Category Archives: Social Studies

Thinking through Act

“Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”

Acting is basically an art of imitation or reflection or representation. It is the quality of utilizing your own spirit body and mind in being someone else. Actors on the stage do not show themselves up there, but they show the character they get into to people.”  Acting is equivalent to forgetting the original self.

Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.

Benefits of acting

There are many benefits of acting :

  1.  It is a self-cleansing art.
  2. It helps us to forget ourselves, our worries, or goals, our life pressure, etc for the same time.
  3. It helps us to “be present”. Through acting, we enjoy “the moment”. We are at “the moment”.
  4. It helps us to understand the small little worlds as well as the big worlds of various people around us.
  5. Every act gives us a different perception that adds to build our character.

Methods of acting

  1. Stanislavski/Strasberg/Method: It uses affective memory considering our past. We need to relate to our past events. It draws situations from real life and there is an “emotional recall” as we get in touch with your emotional self.
  2. Meisner Method: It is the method based on the usage of imagination only. We need to enforce us to ask questions to ourselves. We ask the questions “what if”. We need time to contemplate under what situation will I be like this and considers the hypothetical future.

Voice Acting

Our emotions come out of our voices. Talking to a person over a voice call, we can immediately interpret if he is happy, sad, angry, guilty, lonely, or anything else. The Voice of a person gives a strong sense of the feelings of a person. Therefore, in addition to bringing the character by our body movements, we also need to bring out the character through our voice. Indeed, the voice acting is so powerful that it has opened up a separate domain for artists. Voice acting by podcasts are becoming popular day by day. It is easy to access and very interesting helping listeners to create a world of their own by listening to the voice artists. In addition, in these difficult times of pandemic, where shooting is difficult due to the rules of social distancing, podcasts are the way for artists.

Irrespective of the form of acting, the main trick is to make your character your best friend. We need to study up on character traits; read testimonials, interviews, or watch videos. Then, we need to try to bring the traits through voice. Traits, in general, depending on age, geographical location, any distinct characteristic, or disability. There is a need to develops a culture of responsive acting. It is also important to tackles self-consciousness. It is an effective way of creating the world around us. An actor is an energy bank, always excited about his character and his story.

“Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy.”

International Friendship Day

“True friends are never apart, may be in distance but never in heart.”

International Friendship Day is a day in several countries for celebrating friendship. It is celebrated on July 30 every year across the globe. The day is celebrated to mark the importance of friendships and friends in promoting peace in various cultures across the globe, to cherish friendship and value the people in our lives.

The idea of World Friendship Day was first proposed by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho in 1958 in Paraguay. He coined this term when he was having dinner with his friends in Puerto Pinasco. The dinner hosted by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho gave rise to the World Friendship Crusade, which is a foundation that encourages friendships across the world irrespective of race, color, religion, and ethnicity.  In 2011, the Friendship Crusade, on April 27, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as official International Friendship Day. It was initially promoted by the greeting cards’ industry, evidence from social networking sites shows a revival of interest in the holiday that may have grown with the spread of the Internet, particularly in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Mobile phones, digital communication, and social media have contributed to popularize the custom. It is also celebrated by exchanging gifts and planning outings with friends. In India, people celebrate this day by giving colorful friendship bands and flowers to each other.

Those who promote the holiday in South Asia attribute the tradition of dedicating a day in the honor of friends to have originated in the United States in 1935 but it actually dates back to 1919. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards, and wrist bands is a popular tradition on this occasion.

Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for 30 July in 1958, by the World Friendship Crusade. On 27 April 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. However, several countries celebrate friendship day in before and after the UN-designated date. In India, Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of every August. In Nepal, Friendship day is celebrated on 30 July each year. In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on 9 April each year.

“Friendship is the base of every relation. It is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.” 

According to the United Nations’ website, “Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.” The UN resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity. To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations, and civil society groups to hold events, activities, and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding, and reconciliation.

“Freindship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”

International Tiger Day

“Let us keep the tigers in jungles & not in history, save tigers”

Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July. It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit. In the summit, governments of tiger-populated countries vowed to double the tiger population by 2022. Almost a decade has passed since then. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues. According to the WWF experts Darren Grover,  the world had lost around 97 percent of wild tigers in the last 100 years. Currently, only 3,000 tigers are left alive compared to around 100,000 Tiger a century ago.  Many international organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), are also involved in the conservation of the wild tigers.

“The roar is rare.”

The awe-inspiring tiger is one of the most iconic animals on Earth. The tiger population across the world dropped sharply since the beginning of the 20th century but now for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the rise. Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, on Tuesday, released the detailed Status of Tigers Report 2018. According to the report, released on the eve of Global Tiger Day, tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6 percent per annum in India from 2006 to 2018. In good news for India, Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said, the country “has 70 percent of world’s tiger population”, after releasing a report on tiger census ahead of International Tiger Day on July 29. 

There are a number of different issues that tigers all around the world face. There are a number of threats that are driving tigers close to extinction, and we can do our bit to make sure that we do not lose these incredible creatures. Some of the threats that tigers face include poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss.  Poaching and the illegal trade industry is a very worrying one. This is the biggest threat that wild tigers face. Demand for tiger bone, skin, and other body parts is leading to poaching and trafficking. This is having a monumental impact on the sub-populations of tigers, resulting in localized extinctions. We often see tiger skins being used in home decor. Moreover, bones are used for medicines and tonics. This has seen illegal criminal syndicates get involved in the tiger trade in order to make huge profits. It really is a worrying industry. In fact, it is thought to be worth 10 billion dollars per annum in the United States alone. This is why we need to support charities and work hard to put an end to poaching and the illegal trade of tiger parts. While this represents the biggest threats to tigers, there are a number of other threats as well. This includes habitat loss. Throughout the world, tiger habitats have reduced because of access routes, human settlements, timber logging, plantations, and agriculture. In fact, only around seven percent of the historical range of a tiger is still intact today. That is an incredibly small and worrying amount. This can increase the number of conflicts between tigers, as they roman about and try to locate new habitats. Not only this, but genetic diversity can reduce because it can cause there to be inbreeding in small populations.

Since the tiger is an “umbrella species”, its conservation enables the conservation of their entire ecosystems. Several studies have shown that Tiger reserves harbor new species, which are found practically every year. Tiger reserves have also improved the water regimes in regions where they are located, improving groundwater tables and other water bodies, thus contributing favorably to the climate. This year marks the tenth International Tiger Day. On International Tiger Day, several countries discuss issues related to tiger conservation and also try to amass funds for wildlife preservation. Moreover, many celebrities also pitch in for International Tiger Day and try to spread awareness about the conditions of tigers using their massive social media presence. India is especially important for International Tiger Day 2020 as the country currently has 75% of all tigers on the planet. A lot of people are not aware of these threats, and so spreading the knowledge can help to make sure that we all do our bit to ensure that the tiger’s future is a fruitful one. There will be a lot of videos, infographics, and interesting pieces of content going around that you can share with others.

“Tiger is a symbol of Beauty, Bravery, Strength and Nationality. So Save the Tiger, Save the Nation’s Pride.”

online classes AMID Pandemic

COVID-19 began in the month of December in 2019 and soon it grew into a pandemic, leading to several losses of lives and locking down of many cities. Social distancing became the key to escape out of this problem. But, with this solution came other problems. We are able to follow social distancing by keeping us locked in our houses but this stopped students’ education too. But we can’t just stop everything due to this COVID thing. We need to find an effective solution to continue the education of students. We need to continue the functioning of schools and colleges.

Online Classes

In the times of the internet, the one and the only solution are online classes. The online way to share knowledge and information now is the internet. It has proved to be a real miracle these days, connecting millions and making information access fast and easy. Be it school, college, tuition, or coaching classes, knowledge is now being delivered to students who are sitting at their home and can learn things sitting there only. Students now need a mobile or desktop and fast internet connection to attend their online classes and learn things. It is not possible for a pandemic to stop students from learning.

How it is a different experience?

This way of learning is totally new to everyone, be it students, be it teachers or be it parents. We were already involved in some small ways of e-learning but a complete shift towards this type of mode is  something new and challenging to everyone. Teachers are continuously involved in finding new ways to make e-learning more interactive and interesting for students. They are continuously evolving their way of teaching and trying to give them a class-type of feeling. Teachers are also learning to adapt with new softwares and explore things. Students are learning how to deal with online homework submissions, doubt-sessions and examinations. But, the problem is that the medium of interaction is always an electronic device. Hence, students are subjected to fatigue and mental stress. They seem irritated and develop body pain sitting still at a particular position holding their phones or laptops. Students are also developing stress on eyes. It is quite difficult for them to adjust with all of these. It seems that this way of teaching costs their health, both mental and physical. Besides this, internet is not available to all the areas of the country and to all the students. Poor students can’t afford high speed data. This method of teaching, is thus, a barrier between poor students and education. It is a harsh truth that they are left behind. We need to work together towards this to make education available to these students also.

The power of “Now”

Life, a very adventurous journey has three divisions, present past and future. We all have only one life and we want to live it to the fullest and make the best out of it. In our life, we have to deal with the present, past, and future. Thus, we are often confused about which moment of life is more important and should be given maximum attention. Let us try to figure this out.

Looking into the past and future

We all tend to be far-sighted, thinking of future plans, future goals, etc. We work for our future, we save for our future, and we plan for our good future. We work hard to achieve our future goals. But, we are uncertain of our future. Yup, are you sure your future will come? No one knows. Thinking of the future and making plans according to is also important, but getting lost in these plans is not the correct way. Working in a way that misses out today and seems promising of a good future is where we are getting ditched because we will be investing in something that does not exist.

Past, on the other hand, is what we already created. It is impossible to change now what we have done 10 years ago. We can only learn from the past to improve our present and future. So, there is no point in living in the past. If we live in the past, we are stuck.

Live in present. But, why? 

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”

Think deeply and question again. Are there three divisions of time or is it only one? Are there past, present, and future or is it only present? Confused? It will be clear. 

Our present makes our past and our future. How? What we have today will become our past tomorrow. So, by living in the present, we create our past. By making our present beautiful, we create memories and by doing mistakes now, we create lessons to learn. Basically, it is possible to add what we want to add in our past. It is possible to create our past by designing our present in the way we want. We can also make our future in a similar manner. Whatever we do today will be reflected in our future. Whatever we want in the future, wherever we dream to stand in the future, it begins from the present. We have to work today only to reach where we want to be in the future. Our performance today decides what we will get in the future. If we want to get the best out of our life, we need to live in the present and give the best today, there is no other option.

“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.”

“Now” is the happiness

The best and most important moment is now. It is not possible to grab it or hold it. What is possible is to enjoy it, make it the best by giving it the best and staying in that moment. Neither our past is bad, nor our future may be. It’s just certain instances of past that are bad or according to us and an imagined situation of future that may be overwhelming or fearful. But, the most precious moment is now. We need to enjoy it to the fullest. If we merge with the present we are truly living otherwise, we are dead. Living the present is happiness, it is the true pleasure. Make your each second beautiful. Embrace it.

Intellectual Property Rights

What are intellectual Properties?

These are the things that emerge out of human creativity. These are the creation of the mind. Inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce fall under this. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indications. Whereas, literary works (such as novels, poems, and plays), films, music, artistic works (e.g., drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculptures) and architectural design are covered by copyright.

The associated rights:

Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.

Types:

  1. Patents – A patent is an exclusive right granted by law to applicants/assignees to make use of and exploit their inventions for a limited period of time. The patent holder has the legal right to exclude others from commercially exploiting his invention for the duration of this period. In return for exclusive rights, the applicant is obliged to disclose the invention to the public in a manner that enables others, skilled in the art, to replicate the invention. A Patent Owner has every right to commercialize his/her/its patent, including buying and selling the patent or granting a license to the invention to any third party under mutually agreed terms. Patents are valid for 20 years from the date of filing an application, subject to an annual renewal fee.
  2. Trademarks – Trademarks are another familiar type of intellectual property rights protection.  A trademark is a distinctive sign which allows consumers to easily identify the particular goods or services that a company provides. Some examples include McDonald’s golden arch, the Facebook logo, and so on. A trademark can come in the form of text, a phrase, symbol, sound, smell, and/or color scheme. Unlike patents, a trademark can protect a set or class of products or services, instead of just one product or process. 
  3. Copyrights – Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of original work, including the right to copy, distribute, and adapt the work. Copyright lasts for a certain time period after which the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright gives protection for the expression of an idea and not for the idea itself. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. The copyright owner has the exclusive right to sell, publish, and/or reproduce any literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, or architectural work created by the author.
  4. Trade secrets – Trade secrets are the secrets of a business. They are proprietary systems, formulas, strategies, or other information that is confidential and is not meant for unauthorized commercial use by others. This is a critical form of protection that can help businesses to gain a competitive advantage. 

Why Are Intellectual Property Rights Important?

  1. Intellectual Property Creates and Supports High-Paying Jobs
  2. Strong and Enforced Intellectual Property Rights Protect Consumers and Families
  3. Intellectual Property Drives Economic Growth and Competitiveness
  4. Intellectual Property Rights Encourage Innovation and Reward Entrepreneurs
  5. Intellectual Property Helps Generate Breakthrough Solutions to Global Challenges

Maybe we all were ‘the same’

We have often heard the saying, “Everyone is unique”. But let’s try to question this. Is this really true? Okay, very much debatable! But, let’s proceed with it slowly.

We grow up in a society where we face comparison knowingly or unknowingly. No one can escape the trap of comparison. Comparison with a second person for grades, for projects, for skills, for the job, for salary, and whatnot. But, then we decide, or let’s say realize that this is not the correct way we are seeing things. We now understand that each of us is unique. Yes, it is true to some extent. We are unique in the way we think, in the way we perceive a situation, the talent we have, the skills we acquire, and the level of our creativity. But, this uniqueness is not out of birth, it is developed.

When we say each of us is different, we start imagining a situation, where we all have everything different. We think that the kind of situations we are in is less likely to be experienced by others or maybe, at least not at that point in time. Sometimes, we come across some difficult situations and we are stuck, we might feel low and might feel that we are the one who is stuck here, there are people out there with a very smooth and happy life with no difficult situation arising in their life. But, the thing is that life offers the same set of problems in each one’s life and the no. of problems with the same difficulty level is also the same. We all experience ‘the same‘. We all come across similar situations in our lives and then label them as “good” or “bad” according to our personal opinion. Now, we call them, good or bad experiences and then count the number of bad experiences we had, to classify our lives as a ‘happy life’ or ‘struggling life’.

To better understand, think of life as a game. We all are players of the same game. Initially, we don’t know whether we will find the game interesting or not but, we all need to start playing. Then, we proceed with playing the game. We all come across different levels of the game in order of increasing difficulty. Some are playing the game with great enthusiasm and interest, collecting a lot of gems, health/lives, and rewards, which will be helpful for them in coming levels. While some are going at the same pace with quite low enthusiasm, hardly collecting gems and lives, or they are stuck at a particular level. Those who have collected rewards and lives can now use these in the difficult levels of the game too, to easily clear that level. But, those who were not able to collect rewards are stuck there watching their fellow reaching higher levels. Some of those in the lower levels of the game can again try the previous levels and collect gems, learn the strategy, and move forward, while some of them are tired and can’t play the game more and they quit. This is how the game goes on.

So, we all are playing the same game. We all come across the same situations and the same difficulties. The thought that we are the one coming across the difficulties of life arises because we don’t have enough knowledge of others’ lives. We only see their lives from outside. We can say we know the points of each player in the game (it is there on the scoreboard), but what we actually don’t is the details, i.e. how much gems, lives, and rewards each of them have collected. We all started from the same point and proceeded along the same direction but eventually end up getting different results. The gems, lives, and rewards that we collected on our way and the attempt we made for it kept us making different from each other. So, if you look at those who reached the final level, they may have different skills and talents because of the way in which they proceeded but they have similar perceptions.

COLD WAR: Meaning and Its Origin

The concept of the Cold War, born in 1945 after the end of the Second World War, is a fact of international relations that exposes the mutual relations between the US and the Soviet Union. This is a new chapter in post-World War II international relations. It can also be named a new international political development.

The new chapter of friendship between the US and the Soviet Union began during the Second World War, which ended after the war, the mutual differences and feeling of disharmony between the two superpowers grew deeper and the two tried to humiliate each other. Started doing This effort led to a conflict situation rather than cooperation in the diplomatic, cultural, political and social fields in both countries. On the international stage, the two powers went on to accuse each other. In an attempt to prove their supremacy in the international world, both the superpowers started looking for new ways to bring most of the states of the world to their side. This created an atmosphere of unrest all over the world and eventually, the world was divided into two powerful factions – the capitalist bloc and the communist bloc, in which the first led the US and the second led the Soviet Union.

Meaning of cold war

As is clear from its name, it is not a war of arms and weapons but a war confined to threats. There was no real war in this war. It was limited to indirect war only. In this war, both the great powers were dominant in their ideological differences. It was a type of diplomatic war that was based on the efforts of the superpowers in narrow selfishness.

The Cold War was a type of speech war that was used in paper rounds, paper-magazines. Even radio and publicity tools were fought. In this war neither any bullet was fired nor anyone was injured. In this, both the superpowers fought indirect wars in most parts of the world to maintain their suzerainty. All measures to prevent the war from turning into an armistice were also used, it was only a war by diplomatic means in which the two superpowers continued to resort to all measures to degrade each other. The purpose of this war was to strengthen its position by involving the Allies in their respective factions so that in future each could easily cut off the moves of their opposing factions. This war was the final culmination of the mistrust and doubt that arose between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II.

Jawaharlal Nehru defined the Cold War as saying that “this war was a war of suspended capital punishment atmosphere that was more terrible than a heated war.”

Thus it can be said that the Cold War was a speech war between two superpowers based on diplomatic measures. It was a direct expression of the tension created between the two superpowers after World War II. This was more terrible than the actual war, being an ideological war.

Origin of the Cold War

The symptoms of the Cold War started appearing during World War II itself. Both the superpowers were fighting the war keeping in mind their narrow interests and showing the spirit of mutual cooperation. The spirit of cooperation that was visible during the war was beginning to end after the war and the symptoms of the Cold War had begun to emerge, with the two factions becoming stronger complaining of each other. There were some strong grounds for these complaints. These mutual differences were the main causes of the Cold War.

The main reasons for the origin of the Cold War are-

  1. The Soviet Union not following the Yalta Agreement.
  2. The Soviet Union and America’s ideological differences.
  3. Soviet Union’s emergence as a powerful nation.
  4. Soviet Intervention in Iran.
  5. Soviet intervention in Turkey.
  6. Communist spread in Greece.
  7. Second Front Dispute.
  8. Appeasement policy.
  9. The Soviet Union ignores Balkan Agreement.
  10.  America’s nuclear program.
  11. Conflicting publicity.
  12. Termination of land-lease agreement.
  13. American support to fascist forces.
  14. Berlin controversy.
  15. Repeated use of veto power by the Soviet Union.
  16. Narrow national interest based on narrow nationalism.

Climate Forcing

Climate “forcing” are factors in the climate system that either increase or decrease the effects to the climate system.

• Positive forcing such as excess greenhouse gases warm the earth while negative forcing, such as the effects of most aerosols and volcanic eruptions, actually cool the earth.

• Atmospheric aerosols include volcanic dust, soot from the combustion of fossil fuels, particles from burning forests and mineral dust.

• Dark carbon-rich particles such as soot from diesel engines absorb sunlight and warm the atmosphere.

• Conversely, exhaust from high-sulphur coal or oil produce light aerosols that reflect sunlight back to space, producing a cooling effect. Aerosols that form naturally during volcanic eruptions cool the atmosphere. Large volcanic eruptions can eject enough ash into the atmosphere to lower temperature for a year or more until the sulfate particles settle out of the atmosphere.

Altering the Energy Balance

• The power of a process to alter the climate is estimated by its “radiative forcing,” the change in the Earth’s energy balance due to that process.

• Some climate forcings are positive, causing globally averaged warming, and some are negative, causing cooling. Some, such as from increased CO₂ concentration, are well known; others, such as from aerosols, are more uncertain.

Natural Forcing:

• Natural forcing include changes in the amount of energy emitted by the Sun, very slow variations in Earth’s orbit, and volcanic eruptions.

• Since the start of the industrial revolution, the only natural forcing with any long-term significance has been a small increase in solar energy reaching Earth. However, this change is not nearly enough to account for the current warming.

Human-Induced Forcing

• Climate forcing can also be caused by human activities. These activities include greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions from burning fossil fuels and modifications of the land surface, such as deforestation.

Human-Generated Greenhouse Gases

• Greenhouse gases are a positive climate forcing; that is, they have a warming effect. Carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuel is presently the largest single climate forcing agent, accounting for more than half of the total positive forcing since 1750.

Human-Generated Aerosols

• Burning fossil fuels adds aerosols to the atmosphere. Aerosols are tiny particles in the atmosphere composed of many things, including water, ice, ash, mineral dust, or acidic droplets. Aerosols can deflect the Sun’s energy and impact the formation and lifetime of clouds. Aerosols are a negative forcing; that is, they have a cooling effect.

Causes of Climate Change

• While natural forcing do exist, they are not significant enough to explain the recent global warming. Human activities are very likely responsible for most of the recent warming.

Estimation of Each Gas

Each gas’s effect on climate change depends on

three main factors:

Concentration of each gas

Concentration, or abundance, is the amount of a particular gas in the air. Greenhouse gas concentrations are measured in parts per million, parts per billion, and even parts per trillion.

One part per million is equivalent to one drop of water diluted into about 13 gallons of liquid (roughly the fuel tank of a compact car).

Amount of time they stay in atmosphere

Each of these gases can remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years.

All of these gases remain in the atmosphere long enough to become well mixed, meaning that the amount that is measured in the atmosphere

is roughly the same all over the world, regardless of the source of the emissions.

Strength of their impact

Some gases are more effective than others at making the planet warmer and “thickening the Earth’s blanket (green house gas)”.

 For each greenhouse gases Global Warming Potential (GWP) has been calculated to reflect how long it remains in the atmosphere, on average, and how strongly it absorbs energy.

To Jyotiba, from Savitribai Phule: These aren’t love letters, but tell you what love is all about,,In memory of this remarkable WOMAN… 🙌

To Jyotiba, from Savitribai Phule: These aren’t love letters, but tell you what love is all about,,In memory of this remarkable woman,

here are letters that Savitribai Phule wrote to her life partner, Jyotiba – her comrade-in-arms in the struggle for the emancipation of India’s disenfranchised people.Below are translations from the original Marathi,The first letter, written in 1856, speaks about the core issue: education and its transformative possibilities in a society where learning had for centuries been the monopoly of the Brahmins, who, in turn, used this exclusive privilege to enclave, demoralise and oppress. Away at her parental home to recuperate from an illness, Savitri describes in the letter a conversation with her brother, who is uncomfortable with the couple’s radicalism.October 1856The Embodiment of Truth, My Lord Jyotiba,Savitri salutes you!After so many vicissitudes, now it seems my health has been fully restored. My brother worked so hard and nursed me so well through my sickness. His service and devotion shows how loving he really is! I will come to Pune as soon as I get perfectly well. Please do not worry about me. I know my absence causes Fatima so much trouble but I am sure she will understand and won’t grumble.As we were talking one day, my brother said, “You and your husband have rightly been excommunicated because both of you serve the untouchables (Mahars and Mangs). The untouchables are fallen people and by helping them you are bringing a bad name to our family. That is why, I tell you to behave according to the customs of our caste and obey the dictates of the Brahmans.” Mother was so disturbed by this brash talk of my brother.Though my brother is a good soul he is extremely narrow-minded and so he did not hesitate to bitterly criticize and reproach us. My mother did not reprimand him but tried instead to bring him to his senses, “God has given you a beautiful tongue but it is no good to misuse it so!” I defended our social work and tried to dispel his misgivings. I told him, “Brother, your mind is narrow, and the Brahmans’ teaching has made it worse. Animals like goats and cows are not untouchable for you, you lovingly touch them. You catch poisonous snakes on the day of the snake-festival and feed them milk. But you consider Mahars and Mangs, who are as human as you and I, untouchables. Can you give me any reason for this? When the Brahmans perform their religious duties in their holy clothes, they consider you also impure and untouchable, they are afraid that your touch will pollute them. They don’t treat you differently than the Mahars.”When my brother heard this, he turned red in the face, but then he asked me, “Why do you teach those Mahars and Mangs? People abuse you because you teach the untouchables. I cannot bear it when people abuse and create trouble for you for doing that. I cannot tolerate such insults.” I told him what the (teaching of) English had been doing for the people. I said, “The lack of learning is nothing but gross bestiality. It is through the acquisition of knowledge that (he) loses his lower status and achieves the higher one. My husband is a god-like man. He is beyond comparison in this world, nobody can equal him. He thinks the Untouchables must learn and attain freedom. He confronts the Brahmans and fights with them to ensure Teaching and Learning for the Untouchables because he believes that they are human beings like other and they should live as dignified humans. For this they must be educated. I also teach them for the same reason. What is wrong with that? Yes, we both teach girls, women, Mangs and Mahars. The Brahmans are upset because they believe this will create problems for them. That is why they oppose us and chant the mantra that it is against our religion. They revile and castigate us and poison the minds of even good people like you.”“You surely remember that the British Government had organised a function to honour my husband for his great work. His felicitation caused these vile people much heartburn. Let me tell you that my husband does not merely invoke God’s name and participate in pilgrimages like you. He is actually doing God’s own work. And I assist him in that. I enjoy doing this work. I get immeasurable joy by doing such service. Moreover, it also shows the heights and horizons to which a human being can reach out.”Mother and brother were listening to me intently. My brother finally came around, repented for what he had said and asked for forgiveness. Mother said, “Savitri, your tongue must be speaking God’s own words. We are blessed by your words of wisdom.” Such appreciation from my mother and brother gladdened my heart. From this you can imagine that there are many idiots here, as in Pune, who poison people’s minds and spread canards against us. But why should we fear them and leave this noble cause that we have undertaken? It would be better to engage with the work instead. We shall overcome and success will be ours in the future. The future belongs to us.What more could I write?With humble regards,Yours,Savitri1868The second letter is about a great social taboo – a love affair between a Brahman boy and an Untouchable girl; the cruel behaviour of the “enraged” villagers and how Savitribai stepped in. This intervention saves the lives of the lovers and she sends them away to the safety and caring support of her husband, Jyotiba. With the malevolent reality of honour killings in the India of today and the hate-driven propaganda around “love jihad”, this letter is ever so relevant today.29 August 1868Naigaon, Peta KhandalaSataraThe Embodiment of Truth, My Lord Jotiba,Savitri salutes you!I received your letter. We are fine here. I will come by the fifth of next month. Do not worry on this count. Meanwhile, a strange thing happened here. The story goes like this. One Ganesh, a Brahman, would go around villages, performing religious rites and telling people their fortunes. This was his bread and butter. Ganesh and a teenage girl named Sharja who is from the Mahar (untouchable) community fell in love. She was six months pregnant when people came to know about this affair. The enraged people caught them, and paraded them through the village, threatening to bump them off.I came to know about their murderous plan. I rushed to the spot and scared them away, pointing out the grave consequences of killing the lovers under the British law. They changed their mind after listening to me.Sadubhau angrily said that the wily Brahman boy and the untouchable girl should leave the village. Both the victims agreed to this. My intervention saved the couple who gratefully fell at my feet and started crying. Somehow I consoled and pacified them. Now I am sending both of them to you. What else to write?YoursSavitri1877The last letter, written in 1877, is a heart-rending account of a famine that devastated western Maharashtra. People and animals were dying. Savitri and other Satyashodhak volunteers were doing their best to help. The letter brings out an intrepid Savitri leading a team of dedicated Satyashodhaks striving to overcome a further exacerbation of the tragedy as moneylenders’ trying to benefit. She meets the local district administration. The letter ends on a poignant note where Savitribai reiterates her total commitment to her humanitarian work pioneered by the Phules.20 April, 1877Otur, JunnerThe Embodiment of Truth, My Lord Jyotiba,Savitri salutes you!The year 1876 has gone, but the famine has not – it stays in most horrendous forms here. The people are dying. The animals are dying, falling on the ground. There is severe scarcity of food. No fodder for animals. The people are forced to leave their villages. Some are selling their children, their young girls, and leaving the villages. Rivers, brooks and tanks have completely dried up – no water to drink. Trees are dying – no leaves on trees. Barren land is cracked everywhere. The sun is scorching – blistering. The people crying for food and water are falling on the ground to die. Some are eating poisonous fruits, and drinking their own urine to quench their thirst. They cry for food and drink, and then they die.Our Satyashodhak volunteers have formed committees to provide food and other life-saving material to the people in need. They have formed relief squads.Brother Kondaj and his wife Umabai are taking good care of me. Otur’s Shastri, Ganapati Sakharan, Dumbare Patil, and others are planning to visit you. It would be better if you come from Satara to Otur and then go to Ahmednagar.You may remember RB Krishnaji Pant and Laxman Shastri. They travelled with me to the affected area and gave some monetary help to the victims.The moneylenders are viciously exploiting the situation. Bad things are taking place as a result of this famine. Riots are breaking out. The Collector heard of this and came to ease the situation. He deployed the white police officers, and tried to bring the situation under control. Fifty Satyasholdhaks were rounded up. The Collector invited me for a talk. I asked the Collector why the good volunteers had been framed with false charges and arrested without any rhyme or reason. I asked him to release them immediately. The Collector was quite decent and unbiased. He shouted at the white soldiers, “Do the Patil farmers rob? Set them free.” The Collector was moved by the people’s plights. He immediately sent four bullock cartloads of (jowar) food.You have started the benevolent and welfare work for the poor and the needy. I also want to carry my share of the responsibility. I assure you I will always help you. I wish the godly work will be helped by more people.I do not want to write more.

Yours,

Savitri