Über Desi

Keeping it real, desi ishtyle

UK to crack down on tantriks, babas

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“A fool and his money are soon parted.”
Thomas Tusser (English Farmer and Writer 1524-1580)

Authorities in the desi-centric town of Leicester, England, are cracking down on tantriks, babas and their likes. [TOI] (Sidhu via email)

Authorities in the east Midlands town of Leicester, better known as ‘Little India’, have announced a campaign against such ‘babas’ and ‘tantriks’, most of whom have origins in the Indian sub-continent. Deputy mayor Manjula Sood said: “I have heard of people being asked for 500 pounds and more for prayers or talismans. They think a curse will be placed on them if they refuse. One recently came to Leicester and took a room at a hotel where she charged clients 500 pounds for 10-minute sessions.”

500 pounds for a 10 minute session with a tantrik? I’m in the wrong field!

Shamans, charlatans …. errr…. faith healers peddling their wares to make a quick buck in the name of unproven unscientific holistic cures is nothing new in the history of humanity. The sad part is the patronization they receive in this day and age. On a personal level, I find it hard to sympathize with these so-called victims, as they are not only promoting but also sustaining such pseudo-sciences, not to mention the undesirable and illegal elements that these practices spawn.

It is about time, authorities in western nations realize the social and physical dangers these elements pose to the minorities in these nations. Some organizations are hitting tantriks and babas where it hurts.

Resham Singh Sandhu, chairman of the Sikh Welfare and Cultural Society, said the Sikh community was lobbying with newspapers to stop publishing advertisements from such people.

I’ve not read any desi publications lately but used to be the case that such publications in the U.S. carried copious number of ads by American tantriks and babas. Does anyone know if they still do that? If so, can you, the readers, help us compile a list of these publications?

Slowdown in posts

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Over the last couple of weeks, regular readers probably noticed a slowdown in the number of posts on Über Desi, particularly from yours truly. The reasons are numerous – family commitments, work load, writers block, you name it. But of late we’re dealing with another issue. By the very nature of this blog, we blog about news related to desis and give our opinions on those topics. Unfortunately, our opinions do not endear us to everyone.

One facet of the desi culture we love so much and blog about, is the importance a large section of the society places on religious leaders and the huge egos and power trips that this kind of following spawns. Unfortunately, some of these so-called religious leaders lack the gumption to hear anything but praise about themselves and will sink to unfathomable depths to keep it that way.

Largely due to apathy and frustration stemming from this issue, I’ve been sulking and avoiding blogging. But enough is enough, I’m back chodoos.

We’re dealing with this issue and will attempt to provide more details on this situation, sooner rather than later. For those in the know, thanks for your support.

LSU suspects arrested

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3 young men have been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of LSU Indian students, Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam. Authorities have refused to answer any questions on these arrests and at this stage it is unclear what clues led the authorities to these men. [Yahoo News] (tip Sidhu via email)

BATON ROUGE, La. – Three young men, including two who had been working offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, have been arrested in the killing of two Louisiana State University graduate students late last year, authorities said Thursday.

Michael Jermaine Lewis, 19, and Casey Gathers, 20, were arrested Thursday and were being booked on two counts each of first-degree murder, said Gary Durham, acting chief of the LSU police department. Devin Jamell Parker, 19, was arrested Wednesday on an unrelated robbery charge, also was being booked on the murder counts.

Authorities refused to take questions after announcing the arrests at a news conference, so it wasn’t clear what led police to the men or whether they had lawyers.

Col. Kirk Frith of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office earlier said deputies and state police arrested one man on a fishing boat in Freshwater City and another on a dock as he left a boat in Intracoastal City.

Other Über Desi posts on the LSU shootings [1,2,3,4].

Playing cricket can be hazardous to your health..

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…. if you are a drug dealer. We’ve heard of pick up hoops (basketball). Now we have pick up cricket. A major Sri Lankan drug lord was literally picked up by cops in the middle of a cricket game. [link] (tip Karthik via email)

One of Sri Lanka’s biggest drug lords has been finally arrested in Tamil Nadu after Indian authorities, who had been pursuing him for years, nabbed him while he was playing his favourite game – cricket.

Besides playing cricket, Guna the drug lord, was also involved in, of course, smuggling drugs, ….

Guna reportedly told his interrogators that he was very much into smuggling high grade heroin from Pakistan to Sri Lanka for two decades.
According to officials here, a kilo of heroin in India can fetch around Rs.500,000. In Colombo, the same quantity is sold for Rs.3-4 million Sri Lankan rupees. Guna told Indian officials that there were large numbers of heroin addicts in Colombo.

.. and assassination attempts.

Sri Lankan authorities questioned him after a bomb attack blamed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in December 1999 killed 26 people and partially blinded then president Chandrika Kumaratunga. The authorities wanted to know if he had links with the LTTE.

After avoiding arrest for year, Tamil Nadu police nabbed him in the middle of a cricket game. Apparently, that was when the drug lord was most relaxed and least expecting a bust. Another way of looking at it – better have a clean record before you play cricket.

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