Can we save the sparrow ?

The House Sparrow was indeed one of the commonest urban birds in India when Salim Ali was a boy. The recent years have witnessed a perplexing decline in the number of the House Sparrow in many parts of the country (and elsewhere abroad). It is indeed a matter of concern that the population of House Sparrow has dwindled. However, the paranoia set-off by the news media has only resulted in an outburst of ill-founded speculations about the possible causes of the decline and that the decline itself is signalling an imminent ecological disaster.

Loss of tree cover, changing architecture of human habitation that has deprived the House Sparrows of nesting sites, excessive use of pesticides, lack of traditional granaries, grocery shops and storehouses that permit gleaning of grains by birds, air pollution and electromagnetic radiation2 have all been identified as the culprits. The paranoia about vanishing House Sparrows reminds me of the alarm bells that desperately rang nearly 20 years ago of ‘declining’ amphibian populations.3 The alarm bells succeeded in establishing the Declining Amphibian Population Task Force (DAPTF) as a specialized and dedicated unit within the IUCN. No sooner, global warming, UV-B radiation, outbreak of a dreaded fungus, pesticide poisoning, over-harvest (including biological collections), etc. were listed as probable causes for the decline of the amphibians3–5. Scientific investigations did support the view that one or more of the listed causes adversely impacted amphibians throughout the world, although the intensity of a specific cause varied locally.

House SparrowHouse Sparrow

Exclusive focus on amphibians did provide a number of new insights about their biology and ecology. It also led to the discovery of species that had not been described by taxonomists earlier. Unfortunately, however, the quest for finding ‘new’ species of amphibians soon overshadowed the primary purpose of DAPTF that in some parts of the world, especially in India and Sri Lanka (biodiversity hotspots), biologists have shifted their focus from attempting to understand and mitigate the root causes of amphibian declines to merely collecting, naming and renaming species6. The shift in focus has been justified as a ‘mission to document the species before they are lost’7.

In the absence of sound data on population dynamics and geographical distribution, it has not been possible to assert that there have indeed been declines in amphibian numbers anywhere in India. Lack of scientific information has also stood in the way of attributing apparent declines to any specific environmental cause popularly cited. A study carried out in 2002–03 in the Western Ghats, in one of the most highly pesticide-impacted tea landscapes, identified loss of habitat as the primary local threat to amphibian species5. The study brought to light major gaps in our understanding of amphibian ecology.

Ecology, especially of anurans, requires field studies of the habitat requirement, availability and use by a species throughout its life history. It is embarrassing to learn that the habitat requirement of even the most common species of amphibian is not fully understood8. Having learnt important lessons from the study of amphibians, I wish to caution that the pursuit to correlate environmental factors such as electromagnetic radiation with declining populations will sooner or later lead to intrusive experiments involving the House Sparrow and other birds.

Electromagnetic radiation is naturally emitted by the sun and reaches the earth in millions of measurable units every second. Radio waves and microwaves have been used in telecommunication for a long time. Radio-telemetry has become increasingly popular in wildlife biological research. Telecommunication involves the conversion of audio-visual (and ultrasound) signals into electromagnetic signals that travel at the speed of light.

If these signals are deleterious to birds, they should be so to a number of other animals that share urban landscapes with humans. Why must the House Sparrow be vulnerable when crows, pigeons, owls, mynas, bats and geckoes have not succumbed to electromagnetic radiation that is attributed to telecommunication? The decline of the House Sparrow can be better explained if some of the more obvious attributes are analysed. For this we may first consider its lineage. A rather diverse group of birds representing at least 8 genera are called sparrows9–11. The species of sparrows pertinent to the discussion are those belonging the genus Passer and with the exception of the House Sparrow, all are subtropical and temperate in distribution.

At least six species of Passer have been reported from the Indian subcontinent. Besides the House Sparrow, these include the Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis), Sind Sparrow (P. pyrrhonotus), Eurasian Tree Sparrow (P. montanus), Russet or Cinnamon Tree Sparrow (P. rutilans) and Dead Sea or Afghan Scrub Sparrow (P. moabiticus)9,10. The Spanish Sparrow is a winter visitor to northern India. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow that is generally a northern species, has a small resident population in peninsular India10. Sind, Russet and Dead Sea sparrows are not known in peninsular India.

Bomb blasts rock New Delhi, 18 killed, dozens injured

A series of five synchronised bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.Police said a further three unexploded devices were found and defused, including one at India Gate, one of the country’s most iconic monuments and a major tourist attraction in the heart of Delhi.
A Muslim militant outfit, Indian Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the bombings, which were all triggered within a 45-minute period.”In the name of Allah, the Indian Mujahideen has struck back again. Do whatever you want. Stop us if you can,” the group said in an email sent to several media outlets minutes before the first blast at 6:30 pm (1300 GMT).
These blasts in Delhi shows that terrorist are not afraid of any of our security agencies. We should now learn to live in fear or give them a befitting reply to them. And that requires political will. The chocie is ours. How much should a common man suffer. Have we become spineless creatures and have no respect for human life. How much more loss do we have to suffer before we will start giving these terrorist a reply in their own pill. How much longer our leaders will take to WAKE UP to this danger and leave their petty politics aside and work on something concrete to fight this evil. These terrorists are no humans and as such they have no Human Rights. These terrorists should be killed. PERIOD. And for the politicians…. When people of India see that terrorists are being eliminated then they will give you VOTES (now they might listen).

DAY 40….960 hrs….57,600 mins hungry

The images are distressing. Two men lie in hospital beds surrounded by their friends. The men barely move, too weak to even sit up. Occasionally, perhaps, one of them will move his head slowly. The friends stroke their foreheads or else rub their feet.

This is a hunger-strike for the YouTube generation. The two men – Dawa Lepcha and Tenzing Gvasto Lepcha – whose protest has been posted on the popular online video site, have not eaten for 39 days. Doctors at the hospital where they lie in the remote Indian state of Sikkim say they are getting weaker each day. There are serious concerns about the functioning of the men’s kidneys.
The cause that has led these two men to take this drastic action and for their friends to post this powerful video on the internet is the very land on which they and their families live. A massive hydro-electric power scheme backed by the state government, consisting of more than 20 individual projects, threatens to drive the men and their neighbours from the land close to the Teesta river in the Dzongu region of the state. Campaigners say the project is illegal and claim the authorities have failed to obtain the necessary assessment of the impact the schemes will have.
This land is not only pristine – including as it does parts of a national park on which lies the world’s third- highest mountain and a biosphere reserve – but to the people of the region it is also sacred.
The two men refusing food are both Lepcha, the indigenous people who have lived on the mountains for centuries and whose name for the region, Mayel Luang, roughly translates as “paradise”. Some clans believe they were created by mother nature, others that mother nature created two deities who then created the Lepcha. The massive Kangchenjunga, reaching up to 28,169 feet, is considered holy.
The government believes that the Teesta is ideal for generating electricity because the river plunges down deep gorges, dropping 13,123 feet (4,000 metres) over its initial 50 miles.
In a statement, the state government said it had initiated hydro-electricity schemes to utilise the available natural resource to attain self-reliance, in order to raise the Sikkimese people’s socio-economic position and generate adequate revenue for the state.
But the Lepchas are not convinced. Sherab Lepcha, worried about the fate of his friends in the hospital, added: “If the people are driven off the land, there will be nowhere for cultivation. There will be nowhere to go.”

If this is “satyagrah”…whats wrong with the nation…the nation of mahatma …
mahatma Gandhi

First video interview with sound

we the people

In this April the film stars in India where all in news. Be it an icon of south India cinema. He died after an illness and his grieving fans where on a rampage in Bangalore. The state infrastructure was clearly not ready for it. The police seem to be handicap in front of the mob. One was sentenced to five year in prison for hunting and killing an antelope listed as an endangered species. And still other spent some time in hospital after crash landing his bike on a Mumbai road.

One reason for extended coverage given to these events has to do with national priorities. Politics, cricket, and films are the things that excites Indians. If there was one star, however, who mad news for right reasons in April was Amir khan. He spent time with some victims of the 2002’s Gujarat Riots in early April. A few days later he spoke about Sardar Sarovar Dam. His activitism may, as some critics say, have to do with a desire to generate positive publicity for himself. I believe that entertainers have a responsibility towards socity.Indeed it would be unfair to dismiss a mans view just because he is a star. Marlon Brando refused an Oscar(for godfather) as a protest against the way US was treating Polynesian Indians. Bono has his views on poverty and third world debt and he is feted, not ridiculed for it.

why must Amir khan be treated any differently ???

“ho chuki ab peer parwat si pighalni chahiye

tere seene men sahi ya mere seene sahi ho kahin bhi aag par aag jalni chahiye”

Bombay Blasts: We Still Don’t Have Answers

Three months and six days after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, 14 explosions shook India’s financial nerve centre, Mumbai, killing 257 and injuring 713 people. Thirteen years after the blasts on March 12, 1993 — India’s 9/11 equivalent — the case is nowhere near completion.

Relatives recall horror

The aftermath of the 1993 bomb blasts saw massive arrests. Mahim and Worli police stations were turned into prison camps and women, children, the old and the infirm were brought in. Several affidavits alleging torture were filed

if you have time…and even if u dont plz. just read through this page plzzzzz.

A telephone conversation recorded by Abu Hashim Azmi, now the Maharashtra president of the Samajwadi Party, is a stunning piece of evidence. The conversation between blasts accused Salim Durrani and Sunil Mane, a Mumbai Police inspector posted at the Oshiwara police station, is an indication of the nexus between the police and the underworld.

today’s world need people like Azad, Bhagat, Rajguru…people like Gandhi
I still rem. the beautiful song by Lata ji
Nehru cried, they say, when she sang it in 1962. Penned by patriotic writer and singer Kavi Pradeep. Composed by : C. Ramchandra.

aye mere vatan ke logon
tum khoob laga lo naara
ye shubh din hai ham sab ka
lahara lo tiranga pyaara
par mat bhoolo seema par
veeron ne hai praan ganvaaye
kuch yaad unhein bhi kar lo -2
jo laut ke ghar na aaye -2

aye mere vatan ke logon
zara aankh mein bhar lo paani
jo shaheed hue hain unki
zara yaad karo qurbaani

jab ghayal hua himaalay
khatre mein padi aazadi
jab tak thi saans lade vo
phir apni laash bichha di
sangeen pe dhar kar maatha
so gaye amar balidaani
jo shaheed…

jab desh mein thi diwali
vo khel rahe the holi
jab ham baithe the gharon mein
vo jhel rahe the goli
the dhanya javaan vo aapane
thi dhanya vo unaki javaani
jo shaheed …

koi sikh koi jaat maraatha
koi gurakha koi madaraasi
sarahad pe maranevaala
har veer tha bhaaratavaasi
jo khoon gira parvat par
vo khoon tha hindustaani
jo shaheed…

thi khoon se lath-path kaaya
phir bhi bandook uthaake
das-das ko ek ne maara
phir gir gaye hosh ganva ke
jab ant-samay aaya to
kah gaye ke ab marate hain
khush rahana desh ke pyaaron
ab ham to safar karate hain
kya log the vo deewane
kya log the vo abhimaani
jo shaheed…

tum bhool na jaao unko
is liye kahi ye kahaani
jo shaheed…
jay hind jay hind ki sena -2
jay hind, jay hind, jay hind

“College ke gate ke is paar hum duniya ko nachate hai aur us paar duniya hume… tum lak lak tum tum lak lak”

Farah Aziz Khanum, a 23-year-old journalism student, AMU

In a shocking case of moral policing, a young student of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was harassed and abused for wearing western wear to the University.
Farah Aziz Khanum, a 23-year-old journalism student of AMU was walking to the university in her regular jeans and T-shirt last week, when she experienced an outburst she had never thought she would have to face.
Two boys on a motorcycle came up from behind her and pulled at her shawl and threw it on the road. While all this happened in broad daylight, no one came forward to Khanum’s rescue.
Outraged but undeterred, Khanum decided to protest against the incident. She came to Delhi and narrated her plight at a press conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Thursday evening.
Generation Awakens

Why is she not getting enough support from students ?

Generation Awakens?

But yes the ties are changing. We can see turbulence in the society, the youth is ready to take responsibilities. It is taking matters of national interest in there own hands and are looking for a solutions.
I came across a discussion on the net. It was regarding people struck by tsunami.
This was posted by a young 24year boy

…Money- if we try collecting money from among ourselves…….. this will take a long, hard, confusing route. we need to set up a bank account, everyone should contribute in there. Find a way in which we can send it to the right people in there. The security problem is another thing. See we should learn to collaborate not have a competition. If others started something help that improve and function and help them help others. We as the youth want to do something a whole right. Youth can mobilize themselves in respective countries start a fundraiser in there. Here in VOY we can help others understand the degree of the disaster and make them contribute…

NGO act…

Youth NGO organizer forms women’s group, Chennai, India

Generation Awakens

Don’t Quit When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high;
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.

Generation Awakens…

Mera Rang De Basanti Chola

Ram Prashad Bismil gave the immortal words of revolt and freedom that inspired mass movements and revolutionary activities. The song Mera Rang De Basanti Chola, meaning“O Mother! Dye My Robe the colour of spring. This song gave birth to one of the greatest and glorious freedom myths. It became Bhagat Singh’s song of the gallows. He was said to have marched to the hangman’s chamber with this song on his lips. For him death in the cause of freedom was like a celebration.

As voices inside and outside the Congress became more strident, the British appointed a commission in 1927, under Sir John Simon, to recommend further measures in the constitutional devolution of power. The British failure to appoint an Indian member to the commission outraged the Congress and others, and, as a result, they boycotted it throughout India, carrying placards inscribed “Simon, Go Back.”

In Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya protested to the commission in open about their displeasure. Thousands joined in the silent demonstration. Police troops charged the demonstration, and Lala Lajpatrai was hit with a lathi (bamboo stick) on the head several times by an officer Scott. He succumbed to the injuries.

Bhagat Singh, a young marxist from Punjab

Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary. Marx, often in collaboration with Friedrich Engels, drew on G.W.F. Hegel’s philosophy, the political economy of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and theorists of 19th century French socialism, to develop a critique of society which he claimed was both scientific and revolutionary. This critique achieved its most systematic (albeit unfinished) expression in his masterpiece, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, more commonly known as Das Kapital. Since its inception and up to the present day, Marxism has been situated largely outside the political mainstream, although it has played a major role in history. Today, Marxist political parties of widely different sizes exist in most countries around the world.

He vowed to take revenge and with the help of Chandrashekhar Azad, Rajguru and Sukhadev, plotted to kill Scott. Instead of Scott, however, he killed a junior officer named Mr. Sanders. This is widely thought to be a case of mistaken identity, yet the issue is not completely clear as, according to folklore, the story goes that they couldn’t find Scott and killed Sanders instead.

The British, under the Defense of India Act, gave more power to the police to arrest persons to stop processions with suspicious movements and actions. The act brought in the council was defeated by one vote. Even then it was to be passed in the form of an ordinance in the “interest of the public.” Bhagat Singh volunteered to throw a bomb in the central assembly where the act was to be passed. It was a carefully laid out plot, not to cause death or injury, but to draw the attention of the government. It was agreed that Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt would court arrest after throwing the bomb.

On 8 April 1929, at Delhi Central Assembly, Singh and Dutt threw handouts, exploded a bomb in the corridor, and courted arrest after shouting the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad!” (Long Live, Revolution!). Bhagat Singh thought the court would be an ideal place to get publicity for the cause of freedom, and did not disown the crime. He was found guilty, and was hanged on 23 March 1931.

Mera Rang De Basanti Chola

o mera rang de basanti chola mera rang de hai
o mera rang de basanti chola oye rang besamaan hai
basanti chola maai rang de basanti chola
mera rang de basanti chola

dam nikale is desh ki khaatir bas itna armaan hai
ek baar is raah mein marna sau janmon ke samaan hai
dekh ke veeron ki qurabaani apna dil bhi bola
mera rang de basanti chola
o mera rang de basanti chola mera rang de
o mera rang de basanti chola oy rang de basanti chola
maai rang de basanti chola

jis chole ko pahan shivaaji khele apni jaan pe
jise pehan jhaansi ki raani mit gayi apni aan pe
aaj usi ko pehan ke nikla pehan ke nikala
aaj usi ko pehan ke nikla ham mastano ka tola
mera rang de basanti chola
o mera rang de basanti chola mera rang de
o mera rang de basanti chola oy rang de
basanti chola maai rang de basanti chola

Ram Prashad Bismil