Thursday, July 19, 2012

India: Origin of Badminton

Badminton is a very popular sport in many parts of the world especially, Asia and Europe. India is also an upcoming nation in the arena and credited to provide champion players like Prakash Padukone, P.Gopichand and currently Saina Nehwal. Did you know that the history of the modern version of badminton has its roots in India?

The origin of this game is credited to medieval Britain. There was a popular kid’s game known as shuttlecocks or battledores and badminton is considered as a descendant of that sport. India also had a major role to play in development of current day badminton. As the story goes, British army officers in Pune, Maharashtra, forever changed the way badminton is played by adding a net in 19th century. They also started to play it competitively. Interestingly, this game was initially known as Poona because of obvious reasons. Later on some of those officers returned back to England and introduced the same format there. Since then, the game has never looked back. The organized stricture of this game in India took place in 1920s.

The game of badminton can be well described to be a descendent of battledore and shuttlecock, which were played in ancient Greece over 2000 years ago. One of the most popular games since the medieval era, the modern version of badminton has its roots well laid in India. British Army officers posted in Pune, India, gave badminton its present form in the 19th century and played it competitively. As the city of Pune was formerly known as Poona, the game was also became known as Poona at that time. Poona was developed from the children's game, battledore and shuttlecock.

The main aim of the game was to keep the cork stuffed with feathers - shuttlecock, in the air for as long as possible, using a paddle, called a battledore. The group, who managed to keep the shuttle in the air for a long time was declared the winner. Though this cooperative, non-competitive game was similar to its predecessor, the only difference was the addition of a net. The shuttlecock is often cited as a bird, because it is usually made out feathers. Shuttlecocks consisting of 16 real feathers are only used for competition purpose. It is said the best shuttles are those that are made from feathers taken from the left wing of a goose. However, in the present times, there are plastic ones also available

Once the British mastered the game in India, they took the equipments with them back to England during the 1870s. Three years later, in 1873, the Duke of Beaufort hosted a lawn party in his country place called Badminton. The game of Poona was played on that day and became a popular and entertaining pastime among the British elites. It was thence that the game received its present name, Badminton and came to be known as party sport or more popularly, "the Badminton game". In 1877, the first club dedicated to the sport called the Bath Badminton Club was formed. The club is credited for developing the first official set of rules for playing Badminton.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as Badminton World Federation) was established in 1934 with Canada, Denmark, England, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales as its founding members. India joined as an affiliate in 1936. The BWF now governs international badminton and develops the sport globally.
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Indian greatest scientist Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose was born on 1st January 1894 in Calcutta (now Kolkata).

He was an Indian physicist specializing in mathematical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate. The class of particles known as bosons was named after him by Paul Dirac. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the Government of India.

A self-taught scholar and a polyglot, he had a wide range of interests in varied fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature and music. He served on many research and development committees in independent India.

He was the eldest of seven children and only son, with six sisters after him. His father, Surendranath Bose, worked in the Engineering Department of the East Indian Railway Company. He married Ushabati at the age of 20. They had nine children. Two of them died in their early childhood. When he died in 1974, he left behind his wife, two sons, and five daughters.

His ancestral home was in village Bara Jagulia, in the District of Nadia, about 48 kilometers from Calcutta. His schooling began at the age of five. His first school was near his home. Later, when his family moved to Goabagan, he was admitted to the New Indian School. In the final year of school, he was admitted to the Hindu School. He passed his entrance examination/ matriculation in 1909 and stood fifth in the order of merit. He next joined the intermediate science course at the Presidency College, Calcutta, where he was taught by illustrious teachers as Jagadis Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Ray. Meghnad Saha came from Dacca/Dhaka and joined the same college two years later. P C Mahalanobis and Sisir Kumar Mitra were a few years senior to them. Satyendra Nath Bose chose mixed (applied) mathematics for his B.Sc. and passed the examinations standing first in 1913 and again stood first in the M.Sc. mixed mathematics exam in 1915. It is said that his marks in the M.Sc. examination created a new record in the annals of the University of Calcutta,--which is yet to be surpassed.

After completing his M.Sc., Bose joined the University of Calcutta as a research scholar in 1916 and started his studies in the theory of relativity. It was an exciting era in the history of scientific progress. The quantum theory had just appeared on the horizon and important results had started pouring in.

Bose attended Hindu School in Calcutta, and later attended Presidency College, also in Calcutta, earning the highest marks at each institution while fellow student Meghnad Saha came second.[6] He came in contact with teachers such as Jagadish Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Roy who provided inspiration to aim high in life. From 1916 to 1921 he was a lecturer in the physics department of the University of Calcutta. Along with Saha, Bose prepared the first book in English based on German & French translations of original papers on Einstein's special and general relativity in 1919. In 1921, he joined as Reader the department of Physics of the then recently founded University of Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) by the then Vice Chancellor of University of Calcutta Sir Asutosh Mukherjee, himself a distinguished mathematician, a high court judge & with strong interest in physics. Bose set up whole new departments, including laboratories, to teach advanced courses for M.Sc. & B.Sc. honors and taught Thermodynamics as well as Maxwell's Theory of Electromagnetism.

Satyendra Nath Bose, along with Saha, presented several papers in theoretical physics and pure mathematics 1918 onwards. In 1924, while working as a Reader at the Physics Department of the University of Dhaka, Bose wrote a paper deriving Planck's quantum radiation law without any reference to classical physics and using a novel way of counting states with identical particles. This paper was seminal in creating the very important field of quantum statistics. Though not accepted at once for publication, he sent the article directly to Albert Einstein in Germany. Einstein, recognizing the importance of the paper, translated it into German himself and submitted it on Bose's behalf to the prestigious Zeitschrift fur Physik. As a result of this recognition, Bose was able to work for two years in European X-ray and crystallography laboratories, during which he worked with Louis de Broglie, Marie Curie, and Einstein.

After his stay in Europe, Bose returned to Dhaka in 1926. He was made Head of the Department of Physics. He continued teaching at Dhaka University and guiding. Bose designed equipments himself for a X-ray crystallography laboratory. He set up laboratories and libraries to make the department a center of research in X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, magnetic properties of matter, optical spectroscopy, wireless, and unified field theories. He also published an equation of state for real gases with Meghnad Saha. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Dhaka University until 1945. When the partition of India became imminent, he returned to Calcutta to take up the prestigious Khaira chair and taught at Calcutta University until 1956. He insisted every student to design his own equipment using local materials and local technicians. He was made professor emeritus on his retirement. He then became Vice Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University in Shanti Niketan. He returned to the Calcutta university to continue research in nuclear physics and complete earlier works in organic chemistry. In subsequent years, he worked in applied research such as extraction of helium in hot springs of Bakreswar.

A Polyglot, he was well versed in several languages such as Bengali, English, French, German and Sanskrit as well as poetry of Lord Tennyson, Rabindranath Tagore and Kalidasa. He could also play the esraj, a musical instrument similar to a violin. He was actively involved in running night schools that came to be known as the Working Men's Institute.

In 1937, Rabindranath Tagore dedicated his only book on science, Visva-Parichay, to Satyendra Nath Bose. He was honored with title Padma Vibhushan by the Indian Government in 1954. In 1959, he was appointed as the National Professor, the highest honor in the country for a scholar, which he held for 15 years. In 1986 S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences was established by an act of Parliament, Government of India, in Salt Lake, Calcutta in honour of this world renowned Indian scientist.

Bose became an adviser to then newly formed Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He was the President of Indian Physical Society and the National Institute of Science. He was elected General President of the Indian Science Congress. He was the Vice President and then President of Indian Statistical Institute. In 1958 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was nominated as member of Rajya Sabha. Apart from physics he did some research in Biotechnology and literature (Bengali, English). He made deep studies in chemistry, geology, zoology, anthropology, engineering and other sciences. Being a Bengali, he devoted a lot of time to promoting Bengali as a teaching language, translating scientific papers into it, and promoting the development of the region.

Source: Wikipedia
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Satyendra Nath Bose towers over Higgs in world of physics

Indian scientist after whom the God particle is named remains in virtual oblivion.

The 'boson' in the Higgs boson particle, whose search and ultimate detection was one of the longest and most expensive in the history of science, owes its name to Bose. In 1924, the Kolkata-based physicist had sent a paper to Albert Einstein, describing a statistical model that led to the discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate phenomenon. The paper laid the basis for describing the two classes of subatomic particles - bosons, named after Bose, and fermions, after Italian physicist Enrico Fermi.

Though Nobel Prize in Physics awards have been awarded in connection with research in this domain, many find it strange that Satyendra Nath Bose himself was not awarded one. But having an elementary particle named after oneself is an honour that far outstrips any award. A Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded every year. But nomenclature of an elementary particle lasts till the end of time.
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rivers in India

The Indian River Systems can be divided into four categories – the Himalayan, the rivers traversing the Deccan Plateau, the Coastal and those in the inland drainage basin. The Himalayan rivers are perennial as they are fed by melting glaciers every summer. During the monsoon, these rivers assume alarming proportions. Swollen with rainwater, they often inundate villages and towns in their path. The Gangetic basin is the largest river system in India, draining almost a quarter of the country.

Five Major Rivers in India

Ganga River

One of India’s most sacred rivers, the Ganga (or the Ganges) originates in the Himalayas at Gaumukh (13,858ft). Legend has it that the Ganga originated from the mythical Mountain Meru believed to be located at the core of the universe, and also considered to be the abode of gods.

From here the Ganga drops into Shiva’s matted locks (Shiva is the Destroyer of the Universe in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer), that seem to cushion its fall before it finally lands on earth.

That the river is of such spiritual significance for the Hindus is borne out by the fact that a dip in the Ganga is believed to absolve one of all sins. A few drops of Ganga jal (water) on a dying Hindu’s lips are said to earn the latter a permanent abode in heaven. Furthermore, Hindus believe that if the ashes of the dead are immersed in the Ganga, their souls break free from the cycle of birth and rebirth and attain nirvana. The three most revered towns situated on the banks of the Ganga are Haridwar, Allahabad and the eternal Varanasi.

Saraswati is celeberated both as river diety and as the Goddess of speech and learning. The meaning of the word Saraswati is ‘ full of waters’ or ‘ full of lakes’. The source of the river is considered to be in Plakasha Prasravana in the Himalayan mountains and the place where the river disappears is called Vinasana. The water of the river Saraswati are inspiring. As a river Goddess, she connected with fertality and procreation and particularly with purification.

Sindhu in Rig Veda is reffered as one one of the rivers of Sapta Sindhus. The river gots its name of Sindhu or Sindh through which it flows. It is the great river of the world.It originated from the Kailasa mountain near the Mansarovar in Tibet.

Godavari, the largest and the longest river of South India. It is popularly reffered as to as the Dakshina Ganga. The Godavari means the best of givers of water, or the best of the rivers giving cows. According to traditions, Godavari is divided itsef into seven branches before it meets the sea and they are named after the seven rishis.

Narmada is the largest of the major west flowinf rivers born in the central highlands. It is described as the best among the rivers. It is said that the river was issued by the body of Rudra. Narmada originated from the Amarkantak hill and flows at a distance of 1300 km and ultimately meets the Bay of Cambay near Bharuch. Narmada is capable of purifying all creatures and even immovabbles.

Yamuna River
The Yamuna, a tributary of the Ganga, is another important river. Rising from Yamunotri in the Himalayas, it merges with the Ganga in Allahabad. The Saraswati, a mythical river known to have existed a few thousand years ago, is believed to follow its invisible underground course to unite with the Ganga and the Yamuna at Sangam (meeting point), or Prayag in Allahabad.

Rivers like the Chambal, Betwa and Sone flow northwards from the Vindhya Mountain Range and drain into the Ganga and the Yamuna. The basins of the Brahmaputra and the Indus cover about one-tenth of India’s land area. Smaller rivers like the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej are tributaries of the Indus, a river that flows from Pakistan into North India.

Rivers Are Mainly Fed By Rain

The rivers of the Indian peninsular plateau are mainly fed by rain. During summer, their flow is greatly reduced, and some of the tributaries even dry up, only to be revived in the monsoon. The Godavari basin in the peninsula is the largest in the country, spanning an area of almost one-tenth of the country.

The rivers Narmada (India’s holiest river) and Tapti flow almost parallel to each other but empty themselves in opposite directions. The two rivers make the valley rich in alluvial soil and teak forests cover much of the land.

While coastal rivers gush down the peaks of the Western Ghats into the Arabian Sea in torrents during the rains, they cease to flow after the monsoon. Streams like the Sambhar in western Rajasthan are mainly seasonal in character, draining into the inland basins and salt lakes. In the Rann of Kutch, the only river that flows through the salt desert is the Luni.

Owing to the harsh Indian summer, it is not possible to navigate by barges and small ships throughout the year even on massive rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna. In Calcutta where the Ganga is deep and the water doesn’t dry up, Kidderpore functions as a dock for ferries and small ships coming in from the Bay of Bengal.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

How and Who named India?

Bharat, India, Hindustan but the official name, states that "India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of states." Thus, not only in usage but officially India and Bharat are both accorded primary status. The name India is derived from the river Indus.

The original name of the river came from the fact that in the north-west of the subcontinent, there are seven main tributaries of the one river. The local inhabitants therefore called it Sapta-Sindhu, meaning the seven rivers. As the seven tributaries are part of the one river, the entire river system came to be known in time as Sindhu. In general, Sindhu also means any river or water body in Sanskrit.

Persian explorers visited the area even in ancient times, and the Iranian 'h' is cognate with Sanskrit 's'. Thus Sindhu became Hindu. Similarly, Sanskrit Asura (a spirit, later an evil spirit) is cognate with Ahura, the Supreme God of the early Iranian people.

The name of the river entered Greek from Persian, with the loss of the initial 'h', to become Indos, from which the Greeks derived their name for the region, India. The Latin form of Indos is Indus, the name by which the river system is still known in the West. Its name was given to the entire subcontinent by the Romans, who adapted it to the current India.

The word India is the form used by Europeans over the ages.

Sindhu is also the Sanskrit term for Ocean and for any large water body. It would specifically mean the modern river Indus, if ancient Indic originated there. It could just mean "water dwellers" as well.

Interestingly, the Vedas did not assign any particular name for India, although some scholars assert that references to Indu in the Rig Veda relate to India's present name. Many traditional literary/cultural works from around the globe lack definite terminology for their home culture as a political unit; China, Greece, and many other civilizations lacked fixed names for themselves in traditional literature of their early periods.

In the Matsya Purana 126, the length of India (Bharatavarsa) is 9,000 puranic yojanas, which is a good estimation.

Listed by, among others, Colonel James Todd in his Annals of Rajputana, he describes the ancient India under control of tribes claiming descent from the Moon, or "Indu", and their influence in Trans-Indian regions where they referred to the land as Industhan. This explanation might serve better to explain the term Hindu. Having said that, ancient Greeks do mention the Indic tribes or related tribes (could be of Iranian origin or joint Indo-Iranian origin) inhabiting what is now Ukraine as Sindoi or Sindkoi.

The name India was known in Anglo-Saxon, and was used in King Alfred's translation of Orosius. In Middle English, the name was, under French influence, replaced by Ynde or Inde, which entered early modern English as Indie. The use of the name India dates from the 17th century onwards, and may be due to the influence of Latin, or Spanish or Portuguese.
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is the Jan Lokpal Bill?

The Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen's ombudsman Bill) is a draft anti-corruption bill drawn up by prominent civil society activists seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body that would investigate corruption cases, complete the investigation within a year and envisages trial in the case getting over in the next one year.

Drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde (former Supreme Court Judge and former Lokayukta of Karnataka), Prashant Bhushan (Supreme Court Lawyer) and Arvind Kejriwal (RTI activist), the draft Bill envisages a system where a corrupt person found guilty would go to jail within two years of the complaint being made and his ill-gotten wealth being confiscated. It also seeks power to the Jan Lokpal to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without government permission.

Retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi and other known people like Swami Agnivesh, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Anna Hazare and Mallika Sarabhai are also part of the movement, called India Against Corruption. Its website describes the movement as "an expression of collective anger of people of India against corruption. We have all come together to force/request/persuade/pressurize the Government to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill. We feel that if this Bill were enacted it would create an effective deterrence against corruption."

Anna Hazare, anti-corruption crusader, went on a fast-unto-death in April, demanding that this Bill, drafted by the civil society, be adopted. Four days into his fast, the government agreed to set up a joint committee with an equal number of members from the government and civil society side to draft the Lokpal Bill together. The two sides met several times but could not agree on fundamental elements like including the PM under the purview of the Lokpal. Eventually, both sides drafted their own version of the Bill.

The government has introduced its version in Parliament in this session. Team Anna is up in arms and calls the government version the "Joke Pal Bill." Anna Hazare declared that he would begin another fast in Delhi on August 16. Hours before he was to begin his hunger strike, the Delhi Police detained and later arrested him. There are widespread protests all over the country against his arrest.

The website of the India Against Corruption movement calls the Lokpal Bill of the government an "eyewash" and has on it a critique of that government Bill.

A look at the salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill:

  1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up
  2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.
  3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.
  4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
  5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
  6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month's time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.
  7. But won't the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won't be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
  8. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
  9. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
  10. It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Who is Anna Hazare?

Anna Hazare is one of India's well-acclaimed social activists and prominent leader in the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Kisan Baburao Hazare popularly known as Anna Hazare born 15 June 1937 in Bhingar, a small village in Hingangaon near the city of Bhingar, in Bombay Province (present-day Maharashtra).

His father, Baburao Hazare, worked as an unskilled labourer in Ayurveda Ashram Pharmacy. Kisan's grandfather was working for the army in Bhingar, when he was born. His grandfather died in 1945, but Baburao continued to stay at Bhingar. In 1952, Baburao resigned from his job and returned to his own village, Ralegan Siddhi. Kisan had six younger siblings and the family faced significant hardships. Kisan's childless aunt offered to look after him and his education, and took him to Mumbai.

Kisan studied up to the seventh standard in Mumbai and then sought employment, due to the economic situation in his household. He started selling flowers at Dadar to support his family. He soon started his own shop and brought two of his brothers to Bombay.

In 1962, events in South Asia meant that large-scale army recruitments were being undertaken. Despite not meeting the physical requirements, 25-year-old Hazare was selected, as emergency recruitment was taking place in the Indian Army. After training at Aurangabad in Maharashtra he started his career in the Indian Army as a driver in 1963.
Earlier photo of
Anna Hazare

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Hazare was posted at the border in the Khem Karan sector. On 12 November 1965, the Pakistan Air Force launched air strikes on Indian bases, and all of Hazare's comrades were killed; he was the only survivor of that convoy. It was a close shave for Hazare as one bullet had passed by his head. He was driving a truck. This led him to dwell on the purpose and meaning of life and death.

He came across a small booklet titled "Call to the youth for nation building" by Swami Vivekananda in a book stall at the New Delhi railway station. He realised that saints sacrificed their own happiness for that of others, and that he needed to work towards ameliorating the sufferings of the poor. He started to spend his spare time reading the works of Vivekananda, Gandhi, and Vinoba Bhave.

Hazare was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. It was at that particular moment that Hazare took an oath to dedicate his life in the service of humanity, at the age of 26. He decided not to let go of a life time by being involved merely in earning the daily bread for the family. That’s the reason why he pledged to be a bachelor.

During the mid-1970s, he again survived a road accident while driving. It was at that particular moment that Hazare took an oath to dedicate his life to the service of humanity, at the age of 38. He took voluntary retirement from the army in 1978. He was honorably discharged from the Indian Army after completing 12 years of service.

During his tenure about five medals were apprised to Anna Hazare: Sainya Seva Medal, Nine Years Long Service Medal, Sangram Medal, 25th Independent Anniversary Medal, and Pashimi Star award.

At the age of 38, Mr. Hazare took voluntary retirement from the army and returned to his native village. Over the next few decades, he gained wide acclaim in his home state and at the national level for transforming his once drought-prone, impoverished village to a prosperous “model village” by encouraging sustainable farming and rural life as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian Independence leader often referred to as Gandhiji.

Mr. Hazare lives on his pension from army service in a room in the temple in his village and says his campaigns are financed by voluntary donations by his supporters. He is always seen in white clothes with a traditional Indian cap.

Such nationalistic calls and his record of espousing integrity and honesty in public life have endeared Mr. Hazare to India’s growing middle class, which frequently reviles its political leaders for the corruption that permeates everyday life. That has also thrust Mr. Hazare to the forefront of national movement against corruption following his public fast in New Delhi in April.

He has termed the current civil society’s movement against corruption as “India’s second freedom struggle,” and has asked all Indians to participate. Critics say he is using anti-democratic methods of moral coercion to force his will on the elected government.

In the 1990s, the federal government awarded Mr. Hazare with the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards, the nation’s third and fourth highest civilian awards respectively, for his social work.

Care International of the USA, Transparency International, Seoul (South Korea) also felicitated him. Apart from this, he received awards worth Rs 25 lakh and donated the entire amount for the Swami Vivekananda Kritadnyata Nidhi (social gratitude fund). Out of the two lakh rupees received from the above amount, mass marriages are carried of at least 25-30 poor couples every year.

Inspired by Hazare’s unique approach of salvaging a hopeless village, the state government has implemented the `Model Village’ scheme as part of its official strategy. Hazare is now synonymous with rural development in India.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goswami Tulsidas

Goswami Tulsidas also known as simply Tulsidas was a medieval Hindi poet and philosopher.

He was born in Rajpur in the district of Banda in Uttar Pradesh, during the reign of Humayun. Tulsidas wrote twelve books and is considered the greatest and most famous of Hindi poets. He is regarded as an incarnation of Valmiki, the author of Ramayana written in Sanskrit. He wrote Ram Charita Manas, an epic devoted to Rama. This Ramayana is read and worshipped with great reverence in every Hindu home in India. It is an inspiring book that contains sweet couplets in beautiful rhyme. Vinaya Patrika is another important book written by Tulsidas.

Tulsidas lives in between 1527-1623. He was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth. His father's name was Atma Ram Sukal Dube; that of his mother is said to have been Hulasi. A legend relates that, having been born under an unlucky conjunction of the stars, he was abandoned in infancy by his parents, and was adopted by a wandering sadhu or ascetic, with whom he visited many holy places in the length and breadth of India; and the story is in part supported by passages in his poems. He studied, apparently after having rejoined his family, at Sukar-khet, a place generally identified with Sor in the Etah district of the Uttar Pradesh, but more probably the same as Varahakshetra on the Gogra River, 30 miles west of Ayodhya.(Varahakshetra and Sukar-khet have the same meaning; Varaha or Sukara means a wild boar).

He married in his father's lifetime, and begat a son. His wife's name was Ratnavali, daughter of Dinabandhu Pathak, and his son's Tarak. The latter died at an early age, and Tulsi's wife, who was devoted to the worship of Rama, left her husband and returned to her fathers house to occupy herself with religion. Tulsidas followed her, and endeavoured to induce her to return to him, but in vain; she reproached him (in verses which have been preserved) with want of faith in Rama, and so moved him that he renounced the world, and entered upon an ascetic life, much of which was spent in wandering as a preacher of the necessity of a loving faith in Rama.

He first made Ayodhya his headquarters, frequently visiting distant places of pilgrimage in different parts of India. During his residence at Ayodhya the Lord Rama is said to have appeared to him in a dream, and to have commanded him to write a Ramayana in the language used by the common people. He began this work in the year 1574, and had finished the third book (Aranyakanda), when differences with the Vairagi Vaishnavas at Ayodhya, to whom he had attached himself, led him to migrate to Benares. Here he died in 1623, during the reign of the emperor Jahangir, at the age of 91.

The period of his greatest activity as an author synchronized with the latter half of the reign of Akbar (1556-1605), and the first portion of that of Jahangir, his dated works being as follows: commencement of the Ramayan, 1574; Ram-satsai, 1584; Parvati-mangal, 1586; Ramajna Prashna, 1598; Kabitta Ramayan, between 1612 and 1614.

Tulsidas's greatest poem, popularly called Tulsi-krita Ramayana, but entitled by its author Ram Charita Manas, or the Lake of Rama's Deeds, was begun in the year 1574, and completed in two years and seven months. A large portion of the poem was composed at Banaras, where the poet spent most of his later life.

The Ram Charita Manas is as well known among Hindus in upper India as is the Bible among the rural population of England. Many of its verses are popular proverbs in that region; an apt quotation from them by a stranger has the immediate effect of instilling confidence in the listener. Tulsidas 's phrases have passed into common speech, and are used by millions of Hindi speakers (and even speakers of Urdu) without the speakers being conscious of their origin. Not only are his sayings proverbial: his doctrine actually forms the most powerful religious influence in present-day Hinduism; and, though he founded no school and was never known as a guru or master, he is everywhere accepted as both poet and saint, an inspired and authoritative guide in religion and the conduct of life.

Tulsidas professed himself the humble follower of his teacher, Narhari-Das, from whom as a boy in Sukar-khet he first heard the tale of Rama's exploits that would form the subject of the Ram Charita Manas. (Narhari-Das was the sixth in spiritual descent from Ramananda, the founder of popular Vaishnavism in northern India.)

Besides the Lake of Rama's deeds, Tulsidas was the author of five longer and six shorter works, most of them dealing with the theme of Rama, his doings, and devotion to him. The former are

The Dohavali, consisting of, 573 miscellaneous doha and sortha verses; of this there is a duplicate in the Ram-satsai, an arrangement of seven centuries of verses, the great majority of which occur also in the Dohavali and in other works of Tulsi

The Kabitta Ramayan or Kavitavali, which is a history of Rama in the kavitta, ghanakshari, chaupaï and savaiya metres; like the Ramacharitamanas, it is divided into seven kandas or cantos, and is devoted to setting forth the majestic side of Rama's character

The Gitavali, also in seven kands, aiming at the illustration of the tender aspect of the Lord's life; the metres are adapted for singing

The Krishnavali or Krishna gitavali, a collection of 61 songs in honor of Krishna, in the Kanauji dialect of Hindi: the authenticity of this is doubtful

The Vinaya Patrika, or Book of petitions, a series of hymns and prayers of which the first 43 are addressed to the lower gods, forming Rama's court and attendants, and the remainder, Nos. 44 to 279, to Rama himself.

Of the smaller compositions the most interesting is the Vairagya Sandipani, or Kindling of continence, a poem describing the nature and greatness of a holy man, and the true peace to which he attains.

Tulsidas' most famous and read piece of literature apart from the Ramayana is the Hanuman Chalisa, a poem primarily praising the Hanuman. Although it is not one of his best poems, it has gained popularity among the modern-day Hindus. Many of them recite it as a prayer every week.
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