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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Tender coconut seller Thaiyammal stands tall !!

The coconut has cultural and religious significance in India offered to Gods and used in rituals.   ‘ilaneer’ is sold and consumed in large quantities – one would be interested or frightened by the way, the top of tender coconut is cut with a sickle (aruval) wielded deftly by the seller  ! 

Tender coconut water is a wholesome, nutritious drink. It is one of the most preferred drinks in India.  Since the early 21st century, coconut water has been marketed in Western countries as a natural energy or sports drink having low levels of fat, carbohydrates, and calories, and significant electrolyte content.    

There are eternal negativists .. . .. people who claimed that they had hell lot of difficulty during demonetization, not able to access their bank accounts !; then whole lot cribbing that Covid lockdowns have crippled economy .. .. honestly, how many Office goers were affected economically, were not people getting their salary credits in time !  .. .. and how many of us could save say Rs.2500/- or more per month .. .. but have WE ever donated this much for a noble cause.  If yes, would our donation be of a higher % of our earning than this noble soul, the hero of the post brought to limelight by Honble Prime Minister himself.   

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji  on Sunday said that awareness about education is visible at every level in society and mentioned that India is a sacred land of education and knowledge. Citing an example, the Prime Minister said, Thaimmal living in Udumalpet block of Trippur district of Tamil Nadu is very inspiring. 

"Taimmal ji does not have any land of his own. For years, their family is making a living by selling coconut water. The financial condition may not be good, but Taimmal ji had left no stone unturned to educate her  son and daughter. Her  children studied in Chinnaveerampatti Panchayat Union Middle School. One day in the meeting with the parents in the school, it was raised that the condition of the classrooms and school should be improved; the school infrastructure should be fixed. Thaimmal ji was also in that meeting. She  heard everything," said PM Modi while addressing Mann Ki Baat today.  When the meeting screeched to a halt due to paucity of funds, none could have imagined what Thaiammal did. The person who ekes out a living by selling tender coconut donated Rs. 1 lakh to the school, our Hon’ble Prime Minister said.   


                                                        pic : The Hindu /twitter

M. Thaiammal, who runs a tender coconut shop along with her husband Arumugam in Chinnaveerampatti village panchayat, donated the money to the Panchayat Union Middle School in the village. According to the school’s headmaster, N. Inbakkani, she visited the institution on January 8. “She had heard that we were looking for funds under the Namakku Naame scheme to construct a building for the school,” he said.  Mr. Inbakkani conveyed this to the Chief Educational Officer of Tiruppur district, R. Ramesh, following which Collector S. Vineeth felicitated Ms. Thaiammal and her husband at the Collectorate on January 11, 2022. 

PM Shri Modiji added, "Indeed, it takes a big heart, a sense of service, to do this. Taimmal ji says that in the school,  there are  classes till 8th standard. Now when the infrastructure of the school improves, classes till higher secondary education will be held. This is the same sentiment I was talking about regarding education in our country." The Prime Minister said that India has been the sacred land of education and knowledge. 

In his monthly radio address to the nation, Mr. Modi explained how Ms. Thaiammal came to know that the Panchayat Union Middle School at Chinnaveerampatti was looking for funds to improve infrastructure and appreciated her gesture of donating ₹1 lakh from her savings. “To do this, you need a very big heart and an urge to render service,” he said, adding that Ms. Thaiammal got both her children educated at the same school. 

All of us [at Chinnaveerampatti] are overjoyed,” school headmaster N. Inbakkani said. Established in 1925, the school has around 650 students. It plans to construct 12 classrooms. “Work on construction of four classrooms has started under the ‘Namakku Naame’ scheme, and we need funds for constructing the other classrooms,” he said. "Mann ki Baat" is the Prime Minister's monthly radio address, which is broadcast on the last Sunday of every month. The programme will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan and also on AIR News and mobile app. The first episode of the programme was broadcast on October 3, 2014.

அவ்வையார் மூதுரையில் உரைத்தது :  

நன்றி ஒருவர்க்குச் செய்தக்கால் அந் நன்றி

'என்று தருங்கொல்?' என வேண்டா- நின்று

தளரா வளர் தெங்கு தாள் உண்ட நீரைத்

தலையாலே தான் தருதலால்.

              ஒருவர்க்கு உதவி செய்யும்போது, அதற்கு ப்ரதியுபகாரமும்,  நன்றியும் எப்போது கிடைக்கும் என்று கருதி செய்யக்கூடாது.  எப்படிப்பட்ட நீரை வேர் மூலம் உண்டாலும், நன்கு தளராது  வளர்ந்துள்ள தென்னை மரம் அந்நீரை சுவையான இளநீராக தந்து விடும்.  அதுபோல ஒருவர்க்கு செய்த சிறு உதவியும் பெரிய  விதத்தில் நமக்கு ஒரு காலம் நிச்சயம் நன்மை பயக்கும்.

Salute the spirit of M. Thaiammal and bow to her noble gesture .. .. also appreciate our Hon’ble Prime Minister for highlighting such great acts. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Jan 2022. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Powells, Smith and West Indies Cricket - conundrum !

Recently a twitter post by Sheldon Cotterell went viral .. .. ‘Don’t park your car too close when a West Indian is batting’   - the man of the post-  hit Josh Little for six over cover only to see it land on the roof of his team-mate Sheldon Cottrell's bright-blue Range Rover. "I was praying for that ball to go over the car," he laughs. "He made a post about it, but you can't park there. It was just unfortunate… he's not going to make me pay."


In 1980s Clive Lloyds mighty West Indies would crush every other Team, leaving some physically battered and bruised too .. from the pace battery of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Malcolm Marshall, Winston Davis, Ian Bishop, Patrick Patterson, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh to others – WI Cricket touched a new nadir recently -  Ireland won its first bilateral ODI series against a Test-playing nation other than Zimbabwe and Afghanistan by beating West Indies in a thriller in Kingston to clinch the series 2-1. The star of the show was allrounder Andy McBrine whose 4 for 28 first restricted West Indies to 212. Then with the bat, he made a sturdy 59 to guide Ireland's tense chase. A few days later Rovman Powell made the World stand up and listen !! 

Remember that finals in Singapore, Sep 8 1999, Coca-Cola Singapore Challenge- India made 254/6, yet lost to West Indies by 4 wickets and 14 balls remaining ! 

A Jamaican allrounder who hits 100-metre sixes and bowls at 90mph/145kph is now playing for West Indies against England - but it isn't Andre Russell. While Russell takes part in the Bangladesh Premier League, Odean Smith was tasked with closing out the innings with both bat and ball in the five T20Is in Barbados. Smith, 25, was among the young players introduced into West Indies' white-ball set-up after their World Cup debacle in the UAE.  Last week's ODI series against Ireland brought mixed emotions for him. A surprise 2-1 defeat meant the team started 2022 on a low note, but Smith had personal success in his maiden series: he hit 84 runs off 47 balls across three innings - surprisingly held back to No. 10 - and chipped in with three wickets.   Smith took Ireland Fast bowler Joshua little to the cleaners as he smashed him for a humongous 84 meter six in the deep extra cover region and it hit the standing car of Sheldon Cottrell.


Then he was dropped – and he cried victimization.  West Indies coach Phil Simmons and Cricket West Indies  both rubbished reports of Odean Smith being 'victimised', after the allrounder was benched in favour of Rovman Powell for the third T20I against England. While Simmons said that those on the outside who wanted "preach about victimisation" needed "to look within themselves", CWI president Ricky Skerritt put out a statement calling the allegations "a malicious attack on the credibility of the West Indies Captain, designed to sow division within our team". The statements came in response to a voice note that was sent to mediapersons after the third ODI. While it's not yet clear who sent the voice note, the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday reported that it was "a regional cricket commentator" and that it said the West Indies Players' Association was "very upset over the treatment of Smith" while alleging that a high-level meeting was planned at CWI to clear issues within the team. 

Smith had played the first two T20Is of the five-match series. He bowled one over in the first T20I and was not called on to bowl in the second. While batting, he wasn't needed in the first T20I in a nine-wicket win and made 7 in the second T20I. In the third, West Indies strengthened their batting by replacing Smith with Powell, who went on to smash 107 off 53 balls in a high-scoring win.

"I hit it very good today," Rovman Powell grinned, after becoming only the third man to hit a T20 international hundred for West Indies with a stunning 51-ball effort at Kensington Oval. "Everything came out in the middle." 

A middle-order batsman who bowls occasional medium pace, Rovman Powell has been a semi-regular feature of West Indies' white-ball squads without nailing down a spot. It was in keeping with his strange international career that, having scored his maiden international hundred against Ireland in the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup, Powell was omitted from West Indies' squad for the tournament itself. He had captained them in an ODI series against Bangladesh six months before, but his struggles against spin meant he was left out of the tournament itself. 

The scorecard reads :  West Indies 224 for 5 (Powell 107, Pooran 70) beat England 204 for 9 (Banton 73, Salt 57, Shepherd 3-59, Pollard 2-31) by 20 runs.  A brutal 51-ball century from Rovman Powell blasted West Indies to a 20-run victory over England and a 2-1 lead in their five-match T20I series in Barbados. Powell muscled the hosts to 224 for 5 with an astonishing 107 off just 53 deliveries amid a 122-run stand for the third wicket with Nicholas Pooran, who was the perfect cornerman to Powell's heavyweight destroyer with a sublimely crafted 70 off 43.   

Making his first appearance of the series after being called up to bolster West Indies' batting in place of allrounder Odean Smith, Powell did exactly what his side asked of him.  Powell's 10 sixes were breath-taking as he clubbed England's bowlers into the stands time and again, particularly down the ground with one of his efforts being measured at more than 100 metres. He brought up his fifty with a crunching effort off Liam Livingstone over deep extra cover and his only nervous moments appeared as his century came within reach of just one more hammer blow during a tight start to Reece Topley's final over. But, having brought up his hundred with a two-run punch to square leg, he freed his arms once more to pump the ball back over the bowler's head and clear the ropes for the tenth time. 

He became the 3rd WI after Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis.. .. score century in a T20I.  

There had been some Powells earlier - Kieran Powell is a powerful left-hand opening batsman who began playing cricket when he was eight. Both he and his brother, Alan, have represented the Leewards Islands at the Under-15 and U-19 level. He was part of a depleted West Indies ODI side for the home series against Bangladesh the following year, but was dismissed for a golden duck on debut.   He played 44 tests and 46 one dayers.  

A few years ago Ricardo Powell was the one most spoken about.  Ricardo Lloyd Powerll - There are few cleaner strikers of the ball in world cricket than Ricardo Powell, and fewer who provoke discussion on why he failed with such regularity. Powell was thrust into international cricket at the age of 20 after topping the Jamaican averages in the 1999 Busta Cup, and quickly took centre stage with an innings of 124 from 93 balls against India in Singapore.  He ended up playing mere 2 Tests and 109 odis. In that match at Singapore, Indian spinner Nikhil Chopra scored 61 !!   20 year old Ricardo Powell hit  a whirlwind 124, his first one-day international hundred !  West Indies, chasing 255, were struggling at 67 for four in the 17th over when he reached the crease. By the time he was out, top-edging a pull, he had hit nine fours and eight sixes in his 93 balls - and West Indies were only nine short of victory.   

Interesting !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Jan 2022. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Virat retires in style ! - patted by President and Prime Minister

Hanover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony.  The city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary the Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain  .. .. [searched for this place ! after RD parade]

India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day with gay and gaiety .. .. one of the biggest attraction of RD is ‘Republic Day Parade’ – the marchpast of armed forces, armaments and attractively decorated vehicles.  The hero of the occasion is the President of India.  After the Republic Day parade ended, President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji  and Defence minister Rajnath Singh walked up to the charger and tenderly petted him -- the gesture an unmistakable acknowledgement of Virat’s military service, especially his role in India’s biggest ceremonial event over the years. 

The name hits a raw nerve - India's most successful Test captain, Virat Kohli, recently dropped a bombshell by quitting the red-ball captaincy following the unexpected series defeat against South Africa. Kohli had earlier given up the T20I captaincy after the 2021 T20 World Cup, and was succeeded in ODIs by Rohit Sharma. The star batter, who was appointed Test captain back in 2014 when MS Dhoni stepped down in the middle of the series against Australia, led India in a record 68 Test matches, winning 40 and losing 17. Kohli took leadership by storm, creating a niche for himself and cementing himself as one of the best captains this world has ever seen. 

Kohli played his first Test as India captain in 2014 against Australia and his last game as skipper was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Kohli, who is responsible for India's lethal fast-bowling unit that can help the side take 20 wickets in any condition, will now be hoping to have a good run with the bat in all three formats of the game.  No Cricket post this ! 

Virat, a Hanoverian horse, was issued to PBG in 2003 by the army’s Remount Training School and Depot at Hempur in Uttarakhand.  A Hanoverian is a Warmblood horse breed originating in Germany, which is often seen in the Olympic Games and other competitive English riding styles, and has won gold medals in all three equestrian Olympic competitions. It is one of the oldest, most numerous, and most successful of the Warmblood breeds. Originally a cavalry horse, infusions of more Thoroughbred blood lightened it to make it more agile and useful for competition. The Hanoverian is known for a good temperament, athleticism, beauty, and grace. 

Virat, the subject-matter, the proud horse was barely four years old then. He was among the five horses that was chosen for PBG, by Honorary Captain Sajjan Kumar (retd), who brought the charger to Rashtrapati Bhawan.   Virat, is a Presidential horse.  Presidential horses have to be at least 157.5 cm tall -- Virat’s height is a little over 170 cm. A horse’s height is measured to the highest point of the withers on its back. PBG horses have to be tall to complement the men from the regiment who have to have a minimum height of six feet. 

Virat was honoured with the army chief’s commendation card for outstanding service on Army Day (January 15). The President's Bodyguard (PBG) is an elite household cavalry regiment of the Indian Army. It is senior-most regiment in the order of precedence of the units of the Indian Army. The primary role of the President's Bodyguard is to escort and protect the President of India and the  regiment is based in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.  It is equipped as a mounted unit, with horses for ceremonies at the presidential palace and BTR-80 vehicles for use in combat. The personnel of the regiment are also trained as paratroopers and nominally are expected to lead in airborne assaults in the role of pathfinders. The regiment is the successor of the Governor General's Bodyguard of the British Raj. 

The first bodyguard to be raised in India was in 1773 when European troops, already recruited into the East India Company's service as infantry, were earmarked for the role. Since the army of the East India Company had no cavalry of any kind at that point of time, two troops of dragoons and one troop of hussars were raised - the latter becoming the personal bodyguard of the Governor-General. These were however disbanded in the reorganisation of the army by Robert Clive after his return to India.  The PBG first saw action in 1773–74, when it was deployed against Sanyasis – a band that ravaged the countryside in the guise of mendicants. Its next campaign was against Rohillas in April 1774 in the battle of St. George where the Rohillas were defeated completely. The Bodyguard was also present during the 3rd Mysore War (1790–92) against Tipu Sultan. During this campaign, it successfully thwarted an assassination attempt on the life of Governor General Lord Cornwallis. In 1801, a detachment consisting of one Native Officer and 26 other ranks went to Egypt to provide riders for an experimental unit of horse artillery. It marched for 120 miles in the desert in the height of summer. All their horses died and they had to place the guns on camels. The Bodyguard detachment never saw action in Egypt, as Alexandria had capitulated by the time that they arrived there. 

Virat', an elite member of President Ram Nath Kovind's Bodyguard, and a veteran who has been a part of over 13 Republic Day parades, retired from the service on Republic Day. Virat, had recently been,  on the eve of Army Day on January 15,  awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation for his exceptional service and abilities. Notably, Virat was the first charger horse of the President`s Bodyguard (PBG) to receive such a commendation card.  On Wednesday, during the Republic Day celebrations at the majestic Rajpath, President  Sri Kovind and Prime Minister Shri  Narendra Modi bid farewell to the elite horse. PM Shri Modiji  was seen on camera patting and showing his love for the esteemed member of the PBG.  

These magnificent horses of the elite PBG are bred by Remount Veterinary corps and presently looked after by 44 Military Veterinary Hospital. Virat’s retirement has turned the spotlight on animals in military service in India. The army has at least 5,000 mules, 1,500 horses and 1,000 dogs.  

Chennai has the famous ‘Mounted battalion’ on good looking horses – and it is a treat to watch the small group canter by. Every morning they are seen on the picturesque Marina beach and on holidays when huge crowds descend on the shore – their contribution is immense. There are some women too in the battalion.  The cantering horse with police cop on top commands respect from people and crowds heed to the warning of the mounted battalion to keep away from the waters.  It is stated that the use of horses by the Police in Madras dates at least to 1800 when Walter Grant was appointed the Superintendent of Police.    In the days when Police force had no motor power, Inspectors and Sergeants were provided horses.  In 1926 a Mounted branch of Madras City Police was formed with 15 horses exclusively patrolling the  city. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Jan 2020. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

celebrating 73rd Republic Day of the Nation

Dear(s)  – ever wondered the significance of 15th Aug 1947 and 26th Jan 1950 ?   .. .. the fact that on every Indian Independence Day, Prime Minister of the Nation hoists the National Flag and speaks from the ramparts of Lal Qila while the President unfurls Triranga at Rajpath and there is parade are not simply symbolisms !


From my childhood days ~ I have relished Indian Republic Day more – living closer to Marina beach, the RD parade has always been a great attraction.  This year too – RD Parade at Delhi was so enchanting - Just like every year, India showcased its military might and cultural diversity on Republic Day. This year’s celebrations, however, saw a number of firsts, including, among others, an added day of celebrating Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary. The Republic Day Parade kicked off a little later at 10.30 am, to ensure better visibility as Delhi is engulfed with fog on wintry mornings.  Like last year, there was no foreign dignitary as chief guest at the Republic Day Parade.   

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional form of government by which a hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United Kingdom – while India was subjugated to few British monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II, is not our monarch.  The name Albert Frederick Arthur ________ may not exactly ring a bill BUT he was the last Emperor of India – let us read some History.   

Today -  26th Jan 2022 marks the  73rd  Republic Day of the Nation.  At the National Capital, the celebrations began  with the flag-hoisting ceremony by President Ram Nath Kovind, after which the Republic Day parade started from Rajpath. President Ram Nath Kovind ceremonially leaves left Rashtrapati Bhavan, escorted by 46 Bodyguards on Bay and Dark Bay coloured mounts. Raised in 1773, the President's Bodyguard is the oldest and senior-most Regiment of the Indian Army.   

On 26 January 1950, the newly-sworn President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, rode through the streets of Delhi to reach Irwin Amphitheatre (now Dhyan Chand National Stadium). This was the venue of the first ever Republic Day parade, where 3,000 officers of the armed forces, and more than 100 aircrafts had participated. The tradition of having a Republic Day parade hasn’t changed, though, the parade in itself has evolved over time.   The format of the current parade was adopted in 1955, and Rajpath was chosen as the permanent venue.   

                   Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to fallen soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, which is followed by two minutes silence in the memory of fallen soldiers. It is a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defence of sovereignty of their country. Thereafter he reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. They are escorted on horseback by the President's Bodyguard. 

First, the President unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given as the PBG renders the National Salute. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President, before the regiments of Armed Forces start their march past. The parade traditionally ends with dare devil motor cycle riding by motorcycle units of the Armed Forces and a flypast by the Indian Air Force jets and helicopters carrying the national flag and the flags of the three services. In all the State Capitals, there will be a RD parade where the Governor hoists the National flag.    

72  years back, a salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National flag by Dr. Rajendra Prasad heralded the historic birth of the Indian Republic on January 26, 1950; that significant day was  894 days after our country became a dominion following withdrawal of British Rule  The transition of India from a British colony to a sovereign, secular, and democratic nation was indeed historical. It was a long journey of around two decades that started with the conceptualisation of the dream in 1930 to its actual realization in 1950. The seeds of a republican nation were sowed at the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress at the midnight of 31st December 1929. Those present in the meeting took a pledge to mark January 26 as "Independence Day" in order to march towards realizing the dream of complete independence from the British.   

Though India became a free nation on August 15, 1947, it declared itself a Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state with the adoption of the Constitution on January 26, 1950. The Constitution gave the citizens of India the power to choose their own government and paved the way for democracy. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took oath as the first President of India at the Durbar Hall in Government House and this was followed by the Presidential drive along a five-mile route to the Irwin Stadium, where he unfurled the National Flag.


Today is the day  on which the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India and thus, turning the nation into a newly formed Republic.  The day also marks the transition of India from an autonomous Commonwealth realm with British Monarch as nominal head of the Indian Dominion, to a fully sovereign republic in the Commonwealth of Nations with the President of India as the nominal head of the Indian Union. 

The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the date for Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress in lieu of the Realm status as a Dominion later instated by the departing British Regime. 

The Dominion of India, was an independent dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations existing between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950. Until its creation, the Indian subcontinent, commonly called "India" in contemporary usage, had been ruled as an informal empire by the United Kingdom.  The Dominion of India was formalised by the passage of the Indian Independence Act 1947, which also formalised an independent Dominion of Pakistan—comprising the regions of British India that are today Pakistan and Bangladesh. British monarch's regnal title, "Emperor of India," was abandoned. 

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George;  1895 – 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was concurrently the last Emperor of India until August 1947, when the British Raj was dissolved. On 20 January 1936, George V died and Edward ascended the throne as King Edward VIII.  In Dec 1936,  Edward abdicated in order to marry Wallis Simpson, who was divorced from her first husband and divorcing her second.  Albert assumed the regnal name "George VI" to emphasise continuity with his father and restore confidence in the monarchy.  He became the Emperor and Monarch of India too. 

  Thus 15th Aug 1947 was the day India was freed from the cruel clutches of the British .. .. then remained a dominion, and only on this day – 26th Jan 1950 became fully free, a Republic, ensuring rule by its own people .. .. celebrating Indian Republic.

On this occasion, let us also remember the great freedom fighters who showed incomparable courage in their pursuit of the dream of Swaraj and fired up the people to fight for it. Two days ago, on 23rd January, all of us observed the one hundred twenty-fifth birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who had adopted the energising salutation of 'Jai-Hind'. His quest for independence and his ambition to make India proud inspire all of us. 

Jai Hind

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Jan 2022. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Padma Awards 2022 - Padma Shri Acharya Chandana ji

Very unlikely that you may identify this noble person -  simply clad in a white sari, always accompanied by a smile on her face, Acharya Shri Chandanaji is the vision of peace. She unrestrictedly showers her blessings and kindness. A ray of sunshine in the sorrow-struck lives of millions, Acharya Shriji is regarded as one of the rarest, most precious souls in the history of Jain spirituality. Fondly called Tai Maharaj, she is truly an exceptional jewel.  You may spot her on the dusty ground of Bihar, surrounded by the poor and sick, and you’ll see how she warms the cockles of their hearts. Or you may see her walking confidently on the delicate rubble of earthquake-shattered Kutch, her arm around an orphan, pain in her eyes, as she swiftly facilitates shelter for those who lost their families and hope to Mother Nature.


I am moved –- please hold your conscience, do you know this person  or would have ever cared to know what  she had done great things changing the society - have more reasons to hail the present Govt and our Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modiji; always feel that somewhere our priorities went wrong and that people started looking at only Cine stars, Cricketers and politicians as heroes and noteworthy persons in the society  .. .. 

There are people who have been doing yeoman service to the Society but of whom little had been known – are now in the limelight receiving the honour and adding value to the awards.   Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day. The Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service). The awards seek to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved. The Government of India instituted two civilian awards-Bharat Ratna & Padma Vibhushan in 1954. The latter had three classes namely Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. These were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri vide Presidential Notification issued on January 8, 1955.   

Veerayatan stands on the three pillars of Seva (service to humanity), Shiksha (education for all), and Sadhana (self-development) to inspire and empower lives, reads its web.  Veerayatan is derived from the words ‘Veer’ for Lord Mahavir and ‘aayatan’ which means holy place. In keeping with its meaning, the organization unanimously serves all socio-economic-religious classes. Run by the radiant, Acharya Shri Chandanaji, it was inspired by the teachings of Tirthankar Mahavir and Rashtrasant Amar Muniji Maharaj.

Since its inception in 1973, Veerayatan has transformed several lives; those who weren’t as much as acknowledged as part of society. It has served as a beacon of hope for millions. It has facilitated incredible impact through extraordinary service towards alleviating human suffering. 

Padma Awards 2022: The Centre today  unveiled the list of Padma awardees for 2022, with Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, Paralympic athlete Avani Lekhara among those awarded the Padma Shri. Paralympic athlete Devendra Jhajharia was the only sportsperson awarded with the Padma Bhushan. The other sportspersons awarded with Padma Shri are Sumit Antil, Pramod Bhagat, Sankaranarayana Menon Chundayil, Faisal Ali Dar, Vandana Kataria, Brahmanand Sankhwalkar. 

The awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President has approved conferment of 128 Padma Awards including 2 duo case (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one). The list this year comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 13 Posthumous awardees. 

Those conferred with Padma Vibushan are :   1 Ms. Prabha Atre Art Maharashtra 2 Shri Radheyshyam Khemka (Posthumous) Literature and Education Uttar Pradesh 3 General Bipin Rawat (Posthumous) Civil Service Uttarakhand 4 Shri Kalyan Singh (Posthumous) Public Affairs Uttar Pradesh. 

As we read, for sure, we are to hear more about persons who have been rendering service to Society but have not had great recognition thus far.   Today, we are reading about Acharya Chandana ji.  ..  

Chandana ji, a revered moni is known as ‘Tai Maharaj’ -  belongs to the Amarmuni Sampradaya which reportedly is the only Jain monastic lineage to have promoted a nun to the rank of Acharya.   She founded Veerayatan—a non-profit, non-governmental service organization—which has centers in more than ten countries.  At the age of fourteen she renounced the world, took Jain diksha, and became Sadhvi Chandana. She made a twelve-year vow of silence to study Jain scriptures, the meaning and purpose of life, and different religions. She obtained the degrees of Darshanacharya from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai; Sahitya Ratna from Parayg; and a master's degree from the Pathardi Dharmik Pariksha Board. Chandana gained the title of Shastri in the subjects of Navya-Nyaya and Vyakaran from Banaras Hindu University.

Acharya Chandanaji has been rendering  humanitarian work in a poverty-stricken area in the state of Bihar, from 1974.   In 1998, Chandana traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, where she offered the opening prayer at the National Federation of Asian Indians of North America convention and was honoured for her contributions to peace. Her organization - Veerayatan operates hospitals, schools, colleges, and vocational training programs for the underprivileged throughout India. Veerayatan runs an eye hospital at Rajgir; a charitable school at Lachuar; and a BEd college at Pawapuri. In the Kutch district, Veerayatan runs two primary and one secondary educational institutions, an institute of pharmacy offering undergraduate and graduate programs, an institute of management and computer applications offering undergraduate programs, an institute of engineering, management, and research offering graduate and diploma programs. Veerayatan initiated emergency relief camps and rehabilitation programs in the aftermath of the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat,  the tsunami in 2004, during the Surat floods in 2006. and the Kosi River floods in 2008. 

We bow to Acharya and appreciate the Central Govt and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji in ensuring recognition of National awards for the richly deserving people. 

More to come !! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Jan 2022.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Nation's pride - Nethaji stands at India Gate - today hologram .. .. sooner in granite !!

Day 23rd Jan 2022 – Venue :  Delhi and a great moment to cherish – a technological one at that !! 

Ever heard of or know the significance of “Third Anglo-Afghan War” aka   the British-Afghan War of 1919 that began on 6 May 1919, when the Emirate of Afghanistan invaded British India and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919. The war resulted in a treaty with the Afghans gaining independence and control of foreign affairs from Britain, and the British recognising the Durand line as the border between Afghanistan and British India.. .. also ever wondered the relevance of that war, and some other skirmishes in  France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East !!! 

Holography is a technique that enables a wavefront to be recorded and later re-constructed. Holography is best known as a method of generating three-dimensional images, a  hologram is made by superimposing a second wavefront (normally called the reference beam) on the wavefront of interest, thereby generating an interference pattern which is recorded on a physical medium. When only the second wavefront illuminates the interference pattern, it is diffracted to recreate the original wavefront. Holograms can also be computer-generated by modelling the two wavefronts and adding them together digitally.  I did not understand much – yet the moment is of monumental significance ! 

The 28 feet-by-6 feet hologram statue is powered by a 30,000 lumens 4K projector. The light is thrown on a high-grain, 90 per cent transparent holographic screen that is not visible to visitors. It is one of the great freedom fighter ‘NETHAJI SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE’.  Our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji unveiled it today, stating that sooner  it  will be replaced by a granite statue.  The hologram statue is a placeholder until a granite statue is installed at the site.  Shri  Modi said: "It is unfortunate that after Independence, along with the culture and rites of the country, work was done to erase the contribution of many great personalities." He added, "The freedom struggle involved the penance of lakhs of countrymen. But efforts were made to limit their history as well. But today, after decades of independence, the country is correcting those mistakes". 

Give Me Blood! I Promise You Freedom!!   The British are engaged in a worldwide struggle and in the course of this struggle they have suffered defeat after defeat on so many fronts. The enemy having been thus considerably weakened, our fight for liberty has become very much easier than it was five years ago. Such a rare and God-given opportunity comes once in a century. That is why we have sworn to fully utilise this opportunity for liberating our motherland from the British yoke.  The first phase of our campaign is over. Our victorious troops, fighting side by side with Nipponese troops, have pushed back the enemy and are now fighting bravely on the sacred soil of our dear motherland.


Movie is only a form of entertainment, yet there are some films / some scenes that move us. Shankar directed ‘Indian’ [Bharatheeyudu] was a good film.  To many the hero was not the young Kamal but the older Indian Senapathy. The flashback in black & white was really moving taking us to older days, especially the footage of the great Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose.  The story shows Senapathi as a young valiant fighter joining  Bose’s army with the full support of his wife Amirthavalli. The handful of Nation’s soil to be smeared on forehead daily is poetic.  Senapathi gets captured,  survives the brutalities and comes to back in free India riddled with corruption, and he fights that !! 

On Sept 16th, 1985, in a dilapidated house in Faizabad, formerly the capital of Oudh province in India, a reclusive holy man known as Bhagwanji or Gumnami Baba (‘the saint with no name’) breathed his last. Locals had long suspected that he was none other than Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945),  the greatest revolutionary  who raised an independent army against the British Empire seeking  total independence for India. The Second World War had enabled him to practise what he preached and his Indian National Army  fought with the Japanese in Burma attempting to drive the British out of the subcontinent.  Sadly, his death has remained mysterious.  Nethaji was reported killed in an air crash in August 1945, while trying to escape to the Soviet Union, many believed then and continue to believe now that, helped by his Japanese allies, he faked his death, reached Russia and returned to India many years later to lead the secret life of a hermit. 

The man, the rebel with a cause, for sure was brilliant, innovative and out of the box – in 1942, in Berlin,  – six months after Adolf Hitler had assured Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that he could travel to Japan, he was still stuck in Germany. It was at that time,  Emilie Schenkl gave birth to their daughter, Anita. But duty beckoned the warrior. On February 8, 1943, Bose bade them farewell and boarded a German U-180 boat. He would not see them again. 

One man who has left the most indelible impression on India – as fighter par excellence, a great martyr, a man who could have shaped the destiny of India - certainly ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’ and the Nation remembers him today .. 

Train 12311/ 12312 runs 1743 kms for 32 hr 10 mins from Howrah – Kalka is  named as ‘Netaji Express’ after the great Subhash Chandra Bose.   The train first operated in the year 1866 and it has been in service of the nation for more than 150 years.   It is said that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose took this train from Gomoh under Dhanbad district to escape from the British administration 80 years ago.

A Nation must remember its martyrs who gave its freedom.  We became independent in 1947 and 73  years have rolled since.   There have been many unsung heroes – slowly we are losing generation which fought or witnessed the Freedom struggle ~ sometimes the news that we read in media about them are heart-rending.  After their first defeat at the hands of British in 1757, there arose many instances  when Indian patriots formed groups and fought hard and bitter battles exhibiting selfless sacrifice.  Alongside hundreds of Velu Thampi, Peshwa Baji Rao, Sardar Shyam Sing, Rani Laximibhai, Tantia Tope, Maharaj of Dumraon, Nana Sahib, there are many hundreds hidden whose exploits, history did not record or were neglected by the British historians and later partisan historians. .. towering among them all would be ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’.  Ever since India attained freedom and PM addressed the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in August 1947 – there have been Congress politicians and most of the heroes never received the attention and mention they deserved.


History records that Subash Bose, whose success in Indian National Congress was not accepted by Mahatma Gandhi had their last face-to-face meeting and ‘long conversation’ in June 1940 before Subhas’s imprisonment and daring escape. Subhas made ‘a passionate appeal to Mahatma to come forward and launch his campaign of passive resistance’. Gandhi was ‘ non-committal’ because he felt ‘the country was not prepared for a fight’. 

Interestingly, do you know that he was conferred with Bharat Ratna but the award was subsequently withdrawn. The award was established by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, on Jan 2, 1954. The original statutes did not make allowance for posthumous awards but later added in 1955 statute. Subsequently, there have been  posthumous awards, including the award to Subhash Chandra Bose in 1992, which was later withdrawn due to a legal technicality, the only case of an award being withdrawn. It was withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the “posthumous” nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence of Bose’s death and thus it invalidated the “posthumous” award.  

After the Union Home Ministry declassified files of Nethaji kept with National Archives – the files did throw open some dirty secret. For two decades, between 1948 and 1968, the government placed the Bose family members under intensive surveillance. Sleuths intercepted, read and recorded letters of the family of a freedom fighter who was Nehru's political co-worker for 25 years. IB sleuths discreetly tailed family members as they travelled around India and abroad, recording in minute detail who they met and what they discussed. The surveillance was exactly as it would be today on a wanted terrorist's family-rigorous, methodical yet unobtrusive. The revelations have shocked the Bose family. "Surveillance is conducted on those who have committed a crime or have terrorist links. Netaji and his family fought for the freedom of the country, why should they be placed under surveillance?" asked his grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose.  

We have been feeling very bad that Nethaji did not get the right honours he deserved – denied his proper recognition by the Congress Govt .. .. today, that stands changed as Nethaji stands proudly at India Gate !!  - what a moment for the Nation. 

The India Gate (formerly known as the All India War Memorial) is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the "ceremonial axis" of New Delhi, formerly called Kingsway. It stands as a memorial to 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in between 1914 and 1921 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen's names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate.  Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the gate evokes the architectural style of the triumphal arch such as the Arch of Constantine, in Rome, and is often compared to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the Gateway of India in Mumbai.  

Following the Bangladesh Liberation war in 1972, a structure consisting of a black marble plinth with a reversed rifle, capped by a war helmet and bounded by four eternal flames, was built beneath the archway. This structure, called Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the Immortal Soldier), has since 1971 served as India's tomb of the unknown soldier.   

Much earlier in 1930, the Maharaja of Kapurthala State, organised an appeal amongst the Indian princely rulers to erect a statue of King-Emperor George V in New Delhi to commemorate the sovereign's recent recovery from sepsis.  As originally conceived, the statue would have depicted the monarch in marble riding in a howdah atop a red stone elephant; a canopy was not then included in the design. The final concept, approved by George V before his death, dispensed with the elephant, instead including a red stone canopy and pedestal, with the pedestal standing 34.5 feet   tall marble statue of the King-Emperor wearing his Delhi Durbar coronation robes and Imperial State Crown, bearing the British globus cruciger and scepter.  The statue's installation in the autumn of 1936, amidst the Indian independence movement, made it a target for Independence activists; on the night of 3 January 1943, during the Quit India movement, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna and Manubhai Shah scaled the statue, smashed its nose and draped it with a large black cloth inscribed "Death to the Tyrant."  The statue remained standing at its original site for two decades following the nation's independence in 1947, in Aug 1958, the royal insignia of George V and the Tudor Crown atop the canopy were removed.   Two days before Independence Day in 1965, members of the Samyukta Socialist Party overpowered two constables guarding the site, covered the statue in tar and defaced its imperial crown, nose and one ear, also leaving a photo of Subhas Chandra Bose at the monument. 

Now a big statue of Nethaji would be positioned there.. .. tobe sculpted by  Awaita Gadanayak, the director-general of the National Gallery of Modern Art.  Adwaita Gadanayak was born and brought up in Neulapoi village of Dhenkanal district in Odisha. In 2016, he became the director generation of the National Gallery of Modern Art. Before that, he was heading the School of Sculpture at Bhubaneshwar's KIIT University. 

Interesting !  - long live the Nation – long live the memories of Great martyr Nethaji Subhas Chandra Bose. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Jan 2022.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Indians score a mammoth 405 in U19 WC

A die hard Indian cricket fan, still seething about the recent losses ! – look elsewhere, India has beaten SA quite comprehensively.  

It is all about ‘2022 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup’  currently underway in  West Indies sixteen teams taking part.  It is the fourteenth edition of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, and the first to be held in the West Indies. In Nov 2021, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed the full schedule for the tournament, with matches to be played in Antigua, Guyana, Saint Kitts, and Trinidad; the final will be played at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.  New Zealand decided to withdraw from the tournament due to the extensive mandatory quarantine restrictions for minors on their return home, with Scotland named as their replacement.[6] Bangladesh are the defending champions.  

In the 4 member group – India has alongside South Africa, Ireland and Uganda.  In the first match India beat Sout Africa by 45 runs and later thumped Ireland by 174 runs.  Today they are playing Uganda, with Covid taking a heavy toll !!  

A day after India called up reinforcements in the form of five reserve players to be flown into the Caribbean for the Under-19 World Cup following a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp, the team has made an additional change to the squad: right-arm seamer Vasu Vats has been approved by the event technical committee as a temporary Covid replacement for right-arm fingerspinner Manav Parakh. The BCCI had originally named Vats in their 17-member squad for the tournament, but ESPNcricinfo understands that the group was divided into 15 main squad members and two travelling reserves. Vats was part of the second category, along with batter Aaradhya Yadav. Both Vats and Aaradhya were in the group of six that had isolated on Wednesday prior to the game against Ireland. But, while Aaradhya has since tested positive for Covid-19, Vats has returned negative tests. That made him the only available option to be added to the squad before India's final group-stage game, against Uganda on Saturday. That has taken the number of available players for India to 12.  

On Friday, the BCCI had sent five players - Uday Saharan, Abishek Porel, Rishith Reddy, Ansh Gosai and Pushpendra Singh Rathore - as cover to the Caribbean, but they were not going to be available for the Uganda fixture since they have to serve mandatory quarantine after landing in the West Indies. However, they could be used as either temporary or permanent squad replacements if India so need ahead of their quarter-final on January 29.  

Sooner, the Nation would be plunged in the day-to-day bash of IPL 2022.  The auctions would soon be underway.  David Warner, the Player of the Tournament at the recent T20 World Cup, and his Australian team-mate Mitchell Marsh, who was the Player of the Match in the final, are among 49 players who have listed their base price at the maximum of INR 2 crore (US$ 269,000 approx.) for the 2022 mega IPL auction. Among the notable absentees from the initial longlist, seen by ESPNcricinfo, are Mitchell Starc, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Chris Gayle, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes.  

Among the big names on the list, which includes 17 Indians and 32 overseas players, are R Aswhin, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Suresh Raina, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Steven Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Mark Wood, Trent Boult, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Dwayne Bravo.  Overall, a total of 1214 cricketers, including 270 capped players, 312 uncapped players and 41 from Associate teams, have registered for the auction.    

This will be the first mega auction conducted by the IPL since 2018, when the tournament featured eight teams. This auction, there are two more teams after the IPL sold two new franchises - to be based in Lucknow and in Ahmedabad - last October for record sums.  

Moving on to U19 WC, today at the time of posting it is innings break.  Raj Bawa recorded an unbeaten 162 off just 108 balls sending bowlers helter-skelter becoming the highest individual scorer for India in U19WC – also setting a record for the fastest 150 in the history of WC – sure, we are to see a lot of him sooner !!  

At - Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad – Uganda won the toss and put India in !!! Angkrish Raghuvansbhi made 144 off 120 balls with 22 fours and 4 sixers; while Raj Bawa scored an unbeaten 162 off 108 with 14 fours and 8 over it.

With regards – S Sampathkumar