THE NEW AGE BY MUNEETA ANEJA

The Fearless Voice of this new-age World

muneetaaneja.com brings you the latest news, breaking bulletins & exclusive scoops from India and all across the world on International Affairs, Business, Politics, Ancient India, Fashion & Lifestyle, travelogues, Mental health & body positivity. Founded by Muneeta Aneja, Editor-in-Chief of "The New Age by Muneeta Aneja", to present you with the honest & fearless face of Journalism. Subscribe right now to get the latest updates from our News portal cum fun E-magazine. 


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BREAKING NEWS BULLETINS:

HEADLINES TODAY

 

AN EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 8.2 ON THE RICHTER SCALE OCCURRED 91 KM EAST-SOUTHEAST OF PERRYVILLE IN ALASKA: USGS

MORE THAN 47.48 CRORE VACCINE DOSES HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO STATES/UTS SO FAR, AND ADDITIONAL 53,05,260 DOSES ARE IN PIPELINE. OF THIS, TOTAL CONSUMPTION INCLUDING WASTAGE IS 44,74,97,240

DOSES: UNION HEALTH MINISTRY, INDIA. 

WORKERS AT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, A

VIDEO GAME COMPANY RENOWNED FOR TITLES LIKE CALL OF DUTY AND WORLD OF WARCRAFT STAGED A WALKOUT TO DEMAND BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS FOR WOMEN AND OTHER MARGINALIZED GROUPS & TO PROTEST THE COMPANY'S DISMISSIVE RESPONSE TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION LAWSUITS.

JAMMU & KASHMIR | RESCUE OPERATION & RESTORATION WORK PROCEEDS IN THE HONZAR DACHHAN AREA OF KISHTWAR DISTRICT, FOLLOWING THE CLOUDBURST. 7 PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES, 12 WERE INJURED & 19 PEOPLE REMAIN MISSING. ANI

UTTAR PRADESH BECOMES THE SECOND INDIAN STATE AFTER ASSAM TO PUSH LEGISLATIONS CONCERNING THE TWO CHILD POLICY.


THE PROPOSED POPULATION CONTROL BILL ENLISTS PROVISIONS TO DEBAR COUPLES WITH MORE THAN TWO CHILDREN FROM CONTESTING LOCAL POLLS, RECEIVING GOVERNMENT BENEFITS OR SUBSIDIES, BARRING THEM FROM APPLYING FOR STATE GOVERNMENT JOBS AND SEEKING PROMOTION.

COMPLETE LOCKDOWN TO BE IMPOSED IN THE STATE OF KERALA ON 31ST JULY AND 1ST AUGUST AMID SURGING COVID19 CASES.

OPPOSITION MPS PROTEST OVER THE

PEGASUS ISSUE IN LOK SABHA DURING THE ZERO HOUR.

TWO ROCKETS FIRED NEAR US EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD: AFP NEWS AGENCY

RESEARCHERS HAVE CLAIMED THAT THE RECENT HEATWAVE ALONG CANADA'S PACIFIC COAST HAS KILLED NEARLY 1 BILLION MARINE ANIMALS INCLUDING MUSSELS AND SEA STARS.

THE AIRPORTS ECONOMIC REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF INDIA (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021 PASSED IN LOK SABHA.

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THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT EXPLAINED & SIMPLIFIED:

Breaking down the events in a chronological manner: By Muneeta Aneja

For the three major religions of this world, Jerusalem is no less than a divine paradise, the centre of this world. The footprints of some of the greatest souls to ever exist on the earth's surface are still imprinted on the soil of this holy land: A place so rich with the historic tales of clashing civilizations and empires, myriad diversity of culture and heritage, and the undefeated pride of the faith and their believers.

THE CITY OF MANY NAMES: BUT NO SOLE PROPRIETOR:

Jerusalem is a living paradox of contradictions, where people of various faiths co-exist but still don't co-exist together, transforming itself into a battlefield amongst the Abrahamic religions. This is the city of many names: Cannan, Judah, Judaea, Isreal, Palestine, the Holy land to Christians, the Promised land to Jews, but no sole proprietor.

UNVEILING THE ANCIENT HISTORY:

WHY IS JERUSALEM CONSIDERED SACRED BY THESE RELIGIONS?

For Jews, Jerusalem is the sacred place where their grand temples stood before being destroyed by the wrath of up roaring empires. It is the only region on earth, they can truly call their own. For Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque stands gloriously amid the centre of this earth: their third most religious shrine, which is linked in the Quran to the tale of the night journey of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem. For Christians, it is the sacred place of the birth and crucifixion of their Central Figure, Jesus Christ.

THE CITY'S EARLIEST MENTION  IN THE BIBLE:

Abraham is the common founding father of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. According to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, Abraham was the founding patriarch of the Hebrews, who is depicted travelling from Ur (in present-day Iraq) to settle in Hebron. He was welcomed by Melchizedek, the priest-king of Salem in the name of El-Elyon, the Highest God. This is the city's earliest mention in the Bible, which suggests that Jerusalem was already a Canaanite shrine ruled by priest-kings, during that era.

THE LAND OF THE CLASHING CIVILIZATIONS:

THE FIRST TEMPLE:

In 1000 BCE, King Saul established the Israelite monarchy which continued under the reign of King David and his son Solomon, who built the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem. This historical legacy became part of the Jewish claim to the land of Israel. The entire Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon 2500 years ago. This small piece of land would become the home of clashing civilizations and empires, and it would be conquered and ruled by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Egyptians, Fatimids, Seljuks, Crusaders, Mamluks and Ottomans, who'd call the region Palestine.

THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST:

King Herod built a grand Jewish temple, destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, amid the reign of the Herodian Kingdom. He was a first-century Jewish preacher, religious leader, and the central figure of Christianity, the world's largest religion.

Now, when you've understood the ancient religioius basics, lets fast forward to 1900 years

  • THE BRITISH ROLE: BALFOUR DECLARATION:

  • THE EMERGENCE OF ZIONISM:

By the 1880s a vast majority of Jews started emigrating back to the promised land in Ottoman-controlled Palestine, due to the oppression they were facing in Europe. By 1914, there were more than 75,000 Jews in the region. After World War 1, Great Britain took control of Modern Day Israel, Palestine and Jordan from the Ottoman Empire. In 1922, the League of Nations approved a British declaration that promised a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, known as the Balfour declaration.

The statement came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community. It increased the support for Zionism worldwide: the right of Jews to have their own homeland and became a crucial component of the British Mandate for Palestine. Therefore, this controversial declaration is
considered a major cause of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

THE DECLARATION OF CONTROVERSIES & VAGUE PROMISES:

THE MAJOR CAUSE BEHIND THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT:

"If you see two fish fighting in the water you can be sure an English man passed by 5 minutes ago."

When the declaration was released, Britain had already promised the Arabs freedom from the Ottoman Empire in the 1915 Hussein-McMahon correspondence. On the other hand, they also promised the French, in a separate treaty of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, that the majority of Palestine would be under international administration, while the rest of the region would be split between the two colonial powers post-war.


The declaration also asserted the term "national home" for the Jewish people, and not the word "state”, which left a lot of questions unanswered for the rest of the Israeli-Palestinian life.

WORLD WAR II & THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST:

During the British Mandate of Palestine from 1922 to 1947, a large number of Jewish emigrants, migrated to Palestine, primarily from Eastern Europe. The numbers kept pouring post the 1930's, as millions of Jews fled the Nazi persecution to seek a homeland amid the brutal holocaust of World war II, which led to the execution of more than 6 million Jews and millions being displaced.

THE UN PARTITION PLAN:-

In 1947, the United Nations decided to divide Palestine into a separate Jewish state of Israel and the Arab State of Palestine with Jerusalem becoming an international city. Israel accepted the partition pact and borders were chalked out for both states, but many Arab residents thought that the partition was favouring Jews in a biased manner and thus they rejected the plan.

ISRAEL ATTAINS STATEHOOD:

On May 14,1948, the State of Israel was established with David Ben Gurion as its Prime Minister. Soon after, the Arab League, a group of surrounding Arab countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen) rejected the partition and attacked. Israel fought back and after 9 months of conflict, their armed forces occupied a majority of the land designated to become the Arab State of Palestine. Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Transjordan took control of the West Bank. The original plan for a Palestinian state was scrapped and tossed off.

THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE OR THE CATASTROPHE?

This historic event marked a victory for many Jews and is remembered as the War of Independence in Hebrew but approximately 7,20,000 Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in what they call Al-Nakba, or the "Catastrophe". Most of them took refuge in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.

THE SIX-DAY WAR:

The Six-Day war was the third major Arab-Israeli war, that ignited on June 5, 1967, and reached its climax on June 10, the same year. This short term war transformed geographical borders and political fortunes in the Middle East. For Israelites, the 1967 victory symbolized an expanded country that included East Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula. But for Palestinians, it meant occupation and more displacement.

The war caused widespread displacements with over a million refugees from West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights being forced to flee. Up till now, one of the major causes of discord among Israel and Palestine is the return and rehabilitation of families which fled, a demand that Israel refuses to consider and Palestine refuses to withdraw.

HANDING OVER GAZA STRIP & THE ARRIVAL OF HAMAS:

Israel handed over the governmental control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and removed its soldiers and settlers by 2005. This whole process culminated in the Palestinian Authority calling an election in 2006. In 2006, a militant Sunni Islamist group Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

Hamas won a parliamentary majority because the Palestinians were fed up with the corrupt practices of the rival Fatah party.  The group has also faced resistance, and its popularity has declined with the never-ending bloodshed that Gazans had to face.

CHALLENGES TO PEACE:

There are many challenges in achieving Israel and Palestine peace, with the major concern being the unclear status of Jerusalem. Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Secondly,  the continuous increase in
Jewish Settlements across the Palestinian region remains a primary cause of dispute. The right of refugees is hard to define. Above all, Extremists from both ends play their role with hatred evoking speeches from time to time.

THE WAR EXCEEDING CENTURIES:

The borders of Israel are clearly defined but the borders of Palestine are hard to determine. Palestine includes the West Bank & Gaza Strip, however, control of this region is complex and constantly evolving. Palestine's history is drenched in bloodshed, displacement and instability. The Israel-Palestine Conflict has lasted for more than a century now and seems to be nowhere near a solution. Tensions remain escalated between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.

In 2007, Hamas asserted for the creation of a Palestine state using 1967 borders, but it refused to formally recognise Israel as a state, and therefore the plan was not accepted by the Israelites. At present, Palestine continues to fight for its statehood, with Israelites continuously proceeding to create settlements in the West Bank.

BROTHERS OF THE SAME SOIL:
Jerusalem is not just the saga of revolts and conspiracies, but it is the story of the restoration of faith. In the present Day world, It is the story of the Jews and the Palestinians who have suffered each other's wrath equally. The religions fight for their respective holy lands, the extremists try to ignite the fire, the political forces play their games, but the heart and soul of the people residing in this region still remains the same.

The two groups can continue to blame each other for life, just like any other state amidst border tensions would, but the problem stays mutual and has to be handled with tact, rather than religious or political extremism. In the end, they are brothers of the same soil. A two state solution remains the best future prospect for peace, but only time will reveal when that happens.

 
Image by Sylwia Bartyzel

WHERE IS OUR PROMISED LAND?

Special editorial by Muneeta Aneja

Do you know from where does the word politician come from? The first records of the word politician arrive from the late 15th century, derived from the Greek word polītikós, which means “civil” and is related to the Greek polī́t(ēs), “citizen.” How come some of the most uncivil people on this earth or the unethical people who use the most uncivil methods on this planet for their unclad game of superiority and power, became politicians- the civil ones? Such an irony right! 

India as one of the fastest developing nations, with myriad hues of diversity has always left its impression of celebrated secularity across the globe.

My heart breaks into tiny little pieces when I witness the soul of my country turning into ashes within seconds with the mere politics of divide and rule for a larger vote bank.  


PROVOCATIVE SPEECHES > STRONG DEVELOPMENT ORIENTED ELECTION MANIFESTO:

First of all, who gave any one political party, entity or individual- a monopoly over the country's religious sentiments. And it's not just one party, we have a multi-party system in India, some strong ones at the centre and some regional parties with a stronghold in their respective states. Instead of contesting elections with a strong election manifesto of development with improved infrastructure, increasing happiness index, pure water supply, the best of health and educational facilities, the majority of their campaigning revolves around making high-end provocative speeches (Thanks to their PR team) to evoke socio-religious sentiments among the masses. 


Honestly speaking, Indians are not as rational compared to their western counterparts in terms of decision making. They are emotional and aggressive and it's quite easy to win them over few words that ignite their fuel and boil their blood. With the changing political scenario in India, I have observed one thing clearly- neither the left is right, nor the right is right & I have no idea where the centre is!


Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal and Delhi present us with mere examples of political unrest, vandalism, leaked phone taps, mind-boggling conspiracies, MLA's at sale, death threats, communal hatred, use of derogatory language amid campaigning, deployment of national investigative agencies to fulfil the party's agenda.  Which political party is concerned about real issues like unemployment, poverty or Covid-19 cases spiking up in the nation? They are simply concerned about winning elections, even if it demands them to climb up and stand on the pile of mounted dead bodies. 


WATCHING A THRILLER SOAP OPERA?


What are we as the citizens of India accomplishing here? Watching a high-end soap opera with dramatic ups and downs! When we say India: Bharat: Hindustan- what do we mean?

We mean the people of this nation, who are guaranteed an equal status in the society and a set of fundamental rights by the Indian constitution. Gandhi Jee fought till his last breath, to bridge the differences between Hindu and Muslims. We call him the father of the nation, watch his face in every currency we hold and still tend to forget the principles he preached throughout his life. 


THE OLD BENGAL WHICH STARTED THE WAVES OF CONTEMPORARY CHANGE:


Bengal: a state which presents us with an image of some revolutionary minds like Aurobindo Ghosh, the brilliant Subhash Chandra Bose, the father of Indian Renaissance- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the Nobel Laureate in Literature himself- Rabindranath Tagore and the infinite number of journalists and editors who published their articles from Bengal. How can we witness Bengal in such a broken state right now? Let me remind you again, freedom fighters have died and laid down their lives to endow us with the gift of an Independent India. Do you have any idea, to what extent are we hurting the departed souls by indulging in this bloodshed for petty politics and communal riots? 


YOU CALL THIS DEMOCRACY?


Speaking about a very unfortunate incident that took place in Nimta, where an 84-year-old woman finally succumbed to her injuries on Monday. Nimta BJP leader Gopal Majumdar’s mother, Shova Rani Majumdar, died at home after she was treated at a nursing home for 23 days following the February 27 assault. 


Concerning Gopal’s complaint, police registered an FIR against five people and arrested them, while submitting a charge sheet to the Barrackpore court on March 4th. Gopal alleges that the five broke into their home on February 27th and frightened him because he was “working for BJP” when Shova Rani protested against it, she was brutally assaulted. This was one side of the story. 


Now the second side led by the  Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy refused any kind of party link with the incident. He affirmed that “It was a mere trouble with neighbours, which is now being politicised,”. North Dum Dum (Town) Trinamool Congress president Bidhan Biswas, also assured that the five were not linked to “Trinamool”.


This is not the first political protest, communal riot or a serious case of vandalization in West Bengal. It's a routine now. The aggressive workers of both the political parties make sure to transform the city of Joy into a living hell for the people of the state. 


A TRIP TO THE MOON, ONLY IF WE VOTE FOR THE DUSTBIN:


Switching to a light-hearted topic, to ensure that my audience stays sane while reading this article. Let's visit Tamil Nadu for a while. Aah, I can see those long coconut trees and feel the aroma of filtered coffee served in a stainless steel glass. Wonderful right? Do you know what will make this even more wonderful? 


An Independent candidate, "Thulam Saravanan" belonging to the Madurai South constituency has promised a Moon trip, helicopters, robots to take care of household chores, infinite gold and a car if he gets elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

And you know what the irony is, he is contesting on the symbol of a Dustbin. Interestingly, India has become a hometown for ironies like this. My vote goes to this man, and if he doesn't fulfil his promises after getting elected, We all know, what to do with the dustbin!


MONEY & MUSCLE POWER & FREEBIES PLEASE:-


This is not the first time that money and muscle power have assumed a more significant role than development plans in India. Freebies are a commonly practised ritual here during election campaigning. So far, free liquor stays the best freebie followed by hard cash and sometimes blankets and shawls, only if the Indian media channels are called by the PR team, to witness, capture and publicise a once in a lifetime scene. I have no idea if they take those blankets back, anyways I won't give mine.


38 FARMERS COMMIT SUICIDE EVERY DAY. NOT AN ISSUE? 


Now let's get back to where my heart is: Our Indian farmers work recklessly in their fields throughout harsh conditions to ensure that no one in this nation sleeps empty stomach. I am not against the laws, but I am against the ignorance and apathy, that the farmers have been facing for the past 4 months at the national capital's Singhu and Tikri Border. More than 250 farmers have lost their lives while protesting for the repeal of the three new agricultural laws passed by the Centre. 


Over 3.6 lakh Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995 concerning the wretched state of Indian agriculture. This estimates an average of 38 farmer suicides every single day for the last 26 years! But this is India, we don't talk about the 38 farmers dying every day or the martyred soldiers. No, we don't talk about that and even if we do, it's merely for half an hour. 


Why don't we write #Justicefor38farmersdying every day or #RIP38farmerslosinglives? Why are we not bringing this twitter trend? Why are we not posting the pictures of the martyred soldiers and armed forces who gave up their life for us? What kind of hypocrisy are we practising over here?


How many of you have contributed to the families of the martyred CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulgama Attack? How many of you have started boycotting Journalists like Arnab Goswami who use words like "We won like crazy this time" and "Good for the Big man" or you still want to hear those words: The Nation Wants To Know! With all due respect sir, THE NATION ALREADY KNOWS.


MAHA-KHICHRI BEYOND EVERYONE'S IMAGINATION:-


For Maharashtra, things have got too fishy and messy as if the spurting Covid-19 stats were not enough. It all started with two vehicles, a Scorpio in which explosives were placed and an Innova tailing it, bearing fake number plates found near the industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence and the subsequent murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.


The Centre immediately deployed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe into the matter. Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze was taken into custody by the NIA on March 13th. After much probing of the Ambani Bomb Scare case, the NIA has revealed that the arrested Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze's personal driver drove the explosives-laden Scorpio and parked it outside 'Antilia' on February 25.


The NIA officials affirmed that to destroy the shreds of evidence, two DVRs from police headquarters and Saket society were destroyed respectively. Not just this bitter centre and state feud is distracting the government from the core issues but is also destroying the autonomous structure of federalism by using the central Investigative agencies now and then.


Furthermore, a shocking revelation was made by the former Mumbai Police Chief Parambir Singh’s petition, demanding an investigation against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh for allegedly demanding collection of 100 crore rupees as extortion money. Concerning the matter, Maharashtra Government has appointed Retd. Justice Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal to look into these allegations. The investigation will confirm if the purported conversations between the former top cop and ACP Sanjay Patil and suspended police officer Sachin Vaze are true or not.



DIVIDE AND CONQUER:


Where are the political leaders who make false promises to us before getting elected & then never place their feet on the ground? Where is our

promised land? Is India an idealized nation any more or our leaders are playing the same divide & rule policy with us as the colonials did. I leave it up to you to decide.

 
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IS ONLINE THRIFTING THE NEW-AGE SHOPPING TREND AMONG MILLENIALS?

TOP 10 THRIFT STORES IN INDIA (PART-I) -BY MUNEETA ANEJA

Say Hello to thrifts & save money:

We all spend hundreds and thousands of bucks to look good, feel good and buy the best stuff out there, which doesn't hurt our pockets. Sometimes, we buy stuff which just hangs in there in our wardrobe. You just buy it and then you don't feel like wearing it again, maybe due to size issues or how that particular fabric looks on you! How many times have bibliophiles & book fanatics wondered that people should sell the new best sellers asap, as they have already finished the books they bought online and they are out of cash now to buy the new ones? Okay, that statement has nothing to do with me! So, why not indulge in a book swap or thrift the books, clothes, shoes, bags you don't find a purpose with. Maybe someone else needs it more than you.



REUSE AND RECYCLE:

I am hunting for sustainable options these days, whether it be about recycling my home decor stuff, or adding some glamour to my clothes and reusing them or getting rid of plastic as much as I can by switching to wooden combs, toothbrush, cloth and jute bags, ceramic, porcelain or glass for decoration purposes. Or be it about thrift-shopping. I have got no shame in accepting, that I love thrift shopping and why can't you buy good quality clothes, jewellery, hats, books, shoes without even spending 30 to 40% of its actual rate. In the 21st century, which is presently Covid-19 exposed and lockdown-oriented and we don't get to leave our houses too often. Does the idea of luxury dry cleaned clothes dropping by at your doorstep, seems like the wrong one?



WHAT IS THRIFT AND WHY A THRIFT STORE?

Thrift can be defined as the quality of using money and resources carefully and not wastefully. I was amazed to glimpse such wonderful dresses from branded stores in my size available with these peeps, trying their best to ensure that we don't end up in a garbage bag piled up with all the clothes, shoes and bags we dump annually, take it for granted or simply don't wear.

Either you give it to someone who's needy or if you have a lot of them, and you have the charisma to pull off a virtual thrift store and manage a digital empire, then start taking notes already.



BENEFITS OF THRIFT SHOPPING!

The first benefit is, I am adding a new luxury piece to my wardrobe or a new book to my bookshelf and the second benefit is, I am saving lots of money. So instead of buying just one top with the same amount, I can buy three-four tops easily in that exact amount. Duh, I'll change my outfit every 6 hours, just to show the world- I have such a glorious wardrobe. Thirdly, by getting something from thrift stores, you are promoting the concept of environmental recycling, so think about that!

TOP 10 INDIAN THRIFT STORES-PART I 

Personally curated list by the fashion editorial team of The New Age by Muneeta Aneja:-

Our fashion team from The New Age by Muneeta Aneja has handpicked 10 of the best thrift stores with a great variety of deals, discounts, budget-friendly prices, diversity of collection and clearances and you should check out their insta stores and pamper yourself with lots of gifts. We also had a candid discussion with these thrift shop owners and tried to take their perspective on the entire thrifting scenario in India and its scope in future.

SHOP: @THE.STYLE.LOFT


While Interacting with Akitoli and Tokaholi: the owners of The Style Loft, revealed that they always wanted to start a business, and with the influx of thrift culture at present, they decided to go with the flow. As sustainable fashion is what we believe in, so our ideas revolve around the same concept. She further said that All the pieces in our store are handpicked with quality as a priority so that our customers receive 100% satisfaction. You can glimpse myriad dresses, breathtaking one-pieces and outfits in their virtual store.

While maintaining an online store, they've tried their best to be responsive, quick and spontaneous with answers at any hour of the day. Talking about the Covid-19 situation, she said that with movement restrictions and isolation from social life, an online store that offers home delivery and hygienic processing, would have been appealing, convenient and hassle-free. Atikoli further said that thrift stores have opened an easy gateway for people to make money and engage in mutual benefits with reasonable prices for the other party too. Amidst Covid-19 restrictions, the safest and the cheapest way to stay in vogue via thrift shopping has become the new-age trend.

SHOP- THRIFTYNESS


Two brilliant girls run this insta store, one of them is a textile designer and another one is a digital marketing expert "What a combo right". The designer elaborated on the stage of rapidly increasing pollution due to the fashion industry. At first, they were obsessed with thrift shopping and therefore decided to start their thrift store by selling their pre-loved outfits.

Delivering Fashion with hygiene is our foremost responsibility. We wash all the products with the utmost care, iron them and maintain them in the best way possible. We also drop by a small handwritten thank you note to our customers, to make them feel extra special. We look out for trending themes and festivals and design our packages accordingly. For eg:- During Christmas, we decorated all our packages with a handmade bow and leaves.

In case, someone wants to gift something special to their loved ones, we draw something interesting on the package or put stickers on it with a note of what the sender wants to convey. We are strictly keeping up with the sustainable packaging norms and use available items at home like newspaper, cardboards, old notebook covers for packaging.

The aesthetic of our thrift store is predominantly retro and vintage shirts (unisex), we stock on winter wear and rare to find pieces that are not easily available in the market. As all the shopping complex, malls and stores were shut down amid lockdown, people started investing most of their time online and became fond of thrift stores as it was a one-stop destination to buy modern, rare and vintage clothing at such amazing prices. With people becoming more aware of how their choices will affect and shape the environment, the younger generation is getting inclined towards thrifting and that's where we can witness a bright future for thrifts in India.

SHOP-  THEQUIRKYTHRIFTS

Intending to run an insta store where people consume fashion more ethically and responsibly, the online store gives you access to thrift, pre-owned and upcycled outfits (even new ones). Priyansha, the owner of the quirky Thrifts affirms that the thrifting trend has started picking up pace since last year and a majority of Indians are switching from fast fashion to sustainable fashion. She further said that a pre-owned item is not inferior. On the contrary, many thrifted items are vintage and often higher in value.

She answers the customers' queries with utmost honesty and shares the much-needed details so that their shopping experience doesn't turn out to be disappointing. She often rewards her loyal customers with generosity. Following the Covid-19 norms, she has managed to run her business smoothly with proper sanitization and hygiene. She said that Digital Thrifting has a good scope in India as the nation is one of the leading importers of used clothes. They are further divided into two sections, the ones which can be sold and the rest of them are utilised in the production of cheap quilts, blankets, etc.

Shop - सु-Kanya        SUKANYA_THETHRIFTSTORE    

Staring at our closets, wondering to adorn it with a second chance didn't seem like a bad idea at all. The same idea became the impetus of the Sukanya thrift store. Thrifting is a fun activity to build a whole new wardrobe. She said, Our collection comprises of a variety of tops and dresses and we’re also coming up with a range of traditional clothes and artificial jewellery soon. The store is managed virtually. The pictures of the products are uploaded and the customers purchase them by contacting us through Dm or commenting on the product they like.

An outstanding customer experience keeps customers coming back while spreading the word about their shopping experience. We make sure that our customers are completely satisfied. Additionally, we take complete care of our article from cleaning, prepping and packaging. We also offer an additional 10% discount on 2 or more purchases by a single customer.

Thrifting in India has a huge scope if all the pre-existing myths are debunked. Everyone wants to seek the latest fashion trends without burning a hole in their pockets and thrifting is the best way to achieve that. It was via the platform of Instagram, basically that people became aware of thrift shopping. But, unfortunately, a part of Indian society still beholds some myths concerning thrift shopping, which affects our reach in these households.


SHOP- @THRIFTO_CITY

To promote pre-loved and once wore outfits, this store provides you with an impeccable collection of branded clothes and footwear. With a polite gesture and generous freebies at times, they have made their mark in the thrifting community. The virtual store was started by two young girls during the pre-covid Era and understanding their audience has been their topmost priority ever since. Both of them strongly believe that thrifting has a bright scope in India and it will increase at a much rapid pac, if the pre-existing stereotypes and narrow mindedness goes away.

SHOP- @THRIFT_BOMBAY


Remembering a meme where a girl lost her 30s to the pandemic and is about to lose her next 30s to climate change, these two besties emphasize the need for sustainable fashion as a crucial step towards environmental protection. Establishing their insta store in May 2020, these two boss ladies kicked off a digital empire by utilising their well-managed closets with a majority of new and unused items. Their store has dresses, pants, tops, blouses, shoes, heels and skirts. Additionally, they are trying to stock up on plus-sized outfits, as they strongly believe in the notion of Serving everyone equally.

Having a humble approach towards their customers, they believe in free shipping or shipping with minimal costs. The ordered clothes are washed, rewashed and then ironed before getting them wrapped in eco-friendly packaging. One of them said, it gets quite exhausting at times with all the photoshoots, uploads and shipping, but a single smile at the end of the day makes it worth it

Interacting about their business growth amid Covid-19, they affirmed that their insta store has grown by leaps and bounds amid the lockdown and the age-old mindset of "Why should I wear second-hand clothes" is also getting washed away with the pace of time. The current generation is aware of thrifting, as the social media influencers, creators and bloggers are also switching towards this approach these days, and are encouraging their audience to do so as well.


SHOP: NIYA THRIFT STORE


For Shreya & Shrini, owners of the Niya Thrift Store: launching a
thrift store was a conscious and much- calculated decision. Intending to play their role in a mindful fashion system to update, upgrade and clear their wardrobes, they started loving the thrifting community as a great place to be. Shreya said that they focus on transparency to build a great personal shopping experience for people. We sell various kinds of apparels,( including shirts, dresses, skirts, pants, etc) and we are always on the hunt to find unique statement pieces that might add value to our customer's wardrobe.

Shrini further said that Thrifting has been a pre-existing culture in India, but with the mainstream market and digital boom, the thrift shops have attained more credibility. She speculates that with the pace of time, consumers will become more aware and thus switch to Sustainable options and that is where thrift stores will provide them with convenience, affordability, and style. They also believe that the younger generation has a different perspective towards thrifting as compared to others.


SHOP- THE_THRIFT_BANDIT

The Thrift Bandit started as an eco-friendly virtual store where outfits breathe a new life, they get into the recycling business and the consumers have more options to choose from at lower prices. Being a sincere business, they spontaneously answer all the queries concerning the product and ship the products post dry cleaning and disinfecting them. They have a huge variety of skirts, tops, dresses and bags. Managed by two sisters, they think that thrift stores are the new age shopping centres which are reasonable and offer people with huge diversity.  They believe that people will continue thrift shopping and the taboos will be left far behind.

THRIFT STORES TO CHECK OUT FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF BOOKS:

SHOP - @_BROADBOOKTHRIFTS_

A thrift store cum initiative to provide a home to the pre-loved books, which includes books for all genre and age groups, bestsellers, classics, graphic novel, fantasy, Literary fiction, horror, detective and mystery, memoir, romance, sci-fi, kids etc. The store provides a digital platform, where people can buy the best conditioned second-hand books at minimal prices, without harming the environment.

In an interaction with our team, Aastha and Parvati stated that honesty matters the most when you are running a thrift store. To make the customers experience memorable, they package the books in an aesthetically pleasing way along with a handwritten personalised note and a bookmark. They further said that thrifting was not so common before the pandemic, people started being more active digitally amid the lockdown and the thrift store activity grew. As people are becoming more aware of the current scenario, they are gradually switching to thrifting, instead of buying something new.

Slowly and steadily people in India are realizing the need for reusing and recycling stuff, and they are taking a step forward towards sustainability, but a section of society still lives in the myth that thrifted items are ugly, dirty, used etc.

SHOP- OLD BOOKSHELF


Old Bookshelf is not a new name in the field of thrifting. They've been thrifting books and clothes for a long time and the lockdown just gave them the final push and spare time to start the insta store. While they mostly deal with novels and a few donated ones, you can also have access to/knowledgeable books, education/schooling books from grade school to MBA/Law/Nursing.

Somehow this store has managed to curate a fantastic diversity for book lovers. They've shipped books through the length and breadth of the country including Tamil Nadu, Bangalore,  J&K, Mizoram and most of the major places in between.

The virtual store believes in personalized packaging, gift wrapping to express their gratitude towards the customers.
They affirmed that people exhibited no or minimal interest in pre-loved/Thrifted products but by the end of the lockdown, they've witnessed a spurt in awareness regarding thrifted items. They strongly believe that people should switch to thrifting rather than buying new (Fast fashion) products to lower their carbon footprint. It is the need of this hour.

 
Small Street in Japan

JAPAN SETS A MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MODEL ACROSS THE GLOBE: BY MUNEETA ANEJA

Tetsushi Sakamoto appointed as

Japan's Minister of Loneliness

We all know Japan as The Land of the Rising Sun, instantly presenting us with a mental image of a nation that has never stood on the terms of giving up- no matter what. The country has faced some of the worst disasters and calamities in the past and has still managed to rebuild the nation with its hard work and determination. They have managed to restore the very foundation of their nation, amidst little being left to be restored. The same Japan which embarks on the popular beliefs of Ikigai, Wabi-Sabi, Kaizen, Ichigo-Ichie and preaches the world to be happy, is at present facing a major mental health crisis.

 

*Japan witnesses a sudden spurt in the suicide rates*

In the year 2020, Japan witnessed a spurt in the suicide rates for the first time in 11 years, especially among women. According to the data received by the Japanese National Police Agency, 2,153 citizens committed suicide, which stays higher than the 1,765 COVID-19 related deaths in the month of October 2020.


*70% increase in women suicide rate, compared to last year* 

The majority of surge witnessed in the suicide rate comprises of the women population of Japan.

879 women deaths were reported due to suicide in October 2020, with a whopping 70% increase when compared with October 2019. Michiko Ueda, a Japanese professor who studies suicide in Japan said that many single women reside alone in Japan, but a majority of them don't even have stable employment. A bunch of women are not married anymore. They have to support themselves and they lack the mental support of a permanent job as well. So, as soon as they are hit with a crisis, it impacts them deeply.  

 

This soon became the talk of the town, as we all connect Japan with the images of the popular animes, beautiful cherry blossoms, bright kimonos, smiling old faces, the endurance of their tradition and culture, and the adaption of a healthy lifestyle, leading to old-age longevity among people of the nation.


*Tetsushi Sakamoto appointed as

Japan's Minister of Loneliness*

Concerning this situation, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga appointed "Tetsushi Sakamoto" as the Minister of Loneliness" to deal with the causes of rising suicide rate and curbing measures for reducing loneliness and social isolation among the individuals. The newly appointed minister of loneliness is already handling the portfolios of Japan's declining birthrate and the promotion of regional revitalization.


*Women at a higher risk of suffering from isolation*


The Prime Minister has asserted that "Women are at a higher risk of suffering from isolation than men, and the suicide level is increasing steadily. According to a report shared by the Japan Times, Suga notified Sakamoto of his new role on February 12th and advised him to identify the problems and seeking the policy measures comprehensively. Japan's new loneliness minister has decided to hold forums to hear the concerns and issues faced by the people dealing with loneliness and isolation.

 

*UK was the first country to adopt this model and appoint a Minister of Loneliness*

Japan is not the first country to come up with an exceptional portfolio of the Minister of Loneliness. There are several nations across the globe, that have started including mental health as a priority in their agenda. Officially, The United Kingdoms was the first country to appoint a loneliness minister in 2018, concerning a 2017 report that established that more than nine million people in the UK confirmed that they often or constantly felt lonely. Australia has considered creating a similar position. But, the challenge to revive the mental health of the citizens of the nation is not an easy task to accomplish, and nations are still struggling to chalk out the proper measures to deal with it.

 

*Hikikomori: A phase of intense social isolation prevalent in Japan* 

Japan shares a history of loneliness for a long age. There's a distinct term in Japan for this phenomenon comprising of intense social isolation among people known as "hikikomori".

It is defined in the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry as people who have stayed in their home for six months or more without going to school, work or venturing out to socialize. It emerged as a mass behaviour in the 1990s and is still not classified officially as a disorder with proper treatment.

The survey found that 5,41,000 people aged between 15 to 39-years were existing in this condition, the majority of them being from the educated middle-class families. Studies reveal that loneliness has been linked to a higher risk of health issues like heart disease, dementia, and eating disorders.


The appearance of this phenomenon is not just confined to Japan. A survey conducted in 2015 indicated the prevalence of a similar pattern of cases of the hikikomori-style social reclusion in the US, China, and Spain as well.

 

*Societal pressure, psychological and cultural influences result in withdrawal symptoms among Youth*

Doctors have stated that the psychological and cultural influences result in the complete withdrawal of the younger generation from society. The condition is more prevalent among men facing extreme pressure to succeed early in life, both at school and in their careers. 

 

*They are not lazy, they are just exhausted*

People suffering from hikikomori often indulge themselves in playing video games or reading comics at home, rather than interacting or socializing with others. But psychologists have affirmed that they do not display this behaviour due to laziness.

A renowned Japanese Psychologist, Tamaki Saito has revealed in his interaction with the BBC that the condition is being “tormented in the mind. They want to go out and explore the world and make friends and forge relationships, but they can't".

 

*India comprising 2.4% of the world's geographical area shares a whopping 17% part of the global suicide rates*

Approximately 8,00,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, out of which about 1,35,000 are residents of India itself. A nation with 2.4% of the world's geographical area shares a whopping 17% part of the global suicide rates. This raises a lot of questions. Is it about the pre-existing taboos, stereotypes, orthodoxy levels or mental health stigma embedded in the Indian society for a long time? 

 

*Is it high time for India to adopt this model?*

The suicide rate is growing at an alarming rate in India, and there's only one thing we can learn from nations like Japan and the United Kingdoms, "That they treat the life of every individual of their nation in a precious way". Every life matters and therefore they are willing to adopt socio-political models to combat the issue and dig for solutions concerning it. 

 

*Urgent need for the Indian government to declare mental health as a basic priority*


For a vast nation like India, which is surrounded by stigmas and stereotypes from all sides, there's an urgent need for the government to declare mental health as a basic priority and formulate policies around it. As a nation in search of holistic development, we need to look after the living standard, happiness index and freedom index of the citizens of our nation as well. 


*Immediate measures that can aid in reducing the pace of crisis*

Eradication of poverty, implementing strong laws and policies against dowry deaths, rape cases, generating employment opportunities, taking stringent action for crimes against women, ensuring equality in society, creating awareness regarding mental health issues and getting them checked are some of the immediate measures that India can adapt to control the rising suicide levels. 

 
Image by Sean Lee

THE WRATH OF A MICROSCOPIC VIRUS: BY MUNEETA ANEJA

DO THE REGIONAL,COMMUNAL AND RACIAL CLASHES EVEN MATTER AFTER ALL OF THIS?

🌏Almost a year & a half now & the world is still struggling with the #covi̇d19 crisis. I feel lost, that how a microscopic virus had the greatest power of all to reverse the economy, socio-political structures, the pace at which educational institutions work, mental health & even the most basic of all: Human Contact & Social Interaction. 

🌏We thought our nations were a raging ball of fire with nuclear bombs & high-tech missiles, until & unless we faced the wrath of a virus changing the complete scenario. While, we were busy fighting for minor differences of religion, caste, race, nationality,  we didn't even stop for a second thinking, "Does it matter"? 


🌏Human life is at a standstill, people have lost their loved ones, many are fighting their own battles, businesses are shut amid lockdown at various places, I've no clue how the small businesses or cottage industries would ever recover from this loss. What about the daily wage earners? What about the rising unemployment among the youth? What about the public & Pvt sector jobs that are in a no-progressive state right now? 

🌏We as humans have not just destroyed biodiversity, but we have destroyed the fabric of humanity. What are we doing as states, nations, allies, continents United together? And it's pathetic to hear news concerning communal, racial, political clashes now!

🌏Why are people dying in Myanmar? Why peace has still not found its way in the Middle East Region? Why do these terrorist groups exist? What terror is greater than the one, which God has inflicted on the entire mankind at present? For the Maoists who ruthlessly kill our CRPF jawans in Chhattisgarh, what did you achieve by sending flag wrapped coffins of young martyrs home back? Where are the authorities that seek control of this entire world? Where is the nasty media, which doesn't shut up for a second? 

🌏Why are we doing this to ourselves? The only thing that matters is mental peace, family, stability, economic & social well-being, good mental & physical health & sane political leaders at the central, state or global level. Humanity comes above all & we should not destroy our lives fighting against each other. 

Read more
 
Myanmar Coup.jpg

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MYANMAR'S MILITARY COUP:-

The Struggle for democracy: BY MUNEETA ANEJA

Myanmar became the talk of the town succumbing to a military coup on the 1st of February, with the military seizing the entire control of the nation and declaring a year-long emergency, by dethroning the democratic rule of the National leader Aung San Suu Kyi and detaining her with other leaders of NLD (National League of Democracy) under house arrest.  

 

Aung San Suu Kyi has been the face of the democratic non-violent movement in Myanmar since decades now and has managed to grab a whopping majority in the national elections. Her remarkable struggle for national democracy and patience amid chaos is renowned throughout the world and makes her one of the strongest democratic leaders ever existed on earth. 


So, let's dig out, What Myanmar is all about? What is the cause of this Military coup and who's leading it and Why? How is the UN reacting to this whole situation? How are different nations reacting to this Military coup, concerning their vested interests and security? 



  • ARE MYANMAR AND BURMA THE SAME COUNTRY? 


Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in South-East Asia, sharing its neighbouring borders with Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China and India. The country was renowned as Burma for generations, named after its dominant ethnic group. In the year 1989, the ruling military changed its name in English to Myanmar, a year after thousands were killed in a crackdown on a popular rebellion. The two words connote the same meaning, but Myanmar is the more formal version of addressing the nation.

 


  • MYANMAR'S HISTORY, DEMOGRAPHICS AND ETHNIC GROUPS:-

 

Myanmar has a population of approximately 54 million people, with the majority speaking Burmese followed by the other languages. Myanmar was colonized by three dynamic waves of migration, Primarily by the Hmon people from present-day Cambodia, succeeded by the Mongol people from the eastern Himalayas and finally, by the Thai population from northern Thailand. The first unified state was established at Pagan (presently Bagan) in 1057, but the

the capital was destroyed by Kublai Khan in 1287.


At present, The capital of Myanmar is Nay Pyi Taw. The prominent religion is Buddhism, but there are various ethnic groups in the country, including Rohingya Muslims.



  • WAS BURMA A BRITISH INDIAN COLONY? 


A caravan of dynasties rose and fell along the Irrawaddy before the British arrived and conquered the south of the nation in 1852. With the fall of Mandalay in 1886, Burma became a province of British India, signifying the start of the colonial period.



  • (A RARELY KNOWN FACT):-

MYANMAR AND THE LAST MUGHAL EMPEROR OF INDIA:


Very few people know that the last Mughal emperor of India- Bahadur Shah Zafar II spent his last days in exile and breathed his last in 1862 in Rangoon, which is the present-day Yangon. The sacred site of his burial is known as the Mazar of Bahadur Shah Zafar, in Yangon, Myanmar.



  • WHEN DID MYANMAR OPEN TO TOURISM?


The beauty of Myanmar was caged for decades for the outside world, under the secretive military Junta rule. When it finally opened up in 1992, travellers were initially constrained to temples of Bagan, the floating villages of Inle Lake, and the monasteries of Mandalay, and Yangon, the retired

capital, with its colonial relics and towering pagodas.



  • THE LAND OF GLITTERING GOLDEN STUPAS:


The magnificent beauty and the land of diverse culture and tribes stun everyone with its beauty and glory. It has steadily transformed itself into a tourist destination with its Glittering Golden Stupas as high as skyscrapers, the ancient ruins which narrate a tale on its own, the fascinating hills, diverse tribes, unexplored forests, legions of monks, serene beaches accompanied by resorts, and a bunch of mesmerizing cities.



  • -WHEN & HOW DID MYANMAR GAIN INDEPENDENCE:


During WWII, Imperial Japan expelled the British forces from Burma, but there was a constant state of friction towards the Japanese deployment. Thereby,  Burmese General Aung

San, the father of Aung Sang Suu Kyi, led an uprising against the occupying forces and was one of the prominent negotiators in the independence movement, which led to the country's freedom in 1948. He was assassinated by his closest political rival in the same year. 



  • -THE ERA OF MILITARY COUP BEGINS:


  • - EMERGENCE OF SLORC:


A military coup ushered in the power of General Ne Win in the year 1962, who imposed a totalitarian socialist tyranny in Myanmar. To bring an end to his dictatorship, the local students and Buddhist Monks led an uprising in 1988, which was brutally suppressed and thousands were killed. Gen Win was an influential man and even after leaving his official title, he exercised his control from the new State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).

 

 

  • -EMERGENCE OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI:


  • -THE CALL FOR DEMOCRACY:-


Emerging as a national figure in Myanmar by 1989, Aung San Suu Kyi started her campaign to restore democracy by organising rallies, initiating democratic reforms and demanding free and fair elections. She was detained and persecuted for nearly 15 years between 1989 and 2010. Suu Kyi's life has been full of struggle, but her remarkable patience has left everyone around the world stunned. In 2015, she led the NLD to victory in Myanmar's first openly contested election in 25 years.



  • -THE COMPOSITION OF MYANMAR'S PARLIAMENT:

 

  • -25% SEATS OF MYANMAR'S PARLIAMENT ARE RESERVED FOR MILITANTS.


Ironically very few people know this, but The (Burmese Parliament): "Pyidaungsu Hluttaw" is a bicameral body with 440-seats for the House of Representatives, and 224-seats for the House of Nationalities, with an overall total of 664 members. 75% of MPs (498 members) are directly elected by voters, while the remaining 25% (166 members) are military personnel appointed by the Defence Services' Commander-in-Chief, so their voice matters a lot. 



  • -THE ROHINGYA GENOCIDE:


Ms. Suu Kyi's reputation was deeply tarnished globally when thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed and more than 700,000 fled to Bangladesh following an army crackdown in 2017, and she remained silent on the brutal affair. The nation considers them illegal immigrants and denies them citizenship. She even appeared before the International Court of Justice in 2019, where she denied allegations of the military committing genocide.



  • -THE STRUGGLING DEMOCRACY OF MYANMAR


  • -WHO YIELDS THE POWER AT PRESENT?


Myanmar faces the unprecedented crisis of a Military coup at present, with its national leaders being detained under house arrest, whereas Power has been handed over to the Commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, who has been exerting political influence since long.

Even after the restoration of democracy since the past decade, he was successful in balancing the power of the Tatmadaw - Myanmar's military.

The military has replaced ministers and deputies in departments of finance, health, interior and foreign affairs. They made a declaration regarding hosting the election, once the state of emergency is over.



  • -HOW IS THE WORLD REACTING TO MYANMAR'S MILITARY COUP?


The UN Secretary-General António Guterres asserted that the coup was a "serious blow to the democratic reforms". US President Joe Biden has threatened to reinstate sanctions.

Whereas, the immediate neighbours including Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines, have claimed it as their "internal matter". On the contrary, China blocked a UN Security Council statement condemning the coup. 



  • -HOW BURMESE ARE REACTING TO THIS SITUATION:-


People are expressing their opposition via acts of "civil disobedience". A large number of people in Yangon banged pots and pans and honked their car horns in protest, amid the night-time curfew. The Medical Staff in the hospital is walking out, and many others are wearing ribbons expressing their disapproval over the coup.

 

THE TREE OF LIFE: SPECIAL SEGMENT BY MUNEETA ANEJA

Observe when the sky turns blue & people change their hues.

Observe when the night gets dark & your world feels apart.

Observe when the society works on an agenda of give and take and how emotions are on an interplay of real and fake.

 

Observe how the sun rises after sunset and how life transforms with a correct mindset.

Observe how tiny droplets make an ocean and how you are one of God's unique creation.

Observe how people work endlessly day and night & how doers achieve everything for which they fight.

 

Observe how fortunate we are to sit and eat and on the contrary there are children on street with cold & bare feet.

Observe how caste and money dictate politics and how this world runs on a small word called tactics.

Observe the fading away of black and white and glory of greys and colourful plight.

 

Observe the cycle of death and birth.

Observe the tiniest things on earth.

Observe how happy faces hide a tear.

Observe how tears hide a puzzle of fear.

-©2021Muneeta Aneja 

 
DevBaloda Shiva Mandir

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK: BY MUNEETA ANEJA

THE ANCIENT SHIVA TEMPLE OF DEVBALODA: 

UNCOVERING MYSTERIES & MYTHS:  

Did you know that within a range of 35 km from the state Capital of Chhattisgarh: Raipur, lies an Ancient Indian 13th Century Shiva temple constructed in the era of Kalchuris? 

Devbaloda temple in Charoda, Bhilai is an important heritage and pilgrimage site of Chhattisgarh, and an archaeological marvel beyond description, with its magnificent rock carvings, narrating the archaic tales of Ancient Indian history, art, culture and architecture which dates back to more than 700 years ago. The temple has been deemed of national importance under the" Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act " 1958.

The Ancient Shiva temple of Devbaloda revolves around a plethora of mysteries and myths. Whether it be, the story of a never drying kund or the temple left incomplete or without any spire or Shikhar or the sculpture designing the temple who jumped off the cliff and his sister who has been a stone figurine beside a nearby lake since then! These ancient folklores have made the temple distinct, unique and different on its own. 

So let's break down these mysteries step by step and exactly know, how and why was this temple built and Why is this heritage site in ruins today? 

  • WHO WERE KALCHURIS? WHEN AND WHERE DID THEY REIGN?

The foremost Kalchuri territory, with their capital in Mahishmati included parts of the Central and Western India including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, where their power was established between the 6th and 7th Century until they lost it to the Chalukyas of Vatapi.

Kalchuris have been renowned for their impeccable cultural heritage and marvellous architectural stone edifice. Various shreds of evidence state that the earliest of the Ellora and Elephanta cave monuments were established during the reign of the Kalchuri dynasty. They were profound followers of Shaivism.

The later dynasties of Kalchuris of Tripuri and Kalyani, which may have emerged from the Kalchuris of Mahishmati, existed until the end of the 14th Century. The Kalchuris of Tripuri, renowned as Chedi reigned in the parts of central India from 7th to 13th century, and their capital was located at Tripuri (present-day Tewar near Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh). Whereas, The Kalchuris of Kalyani rose to power in the Deccan region between 1156 and 1181 CE and reigned over regions of present-day northern Karnataka and Maharashtra.


  • DEVBALODA KA PRACHIN MANDIR:


Built from Balua stones and dedicated primarily to Lord Shiva, the archaeologists believe that, Central Chhattisgarh was once the kingdom of Great Kalchuris. The Kalchuri dynasty were great admirers of art and sculpture and they built various ponds in the adjoining areas of Dev-Baloda.

  • BUILT IN NAGARA STYLE :

Like the famous Khajurao temple, the Chah Mhasi temple is also encarved with rock-cut figures of deities, elephants and horses. Besides, there are musicians, dancers and similar figureheads. These meticulous details give a fascinating definition to this temple, even from a greater distance.

  • THE TEMPLE WITH NO SHIKHAR OR SPIRE:

The entrance of the temple is accompanied by a Nandi statue. The east-facing edifice built of sandstone is surviving with a Garba Griha and a pillared "Nauranga Mandapa". The temple looks a bit incomplete as it lacks a spire "Shikhar", which was probably because of its construction in Nagara style.

THE KUND/POND WHICH NEVER GETS DRIED :

The infamous pond or "kund" beside the temple is a part of the local folklores and is renowned for not getting dried ever, even in the harshest summers. Structured with 23 stairs and a depth beyond imagination, the kund is rumoured to have a secret pathway leading to Aarang, which scientifically explains the revival of water in the kund from a source below the ground which keeps the water level up throughout the year.

  • ADHISTHANA WITH 16 ENCARVED PILLARS :

Before making an entrance to the 
GarbhaGriha, one has to cross a 
small antechamber or the "adhisthana" comprising of 16 mandapa pillars adorned with the images of Bhairava, Vishnu, Mahishsurmardini, Venu Gopala, musicians, dancers and Keertimukha designs.

  • THE UNDERGROUND GARBHA GRIHA :

3 feet below: 5 stairs down from the Adhisthana is the place of actual worship: the inner sanctum known as the "garbha griha" or ‘womb-chamber’ approached through a highly ornate door entrance with Ganesha figurines on both the sides, where a Shiva linga and statue of Goddess "Parvati " resides. Worshippers unite in this small room to offer their prayers. The ambience of the GarbaGriha is truly divine and soulful.


  • WHY DID THE SCULPTURE DIVE IN THE KUND?

According to the locals and the temple guard, The temple was built in the 7th century by Raja Vikramaditya. The skilled artist who was sculpting the temple got so aligned with his work, that he used to work around the clock recklessly and reached a stage of utter devotion towards his work and art, where he was constructing the temple without any clothes on.


Every day his wife brought him food, but one day his sister got food for him and when she saw him in that condition, both of them felt ashamed and the artist jumped into the kund leading into a secret pathway to Aarang, where his rock statue can be still witnessed and his sister in utter grief jumped in the lake beside. This lake is known as Karsa Talab because she carried a Kalash of water along with the food she carried for her brother. Therefore resulting in the construction of temple left midway, making it appear incomplete or without any Shikhar or spire. Although this is just a folklore legend and we can't testify it as a fact without the prevalence of any pieces of evidence.

 

  • WHY IS THE TEMPLE CALLED THE CHAH MHASI TEMPLE?

Another interesting tale concerning the temple acknowledges that the temple was constructed within 6 months without any break whatsoever, and therefore it is known as the Chah-Mhasi Shiva temple.

  • DISTINCT SHED FOR ANTIQUE IDOLS: 

The temple courtyard has a distinct shed which comprises of the excavated idols from the kund, which are in a broken state and therefore cannot be reclaimed inside the temple, but these figurines are worshipped with equal dedication and spirituality. The Devbaloda Shivratri Mela has made this place symbolic all across the nation. 

  • DEVBALODA DEMANDS DEVELOPMENT :

Devbaloda, being a significant location of art, heritage and archaeological importance cries for attention and development today. The unpaved roads and the absence of proper lights need to be taken care of. The sad part is that the Hindu heritage site has fallen prey to many years of ignorance resulting in the damaged sculptures. While religious occasions are celebrated with pomp and fervour in India, the structures that represent the religious identity are often overlooked. 

 

LET'S JOIN OUR HANDS AGAINST

COVID-19.

We need collective effort, not cash donations, but masks, sanitisers and multi vitamin donations.

Let's join our hands against the Covid 19 crisis and do something ourselves

and not just depend on governmental and non-governmental machinery to

help us out. India is going through a rough patch right now & instead of

blaming the authorities or depending on them, let's think about the ways,

we can contribute to society.

Each one of you knows someone who is suffering or has suffered the wrath

of the virus and we need to build our people up. If we as lower or upper-

middle-class citizens are facing such a deep crisis, then what about the

economically weaker sections of society. What about the people in the slum areas and the ones who are left with no employment for months? How are they buying sanitisers, disinfectants, masks, immunity-boosting medicines or multi-vitamins? If they are getting affected, how are they keeping up with the pace of treatment?

Firstly, this is not a cash or money donation drive out there, instead, it's

more of like, "Contribute whatever you can for your country" kind of thing.

Even if you spend 100 Rs out of your pocket to buy a strip of multivitamin

tablets and send us in and everyone decides to do the same, we may be able to achieve something over here.

Nevertheless, we can achieve an India with less malnourishment, better

immunity and hygiene, and more public awareness.


Your nation needs you right now.

We have decided to curate kits comprising of Multi Vitamin tablets, Zinc tabs, Vitamin C, Vitamin B tabs,

Glucose, Sanitizers and Masks, which will be packed altogether and sent to cither the top working NGO's in the

country donated to the Gurdwaras or its distribution to the marginalized will be ensured by us.

For this, we need the common people, pharmateuical companies, pharmacies, medical shops, brands, labels,

thriftstores, vocalforlocal companies, # sanitiser and disinfectant producing companies, immunity booster and

multi vitamin producing organisations to come out together as one and help me out in this drive. Even if you

play a part in driving out a little malnourishment out of the country, by doing this, there's no harm in it. Right?

For the clothing brands, labels and general people, kindly search on YouTube "how to stitch a basic mask at home" and try to create as many masks out of clean cotton spare

clothes as you can and plz donate them to us so that we can

ensure its distribution to the underprivileged or remind

people to wear their mask as shields, every time we witness

them without wearing one.

 

Until the entire nation gets vaccinated,

lets at least work towards wiping away

malnourishment among the

underprivileged and needy children,

strengthening their immunity and

creating general awareness. There's no

harm in building a general immunity

level. We are very far from the entire

nation getting vaccinated. So plz let's do what we can.

A humble request for skincare, bodycare and sanitiser producing

companies to kindly send in little bottles of sanitisers that can be

distributed as a part of the kit and we can create awareness among

people on using it effectively.

The ones who can show a little more kindness and donate #vaporising

machines, as we really can't do anything towards the #Indianeedsoxygen thing at such a preliminary level, but we can ensure the

distribution of vaporising machines for the affected people.

Kindly DM us with your suggestions or queries regarding the same.

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WOMEN'S DAY SPECIAL FEATURE-

The Journey of a Little Girl with dreams establishing a Global Empire:

 

Shilpa Arora: Owner of the Rang by Shilpa Studio, Jaipur

It all started as a dream she nurtured with her open eyes in her childhood years. This is not just Shilpa's story of creating a unique label, or a woman setting trends and becoming an example of self-reliance in society. This is the story of a little girl with dreams in her mystical eyes, who cherished them every day and made sure to water them daily. This is the story of a determined and passionate young girl, who was supported by her family recklessly and in return, she didn't leave a stone unturned to make them proud. This is the story of being a label, being a woman with imagination and ideas that could brighten up this world. 


This is Shilpa Arora's Story from just being Shilpa to being recognised as the owner of the International label "Rang by Shilpa". And her story will not just inspire millions of girls out there to pursue their dreams, but it will inspire their families to support the women in their house because she wields the power to create an empire if you just make sure to hold her back. This is the story of an uplifting husband, who stood by his wife's side and gave her the brainchild of creating her own label. 

 

On this Women's Day, we celebrate the spirit of womanhood, by appreciating the amazing women in our society. Today, we'll be sharing the story of Shilpa Arora and her journey of creating something special, timeless and forgettable with her label "Rang by Shilpa". 


THE STORY OF A SMALL TOWN GIRL:


Shilpa grew up in the small district of Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, and was passionate about colours and fashion from a young age. She completed her graduation and post-graduation in textiles and clothing from the College of Community and Applied Sciences, Udaipur, where she worked recklessly to understand the minute details of fashion, hues, textile and styling. 


Post marriage, Shilpa relocated alongside her husband to the Pink City: Jaipur and she started fanning her career as a textile designer at an export house but she was not satisfied with that. She knew she had a larger ambition and she just couldn't stop there. She wanted to explore more and therefore gave up that job and by 2004, she was cherishing the new phase of motherhood, but she just couldn't get rid of the idea of accomplishing something great in the field of fashion and arts. She was fascinated with myriad hues, fabrics, ideas and a new range of imagination wherever she went. 


While she was busy juggling with her ideas and understanding the textile and clothing market, she soon realised that the gamut of hand-painted clothing shared a very limited space in the booming fashion market and the reason was, that the hand-painting apparel didn't comply with the modern norms of the fashion trends and contemporary styles.


She was intrigued and fascinated by the notion of integrating art, contemporary styles and fashion designing into a single thread, and thereby created her first masterpiece for her mother, who became a constant source of upliftment for her throughout her life. She examined the entire market with her mom and invested in the preliminary stuff she needed for her styles.


Soon this young designer knew no limits, and within a short duration, she created an entire stock of unique and mind-boggling collection. And with this began the period of struggle, hardship and persistence of fighting for our dreams. Shilpa started contacting the local boutiques and stores and received orders on a large basis about her fresh, innovative and creative concept, which was rare in the market. 


Shilpa was fortunate enough to have her husband as a constant source of motivation by her side. He realised her potential and reach for greater ideas which flourished her name in the fashion industry within a small period. He pushed her a step ahead by asking her, "Why do you wait on others to provide you with work when you are sufficient and capable enough to create jobs for others out there? Go ahead and create your own brand. You deserve so much more and your ideas need a voice and only you can make your dream come true". This was like a pat on her back and her husband made sure to help her in the best way possible by boosting her morale and confidence. Working alongside a corporate, he made sure to support his wife's dream by helping her with financial assets and being physically present whenever she needed him. 

  

THE JOURNEY OF RANG BY SHILPA BEGINS:

With this, she embarked on her vision to commence the journey of 'Rang'. Keeping in mind that this work requires a lot of manpower, she started training girls from poor and needy families in fabric painting entirely free of cost and brick by brick, she built her own team standing behind her. Soon, this ambitious designer was ready with a stock of 250 pieces of hand-painted suits and sarees, that she exhibited via various exhibitions and shows across the nation. With the birth of her second child in 2008, she juggled around in managing her work and life balance and continued to work from home, while establishing an impressive clientele who were fond of her hand-painted designs.


Inaugurated her studio in Jaipur and christened it "RANG", symbolising her passion for colours:

And finally, in 2017 the little girls' dream was not a dream anymore. She could see and feel a studio right in front of her eyes, that she had created along with her family's support and her dedication towards her work.

She inaugurated her studio in Jaipur and christened it "RANG", symbolising her passion for colours that always inspired and enlivened the inner child inside her. This Wonder Woman was ready to take on the world with her well-trained team of efficient artisans and assistants working in her studio.


Not only Shilpa was passionate about her goals, but she was an amazing daughter, mother and wife. She didn't just work for her label, but she rendered her service towards society by helping the needy and poor in the best way possible, by making them self reliant with a skill for their lifetime. She is not just the owner of Rang, but she is a woman who never gave up on the expectations of her team and employees. Shilpa made sure to treat their demands with respect and emphasized her team being her strength. As a result, her team never left her side. 


EQUAL LOVE FOE HER CUSTOMERS AND TEAM:

She said, "l work with them as if I am one of them. My employees are interactive and share their ideas openly, as creativity has no barriers and maybe I could learn something from them. Additionally, It is the love of our customers which has helped us in transforming a small venture into a timeless and memorable International brand. 


She further asserted that she chose quality over quantity and every single piece of her label is handcrafted and designed with equal devotion and love. She said When you are investing time in creating a single piece, making it with poor quality fabrics or hues gets completely out of the equation as it can tarnish your image and months of your hard work will go in vain. 



With this, she established her label as one of the leading Hand-Painted fashion brands in India with an amalgam of art, sustainability, quality, contemporary designs incorporated with fashion, textiles and designing. Even if you explore her Instagram page @rang_by_shilpa, you'll get to understand how she stands out as a unique label.


SEEKS INSPIRATION FROM NATURE & IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS:

Her designs are inspired by the immediate surroundings and nature predominantly. She revealed in her feature interview with our page, that she takes her inspiration from colours and shapes in everything, be it the clouds floating or the soil beneath our feet. 

She said that Our designs are not just limited to one style of hand-painting. We create a huge variety of florals, abstracts, figures, geometrics or tribal arts using various kinds of fabrics such as cotton silk, organza, linen, khadi, jute, crepe, chiffon, georgette so that the customers get to choose what they want and how they want it.


SERVING AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE:

Today, Rang by Shilpa is serving her clients not just from India,  but overseas too including the USA, UK, Singapore, Hongkong, Dubai and Australia and this is how fairy tales happen in real life. This is how a little girl's dream led to the impetus of an international label making our nation proud. This was the story of Shilpa Arora and the journey of her brand " Rang by Shilpa". 

Read more
 

THE ART OF SYNERGY: SOUL, BODY AND MIND

THE TREE OF LIFE SEGMENT 2- BY MUNEETA ANEJA

I see my soul communing with my body and my mind daily.

My mind is a wanderer, an explorer, an empathizer, and overthinking overloaded machine full of facts and questions all about the world and myself. A trailer of anxiety, a bundle of curiosity & an all-time carrier of information overloading.

My soul is my comforter, when I seek inside my soul, I find comfort, I find peace, I find the joy and tranquillity in these tiny moments of life, the present, which I was missing on in the hustle & bustle of daily life. When I breathe in and exhale, my gut responds to me to be calm and patient. 

My soul releases the burden of my mind and the exhaustion of my body and sends me the spirit of "Live in the present", "Go with the flow", "Never regret about the past, not even a single past second, and Listen to the calm voice of your mind.

This is the art of synergy. 

Synergy means connection, deep sync within our mind, soul, heart and body so that you don't deviate from your real path. So whenever your mind wanders, sit still and listen to that soothing voice of your soul.

I would like to repeat a phrase that I read in the Japanese book of Wabi-Sabi, "We need to trust and accept and be willing to say, I don't know it all, but I don't need to know it all. I know enough. I don't have it all, but I don't need to have it all. I have enough, And I am not all things to all people, but I don't need to be all things to all people. I am doing my best to be all I can be to those who really matter. I am Enough.

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Union Budget 2021-22

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

UNION BUDGET FY 2021-22

As the nation eagerly awaited for the first post-pandemic budget to arrive, with the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive, the countrymen were expecting to witness some revolutionary policies to accelerate economic growth and set the wheels of economy on fire.


The economic losses caused by the industrial shutdown worldwide, has left the global population clueless about their future. At such a crucial juncture in life, either a Nation's policy could save their countrymen from falling into a vicious trap of depression, or its policies could even serve as a bitter poison going down their throat. But ,as a coin has its two sides, so does the Union Budget FY 2021-2022.


6 PILLARS OF THE BUDGET:-


Hon'ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared the Union Budget FY 2021-2022, as the first digital census in the history of India and emphasized the 6 pillars of the budget:-


  •  Health and Well-being

  • Physical and financial capital & Infrastructure

  • Inclusive development for aspirational India.

  • Reinvigorating Human Capital

  • Innovation and (R&D)

  • Minimum Government and Maximum Governance

BUDGET RICH ON THE PARAMETERS OF HEALTH AND INFRASTRUCTURE:-


HEALTH:-


  • 137% hike in Health funding, a new approach towards Public-Private partnership to make the Indian health sector self-reliant.

  • Allocation of 35000 crore Rs for the manufacturing and accessibility of Covid-19 vaccine.

  • PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana to be launched with an outlay of approximately 64,180 Crores to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare sector.

  • Mission POSHAN 2.0 to improve nutritional status across 112 aspirational districts.

  • Jal Jeevan Mission Urban with a budget provision of 2.87 lakh crores aims to improve water supply throughout the nation, with household tap connections.

  • Strengthening the Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0.

  • Allocation of 1.47 lakh crores for wastewater treatment, decreasing plastic waste and decrease in pollution levels within the next 5 years. 

EDUCATION: 


  • 100 new Sainik Schools will be set up in collaboration with NGO's, private schools and States. 

  • 750 Eklavya schools to be set up in tribal areas.

  • Establishment of Central University in Leh to access higher education.

  • Introduction of legislation this year to implement the establishment of the Higher Education Commission for India.

  • More than 15,000 schools to be strengthened under NEP 2020.

INFRASTRUCTURE: 


  • Announcement of voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to reduce the rate of vehicular pollution and oil import bills. Vehicles to undergo a fitness test in automated fitness centres every 20 years (personal vehicles), every 15 years (commercial vehicles).

  • Proposal of a mega-investment textile park to be launched along with 7 more textile parks, which will be established over a timeline of 3 years.

  • Special focus on NHAI operational toll roads, airports in tier-2 and 3 cities, and sports stadiums.

  • Allotment of Rs.1,18,101 lakh crore for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

  • National Highway and road construction works announced in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam.

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (LPG scheme) to be extended further to encircle 1 crore beneficiaries.

  • National Rail Plan created to bring a future-ready Railway system by 2030 and cut down the logistic costs.

  • 100% electrification of Railways to be achieved by 2023.

  • Metro services announced in 27 cities, plus additional allocations for Kochi Metro, Chennai Metro Phase 2, Bengaluru Metro Phase 2A and B, Nashik and Nagpur Metros. 

  • Additionally 'Metro Lite' & 'Metro New' concepts for tier 1& 2 cities.

  • National Hydrogen Mission to be initiated to generate hydrogen from green power sources. 

  • Recycling capacity of ports to be doubled by 2024.

  • Gas pipeline project to be set up in Jammu and Kashmir.


ECONOMY:


The fiscal deficit of FY21 has been pegged at 9.5% of the GDP & will come down to 6.8% in FY22. The Fiscal deficit will reach below 4.5% in FY26.


THE BUDGET OF PRIVATISATION AND DISINVESTMENT: 


  • Two National banks to be privatised and One General Insurance firm to be disinvested. This takes away a major pie of the nation's asset. Already, our ports, railway stations, banks have been at the stake of continuous privatisation and disinvestment, which deeply harnesses the potential of India's Rich industrial resources and gives them into the hands of wealthy capitalists.

  • Strategic sale of BPCL, IDBI Bank, Air India to be completed 

  • Proposal to allow States to raise borrowings to 4% of GSDP this year 

  • Increase in FDI limit from 49% to 74%, which will boost the Indian manufacturing sector more by reducing competition, thereby strengthening the aim of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. 

  • A Unified Securities Market Code to be created, consolidating provisions of the SEBI Act, Depositories Act, and two other laws.

  • An asset reconstruction company will be set up to take over stressed loans.

  • Loss bearing PSU's to follow new guidelines. 

  • Deposit insurance increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for bank depositors.

  • Proposal to decriminalise Limited Liability Partnership Act of 2008.


NO RELAXATION IN TAX SLABS AMID COVID-19:-


TAX: 


  •  The number of IT return filers has increased from 3.48 crores in 2014 to 6.48 crores now.

  • Senior citizens above the age group of 75 years with only pension income, have been exempted from filing tax returns.

  • Reopening window for IT assessment cases reduced from 6 to 3 years. However, in case of serious tax evasion cases (Rs. 50 lakh or more), it can go up to 10 years.

  • Affordable housing projects to get a tax holiday for one year.

  • Duty on Copper scrap reduced to 2.5% 


  • Customs duty on gold and silver to be rationalised.


  • Duty on solar inverters raised from 5% to 20%, and on solar lanterns from 5% to 15%.


  • 5% customs duty to be charged on all the nylon products.


  • Tunnel boring machines to avail custom duty of 7% 


  • Customs duty on cotton raised from 0 to 10% 


  • Agriculture infrastructure and development cess proposed on various items including urea, apples, soya bean and sunflower oil, crude palm oil, chickpea and peas.


*AGRICULTURE*: 


  • Agricultural Credit will be increased to 16.5 lack crores.


  • Widening the scope of Operation Green Scheme by including 22 perishable crops.


  • Agriculture infrastructure funds to be made available for the APMCs for augmenting their infrastructure.


  • 1,000 more Mandis to be integrated into the E-NAM market place.


  • Development of fishing harbours and fish landing centres along the banks of rivers and waterways including 5 major fishing hubs, in Chennai, Kochi and Paradip.


  • A multipurpose seaweed park to be established in Tamil Nadu. 


  • Implementation of the "One Nation: One Ration Card" scheme in 32 States and UTs. It will be highly beneficial for migrant workers who can avail ration from anywhere in the country now.


EMPLOYMENT:


  • A portal maintaining information on gig workers and construction workers to be launched soon.


  • Margin capital required for loans via Stand-up India scheme reduced from 25% to 15% for SCs, STs and women.


 

WHAT'S DISAPPOINTING IN THE BUDGET? 


  • If Modi government advances with a vision of $5 trillion economy in future, then appropriate steps should be taken to achieve 16% GDP growth rate, else we wont be able to accomplish our dream. 


  • With two quarters of negative GDP growth rate and the worst recession in 2020, India has somehow managed to cover up and stand with bent knees in the recent quarter with the lifting up of Covid-19 restrictions and industries getting back on track.


  • For industries to run smoothly, a demand chain has to be created and expenditure has to be raised. But, one can notice that the expenditure in the last year's fiscal budget is more or less the same, as this one, whereas our industries faced severe losses this year., so the expenditure should have been more.


  • It won't come as a surprise if this budget is asserted to be favouring their political friends because by increasing the duty in mobile imports, we can think of only one digital king in India right now, who will become one of the biggest beneficiaries of this budget. 


  • Was everything on a auction bid while the Finance Minister was presenting the budget? A budget based on the idea of privatisation and disinvestment. A budget based on the idea of Self-Reliance but with no real solution for the inoculation of sum for the start-up or revival of the small scale industries. 


A BUDGET BASED ON INEQUALITY AMONG THE STATES:-


  • One can't help but notice, the unequal division of benefits among the states, which will further widen the development gap between them. Various pledges and vows of infrastructure and development were taken for the poll-bound states especially. At least, the presentation of the budget should not be transformed into a pre-election campaign ground.


  • The general populace of the nation, especially the upper middle class, middle class, poor and weaker sections of the society working in diverse groups expected some kind of tax relaxation, concerning the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic, which they didn't receive. 

  • With widespread unemployment and poverty, people were wishing for employment generation. Where are the job opportunities for the unemployed or the underemployed youth. What should we do now? No focus on vocation based employment as well.


  • It lacks emphasis on higher education.


  • Personal income tax slab remains constant, amid Covid-19 pandemic. 


  • The Union Budget FY 2021-22 cannot be considered extremely beneficial for the middle-class people and the weaker sections of the society.


*WHAT WILL GET COSTLY:-


LED lights, Solar Lamps, Inverter, solar lanterns imported clothes, imported mobile phone, tabs, chargers, imported auto parts, cotton clothes, nylon products, urea, apple, soya bean and sunflower oil, crude palm oil, chickpea and peas.


*WHAT WILL GET CHEAP:-


Gold & Silver Jewellery, copper products, steel products, Shoes.


ARTICLE BY - MUNEETA ANEJA 

 
wedding Graphics Anchal Jain.png

BREAKING THE STEREOTYPES:

CREATING WEDDINGS WITH A QUIRKY EDGE:

An inspiring story of fighting the do's and don'ts of career paths, breaking the old-age Indian stereotypes, creating something as timeless and memorable as a Wedding itself and distinctly creating memories to be cherished forever. We are talking about Anchal Jain, a caricature wedding invites designer, who has left no stone unturned in making the big days, even more, bigger and extra special with graphical wedding invitation cards and videos.

With a strong vision of creating lifetime memories for the couple and their families, this creative boss lady is currently designing 50+ invites per month including e-invites, videos, GIFs, wedding decor banners, cutouts, welcome boards etc.

BETA HUA TOH ENGINEER, BETI HUI TOH DOCTOR: INDIAN SOCIETY

Ironically, In a rapidly developing nation like India, where everything is growing stead-fast yet many youngsters who desire to choose a different stream have to still glimpse the rusty taboos and stereotypes of "beta Hua to engineer our beti hui toh doctor" or "Sarkari job best hai beta- life set hai tumhari", Anchal has grown beyond these stereotypes, shattering them one by one.

Currently, she is delivering her projects across a sweeping audience involving people from different religions, states, caste, communities, class etc. She is thriving on the idea of uniting all the distinct groups together, with a common thread of art, innovation, love and happiness. Because no matter what kind of religious wedding it is, her graphics and illustrations give something equally significant and mutual to be observed in all our Indian weddings.

LET ME BE FREE AND EXPLORE MYSELF: Anchal Jain

Anchal uncovered in a candid interaction with our website, that she is a graphic designer by profession, but she has been a soulful free-spirited artist all her life, who doesn't like working under restricted norms and boundaries.

She further said, "I capture your love and memories and present them to you in form of these unique wedding invites". I completed my graduation in Graphic Designing in 2017, but I wasn't satisfied with my work or myself. Honestly, the codes of alignment, colour patterns, deadlines never harmonized with me.

I WISHED TO BE MY OWN BOSSLADY:

I always wished to be boss lady, work for myself, where no one could instruct me on the deadlines or the precise colours I must use, and create my digital empire with smiles serving graphics. But the shocking part is that amidst all this confusion and chaos, I didn’t officially work from 2017- 2020, I was engaged in some minor freelancing work but nothing huge was emerging out of it.

THE STAGE OF DEPRESSION: AM I GOOD FOR NOTHING?

This took a drastic toll on my mental health, I started feeling as if I am good for nothing and I can't even earn a penny by myself. At that point, I became hungry for opportunities, I never yearned for success, but I prayed for a light of hope, a single opportunity to showcase my talent and boost my self-worth with my work.

AN IDEA THAT CHANGED HER LIFE FOREVER:

Heading straight to 2020, when everything was shut, and everyone was feeling miserable and anxious. I began creating some daily life comics and uploaded them online. Unexpectedly, I got many likes and shares and it was new for me.

OPPORTUNITY MATTERS MORE THAN THE PAYOUT: ANCHAL

I took on a wedding invite job for one of my friends and posted that on Instagram and that led to a whole range of queries about the same. I kept on receiving each and every offer, no matter what amount I was being paid. The momentous thing for me was, that I got an opportunity to explore myself to the fullest.

CREATING A DIGITAL EMPIRE:

And my mini Digi business boomed. Today my DMs are full of messages and orders, I am receiving appreciation from my clients and their families, and I am receiving a decent payout. My prayers have been answered and my work is being recognised and respected finally.

By mid-month, I have to close the commission and mention it under my insta bio, as I am already overwhelmed with the work I've received at the start of the month. It’s a gag in my family, that Anchal can never be seen without her I-Pad. I can work endlessly because I've got so many ideas and visions to execute.

CREATING THE WEDDING GRAPHICS! PRE-PLANNING PROCESS:

When a couple who's shortly tying a knot reaches me, I feel intrigued to understand their expectations and choices. I listen to their story, discover their personalities and understand their culture before creating wedding graphics for them. I interact about their bridal outfits which they'll be wearing on the big day and I create the replica of that wedding scene, just with my visualization. I try to integrate their personalities by adding a touch of little elements which can be missed by the viewers, but the couple would cherish it forever.


WHY AN E-INVITE OVER A TRADITIONAL INVITE?

  • - It's time and budget-friendly. It will save the efforts that people spend on selecting elaborate traditional wedding cards.

  • - It is sustainable and highly beneficial for the environment as we are saving tons of paper. The traditional invites are mostly kept or thrown away but these e-invites will be with the people always. "A small step towards a larger change in the ecosystem".

  • - Each invite is personally customised thus it speaks volumes on the nature of marriage, the chemistry of the couple and their persona.

The GREAT INDIAN WEDDING:

When we enquired about her plans, Anchal said she is
still trying to sink in these good times. I am planning to enter the wedding planning market soon. Wedding is one of the biggest days in an individual's life and I want to make it special for you. No two people are the same, no two invites I carve are the same. Similarly, no two weddings should be the same. Every wedding should have it's own aura and soul, which exactly conveys who you are as an individual and what do you believe in.

 
Image by Pratik Chauhan

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

What would Gandhi say about present-day India ? By Muneeta Aneja

“To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves." - Mahatma Gandhi

If Mahatma Gandhi was with us today, his soul would have shattered into a million pieces, watching the nation he built with the foundation of peace and non-violence, burning into ashes, dying a slow death, strangled with a rope of communal riots, rising income inequality, unemployment, degrading ethics and morals in Indian Society. The rich are becoming richer day by day and the poor, let's just say the poor are left on God's will.

GANDHI'S VISION OF A PROSPERING NATION:-

As we remember him on his 73rd death anniversary today, as a mass preacher of non-violence, a global leader and a freedom fighter who led the country towards its heroic freedom movement. A man who believed in the concept of a self-reliant village with flourishing cottage industries, panchayats to infer justice and a state of non-violence and peace. A state of fraternity among people belonging to different caste, religion, creed, race and sex. A pluralistic and secular society living peacefully, strengthening its nation through the old-age traditional methods of India, which have long been forgotten.

*PEASANT MOVEMENTS IN GANDHIAN ERA*

•CHAMPARAN SATYAGRAHA: THE FIRST CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT BY GANDHI:- (1917)


Very few people know this, but Gandhi's first movement of civil disobedience and mass struggle was to protect the rights of the peasants of Champaran, Bihar.The European planters had been forcing the peasants to grow  Indigo on 3/20th part of the total farming land, or the TINKATHIA SYSTEM.

But, by the end of the nineteenth century, indigo was replaced by German synthetic dyes. Thereby, the European planters started charging high rents and illegal dues from the peasants to increase their profits before they switch to other crops, and were forced to sell their produce at a predetermined price set by the Europeans.

When Gandhi received the news about this exploitive situation, he departed for Champaran along with other national leaders to probe the matter, the authorities ordered him to leave the region at once. But he disobeyed and preferred to face the punishment. This hue of civil disobedience was something unusual at that time and finally, Gandhi was allowed to enquire the farmers.

Thereby, the government appointed a committee to investigate the matter, nominating Gandhi as one of its members. He was successful in convincing the authorities that the tinkathia system should be abolished and peasants should be compensated for the illegal dues taken from them. As a result, 25% of the money acquired from the peasants was reimbursed and within a decade, the planters left the region and Gandhi ruled the heart of Champaran forever.

•KHEDA SATYAGRAHA: FIRST NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT BY GANDHI:- (1918)


The year 1918 was followed by a massive drought in the Kheda district of Gujarat, which caused heavy loss of flora and fauna, along with intense crop failure. According to the draconian Revenue Code, if the harvest was

less than one-fourth the usual production, the farmers were

entitled to remission. The Gujarat Sabha, comprising of the

peasants submitted petitions to the highest governing authorities of the province, urging the suspension of the revenue assessment for the year 1919.


But, the government mercilessly told the farmers, that their property would be seized if the taxes were not paid. Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel along with a group of other devoted

Gandhians, went around the villages arousing awareness among the masses and providing them with the necessary political leadership. Patel organised the tax revolt which was widely supported by people of distinct caste and communities, this bringing them together under a single umbrella of unity.


When the government started seizing the farmer's property and land, due to the non-payment of taxes, Gujaratis residing in the other parts sheltered the relatives and property of the protesting peasants. Finally, the government  

agreed to suspend the tax for the year, decreased prices and returned all the confiscated property.


THE PRESENT-DAY SCENARIO: THE SONS OF THE SOIL:

How ashamed and disheartened would Gandhi's soul be today, thinking about the nation where he once led the Indigo revolt and Kheda's Satyagraha with unity, and today his farmers, his own countrymen, the sons of the soil are sleeping on the national border roads, struggling with freezing temperatures and watching their family members or friends die. 3 months and still nothing, but their faith remains strong.

GANDHI DIDN'T VISUALISE OR IDEALISE THIS IMAGE OF "BHARAT"

If Gandhi was present today, would this have happened? What would be the core philosophy of Gandhi?


•Crony Capitalism or equality for all?
•Increasing consumerism or balancing the divides?

•A nation which cries of communal differences, or a nation which stands with love and mutual respect for all?

This was not the Bharat or Hindustan, that Gandhi visualised and worked recklessly to build it. It's the exact opposite of it.

Agriculture was hailed as the “God’s profession” at some time. Today farming is not considered divine anymore, today it exerts pressure, greediness, corporatisation, the fulfilment of political agendas, economic rivalry, and revolts.

GANDHIAN PRINCIPLES ARE HARD TO IMPLEMENT, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE!


Gandhian principles are hard to implement at a national or global level because they are morality based and are hard to adapt in the modern-day society, but they act as a strong guide in the formulation of laws and policies in the nation. Some of his beliefs are even stated in Chapter IV-A, Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution.

His idea of a self-sustained model village, building cottage industries, a society based on the pillars of self-reliance and equality for all, where a village is considered an immediate family. A society which confides on moral values, ethics with a stronghold over non-violence and truth.

ROUGHLY 50 YEARS LATER:-

By the year 1991, It was high time for India to come out of its shell and embark upon the idea of a globalised economy. The nation had to confer with the liberal policies and privatisation of industries to save it from the drowning debt, which would've left India to die a slow death.


Dr Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister in 1991, abolished the License Raj, the cause of stagnant economic growth and corruption in the Indian economy for decades. These reforms led to the intermingling of worldwide economies with that of India, a boom of MNC's leading to increased employment rate, customer choice and competition, thereby reducing poverty, increased competition in sectors like banking, increased investment and efficiency and the growth of private players in these sectors.

INDIA LEAVES ITS SHELL AND EXPLORES THE WORLD AROUND:

The great duo of the then Prime Minister Narsimha Rao and the finance minister Dr Manmohan Singh led to a drastic increase in the per capita income and the GDP growth rate. By now, India has established itself as an attractive foreign investment destination and FDI equity inflows in India in 2019-20 (till August) stood at US$ 19.33 billion. Exports have increased and stood at USD 26.38 billion as of October 2019. Singh being a great economist, grabbed a leading position for India among the rapidly developing nations.

U-TURN- THE GRAND ENTRY OF ANNA HAZARE:

It was not until the entrance of Anna-Hazare in the national capital in 2011 and 2012, emerging as a Gandhian Figure from the backstage and taking the front row seat, leading a massive protest against Institutional Corruption with his hunger strikes, igniting the emotions of millions in India, who thought that someone with Gandhi's ideology can walk this nation into a right path and direction.

HAZARE DENIES TO HOLD HUNGER STRIKE IN FAVOUR OF FARMERS:

The entire nation joined him in this national movement, alongside leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan who became the voice of this Anti-corruption movement, but who would have thought, that soon, all of them will return to their pre-destined paths. The very Anna Hazare who was fighting against corruption in 2011, denied holding his strike in the favour of farmers protest today. Hazare expresses himself as a true Gandhian with a philosophy of minimalism and non-violence, but where was Anna Hazare since the past 10 years, when the nation needed him so much?

SINGH: A WEAK OR A STRONG PRIME MINISTER????

While Anna was protesting and the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made a visit, urging him to end his hunger strike, he was suddenly crowned as a Weak Prime Minister, who came out too early to end the strike. So, What he should've done? Waited for the fasting people to die one by one? Watch his nation burn in an open fire and look at his countrymen crying?

Was Singh really weak? Or was he the strongest Prime Minister ever, who had the guts to show up amid a massive protest? Was he weak to bring reforms? Was he weak when he made this nation a global leading economic force to reckon with? Was he weak because his actions roared louder than his voice? Was he weak because he didn't believe in propagandist agendas, divide and rule and fake publicity?


If Singh wouldn't have been a strong leader, then the former US President Barack Obama wouldn't have declared him as a man of "uncommon wisdom and decency and a mild-mannered economist, in his book "The Promised Land". Obama has always shared a huge deal of respect for Singh and has also praised him publicly.

On the contrary, Obama has affirmed officially that he had a private conversation with Narendra Modi and said that "A country should not be divided into sectarian lines and emphasised how the Indian society needed to cherish that Muslims in the country identify themselves as Indians, which is not common for minorities in many other countries.

OBAMA HAS WISHED IN MULTIPLE OCCASIONS FOR GANDHI TO BE AROUND THIS WORLD:

He has also mentioned in his book that, "he wishes, on more than one occasion, that Mahatma Gandhi was still around — for India, for him, and the world at large".

IS INDIA FOLLOWING THE GANDHIAN IDEOLOGY:-

Whether it be the Anti-CAA or NRC protest, farmers protest, communal riots, poverty and unemployment on a large scale, corruption higher than ever before, Where is Anna's Gandhian voice right now when the nation needs him the most? Where are all the people of this nation, who mark Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation? Why are these people quiet now?

If Gandhi jee would be present today, he would have fought in his way to protect the farmers' rights and repeal the farm laws. He would have fought for the voiceless, poor, downtrodden and the marginalized. If the values of Gandhi would have guided this nation, then the Hindu- Muslim communal riots won't be taking place in this nation right now. Majority of us have lost our Gandhian values today. Even the farmers who used violent means to protest were wrong. The incitement of violence, it's initiation, it's very thought process is ill for the Gandhian ideology.

The values of Democracy and the golden words enshrined in the Constitution should stay above all. We live by the words of our preamble, fundamental rights and fundamental duties because it reflects the essence of revolutionary leaders like Gandhi and many more.


-©2021Muneeta Aneja

muneetaaneja.com

 
Voice of this nation.jpg

THE VOICE OF THIS NATION: THE YOUTH SPEAKS:

ON THE FARMERS PROTEST

Today India is on its way to emerge as a Global Leader, but on the other hand, a humongous Protest by Indian Farmers aka " Dilli Chalo" is advancing at a rapid pace at the Delhi-Haryana Border and seems to be in a deadlock position with no proper results yet. The protest has grabbed national and international attention and seems to be the voice of our farmers or the voice of India. India is primarily an agrarian nation and therefore it becomes quintessential for us to understand the individual views of the present-day youngsters on the ongoing protest. So let's hear it out.


Farmers play a crucial role in our nation, especially when India is renowned as an agrarian nation.  The voice of the farmers needs to be heard and the government should listen and act on the farmers' demand as they are the ones who fill our bellies (The Annadatta). As per the New Farm Bills, the major concern that is stirring the farmer's is that it will lead towards the end of wholesale markets and assured prices and hence they would be left with no backup option. If they are not satisfied with the assured prices offered by the privates, which can even lead to their exploitation as per contract farming, then they can't even return to the mandi.


The Protest doesn't seem Legitimate anymore and is being moulded into Riots shaking the entire nation, as it happened on the 72nd Republic Day. The Disheartening news concerning the much-debated involvement of the International Forces and other Public Figures spreading the pre-planned hype. The Disha Ravi case also created mayhem on Twitter recently.
While the opposition is fiddling with the Feelings of Farmers by acting as their good friend, I somewhere believe that the Protest has deviated from its real motive.

 

Farm Bill 2020 is a combination of 3 bills; Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. It is like enabling private competition in agriculture as now we are having in banking, insurance or telecom etc. The freeing of the farm sector should eventually help in better pricing.


When corporates and exporters directly engage with farmers, it will incentivise corporates to invest in the Agri ecosystem and will provide the farmers with better access to modern technology. The Farm Bill does not envisage the discontinuation of the current MSP-based procurement of food grains. The modalities of how the mandi purchase will co-exist with alternate platforms remain to be seen. This bill gives the farmer the power to sell directly to the corporate or exporter buying in bulk from the farm gate and can enter into forwarding contracts too. Even the barriers to inter-state sale are eliminated.



I think that this Protest was emerging as an example of Manpower, but now it's neither the People's voice nor in favour of Farmer's Rights. Rather it's just a part of a political game that will provide us with an emerging Political Leader whom we will see contesting Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha Elections through a Political Party.

But on the other hand, If the Government is truly a farmer
friendly one, then without any further delays, the Amendments must be made to the Bills and in the belief of Farmer's Trust as Soon as possible.


*The above noted views are individual and personal in nature.*

Text and Images By Shubhang Das: 

 
 

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MYRIAD SHADES OF INDIA:

REPUBLIC DAY PARADE 2021 HIGHLIGHTS:

January 28, 2021

Muneeta Aneja

The land of diverse culture with a solid foundation of art, architecture, heritage and a dash of fusion with different cultures, tribes and communities residing together with a feeling of fraternity and mutual respect for all. A nation like no other in this world, The Country of Gods themselves and the divinity of its surroundings.

India is unique & distinct in its own manner because it is sweeter than spicy or bitter. And sweetness tends to erode away the bitterness. With the grounded ideals of Gandhi and the heroic strength of our ancient rulers and their kingdoms, whether it be Mughals, Marathas, Sikh, Rajputs and many more, India has always stood up as a prolific power and a force to reckon with.

REPRESENTATION OF 32 TABLEAUX:

India exhibited tales of its rich history, mythological importance, distinct culture and heritage to mark the celebration of its 72nd Republic day. How can one not celebrate the largest written constitution and democracy in this world? The 72nd Republic day event marked, the unique representation of the idea of diverse cultures residing together, despite being different and inseparable at the same time, like brothers of the same soil.

A total of 32 tableaux, 17 of States and Union Territories like Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Ladakh, and Delhi participated in the parade highlighting India's prosperous culture and heritage.


6 STATE TABLEAUX REPRESNTED ANCIENT INDIAN TEMPLES, ART AND ARCHITECTURE:

Interestingly, 6 of the state Tableaux were based on the Ancient Indian temples which narrate a rich tale of history and architectural marvels of our nation, including the Sun Temple (Gujarat), Ayodhya Ram Mandir (Uttar Pradesh), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand), Hampi( Karnataka), Lepakshi (Andhra Pradesh) and Shore temple( Tamil Nadu).

From the first-ever Buddhism inspired tableau of Ladakh to the Glory of Deepotsava in Ayodhya's Ram temple, to the advent of the Vijayanagara Empire, to the sacrifices led down by the 9th Sikh Guru Tej Bahadur Singh, marking his 400th birth anniversary. Witnessing the various tableaus marching ahead with their spirit, music and culture brings a wave of zeal and enthusiasm and senses the amalgam of souls and emotions, intertwined together in the name of a country.

LADAKH'S FIRST EVER TABLEAUX EXHIBITS THE IDEA OF COMMUNAL HARMONY:-

The leading tableau with its vivid golden glow, serene eyes and a sense of tranquility, featuring the Buddhist deity, with remote monasteries in the background and a display of their art & architecture, languages & dialects, customs & costumes, fairs & festivals, literature and music, marched down the Republic day event for the first time as an Independent Union Territory, which was carved out following the bifurcation of Jammy and Kashmir in 2019.

The newest added Union Territory highlighted its vision of being "carbon neutral and being an inspiration in front of this world", illustrating the message of Communal harmony in the minds of the spectators. Additionally, it featured the Indian Astronomical Observatory located in Hanle near the capital city of Leh.

PUNJAB: Remembering the 9th Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur on his 400th birth anniversary:

The heroic sacrifice of the much influential ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was the central theme of Punjab's tableau, marking the 400th Parkash Purab of the Sikh guru. He extensively fought for the rights of  the Kashmiri Pandits facing religious persecution under the orthodox reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and was martyred on November 11, 1675, at Chandni Chowk in Delhi on the orders of the Mughal emperor for refusing to convert to Islam.

ASSAM: TEA: THE BACKBONE OF THE STATE ECONOMY:- 

As a Tableaux, with a Cheerful smiling woman working on her lush green tea plantations, approaches the ground, the state of Assam strikes our mind instantly. Tea is a global brew that defines the essence of Assam. The Assamese tea itself has a rich history built by warm and vivid people. The tea garden community serves it's aromatic, premium and flavourful tea across the globe, and are renowned for it worldwide.

UTTARAKHAND: THE STATE OF KEDAR:

The central theme of the tableau was KEDAR NATH, the preferred destination for religious tourists from all across the nation.

UTTAR PRADESH: THE RAM NAGRI:

As the state tableaux arrived in the central stage with its intricate Ayodhya Temple design and Rishi Valmiki on the forefront, the entire ground was stunned to witness the details of the Ram temple edifice displayed in the model.

An official release by the State government says the tableau mirrors “Ayodhya’s ancient cultural heritage, values and beauty”. In the first section of the tableau, Maharishi Valmiki can be witnessed composing the Ramayana. The Rama Mandir has been depicted in the centre.

The mural depicts socio-religious episodes from the Ramayana: the embracing of Nishadraj and eating of Shabri’s berry by Lord Ram; the salvation of Ahilya; ‘Kewat Samvad’; Hanuman bringing the sanjivani buti; Jatayu-Ram Samvad; Ashok Vatika, and other scenes. “The forepart of the middle tableau shows Deepotsava of Ayodhya, in which millions of earthen lamps are lit,” the release affirmed. The grand Deepotsava of Ayodhya has been featured consistently since 2017 in the Guinness World Records.

DELHI: SHAHJAHANABAD- REWINDED:-

As the Tableau marched ahead unwinding the historical tales of
SHAHJAHANABAD, the once seating throne of the glorified Delhi Sultanate, it also embarked on the urban redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk area with inclusive streets and urban public plazas.

WEST BENGAL: The futuristic vision of Wheels of Change:-

The West Bengal tableaux did a tremendous job depicting the Wheels of Change, concerning the holistic goals of infrastructural development and futuristic approach. They defied the basic paradigm of display of ancient art, culture, history or folklores and instead tried to emphasize higher education. SABOOJ SAATHI or the green companion. A powerful tool for access to higher education.

TRIPURA: ECO-FRIENDLY  AATMA-NIRBHAR:-

Some Tableaux are simply spectacular because they present an ethical cause in front of this entire world, and so did Tripura's Tableaux celebrated their eco-friendly tribal culture and the relevance of bamboo in their state, under the theme of ECO-FRIENDLY AATMA-NIRBHAR Bharat.

SIKKIM: PANG LHABSOL FESTIVAL:

Words can do no justice to describe the magnificent strength, enchanting aura and the vivid shades that were depicted in the state's tableau which marked the theme of  "PANG LHABSOL FESTIVAL" of the state. The festival marks the celebration of their guardian deity Mt. Kanchenjunga, with a strong belief that the mountain has always protected the state from the hostilities of the north.

ARUNACHAL PRADESH: The eastern state embraced a Tableaux with the theme of "EAST MEETS WEST".

GUJARAT: THE SUN TEMPLE, MODHERA:

With the fascinating details carved impeccably on the replica model of the Sun Temple at Modhera, Gujarat, people couldn't stop but stare at its utter Perfection. A temple dedicated to the Surya Dev, situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built after 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chalukyas dynasty.

The basic structure of the temple consists of three components: Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall; Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall and Kunda, the reservoir. The halls have intricately carved exterior and pillars. The reservoir has steps to reach the bottom and numerous small shrines.

Interestingly, the Sabhamandapa or the assembly hall of this magnificent temple has a series of recessed corners leaving an impression of a star-like figure of it. There are 52 intricately carved pillars, which are believed to depict the 52 weeks in a year.

CHHATTISGARH: THE TRIBAL TALES:-

The tableaux of Chhattisgarh exhibited its distinct folklore with the central theme of folk music produced by dhankul, Tori & Turahi combined with its rich tribal culture and a sense of togetherness.

MAHARASHTRA: THE SAINTS AND THE BHAKTI MOVEMENT:-

Maharashtra's tableaus was based on the central theme of the SAINTS OF MAHARASHTRA, which highlights the influence of the Bhakti Movement, which led to the promotion of a sense of equality and a culture of fraternity.