Life shows no mercy for the weak. Cognizance about everythin has become mandatory to survive. Get a piece of everythin that life has in the offering ! i share all that i know to help others know what i know. we stay together , we survive. welcome to candor corner. know. share. survive. always with candor, Praveen Chandar

Friday, September 28, 2007

Osama - The Afghan Terror : Episode 3

Hi people,

Hope you enjoyed reading the Veerappan episode. It must have given you an idea of how the forest brigand led his life and the important incidents that he influenced and occured during his time, which also eventually led to his killing by the Tamil Nadu Police Force. Well, today, we're delving into something bigger, a wider organization, involving terrorizing the most developed and powerful nation ( USA ). We are talking about global terrorism. Say terrorism, and I can see what is poppin' up in your head. Yes, today's episode is about the Afghan terrorist, Osama bin Muhammad bin 'Awad bin Laden , commonly known as OSAMA BIN LADEN, the militant islamist and the founder of the Terrorist organization called Al-Qaeda, name that even any hut-dweller in our country would be familiar with. The man who is most widely infamous for his heartless Twin Tower carnage on September 11th 2001. His name spells Terror. A man about whom the world has multifarious opinions. Osama Bin Laden is both one of the CIA's most wanted men and a hero to many young people in the Arab world.


Osama Muhammed bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In a 1998 interview, later televised on Al Jazeera, he gave his birth date as March 10, 1957. His father, the late Muhammed Awad bin Laden, was a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family. Before World War I, Muhammed, poor and uneducated, emigrated from Hadhramaut, on the south coast of Yemen, to the Red Sea port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he began to work as a porter. Starting his own business in 1930, Muhammed built his fortune as a building contractor for the Saudi royal family during the 1950s.

Muhammed bin Laden was married 22 times, although to no more than four women at a time per Sharia law. Osama was born the only son of Muhammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas, nee Alia Ghanem, who was born in Syria.

Bin Laden was raised as a devout Sunni Muslim. From 1968 to 1976 he attended the "élite" secular Al-Thager Model School. Bin Laden studied economics and business administration at the Management and Economics School of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. At university, bin Laden was influenced by Muhammad Qutb and Palestinian Abdallah Azzam, professors with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb, an Egyptian, was the brother and publicizer of the late Sayyid Qutb, author of Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq, or Milestones, one of the most influential tracts on the importance of JIHAD against all that is un-Islamic in the world.

In terms of personality, bin Laden is a soft-spoken, mild mannered man, and despite his rhetoric, he is said to be charming, polite, and respectful. He speaks only arabic. Osama Bin Laden has used many times in his messages to warn Non-Muslims either to become Muslims or to face the consequences of terrorism and violence. However Islam on the other hand teaches Muslims to respect other people's faith. Using violence against people to forcefully converting them to become Muslims is strictly forbidden in Islam.

Formation of Al-Qaeda :
Any discussion about Osama will be next to incomplete without the mention about his terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda. By 1988, bin Laden had split from Maktab al-Khidamat because of strategic differences. While Azzam and his MAK organization acted as support for the Afghan fighters and provided relief to refugees and injured, bin Laden wanted a more military role in which the Arab fighters would not only be trained and equipped by the organization but also led on the battlefield by Arabic commanders. One of the main leading points to the split and the creation of al-Qaeda was the insistence of Azzam that Arab fighters be integrated among the Afghan fighting groups instead of forming their separate fighting force. Thus, AL-QAEDA was born.

The ideology of Al-Qa'ida is rather simple and straightforward: Cleansing of the Muslim countries from corrupt and secular leadership, and fight against the powers that threaten Muslim states and the holy places of Islam. The foreign and dangerous powers are principally USA and Israel, USA for interfering in numerous fields in the Muslim world politically and military; Israel for occupying Palestine. The main opponents among the leaderships of the Muslim countries are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Algeria.

The ideology has been defined in 3 goals:

*Radicalize existing Islamic groups and create Islamic groups where none exist.
*Advocate destruction of the United States, which is seen as the chief obstacle to reform in Muslim societies.
*Support Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Eritera, Kosova, Pakistan, Somalia, Tajikistan, Philippines and Yemen.

The core of Al-Qa'ida is made up of Osama on top, working close with a Shura Majlis consisting of about 10 members. Below this are the administrative parts of the organization, made up of 4 executive committees covering these 4 fields: military activity and training; commercial activity; media relations and publishing. Below this, there is a wide network of organizations of all kinds, some involved in economy, some in humanitarian work, some in media relations and many in recruiting, training and acting according to the common goals. The network is built in such a way that none of the members know more than they need to know. Many groups are unaware of other groups in the same country, and very few (if any, including Osama) have total knowledge of what all parts of Al-Qa'ida are involved in at any time. Al-Qa'ida's main strength lies in its ability to support other organizations with first and foremost money, but also with an ideological framework. The economic activities of Al-Qa'ida are diverse and unclear. Osama bin Laden owns many companies in many countries, but mainly in Sudan. Through the network money are channeled to hundreds of organizations, many humanitarian. Money can be channeled again from these organizations to other organizations, which perform the actions that are part of Osama's jihad.

The September 11 2001 Attacks :
The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11) consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist suicide attacks by Islamic extremists on that date upon the United States of America. On that morning nineteen terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Each team of hijackers included a trained pilot. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners (United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11) into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower (1 WTC and 2 WTC), resulting in the collapse of both buildings soon afterward and extensive damage to nearby buildings. The hijackers crashed a third airliner (American Airlines Flight 77) into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, near Washington. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft (United Airlines Flight 93) attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In addition to the 19 hijackers, 2,974 people died as an immediate result of the attacks.

Reports alleging Osama bin Laden's death have circulated since late 2001. In the months following the 9/11 terrorist attack, many people believed that bin Laden was dead. This belief was perpetuated by subsequent media reports, though there has been stronger evidence to suggest that he is still alive. Recently, it was alleged that Osama is still alive and that the allegation was based on a tape received from Al-Qaeda with video footage of the Afghan terrorist confirming his existence and issuing further terrors to the world, and that he had quoted in the video tape, that if America did not wholly adopt Islam, they would face further damage to life and property. The authenticity of the tape and its origin are still under scrutiny.

What more has the world got to see from him ?
Will there be an end to this inhuman civilization ?

With these questions haunting my mind, I am forced to bring this topic to a close. Let us wake up for a better tomorrow.

Praveen Chandar.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

GRE UPDATE- september 2007 verbal update

Hi fellow students,

I have completed my database for the GRE Verbal section of September 2007 with the addition of the following questions. They contain antonyms and a few analogy questions. I get repeated requests from several students through mail and scraps on orkut asking me to provide the other choices for all antonym and analogy questions. You must understand that I am trying my best to furnish all the possible choices I can confirm from the information I get from my contacts. And, I dont think it is surprising to find that many of them dont remember the other choices, except a few that too for only a minimum no. of questions that tried to confuse them woth choices that were closer in meanings or deceptilvely misleading. I am doing my best to decipher the right answers and the other choices as well. Keep looking for updates.

Antonyms :

Ans: inoffensive (defensive and candid were other choices)

Ans: assess by observing (confuse by lying was one other choice)

Ans: without doubt (circumspection and without cover were two other options)

Ans: excessive

Ans: enslave (emancipate and exonerate were other options, exonerate is pretty close, but it does not mean free from bondage, but free from indictment)

Ans: stand erect (prostrate and pronounce correctly were other choices)

Ans : toxic (This is pretty simple, I think anybody can handle any kind of alternatives this word appears with !!)

Ans: inane ( diligent, lacking value and devoted were other options)


Ans: beat : palpitate

Ans: filibuster : delay (Filibuster is a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches)

Ans: assauge : grief ( I agree the bridge is not exactly the same, but then the other choices were either absurd or had bridges that were way too weak)

Ans: baseball : diamond (court : tennis was one of the choices. That is wrong because it reverses the bridge. This is a pretty confusing one. A diamond is what the field on which baseball is played is actually called )

Ans: affluent : mansion ( a hovel is small crude shelter used as a dwelling )

Ans: virago : harpy ( this question simply tests the depth of your vocabulary. All the four words mean the same 'shrew' a bad tempered obstinate woman )

Ans: traitor : country (loyal : faith , ingrate : friendship were other choices, an apostate is a person who is not faithful to his religion, the bridge goes perfect with traitor and country )

Keep looking for updates.

Also see: for GRE Quant and Verbal database links for the month of August and September

GRE UPDATE- sept'07 Verbal
GRE UPDATE- sept'07 Quants
GRE UPDATE- sept'07 Quants updated
GRE UPDATE- august'07

Another friend of mine called Swaminathan, a 1460 scorer in the GRE is collecting free GRE material available online and furnishing links to them on his blog. you may want to check that out :

I thank all those who have been instrumental in producing this material.
Thank you
All the best.

Praveen Chandar.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Veerappan (The Sandal Wood Bandit)- Episode 2

Episode 2:
VEERAPPAN : ( The Tamil 'Sandal Wood' Bandit )

Hi guys and gals,

hope the two-part episode on the life and times of Al Capone had you engrossed in it, full time. I also hope it had you thinking about good and evil, and the narrow line that divides them. Al Capone and the scenario and the culture he thrived in is not something that is very familiar to us. But, the reason I decided to have that as the first episode is because the notorious personalities we'll be discussing in this and the following chapters, their methods of crime, the way they built their organization and the reputation they had among the public, were more or less on the same lines as that of Al Capone. And, also that it will be easier to comprehend what their lives interpreted.

Today, we're talking about the tamil bandit, who terrorized three south-indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu with violence, convicted for murdering about 124 people that include senior police and forest officials, for poaching about 200 elephants, and smuggling ivory worth US$2,600,000 and sandalwood of about 10,000 tonnes worth US$22,000,000. He had a price of US$1.1 million( Around 5 Crore Rupees ) on his head, but evaded arrest for about 20 years until he was killed by the police in 2004 during Chief Minister Jayalalitha's reign. Yes, we're talking about our own Koose Muniswamy Veerappa Goundan, popularly known as Veerappan.

Childhood Days :

Veerappan was born on January 18, 1952 in Gopinatham village in Tamilnadu to a family of cattle-grazers. He was commonly known as "Molakai" in his childhood days by the locals. At age eighteen he joined a gang of poachers. Over the years he eliminated members of a rival gang and gained control of the entire forest belt. He made money smuggling sandalwood trees and killing tuskers for ivory.

His gang of forty members indulged in killing and kidnapping. Most of his victims were police and forest officials and informers. He felt the police were responsible for the suicides of his sister Mari and brother Arjunan. He was also known for his kidnapping of prominent people to make demands, starting with a forest official in 1987. He trapped and brutally killed a senior forest officer Mr. P. Srinivas IFS on November 10, 1991 in Namadalli forests of Kollegal taluk in Chamarajanagr district. He also killed Mr. Harikrishna IPS, senior Police officer,SI Mr. Shakeel Ahmed, along with others on August 14, 1992 near Meenyam of Kollegal taluk by ambushing the police party going for a raid.

He married Muthulakshmi, a shepherdess, in 1991. He had three daughters, Yuvarani, Prabha and another, whom he allegedly strangled to death. Veerappan also worked in Central Excise canteen.


Veerappan had a Robin Hood like image among the villagers adjoining his native village Gopinatham. Veerapan was revered by many as a man who can avenge injustice, rape and cruelty to innocent people by police and corrupt authorities. Sympathetic villagers are said to have acted as cover to his activities and informed him of police activities. They also provided food and clothing to the gang. However, it has been suggested that the villagers helped him out of fear of reprisal, and that Veerappan helped the villagers with money only to protect himself from being captured. He was very ruthless to villagers who provided the police with information.

He was arrested in 1986, but escaped. According to wildlife photographer Krupakar, who was once kidnapped by the bandit, he paid a bribe of US$2000 ( About Rs. 1 Lakh ) to a policeman to help him escape. Many have said that Veerappan's mimicry of birds and deers helped him evade capture. He was a surprisingly refined man, with a strong penchant for Carnatic music. He was said to be religious and prayed every day. He visited Bannari Amman temple regularly. He was fond of his handlebar moustache and tended to it as a daily routine. He regularly made his communications to the government through emissary R.R. Gopal, requesting amnesty. He desired to start an orphanage and to join politics, inspired by bandit-turned-Member of Parliament Phoolan Devi. He is quoted as having watched The Godfather over one hundred times and was an ardent listener of the BBC.

Veerappan on the Run :

In 1990, the Karnataka Government formeed a Special Task Force to capture him and put an end to the menace. Soon after, the task force managed to kidnap several of Veerppan's men.

the special task force killed his lieutenant Gurunathan. SI Shakeel Ahmed, a dynamic police officer, was single-handedly responsible for Gurunathan's capture. Veerappan retaliated by attacking Ramapura police station of Kollegal Taluk, killing several policemen and capturing arms and ammunition. In July 1997, he kidnapped nine forest officials at a place called Marapala, he made demands for releasing them including amnesty, but none were granted. The hostages were released without being harmed, which showed his resolve to not negotiate with the government.

Kidnapping of Raj Kumar :

On July 30, 2000 Veerappan abducted popular Kannada film actor Dr. Rajkumar from his ancestral home. This event put the Karnataka government in a political dilemma of whether or not to call in the army. The decision was reached that to do so would set a poor precedent. Rajkumar was released without harm on November 15, 2000, after 109 days in captivity. There are allegations by several people including Jayalalithaa that about US$10 million ( About 50 Crore Rupees ) were paid to Veerappan for releasing Rajkumar.

On August 25, 2002 Veerappan kidnapped H. Nagappa, a former state minister. Nagappa was found dead in the forest three months later. The reward offered by the Karnataka state government was increased to US $1.1 million ( About 5 Crore Rupees ).

The only person who could pull his strings of courage so strongly and unflinchingly together ( in other words, the only person 'who had the balls to' !!) to embark into the Veerappan-infested forests to interview him face-to-face was magazine reporter R. Gopal of Nakkeeran Magazine. It gained him near celebrity status and the video tape became very popular. News and articles about Veerappan were very much publicized then on, and his name became very common so much that several movies used his name and also his queer countenance, especially his whiskers. There were also allegations and rumours that the Governments could have caught him and brought him down to justice easily, but did not venture to do that because it was believed that they ensconced themselves with the influence he had on running politics and that the benefits were mutual.

His Death :

On October 18, 2004, following a tip-off, Veerappan and two associates were allegedly murdered in cold blood after being arrested by Tamil Nadu State Special Task Force headed by the Additional Director-General of Police, K. Vijay Kumar,Suprintendent of Police Sentamarai Kannan and Additional Suprintendent of Police F.M.Hussain, near the village of Paparapatti in Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu. His third associate managed to escape. However, the next day his widow claimed that he had been arrested a few days earlier, interrogated and killed by the police.

**It is worth noting that Veerappan had repeatedly threatened, if ever brought to trial, to point a finger at every policemen and politician he had bribed to ensure his three-decade long run from justice.**

According to media reports, post-mortem photos of Veerappan with a bullet hole above his left eye seemed to contradict with the official story that the STF, lying in ambush, stopped the ambulance Veerappan and his gang was traveling in, offered them to surrender and gunned them down when someone from inside the van opened fire. Another possibility, is that Veerappan and his associates may have committed collective suicide inside the van when faced with capture.

Veerappan was buried in the village of Moolakadu, Tamil Nadu. The police said they did not let the burial take place in his home village in Karnataka, fearing the large crowds that had gathered there. Although the police had planned for a cremation, this was objected to by the relatives of Veerappan suggesting that exhumation would be required if there was investigation into his death. Thousands of people turned out for the funeral while others were kept away from the burial ground by heavy security.

Veerappan was a sincere devotee of Kali. It is also said that he built a Kali temple. Veerappan belonged to the Vanniar caste. Some people of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), or Working People's Party, which is based on that Vanniar caste, hoisted half-mast flag of their party on the death of Veerappan. 'Veerappan: India's Most Wanted Man ' is a book by Sunaad Raghuram. It elaborately dilineates the life and times of Veerappan. Try getting that book if you are very much interested in getting to know more about this 'Robin Hood' forest brigand.