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In Memories Of An Immortal Soul

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:17 Written by


IN MEMORIES OF AN IMMORTAL SOULContributed by; Ms.Ananya Priyadarshini

Today is ‘World Students’ Day’. Way back in 2010, on the eve of 79th birth anniversary of India’s former President and the legendary scientist Late Dr. Abul Pakir Jainulabdin Abdul Kalam, UNO declared his birthday, 15th October as ‘World Students’ Day’, keeping in mind his contribution in the field of science and his affection for students. It is an honour to the great man and a topic of pride for every Indian.

Dedicating his birthday for the student mass of whole world is quite apt. He is famous as ‘People’s President’. The Missile Man’. He too, is well known as a policy-maker, a philosopher, an educationalist, an ideal leader, a widely appreciated writer and last but not the least, an excellent human being. And that, he was very good as a student, is another interesting aspect of his personality. The foundation of his strong character was laid in his student life only. His father was his first teacher, whose moral lessons sowed the seed of spirituality in his little mind. Though not very highly educated, he was a helpful fellow with deep faith in God. He had equal respect for every religion. “In his own time, in his own place, in what he really is, and in the stage he has reached- good or bad- every human being is a specific element within the whole of the manifest divine Being. So, why be afraid of difficulties, sufferings and problems? When troubles come try to understand the relevance of your sufferings. Adversities always presents opportunities for introspection.”- his father used to say. And these golden words of him used to strengthen him during the hard times of life.

While he was studying in Rameshwaram Elementary School, his science teacher was Mr. Shivasubramania Iyer. He belonged to an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family, his better half being very conservative. But he was strongly determined to break the irrelevant social barriers. He, despite of his wife’s strict opposition had once invited a Muslim boy like Kalam to his home for a meal. He himself had served him as well as ate with him inside his kitchen. Later his wife’s mind changed and she too, like her husband whole-heartedly supported Kalam’s entry into the kitchen. This epic step of his teacher was unforgettable in Kalam’s part and after this event he strongly practised secularism throughout his life.

During his schooling at Ramanathapuram, Dr. Kalam had built up strong bondage with his teacher Mr. Iyadurai Solomon. “To succeed in life and achieve result, you must understand and master three mighty forces- desire, belief and expectation.” And “With faith, you can change your destiny”-these worthy statements of him boosted his confidence up and compelled him to believe in his capabilities.

He came across three teachers, namely Prof. Sponder, Prof. KAV Pandalai and Prof. Narasingha Rao, who taught him the technical subjects of Aeronautical Engineering. They had played an important role in orienting efficiently the thinking of young Kalam. Even in his professional career at ISRO and DRDO his ‘Gurus’ had guided him throughout. Prof. Vikram Sarabhai, who had trusted his talent and had always encouraged him to keep moving ahead on the path of making new inventions. Dr. Brahma Prakash, who supported him after failure of SLV-3 and did not let him shatter anyway,.

Even after reaching the peak of success he never did deny the significance of role played by individual teacher in his life. In many of his lectures and books he has mentioned them and their valuable words. At every decisive turn of his journey from a general Tamil boy to a world famous personality, he had met a ‘Guru’ through whom Lord showed him the right path. Unhesitatingly he has accepted that the faith and blessings of his teachers is his ultimate source of inspiration.

In reality, he had remained a student all through his life. He was always eager to learn, no matter from whom. He did never letego to create a hindrance in the process of learning. In all his projects he had encouraged active participation of students from IIT, IISc, Jadavpur University etc. and had handed them over many important responsibilities. He had recruited several young scientists and engineers at ISRO and DRDO. Through his far sight he could visualise the immense talent and tremendous possibilities hidden in Indian youth, particularly the student mass. He used to free himself from his busy schedule and spend time with students of schools and colleges. He tried to arouse in them the interest for scientific research. He motivated them not to go abroad just for the sake of money, instead make new inventions and discoveries in their motherland. He wanted research to prosper in India. He always worked for the development of infrastructures in India that would lead to rise of number of efficient scientists. Who would take Indian scientific research work to a level where, no any developed nation would dare to underestimate its power. Who would achieve new heights and add new chapters of inventions to the glorious history of Indian science. He dreamt of a secured India, a strong India, a self-sufficient India. And had tried to communicate this dream to the eyes of ‘students’ at all level.

Unfortunately, the sad demise of this great man took place in the recent past. It was not merely the end of a life, but of an era. But death can only destroy the earthly body! Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is a ‘thought’, which is still alive in numerous inquisitive minds. The epic of his hardwork, dedication and patriotism is an inexhaustive source of inspiration for all countrymen. Every book authored by him is a milestone. His dreams were limitless. A lifetime fell short to fulfil them. He departed leaving behind several unanswered questions, several unaccomplished goals, the responsibility of completing which he placed on the dependable shoulders of the student mass. A bright star in the sky of science set. Whether any other star with such glow would ever arise again, is a matter of time. But undoubtedly, the numerous tiny stars on the verge of emergence can drive the darkness away.

Regressive Or Progressive: British Era ‘District Gazetteers’ Might Soon Be Back In India

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:15 Written by



BHUBANESWAR:From a letter of ‘Department of Personnel & Training Officer’ D.N Misra, sent to the states, did I get to learn that the pre independence ‘District Gazetteers’ might be in for a revival. The said letter distinctively reads ‘I am directed to say that Prime Minister’s Office has desired that information related to District Gazetteer may be furnished.

During the British raj in India, ‘District Gazetteers’ was a document maintained at the district level for geographic, economic, social & cultural records. The same fell into disuse after India attained its independence. The ‘District Gazetteers’ was first initiated by the ‘East India Company’ in year 1803.

In the coming days many might find this revival attempt by PM Narendra Modi as being regressive and many will vehemently defend it as being progressive. I might not be a diehard Modi fan but for this I feel it is a good step. Many who have been following me will be astonished with this statement from me. Yes, I am an ardent advocate of de-centralization and this attempt of the PMO to interfere at district level bypassing the federal structure certainly seems adverse to my advocacy but never the less I still feel it is a good step. We might spend billions of rupees in publicizing the ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’ but the way of life in India as on date is that we have filth all around us. Similarly, idealistically I wish to have de-centralization of power to attain true democracy but the way of life as on date in India is that we have a heavy centralized rule. Reality is that our Nation moves on three nodal points DM, CM & PM.


I do not know if the revival of the ‘District Gazetteers’ will actually withstand the storm of political adversaries of PM Modi and finally come to conclusion but should this happen it shall map a lot of details enabling a swifter delivery of PM Modi’s vision document. However, I must clarify here that I do not fully endorse the vision exhibited in the past 500 odd days by the 'Modi Sarkar' thus one might feel that this mapping will enable the play of the flawed? Yes, possibly, but never the less the districts, the states and the nation will have a concrete record to assess & deliver. We must not forget the British rule or miss rule whatever you choose to be with, even in those days, with no modern day transportation, communication etc. had a much stronger delivery system than that of the present day. India was much more fragmented & much more plural in those days but that did not stop the British to effectively deliver ‘their’ agendas. Well there is no harm in accepting that the ‘District Gazetteer’ was a strong tool responsible for the said.


The author Shri. Suparno Satpathy is a noted socio-political leader and the Chairman of SNSMT

The Maratha Barracks

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:13 Written by

THE MARATHA BARRACKS:Last Surviving Relic of  Odisha’s Renaissance Age

By;Anil Dhir

Cuttack 1 April :The Maratha Barracks are one of the oldest  surviving edifice of Cuttack about which very few are aware of. Today, they house the 6th Battalion of the Odisha State Armed Police, tucked away at one corner of the city.

According to historian Anil Dhir, the Maratha administration of Odisha effectively began from 1751. RaghojiBhonslebecame the master of the territory and a new system of government was put into operation. They divided Odisha into two broad political divisions, the Mughalbandi and the Garhjatareas.The Maratha rule in Odisha was for a brief period of half a century,however it had a lasting effect of the socio-economic development. They introduced proper land records, translated many classical Odia texts, and persuaded many Kings, Queens and rich Zamindars to endow lands to the Jagannath and other temples. Under the Marathas, Odisha enjoyed a simple judicial and revenue system.

The Marathas, being Hindus, repaired and restored the temples that had been destroyed by the Mughals and Afghans.  The worship of Lord Jagannath at Puri received special attention, and a number of villages and lands were assigned to the temple to meet the expenses of the rituals and ceremonies. The internal stability, peace and security during the Maratha rule attracted pilgrims from Bengal, Benares, Rajasthan and the Central Provinces to Puri.

Anil Dhir, who has researched the Old Jagannath Sadak for INTACH, says that it was the Marathas who improved the communication in their territory. The Jagannath Sadak connected Bengal with Puri and passed through Midnapore, Balasore, Jajpur, and Bhadrak and entered Cuttack.The road was made into a highway, bridges and ghats were made. The Marathas had builtserais, mutts and temples all along the road. They dug wells and ponds for the pilgrims and gaverent-free lands grantsto Brahmins.

The Maratha Barracks were built soon after the occupation. Rajaram Pandit started the work in 1775 and it was completed by Sadasiva Rao in 1793. Spread across a vast patch of forest land on the outskirts of the city, the place was infested by tigers, panthers, snakes and other wildlife. The forest was cleared except for some ancient trees, which are still standing tall. The domed structures were solidly built with local materials. Kiln baked bricks and lime mortar was used. There were big wells in the compound and underground cells. Separate stables for their horses and elephants, magazines for storing gunpowder, living quarters etc. were made. The barracks housed the artillery, cavalry and infantry forces. The Marathas had as many as 2,000 soldiers in the barracks. There was a thick wall around with watch towers, none of which now exist.

The East India Company was aware of the strategic position of Odisha, situated as the land between their emerging power in Bengal and Madras. On the 17th December 1803, RaghojiBhonsle II signed the Treaty of Deogaon and handed over the reins of the province of Cuttack to the East India Company.After the Maratha forces abandoned the barracks, they were occupied by the Englishmen. However the Company officials built houses near the Barabati Fort and shifted the troops to the centre of the city. During the Great Famine of 1866, the barracks were used to store food grains. Later the barracks were used as stables. Dhir says that a race course was made inside the compound and regular Sunday races were held. The few Englishmen in Cuttack even had fox hunts in the place.The East India Irrigation Company used it while they were working on the canals in the region.

Half a dozen rows of the old barracks were torn down a few years ago because of structural instability. However, one continuous row of 70 rooms still exists and is being used by the OSAP as their headquarters. There are huge manicured lawns and a parade ground where ceremonial parades are held. Many of the old louvered doors and windows have been replaced with newer ones, but one can still see the holes in the walls forthe punkahs strings that were pulled by the orderlies. Many of the small alcoves in the walls that were used to keep the lamps have been made over.

Amiya Bhusan Tripathy, the former Director General of Police and Convener of INTACHis of the opinion that the Maratha barracks should be converted into a museum. During his stint as the State’s Police Chief, a Police Museum had been set up in Cuttack with many interesting displays.However it was soon shut down and has remained closed for years. The barracks are one of the last original remaining structures and a unique example of the synthesis of Maratha and Odishan architecture.

Hindus to seek Bhagavad-Gita

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:12 Written by

Hindus to seek Bhagavad-Gita monuments if Oklahoma House Bill 2177 becomes law


By;Rajan Zed

Posted by;Odishabarta


USA:Hindus would seek erecting monuments with verses from ancient Sanskrit scripture Bhagavad-Gita ((Song of the Lord) in public buildings and on public grounds in Oklahoma, if House Bill 2177 becomes the law.


Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Bhagavad-Gita was a “historically significant document”, “recognized throughout the world” and was a “treasure that should be displayed in public buildings and on public grounds” in the form of monuments/tablets carrying its verses.


To start with, Hindus would seek to place the Bhagavad-Gita monuments/tablets in various Oklahoma public universities and colleges; city halls of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Broken Arrow; Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City, Woodward Park in Tulsa; etc.; after the Bill becoming the law; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated.


Various well-known Americans; including essayist-philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), theoretical physicist credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), novelist-philosopher Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), essayist-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955), etc.; were reportedly influenced by Bhagavad-Gita. It had inspired, fascinated, touched and impacted millions of readers worldwide over the centuries; Rajan Zed noted.


This philosophical and intensely spiritual poem Bhagavad-Gita considers the nature of action, the religious and social duty, the human relationship to God, the means of liberation, and the nature of sacrifice, etc.; Zed adds.


Rajan Zed further said that awareness about other religions thus created by such displays of verses from Bhagavad-Gita in Oklahoma schools-colleges-universities would make students of the state well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.


Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.


Mary Fallin is the Governor of Oklahoma, also known as Sooner State, which Lonely Planet described as “a place with deep Native American significance”. Over 25 Native American languages are reportedly spoken in Oklahoma.

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Canadians view of Hinduism increases

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:10 Written by

Number of Canadians holding favorable view of Hinduism increases

By;Rajan Zed,USA

Forty-nine percent of Canadians had a favorable opinion of Hinduism in February 2017 as compared to 42% in September 2013, according to Religious Trends public opinion poll conducted by research organization Angus Reid Institute (ARI) and released on April four.

Quebecers having favorable opinion of Hinduism increased to 50% in 2017, as compared to 32% in 2009; while in rest-of-Canada, it increased from 45% in 2009 to 48% in 2017; poll indicated.

When asked—would it be acceptable or unacceptable to you if one of your children were to marry a Hindu—in February 2017, 54% Canadians said that it would be acceptable, as compared to 37% in September 2013; poll pointed out.

Fifty-seven percent of Canadian Liberal Party members and 54% Millennials (18-34) viewed Hinduism favorably, as compared to 49% of all Canadians; poll added.

Meanwhile distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, congratulating the Canadian Hindu community on climbing higher on the favorable opinion scale; urged them to continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc.; amidst so many distractions.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, advised Hindus to focus on inner search, stay pure, explore the vast wisdom of scriptures, make spirituality more attractive to youth and children, stay away from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

ARI, headquartered in Vancouver (Canada), “is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research organization established to advance education”.  Dr. Angus Reid is the Chairman, while Shachi Kurl is Executive Director.

Hinduism fastest religions in Ireland

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:08 Written by

Hinduism one of the fastest growing religions in Ireland

By;Rajan Zed

Posted by; Odishabarta

USA, (06/04/2017):Hinduism is one of the fastest growing religions in Ireland and it grew over 34 per cent from 2011 to 2016, according to Census 2016 Summary Results by Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Government of Ireland reportedly published on April six.

Only other religion which grew faster than Hinduism during this period was Orthodox. Religious groups whose population declined during this period included Roman Catholics (the predominant religious group in the country), Church of Ireland, Christian, Presbyterian and Apostolic or Pentecostal. “No religion” grew by nearly 74 per cent numbering 468,421 people with no religion, while “Not stated” also grew by about 72 per cent.  Number of Irish Catholics fell by 105,800; this results report indicates.

Per this report, which presents the first results of the 2016 census which was held on April 24last year, there are 14,300 Hindus now in Ireland.

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commending the Irish Hindu community for their contributions to the society and nation in Ireland; urged them to continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc.; amidst so many distractions.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, advised Hindus to focus on inner search, stay pure, explore the vast wisdom of scriptures, make spirituality more attractive to youth and children, stay away from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Pádraig Dalton is the Director General of CSO, established in 1949 and headquartered in Cork. The first census in Ireland was carried out in 1821.

Safdar Hashmi’ Released by Sagar Sarhadi

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:06 Written by

‘Two Plays of Safdar Hashmi’ Released by Sagar Sarhadi


Bhubaneswar: Odia translation of two plays of Safdar Hashmi (Hallabol andHatyare) by Mrinal Chatterjee was released by well-known Film Maker and playwright Sagar Sarhadi (of Silsile and Chandni fame) on 11 June 2017 at Kalinga Literature Festival in Bhubaneswar.

Published by Dhenkanal based Sephali communications, this book also has translations of some of Safdar’s poems for Children, his profile and many photographs.

Safdar Hashmi was a left-ideology oriented theatre director, writer, activist known for his work on street theatre. He was brutally attacked while his troupe JANAM was performing a play titled Halla Bol (Raise Your Voice!) on 1 January 1989, about 30 kms from Delhi. Hashmi was fatally injured and died the following day. He was 34 then.

Besides a series of street theatres, Hashmi produced several documentaries, including Khilti Kaliyan (Flowers in Bloom), which examined rural empowerment and a TV serial for Doordarshan. Hashmi’s output includes two proscenium plays – an adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s Enemies (1983) andMoteram ka Satyagraha (with Habib Tanvir, 1988) – many songs, a television series script, poems and plays for children, and documentary films. While committed to radical, popular, and left-wing art, Hashmi refrained from clichéd portrayals, and was not afraid of formal experimentation. He also wrote books critiquing the Indian stage.

His birthday (12 April) is observed as Street theatre Day.  

Patients’ Rights Day

Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:06 Written by


Patients’ Rights Day

Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee

Anamika Ray, a media academician, a mother of a 5 years old girl was 36 when she died at a Delhi hospital on 19 July 2015. She had been admitted for a simple operation. It got complicated and she was shifted to another hospital where she breathed her last. A family got shattered.  A brilliant career (by that that she had completed her doctorate and had made a name as a translator of fiction from Bengali to Assamese and vice versa) came to an abrupt halt because of what her husband alleged as ‘medical negligence’- a charge later proved and admitted by Delhi Medical Council. Anamika’s is not a lone case. A report says in India thousands die or suffer permanent damage because of medical negligence. Patients are looted and swindledat every step of the treatment. Read the cover story of Outlook June 19, 2017 issue to know more about the scale and modus operendi.

Most of us bear the loss and sit silently hoping someday somebody will do something about it. Or, probably the government will take notice.

Dr. Ankuran Dutta, her husband decided to fight back on behalf of all the patients. He formed a trust Dr. Anamika Ray Memorial Trust and started a campaign for patients’’ rights and against ‘medical terrorism’. The trust decided to observe June 25, Anaika’s birthday as Patients’ Rights Day.

As a patients we have certain rights, say for example- the right to get necessary information about our medical situation, expected treatment costs, expected outcome, redressal process and our medical record within 72 hours.  We must be aware of our rights and exercise that right. Often we are browbitten or asked to rely upon the doctors. It is ok to believe but it is not wise to get cheated. With the big hospitals out to make money, they want the patients to spend more money and go for expensive procedures when cheaper and better alternatives are available.

People must be aware of their rights and there needs to be a transparent redressal system. The Trust is doing its bit for that. To know about the campaign,

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