The Doklam Stand Off

The month long stand-off between the Indian Army and their Chinese counterparts has been quite civilised as opposed to the war in 1962. But the stand-off itself has been the longest ever. Post 1962 the relation between the two countries has not been the best in the history of global relations but both the countries are trying hard to improve the situation since.

Amidst the tension between the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Indian Army in the Doklam, an area in Sikkim that China claims as its own, the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and Chinese President, Xi Jinping shook hands and greeted each other at an informal meeting of BRICS nations on 7th July 2017. They later discussed many issues. But there seems to be no bilateral or independent meeting happening between the two nations to look for a resolution of the issue at Doklam. According to experts the atmosphere is too sensitive for independent meetings on the issue.

Similarly, at the war front none of the sides are looking to take the first step down. But there is a hope that the situation will resolve without a war.

The nub of the issue:

Bhutan has always considered Doklam as one of its territories and the recent extension of its roads in the area by China is being considered as an encroachment gone too far. This has worried India on two fronts. Firstly, India wants to stand by it ally, Bhutan and that would put it in direct cross hairs of China. Secondly, the presence of Chinese armed forces in the narrow Indian territory between Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh becomes a pressing concern if a war was to ignite between the two nations. The Chinese would then easily cut the cord between North and North Eastern India.

From the Chinese point of view the territorial disagreement is between China and Bhutan and it is not India’s place to be a party to the quarrel.

Indian veterans and the Chinese media have argued that the situation looks very similar to that of the 1962 war and how the dreadful conflict began in the first place.

China is not known to go to battle without weighing the odds and the chance of success. At the same time India cannot be smug at the possibilities of its military prowess. Both the nations need to consider the effect of war on the global economy and trade cycles and back down simultaneously.

Guru Purnima

The word Guru has its origin in the Sanskrit language. The syllable ‘Gu’ taken individually refers to darkness and subsequently ‘ru’ refers to the removal of darkness.

Guru is given the highest place in an individual’s life even above that of parents and God. According to Hindu religion for mortals who have not seen God, Guru is the creator, protector and destroyer.

The first full moon day during the fourth month- Ashadha as per the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Guru Purnima. Also known as Vyasa Purnima the day is significant to Hindu’s as it is commemorated as the birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa. According to Mythological gospel Veda Vyasa was the one to dictate the entire Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha in one go.

This day is also celebrated by the Buddhist in honour of Gautam Buddha marking the day he gave his first discourse at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Guru Purnima is thus celebrated by disciples to acknowledge the selfless act of their Gurus for inducting wisdom and knowledge unto them. Guru or teacher holds a spiritually as well as academical importance for Hindus. The teachings of ancient Gurus like Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanuja Acharya and Sri Madhvacharya have sculpted the virtues of Indian society since the inception of civilization.

Also Read: Cheti Chand – Celebration of the First New Moon

According to Indian tradition the Purnima (full moon) is celebrated by paying homage and worshipping Veda Vyasa the first Guru and performing puja of their respective Gurus.

The day is also significant to Indian farmers as it marks the setting-in of the much-needed monsoon. As most farmers in India even today depend on rains for their crop.

This period of the year is considered as the ushering in of life and therefore is a good time for one to start his spiritual sadhana (practice/learning).   It is also considered best for spiritual seekers for accepting the grace of their Guru. This grace has enormous significance for a disciple with regards to his ascension and growth.

Also, astrologically the planetary placement after the solstice and during the first full moon is the time when life on earth is most receptive to the cosmic energies and possibilities.

Guru Purnima

The best time for worshipping the Gurus is early in the morning. Beginning with cleansing oneself and praying to the Guru’s Padukas (shoes), followed by Puja, Meditation and chanting the Brahmananda Swaroopa- as paying tribute to the ecstasy of the creator.

Also Read: Gudi Padwa – The Hindu New year

Defying the limitations of existence and spiritually ascending to the possibilities beyond is only possible with the help of a Guru.

The underdogs finish first – ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Finale, Highlights

After losing their first ICC match against the boys in Blue the Pakistani players sure gave their game a 360o turn. Beating teams like England, Sri Lanka and South Africa the cadre in green beat India in the final game securing the ICC Championship trophy, 2017 for themselves.

India was consistent in their game throughout the tournament with the exception of losing only to Sri Lanka. But in the final game lady luck failed to show her charm on our boys. The holy month of Ramzan was indeed in favour of team Pakistan as they beat India by a whopping margin of 180 runs.

The holy month of Ramzan was indeed in favour of team Pakistan

Electing to field after the winning the toss the peril of team India began when they could not get a single wicket till 125 runs. The opposition seemed to have brought their A-game to the field scoring a behemoth of 338 runs in 50 overs for a loss of just 4 wickets. If that was not enough, in the second inning Rohit Sharma left the game as early as on the 3rd ball of the first over from Pakistan. Leaving the hopes of a win in a tight knot. The second blow came to India with Kohli leaving the field in the 3rd over.

Paving the way for a superb inning from Pakistan’s side was Fakhar Zaman who was crowned the Man of the Match for scoring a century in the pressure finale. Among the bowlers Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali were the star players to take the maximum wickets- 3 each, followed by Shadab Khan and Junaid Khan.

Though the Indian bowlers were badly battered by the Pakistani batting front the chasing target was not an impossible one to achieve considering the past performance of India’s batsmen. But somehow the Indian batting line failed to appreciate the challenge and bleed wicked early in the innings which cemented the victory for the opposition.

One cannot rule out the fighting spirit that the Pakistani team brought even in the second innings. They were a team on a mission to salvage their image and raise their team’s stature to the winner’s podium. The team of newbies has created history by winning the ICC Champions trophy for the first time.

Even after losing the toss and being put under the pressure of batting first and creating a target for the Indian batting force they persevered.

But truly neither Pakistan nor the world has seen the last of team India. They will be back!

 

5 of the most divine and rich Shrines of India

Hinduism is the most prevalent religion in India. Being one of the oldest religions it has a significant influence on Indian history and culture. Indian Mythologies are filled with stories of Goddesses and Gods that walked the land eons ago. They played a vital role in shaping the beliefs of man during those time. Today these are the beliefs that have led to the creation of glorious temples across the country. The devotees from all over the world visit these temples and shower offerings of flowers, cash, silver and gold even. The prominent temples of the country are:

The affluence of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba

The affluence of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba

The miracles of Sai Baba are a thing of legends. The faith that people have in his devotion is uncanny. The stories of Sai Baba’s marvels have made the temple of Shirdi Sai Baba both a place of worship and abundance. The recorded investments in the temple are stated at Rs. 427 crores. The money is parked in various bonds and Trust Corpus Fund. The ornaments in the temple are said to be worth Rs. 32 crore.

The Shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi

The Shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi

It is one of the oldest temple structures situated in the north of India in the scared valleys of Jammu. Scaling to this place of worship is not for the faint hearted as it is an uphill climb of almost 6 hours and during day time the situation is worse. Even so, the Goddess has devotees lined-up for her worship every single day. The annual income of the temple is estimated at Rs. 500 crores.

The Pride of Mumbai- Siddhivinayak Temple

The Pride of Mumbai- Siddhivinayak Temple

You can only imagine the amount of wealth this temple must be amassing during a year. Lord Ganesha being the scared deity of the Hindu’s especially Maharashtrians this temple holds no bar for the religion of the devotees. On Tuesdays, there is mega rush in the temple. Moreover, during the festival of ‘Ganpati’ the temple is bussing with people and prayers. The annual income is said to range from anywhere between 50 crores to 125 crores. The dome inside the temple where the statue of Lord Siddhivinayak presides is said to be coated with 3.7 kgs of pure gold.

Also Read: Siddhivinayak – The Shire of the God of Happiness

The temple of Padmanabhaswamy

The temple of Padmanabhaswamy

Located in W Nada, East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala this temple is said to hold around $20 Million worth of gold which takes about 6 different vaults to store. 5 out of 6 vaults were opened in 2011 by a team approved by the Apex Court of India. The treasures of the mysterious vault B (6th vault) are said to be guarded by 2 giant cobras and is rumoured to have been opened at least 9 times but no damage to anyone has been reported.

The principle Idol in this shrine of Lord Vishnu is valued at approximately Rs. 500 crore. Further, the temple’s abundant wealth includes Golden crowns, Gold bow, antique gold jewellery studded with different gems.

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The name itself says it all! One of the holy places for the Sikhs in India, this temple is a sight to behold. Its breath-taking beauty is the reason of its lavish Indo-Islamic design. The temple dome is adorned with gold and silver giving it a majestic appeal. Inside in the Altar lies the holy book Guru Granth Sahib which is a one-of-a-kind scripture that is decorated with scared gems and diamonds.

Also Read: Golden Temple: one of the most unique Sikh architectures

These temples may give a lavish and glam demeanour to the Indian divinities but all the plush has less meaning when it comes to the knowledge and teachings that these places have to offer, which is sacrosanct. The mental tranquillity that a person receives after basking in the peace of these places can only be experience first-hand.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 so far

Even after the minor setback against Sri Lanka, India is dominating Group B with its splendid performance on the field. The hopes of ever cricket fan are soaring even higher after the win against South Africa on Sunday i.e. 11th June 2017. Let’s take a look at the game so far.

Cricket - Most popular sport in India

Performance of team India

Team India’s perform in world tournaments especially in the recent decade has been well balanced. The notable wins being the World Cup victory of 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy of 2013. They plan their strategies and steadfast towards the championship wins. This tournament seems no different. Under the captainship of Virat Kohli the boys in blue are on their ‘A’ game since day one.

Ben Stokes proves his mettle

Ben Stokes proves his mettle

Ben Stokes salvaged England’s sagging performance in the chase against Australia and secured a position for his team in the tournament after successfully knocking out team Australia for good. The IPL star lived up to his high price tag, scoring a century- not out- ahead of captain Eoin Morgan’s 87.  The host captain and Stokes changed the course of the game owing to their partnership of 159.

Also Read: The titan that was Pakistan Cricket team

The titan that is Bangladesh

The titan that is Bangladesh

The once underdogs of cricket have displayed a champions’ run in the current ICC trophy knocking off another contending giant from the Trophy- New Zealand. Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan lead an iconic 224 run partnership that paved the way to victory for team Bangladesh. As Australia failed to beat England on Saturday 10th June 2017 (thanks to the uprising lead by Stokes) Bangladesh now moves to the Semi-finals against India.

Top run makers

Along with staggering partnerships, the championship has seen some of the greatest batting talents. Among the top scorers is- India’s Shikhar Dhawan with 271 runs, out of which 125 were made while playing against Sri-Lanka. Followed by Kane Williamson with 244 runs and a high score of 100. Shadowing him is Tamim Iqbal at 223, Joe Root at 212 and Rohit Sharma at 181.

Also Read: Cricket – Most popular sport in India

The bowling line up

The bowlers too have displayed some phenomenal flair when it came down to taking those crucial wickets. Ironically it is Australia’s Josh Hazlewood who has the most deliveries to wicket ratio- chalking up to 9 wickets in a total 28 overs. England’s Liam Plunkett comes in at number 2 only to miss the number 1 position by 3 balls and one wicket. His total overs come to 27.3 with 8 wickets. Following him is Adil Rashid, Adam Milne and Imran Tahir.

It has been an exhilarating cricket experience this far and looking at the current brawl of the cricket mammoths the entertainment quotient of the semis and finals cannot be expected to be any different.

 

Salman ki Motor wali cycle

After his acting and charm if Salman is known for anything it is his Philanthropical efforts. Through his ‘Being Human Foundation’ the Bollywood star has led many efforts towards education and healthcare for the underprivileged.

Salman is now looking forward to better the environment through one of his own divertissements- Cycling. The actor is known to be a fitness freak with a special love for Cycling. He fondly uses his cycle to get to nearby shooting studios and also between work for a quick calorie burst. In an attempt to bring this healthy initiative to others, his foundation on the occasion of environment day launched an electric bicycle. The launch was flanked by notable members of the entire Khan family including brother Sohil and Arbaz and Nephew Ahil.

Also Read: We believe in the power of Bhai ki ‘Tubelight’

The event was marked by Bhai’s signature style entry on the e-bicycle from his home to the press conference venue- Mehboob studios where the bike was unveiled.

Speaking about the e-bicycles Atul Gupta CEO, Being Human, said that these cycles are a step towards sustained development as it allows commuters to maneuver on the city roads at a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour. Though it is styled like a normal bicycle it is powered by a small electric motor that is the reason behind this unconventional speed. The motor can be accessed from a panel on the hand bar. It has a range of 30 kilometers which makes it a perfect ride inside city spaces. The bikes are reported to have been undergone tests for about 18 months before the launch.  Further, these cycles do not require any registration or licence to operate in traffic and are approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

These bicycles will be available in 2 variations- the basic model i.e. the BH27 is priced at Rs. 40,000 with basic specs. The BH12 on the other hand is set at Rs. 57,000 with top specs. The customers would have a choice of four colours for both the bikes viz. yellow, black, white and red. Also, the makers have hinted on new variations to be launched soon.

Also Read: The titan that was Pakistan Cricket team

One of the major USPs of the bicycle is that it is easy to maintain owing to the lesser number of moving parts as against their conventional counterparts.

The sleek looking e-bicycles are now available on booking in Mumbai. They are soon to be made available across all states.