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BY BRIJ KHANDELWAL
Unfazed by the possibility that her assertions could open up a Pandora’s Box of controversies and trigger a north-versus-south India debate, historian S. Chandni Bi says there is need for a thorough review and rewriting of history of pre-independence India, objectively assessing the role of each region and community.
“Time and again we are told that the 1857 rebellion of sepoys against the British East India Company was the First War of Independence. The sentiment found an echo in the movie ‘Mangal Pandey ï¿½ The Rising’ which depicts the hero as the first man to rise against the British.
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“True, the 1857 rebellion of the sepoys against the East India Company was a major move in the process of evolution of the Indian freedom movement. But, can that be called India’s First War of Independence? If it were to be, were there not similar and much more organised and violent uprisings in different parts of the country against the company rule much earlier?” asks Chandni Bi from Salem in Tamil Nadu, who teaches South Indian History at the Department of History, Centre of Advanced Study, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
As far as the 1857 mutiny is concerned “there seemed to be as many motives for the resistance as the number of people involved in the mutiny. The soldiers of the East India Company refused to use the cartridges and the animal (cow or pig) fat to grease them. The anger was borne out of their religious sentiments. There is nothing to concretely suggest antipathy to alien rule,” she says.
Chandni Bi notes that Indian historians have clear parameters to judge which events qualify for “national status” and which do not. According to her, “The incident should involve a significantly large number of people (a mass movement); the goal should be inspired by a single motive and, finally, (there should be) a feeling of oneness among all sections/stretch of people involved against their common enemy.”
Applying these yardsticks, incidents, revolts or rebellions that occurred before the Swadeshi Movement of the 1920s cannot be described as national. “Hence, to call the 1857 revolt the first war of India’s Independence is wide off the mark and unacceptable,” says Chandni Bi.
On the freedom movement in southern India, she says there were many revolts against the East India Company and the British on either side of the Vindhyas that reflected aversion to alien rule. “There are incidents that took place in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu a half century or more before the 1857 revolt of Mangal Pandey. Veer Savarkar had noted that the Vellore Mutiny of 1806 was similar to the 1857 revolt. Vellore has a fort where the Company kept the successors of Tipu Sultan under arrest. The sepoys and soldiers who were kept under arrest in this fort revolted overnight and freed themselves,” she says.
When a committee headed by Dr S Radhakrishnan was appointed by the Union government to write the history of the freedom movement, the Tamil Arasu Kazhagam, a Tamil nationalist movement in Tamil Nadu, had protested saying that the history of the freedom movement should start with the revolt of Veerapandiya Kattabomman from the land of Panchalankurichi in Tamil Nadu.
“This personality, Veerapandiya Kattabomman was the Palayankarar (ruler) of the Palayam (a political division) Panchalankurichi, who agitated against the Company’s overlordship and refused to pay taxes. He questioned their right over the land. Finally, he was betrayed by a friend and arrested by the Company. There was an open trial for not paying the dues and he was sentenced to death. He dared to kiss the noose of death by himself and refused the touch of the Company’s servants,” says Chandni Bi.
This was the first case involving an Indian who challenged the empire and refused to obey the diktats of the British and the reasons were political, relating to freedom and dignity, says Chandni Bi. Apart from the 1806 Vellore mutiny, similar acts of defiance were reported from Mysore and Kerala, as early as the 1790s. There is a need for rewriting the earlier history of resistance and freedom struggle with all the inputs now being provided by south Indian historians, she says. (IANS)
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine a seeking direction to the Election Commission to de-register a political party, which fails to comply with the court's direction to disclose criminal antecedents of candidates fielded in polls. Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay requested a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli to list the petition urgently, against the backdrop of the ongoing election process. He contended that nomination for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election has started, and the political parties and candidates are brazenly violating the top court judgments.
After briefly hearing Upadhyay, the bench said: "We will consider it... will give a date".
The plea argued that allowing criminals to stand for election threatens democracy and secularism. | Wikipedia
The plea claimed that the cause of action for filing the plea arose after the Samajwadi Party fielded alleged gangster Nahid Hasan from Kairana but neither published his criminal records in electronic, print and social media nor the reason for his selection within 48 hours. On February 13, last year, Shamli police imposed the Gangster Act on Nahid Hasan, who is a two-time MLA from Kairana. "He (Hasan) has multiple criminal cases and is the 'mastermind' behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are many criminal cases including fraud and extortion, and he was declared a fugitive by Special MLA-MP Court," the plea said.
The plea argued that the consequences of permitting criminals to contest and become legislators are extremely serious for democracy and secularism. The plea sought a direction to the Election Commission to take steps to ensure that every political party publishes the details regarding criminal cases of each candidate along with the reason for such selection on the homepage of its official website in bold letters within 48 hours in the spirit of top court orders passed on September 25, 2018, and February 2, 2020. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: uttar pradesh assembly election, hima kohli, justices a.s. bopanna, chief justice n.v. ramana, political party, election commission, the supreme court, tainted candidates, action, plea)
There will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year also as the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- seems to have been cancelled due to the Covid situation in India as well as in the respective nations. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially.
If the guests arrive, then this would be the second time when India hosts a group of state heads as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2018, state heads of ASEAN countries graced the occasion with their presence. Apart from Kazakhstan, none of these countries' state heads had been invited as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2009, Kazakhstan's then president Nursultan Nazarbayev was the Chief Guest.
The Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest.Unsplash
As per sources, due to the corona situation, the Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest, so the plan seems to have been cancelled. Last year, British Prime minister Boris Johnson was invited for the same, but later cancelled due to rising corona cases in the UK.
In the past, there have been occasions when the Republic Day ceremony was celebrated without any foreign guest. In 1966, there was no foreign chief guest in the Republic Day parade ceremony as the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had passed away in Tashkent in January, and Indira Gandhi took oath as Prime Minister on January 24. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : chief, guest, Republic Day, parade, India, January, pandemic, 2022, host, nation, guest, invite, foreign, occasion, presence, celebrate.)
A team of scientists from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have found a cure for those suffering from chronic wounds, particularly with diabetic foot ulcers. The team led by Prof Gopal Nath of the department of Microbiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, said that wounds that took months and years to heal, could now be cured in days or months. The findings of study have been published in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, US.
Prof Nath said that a wound is defined as a breach in the skin or body tissues due to injury. An acute wound is defined as a "recent break that is yet to progress through sequential stages of healing". The wounds where normal healing process is stalled due to underlying pathology (vascular and diabetes) or infection beyond three months is defined as chronic wound. While chronic wounds always get infected, the contaminated wounds are reasonably susceptible to infection.
A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks.Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash
Infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and biofilm formation halt healing progress. These wounds cause significant psychological and physical morbidity. The traditional treatment strategies often succeed in healing wounds, he said adding that many wounds have been observed recalcitrant to them, leading to persistence and recurrent infections. Search for alternatives to antibiotics has now become a compulsion. Fortunately, bacteriophage therapy is a re-emerging solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Prof Nath's team carried out phage therapy of acute and chronic infected wounds in animals and clinical studies. It showed efficacy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a mice wound model. Furthermore, they evaluated the efficacy of phage cocktails in animal models' acute and chronic osteomyelitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. They also observed biofilm eradication from K wire in rabbits' wound infection model. Clinical trials of phage therapy initiated by the BHU have reported the efficacy of topical phage in healing chronic wounds in three prospective exploratory studies and no adverse events mimicking the results in vivo animal models.
Scientists have found a cure for those suffering from diabetic foot ulcers. Unsplash
A clinical study by Gupta demonstrated the significant role of bacteriophage therapy in the chronic wounds associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The study employed a total of twenty patients with chronic non-healing ulcers for more than six weeks duration. A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks. Another study, employing 48 patients having a minimum of one eligible full-thickness wound that did not heal in six weeks with convention wound management, showed the promising result, and significant improvement was observed in the wound healing.
The study projected that specific phage therapy is equally effective regardless of the diabetic or non-diabetic status of the patient though the healing was relatively delayed in diabetic patients. Another successful study has shown encouraging results on healing process of infected acute traumatic wounds. The average number of days required for complete granulation of wounds and attaining sterility and healing was half compared to conventional therapy. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : scientists, cure, chronic, wound, suffer, ulcer, diabetes, healing, pathology, health, infection, bacteria, study, patient, therapy, successful.)
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