Monday, March 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi

E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


For humanity’s sake
he communal killings that have erupted in Gujarat are too macabre to be called just insanity. These are simply inhuman acts, and remind one of the worst days of 1947. Obviously, no lessons have been learnt from that holocaust. 

G. M. C. Balayogi
ok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi had come out with flying colours after handling the most difficult and yet enviable assignment of his political career.


Implications of Bush’s China visit
India’s problems on foreign policy front
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray
hose who make Indian foreign policy, and especially senior defence officers who have been transported to a seventh heaven of delight by the promise of long-denied American arms and equipment, would be well advised not to miss the implications of President George W. Bush’s second visit to China in less than four months. 




Our Ranajee
Darshan Singh Maini
n a long , crowded, academic life, I have had many a memorable brush with some persons who in some strange, obscure way began to relate to me almost as a matter of impulse, investing that moment with a context that began to yield its meaning soon enough. 


Budget lets down middle class
Nitish Sengupta
singular failure of Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha in his Budget proposals for fiscal 2002-03 is the inability to convey the right message to the people at large, and instead project certain wrong messages.

Shattered life & mind of the brightest boy
ustin Chapman was the toast of the world: the cleverest little boy on the planet who played the violin at two, chess at three and embarked on a course at Stanford University aged four. In April 2000, a psychologist called Linda Silverman in Colorado conferred on him an IQ of 298, the highest on record for a child.


Blind students feel handicapped
atya Prakash Sharma (16) is visually impaired, but equally excited about writing his first examination paper. But he is equally uncertain about the person on whom he depends to write his answers.

  • Drug cocktail hits cancer

  • It took earth 20m yrs to be a planet




For humanity’s sake

The communal killings that have erupted in Gujarat are too macabre to be called just insanity. These are simply inhuman acts, and remind one of the worst days of 1947. Obviously, no lessons have been learnt from that holocaust. When the beast in man comes to the surface, he goes beyond the pale of the canons of civilised society. In such circumstances, it is futile to reason with him. The only language he understands is that of force. Unfortunately, the Gujarat government has not handled the outbreak with as firm hand as it was expected to do. Because of the party affiliations, this is going to be perceived not as an error of omission but that of commission. The initial days have been a slur on the face of the administration. It can wash off some of the tar if it rises to the occasion at least now. That is not only desirable but also its bounden duty. If it is still found wanting, it will lose its moral authority to govern and add weight to the Opposition's demand for the imposition of President's rule. This is one calamity in which every government functionary, the Chief Minister downwards, should be held accountable. The same holds true of the Centre as well. A government should not only be working but should also be seen to be working. And even more important, it should not be seen to be working in a partisan manner. At stake are the very social fabric and ethos of the country. The communal violence is doing tremendous harm to India's reputation and composite culture. Those who are going out on a killing spree are only furthering the cause of those who have been alleging before the world that India is a country where minorities are brutally persecuted.

While the marauding masses may be beyond the call of reason, organisations like the VHP must respond to the appeal of sanity. It is true that the burning of the "Ram sevaks" was an extreme provocation. But at the same time, they must see the motive behind it. It is now almost certain that Pakistan is behind this perfidious scheme to foment trouble. In the light of this dirty game, it is very important that the saffron parties show greater restraint. Hinduism has a glorious tradition of remaining unruffled even amidst gravest adversities. At times like this, the ultimate sign of bravery is not to repay in kind but to bear the hurt with equanimity. The all-party appeal made in this regard is not confined to leaders alone. The whole country wants the demon of communalism to be kept at bay. 


G. M. C. Balayogi

Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi had come out with flying colours after handling the most difficult and yet enviable assignment of his political career. He had shown with his admirable performance that he had the capacity to rise to greater heights. But this was not destined to happen. His death in a helicopter crash in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday morning has not only cut short a promising career but also dealt a grievous blow to the democratic polity of the country. It will not be easy to find a substitute for Balayogi at a time when National Democratic Alliance partners have begun suspecting one another's intentions. Moreover, he had learnt the art of managing as difficult a House as the present Lok Sabha. He had graduated into a Speaker evoking respect from all sections of the House, though when he was first chosen for this greatly demanding job in 1998 many people asked, "Who is Balayogi?" He himself had reportedly admitted that he had no experience of the kind required to discharge his new duties. He had only presided over the East Godavari Zila Parishad sessions for five years and that was all. However, within a year parliamentarians' perception of this Scheduled Caste Telugu Desam MP changed considerably. In October, 1999, when he was re-elected Lok Sabha Speaker there was a complete unanimity of views on his capacity to successfully manage the affairs of a fractured House. It was not without reason that he had emerged as the consensus candidate of the government and the Opposition for the Speaker's job.

Before Balayogi was catapulted to the position of the Lok Sabha's presiding officer following a deal between the BJP and the Telugu Desam Party, he was a little known politician of Andhra Pradesh. When he became an MP in 1991, representing the Amalapuram reserved constituency, anyone hardly heard him speak on any issue in the Lower House. In the1996 parliamentary elections he lost the seat to Mr K.S.R. Murthy of the Congress but was always hopeful of staging a comeback. He took the revenge in 1998, when an opportunity came his way to play a role he would have never thought of even in his dreams. He became Lok Sabha Speaker by defeating a veteran in Mr Purno Sangma though mainly because of the backing of the ruling NDA coalition. But he proved by his performance that the House was not wrong in reposing its confidence in him. His background as a lawyer and a student leader at Andhra University helped him in picking up fast despite the handicap of not being fluent in spoken English and Hindi. He also had enough common sense which he used in acquainting himself with the rules and procedures of parliamentary practices. At the end of the losing battle that Mr Sangma fought he described Balayogi as a "young saint". By the time over 50-year-old Ganti Mohana Chandra Balayogi lost his life under tragic circumstances he had grown into a formidable parliamentary saint, admired by one and all.


Implications of Bush’s China visit
India’s problems on foreign policy front
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Those who make Indian foreign policy, and especially senior defence officers who have been transported to a seventh heaven of delight by the promise of long-denied American arms and equipment, would be well advised not to miss the implications of President George W. Bush’s second visit to China in less than four months. Indeed, the wonder is not that he ended his Asian travels with a 30-hour “working visit” to Beijing but that he did not start his tour in China and spend longer there than in Japan or South Korea.

At the same time, New Delhi should not be swept away on a wave of euphoria regarding America’s relations with Pakistan. While General Pervez Musharraf’s credibility in Washington could not be higher, the presence in Pakistan of US troops, armour and F-16 aircraft, all backed by American platforms at sea just off Karachi and Gwadar ports, are a reminder to Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee’s National Democratic Alliance government not to take confrontation beyond a limit that the West would find unacceptable. Of course, Indo-US ties will continue to improve, but not at the expense of Washington’s deeper and more extensive relations with Islamabad and Beijing.

If the former equation turns on strategic factors, the latter is determined by commercial considerations. Mr Bush has given ample proof that his Republican administration has forgotten all about China the “strategic competitor.” China is again the prized business partner.

“Annual US exports to China have more than tripled since 1990, reaching $ 16.3 billion in 2000,” the US-China Business Council wrote last May. The Council approaches the question of bilateral relations with greater honesty than all those think-tank strategists in Washington and Honolulu who affect to be obsessed with peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. This is the respectable camouflage for power politics, for it is clear that any nation that aspires to great power status must first devise a ringing formula to clothe its national self-interest in an aura of glowing universal service.

Thus, Pax Britannica claimed to civilise the world Imperial Japan’s co-prosperity sphere sought to save Asia from the clutches of Western colonialism. Soviet Communism aimed at working class emancipation. Now America, the lone superpower, is the global policeman that will rid the world of terrorists and terrorism. It is in keeping with this high-flown altruism that one American commentator idealistically lists all the matters of common concern to Mr Bush and President Jiang Zemin — missile defence, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, long-term solutions for Afghanistan and Kashmir, South Asian stability, curbing North Korea, transnational crime, narcotics, climate control, the environment and — lastly — trade and investment.

Had the authors of the theoretical framework of US foreign policy been more candid and less dazzled by their own virtue, they would have placed trade and investment right at the top. For this is the sole basis of the post-Cold War alignment between China and the USA. The alliance during the Cold War, sealed by Richard Nixon’s visit 30 years ago when he revealingly told Zhou Enlai that he would like nothing better than to lay out the front page of a major American daily newspaper, was a different matter. It was military and strategic, a straightforward case of applying Kautilya’s enemy’s enemy dictum to the closest neighbour and most dangerous adversary of the Soviet Union Mr Ronald Reagan’s evil empire.

It was an altogether different matter when President Bill Clinton took over, bubbling with righteous indignation about human rights abuses and refusing to grant China Most Favoured Nation status. American businessmen who keep both political parties in cash soon put paid to that. If Mr Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, was to be believed, even Beijing’s nominees did a bit of funding. More important was the boost that China’s hotfoot pursuit of Deng Xiaoping’s dream that to be rich is glorious gave to America’s flagging economy.

As the US-China Business Council stresses, China is one of the fastest-growing markets for American products. Its demand for power generation equipment, electrical machinery, fertiliser and medical equipment has by no means been exhausted while domestic American consumption of these main items of sale to China has peaked. Services exports, valued at more than $ 4 billion in 2000, are regarded as even more promising, the trade of the future.

Services now account for 70 per cent of the American economy, and the share is expected to go up tremendously. In 1999 US-China trade in services showed a surplus of $ 1.3 billion in America’s favour. The US hopes that this will grow substantially as China, whose economy is expanding exponentially, gains in sophistication and participates fully in the World Trade Organisation.

True, the USA buys much more from China than it sells. But economists argue that the US deficit is exaggerated because of the way entrepot trade with Hong Kong is calculated. More to the point, they hold that imports that were estimated at $ 100.1 billion in 2000 are not at the cost of American manufacture. On the contrary, American businessmen welcome the trade imbalance because US consumers benefit from low-cost Chinese imports like toys, footwear, readymade garments and, increasingly, electrical machinery and equipment. The Institute for International Economics reckons that 90 per cent of US imports from China are substitutes for purchases from other low-wage economies in Asia (perhaps including India) where high overheads push up costs.

Undoubtedly, there are some significant differences, as Mr Bush’s talks with President Jiang and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji confirmed. If as the US President said earlier, North Korea, Iraq and Iran are on an axis of evil, the common denominator can only be China which in one way or another supplies them all (and also Pakistan) with dual-use technology, raw materials and missile and nuclear-related equipment. Beijing has given no indication that it will abide by its repeated promises to observe anti-proliferation policies, probably because it does not see violation as being any more inconsistent than the US arming Taiwan while professing support for the “One China” policy.

That does not affect China’s attraction as a trading partner and as a destination for foreign investment which stood at $ 62.66 billion in 2000. Thanks to low wages and high productivity, more and more multinationals are continuing to transfer their processing ventures from Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan to China, which could further alter American trading patterns in Asia.

No wonder Mr Bush, who moved into the White House breathing fire and brimstone against China, ate his words last December and telephoned Mr Jiang to propose a strategic dialogue. The ostensible reason for the call was to explain America’s withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty; the ostensible reason for the greater cordiality now is that both powers are fighting the good fight against terrorism. Great powers always have a plausible reason. Even the offered strategic dialogue was shorthand for closer commercial ties. As Mr Clinton would have said, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

That priority should give India pause in its dreams of teaming up with the USA and Japan in a democratic consensus to contain China. Elements in the Indian defence forces wanted to participate in the Gulf War, their simple hopes of a closer rapport have soared again in recent weeks. The USA can be a good friend, and India needs it for trade, investment and dual-purpose technology. But there will be no relationship unless the USA also needs India and for so long as India’s ties with Pakistan and China are such that America is presented with an uncomfortable either/or situation.

India’s supposed trump card of democracy has little value. For all the rhetoric emanating from Washington, democracy has never been a serious factor in formulating American foreign policy. Its principal props have always been strategy and commerce, and instead of indulging in wishful thinking, India must compete with Pakistan and China in both respects.


Our Ranajee
Darshan Singh Maini

In a long , crowded, academic life, I have had many a memorable brush with some persons who in some strange, obscure way began to relate to me almost as a matter of impulse, investing that moment with a context that began to yield its meaning soon enough. In one particular case, it had dimensions which transcended the bounds of the mind and the senses, and had a profound effect on my life, on my imagination, and on my writings.

And this little story here concerns one such person whose uniqueness — perhaps quiddity — acquired a form and style as our meetings over a period of some 30 years grew into an extended, “philosophic” colloquy that seemed always to extend and abide. For Ranajee, as he was affectionately called, had an exceptional appetite for complexities in matters of argument. He would often chase even fanciful rabbits beyond the bush as it were, without any trace of embarrassment. An intensity that often left me wondering — and even despairing! And now that he remains an existential enigma, in a state of utter alienation and desolation in a small suburban town in the USA, and become a figure of tragedy and nostalgia, I’m in my own fallen state unable to connect with him. And I deeply, deeply agonise over the issue.

The only child of an educated, affluent Jat Sikh couple who had made a large fortune in Eden, then a British imperialist colony, he had first returned from Great Britain with a degree in mechanical engineering. But, as I soon learnt from him, he had no love or aptitude for that discipline. In fact, he had already, to the dismay of his parents, decided to join the M.A. English classes at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and then move to the USA for higher studies and research. It was a momentous decision, but Ranajee never looked back, never recalled the years lost in England. Instead, his vision and his commitment became his baggage as he finally made for Philadelphia, ending up as a member of the English faculty in a small state university. A definitive act of the personality, he had proven the potentialities he was endowed with. By the mid-eighties, he was a person at ease with himself, and acquired an air of mellowness.

As I recall today my visits to his American home, a beautiful spacious old house, tastefully furnished and maintained, with a charming wife, son and daughter to make it an “idyllic” habitat in sylvan surroundings. I cannot believe that our Ranajee has now turned that house into a little fort, closed to all callers, all old friends and colleagues. No, he wouldn’t even take calls if possible, and perhaps never opened his big mailbox at the gate. How, on earth, I mused had such a person of deep sentiments and attachments withered into an outsider, repudiating all that he had stood for, symbolised. There is surely something in the importance of being Ranajee, and that something had leaked out of the phenomenon! I had known the magnanimities of his heart and spirit in rich measure, and I just couldn’t understand his retreat or his regression. My letters remained unanswered, unacknowledged. His frosty silence, as my relations and contacts in the States told me, had taken a pathological turn. Why, why had he become another Bartleby. Melville’s alienated, obstinate isolato with a laconic “no” to all overtures of love, of regard, of concern?

As I ponder the problem over and over again, recalling some of his endearing oddities, his moods of abstraction and lostness even when young, I feel I had had perhaps a glimpse of the gathering storm, in his unconscious, though I couldn’t put my “finest finger” on the pulse of things.

Thus arguing the matter, I indulge in all manner of surmises — a broken family after years and years of felicity, a betrayal of trust by someone close to him, an incurable illness perhaps — but with each plunge into the unknown, I come back with a fistful of weeds. No, such an “expense of spirit” cannot be explained in our known categories of societal thought. So, what tragedy has darkened such a soul, I cry out in the fastnesses of my heart?

This note, then, is a requiem, and is sealed with a silence that may not be questioned. There’s something disturbingly mysterious here. I deeply mourn the demise of a relationship which had a touch of so much sweetness and beauty about it. Indeed, the death of a strong, nurtured sentiment cannot but end on an elegiac note. 


Budget lets down middle class
Nitish Sengupta

A singular failure of Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha in his Budget proposals for fiscal 2002-03 is the inability to convey the right message to the people at large, and instead project certain wrong messages.

One message that is loud and clear is that it is anti-middle class — the class that contributes to the tax revenue very significantly.

The sharp rise in the prices of cooking gas and kerosene, the shift of tax liability on dividends from the companies to the shareholders, the sharp reduction in the interest rate on small savings by 0.5 per cent and curtailing of exemptions under Section 88 (dealing with tax rebate for national saving schemes) have hit the middle class hard in their cumulative impact.

Naturally, the middle class, is at war with the Finance Ministry. This, more than anything else, has served to push under the carpet so many good features in the Budget, which no doubt signal continuance of the economic reform effort and the attempt to bring down the fiscal deficit.

The Budget is non-resident Indians (NRI) and foreign investment friendly. It has sought to bring about a number of salutary measures to make NRI investment more secure and friendly such as permitting repatriation of earnings on deposits in foreign exchange.

It has also signalled an invitation to foreign investment among other things, by reducing the tax rate payable by foreign companies from 48 per cent to 40 per cent. Through some of these measures the Budget signifies a steady march towards full convertibility of capital account.

Also, the measures for deregulation of agriculture and trade in foodgrains, allowing the milk sector to set up more processing capacity, sharp reduction of a number of items irrationally reserved so far for small-scale industry, are welcome features. These have, however, been somewhat overshadowed by the din and bustle over the sharp rise in the cost of living.

In recent years the Budget has lost much of its past relevance. No longer is it the main instrument for raising government’s resources, nor is it the main vehicle for proclaiming fundamental changes in government’s economic policy.

This Budget, in a way, illustrates this.

The Finance Minister’s Budget speech devotes a lot of time and space to the dismantling of the administered price mechanisms of petroleum products with effect from April 1, deregulation of agriculture and food grains marketing and disinvestments of public sector undertakings — things which have already been made known for quite some time and are in progress.

These are developments with which this Budget has really nothing to do except reiteration of what is already known.

Some of the other salutary features are additional allocation to primary education, which has now become a fundamental right under the Constitution, and a higher allocation to agriculture. There is a clear announcement to make agriculture efficient and export oriented.

A higher allocation to defence, which indeed is the need of the hour, is also noteworthy.

One innovative feature is the declaration of policy for economic reform oriented public spending. State governments are to be rewarded in cash where they are successful in bringing about economic reform and structural readjustment.

Also, the state governments are to be partners of the Central government in the task of economic reform and economic progress. This is a very salutary development.

Unfortunately, this as also several other welcome features have simply been submerged in the rising crescendo of public opposition on account of the sharp rise in the cost of living for the middle class.

We are not touching upon the failure to contain fiscal deficit as targeted by the previous Budget. This has become too much like playing the same record again and again.

An outstanding failure of the Budget is in not recognising that demand recession, by far the biggest problem facing our economy today, and in not providing any road map on how demand can be stimulated or regenerated.

The fact remains that people’s purchasing power will be further affected as a result of the cumulative effect of the taxation measures. This will only accentuate demand recession further.

If Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha was outstandingly successful in his communication skill during his last year’s Budget, he has singularly failed in his communication skill in the current Budget.

It is bound to bolster up not only the opposition forces, but even some of the restive allies in the National Democratic Alliance, the ruling coalition. They are expected to join the chorus of opposition to the Budget provisions.

The end result may well affect the stability and future of the NDA coalition at the Centre.

(The author is a member of Parliament and former Indian Revenue Secretary). IANS 


Shattered life & mind of the brightest boy

Justin Chapman was the toast of the world: the cleverest little boy on the planet who played the violin at two, chess at three and embarked on a course at Stanford University aged four. In April 2000, a psychologist called Linda Silverman in Colorado conferred on him an IQ of 298, the highest on record for a child.

As a result, Justin featured in a BBC documentary and was feted by the governor of his mother's home state, New York. He was the world's highest-profile prodigy; commercial sponsorship descended upon his genius - his precious brain safely protected, in one advertisement, by a cycle helmet.

But it was all a cruel lie, and Justin's world is now shattered. He is suicidal and suffering `violent tantrums'; his mother - whose fantasy fiction this was - is charged with neglect, and the hothouse world of nurturing prodigy and `gifted' children is called into question.

'I just don't want to be me any more,' Justin recently told psychologists after begin admitted to hospital when found with an empty bottle of pills.

The first crack came during a treat to see the Harry Potter film last November: Justin, aged eight, began to scream the cinema down. The incident set a train of events in tow that included confessions by the boy to psychiatrists that he no longer wished to live, and now a custody battle after separation from his mother, Elizabeth.

`The child,' his court-appointed guardian Michael Grills told the judge in one hearing, `does not seem to have the degree of intellectual capacity he is purported to have. Either these folks who did the testing are flat wrong, or the extraordinary gifts this child currently has are a fiction.'

The report from an evaluation at a children's hospital near Denver - which found Chapman to be of `average intelligence' - was more disturbing: `His recent suicidal gesture,' it said, `exemplifies his inability to continue the existence that has been assigned by his mother, the gifted community and most likely by himself.'

The unveiling of the fraud was achieved because Elizabeth Chapman felt that by speaking the truth she might get custody of her son. She confessed in interviews with her local newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

Justin Chapman was born in July 1993 to the then 20-year-old woman and James Maurer, 24, who soon left her life. Elizabeth was herself a troubled child, anxious that her son avoid the childhood she called `totalitarian', in a strict Catholic home. Chapman claimed to have graduated from the State University of New York, but there is no record of her having actively enrolled.

Soon after her move west, Elizabeth began to baffle her adopted community with stories about her son. Some of her claims were ratified: one test by a psychologist called Thomas Arnold gave Justin an IQ 160 when he was only three - a score within the `exceptionally gifted' range.

Aged four, Justin was enrolled on a computer maths course at Stanford University near San Francisco, securing honours grades over the internet. He then burst into the media limelight by entering a full-time degree course at Rochester University, New York, receiving grade B for a course on the Ancient World..

His dazzling performances continued, almost entirely by email. Yet investigations by the Rocky Mountain News and New York Times to find objective evidence of Justin's remarkable scores have been unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the boy became a superstar - he had a regular column in the gifted community's Paradigm News called `The Justin Report', and became a figurehead for the movement against discrimination by age.

He toured the country to give prepared speeches, standing on a box, but his audiences were intrigued by an apparent inability to answer questions. When mother and son were invited for `live' testing at Johns Hopkins University, Ms Chapman declined.

In November, after Justin's breakdown, his mother had him admitted to the children's hospital in the Colorado town of Broomfield. He was transferred to a clinic treating child psychiatric cases and diagnosed by Dr Cathy Collins as being mentally ill, `gravely disabled' and `a danger to himself'. Her report says he suffers `violent tantrums', `regression to infantile behaviour and suicidal ideation' - meaning fantasy notions of ending his own life. When talking about his attempted overdose, Justin reportedly says he only swallowed one pill: `The cats ate the rest.' When given intelligence tests, the child becomes frustrated and tearful if he does not know the answers. He comes out `approximately average', says one doctor, Harriet Stern.

The psychiatrist's report concludes by saying that the boy can `no longer meet the expectations that have now become his identity'. Justin, it reads, `has not either been given a chance or has chosen not to develop his own self'. The ObserverTop


Blind students feel handicapped

Satya Prakash Sharma (16) is visually impaired, but equally excited about writing his first examination paper. But he is equally uncertain about the person on whom he depends to write his answers.

Sharma is among nearly 1,500 physically challenged, blind, dyslexic, spastic or deaf students appearing for India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) class 10 and 12 examinations this year.

These students dictate their answers to the writers provided to them by their schools, parents or hired by them.

The CBSE has allowed them an extra hour to write their papers as well as a person to write it for them. About 3 per cent of the total of 873,000 students writing the CBSE class 10 and 12 examinations from 4,500 centres in India and abroad are physically-challenged.

According to the CBSE regulation, the person qualified to write the examination for the disabled student is a person who has never sat for papers of that class before.

Usually, class 9 and class 11 students are hired to write papers for class 10 and 12 respectively.

Sharma, who first experienced someone else writing his pre-board examination in February, said: “Writers are junior students. They sometimes miss certain words or misspell them or even do not understand properly. This affects the answers. So our marks get deducted.”

His classmate Rakesh Patel (17) said: “They do not write with much interest and feel tired after sometime. Then we feel disturbed. Also it is easier to express in writing rather than dictating.”

The students find it difficult to arrange for writers, who are given Rs 50 to 100 per paper along with snacks.

But rich students can afford that more and easily get writers while poor students keep hunting till the last day. IANS

Drug cocktail hits cancer

British scientists have found that cancerous tumours can be killed off more effectively by using a “mix and match” combination of anti-cancer drugs.

Cancer Research UK scientists said on Sunday they had gained detailed data on exactly how treatments kill off cancer cells and that choosing different drugs that complemented each other stopped tumours from becoming resistant.

Anti-cancer drugs work by flicking a so-called “suicide switch” in each cancer cell, and resistance develops when this switch becomes jammed. The Birmingham-based researchers found the suicide switch that was targeted varied from one drug to another.

The research team focused on ovarian cancer, which often initially responds to chemotherapy but later develops a resistance.

They treated ovarian tumours grown in a laboratory with a variety of anti-cancer drugs and found that different drugs activated different cell death molecules.

“Our research has allowed us to find out which switches are targeted by different drugs, so that we can learn to mix and match far more effectively than is currently possible,” the team leader Prof Lawrence Young said in a statement.

Scientists hope that choosing a cocktail of drugs to target different switches at once could prevent a tumour developing resistance to treatment.

Young said the research could pave the way for more effective anti-cancer drugs in the future. Reuters

It took earth 20m yrs to be a planet

Meteorites have yielded two elements that have helped researchers to surmise that it took earth 20 million years to form into a planet rather than the 50 million years previously believed, reports Science journal.

Radioactive forms of the elements niobium and zirconium found in samples of meteorites were carefully studied during the course of the research.

While recent attempts to use the niobium-zirconium chronometer had produced the 50-million-year estimate, the group reported the new 20-million-year figure is the result of performing mineral separations in the samples for the first time, and using extreme precautions to maintain the purity of the samples.

Researchers used special processing equipment, anti-contamination air flow and filters, magnetic separation devices and a wide range of chemical separation techniques to avoid any interference by foreign materials.

“We designed an extremely careful approach to separate the minerals and isolate the right ones,” said Brigitte Zanda-Hewins, adjunct member, graduate faculty, Rutgers University, Department of Geological Sciences. ANI


The secret lies in practice,

not in intellectual deliberation.

Leave your intellect alone;

Do your practice and attain the Essence.

— Sar Bachan, 24, page 1

Endeavour to please the God within yourself.

You can never please the diversity of people.

I do not worry about the past and have no desire about the future. I live in the present, detached from all the sentiments of attachment or envy.

Experience godliness in all human beings and in everything.

You do not see or hear anything except the Self. Because there is nothing except Self-Existence Absolute, Reality-Absolute and Happiness-Absolute.

If any part of the body is broken, always think yourself to be without any form like sky and forget all the shortcomings of the body.

This is the Supreme Truth that you are God; God of Gods. Understand this, experience this and no one can do any harm to you.

There is only One.

Love has nothing to do with duality.

To see yourself in everything and to see everything in you is said to be of a real vision.

There is no praise or insult in outward things.

Go on doing your duty day and night and you will get glory.

Always keep the light of truth shining within you.

The demon of fear and greed cannot reach you.

You cannot lose anything unless you yourself invite the loss. No sword can cut till you think that it cuts.

— From Impossibilities Challenged

The Vedas and granths deal with experiences about the Lord; They tell us of means to cross the ocean of existence. But reality cannot be understood without a Master. The Master comes and makes us understand.

— Bhai Gurdas, Var I, Pauri 17

All commit mistakes,

Except the Lord and the Master.

— Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M-1, Sri Rag, Page 61

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