Tag Archives: russia

BOOK CORNER: “CHIP WAR: The fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology” by Chris Miller.

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    Today’s title for review is “CHIP WAR: The fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology” by Chris Miller. The book is vivaciously convincing. It’s about semiconductors and the coming US-China confrontation. Just like the semiconductor chips, Miller has packed a million history and information in this extraordinary book. The title is a remarkable, eye-popping work, a unique combination of economic and technological and strategic analysis … says PAUL KENNEDY, the bestselling author of “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.”

    As India takes baby steps into chip manufacturing, the history of this technology turns out to be a useful guide. A chip which is also called a semiconductor or an integrated circuit is a piece of silicon with tiny transistors carved into it that switch the 1s and the 0s. It is the material on which the entire digital world rests. It is what gives Silicon Valley its fancy name, and it is fuelling the biggest US-China confrontation.

    The book is about the evolution of the semiconductor business, and its role in the global economy and international politics. In the 1960s, Fairchild Semiconductor (and later Intel) co-founder Gordon Moore famously predicted that computing power on chips would grow exponentially, doubling every two years. Moore’s law has exceeded all expectations. Sixty years ago, a cutting-edge chip had four transistors. It has about 11.8 billion now. Each 3D transistor is smaller than a coronavirus.

    Chips are the core of digital computing, which also makes them essential to the modern world, undergirding aeroplanes, weapons, appliances, drones and toys. The next generation of networking technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications make them only more necessary. And so, the clutch of firms that design and produce chips are of immense strategic importance.

    All personal computing relies on DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) chips, which are made by two companies in Korea and one in the US. Further five firms—(American, Dutch and Japanese)—control the lighting process by which patterns are carved into silicon wafers. Fabricating and miniaturising chips are the greatest engineering challenge of our time, claims the book, for which Taiwan’s TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is indispensable at the moment.

    As their uses proliferated, chips have become central to strategic interests. This evolution was not shaped just by corporations and consumers, but also by governments and militaries. While the Soviets had tried to keep up with the US advances in semiconductor technology, they were largely forced to rely on stealing and copying.

    In the 1980s, the Japanese juggernaut of high-quality low-cost DRAM chips posed competition to the US. Chips powered personal electronics, microwaves, camcorders and walkmans. It became clear that this technology was the crude oil of the 1980s—a resource whose control mattered to military supremacy.

    So, other Asian nations became contenders. As the US-Japan rivalry grew—South Korea and Taiwan too got into it, and so did China later. There have been missteps along the way. In the 90s, Japan failed to see the PC revolution coming, just as Intel later failed to spot the smartphone boom when it passed up on making chips for iPhones.

    Today, despite the fact that the US dissipated its lead in semiconductor fabrication and lithography, it still remains the design hub and maintains its chokehold on the technology, even as China puts billions of dollars and its best engineers into it. America’s unipolar moment and globalisation rhetoric have receded, and the tech wars have heated up as Xi Jinping crafts a new digital authoritarianism. Donald Trump called Huawei, ‘Spyway’, and slapped an export ban on China, grinding to a halt, its most advanced DRAM firm, SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation).

    The disruptions during the pandemic revealed just how critical, this chip supply chain is—if any of the steps in the interconnected production process is endangered, so is the world’s supply of computing power.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our Publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 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

(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: DANGER ZONE: The Coming Conflict with China … by Hal Brands and Michael Beckley

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    The book enumerates the possibility of why the US-China conflict can happen soon. It is because Beijing is worried that its power is peaking soon. The subject book claims that a decisive showdown between the US and China could come sooner than anyone thinks. Sino-US rivalry is not a marathon, but a sprint that will play out in this very decade only, says the book.

    The book starts with a highly plausible doomsday scenario in January 2025, in a situation where China has invaded Taiwan, putting the US in a bind, and the world on the brink of World War III. It could have been avoided, by reading the signs right, the book claims.

    The authors counter the Thucydides trap theory about a great power replacing another—the threat is not because of China’s inexorable rise but because it knows it has peaked and is desperate. It is strong enough to disrupt the existing order but is losing confidence that time is on its side. This gives it incentives to use force against Japan, and India or teach the Philippines a lesson, or even bring Taiwan to heel.

    The Chinese Communist Party wants to maintain its iron grip on power, regain territories like Taiwan, and force settlements on border disputes with countries from India to Japan. It aims to marginalise the US in Asia.

    This means nothing less than an epochal change in regional and global rules. China’s relentless military build-up, its trade, infrastructure and investment gambits across Eurasia (ie. land consisting of Europe and Asia), its overland supply routes and access to the Indian Ocean, its power play in international institutions and its ideological offensive against liberal democracy—in all of this China knows the US is in its way, invested as it is in preventing a rival in Eurasia.

    The US-China relationship, the book says, unravelled gradually, then suddenly in recent years, with Donald Trump’s presidency, Covid and Xi Jinping’s own sense of urgency. China has been concealing a sharp slowdown, resource shortfalls, and a demographic catastrophe brought on by its one-child policy. They see the red alerts about their country’s rise and the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party’s) fate.

    The confrontation is forcing others to take sides, creating a ring of rivals. The Galwan clash of 2020 with India might be a victory for China, but it lost more than it gained, as New Delhi accelerated its swing towards America. Chinese aggression is beginning to backfire, as it creates fear and resistance from countries near and far that have benefitted from the American world order.

    Australia has leaned towards the US, the EU calls China a ‘systematic rival’. As China seeks greater arks of influence, it is confronting greater arcs of hostility. Even the Sino-Russian autocratic axis has its costs, as Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine raises the costs of teaming up with him. CCP officials are haunted by the twin spectres of economic decay and geopolitical encirclement, claims the book—and this peaking-power dynamic is precisely where the danger lies. A revisionist power that feels its moment is slipping away will act more impulsively than the one that thinks tomorrow will be better than today.

    The book advises the US to take calculated risks, and avoid reckless ones. It must take on China’s high-tech economic imperialism, digital authoritarianism and its intent to take Taiwan. It must be willing to anger China and bait it into strategic blunders, rather than push it into a corner where violence becomes the only option.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our Publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 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 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 available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

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

(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)

*****

Dostoevsky’s works and characters give a detailed image of 19th C Russia

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DOSTOEVSKY

Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of Russia’s most influential writers, Culture Trip says, was influenced by the many hardships he experienced in his life. In an oppressive Tsarist Russia, he was arrested in 1849 for belonging to a literary group that discussed banned books critical of Tsarist Russia and was sentenced to death. But the sentence was commuted at the last minute. He spent 4 years in a Siberian prison camp and 6 years of compulsory military service in exile.

His barracks in Omsk, Siberia, as he describes it, in summer was intolerable closeness, in winter unendurable cold. All the floors were rotten. Filth on the floor an inch thick; one could slip and fall, “We were packed like herrings in a barrel. There was no room to turn around. From dusk to dawn it was impossible not to behave like pigs”. Classified as one of the most dangerous convicts, Dostoevsky had his hands and feet shackled until his release. In prison he suffered a lot of seizures, burned by fever, trembling and feeling too hot or cold, every night. Dostoevsky suffered a great deal and his suffering is reflected in his works.

His experiences helped him to create memorable characters that together formed a detailed image of 19th C Russia. Culture Trip says that Dostoevsky’s works bring forward the ‘little man’, a person you would pass on the street without giving a second thought, but in fact represents the life of the majority of people. They are the backbone of a country and only through understanding the life of a voiceless human can the psychological portrait of a country begin to be painted.

Thus, Crime and Punishment (1866) is the story of a poor man that commits a crime in order to survive, but then deals with a greater struggle than poverty- extreme guilt. Along the way, the reader encounters some of the lowest and pitiful creatures that inhabited the streets of St. Petersburg.

The Idiot (1869) has Myshkin as the main character, who is one of the most gentle and kind characters in literature, stuck in an imperfect world of judgmental and cunning people. Returning after undergoing treatment in a mental hospital, his involvement in a scandalous love affair leads him to be mistreated by people around him. That brings him back to where he started- a mental institution.

Dostoevsky’s first novel, Poor Folk (1846) is based on an exchange of letters between two people in St. Petersburg- the elderly Makar Devushkin and his beloved Varvara Dobroselova, a social novel that gives voice to the disadvantaged people in society. Devushkin’s love for his distant cousin Varvara leads him to continuously search for money to help support her, hoping one day he will eventually marry her. In the end she loses interest in him, after a rich widower, Mr. Bykov, proposes to her.

The other acclaimed novel, Demons I 1871-72) is a social and political satire, a psychological drama and a large scale tragedy. Demons is an allegory of the potentially catastrophic consequence of the political and moral nihilism that were becoming prevalent in Russia in the 1860’s .A fictional town descends into chaos as it becomes the focal point of an attempted revolution orchestrated by master conspirator, Pyotr Verkhovensky . The mysterious aristocratic figure of Nikolai Stavrogin, Verkhovensky’s counterpart in the moral sphere dominates the book.

Dostoevsky’s last novel, The Brothers Karamazov, (1880) is a passionate, philosophical novel that enters deeply into questions of God, free will and morality. It is a theological drama dealing with problems of faith, doubt and reason, in the context of a modernizing Russia with a plot that revolves around the subject of patricide.    

He also wrote what is called a Writer’s Diary, a collection of his writings. Despite a gambling addiction he acquired and times when he had to beg for money, he became one of the most widely read and highly respected Russian writers. Just as he was influenced by a wide variety of philosophers and authors including Pushkin Gogoi, Augustine, Shakespeare, Scott, Dickens and others, in turn he influenced a great number of later writers , including Russians such as Solzhenitsyn, Anton Chekov, philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean Paul Sartre. His books have been translated into 170 languages.

Dostoevsky’s body of work consists of 12 novels, 4 novellas, 16 short stories and numerous other works. His most acclaimed novels include Crime and Punishment (1866), the Idiot ( (1869) , Demons  (1872) and the Brothers Karamazov (1880).His 1864 novella, Notes from Underground is considered to be one of the first works of existentialist literature.   

 Compiled by Janina Gomes 

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 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).

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 available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

***

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

Copyright@shravancharitymission

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

MIRAGE

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

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

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

*****

BOOK REVIEW: ‘THE OVERCOAT’ – Nikolai Gogol

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Khidki (Window)

–Read 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.

“The Overcoat” sometimes also translated as ‘The Cloak’ was written by Ukrainian-born Russian author Nikolai Gogol. It is a short story that was published in the year 1842. Both the story and the author have had a great influence on Russian literature, as expressed in a quote about Russian realist writers, by French lit-critic Eugene-Melchoir de Vogue, often misattributed to Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky that says, “We all come out from Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’.” While writing in 1941, American-Russian novelist Vladmir Nabakov called it ‘The greatest Russian short story ever written.’ The story has been adapted into a variety of stage and film interpretations.

    The story narrates very sharply the life and death of a titular councillor Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, an impoverished government clerk and copyist in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg. Although Akaky is dedicated to his job, he is faintly recognized in his department for his hard work. Instead, the younger clerks tease him and attempt to distract him whenever they can. His threadbare overcoat is often the centre of their jokes. One day Akaky decides it is now necessary to have the coat repaired. He takes it to his tailor Petrovich, who declares, the coat is now irreparable, and tells him that he must now buy a new overcoat.

    The cost of a new overcoat is beyond Akaky’s meager salary, so he forces himself to live within a strict budget to save sufficient money to buy the new overcoat. Meanwhile, he and Petrovich frequently meet to discuss the style of the new coat. During that time, Akaky’s zeal for his work of copying is replaced with excitement about his new overcoat, to the point that he stops thinking about anything else. Finally, with the addition of an unexpected large holiday salary bonus, Akaky has saved enough money to buy a new overcoat.

    Akaky and Petrovich go to various shops in St. Petersburg and pick the finest materials that they can afford. Marten fur is too expensive, so they use cat fur for the collar. The new coat finally emerges impressive and of good quality and appearance and becomes the talk of Akaky’s office on the day he arrives wearing it. His superior decides to host a party in the honour of the new overcoat, but Akaky who is habitually solitary feels out of place. After the party, Akaky goes home, far later than he normally would. But en route home, two ruffians short shrift him, take his coat, kick him down badly, and leave him in the snow to die.

    Akaky gets no help from the authorities in recovering his lost overcoat. Finally, on the advice of another clerk in his department, he asks for help from an important person, a Russian general recently promoted to his position who belittles and shouts at his subordinates to solidify his self-importance. After keeping Akaky waiting, the general demands of him exactly why he has brought such a trivial matter to him, personally, and not presented it to his secretary. Socially inept, Akaky makes an unflattering remark about departmental secretaries, provoking, so powerful a scolding from the general that he nearly faints and has to be led away from the general’s office. Soon thereafter, Akaky falls seriously ill with fever. In his last hours, he is delirious, imagining himself again sitting before the general. At first, Akaky pleads forgiveness, but as his death nears, he curses the general.

    Soon, a corpse, identified as Akaky’s ghost, haunts areas of St. Petersburg, taking overcoats from people. The police find it difficult to capture him. Finally, Akaky’s ghost catches up with the general—who, since Akaky’s death, had begun to feel guilty over having mistreated him—and takes his overcoat by frightening him intensely. Satisfied, Akaky is not seen again. The narrator ends his narration with the account of another ghost seen in another part of the city.

    Apparently it is a simple story of a common man and his tribulations, and the final denouement. But when you dig in deeper, you see the condition of Russia in the early 1800s, and a parable of the yoke of feudalism and how it crushes individuality. Akaky-Bashmachkin is the representation of the common man that is victimized under the feudal regime and its social and economic structure. He is a man who has no grasp at all of the true meaning of freedom. Gogol expresses it very well through the fabric of a simple, everyday story of that subaltern copying clerk.

    Gogol is considered the father of realism in Russian literature, and he, along with Pushkin brought about the emergence of Russian literature as we know it. He wrote about people on the ground and his protagonists and their troubles are troubles of your and mines. The Overcoat is a good read.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

MIRAGE

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

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

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

*****

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

Copyright@shravancharitymission

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

It all started in Wuhan,

Where Corona lived … behind a deadly micron,

They say he lived in a bat,

From where he was brought to a lab,

And from where he escaped,

Causing a worldwide … outrage.

*

The world couldn’t see … the contagion coming,

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

China created a smokescreen in Wuhan,

Where seemingly,

Even … WHO was put in a trance.

*

Countries and continents thought it’ll settle,

But Corona was now at a deadly level,

Italy battled … Spain fought,

UK … Germany overcame the hot-spot,

Yet Europe,

Went into a fraught.

*

New York trembled … America fumed,

Challenge indeed … was too huge,

Where,

 Nothing seemed to work in the land of rules,

Yet US fought … with a determined sinew,

And where China remained in a beguile subterfuge.

*

Korea fretted,

Middle East fumbled,

Latin America fought … like a brute,

Russia battled.

India grappled,

Australia brawled,

New Zealand braved,

Africa endured,

While the Chinese virus,

Had a roaring field day.

*

The world kneeled,

As Covid rose,

From China’s core,

To mangle the world.

*

 The fight was now on,

As mankind was stormed,

Civilizations had suffered,

But the world had no buffer.

*

While everyone thought of,

Black Death and Spanish Flu,

It was Donald Trump,

Versus the Chinese Flu.

*

The scenario was horrific,

With suffering galore,

And a flood of dead bodies,

That made the world look sore.

*

And to save humanity,

Scientists had framed new rules,

Where mixing was banned,

And seclusion was in vogue,

*

Things had changed,

Protocols had altered,

Social distancing was in place,

Handshakes and hugs had effaced,

And where, namaste was the order of the day.

*

Touch and hugs had vanished,

Spice of life had tarnished

Tears were on,

Lockdown was prolonged,

Where migrants had an infinite marathon,

*

Citizens had lost,

In the quagmire of pandemic,

Where a cure,

 Appeared invisible.

*

But hope said,

Hold on,

As life will go on,

For it is not the end of the world.

And songs will return,

But to the tunes of upstairs,

*

For once in century,

Through a pandemic,

God reminds,

Human beings of their atrocities,

So don’t feel disheartened,

For good days shall return.

****

Written by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

MIRAGE

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

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

*****

 

 

 

FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES: THE DOCTOR’S PLOT

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    It happened many years back in Russia.

    The Doctors’ Plot is also known as the case of saboteur-doctors or killer-doctors. It was an anti-Semitic campaign also called anti-semitism. Don’t confuse it with the Doctor’s trial in Nuremberg.

   What is anti-Semitism? Anti-semitism is the strong dislike, or cruel and unfair treatment of Jewish people. Anti-semitism in the Russian Empire included numerous pogroms, acts of cruel behaviour, killings, organized massacre, of a particular ethnic group, in particular, that of the Jews in Russia or Eastern Europe and the designation or areas of the Pale of Settlement. Pale of Settlement is the territory of contemporary Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Poland, from which Jews were forbidden to migrate into the interior parts of Russia, unless they converted to the Russian Orthodox state religion, in some ways the Moscow-Patriarchate or Moscow Church. The Pale of Settlement was a western region of the Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed between, 1791 and 1917, in which, permanent residency by Jews was allowed but beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was largely forbidden.

    Now let’s come to the Russian Revolution of 1917: It was a period of political and social revolution across the territory of the Russian Empire, commencing with the abolition of the monarchy in 1917, and concluded in 1923 after the Bolshevik establishment (that is the radical far left Marxist faction), of the Soviet Union, along with five other Soviet Republics, namely Ukraine, Belarus, Amenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, resulting in the end of the civil war.

     Anti-semitism campaign in the Soviet Union was organized by Joseph Stalin. In 1951–1953, a group of predominantly Jewish doctors from Moscow were accused of a conspiracy to assassinate Soviet leaders. This was later accompanied by publications of anti-Semitic character in the media, which talked about the threats of Zionism (a political movement whose original aim was the creation of a country, for the Jewish people, and that now supports the state of Israel). The publications went on to condemn people with Jewish names. Many doctors, officials and others, both Jews and non-Jews, were promptly dismissed from their jobs and arrested. But only after a few weeks of Stalin’s death, the new Soviet leadership said there was a lack of evidence, so the cases was dropped. Soon after, it was declared to have been fabricated. This was the gist of the doctor’s plot. Let me now give you some details about it.

    The anti-Jewish campaign was presum-ably set in motion by Stalin as a pretext to dismiss and replace Lavrenty Beria his close aide, and prosecute some other Soviet leaders, and to launch a massive purge within the Communist Party, and, according to some, even to prepare and consolidate the country for a future World War III.

   In 1951, (MGB) the Soviet Secret Police investigator Mikhail Ryu-min reported to his superior, Viktor Aba-kumov, Minister of the MGB, that Professor Yakov Etinger, who was arrested as a “bourgeois nationalist” with connections to the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, had in fact committed malpractice in treating Andrei Zhdanov (died in 1948) and Alexander Shcherbakov (died in 1945), and allegedly had done so with the intention of killing them. However, Abakumov the minister, refused to believe the story. Etinger later died in prison on 2nd March 1951 due to interrogations and harsh conditions. Mikhail Ryumin was then dismissed from his position in the MGB for misappropriating money and was held responsible for the death of Etinger. With the assistance of Georgy Malenkov a Soviet politician who briefly succeeded Joseph Stalin, Ryumin wrote a letter to Stalin, accusing Viktor Abakumov of killing Etinger in order to hide a conspiracy to kill the Soviet leadership. On 4 July 1951, the Politburo set up a commission (headed by Malenkov and Beria) to investigate the issue. Based on the commission’s report, the Politburo soon passed a resolution on the “bad situation in the MGB” and Abakumov was fired. Later both Beria and Malenkov tried to use the situation to expand their power through gaining control of the MGB.

    Abakumov was arrested and tortured soon after being dismissed as head of the MGB. He was charged with being a sympathizer and protector of the criminal Jewish underground. This arrest was followed by the arrests of many agents who worked for him in the central apparatus of the MGB, including most Jews.

    In December 1952, Stalin accused a large group of Jewish doctors, along with the minister of security Viktor Aba-kumov, and the head of the Kremlin Guards Nikolai Vlasik, and others of having participated in Zhdanov’s murder. The basis of this accusation was a letter written by Lidia Timashuk, the head of the Kremlin hospital’s, cardiographic unit, to Nikolai Vlasik, dated 29 August 1948, in which she warned that the doctors underestimated “the unquestionably grave condition of comrade Zhdanov,” and that “this regimen may lead to a fateful outcome.” Stalin claimed that this letter had been withheld from him by Abakumov. In January 1953, articles in Pravda and Izvestiia exposed the so-called “plot of the doctor-wreckers,” causing worldwide concern about the fate of Soviet Jews.

    From 1948 to 1952, Stalin schemed carefully to give the accusation credibility. Contrary to the legend, he did not discover Timashuk’s letter in December 1952. Rather, he had received it one day after it was sent and had filed it in his personal archive. He signed the document and wrote “archive” across the bottom. Among the doctors Lidia Timashuk accused none were Jewish. No conclusive evidence proved Timashuk’s charge of medical malpractice, but circumstantial evidence suggested that the doctors facilitated Zhdanov’s death, quite plausibly with Stalin’s approval.

    The plot assumed a Jewish character only after the death of the prominent Jewish doctor Iakov Etinger, arrested in November 1950 as part of the liquidation of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Etinger died under mysterious circumstances in prison in March 1951. In July 1951, without any evidence, a “Secret Letter” composed by the Central Committee at Stalin’s behest alleged that Etinger had confessed to the medical murder in 1945 to the Central Committee secretary Aleksandr Shcherbakov; that this assassination was the work not of Etinger alone, but of a “conspiratorial group” of doctors; and that Victor Abakumov was implicated in the affair.

    From July 1951, when this “Secret Letter” was disseminated, to November 1952, the Ministry of State Security (MGB) sought to establish the specifically Jewish nature of the conspiracy by connecting the death of Zhdanov with the alleged confessions of Etinger.

    A key element in this was the effort to link Abakumov with the “Jewish conspiracy” and to prove that the conspiracy was directed by the American government. Abakumov was arrested in July 1951.

    The core group of 37 doctors (and their wives) arrested between 1951 and January 1953, when the “Plot” vastly expanded, included only 17 Jews. Many others were added between January and March 1953.

    In which a large number of prominent Jewish doctors were arrested. The interrogations of the doctors, were accompanied by torture, sought to establish links within a widespread conspiracy involving Jewish nationalists, and the American government.

    The reasons for Stalin’s actions are traceable to circumstances at the end of World War II: the onset of the cold war; Stalin’s failing physical condition; his desire to prevent the rise of any of his lieutenants to too dominant a role, particularly as undisputed heir apparent; and a revival of international Jewish solidarity associated with the founding of the State of Israel. Soon after the victory over Hitler, Stalin suffered some kind of physical collapse, which necessitated long periods of recovery in his Crimean residence. The exact nature of Stalin’s physical ailment is not known. This left Molotov and other members of the Politburo in charge of the daily affairs of the Soviet state. Western media speculated that Molotov would soon succeed Stalin. Molotov gave reason to believe that he favoured closer relations with the Western powers as well as a relaxation of censorship. Stalin criticized him bitterly for this, calling both him and Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan in December 1952 subversive.

    Upon Stalin’s death, the Doctors’ Plot was repudiated by Soviet authorities. The doctors were released from prison and rehabilitated, and those who put them in prison were themselves incarcerated. Eventually most of the latter were shot. Beria accused Mikhail Riumin, former deputy minister of the MGB, of having concocted the Doctors’ Plot out of opportunism. However, only Stalin had the comprehensive vision to guide the conspiracy from the Kremlin Hospital to the Ministry of Security to the Politburo and Central Committee, culminating in a possible nuclear confrontation with the United States.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is a famous quote. I end with that. Goodbye and see you next week.

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 & QUOTES: SALE OF ALASKA: A LESSON FOR THE WORLD

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Flora and fauna are generally visible in the treasures of mother earth whereas, mines and minerals need to be dug out, in other words they need to be discovered. To simplify, what is overt is known to all. But what is covert needs to be discovered. “No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” said Isaac Newton. That brings me to the story of Alaska. The purchase of Alaska or the sale of Alaska was, United States’ acquisition of Alaska from the Russian Empire. Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867, through a treaty ratified by the United States Senate and signed by President Andrew Johnson.

    History corroborates that Russia had established a considerable presence in North America during the first half of the seventeenth century, but few Russians ever settled in Alaska. In the aftermath of the Crimean War, Emperor Alexander II of Russia began exploring the possibility of selling Alaska, as it would have been difficult to defend it from Britain and other countries in the event of any future war. After the end of the American Civil War, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward entered into negotiations with Russian minister Eduard de Stoeckl for the purchase of Alaska. Seward and Stoeckl both agreed to a treaty on March 30, 1867. The treaty was approved by the United States Senate by a wide margin despite clashes between President Johnson and Congress over the sanity of its purchase.

    The purchase of Alaska added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory to the United States for the cost of $7.2 million. Say 2 cents per acre. Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mostly positive, as many believed possession of Alaska would serve as a base to expand and facilitate American trade into Asia. However, some opponents labelled the purchase as “Seward’s Folly“, or “Seward’s Icebox,” as they contended that the United States had acquired useless land mass that’ll not be of much use to the US in times to come.

    But Seward could prophesy. Or he could measure the future potential of Alaska and its future usefulness in the opportunities arising in the US. He knew Alaska’s potential and could visualise how USA will benefit with Alaska’s resources and strategic position in the globe. Over the decades, exploration led to the discovery of gold, oil and rich minerals, along with the world’s most abundant fisheries. And so decades later, Seward was posthumously vindicated.

    In the summer of 1899, gold was finally struck around Nome in west Alaska. That brings me to the point: Check what lies underground. For what lies underground could just be another gold mine just as Alaska. And on hindsight when we look back we find both, the Secretary of the State, William Seward and the United States of America, look like outright heroes, as compared to the Russian minister Eduard de Stoeckl  and Russia itself who look pale in front of them.

    In world history there have been many instances even after 1867 (when America purchased Alaska), where countries have divested their territories in settlement of disputes, and rogue countries have grabbed territories of civilised countries, names of which are pretty obvious and are available in history texts.  And why go anywhere else. Even India, was partitioned on the ground of religion, which the citizenry of India has not been able to reconcile to even after seventy years. But the case of Alaska was truly different where an Emperor on the possibility of a future war divested Alaska-then part of the North American Continent for a pittance without studying what lies underground.  

    This conveys an important lesson to our posterity and that is, underground is as important as over ground. Metaphorically also, what lies in our innate conscience is equally important to your external personality.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

MIRAGE

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

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

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES 49: THE BERLIN WALL

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Berlin wall is the wall that divided the world. More than a physical barrier the Berlin wall stood as a solid political and ideological symbol of the divide between a democratic Western Germany and a Communist Eastern Germany. Looking back on the rise and fall of the Berlin wall 30 years on:

WHAT WAS BERLIN WALL

    A guarded concrete wall that physically and ideologically divided Germany’s capital, the Berlin wall stood tall between 1961 and 1989.

    Construction of the wall commenced on August 13, 1961, by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to ensure, people from East Germany did not emigrate to West Germany. The wall finally fell on November 9, 1989 after East Germany declared all the crossing points along the wall open.

BACKDROP TO THE BUILDING OF THE WALL

    In 1949 a war torn Germany formally split into two independent nations—The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic—with the FDR allied to the Western Democracies led by the US and the GDR allied to the Soviet Union led by Russia. These superpowers had growing geopolitical tension between them, in what is today known as the cold-war. The city of Berlin, was at the centre of this heated split, with one part under the eastern bloc and the remaining three with the west under US, Britain and France.

    Needless to say that the ideologies of the two power blocs were enforced on the Germans, with East Germany following communism and the west following a democratic approach.

WHY WAS THE WALL BUILT

    Free flow of people between the two parts was allowed through Berlin as East Germany had sealed its mainland border from the west along the Elbe River and the mountains of Harz with barbed wire and fire-zones.

    As time passed, many people from East Germany migrated to the West in search of better jobs and infrastructure.

    One in six people fled from the east to the west. This irked the GDR as its economy was deeply affected due to this ‘brain-drain.’ Thus in a bid to halt this migration, East German Communists were given the permission by Moscow to close the border and build a physical barrier along it.

    With information from their informers in the western part, that the west will not react, East German Police in a top-secret operation, established a human cordon along the border with West Berlin. The border forces then went on to build a solid breeze block wall topped with barbed-wire from what was earlier just a wire-mesh fence.

THE WALL AND ATTEMPTS TO CROSS IT

    The Berlin Wall was more than 140 kilometres long. The houses contained between the fences were razed and the inhabitants relocated, thus establishing what later became known as the death strip. The death strip was covered with raked sand or gravel, rendering footprints easy to notice, easing the detection of trespassers and also enabling officers to see which guards had neglected their task. It offered no cover, and, most importantly, it offered clear fields of fire for the Wall guards.

    The top of the wall was lined with a smooth pipe, intended to make it more difficult to scale. The Wall was reinforced by mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, dogs on long lines, “beds of nails” (also known as “Stalin’s Carpet”) under balconies hanging over the “death strip”, there were over 116 watchtowers, and 20 bunkers with hundreds of guards. This version of the Wall is the one most commonly seen in photographs, and the surviving fragments of the Wall in Berlin and elsewhere around the world are generally pieces of the fourth-generation Wall.

    There were nine border crossings between East and West Berlin. These allowed visits by West Berliners, other West Germans, Western foreigners and Allied personnel into East Berlin, as well as visits by GDR citizens and citizens of other socialist countries into West Berlin, provided that they held the necessary permits.

FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

    Things started to deteriorate for the Eastern Bloc in the 1980s with the start of an energy crisis and political struggle within the bloc. Rising civil unrest also put pressure on the East German Government. However, what started the downfall of the GDR was the fail of the ‘Íron Curtain’ between Hungary and Austria. The opening of that border led to several East Germans migrating to West Germany through Hungary. However, this attempt was quickly blocked, but East Germans began to camp at the West German embassies across the Eastern Bloc and refused to return. Meanwhile, demonstrations began within East Germany in full swing.

    East Germany was pressurised to relax some of its regulations on travel to West Germany. On November 9, 1989, at a press conference to announce the same an East German spokesman Gunter Schabowski announced that East Germans would be free to travel into West Germany, starting immediately. However, he failed to clarify that some regulations would still apply. This led to the western media reporting that the border had been opened, leading to large crowds gathering at either sides of the checkpoints. Eventually, passports checks were abandoned and people crossed the border unrestricted. The evening on November 9, 1989 is known as the night the wall came down.

    The Berlin wall had fallen and this fall marked the beginning of the unification of Germany which took place on October 3, 1990.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

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BRIEF HISTORY OF NEW YORK

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    New York is the world’s first megacity. Most people know New York. Nevertheless let me tell you a few interesting facts about it.

    New York has always been a city of superlatives and first—the richest, most populated, most diverse, most innovative, home to the world’s longest bridge, tallest skyscraper, largest public park, most elaborate subway system, the first to have electricity, telephones, potato chips, pneumatic railway, teddy bears, credit cards, air-conditioning, Silicon Valley and Scrabble, among other things. It has attracted business people and artists, rich and poor, and privileged and persecuted. Today, let’s look at the journey of this vibrant city.

BORN FROM A SHEET OF ICE!

    New York originated when a massive sheet of ice started melting, some 12,000 years ago. Pine trees and grasses grew as the climate became warmer. Woolly mammoths, bison, bears and other large land mammals, as well as hunter-gatherers appeared. As many as 3,000 years later, those animals and humans vanished. The melting ice caused oceans to rise, turning valleys into estuaries and forming new islands and peninsulas. Soon, a new generation of human beings who called themselves “Lenape” arrived. Initially, they lived off deer, fish, nuts, berries and fruits. And about 1,000 years ago, they started growing their own food.

    In the 16th Century, Italian navigator Giovanni da Verazzano set out to find a shorter route to India and China. His quest was unsuccessful but it motivated other explorations, many of which ended up in Lenape-hoking. (Lenape-hoking is a term for the lands historically inhabited by the Native American people known as the Lenape in what is now the Mid-Atlantic United States), where the explorers started selling furs from Canada and Russia, as well as kettles, blankets, hoes, knives, etc., to the Lenape. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an English sailor, claimed an area up the North River (now the Hudson) for the Dutch East India Company. This area, was named New Amsterdam, and became a Dutch trading post in 1624.

    BOUGHT WITH GLASS BEADS

    In 1626, Dutch colonial governor Peter Minuit purchased New Amsterdam from the Lenape tribe, allegedly for glass beads worth $24. New Amsterdam’s population was just 1,500 people then, and included Dutch, Belgians, French and English. Dutch farmers built the earliest settlements. Jews and African slaves soon arrived, and by the 18th Century, it was an upmarket address. The Dutch eventually lost New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York in honour of the Duke of York.

    In 1700, New York’s population was just 5,000 but it was growing rapidly. It multiplied 12 times within a century, and New York became an important trading hub with a slave-labour-driven economy. In 1785—almost 10 years after a failed attempt at achieving freedom from the British, and 13 years after the Great Fire of New York—President George Washington declared New York the largest city in the US, the capital of free America. (The capital shifted to Philadelphia later that year.) The Bank of New York was founded in 1784 and the New York Stock Exchange, in 1792.

    By 1810, New York was a major cotton trading port, and by 1817, thanks to the completion of the Erie Canal from Hudson river to Lake Erie, it was the undisputed trading capital with a population approaching 1,23,000. In the manner of rapidly growing urban spaces, the city’s growth was haphazard. To combat that, the governor appointed a commission to plan the layout of the city. In 1811, the “Commissioner’s Plan” proposed a neat, grid-like arrangement of streets and avenues for the entire city, including Manhattan. By the 1830s, the population swelled to 3,12,000 and efforts were initiated to provide clean water. The New York Police Department was established in 1844.

    THE 10-MILLION MARK

    Between 1892 and 1924, more than 12 million immigrants, arrived from Ireland, Germany, Europe, Asia and other places, and passed through New York and “settled” in the U.S.—forming communities, starting businesses and building places of worship. It was relatively recent, in the 20th century, that New York City took its present shape. Geographically, the city is situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbours and is composed of five boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. Each borough is a county in the State of New York. In 1895, the citizens of all five counties unanimously voted to merge with Manhattan to form Greater New York. Before the counties united, New York’s population was roughly two million people. After the merger, it increased to three million. By the 1920s, it had overtaken London, and by the 1930s, it had crossed the 10-million mark to become the first megacity in the world.

    The US economy, suffering after the Great Depression in the 1930s, picked up, because of increased wartime spending during World War II, and New York became the world’s leading city. Wall Street consolidated the country’s position in the global economy.

THE CITY TODAY

    New York continues to cope successfully with the pressures of explosive growth. The increased crime rates due to job losses triggered by industrial restructuring in the 1970s and 80s were effectively controlled by the 1990s. The 24-hour rapid transport system, buses, ferries and taxis continue to support the population that needs to be constantly on the move. Streets, expressways and nearly 2,000 bridges and tunnels—many of which are internationally acclaimed engineering marvels—link the various boroughs, supporting vehicles and pedestrians. The sprawling 843-acre Central Park, the New York Botanical Gardens, lavish baseball, soccer and basketball stadiums, internationally renowned museums, cultural institutions and historic sites, as well as Broadway—the dream destination for every theatre professional—provide open spaces as well as physical and intellectual stimulation.

    New York, symbolised by the iconic Manhattan skyline, altered, after 9/11, yet continues to be the world’s financial and architectural hub. It has something for everyone.

ACTIVITY

    The Empire State Building and Times Square are iconic spots in New York.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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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)

(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)

*****