Buddha weeps in Jadugoda

This diary is about the nuclear trade deal that President Bush is trying to negotiate with India.  Most progressives, and most democrats oppose it.  

I support it!

For 2 reasons: (a) first, providing India with nuclear fuel may be a critical component in averting global warming.  I will skip that reason for now  (although it is a very important reason by itself). (b)  Instead, this diary will concentrate on the 2nd reason.

First some background on me:

I was born and raised in a part of India that happens to have most of India's known reserves of Uranium.  This region also happens to be one of the most backward regions in India ~ it is struggling to enter the 19th century, and is far removed from the gleaming metropolises of Bangalore and Gurgaon that Americans now associate with India.  The population of the district I was raised in has decreased in the last 25 years ~ people move out in search of better opportunities.

My direct proximity to those regions gave me a direct exposure to the affects of the Uranium mines.  Simply put, mine safety in India is atrocious ~ mine safety tends to be atrocious in all parts of the world where human labor is cheap and expendable.  But mine safety is even more tragic when you are dealing with Uranium.

The region around my hometown is the equivalent of America's Navajo Nation (those who are familiar with Uranium mining in the Navajo Nation will know what I am talking about).  

There's more...

A Beginner's Research on Tibetan Buddhism and History

In one of those synchroncities that sometimes occur in life, shortly before I began to hear about the current unrest in Tibet, I had begun to read a book called The Essential Dalai Lama: His Important Teachings, edited by Rajiv Mehrotra and published by Penguin Books. The book is a compilation of essays and lectures on Buddhism by the Dalai Lama. It is a relatively thin book, under 300 pages, but I have yet to finish it a couple of weeks later, because each of the essays in the book is so full of meaning and deserving of further thought that I cannot read too much of it at once without stopping to absorb and ponder it.

I am not a Buddhist. I am someone who has a great deal of interest in spiritual questions about the actual nature of reality, but because of a questioning mind I have been unable thus far to accept any religion. As such, I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I want to convey some sense of what I believe is the deep importance of preserving the Tibetan culture. I have the impression that many Americans are unfamiliar with that culture and think of Tibet as far away and unimportant to them. I want to express why I think it is imperative that we support Tibet.

There's more...

I am a peacenik

I am a "peacenik" ~ one of those crazy people who believes that war is never justified.

I am a "peacenik" ~ my favorite philosophers are Gandhi, Jesus and Buddha.  In fact, I believe that philosophical discussions should begin and end with Gandhi, Jesus and Buddha.  I am not Buddhist...I tried to follow Buddhism once (the version advocated by Buddha himself, not the watered down ones that is in vogue these days), but had to give up because it was too hard (I could not stop wanting things, and desire is a No-No in Buddhism).  I tried to follow Christianity once (the version that means being like Christ), but had to give up... I ended up concluding that there has only ever been one true Christian, and He is dead.  The rest of us are just pretenders.  Fortunately, Gandhi did not advocate any new religion that I can fail at, and I have become somewhat good at the only 2 things Gandhi ever advocated as "religion".

I am a "peacenik" ~ I have solar panels on the roof, and I marched against the war in 2003.  I believe that Gandhi would have prevented the holocaust if he wasn't in prison, and that he could have walked on water if he had wanted to.

I am a "peacenik" ~ and yet, I have sent money to the HRC for President campaign (and before that, I supported Joe Biden).  My friends often ask me why ?  They both voted for AUMF, how can you support them ?  Why do you not support Obama, who was against the war back then ?

There's more...


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