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I was in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 when this great city was attacked by 10 Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists for three days, killing 166 people and leaving hundreds injured. I was also a witness to the huge protest rally that took place three days later outside the Taj Hotel. In my own estimate, over 20,000 people from all walks of life converged there to vent their anger, particularly on Indian politicians and Pakistan.
Never in my whole life I had seen or experienced such anger and rage. I, a 22-year-old young man then, screamed so much that for the next three days I could not speak.
I do not wish to repeat here the slogans I raised along with others, lest I should somehow upset my Pakistani friends. But ‘khoon ka badla khoon’ (blood for blood) was one of them. I am glad that night I found an outlet to express my bottled up emotions else it would have come out in some different form which might have been physical and violent in nature.
I am sure Pakistanis must have felt the same horror and pain when the army school was brutally attacked in Peshawar by terrorists, killing over 130 children. I am not here to make comparisons or to judge which attack was more barbaric just because they can’t (and must not) be compared. In both the places, innocent human beings were butchered for no fault of their own. So many lives were destroyed because some people, somewhere wanted to settle scores and quench their insatiable thirst for blood.
What would happen if there was another 26/11 type attack launched from the soil of Pakistan? We really do not have any answers. In my opinion, such things must not be repeated in the future, but these instances do not take shape as per my desires; and terrorists and their masters would not take my permission before doing any such thing. I as a common man empathize with the people of Pakistan who themselves have lost over 50,000 lives in terrorism-related violence in the past 14 years.
Therefore, all we can do is speculate and guess as to what might happen in the case of another 26/11 attack. The government of India, both under Congress and BJP, has time and again reiterated such an attack would have severe consequences for Pakistan. We are living in dangerous times and the Indo-Pak conflict becomes all the more dangerous considering that both the countries possess nuclear weapons.
In the wake of another 26/11 type attack, India’s so-called Cold Start doctrine could be put to use. Under this doctrine, Army would launch a retaliatory conventional strike against Pakistan inflicting significant harm on the Pakistan Army before any international community could intercede, but not in a way that Pakistan would be provoked to make a nuclear attack.
To counter this Cold Start strategy, Pakistan has come up with tactical nuclear weapons that it says could be used on the advancing Indian troops, thus igniting a ‘limited nuclear war’. Strategic nuclear weapons generally have significantly larger yields, starting from 100 kilotons to up to destructive yields in the low megaton range.
The problem with such an assumption is that things can go out of control, for India doesn’t have tactical nuclear weapons. Many theorists would say that the logic of nuclear warfare means a “limited” nuclear strike is, in fact, likely to trigger a larger nuclear war — a doomsday scenario in which major Indian, Pakistani cities would be the targets for attacks many times more powerful than the bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
India has time and again said the response to such an attack on its troops by tactical nuclear weapons would be massive. Considering that both India and Pakistan have over 100 nuclear weapons each, such a nuclear exchange could prove to be cataclysmic not only for these two poor countries, but also for the world.
In order to ascertain the environmental effects of a “small” nuclear war, a study was conducted in 2008 and that was later updated in 2014. It described what would happen if 100 Hiroshima-strength bombs were detonated in a hypothetical conflict between India and Pakistan.
The explosions, the study found, would push a layer of hot, black smoke into the atmosphere, where it would envelop the Earth in about 10 days. The study predicted that this smoke would block sunlight, heat the atmosphere, and erode the ozone for many years, producing what the researchers call without hyperbole “a decade without summer.”
The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies. As rains dried and crops failed worldwide, the resulting global nuclear famine would kill around 1 billion people.
We, Indians and Pakistanis, who have so much in common, should not go down this path of mutually assured destruction. It is a pity that a people who lived together for hundreds of years once are today on the verge of annihilating each other. It’s time we reflected on the blunders committed in the past (Partition is one of them) and sincerely tried to resolve our issues sans violence, for it’s never too late to make a new beginning.
The new generation should shake hands.
Clean beauty products are making inroads and have gained a significant share of the beauty market, with more more people becoming aware of the their benefits. With each passing year thanks to technology, research and development natural ingredients have finally regained their place in the spotlight. Don't take our word for it, beauty icons Kriti Sanon and Shanaya Kapoor also believe in natural and clean beauty products, and associate with the 'Naturali' range launched by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. The new age nature-inspired personal care brand aims to provide a one-of-a kind experience to their customer infused with trendy natural ingredients delivering quick visible results.
Hair care ambassador Kriti Sanon said, 'I am extremely thrilled to be associating with Naturali haircare range that is infused with modern, trendy natural ingredients which are free from harmful chemicals. I have always been an ardent supporter of the 'no nasties' proposition when it comes to my hair care needs, hence this association came very naturally to me. Everyone knows that natural products are supposed to be good for you, but they are often believed to be slow in giving results. Naturali changes this, as the range has a unique SuperBlend of complementary natural ingredients, that are optimized to give you quick visible results. As a woman myself, I strongly believe that no woman should ever have to compromise especially with respect to her beauty choices. So, it is extremely fulfilling to see a brand that is not only good for you being free from harmful chemicals but also makes you look good.'
Clean beauty products are making inroads and have gained a significant share of the beauty market, with more more people becoming aware of the their benefits. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Bollywood debutante and skincare ambassador Shanaya Kapoor said, 'It is exhilarating to be associated with Naturali Skincare range. It's a brand that I feel complements my personality and I'm sure, just like me, a lot of young women are going to instantly connect with it. It's trendy, unapologetic, true to its claims, and most importantly takes charge. What resonated with me the most was the fresh take Naturali offers on nature-based skincare, the exciting ingredients - Avocado, Tea Tree, Red Raspberry coupled with the free from harmful chemicals promise. As someone who's had to deal with her fair share of skin problems like pimples while growing up, I am certain this range is going to be very useful for girls out there and I can't wait for them to try it out!'
Shashwat Goenka, Sector Head, Retail & FMCG said, 'There has been a paradigm shift in how Indian consumers, especially the younger, more conscious generation, engage with beauty products today. They are looking for a holistic and transparent approach towards beauty and wellness that is result-oriented. However, despite there being a burgeoning rise in the demand for natural beauty products, the personal care 'free from nasties' segment is still underpenetrated in terms of mass, affordable players. And that's where we come in - Naturali, a personal care brand infused with natural ingredients that are efficacious and free from harmful chemicals. The range is also available at pocket-friendly price points to the masses, a first for the segment."
He further added, 'We are very glad to announce Kriti Sanon as the face of the Naturali haircare range while Shanaya Kapoor represents the skincare offerings. We are a new, bold, and trendy brand and we wanted to associate with individuals who could help bring out and advocate these values. Kriti and Shanaya are a perfect choice as both are young, vivacious, and personally, resonates with our natural first proposition.'
The brand is backed by a SuperBlend technology that offers a combination of two modern, efficacious, natural ingredients like Avocado and Charcoal, Moringa and Avocado, Red Onion and Bhringaraj, Tea Tree & Avocado amongst others.
(Article originally published by: N. Lothungbeni) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Beauty, skincare, Kriti Sanon, Shanaya Kapoor, clean beauty
Children are often seen running around singing "London Bridge is Falling", and making a face of sadness when they reach the last line. Most people assume that the Fair Lady referred to in the rhyme is the Queen of England, and the current queen at that. But the history behind this rhyme goes farther back in time than we realize.
Speculation associated with this rhyme has to do with a process call immurement. Immurement was when a person was enclosed in a room with no exit points. This was more an act of superstition than punishment. It was believed to bring sturdiness to the structure if people were imprisoned behind the walls. London Bridge falling down was something that people at the time associated with weakness. But there is no evidence to substantiate the idea of immurement.
The Bridge of yesteryear London Image source: wikimedia commons
A more historical account states that the bridge fell as a result of a Viking attack. Vikings of Norway have a similar set of rhymes that associate their role in bringing down the Bridge of London. They sing of conquest and gold, and blessings from Odin, in Norse, which refers to the Bridge. King Olaf II is credited with this feat.
Most historians, unable to properly supply evidence of the above claims, state that perhaps the Thames River is the reason this rhyme came into existence. The original London Bridge had 19 arches that went deep into the river. This caused difficulty in navigation. The Bridge was taken down and reconstructed to accommodate boats and ships. Perhaps, it was this historical reconstruction that is being sung about. The London Bridge is the only one that directly refers to a historical event, and yet has no plausible evidence to support it.
Keywords: Rhymes, London, Bridge, History, Viking, Immurement
Atop the Vindhyagiri hills in Karnataka, a 57-foot-tall statue stands. This is the statue of Lord Gomateshwara, or Bahubali, as he is known to the local patrons. The surrounding area is filled with temples where each of the many Jain Tirthankaras sits.
Sharavanabelagola is named after a pond that is located at the foothills. 'Bel' in Kannada means white, and 'kola' means pond. This is a sacred water body to the activities of the temples. It is a tourist attraction and a pilgrim destination located 85 kilometres from Mysore, and 145 kilometres from the capital, Bangalore.
The pond that Sharavanabelagola is named after Image source: wikimedia commons
Since the statue is placed at such a great height, pilgrims are made to make a journey to the top of the hill by foot. They are required to climb the stone steps barefoot as an act of piety and devotion. Palanquins are offered only to senior citizens who wish to worship at the temple.
In 3 B.C, when India was ruled by the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya became a Jain monk and took up residence in the Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri hills. He is supposedly responsible for the establishment of the temple complex at Shravanabelagola, where he lived till he died. Later on, his grandson, Ashoka made some additional changes to the place.
A shop in the tourist section that sells handmade items Image source: wikimedia commons
Every twelve years, a Mahamastabhisheka is conducted, and Jains from every part congregate to witness it. The statue is washed with water, rice flour, sugarcane juice, saffrom, sandalwood paste, gold, and silver flowers, curd, ghee, milk, and turmeric, and all the monks offer special prayers. The surrounding temples and rocks are preserved as archaeological wonders owing to the 800 edicts and inscriptions found here which span 600 to 1830.
Keywords: Shravanabelagola, Jainism, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Karnataka