Category Archives: Culture and History

Racism in the USA: Past and Present

Why it is in the news?

Recently, the accident happened in Minneapolis, the USA which brings this topic into the picture. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Black Lives Matter Protest began and it broke out all across the USA after the death of George Floyd, an African-American lived in Minneapolis city.

Police have used tear gas and force against demonstrators and President Donald Trump threatened to send the military. Some acts of looting and arson also occurred. President Donald Trump called this movement as riots. 

Historical background of slavery

The revolutionary fights for African-American or The Black people’s rights are connected with the historical background of slavery. Many African citizens were brought from Africa to North America for slavery. There were slaves in 13 colonies which called them as “United States.” African people were working as “slave under The White people. It is a traditional activity from last more than three hundred seventy years. From 16th Century onwards slavery carried on unabated for almost 4 centuries. The United States got independence after the War of Independence even though these slaves were deprived of their fundamental rights and independence. But ultimately Civil War took place in 1861-1865 and the reason was only slavery. In the 1860s the slavery was abolished in Northern parts of the USA but still, slavery was common in the Southern part of USA. And this was the reason why the Civil War took place between Northern and Southern America.

Emancipation

Northern America won the Civil War and passed a law which is called as 13th Amendment by United States Congress for abolishing slavery except as a punishment for crime. By this law, 4 million slaves became freeman and freewoman.

Racism in American Policing

The police department was not in existence in past. The institution of police in modern USA Police started with systematic racism and violence in the form of ‘slave patrol’. At that time the slave state created patrols called as “slave patrol” to nip slave revolts and escape from southern part to northern part of USA. The state of South Carolina was the first to create slave patrols in 1704. By the end of the 1700s, every American slave state had slave patrols. 

The former southern slave patrol transformed into police departments that technically were different from slave patrols, but were still charged with controlling the freed former slaves. This carried on in the Reconstruction and Jim Crow Laws era for the next 80 years.

Reconstruction Era 1863-1877

Reconstruction era started at the end of the Civil War. The aim was to reconstruct the south and integrate frees black people into society. They put efforts to give some legal rights and economic support to recently freed slaves (The Blacks). But they failed to provide any substantial rights. 

For instance, just take the context of voting rights, 15 Amendment incarcerated voting rights discrimination based on race, it left the door open for states to determine the specific qualification for suffrage. Southern state legislatures used qualifications including literacy tests, poll taxes and other discriminatory practices to disenfranchise a majority of black voters in the decades following Reconstruction.

Repeating the History of Racial Segregation

Jim Crow Laws were one of the ways through which racial segregation started against Blacks. Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. Jim Crow was not the name of any person or place. It was used as a caricature to tease the Blacks. All these laws were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by blacks during the Reconstruction period. The Jim Crow laws were enforced until 1965. This is called Segregation – The Jim Crow Laws. The Jim Crow laws mandated the segregation for whites and blacks in the workplace, public school, public places, public transport, restrooms, restaurants and drinking water points.

Success and The Legal End of Segregation

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed by the Congress and this decisive action towards the ending of Racial Segregation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned segregation in schools and other public places. The Voting Rights Act 1965 banned literacy tests and other methods used to disenfranchise black voters.

#BlackLivesMatter Movement

This movement has past link when George Zimmerman fatally shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American high school student. Zimmerman was charged with murder for Martin’s death, but acquitted at trial after claiming self-defence. It was Zimmerman’s acquittal that gave rise to a hashtag and a movement called Black Lives Matter (#Blacklivesmatter).  

 Many cases and accident apart from George Floyd Case and George Zimmerman Case happened in the USA. Racism always existed in the US Police department. In past, several cases were unregistered or not recorded in the form of pictures and videos but in modern times, nothing can hide from the third eye called cameras. Everything got recorded by cameras. The movement in which thousands and millions of people are getting involved during a time when there is a pandemic named COVID-19 a communicable disease which spread by touching and there is no way to save ourselves except social distancing. Therefore, it shows that the disease of racism is more dangerous than COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Nelson Mandela”

“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement. “

This article consist of:

  • Introduction
  • Early life
  • Politics
  • Life as a prisoner
  • President
  • His writing
  • Awards

INTRODUCTION:

The leader is a man who comes closest to realizing the norms of a group that values the highest; this conformity gives him his high rank, which attracts people and implies the right to assume control of the group.

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

EARLY LIFE:

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela commonly known as Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 to a tribal chief of Tembu – Henry Mandela. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. In 1930, when he was 12 years old, his father died and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in MqhekeMqhekezweni.

Hearing the elders’ stories of his ancestors’ valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people. He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the custom of giving all school children “Christian” names.

He completed his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute and went on to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute, where he matriculated. Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student .Meanwhile, he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission he was a poor student and left the university in 1952 without graduating. 

POLITICS:

Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).
Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949. In 1952 he was chosen as the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his deputy. This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint programme between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months of hard labour, suspended for two years.A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Mandela to practise law, and in August 1952 he and Oliver Tambo established South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela & Tambo.

LIFE AS A PRISONER:

During 1940s and 1950s he rose rapidly through the ANC hierarchy, was frequently subject to detention, police harassments, and banning.
ANC was outlawed in 1960, that’s when he went underground and a military wing was formed, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). In 1962 Mandela was sentenced for five years of imprisonment for travel without valid travel documents whilst leaving South Africa and inciting Africans to strike. Two years later during his detension in 1964, was charged with treason and sentenced him to life imprisonment for giving a four-and-a-half hours of speech criticizing apartheid which is memorable.

Living in a prison had the same meaning as living in the worst place in South Africa: Robben Island. ANC prisoners earned “D” classifications, prisoners who were the most dangerous and had the least rights. They were kept in cells with hay carpets and thin blankets as beds and iron buckets for toilets. The daily menu was a small portion of corn soup with extra vegetable or meat chop for dinner. The prisoners were given thin shirts from khaki and a pair shorts to wear, even during the winter, and were restricted from reading newspapers or magazines. The prisoners spent most of their time in a chalk mine, where they were made to work very hard.
Being the leader of the group, Nelson received more harsh treatment than the others. He was kept 23 hours in his cell every day, merely lit by a lamp. Because of which he was unable to sleep or know what the time was. He was only allowed to have one visitor once in six months and he was once not allowed to see his wife (Winnie) for two years. He was allowed to write and receive one letter every six months. The letters he received was screened by the guard, who would cut and remove the parts that were considered unsafe or effectively erasing.
Mandela spent 27 consecutive years of his life in detention.His imprisonment improved his political status which resulted in worldwide campaign to release him.
During these 27 years that Mandela spent in prison, he was hidden from the world while he quarried limestone and harvested sea-weed; his quiet suffering example was one of the pressures for the government. Mandela’s Public discussion was considered illegal, but as the years passed by, he assumed the mantle of a martyr.
Six years of Mandela life was spent in a solitary confinement, during this period he was allowed a weekly 30-minute visit by his wife. He was later in 1984 was offered a conditional freedom, with a condition that he should settle in a black “homeland” that is officially designated in Transkei, Mandela refused the offer affirming his allegiance to the African National Congress. Mandela was hospitalized in 1988 for tuberculosis. After he recovered he was returned to prison with lesser stringent circumstances. 1990, he was released unconditionally to a joyous scenes of celebration at home and abroad.

PRESIDENT:

On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. On his 80th birthday in 1998 he married Graça Machel, his third wife.
True to his promise, Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life is an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.
He died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.

HIS WRITING:

Basic Books, 1965, “No Easy Walk to Freedom”.
Pathfinder Press, 1986, “The Struggle Is My Life”.
Long Walk to Freedom (Autobiography of Nelson Mandela).

AWARDS :

In 1980 Jawaharlal Nehru Award from the government of India for International Understanding; in 1981, Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights from the government of Austria. In 1983, he named as an honorary citizen of Rome; Simon Bolivar International Prize from UNESCO, in 1983. And in 1986 he was honored W. E. B. DuBois Medal; in 1987 he was awarded with “Nobel Peace Prize” and Liberty Medal. The following year (1988) he received the Sakharov Prize, followed by Gaddaff Human Rights Prize in 1989. After 2 year he was awarded with Houphouet Prize in 1991 followed by a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

13 REASONS WHY! Ever wondered about the mystery behind some common Hindu traditions? Here’s what science has to say!

1) Tilak on forehead

The  circularspot between the eyebrows  is viewed as a significant nerve point in the human body. A tilak is accepted to forestall the loss of vitality, and hold this to control different degrees of focus. In addition, the demonstration of applying this guarantees the focuses on the mid-temple area and Adnya-chakra are squeezed, encouraging blood gracefully to the facial muscles and ensuring the natural glow.

2) Mehendi on palms

Mehendi is an incredible therapeutic herb, and its application on our palms and feet can pre-empt worry and nervousness during weddings, something which is really common in the first-time brides. Moreover, it cools the body and shields the nerves from being tensed.

3) Namaste (Pranaam)

There is a logical purpose for the ‘Namaskar’ in Hindu culture. Joining two hands together guarantees contacting the tips of the considerable number of fingers together, which are connected to pressure focuses in the eyes, ears, and brain. Squeezing them together is said to actuate these, helping us recollect that individual moment for quite a while.

4) Ringing bells in the temples

Devotees strike the temple bells upon entering as its sound is said to clear our brain and assist us with remaining sharp, keeping our full fixation on dedication towards the almighty. Besides, these bells are made so that the sound they produce makes solidarity in the left and right pieces of our cerebrums. The term of the chime reverberation is perfect to enact all the seven recuperating focuses in our body, freeing us from antagonism.

5) Wearing bangles

Bangles cause steady grinding with the wrist which builds the blood flow level. Further more, the power dropping through external skin is again returned to one’s own body in light of the ring molded bangles.

6) Toe rings (bichhiya)

Indian ladies regularly wear toe rings on the subsequent toe. A specific nerve from this associates the uterus and goes to heart. Along these nerve-endings, a toe ring on this toe reinforces the uterus, keeping it solid by directing the blood stream to it. Besides, a lady’s menstrual cycle is supposed to be regularized.

7) Tossing coins away in a holy stream or river

Verifiably, most money in the ancient period, was made of copper, an essential metal for the human body. Throwing coins in a holy water body was an approach to allow adequate copper, as a major constituent of water, to be consumed by us. As wells, drawing in water from these rivers were the main sources of drinking water.

8) Piercing of the ears

Indian doctors and scholars have acknowledged that piercing ears helps in the advancement of mind, intensity of reasoning and dynamic resources. This is the scientific reason behind most of the indian ladies piercing their ears while also serving the purpose for jewellery.

9) Not laying down with your head pointing north

The human body has its own magnetic field, while the Earth, as we all know, is a mammoth magnet. At the point when you lay down with your head pointing north, your body’s attractive field gets hilter-kilter to the Earth’s, causing issues identified with circulatory strain since your heart needs to work more diligently so as to defeat this.

10) Touching the feet of elders (Charan Sparsh)

At the point when you contact the feet of the old, their hearts discharge positive considerations and vitality, which they transmit through their hands and toes. Basically, the finished circuit empowers stream of vitality and increments grandiose vitality, turning on a soulful associate between two personalities and hearts. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of vitality and the feet of the other individual become the ‘supplier’ of vitality.

11) Sindoor

Sindoor is set up by blending turmeric, lime and the metal mercury. Because of its inborn properties, mercury controls pulse and enacts oxytocin production. Along these lines, sindoor ought to be applied right upto the pituitary organ where every one of our sentiments are focused.

12) Idol Worship

Hinduism engenders idol venerate much more than any other religion does. This was started to expand focus during supplications or prayers. As per therapists, a man will shape his musings in accordance to what he sees.

13) Fasting on felicitous occasions

Ayurveda sees the fundamental reason for some infections as the amassing of poisonous materials in the stomach related framework. Ordinary purifying of poisonous materials keeps one sound. By fasting, the stomach related organs get rest and all body components are purified and rectified.

“Jhumka” – BAREILLY

Bareilly gets its famed jewellery ‘JHUMKA’

Jhumka ‘mila’ Re

BAREILLY : Bareilly city of Uttar Pradesh shot to fame when Asha Bhosle rendered “Jhumka gira re, Bareilly ke bazaar mein” in noted Hindi movie Mera Saaya (1966) , Late bollywood actress Sadhna preformed an attractive dance. In order to commemmorate it, a “Jhumka” of 14 feet high has been erected in Bareilly at Naitonal Highway number 24.

Actress Sadhna performance on song “jhumka gire re” in film Saaya

Bareilly has finally got its much-awaited “jhumka” when Union Minister and local MP Santosh Gangwar unveiled a 14-feet high replica at the zero point on national highway. The jhumka that weighs over 200 kilograms was intalled in the Parsakhera area and is embedded with colourful stones and decorated by the city’s famous ‘zari’ embroidery. The ‘Jhumka’ weighing over 2 quintals and studded with colourful stones has been suspended from a pole. Officials said the project has cost the BDA around Rs 18 lakh — Rs 8 lakh for the jhumka and Rs 10 lakh for the beautification of the landscape surrounding the main structure.

“The location was chosen to ensure that the first thing that catches your attention on entering Bareilly, if you are coming from New Delhi, is this fabled ornament,” said a senior Bareilly Development Authority (BDA) official.The official added that the jhumka gives the city its own distinct identity. BDA, meanwhile, conceived the project of installing a jhumka as an attraction for the tourists visiting the city.

The entire structure is surrounded by a rotary in such a manner that it give its surrounding area a landscape view. The silver-golden coloured ‘jhumka’ made up of multi-coloured stones embedded with ‘minakari’, an art form colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours that are decorated in an intricate design.

Although there is no connection between the city and the piece of jewellery. The city, also, had no speciality in making or selling ‘jhumkas’. But, it just got famous topic due to the song over 54 years.

Inaugurating the jhumka, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said: “The collaborative effort made by the authority, various organisations and local residents in setting up of the ambitious jhumka in Bareilly is commendable. It looks beautiful and unique. Visitors will finally be able to associate the landmark jhumka in Bareilly with the evergreen song.”

The idea was first thought of 30 years ago, but could not be completed due to lack of funds. However, BDA Vice-President, found an alternative and discussed the idea with several eminent persons. BDA vice-chairperson Divya Mittal said: “The jhumka has been delayed for some unavoidable reasons. The beautiful project is a collaborative effort among Rohilkhand Medical College, Bareilly International University and few other organisations, and local residents, who helped the BDA with funds in giving the shape to the ambitious project that would be considered a landmark.”

The iconic jhumka is set to become the ideal location for tourists and those who love ‘jhumkas’ .So, next time you are on a visit to Bareilly you know the ideal place to get yourself clicked or take a selfie.

The Musical Change

Throughout the centuries people have talked about pertinent social issues either through their novels, poems, movies or through music. The 21st century has seen the music industry talking about grave social issues that have taken a firm hold over society. While early novelists and dramatists used to subtly talk about social dynamics which they disapproved of, the current generation is blunter while talking about the social issues.

The pop stars, the rappers have unabashedly addressed some social evils and issues that needed catering and to generate awareness and weed out some evils. Pop stars like Lady Gaga, Alessia Cara and rappers like Logic, Childish Gambino, Dax have talked about social acceptance, ruthless violence, racism and prevention of suicide.

Lady Gaga through her song, “Born This Way” talks about the LGBT community and being comfortable in one’s own shoes no matter who they are for everyone is beautiful in their own way.

No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave”

Lady Gaga, a rape survivor, has opened up about the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) she had to suffer after being “raped repeatedly” at the tender age of 19.  Her song, “Till It Happens To You” speaks about the gruesome effect of rape on the victim and the trauma which they have to go through. The song was an attempt to raise awareness against sexual assault which received critical acclaim.

You tell me it gets better, it gets better in time
You say I’ll pull myself together, pull it together
You’ll be fine
Tell me what the hell do you know
What do you know
Tell me how the hell could you know
How could you know
Til it happens to you, you don’t know
How it feels

The song 1-800-273-8255  by  Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid raise awareness about mental health. The video talks about the social stigma and disapproval that the LGBT community has to face from their own families.

“I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter, I know it, I know it
I know I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home, ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine”

Childish Gambino through the music video ” This Is America” raises awareness about the gun violence, racism and brutality of the police authorities in the USA.

This is America
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Look at how I’m livin’ now
Police be trippin’ now
Yeah, this is America
Guns in my area
I got the strap
I gotta carry ’em
Yeah, yeah, I’ma go into this
Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla, woo
Yeah, yeah, I’ma go get the bag
Yeah, yeah, or I’ma get the pad
Yeah, yeah, I’m so cold like yeah
I’m so dope like yeah
We gon’ blow like yeah”

Black Lives Matter” by Dax talks about racism and the ruthless homicide of George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin

See nobody’s born racist man it’s something you learn
Deep-rooted in your brain from the day of your birth
I think it’s time that we repair All of the bridges we’ve burned
And let love out of our hearts onto cheeks we turn
Spread love, show love, let’s get rid of this curse,
Don’t wait for anyone to act man you go first
400 years wasted let’s get rid of this hurt cause that’s the only way we’ll ever see peace on earth”

These popular songs are just a few of the many social awareness songs available. Artists are representing the socio-political situation and various social evils that need to be weeded out from society through the power of music. Music is such an influential tool and big artists talking about their personal experiences like sexual assault is instrumental in bringing about a gradual and influential change in society. Bricks are laid one at a time and music is healing and reforming the world one brick at a time.

WORLD WAR III

World  War III  refers to the next possible military conflict to happen in the world. The world war III fears have sent the whole world into pandemic. These  could be the  possible countries involved in World War III.

US-CHINA

There  has been an ongoing conflict between the two countries, over becoming the most powerful country. The trade   war is going as the US has for long accused China of unfair practises , mad made imports expensive with the intention to promote buying of American products. China is under the impression that US wants to curb it’s growing power. However, it’s now been said that the trade war has taken a new form of destruction named Coronavirus.

Is Coronavirus Different Form Of World War III?

During the first two wars, war was  basically associated with nuclear weapons, missiles .But the spread of coronavirus have proved how world war  can be started without strong nuclear weapons, but with Virus. As compared to before , now the enemy is invisible  which can be considered as master stroke by China. The virus has reported to have come from the wet food market of the Chinese City, Wuhan. But the conspiracy theory by scientists show that the virus was a manmade invention in Labs , so that it could replace US by becoming the  next superpower in the world.

Global Institution like WHO(World Health Organization) was formed at the time of previous world wars, in order to control the situation arising in case of an emergency.  Back in January 2020,when the condition of China made everyone around the world panic, WHO declared this situation as emergency  and  went against the decision to ban international flights from and to the city of Wuhan. Had it not  been for this mistake, the world would have been saved .It was later that WHO declared that the pandemic has originated from the Chinese city , Wuhan. This decision was taken  under a  lot of pressure from all over the world specially USA  ,in fear of losing ties with the most powerful nation.

US-NORTH KOREA

The relation between the two countries , primarily involved around the use of  nuclear weapon, missiles  and the  continuous threats to strike US. US has had meeting with North Korea thrice last year, to discuss not only  about the banning of their nuclear program, but also to ban their chemical and biological weapons. North Korea recently described nuclear forces as “high alert operation”, sending clear indications to Trump of it’s ability to attack anytime.

US-IRAN

Donald Trump attacked Iran’s most powerful  leader, General Qasem  Soleimani by making an airstrike at the Baghdad airport. In his defence, Trump said that he did this to make the world a safer place .As retaliation, Iran launched dozens of missiles at US forces in Iraq. People all over the world were concerned about the  tention between the two countries, following threats by Donald Trump to unleash $2 trillion worth of military equipment.

INDIA-PAKISTAN

History is proof of the bitter relations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Right after the partition, there have been issues , conflicts and wars over the land. And on top of all this, the growing relations of India with US,  has put Pakistan in a state of fear .

glory of brihadeswara temple

Brihadeswara Temple is temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It was built by Raja Raja Chola I, between 1003 and 1010 A.D. It is the part of UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple entrance, or Gopuram as its is locally called, is 30 meters in height. This temple is the largest temple with the brilliant work done by the Indian Architecture. This temple shows the power of Chola rulers that is Raja Raja Chola I.

Architecture-

For the construction of this temple around 1.3 lakh tons of granite was used. With 66 meters high, the temple tower Vimana is the largest towers on the earth. In 11th Century, Tamil People completed its first major irrigation network for movements of goods, to control water flow and for agriculture. It is also said that about 3000 elephants were used to bring these stones from far away. Also inside the temple a figurine structure of bull or Nandi is made up by a single rock carving at the entry of Brihadeswara Temple. No cement, plaster or adhesives were used between the stones. For making up of this temple Tamil people used puzzle technique as one stone is placed on another stone, to lock it.undefined

Comparison And Specialty

London’s Big Ben and the Leaning Tower of Pisa are tilting with time. But the glory of Brihadeswara temple still remains beautiful. This temple stands straight even after 1000 years. The reason behind this is the base of the temple which is very wide. The width of the base has kept the structure straight over the years. Another specialty of this temple is that it was made without digging into the earth which means it was built on a plain land. There were no cranes or power machinery to lift the stone to such a height. Wondering how they manage to place this single stone on the top of the Gopuram? And for that to the top of the temple tower they made a ramp of around 6 kilometers long. With the help of Elephants, horses, bulls and laborer’s who together carried the stone.

Festivals

However, it is also a site of annual dance festivals around the Mahashivratri. Around 10 days artists as well as regional teams performs classical dances at this Brahan Natyanjali festival. The Thanjavur Maratha royal family is currently administering and managing the temple glory. For devotees temple provide free meals and wayfarers on daily basis. Also Brahmins were particularly invited and fed with the meals during the Hindu festivals. Many people are employed in the temple for which they are given wages, roles and names. These people mainly are of priests, lamp lighter, washer man, tailors, jewelers, potters, carpenters, dance guru, dancing girls, both male and female singers, musicians, superintendents of performance artists, accountants. Wages are divided between the land distributions. It is one of the most visited temples by tourists in Tamil Nadu. This fascinating architecture is still appreciated by everyone.

“1000 years, 6 Earthquakes, Still Standing Strong.”

Indian culture now v/s then

It’s been seventy three years from the day we got independent on, i. e. 15th August 1947 and we have achieved every heights of success which our leaders and freedom fighters wished for. People have sank into a more humanitarian approach rather than blindly believing into the facts and the follies which their religion has provided them through oral transmissions, and long narrative hyms over a long period of time. Althoug there still exist such a people who do not find it a good idea to leave behind the essence of what our legendary elders and policymakers have left behind.

Indian culture then-

It was in 1500 B.C. when human civilization in India get back on its track and adopted new techniques and the other modes of earning for their livelihood. And it was only back in that period of time when scriptures such as Rigveda,Dharmasutra and Dharmashastra were being written by the literates of this country, and society undergone several changes;they became more concerned fortheir religion and religious practices, followed every path of the Brahmanas who were then the superior of all the four vranas and eventually discovered a perpetual lifestyle for themselves.

Gradually they started worshiping a numerous number of major and local deities, such as Indra, agni, etc. And it all resulted into whole of a superstitious society. But the situation was not tensed back then until the country turned into a secular state.

Indian culture now-

As soon as we (Indians)moved to a more secular state, the feelings of inferiority, superiority also rose to a level that it turned into communal riots and the feeling of disrespect and disbelief in their own religion. Though the article 25 of the Constitution of our country provides us with the feature of –

Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

And therefore there couldn’t have been any complications in following any religion,but the real problem lies within the society itself,they unseeingly follow their religion. And that is the reason people have moved to a humanitarian approach to follow their culture. They try and stick to the core of their religion and are not tricked easily into believing the obnoxious imposture of their own religion and some of the cultural beliefs.

The tough tug and war between the early religious practices and today’s approach towards these practices is endless. And, though most of the people have moved on into thinking their culture and religious beliefs as hoax, there’s something original in those religious books and practices which still binds millions of Indians together, also providing to us a quality of facts that abidingly focus on human progress.

The Big R Or The Invisible C?

Amidst the raging Corona pandemic, another widespread form of a virus known as racism has resurfaced and come to light and is making waves amidst the global community currently under lockdown. George Floyd, a black 46-year-old man died after a white police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes leading to his untimely death. This incident took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota leading to mass protests throughout the US and soon leading to global protests with around 50 countries like UK, Australia, Germany, Austria etc joining in the protests.

The protests are taking place whilst the corona pandemic is raging throughout the globe. People have been flouting social distancing norms with no regard for their personal safety. People have been protesting throughout the globe through mass gatherings. So the big question that needs to be answered is what do the people fight? An invisible enemy that takes lives or the grave discrimination that profiles humans based on skin colour?

Darren Sammy, a West Indies cricketer pointed out that he had been racially profiled as “Kalu” in India which he had mistaken as a compliment during his stay as an IPL cricketer. The tendency amongst humans to judge their superiority based on their skin colour is foolhardy. Kids grow up emulating those around them and observing blatant racist jibes and practices which mould them into toxic human beings from their tender years. Often black children are bullied in schools and mistreated leading to them suffer from depression, low self-esteem and some eventually succumbing to the emotional abuse through suicide.

On the other hand, over 70 lakh people have been globally infected with Covid-19 as on 8th June 2020 with over 4 lakh deaths. Thus one may question as to why people would have mass protests with thousands huddled together, flouting the social distancing norms and risk personal safety and pose a public hazard.  The answer may lie in the repetitive instances of insensitive discrimination based on race and skin colour. People are frustrated with already having to deal with a deadly virus and then tolerating gruesome racist treatment from people who are no less than the human incarnation of viruses. The wrath of the people could be visible in Bristol where they pulled down the statue of a controversial slave trader named Edward Colston who worked for a company that had transported 80,000 men, women and children to America.

We need to work towards eradicating Corona from our planet yet such sad incidents like the George Floyd murder impedes our progress in doing so. The wrath and intolerance of people towards such incidents are totally justifiable yet the mass protests, devoid of social distancing may have laid seeds for an even bigger monster and may end up costing the global community more lives than just one. We need a community devoid of prejudice towards our fellow beings. We are one and black lives do matter. However, we have to be wise in fighting and combatting both these grave impediments to a flourishing global community.

While the fight against Covid-19 may have an eventual end with a vaccine but the fight against racism will continue for ages to come. The seeds of racial profiling and discrimination have been embedded in our global culture through our ancestors and put into practice by our society. A deeper psychological evaluation may lead one to discover that the constant need to feel superior from other races may evolve from deep-seated insecurity of one’s own culture and race. The big R or the invisible C? We can’t choose one over the other. We have to fight both of them wisely.














We have always been cruel and greedy

New Discovery Shows Prehistoric Humans May Have Hunted Mammoths to  Extinction | Ancient Origins
Homo Sapiens hunting mammoth- Shutter Stock

We are shocked and horrified to hear the news about a pregnant elephant who died in Kerala after ingesting firecracker laced pineapple. From wildlife activists, artists, and celebrities to career politicians, all have expressed their solidarity and regret over the animal’s tragic and cruel death. The issue of course has been polarized by people with vested interests and an entire state is blamed for the killing of the elephant.

However, amongst these noisy accusations and blame game, we have forgotten the real reason behind all these problems, which is human greed. Ever since we, the homo sapiens, spread from Africa to other continents we have wiped out species like mammoth, mastodon, saber-tooth tigers, and many other species by hunting them for food and other resources. The extinction of species has carried on to this day so much so that we had to reserve special areas like wildlife reserve and sanctuaries for the conservation of animals and plants. We are even credited to the wipeout of other human species like the Neanderthals. If you find it hard to believe just remember that we fought two world wars and evidence of ethnic cleansing is aplenty in Myanmar, Iraq, Syria, and other conflict-ridden areas because of our greed and inability to share resources.

Data tabled in Indian parliament shows that there has been a rise in man-animal conflict all over India. According to environment ministry, elephants and tigers were responsible for maximum human deaths from 2014-2017. But can we really blame them? It is us who have encroached on their forest lands in the name of development. We have cleared forests for farming, construction of houses, industries, and various other activities. Chunks of reserved areas are handed over to mining companies, often illegally for our never-ending need for resources. These same resources are needed to make our fancy vehicles, gadgets, beautiful houses, generating 24-hours electricity and many other comforting things that we take for granted.

After taking away their homes, we play the innocent victim and remain clueless as to why the animals venture beyond their borders. And then, we comfortably tweet from our homes, regretting the death of one elephant.