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There is no doubt that Churchill was instrumental as the man who kept up the British morale during her worst hour, and led the British  in their fight back against the Nazis.

But at the same time, it is also true that he was an indomitable racist, and this racism was not just a quiet personal oddity, as many historians try to veil it, but an active malevolent hatred of other peoples, that led him to active genocide.

The first clear instances of this were his First World War era involvement in the various atrocities perpetrated by the Imperial forces of Britian. Churchill was not a leader in these, but a joyful participant who seemed to actually enjoy the blood letting. Link: Churchill’s Empire

Another well known historical fact is when he handed over the anti-Soviet army soldiers after World War II to Stalin, who immediately had them killed in various ways. Link: Rense.com

Now, a recent book has brought into glaring light Churchill’s active complicity in a terrible devastation, the Bengal Famine.

The Bengal famine occurred in 1942, and it is remarkable that it occurred at a time when there was no major crop failure.

In her book, “Churchill’s Secret War”, Madhusree Mukerjee brings out in apalling detail the complicity of the entire British administration, and in particular, Churchill’s role, in allowing the death of 3 million people.

The famine occurred entirely because of the panic stricken reaction of the British forces when Japan conquered Burma, who destroyed all roads, bullock carts, boats, etc. in Bengal to prevent them falling into the hands of the Japanese if they reached there. This might be somewhat condoned as a war game, but it is what followed afterwards that puts the blame squarely on Churchill.

As the massive famine followed, British officials again pleaded for import of food. Huge stocks of food were being acquired in the Mediterranean region and ships full of grains were passing from Australlia by the Bay of Bengal, but Churchill steadfastedly refused to allow the diversion of any of the grains to Bengal. It was obvious to everyone, including Churchill, that the British had themselves created this famine, and also that some of the food could be diverted safely without any hindrance to the war effort. But Churchill decided instead to let 3 million die and go for exagarrated precaution for the troops.

There was a direct moral responsibility in this. There is no doubt that this decision directly led to the deaths of the Bengal famine, but in the racist and xenophobic atmosphere that Churchill built up around himself, the deaths were unimportant.

Churchill no doubt was as much a genocidal maniac as Stalin, Pol Pot and also Hitler, and was as capable as them of letting millions die without any moral qualms.

Link: Churchill’s Secret War

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P,J,Mazumdar is the author of “The Circle of Fire”, a book on Advaita Vedanta and Yoga. To read further on Advaita Vedanta philosophy, please go here for an overview of the basic principles and logic of Advaita:

-> Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here:

-> Advaita Vedanta Yoga

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

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The search for the Higg’s boson might seem like searching for an elfin creature escaped from the pages of ‘Harry Potter’ or  ‘Lord of the Rings’. The Higg’s Boson is no elf, but it is in fact more mysterious than anything dreamed up in literature.

In their search for this elusive entity, scientists have built up a humongous machine, the Large Hadron Collider. It is so big and complicated that many nations around the world have collaborated in setting it up. It is build underground, along the border of France and Switzerland, and consists of a circular tunnel 27 kms in length. It also cost more than 5 billion dollars, and the costs are still escalating.

Inside this tunnel are the pipes that will carry particles that are to be accelerated at speeds very close to light. Huge and very powerful magnets will do this job; these magnets are so sensitive that they have to kept at very very cold temperatures, at the temperature of liquid helium. The magnets keep two beams of particles circling in the tunnel opposite to each other, and crossing at four points. The beams are compressed, initially to around the size of a drinking straw, and then when the scientists want collisions, further into a size smaller than that of a hair.

Large Hadron Collider

(more…)

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The birthday of Gautama Buddha was celebrated in India on May 28 this year. His birthday, as with all traditional birthdays in India, is celebrated according to the lunar calendar and falls on the first full moon day of the month of ‘Jeth’. In the solar calendar, this is on different dates each year.

The full moon is called Purnima, and this full moon, the birthday of Buddha, is therefore called Buddha Purnima. There is a bank holiday throughout the country, and all schools and offices are closed on this day.

In the land of his birth, there are very few Buddhists today. But Hindus throughout the country still revere him as much as a Hindu saint, and this day is considered very auspicious because of his birth. Important occasions like marriages, etc. are scheduled for this day when possible. Pujas are also held in the households on this day.

In Assam, it is a custom to hold a special Puja, called ‘Satyanarayan Puja’ on all purnimas, and specially on the Buddha Purnima. In my house also this puja was held by my mother. A specialty of this puja is a treat called ‘bhog’ made of bananas, ghee, flour, sugar and milk, which is offered as ‘prasad’. The bhog was very tasty this year too.

Atheists would be proud to say one full moon day is pretty much like any other full moon day, and Buddha is of importance only for his philosophical views. But I am glad I am no atheist, and the day, with its bright full moon, quietness and devotion, seemed specially holy, and I did feel the Buddha’s spirit pervading the air. As if his love for all had spread with the moonlight and entered each heart.

Buddham Sharanam Gachami…

To read more on Advaita Vedanta, you may go to my book, The Circle of Fire. You can also look up here for different articles on my website, also sections like discussion.

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I was born in Guwahati, received all my education both school and medical college here and now am working here.

For those who have never been in Guwahati nor even heard of it, and that includes the vast vast majority of the world’s population, Guwahati is a small town in the North Eastern part of India.

The North East of India is an isolated and thinly populated part of the country, with little development. Its isolation is increased by the fact that it’s a hilly region with difficult communication.

One special feature of the region though is the diversity in population. It has probably the most widely varied population in the world, with literally thousands of tribes and communities each with its own culture, language, dress and customs, many of the tribes numbering only a few hundreds.

Within this region, Guwahati is the centerpoint, and is the most developed and well connected town here (though that’s not saying much!). It is surrounded by hills, and it is a little like being at the bottom of a green bowl when you look around.

In my young days I remember Guwahati was little more than an extended village, with few sparse houses, and most of the town covered by marshy ponds. But being at the center of the region has meant a lot of growth in these years, although this has been unplanned and haphazard.

Now Guwahati has all the advantages of being a city, like shopping malls, multiplexes, a diverse and interesting mix of people and a lot of cultural activity, along with the advantages of being a village, like knowing most of your neighbors intimately, birds and trees in your backyard, (more…)

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I have always felt in a profound way the beauty of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by woods on a snowy evening”. Who indeed hasnt?

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

But recently something made me think about the poem again. I read in the newspaper, in some other context, an English teacher describing how he explained this poem to his students.

The scene, the woods filling up with snow, described, in this teacher’s explanation, the meeting of death and life, the woods symbolized life while snow symbolized death. Thus these four lines described a deep event, the meeting of life and death.

But this was not at all how the poem affects me. Do we really have to find a deeper meaning for the woods and the snow? Is it not already exquisite enough? Just the visual conjured up by these lines has a magical effect on me. The dark woods filling up with snow, the silence, the loneliness, the stillness; the unbelievable beauty conjured up by this has a profound effect on me. I do not have to think about whether the snow means death, the woods life, or anything (more…)

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My first post

Hi, This is my first post on my new blog.

My book,”The Circle of Fire” has finally been published by North Atlantic Books and is now available on Amazon.

I was very happy to get two five star reviews by Dennis Littrell and Alan Jacobs, both of whom are very knowledgeable in this field.

Here’s hoping for more success in the days to come!

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