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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Saluting Triranga - Har ghar Triranga - Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav

எம் தேசம் எந்தன் மூச்சாகும் !! எம் ஆருயிர் தர்மம் உயிராகும் !!

15th August - A great day for the Nation ~ “Independence Day” is around the corner and it is duty of every Indian to celebrate the day by hoisting our National flag in our  houses, in Streets, Schools, Offices  and in every other place.   75 years ago, it was on this day [rather night] – the Union Jack faded to oblivion descending  for one last time from the flagstaff of Viceroy’s house at New Delhi marking the symbolic end to imperialism and the awakening of the spirit of free India. 

A flag is a symbolic representation of a Nation and its principles. It is considered a symbol of pride and is unanimously associated with the nation’s spirit and ethos.  The National flag of India in its current form was first adopted during the Constituent Assembly held on July 22, 1947. This was a few days before India's independence from the British was declared.  

                    The  term "triranga / tricolour" always refers to the Indian national flag. The flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress designed by Pingali Venkayya. The flag, by law, is to be made of khadi, a special type of hand-spun cloth of cotton or silk made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. The manufacturing process and specifications for the flag are laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Usage of the flag is governed by the Flag Code of India and other laws relating to the national emblems. The original code prohibited use of the flag by private citizens except on national days such as the Independence day and the Republic Day. In 2002, on hearing an appeal from  Naveen Jindal, the Supreme Court of India directed the Government of India to amend the code to allow flag usage by private citizens. Subsequently, the Union Cabinet of India amended the code to allow limited usage. 

Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS) is a manufacturing federation located in the Bengeri area of the city of Hubli in the Karnataka, state of India. It is the only unit in India that is authorised to manufacture and supply the Flag of India.  KKGSS was founded on November 1, 1957 by a group consisting of H. A. Pai, Anant Bhat, Jayadev Rao Kulkarni, B. J. Gokhale, Vasudev Rao and B. H. Inamdar who wanted to create a federation to cater to the need and growth of khadi and other village industries.  The main product manufactured by KKGSS is the Indian flag. Apart from this, it also manufactures clothes, carpets, bags, caps and bed-sheets made of khadi, soaps, handmade paper and processed honey. 

Prime Minister HOn'ble Shri Narendra Modiji  on Sunday urged people to put the "tiranga" ('tricolour', the national flag) as their display pictures on social media profiles between August 2 and 15. In his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast, he flagged a movement called 'Har Ghar Tiranga' (tricolour on every house) being organised from August 13 to 15. "Let us further this movement by hoisting the National Flag at our homes," he said. 

The drive is part of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' ('Pious Festival of Freedom'), which has been celebrated with several events and schemes in the lead-up to the 75th anniversary of Independence this year. The PMs said it's turning into a mass movement. On choosing August 2 to begin the social media profile-picture drive, he said the date marks the birth anniversary of Pingali Venkayya, "who designed our national flag".   Venkayya's initial design in 1921 — which he presented to Mahatma Gandhi -- was, in fact, slightly different from what eventually became the national flag, but it served as a prototype. His design had the three colours that we have today, but had a charkha (spinning wheel, a symbol of self-reliance) at the centre.   

PM Shri Narendra Modiji also referred to "Madam Cama", whose full name was Bhikaiji Rustom Cama, as having played "a key role in giving shape to the national flag". Her version from 1907 had three colours too, besides several cultural and religious symbols, with 'Vande Mataram' in the centre. 

For the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign, the central government has also tweaked the Flag Code. Now, all kinds of materials can be used for making the flags — polyester, cotton, wool, silk and Khadi bunting material — while earlier machine-made and polyester flags were not allowed. There is also no restriction on the size of the flag, neither on the timing of its display. Earlier, the flag was allowed to be flown only from sunrise to sunset.  According to an official statement, over 20 crore national flags would be unfurled on top of houses for the three days. 

PM Modiji, in the address, mainly focused on events to celebrate Independence. "People from all walks of life and from every section of the society are participating in different programmes across the country," he said. "When India completes 75 years of its Independence, all of us are going to witness a glorious and historic moment."  He spoke of some schemes of his government, too. Fairs of several cultures also found a mention, as did Ayurveda. He also congratulated sportspersons who achieved success during July.  

Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargadapi Gariyasi ~

Mother and motherland are superior to Heaven." 

Saluting our "Maha Bharat" ::Vandhe Matharam ~ Jai Hindusthan ~ Jai Jawan ~ Jai Kisan ~  ever in the feet of Bharat Matha…


With reverence to holy motherland – S. Sampathkumar

31st July 2022


Friday, July 29, 2022

T20I at Tarouba .. ..


One may call it ‘embarras de richesses’ – abundance that brings in confusion !! – now a days, we see so many players being rested, newer ones getting chances and sometimes older ones too getting recalled !!   decades ago, in that ODI in Auckland Feb 22 1976, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar debuted alongside Pochiah Krishnamurthy and Sudhakar Rao .. .. – just incidental that it was the only match for all the 3 of them !

It promises to be a carnage at Tarouba, DK hit couple of huge hits while Ashwin too hoisted one big !! – India is playing 3 spinners, yes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Bishnoi.

Pic credit : @bcci twitter

San Fernando, is the most populous city and second most populous municipality in Trinidad and Tobago, after Chaguanas. Sando, as it is also known, occupies 19 km² and is located in the southwestern part of the island of Trinidad. It is bounded on two sides by the Guaracara River &  Oropouche River.  The motto of San Fernando is: "Sanitas Fortis" - In a Healthy Environment We Will Find Strength. San Fernando is called Trinidad and Tobago's "industrial capital" because of its proximity to the Pointe-à-Pierre oil refinery and many other petrochemical, LNG, iron and steel and aluminium smelters in places such as Point Lisas in Couva, Point Fortin, and La Brea.


Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean. Consisting of the main islands Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous much smaller islands, it is situated 130 kilometres (81 miles) south of Grenada and 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. The island of Trinidad was inhabited for centuries by Indigenous peoples before becoming a colony in the Spanish Empire, following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498. Spanish governor José María Chacón surrendered the island to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1797.  Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976.  Unlike most Caribbean nations and territories, which rely heavily on tourism, the economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals; much of the nation's wealth is derived from its large reserves of oil and natural gas.  

Today, India is playing the first of the 5 T20Is at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.Alzarri Joseph, who picked up two wickets in each of the two games he played in the preceding ODI series, was handed his T20I debut. Shimron Hetmyer, who earned a call back ahead of this series, also came in, while Odean Smith, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder and Keemo Paul added all-round abilities in the middle. Akeal Hosein was the lone spinner in the West Indies XI.

India, on the other hand, has  three slow bowlers. Ravindra Jadeja, who was out of the ODIs due to a knee niggle, returned, with Ravi Bishnoi and R Ashwin - who last played a T20I in November 2021 - completing the tourists' spin trio. Rohit Sharma  is  back to lead, after being rested for the ODIs, while Shreyas Iyer got the nod ahead of allrounder Deepak Hooda and scored a duck. This is the  first international match at this stadium, which has hosted Caribbean Premier League games before. The Brian Lara Cricket Academy is a multi-purpose stadium in Tarouba, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, that was completed and inaugurated in 2017. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th July 2022.

Russia Ukraine War - fuelling ! recession in GErmany !!

What is recession – will it affect Third world countries or advanced economies badly ? – is it internal economy or international factors that influence it !!  Will Iran Iraq war increase the price of brinjals in our local market and . .. will Russia Vs Ukraine fuel a crisis in a farther land !!

Both the stocks and the rupee rallied sharply on Thursday amid expectations that the US Federal Reserve could slow down the pace of its interest rate hikes. While the benchmark Sensex soared over 1041 points to cross the 56000 mark, the rupee gained 14 paise against the dollar to close at 79.76. The Sensex closed at 56857.79 points.  On Wednesday, the US central bank raised interest rates by 75 basis points, its fourth increase this calendar year. Though this was priced in by the markets, dovish commentary from Fed chair cheered investors.  In its continuing bid to cool down raging inflation in the United States — at 9.1% in June, the inflation rate is at a four-decade high — the Federal Reserve or Fed (US’ central bank) decided to raise the Federal Funds Rate target by another 75 basis points on Wednesday. Since March, the Fed has steadily pushed up the targeted FFR from zero to almost 2.5% now.

Economics is Profesors’ cup of tea ! – commoners may not understand it a wee bit.  One of the traditional definitions of a recession is "a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months."  In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activity. Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in spending (an adverse demand shock). This may be triggered by various events, such as a financial crisis, an external trade shock, an adverse supply shock, the bursting of an economic bubble, or a large-scale anthropogenic or natural disaster (e.g. a pandemic).


Before reading further, do read this story  about a man who once upon a time was selling hotdogs by the roadside:

He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers. He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His eyes were weak, so he never watched television. But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdogs. He was smart enough to offer some attractive schemes to increase his sales. His sales and profit went up. He ordered more and  more raw material and buns and the sales curve shot up. He recruited few more supporting staff to serve more customers. He started offering home deliveries. Eventually he got himself a bigger and better stove.  As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from College,  joined his father.

Then some strange events occurred.  The son asked, "Dad, aren't you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?" The father replied, "No, but tell me about it." The son said, "The international situation is terrible. The domestic situation is even worse.  We should be prepared for the coming bad times." The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, listened to the radio and watched TV. He ought to know and his advice should not be taken lightly.  So the next day onwards, the father cut down the his raw material order and buns, took down the colourful signboard, removed all the special schemes he was offering to the customers and was no longer as enthusiastic.  He reduced his staff strength by giving layoffs. Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hotdog stand. And his sales started coming down rapidly, same is the profit. The father said to his son, "Son, you were right". "We are in the middle of a recession and crisis. I am glad you warned me ahead of time."

Moral of The Story: It's all in your MIND! And we actually FUEL this recession much more than we think …

Europe's summer heatwave has only just finished, but already panic is growing in Germany over what horrors may lay in store for its citizens this winter. Vladimir Putin is choking the country's gas supplies - officially because of 'essential repair work' to pipelines, though few doubt he is exacting revenge for Berlin's defiance over Ukraine. Flows through Nord Stream 1, Germany's main gas pipe, are now at 20 per cent of normal levels. There are fears it could soon close for good.  That has sparked warnings of energy rationing for both households and businesses which, under worse-case scenarios, could force entire industries to shut down. Domestic energy bills could triple, pushing already-high inflation up by another 2 per cent. £240billion could be wiped off the economy, with aftershocks felt into 2024.

'Germany is on the cusp of a recession,' is how top economist Clemens Fuest put it.  Others worry the whole Eurozone could soon go into reverse. In order to avert a catastrophe, EU leaders agreed to cut gas use by 15 per cent but Germany - which imports the most Russian gas of any member state by far - faces double that. Economy minister Robert Habeck says he is taking shorter showers, while regional leaders are dimming street lights and closing swimming pools. The fiasco, MailOnline reports - is a legacy of Angela Merkel, who ignored 15 years of warnings from her own top energy expert Claudia Kemfert that over-reliance on Russian energy would make the country vulnerable. As Viktorija Starych-Samuolienė, co-founder of think-tank Council on Geostrategy, told MailOnline: 'Germany is in for a rough winter due to its heavy reliance on Russian gas.

Germany is, by a long way, the largest importer of Russian gas in the EU - buying some 52billion cubic metres of gas in 2020 according to figures from the bloc. The next-largest is Italy, on 28billion. Despite importing so much gas, it makes up a smaller portion of energy used in Germany than other European countries  - but runs critical manufacturing industries, and is also used to heat care homes and hospitals.  Germany is not alone in relying on Russian natural gas to run its economy, with some 40 per cent of EU member state's total gas consumption coming from its eastern neighbour.

But years of deliberate policy-making has made Germany uniquely vulnerable to Russian threats to cut gas flows. First, there is the sheer volume of gas that Berlin imports - almost 52.5billion cubic metres in 2020, according to EU figures, which is around double the next-closest nation, Italy, on 28billion. Second, Germany produces almost none of its own gas: Imports account for 95 per cent of yearly usage, powering key manufacturing industries as well as heating hospitals, care homes and houses. Third, is the delivery method: Gas comes exclusively to Germany via pipeline, which unlike other European nations does not have any ports capable of receiving liquified natural gas. Of those piping gas into Germany, Russia is by far the largest - accounting for 55 per cent of imports before the war - followed by Norway, Algeria and Qatar. Last: Nord Stream 1 is by far the most important route for getting Russian gas into Germany, capable of transporting almost all of its daily needs - though small amounts did also arrive via the Yamal pipe from Belarus and Poland and the Soyuz pipe that goes via Ukraine.

It means that, by shutting off a single pipeline, Russia could have cut off more than half of Germany's gas imports and left Berlin with very few ways to switch supplies at short notice. The situation has improved somewhat since the war broke out. Berlin has managed to cut Russian imports to around a third of its foreign supplies, and two liquified gas ports are under construction at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel, facing the North Sea. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, caught completely off-guard by the war in Ukraine, has set a target for German energy companies to fill gas tanks to 90 per cent - a task made harder by the fact that storage facilities, many owned by Russian firms, were running critically low just as Putin ordered his invasion. Firms are on course to miss that target, the country's regulator said on Monday, which IMF modelling suggests could mean the country running critically low on supplies all the way into the winter of 2026/27. That could force entire industries to shut down, economy minister Robert Habeck warned recently, as unions warned that many companies will not survive the tumult. Under federal law, German households are currently protected from rationing but ministers and executives have begun to warn that may have to change.  The country lacks the infrastructure to physically throttle supplies to homes, so the most-likely way gas would be rationed is to sharply increase prices. 

The crisis is likely to get so acute that Deutsche Bank predicts large numbers of Germans will resort to using wood burners to heat their homes this winter, instead of boilers. Moscow has denied the dwindling gas supplies have anything to do with the war, saying instead that turbines which pump the gas need to be repaired and are to blame. But experts point out that whenever turbines have needed routine maintenance in the past, Russia has boosted supplies through its other lines to cope. That has not happened this time. As the days grow darker and the weather grows colder, tensions are likely to rise further - to the delight of Moscow and the fear of Kyiv.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th July 2022. 
Pics credit : Dailymail UK

Thursday, July 28, 2022

colour of black money - West Bengal hour of shame ! - பாடுபட்டுத் தேடிப் பணத்தைப் புதைத்து


What is the colour of black money ?  Often the talk dwells on ‘black money’, nay not the colour of money.  Corruption, hoarding of money, black money and stashing money in foreign banks have been haunting the Nation and have been the themes of many blockbuster films where the incidence of black money is very high ! -  the  2007 Rajinikanth movie ‘Sivaji- the boss’  had a great narrative on converting black money into white and how it could help those in need of money. In another Rajinism -   “The rich get richer and the poor, poorer.”- Rajni utters  first in Tamil and then repeated for the punch in English. For those who have seen the film, the plot would unravel and show how stacks of money stashed away was brought out.

Kanthaswamy, (Vikram)  a CBI officer in the Economic Offences Wing,  groups with his friends, collects money with his friends,  grants the wishes of the needy, who write letters and tie on the tree at Thiruporur Kandasamy temple – in the disguise of  an anthropomorphic rooster superhero known as Kanthaswamy. In one of his raids,

he discovers a stash of black money owned by Pallur Paramajothi Ponnusamy aka Ponnusamy, a rich and corrupted entrepreneur and his partner Rajmohan. Ponnusamy pretends that he has a stroke to escape questioning by the police.  

நல்வழி - அவ்வை மூதாட்டியின் நன்னூல்.  அதில் ஒரு பாடல் :

பாடுபட்டுத் தேடிப் பணத்தைப் புதைத்து வைத்துக்

கேடுகெட்ட மானிடரே கேளுங்கள் - கூடுவிட்டிங்(கு)

ஆவிதான் போயினபின் யாரே அனுபவிப்பர்

பாவிகாள் அந்தப் பணம்.

இந்த பொன்னான உலகத்தில் நாம் அனைவருமே - பணம் மென்மேலும் ஈட்ட அலைகின்றோம்.  தேடிய பணத்தை யாருக்கும் தெரியாமல் புதைத்து வைக்கின்றனர் சிலர்;  அனுபவிக்காமல் மறைத்து வைக்கின்றனர். இவர்கள் கேடு கெட்ட மனிதர்கள். இப்படிக் கேடுகெட்ட மனிதரே! ஒன்று சொல்கிறேன் கேளுங்கள். உங்கள் உடம்புக் கூட்டை விட்டுவிட்டு உங்கள் ஆவி போன பின்பு அந்தப் பணத்தை யார்தான் அனுபவிக்கப் போகிறார்கள்? பாவிகளே! சொல்லுங்கள் என கேள்வி எழுப்புகின்றார் அவ்வையார் ??

The question is not only on corruption and black money – also on how such people stash the money !  - will some one just bury it in their premises, just as people did centuries ago !

In denial mode, a Trinamool spokesperson had to announce that they have officially striped the Minister of all his posts including that of Party’s General Secretary as he had brought disgrace to all !!!   - the act :  as ANI and other media reported – cash of Rs 27.9 crores; , gold, and jewellery worth Rs 4.31 crores were  recovered  from the residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee.  Another report suggested that another 41 crore and 3 kg of gold was found in her   Belgharia flat.  If being ‘close aide’ of TMC minister Partha Chatterjee had this money of hard cash, imagine what higher-ups and their families own.  Bengal seems to have outsmarted many other States in the corruption race !!

The beginning was usual claiming that she would cleanse the corrupt WB and chase those Commies out of power.  .. .. . after  being a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) for over 26 years, Mamata Banerjee quit the INC and established the TMC in 1998.  In December 2006, the people of Nandigram were given notice by Haldia Development Authority that a major portion of Nandigram would be seized and 70,000 people be evicted from their homes to make way for a chemical plant.  There were violent protests and that formed the last straw to remove  the CPI(M) government, and were a major factor in the TMC's success in the elections that followed. It was a steady rise to power for TMC and Mamata Banerjee  - whose minister is got in the cash row now.

The Trinamool Congress has finally stripped arrested senior leader Partha Chatterjee of his ministries and all posts within the party amid mounting pressure to act. He’s also been suspended from the TMC until the probe against him gets over. Chatterjee was holding the portfolios of commerce and enterprise, industry, information technology and electronics, as well as parliamentary affairs in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal government. In the TMC, he was secretary general, a member of the disciplinary committee and several other committees, and state vice president.

Sources said Trinamool had to make this decision as there was pressure from inside as well as outside the party. Chatterjee is accused of irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and staff in state-sponsored and aided schools, being called the “SSC scam”.

During the first raid by the Enforcement Directorate about Rs 21 crore in cash was recovered from Chatterjee’s aide Arpita Mukherjee’s residence, the TMC tried to gauge the situation. Party leader Kunal Ghosh tweeted that the money recovered and Arpita were not connected to the TMC and Trinamool will not take any responsibility for them.  Now after the arrest of  Partha Chatterjee and his alleged link to the cash haul started to tumble out, murmurs emerged inside the party.  The visuals of the stash were spreading on social media and messaging platforms, along with the news of Partha’s alleged links to it and Arpita. The issue became the talk of Bengal and the nation.

Stash of currency found, and Minister stripped of his post – will anything happen next !! – or everyone would forget as has happened before ! 

With regards – S. Sampatkumar
28th July 2022.

Nation's new President Droupadi Murmu .. .. what connects Bolarum & Mashobra ?

Ever heard of this place by name Bolarum and can you connect this with Mashobra ??


Mrs Droupadi Murmu is the President of India now; the 15th Indian President.  Ms Murmu’s victory marked several firsts. She became the first President born in Independent India. At 64, Murmu is also  the youngest occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, besides being the first tribal leader to hold the country’s top office.  She is not new to politics – She was Minister of State in 1st Ministry of Naveen Patnaik in 2000; represented Odisha Rairangpur assembly and later became the Governor of Jharkhand in 2015.

Indian Presidential election is an indirect one involving the legislators and not directly the public.  The recent one of 2022 was the 16th presidential election as  incumbent president Ram Nath Kovind tenure expired. The election took place on 18 July 2022 with a turnout of 99.12%.  BJP candidate Droupadi Murmu won the election, defeating Yashwant Sinha, the candidate of the opposition, by a margin of 296,626 votes.  

Fourteen people have been elected as the President of India since India became a republic in 1950, with 12 of them completing their full term of five years. Babu Rajendra Prasad, the inaugural President, is the only one so far to be re-elected to the position.  At 12 years and 107 days, India's first President, Rajendra Prasad, had the longest tenure. He was re-elected in the 1952 and 1957 elections by record margins. Prior to becoming the President, Prasad was the President of the Constituent Assembly.

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected as the President unopposed after the nomination papers of 36 other aspirants were rejected. Thus, no Presidential election was held in 1977. Interestingly, Reddy was the official Congress candidate in the 1969 election but narrowly lost to VV Giri. In 1969, official Congress candidate Neelam Sanjiva Reddy lost to Independent VV Giri, who was tacitly backed by Indira Gandhi. Under the call for 'conscience vote', a minority of Congress lawmakers, Leftists and Communists helped Giri carry 11 of 17 state legislatures. Giri, however, secured just 48 per cent first-preference votes. The other official candidate was former Finance Minister CD Deshmukh, who secured a little over one lakh votes.

For those interested in trivia, Mashobra and Bolaram are the venues of Presidential retreat. 

Mashobra is a town in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, connected to the state capital Shimla (erstwhile Simla) through the historic Hindustan–Tibet Road built in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie.  Bolaram is a locality in Secunderabad Cantonment in Hyderabad, Telangana, lying closer to Secunderabad.  The location of 'The Retreat Building' in Shimla and the 'Rashtrapati Nilayam' in Hyderabad are indicative of the integrative role of the Office of the President of India in our country.  Located at the hill top of the Mashobra, the building was taken over during 1895 by the Viceroy. The President visits The Retreat at least once a year and the core office shifts to that place during stay in The Retreat. Thousand feet higher than the Shimla Ridge Top, The Retreat is located in a picturesque surrounding. This building is  purely a wooden structure with dajji wall construction. Originally constructed in 1850, this building has a plinth area of 10,628 sq. ft.

The other one situated in Hyderabad is in Bolarum, Rashtrapati Nilayam building was taken over from the Nizam of Hyderabad after India attained independence and handed it over to the President's Secretariat. Constructed during 1860, this building has a total land area of 90 acres. A single storied building, it contains in its premises 11 rooms.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th July 2022.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

saluting the real heroes of Nation - Kargil Diwas

Earlier it was known as  Purig ~   the  Suru River,  a 185 kilometres (115 mi) long river, that originates from the Panzella glacier enriches it – it is the place in news and apt to be remembered by the entire Nation today – 26th July !

For those who feel cold Chennai is cold – life is far far different ! . .. its  landscape is mountainous, rugged, and high, the minimum elevation being some 8,000 feet (2,440 metres). The climate is cold and dry, with scanty precipitation that falls mainly as snow in winter. One locality, Dras (Drass), is reputed to be one of the world’s coldest permanently inhabited places, with winter temperatures falling to as low as −40 °F (−40 °C) or colder. Vegetation, mainly grasses and shrubs, is largely confined to river valleys at lower elevations, as the higher places are rocky and largely barren.  It is Kargil.

The distinguished history of Indian Army dates back more than ten thousand years. The two grand epics of ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ constitute the fundamental framework around which the edifice of Indian Army is built.  Though innumerable wars have been fought thereafter, most were in quest of universal peace and ‘dharma’. Recourse to arms was only taken when peace was threatened. In fact the word 'peace' forms the very core of Indian philosophy, which can most aptly be traced to one of India's ancient scriptures known as the ‘Yajurveda’. It is stated in verse, the English translation of which reads - “May the sky be peaceful; may the atmosphere be peaceful; may the earth be peaceful; may eternal peace cometh upon us”.

The name Kargil is derived from two words Khar and rKil. Khar means castle and rKil means center thus a place between castles as the place lay between many kingdoms.  Gasho Tha Tha Khan is said to be the first crusader who established a dynasty in the area. Tha Tha Khan was a scion of the royal family of Gilgit who captured Kargil in early 8th century. His dynasty ruled the Sod area of Kargil in early period  .. centuries later,  Ladakh became a Union Territory on 31st  October 2019 and Kargil  came under The Union Territory of Ladakh .

In ancient time, the major part of present Kargil was named as Purik. This name has been given by the Tibetan scholars as the people living in this part of the land have the features of Tibetans. Drass is inhabited by the people of the Dard race and Zanskar has Ladakhi – Tibeto stock. The racial stocks of Kargilis are Aryans, Dard, Tibetans and Mongoloids. Kargil is a place where people of multi- ethnic, multi-languish, multi- cultural are living in. The types of people are Brogpas, Baltis, Purik, Shinas and Ladakhi. The languages spoken are Shina, Balti, Purig , Ladakhi etc.   

In  1822, Raja Gulab Singh of the Dogra dynasty was anointed as the Raja of Jammu by the Sikh emperor Ranjit Singh. In 1834, Gulab Singh sent his general Zorawar Singh Kahluria to conquer the territory between Jammu and the Tibetan border. Marching through Kishtwar, Zorawar Singh reached Purig and defeated the Bhotia leader Mangal at Sankoo in August. Kartse, the then capital of Purig, fell into Zorawar Singh's hands, who built a fort there before advancing towards Leh.

Following the First Anglo-Sikh War and the Treaty of Amritsar (1846), Gulab Singh was made an independent Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, as it eventually came to be called, was organised into two large provinces, Jammu and Kashmir, and two frontier ilaqas, Ladakh and Gilgit. Ladakh was a wazarat (district) with a governor called wazir-e-wazarat. It had three tehsils: Leh, Kargil and Skardu.   The city of Kargil always had a tehsil headquarters.


We have seen Cine heroes donning role of  Army Jawans and applaud them too –  the Nation needs to read and know more about the real heroes who protect the Nation.   In our history books, we have read about 3 battles of Panipat, Plassey, Arcot and more ….. the text books should have the battles of  Tololing  and Kargil ! ~ on every 26th of July, I circulate something on Kargil  - the Nation today pays homage to the jawans who sacrificed their lives in the 1999 Kargil war against Pakistan.

Kargil Vijay Diwas is a symbol of pride and glory of Maa Bharati. On this occasion, my salute to all the brave sons of the country who have accomplished their valour in the defense of the motherland. Jai Hind! – tweeted our Honble PM Shri Narendra Modiji

Tejasvi Surya, the young MP tweeted :  Kargil War Memorial is an exuberance of valor of our brave soldiers Every inch of the memorial is an expression of supreme sacrifice to protect every inch of Maa Bharati Overwhelmed as we conclude  @BJYM

In 1999, when the war broke out, the Pakistan army did not admit to their involvement in the war and blamed Kashmiri militants for the occupation. However, statements by then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and then Pakistan Army Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf clearly indicated their involvement in the war.

Both the Nations conducted nuclear tests in 1998.   India and Pakistan had signed the Lahore Declaration in February 1999. Before the ink could dry, the traitor  Pakistani Armed Forces were secretly sending troops to India's side of LOC.   When India did realise the gravity of the situation, the Indian Army sent 20,000 troops for Operation Vijay against Pakistan.  As history has it, India successfully evicted the Pakistani troops from its territory as the war ended on July 26. This momentous day is now known as  Kargil Vijay Diwas. Sadly,  527 soldiers sacrificed their lives for the country during the war. Traditionally, the Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated all across the country. The Prime Minister of India pays  tribute to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate every year. There is a Kargil War memorial as well in Dras on the foothills of Tololing Hill. These honour  the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. The  gateway of the memorial has the  poem 'Pushp Kii Abhilasha' and the names of the martyrs inscribed.    

Remembering the Hero Jawans and salute their supreme sacrifice. 

With great respects – S. Sampathkumar
26th July 2022. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Speed of Income tax returns processing !!

 Some say that ‘tax and death’ are inevitable…. As a good and responsible citizen, it is our bounden duty to pay our taxes promptly….there are direct and indirect taxes and for those of us – whose life entirely dwells on going to work, looking eagerly for the salary day, overspending whatever is earned – in the month of March struggle for making tax savings and come July, file our tax returns without fail…. 

Remember 31st July is the last date to file Income tax returns !! 

The Central Government has been empowered by Entry 82 of the Union List of Schedule VII of the Constitution of India to levy tax on all income other than agricultural income. The Income Tax Law comprises The Income Tax Act 1961, Income Tax Rules 1962, Notifications and Circulars issued by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Annual Finance Acts and Judicial pronouncements by Supreme Court and High Courts. The Government of India imposes an income tax on taxable income of all persons including individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), companies, firms, association of persons, body of individuals, local authority and any other artificial judicial person.  The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.   

Sure you have received the form 16 – the essential document issued by Employer detailing salary, tax incidence and the amount of tax deducted from your salary at source.  Every Indian citizen aged below 60 years is liable to pay income tax if their income exceeds Rs 2.5 lakhs.    

To put it simply – every one with assessable income taxable will have to file their return -  till a few years ago, the process was so cumbersome for common man and nearer the deadline there would be long winding queues at Aayakar bhavan for filing tax returns.  Those having to pay advance tax / self-assessment tax too found it too cumbersome, having to go to designated branches and having to stand in queue for long.  Then after  filing  the assessee had to submit the verification of the return from ITR-V for acknowledgement after signature to Central Processing Centre.  

In the past, the special counters operated from IT Offices in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi…. But don’t leave it until the proverbial 11th hour and rush for paying it on the last day.    Gone are those days in modern digital India.    

Now we are able to file returns electronically uploading all relevant documents – anyway, every transaction of ours is available in form 26AS.  When you file your returns electronically, you would immediately get a confirmatory mail from the Income Tax department at your registered mail id.  You are required to verify, print and sign the acknowledgement [ITR-V] and send it by Ordinary Post Or Speed Post  or again upload electronically.  .   

To my pleasant surprise – I filed my returns through Auditor on 19.7.2022 and today as I got up found SMS and email message that my  returns has been processed and refund approved. So fast.


Appreciate the good network, pleasant experience and the speed of processing by the IT Dept and thank my auditors M/s Devan & Co ..   My Digital India is shining ! – pic at the start – Up above the World so high, like a diamond in the sky !!


Tailpiece: Only for the salaried income, who are overtly worried about their income and the taxes deducted.  Indian Express a few years back reported that the CBDT has launched an inquiry into a contentious income-tax order which dismissed a tax demand of Rs 980 crore on jailed Haryana politician Gopal Goyal Kanda and his business ventures, including the MDLR Group. The inquiry was also expected to look into the sequence of events leading to the tax demand being dismissed as it was categorised as "collectable" in February 2010, shifted to the "difficult-to-recover" category a month later before being completely dismissed in March 2012.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Ajit Pai, Cricketer - the Old Porirua Road

This is not exactly a Cricket post – lot of Cricket, some GK, some Geography and more !! .. .. … 

Way back in Sept 1969, India played New Zealand at Brabourne -  Tiger Pataudi decided to bat,  a four-pronged attack consisting of Bruce Taylor, Dayle Hadlee, Bob Cunis, and Bevan Congdon bowled out the hosts for a paltry 156, Ajit Wadekar (49) being the only one to put up some resistance. Batting at No. 9 Ajit Pai scored a single before Congdon ran through his defence. Pai was to bowl the first over. Glenn Turner and Bruce Murray began solidly, but Pai got his first Test wicket when he got the latter caught by Chauhan. He came back later to have Mark Burgess caught by Abid Ali.  Pai finished with impressive figures of 17-4-29-2. India responded strongly thanks to some defiant batting from Wadekar and Pataudi, but New Zealand were left to score a mere 188. Pai scored 9 before Hedley Howarth bowled him. Pataudi did not want to take risks, and gave his three seamers — Pai, Abid Ali, and Rusi Surti — 2 overs apiece before turning to Bishan Bedi and EAS Prasanna. As things turned out, Bedi (6 for 42) and Prasanna (4 for 74) guided India to a 60-run victory.


A debut in a winning match and a decent performance in that – yet  why  Ajit Manohar Pai never played more than a solitary Test remains shrouded in mystery: he had all that demands an extended a long run at the top level. It had perhaps to do with his emergence in an era when the Indian bowling attack was heavily dependent on spinners, and Team had batting allrounders   Abid Ali & Eknath Solkar.  An innocuous sounding Cricket    Q by Bala Sir on FB triggered this post. 

Amelia Charlotte Kerr, the New Zealander is a remarkable Cricketer.  On 13 June 2018, Kerr made the highest individual score in a WODI match, and became the youngest cricketer, male or female, to score a double century in One Day International cricket, when she scored 232 not out against Ireland.  Later in the same match, she also took 5 wickets for 17 runs, her first five-wicket haul in WODIs.  On that day, the 17-year-old legspin-bowling allrounder broke former Australia captain Belinda Clark's 21-year-old record of the highest individual score in women's ODIs.  

Porirua, a city in the Wellington Region of the North Island of New Zealand, is one of the four cities that constitute the Wellington metropolitan area. The name 'Porirua' comes from  'Pari-rua', meaning "the tide sweeping up both reaches- a reference to the two arms of the Porirua Harbour and is of Māori origin. The road climbing the hill from Kaiwharawhara towards Ngaio and Khandallah still bears the name "Old Porirua Road".  The Old Porirua Road in the 19th century was the main road north up the west coast from Wellington to Porirua in New Zealand.  It ran from Kaiwarra (now Kaiwharawhara) up the Ngaio Gorge to Ngaio (then called Crofton), Khandallah, Johnsonville and Tawa to the Porirua Harbour. Most of the road still exists, although many sections are now local roads only, having been superseded as through road.  

The road followed the route of a Māori track which was not suitable for wheeled vehicles. In the early 1840s "it was usually easier to pile up the timber and burn it" than to transport logs out; at Boxhill in Khandallah the atrocious road condition could require eight or ten bullocks to pull carts through. William Mein Smith and the New Zealand Company cleared bush alongside the track and widened it in 1841, allowing the sale of sections along it from June.   In late 1845 the government reinforced the two companies of soldiers in Wellington with six hundred more troops.  After the "Maori scare" of 1845-46 Governor Grey had the road from Jackson's Ferry or Fort Elliott in Porirua and The Barracks at Paremata to Wellington upgraded to fifteen feet.  


There is a book titled ‘The Old Porirua Road’ and that exactly was the Cricket Q by R Balasundaram which read :  

Today being Sunday, a rather lengthy question, in two parts.

1) India - Agriculture and Industry

2) Japan- Agriculture and Industry

3) Food and Population in Monsoon Asia

4) The Old Porirua Road

The above are some of the many books co-authored by this opening batsman. Identify him. Second part of the question- This batsman-author was the first Test victim of an Indian medium-pacer, who played that solitary Test in his career. Who was the bowler? Do not send only one name, need both answers. 

My Answer was :  1)Bowler - Ajit Pai 2) Batter - NZ Bruce Alexander Grenfell Murray - a school principal in the Wellington and author of several Geography books. 

The batter Murray was - Bruce Alexander Grenfell Murray  who played 13 Tests as a right-handed opening batsman between 1968 and 1971. He was a school principal in the Wellington area from 1981 to 2002, and the author of several geography textbooks.   

After several seasons in the Plunket Shield, Murray was selected for New Zealand's non-Test tour of Australia in 1967-68, where he was the team's highest scorer, with 351 runs. Murray made his Test debut in early 1968 against India in Dunedin, scoring 17 and 54.  In the first innings of the Second Test in Christchurch he scored 74, putting on 126 for the first wicket with Graham Dowling to set New Zealand on the path to its first Test victory over India; he also took four catches in the match. He toured England, India and Pakistan with the New Zealand Test team in 1969. His highest Test score, 90, and another four catches, helped New Zealand to its first Test victory over Pakistan in a low-scoring match in Lahore.   He is one of just three players to have taken a Test wicket without conceding a run, giving him a career bowling average of 0.00. In the Third Test in Wellington in 1968 he bowled 6 balls and dismissed the Indian opener Syed Abid Ali.  

After his retirement from cricket, Murray continued his teaching career, teaching at Tawa College near Wellington, then at Naenae College in Lower Hutt, where he became principal in 1981, before becoming principal at Tawa College from 1989 to 2002. In the 2002 Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours, he was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for public services. He is also a writer. In the 1970s and 1980s he wrote or co-wrote a number of geography textbooks. Since his retirement he has written several books about the Tawa district.  

He has lived in Tawa since 1964. He and his wife Shona have three daughters and a son. His granddaughters Amelia Kerr and Jess Kerr have played international cricket for New Zealand; Amelia played in the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup.  Beginning with the 2008-09 season, the Bruce Murray Medal has been awarded annually for sportsmanship in Wellington club cricket. 

Interesting facts triggered by one Cricket Q on FB.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
20th July 2022.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

falling leaves and a beautiful bird !!

For those of us living in concrete jungle called ‘city’ – nature is totally new and away ! – some do not even get to see Sunlight and rays .. … seeing stars, moons and nature is galaxies away. But .. .. in some ways, feared Covid 19 provided some opportunity to look around. 

Nearer home is an Arasa maram – that has thick foliage – providing resting place for variety of birds and insects including Mynah, Parrots and many more. Though the pattern is not understood by me, suddenly all the leaves would drop and in a short span, green newer leaves would spring up ! – that is really beautiful.  This is no post on trees but a beautiful little bird found on a leafless tree (the reason for fall could be quite different) 

Ficus religiosa or sacred fig is a species of fig native to the Indian subcontinent  that belongs to Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the bodhi tree, pippala tree,   peepal tree, or ashvattha tree.    The sacred fig is considered to have a religious significance in three major religions that originated on the Indian subcontinent, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.   This is the tree under which Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.   

Almost all trees change from summer green to the brilliant fall shades of orange, yellow, red and brown. It’s fall. Soon, the leaves will fall to the ground  : Leaves fall off trees so that the trees can survive the winter.  The  word “fall” is a bit misleading. It implies that the trees are passive this time of year, when, in fact, they are actively “pushing” the leaves off their branches. 

Interestingly, autumn leaves are not simply blown off trees but are separated from the plants in a highly controlled process. As day length shortens and temperatures cool, hormones within the plant are activated to begin the abscission process. Chlorophyll production stops and the pigment starts to degrade, often revealing showy reds and yellows that were masked by green. The vessels that carry water to the leaf and sugars to the rest of the plant are closed off, and a layer of cells, known as the abscission layer, starts to grow between the leaf stalk and the twig holding it. These cells serve to slowly cut the leaf from the plant without leaving an open wound. As the leaves fall, the plant enters dormancy, saving its energy for the great bud burst of spring.


This winterization process is a must for trees’ survival. During that process, the trees lose a lot of water – so much water that when winter arrives, the trees are no longer able to get enough water to replace it.  Here is a beauty seen atop a no-leaf tree on the banks of the famed Kairavini PUshkarini, the temple tank of Sri Parthasarathi Swami thirukkovil.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th July 2022. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

the cat stare !!

என்னமா முறைக்கீர !! – Cat Stare !!  Ever came eye-to-eye contact with a cat ! – who won ? 


Cat staring is one of many forms of communications cats use towards others. Typically a cat might stare at new or unfamiliar faces as an intimidation tactic, in hopes that the other cats/ humans  will blink or shy away. Cats are visual hunters, so naturally, they tend to stare in order to keep a close eye on potential prey. Cats will also use a direct stare when they are feeling territorial, showing dominance, or posing a threat or challenge to other cats. 

Those wide-eyed fixed gaze can be a bit unnerving.  Rather than challenging you to a staring contest, this curious behaviour is actually something you may have trained your moggy to do without even realising it. As a solitary species, cats don’t naturally feel the need to hold eye contact with others to communicate but if they think they can get something out of it, then they might be willing to give it a go. Depending on your cat and their temperament, their stare might be a little creepy, especially if they are staring with dilated pupils right into your eyes! Cats' pupil sizes can shift dramatically depending on how focused they’re looking at something. Instead of staring, they might keep their eyes partially open or give you slow blinks    

Miles away in Boston airport, a three-week cat hunt  is over. Media reports state that after  nearly a month spent eluding not just the staff of Logan International airport but also hi-tech wildlife cameras and special traps, the cat, Rowdy, was finally caught on Wednesday. Rowdy first escaped on 24 June after a flight in the cargo hold from Germany with her owner, Patty Sahli. When Sahli went to pick her up from the baggage service office, airline employees admitted they had no idea where she was. 

Sahli posted on social media that her cat had slipped out of her cage after spotting birds in the cargo bay, sending staff scrambling to retrieve her, in vain.  Later, to lure her out from hiding, they set up traps with food and water throughout the basement, and Sahli laid out items of her own clothing in an attempt to attract Rowdy with her scent. As the fruitless weeks dragged on, Sahli began to despair that Rowdy – who always had a rebellious streak, according to her owner, chewing through bags of treats in order to eat them – would be found. Logan airport said Wednesday that the cat was finally caught in Terminal E in one of the traps.  

“Boston airport employees, Massport, construction workers, Lufthansa and local animal advocates worked in a great teaming (??) effort to locate her and safely trap her,” Sahli wrote on Facebook. “She looks great, is happy to be with people and I am sure will be happy to be reunited with us.” “Whether out of fatigue or hunger we’ll never know, but this morning she finally let herself be caught,” the airport said in a statement.

Rowdy, it said, had acted “true to her name”.  not sure the one in photo was another pettai rowdy !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar