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Thursday 21 June 2018

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife's Death: Photo & Video Recordings

When a young person of the age of 33 dies, there is bound to be some controversy and doubts regarding the death. This is what see in the case of Jaggi Vasudev's wife's death. Her name was Vijji, and she died in January 1997, on what is known traditionally in Tamil Nadu as thaipoosam. Below are some photos, videos and a discussion of the details and various evidence surrounding this controversy of her death.

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife's Death: Murder?

First thing to note here is that there are two versions of the story. One side claims that Jaggi Vasudev's wife died, and that she was actually murdered by Jaggi. The other side claims that she was not murdered, and in fact, she did not even die in the conventional sense. She attained mahasamadhi, a spiritual term meaning a person has become one with cosmos, and so ceases to exist. In India's tradition, there are many who are said to have attained mahasamadhi, including Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Shirdi Sai Baba etc.

Below are a few images of Jaggi Vasudev's wife, during the early days of her marriage.

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife Jaggi Vasudev and his wife. Jaggi Vasudev's Daughter Jaggi Vasudev's daughter bows down to a photo of her mother, during a dance performance.

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife's Death: Mahasamadhi?

As said above, the other version of this story is that she attained mahasamadhi. In mahasamadhi, the person's body still remains sometimes, and it is often cremated, and the ashes kept in a tomb, or samadhi. Vijji's samadhi is at the Isha Yoga Center. A photo is shown below.

Jaggi Vasudev's wife's samadhi Jaggi Vasudev's wife's samadhi, where her ashes are cremated.

Below is the description of this mahasamadhi, from Jaggi Vasudev himself: Jaggi Vasudev on his wife's death / mahasamadhi. Jaggi Vasudev has spoken about this many times, and these videos are also available on Youtube. I have chosen one here, that was spoken to a celebrity audience that included Anupam Kher and his wife Kirron Kher. Jaggi Vasudev is answering Kirron Kher's question on his wife's mahasamadhi.

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife's Death: Video

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife's Death: Investigation

So which of these is true. Unfortunately, Jaggi Vasudev's wife's death took place 21 years ago, so it is not a simple process to investigate. One thing that is clear is that though Jaggi Vasudev is claimed to be the murderer on some sites on the Internet, he was never convicted in a court of law. In fact, no case was ever presented in the court even. Generally, if anyone is suspected of murder, the accusers would file an FIR in a police station immediately. That way, an investigation can progress and if there is proof, the case can be taken to a court of law and the sentence passed.

Unfortunately, none of the accusing websites are taking such an action. However, they continue to publish articles on the supposed controversial death of Jaggi Vasudev's wife. These people are perhaps trying to profit from the popularity of Jaggi Vasudev. They know that by publishing such stories, they will make people click on their pages, and so the website can make money from ad revenue (which is linked to number of website visitors). The same logic can hold for some of the Youtube videos that same similar things, without showing any proof.

It is surprising that people can make accusations of murder without proof because in Indian legal system, no one is guilty unless proven. To make such accusations without taking the case to court, can be a punishable offense.

It is said that there is a FIR filed in 1997, immediately after the death. However, no one clarifies on what the result of this FIR was. No action was taken by the police. It is also well-known that Jaggi Vasudev was an unknown person, and not famous as he is now. So the question of political influence on police is also not possible. Also, the accusations that he fled to the United States to escape prosecution do not hold water. He is living in India and has been for several years now, so obviously he did not "flee" to the US.

There is also the accusation that her body was cremated immediately, and that this means foul play. Nowadays, such things can be found out because all deaths are recorded and a doctor signs the death certificate after examination. This was not the case 20 years ago though. A death certificate was not mandatory. And it is customary for traditional Hindu families to cremate the body within a few hours of death. Keeping the body for even a day is considered inauspicious for the soul.

Since no one provides any credible evidence, it must be concluded that in fact, Jaggi Vasudev's wife's death was not murder.

Jaggi Vasudev's Wife's Death: Truth?

The truth is, she probably just died. People die! Even young people. It doesn't necessarily mean anything suspicious. There are many diseases and physiological defects such cardiac palpitations due to having a hole in the heart. Many people do not even realize they have such ailments, and they just die one fine day. There are people who even have bacterial infections in the brain. These are picked up through respiration sometimes. There are cases of people picking up such infections from hotel AC rooms and going into coma or even dying. Maybe this is how Jaggi Vasudev's wife died. There are many such possibilities. SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is well-known. But young adults die too from unknown causes (though not in the same numbers). It doesn't necessarily mean murder. As said above, in those days, no autopsy was necessary, so the cause cannot be accurately identified.

As for Jaggi Vasudev's claim about her mahasamadhi, well, he offers no concrete proof of it either. Neither does he clearly explain how such a process works. So perhaps these are just the words of a man grieving the loss of his wife and believing that she attained the goal of all spiritual seekers.

How the Kundalini Rises Through the 7 Chakras

The theory of vibration (Spanda) relates directly to the concept of potential-sound (shabda-tanmatra) which develops into the individual matrika as the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. These letters are called varnas, meaning colours, as each of these distinct “matrix-vibrations” has a definite colour-affinity. As the gross aspect of the subtle (Shabd), these “phenomenal seeds” are the foundation of the ever-changing Reality and are inseparable from Consciousness.

About Kundalini

Consciousness, subtle sound, manifest sound, form, colour and the elements are all inter-related. Every Matrika has a Shakti (Energy). Of all the Shaktis, the Kundalini-Shakti is the greatest. This “serpent- energy” of potential vibration, is the “atomic” energy of the microcosm. Contained within the body there is a great power-potential. It is the power of the Cosmos. “Coiled” in the lower centres, the Kundalini-Shakti may be released through “vibrational” activity. This vibrational activity can be of three kinds: Through Breath-Control (Pranayama) : Breath-Activity. Through Sound (Mantra) : Sound-Activity. Through Elementals : Alchemical-Activity.

Associated in ancient times with the Mother-Goddess, and the Earth-Goddess, this energy has been worshipped as the One Principle by which the Nature-Potential may be released into the realm of Cosmic-Consciousness. When activated, this energy surges through the subtle body and “discharges” as Amrit (“Nectar”), flooding the Consciousness with Blissfulness. This union of “moon” and “sun”, once again brings us to the polarity-symbolism, which is the undercurrent of the Tan trie cosmology. Dr. Wilhelm Reich, in his researches into “Orgone-Energy”, undoubtedly stumbled upon the all-powerful Kundalini-Shakti, which has its root in the sexual centres. According to the Kularnava tantra, the world “is made only of Shiva and Shakti”. When separated, these two poles strive to unite. When united, Blissfulness is the result.

How the Kundalini Rises Through the 7 Chakras

Moving up the central axis (“Mount-Meru”) of the Subtle body [composed of Pranas (Vitality-essences) and Nadis (Vitality-essence-channels)] through the Sushumna-Nadi (“Central pathway”), also called “Meru-danda” (Mount Meru Staff), through the Chakras (Subtle- body centres) - the 7 chakras through which the kundalini passes are the Muladhara at the base, the Swadisthana chakra at the genitals, the Manipuraka at the navel, the Anahata chakra at the heart or solar plexus, the Vishuddhi chakra at the throat, the agna chakra between the eyebrows, and the sahasrar or fontanelle at the top of the head - to “Immortal” Union with the Shiva Consciousness- principle of the Sahasrara-Padma-Chakra (at the top of the head), the Kundalini-Shakti “consummates” the “marriage” of Individual Spirit (Atma) to Universal Spirit (Paramatma). The release of this energy from the “earthy” to the “etheric”, through the vortices of the subtle colour sound centres (Chakras) is a highly specialized science.

7 Chakras and Visualization

The Yoga instructions on the visualisation and activation of the subtle body vary according to the tradition of the Guru, however there are a number of “common-factors” which are now given: First there is the visualisation of the "Emptiness” and “Hollowness” of the body. Then a central axis “Mount Meru”. is imagined, reaching from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, the Brahmarandhra: “aperture of Brahma”!, also hollow “reed-like” and of a dark blue-black colour The colour of outer space; Then to each side of the central "staff” are a smaller channel Ida & Pingala . each of which are also hollow. Tradition varies slightly as to the colours attributed to these two channels, but generally they are a mixture of Red and White, with a concentration of Red to the Right, and White to the Left. Likewise the breath is associated with these channels, the equalising of breath being the aim of Hatha-Yoga as expounded by Matsyendra Nath and Patanjali.

History of Gorakhnath & Kanphata Yogis

The followers of Gorakhnath are known as Yogi, as Gorakhnathi, and as Darsani, but most distinctively as Kanphata. The first of these names refers to their traditional practice of the Hatha Yoga, the second to the name of their reputed founder, the third to the huge ear-rings which are one of their distinctive marks, and the fourth to their unique practice of having the cartilege of their ears split for the insertion of the ear-rings. In the Punjab, in the Himalayas, in Bombay, and elsewhere they are often called Natha, which is a general term meaning ‘master.’ Women of the sect are similarly called Nathni. In Western India they are generally known as Dharamnathi (or Dhoramnathi), after a famous disciple of Gorakhnath, by that name. In other parts of India the names Kanphata and Gorakhnath! are commonly used.

How the Name Kanphata Yogi Came About

It is said that the practice of splitting the ears originated with Gorakhnath, and that the designation Kanphata (literally, ‘Split-eared’) was a term of disrespect applied to these Yogis by Muslims. The word Yogi is a general descriptive term, applied to many who do not belong to the Kanphatas. It ‘has many shades of meaning, from that of saint to that of sorcerer or charlatan.’ It is also a general term for ascetics, particularly for those who are endeavouring, by restraint and discipline of the body, to secure union with the Brahman. From the generalized point of view, the Gorakhnathis constitute the principal group and the better class of Yogis, although some of the less desirable characters of ascetics bearing the name Yogi, may be found amongst them. They form a distinct order of Yogis.

“Kanphata Yogis are found everywhere in India, being as widely scattered as any of the ascetic orders. They are met with separately as mendicants and as hermits, and in groups, in the Northern Deccan, in the Central Provinces, in Gujarat, in Maharashtra, in the Punjab, in the provinces of the Ganga basin and in Nepal.

Historical Writing About Kanphata Yogis

In the Punjab the term Yogi, is used to cover a wider group, ‘ that miscellaneous assortment of low caste fakirs and fortune-tellers, both Hindu and Muslim, but chiefly Muslim, who are commonly known as Yogis. Every rascally beggar who pretends to be able to tell fortunes, or to practice astrological and necromantic arts, in however small a degree, buys himself a drum and calls himself, and is called by others, a Yogi. Those men include all the Muslims, and probably a part of the Hindus of the eastern districts, who style themselves Yogis. They are a thoroughly vagabond set, and wander about the country- beating a drum and begging, practising surgery and physic in a small way, writing charms, telling fortunes, and practising exorcism and divination; or, sitting in the villages, eke out their earnings from these occupations by the offerings made at the local shrines of the malevolent godlings of the Sayads and other Muslim saints; for the Yogi is so impure that he will eat the offerings made at any shrine. These people, or at least the Muslim section of them, are called Rawal in the centre of the Punjab. Rawal corresponds to Nath. In Kathiawar they are said to exorcise evil spirits and to worship Korial, In Sialkot they pretend to avert storms from the ripening. The drawn sword into the field or a knife into him and accepting suitable offerings.

How a Kanphata Yogi Lives

Before going into this, here is a brief look at what is yoga in the first place. It is not proper for Yogis to live alone; and they are not supposed to wander, but to abide in monasteries, or at temples, and to meditate. The books prescribe as follows, for Yogis: The practice of the Hatha Yoga should be carried out in a private cell, four cubits square, free from stones, fire and water, [situated] in a well-governed country, free from violence, where the law (dharma) is followed and where alms are abundant. [The cell] should be neither too high nor too low, free from cracks, hollows and holes, [and should have] a small door. [It] should be well plastered with cow-dung, clean and free from all kinds of vermin. On the outside [surrounding it] it should be graced with a beautiful enclosure [garden] with sheds, a platform and a well. These are the marks, as described by adepts in the practice of Hatha [Yoga], of a cell where the Yoga is to be practised. Having seated [himself] in such a cell, with his thoughts abandoned, [the Yogi] should practise Yoga in the manner indicated by his guru.’

Where Kanphata Yogis Travel

Yogis go on pilgrimages, visiting shrines and holy places all over India. In the rainy season of 1924, there were very few Yogis at Gorakhpur, most of them being away visiting various sacred places. However, they make their monasteries their headquarters. Some do live alone, in the jungles, practising Yoga; but hermits of this kind are exceedingly difficult to find. The author was able to get track of but two adepts, Baba Hira Nathji at Kali Mohini in Alwar, between Bhatinda and Bandikui, and Bawa Tejnal, at Patanjali Ashrama in Hardwar; and was unable to find either. Some of these are considered to be real adepts.

Wednesday 2 May 2018

The Effect of Action on Karma

The action is the effect of thought. The thought is not the mere working of the waking mind. It is the sum-total of the working of the waking mind, plus the thought produced involuntarily by the Karma which represents not merely the reflex action produced by that thought but also the quantity of the unspent reflex actions against it in the past.

The actions are the effects of the workings of the Inner Mind. That Inner Mind is not the balance left after omitting the two sections I spoke of as falling within the conscious range. I had to refer to those sections which related to the absorption of ideas from the soul’s conscious sphere since it is only against those sections that forces of Prakriti and karma directly impinge. Inner Mind is not affected except through these sections, but Inner Mind is one indivisible whole. It emanates forces which result in acts. These forces may be radiating from various sections but in the order of initial force they affect the Universe. While the Inner Mind is directly not affected by the forces which affect the waking sections deeply, it receives indelible impressions thereof which go to affect primarily the active part thereof.

Inner Mind in Relation to Failure of Action

Now when the waking section sends out thoughts, they get lost in the universe because of want of strength from the Inner Mind. Take an illustration. I desire that I should get a jewel. The thought affects the Inner Mind which at the time refuses to believe that the jewel can be got. If this thought escapes into the universe, it will result in nothing for want of support from the operative part of the mind’s artillery. It is the name I give to the operative part of the Inner Mind.

This is what gives karma its power. But first, we need to clearly understand what is karma. Karma is a misunderstood word. And Sadhguru gives a very interesting clarification about it below.

Other Causes for Failure of Action

Now, assume I hate a man. The hatred is so deep that when I desire to kill him I affect my Inner Mind also with that emotion. When this thought escapes into the universe the Inner Mind, which is of the same thought, supports this with its artillery fire and the act is done. If the act is not done it may not mean that the Inner Mind had not given support. The miscarriage of. the artillery might be caused by the previous balance of ammunition being insufficient or unfit for use.

Fifth Dimension and Inner Mind

I will remove the simile and tell you straight-way. If the Inner Mind has received a thought through its emotional section, it almost always received it, but in sending out thoughts it does not merely transmit what it receives since what it has received has been inextricably mixed and dissolved in the then state of the mind. Now what emanates from this state of the mind is the thought which is responsible for all actions. This is the fifth dimension and not the mere thought of the conscious mind. It is to make this clear to you that I have been repeating so long.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

India, South Africa, Brazil Begin Joint Naval Exercise

The BRICS countries minus the big superpowers China and Russia are taking stock of their military preparedness and engaging in joint naval and military exercises. The Indian Navy is currently conducting the IBSAMAR military exercise which also includes Brazil and South Africa. This is the fifth edition of this particular exercise, which has always been conducted off South African waters thus far. The exercise will begin on February 19, Friday, and will continue till February 29, Monday.

According to a statement from the Indian Navy, the exercise is essentially geared towards anti-submarine warfare, surface and air-to-air missile defenses, search and seizure operations and search and rescue operations. Ships, aircraft carriers, planes, helicopters and submarines are involved in this huge exercise.

IBSAMAR began in 2006, and is only one of many military exercises that India is engaging in. Besides its bilateral exercises with the United States, and trilateral operations with Japan and Australia, India also conducted its second international fleet review recently, in which 55 countries including China, South Africa and the United States were present. This heightened exercise calendar is due in part to threats to India's security from China, and its desire to become a global arms manufacturing hub and exporter. India also was present at the recent Bahrain Airshow, where it showed off its indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

South Africa is meanwhile flexing its muscles and trying to grow independent of China's clout, on which it is highly dependent financially. South Africa's economy is staggering under economic downturn and its military funding is being cut year-by-year. It is looking for cheaper sources for arms and gear. South Africa has always emphasized a strong military as a deterrent towards other nations. Even the country's first President Nelson Mandela repeatedly spoke about the need for a strong military in independent South Africa. In fact, as President of the African National Congress in the 1960s, before he was imprisoned under the apartheid regime for 27 years, Mandela referred to the need for a strong armed force to ensure the nation's sovereignty in the current atmosphere of the world. One of Mandela's quotes about freedom also speaks of military.

The IBSAMAR military exercises involving India, Brazil and South Africa began, for the first time off the west coast of India, Friday, the Indian Navy said in a statement. According to the statement, the exercises will end on February 29. The exercises are taking place close to Goa. "The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface firings, Air Defences, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Flying Operations, Search and Rescue and tactical procedures," the statement reads. The three countries began holding the IBSAMAR exercises in 2006. This is the fifth round of the drills. All previous exercises were held in South Africa. This year, the IBSAMAR exercises will involve ships, submarines, aircraft and special forces.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

An Estimated 60% of Aleppo is in Ruins, say Scientists

The was between the Bashar al-Assad government and the Free Syrian rebel army has cost the country of Syria dearly in terms of archaeological treasures. An estimated 60% of the ancient city of Aleppo, an 8000-year-old city that has been a hub for trade, education and cultural exchange, has been reduced to rubble in the past 30 months. For example, the Ummayad Mosque, considered one of the most aesthetic construction in the Muslim world, built in 1090 AD, still stands, but minus one of its minarets, which was brought down by government artillery gunning last year. This act was widely condemned by the Syrian rebels, who however, have acted similarly, in their bid to push the government forces out of the city. In truth, Aleppo's narrow ancient lanes lend themselves to guerrilla warfare, and often, the safest tactic for opposition forces is to use heavy artillery.

Aleppo has had trade contacts with Asia and Europe for many centuries. It was a center for exchange of ideas between the Orient and Occident, and was a fertile ground for the blossoming of many spiritual movements, especially Sufism. It played a particularly important role in the life of the 13th century mystic and Sufi poet, Jalaluddin Rumi, who moved here and spent a few years as a young boy with his father. He studied at a madrasa under Kamal Ibn Al-Adim at the Halaviye mosque. Much of his worldview and future outlook were shaped here. In fact, in one of his quotes, Rumi acknowledges this role that Aleppo played in his life. Though Rumi spent most of his adult life in Turkey and Konya, there was much going and coming between what are today Turkey and Syria sine they were art of the same empire controlled by the Mamaluks.

There is even an al-Rumi mosque in the city's Saffahiya district, which was formerly known as Mankali Bagha Mosque. Mankali Bagha was the Mamluk prince who built the place. Here is a cute little poem that Rumi wrote about Aleppo: “Does this road lead to Aleppo?” Your answer can be “yes” or“no” Your opinion doesn't make it so. Consult a map before you go!"

Foreign Arrivals for Tourism in Uttar Pradesh

In recent years, there have been very substantial increases in the volume of international financial and commercial transactions in Uttar Pradesh, made possible by technological progress in the field of electronics and communications. Like most other developing countries, those of South Asia have taken little part in the growth of this trade. Their negative balance of trade in services results from their reliance on the international economy for the more traditional forms of services such as shipping and insurance. Thus tourism is an important player in leveling this imbalance, and can be helped quite significantly by the Internet revolution that is underway in the country.

In the early 1980s, the region as a whole ran a deficit on shipping, with India’s deficit the largest at SDR (Special Drawing Rights) 1.4 million (SDR = USA$1.34). For India, this is largely offset by a very substantial positive balance as a result of tourism for which it is the most important market and foreign exchange earner in the region. The other positive item which has helped to make current account deficits smaller than trade deficits is remittances from abroad. These are sums of money sent back by mainly skilled and semi-skilled workers from the subcontinent employed in the Middle East. 

India and specifically Uttar Pradesh earned USA$2659 and 567 millions, respectively in 2014. Indeed, their current account deficits would have been two to three times larger but for these earnings. As oil prices stop rising and demand for foreign labor slackens in the Middle East, the future of these inflows is becoming doubtful. At the same time, South Asian economies have, by and large, kept free of the growing burden of international indebtedness, partly through prudent financial management and partly, as in the case of Bangladesh, through their relative unattractiveness to commercial lenders. 

In the 1980s, the debt'exports ratio for the major economies of the region have been around 11 to 14 percent of export earnings, in comparison with over 20 percent for certain Middle-East economies and around 50 percent for Chile and Mexico. A better understanding of the development process in South Asia can be obtained by observing changes in the composition of exports and imports, rather than their levels. In the early 1950s, India exported mostly primary products while imports were mainly manufactured consumer goods. 

By 1983, only 13 percent of Indian imports consisted of primary products including food, 37 percent of fuel and about 50 percent of machinery and other industrial inputs. Primary exports were down to 30 percent, textiles 14 percent and manufactures and machinery' were 38 percent. Other South Asian countries show a similar pattern of reliance on these kinds of imports, with the exception of Bangladesh which depends heavily on imported food products. 

On the export side, UP is still mainly an exporter of primary products. Bangladesh, Pakistan and, to a lesser extent, Nepal rely on textiles for much of their foreign exchange: about half of the total export earnings for Bangladesh and Pakistan come from this source. Nepal, a poorer country, exports large volumes of rice to India where it fetches a higher price. Many commodity movements are unrecorded, making an accurate picture of the pattern and levels of Nepalese trade impossible. Indian and Nepalese sources, for instance, give widely differing values of exports and imports between the two countries.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Farm Distress and Possible Situations in India

India has a history of farming that goes back 8000 years ago. During the Indus Valley Civilization, irrigation was well-developed and step-wells and bunds helped provide water to fields. In the Vedas, agriculture and animal husbandry are held as the highest occupations, and in the Upanishads, a farmer is likened to the creator itself, for providing food and sustenance to all. From this lofty statements in the HIndu scriptures, one would expect a rosy picture of the current state of farming and agriculture in India. Unfortunately, the ideals of the Puranas and Sanskrit literature do not find expression in reality.

The agricultural sector in India grew only by 0.2% last year, as compared to 7.9% for the entire economy, and 5.7% for inflation. The state of affairs for farmers has grown worse with every year, and they are in fact in  much worse state today than they were in 1992-93, when liberalization opened up India's economy. The targets given every year by the government represent an overall increase in agricultural production over the 1955-56 figures of about 28 per cent. The original target for additional agricultural production proposed in the Plan was 18 per cent. As a result of the renewed discussions between representatives of the States and Members of the Planning Commission, this target was raised to 28 per cent in November 2016 to meet increased domestic needs, eliminate imports, expand exports and, above all, to provide against the possibility of inflation arising from the heavy investment proposed under the Plan. 

 The Plan envisages not only an increase in the physical quantities of various agricultural commodities but also an improvement in the quality of these products. In the case of foodgrains, for example, the major portion of the increase is envisaged in superior kinds of rice and wheat. Under cotton, the emphasis is on increasing the production of long-staple varieties. Likewise, in the case of jute, sugarcane, lac, oilseeds and other commodities, measures for the improvement of quality are to be given a high place in the programme of development. As in the first Plan, the higher production will be achieved largely through improvement in techniques and institutional arrangements for promoting land use and land management on more efficient lines and for ensuring a greater degree of social justice among those dependent on land. Under the existing proposals the irrigated area is proposed to be raised by 21 million acres. 

The consumption of nitrogenous fertilizers is proposed to be raised from 610,000 tons in 1955 to over 1-8 million tons in 1960-61. Encouragement will also be given to green manuring and to the utilization of sewage, town compost, oil-cakes and other manures. To meet the requirements of improved seed a comprehensive programme for establishing seed multiplication farms has been drawn up. Soil conservation and land development work will be carried out on a more intensive scale. In the institutional sphere, particular attention will be paid to questions relating to the imposition of ceilings on holdings, consolidation of fragmented plots, land management practices and co-operative farming. 

The problems of marketing, warehousing and rural credit will also receive attention. It is hoped that by all these methods and by the part to be played by the Community Projects and the National Extension Service in popularizing improved techniques of agricultural production, the targets will be achieved in full measure. Agricultural Research and extension activities play an important part in agricultural production. The programmes of agricultural research in India are co-ordinated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The Council was set up in 1929 on the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. It was reorganized in 1951 to enable it to discharge its responsibilities more effectively, especially in the field of extension work. The extension service aims at bridging the gulf between research workers and farmers. 

Research work is carried on at a number of institutes such as (i) the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi; (if) the Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack; (iii) the Central Potato Research Institute, Simla; (iv) the Central Vegetable Breeding Station, Kulu; (v) the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun; (vi) the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar; (vii) the Indian Dairy Research Institute, Bangalore, and (viii) the Indian Lac Research Institute, Namkum. Besides, there are 22 agricultural colleges which carry on research in specialized fields. The Indian Central Committees for cotton, jute, oilseeds, sugarcane, coconut, arecanut, lac and tobacco similarly operate and subsidize a number of research schemes at various stations and sub-stations. The research institutes are engaged on a variety of research projects, both fundamental and applied. They conduct experiments in improving the fertility of the soil and the quality of seeds. They have evolved certain varieties of crops which are capable of resisting drought, disease, insects and pests. 

The IARI has, for example, evolved the New Pusa-700 wheats, noted for their high yield and resistance to disease. The Sugarcane Research Institute at Coimbatore has evolved the CO 312 and 313 varieties which have increased the sugarcane yield per acre by more than half. Similar results have been obtained in respect of crops like millets, pulses, tubers, vegetables, cotton and jute. The Research Institutes maintained by the Central and State Governments are to be strengthened during the second Plan period. It is proposed to concentrate on problems which link research with development.

Friday 1 January 2016

Commercial Aircraft Manufacturers in India

India is currently a big draw for aircraft manufacturers, thanks to strong local demand and global slowdowns. Both Boeing and Airbus, the major players, are eyeing India for growth. Airbus has even offered to manufacture in India many of its military aircrafts, while Boeing has invested 500 million USD in the subcontinent so far.

The growth in India's tourism is leading to a spurt in commercial airliners making purchases. Indigo for example, one of the few aircraft flyers making a good profit, ordered 100 Airbus aircraft last year at the Paris airshow, while Indian Airlines has jumped into the fray looking to make a Dreamliner purchase.

The military too is flexing its financial muscle. This is helped along very well by the past cooperation between American and Indian air forces. For example, during the 1962 Sino-Indian War had a serious impact on Indo-USA relations as New Delhi quickly modified its nonaligned policy. During the war, Nehru requested USA airforce assistance in the defense of Indian cities and a USA aircraft carrier was sent into the Bay of Bengal in response. Both the UK and the USA began arms aid assistance to India during the war, and then entered into more formal military assistance agreements with India thereafter. The USA aid program, however, was halted during the 1965 Indo- Pakistani war when Washington suspended arms transfers to both states. This continued as USA policy until 1981, with ‘one-time exceptions’ sales permitted on occasion, and the USA withdrew as a major source of arms in South Asia. New Delhi was not too disturbed by this, as Pakistan was considered to be more adversely affected than India which had more diverse sources of foreign military equipment.

With the exception of some noisy but short-term differences between Washington and New Delhi, for instance the USA ‘tilt toward Pakistan’ in the 1971 war, Indo-USA relations in the 1965— 81 period were comparatively free of stress. India generally viewed the USA as a neutral factor in South Asia and no great source of complication for Indian policy. The USA saw India as an occasional irritant in broader international issues, but on balance a useful force because of the stabilizing role it played in a non-Communist South Asia.

Pakistan has never drawn the same level of interest from the United States. If we look at the comparative strengths of the military, it becomes quite clear why. For India, the numbers are Armed Forces: 1,260,000; Army: 1,100,000; Navy: 47,000; Airforce: 113,000; Paramilitary Forces: 255,000. For Pakistan however, the number are Armed Forces: 480,600; Army: 450,000; Navy: 13,000; Airforce: 17,600; Paramilitary Forces: 164,000. Only about half of India's.

Th British have not always had such a perfect relationship however. Before Independence, in 1946, the personnel of the R.I.N. in Bombay revolted in order to “protest against the continued racial discrimination and complaint in regard to pay, food, clothing, allowances, leave and travel facilities and the invidious distinction between the terms of demobilisation between the British and Indian demobilisation personnel*1. The mutiny had spread to all the twelve shore establishments in Bombay effecting about 20,000 ratings. The Congress and the Muslim League flags were hoisted on the ships instead of the Union Jack. The situation deteriorated up to this extent that there broke out gun battles between the ratings and the British troops lasting six hours, till the Britishers ceased fire. In sympathy of the ratings 300,000 dock workers and 1,000 men of Royal Indian Air Force went on strike. The entire country was shocked on these happenings and there was growing restlessness among the disgruntled leaders and masses and the smouldering dames of a revolutionary spirit among disloyal soldiery, military and police alike.

Monday 16 November 2015

Met Museum hosts Ramayana play for Diwali

The Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York City, popularly known at the Met, has continued its annual tradition of staging a presentation of the Indian epic, the Ramayana, popularly called Ram-Leela. The play is part of the festival of Diwali, and celebrations take place at the art theater which seats over 700.

This year's presentation on November 15 pulled in over 3500 viewers, with standing room only at the theater. NYC arranges the presentation of Ramayana (Ram-Leela) in its 708 seat state of the art theater as part of Diwali celebrations. The show was conducted and choreographed by the East-West School of Dance, under the guidance of director Narayan Charka. The play was funded by the The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative Advisory Committee at the Met Museum.

The protagonist and hero, Bharat, the prince and brother of Lord Rama was played by actor Tirlok Malik, who is known for his films featuring Indian-American migrant themes. Malik is a New York Emmy Award nominee, and said “It was an honor for me to play the part of Bharat at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum under the direction of Pt. S.N. Charka.” Malik is also the owner and founder of Nritv, a popular streaming site that features Indian American movies exclusively.

The Ramayana is a 24000-verse epic poem, penned by Sage Valmiki, and according to historian William Jones, was composed around 2029 BC. Many versions of the Ramayana exist today, including those told in the perspective of the antagonist Ravana and Rama's wife Sita. Translated into several languages, the most popular versions include Tulsidas' Hindi version of Hanuman Chalisa (mp3), his Ramcharitamanas and Kamban's Tamil version of the Ramayana.

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