Tag Archives: asia

BOOK REVIEW: SAPIENS–A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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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.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today, there is one. That is us. Homo-sapiens. How did our species succeed in this battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights? Was it to trust money, books and laws, and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our model be like in the millennia to come?

    In the book “Sapiens—A Brief history of Humankind”—Dr Yuval Noah Harari, spans the gamut of human history, from the very first humans who walked the earth to the radical—and sometimes devastating—breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing, on insights from biology, anthropology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities.

    But have we become happier, with the history unfolding? Can we ever, set ourselves free from the heritage of our ancestors? And can we do something to influence the course of the centuries to come?

    Bold, out-of-the-box and provocative, the book challenges everything we thought we knew about being human beings.

    What is the meaning of Species? Animals belong to the same species, if they tend to mate and give birth to fertile off-springs. What is the meaning of Genus? Species that have evolved from the common ancestor. They usually won’t mate but can be induced to do so. Eg. Mule a cross between (Horse and donkey), and the Liger a cross between (Lion and Tiger).

    Now that we know the terms Species and Genus, we can understand the meaning of Homo-Sapiens—‘Homo’ is the genus and ‘Sapiens’ (intelligent) the species. Some other members of our genus are, now extinct, Homo Erectus and Homo Neanderthalensis. Homo Sapiens closest living species is Chimpanzees.

THE COGNITIVE REVOLUTION—THE RISE OF HOMO-SAPIENS

    Homo genus has, unusually big brains that drains a lot of energy. A Homo Sapien brain consumes 25% of energy at rest, 8% is the norm for other apes. The big brain, is an even bigger cause of human infants which are born relatively premature (in terms of physical strength) compared to other species. The long gestation period and the raising of the child implied that the evolution favoured strong social ties in humans. Regular use of fire started about 300,000 years ago.

    The carefully managed fire was not only used to clear forests but was also used for cooking food as it was faster to digest. Long intestines and large brains both use a lot of energy, it is hard to have both. Since cooked food led to shortening of intestines it resulted in our brains to grow bigger. As Homo-Sapiens, spread from East Africa to Arabian Peninsula, Europe, and Asia, they drove other Homo species like the Neanderthals to extinction. Some interbreeding did happen but it was mostly the Sapien’s superior social skills that allowed them to make communities and drove other Homo species into extinction.

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

    About 100,000 years ago, Homo-Sapiens migrated out of Africa, but returned, after losing to Neanderthals. About, 70,000 years ago, they tried again, and this time they succeeded, due to, the invention of language which allowed them to invent, tons of things like boats, lamps, needles. This cognitive revolution allowed Homo-Sapiens to dominate earth. Anthropologists (people who study human societies and cultures and their development) believe that our complex language was used more for gossip than to discuss where to hunt. And from there evolved the ability to create and believe in myths. The myths allowed us to collaborate and cooperate in large numbers in the form of tribes and now, in the form of the nation.

    The author goes on to say that nations are a myth and so are religions, and all are creations of our imagination. Unlike animals, trees, fish, rivers, the above myths have no association with the real physical entity. These myths, surprisingly, allow believers to work together and collectively. Homo-Sapiens ability to believe in myths allow us to form big groups of millions of individuals who have never met each other. Thus the author takes you through a high illusionary trajectory.

    In animals these groups are limited to the size of 25-30, who know each other. These animals cannot form large groups. The other big advantage of passing myths via language, is that, that it doesn’t require any DNA mutations. Buddhist monks pass on the celibacy, not via genes but by imparting their religion (again a myth) to the followers, some of who, convert. And that’s probably how Homo-Sapiens defeated Neanderthals. While Sapiens would have lost one-on-one combat, they had the wisdom to form large groups which Neanderthals couldn’t.

THE HUNTER GATHERER SOCIETY

    Barring the past 10,000 years, Sapiens have evolved in pre-agricultural hunter societies. They shaped our psychological and social characteristics. These ancient hunters knew a lot more about their own surroundings than us. While we, collectively, as a human society knew a lot more, the individuals of today knew a lot less. Hunters societies tended to eat wide and varied diet and hence, had a lower chance of malnutrition than the farmers who ate just a few staple crops. Hunter’s working hours were much less (30-35 hours per week) and since they neither engaged in the domestication of animals nor stayed in dense settlements, the epidemics were rare.

AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION—HISTORY’S BIGGEST FRAUD

    Agriculture started in about 9000 BC and domestication of crops was over by about 3500 BC. Today, we eat the same crops—Wheat, Maize, Rice, Potato, Millet, and Barley. Where, only a few species could be domesticated, they were in the Middle East, China, and Central America but not in Australia or Africa. And that’s where, independent domestication of crops started.

    Wheat went from an unknown crop, to a crop that has spread across the planet. Human bodies were not designed for agriculture and farming. Wheat demands protection from pests, animals and even other human beings. The only advantage farming has is, that it leads to more food per unit area and allowed humans to multiply exponentially. Overall, the agriculture revolution in the short run made the life of human beings miserable, so then, why did it happen?

    Agricultural revolution led to permanent settlements that encouraged women to have more kids. Over time, as farmers multiplied, they cleared even more lands reducing the scope for hunters even further. Just like the modern day luxury treadmill, agriculture soon became a necessity to support the ever-increasing population. And there was no going back then. Similarly, domestication of animals proceeded with slaughtering the most aggressive, weak, and economically unworthy animals first.

    Over a period of time, domesticated animals, evolved, to become economically more worthy and even more submissive. Just like wheat, animals such as chicken, sheep, pig, and cow spread all over the world, but then they were treated brutally. From repeated impregnation (i.e. making female animals pregnant) to castration (i.e. removal of testicles of a male animals), their life became miserable compared to the life in the wild. Who else, but Homo-Sapiens were the culprits.

BUILDING PYRAMIDS

    The food surplus exploded the population from 8 million in 10,000 BC to 250 million in about 100 AD. The food surplus eventually led to the emergence of bigger political and social orders like cities and nations. Rather than being based on some ingrained human characteristics, these were imagined human orders based on shared beliefs and myths. “All humans beings are created equal” is completely incorrect from a biological standpoint. Human beings are all different from each other. Animistic beliefs (meaning a belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence) are a myth, so are human rights. There is nothing biological about them. They only exist in our shared imaginations.

    Natural order is indeed the stable order. Even if people don’t believe in gravity, apples would still continue to fall. But if people don’t believe in human rights, society will collapse. While some aggression is a must in terms of police and army to enforce an order, but then the elites or the rulers themselves have to believe is such orders. Christianity, capitalism, democracy, all are imagined orders with a large number of believers.

    The two of the biggest imagined orders of the modern world are romanticism and consumerism. Romanticism teaches us that we must have as many experiences as possible to fulfil our expectations. Consumerism teaches us that we must consume as many goods as possible. The imagined order is inter-subjective. Radioactivity is objective, it happens whether you believe in it or not. An imaginary friend is subjective since it exists only as long as you believe in it. The preciousness of gold is inter-subjective since it exists not only in your imagination (belief system) but also in the belief system of millions of others.

    For changing an inter-subjective belief system, one has to convince everyone else, and to convince everyone else, they have to believe in an even bigger imaginary order.    Trust has replaced priceless things like honour, loyalty, morality, and love.

THE EVOLUTION OF MONEY

    A barter system does not measure accurately. If there are 100 types of goods then the two parties who are exchanging the goods have to know 4950 combinations of exchange rates every day. Money ends up being a central mechanism to linearize the problem since every seller has to know the price of their good in a single currency. Of course, just like religion, money is an inter-subjective reality which only exists in our imaginations. And it does not have to be coins or notes. In Nazi concentration camps, cigarettes were a currency.

    The only requirement is that it should be easy to transport, store, and has a wide enough acceptance. Money is the most useful and efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.

    The original form of money like Barley had an intrinsic biological value as compared to marked gold and silver coins, where, no weighing was required to find the value. Then came sanctioned currency which had no intrinsic value, and then to electronic currency which had no physical existence. When we use money as a medium of exchange, we don’t trust each other; we trust money. When someone runs out of money, we run out of trust in them. Money as a source of universal convertibility and trust has replaced priceless things like honour, loyalty, morality, and love.

IMPERIAL VISIONS

    An empire is characterised by cultural diversity and territorial flexibility. All empires have engaged in the brutal slaughter and assimilation of people outside its borders to extend its territory. Slowly, the newly acquired population forgets what they stood for. For example, in 7th century AD, Arab empire crushed Egyptians with an iron fist, today Egyptians think of themselves as Arabs.

    One major change that happened over a period of time in the imperial vision was that empires changed their imagined reality from ‘we are conquering you for our benefit’ to more of humanistic stance. Persian king changed his philosophy from ‘Persian King’ to ‘everyone’s king.’ This was the first time in history, Sapiens were (pretending) to get rid of “us” vs “them” feeling.

    However, this macho approach of the conqueror continued to assume the inferiority of those who were conquered. That’s why M.K. Gandhi, a London-educated, qualified barrister was thrown out of a train meant only for whites.

    Almost, all imperial empires follow a similar paradigm. First, they conquer territories, then those territories adopt the new culture. This is when the people of these territories demand equal stature. This leads to friction.

    The next stage of human history will not involve biological and technological changes alone, but also changes in human consciousness and identity.    Many people think the question we should ask to guide our scientific pursuit is, ‘What do we want to become?’ As we seem to be on the path of genetic engineering and programming,

    In the past 1000 years, human beings have evolved to take over the world and are acting and behaving like gods. Yet, we still seem to be unhappy in many ways and we are unsure of what we want. How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without some good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving for it.

    You can never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in heaven. One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and spawns new obligations.

    Anthropologist Christopher Robert Hallpike reviewed the book but did not find any “serious contribution to knowledge.”

    First published in Hebrew in 2011 and then in English in 2014, the book was translated into 45 languages (as of June 2017). It also made it to The New York Times best-seller list, and won the National Library of China’s Wenjin Book Award for the best book published in 2014. The Guardian listed the book as among the ten “best brainy books of the decade”. Bill Gates ranked Sapiens among his ten favorite books. I would give it eight out of ten, but it’s for a class of readers.

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)

*****

 

 

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF CONTINENTS

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CONTINENTAL AREAS

ASIA: 17,208,000 SQUARE MILES

AFRICA: 11,608,000 SQUARE MILES

NORTH AMERICA: 9,449,000 SQUARE MILES

SOUTH AMERICA: 6,880,000 SQUARE MILES

ANTARCTICA: 5,100,000 SQUARE MILES

EUROPE: 3,841,000 SQUARE MILES

AUSTRALIA: 2,970,000 SQUARE MILES

    Out of the total earth area, around one-third is land, and balance two-third is water–ocean. Yet, the major land divisions—the continents—are the ones that give shape and physical identity to the planet.

    The seven continents represent some 57 million square miles in area, portioned unequally among them. They range in size from Asia, being the largest, to Australia, being the smallest. Although Europe and Asia form one large mass, they are usually regarded as two continents, mainly due to the cultural differences between their peoples.

    The seven continents as they appear today represent just one episode in an ongoing scenario of the wandering land masses. It is a process whose history dates back to the initial formation of continental material on Earth’s crust almost four billion years ago—a process called ‘plate tectonics.’

    The crust and the top portion of the mantle form a rigid shell around the planet that is broken up into 16 large sections known as plates. Heat generated inside Earth is distributed through convection current which causes the plates to move slowly. This sort of movement has been going on for hundreds of millions of years.

    Most geologists believe that the ‘continents’ were created when vast plates of rock collided, forcing one to slide under another in a process called ‘subduction.’ The crust then melted and formed magma, or molten rock. Erupting to the surface, the magma built volcanic islands that eventually fused with other islands on adjoining plates—becoming the first continental material.

HOW WERE CONTINENTS FORMED

    As Earth’s continental masses grew bigger, moving all the while, they shifted in relation with each other and coalesced into different arrangements over hundreds of millions of years. The current configuration of continents is just a temporary one in the eons-long process of the plate tectonics.

    Three times during the past billion years, drifting landmasses have merged to form supercontinents.

    In between these stages of continental drift, they split into smaller landmasses before recombining again. Scientists predict that a new supercontinent, ‘Pangaea Ultima,’ will eventually form, 250 million years from now.

TERMINOLOGY 

CONTINENT: Comes from the Latin continens, “held together.” One of Earth’s seven large masses of land.

TECTONICS: Comes from the Greek tekton, “builder.” Study of the changes in Earth’s crust and the forces that produce such changes.

SUBDUCTION ZONE: The oceanic trench area in which the seafloor ‘underthrusts’ an adjacent plate, dragging, accumulated sediments, downward into Earth’s upper mantle.

ALFRED WEGENER THE EARTH SCIENTIST

    German Earth Scientist Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), was among the first to use balloons to track air currents. He participated in expeditions to Greenland to study polar air circulation but became better known for his theory of continental drift. People had already noticed that the coastlines of western Africa and eastern South America seemed to match, but Wegener found evidence that the continents had been joined: because of similar fossils from both sides of the Atlantic and tropical species in Arctic areas. He posited the existence of a supercontinent, Pangaea (All Lands) that eventually broke up, and he presented his ideas in the Origin of Continents and Oceans—but few believed him. In the 1950s and 1960s, studies of the ocean floor demonstrated a mechanism for crustal movement, is when Wegener’s theory of continental drift gained acceptance.

BRIEF HISTORY OF EARTH

500 MILLION YEARS ago, a chunk broke off a single continent. Shallow waters spawned the first multicellular creatures.

300 MILLION YEARS ago, some of today’s mountains formed. A new ice age covered Earth’s southern regions.

225 MILLION YEARS AGO, the earliest dinosaurs roamed a single continent that stretched from Pole to Pole.

100 MILLION YEARS ago, cracks across the one continent, known as Pangaea, formed rifts that evolved into oceans.

50 MILLION YEARS ago, a climate changing meteor crashed into Earth and the highest mountains began their uprise.

20,000 YEARS ago, ice sheets a mile deep gouged out the Great Lakes and then receded, raising sea levels.

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: HOW SUZUKI FOUND HIROO ONODA IN THE JUNGLES OF LUBANG (PHILIPPINES)

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    It was in the closing months of 1944 and almost after a decade when the tide was turning against Japan.  Their economy was staggering, their military was exhausted across, half of Asia. The territories that they had won all along the Pacific were now toppling like dominoes against the forces of U.S. Defeat now, seemed inevitable.

    On December 26, 1944, Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Imperial Army was deployed at the small island of Lubang in the Philippines. His orders were, to slow the progress of United States as much as possible. To stand and fight at all costs, and to never surrender. Both he and his commander knew it was essentially a suicide mission.

    In February 1945, the Americans finally arrived at Lubang and took the island by storm. Within days, most of the Japanese soldiers had either surrendered or were killed. But Onoda and three of his men managed to hide in the jungle. From there, they began a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the U.S. forces and the local population. They attacked supply lines, shot stray soldiers, and interfered with the American forces in every possible manner that they could.

    After about six months on August 6 and 9, 1945, United States, dropped the atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. Japan surrendered, and the deadliest war in human history came to its dramatic end.

    However, thousands of Japanese soldiers were still scattered among the Pacific isle, and most, like Onoda, were hiding in the jungle, unaware that the war was over. These holdouts continued to fight and pillage as they had done before. This became a real problem for rebuilding eastern Asia after the war. Where, the governments did agree that something needs to be done.

    The U.S. military, in agreement with the Japanese government, dropped thousands of leaflets throughout the Pacific region. Announcing that the war was over and it was time for everyone to go home. Onoda and his men, like many others soldiers, found and read these leaflets. But unlike most of them, Onoda decided that they were fake. A trap set by the American forces to get the guerrilla fighters to show themselves. Onoda burned the leaflets. He and his men stayed hidden and continued to fight.

    Five years had gone by. The leaflets had stopped, and most of the American forces had long since gone home. The local population of Lubang attempted to return to their normal lives of farming and fishing. Yet, there were, Hiroo Onoda and his merry men, still shooting farmers, burning their crops, stealing their livestock, and murdering locals who wandered too far into the jungle. The Philippine government then took to drawing up new flyers and spreading them out across the jungle. Come out, they said. The war is over. You lost. But these too, were also ignored by Onoda.

    In 1952, the Japanese government made one final effort to pull out the last remaining soldiers out of the hiding all throughout the Pacific. This time, letters and pictures, from the missing soldiers’ families were air-dropped, along with a personal note from the emperor himself. Once again, Onoda refused to believe that the information was real. Once again, he believed the airdrop, to be a trick of the Americans. So, once again, he and his men stood their ground and continued with their fight.

    By now another few years had gone by. The Philippine locals, sick of being terrorized, finally armed themselves, and began firing back. By 1959, one of Onoda’s companions had surrendered, and another was killed. A decade later. Onoda’s last companion. A man called Kozuka, was killed in a shootout with the local police, while he was burning rice fields—still waging war against the local population, a full quarter-century after the end of World War II.

    Onoda, now having spent more than half of his life in the jungles of Lubang, was all alone.

    In 1972, the news of Kozuka’s death reached Japan and caused a stir. The Japanese people had thought. The last of the soldiers from the war had come home years earlier. The Japanese media began to speculate. If Kozuka was still in Lubang until 1972. Then perhaps, Onoda himself, the last known Japanese holdout, from World War II, might still be alive as well. That year, both Japanese and Philippine governments, jointly sent search parties, to look for the enigmatic second lieutenant Onoda. Who, by now had become a part of a myth, a hero, or even a ghost, for no one knew the reality. Finally, the search parties found nothing.

    As months progressed. The story of Lieutenant Onoda morphed into, something like an urban legend in Japan—the war hero sounded too insane to actually exist. Many romanticized him. Others criticized him. Others thought he was a stuff out of a fairy tale.

    It was around this time that a young man by the name of Norio Suzuki first heard of second lieutenant Onoda. Suzuki was an adventurer, an explorer, and a bit of a hippie. Born after the end of the war. He had dropped out of school and had spent four years hitchhiking his way across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Sleeping on park benches, in stranger’s cars, in jail cells, and under the stars. He volunteered on farms for food, and donated blood to pay for places to stay. He was a free spirit, and perhaps a little bit nuts.

    In 1972, Suzuki needed another adventure. He had returned to Japan after his travels and found the strict cultural norms and social hierarchy to be too stifling. He hated school. He couldn’t hold on to a job. He wanted to be back on the road, back on his own again.

    For Suzuki, the legend of Hiroo Onoda came as the answer to his problems. It was a new and worthy adventure for him to pursue. Suzuki believed that he would be the one who would find Onoda. Extensive search parties conducted by the Japanese, Philippine and American governments had not been able to find Onoda. Local police forces had been scavenging the jungles for almost thirty years now with no luck. Thousands of leaflets had met with no response. So, was it this deadbeat, a college dropout, a hippie, be the one, to find him?

    Unarmed and untrained for any sort of reconnaissance or tactical warfare, Suzuki travelled to Lubang and began wandering around the jungle all by himself. His strategy was simple. Scream Onoda’s name really loud and tell him that the emperor was worried about him.

    He found second lieutenant Hiroo Onoda in just four days.

   Moral of the story: One, use the right means and methods to communicate. See how Suzuki found Onoda in just four days. Two, learn to trust people, which Onoda didn’t, and as a result of which, he spent, more than half of his life, in the jungles of Lubang.  

    Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda died later in Japan at the age of ninety one.

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)

*****

 

 

 

 

HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    Dear Friends, I wish you all a happy Republic Day. In life, what we have we never value, and that could even be our own country India and its valued citizenship. But I certainly value the privilege of being a loyal citizen of this great nation. Just as I love my life I love this great nation.

    Think and relish the fact that you’re born into this mighty and enduring civilization which is definitely not a coincidence. But a divine semaphore, about which we all are unaware. India takes into its iron fold, the great diversity of all times, in terms of Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and even some of those religions, that I may have missed out, or even people who in reality might not practice any religion, living together for generations. It has a wealth in trillions to the power of infinity that we all share and have been sharing.

    This humongous civilization called Indic … India … Bharat … Hind, has for generations stood together and I’m sure it’ll stay together till infinity. Any aberrations of course will be met by the collective strength of this burgeoning society called India.

    And, last but not the least, if at all, you are ever told, you’re not going to live for more than thirty days, the things that’ll immediately reflect on your mind are, the love for your immediate family, distant family, friends, your journey of life, your hometown and finally your nation that gave you your identity.

    So love thy nation and celebrate the Republic day.

    Jai Hind!!!!!

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)

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INTERESTING LINES AND QUOTES–220917

Copyright@shravancharitymission

I would never die for my beliefs because I could be wrong—Bertrand Russel

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Life isn’t about finding yourself it is about creating yourself—George Bernard Shaw

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Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed—Arthur Schopenhauer

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Reform is china’s second revolution—Deng Xiaoping

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The first requisite of civilisation is that of justice—Sigmund Freud

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The well known sci-fi author Ron Hubbard once said—if you really want to make big money, you should start a religion.’

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You can stop speaking to someone, but you cannot stop being related—BURMESE PROVERB

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Assassination is the extreme form of censorship—George Bernard Shaw

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People make the nation and not the other way round

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Society is never interested in religion because religion is individual and society is always afraid of individuals—Osho

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The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings—Shakespeare

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It is always better to try and fail rather than fail to try

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‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?’ (Who will guard the guards)

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One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well—VIRGINIA WOLF

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The ant that breaks the line is the one that finds new sources of food for the community. Rebellion is fundamental to innovation—Shekhar Kapur

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I am aware of being conscious but not conscious of being aware

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Make every problem look smaller than you

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India is famous for having many sick industries but no sick industrialist

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. 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

(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

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 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. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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HAPPENING WORLD–FACTS & PROJECTIONS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

 

By some accounts the Pakistani army chief bears a personal grudge against India—his uncle was killed in the 1965 war and his brother in the 1971

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India is known for producing CEOs of Google, Microsoft, Pepsico, Mastercard, Deutsche Bank, etc. And Pakistan? For hoisting heads of Al-qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammed, Haqqani group etc.

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Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 at the age of 23. Within a week he collided head on with racism. His immediate response was to flee the country that so degraded people of colour, but then his inner resilience overpowered him with a sense of mission, and he stayed to redeem the dignity of the racially exploited, to pave the way for the liberation of the colonised the world over and to develop a blueprint for a new social order. He left 21 years later, a near Mahatma (great soul).

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Valmiki gave up life as a robber and meditated for years in penance before he went up to compose the epic Ramayana. He is now revered as the ‘Adi Kavi,’ or the first poet, as he is said to have invented the ‘Shloka,’ the first verse, which defined the form of Sanskrit poetry.

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The trade unions represent 15% of the workforce in the organised sector. 85% represents the unorganised sector.

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Cities are our engines of growth and contribute around 63% of India’s GDP.

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Chikungunya was discovered in 1952, in Tanganyika. Indian dengue was first recorded in Madras in 1780, but the first proven epidemic was in west Bengal, 1963-64, also proving its first chief minister, BC Roy’s claim: ‘What Calcutta does today, the rest of India does tomorrow.’

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Total incidents of violent crime in UP fell dramatically from 1999 to 2003 at the rate of 16% per annum. This period coincided with the time when BJP was in power in the state. However, since 2003 when either BSP or SP have been in power, violent crimes in UP have increased significantly at the rate of over 7%. In comparison Bihar which is the closest to UP in its record of crimes, registered increase in violent crimes at 3% per annum.

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In 2014, violent crime in UP was 25% more than in Bihar.

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India’s direct tax payers form part of a narrow base which contributes more than 50% of the Centre’s total tax revenue.

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In 2012-13, tax department’s data showed that 28.9 million individuals filed tax returns, of whom only about 1.6 million people claimed income above Rs 1 million. When this number is juxtaposed with the 2.6 million cars sold the same year.

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India’s income tax base is unnaturally narrow. It spends less than a rupee to collect Rs 100 of direct tax.

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Indian railways continues to be the lifeline of the nation with over 800 crore trips annually

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Air travel in India is likely to continue to grow quickly for the next 10-12 years. To support this growth, investment in airports is expected to be upwards of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. Around 700 planes could be added to our current fleet of around 450 planes totalling an investment of Rs 3 lakh crores.

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Currently the aviation sector is estimated to directly employ 2 lakh people and 12 lakh people across various parts of the value chain, a multiple of 5.8x. in the next decade the sector could employ more than 5 lakh people directly and 30 lakh overall.

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From more than 90% of aspirants failing the central Teacher’s eligibility test year after year, to teacher absenteeism touching as high as 40% in the poorest states, to the prevalence of English Teachers who just can’t speak English. All around there are signs that teacher recruitment in India is in a bad shape.

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Environment: while the Montreal Protocal is now ratified by 197 countries, the Paris agreement has been ratified by 63 countries representing 52.11% of global greenhouse emissions

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The world bank/IMF estimates the size of Indian economy in 2016 at 2.28 trillion $ making it the world’s 7th largest. At $270 billion in 2015, Pakistan is the world’s 38th largest. India’s export of merchandise has powered past 300$ billion and is closing on $500 billion, if you count services, despite a slowdown in 2016. Pakistan’s exports are straining to get past #30 billion. India’s foreign exchange reserves stand at $367 billion; Pakistan is at $20 billion.

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Pakistan is one fourth of India’s size. Has a sixth of its population and poses an equal. Yet India cannot rid itself of Pakistani pestilence.

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Pakistan’s ministry of Overseas told the country’s legislature this week that Saudi Arabia and UAE together hosted nearly 90% of the total Pakistani workforce of 9,48,000 sent overseas last year. Jobs provided to Pakistani by some other counties: Germany 44, Turkey 57, Singapore 68, Japan 84, UK 261 and USA 350.

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THE MUSLIM RANT OF DONALD TRUMP

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

    Donald Trump was being willfully scandalous. When he recently said that the U.S. should shut its doors on all Muslims, as his verbal assault. To the equally outrageous gunning down of civilians in California by a couple, owning allegiance to ISIS. Was it a campaign stunt to pacify the public mood, or just a stray ambient outburst one can’t say. But any which way Trump shot himself in the foot with this off the cuff remark. A person of Trump’s stature who happens to be a billionaire and an aspirant for the Republican nomination surely overlooked the demographic sketch of his own country. Whether by sheer ignorance or design he alone knows but by doing so he labeled Muslims in general as the derogatory stereotype.

    On the other hand ‘Uncle Sam’ poses itself as the big daddy of the world. Showing deep concern for everyone in the planet. Simultaneously, it even keeps track of the maze of weaponry better than anyone else in the world. It also preaches terrorism to be a curse, yet remains one of the largest suppliers of arms in the world.  With these analogies one can safely say. Donald Trump exactly knew what he wanted to say. It it was not just an, off the cuff remark. So, it may not be out of context to contend. He orated what the Republicans had in mind?

    If we for a moment run through the world’s demography. We will find, out of a total world population of 7.26 billion people; 2.40 billion (33.06%) are Christians; 1.70 billion (23.41%) are Muslims; 1.13 billion (15.56%) belong to the unaffiliated religions (The religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion); 1.08 billion (14.87%) are Hindus; 0.49 billion (6.75%) are Buddhists; 0.40 billion (5.50%) practice the Folk Religion (The precise definition of folk religion varies among scholars. Sometimes also termed popular belief, it consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of a religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices); 0.06 billion (0.83%) belong to the other religions and 0.01 billion (0.01%) are Jews.

    Islam therefore, is the second largest faith on earth with around 1.7 billion adherents, and not just a docile race that Trump’s U.S can think of doing without. But currently it is quite definitely under duress, going through some trying times because of Islamic fundamentalism, that is at its worst. As it perpetrates holocausts in the form of terrorism. Because of which, average Muslims are losing their sheen and are not apparently welcomed in some of the most developed and powerful countries and continents of the world such as the U.S., Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand to name a few, for no fault of theirs. But by ranting about Muslims Donald Trump has not only added salt to their wounds but has also hoodwinked the American public in general. For, you can shut your doors on Muslims only when its flooding, but not when its merely seeping.

    If we analyze most religions vis-à-vis countries and colonies. We will find there are: 161 countries where Christianity is in a majority; 49 where Muslims are in a majority; 7 countries where unaffiliated religions rule the roost; 3 countries where Hindus are in a majority; 7 where Buddhists are in a majority; 3 countries where folk religion is in a majority and 1 where the Jews are in a majority.

    The data above only tells us that the World Muslim Population by percentage (Pew Research Center, 2014), constitutes the world’s second largest religious group. And if we dig in a little more on the Muslim population across the world we will find.

Concentration of Muslim population

    66% of the world’s Muslims reside in Asia and the Middle East. They are 27% of the total population of Asia and Middle East with around 1.12 billion adherents, and thus the heart of Muslim civilization on earth. And it is notable they share space with over a billion Hindus in the same region. Balance 34% of the Muslim population is spread across other continents and countries such as Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia & New Zealand, Melanesia, Caribbean, Micronesia, Mexico & Central America and Polynesia.

    Africa is home to 26% of the world’s Muslim population and 43% of Africa’s population is Muslim. So not surprisingly, Asia, Middle East and Africa together notch up 92% of the world’s Muslim population. And only a paltry 8% is left for the powerful and affluent countries and continents to share. Out of that let us glance at Europe and America.

    Europe has a total of 2.56 % of the world’s Muslim population and 5.85% of Europe’s population is Muslim. If we take Australia and New Zealand, 0.03% of the world’s Muslim population lives there which is 2.2% of their population. South America is home to just around 6.7 lac Muslims which is around 0.04% of the world Muslim population and 0.17% of their own population.

But coming back specifically to Donald Trump; North America is home to only around 35.08 lac Muslims which is only 0.2% of the world’s Muslim population and only 1.02% of their total population. Coming to the U.S. in particular, it is home to only 0.16% of world’s Muslim population, which is only 0.9% of their own population. So the point is, whether Trump says it or not. The Muslim population unlike Asia, Middle East and Africa has traditionally been extremely low in the U.S. and whether it was restricted by design or was never a favourite habitat of the Muslims in particular is a different question altogether.

   A Breibart News review of the State Department and Homeland Security data reveals. United States, admits more than a quarter of a million Muslim migrants each year. To this President Obama intends to add another 10,000 Syrian migrants. In 2013 alone 1,17,423 migrants from Muslim majority countries were permanently  resettled, within the United States. Additionally in 2013 the US voluntarily admitted an extra 1,22,921 temporary migrants from Muslim countries, as foreign students and foreign workers as well as 39,932 refugees from other Muslim countries.

    Even though every year the U.S. admits a number of Muslim migrants. Larger in size than the entire population of Des Moines, Oowa, Lincoln, Nebraska or Dayton or Ohio. Yet it still remains a miniscule and therefore it is not flooding but seeping, where closing of doors doesn’t help.

    The lethal point therefore is that US cannot do without the best of brains whether they come from Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Unaffiliated, Buddhist, Folk Religion, Jews or any other religion; And Trump’s US will have to realize, that you can’t continue to be the big daddy of the world by closing doors on faiths just because of a few rotten apples.

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