Hope you all are doing well. Monsoon is yet to arrive in my city with full intensity. However we have experienced some Pre-Monsoon shower. Today morning was also cloudy and cool gentle breeze pervaded in the atmosphere.
I was up to my favourite task, which I always relish in these sort of weather :), picked up my bike and went on for a ride. The ride was gentle until I came across a scene which was very poignant to me. I thought of writing about it and sharing to you all, but suddenly I changed up my mind. I have taken some shots through my phone camera (quality may not be very good) of that surrounding and thought sharing to you all. Because some time pictures are more expressive than the word itself and pics will give you the legacy of your own interpretation, rather than my point of view.
Today’s morning was very fine here in my city and it became even more gorgeous when I had a south Indian meal in breakfast at one of my friend’s home. 😛 Knowing my likings, he had invited me on several occasions, but somehow or the other I kept delaying it. But today was the day. I love South Indian cuisine, especially the Dosas and Uthapam along with the Sambhar and Chatani.
To tell you the fact, my friend is not from South India. Yet the taste of Dosa was so delicious and sumptuous that I can bet that any South Indian cook would be proud of it. I had the breakfast as in the manner that I am having lunch. One after another, I devoured three Dosas one by one, partly due to the reason that I like it and partly due to the immense pressure from his family especially from his granny.
After having breakfast, I chatted for some time with his family members. His family is having same place of origin as I am having and we both speak same beautiful language “Maithili”. I find his family very decent and everybody in my surrounding having a word of praise for them. I spoke with uncle but the best part during my conversation was with his granny. She would be around mid 70s. She is quite religious and very soft spoken. She speaks in so humble way with me that sometime I wonder how someone can be so modest. Every time I talk with her, I get some life lesson.
As I had some other engagements later in the morning, so I asked permission from them to leave. They all seemed to be very happy that I came there and so was I. When I was leaving, out of respect I bent down to touch the granny’s feet, but she moved backward with a shudder and said “No, no, no, no….don’t dare touch my feet. Do you want that I commit sin?”
I said with anguish, “Why you never let me touch your feet Dadi and what sin are you talking about? Don’t you want to bless me?” Her response was “ You are bigger than me”. I said “Wow! How could that happen! Do I look older than you?” She said smilingly “Beta! You are Brahmins and we are not suppose to let you touch my feet, it’s considered as one of the great sins, which has been taught to us by my ancestors and I am not going to disobey them like your uncle”. I was shocked, ashamed. Uncle never resisted me from touching his feet. Her statement was probably a dig at him. Since I was running out of time I did not plead much and with folded hand I said Namaste and returned back to home.
On returning home, I got to know that my further engagement which I had, got cancelled. So I had free time. The sound of the granny “you are bigger than me” reverberated in my ears. I was forced to contemplate about the caste systems in India among Hindus. I never experienced this divide in recent times and unheard of this untill this moment. Yet the response of granny was shocking to me. I thought in those old days this divide must be very rigid, as much so that it had an indelible imprints on her mind.
I find this cast system as one of the reasons why foreign powers and their culture attacked us from centuries. It was one of the most debilitating factors of backwardness of our society. It is the phenomena which militated against the dignity of the humans.
And I find this caste system in today’s context as pernicious as it was ever before. Some political outfits are using this divide to gain their political leverage. Some netas, like Britishers, believe in the philosophy of “divide and rule”. They want that whole population should be divided on the cast line so that they could not stand together on the developmental issues. With this they are able to maximize their interest. Now is the time when we should relinquish all our identities and should stand for the cause of building a more secular, tolerant and accommodating society and nation.
Although the Constitution of India guarantees that there should be no discrimination of the basis of caste, gender, religion, place of birth etc. but these things has to be dealt on the societal level, and cannot be completely enforced by law alone. The onus is on current generation, we should thrive for a society where no elder should feel blessing the younger as sin and prevents touching feet.
Today’s article is concerned with a Geo-Political topic which is currently a buzz in world of diplomacy. Its a bit lengthy as compared to my general write ups, but the gravity of the subject prompted me to write long. Hope you would enjoy reading.
In past quarter century, if one thing which has caught the imagination of the world, it would surely be the phenomenal rise of China. For almost 30 years double digit growth, China’s incremental jump in the economic dimension has reshaped the world order and now we are moving towards a multi-polar world, where America or Russia is not the sole dominant power.
With the rise of China comes its desire to influence the world order. There are several tools to influence it. Such as by showing technological advancement, increasing the influence on other countries, by enhancing the infrastructural aspects, by increasing trade with other nations etc. So in 2013, its president came up with an ambitious project called One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, which China claims that it is one of the most ambitious project of 21st century and it is having potential to reshape the world.
Recently China has organized a summit called Belt and Road Initiative(BRI), in which high level participants from more than 120 countries arrived, including nearly 30 head of the states. India was a conspicuous absentee, even though China, on multiple occasions, requested India to be a participant of this initiative. Since we are witnessing a potential watershed event in the world history, hence I thought of bringing some details about it.
What is Belt and Road Initiative?
This initiative is brought to fore by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. From the inspiration of Old Silk Route, Belt and Road Initiative or One Belt One Road initiative is a connectivity project which aims to connect mainland China to the parts of Asia, Europe and some parts of Africa as well. There are 60 countries through which this project will run. China is willing to finance these infrastructural project as a loan to the host nation. Once these areas will be connected, a whole new wave of globalization can emerge. It will have a positive impact on trade, commerce, integration of economy, cultural connectivity, integration of the least connected area, increasing the living standards of millions etc.
This initiative is having two limbs; one is connecting the Land Area through rail and road and the other is maritime connectivity by building ports and supplementary infrastructures.
Land connectivity scheme is known as Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime connectivity project is known as 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Plausible intentions of China Behind this project:
By implementing this, China will emerge as a dominant player in the world order as this project will cover the 63% of the world population, 30% of the current world GDP, and 35% of the trade happens in these area.
China has vast cash reserve in Renminbi (Chinese currency) which is equivalent to US $ 21 trillion approx twice its GDP. So by financing these infrastructural projects these cash deposits, which is presently lying ideal, can bring revenues through interests. It will also help in internationalization of its currency.
China is having strategic leverage over manufacturing sector, so by integrating the Eurasian regions it will enhance its market where it can sell its product.
It can win few allies, which it lacks as compare to its rival US by financing infrastructure.
It will have a strategic and military advantage as compare to US, which also sees these regions very significant in terms of Geo Politics.
It will help China to bring its least developed Western Provinces in direct contact with the other nations through infrastructure, which in turn, will benefit its balanced regional growth.
India did not take part in this initiative, which is criticized by many both at home and in China. They argue, India which is struggling in infrastructures should have embraced Chinese proposal as it will help via financing. By remaining out India is secluding itself from the new world order which is emerging. It will have a deleterious impact in the to its economy in long term. The Indian subcontinent which is least integrated can get an impetus from the Chinese sponsored scheme and will be win-win situation for all.
However, Indian government firmly articulated its reservations to this project.
Infringing Sovereignty: One part of the project, China Pakistan Economic Corridor, passes through Gilgit Baltistan, which lies in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, amd claimed by India. Since it is a disputed region and China did not had a deliberations with India with this respect, India thinks it as a infringement on its sovereignty.
Since the details of the project are not in the public domain, India is skeptic about it.
India does not see it as a mere economic initiative, as nearly 30,000 security personnel will be deployed to protect the infrastructure. Hence it sees a threat to its security.
India sees the high interest rates to finance the project as a Chinese “web trap”.
Along with this the assessment of project cost is not transparent, in the absence of transparency India is unwilling to be a part of this project.
China recently has behaved as an obstructionists in two cases which was concerned with India one in NSG and other in declaring Jash-e-Mohamed leader Mashod Azhar as a terrorists. So India gave the Chinese the taste of its own medicine. And gave a strong signal that India is not going to be an easy ride if its concerned is ignored.
Conclusion: In my view India rightly opted out from the Belt and Road Initiative as infringement upon sovereignty is a very serious concern. Along with this the benefit which China tries to put is not as clear as of the investment. But India should work in the field of regional connectivity firstly by focusing on its internal infrastructure and then after the infrastructure of the South East region.
गीत या काव्य अभिव्यक्ति की वह विधा है जिसमें लेखक या कवि विषय भाव के सागर में डूब कर अमूल्य मोती बाहर ले आता है! जो चीजें दिखती हैं, उसके बारे में लिखना आसान होता है, परन्तु मैं यह सोचने पर विवश हो जाता हूँ कि कोई व्यक्ति भगवान कि विषय में इतना कैसे डूब जाता है कि वह उत्कृष्ट रचनाओं का सृजन सुगमता से मार्मिकता के साथ करने में सक्षम होता है.
आज मैं आप सब के समक्ष श्रीपाद वल्लभाचार्य द्वारा रचित भगवान श्री कृष्ण को समर्पित एक गीत या भजन को प्रस्तुत कर रहा हूँ. वल्लभाचार्य 15 वीं शताब्ती के भक्ति मार्ग के आचार्य थे और प्रसिद्ध शासक राजा कृष्णदेव राय के समवर्ती थे.
किसी भी गीत का life cycle कितना हों सकता है, इस विषय पर हम यदि सोचे तो अलग अलग उत्तर मिलेगा, पर यह भजन 500 साल से ज़्यादा प्राचीन है और अब भी प्रचलित है, इसकी महत्ता बताने के लिए काफी है
हो सकता है आप में से कईयों ने इसको सुना या पढ़ा हो, पर जो व्यक्ति इससे वंचित रह गए हों, उनके लिए यह आनंद का श्रोत हो सकता है.
इस भजन का नाम “मधुराष्टकम” है. मधुर मतलब मीठा और अष्टकम मतलब इसमें आठ छंद या stanza हैं. इसमें भगवान के विभिन्न पहलुओं का वर्णन किया गया है.
मूलतः यह रचना संस्कृत में है, पर जो व्यक्ति हिंदी समझ सकते हैं उनको अधिकांश शब्दों के अर्थ आसानी से समझ आ जायेंगे, और जिन शब्दों के अर्थ समझ न आये उसके लिए उन्हें थोड़ा परिश्रम करना होगा. Internet पर आसानी से अर्थ मिल जायेंगे, और शायद से Wikipedia पर भी इसका अर्थ है . इस भजन को कई प्रसिद्ध गायकों ने स्वर दिया है परन्तु मुझे Pandit Jasraj और M.S. Subbulakshmi की आवाज़ में यह रचना काफी अच्छी लगती है. आप भी आंनद ले सकते हैं