Thursday, 26 April 2012
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Guru is a Sanskrit term for "teacher" or "master", such as Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Sikh, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and Nepali.The malayalam term Acharyan or Asan are derivered from the sanskrit word Acharya. It is transliterated in different ways such as Asaan ,Ashan, Aasaan etc, but especially in the Indian religions. The Hindu guru-shishya tradition is the oral tradition or religious doctrine transmitted from teacher to student. In Western usage, the meaning of "guru" has been extended to cover anyone who acquires followers, especially by exploiting their naiveté, due to the inflationary use of the term in new religious movements or can even be used for materialistic uses, that either empower that guru or makes them richer.
The term shaman comes from the Tungus region of Siberia and denotes a traditional healer and practitioner of that region, many of the red indians who travelled from this region to the lands of America were also Shamens. Certain anthropologists are highly critical of the term when used outside of its original context. Part of this criticism involves the notion of cultural appropriation. This includes criticism of New Age and modern Western forms of shamanism, which may not only misrepresent or dilute genuine indigenous practices but do so in a way that. Many "real" shamens will go on a spiritual quest on their own into the wild with nothing other than the cloths on their back for weeks on end until they met their demon or had a realisation of some sort.
within each tribe elders, "are repositories of cultural and philosophical knowledge and are the transmitters of such information," including, "basic beliefs and teachings, encouraging...faith in the Great Spirit, the Creator". "The fact acknowledged in most Indian societies: Certain individuals, by virtue of qualifications and knowledge, are recognized by the Indian communities as the ultimately qualified reservoirs of aboriginal skills." The role of elder is featured within and without classrooms, conferences, ceremonies, and homes.
The following definition is from a study of the role in a specific tribe:
A point of reference: those people who have earned the respect of their own community and who are looked upon as elders in their own society...We have misused the role of elder through our ignorance and failure to see that not all elders are spiritual leaders and not all old people are elders.
In religion, a prophet, is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and to speak for them, serving as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy. Claims of prophets have existed in many cultures through history, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, the Sybilline and the Pythia, known as the Oracle of Delphi, in Ancient Greece, Zoroaster, the Völuspá in Old Norse and many others. Traditionally, prophets are regarded as having a role in society that promotes change due to their messages and actions.
Sunday, 8 April 2012
The first known inhabitants of the modern-day Pakistan region are believed to have been the Soanian (Homo erectus), who settled in the Soan Valley and Riwat almost 2 million years ago. Over the next several thousand years, the region would develop into various civilizations like Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley Civilization. Prior to the independence as a modern state in 1947, the country was both independent and under various colonial empires throughout different time periods. The region's ancient history also includes some of the oldest empires from the subcontinent and some of its major civilizations. By the 18th century the land was incorporated into British India. The political history of the nation began with the birth of the All India Muslim League in 1906 to protect Muslim interests, amid neglect and under-representation, in case the British Raj decided to grant local self-rule. On the 29 December 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal called for an autonomous state in "northwestern India for Indian Muslims". The League rose to popularity in the late 1930s. Muhammad Ali Jinnah espoused the Two Nation Theory and led the League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940, demanding the formation of independent states in the East and the West of British India. Eventually, a united Pakistan with its wings – West Pakistan and East Pakistan – gained independence from the British, on 14 August 1947. After a civil war, the Bengal region of East Pakistan, separated at a considerable distance from the rest of Pakistan, became the independent state of Bangladesh in 1971.
Pakistan declared itself an Islamic republic on adoption of a constitution in 1956, but the civilian rule was stalled by the 1958 military coup d'etat by Ayub Khan, who ruled during a period of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965. Economic grievances and political disenfranchisement in East Pakistan led to violent political tensions and army repression, escalating into civil war followed by the third war with India. Pakistan's defeat in the war ultimately led to the secession of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.
Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977 under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, until he was deposed by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the country's third military president. Pakistan's Obsolete-secular policies were replaced by the new Islamic Shariah legal code, which increased religious influences on the civil service and the military. With the death of Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she alternated power with Nawaz Sharif, as the country's political and economic situation worsened. Military tensions in the Kargil conflict with India were followed by a 1999 coup d'état in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers.
In 2001, Musharraf named himself President after the resignation of Rafiq Tarar. In the 2002 Parliamentary Elections, Musharraf transferred executive powers to newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was succeeded in the 2004 by Shaukat Aziz. On 15 November 2007 the National Assembly completed its term and a caretaker government was appointed with the former Chairman of The Senate, Muhammad Mian Soomro as Prime Minister. Following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, that resulted in a series of important political developments, her husband Asif Ali Zardari was eventually elected as the new President in 2008.
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Throughout history and in many cultures, children have been extensively involved in military campaigns even when such practices were supposedly against cultural morals.
The earliest mentions of minors being involved in wars come from antiquity. It was customary for youths in the Mediterranean basin to serve as aides, charioteers and armor bearers to adult warriors. Examples of this practice can be found in the Bible (such as David's service to King Saul), in Hittite and Egyptian art, and in Greek mythology (such as the story of Hercules and Hylas), philosophy and literature.
Also in a practice dating back to antiquity, children were routinely taken on campaign, together with the rest of a military man's family, as part of the baggage. This exposed them to harm from rearguard attacks, such as the one at the battle of Agincourt, where the retainers and children of the English army were massacred by the French.
The Romans also made use of youths in war, though it was understood that it was unwise and cruel to use children in war, and Plutarch implies that regulations required youths to be at least sixteen years of age.
In medieval Europe, young boys from about twelve years of age were used as military aides ("squires"), though in theory their role in actual combat was limited. The so-called Children's Crusade in 1212 recruited thousands of children as untrained soldiers under the assumption that divine power would enable them to conquer the enemy, although none of the children actually entered combat; according to the legend, they were instead sold into slavery. While most scholars no longer believe that the Children's Crusade consisted solely, or even mostly, of children, it nonetheless exemplifies an era in which the entire family took part in a war effort.
The military use of children takes three distinct forms:
children can take direct part in hostilities (child soldiers), or they can be used in support roles such as porters, spies, messengers, look outs, and sexual slaves; or they can be used for political advantage either as human shields or in propaganda.
Throughout history and in many cultures, children have been extensively involved in military campaigns even when such practices were supposedly against cultural morals. Since the 1970s, a number of international conventions have come into effect that try to limit the participation of children in armed conflicts, nevertheless the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers reports that the use of children in military forces, and the active participation of children in armed conflicts is widespread.
Key facts and statistics about child soldiers
There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers in the world today.
It is estimated that 40% of all child soldiers are girls. They are often used as 'wives' (i.e. sex slaves) of the male combatants.
Many rebel groups use child soldiers to fight the government, but some governments also use child soldiers in armed conflict.
Not all children take part in active combat. Some are also used as porters, cooks and spies.
As part of their recruitment, children are sometimes forced to kill or maim a family member - thus breaking the bonds with their community and making it difficult for them to return home.
Sunday, 1 April 2012
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. The current President of AIPAC is Michael Kassen from Fairfield, Connecticut.
Describing itself as "America's Pro-Israel Lobby," AIPAC is a mass-membership, American organization whose members include Democrats, Republicans, and independents." It has been described as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, DC. Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a "stranglehold" on the United States Congress with its power and influence. There is some disagreement as to where AIPAC's agenda lies ideologically. Some critics on the political left allege that AIPAC holds views that are politically conservative in their nature, while AIPAC's membership has also been described as "overwhelmingly Democratic" by conservatives. AIPAC describes itself as a bipartisan organization, and bills it lobbies for in Congress are always jointly sponsored by both a Democrat and Republican.
In 2005, a Pentagon analyst pled guilty to charges of passing US government secrets to two AIPAC staffers in what is known as the AIPAC espionage scandal. Both staffers were later fired by AIPAC. In 2009 all charges against the former AIPAC employees were dropped