Homes and temples were decorated with floral decks to welcome the mythical King Mahabali, who is believed to visit his subjects on the 'Thiruvonam' day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (first month of the Malayalam calendar).
Cutting across class, caste and religious barriers, all sections of people joined the harvest festival.
Legend has it that Kerala was once ruled by the 'Asura' king Mahabali, under whose reign everyone were happy and lived in an Utopia where falsehood and deception were unknown.
The 'Devas', however, grew jealous of the popular king and had him banished down to the netherworld by Lord Vishnu, who incarnated as Vamana, the dwarf, for the purpose. Before going down, Mahabali secured a boon from Vishnu that he would visit his subjects on 'Thiruvonam' day every year.
Over the centuries, Onam has assumed a secular dimension and state-sponsored cultural programmes and public festivities have become an integral part of the festival. Wearing new clothes and enjoying a sumptuous feast called 'sadya' comprising rice, curries and scores of sweet and hot delicacies served on plantain leaf is a main feature of the festival.
2. SWAYAMSEVAKS’ RELIEF WORK FOR RAIL ACCIDENT VICTIMS: A sleepy village (Chitheri) in Tamilnadu-Vellore District, 90 kms off Chennai, went on deaf when a Vellore bound EMU train crashed into the stationary Arakonam-Katpadi passenger from behind while it was waiting at the signal. The impact of the collision was so powerful that three coaches of the stationary train and two of MEMU train were thrown off the track. About 10 persons were killed and 100 injured badly. Immediately after the tragic incident took place, Swayamsevaks led by Kanchi Jilla Karyavah Sri Vasudevachandar reached the accident spot near Arakkonam to help the victims. With the help of Dhandas carried with them they retrieved some dead bodies caught between the coach and the track. Under the guidance of Police and Railway authorities, they also helped to send the injured to various hospitals. Under very trying circumstances- rains and darkness -Swayamsevaks' role, particularly their preparedness with Dhanda, torch lights etc. were well noticed by the other rescuing personnel.
3. COUNTRY NEEDS MOVEMENTS LIKE ANNA’S AT EVERY STEP IN OUR SOCIAL LIFE— MOHAN BHAGWAT: "The movement of Anna Hazare proved to be much needed island of faith in the current spate of corruption that virtually wiped out the hopes and shattered the faith of common man in the system.
The success and spontaneous popular support the movement received countrywide was an indication of the crisis of ethos and identity confronting the Bharatiya society today,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat in Pune on August 30. He was speaking at the function organised by Janata Sahakari Bank, Pune to present an award, in memory of late Moropant ji Pingle, to Nagpur-based SAKSHAM – an organisation working for the betterment of physically challenged and visually impaired persons in the country. Janata Sahakari Bank chairman Shri Arvind Khaladkar was also felicitated at the hands of Shri Bhagwat for the extraordinary and firm leadership he provided to the the bank during the times of crisis which resulted in the turnaround of the bank.
Eulogizing the efficiency and achievement of the Janata Sahakari Bank, Dr Bhagwat said this was possible because all the members of the Board of Directors and workers worked with devotion and consistency and the bank possessed the strength of character, which was an intrinsic RSS value.
4. ‘HEALTH FOR HUMANITY’ YOGATHON INSPIRES KIWIS: New Zealand cities witnessed the first ever health event from 13th to 27th of August 2011. People from all walks of life and different age groups participated in a two-week “Health for Humanity” Yogathon. The youngest participant was 3 year old in Wellington and the oldest was 82 years old from Auckland. The event was free and open to all to participate.
The participants aimed to collectively perform 100,000 repetitions of ‘Surya Namaskar’ over a period of 15 days. The final tally was 89,058, said Mr Venkat Koppaka, the national coordinator for Yogathon.
With four centers in Auckland alone, Yogathon 2011 was launched simultaneously in Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Nelson. Alongwith two members of Parliament Dr Rajen Prasad and Sue Moroney from Auckland and Hamilton respectively, Yogathon saw a participation by more than 50 groups and nearly 1000 individuals. Three groups namely Wellpark College of Natural Therapies, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Art of Living Foundation performed more than 10,000 Surya Namaskars each.
5. PADYATRA BY PEJAWAR SWAMI IN SLUM LOCALITIES OF HYDERABAD: Pejawar Swami Shri Vishvesh Teertha conducted a padayatra in slums localities of Hyderabad viz Fatehnagar, Madannapeta etc. in last week of August. He reached the localities in the evening and met the people there.
Talking to the gatherings, he said all Hindus are equal and there is no place for untouchability in Hinduism.
“Even today some of our Hindu brothers are being discriminated in the name of untouchability at wells and temples. We have to abandon all the ill practices. “VHP is committed to remove untouchability from the society. If you have any problem, bring your problem to the notice of VHP workers also.
6. SC UPHOLDS THE LAW - NARENDRA MODI STANDS VINDICATED: 12th Septmber’s verdict of the Supreme Court, refusing to entertain a petition filed by a victim of the 2002 violence in part of Gujarat following the gruesome killing of kar sevaks travelling by Sabarmati Express whose coach was set on fire by a Muslim mob at Godhra, not only strengthens faith in the judiciary but also, and perhaps more importantly, reaffirms the majesty of the law of the land. It is only to be expected that a victim of violence, whatever its nature or cause, should feel aggrieved and angry. In this case, the petition filed by Jakia Nasim Ahsan referred to the death of then Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri who was killed in the violence at Gulbarg Society on February 28, 2002. It was an unfortunate incident that should not have happened and the process of bringing the guilty to book was initiated in the relevant trial court. Yet, goaded by self-righteous and sanctimonious activists with a political agenda and not averse to subverting the process of justice, the apex court was needlessly sought to be drawn into the trial by alleging that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several senior bureaucrats were ‘responsible’ for Ehsaan Jafri’s death and hence should be tried for the crime. The allegation, outlandish to say the least, was posited as ‘fact’ regardless of the absurdity of the proposition. We have seen similar foisting of fiction as fact in the past by, and at the bidding of, the same lot of activists who have since been exposed for perjury and worse. After the Supreme Court refusing to entertain the petition or supervise the case on the basis of two independent reports — the first by the court-appointed Special Investigation Team and the second by the amicus curiae; the credentials of those who looked into the allegation, sifted through evidence and scrutinised records before penning the reports are unimpeachable. No motive can be attributed to them. Nor can the Supreme Court be faulted for doing the right thing by ruling that the issue lies with the trial court and there is no reason for either intervention or supervision. The law has been upheld and a precedent set.
It is for jurists and scholars of law to pontificate on the finer points of Monday’s judgement. However, it would be in order to make three points on the basis of the judgement delivered by the Special Bench of Justice DK Jain, Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Aftab Alam. First, much as activists and their politician patrons may perversely claim that the justice process in our country is flawed or slyly insinuate bias by demanding that cases be transferred out of the State where incidents have occurred (in this instance, it is Gujarat) the reality is to the contrary. Second, perhaps a larger and more substantive debate is called for on whether self-proclaimed ‘human rights’ activists with dubious sources of funds and sinister intentions should be allowed to delay fair trial with the purpose of derailing justice. The trial of those accused of setting coach S6 of Sabarmati Express on fire was inordinately delayed on account of such intervention. Third, there should be a system of penalising agents provocateurs who seek to promote themselves and their twisted interests by trying to manipulate the process of justice through false affidavits, bribing of witnesses and tutoring complainants. Or else the rule of law stands threatened. (Editorial The Pioneer 13 Sep 201)
7. THE FORMER RASHTRAPATI APJ KALAM IN HOUSTON AS AN INVITEE OF INDIA HOUSE, the University of Houston and Rice University. The audience included hundreds of young students who had come to listen to Kalam’s wisdom, his short, inspirational and pithy one-liners and his vision for a better world.
While Shri Jugal Malani, president of India House, welcomed Dr.Kalam; Dr John Antel, representing Chancellor Dr Renu Khator, of the University of Houston, said President Kalam’s visit was an event to celebrate and announced the introduction of an India Studies minor that will be offered at the University of Houston shortly.
Dr Kalam lauded the role of India House in Bharat-U.S. connectivity. He said that there are challenges before us, especially the young, to fight corruption, moral turpitude and environmental decay and to build a compassionate society. He said the vicious cycle of never-ending greed can be countered with the singular thought of “what can I give, instead of what can I take.”
Can I be an environment giver? Plant a billion trees for a billion people. Can I be a care giver? Take care of the lonely, old and infirm. Can I be a smile giver? Make your mother happy, he said. For, a happy mother makes a happy home. A happy home makes a happy society. A happy society makes a happy nation ...
8. CAMERON CITES BHARAT TO RAISE EDUCATION STANDARDS IN UK : Keen to raise education standards in Britain, particularly in Science and Mathematics, Premier David Cameron on September 9 cited the example of Bharat to caution schools not to be complacent and strive for excellence.
In a speech at a school in Norwich, Cameron outlined his agenda for raising standards in schools at a time when industry leaders lament that many students in Britain leave school without basic skills in Maths, Science and English.
Cameron said: “When China is going through an educational renaissance, when Bharat is churning out science graduates, any complacency now would be fatal for our prosperity. And we’ve got to be ambitious, too, if we want to mend our broken society”.
9. MUSCAT: TULU COMMUNITY CELEBRATES GANESH CHATURTHI : The Tulu community of Oman celebrated Lord Ganesha’s festival at the Shiva Temple here recently under the auspices of Shree Ganesh Festival Committee Muscat. Thousands of devotees not only from Tulunadu, but from all over Bharat, particularly from Karnataka state, thronged the Shiva temple and partook in the celebrations. The year 2011 marks the 27th year of celebrations by the Tulu community in Oman.
The three day long celebrations commenced on September 1.Various pooja rituals like Aarathi, Maha Pooja, Ranga Pooja, Pushparchane, were performed. Devotees sought the blessings of Lord Ganesha by offering 108 coconuts, modaka, laddu, kodu Bale, chakkuli and the like. The ceremonial couple for the celebration was Mallar Shashidhar Shetty and his wife.
The finale of the three day celebration was the ritual of immersion. Amidst the repeated and befitting choral chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ the immersion of the idol of Lord Ganesha was conducted. Traditional Mangalorean cuisine was served as Prasad on all the three days.
10. A FAIRYTALE COMES TRUE - THANKS TO BIHAR’S NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW: There was a time, not so long ago, when Bihar was synonymous with lawlessness and anarchy. Corruption was all-pervasive and crime rates were at an all time high. Then, Nitish Kumar came to power in 2005 and changed everything around with his good governance and pioneering leadership skills, just like in the movies. Residents of Bihar today gladly recount several instances of demonstrable development and palpable progress — of how pot-holed roads have finally been repaired and new highways have been laid, of how women can now walk around freely and how crime rates have come down significantly while real estate prices have touched the skies. In many ways then the nondescript event that marked inauguration of the new premises for a Government school on Septmeber 9 in Patna weaves itself well into Bihar’s popular socio-political narrative. Yet, the fact that the new premises of Rukunpura Mushari Primary School was until a few months ago the palatial bungalow of a literally ‘filthy rich’ Government babu — the kind that the economically disadvantaged students of a Government-run school can barely dream of enjoying in their lifetime — is really what makes this episode the stuff that, yes, only dreams are made of. A quick look at what turned this dream into reality takes us back to March 17 when Bihar’s State Vigilance Court — the State’s own anti-corruption watchdog established by Mr Kumar in 2006 — confiscated the property which belonged to Shiv Shankar Verma, an IAS officer who had been suspended for being in ownership of assets disproportionate to his reported income. Back in July 2007, the State Vigilance Unit had raided Verma’s house and discovered nine kg of gold, tonnes of cash and investment papers; authorities estimated his assets were worth Rs 1.43 crore.
While the courts continue to hear Verma’s case, it has been possible for the Government of Bihar to take over the tainted officer’s assets under the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009, which allows the State to do so if there is prima facie evidence that the assets are the fruits of corruption. In case it is proven otherwise, the assets are returned or an equivalent monetary amount paid in compensation along with interest compounded at five per cent. The law, and more so the manner in which it has been implemented, has rightly sent a chill down the spines of corrupt officers in the State; already, others, including some senior bureaucrats, who have been charged with corruption have expressed deep concerns about their future. In the meantime, young school children who once had to make do with a stinking, dilapidated school building now study in well-furnished, clean classrooms. This is a cue for the country to take note. – Editorial, The Pioneer, 10 September 2011
11. RAMAKRISHNA MISSION HOLDS INTERFAITH MEET: As part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda which were inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Bharat in January 2011, the Ramakrishna Mission organised a unique interfaith meet, a dialogue with difference, on September 11-12. The meet was inaugurated by former Rashtrapatiji Dr AJP Abdul Kalam. Swami Shantatmananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi, in his welcome address spoke about Swami Vivekananda’s enormous contribution for establishing harmony among different faiths. Swamiji through his historic address at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, USA in 1893 set the tone for interfaith harmony in the world. Kalam in his inaugural address spoke about his own experience during his visits to the places of different faiths such as temples, mosques, Buddhist monasteries, churches, etc.
12. WITH LOCKHEED MARTIN HELP, DTU STUDENTS DESIGN UAV: A team of undergraduate students from various engineering faculties of Delhi Technological University (DTU), with the help of Lockheed Martin, a company engaged in manufacture of F-16 fighter plane, has designed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A presentation to this effect was made before Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Tejender Khanna and John Sheehan, of Lockheed Martin on September 6. The UAV comprises a fixed winged aircraft weighing around 36 kilograms equipped with sensing, imaging and surveying capabilities and can fly upto 20,000 feet altitude with a payload of 17 kilograms.
13. FOOD DISTRIBUTION BY HINDU COUNCIL, KENYA: Hindu Council of Kenya earnestly took over the distribution of maize meal to residents of various locations in Eastern Province after an appeal by the Government of Kenya.
They mobilized various member institutions to carry out the famine relief projects by personally going to the residents. One such program was held on 21st August 2011 at Wamunyu where Hindu Religious and Service Centre, in conjunction with, Shree Digamber Jain Mumuks Mandal, donated 10 tonnes of Maize meal, to thousand residents, each getting 10 kilos.
On 4th of September, members of the Hindu Religious and Service Centre travelled 180 km to donate food to the residents of Kalimbevo Village, in Matinyani District, in Kitui West. Thousand bags of 10 Kilos each, were distributed to the residents. On the same day, members of the Lohana Mahajan Mandal distributed 2000 bags of 10 kilos to residents of Mithaini Village in Miu Location.
The group of forty-four volunteers left Nairobi at 7.30AM, and after a journey of about 4 hours, they got to the distribution location. The village was in an area that was completely dry- full of dust, thorn trees and yellow, nearly-dead grass. The area has not had rain for the last 2 years. Residents of the village had gathered at the local Kalimbevo Primary School- a school that was built in 1986. The school was completely rudimentary- just walled rooms without any doors or windows, and wooden benches.
The residents were given HCK cards based on the number of members in their family. HCK volunteers gave out bags to residents, and collected cards. The exercise took about two and a half hours. One could see the joy on the faces of the recipients while receiving the food bags.
14. PHUKET ISLAND CELEBRATES GANESH-CHATURTHI WITH FANFARE: Phuket, southern island of Thailand, celebrated Hindu festival of Ganesh-Chaturthi with fanfare and the Governor Tri Augkaradacha participated.
Complete with conch-blowing, fruits and flowers offerings, decorated Lord Ganesh statue and women dressed-up in saris; few hundred Hindus and others participated. Theravada Buddhism is national religion of Thailand and as with most of Thailand, majority of Phuket population is Buddhist, followed by significant number of Muslims. There are reportedly about 2000 Hindus on the island. Phuket’s Thalang National Museum reportedly has a Visnu statue.
15. Political parties oppose communal violence bill: Various political parties opposed the ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011′ during the National Integration Commission (NIC) meeting in New Delhi on September 10.
While commenting on the Bill, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan stated that the Bill was a blatant attack on the concept of federalism. Tamilnadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha has written to all non Congress chief Ministers about her strong reservations regarding the bill.
Echoing similar views, leader of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) party Sharad Yadav stated that the right to maintain law and order should remain with the state governments.
16. CHINA HONOURS BHARATIYA WITH HIGHEST LITERARY AWARD: China has conferred its highest literary award on Prof. B R Deepak for his book, which is a translation of 88 classical Chinese poems from 11th to 14th century BC into Hindi. Deepak, who is from Centre of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, JNU, the first Bharatiya to receive the "Special Book Award" for his contribution to Chinese studies, translation, publication of Chinese books and cultural exchange.
17. US LAUDS PROGRESSIVE MODI: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has earned encomiums for his governance from an unexpected quarter —- the Congressional research wing of the United States, a country that summarily denied him a visa a few years ago.
A newly-released report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) not only hails Modi’s BJP Government as “India’s best example of effective governance and impressive development”, and sees him “among the party’s likely candidates for prime ministership in future elections”.
18. NATIONAL TRIBUNAL AND WORKSHOP ON EVANGELISM: A tribunal under the banner of Forum for Social Justice was held in New Delhi on 5-6 September on the theme ‘Evangelism : Impact on Faith, Culture, Economy and Life of Vanvasis’. The Tribunal comprised of eminent people like former DG of Punjab Police Shri KPS Gill, Air Marshal (retd) Shri RS Bedi, Swami Shantatmananda of Ramakrishna Ashram, Justice (retd) Shri Suresh Soni, former Ambassador Shri Prabhat Shukla and others.
The impact and penetration of evangelic activities came clear when a Jamatia Vanvasi student of Law in Delhi University informed about the conversion of his fellow 17 students in the national capital itself, by funds provided by Tripura Christian Fellow Organisation.
In their testimonies these Vanvasis who represented 14 states of Bharat clearly stated that the evangelical Christian missionaries are forcing them to convert into their religion. They stated that there was an increase in the nexus between Maoists and these Evangelist forces and the leaders.
After the testimony for two days, these Vanvasis assembled at Jantar Mantar on September 6 to register their protest against various challenges posing a threat to their traditional life. The Tribunal, after preparing a detailed report, will present it the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, different Commissions and authorities with a memorandum within one month.
19. GANESH POOJA UTSAV 2011: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh- USA on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, organized Ganesh Pooja for children on the 4th of September, 2011. Around 200 children and their parents gathered at the Sunnyvale Hindu temple at 10:30 am for this pooja.
Each child, when checking in for the pooja, was presented a booklet which has the various shlokas and mantras, including their transliteration, and translation. The symbolism behind these rituals is also described in this booklet which gives the kids the right context behind every action they take during the ceremony.
After a traditional procession to bring Ganapati to the Pooja Sthan the pooja began with inviting and welcoming Lord Ganesha by the respective pujaris – each child being the pujari here – to their respective pooja sthals.
The rest of the pooja paddhati was also followed exactly as conducted in Hindu households and temples across Bharat. At the conclusion of the pooja, Pt. Krishna Kumar Pandey narrated a couple of stories highlighting Lord Ganesha’s childhood and the importance of his parents in his life. Aarati and Sri Ganesha Stotram followed by the Sangha Prarthna concluded the day’s activity.
20. A WALK AROUND A HILL, TALKING ABOUT THE FAMILY: A programme under the banner “Kutumbha Prabodhan“ took place at Thiruvannamalai on 3rd and 4th September 2011 in which 21 families consisting of 68 persons (including 21 ladies), attended. Senior RSS pracharak Ma. Shri. N. Krishnappa ji took part in the programme. In a lively interactive session , Ma. Krishnappa ji guided the families about family values, the need for better interaction among the family members, the samskaras to be inculcated to the younger generation etc. There was a lively interaction
In the concluding session, all the families agreed to hold weekly meeting of family members and visit 5 families every fortnight to spread the message of “Kutumbha Prabodhan”.
21. 'FIRST TURBANED' SIKH IN UK PARLIAMENT: Dr Indarjit Singh, the director of a charity linking several Sikh organisations in the UK, has become the "first turbaned Sikh" member of the British Parliament.
Recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, the 79-year-old Singh will enter the House and sit as an independent.
Singh, who is the first Sikh to have addressed a conference at the Vatican, said "the mantra of today's times - to look after ourselves because we are important - is creating a selfish and fragmented society in which rights are put before responsibility."
22. DALAI LAMA INAUGURATES CENTRE FOR TIBETAN STUDIES AT IGNOU: At a function held recently in Delhi, The Dalai Lama inaugurated the Centre for Tibetan Studies at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
He was also conferred the degree of doctor of letters (Honoris Causa) by the university.
The aim of the centre is to preserve the Tibetan culture in Bharat and Nepal. "The centre aims to contribute to the theoretical knowledge and practical training in Tibetan Buddhist scholarly tradition. It will develop and launch various programmes of study at the graduate and postgraduate levels and provide authentic Tibetan Buddhist teachings to promote dialogues between trans-national scholars, clergy and Tibetan teachers," said Gracious Thomas, director, School of Social Work, Ignou.
The centre has launched three programmes — a diploma, BA and MA, respectively, in Buddhism and Tibetan Studies, which will be taught in regional Tibetan Buddhist Centres at Dharamshala, the Central University for Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, and at the Tibetan House, Delhi.
23. BRITAIN TO FUND SCHOOL THAT TEACHES BHARATIYA MEDITATION: A school in Britain that teaches Bharatiya-style meditation to students will now be funded by the government.
The Maharishi School in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, is run according to the teachings of Bharatiya guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who had The Beatles among his disciples.
Four-year-old students attend meditation sessions at the start and end of each day of school.The school – among the 24 getting government backing – says the sessions help relax pupils and improve their ability to learn.
24. HSS CHICAGO MEETING WITH US CONGRESSWOMAN MRS, JUDY: A team of HSS Chicago vibhag met with Mrs. Judy Biggert - US Congresswoman and tied Rakhi to her and her staff at her Chicago office on September 2.
Rep. Biggert represents 13th congessional district and a long time legislator welcomed HSS volunteers and carefully listened to the HSS activities narrated to her by visiting HSS functionaries.
25. AMPHIBIOUS VESSELS TO STRENGTHEN NAVY: The Bharatiya government has cleared the Rs 2,176-crore acquisition of eight specialised vessels or LCUs (landing craft utility), capable of "hard beaching" on enemy shores, to boost the country's amphibious warfare and island protection capabilities.
The LCUs are likely to be based at Bharat's first and only regional 'theatre command', the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), which will complete 10 years of existence next month.
26. MULTI-FAITH SIKH SCHOOL IN THE HEART OF UK: Volunteers from the 200,000 Sikh community in Birmingham have played a key role in setting up the first ever Sikh ethos, multi-faith and publicly funded primary school in the heart of the UK.
Start up costs of £2.2 million have come entirely from donations and volunteers have saved another £600,000 by giving up their time to renovate and refurbish buildings that formerly housed a hotel and then a night club. They have helped paint walls, strip floor boards and install under floor heating.
The Nishkam School in Handsworth, Birmingham, is part of the first wave of state funded “free schools” set up by teachers, parents and charities outside government control. It is due to open in two weeks time.
27. NEW YORK TIMES LAUNCHES BHARAT-CENTRIC WEBSITE: As part of expanding its global reach, leading US daily the New York Times has launched 'India Ink', an English-language website offering news and analysis about Bharatiya politics, culture, business, sports and lifestyle.
The site, which is The New York Times' first-ever country-specific site for news and information, provides a distinct perspective on news and events that matter most to Bharatiyas and those who follow news about Bharat, both on the subcontinent and abroad.
28. VKA TO HOLD TRIBAL OLYMPICS: Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram will be organizing Akhil Bharatiya Khelkood pratiyogiya – at Pune from 29th Dec 2011 to 01 Jan 2012. The opening ceremony is on 29th and the closing on 1st. It will have Archery, Athletics, Kho-Kho, kabbadi, Marathons and also Football.
29. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Pravaas: Dr.Ram Vaidya, sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned to UK after finishing his tour to Kenya and Uganda.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The one who controls the senses by the trained and purified mind and intellect, and engage the organs of action to selfless service is considered superior. – Bhagwadgita 3.07
JAI SHREE RAM
UNITED WE STAND
Gujarat cannot be developed if even one section is left behindI had the privilege of felicitating bright' meritorious students of the Muslim community in Ahmedabad recently' on invitation by the Gujarat Ajmeri Charitable and Education Trust. It was extremely encouraging to see the enthusiasm and exuberance for education on display amongst the young people gathered there' and girls in particular. The girls interestingly had outperformed the boys that evening' securing 65% of the awards and recognitions.
Leaders of the Muslim community were also present in large numbers at the function. It was heartening to see a similar enthusiasm and drive amongst them for getting their newer generations educated' to consequently progress and prosper.
It has always been very clear and obvious to me that education is one of the most powerful drivers for bringing about progress and development in society. The evening thus augured well for a bright shining future of our beloved nation.
I would like to share with you some of the thoughts i had submitted that evening' as i had found the audience meaningfully engaged and willing to explore the issue. Minorities in India have for years been deceived and exploited in the name of vote-bank politics. They end up being used as mere ballot paper — with no one seeming to see or care for the human being behind.
Gujarat has managed to rise above this trap of minority-majority considerations' to focus on all six crore Gujaratis as one. We have always maintained and aimed for universal objectives' without any form of discrimination or bias. All students should get good education; all children should be healthy; and all poor should benefit from welfare schemes. Just as even if one organ of a body is weak' the body cannot be considered healthy; i have always believed that my Gujarat cannot be considered developed if even one section of its society is left behind or weak.
True development therefore has to be all-round' inclusive' comprehensive and sustainable. We have often heard the prime minister addressing us from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15 as Hindus' Muslims' Christians' Sikhs and so on. I wonder why he cannot address us simply as 'my dear countrymen'' rather than breaking us up like this? Isn't this important to maintain the unity of our nation!
Secularism is a term interpreted in many different ways by different people. For me' it has always been something very simple — putting India first. It means designing policy' making decisions and taking actions in the best interests of the nation. When we look after India's interests' the interests of every Indian are automatically cared for.
My government therefore functions on the principle of 'justice to all and appeasement to none'. And Gujarat is accordingly marching ahead with the mantra of 'sabka saath' sabka vikas' (support from all' development for all).
Friends' these thoughts that i had explored with the gathered audience that evening' are not mere wishes or fancy imagination. Gujarat has achieved concrete results based on them over the past decade. And it is not me or my government saying so. A committee headed by a retired judge' Justice Rajinder Sachar — constituted by the central government of Manmohan Singh in 2005 — has said so.
The Sachar panel was formed to study the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in India and the report was tabled in Parliament on November 30' 2006. An analysis of the report presents a clear understanding of the progress made by Gujarat's Muslims' especially in comparison to their counterparts in other states. The compiled data also exposes the deplorable status of Muslims in states which are singing paeans to secularism' but in fact playing vote-bank politics.
-- The writer is chief minister of Gujarat,. Sep 12, 2011 Times of India Blog