Tag Archives: kamlesh tripathi

BOOK REVIEW: JULIUS CAESAR … William Shakespeare

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    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a historic tragic play by William Shakespeare first performed in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from the Roman history.

    Julius Caesar, was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

    Set in Rome in 44 BC, the play depicts the moral dilemma of Brutus as he joins the conspiracy led by Cassius to murder Julius Caesar to prevent him from becoming the dictator of Rome. Following Caesar’s death, Rome is thrust into a period of civil war, and the republic, which the conspirators sought to preserve is lost forever.

    Let me first describe the main characters of the play to you:

    Gaius Julius Caesar: Known simply as Julius Caesar, was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He was also a historian and author of Latin prose.

    Marcus Junius Brutus: Often referred to as Brutus, was a Roman senator and the most famous of the assassins of Julius Caesar. After being adopted by an uncle of his, he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but subsequently returned to his birth name. Brutus was close to General Julius Caesar, the leader of the Populares faction, a political group.

    Gaius Cassius Longinus: Often referred to as Cassius, was a Roman senator and a general best known as a leading instigator of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. He was the brother-in-law of Brutus, another leader of the conspiracy. He commanded troops with Brutus during the Battle of Philippi against the combined forces of Mark Antony and Octavian, all Caesar’s former supporters, and committed suicide after being defeated by Mark Antony.

    Marcus Antonius: Commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy a power structure in which the power rests in a small set of people into the autocratic Roman Empire. Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul (war against Gallic tribes) and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain.

    Calpurnia: Either the third or the fourth wife of Julius Caesar, and the one to whom he was married at the time of his assassination.

    Octavian: Caesar’s great-nephew and adopted son.

    Pompey: A leading general.

    Metellus Cimber: A Roman senator and also an assassin of Julius Caesar.

    Lepidus: A Roman general.

    Titinius: A noble man of Rome.

    Casca: A public figure and an assassin of Julius Caesar.

    The play opens with two tribunes (title of various elected officials in Rome) discovering the commoners of Rome celebrating Julius Caesar’s triumphant return from defeating the sons of his military rival, Pompey (a leading general). These tribunes, then insult the crowd for their change in loyalty from Pompey to Caesar. The officials then attempt to end the celebrations and break up with the commoners, who also return the insults. Later during the feast of Lupercal, (a pre-Roman pastoral annual festival) Caesar holds a victory parade when a soothsayer warns him to “Beware of the ides of March”, (the 74th day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March which means be careful as your life is in danger around that time) which Caesar ignores. Meanwhile, Cassius attempts to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. Brutus is friendly with Caesar, therefore hesitant to kill him. But he agrees that Caesar might be abusing his power so he needs to be killed. They then hear from Cacsa that Mark Antony has offered Caesar the crown of Rome three times and that each time Caesar refused it with increasing reluctance, in a hope that the crowd watching would beg him to accept the crown, yet the crowd applauded Caesar for denying the crown, upsetting Caesar, who actually wanted to accept the crown. On the eve of the ides of March, the conspirators meet and reveal that they have forged letters of support from the Roman people to tempt Brutus into joining. Brutus reads the letters and, after a lot of moral debate, decides to join the conspiracy, thinking that Caesar should be killed to prevent him from doing anything against the people of Rome if he were, ever to be crowned.

    Caesar ignores the soothsayer, as well as his wife Calpurnia’s own premonitions. Calpurnia was either the third or the fourth wife of Julius Caesar, and the one to whom he was married at the time of his assassination. According to contemporary sources, she was a good and faithful wife, in spite of her husband’s infidelity. She had forewarned Caesar of the attempt on his life, but her endeavour remained in vain and did not prevent his murder.

    Caesar goes to the Senate. The conspirators approach him with a fake petition pleading on behalf of Metellus Cimber’s banished brother. (Metellus Cimber is a Roman senator and also an assassin of Julius Caesar). As Caesar predictably rejects the petition, Casca and the others suddenly stab him. Brutus is last to do so. At this point, Caesar utters the famous line, “Et tu, Brute?” (“And you, Brutus?” … “You too, Brutus?”). The scene concludes with the quote, “Then fall, Caesar!” which means that Caesar will fall both as a man and also as the ruler of Rome.

    The conspirators make it clear, that they committed the murder for the good of Rome, not for their own purposes, and do not attempt to flee the scene. Brutus delivers an oration defending his own actions, and for that moment, the crowd is on his side. However, Mark Antony makes a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar’s corpse, beginning with the much-quoted, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!” With this, he deftly turns the public opinion against the assassins by manipulating the emotions of the common people, in contrast to the rational tone of Brutus’ speech. He reminds them of the good that Caesar had done for Rome, his sympathy for the poor, and his refusal of the crown at the Lupercal festival, thus questioning Brutus’ claim of Caesar’s ambition. He shows Caesar’s bloodied, lifeless body to the crowd to have them shed tears and thus gain sympathy for their fallen hero. He reads Caesar’s will, in which every Roman citizen would receive 75 drachmas (the Greek currency). Antony, finally manages to rouse the mob to drive the conspirators away from Rome.

    Brutus next … attacks Cassius for supposedly soiling the noble act of regicide (the deliberate killing of a monarch) by having accepted bribes. The two later reconcile, especially, after Brutus reveals that his beloved wife has committed suicide under the stress of his absence from Rome. They prepare for a civil war against Mark Antony and Caesar’s adopted son Octavius, who have formed a triumvirate (a group) in Rome with Lepidus a Roman general. That night, Caesar’s ghost appears in front of Brutus with a warning of defeat. (He informs Brutus, “Thou shalt see me at Philippi.” a Greek city).

    At the battle of Philippi, Cassius and Brutus, knowing well, that they will probably, both die, smile their last smiles, at each other and hold hands. During the battle, Cassius has his servant, kill him, after hearing of, the capture of his best friend, Titinius—a noble man of Rome, and a friend of Cassius and a conspirator in Caesar’s death. After Titinius, who was not really captured, sees Cassius’ corpse, he commits suicide. However, Brutus wins, that stage of the battle, but his victory is not conclusive. With a heavy heart, Brutus battles again the next day. He loses and commits suicide by running on his own sword, held for him by a loyal soldier.

    The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained “the noblest Roman of them all” because he was the only conspirator who acted, in his mind, for the good of Rome and was never jealous of Caesar

    Though Brutus acted in the interest of Rome as per Antony, but in the process, he did kill his friend Caesar, after which his name Brutus became the best metaphor for stabbing at the back.

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)

*****

 

 

 

  

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

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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)

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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

*

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)

*****

 

 

 

GOD SAYS …

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Aap  Sabhi  Mahanbhavon , Kadardano  Aur  Khawateeno   Ko
‘ EID  MUBARAK ‘
       ‘Aadaab ‘
Wish  you  A  Very  Happy  Morning!!!
Put  On  Your …
  ‘BINACA  SMILE’
And  Listen  to  this
Interesting  Conversation  Between….. 
‘Man   And   God !
A  man  in..,
      ‘GOD’s  SHOP’
Man ….
        ” What   Do  
       Do   You   Sell ?
GOD…..
        ” Whatever  
      Your   Heart
         Desires …”
MAN …..
         “I   Want 
          Success   And
          Happiness..”
GOD……SMILES ,
           And    Says …
           ” I   SELL  
        ONLY   SEEDS
                     And
        NOT   FRUITS “

By Uma Misra

 

*

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 RSS–ICONS OF THE INDIAN RIGHT by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    It is a well-researched book published in the year 2019. The publishers are Westland Publications, Chennai. The main book comprises of some 405 pages and then you have the end notes and the index. The price of this book is Rs 799. Before I touch the book, let me brief you, about the author.

    Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay began his career in journalism in the early 1980s and is best known for his reportage on the rise of Hindu organisations and their politics. He writes columns for several newspapers and web portals, and is also, a well-known face, on the Indian television news channel, as a political commentator.

    His other books include the best-selling Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times; and Sikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984. Nilanjan is an unabashed college drop-out. He lives with his family in Delhi-NCR.

    The subject book comprehensively explains the genesis of RSS. In present times RSS is almost close to an untouchable organisation for some in India and even abroad. But why, is the moot question. On the face of it, RSS has been, an apolitical organisation in many ways, so to say. But why and how did this right wing organisation become pan India. Was it to save the Hindus and unite them against the onslaught of Muslims primarily, and why forget the British tyranny against Hindu culture—primarily the caste system. The book explains it all through the individual accounts of eleven RSS icons that the author goes on to detail. In a nutshell can one say RSS was a befitting counterweight to the Muslim League? Figure it out for yourself by reading the book. Taking the cue from the book further.

        In the history of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is known for the domineering presence of Konkanastha or Chitpavan Brahmins, it is probably one of the biggest rarities of fate that its founder was born into a family of migrants from a village in Telangana.

    In the early decades of the 19th century, several landless Brahmin families who made their living as priests in Nizamabad district, were forced to flee their homes under the Mughal rule. Many chose to settle in Nagpur, a city that was ruled by Maratha Bhonsle kings, mainly because, the dispensation, supported Vedic learning. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s great-great-grandfather was among those who had made the city his home. Gradually, these immigrant families from Andhra Pradesh began to assimilate, and not only did they adapt to Maharashtrian customs, but also began looking up to local historical icons as their very own.

    The book gives a good account of partition and the initial Bengal links of some of the RSS leaders such as Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Golwalkar aka Guruji that goes to show how Bengal was indeed the think-tank of that India. The book unearths certain facts that we’ll never venture to find out in our day-to-day life. One of the peculiarities of national politics at that time was the practice of simultaneous membership in multiple organisations. For instance both the Indian National Congress and Hindu Mahasabha boasted of common members.

    RSS was formed for the promotion and safeguard of Hindus. And at the time of partition when refugees entered India from Pakistan RSS did stellar work in looking after them in terms of food, shelter and security. These refugees soon started off with small trade but they didn’t snap their relationship with the RSS, rather they became members of RSS. And did you know that Veer Savarkar was not a member of BJP’s erstwhile political avatar the Jana Sangh, nor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), but leaders of the Sangh Parivar, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, always held him in great esteem.

    Yes a fog of mystery does surround the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh—or RSS even today—the largest cadre-based organisation in the world. The political tow-chain that goes on between the RSS and its political offshoot earlier Jan Sangh and now BJP is covered in the individual accounts quite comprehensively which is otherwise a mystery for the common man of India.

    The author chronicles the personal and political journeys of the most important men (and a woman) of the Hindu Right-wing, digging up, little-known, but revealing facts about them. Let me narrate a few of them only to build your interest in this book.

    KESHAV BALIRAM HEDGEWAR: The founder of the RSS, and its first sarsanghchalak, was called ‘Cocaine’ as a young revolutionary, who transported subversive literature for a group back home in Nagpur. Although, Keshav was originally a Brahmin from Telangana, he had little trouble in securing entry into the subversive world of Bengali radicals.

    VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR: This leading light of the Hindu Right had once invited the vegetarian Mahatma Gandhi to dinner and had told him that unless one consumed animal protein, one would, not be able to challenge the might of the British. Well … few had faced the tyrannical wrath of the British Raj than Veer Savarkar having spent an aeon in Kalapani—so was it a reaction to the deep agonies that he suffered in the jail?

    MADHAV SADASHIV GOLWALKAR aka ‘GURUJI’: The iconic ‘hermit-ideologue’, whose appointment as sarsangchalak was challenged by many in the RSS itself, had maintained, the only work that needs to be done is to unite and organise fragmented Hindu society into a large corporate entity through the daily work of RSS.

    SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE: A brilliant academic-statesman who became part of Nehru’s Cabinet. Mookerjee had several differences with the prime minister. He once asked Nehru: ‘Are Kashmiris Indians first and Kashmiris next, or are they Kashmiris first, second and third, and not Indians at all?’

    BALASAHEB DEORAS: This towering pracharak had a strong dislike for religious rituals, and referred to himself as a ‘Communist’ within the RSS—‘it is highly debatable if he believed in God, or if, in any way he needed Him.’

    DEENDAYAL UPADHYAY: The man who propounded the ‘philosophy’ of integral Humanism was opposed to the partition of India and recommended that, ‘if we want unity, we must adopt the yardstick of Indian nationalism, which is Hindu nationalism, and Indian culture, which is Hindu culture.’

    These and other leaders, including Vijaya Raje Scindia, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Askok Singhal and Bal Thackeray, are all covered in the book. Through the individual stories of the organisation’s tallest leaders, a larger picture emerges. In spite of a three-time ban on RSS in a multicultural and secular India—and despite the RSS’ insistence that it has no truck with electoral politics—the group is, and will be, the hand that’ll always rock the BJP’s cradle. The author by and large maintains a fair balance between criticism and appreciation of the RSS which I liked. He has done a good amount of homework and has got inscriptions from various sources which only adds to the flavour of the book. Yes narration is in long and at times bulky.

    Last but not the least, even if you fear reading a thick book, you could still read it as, one icon at a time, which will not make it monotonous. The chapters are self-sufficient. Language is plain quite easy to understand with occasional verbose. I would give the book seven out of ten. It makes an informative read.

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)

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: KINGDOM OF PRAGJYOTISHA

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    Pragjyotisha was an old mythological kingdom linked to the historical Kamarupa that falls under present day state of Assam and North east.

    The first mentions of this kingdom are found in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, in the sections not written much earlier than the first century. There is a mention of this kingdom in the Kishkindha Kanda of the Ramayana, where the kingdom is placed in the west near Mount Varaha and on the sea. In Aswamedha-parva (or the book of Horse Sacrifice) of the Mahabharata, Arjuna faced Vajradatta of Pragjyotisha. Vajradatta was the son and successor of the king Bhagadatta, third in line to the throne of the Naraka dynasty of the Pragjyotisha Kingdom.

    The ancient kingdom Pragjyotisha was preceded by Danava dynasty and was a contemporary of Bana dynasty of Sonitpur (central Assam). This is indiscriminately mentioned in the Hindu Epics and ancient Hindu literature.

    According to the epics, King Bhagadatta ruled the kingdom during the time of the Kurukshetra War, where he met his death. Much details of the kingdom were picked from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kalika Purana and the later Yogini Tantra among others. The Yogini Tantra is a 16th- or 17th-century tantric text by an unknown author of Assam and it was dedicated to the worship of Hindu goddesses Kali and Kamakhya.

    There are various references of Pragjyotisha kingdom in the Mahabharata such as:

  • Arjuna defeats Bhagadatta, the king of Pragjyotisha, during his military campaign to collect tribute for Pandava king Yudhishthira’s Rajasuya yagya, or one could say the sacrifice.
  • An encounter took place between Bhagadatta and Arjuna for days together, each desirous of a victory over the other. Bhagadatta, regarded Indra as his friend, and therefore, sooner than later he befriended Arjuna.
  • King Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha kingdom accompanied by all Mlechchha tribes inhabiting the marshy regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings came to attend Yudhishthira’s Rajasuya sacrifice. Mlechchhas, were people of foreign extraction in ancient India. The Sanskrit term, mlechchhawas used by the Vedic people.
  • The great warrior king Bhagadatta, the brave ruler of Pragjyotisha and the mighty sovereign of the mlechchhas, at the head of a large number of Yavanas came to the Rajasuya Yagya sacrifice.
  • Bhagadatta was one of the distinguished Chariot warrior (Maharathi) in the Kaurava army that fought the Kurukshetra War.
  • The ruler of Pragjyotisha, the brave king Bhagadatta was the foremost of those maharathis, who could control an elephant with an elephant hook. He was skilled in fighting from the neck of a war-elephant and was also skilled in fighting from a chariot car.
  • Bhagadatta, the king of Pragjyotisha, fought in Kurukshetra War as a general under the Kaurava generallisimo Bhishma. He also fought under Dronacharya another Kaurava generalissimo. He was killed by Arjun.
  • After the Kurukshetra War, Arjuna fought a war with Bhagadatta’s son Vajradatta, at Pragjyotisha, to collect the tribute for Yudhishthira’s Ashwamedha yagya.
  • By destroying the demons such as Mauravas and the Pashas, and after slaying Nisunda and Naraka, Vasudeva Krishna had again rendered safe the road to Pragjyotisha.
  • The Asuras had a city named Pragjyotisha, which was formidable, inaccessible and impregnable. It was there that the mighty Naraka, the son of the Earth (Bhumi), kept the jewelled ear-rings of Aditi, (mother of many Gods) having brought them by force. Aditi’s sons (the Devas) were unable to recover them. Beholding Krishna’s prowess and might, and the weapon that was irresistible they requested him for the destruction of those Asuras. Krishna agreed to undertake the exceedingly difficult task. In the city of Nirmochana Krishna slew six thousand Asuras, and cut them into innumerable pieces with his weapon. He killed Mura and hosts of other Rakshasas, and then entered that city called Pragjyotisha. It was here, that an encounter took place between the mighty’ Narakasur and Krishna. Slain by Krishna, Naraka finally lay lifeless there. Having slain the Earth’s son (Bhumi-putra or Bhauma), Naraka and also the demon Mura, and having recovered those jewelled ear-rings, Krishna returned with undying fame. Krishna obtained the title of Murari because he killed the demon Mura.
  • When Krishna went to Pragjyotisha, Naraka with all the Danavas did not succeed in capturing him there.
  • Vasudeva Krishna mentions that when he and his army was at Pragjyotisha, fighting there, Chedi king Shishupala, Krishna’s cousin and enemy, came and burnt Dwaraka, the capital of Yadavas. Vasudeva Krishna belonged to Dwarka.

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: EAGLE VERSUS SCHOLARS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once an intelligent king called for a debate to select the most knowledgeable living being in his kingdom. On the appointed date many scholars arrived at the king’s court to test their knowledge. To attract participants the king had also announced an award of ten thousand gold coins for the winner. There was also an eminent jury to decide on the winner with the king having the final veto power.

    The debate started with a bang. One by one scholars started unleashing their knowledge to win the prize of ten thousand gold coins. Some scholars made a reference to the king himself and argued that he indeed is the most intelligent being in the kingdom but the king knew, that was sheer flattery. Gradually, the tempo of the debate picked up when, scholars, took their turns, walked up to the dais and munificently spoke, about the various scriptures they had read, thus, justifying themselves, to be the most knowledgeable being, in the entire kingdom.

    But all this was not making an impression on the king rather he was feeling dejected when a falconer (a bird trainer) entered the court of the king with an eagle perched on his head.

    The king was amused to see the falconer, so he asked.

    ‘What are you doing in this session of scholars?’

    The falconer bowed and said,

    ‘Maharaj, I have a learned scholar for you, from a faraway kingdom, and he will tell you, who is the most knowledgeable being in your kingdom.’

    ‘But where is he?’

    ‘Right here Maharaj.’  The trainer pointed at the old hermit (sadhu) sitting amid the crowd. The hermit rose and confidently walked up to the dais. He first greeted the king and the jury members and then said.

    ‘Your Majesty! Let me begin by saying, the king is the most powerful entity, but only in the kingdom that he rules. The scholars are the most learned beings but sadly their knowledge is limited only to the books and scriptures that they have read. The most knowledgeable person in your kingdom indeed is the eagle perched atop the falconer’s head.’

     The jury looked surprised and shocked at what the hermit had just said. They asked how. Give some logic to prove your point. The hermit replied.

    ‘The eagle in his flights has seen many kingdoms that you have not seen. The eagle has crossed many rivers, lakes, forests which you have not done. The eagle has been to umpteen mountain peaks that you have not been to. The eagle has flown to a number of ashrams, to listen to those divine shlokas, recited by many learned scholars like you, but you have confined yourself to your own shlokas because of your ego. And Maharaj, it is only because of the eagle’s invitation that I have travelled such a great distance to participate in this august debate organised by you. So, he is the most knowledgeable being in your kingdom.’ Addressing the Jury further he said, ‘just as you have acquired your knowledge through reading the eagle has acquired his knowledge by flying, observing, travel and personal experience. The only difference being you’re articulate and the bird is not.’

   The king got up from his throne in excitement for he had indeed found the most knowledgeable being in his kingdom and that was the eagle, and that too along with his trainer and the sagacious hermit.

    Moral of the story: Knowledge doesn’t only come by reading. It comes by observing and personal experience too like the eagle.

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)

*****

 

 

 

FACTS & FIGURES: A SIGNIFICANT VOYAGE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    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)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: JINNAH – Often Came To Our House– Kiran Doshi

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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

    Let me first begin by introducing the author Kiran Doshi. Kiran Doshi studied history, politics and law in Bombay before he joined the Indian Foreign Service in the year 1962, where, he had a 35-year-long career that frequently saw him tackling, India’s relations with Pakistan, always an important, exciting, but eventually a frustrating task.

    The book falls in the genre of historical fiction, published by Tranquebar Westlandbooks in 2015. It is available in both print and e-book format, and is a thick spine—some 490 pages. It is divided into 35 rhapsodic chapters and spans between the eventful years of the making of India. That is from 1904 to 1948 which includes the struggle for freedom, Partition of India and the formation of Pakistan out of India.

    Kiran has two more books in his oeuvre titled, ‘Birds of Passage’ which I believe is an engrossing and hilarious novel set in the diplomatic space of India-Pakistan-USA diplomacy, and the other book is titled, ‘Diplomatic Tales’ which is a collection of short stories in comic verse. Kiran lives in Delhi with his wife Razia.

    I’m not aware of the spark that prompted the author to write this book. But since the author has dedicated the book, to his mother-in-law Umrao Baig, (1915-1981), it does suggest, a character in the book could be resembling her. But this is only my hunch. Umrao Baig was expelled from her convent school for wearing khadi and singing Bande Mataram. She went on to study medicine at Grant Medical College and set up a hospital named after, Lokmanya Tilak in a part of Bombay, then inhabited, by mill workers.

    The book although titled Jinnah is a work of historical fiction cautions the author—all the incidents and characters in it (except those known to history) are fictitious—even if touched, here and there, by the brush of family lore.

    Coming to the brief plot. The young and dashing Sultan Kowaishi has just returned from London to Bombay after acquiring a barrister’s degree. Among the first persons he meets in Bombay is Mohammed Ali Jinnah, already a quintessential advocate, and is quickly drawn to him. It is around this time Jinnah decides to join the Indian National Congress, soon to become its brightest star in the fight for freedom. But the stir for freedom holds no interest for Sultan, but yes, it attracts his wife Rehana, and, inexorably weaves its way, into their lives. Another strong character happens to be Barri Phuphi. The main story is about Rehana opening a school, Sultan succeeding as a lawyer, them separating, and years later Sultan going in search of his children and finally his grandchild.

    The book has a large canvass of characters and events. It makes, its presence, felt in, more than one ways. It starts with the showcasing of, the lifestyle of, upper class Muslims, in Bombay, largely with, familial, connect, in Gujarat and Hyderabad around the beginning of the twentieth century.

    Kiran has focused on the core topic of freedom struggle leading to independence quite well. He brings alive the court cases along with decades of India’s struggle for freedom that is interrupted by the British in various ways, especially, when they change the laws for partition of Bengal, revocation of partition of Bengal. Tilak’s exile, Morley Minto Reforms, formation of Muslim League, the Rowlatt Act, the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, Simon Commission and its opposition, the two World Words, provincial elections and Constituent Assembly and the Khilafat movement—linked to the Ottoman Empire and of course the partition of India.

    The book revolves around Rehana, Sultan and Jinnah mostly in Bombay, London, Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has many other characters such as Dhondav—Rehana’s thread brother and the tall politicians of those times. But Rehana happens to be the longest and the toughest string that connects the book from the beginning to the end.

    The book eventually serves India with independence but not before breaking and destroying the complete family of Sultan Kowaishi who on a mere doubt of infidelity, disowns his wife and children without realising how devious, can an Englishman of, the British Raj, could be. Shak destroys Sultan completely.  Jiska ilaj hakeem Luqman ke pas bhi nahi tha.

    The story thereon moves like a tragedy and finally ends like a family tragedy. The hatred between Hindus and Muslims has been captured quite comprehensively. The book picks up somewhere between page 23 and page 45. There are too many a characters in the story and it takes a while before one can actually imbibe and familiarise oneself with the characters.

    There are certain pages in the book that I quite liked, such as, description of a voyage from Bombay to London which is now a rarity. The relation between Jinnah and Rehana is well written. The presentation of Gokhale, Tilak and Gandhi from time to time and some other leaders is interesting. The conversation about Rasool and Koran is quite informative. Overall, it’s a very happening book. But towards the last hundred pages it becomes quite depressing. Perhaps, had the author squeezed the book around 400 pages the action points of the novel could have been more intense.

The author pays homage to Shakespeare by using his quotes quite generously and aptly. His lines make for an engaging conversation-long repartee between Rehana and Jinnah.

The tone of the writer is quite flowing and inviting with the prowess to alter the reader’s emotion without provoking him. The author has used easy English with a mix of Urdu, Hindi and the colloquials.  

    The novel has a host of characters, some are well-known in history such as Gandhi, Tilak, Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and many are fictional characters such as, Dhondav, Griffiths, Pandey, Tehmina, Firoz, Hina and others whose lives change with the turn of pages. The rigour of writing is evident in how the writer ties up every thread and no character is left hanging. A resounding line that Kiran picks is attributed to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, “Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of India, they can never be separated. But sadly, the novel ends with the independence and partition of India,

    Through Jinnah and the Congress, the author shows how random laws define the fate of societies, through Dhondav he shows how bans on the freedom of press or media influence public opinion, through the main character Rehana and her travails at school, he shows how language and text books can become a conflict point.

For older readers, this novel would be a delight, but for the younger generation, twice removed from Independence and partition, the novel would serve as a space to reflect over the ironies of our times. For the sweeping story Jinnah… I would give the book four stars. A must read.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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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)

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: My Lai massacre … Vietnam War

Copyright@shravancharitymission

     My Lai Massacre was ​an incident, that occurred during the Vietnam War on 16 March 1968, when a group of US soldiers killed 347 ordinary people, including women and children, in the Vietnamese village of My Lai. Later in 1971, the officer who ordered the attack, Lieutenant William Calley, was sent to prison for life, but this was later reduced to 10 years and he was in fact released in 1974 in just three years. Many Americans were shocked by the incident, and as a result protests against the war increased.

    To put it in perspective it was a mass murder of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians by the U.S. troops in Son Tinh district in South Vietnam. In this horrific crime somewhere around 500 unarmed people were killed by the U.S. Army soldiers.

    Victims included men, women, children and even infants. Some of the women were even gang-raped and their bodies were mutilated and that included children as young as twelve. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offences.

    This war crime was later called ‘the most shocking episode of the Vietnam War. It took place in two hamlets of Son My village in Quang Ngai province. These hamlets were marked on the U.S. Army topographic maps as My Lai and My Khe.

    The U.S. Army slang names, for the hamlets and sub-hamlets in that area were Pinkville, and the carnage was initially referred to as the Pinkville Massacre. Later, when the U.S. Army started its investigation, the media changed it to the Massacre at Songmy. Currently, this horrific event is referred to as the My Lai Massacre in the United States and called the Sơn M massacre in Vietnam.

    The incident prompted global outrage when it became public knowledge in November 1969. The incident increased to some extent domestic opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War when the scope of killing and cover-up attempts were exposed. Initially, three U.S. servicemen who had tried to halt the massacre and had rescued the hiding civilians were shunned, and even denounced as traitors by several U.S. Congressmen. And it was only after 30 years that they were recognized and decorated, one posthumously, by the U.S. Army for shielding non-combatants from harm in a war zone. My Lai was one of the largest publicized massacres of civilians by U.S. forces in the 20th century.

    On the morning of 16 March at 7:30 a.m., around 100 soldiers from Charlie Company led by Medina, following a short artillery and helicopter gunship barrage, landed in helicopters at  Son My, a patchwork of settlements, rice paddies, irrigation ditches, dikes, and dirt roads, connecting an assortment of hamlets and sub-hamlets. The largest among them were the hamlets of My Lai, Co Luy, My Khe, and Tu Cung.

    Although no ammunitions were fired on American soldiers after landing, the American troops, still suspected there were VC guerrillas (i.e. Viet Cong guerrillas, officially known as the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam) hiding underground or in the huts.

    According to the operational plan, 1st Platoon, led by Second Lieutenant William Calley, and 2nd Platoon, led by 2LT Stephen Brooks, entered the hamlet of Tu Cung in a line formation at 08:00, while the 3rd Platoon, commanded by 2LT Jeffrey U. Lacross, and Captain Medina’s command post remained outside. On approach, both platoons fired at people they saw in the rice fields and in the bushes.

    The villagers, who were getting ready for a market day, at first did not panic or run away, as they were herded into the hamlet’s commons. Harry Stanley, a machine gunner from Charlie Company, said during the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division inquiry that the killings started without warning. He first observed a member of 1st Platoon strike a Vietnamese man with a bayonet. Then the same trooper pushed another villager into a well and threw a grenade in it. Next, he saw some fifteen or twenty people, mainly women and children, kneeling around a temple with smouldering incense. They were actually praying and crying. Sadly, they were all killed by shots to their head.

    Most of the killings occurred in the southern part of Tu Cung, a sub-hamlet of Xom Lang, which was a home to 700 residents. Xom Lang was erroneously marked on the U.S. military operational maps of Quang Ngai province as My Lai.

    A large group of approximately 70–80 villagers were rounded up by 1st Platoon in Xom Lang and led to an irrigation ditch east of the settlement. They were then pushed into the ditch and shot dead by soldiers after repeated orders issued by Calley, who was also shooting himself. PFC (Private First Class a junior military rank) Paul Meadlo testified that he expended several M16 rifle magazines. He recollected that women were allegedly saying “No VC” (That they are not from Viet Cong) and were trying to shield their children. He remembered that he was shooting into women with babies in their hands, since he was convinced at that time that they were all booby-trapped with grenades and were poised to attack. On another occasion during the security sweep in My Lai, Meadlo again fired at civilians side-by-side with Lieutenant Calley.

    PFC Dennis Konti, a witness for the prosecution, especially spoke about, one gruesome episode during the shooting, “A lot of women had thrown themselves on top of the children to protect them, and the children were alive at first. Then, the children who were old enough to walk got up and Calley began to shoot the children also”. Other 1st Platoon members testified that many of the deaths of individual Vietnamese men, women and children occurred inside My Lai during the security sweep. Livestock was shot as well. Over the next few days American army was involved in burning and destruction of dwellings, as well as mistreatment of Vietnamese detainees.

    Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., a helicopter pilot from Company B (Aero-Scouts), 123rd Aviation Battalion, Americal Division, saw dead and wounded civilians as he was flying over the village of Son My, providing close-air support for ground forces. 

    Thompson and his crew witnessed an unarmed woman being kicked and shot at point-blank range by a soldier Medina, who later claimed that he thought she had a hand grenade. Thompson then saw a group of civilians again consisting of children, women, and old men at a bunker being approached by ground personnel. Thompson landed, and told his crew that if the soldiers shot at the villagers while he was trying to get them out of the bunker, then they were to open fire on their comrades.

    Thompson later testified that he spoke with a lieutenant (identified as Stephen Brooks of 2nd Platoon) and told him there were women and children in the bunker, and asked if the lieutenant would help get them out. Thompson found 12–16 people in the bunker, he coaxed them out and led them to the helicopter, standing with them while they were flown out in two groups.

    Further in My Lai, Thompson and other air crew members noticed several large groups of bodies. They spotted some survivors in the ditch. Thompson landed again. A crew member, Specialist 4 Glenn Andreotta, entered the ditch and returned with a bloodied but apparently unharmed four-year old girl, who was then flown to safety. Thompson then reported what he had seen to his company commander, Major Frederic W. Watke, using terms such as “murder” and “needless and unnecessary killings.” Thompson’s statements were confirmed by other helicopter pilots too and air crew members.

    For his actions at Me My Lai, Thompson was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

     It gives shivers when you think of such horrific crimes.

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)

*****