NewsGram readers have so far acquired knowledge about various cultures, festivals celebrated in different parts of the world, latest happenings in politics etc.
While the above is good to know, I want to pull the strings of the readers’ heart by raking up a very important issue. All around, life is good, highly educated, great disposable income, all amenities at your fingertips, but there is a hollowness…… while living as humans is a necessity, we have forgotten to “be human”. We are becoming a society with bulging pockets and shrinking hearts.
“Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated” which is an oft-repeated proverb is now relegated to the morning messages on WhatsApp. Does it really matter to the people who read it? Do they really change? The root cause for all this is a sense of false authority, a wrong belief that you are above the others, a continuous comparison and “keeping up with the Jones’s” syndrome.
All this gets driven by a very deadly disease : EGO. A sense of satisfaction, contentment, inner peace has all vanished, everyone has become a marauder, an opportunist, climb over others, crush others to achieve one’s objective. EGO can be a far worse killer than all the physical diseases put together. Mind you, all of us suffer from this malaise called EGO. Our culture of touching the elder’s feet or prostrate in front of GOD were all aimed towards crushing the EGO within us, we have to bend in front of elders. That culture is also vanishing now where hugging and “high fives” are taking over….. my ego does not allow me to even to touch another’s feet !
Let me do my best to get the readers to even realise the need to shed one’s ego and build a great place to live in.
There is a story in the Bible. A Priest standing on the sea shore would catch a number of fishes that were brought by the waves to the seashore, he would then throw the fishes back into the sea. This was his daily routine. A passer-by saw this and asked the Priest “Is there any sense in wasting time like this? These fishes will have to die, if not today then tomorrow“. The Priest politely replied “Son, I also know very well about the fate of these fishes, but I have the satisfaction by throwing them back into the sea I helped them to live at least for a day more”.
The humanity, the need to help at all times, the belief that I rose from ashes and will return to ashes, these are the few mantras if repeated regularly, will make us realise the futility of living with an EGO. The three “S” that can break the ego within you always :
Those who live in vanity, die in vain.
Here I wish to narrate a mythological story in short. Many of you might be aware of this story or might not, the reason to narrate is to understand what vanity can do to you and not to raise a debate on the genuineness of the myth.
In Hinduism, “Bhasmasura ” was an asura who was granted the power to burn up and immediately turn into ashes anyone whose head he touched with his hand. He got this boon from Lord Shiva since he was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.
When Bhasmasura saw Parvathi, he was enamored with her and wanted to own her. This was possible only when Shiva would be killed, so he chased Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, in his attempt to save himself, sought the help of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu took the form of a courtesan called Mohini and appeared before Bhasmasura. Since she was very appealing, Bhasmasura fell in love with her but Mohini had a condition before she became his consort. She wanted Bhasmasura to dance with her and copy every step she did. Both of them danced for days and Bhasmasura, being a learned dancer, could match her step for step. In the heat of the dance Mohini placed her hand on her head and Bhasmasura did the same and was reduced to ashes! Bhasmasura was blinded by his ego and ultimately dug his own grave.
If you see around you, there can be a lot of characters from history to today who have perished due to their bloated ego.
We do not require to pass certain courses or listen to enlightened souls to shed ourselves of our ego. All we need is a self-realisation and self-discipline. I believe I have practiced this and adopted this in my life and I am in a state of bliss and least stress all the time, I want each one of my readers also to experience this state. SHED EGO PLEASE!
– Seetha Ramanathan is a Bengaluru-based writer. Email her at- email@example.com
Islamabad, November 4, 2017 : Authorities in Afghanistan are temporarily blocking WhatsApp and Telegram social media services in the country, citing security concerns, officials confirmed on November 3.
An official at the Afghan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, ATRA, told VOA the social media tools will be suspended for 20 days. The temporary ban on Whatsapp and Telegram follows a request from state security institutions.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a formal announcement is expected Saturday.
ATRA has ordered telecom companies to shut down the services November 1, according to a copy of official instructions appearing in Afghan media.
Social media users have complained of technical problems while using the two services in recent days.
The controversial move has sparked criticism of the Afghan government, and it is being slammed as an illegal act and an attack on freedom of expression.
The outage prompted the telecom regulator to issue a statement Friday, saying the ban is meant to test “a new kind of technology” in the wake of users’ complaints.
It went on to defend the restriction, saying WhatsApp and Telegram are merely voice and messaging services and their temporary suspension does not violate the civil rights of Afghans. The government is committed to freedom of expression, the ministry added.
Afghan journalists and activists on Twitter dismissed the statement.
“This seems to be the beginning of government censorship. If it’s not resisted soon the gov’t will block FB & twitter,” wrote Habib Khan Totakhil on Twitter.
“Gov’t fails to deliver security, now it seeks to hide its incompetence by imposing ban on messaging platforms. Totalitarianism?,” said the Afghan journalist.
“#Censorship is against what freedom we stood for in #Afghanistan post 2001. Gains shouldn’t go to waste,” tweeted activist Nasrat Khalid.
An estimated 6 million people in war-torn Afghanistan can access internet-based services. The growth of media and social media activism have been among the few success stories Afghanistan has seen in the post-Taliban era.
The restrictions on social media come as the Taliban intensifies attacks on Afghan security forces, inflicting heavy casualties.
The insurgent group also relies heavily on WhatsApp and Telegram, Twitter and Facebook to publicize its battlefield gains.
The Afghan government has lately barred the United States military from releasing casualty numbers, force strength, operation readiness, attrition figures and performance assessments of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John Sopko, while briefing members of Congress on Wednesday, severely criticized the classification move. He maintained American taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent.
“The Taliban know this [Afghan casualties], they know who was killed. They know all about that. The Afghans know about it, the U.S. military knows about it. The only people who wouldn’t know are the [American] people who are paying for it,” Sopko noted.
The United States has spent nearly $120 billion on reconstruction programs in Afghanistan since 2002. More than 60 percent of the money has been used to build Afghan security forces. (VOA)
Whatsapp, the most popular instant messaging app, is more than a need; it is a necessity. You may miss reading the morning newspaper, but we are sure you can never afford to not check your Whatsapp messages.
New Delhi, October 3, 2017 : Who doesn’t check their Whatsapp first thing in the morning immediately after waking up?
Whatsapp, the most popular instant messaging app, is more than a need; it is a necessity. You may miss reading the morning newspaper, but we are sure you can never afford to not check your whatsapp messages.
In such a scenario, Whatsapp users around the globe, including India, were faced with horror when they were unable to log into the app on November 3.
Whatsapp users from all around the world complained of connectivity issues as they encountered problems sending or receiving texts and were unable to log into the Facebook-owned Whatsapp.
WhatsApp was previously down for a few hours in May this year too, as users in all parts of the world went into frenzy and panic.
On Friday again, several users took to Twitter to confirm if there really is a problem or they are lone sufferers, and soon began a trend as reactions ranging from pure confusion, to agony to frustration to humor surfaced on the internet. The hashtag #whatsappdown was also trending on the micro-blogging site.
RT if you came to twitter to check if whatsapp is down or not? #whatsappdown
San Francisco,November 2,2017: With 1.37 billion daily active users and 2.07 billion monthly active users, Facebook again topped expectations when it reported 79 per cent increase in its quarterly profit and nearly 50 per cent rise in revenues in the third quarter.
With apparently no influence of the ongoing hearing regarding its role in Russia meddling, Facebook late on Wednesday published its financial results for the quarter that ended on September 30, reporting that its profitability hit $4.7 billion mark and earned $10.3 billion in revenue compared to an estimate of $9.84 billion.
“Our business is doing well,” company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together.
“We are serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We are investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximising our profits,” he said.
Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 88 per cent of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2017, up from approximately 84 per cent of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2016.
The average revenue per daily active user reached $7.51 compared to $5.95 a year ago showing a 26 per cent increase.
That is due to a 16 per cent growth in its daily active users over the year and 3.8 per cent increase quarter-over-quarter touching 1.37 billion mark.
Facebook now has 2.07 billion monthly active users — an increase of 16 per cent year-over-year. The growth is 3.19 per cent compared to last quarter’s 2.006 billion and it grew at 3.4 per cent.
According to Tech Crunch, Facebook’s share price closed at $182.66 prior to the earnings announcement and climbed 1.28 per cent in after-hours trading.
Facebook CFO David Wehner said Facebook will boost its expenses 45-60 per cent in 2018 in order to fund security efforts following the Russian intrusion as well as in furthering original video content, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
The company said it would hire 10,000 people to monitor content and ads, though some will be contractors. It plans to double its security engineering work force.
As of September 30, the headcount at Facebook was 23,165 — an increase of 47 per cent year-over-year.
Zuckerberg also said that Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status both now have 300 million daily active users — up from 250 million in June (Instagram) and July (WhatsApp).