Saturday December 16, 2017

Macaulay’s harrowing effect on Indian media

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New Delhi: While mystery and controversy still shrouding the infamous ‘Minute on Indian Education’ speech by Thomas Babington Macaulay, cultural invasion and undermining of Indian plethoric culture and heritage has continued unbridled.

However, Macaulay did play a pivotal role in corroding the very base of Indian culture.

Alike most other Europeans, he considered the Indians to be ignorant and devoid of formalities. Attributing the atrocious condition of the Indians to heathen religion and despotic rulers, he felt the urge to substitute the Indian culture with the western one.

His very aim was to embed the English language into the very fabric of the centuries-old Indian education system and destroy it completely.

In a bid to keep Indians away from cultivating their own culture, Macaulay, in 1835, advocated that Indians should proliferate western education system in British India.  The result was a ghastly blow to Indian researches in various field including science and language. He very well knew that there were countless dialects in India and it would be a near impossible task to administer them.

His motive behind introducing English was to bring all strata under an umbrella of one common language to facilitate administration.

His vicious effort alienated us from our very own indigenous culture, science, technology & even history. The outcome was a deadly one, Indians were uprooted from their cultural base but failed to adapt to the foreign culture. They were left languishing in between aping something that had destroyed the basic identity.

Macaulay landed in India at a tumultuous time with various Indian groups revolting against the atrocious of the foreigners. Macaulay very well knew that the rich cultural base of the Indian society needed to be corroded and a complete revamp was needed to control the country.

With Governor-General of India, William Bentinck giving a nod to the policies of Macaulay, Indian language and culture were sent to rot.

Not much has changed since then. Our overall lifestyle has been anglicized.

However, we have not become the gentleman but have lost the Indianess.

Ripples of the Macaulay effect was also felt in the globalization of Media in India. Despite an exponential growth in the Indian media industry, it failed to showcase its cultural history. With the private channels eclipsing Doordarshan, the agenda to educate, inform and create a feeling of national unity took a backseat.

The rapid growth of Indian economy with its middle-class aspiring for a western lifestyle was alluring for foreign players to explore the market. US-based transnational media organization was aware that India was graduating into one of the biggest English-language media software markets.  So, it was obvious for them to make inroads into the media which was once considered to be a tool for educating the masses.

A paradigm change took place in the media industry. Doordarshan began facing stiff competition from foreign players and it had to shift from disseminating educative programs to commercial contents.

With more and more foreign media players intruding into the Indian media industry, television channels started using metropolitan languages for broadcasting. Foreign program formats like reality shows caught the fantasy of the Indian audience.  The Indianized version of the shows had non-Indian languages, codes, and conventions. Mahabharata, Ramayana, Malgudi days lost the charm and was replaced by programs which used street-smart language.

Macaulay’s dream was fulfilled by channels like MTV and Channel V who wiped away Indian languages and introduced the usage of ‘Hinglish’ (a mixture of Hindi and English). The effect was the creation of a generation who started thriving on a fake and borrowed culture.

There were obvious reasons for the media tycoons to choose a foreign language for broadcasting. They wanted to spread their content across the whole of India and making programs in several languages was expensive. and for that they bombarded the use of a pro-English dialect that was neither completely British not completely Indian.

Commercialisation became so rampant that marketing policies began controlling news content. English channels created a notion that they are authentic and erudite. Their popularity rose to such heights that people began keeping English news channels switched on for all the time.

Discovery channel also thrived on Macaulay’s principles. They spread the propaganda that they aired educative content. However, their content initially focussed only on global topics and very less on Indian perspective. It became a runaway success as Indian proudly claimed that they watch nothing but the Discovery channel.

It is indeed regrettable that no government took any initiative to create content that would highlight Indian culture justifying the fact that Macaulay was right that for the development of an “illiterate nation” English has to be propagated.

The plague of western culture has crippled me to such an extent that I am compelled to use a foreign language to try and find out how Macaulay implanted the seeds of a foreign culture that have flooded the media which has become a part of our livelihood.

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Modi seeks Healthy Media Debate on Democracy in Political Parties

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the media to debate democracy and the democratic values of political parties for transparency in the evolution of their leadership and in their recruitment.

“You (the media) show us what we need to focus on. Democracy in political parties is something that the country is adapting to. We need to have transparency in the recruitment that political parties do. How the leadership of a political party evolves? What kind of opportunities are given to new generations? Do democratic values form the core of their values. It should become an issue of our debate and deeply so,” Modi said in his address to the media at the BJP’s annual Diwali Milan here.

At the event that was also attended by BJP President Amit Shah along and other senior party leaders, the Prime Minister highlighted media’s positive role in promoting democratic values in India.

“Democracy in political parties is a subject more people should know more about. It is true that the funding of political parties is a point of media discussion and many things come out in the open. But overall, how they are formed, how they function, how they recruit, their values, their ideologies and their weaknesses, what is the reason behind such weaknesses… all this should be debated,” he said, adding that political parties evolving “with a true democratic spirit is necessary for the country, necessary for a democracy”.

“I hope the people who are here will one day carry the debate forward.”

He paid his gratitude to media for its “positive role” it played in making the Swachh Bharat Mission a success, despite criticizing the government over other issues.

“Half of the newspaper pages would be filled with the government’s criticism. But when it comes to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, all are on the same page. I thank each one of you for making it a personal mission.”(IANS)

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Influence of Indians Upon Western Intellectuals

Book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by SalilGewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea.

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Einstein_and_Tagore Great Minds on India
Einstein and Tagore Berlin 14 July 1930. Wikimedia

-by Bernie David Holt

  • This fabulous book by Salil Gewali demonstrates to us how old Indians impacted present-day science, mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and others.
  • The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians, no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’.

Sitting on the beach, staring at the pale blue sea, wondering, is the world really spherical? I could clearly see the flat, never-ending sea of water and thought to myself, how did we find out the world was actually a spherical shape? Thanks to my Yoga teacher and my association with this ancient discipline that brought me to lay my hand on the amazing book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by Salil Gewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea. I quickly realized the science and the literature of the Modern times far behind when compared to the ideas expounded by the ancient Indians. This book truly demonstrates that India affected the cutting edge world; these are cases of extraordinary individuals that helped society in different ways, who credited India’s disclosures and speculations.

The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’ on the grounds that without the “numeric framework”, that Indians made, it would not have been conceivable.

ALSO READ: A Look Back In History: Contribution of Indian Mathematicians in the field of Mathematics

Dick Teresi recognized that Indians discovered that the earth circles the sun and realized that a planet’s path is elliptical, a great many centuries previously the thought was acknowledged inside Europe and the created areas. Dick Teresi is an exceptionally famous author and columnist, who was best known for authoring ‘Lost Discoveries’.

Archibald Wheeler trusts that the Indians knew “everything” and in the event that it was conceivable to decipher their old dialect, we would have every one of the responses to every one of our inquiries. He was the co-creator of ‘The component of atomic splitting’ by Niels Bohr.  Wheeler is the researcher and coined Black Hole, who is also instrumental in the development of Hydrogen Bomb.

Erwin Schrodinger, a splendid physicist, trusted that blood transmutation from India is an unquestionable requirement as it spared otherworldly pallor. Schrodinger was the designer of Wave Mechanics, which is one of the best logical creations of the twenty-first century.

Great Minds of India Salil Gewali
Great Minds on India is a book written by Salil Gewali. Facebook

One of the best hypotheses, the ‘Hypothesis of relativity’ is a hypothesis made by the old Indians, and is “light years”. Light years are there utilized as a part of room terms right up till today and is educated in science ponders within school foundations. This was said by Alan Watts, who was a logician and a standout amongst the most productive scholars of the previous century.

Indians also investigated the importance of natural laws, (many yet to be discovered by the modern scientists and philosophers) the nature of the soul, the birth of the universe, and what is past the cycle of life, birth, and demise, the connection between body, mind, knowledge, and soul. Their vision addressed the idea of holiness, the preeminent planning power that may underlie normal laws. To put it plainly, they tried to know everything that the psyche can appreciate — from the particle to unendingness, the making of the universe, and its significance. The source of different branches of science, craftsmanship, and theory ascribed to this human advancement are genuinely exceptional results of India’s “Jijnyasa”, or urge to want to know with clear vision.

But, I’ve found shockingly disturbing contrary fact in India and among Indians. Over 90% of Indian origin do not subscribe to their own rich civilization and spiritual culture. Just going over the news media and acclaimed literary works published from India astonish us that how there certain powerful people openly hate their own cultural values.

Even the half-literate love to quote Milton, Eliot; and shake themselves in a musical beat of rock-n-roll. This country’s government has found itself in the tangle of controversies while convincing its people about the practical benefits of Yoga and meditation.

I believe, the excellent publication of Gewali’s book will serve the purpose since Indians will get to know about Indian wisdom and spiritual knowledge from their Western masters. The research-based book of over twenty-five years, which has been translated into eleven languages, has recently been prefaced by a world-famous NASA scientists – Dr.KamleshLulla of Houston. Finally, I choose to invoke a very profound quote from the book by a pioneering philosopher of German romanticism August Schlegel – ‘Even the loftiest philosophy of the European appears like a feeble spark before the Vedanta’.

(Bernie David Holt 36a Slade Gardens, Erith, England)

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Diwali Puja 2017: Everything You Need To Know About Timings, Muhurat

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Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped
Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped by devotees on the day of Diwali. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 18, 2017: Diwali is around the corner and everyone is busy with the preparations. On the eve of Diwali, the most important ritual is to perform Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja during the right muhurat (time) and with the right rituals(vidhi).

Here are some of the things you must take care of:

Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja Rituals

It is important that on the day of Diwali, you wake up early in the morning and pay homage to your ancestors and worship gods of your family. It is advised to observe a day-long-fast until the Ganesh-Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening.

Kalash pujan
Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja kalash. Wikimedia

Preparations For Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja

Families can embellish their home and office with Asoka and Marigold flowers, banana and mango leave on the day of the puja. Mangal Kalash covered with unpeeled coconut should be placed at both side of the main entrance of your house.

For puja preparation, place at the right hand side a red cloth on a hoisted platform and put in idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on it after gracing them with jewellery and clothes. Once this is done, Navgraha gods must be placed on the left hand side on a hoisted platform under white cloth. Prepare carefully nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) for placing Navgraha on white cloth and sixteen slots of wheat must prepared for the red cloth. You should perform puja with all the important rituals.

Idols of Ganesh-lakshmi are being worshipped on the eve of Diwali. Wikimedia

Timings (Muhurat) for Lakshmi Puja

Pradosh Kaal muhurat is the time during which puja needs to be performed. It starts after sunset and lasts for about 2 hours and 24 minutes. Goddess Lakshmi will stay in your home if you perform Lakshmi puja in the Pradosh Kaal when it is Sthir Lagna time. Sthir refers to ‘immovable.’  Before you do the puja, make sure you find out Pradosh Kaal (time) for your city or area. It is important that you know the right time to perform the puja.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar