Margshirsha Krishna 13, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: November 16, 2017

1. FESTIVALS: December 25 2. Hinduism means respecting and accepting world’s diversity: Mohan Bhagwat
5. MARXIST CITADEL TURNS SAFFRON FOR DAY 6. Bharatiyas hold physical exercises to bond families, mould characters
7.  BHARAT jumps 30 places in World Bank's ease of doing business rankings 8. Tulsi Gabbard named chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018
9.  Two Delhi boys showcase skills on global stage 10. DONALD Trump greets Sikhs on Guru Nanak Jayanti
11.  WEST BENGAL MUKHYA MANTRI AT BHAGINI NIVEDITA'S LONDON FAMILY HOME 12. Ekal Sansthan to open 60 schools in Lahaul-Spiti district
15. Bharatiya-origin girl at top of new pop with debut album 16. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN & FOOD FOR THOUGHT



1. FESTIVALS: December 25 - is celebrated as Christmas day, the birth anniversary of Lord Jesus by the Christian community world over. The day has far greater relevance for Bharat and Hindus. On this day in 1892 Swami Vivekananda after making a studious tour of Bharat went in Dhyan for three days on the holy rock in Kanyakumari and based on his contemplation on this rock addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago 11th September to 27th Septmeber in 1893. This year the birthday of Guru Govind Singh, 10th Guru of Sikhs is also falling on this day. Bharat's first swayamsevak Pradhan Mantri Atal Bihari Vajpai was born on this day in 1924. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founder of the Banaras Hindu University and a leading light of the nationalist movement, was born in Allahabad on December 25, 1861. -GoTop


2. Hinduism means respecting and accepting world’s diversity: Mohan Bhagwat: RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat has said that ours is a Hindu nation, however, the word does not denote a language, prayer, or caste, but it's about respecting and accepting diversity of the whole world and working towards welfare of all by following the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. He was addressing Sangh swayamsevaks and the public at a programme 'Swar Govindam' at Chitrakoot Stadium in Jaipur on November 5. Mukhya Mantri Vasundhara Raje, Kendriya Mantri K J Alphons and state BJP leaders were also present on the occasion.

Quoting Dr BR Ambedkar he said that the country has achieved political and economic independence but social equality is yet to be achieved. "To have both swatantrata (independence) and samta (social equality) we need bandhuta (amity)," he said. Swar Govindam was one of the biggest gatherings of ghosh vadaks in which over 1600 vadaks playing various instruments marched on the streets of Jaipur. -GoTop


3. Strengthening Hindu Communities in Australia: The 6th Australian Hindu National Conference 'Strengthening Hindu Communities in Australia' held in Adelaide in early September was attended by leaders of the Hindu community from Bharat, Nepal, Bhutan, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and by pretty much every Hindu organisation in Adelaide.

Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, was the chief guest and the dais was graced by the Minister of Multicultural Affairs, several Members of Parliament, SA Leader of Opposition, federal members of parliament, local council members, mayors etc.

Rajendra Pandey, President of VHP in South Australia, gave an excellent keynote address elaborating on the need to strengthen our own community and also contribute to a prosperous and stronger Australia.

Swami Vigyananand, International Coordinator and Joint General Secretary VHP Bharat, chaired the session 'Collaboration among Hindu Organisations Temples and Associations'. During his address, he explained the purpose of HOTA (Hindu Organisations Temples and Associations) and appealed to more than 40 organisations, associations and temples attending, to work together. Youth participation in the conference was highly evident not only in the volunteers making sure everything ran smoothly, but also in an outstanding Youth Section wherein a panel of 7 young people spoke on topics ranging from faith on campus to how Hindu community organisations create leadership and team spirit among our youth.

Zoe Bettison, Minister for Multicultual Affairs, described the conference as a "wonderful, vibrant event and an excellent opportunity to engage with South Australia's proud Hindu community."

After the event, Tony Zappia, Federal Member for Makin said in Parliament "The VHP focus on that theme is a wonderful example of our Hindu migrants' commitment to Australia's future and their allegiance to Australia, and shows that they want to see Australia grow and prosper." -GoTop


4. HINDU AMERICANS WIN HISTORIC VICTORY IN CALIFORNIA TEXTBOOKS:  After more than a decade of constructive civic engagement with the California Department of Education, the Hindu American community won a significant victory in its quest for an accurate, equitable, and culturally competent portrayal of Hinduism and Bharat in California textbooks. In its final public hearing, the Department's State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously to approve positive edits submitted by Hindu American community groups to improve the portrayal of Hinduism and Bharat in 10 textbooks. The board also voted to reject two deeply problematic textbook programs from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Grades K-6 and Grades 6-8) for adversely reflecting on Hinduism and other diverse communities.

"This is truly historic. After many years of civic engagement, Hindu-Americans have started to make themselves heard," said Shantharam Nekkar of Hindu Education Foundation USA, an organization dedicated to enriching the understanding of Bharatiya civilization and Hinduism in America. "We will continue to engage constructively and fight biases and prejudices against Hinduism and India." The SBE's decision came after hearing testimonies and receiving letters from thousands of Hindu American parents, children, educators and community members from across California, including immigrant Hindus from Fiji, Caribbean and Bharat, as well as letters from a broad coalition of more than 75 interfaith and community groups, 17 state and federal elected officials, and 38 leading academics. -GoTop


5. MARXIST CITADEL TURNS SAFFRON FOR DAY: With thousands of heads marching under the saffron flag of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on the roads of Kerala's Capital, the communist citadel apparently turned saffron for the day. In a massive show of strength of student community, more than 50,000 students who came from all across the nation to participate in ABVP’s "Chalo Kerala" rally on 11th November marched on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram, thus carpeting it completely.

The march against the left party Government in Kerala was carried out protesting against killings of hundreds of the BJP-RSS-ABVP activists in past. ABVP alleges that these murders are done under the political patronage of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and left Government in power.

ABVP also blamed the CM and members of his party CPI (M) are responsible for providing 'political patronage' for the killings and to the 'perpetrators'.

The massive rally by ABVP was a showcase the Bharat’s “Unity in Diversity” in the real sense as it was marked by the presence of hundreds of students from all states, marching in well organised columns. Students from Bihar, Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, all north-eastern States and from almost all states participated in quite large numbers.

Also, students who came from all across the Kerala were almost equivalent in numbers to those who came from outside. They came from almost all colleges and universities spread across all districts of Kerala. -GoTop


6. Bharatiyas hold physical exercises to bond families, mould characters: To ensure that Bharatiyas live happily and in good health with members of their families, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) holds weekly physical exercises involving the fathers, mothers, children and other members of their households are in Victoria Island, Ilupeju, Ikeja and other areas where Bharatiyas reside in large numbers. The exercises also involve social activities to develop the mental health of the people and bring harmony in their families.

Joint Co-ordinator HSS Nigeria chapter, Sanjay Srivastava, stated that the HSS focuses on character development, teach children about their environment, people and how to render services to their communities.

These activities, which consist of building family harmony, living together - playing games, having yoga, intellectual discussions and praying together, play a critical role in bonding families. At these exercises, children are taught to respect their parents, teachers and elders.

Dr Ram Vaidya, World Joint Coordinator of HSS, went on pravas to Nigeria recently. Dr. Vaidya said at one of the exercises session that the HSS began 70 years ago and has branches in about 40 countries in the world. Lamenting the high rate of crimes in the world and discrimination among people, he said that to end to it, we need to focus on the family first and get it right. He advised Bharatiyas residing in Nigeria to be responsible citizens, be selfless and learn to tolerate everyone and contribute to the development of the country where they live and work. -GoTop


7.  BHARAT jumps 30 places in World Bank's ease of doing business rankings: Bharat's ranking in the World Bank's ease of doing business index showed a significant improvement driven by reforms in access to credit, power supplies and protection of minority investors. As per the latest report released, Bharat has moved to 100th spot from 130th position. Addressing a press conference after the report was released, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that "this is the highest jump any country has made in the doing business rankings." In "resolving insolvency" parameters, Bharat has jumped 33 places and is now ranked 103, he added.

With implementation of a series of reforms including enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Bharat has climbed to 4th position in protecting interest of minority investors, according to the report. This is the first time that Bharat has figured in the top five nations in one of the parameters for determining "ease of doing business". On paying taxes Bharat has jumped 53 places, from 172 to 119. -GoTop


8. Tulsi Gabbard named chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018: Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has been named as the chairperson of the World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago next year. Held once every four years, World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another and impact the common good. Organised by the World Hindu Foundation, the first Congress was held in New Delhi in 2014. The second WHC will take place in Illinois in Chicago from September 7 to 9 next year. Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and a member of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee. -GoTop


9.  Two Delhi boys showcase skills on global stage: Mohit Dudeja of Delhi, studying making pastries in Bengaluru, recently won a silver medal for the country in the World skills competition in patisserie & confectionery making along with another Delhi boy, Karan Dhaliwal from Mayur Vihar, who was awarded "medal of excellence" in restaurant service category.The two were part of an impressive performance by the Bharatiya contingent. Apart from Dudeja's silver, a bronze medal was won by Kiran Sudhakar and 9 medallions of excellence at the 44th World Skills competition held in Abu Dhabi. Around 1,300 people from 59 WorldSkills member countries showcased their talent across 51 skills competitions.  -GoTop


10. DONALD Trump greets Sikhs on Guru Nanak Jayanti: US President Donald Trump greeted Sikh Americans and Sikhs across the world on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 4. "Trump sends warm wishes to Sikh Americans and Sikhs around the world as they celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, the founder and first guru of Sikhism," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"President Trump also recognises the many contributions Sikh Americans have made to our great nation for more than 100 years, including through military and public service," she said. -GoTop


11.  WEST BENGAL MUKHYA MANTRI AT BHAGINI NIVEDITA'S LONDON FAMILY HOME: Sister Nivedita, one of the most loyal disciples of Swami Vivekananda had a significant contribution to social changes, freedom movement during British Raj in Bharat. From contribution in the educational sector to women empowerment, she left her footprint everywhere. Hence it is indeed a proud moment for Bharat; West Bengal Mukhya Mantri Mamata Banerjee on November 12 unveiled a Blue Plaque to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary at her family home.

English Heritage with an aim to preserve history has been marking all important memorials with this Blue Plaque. Scots-Irish social worker Sister Nivedita had lived with her family in this house of 21, High Street London for a few days. Even Swami Vivekananda stayed in this house for some time. Sister Nivedita was originally named Margaret Noble, who received the name Nivedita from Swamiji.

For this special day, a cultural event was organized in Wimbledon library close to her house. West Bengal Mukhya Mantri was the chief guest in the programme. Later she took part in a programme where she was invited to deliver the keynote address on Sister Nivedita.

Later she thanked English Heritage and Ramakrishna Mission for this landmark event of placing Blue Plaque on the heritage family home of Sister Nivedita in London and bestowing upon her this unique honor in her facebook post. -GoTop


12. Ekal Sansthan to open 60 schools in Lahaul-Spiti district:  Ekal Sansthan, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-inspired organisation that sets up one-teacher schools across the country with a focus on rural and tribal areas, will open 60 schools in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh as part of its initiative to expand the network of such institutions to all border areas.

The district abuts China, and there have been reports of heightened Chinese activities across the international border close to it during the Doklam crisis in August. 30 such schools have already come up, and the organisation will soon scale up the number to 60. -GoTop


13. YOGI INVITES NRI'S FROM MAURITIUS: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the NRIs residing in Mauritius to take advantage of UP Government's "Find Your Root" scheme and visit the places where their ancestors were born and have grown up. "This will be a nostalgic feeling for you people to visit the villages of your ancestors. The Government of Uttar Pradesh will help you to find your ancestor's village under our 'Find Your Root Scheme'. The Tourism department is the nodal agency which will work in tandem with district administration to find the village," Yogi said while addressing a function in Port Louis organized by the Bharatiya Ambassador in Mauritius on 4th November. He said that Bharat and Mauritius enjoy an old relation.

The ties have been further cemented after Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card for NRIs in 2015.

The OCI card holders automatically gets lifelong visa and does not need to apply for visa while coming to Bharat. They are further entitled for basic facilities which a common Bharatiya citizen enjoys in Bharat, Chief Minister said. -GoTop


14. HINDUTVA IS THE INTEGRATING FORCE: BHAIYAJI JOSHI: "Sangh work has values of Hindutva as its foundation. Hindu Values and view of life is not opposed to anyone, but is an integrating force", said RSS Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi, while addressing the Prant Karyakarta Shivir on November 5 at Karimnagar over 1,657 workers from all districts of Telangana participated in the camp. Dakshin Madhya Kshetra Sanghchalak Shri Nagraj, Prant Sanghchalak Shri Pyata Venkateswara Rao also shared the dais. He said there are people working to increase the gap between the people of various castes. We must identify such forces and work to nullify the impact. -GoTop


15. Bharatiya-origin girl at top of new pop with debut album: Early November, a 17-year-old singer-songwriter found herself on BBC Radio 1's Top New Pop chart, along with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Miley Cyrus, for her debut single in the first week of its release. The singer was Rika, aka Chandrika Darbari, a half Bharatiya-Serbian musician from northwest London. Her song 'No Need' is set in an archetypal high school, with the lyrics sending out a clear and timely message: to stop judging and being unkind to others for how they look or talk. Released independently on September 21, the upbeat dance-pop number quickly climbed the music charts in both UK and Bharat. It was also featured in BBC Asia's Artist of the Week list. Since its release, it has got over 840,000 views on YouTube.

The song was inspired by Rika's own experience of being bullied. "I was bullied a lot in school - not because I was Asian but because I had bad acne and was really skinny," Rika said recently during her visit to Mumbai. "Yet, I wanted everyone to connect to the song. It is diverse and can also be about racism, divorced parents or just straight-up bullying. It's just saying that we should try to improve ourselves instead of bringing someone else down." Born to a Serbian mother and a Bharatiya father, Rika's music draws upon her multicultural upbringing. Last year, she penned and performed the song 'For Peace in Syria' with her brother. -GoTop


16. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Suresh ji Soni sahsarkaryavaha, RSS would start his tour to South East Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Indonesia. Dattatreya Hosabale sahsarkaryavaha RSS would visit UK and Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. Dr Manmohan Vaidya Akhil Bharatiya Prachar pramukh will return from tour to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Shri Saumitra Gokhale, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will be in New Zealand and Australia.  Visitors: Lakshman Godhwani – Spain, Suryadeo Bahadur - Mauritius

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: It is impossible for me to reconcile with the idea of conversion as it happens today. It is an error and perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man? -- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). -GoTop





Banuchandar Nagarajan

It seems as though, the number of articles written on Hindutva have nosedived post 2014. A cursory search on Google News would direct you to a few ramblings in the The Wire (recently by Nayantara Seghal) or, or in the Communist Party in Kerala, who are bereft of any new ideas. The pro-Hindutva folks have simply not bothered to rebut perhaps due to the current political irrelevance of the opponents or just sheer lack of energy. But one place where the anti-Hindutva propaganda is winning hands down is in Tamil Nadu. The meme makers through clever and innovative ways, piggybacking on Kollywood comedies, are dishing them out through Facebook and WhatsApp to devastating effect. The Right Wing satirists might have at last met their match; but alas the language barrier rules out a meme war.

It is as though political victories in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and the subsequent string of victories in the states defying the Left-liberal media has lulled the "party intellectuals" into believing that "cultural hegemony" of the Left is broken (borrowing  Marxist intellectual Antonio Gramsci's phrases). But it has been proved false by the unceasing onslaught of the entrenched Left wing in the academia, intelligentsia, media and more importantly in the bureaucracy.

Defence of Hindutva

It is essential that the defence of Hindutva should be kept alive in every sphere and should not be left just to the people in the countryside that kept the flame alive for centuries through dogged practice of simple rituals, only to be provided broad “intellectual” support much later.

While that said about the "present" of the Hindutva debate, "the past" two decades have been one of rediscovery and revival. Articles galore in niche publications, blogs, social media posts and contributions of right leaning authors in mainstream media, reinterpreted and clarified many misconceptions. In an interesting article in the Organiser titled 'Guruji : A drishta-XVI' dated Sep 3 2012, S Gurumurthy has likened "Hindutva" to "American Creed". He goes on to equate the ideas of "core culture" of Guru Golwalkar and "composite culture" as postulated by Samuel Huntington in his book Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity. It was in some ways an attempt to create an analogy with the dominant phenomenon on the time in American exceptionalism. The article explains that American creed was based on "the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; rule of law; responsibility of rulers; individual rights; Protestant values of individualism, work ethic, and the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to try to create a heaven of earth." In the last couple of years it seems as if the American creed has been reduced to more of a swan song that an affirmation of values. With the first anniversary of the Trump victory approaching, US seems to be irretrievably divided. All the good things that Huntington said perhaps are unable to bring the community together anymore. Religion per se has taken a beating and the waves of immigration have perhaps completely changed the cultural, linguistic and value expectations that citizens ask of each other and the government. American society is hanging on to "rule of law", "individual rights" and its powerful position that it has derived from the past. It leads one to wonder if these are enough to hold a country together. Is there a higher value based union required for sustainability? The "past" and "present" of the Hindutva debate can provide a platform for some analysis going forward into the future.

Hindus are Awakening

While the USA is in self-introspection mode, India is seeing a renaissance in cultural consciousness buoyed political and economic successes. The Hindu is not uncool anymore in India. It is showing that a country can survive centuries of deprivation and slavery by holding on to a core value system. The society of myriad languages, customs and culture stands united (barring the partition of 1947) by a distributed and customised set of values that are not just parochial but resonates completely with the universal human values. This value system, not just the practices of the religion, packaged as Hindutva has to be exported as means to actualise Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

The question of "why" Hindutva (term coined in 1923) can be gleaned from Sri Aurobindo from more than a century ago. In his Uttarapara speech he says, "We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the Dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great."

Hence, it becomes the bounden duty of our generation of Indians to play our bit in strengthening Hindutva at home and spreading it abroad. Hindutva provides a platform to handle diversity of beliefs; it is not technophobic; it plays well with "compassionate capitalism"; it has answers for climate change and terrorism. Contrast that with the  Vatican’s recent pronouncements on technology, transgenders, its pyramidal organisational structure etc. They are narrow and not modern enough and does not seem to keep in pace with human progress and aspirations. Not much needed to be said about the state of Islam in which practitioners seem stuck with the rules written for 7th century Arabia. The success of New Age Hindu gurus abroad and popularity of yoga etc. should be just construed as beginning and indicative of a populace yearning for something deeper. There is a demand for stitching a community through a set of values that are spiritual, practical and can be personalised.

Hindus: Think Globally

Hindu organisations, not just theological groups, should jump into the fray for the success of the mission. They should shed their self imposed geographical inhibitions and think global. To look back at  Sri Aurobindo, the mission of globalising Hindutva is not being done for geopolitical expansionism or soft power etc., but as dharma owed to fellow human beings. Flowing from compassion and brotherhood, it differs in spirit from the "White man's burden". The Hindu way is also not to ram down the throats but persuade by offering it as a better alternative to status quo.

Gazing a bit further, the era of robots will be up on us soon and as Ray Kurziwell reminds us, singularity is nearing. Advances in artificial intelligence algorithms, genome editing, bionic implants are rapid. Very notions of "what is being human", "what are relationships", "what is citizenship" etc., will be questioned in more fundamental and in deeper ways. With machines taking over jobs both at factories and households, the nature of work and leisure would be redefined, creating what Yuval Noah Harari calls the "useless class" unfit for economic or military work. The learnings of our rishis that have pondered over timeless ideas of consciousness for centuries have to be bought to the forefront to provide succour to the people in times of great psychological upheaval, lest decay of humanity would begin with just with "bread and circuses". (It is quite interesting to note that the RSS has already thinking about it. A senior leader said there were even discussions on the dystopian TV series "The Black Mirror".)

The rapidly increasing foreign tourist inflows to places like Rishikesh and Banaras are just pointers to the fact that the world is looking to India for leadership.

We can be passive and let things take their shape or play an active role in organising and channelising its growth. (The writer is a Harvard graduate and a Public Policy Advisor), Organiser, November 12, 2017) -GoTop



Chhoti Kumari Singh has won the Women's Creativity in Rural Life Award from the Switzerland-based Women's World Summit Foundation for her efforts in uplifting the Musahar community, considered the most downtrodden in Bihar's caste-ridden social system. At 20, she is the youngest person in Bharat to have received the $1,000 (Rs 65,000) award since it was instituted in 1994 to honour women around the world exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment to the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities.

"I feel honoured that I have received this global recognition for my work to empower one of the most deprived and oppressed communities of Bharat. I am grateful to Amma and the entire Amrita family. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of Amma's ashram and the Amrita SeRVe programme run by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math," Singh says.

It all began back in 2013 when a few social workers from Amrita SeRVe visited her village Ratnapur and asked the villagers if somebody from their community would be willing to teach. Chhoti, who was studying in senior secondary school back then, agreed.

"When we started the classes there were only three children from the Musahar community. Convincing the parents and the children to attend class even for an hour was tough and challenging. But I knew the problems they faced. The community suffers from poverty, near-total illiteracy and lack of personal hygiene. Child marriages are rampant and school attendance is negligible. The parents work as labourers and earn a couple of hundred rupees which they mostly spend on alcohol," Chhoti tells you.

The children while away their time at a nearby pond, fishing or getting into trouble. But Singh didn't give up even though her family and the society around her was against her working with low caste people, especially her mother.

"My mother was dead against this work. She feared nobody would marry me or associate with the family if I worked with this caste. But I know what poverty can do. My father is a farmer. I couldn't pursue my degree course due to lack of funds. I wanted to give these children a chance in life. I went door to door gathering children and trying to convince the parents to let them study. The children had very bad body odour as personal hygiene was non-existent. We began taking them to the nearby river to bathe them daily. Slowly, they started acquiring new habits," Chhoti recounts.

But all this was not easy. The children were against any kind of hygienic mores and would not even agree to take a bath daily. Some came drunk to class! But with time, attitudes changed. Singh taught them the importance of education and why they must respect elders. Gradually, the children and the parents who used to abuse Chhoti started respecting her.

The number of children in the tuition class stands at 118 today - a significant number in a population of just 1,000. Her mother has come around as well. Now that she has won the award, her parents are proud of her. Her younger brother also teaches at the centre. For her efforts, Singh gets Rs 1,000 a month. But she says it is not the money but the satisfaction of knowing that some of the Musahar community children will end up going to college and uplift their social status.

She wants to pursue her graduation. "If I don't study further how do I convince my students to do the same? I want to do B.Com. with the money that I have earned. I will return and continue to teach the community children. Education is the only means that will help remove discrimination based on caste or religion or any other birth-based criterion. To remove social injustice, the youth must act as agents of change and positively impact not only the community around them but the entire nation," Chhoti says.

Not only does she teach but has also started a Musahar group which she has convinced to save just Rs 20 a month and deposit in a common bank account for starting home-based activities. All pregnant women are now taken to the Primary Healthcare Centre where would be mothers are educated about their child's vaccination schedules.

"This is a big step for the community which did not know anything about saving a single paisa. Money in the bank gives them a sense of security and empowerment," says the little wonder. (Daily Pioneer, 5th November 2017)  -GoTop



Kartik Shukla 12, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: 1 November 2017

1. FESTIVALS: Pradhan Mantri celebrates Diwali with troops 2. RAM RAJYA FROM AYODHYA, YOGI ENVISIONS HIS GOALS
5. rashtrapati Kovind expressed confidence of new opportunities for young minds 6. BHARAT IS A MESSENGER OF WORLD PEACE
7.  Hindustan is a country of Hindus but doesn't exclude others: Mohan Bhagwat 8. RSS AKHIL BHARATIYA KARYAKARI MANDAL AT BHOPAL
9. Swami Maharaj Inaugurates Traditionally Composed Sanskrit Text in New Jersey 10. Trump Honors Two bharatiya- American Businessmen
11. Cancer Researcher Bhagelu Achyut Among Georgia Trend's 2017 '40 Under 40' List 12. bharatiya-American-led Harvard Student Startup to Streamline Debt-Elimination Process
21. 6th International Conference & Gathering of the Elders 22. BHARATIYAS AGAIN TOP FOREIGN PROPERTY INVESTORS IN DUBAI
23. OBITUARY: Mahavirji, senior RSS Pracharak 24. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN & FOOD FOR THOUGHT



1. FESTIVALS: Pradhan Mantri celebrates Diwali with troops: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on October 20 celebrated Diwali with troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Gurez Sector and lauded the soldiers for their penance and sacrifice saying that he considers them his family. He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is at a shouting distance of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years. 

This is the fourth successive Diwali that the Pradhan Mantri has celebrated with jawans on the border. Chief of the Army Staff Gen B S Rawat and other senior army officers were present on the occasion. Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans. He said that like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family. Therefore, he had come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom he considers to be his "family". -GoTop


2, RAM RAJYA FROM AYODHYA, YOGI ENVISIONS HIS GOALS: With a resolve to restore the pristine glory of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Mukhya Mantri Yogi Adityanath on October 18 said the negative talks about Ayodhya should end and "we should strive to bring 'Ram Rajya' in Uttar Pradesh where everyone will have the basic necessities of life".

Shri Yogi also celebrated Deepotsava at the ghats of the Saryu. He along with local denizens of Ayodhya lighted 1.87 lakh diyas giving a shot at the Guinness World Record. Yogi spoke about Ram Lila being performed by the artists of different countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, saying they treat Lord Ram as their ancestor. He asked why we in Bharat question one if he talks about Lord Ram. “This is a matter of pride for us that Lord Ram belonged to this area and everyone here is linked with Maryada Purshottam. This is our heritage and we should protect it," he said. -GoTop


3. Diwali celebratIONS AROUND THE globE: UK Prime Minister Theresa May sent her best wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali in Britain and around the world. She said, "While Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists will all celebrate in their own way this week, the underlying message of Diwali and its timeless values of duty and service will resonate with people of all faiths and none. As Prime Minister, I want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you - on behalf of the whole country - for the immense contributions you all make to every sphere of life in the United Kingdom……Britain's Indian communities are a shining example of what makes our country great. As successful and integrated communities you maintain your unique traditions while contributing fully to our national life. And you help to show the world that our United Kingdom truly is a place where people from all backgrounds and beliefs can live their lives in freedom and achieve their full potential."

At an event in Central London at Trafalgar Square on October 15, about 150000 people gathered to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. This event has been hosted at Trafalgar Square on 16 occasions. Varsha Mistri from the Metropolitan Police Hindi Association said: "This is the place to be today for Diwali because it's just a huge celebration of London."

US President Donald Trump lit a 'diya' in the Oval Office to celebrate his first Diwali at the White House along with a host of senior Bharatiya-American officials of his administration and some community leaders.

In his remarks on the occasion, Trump lauded the people of Bharat for building the world’s largest democracy. He had a special word of praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he greatly values the "very strong relationship" with him. He also extolled the contributions of Bharatiya-Americans in different walks of life. Hailing the Bharatiya-American community, Trump said, "A time of peace and prosperity for the New Year, it (Diwali) is a tradition that is held dear by more than 1 billion Hindus worldwide and more than 2 million Hindus in the United States. It is also celebrated by millions of Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains in America, India and around the world."

Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter Ivanka, was among those present, along with senior Bharatiya-American members of the administration, including US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley, Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, US Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah.

IN SYDNEY, Australia, in the fourth year in a row the Opera House was lit up in a golden colour to mark the most widely celebrated Hindu festival, Diwali. A community reception was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art to celebrate the occasion. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian formally opened the event and said by lighting the sails of the Sydney Opera House, it brings millions of people in Australia and around the world together.

In South Africa Diwali festival celebration was held in Durban, South Africa on October 14th. The festival attracts over 100,000 visitors who get to participate in the parading of floats and chariots, singing devotional songs, dances, games and more. -GoTop


4. BHARATIYA-AMERICANS CELEBRATE CHHATH POOJA IN US: Hundreds of Bharatiya-Americans from in and around Maryland and Virginia area gathered on the banks of the Potomac river as nearly a dozen fasting women entered the river water on October 26th evening and early morning on October 27th to worship the Sun God.

"From just me and my family members and a few friends, this has now become a big community event," said Anita Singh, who has been organising the event for the past ten years now.

Potomac river attracted people from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Atlanta in addition to the Greater Washington area of Maryland and Virginia.

Over 300 devotees from all around New Jersey and the tri-state area got together at the lakeside of Thompson Park, Monroe Township to offer their prayers to the rising and setting sun. -GoTop


5. rashtrapati Kovind expressed confidence of new opportunities for young minds:  "Historically, Kerala is a land of spiritualism, the emphasis on human development and on health-care and education in Kerala has set an example for the rest of the country," said Rashtrapati Ram Nath Kovind while addressing a civic reception hosted for him at Thiruvananthapuram.

Rashtrapatiji launched the Technocity project and laid the foundation stone of the first government building in Technocity. Speaking on this occasion, he said that Kerala's strengths in basic literacy and skills and the experience of Kerala's people in the services sector and in consumer-driven industries - make this state a natural for an IT ecosystem. -GoTop


6. BHARAT IS A MESSENGER OF WORLD PEACE: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi said on October 29 that Bharat has always vouched for world peace, unity and harmony and its armed forces have contributed in this direction through UN missions across the globe. He said that currently around 7,000 Bharatiya security personnel are deployed on peacekeeping missions, making it the third highest contributor. Besides, Bharatiya forces have provided peacekeeping training to their counterparts from 85 countries and have been providing medical services to people from a number of countries, Modi said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'. He said Bharat has participated in about 50 out of 71 UN peacekeeping operations undertaken so far.

In his radio broadcast, he also talked about Bharat's culture of respecting nature, highlighted the increase in Khadi sales, referred to cleanliness campaign and mentioned the role played by Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in laying the foundation of the country's unity. Modi also expressed concern over the fact that even children are nowadays getting afflicted by diabetes and exhorted the young ones to play more outdoors to evade such ailments. He also referred to the just-concluded FIFA U-17 tournament in Bharat and expressed happiness over the host team's performance, saying it had won hearts, if not medals. -GoTop


7.  Hindustan is a country of Hindus but doesn't exclude others: Mohan Bhagwat: Hindustan is a country of "Hindus", but it does not mean that it does not belong to "others", RSS Sarsanghachalak  Dr Mohan Bhagwat said addressing a gathering of college-going swayamsevaks in Indore on October 27. "Whose country is Germany? It is a country of Germans, Britain is a country of Britishers, America is a country of Americans, and in the same way Hindustan is a country of Hindus. It does not mean that Hindustan is not the country of other people," Bhagwat said."The term 'Hindu' covers all those who are the sons of 'Bharat Mata' (Mother India), descendants of Bharatiya ancestors and who live in accordance with the Bharatiya culture," Sarsanghchalak ji said. No one leader or party can make the country great but it needs a change and we will have to prepare the society for it, he said. -GoTop


8. RSS AKHIL BHARATIYA KARYAKARI MANDAL AT BHOPAL: RSS Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) meeting from October 12 to 14 stressed the need to focus on village development activities through the Shakhas. "There is a big challenge of social harmony in villages. Despite the availability of communication means, there is lack of accurate and useful information there. An effort should be made to bring the right information and the right perspective in every village," said RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, while briefing the media persons on the last day of the meeting. Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Dr Manmohan Vaidya was also present.

The Sarkaryavah informed that ABKM has designed an action plan for Gram Vikas and Kutumba Prabodhan. "For the last few years, the farmers are confronting many questions and the Sangh feels that we should work towards making them self-reliant. Understanding the questions of farmers, the Government should formulate a favourable policy. The ABKM also discussed the issues of agriculture. The Sangh will endeavour that farmers return to organic farming. We have made some plans in this direction," he said stressing that farming should become economically viable.

Shri Joshi also informed that the Sangh has taken up the task of strengthening the family institution through Kutumba Prabodhan activities. Family plays an important role in shaping a person. If the children are imparted with good sanskars and values, their development is fine. The swayamsevaks are working towards creating socially-aware families. About 20 lakh families are connected with the Sangh through different activities.

On the entry of Rohingyas in Bharat, the RSS Sarkaryavah said the behaviour of those who have entered Bharat shows that they have not come here merely to seek shelter. The Government should formulate a policy to grant them shelter, fix the place and duration of their stay and make full proof arrangements for their return. He said the people who are supporting Rohingyas also need to understand their background.

On October 12, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale said there was an increase of about 550 Shakhas compared to the last year. He said at present there are more than 34,000 daily Shakhas and over 15,000 weekly Milans. The Sangh work is going on at 49,493 places through daily Shakhas and weekly Milans. There is considerable participation of youth in the nation building activities. The number of youth joining the RSS has increased by 48 per cent in 2016 and 52 per cent in 2017 compared to that of 2015. He pointed out that with the efforts of swayamsevaks there is significant change in about 450 villages.

About the attacks on Sangh workers he said the number of such brutal attacks in Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab and Karnataka has increased. "The attacks demonstrate the ideological defeat of the attackers," he said. On October 12, an exhibition, Dharohar, focusing on the life philosophy of some great personalities including Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, Sister Nivedita, Guru Gobind Singh, Dr. Hedgewar, etc was inaugurated by Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni.  -GoTop


9. Swami Maharaj Inaugurates Traditionally Composed Sanskrit Text in New Jersey: Amidst a large gathering of devotees, BAPS Mahant Swami Maharaj inaugurated the Svaminarayana-siddhanta-sudha, a traditionally composed Sanskrit text, at the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple on Sept. 17 in New Jersey. The assembly was a celebration of three events: inauguration of the Svaminarayana-siddhanta-sudha; the Sri Kasi Vidvat Parishad recognizing Sri Svaminarayana's Vedanta as the Akshara-Purushottama Darsana as Vedic and distinct from the other Vedanta darSanas; and the official announcement of Svaminarayana’s teachings as the Akshara-Purushottama DarSana.

Authored by Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami, the text is traditionally categorized as a vadagrantha - a formal exposition, justification, and defense of the philosophical and theological positions of a darsana. It is composed on the Akshara-Purushottama Darsana as it was revealed by Parabrahman Purushottama Svaminarayana.

Several dignitaries and renowned academics present at the event expressed their thoughts and praise for the text. Both the text and its author were honored by invited guests, including Prof. George Cardona, Professor Emeritus of linguistics and South Asian studies at the University of Pennsylvania; Prof. Sthaneshwar Timalsina of San Diego State University; Prof. Graham Schweig of Christopher Newport University; Prof. Deven Patel in the South Asian Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania; Prof. Jyotindra Dave, director of BAPS Research Institute at Akshardham; New Delhi; and Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, chief editor at Hinduism Today.

Swami Maharaj had earlier met with former President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., as part of the swami’s efforts in North America to share universal Hindu messages and foster public dialogue on service and the importance of unity in our communities and nation. -GoTop


10. Trump Honors Two bharatiya- American Businessmen: President Donald Trump has honored two Bharatiya- American businessmen in recognition of their contributions to the U.S. economy during Minority Enterprise Development Week.Trump felicitated Sharad Thakkar and Karan Arora along with seven other owners of minority businesses in the Oval Office of the White House on 24th October. Thakkar is the president of Polymer Technologies that works with the plastic industry to transform their throwaway scrap plastic into valuable raw material. Arora is the director of Florida based Natural Vitamin Labs which provides natural health products to industry partners worldwide.  -GoTop


11. Cancer Researcher Bhagelu Achyut Among Georgia Trend's 2017 '40 Under 40' List:  Bharatiya-American Bhagelu Achyut was named among Georgia Trend's '40 Under 40' list honorees.The list, in its 21st year, honored the state’s best and brightest under the age of 40. Achyut, 34, is an assistant professor at Augusta University's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. A native of Bharat, Achyut came to the U.S. in 2009 for post-doctorate work and now conducts cancer research at Augusta University; the publication noted in his bio.He is currently seeking funding for a research lab focused on preclinical modeling of malignant brain and breast cancers.

"One of the main reasons I continue in cancer research is that so far we have not found the best treatment for cancer. But that just makes it more challenging," he said in the report. -GoTop


12. bharatiya-American-led Harvard Student Startup to Streamline Debt-Elimination Process: A Bharatiya American undergraduate student at Harvard University has created a company that promises to help streamline the debt-elimination process. Rohan Pavuluri, a computer science major at the university, created Upsolve, a nonprofit that uses technology to streamline the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing process, according to a university news report.The goal of the company is to empower underserved individuals with this form of financial protection, it said. -GoTop


13. BHARATIYA ECONOMY ON 'VERY SOLID TRACK': IMF CHIEF LAGARDE: Days after the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecast for the current and the next year, IMF chief Christine Lagarde on October 13 said the Bharatiya economy is on a "very solid track" in the mid-term. "We have slightly downgraded Bharat, but believe that the country is for the medium and long-term on a growth track that is much more solid as a result of the structural reforms that have been conducted in the last couple of years," Lagarde said. Describing the two major recent reforms in Bharat - demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) - as monumental efforts, Lagarde said it is hardly surprising that there "is a little bit of a short-term slowdown" as a result of reforms. -GoTop


14.   431 PAKISTANI HINDUS GIVEN LONG-TERM VISAS: As many as 431 Pakistani nationals, mostly Hindus, have been granted long-term visas by the government, thus making them eligible for PAN and Aadhaar cards as well as allowing them to buy property.Under the latest policy of the Centre, those belonging to minority communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, namely - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - staying in Bharat on long-term visas, are allowed to purchase a small dwelling unit sufficient to serve the needs of a family for self-use and suitable accommodation for carrying out self-employment. Such communities are also allowed to obtain PAN cards, Aadhaar numbers and driving licences, take up self-employment or do business, and are allowed free movement within the state of their stay and transfer of long-term visa papers from one state to another.The 431 Pakistani nationals with long-term visas will now also be able to open bank accounts without prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.-GoTop


15. FLOOD-PROOF KEDARNATH BLUEPRINT READY: To prevent a repeat of the large-scale destruction caused by the massive floods in 2013, Kedarpuri, housing the famed Kedarnath Temple, will have a U-shaped three-tier protective walls with boulders all along it.The three-layered protection, comprising the Gabion Wall, Rock Net Wall and the Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) wall, will be strong enough to withstand the fury of any future flash floods. Also, the entire built-up zone will be at a higher elevation away from the Saraswati and the Mandakini rivers. The blueprint for the redevelopment of Kedarpuri has been prepared keeping in mind floods and environment. A two square kilometre area surrounding the Kedarnath Temple will be redeveloped. -GoTop


16. GURU GOBIND SINGH JI IS OUR TORCHBEARER - DR. MOHAN BHAGWAT: Tenth Guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji has been among those who took the country forward. That is why everybody holds him as an ideal and aspires to be like him. It was for this reason that Swami Vivekananda said in order to regain the dignity of the country every citizen would have to follow the ideals of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. And for this one would have to make a beginning from oneself, said RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat Ji at a function organised in Delhi to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The function was organised on 25th October, by the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat. -GoTop


17. THAILAND ENSHRINES ASHES OF KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ: The final stage of the funeral ceremony for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej has taken place in Bangkok. The king's ashes were enshrined in two royal temples and Thailand's Grand Palace, where he had lain in state since he died aged 88 last October.

On 26th October, hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to pay their last respects to King Bhumibol, who reigned for more than 70 years.

A year-long mourning period ended at midnight on 29th October. It means mourners will now be able to replace their black clothes with more subdued colours, such as brown and blue. Black and white decorations on government offices and homes can also be removed.

The elaborate five-day funeral officially started on 25th October with a merit-making ceremony, a Buddhist rite, in the Grand Palace in Bangkok. On 26th, the late king was cremated on a royal pyre lit by his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, after a procession marked by drums, flute music and an artillery salute.

In the final ceremonies, King Vajiralongkorn selected some of his father's ashes to be enshrined in the Grand Palace. -GoTop


18. BHARAT SENDS 1ST WHEAT SHIPMENT TO AFGHANISTAN VIA CHABAHAR PORT: Bharat, on 29th November, flagged off a shipment of wheat for Afghanistan through Iran's Chabahar port-marking the operationalization of the port for the trans-shipment of goods from Bharat to the landlocked country.

The development is seen as a significant one as it torpedoes Pakistan’s veto over trade between Bharat and Afghanistan-a move aimed at circumscribing Bharat's role in Afghanistan. And it comes almost 15 years after Bharat and Iran first agreed to develop the Chabahar port to ease connectivity bottlenecks for New Delhi in reaching out to landlocked Central Asia and Afghanistan. It also follows US president Donald Trump in August calling on Bharat to play a larger role in stabilizing war-torn Afghanistan as he announced a revamped security plan to defeat a resurgent Taliban. -GoTop


19. NEPAL CRIMINALIZES CHRISTIAN CONVERSION AND EVANGELISM: The bill was signed into law recently by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and enshrines additional constitutional protection for Hinduism, which 80 percent of the population follows. The new law restricts religious conversion and bans the "hurting of religious sentiment," and blasphemy. Offenders face a punishment of five years imprisonment and penalty of fifty thousand rupees [approximately US$770]. -GoTop


20. RAMAGOPALANJI COMPLETES 92:  Swarnabhishekam of veteran Hindu Munnani leader Shri Ramagopalan was held recently. In his message for the event, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said Shri Ramagopalanji is a blazing epitome of complete devotion and tireless strife for protection and honour of the Hindu Dharma, culture and society. As a Sangh Pracharak, while contributing in Sangh work and later in so many activities in the service of society, he has always maintained strict discipline, courteous conduct and purity of thought and action. "I offer him my explicit regards and wish him healthy and peaceful life with my humble pranam", he added.  -GoTop


21. 6th International Conference & Gathering of the Elders: 6th International Conference and Gathering of the Elders is being organized by International Center for Cultural Studies – ICCS at Mumbai from 1st – 4th February, 2018. The theme of the conference is is "Exploring divinity through the feminine in Ancient Cultures".

This international gathering is a platform for networking, learning and sharing. The conference gathers Elders and people from all different continents of the world, over 40 different countries and various tribes coming together to cherish life, cultures and traditions. The purpose is to create a safe, stimulating and warm environtment in which all can share ideas and experiences. The diversity of perspectives and world views are valued and appreciated. -GoTop


22. BHARATIYAS AGAIN TOP FOREIGN PROPERTY INVESTORS IN DUBAI: Bharatiyas bought property worth Rs 42,000 crore in Dubai from January 2016 to June 2017, making them yet again the top foreign property investors in the Emirates, according to the Dubai Land Department.

This is an increase of Rs 12,000 crore from 2014, when the department recorded Bharatiya buyers investing Rs 30,000 crore that year. This was more than a quarter of total sales of Rs 1 lakh crore of non-Arab property investments in 2014. -GoTop


23. OBITUARY: Mahavirji, senior RSS Pracharak, left for the heavenly abode on October 24 at PGI, Chandigarh after a cardiac arrest. Thousands of Swayamsevaks thronged at the Chandigarh office of the RSS to pay the last tribute to the revered personality. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni and Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Shri Manmohan Vaidya paid last tribute to the departed soul along with thousands of Swayamsevaks and well-wishers.  

The last rites were performed on October 25 at his paternal place Mansa in Punjab. Shri Mahavirji was born in 1951 in Budhlada of Mansa District of Punjab. After securing MA (Statistics) from Punjab University, he joined RSS as a Vistarak in 1972. After taking several responsibilities like Mandi Zila Pracharak, Shimla Vibhag Pracharak and Sah Pranth Pracharak of Himagiri Prant and Prant Pracharak of Punjab, he became the Akhil Bharatiya Sah Bauddhik Pramukh. He was also Akhila Bharatiya Karyakarini Sadasya. -GoTop


24. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Ma Dattatreya ji Hosabale, sahsarkaryavaha RSS will tour Myanmar. Dr Manmohan Vaidya Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh will tour Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Saumitra Gokhale, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will travel with Dr Vaidya. Shri Shyam Parande, secretary Sewa International returns Bharat from USA. Visitors: Ravi Huda-Canada, Nikunj Raval - Australia

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Meet the transient world with neither grasping nor fear, trust the unfolding of life, and you will attain true serenity. - Shri Krishna in Mahabharata -GoTop




The visit of 24 girl students from Jammu & Kashmir to Nagpur gives us glimpses of the unique initiatives taken by the RSS swayamsevaks to integrate the nation. At the same time it presents a story of vision and hope that is changing the lives of these formative minds

This Vijayadashami, on the occasion of RSS Sarsanghachalak’s address in Nagpur, there were many special guests, but a group of students from Jammu & Kashmir was the unique one.

The journey of 24 students from Janak Madan Drishti Kanya Chhatravas, a girls hostel, which they prefer to call it as their second home, was an interesting story of vision and hope.

In this self-managed hostel run by the Sewa Bharati, you will find students like Tsewang Dolma from Ladakh, Ruchi Sharma from Akhnoor of Jammu region and Shazia from Kupwara of Kashmir region studying together.

The project is fully supported by the society and even the close by school provides them with free education. Most of these students are from the bordering villages or the children of terrorism-affected families. For them Shri Jaidev Ji, inspiration behind this unique project, is 'Dada' and Usha, an M.Sc. student herself associated with the project and virtually the manager, is 'Didi'.

From cleanliness to home work, they follow the self-discipline and help-each other, even the monthly list of requirements areprepared by them and managed by them. Besides studies, sports, learning new activities and nurturing their natural talent is part of the routine.

On November 14, 2016, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat visited this unique project. During this visit, the students presented some patriotic songs. In response, the Sarsanghachalak had given them a task to prepare 10 songs in different Bharatiya languages, but with similar meaning and sentiments.

They happily took the challenge and conveyed him through a letter, which they got a chance to present during his next visit to Jammu. As a reward, they got the invite to attend the Vijayadashami function in Nagpur.

It was certainly a joyous moment for these young minds who were exploring the other parts of Bharat for the first time in life. In fact, for 10 of them it was the first ever experience of train journey.

After reaching Nagpur on September 29, they reached Reshim Bagh, where they got to meet the students from Arunachal Pradesh, who were there as part of 'Mera Ghar Bharat' (My Home India) programme. They not only got the chance to attend the main function, but also experienced the unique celebration of Vijayadashami in Maharashtra. They also visited one of the most revered places of Deeksha Bhoomi, where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar adopted the path of Buddha along with his followers. Another chance was to meet the Sarsanghachalak at RSS headquearters and adjacent Mohite Vada, where the first RSS shakha was started.

It was an unforgettable experience for these young minds. This time they got another challenge of preparing five songs in different Bharatiya languages. The visit to RSS Museum and the birth place of RSS founder Dr Hedgewar gave them the complete picture of evolution of the nationalist movement.

Another important destination they visited was the Devi Ahalya Mandir, the headquarters of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, where they got to interact with Seethakka, Sarkaryavahika of the Samiti and students of another hostel exclusively run for the girls from North-East. While the girls from two corners of Bharat presented the flair of own culture, they realised the inherent unity, while presenting the dance forms and stories of great national figures.

'Desh Hame Deta Hai Sab Kuch' was the song they could sing together, again reflecting the same values nurtured in the two different hostels.

These students not only got the exposure of meeting the people from different regions, they got the confidence of presenting themselves, their activities and the ground situation of Jammu & Kashmir to different audience, including the national level office bearers of Sewa Bharati.

After returning to Jammu on October 6, they narrated their unforgettable experience to the audience gathered at Aryabhatta Hall of Sewa Bharati Karyalaya. This is certainly a reward they will cherish throughout their life. (Organiser, 22-29 Ocotber, 2017) -GoTop