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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Indian history unveiled ! ~ ever heard of 'battle of Khanwa' !!

 9 Nov 2019, is a landmark day ~ a Red lettered day ..   Supreme Court of India  quashed the lower court's judgement and ordered the 2.77 acre land to be handed over to a trust to build the Hindu temple.  The much-awaited verdict on the decades-long Ram-Janmabhoomi -Babri Masjid suit stands judicially resolved.  Ram Bakths are happy that a beautiful Mandir will come up exactly in the place of His birth ~ and in our lifetime, we would be able to have darshan of Ram Lalla at His Janmasthan.   

The other litigant too would not be too unhappy – they have been asked to vacate and provided a bigger place of 5 acres.  There have been some who had tried to project it as a great conflict in history – that of Ram vs Babar.  Sad that we read only history of Moghuls hailing Babar – here is something which I never read in school ! ~ but deeply recorded in history ! – sure, you know   Keoladeo National Park [better known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary]  in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, a famous avifauna sanctuary that hosts thousands of birds, especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to be resident. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season.  It is  a man-made and man-managed wetland and one of the national parks of India. The reserve protects Bharatpur from frequent floods, provides grazing grounds for village cattle, and earlier was primarily used as a waterfowl hunting ground.  .. most of us never knew that this was the stage for a famous battle too - The Battle of Khanwa  !!   Bharatpur  was also an independent princely state during British rule  and that they  fought 13 back to back war with British and won all - even Queen Victoria signed a treaty favouring jats and declared Bharatpur a independent state.

In our school books, we read Battle of Panipat, dynasty founded by Babar, followed Humayun, Akbar to Aurangazeb .. .. here is something more of history -

Humayun, son of Babar born out of  Maham Begum, succeeded Babur as the second Mughal Emperor.  His other siblings were – Kamran, Askari, Hindal, Ahmad, Shahrukh, Barbul, Alwar & FaruQ – Mirzas. There were sisters too : Begum - Fakhr-un-Nissa, Aisan, Mehr Jahan, Masuma Sultan, Gulzar, Gulrukh, Gulbadan, Gulchera, Gulrang, .. .. .. all these before Babur died in Agra aged 47.  He was first buried in Agra later removed to Kabul.    Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad,  famously known as Babar was the  first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty.  He was a direct descendant of Emperor Timur (Tamerlane) from what is now Uzbekistan.

Babur was born in Andijan, in the Fergana Valley, in modern Uzbekistan. He was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza, governor of Fergana and great-great grandson of Timur. Babur ascended the throne of Fergana in its capital Akhsikent in 1494 at the age of twelve and faced rebellion. He conquered Samarkand two years later, only to lose Fergana soon after. In his attempt to reconquer Fergana, he lost control of Samarkand. In 1501, his attempt to recapture both the regions went in vain as he was defeated by Muhammad Shaybani Khan. In 1504, he conquered Kabul, which was under the rule of the infant heir of Ulugh Beg II. Babur formed a partnership with Safavid ruler Ismail I and reconquered parts of Turkistan, including Samarkand, only to again lose it and the other newly conquered lands to the Sheybanids.

After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to India. At that time, the Indo-Gangetic Plain of the Indian subcontinent was ruled by Ibrahim Lodi of the Afghan Lodi dynasty, whereas Rajputana was ruled by a Hindu Rajput Confederacy, led by Rana Sanga of Mewar. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and founded the Mughal empire. He faced opposition from Rana Sanga.  Rana prepared an army of Rajputs and Afghans to force Babur out of India, however the Rana was defeated in the Battle of Khanwa after which he was poisoned to death by his own men  !!

Babur is considered a national hero in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Many of his poems have also become popular folk songs. He wrote the Baburnama in Chaghatai Turkic which was translated into Persian during Akbar's reign.  Of his many battles, in our history books we read of that ‘First Battle of Panipat’, on 21 April 1526, fought between the invading forces of Babur and the Lodi Kingdom. It marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire and the end of the Delhi Sultanate. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery in the Indian subcontinent which were introduced by Mughals in this battle.

Intense but lesser known (or lesser read !) war was – the  Battle of Khanwa,  fought near the village of Khanwa, in Bharatpur District of Rajasthan, on March 16, 1527. It was fought between the invading forces of the Babur and the Rajput forces led by Rana Sanga of Mewar.   The victory in the battle consolidated the new Mughal dynasty in India.

Rajput ruler Rana Sanga had sent an ambassador to Babur at Kabul, offering to join in Babur's attack on Sultan Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi. Sanga had offered to attack Agra while Babur would be attacking Delhi.  Babur agreed to Sanga and attacked Lodi. However, while Babur did attack Lodi and took over Delhi and Agra, Sanga made no move, apparently having changed his mind. Babur had resented this backsliding; in his autobiography, Babur accuses Rana Sanga of breach of agreement. Historian Satish Chandra speculates that Sanga may have imagined a long, drawn-struggle taking place between Babur and Lodi, following which he would be able to take control of the regions he coveted. Alternatively, writes Chandra, Sanga may have thought that in the event of a Mughal victory, Babur would withdraw from Delhi and Agra, like Timur, once he had seized the treasures of these cities. Once he realized that Babur intended to stay on in India, Sanga proceeded to build a grand coalition that would either force Babur out of India or confine him to Afghanistan.

On 30 Jan 1528 Rana Sanga died in Chittor, apparently poisoned by his own chiefs, who held his plans of renewing the fight with Babur to be suicidal. It is suggested that Rana was valiant but was defeated with the use of cannons which were much modern than the warfare the artillery of Rana.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Nov. 2019.

Monday, November 11, 2019

exemplary commitment to service means .. .. ... !!

Sunday, 4th of  August, 2019  would ever remain  a gold letter day in the annals of SYMA history.  We have been aspiring, dreaming for this ~ ‘dreaming big or a big dream’.   SYMA has an unsaturated desire for serving the Society. SYMA [Srinivas Youngmen’s Association]  has been in the field of Social service since 1977 starting with street cleaning campaigns and keeping environment, more specifically, the temple tank and its surroundings clean.   We at SYMA, feel strongly the primary responsibility of improving the Society and helping the underprivileged. 

We have been dreaming of expanding ~ and the foremost impediment in realizing our endeavour was perhaps lack of space.  SYMA has been functioning in a 270 SFT approx premises at 29 TP Koil Street,   Opp to Bharathiyar  Illam.   On 4.8.2019  with the munificent support of Vasavi Builders, SYMA moved  to a sprawling premises at 37 Car Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005.  At an auspicious hour, the new building was opened and our services inaugurated by :  His Holiness Sri Sri Vadhikesari Azhagiya Manavala Jeeyar, Thirukachi.  The guests of honour were: Dr K Sridhar, Founder Trustee – SKKSM Trust; Director & Senior Consultant – Plastic Surgery, SIMS Hospital &         Sri M Balasubramanyam, Director, Mangal Tirth Estate Ltd

This is no post on SYMA medical centre or other activities but about a man, of whom the SYMA Office bearers have been talking today with concern – this man has really touched us all with his exemplary commitment – it is unlikely that most of us would have noticed him sitting here in the middle (a photo taken on 4.8.2019 when our new premises was inaugurated)

Whilst our thanks  are due to all our patrons and well-wishers and especially all those who have contributed in money and material for infrastructure creation in the new building, there are some silent workers who have contributed immensely too. 

By shifting to this new premises, we have seen a quantum leap in our varied services as also the no. of beneficiaries.  Primarily, we have our Medical Centre [5 to 7 pm – Rs. 2 hospital]; Medical analysis job; Physiotherapy centre; Dental Clinic; Gynaec advice, Eye care ~ really a mini-hospital.  Our Lab in Oct served 364 patients with 996 tests ( just missing 1000 tests ! perhaps  due to a day holiday), Medical center 851 (including Wednesday special consultation& Gynaec),  thanks to Dr Nagaiah Chetty, Dr.Varalakshmi ( Gyn), Pammal Sankara eye Hospital management, Physiotherapy for 100 patients thanks to Physiotherapist – the volumes have been growing exponentially.    In Sept 2019 – we had - Lab - 318 Persons 920 tests; Physio – 106; Dental – 166; Medical Centre and in Oct 2019 -  Lab - 364 Persons 996 tests; Physio – 100; Dental – 156; MC - 851.      

One would certainly wonder – how SYMA is managing .. .. yes, the expenditure has gone up so high – we are always supported by noble donors but handling such volumes is a gigantic task.  It is where SYMA scores – we have always had enthusiastic volunteers [Mrs Prema mami, Venkatesh  and Mr Rangarajan being outstanding among the many] and committed workers – for eg., Mrs Suguna Ramesh, Mrs Thara, Mrs Mahalakshmi, Ms Gayathri, Mr Rajkumar .. .. .. .. and for Admin, we after moving in here recruited Mr Jayasimhan.
Deepavali sweets to Rangarajan Sir, Jayasimhan, Mahalakshmi and Prema mami

A simple unassuming person, Jayasimhan has endeared himself to be close to every one of us – to the Doctors, patients and everyone visiting Medical Centre.  A seasoned disciplined retired person, he comes early in the day and is always available with a smile – raising the comfort to everyone in SYMA that the medical centre is administered and taken care of so very well.

This morning did not dawn well with the news of hospitalization of Mr Jayasimhan having suffered an heart-attack yesterday night.  He is in ICU and we all pray for his speedy recovery.  Sure, he would recover well and be back with us.

A couple of hours ago, saw this note from him addressed to TJ Ramani – a note from a man admitted for heart ailment and in ICU – ‘what a level of commitment’ – hats off to you Sir, you simple are a towering inspiration for all of us to continue service to the poor and downtrodden.

We pray for your speedy recovery Mr Jayasimhan Sir,  Come back soon – SYMA and the society needs you

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Secretary, SYMA.
11th Nov 2019.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Deepak Chahar's magical feat !

The wicket of Aminul Islam, clean bowled is significant ~ and if you ask what is great about the last batsman wicket – read on !

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah elected to field first after winning the toss against India in the series deciding third T20I in Nagpur. Mahmudullah said that they want to field first as India likes to chase in this format. For the visitors, Mosaddek Hossain has been ruled out due to a groin injury, with Mohammad Mithun replacing him.  India has one change  Manish Pandey in place of allrounder Krunal Pandey.  One thought that Rishab Pant needs to be left out, so also Khaleel Ahmed and perhaps Shikhar Dhawan too .. .. Team management thought otherwise but reading the line up, one felt that India was clearly one bowler short !

Attacking half-centuries from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer helped India reach 174 for five.., Shreyas Iyer and Rahul put on a crucial 59-run stand for the third wicket to give the hosts a challenging total in their 20 overs after India were invited to bat first in the final match of the series tied at 1-1. Shafiul Islam struck with two early blows including skipper Rohit Sharma for two and Shikhar Dhawan for 19 as India slipped to 35 for two.

Rahul then made 52 after raising his fifty in 33 balls as he hit seven fours before falling to paceman Al-Amin Hossain. Iyer made the most of a reprieve on nought when dropped by Aminul Islam off Shafiul to bring up his maiden T20 fifty and went on to score 62 off 33 deliveries. Iyer took the attack to the opposition with a flurry of sixes including three successive hits over the fence off Afif Hossain. He hit four fours and five sixes. Soumya Sarkar struck twice in an over to send back Rishabh Pant, for six, and then got Iyer's prized scalp. Manish Pandey, who replaced Krunal Pandya in the XI, played a useful cameo of 22 off 13 deliveries to stay unbeaten with Shivam Dube and set Bangladesh 175 to win.

The target was quite stiff and Bangladesh never looked winning ~ but what happened is history !!  ~   Litton Das and Soumya Sarkar were out in quick succession but from 12/2 they went to 110 .. .. but flurry of wickets in the end saw them all out for 144. 

Of the 5 bowlers, Khaleel and Washington Sundar went wicketless; Yuz Chahal had one taking him to the fastest Indian to 50 wickets in T20I.. Shivam Dubey was the unlikely hero with 3 wickets (was on a hattrick with 4-0-30-3)

.. .. it was CSK Deepak Chahar who stole the show ! ~ he reportedly was rejected by  Greg Chappell, who was director of the Rajasthan Cricket Association academy in 2008.   Deepak Chahar had remarkable  figures of 8 for 10 on Ranji debut and shot into stardom as Rajasthan skittled Hyderabad for 21, the lowest team total in Indian domestic cricket. He was later selected for CSK and today he had dream figures of 3.2-0-7-6 – including a hat-trick.

He joins the list of Bret Lee, Jacob Oram, tim Southee, Perera, S Malinga, Faheem Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Malinga, Mohd Hasnain, Khawar Ali, N Vanua – those who had taken hat-trick in T20I.

When Aminul Islam was bowled off the 2nd ball of the last over – it was his third consecutive wicket split between 18th and 20th overs.  Only 3 bowlers have taken 6 wickets in T20I – Ajantha Mendis twice and Ys Chahal once – now DL Chahar heads that list with a magical 3.2/0/7/6.

Hats off Chahar

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th Nov. 2019.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Lucknow hosts an One dayer not involving India on most significant day for the Nation

Who would be interested in a Cricket One dayer on most significant day of the Nation ~ the day on which the verdict on Rama Janmabhoomi was delivered !

As some may be following,  after trouncing South Africa, India is playing neighbouring Bangladesh who began the series by beating India in a T20I for the very first time, and they know they have every chance of going one better and winning the series.  The 3rd and deciding match is to be played tomorrow  at Nagpur.  If there's a bit of grip in the surface, they have the spinners to exploit it, as well as a canny exponent of cutters in Mustafizur Rahman. Their batting is suited to a slower surface too, but they'll need to learn a few lessons from Rajkot, where they failed to build on a bright start and ended up - in their captain Mahmudullah's estimation - 25-30 runs short of a challenging total. 

Should India continue to repose faith on Rishab Pant is one Q ~  India have kept faith in Shikhar Dhawan as Rohit Sharma's partner at the top of the order despite KL Rahul making a strong case whenever he has had the chance to open. Dhawan has lately shown a greater willingness to take risks during the powerplay overs, and has tasted some success while doing so, both in the IPL and in recent T20I innings against West Indies and South Africa. Bangladesh, however, have managed to tie him down in this series by denying him width. How will he respond to that tactic in the decider?  Having conceded 81 runs in eight overs across the first two T20Is, Khaleel Ahmed has been the one misfiring component of an India attack that Bangladesh have otherwise found hard to get away for boundaries. The left-arm quick is a talented bowler and gives India a bit of variety, but they may choose to leave him out and play Shardul Thakur instead.   Yuzvendra Chahal needs four wickets to go past R Ashwin and become India's most prolific T20I bowler. Chahal currently has 49 in 33 games at an average of 20.89.

Today the whole Nation was incensed with the verdict.  The news flash that the Supreme Court would deliver on Saturday made everyone waiting to hear.     Reading the "unanimous" judgment on the Ayodhya title suit in a packed courtroom today, CJI Ranjan Gogoi opined that there is clear evidence that Hindus believe Lord Ram was born at the disputed site. "Babri Masjid was not constructed on vacant land. There was a structure underlying the disputed structure. The underlying structure was not an Islamic structure," the bench said.  The Supreme Court today  pronounced its verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, clearing the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the 2.77-acre disputed site in Ayodhya. A Supreme Court Constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the Shia Waqf Board's petition to be considered an appellant in the case as well as the claim of Nirmohi Akhara.  The Supreme Court order recognised the deity Ram Lalla's title rights to the  entire  2.77-acre Ayodhya land and directed the government that a trust be set up to manage the land's affairs, paving the path for the construction of a Ram temple. The Supreme Court has directed that the Sunni Waqf Board be given a five acres of land in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque.

The Indian Railways has installed two 'Health ATMs' at the Charbagh railway station in Lucknow.   The kiosks, promoted by YOLO Health ATM, provide 16 health check-ups for Rs 50-100. There are two types of check-ups -- a 9-minute one that costs Rs 100, and a 6-minute one that costs Rs 50. The report is delivered instantly to the email or smartphone of the user. Health ATMs can be defined as private, walk-in medical kiosks with integrated medical devices for basic vitals, cardiology, neurology, pulmonary testing, gynecology, basic laboratory testing and emergency facilities and staffed by a medical attendant.

At Rajkot India played and defeated Australia in a T20I on 10.10.2013 chasing a mammoth 201.  In his second comeback after recovering from cancer, a leaner and fitter Yuvraj Singh was called upon to do a job he has done numerous times for India in ODIs - revive a floundering chase, with MS Dhoni for company, and only the lower order to follow. Only, this was a T20 and Yuvraj did not have the luxury of building his innings before accelerating. He duly cut out the building part, and unleashed trademark pick-up sixes and lofted drives to haul in the target of 202 with two deliveries remaining.  Nic Maddison made his debut.  An attacking batsman who is not afraid to go over the top, Nic Maddinson was a surprise inclusion in Australia's Test squad against South Africa in 2016-17.

Now comes the news that Nic Maddinson has withdrawn from the Australia A team to face Pakistan a three-day tour match in Perth for mental-health reasons. Maddinson, 27, has become the second player in recent weeks to step down from an Australian representative team due to mental-health issues after Glenn Maxwell stepped away from the T20 international squad during the series against Sri Lanka. Western Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft will replace Maddinson in the Australia A team for the day-night game at Perth Stadium. Australia A coach Graeme Hick said the squad was fully supportive of Maddinson's decision to withdraw. "Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him," Hick was quoted in a statement. "It is braver to speak up than to suffer in silence and I applaud Nic for having the courage to put his health first.

West Indies overcame a spirited Afghanistan fight fuelled by Najibullah Zadran's half-century to win their first ODI series since Aug 2014. The key architects of their win in the second ODI were Nicholas Pooran and Roston Chase - the former leading an excellent lower-order rally to make 56 while the offspinning allrounder nicked out Afghanistan's top order in a superb spell of 3 for 30 to put the brakes, eventually resulting in a 47-run win.  Afghanistan would rue a number of opportunities, not least of all the double-strike following a sixth-wicket stand of 68 between Najibullah and Mohammad Nabi. Then Sheldon Cottrell had Najibullah nicking behind for 56 while attempting a slash to turn the scales. Needing 70 off 66 at that stage, legspinner Hayden Walsh had Nabi lbw next ball to extinguish any hopes of an Afghanistan rearguard. Walsh, who was only introduced in the 29th over, seemingly because Afghanistan had two set left-handers, finished with 3 for 36, including the final wicket to seal victory when Sharafuddin Ashraf holed out to Shimron Hetmyer at deep midwicket.

What could easily escape one’s attention is that both the ODI  between WI and Afghan were played at India at Lucknow and today’s match went uninterrupted least on a day when the Nation was hooked to Mandir judgment settling the century long pending issue.  The match was played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.  It hosted its first International match, T20I between India and WI on 6 Nov 2018.    In that match Rohit Sharma became the first cricketer to score four centuries in T20Is. India won that match by 71 runs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th Nov. 2019

demolition of wall ~ this day, 30 years ago !!

Olympics showcases pride of Nations  !  ~  at the opening ceremonies of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, 2018, something spectacular happened: Athletes from North and South Korea, which have been bitterly divided for 73 years, marched beneath a unified flag. Though North and South appear no closer to reunification, the move was seen as an olive branch of sorts that could pave the way for better relations between the estranged countries—and it’s just one example of how the worldwide sporting event can bring people together, if only for a few weeks.  Yet that was not the first time in the history of Olympics !

Ulf Béla Timmermann is unique in someways ! the  German shot putter broke many world records during the 1980s and is the first and one of only two people to ever throw over 23 metres (along with Randy Barnes). On 22 May 1988 he became the first person to throw over 23 meters with a throw of 23.06 meters at Chania, Greece.  In 1988 Olympics he was the flag-bearer for his Nation, East Germany and was the last one to do so in an Olympics.    At the 1992 Olympics, he represented Germany, but finished a disappointing fifth. He left competition afterwards.

The German Democratic Republic (GDR), often called East Germany, founded a separate National Olympic Committee for socialist East Germany on 22 April 1951 in the Rotes Rathaus of East Berlin.  After the division of Germany following World War II, three separate states had been founded under occupation. After the Allies denied attempts made in 1947 to continue the participation of Germany at the Olympics, no German team could participate in the 1948 games. Finally, in 1949, the National Olympic Committee for Germany was founded in the Western Federal Republic of Germany. This was later recognized by the IOC as representing both German states. The small French-occupied Saarland and its NOC (SAA) joined the Federal Republic of Germany after 1955, having not been allowed to join the German counterparts previously. The East German Nationales Olympisches Komitee für Ostdeutschland authority refused to send their athletes to the 1952 games as participants of an all-German team, demanding a team of their own. This was denied by the IOC.  They agreed to participate in 1956. German athletes from the two remaining states competed at the Olympic Games in 1956, 1960 and 1964 as the United Team of Germany. While this team was simply called 'Germany' at the time, it is currently designated by the IOC as EUA, 'Équipe unifiée d'Allemagne'.

The socialist GDR erected the Berlin wall in 1961, during the Cold War. They renamed their NOC to Nationales Olympisches Komitee der DDR in 1965. It was recognized as an independent NOC by the IOC in 1968. Following this, the GDR ceased participation in the United German team and sent a separate East German team from 1968 to 1988, other than absences in the summer of 1984 in support of the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics. While the GDR, a small state with a population of about 16 million, has a short history, and even a shorter history at the Olympics, it was extremely successful. From 1976 to 1988, it came second in all three of their summer Olympics, behind the Soviet Union, and well ahead of larger West Germany. This was improved upon at five winter games, with 4 second-place rankings and a first in the 1984 Winter Olympics… but it was marred by allegations of   doping (predominantly anabolic steroids)!    A number of athletes subsequently failed doping tests and others were suspected of taking performance-enhancing drugs. However, in many cases where suspicions existed, no proof of wrongdoing was uncovered. As a result, the majority of records and medals won by East German athletes still stand.

The wall that divided the Nations fell too !  ~ the  fall of the Berlin Wall started this day 30 years ago [on 9 Nov 1989], was a pivotal event in world history which marked the falling of the Iron Curtain. The fall of the inner German border took place shortly afterwards. An end to the Cold War was declared at the Malta Summit three weeks later, and the reunification of Germany took place during the following year.

The Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.  Construction of the Wall was commenced by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) on 13 Aug 1961. The Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.

GDR authorities officially referred to the Berlin Wall as the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart (Antifaschistischer Schutzwall). The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the "Wall of Shame", a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt in reference to the Wall's restriction on freedom of movement.  Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.  Before the Wall's erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin; from there they could then travel to West Germany and to other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989 the Wall prevented almost all such emigration.

Following the April 1989 dismantling of an electric fence along the border between Hungary and Austria, by early November refugees were finding their way to Hungary via Czechoslovakia or via the West German embassy in Prague. The emigration was initially tolerated because of long-standing agreements with the communist Czechoslovak government, allowing free travel across their common border. However this movement of people grew so large it caused difficulties for both countries. In addition, East Germany was struggling to meet loan payments on foreign borrowings; Egon Krenz sent Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski to unsuccessfully ask West Germany for a short-term loan to make interest payments.

                                    In 1989, a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries—Poland and Hungary in particular—caused a chain reaction in East Germany that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Wall.  After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall.  The Brandenburg Gate in the Berlin Wall was opened on 22 Dec 1989. The demolition of the Wall officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in Nov 1991. The "fall of the Berlin Wall" paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990.

On 6 Nov 1989,  the Interior Ministry published a draft of new travel regulations, which made cosmetic changes to Honecker-era rules, leaving the approval process opaque and maintaining uncertainty regarding access to foreign currency.  After hearing the broadcast, East Germans began gathering at the Wall, at the six checkpoints between East and West Berlin, demanding that border guards immediately open the gates. The surprised and overwhelmed guards made many hectic telephone calls to their superiors about the problem. At first, they were ordered to find the "more aggressive" people gathered at the gates and stamp their passports with a special stamp that barred them from returning to East Germany—in effect, revoking their citizenship. However, this still left thousands of people demanding to be let through "as Schabowski said we can".  Finally, at 10:45 p.m. on 9 November, Harald Jäger, the commander of the Bornholmer Straße border crossing yielded, allowing for the guards to open the checkpoints and allowing people through with little or no identity checking. As the Ossis swarmed through, they were greeted by Wessis waiting with flowers and champagne amid wild rejoicing. Soon afterward, a crowd of West Berliners jumped on top of the Wall and were soon joined by East German youngsters.  The evening of 9 November 1989 is known as the night the Wall came down.

Interesting !  ~  the photo at the start is : Kristina Vogel, former track cyclist. During her career, she won two gold medals and a bronze at the Olympic Games, and is a nine-time UCI World Champion.  She was paralysed following a crash in June 2018.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th Nov. 2019.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Alwarpet road ~ Pithapuram and the Queen who went global

Dispute in sharing of water between riparian States is nothing new ! ~ yet this case involving Maharaja of Pithapuram sounds pretty interesting !  As you travel in Vijayawada – Visakhapatnam section, after Samarlakota [Samalkot] Jn – where line branches to Kakinada, comes this small Railway station – Pithapuram, around 12 kms from Samalkot…. .. and a web search links to a Maharani and her lavish ways of life and some Chennai connection too !

Pithapuram or Peetika Puram is a town and a municipality in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.  The temple town is one of fifty five Sakti Peetikas. Shripada Shri Vallabha, worshipped to be an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya by his devotees, lived in Pithapuram.. . and in Alwarpet, Chennai there are two streets bearing the names of  Maharajah Surya Rao and Maharani Chinnamma Roads,  it was their daughter who made ripples .. ..   Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda !  who passed away in 1989 in France at the age of 72. She was rumoured to travel with no less than a thousand sarees,  coordinated with shoes and furs.  She was a car enthusiast and was reportedly very fond of her Mercedes W126 which was custom-made for her by Mercedes Benz. At the 1969 Ascot Gold Cup, she invited guests to touch the 30-carat (6.0 g) sapphire on her right hand for good luck.

Rao Venkata Kumara Mahipati Surya Rau (1885–1964) was Maharajah of Pithapuram. He was  affectionately known as  "Abhinava Krishnadevaraya". Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda was his daughter. It is stated that Surya Rau was born to Raja Gangadhara Rau and Maharani Mangamamba Devi in 1885 in the Pithapuram Fort and was named 'Suryaraya'. Gangadhar Rau married seven wives, but did not bear any children for sometime. Before his birth, Maharajah adopted a boy from the Venkatagiri royal family. This late birth and adoption led to endless litigation between 1891 and 1899. Finally the Privy Council decided in favour of the new-born prince.  He married Chinnamamba Devi in 1905,  the eldest daughter of Rajah Venkata Ramayya Appa Rao Bahadur, Zamindar of Kapileswarapuram (Nuzvid).  The zamindar of Pithapuram sponsored the monumental classical Telugu dictionary, Suryarayandhranighantuvu, and even commissioned the first typewriter in Telugu.

His daughter, Sita Devi first married  Apparao Bahadur, Zamindar of Vuyyuru. Years later, at Madras Horse races in 1943, she was to meet  her second husband, Pratap Singh Gaekwar of Baroda.   The Gaekwad was, at that time, considered the eighth richest man in the world and the second richest Indian prince.  The marriage raised  consternation with the British authorities, as this violated the antibigamy laws of that time.   They were to sail out and settle elsewhere in Monaco, living a lavish life.

In 1937 at Madras High Court this interesting case came up before Judge - Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.   it was an appeal arising  out of a suit filed before the Deputy Collector, Cocanada, under Section 77 of the Madras Estates Land Act, 1908, by the Maharajah of Pithapuram, to recover from the appellant and 5 other tenants an aggregate sum of Rs. 11-1-4 for water taken by them without his permission from his tank for the purpose of raising wet crops on dry lands. 

It was claimed that the  defendants have no right whatever to use the said water for the jirayati dry lands in the aforesaid manner. As the defendants used the said water unjustly the amount of Rs. 9-15-7 towards tirva and cesses thereon, with interest (was due) and in spite of several demands by the plaintiff's officials, both oral and written, the defendants did not pay as mentioned above.

The difference between this sum of Rs. 9-15-7 and Rs. 11-1-4 represents the claim for interest. The main lines of defence were: (1) the Revenue Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit as it was a suit in tort; (2) even if it could be treated as a suit for rent it could not be maintained as it amounted to a claim for enhanced rent contrary to the provisions of the Act; and (3) the terms of the patta precluded the plaintiff seeking extra rent. The appellant denied that the water belonged to the plaintiff and alleged that he had used it for only one Fasli (1338), and then not on drylands. The Deputy Collector dismissed the suit holding that the water belonged to the defendants and that the terms of the patta precluded the plaintiff from claiming any enhanced rent.

An appeal followed to the District Judge of East Godavari, who held that the tank did belong to the plaintiff and that water had been used for the three Faslis mentioned in the plaint on dry lands belonging to the defendants. To the    contention that the suit is in reality a suit to recover damages for tort, it should be borne in mind that it was instituted under the provisions of Section 77 of the Act which relates only to the recovery of arrears of rent. Section 3(11) defines 'rent' as meaning whatever is lawfully payable in money or in kind or in both to a landholder by a ryot for the use or occupation of land for the purpose of agriculture and includes whatever is lawfully payable on account of water supplied by the landholder or taken without his permission for cultivation of land where the charge for water has not been consolidated with the charge for the use or occupation of the land

A Full Bench of this Court consisting of Ramesam, Wallace and Jackson, JJ., considered the question in Doraiswami Gurukkal v. Subramania Gurukkal (1927) 54 M.L.J. 361 : I.L.R. 51 Mad. 266 (F.B.). In this case a ryot had used for the purpose of cultivating his land water from a tank belonging to Government, and Government required the landlord to pay for the water taken by the ryot. The landlord then sought to recover from the ryot what he had been compelled to pay to Government, and the question was whether this was a claim for enhancement of rent within the meaning of Section 24.

It is settled that you should on no account demand a reduction or remission of cist either on account of excess inam or want of rain or for any other reason and that I should on no account enhance the cist at any time on the said kamatham (holding), but when the patta was drawn up it was never contemplated that the tenants would take water from the landlord's tank without his permission. The fact that the parties did not contemplate an increase in rent in the ordinary way does not preclude the landlord from requiring his tenants to pay for something taken without his permission. The tenants took the water behind the back of their landlord and must pay for it. The law says that it may be recovered as rent and that is what the plaintiff sought to do in the suit out of which this appeal arises.

                             It follows that we consider that the decision of the learned District Judge is correct and that the plaintiff is entitled to hold the decree granted to him. It has, however, been brought to our notice, that the appellant was in fact a tenant for only one fasli (1338), and he will be only liable personally in respect of that year. The rent for three years will of course be a charge on the land. The decree will be modified to this extent. The appeal having failed the respondent is entitled to his costs.

The judgement inter-alia stated that the zamindar will be entitled, even under the older decisions, to claim payment when water is taken from his tank only if there is a contract express or implied between the parties providing for such payment. It is no doubt true that in many cases there used to be a clause to this effect in the pattas, providing for the contingency of the tenant taking water from the landlord's tank for raising wet crop on dry land or a second crop on a single crop wet land; but I cannot accede to the contention that the zamindar's right is limited to such cases.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Nov. 2o19

Sunday, November 3, 2019

rain abandons Sydney T20 after Finch blitzkrieg ! ~ Match Referee blamed

After over an hour off the field, the sides came back for 14 balls before taking a 20 minute innings break.  …. There has been sharp criticism on Match Referee allowing the 20 min break and not shortening the break !!   Wahab Riaz, player on  mike was frank to admit that rains were a blessing in disguise for the battered team.

Media reports suggested that Sydney's cloak of smoke will likely linger until Sunday as bushfires continue to blaze to the city's north, prompting authorities to extend health warnings about outdoor activity.  NSW Rural Fire Service said 66 grass and bushfires were still alight late Friday, with 40 yet to be contained. About 600,000 hectares of the state has been scorched since July 1 - more than twice the combined total of the past two seasons.  Sydney's air quality has hovered between poor to hazardous for most suburbs since Wednesday, ranking it at one point this week as the fifth most polluted major city in the world, according to the Airvisual website.

Meantime, Rugby Australia has announced that Test Rugby will return to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the first time since 1986 when Australia takes on Ireland in 2020. The clash with Ireland sets up a cracking encore of the 2018 Ireland Series decider in Sydney, which was played in front of a then-record crowd at the former Allianz Stadium. The July 11 clash will be the second Test of a two-match series against Ireland on their 2020 tour of Australia.  The Ireland Series kicks off an exciting 2020 Test schedule as the next generation steps into the breach in a new era for the Wallabies. Australia last played Ireland at the SCG 40 years ago in 1979, with the only other battle between the two nations at the venue occurring in 1967.

 “The last time these two countries played in Sydney the Stadium and the whole Paddington and Moore Park precinct came to life and was flooded with fans wearing green and gold, not to mention the on-field action which went right down to the wire as Ireland pipped the Wallabies to win the Series.” Sydney Cricket Ground CEO, Kerrie Mather said: “The SCG is the original home of the Wallabies having hosted Australia’s very-first Test match in 1899.

This is more about the Series between Australia and Pakistan.  Media reports suggested for the day that parts of New South Wales were expected to see “explosive thunderstorm activity” today, while Sydneysiders and Canberrans are encouraged to be on watch for a run of wild weather.  The forecast for this afternoon marked the start of a potentially nasty three-part weather system lasting days.  The Bureau of Meteorology forecast for Sydney on Sunday is a “near 100 per cent” chance of rain, developing in the afternoon and evening with a possible thunderstorm.  “At this stage, the most likely thing is it’s good news for people who need to get some water in their gardens and get a bit of water in the catchment areas,” Bureau forecaster Rob Taggart told this morning. “Having said that, thunderstorms can sometimes do surprising things.” He said there are parts of Sydney where drainage is pretty poor and rainfall totals that are not usually considered severe can still put a lot of water on the road.

Aussies chasing – Aaron Finch and David Warner at the crease – Mohan Irfan bowling the 3rd over of the innings. Chasing a revised 119 in 15 overs, after Pakistan's innings was interrupted after 12.4 overs, Aaron Finch laid into Mohammad Irfan's second over which cost 26 runs - including two sixes and a no-ball that went for four - and put them well ahead in the chase, with the wicketless par score after five overs being 33. 5th ball was driven straight, Wahab had a long chase, went over the rope and touched the ball that was inside the boundary rope with his feet outside.  Another 4 !  ~ 26 runs off that over ..

Yet, Australia's winning run in T20Is was halted by the Sydney weather when they were on track to take the opening match against Pakistan which had already been truncated by rain. A frustrating finish to the first match of the T20 series against Pakistan has seen Australia miss a victory by just 11 balls after a bizarre decision thanks to rain. The Aussies were keen to continue their winning ways after romping to a 3-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka to kick off the home summer and looked to continue the charge against Pakistan.

But the rain struck in the 13th over of the Pakistan innings, seemingly giving the Aussies the edge as the match was reduced to a 15-over match. After over an hour off the field, the sides came back for 14 balls before taking a 20 minute innings break. It could have been reduced to 10 minutes but reports emerged that the match referee chose not to shorten the break, with Australia falling 11 balls short of the required five second innings overs to constitute a match and have a result. It was a frustrating finish after 80 minutes had already been lost to rain earlier in the day.

According to the ICC’s playing conditions, the match referee has the option to shorten the break if he deems fit but match referee Javagal Srinath decided against the move.  .. .. probably he could not predict the Sydney weather

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd Nov 2019.

On Container handling - what is a Portainer ?

Dear (s)
Recently, I had detailed something on a Reach stacker.  That was an equipment a la fork lift used for lifting and stacking containers.  There are some more equipments which handle containers - one such is called a Portainer.   A portainer, also known as a container crane is a large dockside crane in the form of a specialized type of gantry crane used to load and unload container ships.  These are seen in modern ports and container terminals.   Here is how it looks :
 Container Cranes are generally classified by their lifting capacity, and the size of the container ships they can load and unload containers. A modern container crane capable of lifting two 20 foot long containers at one time will generally have a rated lifting capacity of 65 long tons from under the Spreader.   Here is a photo of containers getting loaded onto a ship. 
Container cranes have a special lifting device called a spreader bar for loading and discharging of containers. The spreader bar has four or eight (twin-lift) twist locks which lock and unlock into the corner castings of the containers and can be used in 20', 40', or 45' positions depending on the size of the containers.  Horizontal gantry rails and their supporting structure are cantilevered out from between frame uprights spaced to suit the length of a standard freight container, so that the gantry rails project over a quayside and over the width of an adjacent ship allowing the hoist to lift containers from the quay and move out along the gantry rails on its trolley to place the containers on the ship.
In any busy port it would be a common sight to see trucks and container lifters manoeuvring underneath the  base of the portainer and collect the cargo boxes. But for a Man, it  is quite awesome and walking under the equipments handling bulky containers could well be an exercise of trepidation.   This is how the walk under could be ……………….
Scientific advances are to be marvelled but personally a walk under such equipment would evoke rather queer thinking.  Such fear of course would subside with experience and confidence or perhaps would  just fade away when one has to think of so many other things not mundane.
To conclude, understand that this term  Portainer is a registered trademark of Paceco Corp. who is generally believed to have delivered the first Container Crane to a marine terminal in Alameda, CA in the 1960s.    Not sure whether this company has anything connected to the namesake  small town in Sicily, Italy which has inhabitants of around 11000 only.  Bigger the equipment, bigger could be the magnitude of loss .

With regards  -   S Sampathkumar

PS :  Shared with my group on 10/12/2007; made as draft in Feb 2012   and posted on the blog now.