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.
BREAKING NEWS BULLETINS:
A TRAIL OF BIODIVERSITY: A MAN IN BENGALURU CREATES AN URBAN JUNGLE WITH 300 VARIETIES OF PLANTS AT HIS RESIDENCE
"NATARAJA UPADHYA HAS OVER 2,500 PLANTS ON THE ROOF & IN THE GARDEN WHERE MYRIAD KINDS OF INSECTS AND BIRDS VISIT. HE SAID WE MUST WORK ON GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE-RELATED ISSUES.
WEST BENGAL POLLS: FOUR PARTY WORKERS SHOT DEAD BY CENTRAL FORCES IN COOCH BEHAR, SAYS TMC. A 76.16 PER CENT VOTER TURNOUT WAS RECORDED TILL 5 PM IN 44 SEATS WHERE POLLING WAS HELD FOR THE FOURTH PHASE.
THE ELECTION COMMISSION (EC) HAS ORDERED ADJOURNMENT OF POLLS AT POLLING STATION NUMBER 126 IN THE SITALKUCHI ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCY: FURTHER INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY: DIG JALPAIGURI RANGE.
AS MANY AS 21,07,000 PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN 'SNAN' OR ROYAL BATH IN AND AROUND THE KUMBH MELA REGION TILL NOON AMID RISING COVID-19 CASES.
MINISTRY OF CIVIL AVIATION REVIEWS
SERVING OF MEALS ONBOARD FLIGHTS: NO MEALS FOR DOMESTIC FLIGHT WITH A DURATION OF FEWER THAN TWO HOURS, DUE TO THE NEW STRAIN OF COVID-19.
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE PHILIP, THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH, HUSBAND OF QUEEN ELIZABETH, PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY AT THE AGE OF 99 IN WINDSOR CASTLE. HE HAS RENDERED COMMENDABLE SERVICE TO BRITAIN FOR THE PAST 7 DECADES.
ANNOUNCING THE DUKE'S DEATH ON FRIDAY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE SAID: "IT IS WITH DEEP SORROW THAT HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ANNOUNCES THE DEATH OF HER BELOVED HUSBAND. ACCORDING TO THE QUEEN, HE HAS BEEN HER STRENGTH ALL THESE YEARS.
THE FUNERAL WILL TAKE PLACE AT ST GEORGE'S CHAPEL, WINDSOR, BUT THE ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN AMENDED IN LIGHT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, THE COLLEGE OF ARMS SAID IN A STATEMENT . THE DUKE WILL NOT HAVE A STATE FUNERAL AND THERE WILL BE NO LYING-IN-STATE, IN LINE WITH HIS WISHES, IT ADDED.
CHINA CORPS COMMANDER LEVEL MEETING WAS HELD AT CHUSHUL-MOLDO BORDER MEETING POINT ON 9TH APRIL. BOTH SIDES ENGAGED IN A DETAILED INTERACTION CONCERNING THE RESOLUTION OF THE REMAINING ISSUES REGARDING DISENGAGEMENT ALONG THE LAC IN EASTERN LADAKH.
THEY FURTHER AFFIRMED TO ENSURE PEACEFUL AND PROGRESSIVE BILATERAL RELATIONS. BOTH THE SIDES AGREED TO SEEK GUIDANCE FROM THEIR LEADERS, CONTINUE THEIR COMMUNICATION & WORK TOWARDS A MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE RESOLUTION OF THE REMAINING ISSUES BY THE EARLIEST: DEFENCE MINISTRY
SECURITY FORCES IN CHHATTISGARH CONDUCTED AN OPERATION ON 3RD APRIL TO HUNT DOWN THE MAOIST COMMANDER MADVI HIDMA ALONG THE SUKMA-BIJAPUR BORDER, WHICH LED TO AN INTENSE AMBUSH WITH THE MAOIST FORCES, IN WHICH 23 JAWANS LOST THEIR LIVES AND 31 REMAIN INJURED.
THE GOVT HAS LOST 175 MEN IN THE PAST TEN YEARS ON THE DANTEWADA-SUKMA-BIJAPUR AXIS ALONE.
EU PROPOSES SIX-MONTH TARIFF FREEZE WITH THE UNITED STATES: DER SPIEGEL, REUTERS
THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE PROTECTION OF JAMMU & KASHMIR CONDUCTS A WEEK-LONG HANGUL CENSUS 2021 AT DACHIGAM NATIONAL PARK, KASHMIR.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WOMEN'S DAY SPECIAL FEATURE-
The Journey of a Little Girl with dreams establishing a Global Empire:
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".
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?
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.
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.
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:-
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.
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.
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.
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:-
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
ACCURATE news from all across the world within seconds.
In search of news which serves you with truth and real facts from the most credible and authentic sources and ground breaking research and investigation?
A one stop destination to quench your thirst for accurate and precise news coverage?
Look no further!
The New Age by Muneeta Aneja is your stop for all the breaking news and updates from all over the world. From business and politics to fashion and sports, we’ve got everything you want in one spot. Check out all of our news and latest updates below.
MYRIAD SHADES OF INDIA:
REPUBLIC DAY PARADE 2021 HIGHLIGHTS:
January 28, 2021
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.
Andhra Pradesh: LEPAKSHI- MONOLITHIC MARVELS OF INDIAN ARCHITECTURE:-
The state showcased the monolithic architectural marvel of the famous Lepakshi temple with a Nandi presented in the front. Monolithic means carved out of a single stone.
TAMIL NADU: THE MIGHTY KINGDOM OF THE PALLAVA DYNASTY:-
The Pallava dynasty was a strong ruling force in Southern India.
The tableau resembled the power of their kingdom and was based on the theme of the shore temples and spectacular monuments and marvels dating back to the Pallava dynasty.
Karnataka: VIJAYANAGAR: THE CITY OF VICTORY:-
The tableau of Karnataka was a head Turner for the spectators present in the event, with its meticulous details and ambience, it depicted the City of Victory-VIJAYANAGAR, founded in 1336. Majority of spectators considered it to be the best of all, with the perfect sync of Indian history and it's glorious achievements, architecture and story narration.
KERALA: COIR OF KERALA:
With a unique Initiative driven by women empowerment, the state of Kerala exhibited its alignment with its roots by presenting the theme of the tableau as the 'Coir of Kerala', which presented the majestic elephant being the state animal, with its rich diversity of flora with precedence over coconut and palm.
*The Golden bird has not sailed so far:
The Koh-i-Noor lies in the spirit of this nation*.
The golden bird has not sailed so far, the Koh-i-Noor is not out of our hands till now, until we the people of India, become the real diamonds (Koh-i-Noor) of this nation and prosper it with the best of science, technological innovations, trade, development and a general civic sense where people understand their fundamental duties towards their nations. Instead of competing with others, let's compete with ourselves and serve this society with the best version of ourselves.
WORLD POST-COVID-19: MUNEETA ANEJA
January 25, 2021
"Sometimes Small creatures can cast a very large shadow", and that was true in the case of Covid-19 virus, a tiny little virus, which had the ultimate power to change the lives of people forever and transform the fate of this world.
Though we are in a much better state right now, with the thriving implementation of the vaccination drives across various nations with Moderna, Pfizer and Indian vaccines like Covaxin and CovidSheild, still one can't help but wonder about the changes, the pandemic has caused. Digital learning, work from home, Artificial Intelligence, global economic recession, fluctuating GDP rates and poverty and unemployment will be the centre actors for quite a long time now.
History reveals that this world has never retained to its same glory when taken upon with disasters, which tattered its soul. Whether it was, WW 1, WW 2, 9/11 world trade centre attack, things never changed back to normal again, they just changed forever.
These deadly disasters usually divide the world into a PRE- INCIDENT and a POST- INCIDENT era, where there's no going back. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we used to see and perceive things, it has added new words in our dictionary which we never knew existed. Sanitisers are more commonly available than the spices in our houses. It has become a priority today.
People are crippling with anxiety disorders, fear of isolation, depression, PTSD and are living in constant fear of, WHAT LIES NEXT? On one hand, some people are coping up with mental issues with time, and on the contrary, some are deeply traumatized by the untimely death of their loved ones, disheartened by learning the fact that the last moments spent by the patients were in complete isolation inside the hospital wards and I.C.U with the doctors who were recklessly working day and night to save their precious lives. The family members grieve about not being there with their loved ones in the moments they needed them the most, they grieve about not being able to pay the last respects or conduct their last rites properly. A hole has been created in their heart forever, such was the wrath of the crowned disease.
The social structure changed, norms of socialization went down, economy downgraded, the recession took over and gripped its wings tightly, health system deteriorated, the education system baffled, already endangered resources came at the verge of extinction, cold wars, the formation of international groups to exclude some particular nations, the imposition of high tariffs & taxes in international trade became the new medium of dialogue exchange amid nations. The pillars of politics started feeling powerless with the pace of time. Still, the states united all together, the nations united closely, and the entire globe became a single soul working with an agenda of developing a vaccine or coming up with the most effective precautionary and preventive measures to save lives.
BUREAUCRACY RENAMED TECHNOCRACY:
Bureaucracy has now transformed itself into technocracy with the dissemination of information via a digital medium, the invention of new applications for public welfare, e.g. Covid-19 tracking app, online registration applications, links, and websites to help people in dire need. The highly experienced top bureaucrats became the major policy-makers to chalk out the right measures, while respecting the government's intentions and ideology.
DIGITAL MEDIUM- THE CROWNED KING OF GAME OF THE THRONES:
The digital medium took over as the crowned king of the Game of the Thrones in the Covid-19 scenario. Amazon delivering groceries, Ola's getting converted into an ambulance, E medical supply chains delivering medicines, E vegetable shops, E grocery shops became the new superheroes of the supply chain. Automation and artificial intelligence developed with flying colours. To reduce the number of employees working in the industry,
automation has already risen into power with many malls & supermarkets across the globe starting the self tally system to minimize employee dependence. Now Robots are taking orders instead of waiters. There ain, 't much time left when robots will take up the entire charge of industrial work in a short period leaving a huge percentage of humans unemployed.
HUMAN RESOURCE, R&D, PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPT: A PRIORITY
It is worth mentioning that if the economic recession is causing such mass job losses and pay cuts, who will manage the employer-employee relationship at such a crucial stage and who will balance the employee motivation or manage the crisis. With the pace of time, the Human Resource, R&D and Public Relations department will be playing a commendable role in the backstage growth of these industries. With tough competition among people fighting for a single job, diligent HR professionals would be a pre-requisite for industries, so that they hire the best of all and focus on optimum utilization of resources. They have to further ensure proper engagement and communication within departments. The R&D dept would have to keep a close watch on rising competition and activities of competitors to match the pace of the market. The Public Relations dept will be playing the most crucial role by building and maintaining a good corporate image for the brand.
DIGITIZING BUSINESS WITH AUTOMATION & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:
Work from home, contract-based job, ad-hoc jobs and freelancing would become more common in the upcoming days as outlets won't be able to provide stable and consistent jobs. One thing that is guaranteed is the rise of the E-commerce industry, as small scale, large scale industries or MSME's will choose the digital path to flourish. Jobs for Web developers, graphic designers, web professionals will witness a spurt as businesses will look forward towards digitizing their business via E-commerce websites and applications.
UBI: ENSURING EQUALITY FOR ALL:
Many countries are already leading forward with the concept of UBI or universal basic income to maintain equality and a minimum living standard among its citizens. This will ensure their survival amid tough situations and economic recession. These direct bank transfers would immensely help the downtrodden, vulnerable and marginalized to rise back on their feet. Similarly, it could be a great opportunity for the younger generation, but unfortunately, it would become a bane if the money provided is used for unhealthy purposes and increases laziness among people.
WILL RACIAL DISCRIMINATION & STEREOTYPES INCREASE:
Travelling across international borders will further come with its own set of dos and don,' ts. There are chances that people may develop racial behaviour towards particular communities fearing them as disease-causing agents or carriers of the virus. The tourism and aviation sector of these particular nations may be deeply affected. This may caste a negative impact on society and initiate negative sentiments among people. Nationals of these countries may face job losses and criticism in other countries and have to return to their nation with their skills in hands unused.
HYGIENE & SANITATION ON A LONG RUN:
With the pace of time, various beauty and lifestyle industries may get involved in the business of hygiene and sanitation product manufacturing, as they will stay in demand for a quite a long period now. Many shrinking industries may switch their business to start the production of varieties of disinfectants, phenyls, hygiene based makeup & skincare, sanitisers, home cleaners. Innovations may be expected in them as well. Hygiene and sanitation norms would be quadrupled for public transportation in upcoming times. Strict social distancing norms may be soon forgotten, but cleaning hands, use of sanitisers, wearing masks throughout the day would be widely prevalent.
FOOD INDUSTRY: DISPOSABLE CUTLERY, SELF SERVICE OR PRIVATE BARRICADES:
The food industry will rise its hygiene norms, many restaurants and vendors may completely switch to disposable cutlery to avoid contamination. Glass or mobile wooden barricades may become common at some places to avoid much human to human contact. Disposables along with the tissue paper should be thrown away by the consumer itself in the garbage bin. Self-service would become common with less employee. Moreover, Digital apps will rule over fine dining or outdoor eating as people would consider it much efficient.
A STEP TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY:
There are chances that people will become more eco-friendly and switch towards sustainable and eco-friendly products. Laying special emphasis over the drastic effects of climate change, greenhouse gases and global warming, a part of the population will play a proactive role in afforestation, increasing the vegetation cover, reducing pollution, avoiding plastic use, recycling etc. Many governments across international borders can be seen implementing laws in favour of the environment. People will engage in more and more immunity-boosting activities like cycling, yoga, cardio, martial arts, power walk, gyming etc. Self Reliance, efficient & smart working would become the new post-COVID-19 keywords. Concerning India, The long-forgotten Indian culture and traditions have already made a drastic come back. Our Indian Namaste will rule globally over other means of social meeting.
The World will change for sure, but it will change for good, it will change for the best, for the best of mankind and nature and we need to trust the process, have patience and support our environment wholeheartedly.
THE DISCOVERY OF A SEA ROUTE THAT TRANSFORMED INDIA'S DESTINY: MUNEETA ANEJA
VANDE MATARAM !!
( I bow to the mother !!!)
_Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
The nation with a heart of gold will be celebrating its 72nd Republic day tomorrow, commemorating the spirit of the largest written constitution and the largest democracy of this world.
India, 7th largest nation of this world with 3.28 million sq km of land which is home to approximately 1.3 billion people making up for the second most populous nation is continuously growing as one of the strongest nations with holistic development in diverse sectors like defence, communication and media, sanitation and healthcare, economic growth, infrastructure, education, women empowerment.
Vedas and Upanishads: The glory of India:
India has gained a position all over the world as one of the world's major economy, with the second-largest military worldwide with the honour of historic battles fought on our soil. The mothers of this nation have birthed some of the greatest minds that have ever existed on this earth in myriad fields ranging from arts, literature, science, astronomy. Our Vedas and Upanishads provide a rich text which describes the glory of India and its ancient culture. The mythological tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata are acknowledged worldwide with lessons to learn for a lifetime.
THE INCREDIBLE INDIA:
With the rich art of the Mughal edifice and the ever strong forts of the Rajputs, the brave cavalry of the Sikhs and the Marathas, this nation has always stood up, as a force to reckon with. A pluralistic, democratic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society with people of different religions and communities living under a single umbrella of secularity, deeply united and nothing on this earth holds the power to break this bond of fraternity, brotherhood and respect for all.
Words can do no justice to glorify India's beauty and diverse culture and heritage. Each place has its own story, the beautiful sculptures, mahal, forts, temples form the myriad shades of this country, India is called Incredible for a legit reason.
India's freedom struggle marks for a glorious phenomenon, a heroic tale of bravery and freedom struggle by the great freedom fighters of our nation. Indians had an amazing diversity in the way they fought, whether it be through brave and heroic fights lead in the battleground or by employing the Gandhian model of non-violence. Let's take a look from where it all started.
The discovery of a sea route: Beginning of the conquest of the west:
The arrival of three ships under Vasco da Gama, led by a Gujarati pilot named Abdul Majid, at Calicut in May 1498 deeply affected the course of Indian history. He arrived from Portugal to trade his country's goods in return for Indian spices but from trading to ruling with the establishment of the first Portuguese fort at Cochin in 1503 to the declaration of Goa as the Portuguese capital in 1530, the game of power continued till 1663 when the Dutch won all the Portuguese forts on the Malabar coast to oust the Portuguese.
The arrival of Dutch:
After laying down the foundation stone of their first factory in Masulipatnam (Andhra) in 1605, the Dutch kept on establishing factories on the Coromandel Coast, in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Bihar and later on principal factories in Surat, Bimlipatnam, Karaikal, Patna, Baranagar and Cochin.
The most important Indian commodities the Dutch traded in were silk, cotton, indigo, rice and opium. The Dutch didn't find a greater interest in empire building but their major aim was to trade.
Establishment of the East India Company & the Anarchy begins:
The arrival of the British was the major result of the Portuguese traders who earned huge profits by selling their merchandise in India. Getting highly motivated by the profit stirring success stories of Portuguese, The Company formed by a group of English Merchants called 'Merchant Adventures" formed a company "East India Company and received a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1600 AD authorizing it to trade in the East. Queen was a shareholder in the East India Company.
Subsequently in the year 1609, the East India Company sent Captain William Hawkins to the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir to secure royal patronage. He succeeded in getting a royal permit for the Company to establish its factories at various places on the Western coast of India. By 1613, a permanent factory of East India Company was established in Surat.
Expansion in East India:
After establishing its factories in the south and west India, the company started to focus on east India particularly Bengal a significant province in the Mughal empire. The governor of Bengal Sujauddaula in 1651 AD, allowed the English Company to carry out its trade activities in Bengal. A factory in Hugli was established and three villages -Sutanati, Govindapur and Kolkata- were purchased in 1698 AD by the Company to build a factory over there. Subsequently, Fort William was raised to protect the factory.
The rise of political power with the Battle of Plassey"1757":
The British gained enormous political power after the battle of Plassey in 1757.
The Britishers came and ruled over India for approximately 200 years.
And their extreme power was established in the tenure of Lord Dalhousie, who became the Governor-General in 1848. He annexed Punjab, Peshawar and the Pathan tribes in the north-west of India. And by 1856, the British conquest and its authority were firmly established.
The Revolt of 1857: The first war of Indian Independence:
Introduction of zamindari system by the British, exploitation of peasants. The craftsmen were getting destroyed by the influx of British manufactured goods. The religion and the caste system which formed the firm foundation of the traditional Indian society was endangered by the British administration. The Indian soldiers, as well as people in the administration, could not rise in the hierarchy as the senior jobs were reserved for the Europeans. This multidimensional discontent and disgust against the British rule, burst out in a revolt by the 'sepoys' at Meerut whose religious sentiments were offended when they were given new cartridges greased with cow and pig fat, whose covering had to be stripped out by biting with the mouth before using them in rifles. The Hindu as well as the Muslim soldiers, who refused to use such cartridges, were arrested which resulted in a revolt by their fellow soldiers on May 9, 1857.
The Mutiny of 1857, which began with a revolt of the military soldiers at Meerut, soon became widespread and posed a grave challenge to the British rule. Even though the British succeeded in crushing it within a year, it was certainly a popular revolt in which the Indian rulers, the masses and the military participated with zeal and energy, that it came to be regarded as the "First War of Indian Independence".
The rebel forces soon captured Delhi and the revolt spread to a wider area and there was an uprising in almost all parts of the country. The most ferocious battles were fought in Delhi, Awadh, Rohilkhand, Bundelkhand, Allahabad, Agra, Meerut and western Bihar.
Heroic fighters like Tantya tope and Rani Lakshmibai fought fearlessly:
The rebellious forces under the commands of Kanwar Singh in Bihar and Bakht Khan in Delhi gave a stunning blow to the British. In Kanpur, Nana Sahib was proclaimed as the Peshwa and the brave leader Tantya Tope led his troops. Rani Lakshmibai was proclaimed the ruler of Jhansi who led her troops in the heroic battles with the British. The Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs and all the other brave sons of India fought shoulder to shoulder to throw out the British. The revolt was controlled by the British within one year, it began from Meerut on 10 May 1857 and ended in Gwalior on 20 June 1858.
The Tyranny of the East India Company ends:
As a result of the failure of the Revolt of 1857 rebellion, there was also an end of the East India Company's rule in India and many important changes took place in the British Government's policy towards India which sought to strengthen the British rule through winning over the Indian princes, the chiefs and the landlords. Queen Victoria's Proclamation in 1858 declared that thereafter India would be governed by and in the name of the British Monarch through a Secretary of State.
The Non-Cooperation Movement:
The Non-Cooperation Movement was pitched in under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress from September 1920 to February 1922, marking a new awakening in the Indian Independence Movement. After a series of events including the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Gandhiji realised that there was no prospect of getting any fair treatment at the hands of British, so he planned to withdraw the nation's co-operation from the British Government, thus launching the Non-Cooperation Movement and thereby marring the administrative set up of the country. This movement was a great success as it almost shook the British authorities of their roots.
The final call of Quit India Movement:
“Quit India”, or “Bharat Chhoro” — the call and command that Mahatma Gandhi gave to the British rulers of India 77 years ago. The Quit India Movement started on August 9, 1942, and set in motion a chain of events over the following five years, which finally ended with the British leaving India. India finally gained independence on 15th August 1947.
SCOTLAND DEMANDS INDEPENDENCE FROM UK: THE UNITED KINGDOMS:
January 25, 2021
Boris Johnson is heading to Scotland this week on a "Mission Rescue" to save the United Kingdoms from an upcoming major panic. This is not the first time, that Scots have demanded Independence. Majority of Scots have been disappointed and had voted against Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union) which was then implemented by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to push a referendum forward on leaving the Union, seeking its independence from the United Kingdoms. The promise appears amid polls with a clear majority of Scots supporting the move to leave the UK. The opinion polls have caused a storm amongst the Scots to support their agenda of Scottish nationalism and freedom.
The British Prime Minister has so far refused to give legal permission for another referendum, but Scotland could move forward with a vote regardless. This major wave of panic leading towards Scottish independence makes it way at a time when the United Kingdom is already trying to lift itself, amid facing one of the highest Covid-19 death tolls and worst recessions faced by any nation throughout the globe.
Source- Business Insider
IS THIS THE DEATH OR TRIUMPH OF DEMOCRACY IN INDIA?
January 26, 2021
Violence has erupted near the ITO area of the national capital as protesting farmers reached there, by surpassing the police barricades. It can't be affirmed that which side had started the violence first. However, the tractor rally marched off peacefully from its stations and everything was going on smoothly. The question is that, why were these barricades positioned in the first place?
India is a democratic country, people of this nation possess a fundamental right to assemble peacefully and hold peaceful protests and this is what the farmers of this Nation have been doing for more than 3 months now.
The Delhi Police which comes under the ambit of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah can be witnessed dropping off tear gas shells and executing lathi charges on the protesting farmers. This provoked the farmers uprising even more. On one hand, some protesters maintained their calm, whereas some succumbed to the path of violence.
A protestor even hosted the flag by reaching the mast of the historic Red Fort. Several police personnel and farmers have been injured in the protest. The police claim, that the farmers attacked them first and started vandalising vehicles. On the contrary, the Farmer leader and Spokesperson Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait affirmed that he has no information about violence and the Rally is advancing smoothly. He said, we are at Ghazipur and are releasing the traffic here.
Few Inside sources have revealed, that some hooligans were intentionally added into the farmers' tractor rally to ruin their reputation and allege them as anti-national. Instead of restoring to peaceful methods, the Twitteratis and social media groups have been divided into two parts, where some of them are spreading fake photoshopped images and even declared the protesting Indian farmers to be Khalistani terrorists.
Apparently, the Sikh regiment is one of the world's largest Militant Regiment, and from Raja Ranjit Singh, Maharaja Gulab Singh to the vast majority of Sikhs residing in India share a spirit of nationalism for their country and can even give away their lives to protect it, till their last breath. These are the same Sikhs, who reach the most unfortunate places in the time of calamities saving millions of lives, whether it be Nepal or Kedarnath. They are the ones serving meals and saving people out of their Khalsa funds, and calling them Khalistani, is an insult to their pride and turban. It is an insult to the entire nation. They are the ones who run the largest kitchen in this world as the Golden temple and feed thousands of people every day.
And the farmers irrespective of their caste, class, race or the state they belong to, work hard in their fields amid scorching sun, monsoon, harsh winter mornings to feed our bellies every day, and they don't deserve to hear this from us. One should refrain from passing such statements.
This is their country, as much as ours and it's the failure of the Union Home Ministry to not let a peaceful protest reach its pinnacle with peace. I leave it up to my readers, to decide the involvement of political factors and the non-compliance of promises made by the Delhi police and the fate of more than 130 deceased protesting farmers within the period of three and half months of peaceful protests with no concrete results in hands.
A democracy has to be quick in dissolving such matters, we would have never witnessed this day in both historic and dark terms if the government would have repealed the farm laws earlier. What were they waiting for?
At least, we know one thing from Arnab Goswami's and former BARC chief WhatsApp chats, that political agendas appear before everything. Was this a mere political agenda to incite violence and prove the farmers wrong? Was this a planned move, to extend the farmers protest up till now? Were the speculations right that some political hooligans disguised as farmers will be taking a stride in this rally, for some mere amount? And even if the farmers who were quiet since one-third of a year till now, became violent, What were the driving forces behind it? Though, there's no justification for violence.
Whatever it may be, it is a humble request from our side to both the parties to refrain from violence and maintain peace. We also request the Honourable Indian government to kindly dispose of the matter as soon as possible, and let the farmers return safely to their homeland and let Delhi stay in peace.
CHHATTISGARH: A NEW TOURISM HOTSPOT!
January 29, 2020: Muneeta Aneja
WHAT IS CHHATTISGARH FAMOUS FOR? A state blessed with a rich history of mythological importance and distinct culture and heritage. A resource-rich state gifted with the beauty of widespread forests and unique geographical features. A leading state which is constantly stepping up the ladders of holistic development, but still manages to keep its old traditions alive. A state, like no other state in India, having its distinct flavour. This is Chhattisgarh, the land of joy and happiness.
The legends of Dakshin Kaushal ,:-
In ancient times the region was known as Dakshin-Kaushal, which finds special mention in the holy Ramayana and Mahabharata also. It is believed to have a significant role in the life of Lord Rama. Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and his younger brother Lakshman had started their exile in the Dandakaranya region of Bastar in Chhattisgarh. It is also said, that they spent more than 10 years of their 14 year exile period, in the state itself.
*How will India revive its tourism sector post-Covid-19*
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented crisis across the globe and has adversely affected the tourism sector. Concerning India, about 10 million foreign inbound travellers visit India and 26 million outbound travellers visit out of India destinations every year. Here the intriguing question is that, What does India lack within itself that causes this gap with the majority of people choosing outbound travelling? Are we limiting the potential of tourism in our nation? Are there any kind of changes or discoveries that we can make, that will stir the globe across and invite a larger number of tourists in our country? Can we unearth some hidden gems and create some unique experiences for our countrymen, to gift them a memorable experience for life? And the big question is, how can we achieve this goal?
*CG to develop the areas under the Tribal Tourism Circuit*
Interestingly, Chhattisgarh has found has a solution for it. The state government has decided to rapidly develop the areas under the Tribal Tourism Circuit to create awareness among the tourists regarding the lifestyle, culture and traditions followed by the tribals of the state. This technique of Development is called Micro-tourism, which aims at the flow of large percentage of the benefits of tourism to the local community, with direct jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities for locals, direct procurement and inclusion in the tourism sector.
*Rural tourism & local employment opportunities to witness a spurt*
On one hand, tourism development in these rural areas will provide the tourists with an opportunity to understand the distinct tribal and rural culture, and on the other hand, it will raise employment opportunities for the localities, thereby increasing their income and standard of living.
*Budget worth Rs 96 crores 10 lakhs*
With the special emphasis led by the Chief Minister, a project has been approved to develop a tribal tourism circuit worth Rs 96 crores 10 lakhs at 13 places in Chhattisgarh under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, with a holistic aim to develop rural tourism along with the creation of employment opportunities for the rurals. 8 projects have been launched by the Chief Minister within the past three months. Projects sanctioned under the Tribal Tourism Circuit include Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshwarpur (Mainpat), Maheshpur, Kurder, Sarodhadadar, Gangrel, Nathianwagaon, Kondagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakot and Tirathgarh.
Mr.Baghel inaugurated the Kudar Hill Eco Resort, Kudar, District Bilaspur, Baiga Ethnic Resort Sarodhadadar, Kabirdham and Dhankul Ethnic Resort, Kondagaon on 14th August. Additionally, he inaugurated the Sarna Ethnic Resort, Balachaper District Jashpur, Koinar Highway Treat Kunkuri, District Jashpur, Hill Maina Highway Treat, Nathianwagaon, District Kanker, Satrenga Boat Club and Resort Satarenga, District Korba and Way Side Amenity Maheshpur, District Sarguja on 1st November, marking the state's foundation day.
*A sense of sustainability with Wooden Cottages & Huts*
The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board has built the Sarna Ethnic Resort on approximately 5 acres of land at village Balachapar near Jashpur. 6 eco log huts (wooden cottages) and a cafeteria has been established to attract the tourists. Wayside amenity has been constructed with 2 wooden cottages and washrooms at the archaeological site of Maheshpur, 35 km away from the district headquarters, Ambikapur and about 7 km from the Ambikapur-Bilaspur National Highway.
Likewise, Hill Maina Highway Treat at village Nathianwagaon has been built, about 10 kilometres away from the District Headquarters, Kanker and the Koenar Highway Treat has been established at a distance of 40 kilometres from the District Headquarters, Jashpur and 5 kilometres from Kunkuri, where all kinds of facilities can be availed by the tourists.
*Promoting water tourism: Floating Resorts*
The most incredible of all: a floating restaurant and resort have been constructed at the Hasdev Bango reservoir at Satarenga in the Korba district to promote water tourism in the state.
*Kurder Hill Eco Resort: Designed as an Eco destination*
The Kurder Hill Eco Resort is located 52 km away from Baiga Village Kurder, Bilaspur and 12 km away from Belgahna, on the hill adjacent to the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve. It has been designed and developed as a model eco-destination. The iconic beauty of Chhattisgarh with its thick and luscious forests covered with a thick layer of greenery appeals in a soulful manner to the tourists.
*Magnificent view of the adjoining earth and sky: Baiga Ethnic Resort, Sargodha-Dadar*
The magnificent and breathtaking view of the earth touching the horizons of the sky can be seen at the Baiga Ethnic Resort, Sargodha-Dadar, situated on the Chilfi Valley. The resort embarks on the beauty of nature which can be witnessed during the golden hours of sunset. Huts, Cafeteria and Interpretation Center are also built at the resort. Tourists can discover the the scenic beauty of the state covered with dense forests. Wooden cottages have been constructed for the first time in this ethnic resort for the accommodation of tourists, in lieu of the foreign countries.Additionally, a grand Muktakash Manch has been constructed in the resort too.
*A reflection of our tribal culture: Dhankul Ethnic Resort*
Dhankul Ethnic Resort, Kondagaon adorns the traditional features of the tribal community. The arrival of the tourists via the grand entrance built alike Jagdalpur Palace narrates the glorious tale of its rich history. The museum has been constructed in a tribal style with the display of various artefacts of the tribal community including rare musical instruments, agricultural tools, Heritage pieces made out of Steel craft, Woodcraft, Dhokra art, terracotta and bamboo art.
Chhattisgarh has successfully created its way in the tourism sector with it's greater emphasis on the tribal and rural culture of the state. Emphasizing the Micro-Tourism agenda, Chhattisgarh will simultaneously create employment opportunities for its residents while growing its tourism sector. The advantage of this model is that tourists and travellers are often looking forward to exploring such places, engage with locals and gain new experiences.
Haven’t had enough of news updates, and are craving more? Subscribe now and get all the updates sent to you with a click of a button.
THE FASHION POLICE: BY MUNEETA ANEJA
TOP 5 SUNGLASSES TRENDS OF 2021, you can't miss on!
Wanna stay in trend, with just a simple life-saving hack? Well, I have one. We all have those baggy under-eyes exactly revealing how overworked we are, or how many series we have been binge-watching. Don't worry, because a simple selection of the right sunglasses while you step out of your house, can save you in a million ways.
SUNGLASSES AS A FASHION ACCESSORY? Yes or No!
Now, how can these sunnies save your life? Basically, people will assume you're super stylish and you keep up with the latest trends. Secondly, you don't have to spend a fortune on under eye Concealers or colour correctors. Thirdly, people won't get to see your EEW or AWW eye expressions, Thank god! Above all, it's a trending and flamboyant fashion accessory, a must-have just like your handbag.
It adds volume to your personality and with the changing style of your sunglasses, you can add a very different vibe to your personality, from being a party freak to a fashion nova to a street-style vibe to that urban gala or a sincere I mind my own business vibe. You just need to choose the right sunglasses according to your face type and worldly hype. Haha!
WHAT SUNGLASSES ARE IN VOGUE 2021?
In this fashion & lifestyle feature, we have interacted with five leading fashion influencers from the industry: Aqsa Shad, Rachel D'Cruz, Ishita Debnath, Nancy Saharia and Natasha Desai, who will exactly guide you on what kind of sunglasses you should wear according to your face shape? What styles and accessories fit well with it and what are the must-have sunnies in your wardrobe? Which sunglasses will stay in trend in the year 2021 and how are they creating a fashion statement right now? So, let's dig in and get the top 5 sunglasses style for you.
THE MYSTERIOUS CAT-EYES:
Starting from Marilyn Monroe to the iconic ladies of Hollywood, fashion runway or the cover page of the leading fashion magazines, you will always find these mysterious yet feminine designer sunnies peeping right at you. The Cat-eye Sunglasses are in vogue since early 2019 and they aren't going anywhere for the rest of this year, and I guess the upcoming years too. People with oval, square and heart face type can go for these shades.
SUNGLASSES FOR AN OVAL FACE SHAPE:
Honestly, people with an oval face cut can go for any kind of glasses ranging from aviators, wayfarers or round eye sunglasses. But the latest trends reveal, that Cat-eye Sunglasses, add a mysterious depth and dimension to the oval face type.
Go for sleek monochrome black cat-eyes for a subtle look like Nancy did, or pick up the contrast, neon or animal print cat-eye frames for a much more quirky look like Aqsa. Cat-eye sunglasses differ in dimensions too, I would suggest that if you are looking for glasses in terms of protection from sunlight, then don't buy the narrow ones, which will fit below your eyes and won't serve a purpose, other than being a fashion statement for a mere second.
THE CLASSIC AVIATORS:
Square, oval, heart or diamond- whichever face type you have- you can always find a classic aviator to fit perfectly with your face cut and style. They have smoked lenses blended with an elegant slim metal frame. So, like Ishita, who is minimalistic yet elegant with her style and is not looking for something heavy, aviators are the best option for minimalistic trendsetters. The shape and lenses are designed in a manner to block the harsh sunlight from all the angles.
SUNGLASSES FOR ROUND FACE SHAPE:
Folks with a round face cut should go for wide and rectangular frames. Aviators and Ray-Ban wayfarers are the best options for people with a round face, to add length and dimension to their face and make it look thinner.
THE QUIRKY WAYFARERS:
Interestingly, “wayfarer” means someone who travels by foot, but today you know these sunnies as a best-selling style of sunglasses all across the globe. Whether it be the convenience factor, sun protection, the trapezoidal shape which fits perfectly around your eyes, or simply the fact, that how professional, adventurous, quirky you can look with a single pair of wayfarers by just changing your styles.
If you team them up with a blazer, there's no greater boss lady than you, if you pair it with a tropical dress as Natasha did for an adventurous vacay, then you'll be a tropical beauty and if you wish to add a little quirk to these shades, then layer it up with some rad and rugged chains, contrast frames, outfit layering and just like that, you'll be the queen of quirks.
THE URBAN CHIC OVERSIZED GLASSES:
These sunnies are not for everyone, only the ones with that Oomph factor can carry it with utmost confidence like Rachel did here. The oversized sunnies give you that retro street style and urban vibe instantly. You don't have to be a rapper with gold chains hanging around your neck, to wear them, but you need a good dose of confidence to pull out something so ravishing and flamboyant. The oversized sunglasses also come in different sizes and dimensions. Also, you can try medium Shield oversized sunnies, only if you are searching for something new and interesting.
Images by Respective fashion Influencers
MYSTERY OF RAMAYANA:
TRACING THROUGH LORD RAMA'S FOOTPRINTS:
Dakshin Kaushal: A glimpse into the Epic Ramayana
The 9th largest state of India with a plethora of mythological tales and epics, Archaeological and heritage sites dating back to the Era of Kalchuris and the unique tribal relevance in state, has always created a special place for Chhattisgarh, as a religious, cultural and an incredible tourist destination of historical importance. A divine state in tune with its old age traditions and a state of prosperity amidst the toughest times. A land blessed with the presence of Gods and Goddesses surrounding and shielding us. Now, it's high time to unearth that hidden mystery box and present some precious jewels of the state's history in front of this entire world.
*Mata Kaushalya- Mother of Lord Ram hails back from the state of Chhattisgarh*
The Mythological tales date back to the period of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The state is renowned for its significant role in the life of Lord Rama. Chhattisgarh used to be the Maternal Home of Lord Rama and the birthplace of her Mother- Mata Kaushalya. Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and his younger brother Lakshaman had started his exile in the Dandakaranya region of Bastar in Chhattisgarh. It is also said, that they spent more then 10 years of their 14 year exile period, in Chhattisgarh itself.
*The Cultural Values linked with Lord Rama*
Spending 10 years of his exile period in Chhattisgarh itself, an entire range of ancient relics can be connected from Sarguja in the north of Chhattisgarh to Sukma in the south belt, concerning the places associated with Lord Rama, which have been a source of local cultural values in the state. The Ram Van Gaman tourism circuit is an ambitious project which aims at the development of such places by connecting them together. 75 places associated with Lord Ram have been identified in Chhattisgarh. Out of which, Nine locations are being developed and beautified in the first phase of the project, with a budget provision of 137 crore 45 lakhs Rs.
*Lord Rama made his entrance through Koriya District*
The Divine Rasoi of Sita Maiya, Lordess Sita
Lord Rama made his entrance into Chhattisgarh from Koriya District. The Sitamarhi-Harchauka, which is located in Janakpur of Bharatpur tehsil, is renowned as his first stop. The Sitamarhi-Harchauka's cave, which is located on the banks of Mawai River has 17 chambers inside it. This auspicious place is widely renowned as Sita's kitchen. The inscription with the foot print of Lord Rama is of utmost mythological importance. The cave situated on the banks of the Mawai River has been divided and split into 17 chambers, with a Shivaling. This place is known as the Harchauka (kitchen). Lord Rama arrived at the Sitamarhi-Ghaghra on the banks of river Rapa from Harchauka. A holy cave with four chambers amid which the Shivalinga is installed stays at a height of 20 feet.
A special mention in Meghdootam of the great poet Kalidasa.
*Unveiling the mystery behind the caves named Jogimara, Sita Bengra and Lakshman Cave
Proceeding further with his journey, he left Ghaghra and reached Kotgarh via Ramgarh hills in Sarguja district, which is located on the Ambikapur-Bilaspur road, known as Ramgiri. Scenes from this location, have found a special mention in Meghdootam of the great poet Kalidasa. Lord Rama spent few days of his exile period along with Lakshmana and Sita here, which lead to the caves being renowned by their names. With the ascetic disguise of Rama, one cave was named Jogimara, the other is profoundly known as the Sita Bengra and the Laxman Cave.
The unforgettable tale of Shabari feeding sweet plums to Rama
Shivrinarayan is situated at the Triveni Sangam (or the confluence of 3 rivers), Shivnath, Jonk and Mahanadi in the Janjgir Champa district. The word Shivrinarayan is an amalgam of two words: Shabri and Narayana. This is the same place known for its pure unconditional love, with Mata Shabari being an epitome of Motherhood and simplicity. She hand picked the plums and tasted them one by one, to feed the sweetest ones to Lord Rama, the tale has never lost its emotional sync since then. The Nar-Narayana and Mata Shabari temple with a Vat tree near adjoining them, has a peculiar feature with its leaves in the shape of a bowl.
The Birthplace of Luv,- Kush & the Saga of Struggle, Pain and Heroism
Turturiya is a small village, situated on the banks of the Balamdevi River surrounded by dense forests in the Balodabazar district. Maharishi Balmiki's ashram has been believed to be in existence here, and therefore is renowned as the Birthplace of Luv and Kush. The water streaming through the river makes a Tutur sound and therefore this place was named as Turturiya. The State Government has drafted a project outline, concerning the development of the Balmiki Ashram of Turturiya as a tourist-pilgrimage.
Birthplace of Mata Kaushalya- Mother of Lord Ram
Chandkuri, a small village from Raipur derives its name from Chandrapuri, ruled by the Chandravanshi kings in the ancient times. This is the home of Lord Ram's mother- Mata Kaushalya.
Keeping the authenticity of the ancient Mata Kaushalya temple situated near Raipur alive, the task of beautification of the entire complex is undertaken, with a budget provision of 15 Crore 75 lakh Rs.
To establish Chandkuri as a tourist-pilgrimage destination, civic amenities will be developed along with the traditional task of Temple beautification. The pond will undergo beautification along with the organisation of the temple present in the middle of the pond. The architecture of the entire complex has been designed in a manner to highlight Chandkhuri's mythological connection. Additionally, a bridge will be constructed for the devotees to arrive at the pond temple.The ghats and four other circumambulation paths will be built across the pond. Parking facility and beautiful lightening system will be ensured.
Lord Rama spent some time of his exile period in the ashram of Lomash Rishi
Due to its strategic location at the
confluence of the Rajim Mahanadi, Sondhur and Pari rivers identified under the Ram Vanagaman tourism circuit, it is renowned as Prayagraj here. In ancient times, it was renowned as Kamal Kshetra Padiamavatipura. Lord Rama spent some time of his exile period in the ashram of Lomash Rishi situated here and visited Panchakoshi to worship Kuleshwar Mahadev along with Mata Sita and Lakshman.
The Sacred place of Shringya Rishi
Sihawa is a sacred unexplored place surrounded by dense forests and hills, located 65 kms away from the district headquarters of Dhamtari. Sihawa is the place of origin of the Divine Mahanadi river, which is considered sacred in Chhattisgarh and Odisha. The Ashram of Shringya Rishi is situated here and therefore the place derives its name as Sihawa from here itself. King Dasharatha had called Shringya Rishi to Ayodhya to perform the Putraeshti Yagya to have sons from his three queens. As a result of this sacrifice, Lord Rama was born.
The Divine place where Lord Rama met Lord Shiva
Chitrakoot is considered to be a place of major importance of Ram Van gaman in the Bastar region. The scenic beauty of Chitrakoot with its magnificent waterfalls of River Indravati make it a tourist delight. As the tales depict, Lord Shiva and Parvati arrived from the Himgiri mountain to meet Lord Ram at this place only. Rampal is another place near Jagdalpur, linked with Lord Rama. It is believed that, Lord Rama had installed a Shivalinga and performed prayers at Rampal to mark his arrival from North to South India, just like he performed prayers in Rameshwaram by installing the Shivalinga before the Lanka battle.
Ramaram houses the footprints of Lord Rama*
There is a popular belief among the people of South Bastar, that Ramaram in the Sukma district houses the footprints of Lord Rama. He worshipped Bhumi Devi here itself. Ramaram houses the famous Chittamittin temple. The villagers celebrate the birthday of Lord Ramchandra with great zeal and enthusiasm. A mega fair fills up the place on the occasion of Ramnavami.
The Ram Van Gaman circuit will be a tourist delight in each step
The project of Ram Van Gaman tourism Circuit was chalked out to highlight the mythological and historical background of Chhattisgarh and its close association with the life of Lord Rama. The project not only emphasizes on the places which are associated with the exile period of Ram, but will additionally aid in the development of areas surrounding the sites.
The Ram Van Gaman tourism circuit to be commenced from Koriya to Sukma will be filled with the essence of Lord Rama in every step. Special Emphasis is laid on the beautification of doors of pilgrimage and tourist places, lamp-posts and benches in the action plan prepared by the Chhattisgarh Government.
The Devotees and tourists will be able witness the presence of Lord Ram on each and every foot-step, during their journey of Ram Van Gaman Path. The total length of the subways, including the main route of the Ram Van Gaman Path, is approximately 2260 kilometers. Additionally, display boards with information about a specific region and it's mythological importance will be stated and one can watch and hear stories of Lord Rama's Exile at these places of pilgrimage.
Different species of plants are being planted on both the sides of the path to generate a feeling of Lord Ram's Vanvas in the minds and hearts of devotees. The fragrance of flowers surrounding the beautiful gardens will take the tourists into a different zone of mindfulness. The Forest Department has been enforced with the responsibility to plant more than one and a half lakh saplings on both sides of the 528 km route of the Path. The department has already accomplished 90 percent of its work, even before the work on the original project started.
SPECIAL FEATURES & EDITORIALS
What's making the Reliance Industries Tumble around? Muneeta Aneja
The share price for the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) dropped down as much as 4.7 per cent to Rs 1,953.40 apiece on BSE today, despite posting a 12.55 per cent rise in the consolidated net profit to Rs 13,101 crore in the October-December quarter.
Precisely, when the Richest man of India and the leading business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, who led a digital revolution in India with the introduction of Reliance Jio in 2016, luring the masses with the provision of free data for six months, was going to play his next gigantic move with the introduction of 5G in the second half of 2021, and the integration of Jio Mart with WhatsApp, aiming to transform the digitising India as a Self Reliant state with stable data infrastructure and worthy collaborators that could benefit the nation for a lifetime, the tables got turned and the billionaire's name went missing from the Top 10 Richest of the world.
WHAT LED TO THE SUDDEN DOWNFALL OF RELIANCE INDUSTRIES:
What were the basic factors which led to the downfall of this unfathomable industry which keeps on establishing one mark after the other? Was the cause internal or something much shadier, that made them lose their position intentionally to create an impact among the political leaders, esteeming the power they hold to build or destroy the foundation of their corporate allies, as strong as the Reliance Industries led by the visionary and futuristic Mukesh Ambani?
Thousands of protesting farmers demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws have been struggling on the outskirts of the national capital since three months now, despite the harsh weather conditions and no concrete solution with the conversations with Central government deemed to be meaningless. The farmer unions were left with scarce options to stage a peaceful non-violent democratic protest.
Soon, the peaceful protests turned out to be a mass movement against the much-referred Allies of the Modi Government - Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani and their respective industries. Interestingly, the collective wealth of these two leading business magnates rose by US$41 billion last year, amid millions of Indians losing their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis. This became a subject of heated debate with the farmer unions implying that the new farm laws have been formulated by the Modi government for the benefit of their corporate friends.
The two leading business tycoons have inferred as good friends with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the farmers believe that these farm laws will solely benefit the Ambani-Adani gang and will leave the farmers on the brink of exploitation, whereas the leading business houses confirmed to have no part in it.
The farmer unions in Punjab shouted slogans reaching out for the complete boycott of these corporate houses and their products and stores, spreading across the nation like a wildfire with the vandalism of more than 1,500 phone towers of Ambani’s wireless carrier, and a majority of populace supporting the farmers cause, throwing away their jio sim cards, various retail stores and Reliance shopping malls remained shut for months in Punjab, causing losses worth millions of dollars.
"DATA IS THE NEW OIL- MUKESH AMBANI"
Reliance Jio, the newbie data and tech player making its grand entry in the Indian market in 2016 attracting 400 million users with consecutive new launches and additions like streaming services, video conferencing app, a fibre broadband network and digital payment interface, thus revolutionizing the Digital India scenario by recording a whopping number of 750 million Internet users in India, which stood at just 350 million Internet users before the launch of Jio. The company's scheme to provide cheaper data and initial marketing strategy bought millions of Indians online for the first time.
After generating more than $20 billion for Jio Platforms, Reliance went wooing investors for its retail business. Between late September and early November, Reliance Retail raised around $6.4 billion, the majority coming from Jio investors including Silver Lake, General Atlantic, TPG as well as the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. In April 2020 Facebook Inc, the owner of WhatsApp acquired a 9.9% stake in Reliance Industries’ digital unit Jio Platforms for USD 5.7 billion.
JIOMART AND WHATSAPP? Can we call it a revolutionary collaboration?
Undoubtedly, Ambani's retail chain is the largest in India, with more than 12,000 stores. JioMart is one such unique initiative launched in 2019 to create an online presence for the thousands of India's mom-and-pop stores or Kirana Dukan's. Additionally, Reliance Retail has acquired one of its biggest Indian rivals, Future Retail, for $3.3 billion recently.
The political environment of the nation seems to favour Ambani with his next goal of bringing 5G network by the second half of 2021. The Indian government has been clamping down a series of regulatory hurdles for the Global tech firms and giant foreign players, by blocking Facebook's efforts to provide free internet, transforming the way companies store or collect data or shutting down Chinese tech companies over a border dispute, resulting in the emergence of the Reliance Industries as one of the biggest beneficiaries of these regulations.
It's rightly said that with greater role comes greater responsibility and therefore one can expect a few hurdles while they are on their way to build a Data-oriented empire, whether it be in the form of mass movements and boycott by farmer unions and their supporters or the clampdown of a major fine. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has ordered the Reliance Industries to pay a $5.5 million fine over what the regulator has described as a "fraudulent and manipulative trading scheme" over a former subsidiary in 2007.
Certainly, 2021 didn't give rise to such a smooth start for the Reliance Industries or Ambani himself. In the upcoming times, he faces a greater challenge to transform his $170 billion conglomerate,
as the Indian economy struggles to recover from its first recession.
One can only imagine how things would turn out in favour of Mukesh Ambani. But still, he has managed to get some good deals in his pockets amid the Covid-19 pandemic. While teaming with Facebook, it aims to integrate JioMart with WhatsApp, the only platform in India with a user base comparable to Jio's. In its association with Google, it's gunning for control of mobile devices by developing an "entry-level, affordable smartphone" for India's massive middle-class population. Additionally, the Industry is also eyeing the chip technology that underpins those networks and devices through partners such as Qualcomm. The billionaire meant something huge when he said, "Data is the new oil," in 2017 and he has left no stone unturned in proving his point.
The Indian Billionaire losing his position among the Top 10 Richest in the world teaches us a lesson for life and signifies what India stands for. India is not just a land of rich culture and diversity, but it's also a land of strong and furious emotions and human sentiments on a roll.
Elections are won and lost over the right play of right words that invoke emotions among the masses. The vote bank depends on the right use of verbose as much as it depends on the financial support of leading business houses and pressure groups for their successful election campaigning.
When the entire nation seems to suffer the wrath of Covid-19 crisis, increasing poverty and rising unemployment rate, the farm bills didn't come as a boon for the agricultural community, which labours 24/7 to fill the bellies of this nation. Maybe, it was their patience or the loss of faith with the disputed conversations with Central government or the fact, that they felt like nothing when dead bodies of their relatives were lifted from the site and the government still didn't bat an eye to repeal the farm bills, to ensure their safety, so that they return home safely. Maybe, the Indian masses had too much to say, which was struck deep inside their throat and it finally got out this way.
THE ART FEATURE
BOOST YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WITH ART THERAPY:
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”- Thomas Merton.
IS ART A FORM OF THERAPY?
Art is a therapy, a natural healer for the soul, which enables healing by stitching our open wounds in the form of creativity and knitting them together in an expressive way, rather than suppressing it deep down inside your heart with anxiety or frustration.
ART AS A THERAPY FOR MENTAL HEALTH:
The mere concept that the creative expression of our thoughts via art can make a remarkable contribution towards the healing process and mental well being has been embraced in different cultures and thereby we witness various forms of age-old art forms still existing throughout this world.
WHY DID OUR FOREFATHERS USE VISUAL ART?
A story of art, growing as a language throughout the ages, from the early cavemen communicating with scribbled pictures to the modern-day depiction of Art and it's marvels. For centuries, art has been the language of communication among human beings. Our forefathers would have detected some kind of potential in the power of pictures, music, dance or visual arts to foster mental health and holistic well being, and therefore they assigned it in their daily routine or rituals.
WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
Art therapy is a technique, which acknowledges that creative expression can aid in healing and mental well-being. Whether it be through creating art or simply exploring others creations, it can be used as a powerful mode of expressing and understanding emotions and developing self-awareness. Researchers have proved constantly that art therapy aids in stress management, boosts self-esteem and harnesses our social skills. Visual art aids in expressing sentiments and experiences that are too hard to put into words.
DOES ART THERAPY WORK FOR ANXIETY?
In Conversation with Manya Bhola, an assistant professor, working with the Haryana Government and a self-taught leading Artist based in Delhi. We couldn't think of anyone better than her for this special artsy feature. Her art touches the soul of many and her vivid imaginations capture the little details of this world. She is an all-rounder classic and timeless artist. Let's see how she incorporated Art therapy into her life, to relieve her stress and increase her productivity!
HOW TO USE ART-THERAPY FOR DEPRESSION?
Manya affirmed that she is a self-taught artist, and her undying love for art started when she was preparing for competitive exams. She further said that art has therapeutically helped her to vent out all her pent up emotions and mental frustration during exam pressure.
With 8-10 years of hardcore devotion towards painting, it eventually became a full-time hobby from a mere medium of expression. Initially, she started juggling with acrylic paints, and as time passed by, she quickly grasped everything from fluid art, resin art, digital art, alcohol inks and even doodling.
MANYA AND ART: A CLASSIC LOVE STORY:
Art brings out the best version of me, that could ever exist on earth. It’s my trusted therapy and a complete stress buster. No matter how low, agitated or hyper I feel, the expression of creativity helps in calming down my senses. Just like people pen down their notes, I pen down my imaginations via this method of visual presentation.
THE EVER-GROWING SCOPE OF ART:
Art is ever-growing and everlasting. With greater mediums, and fresh modes, it’s taking a front seat in every sphere - be it fashion, theatre, movies, blogging, home decor. You can witness Art almost everywhere and in every little thing, you touch. Even the tiniest creatures on earth, the myriad shades of a flower and the hues of sunrise and sunset teach us a lot about art and it's wonderful combinations.
While concluding Manya said that she was happy that everyone is coming up with distinct and unique ideas and with the age of internet revolution, people get everything within a blink of seconds. So learning the art therapy can start from this very moment, for whosoever wishes to learn it.
PROMOTE HANDICRAFT OVER MACHINE BASED ARTIFACTS:
In the current scenario, machine-based artwork is given precedence over the local artists and their creations, people have failed to acknowledge the hardship, creativity, imagination and patience that goes behind the curtains. These artists take days, months and sometimes even a year or so, depending on the conceptualization of their project and their need for utter Perfection, to get the details right.
Never miss a thing. Sign up now to receive updates on the latest news stories.
Your Ultimate guide to the latest trends in Fashion and Lifestyle
Catch up with the latest trends with Muneeta Aneja in myriad topics ranging from fashion, lifestyle, beauty, luxury, skincare and body care, home decor, DIYS and budget friendly recyclable fashion options. Do not miss on this one.
HOW TO STYLE A LEHENGA DIFFERENTLY?
INDIAN WEDDING SPECIAL
1 LEHENGA: 8 DIFFERENT STYLES-
The wedding season is still buzzing up, and we can think of no perfect outfit to glam up the ceremonies and occasions like a LEHENGA does. Lehengas are quite expensive and they are available in various types from Maharani to mermaid cut, catering to the diverse needs of the Indian society.
WHICH LEHENGA TYPE DO YOU CHOOSE?
There's a saying in India, you need to wear a lehenga and visualise the most magical moments of your life, Just kidding, I totally made it up. Honestly speaking, lehengas are magnificent and imperial in their vibe. Some go for the royal and rich velvet lehengas with intricate zari work on it, some opt for a banarasi silk lehenga and others go for the sleek net ones with Swarovski studded on it from top to bottom.
Indian Wedding TRENDS: 2021
2021 is all about pastel shades, floral tones, ruffles and truffles, lantern sleeves, cutwork patterns, minimalist budgets and experimental styles. Some brides are even going boho these days with a colourful layered ensemble on their big day, whereas some bridesmaids are choosing floral frill lehengas with soft net and minimal work.
The most trending shades in lehengas these days are wild lilac, soft lavender, pastel pink, Mustard yellow, vibrant orange and a complete monochromatic vibe. Remember, Priyanka Chopra's red wedding ensemble?
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LEHENGA?
We recommend you to wear whatever you like, but we also want you to be your best version, so you need to remember a few pointers while choosing your dream lehenga like body type, convenience and the occasion you are attending. Also, keep in mind, Confidence is the key and nothing comes before your comfort, so whatever you wear, just wear it with your smile and carry it with utmost confidence.
LEHENGA TIPS FOR HEAVY UPPER BODY AND SHOULDERS:-
Women with heavy upper body and shoulders can opt for medium sleeve, deep backs, but a deep neck is a big No-No, as it makes you look short and bulky. Tie your lehengas above your navel and make them high waist, pair it with a sturdy pair of block heels to keep you balanced throughout the day. Keep your makeup light and breezy with nude lip shades and dewy makeup finish. GO for soft curls or a tight bun depending on your choice.
LEHENGA TIPS FOR HOURGLASS FIGURE:-
Women with an hourglass figure can opt for a little lower waist lehenga with heavy zardosi or motif work. They can choose fabrics like velvet and net, and don't forget to get extra can added into your lehengas. Go for sleeveless or ruffled sleeves and compliment the look with an elegant choker, minimalistic watch and a dropping dupatta style. Go for wavy hair, messy bun or even hair jewellery to make it look eccentric. Choose your jutis or heels wisely.
RECYCLE YOUR OLD LEHENGA LIKE NEW ONES:
BUDGET FRIENDLY STYLING:-
With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting a little hard on our budgets, we can recycle our old lehengas and create myriad styles from it. To get more insights on the lehenga choli styling, we interacted with Archana Ranjan, who is a leading fashion designer and stylist and loves to experiment with her wardrobe and create new styles. She got us amazed by the simple things one can pick up from their wardrobe and curate an entirely different style and vibe from it.
Archana further told us, that instead of recommending new Outfits through her social media channels amid the pandemic, she has decided to keep people on the safer side and show them how to Re-style a lehenga. For this purpose, she chose one of her pastel sunburn classy orange lehenga, which she had bought last year during her brother's wedding, and zippy dee zappy dee doo, the styles Archana has created are right in front of us,:-
HOW TO RE-STYLE A LEHENGA:
LOOK-1: THE CROPPED GALA:-
Well, if you are searching for a Bollywood diva red carpet look, then we have the perfect style for you. A black crop top is a must-have in a women's wardrobe. Archana has paired her black crop top with a layer of Kundan and pearl necklaces, an exquisite stone ring to glorify the simple blouse and make it stand out with the lehenga. Hair can be tied perfectly in a top knot or a messy bun.
LOOK-2: THE WINTER FAIRYTALE:
Neither, we want to crown our dazzling lehengas with a jacket on top, nor we want to present ourselves like a shivering Frozen Elsa in a mesmerising outfit. So, the best option is to tuck in your lehenga with a furry sweater and make it appear as a whole outfit. Pair it with some quirky and bold finger rings and elegant diamond drop earrings and you are ready to rock a winter fairytale party.
LOOK-3: THE BOLLYWOOD CUTIE PIE:-
Undoubtedly, Archana is a wonderful designer, but she has a keen sense of observation as well. When she paired the white knotted shirt with her gorgeous lehenga and Kundan necklace, I knew she resembled someone, until she told me, her look was inspired by Anushka Sharma, from the movie "Ae Dil hai mushkil". This has to be my favourite style, according to the fashion editorial ratings. Minimal, subtle, elegant and masterpiece.
LOOK 4: THE CROWNED VELVET:-
Insisting on how much velvet is in vogue these days, Archana paired a maroon velvet blouse and added the dupatta of the same lehenga, to not make it appear as a pop of colours. She added heavy jhumkas and a good deal of highlighter to compliment her velveticuous look.
LOOK 5: THE MONOCHROMATIC MUGHAL QUEEN:
Archana has quite a visionary style. Not only she is futuristic with her ideas but she is also well-adopted with her traditional and ethnic ideas of styling. When she paired a short intricately embroidered kurta with the lehenga and let her hair open with a side partition and dupatta in a traditional style with big stone finger rings, we had no idea that this Mughal Monochromatic look would turn out to be so stunning.
LOOK 6: THE POP OF COLOURS:-
We had no impression that a pastel orange lehenga could go so well with a simple black sleeveless blouse and a heavy bandhani dupatta. Some major Navratri dressing goals over here! To comprehend the entire look, she did her hairdo with a Borla and heavily accessorized one of her hands with multicolour broad bangles.
LOOK 7: RUFFLE & TRUFFLE IT UP:-
Ruffled and lantern sleeves are the trendsetters in fashion right now. And what's the best way to enliven your lehengas and make your relatives jealous? Take a pastel shade designer crop top, with mesh sleeves or the trending bigot or lantern sleeves, just make sure that the top has something unique on its own and top it up with a Kundan choker necklace, red lips and hair left open. You'll be a walking and talking barbie, believe me on that.
So, which one is your favourite style. Do let us know?