Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #142 - The Fierce Queen and the Cost of Treason

“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” ― George Orwell

Photo by Daniel van den Berg on Unsplash / Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom


When one contemplates on the ways of PM Modi, one finds that his greatest strength has been his ability to know the real being of people around him.

Those who are in public life and fighting the battle of governing India for the sake of the country, as opposed to their own profit, are the ones who are allowed to get through and take responsibilities.

Those, who no matter what their claim to fame, have even an iota of personal profit or self-glory as the aim, are very quickly sidelined.

Nothing brought that home more clearly to me than his sidelining of Arun Shourie.

His books were eye-openers for me in many ways. I still remember his daily center-page Opeds during the Bofors days in Indian Express, that I would read every word of. They left an indelible mark on my young mind at that time. I never missed a single piece he wrote.

Yet he was sidelined. I wondered why.

What he did later - by aligning with the very forces he had fought all his life to get back at Modi - shocked one.

How could he ever want to side with those who he knew for a fact had betrayed India? Only to get back at someone he knew was doing what Shourie had only dreamed of?

How could personal ego triumph over one’s central values?

If he believed in those forces, then he couldn’t have written all that he wrote. And, if he wrote all that, the way he did, he could never have betrayed someone and his own self the way he did.

The fact was he was masquerading all his life. And, he had been read. And, that is the most critical aspect of Modi.

Betrayal can push an entire country to the path of hell. And untold misery!


Today let us look at history. A historical situation where the urge for revenge of one slighted estranged ex-husband, put many tens of thousands through slavery, torture, and death.

The story is of a superwoman called Rani Abbakka Chowta. The badass queen of Ullal.

Unbelievable bravery of Rani Abbakka and the betrayal that brought hell to India

Tulu Nadu Queen -Rani Abbakka Devi II HISTORY INDUS II - YouTube

By the mid-1500s the Portuguese had defeated every ruler in sight.  The Zamorins of Calicut, the Sultan of Bijapur and had taken Daman, Bombay, Mylapur, and Goa.

They were in India for profits and conversions.  The Goa Inquisition was to later be established in Goa in 1560.

Ullal was a small place just 14 kilometers from Mangalore. Their next target.

So, in 1525, the Portuguese sent a few boats and soldiers to get a woman running Ullal.

Her name was Rani Abbakka Chowta.

The Portuguese first attacked the South Kanara coast and destroyed the Mangalore port.  Now they wanted to get the strategically critical port of Ullal.

When the Portuguese attacked Ullal, Rani Abbakka gathered the local chieftains and destroyed that entire group.

In 1555, the Portuguese sent Admiral Dom Álvaro da Silveira with a platoon to teach her a lesson.  The Admiral returned, badly injured and beaten.  With nothing!

After that, there was another attack, where only a few injured returned back.

In 1557 and 1558, the Portuguese plundered Mangalore and took the fort.

In 1568, the Portuguese launched another attack.  This time João Peixoto, the Portuguese general came with a large army.

As they came to Ullal, they were no army or queen there and they were able to simply walk in and take over the place.

It was clear to them that they had won, and the queen had run away.  So, they relaxed and loosened up.

That night she got 200 of her best fighters and attacked the Portuguese.  They killed General Peixoto and took back Ullal.

Now, that was a big victory for Rani Abbakka as the Portuguese Army with their general had been badly destroyed.

Should have been a time for celebration, right?

Oh, heck no!

She had other ideas.

That same night, she took a few men and rode towards Mangalore.  She attacked the fort and killed Admiral Mascarenhas, the main Chief of the Portuguese there.  Portuguese had to leave.

She kept on and went onto capture even Kundapura, another Portuguese ruled town just 100 kilometers north of Mangalore.

Rani Abbakka was a single mother who had been married to the local chieftain of Bangher.  Their marriage hadn’t lasted long, which Abbakka dissolved by returning the jewelry.  Humiliated, this guy always wanted to take revenge.

And, that is what the Portuguese used.

They finally conquered Ullal while imprisoning Rani Abbakka.  From the prison, she launched a revolt single-handedly to fight her way out.

Unfortunately, she was killed in that attempt.

A fierce fighter and ruthless warrior, who had almost annihilated the Portuguese from India, before they started their inquisition, was ultimately betrayed by someone her own.  That guy’s urge to seek revenge brought mind-numbing hell in the guise of fanatic Christian religious men.  

the terrible Christian Inquisitions in Goa by the Portuguese

So many died in terrible ways because this one guy had to take his revenge!

In the inquisitions that followed, thousands of Hindus and Muslims as well as less religious Christians were killed mercilessly. Tortured and burnt on the stakes.

A devil called Francis Xavier, whom the Church called a Saint for precisely the reason why he was a demon - killing the “Hindu Pagans” - committed unthinkable crimes.

All religious policies and procedures of forcible and fraudulent conversions and demolitions of the Hindu Temples and idols were undertaken under his guidance and missionary zeal. Thus it was St.Francis Xavier who laid the foundation for the ‘compassionate’ (barbarous!) for an organised system of Holy Inquisition against the Hindus in Goa. (Source)

Please read more on the Goa Inquisitions at these links - Quora . Rediff . Indiafacts.

tragedy and the vultures

A journalist associated with Reuters, Hindustan Times, Economic Times- Madhvan Narayanan tweeted something that we all knew to be true and something we alluded to yesterday in our newsletter. The Hathras tragedy is being used for political purposes and most of the associated outrage is manufactured. (Source)

His Freudian slip on social media got massive pushback and he was forced to delete his tweet. But it laid bare the mindset of this entire lobby.

They see an opportunity in the tragic death of a girl. They see the election campaigns in their fake sympathy. And, mind you, he is not a politician. He is a so-called journalist. If he can think in those terms for his masters, imagine how they would have planned to milk this tragedy?

You can further check the remarkable insensitivity and hypocrisy of those with agendas in this brilliant expose. (Source)

Anand Ranganathan explains our point about useless outrage sans real sensitivity and action in this brilliant comment on TimesNow.

how COVID-19 spread in India - some insights

The great thing about the Indian government and agencies these days in that there are tools that can be used to get insights into different public health crises and even crimes.

The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy has a startling revelation from their research on COVID-19 spread in India.

Mere 8% of the confirmed cases in India were responsible for 2/3rds of the current over 6 million cases!

A group of patients that included about 8% of India’s confirmed cases later led to almost two-thirds of its total infections, scientists said Wednesday in a study published in the journal Science. (Source)

When the contacts of 71% of confirmed cases were traced by the workers, it was that they did not spread the virus.

As per the researchers, the super-spreaders did the biggest damage by using public transportation since prolonged close contact on buses and other forms of transportation was responsible for the most transmissions.

The top five worst states have had the following chart. Maharashtra is the worst culprit.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center says that children were the silent spreaders of the virus. So his advice? Keep the kids home!

Children under 14, though, were found to be frequent “silent” spreaders of the virus, especially to their parents and peers. “This shows that even without schools being functional, children-to-children transmission seems to be quite important,” he said. “As terrible as it is to say -- with two kids at home myself -- it’s actually important to keep the kids home.”

Sane advice. But most governments around the world don’t care for that plan of action.

nota bene

No physical license or papers needed anymore: Those who are venturing out due to unavoidable circumstances or for the pure love of travel now no longer need not worry about carrying the driver's license or RC in physical from. An amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act 1989 now says that starting from October 1, 2020, drivers need not carry their vehicle documents. These also include the PUC. Instead, the vehicle papers, if they need to be checked, will be done digitally. All police officers will be carrying digital scanners to help maintain social distancing and at the same time, remove the harassment angle. Moreover, bribery acts too will be curtailed with this enforcement. The authorities feel that this will also help implement better discipline with respect to road usage. (Source)

Pak reverse-engineered cruise: In an attempt to demonstrate his ties with Pakistani military just days after hitting out at its leadership, ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has claimed that his government had reverse-engineered a US cruise missile to develop the country’s own missile program. (Source)

Suspected access to the Lok Sabha site?: Before the Monsoon Parliament Session began on September 14, “suspected accesses” to the Lok Sabha website were made, prompting the Lok Sabha Secretariat to geo-fence the site, the Lok Sabha Secretary General Snehlata Shrivastava revealed in the Lok Sabha bulletin on September 30. As a result, the website could not be accessed from outside India during the session. Some of these accesses were from “Korea, China, Japan and Spain”, as per the bulletin. The geo-fence has now been removed as the session has been adjourned. (Source)

Mute the mic: Given the terrible scene in the first Presidential debate in the US, the organizers are looking for ways to keep things under control. One of the suggestions is to give the moderator the ability to cut off the microphone of one of the debate participants while his opponent is talking. (Source)

Writing by hand improves brain: New brain research shows that writing by hand helps children learn more and remember better. At the same time, schools are becoming more and more digital, and a European survey shows that Norwegian children spend the most time online of 19 countries in the EU. Results from several studies have shown that both children and adults learn more and remember better when writing by hand. (Source)

data and food supply

Erin Baumgartner is a geek - data entrepreneur. She used her knowledge and expertise she used to run a farm-to-table business.  Here she lays out her plan to help create a healthier, zero-waste food system that values the quality and taste of small, local farm harvests over factory-farmed produce.

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