Wednesday November 22, 2017
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A tale of two titles: Deoband to be introduced as Deovrind by its MLA

While Deoband is known for its historical significance and Darul Uloom Deoband has been a centre of Islamic learning since the Mughal era, Brijesh Singh had demanded that the city be renamed Deovrind after BJP came into power

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Deoband
MLA seeks to rename Deoband into Deovrind. Courtesy: Pixabay

New Delhi, March 22, 2017: Kunwar Brijesh Singh, MLA from Deoband, is adamant to make way for what he promised to the people of Deoband in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017.

While speaking to BBC, he said that he will introduce a proposal in Vidhan Sabha for the name-alteration of the holy city of Deoband to Deovrind.

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While Deoband is known for its historical significance and Darul Uloom Deoband has been a centre of Islamic learning since the Mughal era, Brijesh Singh had demanded that the city be renamed Deovrind after BJP came into power.

“What I am doing is acting on my words given to the people of Deoband,” Kunwar Brijesh Singh said in the interview.

He said that the first promise he made during the election campaign was that after winning the polls, the foremost change he would bring will be the change in the name of Deoband.

During the interview, he argued that it’s not a vague change which he wants to bring for the sake of popularity. The place is largely associated with and is mentioned in the various mythological scriptures, hence giving a robust ground for the altercation in the name.

“The mythological scriptures carry the legacy of this holy town as the name of Devvranda, not Deoband. There’s a small village nearby the town called Rankhandi, it is believed that the village has its relevance with the mighty war of Mahabharata. There are many places in and around the town which speak of their historical importance and bear testimony to Deoband’s historical connections with the times of Mahabharata,” Singh added.

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He also emphasized that the presence of famous shaktipeeth Bala Sundari and the ever-enraging deity Durga vouch for the authentication of the name Deovrind.

Deoband’s Shakti Peet is located on the Saharanpur-Muzaffarnagar Highway in the town of the Deoband. This area is closely related to the Goddess Durga. It is believed that in the earlier times, Goddess Durga resided here. This is perhaps the reason why the forests were known as the Devi Van and later became popular as the Deoband.

While his arguments and logics may define his willingness for this move, but he conscientiously clarifies that the final verdict is in the hand of the government.

“I’m just putting forward the wish of my people who trusted me to give this issue a priority in the list of development agendas which I have set for the overhaul of my constituency. The people have trusted in the vision of New India by our honorable Prime Minister and we all are just complying with it,” Singh clarified his stance with the statement.

The culture of changing the names as according to the wishes of incumbent governments is not a latest in fashion. Hundreds of cities, including many metropolitan cities, have been either altered or modified with the rationales resonating with history, culture, and trade. The latest prominent example we saw was modifying Gurgaon to Gurugram in 2016.

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In the pursuit of renaming cities on the basis of their cultural and historical importance, the question that should be asked is about their relevance with the agendas of development. Does renaming a city result into a settlement of any dispute? Does it contribute to the growth and development? Or does it summon the critical issues of the nation?

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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