Jyestha Shukla 7, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: June 1, 2017


Jyestha Shukla 7, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: June 1, 2017

1. FESTIVALS: Festival Fever in Jail! Women prisoners in Odisha celebrated 'Bata Sabitri' 2. FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW, A WOMAN CLAIMS TOP SPOT IN CIVIL SERVICES EXAM
3. Mother of two from NE on top of world 4. Our young children have the competence to face all odds and challenges - Rashtrapati
15. Bharatiya - American student wins National Geographic Bee contest 16. Swami Narayan Chair: New chair at IGNOU
17.  BHARAT MOVES FROM 'BRAIN DRAIN' TO 'BRAIN GAIN' 18. Nalanda University to introduce VedicStudies
19. Charkha museum unveiled 20. Tamil Nadu: Over 72,000 palm-leaf, paper manuscripts moved to Anna library
21. Boost in e-Tourist Visa: 63.4% growth in foreigners who arrived on e-Visa 22. Tamil Nadu Mukhya Mantri K Palaniswami releases Korean version of "Thirukkural"
23. 'Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to Bharat' exhibition kicks off 24. Mahatma Gandhi, Bharatiya Independence Movement In Oxford Curriculum
25. This desi helps refugees, one masala chai at a time 26. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN & FOOD FOR THOUGHT



1. FESTIVALS: Festival Fever in Jail! Women prisoners in Odisha celebrated 'Bata Sabitri': The women prisoners of Sambalpur NariNiketan celebrated 'Bata Sabitri' Festival on May 25 by wearing new saree for the day. In the evening of the festival day, a proper puja was conducted by calling a pandit which was arranged by the jailers.

After the puja woman prisoners broke their fast by accepting the Prasad. "I have been celebrating this festival since last four years and am happy to be a part of it again. I am glad that such festival is celebrated in jail", said Babita Pradhan one of the woman prisoners. Established in 1994, the Nari Bandi Niketan having only 25 inmates against its capacity of 55 is the only jail for women in the state. Out of the total inmates, thirteen are under trial prisoners (UTPs).-GoTop


2. FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW, A WOMAN CLAIMS TOP SPOT IN CIVIL SERVICES EXAM: A woman IRS officer from Karnataka, Nandini K R, has topped the civil services exam 2016. This is for the third year in a row that a woman has bagged the top rank in the elite exam, with Ira Singhal having topped CSE 2014 and Tina Dabi CSE 2015.Nandini, who bagged the top position in her fourth attempt, belongs to the other backward classes (OBC). Incidentally, last year's topper, Tina Dabi, was from the Scheduled Castes. The second and third rank went to Anmol Sher Singh Bedi from Amritsar in Punjab and Gopalakrishna Ronanki, respectively. "This is a very happy moment. I was hoping to do well this time, but the top position is a pleasant surprise," a gushing Nandini said. -GoTop


3. Mother of two from NE on top of world: AnshuJamsenpa of Bomdilla in Arunachal Pradesh became on May 21 the first woman to claim "dual ascent" of Mount Everest twice within a span of five days. She broke the previous record of Nepal's Chhurim Sherpa, who had climbed Mt Everest twice in a week in 2012.The 37-year-old is also the first Bharatiya woman to climb Mount Everest for the fifth time.

At the Everest base camp, general secretary of Everest Summitteers Association, Lhakpa Rangdu Sherpa, announced that Anshu, a mother of two, reached the top of the world's highest mountain at 7.45am on May 21, setting the record for a double ascent in a single season. Anshu had created her first mountaineering record by climbing Mount Everest on May12 in 2011and again on May 21 the same year, becoming the first mother in the world to summit the world’s highest peak twice within 10 days. -GoTop


4. Our young children have the competence to face all odds and challenges - Rashtrapati: Expressing his concern over the recent trends in education system Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee urged students to focus on quality education with the element of values. Addressing students of Lawrence School in Ootacamund on May 23, Rashtrapatiji articulated that education is nothing but developing and building a person. He further asked students not to become informed robots without any soul. On this occasion Tamil Nadu governor C Vidyasagar Rao was also present. Established in 1858, Lawrence school was set in the memory of Major General Sir Henry Lawrence to impart vocational education to the orphans and children of European soldiers in Bharat. Post-independence the Bharat Sarkar took over the management of the school. -GoTop


5. MANN KI BAAT: MODI WELCOMES 'CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM' OF THREE-YEAR RULE: During his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', the pradhanmantri appreciated the opinion polls and surveys conducted over the last one month. A couple of days after celebrating his third year in power, Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on May 28 welcomed constructive criticism of his government's performance because such an action "strengthens democracy". "I am also influenced by good and bad things like the aamaadmi (common man)," Modi said during his monthly radio show, Mann Ki Baat. "Constructive criticism strengthens democracy. For an aware nation, an awakened nation, this churning is very important." The Pradhan Mantri's remarks come amid rising concern over growing unemployment and alleged intolerance. Employment generation was a key promise of the Modi government. However, economists claim that even if six-to-eight million youths were to get jobs each year, there would still be a backlog of 117 million.

"Audits and assessments of the government's performance in the last three years have been happening on all TV channels, social media platforms and newspapers for 15 days now. Three years ago, you vested me with the responsibility of Pradhan Sewak - chief servant of the people. There have been many surveys and opinion polls in this regard. I see this entire process as a very healthy sign," Modi said.Addressing his first Mann Ki Baat in his fourth year of power, Modi spoke at length on the plurality of Bharat in the backdrop of the holy month of Ramzan. In a bid to reach out to Muslims, he said the country was "very lucky" to have a tradition where people from all communities and faiths co-exist in peace. "This is a country where theists and atheists, idolaters and non-idolaters live in harmony. We have adapted ourselves to myriad kinds of ideologies, various ways of worship, and imbibed the art of co-existential living" Modi added. -GoTop


6. MEANINGFUL LIFE MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Mohan Bhagwat: "The life should be meaningful than successful alone. Only then the knowledge that a human being acquires becomes meaningful. VidyaBharati is doing excellent job in this regard," said Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat while laying the foundation stone for the new building of Samarth ShikshaSamitischool at Bhalaswa on May 23. Samarth ShikshaSamiti is associated with the VidyaBharati.

He said the purpose of education is not only to earn livelihood. Its purpose is to become capable of giving something back to the society in which we live. It is necessary to ignite these feelings to make education meaningful. He said knowledge makes a human educated. It empowers children to maintain self-esteem. Knowledge cannot be attained by just attending schools, it also requires sacrifice and devotion by guardians and the family. "VidyaBharati is successfully trying to accomplish these jobs. In fact, VidyaBharati is a family comprising guardians, teachers and students. Lakhs of VidyaBharati volunteers have dedicated themselves to provide the type of education that is required to be given to students," Shri Bhagwat said. Chairman of National Book Trust Baldevbhai Sharma, general secretary of VidyaBharatiLalit Bihari Goswami and RSS Delhi Prant Sanghachalak Kulbhushan Ahuja were also present. -GoTop


7. PM'S 'MANN KI BAAT' A BIG HIT ABROAD: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi’s monthly address -'Mann Ki Baat' - being aired to about 150 countries - has evoked a "huge response" from people of Bharatiya-origin living abroad, AIR External Services Division Director Amlanjyoti Mazumdar has said. The address, telecast live in Hindi, is also broadcast in a translated version in English. Excerpts of the speech are aired in various other languages, including Russian, French, Urdu and Chinese.

The official said there was a "huge response" to Modi's address every time it was broadcast, and they had received a number of messages, mostly from African countries.Listeners also send in their responses from the Gulf countries, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he said.Mazumdar said people across the globe can also log on to the broadcaster's website to listen to Modi live.-GoTop


8. SIKHS IN THE FOREFRONT TO PROVIDE HELP TO PEOPLE: From taxi driver Mann Singh to Sikh volunteers from Birmingham to local gurdwaras - members of the community were at hand to offer transport, food, water and shelter as people struggled to come to terms with the May 22 terror attack in Manchester. Members of the Sikh community with placards of 'I Love MCR' were among the most conspicuous in May 22 evening's vigil in Manchester, which was attended by thousands of people, mourning the 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena blast.The four gurdwaras that remained open throughout the night of Monday-Tuesday were Sri Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara Educational and Cultural Centre, Gurdwara Sri Guru Harkrisham Sahib, Dasmesh Sikh Temple and Central  ManchesterGurudwara.-GoTop


9. BHARAT IS GURU AND WE ARE FOLLOWERS: DALAI LAMA - The 81-year-old Tibetan spiritual Guru Dalai Lama called Bharat 'A guru and he as a chela of the Guru' and ascribed himself as the messenger of ancient Bharatiya values and knowledge. Addressing a seminar organised by the Social Justice Department of Karnataka to commemorate Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary in Bengaluru on May 23 Tibetan Guru said, "He considers himself as a son of Bharat." Deprivation from social justice in the name of caste was not from religion, but it was from existing societal systems like feudal system, he added.-GoTop


10. GOVT OK'S 10 INDIGENOUS N-PLANTS: The Union Cabinet on May 17 approved a proposal for indigenously building 10 atomic reactors of 700 MW each. The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) will be developed by the Department of Atomic Energy. The 10 reactors would be built at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).

"Bharat currently has  6,780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22 when currently under-construction projects come on stream in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu," said a Government statement.With likely manufacturing orders of close to Rs 70,000 crore to the domestic companies, the project is expected to help transform Bharatiya nuclear industry and generate more than 30,000 jobs in direct and indirect employment. -GoTop


11. SENATE CONFIRMS AMUL THAPAR TO KEY JUDICIAL POST: Amul Thapar, an Bharatiya-American legal luminary and US President Donald Trump's first nominee to a powerful appeals court, has been confirmed by the US Senate to the key judicial position. Thapar, the first Bharatiya-American to be nominated by Trump for the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, was confirmed by the Senate 52-44 in a vote on party lines. With this, 48-year-old Thapar becomes the second South Asian judge to be on the US Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. "Judge Thapar will make an outstanding addition to the US Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on May 25.-GoTop


12. DONATING FOR SOLDIERS:  Bhavnagar in Gujarat is known for social service. The city is known as 'Ganda nun Gaam', the city ofmental persons, because many mental patients travelling by trains are dropped here and many local people and organisations look after them. Shishuvihar and the late Maanbhai Bhatt are also known for such works. But now three persons of the city have come forward for the cause of soldiers. They are Janardanbhai Bhatt, Rakshaben Dave and Nimeshbhai Trivedi. Among them, Janardanbhai Bhatt is the highest donor. He donated whopping Rs 1.02 crore for the welfare of soldiers. And that too when he lives on pension!

Shri Bhatt retired from State Bank of Saurashtra as a clerk. Janardanbhai is an RSS swayamsevak. He used to go to NeelkanthShakha held at RuvapariDarwaja. He says, "My all social work is due to the samskar of the RSS. I learnt honesty, sincerity, integrity, devotion anddedication in the Shakha." He worked with Chandabhai Dave in the union, who is among the pioneer swayamsewaks.

From 1970, Janardanbhai started gifting sweets, fire crackers to orphan children. His union donated Rs 1 lakh forelectrification of a cremation ground. Janardanbhai has been doing this work because he has great support from his better half Padmaben who is SwadhyayPariwar worker. Both got married in 1955 and their marriage life has become inspiration model for many a couple. Janardanbhai donated Rs 6 lakh for dialysis to Bajarangdasbapa Hospital, Bhavnagar. His wife gave Rs 16 lakh to the same hospital next year in memory of her parents.  Janardanbhai could donate such a huge amount because his friend’s father advised him to invest in stock market long ago. This investment is now giving good returns.

After his initiative, significantly two persons came forward for donation. One is Rakshaben Dave. She is also retiredprofessor. She has donated Rs 1 lakh! One Nimeshbhai Trivedi donated Rs 25,000.

Rakshaben says, "When the news of video of soldiers complaining about food served to them broke out, she could not take her meal. I thought what could be done for them? Then I heard news that the soldier was detained." Rakshaben thought to do something for soldiers but didn't know how to do. She has written more than 70 books on Hinduism. So she thought, "When there is will, she will find way also." And then news came from Ashokbhai Pandya, a colleague of Janardanbhai Bhatt about donation. She is now thinking to donate Rs 1 lakh more on RakshaBandhan. Vandan to such souls! -- Jaywant Pandya from Ahmedabad.Full article in the Organiser May 28. -GoTop


13. GST TO BOOST GROWTH, SAYS WORLD BANK: The economy will grow 7.2% in 2017-18 and 7.7% in 2019-2020 and implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) will provide a big boost to overall economic growth and revenues, a World Bank report said onMay 29.According to Junaid Ahmad, World Bank country director in Bharat, the GST would reduce the cost of doing business for firms, reduce logistics costs of moving goods across states, while ensuring no loss in equity. -GoTop


14. BHARATIYA NAVY JOINS FLOOD RELIEF OPS IN SRI LANKA: Bharat rushed three Navy ships with emergency supplies to help Sri Lanka in the rescue and relief operations following a devastating flood situation there. The fist Bharatiya Navy ship - INS Kirch - arrived on May 27 morning at the Port of Colombo with the necessary materials. While expressing condolences at the loss of lives and property, PradhanMantriModi said, "Bharat condoles the loss of lives and property in Sri Lanka due to flooding and landslides. We stand with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters in their hour of need. Our ships are being dispatched with relief material. The first ship will reach Colombo tomorrow morning. The second will reach on 28th May. Further assistance on its way," the PM said. -GoTop


15. Bharatiya-American student wins National Geographic Bee contest: 14-year-old Pranay Varada, an eighth grader from Texas has won the prestigious $50,000 National Geographic Bee competition, maintaining the dominance of the community in the contest.He was declared the winner as he won the first tie breaker question when he correctly identified the Kunlun Mountains as the 1,200 mile range that separates the Taklimakan Desert from the Tibetan Plateau. He gets $50,000 in scholarship and other prizes. Veda Bhattaram another Bharatiya-American from New Jersey finished third at the finals held in Washington on May 17, while Thomas Wright from Wisconsin was declared the runner up. Wright received $25,000 and Bhattaram got $10,000 in scholarships. Bharatiya-Americans have won the National Geographic Bee competition for the last six consecutive years. -GoTop


16. Swami Narayan Chair: New chair at IGNOU: "The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is mulling over establishing a Swami Narayan Chair in its campus and start value education and spiritualism programmes by August 2017," announced Prof. Ravindra Kumar, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, during a meeting with the representatives of the Swami Narayan sansthan recently. "With this collaboration, all the centres of Swami Narayan in Bharat and abroad shall be established as IGNOU study centres and exam centres for the programme," he informed.The course, titled as PracheenBharatiyaSabhyataAivamSanskriti for the syllabus is at the final stages of approval. -GoTop


17.  BHARATMOVES FROM 'BRAIN DRAIN' TO 'BRAIN GAIN': Soon foreign and NRI scientists will work in the country's scientific institutions for a period of one to three months that would help expose doctorate and post-doctorate students to global research culture. Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, DrHarshavardhan said that in Modi era, Bharat has moved from the era of "brain drain" to "brain gain" as over 1,000 Bharatiya scientists have returned from foreign countries to work in the country during the period. "Now our scientists have access to the best facility and the returning scientists have joined almost all research areas," Harshvardhan said. "We have tried to take science out of the four walls of the laboratory and connect it with the people. We have aligned science now to all our national priorities." "In a short span of time, we have become the sixth country in the world with the maximum number of research. In the next two years, we aim to become number 4 or 5. In Nanotech research, Bharat has become third," he added. -GoTop


18. Nalanda University to introduce VedicStudies: "Within the existing schools, we will create new departments," Vice Chancellor SunainaSingh said in a statement. "In the School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions, we plan to introduce Vedic Studies, Bharatiya Spiritual Tradition and Peace Studies," Singhsaid.Located in the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir in Bihar's Nalanda district, the universitybegan its first academic session in September 2014 on a makeshift campus. -GoTop


19. Charkha museum unveiled: The muchawaited heritage charkha museum and steel charkha was unveiled by BJP president Amit Shah on May 21.The charkha museum consists of 14 vintage charkhas in collaboration with Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said that Charkha is a memorial to the unknown rural masses who took to the demonstrated ways of self-reliance and dignity of labour following the call of the father of the nation. "The KVIC, in association with NDMC, has set up this museum, showcasing 50 to 100-year-old charkhas," he said. -GoTop


20. Tamil Nadu: Over 72,000 palm-leaf, paper manuscripts moved to Anna library: One of the largest libraries in South Asia, the Anna Centenary Library (ACL) in Kotturpuram will now house 72,000 palm-leaf and paper manuscripts as the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Centre (GOML) has been moved into the world class facility with all its rare collections. The rare and original palm-leaf and paper manuscripts at the library are 300-500 years old. The palm-leaf manuscripts include those of the Tamil classics Tirukkural, Manimegalai and Tolkappiam. The library also has 25,000 reference books in various subjects. This library was established in 1869 mainly to house Bharat's first Surveyor General Mackenzie's collection. The palm-leaf and paper manuscripts are available in Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Sinhalese.They offer an insight into subjects as varied as literature, Vedas, Agama Shastra, architecture and mathematics, astronomy and Siddha. -GoTop


21. Boost in e-Tourist Visa: 63.4% growth in foreigners who arrived on e-Visa: Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) to Bharat for the month of April this year has seen a growth of 23.5 percent as compared to the same period last year. Also, total of 1.14 lakh tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 0.7 lakh during the month of April 2016 registering a growth of 63.4%. -GoTop


22. Tamil Nadu Mukhya Mantri K Palaniswami releases Korean version of "Thirukkural": Fulfilling the poll promise of late MukhyaMantriJ Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu MukhyaMantri K Palaniswami unveiled the Korean translation of the classic "Thirukkural" on May 23. In 2015, J Jayalalithaa had announced in the State Assembly that "Thirukkural" would be translated into Korean language at a cost of Rs 36 lakh.Palaniswami presented the first copy of Korean translation to  Kim Hyung Tae, Consul General of the Republic of Korea. Expressing his happiness over the historic work Tae said, "I am very honoured to receive the Thirukkural's first print in Korean language, the Korean people would relish the invaluable book of wisdom".

The Thirukkural is a classic Tamil sangam literature consisting of 1330 couplets or kurals, dealing with the everyday virtues of an individual. -GoTop


23. 'Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to Bharat' exhibition kicks off: The scriptures that were stolen from Bharat were returned by the prestigious Australian art exhibition last year; this year's exhibition "Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to India" was inaugurated on May 23 by the Samskritiaur Paryatan Rajya Mantri Dr. Mahesh Sharma in National Museum, New Delhi. The exhibition was organised to mark the safe return of three stone sculptures (Seated Buddha, Worshippers of Buddha, and Goddess Pratyangira) from Australia to Bharat.National Gallery of Australia had bought the rock carving for Rs 5 Cr approximately from aBharatiya art dealer in 2005,while sculpture of Goddess Pratyangira was acquired for Rs 1.6 Cr. The Seated Buddha was bought for Rs 3.85 Cr. "I am happy that the efforts of the Pradhan Mantri bore fruit. The Australian government has been extremely nice to return these artifacts to us without taking even a single rupee from us," said Dr. Mahesh Sharma. -GoTop


24. Mahatma Gandhi, Bharatiya Independence Movement In Oxford Curriculum: The University of Oxford has introduced a compulsory exam paper for history students to include Bharatiya, Asian and Middle Eastern affairs in a bid to make its curriculum more inclusive. Possible topics include the Bharatiya independence movement and the 1960s civil rights movement, highlighting figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

The move comes as universities across the UK face protests as part of a wider "Why is my curriculum white?" campaign and demand that syllabus be "decolonised". At Cambridge University, Professor Sir Richard Evans said that they were changing the way the British Empire was taught. "It is being studied in a more balanced way," he said. -GoTop


25. This desi helps refugees, one masala chai at a time: A TV programme about Iraqis who fled to Europe has inspired a Bharatiya management consultant to start a chai stall business in London that employs refugees from across the world. Pranav Chopra, who was born and raised in Delhi, left his full-time job in London in February to focus full-time on Chaigaram [meaning 'hot tea']. He now has stalls at two London food markets manned by refugees and sells chai to more than 20 independent cafes.So far the business has helped seven refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan and Pakistan. They either work on the chai stalls or pack and blend the Fairtrade Assam tea.Serving a cup of £3 (Rs 250) steaming hot chai at Druid Street Market in South London, Chopra says his aim was to help refugees get a job in the UK. Working for Chaigaram and interacting with locals boosted their confidence, improved their communication skills and gave them critical work experience, he said.He now plans to open a series of tea stalls across London and offer them as franchises to refugees. "The idea is to promote entrepreneurship among them," he said. -GoTop

26. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Dr Ram Vaidya sahsamyojak, vishwavibhag is visiting Canada and USA. Visitors: Dr. Ranganath Mishra, USA.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: No matter how many lectures we give or listen, until we work like what is talked we should not expect our goal to be achieved even by mistake - Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, RSS founder. -GoTop





(Part I)

Bharatiyas will be surprised by the above title, more so those from Maharashtra and surrounding region where Panduranga is the most popular deity. But the province I visited last week was called Pandurang, located not in Maharashtra, not in Bharat, but in central or middle Vietnam till 1975. The province is divided into two now and one part is given a name in Vietnamese language called Phan Rang, that is Pandu Rang. Now, every reader will have to understand that 1975 is a water-shade year in the modern history of Vietnam. The country was liberated from the yokes of superpowers that year, and there being every reason to celebrate that. Secondly, the two parts- North Vietnam and South Vietnam became one country called Vietnam. Those days the JNU commies shouted a slogan "Meranaam, teranaam, Vietnam Vietnam".

However, the people in middle country lost something much more precious - their culture, tradition and heritage. The cultural heritage was Champa. The Champadesh was a prosperous and powerful kingdom. Apart from this loss, thousands of people had lost their lives during the war and also after the war.

Communism has done enormous damage to the culture and language around 1975, and for years after in that land. Cham had a language which has many words from Sanskrit that language is not taught anymore in the schools or University. Language is the force that propels the Cultural heritage and tradition, and what I experienced is that the young generation of Cham Hindus are totally unaware of their culture. The cultural heritage will be preserved in the Museum in Phan Rang and My Son, definitely, but will not be lived or experienced any more, if the tide is not turned. With culture, ethos of the society have already been lost. This was the community that was enterprising and industrious which seems to be less creative any more than harvesting paddy. Being agrarian society, of course is a relief in a sense. But the vices that have crept into the society replacing great noble ideas and valour are enormous.

I visited some villages to watch the rich handicrafts of Chams, nothing wrong if that is called Vietnam handicrafts. The splendour and opulence of the handicrafts, be it handlooms, be it pottery, be it painting, be it leather work, all are losing the sheen by passing time. In pursuance of the modernity and employment, power looms and other machines, like in Bharat, are causing damage to the exquisiteness of the creation through skill. What has been produced by the machine can never match the creation by hand, the creation that communicates and is lively.

Well, I visited a potter family in a village of the potters close to Phan Rang town. Every house in Hamu Craok village does pottery and is famous world over. Tourists from far and near visit the village. What amazed me was something else. The family I visited responded to my query by asking the grandmother to show me how she creates an earthen pot. I was searching for a potter’s wheel and was at loss not to find one in the house. There are these couple of villages that do not have a turntable existing from past till now. However, the grandmother in the family came volunteering, “I will demonstrate that right away,” she said. The lady picked up the loaf of mud that was already mixed and seasoned with water. She created an earthen pot with just bare hands, no winding the wheel, no tapping with the wooden plank, just the hands. Lo, it took hardly 10 minutes to create a pot that can go into the hearth to be burnt or roasted. Amazing, is it not? The visitors can also try their hand to be a potter for a while, assisted by the potters. This pottery connects you to the Cham Hindu culture.

Another ancient artisanship that is unique to Cham culture is the famous brocade making in the village called My Nghiep. The unique feature of this village is that the villagers weave the designs manually, keeping alive the ancient art alive. This unique brocade is imbued with strong Cham cultural links. The Cham artisans generally stylize and innovate designs to improve the product. Chams produced lot of silk which is lost to the time now but are struggling to preserve the patterns and designs. Some clothes resemble the silk but are not genuine. Obviously, the neighbouring China produces all that is deceptive. There is no dearth of such products in Bharat also, that we call fake.  

Visit to the Museum and cultural centre in Phan Rang was another lesson. The script of the Cham language, the Mandirs of the Chams, the clothes that they used to wear, the pottery on display, the silk patterns of the cloth, the musical instruments they played, and the Shiva Lingam at the centre of the Museum, everything in the Museum and Arts Centre connects back to BharatiyaSanskriti. Well, beyond that the bulls and the bullock cart resembling our own bulls and bullock cart, was reminder of close cultural links.

Champa Hindus ruled the Kingdom for almost 18 centuries. It is mentioned in the Museum that the influence was seen as early as 3rd or 4th century to be called a Hindu Kingdom sometime in 6-7th century. So, Hindu traders and priests and Pandits from Bharat might have landed couple of decades, if not centuries earlier. They continued till 1975 though there were periods when Chams were defeated by the Vietnamese from the North or the Chinese invaders. Chams used to take shelter in the hills along the Khmer border whenever they lost and regrouped to be back fighting, winning the wars and regaining the Kingdom. Their Kingdom at times expanded to present day Cambodia also. Fired by the philosophy of Hindu Dharma, they were dreaded warriors in the region, never ever accepting the defeat till 1975. They are losing the hope now!

The Cham Hindus are languishing in poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, rendering them to underprivileged class. It is not surprising that the Vietnamese are quite vigilant of this community even in this situation. The might of Chams might rise, they feel, to divide their country. This should never happen, I feel, yet developing Cham Hindus to contribute to their country in a big way is possible provided the Vietnamese establishment looks at them positively and helps them preserve their culture, tradition and heritage. Cham Hindus will have to stand with the country in return. Every Vietnamese I interacted or informed about my visit to Cham community, received the idea with some hesitation, rather there was silence sometimes which was more expressive. A tough task ahead in that country. -          Shyam Parande   shyamparande@gmail.com -GoTop

SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN vishwav@bol.net.in www.shrivishwaniketan.blogspot.com