Indians reach for the Sanskrit to give their own astronaut a name


In the U.S., a space traveler is called an Astronaut. In the Russia, a space traveler is called an Cosmonaut. In the China, a space traveler is called an Taikonaut. What you would call, a space traveler in India “Gaganauts” or “Antarikshyatri”. India is searching for a Sanskrit-based word for a spaceman as its top scientists draw up plans for the country’s first manned mission into the cosmos. The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), its equivalent of Nasa, said yesterday that it would be ready to send a man into orbit by 2014 and to the Moon by 2020.

Russia has its cosmonauts, America its astronauts and China, since 2003, its “taikonauts”. Could “gaganauts” be next?

India is searching for a Sanskrit-based word for a spaceman as its top scientists draw up plans for the country’s first manned mission into the cosmos.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), its equivalent of Nasa, said yesterday that it would be ready to send a man into orbit by 2014 and to the Moon by 2020 — four years earlier than China.


The organisation’s experts are due to discuss their options with other scientists at a meeting next week, according to S. Krishnamurthy, the director of information for Isro.

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Priest burns himself to death over Islam


After the cancellation of a Mozart opera in Berlin amid fears that it could provoke Muslim violence, and a speech by the Pope in September in which he quoted from a medieval text linking the spread of the Islamic faith to violence the relations between two communities become a intense matter of debate. This sort of things is a matter of great concern as it might bring more difference and hatred between communities.

A retired priest committed suicide by setting himself on fire in a German monastery in protest at the spread of Islam and the Protestant Church’s inability to contain it.

Roland Weisselberg, 73, poured a can of petrol over his head and set light to himself in the grounds of the Augustine monastery in the eastern city of Erfurt, where Martin Luther spent six years as a monk at the beginning of the 16th century.

Witnesses said that Weisselberg climbed into a building site next to the monastery church, where a Reformation Day service was being held. He shouted “Jesus and Oskar” before the flames engulfed him. The latter name was an apparent reference to Oskar Brüsewitz, a priest who burnt himself in 1976 in protest against the Communist regime in East Germany. Monastery staff tried to put out the flames and Weisselberg was still conscious as a nun prayed with him before he was taken to hospital. He died a day later, on Wednesday.

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