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Five boarding schools which teach Army training in India

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Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
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By Keshav Chhabra

One reason why parents in India continue to send their children to boarding schools is to ensure their physical and mental fitness, and to make the student a disciplined and focused individual. While Military Schools and Sainik Schools continue to be the preferred alternatives, there are other boarding schools which are known for their strict and disciplined army training.

1)      The Lawrence School, Sanawar: Founded by Sir Henry and Lady Honoria Lawrence and believed to be the first co-ed boarding school in India, the school was established in the year 1847. Spread over 139 acres on a rural hill-top at 5,600 feet, the school has continued to build a high reputation since early 20th century, when several contingents of boys were enlisted from school and fought as warriors in World War I.

Apart from regular PT exercises, the school maintains a high standard of parade. While NCC is compulsory for students in the senior classes, the school offers a plethora of sports activities with specialized coaches.

Photo Courtesy: hotel.kasaulicastle.com
Photo Courtesy: hotel.kasaulicastle.com

2)      Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun: Founded in 1922 by his Royal Highness, Prince Edward VIII the Prince of Wales, the school has a lush-green campus of 138 acres. Synonymous with Mini India, 250 boys are selected from every state strictly on merit.

The school boasts of a myriad of distinguished alumni with four Chiefs of Army staff and one Chief of the Air staff among many other high civil dignitaries.

Photo Courtesy: www.indiabookofrecords.in
Photo Courtesy: www.indiabookofrecords.in

3)      Sainik Schools: Sainik schools were built with an aim to build a chain of schools in congruence with the high levels of physical and mental endurance needed to prepare the students to take admissions in National Defence Academy (NDA), and gradually for the officer cadre. The schools are provided heavy grants from Center as well as State governments.

Present in more than 20 states, the schools continue to maintain high standards in their army training programs.

Sainik School Purulia
Sainik School, Purulia

4)      Rashtriya Military Schools: Originally started as King George’s Royal Indian Military Schools, the students of this school are called Georgians. The school was set up with an aim to cater to the educational needs of the sons of defence personnel. Present in Shimla, Ajmer, Bangalore, Belgaum and Dholpur, these schools level with esteemed institutions like Rashtriya Indian Military College and National Defence Academy.

The school is known for its excellent results in NDA exams.

Bangalore Military School
Bangalore Military School

5)      Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai: Established in 1973 in Haryana, the institute aims at providing excellent sports persons with ample sports equipment. Spread over a sprawling area of about 300 acres, MNS provides training in NCC, along with many sports like Cricket, Football, Basketball, Volleyball and more. The school has played an important role in nurturing sports in Haryana.

Photo Courtesy: mnssrai.com
Photo Courtesy: mnssrai.com
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Spiritual Ideas Sore At The World Hindu Congress

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.

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Government invites entries for first National CSR Awards VOA

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.”

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Buddhism relates sins to the characteristics one adopts. Pixabay

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.

Hinduism
Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons

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.”

Hinduism
The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

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.”

Also Read: Triple Talaq Now Banned in India

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)