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Every year on December 4, Indian Navy Day is celebrated wherein the whole country remembers one of the most significant operations, Operation Trident.
This year, the nation is all set to celebrate the day as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’, as it shall be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
It must be noted that the Indian Navy was established by the East India Company (EIC) in the year 1612. Later on, it was named as Royal India Navy, and post-Independence, it was again named as the Indian Navy in the year 1950.
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces which is led by the President of India as Commander-in-Chief. Moreover, the Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered as the Father of the Indian Navy.
Now, Indian Navy Day becomes much more important because this day commemorates Operation Trident– a key offensive during the 1971 India-Pakistan War, when the Indian Navy inflicted heavy damage on Pakistani vessels in Karachi harbour area.
Lt. Gen A.A.K. Niazi of Pakistan signing the Instrument of Surrender with Lt. Gen J.S. Aurora of India watching with a smile, at Dhaka at 4:55 pm that day.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
Going back in history, the India-Pakistan War of 1971 had begun on December 3, when the Pakistan Air Force launched pre-emptive strikes on airfields in Western India regions. To this, India responded by formally declaring war in the wee hours of December 4.
Now, on December 4 under Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank three vessels near the Pakistani port city of Karachi. The stalwarts of the mission were the then-recently acquired Soviet Osa missile boats, fitted with 4 SS-N-2 (P-15) Styx missiles.
INS Kiltan, Katchall, Nipat, Nighat, and Veer sank PNS Khaibar killing almost 222 Pakistani sailors, and PNS Muhafiz killing around 33 Pakistani sailors, along with a merchant ship, MV Venus Challenger.
At the same time, the Indian Air Force (IAF) also played a crucial role during Operation Trident.
Operation Trident came to an end when on December 5, the Indian Navy’s Western C-in-C, Vice Admiral SN Kohli received the code word “Angaar”, which meant nothing but success.
Finally, the war of 1971 came to an end on December 16 when Lt. Gen A.A.K. Niazi of Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender with Lt. Gen J.S. Aurora of India watching with a smile, at Dhaka at 4:55 pm that day. This successfully marked India’s victory in the war of 1971!
Keywords: Indian Navy Day, India, History, 1971 War, Indo-Pak War, Victory, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Operation Trident.
A statue of the Maratha queen, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, who got the Kashi Vishwanath temple reconstructed in 1777, will be installed at Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor that is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 13.
The temple complex will also have statues of Aadi Shankaracharya, Bharat Mata and Lord Kartikeya.
According to Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agrawal, "The process for restoration of idols of Goddess Parvati, Goddess Annapurna, Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman and Lord Satyanarayan in the KV temple premises has been started by installing prefabricated temples there."
Agrawal further said, "The process of installing statues of Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, Adi Shankaracharya, Bharat Mata and Lord Kartikeya has also been started. The statue of Adi Shankaracharya will be installed at KV Dham's entry point near the ghat along the Ganga."
The statue of Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar will be installed near the tourist facilitation centre, while Bharat Mata's statue will be mounted near Mandir Chowk. The statue of Lord Kartikeya is being installed near KVT. Each statue is 6.5 ft tall and will be installed on stone pedestals.
Since its construction by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar in 1977, the Kashi Vishwanath temple, considered among the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, is witnessing massive renovation and development for the first time.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in November 2018 had asked the authorities to ensure that the statue of Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar is installed as a tribute to her for rebuilding KVT in 1777 after it was destroyed in the Mughal period.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also paid tributes to Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar and paved the way for developing facilities for hassle-free visit of pilgrims to the shrine.
Keywords: India, Kashi Temple, Ahilyabai Holkar, Narendra Modi
Pheran is an essential component of Kashmiri culture and clothing. It is worn by men and women, as well as children. While some say Mughal emperor Akbar introduced the long garment in Kashmir Valley; others claim it was designed by Persian visitors to shield themselves from the biting cold during winters. Kangri, a Kashmiri firepot, can be kept under a pheran. It represents the historical continuity of Kashmiri culture since no significant alterations have been made to the garment.
Recently, pheran have made a resurgence as part of current fashion and are worn by women from all across India. | Wikimedia Commons
It is classic long clothing that covers the entire body from the collar to the knees. The pheran is made up of two robes, one on top of the other. The classic pheran goes all the way to the feet, which was fashionable until the late nineteenth century. A more recent form of the pheran, however, stretches only to the knees. The classic pheran has no side slits and is woven of wool to keep the wearer warm. For a few months in the summer, a cotton version is utilised. A typical feature of a Kashmiri ladies' pheran is intricate embroidery or floral designs. The embroideries or floral styles are composed of tiny metal threads and are referred to as 'Tila' in Kashmiri.
Kangri, a Kashmiri firepot, can be kept under a pheran. | Wikimedia Commons
In recent years, the use of pherans has declined. But recently, pheran have made a resurgence as part of current fashion and are worn by women from all across India. Kashmiri men use the pheran as a stylish costume as well. The pheran has found its way into the working environment when paired with jeans. The modern pheran is narrower and shorter. Since 2021, the valley's young men and women have favoured modernized pherans above other types. These pherans are a cross between western coats and traditional attire.
Keywords: Kashmir, greater Kashmir, kashmir news, tradition, history and culture
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Covering their head and face is an integral part of the Indian traditional dress code. Pardah or purdah pratha is a religious and social practice where women are secluded from the communities both within Hinduism and Islam. Researchers say that this started to protect women from aggressors' eyes. The roots of the Purdah system can be traced in the Persian culture which was later adopted by Muslims in the 7th century AD. When the Mughals invaded India they brought the Purdah system to India with them in the 19th century, and it was later adopted by the Hindu community in India.
In literal terms, Purdah translates to the curtain which physically segregates women from men, and as a physical expression, it is adopted as burqa (a veil made out of garment to cover women's all body parts including hair and face) and ghoonghat (in Hinduism women cover their head and face with the part of their garment). Hinduism views the practice as the means to safeguard women from other men whereas Islam created the practice to enforce supremacy over women. Customs like these have existed in India's patriarchal society proving the systematic lens to view women as weaker gender in the public and private spheres.
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The Hindu Ghoonghat
The Rajputs were one the most dominant groups who strictly believed in the purdah system and brought it to the Indian mainland during their conquest. The practice attached emotional value to it and directly translated to laaj (a women's pride). The newly married women were to cover her head with pallu in the presence of her husband or her in-laws. The strong association of ghooghant with the honor of family and feminine code of modesty are upheld to date.
The purdah system became an integral part of Rajasthan's feudal etiquette as an effort to mirror the ruling class. Therefore, the practice came to be followed in the dominant communities in India. A Muslim girl needs to follow the purdah when she reaches puberty whereas in Hinduism is ghooghat is introduced in a women's life upon marriage.
While the ghooghat system is strictly followed in many parts in the Northern belt including Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kashmir, Himanchal Pradesh; there is no mention of the purdah system in the Southern parts of India.
Married women were to cover her head with pallu in the presence of her husband or her in-lawsUnsplash
The small garment that covers women's faces, restricting them from expressing themselves, not being recognized in a public space holds patriarchy. This system defines the tasks of men and women where women are supposed to take upon household tasks whereas men step out to work in public. We need to be mindful if it is a practice that is followed and implemented as a form of oppression, protection, or empowerment, or voluntarily through generations to understand who gets the say in what a woman wears and chooses to carry herself.
Keywords: Purdah, ghooghat, Mughal, Rajput, empowerment, women, feminism, etiquettes, patriarchy