Thursday, August 17, 2017

Requested a correspondent to never refer to me as Prof. even jokingly

I had sent the contents of my recent post, A quick intro of Puttaparthi to non Sai devotee ex software industry colleague who is now based in USA, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1955750351308199, over mail to a correspondent who is an elderly Indian academic.

He responded by thanking me for the mail and referring to me as Prof. Iyer! Now, even in the past I had requested him to NOT refer to me as Prof. as I am NOT an academic. But I think he was using the word in a nice way to express his appreciation for my post.

But my problem is that .... I think what I wrote him next expresses my views quite well. I wrote:

Sairam sir!

Thanks.

But please, please do not refer to me as Prof., even jokingly. I have a very, very poor opinion of Indian academia and certainly do not consider Prof. to be a compliment (I actually consider it to be an insult).

Please do not be offended, sir. I think while you are an Indian academic, you are a nice person. I am afraid I cannot say that of many Indian academics and academic administrators today. I think it is the ***rotten*** Indian academic system that is to blame for this state of affairs and one hopes that HRD minister Javadekar's efforts to reform Indian academic system will bear fruit so that academics, including professors, do not neglect their teaching duties, and do not indulge in promoting fake research, giving fake PhDs and producing graduates with paper degrees but without appropriate knowledge thereby severely handicapping these young graduates in their quest to get a good job and lead a full life.
--- end my response---

Ravi: I was concerned about the elderly Indian academic getting upset by my having shared my frank and truthful views. Fortunately, his subsequent short response indicated that he did not get upset.

I responded by thanking him for his understanding and his Sai blessings.

I decided to put up this post as a way of letting other readers know that I become very, very uncomfortable if somebody refers to me, even jokingly, as (Indian UGC/AICTE academic) Professor. I earnestly request readers to please not refer to me, even jokingly, as Professor. I am NOT an (Indian) academic. I am a retired international software consultant who is now a social media writer on spirituality and religion.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A quick intro of Puttaparthi to non Sai devotee ex software industry colleague who is now based in USA

Given below is an edited version of a message I wrote to a second half of 1980s Mumbai software company colleague and friend of mine who is now based in the USA (been there for decades, I think), in response to him saying, perhaps half jokingly, that he should take some time off and join me to experience the peaceful life that I am enjoying in Puttaparthi. Note that, as far as I know, he has not visited Puttaparthi and is not a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

You and family are very welcome to visit Puttaparthi which is a pilgrim town with many similarities to Shirdi in Maharashtra. I will be glad to be your guide :-) to show you around the ashram, the outside ashram town (which has some challenges that most semi-urban India towns face including cleanliness challenges) and the surrounding areas of rural villages which are largely peaceful and tranquil showing the marked influence on them of Sri Sathya Sai Baba's life and teachings, including the extraordinary service to community activities started/inspired by him.

Puttaparthi, like other pilgrim towns in India, has its areas of intense activity. It also has its fair share of business people intent on making money by providing services to spiritual-tourists and general tourists. But it also has a lot of people devoted to the teachings of Sathya Sai of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema (and Ahmisa, though I personally have some issues with Ahimsa in the context of Adharmic and violent attacks).

Here are a few blog posts of mine with pics taken by me during my walks in the rural areas outside Puttaparthi town, that give you a taste of largely peaceful and tranquil rural village areas around Puttaparthi:
1) Some Nature photos of Puttaparthi from Nov. 2014 to Jan. 2015, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/03/some-nature-photos-of-puttaparthi-from.html
2) Washermen of Puttaparthi are part of its ecosystem/society; Automation threatens jobs & livelihood, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/washermen-of-puttaparthi-are-part-of.html
3) Sathya Sai advent is a worldly blessing to Puttaparthi low wage village workers too, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/08/sathya-sai-advent-is-worldly-blessing.html

BTW I should clarify that I do NOT imply that villagers around Puttaparthi are saintly! This region (Rayalaseema) is known for its rough-and-tough ways including murderous faction violence. However, most of the villages and villagers around Puttaparthi due to influence of Sathya Sai over many decades, do not typically exhibit that kind of murderous faction violence. Other crime, especially money related, is not uncommon in these villages, and there is rivalry too which gets into political domain as well. Overall though, these villagers are welcoming and respectful of outsiders including foreigners as many such persons have initiated social service projects in their villages, or helped the villagers in some other ways.

USA President Trump UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS racism and white supremacists BY NAME in context of Charlottesville tragedy!

This is copy-pasted on 15-Aug-2017 from http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-president-trump-unequivocally.html.

President Trump: "Racism is evil..." (C-SPAN), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJZQ8TfXb4Y, published Aug. 14th 2017

Mr. Trump says around 1:00 in the video:

But based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone.

I just met with FBI director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a Civil Rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others. To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence - you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. And we are all made by the same Almighty God. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our constitution.

Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.

Two days ago a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed. Her death fills us with grief and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love. We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth and their country. Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplified the very best of America and our hearts go out to their families, their friends and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation. In times such as these, America has always shown its true character - responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice. As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.

We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you very much.
--- end President Trump statement ---

Ravi: It was very heartening for me to watch USA president deliver the above statement. Now there is no doubt that right from the top positions of the Trump administration, the UNEQUIVOCAL message is that "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans." That resolves my previous disturbance and concern about a lack of such named condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, as expressed in a previous post here: "USA President Trump must condemn white nationalist hatred role in Charlottesville, Virginia terrorist road rage attack that killed 1 and hurt 19", http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-president-trump-needs-to.html.

I am honestly very grateful to USA President Trump for having made the above UNEQUIVOCAL AND NAMED CONDEMNATION of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. I think that sends a powerful message from the most powerful man in the USA and in the world, to not only all of USA, but all of the world, that racism, neo Nazism and any ethnic superiority groups are evil and will not be tolerated, especially in today's early 21st century world.

I pray to Almighty God to help USA President Trump and his team to overcome and defeat all racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacist and other hate-and-violence based groups (including any groups that breed hatred and advocate violence against whites and Christians) and their ideologies, in the USA.

Please note that I have a PUBLICLY NEUTRAL informal-student-observer role in these posts that I put up about USA politics. Of course, as I am an Indian citizen living in India, there is no question of me having voted in USA elections.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari's warning to Centre: Insecurity among Muslims

Outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari's warning to Centre: Insecurity among Muslims, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/vice-president-hamid-ansari-rajya-sabha-pm-narendra-modi/1/1022803.html, dated Aug. 10th 2017

Ravi: I think the outgoing Hon'ble vice-president of India, Shri Hamid Ansari's views must be carefully considered by PM Narendra Modi's govt. Note that Ansari sahab is a Muslim.

I hold the view that Hindus (including me), the majority in India today, should go the extra mile to create an ambiance where minorities like Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains etc. and also those of no religion/no faith, feel that India is their country as much as it is of Hindus, and feel that they are being treated with dignity and respect.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wonderful USA Embassy India video of young USA friends adopting Hindu Raksha Bandhan function

Here's the USA Embassy India Facebook video link: https://www.facebook.com/India.usembassy/videos/1407413826041309/, around 1 min, published on 7th Aug. 2017. It has the following text with it: "आप सभी को रक्षाबंधन की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। Happy #Rakhi to all!"

Given below are two screenshots from the above video.





Ravi: Here's the comment I put up on the video (and in my Facebook share of the video):
Awesome! Thanks a ton, USA Embassy India, for this post showing the appreciation and adoption of the wonderful function of Hindu Raksha Bandhan, the bond of LOVE AND DUTY between sister and brother, by some young USA friends. Great video, Lincoln and Cristina! Happy Raksha Bandhan to both of you.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raksha_Bandhan, "The festival celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. It is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister type of relationship between men and women who may or may not be biologically related. On Raksha Bandhan, a sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother's wrist with a prayer for his prosperity and happiness. This symbolizes the sister's love. The brother gives her a token gift and a promise to protect her."

#USIndiaDosti bani rahe! [May US-India friendship be sustained (flourish)!]

[I thank USA Embassy India, Lincoln and Cristina, and wikipedia, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above screenshot pics from their above mentioned PUBLIC Facebook video, and extract from their website (wikipedia) on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Venkaiah Naidu is elected as Vice-President of India

[This post is copy-pasted on 6th Aug. 2017 from http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/venkaiah-naidu-is-elected-as-vice.html.]

Venkaiah Naidu elected as Vice President, says now I am a non-party man, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/venkaiah-naidu-elected-as-vice-president-says-now-i-am-a-non-party-man-4784361/, 6th Aug. 2017.

Ravi: Given below are contents of my Facebook posts related to this subject.

From https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1949396425276925:

Venkaiah Naidu is elected as Vice-President of India

Congratulations and best wishes to, and prayers for, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu Garu for a very successful term as Vice-President of India.

Here is PM Narendra Modi's post congratulating Venkaiah Naidu: https://www.facebook.com/narendramodi/photos/a.10150164299700165.421791.177526890164/10159213805760165/

Given below is a pic of Shri Venkaiah Naidu offering obeisance at Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi in Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi on Aradhana day, 24th April 2016. Another pic of the same function is also given below.




========================================================================

Share of A.P. CM Chandrababa Naidu Garu post: https://www.facebook.com/tdp.ncbn.official/photos/a.1517996571762605.1073741829.1486073284954934/1972519399643651/

Text: Congratulations to Sri M Venkaiah Naidu Garu on being elected as the Vice President of India. A very well-deserved victory indeed. Wish him a successful journey as he embarks upon his new duties. He will surely lead the nation with wisdom and grace.



========================================================================

Recent Tweets from Vice-President elect of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu

"With all humility, I express my gratitude to every MP who supported my candidature cutting across party lines.", https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/893836722735161344.

"I promise to uphold the Constitution and the high standards set by my esteemed predecessors.", https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/893836838141534208.

"It's an honour for me to become Vice President from a family of an ordinary farmer.This Speaks for the beauty & strength of our democracy", https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/893843163369963520.

"I thank Sh Hamid Ansari ji for his kind wishes. I will try to continue the legacy of this prestigious institution for development of nation", https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/893855207582384129.

"I thank President Sh Ramnath Kovind for his kind wishes.", https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/893861410484047877.

"I am overwhelmed by the warm wishes of PM Sri @narendramodi at my residence today", https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/893869573933367296. Pic attached to tweet is given below.


========================================================================


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Open letter to Sachin Tendulkar to BEWARE of Madhusudan Rao Naidu's FALSE CLAIMS wrt Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Dear Bharat Ratna Shri Sachin Tendulkar,

Sairam sir!

I saw an invitation card of an event today, 3rd Aug. 2017, at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care & Research in Baghola, Dist. Palwal, Haryana, scheduled at 4 PM, where you are going to launch an effort to help detect and cure heart diseases in children for free. I appreciate the wonderful service to society objective of this effort and wish the concerned people all the best.

However, I do have a great concern about the possible presence at the event of Shri Madhusudan Rao Naidu, an alumnus of the Sai university (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning), who has trapped thousands of devotees of our beloved and revered Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in India and around the world with his FALSE CLAIM of being a so called communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Over the past few months, the FALSE CLAIM has progressed even further to saying that Bhagavan enters the body of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, and that Madhusudan Rao Naidu then BECOMES Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. They FALSELY CLAIM that Madhusudan Rao Naidu personality disappears at that time and that there is only Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (in body of Madhusudan Rao Naidu)!

I would like to inform you that if Madhusudan Rao Naidu is present at the event, the organizers will try to click a photograph of you and Madhusudan Rao Naidu together. They will then use the photograph extensively on social media and elsewhere claiming that you are a devotee of 'subtle body' which is the false theory they use to promote Madhusudan Rao Naidu's false claims and trap even more Sathya Sai devotees into their FALSE BELIEF.

As you may be knowing, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has clearly said that he never enters into the bodies of others to interact with His devotees, neither does He use mediums and communicators to interact with His devotees. Bhagavan has said that his interactions with devotees are DIRECT and heart-to-heart. You may want to see this around 1 minute video of Bhagavan, "Sathya Sai Baba: Direct connection between you & me", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp-4N2W3S8c, where Bhagavan emphasises the "DIRECT CONNECTION" between Him and his devotees (like us). Note that Bhagavan saying that he is the indweller (antaryaami) is very different from the FALSE CLAIM of Bhagavan entering the body of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, after which they FALSELY CLAIM that Madhusudan Rao Naidu BECOMES Bhagavan.





Sir, I would also like to say, 'THANK YOU', for the great joy you have given to me over the years with not only your wonderful and scintillating cricketing performances on the field but also the dignity and character you demonstrated on and off the cricket field. That has made you an admired, greatly liked and revered icon of India and some other parts of the world, far beyond just the cricketing field and cricket fan community.

I am a former Mumbaikar (born in Malad and have lived in Dadar, Bandra (E) and Andheri) and a former Dombivlikar, who has lived in Puttaparthi since Oct. 2002. Shri Chandrakant Pandit and Shri Lalchand Rajput who have been your cricketing teammates in Mumbai, and, if I recall correctly, a few times in the national Indian cricket team as well, were my college student colleagues in Ruia college, Matunga, in the late 70s and early 80s. I did not interact with them then but have seen them at the nets on the cricket grounds opposite Ruia college, so many times. Following cricket was a big part of my boyhood and college student life as a Mumbaikar (and Dombivlikar) right from the times of another great cricketing star of Mumbai and India, Shri Sunil Gavaskar.

If you do get to read this open letter and would like to ask me anything about the matter of Madhusudan Rao Naidu's FALSE CLAIMS and MISGUIDANCE of thousands of Sathya Sai devotees in India and around the world, I would be glad to interact with you. BTW besides Hindi and English, I also speak reasonable Marathi though I have been out of touch with Marathi ever since I moved to Puttaparthi in Oct. 2002. You can make the initial contact through Facebook private (Or public) message or over email - my public email id is ravi@raviiyer.org. I can then provide you my telephone number for a private phone conversation.



If Shri Sunil Gavaskar sir, who is a well known Sathya Sai devotee, reads this letter and would like to interact with me about Madhusudan Rao Naidu's FALSE CLAIMS and MISGUIDANCE, I would be glad to do so. Gavaskar saheb was my boyhood cricketing hero! For boys of Mumbai in the 1970s, who can forget the world changing (for them) 1970/71 Indian cricket team tour of West Indies and England when Ajit Wadekar's team (Wadekar is also from Mumbai) with the young Sunil Gavaskar and others did what was viewed as IMPOSSIBLE THEN by beating both the West Indies and England in their own countries/regions! Sunil Gavaskar emerged as a great cricket star with that tour. After that tour, if I recall correctly, as a Dadar school boy then I had the great joy of casually coming across Sunil Gavaskar in Dadar near his uncle's home (near Tilak bridge) and, if I recall correctly, Gavaskar exchanged a few words with my school chum and me then, to our great surprise and joy. I have lots of memories of Sunil Gavaskar sir's cricketing exploits and the joy he brought to so many of us. So it will be a great privilege for me to interact with Gavaskar saheb, if he would like to.

Thanks & Regards

Ravi S. Iyer
Social media writer on spirituality & religion and retired international software consultant, Puttaparthi, India

Spiritual/Religious Websites/Blogs
* About Sri Sathya Sai Baba and more: ravisiyer.blogspot.com
* God & science conversation and a little more: iami1.wordpress.com/god-and-science-toc

Software Websites/Blogs
* Indian CS & IT Academic Reform Activism: eklavyasai.blogspot.com/p/table-of-contents.html
* Course material related to computer programming (software lab.) courses: raviiyerteaches.wordpress.com

Misc. Topics Blogs
* ravisiyermisc.blogspot.com/
* ravisiyer.wordpress.com/category/misc/

e-mail:   ravi@raviiyer.org
Twitter:  twitter.com/RaviSaiIyer
Google+:  google.com/+RaviSIyerSai
Facebook: facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7

Service to Society is Service to God
====================================================================
An update:

No photo of Madhusudan Rao Naidu when Sachin Tendulkar launches India Cares at Sanjeevani hospital, Baghola, Haryana. What a relief!

https://www.facebook.com/SachinTendulkar/photos/a.402901949734010.98326.344128252278047/1613918035299056/ shows a pic of Bharat Ratna Shri Sachin Tendulkar launching the India Cares initiative of Sanjeevani hospital, Baghola, Haryana, which is a free service to detect and cure heart diseases in children.

The accompanying message by Sachin Tendulkar praises the "act of compassion" of the India Cares project and says that he is honoured to have "attend"ed the launch event. To my great relief, the message makes no mention of any 'subtle body' or 'light body' of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and no mention of any communicator/medium nor any mention of Madhusudan Rao Naidu.

I also saw a few pics elsewhere of the launch event on Facebook. Madhusudan Rao Naidu was not present in any of the pics. I find that to be a great relief as otherwise we may have seen an advertisement/marketing campaign from Muddenahalli group claiming that Sachin Tendulkar is a devotee of Muddenahalli 'subtle body'/'light body' and that he believes in Madhusudan Rao Naidu's communicator claim (FALSE CLAIM).

I put up the following comment on the above Facebook pic of Sachin Tendulkar, "Appreciate the service to society and 'act of compassion' of 'India Cares'. Wish them all the very best.

But also have to say that I am greatly relieved to see that Madhusudan Rao Naidu, the FALSE CLAIM so-called communicator, is not present in this photo."