Tag Archives: india

INTERESTING FACTS: IS THE AGE OF 40 TOO LESS FOR HERCULEAN ACHIEVEMENTS–FIVE REAL LIVE CASES OF LIT-LUMANRIES

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    What is the right age to achieve something in life? Is 40 years, too less a time, or sufficient time to achieve something in life? In this context let me give you an example of 5 lit-luminaries of the 19th century who are more or less contemporaries and who became world renowned figures in their short lifespan. Let me start with Swami Vivekananda an Indian monk, a spiritual guru and also a lit-luminary, lifespan 12th January 1863 – 4th July 1902, a total of 39 years. Let me follow it up with American writer Edgar Allan Poe, born on 19th January 1809, died on 17th October 1849, a life span of 40 years. Then you have the French writer Guy De Maupassant, born on 5th August 1850 and died on 6th July 1893, a life span of 42 years. In the rostrum there is also, Nikolai Vasilie Gogol, a Russian writer of Ukraine origin, who was born on 20th March 1809 and died on 21st February 1852, a life span of 43 years. And last but not the least we have Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, a Russian playwright and short-story writer born on 29th January 1860, he died on 15th July 1904, at the age of forty-four. They all left behind a phenomenal legacy of success and heaps of lessons for the future generations within the ebbs and flows of their limited lifespan.

    The mean life expectancy in the 19th century was around 40-45 years. Life expectancy today is around 72 years. There are two off-shoots to this. One, they lived around hundred to ninety percent of the average life expectancy of those times. Two, they only lived for around forty years—a time period, much too less, for any significant milestone achievement barring sports and some other similar careers. When we compare 40 years with today’s life expectancy, it is only around 55%. So then, does life-expectancy, has anything to do with your achievements. The case-study of the quintet says no. There are some more authors, poets and lit-figures from various other countries who created a name for themselves and died very young, say between the age of 17 and 35 years, but I’m not discussing them in this short hypothesis. So, isn’t it, the irony of nature that some in a short lifespan of 40 years make gigantic strides, while others don’t even do that in a century?

    Second half of 19th century, when these five were alive and kicking saw some paradigm changes in their countries. Some major events were as follows. India had the First War of Independence in 1857. British East India Company was replaced by the British Crown in 1858. In Russia there was the Crimean War in 1856, Caucasian War in 1864 and the capture of Tashkent by the Russian Army in 1865, Sale of Alaska in 1867, Russian Turkish War in 1877, the severe famine in 1891, Death of Alexander-III in 1894, and the first party congress of Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In America and Europe Slavery was abolished, first and Second Industrial Revolutions which overlapped with the 18th and 20th centuries respectively led to massive urbanization. Construction of Suez Canal began in 1859, connecting Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea that enabled a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia. The Islamic gunpowder empires (Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal) were formally dissolved and European imperialism, brought much of South Asia, Southeast Asia and almost all of Africa under colonial rule. It was also marked by the collapse of the Spanish rulers, Zulu Kingdom, First French Empire, Holy Roman and the Mughal Empire.

    Even with all the hullabaloo in their country and continent there was still calm in these five luminaries. They had single focus, just like Arjun’s concentration—machli ki aankh (eye of the fish) and that was … write, write and write till their last moments. Though, born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, yet Swami Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt, that all living beings, were an embodiment of the divine self. Therefore, service to God, could only be rendered by service to mankind and a lot of that came through texts. In particular I must also mention that Anton Chekhov fell sick in 1885 yet he kept writing till he died of tuberculosis in 1904. Some of them even had financial problems leading to trying times to obtain education and some even had to support their education by writing scripts for magazines and even by selling fish. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, the second child of actors David and Elizabeth Poe. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. He became an orphan yet he fought back to become one of the most formidable writers of short stories. When Maupassant was 11, his mother, an independent minded woman took a divorce from her husband and Maupassant thereafter lived with his mother who was the single biggest influence on him but that entailed hardships. Gogol lost his father at the age of fifteen yet he aspired to become a writer.

    So then, what is the central idea of life? Well that is to have a mission within all the diversions. Nothing is possible without a mission. And if you can’t fix a mission for yourself follow your heart just as these luminaries did and that itself will take you to your mission.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

(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: THE GUNPOWDER EMPIRES

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    The Period of the Gunpowder Empires is also known as the Era of the Islamic Gunpowders. It refers to the epoch of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires from the 16th to the 18th century. The three empires were among the strongest and most stable out of the early modern period, leading to expansion and greater patronage of culture, while their political and legal institutions were consolidated with an increasing degree of centralisation. They underwent a significant increase in income and population and a sustained pace of technological innovation. These empires were spread from the Eastern Europe and North Africa in the west, to between today’s modern Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east.

    They were Islamic, and had, considerable military and economic success. Vast amount of territories were conquered by the Islamic Gunpowder Empires, with the use and development of the newly invented firearms, especially cannon and small arms, in the course of imperial construction. Unlike in Europe, the introduction of gunpowder weapons prompted changes well beyond military organization. The Mughals, based in the Indian subcontinent, are recognised for their lavish architecture, while the Safavids created an efficient and modern state administration for Iran, and sponsored major developments in the fine arts, and the sultan of the Constantinople-based Ottoman caliphate—an Islamic state, also known as the Caesar of Rome, was the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, and thus head of the Islamic world. Their powers, wealth, architecture, and various contributions significantly influenced the course of Asian history.

    The Period of the Gunpowder Empires refers to the epoch of the Ottoman, in present Modern Turkish, was a state that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. In addition you had the Safavid a Persian dynasty, romanized was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, from 1501 to 1736. The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safavid order of Sufism, which was established, in the city of, Ardabil in the Iranian Azerbaijan region. It was an Iranian dynasty of Kurdish origin, but during their rule they intermarried with Turkoman, Georgian, Circassian (Sunni Muslim people of the north-western Caucasus– between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea in Caucasia—the white skinned Europeans), and Pontic Greek  who are dignitaries that lived on the southern coast of Black Sea. From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over parts of Greater Iran and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sasanian Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians to establish a national state officially known as Iran.

    The Ottoman, Safa-vid and Mughal empires from the 16th century to the 18th century were the most muscular empires and amongst the most brawny.

        But how did this term Gunpowder Empire come into play. Well, it’s a Hodgson-McNeill concept. The phrase Gunpowder Empire was coined by Marshall G.S. Hodgson and his colleague William H. McNeill at the University of Chicago. Hodgson used the phrase in the title of Book 5 (“The Second Flowering: The Empires of Gunpowder Times”) of his highly influential three-volume work, The Venture of Islam (1974). Hodgson saw gunpowder weapons as the key to the “military patronage or military centered states of the Later Middle Period” which replaced the unstable, geographically limited, confederations of Turkic clans that prevailed in post-Mongol times. Hodgson defined a “military patronage state” as one having three characteristics:

    First, a legitimization of, independent dynastic law. Second, the conception of the whole state as a single military force. Third, the attempt to explain all economic and high cultural resources as appanages or grants of the chief military families.

    Such states grew “out of Mongol notions of greatness,” but such notions could mature fully and create stable bureaucratic empires only after gunpowder weapons and their specialized technology attained a primary place in military life of the state.

    McNeill argued that whenever such states “were able to monopolize the new artillery, central authorities were able to unite larger territories into new, or consolidate new empires.” So, monopolization was the key. Although Europe pioneered the development of new artillery in the fifteenth century, no state monopolized it. Gun-casting know-how had been concentrated in the Low Countries near the mouths of the Scheldt and Rhine rivers in Europe. France and the Habsburgs, generally the rulers of Germany, Austria and Spain divided those territories among themselves, resulting in an arms standoff. By contrast, such monopolies allowed states to create militarized empires in Western Asia, Russia, and India, and “in a considerably, modified fashion” in China, Korea, and Japan.

    More recently, the Hodgson-McNeill Gunpowder-Empire hypothesis has been termed into disfavour, as it offers neither “adequate nor accurate” explanation, although the term remains in use.

     Reasons other than or in addition to military technology have been offered for the nearly simultaneous rise of three centralized military empires in contiguous areas dominated by decentralized Turkic tribes. One explanation, called “Confessionalization” by historians of fifteenth century Europe, invokes examination of how the relation of church and state “mediated through confessional statements and church ordinances” led to the origins of absolutist polities.

    The first of the three empires to acquire gunpowder weapons was the Ottoman Empire. By the 14th century, the Ottomans had adopted gunpowder artillery. The adoption of the gunpowder weapons by the Ottomans was so rapid that they preceded both their European and Middle Eastern adversaries in establishing centralized and permanent troops specialized in the manufacturing and handling of firearms. But it was their use of artillery that shocked their adversaries and impelled the other two Islamic empires to accelerate their weapons programs. The Ottomans had artillery at least by the reign of Bayezid the Ottoman Sultan, and these were used by them in the sieges of Constantinople in 1399 and 1402. They finally proved their worth as siege engines in the successful siege of Salonica in the Ottoman kingdom in 1430. The Ottomans employed Middle-Eastern as well as European foundries to cast their cannons, and by the siege of Constanti-nople in 1453, they had large enough cannons to batter the walls of any city, to the surprise of the defenders.

    The Ottoman military’s regularized use of firearms proceeded ahead of the pace of their European counterparts. The Janissaries (Ottoman Sultan’s household troops) had been an infantry bodyguard using bows and arrows. During the rule of Sultan Mehmed II they were drilled with firearms and became “perhaps the first standing infantry force equipped with firearms in the world.” The Janissaries are thus considered the first modern standing armies. The combination of artillery and Janissary firepower proved decisive at Battle of Varna, eastern Bulgaria in 1444 against a force of Crusaders, Baskent in 1473 against the Aq Qoyunlu, (a Sunni Turkoman Tribal) and Mohacs in 1526 against Hungary. But the battle which convinced the Safavids and the Mughals of the efficacy of the gunpowder was Chaldiran in 1514. A victory of Ottoman over Sadavid.

  The musket gun later appeared in the Ottoman Empire by 1465. Damascus steel was later used in the production of firearms such as the musket from the 16th century. At the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, the Janissaries equipped with 2000 tüfenks (usually translated as musket) “formed nine consecutive rows and they fired their weapons row by row,” in a “kneeling or standing position without the need for additional support or rest.” The Chinese later adopted the Ottoman kneeling position for firing. In 1598, Chinese writer Zhao Shizhen described Turkish muskets as being superior to European muskets. 

     The Dardanelles Gun or the great Turkish canon was designed and cast in bronze in 1464 by one Munir Ali. The Dardanelles Gun was still present for duty more than 340 years later in 1807, when a Royal Navy force appeared and commenced the Dardanelles Operation. Turkish forces loaded the ancient relics with propellant and Projectiles, then fired them at the British ships. The British squadron suffered 28 casualties from this bombardment.

    It’s a long topic. I’ve just given you a flavour.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

(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)

*****

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

Copyright@shravancharitymission

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

It all started in Wuhan,

Where Corona lived … behind a deadly micron,

They say he lived in a bat,

From where he was brought to a lab,

And from where he escaped,

Causing a worldwide … outrage.

*

The world couldn’t see … the contagion coming,

Dr Li too, was silenced … when he tried to whistle,

China created a smokescreen in Wuhan,

Where seemingly,

Even … WHO was put in a trance.

*

Countries and continents thought it’ll settle,

But Corona was now at a deadly level,

Italy battled … Spain fought,

UK … Germany overcame the hot-spot,

Yet Europe,

Went into a fraught.

*

New York trembled … America fumed,

Challenge indeed … was too huge,

Where,

 Nothing seemed to work in the land of rules,

Yet US fought … with a determined sinew,

And where China remained in a beguile subterfuge.

*

Korea fretted,

Middle East fumbled,

Latin America fought … like a brute,

Russia battled.

India grappled,

Australia brawled,

New Zealand braved,

Africa endured,

While the Chinese virus,

Had a roaring field day.

*

The world kneeled,

As Covid rose,

From China’s core,

To mangle the world.

*

 The fight was now on,

As mankind was stormed,

Civilizations had suffered,

But the world had no buffer.

*

While everyone thought of,

Black Death and Spanish Flu,

It was Donald Trump,

Versus the Chinese Flu.

*

The scenario was horrific,

With suffering galore,

And a flood of dead bodies,

That made the world look sore.

*

And to save humanity,

Scientists had framed new rules,

Where mixing was banned,

And seclusion was in vogue,

*

Things had changed,

Protocols had altered,

Social distancing was in place,

Handshakes and hugs had effaced,

And where, namaste was the order of the day.

*

Touch and hugs had vanished,

Spice of life had tarnished

Tears were on,

Lockdown was prolonged,

Where migrants had an infinite marathon,

*

Citizens had lost,

In the quagmire of pandemic,

Where a cure,

 Appeared invisible.

*

But hope said,

Hold on,

As life will go on,

For it is not the end of the world.

And songs will return,

But to the tunes of upstairs,

*

For once in century,

Through a pandemic,

God reminds,

Human beings of their atrocities,

So don’t feel disheartened,

For good days shall return.

****

Written 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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(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: The Grand Trunk Road (GT Road)

Copyright@shravancharitymission

The old face of GT Road

    The Grand Trunk Road was formerly also known as UttarapathSadak-e-AzamBadshahi Sadak, is one of Asia’s oldest and longest major roads. For at least 2,500 years, it has linked the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia. It runs roughly 2,400 kilometers from Chittagong, Bangladesh to Kabul, Afghanistan, passing through Allahabad (now Prayagraj) Howrah, Delhi, and Amritsar in India and Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan.

    Chandragupta Maurya the cynosure of Mauryan Empire in ancient India, built this highway along the ancient route called Uttarapatha or Uttarpath in the 3rd century BC, extending it from the mouth of the Ganges in Bangladesh (also called the delta) to the north-west frontier of the Empire. Further improvements to this road were made under Ashoka. It was rebuilt many times under Sher Shah Suri, the Mughals and even the British along the similar route. The old route was re-aligned by Sher Shah Suri to Sonargaon (central Bangladesh) and Rohtas (Bihar). The Afghan end of the road was once rebuilt under Mahmud Shah Durrani. The road was again considerably rebuilt in the British period between 1833 and 1860.

    Now I’ll take you through the highways the numbers of which mostly start with N. The road coincides with current National Highway1 (Chittagong to Dhaka), and then N4 & N405 (Dhaka to Sirajganj in Bangladesh), N507 (Sirajganj to Natore again in Bangladesh) and N6 (Natore to Rajshai in Bangladesh and towards Purnea in India). The road further moves on NH 12 (Purnea—Bihar to Bakkhali—West Bengal),  then NH 27 (Purnea to Patna), NH 19 (Kolkata to Agra), NH 44 (Agra to Jalandhar via New Delhi, Sonipat, Panipat, Ambala and Ludhiana) and NH 3 (Jalandhar to Attari, Amritsar in India and towards Lahore in Pakistan) via Wagah. Then you have N-5 Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat (this Gujrat is a city in Punjab province in Pakistan), Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Khyber Pass (towards Jalalabad in Afghanistan) in Pakistan and highway AH1 (that is Torkham-Jalalabad to Kabul) in Afghanistan.

   Over the centuries, the road acted as one of the major trade routes in the region and facilitated both travel and postal communication. The Grand Trunk Road is still used for transportation in present-day Indian subcontinent, where parts of the road have been widened and included in the national highway system.

    The Buddhist literature and Indian epics such as Mahabharatha provide the evidence of the Grand Trunk Road even before the Mauryan Empire. It was called Uttarpath or Uttarpatha or the “Northern road”. The road connected, the eastern region of India with Bactria in central Asia north of Hindu Kush.

    The road before the modern Grand Trunk road was built by emperor Chandragupta Maurya and was based on the highway running from Susa (a city in Iran) to Sardis in Turkey. During the time of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BCE, overland trade between India and several parts of Western Asia and the markets of Bactria went through, the cities of the north-west, primarily Takshashila (Pakistan) and Purushapura (modern-day Peshawar in present day Pakistan). Takshashila was well connected by roads with other parts of the Mauryan Empire. The Mauryas had maintained this very ancient highway from Takshashila to Patliputra (present-day Patna in India). Chandragupta Maurya had a whole army of officials overseeing the maintenance of this road as told by Greek  diplomat Megasthenes who spent fifteen years at the Mauryan Court. Constructed in eight stages, this road is said to have connected the cities of Purushapura, Takshila, Hastinapura, Kanyakubja, Prayag, Patliputra and Tam-ralipta also known as Tamluk in West Bengal, a distance of around 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles).

     The route by Chandragupta was built over the ancient “Uttarapatha” or the Northern Road, which was mentioned by Panini, an ancient Sanskrit philo-logist, grammarian, and a revered scholar in ancient India. Emperor Ashoka has recorded in his edict about having trees planted, wells built at every half kos and many “nimisdhayas”, which is often translated as rest-houses along the route. Emperor Kanishka is also known to have controlled the Uttarapatha.

     Sher Shah Suri, the medieval ruler of the Sur Empire (Sur Empire was an empire established by a Muslim dynasty of Afghan origin), is known to have rebuilt Chandragupta’s Royal Road in the 16th century. The old route was further re-routed at Sonargaon and Rohtas and its breadth was increased. 

    Fruit trees and shade trees were planted. At every 2 kos, a sarai was built. The number of kos minars (the medieval Indian milestones along the Grand Trunk Road in north India) and even the baolis were increased. Gardens were also built alongside some sections of the highway. Those who stopped at the sarai were provided free food. Sher Shah Suri’s son Islam Shah Suri also constructed an additional sarai in-between every sarai originally built by Sher Shah Suri on the road towards Bengal. More sarais were further built by the Mughals also. Jahangir under his reign issued a decree that all sarais be built of burnt brick (toughened bricks) and stone. Broad-leaved trees were planted in the stretch between Lahore and Agra. Jahangir also built bridges, over all water bodies that were situated on the path of the highways. The route was referred to as “Sadak-e-Azam” by Suri, and “Badshahi Sadak” by the Mughals.

    In the 1830s the East India Company started a program of metalled road construction, for both commercial and administrative purposes. The road, now named Grand trunk Road, from Calcutta, through Delhi, to Peshawar (present-day Pakistan) was rebuilt at a cost of £1000/ mile. A Public Works Department along with a training institute (the erstwhile Thomason College of Civil Engineering which is now known as the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee) was founded, to train and employ local surveyors, engineers, and overseers, to perform the work, and in future maintain it along with other roads.

    The road is mentioned in a number of literary works including those of Foster and Rudyard Kipling. Kipling described the road as: “Look! Look again! and chumars, bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunnias, pilgrims – and potters – all the world going and coming. It is to me as a river from which I am withdrawn like a log after a flood. And truly the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle. It runs straight, bearing without crowding India’s traffic for fifteen hundred miles – such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world.”

     The ensemble of historic sites along the road in India was submitted to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015, under the title “Sites along the Uttarapath, Badshahi Sadak, Sadak-e-Azam, Grand Trunk Road”.

    Psephologists sometimes refer to the area around the GT Road as,“GT Road Ambala to Sonepat sector, which has 28  legislative assembly seats within the context of elections. During the elections in Haryana the area on either side of the GT Road form constituencies where there is no dominance of one caste or community. So, it is referred to as the “GT road belt of Haryana.”

    Roads are like living beings. They keep transporting men and material centuries after century.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

FACTS & FIGURES: A SIGNIFICANT VOYAGE

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    So much has been written about the voyages that the Europeans undertook, in the sixteenth century especially towards Asia with India and China in mind. In this context let me describe one such voyage to you. European affinity for India had grown from the medieval times and for compelling reasons—trade links. But it was only around 1600, when the East India Company was formed in London that concept of organised trade voyages to the Indian Ocean started gaining grounds.

       In 1583, a group of Englishmen sailed from Falmouth a town and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, on a ship named ‘Tyger’ that was bound for West Asia. This group included local businessmen John Newberry, John Eldred and Ralph Fitch. It also carried a jeweller by the name of William Leedes, and a painter James Story—whose job was to draw sketches of, merchandise and sites, as cameras were not invented then.

    Newberry was a merchant-explorer who had two years of experience before undertaking a daring overland trip to Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and back, picking up Arabic on the way. Fitch was a leather merchant, and perhaps the most senior member in terms of age in the group. Eldred was a thirty-one-year old trader in Levantine silks which was from East Mediterranean. The trio Newberry, Fitch and Eldred had been close to two shareholders of the English Levant Company. These shareholders partly sponsored the expedition. The Company had been doing business in Constantinople also known as Istambul, for some years now, and even brought back samples of cotton cloth from India, silks from China, and spices of the Indonesian archipelago. The goal of the expedition was to explore a way to reach the original source of these goods.

    The party reached Tripoli in Syria, crossed the Lebanese mountains to reach Aleppo, (in present day Syria) and from there they sailed along the Euphrates, a river in South-West Asia, rising in Eastern Turkey and flowing south across Syria and Iraq to join the Greek river Tigris, and then to Al-Fallujah—Al Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly 69 kilometer west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. At this point Eldred stayed on to trade in spices, and the rest of the group journeyed on to reach Hormuz. Hormuz belonged to the Persian Empire, but in practice, the Portuguese ruled this port, so vital, to their policy of blocking the Indian Ocean routes to all but friendly ships. Their friends, the Venetian merchants, did not want English merchants in West Asia.

    So, it was not surprising, they were promptly arrested at Hormuz. The Portuguese chief justice gave a judgement that they were spies, ignoring the letters of introduction that they were carrying from Queen Elizabeth-1, addressed to the emperors of India and China.

    The party was sent on a Portuguese galleon—a sailing ship in use especially by Spain from the 15th to the 18th centuries, originally as a warship, later for trade, to Goa to be interrogated by the viceroy Don Francisco de Mascarenhas. There they were sent to captivity and were released after thirteen days. Once freed, the party lost no time setting up business in Goa. However, the Jesuits kept the pressure on them to convert to Catholicism, and allegedly hatched a plot to get them rearrested. Fearing further trouble the party escaped Goa late in 1584.

     The group then travelled to Belgaum overland. From there they went to Bijapur, Burhanpur, Mandu and Ujjain. A few miles before Ujjain, the group came across a colourful procession of Emperor Akbar. Early the following year, the group reached Agra. Although, the party appeared to have been well received at Akbar’s court, it is not known if any of these men actually met the emperor to deliver the letter of the Queen to him. The group now divided itself. Fitch was to travel to Bengal. Newberry was to go to England by the land route, and return with a ship to Bengal and meet Flitch there. Newberry did set out on the journey, but was not heard of again. Leedes took up service with the Mughal court and never ever returned to England. The others moved on to ‘Bengala’, the legendary land that supplied so many finely woven cloths to the markets of East and West Asia.

    From Agra Fitch went to Benares, the Bengal port of Saptagram (colloquially called Satgaon), and navigated through the treacherous waters of the Sunderbans to reach Bakla. Since he does not mention about a land journey or about changing a ship, it’ll be safe to assume that the town and kingdom of Bakla were located somewhere on the lower Meghna River or one of its tributaries, possibly the Tentulia, which is not very clear. The Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl, the Mughal court officer and chronicler, mentioned some years after Fitch visited the place, that the town was destroyed by a giant tidal wave from the sea, taking two hundred thousand lives with it. Bakla reappeared as a Mughal zamindari—an estate run by a tax-collecting landlord or zamindar, but on a different and safer location. From old Bakla, Fitch travelled to Sripur and Sonargaon, two midsize kingdoms of the lower Bengal delta. He carefully noted all tradable goods to be found in India, from the pepper of Cochin, cloves of the Moluccas, (a group of islands in eastern Indonesia between Celebes and New Guinea; settled by the Portuguese but taken over by the Dutch who made them the center for spice monopoly, and at that time they were known as Spice Islands). Fitch also discovered the diamonds of Golconda, rubies of Pegu (Myanmar), to the ‘great store of Cotton cloth (from Bengal), and Rice, from where they served all India, Ceylon, Pegu, Malacca, Sumatra, and many other places.’ From Pegu, Fitch sailed for England, where he reached in April 1591.

    Master Ralph Fitch, one of the minor members of the party, became the most famous among them when the records of the travel appeared in print. This was the first travelogue of India by an Englishman. Fitch became a hero. The expedition had not achieved anything to serve the trade directly. But it sowed the seeds for the concept that a trade treaty between two kingdoms, Mughal India and Tudor England, is possible. This objective was better served some decades later by means of an organised body of merchants, and a united Company.

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(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: CORONA ANIMAL CONFERENCE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Sit and enjoy the conference during these rare days of the lockdown. Here we go:

    Pained by human atrocities some likeminded animals who even happened to be old friends, prominent among them, being a cat, cow, dog, donkey, horse and monkey decided to meet somewhere, to discuss the burning issue, and chalk out a way forward, as human lunacy was troubling them big time. But, tiger the king of the jungle excused himself, as his species, was already under threat, from human beings and he didn’t want to take an adverse position against them any further.

    The scheming cat who happened to be a relative of, the king of the jungle opened the conversation by saying, ‘Friends! To us, all human beings look the same but they are divided by something called the religion, and unlike us, who don’t follow any religion but only follow our heart, human beings are guided by their religion. And if we could only exploit their religion, we could divert their attention from us to save ourselves.’

    ‘But what is religion? Asked, the donkey.

    ‘Arrey yaar! You don’t know religion? No wonder you’re called a donkey. You must have often seen human beings walking into differently looking buildings to pray. That is called religion.’ Clarified the cat.

    ‘But what is religion supposed to do?’ Enquired, the donkey again, exposing his ignorance further.

    ‘Well, it is supposed to divide human beings. And it is doing that quite effectively.  For you might have noticed, human beings fight tooth and nail for anything and everything. And since I keep gallivanting most of the times. I see that with my own eyes. They might be our enemies but they are the biggest enemies of themselves’ Said the relaxing horse.

    Thereafter, the animals decided to go for a long walk just to graze and relax since they were old friends and had met after a long-long time, to have a heart-to-heart conversation with each other. And they all were leisurely walking side by side, along the river, while the monkey was happily sitting atop the donkey’s back is when the donkey asked the horse,

    ‘Arrey boss, the government is planning a lot, for the employment of human beings but what about us? In the present scenario I neither have a job nor a peaceful place to stand, nor even an assured morsel of food. Every day, I need to walk quite a distance and that too across the road to feed myself where, you only get some dry grass and pesticides laden dry leaves to munch. A few years back I used to get the same food, in fact much better in quality, right here, where we are walking, but today because of these multi-storeyed buildings there is nothing left for us. The horse felt sad for the donkey, and while maintaining his pace he softly said,

    ‘I know, it’s very sad, but yaar, you’re a donkey, at least you know the art of survival and no one expects wonders from you. But look at my plight. A bright talented horse that used to participate in derbies and equestrian shows. But with age catching up I was thrown out of my job. I was then bought by a tangewalla and he used me mercilessly in Chandini Chowk for some time, but when tongas went out of circulation, he kept me for a month thinking he’ll be able to sell me off, but when he couldn’t he just left me here one day and never came back. And today a skilled guy like me is not only unemployed but even harassed on the roads by moving vehicles and the traffic police.

    ‘My dear horse, that’s indeed sad. Such a skilled personality like you, meeting up with such a fate.’ Donkey consoled the horse.

    ‘My dear dog, how are things with you?’ asked the cow.

    ‘Not too good. These Indians could never get out of their colonial mindset. They still keep foreign breeds as their pets, and that leaves we—the Indian mongrels on the lurch, and it really takes a humongous effort to fend for ourselves. And how about you?’ the dog asked the cat. The cat beamed and stretched itself while lazing atop the horse’s back.

    ‘Well … well, surviving somehow, only because we cats are of no use to a man. Neither, they require our skin, nor bones, nor our flesh. And that makes things somewhat easier for us; otherwise you can see how they have massacred the tigers of our family. But I guess in today’s time cows are the real VIPs’

    ‘But why do you say so?’ asked the cow meekly.

    ‘Boss because, you are hitting the headlines practically every day.’ Replied the cat.

    ‘But for political reasons,’ was the doleful moo of the cow.

    ‘So then, what should we do to survive, and improve our lives? Let’s ask the monkey who is very quiet.’ Suggested the dog.

    Monkey, who was sitting merrily, on the donkey’s back, with his eyes closed, enjoying the spring sun and the sprawling boulevard of India Gate on account of Covid lockdown was a bit amused at the melancholic conversation that was going around. He preferred to remain quiet even when the dog had asked a pertinent question. After a few moments when the monkey didn’t answer, the cow repeated the question and coaxed the monkey for an answer.

    Clever monkey kept quiet for a while and then blinked his eyes and said,

   ‘Well … Man might change. Let’s wait for the Corona Virus to get over.’

   But … will man ever change? Well I would like to believe the monkey.

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE EAST INDIA COMPANY: The World’s Most Powerful Corporation by Tirthankar Roy

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.

    This book is part of THE STORY OF INDIAN BUSINESS series. The series editor of which is Gurcharan Das. Before I take you through the summary of the book let me give you a brief introduction of the STORY OF INDIAN BUSINESS which Gurcharan Das has edited and has also provided a comprehensive introduction to it. There are ten books in this series which are as follows:

  1. Arthashastra: The Science of Wealth by Thomas R. Trautmann
  2. The World of the Tamil Merchant: Pioneers of International Trade by Kanakalatha Mukund
  3. The Mouse Merchant: Money in Ancient India by Arshia Sattar
  4. The East India Company: The World’s Most Powerful Corporation by Tirthankar Roy
  5. Caravans: Punjabi Khatri Merchants on the Silk Road by Scott C. Levi
  6. Globalisation before Its Time: The Gujarati Merchants from Kachchh by Chhaya Goswami (edited by Jaithirth Rao).
  7. Three Merchants of Bombay: Business Pioneers of the Nineteenth Century by Lakshmi Subramanian
  8. The Marwaris: From Jagat Seth to the Birlas by Thomas A. Timberg
  9. Goras and Desis: Managing Agencies and the Making of Corporate India by Omkar Goswami
  10. India Railways: Weaving of a National Tapestry by Bibek Debroy, Sanjay Chadha and Vidya Krishnamurthi

    Let me also give you a brief introduction of both Tirthankar Roy and Gurcharan Das.

    TIRTHANKAR ROY teaches economic history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His book The Economic History of India 1857-1947, now in its third edition, has changed the way Indian economic history is studied and taught worldwide.

    GURCHARAN DAS is a world-renowned author, commentator and public intellectual. His bestselling books include India Unbound, The Difficulty of Being Good, and India Grows at Night. His other literary works consist of a novel A Fine Family, a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm, and an anthology Three Plays. He is a graduate from Harvard University. Das was earlier CEO of Procter & Gamble India, before he took early retirement to become a full-time writer. He lives in Delhi and often comes on talk shows in electronic media.

    The subject book THE EAST INDIA COMPANY—The World’s Most Powerful Corporation was first published by Penguin Random House India in India 2012. The price of this book is Rs 299.

    Says the Business World—‘The East India Company’ is an interesting inspection of how a colonial company defined the way we do business today.’

    It is a first-time account of the East India Company from the perspective of Indian business history. This ground-breaking study examines how the East India Company founded an empire in India at the time it started losing ground in business. For over 200 years, the Company’s vast business network had spanned across Persia, India, China, Indonesia and North America. But in the late 1700s, its career took a dramatic turn, and it ended up being an empire builder.

    In this well researched account, Tirthankar Roy reveals how the Company’s trade with India changed its profile—and further how the Company changed Indian business. Fitting together many pieces of a vast jigsaw puzzle, the book explores how politics meshed so closely with the conduct of business then, and what that tells us about doing business now. Many of the facts mentioned in the book were hitherto unknown to me till I read the book. He has done some exemplary research but more than that he has put the findings in context, quite well. The book explains how politics meshed so closely with the conduct of business then, and what that tells us about doing business now.

    It is a mid-spine book of some 237 pages. It is divided into ten chapters. Where, Tirthankar connects the whole cycle of events all too well. We all know there was an East India Company that ventured into India and many other regions of the world and gradually it captured power through this company and brought it under the British Crown. No one can forget the famous saying—the sun never sets on the British Empire. But then how did all of this happen? Who started it? How did it start? What went into play in the Europe of those times? How did the Dutch, Portuguese, French and the Britishers battle it out amongst themselves? Who were the voyagers who sailed first? How did they fight the pirates? How meekly did the Europeans enter countries like Persia, China, India, Indonesia, Smatra, Jawa, Burma, and many more and acquired a formidable trader’s position in these countries. To know all this read the book.

    There is a lavish introduction of the book by Gurcharan Das. The book in all has ten chapters. It essentially narrates the Business History of India, which was largely trading then, or you could say exports and imports. If Masala, tea or silk went out of Asia, Silver came in return as there was no common currency. The book also explains the configurations of the East India Company and the history of certain generic products and trade routes. In those times there was the maritime route and the ground route.

    Business may lose its ethics while it’s in red. The point gets proven when the British sovereign building on East India Company even made money by drugging the Chinese youth with opium that was grown in Bihar. This led to a fierce battle when they forced Chinese to surrender Hongkong to the British Crown under a treaty. The book describes the famous ports of India such as madras, Calcutta and Bombay.

    It highlights the dictum that business is based on trust far more than contract. It talks of monopoly markets. It gives an excellent Maritime description. It talks about the origin of joint-stalk Company, conflict of interest when some employees of the East India Company start discreetly doing business in India in their own name, and their politicians back in London start supporting them.

    It explains the transformation of the Company from a trader to an empire-builder, with reference to its own organisational structure and to the opportunities that came its way. And what effects did the Company, as a trader and as an empire, impart upon the economy and business organisation in India. From 1833 the Company ceased to exist as a trading body. Thereafter it existed as an administrator of India in partnership with the Crown.

    It is an interesting book for those readers who are interested in digging into the business history of India. Generally when we think of British Crown and East India Company we think of the various wars that were fought on Indian soil. This is definite variation. The narration is a little monotonous but balances out well with the data and findings it brings with it. And one cannot blame the author as he has converted his research into a book. The language is plain and simple and in no way flowery. Quite a must read for people in business and even MBA students.

    I would give it seven out of ten.

***

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(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 FIGURES & QUOTES 48: The Correlation between British Empire and English Language

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    There was a time when the sun did not set on the British Empire. The saying implied the vastness of the British Empire. Historians inferred that roughly 25% of the earth’s landmass was in control of the British. The Empire was so extensive, that at any point of time, there was daylight in one of its colonies. This resulted in English language, travelling to several continents and many countries across the globe. India was no exception. English gradually became the lingua-franca in many countries.

    There was also a deluge of Europeans who started migrating to America from the Continent and British Isles. So English language too, travelled with them to Amercia. Historically speaking, Europeans were one of the most aggressive and ambitious race on planet earth. They managed to change the name of New Amsterdam to New York (in the honour the Duke of York). They bought New Amsterdam from the local tribe (the Lenapes). And with all this the spread of English language continued hammer and tongs. Gradually, it even travelled, to down and under (Australia and New Zealand) and even Africa. In other words, wherever, British established colonies English language gained roots. Europe has given to the world great seafarers and explorers. English language concomitantly travelled to wherever they went. The language of English was also skilfully taught and used in administration and day-to-day living, and today it connects the world.

    British rule in India began around 1757. English language in India is therefore, over 250 years old. The British left India around 70 years ago, after which English language in India has stood on its own spine. Since then the language has Indianised and even undergone a change in tone and tenor. With the advent of social media English Language has even made deep inroads into rural areas.

    A number of high-flying authors have emerged in India and they have been able to decolonise the traditional English oeuvre. The assortment of Indian authors is wide. But there is a threat to English language in India and that is from Hinglish (a blend of Hindi and English) and conversely there is also a threat to Hindi from English.  

    There is nothing definitive about which way the camel is going to sit, but yes, one can only leave it to the long term opportunities that the languages wish to partner with.

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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INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES-43

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HITLER: FROM ONE WAR TO ANOTHER    Adolf Hitler, born in Austria, in 1889, developed political views that were shaped by his experiences during the First World War, and the defeat Germany suffered in 1918. At his first military screening, he was rejected for lack of physical vigour, but the demands of war changed the requirements, and in 1914 he joined the Bavarian Reserve Infantry. Awarded two Iron Crosses for bravery during World War I, Hitler believed that if Germans had all been loyal to the cause as he had been, the country would have won the war. He blamed Germany’s collapse on revolutionaries, who rose up in early November 1918, and caused Kaiser Wilhelm I (German Emperor) to abdicate, although Germany had in fact already lost the war when that uprising began. Overlooking the contributions of patriotic German Jews to the war effort, Hitler portrayed the November revolution as a “Jewish Bolshevik” conspiracy and made Jews scapegoats for Germany’s downfall.     These ideas evolved into a social philosophy. Misreading history, Hitler concluded that Germany could avenge its humiliation and dominate Europe if it regained its will to victory and eliminated those he accused of betraying the nation. His success in selling this myth to the public led to the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews were murdered, and exposed Germany and the world to even greater calamity in the Second World War than it suffered in the First.     At the age of 34, Adolf Hitler spent nine months in prison, accused of treason after fomenting rebellion among Bavarian soldiers against the prevailing Weimar Republic.

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The basis of life is desire. According to the Rig Veda, the universe came into being when ‘it’ desired so. When there is no desire, there is no life. We either choose life with all its ups and downs or opt for no desire and no life.

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That men do not learn much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach—Aldous Huxley, author.

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 Fish and chip paper: Means the things that seem to be novel and important today are quickly forgotten. The newspaper will be used tomorrow to wrap fish, or thrown away.

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 China, not India, is the world’s largest producer of onions. China grows some 20 million metric tons of allium produce (a genus that includes onions, scallion, shallot, garlic, chives, leek etc) compared to India’s 13 million metric tons. However, Chinese onion has few takers in South Asia because it lacks pungency of Indian onions, which the region prefers for cooking. But India can export onions only in good years (it raked in nearly $500 million in exports in 2018), and it ends up consuming most of what it grows during bad years, as is happening in 2019.     In fact, even is a good year, India is not the top onion exporter. Nor is China. This honour goes to tiny Netherlands, an agri hothouse that has found the most brilliant ways to grow enormous quantity of food produce in a country that is about the size of Kerala. The Dutch knocked up $676 million in onion exports in 2018, accounting for nearly 20% of the world onion trade, ahead of exports by China, Mexico, India, and The United States, all onion majors.

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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)

*****

 

 

 

KHUSHWANT SINGH

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Khushwant Singh (born Khushal Singh, 2 February 1915 – 20 March 2014) was an Indian author, lawyer, diplomat, journalist and politician and. His experience in the 1947 Partition of India inspired him to write ‘Train to Pakistan’ in 1956 (made into a film in 1998), which became his most well-known novel. He is one of the prime English authors of India.

    Born in Punjab, Khushwant Singh was educated in New Delhi, and studied law at St, Stephen’s College, Delhi, and King’s College London. After working as a lawyer in Lahore Court for eight years, he joined the Indian Foreign Service upon Independence of India from British Empire in 1947. He was appointed journalist in the All India Radio in 1951, and then moved to the Department of Mass Communications in UNESCO at Paris in 1956. His last two careers encouraged him to pursue a literary career. As a writer, he was best known for his trenchant secularism, humour, sarcasm and an abiding love of poetry. His comparisons of social and behaviour characteristics of Westerners and Indians are laced with acid wit. He served as the editor of several literary and news magazines, as well as two newspapers, through the 1970s and 1980s. Between, 1980-1986 he served as Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.

    Khushwant Singh was bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 1974. But he returned the award in 1984 as a protest against Operation Blue Star in which the Indian Army raided Darbar Sahab in Amritsar. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of India.

    Khushwant Singh was born in Hadali, Khushab District, Punjab (which now lies in Pakistan), into a Sikh family. He was the younger son of Sir Sobha Singh and Veeran Bai. Since births and deaths were not recorded in those times, his father simply made up 2 February 1915 for his school enrolment at Modern School, New Delhi. But his grandmother Lakshmi Bai asserted that he was born in August, so he later set the date for himself as 15 August. Sobha Singh was a prominent builder in Lutyens Delhi. His uncle Sardar Ujjal Singh (1895–1983) was previously Governor of Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

    His birth name, given by his grandmother, was Khushal Singh (meaning a “Prosperous Lion”). He was called by a pet name “Shalee”. At school his name earned him ridicule as other boys would mock at him with an expression, “Shalee Shoolie, Bagh dee Moolee” (meaning, “This shalee or shoolee is the radish of some garden.”) He chose Khushwant so that it rhymes with his elder brother’s name Bhagwant. (He declared that his new name was “self-manufactured and meaningless”. But he later discovered that there was a Hindu physician with the same name, and the number subsequently increased).

    He entered Delhi Modern School in 1920 and studied there till 1930. There he met his future wife, Kawal Malik, one year his junior. He continued higher education at Government College, Lahore, St. Stephen’s College Delhi, and King’s College London, before reading for the Bar at the Inner Temple.

    Khushwant Singh started his professional career as a practising lawyer in 1939. He worked at Lahore Court for eight years. In 1947 he entered the Indian Foreign Service for the newly independent India. He started as Information Officer of the Government of India in Toronto, Canada. He was a Press Attaché and Public Officer for the Indian High Commission for four years in London and Ottawa. In 1951 he joined the All India Radio as a journalist. Between 1954 and 1956 he worked in Department of Mass Communication of the UNESCO at Paris. From 1956 he turned to editorial services. He founded and edited Yojana, an Indian government journal in 1951 -1953; and also The Illustrated Weekly of India, a newsweekly; and two major Indian newspapers, The National Herald and the Hindustan Times. During his tenure, The Illustrated Weekly became India’s pre-eminent newsweekly, with its circulation raising from 65,000 to 400000. After working for nine years in the weekly, on 25 July 1978, a week before he was to retire, the management asked Singh to leave “with immediate effect”. A new editor was installed the same day. After Singh’s departure, the weekly suffered a huge drop in readership. In 2016 Khushwant Singh entered Limca Book of Records as a tribute.

    From 1980 to 1986, Singh was a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1974 for his service to the country. In 1984, he returned the award in protest against the siege of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. In 2007, the Indian government awarded Khushwant Singh the Padma Vibhushan. As a public figure, Khushwant Singh was accused of favouring the ruling Congress Party, especially during the reign of Indira Gandhi. He was derisively called an ‘establishment liberal’. Singh’s faith in the Indian political system was shaken by the anti-Sikh riots that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination, in which major Congress politicians are alleged to be involved; but he remained resolutely positive on the promise of Indian democracy and worked via Citizen’s Justice Committee floated by H.S. Phoolka a senior advocate of Delhi High Court.

    Singh was a votary of greater diplomatic relations with Israel at a time when India did not want to displease Arab nations where thousands of Indians found employment. He visited Israel in the 1970s and was impressed by its progress.

    Khushwant Singh was married to Kawal Malik. Malik was his childhood friend who had moved to London earlier. They met again when he studied law at King’s College London, and soon got married. They had a son, named Rahul Singh, and a daughter, named Mala. His wife predeceased him in 2001. Actress Amrita Singh is the daughter of his brother Daljit Singh’s son – Shavinder Singh and Rukhsana Sultana. He stayed in “Sujan Singh Park”, near Khan Market New Delhi, Delhi’s first apartment complex, built by his father in 1945, and named after his grandfather. His grandniece Tisca Chopra is a noted TV and Film Actress.

    Khushwant Singh was a self-proclaimed agnostic, as the title of his 2011 book suggests: ‘Agnostic Khushwant: There is no God explicitly revealed.’ He was particularly against organised religion. He was evidently inclined towards atheism, as he once said, “One can be a saintly person without believing in God and also a detestable villain while believing in him. In my personalised religion, There Is No God!” He also once said, “I don’t believe in rebirth or in reincarnation, in the day of judgement or in heaven or hell. I accept the finality of death.” His last book, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ridiculous’ was published in October 2013, following which he retired from writing. The book was his continued critique of religion and especially its practice in India, including the critique of the clergy and the priests. It earned a lot of acclaim in India.

    Singh died of natural causes on 20 March 2014 at his Delhi residence, at the age of 99. His death was mourned by many including the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister of India. He is survived by his son and daughter. He was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium in Delhi at 4 in the afternoon of the same day. During his lifetime, Khushwant Singh was keen on burial because he believed that with a burial we give back to the earth what we have taken. He had requested the management of Bahai Faith if he could be buried in their cemetery. After initial agreement, they had proposed some conditions which were unacceptable to Singh, and hence the idea was later abandoned. He was born in Hadali, Khushab District,  in the Punjab Province of modern Pakistan, in 1915. According to his wishes, some of his ashes were brought and scattered in Hadali.

    In 1943 he had already written his own obituary, included in his collection of short stories Posthumous. Under the headline “Sardar Khushwant Singh Dead”, the text reads:

    We regret to announce the sudden death of Sardar Khushwant Singh at 6 pm last evening. He leaves behind a young widow, two infant children and a large number of friends and admirers. Amongst those who called at the late sardar’s residence were the PA to the chief justice, several ministers, and judges of the high court.

    He also prepared an epitaph for himself, which runs as follows:

Here lies one who spared neither man nor God;
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod;
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun;
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.

He was cremated and his ashes are buried in Hadali school, where a plaque is placed bearing the inscription:

IN MEMORY OF
SARDAR KHUSHWANT SINGH
(1915–2014)

A SIKH, A SCHOLAR AND A SON OF HADALI (Punjab)
‘This is where my roots are. I have nourished them with tears of nostalgia.

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)

*****