Archive for the ‘Indian’ category

Thaipusam Quiz

January 27th, 2016
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Thaipusam is just over. Many Hindus would have visited Lord Muruga’s abode, and quite a number would have fulfilled their vows, be it carrying paal kudam or kavadi. This is evident from the many photos shared in mainstream media and social media platforms.

I was listening to radio during Thaipusam and there were some talk shows on the religious significance of Thaipusam, the do’s and don’ts, etc.

Do you know what Thaipusam is all about? Take the challenge below and try answer the questions

 

  1. What does “Thaipusam” mean?
  2. Why is Thaipusam celebrated?
  3. Why do devotees carry paal kudam or kavadi?
  4. Who is Edumban?
  5. Why do the devotees wear yellow?
  6. Why do some devotees break coconuts?
  7. Why do devotees fast 48 days prior to fulfilling their vows?
  8. How long is Thaipusam celebrated?
  9. What happens to the milk carried by devotees?
  10. Can devotee fulfill his/her vow at any Murugan temple?

Leave your answers in the comments, or better still, let it be in your thoughts, always.

We got Federal level Hindu Endowment Board?

July 3rd, 2014
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I was quite surprised to read that one the portfolio to be handled by newly minted Minister in PM Department, (Gerakan President and recently elected Teluk Intan MP) Mah Siew Keong is overseeing the Hindu Endowment Board.

Mah, who is Gerakan president, also has the responsibility of overseeing the Hindu Endowment Board, which administers endowments such as land, property, burial grounds or funds given for the benefit of the Hindu community.

source: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/07/02/Mah-portfolio-minister-pm-dept/

I asked MIC via tweet, but as usual, no response. I think asking the party office bearers also would be get same results.

Google search also didn’t reveal anything other than the Penang Hindu Endowment Board.

If such a board exists, who are its members? When was it established? Where’s the accounts? Why no info about it on PM Dept (JPM) website? How to contact the board? What does it administer and how? Added: Doesn’t creation of a board requires an Act of Law?

How many Hindus in Malaysia are aware such a board exists?

BTW, a frivalous question, is Mah a Hindu?

 

UPDATE 10/7: According to futher clarifications, the HEB referred to Mah’s portfolio is the Penang HEB of which chairman is currently Penang DCM Dr Rama. Mah’s job is to oversee the board which basically consists of presenting the board’s accounts in cabinet (sort of overglorified report presenter). That’s all. He has no power in running the board since Penang HEB is under Penang HEB Ordinance. A bit of history, the British created a Mohammedan and Hindu Endowment Board Act in 1906 to centralise and organise funds for these two religions (Islam and Hinduism). The Act was for straits settlement states (Penang, Malacca and Singapore). Prior to Malaya’s independence in 1957, the laws were streamlined, and all concerning Islam went into respective state jurisdiction. Only Penang enacted the Penang HEB Ordinance to maintain its board at state level. Singapore after splitting from Malaysia also maintained its Act. Thus there is not Act nor Ordinance (except in Penang) in Malaysia for establishment of any HEB.

Only 1394 out of 1500 matriculation 2014 seats for Indian students filled up?

July 3rd, 2014
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Was watching TV2 Tamil news yesterday. Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan was talking about the recent matriculation intake. Out of the 1500 seats allocated to Indian students, 1394 was taken up. Initially more than 6000 students applied, and in the first round nearly 1200 were selected. some of the rejected their places and thus the balance 4000+ who appealed (nearly all who applied appealed) were review and few more were selected.

My question is, out of the 4000 over applicants, we can’t even get 1,500 candidates? Even after review those who appealed? Very strange.

 

Have a look at the minimum qualification required to apply matriculation:

SYARAT KELAYAKAN MINIMUM

a) Syarat kelayakan minimum bagi mengikuti Program Matrikulasi ialah seperti berikut :

Jurusan Sains

1.   C    Bahasa Melayu

2.   C    Bahasa Inggeris

3.   B    Matematik

4.      Matematik Tambahan

5.      Kimia

6.   C dalam satu(1) mata pelajaran daripada berikut :

  • Fizik
  • Biologi

 

Jurusan Perakaunan

1.  C     Bahasa Melayu

2.  C     Bahasa Inggeris

3.  C     Matematik

4.  C     dalam dua (2) mata pelajaran daripada berikut :

  • Prinsip Perakaunan
  • Ekonomi Asas
  • Keusahawanan
  • Perdagangan
  • Sains Tambahan
  • Fizik
  • Kimia
  • Biologi
  • Mata Pelajaran Teknik (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Awam / Pengajian Kejuruteraan Mekanikal/ Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik / Teknologi Kejuruteraan/ Lukisan Kejuruteraan

5.  E     Matematik Tambahan

 

Aliran Teknikal

1.  C     Bahasa Melayu

2.  C     Bahasa Inggeris

3.  B     Matematik

4.     Matematik Tambahan

5.     Fizik

6.  C    dalam satu (1) mata pelajaran daripada berikut :

  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Awam / Pengajian Kejuruteraan Mekanikal/ Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik atauTeknologi Kejuruteraan

7.   E   E

8.  B  Lukisan Kejuruteraan

source: http://apps5.moe.gov.my/matrikulasi/permohonan/min_o.cfm

I have two relations with string of As who didn’t get the place even after appealing. So what gives? Logically, if you got 6000 over applicants, who all meet the minimum requirements, you can easily fill up the 1500 seats. And yet got 106 places left vacant. That’s 7% gone, and probably the chance for 106 students to get education. did the 106 reject after appeal approved? Didn’t turn up last minute due to campus allocation?

Anyway, I don’t think will get answer to the question.

UPDATE July 5: According to reply from Dep Minister P Kamalanathan via twitter (reply link here): 

Yes sir 4 d remaining 318 places offered 356 students a place 2 do Matrics, but only 212 students accepted d offer

So out of the 356 appellants offered place, 212 (59.5%) accepted and 144 rejected (40.5%). Quite high rejection rate. Maybe due to late appeal results which means they have taken other options, or wrong appellants given offers. 

 

BTW, application for 2015 intake is now open. Refer http://apps5.moe.gov.my/matrikulasi/permohonan/login.cfm

DNA tests reveal interesting news on caste system

August 30th, 2013
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To quote the important statements:

Their finding, recently published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, made waves when it was revealed that genetic mixing ended 1,900 years ago, around the same time the caste system was being codified in religious texts. The Manusmriti, which forbade intermarriage between castes, was written in the same period, give or take a century.

Thangaraj says the study shows only a correlation between the early caste system and the divergence of bloodlines, and whether one caused the other is a debate better left to historians. Nonetheless, it puts a stake in the ground, marking the moment when the belief that one should marry within one’s own group developed into an active practice.

He also doesn’t want the early signs of a caste system to overshadow another finding of his study — how completely the population mixed 2,000 years ago. He points to the Paliyar tribe in the foothills of southern India. Their villages are inaccessible by car, and outsiders cannot visit them without a government permit. “They’re still in the forest,” says Thangaraj, “but still they have some affinities with other groups. At some point in time, everybody was mixed.”

Regardless of the manusmriti, its interesting to note that genetic mixing was prevalent till 1,900 years ago in India, and it originates from two main bloodline groups: Africa and Eurasia. As mentioned, nearly every Indian can be traced to genetic mix of these two groups. Full article below.

 

India caste

Dr. Kumarasamy ThangarajKumarasamy Thangaraj takes a blood sample from an Andaman islander, as part of his research into the genetics of India’s castes

Kumarasamy Thangaraj traveled 840 miles (1,350 km) off of the eastern coast of India by plane, then ship, then six hours by car, then ship again to collect blood samples from an isolated tribe of hunter-gatherers on the Andaman Islands. Their blood, he explained through an interpreter, would help him understand a pivotal moment in India’s genetic history. The tribesmen had never heard of a gene before or an academic study for that matter, and the whole pitch struck them as an interesting diversion from their usual routine of spearfishing.

“They mostly laughed,” Thangaraj says, before they offered up their arms in exchange for food. A few needle pricks later, they returned to their boats to fling short wooden spears into the water with uncanny aim, while Thangaraj made the long journey home to Hyderabad. He deposited the latest samples into a blood bank, alongside another 32,000 samples from his countrymen.

The collective bloodlines at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, India’s leading genetic-research institute, pose a unique riddle for researchers. On the one hand, geneticists can trace nearly all bloodlines back to two ancestral groups, one hailing from Africa, the other from Eurasia. These groups mingled, married and swapped genes. A mixture of their genetic material can be found in nearly every person on the subcontinent today.

But at some mysterious point in history, these braided bloodlines began to fray. The population divided along linguistic, religious and tribal lines, to the point where it separated into 4,635 distinct genetic groups. Europe and Asia look positively homogeneous in comparison, says Thangaraj. He and his collaborators at Harvard Medical School wanted to know when exactly the Indian melting pot stopped melting.

Their finding, recently published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, made waves when it was revealed that genetic mixing ended 1,900 years ago, around the same time the caste system was being codified in religious texts. The Manusmriti, which forbade intermarriage between castes, was written in the same period, give or take a century.

Thangaraj says the study shows only a correlation between the early caste system and the divergence of bloodlines, and whether one caused the other is a debate better left to historians. Nonetheless, it puts a stake in the ground, marking the moment when the belief that one should marry within one’s own group developed into an active practice.

He also doesn’t want the early signs of a caste system to overshadow another finding of his study — how completely the population mixed 2,000 years ago. He points to the Paliyar tribe in the foothills of southern India. Their villages are inaccessible by car, and outsiders cannot visit them without a government permit. “They’re still in the forest,” says Thangaraj, “but still they have some affinities with other groups. At some point in time, everybody was mixed.”

It’s a point that he stresses to anyone who wants to turn bloodlines into battle lines. On Aug. 15, on India’s independence day, a mob from the Rajput community in Biharattacked men, women and children in the Dalit community. They beat them with rods, killing one and injuring 54. “Look, we were all brothers and sisters 2,000 years back,” Thangaraj says of this sort of violence, “why are you fighting now?” Although he did observe one notable outlier from the extended family: the spear-wielding fishermen of the Andaman Islands have no trace of the genetic mix that pervades the mainland. Proof that the only the thing that really could have stopped India’s ancestral populations from mixing was an 840-mile schlep to a remote tropical island.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/08/27/what-dna-testing-reveals-about-indias-caste-system/#ixzz2dQiYOQ2x

Nothing moving for unit headed by Deputy Minister Waytha?

August 28th, 2013
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Received this via email. I just added the red color for focus. So, guess what – no name, no charter, no infrastructure procurement, no expert committee, no budget for 2013 and no planning for 2014 budget (next month gonna announce by PM).

Now push the ball to PM’s court and say Waytha will resign if nothing improves. Rightly so, as Waytha is just deputy minister and the minister in charge is PM himself. Our guess is that all the proposals has been made by Waytha and team but no approval given, thus no progress.

Now they know how hard things are. This is similar fate usually suffered by MIC, if and when they come out with proposals that require huge sums of money?

 

HINDRAF PRESS STATEMENT

Hindraf calls on Prime Minister Najib to get cracking on the Hindraf BN MOU

27th August 2013

The recent high pitched campaign by the police to address the rising crime rate in the country has helped to highlight the extent to which Indian youth are caught up in the whirlpool of crime. The fact that there is such a large involvement of the Indian young is a fairly recent phenomenon. This has not always been the case. This trend was set some 30 odd years ago in tandem with the massive forced displacement of Indian plantation workers out of their traditional abodes in the estates. This crime problem of the Indian young is only one of many, ailing the Indian community and is also only symptomatic of the more serious socio-economic problem.

It was against this background that Hindraf put out its five year Blueprint to address the situation of the displaced estate workers in a targeted and focussed manner with permanent and comprehensive solutions in mind. The Blueprint contained all the elements to address the socio-economic issues of the displaced estate workers which would have had a direct effect on this rising crime problem. The plan clearly addressed the many economic, social, physical and psychological factors that contributed to the marginalization of the Indian displaced estate workers – the path that leads to crime..

BN bought the Blueprint on the 18th of April 2013 in an MOU Agreement in an official ceremony and made a public promise to implement the Blueprint on returning to power. They returned to power on the 5th of May.

The most significant thing that that has been accomplished deriving from the MOU in the period since, is the appointment of Waytha Moorthy as a Deputy Minister.

The unit headed by Waytha Moorthy in the Prime Minister’s department has yet to be given a name. The charter of this unit has yet to be publicly confirmed. The infrastructure proposal for the unit has not been bought off. The Expert Steering Committee which is supposed to come out with the specific plan for addressing the income opportunities, housing and skills training for the Displaced Estate workers has yet to be even identified. The Budget proposed for 2013 has still not been deliberated upon, not to even mention the planning for the 2014 budget.

The process seems to be painfully slow. It is ironical that on the one hand, we have this situation with regards to crime being addressed in a hurried manner with these shootings and arrests and which does not assure sustainability anyway. On the other, we have a plan that promises to be a sure and sustainable remedy and which will have long term positive effects effectively delayed.

 The Prime Minister I am sure is behind the plan of the Home Minister to get aggressive in addressing the crime situation through the police. What he should be equally doing is to be behind Waytha Moorthy and get aggressive on rolling out the Blueprint.  He should speed matters up and get the implementation of the Blue print going. He should name Waytha ’s unit, he should publicly confirm its charter, he should immediately get the Expert Steering Committee going, he should approve the necessary infrastructure and budgets to implement the plan,

The current lacklustre and half-hearted approach is not going to win the hearts and minds of the affected Indian estate workers whose expectations are sky high because of the public promises during the recently concluded GE. They want “Janji mesti di tepati and Nambikei” to mean something tangible.

We hope the Prime Minster will get things moving without further delay. The Blueprint and its implementation through the unit is the last hope the Indian community places on the government. If Prime Minster Najib fails to keep his promises, he is looking at an imminent resignation of Waytha Moorthy from government and we believe this will permanently shift the Indian voter completely away from BN on a long term basis.

It is now in the Prime Minister’s hand which way all this will go. For our part we only want to see correction of a serious historical wrong.

N.Ganesan

Hindraf National Adviser.