Monthly Archives: November 2017

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[Book Review] – Living Hinduism – Scriptures, Philosophy, Practices by Samarpan

Category : Uncategorized

[Disclaimer : We had the opportunity of reviewing the previous works of the author. Those were all in the story form. This is different – this is a survey of something which is beyond survey, not for its vastness alone but for the subject matter itself. In 240 pages, the author has attempted and attempted very successfully to convey the essentials and also with an eye to the contemporary time. The word “ancient” is silently present behind the word Hindu / Hindoo in discourse  and for some mysterious reason, this “ancient fossil” aspect appears to have gotten new lease of Life in each historical age. Had this been not so, this book would not have been written ] 

More than two thousand five hundred years back, Buddhism and Jainism were contemporaries and Budhha and Mahavir  preached in the same locality quite often and one of the areas is present Bihar. Their world-view were sometimes radically different. People listened to both –  to Tirthankar and Tathagata with no disturbance. Both the tradition flourished and endured.

The book quotes from a credible source ( a Frenchman writing a book entitled L‘Inde des Rajahs)  narrating an incident in Benares in 1876 where a missionary was preaching Christianity and admonishing people of worshiping of the black rock as rank idolatry. People listened to and no disturbance at all. Everyone went with their own business.

The tradition continues. 

The book is a part of that continuity. This itself is a success and the title of the book confirms it.

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Without much ado, let me clarify my position as a reader-reviewer, a Hindu/Hindoo and disclose the metaphorical and literal lens I shall be using.  With the charge of being arbitrary completely accepted, I may say that for a Hindu born in India after 1750, it is historically impossible to have any “pure Hindu” lens. First, the source Vedic text needed some “made easy dictionaries” almost a thousand years back to understand. Second, the nature, structure, richness and infinite malleability of Sanskrit language. Third,  discontinuity in the political / government sphere due to repeated foreign contact, attack, hit-and-run, capitulation and consolidation of political power by successive foreign elements.

In this way, India can be considered a feminine womb which has always attracted the most vigorous and out-bound masculine forces in history.  Swami Vivekananda ruminates while visiting ruins of Capitol in Rome : “.. from where all-powerful Ceasars used to rule larger part of the world, today spider is weaving its net in the Capitoline Hill…” and then he reminds us that “.. if ancient sages come back to India today, they will not be at all bewildered for they will see the inner unity in all the outward variety.”  [ Paraphrased by reviewer ]

It is true. No civilization completely dies. Greece and Rome are present – in thinner form in the modern European Civilization. This word “thinner” I borrow from the book itself where the author talks about Puranas and other supplementary literature of Hindus (whose complete disregard for balance, measure, precision and accuracy were immediately observed by Al-Beruni[12th century] to  Macaulay [19th century]  ) but they missed the full picture. There was a deliberate plan in this thinning just like we dissolve things in water to have the active ingredient have better flow, reach and acceptance. Here is a fundamental look on life – the Art of Becoming is much greater than the Art of simply being precise and accurate for a certain historical fashionable period. 

The wonder of Hindu Civilization is that it has remained relatively more intact form in spite of being hammered across ages. This reminds me of the internal integrity and consistency of genetic code. Genetic Codes are made from small number of atoms and yet they retain their integrity and consistency across millions of years till some mutation sets in. This mystery was raised by the seminal thinker of Quantum Physics, Erwin Schrodinger in his very very small book entitled – What is Life ?

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The Grand Recycling of Debt and Payback of Civilizations 

The structure of the Book  with of codification / classification / analysis is a lack  which was immediately observed by the last contact with Hindus with another civilization, I mean the ambassador of modern Europe, The Britons, first in the form of fortune hunters, missionaries, economic migrants (just like most of Indian economic migrants in USA, UK, Persian Gulf, Africa and other parts of the globe) and then imperial burden-bearers – the burden of the Empire (The Raj) and also the bearer of the self-imposed burden of racial manifest destiny  – the white man’s burden.

Finally – those from Ox-Cam network and ICS (pre-cursor of our IAS and IPS framework) happened. It is told that in the zenith of the Empire, ICS was perhaps one of the “dream jobs” globally.  I think the closest one can think of ICS today is to become some Investment Banker responsible for a geographical region for a “too big to fail” financial or trans-national corporation with inter-locked ownership and control. Our ancient sages would not have been wondering at all on this observation. They had been exposed to the cosmic classification of living beings as per innate quality and  activity which can be mapped into 4 types just like management books talk of 4-quadrant BCG boxes in classifying companies. They would have remarked – “Oh… I see, now the clock of dominance is moving from administrators to money-managers.” 

India’s history since last thousand years demonstrate a cyclical contact with Turko-Persian-Afghan cultural sphere, followed by British and European and in each phase or in historical cycle where dominance has varied, India responded and changed but not so much as un-recognizable. This  is a “living” proof of the sign of Life : reaction, absorption and assimilation.  Only a living consciousness is capable of these functions.

The Book captures this in an undertone while it moves with a taxonomist’s eye for classification and cataloging and this is a triumph. The author has masked tremendous scholarship and this is the last barrier to be breached by scholar of any discipline.

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The Future Readers or Readers of the Future 

Since I and all the future readers of the book are born after my arbitrary dateline of 1750, the book is a rarity that it says something so beautiful, so radical, yet so naturally – “we need to write new Puranas.” I think these are being written continuously, we need to be conscious of it. All the space-time defying magic realism of novels and that of films – for elites and plebs alike, all the huge output in social media – these are the Puranas  being written by us of varying quality. If Vyasadeva comes today and checks in our social media, he will not be bewildered at all, he will smile and chuckle and wonder how  his children are creating Tera-bytes of Puranas collectively with their fingers and keyboard.

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Summary Thoughts from a reader now relinquishing the role of a Reviewer 

  • I have not read any book on this subject of this type earlier and I have read some.
  • What we have lost here in the form of poetry (his earlier works of fiction were poetic prose) is gained in terms of logic and clarity. It is a delight, a vindication and a critical triumph to observe a Hindu monk writing this sentence on Sanskrit language – “Here it may be mentioned that Sanskrit language uses the same word for many objects and the quirk is of great advantage in poetry or logic but disastrous when it comes out in bringing the meaning of a sentence. (page 211)”.
  • The book ends with a sense of “enlightened hope” – the social structure is changing and new technologies are making the tortoise extending its limbs outside. This will bring a situation when the timeless will be projected into a specific historical time.
  • On a personal note – when I was a boy in the late seventies, I used to ask myself – “Why did we become a British Colony and became a colonized race ?” I was naive and immature but the question was genuine. I remember reading Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and after thirty odd years I believe he wrote something which I did not read anywhere. Bankim’s core argument was so vast and broad in its scope that he posited a thesis – not of Clash of Civilization but civilization moving in Great Cycles. Using the same historical method, he talked of Debt of Civilizations in his Bengali essays where modern Europe came in contact with the civilization of the Greece through Arab scholars who solely kept the lamp of learning burning in Middle Age. The Arabs themselves learnt from India and the cycle goes back further when historical memory goes dimmer and dimmer. So, the essential question we need to ask any Civilization at any point is this : ” Are you paying your historical debt properly and sincerely?
  • Hinduism goes further from this historical debt. It goes cosmic. This is demonstrated in the 2nd chapter of the Gita when Arjuna asked a personal problem but Lord Krishna projected this problem into a gigantic, cognitively broadest possible canvass over space and time and it included all that is and all that be.  This is one of the facets of Living Hinduism – both of the book and that of a Hindu.

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Recommended Reading for anyone interested in Hinduism.

 


Source: wordsmithofbengal.wordpress.com


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“Infosec Global 2017”, International Infosec Summit in Kolkata

Category : Uncategorized

Preface

Winter in Kolkata has different charming flairs and “InfoSec Global” added a new feather in her cap through a mega InfoSec Summit since last year.

This year “InfoSec Global 2017”, the international InfoSec summit took place at The Park, Kolkata on 3rd November, 2017

Even though there is a lot of buzz around Cyber Security, there are many gaps as well. The areas of concerns touch everyone, our ignorance, over confidence and complacency. We keep on complaining that things are not happening the way we think it should be. However, there are many things happening as well. We need to open our minds and have a convergent thinking. It’s time to complement instead of complaining.

Govt is devising many strategies for the benefit of citizens on cyber. Law enforcement authorities are doing their work at the ground level. Enterprises taking lot of initiatives to implement tools, technologies, processes.

The challenge is how to bind these all-together, how to aggregate efforts, consolidate and converge in order to make it meaningful for the society and civilization? InfoSec Foundation is trying to drive this across the globe.

InfoSec Foundation intends to work as voice of citizen where we bring in all stakeholders together to create a more aware and responsive ecosystem. Connect and extend initiatives that have not reached the targeted audiences, find gaps and demand raise the silent voice so that it reaches the ears of policy makers and functionaries.

Summits, CIO Roundtables, Print Journals, Cyber Security Help lines, Cyber Security Curriculum for next generation – these are few envisaged areas we have already started working in India, Bangladesh, UK and Africa.

InfoSec Global 2017 is the outcome of same vision driven by Infosec Foundation.

Infosec Global 2017, Kolkata

Ignite cyber security!! That’s the mantra. And to enkindle it, Infosec Foundation had taken the important responsibility through the Iinternational InfoSec Summit. The first summit took place last year 18th November, 2018 and the same is followed by this year on 3rd November, 2017 in Kolkata. The event was important for the eastern eco system to leverage the opportunity to meet the best CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS from all across the subcontinent and gather some of the most tenacious knowledge regarding cyber security.

Theme of the Event

‘International Security in Digital India-Threat, Challenges and Opportunities’ was the theme for the 2nd International Infosec Summit in Kolkata this year. The program was designed for the leaders from the field of IT Infrastructure, Data Security, and Information Security.

Major topics were discussed in the event are cyber security issues in Bangladesh, Digital Forensics, creating new generation cyber militants, Cyber Economics, and much more.

The event was conceptualized exclusively for creating a mutual platform for all the stakeholders who are engaged in Information Security.

Speakers and Topics

The event had witnesses array of speakers across industry. Dr.Sanjay Bahl, Director General, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (ICERT) was the Chief Guest of the program. Mr.Shyamal Datta (IPS – Retd., Former Director – IB, Former Governor of Nagaland) , Mr. Debasish Sen (Additional Chief Secretary-IT, Govt of Bengal), Mr. Vineet Goel, IPS (Addl CP I, CISO-Govt. of Bengal) and  Mr. Hari Kusumakar, IPS (Addl CP IV) joined him alongwish the Infosec Foundation Chairman in the gracious inaugural ceremony.

   

Other eminent personalities like Mr. Bratya Basu (Honourable MIC-IT, West Bengal), Ms.Rama Vedashree (DSCI-NASSCOM); Dr. B. M. Mehtre (IDRBT); Col Inderjeet Singh (Smartcity Expert, Ex-Director – Military Intelligence at Ministry of Defense); Mr. Vivek Srivastava (ReBIT – Reserve Bank); Mr. Deepak Kumar (Digital Forensic Expert), Mr. B.M.Zahid-Ul Haque (CISO-Brac Bank Bangladesh), Mr. Harish Agarwal (Partner, Ernst & Young), Mr.Somak Shome (Director, PWC) had enriched the audience with their deep insight in the domain.

   

Cyber Security Domain experts like Mr.Shrikant Shitole (FireEye), Mr.Nitin Varma (Palo Alto Networks), Mr. Sudeep Das (IBM), Mr. Manuj Kumar (Symantec), Mr.Kapil Awasthi (Checkpoint), Mr. Rishikesh Kamat (Netmgic), Mr. Subramanian Udaiyappan (Cisco Systems) Mr. Akshay Verma (Global Insurance), Mr.ParthaSarathi Das (Tata tele Services) had also added substantial valued to the content of the conference.

     

There was interesting topics like “Cyber Security Readiness for Digital India”, “Cyber Economics”, “Creating Next Generation Cyber Warriors”, “ The Cyber Security Architecture of the Future”, “Building a robust Cyber Security Architecture with Integrated Cyber Defense Platform”, “Machine Learning for Cyber Security”, “Cyber Security Challenges in West Bengal”, “Digital Forensics”, “Opportunities in Cyber Security space”, “Next Generation Cyber Security Trends”, “Cyber Thereats on Internet of Things”, “Threat intelligence strategy to strengthen cybersecurity posture for the financial sector”, “Cloud security”etc.

Audience

There were 250+ people attended the event with delegations from all leading corporates, enterprises, academia, government, law enforcement agencies, manufacturers, providers etc.

Anandabazar Patrika (ABP), Accenture, Allahabad Bank, Bandhan Bank, UCO Bank, United Bank of India(UBI), BRAC Bank-Bangladesh, Balmer Lawrie, Bridge & Roof, BSI, Capgemini, CESC, West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company (WBSETCL), Criminal Investigation Department (CID) – West Bengal, Bidhannagar Cyber PS, Kolkata Police,  Exide, Genius, ICRA, ISACA, Jadavpur University, Jayashree Textiles, Linde Global, M.N. Dastur, MCKV Institute, Meghbela  Broadband, Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology, NASSCOM, National insurance, Neotia Group, NIA, CBI, NIC, NSHM, Onprocess Technology, Protiviti, PWC, Ernst & Young, Sahaj E-Village, Sillycon, Simplex Infra, Spencers, SREI Infrastructure Finance, Srijan Bhumi, TCG Digital, Techno India, TATA Pigments, Tractors India, TUV, Vedant Fashions, Vikram Solar, VISA Steel, Webel, ITC were few names of the key attendee organizations.

 

The audience were mainly from senior management, decision makers in the stature of MD, CEO, CIO, CFO, COO, GM etc.

There were 30+ Media Houses from print, television, radio and web platforms who were keen to spread the buzz to the mass audience.

Takeaways

The event had great deliberations in exchanging thoughts, knowledge, ideas, and case studies on cyber security among the speakers, audience, attendees, participating stakeholders. The same had not only generated great enthusiasm over networking, but also generated direct business opportunity.

The event has raised several voices, concerns from the community, extended government / policy makers’ roadmap, articulated steps on synchronization between stakeholders and surely created platform for enriched knowledge in order to have better wisdom. It was indeed a great platform for students, cyber aspirants to learn, engage and contribute.

4th Edition of InfoQuest (the dedicated print journal of Information security) got unveiled during the summit. The print journal is working as a great tool as the mouthpiece of the industry in cyber security domain.

The event strengthened the thoughts driven by Infosec Foundation with the overwhelming support from all corners and laid the foundation for more positive vibes towards upcoming Infovision(CIO Roundtable), InfoQuest (Print Journal), Infoconnect (Cyber Security helpline) and well as next years International Infosec Summit.

It was amazing to see people had joined in the breakfast (before the day event for mixing sessions with the speakers) and continued to stay with the initive till late evening (cocktail dinner with the speakers and partners).

Infosec foundation had recognized several individuals for their significant contribution in the domain and the same was was followed by instrumental music.

   

Stay tuned for many interesting things ahead. Do join the movement, contribute, engage, explore and be the part of historic movement generated from Kolkata, the city of joy.

Detailed Analysis can be fetched from the link below:

Infosec Global 2017 Report


Source: sushobhanm.wordpress.com