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Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s Daughter Saba

As she prepares to take on the mantle of managing her father Pataudi’s property, Sudipta Basu feels that Saba Ali Khan was born for the job
Every one knows that she exists, but given the celebrity that her siblings Saif and Soha Ali Khan enjoy, thanks to their Bollywood successes; Saba Ali Khan has never really been heard (given that Bollywood is teeming with star siblings ever ready to volunteer sound bytes on everything from hair pins to cat fights). Tiger Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore’s quiet 32-year-old second born, a jewellery designer with a line simply titled Saba, is poised to get very busy soon. Her father Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, currently the mutawalli or chief trustee of the Nawab’s 250-crore ancestral property, reportedly is preparing to pass on the torch to Saba.
“I am reading up a lot on history and all that is involved for taking up office. It is something that will come to me eventually, but for now my father is the mutawalli,” says Saba, stating that she is not willing to give away more, but adding in the same breath, “I have taken some interest lately and am getting groomed for this.” That much, until everything is formalised. It is believed that Pataudi has been considering Saba for the role for a while now, over his other children, knowing fully well that their candidature would not be accepted by the clerics given their association with films.
A Chat with Saba reveals that she was born for the role. She characterises her childhood as an even blend of the old and new, and she feels it is she and her generation that really upholds the change into the future. “I distinctly remember when we made a transition from our black and white television to colour, and when we acquired our first computer. Today black and white TV is considered ancient; but we experienced the best of both worlds,” says Saba. The family moved to Delhi when she was growing up; it was a time when Saif was already well ensconced at Winchester College and Soha was a mere child. The girls, at the behest of their grandmother, learnt the Quaran, and as Saba says, “my sister and I really imbibed from the texts, although Saif also got a fair dose of it too. I was around more and so I connected with small things, such as the correct manner of behaviour, tehzeeb and lihaaz, the value of the ghunghat in the presence of the in-laws. My mother never needed to follow the latter, but I learnt to appreciate the value of tradition. I felt that it suited me; just as when I was growing up the salwar kameez became a part of me,” she continues. “I guess I am just an old soul.” That, coming from the daughter of parents who were trendsetters in their own time… Says Saba, “My parents were very contemporary even in the ’70s. I am much more conventional. I was the quieter one of the three siblings,” she says and quickly adds that each one was encouraged to follow their individual pursuits. Her father is a man of few words, and she says she takes after him, while her mother is artistic. Saif and Soha, she says, are strong willed. “I am a little more flexible and adapting,” she laughs. She is close to her sister, although she makes it a point to watch all of Saif’s films.
While in her ancestral home, she would often find herself tinkering with the family heirloom and participating in its upkeep with her mother. Traditional costumes must be wrapped in mul muls, put away in trunks that are placed on bricks, a safe distance from the walls to avoid contact with moisture; old wooden cupboards are to be routinely checked for termites… being a traditionalist is no cake walk, she will have you understand. “The karigari of my mom’s sarees from the ’70s is a rarity today,” she says.
Surrounded by such beauty and karigari of yore, it was no surprise that jewellery design was to become her natural calling. She launched, Saba, an eclectic line in precious and semi-precious stones, which she retails from her home in Vasant Vihar, Delhi. I hope to have an outlet and that my brand goes international,” says Saba. “I would love my jewellery to be valued but they are designed for today’s generation, that is living for now, and not really concerned about building an heirloom,” she says.
Unwittingly, Saba has been walking along the fine line between the past and present for a while now.

Mukesh Ambani’s Children Akash, Isha and Anant with Tina and Anil’s Sons



More Photographs of Mukesh Ambani’s children

Mukesh Ambani is married to Nita Ambani, who looks after the social and charitable arm of Reliance Industries. They have three children: Akash, Isha and Anant.

Mukesh Ambani’s daughter Isha Ambani has grabbed the second position on a Forbes list of billionaire heiresses. (Sep 2008)

About 16-year-old Isha, it said that Mukesh Ambani’s only daughter is ‘just a teenager but already has her own stake in the family’s Reliance Industries, worth about USD 80 million’.

Nita and Mukesh Ambani With Sons Akash and Anant

Anil Ambani With His Sons Jai Anmol and Jai Anshul

Industrialist Anil Ambani (L) along with his sons leaves Prateeksha – one of the residences of actor Amitabh Bachchan after a Sangeet-traditional Indian pre-marriage musical ceremony of his son’ Abhishek’s marriage to Aishwarya Rai, in Mumbai, early 19 April 2007.

Tina and Anil Ambani’s Sons Jai Anmol and Jai Anshul.

Tina Munim married industrialist Anil Ambani, with whom she has two children. Her two sons currently study at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai and Sevenoaks School near London and not the family owned Dhirubhai Ambani International School.

Vikram Bhatt’s Daughter Krishna Debuts in Father’s 3D Film ‘Haunted’

Krishan debuts as pianist in father Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted, a 3- D flick produced and directed by her father

Vikram Bhatt With His Daughter Krishna

While shooting for the horror thriller, the director realised that he needed a pianist. His daughter, who was on the sets assisting him, was the perfect fit.

Explains Vikram, “ There’s a scene in the movie where the lead actress ( Tia Bajpai) is attending a piano class. I needed a pianist and that’s when my daughter came to mind.” Krishna is a Class XI student at the Ryan Global School. The 16- year- old is obviously very excited to be directed by her father in her debut film.

Prefers acting A sixth- grade pianist, Krishna has been learning the instrument for eight years now. The youngster harbours acting aspirations. “ When she began assisting me during 1920, she told me she was interested in direction. But she was fooling me, I know she prefers acting first.” For the past three years, Vikram has been spotted with his daughter ( from his ex- wife Aditi) at various B- Town events. In fact, all his story ideas and scripts are narrated to his daughter. Bhatt feels he get instant reactions through her expressions and accordingly works on the script.

Vikram was 14 when he started with Mukul Anand’s Kanoon Kya Karega in 1984. Krishna seems to be following suit at 16.

Zayed Khan Talks On Being a Father Again, Come August

Come August 2011, Zayed Khan, will be a father for the second time. Zayed and Malaika Khan are expecting their second child in August. They already have a son named Zidane (see picture below).

Zayed Khan With Son Zidane and Wife Malaika

Zayed Khan confirms, “ I am happy to be a father again because it feels very homely and I am very family- oriented. It’s been a wonderful journey of discovery with my son who sometimes acts more like he’s my father than he is my son ( laughs).” Is he expecting a daughter, this time around? “ I am looking forward to any kid. It’s another journey.”

Ranveer Shorey and Konkona Sen Sharma’s Son Haroon

Ranvir Shorey and Konkona Sen Sharma tied the knot in September 2010, and Konkona gave birth to the child March 15 in a South Mumbai hospital. Ranvir and Konkona have named their son Haroon.”Thank you all for the good wishes! We’ve named our son Haroon Shorey, inspired by ‘Harun’ meaning hope in Sanskrit & Rushdie’s ‘Haroun. . .’,” Konkona and Ranvir posted on their respective Twitter pages earlier this month.

Ranveer Shorey With Son Haroon – Ranveer Shorey recently tweeted this picture saying: Y’all are so sweet, most of you. Here’s a photo of Haroon

Mithun Chakraborty’s Son Mahakshay Chakraborty in The Film Haunted

Mahakshay Chakraborty, son of legendary actor Mithun Chakraborty, will be seen performing some deadly stunts in Vikram Bhatt’s upcoming film “HAUNTED”- India’s first stereoscopic 3D film.

Mithun Chakraborty’s Son Mahakshay Chakraborty

Audiences will be pleasantly surprised to see Mahakshay looking refreshingly different in Haunted and performing some daredevil stunts himself.

Action director Abbas Ali Moghul and everyone in the unit were very apprehensive about him performing the stunts. However, Mahakshay not only refused to use a body double but also relentlessly pushed himself for few of the action scenes.

Says Abbas, “Mahakshay has performed some deadly stunts himself in the movie. I remember a particular sequence where a chandelier falls on Mimoh and on the timing he had to roll on the ground before the chandelier bursts beside him. We were a little worried but Mimoh decided to do it all by himself. Though everyone on the sets suggested we use a body double but Mahakshay was very excited on doing it himself.”

Says Mahakshay, “I have had an absolutely fantastic time shooting for this particular action sequence. Though I got few swellings, the entire chandelier shot, the entire effect came out beautifully.”

Earlier Mahakshay also followed a rigorous fitness regime to shed the extra kilos and look leaner for the movie. From reviving his personality to performing the deadly stunts……looks like there’s no stopping Mahakshay!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Sushmita Sen With Daughters Renee and Alisah Meets The Dalai Lama

Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen visited the Dalai Lama at McLeodganj on March 28 2011. Sushmita Sen was accompanied by her daughters Renee and Alisah. Private secretary of the Dalai Lama told newspersons that Sushmita Sen had just come to seek his blessings. She was presented with Khata, a traditional white scarf, by the Dalai Lama. Sushmita Sen, who is on a private visit to Dharamsala, arrived here last evening. She is putting up at Asia Health Resorts in the Stoberry area of Dharamsala.

Latest Pictures of Sunny Deol’s Son Karan Deol

Here’s a look at Sunny’s son Karan Deol. He was recently spotted during an evening out with friends.

Sunny Deol’s Son Karan DeolKaran Deol, Sunny Deol’s SonKaran Deol at a Party With Friends

First Picture of Ajay Devgan and Kajol’s Son Yug

Ajay Devgan and Kajol at Mumbai airport returning from Bangkok on Wednesday (March 2nd 2011) night with their children Nysa and Yug. This was their first trip as a family abroad after their son’s birth in September last year (and also Yug’s first trip outside Mumbai). The tot was clasped tightly in mommy’s arms such that his face was not visible, Nysa too hid her face.

Kajol With Her Son Yug at the Mumbai International AirportAjay Devgan With Daughter Nysa at Mumbai International Airport

Imaad Shah To Make His Debut as Music Director in Prawaal Raman’s 404

Naseeruddin Shah’s son Imaad Shah makes his debut as music director in Prawaal Raman’s 404. The film stars Imaad along with Tisca Chopra, Rajvvir Aroraa, Satish Kaushik, Mukesh Bhatt and Nishikant Kamath (the director).

Imaad Shah, Naseeruddin Shah’s Son

Nandita Das Opts Out of Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children For Son Vihaan

Balancing motherhood with a career is a tricky one and Nandita Das has made a choice by opting out of old friend Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.
Though signed on to play a pivotal role, Nandita opted out. She says, “With little Vihaan, who is 6 months old now and so delightful, I did not think I would have been able to do justice to both the roles and would have felt quite torn. Pity, but as Deepa says, there is Kamagathamaru, where I am playing the female lead and as I say, there is a time for everything!”For Midnight’s Children Mehta offered Das a guest appearance as well. Says Das, “Even that didn’t make sense as it would have been neither here nor there. I made the decision.”

Second Time Pregnant Tara Sharma To Host TV Show ‘Diaries of a New Mum’

MOMMY’S DIARY: Though she is pregnant for the second time, Tara Sharma is not taking it easy. She will be hosting a television show The Tara Sharma Show — Diaries of a New Mum. It is a realistic account of the actress-model’s experiences with her first child Zen. Tara is currently shooting in South Africa and the show is being produced by her filmmaker hubby Roopak Saluja (View Their Family Pictures Here >>)Tara Sharma With Her Son Zen Saluja

Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder Celebrate Their Triplets’ Birthday With “Joker”

Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder celebrate their triplets’ janamdin by announcing their next production Joker starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha.It’s dual celebration for Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder. Their Kids-Anya, Diva and Czar turn three today (11 February) and their next production Joker also goes on the floors.

Farah Khan Shirish Kunder’s Kids Anya, Diva and Czar

Shirish takes off for Chandigarh in the morning for the shoot of his directorial venture after wishing the tots. “He was to start shooting three days ago but delayed it as he wanted to wish the kids on their big day and then leave,” says the doting mother who will be throwing a party in the evening at brother Sajid Khan’s place.

“Shirish will be missing at the bash but he can’t delay the schedule any longer. The film’s entire cast consisting of Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade and Minissha Lamba are heading for the shoot.” The birthday bash is for kiddies of Anya, Diva and Czar’s age group and children from their school. “There is no point calling bigger kids as they don’t enjoy with them around,” says Farah.

The party’s theme is of a carnival. Czar has asked for a helicopter- shaped cake while the girls want doll-shaped ones.

Like every year, Anya and Diva will be dressed in Parsi-style frocks that Farah’s mother has gifted from a well-known store in south Mumbai.

Photographer Avinash Gowariker will be taking a birthday portrait of the kids. Farah is keen to make this photo session with Gowariker a birthday tradition.

Rati Agnihotri With Son Tanuj Virwani at Imran Khan-Avantika Wedding Reception

Aamir Khan hosted a wedding reception party for nephew Imran Khan and wife Avantika Malik on 5th February at the Taj Lands End hotel, Mumbai. Aamir played the host to perfection as a throng of tinsel town celebs arrived. Rati Agnihotri’s Son Tanuj Virwani was spotted with his mom at the bash. Below are their images from the wedding party.

Rati Agnihotri with Son Tanuj VirwaniRati Agnihotri with Son Tanuj Virwani at Aamir Khan’s Party For Imran Khan-Avantika Malik Wedding

Hrithik Roshan and Sons Hrehaan and Hridaan Roshan With His Wax Statue at Madame Tussauds

Hrithik Roshan came face-to-face with his wax figure at Madame Tussauds, London, yesterday (20th January 2011). Hrithik’s Sons Hrehaan Roshan and Hridaan Roshan were with him posing with their dad’s wax statue.

Hrithik Roshan, Wife Sussanne, their sons Hrehaan and Hridaan with the wax at Madame Tussauds, London

Hrithik reacts to the inclusion of his wax figure into Madame Tussauds, London

On meeting his double for the first time he said, “ I can’t believe I’m in Madame Tussauds unveiling a wax figure of myself. It’s incredible just how detailed the figure is. I’m truly honoured to be included and hope my fans will like seeing the figure”. His waxwork is in his Dhoom character — in a short- sleeved shirt left open to reveal his taut body.

Hrithik attended two sittings in Mumbai and London where sculptors captured a catalogue of reference photographs and hundreds of precise measurements.

He also donated the red shirt and dark blue jeans his figure is wearing.

The figure took four months to make at a cost of £ 150,000. He joins fellow Indian stars Amitabh Bachan, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan in Madame Tussauds’ special Bollywood area.

Om Puri Writes a Farewell Letter to Son Ishaan Puri

Now that his separation from his current wife Nandita is imminent, Om Puri has drafted a farewell letter to his son Ishaan to placate his fears and insecuritiesOm Puri will be moving on in life this year. His dream home is being built with his first wife, Seema Kapoor, in her hometown, Jhalawar in Rajasthan. At 61, Om is all set to start life again from scratch.

The most sensitive area that needs to be tackled in his separation with his current wife Nandita is his son 11-year-old Ishaan. It was the fear of hurting his son at such a crucial time that has kept Om from making the break so far. But now, says Om, the time has come for him to think of his personal happiness…with Ishaan’s approval.

Om has been gradually preparing the child for his separation. But the reasons for the separation and Om’s need to start afresh with a woman who is not Ishaan’s mother are things too difficult for the child to understand. Om has therefore written a long heartfelt letter to his son which Ishaan will open at the right time.

Says Om, “I thought this was the best way to let Ishaan know that his father is not a bad person. That he is not a deserter. I have to explain to my son why I need to live away from him. I’ve put it all down in a letter that Ishaan will open after I leave.

I know he will not think unkindly of me once he reads what I have to say. I want him to know that although I’ll be staying away from him and his mother I have the highest regard for her. That by leaving I don’t mean to disrespect either my son’s or his mother’s feelings.”

This poignant but pragmatic letter has been written, signed, sealed and now waiting to be delivered to the boy as soon as the time is right.

Meanwhile, Om is playing the perfect father. “I’m doing my best. In November I took Ishaan and his mother for a holiday on London, a city that my boy loves. I stayed in the hotel while Ishaan and his mom shopped and went sightseeing to their heart’s content with a dear friend of mine.

Right now I’m shooting in a far-flung place near Khajuraho. There are no luxury hotels here. Ishaan said, ‘Baba, I want to come and be with you.’ I warned him he wouldn’t have all the comforts and luxuries that he’s used to. But Ishaan and I had so much fun.”

Says Om, “I want Ishaan to know his Baba hasn’t left him. I will be there for him anytime. I will take him on vacations. I’ll be there for all the important events in his life. I don’t want my son to think I’ve deserted him .I’ll always be there for him and Nandita.”

The other life with his first wife Seema Kapoor in Jhalawar now awaits Om.

Says Om, “I’m looking forward to my new life. I’ve stopped drinking completely. Now I want to give up smoking also. I want to live for Ishaan and Nandita, and for Seema.”

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‘I’m taken seriously despite my age’ – Adhyayan Suman
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Imran Khan Avantika Wedding-Pictures of Aamir Khan’s Children Ira and Junaid

Aamir Khan’s Daughter Ira Khan at Imran Khan and Avantika Malik WeddingAamir Khan’s Son Junaid Khan, Daughter Ira Khan and Ex-Wife Reena Dutta at Imran Khan’s Wedding With Avantika Malik

Shah Rukh Khan’s Son Aryan at the First International School Sports League at the Dhirubhai Ambani School

Shah Rukh Khan’s son ARYAN at the first international school sports league held at the Dhirubhai Ambani School on Sunday (Jan 9th 2011).

Sunil Shetty and Son Ahaan To Bond Over Cricket & Water Sports at ‘Thank You’ Schedule in Bangkok

Sunil Shetty took off for Bangkok last night with his teenage son Ahaan. This will be a holiday- cum- work vacation. The missus, Mana and daughter Athiya are staying back in Mumbai. The actor will be shooting with Priyadarshan for Thank You, but in his spare time will keep his son company.

Sunil Shetty With His Son Ahaan Shetty

Click on above image to view full size

In his spare time

The actor will be shooting with Priyadarshan for Thank You, but in his spare time will keep his son company. Says Anna, “ He has his winter holidays so I decided to take him along. It’s time for some father and son bonding. Ahaan loves water sports so we want to spend a lot of time snorkelling, jet skiing, deep- water diving etc.” Ahaan turns 15 on January 15 so this is kind of a pre- birthday treat for him. The proud father reveals that his son is already taller than him, “ I enjoy being with him. I am used to taking care of him from the time he was three years old, when I’d taken him abroad for one of my films with Priyan.

I love being a hands- on dad.

Now the difference is that he takes care of me.” Let’s play! Baap- beta also plan to play a bit of cricket with the unit. “ Bobby ( Deol) and Irrfan ( Khan) are cricket- crazy, so in the six days, there will be lots of sporty action taking place. Ahaan and I also love cricket, so we will get to play a lot of it.” Shetty Junior wants to be an actor and his parents are supportive of the decision, “ I always tell him about Hrithik — who is also one of my most favorite star kids — and to be as dedicated as him. But I want Ahaan to get a degree in acting and filmmaking from the US. It’s not only about acting. If his first film doesn’t do well, it shouldn’t be the end of the world for him. I would never discourage him from wanting to be an actor. The film industry is a beautiful place to be in.

Anu Malik With His Two Daughters Anmol and Ada at Mahalaxmi Racecourse To View The Mid Day Trophy Race.

THE X’mas cheer was palpable on the tracks of Mahalaxmi racecourse on Sunday (26th dec 2010) as celebrities gathered for a ringside view of the prestigious MiD DAY Trophy Race. Anu Malik gets his sunshine along —his two daughters.

Anu Malik With His 2 Daughters Anmol and Ada Malik

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Hrithik Roshan With Poonam Dhillon’s Son Anmol Dhillon

Poonam Dhillon’s son, Anmol recently met his idol Hrithik Roshan. He aspires to be a dancing sensation and an actor.Hrithik Roshan with Anmol Dhillon, Poonam Dhillon’s SonSays a source, “Poonam doesn’t take her son to too many filmi events but last week when Anmol heard Hrithik was coming to one, he accompanied his mother to this event.

When Hrithik entered, he spoke to the mother-son duo warmly and even later posed for pictures with the boy.”

The source adds, “What was cute was that Anmol brought his own camera along and asked his mother to take pictures while he posed. Hrithik took time out for Anmol and clicked pictures with him.”

Poonam confirms, “This is the first time that Anmol met Hrithik. That’s why I took him along. He loves Ranbir Kapoor and Shahid Kapur too.

My son wants to be an actor and seems to be showing a passion for films. I have told him to complete his studies.

He’s currently studying business and marketing in the USA and wants to do an acting course in the UK next year.

His dad (film producer Ashok Thakeria) and I have told him we will support him as Anmol is a great dancer and is talented.”

The only thing I am scared of, is failure. My children can handle success but I don’t want them to see failure. When you are educated you are prepared for anything,” concludes Shetty.


Rs 400 Billion World Cup & match fixing

 World Cup
&
match fixing

The Sports Illustrated India issue on match-fixing which hits the stands on May 7.

Innocence, like virginity, can be lost only once.

Cricket – the players, the administration, the fans, the game itself – lost its innocence on April 7, 2000, when New Delhi police officials accused then South African captain Hansie Cronje of colluding with bookmaker Sanjay Chawla to fix the one day games with India played in March of that year.

Any hymenal vestiges were swept aside in the months that followed, thanks to the revelations from a Central Bureau of Investigation probe in India; the report of the Justice Qayyum commission in Pakistan; the serial naming of players from around the world and their almost ritual ‘clearing’ by the respective boards, and finally by the spot-fixing expose of last year that resulted in bans of varying durations imposed on three Pakistani players.

All of which is why the latest media story on match-fixing – Dirt in Cricket, a Heena Zuni Pandit-authored cover story for the latest issue of Sports Illustrated India – comes without the sort of shock value earlier exposes such as the one in Outlook over a decade ago or the subsequent one in Tehelka engendered.

It is not that the Sports Illustrated India story is not shocking in and of itself – it is merely that we have lost the capacity to be shocked; in fact, watching cricket with half an eye on possibly “fixed” moments has become a parlor game for the fan. And yet this latest story, in the Sports Illustrated India issue that will be on stands countrywide May 7, is important both for what it contains, and for what remains as yet unrevealed.

The Rs 400 Billion World Cup

Voice: Arre, us match ka patha chala aapko?

Sports Illustrated India: Kis match ka?

Voice: India-Pakistan ka. Humein ek message aaya tha, Bihar ke ek politician ka. Kaha, ‘Sir, yehi sahi time hai paisa lagane ka. Ab nahin lagayenge to kab lagayenge? Rs 200 crore pahuncha diya hai.’

SI India: Achcha, kaun sa politician tha?

Voice: Ek hai, Bihar mein.

The above conversation was, SIsays, recorded on March 31, a day after the India-Pakistan semifinal at Mohali; the unnamed ‘Voice’ belongs to a politician from a national party who has a residence in Delhi and a scrapyard business in Bombay.

It was a casual meeting of politician-punters who had made a few lakh apiece betting on the game – spare change in comparison with the vast sums that routinely change hands during cricket matches, but at another level an indication of just how pervasive betting – a supposedly illegal activity in this country – has become. A subsequent conversation, the transcript of which is not provided in the story, revolves around how Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi consistently refuses to play ball with bookies, but also of how four Pakistan players had been paid to underperform.

What we had learnt back in 2000, in exchange for our rudely ruptured innocence, is that “match-fixing” is not what we naively imagined it was: a case of a bookie buying up entire teams to under-perform. That was a scenario that strains credibility; hence our violent rejection of the notion when it first surfaced.

Rather, we learnt, bookies buy the “services” of individual players to perform specific tasks: bowl a bad over or a bad spell; “struggle” with the bat and get out at or below a specified score, etc. Cricket is a game of moments, each seemingly mundane yet holding within its occurrence the possibility of changing the course of the game at a later point. And it is those moments bookies seek to fix.

For those in the book-making business, it is a double whammy: punters bet more on moments, on small possibilities, than on outcomes, and therefore knowing what a particular player will do helps bookies shade the odds and make a killing.

At a larger level, knowing that two or three or four players of one side will, at critical moments, under-perform gives the bookie a near-certainty that the side in question will lose the game. It is not a dead cert – one of the “unfixed” players could well turn in a game-changing performance. But the odds are certainly in favor of the possibility that if four key players in a team of 11 perform at below par, a defeat is likely. And that is good enough for the bookie.

The India-versus-Pakistan game did not, therefore, have to be fixed in its entirety. All it would have taken was for a few players of one side to have been bought – and that is the scenario the SI India cover story surfaces.

Another vignette relating to the World Cup – and we quote verbatim from the story: “According to the version of a group of journalists who met several hours before the India-West Indies World Cup match in Chennai (a day-nighter), they hadn’t even finished breakfast when they were told that bookies had already declared that Chris Gayle would not be playing in the game.

“Until that moment, there had been no indication to the mediapersons – cricket reporters all – accompanying the team that there was anything wrong with Gayle, or that he would be skipping the match. A few hours later, the news was confirmed. Gayle did not play. Someone in the know had already passed on that information.”

The India Connection

SI India:OK. And you are sure about these two, **** and ****? [Two players whose names have been removed.]

Bookie: Haan. Inse meri khud baat hui hai. (Yes, I spoke with these two myself)

SI India: Okay. Kya baat hui thi? Ek baar bataaiye. (Okay. What was the conversation about? Tell us please)

Bookie: Jo tape mere paas thi, usme toh ek argument tha. (On the tape I had, there was an argument)

SI India: Jab woh shuru hota hai tape, toh usme first voice kiski hai? (When the tape began, who’s was the first voice on it?)

Bookie: First voice humaari hai. Jab tak hum kuch bolte nahin, woh saamne se kuch nahin bolta. (We spoke first. As long as I didn’t speak, no one spoke from their end either)

SI India: Aap mein se kiski hai? Sunilji ki? (And who from your end? Sunil?)

Bookie: Nahin, Tinku ki. Do tapes hain. Tinku ne kaha ki… [pauses] (No, Tinku. There were two tapes. Tinku said…)

SI-India: 1st tape mein Tinku ne kaha ki… (What did Tinku say on the first tape?)

Bookie: Theek hai sab kuch. Hum paise bhijwa dete hain. Baaki saari baat pehle decide ho chuki thi, phir jab usne commitment poora nahin kiya, toh doosri baar unhone mujhe kaha ki phone laga aur pooch.

Maine kaha, “Sir kya hua? Ye gadbad kaise ho gayi? Hum toh mar gaye!’ (Everything is fine. We’ll send the money. Everything else had been decided in advance, but when he didn’t fulfill the commitment, then he (Tinku) told me the second time, you call and ask what happened. I said, “Sir, what happened? How did this get messed up? You’ve ruined us”.

SI India: Direct **** [Player’s name] ko phone kiya? (You called **** [Player's name removed] directly?

Bookie: Haan. Toh woh bola, ‘Behen ke… phone rakh.’ (Yes. And he said, “Sister@3@#@#, hang up…”

SI India: Phir? (And then?)

Bookie: Phir agle din uske kisi acquaintance ka phone aaya ki aise-aise ho gaya tha. ‘***’ [Reference to a BCCI official removed] gadbad kar diya. Usse pata chal gaya tha toh usne dressing room mein kaha ki aisa kuch karne ki koshish nahin karein or isiliye hum paise wapas kar rahe hain’. (Then the next day, an acquaintance of his called. He said, **** [reference to a BCCI official removed] messed it up. He found out that something was on, so he came to the dressing room and said, don’t try anything, which is why we are returning the money’.)

The SI Indiacover story is based, they say, on 400 minutes-worth of taped conversations. The above is one of them; what is said is scary, what has been redacted (the names of the players) is incendiary, since rather than two named players now being viewed with suspicion, we are now forced to view the entire team with a measure of distrust. ‘Is he the one?’, we will go in a corner of our minds every time a set batsman gets out to a silly shot, or a bowler operates below par, or a fielder muffs a sitter.

Some of the conversations whose transcripts do not appear in the story refer to team information being available to a middleman via a top player agent.

Again, this merely confirms what is widely known within the cricketing fraternity: that privileged information, in the world of cricket, is worth cold hard cash.

The world scoffed when it was first revealed that Shane Warne and Mark Waugh had received monetary considerations from bookies, during Australia’s 1994 tour of Sri Lanka, in return for passing on innocuous information about the weather and the pitch. ‘Why would anyone pay for information they can get just by looking out the window?’, was the amused reaction.

It seemed improbable – until you realized that the initial payment for innocuous information was merely the bait. Once a player accepts money in exchange for information, the pattern is set; from that point on, the demands for information increase exponentially, and the cricketer who has compromised himself once finds it impossible to resist. Innocence resembles virginity in this as well – it is all or nothing; there is no such thing as a little big innocent.

The business of information has increasingly become organized, with kingpins (controllers of the bookmaking business, to whom individual bookies pay tithe) at one end and players at the other, and cut outs built into the process to shield the identities of the players concerned.

Typically (and this moved from guesswork to fact when, last year, the spot fixing story involving three Pakistani players broke in London), it is the increasingly powerful player agent who serves as the cut out. He has access to the player at all times, and thus is in a position to routinely gather information and, away from the scrutiny of the ICC’s anti-corruption sleuths, pass that information on to the bookies and their kingpins.

And that brings up the India connection in the Sports Illustrated India story. Quote:

“What is worse, in many ways, is that local bookies and middlemen either claim to know players personally, or know their agents very well. In one conversation, a top Delhi bookie’s sidekick informed us that he had called up a senior player during a T20 international because of a Rs 5 crore spot-fixing deal that had fallen through.

“While we were not privy to him calling up the player in question, the player’s personal numbers he had were correct and some of the details and team information he had were startling.”

SI India goes on to connect the dots, adding fact to supposition to make its case. Quote:

“Separately, a top BCCI official told SI that the same player (who the bookie claimed to have spoken to) was also warned that he was being “watched carefully” during the Indian Premier League’s second season in Africa.

The IPL Connection

On April 17, in course of an ICC meeting in Dubai, the BCCI agreed to the offer of having the global body’s anti-corruption wing provide cover for the IPL. And thereby hangs a tale.

When the IPL – with its mega-buck auctions, its dugouts where players and owners sat together while games were in progress, its after-hours parties open to anyone who could pay the price of admission, and where players had their pick of girls rendering “hostess” and “escort” services and whose tabs were picked up by anonymous others – was first launched, the likes of ICC president Haroon Lorgat and ACSU chief Paul Congdon had warned that the freewheeling nature of the tournament could result in the sort of corruption that, in an earlier era, had given Sharjah a bad name.

Those warnings were dismissed off hand, as coming from outsiders “jealous of India’s success”. And in this context, it is pertinent to mention that there were, still are, sections of the establishment around the world that wants nothing more badly than for the IPL to fail, as such a failure would open up opportunities for the boards of other nations.

The essential logic behind the warnings of Lorgat and Congdon were however indisputable – and unlike the case with Sharjah, there was now a solution handy: ensure that the IPL was brought under ACSU cover, as happens with all ICC-sanctioned tournaments.

In public, the subject was not discussed. In private, the BCCI dragged its feet – until the story finally broke that the BCCI had refused the ACSU’s services. At this point, the BCCI put on its characteristic air of injured innocence, and said the ICC’s charge of $1.2 million to provide ACSU cover was too steep a price to afford.

To put that “steep price” into perspective, it is pertinent to mention that the BCCI had for the financial year 2007-2008 declared an overall income of around $210 million.

Finally, when the subject was raised during the Dubai meeting, the BCCI finally okayed the ACSU cover – just two days before the start of the league, and thus too late for the ACSU to effectively deploy. It was no secret that various state-level officials of the Indian board were perplexed, to put it mildly, at how the BCCI had handled the whole affair.

Here is a quote from the SI India story:

“Some BCCI officials were very concerned by the free access to players, national and international, during that second season (in South Africa). Several known shady characters based in the Middle East, but not seen in India, flew into South Africa and booked rooms in the players’ hotels, both during last year’s Champions’ League and the IPL’s second season,” an official told SI India.

“Another said he had ticked off a top India player’s agent, telling him to “stay away” from him when the agent came to invite him for an event in South Africa.”

So now what?

Prima facie, the SI India story, a copy of which was provided to Yahoo prior to publication, does not appear to amount for much:

  • The possibility that the World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan, or portions thereof, was fixed;
  • The information that vast sums of illicit money changed hands during the World Cup;
  • The suggestion that politicians of varying degrees of prominence were part of the loose confederation of those who make illegal profits out of cricket;
  • A question mark about the sudden exit of Chris Gayle from the playing eleven in a World Cup game against India;
  • A question surrounding a national player from Delhi, who through his agent had apparently done enough to cause even the BCCI – notorious for its Three Monkeys-style inability to see, hear, or speak to any wrongdoing – to issue a warning;
  • A reference in course of a conversation (whose transcript is not part of the story) to a national selector who received unspecified favors in return for bringing a particular player into the national team.

Neither individually nor collectively does any of this amount to much, in the eyes of cricket fans who, having been serially shocked by revelations of far greater voltage over the course of the previous decade, have built up immunity to such revelations. And yet, there is – in a dog that did not bark sort of way – a hidden significance to this SI India cover story, and that significance lurks in the mention that the magazine is in possession of 400 minutes of taped conversations relating to illicit activities on the fringes of the cricket field.

Here’s the money quote, edited for size:

“Over the last six months, SI India has met, individually and collectively, with over half a dozen known bookies, players, agents and officials, and watched from the sidelines as investigative officers across agencies conducted undercover operations into organized betting syndicates and worked on tip-offs with regard to spot-fixing before and during the World Cup.

“…SI India has taped many of these conversations with bookies and police officers, and while the tapes are authentic, some of these tapes are yet to be verified – it is still an ongoing operation – which is why names have not been printed. We have informally offered officials of both the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India access to these recordings to take this further as they please.”

When this issue of SI India hits the stands (at the moment of writing this, that is still some 12 hours away), we can expect a flurry of denials accompanied by ‘explanatory’ conspiracy theories.

The Rs 400 billion question is, what action will the ICC/BCCI take? Will the two governing bodies, national and global, take up the SI offer, examine the contents of the tape, and use that to spark their own investigations?

And – tantalizing prospect – what fresh revelations will come from the SI India stable, once the “ongoing operation” is completed, and the tapes are thoroughly mined for information and insight?


Gamers Can Kill Osama Bin Laden in New Video Game Recreation of Assassination

New York-based online game publisherKuma Games is allowing gamers to assassinate Osama Bin Laden and experience what the brave Navy SEALs went through in Pakistan through a new free PC video game. KumaWar Episode 107: Osama 2011will be available on Saturday May 7th for anyone to download and play.

The game’s website describes the newest mission: After months of stake outs and growing amounts of Intel, a US helicopter crosses Pakistan under the cloak of darkness. Seventy-nine Navy SEALs drop from the sky into a secret compound, designed for defense and manned by Al Qaeda killers. In forty minutes and a rain of hot lead, a decades-long, worldwide manhunt for Osama Bin Laden will be ended… by you.

The website promises that “after more than 100 ripped-from-the-headlines “gameisodes,” Kuma War puts you behind the trigger that finally takes down Osama Bin Laden. Storm his mansion. Kill his guards. Don’t expect him to come quietly.”

“At Kuma, we are very sensitive and respectful of American and coalition soldiers and the sacrifices they are making every day,” said Kuma Games CEO Keith Halper. “We hope that by telling their stories with such a powerful medium that we enable the American public to gain a better appreciation of the conflicts and the dangers they face.”

Halper said that looking back at the 106 previous gameisodes of the franchise, it was important to tell this last story in order to close the door on KumaWar. The game launched on February 28, 2004 with a two-part mission that sent put gamers in control of 101stAirborne and Special Forces to hunt down and kill Uday and Qusay Hussain, sons of Saddam and leaders of his most notorious military units.

From its very first downloadable missions, Kuma Games looked to blend the latest news around the War on Terror with video commentary from military experts like Major General Thomas L. Wilkerson (ret.) in the form of Kuma News videos. Players were then able to live through the most important battles of the wars in the Middle East.

Kuma Games builds re-creations of real-world events using advanced gaming tools. KumaWar is a first and third-person tactical squad-based game that provides multiple updates monthly to the consumer’s computer to reflect unfolding events in the real world. The game developer works with a decorated team of military veterans and U.S. soldiers returning from war.

On November 24, 2005,KumaWar allowed players to hunt down and capture Saddam Hussein, in Adwar. As some 600 soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division and Special Operations move into target areas Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2, gamers must first capture Saddam’s two associates that aid the fugitive ex-president and then track down the Butcher of Baghhad.

Over the years, KumaWar has virtually recreated other wars and key historical moments for players to experience first-hand. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, Kuma released a mission that sent players in to rescue 53 American hostages in Tehran on April 24, 1980. Players were able to live through John Kerry’s 1969 Vietnam War mission in the Mekong Delta, which earned the senator a Silver Star.

KumaWar has even recreated controversial modern day combat like the Battle for Fallujah. Perhaps it was because the game is free and available online. Publisher Konami Digital Entertainment canceled Atomic Games’Six Days of Fallujah in April 2009 after the game came under fire from families of soldiers killed in the battle. That game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC was developed by the Raleigh, North Carolina studio in conjunction with Marines and other soldiers involved in the battle. The battle resulted in the deaths of 71 U.S. troops and 1,600 insurgents. Konami showed the game to media at a gaming event a few weeks before pulling the game amidst public outrage.

Killing Bin Laden shouldn’t bring any type of moral outrage, especially given the overwhelming sense of American pride and satisfaction that has gripped the nation since word spread like wildfire online on May 1 that the Al Qaeda leader was assassinated. The global reaction to his death has been positive. Allowing gamers to step into the virtual combat boots of the highly trained SEALs that took out Bin Laden will also give anyone interested a first-hand look at what transpired in those final hours. With only some bloody photos released, Kuma’s game engine will depict an accurate 3D recreation of the final hunt for the world’s most notorious terrorist.

Although they won’t be able to kill Bin Laden, gamers who want to experience the top secret missions that the brave Navy SEALs undertake at global hotspots can pick up Sony’s PlayStation 3-exclusive SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. That game, which supports both stereo 3D and PlayStation Move, recently shipped from developer Zipper Interactive. The game allows players to hunt down terrorists and complete missions with squads of friends online.

Name Platforms Developer
Postal III PCX360PS3MAC Running With Scissors
Fugitive Hunter: War on Terrorreleased on Nov. 18, 2003 PCPS2 Black Ops Entertainment

Appears in Fugitive Hunter: War on Terror. You fight Osama Bin Laden fighting game style!

Osama bin Laden is the founder of al-Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group known for orchestrating the September 11th attacks. He was put on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives following the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa. After going into hiding in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region for nearly a decade, he was killed in a raid on his compound on May 1, 2011 by U.S. Navy Seals.

In Video Games

Osama bin Laden made an appearance as the final boss of the low budget title Fugitive Hunter: War on Terror, a game in which the player takes on missions to hunt down notorious wanted criminals. Though the game is predominantly a first-person shooter, the boss fights are staged in a fighting game format, complete with health bars for each character. Thus, the game ends with the absurd scenario of the player and bin Laden engaging in a martial arts duel. If the player wins, bin Laden is subdued and handcuffed before being taken to a waiting helicopter. Rather than simply escort him inside the vehicle, however, the protagonist delivers a jumping knee to bin Laden, sending him flying into the aircraft in the game’s final cinematic.

Games cash in on Osama
 Online gaming sites and makers of video games haven’t wasted any time in cashing in on the drama surrounding the recent killing of Osama bin Laden by the US Navy Seals. Games that allow users to not just track but torture and kill the world’s most wanted terrorist are already hot on the circuit.  On Wednesday,  newgrounds.com rolled out Osama’s Revenge — a game in which users take on the terrorist’s ghost. ‘Osama is back from the dead to take revenge. Can you kill him again?’ reads the ticker on the game, which already has over 50,000 takers.On Monday, Indian gaming website ibibo.com is all set to introduce Osama’s character in their popular game Mumbai Underworld. “Users will be allowed to bombard Osama in the game. They can also invite their Facebook friends to do the same,” says Ashish Kashyap, CEO of the website. He explains that it is part of their business strategy to remain current, as people enjoy games with news connect. Another game, Kuma War Episode: The Death of Osama bin Laden, gives players a chance to play Navy Seals and re-enact his killing. “These tabloid games will capitalise on this event for traffic,” said Ian Bogost, professor of digital media at Georgia Tech in US, to Kotaku.com.Ironically, Osama’s death has breathed new life into old games on terrorism, too. Games such as Osama Gotchi (where you can maim Osama) and Mujahideen (the winner gets to have a drink with a caricature of Osama) are more popular than ever.

“Great games … the biggest thing is that the game came true, Osama is dead,” posts Redskill, about Osama Gotchi. “I’m revisiting the games I played around 26/11, it feels great to kill terrorists,” says Varun Khanna, 23.

It’s game on for the war on terror
The 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2009 inspired games which allow users to kill all the terrorists at the site
The capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 inspired games where users had to find a hiding Saddam.
Since 2001, the war in Afghanistan has inspired games worth billions

Online video games are the newest form of social comment

New York Defender- The game starts with a cartoon World Trade Center standing beneath an open, peaceful sky. Then planes begin zooming in, and you have to shoot them out of the air before they collide with the towers. But within barely a minute, the game becomes so difficult—and the planes so frequent—that you can’t catch them all. They break through your defenses and smash huge smoky holes in the buildings. The towers collapse. Game over.

Unlike most shoot-’em-ups, New York Defender doesn’t give players a sense of excitement or joy. Instead, it makes them feel powerless. It is, in essence, a grim message about the hopelessness of anti-terrorism: Try as you might to knock every enemy out of the sky, one will always slip past. “There are no ways to actually win,” Jonathan Pitcher, one of the game’s French designers, wrote when I e-mailed him. “The winner becomes the last one to lose.” Pitcher says more than 1 million people have played New York Defender, making it an unusually popular statement about the war on terrorism.

The online video game has become the newest way to mouth off about current events. Last summer, the pass-around hit was a Lizzie Grubman game in which you mowed down hapless Hamptons townies using a grinning Lizzie in her SUV. These days, there’s a parody version of the arcade hit Street Fighter—Downing Street Fighter, in which nine British politicians beat the crap out of each other in a quest to become prime minister, all the while yelling mangled Japanese-style Engrish taunts at their opponents. (“You are no match for my kung fu. Stop wasting my time!” William Hague snarls.) It’s a jab at the whole concept of party politics—where supposedly principled debate frequently turns into a cartoonish smack-down and, quite literally, a game.

Enduring Freedom: bombing everything in sightThe war, in particular, has inspired scores of similar titles, and their makers span the political spectrum from peaceniks to hawks. One designer crafted War on Terrorism, a game that allows you to gun down the Taliban with AK-47s and sniper rifles, then pummel Osama Bin Laden with your fists. (“No better way to kill time … er, Taliban,” the creator notes on his Web page.) Another designer created Al Quaidamon, a sardonic riff on both Pokémon and human-rights concerns over how we treat prisoners of war. (“Your very own war prisoner! How will you treat him?” the game asks. “Be careful, or you might just grow to love him!”) A grisly title called Kaboom!has you play as a Palestinian suicide bomber. (“I just think people who blow themselves up are stupid,” the game’s author writes.) Meanwhile, the French creators of New York Defender also produced a game called Enduring Freedom, in which you try to bomb Afghan military bases while avoiding peaceful settlements. But the cartoonish little bases look pretty much identical to the townships, and they all whip by so fast that you wind up indiscriminately wiping out innocents despite your best efforts. Call it Collateral Damage, the game.

This material would have been unheard of a few years back, when only corporations could afford to code video games. But online animation software like Flash has made the means of production easy to download. In an hour or so, angry young Webmasters can spin their political opinions into interactive editorials. Many of the games are hosted atNewgrounds.com, a portal where thousands of people post their creations; visitors vote for their favorites, and the best ones become part of the site’s permanent collection. The site has received so many games devoted to Sept. 11 and the war in Afghanistan that it has a special section just for it.

Mind you, the social commentary in these games isn’t terribly sophisticated. Most are made by disgruntled teenage boys and young men, so they’re often riddled with bathroom humor, sophomoric sexual antics, and misogyny. But some merely push the line of taste in a creative way, like Aaron Chapman, a 21-year-old atheist living in Texas. Annoyed by what he sees as omnipresent Christianity in government and society, Chapman began making a series of anti-Jesus games—including Messiah Annihilator, in which you blast away at phalanxes of attacking Jesuses. In the final round—when, in accordance with the conventions of video games, you fight the mastermind Big Boss—the game forces you to battle an Ultra-Mega-Jesus-Bot. (To start playing, you hit a button called “Begin the blasphemy!”) Like South Park, it’s puerile but acidly funny.

As a game, however, it’s pretty dull. Most of these political games are. You’d never find yourself pumping quarters addictively into them. They’re low-tech, 2-D, cartoonish, and the game-play in most is so painfully simple that you can master them after one or two sessions at the keyboard. Yet this is, weirdly, part of the point. These games aren’t trying to get you hooked or make your thumbs sore. They’re trying to make you think.

cool links

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/40095

These links will take you to games hosted by Newgrounds.com, which archives hundreds of thousands of games and animations. Many of those games (but not the ones Slate has linked to) involve material that is openly racist, sexist, and homophobic, and Slate doesn’t endorse them in any way. In addition, most of the pages, including the ones Slatehas linked to, feature banner advertisements for pornography.



Govt pushes Air India into financial mess: CAG

New Delhi: Air India pilots are on strike as a fallout of the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines.

While Air India today staring at a loss of over Rs 13,000 crore and the management is struggling to operate daily services, the Civil Aviation Ministry could have saved the national career from this mess.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) believes Air India incurred Rs 10,000 crore loss because it was forced into buying 111 aircraft it did not need.

A CAG report on aircraft acquisition says the mega acquisition is the main reason why the Maharaja is in deep financial mess.

New Delhi:Air India pilots are on strike as a fallout of the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines.

While Air India today staring at a loss of over Rs 13,000 crore and the management is struggling to operate daily services, the Civil Aviation Ministry could have saved the national career from this mess.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) believes Air India incurred Rs 10,000 crore loss because it was forced into buying 111 aircraft it did not need.

A CAG report on aircraft acquisition says the mega acquisition is the main reason why the Maharaja is in deep financial mess.

CNN-IBN has accessed the entire CAG report on the state of Air India and Indian Airlines. The two airlines merged in 2007.

The report, to be tabled in Parliament, indicts the Civil Aviation Ministry for forcing the multi billion dollar aircraft acquisition. The loss from the forced aircraft acquisition resulted into a loss of Rs 10,000 crore.

According to the CAG report the proposal to buy 43 aircraft for Indian Airlines in 2005 was done without adequate due diligence regarding the economic viability.


What Is Akshaya Tritiya?

They say the first thing the Lord said when he decided to create this world is ‘Akshaya’. They say that on this day was born Annapurna, goddess of food (and how appropriate is that, since today is also, per our earlier update, the International No Diet Day?) Ergo, the festival of Akshaya Tritiya — though how the above legend somehow translates into the practice of buying gold is anybody’s guess. Or maybe not: the Wall Street Journal in its round up has the answer. Sample quote:

“It’s part of a strategy to deseasonalize the demand for gold,” said Vasudha Jha, India spokeswoman for the gold mining industry body, the World Gold Council, which works with sellers to encourage gold demand. “It’s a huge marketing opportunity to really support our partners…the belief is that if you buy, what you buy on Akshaya Tritiya can never get destroyed.”

The council already describes India as the “heart of the gold market.” In 2010 it bought almost 440 metric tons of the stuff, nearly half the world demand.

But the idea is to find ways to keep the demand for gold, which spikes during Diwali, a Hindu festival that usually falls around October or November, and around weddings, from leveling off at other times of the year.

“It’ll take us time to really create a yearly calendar for people,” said Ms. Jha. “We’ve started with Akshaya Tritiya.”

9:45 am: 119 runs. 56 balls. 13 fours. 6 sixes. And what does Viru Sehwag, whose powerhouse performance single-handedly floored the Deccan Chargers attack led by Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma yesterday, have to say about it all? This, which we spotted just now on his Twitter stream: “Hope you guys enjoyed the innings. Thank you for your wishes.” Wow — gives a whole new meaning to “under-statement”, this guy. Consider that he had lost his opening partner off the second ball of a stiff chase; consider that by the end of the 6 overs of fielding restrictions the Daredevils were well behind the pace, having lost 29 for 3, with Sehwag himself on an uncharacteristic 12 off 14 balls thanks to an incisive opening spell by Steyn and Ishant… and then consider Sehwag’s phlegmatic response at the end of the mayhem that began in the 18th over, which began with his team needing 144 from just 13 overs: “Batsmen like Warner, or me, or Gilchrist or Tendulkar, can do anything if we play for so many overs,” Sehwag said. Before the game, he told his team to play fearless cricket; they went out there and bowled no balls, dropped catches, converted singles into fours — so he just decided the hell with this, I’ll do it all myself. How many players do we know who can walk their talk that way?


Best Place to Be a Mom — And the Worst

According to a new study, Norway is the best place to be a mom in the world. Guess what’s the worst?

When we were in St. John earlier this year, I met two mothers who left New York with their kids and husbands to live in the Islands. They missed their extended families, but not winter, and they said they spent most days with their kids on the beach.

But living in a tropical paradise doesn’t change mommyhood that much — If your kid is going to wake up 10 times a night, they’re going to do it whether they’re in Paris, St. John or Manhattan. Still, it makes you wonder: Where do moms have it good?

Save the Children came out with their 2011 World Mothers Indextoday. The nonprofit children’s aid organization compared 164 countries in order to compile a list of the best and worst places to be a mom.

The best place to be a mom is not the United States — we check in at 31. At the top of the list is Norway, Australia and Iceland. The findings are based on things like health, economic well being and educational access.

At the bottom of the list: Afghanistan, Niger and Yemen. “Conditions for mothers and their children in the bottom countries are grim,” reports the study. “On average, 1 woman in 30 will die from pregnancy-related causes. one child in 6 dies before his or her fifth birthday, and 1 child in 3 suffers from malnutrition. Nearly 50 percent of the population lacks access to safe water and only 4 girls for every 5 boys are enrolled in primary school.”

The study goes on to compare the best country to be a mom — Norway — with the worst — Afghanistan, and the findings are even more shocking. Health care workers are present at every birth in Norway, while only 14 percent of births in Afghanistan have health workers present. The typical Norwegian woman has 18 years of formal education and will live to be 83 years old. In Afghanistan, a woman typically has less than 5 years of education and won’t live beyond 45. One in 175 women will lost a child before his or her fifth birthday in Norway, while in Afghanistan it’s 1 in 5.

So next time I’m having a pity party about how tired I am or how I never get a second to myself anymore, I’m going to think of this study. Even if we’re in 31st place, American moms have it good


Silicon Group Of Companies

Silicon Group Of Companies

Silicon Group Of Companies are established by smart and core professionals working in the field of economic activities with an avowed motive to provide financial freedom to all it’s members through rich dividends fetched from proper and expert application of their product and various package-wise investments.

Each and every day of our progressing world needs to be economically tuned for greater changes of the future.

Silicon Group shall diversify it’s business activities in every direction that may offer fruitful results and profits so that the company does not fail to keep it’s promises.

First thrust of the company shall be on opening of a mineral water plant, Hotel and resorts, and entering into cement manufacturing business simultaneoulsy working in the field of human resources development by creating educational research and development facilities in different towns and cities of India to provide better educational facilities by soon opening technical colleges and schools for our youths to m

City Office:

91/A/2, N.S.C Bose
Kolkata – 700 040Head Office

Email: info@siliconprojectsindia.com

Website: http://www.siliconprojectsindia.com

  • TAMLUK – PURBA MEDINIPUR
  • BANKURA – BANKURA(INDPUR)
  • BORPETA. RD. – ASSAM
  • BAGNAN – HOWRAH
  • MEDINIPUR WEST – PASCHIM MEDINIPUR
  • MATHABHANGA – COOCHBEHAR
  • VARANASI – VARANASI
  • CONTAI – MEDINIPUR
  • CUTTACK – ORISSA
  • KUCHINDA – ORISSA
  • RAGHUNATHGUNJ – MURSHIDABAD
  • BERHAMPUR – MURSHIDABAD
  • RANCHI – JHARKHAND
  • BONGAON – 24 PARGANA (N)
  • NAWADA – BIHAR
  • AGARTALA – TRIPURA

Warren Buffett’s Words of Wisdom

Warren Buffett’s Words of Wisdom
Oracle of Omaha says : ” I am a better Investor because I am a businessman and
I am a better businessman because I am an Investor”

“I will tell you how to become rich close the doors. Be fearful when return’s are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful”


How to Check Your Message Inbox on Facebook

Do you ever get bored on Facebook and want to check over some of your old messages that you have received? Or, perhaps you have new messages and are not sure of how to read them. Read this simple guide to figure out how to check your message inbox!

editSteps

  1. Open a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox and browse to Facebook.com.

    Find Friends On Facebook

    Find Your Friends on Facebook. Join Today to Connect with Them!
    www.Facebook.com

  2. 2

    Sign into your Facebook account by entering your email address and password.

  3. 3

    Click on the drop-down arrow near the word “Inbox” – from the drop-down menu, click on “Message Inbox.”


List of local newspapers in Bangladesh

District wise Newspaper and Magazine
List of local newspapers in Bangladesh

List of local newspapers in Bangladesh

Dhaka
Ajker Kagoj, Ittefaq, Inqilab, Naya Diganta, Amar Desh, Azad, Bhorer Kagaj, Prothom Alo, The Daily Kaler Kantho, Banglalink DotCom, Banglar Bani, Sangbad, Janakantha, Jugantar, Sangram, Rupali, Dainik Bangla, Dinkal, Arthaniti, Muktakantha, Ajker Kagoj, Al Amin, Dainik Bhor, Desh Janata, Janapath, Daily Jaijaidin, Janmabhumi, Khabar, Samachar, Sakti, Samakal, Desh Bangla, Manab Jamin, Bangla Bazar, etc; dailies (English): Bangladesh Times, The Bangladesh Observer (est. 1949), Daily Star, Independent, The News Today, The New Nation, banglalink, Financial Express, Morning Sun;Ajkaler Khabar weeklies: Blitz, Weekly Holiday, Aai Samay, Ekata, Bartaman Dinkal, Chuti, Dhaka Courier, Nagari, Purbhabas, Sandwip, Gram Barta, Bichitra, Purnima, Jaijaidin, Fortnightly Anusandhani,Sughanda, Robbar, Kriralok, Savar Barta, Jagrata Kantha, Saf Katha, Savar Kantha, Ganabhasha, etc; extinct: Bandhab Patrika (1874), Dainik Azad (1935), Weekly Mohammadi (1910), Dainik Nabajug (1941), Samakal (1854), Sahitya Patra (1948), Dainik Khadem (1910), Sabujpatra (1914), Moslem Bharat (1920), Kallol (1923), Al-Islam (1915), Education Gazette (1846), Weekly Bartabaha 91856), Swadesh (monthly, 1854), Bangadut (1829), Bangadarshan (1872), Nabanur (1903), Bengal Gazette (1780), Bengal Gazette (1818), Shikha (1927), Saogat (1918), Basana (1908), Noakhali Web (2005),professor's current affairs(1996, Editor- S M Zaman Weekly Sadakalo (2009),Monthly Makka (2010),Editor Mufti Muhammad Amimul Ehsan Jadid, Dainik Romel, Dainik Kalmikantho (2004), Probasha Protidin, Editor Anwar Shahjahan [1]


Online news
বাংলাখবর
Golapganj.com
fairnews24.com
doinik sondhar bani
Bogra
Dainik Karatoa, Dainik Uttarbatra etc.
Barisal
Amader Barisal, Editor: Md. Moazzem Hossain Talukder, Ajker Barta, Barisal Barta, Dakkhinachal, The daily Matobad, Ajker Poribartan, Banglar Bone, Shahnama, Satta Sangbad etc; extinct: Kirtankhola, Chandradip etc.
Gazipur
Daily 1, periodical 5, journal 2 BHRER KAGOJ DAILY
Tangail
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Daily 9, weekly 14, fortnightly 3, monthly 2 and quarterly 1; most noted are the Dainik Mufassal, Dainik Deskotha, Dainik Majlumer Kantha, Ajker Telegram, weekly Tangail Barta, weekly Khamos, weekly Mou Bazar, weekly Purbakash, fortnightly Madhubani, weekly Janatar Kantha, quarterly Adalat. Extinct: Monthly Akbar-a-Islamia (1883), monthly Nabajug (1890), weekly Hitokari (1892), weekly Samachar (1936), weekly Hakkatha (1936), Bulletin Bangla, Satyakatha, weekly Janata (1954), Sahitya Patrika Ballark (1970), fortnightly Sanket (1973).
Narayanganj
The Daily Sakal Barta Potidin,The Daily Sitalakhya, Khaborer Pata; weekly Fair House; extinct: weekly Sakal Barta, Ganadak
Mymensingh
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Dainik Jahan (Founding publisher & editor : M. Habibur rahman sheikh), weeklies: Mymensingh Barta, Ajker Muktagachha; extinct: Kumar, Basana (1306 BS), Abriti (1308 BS), Swadesh Sampad (1905), Bangalee (1874), Bigyapani (1866), Shikkha Saurav (1319 BS), weekly Charumihir (1939), Pramadi (1875), Bharat Mihir (1875), Sanjibani (1878), Hafez Shakti (1924), Uttar Akash (1959), Ganavijan (1938), Aunirban (1963), Jagrata Bangla (1971).Dainik Moon ( 2011 ),
Netrokona
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Daily: Banglar Darpan; periodical: Akshar, Chetana, Spandan, Smriti-71, Bijoy, Sreejani, Matir Subas and Janira; extinct: Ayrja Pradip (1875), Koumadi (1875), Mahat Uddesha (1930), Prantabashi (1930), Julfikr (1950), Arya Pradip (1287 BH), Uttar Akas (1368 BH).
Kishoreganj
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Daily Ajker Desh, Daily Shotabdir Khontha(Kishoregong Sadar, editor: Ahamed Uttah, Mobleile: 01711-613799), Weekly Alor Mela (Kishoregonj Sadar, editor: Khairul Islam, mobile: 01711625966), Tha daily Saradin (Kishoregonj Sadar), The daily Norsundha (Kishoregonj Sadar),Grihakon Bhatir Darpan, Pratahik Chitra; extinct: Weekly Aryagaurava (1904), Kishoreganj Batrabaha (1924), Akhtar (Urdu, 1926), Kishoreganj Batra (1946), Prativa (1952), Natun Patra (1962), Fortnightly Narasunda (1981), Grambangla (1985), Sristi (1986), Sakal (1988), Suchana (1990), Kishoreganj Parikrama (1991), Manihar (1991), Kishoreganj Prabaha (1993), Bibarani (Kuliarchar 1993),
Jamalpur
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies 1, weekly 10, fortnightly 1, monthly 1, quarterly 1; extinct: Monthly Pallimangal (1922), Hanif (1903), Jamalpur Barta, Pallibani.

Sherpur
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Weekly Sherpur, Weekly Dashkahania, Weekly Chalti Khabar, Sahityaloka, Barshati, Ra, etc; extinct: Biddaunnati Sadhini (1865), Weelky Biggapani (1865), Weekly Charybarta (1881), Bangasuridh (1881), Samskriti Sanjibini, fortnightly Kishore (1957-58), Monthly Daxina (1967), Probaha, Angan, Muktangan, Ganabarta, Aunnesa, Uccharan, Sancharan.
Narsingdi
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dainik Grameen Darpan'Editor-Kazi Anowar Kamal, Dainik Uttap-Ad. Liaqat hossain, Dainik Narsingdir Bani' Editor-Md Faruq Mia, Weeklies- Aotikram' Editoe-Afroja Ahmed, Ajker Chatona' Editor-A B M Azraf Tipu, Desh Sondesh' Editor-Md. Nasibur Rahman Khan, Narsingdir Khabar' Editor-Dr.Suparna Bahar, Khorak' Editor-Emdadul Islam Khokon, Arshite Mukh' Editor-Md. Jakir Hossain, Narsingdir kantha' Editor-Md joynul Abedin, narsingdir Songbad' Editor-Mahbubur Rahman, Narsingdir Prekhapot' Mazharul pervej, Narsingdir Kotha' Editor-Md. Mossaraf hossain Majnu, Narsingdir Barta' Editor-Md faruq Ahamed, Chokher Alo' Editor-Md. Nurul Islam, Alochona' Editor-Safiqul Mohammad Manik, Ajker Khoj Khabor' Editor-Monjil E Millat. periodicals- Grameen Khabar, Bandhan, Meghna, Narsinghdi, amrar sonar bangla.
Manikganj
Newspapers and periodicals (First Bangla Online Magazine) ই-মানিকগঞ্জ (www.emanikganj.com); (weekly) Karcha, Alor Bani, Muktir Vahana, Manikganjer Khabar, Ababil; (defunct) Paril Bartabaha (1280 BS), Weekly Manikganj (1972), Weekly Budhbar, Weekly Pataka, Navagram (1978), Chalaman (1980), Muktir Dak (1980), Manikganj Barta (1981), Maitree International (1979), Jagarani (1965), Ritu-rang-man (1967), Abahaman (1978), Bitapa (1981), Dishari, Aloklata, Shiuli, Durbachal, Dawal, Ghazikhali, Chhayapalli.
Faridpur
Newspapers and periodicals Jagaran, Buddhijuddho(2008),Ganaman, Chashi Barta, Al Muazzen, Idaning, Dainik Thikana, Dainik Bhorer Runner, Pragotir Din, Dainik Faridpur. Extinct: Faridpur Darpan (1861), Chitrakar (1283 BS), Kohinoor (1896), Sanjay (1900), Aryakayastha (1318 BS), Faridpur Hitoishi (1329 BS), Faridpur Angina (1329 BS), Barta (1926), Muazzen (1335 BS), Siraj (1932), Langal (1932), Sheba (1350 BS), Khedmat (1373 BS), Jubashakti (1972), Weekly Bangladesh (1972), Satyajug (1975), Faridpur Barta (1979), Aakal (1979), Samasar (1980), Bangla Sangbad (1982).
Rajbari
Newspapers and periodicals Matrikantha (Rajbari), Gatakal (Rajbari), Pangsha Barta (Pangsha), Padma Barta (Pangsha), Anusandhan (Rajbari, 1984), Sahaj Katha, Rajbari Kantha; extinct: Kohinoor (1898), Khatak (1893), Kangal (1905), Shapla-Shaluk
Gopalganj
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dainik: Daily Kuttai Kamrai, Daily Hasina Pagol, Weekly Koi Geli, Daily Matha Noshto, Daily Hasinar 14 Gushti
Munshiganj
Newspapers and periodicals Daily Saptahik Munshiganj, Munshiganj Songbad, Munshiganjer Kagoj, Daily Termigan,
Madaripur
Newspapers and periodicals Dainik: Bisslation (www.bisslation.netfirms.com), Subarnagram, Subarta, Shariatullah, Ishara; extinct: Weekly Janani Bangla, Madaripur Barta and Banglar Mati.
Shariatpur
Newspapers and periodicals Daily Hunker, Weekly Mukta Kantha, Weekly Shetu and Weekly Saptapalli Samachar; extinct: Chikundi Barta, Shariatpur Barta, Rudra Kantha, Jabanbondi.
Pabna
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dainik Ichamati, Dainik Nirvar, Dainik Uttar Janata (Ishwardi); Weeklies: Gayana Bikashini, Pabna Barta, Bibreti, Arshi; fortnightly Jamuna, Charmohar Barta, Faridpur Barta, Junction, Janadabi (Ishwardi); monthly Gayana Prava, Palli Darpan, Manasi, Amar Desh and Pabna, Tawhid (Bhangura), Chetana, Sachetan.
Natore
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dainik Uttar Bangabarta, Dainik Uttarpath, weekly Natore Barta.a littile magazine on poetry by name`natore' (yealy)
Sirajganj
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Kalam Saynik, Jamuna Prabaha, Jamuna Setu; Weeklies: Jamuna Barta, Sahasi Janata, Jaha Baliba Satya Balibo, Sundar Barta, Ananda Bhor, Weekly Ullahpara; extinct: Monthly Jamuna, Weekly Samajug, Sirajganj Samachar, Hitoshi.
Bogra
Newspapers and periodicals Daily Karatoya, Daily Satmatha, Daily Durjoy Bangla, Daily Aaj O Aagamikal, Daily Chandnibazar, Weekly Aajker Sherpur, and Pancha Nadir Teere, Weekly Natun, Durjoy Sahittya, Tarunnya; extinct or nearly extinct- Daily Uttaranchal, Daily Uttarvarta, Daily Muktabarta, Sonatola Batra and Brittya.
Joypurhat
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Extinct: Aloran (1949-52), sonarbangla (1972-75), Shebak (1978-82), Saptahik Simanta (1982-89) Saptahik Joypurbarta (1987-88), Saptahik Bangabani (1985-88),Saptahik Balighata, Saotahik Panchmatha. Daily Nabanna, Uttar Simanta (1996-99); Quarly Diganta (1981-84); Mahua (monthly). korotoa
Naogaon
Newspaper Dainik Ishtehar (1971), Joybangla (1971), Bangabani (1971), Banglar Kantha (1993); weekly: Saptahik Desher Bani (1925), Saptahik Banka Chand (1950), Naba-Diganta (1964), Nabayug (1964); extinct: Barendra Batra, (1981), Surya Mukhi (1982), Nababarta (1991), Sonali Roddur (1994), Anjali Loho Mor (1996).
Nawabganj
Newspapers and periodicals Chapai Sangbad, Nawabganj Sangbad, Mahananda, Simanta Kagaj, Gaur Sangbad and Dainik Nawab; extinct: Falguni (1960), Alor Pathe (1962), Nawabganj Samoyikee (1964), Nawabganj Barta (1987), Pakshik Mahananda (1988), Protibha Barta (1989), Anya Chokhe Vinna Sware (1989), Rakter Siri Baya (1990), Agneya Giri (1991), Sangbedan (1992), Baishakhi (1995), Bir Barta (1995) and Nawabganj Kanthaswar (1997).
Rajshahi
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies: [Dainik Sonali Sangbad]http://www.sonalisangbad.com, Dainik Sonar Desh, Dainik Prothom Probhat, Dainik Lal Golap, Dainik Upachar, Dainik Padmar Bani, Daily Sun-Shin; weeklies: Dunia, Rajshahi Barta, Ganakhabar, Dharani, Utsyabhumi; Monthly Uttar Janapath; extinct: Hindu Ranjik (1865), Rajshahi Sangbad (1870), Gayanangkur and Pratimva (1872), Rajshahi Samachar, Udbhaban (1872), Chikitsha (1889), Utsaha (1897), Ayetihasik Chitra (1898), Noor-al Iman (1900), Banga Mohila (1915), Palli Bahak (1925), Markab Al Islam (1933), Palli Sakti (1934), Sammilayan (1934), Ektara (1943), Nayajaman (1946); Monthly Shiksha Parichaya.
Gaibandha
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dainik: Ghagat, Sandhan, Palash, Bhorer Surya, Janasanket, Weekly: Ganauttaran, Ganaprahari, Palash, Gana Uttaran; periodicals: Akash Tara, Shabda and Istikutum; extinct: Weekly Gaibandha (1981), Weekly Kanthashwar (1973), Weekly Ganadut (1972), Weekly Agradut (1928), Weekly Panthashala ((1991), Weekly Gayer Katha (1991); Fortnightly Purbadiganta (1961), Monthly Tista (1961).
Kurigram
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Present: Dainik Kurigram Khabor, Dainik Chaoa Paoa, Weekly Tatha Katha, Weekly Kurigram Barta, Weekly Julfikar, Kalam (Ulipur); extinct: Dainik Kurigram, Banglar Dak, Weekly Dharla; Monthly Pravati, Ganakatha, Ajker Kurigram, Padakkhep (literary magazine), Monthly Ketan, Weekly Uttaran, Fortnightly Sajag, Monthly Betarbani (Nageshwari), Agradut (Raumari).Weekly Gramantor (Rajarhat), Monthly Shobdoshor (Literary Magazine).
===Ra Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dabanal (1980, Juger Alo (1992), Dainik Paribesh (1994), Dainik Rangpur (1997), Weekly Atal (1991), Rangpur Barta (1996), Weekly Bajrakantha (Pirganj); extinct- Rangapur Bartabaha (1847), Rangapur Dik Prakash (1861), Rangapur Darpan (1907), Uttar Bangla (1960), Pravati (1955). maya bazar (2010)
Nilphamari
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Weekly Nilphamari Barta, Nilsagar, Nilsamachar, Weekly Jalkatha(1985), Weekly Alpana (Saidpur), Saidpur Barta, Janasamasha (Saidpur); extinct: Jagarani (1962), Nilanchan (1972), Shalki (Domer) and Jaltaranga (Jaldhaka).
Lalmonirhat
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Weekly Lalmonirhat Barta, Weekly Janajani; irregular: Lalmonirhat Sahitya Patrika; extinct: Weekly Rangapur Dikprakash (1948, Kaliganj), Monthly Bashana, Chaloman, Daruchini, Chharpatra, Idaning, Aurenna Radan, Bashana (1908, Kaliganj) and Akata.
Panchagarh
Newspapers and periodicals Panchagarh Barta (1996, now extinct).
Dinajpur
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Now in circulation Uttara, Pratidin, Tista, Janamat, Uttarbanga, Ajker Protiva, Patralap and Ajker Deshbarta the weeklies the Atahpar and Ajker Barta; monthly Nawroj (extinct)
Thakurgaon
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Extinct dailies: Thakurgaon Darpan, Sangrami Bangla, Gram Bangla, Dainik Bangladesh, Janarab; periodicals: Aso Cheye Dekhi Prithibi, Usashi, Chalachitra
Chittagong
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Present: Daily Azadi, Daily Purbokon, The Suprobhat Bangladesh, The Bir Chattagram Mancha, The Daily Commercial Times, Daily Life, Daily Karnafuli, Weekly Chattala; extinct: Monthly Sanshodhani, Purobi, Mukulika, Simanto; Weekly Jyoti, Weekly Sultan, Daily Jyoti, Daily Rashtrobarta, Daily East Pakistan and Daily Azan; Monthly Chattalar Ananda Katha. Cox's Bazar Newspapers and periodicals (Daily) Saikat, Cox's Bazar, Ajker Desh-bidesh, Dainandin, Mayer Desh, (weekly) Swadesh Bani, Kutubdia, Chakori, (fartnightly) Mehdi; extinct- Himchhari, Bak-khali, (weekly) Cox's Bazar, Cox's Bazar Barta, Sagar Bani, Sagar Kantha, Naf kantha.
Rangamati
Newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Banabhumi, Gairika, Giripath, Parbatya Barta, extinct: weekly Samata.
Bandarban
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Jug Rabi and Natun Bangladesh; periodical: Sangu.
Khagrachhari
Newspapers and periodicals Present: Daily Aranno Barta, Weekly Parboti. Feni Locally published newspapers and periodicals Weekly Sangram, Nabo Nur, Purbodesh, Minar, Pallibarta, Fashal Katha, Nirjhor, Talim, Amar Desh, Gano Manush, Feni, Bartabaho, Jhugbarta, Barta Doot, Kankan, Gano Chetona, Gram Barta, Aapil; extinct- Feni Sangbad, Ananda Taroka, Feni Kantho, Weely Path, Weekly Mujuri, Gram Desh, Hawker, Jatiyo Barta, Shadesh Kantho, Roushanabad, Ajker Aoroni, Hajarika, Feni Barta, Anando Bhairobi, Unmochan, Sharashori, Feni Darpan, Fenir Khabar, Baikali and Moshimela.
Lakshmipur
Noakhali Web, Newspapers and periodicals Daily Lakshmipur Kantha (1995), Daily Al-Chist (1995), (weekly) Natun Samaj (Natun Desh, 1972), Samabay Barta (Bangladesh Barta, 1973), Mukti Bani (1928, defunct), Ganamukh (1973, defunct), Elan (1982), Natun Path (1987), Damama (1992), Ananda Akash (1995, defunct), Ramganj Barta (1991), Rojnamcha (defunct), fortnightly Abasar, monthly Renaissance, monthly Jagaran (2000), monthly Dakatia, Quarterly Raipur Darpan (1998); periodicals: Chetana (1969), Prachchhad (1984), Chhayapath, Kabita Barta,Lakshmipur Samachar, Ramgati Darpan, Luxmipur Barta (1989), Ramgati Barta (1998), Agraja (1999), Bichitrita (1994),Islami Society(monthly).
Comilla
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Daily Rupasi Bangla (1972),Comillaweb.com (The first online newspaper of comilla district, 2009),comillanews24.com(The 2nd online news service of comilla 2010), Daily Comillarkagoj(2004), Weekly Amod (1955),WEEKLY MEGOTI. Abibhadan (1994), Natunpatra, Samayatra (1967), Daily Comilla Barta, Daily Bangladesh Sangbad, Monthly Manan, Pathakbatra, Shiranam, Weekly Laksham Barta, Weekly Nirakkhar. Extinct: Tripura Patrika (1876), Tripura (1932), Weekly Hindu (1941), Tripura G, Yogisammalani (1912), Comil Patrika (1985), Mainamati (1965), Purbasha, Shikhak Sruida, Alo, Chirkut (1974), Robi (1924), Tarun (1938), Samskriti (1940), Jagriti (1951), Apan and Parichaya.Monthly protiva.Daily Amader Comilla
Noakhali
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Noakhali Web (2005), Amader Noakhali (2009), Jatiyo Nishan, Abayab, Weekly Jatiyo Bangladesh, Noakhali Kantha, Ajker Upama; extinct: Noakhali Hitoishi (1922), Purba Bangabasi (1884), monthly Asha (1901), Tanjin (1926), Desher Bani (1927), Chholtan (1924), Tripura Noakhali Lakshmi (1342 BS), Noakhali Sammilani, Jatiyo Bangladesh, Lok Sangbad, Upakul Barta, Nayabarta, Weekly Chalaman Noakhali.Barogown bartha. and Rajib pur sangbad (1926).Sonagazir Khabar (2009)By S.M.Ashraful Haque(ShohaG),Motigonj.Jago feni (2010) Editor Muhammad Amimul Ehsan Jadid.Bhour bazar.
Brahmanbaria
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Daily Brahmanbaria (1992), Daily Pratibedan (1993), Daily Ajker Halchal (1997), Daily Titas Kanth (1999), Daily Samatat Barta (2000), Daily Dindarpan (2000); Weekly Titas, Weekly Penbridg (1999), Fortnightly Charch (1997); Periodicals- Sahitya Academy Patrika, Nasirnagar Barta, Sarail Barta, Muktaprabaha; extinct- Bangabandhu (1875, Kalikachha), Usha (1893), Hira (1894), Sudhakar (nineteenth century), Santan (1913), Palli Pradip (1920, Kalikachha), Al Bushra (1921), Prajabandhu (1920), Chunta Prakash (1926), Tripura Prakash (1301 BS), Rayat Bandhu (1929, Kalikachha), Jayanti (nineteenth century), Sebak (1957), Parichaya (1964), Samaj (1966), Pari (1966), Vhela (1967), Tridhara (1967), Pratinidhi (1970), Pratibedan (1979), Renessa (1988), Belaseshe (1992, Sarail).
Chandpur
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dainik Chandpur Kantha, Dainik Chandpur Darpan; Weekly Chandpur, Weekly Chandpur Sangbad, Weekly Rupasi, Weekly Dibachitra, Weekly Hajiganj; Weekly Manab Samaj (Founder editor & publisher- Jakir Majumder), extinct- Nababanga (1947), Alo (1947), Weekly Annagram (1960), Bharat Hitashi, Rakta Palash, Raktim.Monthly Faridgonj Barta.Chandpur Zamin.Ilshepar.DAILY N.R NEWS PAPER

Newspapers and periodicals Yugveri (1930), Al-Islah (1931), Daily Jalalabadi, Daily Sylhet Bani, Daily Ajker Sylhet; extinct: Sreehatta Prokash (19th century), Paridarshak (19th century), Sreehatta Mihir (19th century), Weekly Chronicle (1900), Janashakti (1921). Chandpur Kagoz.PROBASH PATRO.LONDON
Sunamganj
Newspapers and periodicals Weekly Grambanglar Katha, Weekly Shajan, Weekly Sunamganj Sangbad, Weekly Sunamganj Barta, Weekly Sunamganj, Weekly Vati Bangla, Daily Haor Barta, Weekly Aunal; periodicals-Dishari (1993), Khudrapat Rudrapran (1998), Sreetir Olinde (1998), Arunadaiy and Haorer Dheow; extinct: Surma (sixties), Suchayan, Prattayan, Sanko, Weekly Jamalganjer Dak, Weekly Jamalganj Parikkrama, Weekly Sunam, Weekly Din Jai, Weekly Sunamganjer Kagoj. Golapganj
Maulvi Bazar
Newspapers and periodicals Daily Maulvi Bazar, Daily Banglar Din, Daily Khola Chithi; weeklies: Patakunrir Desh, Manu Varta, Janaprattasha, Muktakatha, Manob Thikana, Hefazat-e-Islam, Maulvi Bazar Darpan, Al Insan, Sreemangaler Chithi, Sree Bani, Pubali Varta, Sree Vhumi, Joy Varta, Kulaurar Dak, Rajkantha; fortnightly: The Sylhet Today, Banhi Shikha; Monthly: Dur Diganta, Sree Gaurban;. extinct: Monthly Tabligul Islam and Monthly Tanjimul Muslemin (1924), Sreehatta Vraman-Paridarshan (1930), Weekly Avijan (1935), Monthly Christian Jagat (1935), Quarterly Brati (1936), Weekly Nakib (1937), Abahani (1939), Weekly Agradut (1960), Monthly Bonna (1970), Weekly Biplavi Bangla (1972), Weekly Muktabarta (1972), Weekly Fariad (1987), Quarterly Ithai Mithai (1977-78)
Habiganj
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Daily Pravakar, Pratidener Bani, weekly Swadhikar, Swadeshbarta, Drishtikon, Khoai, Hobiganj Samachar, Janatar Dalil, Parikrama, fortnightly Prayas and Mritika; extinct: monthly Moitri (1909), weekly Projapati (1909), Sree Sree Sonar Gauranga (1329 BS), Palli Bani (1940), weekly Shahid (1948), weekly Jagaran (1955), monthly Avijatrik (1966).
Jhalakathi
Newspapers and periodicals Daily: Jhalakathiweb.com -First full online web portal in Jhalakathi and also in Barisal Division Shatakantha (extinct), weekly Suryadaya, weekly Ajana Khabar; periodicals: Arkh, Jagaran, Agraha, Namta, Shabdakash, Sabujpatra, Janayeta, Sreshti.Stock Bond News Papaper
Sylhet
Newspapers and periodicals Dailies (Sylheter Dak, Sylheter Bani, Jalalabad, Sanglap, Probasha protidin, Shaymol Sylhet), weekly 1 (Golapganj),Expression ( Fashion Magazine) weekly Anupom
=Sillchar
Dainik Jugasankha, Dainik Sonar Cachar, Dainik Samayik Prasangha, Silchar Chronclles, Silchar Times, Nedaye Din,
Patuakhai
Newspapers and periodicals Rupantar, Tentulia, Sathi, Gram Bangla, Khilafat, Pratinidhi, Janata, Avijatri, (fortnightly) Andhar-manik, Ek Mutho Suravi, Patuakhali Barta.
Barguna
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Dainik Dipanchal and Dainik Saikat Sangbad, Ajker Kantha; weeklies: Betagir Katha, Barguna, Barguna Kantha, Saikat Sangbad, Barguna Barta, Bhatiali and Payra Par.
Bagerhat
Newspapers and periodicals Dailies: Dhakhin Kantha, Uttayal, Dut, Morrelganj Barta and Sundarbans. Projanma (defunct), Mongla (weekly), Mazlum (periodical), Weekly Royal Bengal (defunct), Weekly Bananchal.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed in Pak

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed in Pak 

Almost 10 years after the 9/11 terror strike, al Qaeda mastermind and world’s most dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden was today killed by US forces after being hounded in a special operation in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden, 54, is dead and his body is in US custody, President Barack Obama announced today at half past 11 Sunday US time as crowds outside White House chanted ‘USA, USA’.

‘Who says Osama was a terrorist?’

The most wanted terrorist of the world, Osama bin Laden’s killing by American operatives in Pakistan has not pleased all in India. A section of prominent Indian Muslim leaders have come to question the claim that Laden was a terrorist.

As the news broke of Osama bin Laden’s death in an American operation in Abbotabad in Pakistan, Muslim organisations in India initially reacted with incredulity, citing US operations in Tora Bora as a precedent where claims of Osama’s death had later been proved to be false.

It took statements from home minister P Chidambaram and Pakistani MP Sherry Rehman to convince them of the veracity of these reports. Once the news sank in, the prominent Muslim leaders said that Bin Laden was definitely not a terrorist but a one-time American ally with whom relations had soured because he had lost his utility.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Imam of Jama Masjid said: “When did any court of law in the world convict Laden of terrorist activities. It is only America’s assertion and that of the NATO that he was one. Why should we believe them. As for the government of India’s reactions, I would want to know their views on what is happeninhg in Palestine even now when thousands of Muslims are being killed by Israel with the American help. The killing is a continuation of the US interference in Libya,Iraq and Palestine.”

Maulana Arshad Madani, president of one faction of the Jamiat-ulama-i-Hind said: “Who created Osama? Americans did to exterminate the Russians. Now that their need has been fulfilled they term Osama who was at one point their best friend, a terrorist. It is symptomatic of the American way of functioning.”

There was however some resentment about the fact that he was in Pakistan. Imam Bukhari says it proves the contention that ISI gives shelter to terrorists. “I am not saying Osama was a terrorist but the fact that outfits like JEM and Let have bank accounts in the US show that the Us and ISI jointly sponsor the acts of terrorism in India.”

Bin Laden death brings ‘closure,’ 9/11 widows find

Michael Massaroli worked at the World Trade Center for eight years, but left in 1993, just a week before a truck bomb ripped through the lower floors of the north tower.

Only a handful of people died in the attack, but Massaroli still might have considered himself to have had a lucky escape.

But seven years later, Massaroli returned to Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services company with offices on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center.

That’s where he was — 38 years old, married, with a six-year-old son — on September 11, 2001, when a jet plane slammed into the building below him.

His body was never found.

His widow Diana has been grieving ever since.

But President Barack Obama’s dramatic announcement that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks that killed Massaroli and nearly 3,000 other people that sunny Tuesday morning, has finally, and surprisingly, helped give her closure, she told CNN.

“I’m missing him, but I feel that justice has been done,” she said at ground zero, the site where the World Trade Center once stood, holding a picture of Michael.

“I feel some overall calm that I haven’t felt in 10 years. I never thought it would happen… never thought it would give me a feeling of closure,” she said.

But, she added, “I feel better… like I can start a new chapter in my life.”

Her friend Mario Castiola, who served at both ground zero and later in Iraq, recalled the words of then-President George W. Bush in the wake of the attack.

“I remember President Bush vowing that we would bring our enemies to justice or justice to our enemies,” he said, saying that had now happened.

Another 9/11 widow, Kristen Breitweiser, said the death of bin Laden would change the world.

“My 12-year-old daughter will wake tomorrow to a safer world, hopefully a more peaceful world. And that brings me a rare sense of relief,” she said in a statement, adding that she was “enormously grateful for the tireless effort and incredible courage and bravery of our counter-terrorism agents.

There were also more raucous celebrations going on at ground zero, including groups of young local men waving flags and chanting “USA! USA!”

“It took ten years, but the fact that it happened today, we’re all rejoicing,” one of them told CNN, adding that “everybody in America” was celebrating the death of bin Laden.

Far away in Oxford, Ohio, Miami University student Mike Chase celebrated by shaving a friend’s hair into the letters “USA” with two red stars.

“The announcement means that when we set out to accomplish something we follow through. It’s a great milestone on the fight against terrorism,” said the 21-year-old.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association hailed the “annihilation” of bin Laden as “triumphant news.”

“I would say, ‘May God have mercy on his hideous soul,’ but I don’t think he had one,” the organization’s president, Jon Adler, said. “As we draw near September 11 and mourn the loss of our loved ones, let this victory remind all that the indomitable American will stands strong and eternal.”

An American Muslim organization also welcomed the news that the al Qaeda figurehead had been “eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world.”

“Bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide,” the Council on American Islamic Relations said in a statement.

Hiding bin Laden: Finger of suspicion at ISI

Just hours after American Navy Seals shot dead Osama bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan on Sunday, US President Barack Obama shot down the Pakistani security establishment’s attempt to claim joint credit for the operation.

In a ten-minute television address, Obama left no doubt that US personnel alone were involved in the action that brought bin Laden to justice. ”Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan,” Obama said, adding, ”A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.”

While Obama said ”It’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding,” he made no mention of anyPakistani military role in the operation. US officials in background briefing made it clear that no country, much less Pakistan, was informed of the operation.

In fact, there was not even a word of thanks for Pakistan. Instead, Obama said: ”Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaida and its affiliates.”

The finger of suspicion is now pointing squarely at the Pakistani military and intelligence for sheltering and protecting Osama bin Laden before US forces hunted him down and put a bullet in his head in the wee hours of Sunday. The coordinates of the action and sequence of events indicate that the al-Qaida fugitive may have been killed in an ISI safehouse.

US analysts uniformly suggested that the Pakistani security establishment’s claim of a role in the operation is clearly aimed at ducking charges of its military’s possible role in hiding bin Laden. ”This is hugely embarrassing for Pakistan,” was a common refrain on US TV channels throughout the night.

In fact, top US officials have openly suggested for months that the Pakistani military establishment was hiding bin Laden. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came closest to publicly exposing Pakistan’s role last May when she accused some government officials there of harboring Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar.

”I am not saying they are at the highest level…but I believe somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Taliban are,” Clinton said on May 10 last year, adding, ”We expect more cooperation (from Pakistan) to help us bring to justice capture or kill those who brought us 9/11.”

Taken together with President Obama’s pointed reference to President Zardari and leaving out any mention of Pakistani forces’ involvement, it would seem that Washington believes that Pakistan’s military intelligence establishment, including the ISI, was sheltering bin Laden. The ISI was accused as recently as last week by the top US military official Admiral Mike Mullen of having terrorist links, and named as a terrorist support entity by US officials, according to the Guantanamo cables.

Lending credence to the charges is the fact that US forces homed in on bin Laden in Abbottabad, which is a cantonment just 50 kms from Islamabad, where the Pakistani military has a strong presence. The place where bin Laden was killed is only kilometers from the Kakul military academy, where many Pakistani military elites, including some of its ISI cadres, graduate from.

While US officials are tightlipped about precise details, analysts are trying to figure out whether the compound that sheltered bin Laden was an ISI safehouse. There is also speculation as to whether Hillary Clinton was referring to this when she made her pointed remarks last May.

US officials have said for years that they believed bin Laden escaped to Pakistan after the American bombing campaign in Afghanistan. But Pakistani officials, including its former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, insisted that he was in Afghanistan, even as Afghan officials would angrily refute it and say he is in Pakistan. In the end, the Americans and Afghans were right on the money.

Analysis: bin Laden leaves a scattered, diffuse al Qaeda

The killing of Osama bin Laden will deal a big psychological blow to al Qaeda but may have little practical impact on an increasingly decentralized group that has operated tactically without him for years.

Nearly a decade after the September 11, 2001 attacks, al Qaeda has fragmented into a globally-scattered network of autonomous groups in which bin Laden served as an inspirational figure from the core group’s traditional Pakistan-Afghanistan base.

Counter-terrorism specialists describe a constantly mutating movement that is harder to hunt than in its turn of the century heyday because it is increasingly diffuse — a multi-ethnic, regionally dispersed and online-influenced hybrid of activists.

While this network remains a threat, the core al Qaeda leadership has been weakened by years of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. It has not staged a successful attack in the West since London bombings that killed 52 people in 2005.

Al Qaeda has also been hurt ideologically by uprisings in the Arab world by ordinary people seeking democracy and human rights — notions anathema to bin Laden, who once said democracy was akin to idolatry as it placed man’s desires above God’s.

The arm of al Qaeda that now poses the biggest threat to the United States is its affiliate inYemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to U.S. officials. Other al Qaeda-linked groups have grown in ambition and lethality.

“As a matter of leadership of terrorist operations, bin Laden has really not been the main story for some time,” said Paul Pillar, a former senior U.S. intelligence official.

“The instigation of most operations has been at the periphery not the center — and by periphery I’m including groups like AQAP but also smaller entities as well.”

It was AQAP that claimed responsibility for a thwarted Christmas Day attack aboard a U.S. airliner in 2009 and an attempt last year to blow up two U.S.-bound cargo planes with toner cartridges packed with explosives.

The head of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter, acknowledged to Congress earlier this year that AQAP and its chief English-language preacher Anwar al-Awlaki posed the biggest risk to the United States.

Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who left the country in 2001 and joined al Qaeda in Yemen, also communicated with a U.S. Army major who in November 2009 allegedly went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas that killed 13 and wounded 32.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a failed bombing in New York City’s Times Square a year ago.

DEAD OR ALIVE

“I don’t think there’s any real military significance (to bin Laden’s death),” said Arturo Munoz, a security analyst at RAND Corporation.

“The significance is political and psychological and psychologically and politically, there’s a huge significance.”

“Bin Laden’s death is a significant victory for the United States. But it is more symbolic than concrete,” said Fawaz Gerges, an al Qaeda expert at the London School of Economics.

“The world had already moved beyond bin Laden and al Qaeda. Operationally al Qaeda’s command and control had been crippled and their top leaders had either been arrested or killed.

“More importantly, al Qaeda has lost the struggle for hearts and minds in the Arab world and elsewhere and has had trouble attracting followers and skilled recruits.”

Bin Laden’s ability to evade U.S. capture for nearly a decade was a huge embarrassment to the United States, a painful reminder now extinguished by his killing in a firefight in a compound north of Islamabad.

QAEDA NEEDS “A MIRACLE” TO RECOVER

Some analysts say that bin Laden’s memory may now inspire followers, who will now see him as a martyr, to take revenge.

And the extensive online forums, chat rooms and websites operated by al Qaeda sympathizers will ensure his role as the group’s motivator-in-chief will endure.

“As a symbol, as a source of ideology, bin Laden can continue to play those roles dead as well as alive,” Pillar said.

But his departure will add to pressure on morale throughout the network, despite al Qaeda’s glorification of martyrdom and a perception that bin Laden died an honorable death in battle.

Gerges said it would “take a miracle” for al Qaeda to recover ideologically and operationally from bin Laden’s death.

Thomas Hegghammer, a specialist on militancy at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, said that over the long term his loss would deepen the group’s disarray.

“It is bad for al Qaeda and the jihadi movements. Bin Laden was a symbol of al Qaeda’s longevity and its defiance of the West. Now that symbol is gone.” (Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden used the fruits of his family’s success — a personal fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars — to help finance al Qaeda in its quest for a new pan-Islamic religious state.

The Saudi-born zealot commanded al Qaeda, a terrorist organization run like a rogue multinational firm, experts said, with subsidiaries operating secretly in dozens of countries, plotting terror, raising money and recruiting young Muslim men — even boys — from many nations to its training camps in Afghanistan.

Timeline: The life and times of Osama bin Laden

Bin Laden and his terrorist network were behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and are linked to others around the world.

The enormity of the destruction in the 9/11 attacks — the World Trade Center’s towers devastated by two hijacked airplanes, the Pentagon heavily damaged by a third hijacked jetliner, a fourth flight crashed in rural Pennsylvania, and more than 3,000 people killed — gave bin Laden a global presence.

His death early Monday in Pakistan ended a nearly 10-year long manhunt for one of the world’s most-wanted men.

President Obama: Bin Laden is dead

Even before September 11, 2001, bin Laden was already on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

He had been implicated in a series of deadly, high-profile attacks that had grown in their intensity and success during the 1990s.

They included a deadly firefight with U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 in August 1998, and an attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in October 2000.

Bin Laden eluded capture for years, once reportedly slipping out of a training camp in Afghanistan just hours before a barrage of U.S. cruise missiles destroyed it.

On September 11, sources said, the evidence immediately pointed to bin Laden. Within days, those close to the investigation said they had their proof.

Six days after the attack, President George W. Bush made it clear Osama bin Laden was the No. 1 suspect.

“I want justice,” Bush said. “There’s an old poster out West that said, ‘Wanted, dead or alive.’”

Bin Laden was born in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1957, the 17th of 52 children in a family that had struck it rich in the construction business.

His father, Mohamed bin Laden, was a native of Yemen, who immigrated to Saudi Arabia as a child. He became a billionaire by building his company into the largest construction firm in the Saudi kingdom.

As Saudi Arabia became flush with oil money, so, too, did the bin Laden family business, as Osama’s father cultivated and exploited connections within the royal family.

One of the elder bin Laden’s four wives — described as Syrian in some accounts — was Osama’s mother. The young bin Laden inherited a share of the family fortune at an early age after his father died in an aircraft accident.

The bin Ladens were noted for their religious commitment. In his youth, Osama studied with Muslim scholars. Two of the family businesses’ most prestigious projects also left a lasting impression: the renovations of mosques at Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites.

As a young man attending college in Jeddah, bin Laden’s interest in religion started to take a political turn. One of his professors was Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian scholar who was a key figure in the rise of a new pan-Islamic religious movement.

Azzam founded an organization to help the mujahedeen fighting to repel the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Bin Laden soon became the organization’s top financier, using his family connections to raise money. He left as a volunteer for Afghanistan at 22, joining the U.S.-backed call to arms against the Soviets.

He remained there for a decade, using construction equipment from his family’s business to help the Muslim guerrilla forces build shelters, tunnels and roads through the rugged Afghan mountains, and at times taking part in battle.

In the late 1980s, bin Laden founded al Qaeda, Arabic for “the base,” an organization that CNN terrorism analyst and author Peter Bergen says had fairly prosaic beginnings. One of its purposes was to provide documentation for Arab fighters who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, including death certificates.

Al Qaeda, under bin Laden’s leadership, ran a number of guesthouses for these Arab fighters and their families. It also operated training camps to help them prepare for the fight against the Soviets.

In the early 1990s, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, bin Laden turned his sights on the world’s remaining superpower — the United States. War-hardened and victorious, he returned to Saudi Arabia following the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan.

In a 1997 CNN interview, bin Laden declared a “jihad,” or “holy war,” against the United States.

Bin Laden’s death affects the world Video

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait provided the next turning point in Osama bin Laden’s career.

When the United States sent troops to Saudi Arabia for battle against Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, bin Laden was outraged. He had offered his own men to defend the Saudi kingdom but the Saudi government ignored his plan.

He began to target the United States for its presence in Saudi Arabia, home to the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina. With bin Laden’s criticisms creating too much friction with the Saudi government, he and his supporters left for Sudan in 1991.

There, according to U.S. officials, al Qaeda began to evolve into a terror network, with bin Laden at its helm. Tapping into his personal fortune, bin Laden operated a range of businesses involved in construction, farming and exporting.

Although the U.S. government was unaware of it at the time, bin Laden was already actively working against it.

According to court testimony, he sent one of his top lieutenants, Mohammed Atef, to help train Somalis to attack U.S. peacekeeping troops stationed there. Bin Laden would later hint, during an interview with CNN, of his involvement in the deaths of 18 U.S. Army Rangers in 1993 in Mogadishu.

Also in 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and wounding hundreds. Eventually, bin Laden would be named along with many others as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case. The mastermind of the attack, Ramzi Yousef, would later be revealed to have close ties to al Qaeda.

In 1996, bin Laden took his war against the United States a step further. By then, he had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced by Sudanese officials, under pressure from the United States, to leave that country. He returned to Afghanistan where he received harbor from the fundamentalist Taliban, who were ruling the country.

By then, the United States had begun to recognize a growing threat from bin Laden, citing him as a financier of terrorism in a government report.

According to reports, however, the U.S. government passed up a Sudanese government offer to turn over bin Laden, because at the time it had no criminal charges against him. The Saudis, according to an interview with their former intelligence chief in Time magazine, also declined to take custody of bin Laden.

In Afghanistan in 1996, bin Laden issued a “fatwa,” or a religious order, entitled “Declaration of War Against Americans Who Occupy the Lands of the Two Holy Mosques.”

“There is no more important thing than pushing the American occupier out,” decreed the fatwa, which praised Muslim youths willing to die to accomplish that goal: “Youths only want one thing, to kill (U.S. soldiers) so they can get to Paradise.”

In his first interview with Western media in 1997, bin Laden told CNN that the United States was “unjust, criminal and tyrannical.”

“The U.S. today, as a result of the arrogant atmosphere, has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist,” he said in the interview. “It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us.”

In February 1998, he expanded his target list, issuing a new fatwa against all Americans, including civilians.

They were to be killed wherever they might be found anywhere in the world, he decreed. This new fatwa announced the creation of the “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders” and was co-signed by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of Egypt’s al-Jihad terrorist group.

Six months later, explosions destroyed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people and injuring 4,000 more.

U.S. prosecutors later indicted bin Laden for masterminding those attacks.

By the time three hijacked airliners struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, symbols of the U.S. business and military might, bin Laden’s terror network had become global in its reach.

The organization soon became America’s prime target in Bush’s war against global terrorism. Bin Laden, its founder, became the most-wanted man in the world.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell explained al Qaeda’s network this way: “Osama bin Laden is the chairman of the holding company, and within that holding company are terrorist cells and organizations in dozens of countries around the world, any of them capable of committing a terrorist act.”

“It’s not enough to get one individual, although we’ll start with that one individual,” Powell said.

In statements released from his hideouts in Afghanistan after September 11, bin Laden denied al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.

A videotape of bin Laden later obtained and released by the U.S. government, however, showed him saying he knew the September 11 attacks were coming, chuckling and gloating about their toll. Even with his knowledge of the construction trade, he said with a smile, he did not expect the twin towers of the World Trade Center to collapse completely.

Speaking in an earlier video recording that was first broadcast over the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera, bin Laden said America is “filled with fear from the north, south, east and west. Thank God for that.”

“These events have split the world into two camps — belief and disbelief,” he said. “America will never dream or know or taste security or safety unless we know safety and security in our land and in Palestine.”

Bin Laden had taken advantage of his time in Afghanistan, cementing his ties to the Taliban.

He was particularly close to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He built a mansion in Kandahar but spent most of his time on the move around the country, according to intelligence sources.

Al Qaeda had a network of training camps and safe houses where recruits from around the world were brought for combat and weapons training and indoctrination.

As long as the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, bin Laden, his four wives and more than 10 children were able to avoid capture.

Before September 11, the Afghan government refused U.S. requests to turn over bin Laden. “Osama’s protection is our moral and Islamic duty,” one Taliban official was quoted as saying in July 2001.

As the United States bombing campaign helped the Afghan opposition drive the Taliban from power, however, bin Laden’s days were numbered.

The reward on his head grew to $25 million. Countless leaflets advertising the bounty were dropped from U.S. airplanes, which flew with impunity over Afghan skies.

“We’re hunting him down,” Bush said on November 19, 2001. “He runs and he hides, but as we’ve said repeatedly, the noose is beginning to narrow. The net is getting tighter.”

But he eluded U.S. and allied authorities during the war in Afghanistan, vanishing in December 2001, apparently fleeing during the intensive bombing campaign in the rugged Tora Bora region near the border with Pakistan.

“He’s alive or dead. He’s in Afghanistan or somewhere else,” then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in April 2002 when asked about bin Laden’s whereabouts.

No more videos showing bin Laden were released during the spring and summer of 2002 and there was speculation that he may have died during U.S. bombing raids in Afghanistan.

But audiotapes released in October and November 2002 and broadcast on Al-Jazeera were allegedly were from him. U.S. government experts analyzed the tapes and said the voice on the tapes was almost certainly bin Laden’s.

On February 11, 2002, a new audio message purportedly from bin Laden called on Muslims around the world to show solidarity against U.S.-led military action in Iraq.

The tape was broadcast on Al Jazeera, which originally denied its existence. The voice on tape added that any nation that helps the United States attack Iraq, “(Has) to know that they are outside this Islamic nation. Jordan and Morocco and Nigeria and Saudi Arabia should be careful that this war, this crusade, is attacking the people of Islam first.”

Days later, U.S. government reports suggest that bin Laden had survived sustained bombing and could be near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Then, in May 2002, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is quoted in a Saudi-owned publication, “Sheikh Osama is still alive, praise God.” A Russian newspaper publishes a similar report likewise quoting Omar, saying, “Osama helped us during the war with the (Soviets), he would not leave us now.”

Abdel-Bari Atwan, the editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi newspaper, said in July of that year that bin Laden was in good health, despite being wounded in an attack on his base in Afghanistan the previous December. Atwan said then that bin Laden’s followers had told him that the al Qaeda leader would not make more video statements until his group launched another attack on the United States.

That appeared to prove prescient, as there were no further attacks on U.S. soil in subsequent years — though there were several high-profile attempts, purportedly linked to al Qaeda — and few signs of bin Laden.

Muslim clerics in Spain turned the tables on bin Laden in March 2005, issuing the first fatwa against the terrorist leader. The Islamic edict called him an apostate and urged other Muslims to denounce him.

More details about bin Laden came out in October 2009, in the form of a book written by one of his wives and sons titled, “Growing Up bin Laden: Osama’s Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their World.”

A few months later, the U.S. government admitted a “lack of intelligence” on his whereabouts — suspecting that he could be in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

But he reappeared on the world’s radar in January 2010, with the release of two audiotapes released in the span of a week.

In the first, he purportedly claimed responsibility for the alleged Christmas Day attempt by Nigerian national Umar Farouk AbdulMuttallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane as it neared Detroit, Michigan, from Amsterdam, Netherlands. In that tape, the voice — thought to be bin Laden’s — warned the United States of more attacks.

Days later, Al Jazeera released an audiotape purportedly from bin Laden in which he condemned the United States and other industrial nations for causing climate change.

Then, in January of this year, a speaker claiming to be the terrorist mastermind warned French troops to leave Afghanistan — or else two French journalists abducted by militants there could be killed.

The speaker thought to be bin Laden said on the audiotape, which also aired on Al Jazeera, that France’s alliance with the United States will prove costly.

One U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN at the time that the tape “sends a chill up your spine,” as it refers to “a couple of human beings whose lives are at stake.”

For several months before that last tape’s release, however, U.S. officials had received specific information about where bin Laden may have been hiding in Pakistan, according to President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, the president said he ordered an operation — carried out by a handful of U.S. troops — to get bin Laden in Pakistan. The al Qaeda leader resisted and was killed in an ensuing firefight, and U.S. forces took custody of his body. He was later buried at sea, with one U.S. official saying his body was handled in the Islamic tradition.

“His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity,” Obama said in a speech announcing bin Laden’s death. “Justice has been done.”

Timeline: Osama bin Laden, over the years

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 2, 2011 — Updated 0834 GMT (1634 HKT)

Click to play
The life of Osama bin Laden
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden is born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • After graduating from college, he goes to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets
  • He forms al Qaeda in 1988, a group that later carries out terrorist attacks

(CNN) – A look back at some key moments in the life of Osama bin Laden, including attacks that he was purportedly behind and messages attributed to him.

* 1957 – Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden is born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is the 17th of 52 children fathered by Muhammad Awad bin Laden, a Yemeni immigrant who built a billion-dollar construction company in Saudi Arabia. His mother is Hamida al-Attas, who was from Syria.

* 1979 – Bin Laden graduates from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah with a degree in engineering. He goes to Afghanistan to join the “jihad,” or “holy war,” against the Soviet Union. He remains there for a decade, using construction equipment from his family’s business to help the Muslim guerrilla forces build shelters, tunnels and roads through the rugged Afghan mountains, and at times taking part in battle.

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror


* 1980 – 1989 – Bin Laden raises money for the mujahedeen fighting in Afghanistan and also provides them with logistical and humanitarian aid. During these years, he also personally fights in battles against the Soviet Union.

* 1988 – Bin Laden founds a group he names Al-Qaeda, which in Arabic means “the base.”

* 1989 – The Soviet Union withdraws from Afghanistan. Bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia to work for the family construction firm, the Bin Laden Group.

* August 7, 1990 – Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, U.S. troops arrive in Saudi Arabia in order to have a close base to eventually go after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s troops. Bin Laden becomes outraged at the U.S. forces’ presence near the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

* 1991 – Bin Laden is expelled from Saudi Arabia by its regime. Eventually he and his followers relocate to Sudan, funded by assets that had grown to as much as $250 million, according to some officials. In that African nation, al Qaeda begins to evolve into a terror network.

* December 1992 – U.S. forces land in Somalia, spearheading a U.N.-authorized humanitarian plan to bring in famine relief supplies. Part of their challenge is disarming the various warlords who controll the country. Prosecutors charge that bin Laden threw himself into the conflict, sending some of his followers to Somalia to train the warlords to fight the U.S. troops

February 26, 1993.
February 26, 1993.

* February 26, 1993 – A bomb explodes at the World Trade Center in New York City, killing six and wounding hundreds. Six Muslim radicals, who U.S. officials suspect have links to bin Laden, are eventually convicted for the bombing. Bin Laden is later named along with many others as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case.

Up-to-the-minute updates on bin Laden |President’s statement

* October 1993 – Eighteen U.S. servicemen, all of them part of a humanitarian mission to Somalia, are killed in an ambush in Mogadishu. Bin Laden later says that some Arab Afghans were involved in the killings and calls Americans “paper tigers” because they withdrew from Somalia shortly after the soldiers’ deaths.

* 1994 – The Saudi government officially strips bin Laden of his citizenship, freezing all the remaining assets he has in the country. His family disowns him as well.

That same year, Bin Laden is the target of an assassination attempt. Afterward, he strengthens his personal security detail.

In the following months, officials believe he funds and directs a series of attacks, including a failed attempt to kill Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and a 1995 suicide bombing at the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan. Authorities now believe that this marked the early days of a growing alliance between bin Laden and other militant Islamic groups, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and its leader Ayman al- Zawahiri.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1995.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1995.

* 1995 – A truck bombing at a military base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, kills five Americans and two Indians.

* 1996 – Sudanese officials expels Bin Laden from their country. He moves with his children and three wives to Afghanistan, where he receives support from the fundamentalist Taliban regime.

That year, U.S. authorities indicts bin Laden on charges he helped train the people involved in the 1993 attack that killed 18 U.S. servicemen in Somalia.

* June 25, 1996 – Nineteen U.S. soldiers die in a bombing of the Khobar military complex in Saudi Arabia.

* August 23, 1996 – Bin Laden declares a holy war against U.S. forces. He signs and issues a Declaration of jihad from Afghanistan entitled, “Message from Osama bin Laden to his Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula.”

* 1997 – In his first interview with Western media, bin Laden tells Peter Bergen — now a CNN analyst — that the United States is “unjust, criminal and tyrannical.” “The U.S. today, as a result of the arrogant atmosphere, has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist,” he said in the same interview. “It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us.”

Bin Laden also says that “Arab holy warriors” trained in Afghanistan had banded with Somali Muslims in October 1993 to kill 18 U.S. soldiers in a bloody battle on the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia. He says, “The U.S. today has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice, a terrorist. It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose agents on us to rule us, and then wants us to agree to all this. If we refuse to do so, it says we are terrorists.”

* February 1997 – According to court documents, bin Laden orders the militarization of the East African cell of Al Qaeda, a move that culminated in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7, 1998, eight years to the day after U.S. troops landed in the Saudi kingdom.

* 1998 – Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led by Ayman al- Zawahiri, merge, according to U.S. prosecutors.

* February 1998 – Bin Laden and al Zawahiri endorse a fatwa under the banner of the “International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders.” This fatwa, published in the newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, on February 23, 1998, states that Muslims should kill Americans — including civilians — anywhere in the world.

* May 7, 1998 – Bin Laden associate Mohammed Atef sends Khaled al Fawwaz a letter discussing the endorsement by bin Laden of a fatwa issued by the “Ulema Union of Afghanistan” which termed the U.S. army the “enemies of Islam” and declared jihad against the U.S. and its followers. The fatwa is subsequently published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

* May 29, 1998 – Bin Laden issues a statement entitled “The Nuclear Bomb of Islam,” under the banner of the “International Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and Crusaders.” In it, he states that “it is the duty of Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God.”

* August 7, 1998 – A pair of truck bombs explode outside the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Some 224 people are killed.

* November 1998 – Bin Laden is indicted in the United States on 224 counts of murder — one for each death in the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

The FBI offered $25 million for information leading to bin Laden's capture and conviction.
The FBI offered $25 million for information leading to bin Laden’s capture and conviction.

* June 7, 1999 – He appears for the first time on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

* May 2000 – In the Philippines, Muslim separatist guerrillas who seized 21 hostages at a diving resort in Malaysia publicly announce that they are being supported by bin Laden.

* October 12, 2000 – Bin Laden is linked to the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which leads to the death of 17 sailors and injuries to another 39.

USS Cole in Yemen in October, 2000.
USS Cole in Yemen in October, 2000.

* 2000 – Algerian Ahmed Ressam pleads guilty in connection with a failed plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium celebrations. He claims he was trained in urban warfare and explosives at an Afghanistan camp run by bin Laden.

* May 29, 2001 – Four of bin Laden’s alleged supporters are convicted of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa.

* August 14, 2001 – Bil Laden’s last statement prior to 9/11 attacks is given to Al Rai Al Aam newspaper.

September 11, 2001.
September 11, 2001.

* September 2001 – Four U.S. commercial aircraft are hijacked and then crashed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, leading to the deaths of more than 3,000 people. Soon thereafter, the U.S. government names bin Laden as a prime suspect.

2001: Bin Laden wanted dead or alive Video

* November 2001 – U.S. forces drop leaflets in Afghanistan offering a $25 million bounty for bin Laden.

* December 1, 2001 – Hazarat Ali, security commander for Jalalabad, reports there was a bin Laden sighting on November 27 in the Tora Bora region. Hundreds of Afghan fighters with American and British Special Forces head to that area to launch a major assault.

* December 25, 2001 – The Pakistan Observer publishes details of bin Laden’s funeral. On the front page, the newspaper reports that an unnamed Taliban leader said bin Laden “had a peaceful natural death in mid-December in the vicinity” of the Tora Bora mountains. The report says that his death was the result of a “serious lung complication.” “He was laid to rest honorably in his last abode” in a grave prepared according to the beliefs of the fundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Islam to which the Qaeda leader belonged, the report says.

* December 27, 2001 – Afghan officials report that bin Laden is in Pakistan, along with al Qaeda sympathizers.

* January 18, 2002 – Then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says that Osama bin Laden might have died of kidney failure in Afghanistan after becoming separated from a dialysis machine he had used in recent years.

* February 15, 2002 – Reports go out to top levels of the U.S. government stating bin Laden survived the U.S. bombing assault on his alleged hideouts. They are vague and lack solid evidence that he could be near Afghan-Pakistan border, such as sightings by witnesses or interception of radio transmissions with his voice.

* March 9, 2002 – A Saudi-owned publication quotes one of bin Laden’s wives. The woman, identified only as A.S., said she “feels deep down that he’s still alive and that the whole world would have known if he had been killed. Osama’s death cannot be hidden.”

* May 17, 2002 – A Saudi-owned newspaper publishes quotes from fugitive Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar in which he states, “Sheikh Osama is still alive, praise God, and this is causing anguish to (U.S. President George W.) Bush who promised his people to kill Osama, not knowing that lives are in the hands of God.”

* June 12, 2002 – A Russian newspaper publishes what it claims is an interview with Omar. The ousted Taliban leader states that bin Laden is alive in Afghanistan. “Osama helped us during the war with the Russians, he would not leave us now,” the newspaper quotes Omar as saying. “The Holy War is only just beginning. The fire from this war will reach America, and it will burn the capital that launched an unjust attack on Muslims.”

* July 2002 – Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi newspaper, says the al-Qaeda leader is in good health, but had been wounded in an attack on his base in Afghanistan last December. Atwan says that Bin Laden’s followers had told him that he would not make more video statements until his group launches another attack on the United States.

* March 10, 2005 – Muslim clerics in Spain issue what they called the world’s first fatwa, or Islamic edict, against Osama bin Laden. They called him an apostate and urged others of their faith to denounce him. The ruling is issued by the Islamic Commission of Spain, the main body representing the country’s Muslim community.

* October 2009 – The book, “Growing Up bin Laden: Osama’s Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World,” written by Najwa and Omar bin Laden is published.

* December 2009 – A U.S. government official admits a “lack of intelligence” on bin Laden’s whereabouts, noting he could be in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells ABC that “it’s been years” since there was good intelligence on the al Qaeda leader’s location.

* January 29, 2010 – A man thought to be bin Laden is heard on two audiotapes, released in the span of a week. On the first, he claims responsibility for the alleged Christmas Day attempt by Nigerian national Umar Farouk AbdulMuttallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane as it neared Detroit, Michigan, from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

On another tape — aired days later, also on Al-Jazeera — a similar voice blames the United States and other industrialized nations for causing climate change.

* March 2010: An audiotape purportedly from bin Laden hints at retaliation if alleged 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed is executed in the United States.

* October 2010: A message from someone thought to be bin Laden appears on jihadist forums urging Muslims to help people suffering from famine, floods, a lack of clean water and the effects of climate change. At the time, a U.S. official says that bin Laden has been in communication with al Qaeda affiliate within Pakistan and beyond, encouraging them to take more military actions.

Weeks later, a speaker in an audiotape — purportedly bin Laden — warns France to get its troops out of Afghanistan and not to oppress Muslims at home. “As you kill us, we will be killed,” the voice says. “As you imprison us, you will be imprisoned.”

* August 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama is briefed on a “possible lead” about the location of bin Laden. Obama said nine months later that intelligence agents pressed to get more information in the subsequent months.

* January 2011: A speaker claiming to be bin Laden warns French troops to leave Afghanistan — or else two French journalists abducted by militants there could be killed. The man warns France that its alliance with the United States could prove costly.

* April 2011: President Obama said he believes that there is by then enough credible intelligence about the terrorist leader’s whereabouts, setting in motion the military operations.

* May 1, 2011: “A small team of Americans” — later identified as U.S. Navy SEALS — engage in a firefight in Abbotabad, Pakistan, killing bin Laden in the process, according to Obama. The U.S. troops, none of whom are harmed in the operation, carry out the al Qaeda leader’s body.

U.S. leaders, political groups, welcome news of bin Laden’s death

(CNN) – Reaction to the announcement that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed nearly 10 years after masterminding the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil was strong and swift from American political leaders:

Former President George W. Bush:

“A victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation. … New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

“Bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide. We also reiterate President Obama’s clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam.”

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:

“This is … a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world. We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada:

“This is the most significant victory in our fight against al Qaeda and terrorism, but that fight is not over … As we remember those who were killed on that dark day in September and their families, we also reaffirm our resolve to defeat the terrorist forces that killed them and thousands of others across the globe.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton:

“I congratulate the president, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al Qaeda attacks.”

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson:

“Finally. We cut off the head of the snake. It’s our intelligence that got him. The noose has been tightening because of our intelligence operations.”

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Massachusetts:

“(This) closes an important chapter in our war against extremists who kill innocent people around the world. We are a nation of peace and laws, and people everywhere should understand that our 10-year manhunt was in search of justice, not revenge.”

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia:

“Justice has been done. The man with the blood of more than 3,000 (people) on his hands, the man who forced us to begin to think the unthinkable — is now dead. … While this is no doubt a major event in our battle against terrorism, we will not relent in our fight against terror and our efforts to keep America safe and secure.”

U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-New York:

“In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.’ President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

“Justice has been done and we are all indebted to the American military and intelligence community for their skill and dedication. Nothing can bring back bin Laden’s innocent victims, but perhaps this can help salve the wounds of their loved ones.”

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona:

“The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it. I hope the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done.”

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee:

“(This) is a credit to our intelligence efforts and brings to justice the architect of the attacks on our country that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.”

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California:

“The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al Qaeda … It is a testament to the professionalism of our dedicated national security professionals that no American lives were lost in this operation … I hope that today’s action provides some comfort to the 9/11 families who lost loved ones in the devastating attacks on our shores.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York:

“This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers — and citizens from all over the world — who were murdered on 9/11. It took close to 10 years, but the world’s most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate.”

PAKPAC, a Pakistani-American advocacy group:

“(Bin Laden’s) death is a victory for the civilized world … Now with the Arab awakening, and democracy taking hold in the Middle East, PAKPAC is confident that al Qaeda and its ideology will be relegated to the dust bin of history.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

“New Yorkers endured bin Laden’s most devastating and destructive attack, and his death brings back the horrific images and emotions of that terrible day. However, his death also reminds us of our strength, courage, and unity as a people in our response to his actions.”

Former U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff:

“With the World Trade Center still smoldering, America promised to bring Osama bin Laden to justice or justice to him. Tonight’s announcement that bin Laden has been killed brings a tremendous amount of gratification and I hope, great comfort to those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee:

“It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama bin Laden is dead … Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

“This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden’s many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota:

“Tonight’s news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden’s horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

“Thank you, American men and women in uniform. You are America’s finest and we are so proud. Thank you for fighting against terrorism.”

Possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum:

“This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. Americans have waited nearly ten years for the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden.”

“This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice — and we did. I want to congratulate America’s armed forces and President Obama for a job well done.”

Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden used the fruits of his family’s success — a personal fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars — to help finance al Qaeda in its quest for a new pan-Islamic religious state.

The Saudi-born zealot commanded al Qaeda, a terrorist organization run like a rogue multinational firm, experts said, with subsidiaries operating secretly in dozens of countries, plotting terror, raising money and recruiting young Muslim men — even boys — from many nations to its training camps in Afghanistan.

Timeline: The life and times of Osama bin Laden

Bin Laden and his terrorist network were behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and are linked to others around the world.

The enormity of the destruction in the 9/11 attacks — the World Trade Center’s towers devastated by two hijacked airplanes, the Pentagon heavily damaged by a third hijacked jetliner, a fourth flight crashed in rural Pennsylvania, and more than 3,000 people killed — gave bin Laden a global presence.

His death early Monday in Pakistan ended a nearly 10-year long manhunt for one of the world’s most-wanted men.

President Obama: Bin Laden is dead

Even before September 11, 2001, bin Laden was already on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

He had been implicated in a series of deadly, high-profile attacks that had grown in their intensity and success during the 1990s.

They included a deadly firefight with U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 in August 1998, and an attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in October 2000.

Bin Laden eluded capture for years, once reportedly slipping out of a training camp in Afghanistan just hours before a barrage of U.S. cruise missiles destroyed it.

On September 11, sources said, the evidence immediately pointed to bin Laden. Within days, those close to the investigation said they had their proof.

Six days after the attack, President George W. Bush made it clear Osama bin Laden was the No. 1 suspect.

“I want justice,” Bush said. “There’s an old poster out West that said, ‘Wanted, dead or alive.’”

Bin Laden was born in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1957, the 17th of 52 children in a family that had struck it rich in the construction business.

His father, Mohamed bin Laden, was a native of Yemen, who immigrated to Saudi Arabia as a child. He became a billionaire by building his company into the largest construction firm in the Saudi kingdom.

As Saudi Arabia became flush with oil money, so, too, did the bin Laden family business, as Osama’s father cultivated and exploited connections within the royal family.

One of the elder bin Laden’s four wives — described as Syrian in some accounts — was Osama’s mother. The young bin Laden inherited a share of the family fortune at an early age after his father died in an aircraft accident.

The bin Ladens were noted for their religious commitment. In his youth, Osama studied with Muslim scholars. Two of the family businesses’ most prestigious projects also left a lasting impression: the renovations of mosques at Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites.

As a young man attending college in Jeddah, bin Laden’s interest in religion started to take a political turn. One of his professors was Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian scholar who was a key figure in the rise of a new pan-Islamic religious movement.

Azzam founded an organization to help the mujahedeen fighting to repel the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Bin Laden soon became the organization’s top financier, using his family connections to raise money. He left as a volunteer for Afghanistan at 22, joining the U.S.-backed call to arms against the Soviets.

He remained there for a decade, using construction equipment from his family’s business to help the Muslim guerrilla forces build shelters, tunnels and roads through the rugged Afghan mountains, and at times taking part in battle.

In the late 1980s, bin Laden founded al Qaeda, Arabic for “the base,” an organization that CNN terrorism analyst and author Peter Bergen says had fairly prosaic beginnings. One of its purposes was to provide documentation for Arab fighters who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, including death certificates.

Al Qaeda, under bin Laden’s leadership, ran a number of guesthouses for these Arab fighters and their families. It also operated training camps to help them prepare for the fight against the Soviets.

In the early 1990s, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, bin Laden turned his sights on the world’s remaining superpower — the United States. War-hardened and victorious, he returned to Saudi Arabia following the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan.

In a 1997 CNN interview, bin Laden declared a “jihad,” or “holy war,” against the United States.

Bin Laden’s death affects the world Video

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait provided the next turning point in Osama bin Laden’s career.

When the United States sent troops to Saudi Arabia for battle against Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, bin Laden was outraged. He had offered his own men to defend the Saudi kingdom but the Saudi government ignored his plan.

He began to target the United States for its presence in Saudi Arabia, home to the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina. With bin Laden’s criticisms creating too much friction with the Saudi government, he and his supporters left for Sudan in 1991.

There, according to U.S. officials, al Qaeda began to evolve into a terror network, with bin Laden at its helm. Tapping into his personal fortune, bin Laden operated a range of businesses involved in construction, farming and exporting.

Although the U.S. government was unaware of it at the time, bin Laden was already actively working against it.

According to court testimony, he sent one of his top lieutenants, Mohammed Atef, to help train Somalis to attack U.S. peacekeeping troops stationed there. Bin Laden would later hint, during an interview with CNN, of his involvement in the deaths of 18 U.S. Army Rangers in 1993 in Mogadishu.

Also in 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and wounding hundreds. Eventually, bin Laden would be named along with many others as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case. The mastermind of the attack, Ramzi Yousef, would later be revealed to have close ties to al Qaeda.

In 1996, bin Laden took his war against the United States a step further. By then, he had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced by Sudanese officials, under pressure from the United States, to leave that country. He returned to Afghanistan where he received harbor from the fundamentalist Taliban, who were ruling the country.

By then, the United States had begun to recognize a growing threat from bin Laden, citing him as a financier of terrorism in a government report.

According to reports, however, the U.S. government passed up a Sudanese government offer to turn over bin Laden, because at the time it had no criminal charges against him. The Saudis, according to an interview with their former intelligence chief in Time magazine, also declined to take custody of bin Laden.

In Afghanistan in 1996, bin Laden issued a “fatwa,” or a religious order, entitled “Declaration of War Against Americans Who Occupy the Lands of the Two Holy Mosques.”

“There is no more important thing than pushing the American occupier out,” decreed the fatwa, which praised Muslim youths willing to die to accomplish that goal: “Youths only want one thing, to kill (U.S. soldiers) so they can get to Paradise.”

In his first interview with Western media in 1997, bin Laden told CNN that the United States was “unjust, criminal and tyrannical.”

“The U.S. today, as a result of the arrogant atmosphere, has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist,” he said in the interview. “It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us.”

In February 1998, he expanded his target list, issuing a new fatwa against all Americans, including civilians.

They were to be killed wherever they might be found anywhere in the world, he decreed. This new fatwa announced the creation of the “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders” and was co-signed by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of Egypt’s al-Jihad terrorist group.

Six months later, explosions destroyed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people and injuring 4,000 more.

U.S. prosecutors later indicted bin Laden for masterminding those attacks.

By the time three hijacked airliners struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, symbols of the U.S. business and military might, bin Laden’s terror network had become global in its reach.

The organization soon became America’s prime target in Bush’s war against global terrorism. Bin Laden, its founder, became the most-wanted man in the world.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell explained al Qaeda’s network this way: “Osama bin Laden is the chairman of the holding company, and within that holding company are terrorist cells and organizations in dozens of countries around the world, any of them capable of committing a terrorist act.”

“It’s not enough to get one individual, although we’ll start with that one individual,” Powell said.

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In statements released from his hideouts in Afghanistan after September 11, bin Laden denied al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.

A videotape of bin Laden later obtained and released by the U.S. government, however, showed him saying he knew the September 11 attacks were coming, chuckling and gloating about their toll. Even with his knowledge of the construction trade, he said with a smile, he did not expect the twin towers of the World Trade Center to collapse completely.

Speaking in an earlier video recording that was first broadcast over the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera, bin Laden said America is “filled with fear from the north, south, east and west. Thank God for that.”

“These events have split the world into two camps — belief and disbelief,” he said. “America will never dream or know or taste security or safety unless we know safety and security in our land and in Palestine.”

Bin Laden had taken advantage of his time in Afghanistan, cementing his ties to the Taliban.

He was particularly close to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He built a mansion in Kandahar but spent most of his time on the move around the country, according to intelligence sources.

Al Qaeda had a network of training camps and safe houses where recruits from around the world were brought for combat and weapons training and indoctrination.

As long as the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, bin Laden, his four wives and more than 10 children were able to avoid capture.

Before September 11, the Afghan government refused U.S. requests to turn over bin Laden. “Osama’s protection is our moral and Islamic duty,” one Taliban official was quoted as saying in July 2001.

As the United States bombing campaign helped the Afghan opposition drive the Taliban from power, however, bin Laden’s days were numbered.

The reward on his head grew to $25 million. Countless leaflets advertising the bounty were dropped from U.S. airplanes, which flew with impunity over Afghan skies.

“We’re hunting him down,” Bush said on November 19, 2001. “He runs and he hides, but as we’ve said repeatedly, the noose is beginning to narrow. The net is getting tighter.”

But he eluded U.S. and allied authorities during the war in Afghanistan, vanishing in December 2001, apparently fleeing during the intensive bombing campaign in the rugged Tora Bora region near the border with Pakistan.

“He’s alive or dead. He’s in Afghanistan or somewhere else,” then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in April 2002 when asked about bin Laden’s whereabouts.

No more videos showing bin Laden were released during the spring and summer of 2002 and there was speculation that he may have died during U.S. bombing raids in Afghanistan.

But audiotapes released in October and November 2002 and broadcast on Al-Jazeera were allegedly were from him. U.S. government experts analyzed the tapes and said the voice on the tapes was almost certainly bin Laden’s.

On February 11, 2002, a new audio message purportedly from bin Laden called on Muslims around the world to show solidarity against U.S.-led military action in Iraq.

The tape was broadcast on Al Jazeera, which originally denied its existence. The voice on tape added that any nation that helps the United States attack Iraq, “(Has) to know that they are outside this Islamic nation. Jordan and Morocco and Nigeria and Saudi Arabia should be careful that this war, this crusade, is attacking the people of Islam first.”

Days later, U.S. government reports suggest that bin Laden had survived sustained bombing and could be near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Then, in May 2002, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is quoted in a Saudi-owned publication, “Sheikh Osama is still alive, praise God.” A Russian newspaper publishes a similar report likewise quoting Omar, saying, “Osama helped us during the war with the (Soviets), he would not leave us now.”

Abdel-Bari Atwan, the editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi newspaper, said in July of that year that bin Laden was in good health, despite being wounded in an attack on his base in Afghanistan the previous December. Atwan said then that bin Laden’s followers had told him that the al Qaeda leader would not make more video statements until his group launched another attack on the United States.

That appeared to prove prescient, as there were no further attacks on U.S. soil in subsequent years — though there were several high-profile attempts, purportedly linked to al Qaeda — and few signs of bin Laden.

Muslim clerics in Spain turned the tables on bin Laden in March 2005, issuing the first fatwa against the terrorist leader. The Islamic edict called him an apostate and urged other Muslims to denounce him.

More details about bin Laden came out in October 2009, in the form of a book written by one of his wives and sons titled, “Growing Up bin Laden: Osama’s Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their World.”

A few months later, the U.S. government admitted a “lack of intelligence” on his whereabouts — suspecting that he could be in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

But he reappeared on the world’s radar in January 2010, with the release of two audiotapes released in the span of a week.

In the first, he purportedly claimed responsibility for the alleged Christmas Day attempt by Nigerian national Umar Farouk AbdulMuttallab to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane as it neared Detroit, Michigan, from Amsterdam, Netherlands. In that tape, the voice — thought to be bin Laden’s — warned the United States of more attacks.

Days later, Al Jazeera released an audiotape purportedly from bin Laden in which he condemned the United States and other industrial nations for causing climate change.

Then, in January of this year, a speaker claiming to be the terrorist mastermind warned French troops to leave Afghanistan — or else two French journalists abducted by militants there could be killed.

The speaker thought to be bin Laden said on the audiotape, which also aired on Al Jazeera, that France’s alliance with the United States will prove costly.

One U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN at the time that the tape “sends a chill up your spine,” as it refers to “a couple of human beings whose lives are at stake.”

For several months before that last tape’s release, however, U.S. officials had received specific information about where bin Laden may have been hiding in Pakistan, according to President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, the president said he ordered an operation — carried out by a handful of U.S. troops — to get bin Laden in Pakistan. The al Qaeda leader resisted and was killed in an ensuing firefight, and U.S. forces took custody of his body. He was later buried at sea, with one U.S. official saying his body was handled in the Islamic tradition.

“His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity,” Obama said in a speech announcing bin Laden’s death. “Justice has been done.”

Yemen remains al Qaeda’s ultimate breeding ground

On December 15, 2001, Pakistani border troops came across some 30 al Qaeda fighters in a mountain pass. They had fled the U.S. bombardment of Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden’s last stronghold in Afghanistan. The group turned out to be members of the al Qaeda leader’s security detail, and U.S. intelligence swiftly dubbed them the “Dirty Thirty.”

They were transferred to U.S. custody in Kandahar and then moved to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba early in 2002. It soon transpired most of the “Dirty Thirty” were from Yemen, a country where al Qaeda has an even greater presence today than it did before 9/11.

Analysis of many profiles of Guantanamo detainees suggest that becoming a member of al Qaeda in Yemen in the late 1990s was relatively easy, which may explain why (after Afghans and Saudis) Yemenis comprised the third largest group held there.

The documents, compiled by the U.S. Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay, show that:

– A network of al Qaeda recruiters was able to operate in Yemen with virtual impunity.

– Salafist religious institutes in Yemen influenced many to take up jihad and join bin Laden.

Many of the recruits had little education and few opportunities.

The documents were obtained by WikiLeaks and published this week.

Several religious institutes in Yemen were fertile al Qaeda recruiting grounds, according to the documents. They included Al Khair Mosque in Sanaa, the Dammaj Institute in Sadah and the al Furqan Institute. The founder of the Dammaj Institute, Sheikh Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi, is described in the documents as “one of the most influential Yemeni Islamic leaders who preached and financed jihad.” (He was also an influence on bin Laden’s thinking, but consistently opposed violence against other Muslims.)

From the Dammaj Institute, recruits were taken to a training camp in Yemen where they would learn assassination techniques and bomb-making. Rarely did the Yemeni authorities interfere. In fact, the documents suggest Yemeni officials could be bribed to provide medical releases and alter travel documents. Recruiters also had money to assist with airline tickets.

Al Qaeda expands presence in Yemen

One of the recruiters was Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj, a Yemeni who “had access to the identities of many al Qaeda-related travelers and plausible knowledge of the detainees’ travel times and locations,” according to the documents. Al-Wadi, who died in 2001, and other radical imams in Yemen also provided money to several of the jihadists who would end up among the “Dirty Thirty.”

Many of the young Yemenis who ended up in bin Laden’s security detail were capable fighters but poorly educated. Mohammad al-Ansi failed 11th grade three times and worked as a bus driver before turning to jihad. Another detainee never made it past seventh grade, while Mahmud al-Mujahid finally got his high school diploma at 22. Several had odd jobs and felt unable to support their families.

Frequently, recruitment into al Qaeda was a family affair. Among those captured in that freezing mountain pass in Pakistan was a 21-year-old by the name of Uthman al-Rahim. His brother was also an al Qaeda fighter and he allegedly had ties to several al Qaeda members responsible for the attack on the USS Cole in 1998. Mahmud al-Mujahidand and his brother were both bodyguards to bin Laden.

2010: USS Cole crew praised at memorial Video

The Yemeni recruits were given similar basic training before being deployed to the front near Kabul to fight against the Northern Alliance as members of al Qaeda’s elite 55th Arab Brigade. They later became bin Laden’s bodyguards, according to the profiles. The documents say several of the “Dirty Thirty” also took part in a close combat course that bin Laden used to select militants for special operations.

Some of the Yemenis were fast-tracked for advanced training. Mohammed al Ansi would later train for an aborted al Qaeda operation in southeast Asia to hijack airliners and crash them into U.S. military bases in the region. Bin Laden planned to use Yemenis in the operation because they could easily travel to the region, according to another detainee. Others ran training camps or safe houses. Hamza al-Qaiti was one; he was at large until 2008, when he was killed in Yemen.

The Guantanamo documents might be solely of historical interest were it not for Yemen’s chronic instability today, and the growing presence of al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula in the provinces of Shabwa, Abyan and Hadramut. Even though Yemeni security forces have stepped up operations against al Qaeda in the last year, U.S. officials describe al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula as the most effective operational arm of the group. John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said in December the group was “increasingly active” in reaching out to find terrorist recruits, even in the United States, and was “the most operationally active node of the al Qaeda network.”

It was in Yemen that the alleged Detroit “underwear” bomber was recruited and trained in 2009. Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula militants have killed dozens of Yemeni soldiers and police; earlier this month Islamist militants briefly occupied a town in southern Yemen and raided an ammunition factory.

The Guantanamo documents suggest that Yemen remains a recruiting ground for al Qaeda, with one written in 2008 saying Yemeni sheikhs “continue to recruit Yemeni youth to participate in hostilities against U.S. and coalition forces.”

That’s perhaps why today so many Yemenis are left at Guantanamo. The risk of sending them home to a volatile country with a history of jail breaks and a vibrant al Qaeda franchise is too great. Of the 112 Yemenis taken to the detention center over the past nine years, nearly 90 are still there. (The New York Times, which has seen all the Guantanamo documents, reports that 23 have been sent back to Yemen and two died in custody.)

Abbottabad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the city in Pakistan. For the Tehsil, see Abbottabad Tehsil. For the district, see Abbottabad District.
Abbottabad
ایبٹ آباد
—  City  —
Abbottabad

View of Abbottabad from Sarban Hills

Abbottabad is located in Pakistan

Abbottabad
Coordinates: 34°9′21″N 73°13′10″ECoordinates34°9′21″N 73°13′10″E
Country  Pakistan
Province Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa
District Abbottabad
Government
 - Nazim Haider Zaman
 - Naib Nazim Liaqat Ali Khan
Elevation 1,260 m (4,134 ft)
Population (1998)[1]
 - Total 27,915
 - Estimate (2006) 120,888
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code 0992
Number of Union Councils 6[2]
Abbottabad District Government

Abbottabad (Urdu: ایبٹ آباد; pronounced [ɛbəʈɑbɑd̪]) is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, 50 km northeast of Islamabad and 150 km east of Peshawar at an altitude of 4,120 feet (1,260 m) and is the capital of theAbbottabad District. The city is well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high standard educational institutions and military establishments. It remains a major hub for tourism of regions in Khyber PakhtunkhwaGilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir in the summer.

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed in a military operation byU.S. special forces in a compound near Abbottabad.[3]

Contents

[hide]

History

View of Abbottabad from Shimla Hill, northeastern Pakistan.

The town of Abbottabad in British India was the headquarters of the then Hazara district, and was named afterMajor James Abbott who founded the town and district in January 1853 after the annexation of the Punjab. He remained the first Deputy Commissioner of the Hazara district between 1849 until April 1853. Major Abbott is noted for having written a poem titled “Abbottabad“, prior to his departure back to Britain, in which he wrote of his fondness for the town and his sadness at having to leave it. Abbottabad became and is still an important military cantonment and sanatorium, being the headquarters of a brigade in the Second Division of the Northern Army Corps.[4] The garrison consisted of four battalions of native infantry (Gurkhas and Frontier Force) and four native mountain batteries.[5]

In 1901 the population of the town and cantonment was 7,764[4] and the income averaged around Rs. 14,900. This increased to Rs. 22,300 in 1903, chiefly derived from octroi. During this time chief public institutions were built such as the Albert Victor unaided Anglo-Vernacular High School, the Municipal Anglo-Vernacular High School and the Government dispensary.[5] In 1911 the population had risen to 11,506 and the town also contained four battalions of Gurkhas.[6]

In June 1948, the British Red Cross opened a hospital in Abbottabad to deal with thousands of patients who were being brought in from the Kashmir fighting areas.[7] On the October 8th, 2005 Abbottabad was devastated by the Kashmir earthquake. Although most of Abbottabad survived, many old buildings were destroyed or damaged.[8]

Death of Osama Bin Laden

Wikinews has related news:Osama bin Laden dead, report US officials
For more details on this topic, see Death of Osama bin Laden.

On May 1, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Abbottabad.[9] Karachi‘s Geo News had a few hours earlier described a helicopter crash and “heavy firing” on the evening of May 1 “near the PMA (Pakistan Military Academy) Kakul Road”, which, two km northeast of the center of Abbottabad, forks off toward the northeast from the Karakoram Highway 34°09′59″N 73°13′42″E[10]

Geography

The city is bounded at all four sides by the Sarban hills, from which residents and tourists can see breathtaking views of the region and city. The location of the city and the hills allows Abbottabad to experience pleasant weather in the summer and cold winters. Neighbouring districts are Mansehra to the north, Muzaffarabad to the east, Haripur to the west and Rawalpindi to the south. Tarbela Damis situated west of Abbottabad.

Topography

Abbottabad is situated in the Orash Valley lying between 34°09′N latitude and 73°13′E longitude at an altitude of 4,120 feet (1,260 m).

Climate

Abbottabad’s climate exhibits a humid subtropical climate, with mild to warm temperatures during the spring and autumn months, humid temperatures during the months of June and July and cool to mild during the winter. The temperature can rise as high as 30°C during the mid-summer months and rarely drop below 0°C during the winter months. Snowfall can occur in January, though it is sparse, while most rainfall occurs during the monsoon season stretching from May to August and frequently causes flooding.

[hide]Climate data for Abbottabad, Pakistan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12
(53)
14
(57)
18
(64)
23
(73)
28
(82)
33
(91)
30
(86)
28
(82)
28
(82)
25
(77)
20
(68)
15
(59)
22
(71)
Average low °C (°F) 2
(35)
4
(39)
8
(46)
12
(53)
16
(60)
20
(68)
20
(68)
19
(66)
17
(62)
13
(55)
8
(46)
4
(39)
11
(51)
Precipitation cm (inches) 7.3
(2.9)
10.3
(4.1)
12.3
(4.9)
10.4
(4.1)
7.3
(2.9)
7.7
(3.0)
24.7
(9.7)
24.4
(9.6)
9.6
(3.8)
5.1
(2.0)
3.1
(1.2)
4.7
(1.9)
127
(49.9)
Source: Weatherbase[11]

Demographics

  • Languages

According to the 1998 Census of the 81,000 who resided in Abbottabad, Hindko was spoken by 94.26% of the population, followed by Potohari at 2.30%, Pashto at 2.22% and Urdu at 1.05%.[12]Although the first language of most people in Abbottabad is Hindko, Urdu is understood and spoken fluently by majority of the residents and commonly used in the markets, offices and formal functions.English is widely used in business and education.

  • Ethnicity

The majority of the residents identify themselves as either AbbasisKarlalsJadoonsSayedsMalik AwansTanolisKarlugh TurksSheikhsSattisQazisSadozaiKashmirisMughalsRajputs,QureshisMalik KakazaisAkazaisUtmanzais and Gujjars.

Government

Abbottabad is the headquarters of Hazara Division and Abbottabad District. The District Nazim, Commissioner, Inspector General and Forest Conservator all reside in Abbottabad. Abbottabad is divided into localities, towns, colonies and neighbourhoods.

Tourism

A view of Nathiagali, a tourist destination in the region.

Abbottabad has been attracting tourists to the city since the colonial era, as it is a major transit point to all major tourist regions of Pakistan such asNathiagali and Naran. According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, “the town is picturesquely situated at the southern corner of the Rash (Orash) plain, 4,120 feet (1,260 m) above the sea”.[5] Like much of the mountainous Northern Areas, tourism is one of the important sources of income in Abbottabad. In the summer when temperatures rise to around 45 degrees Celsius in Punjab and NWFP, a large number of tourists travel north to Abbottabad.

The Karakoram Highway, which traces one of the paths of the ancient Silk Road, starts from Hasan Abdal on the N5 and heads north passing through the city eventually reaching Khunjerab Pass. The Karakorum Highway is a major attraction itself for its views. The KarakoramHimalayas and the Hindu Kush ranges can be approached from Abbottabad and it continues to be a transit city for tourists, serving as a base for visiting numerous nearby places, such as Hunza,GilgitSkardu and Indus Kohistan, of the Karakoram Range.[13]

Sports

Education

Abbottabad attracts people from all over Pakistan to its high standard educational institutions and is commonly referred to “The City of Schools”.

Transportation

Roads

  • N-35 (also known as the Karakoram Highway)
  • Kakul Road or P.M.A Road
  • Chinar Road
  • College Road
  • Sherwan Road
  • Link Road
  • Kasala Road
  • Nari Road
  • Link Road Narrian
  • Murree Road

Transport

Abbottabad’s main public transport consists of modified pickup vans Suzukis, which can accommodate anywhere from 8 to 13 people at one time. Taxis are also available as well as wagons which connect Abbottabad to the surrounding cities and towns (ex. NathiagaliSherwanDhamtourHaripurMansehra) in the region. Abbottabad is also served by Daewoo Express and Niazi Express.

Rail

Pakistan Railways does not serve Abbottabad however a PR Reservation Office is located in Fawara Chowk in the city centre. The nearest railway station is located in Havalian, which is the last and most northern station on the Pakistan Railway network. The station is approximately thirty minutes drive south from Abbottabad city centre.

Victims of Al-Qaeda attacks welcome Bin Laden’s death

Osama Bin LadenBin Laden was top of the US “most wanted” list

The loved ones of people killed in al-Qaeda attacks have been responding to the news Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan.

One Briton, who lost his partner in the 7 July 2005 bombings in London, said he felt justice had been done, but was concerned about safety and security.

Betty Hilton, whose son-in-law was killed on 11 September 2001, said: “My immediate reaction is, I’m glad.”

The terror group’s leader had been top of the US “most wanted” list.

John Falding’s partner Anat Rosenberg died in the 7/7 bombing aboard the number 30 bus in Tavistock Square.

Reprisals?

Mr Falding said: “There will be relief and comfort for victims of al-Qaeda all around the world. But I think also it’s a short-lived victory, in a way, because we now have to be on our guard.

“I think there will be reprisals – if only so that people can demonstrate that the organisation… still has potency.”

While Mrs Hilton, whose son-in-law Robin Larkey was killed in the World Trade Center attacks in New York, said on hearing the news: “My immediate reaction is, I’m glad. You think – jolly good.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

There are plenty more willing to fill his shoes – all those fanatical organisations have their young pretenders”

Sean CassidySon Ciaran was kill on 7/7

“He was such a dreadful person, I’m sure the world is better off without him. I’m glad, but you often go deeply into thought about 9/11 and wonder who actually was to blame – I don’t know if we are ever going to really know where to lay the blame completely.”

Mr Larkey, from Surrey, was married to Mrs Hilton’s daughter, Tracy, and was working in the North Tower of the World Trade Centre when it collapsed after the attacks.

Mrs Hilton, 72, from south-east London, said she was pleased that Bin Laden had been killed rather than captured. “When they have trials it goes on for ages. I’m glad, the world doesn’t need him. I hope he doesn’t become a martyr but I suppose it’s a possibility.

“I’m glad he’s no longer here – I just wish my son-in-law could be here. I suppose in a way it’s some sort of justice, it makes me feel somebody is maybe paying in some way.”

Meanwhile, Sean Cassidy, whose 22-year-old son Ciaran was another of those killed in the 7/7 suicide bombings in London, also said he was “very happy” to hear the terror network’s leader was dead.

He said: “I am very happy, and very well done to the Yanks, they deserve their praise.”

But Mr Cassidy said Bin Laden’s death did not mean an end to terror.

“There are plenty more willing to fill his shoes – all those fanatical organisations have their young pretenders.”

ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – Four helicopters swooped in early Monday and killed Osama bin Laden in a fiery raid on his fortress-like compound in a Pakistani town that is home to three army regiments. His location raised pointed questions over whether Pakistani authorities knew of the whereabouts of the world’s most wanted man.The al-Qaida chief was living in a house in the town of Abbottabad that a U.S. official said was “custom built to hide someone of significance.” Abbottabad is around 60 miles from the capital Islamabad, far from the remote mountain caves along the Pakistan-Afghanistan tribal border where most intelligence assessments had put bin Laden in recent years.

The house was 100 yards from the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army run institution where top officers train. A Pakistan intelligence official said the property where bin Laden was staying was 3,000 square feet.

An American administration official said the compound was built in 2005 at the end of a narrow dirt road with “extraordinary” security measures. He said it had 12 to 18-feet walls topped with barbed wire with two security gates and no telephone or Internet service connected to it.

Critics have long accused elements of Pakistan’s security establishment of protecting bin Laden, though Islamabad has always denied this. Ties between the United States and Pakistan have hit a low point in recent months over the future of Afghanistan, and any hint of possible Pakistani collusion with bin Laden could hit them hard even amid the jubilation of getting American’s No. 1 enemy.

One Pakistani official said the choppers took off from a Pakistani air base, suggesting some cooperation in the raid. But President Barack Obama did not thank Pakistan in his statement on bin Laden’s death.

Pakistan’s foreign office hailed the death as a breakthrough in the international campaign against militancy, and noted al-Qaida “had declared war on Pakistan” and killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and security officers.

It stressed that the operation to kill bin Laden was an American one, and did not mention any concerns that Pakistani officials may have been protecting bin Laden in some way.

A witness and a Pakistani official said bin Laden’s guards opened fire from the roof of the compound in the small northwestern town of Abbottabad, and one of the choppers crashed. However U.S. officials said no Americans were hurt in the operation. The sound of at least two explosions rocked Abbottabad as the fighting raged.

It was not known how long bin Laden had been in Abbottabad, which is less than half a days drive from the border region with Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said a son of bin Laden and three other people were killed.

Other unidentified males were taken by helicopter away from the scene, while four children and two woman were arrested and left in an ambulance, the official said.

Abbottabad resident Mohammad Haroon Rasheed said the raid happened about 1:15 a.m. local time.

“I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast,” he said. “In the morning when we went out to see what happened, some helicopter wreckage was lying in an open field.”

“Intelligence analysts concluded that this compound was custom built to hide someone of significance,” he said.

A Pakistani official in the town said fighters on the roof opened fire on the choppers as they came close to the building with rocket propelled grenades. Another official said four helicopters took off from the Ghazi air base in northwest Pakistan.

Last summer, the U.S. army was based in Ghazi to help out in the aftermath of the floods.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

Pakistan has in the past cooperated with the CIA in arresting al-Qaida suspects on its soil, but relations between its main intelligence agency and the CIA had been very strained in recent months amid tensions over the future of Afghanistan.

In late January, a senior Indonesian al-Qaida operative, Umar Patek, was arrested at another location in Abbottabad.

News of his arrest only broke in late March. A Pakistani intelligence official said its officers were led to the house where Patek was staying after they arrested an al-Qaida facilitator, Tahir Shahzad, who worked at the post office there. 

NATO Launches Second Battle For Tora Bora

December 29th, 2010 (1) Posted By Pat Dollard.


Airstrikes in the original Battle of Tora Bora, December 12-17, 2001

Los Angeles Times:

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan —Fighting between NATO forces and insurgents has erupted in the Afghan mountains of Tora Bora, best known as the rugged labyrinth where Osama bin Laden evaded U.S. capture nine years ago.

The Western military and Afghan officials said Wednesday that the district of Pachir Agam, in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar near the Pakistan border, had become a staging ground for Taliban and other fighters preparing attacks on NATO and Afghan troops.

At least five Taliban fighters, including two men identified as local commanders, were killed in a NATO airstrike Tuesday night or Wednesday morning officials said. The raid was part of an ongoing campaign to dislodge insurgents from the area. NATO said no civilians were present.

The provincial police chief, Alishah Paktiawal, said the two slain Taliban commanders, identified as Shir Zaman and Zhir Gull, oversaw “terrorist operations” in the district.

The NATO force said in a statement that the group was believed to be coordinating the actions of suicide bombers and possibly planning an attack on an Afghan border post. It said a cache of weapons that included assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades was recovered after the strike.

Together with Afghanistan’s south, the country’s east has been a focal point of a U.S. military buildup in recent months. A number of militant groups are known to operate in the area, including the Taliban, the Haqqani network and fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda. All find shelter in Pakistan between strikes at the NATO force, officials have said.

Bin Laden’s escape from a Western and Afghan manhunt in December 2001 still rankles U.S. officials, who believe it would have changed the course of what has become a long and draining conflict. This has been the deadliest year of the war, with nearly 500 American troops killed.

Tora Bora has long been synonymous with missed opportunities; last year, a report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asserted that the Al Qaeda chieftain could have been captured with a better-coordinated assault on the cave-riddled mountain redoubt.

Paktiawal, the provincial police chief, said Western and Afghan military operations were continuing in the district of Chapar Har, adjacent to Pachir Agam. A separate raid on Tuesday night resulted in the breakup of a 20-member ring responsible for setting roadside mines and the arrests of two other commanders from Pachir Agam, he said.

Four more insurgents were seized Wednesday in the Shirzad district of Nangarhar, the police chief said, including one believed to be a Pakistani national.

Osama lived in luxurious mansion in Abbottabad

World's most wanted terrorist was not killed in a cave but in a two-storey house just yards from Pakistan's Military Academy in Abbottabad, a town close to the capital Islamabad, with reports saying that he fired at the US commandos as they swooped down on his hideout. Osama bin Laden's killing brought to an end the most intense manhunt in history and as the four helicopters swooped down on the isolated villa, bin Laden's Arab bodyguards opened fire from the roof of the house.
An intense round of heavy gunfire rocked Abbottabad as the fighting raged in the town, which is home to three Pakistani army regiment and is dotted with military buildings. US officials, who did not want to be named, said the discovery that bin Laden was holed up in an army town in Pakistan raised pointed questions about how he managed to evade capture and whether Pakistan's military intelligence knew about his whereabouts and sheltered him.
Most intelligence estimates figured that bin Laden was holed up in Pakistan's tribal areas, close to the Afghan border, possibly in a cave sheltered by loyal tribesmen.
US officials said it was not immediately known how long bin Laden had been in Abbottabad, which is just an-hour-and-half drive from Islamabad. A Pakistani official claimed the helicopters took off from the Ghazi Air Base in northwest Pakistan where the US army was based to help out in the aftermath of the floods in 2010.
ABC quoted Pakistani officials as saying that a son of bin Laden and three others were killed in the raid. There was no US casualty.
The reports said that a number of heavily armed men, apparently bin Laden's bodyguards, were taken away from the scene by the US forces.
The house were Osama was holed is just 100 yards from the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army run institution where top officers train. Giving a graphic account of the operation, ABC quoting officials said some 10 years after the abortive US bid to nab him in the caves of Tora Bora, a small group of American forces in helicopters took just 40 minutes to land in a well-guarded mansion in a secure neighbourhood.
Disgorging from choppers, the commandos shot Osama in his head after some fire exchange, officials said. Noting that the operation itself was a culmination of years of careful and highly advanced intelligence work, a senior administration official said officers from the CIA, National Security Council and other intelligence wings of the government world very hard to get every possible information about the most wanted fugitive of the world.
"When a case had been made that this was a critical target, we began to prepare this mission in conjecture with the US military," the official said, adding that in the end it was the matchless skill and courage of these Americans that achieved the goal.

American intelligence experts who worked on this issue for years believed that there is a string possibility that the terrorist who is hiding there is Osama bin Laden. Walking through the key points in this intelligence trail, a senior administration official said that from the time they first recognized Osama bin Laden as a threat, CIA gathered leads on individuals in his inner circle including his personal couriers.

The information was also collected from detainees. One courier in particular had their constant attention. Detainees gave the Americans his nom de guerre or his nickname and identified him as both a protg of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former number three of al-Qaeda who was captured in 2005.

Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al-Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden. But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.

Four years ago, the Americans were successful in uncovering his identity. About two years ago, after months of persistent effort, the US intelligence identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. Still they were unable to pinpoint exactly where they lived, due to extensive operational security on their part.

"The fact that they were being so careful reinforced our belief that we were on the right track," a senior administration official said.
It was in August 2010, the US intelligence found their residence, a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. "The area is relatively affluent, with lots of retired military. It's also insulated from the natural disasters and terrorist attacks that have afflicted other parts of Pakistan," the official said.

When they saw the compound where the brothers lived, the Americans were shocked by what they saw -- an extraordinarily unique compound.

The compound sits on a large plot of land in an area that was relatively secluded when it was built. It is roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. When the compound was built in 2005, it was on the outskirts of the town center, at the end of a narrow dirt road.

In the last six years, some residential homes have been built nearby. The physical security measures of the compound are extraordinary. It has 12- to 18-foot walls topped with barbed wire. Internal wall sectioned off different portions of the compound to provide extra privacy. Access to the compound is restricted by two security gates, and the residents of the compound burn their trash, unlike their neighbors, who put the trash out for collection.

The main structure, a three-story building, has few windows facing the outside of the compound. A terrace on the third floor has a seven-foot privacy wall.

It's also noteworthy that the property is valued at approximately USD 1 million but has no telephone or Internet service connected to it. The brothers had no explainable source of wealth, officials said, adding that as a result, intelligence analysts concluded that this compound was custom built to hide someone of significance.

American intelligence soon learned that more people were living at the compound than the two brothers and their families. A third family lived there -- one whose size and whose makeup matched the bin Laden family members that US intelligence believed most likely to be with Osama bin Laden.

"Our best assessment, based on a large body of reporting from multiple sources, was that bin Laden was living there with several family members, including his youngest wife," the official said.
"Everything we saw - the extremely elaborate operational security, the brothers' background and their behaviour, and the location and the design of the compound itself was perfectly consistent with what our experts expected bin Laden's hideout to look like. Keep in mind that two of bin Laden's gatekeepers, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi, were arrested in the settled areas of Pakistan," the official said.
American analysts looked at this from every angle, considering carefully who other than bin Laden could be at the compound. They conducted red team exercises and other forms of alternative analysis to check their work. No other candidate fit the bill as well as bin Laden did, the official commented.
"So the final conclusion, from an intelligence standpoint, was twofold. We had high confidence that a high-value target was being harboured by the brothers on the compound, and we assessed that there was a strong probability that that person was Osama bin Laden," he said.
According to sources, a small US team conducted a helicopter raid on the compound early Pakistan morning. "This operation was a surgical raid by a small team designed to minimize collateral damage and to pose as little risk as possible to non-combatants on the compound or to Pakistani civilians in the neighborhood," the official said.
The US team was on the compound for under 40 minutes and did not encounter any local authorities while performing the raid.
In addition to Osama bin Laden, three adult males were killed in the raid. Authorities believe that two were the couriers and the third was bin Laden's adult son. There were several women and children at the compound.
One woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant. Two other women were injured. During the raid, one helicopter was lost due to mechanical failure. The aircraft was destroyed by the crew and the assault force and crew members boarded the remaining aircraft to exit the compound. All non-combatants were moved safely away from the compound before the detonation.
Bin Laden killed in fiery raid in Pakistan
Osama lived in luxurious mansion in Abbottabad
2 May 2011, 1341 hrs IST, AGENCIES
World's most wanted terrorist was not killed in a cave but in a two-storey house just yards from Pakistan's Military Academy in Abbottabad, a town close to the capital Islamabad, with reports saying that he fired at the US commandos as they swooped down on his hideout. Osama bin Laden's killing brought to an end the most intense manhunt in history and as the four helicopters swooped down on the isolated villa, bin Laden's Arab bodyguards opened fire from the roof of the house.
An intense round of heavy gunfire rocked Abbottabad as the fighting raged in the town, which is home to three Pakistani army regiment and is dotted with military buildings. US officials, who did not want to be named, said the discovery that bin Laden was holed up in an army town in Pakistan raised pointed questions about how he managed to evade capture and whether Pakistan's military intelligence knew about his whereabouts and sheltered him.
Most intelligence estimates figured that bin Laden was holed up in Pakistan's tribal areas, close to the Afghan border, possibly in a cave sheltered by loyal tribesmen.
US officials said it was not immediately known how long bin Laden had been in Abbottabad, which is just an-hour-and-half drive from Islamabad. A Pakistani official claimed the helicopters took off from the Ghazi Air Base in northwest Pakistan where the US army was based to help out in the aftermath of the floods in 2010.
ABC quoted Pakistani officials as saying that a son of bin Laden and three others were killed in the raid. There was no US casualty.
The reports said that a number of heavily armed men, apparently bin Laden's bodyguards, were taken away from the scene by the US forces.
The house were Osama was holed is just 100 yards from the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army run institution where top officers train. Giving a graphic account of the operation, ABC quoting officials said some 10 years after the abortive US bid to nab him in the caves of Tora Bora, a small group of American forces in helicopters took just 40 minutes to land in a well-guarded mansion in a secure neighbourhood.
Disgorging from choppers, the commandos shot Osama in his head after some fire exchange, officials said. Noting that the operation itself was a culmination of years of careful and highly advanced intelligence work, a senior administration official said officers from the CIA, National Security Council and other intelligence wings of the government world very hard to get every possible information about the most wanted fugitive of the world.
"When a case had been made that this was a critical target, we began to prepare this mission in conjecture with the US military," the official said, adding that in the end it was the matchless skill and courage of these Americans that achieved the goal.
American intelligence experts who worked on this issue for years believed that there is a string possibility that the terrorist who is hiding there is Osama bin Laden. Walking through the key points in this intelligence trail, a senior administration official said that from the time they first recognized Osama bin Laden as a threat, CIA gathered leads on individuals in his inner circle including his personal couriers.
The information was also collected from detainees. One courier in particular had their constant attention. Detainees gave the Americans his nom de guerre or his nickname and identified him as both a protg of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former number three of al-Qaeda who was captured in 2005.
Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al-Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden. But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.
Four years ago, the Americans were successful in uncovering his identity. About two years ago, after months of persistent effort, the US intelligence identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. Still they were unable to pinpoint exactly where they lived, due to extensive operational security on their part.
"The fact that they were being so careful reinforced our belief that we were on the right track," a senior administration official said.
It was in August 2010, the US intelligence found their residence, a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. "The area is relatively affluent, with lots of retired military. It's also insulated from the natural disasters and terrorist attacks that have afflicted other parts of Pakistan," the official said.
When they saw the compound where the brothers lived, the Americans were shocked by what they saw -- an extraordinarily unique compound.
The compound sits on a large plot of land in an area that was relatively secluded when it was built. It is roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. When the compound was built in 2005, it was on the outskirts of the town center, at the end of a narrow dirt road.
In the last six years, some residential homes have been built nearby. The physical security measures of the compound are extraordinary. It has 12- to 18-foot walls topped with barbed wire. Internal wall sectioned off different portions of the compound to provide extra privacy. Access to the compound is restricted by two security gates, and the residents of the compound burn their trash, unlike their neighbors, who put the trash out for collection.
The main structure, a three-story building, has few windows facing the outside of the compound. A terrace on the third floor has a seven-foot privacy wall.
It's also noteworthy that the property is valued at approximately USD 1 million but has no telephone or Internet service connected to it. The brothers had no explainable source of wealth, officials said, adding that as a result, intelligence analysts concluded that this compound was custom built to hide someone of significance.
American intelligence soon learned that more people were living at the compound than the two brothers and their families. A third family lived there -- one whose size and whose makeup matched the bin Laden family members that US intelligence believed most likely to be with Osama bin Laden.
"Our best assessment, based on a large body of reporting from multiple sources, was that bin Laden was living there with several family members, including his youngest wife," the official said.
"Everything we saw - the extremely elaborate operational security, the brothers' background and their behaviour, and the location and the design of the compound itself was perfectly consistent with what our experts expected bin Laden's hideout to look like. Keep in mind that two of bin Laden's gatekeepers, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi, were arrested in the settled areas of Pakistan," the official said.
American analysts looked at this from every angle, considering carefully who other than bin Laden could be at the compound. They conducted red team exercises and other forms of alternative analysis to check their work. No other candidate fit the bill as well as bin Laden did, the official commented.
"So the final conclusion, from an intelligence standpoint, was twofold. We had high confidence that a high-value target was being harboured by the brothers on the compound, and we assessed that there was a strong probability that that person was Osama bin Laden," he said.According to sources, a small US team conducted a helicopter raid on the compound early Pakistan morning. "This operation was a surgical raid by a small team designed to minimize collateral damage and to pose as little risk as possible to non-combatants on the compound or to Pakistani civilians in the neighborhood," the official said.The US team was on the compound for under 40 minutes and did not encounter any local authorities while performing the raid.In addition to Osama bin Laden, three adult males were killed in the raid. Authorities believe that two were the couriers and the third was bin Laden's adult son. There were several women and children at the compound.One woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant. Two other women were injured. During the raid, one helicopter was lost due to mechanical failure. The aircraft was destroyed by the crew and the assault force and crew members boarded the remaining aircraft to exit the compound. All non-combatants were moved safely away from the compound before the detonation.

following is how wiki describes Laden

Osama bin Laden

Place of birth	Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Place of death	Abbottabad, Pakistan
Allegiance	Al-Qaeda
Battles/wars
Soviet war in Afghanistan
War on Terror:
War in Afghanistan
War in North-West Pakistan
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎, ʾUsāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin; March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011[1][2][3]) was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family and the founder of the jihadist organization al-Qaeda, responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. As a result of his dealings in and advocacy of violent extremist jihad, Osama bin Laden lost his Saudi citizenship and was disowned by his billionaire family.[4]
Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists due to his involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings.[5][6][7] Since 2001, Osama bin Laden and his organization had been major targets of the U.S. War on Terror. Bin Laden and fellow al-Qaeda leaders were believed to be hiding near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
On May 1, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced on national television that bin Laden had been killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by American military forces and the Central Intelligence Agency[2][8] and that his body was in U.S. custody.[3]

There is no universally accepted standard in the West for transliterating Arabic words and names into English, so bin Laden's name is spelled in many different ways. The version translation most often used by English-language mass media is Osama bin Laden. Most American government agencies, including the FBI and CIA, use either "Usama bin Laden" or "Usama bin Ladin", both of which are often abbreviated to UBL. Less common renderings include "Ussamah Bin Ladin" and "Oussama Ben Laden" (French-language mass media). The last two words of the name can also be found as "Binladen" or (as used by his family in the West) "Binladin". The spelling with "o" and "e" comes from a Persian-influenced pronunciation used in Afghanistan where he lived for a long time.
Strictly speaking, Arabic linguistic conventions dictate that he be referred to as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden", not "bin Laden", as "Bin Laden" is not used as a surname in the Western manner, but simply as part of his name, which in its long form means "Osama, son of Mohammed, son of 'Awad, son of Laden". Still, "bin Laden" has become nearly universal in Western references to him.
Osama bin Laden's admirers commonly use several aliases and nicknames, including the Prince/Al-Amir, the Sheikh, Abu Abdallah, Sheikh Al-Mujahid, the Lion Sheik,[9] the Director.[10]
Childhood, education and personal life

Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In a 1998 interview, he gave his birth date as March 10, 1957.[12] His father Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family.[13] Osama bin Laden was born the only son of Mohammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas.[14] Osama's parents divorced soon after he was born; Osama's mother then married Mohammed al-Attas. The couple had four children, and Osama lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister.[14]
Osama was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim. From 1968 to 1976 he attended the "élite" secular Al-Thager Model School.[14][16] Osama studied economics and business administration[17] at King Abdulaziz University. Some reports suggest Osama earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979,[18] or a degree in public administration in 1981.[19] Other sources describe him as having left university during his third year,[20] never completing a college degree, though "hard working."[21] At university, Osama's main interest was religion, where he was involved in both "interpreting the Quran and jihad" and charitable work.[22] He also wrote poetry.[23]
In 1974, at the age of 17, Osama married his first wife Najwa Ghanem at Latakia. According to CNN national security correspondent David Ensore, as of 2002 Osama had married four women and fathered roughly 25 or 26 children.[25] Other sources report that he has fathered anywhere from 12 to 24 children.[26]
His father, Mohammed bin Laden, was killed in 1967 in an airplane crash in Saudi Arabia when his American pilot misjudged a landing.His eldest half-brother and head of the bin Laden family, Salem bin Laden, was killed in 1988 when he accidentally flew a plane into powerlines near San Antonio, Texas, USA.
The FBI described Osama bin Laden as tall and thin, between 6'4" and 6'6" (193– 198 cm) in height and weighing about 165 pounds (75 kg). Interviewees of Lawrence Wright, on the other hand, describe him as quite slender, but not particularly tall.[28] He had an olive complexion and was left-handed, usually walking with a cane. He wore a plain white turban and no longer donned the traditional Saudi male headdress.[29]In terms of personality, bin Laden was described as a soft-spoken, mild mannered man.[30]
Beliefs and ideology

Osama believed that the restoration of Sharia law will set things right in the Muslim world, and that all other ideologies—"pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy"—must be opposed.[31] These beliefs, along with violent expansive jihad, have sometimes been called Qutbism (the ideology of Sayyid Qutb).[32] He believed Afghanistan under the rule of Mullah Omar's Taliban was "the only Islamic country" in the Muslim world.[33] Osama consistently dwelt on the need for violent jihad to right what he believes are injustices against Muslims perpetrated by the United States and sometimes by other non-Muslim states,[34] the need to eliminate the state of Israel, and the necessity of forcing the US to withdraw from the Middle East. He also called on Americans to "reject the immoral acts of fornication (and) homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling, and usury," in an October 2002 letter.[35]
Probably the most infamous part of Osama's ideology was that civilians, including women and children, are legitimate targets of jihad. Osama was antisemitic, and delivered warnings against alleged Jewish conspiracies: "These Jews are masters of usury and leaders in treachery. They will leave you nothing, either in this world or the next."[38] Shia Muslims have been listed along with "Heretics,... America and Israel," as the four principal "enemies of Islam" at ideology classes of bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization.[39]
In keeping with Wahhabi beliefs, Osama opposed music on religious grounds,[41] and his attitude towards technology was mixed. He was interested in "earth-moving machinery and genetic engineering of plants" on the one hand, but rejected "chilled water" on the other.[42]
His viewpoints and methods of achieving them had led to him being designated as a "terrorist" by scholars, journalists from The New York Times, the BBC,[47] and Qatari news station Al Jazeera,[48] analysts such as Peter Bergen,[49] Michael Scheuer,[50] Marc Sageman,[51] and Bruce Hoffman[52][53] and he was indicted on terrorism charges by law enforcement agencies in Madrid, New York City, and Tripoli.[54]
Militant activity

Mujahideen in Afghanistan

Osama Bin Laden with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir in 1997.
After leaving college in 1979 bin Laden joined Abdullah Azzam to fight the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and lived for a time in Peshawar. From 1979 through 1989 under U.S. Presidents Carter and Reagan, the United States Central Intelligence Agency provided overt and covert financial aid, arms and training to Osama's Islamic Jihad Mujahideen through Operation Cyclone[57], and The Reagan Doctrine. President Reagan often praised Osama's Mujahideen as Afghanistan's "Freedom Fighters."
By 1984, with Azzam, bin Laden established Maktab al-Khadamat, which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the Arabic world into the Afghan war. Through al-Khadamat, bin Laden's inherited family fortune[58] paid for air tickets and accommodation, dealt with paperwork with Pakistani authorities and provided other such services for the jihad fighters. Osama established a camp in Afghanistan, and with other volunteers fought the Soviets.
It was during his time in Peshawar that he began wearing camouflage-print jackets and carrying a captured Soviet assault rifle, which urban legends claimed he had obtained by killing a Russian soldier with his bare hands.[59]
Formation and structuring of Al-Qaeda
Main article: Al-Qaeda
By 1988, bin Laden had split from Maktab al-Khidamat. While Azzam acted as support for Afghan fighters, bin Laden wanted a more military role. One of the main points leading to the split and the creation of al-Qaeda was Azzam's insistence that Arab fighters be integrated among the Afghan fighting groups instead of forming a separate fighting force.[60] Notes of a meeting of bin Laden and others on August 20, 1988, indicate al-Qaeda was a formal group by that time: "basically an organized Islamic faction, its goal is to lift the word of God, to make His religion victorious." A list of requirements for membership itemized the following: listening ability, good manners, obedience, and making a pledge (bayat) to follow one's superiors.[61]
According to Wright, the group's real name wasn't used in public pronouncements because "its existence was still a closely held secret." His research suggests that al-Qaeda was formed at an August 11, 1988, meeting between "several senior leaders" of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Abdullah Azzam, and bin Laden, where it was agreed to join bin Laden's money with the expertise of the Islamic Jihad organization and take up the jihadist cause elsewhere after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan.[63] Following the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia in 1990 as a hero of jihad, who along with his Arab legion, "had brought down the mighty superpower" of the Soviet Union.[64] The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 had put the kingdom and its ruling House of Saud at risk. The world's most valuable oil fields were within easy striking distance of Iraqi forces in Kuwait, and Saddam's call to pan-Arab/Islamism could potentially rally internal dissent. bin Laden met with King Fahd, and Sultan, Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia, telling them not to depend on non-Muslim troops, and offered to help defend Saudi Arabia with his mujahideen fighters. Bin Laden's offer was rebuffed, and after the American offer to help repel Iraq from Kuwait was accepted, involving deploying U.S. troops in Saudi territory,[65] he publicly denounced Saudi Arabia's dependence on the U.S. military, as he believed the presence of foreign troops in the "land of the two mosques" (Mecca and Medina) profaned sacred soil. Bin Laden's criticism of the Saudi monarchy led that government to attempt to silence him.
Shortly after Saudi Arabia permitted U.S. troops on Saudi soil, bin Laden turned his attention to attacks on the west. On November 8, 1990, the FBI raided the New Jersey home of El Sayyid Nosair, an associate of al Qaeda operative Ali Mohamed, discovering a great deal of evidence of terrorist plots, including plans to blow up New York City skyscrapers, marking the earliest uncovering of al Qaeda plans for such activities outside of Muslim countries.[66] Nosair was eventually convicted in connection to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane on November 5, 1990.
Bin Laden continued to speak publicly against the Saudi government for harboring American troops, for which the Saudis banished him. He went to live in exile in Sudan, in 1992, in a deal brokered by Ali Mohamed.[67]
Sudan and return to Afghanistan
In Sudan, bin Laden established a new base for mujahideen operations, in Khartoum.
Bin Laden continued his verbal assault on King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and in response, on March 5, 1994, Fahd sent an emissary to Sudan demanding bin Laden's passport. His family was persuaded to cut off his monthly stipend, the equivalent of $7 million a year.[68] By now bin Laden was strongly associated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which made up the core of al-Qaeda. In 1995 the EIJ attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The attempt failed, and the EIJ was expelled from Sudan.
Sudan also began efforts to expel bin Laden. The 9/11 Commission Report states:
"In late 1995, when Bin Laden was still in Sudan, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) learned that Sudanese officials were discussing with the Saudi government the possibility of expelling Bin Laden. CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh tracked down Bin Ladin in the Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization.[69] US Ambassador Timothy Carney encouraged the Sudanese to pursue this course. The Saudis, however, did not want Bin Laden, giving as their reason their revocation of his citizenship. Sudan's minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Laden over to the United States. The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so. Ambassador Carney had instructions only to push the Sudanese to expel Bin Laden. Ambassador Carney had no legal basis to ask for more from the Sudanese since, at the time, there was no indictment outstanding."[70]
The 9/11 Commission Report further states:
"In February 1996, Sudanese officials began approaching officials from the United States and other governments, asking what actions of theirs might ease foreign pressure. In secret meetings with Saudi officials, Sudan offered to expel Bin Laden to Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudis to pardon him. US officials became aware of these secret discussions, certainly by March. Saudi officials apparently wanted Bin Laden expelled from Sudan. They had already revoked his citizenship, however, and would not tolerate his presence in their country. Also Bin Laden may have no longer felt safe in Sudan, where he had already escaped at least one assassination attempt that he believed to have been the work of the Egyptian or Saudi regimes, or both."
In May 1996, under increasing pressure on Sudan, from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States, bin Laden returned to Jalalabad, Afghanistan aboard a chartered flight, and there forged a close relationship with Mullah Mohammed Omar.[71][72] When Bin Laden left Sudan, he and his organization were significantly weakened, despite his ambitions and organizational skills.[73] In Afghanistan, bin Laden and Al-Qaeda raised money from "donors from the days of the Soviet jihad", and from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to establish more training camps for Mujahideen fighters .[74]
Early attacks and aid for attacks
It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was the December 29, 1992 bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden in which two people were killed.
It was after this bombing that al-Qaeda was reported to have developed its justification for the killing of innocent people. According to a fatwa issued by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, the killing of someone standing near the enemy is justified because any innocent bystander will find their proper reward in death, going to Jannah (Paradise) if they were good Muslims and to Jahannam (hell) if they were bad or non-believers.[76] The fatwa was issued to al-Qaeda members but not the general public.
In the 1990s bin Laden's al-Qaeda assisted jihadis financially and sometimes militarily in Algeria, Egypt and Afghanistan. In 1992 or 1993 bin Laden sent an emissary, Qari el-Said, with $40,000 to Algeria to aid the Islamists and urge war rather than negotiation with the government. Their advice was heeded but the war that followed killed 150,000–200,000 Algerians and ended with Islamist surrender to the government.
Another effort by bin Laden was the funding of the Luxor massacre of November 17, 1997,[77][78][79] which killed 62 civilians, but so revolted the Egyptian public that it turned against Islamist terror. In mid-1997, the Northern Alliance threatened to overrun Jalalabad, causing Bin Laden to abandon his Nazim Jihad compound and move his operations to Tarnak Farms in the south.[80]
A later effort that did succeed was an attack on the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. Bin Laden helped cement his alliance with his hosts the Taliban by sending several hundred of his Afghan Arab fighters along to help the Taliban kill between five and six thousand Hazaras overrunning the city.[81]
In 1998, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri co-signed a fatwa in the name of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders which declared the killing of North Americans and their allies an "individual duty for every Muslim" to "liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Mecca) from their grip".[82][83] At the public announcement of the fatwa bin Laden announced that North Americans are "very easy targets." He told the attending journalists, "You will see the results of this in a very short time."[84]
In December 1998, the Director of Central Intelligence Counterterrorist Center reported to the president that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the USA, including the training of personnel to hijack aircraft.[85]
At the end of 2000, Richard Clarke revealed that Islamic militants headed by bin Laden had planned a triple attack on January 3, 2000 which would have included bombings in Jordan of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman and tourists at Mount Nebo and a site on the Jordan River, the sinking of the destroyer USS The Sullivans in Yemen, as well as an attack on a target within the United States. The plan was foiled by the arrest of the Jordanian terrorist cell, the sinking of the explosive-filled skiff intended to target the destroyer, and the arrest of Ahmed Ressam.[86]
Balkan wars
See also: Bosnian mujahideen
A former U.S. State Department official in October 2001 described Bosnia and Herzegovina as a safe haven for terrorists, after it was revealed that militant elements of the former Sarajevo government were protecting extremists, some with ties to Osama bin Laden.[87] In 1997, Rzeczpospolita, one of the largest Polish daily newspapers, reported that intelligence services of the Nordic-Polish SFOR Brigade suspected that a center for training terrorists from Islamic countries was located in the Bocina Donja village near Maglaj in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1992, hundreds of volunteers joined an "all-mujahedeen unit" called El Moujahed in an abandoned hillside factory, a compound with a hospital and prayer hall. According to Middle East intelligence reports, bin Laden financed small convoys of recruits from the Arab world through his businesses in Sudan. Among them was Karim Said Atmani who was identified by authorities as the document forger for a group of Algerians accused of plotting the bombings in the USA.[88] He is a former roommate of Ahmed Ressam, the man arrested at the Canadian-U.S. border in mid-December 1999 with a car full of nitroglycerin and bomb-making materials.[89][90] He was convicted of colluding with Osama bin Laden by a French court.[91]
A Bosnian government search of passport and residency records, conducted at the urging of the United States, revealed other former mujahideen who are linked to the same Algerian group or to other groups of suspected terrorists who have lived in this area 60 miles (97 km) north of Sarajevo, the capital, in the past few years. Khalil al-Deek, was arrested in Jordan in late December 1999 on suspicion of involvement in a plot to blow up tourist sites; a second man with Bosnian citizenship, Hamid Aich, lived in Canada at the same time as Atmani and worked for a charity associated with Osama Bin Laden. In its June 26, 1997 Report on the bombing of the Al Khobar building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The New York Times noted that those arrested confessed to serving with Bosnian Muslims forces. Further, the captured men also admitted to ties with Osama bin Laden.[92][93][94]
In 1999 it was revealed that Osama bin Laden and his Tunisian assistant Mehrez Aodouni were granted citizenship and Bosnian passports in 1993 by the Government in Sarajevo. This information was denied by the Bosnian government following the 9/11 attacks, but it was later found that Aodouni was arrested in Turkey and that at that time he possessed the Bosnian passport. Following this revelation, a new explanation was given that bin Laden "did not personally collect his Bosnian passport" and that officials at the Bosnian embassy in Vienna, which issued the passport, could not have known who bin Laden was at the time.[92][93][94] The Bosnian daily Oslobođenje published in 2001 that three men, believed to be linked to Osama Bin Laden, were arrested in Sarajevo in July 2001. The three, one of whom was identified as Imad El Misri, were Egyptian nationals. The paper said that two of the suspects were holding Bosnian passports.[92]
In 1998 it was reported that bin Laden was operating his Al Qaeda network out of Albania. The Charleston Gazette quoted Fatos Klosi, the head of the Albanian intelligence service, as saying a network run by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden sent units to fight in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Confirmation of these activities came from Claude Kader, a French national who said he was a member of bin Laden's Albanian network.
By 1998 four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) were arrested in Albania, and extradited to Egypt at the urging of the CIA. It is believed that the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Africa occurred as retaliation for these arrests.[95]
September 11 attacks
See also: September 11 attacks and Videos and audio recordings of Osama bin Laden
"Allah knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed – when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way (and) to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women."

– Osama bin Laden, 2004[96]

After reports of repeated initial denials,[97] in 2004 Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.[98][99][100] The attacks involved the hijacking of four commercial passenger aircraft,[101] the subsequent destruction of those planes and the World Trade Center in New York City, New York, severe damage to The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia,[102] and the deaths of 2,974 people and the nineteen hijackers.[103] In response to the attacks, the United States launched a War on Terror to depose the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and capture al-Qaeda operatives, and several countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation to preclude future attacks. The CIA's Special Activities Division was given the lead in tracking down and killing or capturing bin Laden.[104]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that classified[105] evidence linking Al-Qaeda and bin Laden to the attacks of September 11 is clear and irrefutable.[106] The UK Government reached a similar conclusion regarding Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's culpability for the September 11, 2001, attacks although the government report notes that the evidence presented is insufficient for a prosecutable case.[107] Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the attacks. On September 16, 2001, bin Laden read a statement later broadcast by Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite channel denying responsibility for the attack.[108]
In a videotape recovered by US forces in November 2001 in Jalalabad, bin Laden was seen discussing the attack with Khaled al-Harbi in a way that indicates foreknowledge.[109] The tape was broadcast on various news networks on December 13, 2001. The merits of this translation have been disputed. Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini stated: "This translation is very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove the guilt of bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic."[110]
In the 2004 Osama bin Laden video, bin Laden abandoned his denials without retracting past statements. In it he stated he had personally directed the nineteen hijackers.[99][111] In the 18-minute tape, played on Al-Jazeera, four days before the American presidential election, bin Laden accused U.S. President George W. Bush of negligence on the hijacking of the planes on September 11.[99]
According to the tapes, bin Laden claimed he was inspired to destroy the World Trade Center after watching the destruction of towers in Lebanon by Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War.[112]
In two other tapes aired by Al Jazeera in 2006, Osama bin Laden announces,
I am the one in charge of the nineteen brothers ... I was responsible for entrusting the nineteen brothers ... with the raids [5 minute audiotape broadcast May 23, 2006],[113]
and is seen with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, as well as two of the 9/11 hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Wail al-Shehri, as they make preparations for the attacks (videotape broadcast September 7, 2006).[114]
Criminal charges

On March 16, 1998, Libya issued the first official Interpol arrest warrant against Bin Laden and three other people for killing two German citizens in Libya on March 10, 1994, one of which is thought to have been a German counter-intelligence officer. Bin Laden was still wanted by the Libyan government.[115][116] Osama bin Laden was first indicted by the United States on June 8, 1998, when a grand jury indicted Osama bin Laden on charges of killing five Americans and two Indians in the November 14, 1995 truck bombing of a US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh.[117]
Bin Laden was charged with "conspiracy to attack defense utilities of the United States" and prosecutors further charged that bin Laden is the head of the terrorist organization called al Qaeda, and that he was a major financial backer of Islamic fighters worldwide.[117] Bin Laden denied involvement but praised the attack. On November 4, 1998, Osama bin Laden was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on charges of Murder of US Nationals Outside the United States, Conspiracy to Murder US Nationals Outside the United States, and Attacks on a Federal Facility Resulting in Death[118] for his alleged role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The evidence against bin Laden included courtroom testimony by former Al Qaeda members and satellite phone records, from a phone purchased for him by al-Qaeda procurement agent Ziyad Khaleel in the U.S.[119]
Bin Laden became the 456th person listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, when he was added to the list on June 7, 1999, following his indictment along with others for capital crimes in the 1998 embassy attacks. Attempts at assassination and requests for the extradition of bin Laden from the Taliban of Afghanistan were met with failure prior to the bombing of Afghanistan in October 2001.[120] In 1999, US President Bill Clinton convinced the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in an attempt to force the Taliban to extradite him.
Years later, on October 10, 2001, bin Laden appeared as well on the initial list of the top 22 FBI Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by the President of the United States George W. Bush, in direct response to the attacks of 9/11, but which was again based on the indictment for the 1998 embassy attack. Bin Laden was among a group of thirteen fugitive terrorists wanted on that latter list for questioning about the 1998 embassy bombings. Bin Laden remains the only fugitive ever to be listed on both FBI fugitive lists.
Despite the multiple indictments listed above and multiple requests, the Taliban refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden. It wasn't until after the bombing of Afghanistan began in October 2001 that the Taliban finally did offer to turn over Osama bin Laden to a third-party country for trial, in return for the US ending the bombing and providing evidence that Osama bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attacks. This offer was rejected by George W Bush stating that this was no longer negotiable with Bush responding that "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty."[121]
Attempted capture by the United States

US propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan
Clinton administration
Capturing Osama bin Laden had been an objective of the United States government since the presidency of Bill Clinton.[122] Shortly after the September 11 attacks it was revealed that President Clinton had signed a directive authorizing the CIA (and specifically their elite Special Activities Division) to apprehend bin Laden and bring him to the United States to stand trial after the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa; if taking bin Laden alive was deemed impossible, then deadly force was authorized.[123] On August 20, 1998, 66 cruise missiles launched by United States Navy ships in the Arabian Sea struck bin Laden's training camps near Khost in Afghanistan, narrowly missing him by a few hours.[124] In 1999 the CIA, together with Pakistani military intelligence, had prepared a team of approximately 60 Pakistani commandos to infiltrate Afghanistan to capture or kill bin Laden, but the plan was aborted by the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état;[124] in 2000, foreign operatives working on behalf of the CIA had fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a convoy of vehicles in which bin Laden was traveling through the mountains of Afghanistan, hitting one of the vehicles but not the one in which bin Laden was riding.[123]
In 2000, prior to the September 11 attacks, Paul Bremer characterized the Clinton administration as "correctly focused on bin Laden", while Robert Oakley criticized their "obsession with Osama".[86]
Bush administration
According to The Washington Post, the US government concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the Battle of Tora Bora, Afghanistan in late 2001, and according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge, failure by the US to commit enough US ground troops to hunt him led to his escape and was the gravest failure by the US in the war against al Qaeda. Intelligence officials have assembled what they believe to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that bin Laden began the battle of Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan's mountainous eastern border.[125]
The Washington Post also reported that the CIA unit composed of their special operations paramilitary forces dedicated to capturing Osama was shut down in late 2005.[126]
US and Afghanistan forces raided the mountain caves in Tora Bora between 14–16 August 2007. The military was drawn to the area after receiving intelligence of a pre-Ramadan meeting held by al Qaeda members. After killing dozens of al Qaeda and Taliban members, they did not find either Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri.[127]
Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, US government officials named bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda organization as the prime suspects and offered a reward of $25 million for information leading to his capture or death.[10][128] On July 13, 2007, this figure was doubled to $50 million.[129]
The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association had offered an additional $2 million reward.
Obama administration
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in December 2009 that officials had had no reliable information on Bin Laden's whereabouts for "years". One week later, General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said in December 2009 that al-Qaeda will not be defeated unless its leader, Osama Bin Laden, is captured or killed. Testifying to the U.S. Congress, he said Bin Laden had become an "iconic figure, whose survival emboldens al-Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world", and that Obama's deployment of 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan meant that success would be possible. "I don't think that we can finally defeat al-Qaeda until he's captured or killed", McChrystal said of Bin Laden. "Killing or capturing Bin Laden would not spell the end of al-Qaeda, but the movement could not be eradicated while he remained at large."[131]
Criticism

Main article: Criticism of Osama bin Laden
Salafist Muslims have criticized bin Laden for adherence to Qutbism, takfir and Khaarijite deviance. Critics are said to include Muhammad Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee, Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan and Muqbil bin Haadi al-Waadi'ee. In August 2010, Fidel Castro claimed that bin Laden was a spy employed by the United States.[132]
Activities and whereabouts after the September 11 attacks

Main article: Location of Osama bin Laden
Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush stated that now hoped to "kill or capture" Bin Laden. Subsequently, Bin Laden retreated further from public contact to avoid capture. Since that time, numerous speculative press reports had been issued concerning various hearsay stories about his whereabouts, and also about alleged evidence of his death. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda had continued to release time-sensitive and professionally-verified videos demonstrating Bin Laden's continued survival as recently as August 2007.[133] Most recently, U.S. Army General Stanley A. McChrystal had emphasized the continued importance of the capture or killing of bin Laden, thus clearly indicating that the US high command continued to believe that Bin Laden was probably still alive. Some of the conflicting reports regarding both his his continued whereabouts and previous mistaken claims about his death have included the following:
Many claims as to the location of Osama bin Laden were made in the wake of 9/11, although none were ever definitively proven and some placed Osama in different locations during overlapping time periods. After military offensives in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 failed to uncover his whereabouts, Pakistan was regularly identified as his suspected hiding place.
A December 11, 2005, letter from Atiyah Abd al-Rahman to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi indicates that bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership were based in the Waziristan region of Pakistan at the time. In the letter, translated by the United States military's Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, "Atiyah" instructs Zarqawi to "send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership ... I am now on a visit to them and I am writing you this letter as I am with them..." Al-Rahman also indicates that bin Laden and al-Qaeda are "weak" and "have many of their own problems." The letter has been deemed authentic by military and counterterrorism officials, according to The Washington Post.[134][135]
In 2009, a research team led by Thomas W. Gillespie and John A. Agnew of UCLA used satellite-aided geographical analysis to pinpoint three compounds in Parachinar as bin Laden's likely hideouts.[136]
In March 2009, the New York Daily News reported that the hunt for bin Laden had centered in the Chitral District of Pakistan, including the Kalam Valley. According to the report, author Rohan Gunaratna states that captured Al Qaeda leaders have confirmed that Chitral is where bin Laden is hiding.[137]
In the first week of December 2009, a Taliban detainee in Pakistan said he had information that Bin Laden was in Afghanistan in 2009. The detainee said that in January or February (of 2009) he met a trusted contact who had seen Bin Laden about 15 to 20 days earlier in Afghanistan. However, on December 6, 2009. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the U.S. had had no reliable information on the whereabouts of Bin Laden in years.[138] Pakistan's Prime Minister Gillani rejected claims that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan.[139]
On January 15, 2010, the FBI published digitally aged pictures of Osama bin Laden showing what he may look like after a decade of aging. Spanish newspaper El Mundo subsequently revealed that the FBI had used a photo of Spanish politician Gaspar Llamazares from Google Images to create the image. The FBI admitted to using the photo and removed it from its website. Llamazares has responded by stating that he was "stupefied by the FBI's decision to use his photograph to compose its latest image of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden" and that he is considering taking legal action if the FBI does not provide an explanation.[140] An internal investigation has been launched by the FBI to find out if this was done intentionally.[141][142]
On February 2, 2010, an anonymous official of the Saudi Foreign Ministry declared that the kingdom had no intention of getting involved in peacemaking in Afghanistan unless the Taliban would sever ties with extremists and expel Osama bin Laden.[143] This condition was announced as the Afghan president Karzai arrived in the kingdom for an official visit, for a discussion of a possible Saudi role in his plan to reintegrate Taliban militants.[143]
On June 7, 2010, the Kuwaiti Al Siyassa reported that Bin Laden was hiding in the mountainous town of Savzevar, in north eastern Iran.[144] The Australian newspaper online published the claim on June 9.[145]
On October 18, 2010, an unnamed NATO official suggested that bin Laden was "alive and well and living comfortably" in Pakistan, protected by elements of the country's intelligence services. A senior Pakistani official denied the allegations and said the accusations were designed to put pressure on the Pakistani government ahead of talks aimed at strengthening ties between Pakistan and the United States.[146]
Death
 Osama bin Laden dead, report US officials
On May 1, 2011 Eastern Standard Time U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed earlier that day by "a small team of Americans" acting under Obama's direct orders, in a covert operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Islamabad,[8][147] affirming earlier confirmation by U.S. officials to the media. According to U.S. officials a team of 20-25 US Navy SEALs under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command and working with the CIA stormed bin Laden's compound in two helicopters. Bin Laden and those with him were killed during a firefight in which U.S. forces experienced no injuries or casualties.[148] According to one US official the attack was carried out without the knowledge or consent of the Pakistani authorities.[149] In Pakistan, many people were shocked at the illegal incursion by US armed forces,[150] which came only days after Pakistan had ordered the CIA to cease its activities in Pakistan because of the great number of extrajudicial killings it carries out. The site is a few kilometers from the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul. Although Obama claimed that no civilians had been killed, he was contradicted by officials who reported that three men and a woman were killed along with Bin Laden, the woman being killed when she was “used as a shield by a male combatant”.[149] DNA from bin Laden's body, compared with DNA samples on record from his dead sister,[152] confirmed bin Laden's identity.[153] The body was recovered by the US military and was in its custody [147] until, according to news sources, his body was buried at sea with Islamic traditions [154][155] with one U.S. official stating that "finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult." [156]

 


din jaa rahe hain

.. aaj patjhaD ke ek toote patte se mulaaqaat hui .. kaheen Dhhoondhnaa nahee
paDaa use ... shaam ke jhurmute mein darakht ki daali se toot kar paanv ke
paas aa giraa thhaa .... abhee bhee haraa saa thhaa ... thheek see murjhaayaa
bhee na thhaa jab tootaa thhaa ... haan! koi to vajah zaroor hogi ... jo toot
gayaa itni aasaani se ... mushkil ye nahee thhee ki toot gayaa ... mushkil ye
thhee ki abhee zinddagi khatm nahee hui thhee ....

saans lenaa bhee kaisi aadat hai ...
jiye jaanaa bhee kyaa ravaayat hai ...

paanv behis hain chalate jaate hain ...
ik safar hai jo behataa rahataa hai ...
kitne barson se ... kitni sadiyon se ...
jiye jaate hain .. jiye jaate hain ...

patte par abhee bhee shabnam ki boonde chamak rahi thhee ... shaam aur shabnam
boonde ?? nahee ... ye nahee ho saktaa ... din bhar ki tapti dhhoop shabnam ko
kab ki mitaa chuki thhee ... phir ye kyaa thhaa ?? ... na maine poochhaa na
usne kahaa ... poochhtaa bhee kaise ? ... khud apnee palkon ke chhalakne pe
kaaboo hotaa to usase sawaalaat kartaa ... hum dono tab se khaamosh ek doosre
ki taraf dekhte rahe  ... achaanak kabhee ghabraa kar sar duusri aur
ghumaa lete ki kaheen dusraa sawaal na kar baithhey aur jawaab denaa paDe ...
na wo apnee boondon se bekhabar thaa aur na main hi apne ashqon se pare thhaa
ek dusre se humdardi nahee thhee magar humdard hone kaa ehsaas thhaa ...
patte ko zamee-nasheen hone kaa gham nahee thhaa ... magar ye kambakht
jiye jaane kaa riwaaz bebas kiye thhaa .... patte ne nazar uthhaate hi aankhon
se chand sawaal kar diye .... maine bhee waapsee mein kuchh sawaal uthhaa diye
... na mere paas koi jawaab thhaa ... na uske paas ...

harek saans bojh thhee ... saanson kaa bojh uthhaane se jab inkaar kar diyaa
to bhee chhutkaaraa naa thhaa ... saansen khud apnaa bojh uthhaane lagi ...
maano meraa uspe koi zor hi na thaa ... haar kar apne aap ko zindagi ke
hawaale kar diyaa ...

riwaazon kaa khel khelte hue sab kuchh miltaa rahaa jo main sochataa rahaa ki
main chaahtaa thhaa ... main patte ki tarah haraa rahaa ... andar jhaankne ko
taaltaa rahaa .... wahaan kaa rookhaapan dekhne se dartaa thhaa ... nahee
jaantaa thhaa ki sulagate angaaron meni lau see zyaadaa jalaane ki taaqat hoti
hai ... dheeme dheeme binaa kisi halchal ke andar ki harek rag ko nichoD ke
uspar kaali siyaahi chhoD jaate hain ye angaare ... main baahar ko tarashtaa
rahaa jabki andar kuchh baaqi hi na thhaa .... kab tak na maaloom hotaa ?? ...
kabhee to saaraa Dhaanchaa charmaraakar girnaa hi thhaa na ... apne aap se
door nahee bhag sakaa aaj ... apni aankhon ke saamne apne badan se girti raakh
ko dekhtaa rahaa .... kuchh adhjale sapne, kuchh bikhri si yaaden ... mere
saamne bhee giri thhee aur mere andar bhee maujood thhee ... unke saath akele
safar karne ko majboor hoon ... pehale ki tarah .... harek din .. apnaa saleeb
aap hi uthhaaye chaltaa rahegaa ... saanson kaa shor yoon hi jaari rahegaa ...

din jaa rahe hain ... ke raaton ke saaye ...
apni saleebe.n aap hi uthaaye ...
apni saleebe.n ... aap hi uthhaaye ...

jab koi doobaa raaton kaa taaraa ...
koi saveraa waapas naa aayaa ...
waapas jo aaye ... veeraan saaye ...

din jaa rahe hain ... ke raaton ke saaye ...

jeenaa to koi mushkil nahee thhaa ...
magar doobne ko saahil nahee thhaa ...
saahil pe koi ... ab to bulaaye ...

din jaa rahe hain ... ke raaton ke saaye ...

saanson ki dori ... toote naa toote ...
zaraa zindagi se daaman to chhoote ...
koi zindagi se ... haath na aaye ....

din jaa rahe hain ... ke raaton ke saaye ....
apni saleebe.n ... aap hi uthhaaye ....

sung by Lataa, from: Dusri Seetaa

the lines written in the text above are also by Gulzar ....

The Rise and Fall of the Mayan Empire


Link to story audioListen to this story via streaming audio, a downloadable file, or get help.

November 15, 2004: Where the rain forests of Guatemala now stand, a great civilization once flourished. The people of Mayan society built vast cities, ornate temples, and towering pyramids. At its peak around 900 A.D., the population numbered 500 people per square mile in rural areas, and more than 2,000 people per square mile in the cities — comparable to modern Los Angeles County.

see captionThis vibrant “Classic Period” of Mayan civilization thrived for six centuries. Then, for some reason, it collapsed.

Right: Mayan ruins in Guatemala. Photo copyright Tom Sever.

The fall of the Maya has long been one of the great mysteries of the ancient world. But it’s more than a historical curiosity. Within sight of the Mayan ruins, in the Petén region of Guatemala near the border with Mexico, the population is growing again, and rain forest is being cut to make farmland.
s only archeologist, has been using satellites to examine Mayan ruins. Combining those data with conventional down-in-the-dirt archeological findings, Sever and others have managed to piece together much of what happened:”By learning what the Maya did right and what they did wrong, maybe we can help local people find sustainable ways to farm the land while stopping short of the excesses that doomed the Maya,” says Tom Sever at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

From pollen trapped in ancient layers of lake sediment, scientists have learned that around 1,200 years ago, just before the civilization’s collapse, tree pollen disappeared almost completely and was replaced by the pollen of weeds. In other words, the region became almost completely deforested.

Without trees, erosion would have worsened, carrying away fertile topsoil. The changing groundcover would have boosted the temperature of the region by as much as 6 degrees, according to computer simulations by NASA climate scientist Bob Oglesby, a colleague of Sever at the MSFC. Those warmer temperatures would have dried out the land, making it even less suitable for raising crops.

Left: NASA archeologist Tom Sever. [More]

Rising temperatures would have also disrupted rainfall patterns, says Oglesby. During the dry season in the Petén, water is scarce, and the groundwater is too deep (500+ feet) to tap with wells. Dying of thirst is a real threat. The Maya must have relied on rainwater saved in reservoirs to survive, so a disruption in rainfall could have had terrible consequences.

(Changes in cloud formation and rainfall are occurring over deforested parts of Central America today, studies show. Is history repeating itself?)

Using classic archeology techniques, researchers find that human bones from the last decades before the civilization’s collapse show signs of severe malnutrition.

“Archeologists used to argue about whether the downfall of the Maya was due to drought or warfare or disease, or a number of other possibilities such as political instability,” Sever says. “Now we think that all these things played a role, but that they were only symptoms. The root cause was a chronic food and water shortage, due to some combination of natural drought and deforestation by humans.”

see captionRight: Slash-and-burn agriculture in Petén, Guatemala, photographed by Daniel Irwin.

Today, the rain forest is again falling under the axe. About half of the original forest has been destroyed in the last 40 years, cut down by farmers practicing “slash and burn” agriculture: a section of forest is cut down and burned to expose soil for planting crops. It’s the ash that gives the soil its fertility, so within 3-5 years the soil becomes exhausted, forcing the farmer to move on and cut down a new section. This cycle repeats endlessly … or until the forest is gone. By 2020, only 2% to 16% of the original rain forest will remain if current rates of destruction continue.

It seems that modern people are repeating some of the Maya’s mistakes. But Sever thinks disaster can be averted if researchers can figure out what the Mayans did right. How did they thrive for so many centuries? An important clue comes from space:

Sever and co-worker Dan Irwin have been looking at satellite photos and, in them, Sever spotted signs of ancient drainage and irrigation canals in swamp-like areas near the Mayan ruins. Today’s residents make little use of these low-lying swamps (which they call “bajos,” the Spanish word for “lowlands”), and archeologists had long assumed that the Maya hadn’t used them either. During the rainy season from June to December, the bajos are too muddy, and in the dry season they’re parched. Neither condition is good for farming.

Below: IKONOS satellite image revealing linear features that may have been Mayan irrigation canals. Image courtesy NASA/MSFC. [More]

see caption

Sever suspects that these ancient canals were part of a system devised by the Maya to manage water in the bajos so that they could farm this land. The bajos make up 40% of the landscape; tapping into this vast land area for agriculture would have given the Maya a much larger and more stable food supply. They could have farmed the highlands during the wet season and the low-lying bajos during the dry season. And they could have farmed the bajos year after year, instead of slashing and burning new sections of rain forest.

Could today’s Petén farmers take a lesson from the Maya and sow their seeds in the bajos?

It’s an intriguing idea. Sever and his colleagues are exploring that possibility with the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture. They’re working with Pat Culbert of the University of Arizona and Vilma Fialko of Guatemala’s Instituto de Antropología e Historia to identify areas in the bajos with suitable soil. And they’re considering planting test crops of corn in those areas, with irrigation and drainage canals inspired by the Maya.

A message from 900 A.D.: it’s never too late to learn from your ancestors.

Mayan Civilization

Comalcalco was a major Mayan port city that was believed to have flourished between A.D 700 to A.D 900. Though others place it much older, and even perhaps older still, since the finds at Nakbe in the Petén, it may go back to 1000 BCE, and beyond. Since there was no rock quarry or stone to use in the area, they built the buildings out of bricks made of baked mud. The Maya raised HUGE structures made out of these bricks. That in itself makes this place unique to all the other Mayan locations. But, you see, the bricks have inscriptions on them.

mayan-civilization1

The map of the Mayan Zone

In 1977 and 1978 the National Institute of Anthropology and History excavated the site and discovered that it was made up entirely of these bricks. And the site is HUGE. What they also found was that approximately 3% of the bricks had inscriptions on them, on the INSIDE. In a study conducted by Mexican archeologist Neil Steede of the NationalInstitute of Anthropology and History, he discovered that 3,671 bricks had inscriptions. Of these bricks, 2,129 had Mayan inscriptions on them. But 499 of the bricks were found to have completely out of place inscriptions. 13.6% of the bricks were found to have Old World inscriptions on them. These inscriptions include writing in Arabic, Phoenician, Libyan, Egyptian, Ogam, Tifinag, Chinese, Burmese, and Paliburmese. In all, about 17.3% of the bricks were inscribed with different languages, but if they had any Mayan inscriptions on them, they were designated to the Mayan inscription pile. Other bricks from this site had drawings on them, and 308 of the bricks were completely unknown and indecipherable.

mayan-civilization2

An ancient Mayan Monument

According to Steede, all of the bricks were carefully photographed, and copies sent to the Epigraphic Society of San Diego, California, where the languages were identified and verified. Several of the bricks had Mayan inscriptions and another language—typical translations. Some of the bricks were decorated with elephants, and other creatures not indigenous to the Americas.


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An Amiable Charlatan

by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

“The thing happened so suddenly that I really had very little time to make up my mind what course to adopt under somewhat singular circumstances. I was seated at my favorite table against the wall on the right-hand…


Blacksheep! Blacksheep!

Blacksheep! Blacksheep!

by Meredith Nicholson

The story of a gentleman who becomes a criminal against his will and takes to the open road to escape from the results of his crime.


The Sinister Man

The Sinister Man

by Edgar Wallace


Pontifex Son and Thorndyke


The Daffodil Mystery


The Kidnap Murder Case


Armadale

Armadale

by Wilkie Collins

Armadale (1866) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century semi-epistolary novel. Some chapters consist of letters between the various characters, while other chapters record the events as the characters perceive them….


The Vanished Messenger

The Vanished Messenger

by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

Excerpt: There were very few people upon Platform Number Twenty-one of Liverpool Street Station at a quarter to nine on the evening of April 2—possibly because the platform in question is one of the most remote…


Raffles: Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman

Raffles: Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman

by Ernest William Hornung

The Black Mask (published in some countries as Raffles: Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman) is the second collection of stories written by Ernest William Hornung in the A.J. Raffles series concerning…


Mr. Pottermack's Oversight


The Garden Murder Case


The Evil Shepherd

The Evil Shepherd

by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

A novel of English life of a melodramatic character, so fascinating and so stirring that the most hardened reader can hardly fail to receive a series of thrills.


Red Aces


The Kennel Murder Case


The Black Robe

The Black Robe

by Wilkie Collins

A high ranking Catholic priest schemes to recover land considered Church property.


The Drums of Jeopardy

The Drums of Jeopardy

by Harold MacGrath

A typical MacGrath story that hinges on a Bolshevik intrigue in America. Plausibility is a small concern of a plot which will hold devotees.


The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf

by Louis Joseph Vance

Rival members of the underworld, jealous of “Lone Wolf” Michael Lanyard’s success as a jewel thief, threaten to reveal his true identity unless he surrenders his independence and joins their “pack.” Instead,…

The Borough Treasurer

by Joseph Smith Fletcher

Blackmail, murder and the secret of an ancient quarry go to make a very exciting yarn.


The Angel of Terror

The Angel of Terror

by Edgar Wallace

Angelically beautiful Jean Briggerland is a sociopathic criminal, so lovely that none can see her guilt — even in connection with the most blatant crimes! Can Jack Glover, best friend and lawyer to Jean’s latest…


The Dragon Murder Case

Ashton-Kirk, Criminologist

Ashton-Kirk, Criminologist

by John T. McIntyre

Who held the old-fashioned brass candlestick that struck down “the Bounder”–and set mystery a-throbbing in the quiet suburb of Stanwick? Bat Scanlon, athletic trainer and good sport, found a clue in the dark…


The Clue of the New Pin

The Penrose Mystery

The Stoneware Monkey

On the Spot: Violence and Murder in Chicago

The Mind of Mr J G Reeder

The Middle Temple Murder

The Middle Temple Murder

by Joseph Smith Fletcher

The body of a man is found on the steps to Middle Temple Lane near London’s courts of law, and a journalist and a young lawyer are drawn into the ensuing investigation.


Bat Wing

Bat Wing

by Sax Rohmer

Bat Wing is the prequel to Fire Tongue. This mystery deals with Haitian Voodoo, the death sign of a bat wing, and the lengths people will go through for vengeance.


The Legacy of Cain

The Legacy of Cain

by Wilkie Collins

When a condemned woman asks the local Minister to take her daughter home, the childless man is touched and finds himself unable to refuse. Yet the prisoner is unrepentant of the murder of her husband. Will her…


The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow

The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow

by Anna Katharine Green

A woman’s body is found in a museum gallery with an arrow through her chest, so all of the other visitors are locked inside while the crime is investigated.


The Singing Bone

The Amateur Cracksman

The Amateur Cracksman

by Ernest William Hornung

Arthur Raffles is a prominent member of London society, and a national sporting hero. As a cricketer he regularly represents England in Test matches. He uses this as a chance to commit a number of burgalries,…


The Seven Secrets

The Seven Secrets

by William Le Queux

A mystery set in fin de siècle London. An elderly man is murdered and suspicion falls on his young widow. But then things get very complicated and lies and clues abound…


When Rogues Fall Out

Green Tea

The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont

The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont

by Robert Barr

The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont (1906) brings together tales of the multifarious exploits of Robert Barr’s elegant and cunning sleuth, Valmont, a brilliantly ironic parody of Sherlock Holmes. Exhibiting the crucial…


Malcolm Sage, Detective

Malcolm Sage, Detective

by Herbert George Jenkins

MALCOLM SAGE had been a hot shot intelligence agent for Britain’s Division Z during the Great War, but when the fighting ceased, his thirst for action and adventure didn’t. Fortunately, his old chief from division…


No Name

No Name

by Wilkie Collins

No Name (1862) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century novel revolving around the issue of illegitimacy. The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone…


The Orange-Yellow Diamond

K

K

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

K. LeMoyne, famous surgeon, drops out of the world that has known him, and goes to live in a little town where beautiful Sidney Page lives. She is in training to become a nurse. The joys and troubles of their…


Felo de Se

Felo de Se

by R. Austin Freeman

John Gillam was a gambler. John Gillam faced financial ruin and was the victim of a sinister blackmail attempt. John Gillam is now dead. In this exceptional mystery, Dr Thorndyke is brought in to untangle the…


The Casino Murder Case

Mrs. Raffles

Mrs. Raffles

by John Kendrick Bangs

Being the Adventures of an Amateur Crackswoman.


Mr J G Reeder Returns

Catherine: A Story

Catherine: A Story

by William Makepeace Thackeray

Catherine: A Story was the first full-length work of fiction produced by William Makepeace Thackeray. It first appeared in serialized installments in Fraser’s Magazine between May 1839 and February 1840. Thackeray’s…


The Case of Jennie Brice

The Case of Jennie Brice

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The Case of Jennie Brice is a crime novel by the American writer Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876 – 1956) set in 1904 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (which since 1907 has been a part of the city of Pittsburgh)….


Mr Polton Explains

Mr Polton Explains

by R. Austin Freeman

Told through the eyes of a watchmaker, Dr Thorndyke is once again faced with a nettly mystery involving a mysterious fire in a Soho house filled with supposedly inflammable objects. What transpires is an entertaining…


The Street of Seven Stars

The Street of Seven Stars

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Harmony Wells, studying in Vienna to be a great violinist, suddenly realizes that her money is almost gone. She meets a young ambitious doctor who offers her chivalry and sympathy, and together with world-worn…


The Double Four

The Double Four

by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

A novel about secret societies in New York.


The Scarab Murder Case

Fire-Tongue

Fire-Tongue

by Sax Rohmer

An impossible murder, an occult detective tale, and a tale within a tale — with a solution suggested by Harry Houdini.


The Gracie Allen Murder Case

The Avenger

A Royal Prisoner

A Royal Prisoner

by Marcel Allain & Pierre Souvestre

The daring exploits of Fantômas in his attempts to get possession of the King of Hesse-Weimar’s famous diamond.


The Mirror of Kong Ho

The Mirror of Kong Ho

by Ernest Bramah Smith

A lively and amusing collection of letters on western living written by Kong Ho, a Chinese gentleman. These addressed to his homeland, refer to the Westerners in London as barbarians and many of the aids to…


Ashton-Kirk, Investigator

Ashton-Kirk, Investigator

by John T. McIntyre

Those who have found their way to Ashton-Kirk’s door have been of many races and interests. Men of science have often been surprised to find him in touch with the latest discoveries, scholars searching among…


The Chestermarke Instinct

The Chestermarke Instinct

by Joseph Smith Fletcher

John Horbury, manager of Chestermarke’s bank, in the old-world English village of Scarnham, vanishes overnight. The task of finding him taxes the skill of one of Scotland Yard’s best men.


The Quest of the Sacred Slipper

The Quest of the Sacred Slipper

by Sax Rohmer

A novel from the creator of Fu Manchu about a mysterious muslim organization in pursuit.


The Paradise Mystery

The Paradise Mystery

by Joseph Smith Fletcher

A quiet cathedral town in England, full of gossips and people who are not quite who they seem to be, is the setting for this murder mystery.


The Zeppelin's Passenger

The Zeppelin’s Passenger

by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

Excerpt: “Never heard a sound,” the younger of the afternoon callers admitted, getting rid of his empty cup and leaning forward in his low chair. “No more tea, thank you, Miss Fairclough. Done splendidly, thanks….


The Burglar's Fate and The Detectives

The Burglar’s Fate and The Detectives

by Allan Pinkerton

In the pages which follow I have narrated a story of actual occurrence. No touch of fiction obscures the truthful recital. The crime which is here detailed was actually committed, and under the circumstances…

For the Defence, Dr. Thorndyke

by R. Austin Freeman

This is the story of Andrew, a handsome artist living with his beautiful wife. Andrew witnesses a man being shot one night by two masked assailants and on the advice of his wife, decides to remain silent about…


The Mystery of 31 New Inn

Basil

Basil

by Wilkie Collins

A tale of criminality, almost revolting from its domestic horrors.


Helen Vardon's Confession

Helen Vardon’s Confession

by R. Austin Freeman

Through the open door of a library, Helen Vardon hears an argument that changes her life forever. Helen’s father and a man called Otway argue over missing funds in a trust one night. Otway proposes a marriage…


Long Live the King!

Long Live the King!

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

This is a story of love, intrigue and adventure in a European court. In this story Mrs. Rinehart combines mystery, heart interest, and excitement of her past successes into a story that will be hailed as the…


Seven Footprints to Satan

A Thief in the Night

A Thief in the Night

by Ernest William Hornung

“These latest adventures of ‘Raffles’ and ‘Bunny’ are their most thrilling and exciting ones. The sentimental side of their story has never before been shown so dramatically and romantically, and the suggestion…


The D'Arblay Mystery

The D’Arblay Mystery

by R. Austin Freeman

When a man is found floating beneath the skin of a green-skimmed pond one morning, Dr Thorndyke becomes embroiled in an astonishing case. This wickedly entertaining detective fiction reveals that the victim…


The Jacob Street Mystery

Dead Men's Money

Dead Men’s Money

by Joseph Smith Fletcher

Nothing is what it seems, and dead bodies abound in this classic 1920 murder mystery from the British crime author and journalist, J.S. Fletcher.


The Green Eyes of Bâst

The Green Eyes of Bâst

by Sax Rohmer

Psychic investigator Dr. Damar Greefe encounters ancient sorceryand a cult whose leader is possessed by the murderous cat-goddess Bast!


The Law and the Lady

The Law and the Lady

by Wilkie Collins

Valeria Woodville’s first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband’s earlier…


R. Holmes & Co.

R. Holmes & Co.

by John Kendrick Bangs

A collection of 10 short stories about the son of Sherlock Holmes and grandson of Raffles.


The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

by E.C. Bentley

The first of a series of detective novels featuring “gentleman sleuth Philip Trent,” later published under the title “Trent’s Last Case.”


The Rome Express

The Rome Express

by Arthur Griffiths

A mysterious murder on a flying express train, a wily Italian, a charming woman caught in the meshes of circumstantial evidence, a chivalrous Englishman, and a police force with a keen nose for the wrong clue,…


The Borough Treasurer

The Borough Treasurer

by Joseph Smith Fletcher

A fine example of “Golden Age” detective stories.


The Great Impersonation

The Great Impersonation

by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

Excerpt: The trouble from which great events were to come began when Everard Dominey, who had been fighting his way through the scrub for the last three quarters of an hour towards those thin, spiral wisps of…


The Beetle

The Beetle

by Richard Marsh

A fantastic creature, “born of neither god nor man,” hypnotic and supernatural, stalks British politician Paul Lessingham through turn-of-the-century London. A classic tale of supernatural horror.


The Greene Murder Case

The Winter Murder Case

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Mystery & Detective


The Bat

The Bat

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Man, beast or devil? What was this flying shadow that terrorized a whole community and left a trail of crime and death?


Ralestone Luck

Ralestone Luck

by Andre Alice Norton

Rupert Ralestone is officially the Marquess of Lorne – but with no family money or prestige, the title is worthless. He and his younger brother and sister return to the old family homestead – Pirate’s Haven….


The Green God


The Benson Murder Case


The Circular Staircase

The Circular Staircase

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The summer occupants of “Sunnyside” find the dead body of Arnold Armstrong, the son of the owner, on the circular staircase. Following the murder a bank failure is announced. Around these two events is woven…


The Voice in the Fog

The Voice in the Fog

by Harold MacGrath

A London fog, solid, substantial, yellow as an old dog’s tooth or a jaundiced eye. You could not look through it, nor yet gaze up and down it, nor over it; and you only thought you saw it. The eye became impotent,…


The Golden Scorpion

The Golden Scorpion

Fu Manchu #1684

by Sax Rohmer

The Golden Scorpion linked the story lines developed in the Yellow Claw (1915) with Dr. Fu Manchu who appears but is not named. “He wore a plain yellow robe and had a little black cap on his head. His face,…


At the Time Appointed

At the Time Appointed

by Anna Maynard Barbour

The fortunes of a young mining engineer who through an accident loses his memory and identity. In his new character and under his new name, the hero lives a new life of struggle and adventure. The volume will…


The Green Rust


The Eye of Osiris

The Eye of Osiris

by R. Austin Freeman

This is the tantalizing tale of a missing world-renowned archaeologist that, so far, no one seems to be able to find any clues to. Dr. Thorndyke, our detective, is unusually perceptive and begins to find clues…


Eight Strokes of the Clock

Eight Strokes of the Clock

by Maurice Leblanc

These adventures were told to me in the old days by Arsène Lupin, as though they had happened to a friend of his, named Prince Rénine. As for me, considering the way in which they were conducted, the actions,…


Room 13


The Bishop Murder Case


Unwise Child

Unwise Child

by Randall Garrett

When a super-robot named Snookums discovers how to build his own superbombs, it becomes obvious that Earth is by no means the safest place for him to be. And so Dr. Fitzhugh, his designer, and Leda Crannon,…


Murder in the Gunroom

Murder in the Gunroom

by Henry Beam Piper

The Lane Fleming collection of early pistols and revolvers was one of the best in the country. When Fleming was found dead on the floor of his locked gunroom, a Confederate-made Colt-type percussion .36 revolver…


Four Max Carrados Detective Stories

Four Max Carrados Detective Stories

by Ernest Bramah Smith

The adventures of a blind detective in London, featuring four compact mysteries: The Coin of Dionysius, The Knight’s Cross Signal Problem, The Tragedy at Brookbend Cottage & The Last Exploit of Harry the Actor.


The Door with Seven Locks


The Man in Lower Ten

The Man in Lower Ten

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The Man in Lower Ten is the first book ever written by Mary Roberts Rinehart, arguably the greatest American mystery writer of her generation. Vividly imagined, it combines adventure, suspense, horror, and mystery…


The Hollow Needle

The Hollow Needle

by Maurice Leblanc

A story of Arsène Lupin, the greatest, most ingenious and most daring criminal in modern fiction.

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Mystery & Detective

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu

Fu Manchu #1672

by Sax Rohmer

Follow the exciting adventures of Commissioner Nayland Smith as he pursues Dr. Fu Manchu across the opium dens of Thames-side London and various country estates.


The Confessions of Arsène Lupin

The Confessions of Arsène Lupin

by Maurice Leblanc

This collection of Lupin short stories presents more puzzling criminal involvements of the classic French hero-thief and his men.


An African Millionaire

Desperate Remedies

Desperate Remedies

by Thomas Hardy

Described by Hardy as a tale of “mystery, entanglement, surprise and moral obliquity”, his first published novel violated the literary decorum of its day with blackmail, murder, and romance. It relates the story…


The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu

The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu

Fu Manchu #1673

by Sax Rohmer

Second book in the Fu Manchu series.


Tales of Chinatown

Tales of Chinatown

by Sax Rohmer

Ten stories of Macabre Mystery by the creator of the famous Dr. Fu Manchu. Includes the excellent ghost story Tcheriapin and a creeping hand story called The Hand of Mandarin Qung.


Fantômas

Fantômas

by Marcel Allain & Pierre Souvestre

Fantômas was introduced a few years after Arsène Lupin, another well-known thief. But whereas Lupin draws the line at murder, Fantômas has no such qualms and is shown as a sociopath who enjoys killing in…


The Teeth of the Tiger

Hunted Down

Hunted Down

by Charles Dickens

One might not necessarily think of Dickens as a mystery writer, but detectives and criminals do figure into much of his work. This…gathers a dozen of his stories featuring cops of one kind or another


Carnacki, The Ghost Finder

Carnacki, The Ghost Finder

by William Hope Hodgson

Detective stories in which the great Thomas Carnacki investigates the supernatural using scientific tools, such as photography, and tools that are augmented by theories of the supernatural, such as the electric…


Uncle Silas

Uncle Silas

by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Uncle Silas is a Victorian Gothic mystery/thriller novel by the Anglo-Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. It is notable as one of the earliest examples of the locked room mystery subgenre. It is not a novel of…


John Thorndyke's Cases

John Thorndyke’s Cases

by R. Austin Freeman

This volume collects seven of Thorndyke’s most puzzling stories, including “The Man with the Nailed Shoes,” “The Moabite Cipher,” “A Message from the Deep Sea,” and many more.


The "Canary" Murder Case

The “Canary” Murder Case

by S. S. Van Dine

In the offices of the Homicide Bureau of the Detective Division of the New York Police Department, on the third floor of the police headquarters building in Centre Street, there is a large steel filing cabinet;…


The Yellow Claw

The Yellow Claw

by Sax Rohmer

An illusive Chinese mastermind and his henchman have already killed one socialite and they hold a mysterious sway over many of London’s elite. What is the secret of their power? Follow the trail with Sax Rohmer’s…


The Cat's Eye

The Cat’s Eye

by R. Austin Freeman

When Andrew Drayton, a collector of jewelry, is found stabbed to death and the young woman who tried to stop the murderer is wounded, Dr Thorndyke is called in to investigate. But although the scene of the crime…


The Hand of Fu-Manchu

Fu Manchu #1683

by Sax Rohmer

Third book in the Fu Manchu series: a collection of short stories about the adventures of Commissioner Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie in stopping Dr. Fu Manchu from becoming the ruler of the civilized…

The Crystal Stopper

The Crystal Stopper

by Maurice Leblanc

A detective yarn that is a corker. Arsène Lupin in the greatest predicament of his career. Instead of the old masterful conqueror of men and circumstances against tremendous odds, we find him, until almost…

The Trial for Murder

A Strange Disappearance

A Strange Disappearance

by Anna Katharine Green

A housekeeper reports the disappearance of a sewing-maid from a wealthy household. She insists that the girl has been abducted. Mr Gryce and a young detective investigate. The missing young woman has a secret….

The Blonde Lady

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Mystery & Detective

Tom Sawyer, Detective

by Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer, Detective is an 1896 novel by Mark Twain. It is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894). Tom Sawyer attempts to solve…

In a Grove

In a Grove

by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

“In a Grove” is an early modernist short story consisting of seven varying accounts of the murder of a samurai, Kanazawa no Takehiro, whose corpse has been found in a bamboo forest near Kyoto. Each section simultaneously…

The Wisdom of Father Brown

The Wisdom of Father Brown

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

From London to Cornwall, then to Italy and France, a short, shabby priest runs to earth bandits, traitors, killers. Why is he so successful? The reason is that after years spent in the priesthood, Father Brown…


The Lodger

The Lodger

by Marie Adelaide Lowndes

A haunting mystery tale that revolves around the Jack the Ripper murders, this novel was the basis for several films, including a 1927 Alfred Hitchcock silent film featuring Ivor Novello in the title role.

The Riddle of the Night

The Riddle of the Night

by Thomas W. Hanshew

A man mysteriously murdered at night, the figures 2×4 x 1×2 scrawled on his shirt front, a broken shoe-polish label beside him. Cleek solved it. Can you?

The Moonstone

The Moonstone

by Wilkie Collins

Widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels, The Moonstone tells of the events surrounding the disappearance of a mysterious (and cursed) yellow diamond. T. S. Eliot called it…

The Riddle of the Frozen Flame

The Riddle of the Frozen Flame

by Thomas W. Hanshew

Vast gold robberies–a murder of which a nobleman stands accused, with jealousy for the motive–these apparently unrelated mysteries give scope for Cleek’s most ingenious solutions.

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An Antartic Mystery

An Antartic Mystery

by Jules Verne

A sequel to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym.

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A Certain Dr Thorndyke

A Certain Dr Thorndyke

by R. Austin Freeman

A winding adventure that begins in an exotic, teasing location. Richard Austin Freeman introduces the reader to the delights of an extraordinary jewel heist. Hollis is a retired soap manufacturer, richer than…

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The Red House Mystery

The Red House Mystery

by A.A. Milne

The Red House, stately mansion home of Mark Ablett, is filled with very proper guests when Mark’s most improper brother returns from Australia. When the maid hears an argument in the study it isn’t long before…

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A Silent Witness

A Silent Witness

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Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces

Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces

by Thomas W. Hanshew

An ex-cracksman turned Scotland Yard detective, Cleek’s slim and faultlessly dressed form is topped by an india-rubber-like face, of which he has remarkable control. With the power to distort and transform his…

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The Old Man in the Corner

The Old Man in the Corner

by Baroness Emma Orczy

Created by Baroness Orczy, author of the famous Scarlet Pimpernel series, The Old Man In the Corner was one of the earliest armchair detectives, popping up with so many others in the wake of the huge popularity…

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The After House

The After House

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

When three people are murdered on a yacht everyone must watch their back as the murderer is still on board. But who is it?

The Mystery of Cloomber

The Mystery of Cloomber

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Near their residence, Branksome, is The Cloomber Hall, for many years untenanted. After a little while it is settled in by John Berthier Heatherstone, late of the Indian Army. General Heatherstone is nervous…

The Mysteries of Udolpho

The Mysteries of Udolpho

by Ann Radcliffe

Follow the fortunes of Emily St. Aubert who suffers, among other misadventures, the death of her father, supernatural terrors in a gloomy castle, and the machinations of an Italian brigand. Considered by many…

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Twenty Rules For Writing Detective Stories

Twenty Rules For Writing Detective Stories


Arson Plus

Arson Plus

by Samuel Dashiell Hammett

This Black Mask story introduces ”The Continental Op”, a character who would eventually appear in 28 stories and two novels.


The Czar's Spy

The Czar’s Spy

by William Le Queux

We could tell you what this book was about, but then we’d have to kill you.


As a Thief in the Night

As a Thief in the Night

by R. Austin Freeman

Harold Monkhouse is usually such an uncomplaining patient so when his brother Amos calls in one night, what he doesn’t expect is to see him at death’s door. Suspicions aroused, he demands an urgent second opinion….

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Fiction

Mystery & Detective

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes #9

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his famous detective and illustrated by Sidney Paget. These are the first of the Sherlock Holmes short…


The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

by Gaston Leroux

The story of a man named Erik, an eccentric, physically deformed genius who terrorizes the Opera Garnier in Paris. He builds his home beneath it and takes the love of his life, a beautiful soprano, under his…


The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes #8

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The last twelve stories written about Holmes and Watson, these tales reflect the disillusioned world of the 1920s in which they were written. Some of the sharpest turns of wit in English literature are contrasted…


The Return of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes #6

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13 Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Arthur Conan Doyle. The book was first published on March 7, 1905 by Georges Newnes, Ltd and…


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes #5

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1894, by Arthur Conan Doyle.


The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sherlock Holmes #3

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The rich landowner Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in the park of his manor surrounded by the grim moor of Dartmoor, in the county of Devon. His death seems to have been caused by a heart attack, but the…


A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet

Sherlock Holmes #1

by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet is a detective mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which was first published in 1887. It is the first story to feature the character of Sherlock Holmes, who would later become…


The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

by Agatha Christie

In her first published mystery, Agatha Christie introduces readers to the heroic detective, Hercule Poirot. This is a classic murder mystery set in the outskirts of Essex. The victim is the wealthy mistress…


The Sign of the Four

The Sign of the Four

Sherlock Holmes #2

by Arthur Conan Doyle

First published in 1890, The Sign of Four is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s second book starring legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. The story is complex, involving a secret between four ex-cons from India and a…


The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

by Edgar Allan Poe

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841. It has been claimed as the first detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his “tales of ratiocination”….


His Last Bow

His Last Bow

Sherlock Holmes #7

by Arthur Conan Doyle

His Last Bow is a collection of seven Sherlock Holmes stories (eight in American editions) by Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as the title of one of the stories in that collection. Originally published in 1917,…


The Secret Adversary

The Secret Adversary

by Agatha Christie

Hiring themselves out as “young adventurers willing to do anything” is a smart move for Tommy and Tuppence. All Tuppence has to do is take an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris and pose as someone named Jane…


The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear

Sherlock Holmes #4

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The plot of the novel is based very loosely on the real-life activities of the Molly Maguires and, particularly, of Pinkerton agent James McParland.The novel is divided into two parts: in the first, Holmes investigates…


Arsène Lupin

The Black Cat

The Black Cat

by Edgar Allan Poe

“The Black Cat” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It is a study of the psychology of guilt, often paired in analysis with…


The Woman in White

The Woman in White

by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White is an epistolary novel written by Wilkie Collins in 1859, serialized in 1859–1860, and first published in book form in 1860. It is considered to be among the first mystery novels and is…


The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Connell

“The Most Dangerous Game” features as its main character a big-game hunter from New York, who becomes shipwrecked on an isolated island in the Caribbean, and is hunted by a Russian aristocrat. The story is an…


The Man Who Was Thursday: a Nightmare

The Man Who Was Thursday: a Nightmare

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare is a novel by G. K. Chesterton, first published in 1908. The book has been referred to as a metaphysical thriller. Although it deals with anarchists, the novel is not an…

Whose Body?

Whose Body?

by Dorothy Leigh Sayers

Lord Peter Wimsey investigates the sudden appearance of a naked body in the bath of an architect at the same time a noted financier goes missing under strange circumstances. As the case progresses it becomes…


The Innocence of Father Brown

The Innocence of Father Brown

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Twelve mysteries featuring Father Brown, the short, stumpy Catholic priest with “uncanny insight into human evil.”


Time Travel Impossible, Mini “Big Bang” Hints

You may want to put plans for building that flux capacitor on hold: A “toy” big bang created in the lab suggests time travel may not be possible after all.

In a new study, Igor Smolyaninovand Yu-Ju Hung of the University of Maryland simulated the birth of the universe using advanced materials that can bend light in unusual ways.

Their device supports the idea that the forward marching “arrow of time” cannot curve back on itself to undo events that have already happened.

So far time travel hasn’t been possible in real life, Smolyaninov said, and this new material suggests it won’t ever be possible. (Related: “Time Will End in Five Billion Years, Physicists Predict.”)

New Material Stands in for Space and Time

The new big bang simulator is tiny—just fractions of an inch (20 micrometers) wide. It’s built from alternating strips of gold and plastic, pieced together in such a way as to create a metamaterial, an engineered substance that can manipulate light.

In the last few years researchers have used metamaterials to create “science fiction” devices such as invisibility cloaks and “superlenses,” which allow scientists to “see” structures smaller than the wavelengths of visible light.

Metamaterials have also piqued the interest of astrophysicists, who have recently used the exotic substances to make artificial black holes and multiverse simulators. (Also see “Universe’s Existence May Be Explained by New Material.”)

According to Smolyaninov and Hung, their metamaterial is a “reasonable” representation of our universe—specifically the early universe at the time of the big bang, some 13.7 billion years ago.

Because of the unique way their metamaterial bends light, the equations that describe the passage of a particle through time are similar to the ones that describe the motion of photons and similar quantum particles called plasmons—created by waves of free electrons—through the material.

“In this type of material, the motion of [plasmons] looks very much like the motion of particles in Minkowski space,” Smolyaninov said, referring to a theoretical model of spacetime that physicists sometimes employ to study the universe.

The metamaterial device thus serves as a model for our four-dimensional universe: Horizontal motion through the plane of the metamaterial is roughly analogous to movement through the three dimensions of space, while vertical motion represents movement through time.

Universe Too Jumbled for Time to Reverse?

For the experiment, the scientists used a green laser beam to trigger a big bang-like event in the metamaterial. The laser light caused the gold atoms to generate a burst of plasmons.

These plasmons radiated outward from a single point, just as scientists think particles of matter radiated from a single point following the big bang. (Related:“Big Bang Poured Out ‘Liquid’ Universe, Atom Smasher Hints.”)

The paths of the radiating plasmons became sloppier the farther out they moved, the scientists found. This is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics, which states that—barring any kind of intervention—systems will tend to become more disorderly with the passage of time.

Scientists call the measure of disorder in a system entropy, so another way to state the second law of thermodynamics is to say that entropy tends to increase with time in our universe.

In the toy model, the equivalent of time travel would be for a plasmons to complete a loop that runs along the exact same path it had previously traveled. But once the plasmon has strayed from that path—due in part to entropy—making the loop is no longer possible.

The result, described in a paper published this month on arXiv.org, suggests that particles in our universe may also be unable to move backward in time.

But Smolyaninov concedes that the experiment is far from perfect: “I’m not sure how much of this applies to real life.”

Toy Big Bang “Too Simplistic”?

Andreas Albrecht, a cosmologist at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study, is doubtful that the metamaterial is an accurate enough representation of the early universe.

“Minkowski space is space with no matter in it,” Albrecht said. “But there is stuff in the universe, so we know it’s not Minkowski space.”

Albrecht called the team’s big bang simulator a “cool” achievement, but he doesn’t think it will teach physicists anything about the universe that wasn’t already known from observational data or from models based on equations and computer simulations.

“We have much better models of the universe that we can [create with] normal computers,” Albrecht said, “so I don’t feel this [material] offers any insight into the universe that cannot be had more directly.”

Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University, is also skeptical of the finding, saying that the new big bang model is too simplistic.

“I don’t think that [this model] illuminates the more vexing question of what is possible in the real universe, where arbitrary equations of state might be possible,” Krauss said in an email, referring to the different equations physicists use to describe the state of matter during the universe’s epochs—equations that aren’t accounted for in the toy model.

Time Travel May Occur Unnoticed

While the new experiment—and our everyday experience—appear to rule out the possibility of time travel, there are still a lot of unknowns about the universe, and physicists can imagine scenarios in which time travel is possible.

(Also see “Every Black Hole Contains Another Universe?”)

For example, the laws of physics might vary depending on where one is in the cosmos, and Earth could happen to be in a patch of the universe where entropy increases, which would make time travel impossible.

“Perhaps life clings to these patches where entropy is going up, since we need the arrow of time to exist,” UC Davis’s Albrecht said. The reason for time, as Albert Einstein once quipped, “is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Alternatively, Albrecht said, “you could imagine a universe where entropy cycles up and then down again.”

If entropy is not constant in this hypothetical universe, he said, then the arrow of time could run backward, and events such as a broken cup being made whole again or humans aging in reverse would not only be possible but natural.

The inhabitants of such a universe would probably not even notice that anything was amiss.

“If this were to happen,” Albrecht said, “we would just change our minds about what is past and what is future and not notice anything special.”


The Lost City and Cocaine Factory of Columbia

Imagine a six-day trek through the Colombian jungle, crossing eight rivers and 40 km of treacherous terrain and climbing 1,200 ancient steps to reach the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida in Spanish), an archaeological site in Sierra Nevada, Columbia. Sounds like fun?

The trek also involves a stop at cocaine factory where the indigenous coca farmers show how the drug is produced in their small labs. This has become a major draw for many backpackers, but only recently. The trek to the Lost City was closed in 2003 after eight tourists were kidnapped by guerilla groups and were freed after several months.

It was reopened to the public two years later, and there have been no kidnapping since. However, few countries like US, UK and Australia have warned tourists of the risk of kidnapping while traveling to Ciudad Perdida.

Apart from being ecologically diverse, South America has a rich history and cultural heritage. Peru,Bolivia, Columbia, etc. and the only hindrance being the safety factor and crime rate in these countries, but am discovering few mystical and absorbing facts of each of them.Lost city in Sierra Nevada ColumbiaComing back to the Lost City, it was founded in around 800 AD, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. It stretches across 169 stone terraces carved into the mountainside, and the entrance can only be accessed by climbing those 1200 steps.Moss-covered 1200 steps to Ciudad Perdida in ColumbiaThere are organised tours to the Lost city which cost approximately US$230. The tour takes three days to reach the city, one to explore the ruins, and two to return to civilisation. On climbing the wobbly 1200 steps, you reach the city, which is believed to house some 2000 people. Most of the artifacts like gold figurines were stolen in 1972 by treasure hunters.

Cocaine Factory

Deep within the jungle among the coca plants lies the cocaine lab, where the indigenous coca farmers show tourists how the drug is made. You can watch the video below to see the whole process.

 


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World-Newspapers > Asia > India
National Newspapers and News Sites

Asian Age
Offers daily India and South Asia news.

Asian News International (ANI)
New Delhi based multimedia news agency providing news coverage from India and South Asia.

Business Line
Business daily from The Hindu group of publications.

Business Review India
Digital magazine provides daily news and weekly e-newsletter. Features an in-depth look at specific industry issues such as Leadership, Finance, Operations and Technology.

Business Standard
Major financial newspaper.

CanIndia
South Asian newspaper published in Canada.

DNA (Daily News & Analysis)
Online newspaper from Mumbai.

Economic Revolution, The
Financial news weekly, covering mostly stock market and commodity in India.

Economic Times
Daily business newspaper from the Times of India group.

Express India
News portal publishing several major Indian newspapers.

Financial Express
Provides financial and industrial news, stock market reports.

Hard News
Political Indian magazine, partner of the eminent French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique.

Hindu
National daily newspaper, based in Madras.

Hindu Group of Publications
Online presentation of many Indian newspapers and magazines.

Hindustan Times
Major daily newspaper from Delhi.

India Daily
News, primarily aimed at foreign and expatriate audience.

Indian Express
Delhi based daily.

Mid-Day
Mumbai daily.

Milli Gazette
Newspaper for Indian Muslims.

Mumbai Mirror
Daily tabloid published by the Times Group.

NDTV.com
News site of Delhi-based TV offering live video reports.

New Indian Express
Newspaper with focus on the southern states.

News Track India
News portal contains all the latest stories from India and around the world.

Outlook India
Weekly news magazine known for in-depth, investigative reporting.

Radiance Viewsweekly
India’s oldest Muslim English weekly.

Rediff
Indian news and entertainment portal.

Samachar.com
Provides aggregates news from all major Indian newspapers.

Statesman
One of India’s oldest newspaper, based in Calcutta.

Tehelka
Alternative news magazine.

Telegraph
Calcutta-based national daily.

Times of India
Quality national daily from Delhi.

Week
Weekly magazine with critical reporting of national news.

Local Indian Newspapers

Agra News
Ahmedabad Mirror
Assam Tribune (Guwahati)
Bangalore Mirror
Central Chronicle (Bhopal)
Chitralekha (online weekly aimed at Gujaratis)
Daily Excelsior (Jammu)
Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad)
Deccan Herald (Bangalore)
Deepika (Kerala)
Early Times (Jammu)
Ganashtaki (Calcutta)
Greater Kashmir (Srinigar)
Himalaya Darpan (Siliguri, West Bengal)
Kashmir Monitor (Srinagar)
Kashmir Observer (Srinigar)
Kashmir Times (Jammu)
Kaumudi (Kerala)
Kolkata Mirror (Calcutta)
Malayala Manorama (Kottayam)
Navhind Times (Panjim, Goa)
New Kerala (Kochi)
News Today (Chennai)
Northlines (Jammu)
Orissa India (Bhubaneswar)
Pioneer (New Delhi)
Pragativadi (Bhubaneswar)
Punjab Newsline (Mohali)
Ranchi Express
Samachar (Mysore)
Sentinel (Guwahati)
Star of Mysore
State Times (Jammu)
Times of Assam (Assam)
Tribune (Chandigarh)

FOREIGN PERIODICALS AND FACSIMILE EDITIONS

GUIDELINES FOR

 (i)             PUBLICATION OF FOREIGN NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS DEALING WITH NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS.

 (ii)      PUBLICATION OF FACSIMILE EDITIONS OF FOREIGN    NEWSPAPERS.

 The Union Government have decided to allow,

a.   Foreign Direct Investment (which includes foreign direct investments by NRIs, PIOs) and portfolio investments by recognized FIIs, together up to a ceiling of 26% of paid up equity capital, in Indian entities publishing newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs. Such investment would be permissible by   foreign entities having sound credentials and international standing, subject to certain conditions.

b.  Facsimile editions, in whole or in part(s), of foreign newspapers, by Indian entities, with or without foreign investment, and also by foreign companies owning the original newspaper, provided they get incorporated and registered in India under the Companies Act, 1956.

 The following guidelines are prescribed:

  1.     Application

 a.      Nine copies of the prescribed application form, duly filled in, along with the requisite documents shall be submitted to the Ministry of I&B.

  b.     Application fee of Rs.5000/- will have to be submitted through demand draft made in favour of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, payable at New Delhi.

  2.     Title of the Publication

Title verification shall continue to be done by the Press Registrar as per existing procedure, including for       facsimile editions.

 3.       Eligibility Criteria

       A.   Foreign Investment in Indian entities publishing newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs:

 (i)         Foreign Investment will be allowed only where the resultant entity (hereinafter called �New Entity�) is a company registered with the Registrar of Companies under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.

 (ii)     Foreign Investment including FDI by foreign entities, NRIs, PIOs etc and portfolio investments by recognized FIIs, will be allowed up to a maximum of 26% of paid-up equity of the New Entity.

 (iii)    Permission will be granted only in cases where equity held by the largest Indian shareholder is at least 51% of the paid up equity, excluding the equity held by Public Sector Banks and Public Financial Institutions as defined in Section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956, in the New Entity. The term largest Indian shareholder used in this clause will include any or a combination of the following:

 (1) In the case of an individual shareholder,

 a) The individual shareholder

b) A relative of the shareholder within the meaning of section 6     of the Companies Act, 1956

c) A company/group of companies in which the individual shareholder/HUF to which he belongs, has management and controlling interest

       (2) In the case of an Indian company,

  a) The Indian company

  b) A group of Indian companies under the same management and ownership control.

    Provided that in case of a combination of all or any of the entities mentioned in sub-clause (1) and (2) above, each of the parties shall have entered into a legally binding agreement to act as a single unit in managing the matters of the New Entity.

 (iv)    While calculating the 26% foreign investment in the equity of the New Entity, the foreign holding component, if any, in the equity of the Indian shareholder companies of the New Entity will be duly reckoned on pro rata basis so as to arrive at the total foreign holding in the New Entity.

(v)      At least 50% of the foreign direct investment will have to be inducted by issue of fresh equity. The balance, viz. upto 50% of the foreign direct investment, may be inducted through transfer of existing equity.

(vi)     Permission would be conditional on at least 3/4th of the Directors on the Board of Directors of the New Entity and all key executives and editorial staff being resident Indians.

       B.    Facsimile Editions of foreign newspapers :

(i)     Any Indian entity, with or without foreign investment, desirous of publishing a facsimile edition of a foreign newspaper, or any foreign company owning the original foreign newspaper will be permitted to publish the facsimile edition of its newspaper, in whole or in part(s), provided

(a)     It is incorporated and registered as a company with the   Registrar of Companies under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.

 (b)     It has a commercial presence in India with its principal place of business in India.

 (c)     That at least 3/4th of the Directors on the Board of Director of the New Entity and all key executives and editorial staff are resident Indians

(ii)      Any entity publishing a facsimile edition of a foreign newspaper in India shall be subject to all the relevant laws and  guidelines applicable to Indian newspapers and their publishers.

  4.           Basic Conditions/Obligations:

 (i)      Subject to the ceiling prescribed, it will be obligatory on the part of the all Entities to inform Ministry of Information & Broadcasting about any alteration in the foreign shareholding pattern as on 31st March of every year and within 15 days of the end of the financial year.

(ii)      It will be obligatory on the part of the all entities to take prior permission from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting before effecting any changes in the shareholding of the largest Indian shareholder indicated in clause 3A (iii) above.

(iii)     All entities shall inform Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within 15 days of effecting any change in the composition of its Board of Directors or key executives and editorial staff.  Such a change would be subject to post-facto approval of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

(iv)     All entities shall obtain prior clearance of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of any foreigners/NRIs proposed to be employed/engaged in the New Entity either as consultants (or in any other capacity) for more than 60 days in a year, or, as regular employees.

(v)      Facsimile editions shall be permitted subject to the following conditions:

 a)  The original foreign newspaper, whose facsimile edition is proposed to be brought out in India, is being published with the approval of the regulatory authority of the country of origin and is a standard publication in that country and is not specially designed for Indian readers.

b)  The facsimile edition shall not carry any advertisements aimed at Indian readers in any form.

c)  The facsimile edition shall not carry any locally generated content/India specific content, which is not simultaneously published in the original edition of foreign newspaper.

d)  Prior permission from Ministry of I&B is obtained for publication of facsimile editions and the title got registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI).

e)  The publication shall clearly indicate that it is a facsimile edition, in whole or in part(s), and shall prominently carry the masthead, the editorial page and the place of publication of the original foreign newspaper.

 5.       Processing of Applications

 (i)     All new applications for foreign investments in Indian entities publishing newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs and proposals for publishing of facsimile editions of foreign newspapers, shall be processed and decided upon in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on the basis of inter-ministerial consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and other ministries, as may be required.

(ii)      The applicant entity shall make full disclosure, at the time of application, of Shareholders� Agreements and Loan Agreements that are finalized or proposed to be entered into. Any subsequent change in these shall be disclosed to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within fifteen days of such a change.

(iii)     The applicant entity shall frame its Articles/Memorandum of Association to ensure compliance with the prescribed eligibility criteria.

(iv)     All entities shall obtain prior clearance from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of all persons not being resident Indians who are proposed to be inducted in the Board of Directors of the New Entity.

(v)     All applications for publishing facsimile editions shall clearly indicate whether the facsimile edition is to be published in whole or in part.  In case only a part of the original foreign newspaper is proposed to be published, each page shall be treated as one part, and the exact page numbers of the original foreign newspaper to be published, shall be clearly indicated.

* * *

GUIDELINES FOR

(i) PUBLICATION OF INDIAN EDITIONS OF  FOREIGN TECHNICAL/SCIENTIFIC/SPECIALITYMAGAZINES/JOURNALS/PERIODICALS; 

(ii) FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN INDIAN ENTITIES PUBLISHING SCIENTIFIC/TECHNICAL/SPECIALITY MAGAZINES/JOURNALS/PERIODICALS

  The Union Government has decided to allow:

(i)   Publication of Indian editions of foreign scientific, technical and speciality magazines/periodicals/journals; and

(ii)  Foreign investment upto 100% in Indian entities publishing scientific/technical and speciality magazines/periodicals/journals.

 1.  Application       ( Download Application Form)

    (i)          An application shall be made to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in the prescribed format to    determine the nature of contents of the publication.

(ii)          Application fee of Rs. 5000/- (Rupees Five thousand only) shall have to be deposited through a Demand Draft in   favour of the Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, payable at New Delhi.

2.             Processing

a.       The application shall be processed by the Ministry of I&B, after due inter-Ministerial consultations, to decide whether the proposed publication is covered under the category of scientific, technical or speciality magazine/periodical/journal. Representatives of the concerned Ministries/specialist bodies and language experts, as found necessary will be associated in this task. In appropriate cases, the Ministry of I&B will issue:

a)      An approval, subject to compliance with the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act and Rules made there under for publication of the foreign journal; or

b)  A No Objection Certificate (NOC) for foreign investment, a copy of which would be sent to RNI/SIA/RBI and the  applicant.

b.  Determination of category assigned to the publication(s) is liable for review by the Ministry of I&B if  the contents of the publication(s) undergo change at a later date.

c.          a)         In cases where both FDI and FII investment is envisaged, the applicant may approach the  

                        FIPB/RBI for clearance after obtaining the No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of I&B.

   b)         In cases involving only portfolio investment, the applicant may approach the Reserve Bank of India, for further clearance, if any, after obtaining the No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of I&B.

c)       The Ministry of I&B will keep the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance and the Reserve Bank of India informed of the FDI projected by the Company and the balance permissible foreign investment on the portfolio investment route, while communicating the No Objection.

  3.            Title of the Publication

Title verification shall continue to be done by the Press Registrar as per existing procedure.

  4.             Foreign Investment

(i)       Total foreign investment upto 100% may be allowed. 

          Guidelines of the Ministry of Finance on FDI and portfolio      

          investment would apply.

(ii)      All cases involving Foreign Investment shall be handled by the   

                      prescribed agencies, viz. FDI on the government approval

                      route through the mechanism of the FIPB and portfolio  

                      investment by the RBI.  

 GUIDELINES FOR SYNDICATION ARRANGEMENTS BY NEWSPAPERS

All registered newspapers (Indian publications) are authorized to make syndication arrangements for procuring material including photographs, cartoons, crossword puzzles, articles and features from foreign publications (content provider) under automatic approval route subject to the following conditions: -

i.       The total material so procured and actually printed in an issue of the Indian publication does not exceed 20% of the total printed area of that issue,

ii.       The syndicated material does not include full copy of the editorial page or the front page of the foreign publication,

iii.      The mast head of the content provider publication is not utilized in the Indian publication,

iv.      Credit to the content provider is necessarily given prominently as a byline in the Indian publication,

v.       The material procured under syndication arrangement is such that has already been published in the content provider publication.

Any case involving relaxation of any of the above conditions would require to be examined by the Ministry of I&B, and, before any material is actually procured under syndication arrangement beyond the above noted conditions, the Indian publication should have applied for and obtained prior approval of the Ministry of I&B.  

These guidelines would not apply to the cases where Ministry of I&B has issued its approval/no objection certificate for publication of facsimile edition of a foreign newspaper.

Introduction & Activities

The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, more popularly known as RNI came into being on 1st July, 1956, on the recommendation of the First Press Commission in 1953 and by amending the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.

The Press and Registration of Books Act contains the duties and functions of the RNI. On account of some more responsibilities entrusted upon RNI during all these years, the office is performing both statutory as well as some non-statutory functions.

Under Statutory Functions, the following jobs are covered:

    Compilation and maintenance of a Register of Newspapers containing particulars about all the newspapers published.

            Issue of Certificate of Registration to the newspapers published under valid declaration;

      Scrutiny and analysis of annual statements sent by the publishers of newspapers every year under Section 19-D of the Press and Registration of Books Act containing information on circulation, ownership etc;

          Informing the District Magistrates about availability of titles, to intending publishers for filing declaration;

          Ensuring that newspapers are published in accordance with the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867 and the Rules made there under.

          Verification under Section 19-F of the PRB Act, of circulation claims furnished by the publishers in their Annual Statements; and

          Preparation and submission to the Government on or before 31st December each year, a report containing all available information and statistics about the press in India with particular reference to the emerging trends in circulation and in the direction of common ownership units etc.

The following items fall under the non-statutory functions:

         Formulation of Newsprint Allocation Policy – Guidelines and issue of Eligibility Certificate to the newspapers to enable them to import newsprint and to procure indigenous newsprint.

          Assessing and certifying the essential need and requirement of newspaper establishments to import printing and composing machinery and allied materials.Registrar of Newspapers for India

English Online International Newspapers

For a change from the same old news stories from the same old news networks, here are links to English-edition online newspapers from other parts of the world. Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers, with an emphasis on the Middle East and Asia. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time. Click on “contact” below to report broken links, or to suggest other sources.

We test these links every day, and report the results as follows:

 extremely reliable in the past ten days
 sometimes up
 mostly down during the past ten days
 unchecked for various reasons

This page was generated on Wednesday April 27, 2011.

Afghanistan: 100% uptime www.myafghan.com/
Afghanistan (WN): 100% uptime www.afghandaily.com/
Afghanistan (WN): 100% uptime www.kabuldaily.com/
Afghanistan: 100% uptime www.aopnews.com/today.html
Africa portal: 100% uptime allafrica.com/
Africa (twice weekly): 100% uptime www.africafocus.org/
Africa: 100% uptime www.newsfromafrica.org/
Africa: 100% uptime www.africa-investor.com/
Asia: 100% uptime www.channelnewsasia.com/
Asia: 100% uptime www.atimes.com/
Asia – UN IRIN News: 100% uptime www.irinnews.org/
Asia & CIS: 100% uptime www.newscentralasia.com/
Australia: 100% uptime www.smh.com.au/news/
Australia: 100% uptime www.abc.net.au/
Australia: 100% uptime www.heraldsun.com.au/
Azerbaijan (weekly): 100% uptime www.azernews.net/
Bahrain: 100% uptime www.gulf-daily-news.com/home.asp
Bahrain: 100% uptime english.bna.bh/
Chile (New Listing!): 100% uptime www.ilovechile.cl/
China: 100% uptime english.peopledaily.com.cn/home.html
China: 100% uptime www.xinhuanet.com/english/
China: 100% uptime www.chinadaily.com.cn/
China: 100% uptime www.globaltimes.cn/
China: 100% uptime english.cntv.cn/
China: 100% uptime english.cri.cn/
China: 100% uptime english.eastday.com/
China: 100% uptime www.bjreview.com.cn/
China: 100% uptime english.people.com.cn/
China: 100% uptime english.cpc.people.com.cn/
Croatia: down www.dubrovacki.hr/pregled/the-dubrovnik-times
Czech (weekly): 100% uptime www.praguepost.cz/
Dubai: 100% uptime www.7days.ae/localnews.php
Egypt: 100% uptime www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp
Europe and CIS: 100% uptime www.eurasianet.org/
Europe – Radio Free Europe: 100% uptime www.rferl.org/
Finland: 100% uptime www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/
France: 100% uptime www.france24.com/en/france/
Germany: 100% uptime dw-world.de/english/
Germany: 100% uptime www.themunichtimes.com/
Ghana & Africa: 80% uptime www.accra-mail.com/
Global Security News: 100% uptime www.globalsecurity.org/
India: 100% uptime www.agranews.com/
India: 100% uptime www.deccan.com/
India: 100% uptime hinduonnet.com/
India: 100% uptime www.newindpress.com/
India: 100% uptime www.hindustantimes.com/
India: 100% uptime news.webindia123.com/news/
India: 100% uptime www.thehindu.com/
Indonesia: 100% uptime www.thejakartapost.com/
Interfax – China: 100% uptime www.interfax.cn/
Iran: 100% uptime www.ettelaat.com/today/P8.pdf
Iran: 100% uptime www.iran-daily.com/
Iran – Irib: 100% uptime english.iribnews.ir/
Iran – IRNA: 100% uptime www.irna.ir/ENIndex.htm
Iran: 100% uptime www.iranhello.com/
Iran: 100% uptime www.tehrantimes.com/
Iran: 100% uptime english.farsnews.com/
Iraq-Aljazeera: 100% uptime english.aljazeera.net/
Iraq: 100% uptime www.iraqdaily.com/
Israel: 100% uptime www.jpost.com/
Israel: 100% uptime www.israelinsider.com/
Israel: 100% uptime www.haaretz.com/
Israel, Mideast, World (New!!): 100% uptime www.imra.org.il/
Israel: 100% uptime www.globes.co.il/serveen/
Israel: 100% uptime www.israelnationalnews.com/News/
Israel: 100% uptime www.ynetnews.com/
Japan: 100% uptime www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/
Japan: 100% uptime www.japantimes.co.jp/
Jordan: 100% uptime www.jordantimes.com/
Jordan: 100% uptime www.petra.gov.jo/Public/Main_english.aspx?lang=2&site_id=1
Jordan: 100% uptime www.star.com.jo/
Kenya: 100% uptime www.standardmedia.co.ke/
Kenya & Africa: 100% uptime africasciencenews.org/asns/
Korea: 100% uptime www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/index.asp
Korea: 100% uptime www.koreaherald.co.kr/
Korea: 100% uptime theseoultimes.com/ST/
Korea, North: 100% uptime www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm
Kuwait: 100% uptime www.kuwaittimes.net/
Kuwait: 100% uptime www.arabtimesonline.com/
Lebanon: 100% uptime www.dailystar.com.lb/
Libya: 100% uptime www.libyadaily.com/
Middle East: 100% uptime www.albawaba.com/
Middle East: 100% uptime www.gulfinthemedia.com/
Middle East: 100% uptime www.arabianbusiness.com/
Middle East: 100% uptime www.alarabiya.net/en_meast.html
Morocco: 100% uptime www.map.ma/eng
Muslim News Service: 100% uptime www.ummah.com/
New Zealand: 100% uptime www.nzherald.co.nz/
Nigeria: 100% uptime www.bizhallmark.com/
Nigeria: 100% uptime allnewsnigeria.com/nigerianewsgeneral.html
Oman: 100% uptime www.timesofoman.com/
Pakistan: 100% uptime www.thenews.com.pk/
Pakistan: 100% uptime www.dawn.com/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.jmcc.org/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.palestinechronicle.com/
Palestine: 40% uptime electronicIntifada.net/new.html
Palestine: 100% uptime english.wafa.ps/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.palwatch.org/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.palestinechronicle.com/news.php
Palestine: 100% uptime www.miftah.org/CatIndex.cfm?CategoryID=5
Palestine: 100% uptime www.jmcc.org/latestnews.aspx
Palestine: 100% uptime www.imemc.org/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.aqsa.org.uk/
Palestine: 100% uptime www.qassam.ps/news.html
Philippines: 100% uptime www.manilatimes.net/
Poland: 100% uptime www.krakowpost.com/
Russia: 100% uptime english.pravda.ru/
Russia: 100% uptime www.themoscowtimes.com/
Saudi Arabia: 100% uptime www.saudigazette.com.sa/
Saudi Arabia: 100% uptime arabnews.com/saudiarabia/
Singapore: 100% uptime straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/
Socialist News: 100% uptime www.wsws.org/
Somolia: 100% uptime www.banadir.com/
South Africa: 100% uptime www.NkomaziVoice.com/
Speigel: 100% uptime www.spiegel.de/international/
Sri Lanka: 100% uptime www.lankaweb.com/news/latest.html
Sri Lanka: 100% uptime www.tamilnet.com/
Sri Lanka: 100% uptime www.ethalayawebnews.com/newsfirst/
Sudan: 100% uptime www.sudan.net/
Sudan: 100% uptime www.sudanradio.org/news
Sudan: 100% uptime www.gurtong.net/
Sudan: 100% uptime www.sudantribune.com/
Sudan: 100% uptime sudaneseonline.org/cs/blogs/english/default.aspx
Sudan: 100% uptime www.sudanvisiondaily.com/
Taiwan: 100% uptime www.taipeitimes.com/
Taiwan: 100% uptime www.chinapost.com.tw/
Taiwan: 100% uptime www.chinataiwan.org/english/
Thailand, Bangkok: 100% uptime bangkokpost.com/
Tibet: 100% uptime eng.tibet.cn/
Turkey: 100% uptime www.hurriyetdailynews.com/
Turkey: 100% uptime www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/
United Arab Emirates: 100% uptime www.khaleejtimes.com/
United Arab Emirates: 100% uptime www.ameinfo.com/
UAE, Gulf, and World: 100% uptime www.gulftoday.ae/
UK: 100% uptime news.independent.co.uk/
UK: 100% uptime www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian
Ukraine: 100% uptime www.brama.com/news/
Ukraine (weekly): 100% uptime www.mw.ua/
Yemen: 100% uptime www.sabanews.net/en/
Yemen (weekly): 100% uptime www.yementimes.com/
Yemen: 100% uptime yemenpost.net
Yemen: 100% uptime www.yobserver.com/
Yemen: 100% uptime www.yemenonline.info/
Zimbabwe: 100% uptime www.theindependent.co.zw/

Har ek baat pay kehtay ho tum, ki tu kya hai

These are the pics of my visit to Ghalib’s Haveli and of red fort…with one ghalib’s best known GHazal.

here are the lyrics and translation :

hain aur bhi duniya main sukhanwar bahut acchay (There are other poets in the world that are very good)

kehtay hain ki ghalib kay andaaz-i-bayaan aur….(they say but that the way Ghalib puts it, is something else..)

Har ek baat pay kehtay ho tum, ki tu kya hai (on just about every thing u tell me who u are)

Har ek baat pay kehtay ho tum, ki tu kya hai (on just about every thing u tell me who u are)

tumhi kaho ki, yeh andaz-i-guftagoo kya hai (now u only tell wat is this way to talk like this..)

tumhi kaho ki, yeh andaz-i-guftagoo kya hai (now u only tell wat is this way to talk like this..)

Ragon mein daudtay firnay kay hum nahi kayal (i am not fond of seeing them flow in the veins)

Ragon mein daudtay firnay kay hum nahi kayal (i am not fond of seeing them flow in the veins)

Jab aankh hi say na tapka to fir lahoo kya hai (when it didnt dropped out of the eyes then may be its not blood)

Ragon mein daudtay firnay kay hum nahi kayal (i am not fond of seeing them flow in the veins)

Jab aankh hi say na tapka to fir lahoo kya hai (when it didnt dropped out of the eyes then may be its not blood)

chipak raha badan par lahu se pairaahan
hamare jeb ko ab haajat-e-rafu kya hai

(When my bloodied clothes are sticking to my body…What is the use of mending/darning my pocket then)

jala hai jism jahan dil bhi jal gaya hoga (when the body has burned now..may be the heart would have burnt too)

jala hai jism jahan dil bhi jal gaya hoga (when the body has burned now..may be the heart would have burnt too)

Kuraidtay ho jo ab raakh justajoo kya hai (now why do u scratch these ashes..wat do u really want now)

Har ek baat pay kehtay ho tum, ki tu kya hai (on just about every thing u tell me who u are)

rahi na taqat-e-guftar aur agar ho bhee(There remains none but little strength to speak)

rahi na taqat-e-guftar aur agar ho bhee(There remains none but little strength to speak)

to kis umeed pay keh dain ki aarzoo kya hai (then on wat hope should i tell u wat is my wish)

to kis umeed pay keh dain ki aarzoo kya hai (then on wat hope should i tell u wat is my wish)

Har ek baat pay kehtay ho tum, ki tu kya hai (on just about every thing u tell me who u are)

tumhi kaho ki, yeh andaz-i-guftagoo kya hai (now u only tell wat is this way to talk like this..)

Har ek baat pay kehtay ho tum, ki tu kya hai (on just about every thing u tell me who u are)

Zindegi Be-Qaraar Bhi Tu Nahi
Ab Tera Intezaar Bhi Tu Nahi

Tarq-e-Ehad-e-Waffa Azaab Sahi
Dil Mager Sharumsaar Bhi Tu Nahi

Kis Pay Afshaa Hoon Wehshatain Apni
Pairhan Taar Taar Bhi Tu Nahi

Sir-Farazi Pay Naaz Kon Karay??
Surkhroo Shaakh-e-Daar Bhi Tu Nahi

Kaffla Kis Taruf Gaya Hoo Ga?
Rehguzzer Mai Ghbaar Bhi Tu Nahi

Rahattain Kis Hisaab Mai Likheye?
Ranjishoo’n Ka Shumaar Bhi Tu Nahi

Jantay Hain Wo Be-Waffa Hai Mager
Dil Pay Ab Ikhtiyaar Bhi Tu Nahi

Rang-e-Aks-e-Khizaa’n Bhi Kia Lena
Sir Pay Qarz-e-Bahaar Bhi Tu Nahi

Dil Se Roudaad-e-Gham Kahoon Kaisay
Dil Mera Raazdaar Bhi Tu Nahi


Vaastu Tips in arrangement of gardens | Care to be taken for laying the garden

In the present day, people are showing interest to construct the parks and gardens in a natural way in the areas where there are lakes, waterfalls and hills. Gardening will help the people in gaining beauty and health also. According to vaastu, owners of the house will be peaceful. There will be good results by having a lake or river in the park and growing the animals like tortoise, fish etc. for this arrangement, proper directions should be selected by the people. They should take care such that there are hills and stones in the northern side, rivers and lakes in the southern side and water flow should be there towards east.

Presence of lake or river will keep the evil spirits away from the people. It is better to construct a zig- zag road for walking through the park across the water. By placing the flowers, trees and bridges in the park, it will look attractive. Black tortoise on the northern side, dragon on the eastern side and white tiger on the western side should be placed for good results. Benches and tables in the park should be in the square, round, five sided or eight sided shapes. Idol of the goddess should be placed in the northeastern side or southwestern side in the garden. Care should be taken while planting the trees in the garden. In the in method, grape, papaya, marigold flowers should be planted and in the yang method, bamboo, dates and other plants should be planted. Air from the trees is good for health and the greenery is good for eyes.


108 names of Lord Krishna –

108 names of Lord Krishna -
Popular names of Lord Krishna – Shri Krishna names-
Different names of Lord Krishna

NAME MEANING
Krishna One that brings joy
Jagannath Lord of the whole World
Parampurush The supreme one
Dwarkadhish Dwarka’s king
Vasudev Vasudev’s son
Devki Nandan Devki’s son
Govinda Lord Of Cows
Gopal Protector of Cows
Parthasarthi Arjuna’s Chariot driver
Muralidhar Who plays flute
Mathura Naresh King of Mathura
Damodar tied with a grinding Stone
Niranjan who is honorable
Sanatan The eternal one
Anant The infinite
Ajay All victorious
Murari Enemy of Mura (the demon)
KamalNath Kamla (Goddess Lakshmi’s) Husband
Punya Meritorious
Lila-Manush-Vigraha Assums human form
Shrivastav Kausthuba-Dharya Wearing Shri Vatsa and Kausthubha Gem
Yashoda-Vatsalya Mother Yashoda’s child
Hari Shri Hari
Chaturbuja-Chakra-gada-Shankhadhyay Four armed
Shrisay Abode of Shri (Lakshmi)
Nandgopa Priyatmaj Nanda Gopa’s darling child
Yamuna Vega Samhar Destroyer of speed of River yamuna
Balbhadra Pariyanuj Balram’s younger brother
Putana Jivit haraya Destroyer of putana(demoness)
Shakatsura Bhanjanaya Destroyer of Shakatasur (demon)
Nandvraja jana nandin One bringing joy to Nand and people of Braj
Sachidanand Vigraha Awareness and bliss
Navanit Viliptanga whose body is slandered with butter
Ananghaya sinless one
Navanit navaharaya Inventor of new form of food- Butter
Muchukunda Prasadkaya who blessed king Muchukund
Shodasha sthri sahasreshaya Lord of 16,000 wives
Tribhanji lalitakritaye who possesed bent in 3 places
Sukavag Amritabhdhindave Ocean of nectar
Yogi Pataye Lord of yogis
Avyaktaya who is difficult to comprehend
Punya-Shlokaya Lord whose praise bestows meritorious
Tirthapadaya With holy feet
Vedvedayaya Souce of Vedas
Yagnabhoktre who consumed sacrificial offerings
Paratpataya highest of the highest
Gopa Gopishvaraya Lord of gopas and gopis
Yogine Greatest Yogi
Koti surya samaprabha someone who is as lustrous as a million suns
Ilapataye Lord of Earth
Vanamaline One wearing a garland
Parasmai jyotish with a supreme light
Yadavendraye Lord of Yadavs
Yadudvataya Leader of Yadus
Pita vasase Who wears yellow robes
Parijatapa Harakaya who removed Parijath Flower
Govardhanchalo Dhartreya Lifter of Govardhan Hill
Sarva palakaya Protector of all beings
Niranjan The untainted one
Kama janakaye One generating desires in worldly mind
Kancha lochanaya Who possess beautiful eyes
Madhughne Killer of Madhu- demon
Brindavane sancarine One roaming in Brindavan city
Baline All powerful Lord
Syamantake maner hartre who stole Syamantaka Gem
Nara Narayanatmakaya who has twin form of nar and Narayan
Kubja Krishtambharadharya who applied ointment by Kubja
Mayine Lord of maya
Mushtikasura Chanura mallayudha-visharadaya One who is an expert wrestler, killed two demons Mushtikasura and Chanura
Kamsaraye Enemy of Kansa
Narakantakaya Destroyer of Naraka (demon)
Anadi Brahmacharine Beginning less absolute
Krishna Vyasana Karshakaya Who Removed Draupadi’s distress
Shishupala Shirascratte Remover of Shishupal’s head
Duryodhana Kulantakaya Destroyer of Duryodhana’s dynasty
Vidurakrura Varadaya Giver of boon to Vidur and Akrur
Vishwarupa Pradarshakaya Revealer of Vishwasrup (Universal form)
Satyavacha Speaker of truth
Satya sankalp Lord of true resolve
Satyabhama Rataya Lover of Satyabhama
Jayine The ever victorious Lord
Subhadra purvajaya Brother of Subhadra
Vishnava To Lord Vishnu
Bhishma mukti Pradayakaya One who bestowed salvation to Bhishma
Jagadguruve venunada visharad One expert in playing of flute music
Vrishabhasura vidhvamsine Destoyer of demon Vrishbasura
Yudhishthira pratishthatre One who established Yudhisthira as a king
Sarvagraha Rupine To all-formed one
Dayanidhaye One who is treasure of compassion
Sarvabhutat makaya Soul of elements
Jalakrida samashaka gopi vastra pararakaya Lord who hid gopi’s clothes while they were playing in river Yamuna
Parabrahmane A supreme brahman
Barhi Barhavatamsakaye One who adorns peacock feathers
Pannagashana vahanaya Having serpent Adishesha as his seat
Danavendra Vinashak Destroyer of Lord of Asuras
Gitamrita Mahodadhaye An ocean containing nectar of Bhagwad Gita
Kaliyaphani Manikya ranjita shri Padambhujaya Lord whose lotus feet adorn gems from hood of Kaliya serpent
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The below prayers can be told daily by offering flowers or Tulasi to Lord Krishna.It contains 108 Names of Lord Krishna taken from Vishnu Sahasranama
Om Vishnave Namah
Om Lakshmi Pathaye Namah
Om Krishnaya Namah
Om Vaikuntaaya Namah
Om Garuda Dhvajaya Namah
Om Parah Brahmane Namah
Om Jagannathaya Namah
Om Vaasudevaya Namah
Om Trivikramaya Namah
Om Dhydhyaanthakaaya Namah
Om Madhuribhave Namah
Om Dhaarshyavahaaya Namah
Om Sanaadhanaaya Namah
Om Narayanaya Namah
Om Padmanabhaya Namah
Om Hrishikeshaya Namah
Om Sudhapradhaya Namah
Om Haraye Namah
Om Pundarikakshaya Namah
Om Siddhidhikarthre Namah
Om Paraathparaya Namah
Om Vanamaline Namah
Om Yagnaroopaya Namah
Om Chakrapanye Namah
Om Gadhadhraya Namah
Om Upendraya Namah
Om Keshavaya Namah
Om Hamsaaya Namah
Om SamudraMadhanaya Namah
Om Haraye Namah
Om Govindaya Namah
Om Prahmajankaya Namah
Om KaitabasuraMardhanaya Namah
Om Sridharaya Namah
Om Kaamajakaaya Namah
Om Seshaya Namah
Om Chadhurbhujaya Namah
Om Paanchajanyadharaaya Namah
Om SriMathe Namah
Om Shaarangapanaye Namah
Om Janardhanaya Namah
Om Pitambharadharaya Namah
Om Devaya Namah
Om SuryaChandraVilochanaya Namah
Om MatsyaRoopaya Namah
Om Kurmathanave Namah
Om Krodharoopaya Namah
Om Nrukesarine Namah
Om Vaamanaaya Namah
Om Bhaargavaaya Namah
Om Raamaya Namah
Om Haline Namah
Om Kalkine Namah
Om Hayaananaaya Namah
Om Viswambaraya Namah
Om Simsumaaraya Namah
Om Srikharaaya Namah
Om Kapilaaya Namah
Om Dhruvaaya Namah
Om Dattatreyaya Namah
Om Achyutaya Namah
Om Anantaaya Namah
Om Mukundhaaya Namah
Om Dhidhivaamanaaya Namah
Om Dhanvantraye Namah
Om Srinivasaya Namah
Om Pradyumnaya Namah
Om Purushothamaya Namah
Om Srivathkausthubhadhraaya Namah
Om Muraradhaye Namah
Om Adhoshjaaya Namah
Om Rushabhaya Namah
Om MohanaroopaDharine Namah
Om Sangarshanaaya Namah
Om Prithave Namah
Om Sheerabdhisaayene Namah
Om Bhoodhathmane Namah
Om Anirudhaaya Namah
Om Bhakthavatsalaaya Namah
Om Naraaya Namah
Om GajendraVaradaaya Namah
Om Thridhamne Namah
Om Bhoothabhavanaaya Namah
Om Svetavaasdhavyaaya Namah
Om SuryamandalaMadhyakaaya Namah
Om SanakathiMunithyeyaaya Namah
Om Bhagavathe Namah
Om SankaraPriyaya Namah
Om Neelakanthaya Namah
Om Tharakaanthaaya Namah
Om Vedathmane Namah
Om Bhadhraayanaaya Namah
Om BhagirathiJanmaBhoomiPaadaPadmaaya Namah
Om Stham Prabhave Namah
Om Svabhave Namah
Om Vibhave Namah
Om KanakaShyamaaya Namah
Om Jagadhkaaranaaya Namah
Om Avyayaaya Namah
Om Buddhavadharaaya Namah
Om Shaanthathmane Namah
Om Krisoth Namah
Om Leelamaanusha Vigrahaaya Namah
Om Damodharaaya Namah
Om Viraataroopaaya Namah
Om Bhoodhabhavyabhavath Prabhave Namah
Om Aadi Devaaya Namah
Om Deva Devaaya Namah
Om Prahladha Paripalakhaya Namah
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Krishnashtami
Saatam Aatham
Gokulashtami
Ashtami Rohini
Srikrishna Jayanti
Sree Jayanthi
Janmashtami
Dahi Handi

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An eye witness account by a devotee from Puttaparthi -
Sri Krishna janmastami eve & Sri Krishnajanmastami day

Janamasthmi Photos: Click here to see all the enlarged photos on a single page

13 AUGUST 2009: Sri Krishna janmastami eve
Om Sairam dearest Sai Family,
Being a holiday season and also weekend, Puttaparthi is heavily crowded and there is no place even to stand any where. It all about Queues where ever you go.. be it for darshan
canteen, shopping, coffeshop everywhere. It looked as if it is Swami’s birthday. In the recent past this is how Parthi looks like. Swami’s Divine Magnet is getting more and more
powerful and attracting vast sections of the society.
The Sai Kulwanth hall was beautifully decorated with Krishna blue colour curtains hung all over. The pillars were also given a blue colour covering. A beautiful, about 5 feet
statue of the birthday baby, Lord Krishna was placed right in the middle of the dais just before Ganesha. On 13th evening, Sai Kulwanth hall was jam packed within 30 minutes of the gates being


Sachin mourns Sathya Sai Baba’s death

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Spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba passes away

Sathya Sai Baba, who had millions of followers across the world, is no more. Baba’s heart stopped beating at 7.28 am on Sunday morning.He had been on ventilator support for many days with all his vital parameters failing. He was being treated at the super speciality hospital that he himself had created for the masses. Doctors confirmed that Sai Baba died of cardio-respiratory failure.The last rites of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Babawill be performed on Wednesday with full state honours. This was announced by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who rushed to the town after news of the death.

Baba’s body will be kept for darshan at Sai Kulwant Hall in Puttaparthi for two days – Monday and Tuesday. Arrangements will be made for darshan after 6:00 pm today at the hall. About 4 lakh people are expected to come to Puttaparthi, a small town of 25,000 in Andhra Pradesh’s Ananatpur district. This includes VVIPs, VIPs and common devotees from across the globe and India.

A pall of gloom descended on this town, 450 km from Hyderabad, as the news of Sai Baba’s death spread. His family members, four ministers and government officials rushed to the hospital following reports that Sai Baba’s condition had deteriorated further.

There has been a complete shutdown in the town since morning following reports about deterioration in the condition of Sai Baba.For the first time since Baba was admitted to Sathya Sai Baba super speciality on March 27, the doctors did not issue a morning bulletin on Sunday.Although everybody was preparing for the inevitable for the last few days, a decision had been taken by representatives of Baba’s family and members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust to not pull the plug from the ventilator.Devotees had been praying for a miracle and had kept their faith that the 86-year-old Baba would rise once again and give darshan to the faithful.

The Central trust was headed by Sathya Sai Baba himself and had luminaries like PN Bhagwati, former chief justice of India, SV Giri, retired central vigilance commissioner as members amongst others. A nephew of Baba, Ratnakar was also part of the trust. The trust secretary, K Chakravarthi, who influenced by Baba resigned from the IAS to devote himself to the service of the godman, executed all the programmes of the organisation.

Since this is all powerful body, it has to be seen as to who becomes the new chairman. But indications are that nephew Ratnakar who otherwise runs a cable TV operation and a gas agency will play a more active role.Satyajit, the personal caregiver of the Baba and a product of the university at Puttaparthi set up by the godman will also play a key role. It is believed that Satyajit, still in his early thirtees, has the support of most trust members and also that of Chakravarthi. A whole array of philanthropic activities including water supply is carried on by the trust.Sathya Sai Baba, who died on Sunday, was seen as a reincarnation of god by millions, having preached an eclectic blend of Hindu religion since the time he claimed to be an ‘avatar’ at a young age of 14.

The many attacks by rationalists on him and what he stood for did not derail the immense following he achieved as he grew from this once obscure hamlet to achieve demi god status in India and abroad.

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Born as Sathyanarayana Raju in November 23, 1926 in Puttaparthi, his devotees claimed he started singing Sanskrit verses, of which he had no knowledge, one day in March 1940 after being apparently stung by a scorpion.Within two months, the teenager claimed to be a reincarnation of the more famous Shirdi Sai Baba, who had reportedly stated before his death in 1918 that he would reappear in the then Madras Presidency eight years later.

In no time, the boy gathered a following as he stepped into the world of spirituality. Word spread that Raju could make objects such as food and sweets materialise out of thin air.

As time went by, and he came to be recognised for his mane and flowing orange robes, the boy transformed into Sathya Sai Baba, frequently producing with a flick of his hand ‘vibhuti’ (sacred ash) and small objects such as Shiv lings, rings and necklaces.

Puttaparthi became his base, eventually transforming the once small village into a lively pilgrimage centre, with its own railway station and air strip.

The spiritual guru built a temple in 1944. Four years later he founded Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Supreme Peace) at Puttaparthi.

He also opened ashrams at Whitefield on Bangalore’s outskirts and at Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. He made it a point to tell his followers not to give up their original religion.

He preached: “My objective is the establishment of sanatana dharma, which believes in one god as propitiated by the founders of all religions.”

Sathya Sai Baba, however, ran into critics who repeatedly challenged him to make the objects materialise in “controlled conditions” — to prove that he was not indulging in trickery.

The godman brushed away the attacks, which abated over the years, even as his spiritual empire expanded. Today, his devotees are spread over some 130 countries and number in millions.

Simultaneously, Sai Baba plunged into charitable work.

His movement began providing free medical treatment, both in Puttaparthi and Bangalore, as well as free education for the poor.

Sathya Sai Baba was also credited with unveiling drinking water schemes in drought-prone Anantapur district, where Puttaparthi is located, and to the city of Chennai.

Food is sold at hugely subsidized rates at his ashram here – even to those who do not follow him.

In 2001, the digital radio network, Radio Sai Global Harmony, was launched to spread Sai Baba’s message of harmony and peace.

He acquired a huge following that included political leaders, film stars and industrialists — and millions of ordinary folk.

But controversies always dogged Sai Baba.

He was accused of sexual abuse. The BBC once produced a documentary that showed him in poor light.

Sai Baba remained single. Not much is known about his personal life.

The killing of four alleged intruders into Sai Baba’s bedroom by police in 1993 still remains a mystery.

From 2005, Sai Baba had been using a wheelchair and his failing health had forced him to make fewer public appearances.

Two of his elder sisters, an elder brother and a younger brother have died. Some of the children of his sisters and brothers are today active in the trusts formed by him.

Many believe he died a day after he was admitted to the hospital March 28 and that his relatives waited for an auspicious time to make the announcement.

Men shed tears, women sobbed…this pilgrim town plunged into gloom as news of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba’s death came on Sunday.

Hundreds of pilgrims tried to rush towards the hospital where Sathya Sai Baba had passed away, but were stopped by a large posse of policemen. The Sathya Sai super-speciality hospital is about five km from the town.

“I can’t believe that Swamy is no more,” said Sharada Devi, a devotee, her voice choked with emotions.

“Today is the saddest day of my life,” said T Raghav, another devotee, as tears roll down his cheeks.

Over 6,000 policemen had already been deployed and additional forces are being rushed to the town to beef up security for VIPs likely to arrive to pay their last respects.

The forces have erected barricades on all roads leading towards the town and are checking vehicles as part of the security arrangements. They have also taken control of the hospital and the airport.

Sai Baba, whom his devotees worshipped as god, was suffering from multi-organ dysfunction. He breathed his last at the hospital, where he was admitted on March 28 with cardiac problems. He was 85.

Massive security arrangements are also being made at Prashanti Nilayam, his ashram where the body will be kept on Monday and Tuesday to enable his devotees to have ‘last darshan’.According to sources close to the Sathya Sai Central Trust, President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are also expected to arrive to pay their respects to Baba.

Sonia Gandhi condoles Sai Baba’s death=UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today said she was greatly pained over the death of Sathya Sai Baba.

“The news of the death of Sai Baba of Puttaparthi has greatly pained me. He was a spiritual person in whom lakhs of people had faith. In his lifetime, he inspired the people of this country and those abroad towards spiritualism and religion,” she said in her condolence message.

The Congress president hailed Sai Baba’s contribution towards establishment of institutions for social welfare and said these would be remembered for a long time.”His death has caused a big vacuum. At this sad hour, I express my deep condolences to his followers,” Gandhi said.The 86-year-old Sai Baba died this morning in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh following multi-organ failure.

Satyajit, Satya Sai Baba
It is widely being circulated by the media that Satyajit is responsible for the ill health of Sri Satya Sai Baba. The authenticity of these kind of news is not really known to all. For instance, there also has been another news doing rounds saying a devotee of Sai Baba has filed a writ petition in the additional judicial first class magistrate court. The person who the media calls a devotee in the first place isn’t a devotee. The next thing that people should know is Satyajit is Sai Baba’s studebt. He is his servant but not a servant servant. Satyajit had voluntarily decided to stay back after his MBA and help Sai Baba. There have also been rumors that Satyajit is keeping Sai Baba’s devotees in the dark about his health. The real devotees of Sai Baba in the first place know what Satyajit means to Sai Baba and would never blame him or even raise a finger at him.
A person who claimed himself a devotee said, ”Both the Sai Trust and the Super Speciality Hospital authorities are maintaining secrecy. Facts should come out on Sai Baba’s health.” Sai Baba had fallen ill earlier too and he recovered as welll but never were any video clippings of how he was in the hospital were made public. He didn’t want it to be public so it never was public and it’s going to be the same now as well.
For quite a number of years, Satyajit has been helping Sai Baba voluntarily having left all the worldly pleasures. It makes no sense now that a person who is as clear as a crystal is being pointed at.
Satyajit to succeed Sathya Sai Baba?
Sathya Sai Baba’s demise has left an important question unanswered — has he named a successor to look after the activities of the Sathya Sai Central Trust? Sources close to the trust told DNA that Baba has named his caretaker Satyajit as his successor.Why Satyajit? The 33-year-old has been Baba’s caretaker since 2003, when the spiritual leader injured his thigh bone. It was Satyajit who stood by Baba during the difficult phase and nursed him.”Service to man is service to god was Baba’s motto. Baba was moved by the way Satyajit was nursing him. Satyajit was with Baba till his last breath. In fact, he was the only person apart from the doctors attending to Baba in the hospital,” a source said. Sathya Sai had once openly praised Satyajit for his selflessness and thorough understanding of the spirit of Sai philosophy.”There is no relationship between Baba and Satyajit. It is his dedication that had impressed Baba,” the source explained.Though not much is known about Satyajit, he is said to be a native of Karnataka.

It is widely being circulated by the media that Satyajit is responsible for the ill health of Sri Satya Sai Baba. The authenticity of these kind of news is not really known to all. For instance, there also has been another news doing rounds saying a devotee of Sai Baba has filed a writ petition in the additional judicial first class magistrate court. The person who the media calls a devotee in the first place isn’t a devotee.
The next thing that people should know is Satyajit is Sai Baba’s studebt. He is his servant but not a servant servant. Satyajit had voluntarily decided to stay back after his MBA and help Sai Baba. There have also been rumors that Satyajit is keeping Sai Baba’s devotees in the dark about his health. The real devotees of Sai Baba in the first place know what Satyajit means to Sai Baba and would never blame him or even raise a finger at him.

Who is Satyajit in Puttaparthi? | Satyajit is Very Much Close to Satya Sai Baba

There is a rumor that Satya Sai Baba is present as a refugee in Satyajit hands. Satyajit received love and affection from Baba and is a close associate of him. Devotees of Baba are accusing Satyajit that he has got the entire special temple (in which Satya Sai Baba resides) under his control. Satyajit joined as a student. Few active students will be selected for serving Baba. Satyajit got selected in that way. In the starting, he served as driver for Baba’s vehicle and has got Baba’s love. From then, Satyajit got place in personal matters of Baba. In 2005, when Baba suffered from thigh bone fracture, Satyajit served Baba right from helping in taking bath. Baba also depended on Satyajit for all regard. He secretly called cardiologist from Bangalore to treat Baba when Baba was suffering from ill health. Few of the trust members have objected to the behavior of Satyajit, but Baba used to support him which made trust members to become silent in this issue. From then, it is reported that Satyajit took full control of special temple in which Baba used to reside. It is also said that Satyajit had good rapport and grew to a stage where he can command others.

beauty, bliss and blessings

….of Sathya Sai in Chennai

By Prof. G. Venkataraman
back to index

Dear Reader, this is the last of the trio of articles covering Swami’s historic and memorable trip to Chennai in January 2007. We had the first and second article in March and April 2007 issues of H2H respectively . In the present cover story we offer you a very comprehensive coverage of the aspects of the Divine Visit not dealt with in the previous instalments, and also more interestingly, an ‘insider’s view’ of Swami’s 13-day stay in Sundaram. Over to Prof. Venkataraman:

If you recall, in the first article, I concentrated mainly on the Citizens’ Conclave arranged to express the collective gratitude of the millions who were saved by Swami’s intervention in Chennai’s acute drinking water crisis that was becoming endemic. Since then, two things have happened that merit attention. Firstly, following the request from the Tamil Nadu Government, Swami has ordered that the Tamil Nadu section of the Sai Ganga Canal also be restored fully, so that there is no loss of water as it flows from the zero point [at the TN-Andhra border], to the Poondi Reservoir.

Secondly, water now regularly flows from the Kandaleru Reservoir to Poondi, which means that the citizens of Chennai do not have to worry about drinking water. In fact, this year, while many cities across the country have been facing drinking water shortages [Bangalore, for example], in Chennai they say they get water every single day – this after years of facing nothing but dry taps! If this is not Swami’s Grace, what else is it? Think about it! I do hope that those who were born in Chennai but now live elsewhere, would, when they visit their hometown next, take a minute off to thank Swami, when they drink water.

Bhagavan presiding over the Chennai Citizens’ Conclave – a galaxy of leaders with the single Supreme Unifying Force,
at the centre. To read the complete story of this event again, please click here.

Dr. Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu being felicitated by Mr Venu Srinivasan

Swami accompanied by the Union Home Minister,
Mr Shiv Raj Patil on the dais

With that intro, let me now get back to the task on hand, which is to deal with Swami’s visit to Chennai in January 2007. Before I proceed further, I must mention two pertinent facts.

The book ‘Digvijayam’ which chronicled His landmark Divine Visit in great detail

The first is that there is an “official” account of this trip published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust of Tamil Nadu. Entitled Digvijayam, this book offers not only a diary of the Divine Visit but also gives a lot of background information, related not only to Swami’s long association with Madras/Chennai, but also concerning the preparations made for the Yagna, the Yagna itself, and the impact the visit has made.

The second point I wish to make is that though I carried a couple of notebooks in my pocket to make on-the-spot notes during the visit, I must sadly confess that I have misplaced them! Thus my recall is essentially from my Hard Disc, which means that my account would be rather personal and impressionistic; in a way, that might not be too bad, and, together with Digvijayam, I am sure readers can get an overall and comprehensive view. With that preamble, padded duly with appropriate caveats, let me get down to business.

Early Madras Memoirs

Numerous are the visits made by Swami to Chennai, starting way back, in the late forties I understand, maybe even a bit earlier. You might recall that till Independence and indeed for sometime thereafter, Madras, as Chennai was then known, was the capital of the composite Province Madras.

This Province, a relic of the British Raj spanned territories that covered many ethnic regions – Tamil-speaking region, Telugu-speaking region, Malayalam-speaking region, Kannada-speaking regions, plus a few where certain dialects were spoken. Madras of those days was therefore a very cosmopolitan city, a fact that lent it a very unique character.

Swami must have gone to Madras in those days for a number of reasons, ranging from the call of devotees [always a prime concern for Him] to sorting out administrative matters relating to the Ashram, etc. We must remember that Anantapur District which is now a part of Andhra Pradesh was then a part of Madras Presidency, which meant that for administrative clearances of certain kinds, a trip to Madras was necessary.

The Charming Lord in Madras, 1947

In the same year, posing with a privileged few in Felicite

Many are the stories of those times that have filtered down to these days, some narrated by Swami Himself in His lighter moods, some by devotees who have witnessed those historic events and so on. I do hope some historically-minded person would come forward to systematically chronicle those wonderful stories. For my part, I cannot forget a couple of stories that I have personally heard Swami narrate.

Swami’s Exhilarating Drive to Madras

One of these relates to Swami driving down to Madras in a Morris Minor [if I can recall]. Yes, in those days, Swami was often His own driver! The story of how He got a driving licence when He was younger than the statutory age is another story!

Swami would get into the car and ask late Mr. Seshagiri Rao to go along with Him. If I am not mistaken, Mr. Rao is the father of the dentist Dr. Padmanabhan, well-known in Bangalore, especially because he always walks behind Swami during Darshans. I believe, Mr. Seshagiri Rao used to preside over the formal Poojas in the Mandir in those early times.

It was probably, in such a car that Bhagavan drove to Madras at breathless speeds!

As Swami tells it, the two, Bhagavan and Mr. Rao, would generally leave in the evening so that they could be in Madras city early next morning, leaving the day free for work. Swami would recall, with a huge twinkle in His eyes, that He was a fast driver! [Not for Him the caveat about driving slowly! But then He is different, is He not?!]

Fast driving may be nice to watch from the safety of the sideline but to be actually in a car that travels fast on roads that often were so only in name and that too at night? Mr. Seshagiri Rao, Swami says, did not relish that one bit – one can understand why! Mr. Rao would simply close his eyes and go on chanting Sai Ram, until Swami taps Mr. Rao and says, “Open your eyes; we are in Madras!”

For Mr. Rao, that was when the nightmarish dream would end! The way Swami would regale boys with this story; it was a real WOW! How can one who has heard and seen all this actually believe that Swami is God? He is so different from what we all normally believe God to be – a super Cop, always watching our mistakes, and recording it all in notebook so that punishment could be given at the appropriate time! But that is a part of the Leela of the Avatar, trapping us all in web of Maya!

Swami says God is not a Punishing God, adding, “You are God; would you ever punish yourself, unless of course you have gone mad?” God is Love and He simply spreads Love. Through such wonderful examples of Divine intimacy, the Lord teaches us that everyone can easily rise to the level of the Divine. He says: “Just smile and spread happiness without sweating over it. By being friendly and helpful to all seeing God in all, you raise yourself to the level of God. God is no strange object or entity; He is the best friend; be the best friend for all and God you become during those moments at least. Love all without exception, and to the level of God you rise during those moments. Fill all with joy, and earn the Grace of God.”

Mistaken for a Film Star

Another Madras story that Swami sometimes tells is how during one visit, His host took Him in a car to Marina Beach. It was famous then and has still kept some allure, though its pristine beauty has been scarred with statues of all sorts – sculptural monstrosities would be a better phrase.

The serene Marina Beach…
now marred by many monuments

There was the car parked on the Marina Beach Road, with Swami sitting inside. In those days, Swami used to chew paan or beetle leaves, that made His lips look red; some of you might recall old photos in which the lips look redder than they ought to; that was because of betel leaf chewing. Swami has narrated a wonderful story about how He gave up this chewing habit -but that story is not for now.

I should in passing mention that chewing betel leaves is not a bad habit provided one does not chew tobacco along with it. In fact, calcium which is spread on the betel leaf is good for the body and the leaf itself is a good digestive which is why betel leaf used to be ceremonially offered in the old days after a big meal, especially after marriage lunches and dinners. Also, betel leaf chewing was mandatory for young mothers in the pre and post-natal periods by way of providing calcium supplement.

Back to my story of Swami on Marina Beach. Swami says shortly before He arrived in Madras, there was some kind of a disaster in the Province, maybe a big flood [I don’t recall], and by way of collecting donations, many film stars would come to the Beach carrying a box, to make collections. Movie stars are always an attraction, and naturally big crowds gathered on the beach to see these glamorous heroines of the tinsel world going about making collection. One small group of boys saw Swami’s car and looking inside, they say a person with a big crown of hair and red lips.

I am not sure, but perhaps Swami was also wearing sun-glasses to avoid the glare from the beach sands. So it did not take long for the crowd to mistake Swami for a celebrated actress, and soon a big crowd surrounded the car, shouting and whatnot, asking the star to come out! It was getting to be a nuisance and to ward it off, the local host, Transport Commissioner Hanumantha Rao, if I am not mistaken – he always figured prominently in many of Swami’s stories – came out of the car to tell the young admirers of film stars that the one inside was not a movie star but the One who created the real stars!

That was not exactly the way Hanumantha Rao put it, but he did say something about the identity of the person in the car, that He was Sri Sathya Sai Baba and not a movie star. One reason why I am mentioning this story is that on that day, people went to see movie stars and stumbled on Swami. These days, people come in tens of thousands to have Darshan of Swami and see movie stars queuing up to get the blessings of that very same Swami!

Madras was a frequent destination of Swami
for many years…

With Mrs. Anjali Devi, famous South Indian film actress, during one of the visits in the eighties

Blessing Mrs P. Susheela, a renowned Carnatic vocalist and ardent devotee for decades

“Dont worry Amma, I am always with you!”
Every visit was a precious boon for thousands

After a Decade, Sai in Chennai Again

Back to the main stream of my narration. Yes, in the old days Swami visited Chennai frequently but when Swami went this time in 2007, it had been many years since His last visit. A huge hunger for catching even a glimpse had built up and the rest of the narration will revolve largely around how that hunger manifested and how the Lord appeased that hunger. As I look back, there are three dominant memories that linger – the manner in which Swami used the opportunity to be intimate with the lucky and blessed group of students He had taken with Him, the Grace that He showered by visiting the houses of devotees, especially those who had been with Him from a long time ago, and the incredible spectacle of the Nara-Narayana relationship that was seen during the Chennai visit. All these I shall try and top off with a footnotes, hopefully spicy enough to make the reader happy!

If there is something extraordinary and unique about the Sathya Sai Avatar, it is His longstanding relationship with His students. Prior to 1968 [which was when the first college was established by Swami], the Lord gave Himself up almost fulltime to His devotees; that monopoly ended once the colleges started springing up. Especially after the Brindavan Arts and Science College came up in 1969, students began to get the kind of intimacy few others received; it was just unbelievable.

It is said that when the Lord came as Sri Rama, the Devas (divine beings) who hungered to be with Him during His incarnation, were born as Vanaras [monkeys]. Likewise, when He came as Lord Sri Krishna, the Gopalas were supposed to be Rishis (sages) reborn because of Divine Grace. Maybe I am wrong but one thing is for sure; whichever group is most privileged, it is certainly not made up of ordinary people, though to mortal eyes it might seem that way.

The most prized relationship in this world!

Sai Krishna and His gopalas are inseparable

Incidentally, once some years ago a student told Swami during a visit to Kodaikanal, “Swami it must be that either we or our parents must have accumulated a lot of spiritual merit for us to enjoy such amazing proximity to You.” Swami looked at that boy and replied, “You are not here because of the merit earned either by you or your forefathers. That would not have earned for you what you are now getting. This proximity is all simply the result of My Grace!”

Yes, as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa once said, “God is simply unfathomable. He would shower His Grace on someone we all think is most undeserving while someone else whom we believe ought to have received it is apparently ignored!” I mention this in passing because we all had better learn how to count our blessings and try to deserve them at least post facto.

On this trip, Swami took a small band of students and a couple of old students, apart from Mr. Giri, Mr. Anil Kumar and myself [I am sure you can figure out how I got in – obviously, it was unmerited Grace and nothing else! I am sure you are complaining but please direct your complaints to the right quarter!] Superficially, the criteria for selection were the same as Swami uses when He picks boys for His Kodai trips. The boys must be smart; must be able to sing and/or speak fluently as well as with conviction before large audiences; be shining representatives of His University; be exemplars of humility, discipline and decorum, etc. Obviously, there are a very large number of students who meet the norms but as always, it is only a few who win the jackpot. But Swami never leaves anyone out – everyone gets his chance sometime, in some manner or the other that is something one should never forget.

This visit was obviously very different from a regular Kodai trip, which is invariably during vacation time; by contrast this one was during the middle of a Semester, and that meant that Swami could not take a big group. Also, since He was staying in Sundaram, which is not designed to accommodate large groups, the size of the party had necessarily to be restricted.

I recall though many years ago, when Swami went to Madras as it was known then, the entire MBA class went there. The students were accommodated in a house elsewhere, and they went there to attend a course of lectures by experts on management and finance; in other words, the students went to Madras for a training course. This time, they went with Swami and formed a legitimate part of His group.

They formed the music contingent

The privileged group picked by Him to speak

For the small group, it was priceless moments…

…of Divine Proximity throughout the day

Why did Swami take a select few? Was He not going there to be present at the Yagna? That of course was part of the reason for His trip but not the only reason. Swami is always thinking of students and He never misses an opportunity to be with them, to help them, to guide them, to advise them and to groom them. That is what makes being a Sai student such a rare privilege and sign of Divine Grace. On this occasion, Swami took a select few not only to show them off as a proud mother would – and we should never forget that though He is the Avatar, He is also a Proud Divine Mother, when it comes to students! In fact, we in the party and indeed the city itself got a stunning demo of this when on 21st January, suddenly towards the end of His Divine Discourse during the Chennai Citizens’ Conclave, Swami suddenly said, “Hey Boys, where are you?” or something to that effect! There He was in a formal public gathering that had assembled to express gratitude to Him but there He was feeling more proud of His students than about providing water to millions!

The awakening call of the Avatar during the
Chennai Citizens’ Conclave

Swami displaying His ‘Property’ during His scintillating discourse

Starting the Day with Love

It is no surprise then that almost every day started in some manner or the other around the students, even as most also days ended with students. Everything happened rather casually, informally and without any set routine, schedule or script. Our typical day would go like this: We would all be ready quite early – there was no telling when Swami would come out. While the students would be in their quarters somewhere upstairs – I never got to see it – Mr. Giri and myself who were lodged downstairs near the entrance, would get ready and move to the room just outside which served somewhat like a reception hall, where only about two or three were allowed the privilege of gathering. Naturally, they were persons who were in charge of the Yagna on the one hand and Swami’s visit in general on the other. All the others, however big they were, had to wait outside – and this applied to movie stars, cricket star, and judges, whether they served in the High Court or the Supreme Court! This alone ought to give an indication of what a great responsibility it is to receive Swami’s Grace; the question which constantly nags me is: “What should we do to justify all this?”

OK, let me carry on; there we would be some upstairs and some downstairs, all of us eagerly waiting for the crucial signal. Also waiting would be a small group of youth specially selected to serve in the dining room, and in Sundaram in general. Suddenly the signal would be received: Swami has come out. Silently, all of us downstairs would go up, and even as we did so, we would see students going into the dining room and taking position, shall I say? The last to enter would be the so-called elders, just about half a dozen of us, including those who had come from outside. The room was small, not permitting a large crowd, which was a blessing in a certain sense since a small gathering made it so much easier to have an air of intimacy.

Swami at the breakfast table

All eyes are on the Lord

Swami would be seated on His chair in front of a table that served as His dining table. In front of the table and on either side of the room and close to the two walls would be planks meant for seating people who be eating with Swami. And close to the wall facing Swami’s table was a small table meant for seating about four or five elders. The number of planks provided on the floor were not enough for all the students. So they divided themselves into two batches, taking turns. While one batch would sit with Swami for breakfast, the other batch would sit for lunch and so on; the batch opting out would eat separately somewhere near the kitchen.

From day one, He was only giving…

The proceedings would start typically with someone standing near Swami trying to get Him interested in the newspapers stacked up on one side of His table. There was no shortage of news concerning Swami but Swami generally showed little interest. Thus, when it looked like the newspapers would have to be set aside, the signal would go to bring the breakfast items. There were two teams deputed to do the serving; one team took care of Swami while the other team attended to all the rest in the room. The items would be brought one by one, and placed before Swami in His table. Usually, it was Satyajit who attended on Swami but at times, Mr. V Srinivasan who always was in respectful attendance would stand in for Satyajit if the latter was otherwise preoccupied. It must be said that Satyajit had the heaviest load, though the most coveted one.

While Swami was being served, service to all the rest of us also would commence; when enough had been served, a small signal from Swami and the boys would lead the Brahmaarpanam chant. After that, the eating would commence. Everyone would eat in silence, as is the tradition but sometime during the middle, even as Swami is checking with those serving Him about some item or the other, the evergreen Anil Kumar (AK) would make the first bold move to pitch in by strongly advocating to Swami some breakfast item or the other. It takes some guts to do that; I, for one, would never dare to do that, but then AK had the Divine license!

Ever Effervescent Anil Kumar

Narrating the scintillating story of His Glory

In narrating the story of the Sri Sathya Sai Avatar, one can miss mentioning the name of anyone but not that of Anil Kumar (AK). How beautifully, tactfully, colourfully and resourcefully he manages situations, no matter what they be! At times it might seem as if Swami is withdrawn; AK alone would be able to break the ice.

At times, Swami might be annoyed with some breach of discipline and even as we would be fearing the worst, AK would skilfully save the day by bringing up some subject that would ‘distract’ Swami’s attention and make Him smile again. On other occasions, with a few strategic moves, AK would brilliantly shift Swami into a story-telling mood, recalling great events of the past.

I have had the honour and pleasure of watching AK at close quarters on many occasions, adjusting to the changing moods of Swami with unbelievable speed, injecting life and gaiety whenever required, as only he can. Blessed are those who are able to share intimacy with the Lord, but among all these, AK is not only special but uniquely so.

Others might fail to get mention in many versions of the Sai Bhagavatham that undoubtedly will be treasured in the centuries to come, but of one thing I am absolutely sure. No version dare miss mentioning him; I would go so far as to say that any Sai Bhagavatham without mention of AK would be incomplete!

Meanwhile, the boys who had yielded place to eat separately downstairs would hurry to Swami’s presence, crowding into the already crowded room. That’s when Swami would start asking questions about who ate what and how much for breakfast. This was always a lively session since Swami would make humorous comments all the way. He would then turn to the elders, sparing most but never missing AK.

The Divine Mother was always concerned about
His young fledgelings!

Used as he was to this routine from so many trips, AK would be at his unabashed best, praising many a dish and making a full disclosure of what all he ate. I am tempted to recall here my experience while visiting Delhi and Bombay in 1999 as a member of Swami’s party, with AK as my unforgettable roommate. In Delhi, Swami stayed with the Kulwant Rai family [yes, the same Kulwant Rai after whom the Sai Kulwant Hall is named]. At breakfast time we would all be seated around the same table, with Swami of course at the head of the table.

He would finish His Divine nibbling very quickly and then go round the table for a chat – a kind of roving Interview! He would walk towards where AK and myself were seated and standing behind both of us, would make enquiries about what he ate and what he did not.

AK, of course, was the veteran of many such trips and he would therefore carefully skip many items in the first round of serving, to be in readiness when Swami came around. And sure enough Swami, like a concerned mother, would start ordering various items to be served to AK. Fortunately, Swami would be so focussed on AK and that would mercifully spare me!

I am a poor eater and simply cannot face up to overeating. AK, on the other hand, would be ready with a sufficiently empty stomach, to deal with this kind of situation, taking great care to make Swami very happy by accepting everything that was served to him on specific Divine command. It was a command performance really, most entertaining in view of the lively dialogue between Swami and AK, and gave all of such wonderful memories and stories to tell for years! God knows whom to choose for what part in His Divine Drama!

First Fortunate Visitors

Even as the cross examination about the breakfast menu and its quality wound its way to an end, the people in charge of the day’s program would slowly inch towards Swami, trying to catch His eye. Recognising the anxiety of these people, Swami would gently turn to them and give them a hearing. While Mr. Ramani [the State President] and Mr. G.K. Raman [Convenor of the Sri Sathya Sai Trust of TN] would brief Swami about the program planned at the Yagna site, others would try to check with Bhagavan what His plans were regarding visits to the houses of devotees. Needless to say there was a long list of applications, with some making their prayers in person at every opportunity that presented itself. Soon things would get sorted out and the day would start unfolding itself.

Sri GK Raman seeking Divine Permission – Swami guided every function and festival

Sri Ramani, Tamil Nadu State President, offering the day’s programme for Divine Blessings and approval

The day’s program having been given some shape, Swami would withdraw briefly to His room only to reappear a little later and come down. He would then go out through the door to the outside and that is when the day’s events would formally commence. Typically, some VIP or the other would be waiting, often with his family, right on the veranda facing the public area. There were a whole string of VIPs who got a precious minute of Divine attention, which, I am sure meant for them a lifetime of Grace. One celebrity who so came seeking Divine blessings was Cricket’s Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar. He showed up one day in Sundaram and was of course duly blessed. What was interesting was that Sachin, a favourite of cricket fans in all continents, extended to Swami a box full of cricket balls asking Bhagavan to bless. There were rumours that these were the balls to be used in a forthcoming matching between India and a powerful rival! I cannot vouch for the story but this much I can say; as always, Sachin’s visit was big news!

The Master Blaster blessed by the Divine

Sachin’s humble offering to the Lord – Cricket balls

Bhagavan blesses Sri Yaswant Sinha, former Union Finance Minister, and his family

From the famous actor to the Divine Director – Swami accepts flowers from Sri Rajnikant

Bhagavan receives an offering of a bouquet from Sri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat

The Cosmic Governor gifts Vibhuti to the Governor of Tamil Nadu State – Sri Surjit Singh Barnala

Spellbinding Sundaram Darshans

A few words now about Darshan in Sundaram premises. When the Yagna was planned, it was assumed that everyone would make a beeline to the Yagna site and seek Swami’s Darshan only there; on this basis, minimal arrangements were made for Darshan at Sundaram itself. This is a reasonable assumption and one cannot fault the organisers for this. For example, in the old days, the Birthdays would invariably be celebrated in the Hill View Stadium; that was where Darshan would be granted and the Discourse delivered. Nevertheless, a handful, would gather in the Mandir, waiting for Him to give Darshan there, which of course He always did. Based on this historical experience [and other similar ones], it was expected that attendance at Sundaram would be rather small. So it seemed for a day or two but soon devotees had their own plans.

Big crowds began to gather, and some barriers and crowd control measures were put in place. Even so, it seemed that Swami would at best just bless them as He got into His car before driving away. Something like that happened maybe once or twice but soon, Swami being Swami, decided to give an extended Darshan in Sundaram itself.

The Sundaram Bhajan group pouring their hearts out through melodious music

Waiting since ten long years – The devotees at Sundaram prayerfully pine for their Lord

Bountiful blessings!

“Oh Lord! You are our everything”

It might have been January so-called wintertime but Chennai is just about 13 degrees north of the Equator, and every season is hot, especially around 10 o’clock in the morning. So quickly a shamiana was put up offering protection to devotees from the heat. However, the story is not so simple as that. What really happened was that one day [before the shamiana came up] when Swami gave a leisurely Darshan, the boys who were with Him quickly produced an umbrella and held it above His head to prevent the sunlight beating down. Swami instantly reacted, a bit testily, one must add.

“I have come for you all… “

The satisfaction on their faces says it all!

Later the boys told us that Swami took them to task for offering Him an umbrella when the devotees were being roasted by the Sun! Word quickly got round and in a jiffy, shamianas sprang up everywhere, for the devotees, for the VIP devotees, and of course there was a covered space for Swami also so that He could sit and listen to Bhajans. Having “captured” the Lord and “bound” Him with Bhajans, the Sundaram crowd was no doubt in ecstasy but I am sure the Yagna crowd [which surely must have got the news via cell phones] must have become upset! There is no end to the Leelas, even if they are of a different variety compared to what one saw in earlier days.

In recalling the Darshans including extended ones in the Sundaram premises, I must not omit to mention one important feature, especially because it highlights the wonderful relationship that the Lord has with His devotees. Once it became known that Sundaram too was a venue for Darshan, the crowds quickly grew to the point where they spilled over to the road outside, packing both sides for almost a kilometre I would say. I thought these poor people would at best get a fleeting glimpse as Swami’s car sped away to wherever it was Swami was going. But then, has not Swami said, “Love My uncertainly”? Thus, soon we saw Swami going out into the road, even as the security people were tearing their hair. Be that as it may Swami was very happy, as of course were the devotees cramming the road outside.

There are no limits to His love…

“I Bless You…I am yours, always”

His compassion was just overwhelming! He came onto the roads in front of Sundaram…

…and every heart was full and brimming
with ecstasy and gratitude

It would need a writer far more gifted than me to capture the wonderful nuances of those roadside Darshans! Does one go into raptures describing the joy the Lord felt in being so close the devotees, or does one plunge into a poetic recall of the momentary bliss that devotees etched into their memories to last a lifetime? I simply cannot do either, but what my limitations prevent me from doing, the camera has mercifully caught for your and posterity’s pleasure.

We offer a selection of the photos taken during such “roadside Darshan” and what amazing scenes they portray! A boy in the crowd being given a chain, a policeman on duty being given vibhuti, people going into raptures just because Swami looked at them for just a fraction of a second, an old woman whose only possessions seem to be a stick and an aluminium “tiffin box” gazing at Swami – their faces tell all. With due apologies to all the great poets of the world, the digital camera has made many of them redundant!

He just wanted to be with amongst His devotees
wherever they may be

“I have seen… I have seen…”
It is joy indescribable

He had time for everyone, be it the police, the politician or the porter

She may not have anything for her next meal but all she wanted was one glimpse!

Blessings Out of the Blue

This little one, all of a sudden, blessed specially

… And there moves the Cosmic Hand

A rare blessing for a lifetime…

” I shall ever remain in your heart…”

Aren’t these series of pictures of Swami’s picking a boy out of the blue from the roadside and blessing him profusely fabulous! Actually, we did not know anything about this boy, who he is, from where does he come, etc. But interestingly, now we know, thanks to the Cover Story on the “Prema Jyothi” Exhibition that we had in the previous issue of H2H.

Reading the cover story of the September 1st issue of H2H where we had mentioned about this incident and also illustrated it with the picture of the panel from the Exhibition that carried this series of pictures, to our surprise, the father of this boy, one Mr. K Kalyanaraman from Chennai wrote to us sharing the experience of that wonderful day, and this is what he writes:

“On 26th January 2007, I, along with my wife and daughter, (Jaya and Rohini respectively) and son, Saiprasaad, were standing from 7.00 am on the road next to Sundaram. Swami came out around 10.10 and came straight onto the road. People flocked around Him and He could not come further. We were standing beside the yellow line as directed by the sevadal volunteer. Later, Swami turned and went inside Sundaram campus. We felt sad as we could not get a good glimpse of Him in spite of our long wait. Now, the crowd who had His darshan slowly fizzled out, and we moved further and now had an opportunity to stand near the gate. Having finished His darshan rounds, Swami was now enjoying the Bhajans sitting on the dais. Nobody expected Him to go for Darshan rounds again, but He did!

Suddenly He came out and the crowd again flocked. But this time, we were near the gate and hence we had His darshan at close quarters. I was holding my son on the hips. As Swami came near, He started staring at me for quite some time. I instantly burst into tears. I was literally weeping aloud. The Lord now waved His hand and beckoned my seven year old son to Him. He lovingly spoke few words to Saiprasaad in Tamil, and then with a gentle motion of His hand materialized a gold chain. It had in it a Coral Ganesha Dollar and Swami now with a lot of love and affection, slipped this priceless gift onto his neck and then inserted it with care into his shirt. And finally was a beautiful smile and hand raised in blessing. What a moment! I have no words to explain the feeling.

Even today, we are all thrilled, excited and expecting Swami to guide us further in our life. We have absolutely no words to express His Divine Love.”

I should, of course, not forget the huge crowds that thronged the road that Swami travelled by every day on His way to the Yagna site. His routine was most uncertain and unpredictable but that did not deter the devotees; they stood firm and waited long hours just to catch a glimpse. That spoke volumes about the hunger of the devotees who are really starved for Divinity. For people like me so used to the sight of the Lord, these scenes were a strong lesson of how priceless is the gift and blessing that we receive every day and take so much for granted here in Prashanti.

A Sight for Gods

Recounting the mesmerising memories of these ‘Darshan on wheels’ as Sai moved on the roads of Chennai, Sri Shashank Shah, a student who was blessed to be part of the Divine entourage, says,

“On the road outside Sundaram where Bhagavan used to move around and give Darshan and the roads leading to the Yaga Shala at Thiruvanmiyur, there were unprecedented crowds chanting “Sai Ram Sai Ram” which almost echoed all through the city of Chennai. It would take the convoy almost 15 minutes to reach the final lap of 1 km leading to the Yaga Shala. On either side of the road, thousands of devotees – young and old, the physically challenged, women with infants in their hands, all trying to strain their necks for one glimpse of Bhagavan as He passed in His car. They would feel so sanctified, with tears of joy in their eyes after having that one single glimpse. It was a sight for the Gods to watch. While at Tirupati and other pilgrimage places, the devotees stand in long lines to reach the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum, here we had the Lord of the Kali Age – the Avatar Himself, going in the midst of the long line of devotees giving them His Darshan and fulfilling their lives… On seeing these overwhelming sights of the devotees’ devotion and longing for their Lord, we realised the greatest blessing that we, the students of Bhagavan have been receiving in the form of the Divine Motherly Love that Bhagavan has been tirelessly showering on us for the last four decades.”

The Avataric convoy marches on…

There were eager devotees in every street

They did not mind waiting for hours for one glance

They came, they saw, they were conquered!

Fortunate Few Receive Swami at Home

One other aspect of the trip that I should not forget to mention is the visits that Swami made to the houses of a few select devotees. There were, as is to be expected, a long list of requests, but only a few got the privilege. This does not mean that God showered His Grace on only those people; far from it. We would all do well to count the innumerable blessings that each of us without exception receives in many ways. The problem is that we often fail to recognise what we receive, even it is very precious. For example, I have slipped in the bathroom many, many times, but managed not to fall and smash my head, or break my hips, hands etc. Was it due to any smartness on my part? Not at all. It was the invisible hand of the ever-present Lord that saved me.

But how often do I recall and thank Him? Similarly, I have narrowly missed being hit by moving vehicles on the road, all over the place. Invariably, someone or the other, often someone I did not know, would warn me or push me even. Was it just luck or something deeper? Do I have to tell you? I am mentioning all this because people tend to “rank” devotees using various arbitrary yardsticks, saying ‘so and so’ is close to Swami and receives plenty of Grace. All of us do; only, we do not bother to recognise it.

His Eyes were always on the devotees…

And they pined for one precious look, everywhere

Every house visit of Swami is not only a sign of Divine Grace but also an expression of Pure Love, which only He can shower. I saw plenty of this in the Delhi visit, when Swami would visit three or four houses one after the other, having tea in some and dinner in others! Imagine that, so many meals in one short spell of time; and believe me after all that tiring outing, when He returned to the house where He was staying, He had to please the hostess by allowing her to serve dinner so that she does not feel she has been denied Grace! I am sure even gifted sages like Valmiki and Vyasa would be stumped trying to describe this unique Kali Yuga style of the Avatar!

Serenading Sweet Sai

Almost everywhere Swami went, He took all of us too, although almost invariably we just melted into the background, unless instructed otherwise. This was because visits were supposed to be private, by and large, that is. And yet, one could never know when we would be summoned to be close! Thus, the music boys, and there were a few of them, made sure they always had their instruments like harmonium etc., wherever they went like Mary’s little lambs! One admired the boys for their uncompromising devotion in being ever ready. I mean imagine running around carrying a fairly big harmonium from place to place, a whole set of percussion instruments, and a big guitar!

He instructs His students before their concert

A performance of profound emotion and proficiency

As it turned out, the boys were not called upon to sing in any devotees’ houses during this trip but since that has happened for example in Kodai, the boys had every reason to be ready; over here, we try to take seriously Swami’s injunction: Love My Uncertainty. I can’t say we have quite learnt to love the uncertainty – sometimes it can be very difficult to (!) – but we do try and make sure we are not always caught by surprise. However, I do recall Swami asking the boys to sing once or twice at the Yagna venue.

When it comes to performances by His boys, especially musical performances, Swami can be very demanding. On this occasion, I think the word went out that He would like an improved performance and that made the boys get immersed in intense practice.

They might not have got enough chances, but they certainly worked very hard, practicing all the time, taking advantage of every free minute they could get. I have seen the same happen in Kodai and this is one indication of how deeply involved the students are in trying to please Swami.

While Swami might demand the best of performances, He is at the same time very concerned and protective of His students. He makes sure that they get looked after wherever He goes. Added to this, He gave, as He invariably does when He takes students to Kodai, each student hefty “pocket money” to go shopping, making sure locals would take them to the right spot for making the purchases. On one occasion, when we were headed to the house of a devotee in Mylapore, I found we were taking a rather long road that took us all along the beach.

If I remember correctly, that day was 26th January, celebrated as Republic Day. Earlier that morning there was the regular ceremonial parade, procession of floats, etc on the Marina. However, by the time we were taken for a drive along the Marina [it was around 11 AM or so], the roads had been cleared and also there was very little traffic. Thus, all of us were able to enjoy a good look of the beach and the sea. I think Swami deliberately selected this route – He knows the roads of Madras like the back of His palm – so that the boys get a good glimpse of the famous beach.

By the way I am told – I am not able to confirm this but this is in keeping with Swami’s style – many decades ago, when Swami first began to drive cars, He took Mother Easwaramma to Madras just to let her have a glimpse of the sea. I believe she was simply stunned by the sight. No wonder. For a person who has grown up for years only hearing about the sea but never seen it, the first look – the broad sweep, the majestic shoreline, the waves crashing on the shoreline, the foam – all these must have seemed awesome and yet beautiful.

The Lord in the house of
Mr. Venu Srinivasan

Returning to the house visits I can only offer a few random notes. When we went to the house of Mr. Venu Srinivasan [Chairman and Managing Director of TVS Motor Company] we were all swept away by the wonderful ambience. I am sure Mrs. Mallika Srinivasan, a prominent figure in the business world herself, must have had a lot to do with it. As we entered, the first thing that impressed me immensely right away was the wonderful musical atmosphere that filled the house.

The music was not coming from a recording but from a leading singer, Bombay Jayashree, accompanied by two young disciples. The songs she sang were not only appropriate but mellifluous, and I for one felt quite uplifted. One of the songs sung was a Kannada song composed by Saint Purandara Dasa in which he pleads for Krishna to come quickly. Apparently, hearing the song, Swami told the hostess, “I have already come!” What a sweet gesture, and what a gentle way of reminding those around of His identity, if such a reminder was needed!

I really cannot catalogue all the various visits, but I must mention a few, for special reasons of course. One of these pertains to the visit to the house of Susheelamma, an old devotee, who along with her husband Venkatamuni, had the pleasure and privilege of having Swami stay in their house whenever He visited Madras in the old days, before Sundaram came up that is. Even when Swami was closeted with the family, all of us eagerly barged into the various rooms where Swami stayed, slept and so forth. It is a small house on a small road with a small compound.

Apparently, Swami used to stand in the upstairs veranda and give Darshan while devotees gathered in the compound below; what I am trying to drive at is that in those days, the number of people who came to have the Darshan of Swami was small. Those were different days; I was told [but I cannot confirm this though the story rings true!] in those days, people would phone to check about the Darshan time. The phone was in the room reserved for Swami and guess who answered the phone?! Below, we offer some recalls by late Kasturi about the Grace Swami showered on the family in the good old days.

Amazing Instances of Grace to Venkatamuni Family

The Lord within and the Lord without – Swami at Sri Venkatamuni’s residence

Prof. Kasturi has narrated amazing instances of grace showered by Swami on the Venkatamuni family. In ‘Sathyam Sivam Sundaram’, Vol. I, he writes:

“…Devotees who have gone to far away places including England, France, Canada, the United States, Japan and Germany, have felt His protecting Hand. Mr. and Mrs. G.V. Venkatamuni, for example, proceeded to the Continent and planned from there to attend the Coronation Ceremonies of Queen Elizabeth II. They were shopping in Paris when they discovered, to their utter dismay, that the bundle of traveler’s cheques they had was lost! They could not locate it in spite of their desperate and thorough search not only in their purse and luggage but even in the most unlikely places. They were overcome with sorrow when they contemplated their plight in a strange land. They turned to Baba, as they always did in distress. Baba heard their pathetic cry – thousands of miles away! The next day, while looking in the self-same purse for something else, they were amazed and overjoyed to find the entire bundle of traveler’s cheques intact!”

There is another by Prof. Kasturi in Sathyam Sivam Sundaram, Vol IV and it goes like this:

“…A rosary was given by Baba to Shrimati Venkatamuni of Madras. When her aged mother-in-law approached the threshold of death, her bed surrounded by many of her kith and kin, she placed the rosary on her chest and prayed for her recovery. Her mother-in-law did regain consciousness and sat up to greet the dawn of another day, curious to know the reason why the house was so full of people. When her own son, afflicted with frequent fits since childhood, was dangerously on the verge of death, Shrimati Venkatamuni ran to her room to bring the rosary. But her fingers could not hold it; it slipped out of her grasp again and again. When she could at last hold it and take it to her son, it was too late. The illness was a form of repayment of karmic debt which, when repaid, gave him release. Baba told her later that her son was here to liquidate the balance of his debt and he had now attained the region of everlasting bliss. ‘If you have genuine affection for him,’ He said, ‘be happy that he has been relieved of the body that gave him no peace.’”

Devoted Service

I should not forget to mention that Susheelamma along with Mrs. Vidya Srinivasan was almost all the time in Sundaram [except when they went home at night and for the brief periods when Bhagavan visited their homes]. And what is it they were doing in Sundaram? Making sure that not only was food prepared the way it ought to be for being offered to the Lord, but also that proper food arrangements were made for all members in Swami’s party. They reported in the early hours of the morning, and could be seen in Sundaram throughout the day, busy in the kitchen, of course.

Their only moment with Swami came usually late in the evening when on some days, they were able to offer Arathi to Bhagavan before He withdrew. Hardly anyone knew about the incredible service they were rendering; that is the hallmark of real Seva. I am sure there were many others in that team whom I do not know of; great souls all of them. Like Tyagaraja sang, I offer my salutations to all those Mahanubhavulus (great souls) also!

The Lord blessed Sri Ramakrishna of L & T

…And made a visit to His house too!

I must also refer to the visit Swami made to the residence of Mr. A. Ramakrishna, the former Deputy Managing Director of L & T Construction Company. Mr. AR has been doing projects for the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for well over a decade, ranging from the Sai Kulwant Hall, to the ashram North Blocks, to the Super Hospitals and the large number of drinking water projects, and of course the airport.

Mr. AR’s residence was quite a distance from Sundaram and it was really a great sign of Grace that Swami took the trouble of riding all the way through evening traffic to spend time with AR’s family [all of them had gathered, some having come from long distances in anticipation of such a Divine visit].

The interesting part of the visit happened before the visit rather than during the actual visit; if I recall correctly, Mr. AR had just about a couple of hours notice! I should imagine the poor gentleman and his family did not even have enough time to love Swami’s uncertainty! But such is Divine Grace that even with such little notice, things fell into place, and at the end of the day hardly anyone remembered the short notice – no surprise in that; the joy that Swami spreads sweeps away all other memories!

Seeking Divinity in New Zealand

Talking of short notice, I think the story that takes the cake is one narrated by Hislop during his tour of New Zealand in 1993, which we reproduce below. It is taken from the book Seeking Divinity, published by the Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

SWAMI AND ANGELS

BY DR. JOHN H HISLOP
“In the early days, Swami used to go to Madras often. There was a family in Madras at whose house Swami usually stayed. At that time, He also drove His own car, although now He does not. Now He always has a driver who takes Him everywhere, in a car which somebody has put there for His use.

But before He had His present car, Swami had an old Chevrolet Station Wagon. He used to drive one of the cars Himself. When He would go to Madras to visit devotees there, other devotees would gather along the road at various places to see Swami drive by. The car would be coming along at a very fast clip and sitting behind the wheel was Swami with His arms folded, with the car going along about two inches off the road! Not even touching the road!

One time, Swami went to Madras and arrived unexpectedly at the home of His hostess. You know, when the Avatar comes to visit your house, I am sure you would have something with which to greet Him – some flowers or a tray of food or some way of welcoming the great man to your house. That was the case with this hostess too.

Swami came to the door and knocked. The hostess answered, saw Swami standing there and exclaimed, “Oh Swami, Swami! I am so happy to see You. But Swami, You didn’t tell me that you were coming, and I don’t have anything to welcome You with. I don’t have flowers or fruit. I don’t have anything.” The poor lady was quite distraught. So Swami said, “Don’t worry, don’t worry.” Then He turned around and beckoned at the car.

Out of the car came two angels with wings, carrying a big silver tray, loaded with fruit and flowers and everything the hostess would need to welcome Swami. The angels brought the tray up to the house and gave it to the hostess. Then Swami turned to the angels and waved back to the car. They floated back to the car, folded their wings, got into the car and disappeared.

Later on as the years went by, Swami acquired another vehicle. He had a bus, and He would take students for excursions in the bus. One time, He took them on an excursion to Madras.

First, He went to the house of the hostess where He would be staying; the students would be staying someplace else. When the hostess came to the door and saw the busload of students, she went back inside and brought out the silver tray. It was still there, and she told the students the story of the angels that I just told you.

At the Conference this weekend [National Convention of New Zealand, 1993], I told this angel story, so that people could tell their children. A man, about 55 years old, a big strong fellow, came up to me and said, “Would you mind if I tell you my experience?” I said, “No, no, of course not.” He said, “I was sitting in the audience when you were talking, and on the stage behind you was Swami and two angels.”

Whether or not it was only in his mind, I do not know. But there were a number of people who told me later that they had seen Swami on the stage during that Conference. Undoubtedly, He is here right now. Everywhere you look, Swami is certainly there.”

Maybe I could add a personal foot note about Swami and New Zealand, though it does not involve angels. It happened in 1995, when I visited New Zealand, to participate in the same National Conference that Hislop had addressed earlier. It was the opening day, and I gave my talk in the morning. After my talk there was a short break and those assembled went out for refreshments being served outside. The podium was at the other end of the hall, near the altar, and I could not go out easily partly because there was a big crowd trying to go out and partly because people gathered around me asking questions.

When practically all had left and I was more or less alone, one devotee who was earlier shooting my talk on videotape came to me and said, “You know something? Towards the end when you were making some passionate and loving reference to Swami, He actually came out of the photo over there and stood near this podium!” It was clear that others had not seen that happening – I had not – but on the other hand there was no reason to disbelieve this person. He was clearly reporting something he had personally seen, not visible to others. All this seems to happen more frequently than we realise.
Keeping an Old Promise

Getting back to the main story, perhaps the last house visited during this visit was that of Mr. Ramani, and this happened if I am not mistaken on the last day. It was late in the morning, and if I am not mistaken, Swami, having finished His Darshan at the Yagna site, was due to return to Sundaram. Meanwhile, back in the house of Mr. Ramani, the family members sans Ramani were all waiting tensely [Ramani, of course, was following Swami like a shadow, as his father did many years ago].

Particularly tense was young Sravanam, son of Ramani, a sound engineer, who had set up his own audio recording studio. It was located on the upstairs of their small home in a suburb near the Yagna salai. He very much wanted Swami to come and bless his studio. Earlier, Swami had blessed the idea of a studio when father and son came to Prashanti; Swami even approved the floor plan. The question now was: “Would He now come and bless in person the Studio He had earlier approved or would it be in one of those mysterious and subtle forms?” The family was ready for both but definitely preferred a visit in the human form; who would not!

Swami going to the Studio which was upstairs? How is that possible? For Sravanam, that was not an issue; he had a ramp built all the way to the first floor instead of the usual staircase, and he was sure that Swami would come in His car chair as usual. Deep faith never fails, and sure enough, Swami found time to make it to Mr. Ramani’s house. He went up the ramp to the Sravanam’s studio, blessed it and spent some memorable moments intimately with the family.

“Come to my humble dwelling, Lord…”

Blessings for all…

Swami consecrates the new recording studio

Sanctifying the gifts by His touch before distribution

As a part of His unfathomable drama, Swami often keeps everyone guessing. At times, He acts as if He has forgotten a promise He made. God never forgets and it is man who forgets, mostly because of weak faith. The Ramani family is different; come what may, they have deep faith in Swami. I am not tossing words for I know what I am saying. I have had many conversations with Mr. Ramani on many occasions concerning many matters, and he has never failed to stun me with his incredible and unwavering faith in Swami. We should learn from such people; God sends such people to us in subtle ways as messengers. If our look is superficial, we would miss the free lesson and tuition by a mile; but if our focus is on God, every one becomes a messenger of God with his or her own package of love, compassion and lesson.

The perfect host with the Divine Guest…

A dream come true for the Ramani family…

To get back to the mainline, do you know what Swami told Mrs. Ramani once He was closeted with the family? He said, “Do you remember the Interview I gave your family when I came to Madras in 1988? I said I would come to your house and today, I have done so! You might have forgotten about it but I never forget My words!” Dear reader, we should all take a few minutes off to reflect on the promises the Lord gave in earlier Avatars and in this Avatar too. As Krishna He gave many assurances but they were sort of conditional; that is to say, they were the ‘If…..Then’ kind of statements that one has in logic. But in this Avatar, God in human form has dropped all conditionalities. He knows how frail humans are and says even if you forget Me, I shall help you and come to your rescue. Even if you go away from Me, I shall pull you back for your own good. Who can say God is not Pure Love?

One small footnote. Wherever Swami went, there was always a crowd, along the road traversed, and near the house visited. Such is the hunger for a glimpse of Divinity that people did all they could to see Swami even for a fleeting second. A picture presented elsewhere, captures for you the intensity of love God evokes in all.

“Come what may – I will not miss this chance of Divine Darshan …”

A group of devotees gathered outside Mr. Ramani’s residence to snatch a possible glance
My account of Swami’s family visits would not be complete without some reference to the visit Swami made to the residence of Mr. G. K. Raman. Those of you who have read the second article in this trilogy, [Click here to read again] would know who Mr. Raman is and how he gave Mr. Giri and me a grand conducted tour of the Yagna site the night before the commencement of the Yagna. In recent years, whenever Swami visited Kodai, He invariably visited Mr. Raman’s temporary home there and this time, Mr. Raman prayed to Swami that the Lord should bless his regular residence, a two story building not far from the Yagna site, where Mr. Raman lived upstairs while his doctor-yoga teacher and son lived downstairs, using his residence also as a clinic. As usual, Swami kept Mr. Raman guessing but one day, He agreed to pay a visit.

The blessed Raman family with the Divine Guest
at their residence

“Thank you Swami for this greatest blessing” – Sri Raman expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the Lord

And so we all went like saints marchin’ in as the song goes, and of course Swami got a warm welcome. I shall skip all the details but one thing I must mention. As Swami was about to leave and came to the porch to board His car, Mrs. Raman drew Swami’s attention to a small group of people gathered there. They were the people who worked in the house, rendering various services ranging from taking care of the garden to assisting in the clinic. I still remember what Mrs. Raman told Swami. She said, “Swami, these are people who are supposed to work in this house of Yours. But for me, Swami, they are all members of my family. Swami, they too want to have Your Darshan and since there was not enough space within, they are all waiting for You here. Please Swami, bless them and make all of them as well as me happy. It is only when they receive Your blessings that Your visit to our humble home would be complete!” I was stunned. I could not believe that in this Kali Yuga there still were people who could speak with such love and sincerity.

“It was a dream come true…”

There is a particular reason why I am placing this incident on record. With much pain and deep sadness, I must report that Mr. Raman suddenly passed away when he came here recently. It all happened like this. Around 24 August or so, I got an e-mail from him to say that he would meet me on the 26th to discuss some matter I had raised with him earlier. On the evening of 26th I looked for him in the veranda but could not spot him. I had to rush after Bhajan and so told myself that I would meet with him the following day. Next morning I had a class and so went to the College skipping morning Darshan, as all of us teachers have to do, reluctantly of course.

When I came back I first went to the Studio as I do always do and someone said to me, “Do you happen to know Dr. Krishna Raman’s phone number? It seems he has changed it recently.” Krishna Raman, I repeat is Raman’s son and he has been helping us a lot with photos, including many appearing here. I replied, “I do not have his number but I have his father’s number somewhere. May be we could call Mr. Raman and find out.” This is what happened next.

“Mr. Raman? He is gone.”

“What do you mean gone? He is just supposed to have arrived. He can’t go before he has arrived, can he?”

“No sir, he is no more!”

I was stunned. I did not know what to say except to remind myself how transient the world and indeed life itself is. Which is why we should always have the Lord’s Name on our lips and His image in our Hearts so that we can be ready whenever the call comes. That certainly seems to have been the case with Mr. Raman, for he gave up his body even as Swami was coming for Darshan to the sound of Vedic chants. Just as He was coming in Mr. Raman suddenly collapsed, completely and without warning. Till a moment earlier he was talking to the person next to him but in a flash, he collapsed. Doctors in the veranda rushed and started helping. Meanwhile Swami came near Mr. Raman, called out to him and gave him some water with tulsi leaves. He then ordered Mr. Raman to be shifted to the hospital for emergency support. That was immediately done but the time had come.

Shakespeare said that all that lives must die, passing through here to eternity. For Raman, that journey to Eternity happened in the presence of Eternity. He had a Darshan of Swami for which he had come, then went to the hospital and from there made the final journey to be eternally with Eternity.

I had the privilege of knowing Mr. Raman quite well during the last few years, and he was a jolly good man. On many occasions during our Madras visit, he would ride with us in the car meant for Mr. Giri, AK and myself. And believe me, when AK got the stimulus of Mr. Raman’s lively company, the car would be filled with the sound of roaring laughter. Thus it was we forgot all about traffic jams and delays and the strain of tiring schedules. All of us miss a noble soul and I, in particular, miss a person with whom I was supposed to do many things for spreading the Message. May his soul rest in Peace.

Rashid Khan’s Heavenly Concert

A few more random notes, and I am through. Let me start with some brief references to the Yagna. I am sure many of you must have seen scenes from Yagna streamed via the internet. I shall therefore skip the standard details, confining myself to some aspects that merit special attention. I shall start with the astoundingly uplifting music concert on 26th January, India’s Republic Day. The concert was given by Rashid Khan. The musical rendering was out of this world no doubt, but what to me was stunning were the songs chosen my Mr. Khan. He started with a song on Sai! Imagine that!

A Muslim musician who was singing for the first time in Swami’s presence beginning with a moving song on Swami Himself! I have heard many concerts rendered in the Divine presence and it is not unusual for singers to sing songs in praise of Swami towards the end, but this man did it right at start, and with stunning effect too. I was absolutely thrilled. The songs that followed were equally electrifying and clearly even Swami was touched.

Swami listens with keen interest to Sri Rashid Khan – renowned Hindustani vocalist who held the
audience in raptures at the Yagna site on January 26

How do I know? From the fact that Swami did not wait for the concert to end to show His appreciation. Suddenly He called the artist and materialised a ring for him. A little later He similarly asked the tabla player to come forward and materialised vibhuti for him. The whole concert was memorable, packed as it was with beautiful songs, including of course Meera Bhajans, always a favourite with Swami. I was particularly thrilled to learn that two members of Mr. Khan’s party were actually from Pakistan! Here was a Yagna being performed for promoting global harmony and here on the stage, Swami was using art to create a blissful atmosphere of that very same harmony!

Another thing that made a deep impression was the talk given in chaste Tamil by one Mr. Nambi, a poet. What made this talk quite significant was the fact that in earlier days, Mr. Nambi was a rather aggressive atheist and a member of a socio-political movement that protested the inequities of the caste system in a rather abrasive manner. That same person, once a party to obnoxious campaigns against religion and all that, was here now on the stage, speaking in Swami’s presence, not only in most respectful and reverential manner but also stressing, religious, moral and spiritual values in every breath. Who says there is no hope for the world?

Another day, the dominant part of the evening proceedings was a speech by a local doctor who, on behalf of the metro was outlining the plans the city had for providing a measure of Sai care to deserving patients. Essentially over a hundred hospitals and nursing homes in the city with different specialities [I do not remember the exact number but the number really does not matter], had pledged to set apart one bed in their institution, every day of the year, for a person in need of medical help.

This help would be provided free of charge to any needy and deserving person, recommended by the local Sai Organisation. Seen in perspective, it is essentially creating a free hospital with over a hundred beds. Now that is something. And by way of showing His appreciation and as a sign of His love, Swami then distributed a medical kit consisting of a stethoscope, BP apparatus etc., to over a hundred doctors. God sure works in His own subtle ways all the time!

Fast forwarding, on 30th January which is observed as Martyr’s Day [in memory of Mahatma Gandhi who was assassinated that day in 1948], Swami asked all in the Yagna site to observe two minutes silence at 11 AM, as indeed the Nation as a whole did. The message is clear and simple. Being spiritual does mean disconnecting with the rest of Society but being in it harmoniously, and serving it positively.

Divine Compassion for a Dear Devotee

One other recall and this too is related in a way with the Yagna. As January was coming to a close [and so was the Yagna], speculation was at a peak about when exactly Swami would return to Puttaparthi. Around 29th, we got the information that Swami would leave on 1 February. On the evening of 29th, at the Yagna site, Swami called the All India President and was in conversation with him for a while. Apparently, Swami was telling Mr. Srinivasan to announce that Swami would leave Chennai on the morning of 31st.

This was clearly different from what we had been given to understand earlier and so understandably, Mr. Srinivasan was not sure if Swami had got the dates wrong by chance. [God can never make a mistake, but at times at the human level, as a part of His inscrutable drama, there is a bit of confusion about some matters.] However, Swami was very firm, and in accordance with Divine instructions, Mr. Srinivasan made the announcement.

Thus it was we actually left on the morning of the 31st, after being all set earlier to leave on 1st February. Now any reason why I am making a big deal about this? Sure, and it has to do with an aspect of Divine compassion. Let me go back to the night of 29th. Anil Kumar received word that his mother was critically ill in Hyderabad, and admitted to an ICU in a leading hospital there. This AK learnt through a phone call from his younger brother, himself a prominent doctor. AK was told nothing was certain and if possible he should try and come to Hyderabad to be at his ailing mother’s bedside, ASAP.

Needless to say that Anil Kumar was troubled by the news, although he showed little sign of it externally. But Swami, the Indweller, knew what was happening and asked AK even without being told, how his mother was and what plans he was making to go to Hyderabad. AK was deeply touched by Swami’s concern and replied that having come with Swami, he would not go without Swami’s permission. In any case, he wanted to delay his departure as much as possible so as to be available should he be needed. He had come with Swami and his first priority was to serve the Universal Mother. What AK was hinting at was that he would like to be around in case Swami chose give a Discourse as the Yagna drew to a close.

Swami, at the human level, was moved by AK’s expression of such steadfast love and loyalty. I do not recall exactly what happened immediately but this much I am certain of. There were many scenarios concerning what might happen on the 30th. One possibility was that Swami might deliver a valedictory Discourse on the evening of 30th, following the Poorna Ahuti on the morning of the 30th. AK’s well wishers [who were a legion] then began making active plans about helping AK to leave for Hyderabad, to match every conceivable scenario, including catching a flight at night, as soon as the Discourse was over. The general idea was that AK would go the Yagna site with his suitcase, and as soon as the Discourse was over and Aarathi given, he would hop into a car and rush to the airport to catch a flight leaving around 9.30 P.M and be in Hyderabad by night.
Came the 30th. In the morning, the Poorna Ahuti was duly completed in Divine presence and with Divine blessings. And in the evening, Swami went again to the Yagna site and gave His Discourse, with of course AK doing the live translation as he always does.

But meanwhile, by Divine Grace, the condition of Anil Kumar’s mother had improved somewhat and AK’s brother phoned to say that he [AK] did not have to rush immediately. Thanking Swami for the mercy shown, AK then stayed back and left for Hyderabad only after coming to Puttaparthi along with Swami.

Well, I have almost come to the end of the story. Came the morning of D-day and while all of us were packing and taking instructions about when we should leave and in what vehicle, the Youth group associated with the Chennai Yagna brought the Lingam from the Yagnam site, covering the last mile in a ceremonial processions to the accompaniment of Vedic chants and Bhajan singing. On arrival in Sundaram, the Lingam was taken to the Bhajan Hall where Swami inspected the Lingam and blessed the Youth.
Meanwhile we hurried through breakfast and handed over our luggage as per instructions issued earlier. All that remained was to pile into the cars and drive away, which we soon did, ahead of Swami of course. On arrival at the Airport we went through Security and when we went through the departure gate we were surprised to see that the person in attendance on behalf of Paramount Airways, whose chartered aircraft we were flying, was an alumni of the Anantapur College!

Leaving the departure building we boarded an airlines bus to be taken to the waiting aircraft. This was parked right next to the old air terminal building that has survived from the forties. As we approached the aircraft, I was surprised to see a posse of policemen forming a circular cordon, as a part of the security drill. I have seen a lot of security all over the place, but this is the first time I saw a circle of policemen surrounding the aircraft. I guess most of them manoeuvred this drill so that they could have Darshan of Swami! Anyway, we were all quickly boarded and soon Swami too was on board. While Mr. G.K. Raman accompanied Swami on the forward trip, Mr. V.Srinivasan had the privilege of accompanying Swami back to Puttaparthi, as a representative of Chennai devotees.

After the by-now-familiar quota of photo clicking by the ground staff, the cabin was cleared of the ground staff and the plane got ready to take off. Not surprisingly, the crew were the same as the outward journey! Soon we were airborne, and the Captain as a special gesture took us right over Poondi Reservoir so that we could all rejoice to see how full it was! And when we landed some time later, the pilot obliged us once again by flying in such a manner that those who were on the right side could have a wonderful view of the Divine valley, complete with the Indoor Stadium, the Hillview Stadium and the Ashram etc.

We then flew over the Hospital, took a turn and landed from the Hospital side, ending up close to Yelumalapalli village. A U turn and the aircraft slowly taxied up to the parking station, where, when the plane came to a halt, Swami deplaned, using the special elevator kept in readiness. Of course, while the plane was in flight, Swami went through the regular routine of in-flight Darshan, plus in-flight interview for the cabin crew!

The plane landed on December 31 around noon

Swami alighting the plane…

Everybody in Puttaparthi is happy to have
their Lord back

On His way to the ashram from the
Sri Sathya Sai Airport

And so by about noon or little later on the last day of January, we were back in Puttaparthi, with Chennai having become yet another set of precious memories! With Swami, every second is a unique and precious experience and it is never easy to capture all of it. I do hope, nevertheless, I have captured the highlights of the Chennai visit in a reasonably satisfactory manner for the benefit of not only contemporary readers but also for devotees who might chance to read this in the future and experience living with the Avatar, who, for us is a reality, but who, for them, would be an unbelievable legend!

“I am in you, around you, with you…”

The Magnificient Avatar – How fortunate are we!

Thank you for your patience and God Bless.

Jai Sai Ram.


ramoji film city

Ramoji Film City (RFC) offers comprehensive production Services facilities for film and television productions. RFC is known for catering to more than twenty film productions simultaneously. We at RFC are here to serve you with quality and convenience. Ramoji Film City is one of the largest, most comprehensive and advanced film production facilities in the world, designed and managed with dedicated professionalism.
Locations

At Ramoji Film City, nature’s grandeur – woods, hills and lakes – frames the stunning human conceptions such as studios, gardens, hotels, multi-storied buildings and flexible mock-ups. Every RFC location, whether it is an exquisitely landscaped garden or a vividly real mock-up, has been specially conceptualised to serve filmmaking purposes. For instance, the façade and orientation of every film city edifice – airport, apartment block or a medieval castle – can be manipulated in accordance with the imperatives of a shoot.

Such a level of customization for filmmakers has been achieved because renowned designers, landscapists and architects – with a sterling record in executing film-specific projects – were deployed for creating RFC locations.

The locations encompass the entire range of settings required for film shoots: Floors/Stages, Ready Locations/Sets, Gardens/Fountains and Streets/Avenues.
Floors / Stages
Popular Ready Locations / Sets
Gardens / Fountains
Streets / Avenues
Lights
To illuminate your action in gripping vividness, Ramoji Film City offers the full complement of lights. The exceptional range provided by RFC’s modern lighting unit includes flicker-free HMIs (.575kW to 18kW), shadow casters, Tungsten (100 Watts to 5000 Watts), ARRI PAR and Kinoflos.

Grip Equipment
Ramoji Film City’s ultramodern Equipment Department stocks the full complement of filmmaking paraphernalia. The range constitutes the latest equipment preferred by discerning filmmakers across the world.

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Camera
If you are particularly discerning about the kind of camera you use, it is wholly understandable. Camera is indeed the refined instrument that allows you to record your most passionate thoughts on celluloid. To help you capture your imagination on film with clarity and persuasive force, RFC’s Camera Department offers top-end camera equipment (film and video) and accessories.
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Production Crew
The Indian film industry is the largest in the world. Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Cochin are home to some of the best technicians in India. The Crème-de-la-crème of this prodigiously talented pool is associated with RFC.

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Accommodation
Ramoji Film City has a variety of accommodation facilities to cater to your needs – from a super luxury hotel to fine economy-class properties.

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Craft Services ( Location Catering )
In addition, we can arrange a running service of tea or coffee so that crews always have their chosen stimulating brew while on shoots.
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Transport
Ramoji Film City’s full-fledged transport department has been created with the express purpose of providing comprehensive logistical support to filmmakers. Highly trained and experienced professionals – from automobile engineers to chauffeurs – manage every aspect of the department’s functions.RFC’s transport wing has an extraordinarily diverse collection of vehicles – of different eras and models – to serve a range of needs. From auto rickshaws, trucks and buses to motorcycles and imported automobiles, we can provide you with the vehicle of your choice. The fleet comprises picture vehicles for such filming situations as chase sequences, car crashes and explosions.A wide range of automobiles is available for commuting purposes. Separate vehicles, of various types to suit varied purposes, have been apportioned for commuting within the RFC campus. The department is fully equipped to offer all logistics solutions, such as carrying out of hassle-free airport/railway station transfers of large crews and also of heavy filmmaking equipment. The transport department functions 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can respond to your need at any time within a moment’s notice.

Regardless of the service that you choose to use, the professionals at RFC’s transport wing are trained to respond to your need with utmost courtesy and efficiency.

Picture Vehicles
Other Vehicles for Hire
Maya – Set Design & Construction
At Maya, Ramoji Film City’s vast and fully equipped set construction facility, supremely skilled artisans help filmmakers translate their flourishing fantasies into vivid reality. The accomplished workforce of Maya consists of nearly 500 professionals with significant industry experience. Maya’s artists, moulders, sculptors and carpenters have already created an inventory of 10000 objects such as pillars, cornices, brackets moulds, domes and dado designs. An immense range of statues, busts and curios are also available. All these objects represent the arts of diverse eras and styles.To ensure you get the highest quality of settings, Maya employs professionals who have mastered various genres of relevant craftsmanship. So whether the material used is fibre-glass, clay, plaster of Paris or wood, the results will radiate exquisite beauty. The unit can also design and execute miniatures of any setting for specialised filmmaking needs.This dedicated facility functions 24 hours a day and our experts have been especially trained to deliver excellence within tight deadlines. So with Maya’s resources and expertise, you can create – with speed and accuracy – the settings of your choice, whether it is a Masai village or a street in Switzerland.

Maya artists, artisans, and architects do more than just create physical structures. They are trained to work closely with your art director/production designer to translate your concept into a completely authentic and vivid evocation of a milieu or mood.

PoP (Plaster of Paris)
Fiber Moulding
Sets
Painting
Carpentry
Miniatures
Parade – Props & Costumes
Parade, Ramoji Film City’s immense storehouse of props and costumes, stocks an unmatched inventory of thousands of objects. From Uzi machine guns to ukulele, Parade stocks authentic replicas of every conceivable item needed for a film shoot. So whether a production is set in the stone-age or in the imagined milieu of the future, Parade will have the necessary props.

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Support Facilities
• Green Rooms (deluxe air-conditioned & economy) • Mobile Make-Up rooms • Dedicated Nationalised Bank • Travel Agency • Post office • Advanced Communication.

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Communications
Ramoji Film City’s communication infrastructure represents state-of-the-art technology and user-friendly customisation. The complex’s dedicated Earth Station, the first to be commissioned by a private media organisation in India, makes RFC the only integrated film production studio in the world with such a technological capability.Set up in collaboration with US tech-giant Scientific Atlanta, the Earth Station facilitates live videoconferencing to help you connect with home or project office anywhere in the world.Indeed, RFC is equipped to deal with every communication need – from enabling videoconferences that straddle continents, to providing wireless sets that keep your crew in the loop during shoots within the complex.

The RFC area is served by a separate telephone exchange which guarantees a quick and hassle-free communication link to any destination, at any time. So whether you are trying to reach Delhi or Durban, you will be connected with the ease and speed that you are accustomed to.

When it comes to email or data transfer, RFC’s ‘always-on’ broadband Internet connectivity ensures that all critical information is just a click away. You can use this resource 24/7 anywhere in RFC – whether it is your plush room in one of our hotels, or your office at Samrat, RFC’s project co-ordination centre.

RFC also accommodates a full-fledged dedicated post office offering comprehensive services to facilitate national and international despatches.

Get A Budget
RFC offers one of the largest, most comprehensive and advanced film production facilities in the world. Ramoji Film City is attuned to the urgency with which filmmakers work and the complex’s professionals are trained to adapt to clients’ requirements on the fly.

The 1666-acre Ramoji Film City, established by the Ramoji Group amid the alluring grandeur of Nature, is the world’s largest integrated film studio complex and one of Asia’s most popular tourism and recreation centres. For the discerning filmmaker, RFC offers comprehensive and international-standard pre-production, production and post-production resources.

For business and leisure travellers, RFC offers a holiday experience packaged in infinite excitement and rare delights. Every year, over a million tourists come to the complex to revel in the rejuvenating fantasies of a dream world. And filmmakers, who create dazzling celluloid dreams for people around the world, turn to Ramoji Film City for matchless services and facilities. The complex’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and incomparable professional expertise have already been feted by many international filmmakers.


Chairman Mr. Ramoji Rao

The RFC infrastructure includes: custom-designed locations & mock-ups, set construction, properties & costumes, shooting stages, camera and equipment, audio post-production, digital post-production/SFX and film processing.

This expansive scope of Ramoji Film City’s infrastructure inspires our credo: Walk in with a script and walk out with a canned film.

The creation of Ramoji Film City is rooted in the Ramoji Group’s long and illustrious involvement with the film industry. Over the past two decades, Ushakiron Movies – the dedicated film production company of the group – has produced over 80 films in several Indian languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi and Bangla.

Our committed association with industry gave us a clear understanding of one of filmmakers’ long-cherished hopes – to experience the convenience of a facility that provides the entire range of top-quality filmmaking resources under one roof. And Ramoji Film City redeems that hope.

Offering services that are comprehensive, cost-effective and uncompromising in quality, the city rests on the secure foundation of Ramoji Group’s formidable knowledge of filmmakers’ real needs.

Ramoji Film City is a part of the well-established Ramoji Group, which is known for its distinguished engagement in diverse sectors:
· Publishing
Eenadu - One of India’s largest circulated regional language dailies with a readership of over 90,00,000. The newspaper, which has evolved as the strongest voice of the people of Andhra Pradesh, was envisioned as an endeavour to provide readers with information that really matters. News before Sunrise is the rationale that powers the Eenadu initiative.Today, the paper is simultaneously published from 24 centres.

· Satellite Television
ETV Network - A 12-channel source of rich infotainment, speaking to audiences in the language of their choice: Telugu, Bangla, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Gujarati, Urdu; and Hindi to viewers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. In fact, in a path-breaking initiative, ETV has created a dedicated infotainment channel for each of the four Hindi-speaking states. Every ETV Network channel focuses exclusively on its audience’s unique cultural identity, its aspirations and its distinct socio-political character.

The network’s creative drive is supported by its ability to absorb emerging technology. ETV’s state-of-the-art infrastructure includes a dedicated Earth Station, the first to be commissioned in India by a private media organization. This technological capability, augmented by the network’s India-wide VSAT facility, enables ETV to expeditiously disseminate news and other events. The network leverages its infrastructure to telecast events live whenever necessary.

The infrastructural strengths are complemented by the experience and expertise of the highly accomplished journalists who constitute ETV Network’s expansive network. Apart from major cities, ETV reporters are also stationed at remote hamlets so that the viewers get the complete picture of the happenings shaping their lives.

· TV Software Development
Ushakiron Television - Carries out TV content development for the entire ETV Network and produces wholesome programming for the whole family. Employing over 1000 highly talented and accomplished professionals, Ushakiron Television has its dedicated divisions all over India. The unit’s technical finesse and conceptualization abilities power its commitment to produce programming that redefines television viewing experience. For example, PanchatantraUshakiron Television’s recent mega-project, has secured exceptional popularity because of its thematic innovation. The series retells the timeless tales of wisdom through the illustrious Indian dramatic tradition of puppetry. Panchatantra exemplifiesUshakiron Television’s capacity to leverage state-of-the-art television technology to celebrate India’s cultural treasures.
· Film Production
Ushakiron Movies - Feted for producing meaningful and absorbing films that appeal to audiences across the social spectrum. The 20-year-old company has produced nearly 80 films in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bangla. Offerings from Ushakiron Movies are known to be wholesome family entertainers, which explains why so many of its productions have been superhits.
· Financial Services
Margadarsi Chit Fund - The 38-year-old flagship of the group is one of the most trusted chit fund (financial instrument) companies, with a subscriber base of 3,60,000 members. With its complete transparency in dealings and its highly efficient workforce of hundreds of experienced professionals,Margadarsi grows from strength to strength every year.
· Food Processing
Priya Foods - A respected brand leader involved in manufacturing and marketing such products as pickles, condiments, confectionary and edible oils. Priya’s success in international markets is based on its strict adherence to HACCP protocols. Modern, state-of-the-art food processing equipment is used by Priya to recapture the richness of India’s grandest culinary traditions.
· Hospitality
Dolphin Chain of Hotels - A reputed name in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. The company operates a range of hotels at Ramoji Film City – from super luxury Hotel Sitara to high-quality budget property Tara. The company set up Dolphin, Visakhapatnam’s first ever three-star establishment, in the 80s.

Sitara and Tara appeal to vacationers as well as MICE travellers because the properties are specially calibrated to address both the specific needs. Leisure tourists enjoy a range of recreation facilities – swimming pool, tennis and basket-ball courts, library and health club. Those participating in conferences and seminars use these unwinding options as well. When it comes to business though, they bank on our well-equipped conference halls.

· Indian Arts, Crafts & Textiles Under One Roof
Kalanjali – A vast and glittering multi-level complex that offers the finest arts, crafts and textiles from all parts of India under one roof. In fact, Kalanjali’s selection encompasses exquisite works that represent the best of the country’s astoundingly diverse arts & crafts traditions – from handlooms to woodcarvings and from premium linen to furniture. The collection of textiles and garments available at the complex pay tribute to our rich legacy of intricate craftsmanship. So whether you are looking for a curio that placates your aesthetic sense, or yearning for a utility object that complements your décor,Kalanjali is where fine art meets real life.
. Film Distrubution
Mayuri Film Distributors – A highly regarded company that provides integrated movie distribution solutions. Mayuri, which has been distributing quality films for over two decades, is a professionally managed operation with impeccable ethical credentials.

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