October 27, 2016: India is a country of different colours. Home to several religions, castes and cultures, India is one of the liveliest countries of the world. Here are some facts about India that might surprise you!
While many are called India a land of intolerance and doubting the nation’s secularism,the Bhagwat Gita contest was won by a Muslim girl. The winner, Maryam had full support of her parents for participating in the contest.
Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the world. The number of employees working with the Indian railways in 1.4 million! This is equivalent to the combined population of many small countries like Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Iceland, and more!
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India is home to the world’s largest planned township. It was developed in 1972 in order to divert the population growth in Mumbai. The township is located near Mumbai and is known Navi Mumbai.
The first rocket launched in India was transported on a cycle!
26th May of every year is celebrated as science day in Switzerland in honor of India’s 11th president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Dr. Kalam had visited Switzerland on 26th may, 2005.
A 13 year boy, named Arshid Ali Khan, is believed to be a God human. Local people seek his blessings to solve their problems. He is also known as Balaji owing to his 7 inch tail!
India is known as the most peaceful country in the world. It has never ever invaded any country in history.
The largest post network in the world belongs to India. India post have the highest number of post offices in the world.
In August 2011, India inaugurated its first ever floating post office in Dal lake,Jammu and Kashmir
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Shani Shingnapur is one of the safest village of India. The houses, shops and halls of this village are without doors! This village has not locked away its valuables and yet not a single theft has been reported till date.
Akku Yadav was a notorious criminal infamous for kidnapping children and rapping women. He was arrested, but due to the corruption in the local police force, he got bail easily. The local people were tired of this menace. The mob stabbed his over 70 times and threw chilli powder and stones on his face. It was the first time in Indian history that a criminal was murdered by 200 women.
Ajmal Kasab was one of the terrorists involved in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Mumbai police filed a case against him for entering CST Railway Station, Mumbai without ticket!
Jaipur, Rajasthan boasts of having a family with 31 doctors! there are 7 physicians, 5 gynecologists, 3 ophthalmologists, 3 ENT specialists, orthopedic, urologist, psychiatrists, pathologists and neurologists in this family.
At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.
Even Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchanalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), focused essentially on the need for unity and patience among Hindus while fighting obstacles, of which, he said, there would be many. The burden of excavating implied accusations in Bhagwat’s speech fell to his critics.
At the plenary session, the moderator requested speakers to address issues of conflict without naming the speakers or their organisations in the interest of harmony. Other speakers sought to unite the followers of all the great religions that took birth in India — Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Some of the speakers from Bhagwat to Swami Swaroopananda of the Chinmaya Mission, framed the issues before Hinduism in a moral paradigm. Ashwin Adhin, the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, began his speech in chaste Hindi, later quoting cognitive scientist George Lakoff: “Facts matter immensely. But to be meaningful they have to be framed in terms of their moral importance.”
The dissonances, between the spiritual and the mundane, were to emerge later on the fringes of the seminars which were part of the Congress. Many of the delegates appropriated to themselves the mantle of a culture besieged by proselytising faiths. There were speakers who urged Hindus to have more children to combat their ‘dwindling population’. Posters warned Hindus of the dangers from ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men ‘enticing’ Hindu women).
In one of the sessions on the media, filmmaker Amit Khanna noted that religion had always played a prominent part in Indian cinema, starting with the earliest mythologicals. “Raja Harishchandra”, the first silent film, he said, was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. He sought to reassure the audience on the future of Hinduism. “Over 80 percent of Indians are Hindus,” he said adding: “Hinduism has survived many upheavals for thousands of years. Hinduism has never been endangered.”
Other speakers, lacking spiritual and academic pedigrees, drew on an arsenal of simulated anguish and simmering indignation.
The nuances of history pass lightly over the ferociously devout and it took little effort to pander to an aggravated sense of historical aggrievement.
At one of the debates, the mere mention of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, elicited sniggers and boos. The speaker hinted at ‘Nehruvian socialism’ which had made the Indian economy a non-starter. He concluded with a coup de grace, to a standing ovation: “Nehru did not like anything Indian.”
The poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the Indian national anthem, had spoken of his vision of a country where the “clear stream of reason had not lost its way”. At some of the discussions, even the most indulgent observer would have been hard put to discern the stream of reason.
The image of a once great civilisation suppressed by a century of British rule and repeated plunder by invaders captured the imagination of many in the audience. Hanging above it all, like a disembodied spirit, was the so-called malfeasance of Nehru, the leader who had won the trust of Hindus only to betray them in the vilest manner.
These tortured souls would have been well advised to adopt a more holistic approach to Hinduism, and history, looking no further than Swami Vivekananda, who once said: “The singleness of attachment (Nishtha) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of denunciation of everything else.”
Historians have informed us that Nehru preferred his father’s intellect over his mother’s tradition but he was never contemptuous of religion. While he undoubtedly felt that organised religion had its flaws, he opined that it supplied a deeply felt inner need of human nature while also giving a set of values to human life.
In private conversations some delegates spoke of how their America-born children had helped persuade them to drop their pathological aversion to gays and lesbians. Despite their acute wariness of perceived cultural subjugation, the irony was obviously lost on them that Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code,(which criminalises gay sex) recently overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, is a hangover from the Victorian British era-embodied in the Buggery Act of 1533.
In the face of the upcoming elections in the US, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s decision to speak at the conference was a political risk. With a newly energised political Left, even the perception of being linked with “fascist” or sectarian forces could be political suicide in the critical November elections. Despite vociferous appeals to disassociate himself from the Congress, Krishnamoorthi chose to attend.
“I decided I had to be here because I wanted to reaffirm the highest and only form of Hinduism that I have ever known and been taught — namely one that welcomes all people, embraces all people, and accepts all people, regardless of their faith. I reject all other forms. In short, I reaffirm the teaching of Swami Vivekananda,” Krishnamoorthi said.
Given the almost pervasive abhorrence of anything remotely Nehruvian among a section of the delegates, it was a revelation to hear the opinion of Dattatrey Hosable, the joint general secretary and second-in-command in the RSS hierarchy. Speaking on the promise of a newly-resurgent India, Hosable said in an interview to Mayank Chhaya, a local journalist-author-filmmaker: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new — when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”
The quote is from Nehru’s famous Tryst with Destiny speech delivered to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14, 1947 — proof, if any is needed, that the force of Nehru’s ideas can transcend one’s disdain of him. (IANS)