Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do we respect Subhash Chandra Bose?



Why was Bose diminished on Republic Day?
Subhash Chandra Bose broke the backbone of British rule when he destroyed the trust between the British Raj and its armed forces.
The West Bengal tableau on the Rajpath on Saturday.
e measure power through size. Check any political poster. The boss gets the biggest face. Others in the pecking order descend till the miniature at the end.
Why was Subhas Chandra Bose struggling among the also-rans in the Bengal Republic Day tableau? Swami Vivekananda, understandably, had pride of place. But it might have been better to keep Bose out of the jumble rather than literally reduce his stature. If Bengal forgets, how long will India remember the only Indian to head a government of united India?
Bose declared independence before the British gave it in 1947. His government in exile did not have Gandhi's sanction. It fought on the wrong side of the Second World War: but it was a proud and free government whose contribution to our freedom has been reduced by the domestic political forces he challenged.
Bose is an embarrassment to Congress because he challenged Gandhi, and was a powerful parallel icon to Nehru. Bose asked Indians to give him their blood, and he would give them freedom. Gandhi promised freedom without violence. Gandhi refused to join the British war effort in 1939; Bose went a step further, and led Indian troops on the side of the Germany-Italy-Japan axis. However, their horizon, freedom, was the same.
More than six decades later the argument might seem pedantic, and yet it is worth revisiting. Invaluable Indian blood and treasure helped Britain win the First World War. After victory, Britain reneged on its commitment to Indian self-rule within the empire without batting an eyelid. Instead of dominion status, Indians got vicious brutality at Jallianwala Bagh and the pernicious Rowlatt Act.
It is not generally known that Gandhi was not a pacifist: he served on British frontlines in the Boer and Zulu wars in South Africa, and was very eager to lead a medical unit to the killing fields of France in 1914, at the onset of the First World War. In 1918, Gandhi worked so hard as a recruiting agent for the British army, urging Gujaratis to prove they were not "effeminate" by picking up a gun that he almost died of exhaustion. Farewell bhajans began to be sung before he recovered. Gandhi lost hope in Britain only when he felt betrayed.
Britain had as much to protect in 1945 as in 1918. London knew that its empire would unravel at the point where it had begun, in India, once India became independent. What pushed Britain towards the exit gate? Of course there was the irresistible momentum of Gandhi's nationwide struggle. But the British had faced this challenge before, in the non-cooperation movement 25 years before. The significant difference was the nationalist sentiment unleashed by Bose among Indians in uniform. Bose's Indian National Army [INA] showed them where their national loyalties should lie. Bose's war also inspired the young to surge beyond the confines of Congress.
Even Gandhi, who only had faint praise for Bose in a 1945 obituary ["Subhas Bose has died well. He was undoubtedly a patriot though misguided"], had to admit in an article published on 15 February 1946, "The hypnotism of the Indian National Army has cast its spell on us... [Netaji's] patriotism is second to none... He aimed high but failed. Who has not failed?... The lesson that Netaji and his army brings to us is one of self-sacrifice, unity irrespective of class and community, and discipline..." When the British put three INA officers — Shah Nawaz, a Muslim, Sahgal, a Hindu, and Dhillon, a Sikh — on trial for sedition, India exploded in wrath. Nehru said on 24 December 1945, "The INA trial has created a mass upheaval."
Bose broke the backbone of British rule when he destroyed trust between the British Raj and its armed forces. The eminently sensible Sir Claude Auchinleck, commander in chief, accepted that any extreme punishment for INA officers would make governance impossible, because Indians adored them as national heroes. This, he said, was the "general opinion held in India, not only by the public, but ... by quite a considerable part of the Indian Army as well".
Subhas Bose's contribution to the formation of a Republic of India was no less than that of the very greatest of our founding fathers. Bose proved in practice what an Indian secular state would be. At a time when the Muslim League was in ascendant, he had the love and trust of Muslims. He lived his dream of gender equality when he set up the Rani of Jhansi regiment, under the fiery and beautiful Lakshmi Swaminathan. When Bose told the Japanese he was setting up a women's-only force, they thought he was joking. I do not believe Bose could have fought alongside Hitler, who advised the British to shoot Gandhi dead, and resented the Japanese advance because he thought Asia was being lost to white Europeans. Hitler was an undisguised racist, as were all Nazis.
Perhaps India can survive without Bose. But such amnesia will only diminish India.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Do you know about the world's 8 richest people of 1923!?

In 1923 , eight of the wealthiest people in the world met.
Their combined wealth, (according to an estimate) exceeded the wealth of the government of the United States (This was much before Microsoft and Apple were born).
These men knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth.
It's very interesting to read about what happened to these 8 wealthiest people in the world.

What happened to each of them after 25 years later.......?
1. Charles Schwab - President of Bethlehem Steel, the largest Steel maker of US in those days.
    He died bankrupt, living on borrowed money for five years before his death!
2. Howard Hubson - President of the largest Gas Company.
    He become insane and died!
3. Arthur Cutton - One of the greatest commodity traders.
    He was under indictment for tax evasion upon his death in Chicago in 1936 and by then,
    his fortune had vastly depleted by the stock market crash!
4. Richard Whitney - President of the New York Stock Exchange from 1930 to 1935.
    He was charged with embezzlement and had to serve 8 year jail term!
5. Albert Fall - Senator of New Mexico and the Secretary of the Interior under President Warren G. Harding.
    He was charged with corruption and was jailed for 1 year!
    He became the first former cabinet officer sentenced to prison as a result of misconduct in office!
6. Jessie Livermore - An American stock broker and was known as "Great bear of Wall Street".

    On November 28, 1940, Livermore shot and killed himself.
    In the 8 page suicide note found on him, he says this to his wife:
    "I am unworthy of your love. I am a failure. I am truly sorry, but this is the only way out for me.
     Love Laurie"!

7. Ivar Krueger - Built a global match and financial empire.
    Controlled between two thirds and three quarters of the worldwide match production
    and became famous as the "Match King"!
    His financial empire collapsed during the Great Depression
    In March 1932, he was found dead in the bedroom of his flat in Paris!
8. Leon Fraser - President of Bank of International Settlement.
    He went into depression and committed suicide in 1945!

So, what happened? Where did they go wrong?
They most certainly made lots and lots of money.
They were very wealthy . But what did they lack then?
They forgot to make a life! Instead, they just made Money!
Money provides comfort and status.
It also provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy and shelter for the homeless.
But, in the pursuit of money, they forgot other important things in life!

We need 2 kinds of education.
One that teaches us skills on how to make a living. Second one that teaches us values on how to live life, free from entrapment of chasing after an illusion of happiness.

Many people are entrapped in that chase neglecting health, family, the social responsibilities, the environment and moment by moment of real deep fresh breathing .
The kids will be sleeping when we leave home in the morning. They are sleeping when we come home in the night. Twenty years later, when we look back, they are all all be gone. Same goes for our health, dreams and purpose in life. Twenty years late , they will all be gone or a far distant memory .

Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water. Yet, if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face problems and finally sink. Similarly, we live in a time where earning is a necessity. But let not the earning enter our hearts. What was once a means of living, will become heavy chain, an entrapment and a means of destruction !!!???

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rare picture of Dr.Hedgewar (Doctorji) and Golwalkar (Guruji) together taken in 1939

Swami Vivekananda at Madras after returning from the tour of America and Europe in 1897

Two Letters of Swami Vivekananda in his own hand writing

This letter written by Vivekananda to his disciple Sister Nivedita.

This is a letter written by Swami Vivekananda on 2nd November 1893.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

How, when and why “January 1st“ became the first day of the “New Year”?

The celebration of January 1st as New Year day is not very old. Even today it is not celebrated as New Year day by everybody – many old cultures and civilizations still use their own calendars and New Year.

Actually, the month of January itself is not very old. One of the most acknowledged calendars of the western civilization is “Roman calendar”. This calendar had just 10 months and 304 days – March was the first month and December was the 10th month. The last 4 months September, October, November and December were denoted by their month numbers. September was the 7th month and hence the name of the month had “Septem” meaning 7th. Similarly, October had “Octo” or 8th, November had “Novem” or 9th and December had “Decem” or 10th in its name. In this calendar, March 1st was the first day of the year or New Year day. Numa Pontilius (753 B.C to 673 B.C) the legendary king of Rome and successor to Romulus, added the months January and February to Roman calendar in 700 BC.
Later in 46 B.C, King Julius Caesar introduced a new solar based calendar. This calendar is known as the “Julian Calendar” and replaced the old Roman calendar. January became the first month of the Julian calendar. The name January comes from the Roman god Janus which has 2 faces. Janus also has a temple at Rome with double doors. Caesar worshipped Janus and thought that the year should start by remembering his god – hence he made January as the first month of the year.
But, still different cultures were observing different days as the first day of New Year. Christians in Medieval Europe observed different days such as, December 25th, March 1st, March 25th (Spring Equinox and the Feast of the Annunciation) and April 1st as the first day of the New Year. Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians had autumn equinox (September 21) as New Year.  Greeks used to consider winter solstice (December 21) as New Year.
In 1582 A.D, Pope Gregory XIII took help from German mathematician Christopher Clavius to reform the calendar and a new calendar called “Gregorian Calendar” came into existence. This calendar had January as the first month of the year. But, some people didn’t agree to change the New Year from April 1st to January 1st – because, April 1st corresponds to the start of the “Biblical Calendar”. To dissuade people from using April 1st as the first day of the year, that day was termed as “Fool’s Day” and people who followed April 1st as New Year were termed “April Fools”!
Catholic countries adopted Gregorian calendar as the official calendar. But, Protestants continued with Julian calendar for few more years. For example, British Empire and their colonies continued to celebrate March 25th and April 1st as New Year till 1752 A.D. By that time British had established a huge empire – so, January 1st was accepted as the first day of the New Year from 1752 onwards in most of the world. Russians adopted January 1st as New Year in 1918!

Though January 1st has become the de-facto New Year, April 1st is used as the beginning of the financial year. Similarly, many of the ancient cultures still use different days as New Year. Hindus follow their own “Solar” and “Lunar Calendars” – their new year comes in March-April months.  Chinese people who follow Hun culture follow a “LuniSolar Calendar” – the second new moon after the winter solstice is observed as the New Year. This comes somewhere between January 21st and February 20th. Muslims follow “Hijri Calendar” and observe “First day of Muharram” as the New Year day. This comes in the month of December. Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) New Year is celebrated on 13th or 14th of April – they follow the “Tamil Calendar”. Thailand also follows the Tamil New Year. Jews follow “Lunar Calendar” and their New Year day comes in-between September 6th and October 5th.