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By Akash Shukla
Stretched mostly in the Royal Rajasthan with extended portions in Haryana, Punjab and Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, Thar desert covers a total area of 208,110 km square. It covers eastern Sindh province and some area of Pakistan Punjab as well. It is believed that ‘The Great Indian Desert’ is extends towards UP and MP.
Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, unfolds a collection of fossils of animals and plants that are 180 million years old. Dinosaur fossils, which are as many as 6 million years old, have been discovered in the area. A camel, which is also known as the ‘Ship of the desert’, is the best ride to explore the Great Indian Desert in its scenic and majestic view.
Endangered, Extinct? No way!
An irony that actually allows a breather to nature lovers…many wildlife life species that are on the verge of extinction in other parts of India, are found in Thar in delightful numbers; Great Indian Bustard and the Blackbuck are two such examples from the list.
Among others, the golden fox, snakes, and lizards are the few wild animal found in Thar, India.
Ancient literature speaks of Thar
Epics in India describe this place as Lavanasagara (Salt-ocean). Ramayana reveals that when Rama attacked Lanka with the army of vanaras (monkeys), he used his agneyashtra-amogha (divine fire arrow) to dry the sea up. It was named Drumakulya and it was situated on the north of Lavanasagara. Surrounded by Marukantara, a fresh water source named Pushkar was formed.
According to Jain cosmology, Jambūdvīpa is at the centre of Madhyaloka; it is the middle part of the universe where the humans reside.
Treatise on the island of rose apple tree, namely, Jambūdvīpaprajñapti contains a description of Jambūdvīpa and biography of King Bharata. Jambūdvīpa continent is surrounded by ocean Lavanoda (Salt-ocean).
Festivity pervasive in & above sand
Camels play a crucial role in the desert life and in the ‘Desert festival’. Rajasthan folk and rich culture can be witnessed during the festivities.
People living in Thar have a great deal of passion for music and poetry. Locals come together to play soft music and gyrate. This event continues till late nights. People from Thar travel miles get one pot of water. Women of Thar desert love beautiful jewellery. Rajasthan desert festival is organised once a year during winters.
The industry called Ecotourism encompasses less-pricey backpacker treks and plush Arabian night style campsites, which are replete with banquets and cultural performances. During the treks and expedition, tourists view the fragile but beautiful ecosystem of Thar desert.
This tourism facilitates income to many camel owners in Jaisalmer and secures employment for many camel trekkers in the desert villages nearby.
Not just the oases, people from various parts of the world visit this amazing site to witness Pushkar ka Mela (Pushkar Fair).
Super model and actress Hailey Bieber said she is lucky to have a husband like Justin Bieber, refuting rumours of the ace singer not treating her properly. Hailey was speaking at singer Demi Lovato's podcast '4D With Demi Lovato', dailymail.co.uk reported.
Talking about her popstar husband and rumours around their marriage, Hailey said: "I think one of the biggest things is you have to know what the truth is behind everything. You know, there's so many narratives that float around about me, about him, about us together." She addressed the rumours point blank as she said: "There's one big fat narrative that goes around that's like, 'Justin is not nice to her, and that he mistreats her', and I'm just like, it's so far from the truth, and it's the complete and utter opposite."
Hailey went on to set the record straight about Justin, who she married in 2018. She said: "I really am lucky to say I'm with someone who is extremely respectful of me, who makes me feel special every single day. So when I see the opposite of that, I'm just like, 'Huh?' And everybody around who knows us personally would say the same thing." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, husband, respectful, truth, married
Among the Tamil epics written during the Sangam age, only a few survived to this day. Manimegalai is one such. It is written as a sequel to the Sillapadikaram, taking the story forward of Kovalan and Madhavi's daughter, Manimegalai. The Sillapadikaram is about the injustice of the Madurai kingdom in the execution of Kovalan, which turned Kannagi, his wife into a goddess seeking vengeance for her husband's death. Kovalan, before his death, has an affair with a court dancer, Madhavi, and his daughter, Manimegalai, is said to begin a different tradition among the Tamils.
The epic, written by Sattanar, introduces Buddhism to Dravidian culture, something that has been alien to them for years. Manimegalai is the protagonist, who flees constantly from the pursuit of Chola prince Udhayakumara, and tries to lead an ascetic life. Throughout the plot, Buddhist tenets are used to avoid the culmination of a love-story. Manimegalai is believed to be the anti-love story sequel to the Sillapadikaram.
A complete work of Tamil epic written by hand on leaves Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sillapadikaram was written by a Jain monk, Illango Adigal, and Sattanar, uses the sequel to question Jainism. It is almost a political battle between two new religions competing for a place in a predominantly Hindu society. Parts of Manimegalai even go to the extent of opening ridiculing Jain practices and beliefs.
Critics of Tamil literature have stated that while the Tamil epics have great poetic significance, they are inferior to other world epics when it comes to clearly portraying religious affiliations. In fact, they refer to the newer religions with an infant's perspective. Some scholars have found that Sillapadikaram has more ethical substance than its sequel, but in and of itself, despite being written by a Jain monk, reads like Hindu poetry (Subhramanya Aiyar, 1906).
Keywords: Manimegalai, Sillapadikaram, Tamil Epic, Sattanar, Ilango Adigal, Chola kingdom, Sangam Age, Buddhism
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment