Shravana Shukla 6, Vik.Samvat 2075 Yugabda 5120: 16 August 2018


1. FESTIVALS: Nuakhai or Nuankhai is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha and adjoining areas of Simdega in Jharkhand. Nuakhai is observed on Bhadrapad Shuddha Panchami (14th September this year) to welcome the new rice of the season. Nua means new and Khai means food. This same day is observed as ‘Rishi Panchami’ in Western Bharat in reverence to the Saptarshis – The seven sages.-GoTop
At places, Navgrahas – Nine planets are also worshipped on this day. It has a big significance for farmers and agricultural community.

2. TIME TO WIDEN THE IDEA OF INDEPENDENCE: RASHTRAPATI RAM NATH KOVIND: The country is at the cusp of achieving many long-awaited goals and should not get distracted by “contentious issues and extraneous debates,” said Rashtrapati Ram Nath Kovind in his address to the nation on the eve of Bharat’s 72nd Independence Day.  Kovind said that every citizen will be upholding the principles of the freedom struggle if he or she simply does his or her duty with sincerity and commitment, fulfils personal and professional obligations, keeps promises, does not jump queues and respects the civic space and rights of others ahead in the line. “The power to stay your hand is far greater than the power to strike with your hand and hinsa has no place in the society,” Kovind, 72, said.

In his second Independence Day-eve address to the nation, Kovind stressed the role of women in society saying, “The expansion of freedom in our country in many senses amounts to the expansion of freedom for women in our country….” He also highlighted the role of farmers in providing food security to fellow citizens and the contribution by the countries armed and police forces in battling terrorism and ensuring law and order. -GoTop

3. PM MODI ANNOUNCES HEALTHCARE SCHEME AYUSHMAN BHARAT: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort. In his fifth and final address in the current tenure, Shri Narendra Modi highlighted the achievements of the NDA government in the last four years – Swachch Bharat, PMFBY, Mudra loans, GST etc.
During the address, he also announced his flagship health policy –Aayushman Bharat from the Red Fort. The ambitious Ayushman Bharat or National Health Protection Scheme aims to cover over 10 crore vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) and provide health cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. -GoTop
The scheme will be rolled out on September 25, on the occasion of Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s anniversary. Modi began by congratulating the all-women INS Tarini team for circumnavigating the globe and paying tribute to freedom fighters and the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He said that the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament focused on social justice. He also announced the permanent commission for women in armed forces. So far women were given short service commission in Army, Navy and Air Force.

4. AMERICAN RED CROSS AWARDS $500,000 GRANT TO SEWA INTERNATIONAL: The American Red Cross awarded Sewa International a $500,000 grant to rebuild homes of the economically underprivileged devastated by Hurricane Harvey in Rosharon Village, Brazoria County, TX. This grant in the next 18 months will help Sewa reconstruct 11 completely destroyed homes and 24 partially-damaged homes thus benefitting 154 men and women, including 35 seniors and 47 children. Since day one of Hurricane Harvey’s sweep across Southern Texas damaging property and destroying lives, Sewa International has been at the forefront of rescue operations initially, and then in relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Sewa was the recipient of a $397,000 grant awarded by the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) in December 2017, providing case management help for 600 individuals. Completing the work in record time, Sewa International ended up helping 1,600 individuals from minority and underprivileged communities, earning kudos from GHCF. Thus, this grant from the American Red Cross is an affirmation of the good work done by Sewa as well as acknowledgement of the can-do spirit of this Hindu faith-based charitable organization standing out amongst its mainstream peers. -GoTop

5. BHARATIYA - AUSTRALIAN WINS FIELDS MEDAL, ALSO CALLED ‘NOBEL PRIZE OF MATHEMATICS’: Delhi-born Australian mathematician, Akshay Venkatesh, 36, a child prodigy who finished school at the age of 13 and received a PhD at 20, is one of the four recipients of this year’s Fields Medal, the highest honour for a mathematician that is popularly known as the ‘Mathematician’s Nobel Prize’.
“A lot of the time, when you do math, you’re stuck. But you feel privileged to work with it: you have a feeling of transcendence and feel like you’ve been part of something really meaningful,” Venkatesh told. Venkatesh is recognized for his work in Number Theory — a theoretical branch of mathematics dedicated to studying integers. This has applications in cryptography — writing or solving codes.
The other recipients of the Fields Medal are Italian Alessio Figalli, Iranian Kurdish Caucher Birkar, and German Peter Scholze. -GoTop

6. DISCIPLINE IS THE HALLMARK OF RSS, SAYS JUSTICE KEMAL PASHA: Justice (Retd. Kerala High Court) Kemal Pasha said in Kochi that RSS is a disciplined movement. Its discipline is unique. It is inevitable to maintain secularism, unity and integrity of the country. Every Bharatiya needs discipline. He was addressing the Gurupooja-Gurudakshina programme of RSS in Bhaskareeyam Convention Centre in the RSS Kerala state headquarters complex, Kochi on 11th August.

He added that Hindu culture is Arsha Bharatiya culture. All our countrymen can claim this legacy. There is a belief in Islam that “you may have your own religious, I do have my own religion”. Unfortunately, Muslims have misunderstood its meaning. If they had understood the real meaning of this statement they would have come much closer to the mainstream of national life here. No one is supposed to degrade other religions.
Jce. Pasha was the chief guest in the programme. RSS Sahsarkaryavah V. Bhagayya delivered the key note address. -GoTop

7. LIFE OF NA KRISHNAPPAJI AN INSPIRATION TO NEW GENERATION SWAYAMSEVAKS - MOHAN BHAGWAT: ‘Nirmalya’, a book based on the life of senior Pracharak, Na. Krishnappa was released in Town Hall at Bengaluru on 12th August in presence of RSS Sarsanghachalak, Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, renowned novelist Dr. S.L. Byrappa, RSS Sah Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosbale, author of the book ChandraShekar Bhandari and other dignitaries.
Dattatreya Hosabale who introduced the book to the audience said that a Pracharak’s life is more of contribution to the society without any expectation or glory. Krishnappa was no different from it and the intention of this book is to not glorify the personality but make it an effort to inspire the next generation. Literary giant and Saraswati Samman awardee and novelist Dr S.L. Byrappa shared his association with Krishnappa from college days and credited a lot of his success to writing big novels to Krishnappa where the latter helped him with voluminous books to read.
Dr. Mohan Bhagwat who released the book opined that a pracharak life demanded to yield completely to the service of the society and Krishnappa’s life illustrates the same. The book is important in the context of carrying the baton to the next generation and it forms an inspiration to a lot of new Swayamsevaks. -GoTop

8. NATIONALIST ROAR AT TRAFALGAR SQUARE: The atmosphere in Trafalgar Square was resonated on the afternoon of 12th August, for three hours with slogans such as "Vande Mataram", "Bharat Mata Ki Jay" while placards of "Sikhs for United India", "Wahe Guru Save Us from this 2020 Madness", "Chuck De India", "United, Diverse Incredible India” on Tiranga and Union Jack background were dancing along the National Gallery footpath facing Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square. 

Around 150 staunch Bharatiya origin British nationals of Forum India, including volunteers of Friends of India Society International, OFBJP and other Bharatiya organizations were strongly protesting against Khalistan movement.  They were proclaiming loudly "Sat Shree Akal", "Guru Nanak Dev Ki Jay Ho", "Guru Gobind Singh Ki Jay Ho" to show solidarity with nationalist Sikhs and united Bharat along with Maharashtra Mandal London's "dhol", "tasha" and "zanj" orchestra.  -GoTop

9. SINGAPORE FIRM TO LEAD CONSTRUCTION OF ABU DHABI HINDU TEMPLE: The entity constructing Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple announced that it has selected a Singaporean firm to lead an international team of experts in developing the historic temple complex.
Marking an important milestone on its path to constructing the temple in Abu Dhabi, Mandir Limited, the legal entity registered with the Abu Dhabi Government for the temple project, along with BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a global organisation managing Hindu temples, announced the project’s lead consultant and designer on 11th August.
An agreement regarding the appointment of RSP - Raglan Squire and Partners (RSP), an architectural firm based in Singapore, was signed by Dr B.R. Shetty, Chairman of Mandir Limited and Lai Huen Poh, Global Managing Director of RSP Architects, Planners and Engineers. Navdeep Singh Suri, the Bharatiya Ambassador to the UAE, and Samuel Tan Chi Tse, Ambassador of Singapore to the UAE were the guests of honour at the signing ceremony.
The temple with seven towers representing the seven emirates in the UAE will come up on a 14-acre land at Abu Mureikhah of Al Rahba area on Abu Dhabi-Sweihan-Al Ain road, close to Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s traditional architects (known as sompuras) and engineers will design the stone temple. The exterior of the temple will be made of pink sandstone from Rajasthan and the interior from white marble that will be handcrafted by artisans in Bharat. RSP’s experts from Singapore, Bharat and the UAE will form a team with BAPS’s core team and other respected sub consultants like Ramboll to develop a vibrant cultural and spiritual centre. -GoTop

10. BHARAT-BUILT HOUSES IN SRI LANKA’S ESTATES HANDED OVER: Over 400 families living on the famed tea estates in Sri Lanka took possession of their new houses built with Bharatiya assistance on 12th August.
The construction of the homes is part of Bharat’s commitment to build 4,000 homes in the island’s central highlands that is home to Malayaha Tamils. During his visit to the island last year, Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi announced an additional 10,000 homes in the area.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who handed over the houses, appreciated Bharat’s commitment in partnering Sri Lanka in development projects. Mr. Modi, joining the event through a video conferencing link, said: “Sri Lanka has been and will remain special for India.” -GoTop

11. NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR V S NAIPAUL PASSED AWAY: Nobel prize-winning author V S Naipaul, known for his critical commentary on colonialism, idealism, religion and politics, died at the age of 85 on 11th August, his family said.

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932 in Trinidad into a Bharatiya Hindu family and moved to England at 18 after receiving a scholarship to University College, Oxford. He subsequently settled in England, although he travelled extensively thereafter.
Naipaul wrote more than 30 books of fiction and nonfiction. His first book was 'The Mystic Masseur'. His most celebrated novel, A House for Mr Biswas, was published in 1961. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. -GoTop

12. GOVT LAUNCHES ‘SEVA BHOJ YOJNA’ SCHEME: To lessen the financial burden of Religious/Charitable Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar/Bhandara etc. free of cost to Public/Devotees, Ministry of Culture has launched a new scheme called “Seva Bhoj Yojna”.
The scheme will compensate such institutions of the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) so as to lessen the financial burden on religious and charitable bodies. Religious or charitable institutions such as temples, gurudwaras, mosques, churches, dharmik ashram, dargah, math, monasteries that have been in existence for at least three years before applying for financial assistance under the scheme will be eligible for getting benefits under the scheme, provided they meet other criteria. -GoTop

13. MOST PRODUCTIVE MONSOON SESSION SINCE 2000, LS WORKED 110%: The Monsoon session of Parliament in 2018, was the "most productive" for Lok Sabha since 2000, a think tank has said. According to the data compiled by PRS Legislative Research, 20 bills were introduced during the session and 12 were passed.
The Lok Sabha, it said, worked for 110 per cent of the scheduled hours and the Rajya Sabha for 66 per cent. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha spent 50 per cent and 48 per cent of their time on legislative business respectively, the data said.
This, the PRS Legislative Research data said, is the highest by both Houses in the 16th Lok Sabha and second highest since 2004.
This Monsoon session also had one of the most productive Question Hours of the 16th Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha functioned for 84 per cent and 68 per cent of their scheduled Question Hour time respectively, the data said. -GoTop

14. 9-YEAR-OLD BHARATIYA CHESS PRODIGY WINS VISA BATTLE TO STAY IN UK: A 9-year-old Bharatiya chess genius won his battle to stay in the UK after the expiry of his father’s work visa as the Home Office made an exception in the case due to his “exceptional talent”.
Shreyas Royal has won a series of chess championships and is ranked number four in the world in his age group and has the potential to be a future world chess champion.
But his father Jitendra Singh’s IT-related visa was set to expire next month when the family was expected to return to Bharat. A number of British MPs had intervened in the case to urge UK home secretary Sajid Javid to make an exception in Royal’s case due to his exceptional talent.
Shreyas, who was born in Bharat, moved to the UK aged three with parents Jitendra and Anju Singh from Bangalore six years ago. Shreyas, nicknamed Shrez, learnt to play the game in Britain and has since represented England internationally. He is currently competing in the British Chess Championships, which could be his last UK tournament. -GoTop

15. BHARATIYA TELESCOPE SPOTS DISTANT RADIO GALAXY: Astronomers have used a Bharatiya telescope to discover the most distant radio galaxy ever known, located at a distance of 12 billion light-years.
The galaxy, from a time when the universe was only 7% of its current age was found using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune. GMRT is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45-metre diameter. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics.
The galaxy is perceived as it looked when the universe was only a billion years old, according to the study appearing in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
This also means that the light from this galaxy is almost 12 billion years old. The discovery of such galaxies at extremely large distances is important for our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, researchers said. -GoTop

16. JNU HOLDS CONVOCATION AFTER 46 YEARS: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) held its second convocation on 8th August, 46 years after the first and only ceremony held by the varsity. The university’s first convocation in 1972 saw noted actor and theatre personality Balraj Sahni gracing it as its chief guest.
In the convocation ceremony that was held at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) auditorium near JNU, the chief guest was university chancellor VK Saraswat.
Saraswat, a space scientist and Niti Ayog member, handed out PhD degrees to 400 students from 13 schools and special centers of JNU. Speaking at the event, Saraswat said that these students are the “future of the country”.  JNU vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said that the varsity was committed to encouraging critical thinking and freedom of thought among its students and faculty. -GoTop
17. NASA NAMES SUNITA WILLIAMS, 8 OTHERS, FOR FIRST SPACE FLIGHTS ON COMMERCIAL SPACECRAFT: Bharatiya origin U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams is among the nine astronauts named by NASA who will fly the first missions into space on commercially provided rockets and capsules, starting next year. After years of vehicle development and building anticipation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has now put the crew in commercial crew spacecraft.
The space agency announced on 3rd August that the nine astronauts will launch on the first crewed test flights and missions of new commercial spacecraft built and operated by The Boeing Company and SpaceX. The missions will mark the first crewed launches from U.S. soil since the end of the space shuttle programme in 2011. -GoTop

18. GOVT ACHIEVES TARGET OF 5 CRORE FREE LPG CONNECTIONS 8 MONTHS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: The government gave out the 5-crore free LPG connection, achieving the target almost eight months ahead of schedule.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan handed over papers for an LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana — which was launched on May 1, 2016 with a target to give 5 crore connections by March 2019 — to a Muslim lady Takrdiran at Delhi on 3rd August.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahajan said the scheme has not just saved eyes and money of the poor women but also now not required to venture into forests to collect firewood. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the target has been achieved in 27 months instead of 35 months.
19. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Visitors: Sanjay Srivastav - Nigeria
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Established in Self-Realization, one is not moved even by the greatest calamity. – Srimad Bhagwad Geeta -GoTop

Atul Jog
European countries physically eliminated and destroyed the identities of indigenous peoples; the world has much to learn from India and its Constitution
Christopher Columbus embarked on an expedition in search of India in 1492 and reached the Western Islands. The Spanish travellers mistakenly thought, in their search for gold, that they had reached India. So, this new world was given the name of India and its residents came to be known as Indians.But when the team led by Vasco-de-Gama that had set sail to search for India landed on the east side on the Calicut port of India, this time the real deal, in 1498, the local inhabitants were naturally called Indians.
People in the area that had been searched for by Columbus had a reddish tinge to their complexion and ended up in popular parlance being called Red Indians; there were at least four major such Spanish expeditions. An Italian, Amerigo Vepucci went on two expeditions and wrote a letter saying. “(Here is) A new world -— more densely peopled and full of animals (much more) than our Europe or Asia or Africa.Based on this letter by Amerigo, German map-makers named the landmass ‘Land of Amerigo’ on their maps, which gradually and over time came to be known as America (in 1507) and is today known as the United States of America.
Columbus, at the head of seven ships, started from Spain with 90 fellow Spaniards and landed on the sea coast of present-day Salvador on 12 October, 1492.  The local ‘Araawak’ tribe welcome them with an open heart and honoured them by giving gifts to all the members of the expedition. Columbus wrote to the King of Spain: “How peaceful and supportive these people are. On the basis of this, I say with certainty that there is no other nation superior to them in all the world. They behave politely with their neighbours. Their speech is accompanied by a very sweet and gentle smile. Although they remain naked, their behaviour is very gentle and commendable” Bur even after such praise of the locals, the Spanish unleashed a reign of terror over the next 50-60 years in the region subjugating the native population, their well-documented tyranny marked by oppression, exploitation and genocide. It was the start of the Spanish Empire. In 1493, Columbus came again with 17 big ships. Around 1,500 soldiers were accompanying him this time. He took control over many other islands in the region including Puerto Rico as his men slaughtered the native inhabitants of these territories. A large number of indigenous people of the many native tribes were taken captive.
After the death of Columbus in 1506, the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez arrived in Cuba with 500 soldiers in 1519 and reached Mexico for the first time. While the indigenous ‘Aztec’ tribal people welcomed him and gifted him gold, the Spaniard exploited some local discontent against tribal chiefs and a section of the Aztec people collaborated with Cortez in attacking their own capital or seat of power. Though he was supposed to return with gold, Cortez impounded all Aztec gold and more —he also established the Spanish Empire over the whole of Mexico. In a backlash, Aztecs rebelled and forced the Spanish army along with Cortez to flee. But the Spanish colonists returned in 1520 with enough firepower and heavy arms to create havoc and massacre the indigenous population where they resisted. The Aztec capital was destroyed and a colonial administrative capital called Mexico City was established.
During the expansion of this empire, Spaniards exploited both natural and human resources of the Americas ruthlessly, committing barbaric atrocities including exploitation of women. A large number of massacres were carried out repeatedly over the next 200 years. According to historical documents, in 1517, the Spanish first took five thousand Africans as slaves in several ships and transferred them to the neighbouring countries (the current West Indies) to work as bonded labourers. In the year 1607, the ‘Virginian Company of London’ was formed, and for the first time, one hundred English merchants were sent to that new area. A local tribals welcomed them. Using negotiations and what could be termed colonial diplomacy, the local tribal chief ‘Vahunsonakuk’ was declared the king of that tribe. This newly anointed ‘King’ was then ‘persuaded’ to get his daughter married to a prominent Englishman named John Rolf on 5 April, 1614.
With a matrimonial alliance in place, the British started to cultivate tobacco on the land of the people there on a large scale; the indigenous tribal people fought back. The conflict started in 1622. Although the indigenous peoples fought valiantly and killed hundreds of their British oppressors, they were defeated. The British created the first settlement named Jamestown. In 1675, Nathaniel Bacon attacked the native inhabitants of Virginia’s intermediate areas along with a 1000Englishmen. The tribal population in the area got reduced from 8000 to less than 1000 and the population of White men rose to 40,000. The saga of loot and plunder continued.
Similarly, during the age of empire, many European countries invaded the territories of indigenous peoples in the Americas, Australia and Africa. They destroyed the identities of the indigenous peoples who are till today searching for their pre-imperialist identities, before the ‘civilised’ savaged them. To remember the history of these indigenous peoples, we observe World Native Day on 9 August each year.
It is an acknowledgement of their sufferings and an attempt to strengthen their efforts to protect their culture. Bharat has stood with them in the fight for their rights.Ours is the only country in the world where we recognised rights of tribal/indigenous people in our Constitution, that is 55 years before the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (107th plenary meeting September 13, 2007).
A representative of the Government of India in the United Nations, while signing the declaration in 2007, had said that all the people living in our country are 'native'. No one came here from outside and managed to de-populate local communities wherein the settlers became the ‘natives’ unlike what happened in Australia and the Americas. Therefore, to protect the native inhabitants in the other countries of the world, India’s Constitution must be studied by these countries and they can follow in our footsteps.  (The writer is the All-India Organising Secretary of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and has worked among tribal communities for decades, Daily Pioneer 10th August 2018) -GoTop
Problems notwithstanding, India has undeniably achieved a lot
Amish Tripathi
The wise among India’s ancients held that life must be approached with a sense of perspective. Of balance. For dharma is in balance. This is most required when we are buffeted by calamities which threaten to drown us.
It has been a grim year for me. Many tragedies hit my personal life. One after the other. One may keep one’s chin up, but inside, anger and depression arose. Hatred for an unfair world. Rage against even the Divine. And i was drowning in that most hopeless of thoughts: ‘Why me? Why my family?’
But recently, some wisdom has dawned.
One needn’t deny the pain my family and i have undergone repeatedly over the last year to also realise that, on the whole, life has been good to us. If one’s life has been, broadly, like the eternal Ganga ji, flowing strongly forward, then a period of pain and drought does not seem to justify depression and rage.
Perspective. It’s just a word. But if it can help you see that life has also been kind to you, perhaps you can handle the harsh times better. As with individuals, so with societies. And to gain perspective on society, one must pay attention to facts, not opinions.
I recently read a brilliant book called Factfulness, written by the late Hans Rosling. One of the themes the great statistician outlines in his book is the ‘negativity instinct’: most people believe negative news, even if good news is also presented. The mainstream news and social media, perhaps instinctively, have cottoned on to this. They repeatedly relay negative news, because that’s what gets them viewership/readership, which translates into money for them.
Chad Crowe
But we must remember that, more news of suffering doesn’t mean there’s more suffering.
Some have called the present times the Age of Anger. Media (both mainstream and social) is constantly carping about how terrible these times are. It is as if humanity has never had it worse. Public conversation across the free world is filled with negativity. And all this at a time, when judged by dispassionate facts and numbers, humanity has never had it better.
For the first time in human history, the world has come close to wiping out hunger. The bigger problem now is not hunger, but malnutrition in the poorer parts, and obesity in the more affluent parts of the world. Some relentless Cassandras may see this as a small achievement. It’s not. It’s huge. Many middle-class people across the world today lead lifestyles that would not be accessible even to the royalty a mere 200 years ago.
India, our own lovely motherland, has made enormous strides since 1991, when we began to move away from our suicidal socialist economic policies. We have pulled 270 million people out of extreme poverty in a little over two decades. And present numbers and trends suggest that we will wipe out extreme poverty in another decade. Yes, inequality may have gone up (and hopefully, that will be addressed as we rediscover dharma and charity), but wiping out extreme poverty at this pace after 1991, is a very significant achievement. And frankly, credit should go to all our leaders and our people.
If you want to examine data on India, then we must do it on a per capita basis – divide the total data by our population. This is needed for a fair comparison. For example, India is the sixth largest economy in the world. But that does not mean that we are rich; for on a per capita basis, we are not even in the top 100. But there is good news too, if you are willing to drill down to details. Data on a per capita basis shows India is actually among the least violent countries in the world. On a per capita basis, sexual violence against women is actually relatively low in India, even compared to most countries in the West. On a per capita basis, the growth in incomes in India has been pretty good.
This is not to suggest that perfection has been attained. Having perspective also means that we should not be naive optimists who ignore real problems. For example, data clearly indicates that while sexual violence is relatively low in India, mass murder of the girl child through female foeticide is terribly high. Road deaths in India are almost at genocidal levels. Easily preventable diseases and conditions, like diarrhoea, cause deaths of lakhs of Indian children. Simple things like hygiene can help here.
Perspective. Be aware of the many problems we still need to tackle. Be aware of the long road we still have to traverse. But equally, take some time to celebrate the long road that we have travelled already. Do not ignore the fantastic achievements of our country, and the things that we should rightly celebrate, even as we worry about what still needs to be done.
Perspective. Don’t let suffering weigh you down. Instead, let life’s blessings give you the strength to manage the harsh problems that life inevitably throws at you.
A hard election year is coming up. Things will get ugly and competitive. Everyone will fight. Many will start believing that we are overwhelmed with problems. Do not deny those problems. For life will never be without problems. But do celebrate the good aspects too.
If you have perspective, you will realise that, on balance, it’s logical to be positive. (Times of India Edit 7th August 2018) -GoTop

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