Tag Archives: rajasthan

INTERESTING FACTS EPISODE 2

Copyright@shravancharitymission

What is ‘The Troubles’ is known for? ‘The Troubles’ were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted about 30 years from the late 1960s to 1998. It is also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict. It is sometime described as a ‘Irregular War’ or a ‘Low-level war.’ The conflict began in the late 1960s and is usually deemed to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Although The Troubles mostly took place in Northern Ireland, at times violence spilled over into parts of the Republic of Ireland, England and mainland Europe.

Mahatma Gandhi had a frail-build. He walked around 18 km per day for 40 years, roughly calculating, around 79000 km in a lifetime.

DEOLI PRISON CAMP

Just after the Sino-Indian war of the 1962, 3000 Chinese Indians were sent to a camp in Deoli, Rajasthan. Indians with Chinese features, Chinese names or even family ties were taken from their homes and transported to the Deoli camp. The Deoli-wallahs, as they later came to be known as, would go on to spend over four years in a disused prisoner of war camp. Wasn’t that strange?

India has 1.21 lakh km of railway tracks.

India has 26 languages and over 1200 recognized dialects.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama blessing the book titled ‘Awadh Assam and Dalai Lama … The Kalachakra.

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; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

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; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

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; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA; Black Gold Cooperative Library Administration, Arroyo Grande, California).

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 way 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 on 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 on Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

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

AWADH ASSAM AND DALAI LAMA … The Kalachakra

(It is the story of the man who received His Holiness The Dalai Lama and his retinue in 1959 as a GOI representative when he fled Tibet in 1959. The book was recently launched on 21st November 2022 by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The book is available in all online stores and in the library of Central Tibet Administration.)

Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: 1. Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; 2. Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; 3. Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; 4. Indica, 15.8.20; 5. The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; 6. Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. 7. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; 8. Happy Days, November 15, 2020; 9. The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15, 2020; 10. Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; 11. Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; 12. Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; 13. Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; 14. A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; 15. Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; 16. Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; 17. Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; 18. Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; 19. Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; 20. Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; 21. Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; 22. Poverty 15.11.21; 23. Top View 30.11.21; 24. The Bansuriwala 15.1.22; 25. Sale of Alaska 15.2.22; 26. The Dimasa Kingdom 28.2.22; 27. Buried Treasure 15.4.22; 28. The Kingdom of Pragjyotisha 30.4.22; 29. Who is more useful? 15.5.22; 30. The White Swan from Lake Mansarovar 30.6.22; 31. Bhool Bhulayya 15.9.22; 32. Good Karma 30.9.22; 33. Good name vs Bad Name 15.10.22; Uttarapath—The Grand Trunk Road 1.12.22;

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

*****

INTERESTING FACTS EPISODE 1

Copyright@shravancharitymission

It is said that Mahatma Gandhi wrote 700 words each day for nearly 4 decades. He wrote on various subjects related to national issues like freedom, home-rule, sovereignty, nation-building and swadeshi movement.

It is believed Ants have the most complicated social organisation on mother earth next only to human beings. Thus we find them working patiently, persistently and they never give up. Scientists have discovered that ants collect grains and seeds. They then store them underground in their burrows. But before storing they break it into two parts because if the grain seed is not broken it might turn into a plant. However the ants break the coriander seed into four parts, because only coriander seed can sprout even after splitting into two parts. Therefore the ants cut it into four parts and store it inside their burrows. Who taught them all this? Obviously nature.

Starting in 1931, the British used the Deoli Camp/Prison in Rajasthan to detain various leaders of the burgeoning Indian freedom struggle–500 freedom fighters to begin with.

Mawlynnong is a village in the East Khasi Hills in the district of Meghalaya. It was chosen by Discover India magazine as Asia’s cleanest village.

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; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

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; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

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; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA; Black Gold Cooperative Library Administration, Arroyo Grande, California).

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 way 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 on 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 on Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

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

AWADH ASSAM AND DALAI LAMA … The Kalachakra

(The story of the man who received His Holiness The Dalai Lama and his retinue in 1959 as a GOI representative when he fled Tibet in 1959. The book was recently launched on 21st November 2022 by His Holiness The Dalai Lama).

Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: 1. Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; 2. Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; 3. Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; 4. Indica, 15.8.20; 5. The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; 6. Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. 7. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; 8. Happy Days, November 15, 2020; 9. The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15, 2020; 10. Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; 11. Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; 12. Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; 13. Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; 14. A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; 15. Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; 16. Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; 17. Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; 18. Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; 19. Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; 20. Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; 21. Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; 22. Poverty 15.11.21; 23. Top View 30.11.21; 24. The Bansuriwala 15.1.22; 25. Sale of Alaska 15.2.22; 26. The Dimasa Kingdom 28.2.22; 27. Buried Treasure 15.4.22; 28. The Kingdom of Pragjyotisha 30.4.22; 29. Who is more useful? 15.5.22; 30. The White Swan from Lake Mansarovar 30.6.22; 31. Bhool Bhulayya 15.9.22; 32. Good Karma 30.9.22; 33. Good name vs Bad Name 15.10.22; Uttarapath—The Grand Trunk Road 1.12.22;

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

*****

BOOK CORNER: THE DEOLI WALLAHS: The True Story of the 1962 Chinese-Indian Internment … Joy Ma … Dilip D’Souza

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    ‘THE DEOLI WALLAHS—The True Story of the 1962 Chinese—Indian Internment’ by Joy Ma & Dilip D’Souza.

    The subject title was first published in 2020 by Pan Macmillan. A citation at the bottom of the cover page of the book by Pratap Bhanu Mehta an Indian Political Scientist says, ‘Humanly compelling, beautifully told … brings to light a forgotten chapter of Indian history, one we need to remember in these troubled times.’

    The title is an untold account of the internment of some 3,000 Chinese—Indians just after the 1962 Sino-Indian War. The narration commences with a long ‘Preface’ followed by the ‘Origins’ chapter which explains where these Chinese-Indians came from. It describes the Chinese debut in India in Achipur and Calcutta, to begin with, and later their migration to other parts of the country which slowly expanded for nearly 200 years after Atchew’s arrival—The first ancestor of the Chinese in India.  

    The title is a mid-length narration of fewer than 200 pages divided into 17 chapters plus Notes and Annexures. In Chinese, they refer to Deoli Camp as chap chung yin (Hakka) or chi chung yin (Pinyin) which translates into a ‘gathered-together camp’ or a ‘concentration camp.’ The Deoli Camp was also used for incarcerating Indian political prisoners and for prisoners of war during World War II.

    Just after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, about 3,000 Chinese-Indians were sent to languish in a disused World War II prisoner of war camp in Deoli, Rajasthan, marking the beginning of a painful five-year-long internment without resolution. At the time of war with China, these ‘Chinese-looking’ people had fallen prey to government suspicion and paranoia which soon seeped into the public consciousness just because their features were Chinese. This is a page of Indian history that comes wrapped in prejudice and fear and is today largely forgotten. But over five decades on, survivors of the internment camp are finally starting to tell their stories. So, is there an apology due from the Government of India to them is a point in question raised in the book.

    The authors of the book record these untold stories through extensive interviews of survivors of the Deoli internment. Through these personal accounts, the authors not only discover a crucial chapter in our history but also document for the first time how the Chinese came to be in India, how they made this country their home and became a significant community, until the war of 1962 that brought on a terrible incarceration, displacement and tragedy to them. The narration is primarily structured around the Chinese-Indian community, who open their hearts and minds to the authors. The Chinese-Indians were considered spies during those times of the Indo-China conflict. I know it for sure because I lived in Shillong then, where my father was a minister in the Assam Cabinet. But then the government had little leeway in terms of thinking otherwise.

    And now my observation on the storytelling. The narration could have been even more forthright. The language is plain English in easy to read format. Since the narration has many personal accounts it gives you a feel as if much is happening in the book but the general plot moves slowly. I particularly found the chapter titled ‘A CONTESTED LINE’ to be very interesting and informative. It gives you a good open view of why the Chinese conflict took place at all. After the Indian-Chinese were released from Deoli Prison they had a long struggle rebuilding their lives. Some stayed back in India and some left for greener pastures abroad. Not many would know that even a ship had docked at the Madras port to take the internees from Deoli to China the ones who were willing to go. The book is a gratifying mix of the China conflict and Deoli’s internment camp in the 5th chapter titled ‘WAR.’ But was there any sense in adding this chapter to the narration because to me it diluted the central agonizing story of those interned at the Deoli camp? However, the chapter titled ‘War’ does raise the Indian flag when it describes the Rezang La Ridge, the scene of the fierce battle that is still remembered in India as the lone glorious chapter in the otherwise depressing story of the 1962 war. But yes, the continuity of the story is momentarily derailed by the chapter titled ‘WAR.’ The book has some illustrating pictures of the Deoli barracks too. The narration lacks the flourish of emotions considering what the families of the protagonists underwent. The authors could have definitely scripted the narrative to be more emotional taking into account the sentiments of the protagonists. The narration of the central plot is not a continuous happening in the book. It is in staccato-bursts because of the several personal accounts. The sequencing of the chapters could have been better. The historical facts are engrossing and interesting when you look back. I guess the chapters don’t sequence well because of certain heavyweight chapters in between the normal chapters that override the main plot of the book but then they are vital for the consummation of the ultimate story. The plot reveals that the Indian Government’s approach towards the ‘Chinese-Indian’ in those times was not soft due to their being treated as spies.

    The authors have compared the Deoli prison camp with the Manzanar prison camp in the US where American-Japanese prisoners were housed during World War II. The book makes a gentle request to the Government of India for a ‘Chinese-Indian memorial’ to mark their trauma. The narration compares the Chinese-Indian prisoners of India with the Japanese-American prisoners of the US which is asymmetric. It highlights that a majority of the Japanese internees remained in the US after their release and even got an official apology from the government of the US after forty-six years, whereas a majority of the Chinese internees left India to start a new life in other countries and never got an apology from the government of India. Towards the end, the narration expresses a flurry of holistic emotions.

    As a reader, I felt the narration should have been more along the central theme of the book than deviating from it off and on or the sequencing of the chapters could have been shuffled when the authors had a meaty story to tell. Of course, the book is more like a personal account of several families that were interned.

    Buried under the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ of 1962 – the humiliating India-China war – is also a tragic story of many Chinese-Indian that is not known to most of India and was quietly ignored by successive governments. Did one know that Deoli in Rajasthan had an internment camp during World War II? Starting in 1931 the British used to detain various leaders of the burgeoning Indian freedom struggle. Five hundred freedom fighters from Bengal to begin with and then, in the 1940s, Jayaprakash Narayan, S.A. Dange, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, B.T. Ranadive, S.S. Batliwala, S.G. Patkar and many others were detained here. In the National Archives in New Delhi, there are petitions from the wives of some of these men, asking for a maintenance allowance during their husbands’ incarceration or for their travel expenses to meet their husbands to be reimbursed. The British not surprisingly, rejected them all.

     What I liked about the book was the initiative of the authors to have woven a book around the happenings of the Indo-China conflict which otherwise was unknown to Indians especially when it affected only a minuscule of Chinese-Indian population. The story sets you thinking.

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; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

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; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

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; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA; Black Gold Cooperative Library Administration, Arroyo Grande, California).

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 way 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 on 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 on Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

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

AWADH ASSAM AND DALAI LAMA … The Kalachakra

(The story of the man who received His Holiness The Dalai Lama and his retinue in 1959 as a GOI representative when he fled Tibet in 1959. The book was recently launched on 21st November 2022 by His Holiness The Dalai Lama).

Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: 1. Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; 2. Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; 3. Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; 4. Indica, 15.8.20; 5. The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; 6. Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. 7. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; 8. Happy Days, November 15, 2020; 9. The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15, 2020; 10. Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; 11. Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; 12. Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; 13. Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; 14. A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; 15. Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; 16. Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; 17. Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; 18. Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; 19. Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; 20. Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; 21. Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; 22. Poverty 15.11.21; 23. Top View 30.11.21; 24. The Bansuriwala 15.1.22; 25. Sale of Alaska 15.2.22; 26. The Dimasa Kingdom 28.2.22; 27. Buried Treasure 15.4.22; 28. The Kingdom of Pragjyotisha 30.4.22; 29. Who is more useful? 15.5.22; 30. The White Swan from Lake Mansarovar 30.6.22; 31. Bhool Bhulayya 15.9.22; 32. Good Karma 30.9.22; 33. Good name vs Bad Name 15.10.22; Uttarapath—The Grand Trunk Road 1.12.22;

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

*****

BOOK REVIEW: FRITZ by Satyajit Ray

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 short story was published in The Penguin Book of ‘Indian Ghost Stories, edited by Ruskin Bond. It is about a Swiss doll named Fritz. The price of this book is Rs 250.

    We all know Satyajit Ray, an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, music composer, graphic artist, lyricist and author, widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th Century. Ray was born in Calcutta into a Bengali family which was prominent in the field of art and literature.

    In this short story there are two main protagonists. One is Jayant, who works in the editorial section of a newspaper and the other is his friend Shankar, the narrator, who is a school teacher. They are great friends and have finally managed sometime to go on a holiday together. They decide to go to Bundi a small town in Rajasthan around two hundred km from Jaipur. Incidentally, Jayant had been to this town in his childhood along with his parents. Jayant’s father was in the Archaeological Survey of India and that gave him the opportunity to visit many tourist locations.

    They plan to stay at the Circuit House where Jayant had stayed before, when he had come along with his father many years ago on an official visit. But when they reach Bundi, Shankar notices, Jayant is not his usual self. He is in a pensive mood and is thinking about something. Shankar tries to query Jayant about his mood. Jayant says it’s nothing but old memories inundating his mind. Shankar thinks, Jayant being the over-emotional type is now getting nostalgic, so he doesn’t say anything further in the matter.

    They go for a stroll in the beautiful compound of the Circuit House when Jayant suddenly remembers that there was a tall Deodar tree there. He searches for it by looking around and finds it at the end of the compound. He looks at the trunk searchingly and says, it was only here, out here he had met a European in the form of a doll, but doesn’t quite remember who it was or how they had met.

    They return to the Circuit House where Jayant remembers Dilawar, the cook, who had prepared their dinner when he had come with his father. His reminiscences don’t stop there. They continue full flow and then he is inundated with the memories of Fritz. He tells Shankar, the tale of Fritz, the European doll, which Shankar hears amusedly. It was a one-foot tall Swiss doll brought from Switzerland by his uncle for him. He says he was very attached to the doll and was devastated when two stray dogs had mutilated it. He had buried the doll’s remnants under the very same deodar tree.

    Shankar is quite tired so he goes to bed but wakes up abruptly in the middle of the night and finds Jayant sitting on his bed, looking perplexed. Upon asking the reason, Jayant says that something had walked over his chest when he was asleep. Shankar assures that it could have been a dream but Jayant shows him his pillow. Where, there were faint marks pointing to the fact that an animal had walked over it. Shankar does a thorough search of the place but doesn’t find any small animal like mice or rats. Shankar feels that his friend is just exaggerating his pent up emotions, nevertheless, he offers him some soothing words. After which they both go off to sleep.

    The following day, they visit ‘Bundi Fort.’ About which Shankar is happy, as he remembers the famous poem of Tagore ‘The Fort of Bundi.’ During the visit to the fort on the hills, Jayant remains lost in his thoughts. After returning, Shankar queries about his state of mind persistently. Jayant says, that Fritz, the doll, had come back, alive, and it was the doll last night who had walked over his chest leaving its footprints. Shankar, now annoyed with Jayant’s irrational fears, suggests to dig up the doll’s grave and see for himself that the doll isn’t back.

    Jayant agrees. Together, they have the gardener dig the place where Fritz was buried many years ago. To their horror, they find a pure white, 12-inch, human skeleton, lying exactly there, of the same size as Fritz. They both are confused and horrified when they see it. Eerie thoughts and weird assumptions come to their mind. The story ends there, on a cliff-hanger, with various connotations to suit the reader.

    The story is narrated in first person from Shankar’s perspective and that provides a realistic depth into Jayant’s emotions, unclouded by Jayant’s irrational fears and beliefs.

    The story is built on short conversations between the two protagonists. The author within the limited space has also described the scenic surroundings quite well. Even Jayant’s childhood memories are well captured. The story unwinds on flashbacks. Where, the sequencing of flashbacks is quite perfect.

    The characters are well-portrayed. Where, Jayant is projected as a serious person and even emotional. Whereas, Shankar is a smart and rational man who believes only in what he sees. Hence, he is annoyed at Jayant’s assumption that Fritz is back. And it’ll only be right to say that Shankar is quite a determined person, because even when Jayant was reluctant to dig the grave, he was sure about what he wanted to do and how to get it done.

    The story is set in Bundi, Rajasthan. The author has used plain English, easy to understand. It is a good read. I would give the story 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)

(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: FRITZ by Satyajit Ray

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 short story was published in The Penguin Book of ‘Indian GHOST stories, edited by Ruskin Bond, is about a Swiss doll named Fritz. The price of this book is Rs 250.
We all know Satyajit Ray, an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, music composer, graphic artist, lyricist and author, widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th Century. Ray was born in Calcutta into a Bengali family which was prominent in the field of arts and literature.
    In this short story there are two main protagonists. One is Jayant, who works in the editorial section of a newspaper and the other is his friend Shankar, the narrator, who is a school teacher. They are great friends and have finally managed sometime to go on a holiday together. They decide to go to Bundi a small town in Rajasthan around two hundred km from Jaipur. Incidentally Jayant had been to this town in his childhood along with his parents. Jayant’s father was in the Archaeological Survey of India and that gave him the opportunity to visit many tourist locations.
    They plan to stay at the Circuit House where Jayant had stayed before, when he had come along with his father many years ago on an official visit. When they reach Bundi, Shankar notices Jayant is not his usual self. He is in a pensive mood and thinking about something. Shankar tries to query Jayant about his mood. Jayant says it’s nothing but old memories inundating his mind. Shankar thinks that Jayant being the over-emotional type. Is now getting nostalgic, so he doesn’t say anything further in the matter.
They go for a stroll in the beautiful compound of the Circuit House when Jayant suddenly remembers that there was a tall Deodar tree there. He searches for it by looking around and finds it at the end of the compound. He looks at the trunk searchingly and says, it was out here he had met a European in the form of a doll, but doesn’t quite remember who it was or how they had met.
    They return to the Circuit House where Jayant remembers Dilawar, the cook, who had prepared their dinner when he had come with his father. His reminiscences don’t stop there. They continue full flow and then he is inundated with the memories of Fritz. He tells Shankar, the tale of Fritz, the European doll, which Shankar hears amusedly. It was a one-foot tall Swiss doll brought from Switzerland by his uncle for him. He says he was very attached to the doll and was devastated when two stray dogs had mutilated it. He had buried the doll’s remnants under the very same deodar tree.
Shankar is quite tired so he goes to bed but wakes up abruptly in the middle of the night and finds Jayant sitting on his bed, looking perplexed. Upon asking the reason, Jayant says that something had walked over his chest when he was asleep. Shankar assures that it could have been a dream but Jayant shows him his pillow. Where, there were faint marks pointing to the fact that an animal had walked over it. Shankar does a thorough search of the place but doesn’t find any small animal like mice or rats. Shankar feels that his friend is just exaggerating his pent up emotions, nevertheless, he offers him some soothing words. After which they both go off to sleep.
    The following day, they visit ‘Bundi Fort.’ About which Shankar is happy, as he remembers the famous poem of Tagore ‘The Fort of Bundi.’ During the visit to the fort on the hills, Jayant remains lost in his thoughts. After returning, Shankar queries about his state of mind persistently. Jayant says, that Fritz, the doll, had come back alive, and it was the doll last night who had walked over his chest leaving his footprints. Shankar, now annoyed with Jayant’s irrational fears, suggests to dig up the doll’s grave and see for himself that the doll isn’t back.
    Jayant agrees. Together, they have the gardener dig the place where Fritz was buried. To their horror, they find a pure white, 12-inch, human skeleton, lying there exactly, of the same size as Fritz. They both are confused and horrified when they see it. Eerie thoughts and weird assumptions come to their mind. The story ends there, on a cliff-hanger, with various connotations to suit the reader.
    The story is narrated in first person from Shankar’s perspective and that provides a realistic depth into Jayant’s emotions, unclouded by Jayant’s irrational fears and beliefs.
The story is built on short conversations between the two protagonists. The author within the limited space has also described the scenic surroundings quite well. Even Jayant’s childhood memories are well captured. The story unwinds on flashbacks. Where, the sequencing of flashbacks is quite perfect.
    The characters are well-portrayed. Where, Jayant is projected as a serious person and even emotional. Whereas, Shankar is a smart, rational man who believes only in what he sees. Hence, he is annoyed at Jayant’s assumption that Fritz is back. And it’ll only be right to say that Shankar is quite a determined person, because even when Jayant was reluctant to dig the grave, he was sure about what he wanted to do and how to get it done.
    The story is set in Bundi, Rajasthan. The author has used plain English, easy to understand. It is a good read. I would give the story 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)

(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 CORNER VIDEO: ‘The Girl in Room 105’ by Chetan Bhagat

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

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

(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)

*****

 

 

 

KULDHARA—JAISALMER: THE HAUNT REMAINS EVEN AFTER CENTURIES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

    Ghost towns and villages have often held our attention. But simultaneously, they have also unleashed our imagination to some hair-raising and eerie trepidation. So, its character remains quite aloof, from the oppressive ruins of the rich and arrogant castles and fortresses. One such village, nests in Kuldhara. Located in the deep-seated, desert region of Western Rajasthan. Where, when, you stand under the hot striking sun. You might not get to see a single human form till the horizon. In all earnest, such unspeaking and phantom towns and villages may not utter a complaining word. But then they scream about the enduring trauma. Their inhabitants might have undergone and that gives us a chance to peep into their harrowing lives.

    Rajasthan brims in the expanse of Thar desert. It has no dearth of ghost villages. That remains almost unpeopled for various reasons. But only a few of them have got as much attention as Bhangarh and Kuldhara. Perhaps, due to the myths attached to them. So, while we were in Jaisalmer. It was only natural for us to undertake the sightseeing of Kuldhara.

    It simmers in deep desolate wilderness, at about 18 km, west of Jaisalmer. And it certainly has a story to tell. Where, we came across a young boy named Bhairo Sharma. Who narrated the aghast episode, in an emotional tone. Is when, I reflected after many years. That there was someone doing justice to the forgotten art of storytelling.

    It happened some 300 years ago. When, Kuldhara was a prosperous village. Where, Paliwal Brahmins used to reside under the state of Jaisalmer. The story thus throws up a spine-chilling feel. When, the evil eyes of Salim Singh. The all powerful tyrant and debauch Prime Minister of the state. Fell for the daughter of the village head and desired to marry her by force. He then threatened the entire village of grave consequences, if they did not acquiesce to his wishes.  

    The entire clan of Paliwals then lived in those 85 villages. They forthwith held a council. Where, it was decided, instead of acceding, to the demands of the depraved Prime Minister. They would abandon and leave their village and homeland. To, save the honour and purity of their daughter from the evil eyes of the monster. And soon, they all left for good. But before departing they ordained a powerful curse on Kuldhara. That, after them, no one else shall ever be able to settle and prosper in the village. And from that day onwards the village remains unoccupied, barren and even deserted. It gives an isolated and godforsaken look. Perhaps, quite similar to the unseen yet imagined faces of the residents of those times, that too, centuries ago. It is also believed. People who have attempted to stay here overnight have been haunted away by some strange and abnormal phenomenon.

    The parallel story that runs and appears to be as plausible as the first one is. Salim Singh, upon not being obliged by the Paliwals raised the taxes to such an extent. That it became practically unbearable for the local community to survive in the village. So they decided to migrate to greener pastures. However, people are more inclined to believe the first story. That has a tinge of both romance and mysticism in it.

    The dilapidated and tale-telling houses and monuments are now maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). One can enter the village only after purchasing tickets. After which you drive along the prime street. That appears to be the main boulevard of the settlement. Where, even now, after centuries one feels gloomy and sad. For there are rows of houses with their roofs fallen. And the ruined walls give a sense of melancholic past. Where, the entire landscape is dry, dusty and sun stricken. That conveys a blaring message of atrocious human upheavels. Even, when, the era denoted happiness through righteousness.

    We halted at a location. That appeared to be the hub of the rustic village. Just close by there was a house in good upkeep. We entered to see the rooms that were well maintained. Following the path we even went up the stairs and up to the roof. From where, the entire village was visible. Though, I could not feel any supernatural presence. Yet that element of sombreness struck me while I was there. One could say the animation was missing. Ladies in the group could not withstand the countenance of destruction and slowly walked away.  I could even sight an unvisited and left alone temple nearby. Gradually, we cruised past the ruins available in the form of the crumbling walls. For a moment, it gave me a flash of those lives that lived there centuries ago. There was definitely something spine chilling even when everything around was so calm and unmoved. Perhaps, the collective curse of those helpless citizens was still pulsating there. Where, everything was looking so recent. And one got a feel as if someone was calling you from behind those dilapidated houses.

    Kuldhara remains a desolate place with forlorn looks. Curses don’t die so soon, they say. The ambience brings across a kind of seeping sadness to your heart. Especially, when, one thinks of the unfortunate people.  Who, were forced to leave the land of their forefathers. However the place doesn’t appear to be spooky for any other reason barring the wicked crime spelt in the story.

    Even, when, the ASI has taken over the settlement. It remains to be seen if this village will ever flourish. By flourish I mean—will the lineage of the people, who left generations back. Ever come together to salvage their motherland. And last but not the least. Was this a quintessential example of a migration that moved a civilised settlement? My answer would be no.

*****

ARTICLE: KILLING FOR FALSE HONOUR, BUT DYING FOR REAL LOVE

Islamabad and Delhi are located around seven hundred km apart and are divided by an explosive and turbulent international border, with ever increasing aggressive efforts to keep each side sanitized from the overall influence of the other. Yet there appears to be a commonality of sorts that refuses to die. The madness of honour killing. The ethnicity of large parts of Pakistan and that of north India was never too different before independence and even now per se. But post independence India opened up, and moved on- though not whole hog. But Pakistan preferred to remain where it was, rather took some steps backwards.

index rr jjj ppp

Yalda Hakim, Afghanistan born correspondent and presenter of BBC World News, highlights. How in Pakistan women who dare to pursue relationships of their own choice are in danger of losing their lives. She says in her recently published article in TOI- “Dying for Love”

‘In a country fighting to preserve patriarchal and tribal traditions, Pakistan’s women can face brutality- and even death- if they fall in love with the wrong person.

Arifa 25, dared to stand up to her family, running away with the man she fell in love with and secretly marrying him. The following day in a busy street in Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city, her male family members surrounded the newlyweds and, at gunpoint, dragged Arifa away. After great difficulty her husband, Abdul Malik, managed to establish that she was alive and had been hidden somewhere. Fearing for his life, he has lived in hiding for three months. He says,

“In Pakistan, love is a big sin. Centuries have passed, the world has made so much progress- men have reached the heavens. But our men are still following age-old customs –which focus on denying women freedom.”

In May 2014, the case of the young pregnant woman Farzana Parveen shocked the world. She was stoned to death by her family for marrying the man she was in love with, rather than the man they had chosen for her. This happened outside Lahore high court, in front of the policemen and passersby.

In November, following worldwide media attention, Parveen’s father, brother, cousin and former fiancé were all found guilty of murder and given death sentence. But more often than not, those who commit these brutal acts against women are never charged, protected by tribal laws.

Last year alone, more than 1,000 women were murdered for so-called honour crimes. Some hard-line religious scholars believe that only through the killing of an offending family member-usually a woman-can honour be restored to the rest of the family and tribe. Few people in Pakistan nowadays are willing to challenge these tribal traditions and customs. In fact, according to a recent survey, an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis support the full implementation of Sharia law- Islam’s legal system.’

In 1979, General Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s military dictator, introduced the so called Hudood Ordinance- a controversial set of laws that attempted to Islamise Pakistan. Among other things, it made adultery punishable by stoning and lashing. In 2006, the then President Pervez Musharraf tried to protect women, but the enforcement of his reforms has been limited and adultery remains a crime. Karachi’s central prison for women is where many of those accused of adultery end up.’

BUT IS NORTH INDIA ANY DIFFERENT THAN PAKISTAN IN TERMS OF HONOUR KILLINGS?

Yes only in terms of the scale which is less. While we can say what happens in Pakistan is barbaric, but then honour killings are often reported in the northern regions of India also, and mainly from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as a result of marrying without their family’s acceptance and sometimes also for marrying outside their caste.

And in contrast honour killings are a rarity in South India and the western states of Maharastra and Gujarat. In some other parts of India, notably West Bengal, honour killings completely ceased about a century ago, largely due to activism and influence of reformists such as Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Wish they had also spread their activism in North India.

REPORTS OF SOME SPECIFIC HONOUR KILLINGS IN NORTH INDIA

The Indian state of Punjab has a large number of honour killings. According to the data compiled by the Punjab Police, 34 honour killings were reported in the state between 2008 and 2010: 10 in 2008, 20 in 2009 and four in 2010’

Haryana is also notorious for incidents of honour killing, mainly in the upper caste of the society, among Rajputs and Jaats; considered literate. And, so can we say it has nothing to do with literacy levels?

Bhagalpur in the eastern state of Bihar has also been notorious for honour killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur who was set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism.’ The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbours arrived, only to find her smouldering body. She was admitted to a local hospital, where she later died from her injuries. In May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her on the head with an axe. In June some incidents were reported from Delhi.

In June 2012, a man chopped off his 20-year-old daughter’s head with a sword in Rajasthan after learning that she was dating men. According to police officer Omkar Singh, the accused told the court that his daughter Manju had relations with several men. He had asked her to mend her ways several times in the past. However, she did not pay heed. Out of pure rage, he chopped off her head with the sword.

A young couple who were planning to marry were brutally murdered in Garnauthi village, state of Haryana on 18 September 2013 because they were having a love affair. The woman, Nidhi, was beaten to death and the man, Dharmender, was dismembered alive. People in the village and neighbouring villages approved of the killings.

MEASURES AGAINST HONOUR KILLINGS

In 1990 the National Commission for Women set up a statutory body in order to address the issues of honor killings among some ethnic groups in North India. This body reviewed constitutional, legal, and other provisions as well as challenges women faced. The NCW’s activism has contributed significantly towards the reduction of honor killings in rural areas of North India. According to Pakistani activists Hina Jilani and Eman M. Ahmed, Indian women are considerably better protected against honor killings by Indian law and government than Pakistani women, and they have suggested that governments of countries affected by honor killings use Indian law as a model in order to prevent honor killings in their respective societies.

In a landmark judgement in March 2010, Karnal district court ordered the execution of five perpetrators of an honour killing in Kaithal, and imprisoning for life the khap (local caste-based council) chief who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19) a man and woman of the same clan who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite having been given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found a week later in an irrigation canal.

In June 2010, scrutinizing the increasing number of honor killings, the Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Central Government and six states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, to take preventive measures against honor killings.

Alarmed by the rise of honor killings, the Government planned to bring a bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament July 2010 to provide for deterrent punishment for ‘honor’ killings.

In recent times, the Khap system has attracted criticism from groups, citing the stark prejudice that such groups allegedly hold against others. Women’s Organisation AIDWA has made allegations, in some cases where the Khaps are alleged to have initiated threats of murder and violence to couples who marry outside of the circle.

Supreme Court has declared these ‘Khap panchayats’ as illegal, which often decree or encourage honour killings or other institutionalised atrocities against boys and girls of different castes and religions who wish to get married or have married.

So honour killing is utterly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out. There is no honour in these killings and atrocities. In fact, it is nothing else but barbaric and shameful. Brutal atrocities committed by feudal-minded persons deserve very harsh punishments. And only by acting against it can we stamp out this atrocious feudal mentality. The other thing that needs to be crushed along with it are the Kangaroo courts that are mushrooming all over.

But in all of this the most scathing has been the behavior of some political parties both in Pakistan and India who in the interest of votes have never taken a bulldozing approach either jointly or severally towards all such individuals and self styled institutions who promote honour killings.

*****