Category Archives: causerie

INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES-19

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Boiling the ocean: Means to go overboard or to delve deep into such small details that a project becomes impossible. The phrase, boil the ocean, appears in business as well as other group settings. In the literal sense, boiling the ocean is  impossible because there’s too much water for it to be possible.

What are brown, grey and white goods? Brown goods are consumer electronics, grey goods are computers etc., and white goods are domestic appliances. These are collective names for different types of electric and electronic equipment. These goods also include equipment powered by batteries such as computers, monitors, industrial dishwashers, ventilation units, etc.

 Difference between advertising and publicity: Advertising is what a company says about its own product, but Publicity is what others says about a product. Conversely, publicity is done by a third party which is not related to any company. Whereas, advertising is under the control of the company which is just opposite to publicity.

Mumbai discharges 750 metric tonnes of plastic every day, which is a sixth of its total garbage.

Mckinsey & Company an American worldwide management consulting firm estimates that tech giants worldwide spent anywhere between $20-30 billion on artificial intelligence in 2016.

Till 1985 marijuana and cannabis, that is, ganja and bhang derivatives, were legally sold in the country through authorised retail shops in India. It is believed moderate consumption of marijuana is far less harmful than tobacco and alcohol.

An old Rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and the day had begun. “Could it be”, asked one of the students, “when you can see an animal at a distance and tell for sure, whether it’s a sheep or a dog?” “No”, answered the Rabbi. “Is it, when you can look at a tree at a distance and tell whether it’s a fig tree or a peach tree?” wondered another. Again, the Rabbi answered “No”. The impatient pupils demanded: “Then what is it?” “Well … it is, when you can look at the face of any man or a woman and see that it is your sister or brother: Till then it is still midnight.”

Although we are second to China in population, our country is adding almost an entire Australia each year.

Recently published data shows that a quarter of white extremist’s attacks, in Europe since 2015 targeted Muslims and mosques. And now you have the retaliatory Sri-Lanka terror attack.

It’s always been the nature of government that it underpays at the top and overpays at the bottom.

The latest report of the UN’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released recently, states that Indian agriculture may be significantly impacted even by a 1.5 degree centigrade increase in average global temperature.

According to the Indian healthcare market research report 2016, our healthcare sector is one of the largest in terms of employment and revenue generation. Growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 16.5%, it will possibly be worth $280 billion by 2020. The 2017 national health policy seeks to increase government spending from the abysmally low 1.4% to 2.5% of India’s GDP.

Russia has lost more than it has won through its policy of confronting the west.

Rivers have been the lifeline of all civilizations. No wonder they are considered sacred across cultures. In India, the Ganga symbolises knowledge, Yamuna was known for love stories, Narmada stood for bhakti, knowledge and logic, Saraswati for brilliance and architecture, and India got its name from the Sindhu also known as Indus.

The name Punjab has been derived from five rivers, which are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej that collectively signify “five waters” or “the land of five waters.” Starting off in the Tibetan highland of western China near Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the Indus river flows through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir.

One of the longest rivers in the world, the Sindhu also known as Indus has a total length of over 2,000 miles and runs south from the Kailash Mountain in Tibet all the way to the Arabian Sea in Karachi, Pakistan. Where, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej—eventually flow into the Indus.

Russia has no companies in the top 100 global brands. The three most valuable companies in Russia today were also the three most valuable 10 years ago.

The brain contains 10 billion nerve cells, making thousands of billions of connections with each other. It is the most powerful data processor we know, but at the same time it is incredibly delicate. As soft as a ripe avocado, the brain has to be encased in the tough bones of the skull, and floats in its own waterbed of fluid. An adult brain weighs over 3 lb and fills the skull. It receives one-fifth of the blood pumped out by the heart at each beat.

82% of the wealth generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth. Adding Indian dimension to the horror story of global inequity, the report, added India’s richest 1% garnered as much as 73% of the total wealth generated in the country in 2017.

India is a water stressed country with a per-capita water availability reducing from 1820 to 1545 cubic metres between 2001 to 2011.

Online retail in India is estimated to grow to $200 billion by 2026, up from just $15 billion in 2016.

Car penetration—India is around 20 per 1000 people, China is at 90 per 1000 people, and the US is at 750 1000 people.

Greenpeace International, an NGO estimated that the beverage giant Coca Cola produced 110 billion throwaway plastic bottles in 2015. Most of these go for landfills or to the ocean. Owing up to its responsibility the company recently announced that it would make all its packaging recyclable by 2030.

Tripura has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and suffers from lack of infrastructure. Manik Sarkar of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) served as the Chief Minister of Tripura from 1998 to 2018. His reign was the longest in the state’s history.

Prices are the only thing that defy the law of gravity.

Interesting quotes and lines.

‘In depth of the winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer’—ALBERT CAMUS, French philosopher, author,  and journalist.

‘God’s in His Heaven, All’s right with the world’–Robert Browning.

Don Marquis once joked, ‘an idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.’

‘Everyone dies. But not everyone lives’—Shobha De.

‘Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving’—ALBERT EINSTEIN

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

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SHORT STORY: LESSON FROM THE OAK TREE

Copyright @shravancharitymission

    Chinese sage Chaung Tsu narrates the story of a huge old oak tree that was declared worthless by a carpenter because its timber was of bad quality and anything made from it would break, rot or wither away. Subsequently, in the story, the tree told the carpenter that it had turned useless on purpose because it wished to live a natural and happy life. Had its timber been useful it would have been cut into pieces, made into something else and would have been dead long ago. The sage enlightens us further by saying that in trying to be valued, desirable and significant in the eyes of the world, we usually end up relinquishing our deeper essence and we start living artificially. Despite assuming a grandiose form, our life is then fraught with meaninglessness and misery.

    Moral of the story: Think of yourself before you think of becoming useful for the world.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: JOB ENRICHMENT … learn it from a tehsildar in Karnataka

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Some bureaucrats have the gumption to transform even small positions, into powerful and meaningful ones, and some indolent bureaucrats would transform, even powerful and prestigious positions, into inconsequential jobs. So it’s all in the incumbent, and depends on the person occupying the chair. This is where B.N. Girish a tehsildar in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district outshines his bureaucratic fraternity. He shows the way as to how an upright bureaucracy can make a difference.

    As a tehsildar in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district he went undercover as a labourer to work at a stone quarry and check for irregularities then returned to raid the place.  This exemplifies the critical role of bureaucracy in India. Since January 2017, BN Girish has been on a crusade against illegal stone and sand mining in the taluk, following up on tips from local people, conducting raids and seizing vehicles. Sand mining owing to the construction boom has become a lucrative industry in rural India but the state’s limited capacity for regulation has inflicted severe ecological damage to hills, rivers and forests.

    Imagine, for a moment, if a corrupt or indifferent officer was in Girish’s place. He would have made enough black money for himself, and at the same time damaged the environment. Now size up the damage such rapacious mining in just one taluk wreaks on the environment, and the losses to public exchequer; and the weakening of law and order machinery when illegal activity gains impunity and profit. Then multiply this by the thousands of taluks in India and we will get a sense of the importance of the lower bureaucracy. Politics was meant to take power to the people and cut through red tape. But in India the Neta-Babu nexus has for long taken advantage of hierarchical inequalities to subvert the system.

    Says Girish. “Locals told me about the Gejjinahalli quarry in March. I had raided it earlier. But labourers stopped work when they spotted my vehicle. Miners have such a strong network that when unknown vehicles enter, they stop work and flee. That’s when I decided to go in disguise so that no one would recognise me.”

    He adds further. “They realised he was an officer only when he started the inquiry. Gejjenahalli has several stone quarries, but I could raid only four as the men in other places got information and ran away. I plan to use a similar method to tackle illegal sand mining problem in the taluk.”

    Such illegal happenings have run their course and have to change now. The RTI Act, the spread of education, ubiquitous smartphones, rising aspirations and worries over environmental degradation are empowering communities to speak up against illegality. It also helps when honest officers come to the aid of hapless citizens. Not surprisingly, the struggles of bureaucrats like Ashok Khemka against successive Haryana governments struck a chord with the public. Perhaps, a new breed of civil servants with a can-do attitude has emerged in recent years with popular following that even rivals politicians. But the likes of B.N. Girish who go the extra mile must become the norm, not the exception.

   So, a big salute to Tehsildar B.N Girish.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: WHY I AM A HINDU by Shashi Tharoor

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

WHY I AM A HINDU’

by Shashi Tharoor

Publisher Aleph

Year of publication: 2018

    The price of the book is Rs 699. It’s a 300 page book loaded with some palpable stuff—quite typical of Shashi Tharoor. The book has three main chapters divided into seven sub chapters.

    It starts off quite well with the author glossing over reasons as to why he decided to write this book. Where, he takes you through the essence of Hinduism, but not so much through the rituals but essentially through the religious-socio-cultural plank. He gets into meticulous detailing such as how a Sanskrit word ‘Jagannath’ came to be known as ‘Juggernaut.’ He takes you through the Bhakti movement. He talks about the Advaita Vedanta, the vedic learnings with lots of anecdotes—interesting ones. He describes in great detail the wisdom of Swami Vivekananda and Adi Shankracharya. Talks about his own childhood entangled in Hinduism. The ‘sanskars’ that he got from his parents. While Shashi loves Hinduism he admonishes Hindutva in his hot narration.

    The author, initially appears, quite as a baby faced admirer and a harmless volunteer of Hinduism till around page hundred and forty. But thereafter he changes gear and moves into the domain of political Hinduism.

    Where, he goes unsparingly after Savarkar, Golwalkar and Deen Dayal Upadhyay all stalwarts of the Sangh Parivar. And, as expected of Shashi Tharoor, he does make, a piercing commotion about the atrocities committed by the British Raj on Hinduism, but remains somewhat vague about the atrocities of the Muslim invaders, perhaps, offering them benefit of doubt. He feigns or genuinely believes Hindus are large hearted or even dodos, and will never react to the persecution that they were subjected to at the hands of the British Raj and the devious invaders, even in a millennium which is not quite clear. While he allows Deen Dayal Upadhyay to pass off as a more tolerable face of the Sangh Parivar. For Savarkar and Golwalkar, he projects unalloyed despise rising up to hate, but doesn’t really touch Hedgewar the founding Sangh Chalak even with a bargepole.  Shashi cannot imagine leave alone believing that RSS may have been an initial emotional reaction to the atrocities of the British Raj and the Islamization during Jinnah before and even after the partition. Just as Islamization could have been a reaction to American atrocities on the Muslims as believed by many and not some. And why forget the fascism of Europe that arose primarily because of Communism.

    Beyond page 140 the author shows his real face and that is his attack on Hindutva. The point that he makes is about the ancient Indian culture of hospitality where India has always been a great host to all communities. The population of India is 80% Hindus but they have always looked after the minority communities in terms of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and others. When you cruise through the book further what becomes more apparent is that Hindutva is the brain child of RSS. And till the time Congress was well in control of India the Indian society was an Utopia and now it has become a dystopia. The book is excellent in terms of narration and flow. And is action packed with all the appreciated fantasies of the Congress regime. Yet, I was left with the following gaps for which I did not find answers or were the answers held back. I really don’t know?

   The book has a good spread of Hinduism’s history but lacks in precipitating/ Hindu emotions because of obvious reasons. It churns out great details about Hinduism yet it does make you feel a depreciated Hindu. The author talks about large scale conversion of Hindus, at the hands of Muslims and even Christians but at the same time is short of saying that both Muslims and Christians are fanatics in that manner.

    Although, he goes after Hindutva with a gun yet he doesn’t give any plausible explanation as to why Hindutva flourished in the last 25-30 years. Was it a pent up emotional need of the Hindus or the failure of Congress party that ruled for so many years. All he does is to blame the Sangh and the BJP. The author having criticised the BJP and the Sangh so vehemently, should have suggested a socio-religious-cultural alternative to BJP which he hasn’t. Muslims have their mosque and Christians their Church but where do Hindus go barring their defining book Gita. And is BJP a reaction to 70 years of Congress rule is the question the author needs to answer to complete the book? BJP has come up through a democratic process. It started with just two seats in the parliament and now occupies almost a full house. If all was going so well for the Hindus in India why did Hindutva gain so much ground. For which there is no elaborate answer from the author barring the cliché of the divisive policy of the RSS and BJP.

    Book is a little too much to digest in one go for an average reader. It’s outright verbose—Shashi Tharoor style. And yes read it with a pinch of salt. The book leans towards Congress. In which he has mixed society, religion and politics. It has excellent flow and detailing. Author admits his erudite team has also helped him in this narration. A large part of the book is all about RSS and BJP bashing. Though India is projected well in the eyes of the world, which, Shashi always does. The first half and even all along, the book is all about the uniqueness of Hindu religion. It covers the Sikh riots in just about half a paragraph just because Congress was to blame for it. Whereas, he criticizes forcefully the doctrine of Hindutva. And mildly conveys about the invaders who came and plundered India from time to time. He sings the same old tune of secularism. He compares India with Pakistan. In Pakistan all non-Muslims have it written on their passports as non-Muslims, signifying they are second rate citizens.

    The book doesn’t reveal the dynamics of an evolving society. One will agree, Hindutva was not in the agenda of things when India got independence. But obviously, there have been factors that propagated the concept of Hindutva later on. Intermittently Shashi criticizes the caste system propagated by the Britishers and subsequently upheld by the Congress party.

    Author doesn’t accept Hindutva as a reaction to Muslim radicalisation. And even fails to say that if Muslim radicalisation continues there is a likelihood of Christian radicalisation too, maybe not in India but in various Christian majority states of the world.

    The book is excellent in terms of detailing and of course the content, language and the flow.

    But surprisingly, it nowhere deciphers between the temperaments of Hindus settled in south and the ones in the north who mostly took the wrath of these Muslim invaders.

    Towards the final chapters the author takes you through some iconic inventions in the realm of Hinduism and Science, especially the inventions of numerals in terms of Shunya or zero. At one point he also tries to justify the invaders and that includes the Mughals starting from Babar. He compares them with the Britishers only to say that Britishers took the loot to their own country whereas, the Muslim invaders spent it here in India. Then he goes on to talk about holy cows, changing the name of Aurangzeb road and even the independence movement.

    Overall it’s an excellent read if you don’t mind the politics that the book generates. I would give the book eight out of ten for the content, detailing, information, language flow and of course Shashi’s guts in being one-sided and the frankness.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: “Jallianwala Bagh: An Empire of Fear and the Making of the Amritsar Massacre,” by Kim A Wagner.

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Time doesn’t dilute the scars of hateful crimes. I’m pointing at the “Jallianwala Bagh” massacre, a crime perpetrated by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer. People who died in that slaughter, I’m sure, must be turning in their graves on each anniversary of the crime that was unleashed on April 13, 1919 by this devil. With that logic the victims by now must have turned at least a hundred times in their proverbial grave. But the apology from the British is yet to come. This monster, Brigadier Dyer later died on 23 July 1927. Winston Churchill called him a rotten apple simply to disavow his own responsibility.

    But then the rotten apple grew in his own backyard colony called India. General Dyer is also called, “the Butcher of Amritsar,” because of his order to fire repeatedly on a crowd of peaceful protesters. This resulted in the murder of at least 500-600 people and injuries to over a thousand more. Subsequently, Dyer was removed from duty and widely condemned both in Britain and in India. But he became a celebrated hero among some with connections to the British Raj. Some historians argue the episode was a decisive event towards the end of the British rule in India.

    Many books have been written on this particular massacre. Latest being “Jallianwala Bagh: An Empire of Fear and the Making of the Amritsar Massacre,” by historian Kim A Wagner. Wagner teaches, the history of colonial India and the British Empire at Queen Mary, University of London. He has written extensively on the subject of ‘Thuggee,’ the Indian Uprising of 1857, and resistance and colonial violence more generally in 19th and 20th century global history. The book has been published by Penguin, and the price is below Rs 500 in Amazon. Even though it has been a century since Brigadier General Reginald Dyer ordered Indian Army troops to open fire upon an unarmed crowd at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919, the memory of it is still painful for Indians. British historian Kim Wagner has taken a fresh look at the incident in this book. There are some advance praises about the book, a couple of them are as follows:

  1. “In the cautionary tale provided in Jallianwala Bagh, it is enduring racist fear that lies at the heart of precipitate violence. Analytically sharp but gripping to read, the book is a page turner.”—says Barbara D. Metcalf, Co-Author of “A Concise History of India.”
  1. In the compelling yet exacting study Kim Wagner combines the intimacy of the storyteller and the distance of the historian to evoke the “micro story” of the massacre while understanding it as the “final stage of the much longer process”, stretching back to Sepoy Uprising. Mining a variety of sources—diaries, memoirs and court testimonies—he uncovers fresh perspectives and examines the relation between colonial panic and state brutality with sophistication, sincerity and style rare in published accounts of this much-trodden ground.”–says Santanu Das, Author of, “India, Empire and First War Culture.”

    The book gives a good overview of the massacre from all corners and all stakeholders. Was Jallianwala Bagh massacre a one-off incident, as portrayed back then and even today by many? The book tries to answer that. The author feels rather than being an unprecedented event, the Amritsar massacre revealed the racialized logic of a colonial violence, and we find the exact sentiments expressed by British officers involved in the suppression of the Indian Uprising of 1857, for instance.

    An apology that describes General Dyer as a rotten apple, which is, essentially what Winston Churchill said in 1920, is not an apology at all but rather an attempt to disavow any form of responsibility in terms of the Raj and the British Empire in general.

    There is often a debate about the troops who open fired. Some say they were Gorkhas and Pathan troops. The author with his research tries to clear the air when he says. There probably were a few Sikh troops also present but we have to remember that the British at the same time did not think of the local population in communal terms. Dyer refers to the protesters simply as ‘rebels.’ The composition of the force he took with him to ‘Jallianwala Bagh’ was largely accidental.

    To a question about Indian Army veterans who had served in World War-I, being among the unfortunate crowd that got killed and injured the eyewitnesses describe how veterans called out for people to lie down to avoid being shot, so there were clearly demobilised soldiers in the crowd.

    British Empire apologists often dismiss the Indian National Congress’s findings about the tragedy and settle for government estimates to save their skin. The Indian National Congress actually estimated that 500 had been killed but that 1,000 might not be an exaggerated estimate—based on the door-to-door inquiry made by local agencies, some 540 names were found, and the author feels that somewhere between 500 to 600 were killed and, perhaps, three times that many wounded.

    As per the book it was not a pre-meditated plan. Dyer believed he was entering a war zone and was fully prepared to shoot at anyone who defied his ban on public meetings. He did not know what the layout of the city or Jallianwala Bagh was. Once he arrived at the Bagh, he did not care much about who was actually present but simply open fired without using his brains.

   There is no evidence about the 120 bodies that were recovered from the well. Eye-witnesses describe one or two people falling in it, and Motilal Nehru and Madan Mohan Malviya thought they saw one or two bodies floating in the well, later that summer—which was nothing more than a clay-pot and some old clothes floating in the well. There was a merging of the canal feeding with the holy tank, which runs under Jallianwala Bagh, since we know that some people climbed into that to flee the bullets and that several bodies were later recovered.

    Lastly, Churchill denounced Dyer in 1920 but it was not because he found indiscriminate violence in the Empire unacceptable, but rather because Dyer’s actions made it so difficult to defend British rule in India. That is also why he was eager to depict Dyer and the massacre as ‘un-British.’

    The massacre has been portrayed in several movies, starting with Attenborough’s Gandhi. But author Kim Wagner thinks none of them make more impact than re-enact the set of visual tropes first deployed by Attenborough. There is almost a checklist of recurrent motifs, including Dyer ordering his troops to fire, and people throwing themselves into the well or getting crushed against a locked gate, crying kids sitting next to their dead parents. To break new ground in this respect would require a break from these filmic conventions.

    Jallianwalla Bagh is often the least talked about episode in the British circles but yes to an extent or rather to quite an extent during the trial it helped in understanding the British colonial policy. The Hunter Commission was set up partly to assuage moderate Indian nationalists and Montagu, the Secretary of State for India, never expected it to reveal the things it did. The fact that this was such a large inquiry, which elicited so much evidence, not least Dyer’s own testimony, means that this was probably the best-recorded colonial atrocity within the British Empire up till that point.

    Well if you’re interested in history and the sad chapters of Indian history this book is for you. Well written and great in detailing and largely unbiased barring certain chapters where you get some eerie feeling it sails through in the Indian Ocean without turbulence. A historians prime job is to lay down history in proper perspective where the author I think has not failed. I would give the book seven out of ten.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES–17

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Shoot the breeze—to have a casual conversation or to spend time talking about things that are not important.

Cut the cackle and come to the horses—to get down to business. Leave out the non-essentials and come to the part that matters. Agatha Christie was quite fond of this idiom and she has used it in some of her novels.

Not turn a hair—to remain unmoved or unaffected.

Shakespeare—arguably is the greatest wordsmith in the history of English language. Americans loved the Bard because they saw in him a pioneer: an inventive wordsmith who coined new words and expressions—some 1700 by one estimate.

Running the Parliament costs Rs 2.5 lakhs per minute or Rs 2 crore a day. MPs get Rs 2000 per day to attend Parliament. But does the country get the real worth out of the Parliament is the big question.

China has increased its investments enormously in the US in the last decade, employing 1,00,000 US workers compared to 10,000 in 2006.

Wang Jianlin is China’s richest man and the largest Chinese investor in the US.

A joint secretary in the Government of India is the administrative head of a department and has critical influence on its efficacy.

IPL ranks in the world’s top five sporting leagues.

A recent study by UNICEF on the economic impact of sanitation has estimated that in an open defecation free village, each family saves over Rs 50,000 per annum on account of avoided medical costs.

The ministry of law and justice has admitted that as of July last year, 24 high courts were functioning with only 615 out of the total sanctioned strength of 1079 judges. Where, center and state governments account for nearly 70% of cases in courts.

According to RBI data, total debit cards in India went up from 623.67 million (about 62 crore) in November 2015 to 867.35 million (about 87 crore) in September 2016 (a 39% jump, even if many people have multiple cards). Similarly, payments through pre-paid instruments like m-wallet or PPI cards went up from 62.66 million (more than 6 crore) in November 2015 to 97.07 million (that is more than 9 crores) in September 2016 (a jump of 54.9%).

There are 250-300 million or say 25-30 crore Indians with a smart phone.

The stark fact is that in a country of 1.2 billion people, we currently have only 2.50 lakh ATM machines.

I am told there is a magnificent archaeological site in western Africa—the vast ruins of Djenne in Mali. Apparently, this was a city of over 1,00,000 people one thousand years ago—a world class metropolis in the first millennium. A visitor to the site observed: “Its art was stunning. Its architecture reflected a complex society … what struck me the most, however, was the fact that it had been completely ignored by western archaeologists for decades, because they found no evidence of military constructions! The Djenne civilisation did not find its strength through military conquest or intimidation of its people, but through cooperation. It was a great city built not on fear, but friendship.

Stubble burning: Labour has become expensive, therefore mechanical harvesting is done for big fields. But the machine for harvesting leaves 25% of the stem during the harvest. This again, has to be cut, by another machine. So, burning the crop residue is easier and that is called stubble burning. There is an imposition of a maximum fine of Rs 15,000 for stubble burning for farmers.

India occupies 2.4% of the world’s land area and supports over 17.5% of the world’s population. India has more arable land area than any other country except for the United States, and more water area than any other country except Canada and the United States. Indian life therefore revolves mostly around agriculture and allied activities in small villages, where the overwhelming majority of the population live.

As per the 2001 census, 72.2% of the Indian population lives in about 638,000 villages and the remaining 27.8% lives in more than 5,100 towns and over 380 urban agglomerations.

In 1901 the world population was 1.6 billion. By 1960, it became 3 billion, and by 1987, 5 billion and in 1999, 6 billion. Currently, one billion people are added every 12 – 13 years.

When we see the population growth in India we find the population of the country was 27.13 crore in the year 1900, from where it decreased to 26.31 crore in 1925 which sounds impossible and then from there it increased to 35.04 crore in 1950 and 36.23 crore in 1951. From here onwards the population growth took exponential proportions of growth to 43.88 crore in 1961, 54.79 crore in 1971, 68.52 crore in 1981, 84.39 crore in 1991, and 102.70 crore in 2001.

With over 1 billion people, India is currently the World’s second largest populated Country. India crossed one billion mark in the year 2000 that is one year after the World’s population crossed the six billion threshold. It is expected that India’s population will surpass the population of China by 2030 when it would have more than 153 crore of population while China would be number two with a population of 146 crore.

Since 1947, the population of India has more than tripled which has resulted in increasingly impoverished and sub-standard conditions in the growing segments of the Indian population.  In 2007, India ranked 126th on the United Nation’s Human Development Index, which takes into account social, health, and educational conditions in a country.

Britian is already the largest investor in India among the G20 countries and India invests more in the UK than in any other country.

Gotra—is the male bloodline that links Hindus with a range of ancient sages.

The value of rupee has changed from Rs 17.50 per dollar in 1990 to Rs 74 per dollar today.

Interesting quotes and lines:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”—Steve Jobs.

Alexander the great might just be right. “I’m not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I’m afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

“Virtue has a veil, vice a mask”—Victor Hugo.

“To error is human; to forgive divine”—Alexander Pope, English poet.

  “The first   requisite of civilisation is that of justice”—Sigmund Freud.

“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems”—Greek philosopher, Epictetus.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: NIRAV MODI AND THE CURSE OF MIDAS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamond merchant who fled the country after reportedly swindling the banks for over Rs 13,000 crore, has one thing in common with a character in Greek legend, King Midas of Phrygia: and that is insatiable greed.

    By all standards, Modi ran a successful diamond business and had amassed more wealth than most people can even dream of. The sale of his art collection alone is said to have fetched Rs 58 crore. He owns several properties in India, and at least two apartments in a tower block in Central London, which in themselves would cost several million British pound sterling.

    But I guess all these immense riches were apparently not enough to satisfy him, so he conspired to swindle the banks for thousands of crores of rupees.

    Now he is fugitive from the law in London. A prisoner who has been denied bail by a British judge and is facing extradition to India, where he is likely to do extended jail term.

    So then why, when he already had more money than anyone could possibly spend in several luxurious lifetimes was he compelled to become a cheat and land himself in such a mess as he is now in?

    The answer is, insatiable greed. Modi’s story parallels that of Midas. Who was granted a boon by Dionysus, the God of wine and revelry. Midas chose infinite wealth and was granted the golden touch whereby everything he laid hands on turned into precious metal.

    But Midas’s joy at having been given the golden touch was short-lived. As he could not eat nor drink anything, because whatever he came in contact with turned into gold, including his beloved daughter.

    Midas then realised that his golden touch, born out of uncontrollable greed, was not a boon but a curse. So, he went back to Dionysus and begged of him to take back his baneful gift. The God told Midas to go bathe in a river that would wash away the unbearable burden of his greed.

    The dietary disorder of bulimia turns people into obsessive eaters who cannot stop themselves from consuming much more than what their bodies actually require or what their constitutions can withstand. If untreated, bulimia leads to obesity and other life-threatening conditions. The unbridled greed for material wealth is a bulimia of the spirit, an uncontrolled and uncontrollable appetite that leads to grevious consequences.

    In Oliver Stone’s movie, Wall Street, the protagonist, Gordon Gekko, sums up the mantra of compulsive consumption: ‘Greed is good’. But greed, as Midas discovered, is far from being good; greed is another word for grief.

    The so-called ‘subprime crisis’, which started in the US in 2007 and led to worldwide financial turmoil, was caused by greed, and led to many millions losing their life savings, their homes and their jobs.

    Greed is harmful not just for our financial health. Greed for more and more of the planet’s limited resources has brought us to the brink of irretrievable environmental catastrophe.

    Collective human greed –particularly as evidenced by the world’s wealthiest nations, who have shown that the more you have more you desire to have—has endangered the Earth, perhaps beyond salvation.

    Not just Nirav Modi, we are all inheritors of the curse of Midas.

    This column is inspired by a recent article of Jug Suraiya in Speaking Tree.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****