Magh 19 Vik Samvat 2066. Yugabda 5111: 16 February 2010

1 FESTIVALS: Dhulivandan is a famous festival celebrated on the day next to the colorful Holi festival (Falgun Poornima – Feb 28 this year). The festival heralds the arrival of the new crop and new season and is a pleasurable occasion for the agriculturalists, who celebrate the festival by worshipping the soil. In some regions, the festival is also famous as Dhuledi. Similar to the Holi, the festival attracts all sections of the society. During the festival, devotees wear new clothes and smear the faces with colorful powder. Associated with Lord Shiva, Dhulivandan is celebrated in many urban cities of the state on the Holi day.
2. FACEBOOK GENERATION AND DIGITAL DIVIDE: 4TH BHIDEJI MEMORIAL LECTURE: VISHWA Adhyayan Kendra (VAK), Mumbai, organized the 4th Lakshmanrao Bhide Memorial Lecture on January 15 at Alkesh Dinesh Mody Auditorium in Mumbai. The function was presided over by Shri Ashok Goel, managing director of Essel Propack Ltd and chairman of Uttan Vividh Laksheee Shikshan Sanstha of Keshavsrushti. K Sital, social worker, industrialist and publisher from Hong Kong, was the chief guest who received the Bharatvanshi Samaj Bhushan Puraskar from VAK for his distinguished leadership and outstanding services in the areas of publishing, networking, social justice, trade and promoting social coexistence and harmony among the people of Bharatiya origin spread across the whole world.
Dattatreya Hosabale, Sahsarkaryavah of RSS, delivered the memorial lecture on the topic “Facebook generation’s face-off with global challenges”.
He listed the global challenges facing the “facebook” generation of today—climate change, poverty, corruption, terrorism, etc. The youth have a lot to speak on these topics, he said. Youth have expectations from society but when their expectations are not met there is anger amid the youth. It was the youth power, he reminded, that toppled the corrupt Sukarno government in Indonesia in 1968.
The facebook generation does not want to turn its face from global challenges, said Shri Hosabale referring to the 45-minute interaction he had with about 50 students mostly from IIT and Kalina Campus before the main programme.
Shri Sital thanked VAK for the award and said said that he perceived Bhideji more as a saint than a mere RSS worker. Shri Sanjay Kelapure, President VAK proposed vote of thanks.
3. NATIONWIDE HEALTH FOR HUMANITY YOGATHON CONCLUDES: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) concluded its 4th Annual Health for Humanity Yogathon on January 31, 2010. During the two-week Yogathon, over 9,000 participants completed nearly 950,000 repetitions of the yoga routine known as the Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar.
Launched in 2007 as an annual event to create awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind, and spirit; participation has increased each year, putting the Yogathon in striking distance of its target of 10,000 participants completing 1 million repetitions of the Surya Namaskar yoga routine.
The Yogathon’s growth this year included participants from nearly every State and involvement of more than fifty organizations, such as civic, cultural, and religious associations, schools, and yoga clubs.
Nearly 500 students at Ridgewood Elementary School, in Renton, Washington, participated in a Yogathon during their gym classes. Several cities across the country also issued proclamations recognizing dates during the Yogathon as “Health for Humanity Day,” including Tampa, Florida; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Sunnyvale, California.
HSS also organized several 24-hours Yogathon sessions this year in California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. These involved mostly high school and college students as well as young professionals completing several repetitions of the Surya Namaskar routine non-stop in a relay spanning 24 hours. Shashidhar Massireddy, a student in Pennsylvania, set this year’s record, completing 123 sets or 1,599 repetitions non-stop.
4. THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF WOSY IN NEW DELHI: "MOST of the conflicts in the world are ego-centric and not ideological problems. They can be done away with by uniting the hearts and minds,” said noted spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji. He was addressing the third International Conference of World Organisation of Students & Youth (WOSY) at Teen Murti Auditorium in New Delhi on February 3. More than 300 students from 40 countries of the world participated in the two-day conference which concluded on February 4. The theme of the conference was “Conflict Resolution and Peace”.
He appealed to the youth to unite and take initiative to find solutions to the present-day conflicting issues. He said conflicts at various levels are increasing in the world and now the humanity is at stake, we have to resolve these issues in a peaceful manner.
Earlier, inaugurating the conference, former Foreign Secretary of Bharat Shri Shashank emphasized that organizations like WOSY must sensitise the present generation so that when they take up leadership they are able to solve the conflicts with better understanding.
Others who participated in 2-day deliberations include ABVP national organising secretary Shri Sunil Ambekar, WOSY chairman Sushil Pandit and Prof R Vaidyanathan of IIM Bengaluru.
5. ARUNACHAL STUDENTS CALL FOR BOYCOTT OF CHINESE GOODS: Angry over China’s repeated claims on Arunachal, students across the state are targeting Beijing’s biggest economic weapon — exports — albeit in a small way. A powerful students’ group has called for a boycott of ‘Made-in-China’ goods from February 8.
‘‘The boycott is necessary in the backdrop of repeated Chinese claims over Arunachal,’’ a written appeal from All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union president Takam Tatung said. ‘‘Our activists will visit every shop to identify commodities made in China,’’ it added.
Seeking the traders’ support in its movement, the apex students’ body said ‘‘enough time’’ was given to remove Chinese goods after last month’s request by Arunachal Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI).
The Aapsu chief added: ‘‘The Union governments approach to the Chinese issue left a lot to be desired. One case in point is the alleged captivity of Chabe Chader, a villager of Gumsing Taying in Upper Subansiri’s Taksing Circle area, by the Chinese army.’’
6. HC CANCELS MUSLIM QUOTA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court in a majority decision on Feb 8 struck down as unsustainable the legislation providing four per cent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to backward groups among Muslims.
A seven-member bench headed by Chief Justice Anil R. Dave was divided 5-2 and provided three different decisions while striking down the legislation. Justice Dave while pronouncing the verdict on his behalf and on behalf of Justice A. Gopal Reddy, Justice V. Eswaraiah and Justice G. Raghuram opined that the legislation failed to define the expressions “Muslim” and “other Muslim groups.” The Act violated Articles 14, 15(1) and 16 (2) of the Constitution.
The court faulted the surveys relied upon by the BC Commission to enumerate Muslim backwardness. The commission’s own survey was “not sufficient,” it said. The judges said, “In our opinion, the 2007 Act is religion-specific and potentially encourages religious conversion, and is thus unsustainable.”
7. BHARAT TO DEPLOY AKASH MISSILES IN NORTH-EAST TO DETER CHINA: Bharat plans to progressively base six surface-to-air Akash missile squadrons in the North-East to counter the threat posed by Chinese fighters, helicopters and drones in the region.
Sources say IAF will get eight Akash tactical air defence squadrons by 2015, with the first one becoming operational by 2011 itself. Every squadron will have two `flights' of four Akash launchers each. Though it woke up quite late, Bharat is now fastracking measures like raising of two new specialised infantry mountain divisions and an artillery brigade for Arunachal Pradesh and basing of two Sukhoi-30MKI squadrons (36 fighters) each at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam.
Defense minister A K Antony on Monday said the two new divisions were part of the overall strategy to strengthen the armed forces. "It's not directed at China or any country. The aim is to have an effective deterrent against any threat or eventuality,'' said Antony.
8. BHARATIYA OWNS COMPANY THAT ONCE OWNED BHARAT: With just around a month to go for the re-launch of the East India Company, the world’s first multinational whose forces once ruled much of the globe, its new Bharatiya owner says “a huge feeling of redemption” overwhelms him. It’s been a long, emotional and personal journey for Sanjiv Mehta, a Mumbai-born entrepreneur who completed the process of buying the East India Company (EIC) in 2005 from the “30 or 40” persons who owned it.
Acutely aware that he owned a piece of history, at its height the company generated half of world trade and employed a third of the British workforce, Mehta, now the sole owner, dived into the company’s rich and ruthless past in order to give it a new direction for the future.
With a $15-million investment and inputs from a range of experts, from designers and brand researchers to historians, Mehta is now poised to open the first East India Company store in London’s upmarket Mayfair neighbourhood in March and in Bharat sometime this year.
9. AVERAGE INCOME OF BHARATIYAS TO RISE TO RS 43,749 THIS FISCAL: A Bharatiya on an average is expected to earn Rs 43,749 in 2009-10, nine per cent more than what he would have received last fiscal if the national income were evenly distributed among the citizens. The per capita income, an indicator of collective prosperity, was Rs 40,141 in 2008-09, higher by 13.3 per cent recorded in the year ago period, according to the Central Statistical Organization’s (CSO) advance estimates. The lower growth rate in 2009-10 is partly because of poor exports when contribution of exports to the economic expansion during 2009-10 is estimated to fall to 18.6 per cent from 23.5 per cent a year ago.
10. BIHAR'S LITTI-CHOKHA ON OBAMA'S PLATE SOON: Bihar’s famous snack litti-chokha will soon find place on the plate of US President Barack Obama.
A day after his meeting with US ambassador to Bharat Timothy J Roemer in Patna, Irfan Alam, who has been invited to the Entrepreneurship Summit called by Obama, said that he would carry a tin of freshly-baked litti with dry chokha, besides a model of his rickshaw, to present to the President at the White House this April.
Irfan, who in in his early thirties, got banks to finance rickshaw-pullers. "We designed rickshaws, which can shelve newspapers, mineral water bottles and other such small items for sale if the passenger needs them," he said. These rickshaws also carry ads and the pullers get 50% of the ad revenue, the remainder going to SammaaN, an NGO. Apart from the fare, the rickshaw-puller earns from the ads and the sales and up as owners of the rickshaw after repaying the bank loan in installments.
Irfan, who has gifted a model of his rickshaw to Roemer, started off with 100 such cycles in 2007. Today, over three lakh rickshaw-pullers from across the country are registered with SammaaN. While 10,000-odd are pedaling the special rickshaws, the process is underway to benefit others. The organization also provides books to rickshaw-pullers’ children and imparts training in occupational skills to their wives.
11. SANKRANTI UTSAV AT SINGAPORE: Karyakartas in Singapore celebrated Pongal, Lohri and Makar Sankranti Utsav under the banner of Vivekanand Seva Sangam, Singapore. A total of 60 including families and children participated in the event. After the Deep prajwalan and Geet, there was a session of story telling by Children. Shri Dayanidhiji explained the objectives of VSS and also significance of Sankranti festival. Pl visit to get more information of programs in Singapore.
12. DHAKA TO HONOUR BHARATIYA SOLDIERS KILLED IN 1971 LIBERATION WAR: Bangladesh would honour the Bharatiya Army for its key role in the country’s ‘Liberation War’ against Pakistan by inscribing the names of Bharatiya soldiers killed in the 1971 military operation at Suhrawardy Udyan park, Tajul Islam, the State Minister of Liberation War Affairs, said on Feb 3.
“Bangladesh will never forget Bharat’s role in 1971 war,” he underlined. The announcement to honour the Bharatiya soldiers came as a visiting military delegation led by Lt-Gen Vijay Kumar Singh, the next chief of the Bhartiya Army, called on Islam at his office.
13. TERROR, DIALOGUE CAN’T CO-EXIST: BJP: Slamming the UPA Government’s Pakistan policy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Feb 14 said terror and talks could not co-exist. Asking the Centre to call off the February 25 Foreign Secretary-level dialogue with Pakistan, the BJP said it should also rethink the new surrender policy for PoK terrorists.
The BJP has been consistently opposing the government initiative to resume dialogue with Pakistan because “nothing has changed” in its neighbour’s attitude since the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
“As long as the terror infrastructure in Pakistan is not dismantled and Pakistan does not stop sponsoring terror from its soil, composite dialogue should not resume,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, criticizing the UPA Government for not taking the “nation, Parliament or even the Congress” into confidence before deciding on the resumption of dialogue.
14. HINDU FESTIVAL THRIVES IN LAHORE: Riotous cries of 'paecha’ and 'bow katta’ rent the air, as Lahoris in bright shades of yellow welcome spring on Basant with a burst of kites in the sky every February. Legend has it that 13th century sufi poet Amir Khusro, admiring the yellow flowers draped on idols in a temple, appropriated the 'Hindu festival’ associated with cities of Lahore and Kasur in Pakistan and Amritsar in Bharat.
Khusro, the story goes, followed a group of people singing bhajans to a temple where he saw deities laden with flowers of mustard and marigold. He placed a mustard flower in his turban and narrated the experience to his spiritual guide and sufi saint Khawaja Nizamuddin, who decided that Muslims should also celebrate Basant.
Basant refers to Chaith and Baisakh in the Hindu calendar. Lahore usually celebrates Basant on the first Friday of February, though this year February 20 is the chosen date. In the Hindu tradition the festival has normally been celebrated on Maagh’s fifth day. Lahoris refer to Hindu calendar as the 'desi maahinai’ (local months).
Several cases petitioning Basant be banned on the grounds that it’s un-Islamic have been filed over the years before the Lahore High Court. But the festival has endured as the most notable remnant of pre-Partition Lahore.
Salahuddin, who first began holding large Basant parties in his family’s old Lahore haveli in the late 1980s, says nothing can dampen Lahori Basant spirit. The festival, as an integral part of our culture, has deep roots in Lahore and has nothing that clashes with our religious obligations."
15. BHARAT SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRES NUCLEAR-CAPABLE AGNI-III MISSILE: On February 7 Bharat successfully carried out the fourth test-firing of its indigenous Agni-III ballistic missile with a range of 3500 kms from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa, making the nuclear-capable platform ready for induction into the armed forces. It was for the full range and it hit the target with pin-point accuracy and met all the mission objectives.
Defence Minister AK Antony congratulated DRDO chief VK Saraswat and the scientists involved in the Agni-III project on the "remarkable success" of the missile test.
Equipped with a state-of-the-art advanced computer, the navigation system used for guiding the missile to its target is the "first of its kind."
16. OFBJP-USA CONDEMNS WB GOVT FOR JOB RESERVATIONS TO MUSLIMS: OFBJP-USA vehemently condemns the anti-national and anti-Constitutional decision of CPM led West Bengal (WB) Government to provide 10 percent quota in the employment for the Muslim community under OBC category. Earlier in 2009, a similar law was enacted by the Congress led Andhra Pradesh (AP) government providing 4 percent reservations to Muslims in jobs and educational institutions. Ironically, WB government’s decision of providing communal reservations came on the same day as the AP High Court struck down the AP’s communal Act adjudging it as totally anti-Constitutional.
Bharat needs to be vigilant against such nefarious designs pseudo-secular parties to divide the Bharatiyas on communal lines. We appeal the Bharatiya public to come out in the open against such attempts to divide the country on RELIGIOUS LINES.
17. SOFTWARE, BPO EXPORTS TO TOUCH $50 BILLION: Despite the hullabaloo in US over the software and BPO job outsourcing, Bharat is still bullish on its exports in this segment. According to the industry body Nasscom , the country’s software and business process outsourcing exports are expected to rise 5.5 per cent to touch $50 billion in the current fiscal.
For 2010-11, it hopes that IT and BPO exports should grow at an annual 13-15 per cent to touch $56-57 billion as the slowdown peters out and the world economy recovers boosting demand for outsourcing. The sector’s export growth had been slowing down from 32 per cent five years ago to single digits of late.
Domestic revenues may also grow by 15-17 per cent in the next fiscal to touch Rs 76,100-77,500 crore. For the current fiscal the domestic market is expected to witness 12 per cent growth in FY09-10 to reach Rs 66,200 crore.
18. IRAQI DOCTORS LEARN AT METRO HOSPITALS: Patients from across the world have been coming to Bharat with several complicated ailments. Now, however, Bharat’s position in the field of medical science has gained a notch, with foreign doctors also coming here for advanced techniques training.
At present, six aspiring candidates from Iraq have been training at Metro Heart Hospital and Metro Multi-Specialty Hospital, Noida . Both institutes are equipped with the latest international technology to deal with the most critical cases.
“It is (a source of) great pride for Bharat that senior doctors and nurses from other countries have started coming here to observe complex procedures and increase their knowledge and talent.” Said Dr Purushottam Lal, Metro group of hospitals director and renowned interventional cardiologist.
19. 15TH BHAURAO DEORAS SMRITI SAMMAN: THE 15th Bhaurao Deoras Smriti Sewa Samman was presented to Shri Ashish Gautam of Haridwar and Shri Ramkui from Nagaland for their outstanding services to the society. Both of them were presented cash prize of Rs 51,000, a citation, a coconut and a memento each at a function organised in Muzaffarnagar on February 1. Presenting the Samman former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan said political power can never bring a desirable change in the society and that is why the RSS has been working on the strength of society. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ recalled the services rendered by the late Bhaurao Deoras to the society. Shri Ashish Gautam said the number of Muth and temples is increasing in the country but the number of true sadhaks is decreasing. Shri Ramkui described the Samman as the honour of the whole Naga society.
20. GURU RAMDEV FOR COMPULSORY YOGA EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS: Yoga exponent Baba Ramdev has favoured compulsory instruction of yoga education in all schools across the country to make the children healthy citizens and to ensure that they get rid of social ills like crime, violence, drugs and corruption. Stating that he had already prepared a syllabus for the purpose, the yoga exponent of international repute said about 12 States had been imparting yoga education on an informal basis in the country.
21. CHANDRAYAAN-1 ALSO FOUND NEW TYPES OF ROCKS: Yet another feather has been added to the cap of Bharat’s Rs 386-crore lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1; it has not only discovered water molecules but also new types of rocks. This was announced on Feb 8 by Carle Pieters, principal investigator of Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a Nasa payload on board Chandrayaan-1 which detected water molecules along with indigenous Moon Impact Probe and Hyper Spectral Imager.
Pieters said: "M3 has discovered new rock types which are very small. They are unusual and we are in the process of analysing them." Significantly, this discovery was made on the far side of the moon. Pieters told that the type of minerals found in the new type of rocks is common. "But what is surprising is that their combination is uncommon. This is a very valuable piece of information," she said, adding geo chemists could analyse the data.
22. BHARATIYA BANKS STRONGER: The Bharatiya banking system is stronger than its BRIC (Brazil, Russia, Bharat and China) peers in several parameters. This was revealed in a survey carried out by industry body FICCI, in which 69% per cent respondents felt that the Bharatiya banking Industry was in a very good to excellent shape.
Some of the major strengths of the Bharatiya banking industry, which makes it resilient in the current economic climate as highlighted by the survey were regulatory system (93.75 per cent), economic growth (75 per cent), and relative insulation from external market (68.75 per cent), the survey added.
The survey further goes on to say that Bharat’s banking regulatory systems are better than those of China, Brazil and the UK, risk management systems more advanced than China, Brazil and Russia, credit quality better than China, Brazil, Russia, the UK and USA and technology systems superior to Brazil and Russia.
23. ANDAMAN OUTPOST TO COUNTER CHINA, TERROR: Bharat is finally cranking up force-levels and infrastructure at the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the countrys last military outpost, to counter China’s strategic moves in the Bharatiya Ocean Region as well as deter terrorists , drug-traffickers and pirates from setting up bases in the largely-uninhabited 572-island cluster.
Moreover, the move will also help protect roughly 30% of Bharat’s 2.01 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone spread in the region, apart from ensuring better security of the sea lanes converging towards Malacca Strait, a major shipping route with around 70,000 ships sailing through every year, transporting around 30% of the world trade in goods.
For one, Bharat plans to deploy more warships at the countrys only tri-Service theatre Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
24. SHOPIAN TRUTH NAILED: The Shopian double rape-cum-murder case, that singed the Kashmir Valley for months last year, was based on doctored medical reports. While a CBI probe has already established this, evidence has come to light that shows the post-mortem reports of the victims were fudged at the behest of Majlis Mashawarat, an organisation that was at the forefront of the agitation against security forces.
Taped conversations between a Majlis representative and two doctors have emerged that nail the lie of the Shopian rapes. The J & K Police tapped the phones of the Majlis officials and the doctors. Government doctors at the Kashmir hospitals who conducted the post-mortems on Asiya Jan and her sister-in-law Nilofer Jan, the two women security personnel were accused of raping and killing, knew they were not raped.
25. ALL TAGORE WORKS NOW ON ONE SITE: Compiling the complete works of Rabindranath Tagore is by any means a daunting task. But two Kolkata-based IT professionals have taken the pains to upload all of it, bit by bit, on a website for the sake of Tagore-lovers all around the world. And, that too, free of cost.
The website created by Some Sengupta and Sandipan Sarkar, ,will have the entire Tagore collection, claims the duo. And, its all arranged under categories like Verses, Songs, Novels, Stories, Plays, Essays and Miscellaneous for easy access.
Tagore and his works are synonymous with the Bengali culture and life. While his works have found their place in almost every library and Bengali household , they have been largely missing on one of the most important and pervasive means of media the internet, said Sengupta , a software professional.
26. ‘BHARAT GROWTH LIKELY TO EXCEED CHINA’S’: Bharatiya economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than neighbouring China in the near future, said The Chairman of China’s National Council for Social Security Fund, Dai Xianglong on February 8.
He has also called for gradual internationalization of Chinese and Bharatiya currencies that would help in safeguarding financial stability in Asia, while speaking at the annual DSP Merrill Lynch India Investor Conference.
Xianglong noted that both nations “should strengthen financial exchanges and cooperation and work together to promote the reform of the international financial system and safeguard the financial stability of Asia.
27. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Dr.Shankar Tatwawadi, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag visited Norway and will be in Switzerland later this fortnight. Shri Ravikumar, sah samyojak will visit Singapore and Hongkong. Visitors: Shri Kashinath from Myanmar.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Plough with truth.Plant the seed of desire for knowledge.Weed out falsehood. Irrigate the mind with the water of patience. Supervise your work by introspection and self-analysis. –Thirumural Ancient Tamil text.
The UPA Government has done the right thing by abandoning the ill-conceived idea of introducing BT brinjal for commercial cultivation in the country. That there is not even an iota of support for the cultivation of genetically modified brinjal among farmers has been amply demonstrated during Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh’s several interactions with stake-holders and non-Government organisations over the past couple of months.
Indeed, the anger unleashed by the sly decision of the country’s biotechnology regulator, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, in last October to recommend the commercial cultivation of BT brinjal has only increased since then. The GEAC, of course, had authorised Mr Jairam Ramesh to take a final decision on the issue, thereby insulating itself from the farmers’ rage. Interestingly, and this should cause concern to Government, scientists with unimpeachable credentials, farmers organisations and other civil society groups have raised serious doubts over the integrity of the GEAC. It has been pointed out that members of the Expert Committee-II, which approved the introduction of BT brinjal, chose to “discard the need for any further studies” although available data is clearly insufficient. Seen against this backdrop, Mr Jairam Ramesh deserves credit for rejecting the GEAC’s decision and going along with popular wisdom; he has paid heed to genuine apprehensions.
On Feb 9, he scrapped the move to surreptitiously introduce the cultivation of BT brinjal, citing “lack of clear consensus within the scientific community”. The moratorium will remain in place till independent studies by scientists proves that BT brinjal is safe to cultivate and consume. Mr Jairam Ramesh has done well to clarify that the “moratorium implies rejection of this particular case of release for the time being; it does not, in any way, mean conditional acceptance” — given the vested interests behind the genetically modified seed industry, we cannot rule out the Minister’s decision being twisted to suit their purpose.
Biotechnology has no doubt contributed a lot to improving the yield of cash crops and foodgrains. Had it not been for biotechnology and science, we would not have witnessed a green revolution in our country, ending the scourge of hunger which for long had made us a nation with a begging bowl. But while science and technology should be harnessed to improve agricultural output, we should be mindful about the undesirable consequences of genetically modified varieties that may look attractive commercially but could cause untold damage to both consumer health as well as indigenous seed varieties.
It could well be argued that BT Cotton has served us well, so why not BT brinjal? But that’s a simplistic argument which should not detract from issues related to toxin content of the harvest and the cross-pollination that could kill indigenous varieties of brinjal, no doubt to the advantage of multi-national American seed companies who are eager to tap the Indian market. India has a huge variety of this particular vegetable and there is often a problem of plenty, never one of shortage. If at all something needs to be done, it should be aimed at protecting indigenous seed varieties and popularising their use. We can do without BT brinjal. (Editorial, Pioneer Feb 10)
"SERVICE needs to be done without expecting anything in exchange. The God gives us everything we need in our life but He never expects anything from us. We too should serve the society in the similar way without expecting anything from those who are being served," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji while inaugurating the Sewa Sangam at Nitte Meenakshi College, Yelahanka in Bengaluru on February 6.
More than 1200 workers representing over 600 service organisations attended the Sangam. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat also addressed the gathering in different sessions. The Sewa Sangam provided a platform to delegates for interaction and to review the work being done as well as to formulate the future plan of action.
The three-day Sangam was organised by Rashtriya Sewa Bharati in order to ensure better coordination between the like-minded service organisations of the country so that the needy people can be served more effectively. The Rashtriya Sewa Bharati came into existence in 2003 with the objective of bringing all such organisations at one platform, imparting organisational training to the people interested in service activities.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also stressed the need to have better coordination among all service organisations of the country. Emphasising on engaging maximum number of youth in service activities he said the youth should be encouraged to work for the society through yoga and dhyana. "We have a rich tradition of sewa, sadhana and satsang. This unique confluence of these three things is found nowhere in the world, except Bharat, hence it is the field in which we can guide the whole world," he said.
Baba Ramdev stressed the need to organise all good forces of the country through service activities. "When we see our own image in others then we feel their problems as our own problems. This is what is called sewa. We have to understand the sufferings of our own brethren who have been languishing for years and extending them a helping hand is our responsibility. Our services should reach all those who are incapable. The service needs to be rendered with utmost honesty and commitment," he said.
RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said, " If the common man is hungry and is not literate, we have to first make him capable of earning his livelihood with dignity and honour and this can be done only through sewa," he said. He further said the prime objective of certain alien forces in the country is to convert our people. But while serving our people we have to keep in mind that we have to first make them samartha (capable) and self-dependent.
He said we are the followers of the culture which teaches that the person whom we are serving may be God. “A swayamsevak has to dedicate all his strength to the society and, if need arises, he should not hesitate to sacrifice his life for the benefit of the society," he said.
Former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan said our culture helps the man in becoming Narayan (God). He also stressed the need to remove the inferiority complex from the Hindu society.
Speaking at the concluding ceremony RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi said there is no lack of resources today, what we lack is workforce. He said the feeling, which generates among us after seeing the sufferings of others, is the real inspiration for serving others.
Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Sitaram Kedilaya ,First Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh of RSS Shri K Suryanarayan Rao, Dr NR Shetty and Dr Dayananda Pai were also present. An exhibition highlighting various sewa activities remained a centre of attraction for all at the Sangam.
Inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh thousand of social service activities have formed more than 700 social service organisations throughout the country. All these organisations have engaged themselves in the field of education, rural development, economic uplift and many other fields where there is necessity of service. Some highly useful results have been achieved through more than 1,57,000 service activities by swayamsevaks across the country. ...(VSK Bengaluru and Sangita Sachdeva)