Sunday February 24, 2019
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Incredible India: The land of superstitions!

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by Arpit Gupta
India is a country where superstitions are all around. These are prevailing in the so-called “well-educated Indian society” also. Some have their base in religion and religion-related books, some have the base in the old scientific facts and many of them exist with no conceivable reason as such.

However still, Indian culture is very closely associated with these superstitious beliefs which have a great impact on a typical Indian’s livelihood. Here are the most common superstitious beliefs practised in India among almost all the sections of society:

1) The most common belief with no logical proof is that noone should cross a road which a black cat has crossed before. That’s because the person who first crosses the road would get his luck spoiled and would loose everything he/she has.

2) Another one is about the solar eclipses, which says that no one should venture out during the solar eclipse because those contain deadly rays which show the anger of God. Especially pregnant women are kept indoors to avoid any kind of deformity which may arise in the child about to take birth. In fact, some families avoid cooking or eating anything during the eclipse.

3) One of the most disappointing belief is that women during their menstruation cycle are considered impure and unclean. They are not allowed to enter in the kitchen. This might be called as a good thing to be as during menstruation, women loose lot of blood and become weak so they must be kept away from such manual works. But this step seems something done to subordinate the position of women in the society and probably supports the dominance of males.

4) A common belief seen every day in Indian households is the cutting of nails and hair only on particular days of the week. People say that it’s a sin to cut nails and hair on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Moreover, it is also said that nails should not be cut after sunset .

5) In India, “neg” (present) is given on every pleasant occasion. It is believed that the amount of money presented should always end in 1. It is considered auspicious to add 1 rupee in the amount if the money being given as a present. That is why envelopes in India already come with one rupee coin on them.

6) If someone has visited India once, he or she would have noticed the string of lemon and chillies on the doors of the shops, homes, and offices. These are believed to save from the evil eye and bring good luck. It is believed that the Goddess of poverty likes sour and spicy things so these lemon and chillies satisfy her and she doesn’t harm the person who hangs the lemon and chillies (usually 7 in number).

7) Peepal trees are believed to be the abode of ghosts and spirits. Everyone avoids going there at night. Something disastrous is believed to happen if someone goes near peepal tree during night and people say that the person going near the tree is likely to be killed by the ghosts residing in it.

8) A person born under the influence of Mars is called “Manglik”. People avoid marrying such persons as they are believed to cause marital discord and divorce, sometimes even death. However, it is said that if two such persons marry then the effect of the “mangal dosh” gets cancelled and they can live happily.

9) Snakes are believed to drink milk. On the occasion of a festival called Nagpanchami, snakes are captured and forcefully fed milk as it is considered auspicious. Due to this, a large number of snakes die annually in India.

These are some of the common beliefs which are seen in India and can probably be accounted as the reason behind society’s backwardness. People with great degrees of study are somewhere lagging behind due to this reason. This needs to be changed through a gradual process to clear the way of overall growth and development. If you remember some of the superstitions in India, you are most welcome to add up your comments.

Arpit is a undergraduate student pursuing Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Roorkee. His twitter handle is: @Arpit2476667

  • sudheer naik

    India is an ancient country.As it follows the culture of ancient people which were unpleasant now a days to follow those superstitious.when the India stop this type of superstitious that day will be WELL EDUCATED INDIAN SOCIETY

  • devika todi

    most of the superstitions discussed here apply mainly to Hindus. these beliefs are no longer blindly followed. people have begun to question everything. i, for one don’t care when i cut my nails or if someone is born under the influence of mars.
    also, many superstitions have scientific backing. they had been originally properly thought out and were logical. however, as time passed, these beliefs lost their logic and instead, became in set in stone.

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  • sudheer naik

    India is an ancient country.As it follows the culture of ancient people which were unpleasant now a days to follow those superstitious.when the India stop this type of superstitious that day will be WELL EDUCATED INDIAN SOCIETY

  • devika todi

    most of the superstitions discussed here apply mainly to Hindus. these beliefs are no longer blindly followed. people have begun to question everything. i, for one don’t care when i cut my nails or if someone is born under the influence of mars.
    also, many superstitions have scientific backing. they had been originally properly thought out and were logical. however, as time passed, these beliefs lost their logic and instead, became in set in stone.

Next Story

Three Projects Help India to Stop its Share of Water to Pakistan after Pulwama

The waters of the western rivers - the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab - averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan.

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Picture Courtesy:-www.economylead.com

The government has envisaged three projects to give intent to its decision to stop its share of water from three eastern rivers of the Indus system – the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej – from going to Pakistan.

The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack though the Union cabinet had approved implementation of one of the key projects – Shahpurkandi dam – in December last year.

The waters of the western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab – averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan except for “specified domestic, non-consumptive and agricultural use permitted to India”, according to a treaty.

India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river (RoR) projects on the western rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation, is unrestricted.

pakistan, india, water ban
However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. VOA

To utilise the waters of the Eastern rivers, India has constructed the Bhakra Dam on Satluj, Pong and Pandoh Dam on Beas and Thein (Ranjitsagar) on Ravi. These storage works, together with other works like Beas-Sutlej Link, Madhopur-Beas Link and Indira Gandhi Nahar Project have helped India utilise nearly the entire share (95 per cent) of the eastern river waters.

However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. The other two projects are Ujh multipurpose project and the second Ravi Beas link below Ujh.

Here’s the reality check of the three projects:

Shahpurkandi Project: It aims to utilise the waters coming from powerhouse of Thein dam in order to irrigate 37,000 hectares of land in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab by generating 206 MW of power.

The project was scheduled to be completed by September 2016. However, following a dispute between the two states, work was suspended in August 2014 but they reached an agreement last September and the construction work has now resumed with the Centre monitoring its progress. The central government had in December last year announced assistance of Rs 485 crore for the project and it would be completed by June 2022.

 

India, pakistan, pulwama, water ban
The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. VOA

The project will create irrigation potential of 5,000 hectare in Punjab and 32,173 hectare in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

The total balance cost of pending work in ShahpurKandi Dam project is estimated Rs 1,973.53 crore (irrigation component: Rs 564.63 crore, power component Rs1408.90 crore).

The Shahpurkandi Project was initially approved by the Planning Commission in November, 2001. Revised costs were approved, but there was delay in its execution both because of lack of funds with Punjab and inter-state issues with Jammu and Kashmir.

An agreement was finally reached between the two states under the aegis of Water Resources Ministry in September last year.

Ujh multipurpose project: Construction of the Ujh multipurpose project will create a storage of about 781 million cubic metres of water on Ujh, a tributary of Ravi, for irrigation and power generation and provide a total irrigation benefits of 31,380 hectares in Kathua, Hiranagar and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,850 crore and the Central assistance of Rs 4,892.47 crore on works portion of irrigation component as well as the special grant is under consideration. The project is yet to be implemented and it will take about six years for completion.

Second Ravi Beas link below Ujh: The project has been planned to tap excess water flowing down to Pakistan through Ravi by constructing a barrage across it for diverting water through a tunnel link to the Beas basin.

The project is expected to utilise about 0.58 MAF of surplus waters below Ujh dam by diverting the same to the Beas basin.

 

india, pakistan, water share, pulwama
Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Wikimedia

The water distribution treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank in 1960 to use the water available in the Indus system of rivers originating in India.

 

ALSO READ: IOC Cancels Places for 2020 Tokyo Games from India after it Refused Visas to Pakistan

The Indus system comprises Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. The basin is mainly shared by India and Pakistan with a small share for China and Afghanistan.

Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of the three eastern rivers, averaging around 33 million acre feet (MAF), were allocated to India for exclusive use.  (IANS)