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New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday launched a stinging attack on the Narendra Modi government, saying it seeks to whitewash its “communal agenda” by hiding behind the “mask of development”, and also accused the RSS of opposing the Quit India movement.
Sonia Gandhi also attacked the government on price rise at a function to mark the culmination of the 125th year birth anniversary celebrations of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for “intolerance” and said the country cannot be painted in “one colour”.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said secular values of the country were in danger and accused Modi of pursuing “his own interests”.
The event was also attended by senior Congress leaders.
Sonia Gandhi, in a hard-hitting speech, said there were forces today committed to destroying Nehru’s legacy.
“Let us pledge that we will not let any force diminish its glory,” she said.
Sonia Gandhi said Nehru’s greatness was in stark contrast to “those so-called nationalists who nowadays go around giving certificates on patriotism”.
“When some individuals attempt to infect our nation with sense of intolerance, prejudice, injustice, communalism, hatred and bigotry his light continues to shine forth and show us the right way, the way out of darkness,” she said.
She said when leaders like Nehru were fighting for our freedom, “the ideological masters of today’s ruling establishment were hiding safely in their homes while some were even singing praises of their British masters”.
“In fact, in 1942 when (Mahatma) Gandhi ji announced the Quit India movement, there were two groups which actively and openly opposed the call. One was responsible for partition and the other is today the remote controller of the ruling establishment,” Sonia Gandhi said, without directly naming the RSS which is the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.
“It is a historic fact that both these groups instructed their followers to condemn Gandhi ji’s call. No matter how much the government today may wish to erase this past, it is a historical fact,” she added.
She said that for Nehru, democracy rested on the foundation of a debate, a free exchange of ideas.
“Simply because someone holds a different view or disagrees, they cannot be branded a traitor. It is a form of tyranny. Seeing the prevalent atmosphere of intolerance, we are reminded all the more of Nehru ji’s days when any citizen could speak his mind, his ‘mann ki baat‘ — a phrase which has nowadays been reduced to being the name of a radio broadcast,” she said.
Noting that Nehru was synonymous with laying the foundation of India’s growth, she said the Modi government seeks to use development as a buzzword but fails to take lessons from Nehru’s legacy.
“Today, we are witnessing attempts by certain individuals and elements to whitewash their communal agenda in front of the world by hiding it behind the mask of development,” she said.
She said Nehru oversaw setting up of several art and cultural centres but these were being reduced to a “joke”.
“Several eminent writers and scholars who were felicitated by the government are now returning their awards as a form of protest.”
She said members of the ruling party were quick to remind the common man what to eat and what not to eat, but have little advice to offer “those people who are forced to buy dal at Rs.200 a kg”.
Rahul Gandhi said the BJP and the RSS want everyone to sing in one tune.
“The BJP and the RSS think they know everything and don’t like to be questioned but the truth is, if they knew everything, ‘acche din’ (good times) would have come (by now),” he said.
Targeting Modi, he said the prime minister was asked by the media to comment on the issue of intolerance during his visit to Britain.
The Congress has been raising the pitch against the government over incidents such as lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating beef and had met President Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month to convey its concern over “rising intolerance”.
When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things which help us enhance our day with every step. One such thing is music. It enhances, motivates and boosts certain aspects of our personality in ways that may not come into notice. There have been several researches on how music affects human brain. Studies show it helps us in recovery and healing, and also, encouraging us to be better if exposed to the right kind and fit.
From kids to elderly, music as a commodity, can be consumed by all. It is the universal language that is spoken by each and every being, from animals to humans to plants, each respond to it in their own ways. Suffice to say, we are united by music and the effect it has over us. Plants, for example, grow better when exposed to good music. Many songs are being composed specifically to enhance and boost their growth. Same is the case for humans. For humans, the right kind of music can boost good health, physically as well as mentally. You might have noticed how in gyms, upbeat music is played. That is to channel energy into everyone present. It adds to the workout. Several researches around the world have shown better physical output when exposed to appropriate music. Fast paced songs with upbeat nature channeled speed and the slower ones slowed downs the listeners, without them noticing. The sub-conscious effects of music are continuously being studied.
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Our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to.Unsplash
Listening to upbeat or happy music also reduces stress and pressure from our minds. Many people become relaxed while listening to calming music. This is why calming sounds are used during a yoga session. Classical music seems to have the same calming and soothing effect. Furthermore, classical music has much more advantages over metal or techno music, it has proven to enhance learning and improve sleep in its listeners. A study was conducted in which participants were divided in groups where one group was exposed to classical music, another to metal and last one was supervised without any music. The group exposed to classical music showed healthier sleeping pattern than the rest.
Also Read: Undiscovered Music Trends For Indian Music
Several brands and outlets encash on different characteristics of music. Calm and soothing music is used in spas to help customer relax. It is a known fact that our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to. So, music with faster beats will have our heart beating faster and the slow one will have calmer effect. This is why slow music channels calm. And the same fact has led to faster and upbeat music being played in food outlets. A study conducted in a farm, where people were invited to have food, where one half was exposed to slower music and for other fast-paced music was played. Not only did the group exposed to fast-music ate faster but also ate more than the group who ate in slower one. Next time you are in a food outlet or a restaurant observe the kind of music they are playing and the eating pattern.
Music can even be a facilitator of communication. We can sometimes convey our thoughts through the medium of a song. Sometimes someone’s words justify our inner feelings better than us. Or sometimes a song brings back certain memory or a place, and takes us to that certain moment. To say music is a time-machine would not be wrong. It is a dynamic blessing that can be used throughout our lives.
Key Words: Music, Calm, Soothing, Effects of Music
As more and more people are acknowledging the importance of their mental well-being, the wave of awareness the acknowledgment has brought is unprecedented. It may not have paved a clear path towards complete healing but it certainly has shown the way. The awareness is the key to heal. Healing begins only after the problem is identified. Similar to physical illness, the identification of the problem area is the first step. Even in case of a minor wound, when we go to the hospital the nurse first locates the wound. They, then, ask how we got hurt and identify the nature of the wound. Only then, they clean, put ointment and wrap it up if it needs wrapping and protection from air and dust. Sometimes, that protection is not needed. The wound heals out in the open. Same goes when it comes to healing of a mental trauma or illness. Sometimes, we confine in professionals or our loved ones, in order to let it out and process it openly. Sometimes, the trauma reduces with time. In any way, being aware and vigilant is the way to go.
Being knowledgeable about life in general, opens many channels for you. Being knowledgeable about yourself, opens gates inside you that lead to spiritual and general awareness about the concept of self. And the inner awareness is not necessarily internal, it can be seen from the outside as well. When we have positive energy from within it radiates physically as well. Have you encountered someone who’s spiritually awakened and aware? Do they stand out in the crowd? There are prominent examples of people who have made their mark in history, there is Swami Vivekanada, his awakening has revolutionised generations, one live example we can witness is The Dalai Lama.
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Healing is part of the spiritual journey.Unsplash
Also Read: Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health
Awareness is the first step towards the staircase of spirituality. Healing is part of that journey. In our world, we go by our lives without paying much attention to causes of our actions. Every little thing we do, we do it for a reason. We might be suffering without being aware of it. There might be certain actions which are screaming those are trauma-response and not really us. But we go by our days, without paying heed to the fact that it really is the small actions that carry weightage in our lives. When we become attentive and thoughtful with what we do, we introspect, and then act. Thoughtless actions do not bear much fruit anyway. Thoughtfulness not only benefits us personally, but makes world a better place to live in. It really is the need of the hour to introspect every little doing and if it does not fit with the idea of self, then, it is time to find the root cause of what has us where we are.
Being self-aware is crucial as a human quality as well. When we face our problems, we gain experience, that experience leads us to understand and empathise with others’ sufferings too. It is a wholesome development.
Key Words: Self-awareness, Spirituality, Thoughtfulness, Mental Health
Honestly, who hasn’t watched one of the epic series of HBO– Game of Thrones?
There’s no question that when the first episode of Game of Thrones was released on April 11, 2011, the youth population of the world became exuberant. The main reasons behind this reaction was, first, the theme of the show, and second, the hidden lessons which it put forward.
Some of the valuable lessons which the Game of Thrones taught us are:
1. The pack always survives. This aptly meant that whether your pack consists of your family or your friends, you are the strongest when you are surrounded by a support system. This is what Ned Stark taught his children, to be together when “the winter comes”.
2. Never forget who you truly are. One of the most important lessons was given by Tyrion Lannister. He taught us that we should never forget who we really are. This means that we must not forget our bad habits and where we lack. So, once we know who we are, no one could ever use our lagging points against us.
3. Reading is necessary. Tyrion Lannister said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” There is absolutely no denying that reading is not a habit now-a-days, but a necessity. If you want to be sharp and smart, then you must devote sometime to books, for they would teach you a lot!
4. Always pay your debts. Well, one of the most philosophical and learned houses if Game of Thrones is House Lannister. And so, one of the sayings of their house is, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” From here we get another life lesson that we must always pay off what we owe from people.
5. Always believe, “You know nothing.” Ygritte said this to Jon Snow in a teasing manner. But, this is actually for all those who believe that they know each and everything. Well, never believe that you know everything. Always learn from new experiences and never hesitate to take advice from others.
So, these were five most significant lessons which the series Game of Thrones offered us. In reality, we all are aware of these lessons, but we never really work upon them. But now, let’s try to understand each lesson and become the heir someday!
Keywords: Entertainment, Game of Thrones, HBO, Series, Youth, Lessons.