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New Delhi: The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war is expected to be done in a big way, much like other events celebrated or commemorated by the present government.
The Narendra Modi government’s plans include the display of articles related to the war, including photographs of gallantry award winners, war trophies, and models of major battles during the war. The events, which will also witness the veterans of the war being felicitated, will see Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, who had led the Indian Air Force during the war, being honored. The nature of honor to be bestowed is yet to be decided.
“Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh will be honored as he was the chief of the Indian Air Force during the war,” a defense ministry official said.
He is the only IAF officer to be promoted to the five-star rank.
The war had witnessed the aircrafts of the Indian and Pakistani Air Forces engaging in combat for the first time since independence in 1947. Though the two armies previously faced off in the war in Kashmir in 1948, that engagement was very limited in scale compared to the 1965 conflict.
While both India and Pakistan claim victory in the war, the commemoration by India is being seen as its iteration that it came up trumps.
During the conflict, India had captured around 1,920 square km of Pakistani territory, whereas Pakistan captured around 550 square km of Indian territory.
The commemoration which is scheduled to take place from August 28 to September 26, will witness all three wings of the armed forces participating.
An official brief on the commemoration prepared by the defense ministry calls it the “most intense war in which India imposed a telling defeat on Pakistan.”
Nearly 3,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen were killed in the war that lasted 17 days.
According to the countdown, the commemoration will start on August 28, the day the Indian Army captured Hajipir Pass, with a wreath laying ceremony at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial to the Unknown Soldier at the India Gate here.
A tri-service seminar will be held on September 1-2 at the Manekshaw Centre in the national capital, which is likely to see President Pranab Mukherjee as the chief guest. It will also witness the release of a book being published by the three services on the war.
An exhibition will be held from September 15 to September 20 at the lawns near Rajpath, from Janpath crossing to Mansingh crossing in New Delhi, where, among other things, war trophies from the conflict will be on display.
The exhibition will also have a gallantry arena, with photographs of medal awardees of the war; a sacrifice arena, to remember those killed among the three service; and a display arena to exhibit weapons and equipment used during the conflict.
The exhibition will also have an element of entertainment, with performances by servicemen including khukri dance, bhangra, kalaripayattu, motorcycle display teams, millitary band performances, and cavalry displays, as also a tattoo, cultural events, and martial arts displays.
Tableaus of major battles of the war will also be on display.
A commemorative event, on the lines of ‘Rahagiri concept’ on September 20 is also planned. This will mean closing a section of the Rajpath to enable the public to participate in the event.
On the evening of September 20, a musical evening will be held at the India Gate lawns, with patriotic songs setting the tone.
On September 22, the war veterans will be felicitated.
Along with these, commemoration events will also be held at different stations of the armed forces across the country. (IANS)
Diwali is arguably one of the most auspicious and celebrated holidays in South Asia. It is celebrated over the span of five days, where the third is considered most important and known as Diwali. During Diwali people come together to light, lamps, and diyas, savour sweet delicacies and pray to the lord. The day has various origin stories with the main them being the victory of good over evil. While the North celebrates the return of Lord Rama and Devi Sita to Ayodhya, the South rejoices in the victory of Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama over evil Narakasura.
Narakasura- The great mythical demon King
Naraka or Narakasur was the son of Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) and fathered either by the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu or Hiranyaksha. He grew to be a powerful demon king and became the legendary progenitor of all three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha.
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Narakasura was created, grew up to be strong and powerful but he was not satisfied with it, so he decided that he would worship Lord Brahma. He performed severe penance and was driven by the power of his penance; Lord Brahma appeared before him. Narakasura knew his mother loved him dearly so he asked Lord Brahma to grant him a boon that he would only die by the hands of his mother, Bhumidevi. Lord Brahma smile and ultimately granted him the boon.
Narakasura burst out laughing as Lord Brahma vanished. He thought no mother would kill their child so Lord Brahma had made him immortal. Drunk and maddened by his own power Narakasura brought all the kingdoms under his control and targeted Swargalok (Heaven). Even Indra (King of Gods) and demi-gods had to retreat in front of Narakasura. He kidnapped and took 16,000 women from the palaces as prisoners. Troubled by Naraksura's deeds the gods rushed to Lord Vishnu for a solution.
Lord Krishna and Devi Satyabhama were born to kill Narakasura
Lord Vishnu was born as Lord Krishna and Narakasura's mother Bhumidevi took the avatar of Krishna's wife Satyabhama. As Satyabhama, Bhumidevi was unaware of the knowledge of Naraksura being her son. Aditi the mother of all gods approached Satyabhama crying for help with bloodied ears as Narakasura had torn off the glowing earrings from the ears of Aditi.
Satyabhama was furious on gaining the knowledge of Narakasura's atrocities she asked Krishna to fight the demon king while she fights alongside him. Krishna agreed and they attacked the great fortress of Narakasura, riding his mount Garuda with his wife Satyabhama.
The furious battle unleashed. Krishna defeated Narakasura's general Mura and came to be known as Murari (the killer of Mura). Narakasura used several divine weapons against Krishna, but Krishna slew all those weapons effortlessly. The demon hurled a shakti towards Krishna, which mildly hurt Krishna and he fell unconscious. Upon this sight Satyabhama was enraged, she furiously pulled out a weapon of her own and hurled it at Narakasura's chest. Anxious Satyabhama turned to her fallen Lord, Krishna got up with a smile and he was completely fine. He was only playing his part. It was Satyabhama who was an incarnation of Bhoomidevi, whose hands were destined to slay Narakasura.
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Lord Krishna and Goddess Satyabhama had put an end to the Narakasura's kingdom of evil. As Narakasura lay on his deathbed he realised that Satyabhama was no one but an avatar of his own mother. He requested a boon from his mother, for no one to mourn his death. Instead, he wished for people to celebrate it with light and colours. They freed the 16,000 women who later married Lord Krishna to restore them of their honour in society, retrieved Mother goddess's earrings. This day is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi' popularly known as Choti Diwali - the day before Diwali as the triumph of good over evil.
Keywords: Diwali festival, goddess Laxmi, demon king, Lord Krishna, Satyabhama, the festival of light, Naraksura, Narak Chaturdashi
For all the great inventions that we have at hand, it is amazing how we keep going back to the safety pin every single time to fix everything. Be it tears in our clothes, to fix our broken things, to clean our teeth and nails when toothpicks are unavailable, to accessorize our clothes, and of course, as an integral part of the Indian saree. Safety pins are a must-have in our homes. But how did they come about at all?
The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.
Anyone wearing safety pins that were visible began to be associated with the rock movement in the 70s. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Later, he even invented the sewing needles and a couple of other important inventions but never kept any of the patent rights.
When the punk rock tradition took over in the seventies, safety pins became a fashion rage. They were used as piercings and to patch clothes together. Anyone wearing safety pins that were visible began to be associated with the rock movement. In some cultures, the safety pins have become symbols of good luck.
Keywords: Safety-pins, Punk Rock, Brass, Accessories, Walter Hunt
In South India, Deepavali marks the end of the monsoon and heralds the start of winter. The festival is usually observed in the weeks following heavy rain, and just before the first cold spell in the peninsula. The light and laughter that comes with the almost week-long celebration are certainly warm to the bones, but there is still a tradition that the South Indians follow to ease their transition from humidity to the cold.
Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.
Women applying oil to the heads of men Photo credit: Indians in Kuwait
In some parts of the peninsula, soap is not used to wash off the oil because it nullifies its effects. Some cultures who do not like the oil to remain in any way on their skin wash it off with shikakai and herbs, which is a paste that is traditionally used as a substitute for soap. Sometimes, the oil is heated with flowers and spices as well and is less sticky than in its pure form.
The purpose of this ritual is to cleanse the body, detoxify it, and produce heat in it. Sesame is a very heaty substance and tends to heat up the body. This heat, or 'usshna' in Kannada, prepares the body to face the sudden cold that comes to the peninsula immediately after Diwali. South India has no smooth transition weather-wise from monsoon to winter. There are a few days of stable, rainless weather, and suddenly the cold winds descend.
In many ways, the celebration of Diwali is centered around preparing for winter, considering the amount of heat and light the rituals consist of – lighting lamps, bursting crackers, and consuming warm treats. Those who practice these rituals earnestly find the shift in seasons and weather quite pleasant.
Keyboards: Sesame Oil Bath, Diwali Ritual, Traditional Sesame Oil Bath