Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Vijay Prashad, renowned journalist, historian, and commentator took to TikTok to express his views about the colonial crimes by the British in India and China. In a brief argument, he puts forth a mapping of how India and parts of China have suffered under the British regime. This is what he says,
"Britain has refused to come to terms with its colonial heritage. The English East India Company seized Bengal, where I was born, in 1757, by force. Then the British forced the peasantry to hand over their produce and engineered a famine in 1770 that killed a third of the population. So many famines, I mean there were 24 famines between 1850 and 1899. Tens of millions of people killed. From 1765 to 1938 Britain extracted 32 trillion-pound sterling from India. That was the down payment for the Industrial Revolution. In 1943, Winston Churchill diverted food from Bengal, from my Bengal, to British troops- a diversion that killed at least 3 million Indians. That's another holocaust, a forgotten holocaust. When Britain was thrown out of India in 1947, the literacy rate in India was 14%. So much for the gift of civilization. We were left poor and illiterate. We were denied basic democratic rights. When Britain talks about human rights and its values of freedom and so on, all I hear is the cry of the hundreds of people massacred in cold blood at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in 1919. Not for this or for any other massacre, or engineered famine has Britain apologized. And if you live in Britain, I highly recommend you get involved with the Indian Workers Association and its Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Campaign Committee. Over the course of the past fifty years, the British have denied their colonial crimes including by destroying thousands of fires on a range of issues including the bloody war inflicted on Kenya in the 1950s. The government hides, by the way, 1.2 million files in Hounslow Park, north of London. Files which contain Britain's role in the slave trade, and the Boer war, and the decolonization process. In the margins of a document in the UK's forced labor in Kenya, a colonial official wrote, "It must on no account be published." It must on no account be published, because Britain cannot be seen as having conducted a forced labor regime in Kenya. Forced labor is what other people do. Not the British. Britain refuses to come to terms with its colonial heritage because to do so, would be to cast light on this language of human rights and freedom and liberty. What liberty? From 1841 to 1997, Britain ruled Hong Kong with an iron fist. Where was the talk of democracy then? In 1842, a British official wrote, "The poor Chinese must submit to be poisoned by opium or must be massacred by the thousands for supporting their own laws in their own lands.""
A file photo of the Bengal famines during the British raj Image source: wikimedia commonswikimedia commons
Post independence, India has been in the limelight for various reasons in relation to the British regime she withstood for nearly two centuries. According to the written records of history available in the form of novels and accounts from witnesses, the gruesomeness of the regime is coming to light more and more as colonialism, as an attitude of monarchy, is taking ground. My opinion of this issue comes down to the fact that this part of history has been happening and will continue to happen if power falls into ambitious hands that are not willing to let it go. Perhaps if writing is completely done away with, then the world might appear to be at peace since no one will carry stories of the truth.
Since we have accounts, records, and testimonies that are growing each day, more and more of our attention is being drawn to the rather dark past of our country and most of the colonized world. If one takes a closer look at native regimes, or the monarchies that preceded the English, one will find that despite antiquity, political motives have led to tragic ends. As it is said, it depends on who survives to tell the tale. As for the British apologizing for their crimes, I am sure that they will not see reason to do so, since, according to their agenda in the regime, they were simple exercising power. No one apologizes for being powerful. Besides, an apology will not ensure that the crime will not be repeated. China herself is responsible for various crimes under the identity of the Dragon. India has overcome the British, but there are still regimes to overcome, there are still many political disasters to fight, and freedom and liberty are still at stake. Sometimes, atrocities stem from one's own land, by one's own people. It is all about who wields the power, even in a democracy.
Keywords: British Colonialism, Colonization, Independence, India, China, Democracy, Opinion
The practice of incense sticks being used in religious worship across Asia is common. In religious institutions and households, the fragrance of incense is not allowed to fade away, as it could signify the end of a divine communion. Incense is also used in purification rituals and applied in medicine to cleanse the body.
The earliest usage of incense dates back to the Egyptians, who used to extract resins from fragrant trees and perfumed the embalmed dead. Many of the tombs and pyramids in Egypt still emanate a faint aroma of cinnamon and sandalwood. This practice was also carried out in churches in Rome, where during the Eucharistic celebrations, a "bearer" would carry a 'thurible' of incense laid on glowing embers, which caused a smoky appearance around the holy altar.
Oriental countries like China and Japan also follow the offering of incense in places of worship, as an ancestral practice. In Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism, the offering of aromatic incense is considered a way of communicating with the deities. In India, incense is offered at pujas through sticks that are lit and left to spread an aroma. It is believed that the rising smoke carries the prayers to heaven.
Incense being burned at a Buddhist temple Image source: UnsplashUnsplash
In China, each house has their own ancestral shrine where they offer incense regularly, to seek guidance and protection from the spirits of their forefathers. In Buddhist shrines, the offering of aromatic incense is considered sacred to the Triple gem- Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. It is believed to purify the air, and evoke a sense of concentration while meditating. In the Taoist canon, offering incense every day is mandatory to keep the balance of the energy cycle. They believe that the burning incense represents a change in form of energy and that lost physical energy must be replaced by gained spiritual energy. Their model for incense burning comes from the water cycle, one of the four elements that are sacred to them. Burning incense is accompanied by drinking tea or liquor to maintain the energy balance in the body.
The advent of Buddhism in Japan created a new culture of incense there. Instead of using incense for only religious purposes, the Japanese began to infuse it into other aspects of their traditions. During the Heian dynasty, fragrances became something that was layered on their fans, their robes, and became an important part of court culture. Koboku wood burned in religious ceremonies was often mixed with herbal plants to evoke a characteristic aroma. In the Muromachi Period, koboku became an aesthetic practice. Samurai warriors began to use it to purify their minds before they trained, as it improved their concentration. They wore this perfume under their headgear as a pseudo-gesture to their opponents in case they were beheaded. In domestic households, watching the koboku smoulder was considered relaxing, and it became a part of the tea ceremony that Japan is famous for today. Over time, this became an integral aspect of Japanese spirituality.
Japanese Tea Ceremony Image source: UnsplashUnsplash
Incense can be burned in the form of sticks, coils, or coreless lumps. Sticks are preferred in households and when there is a fragrance involved. In temples and shrines, long coils are suspended from the ceiling, and do not produce too much smoke. Coreless lumps are used in Buddhist rituals because it completely burns away, leaving no remnants. Japanese incense sticks are preferred for religious purposes over other sticks as they are made by applying the Virtues of the Ko, or the philosophy of the Kodo. In other Asian countries, indigenous scents are used for native festivals and celebrations.
Keywords: Incense, Incense Sticks, Religion, Asia, Fragrance, Buddhist.
The Himachal Pradesh government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Six Sigma Healthcare to set up Asia’s first mountain health institute in Sirmaur district with an outlay of Rs 100 crore.
Six Sigma Healthcare is providing free high altitude medical services pilgrimage destinations — Amarnath, Kailash Mansarover, Kedarnath and Manimahesh.
Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.
At a meeting with Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the proposal for setting up the institute was given by its Chief Executive Officer, Pradeep Bhardwaj.
The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh accepted the proposal and said the government would provide support in the purchase of the land for the institute in Shimla and Sirmaur districts.
Bhardwaj said the institute would provide jobs to 727 youths. He said that the objective of the institute is to develop all types of research in allopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda, naturopathy and yoga concerning high-altitude and to educate professionals in mountain medicines. (IANS)
Human activities such as groundwater removal and other natural causes are leading to the sinking of the Earth’s surface and the phenomenon will affect 635 million people, mostly in Asia, with a total exposed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $9.78 trillion in the next four years, warn researchers.
By 2024, 19 percent of the world’s population – accounting for 21 percent of the global GDP — will be impacted by subsidence, the sinking of the ground’s surface, said the study published in the journal Science.
The results represent “a key first step toward formulating effective land-subsidence policies that are lacking in most countries worldwide,” the authors noted.
Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.
Lead researcher Gerardo Herrera Garcia and his team performed a large-scale literature review that revealed that during the past century, land subsidence due to groundwater depletion occurred at 200 locations in 34 countries.
The team developed a model by combining spatial and statistical analyses that identified an area’s subsidence susceptibility based on factors like flooding and groundwater depletion caused by human activities.
“Notably, the model also revealed that most of the 635 million inhabitants in subsistence-susceptible areas are located in Asia, with a total exposed GDP of $9.78 trillion,” the findings showed.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: बैक्टीरिया से खोई त्वचा की चमक वापस लौटाएगा नीम जैल
While the model does not consider existing mitigation measures, potentially resulting in overestimates of subsidence exposure, their results still represent a step forward to effective policies.
During the next decades, factors including global population and economic growth, exacerbated by droughts, will probably increase land subsidence occurrence and related damages or impacts.
“Policies that implement subsidence modeling in exposed areas, constant monitoring of high-risk areas, damage evaluation, and cost-effective countermeasures could help reduce the impacts of subsidence where it will hit hardest – namely, areas with increased population density, high groundwater demand, and irrigated areas suffering water stress,” the authors elaborated. (IANS)