Saturday, January 26, 2013

Republic Day of India

1950 First Repubic Day of India speech by Dr. Rajendra Prasad
"We must re-dedicate ourselves on this day to the peaceful but sure realization of the dream that had inspired the Father of our Nation and the other captains and soldiers of our freedom struggle, the dream of establishing a classless, co-operative, free and happy society in 'his country'. We must remember that this is more a day of dedications than of rejoicing - dedication to the glorious task of making the peasants and workers the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured."

Many Indians remain largely unfamiliar with the anniversary that Indians celebrate on 26th January. For most Indians the day has lost its meaning and value. It has become just another day not to go to work or to school. Today nobody realizes the inherent significance of India becoming a republic: that we, the citizens of India, have the power to govern ourselves by choosing our very own government.

The Indian Independence Act, 1947, provided that as from the 15th August, 1947 in place of ‘INDIA’ there would be set-up two independent Dominions to be known as India and Pakistan. The Constituent Assembly of each Dominion was to have unlimited power to frame and adopt or to repeal any Act of British Parliament. The Constituent Assembly of India started the work of drafting a Constitution for India. The salient principles of the proposed Constitution were outlined by the various sub-committees of the Assembly. After a general discussion of the reports of these sub-committees, the Constituent Assembly appointed a drafting committee on 29th August 1947. The drafting committee under the chairmanship of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar drafted the ‘Constitution Of India’ which was published in February 1948. The Constituent Assembly met again to consider the provisions of the draft, clause by clause. After several sessions the Constituent Assembly assembled again on 14th November 1949 for the third reading and finished it on 26th November 1949. On this day the Constitution received the signature of the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and was declared passed.

Certain provisions relating to citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament etc. were given immediate effect i.e. from 26th November, 1949. Political freedom and civil liberty are the keystone of the Indian Constitution. Our Constitution is primarily shaped and moulded for the common man. The essential purpose of our Constitution is to ensure freedom of the individual and dignity of man, and to put basic human rights above the reach of the State and of politicians in power.

Our Constitution ensures that India remains a secular State. People belonging to different religious denominations who are all part of our vibrant society, are guaranteed the freedom to practice their own religions. These rights under our Constitution are available even to those who are not citizens of India.

This anniversary provides an opportunity for every citizen of India to renew the pledge to work for the well-being of our people, for peace and harmony in our society  and indeed, the world. So now that you know the reason for the Republic Day India celebrations value that vote of yours and make sure that when there are elections you cast your vote, and help in progressive India!\

PS: On the same date, that is 26th January, Hindi was declared the official language of the country in 1965.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Declamation: Entirely my thoughts, and a point of view. Many may not agree, kindly not take it personally.

Our forefathers used to say that India and Pakistan are two brothers, who were separated at birth. There was a tremendous sense of attachment among people who had lost their roots in either of the two parts of a land that was historically an inseparable whole.

But that was the story of the generation(s); now there is an UNENDING conflict between two adjacent nations. Unfortunately since independence, India and Pakistan rarely experience any happy phase. The story of both started with hatred, tension, mistrust and ultimately war. The hostile relationship cause lack of security as well as economic and social challenges.  And severely affect the environment of the states which is churning between both countries. 

They say Kashmir is the heaven on earth but it surrounds by the fear of death. The prosperous state is threatened and insecure. Numerous challenges weaken the chance for peace and stability. Fragile democratic transition, unsuccessful dialogue, and supporters of anti-India or anti-Pak groups make the condition more worst.

“Pakistan and India need to build on what they have achieved to reach sustainable peace”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. India’s concerns about jihadi groups are legitimate but given its neighbour’s fragile democratic transition, New Delhi should be more flexible and patient. India and Pakistan may not agree or be comfortable with each other on their regional or diplomatic issues, but when it comes to broader view which includes international affairs and diplomacy, India and Pakistan have similar theory. 

The question is why we just count on insensitive statements made by the political leadership of both the nations and allow the situation to deteriorate further? This is where education needs to play a vital role. We make 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 the four milestones hyphenated by incidents like 26/11 while understanding Indo-Pak relations but there is more to that. Why don't we speak about the cultural similarity between the two countries often than required? Why don't we talk about the goodwill gestures that both neighbours had shown in the past in times of natural calamities, in India in 2001 and Pakistan in 2005? There is a huge population comprising both Indians and Pakistanis across the world and the LoC firing and beheading of soldiers are not the only issues in their daily interaction.

Why media creates an uproar when a Sania Mirza marries a Shoaib Malik? Should human emotions also check the line of political convenience? Why bodies like Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy do not come to limelight apart from the academic and cultural circles? Shouldn't we give some more time and space to such bodies than the Lashkar-e-Taiba?

RETHINK and make a step towards better tomorrow... 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Kind of Winter...

The weather in north India is unpredictable more and more every year.  In our area we really and truly have every season here.  And the last few weeks have been the perfect example of my kind of winter...

Though we don't have snow but few weeks ago it actually go very cold. The whole city shuts down and we are basically forced to stay home with a cup of hot chocolate! The quilts and heating gives that cozy feeling that only winter can brings.  We tasted winter two weeks back to back!  

WINTERS don't last long... within 2 weeks of chilling, the temperature again rise.. and seems spring time is on the way! I was out looking at flower beds, they are already starting to grow! The trees have buds on them! Winter doesn't belong here anymore... we get winter, we enjoy it, then spring shows up! What an amazing place :)


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lohri Festival

Amidst the freezing cold weather, everything seems stagnant in the northern part of India. However, below the apparently frozen surface, you would be amazed to find a wave of activity going on. People, especially in the northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh, are busy making preparations for Lohri — the long-awaited bonfire festival. On this auspicious day, they celebrate the harvesting of the Rabi (winter) crops.

Lohri is celebrated with great enthusiasm in North India, but it is also celebrated in different parts of the country, as different festivals. Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Sukarat in Madhya Pradesh, Uttarayan, Bihu and Makar Sankranti, all interestingly coincide with Lohri. Among the Sindhi community Lohri Festival is known as Lal loee.

It is the time of change in season, as winter chills begin to ebb, Lohri festival is celebrated on 13th January every year. Lohri is a festival of great social significance, rather than religious significance. It is celebrated with a bonfire, as friends and family gather around it. Lohri is all about traditional songs, dancing around the bonfire.

Customs & Legends 
In the morning on Lohri day, children go from door to door singing and demanding the Lohri 'loot' in the form of money and eatables like til (sesame) seeds, peanuts, jaggery, or sweets like gajak, rewri, etc. They sing in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi avatar who robbed the rich to help the poor, and once helped a miserable village girl out of her misery like his own sister.

The Bonfire Ritual 
In the evening, with the setting of the sun, huge bonfires are lit in the harvested fields and in the front yards of houses and people gather around the rising flames, circle around the bonfire and throw puffed rice, popcorn and other munchies into the fire, shouting "Aadar aye dilather jaye" (May honor come and poverty vanish!), and sing popular folk songs. This is a sort of prayer to Agni, the fire god, to bless the land with abundance and prosperity. After the ritual, people meet friends and relatives, exchange greetings and gifts, and distribute prasad. The prasad comprises five main items: til, gajak, jaggery, peanuts, and popcorn. Later they served dinner around the bonfire with the traditional makki-di-roti and sarson-da-saag.

Song & Dance
Bhangra dance by men begins after the offering to the bonfire. Dancing continues till late night with new groups joining in amid the beat of drums. Traditionally, women do not join Bhangra. They hold a separate bonfire in their courtyard orbiting it with the graceful gidda dance.

Lohri is a highly prominent harvest festival very close to the heart of natives of North India who joyfully get along with their family and friends each year. Lohri brings in an opportunity for people in the community to take a break from their busy schedule and get together to share each other's company. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Indian Culture"

CULTURE is refers to the intellectual development evolved out of the physical and mental training acquired in the course of time. “Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.” It is measurement of Civilization, the richer the better!

The culture of India is one of the oldest and unique. In India, there is amazing cultural diversity throughout the country. The South, North, and Northeast have their own distinct cultures and almost every state has carved out its own cultural niche. There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India. India is a vast country, having variety of geographical features, food variation and climatic conditions. India is home to some of the most ancient civilizations, including four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

Indian Mythology is one of the richest elements of Indian Culture, which enriches it further and makes it a unique one in the world. Through generations, different stories in Indian mythology have been passed from generation to generation either by word of mouth or through carefully stored scriptures.

Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India's. Stretching back over 5000 years, India's culture has been enriched by waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life. It is this variety which is a special hallmark of India. Its physical, religious variety is as immense as its linguistic diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day. Modern India presents a picture of unity in diversity. Families pass the Sanskar 'moral education' time to time and create an art of living.

Indian culture can be best expressed as comprising the following

Humanity - The mildness of the Indians has continued till date. The Indians are noted for their humanness and calm nature without any harshness in their principles and ideals. (Pardon the recent activities, but I have seen very good human-beings and families with strong values).

Unity - India is a fusion of old traditional values and the modern principles, thus satisfying all the three generations in the present India. Celebrations and festivals are inseparable part of Indian life style. (READ: India, the Land of Feast and Festivals)

Secularism - India is a secular country as stated in its Constitution. There is freedom of worship throughout the length and breadth of India without any breeches or violations of any other’s religious beliefs. The Hindus, The Muslims, The Christians, and The Sikhs in times of calamity and during festivities come openly together to share their thoughts despite their religious affinities.

Closely knit Social system - The Indian Social System is mostly based on the Joint family System. Even the nuclear families are closely attached.. Grandfathers, fathers, sons and grandsons sharing the same spirit, tradition and care..