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Shia Waqf board in Favor of Building Mosque at some distance from Hindu temple at disputed Ayodhya site

Shia Waqf board is in favor of building the mosque at some distance from the Hindu temple at the disputed Ayodhya site

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Mosque to be shifted away from disputed Ayodhya site
Mosque to be shifted away from disputed Ayodhya site. Pixabay
  • Masjid and Mandir should be avoided in as much as both denominations using loudspeakers tend to disturb the religious performances of each other
  • Masjid can be located in a Muslim dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram
  • The Shia Waqf board in its affidavit said that out of court settlement should be considered in order to end the dispute

New Delhi, August 9, 2017:  Supreme Court will begin the hearing of a vital Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid dispute in a few days. The Uttar Pradesh Shia central waqf board (one of the parties in the litigation) is in favor of shifting the demolished mosque, away from Ayodhya site in order to put an end to the much controversial dispute.

The Shia board, trying to put to rest the 70-year legal battle, said that the mosque can be constructed away from the disputed Ayodhya site, a dramatic shift in stand by them. The Shia board also suggested something to amicably settle the dispute- A high-power judicial-political panel should be set up, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge. It also requested the court to appoint the committee having two retired Allahabad High Court judges, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, a nominee of the Prime Minister besides representatives of litigating parties.

The board, as per the affidavit filed and submitted to the apex court – The mosque can be relocated from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram to a nearby area which is Muslim dominated and this move will conclude the dispute on the 2.77 acres of land which houses a makeshift temple of Ram Lalla.

ALSO READ: Akhilesh Yadav wants to maintain status quo in Ayodhya’s disputed site

The Shia stand can however likely cause a conflict with the Sunni Waqf Board. While Sunnis make a majority of Muslims in India, the decision of a section of the community represented by the Shia waqf board is important. This is the 1st time that religious board has favored for the shifting of the mosque.

Taking a dig at Sunni Waqf board, Shia Board said in its affidavit that the Sunni Central Waqf Board should not get involved in exploring peaceful settlement of the dispute as “it is under the dominant control of hardliners, fanatics, and non-believer in peaceful coexistence, who have absolutely no stakes in the case”.

According to TOI report, the Shia board said (in an affidavit filed by advocate MC Dhingra), “It is of the view that closeness of place of worships— Masjid and Mandir, of the two litigating denominations, should be avoided in as much as both denominations using loudspeakers tend to disturb the religious performances of each other, often leading to conflicts, bringing bitterness between the two factions. The answering respondent is of the view that to bring peace to the situation, Masjid can be located in a Muslim dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram.”

ALSO READ: Government seeks solution to Ramjanmbhoomi dispute through talks: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in Ayodhya

Since 1945, Shia waqf board along with the Sunni waqf board have been fighting a legal battle claiming the ownership of Babri Masjid, the HC gave its verdict in favor of the Sunni Board when it divided the disputed plot three ways between the Board, Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara.

The Allahabad High Court order which came on September 30, 2010, but the verdict was immediately challenged by different parties before the apex court. Since then no progress has been made in the case and it’s pending from then. The apex court agreed to grant an early hearing and has posted the case to August 11, 2017.

The Shia Waqf board in its affidavit said that out of court settlement should be considered in order to end the dispute. It said, “Considering the Muslim tenets of living in peace and harmony and respecting the religious sentiments of other communities following different religions, in this case, Hindu Community, it is ready and willing to conclude the peaceful settlement of the dispute, which it fondly hopes will be acceptable to all the stake holders.”

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


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Was the Ban on Sale of Firecrackers in Delhi Successful? Data on Pollution Levels in Delhi Say Otherwise

Despite the much talked about cracker-ban, pollution monitoring stations placed the capital in the ‘red zone’, indicating ‘very poor’ air quality.

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pollution levels
While the ban on crackers imposed by the Supreme Court aimed to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, figures from pollution monitoring system paint an unhealthy picture with amplified levels of air pollution. (Representative image) Pixabay

New Delhi, October 20, 2017: The Supreme Court had on October 9 banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi during Diwali in order to counter the pollution, deteriorating air quality and smog-like conditions that have come to be associated with the festival in recent times.

While a radical change was not expected following the ban on firecrackers, a humble and promising beginning could be witnessed on Diwali with majority areas in Delhi reporting much lesser noise and smoke till 6 PM, compared to previous years.

However, as the festive spirit picked up from 7 PM onwards, the hopes for a pollution-free Diwali got lost behind the growing echo of the crackers.

Pollution Levels on Diwali

Despite the much talked about the ban on firecrackers, pollution monitoring stations placed the capital in the ‘red zone’, indicating ‘very poor’ air quality. According to the stats available, on Diwali day around 7 pm, online indicators showed a rising trend in the volume of cancer-causing ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10 that are capable of entering the respiratory system and reach the bloodstream.

PM2.5 and PM10 are the extremely fine particulate matter with the digits representing their diameter in micrometers. They are a major component of air pollutants that threaten both, our health and the environment at large.

ALSO READ 10 Quick Facts About Delhi Pollution Problem

However, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) suggested that the air quality in Delhi on Diwali was better than last year.

On Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was 319 which placed the city in the ‘very poor’ category. However, the AQI value on Diwali last year was 431 and the city was placed in the ‘severe’ category.

According to data from SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the 24-hour rolling average at around 11 PM was revealed as 154 and 256 micrograms per cubic meter for PM2.5 and PM10 respectively.

According to SAFAR data, pollution levels were expected to soar between 11 PM and 3 AM.

Pollution Levels in the Morning after Diwali

As the night progressed, PM2.5 levels recorded a sharp rise in multiple areas in and around Delhi, with 15 times increase in areas like India Gate

As per data from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM2.5 levels at 6 AM in,

India Gate – 911 microns (Normal level – 60 microns)

RK Puram – 776 microns (13 times more than usual)

Ashoka Vihar – 820 microns (14 times more than normal)

Anand Vihar – 617 microns (10 times more than normal)

A sharp rise was observed in the PM10 levels in the early hours of the morning after Diwali which suggest hazardous pollution levels in Delhi.

As per data from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM10 levels at 6 AM in,

India Gate – 985 microns

RK Puram – 1083 (11 times more than usual)

Anand Vihar – 2402 microns (24 times more than normal. Normal level is considered around 100 microns)

While the ban on firecrackers imposed by the Supreme Court aimed to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, figures from pollution monitoring system paint an unhealthy picture with amplified levels of air pollution.

Official figures from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are yet to be announced today. However, judging from the data available, it won’t be wrong to say that pollution levels in Delhi have increased post-Diwali.

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Shia Board to Gift 10 Silver Arrows for Proposed Lord Ram’s Statue in Ayodhya

As a token of honour, Shia Board commits to gift 10 silver arrows for Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya proposed under Uttar Pradesh Government

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Hindu God Rama
The best qualities of lord Rama. Maa Durga wallpaper

Lucknow, October 17: As a token of honor, Shia Board commits to gift 10 silver arrows for Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The statue of Lord Ram is proposed under UP Government that is expected to cost Rs 330 Crores.

After embracing Yogi Adityanath government’s step in building a 100-meter high statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on the banks of Saryu river, the Uttar Pradesh Shia Board has announced to gift 10 silver arrows as a mark of respect.

“UP government’s decision to erect a statue of Lord Ram is commendable. In keeping with the Ganga-Jamuni tehezeeb of Awadh, these silver arrows would be just a token of admiration and esteem in which Shias hold Lord Ram,” he said in a letter to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Chairman of the Shia Central Waqf Board, Waseem Rizvi put forth that it would be a stance of pride for Indians for the high budgeted statue would mark Uttar Pradesh on the world map.

The Lord Ram’s statue has been proposed by the state government under Navya Ayodhya plan which would cost about Rs 330 crores. This Ayodhya redevelopment proposal aims to establish schemes for the welfare of the local community and to create a tourist friendly city.

ALSO READ: Yogi Adityanath: ‘Taj Mahal is Part of Indian Heritage’

The response comes back few days after the All India Muslim Personal Law Board members Zafaryab Jilani and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi criticised the UP government’s plan.

Both had stated the Ram Temple as an unlawful construction, appending it to be a violation of secular principles for the government to comprehend in such state projects.

Adding to it, he spoke on a historical aspect that the Nawabs of the region had shown high respect towards the temples in Ayodhya in 1739.

Chairman Waseem Rizvi had stressed on the construction of the Lord Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya in the past while being adjoining the Samajwadi Party leader and former UP minister Azam Khan.

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The history and development of Indian Handicrafts

Handicraft production was the second biggest source of employment in the pre-British India

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History of Indian handicrafts
History and development of Indian handicrafts. Pixabay
  • Handicrafts are the products which are mostly made by hand.
  • The history of Indian handicrafts can be divided into three eras: Pre British, British era, and Post Independence.
  • Clay craft is the earliest form of crafts to have existed in India.

New Delhi, September 28, 2017: Handicrafts in India have a long history. From ancient to the contemporary times, handcrafters have preserved this art. This art has been passed on from one generation to the next. Pottery making, in fact, is one of its forms, whose existence can be traced back to the Harappan Civilization.

What are handicrafts?

Handicrafts are products that are produced either completely by hands or involve tools. Mechanical tools could also be used as long as the manual contribution of the artisan remains the central component of the produced object. The production of these crafts require great skill and represents a particular expression, culture or tradition. Handicrafts could hold a number of values, some of them being aesthetic, cultural, decorative, utilitarian, religious, functional etc.

Historical Perspective of Indian Handicrafts:

To understand the historical perspective of Indian handicrafts, we need to go back in time. Let’s take a look at the development and decline of the artisanal production under three different time periods: before the arrival of British in India, Under colonial rule, and after India got independence.

History of Indian Handicrafts Before the arrival of British:

Art and crafts, as we have already mentioned, has been a tradition in India since long. Textiles, the most important of the Indian handicrafts, reached the zenith of perfection during the Mughal period. While under Mughals, it was the art of weaving and silk spinning that scored refinement; it was metal works, ivory works and jewelry that reached great potential during the Gupta period. The handicrafts production during that time can be divided in four broad categories. The first category dealt with the village economy under the jajmani system, in which the products were articles of daily use. The second category was integrated with the urban areas, where artisans produced crafts mainly for the purpose of sale. The third category concerns the dadni system, in which the merchants advanced cash to the artisans for production. The final category includes the Karkhanas, where skilled artisans produced luxury crafts under the command of kings or high nobles. Handicraft production was the second biggest source of employment in the pre-British India.

History of Indian Handicrafts Under Colonial Rule:

Under the British rule, production of Indian Handicrafts faced a rather sharp decline. When the East India Company was in power, it forced monopoly over the production of artisans from Bengal, and the price of these products were fixed 15-40% lower than their actual market price. What came as the biggest blow to the Indian artisans, however, was the removal of most of the Indian princes and nobles, which as an effect, led to the destruction of the artisan’s major market.

History of Indian Handicrafts Post-Independence:

The plight of the artisans and the cultural importance of artisanal production was taken into accord after India got independent. The establishment of All India Handicrafts Board in November 1952, to look at the problems and find solutions concerning Indian Handicrafts; the Handicrafts and Handloom Export Corporation of India Ltd in 1958, to promote handicrafts exports; Opening of Crafts Mueseum in 1953 in Delhi, to develop people’s interest in handmade Indian goods, all alluded to the idea that India had finally realized the importance of its art and crafts, and did not want to leave any stone unturned for its development.

A brief history and development of different form of handicrafts in India:

  • Clay craft and pottery: Clay craft is the earliest form of crafts to have existed, in India or in the world. A simple earthenware made of clay or ceramic has been created and used by the rural population for centuries. Potters have had an integral traditional link with the villages. The earthen pottery has only been developing, with the addition of new colors, figures of gods and goddesses, and decorative elements like flowers.

Main centers: Uttar Pradesh (Nizamabad and Chinhat), where the pottery is dark black; Bengal which produces large figures of gods, especially on the occasion of Durga Puja; In Kashmir, Srinagar is the place where special glazed pottery is made; Terra-cotta roof tiles are a tradition in Orissa and Martha Pradesh; both Rajasthan and Karnataka are popular for their black pottery; Manipur in the northeast is also famous for its pottery.

History of Indian handicrafts
Clay craft or pottery. Pixabay

  • Wood craft: Wood craft is widely produced and used throughout the country, with the most important products being household furnitures, carts and decorative objects. Baskets for storage and Toys, both for play and decoration are also made on a large scale.

Main centers: The elegant use of wood by skilled craftsmen can be seen in the houses at Gujrat and Kerala. Kashmir acquires a special position in this category of craft, with the walnut and deodar being the most favorite woods there. Saharanpur in U.P is also quite famous for its wooden furniture and objects of decoration.

History of Indian handicrafts
Wood craft. Pixabay

  • Metal craft: Copper was the most widely used metal in India before Iron joined in. Utensils, jewelry, dagger, axe heads etc in the harappan finds suggest that casting of copper objects made use of moulds. Bronze was also an important metal for the artisan production. The skills of craftsmen on metals are of various types, such as embossing, engraving, moulding etc.

Main centers: Kashmir (Srinagar) and Ladakh (Zanskar) are the two main centres. In Uttar Pradesh, Moradabad, Aligarh, Varanasi are the main centres of metal craft. Kerala specializes in the bell metal, whereas Bidar in Karnataka is noted for its Bidri work. Tribal groups in India also appear to hold their specific metal craft traditions.

History of Indian handicrafts
Metal craft. Pixabay

Also readMedha Tribe which masters in Weaving unique Bamboo Handicrafts are facing threat of extinction in Mysuru Region

  • Stone craft: Stones, without a shadow of doubt, have been there with humans since the earliest. They have been crafted into various products such as tools, decorative objects, sculptures and even jewelry. Statue of Yakshi of Didarganj is one fine piece of stone sculpture and dates back to the Maurya period. Majestic Qutub Minar in Delhi, and forts at Agra, Delhi, Jaipur are all works of stone craft.

Main centers: Rajasthan due to a large availability of stones tops the list of most prominent places for stone works. Salem district in Tamil Nadu also makes it to the list along with Gaya in Bihar. The stone cutters of Orissa also share a long history with the craft.

Main centers of Indian handicrafts
Stone craft. Pixabay

  • Ornaments and jewelry: From grass jewelry to that of gold and diamonds, one can witness great diversity when it comes to ornaments and jewelry in India. Gold, gems, silver, diamonds, other metals and precious stones are some materials used for making ornaments. Bones, horns, sea shells, lac, glass etc are also used in many  parts of the country to create ornaments. The Harappan finds revealed a number of ornaments, indicating their existence since long. There are many references in Ramayana and Mahabharata of gold being precious objects.

Main centers: Western ghats and Matheran in Maharashtra are noted for grass ornaments. Gujarat and Rajasthan share a rich and long tradition of jewelry. Kashmir is one of the most prominent places, again, with its exquisite jewelry, Varanasi and Awadh of U.P. are famous for gold studded jewelry.

History of Indian handicrafts
Ornaments and Jewelry. Pixabay

  • Textiles: India had had one of the richest traditions of textiles made from different raw materials. It won’t be wrong to say that Indian textiles tend to reflect Indian culture and religious beliefs. Bengal was the chief center of cotton production and Carpet weaving reached its zenith at the time of Mughals. The most commonly knows fabrics are cotton, wool and silk. The three main techniques used for patterning are weaving, embroidery and dyes.

Main centers: Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are famous for ikat fabric, Gujarat and Rajasthan for bandhani, U.P. and Bengal for jamdani fabrics. Rajasthan is also noted for Masoria fabric.

Indian handicrafts
Indian textiles. Pixabay

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha