Sankararaman case hearing adjourned

PUDUCHERRY: Hearing in the Sankararaman murder case resumed on Friday. Principal District and Sessions Judge C S Murugan, who assumed charge recently, adjourned the hearing to April 9 and directed all the 24 accused, including Kanchi seers Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi to be present on the day. Only five of the 24 accused were present in the court, when the trial resumed following the order of a Division Bench of the Madras High Court on February 27.

Special Public Prosecutor N Devadoss said the date for beginning arguments of both sides would be decided on April 9.


Rama Setu, national monument status: SC hearing on April 19

Published: March 29, 2012 11:53 IST | Updated: March 29, 2012 12:23 IST

SC gives two weeks to Centre to decide on national monument status for Ram Setu

The Centre was on Thursday granted more time by the Supreme Court to decide whether the mythological Ram Setu could be declared a national monument.

Appearing before a bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Haren Raval submitted that consultation was needed on the issue with the competent authority and sought more time to file an affidavit on it.

“Take a decision whether or not to”, the bench said, while granting the government two weeks time to take a decision. The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on April 19.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy seeking the court’s direction to declare Ram Setu a national monument.

Earlier on March 27, the bench directed the government to file an affidavit regarding its decision within two days.

“If you say you don’t want to file counter affidavit, we can go ahead with the arguments in the case,” the bench had said.

The case relating to Ram Setu came under judicial scrutiny after a batch of petitions were filed in the apex court challenging the ambitious Sethusamudram project, which was alleged to cause damage to the mythological bridge.

Sethusamudram project is aimed at constructing a shorter navigational route around India’s southern tip by breaching the mythological Ram Setu, said to have been built by Lord Rama’s army of monkeys and bears to the demon king Ravana’s kingdom Lanka.

As per the Sethusamudram project, the shipping channel is proposed to be 30 metres wide, 12 metres deep and 167 km long.

Rama setu: Protecting heritage and coastline (A ppt presentation, Kalyanaraman, 31 March 2012)

March 31, 2012

•Rameshwaram sacred island, Gulf of Mannar Marine Bioreserve
Ramasetu as protected national monuments under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958

Protect the world’s richest thorium reserve.

Kamini reactor in Kalpakkam uses thorium blanket in dual use, fast-breeder reactor
Thorium is the future nuclear fuel for India’s power generation program and nuclear weapons for national defence
Manavalakuricci, Aluva, Chavara hold the world’s largest reserve of thorium sands. This is nation’s wealth. National security demands safeguarding of this wealth.
Declare the sites as national protected areas under Armed Foces’ control

Rama Setu, nearer to reality: Moily

By Cithara Paul
31 Mar 2012 02:28:28 AM IST

Rama Sethu, nearer to reality: Moily

NEW DELHI: The Government may still be wavering on whether Rama Sethu was a myth or not, but Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily seems to entertain no such doubts.

“Ram Sethu is a scientific possibility. After reading my book you will find that Ram Sethu is nearer to reality,’’ he said while speaking about the forthcoming release of the Tamil translation of his book “Shree Ramayana Mahanweshanam.” It may be a coincidence that the Supreme Court had given a deadline to the UPA Government to make its stand clear on Ram Sethu three days ago.

Moily spent “a whole week” on the sea with a geo-scientist researching the topic. “Rama Sethu bridged cultures,” he said.

Why this kolaveri, kolaveri di! Jaya again takes back Sasikala in endless drama!

Mar 31, 2011
AIADMK General Secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has revoked the suspension of erstwhile close confidante Sasikala from the primary membership of the party.

In a statement issued in Chennai today, Jayalalithaa said she accepted the explanation given by Sasikala that she had severed links with her relatives, who by their activities had brought disrepute to the party.

Swamy tells Adalat, Rahul is ineligible to become PM

New Delhi, Mar 31: Predicting Lok Sabha elections by the end of this year, Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy has said, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was ineligible to become India’s prime minister.

Replying to a barrage of questions in Rajat Sharma’s Aap Ki Adalat on India TV, Dr Swamy said Congress president Sonia Gandhi was not appointed PM in 2004 by the then president APJ Abdul Kalam because of a law which could render her ineligible.

“That law is still there and I can tell you even Rahul Gandhi is ineligible to become the prime minister. I will keep this a secret till the opportune moment comes” ( Main ise us samay tak rahasya rakhoonga jab tak naubat nahin aayegi), said Dr Swamy.

Disclosing the sequence of events on May 14, 2004, the day Sonia Gandhi renounced her bid for prime ministership, Dr Swamy said, 340 MPs had signed individual letters addressed to the President saying they supported Sonia Gandhi as the Prime Minister.

“There was also a letter signed by Soniaji as MP that she supported herself to become PM. It is wrong to say that she did not want to become PM.

“Soniaji was supposed to call on the President that day at 5 pm to stake her claim. I called on the President at 12:30 pm and produced evidences to say that she was ineligible to become prime minister.

“At 3:30 pm, the President sent Soniaji a letter asking her not to come at 5 pm because there were some issues which needed to be probed. The President asked her to come at 10 am the following day. At 5 pm, Dr Manmohan Singh read out the last para of that letter to his MPs. The Congress should make that letter public”.

When Rajat Sharma pointed out that Sonia Gandhi could have staked her claim in 2009 too, but did not, Swamy replied: “That law is still there today. Even Rahul cannot become the prime minister. I will keep that a secret till the opportune moment comes.”

Dr Swamy said, “my birth chart shows I would return to power within a year. And, I can say with confidence that Lok Sabha polls will be held definitely by the end of this year, and not in 2014.”

Asked why he was targeting the Gandhi family, Swamy said: “I was sad to find that my good friend Rajivji was killed by the LTTE, and Sonia Gandhi was writing letter to the President seeking clemency for the killers. I was naturally angry.”

When Rajat Sharma showed him a picture of Swamy with Sonia Gandhi and Jayalalitha sipping tea and joining hands to pull down the Vajpayee government in 1999, Swamy laughed and said : “Even Arjuna and Duryodhana sipped tea together, but later fought the Mahabharata.”

Swamy also questioned the business activities of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.

“One show find out what businesses he has in Hong Kong, in Italy. He has six aircraft in India, and I don’t think he ever passed out of school. He is a regular goer to gymnasiums, and once he fell because of too much steroid injections.

“Let me tell you, I have never levelled any charge without any basis. Even, Jayalalitha filed nearly 100 defamation cases against him, and I got all of them dismissed in the Supreme Court.”

“Once Congress even filed a defamation case against me. I told the court, I wanted to cross-examine Sonia Gandhi in court. The party quietly dropped the case”, said Swamy.

The Janata Party president said that the Pakistani spy agency ISI had all the informations about dubious hawala deals by Indian politicians in Dubai.

“No hawala business can be done in Dubai without the knowledge of ISI. The government does not want to hand Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab because it is afraid of Pakistan, otherwise why should the President take so long to decide about Afzal Guru and Rajiv killers?”

Swamy praised Anna Hazare as “an honest man, whose honesty cannot be matched by all the Congressmen put together”.

He, however, said, Anna had a “leftist team” with him, which thinks the Jan Lokpal Bill is the only panacea for all ills. “I have shown to the country how an individual can use the current laws to bring the corrupt to justice”, said Swamy.

Swamy praised Swami Ramdev and said the yogi was fighting for the national cause. “It will be better if both of us use Anna more rather than his team”, he said.

Praising RSS as a “nationalist outfit”, Swamy said “I would be proud if RSS uses me for its objectives”.

Aap Ki Adalat show with Dr Subramanian Swamy will be telecast on India TV t on Saturday (March 31) at 10 pm, and Sunday (April 1) at 10 am and 10 pm.

Why Participatory Notes are dangerous – R. VAIDYANATHAN


Why Participatory Notes are dangerous – R. VAIDYANATHAN

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Why Participatory Notes are dangerous


Wednesday, Oct 24, 2007

Participatory Notes are a slap on the face of every citizen who is an investor. To invest in shares one has to fill up umpteen forms and provide proof of residence, PAN number, and so on. But for PN investors, the system is totally silent, even on basic information. Why not have confidence in the India story and realise that we can get funds with addresses without offering such anonymity, asks R. VAIDYANATHAN.

The PN system is discriminatory and seems to favour ghost investors.

Participatory Notes (PN) — a general name used for the investment by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) through Offshore Derivative Instruments (ODIs) such as Participatory Notes, Equity-Linked Notes, Capped Return Notes and Participating Return Notes — have created a storm in the stock market, with SEBI coming out with a draft for discussion to regulate them, the RBI suggesting that they be phased out, and the Finance Minister assuring that the Government is not going to phase them out.

First things first. Let us clearly understand the fundamental issues. The PNs are a slap on the face of every citizen who is an investor. For a person to invest even in one share, several KYC (know your customer) forms have to be filled up, and PAN numbers and proof of address, etc., provided. For the PN investor the system is totally silent on even elementary information. The FIIs issue PNs to funds/companies whose identity is not known to the Indian authorities.

Hence, the PN system is blatantly discriminatory and seems to favour ghost investors. Any self-respecting market, if it discriminates at all, does so against outsiders. But we have done the unthinkable.

We should recognise and internalise the fact that funds are in search of markets, and not the other way. Given the demographic shift in the developed markets (where pension funds have to locate markets to get returns for longer periods) and the lack of huge opportunities in long-term projects, it is natural that global funds are in search of markets.

The PN route, through which a section of investors is participating in our markets, is a mystery wrapped in a puzzle, crammed inside a conundrum and delivered through a riddle. These are address-less funds that could be from dubious sources and the clamour for it is intriguing, if not outright suspicious.

Current Scenario

According to the SEBI Web site, the current position of these instruments is as follows: “Currently, 34 FIIs / Sub-accounts issue ODIs. This number was 14 in March 2004. The notional value of PNs outstanding, which was at Rs 31, 875 crore (20 per cent of Assets Under Custody of all FIIs/Sub-Accounts) in March 2004, increased to Rs 3,53,484 crore (51.6 per cent of AUC) by August 2007.

The value of outstanding ODIs, with underlying as derivatives, currently stands at Rs 1,17,071 crores, which is approximately 30 per cent of total PNs outstanding. The notional value of outstanding PNs, excluding derivatives as underlying as a percentage of AUC is 34.5 per cent at the end of August 2007.” (SEBI – Paper for Discussion on ODIs).

This implies that more than 50 per cent of the funds are flowing through this anonymous route which needs a re-think on this entire issue. This brings us to the question about who are the investors interested in Indian Papers.

Who uses the PN route?

The first category is the regular funds whose twin objectives are returns and more returns on a 21*7*365 basis. They are interested in India since the India story is very good and returns are attractive compared to developed markets. The second category is prodigal money returning. It is not a secret that a large number of politicians/bureaucrats/business-persons have accumulated wealth abroad. This has been accumulated by under-invoicing/over-invoicing, by corruption in contracts and gifts from abroad; and by not bringing in legitimate receipts.

The third category is those foreign governments/entities who would like to acquire/control Indian entities by taking them over.

The fourth category is the terror financiers who could find this route attractive and simple.

The first category does not have any reason to use the “anonymous” route since the aim is to earn returns /repatriate and benefit out of interest rate and currency value arbitrage. They enter and exit as per these calculations and are not shy about the greed for maximum returns. They pay the taxes applicable and laugh all the way to the bank with bonus incentives.

The only issue is that currently the stock market is the only route for investing while several other “unlisted” sectors, such as trade, transport, restaurants and other services are starved of funds. Maybe methods should be evolved to get these regular global funds to invest not just in the top ten shares of the stock market but in the needs of the large non-corporate or “ unlisted” segments of the economy, through NBFCs. That would ease the volatility in the market since currently large funds are chasing too few shares of the Sensex or Nifty.

No more ‘safe havens’

The second category will be enthusiastic in bringing the money back into India since the KYC (Know your Customer) norms in many so-called “safe” territories like Switzerland are becoming tougher — particularly after 9/11— and the India story is very interesting and the returns and growth prospects are very good. The Government can always think of an “Amnesty Scheme” for such “prodigal funds” in the form of “no questions asked” about the source. But, once the funds are brought in, then all the KYC norms must be followed, with minimum legal and tax hassles. After all, such amnesty schemes for the domestic black-money holders in the past have met with reasonable success. Otherwise, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) can be created which can be dollar-denominated to hold these funds at attractive rates and which are converted over a period of time to minimise the flow impact.

Harmful for companies

The third category spells danger for domestic companies since the unknown entity may be targeting the local company without its knowledge. With reasonable control they can pressure the current owners to settle with them or even try taking over.

This becomes more ominous in the context of several sovereign funds, like that of China, using the private equity companies to manage their funds which are non-transparent.

These PEs could use other vehicles to acquire on behalf of these sovereign funds and it may be possible that Chinese or West Asian sovereign funds may hold indirectly shares in Indian companies, particularly in software or oil or telecom, which are critical sectors.

The fourth category is the one to be worried about. The terror financier will be happy on two counts, namely the anonymity provided by these instruments and the domestic regulations on gifting the shares.

Also important is the issue of the sale of these PNs to entities that could be inter-connected to the original buyers.

In other words, the original buyer and to whom he sells could belong to inter-connected terror entitities, in which case the global entity could have succeeded in transferring funds to India with ease and anonymity.

It is not without basis that the National Security Advisor (NSA) has cautioned against terror-financing through the banking and stock market channels.

That is a cause for concern. Why are we insisting on the anonymity of the investor and the sources? Why not have confidence in the India story and realise that we can get funds with addresses since we have arrived on the global arena?

We should distinguish between clean global flows and dubious flows as a responsible country with a remarkable growth story.

(The author is Professor of Finance and Control, IIM-Bangalore. His views are personal and do not reflect those of his organisation.)

Sivaanandalahari – 9

Sivaanandalahari – 9

विशाले शैले च भ्रमति कुसुमार्थं जडमति: ।
समर्प्यैकं चेतस्सरसिज-मुमानाथ भवते
सुखेनावस्थातुं जन इह न जानाति किमहो ॥ ९ ॥

gabhIre kAsAre viSati vijane ghoravipine
viSAle Saile cha bhramati kusumArthaM jaDamati: |
samarpyaikaM chetassarasija-mumAnAtha bhavate
sukhenAvasthAtuM jana iha na jAnAti kimaho || 9 ||

A dull witted man searches for a flower in the deep lake, deserted dangerous forest and huge mountains. Oh Umanatha, people have not learnt to offer to you with love their lotus mind as the flower and be happy without wandering anywhere. What a surprise !



காயமே கோயிலாகக் கடிமனம் அடிமையாக
வாய்மையே தூய்மையாக மனமணி இலிங்கமாக
நேயமே நெய்யும் பாலா நிரயநீ ரமைய ஆட்டிப்
பூசனை ஈசனார்க்குப் போற்றவிக்க் காட்டினோமே
(திருநாவுக்கரசர் தேவாரம்)

“Antharmukha samaaraadhyaa bhahirmukha sudhurlabha” (Lalitha Sahasranaamam)

What is the Shiva Pooja that is superior? It is the offering of one’s mind as a lotus flower at the feet of Parameswara. No other flower can give anyone greater satisfaction than offering his own mind as pushpaanjali. In fact the great Nayanaar says that from a ripe Bhaktha Sri Parameswara Himself takes away (‘steals’ he says!) the mind. (உள்ளம் கவர் கள்வன்).

It is said that if a person meditates on Bhagavan even in chathru bhaavam (nindhaa sthOthram) Parameswara gives him anugraham. Bhagavan is concerned only about one’s smarana and not the reason behind it.

Our saasthras say that bhandha is caused by the mind sunk in vishayas and the mind that has developed virakthi to the vishayas causes one’s Moksha. That is why the lotus flower of one’s mind should be the best offering at the feet of Parameswara. This is the superior way to please the God because nothing else pleases Him most except your mind that is dedicated to Him.

This is the secret. Without knowing this secret people fetch flowers by going into deep lakes, dark terrible forests, tall mountains etc and risk themselves when they have Lord’s favourite flower with themselves all the time. Aho! Aascharyam! exclaims Aadhi Sankara. That is why AachaaryaaL calls these people sorrowfully, as Jatamathi. Instead of surrendering the mind at the feet of Parameswara these jatamathis put it to work to worry about where the flowers are and how to fetch them and so on thus taking the mind away from the smarana of Parameswara.

Again in this sloka AachaaryaaL calls out to “Umaanaathaa” to reiterate that none should, on any account, separate Shiva and Shakthi. It is worth noting that he started off Sivaanandalahari by invoking Ambaal as “Kalaabhyaam”. Also in another sloka he called Shiva as “Saambam” (Ambaa Samedhan).

This sloka uges everyone to surrender the lotus flower of their mind to the Lotus Feet of Shiva who is Umanaatha, Umaapathi and SaambaSiva.

(to be continued..)