'Da Vinci Code' blasted by top cardinal
By Philip Pullella
Wednesday, 16 March , 2005, 03:01
Rome: A top Catholic cardinal has blasted The Da Vinci Code as a "gross and
absurd" distortion of history and said Catholic bookstores should take the
bestseller off their shelves because it is full of "cheap lies."
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in an interview with the Milan newspaper Il
Giornale, became the highest ranking Italian Churchman to speak out against
the book, an international blockbuster that has sold millions of copies.
"(It) aims to discredit the Church and its history through gross and absurd
manipulations," Bertone, the archbishop of the northern Italian city of
Genoa and a close friend of Pope John Paul told the paper in its Monday
"This seems like a throwback to the old anti-clerical pamphlets of the
1800s," he said.
The central claim of the book, written by U.S. author Dan Brown, is that
Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children. The Bible says Jesus never
married, was crucified and rose from the dead.
Bertone's comments were significant because until the Pope named him
archbishop of Genoa in 2003 he was for years the number two man at the
Vatican's most powerful department - the Congregation for the Doctrine of
"You can find that book everywhere and the risk is that many people who read
it believe that those fairy tales are real," he said. "I think I have the
responsibility to clear things up to unmask the cheap lies contained in
books like that."
A central storyline of the book is that the Holy Grail is not the cup which
Christ is said to have used at the Last Supper but really the bloodline
descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Bertone calls this idea "a
Bertone is so incensed about the novel that he will be the key speaker at a
roundtable in Genoa on Wednesday night attempting to dismantle the book,
'Date of birth in horoscope not conclusive proof of age'
By Our Legal Correspondent
NEW DELHI, MARCH 15 . The Supreme Court has held that the date of birth
(DoB) entered in one's horoscope cannot be taken as conclusive proof for
determining the age if the DoB recorded in the school register is different.
A Bench, comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S.H. Kapadia, giving
this ruling said: "Horoscope is a very weak material to prove age of a
person." But "where no other material is available, the horoscope may be
considered but subject to its authenticity being established." For a
horoscope to be treated as evidence in terms of Section 32 (5) of the Indian
Evidence Act, it must be proved to have been prepared by a person having
special knowledge as regards to the authenticity of date and time mentioned
therein. The school records have more probative value than a horoscope for
determining the exact date of birth of a person, the Bench said allowing an
appeal of the Punjab Government against a High Court order ruling in favour
of a person who had relied on the horoscope for proving his DoB.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ravi Varma"
Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 11:09 AM
Building brand 'Tally'
The story of an Indian software package that has made global reach
Posted online: Saturday, March 05, 2005 at 0000 hours IST
Tally, one of the better known software packages developed in India,
is making silent strides in spreading computerisation among the small
business establishments and charted accountants, not only in India but
in 88 countries across the world.
Tally-the package and the brand- has been built over 19 years and
developed by a businessman (not a software whizkid!). For sheer
numbers, today Tally has over 1.8 million users outside India. In
India, over 35 lakh small establishments and a bulk of 80,000
professional chartered accou-ntants use Tally accounting solutions.
Meanwhile, the company is looking at making full use of the
opportunity in the VAT regime. "Business people need to adopt VAT
structure from April 1. We have introduced specific packages in
Singapore and the UK, where VAT has been in use," said Tally Solutions
president Bharath Gopalakrishnan.
The company has launched Tally 7.2 version with state-specific tax
structures to facilitate filing of statutory returns by businessmen.
"A businessman will be required to provide the raw data, and all the
reports according to VAT requirement will be generated by our
software," he added.
With changes in the tax regime, even Tally is looking at having a
different marketing strategy to sell its products more aggresively.
"According to various industry studies, over 16 million business
establishments are present in India today. Of this, eight million
establishments are too small (like paan shops), which are not looking
at adopting computers as of now. The remaining eight million, already
four million are computerised. We see a huge potential in the rest and
are looking at selling around a million packages in the next few
months," he said.
In order to reach out to these business establishments, the company
has signed up with over 25,000 hardware resellers in the country to
market its product. "Along with our 100 direct dealers, we have signed
up with over 25,000 hardware resellers," said Mr Gopalakrishnan.
There is another reason for the company to sign up with hardware
resellers. As Mr Gopalakrishnan puts it, in the last 18 years though
millions are using the Tally package, only 1.5 lakh are registered
users. "Piracy is over 90%. We are providing training to all the
resellers about the value proposition that Tally offers them if they
sell the package to the customers," he said.
Moving forward, Tally plans a channel presence of over 50,000 hardware
and software resellers who will be enabled and trained by Tally
Solutions to act as Value Added Resellers. "In the next four quarters,
we are introducing pay-roll package, Tally on Microsoft and Linux
platform and also in multiple languages. In the first quarter, we plan
to export our product to the Middle East and South-East Asia," said Mr
The company gets 90% of its business from the domestic market and 10%
from exports. The Tally package is priced at Rs 4,950 for single users
and Rs 13,500 for multiple user licenses in India.
The Word of the Day for Mar 05 is:
indigence \IN-dih-junss\ noun
: a level of poverty in which real hardship and deprivation are suffered and
comforts of life are wholly lacking
"It is a fine thing, reader, to be lifted in a moment from indigence to
wealth." (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre)
Did you know?
Is your vocabulary impoverished by a lack of synonyms for "poverty"? We can
help. "Poverty," "penury," "want," "destitution," and "indigence" all
describe the state of someone who is lacking in key resources. "Poverty"
covers the range from severe lack of basic necessities to an absence of
material comforts ("the refugees lived in extreme poverty"). "Penury"
suggests a cramping or oppressive lack of money ("illness condemned him to
years of penury"). "Want" and "destitution" imply extreme, even
life-threatening, poverty ("they lived in a perpetual state of want") ("the
widespread destitution in countries beset by famine"). "Indigence," which
descends from a Latin verb meaning "to need," implies seriously straitened
circumstances and usually connotes the endurance of many hardships and the
lack of comforts ("she struggled through the indigence of her college
Violent eruptions in Wisconsin and Georgia: the pathology of a society in
The bloody incidents last Friday and Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia and
Brookfield, Wisconsin have dominated the American media for the past week.
And with reason: the killing of seven people at a Wisconsin church service
and four people in and around an Atlanta courtroom are the latest
expressions of an increasingly common and troubling phenomenon in America:
eruptions of apparently random and self-destructive violence.
The media coverage provides no understanding of the social meaning of these
events. On the contrary, it obscures it, treating the two gunmen, Brian
Nichols in Atlanta and Terry Ratzmann in Wisconsin, as isolated cases,
individuals driven solely by their own pathologies rather than products of a
society that is increasingly dysfunctional, crisis-stricken and brutal.
In Atlanta, the media focus has been on the evident failure of courthouse
security. Nichols, a 210-pound former athlete, was able to overpower a
female sheriff's deputy, take her gun, kill three people, and then escape
from the Fulton County Courthouse, where he was on trial for rape, facing
life in prison if convicted. He later killed a fourth person and took his
car, before surrendering to police.
Ross owed over $18,000 in unpaid credit card debts. He was forced to sell
his home and rent it back, then was evicted and lived in his minivan during
the last weeks of his life.
If Ratzmann and Nichols had killed "only" one victim and then themselves,
their actions would have drawn scarcely any notice. Such tragedies take
place on a daily basis in the United States. Far from being isolated
events, the killings in Georgia and Wisconsin highlight a pattern of
behavior which must have deeper social roots.
According to a 2002 report by the Violence Policy Center, at least 662
people died in murder-suicides in the United States over a six-month period
the previous year-an average of nearly two murder-suicides each day, every
day. Seven states had more than 10 murder-suicides during the study period:
Florida (35), California (29) and Texas (29), Pennsylvania (17), New York
(14), Virginia (12), and Ohio (11).
No more recent figures are available. Due to political pressure from the gun
lobby and other right-wing groups, no government agency compiles centralized
statistics on either suicides or homicides involving firearms. According to
the VPC, however, more US firearm deaths are suicides than homicides (16,599
compared to 10,828 in 1999).
Three-quarters of murder-suicides involved "intimate partners," the study
found, and of these, 94 percent involved men killing women and then
avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 0511-0, 03/15/2005
Tested on: 3/16/2005 1:14:35 PM
avast! - copyright (c) 2000-2004 ALWIL Software.