Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31st in 1875 at Nadiad in the present day state of Gujarat.

The House and room where Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born

One who shaped the Indian Union

The modern Indian Union owes its Shape and States to him. He is the founding Father of the Union of India.

Iron Man who united India

Sardar Patel played a major role in India’s Freedom struggle. After Independence, he united more than 500 kingdoms into 1 country – the modern India.

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Pre Partition British India Map

There is a common myth that it was the British who united India.

We have busted this myth in our book, Breaking The Myths.

When they left India, on 14th August 1947, there were 5 presidencies and about 555 kingdoms.

The credit to have made India a single political nation should go to Sardar Vallabhai Patel, for which he has been given the right honorific, “Iron Man of India”

We speak about his role in creating a Political India, in our book, Breaking The Myths – Vol-1 – About Identity.

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Father of Indian Civil Services

Sardar Patel was also instrumental in creating the IAS and IPS and is regarded as the Father of Indian Civil Services.

A Baristar in Law

He was a baristar at law who gave up his practice and joined Gandhi in freedom movement like many others of his times. The title Sardar was given to Vallabhbhai Patel by Mahatma Gandhi.

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Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi

One who stood up to Jinnah

He was the one man who could stand up to Jinnah during those tumultuous pre-partition years. Interestingly both hailed from Gujarat.

Support of 14 Congress Provinces

Post Independence, Sardar Patel had the unanimous support of 14 Congress Provinces to become the first Prime Minister of India.

Great Prime Minister that India never had

It was on the insistence of Mahatma Gandhi that Sardar Patel stepped down and let Jawahar Lal Nehru become the first Prime Minister. This intervention of Mahatma Gandhi made India lose the opportunity of an elder statesman, the Iron Man Patel being the first Prime Minister of India. Today Sardar Patel is considered as the great Prime Minister that India never had.

Accession of Hyderabad

One of his great achievements was the accession of Hyderabad to India through police action.

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Police Action in Hyderabad

Sardar Patel – Geopolitics

Sardar Patel was a man who understood geopolitics of the land beyond his time.  He wrote a letter dated November 7th, 1950 to Nehru on how the aspiration of China on Tibet will change the very geopolitics of Asia. This letter became prophetic.

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Why Kashmir Problem Persists?

One area where Nehru did not allow Sardar to involve himself is Kashmir. Sadly, this is the pestering problem that India has been facing for the last many decades.

If he had been given a free hand as in other princely states, the Kashmir problem would have been solved in 1950 itself.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel passed away on 15th December, 1950.

Roads and Statues in name

Today, every city in India has a Road and statues in his name.

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A Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Kolkata

Stamp

The Government of India has released a stamp in his name.

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Sardar Patel Film

A Film ‘Sardar’ was released in the year 1993 on the Life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

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Rashtriya Ektha Divas

Sardar Patel’s Birth Anniversary is truly the day to remember the unity that is India. In a fitting tribute to this great statesman, the Indian Government has declared his birthday as Rashtriya Ekatha Divas.

 

D K Hari and D K Hema Hari
Bharath Gyan

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World Savings Day

The World Savings Day was instituted by the first International Savings Bank Congress on October 31st, 1924. The day is dedicated to promote Savings among People.

Savings, Etymology

The word ‘Saving’ comes from the Greek word, Salvare, meaning ‘to make safe or secure.’

In Samskrt

In Samskrt, Savings is denoted by the word ‘Mitavyaya’. Mita means ‘little’ and Vyaya means expenditure. In other words, Mitavyaya, Savings means to ‘limit our expenditure’.

Gold, the Barometre

The timeless method of Savings in the Indian, Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Mayan civilizations was in the form of gold. It is the barometer of value from time immemorial, across civilizations

Strength of a civilization comes from its Savings

The strength of an economy not only comes from its production and consumption, but also from Savings. One of the features of a good economy is the Savings Potential of the people.

Savings inherent to India

India as a society knew the value of thrift. The ethos of India has always been towards Savings. Indian economy has been prosperous through the ages since people as a practice, saved water, grains, cattle, gold and knowledge.

In India, this reality of Savings has been lot more with the women folk.

Dutch and Scot

In Europe, among the different nationalities, the Dutch and Scots are looked up to as being thrifty.

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Thrifty Scots

Vasundhara bank

In the days of yore, there were as we know there were no banks. People saved gold, by safeguarding it in some nook or corner in their house and in the earth, in their garden. Since the earth is known as Vasundhara, this secret place of Savings have also been jocularly referred to as Vasundhara Bank.

Swiping Cards

In the current modern era of plastic money and credit cards, people are swiping, spending and are deep in debt and consequently low in Savings.

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People Swipe, Spend and are in Debt

Whereas, in Indian ethos, Savings has helped this civilization rejuvenate itself, wave after wave of plunder. This habit of Savings has been one of the key factors for its rejuvenation after each wave of plunder.

Savings for our Children and Grandchildren

On this Savings Day, let us recognize this and do little Savings for ourselves and for our generations to come. The way our father and forefathers saved not only the monetary items but also natural resources for our benefit, we need to save all this for our dear children and our dearer grandchildren.

Kansa Vadh

Once upon a time, on the banks of the Yamuna, in the ancient city of Mathura, which was ruled by a despotic king called Kamsa, was born a dark and delightful baby boy, called Krishna. Krishna was born in the Vrishni family, in the lineage of Yadu.

Kansa Vadh

Devaki was the sister of the King Kamsa and Mathura was the capital of his kingdom.

Krishna was born to Princess Devaki and her husband, the noble man Vasudeva. Devaki was the sister of the King Kamsa and Mathura was the capital of his kingdom.

It had been prophesized that Kamsa’s doom would be wrought about by his own sister, Devaki’s eight child. Hence, Kamsa had imprisoned her with her husband and killed every one of her children as soon as they were born. Krishna was the eighth born child to Devaki and Vasudeva and He was born in the middle of the night in the prison of Kamsa.

Soon after Krishna’s birth, as though in answer to Devaki and Vasudeva’s earnest prayers to save Krishna from Kamsa, the prison cells opened and Vasudeva escaped from the prison with his just born son Krishna, carrying Him over his head. Vasudeva carried him on his head across the Yamuna River to Vrindavan.

Krishna thus reached the household of Nandagopa in Gokul, on the other side of the Yamuna.

Krishna and Balarama left Vrindavan for Mathura on Kamsa’s invitation when He was twelve. There Balarama and Krishna challenged Kamsa’s wrestlers, Mushtika and his wrestling partner Chanura to a wrestling bout – Mallayuddha. Mushtika and Chanura were killed in this bout. Krishna then took on the vile Kamsa and killed him.

This happened on a Shukla Paksha Dasami, i.e 10th phase of the brightening moon, in the month of Karthik.

It was a day when the prophecy of Kamsa’s death finally came true.

More on this in our book, “Historical Krishna”.

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Infantry Martyrs Day

Infantry

Infantry, also called “Queen of the Battle” is the largest armed division and the crux of the Indian Army. They face the crucial moments in any battle.

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Indian Infantry Force

In honour of our Infantry

Infantry Martyrs Day is observed in honour of those soldiers of the Indian Infantry, who gave up their lives saving our territory in Kashmir, while fighting Pakistani aggression.

Pakistani tribals and Army occupy Kashmir

In the year 1957, around 4000 Pakistani tribals supported by the Pakistan Army invaded Kashmir in an “Operation Gulmarg”, with the aim of seizing the region from India.

Accession of Kashmir to India

At that moment, the then King of Kashmir requested the Government of India to help protect the sovereignty of the land. The Maharaja of Kashmir signed the “Instrument of Accession” with India allowing the state of Jammu and Kashmir to accede to Independent India. This was thus the first aggression that Independent India had to face.

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The then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru gave orders to the Indian Army to protect the sovereignty of the nation.

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Jawahar Lal Nehru with the then army General Kulwant Singh

India’s Victory

The first battalion of Indian soldiers arrived in Srinagar on October 27th the year 1947, to save Kashmir from the invasion of Pakistan troops. The Indian Army launched their retaliation against the Pakistan Army. The entire Battle was centered on the Infantry.

Indian Army in Action during the War

In an encounter that followed, the Pakistan Army were forced to eat a humble pie by the Indian forces and were pushed back into their territory. Kashmir was saved from occupation by the Infantry Martyrs.

The day our Infantry force landed in Kashmir for the battle, i.e, 27th October is observed as Infantry Martyrs Day every year.

Chhath Puja

A Festival to Thank the Sun

Chhath Puja is a popular ‘Sun Worship’ festival in and around Bihar. It is a festival to thank the Sun for the life and warmth it has bestowed on us. The antiquity of the festival can be traced to the Mahabharata period.

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Chhath Puja

Bharat

Bharat is the indigenous name of this country.

Bha which means light or the act of being enlightened. For example, the name Bhaskara denotes the Sun.

Ratha means “one who is a connoisseur”, “one who relishes”.

Bharath thus means “ to relish light”, “to relish enlightenment”and “to relish knowledge”.

Bharat also denoted that land that enjoyed good sunlight (Bha). Even though there are many lands along the equator, India has the advantages.

  • Of being a fairly big mass of land as against many of the islands along the equator
  • of receiving seasonal and copious monsoons, as against brief daily rains like equatorial regions
  • of enjoying right amount of sunshine, Bha, neither too hot for long nor too cold for long and just ideal for most of the year.

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And India had learnt how to relish and harness the energy that the Sun poured upon her.

All of which, made India an agriculturally rich land and therefore a prosperous civilization.

Thus, the name Bharat stood for a land famed for its knowledge (Bha) and rich due to its agriculture enriched by the Sun (Bha).

More on this in our book, Breaking The Myths – Vol-1 – About Identity.

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Sauram – Religion dedicated to the Sun

There were Shad Madhams, 6 religions in India, before Hinduism in its present form took shape. Off these 6 religions, Sauram was dedicated to the Sun.

The 6 religions include,

  • Shaivam (Shiva worship)
  • Shaktam (Worship of Shakti)
  • Vaishnavam (worship of Vishnu)
  • Sauram (Sun worship)
  • Ganapathyam (worship of Ganapathy)
  • Kaumaram (Worship of Kartikeya)

Specials Days and Festivals of Sun

Of the 7 days in a week, Sunday, known as Ravivar is dedicated to the Sun.

Surya Jayanthi is festival that is celebrated every year commemorating the birthday of Sun.

Then there are the monthly Sankranthi days, which are each festivals of Sun, of which Makara Sankranthi stands out.

 Chhath, Etymology

The word “Chhath” comes from the Samskrt word “Shashti”, meaning “six”, for this festival is observed on the 6th day of the ascending phase of the moon, Shukla Paksha of the Karthika month.

Karna observed Chhath Puja

The tragic hero of Mahabharata, Karna who is Surya Putra, worshipped the Divinity Sun on this day. His kingdom in the Mahabharata period is in the region of Bhagalpur, Bihar. The Biharis have a close affinity to this festival.

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Karna

Draupadi observed Chhath Puja

Draupadi, the queen of the Pandavas is also recorded to have observed this Sun worship.

Observed in North India

Since then for over 5100 years, this festival has had resonance in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal and adjoining parts.

In the sequence of the Kaumudi festival of Deepavali period, the Chhath festival has its role of importance as other regional festivals.

Skanda Shasti – Soora Samharam

Soora Samharam is the day when Lord Skanda defeated Taraka Asura. Skanda refers to Lord Skanda. Shasti is the 6th day or tithi of a Paksha, the fourteen day phase of the moon.

The vanquishing of Taraka Asura by Skanda is commemorated on a Shasti day and hence is also called Skanda Shasti. In other words, Skanda Sashti that falls in Karthika Month is specially known as Soora Samharam.

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Lord Skanda Killing Taraka Asura

Skanda, meaning

The word Skanda in Samskrt means ‘Spill Over’. As per the Purana, the spilled over energy of Shiva was taken in possession by the deva and which took the form of Skanda, the vanquisher of Taraka Asura.

The Legend

In our Purana, Taraka Asura had secured a vara, boon from Brahma that he should meet his end only at the hands of a son of Shiva. This was a clever boon in the backdrop as Lord Shiva was an unmarried mendicant then, engrossed in meditation. The Asura soon started wrecking havoc all over the world, causing trouble to all. Lord Shiva is persuaded to wed Parvathi, the daughter of the King Himalaya. Skanda is born. He goes on to vanquish Taraka Asura with His Vel, a spear and relieve the Deva and the whole earth from his burden.

Vel – Removal of ignorance

The implement of Skanda is a spear, also called Vel in Tamil language. This spear is not just a war weapon. This Vel is used to remove the veil of ignorance.

Taraka, Cross Over

The word Taraka means to cross over. By overcoming Taraka, we cross over from ignorance to knowledge. Skanda Shasti is venerated as the day Skanda helped us to crossover from ignorance to Knowledge.

Commander of Deva

In a multifacet personality that He is in the Puranic lore, apart from being a Guru who removes ignorance, Skanda was also the commander-in-chief of the Deva, protecting them always from the Asura.

Skanda Purana

The largest Purana, the Skanda Purna is dedicated to the exploits of Lord Skanda.

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Kaumara Mata

Among the Shadmatas, the 6 religions of India, the Kaumara Mata is dedicated to Lord Skanda.

6 Primary Temples

There are 6 primary temples of Murugan in Tamil Nadu.

  1. Tirupparamkunram
  2. Tiruchendur
  3. Swamimalai
  4. Palani
  5. Thiruthani
  6. Pazhamudircholai

In Other Countries

There are temples of Skanda in other countries as well.

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Murgan Batu Temple, Malaysia

Skanda Shasti

Kataragama temple, Sri Lanka

Events on this day

Every year, people across the world, especially in South India, commemorate the victory of Lord Skanda over Taraka Asura on Skanda Shasti by organizing many events in honour of their Lord. The devotees of Lord Skanda enact many plays on the exploits of their Lord. Various hymns in praise of Lord Skanda are recited and hundreds of people join feasts organized by the temples.

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Crowd at Skanda Shasti celebrations in Tiruchendur Temple, Tamil Nadu

Indo Tibetan Border Police

Indo Tibetan Border Police, ITBP is an armed police force under the Government of India, formed on 24th October, 1962. ITBP is one of the eight Central Armed Police Forces (CRPF).

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The Logo of ITBP

Formed during Chinese Aggression

This body of police force was formed by the Nehru government in the wake of the war declared by China on India on October 20th, 1962, to guard the Indian border along Tibetan Autonomous Region. The Tibetan region was used as a base by the Chinese forces to launch its offensive on India.

Guards 3488 Km of Indo China Border

Today, the CRPF continue to guard the Indian borders from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh, covering 3488 Km of Indo China Border and manning Border Outposts on altitudes ranging from 9000 feet to 18700 feet in the Western, Middle and Eastern Sector of the Indo China Border.

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Indo Tibetan Border Police Force

4 battalions to 45 battalions

Originally started with 4 battalions, ITBP has now expanded to 45 battalions.

Specialized Forces

ITBP are specialized forces for covering mountainous regions. They are professional mountaineers and skiers.

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ITPB Forces in the height of the Himalayas

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An ITBP Patrol in the Himalayas

Disaster Management

In the last few the ITBP has also been playing a new role in disaster management. ITBP was the first to respond to the Himalayan Tsunami that had struck Uttarkhand last year. They carried out many rescue operations and relief works during this natural disaster.

In UN Peace Keeping

Apart from its area of deployment, ITBP has also been playing its role in other countries. ITBP is a part of the UN Peace keeping operation and have been deployed for peace keeping in countries like Bosnia, Namibia, Angola, Cambodia Afghanistan, Sudan and Congo.

Security to Pilgrims

ITBP has also been providing security to the pilgrims of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra from 1981.

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Mount Kailash

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ITBP forces helping Kailash Manasarovar Pilgrims

A stamp

A stamp has been released by the Government of India in commemoration of the contributions of the ITBP forces.

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The Stamp

Salute the ITBP forces

On this ITBP formation day, let us salute the police force which has played a vital role in security, disaster relief and peacekeeping, in the country and the world.