Sunday, August 28, 2016

Meet Captain Naveen Nagappa - Kargil War Fighter

Jammu and Kashmir is again in news.

50 days of curfew, non stop media coverage, 10s of crores of Rupees coming from Pakistan to sponsor stone pelting, anti India slogans in the so called "human rights" events, with natural reaction against anti nationals from Desha Bhakta students on streets, and much more. So I attended the well publicized and very well attended Nilume event today in Bengaluru. This Nilume group is the most active group of Kannada bloggers today with 1000s of highly creative writers. I went there to understand the situation from three different angles:-
  1. One from police angle narrated by the former Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru city, Mr. Shankar Bidari
  2. Second from a researcher, professor and journalist angle narrated by the popular Kannada writer Mr. Prem Shekhar. He has also written books on Jammu and Kashmir.
  3. Third from a Kargil war veteran, Captain Naveen Nagappa, who fought valiantly to protect India's sovereignty in the Himalayan hills in July 1999.
I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Bidari and Mr. Prem Shekhar's narrations. They covered the issue from human rights, army morale, history, blunders of Nehru, British and US bias, geo-politics and war perspective. They were outstanding. Between them, they spoke for over 2 hours, so I will try to narrate their talk a little later on Facebook and Twitter. I knew both of them and admired them for years. Awesome gentlemen!

Here, I want to jump straight to Captain Naveen Nagappa. Honestly, I did not know about him till date. Shame on me! I did not know about a valiant Indian army man who not only fought bravely at Kargil protecting us, but also survived a serious injury to tell us the story. But it is never too late. So you can learn more about him here..

It was January 1999. A young Engineer from Karnataka called Naveen had joined Indian Army, instead of going to do Masters Degree in Engineering. He had great dreams of protecting our Bharat and had become a part of 13th Jammu and Kashmir Rifles group. This was the group of Late Captain Vikram Batra, of "Yeh dil maange more" fame. This battalion got numerous awards during the war for supreme sacrifice. Our of the 4 Param Vir Chakras awarded during Kargil war, two were given to his JK Rifles unit.

While he was just getting started with his army career, General Musharraf and Pakistanis were planning and executing something sinister. They were breaking the Gentleman's agreement between India and Pakistan of vacating the 16000 feet plus altitude hills during extremely bitter winter periods. They were not only occupying the Kargil heights, but also were building bunkers and getting ready to shell Indian army's vital Siachen and Leh supply routes from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir state.

Things came out open in May 1999. But June Indian army was fighting to capture the hills back, one by one. When Naveen's team was sent in early July to capture a vital hill, he was put in reserve.
Point 5140 was where the big battle was starting. Captain Batra and team had already fought there, but Naveen was not given a chance to fight. His team was sending radio signal, including "Yeh dil maange more" kind of awesome slogans. But Naveen was not fighting in the open. He desperately wanted to.
 When his team was given a big task for 3rd and 4th July 1999, he went and pleaded his chiefs like General Yogesh Kumar Joshi. Naveen pleaded that he did not leave his chance for Masters in Engineering, and come all the way to Jammu and Kashmir borderline, to just stay in the reserve. He wanted to fight. His boss asked - You are here only for 6 months in the army. Not only your safety, but also the safety of 120 people who are with you matters, with your split decision. It is not easy. But Naveen did not quit. He kept on requesting and finally got the stamp of approval to lead a mission.

Super excited, Naveen was on the mission to liberate "Point 4875" near Kargil. Captain Batra had told Captain Nagappa one simple thing - "Naveen, you take care of your men, and they will take care of you". So Naveen started his expedition with JK Rifles' war cry - "Durga Mata Ki Jai"!
Location of Point 4875. Source:
We have heard more of Tiger Hill and other popular named hills. But a few of these numbered hills were vital to get to the top of Kargil mountains where Pakistanis had setup bunkers, so that they can be kicked out of Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir. So the battle started on 4th July 1999. Incidentally the day of Vivekananda and US independence too! Personally, I had just crossed oceans at 38,000 ft to get back to India that morning, but had no clue that supreme sacrifices were being made exactly at that time by the brave jawans of India.

Naveen and team had followed the same buddy system that army follows. Everyone who goes out in the night for attack, is paired with another brave soldier. Their job is to make sure that if something happens to one, the other would take care of it. Naveen had just seen his buddy suffer badly the previous night. But there was no going back. He had to fight on 4th morning, 4th night, 5th morning, 5th night, 6th morning, 6th night... They had to melt water from snow capped mountain for drink and eat some energy food carried with them. They could not move easily as the enemy was in higher location and had clear sight of them. But their mental power carried them. Why? They had heard about how Pakistanis had tortured Late Captain Saurabh Kalia and team who had gone on a fact finding mission earlier. They had heard about the gory details of brutally Pakistanis had taken out organ by organ of the brave Indian soldiers who were taken as Prisoners of War. They had heard about how after torturing in the most inhuman ways, Pakistanis had shot Kalia and team at point blank, before "returning" the bodies to India. When you hear such barbarism and brutality of your enemy at front lines, you just get the energy to hit back. No question of fear or family or tiredness. That was Captain Nagappa and team during those extremely difficult moments of July 1999.

They kept fighting bravely. And then a grenade landed in front of Naveen. He was trained on how to handle a grenade when it lands. Usually you have 6 to 10 seconds. A grenade can kill everyone within 10 meters radius. So the first instinct of Naveen on 7th July morning was to just pick it up and throw it away. But a body that has been fighting non stop for 100+ hours can't really throw a grenade back 100s of feet as they show in movies. Unfortunately, the grenade came back after hitting a boulder.. Now Naveen had 2 to 3 seconds!!

His thought was - Anyway the explosion will happen now. I have no chance of escaping. At least, let my upper body go back home in one piece, rather than piece by piece in a bag. So he hid his upper body from grenade and exposed only his lower body. Booooom.. the explosion happened and before he knew what happened, he was in severe pain. His legs were hit. But in a conflict zone, you can't just get away after being injured. Any movement will attract more bullets. So he controlled his extreme pain of both legs being damaged and still fought on. But his team observed and asked him that he should crawl from the mountain to the bottom slowly. He did not agree, but they convinced him that he had to do it as he was seriously injured. With great reluctance, Naveen left his team to fight further, and crawled back to the lower heights very slowly. As you can imagine, he would be in tremendous pain and losing blood rapidly. Still he made to the bottom. The first thing he did there was to remove his snow shoes which are below the knee, but above the ankle. And then he realized how hard he was hit as his blood turned a few feet of snow around him red! He had literally spilled half of his body's blood for Bharat Mata, in an un-named hill, 1000s of KM from his home.. what a spirit! Still he wanted to fight barely having consciousness.

Even there, you can't expect a quick evacuation as the enemy was a higher position, observing everything. So it took lot of time. Finally after hours, he was given basic treatment and taken to the nearest helicopter. With great reluctance, he had to head away from the fighting zone, in the army helicopter taking him to Srinagar. And when the chopper took off, at a lower height to avoid firing from higher hills, he was losing consciousness due to heavy blood loss. Just then his chopper flew past Point 4875 for which he almost sacrificed his life. And there the Indian national flag, the tricolour was flying proudly!! After watching it from the army chopper, under lot of sedatives to kill the pain, he finally closed his eyes in total satisfaction. YES!! My boys have done what I went there to do......... What a relief!
His mind was -

"Naveen.. You have left a legacy behind.. whatever happens after this is irrelevant. Whatever role you were meant to play, you have played. You have created history".

Then he spent 21 months in the hospital undergoing treatment. He had to undergo 8 surgeries. He got the Sena Medal. His spirit kept him going even when the bravest of human minds crumble when hospitalized for such a long time.

And he narrates one other thing from his hospital stay. The mother of his close friend from army came from Dilli to visit him. She had lost her son during the same battle. Naveen could not sleep the prior night as he did not know what to tell that Maa, about her son. He could not digest that fact that he was alive, but his close friend soldier had made the supreme sacrifice for India. She came and met him. He talked with his "aunty" with lot of respect. They talked for 2 hours, but she never asked about her son not returning. Naveen could not take it anymore when she was about to walk away. He asked her.. "Aunty.. I am extremely sorry that I could not get your son back, while I survived myself". She told in a calm way - "Naveen.. it is the best honour for a mother to see her son wrapped in a tiranga. I am proud of my son". No need to highlight that when Naveen narrated this today, he got loud claps from the emotional audience in Bengaluru.

Why am I writing all these 17 years later? Because when I was busy building my high paying corporate career in 1999, these young men, some younger than me, were busy shedding their precious blood drops for Bharat Mata. As I am typing this, I am sure 1000s are taking extreme risks in the Himalayan mountains, rough seas, dangerous central Indian jungles and much more. During every real estate purchase we do, ever mall purchase we do, every road trip we take, every party we enjoy, every cricket match we cheer for, every political rally we attend, every TV show we watch, every birthday party of kid we celebrate.... there is an Indian army soldier making a split second decision whether to sacrifice his upper body or lower body because that grenade is about to explode. Either he is facing the situation in real, or training hard in drills. Sooner or later that situation would come for many brave fighters as we are surrounded by internal and external enemies.

Hold these brave soldiers with the highest respect. We have NO IDEA of what they go through.. when you can't even take out your shoe for hours to check if your bleeding legs are still attacked to the knees or not, THAT is sacrifice for mother India. That is what 1000s of these Jawans are paying with their blood for our safety each year.

Oh.. did I tell you that all the tall promises politicians made to him - nothing has materialized till date :( You can hear his narration here, from an earlier event.

You can read about another narration of meeting with Captain Nagappa here. They have posted one memorable picture from Kargil times.

The next time you hear some nincompoop talk of "human rights" or "azaadi" slogans against these brave Jawans, just ask them to go speak to brave sons of Bharat Mata like Captain Naveen Nagappa in Bengaluru. I can take them personally.

Freedom is not free. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to protect it. DAILY!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Propaganda Against Venkaiah Naidu.

It has been a long time since I blogged on any topic. There were many chances, but I procrastinated and lost the interest eventually.

But today, I got a chance. So enjoy reading :)

Venkaiah Naidu flagging off Namma Metro. Pic: Indian Express
For the past week or so, social media in Karnataka is abuzz with Venkayya Sakayya (enough of Venkaiah) kind of messages. First there was a big column in Vishwavani. It was followed by other news paper reports and countless memes floating on Facebook and Twitter. TV stations also might be picking it up by now. The core message was to force BJP to not give Venkaiah Naidu, a fourth term to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. For a casual observer, Venkaiah Naidu is usually in news whether in parliament or his rhyming word speeches, or his frequent photo ops for important events.

Initially I was  not interested in this. Didn't read or comment much on this. But when I saw that it was a well organized movement, just posted one casual tweet.

Of course, my focus was Congress supporters who were sending me tweets for a week. I knew quite well that BJP and JDS supporters were also in this campaign. But I thought I will handle them later :)

Posted a similar message on FB too. I thought it was just one off post on this topic and time for a good night's sleep.

I was surprised with the reaction. It was from all corners. Highly popular FB poster Vivek Shetty picked up this tweet and posted on FB where it went viral. Within hours, 100s of reactions started pouring in. I tried to answer a few dozen initially. Then it became difficult to keep up. Emotions were flying around.. Some abused me.. Small number praised me. Most argued that it is a bad choice to support Naidu.

The fact of the matter is - I have no favourites among the 12 Rajya Sabha MPs from Karnataka. Rather, I hardly care. For me Legislative Council, Rajya Sabha, Governors' offices and President's office are things that are mostly ceremonial. I don't spend much time talking about them. Hence I was very surprised at the amount of interest by youth, particularly the emotion part! How can anyone be so interested suddenly on as trivial thing as reelection of a Rajya Sabha MP? Every 2 years, RS keeps getting people coming and going.. No one really pays much attention, but this was different.

Here is how things went parallelly across Facebook and Twitter. Let me sum up.

I said: Indira Gandhi was also an outsider. So what's the big deal with Venkaiah?
They said: So you are saying BJP can do the same sins that Congress did? What happened to Party with a difference tag?

I said: Not that way. From when did we get so touchy about "outsiders" in Karnataka? Sonia Gandhi won in Ballari (which she dumped quickly). Many "outsiders" have gone to parliament from Karnataka. Why suddenly touchy about Venkaiah's fourth term?
They said: Lok Sabha is different from Rajya Sabha. Here you are nominating, and not getting elected directly.

I said: OK. Then how do you feel about Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, born Jairam Ramesh going to Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh? He was in RS for 12 years since 2004. Isn't that case exactly reverse of what you are opposing? How do you justify Manmohan Singh becoming India's PM from Asom's RS quota?
They said: Who cares? That is up to people from AP or Asom to oppose.

I said: So you are OK with Sonia Gandhi winning from Karnataka. You think it is their problem if someone elects a Karnataka born person to RS from their state. What is your core issue with Venkaiah?
They said: He does not work for the development of Karnataka. He is too partial towards AP.

I said: OK. Let's examine facts. You know that Karnataka has a quota of 12 RS MPs. Have you even examined how all 12 have done before shooting on Venkaiah?
They said: Again, he has not done anything for Karnataka. That's the point.

I said: Let's go to details. Here are the 12 MPs from Karnataka in Rajya Sabha as of May 2016. Number 9 is vacant as Vijay Mallya was allowed to quit a few weeks ago. Have you done any comparison of how Naidu has fared against the rest? Keep out "Bhakt", "Sanghi" and other blah blah from discussion. Let's compare people across all parties.
List of Karnataka RS MPs - May 2016. Source Wiki
They said: We know that Venkaiah has not given any money towards Bengaluru's development projects. See Vijaya Karnataka and other paper articles.

I said: Let's go straight to the parliament website. The link is here: Then dig into Karnataka MPs using the MPLADS funds. These funds are sanctioned by the government frequently, based on the amount requested for their constituency's development activities. Venkaiah has done a very good job in using 92.35% of the allocated funds, while Rajeev Gowda of Congress has a zero in the utilization percentage! How can you say Venkaiah is not working when there is an MP listed right next to him with zero development funds utilization in 2 years?
Usage of MPLADS funds by Karnataka RS MPs
They said: *Silence for some time*. Yes, it does seem impressive for Venkaiah. But he uses the funds in Andhra. He adopts villages there.

I said: As far as I know, the funds are for the constituency specified by the Rajya Sabha website. He can't use it in another state.
They said: Whatever..  He is too focused on AP. He adopts villages in Andhra, but not in Karnataka where he is an MP from.

I said: Are you sure? Just go to Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana website and see which village he has adopted. It is from Devanahalli, north of Bengaluru city. He might have adopted a village in AP after the cyclone in 2014, but not under Adarsh Gram Yojana.
Village Adopted by Naidu

They said: Oh! We were told by 100s of people that he adopted Andhra village. Anyway... he does not speak Kannada. He does not talk in the parliament about Karnataka matters. He does not wish for Karnataka Rajyotsava.

I said: That's a valid point. We can tell him to wish. We can ask him to pick up matters. For that matter, even Sonia Gandhi who won from Ballari, does not wish for Rajyotsava as far as I have seen.
They said: Just because Congress does some mistakes, why BJP should do it? It was NDA that changed Rajya Sabha rule to elect people from other states.

I said: That's not what I know. MS Gurupadaswamy of Mysuru, got elected to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh (1966-72). Forget NDA, even BJP wasn't born!
They said: *Silence*. But it is wrong from federal structure. We should only send people who are from that state to Rajya Sabha. Enough of money bags and outsiders using our state and not doing anything for us.

I said: Just to give an instance (not comparing with Venkaiah in any way) - Dr. Ambedkar was from Bombay. Got to parliament from Bengal. Bengalis didn't failed to get elected from home state. Why should we help?
They said: Hmmn.. we were told that it was BJP that tweaked rules. In any case, both BJP and Congress are useless parties that surrender to Dilli High Command. We wish a regional party like JDS stands up for Kannadigas. High commands enforcing candidates in spite of opposition from people is not right.

I said: Do you even know the kind of people Deve Gowda's Janata Dal sent to Rajya Sabha?
They said: Better people than Hema Malini or outsiders that national parties send.

I said: What did the "local" Janata Dal do? Sent Sindhi Ram Jethmalani, Tamil MAM Ramaswamy and Telugu Kupendra Reddy to Rajya Sabha! Some said they even supported Malayalee Rajeev Chandrashekhar's candidacy (I don't remember properly). How do you justify them?
They said: Now you are deviating.. It is not about language. Reddy is local to Bengaluru at HSR Layout.

I said: So is Venkaiah now. He is a voter from Malleshwaram area. Indian constitution considers him as a resident of Karnataka. So what's the issue?
They said: Frankly, he does not speak for Karnataka issues. He never spoke for Kalasa Banduri issue. He is too focused on AP issues. Why doesn't he go there and get elected?

I said: Now you are talking about real issues. So far I had not come across any valid comparison to be made to other MPs. Let's go further. Let me ask 5 questions on how other MPs from Karnataka have performed recently in Rajya Sabha. Here I go..
They said: *Silence for some time*. You should ask the editor of papers who campaigned against Venkaiah to answer this.

I said: It is not about the editor of newspaper. It is about facts. If you are measuring Venkaiah using some parameters, why not ask the same for others? If you are opposing Venkaiah Naidu's Rajya Sabha reelection, oppose based on data. Show how other 12 Karnataka RS MPs have done better.
They said: This might be a game played by Congress with the help of Media in Karnataka. There could be reasons right from the dynasty at the center of whom Venkaiah is very critical. After media took over, BJP supporters too joined in.

I said: I have not seen anyone telling how Rajeev Gowda (zero MPLADS usage) or Rahaman Khan (no MPLADS used in 14 Mon) are better. How come no one is campaigning against them them? Development is for the state. Who does is secondary.

But as you can imagine... most have made up their mind. I only saw more arguments like he has not done anything, to vocal abuses.. I don't care much about abuses. That only shows the weakness of those who abuse.

But I left these discussions shaking my head.
  • Frankly, I don't care if Venkaiah Naidu goes to parliament from BJP again. 
  • Frankly, I don't care whom Congress or JDS send. At the end it is usually the most influential or money bags that become Rajya Sabha MPs or MLCs at state. We know that!
But what I care is:-
  • how much MPLADS funds is used to Karnataka, by those who are sent. 
  • I care how much attendance they have. 
  • I care about what kind of debates they participate in. 
  • I care about the end result - their constituency's development. What's the use of MPs getting reelected 3-6-9 times from their constituencies, but people continue to live in poor conditions? We have plenty of such examples in Karnataka.

It was too late by the time I realized that too many people have fallen to media propaganda. I have nothing against those who angrily reacted to my tweets or posts. At the end, I want the development of Karnataka, as much as they want. But I was more focusing on the parameters they used and the facts they checked. Some points might be valid, but the overall way in which Venkaiah was made a soft target was strange. Before I raised the data from Rajya Sabha website, most did not even know that there are RS MPs in Karnataka with low to zero MPLADS usage. Media propaganda is very powerful! A fair movement would have been to put all 12 RS MPs side by side, and show why Venkaiah failed in certain areas.

No one did that, or at least I have not seen it! If you did.. let me know. Naidu might be a big failure in reality, but no one is presenting that in a fair manner, with parameters that can be applied to other MPs too. After all, a state's development can't be done by one MP. It is a collective effort. Ultra regionalism without using data to compare MPs, can be dangerous in the long run. Every state would end up doing it, which hurts the nation as a whole.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Samanya Praja and His "Changed" Dilli...

Once upon a time, Samanya Praja, a man in his middle ages, lived in a middle class suburb of India's capital Delhi. He was very frustrated with Indian politics. He wanted change. He was feeling angry at 1000s of rapes happening in his city. He felt like kicking the politicians indulging in 2G, CWG, Coalgate and a thousand other scams. He used to tell his family that he has lost hope in the Idea of India. He felt very pessimistic at the prospects of jobs, progress and security of his son and daughter. He was concerned on how his wife and himself would get any quality healthcare in Delhi, after seeing corruption from cradle to grave in the society.

Then came a messiah.. A self declared corruption fighter named Arvind Kejriwal. A man who worked as a government babu, but miraculously managed to avoid transfer in his entire career.. a Guinness record in corrupt India! He always sat next to famous people of the society like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. He dressed like Samanya Praja, so there was a lot of connection. The simple shirt, the basic pant, a chappal, no big car, very pleasing mannerism.. Praja got very attracted. He heard Arvind a few times. He got very inspired at "Brashtachar khatam karo" slogans. He convinced himself and his family that this man can change Delhi. This man is the answer to all ills they had seen so far. They paid close attention to the charming words of Kejriwal. The most impressive speeches were always on how the highly corrupt Sheila Dikshit would be sent to jail if Kejriwal comes to power. They cheered when they heard that rapes would be stopped in Delhi. They loved it when they heard that Delhi would be a clean and green city. Praja jumped when they heard that they would be getting cheaper electricity 24*7, no more slums in Delhi, cheaper and reliable water, clean roads, children getting free WiFi, lots of new schools, upcoming great hospitals, perfect Lokayukta and Lokpal systems, perfect harmony in the society, absolutely no cheating by MLAs, security for senior citizen... oh the list was so long.. it felt like a Utopian dream world was just knocking on the door of Delhi..

Then a tragic accident. One bad evening, Samanya Praja got hit by a drunken driver. He descended into coma.

After great effort by doctors and his family, he woke up just before Diwali of 2015. The family cheered and prayed to Durga mata profusely. Thank you Devi ma.. Our Samanya Praja is back in walking state after sleeping unconscious for a long time.

After 4 hours of cheers, juice and light food, Praja asks.. Where am I? What date is it? How are things?
His family slowly answers them.

By evening, he got curious on how things are. He was thrilled to learn that his ideal politician Kejriwal had become the CM by winning the election by a huge margin. He was like.. Oohhooo!! His wife said.. Jee.. relax. You still need some rest for a week. Don't get excited. Praja was still cheering. You don't know dear. I waited for this moment for years. I hope Delhi is now a great place!

His wife and kids didn't show any smile. He got worried. He asked his son. Did you get the WiFi? He nodded left to right. He asked his daughter. Are girls safer now in Delhi? Rapes have stopped? She got tears.. Pappa.. it has gotten worse. Even 2 and 5 year old girls are not left now. Oh! Praja is shocked. He asked his wife. Is Sheila Dikshit, the horribly corrupt woman who ruined Delhi, in Tihar jail? She just looked down. He got furious now. No WiFi.. no safety for women.. no jail for Sheila? What the heck?

After 10 minutes of silence, he continued. Is there a Lokpal? Son nodded no. How about a Lokayukta sending all corrupt to jails? No daddy.. We only got a name-sake Lokayukta a week ago. We had none till now. So far no jail for any corrupt. Praja is furious.. then at least tell me that Arvind's government is working well. No corruption in the MLA circle. Right? His daughter got angry. Pappa.. this Arvind cheated us badly. His MLA gang is full of crooks. Law Minister went to jail for Degree fraud. More are about to go to jail for degree frauds. Former law minister is about to go jail for beating up his wife. His own MLA was caught in corruption needing a firing on live TV - just like for everything involving Kejriwal, his MLA firing also needed TV camera and action! His MLAs are now VIPs with big cars. Kejriwal himself got a 5 bed room bungalow after all preaching earlier of no bungalows. They spent 100s of crores on just giving radio and billboard ads. They kicked out Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and other uncles with whom you were on roads doing dharna earlier. This guy has become a power hungry dictator.. Worse, he has no portfolio under him, so that he can keep doing 24*7 drama across India, while our roads are full of stinking garbage. And there are still lots of slums and they are getting bigger. No new school or hospital in sight. I can't see any new job creation for Engineers, Commerce Graduates or Scientists. Traffic is getting worse. Yamuna is still full of froth. Road rage is very high. In fact, Kejriwal's party law makers like Alka Lamba were seen vandalizing a shop. Nothing pappa.. I repeat nothing.. got better after years of listening to Anna and Kejriwal speeches.

Praja is now really feeling dizzy. After months of coma, what he heard made him even more weaker. What are you telling children? At least tell me that he has not allied with any corrupt politician. His wife got furious now. This guy is an ally of Lalu Yadav's ghatbandhan.. the same chara chor who went to jail!! Worse.. even the 2G scam tainted Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are in the same team for which Kejriwal is campaigning in Bihar! What more you want?

Praja became unconscious!

When he woke up after 10 minutes. His daughter gave lemon juice and told. Pappa.. we got fooled. That Sheila was corrupt, but she was 100 times better than this drama guy. Kejriwal and his irresponsible gang even watched a poor farmer from Rajasthan commit suicide 30 feet in front during a speech, but still didn't stop their speech blaming central government and police. This CM has no respect for the police who protect us. He even called them criminals and "thulla". All he does is keep fighting with police, Lt Governor, Home Minister and Prime Minister. Sometimes he gets mad at press too, in spite of his entire career being built by press and TV. I have never been cheated mentally like this before. He raised our hopes on every corner. Got our votes. We worked with his topi gang on streets for months. Now, all we get is ads using our own money, to blame the central government. We could have done that free, sitting on our sofa.. We Indians are experts in blaming politicians in our homes, for generations. Why did we need a Chief Minister who has no portfolio, spending crores of our money, to blame government that we are experts in blaming ourselves?

Then power went off. It took 5 minutes for the critical machines to get generator power. Mosquitos were biting his tender skin. His wife was worried about Dengue and screaming to put a coil to prevent mosquito bites. By then the exhausted Praja had gone back to coma.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dear Goverments, please keep off Hindu Temples

Tonight, went to Samaya TV to discuss on the news that the famous Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple was being considered to be taken over by the govt.

One senior Jyotishi told things about the Kshetra. Not much arguments.
The core arguments were between me and Talakadu Chikka Rangegowda. It was well anchored by Aravind. This is my second presence as a panelist in Aravind's show.

As usual, the pro government take over arguments were on "mismanagement", "Why should Jains run Hindu temple", "there have been complaints against the Dharmadhikari" etc..

My points were:

1) I am a Bhakta of Dharmasthala temple. I go there voluntarily. I give money on my own. I trust the good work is done by the Trust headed by a Jain. I have absolutely no issue that they are Jains. They are running awesome anna dana. Kitchen Annapurna featured in June 2015 Mega Kitchen National Geographic Channel. Their educational and other institutions are doing wonderful job. For 800 Years, Jain Bunt Heggade Pergade family has administered it splendidly. 21 Dharmadhikaris have come to this seat till date. Government's job is to provide basic facilities and govern. I drove 15 KM to the studio and 10KM were in "Kattale Bhagya" power cut. When the govt can't take care of basic things, why they heck are they wanting to take over well run temples?

2) pSeculars always want Hindu temple money by giving some or the other excuse. Let's stop this now. Why should govt control 35,000 Hindu temples in Karnataka? Why should other states like TN control similar count of Hindu temples? Are all these having mismanagement? There are 164 A category and 283 B category temples with KA govt. Were all these managed by "other religions", before take over? Govt just wants money. And some excuse. I gave examples of how very simple excuses were used by governments to take over cash cows.

3) Talking of mismanagement, there was a murder of a Church father (KJ Thomas) in Bengaluru. There were large scale Wakf land grab amounting to 2 lakh crore as reported by Anwar Manippady. Should the govt take over churches and mosques/dargahs citing mismanagement, murder or other issues?

4) When I heard that only Hindus should manage Hindu temples, I showed that Mohammed Ali, First Division Assistant appointed by the govt in Bengaluru Rural district to manage Mujrai or Endowments department. I don't want a Muslim to manage Hindu temples. Hindus have managed for 1000s of years, and will easily manage ourselves. This argument seriously hurt Mr. Gowda as he saw the hypocrisy of opposing Jains, but having been forced to support Muslims!

5) If there is a big issue with Dharmasthala, people can file an FIR file. If no action taken approach the Magistrate directly. Or file PIL file if land is an issue. Why is the police there? Use them. Instead, trying Govt executive order to grab temple is not something we will allow.

6) I gave examples of Sahasralingeshwara temple of Uppinangady fighting with Karnataka Govt's Mujrai department's 1997 act. The 2007 judgment clearly said that the Endowments act itself is unconstitutional. Google for "Karnataka High Court Sri Sahasra Lingeshwara Temple vs State Of Karnataka on 8 September, 2006".

The judgment concluded: 
"We have already ruled that the Act is hit by Articles 14 and 26 of the Constitution of India. We have further ruled that it is not possible to severe them. Hence, we deem it proper to strike down the entire act and consequently strike down the notification as un constitutional.
Use this wherever you see temple issue with govt. Governments can't and should not take over temples.

7) I also gave the example of Chidambaram Natarajar temple in Tamil Nadu. The judgment of 2014 January 10th, gave Podu Dikshitars a big victory in a century old case. If Endowments department of a state govt takes over a temple there should be a reason. Merely issuing show cause and circular is not right. Once you take over you will have 2 years or so to rectify it; notification should mention what reason - only take over mismanagement of temple affairs. This was Dr. Swamy's famous case. The 1951 take over of TN govt was deemed unlawful. Dikshitars had printed temple constitution in 1849 itself. Was opened to all castes of Hindus. This point stumped the others and there is not much they could say on this.

Overall; My repeated stress was that Hindus have freedom of religion like everyone else. If there are issues, let other parts of constitution address them (like theft, mismanagement etc.). So called secular government taking over temples violates Articles 14, 25, 26 and 27 of Indian constitution. As a Hindu, I don't want any temple to be managed by the government. Government's job is to take care of power, water, security and other basic necessities. Hindus know how to manage temples and they have been doing it for 1000s of years. Leave our temples alone.


I think it went on well. If a video is uploaded by Samaya News, I will share here.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saraswati River and Origin of Name Bhaarat

I am now reading the Land of Seven Rivers book by Sanjeev Sanyal. Some interesting facts about Saraswati river and origin of name "Bharat" follow. I will be brief, as I don't want to type the whole chapter 2 of the book here. You have enough material here to get inspired and read the full book yourself :)

Saraswati was the mightiest river of Indian known history. Even Sutlej and Yamuna were tributaries of Saraswati. 

Archaeology talks of Mohenjodaro (Mound of the dead), Harappa, Dholavira and others of Indus valley civilization. Rig Veda was part of the same civilization. It was not some horse mounted "Aryans" came from central Asia and destroyed this, by attacking the "Dasa" or "Dasyu" people. In fact, the greatest Aryan king of Rig Veda is a person named Sudasa. His name and his father's name has 'dasa' in them! Arya was never a racial thing. It meant, polished or sophesticated.

Harappan or Indus Valley civilization stretched from 3500 BCE till 1400 BCE. "Aryan invasion" from north west is a myth. Drying Saraswati ended Harappans and not any invasion.

5) Today's Ghaggar river in Haryana is ancient Saraswati's remnant. It's a very small remnant of the mighty Saraswati river that once supported Rig Vedic age & Harappan cities.

Ghaggar river
More on Ghaggar ->

Harappans have unique connection to today's India-> Namaste, Sindhur, construction in 5:4 ratio, weights mentioned in Arthashastra, Chess etc. They are all continuous cultural things from Indus valley civilization to 21st century India.

Rig Veda praises the might Saraswati river at least 45 times. Ganga only twice & Sindhu (Indus) rarely. It's very obvious that Veda was composed near Saraswati, and not anywhere outside India carried by "invaders".

Rig Veda's Nadistuti Sukta clearly explains geography of ancient India. Starts from Ganga and goes till Kabul river in the west.

Read ->

It comes in Rig Veda 10.75.

Verse 5 mentions rivers from east to west:
  1.     Ganga
  2.     Yamuna
  3.     Sarasvati
  4.     Sutudri
  5.     Parusni
  6.     Asikni
  7.     Marudvrdha
  8.     Vitasta
  9.     Arjikiya
  10.     Susoma

Verse 6 mentions north western rivers:

  1.     Trstama
  2.     Susartu
  3.     Rasā
  4.     Shvetya
  5.     Sindhu
  6.     Kubha
  7.     Gomati
  8.     Krumu
  9.     Mehatnu

Anyone who studies Rig Veda's Nadistuti Sukta, would immediately reject "Aryan invasion" theory. It's that clear!

Rig Veda was definitely composed before 2600 BC when Saraswati was flowing mightily. Also, no mention of iron, so it was bronze age.

There is a major battle called the Battle of ten Kings in Rig Veda: Sudasa of Bharata tribe under Rishi Vashishtra, fought 10 kings under Rishi Vishwamitra's guidance.

Read ->

Trtsu-Bharata tribe fought  these tribes:
  1. Alinas
  2. Anu
  3. Bhrigus
  4. Bhalanas
  5. Dasa
  6. Druhyus
  7. Matsya
  8. Parsu
  9. Purus
  10. Panis
Battle of ten kings of Rig Veda was the start of Indian civilization. Bharata tribe (from Haryana) won. India became "Bharata Varsha"! In a way, we are all Haryanvis in some way :)

Sudasa under the brilliant leadership of Rishi Vashishtha, won and became the first Chakravarti of Bharat (India). Chakra (wheel) varti means his (chariot) wheels can go anywhere. A true monarch!

Most of the losing tribes in the Rig Vedic war, went westwards. Dhruhya (Afghanistan), Puru (Porus), Pakhta (Pashtun of NWFP, Pakistan), Parsu (Iran). Later Mittani (Mesopotamia) , Yezidi (Syria, Iraq) etc. all were further movements. R1a1 gene link with Indian Hindus is clearly visible even today.

4600 years ago, a great earthquake & after effects, made Yamuna move east to Ganga and Sutlej west to Sindhu (Indus). Saraswati dried up gradually, killing the first major urban civilization of India. Harappans or the Vedic people started migrating east towards Ganga and west towards Sindhu in large numbers.

The end of Rig Vedic era is very close to the end of Harappan civilization. Essentially, Vedic was a part of bigger Indus valley area.

It's most likely that victorious Bharata tribe invited Rishis from all tribes to meditate and compile Vedas on the banks of Saraswati. It happened over generations and finally we have the Rig Veda. All of today's Indian subcontinent is culturally linked to Bharata tribe of Rig Veda. It became Bharata Varsha or the land of Bharatas, later becoming "Bhaarat" - 1st major civilization of India! Frankly, I learnt about the exact detail of Bharat only today!

Again, my special thanks to Sanjeev Sanyal for amazing research in the Land of Seven Rivers book. Now back to reading further chapters:)

Some further links shared by Twitter friends:

a) When I said, The end of Rig Vedic era is very close to the end of Harappan civilization. Essentially, Vedic was a part of bigger Indus valley area, a friend shared that this is factually correct. Nicholas Kazanas provides hard proof ->

b) Another friend says - Even Shrikant Kalgeri gives good evidence in this regard. Just Youtube for links.

c) Then a friend says, the battle of ten kings in Vedas is nicely described by Ashok Banker in his novel Dasarajna.

d) Another friend commented on the Bharata tribe part. He says, presume you would have listened to the "Bharata Darsana" by Sri.Vidyananda Shenoy. He reiterates the same fact. 
Here is the link to Bharata Darshana amazing series of talks in Kannada ->

e) Another friend shared - Here is an article from IISC journal Current Science : Saraswati – the ancient river lost in the desert -

f) Then another friend says - Bharata tribe were experts in Alloys. They were using Tin, Zinc, etc., Approximately 1500 years before silk route the Maritime Tin route existed. Our ancestors sourced tin from present Israel!

It just kept coming.. My twitter friends are just amazing. I stopped taking links after this :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sadbhavana Sunday

At an event on Saturday night, my friend Gokul gave a pamphlet. Hey, tomorrow, there is a pilgrimage tour, do you want to go? I was like to which place?

In Bengaluru!

I gave a strange look. In Bengaluru? That too a day long pilgrimage? Then saw the details and got excited. Why not? So was on the pilgrimage bus at St. Mark's road at 7.30 AM. It was a good decision because I was going to enjoy the day thoroughly.. In what I call in Modi's lingo as "Sadbhavana" Yatra :)

This is organized by a Catholic Christian group in Saint Mark's Road. Most of the occupants of the bus were Christians, but there were some Hindus like me. There was one Muslim and one Buddhist. More than the composition, it was the interest of the people in other modes of worship, that was important.

All the areas we went are tracked in this map. 

1) Shri Dharmanatha Shwetambar Jain Temple, Jayanagar. 

Jainism for me is one of the Guru Paramparas of Dharmic India. But politically it is a different religion. There are two kinds of Jainism. Shwetambara and Digambara. We went to a Shwetambara temple where the prime deity is Shri Dharmanatha. He is the fifteenth Tirthankara among the 24 highly revered Jain Gurus. It was nice to see women putting pastes (Shri Gandha?) to various parts of murtis, the swastikas drawn with rice, the pious women monks who were busy in prayer and much more. This is a prayer place for many Rajasthanis in Karnataka.

Devi Padmavati's temple is in the back. Nakoda Bhairav and many other murtis exist in this temple complex. Beautiful white marble temple with soothing bhajans :)

2) Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple, Gandhinagar.

This Buddhist temple was getting decorated by the time we went in the morning, for their special Sunday prarthana. It's a beautiful temple with a Bodhi tree (Peepal). I saw some idols of Buddha gifted by Thailand as Thai language were written at the bottom. This center has mostly North East Indian people settled in Karnataka. This center follows the Theravada sect of Buddhism. Theravada as far as I know is a synonym for Mahayana type of Buddhism, which is different from Hinayana or "smaller vehicle" Buddhism. Buddhism again for me is a different Guru parampara in Dharmic traditions, but technically it is a religion now.

It was so nice to hear nearly 2500 year old Pali language prayer being sung in a melodious way. You have to follow men and women sections in the temple and a great place for meditation. 2500 year old glorious Indian culture comes right in front of your eyes hearing the powerful Pali hymns!

We also got nice breakfast served by the Buddhist monks. Our favourite Uppittu was made nice by the North Eastern friends :)

3) Yaqeen Shah Wali Dargah, Palace Road. 

Dargah is a type of Islamic place where a Muslim Guru or Peer's tomb exists. Not every sect of Islam accepts Dargahs, and some term these as UnIslamic.

This Dargah in my view is maintained by Sufi sect of Islam. If not, Shias. We were treated well here. There are restrictions. Women can't enter the main Dargah part, but can come near. Head cloth is suggested for men and women.

I went inside and stood next to the religious man here who sings praise or prayer. It was a soothing song and he later translated. He explained that on behalf of everyone who was there, irrespective of faith, he prayed for their welfare. I was particularly interested in the hand figures, and what they represent. The symbolism of these Hand signs and other rituals performed here had lot of Hindu influence.

There is a small mosque also in the complex where they read Namaz. Had a lot of discussions with the Dargah staff on who was this peer, how many centuries ago this tomb came up, difference between Sufi and Sunni Islam and much more. They were open in answering all. Served nice tea too later.

4) Catholic Chapel, Thomas Town.

The next visit was to NBCLC - National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre. This is a very different type of Christian complex. It is not a typical Church, but a full inculturation center. For some inculturation is a good thing after Vatican 2 in Christianity where the European cultural way is making way for native - here Hindu, cultural way for Christians. For those who oppose this, it is a process of stealing from Hinduism. We can have that debate some other time, but let me just narrate the experience there.

Everything is "Hindu"ised here. From names of buildings to dress to window pane drawing to gopura (top of Chapel).. I mean everything! Building names are Sacchidananda, Brahma vidya, Shanti sadan etc. You won't find a saree wearing Mother Mary sitting in padmasana, with and Indian dressed baby Jesus like this anywhere else in the world.

Here, the resident sister explaining the central point of the Chapel. The whole building and the central God and Jesus concept is built on Hindu Kundalini Chakra concept. It is just narrated in a different way, which you might not find in the Bible.

A Catholic lady from Mumbai who was with us, explained that at the start, Christians find it difficult to pray in a place like this with Indianized (Hindu-ized) symbols. But later they feel much more home than a European style Church. I was explained how multi cultural symbols are so essential for Christianity in today's world. I talked to a few Fathers/priests too who told the same thing. There are courses conducted here in inculturation for Christians from around India.

5) Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Halasuru.

The next stop was by mid day to Sikh Gurudwara. Here, cloth over head is mandatory. They provide it right in the front, and even tie to your head if you wish. I found the discipline of Sikh devotees simply amazing. Men, women and children come inside in strict lines and bow before the Granth Sahib (holy book). There's a Granthi who reads from the Guru Granth Sabhib book. There were narrations in Punjabi language on heroes of Sikhism, how weapons are needed for self defence, how to sing Kirtans and praise the Gurus and more. I think the term for singing before meal was Ardas. I also saw people having a small knife as a part of the 5 basic tenets of Sikhism, called Kirpan. Women too had turbans in some cases.

This is one place where we spent maximum time. I heard many songs or Bhajans. They were sung melodiously and they were so close to how we sing bhajans at Hindu temples. Again, I found this just another Dharmic place, but we are told it is a different religion. I felt completely at home even though I understand only basic Punjabi.

The most impressive part of Gurudwara was after the soothing prayer session. There is a community kitchen called Langar, where anyone can go and prepare food. There is free food served for anyone who comes, no questions asked. Just keep a cloth over your head and take food obediently the way everyone else takes. I was amazed at how 100s of people, men and women - went about contributing to food preparation. The amazing discipline in preparation, serving (every serving is praised on Wahe Guru), and cleaning up. It's like you can be anything in this Gurudwara. You can sing, preach from the holy book, clean, cook, keep shoes, volunteer at gate... anything! A truly open system.

I had never seen in my life, well to do middle class people coming and cleaning up plates after lunch, with bare hands. Never.. These are well to do middle class people. I literally saw people using thumbs to wipe out the plate after we ate, to remove every single grain or vegetable piece onto other containers. They probably don't waste a single grain. Just amazing! And next step was another bunch of volunteers cleaning up with water and making the plates ready for the next round.

After enjoying a great prasad (offered food) at Gurudwara, I was thoroughly satisfied with what I saw. The discipline and Bhakti at a Gurudwara is something you just have to see for yourself!

6) Masjid al Nur, Halasuru.

The final stop for me was the Sunni Muslim mosque. It's a big and grand mosque built not many years ago. We went at a time when Muslim prayer, or Namaz was not being read. So we had a chance to go on a guided tour, well conducted by a friend of mine, Syed. Head cloths over head are mandatory during prayer, but was kept optional for visitors on guided tour. Also, for women, there is a separate prayer hall opposite to the main mosque.

Unlike other places of worship we visited, this Mosque had lots of questions from the team. People asked questions right from namaz direction, to where women assemble, to what's inside Kaaba etc. Syed answered everything very patiently and showed us things. Right from Wazu, where you use water to clean before prayer, to how prayers work, how many times, why pray, what are the key tenets of Islam and much more.

The team came out much more educated about Islam after this trip. Of course, we were served nice soft drinks and biscuits outside the mosque.

In summary...
The pilgrimage was later going to Hindu place of worship after this, but I had to drop out due to another engagement. I am not unfamiliar with Hindu temples and ashramas anyway :)

All pictures in here if you have more time.

Some more videos if you want to watch:

So here is the final collage.. A memorable day wherein I learned a lot about fellow Bharatiyas! After all, we are all very close to each other as humans, and once we understand the differences clearly, we can find ways to co-exist with minimal friction. The primary goal of every mode of worship is to make you a better human. That's what is Sad (good) Bhavana (feeling or intention) :)

Try it once.. You can do it yourself, of go with an organized pilgrimage. Contact Ashirvad, 30, Saint Mark's Road in Bengaluru for the next trip.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Kannada History of Maharashtra

Dr. M Chidananda Murthy is a researcher, historian and scholar par excellence. Even at age 84, he has great grip of his research and presents his papers with amazing clarity. He has published a long list of papers and books throughout his life, and lots of debates happen on his findings. His strong support to Hindutva in particular makes his opponents very uncomfortable. His research on Tipu Sultan in particular, exposed the other side of Tipu which self-proclaimed seculars had a very hard time digesting.

I have met this extremely gentle human many times. I am thoroughly impressed with his ability to research into Indian history in a precise manner.

Today, I came across his column. "Earlier Karnataka was three times the size of today's Karnataka". If you can't read the font properly in the image below, use this link to read the Vijayavani epaper.

The focus of this article, with lots of historical proofs is to inform that during ancient and medieval periods, Kannada speaking areas were from Kaveri delta in today's central Tamil Nadu till Godavari in Nashik area of Maharashtra. As with everything in history, there would be for's and against's to such claims. But I thought it would be useful to give a quick translation so that those interested further in research, can pursue the topic.

Some snippets from his article, which extensively focuses on today's Maharashtra, and its Kannada past in many areas. Here are some districts of Maharashtra for which the Kannada influence has been researched and presented by Dr. Murthy in this article.
Districts of Maharashtra covered in this article. Pic: NIC
Sri Vijaya's Kavirajamarga from 850 CE, has given 8th and 9th century CE description that Karnataka, or the land of Kannada speaking people, extended from Kaveri to Godavari.

Sham. Bha. Joshi, Raja Purohit, and Alur Venkata Rao have done extensive research supporting the geographic claims of Sri Vijaya.

Chidananda Murthy has written "Bhashika Brihat Karnataka - From Nilagiri to Nashik". 

Deshabhakta Veer Savarkar is from Nashik district. His father's place is Bhagur. His mother's place is Kothur. Notice "Ur" or "Uru" in both places, that are distinct Kannada names. Savarkar's family dog was named "Kariya" (Darkie or Blackie in Kannada). Savarkar's father used to call Vinayak as "Balam Bhatta" during younger days. That name is very popular in Karnataka.

Maharashtra's Mahanubhava pantha (sect) was started during 13th century by Shri Chakradhar swami. Chakradhara's guru was Gundama Bhatta. Gundama is a medieval Kannada name.

Nashik district has a distinct tribe called "Hatkar Kaanadi" people. Maybe they are named that way because they lived in Huts and spoke Kannada (Kaanadi). Per Chidananda Murthy, they are the native people of Nashik from ancient times. Even today that tribe speaks sentences like:
  • Ninge magadir yaanayudu? (How many children do you have?)
  • Nange ain magadir, eddu magardir aaidu (I have 5 sons and 2 daughters). 
  • Nange maneg hogadu usiraat (it is time for me to go home).
Here, magadir, magaLdir, usiraat (avasara) are all old Kannada words. Similarly Hatkar Kaanadi people use kundal (hair), ba (mother) and many other words showing that North Maharashtra's Nashik area had Kannada population 1000 years ago.

Next, Murthy tells about Mumbai. A famous place today in Mumbai, Malabar hills is per him named after "male" people. In Kannada Male (maley) means hill. British would have used this for the hilly people (ghaati) who lived there. In 1818 (or 1819), when a new British person Mount Stuart Elphinstone was appointed as the Governor of Mumbai, Malabar hills people submitted a letter in Kannada welcoming him. British used the word "Canarese" or "Kanarese" to describe Kannada speakers. That's why they named Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada districts as North Canara and South Canara districts.

Some evidences suggest that Mumbai's original inhabitants, the KoLi people, spoke Kannada centuries ago. BA Salettur has opined that long ago, today's Mumbai area was inhabited by Kannada speaking people.

Talking further about Mumbai, the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal, placed Bombay in possession of the British Empire in the 1660s, as part of dowry of Catherine to Charles. Dr. Murthy says that in 1670, when the British brought in new law in English, they translated it into Portuguese and Canarese (Kananda) to help the inhabitants or Bombay. Goa during those times also had many Kannada speakers. In 1737, a British writer has described Kannada as a language of "lower class" people of Mumbai.

Dr. Murthy presents two maps - One from 1909 (English and Kannada) and one from 1940 (Marathi text book), that indicate the contemporary Karnataka of those times. The 1940 text book map published by British government, named "Arvachin Karnataka" (Modern Karnataka) has Belagavi/Belagav in it. The 1909 clearly is much larger than what Karnataka is today. It includes today's Goa, Belagavi, Kolhapur and even Solapur in Karnataka.
Post 1956 Karnataka - Map: Wiki
Of course, the districts were merged into administration of various neighbouring kings or provinces during British era. You can compare that side by side with Karnataka since 1956 States Reorganization done by Jawaharlal Nehru's government to get an idea of districts within today's Karnataka and the ones which are with other states today.

Dr. Murthy continues district-wise in Maharashtra. He says that betel leaf growers of Nashik are "Tigula" people, the same ones found in Karnataka speaking Kannada or Tamil. South Maharashtra's districts like Solapur, Kolhapur, Nanded, Sangli etc. have most of their ancient shila shasana (inscriptions) in Kannada.

Shri Siddheshwar Temple, Solapur. Pic - Wiki
Solapur's village deity (grama devata) is Shri Siddheshwar. His name was Siddha Rama, and he was a vachana writer 800 years ago. His father was Muddu Gowda. They are from Moradi village of Solarpur. Moradi or Mordi in Kannada means small hill. Vachanas are Kannada literature of Lingayat or Veerashaiva community. So the Kannada origin of Solapur goes back centuries or even millenium. 

In Nanded, common people call laying foundation for a new house as "Kesaru Kalliku". (In Kannada, Kesaru = wet mud, Kallikku = put stone).

Solapur district has a very famous temple for Vithoba or Vitthala in Pandharpur. Marathi scholar RB Shere clearly attributes Kannada origin to Vithoba. Sant Dnyaneshwar in one of his Marathi abhangaha screams - "O Vithala.. You are Kaanadi (Kannadiga).. Hence you are not hearing my pleas". You can read more on Sant Dnyaneshwar, Marathi and Kannada in my earlier blog here. In the famous Pandharpur temple, the last song sung for Lord Vithoba after all puja is in Kannada - to put him to sleep.

Khandoba or Mailara. Pic - Wiki
Jejuri near Pune has the famous Khandoba temple. Khandoba is a Marathi name for Mailara, a very famous name for Shiva in Kannada. If you travel in North Karnataka, especially Hoovina Hadagali area, millions of people worship Shiva in the form of Mailara or Mailara Linga, with almost exactly same description as Khandoba. In Khandoba's major festivities, people near Pune even today shout "El Koti Ughe" or "Khande rayaca Elkot". Here "Elu" and "Kote" are Kannada words meaning Seven forts.

Coming to literature, at the feet of Bahubali's statue in Shravana Belagola in south Karnataka, there's an inscription "Shri Chavundaraje karaveeyale". This from 983 CE, is believed to be the earliest Marathi inscription ever found. But Kannada was existing for centuries before that. Per Dr. Murthy, Marathi existed in the northern regions of Godavari by then. So this inscription was for those people, along with Kannada and Tamil inscriptions for other people visiting this place. Till 12th or 13th century, most of today's Maharashtra below Godavari river were Kannada speaking areas. Badami Chalukyas, Kalyana Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and many more were ruling over these areas. It was only since the Yadavas of Devagiri about 800 years ago, that Marathi spread widely into today's southern Maharashtra area, replacing Kannada (and some Telugu).

Source: Wiki
The famous Elephanta caves near Mumbai, were built and temples carved by Kannada kings - Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. Before that, Pulikeshi II had fought Harshavardhana at Narmada banks itself, going far north of Godavari river. And the only battle Harsha lost in his life was this one!

World famous Kailasa natha temple, Ellora. Pic: Wiki
Chalukya emperor Pulikeshi's inscriptions are found in the world famous Ajanta caves today in north Maharashtra. It was during Chalukya and Rashtrakuta empires Ajanta and Ellora became great centers of arts and temples. The world famous Kailasa natha temple in Ellora was built by Kannada king Krishna I before 774 CE using a unique top to bottom rock chiseling technique. It is estimated that about 400,000 tons of rocks were scooped out over hundreds of years to construct this monolithic structure!! The contribution to Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Solapur, Pandharpur, Kolhapur and many other areas of Maharashtra by Kannada kings and people is immense.

Then Dr. Murthy goes into the vocabulary of Marathi language. There are lot of Kannada origin words there. Olage or Oule (inside), Kolu (stick), Tupa (ghee), Mudila (before, first), Oli (letter), Konth (weapon), Balanti (mom or newborn), Aḍakitta (nutcracker), Akka (sister), Anna (brother), Veergal (stone inscription for a martyr), Mechu (small sword like device), Hon (gold)... If you go into depth, you will find that Marathi has a Kannada or Dravidian foundation from ancient and medieval times, but the upper structure is that of Aryan language. Even today's Devanagari script being used as a standard to write Marathi, is an adaptation of recent centuries. For almost a millennium Modi alphabets were used to write Marathi (and occasionally Kannada in Maharashtra).

Per Dr. S Srikanta Shastry, Shatavahana empire that ruled over Maharashtra 1700 years ago, had lot of Kannada (and Telugu) impact.

Then Dr. Murthy finally mentions about Ananthpur and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, and Dharmapuri, Salem and Nilgiri areas of Tamil Nadu, to cover the ancient Kannada links.

The purpose of me translating this is not for any political reason. I have good friends from every language. I just found it historically interesting to see the linguistic overlaps. In some cases, I have added a few words of my own, giving additional Wiki or other links to establish better connection. Just like any case involving neighbours in India, you can also find the other side of overlap, if a research is presented properly.