Jayestha Shukla 11, Vik.Samvat 2073. Yugabda 5118: 16 June 2016


Sad demise of Shri Chetan Mirani ji who was associated with SAMVAD...




1. FESTIVALS: Dashar 'maha kumbh' in Kashmir: Kashmiri Pandits on June 14, the tenth day of the shukla paksha of Jyeshtha, organised a 'maha kumbh' - after 75 years - in north Kashmir's Ganderbal district where three rivers meet. "Today early morning, I visited Shadipora where the 'maha kumbh' is being performed after 75 years. Kashmiri Pandits have come in large numbers to take a holy dip and perform rituals," said Surinder Ambardar. Scores of Pandits performed puja and took a dip in the river at Shadipora, the confluence of Vitasta (Jhelum), Krishen Ganga and Sindh (Indus) rivers.
The Dashar Maha Kumbh comes just days after Pandits from across the country converged for the Kheer Bhawani festival in Ganderbal. Buoyed by the participation, Ambardar said he would take up the proposal of constructing ghats on the banks. Devotees say that such an event took place in 1941 during Maharaja Hari Singh's reign. Many Pandits see the event as the marker of a new beginning. "It seems time is conducive for our return. I want to return to my native place rather than live in a ghetto," said Vijay Raina, 75, a retired teacher, who left the Valley in 1990.-goTop


2. FRATERNITY MUST TO ENSURE LIBERTY, EQUALITY: DR BHAGWAT: Invoking great personalities like Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Ambedkar and Veer Savarkar, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat said that all of them emphasized on preserving our culture and

 liberty and equality. He was addressing the valedictory function of the 25-day 'Triteeya Varsh' summer annual training camp at Dr. Hedgewar Smriti Bhavan at Reshambag, Nagpur on 9th June.

Editor of 'Vartaman' Bengali weekly Rantideb Sengupta was the chief guest. Camp Sarvadhikari Dr. Vanyarajan, Karyawah Harish Kulkarni and Nagpur Mahanagar Sanghchalak Rajesh Loya were present on the dais. A total of 978 trainees and 110 trainers attended the camp. They came from the cross-section of the society.

Dr. Bhagwat said that our culture is based on truth and life values derived from the truth by our ancestors. We need to understand this intrinsic strength of our culture and unite with awakening

what he called 'Deshatmabodh' and imbibing all the good virtues. Raising the level of consciousness & improving the qualities of common man is the only way of making our country great, he said.

In his presidential address Rantideb Sengupta said that RSS was fulfilling the mission of Swami Vivekananda who had, in a letter to his disciple Alasinga Perumal had stressed the need for starting a man-making mission from central India way back in 1894.

The function was attended by prominent personalities drawn from different sections of the society. They included Editor Arun Poorie, Rajiv Chandrasekhar, K Satyanarayana, Rajesh Bhujbal, S Ramadurai, Shantanu Bhattacharya, and others. -goTop --

It is with heavy heart, we inform the sad demise of Shri Chetan Mirani ji who was associated with SAMVAD for several years since its inception. A silent and introvert follower of Dharma, Meraniji was regularly contributing to various tasks in Vishwa Vibhag Delhi office for many years after he returned to Delhi from Kuwait. Of late, he had shifted to Pune and then with his son in USA where he breathed his last on 12th May. We offer our heartfelt condolences at the sad demise of Shri Chetan Merani ji and pray at the feet of SriParmeshwar to bestow sadgati to the departed soul.  -goTop

3. SWEET HOMECOMING FOR KASHMIRI PANDITS: Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits took part on June 13 in an annual festival at Khir Bhawani temple, 25 kilometres from Srinagar.

Most of the Pandits arrived from Jammu and other parts of the country to participate in the event that has emerged as a major congregation of Pandits in Kashmir over the past one decade. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti received the devotees and asked  them to pray for peace and welfare of Jammu & Kashmir.

The receding level of violence in Kashmir has encouraged more Pandits to arrive at the famed temple. During the heydays of militancy in early 1990s, only a handful participated in the festival. -goTop


4. HINDU SANGATHAN DIVAS (HINDU UNITY DAY) ORGANIZED BY HSS HOUSTON: The Houston chapter of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA held its Eleventh annual Hindu Sangathan Divas conference on Saturday, May 29, at the Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj (VPSS Haveli) in Houston. This event was actively participated by over 40 Hindu organizations from greater Houston area.

Hindu Sangathan Divas offered representatives of Houston area Hindu organizations the opportunity to network with each other with the goal of synergizing the work of different Hindu organizations. After an introduction session, representatives attended one of three parallel breakout sessions, covering "Synergizing Sewa Activities amongst Hindu Organizations", "American Hindu Identity and Awareness", and "Creating Second Generation Hindu Youth Leadership". Each breakout session included a presentation from an experienced panel member from Hindu organizations actively working in the respective area followed by group discussion.

Then Hon' Consul General of Bharat Mr Anupam Ray delivered very motivating and thoughtful message to all the Hindu community leaders present. He expressed that he was impressed by the work of HSS in Houston and need of coordination amongst the organizations. Following this, HSS USA National President Ma Dr Vinod ji Ambastha started with his keynote address.

He expressed his deep satisfaction with Houston Hindu Community for coming together and discussing various issues of importance over past 10 years and also hoped that greater leap in this mutual coordination should be our next aim. -goTop


5. 'LET NATION SPEAK AND VIBRATE SAMSKRIT', JOE D'CRUZ: Appreciating the activities and achievements of Samskrutha Bharati in Tamilnadu on the occasion of inauguration of its new premises on June 9, Joe D'Cruz, President of Samskrutha Bharati Tamilnadu said that achieving karyalaya must not be the only goal.  'Let Nation speak and vibrate Samskrit.  Vibrate with heavenly language and inherit its wisdom', he added. Suryanarayana Rao, Senior RSS leader narrated the emergence of Samskrita Bharati with a motto that the so-called dead language be available to common man.  -goTop


6. YOGA HELPS CANCER SURVIVORS SLEEP BETTER: Two 75-minute sessions a week for four weeks helps people feel less tired, while they also report better social, physical and emotional wellbeing. The researchers from the University of Rochester, in New York, studied 245 women who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer, with an average age of 54. All the women said they were suffering sleep problems and filled in a questionnaire about their energy and pain levels, sleep patterns, social interactions, sex life, mental state and ability to work.

Lead researcher Dr Anita Peoples said: "This low-to-moderate intensity yoga was found to be very beneficial for breast cancer survivors." As yet, nothing has been found that works as well as yoga at improving quality of life among those who have suffered from the disease.  She said the reason why yoga improves quality of life is unknown, but added: "It strengthens muscles, reduces anxiety and allows those who practice it to do more in their life. -goTop


7. MODI GETS US CONGRESS CHARGED UP: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on June 8 charged up the US Congress by dwelling on several issues from growing Bharat-US ties to poking fun at the often raucous nature of Bharatiya and American politics to terrorism that is being "incubated in Bharat's neighbourhood".

Invoking some of the biggest icons of US politics - the founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr among others - he linked the US experience with democracy with Bharat's own journey as a modern nation state.

Asserting that the roots of democracy in Bharat are strong, Modi acknowledged the democratic tradition in the US saying, "This temple (US Congress) of democracy has encouraged and empowered other democracies the world over." In the same breath, the PM said, "(Our) Constitution is our real holy book; freedom of faith, speech, franchise and equality of all citizens are fundamental rights."

With Pakistan obviously in mind, Modi pressed for action without making any distinction against groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and ISIS who share the "same philosophy of hate, murder and killings". He said terrorism has to be fought with "one voice" as he commended the American Parliament for sending out a clear message by refusing to "reward" those who preach and practice terrorism for political gains, an apparent reference to the blocking of sale of 8 F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

"Although its shadow is spreading across the world, terrorism is incubated in Bharat's neighbourhood," he said an apparent reference to Pakistan.

He said the cooperation should be based on a policy that "isolates those who harbour, support and sponsor terrorists; that does not distinguish between 'good' and 'bad' terrorists; and that delinks religion from terrorism."

In the course of his 45-minute speech, Pradhan Mantri covered all major aspects of the growing relationship between Bharat and the US, particularly strategic ties and civil nuclear cooperation, and emphasized that the two countries should leave "constraints of the past" behind as the "foundations of the future are firmly in place".

Dressed in trademark white kurta pyjama and grey-coloured half-jacket, Modi underscored that both India and the US share the vision of peace and prosperity of the world. Observing that Bharat-US "relationship is primed for a momentous future", he said a strong partnership between the two countries can anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to Africa and from Indian Ocean to the Pacific.

Modi, who invoked Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his speech, said India and the US, the world's largest and oldest democracies, had learnt a lot from each other's philosophies and practices, making them "natural allies". "As we deepen our partnership, there would be times when we would have differing perspectives. But, since our interests and concerns converge, the autonomy in decision-making and diversity in our perspectives can only add value to our partnership," he said. -goTop


8. A SPIRITUAL CONFLUENCE: Yitzhak (Tzakhi) Freedman, anthologist from Israel, and author of 'The Upanishads and Brahmanas: An Anthology' presented his book at the Global Interface with the Philosophical Texts of Bharat as part of the Indian Language Festival’s Samanvay on June 12 at Delhi. Present at the event were Tarun Vijay, MP, Rajya Sabha, Indra Nath Choudhuri, author and renowned scholar of Bharatiya and comparative literature along with Freedman in conversation with Rizio Yohannan Raj, creative director of ILF Samanvay.

"I am extremely excited to talk here about the Upanishad in Bharat, and before going further we should know what the Upanishad is. Upanishads are a collection of the texts that contains some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism. The Upanishads are considered by Hindus to contain utterances concerning the nature of ultimate reality (Brahmans) and describing the path of salvation," said Freedman.

Tarun Vijay said, "In India, during Diwali, when we pray to goddess Laxmi we simply do not pray for money or profit, but we say Shubh Labh, which is a mantra for auspicious tidings. The profit should be virtuous and noble. This is the message of Hinduism."  -goTop


9. US RETURNS TO BHARAT 200 ARTIFACTS WORTH $100 MILLION: The US on June 7 returned over 200 cultural artifacts estimated at $100 million to Bharat at a ceremony in Washington attended by Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi. "For some, these artifacts may be measured in monetary terms but for us this is beyond that. It's a part of our culture and heritage," the Pradhan Mantri said at the ceremony held at the Blair House.

Items returned included religious statues, bronzes and terra cotta pieces, some dating back 2,000 years, looted from some of Bharat's most treasured religious sites. Among the pieces returned is a statue of Saint Manikkavichavakar, a Hindu mystic and poet from the Chola period (circa 850 AD to 1250 AD) stolen from the Sivan Temple in Chennai, which is valued at $1.5 million. Also included in the collection is a bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesh estimated to be 1,000-year-old.

"It is my hope and the hope of the American people - that this repatriation will serve as a sign of our great respect for Bharat's culture; our deep admiration for its people; and our sincere appreciation for the ties between our nations," US Attorney General Loretta E Lynch said. The majority of the pieces repatriated in the ceremony were seized during Operation Hidden Idol; an investigation that began in 2007 after Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) special agents received a tip about a shipment of seven crates destined for the US manifested as "marble garden table sets". Examination of the shipment in question revealed numerous antiquities. -goTop


10. ENTRY TO BIG BOYS CLUB: Bharat's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), one of the four global nuclear regimes, under the leadership of Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi, must be hailed as a significant achievement in the country's recent history of nuclear disarmament. Notably, Bharat's entry to the 34 member group was not opposed by a single member, as confirmed by the current Dutch chairperson of the MTCR. The major breakthrough comes days after Bharat declared that it is subscribing to The Hague Code of Conduct against ballistic missile proliferation that is considered to be complimentary to the MTCR. The MTCR urges all its members, which include most of the world's key missile manufacturers to restrict their exports of missiles and related technologies capable of carrying a 500kg payload for at least 300km or delivering any type of weapons of mass destruction. With a full-fledged US backing, the MTCR entry will be a stepping stone for expediting Bharat’s membership to the coveted Nuclear Supplier's Group (NSG). -goTop


11. BHARATIYA EMBASSY IN CAIRO ORGANISES YOGA CHAMPIONSHIP IN EGYPT: In the run-up to the International Day of Yoga, the Bharatiya Embassy and the Maulana Azad Centre for Bharatiya Culture played host to a first of its kind Yoga Championship in Cairo on June 5, 2016. The event took place against the backdrop of the Nile in the lush green lawns of the Embassy.

The Yoga Championship was a landmark event in an Arab country and saw the participation of more than 35 highly proficient Egyptian and foreign Yoga enthusiasts. The youngest Yoga practitioner at the Championship was six years old, and the oldest was 71 years old. The participants were divided into four categories - under 18 years, 18-30 years, 30-45 years and above 45 years. Each contestant performed ten basic and five advanced asanas to the tune of Bharatiya music and chanting and loud cheers from the audiences.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya welcomed the growing number of Yoga practitioners in Egypt and said, "The essence of Yoga is to start from the level of one's capacities and to strive continuously for higher levels of accomplishment." -goTop


12. HSS SRI LANKA HELPS LANDSLIDE VICTIMS: A landslide recently hit the common tea estate workers in up country area of Srilanka. There were 16 casualties in this incident and many others were affected. Both sides of one hill were affected by this landslide in Kegalle district of Sabragamuva province. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Sri Lanka karyakartas went to worst affected area immediately. In those two areas they had selected one side of the hill for the relief activities. People were given shelter in nearby town    school. Fortunately common people also helped them in unprecedented manner. After one week they shifted to their own estate with temporary shelters. HSS karyakarthas arranged all essential materials and utensils for selected families. Food materials were distributed to 67 families. For 105 school students essential school materials were also distributed. -goTop


13. TAO PORCHON LYNCH: WORLD'S OLDEST YOGA TEACHER: Born and raised in Bharat, Tao Porchon Lynch is a living epitome of potential and strength. Practicing Yoga since last 70 years and still going strong at 98 is nothing less than a wonder. "Yoga is the joining of our mind, body and spirit. It is like nature; everything is always recycled and brought full circle. I find that I can heal myself if I do what nature does. It’s taken away stress and has helped me through crisis", she says. She has made to the Guinness World Records for being the world's oldest Yoga teacher. She is an amazing ball dancer and has also made an appearance in America's Got Talent.

She teaches yoga in New York. The former model/actress is also the author of two books and her autobiography namely, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master which made her the winner of IPPY Award, 2016 and International Book Awards, 2016.

She was born in Pondicherry, Bharat. Her father was French and her mother was a Manipuri. At a very young age of 8 years, she witnessed a group practicing Yoga. Since then she became interested in Yoga and there was no looking back after. Tao even marched with Mahatma Gandhi twice.

She studied Yoga from eminent personalities like Sri Aurbindo and Indra Devi. She became the founder of Yoga Teachers Alliance in 1967. In 1982, she set up the Westchester Institute of Yoga in New York. -goTop


14. NINE-YEAR-OLD BHARATIYA-ORIGIN GIRL IS YOUNGEST DEVELOPER AT WWDC 2016: Apple's annual developer's conference, WWDC 2016, is taking place on June 14, and it's one of the biggest events on the tech-calendar each year. Like many others, Anvitha Vijay is there with a number of iOS apps to her credit, whose dream is to go to WWDC and meet Tim Cook. But there's one key difference - she's only nine years old.

The Australian girl applied for a scholarship to travel to WWDC and was one of the people Apple selected for this opportunity, reports Fortune. According to the report, out of 350 recipients of the scholarship, 120 are under the age of 18, and 22 percent are women, as part of an effort on Apple's part to add diversity to its developer events. Vijay, who wanted to build mobile apps, didn't have any formal training, and learned to code watching tutorials on YouTube. "Coding was so challenging," Vijay told Fortune. "But I'm so glad I stuck with it." -goTop


15. CHENNAI RSS PROGRAM FOR NEWCOMERS: An inspiring gathering for those who love nation, RSS Chennai invited to spend a day together to Experience, Interact and Engage and join hands in the process to rebuild our Nation.  275 new persons (both men and women) from different walks of the society participated in the programme.

Dr. M L Raja, Prant Sanghchalak, threw light on the achievements of Bharat in various fields both in the past and present. Shri Ramakrishna Prasad, Prant Sah Karyawah gave a presentation on the origin of RSS, its history from inception, during war times, emergency, service activities and its expansion across the world with visuals.

The participants were divided into various segments and an interaction session was conducted. Shri Suresh Nayak, IT Pramuk-Southern Zone, Shri P M Ravikumar, Prant Pracharak, Shri D Shankar,Sah-Prant Pracharak also participated in the program.  

Following this, a practical shaka involving the new participants were conducted.  New participants enthusiatically participated in the organized shaka. Dr. M L Raja gave concluding speech on why one should associate with a nationalistic organization like RSS and feel proud that they have been given an opportunity to serve the nation. -goTop


16. CAPACITY FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IN BHARAT HITS 42,850 MW: Bharat's quest for green energy has crossed a major milestone, with renewable plants, mainly wind and solar, surpassing the capacity of large hydroelectricity projects, which were once the country's biggest source of electricity and regarded as "temples of modern India".

The total capacity of renewable energy projects expanded to 42,850 megawatts, overtaking hydropower that stood at 42,783 mw, out of the country's total capacity of about 3 lakh mw on April 30, as per the latest assessment of the Central Electricity Authority. However, the country still depends primarily on thermal power, which has a much higher installed capacity.

Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal has set a Rs 6-lakh-crore target of building renewable energy plants. This includes 1 lakh mw of solar power capacity by 2022, five times the earlier target of adding 20,000 mw. "Initially, the target looked very ambitious, but it now looks achievable," a government official said.

In international climate talks, the government had stated that Bharat will achieve 40% cumulative electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance, including from Green Climate Fund. -goTop


17. RECORDING EXTRAORDINARY GROWTH IN MADHYA PRADESH: RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi released Agricultural Atlas of Madhya Pradesh on June 1 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi. Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh, veteran BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, and Chairman of the IGNCA Ram Bahadur Rai addressed the gathering. Director of the Centre for Policy Studies Dr JK Bajaj submitted a presentation on the Atlas.

He said the Atlas which is a bilingual illustrated compendium of all aspects of Agriculture in Madhya Pradesh comprises detailed maps on the geography, rivers, soils, climate, demography, livestock, changing cropping patterns and production of different crops in the State. The Atlas has been produced jointly by the Centre for Policy Studies and Madhya Pradesh Council for Science and Technology. Resource Atlases of Datia and Tikamgarh districts in Hindi were also released on the occasion. -goTop


18. RASHTRA SEVIKA SAMITI TRAINING CAMP IN DELHI: A five-day training camp of Rashtra Sevika Samiti workers concluded in Delhi on May 28. A total of 150 workers between the age of 14 to 35 years underwent training at the camp. Co-convenor of Medhavani Mandal Delhi Dr Nisha Ranaji, addressed the workers at the concluding ceremony. She said the women today need to be fit not merely mentally, but also physically. Speaking at the concluding ceremony as chief guest Dr Pratyusha Vatsala, Principal of Lakshmibai College in Delhi University, said the camp has inspired the girls to be ready for any sacrifice for the nation. -goTop


19. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will be in Thailand from June 23 - August 11.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny. - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad -goTop




 Anirban Ganguly

The lighting of the Savarkar Jyoti at Cellular Jail will not only keep ignited the flame of freedom, it should also re-kindle a genuine interest in this period of our independence struggle, an interest that may culminate in a grand memorial someday Life in a jail", wrote Vinayak Damodar Savarkar from behind the iron-bondage of the dreaded Kala Pani, "for good, for evil, is a unique chance. Man can never go out of it exactly as he came in. He goes out far better or far worse. Either more angelic or fiendish. Fortunately for me, my mind has so quickly adapted itself to the changes in circumstances. It seems strange that a nature so restless and active, roaming over continents, should so quickly feel quite at home in a cell hardly a dozen feet in length. And yet one of the kindest gifts of Providence to Humanity is this plasticity, this adaptability of the human mind to the ever changing environments of life." It was this stoicism, this unflinching oneness of purpose and this undiluted firmness of conviction that defined Veer Savarkar's life's actions and enabled him to pass through some of the most acute and excruciating incarcerations over a period of nearly four decades.

The confines of the Cellular Jail, also brought out the thinker and visionary in Savarkar. Not that the trait did not exist earlier, his insistence on terming the war of 1857 as the First War of Independence, his constant ruminations and intellectual churnings in the midst of planning revolutionary activities in London, displayed sparks of that deeper possibility. But it was through the intense suffering in the Cellular Jail - which could not daunt him - that emerged the epochal thinker and strategist. The condition of the Indian society, the need to strengthen and unify it, the future of that society and its continued existence through a process of cleansing that would lead to greater unity and cohesion was what occupied his thoughts.

On the question of caste, for example, he wrote after having read the novel Samaj Rahasya during his internment, "The greatest curse for India is the system of castes...It must be swept away, root and branch, the best means to that effect is a crusade against it, in all forms of literature, especially drama and novel. Every true patriot should cease to have double dealing and speak out his mind clearly and act up to it..." Of course communist historians with Stalinist mindsets, sponsored and tamed by the Nehruvian establishment, had no use for such utterances, they had set their eyes on painting Savarkar's legacy and thoughts in black in their quest to portray nationalists and those articulating the Hindu view as fascists and feudalists - it served the aims of their political patrons who wanted to shove down the national psyche, a unilateral narrative by marginalising some of India's best minds.

It was Savarkar's unalloyed nationalism, intense patriotism and a burning desire to see India free that sustained him through the most difficult phases during India's struggle for freedom and the same intense attachment to the motherland, expressed,  for example, in a sentence he wrote from Kala Pani, "in your answer please inform me how our dear motherland is getting on" - that continued to sustain him post-independence, when the Nehruvian establishment and its hangers-on heaped calumny on him, marginalised and insulted him in their desperate attempt to drag and consign him to the dungeons of history. That Savarkar lived on despite them, that Savarkar lives on inspite of their best attempts to erase his contributions to India's independence is a testimony to the man's unique position in the pantheon of those who articulated Indian nationalism, battled for her emancipation and truly suffered and sacrificed themselves at the altar of that struggle without thought for recompense or recognition.

The Indian Oil Foundation, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP president Amit Shah who spent two days in the Andaman & Nicobar islands to re-ignite the Savarkar Jyoti - signifying the aspiration of freedom, symbolising the sacrifices made by thousands of countless patriots and hundreds of uncompromising revolutionaries who had their lives shattered and often smothered in the lonely and tortuous confines of the Cellular Jail - need to be lauded. The act of igniting the Savarkar flame has restored the dignity of the Cellular Jail and in it the memory of hundreds of revolutionaries who braved the most acute British atrocities and spent decades in the most sub-human confinement because they dared to "wage war against the King-Emperor" in their legitimate quest for India's liberation and emancipation.

That dignity was desecrated in the past by a certain mindless Nehru and Gandhi family acolyte who in a fit of rage, displaying extreme intellectual barbarism and using the might of his official position as a Minister in the Government of India, brought down the plaque that commemorated Savarkar's contribution and his incarceration in the Cellular Jail. That act of intellectual vandalism not only denigrated Savarkar but cast aspersions on the hundreds of revolutionaries who spent the best part of their youth holed up in the Kala Pani. More such flames thus need to be ignited across the country, more such commemorations need to be undertaken, more such unsung and undocumented heroes of our freedom struggle need to be discovered and feted and their lives and struggles serve to keep alight the flame of freedom in young minds. It is through the stories of these revolutionaries that one can really and essentially instil in young minds the reality of how freedom was indeed wrested at a great price.

I could not agree more with a young Russian Indologist I met during my recent visit to St Petersburg, who asked me why the stories of Indian revolutionaries have not been sufficiently told. I could not agree more with India enthusiasts in Berlin, who told me, while taking me around the museum dedicated to the victims of Nazi violence and Gestapo atrocities, on the need to have someday, a grand museum dedicated to the memory of Indian revolutionaries. That we do not yet have such a museum is indeed a reflection of the partisan approach that a section of our political establishment displayed towards this period of our history. One hardly talks of Barin Ghose, Upendra Nath Banerjee and Ullaskar Dutt who led the first batch of political prisoners connected to the Alipore Bomb case, who were deported to the Cellular Jail in 1909, spending a decade in the most trying conditions and yet not losing or diluting their ultimate goal of seeing the motherland free.

The Savarkar Jyoti thus shall not only keep ignited the flame of freedom, it should also re-kindle a genuine interest in this period of our struggle, an interest that may culminate in a grand memorial someday. As Shah rightly said, "The Savarkar Jyoti shall be a radiating source of inspiration and commemorate the countless revolutionaries who smilingly sacrificed themselves at the altar of freedom."

That commemoration, in a sense, has now begun in right earnest, after nearly seven decades of passing through an imposed forgetfulness.

(The writer is director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi, Daily Pioneer 1 June 2016) -goTop

Shri Vishwa Niketan