Saturday, 30 April 2022

Why did India take the Kashmir issue to the UNO?

 


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Why did India take the Kashmir issue to the UNO?

 After months of fighting in the brutally cold mountains and difficult terrain, Nehru finally went to the UN in January 1948. He had a fairly strong case there and the then government too thought so. The UN then took its own sweet time, eight months and then passed a resolution in August 1948. The war was not over by then. India and Pakistan didn't immediately agree to the UN resolution and kept on fighting. By November the troops were already in a war for more than a year and the second winter was already there......

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These days I have been reading often and heard many people accuse Jawaharlal Nehru for the Kashmir issue remaining unsolved. Why did, Nehru take the Kashmir issue to the UN when Sardar Patel could have solved it in matter of days, they all say. It is not as simple as that. And it is factually not correct. And these statements are made to score some brownie points. Remember in 1947 India had just gained independence, was divided into two nations, India and Pakistan; besides the new government had to face the aftermath of partition and rehabilitation of refugees and lacs of people escaping and coming across the border from the newly created nation of Pakistan to seek shelter and safety of their families.

Many factors came into play for such a decision. It was never a matter of days. The timeline is off big time. There are four big omissions in our common narrative of how India took over Kashmir - a) Timeline -the war went on for a long time, almost two bitter winters. b) Geography - Islamabad is close to the Kashmir border.  c) Internal politics - Patel and others didn't support the war and, d) other issues the country was facing and conflicts India was fighting, such as military action in Hyderabad.

The Timeline - Pakistan attacked Kashmir on October 1947. The Maharajah signed the instrument of Accession on October 27 and the war began immediately. India sent its forces after the signing of the Instrument of Accession. By then the Pakistani army dressed as tribesmen and raiders infiltrated Kashmir, attacked, looted and took control of a large area of land in Kashmir. After the Indian forces landed in Kashmir, the Indian army was able to push back the Pakistani army from most of those occupied areas up to the present Line of Control in Kashmir. And the area held by Pakistan is called POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). And Pakistan calls it Azad Kashmir, which is a mockery of the Kashmiris living there.

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After months of fighting in the brutally cold mountains and difficult terrain, Nehru finally went to the UN in January 1948. He had a fairly strong case there and the then government too thought so. The UN then took its own sweet time, eight months and then passed a resolution in August 1948. The war was not over by then. India and Pakistan didn't immediately agree to the UN resolution and kept on fighting. By November the troops were already in a war for more than a year and the second winter was already there. And the Indian forces were successful in repulsing the attack and pushing the Pakistani forces. India had an upper hand in the ongoing conflict but there were other matters that needed urgent attention to hold the new nation together.

Apart from this, India faced other problems too. India was running out of ammunition as it had to fight a parallel war to take control of Hyderabad state [much bigger than the size of Austria] from the Nizam [possibly the richest person in the world at that time] who was trying to assert himself to be a independent entity. And in the northeast, Manipur and other parts still had not joined the India union and the leaders were busy making sure that they don't go independent. There was the resettlement from the partition and dealing with the aftermath of Mahatma's assassination, a very sensitive issue which could easily have been exploited by vested interests. And the Indian Constitution was being worked simultaneously. It was a mammoth job of writing the constitution taking all factors into account. In hindsight it’s easy to say that the then government could have done this or done that. But the government had its hands full of issues which needed urgent attention. And the able leaders then were able to manage and tackle problems on all fronts.

India had just gained independence from British rule. And the country was divided into two nations. How many issues can the new government, and Nehru and Patel focus and tackle at one time? It was a total chaos they had to deal on many fronts. And in the history of the world, hardly one had the responsibility to patch so many territories [with a seventh of world population] in so short a time. A couple of mountain areas were not their top priority, especially since a sizable chunk of the valley was already secured. It really needed experienced leaders like Nehru, Sardar Patel and others to hold India together at the most difficult times in the history of India. It’s easy for present politicians to blame the then leaders and government.

Finally the ceasefire came into effect on January 1949 - about 60 weeks after the war began. It was the brutal chill in the mountains and tough terrains. And India had way bigger headaches than moving a couple of military posts in the Karakoram range. An endless war there could have exhausted the finances of this budding nation and there could have been a possibility of a massive reaction from the public, possibly a rebellion or even civil war and opposition to the policy of continuing the conflict.

Geography - Pakistan's cities are right on the edge of the border and many are quite close to the Kashmir valley. It takes just about one hour to drive from Islamabad, Rawalpindi or Sialkot to the borders of Kashmir. From Lahore or Gujranwala it is about a two hours drive. Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir, is minutes away from the Pakistan's border. For India, logistics and transporting troops, ammunition and weapons were a nightmare with barely any proper roads in such high and difficult terrain.  One has to take all these factors into account. The leaders and the army were aware of this fact.

And the terrain is mostly flat on the other sid,. Pakistan's generals could get to PoK even in their lunch break from their Rawalpindi headquarters. It is that close. Indian cities, on the other hand, are quite far from the valley. It takes than more eighteen hours of drive to reach the Kashmir valley from New Delhi. And this is over huge mountains and difficult terrain. Compare one hour drive over flat land against eighteen hour drive through mountain passes that too immediately after independence when there were no proper roads or infrastructure and communication.

Thus, India was fighting a far tougher battle than Pakistan. And Pakistan also was quite desperate to protect its major cities whose security would be compromised if India took all of Kashmir. India's security risk from losing Kashmir was a lot less. Unlike India, Pakistan could afford to put all their military energies on Kashmir as it was the only war it was fighting and with supply logistics all around the valley. India had to protect a large territory stretching all the way to Burma and had multiple conflicts such as Hyderabad, Junagadh and confusion in the northeast.

The scenario was very complicated and tricky as the first priority of the government was to hold India together with the peculiar problems in Hyderabad, and some other princely states trying to stall and the sensitive north eastern states. Thus, the then government’s decision and Nehru's move  of approaching the UNO was fairly prudent even though some people feel and see it as sacrificing of India's interests. Given the circumstances the new nation was facing, with shortage of weapons, food and limited finances, the government decided to approach the UNO.

Today the whole of Jammu and Kashmir is looking ahead with numerous infra structure and other projects for the benefit of the people of Kashmir. Jobs will be created and the locals will get their due. And Pakistan has to vacate the POK, illegally occupied in 1948 and merge it with the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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What is Gothra?

Most Hindus are aware about their Gotra, but many among the modern generation are not aware about it. Among Hindus Gotra plays an important part while performing rituals, religious ceremonies, pujas and even marriage. The priest performing the rituals will normally ask you for the Gotra. In Hinduism, the term Gotra is considered to be similar to lineage. It simply refers to people who are descendants in an unbroken male lineage from a common male ancestor. Isn’t it interesting?

Gotra originally referred to the seven lineage segments of the sages (priests), who trace their origin from seven ancient seers: Atri, Bharadvaja, Bhrigu, Gotama, Kashyapa, Vasishtha, and Vishvamitra. To this list, Agastya is also sometimes added. These eight sages are called Gotrakarins, from whom all 8 Gotras have evolved. The gotras thus derived are - (1) Shandilya, (2) Gautama Maharishi, (3) Bharadwaja, (4) Vishvamitra, (5) Jamadagni, (6) Vashista, (7) Kashyapa and (8) Atri.

Hindus are supposed to belong to one of the above Gothras and it continues from generation to generation. And the Gothra plays an important role in a person’s life. Be it rituals, religious ceremonies and even marriage. If you are not aware, check with your parents or family elders, it may be useful in the future.

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Sunday, 24 April 2022

The high and low in life!


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The high and low in life!

Recently one of my readers sent in this interesting story of a sports person. The name of the author isn’t mentioned. This story tells you of the reality of life. It tells how one experiences the high and low in every day life. If you have the right people around you during your low period, one can climb back, up and achieve the high in life. I am posting this story for the benefit of the readers. Life is full of ups and down, but it all depends on how you react to the given situation. The positive approach helps you achieve success and fame again.

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The story of Dinesh Karthik is amazing.

He was doing very well and was the second wicket-keeper to MS Dhoni in the Indian team and was captain of Tamil Nadu team. His team mate Murali Vijay was having an affair with his wife and the entire Tamil Nadu Ranji team knew this but not Dinesh Kartik. Finally one day she told him she was pregnant carrying Murali Vijay's child and wanted divorce. They had a divorce and she moved in with Murali who was opening for CSK and India and doing really well. Dinesh Kartik was shattered, went into deep depression, grew a beard, became a devdas....his performance dipped, he was dropped from the India squad. He started failing in Ranji and lost his captaincy to Murali Vijay. He started failing in IPL too and was so depressed felt let down by his Ranji team mates and wanted to commit suicide.

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He stopped going to the gym. His trainer visited him in his house and found Dinesh Kartik in a complete mess. He insisted Dinesh Kartik start his training again and got him back to the gym where he was training Deepika Pallikal also. Shocked to see him in a sorry state she started counseling him along with the trainer and slowly he started training. Both started working out like maniacs. Murali Vijay married his wife but started failing....was first dropped from the Indian team and later from CSK also. Meanwhile encouraged by Deepika, Dinesh Kartik started nets and scored heavily in the domestic matches. He was back in reckoning, was again selected for white ball cricket for India and became the captain of KKR. He married Deepika.

However after a few years Rishab came and took his place. At 34 he knew his time was up and he was dropped from KKR as captain. He wanted to retire and just play IPL. His wife got pregnant and they had twins. She also stopped playing. His dream was to own a luxurious house which he got as offer at Poes garden. It cost a lot and he was not too sure if he could afford it. Deepika said grab it, we will both come back. She started training along with Dinesh Kartik. They bought the palatial house in Poes garden. Dinesh Kartik got a call from Kasi of CSK saying thala wanted him as wicket-keeper when he retired from CSK and Dinesh Kartik was in reckoning. At the auction in 2022 CSK tried their best to get him but were out bid by RCB. CSK settled for Devon Conway.

Deepika played the world championship at Glasgow in squash 6 months after delivery and won both the mixed doubles and womens double with Joshna Ponnappa. An energised father, now Dinesh Kartik started kicking ass, won crucial matches for RCB. He is now back, with a bang and wants to make it into the T20 World Cup team as finisher in place of retired MS Dhoni. Hope he really makes it.

Amazing couple Dinesh Kartik and Deepika.....truly made for each other.

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Vaastu wise – Prayer Room

*The Mandir in the house should never be positioned next to a toilet, within a bedroom or kitchen or underneath the staircase. Care should be taken not to construct any structure above the prayer room or else, symbolically, you would end up stepping on it.

*The most Vaastu compliant direction for a Prayer Room is the north-east as the sun’s first rays falls in this direction, makes it sacred and divine.

*Lord Ganesha’s pictures and idols are commonly seen placed on tiles and on top of the front entrance door or gate of the house. Vaastu does not approve of this. The reason being, that Goddess Lakshmi’s sister, Daridata, meaning poverty, features on Ganesha’s back. Hence when placing Lord Ganesha’s image or idol with the back facing the house, he is inviting poverty and bad luck into his house.

*Fire is believed to be a powerful cosmic cleanser. It is advisable to burn earthen lamp and incense sticks morning and evening.

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Mangueshi temple, Goa, India
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Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Amy Wax needs a crash course on India!


 Croma     Myntra     Tanishq

Amy Wax needs a crash course on India!

Either she is ignorant or not well informed about India or her ego has been hurt at some stage or she is just jealous seeing the success of Indian Americans in America and Indians around the world. Indian Americans are doing well and occupying senior and top positions in different areas – be it the corporate world, medicine, IT, academics, business or technology. They have achieved success through sheer hard work, good education and merit. What is she complaining about!

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Recently an American Professor Amy Wax was in the news for the wrong reasons. In a Tucker Carlson’s Television show, Amy Wax made some degrading remarks on Asians and specially Indians. This controversial US law professor has sparked outrage yet again, for her racist comments on immigrants, this time specifically targeting Indians and Indian women and doctors. Freedom of speech in a democracy doesn’t give you the license to degrade somebody. She needs to be condemned for her loose talk. One doesn’t expect such statements from an American professor. It tells upon her education, upbringing and mindset. Indian-Americans slammed Penn law professor for her remarks on Asian-Americans.

I am not aware about the state of her mind while making such atrocious statements on a live Television show. She needs to be shown her place. She may be a law professor but has been poorly educated and in these modern days still sees things through a prism. White supremacy and looking down upon blacks, Asians and others are gone. She should accept the fact that people reach better positions and occupy important posts through their education, experience, hardwork and merit. Colour, race or gender of a person doesn’t count.

Either she is ignorant or not well informed about India or her ego has been hurt at some stage or she is just jealous seeing the success of Indian Americans in America and Indians around the world. Indian Americans are doing well and occupying senior and top positions in different areas – be it the corporate world, medicine, IT, academics, business or technology. They have achieved success through sheer hard work, good education and merit. What is she complaining about!

It appears she doesn’t know much about India and is surprised by the rapid progress, development and the Indian influence and success the world over. She possibly can’t digest the fact that non-whites and coloured people can be as good or if not better than the white like her. It all boils down to her upbringing and narrow view of things. She has exhibited her ignorance and pettiness to the Americans and the world.

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For some people education doesn’t guarantee wisdom and broad outlook towards life. For them whites are only good at handling different issues and solving problems. Others are no good buffoons. I really pity her students who will be seeing things through her narrow outlook of the world. Hope they don’t share the same views about America. It’s surprising that an educated American professor, that too, a woman speaks such language in modern times. Is she trying get some publicity!

If this is the state of the mind of a professor in US, then what can you expect them to teach the students whose young minds will be corrupted with such vague ideas of hatred and racism with a lot of negativity and meanness. A teacher provides right information, facts and imparts knowledge to students and shows them the positive side of life so that they are ready to face the world after getting their degrees.

Besides, Americans are not used to tit for tat response from others. Presently India is able to react and respond positively and tell the Americans, a spade is a spade. This is perhaps not liked by many like her. With a flurry of Indian Americans occupying various top positions in different fields is disturbing her and her friends with similar views. This exposes the extreme side of America whose leaders lecture the world about human rights, racism and treatment of minorities and immigrants.

She also seems to have expressed that, Asian immigrants should be limited as the locals’ inability to compete with Asians. If she isn’t aware, just for her knowledge her ancestors too were immigrants when they arrived in America. Does she know how the original local inhabitants, the Red Indians were marginalized by them? Shame on her for uttering such nasty statements about India, Indians and especially Indian women and doctors on a live TV show. Is she aware that the American Vice President, Kamala Harris is an Indian American?

And the host, the punk who was laughing at her comments certainly holds similar views and allowed her to gone on with her tirade against Indians. Indians should demand an apology from the Television show for allowing Amy Wax to go on her outburst on racism. And in future, the channel shouldn’t entertain such educated jokers to speak on racism. Well who has forgotten the racist abuse in Mississippi in 1963 and the recent attacks on Blacks and Asians!

Knowing little and saying negative things exposes the level of her education. No wonder Indians do better in different areas. It appears some Americans have a mindset like Amy Wax; that America is a rich country, economically strong and get away with things, which doesn’t mean they are right and supreme on all fronts. The rising influence and power of India is not liked by many. It exhibits the frustration of people like her. She should be censured for daring to challenge the race, gender, ethnicity of America. She should also know the American success story is due to the contribution, hard work and effort of all Americans – white, coloured, Asians and others. Without them America would be brought down on its knees in no time.

People like Amy Wax need a crash course on India, its long history, rich tradition and culture. She must not be aware of the ancient Indian civilization going back to thousands of years and that Indians were way ahead of others in different fields – education, mathematics, construction, science, astronomy, space, medicine, governance and spirituality. This rich heritage is a part of every Indian which makes them a bit different than others.

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The joy of giving:

There is no greater joy than the joy of knowing one can make a difference. Giving is a privilege. It's one of the greatest contributors to personal happiness. It gives life a purpose and helps build good karma, making you feel empowered. It not only makes you feel happy, it also has a healing effect. In fact all religions encourage giving and helping others.

Your helping hand may have touched someone knowingly or unknowingly. Knowing or even meeting whom you have helped, and seeing them improve their and their family's life is a satisfying experience. The acknowledgement and smile on their faces have a true healing effect. It also makes you feel satisfied and gives a sense of joy.

Help the less privileged in a small way, like supporting education of children from poor family background. Or by giving things and gadgets you don’t need. It could be a valued gift to the needy. Like gifting your old cycle or an old smart phone to children, help them study online during lockdown and study from home.   A small effort can bring about a big change. Empowering others to live their small dreams and aspirations is inspiring. You don't have to have lots of money to give. In fact you don't have to give money at all. You can give what you can, your time, kind or inspiring words or even guide them. And that means every one can make a difference. Enjoy the joy of giving someone in your local area and bring about a small change in their lives.

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Monday, 11 April 2022

The Wild West in the South!


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The Wild West in the South!

The stay at the Zoestal in Lovedale was fascinating and a first time experience sharing the place with young tourists of different nationalities enjoying their stay in this beautiful hill station. We too loved the place and the atmosphere and the people around. After our two days of pleasant and chilly stay in Lovedale and moving around Ooty, we were on our way back to Bangalore. I presumed we were driving back to Bangalore. It was not supposed to be so, and we were in for another pleasant surprise. After a long drive on the highway leading towards Karnataka, we took a left turn to proceed to Masinagudi.

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The Wilds At Northern Hay - Singara Post, The Nilgiris and about 5.4 km from the nearest town. An old majestic colonial bungalow offering quality accommodation in the heart of the forest is interesting, scary and an unique experience. Easy accessibility and countryside feel with comfortable accommodations and necessary amenities ensure a relaxed and pleasant stay at The Wild At Northern Hay in the midst of the wild forest. The property offers facilities like parking, room service, Wi-Fi internet access, front desk, tour desk and luggage storage. Rooms are comfortable and provided with amenities like television, shower and attached bathroom with hot/cold water and essential toiletries.

The amenities, the furniture, fixtures and the artifacts remind you of the British Raj and their English lifestyle. These are well maintained and give you a glimpse of the British life in India. The furniture and fixtures in the drawing room, the bedrooms and the large bathrooms remind you of the king size life the British enjoyed during their rule in India. The owners have taken care to preserve the interior and d├ęcor of the colonial days. The kitchen, dining table and crockery remind you of the good old days of the English.

Unwind and enjoy a relaxed stay at The Wild At Northern Hay! Situated on the very edge of the natural haven called Mudumalai, the Wilds at Northern Hay is spread across 98 acres of wilderness and an ancestral coffee plantation. Secluded, away from everywhere this is where the wilderness literally comes to your doorstep and beckons you. Here the quiet environment and being away from the hustle and bustle of the city, a sense of being close to nature and wild life is special and great fun. And that's what the Wilds at Northern Hay is about. Wild West in the South!

Once a colonial coffee warehouse where the world's finest coffee was stored; The house in the Wilds is divided into a hall, dining room and a few charming life spaces - some for relaxation, some for stimulating conversation and some for sheer indulgence. And of course, with all other amenities, one can imagine having a place that's bang in the middle of all that's so frequently forgotten - nature, wild animals, solitude and timelessness. Rooms include big luxury rooms with large bathrooms and Tree house to relax and the watch the world go by and the sound of birds is stimulating.

The Wilds is for all, the young, the old and seniors. It has a special charm for each one of them. And with surprises at every turn, one has to be careful too. Because even if you choose to laze around in an easy chair on the lush lawns, you'll get to see a plethora of animal and bird life (some that will come for a quick rendezvous till the doorstep of the house). Sometimes its fun and at times a bit scary.

This is a place where you can spot wildlife in its natural habitat. You can experience a thrilling ride through the jungle in an open jeep and on return can enjoy a barbecue on a platform overlooking the Wilds. One can even explore the coffee plantation. As the night falls, one can listen to the incessant roars and sounds of the wildlife. And in the early morning get to see the huge species of monkeys very close to the bungalow. Though their presence is interesting, it’s a bit scary too. One can visit an elephant camp and enjoy an elephant ride through the jungle.

You could also just sit around the house, or in the lawn or the tree house and chat. Apart from the frequently sighted monkeys, and not so often seen panther,  elephant, nimble-hoofed gaur, shy deer, tree squirrel, majestic eagle, civet, the hardly seen barking deer, striped hyena, dhole, hawk owl, magpie robin, spotted babbler, whistling thrush, quail, brown dove and just about every form of life that this dense forest is known for. You will have seen a lot making it an unique experience in the wild.

The Wilds at Northern Hay is situated down a long, winding road away from Masinagudi through towering trees, coffee and more seemingly dense foliage. Masinagudi is easily reached through Mudumalai from Bangalore. On the way, you might encounter varied forms of wildlife. Hence to reach the place,one has to park his car  at the gates and their person will come and pick you up in a sturdy and rugged jeep, simply because you may not be able to make it on your own through the rugged pathway and dense forest with animals around. 

Once you are there, you are amidst the forest experiencing the wild thrill - huge trees, animals and birds. Bonding with nature and enjoying it. Though a fasinating place, care should be taken not to wander around on your own as animals may smell your presence. Distance from Coimbatore Airport is 118 Km. Distance from Coimbatore Railway Station is around 118 Km. And the distance from Ooty Bus Stand: 30 Km. And if you are driving down, the roads are good. It’s truly a wild west in the south. One should visit and experience the wild.

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Lovely days in Lovedale

Why the West keen on India support in the Russia-Ukraine war?


 



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Who was Helena in Indian history?

Many people may not be aware about Helena and the inter-racial marriage in the ancient times. It was during the time when Alexander defeating all on the way arrived to conquer India, but had to stop his campaign after his tough battle with Raja Porus. Though Alexander won, but he realized it won’t be easy to conquer India as he had thought. Besides, his generals and soldiers were exhausted with the continuous fighting all the way from Greece, Europe and Asia. After he was stopped at the doorstep of Indian sub-continent by Raja Porus, he decided to go back. And Seleukos was stayed behind as governor in India to govern the territories they had captured.

Helena was daughter of Seleukos and his Persian wife. It is said Helena must have been in her 15-17 years when she was married off to Chandragupta Maurya who was 40 years then. Helena became very Indian after her marriage to Chandragupta Maurya. She learned Sanskrit and Classical Indian music

However some say, she was a very dominant female in those ancient days. Helena was teen-aged when she married Sandrocottos: as the Greeks called Chandragupta Maurya, ruler of the Magadha Empire. Taking place in 305 BCE, it was the first Indo-Grecian political marriage in the subcontinent. The truth is Chandragupta Maurya married the Greek Princess Helena in his 40s and stayed with Helena for few years. However, the couple didn't have any child of their own. 

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Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
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