Land of Narasimha

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These are a few excerpts from our book titled “Telugu Talli”.

12Table of Contents from the book.

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Telugu Talli Book Low Res

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Droughts Are Manmade

Nature’s Cycles and Manmade Cycles

Rains have a habit of failing now and then. Monsoons sometimes play truant. But over a couple of years, Mother Nature usually pulls up these truant forces and normalcy descends very soon.
India that is largely dependent on its annual monsoon for its water and food does face difficulties during these trying periods but has never gone into major droughts or famines because of failed monsoons alone.
Hand of man is evident in creating these droughts and famine.
The noted senior journalist of The Hindu, P.Sainath, who was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his journalism, in his book “Everyone Loves a Good Drought”, cites through examples witnessed personally, how most of the relief work, their planning and execution actually are contradictory to the real situation on ground, the real needs and sustainable living.
His book brings out how it is the agencies, Governmental and Non Governmental, which finally end up profiting from relief work. Infact the very existence of these agencies is dependent upon such relief work.
Inadvertently all these ill planned and unsustainable measures taken as part of relief work, instead of dousing the problems, fuel and keep alive the cycle of droughts.
But manmade droughts and resultant famines do not seem to be a phenomenon of Independent India alone.

The Dreaded Famines of India

When India was under the British administration, famines were a repeated and regular occurrence. Famines became endemic in the 1800s under British rule of India. Famines were never widespread before British came to India.
William Digby, an economist and Member of Famine Commission under the British, records in 1901, the number of deaths in India due to famine in the hundred years between 1800 and 1900.

1800 – 1825 10,000
1826 – 1850 5,00,000
1851 – 1875 5,00,000
1876  – 1900 2,60,00,000

How did these famines come to be in the first place?
Mike Davis, the economic historian has recorded the cause of these famines as an outcome of British policy. In his book “Late Victorian Holocaust” he highlights with details how there were 18 famines in the 24 years between 1876 to 1900 and how 29 Million Indians perished in these famines. He calls it a murder by the British state policy.
These years were witness to the great famines of Bihar, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Central India and many other parts of India. The numbers of people who were starved to death by these manmade famines, year after year, region after region, running into lakhs, is just too revolting.
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An illustration in a London Newpaper of the famine conditions in India
Hand of Man in Creating Droughts and Famines
If we pit the Industrial Revolution of Britain and Europe against the colonial plunder of India, we will be able to see the larger picture of the economic evolution of Europe and the degeneration of India to its present state.
In the latter half of 1800s, Britain and Europe were caught in the flurry of the industrial revolution. Apart from the large infusion of money, which they got from plundering their colonies, what they needed was large amounts of food to be imported into England to feed their workforce.
They used the wheat fields of North India as their bread basket and forcibly exported the food grains produced in India, to Europe, to feed the industrialization, thus creating a famine among the very people who grew these abundance of food grains.
In a similar situation now, it is this land and the people of India that are generating the wealth but instead of pumping it back to sustain the irrigation projects which in turn can keep agriculture sustained, scam after scam have been siphoning out large amounts of money from India. No great surprise then is the present looming drought in most parts of the country.
For example in Maharashtra in the last couple of years, Rs.70000 crores have vapourised in the name of expenditure on irrigation projects but the increase in the irrigation capability of Maharashtra rose by just 0.1 % only. This figure shows us the stark reality of the scale of this scam.

As Action, So Reaction

For every action there is a reaction. If action is good so will be the reaction. There was a time when waters were revered as Punya Theertha. With all the callous handling of the various water bodies and indifference to rain water harnessing in the last few decades, the reaction as a drought is following on only too quickly, accelerated by corruption.
Use of excess of chemical fertilizers on the soil too has added to the woes. Chemical fertilizers make the soil thirsty. The soil becomes parched much quicker. On one side we don’t harness waters and on the other side we employ unsustainable techniques which increase the thirst of the soil.   It is a double whammy for the hapless farmer.

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Yet another blow to the hapless farmer is when, for the pecuniary interests of a few, he is induced to cultivate crops that are not naturally suited for the topographical conditions of that land. For example, growing water intensive crops such as sugarcane in rain shadow areas such as the leeward side of the western ghats.  This also puts more strain on the limited water resources available.
If you care to notice, soon after Independence, because of benevolent Government policies and sincere implementation of the same in the early days of Independent India, famines ceased.
Droughts are once again rearing their head, for the policies are not oriented towards sustainable living and moreover there is one scam after another in implementing them. It will be inevitable for famines too, to follow soon.
It is this precise fact that we have brought out in our book “You Turn India”.
The current drought in Maharashtra does not come as a surprise. Neither is this going to be the last one.
Let us look at droughts.

Rains and Droughts

It is well known that despite the 4 months of monsoon in India, it actually rains for only about 100 hours in a year.
 drought2But during these 100 hours, it rains enough to make India rank as the second largest rainfall receiving country in the world in proportion to its area.

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 This abundant rainfall has to be saved to be used for the balance 8660 hours of the year. This is precisely the role of the water harnessing projects of the land.

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 Monsoon rains by nature have a cyclical vagary over a 7 to 10 year period. So by nature, we need to expect floods for a couple of years and deficient rainfall for another couple of years in a decade.
It is these small, local but innumerable water harnessing systems that are the balancing factor to harness the rain when it pours in excess and to be used in the times of deficiency.
Hence these water harnessing systems have to be maintained in good condition at all times to have good times.
But does this maintenance need Rs.70000 crores as was spent by the Maharashtra Government?
Certainly not!

Cost of a Drought Vs Cost of Averting a Drought

India was dotted with traditionally designed water harnessing systems suited to the local topography, climate and population needs.
In the 6 lakh villages of India, close to 9 lakh such traditional, local water harnessing systems were implemented. This means an average of 3 such water bodies for every 2 villages.
These water harnessing works were traditionally carried out by the locals themselves and the cost defrayed by the locals themselves again.
What has not been accomplished by this Rs.70000 crores could have been accomplished with a fraction of this amount if the local water bodies had been continued to be maintained by the locals instead of a centralized body
Just a couple of years ago there were very heavy rains in the same Maharashtra leading to floods both in the Narmada river flowing west and the Godavari river flowing east. What happened to all those waters?
If we had harnessed them then, would it not have come in handy now?
So, a drought really occurs not due to a failed monsoon but due to our failure to harness the rain when it rains, where it rains.
Let us take this Maharashtra drought as a reality check to open our eyes to the reality of droughts, famines, scams and the hand of man in creating all of these. Atleast now, let us initiate steps to adopt the time tested water harnessing principles designed by our forefathers that had kept this land fertile and prosperous during their times and until recent times.
It is for us now to realize and act as each individual as well as in unison, for history to not repeat itself, since droughts and famines are manmade and relief works benefit more the Governmental and Non Governmental agencies.
In the end it is the common man who bears the brunt of ill framed policies and non implementation of wholistic relief measures.
The sufferers are the people to whom this land belongs, to whom these water bodies belong, in whose name the policies are made, for alleviation of whose woes the relief measures are meant and finally for whom these rains actually come.
There is a popular saying in the land that even if there is one good soul in a land, the rains will come for all.
Is there not even one such good soul in this land today?
Even if there is one and it rains for all, what is the use if it is not harnessed?
It is time now to seize this opportunity and volunteer for a better India – “You Turn India”.
 More information on water harnessing and its role in the prosperity of India during the past as well as in future, is available in our book, “You Turn India”, a part of the Bharath Gyan Series.

              drought5                         Uturnindia

You Turn India

 

Ethos Valour of Rana Pratap Reached Far & Wide

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These are a few excerpts from our book titled “Ayodhya War and Peace”.

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Table of Contents from the book.

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To order your copy, 
call India Toll-free: 1800 258 8888 
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May We Celebrate Labour Days

The 1st of May is called May Day world over and is celebrated as Labour Day in many countries.

The genesis of May Day and Labour Day come from the struggle of the labourers in US and other parts of the world in late 1800s for limiting their work day to 8 hours.  It later got associated with the Marxist communist idealogy of the labour class being the toilers.

Today, the May Day, Labour Day celebration is a vestige of Marxist communism. We use the word vestige because the very ideology of Marxism, communism is tottering.

Ideas keep evolving through the ages. Different ideologies come up at frequent intervals. The not so sound ideologies, enforced by force, die down after their brutal, repressive force is spent. They come to an end by the force of nature, the nature of people and the collapsing nature of unsustainable practises that these ideologies espouse.

One such ideology that is now in the brink of extinction is communism.

What happens on May Day?

The Labour Day, May Day thought, where we are made to celebrate labour, is an idea propped up by the communists.  In the mid of last century, when communism was a raging thought in Russia, China, Cuba and such other countries, the might of the people, the military might, was showcased on May Day.

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A Labour Day March

It was a day for showing solidarity and the might of the working class. They went on marches, waved flags and made bombastic speeches. This was their idea of May Day celebrations, which continues even today.

In contrast to this, in India, through the ages, in different parts of the land, the contribution of the people, the labour of the land were valued and celebrated, by venerating their skills and art.

Each variety of trade guild, had their own special labour day. It was a way of venerating their trade and trade equipment and a day for reflecting and paying respects to the great people, who had taught them the skills for the trade.

Let us look at some of these trades and their special days.

Vishwakarma Day

People who practise trades like architecture, sculpting, carpentry, smithy and metal works, jewellery making, painting and such other creative forms of art and architecture, venerate and celebrate their day as Vishwakarma Day.

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Artisans cleansing their tools on Vishawakarma Day

Farmers Day

Farmers celebrate the harvest day as a day of thanks giving to all those who helped in growing the crops and harvesting them and most importantly to mother Nature.

In south India it is celebrated on the day of Sankaranti.

In Tamil Nadu it is called Pongal.

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Pongal

In the east of India, Assam, it is called Bohali Bihu.

Teachers Day

Similarly, teachers are also a class of society, who labour hard to educate the society as a whole. The Teachers Day, Guruvandana, is celebrated on Gurupuja Day.

Thanking the Animals

The veneration is not limited to the trades mentioned here alone.

That even the animals help in the labours of the land is recognised. The bull and the cow are also venerated and there is a day celebrating these animals for their help in aiding productivity. In Tamil Nadu they celebrate a day exclusively for domestic animals, a day after Sankranti or Pongal. This festival is called Mattu Pongal.

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Mattu Pongal

In south Karnataka, it is celebrated as Kambala.

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Kambala celebrations

Equipments Day

Not only are there days celebrating the labours of men and animals, the living beings, but there are are also days to celebrate inanimate objects such as the tools and the equipments that serve the labourers of the land. The tools could be farm implements. The tools could be swords and spears, used for warfare. The tools could also be books of knowledge or in today’s times, the tools could be a modern computer.

All these tools are collectively venerated, thanked and celebrated on the 9th day of the Navaratri festival. This day and festival is called Ayudha Puja. Ayudha means tools, implements and puja is a form of veneration.

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An  Ayudha Puja for the weaponry, in Bengal, during the British days

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Ayudha Puja worship in present times

Celebrating Work , Ownership, Responsibility and Sustainability

We can see from all this, that this land not only acknowledged but also venerated the labourers of different vocations on different occasions. This respect was not only for humans but also for the animals who form a part of the work force and also for the tools and implements.

This overall celebration of work kept the people industrious and helped maintain a spirit of veneration and ownership towards one’s work and activities.

This sense of ownership brought in a sense of belonging, connect with the society and gave rise to the feeling of responsibility.

This feeling of responsibility towards one’s family, society and Nature  resulted in the blossoming of a temperament geared towards sustainability in the society, due to which prosperity prevailed on the land for the last 5000 years and more.

Each individual trade thus had their special day to celebrate their skills.

Given this overall understanding, isn’t it time for us to get back to respecting each vocation and the labours that the people have undergone for their families, the society and the civilisation as a whole?  

In present times, when communism is tottering and the idea of labour and workforce have taken a different shape, the idea of Labour Day is also losing its sheen, as Labour Day is only a one day “tamasha”, gimmick of walks and talks.

While the modern Labour Day of the last one century has been a fight for the rights of the working class, with the civilization having moved on since, the need of the day is to appreciate the skills of each of these individual labours so that they can be further refined in a sustainable manner by the labourers in this new century.

Each skill and labour should be individually recognized and appreciated on their respective days, for their contribution to keep the society functioning together as a whole and in keeping the society moving ahead in a sustainable manner.

May we therefore celebrate many Labour Days all the year long.