“Buddha” is not a personal name. It is an honorific title that means “awakened one.” Buddha’s real name was Siddhartha Gautama.
Approximately 500 million people around the world, or about 10% of the world’s population, practice Buddhism.
Some Buddhist monks practice sokushinbutsu (”a Buddha in this very body”), which
is a type of self-mummification. Between the 12th and early 20th
century, monks would eat pine needles, berries, tree bark, resin, and
certain herbs to help starve and preserve the body.
Unlike many other religions, there is no central text in Buddhism.
to legend, Buddha was born in Nepal under a full moon in a beautiful
garden; the sky rained flower petals and the earth shook.
Queen Māyā of Sakya, the Buddha’s mother, died seven days after miraculously giving birth to him
to legend, the Buddha was conceived by a mortal mother (Queen Maya) and
a baby white elephant in the eastern part of India sometime between the
6th and 4th centuries BC.
statues of the Buddha depict him with short, curly hair to show that he
denounced his privileged past. Usually, the wealthy elite would sport a
Statues of the
Buddha often show him with half closed eyes, which is meant to show a
state of meditation and, moreover, a state of indifference to the
Siddhartha Gautama (the
Buddha) came from a Hindu family, and both religions overlap somewhat.
The major difference is that Hinduism is clearly a theistic religion,
whereas Buddhism is mostly non-theistic.
other religious practices, Buddhism does not require a person to
believe in a creator god or gods. Buddhism believes in three elemental
concepts: 1) nothing is permanent, 2) all actions have consequences, and
3) it is possible to change.
the earliest Buddhist texts were orally transmitted and written down
hundreds of years after Buddha’s death, scholars cannot say with
certainty what Buddha himself taught.
When the Buddha was asked to sum up his teachings in a single word, he said, “Awareness.”
If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism.
- Albert Einstein
Buddha has often been called the “Great Physician” because he was
primarily concerned with identifying the cause of human suffering and
finding way to eliminate it.
According to the Buddha, the secret to happiness is simple: To want what you have and not want what you don’t have.
people in India at the time of the Buddha were Hindus, and he is often
depicted alongside Hindu gods, such as Brahma “the Creator,” and Indra,
“God of Rain and Warfare.”
Marco Polo, “had [Buddha] been a Christian, he would have been a great
saint of our Lord Jesus Christ, so good and pure was the life he led.”
The image of the Budai, or Laughing Buddha, is often confused with Gautama Buddha
“fat” Buddha that people often see in restaurants is not The Buddha,
Gautama Buddha. Rather, he is a character in Chinese folklore called
Depictions of the Buddha often
show him with webbed toes, rounded ankles, and projecting heels, which,
according to legend, are signs of a great man.
The Buddha is a canonized saint of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
to tradition, the Buddha lived during the 5th century BC and died at
the age of 80. He died lying on his right side between two Sal trees,
which, according to legend, miraculously bloomed out of season.
different theories of Buddhism may have claimed that women could not
achieve Nirvana, the Buddha himself said that there was no reason that
women could not achieve enlightenment.
is usually shown with elongated earlobes, which symbolize wisdom and
understanding. Some scholars also suggest it represents his former life
as wealthy person
The Buddha is often depicted wearing a flamelike headdress, which represents the light of supreme knowledge.
The Buddha’s teachings are also referred to as the dhamma, which means doctrine, truth, or law.
Buddhists do not believe in an essential soul or self.
scientists studied the brains of Buddhist monks, they found that
meditation actually changed the monks’ brainwaves in a way that
increased feelings of happiness and resiliency.
MRIs show that meditation changes the brain
to legend, after the Buddha was cremated, a single tooth remained.
Additionally, whoever is in possession of the tooth is the rightful
leader of Buddhism. The tooth is currently housed in a $62 million
dollar temple in Sri Lanka.
Buddha died and was cremated, his ashes were divided and buried among
his followers in India. A large, dome-shaped mound called a tupa was
built at each burial site.
is sometimes symbolized as an umbrella. In Buddha’s time, members of the
royalty were protected from the sun and rain by parasols, hence it
became a symbol of protection.
image of soccer star David Beckham is enshrined on a frieze in Bangkok,
with the likes of bodhisattvas (buddhas) and gods. His popular status
earned him a place among the gods.
Jobs traveled through India in 1974 and studied Zen Buddhism (Matthew Yohe / Creative Commons)
note that Steve Jobs had strong leanings toward Buddhism, particularly
its emphasis on focus, simplicity, and perfection, all of which he tried
to implement in his Apple designs.
Uma Thurman’s father is a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies
and was the first Westerner to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk.
The world’s two largest standing Buddhas used to be in Afghanistan. However, in 2001 the Taliban destroyed the huge Buddhas.
largest seated Buddha in the world was carved out of the rock face of
Lingyun Hill in Leshan, China, about 800 AD. The statue stands about 230
feet (70 m) tall and the shoulders measure 90 ft (30 m) across.
Buddhism, there is no devil. Instead, something is “evil” if it causes
suffering. According to Buddha, the cause of the most suffering is our
ego, or the concept that we are separate from the world. When the ego
ends, happiness begins.
The Buddha is
not worshipped. While some in Hinduism view the Buddha as an incarnation
of Vishnu, most Buddhists think that Buddha is human.
According to Buddhism, anyone can be a “buddha,” after they successfully attain enlightenment.
Buddhism, there is no Jesus Christ to save a person from their sins.
Simply believing in Buddhism does not offer any type of grace; rather,
each person is responsible for finding their enlightenment.
lotus is an important symbol in Buddhism. It represents the journey of
enlightenment because it grows from the muddy water into the light, just
as a “buddha” or enlightened one does.
The lotus symbolizes wealth, prosperity, purity, and fertility
can exist without Buddha. In other words, the Buddha shared his
findings, but he did not create them. Additionally, Buddhism is not
exclusive to just his followers.
most religions concern themselves with the creation and the afterlife,
in Buddhism, the most important concept is to let go of the past and
future to focus on the moment.
some Buddhist sects believe in heaven and hell, most Buddhists believe
heaven or hell is a state of mind. In short, by shifting our awareness,
we attain a different level of consciousness.
many Buddhists believe in reincarnation, some do not. A Buddhist is
allowed to believe in whatever they wish while they practice Buddhism’s
Buddhists include Courtney Love, Allen Ginsberg, Kate Bosworth, Leonard
Cohen, Orlando Bloom, Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Tiger Woods, and Tina
Guan Yin is a an important
Buddhist goddess. Known as the “Goddess of Mercy” or “The One Who
Perceives the Sounds of the World,” this bodhisattva is sometimes
depicted as both male and female to show the divinity’s transcendence
Schopenhauer (1788–1860) is considered to be the first European Buddhist
first major Western thinker to take an interest in Buddhism was German
philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860). He saw it as the most
rational and ethically evolved of all the world religions.
to legend, the Buddha sat under a tree, the Bo tree, for 49 days. After
being tempted by demons, he discovered the Four Noble Truths and the
Eightfold Path to Nirvana (ultimate bliss).
Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are the following: 1) existence is
suffering, 2) the cause of suffering is craving and attachment, 3)
suffering stops at some point and turns into Nirvana, and 4) the path to
Nirvana consists of eight steps, which is called the Eightfold Path.
three major branches of Buddhism in the modern world are Mahayana
Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and Vajrayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism
is believed to be the largest branch, with Theravada Buddhism and
Vajrayana coming in second and third, respectively.
Eightfold Path to Nirvana is to be moderate in 8 areas: 1)
concentration, 2) views, 3) speech, 4) resolve, 5) action, 6)
livelihood, 7) effort, and mindfulness.
to Buddhism, karma is the basis for living a moral and good life.
Literally translated as “action,” “effect,” or “fate,” karma can be seen
as a type of elevator that takes people from one floor of consciousness
Approximately 1 in 7 Asian Americans, or 14%, are Buddhist.
four million Americans now practice Buddhism, which is more than the
number of Episcopalians. Of these, about half have post-graduate
The Buddha’s last words were, “Decay is inherent in all things: be sure to strive with clarity of mind (for Nirvana).”
ultimate goal of Buddhism is to put an end to suffering and rebirth.
The way to end suffering is by fulfilling the human potential for
goodness and happiness.
eight parts of the path to liberation are grouped into three essential
elements of Buddhist practice: moral conduct, mental discipline, and
symbol of the Noble Eightfold Path represents the Buddhist faith. Its
eight spokes represent the “Middle Way,” which means a Buddhist life
should not be too hard nor too easy.
doesn’t have a single leader, and there is not a central office similar
to that of the Pope in Catholicism, which means Buddhism tends to
The Buddha had only
one son named Rahula (”Fetter”). Shortly after he was born, the Buddha
left his family to seek enlightenment. His son would later become the
first Sāmanera (novice monk).
Buddhists in Asia do not refer to their religion as “Buddhism.” Rather, they call it either Dharma (”law”) or the Buddha-sasana (”teachings of the Buddha”).
Buddhists have adopted a policy of peaceful resistance to the invasion
of their country by the Chinese in 1950 after a million Tibetans were
killed and over 6,000 monasteries were destroyed.
6 1 Share Golden Lion Edu Published on May 1, 2013
Sigalovada sutta (singal — to sigalaka / ovada — advice / sutta
-discourse) which belongs to the Digha Nikaya in Sutta Pitaka is one of
the most well-known discourses in Buddhist world. It is one of the
greatest and most valuable set of teachings which deals with basic
morality, building and preserving wealth, friendships, the reciprocal
responsibilities in social relationships, and the qualities of
successful persons. It is also called Gihi Vinaya or laymen’s discourse.
The laymen’s code of discipline or laymen’s Dhamma. This sutta
beautifully describes and gives a clear picture of the domestic and
social life of the lay people. Category Education
Do not fall away from happiness. [Buddha’s wisdom]
What follows is based on Digha Nikaya 31: Sigalovada Sutta (The Discourse to Sigala – “A Layperson’s Guidelines”. Below are extracts and slight modulations.
On one occasion the Exalted One [Buddha] was dwelling in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’
Sanctuary, near Rajagaha. There he set down guidelines for householders.
A few of them have been slightly adjusted here.
Inasmuch the good disciple
has eradicated the four vices in conduct, 
commits no evil action [as enumerated in the following text - or otherwise],
abstains from dissipating wealth, avoiding fourteen evil things, covering six
life areas appropriately, and entering on the victorious path for here and hereafter
he is favoured in this world and in the world beyond: After death he enters a
happy heavenly realm. [Mod Buddha]
 kamma-kilesa, lit., ‘actions of
The destruction of life, householder, is a vice and so are stealing, sexual misconduct,
and lying. [Buddha]
Killing, stealing, lying and adultery, these four evils the wise never praise.
The fit disciple is not led by desire, anger, ignorance, and fear. He commits no
Whoever through desire, hate or fear, or ignorance should transgress the Dhamma, all
his glory fades away. Whoever through desire, hate or fear, or ignorance never
transgresses the Dhamma, all his glory ever increases. [Buddha]
Channels of Misery to Come
3. What are the six channels for dissipating wealth which a follower does not pursue?
indulgence in intoxicants which cause infatuation and heedlessness;
sauntering in streets at unseemly hours;
frequenting theatrical shows;
indulgence in gambling which causes heedlessness;
association with evil companions;
the habit of idleness.
(a) There are these six evil consequences in indulging in intoxicants which cause
infatuation and heedlessness:
loss of wealth,
increase of quarrels,
susceptibility to disease,
earning an evil reputation,
shameless exposure of body,
weakening of intellect.
(b) There are these six evil consequences in sauntering in streets at unseemly hours:
he himself is unprotected and unguarded,
his wife and children are unprotected and unguarded,
his property is unprotected and unguarded,
he is suspected of evil deeds, 
he is subject to false rumours,
he meets with many troubles.
 Crimes committed by others.
(c) There are these six evil consequences in frequenting theatrical shows: He is ever
where is there dancing?
where is there singing?
where is there music?
where is there recitation?
where is there playing with cymbals?
where is there pot-blowing? 
 A form of amusement.
(d) There are these six evil consequences in indulging in gambling:
the winner begets hate,
the loser grieves for lost wealth,
loss of wealth,
his word is not relied upon in a court of law,
he is despised by his friends and associates,
he is not sought after for matrimony; for people would say he is a gambler and is
not fit to look after a wife.
(e) There are these six evil consequences in associating with evil companions, namely:
any gambler, any libertine, any drunkard, any swindler, any cheat, any rowdy is his
friend and companion.
(f) There are these six evil consequences in being addicted to idleness: He does no work,
that it is extremely cold,
that it is extremely hot,
that it is too late in the evening,
that it is too early in the morning,
that he is extremely hungry,
that he is too full.
Living in this way, he leaves many duties undone, new wealth he does not get, and
wealth he has acquired dwindles away. [Buddha]
One is a bottle friend; one says, ‘friend, friend’ only to one’s face; one is a friend
and an associate only when it is advantageous. [Buddha]
Sleeping till sunrise, adultery, irascibility, malevolence, evil companions, avarice
– these six causes ruin a man. [Buddha]
The man who has evil comrades and friends is given to evil ways, to ruin does he fall
in both worlds — this one and the next. [Buddha]
Dice, women, liquor, dancing, singing, sleeping by day, sauntering at unseemly hours,
evil companions, avarice — all these causes ruin a man. [Buddha]
Who plays with dice and drinks intoxicants, goes to women who are dear unto others as
their own lives, associates with the mean and not with elders — he declines just as
the moon during the waning half. [Buddha]
Who . . . frequents the bars, sinks in debt as a stone in water, swiftly brings
disrepute to his family. [With Buddha]
Who by habit sleeps by day, and keeps late hours, is ever intoxicated, and is
licentious, is not fit to lead a household life. [Buddha]
Who says it is too hot, too cold, too late, and leaves things undone, the
opportunities for good go past such men. [Buddha]
But he who does not regard cold or heat any more than a blade of grass and who does
his duties manfully, does not fall away from happiness. [Buddha]
These four should be understood as warm-hearted friends:
(1) he who is a helpmate,
(2) he who is the same in happiness and sorrow,
(3) he who gives good counsel,
(4) he who sympathises. [Buddha]
1) In four ways should a helpmate be understood as a warm-hearted friend:
he guards the heedless,
he protects the wealth of the heedless,
he becomes a refuge when you are in danger,
when there are commitments he provides you with double the supply needed.
(2) In four ways should one who is the same in happiness and sorrow be understood as a
he reveals his secrets,
he conceals one’s own secrets,
in misfortune he does not forsake one,
even his life he sacrifices for one’s sake.
(3) In four ways should one who gives good counsel be understood as a warm-hearted
he restrains one from doing evil,
he encourages one to do good,
he informs one of what is unknown to oneself,
he points out the path to heaven.
(4) In four ways should one who sympathises be understood as a warm-hearted friend:
he does not rejoice in one’s misfortune,
he rejoices in one’s prosperity,
he restrains others speaking ill of oneself,
he praises those who speak well of oneself.
The friend who is a helpmate,
the friend in happiness and woe,
the friend who gives good counsel,
the friend who sympathises too –
these four as friends the wise behold
and cherish them devotedly
as does a mother her own child. [Buddha]
The wise and virtuous shine like a blazing fire. [Buddha]
Real understanding of friendly service may also be had through the four life ideals in Hinduism. They are artha, wealth; kama, pleasures; dharma, righteousness; and moksha, liberation.
1. Those who set out to hinder our getting solvent, our fine pleasures,
hamper or hinder righteousness, and keep us from better freedom
degrees, are not friends. They function more or less as enemies of our long-run welfare. Those who take our all right confidence away, may be of the same ilk.
2. Those who do not hinder or thwart our getting in our way towards
realising the four goals, but do not help us a bit either, may be
classified as just so-so. Many associates may be of such a kind, or be
seen as bartering ones. Skilful trade (bartering) leaves both parties
3. Those who help us through ups and downs are good friends. How able
they are, is another matter. But those who help us toward getting
solvency, or usher it in, are good friends. Those who help us getting
abler, likewise. Those who allow us or help us to get fine pleasures are
friends too, and should be remembered and treated as such. Those who
tell us what is right or proper for us, are also friends, even if their
frienly counsels may be hard to take at the time.
4. And those who help us toward more freedom may be the best friends of
all - there is inner freedom, mental, and outer freedom, to name some
of them, and “every little helps,” hopefully. - TK
In five ways . . . a child should minister to his parents . . .:
Having supported me I shall support them,
I shall do their duties,
I shall keep the family tradition,
I shall make myself worthy of my inheritance,
furthermore I shall offer alms in honour of my departed relatives. 
In five ways the parents thus ministered to . . . by their children, show their
they restrain them from evil,
they encourage them to do good,
they train them for a profession,
they arrange a suitable marriage,
at the proper time they hand over their inheritance to them.
In these five ways do children minister to their parents . . . and the parents show their
compassion to their children. Thus is [very much of personal life] covered by them and
made safe and secure. [Buddha]
Pupils and Teachers
In five ways a pupil should minister to a teacher . . .:
by rising from the seat in salutation,
by attending on him,
by eagerness to learn,
by personal service,
by respectful attention while receiving instructions.
In five ways do teachers thus ministered to . . . by their pupils, show their compassion:
they train them in the best discipline,
they see that they grasp their lessons well,
they instruct them in the arts and sciences,
they introduce them to their friends and associates,
they provide for their safety in every quarter.
The teachers thus ministered to . . . by their pupils, show their compassion towards them
in these five ways. Thus is [facets of group living] covered by them and made safe and
Husband and Wife
In five ways should a wife . . . be ministered to by a husband:
by being courteous to her,
by not despising her,
by being faithful to her,
by handing over authority to her,
by providing her with adornments.
The wife thus ministered to . . . by her husband shows her compassion to her husband in
she performs her duties well,
she is hospitable to relations and attendants 
she is faithful,
she protects what he brings,
she is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.
 lit., ‘the folk around’ (parijana).
In these five ways does the wife show her compassion to her husband who ministers to her
. . . Thus is the [partner area] covered by him and made safe[r] and [far more] secure.
On Friendly Terms with Relatives, on and up
In five ways should a clansman minister to his friends and associates in the [area of
by courteous speech,
by being helpful,
by being impartial,
The friends and associates thus ministered to . . . by a clansman show compassion to him
in five ways:
they protect him when he is heedless,
they protect his property when he is heedless,
they become a refuge when he is in danger,
they do not forsake him in his troubles,
they show consideration for his family.
The friends and associates thus ministered to . . . by a clansman show their compassion
towards him in these five ways. Thus is the [esteem area] covered by him and made safe[r]
and [far more] secure. [Buddha]
Serving and Administering
In five ways should a master minister to his servants and employees as the [bottom
by assigning them work according to their ability,
by supplying them with food and with wages,
by tending them in sickness,
by sharing with them any delicacies,
by granting them leave at times.
The servants and employees thus ministered to as the [deep area] Nadir by their master
show their compassion to him in five ways:
they rise before him,
they go to sleep after him,
they take only what is given,
they perform their duties well,
they uphold his good name and fame.
The servants and employees thus ministered to . . . show their compassion towards him in
these five ways. Thus is the [bottom field of life] covered by him and made safe and
Recluses and Intellectuals and . . .
In five ways should a householder minister to ascetics and brahmans as the [top area]:
by lovable deeds,
by lovable words,
by lovable thoughts,
by keeping open house to them,
by supplying their material needs.
The ascetics and brahmans thus ministered to . . . by a householder show their
compassion towards him in six ways:
they restrain him from evil,
they persuade him to do good,
they love him with a kind heart,
they make him hear what he has not heard,
they clarify what he has already heard,
they point out the path to a heavenly state.
In these six ways do ascetics and brahmans show their compassion towards a householder
who ministers to them as [of the top area]. Thus is the [top area] covered by him and
made safe[r] and [better and perhaps more] secure. [These are evil times]
The four main directions of the compass and up and
down constitute a framework and relate to a fundamental symbolism: As the new day beings
in the East, so life begins with parents’ care; teacher’s fees are associated with the
South; domestic cares follow when the youth becomes man, as the West [representing
partners, friends etc.] holds the later daylight; North is ‘beyond’ (uttara), so by help
of friends and so on he can get beyond troubles.” – (cf. Rhys Davids). The symbolism
not credited too much in the West, and is, after all, secondary; the good points are as
given by Buddha anyway.
. . .
Favorable Qualities for Householders
Who is wise and virtuous,
Gentle and keen-witted,
Humble and amenable,
Such a one may attain to honour. [Buddha]
Who is energetic and not indolent,
In misfortune unshaken,
Flawless in manner and intelligent,
Such a one may attain to honour. [Buddha]
Who is hospitable, and friendly,
Liberal and unselfish,
A guide, an instructor, a leader,
Such a one may attain to honour. [Buddha]
Generosity, sweet speech,
Helpfulness to others,
Impartiality to all,
As the case demands. [Buddha]
These four winning ways make the world go round.
. . .
These four winning ways the wise appraise in every way,
To eminence they attain, and should gain praise. [Mod Buddha]
The young householder Sigala said: “Excellent! It is as if a man were to:
set upright that which was overturned,
reveal that which was hidden,
point out the way to one who had gone astray,
hold a lamp amidst the darkness,
so that those who have eyes may see.”
The old doctrine has been explained.
Two bamboo grasses now: a grove later if things go well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch… The Chant of Metta（English Version）by Imee Ooi dex752 Published on Oct 15, 2015 The Chant of Metta（English version） by Imee Ooi
May I be free from enmity and danger May I be free from mental suffering May I be free from physical suffering May I take care of myself happily May my parents teacher relatives and friends fellow Dhamma farers be free from enmity and danger be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering may they take care of themselves happily May all yogis in this compound be free from enmity and danger be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May all monks in this compound novice monks laymen and laywomen disciples be free from enmity and danger be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May our donors of the four supports: clothing, food, medicine and lodging be free from enmity and danger be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering May they take care of themselves happily May our guardian devas in this monastery in this dwelling in this compound May the guardian devas be free from enmity and danger be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering may they take care of themselves happily May all beings all breathing things all creatures all individuals (all beings) all personalities (all beings with mind and body) may all females all males all noble ones (saints) all worldlings (those yet to attain sainthood) all devas (deities) all humans all those in the four woeful planes be free from enmity and dangers be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering may they take care of themselves happily May all being be free from suffering May whatever they have gained not be lost All beings are owners of their own Kamma in the eastern direction in the western direction in the northern direction in the southern direction in the southeast direction in the northwest direction in the northeast direction in the southwest direction in the direction below in the direction above May all beings all breathing things all creatures all individuals (all beings) all personalities (all beings with mind and body) may all females all males all noble ones (saints) (those yet to attain sainthood) all devas (deities) all humans all those in the 4 woeful planes be free from enmity and dangers be free from mental suffering be free from physical suffering may they take care of themselves happily May all beings be free from suffering May whatever they have gained not be lost All beings are owners of their own kamma As far as the highest plane of existence to as far down as the lowest plane in the entire universe whatever beings that move on earth may they be free from mental suffering and enmity may they be free from physical suffering and danger As far as the highest plane of existence to as far down as the lowest plane in the entire universe whatever beings that move on water may they be free from mental suffering and enmity may they be free from physical suffering and danger As far as the highest plane of existence to as far down as the lowest plane in the entire universe whatever beings that move in air may they be free from mental suffering and enmity may they be free from physical suffering and danger Category Music Music in this video Learn more Song 慈經﹝中文唸誦版﹞ Artist 黃慧音 Album 慈經 Licensed to YouTube by Wind Music TV (on behalf of 風潮音樂), and 3 Music Rights Societies
And now on Friday comes further bad news for its principle party, Congress and the influential Gandhi-Nehru dynasty.
Whatever hopes it may have had to regain ground in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the country’s biggest and most politically important state, have been dashed. In fact it has lost ground in UP again.
Since 2004, Congress has lost power state elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Kerala.
It has also done badly in municipal elections in states it rules, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi.
Friday’s poor showing in UP provides more evidence for those predicting further reverses for Congress in Gujarat later this year.
So what does this mean for the central fire insurance company ambitious economic reform programme, based on a prediction of 10%+ economic growth?
There was a sombre mood at Congress offices
Does the economist Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, have political space to push for further reforms?
The editor of one of India’s leading business dailies, The Business Standard, AK Bhattacharya, is among the pessimists. He argues that the reform process “had in any case stalled. The problem for reforms in India is not outside the (governing) UPA but inside the UPA. A defeat in UP will see the situation worsen further”.
Mr Bhattacharya says crucial reforms will suffer. These include:
Several policy decisions dealing with the compare home owner insurance of people displaced by economic projects such as Special Economic Zones
Banking sector and legal reforms
The implementation of VAT at state level.
The basic problem facing the ruling Congress Party has been its inability to widen its electoral base in the country, three years since coming to power with the support of several regional parties and the communists.
A coalition of social groups that the Congress forged after Independence in 1947 helped the party retain power in UP and at the national level for over four decades.
But that has now been hijacked by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Led by the populist Mayawati, the BSP is a party that was formed to champion the cause of Dalits, who are right at the bottom of the Hindu social order.
However, the BSP has now succeeded in winning the support of all social groups including Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.
The bureau chief of The Times of India, Diwakar, highlights the failure of the Hindu right, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to stop its reverses in UP.
A resurgent and threatening BJP, he argues, would have helped the Congress appeal for greater discipline and unity within the ruling UPA coalition.
“UPA government ceased to function a year ago,” says Diwakar. “from now onwards do not expect any major announcement that would take India further on the road to globalisation. It will be status quo till 2009.”
Under that scenario, the left-wing parties in the governing coalition will be applying the brakes whenever the government seeks to push its reformist agenda.
Communist Party of India(Marxist) MP Sitaram Yechury says there is a “growing hiatus between shining India and suffering India”, referring to growing divide between urban and rural India.
Mr Yechury believes the UPA government needs to focus on agriculture and rural India otherwise “winning (parliamentary) elections in 2009 will be a serious problem”.
Rising inflation, a fall in the employment growth rate and rising home-loan rates have impacted on a large number of Indians.
The UPA came to power in 2004 on the promise that it would focus attention and provide a bigger share of resources to the vast majority Indians, that is, the poor.
Some decisions, like a job guarantee programme for rural people when rains fail and a law to give land rights to 100 million tribal people are widely seen as progressive moves by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government.
On the other hand, efforts by senior Congress ministers to woo retail giants like Walmart, moves to allow Fortune 500 oil company Reliance Industries to acquire vast areas of farm land for Chinese-inspired Special Economic Zones and attempts to open the country to foreign legal firms and foreign universities are seen as moves that would not politically help the UPA, fire insurance the Congress Party, to turn round its electoral misfortunes.
C.M. recommends C.B.I. inquiry into kidnapping of dalit girl student
Lucknow : November 06, 2007 In the Faizabad’s dalit student Shashi kidnapping case, her father Shri. Yogendra Prasad s/o Shri. Tulsi Ram, r/o Sahulara, post Milkipur (Petrol pump), police station Inayatnagar Faizabad, on October 31 submitted an application to the divisional commissioner and requested immediate action into the matter. He personally met the local BSP legislator and Minister of State Shri. Anand Sen Yadav and asked for his help and the minister obliged him. Vijay Sen Yadav is the driver of Shri. Anand Sen Yadav. Shri. Yogendra Prasad, in his complaint, has said that Vijay Sen Yadav frequented his house on the grounds of providing job. In his complaint, he has alleged that Vijay Sen Yadav had kidnapped his daughter with the help of a woman called Seema. He has also mentioned a few mobile numbers including that of Seema. Later, on November 5, Shri. Yogendra Prasad in a press conference alleged that Vijay Sen Yadav, a lady called Seema and local legislator Shri. Anand Sen Yadav had conspired to kidnap his daughter. The Food Processing State Minister Mr. Anand Sen Yadav has tendered his resignation to the C.M. on the grounds of morality as his name figured in the case. The same has been forwarded to the Governor. The Uttar Chief Minister Km. Mayawati has recommended C.B.I. inquiry into the incident. *******
November 7, 2007 at 7:50 am · Filed under India News
Lucknow, Nov 7 (UNI) Indu, the wife of controversial Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Anand Sen Yadav accused of the alleged kidnapping of a Dalit girl, today said a political conspiracy was being hatched against her husband.
Lucknow, Nov 7 (UNI) Indu, the wife of controversial Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Anand Sen Yadav accused of the alleged kidnapping of a Dalit girl, today said a political conspiracy was being hatched against her husband.
Anand Sen had to resign from the Mayawati Ministry yesterday on moral grounds though he claimed he wa innocent. The Uttar Pradesh government ordered a CBI probe into the disappearance of the LLB-third year student, Shashi, from Faizabad on October 22.
Ms Indu told mediapersons here that her husband was not involved in any controversy with this girl and he had been politically targetted.
‘’We know the girl and her family members due to our political background,'’ she said. She also denied that she or any member of her family had any showdown with Sashi.
Coming out in defence of her husband, she said media hype was being created to tarnish the image of her family members to destroy their political career.
Meanwhile, police was yet to recover the body of the girl said to have been killed by Vijay Sen Yadav, the driver of Anand Sen after abducting her. The accused is being interrogated.
Faizabad police has sent a special team to Sultanpur to trace out the body thrown in the river Gomti.
BSP government equates Ambedkar memorial to Taj Mahal
The extravagant expenditure on the multibillion rupee Ambedkar memorial to honour the Dalit icon may have Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a bind, but her officials Thursday unhesitatingly equated it with the Taj Mahal.
Cornered over unanswered queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on public funds being spent on projects to commemorate ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) icons B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram, an official of the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) unwittingly drew a parallel between the two.
‘Like Taj Mahal, the Ambedkar Memorial too is a monument and construction work on it is being undertaken on a large scale by different agencies,’ the official told the Central Information Commission (CIC) while pleading for more time to gather the desired information.
The queries were raised by Shailendra Singh, a former Uttar Pradesh police officer who heads the state Congress’ RTI cell.
While castigating the government for its failure to reply to queries raised under the act, Chief Information Commissioner Justice M.A. Khan Thursday fixed Nov 15 as the deadline for detailed information relating to the projects.
It was perhaps in keeping with the Taj Mahal vision that the government Thursday also decided to dole out an additional Rs.5.3 billion ($134.7 million) to these projects, which already have allocations running into many millions.
The allocation formed part of the supplementary demands of almost Rs.20 billion passed by the state assembly Wednesday.
This follows an allocation of Rs.3.2 billion made for the Kanshi Ram memorial in the annual budget passed in July last year.
According to the provisions laid out in the official documents containing the supplementary demands, Rs.1.35 billion has been allocated for largescale renovation of the Ambedkar park cum memorial — on which Mayawati had spent Rs.1.5 billion during her second stint as chief minister in 1996.
The massive outlay had attracted a high-level probe that exposed bungling involving several senior bureaucrats.
With greater emphasis on Kanshi Ram this time, Rs.1.29 billion has been allocated for the Kanshi Ram Prerna Sthal and Rs.400 million for the proposed Rs.1.26 billion Kanshi Ram Guest House project.
In addition, Rs.900 million has been earmarked for installation of statues of BSP icons and other related artefacts at the Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram Memorials.
Uttar Pradesh is ready to teach Hindi to Americans
Posted online: Tuesday , November 06, 2007 at 12:00:00 Updated: Monday , November 05, 2007 at 10:46:56
Lucknow, November 5 Uttar Pradesh hopes to be a key player in the recent project announced by the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) in which it has invited applications from interested Indians to teach Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Urdu in colleges of America. This will be a part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant programme (FLTA) of 2008.
Incidentally, a majority of candidates selected from India in the last two years have been from the state. Indian Programme Officer Sarina Paranjape said, “US college students have shown interest in learning Hindi. The purpose of the FLTA programme is to widen the learning of foreign languages in US colleges. At the same time this provides an opportunity to future teachers of English in India to refine their teaching skills.” She added, “Though there is not much awareness about this opportunity, teachers from Varanasi, Lucknow, Aligarh and even Bareilly have been selected for the program in the last two years. We expect more people to come forward from UP.”
Apart from the age regulation, those applying for this fellowship will have to be either a teacher of English at the college level or training to be an English language teacher. While three out of eight fellows selected from the country in 2006-2007 were from UP, three out of the 11 selected for 2007-2008 batch were also from the state.
Priyanka Chaturvedi from Lucknow, who has just come back after a stint of teaching Hindi at the Iowa University said, “There is a huge demand for teachers of Hindi in America. Since it is the Hindi heartland, UP stands a better chance over other states. Universities in US are also looking for people who have a good command over the English language. There is a huge gap between demand and supply in this case.” When asked about what kind of students opt for Indian languages, Chaturvedi said, “Majority of them are either researching Indian culture or are ‘heritage’ learners. There are also those who are interested to learn the language. Among them are second generation Indians.”
The opportunity to teach Gujarati in US opened up last year, but unfortunately there were no respondents. This is the second year US colleges have asked for instructors of that language.
Sarina Paranjape said, “It is obvious there is a demand in US colleges to learn Gujarati. We hope to get a good response this year.”
Politician ‘resigns over kidnap’
A minister in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh resigned over allegations of his involvement in the kidnapping of a female college student, colleagues say.
Pradesh Anand Sen Yadav resigned in order to facilitate a fair inquiry into the student’s disappearance, the state cabinet minister secretary said.
The whereabouts of the young woman are still unknown.
The state’s Chief minister Mayawati has recommended that the investigation be handed over to federal police.
The cabinet secretary said Mr Sen was not involved in the kidnapping.
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper Wednesday, Nov 07, 2007
Compensation for kin of deceased cop
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs.5 lakh to the dependent of a police officer killed during an encounter with criminals in Hardoi district.
SHO of Lonar JP Singh was killed on Monday night during a raid at the house of a criminal Beta Singh who was later arrested.
7 districts declared drought hit in U.P.
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Government has declared seven districts in Chitrakoot and Jhansi divisions as drought hit.
The State Government released an amount of Rs.108 crore for relief measures in these districts, official sources said.
The seven districts are Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun and Hamirpur, they said.