college to join India’s freedom movement led by Gandhi, of which the social reform element was an intrinsic part.

Dignity of labour

Gandhi’s philosophy of sarvodaya – which encompasses dignity of labour, an equitable distribution of wealth, communal self-sufficiency and individual freedom – inspired the couple to take up the cause of the rural poor, especially the landless Dalits.

After India gained independence from British rule, the couple joined another Gandhian leader, Vinoba Bhave, in his bhoodan (gift land) movement where the activists walked the roads trying to persuade landlords to give one-sixth of their land to the landless.

The Jagannathans started their work on land reform in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district in 1968 after the Kilvelmani massacre, in which 42 Dalits, mostly women and children, were burned alive in a remote village in the district by a landlord’s hired goons over a wage dispute.

Raising social status

Land for the Tillers’ Freedom was an outcome of the Jagannathans’ decades-long struggle for the landless. It was founded in 1981 with the aim of bringing the landless and the landlord to the negotiating table and to obtain government and bank concessions for loans so the landless could buy land at reasonable prices.

The organisation, which is committed to raising the social status and acceptability of the Dalits, also helps the tillers farm collectively and repay loans through cooperative efforts.

And now the group is helping Dalit labourers and farmers build livable houses, one more step in the Jagannathans’ efforts for a better life for Dalits.

While Krishnammal Jagannathan is still active in the organisation – she was on a bus travelling between two towns for it when called for this story – her husband is more frail and can no longer move around as before.

But the couple’s efforts continue to receive recognition, including one of the country’s highest civilian awards, the Padmashri.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2nd Test: India v Sri Lanka Records

Gambhir and Sehwag provided only the sixth instance of both Indian openers scoring a hundred in the same innings.

The hundred was also Gambhir’s seventh in the last nine Tests.

India’s 417-2 is their highest total in a single day’s play in Test cricket, beating 386 for one against South Africa at Chennai in 2007-08 (on the third day). Incidentally India’s previous highest first-day total was 385 (for six) in the previous Test at Ahmedabad.

India have now posted 400-plus total in four consecutive innings. They made 434 for seven in the second innings of Wellington Test against New Zealand in April 2009. India followed it up with 426 in the first innings and 412 for four in the second innings of Ahmedabad Test against Sri Lanka and now 417 for two.

This is only the third time in India’s Test history when they posted four consecutive totals of 400 or more. Between October 1986 and February 1987 India had scored 400+ in six consecutive innings, which is a world record. Between August and October 2002, India had another sequence of four consecutive scores of 400 (or more).

Pragyan Ojha became 261st player to represent India in a Test match. Interestingly he replaced Amit Mishra, who was celebrating his 27th birthday today.

Sachin Tendulkar was playing his 21st Test against Sri Lanka - most for any player in India-Sri Lanka contests. He was earlier at level with Arjuna Ranatunga with 20 appearances.

Tendulkar’s tally of matches is also the highest by any player against Sri Lanka, surpassing Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq’s tally of 20 matches.

Virender Sehwag (131) scored his 16th hundred in 71st Test- his second against Sri Lanka. He raced to his hundred off just 97 balls, which is the third fastest hundred for India against Sri Lanka. Kapil Dev had taken 74 balls for his hundred at this same venue in 1986-87 and Sehwag himself took 87 balls to reach the three-figure mark at Galle in 2008.

This is the fourth time in his career that Sehwag scored a Test hundred off 100 or fewer balls. Sehwag now holds the Indian record of scoring most 100s in 100 balls or less. Before today, Sehwag was at level with Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin with three such hundreds.

In fact there is only one better performance than Sehwag in Test cricket. Australia's Adam Gilchrist scored six hundreds off 100 or fewer balls. West Indies' Brian Lara also had a tally of four such hundreds.

The first wicket partnership of 233 runs between Gautam Gambhirand Virender Sehwag is India’s best for this wicket against Sri Lanka. The pair obliterated the 171-run partnership between Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Sidhu at Colombo SSC in 1993-94.

The above partnership was the third highest for India for the opening wicket in all Tests, after 413-run partnership between Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy against New Zealand at Madras in 1955-56 and 410-run partnership between Sehwag and Rahul Dravid against Pakistan at Lahore in 2005-06.

The partnership was also the highest for this pair, bettering the 218-run partnership against South Africa at this venue in 2004-05. India have never lost a Test when Gambhir and Sehwag have notched up a century partnership.

A fitting reception was given to the three medal winners of Chennai when they returned from the World Youth chess championship at Antalya in Turkey on Wednesday.

The three players, S.P. Sethuraman, the World under-16 champion, J. Saranya, the World under-14 girls’ bronze medallist and Karthikeyan Murali, the World under-10 silver medallist, were garlanded and crowned with flowers by the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association and Velammal School officials at the Chennai airport.

“It was my career best,” said S.P. Sethuraman, who has been waiting for this moment for the last five years since Belfort 2005. Since being trained by Grandmaster Aleksander Doloschopov of Kiev, Ukraine recently, there has been a big improvement in his game, said S. Panayappan, his father who is a chess trainer.

First title

Sethuraman is the National junior champion and this is his first World chess title. Last year he won the silver medal and this gold means a big jump for the hardworking player. In a way, Chennai keeps the World under-16 title as B. Adhiban was the champion in 2008 and he moved to the under-18 section this time.

M. Velayudham, who is the coach of both J. Saranya and K. Murali, was delighted. The parents of the medal winners distributed sweets.

The three medal winners belong to Velammal School.

Manuel Aaron, Government Observer for chess, K. Muralimohan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA), V. Kameswaran, vice-president, TNSCA, S. Balaraman, Secretary, Thiruvallur District Chess Association, Muthukumar, Secretary, Kanchi District Chess Association and Velammal School officials were present.

Coach of the Indian delegation, GM R.B. Ramesh who returned with the team, said: many of the players had just crossed into the next higher age group and believed that the performance next year could be better.

IM K. Murugan of Neyveli said at least three of our players — Vaibhav Suri, B. Adhiban, Bansi Prathima — lost the final round and along with it title or medal chances. It was not poor nerves, but their final round opponents played better chess, he said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

World's Top ten train stations

The top ten train stations where you wouldn't mind being delayed

We have all spent more time than we care to remember in stations waiting for missed connections or delayed trains.

After the obligatory cup of watery tea and a stroll round WHSmith there is not much else to keep you entertained except huddling from the inevitable rain in the waiting room which, despite the ban, still has a hint of stale smoke.

But there are railway stations around the world that offer more than hot beverages and gloomy stationary stores. A select few are actually so nice they're almost part of your holiday.

TravelMail looks at some of the stations around the globe where a short delay wouldn't be the worst thing in the world...

Tropical travel: Atocha station is a green oasis

Atocha Station, Spain

Is it a miniature jungle or is it a train station? Passengers arriving at Madrid’s Atocha station may be surprised to find themselves sharing the domed atrium of the station with exotic plants and palm trees. But for those having to spend some time in the station, there is nothing more calming that sipping a coffee in a café overlooking the 4,000-square-metre tropical garden.

Colonial masterpiece: The Victoria Terminus in Mumbai has been renamed

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, India

One of Mumbai’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites is actually its principal train station. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, once known as the Victoria Terminus, boasts a spectacular stone dome, turrets and arches that would put London’s Victoria station to shame. Delayed? Not a problem - while away the hours wandering the immense station inspecting unusual wood carvings, tiles and ornamental railings. The 19th century building, which took around ten years to construct, became the symbol of the ‘Gothic City’ which was the first commercial port in India.

Chicago's Union Station's Great Hall is used for VIP functions

Union Station, Chicago

The spectacular Union Station in Chicago is more than just a place to change trains. The American Rennaisance building is home to the iconic Great Hall, a huge area in the centre of the station which is now used as a venue for VIP events. Travellers will be begging for a train delay giving them extra time to wander the columned hall with its vaulted skylight, marble floors and brass lamps. The entire station evokes a past era of great train travel which gave Chicago its title as capital of rail travel.

We'll meet again: Pickering station retains its old-world charm

Pickering Station, Yorkshire

This North Yorkshire Moors station has recently been restored back to its 1937 glory days and now captures the charm of an old English railway station. Step off your vintage steam train to have a peek inside the Booking and Parcels Office with its original features and fittings. A quick trip down the road to the old goods shed which is now a hairdressing salon will have you looking your best for a spot of afternoon tea in the station’s traditional Tea Room. If the experience isn't authentic enough for you then return in October when residents black out the station sign and dress in 1940s outfits for the annual 'war weekend'.

End of the world station: Ushuaia used to be a penal colony

Ushuaia Station, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Known as the train station at the end of the world Ushuaia Station is located in a valley in the Tierra del Fuego National Park on the bank of the Pipo River. The station certainly seemed to be at the end of the world for prisoners sent to labour camps in the area during the early 20th century. A much more inviting destination now, there's a model Little Prisoner’s Train and spectacular views for those who wait for the luxury steam train that takes them on a tour of the local region.

At your service: The 'station' at Choum is surrounded by small convenience stores selling food and drink

Choum Station, Mauritania

The station of Choum is little more than a collection of shacks surrounding the trainline of the iron ore train that travels through the area. Once a day a passenger cart is hooked onto the train which carries blocks of iron ore from Zouerat in north-central Mauritania to Nouadhibou in Mauritania's northwestern corner. The main station shack is surrounded by several others selling tea and dried food. Despite the basic amenities the desert views are stunning and the locals are happy to engage in games to keep the weary traveller entertained.

Room with a view: Tanggula Mountain station is the highest in the world

Tanggula Mountain Railway Station, Tibet

At 5,058m above sea level Tanggula Mountain railway station is the highest in the world. The China-Tibet railway transports passengers in carriages fitted with oxygen supply systems and those who call in at the station will probably find it deserted as it is left unmanned. But if you can put up with the freezing temperatures at altitude the views out towards the Tanggula mountain, its river, lake and glacier are spectacular, making the trip entirely worthwhile.

Work of art: One of the two steam train murals at Broken Hill station

Broken Hill, Australia

Broken Hill train station is located in the outback of New South Wales and is a stop-off on what is known as the most scenic train journey across Australia linking Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. The station was originally built in 1888 to service the mining town but today makes a good stop-off for visitors wanting to see the picturesque region. The main attraction at the station is the two murals of steam trains bursting through the station walls, which look scarily realistic.

Island castle: Travellers can catch a boat from the station dock

Haydarpasa, Istanbul

Istanbul’s Eastern station is built on 1,100 wooden beams hammered into the sea bed and is surrounded by water on three sides. Built as a gift to the Sultan Abdülhamid II by German Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1908, the castle-like structure not only has a stunning interior but also boasts views across the water. The station even has its own ferry dock, so if you’ve missed a connection you can head out on the water for some great photo opportunities before returning for your train.

Don't look down: Divisadero station has its own lookout point

Divisadero Barrancas, Mexico

Possibly the station with the best view in the world, Divisadero Barrancas is a popular stop off for Mexico's Copper Canyon train which takes visitors along one of the deepest canyons in the world. You won’t hear anyone complaining about hold-ups at Divisadero station as they pose for photos at the canyon edge where you can stare down into the vertigo-inducing expanse or simply nibble on the sandwiches and tortillas freshly cooked at the station by the colourfully clad Tarahumara Indians.

One of the best interviews! ! !

Interviewer: Tell me about yourself.

Candidate: I am SAMEER GUPTA. I did my Tele Communication engineering from BabanRao Dhole-Patil Institute of Technology.

Interviewer: BabanRao Dhole-Patil Institute of Technology? I had never heard of this college before!

Candidate: Great! Even I had not heard of it before getting an admission into it. What happened is - due to cricket world cup I scored badly! in 12th.I was getting a paid seat in a good college. But my father said (I prefer to call him 'baap') - "I can not invest so much of money". (The baap actually said - "I will never waste so much of money on you"). So I had to join this college. Frankly speaking this name - BabanRao Dhole-Patil, can at the most be related to a Shetakari Mahavidyalaya.

Interviewer: ok, ok. It seems you have taken 6 years to complete your engineering.

Candidate: Actually I tried my best to finish it in 4 years. But you know, these cricket matches and football world cup, and tennis tournaments. It is difficult to concentrate. So I flunked in 2nd and 3rd year. So in all I took 4 + 2 = 7 years.

Interviewer: But 4+2 is 6.

Candidate: Oh, is it? You know I always had KT in maths. But I will try to keep this in mind. 4+2 is 6, good, thanks. These cricket matches really affect exams a lot. I think they should ban it.

Interviewer: Good to know that you want cricket matches to be banned.

Candidate: No, no... I am talking about Exams!!

Interviewer: Ok, What is your biggest achievement in life?

Candidate: Obviously, completing my Engineering. My mom never thought I would complete it. In fact, when i flunked in 3rd year, she was looking for a job for me in BEST (Bus corporation in Maharashtra) through some relative.

Interviewer: Do you have any plans of higher study?

Candidate: he he he.. Are you kidding? Completing 'lower' education itself was so much of pain!!

Interviewer: Let's talk about technical stuff. On which platforms have you worked?

Candidate: Well, I work at SEEPZ, so you can say Andheri is my current platform. Earlier I was at Vashi center. So Vashi was my platform then. As you can see I have experience of different platforms! (Vashi and Andheri are the places in Mumbai)

Interviewer: And which languages have you used?

Candidate: Marathi, Hindi, English. By the way, I can keep quiet in German, French, Russian and many other languages.

Interviewer: Why VC is better than VB?

Candidate: It is a common sense - C comes after B. So VC is a higher version than VB. I heard very soon they are coming up with a new language VD!

Interviewer: Do you know anything about Assembly Language?

Candidate: Well, I have not heard of it. But I guess, this is the language our ministers and MPs use in assembly.

Interviewer: What is your general project experience?

Candidate: My general experience about projects is - most of the times they are in pipeline!

Interviewer: Can you tell me about your current job?

Candidate: Sure, Currently I am working for Bata InfoTech ltd. Since joining BIL, I am on Bench. Before joining BIL, I used to think that Bench was another software like Windows.

Interviewer: Do you have any project management experience?

Candidate: No, but I guess it shouldn't be difficult. I know Word and Excel. I can talk a lot. I know how to dial for International phone call and use speaker facility. And very important - I know few words like - 'Showstoppers ' , 'hotfixes', 'SEI-CMM','quality' ,'versioncontrol ','deadlines' , 'Customer Satisfaction' etc. Also I can blame others for my mistakes!

Interviewer: What are your expectations from our company?

Candidate: Not much.

1. I should at least get 40,000 in hand.

2. I would like to work on a live EJB project. But it should not have deadlines. I personally feel that pressure affects natural talent.

3. I believe in flexi-timings.

4. Dress code is against basic freedom, so I would like to wear t-shirt and jeans.

5. We must have sat-sun off. I will suggest Wednesday off also, so as to avoid breakdown due to overwork.

6. I would like to go abroad 3 times a year on short term preferably 2-4 months) assignments. Personally I prefer US, Australia and Europe. But considering the fact that there is a world cup in West Indies in 2007, I don't mind going there in that period. As you can see I am modest and don't have many expectations. So can I assume my selection?

Interviewer: he he he ha ha ha. Thanks for your interest in our organization. In fact I was never entertained so much before. Welcome to INFOSYS .. :-))

No intention to offend anybody..

Saturday, November 14, 2009

10 வயது பொடியன்-ஒரு மணி நேர விரிவுரைக்கு ரூ.82,300

மலேசிய தலைநகர் கோலாலம்பூரைச் சேர்ந்தவர் செரியனா அலியாஸ். இவரது மகன் ஆதி புத்ர அப்துல் கனி. வயது 10. செரியானா 2 நிறுவனங்களைத் தொடங்கி ÔஆதிÕ என்ற பெயரில் விட்டமின் மாத்திரைகளை விற்பனை செய்து வருகிறார். அப்துல் கனி, 3ம் வகுப்பு வரை படித்தான். ஆனால், தனது பாடத் திட்டத்துக்கு மீறி, இயற்பியல், வேதியியல், கணிதம், புவியியல், உயிரியல் ஆகிய பிரிவுகளில் அடுக்கடுக்கான அறிவை வெளிப்படுத்தினான். இன்டர்நெட்டில் புகுந்து எல்லாவற்றையும் கரைத்துக் குடித்தான். அறிவுத் தேடலுக்கு இடையே, அன்னையின் பிசினசையும் கவனித்துக் கொள்ளத் தொடங்கினான். இப்போது 2 நிறுவனங்களின் செயல்பாட்டையும் ஏறக்குறைய தனது கட்டுப்பாட்டில் வைத்துள்ளான் அப்துல் கனி. அதனால், அந்த கம்பெனிகளின் தலைமைச் செயல் அதிகாரி என அவனை அழைக்கின்றனர். வயதுக்கு மீறிய அறிவாளித்தனம் காரணமாக, மூன்றாம் வகுப்போடு படிப்பை நிறுத்திய அப்துல் கனி, Ôபாடப் புத்தகங்களைப் படிப்பதை விட இன்டர்நெட்டில் அதிகம் அறிய முடிகிறதுÕ என்கிறான். இதற்கிடையே, பல பாடப் பிரிவுகளில் அவனுக்கு உள்ள அபார ஞானத்தை அறிந்த மலேசிய கல்லூரிகள், அவனை பகுதி நேர விரிவுரையாளராக அழைக்கின்றன. அம்மாவின் கம்பெனி நிர்வாகத்தைக் கவனிப்பதுடன், கல்லூரிகளில் விரிவுரை ஆற்றுவது, இன்டர்நெட்டில் மூழ்குவது என இருக்கிறான் அப்துல் கனி. ஒரு மணி நேர விரிவுரைக்கு ரூ.82,300 ஊதியம் பெறுகிறான். இஸ்லாமிய ஆய்வுக் கல்வியில் விரிவுரையாளராக விரும்புவதாக கூறும் சிறுவனை, கனடா, சிங்கப்பூர், அமெரிக்காவில் படிக்க வைக்க அவனது தாய் திட்டமிட்டுள்ளார்.

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