Monday, May 25, 2009

Diksha- becoming a Jain Monk

Mansi jhaveri is a 28 years old commerce graduate belonging to a wealthy diamond merchant’s family. She took three years to prepare in taking diksha and becoming a monk. On May 16th 2009 at Walkeshwar, Mumbai , in front of a huge crowd consisting of young and elderly Jain community and senior Jain monks, she was initiated into diksha. She went through the ritual of Rajo Haran and was presented with ogho- a string of woollen threads pieced together. As per the rites three strands of her hair was plucked and her head shaven clean. After taking bath she changed into white robes of a Jain Monk. A red-white black wooden utensil auctioned to the tune of Rs 28 lakhs was presented to her. The wooden utensil is used by the monk to collect alms. On becoming a monk she was rechristened Moksha Maina Shreeji Masatheeji. On her first day as a Jain monk she will return to her father’s home to collect her first gochari or alms.
To view images of the ceremony of diksha visit website-

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Images from war zone in Sri-lanka

Check out images from war zone of Sri-lanka taken from a humanitarian worker visiting contributor's gallery in my website-

Greetings on Mother's Day

Check out my images on Mother's Day-

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pakistan Sikh prosecution by Taliban becomes a poll issue in Election in India

The Taliban attack on minority Sikhs in Pakistan is snowballing in to a major poll issues in India. We are in the last phase and going by the reports from the polling taken place, it appears that both the main contenders, the congress and BJP is running a neck to neck race. But still no one can say for certain, among these to national party which one will emerge as a single largest party.
One drawback of BJP in this election is that they failed to capitalize on any one of the issues they raised during this long winded election campaigning. They tried every trick in the trade to raise issues that would stir the conscious of the people and reap election dividends. From calling Manmohan singh a weak PM, Mumbai terror attack, promise to bring back Swiss black money stashed abroad and latest is picking up gauntlet on behalf of the Sikhs. LK Adavni accuses the congress government not of doing anything to stop atrocities on the minority Sikhs of Pakistan by the Taliban. Whether this emotive issue will reap electoral gains for the BJP and its ally the Akali Dal will be known only after the poll.
Mind you Punjab will go to poll in the last phase of election and Congress is expected to fare better in that State due to anti-incumbency factor. BJP see this as an opportunity to rake up emotive issues of minority Sikh prosecution at the hands of Taliban in Orakzai agency of NWFP, Pakistan.
The Taliban had targeted the Sikhs by demolishing their houses and forcing them to pay jiziya, a tax levied on non-Muslims. Taliban had demanded from the Sikh community Rs 5 crore a year under Sharia law but after negotiations it was reduced to 1.5 crore. According to the Taliban the Sharia asks all non-Muslims to pay protection money.
The Indian televisions channel has given lot of news coverage to the plights of Sikh families in Pakistan and carried footage of Sikh demonstration in the open streets of Punjab and New Delhi. The Punjab state ruling party Akali Dal workers along with BJP led the protest. They were seen burning the effigy of Taliban and shouting slogans against it.
BJP’s star campaigner Narendra Modi who is canvassing in Rajasthan State, in one election speech had come down heavily on Manmohan Singh. He expressed surprise that Manmohan Singh himself a Sikh is not doing enough to stop prosecution of Sikhs in Pakistan. The Indian government’s MEA spokesmen had voiced its concern about the sorry state of Sikh in Pakistan only to be rebuffed by the Pakistan government. The Indian government was told to mind its own business as minority Sikhs are citizen of Pakistan and will be protected.
The congress party is accusing the BJP that by making the Sikh a poll issues it is exploiting the emotions of Sikhs in India. Whereas AL Advani counters back saying that how can he keep quite when Sikhs are being prosecuted in Pakistan.
The congress government is already facing flak from people and politicians of Tamil Nadu for not able to pressurize the Sri-Lanka government in calling ceasefire in that war torn country.
In the last 2004 election the DMK party, which swept the poll, was instrumental in lending its key support for formation of Congress led UPA government at the centre. So the congress, this time, is heavily banking on its alliance DMK to win more number of seats. But the Sri-Lanka Tamil issue has become an emotionally charged election issues in the regional politics of Tamil Nadu and is expected to make some dent to the poll prospect of DMK and Congress.
Similarly the minority Pakistan Sikh atrocity by the Taliban has already become an emotional issue among Sikh voters in Punjab and elsewhere. It is the BJP’s old ally the Akali Dal who is ruling the Punjab state.
Meanwhile BJP and its ally Akali Dal is doing everything to capitalize on this one emotional issue of minority Pakistan Sikh, which was thrown to them on a platter. Whereas for Manmohan Singh and his party, it can ill-afford to ignore this sensitive issue, especially coming during the last leg of poll, which will have a decisive say as to who will form the government at the centre.
rajen nair

Sri Lanka- ' We had to throw the bodies in to sea'

Last month, 25-year-old Indra Menon fled from his village in Mullaittivu, north east Sri Lanka, to escape the conflict between the rebel Tamil Tiger forces and the Sri Lankan government. The computer hardware student escaped by taking a boat packed with other fleeing families to Rameshwaran in India. He describes an appalling journey that claimed the lives of ten people-
Check out my story in article section of my website-

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Documentary Images on Indian Election-09

Out of a billion populated Indians about 714 millions voters will be voting for the coming Loka Shaba election 2009, a mind boggling figure. Two national parties the UPA led ruling government and BJP, besides record number of small regional parties will be in the election fray. Both the national parties the congress and BJP had failed to retain their key allies which would impact the outcome of this election. The pundits and opinion polls have given a slight edge to congress party over its arch rivals the BJP. The punters favor the congress party to come back to power. However it will be tough going for the congress party to cobble up a simple majority of 272 seats with help of its alliance partners.
Small regional parties like RJD, Samajwadi party, DMK, BJD and host of other parties will play a major role in post poll alliance. It is predicted that congress party would be able to muster up to 145 -160 seats and BJP will be not left far behind as it would manage about 140 to 150 seats. The third front might come closer to bagging 100 seats. The key allies will be seen backing the winning horse and demand its pound of flesh in new power sharing equation for formation of government at the centre. The left front has made its stand clear of not backing the congress. But one never knows what would happen in the post poll scenario. In the event of congress becoming a single largest party all its key allies would fall in line to support a UPA government and back Manmohan Singh as PM. Still if UPA alliance falls short of majority we might see some party breaking away from third front to lend its support just to keep the BJP away from power. So in all likelihood we might see a secular UPA government once again ruling at the centre.
This election has its own share of drama and antics. The first salvo was fired by the young Varun Gandhi who made a hate speech and catapulted himself in the national politics. What a way to go. For the first time we saw an aggressive Manmohan Singh trying to shake off the tag of a weak PM charged by LK Advani. He surprised many by ably countering Advani and accusing the BJP with mishandling Kandahar hostage issues. The shoe throwing incident added some color to the otherwise listless electioneering due to absence of any national issues.
All eye is focus on D day of May 16th when election result will be out and then the next spectacle of battle lines will drawn between two national parties trying to woo small parties to form a government.

For viewing more images, visit this link-