INDEPENDENCE DAY

WE SHOULD SALUTE THE SACRIFICES MADE BY

OUR FREEDOM FIGHTERS AND SOLDIERS

WHO MADE THE DREAM OF INDEPENDENT INDIA A REALITY.

HAPPY 75th

INDEPENDENCE DAY

India is a land of diversity where people of different caste, creeds, religions, cultures, and beliefs live together. India is a country where there is “Unity in Diversity” .The Independence Day of India, which is celebrated religiously throughout the Country on the 15th of August every year, holds tremendous ground in the list of national days, since it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning, the beginning of an era of deliverance from the clutches of British colonialism of more than 200 years. It was on 15th August 1947 that India was declared independent from British colonialism, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the Country. India’s gaining of independence was a tryst with destiny, as the struggle for freedom was a long and tiresome one, witnessing the sacrifices of many freedom fighters, who laid down their lives on the line.

HISTORY

British rule in India began in 1757 when, following the British victory at the Battle of Plassey, the English East India Company began exercising control over the country. The East India Company ruled India for 100 years, until it was replaced by direct British rule (British Raj) in the wake of the Indian Mutiny in 1857–58. The Indian independence movement began during WORLD WAR I and was led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who advocated for a peaceful and nonviolent end to British rule. Freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, etc. made sacrifices of their life to provide freedom to us so each drop of blood shed for our country’s freedom and dignity needs to be valued and honored.

CELEBRATIONS

Independence Day is marked throughout India with flag-raising ceremonies, drills, and the singing of the Indian National Anthem. Additionally, various cultural programs are made available in the state capitals. After the prime minister participates in the flag-raising ceremony at the Red fort historic monument in Old Delhi, a parade ensues with members of the armed forces and police. The prime minister then delivers a televised address to the country, recounting the major accomplishments of India during the previous year and outlining future challenges and goals. Kite flying has also become an Independence Day tradition, with kites of various sizes, shapes, and colours filling the sky.

This day is celebrated to ignite the feeling of nationalism and patriotism across the country. Every citizen has a different viewpoint of Independence. A youngster takes this day to celebrate the glory and strength of the country while for others it’s a reminder of the long suppression and cruelty that our people suffered. It’s not only a celebration of Independence but also of unity with the diverse culture of the country.

CONCLUSION

A day worth celebrating for which our ancestors have shed their blood and have struggled a lot. But are we truly justifying the struggle and hard work of our freedom fighters? We should rethink it and should work towards actual freedom of the people of the country by helping them and making them self-dependent and capable enough to support not only themselves but also the country.

‘Jai Hind Jai Bharat’

INDEPENDENCE DAY, BIRTH OF NEW INDIA

The Independence Day is celebrated on August 15 every year to commemorate India’s freedom from the British rule in 1947.
15 August is a day of her re-birth, a new start. At the midnight of 15 August 1947, the British rulers handed the country back to its Indian leaders, ending a remarkable struggle that lasted years. It was 15 August 1947, the historic date, on which sovereign India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unfolded the tricolour flag of the nation on the glorious Red Fort. The day is significant in the history of India as bringing an end to the British colonial rule in India.
But do you know the struggle of independence started long before you might know.
India’s struggle for independence started in 1857 with the Sepoy Mutiny in Meerut and it gained momentum after the First World War. In 20th century, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian National Congress (INC) and other political organisations launched a countrywide independence movement and revolt against the oppressive British rule.

During the Second World War in 1942, the Indian Congress launched the Quit India Movement demanding an end to the British rule which prompted colonial rulers detaining many campaigners, nationalists, and ministers including Gandhi.
Our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave a beautifully worded speech starting with the words, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”

Unfortunately as India got independence, it was divided into two countries, India and Pakistan. Pakistan celebrates it’s Independence Day on 14th August rather than 15th August though.

And that led to the birth of new INDIA .

The Case for a New Avenger

S.H.I.E.L.D. might have missed assembling team members from India, but it is never too late to correct an oversight. Imagine our larger-than-life superhero, Rajinikanth, partnering with other Avengers in a combined mission to save the planet from dangerous predators with bad intentions. Some aliens, some familiar ones! Yes, India is far from America, and the distance seems to have increased during the pandemic, but Rajinikanth could give some worthy company to Iron Man and perhaps teach him a trick or two, too, through holographic interfaces and augmented reality. Who knows, he could also kill all the mutants of Coronaviruses in this quest!

I wish to present some facts now to give you a background of my strategic human resource and leadership plan for S.H.I.E.L.D. India has one of the largest numbers of gig workers in the world. As per a March 2021 report by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the gig economy in India is expected to soar to 90 million in approximately a decade from now. Choose any vocation here and you will be spoilt for choices. Almost everyone is an expert on politics, economics, socio-cultural issues, fashion, sports, career, marriage, children, nature, animals, traffic, the dos, and don’ts … the list is endless. People can even advice others on how they should lead their lives. It’s affection, silly!

War for talent? Clearly, recruiters have not been able to explore the depth of this vast pool. To reiterate, India is a land bubbling with high potentials. Now let us go back to the topic of superpowers. There is plan B too. Rajinikanth could have a serious competition in a plain-looking community here. S.H.I.E.L.D. could consider appointing some members from this fraternity too.

You are rolling your eyes? Why? Hear me out. Presenting to you the case of beholders of the mighty pen (over a sword or a gun), and the upholders of fine speech. Their words hit no less than the missiles unleashed by Israel over the Gaza strip. Let me walk you through the innate gifts of a less publicized community with an immensely amoeba-like (plasma membrane) flexibility.

The teachers.

The extremely sturdy ones can stand the whole day, operate (teach) without a table and a chair, or, the basic infrastructure, and sometimes work even at low or no salaries for months. The strengths, struggles and coping mechanism of the privileged ones out of this lot are embedded in different realms. More on that, later! You will be astonished to learn how many hats teachers can don at the same time. They juggle between being a mentor, coach, counsellor, Devil’s advocate, friend, philosopher, or guide. Interestingly, even their DNA personifies versatility. Over the years, the mutations in their genetic material have helped them learn how to make milestones of the stones thrown at them by students unhappy with their marks, and parents unhappy with the teachers for giving those marks! Talk about heightened senses, their eyes can easily observe and sense the intention behind each greeting, smile and calls to the office. They are like Sharma ji ka beta/beti’, always expected to excel at everything and set an ideal example for the others to emulate.

Here, I would take a detour and ask you to recall the violinists who continued to play music for as long as they were alive, just to calm the passengers on the sinking Titanic ship. On similar lines, teachers continued to teach while the pandemic unleashed havoc around the world. The unlearning of years of classroom teaching was replaced by the immediate need to adopt new technological tools and re-learn the art of virtual teaching. The new and changed landscape was no less than the one post Thanos snapping his finger.

Aren’t convinced yet? Go to the polling booths and follow the polio immunization drives, you will know what I mean.

Now the final hook. Except for some teachers working with elite institutions, the rest won’t even charge much for their services. You can simply smile, appreciate their work, show some respect, and boy, see how they melt! Just watch how it lights up their faces. They are so motivated, especially on September 5 every year in India, that even Abraham Maslow bows to them from time to time from his grave. Had told you about their genetic sequencing earlier, remember? I do hope I have presented their (our) case well, S.H.I.E.L.D. Hopefully, you will have a relook at your current team now.

On a sidenote, can I be a contender too? Just saying. I can take it up as a gig assignment during the semester breaks. Imagine the newest Avenger on the block and that too a female from India! It will further boost the diversity and inclusion factors for you. If you can give equitable salary and perks, you could even find yourself on the pages of Harvard cases.

You might want to provide supplements of Vitamin T(eacher) to your team if Rajinikanth’s diary of appointments is full. Professor Hulk would not mind some more erudite company. In return, I vow to start quoting your example in my classes as a great employer brand with an excellent employee value proposition. Who knows, I might even write a research article. Told you, pen and words are the weapons here. Think about it. What say? Are you game?

P.S. I have recently bought a telescope to keep an eye on the stars and planets too. Taking my possible future role tad too seriously, eh?

7 important tips to manage aggression in children

Manage child aggression: To develop a sound value system, tell them stories. For very small children, stories should be pleasant, free of fighting and violence, about animals and nature, sharing and caring. When they are five or six, it is okay to introduce stories with good people and ‘bad’ people.

child, who wanted to be perceived as the strongest of all, would speak loudly, look angry and hit everyone to prove his strength. When his grandfather came to visit, he behaved in the same way with him. However, his grandpa was never agitated and just smiled at his actions. The child was bewildered as he was only used to getting yelled at for what he did. The more he was yelled at, the stronger he would become, is what he thought!

Grandpa shares the Buddha story

The grandfather asked him if he would like to hear a story and the boy agreed. “Once upon a time, there was an enlightened master called Buddha. He travelled across the country teaching people how to be peaceful. Once while he was going through a forest, a tribesman called Angulimala came to him. He was a frightening man. He wore a garland of fingers of people whom he had sacrificed so he would be the strongest and feared the most. He wanted to have Buddha’s finger as the hundredth and complete his sacrificing ritual. Buddha smiled at him and said, “I am happy to be of use to you”. There was no trace of fear in him. Nobody had ever smiled at Angulimala. No one had ever spoken to him so kindly. The very presence of Buddha did something to him. Angulimala felt very weak for the first time in his life. He felt like a feather in front of a mountain. He realised that real strength is in having unshakable calmness, peace, and in compassion. He fell at Buddha’s feet. He was changed completely.” The child listened to every word from his grandpa with rapt attention.

Look out for the media children are exposed to

When you feel helpless or weak, the need to assert your strength comes out as violence. Where do children get the idea of violence? They see their parents, neighbours, friends, so many programmes on TV or videos on the mobile phone — all this exposure leaves impressions and has a strong impact on the minds of children, more than we know. They are sensitive even to suppressed violence. If you are angry inside but still act as if everything is okay, children will know it.

Handling aggression

Children get angry or show aggression for seemingly very silly reasons. But the real reason is something else, a sense of insecurity that has crept in somehow. That is why in olden days, parents would never show anger in front of a child. They would not even argue or use harsh words. Public display of anger was considered a weakness. Today, anger and aggression comes up at the drop of a hat. Any minor difference of opinion is enough to prompt the arrows to fly. We don’t know how to draw a line between expressing a difference of opinion and displaying aggression. If your child is aggressive, look into your own lifestyle. What are you doing? Are you yelling at your housekeeper or at your pet? Are you yelling at your own spouse? Or any one for that matter in front of the child? Are you sad? What is your reaction? And it does not matter that out of the 365 days, you have acted in aggression may be only a couple of times. Those few days are equally important for the child. This is why we need to meditate and practice pranayama or deep breathing techniques. Heyum Dukham Anagatam — stopping the misery before it comes — that is the benefit of yoga, because in life prevention is better than cure.

Engaging children in meaningful activities

The other important thing is to engage them in meaningful activities, and sports that allow them to channel their energy constructively. Just playing video games or watching TV with no physical activity only increases restlessness and makes them prone to aggression. You will notice that the day your child has more screen time, the more difficult he or she becomes to handle. Encourage them to go out and play, engage with real people, run and fill their lungs with some fresh air. In the olden days, movies were classified as suitable for watching only under parental guidance. Parents would control what a child can see. Today, it is a common occurrence that the elders are all engrossed in watching soaps on TV and are oblivious to the child who is also watching and taking in all the exaggerated emotions that are projected. It is very important to be sensitive about what their tender senses are exposed to. They should not be bombarded with heavy impressions.

What kind of stories are we telling our children?

To develop a sound value system, tell them stories. For very small children, perhaps around three or four, stories should be pleasant, free of fighting and violence, about animals and nature, sharing and caring. When they are five or six it is okay to introduce stories with good people and ‘bad’ people. Every culture has its stories of heroes who protected the innocent and fought villains who were up to no good. Through these stories they understand that the purpose of strength is to protect and not to hurt. They learn that the hero, the stronger one, is calm and collected.

While it is important to reprimand anger, it is equally important to recognise when they are gentle and appreciate them. When I was a child and would sometimes get angry, my grandmother would ask me to go to a certain corner of the house and leave my anger there. She would say that the angel in that corner would take the anger from me and go far, far away. I would believe her, go stand there and in a minute, come back smiling! Schools today don’t teach children how to deal with negative emotions. This is an important aspect of moulding the character of the child. Teachers should be strict about encouraging the right attitude in children. They should recognise the strength of a child who is able to walk away from a fight and not just react and hit back. They should reward and give attention to calmness in a child. Many times, an aggressive attitude in a child comes out from simply wanting attention. So, you can teach them by ignoring their sulking or shouting, and praising them and giving extra attention when they are well-mannered. And parents should give teachers the space to discipline the child if necessary. It is okay if your child has been naughty and the teacher has disciplined him or her. Parents must encourage reverence towards the teacher. If they say, “Who is he or she to tell my child what to do!” the child will not listen or respect the teacher anymore. When this happens, learning stops.

Food is important

The food that we give to our children also has a role to play. Too many sweets, fried food (like chips) and oily food increase restlessness in a child. Also, their food must be freshly cooked as far as possible and not packaged items kept in cold storage. Encourage them to enjoy fruits as much as chips; perhaps one chip-one fruit can be the deal! Where possible, it is advisable to avoid food products made from genetically modified grains and vegetables. The food has a direct impact on the mind and when consumed over a period of time, has a definite impact on the nature or attitude of the child.

Above all this, as parents, it is important to spend quality time doing ‘nothing’ with your child. Just sitting with them without looking at our mobile phones, giving complete attention to what they have to say, just being with them 100 per cent gives a great sense of security to the child. An insecure child is more likely to succumb to aggression than one who feels secure and attended to.

Teach children that the one who smiles come-what-may is stronger.

Show them when to stand up for what is right, and when to walk away from a fight.

As much as you can, protect their innocence.

As much as you can, give them pride in non-violence.

Feeling alone

LONELINESS is packed with feelings and emotions. It can consume you at any time – day or night – and create havoc with your emotions. Feeling lonely can cause you to lose perspective and, sometimes, to lose all hope. Even before COVID, we lived in an isolated culture where people were starved for connection. And now with the fear of COVID, loneliness is even more intensified.

There are days when my life is filled with the sound of voices on the phone, or pictures of friends on Zoom and Facetime, and yet, I feel alone. There have been times in my life when I would walk in a church filled with people, or show up at a party where I knew everyone, and yet, I felt alone. At some point, we’ve all experienced feelings of being alone and the shadow of loneliness that follows close behind.

Being alone isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good, necessary, healthy thing. It’s a time to reflect, to appreciate, to think, to create, to process your life. Reflection and synthesis of ideas is crucial to learning and growing, and for many people this can only be done when they are alone. Kierkegaard nails this with one of my favorite quotes: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Damn, Kierkegaard, I bet you spent a ton of time alone.

So why are we so damned afraid of being alone?

Because we’re afraid others will think we’re lonely. There’s something wrong with lonely people, or else why wouldn’t they have people around them? There must be something broken about them! If you learn someone is lonely, you best stay away from them. Leave them to their cats. Loneliness results in more loneliness; it’s a beast that feeds itself. (Please know that I don’t believe any of this — or at least I don’t want to, but these are thoughts that I hear in my head, because Society)

I’m not lonely! I have 2200 facebook friends. Look at all the things I share. Look at all those likes! I have all the likes! And retweets. Don’t even get me started on retweets. I have to call them RTs because I get so many I don’t even have time for all those other letters. Look at me on Instagram! Follow me! #TeamFollowBack Connect with me! Please, please, connect with me. How am I so damned lonely?! Nobody else feels this lonely. Look at all the friends they have on Facebook. Look at all those likes they’re getting…

We are living in a time when it’s easy to feel uncomfortable being alone, because there are so many ways you can “be” with other people. So we’re never truly alone. And that makes it ever more uncomfortable when we feel lonely.

I saw someone post a photo on Facebook last Friday night of themselves with a glass of wine and the caption “Relaxing into a much-needed quiet Friday night date with myself. #DontHate”

The irony hurt. If you really want to be alone, WHY ARE YOU TELLING THE WHOLE WORLD, my brain yelled.

Then I realized I knew the answer: this person is uncomfortable being alone on a Friday night, and this is how they are trying to mitigate that discomfort.

They are seeing all of their friends posting photos of their fun nights out with dozens of people and having so much fun and internalizing all of this as something being wrong with them. Maybe they chose to be alone tonight, or maybe they got ditched by a friend, or maybe they wanted to go out and don’t really have any friends who wanted to go out with them, but, whatever the case, they were probably terrified they would slip from enjoying a night alone into being lonely on a Friday night. The first is good. The second is bad. And maybe a “like” or a reassuring comment would stave that off.

spend a lot of time on the road traveling alone. And during the day, when I’m performing, or visiting a campus, or flying, eating, writing — keeping my mind busy — I’m on the road traveling alone; I’m not lonely on the road. And I enjoy it. I enjoy the aloneness. I thrive in it. But at night, when I get back to my hotel room and plop down on the bed, I regularly toe the line between being alone and being lonely.

I am usually good at landing on the enjoying a night alone side of the line, but sometimes, usually after a particularly long stretch on the road, of if a show doesn’t go as well as I want it to, I’ll find myself stumbling onto the lonely side. It probably doesn’t help that I have this disgusting and self-body-destroying habit of having a huge pizza delivered to my hotel room and eating it by myself in my underwear. And, as I am typing that, I am reminded of this

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur (1670-1716)

●Born in a Rajput family.

• Childhood name -Lachhman Das.

• Disciple of Guru Gobind Singh
 Taught basic principles of Sikhism and baptised him.
 Christened as ‘Banda Singh’.

● Famous saint soldier of Guru Govind Singh.

Accomplishments:


 Captured large part of Punjab and established first Sikh rule – Khalsa Republic – as instructed by Guru Gobind
Singh.
 Early 18th century -struggle against the Mughal Empire in Northern India.
 1710 to 1716 – 3 battles against Mughals – brief confrontation – shook their foundations.
 Rise of Sikh power.
 1710 – Attacked Mughal provincial capital, ‘Sirhind’.  Banda Bahadur destroyed the city and killed its governor Wazir Khan.
 Fought for freedom and protection of poor &
marginalized people, and upliftment of all sections.
 Abolished the zamindari system in Punjab.
 Granted proprietary rights to the actual tillers of the land.
 Banda Singh Bahadur became the first ruler of the world to abolish feudal system, much earlier than the French Revolution.

 Lohgarh/Lokgarh fort – one of the most important places in Sikh history.
 1709-10 – Khalsa Rajdhani – Baba Banda Singh Bahadur declared it the capital of the first Sikh state.
 Largest Fort in the world – recent archaeological research.
 Epicenter – spread in almost 7000 acres.
 Almost 70 to 80 years to construct.
 Said that its construction was started Guru Hargobind Sahib.
 3 major battles fought between Sikhs and Mughals.
 After the arrest of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the fort was captured and finally
demolished by the Mughals.
 Fort is of National importance.

 Minted coins in the names of Guru Nanak Dev ji and Guru Gobind Singh ji.
 Inscribed Lohgarh as Khalsa Takth.

• Death of Baba Banda Singh
 Faruksiyar – Delhi’s emperor and ordered
the capture of Banda Singh.
 Captured in December 1715.

 Banda singh along with the 700 soldiers were taken to Delhi and tortured to convert to Islam – none of them converted.
 Cruelly executed in 1716.

• Known and celebrated in Bengal -Rabindranath Tagore wrote a poem titled Bandi Bir

Coca Cola controversy

As Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed Coca-Cola at the press conference ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2020 opener, the move had a spiralling effect all across the football fraternity. The move also coincided with the share prices of Coca-Cola dropping down, wiping off about USD 4 billion from their brand value. However, industry experts don’t feel the two incidents were related.

Highlights

  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub at a Euro 2020 news conference has been a huge topic of discussion
  • The move also coincided with the brand value of Coke sinking by USD 4 billion
  • A market expert, however, has brushed aside any connection between the two

Ronaldo wasn’t pleased seeing Coca-Cola bottles placed on the table as he arrived to attend the press conference with Portugal manager Fernando Santos on the eve of the Hungary match. He put the Coke bottles aside and picked up a water bottle saying ‘Agua’, asking people to drink water over soft drinks.

While the move was to promote a healthier lifestyle, the fact that Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of Euro 2020, is bound to leave both the beverage brand and UEFA a little disappointed.

“Coke and UEFA will both be fuming,” sports marketing expert Tim Crow, who worked as an advisor to the beverage-maker for 20 years, was quoted as saying by The Athletic. “The fact is there’s an agreement between them, which all the FAs and players sign up to, and one of the contractual agreements is going to press conferences where you’re surrounded by the sponsors’ branding.”

It’s certainly not ideal that one of the most famous and most followed athletes on the planet makes a gesture like that. The sports marketing community will have raised more than an eyebrow in Ronaldo doing that,” he added.

A day after the incident, reports of Ronaldo’s move hurting Coca-Cola’s stock prices and brand value surfaced but Crow has dismissed any co-relation between the two incidents. Branding it as ‘complete nonsense’, Crow said that the investors in the United States of America are not impacted by what happens in a European football match’s press conference.

American investors are not driven by what happens in a press conference ahead of a European football match. It doesn’t work like that. Tonnes of stocks went down for several reasons but the two things are not related. There are a billion servings of Coke every day. I think they’ll be OK,” he said.

Digital Detox

It all started a few months back, spending time on my phone was making me feel sick to my stomach. The strive to remain connected was making me feel annoyed, distracted and detached than ever.

Ever since data charges got cheaper and cheaper, using social media platforms one after the other became a part of our day. A routine to be exact.

It started off with taking over our lives when we felt bored at first, time does fly when you’re having fun. The transition to a time when we grew bored of it often. We’re certainly overdoing it.

However it never felt like an addiction to me, but on contemplation it became rather obvious that the struggle was inflicted by the content I consumed. The connectivity was paying a one hefty fee.

As faith would have it, one day it finally hit me. A solution to my problem lies in plain sight. Simple but genius. ‘Why do I have to do it, if it’s not healthy for me?’

A grave moment of epiphany.

The pandemic has fuelled people to spend long hours on their phones. The amount of content consumption should be a reason for concern.

We fancy all that our brothers from the West preach. We try to dress like them, eat like them and when they went onto to discovering social media platforms, we accepted it wholeheartedly.

Now as more and more such brothers preach the need for digital detoxes, this can’t be more true. They more or less do have an elder sibling effect on us.

The solution was ever apparent, for the taking to the ones that seek. We’re all stressed, tensed and severely pumped up than ever before. We all do find it hard to manage time too, and our attention span is just a little more than that of a goldfish.

Above all, the lack of sleep has also been found to have it’s toll on a few. The trends seemed to have circulated a few years back, around the time when the data charges were dragged to the ground.

The very essence of us passing time, being the very reason behind the matter of concern. They say, “the best days are the ones that doesn’t make you check your phone,” so why not do it? Make it a reality.

Social media has helped us out immensely, letting us to be connected to our loved ones around the world. Helping relationships to sustain itself over geographical and time barriers.

However we fell short to draw the boundaries. Boundaries are necessary. Knowing where to draw the line can absolutely do wonders.

The idea of a digital detox seemed a bit paradoxical to me at first. Cutting out the use of any device that is electric, seems far too barbaric, now. Our lives are so entangled that getting rid of it is not an option. However, Striking a balance seems apter by leaps and bounds.

I believe radical changes can cause more bane than boon. Whereas baby steps can take you places. Rather than completely throwing it out the window, imposing restrictions can be the first step.

Reducing the screen time to a smaller periods and then slowly stepping up a notch every now and then.

If it gets better and better, do more of it. After all life’s more about doing things that sets One’s soul on fire right.

Why should one bicker from doing more of what makes you feel better.

I believe in preaching what I believe in, A couple of months down the line, following the following has made me feel so much better lately. I’m connected but disconnected. Life got so much better.

Live and let live, right?

Why Protest?

Protests are public expressions of discontent, disagreement, or objection to an authority, idea, or things that have public impacts. Our country has seen a large number of public protests and upheavals in the past one year. Globally, we have been living in times of great change and public displays of dissent in the recent past, from the Hongkong protests to the Black Lives Matter movement. Many are skeptical of protests and their ability to bring change. Protests have been considered as inherently violent and anti-establishment, and hence something that should be stayed away from. What can marches and slogans do anyway, is the attitude of many who stay on the sidelines. However, a quick look into history can reveal that protests have been an integral part of multiple struggles that have brought in moral progress and change to our societies. The manner of conduct and how those involved acted might vary but there is no doubt that such displays of disapproval have brought in changes big and small.

monochrome photo of resist signage
Photo by Sides Imagery on Pexels.com

The right to protest is one of the most important rights in a democracy since it ensures that the people’s voice is heard. The form of democracy that we practice in India is representative democracy, where people are represented by elected individuals in parliament. This means that the voice of a huge population is given a hearing through this one person. We cannot discount the biases and affiliations of these individuals when they present their demands, even though on paper we reassert that they are to represent the voice of the people even if they disagree themselves. Democracy is considered the rule of the people: a governing system for the people, by the people, and of the people. One of the downsides of democracy is the fact that it is often only the majority voice that gets to be heard and accepted, while there would be multiple other opinions which might be statistically a little less in number that goes unheeded. This is all the more dangerous if the voice of the majority turns out to be bigoted and discriminatory.

Protests are fundamental precisely because people have the right to disagree and do so freely without fear of repercussions. Protests bring people together as a group and imbibe a sense of strength and unity. They realize that they are not alone in their cause and that there will be others who will stand along. Protests are vital to create spaces of engagement, debate, and dialogue. It also provides minorities with an opportunity to voice their concerns, especially when they have no representation and are suffering from perpetual marginalization. The anger that often accompanies protesting voices is the expression of prolonged frustration by those who have suffered under the system. Those who tone-police by saying that people should not sound so angry are more concerned about the manner of protest than the reasons that force people out onto the streets. It is a sign of great privilege that one can live their everyday lives without having to demand anything that has been denied to them over the years. It is usually those who have not been affected at all by what is happening who ask why protest at all or give the excuse that protests are violent. People protest because they need to be heard, and because the system has so often failed them that waiting for change to come through office paperwork if they do not exert any outside pressure is almost illusory.

Protests are often not violent till force is exerted on them by state machinery. And using the excuse that protests tend to turn violent and so they should not be allowed is a way of discounting all the good that a protest can potentially do. One cannot use a deviant illustration to invalidate an entire expression. Being able to dissent and having the right to challenge authority, if taken away, would spell the death of democracy. Protests are not so much about winning an argument or agenda as they are about the right to disagree freely and make the voices of the people heard.  It might take decades to create any change but protests provide people with the strength to fight and the assurance that they are part of a larger whole. It enables those on the fringes of society to stand up for their rights and those who seek the attention of the authorities to do it quicker. At this time, we have to be vigilant that this right itself is not taken away from us and it is imperative that we understand the position that protests hold in a democracy.

RANI LAXMI BAI..[A GREAT WARRIOR]

As we know that we got our independence by sacrificing a lot….
There were some heroes (we call them freedom fighters ) who made the independence possible by their efforts…. today we are free from the chain of restrictions which were applied by the British rulers on that time…..and now we can breathe under the sky of freedom.

India’s history is fully filled by the stories of great people and I am talking about one of them.

Today I want to talk about a queen ,a warrior of our country who made a remarkable image of her in the pages of history… even today’s women are getting inspire with her journey.. With her soul..
I am talking about the RANI LAXMI BAI……..JHANSI KI RANI….

Her remarkable efforts, sacrifices.. Made her immortal…. Let’s start the journey of JHANSI KI RANI…..

The rani Laxmi bai was born to a high-caste prominent Brahmin family in Banaras (now Varanasi) on November 19, 1828. Formally named Manikarnika, she was called “Manu” by her parents. Her mother, Bhagirathi, died when she was 4. Under the care of her father, Moropant Tambe, she grew up. Her father worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II of Bithoor district. The Peshwa called her “Chhabili”, which means “playful”. Her education included horsemanship, fencing and shooting.

Laxmibai contrasted many of the patriarchal cultural expectations for women in India’s society at this time

Manikarnika was married to the king of Jhansi gangadhar rao in 1842 And was afterwards called Laxmibai in honor of the Hindu goddess Laxmi and according to the traditions. She gave birth to a boy, later named Damodar Rao, in 1851, who died after four months. The Maharaja adopted a child called Anand Rao, the son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin, who was renamed Damodar Rao, on the day before the Maharaja died. The adoption was in the presence of the British political officer who was given a letter from the Maharaja instructing that the child be treated with respect and that the government of Jhansi should be given to his widow for her lifetime.

After the death of the Maharaja in November 1853, because Damodar Rao (born Anand Rao) was an adopted son, the British East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, applied the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Damodar Rao’s claim to the throne and annexing the state to its territories. When she was informed of this she cried out “I shall not surrender my Jhansi” (Main apni Jhansi nahi doongi). In March 1854, Rani Laxmibai was given an annual pension of Rs. 60,000 and ordered to leave the palace and the fort.

When the entire country was already fighting the first war for Independence, Rani joined the wagon after Sir Hugh Rose demanded the complete surrender of Jhansi.

She was further supported by great warriors like Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Sunder-Mundar, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Deewan Raghunath Singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh among others. To strengthen her defence, Rani also had an army of women. She decamped to Kalpi with a few guards, where she joined additional rebel forces, including Tatya Tope. They occupied the town of Kalpi and prepared to defend it. On 22 May British forces attacked Kalpi; the forces were commanded by the Rani herself and were again defeated.

They came to Gwalior and joined the Indian forces The Rani was unsuccessful in trying to persuade the other rebel leaders to prepare to defend Gwalior against a British attack which she expected would come soon. General Rose’s forces took Morar on 16 June and then made a successful attack on the city.

It is said that she fought the British bravely with her infant son Damodar tied to her back and swords in her hands. After giving a tough fight to the Britishers, she was killed on 17 June 1988, following which troops whisked away her body so that her last wish of not being captured by the British could be fulfilled.

In the British report of this battle, Hugh Rose commented that Rani Laxmibai is “personable, clever and beautiful” and she is “the most dangerous of all Indian leaders”.

Today Rani Jhansi Museum in the Fort of Jhansi is home to some of the weapons used by Rani Laxmibai and her fellow warriors throughout the Rebellion of 1857. The museum houses a collection of archaeological remains of the period between the 9th and 12th centuries AD.

There is a famous poem on JHANSI KI RANI…

BUNDELE HARBOLON KE MUKH HMNE SUNI KAHANI THI
KHOOB LADI MARDAANI WHO TOH JHANSI WALI RANI THI…
….

There are also some poems which are written on the great JHANSI KI RANI…

As we have read above the story of RANI LAXMI BAI we see that how many challenges she faced but she didn’t compromise with her self-respect and she just fought, fought and fought with the British rulers…..

There are a lot of people born daily…. a lot of people die daily… but.. there are only few people who made their remark in history …only few become immortal in history…….we should learn.. form them…

Gandhi preach us more!

Have you at any point longed for world with harmony and thriving for all mankind- a world where we love and care for each other notwithstanding the differences in our way of life, religion and lifestyle?

I frequently feel vulnerable when I see the world in disturbance, an after effect of contrast between our goals. Mahatma Gandhi was the man who inspired the world with Ahimsa, his faith in peace, and non- animosity. His life was a message – a message of harmony overpower, of discovering approaches to accommodate our disparities and of living in amicability with difference and love notwithstanding for our adversary. His message was as clear to his enemies as it was to his followers. He believed we can resolve best our issues if we set out to have a constructive discussion with our enemy. “Be the change you wish to see in the world ” was the statement he gave. We frequently like to complain about the system that we need to follow. But before changing the system it’s significant that we see inside ourselves and try to fix our faults. Self- realization is one of the ways to achieve success. Pour out love and respect for every individual you come across, and don’t form biases based on their background. Each simple act matters. We are responsible for our future, whatever actions we do in present determine our future. Be a life long learner, learn as if you were to live forever.

Gandhi and our nation have suffered a lot under British, but instead of taking up arms against them, he chose the path of non-violence. See how we enjoy our freedom now. He taught us revenge is never a solution, it doesn’t lead to peace or happiness. One needs to learn to forgive.It is important to be true to yourself, no matter whatever the consequences are. Stand up for what you feel is right, even if it displeases a lot of people.

Gandhi’s musings can play a tremendous role in taking the human culture forward, towards the ideal objective. His lessons and analyses are more legitimate today than any time in recent memory, particularly when we are attempting to discover answers for overall greed, corruption, violence, and runaway which are putting a heavy burden on
the world. We as a nation continue to fail him. But like for every other thing, here is also hope. We can bring harmony to our world by spreading love and peace. Although the task is daunting, Gandhi has shown us how a fragile man can achieve incredible magnitude with a staunch belief to practice peace and harmony.
Will you take the pledge to become the change you want to see in the world?

Friendship And Physical Distancing

Introverts or extrovert, social interaction is a need for everyone. No one is liking the fact that physical distancing isn’t taking place on their terms.

Self Isolation, physical distancing and ‘Real Friends’

To give you a breakup: Some of my friends aren’t taking self-isolation very well. Some don’t seem to be minding it at all. And then there are those who, on the surface, seem to be taking it well, but in reality are carrying the heavy load of being ‘the strong friend’.

In April, a tweet by the handle @/tiamowry got viral, it read “During this pandemic, you’ll really see who your friends are. Who’s really checking up on you? Making sure you’re okay? Remember that when all this is over?”. It was deleted after the backlash, but the sheer number of likes, retweets and all the ‘yes omg, you’re right’ comments it received made it clear that a lot of us follow the same mentality that the tweet reflected. The mentality, in plain words, is being self-absorbed. Sure, all of us want to receive love and feel loved. We want constant reassurance from our friends and family that care about us.

However, to go ahead and suggest that a friend who is not constantly checking up on you isn’t a ‘real’ friend is parochial. This mentality implies that the pandemic is only affecting you and your mental health. It fails to acknowledge that it is also affecting everyone else, which includes your ‘real’ friends.

The last thing you should do is measure the strength of your friendships based on how often a friend is checking up on you as if they don’t have other things that could be worrying them or occupying their time during a pandemic.

Personally, I’ve been checking in on my friends, talking to them as much as I can. Doing as much listening as sharing. In no way am I doing this expecting everyone else to do the same for me. While saying this, it is also important that I mention the context- I’m in an extremely privileged position than most in this whole situation. For one, I have a roof over my head, three hot meals and not any financial burden to keep me worried about. I am someone who can be described as an ‘overly productive’ person during the pandemic. While on most day I like to be buried in work, but there are also days when everything starts to take a toll on me, on those days, sometimes I’m busy pretending to be strong for people even though I can hardly seem do anything for my own mental health. The other times I prioritise myself, something I learned the hard way.

Who SHOULD YOU CHECK UP ON?

There is no fixed answer to this question. It could be people with emotional/mental disorders, your current friends, old friends, new friends, family or even distant relatives. It is okay to do this as long as it doesn’t cost you your own peace of mind. You can not help anyone if you yourself are struggling. If you are over extending yourself it is okay to not check in with people you regularly check in with. You can keep yourself first without dissolving in guilt.

UNLEARNING

Like I mentioned before, I personally don’t take offence to whether or not a friend drops me a text or randomly video calls me. The pandemic isn’t just about me nor is it just about them. It is something that we are all collectively experiencing combined with our own personal struggles.

Take a quick moment to practice a more open and accommodating mindset.

Heads- I Stay, Tails- I go

Advice for making taxing decisions about friendships, and not by tossing a coin on google.

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have been in friendship limbo- a weird patch of uncertainty where we don’t know whether to stay in or leave a friendship. There are several catalysts that can lead us to limbo land, and the tricky part is that the only way to get out of it is to make an ultimate decision. Like Marilla Cuthbert choosing whether to keep Anne or not, you may feel torn about the outcomes of two completely contrasting options. Unlike Marilla’s initial quick judgement, I definitely recommend taking just enough time decide what you want to do. 

If you’re unsure about your text move, don’t stress about it. Take the time you need. Are friendship breakups terrible? yes, but so are unhealthy and toxic friendships. Whether your friendship limbo is a result of the ever changing dynamics, circumstances or conflicts, it is worth gaining some perspective on the friendship and checking in with yourself by asking questions like these: 

  1. Does this friendship bring joy to me? 
  2. Does this person make my life better by being in it? 
  3. Is this person treating me with love and respect?

For now, with these three questions in mind, let’s get going.

Should I stay if the circumstances are bad?

Sometimes, the choice to end or continue a friendship only comes down to the current circumstances. Maybe your friend is moving to a different city. Maybe you’re both in the same city but are attending different schools or colleges. Either way, most friendships begin only because the circumstances were favourable. You were both in the same class, shared the same interests, watched the same movie & shows or maybe you were neighbours since childhood. But, circumstances change, it’s life as we know it.

To help you bring clarity to the situation, you can start by referring to the questions above. If this is friendship makes you feel valued and loved, you have your answer. However, there are more things to think about as well, like how much energy and time you’re willing to spend on maintaining a long-distance friendship. Long-distance friendships are no doubt tough, but can also be insanely rewarding. 

Make an effort to call and text them at least once a week. Be understanding during the weeks where you don’t talk to each other. From time zone differences to hectic schedules, remind yourself that you won’t be able to be in contact with each other every day. This can at times seem like a lot, if you’re not cool with putting this much effort into maintaining your friendship, then that is completely alright. Similarly, if the friend hasn’t been particularly a positive person in your life, think about the new circumstances as a sign to let go of the friendship. 

We’re growing apart, but should I stay?

When you realize that things just aren’t the same. There, again, can be several catalysts behind this realization: the negative comments that they passed and later laughed them off but you can’t stop thinking about, an unsatisfying meetup or stumbling upon something they said before that now deeply hurts you. The important part here is that you can’t get this new information out of your head, you can’t undercut the blatant incompatibility and are now left to decide which move to make next. Do you give the friendship a shot and try to save it, or do you let it slip away? How do you know that this isn’t just a phase? 

Growing apart is distressing, perplexing and often destabilizing, which can often cause resentment and anger. However, feelings like these are negative, we want to avoid holding onto them and instead, advocate open and honest conversations with the friend. If, after referring to the above questions, you conclude that your friendship with your friend is worth recovering and working upon, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Growth is usually a good thing, people changing usually means they’re growing into the person they want, like or are supposed to be.
  • This could just be a phase. Often in long friendships, there are periods you don’t talk for days and days, even weeks, because your personalities were, point-blank, totally incompatible and contrasting. But only temporarily. 
  • Before you make the decision to cut off a close friend, consider openly communicating with them. Call them and say, “Hey, I feel like we’re not on the same page right now. This friendship matters a lot to me and I want to maintain it, even if that means it’s going to be different.”

When I think about changing relationships, I think about this quote that I found on tumblr- “People change and forget to tell each other.” Just like you’re not trying to hurt anyone when you change, no one else is intentionally trying to hurt you when they change. We have to let the people we love and care about do what’s best for them, and sometimes, that means letting them do their own thing while we do ours!

Knock knock. Who’s there? Democracy. Democracy who?

Democracy in layman terms is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Media is being considered as the fourth pillar of democratic society after executive, legislature, and judiciary. One of the crowning glories of the democratic system is the freedom of expression and the space that is provided to views from different sections of the society. The last few years witnessed an enhanced interface between the media and the common man, thanks to social media

The role of Social Networking Sites in Indian politics has risen tremendously in recent years. Different Indian political parties have their websites and some of them also use other social mediums to interact with people. With every party having its website and leaders being active on different media it makes the citizens feel that they are within their reach. It feels like the leaders are a touch away. Mr. Shashi Tharoor of Congress Party was one of the first politicians to start tweeting and has a separate fan base for his tweets now. Through social media, politicians now constantly display their message through endless campaigns, see direct responses to their actions via Facebook or Twitter, and connect with the public. One of the most recent example is Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders, where an auto-generated response was sent to all those who tweeted to the PM, giving the illusion that they were contributing to something large.

It is important to note that political engagement through social media is not limited to adults, but young potential voters increasingly use social media for online political participation. Especially younger people are using social networking platforms such as Twitter to develop an individualised form of activism that they connect to most. Unlike Mainstream media where narratives are indirectly controlled, influenced and favoured by the business houses and political parties that are funding the channel, Social media is comparatively a less regulated space.

Ravish Kumar on his Prime Time show on NDTV urged everyone to stop watching television back in March 2019. Why would someone who earns his living through mainstream television media tell you to do that? This shows how grave the situation was and still is. Public issues have disappeared from the channels, when Indian states were reeling under floods, the channels were still flooded by anti- Pakistan narratives, tukde-tukde gang narratives and the never-ending glorification of the honourable PM. Is TRP more important than highlighting important issues? Is selling news more important than upholding the fourth pillar? If we see the current media scenario then the answer to the latter question seems too easy.

Wouldn’t you agree if I said that the watchdog, or in other words the press and the media have a significant influence on society? Then is it fair to have corporate houses and political parties with vested interests invest in the media?

India News is owned by Karthikeya Sharma, son of a Congress leader. News 24 is controlled by Rajeev Shukla, a Congress leader and his wife Anuradha Prasad who is the sister of BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad. Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. The Italian, Robertio Mindo who has a share in the group is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi. CNN- News 18 is owned by Mukesh Ambani. Republic TV is owned by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and one of its biggest investors is Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a BJP leader- These are just a few examples out of the many news channels.

Editors are pulled up for putting their opinion, journalists are asked to toe the line, and media houses align themselves with different political ideologies and the interests of the owners and sponsors. Is it really possible to have a free and a fair media with this direct hold?

‘Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.’

Walter Cronkite

India is the world’s largest democracy, and the media mustn’t be controlled by any political party, big corporate houses or any other sector. The Press and the media is the voice of the voiceless and should promote the rights of not just the majority but also the minority; it is the duty of the press of any country to ensure that the government is functioning properly and no section of the society is left behind.

Sources-

  1. Role of media in Indian democracy https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/203650/11/11_chapter5.pdf
  2. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/critic-inside-ravish-kumar-speaks-tnm-state-indian-journalism-109378
  3. Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action- University of Chicago
  4. Who owns your media?- https://www.newslaundry.com/2014/02/05/who-owns-your-media-4https://cablequest.org/index.php/news/channels-owned-by-polticians