Letter to President Barack Obama – Introducing India

By K.P.Joseph

Dear President Barack Obama,

44th President of the United States of America, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2010, and my kid brother in the global village. Do not be upset by my calling you my kid brother. I am an octogenarian. (An Indian Octo lest it be misread to stand for Paul The Octo, i.e. Octopus who predicted the outcome of Soccer 2010 Final)

I am not looking down on my juniors, breathing down from the cliff of Vaikunda, the Indian Mount Olympus or Mount Kilimanjaro that you know more about. When I utter the K word, my mind goes to the African empire that preceded the British Empire where also the Sun did not set.

Dear Obama, age is the India Olympian Mount, the Kilimanjaro summit for people like me. It is fascinating to climb upward. But we know aging is truly a climb down. One day me, others like me will go down, fall over the last wall, into the abyss, the dark or lighted corridor-hole of space-time continuum of which the British Stephan Hawking speaks in his book: A Brief History Of Time. On a sudden all of us will go under the earth. Even the babes being born on planet earth on all continents, rich and poor will go under the earth in hundred years, unless there is breakthrough in Life Sciences, resulting in ‘Methu Selah’ clinics and tonics and tabs available for a price in the market.

Or unless Bio Technological editing of DNA using enzymes of plants can prolong longevity as Gerontologist, author of ‘Ending Ageing’ Dr Aubrey De Grey dreams. Let us recall that Methu Selah was the pet theme of George Bernard Shaw.

I talk like a scatter brain with no focus like a gand bull’s eye for breakfast. This is as an Indian I am trained to be a scatter brain, even as much as we, Indians are trained to cultivate Yoga and Yogic mind exercises.

We are indeed trained to say Neti Neti (No, No) to every statement. In order that we

  • Get at the core of truth
  • Of Satya,
  • Satya Samudra,
  • Of Om,
  • Omkara,
  • Mithya,
  • Of Mithya,
  • Mayavilasa,
  • Of Hiranya Garbha,
  • Of Atma,
  • Of Brahma,
  • Of Brahmatma,
  • Of Parabrahma,
  • Of Marthyatha,
  • Of Amarthyatha,
  • Of Karma,
  • Of Dharma,
  • Of Gnana,
  • Of Sadhana,
  • Of Sivalinga,
  • Of Parvati Yonina,
  • Of Thandava,
  • Of Lasya,
  • Of Lasya Thandava,
  • Of Manthra,
  • Of Thanthra,
  • Of Yantra,
  • Of Yoga,
  • Of Dhyana,
  • Of Dhyana Yoga,
  • Of Isa,
  • Of Prana,
  • Of Akshara,
  • Of Rupa,
  • Of Arupa,
  • Of Arupa Rupa,
  • Of Thamasoma Jyothir Gamaya,
  • Of Asathoma Sathgamaya,
  • Of Mruthyoma Amruthamgamaya,
  • Of Nimanjana,
  • Of Nimanjana Nirvana,
  • Of Anjatha Satya
  • And so on.

(May I introduce to you here my friend Acharya Sachidananda Bharathi, the leader of ‘the second freedom struggle movement.’ And who attended the ‘millennium world peace summit of religious and spiritual leaders’ organized by the United Nations and founder of disciples of Christ for peace and who is a follower of Christ, a member of 2000-year-old Christianity in India, and whose brothers and sisters are serving the U.S. in capacities that make peace and harmony and wealth)

Let me go back to ageing. Over here the young give obeisance to the aged in any form bent or broken or frame of broken bones, that has to be carried along in cotton or linen sacks to hospitals and shrines.

But there is a sick side to the obeisance to the old. They are abandoned to fend for themselves. This can be seen by visitors to Allahabad, Delhi, Ujjain, Benares, Madurai, Guruvayoor and almost all the pilgrim places.

Let me confess I have been shadowing you and your country with no bad intent. Let me introduce myself. I don’t go to the Himalayan task of introducing the self – the Aham of Indian thought – which is what Sree Narayana Guru said. The greatest knowledge is the knowledge of self. In one of the temples he built there are no idols of Hindu Gods but only a mirror. The devotees are urged to see himself / herself and seek God / God realization through self knowledge.

Hence the commonplace ‘I’ was born in Udayamperoor, meaning the place where the sun rises. Oor in Tamil means place similar to “ur” in Mesopotamia, present day Iraq, the place of Abraham the Patriarch, you have visited the place. I had also been there before your predecessor stepped into the place. I had been to ‘Halabja’ where Chemical Ali, cousin of Saddam Hussein, had this field day I was then an Indian born International Consultant working with United Nations. I went to Iraq as Food and Agriculture Organisation Representative.

I found UN money was pouring into Iraq to feed the hungry children of Iraq, but was being misappropriated by the upper-crust Iraqis. The four wheeler bought by UN money for agricultural promotion office was used for personal use by the Iraqi UN Employee. The same story in India of money poured by the Indian government to lift the poor in Indian villages used by employees for their benefit. The case should be much more in Afganistan and similar places under global care and jurisdiction.

I found too that the UN implementation team, at least that of FAO segment was not efficient. The program begun in early nineties, was limping along in the last years of the last decade of the second millennium. I calculated that only a quarter of the UN money was disbursed and more than three quarters of the disbursed money, were shown as disbursed and kept under suspense accounts and put to no use. And this big backlog in implementation of task was kept away from UN knowledge by underlings in Iraq. When I pointed this out, I became a martyr and persona non grata for them. I take here a Right about or Left about turn, to make you lend me your ears, among the many wanting to have your ears. What I want to tell you that is my friend and neighbour Sophia has her grandson who is known to you. I was pleased to see you and her grandson in a group photo of Messiah College.

I have this photo before me in which you stand tall and my friend’s grandson (I will call him the Panampilly Nagar Boy) stands along with his spouse, all beaming. The Panampilly Nagar boy is of the 80’s vintage.

Right this moment, my imagination go wild. I imagine that the President of the United States of America making a dash to Cochin while visiting India to look up the grandmother of his Messiah College friend. Let me tell you that her name is Sophia (we call her Sophiamma) is still pretty in her eighties. The other day we wrapped a ponnada i.e. a golden shawl around Sophia in honour of her social persona. Your wife Michele would be delighted to see her.

Let me tell you that visiting Panampilly Nagar will be looking up the best habitat of Kerala (God’s own country) which has achieved human development comparable to the West on a very low percapita income base, because of Sree Narayana Guru.

When I utter the words human development, the name of Sree Narayana Guru cannot but sprout up on my tongue as the Prophet Guru of this change in Kerala which was called by Swami Vivekananda a Lunatic Asylum in the early part of last century. (Was not the United States also a Lunatic Asylum of colour and racial prejudice like Kerala before long ago)

Kochi is Cochin in its anglicized version. My hometown Udayamperoor is adjacent to Cochin. Udayamperoor is famous for its 1500-year-old church founded by the one and the only Christian Royal Dynasty in South Asia. Do not be alarmed, my parish church is three times older than any of the churches of any Christian denomination. Pope John Paul II’s polish church is only 1000 years old.

I am disbelieved in the US when I say that my, our, marriage in India was conducted in a 1500-year-old Church and our engagement took place in the 2000-year-old Pallipuram Church on the Vembanad Lake founded by Apostle Thomas.

Our marriage is now fifty years old. We celebrated our golden jubilee quietly in the absence of our three children of whom two we have donated to the United States and third to the Middle East, the main source of prosperity in Sree Narayana Guru’s Kerala.


Having introduced Apostle Thomas I cannot but speak about Malayattur where we have the relative’s on mother’s side. Malayattur is the name of a mount, the place of the mountain stream. Malayattur in Malayalam means that. It is a steep climb up to the summit of mount Malayattur, where St. Thomas climbed in the first century AD and rested on a rock, putting his feet on another down below. St Thomas’ foot print turned golden. The apostle climbed down. Much later a stray visitor discovered the foot print. As she touched it, blood came out. She told her people and a crowd gathered. The faithful prayed and there were miracles. A church came up and there was a pilgrim rush. The apostle was called Kurisu Mala Muthappan i.e., the old man of the Mount of the Cross. Today Malayattur is a pilgrim centre producing income to the Ernakulam-Ankamali Arch Diocese. Wherever there are heaps of cash there are many claimants. Just as in US and the world over in India too. The Malayattur mount is not an exception to this rule.

The colourful part of the story is not cash, but people. The innocent and the not so innocent undertake the pilgrimage to the mount of Apostle Thomas. They enact the way of the Cross. As I write this the commotion of the pilgrims marching to the Malayattur is heard on the Sahodaran Ayyappan Road. My car grinds to a halt in the traffic jam there. The pilgrims are all male pepperskinned, copperskinned, wheat-skinned young male, most of them in saffron sarongs. Some have long hair like girls, watching them from the pavement.

Travel writers have named Kochi the Queen of the Arabian Sea. In older times Arabs used to come on Pathemaris – huge timber floats to trade and sow their wild oats in Kerala. They do still but make flying visits for the same game. The Arabs were only following King Solomon, who sent his ships to take away ‘teak’ from Malabar. Whether his ships took away female slaves / courteasans of Temples of the day and some of them ended in his ‘harem’ is another question. The Shulamite maiden appearing in ‘song of songs’ was dark hued. So King Solomon had a taste for dark beauties. Malabar had plenty of them, although the ideal beauty had the complexion of cut tender turmeric, according to poets of Malabar.

Solomon who consorted with seven hundred queens and three hundred concubines, wooed the dark Shulamite beauty – the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys – was for her the stag up on the mountains of Bather. Solomon arrived singing ‘your hair is like a flock of goats going down from Mount Gilead…your teeth like flock of shorn sheep, your lips like a strand of scarlet,….your neck like the tower of David, your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle who feed among the lilies,…how much better than wine is your love and the scent of your perfumes than all the spices (of Malabar) your lips drip like honey comb…and the fragrance of your garments are like the fragrance of Lebanon.

The Shulamite girl was like the US girls of today…earthy. She tells Solomon “Blow up on my garden like…wind…that its spices may blow out. Eat my beloved the pleasant fruits of my garden. Solomon was liberal with his riches. Wish Solomon like leaders go to the Maoist hideouts in Orissa and Chattisgarh. Seventy six young men were killed by Maosists there. One of the guys was from our neighbourhood. The physical remains of the boy got a royal send off at his funeral, attended by the ‘Constabulary,’ politicians, public men, all those who wanted to squeeze the last drop of publicity by dropping the lime light.

Maoism is a great threat to Indian Democracy. Even after many people know he was not the anointed one. According to Chinese writers who knew him closely he was a crook, a criminal, self-centered, egoist and caused the death of 70 million Chinese, to enjoy power. Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely. According to Jong Chang, author of ‘Mao’ he was a megalomaniac who compared himself to Richard Nixon fallen from power. Mao asked Imelda Marcose, to pass on his good wishes and invited him to visit China, through her. Mao told Julie daughter of Nixon: “write to your dad at once, tell him I miss him.” Mao sent a Boeing 707 to Los Angeles to fetch Nixon. Even Chiang Kai-Shek he had deposed he liked more than the Chinese leaders he had around him. Mao mourned the Generalissimo for an entire day in private. He had kinship feelings with power grabbers like him.

He addressed Chiang: “You and I are men of history, No little men chattering about minor affairs” Yes, Mao was incurable megalomaniac say like Stalin, Hitler, the Latin American Dictators. Mao showed compassion to Haile Selassie, the ousted emperor of Ethiopia. Mao did not care one iota for what happened to China or the Chinese or his Party after his death. In fact he wanted “Blood rains and winds smelling of blood” after his death. He had the feudal Royal Syndrome which Queen Victoria had in abundance. In Queen Victoria’s day the Royal Houses of Europe were blood relations of the British Royal House, very much like the India before the British. Akbar married from Hindu Royal Houses, to seal friendship. Sorry in Democratic Socialist India also the marriage network is used to consolidate power bases. So what does all this mean? The Royalty, the Supreme Leadership of movements, in democratic / Marxist, Leninist, Maoist era too was the networking of the powerful few against the powerless masses.

The more men change the more they remain the same. Think of Mao’s treatment of Chou En Lai whose popularity Mao considered a threat to his power. In 1972 Chou En Lai was discovered having cancer of the bladder. A surgery could have saved his life. But Mao vetoed it privately. Mao did not want Chou four years his junior, to survive him. Liu Shao-chi (President of the People’s Republic after Mao was upgraded as the Leader, the Helmsman) was put to solitary confinement by Mao along with his wife. Liu was trampled on the ground in the jail. Mao’s sadism brought his daughter to watch the trampling. Liu Shao-chi died was starved and he died in his own vomit. There are hundreds of instances that give a peep into the dark matter that made up his person and personality. And it is in the name of this diabolic person that the Maoists are today committing atrocities to lift the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed!

The Indian view of the ultimate truth is matriarchal than patriarchal. The Indian view is Mother Earth, Mother Universe, the Parashakthi. Mother Earth with her billion Garbha grahas all sprouting life in all forms is the dearest Mother. The patriarchal view is that God is male and he has created the Earth for humans whom he created in his image as male and female. God created the male first and as companion he created Eve the female. But he entrusted with the female the onerous job of procreation, with of course, the help of the male.

According to the Bible and Manusmriti/Upanishads we are all born of women. Even Jesus the son of God had to have a mother – Mother Mary. Jesus is said to have conquered death and rose from the dead and was uploaded to heaven upstairs of Earth. Christians believed in a flat Earth. In the patriarchal view and matriarchal, we are all sisters and brothers. All sisters and brothers are to be treated well, in equal measure. The wealth of the world belong to the less clever differently endowed Lazars also. But in the real world they starve. They starve while there is abundance around them.

Here I have to tell you the break through plan for an optimal solution for assuring the dignity and the freedom of the individual. Freedom leads to competition, resulting in inequality and inequity and bleeding injustice. My idea is not truly mine. But a cocktail of thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, whom you know and Sree Narayana Guru you may not know. And Lord Buddha and Jesus of Nazareth. I have christened the theory of equity in freemarket : TTT TTT stands for Top one percent’s tie up with bottom Ten percent. I shall further elaborate TTT later.


While introducing India to any one is a difficult task, introducing India to the USA is not as difficult as to introduce India to Aruba or Azerbaijan or Andorra or Albania. This is because both are siblings grown up in the courtyard of history, India for a longer while USA for a shorter. Both are melting pots, races and cultures. India for five thousand years, USA for five hundred years. India was the land of myth and legend and wealth and promise. Thomas of Knana (Knayi Thomman) followed Apostle Thomas. Apostle Thomas came in AD 52 and Thomas of Knana came in the fourth century from Syria along with four hundred Syrian families. They are the Assyrian Knanaite Christians of Kerala. There are today many Assyrian Knanites from Kerala settled in USA. Thomas of Knana was a wealthy merchant who married a Shulamite like beauty of Malabar coast. He embarked in Kodungallore the ancient entry port of India. Thomas set up house for his Indian spouse in the North side of the river mouth and for his Assyrian wife on the South side. The descendants became Southists (Assyrian) and Indian (Northists)


Islam came to India when the first mosque was built by the Malabar King, Ramavarma Kula Shekhara in Kodungalloor with help from Malik Bin Deenar. Islam came to Malabar not as a Conqueror in violent bloodshed but as an honoured guest. The Guest should be treated as visiting God ATHIDHI DEVO BHAVA said Indians. This was long before Islam gatecrashed with rape and violence in North India in 12th Century under Mahmud of Gazani. India has today the third largest Muslim population among countries. The Malabar Muslims are called Mappilas the richest community with their own culture in Malabar.


The Iranian Zoroastrians migrated to India in the 10 century. They were persecuted in their homeland. They are known by the name Parsees. They form only 0.006 percent of the Indian population. But their role in industrialisation and human development is immense. JRD tata is the present doyan of the Community. When the Parsees landed in Gujarat the King of Gujarat had told the leader, there is no space to offer, them to settle. The Parsee leader replied: We don’t need any space. We will be like sugar added to milk in a tumbler. But we will add sweetness to the milk. In the freedom movement the Parsee contribution is unique. They made Bombay the fashion capital of India. The first Scheduled Caste President of India K.R. Narayanan received a Tata scholarship that sent him to London. There is Indian Parsee presence in USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya and other parts of the world.

There are over a thousand immigrants in USA working for you and your supporters .From my own village and neighborhood. including my family group living in Chicago (Banker Joy Myalil) Winnipeg, Lowa , New York (Attorney Johnson Lukose, Anupa Fabian and her husband ,my niece and her husband with parents long settled in New York ) Mr Joy Cherian and Mrs Alice Cherian who were in the us for a long long time and who had once visited India with the entourage of former US president's visiting India

So do visit Cochin Queen Of Arabian Sea and the humble octogenarian who adores you for your leadership of the USA in a world full of terrorism islamic and otherwise . I repeat that you can learn many things from this place. Indeed Kerala is a megacity that has eliminated the difference in facilities between village and town. It has even integrated tribal villages with spread of education and literacy. Even as Malayalam is a language in no place English is an unknown language. The Rickshaw pullers and Maid servants know english and use Mobile Phones to talk to their family members settled all over the world. So please visit Kerala where human development have been achieved in a unique manner.

Adieu Peace lover President Barack Obama.

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21. My days in Iraq
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Excerpts from books GOSPEL OF GURU SREENARAYANA, ViswaVidya
Treat pleasure and pain , gain and loss ,victory and defeat ,prosperity and adversity ,heat and cold ,rain and sunshine , day and night and all dwandas alike. The manifested world is a network of dwandas , an endless parade of the opposites. Solve one pair another pair is born with a shrill or a silent shriek....
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