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Pune: a City that enjoyed the status of being ancient Greece

Pune has been home to various social reformers. It relates in many of ways to Ancient Greece

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Thoseghar Waterfalls - Satara, Pune Source: Wikimedia Commons
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University of Pune. Wikimedia Commons

Shruti Pandey

A city commonly referred to as ancient Greece of India has a long history on its part. Let us explore by merging Greece of Europe and Greece of Asia as Aasish Chandorkar elucidates the tale of two cities in a recent article published in Swarajya magazine. Here is the summary of his point of view:

Right from the birth of Thales of Miletus in 620 BCE to the death of Aristotle in 322 BCE, Greece saw a paradigm shift in its ideology, varying from mythology to science, myths to facts and reasoning based thought process. The work of various modern minds of Greece eventually led to the establishment of modern city state of Athens and paved a way for Greece to become a nation that could conquer the world.

In the similar context, Pune also lived the idea of thought processing. The outcomes resulted into political awakening, creation of institutions for lasting social change and impelling great minds to initiate a mutiny against the British rule.

The foursome of Mahadev Govind Ranade, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dhondo Keshav Karve and Gopal Krishna Gokhale did exemplary jobs over the mission. When Ranade shifted to Pune in 1873 ,at the designation of a Magistrate, their ideas came together to impinge upon a political and social awakening. It included thoughts to awaken nationalism, surge the freedom movement and bring about a social renaissance in the nation. Pune lost this momentum with the death of Tilak in 1920. The time between 1873 and 1920 was the “Golden Philosophical Age” of Pune which was tried to be rejuvenated by Maharishi Karve later on.

Also Read: Punjab through the ages!

Pune was also seen as the potential contender of being the capital of India after British sought a move to change the capital from Kolkata to anywhere else. Pune still resumes the legacy left behind by conglomerate of social reformers and thinkers who left behind a galaxy of ideas and theories. The ideology of Pune is still thriving and growing. Very few Indians are aware of the fact that many of the social and liberal thoughts are accredited to this city and its Golden philosophical age. It is still a hub of world class educational institutions and is still a home to writers who aspire to bring about a change.

Shruti Pandey is a third year engineering student at HBTI, Kanpur and aspires to bring a change through words. Twitter handle: srt_kaka

 

 

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  • Pragya Jha

    There was a time when this city was called as a pensioner’s paradise- an ideal place for the people who want to spend a peaceful time after many years of hardships of life. The enviroment here is salubrious.

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  • Pragya Jha

    There was a time when this city was called as a pensioner’s paradise- an ideal place for the people who want to spend a peaceful time after many years of hardships of life. The enviroment here is salubrious.

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)