Nov 8, 2014

Jainism's Bullshit and The Nice Jain Girl

The Problems With Jainism is an anonymous article of which this is an excerpt, While the “non-violence” aspect is admirable, Jains still believe in plenty of bullshit:
  • Jains believe in a never-ending, cyclical time cycle, with phases of “rising” and “falling” happiness. Each phase lasts several thousands of years. This is all fiction, of course.
  • Jains believe that they can accumulate and shed karma and this impacts their future lives (reincarnation). There’s no evidence of this.
  • Jains support being free of materialism — not because it can be destructive in and of itself, but because it’ll allow you to more easily break free from the cycle of reincarnation. They’re doing a good thing for the wrong reason.
  • Jains don’t believe in a god, per se, but they do believe in supernatural beings who have broken free of the reincarnation cycle to attain Nirvana. In fact, there are 24 beings who have done that… and we know their names. We memorized their names as children. Though there’s no evidence any of them ever “attained Nirvana.”
  • Jainism encourages an 8-day-long (or worse), unhealthy fasting during the holy time of the year. During the fast, you may only consume water that’s been pre-boiled.
  • The Jain rules regarding a vegetarian diet seem like they’re made up on the spot. Eggs are bad, but milk is ok. Potatoes and other food from the ground are bad, but there are exceptions depending on the day. Alcohol is forbidden, but young Jains go to bars all the time. The rules make hypocrisy rampant… but almost unavoidable.
An article profiling a Jain “nun” by Morgan Wilson in the Houston Chronicle shows just how absurd the faith can be:
“There are plenty of difference between Hinduism and Jainism; the biggest being the gods” said [Jainesh Mehta (no relation), vice president of the Jain Vishva Bharati-Preksha Meditation Center]. “Essentially, we don’t believe in the same things; we share eight demi-gods with Hinduism but even then we don’t worship them like a Hindu would. But we do have similar faith traits, that being giving up world materials to achieve Nirvana.”

“The karma you accumulate in this life and previous lifetimes will determine your condition for your next lifetime,” Mehta said. “We associate karma to be like a black cloud. The more karma you have the more ignorant you are; the less karma you have the more aware you’ve become.”
Demi-gods, nirvana, “next lifetime,” karma? Those beliefs sound like something out of Scientology. But Jains take them very seriously.

The funny thing is that so many Jains go into scientific fields, and yet, I never hear Jains say this stuff is untrue. They find a way to compartmentalize it and ignore it. When you ask them what they believe, they’ll say “Non-violence”… but they won’t mention the several levels of Hell and multiple levels of Heaven.
They’ll do research in a lab one day, and then sing a chant praising prophets, saints, and “liberated souls” the next, without ever realizing the two worlds ought to be colliding. (I sang that particular mantra every day growing up. Can you imagine how I felt when I finally figured out what it actually meant?)
As far as religions go, Jainism isn’t the worst one you’ll find. But there are plenty of lies that it spreads that we need to call out. Young Jains should be concerned with the truth and they ought to know that the religious leaders in the temple are trying to lead them away from it — as most religious leaders everywhere do. The fact that even the most outspoken atheists put on kid gloves when dealing with it is upsetting.

It’s always nice to see a religion that advocates kindness and respect, but that shouldn’t make it immune from criticism when it’s warranted. Jains are very bad at being self-critical, and it has plenty of beliefs that are untrue. I’d love to see a Jain organization, or blogger, or adherent offer up the evidence for their supernatural beliefs because I’m convinced there is none.

Note to my parents (who’ll probably never see this, anyway):
This is why I never had a desire for you to set me up with a “nice Jain girl.”

Apr 1, 2014

Sujatha Srinivasan's Bharatanatyam at Cleveland Museum of Art

Coming up, for Asian Indians in Cleveland and Akron is an opportunity to watch Sujatha Srinivasan and her talented students perform Bharatanatyam.  To celebrate the recent opening of the Asian Indian galleries at Cleveland Museum of Art, the Department of Performing Arts, Music and Film Development in conert with Sujatha Srinivasan has arranged for a FREE Bharathanatyam program, (on Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 2 PM).  
Sujatha Srinivasan, Bharathanatyam Dancer
Sujatha Srinivasan, Bharathanatyam dancer

In this program, scheduled for Mother's Day, Sujatha Srinivasan and a group of her talented Bharathanatyam students explore the relationship between the mother and child in Indian mythology by drawing from episodes of the young Lord Krishna and his mother, Yashoda.

Sujatha Srinivasan is an internationally known Bharathanatyam exponent, known for her classicism and creative choreography. She learned the art under eminent gurus and as a performer, she brings over 30 years of performing experience to the art.

She has won many awards and titles in India and has participated in major prestigious dance festivals in India, Sri Lanka, Paris, Geneva, Canada, apart from several cities in the US. She has to her credit many composer-oriented and thematic presentations.   Sujatha Srinivasan is the artistic director of  Shri Kalaa Mandir–Center for Indian Performing Arts, which is one of the leading professional dance institutions in Ohio, nurturing and creating budding Bharathanatyam dancers.  She teaches Bharatanatyam at Cleveland Shiva Vishnu Temple in Parma and Solon Community Church in Solon.   

Her daughter, Shriya Srinivasan is an accomplished dancer and an up and coming vocalist. Her son, Suraj Srinivasan has won scholarships at his school.  The talent filled family lives in Strongsville, Ohio along with supportive dad, Srinivasan Ranganathan.

Cleveland Museum of Art Southeast Asian Collection

Sonya Rhie Quintanilla is the curator of The Cleveland Museum of Art's Indian and Southeast Asian collection.  Dr. Quintanilla is responsible for completing the reinstallation of the Indian and Southeast Asian collection that opened in December 2013. 

Sonya Quintanilla's book
Dr. Quintanilla completed her doctoral degree at Harvard University where her dissertation focused on early Indian sculpture. The book that grew out of this work, History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura, ca. 150 BCE–100 CE, provides the first comprehensive analysis and chronology of the earliest known stone sculptures from an ancient cosmopolitan center in north India.

Cleveland Museum of Art's  Southeast Asian collection is rated as one of the leading collections in this area, both nationally and internationally.  It is a must see for every Asian Indian living not only in Cleveland and Akron but the State of Ohio.  Further, it is an excellent educational opportunity for young Indian Americans to see and learn about
Sonya Rhie Quintinilla, Cleveland Museum of Art
Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, Cleveland Museum of Art
their culture and heritage. 

The collection encompasses three areas:
  • India proper, 
  • the Himalayas, and 
  • Southeast Asia. 
The collection covers the period of the entire artistic activity on the Indian subcontinent from the earliest (Neolithic) period until the 20th century.  It consists primarily of sculpture (in stone, metal, wood, terra cotta, and ivory) and paintings (book illustrations as well as devotional paintings on cloth as seen in the Himalayan tangkas), but it also includes some decorative arts such as jewelry and armor.

Recent performances  that occurred as part of the Performing Arts Series of Cleveland Museum of Art are:
  • L. Subramaniam and ensemble; 
  • Pre-concert talk by Sonya Quintanilla 
  • Sufi Devotional Music: Asif Ali Khan 
  • Nrityagram Dance Ensemble by Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy;
  • Pre-concert talk by Rajika Puri

Feb 3, 2014

Dalai Lama: Indians are corrupt, religious and educated

India is considered a religious country, but a lot of corruption is taking place in this country.  There are many corrupt people, and I think, the corrupt people are also highly educated.  They (some educated people) pray to God but the purpose of their prayer is to make their corrupt life more successful.

Indian cricket is a reflection of Indian
society-Rahul Dravid
 In western countries, secularism means being negative towards religion while in India it means respect of all religions, and India can promote religious harmony and 'ahimsa'.

Modern India is multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and multi-racial. It is like the United Nations. I feel the greatness of India. Its people are harmless, and it is an example to the rest of the world as people are living together happily.

- Dalai Lama at sixth convocation ceremony of the Martin Christian Luther University, Shillong, India

Dec 13, 2013

Indian Consulate General chick is too sexy for court

Devyani Khobragade in New York
What the fock.  Why can't Asian Indians pay fair wages to their employees whether it is at Patel Motels, Patel Subways, Patel grocery stores, Patel convenience stores, Patel gas stations, Srinivas IT companies, Subramaniam IT Inc?  I know Patels who are good people in their personal lives but as employers would eat shit for a dollar, you get the point.  Don't make money off of people who clean motel rooms, make sandwiches, man check out counters at gas stations.  Make money off your customers.  What is the reason for corporations outsourcing their jobs to Indian companies?  Low wages.  

So apparently Princess Devyani Khobragade's cavity was probed.  So what, if that's supposed to be the standard procedure?  What's the intake procedure in India?  Brown nosing for the rich, slapping the middle class Indian citizen and breaking the poor citizen's rib?  Its your bad luck princess, hope you enjoyed the cavity experience and learnt a lesson from it.  Princess Devyani Khobragade was not given special treatment, how outrageous.  Princess Devyani Khobragade was placed in a cell with prostitutes and drug workers.  How despicable (quoting Shiv Shankar Menon, India's National Security Adviser)?  F U Shiv Shankar Menon, treating her like any other American citizen is despicable?.  Aren't prostitutes and drug seekers human beings?  What's so special about this Indian princess from the Consulate General of India, New York?  When in New York, do as New Yorkers do, Princess.  Yeah, in America, Dalits from India are not coddled for political reasons. 

Paying nannies/house maids less than a decent wages is common in wild wild India.  So how does strip searching Devyani Khobragade translate into dishonor for India or its citizens?   India does not have to react to this like Muslim nations who bitch and moan whenever someone says anything that is against their religious fantasy.  The complaint against Devyani Khobragade is an allegation at this point, she is not guilty, yet.  So chillax and don't get your dhoti in a bunch. 

You think that this chick is too hot for a court appearance for a visa fraud charge?  This photo is from by Jefferson Siegel of New York Daily News and shows Devyani Khobragade leaving court with her attorney.  There are reports that indicate that Devyani Khobragade reportedly was one of 15 Indian officials named in an alleged housing scam related to Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society in Mumbai.  

Here's a list of flat owners in the Adarsh Society (,  Devyani Khobragade is 71:

1.  Shri RC Thakur      
2.  Brigadier MM Wanchu       
3.  Commander Rajiv Pilo     
4.  Commander AS Balakrishnan
5.  Surg Capt PS Tampi
6.  Shri Parmanand K Hinduja    
7.  Shri Sudhakar Laxman Madke    
8.  Smt Sushila Shaligram   
9.  Admiral Madhvendra Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
10.  Shri JM Abhyankar
11.  Shri PV Deshmukh (Was secretary in Urban Development department)
12.  Shri Gajanan S Koli     
13.  Shri Amol V Kharbhari     
14.  Shri Kiran Bhadange     
15.  Shri Kanhaiyalal Gidwani (Congress MLC)
16.  Shri Kailash K Gidwani (Son of Congress MLC Gidwani) 
17.  Shri Amit K Gidwani (Son of Congress MLC Gidwani)
18.  Shri Arun P Pawar
19.  Major Ashish Tandon   
20.  Lieutenant Commander A Puran Kumar     
21.  Major General VS Yadav
22.  Lieutenant General PK Rampal      
23.  Colonel Amarjeet Singh
24.  Lieutenant Colonel PH Ram      
25.  Brigadier AC Chopra
26.  Lieutenant Colonel RK Singh 
27.  Commander John Mathew    
28.  Major General Tej Kishen Kaul, PVSM, AVSM, VSM 
29.  Lieutenant General GS Sihota      
30.  Brigadier MD Singh      
31.  Commodore Gopal Bharati     
32.  Brigadier Romeshchander Sharma     
33.  Lieutenant General Shantanu Choudhry    
34.  Vice Admiral Madanjit Singh     
35.  Brigadier Tara Kant Sinha     
36.  Captain AP Singh      
37.  Lieutenant Commander Chunnilal 
38.  Shri Rajesh Shantilal Bora    
39.  Dr Arun V Dawle      
40.  Shri Sampat R Khidse     
41.  Shri Anand S Bharose  
42.  Smt Seema Vyas (wife of former collector Pradeep Vyas)
43.  Shri Kanishka J Phatak (son of former Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak)
44.  Miss Supriya V Maske     
45.  Shri Shriniwas D Patil     
46.  Shri Shivajirao C Deshmukh    
47.  Shri Shah Dhaval Rajesh     
48.  Ms Kavita S Godbole (related to Cong MLC Gidwani)
49.  Commander Harbhajan Singh (Retired)    
50.  Shri Malav J Shah  
51.  Shri Rajesh Kumar Das     
52.  Shri Aditya B Patil      
53.  Ms Sumeela Sethi      
54.  Shri Chandrashekar R Gaikwad   
55.  Shri Shivajirao Shankar Kale     
56.  Shri Krishnarao D Bhegade    
57.  Dr Sanjay Radkar      
58.  Shri Arun S Adate      
59.  Shri Jitendra S Awhad (NCP MLC)
60.  Miss Soniya S Kholapure     
61.  Shri Vishwas B Chougale    
62.  Shri Raghunath M Bhosale 
63.  Shri Suresh Prabhu (Shiv Sena)
64.  Shri Uttam Ghakare     
65.  Major NW Khankhoje     
66.  Shri Nivruti G Bhosale
67.  Shri Amar Singh Waghmare  
68.  Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh, VSM    
69.  Shri Krishnajirao Rakhmajirao Desai (alias) Babasaheb Kupekar (Former Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly)
70. Shri Ranjit Chintamani Sangitrao (son of bureaucrat)
71. Devyani Khobragade (daughter of former BEST GM Uttam Khobragade)
72. Lieutenant Commander Gurumukh S Grewal    
73. Smt Seema Vinod Sharma (Relative of Ashok Chavan)
74. Shri Jagdish Ambika Prasad Sharma
75. Shri Sajjan Singh Yadav     
76. Shri Kedari Vishal Kishore    
77. General Nirmal Chander Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM
78. General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC
79. Smt Idzes Angmo Kundan (former city collector, currently working in Secretariat)
80. Shri Onkar Tiwari (son of Ramanand Tiwari, then secretary of Urban Development Department)
81. Shri Balasahib Yeshwantrao Sawant
82. Shri Sadusing Fulsing Rajput   
83. Mr Mukundrao Govindrao Mankar
84. Mr Sanjoy Shankaran (son of former Chief Secretary D K Sankaran)
85. Mr Paramveer Abhey Sancheti
86. Mr Suresh Gulabrao Atram
87. Ms Sheetal Vinod Ganju 
88. Mr Anil Kumar Thakur     
89. Mr Bhavesh Ambalal Patel
90. Mrs Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma (Ashok Chavan's late mother-in-law)
91. Mr Madanlal Milkiram Sharma (Ashok Chavan's relative)
92. Mr Satyasandha Vinayak Barve    
93. Major General Ram Kanwar Hooda     
94. Mr Dhondiram Ganpati Waghmare
95. Colonel KJS Khurana                                        
96. Ms Raorane Rupali Harishchandra
97. Shri Siddhartha Sonu Gamre    
98. Shri Girish Pravinchandra Mehta   
99. Shri Manilal K Thakur
100. Petty Officer Sushil Chand Sharma  
101. Shri S B Chavan
102. Captain Praveen Kumar
103. Dr (Mrs) Archana Tiwari

Devyani Khobragade of Consulate General of India paid $3.31/hour to babysitter : USA

Devyani Khobragade vs USA:  Preet Bharara today announced the arrest of DEVYANI KHOBRAGADE on charges that Devyani KHOBRAGADE allegedly caused a materially false and fraudulent document to be presented, and materially false and fraudulent statements to be made, to the United States Department of State in support of a visa application for an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at Devyani KHOBRAGADE’s home in New York, New York. Devyani KHOBRAGADE is currently employed as the Deputy Consul General for Political, Economic, Commercial and Women’s Affairs at the Consulate General of India in New York, New York.

Devyani Khobragade of New York Consul General of India
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Foreign nationals brought to the United States to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to United States citizens. The false statements and fraud alleged to have occurred here were designed to circumvent those protections so that a visa would issue for a domestic worker who was promised far less than a fair wage. This type of fraud on the United States and exploitation of an individual will not be tolerated.”

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Diplomats and consular officers may obtain A-3 visas for their personal employees, domestic workers, and servants if they meet the requirements set out in 9 Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”) 41.22. As part of the application process, an interview at the embassy or consulate is required. Proof is required that the applicant will receive a fair wage, sufficient to support himself financially, comparable to that being offered in the area of employment in the U.S. To apply for an A-3 visa, the visa applicant must submit an employment contract signed by both the employer and the employee which must include, among other things, a description of duties, hours of work, the hourly wage – which must be the greater of the minimum wage under U.S. federal and state law, or the prevailing wage – for all working hours, overtime work, and payment.

DEVYANI KHOBRAGADE prepared and electronically submitted an application for an A-3 visa (the “Visa Application”) through the website for the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center for an Indian national (“Witness-1”), who was to be the personal employee of KHOBRAGADE beginning in November 2012 at an address in New York, New York. The Visa Application stated that Witness-1 was to be paid $4,500 per month in U.S. dollars. Devyani KHOBRAGADE and Witness-1 also signed an employment contract (the “First Employment Contract”) for Witness-1 to bring to Witness-1’s interview at the U.S. Embassy in India in connection with the Visa Application, which Witness-1 did at Devyani KHOBRAGADE’s direction. The First Employment Contract stated, among other things, that Devyani KHOBRAGADE would pay Witness-1 the prevailing or minimum wage, whichever is greater, resulting in an hourly salary of $9.75.

KHOBRAGADE knew that the First Employment Contract that KHOBRAGADE caused Witness-1 to submit to the U.S. State Department in connection with Witness-1’s Visa Application contained materially false and fraudulent statements about, among other things, Witness-1’s hourly wage and hours worked. Prior to the signing of the First Employment Contract, KHOBRAGADE and Witness-1 had agreed that KHOBRAGADE would pay 30,000 rupees per month, which at the time was equivalent to $573.07 U.S. At 40 hours per week, with approximately 4.3 weeks in a month, $573.07 equates to a rate of $3.31 per hour. However, Devyani KHOBRAGADE instructed Witness-1 to say that she would be paid $9.75 per hour, and not to say anything about being paid 30,000 rupees per month. Devyani KHOBRAGADE also instructed Witness-1 to say that Witness-1 would work 40 hours per week, and that Witness-1’s duty hours would be 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. She told Witness-1 that the First Employment Contract was a formality to get the visa.

After the First Employment Contract was submitted to the United States Department of State, Devyani KHOBRAGADE told Witness-1 that Witness-1 needed to sign another employment contract (the “Second Employment Contract”). Devyani KHOBRAGADE and Witness-1 signed the Second Employment Contract, which provided that Witness-1’s maximum salary per month including overtime allowance will not exceed 30,000 rupees per month. The Second Employment Contract does not contain any provision about the normal number of working hours per week or month.

Witness-1 worked for Devyani KHOBRAGADE as a household employee in New York, New York, from approximately November 2012 through approximately June 2013. Notwithstanding the terms of the First Employment Contract, Witness-1 worked far more than 40 hours per week, and Witness-1 was paid less than $9.75 per hour by KHOBRAGADE. In fact, notwithstanding the terms of the oral agreement between KHOBRAGADE and Witness-1 and the terms of the Second Employment Contract, Witness-1 was paid less than 30,000 rupees per month, or $3.31 per hour.
*                      *                      *
Devyani KHOBRAGADE, 39, was charged with one count of visa fraud and one count of making false statements, which carry maximum sentences of ten years and five years in prison, respectively. She is expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Bharara thanked the Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit for playing an integral role in this investigation, and for providing ongoing support in this prosecution.

The Office’s Organized Crime Unit is handling the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Kramer and Kristy Greenberg are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.