Sunday, 28 February 2010

Nik's Barber's Flowchart

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"I don't mind close shaves in life... But I do mind it when my barber does it on my head"

Here's my barber's flowchart. He asks me for what kind of a cut I want... And then........

[Click on the image for full size]

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Big Bang Theory - Nerd Test

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"Nerds of the same feather, flock together"

Have you ever watched the comedy series "Big Bang Theory" ? It's a story about four nerds, and a pretty girl. The nerds always talk in complex jargon, involving physics, sub-atomic particles, computers and other science and engineering concepts.

Here's a conversation that happened among a bunch of engineers, mostly from PESIT. Oh, I like to call it "Nerd Test". Here is the conversation thread. It's pretty funny if you understand it... And if you understand it, you are a nerd.

It all started with Nikhil Narayan Buzzing about the sad realities of life...

Begin Conversation
Nikhil Narayan - Buzz - Public - Muted
Life is a vicious circle of waiting: You wait for a person who is waiting for another person who is waiting for another person (to the power n) who is waiting for another person who is inturn waiting for you.

anusha k - phew youur statement is more complex than life.......Feb 16

Ravi kiran - If you imagine an individual as (x,y,z,TIME) , so every1 is distinct point in space-time fold, its as good having n points on a 2-D XY plane, imagine, whatever figure you want to draw with those points, you can get circle, rectangle and similar equivalents in space-time fold :) !Feb 16

Nikhil Baliga - So the problem is a simple one or a complex one depending on number of people.

Swami Gulagulaananda has two simple points:
1) If number of people in this world who are in that circle is even, then we ask every alternate person to turn around :P And voila, instant happiness.

2) If number of people in this world is odd, we will ask Narayan to become Sanyasi, so that rest of them can follow point 1 :P
Feb 16

Nikhil Narayan - @ Ravi: Thanx a lot for the 4D analysis of a very linearly non linear system.... :D ...
@ Baliga : Swami Gulagulaananda awara appane irali.
@ Anusha : Sorry for making it even more complex..... :P ....
The revised status satisfying one or all the criteria of Ravi and Swami G's:

Life is a vicious "N dimensional hyperboloid with, N being odd and having a lower bound of 5 not satisying the Narayan being a sanyasi clause " where: You wait for a person who is waiting for another person who is waiting for another person (to the power n) who is waiting for another person who is inturn waiting for you.
Feb 16

Nikhil Narayan - Whats wrong with me??????????????????....... MSc is annihilating my brain............Feb 16

Nikhil Baliga - Interestingly I did a little reading on Hyperboloids :P So here is what I found.

n Dimernsional hyperboloids known as Minkowski model is a model of n-dimensional hyperbolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry doesn't have Euclidean Geometry, which means the parallel postulate doesn't exist. So, there can be possibilities of triangles whose angles don't have to add up to 180 degrees...

Now extrapolate the same theory to love triangles at its basic level. However, though according to your postulate, since we have sides of (2*N + 1) where N>1, it will continue to work because it is apparently possible to have zero angled triangles in hyperbolic planes, as in Poincaré disk model...

In this case, in the limiting case, the vertices may even merge, tending to everyone becoming the same person and loving themselves. This gets us to the more philosophic aspect of everyone being part of the same thing, or everyone merging towards the same thing - all aatmas merging towards the paramaatma - The brahman concept.
Feb 16

Aditya Padaki - @Baliga: Maga u'll get 2 PhDs.... one in Mathematics and other in Philosophy.... its a thesis on "Mathosophy" :P :DFeb 16

Nikhil Baliga - Would that make me Dr Dr Nikhil Baliga? Like Sri Sri Ravishankar? :PEditFeb 16

Aditya Padaki - Well... Yeah... Whatever.... Bah... :P :)Feb 16

Ravi kiran - @ Baliga , pretty good analysis... i agree with the philosophic aspect of every aatma merging towards the paramaatma..Feb 17

anusha k - god....PhD or no PhD, you guys will surely earn a contract with mental hospitals for providing them many patients......
Feb 17

akhil shanbhag - zzzzzzzFeb 17

Ravi kiran - @narayan+baliga - we better stop this thread b4 people start beatin us up :) !Feb 17

Nikhil Narayan - @ Ravi: One last change and thats it..... :)......

@Baliga: Amazing analysis......
So as padaki said u'll get 2 PhD's..... The one for Mathematics will be conferred to u by Dr HNS and the philosophy one will be conferred to u by SSK along with the title 'Sri Sri'..... And guess what... He'll be mentioning ur name in each of his classes....... :P ....... :D.....

And yet again due to the most interesting analysis by Baliga, the status message is changed to:

Life is a vicious "N dimensional hyperboloid with, N being odd and having a lower bound of 5 not satisying the Narayan being a sanyasi clause " where: You wait for a person who is waiting for another person who is waiting for another person (to the power n) who is waiting for another person who is inturn waiting for you.
1). The process terminates only when one kicks the bucket and reaches the heavenly abode to atain the ultimate form of life, called the 'parmaatma' limit (for people who do not want to agree with Baliga's analysis).
2). The process terminates instantaneously if you feel one and do things the right way without waiting because ultimately its the aatma thats merging and waiting for others only means you are blocking the path to wisdom in an N - Dimensional philosophical hyperboloid.
Feb 17

Nikhil Baliga - Ummm, your first point also agrees with me, because of Gulagulaananda's first point - when one person kicks the bucket to attain paramaatma limit, we now will have even number of people and we can then reverse every alternate person to have a happy ending, thus eliminating the concept of going into n dimensional hyperboloids :P Nice discussion though Feb 17

Nikhil Narayan - Yup..... It was a nice discussion.... :)Feb 17

End of conversation...

To summarise, using Narayan's last post - Here's his commentary on life taking all points into account.

Narayan's commentary on life (including all above bug fixes and patches)
Life is a vicious "N dimensional hyperboloid with, N being odd and having a lower bound of 5 not satisying the 'Narayan being a sanyasi' clause " where: You wait for a person who is waiting for another person who is waiting for another person (to the power n) who is waiting for another person who is inturn waiting for you.
1). The process terminates only when one kicks the bucket and reaches the heavenly abode to atain the ultimate form of life, called the 'parmaatma' limit (for people who do not want to agree with Baliga's analysis)
2). The process terminates instantaneously if you feel one and do things the right way without waiting because ultimately its the aatma thats merging and waiting for others only means you are blocking the path to wisdom in an N - Dimensional philosophical hyperboloid

Friday, 26 February 2010


Quirk: By B. Nikhil Baliga

You can now read the story from the book - Swami G's Short Stories

The cold metallic barrel of the 0.38 automatic against his hip gave him a strange comforting feeling. He was nervous and comforted by it at the same time. To be honest, he was anxious, scared... He could feel his heart pound against his chest as he stood waiting under the street-lamp. He had worn the trench coat she had gifted him on his birthday. Every time he touched his forearm, it reminded him of the pale ghostly face he had seen in the hospital. The faded yellow light of the street-light showed a grey hat pulled against his head, and that along with his over turned collar covered his face quite well. He had kept his head at an incline to hide his face even more. The only illumination that could faintly reveal his granite hard mask of a face was the dim glow from the red tipped cigarette, slowly smouldering, releasing wisps into the cold night. He stood steady, as if being a manifestation of his rock solid conviction to go through this ordeal. The silence of the lonely throughway was broken by the quiet pattering of the rain drops.

And then he saw a man hobbling his way hurriedly. The short man appeared to be the perfect victim. He touched his hip again to ensure his gun was still there. Robbing him would be a cinch. He was not a thief. He had lived an honest man, but fate had driven him to a point where he had no other go. He slowly closed his eyes trying to collect his memories. He remembered her pale blanched face again. He knew she needed him there right now. But what was needed more than his presence next to her, was money. He had never thought that he would be driven to a point where he would not have enough money even after selling all that he had ever owned. For her, he would have sold his soul to the devil, but he could visualise the devil shaking his head sideways and saying – “That is still not going to fetch you enough money to save her”. He had then known that this was the only way. He knew that a lot of rich people generally walked along that road at night. These were no ordinary people, but in fact owners of large shops and restaurants. And they walked at odd times, without escort and didn’t even take their vehicles because more often than not, vehicles would be ambushed by gangs, and good help was hard to find, with more fences chewing on the crops than the vermin that had to be prevented. Nobody suspected lone hobbling men to be carrying a large amount of cash. Well, nobody except him. He had done his homework well. And he had to do so, in order to save her life. She was suffering from a strange illness, that none of the doctors in that city could solve. They said she could be cured, but that would require a huge sum – an exorbitant amount in fact. But human life came above everything else.

He suddenly spiralled to the present, opened his eyes and saw the man was inching closer. The man seemed to be in a hurry, and had the face of a person who was not very comfortable with the rain. Appearing to be one of those rich professionals who always drove around in big cars and stayed in big houses waited by several servants, walking seemed to be exhausting for this man. For a moment, a surge of envy and anger grew in him, looking at the hobbling gentleman. He appeared to be one of those leading a perfect life, while here he was, waiting for hours in the cold, to rob for the first time. But now was not the time to get angry. The man had noticed him from a distance, and was now a little wary of coming close to him. But the man seemed to be running late, and in his fit of impatience, was not sure whether to continue walking or exhibit prudence. Throwing his own cautions into the air, the suited man continued walking. When he had hobbled to within a couple of feet, his collar was suddenly gripped by a strong hand, and something hard was poking into his belly. “Your money or your life”, he heard a growl. The suited man could see a faint glint in the eyes of the predator. This man meant business. “Listen, mister... What you are doing is not right. I have nothing to give you right now. Let me go, I am running late.” He tried to reason out. But the vicious thug seemed to have other plans. “Nothing to give me? Haaa! Poppycock!” He roared, “You rich folk make us poor people sweat and bleed. Well, think of me as Robin Hood. I am stealing from the rich, and giving to the poor. I am poor, and I think it’s justified”. The suited man was more angry than scared. It was bad enough to be robbed in the middle of the night, but to be listening to insinuations was worse. “I told you once, and I am telling you again. I think you have misunderstood me. I don’t have anything to give you. I am running late. Let me go before I start shouting for help. In fact, that’s what I am going to do. HELP! HEL--” A fist of steel punched the daylights out of the suited man. Before he could regain control of his spinning head and assess the situation, he saw a orange yellow gleam, heard a loud bang, felt seething hot lead sear though his body, and lay limp, quickly being covered in a pool of his own blood. Just before losing consciousness, he could feel two strong hands groping through his clothes, reaching out for his wallet and cell phone.

“Trench-coats are always stronger than suits”, he mumbled to himself as he hurriedly opened his wallet. He started walking quickly towards hospital. He could see colour regaining in her blanched skin. She would be fine again. He walked a couple of steps and was done counting the money in the wallet. “No money? That damned liar. He deserved to go to hell, and that’s precisely where he went. Liars don’t deserve to live.” He turned back, spat at the big lump on the road, and continued walking. The money in the wallet seemed to cover her hospital expenses. He had collected enough from selling his property – well, excuse of a property, in fact, he felt. This money seemed to complete the gap between the hospital bill and what he had. And he had a new phone – probably he could gift it to her when she was up again. He was jubilant. He was running towards the hospital, jumping in puddles at times like an excited little child who had been given his favourite little red toy car for his birthday. Nothing could come in the path of her recovery. He wanted to shout out in the night skies...

He was racing towards the gates of the hospital. He almost bumped into the security guard, hurriedly raised his hat, smiled and apologised, and ran on his way. He reached the doctor who had been taking care of her. “Dr. Sarita? Good evening. Or should I be saying, good morning” He grinned looking at his watch. He was beaming. “I have brought the money for her surgery, just like I had promised you, doctor. Please get all the things ready to get her healed as soon as possible.” Dr. Sarita looked at him with concerned eyes, “Well, I have some bad news for you, Sir. She is in a critical situation right now. The surgery needs to happen within the next hour. Or else we’ll lose her.” She picked the receiver of her phone, dialled some numbers, turned to him and said “I consulted Dr. Anand. Only he can perform a surgery of this magnitude. In fact, excellent news for you is that he even told me that he would do this for free after hearing about your poverty. He had told me his car had broken down, and was on his way here. He should have been here by now.” The phone in his pocket started ringing, he picked it up and saw “Dr. Sarita calling...”

You might also want to read

Just let go - Story of a man stuck in a theatre with his wife, but he has a nagging feeling to leave, and knows that things will be horribly wrong.... unless he lets go

The Medallion - Starts off with a typical Bollywood story, the medallion has a Hollywood ending. A story about a boy with a copper medallion who loses his younger brother in a crowded railway station, and culminates with the twists of fate.

Tarka - The story of the escaped convict - With a police jeep chasing me, I entered a house with a low balcony, only to find my classmate inside with skeletons in her closet... with flesh and blood around it.

My race against time - A man describes the race against time... the constant running

The girl who was a ghost before she died - A freaky real life story (Other parts are linked at the bottom, so be sure to catch them all)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Moral right

Swami Gulagulaananda asked:
"Given the ability to kill a person at will, would you kill all criminals or would you feel that killing criminals is a crime, and that would put me in the same basket as them?"

A very interesting question, this is also the theme of very popular anime series, "Deathnote" and popular TV show, "Dexter". This question is being asked to each of you, because there is always a difference between the politically correct answer, and the answer that you feel crying out from within, which is often suppressed, because you don't want others to look at you in a weird manner, although, many times, they also feel the same.

If you know that a certain person has committed a crime, should you allow the justice machinery to take care of it? Or should you step in and take law into your hands and serve your version of justice? Let me give you some simple real life examples.

Consider the infamous Mumbai attacks of 26/11. We know that certain terrorists have committed the heinous crime, and most of them, thanks to our brave warriors, are dead. However, we have one surviving comrade of theirs. There is always a debate about what needs to be done with this man. The initial answer was to get as much information out of him as possible, in order to get to the bottom of this. Now that we are at the bottom of it, and after squeezing all the possible juice of information out of him, must we allow him to live? This question enters many minds. He apparently sucks out a lot of money from the treasury, for his maintenance and food. Is it not simpler to kill him? After all, we already have a lot of evidence aganist him, and yet we let him live. Ok, we'll keep this aside for the moment.

Let's take another "popular" figure down here in the South. Mr. Pramod Muthalik, the chief of Sri Rama Sene. He committed some crimes of beating up women for whatever reasons he had. Now, a lot of people were aware of the crimes, but then, people were not satisfied with the type of justice dispensed. So, what needs to be done about it becomes the question...

That's the difference between Gandhi and the others. Gandhi had a tremendous amount of patience and non violence flowing in his very veins. So, though Gandhi saw a large number of atrocities happening around him, he always took it in the chin, and never resorted to, nor incite
others to resort to violence. Why did he take this approach? It's simply for the 'moral right' as it's plainly put. Moral rights and moral courage are two words that are quite interesting. What I am trying to say is, if Pramod Muthalik beats up people, and you go beat up or put ink on Muthalik's face, then you automatically lose the moral right to comment about his violence. Or rather, that is the topic of this discussion - Whether you do lose the moral right or if it's justified to hurt someone who is wrong and has hurt others.

Deathnote puts it very well, by giving the protagonist the power to kill anyone by giving him a book with supernatural powers that allows him to kill anyone he pleases by writing their names in the book. He uses it to kill criminals by dispensing his version of justice. Such people develop God complex, similar to a dictator or a king, because the entire power of life and death comes in their hand, and they get to kill whoever they please, and we should trust in their judgement.

There is another group, similar to Gandhi, which says that if you go around killing people, perpetrators or otherwise, then you yourself are a criminal. Unlike the first group which feels that they don't mind becoming criminals for the sake of "cleansing" the society, the second group believes in keeping a clean conscience. They claim that there is no guarantee that the first group will not get corrupt because of their power. This is the reason you shouldn't do the very same thing that you are opposing - You will lose the moral right to talk against it later on... This sounds a lot like practice what you preach. Interestingly, this is against, contradicting, the other famous quote of Swami Gulagulaananda, when he said
"If I am a chain smoker and you are one, and I ask you to quit smoking saying that smoking causes cancer, you should be verifying if what I said is true or false, and then if true, quit smoking for your own good instead of telling me to mind my business as I smoke myself. The advice is for your own good, and you are the one who will suffer, irrespective of whether I suffer or not. We should be looking into the truth of the matter. " [in this post]

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Times of India is becoming immature

Swami Gulagulaananda slapped his forehead and said:
"Corrupt or stupid media being followed by a billion yes-men is not a great combination"

This is with regard to an article that came on the newspaper Times of India (TOI), dated 5th February. There is a certain article against the Sri Rama Sene (SRS), where the newspaper has published a series of comments of various readers, including "famous" people like Prasad Bidapa. By posting something that most people like to hear, there are not many voices against it.

What I find interesting about that article, is that there was not a single post which spoke with a pro side of the organisation. All the comments that were posted there were anti SRS. Now I am sure that you will have the thought saying - "Ha, come on Nik, who the hell is even pro SRS? They are a bunch of thugs who beat up random people just to show power..." Ok, let's take this argument and keep it aside for a moment. Till today, I don't think apart from the SRS, nobody else has justified their actions. However, it will be very interesting to note that a lot of people continue to feel that their motives were pretty strong.

What I am trying to say is - For example, there are a lot of people who feel that moral policing is wrong. They say that each has his or her own life, and they can live it the way they want to. At the same time, we also have very popular shows like 'emotional atyachar' - and the surprising thing is, when people see the hotshot guy on the show cheating on his girl friend with a large number of girls having a series of one-night-stands, people actually cover their aghast open mouth with their hands, rather than putting their feet in it. I don't understand the double standards. It's his life, so he's living the way he wants to - It's the same set of people who say that that the guy has no morality.

Who decides what is moral and what is immoral? That's totally left to you and the society. There are some things that are not appreciated in the society. Otherwise, what's wrong in showing public display of affection, canoodling, snogging, making out, or even humping in public? Their life, and they do what they want to. What's wrong in walking nude on the road? Apparently, it's not allowed, and are actually punishable offences. There're always some restrictions to be drawn. And these restrictions should come from within. We were actually shown certain disgraceful, distasteful dances involving a lot of touching in a lot of places by a lot of strangers to a lot of people (I would've said women, but I didn't want to risk being branded as sexist)

Till today, I have not understood what is the big deal about Valentine's day, mother's day, father's day and so on. Sure, it's a lot of fun - but the concept is totally ridiculous and has nothing to do with us. The best part is, nobody even knows why the hell it's celebrated. At least 60% of the people will not even know that Valentine was the name of a Saint. All they see is - Hey, people in the West are doing it, so should we... Otherwise, you think for a moment, do we really need a special day to show our parents or sweethearts that we love them? You can have it on any day, or have a special day on a more relevant day like an anniversary or birthday or some day which means something to you personally, and not a day where people do it in large numbers.

Let's get some facts straight - I don't support or endorse SRS' action. Here's the result of a huge argument that culminated in another very interesting post. I do strongly support an anti pub-culture and anti-liquor movement which I have earlier mentioned, which needs to be strengthened especially after the recent Nooria accident case - which I had told about long back. I strongly oppose media becoming biased, and publishing only what they "feel" is right - media should have no personal opinions, and should only reflect the opinions of ALL people, and not the select few yes-men. I am saying this, because I have sent many mails to TOI earlier which are against their view, and not a single point do they get publish. [Oh p.s. I am not against TOI because they don't publish my opinions :P Thanks] In fact, I find that most of the comments posted are the ones that they strongly endorse.

Times of India continues to be a newspaper of immense hype, but I think I will reserve another post for writing about them...

And to add insult to injury, now I need to see photos and ridiculous comments of people like Prasad Bidapa who himself was caught with drugs - and read HIS comments on "morality". Oh, of course, mea culpa, it's his life, and he can lead it however he wants to!

Note added on 23rd April, 2011:
A beautiful post by someone where he exposes NDTV and Barkha Dutt, and shows how the media is truly biased and how they fake tweets to support their views

Comments from Facebook pasted as is: [Since it is part of the same debate]

Nikhil Baliga: Times of India shows how immature it is as a newspaper, by publishing a series of strong comments against Sri Rama Sene, and not publishing their opinions. As a newspaper medium, one should be impartial and show both sides of the coin. Otherwise what's the difference between TOI and Samana of Shiv Sena, if you publish one sided opinions?

Sudarshan V Murthy, Pradyumna Bharadwaj, Dolly Singh and 3 others like this.

Mithun R Shroff
It was the "My Times My Voice " section..So they were just echoing the public opinion..And also the means used by Sri Rama Sene to get their message across was absolutely shocking. So even if this is the stand taken by TOI , I would say it is fair.

Nikhil Baliga
No, I disagree - it's not a public opinion, if there are no two sides - even a movie like Avatar had people who liked it and hated it. There may millions who loved it, but there were a handful who hated it - It's never complete if you don't post two sides. Read this post and a linked post to see more of what I mean...

Karthik Rangarajan
He just hates TOI, so he's biased anyway. :P

Ashrith Kumar
Its not just TOI man...All the news channels these days are so biased,..I get a feeling, communism to them means anti-Hinduism,..

For ppl who don't know - Let me clarify!!

Nik has some age-old rivalry with TOI .. he even wrote out a mail to TOI once regarding somethin(i don't remember the topic) ..
he's posting all this cos he s so frustrated that TOI didn't give him bhaav..
@nik - dude, every1 knows u r a male chauvinist .. so u ll support SRS..(yeah, yeah.. i read ur blog before posting this!! :P).. I think TOI is being sensible and posting only comments that 'make sense'.. and not posting things that are pro - this way, they r trying to discourage SRS in their violent attacks.. Isn't it the social responsibility of the media to try and portray what is right(i know its debatable but when there is violence on one side and peace on the other - peace is surely the way to go!) and not support such scurrilous acts? ..

Arvind S Murthy
well its completely true any good newspaper will defnitely have for and against columns...thats the basis of a debate isnt it?? whats the point of having a debate or conducting a survey if all you do is print arguments which are just one side of a coin...

and i doubt if TOI really has any "social responsibility"...if it did it would not have glorified is that in the interest of the society??? so i completely agree with the blog if u want to be biased do not conduct a survey..simple...

obviously what the SRS are doin is not right no doubts there...but the thing is what the media is doing is just turning the masses against the it will be "violence" on both sides and "peace" will die a bloody death

Sriranga Chidambara
The writer of a newspaper echoes his opinion in his articles. A newspaper need not have to forcefully find the 'other side of the coin' and portray it.

How would one react to say "A 14 year girl was raped by a man". Should we try to look at the other side??

Why don't you start looking pubs as a 2 sided coin? :)

Aditya Padaki
The debate goes on... :P :D.

Personally, I see SRS as no great saviour of moral values in India... I feel, they are just another group who want cheap publicity (God knows for what)... Thats completely justified (being a publicity monger is no crime)... but the methods employed itself are immoral and ridiculous. Speaking of their "ideology"... well it'll be appreciated... But if they themselves break law by taking it in their own hands, one question stands out: Who in the world are they or who in the world gave them the rights to do moral policing? Let them inculcate their "ideology" in a much better civilised manner.

But, a larger question... What they portray to be their ideology is no doubt good and methods employed are hopeless... But, are these really their ideologies? Are they really out there to save our culture? Do they themselves practice these? Are they well versed with Indian culture? May be.. but the chances of "No" being an answer are much higher... ...

Reg. Drinking: Drinking has been there in India probably since time immemorial... Its not a culture that has been imbibed from west.. but yes its really really bad and needs to be curbed. Ban drinking-I am all for it... may not be just coz of Nooria or more such people, but many more reasons leading to a fact that drunkards can be potential social menaces (Yeah yeah... i know ppl may argue NOT all drunkards are menaces... majority of them are very stable and such stuff.. there are only 1 or 2 instances of Nooria... But, its still bad for health :P)

Speaking of TOI: Well, what they do (again according to me) is another kind of publicity gimmick. They sell what people want... At the end of the day what they are interested in is just the number of copies sold. I find certain acts of TOI over hyped (Lead India, Aman Ki Asha etc.) and sometimes ridiculous. So, we need to take what they publish with a pinch of salt (same to other newspapers and media as well :P)..

So bottom line: I think both SRS and TOI are just baking their own beans and nothing more... :P

WHOOPS! It became so loooooong :P....

Sriranga Chidambara
Well said Padaki.

Come to think of it, I wonder why Nik still reads TOI :P

Bharath Srivatsa
@Nik: totally disagree with you...a news paper has to echo whats good for the society...else even terrorists will want their "opinions" and their "side" of the story to be published after heinous attacks like 26/11

Aditya Padaki
@Ranga: Lol! Yeah... Nik, why do u still read TOI? :D :D.

I just found a couple of grammatical errors in my comment. Sorry.. :P

Arvind S Murthy
ok first of all i think the point of a debate is grossly misunderstood here..let me start with your example of a rape...

A news article will probably go along the lines of what you've said-"A fourteen year old was raped"

whereas a debate will be along the lines of-"ANother rape in the city..Are our cities safe? or Are the police doing enough?"...

The former doesnt give any room for public opinion that is as you said the publishers opinion..whereas the latter gives room for both the sides of a coin...

Now coming to the issue of is already a two sided coin...Baliga's bane is that TOI is being biased in what was supposed to be a debate...

The question is what is good for the society???how is that defined???? Agreed terrorism is not good for the society..but how can you explain alcoholism as being good for the society???

The violence of SRS is something to be denounced really...That is something really not good for the society...

Karthik Rangarajan
Wow, Nik's bias against TOI has led to such a big debate?

@Akshata You're spot on about the mail he sent to TOI. It was about some column in Bangalore Times, I remember talking to him about it.

@Ranga He just wants to write blog articles against them. I really see no other reason. :P

Mithun R Shroff
@Nikhil : Agree that TOI dint publish even a single comment that maybe was pro SRS. But look at this way..When there is something happening and its not right , it definitely has to be opposed . I'm sure there is no one ( other than the ones involved ) who will try to justify the methods used by SRS.

When a newspaper conducts a survey , it publishes (supposed to) comments by giving equal weightage to both sides of the issue. But when the vast majority are against the issue , they are not left with any choice. I'm guessing this is what happened with that article. I say this because I have observed a lot of times the stand taken by TOI on any issue. I dint feel it is biased in any way.

Also ..take for example a terrorist attack ..Find me one newspaper which will include atleast one line printed in favour of it. you wouldnt find it. Thats exactly is the case here too.....

@Akshata : I second your thoughts on this..

Anup P Mutalik
If TOI had written something pro-SRS i would have probably cribbed!. since its a national medium and they shouldn't send wrong messages!
Even expecting an article in a news paper to have a non-bigoted opinions on such matter, is silly! :p

Anand Bhatia
Times Of India is a NEWSPAPER?

Mac Nirmal Lobo
totally agree with you pal. newspapers are supposed to be unbiased. Hence they should present the negative crass views of the SRS even if the majority of our populace do not agree with them . I think nik, u should form an anti TOI group on facebook and bring out their biggest shortcoming since they havent published the other side of the wonderful heart warming organization that SRS is.

Mac Nirmal Lobo
poor SRS chaps. They never got to air their peaceful views .

Nikhil Baliga
It's nice to see so many different approaches to the same problem. I am in Mangalore with not frequent access to the internet, thus the late reply. However here's my opinion about it. Incidentally when I wrote the blog post and the fb status update, I had taken all these points into account

@Akshata - I knew someone like you would come along to say that - that's precisely why I had already included that line about this not being my way of getting back at TOI in my post.

I think Arvind got it right. I have clearly written everywhere that nobody supports the actions of SRS. You see, my point is that, everyone needs to follow certain procedures - This is why even terrorists like Kasab are being given an opportunity to defend themselves. I know Kasab is wrong, and he deserves to be given the death sentence. But still, law needs to take its course. He is given an opportunity to defend himself. This is what I am saying about SRS - While nobody supports the actions of hitting, an opportunity to post their views need to be given. An argument or debate is never complete, if you don't have more than one side.

Nikhil Baliga
@Ranga - I am not talking about news articles... News articles are those where pure facts are given, more like the "white hat" of the six thinking hats (which I recommend to all you guys, very nice book). That's a forum which a newspaper employs to write out facts, not opinions. So rape and terror *news* articles don't come under this.

Mithun also has a good point - Since most people have the same views, it's highly probable that most of the views are anti- SRS. However, I have already taken this into account. This is why I said that even a movie like Avatar which has a million plus fans still has a few hundreds who support it. You can take any thing and you will see people having a divided opinion about it. For example, just imagine if I delete all posts which disagree with me. Then all you can see here, are posts which agree with mine. That's hardly a complete argument. You don't know if TOI has done that - They may have done it to keep a lot of people from getting worked up, like some here :P

That's why I am saying that you should post both views - Again, I am not saying post pro-SRS, but try to understand what they or any other person is saying without having any bias.

Nikhil Baliga
Many people get wrongly accused or branded as bad. If opinions of theirs are muffled, you will never know the truth. Imagine if a person is innocent, and everyone in the media is shouting against him - All people will simply blindly follow the media, and everyone will think he's evil. Remember 'Phir bhi dil hain hindustani' ? Therefore, you should be unbiased, and allow everything to go through. Not everything is exactly as you see it

To summarise, any thing that you see, should be looked at without bias. Although some of you have posted stuff making blatant accusations, my point is to look at it without bias, without looking at it having SRS as the central picture, but as any other issue... All issues have two sides, and both sides should be posted. If a powerful entity such as media starts becoming biased, then I won't be surprised if Supreme Court or any other court judges get biased and pass judgements without listening to the other side. It just isn't fair. :P If you still didn't get it, I am not saying be nice to SRS to be fair. I am saying, present both sides of the argument.

Sriranga Chidambara
It's a newspaper not a court of law!

Prashanth N Bhat
@ashrith, not communism, secularism

Prashanth N Bhat
A newspaper (or any other media for that matter) should have both sides of an arguement, its not for them to decide who is right or who is wrong, it is for the . Just publishing one side of a story means that they are endorsing it, which is not their function. Otherwise what is the difference between our country and china, where media is strictly controlled to give only information that is suitable to its govt.

Although what SRS is doing may be wrong, any views that it, or anybody who feels there is some justification should be allowed to air their views, @nik, your example of Kasab here was spot on. Won't we be practising double standards when we hold a trial for kasab, and allow him to defend himself, and stifle any pro SRS views?

Nikhil Baliga
@Ranga - My point precisely, it's not a court of law, and thus they should not pass judegements. You post information and facts. That's why I like their column where they have "Times View" and "Counter View" and this is in Times of India itself. There, TOI and a guest author write their view points about the same article.

Prashanth Bhat has explained the rest perfectly above

Ashvin Srinivasan
I completely agree with baliga , TOI is indeed immature. The media is suppose to be just showing the actual,impartial facts. Its just lke russel peters said in his episode of "red white and brown"( :P), this TOI is trying to impose us with their views rather than leaving the discretery power to us .
" SRS may be wrong and may be doing some irrational stuff." Thats left for us to decide not them.

Nikhil Baliga
Haha, yeah, I remember Russel Peters - They show a bomb blast, and an Arab and say - What do you think? :D

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

An interesting study - Y-Chromosome and 'Gothra'

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Foolish are those who get charmed by others, leave their beliefs and follow others, and then get back to them when others say that the original was better"

This is a copy of a mail that I received. Makes a very interesting read.

Y-Chromosome and 'Gothra'

Recently, US President (& Author of Declaration of Independence of United States) Thomas Jefferson's paternity of his slave Sally Fleming's children has been in news. For nearly 200 years, since US president Thomas Jefferson's time, many traditionalists maintained that Jefferson did not cohabit with Sally. But some descendants of Sally maintained otherwise and claimed to be progeny of the ex-president. This old historical controversy has now been resolved using modern genetic DNA analysis methods (Reference - Founding father by Eric S Lander & Joseph J Ellis and Foster et al, Nature | Volume 396 | 5 November 1998 | pages 14, 27-28).

The genetic DNA study of descendents of Jefferson family and Sally Fleming's family, has confirmed with very high probability that, US President Thomas Jefferson was indeed the father of at least one of the sons of Sally Fleming. How was this genetic work done? Geneticists used a scientific fact, that most of the male Y-chromosome is passed intact from father to son. Females do not carry the Y-chromosome. With modern advances in genetics, this fact has been used to trace paternal lineage, and resolve stories like Thomas Jefferson's.

Thomas Jefferson did not have surviving sons from his legal wife. But his paternal uncle's male lineage is in tact to present time. The genetic Y-chromosome of these persons (eight generations down from Thomas Jefferson's paternal uncle) living at present time was used as the reference. This was compared with intact male line persons from (Five generations down from) Sally Fleming living presently. The geneticists used polymorphic markers so that Y-chromosome can be distinguished by haplotypes. They found that Sally Fleming's son Eston's male line progeny had same haplotypes as Field Jefferson who was paternal uncle of Thomas Jefferson. Using other physical and living proximity factors, the geneticists have concluded with high probability that Eston Fleming was the son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Fleming.

This class of human male lineage research is now very active and is being conducted in native populations of Wales, England, in Iceland and to establish uniqueness, paternity, historical lineage, medical issues and intellectual issues of heredity etc amongst various population groups. Does this not ring a bell amongst traditional Hindus who believe in 'gothra' identification carried down from Sanathana-dharma orthodoxy?. 'Gothra' is an identity carried by male lineage in India from time immemorial. Most people have gothra chain names traceable to Rig Vedic Rishis like 'Gowthama', 'Vasishta' 'Viswamithra' and to first sons of Vaivaswatha Manu like Angirasa & Bhrigu. Purana such as Vishnu Purana refer to individual identity through 'Gothra'. Listings of more than 250 Gothra chains have been explicitly listed. I have heard of instances of Muslims converted from Hinduism still keeping track of their 'Gothra'.

For example we know that Buddha, named Siddhartha was of 'Gowthama Gothra'. It means that his Y-chromosomes were probably from Rig-Vedic Rishi 'Gowthama Rahoogana'.

How did the people of 3000-4000 years ago realize that genetically there was transference of some unique characteristics only from father to son (in the form of Y-chromosomes)? In recent past when it was fashionable to condemn all Indian traditional systems as of no value, non-believers have referred to 'Gothra' as archaic, unscientific, irrelevant and male chauvinistic!

Modern DNA & genetic research has confirmed male line Y-chromosomal transference, through 8 generations in case of Thomas Jefferson. 'Gothra' in essence really stands for Y-chromosomal identity.

Nearly 2500 years have passed since death of Buddha, but many 'Gowthama Gothra' individuals exist now also. They can claim genetic relation to Buddha. Typically 4 generations occur in 100 years and in 2500 years nearly 100 generations are complete. Other 'Gothra' chains may have run 100-200 generations fromVedic period if male lineage did continue unbroken. Do Y-chromosomes remain intact after, say 100 generations of unbroken male issues? Genetic mutations may or may not have changed some Y-chromosomes.

This appears to be a very interesting field of research for future to see if persons of same 'Gothra' in the present generations have common and unique Y-chromosomal features. – Dr S.Balakrishna