Story of India

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This article covers The Story of Indian peninsula and its history from pre-historic age to start of Mughal Empire in India, its not an history write-up rather my understanding  through accounts of various historians and archaeologists of evolution which this peninsula had gone through. Typically 3500 BCE to 1526 AD (5000 years)

Pre-Historic Period (Bronze Age)

Around 3500 BCE was the period when the human settlements around river Indus (Sindhu) had started to organize themselves and realizing the stability of life around Indus river.  If we look at the geography of this region, this valley has got major source of water through Indus, Jhelum and Chenab river. So the natives to these area started building their lives in this valley, although its significantly evident in Harrapa and Mohenjo-daro but I am sure there must have been more such settlements in this entire valley. Slowly by the end of 3rd millennium BCE this civilization gained maturity in terms of urbanization, improving the way of living and matured idea of society life. It was the same period when Egyptian Pharaohs were building Pyramids and by-virtue it signifies that these two ancient civilizations had nothing in common due to lack of cultural exchange. Egyptian history during this period has got evidences of weapons, wars and conflicts for possession but there is no such concrete evidence in Indus Valley civilization. There is also no evidences of monotheistic believes, for that matter any other belief. This also relates to the fact that the living was in peace and were in prosperity.

The civilization that we have evidence of around modern-day India and Pakistan is the Indus Valley Civilization, and it’s right around the Indus River in modern-day Pakistan and northwest India.

As historians say, 2nd millennium till mid 1st millennium BCE was mature period of Indus Valley civilization, a mature Harappan Phase, wherein large cities and urban areas emerged and the civilization expanded, precisely the period when Vedic Era and construction of cast system started to take shape in society. It might have been an influence of other peoples. This next significant period in the history of South Asia, and it involves the migration or the introduction of another group of people, we believe another group of people, and that’s the Indo-Aryans. Indo-Aryans, also referred to as just the Aryans, who we believe began to migrate into modern-day Pakistan and northwest India at right about the same time that the Indus Valley Civilization was declining. Some historians actually believe maybe Indus Valley Civilization declined because of them. Maybe it was some type of an invasion, although this theory is not as widely held anymore. Some historians believe that the Indus Valley Civilization and this Indo-Aryan migration somehow merged. But this period that we’re talking about, with the migration of these Indo-Aryans, this is called the Vedic Period.

Iron Age

It’s called the Vedic Period because we learn about it from a collection of literary works that we get from that time, most famously the Vedas.
Veda comes from Sanskrit, Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas and Vedas, in Sanskrit, means: knowledge. They’re the foundation of, one, what we know about the Vedic Period, but they’re also the foundation of modern Indian culture and religion. The primary pieces of the Vedas are the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the Atharvaveda. The Rigveda in particular is considered the oldest of the Vedas. It’s believed that it was composed around the early part of that Vedic Period, between maybe 1500 BCE and around 1200 BCE. We’re talking between 3,000 and 3500 years ago, while these three Vedas we believe were composed later. Now, these Indo-Aryans, it’s believed, were essentially pastoralists; they were cattle herders, perhaps nomadic. But as they began to settle not just the Indus River Valley, they actually began to settle the entire Gangetic Plain, which would include this area, which would be northeast India as well as countries like Bangladesh. The Indus and the Ganges are two of the most significant rivers in this area but as they started to settle the Gangetic Plain they also became more traditional farmers. Its believed that the two significant Hindu epics, we believe the events happened around that late Vedic Period. The events of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Now, the Vedas and these epic poems were originally orally transmitted. But then, later, either in the late Vedic Period or after the Vedic Period was when they were actually written down. Just so you have some context here, Sanskrit is considered one of the oldest Indo-European languages we have. Just more about Indo-European languages in a little bit, because it turns out that Sanskrit is related to European languages like Greek and Latin and even Germanic languages. Sanskrit is one of the oldest, alongside Mycenaean Greek and the Hittite Language. Those were all contemporary civilizations of around this period right over here, in the Second Millennium BCE. Just so have you context, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, his life was in one of these Vedic kingdoms in the northeast of India. Now, as I mentioned, the Vedas laid the foundation for much of what we consider to be modern-day India. In fact, the first documented reference to the Indus River we have from the Vedas.

The Indus Valley Civilization, we haven’t been able to decipher their writing. They didn’t wrote down the word Indus. It was in the Vedas that we have the word Sindhu, and Sindhu was later changed or mispronounced or pronounced differently into other words that we now associate with India. Words like Hindu, Indus, and India, they all derived from Sindhu, which was the River referred to in the Vedas, and then changed into Hindu, Indus, and things like India. Now, also in the Vedas is the first time that we have reference to a stratified social structure, and we see that with the Varnas that are referred to. You could view these as social roles or classes. At the top you have the Brahmins: the priests, the scholars, and the teachers. Then the next you have the kings and the warriors referred to as the Kshatriyas. Then the Vaishyas, who are the farmers, the merchants, the artisans. Then the Shudras: the labourers. Now, some historians and Vedic scholars believe that these reference to the Varnas were added after the Vedic Period to things like the Rigveda; and some believe that these weren’t traditional casts, as it’s sometimes perceived today, but just a reference to different social strata, that it wasn’t necessarily inherited. We are not actually sure about that, but just to give a feel of what was in the Rigveda.

I encourage you to go look at the actual primary text, and there’s a lot out there to read. It includes prayers; it includes praise of the gods; it includes rituals; but it also has a lot of interesting philosophy. I find it really interesting because it shows a fairly mature philosophical attitude. This is actually the origin hymn, and this is just a part of it. We’re talking about the origin of the universe. “Who really knows? “Who will here proclaim it? “Whence was it produced? “Whence is this creation? “Gods came afterward, with the creation of this universe. “Who then knows whence it has arisen? “Whether God’s will created it, or whether He was mute. “Perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not. “Only He who is the overseer in highest heaven knows. “Only He knows, or perhaps He does not know.” I just find it interesting because it takes a very philosophical view towards this very fundamental question of the origin of the actual universe.

Coming back to the Vedic Period, very important period in India. It really lays the foundation for what we consider to be modern Hinduism, modern-day India. It starts as really a Bronze-Age civilization, but as we get into the later Vedic Period, we see them smelting iron, and creating iron tools, and things like that. The language of the Vedas, the Sanskrit, when Western scholars started to discover it.

This era of 9th Century to 5th century BCE was the period when the Vedic arrangement in this peninsula gets some more thoughts of divulgence giving new ideas to life and being, giving source to religion like Jainism and Buddhism and are the oldest practiced religions in the world. This changed the entire dynamics and also consolidation to monotheistic culture. This period was also the start and consolidation of Great Kingdoms in shape of Janpads and MahaJanpads.

The southern part of this peninsula, where the Dravidians, native to this land, were also  experiencing dynasties like Pandyas and some smaller establishments culturally accumulative and sufficient. Its this period when expansion drive from Indo-Aryan lands having been consolidated into  Janpads, crossed the Vindhys and started their influence to some extent. The story of southern India moreover remains self sufficient with respect to outside influence in this era whereas the northern peninsula started experiencing invasions of bloody nature from west and first known invasion happened in this era from Persian region. The current region of Punjab (Indo-Pak) and Sindh (Pakistan) has started absorbing the outside influence after King Darius from Persia expanded to this region and included this region in scope for the upcoming invasive migrations from his land.

The most prominent and important event in the history of inter-civilization exchange happened in this region with the onset of Alexander in first quarter of 3rd century BCE, where his army intruded but never established themselves in this region but started an era of Indo-Greek influence, at almost in the same era when Chandragupta (Maurya) was on his way to establish the Great Mauryan Empire.

Mauryan Empire (Medieval Period)

Chandragupta being a Jain by religion gave a boost to non Vedic ideology and the homogeneity of Indo-Greek continued to an extent that he even married to Macedonian general’s daughter. His son Bindusara consolidated the empire and passed his legacy to “The Great Ashok”, is what he is called, who not only held the empire but also expanded it. This was the Mauryan period in 3rd-2nd century BCE when the boundaries expanded along with propagation of Buddhism and Jainism. Ashok even called “Chand Ashok” because of his bloody expeditions, but later while at his consolidation phase, he institutionalized cultural exchange which gave enough space to Greeks, who had already gained and adopted from Egyptians. 

There has been much similarities of the extent of influence from Achaemenid Empire (a Persian empire) to Lion Capital of Ashoka which especially shows obvious Achaemenid and Sargonid connection. Mauryans and Academicians had been in close contact since the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley, from 500 BCE till 300 BCE.

The subsequent phase of 2nd century BCE for next 500 years, Indian historians termed it as “Dark Age”, but with account of Buddhist texts, this period was the transformation phase of history of this region.

Post Mauryan ERA

On the northern side of this peninsula, Indo-Greeks / Bactrians had a stable influence and it gave start to SAKA era which had an enormous influence which is still evident. The Hindu calendar in current form named as Saka calendar. Sakas were migrant tribe from north-central-asia also called Scythians who in turn were in great influence of Thracian and other nomadic tribes of region around black sea, caspian  sea and mediterranean sea.

This dark age as so called because of no single empire in this region rather was the age of, Sakas in north-west, Shungas in north-east and Satavahanas in central and southern part of this peninsula who collectively created a mixed culture and the era was moreover peaceful, in my view this 500 years had a very healthy period of cultural and knowledge exchange.

The book Indica written by Megasthenese mention a powerful tribe named Andarae possibly is identified with the Andhras, considered evidence of Satavahana rule in the 1st century BCE.  Apart Megasthenese the most prominent extract of history of this era comes from Jain and Buddhist texts. This era of 500+ years gave a boost to culture, language and possibly start to Hinduism evolved from Vedic arrangement after the end of Mauryan empire in the period of Dark age (called so by Indian historians) and by the rise of Satavahanas, a Dravidian expansion from mid-southern peninsula. Its a debatable subject but the texts from this era suggests so, that this era from of another 250+ years (1st century BCE to 2nd century CE) also gave precedence to Hinduism over Buddhism and Jainism and led further precedence of persecution of these religions forcing them be exiled to surrounding regions.

(This peninsula being origin place of Jainism and Buddhism, have very less population as there are many views of Buddhist persecution in this region and even their temples converted to Hindu temples.)

This is the same era around end of 1st century BCE when Roman Empire started taking shape, though Roman empire’s influence in this peninsula was none, but it had given fire and fuel to current day middle eastern world to be aggressive on the approach of existence and supremacy.

Common ERA (CE) or mostly termed as AD (Anno Domini) As we all know, as per our current, universally accepted Gregorian Calendar, a upgraded version of Roman Calendar reckoned the year of the birth of Jesus Christ, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch. 

The area around mediterranean sea was fully under the umbrella of Roman Empire and even had foot holds into Egypt as well, their being also opened trade across the lands and oceans, established permanent trade routes to the eastern world. This peninsular region during the late 1st century BCE and early periods of Common Era was quietly absorbing within the region. The 1st century CE (or AD) left a huge impact and influence on globe with the start of monotheistic belief into a new Abrahamic religion named “Christianity”.

While in the same period Indo-Greek, Indo-Parthian, Indo-Scythians and Satavahanas were into conquest for dominance. The Kushan dynasty in particular had diplomatic and trade contacts with the Romans, Persians,  Aksumites (North-East Africa) and Hans (China).

In the third century CE a major shift in power happened with the rise of Gupta Empire, the most important tenure or reign also also called by some historians as the Golden Age of History.

Gupta Empire

In first quarter of 3rd century CE, started by Sri Gupta succeeded by Chandragupta-I (different from Chandragupta from Mauryan empire) then by Samudragupta, the 4th century CE was the period of expansion and consolidation by Guptas which was majorly done by Samudragupta and Chandragupta II also known as Vikramaditya and this era of Gupta setup Hindu dominance to this region along side Cholas who continued their dominance to southern part of peninsula.

Culture, art and knowledge sharing peaked in this era and many of the mythological literary such as Mahabharata and Ramayana, were written/re-written during this period. Kalidasa, Aryabhata, and Vatsyayana who made academic fields such as science, art and culture to new heights. The poems of Purans, are also supposedly written around this period.

With fall of Gupta empire during 6th century which later was somewhat consolidated by Harshvardhan in 7th century, this was an important period in world history where there were huge consolidation of nomadic tribes happening in entire region around middle eastern world as is the period of start of third Abrahamic religion “Islam” which changed the entire dynamics of entire world.

By the end of seventh century, this region was divided where Chalukyas dominated south west and central peninsula, Cholas/Pandyas in south and a fragmented north and eastern region in terms of stability in post Gupta empire.  The next 100 years [ 8th century ] was a bloody period where the dynamics of middle eastern World has changed and Islamic consolidation was formalised, the rule of Khalifa (Caliphate) was established. The same period of time when Indian peninsula were divided into, if not less, more than 15 kingdoms and also in the middle of 8th century, first Islamic invasion happened and from there on north peninsula experiences multiple invasions from Arab and Persian region. South peninsula was mostly secured by Chalukyas and Cholas.

The events of invasion by different Commanders under Caliphate continued for next 250-300 years first by Muhammad Bin Quasim and then by various commanders. Mahmud Ghazni  was one of the notable regular invader to Pubjab and Sindh region with only intention of increasing their wealth for their conquests. While Chola and Chalukya kings during their reign were extending their influences and were one of the most powerful dynasties in Asia during his period. This southern dynasty has the greatest influence in current form of Hinduism being practiced as they were least exposed to cultural exchange from persian and arab world.

Historians believe that this period of Post Gupta Empire till 1000 CE also called Early medieval India was the period of Start and rise of Hinduism, where earlier influences of Indo-Scythian, Indo-Greek cultures got homogeneous adaption into native Dravidians resulting current day practices of Hinduism.

Delhi Sultanate

Prior to the rise of Muhammad, Arab world was dominated by self governing nomadic tribes with polytheistic believes and after the unification of these tribes under Islam, the region became unified and most of the tribes adopted Islam with formation of Caliphate (Khalifa) who’s generals and commanders expanded their territories for about 500 years. Indian peninsula started experiencing these, as early as, middle of 8th century and formally with multiple invasions of Muhammad of Ghor by end of 12th century, these Persians formally extended their territory further to Punjab and Sindh region to current day Delhi to formally establish The Delhi Sultanate. It started with Mamluk (Slave) dynasty who’s rulers were no more invaders, rather they settled on this area and further started consolidation to other parts of Indian peninsula. The boundaries of this Sultanate kept varying for next 200 years as its rulers, mostly Turks/Persians, kept on changing. Major dynasties in this next 200 years were Slave, Khilji, Tughlaq, Sayed and finally Lodi.

During this period of Delhi Sultanate, Khilji and Tughlaq era were most effective ones and also had the major control over the peninsula, South India continued its immunity with northern invaders, especially Vijayanagar empire who continued their legacy with previous Chola, Pandya, Chalukas etc.

Ever-since the trade routes flourished between Europe – through – Middle East to China, it had also opened doors for the Mangols (descendants  of Genghis Khan) and to keep striking in the north-western part of this peninsula, Khilji’s fought several battles to keep them away from this land and.  The era of Delhi Sultanate during Tughlaqs were the most prosperous in terms of trade and development also this period of 200 years were full of conflicts between then kingdoms, for survival and religious reluctance.

This period was also part of a trending spread of Islam. During and in the Delhi Sultanate, there was a composition of native civilization with that of Islam and the further integration had a significant impact on Indian culture and society. This era, inculcated a mixed culture, greater use of mechanics, economic growth and the emergence of the Hindi and Urdu language and on the flip side started a permanent religious divide which is still a major cause of conflict. This Islamic conquest further continued post Lodi era when Mughals (Mongols) take control of the sultanate and the start of Mughal era in this region.

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Spritual Joust and Divinity – Hindu Temples

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Being a born Hindu, probably gives an immunity to rationally analyse places where religious faith gets joult and joust in search of divinity. Spirituality is divine, but when exposed to ones scarcity of attainment results an outrage, which can be experienced in all popular temples across annex. I have had my faith vanished while I saw the commercial acpect of vending God for gain way back when I was at the door step of adulthood, which never prompted me to be pious.The further apathy deepens with Joust, Push, Pull, Scream, Shout and extortionist builtup around these temples. 

Whataboutry comes strong to justify the concept and gives license to feel content but in conditions where devotee can only get a glimpse for a second after all efforts, what is registered in their thoughts are just these Joust/s.

There is a way to avoid and get a clear exhibit of deity, a commercial offering and the entire arrangement of chaos is probably designed to mint money by virtue of it. This peculiar arrangement of connection between devotee and deity convenienced by gratuity which avoids Joust and Joult has certainly forced divinity to escape.

Eventually I was aware of this situation and for so forth it proved to be true once again.

There is a flip-side to all this, where my observation upon devotees who give a damn to establish connection by entering into these temples, rather in search of their own inner soul, leaving materials behind are devoted to experience devinity by way of meditation in isolation and certainly free from Jousts, Push, Pull, Shout and Joults of temple. Spirituality has no rule to follow. It’s a relationship  with self and not about competency, rather its about intimacy and connection where the way of spiritual life begins with being alone.

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Pen vs Gun

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Pen, A voice of mind vs Gun, rebuttal to muzzle the voice.

In civilised society, as children grow and step into a stage where s/he starts controlling their mind, a pencil/PEN is extended to them to express her/his mind and the journey of expression starts. Later few evolve with the ability to express one-selves clearly with sense of gratification and content being constitutional comes naturally from a rational thoughtful mind, be it with a PEN on paper or modern synonyms as Blog which people read. Agreement and dis-agreement creates a space for debate where words are exchanged with argument and  counter argument. Contrary, the disability / incapability  to understand and digest along lack of argument, refutation comes either with laughter, abuse, violence, assault and further leads to bullying display of power with a GUN.

The category of expressive minds are defined as Journalist, Writers, Bloggers, Authors etc. and the history is full of bloody suppression as a matter that a section or group could not justify opposition of their thoughts with a superlative reply with an opinion.

Looking back some five years, we in India have observed such case where writers have been gunned down in dis-agreement.

Sai Reddy 2013
Narendra Dabholkar 2013
Govind Pansare 2014
MVN Shankar 2014
Jagendra Singh 2015
MM Kalburgi 2015
Ranjan Rajdeo 2015
Gauri Lankesh 2017
V. Selvaraj
Brajmani Singh
Ramchandra Chatrapati
Tarun K Acharaya
Sandeep Kothari and may be more which may not have been to my notice.

It really doesn’t matter whether their writings were right or wrong till the time the expression of thoughts are constitutional, any unconstitutional expression have their penal provisions. Its the arrogance and infinite faith in their own wisdom are attributes which decide to muzzle the voice rather exercising constitutional provisions.

An abuse to an argument is acceptance of rout and muzzling of voice is final submission to that thought.

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Propaganda a tested tool

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I start this by what I strongly believe about, one of menace to society in current situation where what propaganda is for a democracy is what violence is/was to dictatorship. ‘TOOL’

Social Media propaganda is a new fictional achievement by propagators, courtesy to, who never believe in fact-checking and get overjoyed with self suited texts/images/videos which in most of time, a feed to their hatred. Most of them want to impress or denounce their contacts and pass it further and further… the compulsive forwards goes on and on… The propagator’s job is done, who all ingested and with further shares felt as a contributor to uplift the pride of the cause, but what was the cause?

Propaganda tool has got its own history and its success in past keep the propagator’s and provoker’s agenda-hope alive to shift the focus of masses to non issues and sometimes push them to dangerous cliffs. In recent times, few middle east organisations, has exploited social media to send its propaganda and messaging out to the world and to draw in people vulnerable to radicalisation. There use to be a ministry for public enlightenment & propaganda in Germany in Nazi era and the used it so effectively, all hatred were so well projected that a large population trusting it as nationalism. Sentiments related to religion, racism, nationalism etc. are some tried and tested vulnerabilities for curators to exploit.

Fabrication of facts, situation and condition is common in our society but most of them are not serious and do not effect masses, those which are meant for larger audience and for special purpose needs avoidance and criticism.

In India, politics and political parties are main source of propaganda as they find it the most easy way to distract masses from their inability, corruption and crime. In recent few years the propaganda of political parties got platforms with dedicated team called “IT-Cell” to keep circulating fake news, morphed images, jokes, videos and fudged figures through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Youtube are preferred propagating media along smartphones are destined  for consumption. Consumer-cum-participators at the end of day don’t realize that their thoughts have been contaminated and are pushed away from reality.

Humans are naturally gifted creatures with unmatched capability to rationalise but its the religious/caste astigmatism, political ego, hero worship and most importantly, hatred has marginalized them to such vulnerable state that their exploitation is an insurance to the political masters.

Some recent examples where news and reports manipulated:

Official reports using internet image to project development

Photoshopped image of rally

Photo of Vietnamese Bridge claiming it’s in Chhattisgarh

Similar case can be witnessed where compromised twitter verified accounts started a throated propoganda hashtag #DemonetisationSuccess

Fake videos uploaded on social media after Champions troply final between India and Pakistan

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Demonetization – Speech to reality

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भाइयों और बहनों It gives me immense pleasure to announce that:

All Black money found in Ganges

Terrorist gone underground as their funding stopped

Stone pelting stopped

India on digital money

All नकली note out of system

Corruption died its own death.

Before getting to the topic please go through the series of events unfolded between November 16 and August 17 – Courtsey Business Standard

http://wap.business-standard.com/article-amp/economy-policy/rbi-annual-report-99-of-demonetised-currency-back-into-the-system-117083000891_1.html

November 9-10, 2016: Banks and ATMs remain closed to prepare for changes needed in the system after demonetisation. Govt had announced that any bank deposits of more than Rs 2.5 lakh would face tax and penalty.

November 14, 2016: Govt extends deadline for accepting scrapped notes for public utility and fuel payments until November 24. Queues get longer at ATMs. Cash withdrawal limit for current account holders increased to Rs 50,000 a week. Charges on ATM transactions waived until December 30. Cash crunch continues. Parliament House ATMs also run dry.

November 16, 2016: SBI says it collected Rs 1,14,139 crore in deposits in 7 days.

November 21, 2016: Banks report exchange/deposits from November 10 to November 18 amounted to Rs 5,44,571 crore – Rs 33,006 crore exchanged and Rs 5,11,565 crore deposited. They also report that the public withdrew Rs 1,03,316 crore from their accounts either over the counter or through ATMs.

November 24, 2016: Govt withdraws exchange of old currency notes and extends deadline for exemptions until December 15 midnight.

November 26, 2016: Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts soar sharply by around Rs 27,200 crore to Rs 72,834.72 crore in just 14 days.

November 27, 2016: Rs 32,631 cr deposited in post offices since the announcement of the demonetisation decision.

November 28, 2016: RBI says banks have got about Rs 8.45 lakh crore worth of scrapped notes

December 7, 2016: RBI Governor Urjit Patel says demonetisation was not done in haste. Note ban impact on GDP growth estimated at only 15 bps. RBI says Rs 11.55 lakh crore, or 76 per cent of junked notes, have come back into the system

December 13, 2016: RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi says banks had collected Rs 12.44 lakh crore worth of deposits in banned notes until December 10.

December 19, 2016: RBI says in the remaining days of the month one could make deposits in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in excess of Rs 5,000 but only once for every account.

January 18, 2017: Governor Patel fails to answer queries on deposited banknotes. He, however, confirms RBI injected Rs 9.2 lakh crore worth of new currency notes into the banking system to help replace the banknotes banned in November.

March 10, 2017: RBI’s Macroeconomic Impact of Demonetisation report says the precise estimate of currency returned to the banking system was not yet available as the reconciliation process was still on.

July 4, 2017: Supreme Court asks the government and RBI to consider granting a window to those who has not been able to exchange scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for genuine reasons.

July 13, 2017: Governor Patel, appearing before the Finance Standing Committee of Parliament, says the notes deposited after demonetisation are still being counted

August 2, 2017: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says RBI is in the process of counting scrapped currency notes and will come out with the final figures once the fake notes are weeded out.

August 11, 2017: Describing the impact of demonetisation on the Indian economy in the Economic Survey-II, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian says there has been a 20 per cent reduction in cash in the economy.

August 12, 2017: A paper, ‘Demonetisation and Bank Deposit Growth’, says ‘unusual’ cash deposits in specific accounts that are usually less active is estimated at about Rs1.6-1.7 lakh crore.

August 15, 2017: In his Independence Day speech, PM Modi says demonetisation of old notes led to at least Rs 3 lakh crore of undeclared income coming into the banking system.

August 16, 2017: Congress accuses PM Modi of contrary stand on black money recovered. It says he first announced an additional Rs 3 lakh crore had been brought into the banking system, and then said about Rs 1,25,000 crore black money was recovered

August 27, 2017: Data put out by RBI on its website suggest that at least for the Rs 1,000 notes, almost 99% of the currency in circulation had come back into the banking system

August 29, 2017: Several members of a parliamentary panel seek re-drafting of the draft report on demonetisation as RBI is yet to provide some crucial details, including on the number of junked Rs 500/1000 notes.

I leave up to readers to perceive from the above sequence of events.

Just after RBI published their Annual Report on 30th August comments from different quarters started coming

Some do not understand demonetization” is what our Finance Minister has to say, actually its a question and suspense for him and his inability to defend what he has not done. The one who confidently understood will never take the onus of pain suffered by only those having no black or white money. Few endorsements surely benefited e-wallet business and also ensured benefits in state election. There are certainly some positive outcome of demonetization like tax base rise, more accountability etc. but the cost which the nation has paid is huge. One percent loss of GDP itself amounts to 1.25 Lakhs Cr., which is a huge amount to fiddle with and is not one time. Some would not realize, but within the span of 3 months there is no estimate of domestic trade and production  loss that we suffered.

While taking credit of increased tax base, an additional 93 lacks tax returns are filed is been reported whereas if we see the trend from last actual data available (FY2012-13) in which its evident that out of 5.3Cr returns only 1.7Cr were tax payers i.e. about 32 percent, keeping in mind the same trend only 30lakhs additional tax payer added which also includes natural growth of increase of tax base. Its not worth an addition at such a huge cost of demonetization. The better way to understand this is to look at Direct Tax to GDP ratio which in FY14-15 was 5.7% and in FY16-17 is 5.8%

The idea behind excess money received by banks resulting a healthy state of affairs when they are in position to lend it further but is one look at credit growth of banks which was at 60 years low in Nov16 went onto negative side by July17, this was primarily because of low capacity utilization, which was about 70% in that period resulting low investments, in nutshell not only un-organised sector but also the organised sector got a hit. The worst hit among all were the farmers. Agriculture, a sector which largely operates on cash, with farmers not being paid enough for vegetables and pulses they had grown. Many protested and several state governments waived payments on farm loans.

Less cash economy is a good thing to have but cannot be achieved through demonetization, it would require years to develop as a habit rather force and helplessness.

Counterfeit notes are all back in system and lets wait for this figure to come out from RBI, as what is the actual amount of counterfeit notes

I would not like to comment on corruption and patriotism attached to demonetization as this logic is beyond my imagination.

As far as our current government is concerned, it is unlikely anyone from government will admit it was a big mistake and will continue to put a positive spin on it, as it has been done since November16 and nothing is gonna change on this front as governments are not use to admitting mistakes.

To conclude, no relatively healthy economy has ever carried out demonetization.

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Hinduism A Way of Life

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Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion that exists and also different from other monotheistic religions in practice. Hinduism is practiced majority in India while Nepal use to be only Hindu country prior to been resolved as Federal Democratic Republic. Aside India and Nepal, Hinduism is practiced throughout the world by immigrant from India. In terms of world’s population it stands one out of seven or in other words, has got third largest followership.

As I am a born Hindu, have realised over age, is a philosophy rather henotheistic practice which has certain boundaries limiting the core essence of this religion. North India believes in complete ownership of practices whereas south and west India demonstrate cultural superiority. Its because of polytheistic nature of this religion the geographical and cultural differences also reflects in their practices.

Hinduism is deeply attached with mythology resulting evolution of stories having same myth with different versions. The concept of Creater, Preserver and Destroyer have their names as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva) respectively are main deity(es), they or their avatars are being worshiped in some way or the other. Its an un-orthodox religion with almost no compulsions while practice, not even worship, has also given path for their followers to carry out their own set and has also resulted in formation of new religions.  Its evident that most monotheistic religions in practice have some rituals or methods to perform by an authorised, if someone wants to adopt, whereas only by way of practice one can be a Hindu if not by birth “Its a way of life”

Truth is eternal, The way of living your life in path of this eternal truth is Dharm. All souls are immortal “Aatma” or can be interpreted as God is inside each of us and is connected to this universe “Brahmand”. The life is to find out the connection between Aatma and Brahmand through “Karm”, good deeds/ bad deeds which influence the path that we follow. Hinduism also believes in reincarnation/re-birth and one’s next life is based upon “Karm”, better in deeds, better the next life and vice versa. In order to release or liberate the soul from this cycle of re-birth, one has to find out its own eternal truth called “Moksha” Freedom from Life and Death through Dharm in her/his life through Karm.

The whole idea of Hundism is to search for the eternal truth by following the “Dharm” and perform “Karm”, a path of knowlwdge, perform your duties, your devotion to society to liberate your soul from constant cycle of reincarnation and free your soul from all the pain and sufferings of life i.e. Moksh or to meet with your God.

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Convenience and Ideology in Politics

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Political parties in India and in general across countries are formed either on certain ideology or with some social-economic agenda or based on certain goal or for some specific purpose or on religious-caste lines. The inception of these parties are mostly on right memorandums and their founders always want to stick with it. Since India is a big country and hugely populated, these political parties want emerging and existing people from political fraternity to join them, take it forward along, but the representations within political parties on a broader level dilutes the essence and its ideology, agenda, goal and purpose. Its the magnetism of power, money and position which overshadows everything and convenience takes over their core political agenda and its evident that even two extreme ideology join each other. There are no surprises when it comes to acquisitive exchange of power and position, even who fought elections against each other, join hands. There are also evident cases where a party fighting election against the one in which a member of that party was an incumbent minister.

The social fabric of India is mainly based on religion, language and caste also there is now a new distinction in society on economic level where these parties carry no ideologies, rather they exploit the social-economic fabric at micro and broad levels to grab power and position.

There are seven national parties and about 50 odd regional/state parties in India. The history has got its evidence that the party at locus tends to attract members of non-ideological parties converge to find their suitable point of match with political justifications. The convenience overcomes ideology.

There is no harm in politicians wanting to be near post and positions, ultimately the essence of the profession itself is to service the citizens which can only be done by being in business and while doing so they first have to leave the high grounds of ideology. I personally have not witnessed any political party working on its main ideology ever since I started following politics.

 

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Badminton in India – A New Chapter

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World Badminton Championship 2017 has started a new chapter in Indian badminton as this is the first time that two iconic players from India has shared top three positions. A proud moment for us to have P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal as inspirational figures for new upcoming players.

There’s no denial of the fact that cricket still is most watched and played sport in India. But ever since players like Nehwal and Sindhu in guidance of Pullela Gopichand started winning major tournaments, it took giant steps in bringing more youngsters into the courts with racquets.

Badminton first gained popularity in the country in the late 70s and 80s which was the time when players like Prakash Padukone and Syed Modi came into the limelight. Prakash Padukone became the first Indian to win the All England Championships. The duo also won medals in other international events like the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Then after there was a gap and badminton as a game lost it grounds of popularity, there were players reaching up to some level of recognition but no one could retain and maintain their positions in international level.

The major turnaround in Indian badminton came when All England Champion Pullela Gopichand started his academy in Hyderabad and Saina Nehwal became the first iconic player to maintain the position for almost a decade. She is like Sachin Tendulkar of badminton who remained an inspiration to young players. The legacy of Saina Nehwal is now been carried further by P.V. Sindhu and India is now at the doors of International league to challenge East Asian dominance in this game.

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