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
The modern Indian Union owes its Shape and States to him. He is the founding Father of the Union of 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.
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.
Sardar Patel was also instrumental in creating the IAS and IPS and is regarded as the Father of Indian Civil Services.
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.
Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi
He was the one man who could stand up to Jinnah during those tumultuous pre-partition years. Interestingly both hailed from Gujarat.
Post Independence, Sardar Patel had the unanimous support of 14 Congress Provinces to become the first Prime Minister of India.
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.
One of his great achievements was the accession of Hyderabad to India through police action.
Police Action in Hyderabad
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.
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.
Today, every city in India has a Road and statues in his name.
A Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Kolkata
The Government of India has released a stamp in his name.
A Film ‘Sardar’ was released in the year 1993 on the Life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
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
An Education system is the knowledge delivery system for a civilization.
Education is a vehicle, a Vahana for Knowledge, Jnana.
An effective education should deliver comprehensive knowledge, comprising of
Unfortunately today, our Education system has been reduced to the level of just earning marks, and so much that this has is slackened the creativity of a student. There are set answers for set questions, which the student has to spill in the answer sheet.
In this light, a letter written by a student Subashree assumes significance, and closely resembles the educational thought of Rabindranath Tagore.
These letters reflect the thoughts running through every student today. It is however to be added that it is not the teachers who are at fault for the present day mess. The education system is what we need to change.
Many years back, the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore had conveyed the same idea.
Santiniketan, a town in the Birbhum district of West Bengal was established by Maharishi Devendranath Tagore, the esteemed father of Rabindranath Tagore. This town was expanded by Rabindranath Tagore, who converted it into a University town of Vishva Bharati University. Reflecting the vision of Tagore, it became the first recognized university of India, deemed as such, by the Central Government in 1951.
Having suffered from bad teaching in his childhood, Tagore’s focus at the Shantiniketan was mostly on Nature based education and open air learning.
In the present day education system, creativity has taken a backseat while students are stressed with information, stuffed into their head from text books.
It kills the questioning mentality of the child at an early age, destroying his unique ability to think and come up with his own answers. Children are made robots.
It is the elementary education institutions in India, where mechanized or programmed learning starts for children based on the mechanized and programmed teaching done there.
People who start lives, educated in such a mechanized environment are bound to get replaced, sooner than later, with robots and Artificial Intelligent system, which have a better work efficiency and are more suitable for volume production in mechanized industries.
The solution will be to create an education system with the following focus so that the future is equipped to ask such questions and find its own answers.
Every child is different and has his own thinking capability and interest. We need to appreciate this diversity and mould the student accordingly. This ability to think is an asset which we should not destroy by giving readymade answers to questions.
From questioning, comes thinking, seeking and discerning.
The method of education should shift its focus
This will help bring out the potential of every student.
In ancient India, Questioning was given much importance. The Upanishads, the texts that accompany the Veda, came out of questions. They were the “Question and Answer” sessions between a student and the teacher or between two rishi, seers, recorded for posterity. But the questioning happened with an inquisitiveness to learn, to know, to discover the truth, than out of arrogance or desire to deride the teacher or the knowledge.
The present day Indian Education system is still stuck at Education 1.0, while the world has started exploring Education 4.0.
Education 1.0 is classroom based learning where teachers teach and students learn.
Education 2.0 and Education 3.0 are intermediary stages which focus on combining classroom teaching with digital technology.
Education 4.0 will be a move towards a wholly digital education system, as Internet has become a primary tool of information, work and lifestyle in present times.
The way hardware and software should match, the educational system should match the need of the times. We need to be prepared to make this urgent shift, if are to keep pace with the world.
But all these are only about the delivery mechanism, since an Education System is fundamentally only a Delivery Mechanism of Knowledge. It is the Knowledge that eventually matters.
What does one teach using whichever be the delivery mechanism?
Ultimately Human and Environmental values need to be inculcated in our students from a young age by reviving the timeless rhymes, fables, Purana and other moral stories from folk and ancient India that had succeeded in keeping generations of Indians humane and morally responsible.
More on transforming our education system, in our book, “Future From India”.
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.
Indian Infantry Force
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.
In the year 1947, around 4000 Pakistani tribals supported by the Pakistan Army invaded Kashmir in an “Operation Gulmarg”, with the aim of seizing the region from 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.
The then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru gave orders to the Indian Army to protect the sovereignty of the nation.
Jawahar Lal Nehru with the then army General Kulwant Singh
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.
Karva Chauth is the day when married women fast from sunrise to sunset for the protection and longevity of their husbands.
The festival is celebrated on the fourth day after Full Moon of Karthik month.
The festival is observed in the states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Women praying for this husbands
Karva means a pot and Chauth means ‘fourth’ in Samskrt, an obvious reference the ‘fourth day after Full Moon’.
There is also a legend associated with the name Karva Chauth.
A woman called Karva was deeply in love with her husband. One day while bathing in a river, a crocodile caught hold of her husband. She prayed to Yama, the divinity of death, to release her husband from imminent death. Yama respecting her love and steadfastness, her Vrta, bestowed him back to her.
Such stories are replete in every culture, in every land, through the times.
Commemorating these stories, women observe Karva Chauth, with steadfastness Vrta, for the health, Ayush, life of their loved ones, starting from their husband.
A Jawan, soldier and a Kissan, farmer are the backbone of any civilization.
Karva Chauth falls around the period when the wheat is sown. Karva also means pot in some languages. Wheat is stored in pots. Karva Chauth is the day when women pray for a good harvest for their husbands, the Kissans, farmers, so that the Karvas are full.
In ancient days, the period around Karva Chauth was also the time when soldiers ventured out for military campaigns. Women used to conduct prayers on Karva Chauth for the protection of their husbands during a battle.
In ancient times, there was a clear war window. During monsoon it was not possible to go to battle. Soon after the monsoons was the time to go to battle.
The Rama Ravana War was fought after south west monsoon.
The Ramayana battle was fought post south west monsoon
The famous Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra was fought after the monsoons, before winter.
Mahabharata War was fought post monsoons
India’s East Pakistan war of 1971, for liberation of Bangladesh, was also fought after the monsoons.
The Bangladesh Liberation War also took place after the monsoons
Like this through the ages, post monsoon was considered an apt window to go to war.
From those days, to the present days, it is mainly men who went to war and women stayed to look after the families, their farms, their other household activities. So it is natural, that the women prayed for the safe return of men folk, victorious in war. It was given this that Karva Chauth festival was observed by the women in this window.
There is also a legend associated with the name Karva Chauth.
In ancient days, it was not just the soldiers, the kshatriya who went to war, but also those belonging to other classes of the society. For example, the agriculturists and also went to battle to support their warriors.
This day was mainly observed for those husband folks who took part in a battle. It is this day that has permeated down to all classes of society as the Karva Chauth festival today.
Some of the other names, this observance is known by in other parts of the land being,
In Pre-modern India, women observing Karwa Chauth were deified and worshipped. Paintings depict woman on fast as embodiment of Goddess.
Also, in this land, women are known for their valour and bravery. They don’t play with Barbie dolls, but with swords.
Women as embodiment of Goddess
The observances such as Karva Chauth also show the selflessness of women, their caring nature and affection they have for their husbands, their family and society.
Such timeless festivals showcase the steadfastness of women to their family and near and dear. They bring out the noble qualities of women wherever they are, whatever language they may speak, whatever they may eat, whatever they may wear and however they may look!
Accession Day, is the day commemorating the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Dominion of India, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, on 26th October 1947.
Kashmir is one of the festering problems that India has to bear with for centuries to come. A legacy of Jawahar Lal Nehru mishandling the situation.
Kashmir has been described as, one among the 97 Major Blunders of Nehru, which has been published in a book, of the same name.
This is a well known problem. No use crying over spilt milk.
What is the prudent, surgical way forward?
What is the immediate way forward for this generation in Kashmir?
We offer a 4:4 Solution.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir can be divided into 4 portions.
When we are able to lay our rightful claim on the areas of Gilgit, Balistan, POK and Aksai Chin over the next few decades, then they can form other portions of the state.
The state needs to be segregated into these 4 administrative units, having their own Chief Ministers, Governors, and Assemblies.
This way we can surgically isolate the problems that the Sunni Muslims are creating in the Kashmir valley.
We need to handle what needs to be handled in a localized manner.
So that, the other three regions can progress peacefully.
This should be the “4 approach” of India, for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
A similar 4 point approach needs to be followed for Pakistan as well.
The 1970 generation of Indians, of Smt. Indira Gandhi, Field Marshal. General Sam Manekshaw, Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora, and Major General Jacob Farj Rafael who led operation Torrent, and their ilk, split Pakistan into two countries, namely Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Indian army enters East Pakistan
Pakistan Army lays down arms
The generation 2020, should aim at dividing Pakistan, i.e West Pakistan into 4 Countries.
This should be a clear stated policy and aim of India.
This will substantially reduce the pressure tactics that Pakistan administration is today pursuing as a state policy, towards inciting, violence, stone pelting, terrorism and separatism, cross border terror funding in Kashmir.
Can India have such a state policy of dividing Pakistan into 4?
Pakistan has a stated policy of inflicting 1000 cuts on India. Bharat Ko Tukade Tukade Karenga is an oft heard phrase in Pakistan.
When this neighboring country has such a policy, why cannot we adopt this policy of dividing Pakistan into 4, which it anyway was before independence in 1947?
This will not only obliterate the draconian state of Pakistan, with its terror network, but will also help in the better administration and development of newly formed state countries, erstwhile Pakistan.
This way we can ensure that they don’t poke into our affairs, and cause us to bleed.
We mean well for the citizens of Pakistan, who are after all, our separated brethren.
For, after all, all the citizens in both countries, India and Pakistan have been brothers of the Bharat civilization, from time immemorial to as recently as 70 years back.
This 4:4 approach to Kashmir and Pakistan, will bring in peace and development to these regions, for decades and centuries to come.
We wish our brethren in Kashmir and Pakistan, Vikas, progress and development and not terrorism.