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Archive for the ‘Sri Aurobindo’ Category

Top 5 of the day11 November 2019, Vacancies TRIFED, ISRO, South Central Railway, WBHRB and other organizations – Jagran Josh

Posted: November 15, 2019 at 2:44 pm

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If you are preparing for the government job then you should look at these top 5 government jobs announced today, 11 November 2019, for more than 5800+ vacancies in different departments and institutions. Yes, TRIFED, ISRO, South Central Railway, WBHRB, Sri Aurobindo College have released these government jobs for aspirants. If you are preparing for government jobs then these recruitment notifications are very crucial for you and you can apply for these posts before its last date of application.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) has invited applications for the Group A, B and C posts. The eligible persons can apply for the posts through the online mode on or before 30 November 2019.

ISRO-Satish Dhawan Space CentreSHAR has invited applications for recruitment to the post of Technician/Draughtsman B. Interested candidates can apply to the posts through the prescribed format on or before 29 November 2019.

South Central Railway has published the recruitment notification for the post of Apprentice. More than 4000 vacancies are available under various trades including AC Mechanic, Carpenter, Fitter, Electrician, Welder, Diesel Mechanic etc. Online applications are invited for South Central Railway Apprentice Recruitment 2019. Eligible and interested candidates can apply for the post online through South Central Railway website on or before 08 December 2019.

West Bengal Health Recruitment Board (WBHRB) has invited applications for recruitment to the post of General Duty Medical Officer, Block Medical Officer of Health. Interested candidates can apply to the posts through the prescribed format on or before 15 November 2019.

Sri Aurobindo College, Delhi University has invited applications for recruitment to the post of Assistant Professor. Interested candidates can apply to the posts through the prescribed format on or before 27 November 2019.

TRIFED Recruitment 2019 for 86 Group A, B and C Posts

ISRO SDSC SHAR Recruitment 2019: 90 Vacancies for Technician/Draughtsman B Posts, Apply by 29 Nov

South Central Railway Recruitment 2019 for 4103 Apprentice Posts, Apply Online

WBHRB Recruitment 2019: 1497 Vacancies Notified for GDMO and BDMOHs Posts, Apply Online from 15 Nov

Sri Aurobindo College DU Recruitment 2019 for 77 Assistant Professor Posts, Apply Online by 27 Nov

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Top 5 of the day11 November 2019, Vacancies TRIFED, ISRO, South Central Railway, WBHRB and other organizations - Jagran Josh

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Temple is a body, Ram an eternal ideal – Observer Research Foundation

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Much blood has flowed, tears too. Many insecurities have drowned, fears too. Enough political capital has been wasted, narratives too. Abundant inter-religious divisions have been created, riots and killings too. The 491-year-long religious battle behind, the three-decade-old political skirmish resolved, the victory for what had degenerated into a property dispute in hand, and the supremacy of the Constitution established, it is now time for India to live the ideals that Ram stood for.

If we are to examine avatars from the prism of spiritual goals, Rams transformative role was to deliver to the world the ideal of sattwa through action. Unlike the next avatar Krishna, Ram neither gave any spiritual discourse nor announced to the world his avatarhood. His role was to live like a man and raise men towards the sattva ideal through his actions, sacrifice, valour, justice and above all, love. Actions were his teachings, victory a legacy. At the point society then stood, Ram delivered the highest ideal by slaying Ravan and establishing Ram Rajya.

Rams business was to fix for the future the possibility of an order proper to the sattwic civilised human being who governs his life by the reason, the finer emotions, morality or at least moral ideals, such as truth, obedience, cooperation and harmony, the sense of humour, the sense of domestic and public order, to establish this in a world still occupied by anarchic forces, the Animal Mind and the powers of the vital Ego making its own satisfaction the rule of life, wrote Sri Aurobindo. Rama and Sita are the ideals of the Indian nation, Swami Vivekananda said in a 31 January 1900 lecture.

Taking that as a civilisational context, the battle for a plot of land measuring 2.77 acres seems statistically insignificant. But before the force of faith that sees the timeless, spaceless eternal in a holy premises, this small plot of land had become one of the central points of division between Hindus and Muslims over centuries and in a formal court of law over decades. With the Supreme Court finally ruling favour of Hindus, but with caveats that include giving Muslims a 5 acre plot to build a mosque in Ayodhya, we hope this clash of political religiosity, is behind us.

The five-judge verdict comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, next Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and justices Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer is unanimous. Spread over 1,045 pages, this has been one of the most closely-watched judgments and will be among the most closely-tracked orders of the Supreme Court over the next few decades. The scope for error and hence a revision, therefore, is limited. Judicial orders are technical and pivot around points of law and the Constitution, and hence, this judgement will set a precedence for future disputes on and around properties of faith.

Apart from the order per se, we laud the administrative planning between Gogoi and the government of Uttar Pradesh. Sensitive to potential troublemakers who could enflame peoples, the two institutions, the judiciary and the state executive, took pre-emptive measures to prevent violence. At the time of writing, we see no flashpoints. Hopefully, there will be none going forward. We also commend the maturity of political parties, all of which are standing firmly behind the judgement.

Above all, we see the rise of a mature India, a society that has been honed to peace on the hot anvil of religious violence, a nation worthy of the time. No triumphalism, no victory marches, no needling by Hindus. No violence, no threats, no anguish by Muslims. A general sense of peace and calm prevails that tell us that we are more than what the media headlines expect, that we can surprise ourselves in what cynics see as the most dire crisis of faith. Exhausted by years of suspicion and fighting, perhaps we are turning a new leaf in Hindu-Muslim relations, a leaf that the rest of the world could emulate.

There is dissonance, of course. But barring stray comments by political leaders, it is not coming from Muslims. The source of this frustration is the predictable Left-illiberal ecosystem. Already a diminishing ideology and receiving only contempt and whataboutary with every tweet, Leftist ideologues are attacking not merely the judgement but the Supreme Court itself. In their minds, the judicial process works only when a verdict is in their favour. Not for them the multiple hues of democracy where among other things, finally we argue differences out in a court of law and bow before the majesty of law. In a civilisation that stands high above suffocating Left-Right-Centre boxes of Western thought, this ecosystem is best ignored. Stepping back, we see this group of people and their ideology expressions of tamasic forces that have been and continue to weaponise victimhood.

Irrespective, having won this long-drawn battle that has sucked out the energies of several faith warriors, the arc of action is now in the hands of Hindus. How they behave and what they do with this victory will decide the future course of India. Having fought for Ram, they need to follow Ram. Had the verdict been in favour of Muslims, Hindus should have embraced sacrifice and walked away, like Ram did, when asked to forego the kingdom and live in the forest for 14 years by his father. Along with Sita and Lakshman, as Ram walked into the forests, away from the luxuries of palace life, he didnt look back, harboured no regrets. A sattwic detachment guided his actions.

Winning the case, however, has placed the yoke of morality on the shoulders of Hindus. And as Ram bhakts they need to follow their faith. Despite defeating Ravan and killing him in battle, Ram installed Ravans brother Vibhishan as the king of Sri Lanka. He neednt have. Nobody would have raised any question had he taken charge of the kingdom. But driven by the sattwic ideal of righteousness and justice, Ram did what he did. No great discourse, no lecture. A simple act decided the course of the island nations future. He handed the throne to Ravans brother and flew to Ayodhya. Again, Ram didnt look back and despite a spectacular victory, remained detached in sattwa.

To complete this judicial-physical win and turn it into a moral-religious victory, Hindus must learn from and follow Ram. If the Muslim leaders agree, for instance, Hindus could help build their mosque. They could help finance it. They could participate in several ways and celebrate its completion. All this without the smallest political grandstanding. Simple actions, silently executed would go a long way in not merely imparting dignity to the victory but even creating a virtuous cycle of Hindu-Muslim unity, a model for 21st century India.

This would mean the people shunning vested political interests from both communities. Politics in the area of religion has repeatedly proven to be a tool that has short-changed the people. Religion in the premises of politics has failed to harmonise collective interests. On the contrary, political religiosity has created rifts and fed on and profited from them. It is perhaps time to reverse the cycle. That is, allow the sattwa ideal in individuals each being harbours some aspect of sattwa within to engage one another and create a new and harmonious India. From that sattwic ideal, that unity, that spiritual oneness will emerge Indias 21st century Ram Rajya.

Finally, we see the pyres of hatred and a potential rebirth of an aspired-for harmony. Now that the people have shown the maturity that political leaders ought to have had in the first place, perhaps politics will follow through and pick up the pieces of destruction physical and psychological and rebuild the nation as per the new will of the people. The people are done with faith-based, religion-driven lives of mutual suspicion. We look at this verdict as the beginning of new political alignments in tune with a new India.

The temple is a body, Ram an eternal ideal. The body in control, now embrace that sattwic ideal.

The views expressed above belong to the author(s).

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Temple is a body, Ram an eternal ideal - Observer Research Foundation

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November 15th, 2019 at 2:44 pm

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Amruta Patil on forests and the making of her graphic novel ‘Aranyaka’ – Livemint

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To know if a tale is worth its weight in gold, check if it reveals itself threefold. In your bloodstream. In the town square. In the turning of galaxies," Amruta Patil writes early on in Adi Parva: Churning Of The Ocean (2013), her graphic retelling of the Mahabharata. It is tempting to recall these words as we enter the world of her new work, Aranyaka: Book Of The Forest, in which the story and art are by Patil, based on concepts suggested by best-selling writer and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik.

As the subtitle points out, Aranyaka unfolds in the primal setting of the forest, a remote and dangerous realm in the imagination of most city-dwellers. But contemporary readers will feel the pulse of the story in their bloodstream. From gender politics to man-animal conflict to appropriation of forest land, issues that have brought people out on Indias streets in recent times run through its pages. These themes, while urgent and relevant in 21st century India, also hark back to the Vedic Age (1500-500 BC), forging a link between our historic past and immediate present.

The story is told in Patils inimitable style. The lines roll out with a poetic cadence, crisp and, at times, cryptic. There are acute insights into life in the wild (Creepers bloom with great urgency when they sense a future of scarcity"). Unlike the mixed media and collage that defined her earlier work, Patil uses watercolour and soft pencils in Aranyaka. The effect is gentle on the eye, dark and dreamy.

The singularity of the book is amplified by Pattanaiks role in it. While his social media personality may seem abrasive and brusque, his ideas are obviously shot through with gold. The man isnt the tyrant people assume he is", Patil assured me when we spoke on email, followed by a Skype call, two weeks ago.

It all started a few years ago, when Pattanaik met Patil with a proposal. He wanted to do a handbook of concepts tentatively called A Vedic Truth. One illustrated concept per page," says Patil. To that end, he had a checklist." Akash (sky), agni (fire), bhaya (panic), kama (desire), and so on. An extended version of this list appears in an index to Aranyaka. But rather than a straightforward concept book", Patil offered to write a parable. She picked her cues from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (nine-six century BC), particularly from the story of Yajnavalkya, the great scholar of Advaita philosophy, and his two wivesthe sensual and earthy Katyayani, and the austere and cerebral Maitreyi (in the Mahabharata, Maitreyi appears in a different avatar, as a young, unmarried philosopher). Pattanaik saw the merit in the project, and their affinity set Aranyaka on its way.

Patil and Pattanaik had known and admired each others work for some years, before they became friends at a TED conference in Mysuru in 2009. I approached Amruta (with the idea of what became Aranyaka) because I am a fan of her graphic novel Kari, which made me deeply experience the love and loneliness of Indian urban life," Pattanaik says in a note (co-written by Patil and him) on the making of Aranyaka at the end of the book. I needed someone who was a seeker but not overwhelmed by tradition."

What began life as abstract ideas laid out in bullet points by Pattanaik on A4 paper in 2016 morphed into something rich and strange three years later. A handbook of hard concepts turned into a layered, highly subtle graphic novel about food, feeding, fear, exchange and love," as Patil puts it. Slowly, the cast acquired depth and definition. Yajnavalkya became Y, Maitreyi was first shortened to M, then to the Fig". Only Katyayani remained who she was, a woman with a voluptuous body and insatiable appetite. I am Katyayani the Large," she says unabashedly at the start of the book. The warp of my story has always been hunger."

Katyayani reconstructs for the reader an origin story, before life dawned on Earth (Even the gods came later"). As species populated land and water, an inevitable struggle arose, in which the fittest survived. Thus the law of the wild was established. Over time, the forests taught human beings their rules of civility, the art of hunting and gathering, and the ethos of living and letting live.

Katyayanis excommunication from her villagefor eating food that was offered to the godsinto the heart of aranya schools her in the ways of the land. Left to fend for herself, she learns to forage and sift the edible from the poisonous. Finding sources of water proves an even bigger challenge than securing food. In the course of her wanderings, she gradually becomes aware of the ruthless, unsentimental force that is the forest. Human laws are meaningless here. Aranya doesnt mind you alive, it doesnt mind you dead," she realizes. In fact, it doesnt care one way or the other. Here, I wasnt Katyayani the Large, but predator, prey, ally, rival, mate."

Indias first woman graphic novelist, Patil made her debut with Kari (2008), a book that remains one of its kind. Having grown up in Goa, she studied art there, and later in the US, before working in advertising in Mumbai. Kari, set in that city, follows the fortunes of an androgynous woman working in an advertising agency who is in love with Ruth. Part-flneuse, part-seeker, Kari is the archetypal misfit. Her love for Ruth is doomed; her friend Angel is dying; Kari cannot reciprocate the affections of Lazarus, who is smitten by her. Instead, Kari wants her breasts to go away, look like Chow Yun-fat, and insists on a 2mm buzz cut" even as the hairdresser warns her, Madam, face looking boy type."

The protagonist of Kari emerged before the book in its existing form did. She was my significantly-cooler alter ego," Patil says. Later, in the aftermath of a big love affair collapsing, I fused traits of my ex with Karis. The fusional narcissism of young love: together forever in literary posterity, if not in real life!" In pre-Pride, pre-Tinder India, when desires were still policed under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the story was far ahead of its time. It was at once a howl and a self-deprecating chucklea baby book of baby curves," Patil says.

In 2014, Patil moved to France (I have had an equation with France since 2009," she adds) and, with that, towards a different mode of avant-garde. She wrote a duology", retelling the story of the Mahabharata through the voices of two sutradharsthe ones that hold the thread of the narrativewho are both outliers. The first volume was narrated by Ganga; the next from the point of view of Ashwatthama. Finishing the duology took long years of solitary labour. And although Aranyaka brought in the excitement of collaboration, it wasnt all smooth sailing either.

There was, of course, the distance between Patils life in Angoulme, France, and Pattanaiks in Mumbai. But more crucially, there was also the difference in their temperaments. Devdutt does four books a year, I do one book in four years. He likes 12-noon bright-light type of clarity of communication. I trust allusion, ambivalence, things that do not reveal themselves immediately. Hes urban, effortlessly smooth in professional settings, I am a small-town girl who gets anxious in malls and stricken by imposter syndrome at literary soirees. Hes logical-analytical and pattern-seeking, I am all healthy gut-flora and intuition," Patil says. We are both about loyalty, though, and about trying to understand the world rather than sit in judgement on it. I joke that he isnt allowed to release a book called How To Become Rich one week before Aranyaka without ensuring some of that stardust rubs off on to long-suffering collaborators!"

The two argued over terms like surrender" and gratitude". There was some sulking on Patils part, she adds, over sensuous visual details being curbed to make the book troll-safe", a valid concern given the sensitivities about Hindu culture in contemporary India. Its a good time to be taking lore backas if it was anyones to hijack in the first placebut I would have been doing this regardless of what epoch I was in," Patil says. The sociopolitical clime became thin-skinned and paranoid, but I had been at my desk for many years already."


In the history of South Asia, forests often exist as idealized spaces of retreat. Scriptures and epics speak of sages retiring to the jungles to meditate and attain enlightenment. Kings and householders went there to spend the third phase of their lives, vanaprastha, far from the temptation of earthly desires. In contrast to this voluntary exile, being banished to the forest is an injunction in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In both texts, the forest is filled with monsters and ogres, but also offers vital lessons.

In epics across the world (be they stories told by the Nordic people, the Celts or Mesopotamians or Greeks or people from the Indian sub-continent), the forest is a limin, a space between things," wrote classical scholar and translator Arshia Sattar, in an essay in The Indian Quarterly last year. More correctly, it is a space of transition, often a boundary or a threshold."

The ambivalent potential of the forest is a familiar idea in Patils Parva duology, especially in Sauptik: Blood And Flowers (2016). In it, Patil shows Dronacharya, the royal preceptor, training the Pandava and Kaurava princes in the art of war, while also passing on to them the secrets of flora and fauna. After years of being (in the forest), if a fool still dies eating a poisonous berry, Id say he deserves his fate," he tells his pupils, teaching them poultices, tinctures, the minds and hearts of herbs". The forests in the epics were not merely terrains filled with hazards and overrun with savages. They also embodied a form of civilization in themselves.

This awareness of forests is essential to appreciate Hindu philosophy but is conspicuous by its absence in all Upanishadic commentaries we read since the 19th century. Its because (around that time) we are responding to colonial powers and Christian mythology, where nature is again conspicuous by its absence," Pattanaik says. Christianity is essentially an urban religionit sees the village as the site of the pagan. Thus we find a general disdain for the forest: It is chaos to be controlled. And that has shaped the development agenda."

Modern, industrialized societies owe their existence to the taming of wilderness. From the days of the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas burnt down the Khandava Vana to establish their capital Indraprastha, to the cutting of over 2,000 trees in Mumbais Aarey forest for a Metro car depot in 21st century India, there is an unbroken tradition of wiping out forest land for the sake of progress". But nature extracts its revenge. This year alone, California has seen over 160,000 acres of land burn down in wildfires caused by natural and man-made forces.

If aranya heaves with unconcealed wrath, it also dazzles with its beauty. So irresistible is the call of the wild that even after Katyayani settles down in domesticity with Y, she finds herself a grove, where, away from the comforts of home, she begins to notice trees and stars, bugs and beetles again. All day long she tills the land and tends to her kitchen, but in the evenings she retreats into this secret garden.

The forest, for Katyayani, is as much of a refuge as it was for Shakuntala, who was born and reared there in a hermitage. King Dushyanta meets Shakuntala while on a hunt with his entourage. As historian Romila Thapar points out in akuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories (2002), A series of contrasting settings frames the scenes: the ferocity of the hunt, the gentle calm of the hermitage, each presenting a different face of nature, of the forest, the aranya." This onslaught on nature" by Dushyanta, Thapar says, presages his violent rejection of Shakuntala, who is the daughter of nature, when she goes to the city to claim his love.

A similar fate also befalls Sita in the Ramayana. If the forest around Chitrakoot, where she spends 13 years with Rama and Lakshmana, brings her joy, its also where she is abducted. In Ashoka Vana in Ravanas Lanka, the forest becomes a place of darkness and despair for her. Finally, sent by Rama for no fault of hers to live in Valmikis forest, she feels loved and protected again.

Retold through the ages, the fascination with Sita story endures: Sitas Ramayana (2012) by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar, Pattanaiks The Girl Who Chose: A New Way Of Narrating The Ramayana (2016), Amit Majmudars Sitayana, Aditya Iyengars Bhumika: A Story Of Sita (2019)examples abound. But the most compelling among the recent retellings is Chitra Banerjee Divakarunis The Forest Of Enchantments (2019).

As the title indicates, the novel focuses on Sitas life in the junglefirst with Rama and Lakshmana and, later, under Ravanas watch in Ashok Vana in Lanka. The forest is a crucial space of change, discovery and growth for Sita," Divakaruni says. This seems right to me, given that she is Bhumija, or daughter of the earth. In many ways, the forest, representing the unknown and raw power of nature, is opposed, or complementary, to the city, with its human civilization and laws." The forest, in a sense, is not only a physical space of conflict but also a psychological battleground, forcing individuals to make hard choices that often lead to woe and misfortune. This truth plays out in the Ramayana as Sita, bewitched by Maricha disguised as a golden deer, convinces Rama to go in its pursuit.

Mind and matter

The key conflict in Aranyaka is also between the blindly instinctive body and the rational logic of the mind. Katyayani discovers Y during her peregrinations through the forest in an anthill. An ascetic who left his guru to seek his own path following the almighty sun as his guide, Y is pulled out of his abstinence by Katyayani. Her voracious appetite for food, and for sex, softens his hard edges. Y begins to the enjoy physical play over mental exertions , but also resents the distractions. He upbraids Katyayani periodically for her lack of interest in the intellect and utter immersion in the pleasures of the body.

There are Ys around us everywhere, otherwise remarkable people who think that the only way to sagesse is by going beyond the body, by privileging the mind over the stomach, by renouncing rather than embracing the corporeal," says Patil. As Katyayani shows Y, as well as the pupils who come to him, the mind is but a feeble vessel if the body isnt sustained by nourishment. Recently, I read the story of Sri Aurobindos long-forgotten wife, Mrinalini, who had nothing uncommon about her (like Katyayani)," Patil adds. Mercifully, Aurobindo, whom no one can accuse of being anti-intellectual, recognized that those who use only their minds to grasp the nature of reality, have a far less intimate, immediate understanding of it." Patils own world view too is not based on the principle of either-or choosing one path over another.

Be it in the #MeToo movement or anything else, she is naturally suspicious of mass consensus, she tells me on Skype, preferring to reach her conclusions on a case-by-case basis, without being bullied". Her faith in her own judgement has led to some unconventional choices. I didnt need Draupadi to be my sutradhaar (in Sauptik) to prove my feminist cred," she says. People missed the point, but I thought it was far more interesting and subversive to talk about heroic or toxic masculinity via a broken, bleeding man like Ashwatthama."

Karthika V.K., who has edited and published all of Patils booksthe first three while she was at HarperCollins India, and now Aranyaka at Westlandaffirms her authors deep and quiet certitudes. Editing Amrutas work is a bit like editing film," she says. You have to closely attend to continuity of colour, background, the outward appearances of characters." It also involves asking many questions. More than I might ordinarily ask of other texts," says Karthika, because I want to ensure the reader will understand what shes trying to saythough I also know that shes probably thought about, and resolved, most of my concerns already."

The plot of Aranyaka, for instance, with its roots in realism, may seem clear as the light of day to readers, but like the forest, it is deceptive. From the interstices of its elegant frames and punchy lines, a thicket of meanings and metaphors begin to cast a web, making the book essential reading for our times, when opinions are increasingly etched in black and white, and shouted out to drown dissenting voices.

Patil isnt worried about adverse reactions to her work. Having spent most of the last decade in France, she is ready to return to India for some time now. India is the heart hotly pumping blood into my system. France was cool hibernation, hermitage. I needed them both for the work that happened so far," she says. I think its time for me to be in India more now."

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Amruta Patil on forests and the making of her graphic novel 'Aranyaka' - Livemint

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November 15th, 2019 at 2:44 pm

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Tagore, Satyarthi And 8 Other Nobel Winners Who Have Made India Proud – The Indian Connection – Economic Times

Posted: October 20, 2019 at 9:02 am

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India's association with the Nobel Prize goes back, across centuries and latitudes. Poet, writer and thinker Rabindranth Tagore brought glory to the country when he became the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize for the country. The 52-year-old Tagore was accorded the honour in 1913, 12 years after it made its debut.

Ever since, nine other laureates with an India connection have been conferred the prestigious award in various categories, Abhijit Banerjee being the latest.

There were a few famous names who were nominated several times, but failed to bag the award. While Indian poet Sri Aurobindo was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1943 and 1950, the committee had considered Mahatma Gandhi for the Peace Prize five times in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 & 1948 (days before his assassination).

Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel had drafted a will in 1895 where he reserved a large part of his estate to establish Nobel Prizes after concerns of how the world would remember him. He wanted the awards to be given to individuals (based on their achievements), annually, despite their nationality. He died in 1896.

It took nearly five years for the committee to set up, and the first set of awards for Physiology or Medicine, Chemistry, Literature, Physics and Peace were awarded in 1901. After 67 years, Sweden's central bank with donation from donation from the Nobel Foundation, established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1968.

Here's a look at all the Indians who brought honour to the nation.

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Tagore, Satyarthi And 8 Other Nobel Winners Who Have Made India Proud - The Indian Connection - Economic Times

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October 20th, 2019 at 9:02 am

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Why is the Indian National Congress un-Indian? – PGurus

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Congress and the UPA have caused more damage to Indian polity, society and economy as compared to the damage England cause to India between 1600 and 1947.

Why is the Sonia Gandhi-controlled Congress destroying India socially, culturally, economically and politically; undermining the countrys democratic and constitutional institutions; and weakening the Indian State itself? This is the question which most people have started asking following the recent meeting between UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Indian Overseas Congress leaders in London and what Corbyn said about what transpired during the meet through a tweet. Corbyns tweet read like this: A very productive meeting with UK representatives from the Indian Congress Party where we discussed the human rights situation in Kashmir. There must be de-escalation and an end to the cycle of violence and fear which has plagued the region for so long.

The answer to the questions being asked and raised by the concerned Indians about the Congress intentions is simple and straight. The Congress was not founded by the Indians for achieving freedom from imperialist Great Britain, which started interfering in the political affairs of India and exploiting the Indian weaknesses and natural resources through the canny, notorious and barbarous East India Company in 1600 A.D.

Between 1885 and 1947, the Congress served as a safety-valve for the Indian discontent. It was no more than annual forum whose deliberations were given what certain leading historians call exaggerated significance.

What happened in India between 1600 and 1857 in general and 1858 and 1885, in particular, is too well known to students of Indian history and, hence, no need to recapitulate. Suffice to say that the British imperialists devised and implemented policies calculated to

(1) consolidating and expanding their rule in India;

(2) dividing the Indian society on caste and communal lines;

(3) playing one prince/Nawab against the other;

(4) looting and plundering Indian resources and draining the Indian wealth;

(5) enriching the British economy;

(6) killing the indigenous Indian industry;

(7) pushing the outposts of the Empire further and further at the cost of the Indian exchequer;

(8) proving that their culture was superior, scientific and humane;

(9) conveying the feeling that the Indian culture and religion were responsible for the ills faced by the Indian society;

(10) creating a sense of inferiority complex among the Indians and inducing them to support the British in all matters;

(11) creating a class of loyalists among the Indians first in the shape of landlords and then the English educated Indians among the middle classes; and so on.

To be more precise, they followed a policy of divide and rule, coupled with a policy of brutal repression and reward, to accomplish their designs in India. They were successful. They ruled over India and exploited and persecuted the Indians with the help of the loyalists. Their whole policy was directed more by the British than by the Indian interests.

All this ended the patience of Indians, barring the loyalists, and made them seethe with anger. By 1885, it had become clear to British imperialists and exploiters that the situation would go out of control anytime and it had become imperative to set up an organisation in India with the help of English educated Indians so that they could avert the impending disaster before it was too late. The first initiative was taken by retired British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume. According to Sir William Wedderburn, Humes colleague and biographer, and Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab, the reason that prompted Hume to establish an organisation was his anxiety to save India from disruption. Wedderburn, who became the first chairman of the British Committee of the Indian National Congress, formed in 1889 in London, and remained in that post till the end of his life, candidly acknowledged that Hume knew that the existing government administered by foreign officials on autocratic lines was dangerously out of touch with the people and there was an imminent danger of a violent revolt which might endanger British rule in India. It bears recalling that Hume had worked in Assam as district collector for years and he knew what was going on beneath the surface.

Anxious, alarmed and religiously committed to London as he was, Hume first held discussions with the then Conservative Governor-General and Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin and then Conservative Secretary of State for India and Marquess of Salisbury Lord Randolph Churchill. Humes views were appreciated and he was given a free hand to take the required steps. His efforts succeeded in roping in 72 English educated Indians hailing from different parts of the country and the result was the foundation of Indian National Congress in December 1885 at Bombay (now Mumbai). The clear objective was to puncture and defeat the ongoing Indian freedom struggle against the British with the help of some influential and moderate western-educated Indians like W C Bonnerjee, who believed in British sense of justice. Bonnerjee presided over the first session of the Congress.

Between 1885 and 1947, the Congress served as a safety-valve for the Indian discontent. It was no more than annual forum whose deliberations were given what certain leading historians call exaggerated significance. Indeed, there were leaders in the Congress who were genuinely committed to the cause of the country, but they were just odd faces in the party whose views were never considered. Take, for example, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sri Aurobindo Ghose, Bepin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, who represented new Spirit, and Subhas Chandra Bose and their fate. Those who controlled the Congress organisation did not allow these great leaders to influence Congresss policy, which they rightly termed as policy of political mendicancy. The Congress split at Surat (Gujarat) in 1907 was the immediate fall-out of a conflict between the British-guided official Congress and truly nationalists like Bal, Pal and Lal. Earlier, on December 1905, when tempers were running high in the country following the partition of Bengal, President of the Benaras Congress Gopal Krishna Gokhale said while delivering his presidential address: For better, for worse, our destinies are now linked with those of England and the Congress freely recognises that whatever advance we seek must be within the empire itself.

As for Bose, he left the Congress in 1939 to found Forward Block so that he could fight for the independence of India the way he liked. He left the Congress because he defeated M K Gandhis candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya in the 1939 presidential election. Bose had won the election for the second time in a row hands-down and commenting on the defeat of Sitaramayya, Gandhi had said that Sitaramayyas defeat was my personal defeat. Earlier in December 1928 at Calcutta (now Kolkata), Gandhi and the loyalists had opposed Subhass amendment to Motilal Nehru reports Dominion Status goal and called for immediate reiteration of the complete independence objective.

Gandhi dumb-founded the nation by withdrawing the movement at a time when the people had brought the British Government to its knees and it appeared that freedom was round the corner.

The Congress under the leadership and guidance of Gandhi did engineer three movements Non-cooperation Movement (1920-February 1922), Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934) and Quit India Movement (1942), but all ended in a fiasco because the Congress leadership never wanted to take things too far. In February 1922, Gandhi unilaterally withdrew the Non-cooperation Movement on the ground that an army pensioner Bhagwan Ahir and his associates burned alive 22 policemen in a police station at Chauri Chaura, Gorakhpur. Ahir and his associates were not Congressmen. Nor were they part of the Non-cooperation Movement. They had taken recourse to violence after the police had beaten up Ahir and then opened fire indiscriminately on the people who had come to lodge a strong protest in front of the police station. Gandhi dumb-founded the nation by withdrawing the movement at a time when the people had brought the British Government to its knees and it appeared that freedom was round the corner.

The Civil Disobedience Movement, which was started with much fanfare with Gandhi as its leader to attain Purna Swaraj also ended in a complete failure, notwithstanding the fact that people made supreme sacrifices for the cause of Purna Swaraj. But the Congress under Gandhi took no time in changing the goal post. In fact, Gandhi just gave an 11-point memorandum to Governor-General Lord Irwin which did not demand any change in the existing politico-constitutional structure, not even Dominion Status.

Remember, between 1928 and 1929, Gandhi had opposed those calling for another round of all-India mass struggle aimed explicitly at complete political emancipation. Gandhi rejected outright the snap independence resolution, which had been passed in his absence at the Madras session of the Congress on December 1927, and at Calcutta in December 1928, Gandhi pushed through a compromise formula that accepted Dominion Status objective provided London granted it by the end of 1929, failing which the Congress would be within its right to start Civil Disobedience for attaining Purna Swaraj. That fact of the matter is that the Civil Disobedience Movement did not achieve anything for India in the real sense of the term. India only got the Government of India act 1935 which even a liberal like C Y Chintamani described as anti-India Act.

As for the Quit India Movement, which was started in August, less said the better. The common people did make a splendid contribution to the movement ignoring the threat to their life and limb for the cause but the movement led India nowhere. The British defeated the half-hearted movement in just five months without much difficulty and London did not face any real political challenge from the Congress till August 15, 1947, when the British quit India, not because the Congress did anything great but because of three other factors pressure from below in India, international situation and the internal situation in England. It would not be out of place to mention here that Gandhi had declared in 1940 that we do not seek our independence out of Britains ruins. He made this statement in the wake of the Second World War which started in 1939. Gandhis line was inconsistent with line of Bose who wanted to strike as England was involved in the war elsewhere.

All this should prove that Congress never ever challenged England. On the contrary, it acted in a manner that always helped the British. Just compare the British social, economic, religious and political policies evolved in England and implemented in India with the policies devised and implemented by the Sonia Congress-led UPA between 2004 and 2014 and you would find no fundamental difference between them. In fact, the Congress and the UPA have caused more damage to Indian polity, society and economy as compared to the damage England cause to India between 1600 and 1947.

It would not be undesirable if one may say that the Congress is un-Indian.

Note:1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Hari Om is former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jammu.

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Why is the Indian National Congress un-Indian? - PGurus

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October 20th, 2019 at 9:02 am

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In the next five years our goal is to establish as the best private university in India: Sachin Gupta – Elets

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In conversation with Elets News Network, Sachin Gupta, Chancellor, Sanskriti University, Mathura shared the several initiatives that will raise the Institution to the status of top 10 private universities on all key parameters, making incredible progress at a quick pace.

Tell us the mission and vision of your esteemed university?

The mission of Sanskrtiti University is Excellence in Life and vision is to create ultimate destination for world class education. We understand the task is difficult enough but we believe in Henry Fords saying When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

In this rat race of emulating competitors, what are the prominent challenges that Sanskriti University is faced with?

While there is mushrooming of University but the fact is that majority are the clone of one another which make no real competition. Sanskriti does not believe in emulating competitors rather competitors should follow Sanskriti. Sanskriti is not in rat race because it has created a niche area for itself where there is not much crowding. In fact, Sanskriti itself is its nearest competitor.

What are some of the innovations being introduced at your institution to improve learning outcomes among the students?

Sanskriti understands that Idea is the most priceless possession and Innovation is the key to survive, sustain and succeed.

Innovation starts in Sanskriti University with the conceiving of idea of a different class of university that, from the beginning, implement structured syllabus based on Choice based Credit Based System and Outcome based Learning which is validated by industry partner including MSME, PPDC, Agra.

Sanskriti is the first university in India which has conceptualized, innovated and implemented IIIE (Innovation, Incubation, IPR and Entrepreneurship) Cell which has subsequently become a bench mark for other universities to follow.

With the legacy of Sanskriti University on your shoulders, how do you plan to take this forward in the coming times? What are the future initiatives in the higher education sphere?

Sanskriti University believes in Excellence thinking as well as in action. Sanskriti has explored the best education system, the best practices, garnered support from best academic and industrial collaborators from India and abroad, conceptualized the system and progress is monitored by a group of eminent visionary educators, invested in best infrastructure, the most knowledgeable and inspiring faculty team and ascertained the best academic environment for the students to excel.

Sanskriti considers this university is a Sanctum Sanctorum (holiest of holy places) and every member of the Sanskriti family discharges his/her responsibilities with utmost devotion and sincerity and accomplishes the assigned tasks with great degree of finesse. With its vision to be a world class knowledge enterprise striving for academic and professional excellence in technical education, research, service to the industry and society, Sanskriti University has been truly working to achieve excellence in life in the best manner possible.

We believe our continued aspiration for excellence and create culture for the best will take a long way to achieve our Mission and Vision.

With placement of students becoming a yardstick to evaluate a universitys status, what has been your achievement level in the context?

The institute recognizes the importance of employability (not just placements) and hence curriculum is designed in consultation with corporate leaders to ensure that students get industry-oriented teaching and become job ready as and when they pass out. Campus placement drives are conducted round the year for getting its students placed in reputed organizations with decent packages. In the last year, students have an offer of almost 1.4 jobs on an average with highest package of 11 lakhs and average salary of 3.6 lakhs per annum. It is no wonder that the students of this university are one of the most sought after candidates in job market.

Almost every other university is enjoying the fruits of collaboration, what initiatives have been taken by your university on this front?

In an attempt to establish itself as one of world class educational hub, the University has entered into collaboration and signed MOU with leading global universities like Help University (Malaysia). Cambridge University and University of North America (USA) for curriculum design & development and student & faculty exchange programme. University of Fredericton, Canada, EC Council University, USA, Colegio de Abogados, Argentina, Group-TQS of Chile, Universidad Abierta Interamericana, Argentina, University of California Riverside, USA, are a few International Universities with which we have entered into MOUs for student exchange, Faculty exchange as well as Research sharing.

Rubicon Skill Development Private Ltd. For skill based education, Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) for providing quality education to our students studying agriculture, ICAR- NBPGR, Government of India, MSME for setting up Centre of Excellence, MSME to run Center of Excellence (CoE) on Ecological Farming, Santhigiri Ashram for providing practice oriented education to our students studying Ayurveda. In addition , Sanskriti has entered into a collaboration with SAFIC ( a unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry) for conducting a course on Indian Culture.

In the national level, Institute has signed MOU with MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, Government of India) on Entrepreneurship Development, Centre of Excellence and Course curriculum validation, It is also empanelled as Project Institute with NIESBUD (National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development) with EDII (Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India) and NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network) for Entrepreneurship Development Programme and with CSTUP (Council of Science and Technology, Uttar Pradesh) for conducting Intellectual Property Right programme.

What steps have been undertaken for research-based learning by the university?

To cope up with todays fast changing VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world, the University is committed to creation, assimilation, dissemination of knowledge and practice and is no wonder that it is ranked as second in Research Capabilityby Times of India and regarded as one of the best promising and emerging University in India and preferred destination for budding students.

The faculty members are encouraged to publish papers in high impact factor research journals indexed and listed in SCI/SSCI/SCOPUS. Besides Sanskriti is publishing own research journal to create a culture of knowledge dissemination

Is there any other initiative taken by you in the Education Sector; you would like to share with us?

Sanskriti University prepares the students not as job hunters but as job creators and from the last year it has developed an innovative eco system in education which is built on four pillars of success- conceiving the new idea (Innovation), nurturing the new idea (Incubation), own the idea (apply for Intellectual property Rights) and commercialize the new idea (Entrepreneurship) and has established IIIE (Innovation, Incubation, IPR and Entrepreneurship) cell, which many of other higher educational institutes have started to follow

Within two years, we have been adjudged as the Best Emerging Private University in India. In next five years our goal is to establish us as Best Private University in India. In the ten years our goal is to establish us as the Best University in India.

On the Occasion of Foundation day, would like to know more about, how did the idea of Opening an Education Institute is evolved?

Although there is no dearth of education Institutes in India especially after the year 2008, but there is a real void in imparting real education to the aspiring students. Run of the mill education system are producing job seekers and adding plethora of students in job market instead of preparing students who are self confident and self reliant know what is to be known, learn what is to be learnt and can be the job creators.

Sanskriti Group of Institutions started with an unusual dream of an institution which will bring together the best of both worlds Indian philosophy and western technology to create Excellence in Life. The missionary zeal of the philanthropist young edupreneurs has made the dream come true and offered the aspiring students the ultimate destination for world class education the Sanskriti University.

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In the next five years our goal is to establish as the best private university in India: Sachin Gupta - Elets

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September 30th, 2019 at 6:49 pm

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Shopping for festive season in Delhi? Head to these exhibitions and pop-ups – Vogue India

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Come festive season, you dont really need to find another excuse to indulge in all your favourite things, whether its hanging out with your friends and family, fireworks, mithai or a whole lot of shopping. In fact, most families plan an annual shopping trip around this time to prep for all the upcoming festivitieswhich is probably why youll spot a number of exhibitions and pop-ups cropping up during this season too. If you live in Delhi, or are travelling there soon, weve curated an edit of all the places you need to visit for your retail fix, whether youre looking for clothes, jewellery, handicrafts or even home decor.

With over 300 exhibitors and 650 brands, the eighth edition of The Delhi Jewellery and Gem Fair will showcase everything from silver jewellery and diamonds to pearls and gemstones this year. As one of the most sought after exhibitions in the country, this is definitely the ideal platform to meet prime jewellers and suppliers, as well as importers and exporters.

When: Sep 28-30, 2019Where: Pragati Bhawan, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

If youre looking for the latest trends in prt and couture fashion, or shopping for accessories, home decor, or beauty and wellness products, this exhibition has it all. Organised and conceptualised by Ramola Bachchan, a renowned name in the exhibition industry, Runway Rising is showcasing collections from more than 130 Next Gen designers this year.

When: Sep 30, 2019Where: The Ashok Hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

A one-of-a-kind shopping experience that lets you buy ethnic wear from various designers at outlet prices, Warehouse by Mudita is back with a massive trunk show. The pop-up will showcase the work of famed Indian designers such as Gauri & Nainika, Tarun Tahiliani and Anita Dongre, among others. The silhouettes will be at 70 per cent off, so we suggest you get there as early as you can to avail the offers.

When: Sep 30, 2019Where: The Grand, Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

As you start blocking fates your calendar for all the parties and celebrations this festive, make sure youve put together a host of different looks for back-to-back events. At Diwali Fiesta, youll be able to do just that. Expect products ranging across apparel, footwear, bags, jewellery, home decor and more here.

When: Oct 4, 2019Where: Hyatt Regency, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

A fashion and lifestyle pop-up, you can find everything from festive outfits and accessories to home decor at discounted prices at The Sorbet Soiree. 45 designers, including Saburi, Musk Meadows, Amaltas and Summer by Priyanka Gupta, are showcasing this time.

When: Oct 11, 2019Where: Hyatt Regency, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

An annual holiday market run by the Blind School Association, this one is the go-to place for a festive shopper. Theres not just apparel, home decor and accessories, but the fair also has food, entertainment and art to offer. The best part? The chocolates, diyas and candles are handmade by the visually impaired.

When: Oct 18-24, 2019Where: Blind School Relief Association, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, New Delhi

Needless to say, the India International Trade Fair is one of the most sought after fairs in the country this time of the year. Apart from a wide range of products including apparel, accessories, decor, footwear and cosmetics, it also plays host to a variety of books and handicraft collections.

When: Nov 14-27, 2019Where: Pragati Bhawan, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

If youre looking for a high-end, contemporary arcade, Khan Market is definitely the place to be. With a line-up of designer boutiques ranging across apparel, accessories and home decor, it has everything you'll need to update your festive wardrobe. Head to the Anita Dongre or Ritu Kumar stores, AM:PM by Ankur & Priyanka Modi, Anokhi or Fabindia to plan your festive looks, and style them with accessories from Amrapali and Amethyst by Rahul Popli, among others. And dont forget to visit Good Earth store for home decor gifting options too. For accessories, theres Amrapali and Amethyst by Rahul Popli among other brands. In case youre someone who likes to shop till you drop, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to grab a quick post-shopping meal at too.

Where: Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi

An open-air craft bazaar, Dilli Haat is a must-visit shopping destination if youre in the capital. Featuring a wide array of handicrafts from artisans across the country, it offers everything from ethnic wear, bags, jewellery and footwear, to embroidered and woven fabrics, rugs, paintings and other home decor items. The stalls on display rotate every few days, so theres always more to look forward to. Dont miss out on the food plaza this season either.

Where: Sri Aurobindo Marg, Kidwai Nagar West, Kidwai Nagar, New Delhi

One of Delhis greenest and less-crowded patches, Santushti is loaded with a great collection of stores for ethnic wear and jewellery. The designer and apparel stores include Ranna Gill, Inchie Tape, Art Indus, Anokhi, Ogaan, Christina and more. Its a calm oasis if you need to be away from the city's hustle-bustle for a few hours to indulge in your festive shopping in peace.

Where: Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

This pop-up is bringing Sri Lankas emerging fashion scene to Mumbai

Conscious shoppers cant miss this designer pop-up at Fort Kochi

Pernia Qureshis online Pop-Up Shop makes its brick-and-mortar debut

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Shopping for festive season in Delhi? Head to these exhibitions and pop-ups - Vogue India

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September 30th, 2019 at 6:49 pm

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Shakespeare was Anwars best companion in jail, he says – Business Insider

Posted: September 26, 2019 at 11:42 am

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For 10-and-a-half long years, while jailed for alleged sodomy, Anwar Ibrahim was busy singing songs and reading.

The current Peoples Justice Party (PKR) president sustained himself on music and the musings of prolific writers and thinkers, such as French economistThomas Piketty known for his books onwealth and income inequality and international affairs expert and Singaporean academic Kishore Mahbubani, he revealed during a dialogue at the Milken Institutes Asia Summit in Singapore on Thursday (Sept 19).

Also on his reading list were titles by Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo, a politican-turned-yogi, andRussiannovelist FyodorDostoevsky who incidentally, also spent10 years in prison and exile, and whose books examine the human psyche.

Anwar, who joked that he had to include the Quran in the list to be politically correct, added that his favourite author while behind bars was none other than famed English playwrightWilliamShakespeare.

Shakespeare makes still the best companion, unrivalledin challenge, he said, adding that his extensive reading had taught him to be human, and humane.

(Reading taught me that) politics is just not about power, but about integrity, about legacy, about defending the rights of the people, the common man, he added.

Read also:20 years later, Dr Mahathir says he shouldnt have dealt with Anwar by complying fully with law

Anwar added that while he had lost precious time with his wife, children and grandchildren, he had chosen to forgive the gross injustice committed against him as needs of the nation took precedence over his personal suffering.

Calling himself a happy man, the prime minister-in-waiting said he could now talk about prison and even make jokes on it.

We need to move on.People ask me: Do you really forgive Mahathir? Look, he did his part. You cant deny the fact that he did contribute to the last phase of this change to unseat Najib at the last elections.

You have to decide what is best and best is to move on, forget the past, forgive, Anwar added. Otherwise it is a disease of the heart.

To great laughter from the audience, he added that the biggest shock he experienced upon being freed was learning about Trumps presidency.

Read also:From prison to palace: a recap of Anwars first day as a free man after being granted a full royal pardon

Constant successionquestions embarrassing for Mahathir: Anwar

When pressed to confirm a May 2020 handover date, the PKR head was noncommittal and saidhe did not appreciate the constant questioning around handover details.

He added it was quite embarrassing to see PM Mahathir slapped with questions on his retirement at every media session, adding that the premier had been consistent and unambiguous about a government transition and identifying Anwar as his successor.

Sometimes hell say: in three years, or two years, but that is Mahathir. You cant change him at 94, Anwar said. I dont believe it is fair to go harping (on it), knowing it is next year.

Read also:I will not go beyond three years, Mahathir says of PM post, confirming that Anwar will succeed him

He added that he had the majority support needed to become PM, and that Mahathir was aware ofparty leaders sentiments.

The former deputy PM also suggested that Mahathir was reluctant to announce a specific date for the handover to avoid becoming a lame-duck Prime Minister.

The term refers to an outgoing politician who has lost power due to the election of a successor.

Anwar said he had no reason to question Mahathirs sincerity, adding that he would patiently wait for the role.

I happen to be one of the most patient people I have been known as the Prime Minister-in-waiting since 1999, he added,again to laughter.

Waiting for a few more months or years is not a question,he added. Inshallah (God wiling), it will happen.

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Shakespeare was Anwars best companion in jail, he says - Business Insider

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September 26th, 2019 at 11:42 am

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The Stage Is Set For Second Edition Of Pondy Lit Fest – Swarajya

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In less than 10 days, the second edition of the Pondy Lit Fest will take place. Our team, a small and very dedicated group of friends, is spending sleepless nights trying to ensure that the festival goes off seamlessly.

We are working on several fronts simultaneously from speakers to venue management, from answering all the queries we are receiving to a comprehensive publicity campaign, from fundraising to ticketing with the hope that every piece of the puzzle eventually falls in the right place.

This is the second edition of the festival, and there is no doubt that we have come a long way. Our line-up of speakers this time outshines last years line-up. The venue is a much larger one, with several amenities. Many like-minded people have offered their help and support to us. The cherry on the cake is that several sessions will be televised.

The hurdles we faced in the run-up to the first edition of the festival could have potentially put an end to the festival for good. My colleagues and I had never organised anything so daunting before, and the onslaught against us brought with it the kind of challenges that we had never encountered before.

A section of the media and the intelligentsia systematically worked to shut us down before we could even begin. Politicians threatened us with violence. The venue partner attempted to sabotage the festival by throwing us out on the street hours before the festival began. The effort to damage and demoralise us could not have been more concerted.

Clearly, some interests perceived our festival as a direct threat to the fortress they had so painstakingly built for decades. They believed that they were the sole custodians of truth, and just like politics, media, pop culture and several other walks of life, they were entitled to hold a monopoly over literature festivals too, forever.

Unfortunately for them, times have changed. Their fortresses began falling one after another, and perhaps the Pondy Lit Fest was destined to break their literature festival fortress. And break the Pondy Lit Fest did.

Many in the audience who had attended literature festivals before told us that what they witnessed was unimaginable. Literature festivals were supposed to speak about communalism, and Indias poverty and backwardness. They were supposed to be a pessimistic gathering of elites, passing sermons and sipping champagne.

But here was a literature festival that spoke about Indias economic prowess, its military might, its history and culture. The air was optimistic and unapologetic. The definition of literature festival in India had changed.

When the festival was initially conceived, the idea was for it to revolve around the concept of Bharat Shakti. The term Bharat Shakti was coined by Sri Aurobindo when he wrote, "India is the Bharat Shakti, the living energy of a great spiritual conception, and fidelity to it is the very principle of her existence.

The vision of this festival was to create a platform for the foremost thinkers to come together and find ways for India to achieve its potential in every walk of life, in the light of what Sri Aurobindo had written.

When the foremost thinkers of the country agreed to be a part of this festival and came down to Pondicherry (Puducherry) to speak, it was a giant step for India in the game of narratives. When they spoke unapologetically about Indias inherent greatness and how we would go about realising it, it was a giant victory for India.

Our resources were limited, and our setting was modest, but we set the narrative. People thronged the halls to listen to our speakers, and in the days to come, our content received lakhs of views online. The festival had placed itself on the map.

The successful emergence of an alternate perspective in the domain of literature festivals is a positive beginning. The inroads have been serious enough to send a chill down the spine of those who believed that their so-called intellectual supremacy would prevail forever.

One can perceive it from the narrow prism of ecosystems and proclaim that these beginnings are necessary. One can perceive it from a much broader perspective too, about where the country is headed and whether every voice deserves to be heard or not, to arrive at a similar conclusion. Therefore, it is imperative that the second edition of this literature festival be a roaring success.

With less than 10 days to go for the second edition of the festival, we would like to believe that the spectacular first edition was just the beginning. We would like to believe that this festival will grow every year, that this festival will not just make a mark in the countrys intellectual discourse but dominate it. For a festival like ours, the second edition is probably the most critical edition in our evolution.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite the readers of Swarajya, our social media partner, to the Pondy Lit Fest 2019. The brilliant minds who will speak at the festival are not have-been luminaries, but people who understand ground realities. Many of them are lawmakers and policymakers, men and women with real power and the capacity to bring about real change.

Do go through the speakers list on our website, there is no way you will miss this opportunity. In the spirit of our literature festival, we have kept entries completely free of cost. We hope to see you in Pondicherry, for it is your participation that will determine if this festival survives the test of time.

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The Stage Is Set For Second Edition Of Pondy Lit Fest - Swarajya

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September 26th, 2019 at 11:42 am

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Guiding Light: Rising Beyond Reason – Free Press Journal

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Reason must no longer be the summit and the master. For a very long time in life, until one possesses anything resembling knowledge, it is indispensable that reason be the master, otherwise one is the plaything of ones impulses, ones fancies, ones more or less disordered emotional imaginings, and one is in danger of being very far removed not merely from wisdom but even from the knowledge needed for conducting oneself acceptably.

But when one has managed to control all the lower parts of the being with the help of reason, which is the apex of ordinary human intelligence, then if one wants to go beyond this point, if one wants to liberate oneself from ordinary life, from ordinary thought, from the ordinary vision of things, one must, if I may say so, stand upon the head of reason, not trampling it down disdainfully, but using it as a stepping stone to something higher, something beyond it, to attain to something which concerns itself very little with the decrees of reason; something which can allow itself to be irrational because it is a higher irrationality, with a higher light; something which is beyond ordinary knowledge and which receives its inspirations from above, from high above, from the divine Wisdom.

That is what this means. As for the knowledge of which Sri Aurobindo speaks here, it is ordinary knowledge, it is not Knowledge by identity; it is knowledge that can be acquired by the intellect through thought, through ordinary means. But once again-and in any case we shall have occasion to return to this when we study the next aphorism-do not be in a hurry to abandon reason in the conviction that you will immediately attain to Wisdom, because you must be ready for Wisdom; otherwise, by abandoning reason, you run a great risk of falling into unreason, which is rather dangerous.

The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

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Guiding Light: Rising Beyond Reason - Free Press Journal

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