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By Sharad Yadav
The uncalled aggression shown by China at Indian border near eastern Ladakh at the time of Covid-19 pandemic has created widespread anguish among the concerned citizens of our country. To express the resentment towards China, many celebrities and also renowned education reformist Sonam Wangchuk called for boycott of Chinese products. This appeal resonated with the opinion of our citizens and motivated a Jaipur based start up to make an app named “Remove Chinese app” which detects and deletes the Chinese app from smart phone. This app crossed 1 million download mark within few days of its launch. But today this app is delisted from Google playstore and made Indian citizens, who are protesting against China in their own way of boycott, feel powerless. When AMUL which is the most shining example of success of Indian cooperative societies, posted an advertisement to support new policy of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”in its typical pun filled style, its Twitter account was blocked briefly. We have such crippling dependency on foreign companies in every sphere including social media that even we are unable to express our solidarity towards National cause and in case if we try, we are arm twisted and rendered option less. In such situations, we wish to have our own Indian companies to fall back upon.
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Also in 2017 during Doklam faceoff between Indian and Chinese troops, there were incidences of boycotting Chinese products by Indian citizens. But such phenomenon of boycott is short lived and easily fades away because of two reasons. First, it is based on pessimistic and reactionary sentiments of our citizens towards hostile country like China in current situation and not on the foundation of a structured plan to promote Indian products and companies. Second, in manycases Indian companies do not offer comparable option like in case of Mobiles, Internet Search Engine, and Social Media Platforms. For example, Indian mobile phone market is totally dominated by Chinese companies to the extent that messages of boycotting Chinese products are shared on Chinese mobiles.
Our efforts should be established on the constructivesense and long term plan of promoting Swadeshi products and Swadeshi companies, may it be anything salt or software,printing paper or planes, tissue paper or tractor, household appliances or mobile apps. The need to support Swadeshi is imperative not only for economic reason but also for National security and stability as foreign companies keep sensitive data in servers located abroad which may be compromised on the request of their respective govt. Turning towards Swadeshi will be the only and correct way in the direction of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local.
For most of youngsters, first picture which comes to mind after hearing the word Swadeshi is Ghandi, Charka and Khadi. These three symbols, in today’s times, do not fully represent the spirit of Swadeshi. Firstly, Though Mahatma Ghandi led the second phase of Swadeshi movement, but first phase of Swadeshi mass movement which boycotted British goodsas a sign of protest was started in 1905 when Lord Curzon announced partition of Bengal. Second, the symbol of Charka now no longer does full justice to the representation of gamut of Indian Industries, small or big, cottage or corporation, which need to be promoted. During struggle of independence, Charka as a tool of manufacturing represented the need of self sufficiency instead of depending on imported clothes manufactured in the mills of Britain. But now in 21st century imports which undermine our economic self reliance and decimate local industries includes Mobiles, Networking devices, medical equipments, Computer/Mobile processor Chips, toys etc. Thirdly, at that time Khadi was an iconic product which was selected to ameliorate the plight of weavers who were losing their livelihood because of imports. Khadi was a representative product of Swadeshi movement and definitely not the only product of the movement. Swadeshi Movement played important role in National struggle of freedom but after independence it was reduced to spiritless perfunctory govt. scheme which limited itself to merely selling of Khadi Clothes by govt. owned stores wherefew citizen shop on 15th Aug and 26th Jan. Today we need to rejuvenate the Swadeshi movement in its truest spirit.
In the current challenging time of Covid – 19, there is pressing need of creating Aatmanirbhar Bharat and of being Vocal for Local as appropriately appealed by PM Modi. Promoting Swadeshi products and Swadeshi companies will pave way to achieve it.
To impart a fitting identity, iconic status and distinguished reputation to Swadeshi products and companies,we need aunique official symbol for Swadeshi to which all Indians can connect and feel proud about and most importantly through which we can promote and patronize Swadeshi.The way Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011 mandatorily labels the vegetarian food with a green dot inside a green square and help the customer to easily select vegetarian food; similarly Swadeshi symbol/mark will allow easy distinction and selection of Swadeshi products.The symbol of International Day of Yoga launched in 2015 helped in popularizing Yoga across the world. The manner in which unique graphic symbol of Rupee introduced in the year 2010 highlighted the growing importance and clout of Indian economy at global level, same way, symbol for Swadeshi will enhance the brand value and influence of Indian products not only in domestic market but also for exports. The benefits of Swadeshi symbol will be double pronged, one – it will provide an identity point behind which Indians can rally to support national cause and second – buying product bearing Swadeshi symbol will instill feeling of belongingness among Indian Diaspora.
It would not be unnatural to ask that when we have a symbol for “Make in India” then why there is requirement of a symbol for Swadeshi. The answer lies in the fact “Make in India” is to promote manufacturing in India irrespective of it by Indian or foreign company for the purpose of employment generation and reducing costly imports whereas promoting Swadeshi is one level ahead and more holistic which develops the Indian companies and eliminate the dependency on foreign enterprises. “Make in India” scheme is open toall foreign companies including China based which pump back lion’s share of profit to their countries and oblige to their respective govt. in various matters.
The selection of official Swadeshi symbol can be done by the means of open competition inviting entries from the citizens of India. Once symbol finalized, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade can be made nodal agency giving permission for using Swadeshi symbol. All MSMEs owned by Indian citizens may be allowed to use the Swadeshi symbol by default; it will support the revival plan of MSME. For large corporations permission to use Swadeshi symbol may be granted by SEBI in cases where promoters and majority of share holders are Indian citizens or Institutions. Creating separate incentivized category on GeM portal for Swadeshi mark bearing items can be deliberated upon.Access to subsidized loan can be provided to Swadeshi mark bearing companies. Tax benefits can be extended to NRIs investing in Swadeshi companies.
Each Indian heart which take pride in seeing the Indian Flag furling high will definitely feel proud in owning a good quality product bearing Swadeshi symbol, may it be car or mobile. And it will be proud moment for the whole nation when we will see rockets made by ISRO and IAF fighter planes made by HAL soaring high in the sky with shining Swadeshi symbol on it.
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.
It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.
The stretch outside Cubbon Park is cool and well-shaded from the canopy of trees over it. Image source: wikimedia commons
At present, Cubbon Park is known for the cultural hub that it is. It houses Jawahar Bal Bhavan, which is a large theatre that hosts film festivals through the year. Festivals, poetry open mics, and other such shows are conducted on the lawns every Sunday. A small stream runs through the park, where boat rides are held occasionally when the water level is high enough. There is a children's park on one corner, and a government-maintained aquarium, two-storeys tall, with exotic fish.
The Park has been renamed many times in the past. It was originally named Meade's Park, after Sir John Meade, the acting commissioner of Mysore in 1870. It was later changed to Cubbon Park after Sir Mark Cubbon, who was the longest-serving commissioner of the Mysore state. In 1927, the park was renamed after the Mysore Maharaja Sri Krishna Wodeyar, to celebrate his silver jubilee, since the park was developed during the reign of his ancestors. Even though it is officially named Sri Chamrajendra Park, it is still known as Cubbon Park all over the city. In fact, Bangalore was alluded the sobriquet of 'Garden City' because of the rich botanical diversity of this park.
Art Installation at Cubbon Park Image source: wikimedia commons
In many parts of the country, governments have renamed structures, places, and cities to remove traces of colonialism. But, in a city like Bangalore, there is too much evidence of the British rule. Many of the most prominent attractions of the city are known by their British identities despite the change in name. Even the city's name continues to be Bangalore, despite having been changed to Bengaluru. Last year, the British era and its achievements were celebrated in Cubbon Park when Sir Mark Cubbon's statue was moved from the grounds of the Karnataka High Court and placed in the Park.
Keywords: Cubbon Park, Mark Cubbon, British Colonialism, Cultural hub, Garden City