International Tiger Day

Tiger day

Dwindling numbers

The number of tigers are dwindling each year. According to the guesstimates of experts, in 1913, the world had 100,000 tigers. Hundred years later, i.e in 2013, the number came down to an alarmingly 3,274.

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Uncertain Future

International Tiger Day

Realizing that tigers were soon becoming extinct, the International Tiger’s Day was instituted in the year 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger summit with the goal of raising awareness on protecting tigers and their habitats.

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Many programs, including seminars are held in this regard, across the world.

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Need to protect Tiger and its habitat

Role of Tigers

The tigers play an important role in the health and diversity of the ecosystem by keeping in the numbers of wild ungulates in check, maintaining the ratio of the herbivorus and the vegetation that they feed on.

The Famous Poem

Tigers have been popular across the world and they have even found place in poetic imaginations. There is a famous poem on tiger by William Blake, ‘The Tyger’.

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Image: Courtesy Wikipedia

India’s National Animal

Tiger is the national animal of India. Tigers have been admired in this land since many centuries for its royal grace and majesty. This royal animal is also worshipped as the vahana of Divinity Durga.

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Goddess Durga on a tiger

Lord Ayyappa is also depicted as riding a tiger.

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Lord Ayyappa riding a tiger

Indian names

In India, tiger is called by many names such as Bagh, Puli, Venghai, Dvipin, Guhasaya, Panchanakha, Hinsaru and Shardula among others.

Names of Tigers and their meaning

Name Meaning
Dvipin Dvip meaning Island, Dvipin-One with spots like island
guhasaya Guha meaning hidden, cave, Guhasaya-One who stays hidden in caves
Panchanakha Pancha meaning five, Nakha, claws, Panchanakha – Five clawed
Hinsaru Hinsa meaning violence, Himsaru-Violent animal
Shardula Shardula meaning swordlike

Tigers in India

India is a home to more than two thirds of world’s tigers with 8 native species.

The royal Bengal tiger is found all over the country. Some of the rare species like white tigers can be found in the Girnar forest, Gujarat. Tigers of Sundarbans are the largest.

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 The Royal Bengal Tigers

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The Sundarbans Tiger

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A rare species of tiger “sumatran tiger” at Nehru Zoological Park, Hydrabad

In Popular stories

Tigers came into popular stories like Jungle Book and Jataka tales.

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Tiger in Jungle book

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A Jataka Tale Story

Tigers being killed

Tiger always symbolized India’s wild life prosperity. Unfortunately tigers were being killed everyday for sport and also for their teeth, fur and body parts for commercial purposes. The habitats of tigers have also being taken over and destroyed in the name of development.

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Poaching still prevalent

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A tiger rescued by forest officials from poachers at Madhya Pradesh Tiger Reserve

 Save Tigers = Save all

The saving of tigers also means saving of deers and other animals that tigers eat.

But in order to save these animals we need to save the trees, the plants and the grass these animals feed on.  In other words, we need to to save the forests.

Thus saving tigers includes saving the entire forest environment, all flora and fauna, as tigers rests right on top of the food chain.

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Tiger Food Web

Urgent need to save tigers

If urgent steps are not taken to save tigers now, then they may well become extinct in the coming years. This will affect the whole food chain, as also humans. Man should desist from interfering with tigers and their habitat as only this will augur well for his own survival in the coming years.

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Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola coronation day

Rajendra Chola 1 is counted among the great emperors of India, belonging to the Tamil Chola Empire. His empire extant was the whole rim of Bay of Bengal, from Maldives to Sri Lanka to Malaysia to Indonesia.

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South East Asia regions conquered by the Chola

Chola conquered 4 directions

India never invaded?

We have often heard that India has not invaded any country in the last 1000 years. This statement is not wholly true because the kings, Rajendra Chola and his father Raja Raja Chola of the Chola Empire, with its capital in Thanjavur in present day Tamil Nadu, who reigned between 950 CE and 1050 CE, had large naval fleets and conquered South East Asia such as Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives Malaysia and Indonesia.

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A painting depicting the Chola Navy of Rajendra Chola-I raid on the Kedah (Today’s part of Malaysia)

Rajendra Chola I took over the reign from his father on July 28th 1014 CE.

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Rajendra Chola and Raja Raja Chola

Chola Conquests

Conquering Sri Lanka

In 1017 CE, the king captured the whole of Sri Lanka, of which his father, Raja Chola was able to conquer only the northern half. He realized his father’s dream of gaining complete control over Sri Lanka.

Victory over Pandyas and Cheras

In 1018 CE, King Rajendra marched to Pandya and Chera regions and fighting a fierce battle, defeated their kings.

Defeating Chaulakyas

In 1021 CE, Rajendra Chola planned to conquer the Chaulakya territory. At that time, Jayasimha was the ruler of the Chaulakya territory and was going strong. However such was the prowess of Rajendra that, he was able to defeat Jayasimha in a battle, now called the battle of Maski.

Gangaikonda Cholan

Rajendra Chola then conquered regions around Ganga, from Palas of Bengal. He brought waters of Ganga in ceremonial procession and for this feat, he renamed his capital as Gangaikonda. He was conferred the title Gangaikonda Cholan, meaning, “one who brought the waters of Ganga”.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram

The city that Rajendra Chola built was named Gangaikonda Cholapuram, meaning “the city of him who conquered the kings in the Ganga region.” This city became the capital of the Chola Empire.

Today this place is listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is famous for a Shiva temple that goes by the same name – Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple.

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Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple

Oveseas Conquests

Rajendra Chola was among the first Indian kings to conquer territories outside India. His conquests included areas of present day Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Andamans, Lakshadweep and Cambodia.

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A Thai painting shows Chola soldiers invading Kedah( Malaysia) and using fire throwers against those Siamese defending themselves inside fort

In all these Conquests, Krishnan Raman served as the Commander in Chief of the Chola forces, under Rajendra Chola.

Feared by Mohammed of Gazni

Mohammed of Gazni while raiding the north west of India, dared not to cross into the Chola kingdom, fearing its might.

Closing years

The closing years of Rajendra’s reign from 1040CE to 1044CE was a golden period for the Cholas. The Chola Kingdom had extended far and wide. The naval provess of the Cholas was at its peak. King Rajendra passed on all the powers to his sons and others in the family who ruled on his behalf.

He soon passed on the mantle to his son Rajendra Chola II.

Temples and Lakes: His legacy

King Rajendra Chola is said to have built a number of temples during his 30 year reign. He built the Dharasuram temple replicating the Tanjavore temple built by his father.

Spreading Culture

The invasion of the overseas islands by Rajendra Chola was in keeping with the civilized norms of those days and did not involve destruction or plunder as is evidenced from the records of those islands. These conquests actually led to opening the doors for the spread of Indian culture, ideas and ethos to the whole of South East Asia.

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National Broadcasting Day

National Broadcasting Day is observed in India on 23rd July. It was on this day in 1927, the Indian Broadcasting Company started its Radio Broadcasting from Bombay. This was the first organized broadcasting in India, inaugurated by Viceroy Lord Irvin in Bombay.

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Akashvani

In the month of September of 1935, broadcasting began in the state of Mysore with the name Akashvani. This broadcasting was carried out by Dr. Gopalaswamy, a Professor of Psychology at Mysore University, with a 30 Watt transmitter from his home.

The Delhi station was inaugurated on 1st January, 1936, from its studios at Alipur Road.

AIR

The name All India Radio (AIR) was adopted by the Indian Broadcasting Company on June 08, 1936, and from then on the name has stuck.

Today, AIR is India’s National Broadcaster, being its premiere National Public Broadcaster. It is among the largest broadcasting companies in the world, with programming in 23 languages and 146 dialects. AIR’s home service comprises of 420 stations, which are spread all across the country, covering nearly 92% of the country’s area and 99.19 % of the total population.

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AIR logo – Akashvani

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AIR Broadcasting House

We all are familiar with AIR caller tune that has been heard by millions from the time it was composed in 1936. It was composed by Walter Kaufmann, a Jew refugee, who found a haven in India, from the Nazis.

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Walter Kaufmann (middle)

So, what exactly is Broadcasting?

Broadcasting, Unicasting and Multicasting

Broadcasting

As per the simple definition, Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video, to audience at varied locations through electronic mass communication. Radio and television are examples of Broadcasting. In short, it is One to All transmission.

Audio, Visual, Audio-Visual

Broadcasting content may be,

  1. Audio
  2. Visual
  3. Audio – Visual
Unicasting

This is in contrast to Unicasting, where the transmission is One to One, as in the case of telephone and telegraph. It is a One to One transmission

Multicasting

In this tech savvy age, Multicasting has become popular with the computers and internet, where by One to Many communication is possible, simultaneously, over a network.  In other words, it consists of One to Many, and Many to Many transmissions.

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Dakshinamurthy and Broadcasting

In the traditional ritual parlance, Shiva is considered a great teacher and this is famously symbolized by the Dakshinamurthy form.

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Dakshinamurthy

Dakshin means the southern direction. Dakshinamurthy is the form of Shiva, as a knowledge giver, one who gives the knowledge of the ultimate Truth, cosmos and Creation, that can help man overcome the cycle of birth and death.

Dakshinamurthy is depicted as a young knowledge giver with 4 Rishi at His feet imbibing this knowledge. While Dakshinamurthy is depicted as a young man, the 4 Rishi, who receive the knowledge from Him are older in age. The 4 Rishi ask their questions in silence and receive their answers in the same mode, i.e. in silence.

This brings forth to us that subtle knowledge cannot be expressed in words, but is imparted to the knowledge seeker in subtler meditative forms.

This legend of Dakshinamurthy highlights this subtle form of Broadcasting, Multicasting, in ancient times.

Similarly, there are many instances of Rishi, Sadhu, communicating their message and noble thought to multiple people, at once through silence.

More on Dakshinamurthy and His form of communication in our book and film, “Understanding Shiva”.

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Suta Romaharshana

Suta Romaharshana spoke 18 Purana from Naimisha Aranya forest, to 88000 Rishi assembled there, by banks of Gomti river.

How was it then possible, without a public address system to broadcast to an assemblage of  88000 Rishi, sitting over a large assemblage, who hearing the Purana, recording it and taking it to their native places, shared this knowledge with the local populace?

This would have been through siddhi and strength of mantrashabdh, for however loud the voice of Suta might have been, to reach out to such large gathering requires a medium beyond the presently known mediums of modern science.

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Suta Romaharshana broadcasting to the Rishi

Next Big Challenge

Unravelling this aspect of subtle broadcasting would be the next big challenge, before science. On this National Broadcasting Day, let us explore this form of passing information, so that our scope of communication is broadened even further.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was an Indian Freedom fighter who played a pivotal role in the freedom struggle.

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Bal Gangadhar Tilak

On this day, two other freedom fighters Chandra Shekhar Azad and Subramaniya Siva, also have their birthdays.

Chandra Shekhar Azad

Chandra Shekhar Azad, born on 23rd July, 1906  was an Indian freedom fighter, who reorganized the Hindustan Republican Association with the name Hindustan Socialist Republican Army.

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Subramaniya Siva
Subramaniya Siva

Subramaniya Siva was a contemporary and co-fighter, with Subramaniya Bharati, the poet cum freedom fighter and V O Chidambaram Pillai who started Swadeshi Shipping Company. He was a writer cum activist.

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Subramaniya Siva

 More on these freedom fighters in our book, Brand Bharat.

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“Lal Pal Bal”

The Trio of “Lal Pal Bal” were forerunners of the freedom struggle much before the times of Mahatma Gandhi. Lal was Lala Lajpat Rai from Punjab, Bal was Bala Gangadhar Tilak from Marartha, and Pal was Bipin Chandra Pal from Bengal. They came from different corners of India and asked for Swaraj in united voice.

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Lal Bal Pal

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Tilak’s Birth and Education

Tilak was born on 23rd July 1856 at Ratnagiri village of Maharashtra. His father was a Samskrt teacher.

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Birth Place of Tilak

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A first cover of Tilak’s Birth Centenary issued in 1956

Tilak was among the first generation of Indians who secured a graduation.

Marriage

In 1871, Tilak married Satyabhamabhai. He began teaching mathematics at a private school.

Selfless Service

According to Tilak, spirituality was not divorced from worldly life. He got his inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita, which he believed taught selfless service to humanity.

He said, “I regard India as my Motherland and my Goddess, the people in India my kith and kin, and loyal and steadfast work for their political and social emancipation my highest religion and duty.”

Later he went on to write a commentary on the work called the Bhagavad Gita Rahasya.

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Deccan Education Society

Making social service the goal of his life, Tilak founded the ‘Deccan Education Society’ along with his college friends in Pune, with the aim of improving the quality of education in India.

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Deccan Education Society, Pune

Joing INC

Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in 1890 and became a part of the Freedom struggle. His main aim was to unite the people against British. He worked with Mohammed Ali Jinnah in the Home Rule Movement.

Lokamanya’

He was soon conferred the title of ‘Lokamanya’, Loka meaning, ‘world’ and Manya, ‘acceptance’, as he was accepted by all sections of the society as their leader.

Father of the Indian unrest movement

He was called the ‘Father of Indian unrest movement’ by the British for his successful attempts in uprising the masses towards freedom.

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‘Bal Pal Lal’

Along with Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, two other freedom fighters, Bal Gangadhar Tilak became a part of the trio who were collectively nicknamed, ‘Bal Pal Lal.’

Celebrating Ganesha Utsav

In 1894, Tilak called for celebrating the domestic Ganesha festival as public event. His intention again was to unite people through the fervour of the festival.

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Tilak started Ganesha Utsav

Swaraj is my birth right’

In 1897, Tilak raised the clarion call,

“Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it.”

This slogan is ingrained in the Indian consciousness even to this day. A stamp has been released by the Government to this effect.

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Swaraj Stamp

Tilak’s call intensified the yearning for Swaraj from the British, in every common man’s mind as well as collectively in the entire population of the land. It became a turning point of our Freedom movement.

 In 1905, following the partition of Bengal, He encouraged the Swadeshi and Boycott movements.

As a journalist

At this moment, he also began his journalistic career by founding the Kesari newspaper. Tilak opposed many policies of British by publishing strong worded articles in his paper. Kesari became the voice of the freedom fighters.

Kesari newspaper

Authoring Books

Tilak was sent to jail for carrying out anti-British activities. Here, he spent his time in writing the commentary on Bhagavad Gita. He also authored a book called “Orion, or the antiquity of the Vedas”, which is a research on the antiquities of the Veda.

In this book, which he wrote in his prison cell, he writes about the knowledge in the Veda about the galaxy, the galactic arm, the position of our sun in the galactic arm, the constellation of Mrigashirsha in this arm. Through these he tries to fix probable dates when this knowledge could have been composed on earth in the form of Veda.

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Gandhi’s Guru

All in all, Tilak paved the way for Mahatma Gandhi, as the momentum of his activities helped Gandhi to start his non-cooperation movement. In this regard, Gandhi considered Tilak his Guru.

Tilak passed away on August 1st, 1920 in Mumbai. A true devotee of Bharath in true sense of the word.

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Last words of Lokmanya Tilak on verdict of Jury in 1908, is on plaque outside Central court of Bombay High Court

Funeral procession of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak