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IMA to hold march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 20 – The Indian Express

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By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: January 16, 2020 3:55:02 am The Indian Medical Association (IMA)

The Indian Medical Association announced a non-violent movement, to be held on March 20, wherein a march will be taken out from Sabarmati Ashram. Nearly 25,000 members of the IMA from all over the country will participate in the procession, sources said.

The decision was taken in a meeting held on January 12, an official statement from the IMA said on Wednesday. According to Dr Avinash Bhondwe, president of IMA, Maharashtra, the state unit has announced its plan for the event.

IMA Maharashtra has 210 branches, located in every major city, town and small taluka across the state, with a total of 43,500 members. All members will be contacted personally and sensitised about violence against doctors and hospitals, Dr Bhondwe said.

He added that medical students will be made aware of unfair and draconian laws by the government. Various social organisations, NGOs, rotary clubs, social workers and cultural associations will be informed about issues faced by doctors.

Doctors are pressing for legislation to prevent violence against doctors and the healthcare establishment. The bill was to be tabled in the current session of Parliament, but was withdrawn by the Union Home Ministry. With the draft legislation in public domain, the medical fraternity had expected that a law would be passed.

However, IMA expects that the government will not go back on its word in this regard, Dr Bhondwe said.

It has demanded a comprehensive solution to stop violence. The proposed law is only a deterrent. Adequate security and declaring hospitals as safe zones are part of the demands as well. Social determinants of violence also have to be addressed.

Addressing infrastructure and human resources inadequacy in public hospitals, as well as tax-funded schemes to purchase care from private hospitals have been cited as possible solutions.

Dr Bhondwe said if constitutional means fail to address the grievance, the profession will be free to launch its own defence at all costs.

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IMA to hold march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 20 - The Indian Express

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Depression Hates a Moving Target – A News Cafe

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People are the biggest adventure of all, and hitchhiking makes you need people, react with people and hopefully appreciate people. Coping with the difficulties forces you to depend on yourself, and grow in self-appreciation, too.

-Ed Buryn

In a recent column, When Depression Comes to Stay, I wrote, Perhaps in another column, I will share the details of the lost years that followed, the years spent hitchhiking around the country and Europe before coming back to Dayton to find a sense of family, purpose and meaning in a yoga ashram in the ghetto. And as promised (or warned), here it is

As I recounted in my previous column, I suffered my first bout of depression (or spiritual crisis) in 1973 when I was 17, which led me, in part, to seek relief, peace and solace on the road. I was part hippie with a little bit of hobo and gypsy mixed in. It is impossible to fully describe how exhilarating and liberating it felt to stand next to a highway with my thumb extended, completely trusting in the kindness of strangers to transport me to my next adventure, in some other town, state or country. Of course, it didnt always turn out well but I truly loved that life. It was a magical time life on the road a precious series of sacred, crazy and life-altering experiences that both astounded and confounded me and taught me more about the world than I ever learned in a classroom.

My spiritual guide for my vagabond life was Ed Buryn, a geeky-looking guy with glasses and a thick, black mustache and the author of two hitchhiking Bibles I grew to treasure in the early to mid-70s, Vagabonding in America and Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa. I didnt realize it until now, as I write this, but Ed also served as a kind of therapist. The words in his books were disguised as travel advice but they were really life advice; how to show up fully and completely within my own being, despite my heavy fear and sadness and step out into the world, vulnerable, courageous and alone. Depression tells us to hunker down and hide from the world. I refused. Thank God, I have always refused.

My original copies of Eds books burned up in the Carr Fire but thanks to Amazon, I secured a couple used copies in good condition. In the Europe book, we read, People are wonderful, and vagabonding is a way of personally proving it a way of getting to know people, and of knowing yourself. No adventure can promise more than that. In other words, trust others and believe in their essential goodness; trust the universe, but most of all, trust yourself. Be willing to fail. Never give up. Face your fears. Expect to be surprised, amazed and thrilled and you will be. And keep moving, because depression hates a moving target.

When we read Eds words, it is useful to connect with his underlying message or hidden meaning. When he talks about tourism or traveling, replace these words with living. Traveling is seen as moving from one physical place to another but also as a metaphor for our life journey of growth and what is required to make it meaningful. When he talks about vagabonding, please understand that he is talking about a special kind of traveling or living that is whole-hearted, curious, vibrant, open and authentic.

He wrote, This book tells you how to visit Europe as a way of blowing your mind and enriching your life. It says that tourism is bullshit unless you get involved. To do that, you avoid your travel agent like he was the cops, and go find out about the world by yourself, for your own self. Go as a wayfarer open to all experience; go as a courier over the map of Europe, bearing messages to your secret self.

According to Ed, Vagabonding is for people who want to be free and adventurous, yet realize it wont come too easily or without knocks. Youre not always certain how to go about it, either. Like any good psychologist, he recommends a specific state of mind that allows for new ideas and new experiences, for tolerance and humor, and insists that we must be willing to accept some discomfort, insecurity and risk. Amen to that.

Here is one of his best lines: Basically, you say yes to life, all of it, the whole spectrum, as opposed to the narrow sliver we get to be so content with. This advice is so essential, I could write a column on this alone.

Ed advises us to not live in the sterile confines of the mind, but to act decisively in the moment, committed to following through with whatever bold plan or adventure that grabs us and inspires us to dream. He wrote, We all have stuck in us deep somewhere a keenness for excitement, a savoring for the kooky, a leap-for-life outlook.

Continuing, The person who strikes off for himself is no hero, nor necessarily even unconventional, but to a greater degree than most people, he or she thinks and acts independently. The vagabond frees in himself (or herself) that latent urge to live closer to the edge of experience. Savor these words. Make them your friends.

Like Yoda, or someones idea of a mystical guru, Ed counsels us: Naturally, this can be a hard and heavy number at times, so your head better be ready for that too. Youll be unable to take it unless you understand that it has to be rough at times. Travel in general, and vagabonding in particular, produces an awesome density of experiencea cramming-together of incidents, impressions and life detail that is both stimulating and exhausting. So much new and different happens to you so frequently, just when you are most sensitive to it. A day seems like a week, a week a month. The total experience is stoning, and it psychically disintegrates you with its complexity and imagery. You may be excited, bored, confused, desperate and amazed all in the same happy day. Or hour. Its not for comfort hounds, sophomoric misanthropes or poolside fainthearts, whose thin convictions wont stand up to the problems that come along. One of the things to learn is that there is no right way for everybody to handle these problems; theres only your way. And you get better at it as you practice. Everybody, after all, makes their own scene.

I discovered that the value, utility and veracity of nearly every life lesson I learned from my parents, teachers or mentors could be tested on the road. It is the ultimate test track of life. Ed wrote, The right state of mind allows you to take one thing at a time and dig it. A vagabond learns this. You start really looking at places and reacting to people and finding out things for yourself. This opening-up and reintegrating process is one of the primary values of traveling independently, whether its to Europe or just into the future. You get the good vibes of experiencing meaningfully, of coping with fear and uncertainty, of becoming aware of the beauty ofthis world and your relationship to it.

In other words, many of us can go to sleep or go unconscious and miss out on our own life. This is impossible on the road. We must be wide awake and ready for whatever comes. It does no good to complain or resist. Existence is reduced to the essentials of what makes life worthwhile. When something moves, we must move with it or that opportunity is gone. It is maddening, mystical and free and we can all learn its lessons if we are ready. But we neednt worry because on the road, as in life, the chances keep coming, like that car as it passes by and pulls over, its bright brake lights glowing with the promise of a new friend.

My brother, Jim, 1974

Before my senior year in high school, I spent the summer hitchhiking around Ohio, visiting friends I had recently met at a state-wide, student council conference. And then one day, later that summer, on impulse, I asked my mom to drop me off on an entrance ramp for I-70 West. I was restless and bored and didnt really have a plan. I just wanted to move. I had tasted the vagabond life and I craved to experience more of its mystery and magic. Can the road call to us? It felt like it in those days.

I only had $15 and had barely stepped out of my moms car when my first ride showed up. His name was Bob Rubin, his favorite song was Donovans Catch the Wind and he was driving from Vienna, Virginia, the same little town I had lived in for five years in the 1960s. He was heading to San Francisco to go to college and I happily rode with him to Madison, Wisconsin to see his family before continuing on to the Black Hills of South Dakota. By then I was out of money and it didnt seem right to mooch off Bob any more than I already had. The only food I had was a bag of corn nuts and a few ketchup packets from McDonalds as I began thumbing my way back east.

Badlands, 1973

I only got as far as the Badlands that first day and that night was a rough one. It stormed hard and I sought refuge from the drenching rain beneath a school bus on a bed of gravel. I barely slept and the next day, I was hungry and exhausted and caught a ride with an old man (probably the same age I am now) heading back east on I-90. He said he was retired, divorced, and on his way to live with one of his adult kids in Minnesota or Wisconsin. And he was mean and grumpy. I was grateful for the ride but he was hard to like. Unlike most of my rides those days, he was not a happy guy, although he seemed to derive some enjoyment from being miserable. His backseat contained all his clothes, hanging neatly on a closet bar from one side of the other and he greedily drank out of a whiskey bottle as we sped along the interstate until he finished it and forcefully flung it into the grass-covered median strip.

We stopped for gas in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere between Kadoka and Okaton and the old man couldnt help making fun of the locals who were selling their junkie crap in yard sales in front of their homes. I was completely worn down by his negativity, my hunger and lack of sleep and I heard myself asking him, Why are you so cynical? I knew I was in trouble when he scrunched up his face and asked me what cynical meant. He really didnt know; and I realized I was about to insult the man who I was depending on for free transportation for the next several hundred miles; a cardinal sin that any hitchhiker knew was a rule of the road you must never break.

When I stammered out a reference to a person who is generally pessimistic and has a low opinion of humanity, he nodded somberly and informed me he had a sudden change of plans. He was clearly stung by the truth. He said he wouldnt be able to ferry me further as he would be seeking lodging in the very town he had happily disparaged a few minutes before. I knew he was lying, and he knew I knew, but it didnt matter. I can still recall breaking down and crying uncontrollably as I stumbled back to the interstate to seek my next ride, ashamed of myself for weeping as I said over and over, Big boys dont cry.

I persevered, found my way to Minneapolis to visit Chris, a girl I knew from high school before continuing to Milwaukee to visit my uncle Russ, aunt Amy and cousin Jeff. I returned home, and in January of my senior year, I celebrated my 18th birthday by skipping school for a few days (with my moms permission) and hitchhiking in the cold and snow from Dayton through downtown Chicago at rush hour until I finally reached Milwaukee again, to see Jeff play basketball for his high school team. I had discovered how good it felt to live adventurously and was addicted. After graduating, I kept escaping to the road in the summer of 1974, hitchhiking from Ohio to Florida to Virginia and back to Dayton for a David Bowie concert before doing all the same states a second time, this time with my brother. I couldnt get enough and wanted more.

Jim, kicking back on one of our rides, 1974

Once I returned home, my aimless existence continued. Instead of going to college like my parents had hoped, I got a job as a printers helper for half a year and saved up $1500, enough money to hitchhike through Europe and North Africa for five months (providing me with numerous lessons and perhaps, ample fodder for future columns).

Florence, Italy, 1975

And when I got back from Europe, I still wasnt ready for college, even though I was enrolled at Ohio University, had my dorm assignment, knew my roommates name and I went through orientation. I was still searching for something that I didnt find on the road and didnt think Id find in college. So, I dropped out before I ever went and instead moved into what some would call an ashram on the West Side of Dayton, Ohio called the Ghettos Palace Yoga Institute. My family thought it was a religious cult and I suppose it was from their perspective. But for me, I felt like I had a family again and our spiritual teacher or master, Wali Ahmed Sababu was as you might imagine: charismatic, mesmerizing at times and persuasive. I learned and taught hatha yoga, meditated daily and attended spiritual lectures every night.

I did eventually go to college while still living at the Palace and had one last hitchhiking adventure to see John, a high school buddy of mine, who was going to school at the University of Montana in Missoula in the summer of 76. We backpacked in the Flathead Indian Reservation, lost our topo map and wandered aimlessly for a couple days in the wilderness before finally catching a ride from some boaters on Lindbergh Lake who brought us back to civilization.

My friend John, 1976

I learned many lessons from my travels that are still with me to this day. For example, whether I was waiting for a ride in Germany or sitting on a park bench in Rome or walking down a winding, stone-walled road in Ireland, I learned to be present and experience the moment and all it contained and not as my mind wanted to make it. I learned to keep moving, to flow with and adapt to the challenges that constantly came my way. I repeatedly learned that wonderful things came after terrible things. A long, hot day of no rides in Francos Spain, for example, eventually led to a glorious encounter with a wonderful and kind soul who got me further down the road. And when the terrible things happened, and I had my share, I trusted I would survive and discover hidden benefits and blessings and I always did.

As Ed predicted, I met genuine and generous people every day who truly cared about me and my journey and sought to help. We traded books, food, wine, travel tips and spiritual insights. We gave and received kindness, trust and truth. As Rupert Spira states, When we feel friendship or love for one another, what we are actually feeling or tasting is our shared being. It is easier to know this on the road but nothing stops us (except our minds) from experiencing this wherever we are.

I savored simple things and required very little to be happy. As time went by, I needed less and less. I learned to be content in just being. I learned to believe in myself and fully accept myself as I was. This approach required faith and trust, not necessarily in a religion or God but in me. I read the Gita, a Zen text and the New Testament on a regular basis but knew each day, it was me I needed to trust in and believe in and rely on to get through.

At times, I was able to suspend all judgment, criticism, resistance, and blame and clear a space to be, just be, as if my true self was my constant breath, flowing in and out. I learned to be patient. The rides would come. And they did. The adventures were out there, like fresh fruit on a tree, waiting to be plucked. I didnt need to push the river. I learned to trust the currents as they came and went.

It is difficult, I know. This isnt always easy. My words could imply otherwise. I get it. Life on the road isnt like our normal work-a-day existence. I could never go back and do that all again. Im too old and its probably not as safe now as it was 45 years ago.

And like you, I still have my own mind to contend with. We have all been conditioned or programmed to think, feel and act in ways that dont always work. Meanwhile, something that isnt a thing doesnt change. There is this something more that is timeless, the ultimate truth of your being and mine. Call it awareness or consciousness, or simply being. If you get quiet for a moment, you can notice the noticer, observe the observer, be with that which you are. There are no words we can employ to capture it. It can only be experienced. It waits for us, as I write these words and as you read them. If we step back from our thoughts for a moment, we can touch that which we most intimately are and know that we are supremely well, regardless of what our minds tell us.

Life, itself, is the great adventure and as Ed said, the best parts of life are the people. Trust me on this, but more importantly, trust yourself.

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Depression Hates a Moving Target - A News Cafe

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Mangala Gowri Madve update, January 16: Rajeev notices Subhash in the ashram – Times of India

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In the latest episode of Mangala Gowri Madve, Mangala is puzzled as she notices Soundarya and Balli in minister Rudra Muni's house. She grows suspicious over Soundarya's intentions and tries to alert Rajeev. On the other hand, seeing Mangala roaming around Rudra Muni's house, Soundarya enlists Balli's help to discreetly click pictures of Mangala. She intends to use those photographs to drive Mangala out of the house. Elsewhere, Rajeev disguises himself like a civilian and is seen outside the ashram for Subhash to arrive. He also commands Pandu and Kumar to stay alert. As the trio is vigilant towards the ashram, Rajeev notices an old man speaking to Sathyanna and grows suspicious over his unusual behavior. However, Rajeev's suspicious become true when the old man drag Sathyanna to a nearby vacant room. Upon learning that the disguised old man is none other than Subhash, Rajeev and his team gear up to attack him.


Mangala Gowri Madve update, January 16: Rajeev notices Subhash in the ashram - Times of India

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To the anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh, an appeal by the Delhi Police (India) – Daily Gaming Worlld

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The Delhi police underlined the greater public interest and urged the anti-citizenship law protesters in Shaheen Bagh to cooperate and help dismantle 13A, a 2.5 km link between Delhi and Noida December is closed.

We appeal to the agitators at No. 13 A Shaheen Bagh to understand the suffering that the complete highway blockage will bring for Delhi and New York residents, seniors, emergency patients and school children. The matter was also raised in the Honble High Court, the Delhi police tweeted.

The demonstrators blocking of this particular road has gotten out of hand in the south and downtown Delhi. What has further exacerbated the traffic growl is that parts of Mathura Road near the Ashram intersection have been blocked from construction by the Public Works Department for an underpass.


Traffic police estimate that the Ashram intersection, which was hit hardest by the 13A roadblock, carried nearly 3.5 lakh vehicles in the morning and evening rush hours. However, an additional charge of one lakh per day was added last month.

Despite the withdrawal of some organizers on January 2nd, the protests in Shaheen Bagh continued. From a replica of the India Gate with the names of those who died during the anti-CAA protests, through a model detention center to raise awareness, to graffiti and posters, the demonstrators used unique methods to express their rejection.


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To the anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh, an appeal by the Delhi Police (India) - Daily Gaming Worlld

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Crime against women increases in Haryana – Daily Pioneer

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Data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and Haryana State Commission for Women (HSCW) suggests that crime against women has increased in Haryana this year in comparison to previous two years, triggering concern.

Opposition parties, including Congress and Indian National Lok Dal have slammed the State Government over increasing crimes against women in the State. Referring to NCRB reports, the opposition leaders said that the Haryana has stood at third ranks in crime against women across the country.

The NCRB data shows that year by year, crimes against women in Haryana are increasing rapidly. Citing NCRB data, a Congress leader said that 9511 cases of crime against women were registered. This means about 26 cases of crimes were committed daily. This increased to 9839 in the year 2016 while 11,370 in 2017. However, the recently released figures of the year 2018 by NCRB reveal that in the year 2018, crimes against women have increased by 26 percent as compared to the year 2017.

In 2018, there were 14,326 crimes against women which is an average of 39 crimes against women were committed each day. If we talk about rape cases, according to the NCRB data, 1099 rape cases were reported in the year 2017. While the number of rape cases increased by more than 17 percent in the year 2018 compared to the year 2017. The rape cases increased to 1296 in the year 2018, they added.

Understanding the gravity of the latest data and to know and evaluate the actual status of the execution of centre and State Government sponsored schemes being operated for the safety, security and welfare of the women and children, the Haryana State Commission for Women has decided to conduct 10-day- long inspection drive from January 20 at Working Women Centres (WWCs), One Stop Centres (OSCs), Mahila Ashram, Safe Houses, Women Police Stations (WPSs) and other centres set up for Women across the State.

As per reports received from the Haryana State Commission for Women, the Commission received seven complaints of gang rape from various parts of the State. Seven complaints of gang rape include one such report received from Gurugram while two from Ambala; two from Kurukshetra; one from Bhiwani and one from Hissar.

As many as 99 rape cases from April 15 to December 15 which include 10 in Hisar, 13 in Panipat, nine in Mewat, seven in Bhiwani, six in Sirsa, seven in Karnal, five each in Sonipat, Yamuna Nagar and Mahendragarh. Seven complaints of gang rape have been reported which include two each in Ambala and Kurukshetra and one each in Gurugram, Bhiwani and Hisar. Moreover, the Commission had received around 150 complaints of sexual harassment of Women at work place from various parts of the State over the last six months.

Commission chairperson Pratibha Suman said that to provide fool-proof security and welfare for women, the central and state government have set up above centres in the State.

The State government has set up around 15 Women Working Centres and 15 Mahila Ashram to facilitate the women of the State. One Stop Centres which is also known as Sakhi is an ambitious project of the Union government under the Nirbhaya Fund for providing police, medical and legal help to women victims.

"OSCs have been opened in almost all the districts of the State. This centre resolves any issue related to distress and violence against women. It also provides integrated services and facilities at a single point, saving the victims from unnecessary harassment and delay caused by hassles involved", she said, adding this centre specifically deals with issues involving crime against women and minors, including rape, molestation, domestic violence, child marriage, child abuse, sexual assault, kidnapping and dowry complaints. These centres have own staff and infrastructure.

The Commission Chairperson said that women affected by violence are provided services like police assistance, medical aid, psycho-socio counseling, legal aid and temporary stay for five days under one roof in one stop centres set up across the State. These centres not only provide legal and medical aid, but also counsel the victim till woman recovers fully and fit for rehabilitation. It has board, lodging and food facility with adequate security. The victim has no need to go anywhere, even the police station, for resolution.She further said that the Women Police Stations have been formed in each district of the State to ensure safety of women and instill among them a sense of security and confidence.

Sources in the Commission, however, said that States one-stop centre for women Sakhi is facing shortage of staff, basic infrastructure, causing problems to victims of sexual assault, dowry and domestic violence. At many Women Police Stations, the number of women staff has not been deployed. At some place male police officers has been made in-charge of Women Police Station while at few places, SI or inspector has been given additional charge.

Under such circumstances, they could not focus on dealing the cases related women effectively.

The Commission Chairperson said that to know the actual state of these centres, team members led by Commission member would conduct surprise inspections during ten days of inspection drive across the State. After inspection, reports will be sent to the State Government for further action, she said, adding the team has been formed at Commission level and this exercise would be completed within ten days.

According to her, along with district level service authority member, she led a team conduct inspection of above centres in Rohtak while Vice-Chairperson of the Commission Preeti Bhardwaj in Gurugram.

The chairperson and vice chairperson of the Commission can inspect any centres of all the districts, she added.


Crime against women increases in Haryana - Daily Pioneer

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Last Living Member of First Lok Sabha, 100-YO Helped Draft Constitution – The Better India

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He (and his team) would carry a typewriter around on their village visits. At every hamlet, he would instantly issue an on-spot official decree to set up a government school & appoint teachers from among the educated in the village.

The year was 1942. The country was reeling under an extreme socio-economic crisis as a repercussion of the ongoing World War, and Mahatma Gandhi had just called for the Quit India movement.


Around this time, a 21-year-old young man from Namakkal (erstwhile Salem) in Tamil Nadu was heading a student revolution at Madras, against the British authorities of Loyola College.

That man was TM Kaliannan. He would go on to become one of the signatories of the Constitution and is the only surviving member of the Constituent Assemly, today.

A powerful orator and an extremely passionate writer in English, Kaliannan had sowed the seed of nationalism and mobilised over 400 students to form the Tamil Zilla Students Association. Following this, the association hoisted the National Flag for the first time on the premises of Loyola College.

When the principal of the college refused to comply with the nationalistic demands of the protesting students, Kaliannan led an 8-member delegation to Sabarmati Ashram to meet with Gandhi, for advice on how to proceed.

Stay with me for ten days and follow my lifestyle, the Mahatma calmly advised the agitated man. After a peaceful 10-day stay at Sabarmati, Kaliannan felt he was already a changed personcalmer, respectful and more insightful than ever.

Gandhi instructed him to return to Tamil Nadu and complete his education before diving into mainstream politics. He agreed. Later, he would admit that the meeting with the Mahatma was a turning point in his life, driving the trajectory of his illustrious later years.

As Kaliannan stepped into his hundredth year on 10th January 2020, The Better India got in touch with his family to share his inspiring story.

His grandson Senthil took us on a walk down the memory lane, sharing unsung tales of his Ayyas patriotism, leadership and humanity.

Kaliannan was born on 10 January 1921 in the village of Akkaraipatti. He was later adopted by the Kumaramangalam Zamindar family and crowned as the legal heir of the enormous estate of Kasturipatti, spanning at least a few thousand acres.

He pursued his schooling from Tiruchengode and later joined Loyola College in Madras to pursue a degree in English literature. This is where he began to actively rebel against the British Raj.

His actions, especially the protest mentioned above, fetched him a prompt eviction notice from college authorities.

However, such was his transformation after meeting Gandhiji in the Sabarmati Ashram that the acting principal softened his stance and helped Kaliannan secure admission for a BCom degree at Pachaiyappas College.

After completing his college education, Kaliannan joined the Gandhi Ashram at Tiruchengode and played a crucial role in upholding Gandhian ideals among the people of Tamil Nadu.

He had joined the Indian National Congress in 1943. and when Dr Subramaniams seat in the Constituent Assembly of Independent India fell vacant after his appointment as a foreign ambassador, K Kamaraj proposed Kaliannans name.

He was soon unanimously elected as the youngest member of the Constituent Assembly, at the age of 27.

Ayya worked in close coordination with Dr Ambedkar, Kamaraj and Rajaji while drafting the prestigious Constitution of India. He was one of the signatories of the Constitution and now happens to be the only surviving member of the Constituent Assembly, informs Senthil.

Reminiscing about those days, Kaliannan often remarks, Those were better times. As politicians, all of us were honest and truly dedicated to our people. The curse of corruption did not tarnish our lives and work.

On 26th January 1950, the Constitution was officially adopted by the newly instated government, thereby turning India into a Republic. In the first Parliament of the Republic of India, Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister, and Dr Rajendra Prasad was appointed as the President. Kaliannan was also sworn in as an integral Member of Parliament.

The first general elections in India were held in 1952, and an air of festivity prevailed over the country.

Kaliannan fought for the MLA seat from Rasipuram constituency and won a sweeping victory. Over the next two decades, he also contested from Tiruchengode twice and emerged triumphant every time.

In 1952, when the Zamindari Abolition Act was passed, Kaliannan wholeheartedly welcomed the law and sacrificed around a 1000-acre portion of his inherited estate to help the poor and needy, reveals Senthil.

In 1954, Kaliannan was selected as the Zilla Board President of Salem, which comprised of the present districts of Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Namakkal.

When he assumed charge, Salem was plagued by illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and high crime rates. Children as young as five or six would be sent to earn their livelihood through goat-herding and cattle-rearing. A public school was a rarity.

Kaliannan Ayya knew that only education could uplift the state of his people. So, literacy remained at the top of his development agendas, says Senthil.

Between 1954 and 1957, he extensively toured the nooks and corners of Salem, setting up one school in every village he stepped in.

He and his team of officials would carry a typewriter around throughout their village visits. At every hamlet, he would instantly issue an on-spot official decree to set up a government schoolat a community area or simply in the open. He would also interact with the villagers, learn about their educational qualifications and spontaneously appoint around three to four teachers from among the school pass-outs in the village.


This way, he managed to establish over 2000 successfully running schools in just three years, which in turn educated over one crore children. His mega educational revolution in the district even birthed eminent personalities like politicians, lawmakers and educationists from the district.

K Megraj, the present District Magistrate of Namakkal, idolises Kaliannan and visits him often to pay his respects. His efforts in the education sector are immensely laudable. His smart strategies and policymaking remain relevant to this date, he mentions

Tiruchengode, the native home of Kaliannan, is famous for the Ardhanareeswarar temple. The essence of the half female-half male deity inspired Kaliannan to aspire for gender equality in his state, and there are several examples to illustrate this.

At a time when a woman stepping out of the house was frowned upon in the society, he set up the Avvaiyar Kalvi Nilayam school for girls and donated land for free from his estate for its construction. The school remains a symbol of pride among the residents of Tiruchengode.

Alongside, Kaliannan also promoted higher education for women and set up many women colleges across Salem, including the esteemed institutionSri Sarada College for Women. He also donated the land for the same. He also opened over 200 public libraries in Salem and introduced the concept of mobile libraries in Tamil Nadu.

He was the one to build a 40-km long connecting road from Kolli Malai hills to the plainlands. Before that, the indigenous communities of Kolli hills had no access to education, health and other facilities. He was responsible for improving the connectivity in the area, says Megraj.

Elaborating on this context, Senthil shares how Kaliannans work on road-building went on to facilitate commerce and industrialisation.

The Kolli Hills road benefitted several lakhs of indigenous people. The mountain road, traversing through 70 hairpin bends, lasted for six decades without any need for repair.

Senthil continues, It was Ayya who linked the small textile-town of Pallipalayam to the growing city of Erode through the Pallipalayam bridge over Cauvery river. Today, Erode has flourished as a textile district, thanks to this one connecting bridge.

It was him who introduced the Village Mandis, a thriving symbol of Tamil Nadus rural economy, even today. The famous Salem Co-Operative Sugar Mills, India Cements factory at Sankari and the Paper Mills of Pallipalayam were all creations of Kaliannan, which employed over 10,000 people at that time.

The peoples leader also left his mark in the sectors of water and housing as well. Earlier, only the farmers from the Cauvery delta districts had legal permission to use Cauvery water for agriculture and drinking purposes.

Kaliannans persistent petitions resulted in a big victory for farmers in all riverine districts across the state when they were allowed to use Cauvery water. The construction of the East Bank Canal and West Bank Canal helped in irrigating over 45,000 acres of fertile land, leading a mini green revolution in the region.

Under Kaliannans tenure, Tiruchengode experienced one of the most excellent examples of town planning. He donated major portions of his estate to build over 300 houses for the homeless.

To boost the economy, hundreds of branches of regional rural banks were set up in residential areas, during his regime. He was later appointed as the Director of Indian Bank, following his retirement from politics.

After the sudden demise of his second son, Kaliannan gradually distanced himself from mainstream politics and focused more on humanitarian efforts, which he continues to date.

He donated large portions of his ancestral estate to uplift the underprivileged with homes, free health clinics and community marriage halls. He also showed an inclination towards spirituality and built many temples in the area.

Today, Kaliannan leads a reclusive life away from the cacophony of the city, surrounded by his loving family members. But, reading the newspaper out and out is an unmissable activity for the centenarian. Though he has long left behind his days of progressive politics, leaders from all parties and government officials still approach him for advice and guidance.

He never sends anyone away. He talks and listens to them even while eating, Senthil shares.

Like many, the veteran politician is upset about present political scenario of the country, which is shrouded by corruption and unrest. However, he believes that there is hope for things to change for the better.

The development of India since Independence has been quite commendable. However, the way dishonesty had seeped into the political fabric is adversely affecting our democracy. However, I am sure that people will learn through their mistakes, sooner or later. But, the price for that might be heavy on humanity, concludes the centenarian.

Also Read: Issurus Fight For Freedom: When a Small Karnataka Village Dared to Take on the British Empire

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)


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Last Living Member of First Lok Sabha, 100-YO Helped Draft Constitution - The Better India

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January 19th, 2020 at 9:46 pm

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On tap at the MV Playhouse – Martha’s Vineyard Times

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Need a little entertainment in the off-season? The Marthas Vineyard Playhouse keeps its doors open all winter long to bring Vineyarders a variety of excuses to get out of the house. Poetry readings, classic movies, live music, art shows, and even a bit of drama are among the options provided by the Playhouse on a regular schedule. This month, you can check out any or all of the above. Poet Arnie Reisman will continue his long-running series Poetry and Pie (previously Poetry Cafe) with readings by established poets. Every month on a Wednesday night, Reisman invites a lineup of local poets to read, while the Playhouse supplies the pie and coffee. The Monday Night Movie series will feature classic dance movies throughout the month of January. Let Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly brighten up your winter as the Playhouse screens a weekly film featuring the kind of dance spectacles that only old Hollywood can provide. The upcoming exhibit, Our Children, in the Playhouses lobby ArtSpace is sponsored by Media Voices for Children, and features gorgeous photographs of children from around the world and on the Vineyard by U.R. (Robin) Romano and Melissa Blythe Knowles. The images are from a new series featuring joyful photos of children in the Bal Ashram rehabilitation and training center. The opening on Jan. 18 will include a screening of Galen Films Children of Bal Ashram followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers, Len and Georgia Morris. Attend one or both, admission to the photo exhibition opening is free. There is a suggested donation of $10 for the film screening. The exhibit opening begins at 5:30, with the film screening at 7 pm.

The Wicked Good Musical Revue series continues this month with the theme of Something Old, Something New. As always, the selection of show tunes and more will feature singers Molly Conole, David Behnke, Jenny Friedman, Ken Romero, and Rachel Enriquez, with accompanists Peter Boak and Molly Sturges. There will be three shows on Jan. 24, 25, and 26. The January offering from playwright, actress, and humorist Jenny Allens Jennys Drama Salon on Wednesday, Jan. 29, will be another exciting evening of theater trivia. Test your drama knowledge as you compete against your neighbors for fun prizes. Admission is $10 and includes a beverage and homemade dessert. Shakespeare for the Masses returns on Feb. 1 and 2 with a playful staged reading of Antony and Cleopatra by the popular troupe dedicated to bringing abridged and enhanced versions of the bards work to Island audiences. Just in time for Valentines Day, the second offering in the new series Wintertime Melodies will feature love songs for everyone on Feb. 14 and 15. Paul Munafo and Shelagh Hackett perform a variety of tunes in the Playhouse lobby. Looking ahead, the Playhouse will offer a special treat in April when they host the play Whose Aemilia? by Rachel Eugster, playwright and lead actress. The four-character drama tells the story of the woman who may or may not have been the Dark Lady in Shakespeares sonnets.

The Playhouses afterschool theater program, Winter Stars, is expanding this year to include third grade students and now includes students grades three to eight, and will extend to twice-a-week sessions throughout the winter and early spring. There are more events in the works for the Playhouse in the coming months. Check for future happenings.

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On tap at the MV Playhouse - Martha's Vineyard Times

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:50 pm

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Police probe on into sexual abuse of boys at home – The Hindu

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The All Women Police, Tambaram, has filed a first information report (FIR) and taken up the investigation into complaints of sexual abuse and physical torture of minor boys who were inmates of an unauthorised home run by two administrators of an ashram in Nedunkundram.

Following a complaint from L.Sasikumar, an advocate and devotee, the police raided the premises of Sri Sathananth Swami Ashram, Sadhanthapuram, Nedunkundram on Sunday morning. They found that there were nine boys aged 13 to 16 years lodged in the home. It was under the administration of Anand, 55 and his friend Sampath, 56.

Anand brought the children from Arakonam and Tiruttani to the facility. They were admitted to local schools near the home. One of children complained of sexual abuse to Mr. Sasikumar, who frequently visited the ashram. He, in turn, complained to the police.

Police said a few of the children staying in the orphanage were allegedly sexually abused by both Anand and Sampath. The case was booked under section 7(Sexual Assault) and 8 (Punishment for sexual assault) of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The police said the process is on to arrest the duo and further investigation is on.

The children were shifted to other homes.

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Police probe on into sexual abuse of boys at home - The Hindu

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January 9th, 2020 at 7:50 pm

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Oxford University Press Launches Krishnas Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century – United News of India

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Business EconomyPosted at: Jan 9 2020 3:09PM

NEW DELHI, Jan 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Oxford University Press, the world's largest university press, launched Krishna's Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century by Professor John Stratton Hawley on 8th January, 2020. The book was launched in the august presence of Mr. Purushottam Agrawal - renowned writer, academician and former professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. The event began with a musical rendition by Padma Shri awardee, Shubha Mudgal who was accompanied by tabla maestro and classical harmonium player Aneesh Pradhan and Sudhir Nayak respectively. The evening saw the celebration of this book and of Professor Hawley's meticulous scholarship. This was followed by a brief presentation by the author and conversation and remarks on the books from eminent panelists including Ms. V. Mohini Giri - Chairperson, Guild of Service and Ma Dham Ashram; Mr. Rimpesh Sharma - Director, InGenious Studio and Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir; and Ms. Vishnupriya Goswami - Jai Singh Ghewra, Vrindavan. This book is about a deeply beloved place - many call it the spiritual capital of India. Located at a dramatic bend in the River Yamuna, a hundred miles from the center of Delhi, Vrindavan is the spot where the god Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood and youth. For Hindus, it has always stood for youth writ large. Now, though, the world is gobbling up Vrindavan. Half the town is a vast real-estate development - and the waters of the Yamuna are too polluted to drink or even bathe in. Temples now style themselves as theme parks, and the world's tallest religious building is under construction in Krishna's pastoral paradise. Professor Hawley's book is based on over forty years of visiting and working in Vrindavan, especially the last decade and a half, when it became clear that the town was being dramatically, perhaps irreversibly, transformed. His talk is structured, in part, as a walk through this startling new landscape, evoking questions about the town's status as a heritage landmark.

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Oxford University Press Launches Krishnas Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century - United News of India

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Women’s sojourn to India proves to be trip of a lifetime – Pamplin Media Group

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Looking for an adventure near or far? Lori Faren can be your guide. Start stateside by taking part in her Transformation 2020 project.

What was promoted as a Women's Wellness Journey turned out to be the trip of a lifetime for 10 women last November. Led by local health and wellness expert Lori Faren of Lake Oswego, the women ranged in ages from 40 to mid-70s, and came from Canada, the U.S., Australia and the U.K. Among the adventurers were Lake Oswego residents Joan Robbins and Erlin Taylor.

Faren was inspired to lead the women's group after she traveled to India with her father in 2018.

"We took a 28-day tour of India," she said. Organized by Bestway Tours and Safari, Faren's trip with her father proved to be a wonderful experience for them both. Faren's glowing blogs of the tour prompted Bestway to ask her if she would like to host a tour of her own.

"It was great to do this with my dad, but I thought, 'wouldn't it be fun to take a group of women?'" she said. She took what she enjoyed most from the original tour visiting textile centers, eating Indian cuisine, attending cultural events and taking yoga classes and curated a special tour of activities.

"Bestway has offices in New Delhi which allows them to take a hands-on approach in selecting only the best activities, accommodations and guides," Faren said. "They have been a specialist in unforgettable India tours for more than 38 years."

The women on her tour were of different abilities, stamina and interests. Faren said only a few knew each other before the tour began. One woman from Toronto learned about the tour via a Facebook ad; three women from Connecticut came together, then invited a childhood friend from Australia to join them; Robbins and Taylor had learned about the tour from Faren via Trainer's Club where Faren teaches yoga. From around the globe they bonded quickly for their adventure in spiritual India.

The tour included four different yoga experiences at ancient monuments; an intimate cooking class with a local family; attending the annual Pushkar Camel Fair; visits to the textile weavers at Varanasi; and a visit to Rishikesh in Northern India, where the English rock band the Beatles trained in advanced Transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, also known as the Yoga Capitol of the World. They enjoyed floating down the Ganges River, accompanied by sitar and drum. They also visited an elephant and tiger sanctuary and carpet weaving centers.

"We stayed in beautiful four- and five-star hotels," Faren said. "And used 10 different modes of transportation: airplane, train, bus, tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw), rickshaw, bicycle, ferry, small boat, camel, elephant and Jeep."

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise, and again in full moonlight.

"It glows in the moonlight," Faren said. "They allow just 250 people in to view each night, about 50 people each half-hour. And it is viewing only, no photos. The security (level) was high."

Other highlights included visiting a spice market, attending a dance performance after being dressed in colorful saris, and shopping for unique Indian crafts such as marble tabletops, rugs, scarves and jewelry.

For the most part the women enjoyed the foods, noting they were all fresh foods made from scratch in a farm-to-table manner.

"I was struck by the dedication the Indians have to wellness and religion," said Taylor, when asked how the trip had changed her perspective.

In India, yoga focuses on the self first, Faren explained.

"There is a difference here: is it exercise or yoga? Exercise you repeat over and over, but with yoga you hold (the pose) and maintain one position," she said. "It is much more meditative, you following the breathing."

At the time of the interview the women had been back in the country for less than a week, and Faren was planning to survey the group for what might be next.

"Traveling with women is really special," she said. "This was a lovely trip for me, and we all bonded."

Faren is an expert in fitness, nutrition and personal growth with a passion for guiding others in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She is a certified World Beauty Fitness and Fashion pro and is the resident health expert on Portland's KATU Channel 2.

You can learn more about her and upcoming tours online at


Join Lori Faren for Transformation 2020

Lori Faren invites all to turn your New Year's resolutions inside out by participating in Transformation 2020, running Feb. 6 through March 5. With Elizabeth Borcelli, an ICF Certified Professional Coach, she is offering a two-part live workshop and online community for lifestyle results that last. The live sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and March 5 at Stafford Hills Club, 5916 SW Nyberg Road, Tualatin. Whether your goal involves wellness, personal or career growth, these women will share their resources, support and community to get you there. Price is $80. Register online at

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Women's sojourn to India proves to be trip of a lifetime - Pamplin Media Group

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