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Volume 28 n Issue 5 n November-December 2014

INDIAN CAR TECHNOLOGY FOR THE WORLD

PROGRESS HIGHEST RAILWAY BRIDGE

CELEBRATIONS CHURCHES OF INDIA


UPCOMING EVENTS ACROSS INDIA FILM FEST

Organised by Films Division of India, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is a platform for filmmakers and film-lovers to watch, appreciate and learn the art of filmmaking. This year will be the 45th edition of the festival, with a bouquet of film screenings and related discussions. WHEN: November 20-30 WHERE: Goa

FOODTEC INDIA

RANN UTSAV

WHEN: November 14-16 WHERE: Mumbai, Maharashtra

WHEN: December 1, 2014 to March 7, 2015 WHERE: Kutch, Gujarat

The ninth edition of International FoodTec India is a platform for the food and beverage industry to discuss latest technologies, know-how and business development options. More than 11,500 exhibitors from 45 countries will be participating this year.

Celebrate the beauty of Kutch, the white sand desert in Gujarat, during the Rann Utsav. A carnival of music and dance, the festival is organised by Gujarat Tourism with many activities like traditional dance, cultural shows, camel safari and live-in tents.

INDIA ART FESTIVAL

India Art Festival is a platform to promote Indian arts. More than 70 art galleries and 1,000 individual artists will be participating. The aim is to bring forward the importance and value of modern, fine and contemporary art in recent times. WHEN: November 27-30 WHERE: Mumbai, Maharashtra

INDIA INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR

HOT-AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL

The India International Trade Fair (IITF) is India’s largest consumer goods fair. Inaugurated on Children’s Day every year, it displays a wide range of products from global exhibitors. This year’s theme: women entrepreneurs.

Enjoy a fun-filled year end by relaxing on lush green grounds and watching colourful hot-air balloons floating above you during the Hot-Air Balloon Festival. Or take a ride in one! The event takes place in three different regions in Karnataka – Mysore, Hampi and Bidar.

WHEN: November 14-27 WHERE: New Delhi

WHEN: December 2014 to January 2015 WHERE: Karnataka


Foreword Reiterating faith in India’s strong economic and infrastructural potential, Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi recently launched the “Make In India” programme aimed at getting top global companies to target India as a manufacturing hub. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s India visit in September opened up a host of possibilities – economically, socially and culturally. We also look at the forthcoming SAARC summit in Nepal that aims to energise cooperation at various levels. On Christmas, we present a few famous churches across the country. We also write about the festivals of Telangana, India’s newest state, known for being celebrated with pomp and fervour. With the 8th Manipuri Polo International on November 22-29, we trace the fascinating story behind this heritage sport. To mark India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday, celebrated as Children’s Day, we present landmark stamps launched by Indian Postal Department over the years. The feature on how Indian currency notes have evolved over the years makes for an interesting read. The cultural richness of India is showcased in the story on kite-flying during Makar Sankranti in January. There are many more reasons for India to feel proud. Our country is ready to emerge as the world’s largest auto sector exporter by 2020. Another achievement has been the construction of world’s highest railway bridge on Chenab River in the Kashmir Valley. The Rashtrapati Bhawan has a new museum that houses artefacts gifted to Indian presidents over the years. We review Last Post that lists Indian war memorials across the world as a tribute to Indian soldiers, and take a look at docu-drama – Natyanubhava – a Public Diplomacy initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs. And don’t miss our showcase of awe-inspiring heritage buildings in Mehrauli Archaeological Park, overlooking the Qutub Minar. Volu

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Volume 28 n Issue 5 n November-December 2014

Editor: Syed Akbaruddin Assistant Editor: Nikhilesh Dixit Ministry of External Affairs Room No. 152, ‘A’ Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi - 110001 Tel.: +91.11.23388949, 23381719 Fax.: +91.11.23384663 Web: www.indiaperspectives.in For feedback/ inquiries: osdpd2@mea.gov.in MaXposure Media Group India Pvt Ltd Publisher & COO: Vikas Johari CEO & Managing Director: Prakash Johari Executive Editor: Saurabh Tankha Head Office MaXposure Media Group India Pvt Ltd Unit No. F2B, Second Floor, MIRA Corporate Suites, Plot No. 1&2, Ishwar Nagar, Mathura Road, New Delhi - 110 065 Tel: +91.11.43011111, Fax: +91.11.43011199 CIN No: U22229DL2006PTC152087 For feedback/ inquiries: indiaperspectives@maxposure.in

FOR INQUIRIES | MMGIPL Tel: +91.11.43011111 FAX: +91.11.43011199 www.maxposure.in

India Perspectives is published in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhala, Spanish and Tamil. India Perspectives is printed and published by Syed Akbaruddin, Joint Secretary (XP) and Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi, Room No. 152, ‘A’ Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi - 110001 and published at MaXposure Media Group India Pvt. Ltd. (MMGIPL), Unit No. F2B, Second Floor, MIRA Corporate Suites, Plot No. 1&2, Ishwar Nagar, Mathura Road, New Delhi - 110065, India. India Perspectives is published six times a year. All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and/or photography contained herein may be used or reproduced with an acknowledgement to India Perspectives. MEA and MMGIPL does not assume responsibility for loss or damage of unsolicited products, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, transparencies or other materials. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the MEA or MMGIPL. Follow us on: http://www.facebook.com/MEA http://www.twitter.com/MEA http://www.youtube.com/MEA

For a copy of India Perspectives, contact the nearest Indian diplomatic mission.

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CONTENTS

12 68

84

INNOVATION

SNAPSHOTS

The future global manufacturing hub........................................06

Legacy of architectural skill............................ 38 REVIEW

INNOVATION

Remembering the Indian bravehearts......... 52

Make in India for the world...........................08

REVIEW

PARTNERSHIP

Visual poetry of dance................................... 55

A new chapter of cooperation........................12

PROGRESS

Empowering the Middle East....................... 56

PARTNERSHIP

MGC gains momentum..................................14 PARTNERSHIP

Time for transition............................................16 TRIBUTE

Master of asanas and therapy..........................19 TRIBUTE

Celebrating childhood................................... 22 CULTURE

Reviving the traditional spirit....................... 24 CULTURE

When the kites soar high.............................. 28 TRAVEL

The holy triangle............................................ 32

PROGRESS

Conquering the invincible green hills......... 58 HERITAGE

Chronicles of Rashtrapati Bhavan................ 62 HERITAGE

Manipuri Polo: Still going strong.................68 CELEBRATIONS

Christ, church and Christmas....................... 72 ACHIEVEMENT

Wond er women.............................................. 77 HISTORY

How the Rupee came into being?................80 FOCUS

Building the spice coast................................. 84

FELICITATION

CONVERSATION

To honour the nightingale.............................37

Driving in the fast lane................................... 88

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INNOVATION

The future global

manufacturing hub

Doing business in India has got easier with the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi launching the Make In India programme and inviting global manufacturers to explore investment possibilities here text | Mayuri Mukherjee

T

he India Story needs no introduction. It began with economic liberalisation in the 1990s which spurred growth rates, created a new middle-class and lifted thousands out of abject poverty. Almost three decades later, it is time to revitalise that story with a new chapter, Make In India, with its logo being a striding lion made of cogs symbolising manufacturing, strength and national pride. Envisaged by Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, the Make In India programme is Government of India’s blueprint to convert the country into a global manufacturing hub. India is uniquely positioned for such a project: Its

large, primarily young, and mostly educated population makes for an ideal workforce that is skilled and available for hire at a competitive price. On the other hand, they double up as a vast consumer market. The initiatives are designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure by introducing new de-licensing and de-regulation measures to reduce complexity and significantly increase speed and transparency. Moreover, India’s manufacturing infrastructure and capacity for innovation is poised for phenomenal growth: new smart cities and industrial clusters, being

The Make In India logo INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, on India’s 68th Independence Day, invited the world to “Come, Make In India”

developed in identified industrial corridor destination utilising the 1,483 km-long, highhaving connectivity, new youth-focussed capacity western Dedicated Railway Freight programmes and institutions dedicated to Corridor (DFC) as the backbone. The objective developing specialised skills. Most importantly, is to increase the share of manufacturing in the programme represents an attitudinal shift the GDP of the country and to create smart in how India relates to investors: not as permitsustainable cities where manufacturing will be issuing authority but as true business partner. the key economic driver. The PM launched a The Indian Government has website, www.makeinindia. taken several legislative and com, informing prospective policy level initiatives to create a The programme investors about various sectors conducive environment for the represents an to explore like automobiles, protection of intellectual property attitudinal space, aviation, biotechnology, (IP) rights of innovators and shift in how chemicals, construction, electrical creators by bringing about changes. India relates to machinery, food processing, In addition, specific focus investors: not as defence manufacturing, IT and has been placed on improved permit-issuing BPM, leather, railways, wellness... service delivery by upgrading authority but Live projects like Delhi-Mumbai infrastructure, building capacity as true business Industrial Corridor (DMIC), and using state-of-the-art partner featured in KPMG’s 100 Most technology in the functioning Innovative Global Projects of intellectual property offices as one of the world’s most innovative and in the country. This measure has resulted in inspiring infrastructure projects, seeks to sweeping changes in IP administration within create a strong economic base with a globally the country. competitive environment and state-of-theWith the Modi Government bringing in the art infrastructure to activate local commerce, second generation of Indian reforms, investors enhance investments and attain sustainable worldwide have a golden opportunity to development. DMIC is being developed come, Make In India, and invest in the global as a global manufacturing and investment powerhouse of tomorrow. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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INNOVATION

Make in India

for the world

The mood in Indian auto sector is upbeat as the country readies to double its auto sector exports and emerge as the world’s largest exporter by 2020 text | Kabeer Sharma

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id you know that almost six lakh More importantly, at the core of this growth is people around the world to whom the strong belief that “if you make a car which is the keys to their brand new cars were successful in India, it will work anywhere”. This tossed last year took home more than belief has come from a learning that there are just their shiny four-wheeler? Each one of these commonalities in consumer behaviour between customers drove off in a car with a Indian consumers and those in ‘Made In India’ tag. Southeast Asia, South Africa and China. India expects By 2020, India expects to This confidence has resulted in car to double its double its auto sector exports manufacturers like Honda producing exports to from $12 billion to $24 billion to their cars with up to 90 per cent $24 billion to emerge as the world’s largest auto Indianisation or ensuring big car emerge as the sector exporter. models make global debuts in India. world’s largest At play are factors which make The vote-of-confidence in the auto exporter the Indian market a small car abilities of India’s local production has by 2020 manufacturing hub – economies come from luxury car manufacturers. of scale for manufacturing, huge Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi domestic market, availability of engineers manufacture a majority of their portfolio in India and labour. but it is not limited to products at the entry level. Add to this the fact that the shipping time from While Mercedes-Benz manufactures S-Class sedans India is significantly lesser than from Thailand, the and BMW makes 5-Series as well as X5 SUV, Audi largest automotive industry in Southeast Asia. manufactures A6.

TOP 10 CARS EXPORTED FROM INDIA IN FINANCIAL YEAR 2014 109,074 units

78,383 units

Hyundai i10

Nissan Micra

45,193 units

59,789 units

Maruti Suzuki A-Star/ Celerio

Hyundai i20 37,730 units

32,017 units

Nissan Sunny

VW Vento

28,304 units

29,107 units

Ford Figo

Hyundai Accent

20,858 units Maruti Alto

19,296 units Hyundai Eon Figures courtesy: Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers

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INNOVATION

MAJOR MANUFACTURING HUBS IN INDIA VW VENTO

PUNE

CHENNAI HYUNDAI i20

MERCEDES BENZ

NISSAN MICRA

TATA NANO FIAT PALIO

From India to the world

The acquisition of global subsidiaries like SsangYong by Mahindra & Mahindra and Jaguar Land Rover by Tata Motors, over the last decade-and-a-half, has meant the world has begun to consider India more than just a manufacturing hub. While XUV 500 (has a huge market in South Africa) and Mahindra Scorpio are exported out INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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of India, Tata exports Aria and Nano in a Left Hand Drive configuration to Europe besides other models.

The heroes

Despite luxury manufacturers expressing confidence in India’s abilities and the acquisition of global subsidiaries by Indian companies, the heroes of the story are others. 2 0 1 4


Hyundai, India’s second biggest car Way forward manufacturer, happens to be the country’s largest Industry insiders share that Hyundai plans to car exporter with a 45 per cent share. In fact, source engines for its global operations out at present, its Chennai plant manufactures more of India while Ford is looking at India as a than 100 variants of cars that are exported to manufacturing hub for Asia Pacific and Africa. over 120 countries across the globe. Its portfolio Volkswagen is looking at scaling up sourcing includes i10 and i20 (largest and third largest from India to as much as 70 per cent of its total exported car out of India respectively) besides global sourcing. Meanwhile, Suzuki will be Accent and Eon. Maruti Suzuki, shifting its entire export operations on the other hand, exports A-Star, for Middle East, Africa, Latin The vote-ofAlto and Ertiga to other markets. America and South East Asia to confidence in Nissan, with limited success in India by March 2015. the abilities of Indian market, exports 85 per cent While economies of scale, India’s local of the total production of its plant a disciplined workforce and production in Tamil Nadu and Nissan Micra, supportive government policies has come from the second most exported car out of have ensured it develops into luxury car India last year, is sold in 100 markets a powerhouse on global auto manufacturers globally. Its sub-brand, Datsun, was export sector, at the same time relaunched in India as Datsun Go, the Indian automotive sector developed completely in India for the world. continues to thrive, grow and present a The German Volkswagen (VW) Group, win-win opportunity. registered a whopping 295 per cent increase in So when you turn the key of a Tata Nano in exports last year, courtesy Vento which sells in France to visit an art gallery, adjust the seat of Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines. a Chevrolet Beat in Chile, go on a safari in an Volkswagen exported more than 30 per cent of XUV 500 in Kenya or drive to the supermarket the cars which rolled out of their India plant last in Indonesia for some coffee in a Hyundai year while Ford exported the Figo and Ecosport Accent – odds are they will all be ‘Made In India’. cars to more than 40 countries globally. How’s that for pride?

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PARTNERSHIP

A new chapter of

cooperation

India and China took their 2,000-plus years of relationship to a new high as the two Asian giants signed various agreements and pacts

Mr Xi Jinping, President of China, tries his hand on the charkha as Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi watches on

C

ivil nuclear energy cooperation, opening of a new route through Nathu La to Kailash Mansarovar, thrust on culture, tourism, arts and people-to-people contacts, setting up of Chinese industrial parks in Maharashtra and Gujarat... These are some positives one can draw post-Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping’s INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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visit to India this September. Not to forget, the marked transformation in China’s approach towards India under the new President, only the third Chinese President to have visited India since 1996. The visit took the bilateral relationship between the two Asian giants to a new level of congeniality, trust and openness. During this visit, the Chinese President 2 0 1 4


promised greater investments for developing Both the countries agree that cementing trade faster train lines in India, laying down a ties is an effective way to enhance cooperation. medium-term roadmap for promoting balanced India’s trade with China touched around $70 and sustainable development of economic and million in 2003 as against $30 million in 2000. trade relations on the principle of “India and China are both ancient equality and mutual benefit, taking civilisations with thousands of India’s trade specific measures to enhance years of friendly interaction with with China market access to agricultural, each other. We admire and respect touched around pharmaceutical and export each others’ civilisations. It is $70 million in products and to enable producers important we translate the friendly 2003 as against from both countries to get an contacts and make sure we will $30 million opportunity to pool their creative, follow up on what we promise in 2000 artistic, technical, financial and each other,” said Mr Jinping. He marketing resources to co-produce said his second goal was to deepen films thus helping Indian audio-visual products cooperation as both nations are emerging gain greater visibility in global markets. markets and it is important that cooperation is China has already announced an investment increased so the people of China and India can of $20 billion in India over the next five years. benefit from it. Photo: M Asokan

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PARTNERSHIP

Ganga River

MGC gains

momentum

The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation initiative facilitates closer contacts among the people inhabiting the two major river basins

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or increased cooperation in tourism, culture, education as well as transport and communications and to build strong foundation for future trade and investment cooperation among the region, an initiative was conceptualised by India and five ASEAN (Association of South

East Asian Nations) countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – and named the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC). Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilisational rivers and the initiative aims to facilitate closer contact among the people inhabiting these two major river basins. Mekong River

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Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil laying the foundation stone for MGC Asian Traditional Textile Museum in Cambodia in 2010 (right) At the sixth MGC Ministerial Meeting in September, 2012

The MGC is also indicative of the Projects Revolving Fund. This fund would be civilisational, cultural and commercial linkages for short gestation projects that could directly among the member countries. benefit local communities. These additional MGC was established on November 10, 2000 elements were seen as a clear reiteration of at Vientiane at the first MGC Ministerial members’ commitment towards MGC. Meeting. After the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal The ministers attending the 6th MGC Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Ministerial Meeting acknowledged the Economic Cooperation), a regional grouping ongoing cooperation for the preservation launched in 1997, this project was another of the heritage sites in the MGC countries collaborative venture by India with its with Thailand offering to work with India South-East Asian neighbours. Thereafter, in this area. Also, Thailand will participate six meetings have been held, in the training programmes the latest hosted in India for Underwater Archaeological Thailand will (September 4, 2012). Survey project. Recent participate in In the sixth meeting, apart developments in the highway the training from four existing core areas projects and other cooperation programmes of collaboration under MGC, of India, Myanmar and Thailand for Underwater certain new areas were identified were acknowledged during Archaeological for forging cooperation. These this meeting. Survey project include health research relevant The Government of India, to the region and sharing of through initiatives under the Look expertise on pandemic management, bringing East policy, is striving to attract optimum together the complementarities that exist in investments from neighbouring countries the Indian SME sector and Mekong states, to the North Eastern Region, which will be aspects related to food security and preserving visible in the long run. Meanwhile, India the rich biodiversity of our region. added 50 scholarships, during the 5th MGC India’s initiative in setting up of the Ministerial Meeting, to the existing 50 that Traditional Asian Textiles Museum at Siem enables scholars from MGC countries to study Reap, Cambodia was highly appreciated. India diverse subjects like culture, IT, vocational, announced a commitment of US$ 1 million apart from organising fairs in MCG countries annually for the India-CLMV Quick Impact to create awareness. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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PARTNERSHIP

Time for

transition

The forthcoming SAARC summit must instruct its mechanisms for cooperation to radically improve efficiency and accountability to accomplish set goals text | Sheel Kant Sharma

S

ince its inception in 1985, South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the official forum for regional cooperation in South Asia, has spawned a host of regional activities under diverse auspices, more and more of them nonofficial. SAARC summits, convened annually, are formal occasions at the highest level. However, the forthcoming summit in Nepal in November will be the 18th summit in 29 years and takes place after three years. There has been a sub-summit default process underway lately. Scores of ministerial/ secretary level meetings and a larger number of mechanisms for line ministries to pursue points of action have been organised. A steady INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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refrain has run through the past summits to build upon this default edifice so that South Asian regionalism can rise to match cooperation achieved elsewhere. All SAARC governments agree on the need to energise cooperation at various levels. A modicum of interest in a subliminal South Asian identity also surfaces – identity that brings, for instance, South Asian Diaspora closer but gets marred by apprehensions within the region. SAARC goal transcends nationalist prisms or factors that distort regional perspective. Its charter avoids contentious issues and ensures adequate comfort level for working with transparency and consensus on a vast agenda 2 0 1 4


Left to right at the 17th SAARC Summit in Maldives in 2011: Mr Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan; Begum Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh; Mr Lyonpo Jigmi Yoezer Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan; Mr Mohamed Nasheed, President of Maldives; Mr Baburam Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal; Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka

that has grown manifold even as implementation remains anaemic. Clear imperative today is for setting up priorities and making it action-oriented with productive involvement of all stakeholders and not just governments. Virtual proximity brought about by internet, mobile telephony and 24x7 television provides compelling reasons for all SAARC countries to grow together which necessitates a regional cooperative framework alongside the matrix of bilateral relations. External powers attach value to regionalism as a public good for harmonious development. The last summit in Maldives stressed on progress in interactive areas including broad based people-to-people connectivity, tourism, energy, transport, trade facilitation, banking and investment. Modalities for each of these have been at member states’ disposal but need hard work and tenacity of purpose. As was shown in thousands of man days spent meticulously by the European Commission over decades to build an economic community, there is no shortcut to plodding and perseverance.

Infrastructure is the main issue for all SAARC countries and several items in sub-regional cooperation can show the way where the sum of parts can be more than the whole. An actionoriented forward thrust at the next summit must promote projects wherever a sub-region, if not all member states, is ready. SAARC charter allows ventures comprising more than two states for cooperation. Much preparatory work has already been done in forums outside the formal SAARC mechanisms on trade facilitation, transport, energy and allround connectivity. There are recommendations about enhancing road connectivity through enabling border management structures, land customs stations, facilitation of container transport and immigration, banking and associated telecommunication networks. These are commonsense for regional cooperation so obvious to other regions but still elusive to South Asians. The potential for regional trade, according to several studies, already can be as high as US$ 120 billion as against present low levels around US$ 18 billion. A benchmark to show

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PARTNERSHIP

Leaders of member nations at the 10th SAARC Summit in Colombo in 1998

that this is doable is, for example, India’s trade should change and become transparent. It with the ASEAN which stood below US$ 3 billion may also temper habits for imagined bilateral in 1991 and is touching US$ 100 billion today. misgivings holding up action on even summit When distance does not come in the way of India level decisions. There is no dearth of ideas such and ASEAN, should the geo-contiguity not be as strengthening the structure of the SAARC more conducive in South Asia? Even the modest Secretariat, according higher status, authority and mechanisms at hand in SAARC can deliver far responsibility to the office of SAARC Secretary more than is the case at present. General as in ASEAN and regional Recent initiatives like meetings bodies elsewhere and making SAARC The of cabinet secretaries, the heads of mechanisms leaner and effective. forthcoming national public service commissions South Asian regionalism can add summit must and University Grants Commissions value for every one of the regional instruct its can help empathise, share partners: Governments, industry, mechanisms experiences and best practices, forge academia, media and civil society. for cooperation understanding and build bridges. A problem-solving thrust can make to radically It is high time to revitalise SAARC, a difference. Much more energy, improve say, by commissioning a high-level focus, money and human resources working Eminent Persons’ Group to review are needed to make a difference and make concrete recommendations to the existing level of below as also to monitor ongoing processes with par achievements. reasonable periodicity. The forthcoming summit India has offered to strengthen SAARC and its must instruct its mechanisms for cooperation generous asymmetric contributions over the past to radically improve working, efficiency and decade can be further enhanced. As developing accountability to accomplish the goals set. In countries, SAARC members must realise that no adherence to some trite old practice SAARC window of opportunity lasts forever. Urgency, proceedings are not made public. This practice not grandstanding, is the call of the hour. The author was the SAARC secretary general between 2008 and 2011

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TRIBUTE

Master of asanas

and therapy

BKS Iyengar, credited for the spread of yoga culture globally, passed away in August this year, but his legacy lives on... text | Birad Rajaram Yajnik

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TRIBUTE

T

he architect of Iyengar yoga was a virtuoso of the modern yoga world, both at home and abroad. Belur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar can perhaps be chiefly credited for the spread of yoga culture in the Western world, beginning in the mid-1960s. His unique style called Iyengar Yoga has inspired the establishment of several centres all over the world, both for teaching as well as training and certifying teachers. The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, Maharashtra, is the hub of Iyengar yoga, and coordinates diverse activities including yoga research, therapy classes, fund-raising through publication of printed and multimedia materials and sale of yoga props and philanthropic works.

Iyengar and yoga therapy

Having personally experienced the curative power of yoga, Iyengar believed deeply that this healing knowledge is essential to the happiness and well-being of society. From the vast storehouse of his understanding of the human body and

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its responses to asana therapy, he formulated specific programmes of healing practices for various ailments. He was undoubtedly successful in solving a truly diverse assortment of ills in thousands of patients. His books Light on Yoga, and Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health have considerable sections devoted to yoga therapy with specific asana sequences for each ailment. To quote him on yoga therapy, “The four pillars of yoga therapy are the physician, the medication, the attendant and the patient. In yogic world view, sage Patanjali is the physician, asanas are the medication, the yoga instructor is the attendant and the student is the patient. Asanas are recommended to patients according to their ailment and their physical and emotional condition. This has to be done with care... The process of yoga therapy is based on selecting and sequencing asanas which stretch specific parts of the body, and block others... The aim is not to cure the specific symptom but to target the cause.�

Ascendancy of Iyengar yoga

In 1943, he married Ramamani who was to become a perfect partner, advisor and source of support in his pursuit of achieving excellence in his chosen field. Though the couple initially led an impoverished life, his popularity slowly but steadily began to rise. Newly-Independent India was hosting a large number of eminent visitors and heads of state. Iyengar was often invited to give demonstrations to many of them. First Indian President Dr Rajendra Prasad and Pope Paul IV were some before whom Iyengar held demonstrations of yoga. He taught members of Indian aristocracy, prominent business, political and sports personalities including surgeon Dr Rustom Jal 2 0 1 4


(Above left) Iyengar with close friend and musician Yehudi Menuhin (above right) In his classic yoga poses

Vakil. It was through Vakil that in 1952 he was not reserved for the rich and famous. was introduced to violinist-conductor Yehudi The healing therapy of Iyengar’s yoga with its Menuhin. The story goes that at first, Menuhin attendant physical, emotional and spiritual gave Iyengar a five-minute appointment which, benefits was available to all. upon their meeting, extended to As the ordinary public became three-and-a-half hours! Upon aware of his expertise, Iyengar As the public Menuhin mentioning that he had was increasingly asked to teach became aware been feeling too fatigued to sleep in Britain and other European of his expertise, soundly, Iyengar apparently had countries. Each year ever larger Iyengar was him dozing within a few minutes. numbers would await his return increasingly Both men became close friends and his classes. The asked to teach till Menuhin’s death 47 years demand for his yoga in European later. Under Iyengar’s tutelage, he was such that he countries became a regular yoga practitioner. began to train and Menuhin was instrumental in certify instructors making Iyengar travel with him to Britain, in his methods so that they could France and Switzerland. He taught yoga to some continue classes in his absence. of the most famous names of the day and had Today, Iyengar yoga classes and an audience with Queen Elisabeth, the Queen instructors are available in every Mother of Belgium in 1958. But his teaching continent of the world.

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Extracted from The Great Indian Yoga Masters published by Visual Quest Books

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TRIBUTE

Celebrating

childhood

As the nation observes Children’s Day on November 14, we trace postal stamps released over the years to mark the occasion

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elebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the first Indian Prime Minister, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Children’s Day has a special significance for every child. Nehru, lovingly called chacha (uncle), laid emphasis on giving unconditional love and affection to kids, the future of India. The main purpose of this day is to encourage welfare of children all over the country. Since 1957, the Department of Posts in India has brought out a number of special stamps to mark Children’s Day. These stamps correspond to nutritional, recreational and educational aspects of child welfare movement. We showcase a few of these stamps... INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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CHILD DEVELOPMENT 1957 First stamp released on the occasion of Children’s Day, it depicts an important aspect of child development – nutrition.

PASSING THE FLAG TO YOUTH 1962 Conveys the message that youth is the future for a brighter India. Here, the Indian National Flag is being passed to a child.

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The Department of Posts in India introduces Children’s Day stamps on the birth anniversary of Pandit Nehru. These are based on designs submitted by children on a theme decided for each year” Kavery Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Posts, Government of India

LET US LIVE TOMORROW 1999 It is designed on a nine-year old’s concept of the theme, India 2000: Vision of the Future where he seeks a tomorrow of safety, eco-balance and peace.

CULTURAL DEPICTION 1974 Portrays the importance of art and culture and marks the completion of 25 years of UNICEF in India

EDUCATION 2003 This painting takes child’s education as a theme and focusses on the girl child’s right to education.

TECHNOLOGICAL POWER 1985 Depicts technological growth in India and how schoolchildren are being equipped with the computer, a new gadget back in 1980s.

CHILDREN’S FILM SOCIETY 2005 The motif represents Children’s Film Society. Established in 1955, this government organisation produces children’s films and TV programmes in various Indian languages.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES 1986 This stamps shows a girl climbing a rock. It depicts how girls in India always overcome obstacles in their life and move ahead.

HARMONY 2008 The noble concept of religious harmony dominates this stamp and represents the concept of “Unity in Diversity” in India.

FRIENDSHIP 1994 Togetherness and harmony form the basis of this stamp, depicting flowers and birds with children.

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CULTURE

Reviving the

traditional spirit

Festivals in Telangana have a major influence on the cultural identity of its people text | Lakshmi Prabhala

Photo: Lakshmi Prabhala

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ot many know that the newest Indian state of Telangana, carved out of Andhra Pradesh, was once part of the princely state of Hyderabad and ruled by Nizams during the British Raj until 1947. The people of the region have had a distinct style in the fields of art, literature, music, dance, culture and affinity in customs, traditions and social institutions. Telangana boasts of its own unique festivals and unlike most festivals, these do not have a mythological connection. Celebrated with pomp and fervour, they depict hope, joy and zest for life. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Clockwise from top: Bonalu procession; Drummers and dancers lead the way; Floral arrangements worshipped as goddesses during Bathukamma Festival; Medaram Jatara, the second largest gathering of devotees in India

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CULTURE Above: Women carrying pots of cooked rice during Bonalu Below: A three-day fair is held in Edupayala Temple to celebrate Shivratri

Medaram Jatara: Largest tribal gathering

The second largest gathering of devotees in India after the Kumbh Mela, this tribal festival is celebrated for three days in February. It commemorates a mother and daughter, Sammakka and Saralamma, fighting with reigning rulers against an unjust law. The bi-annual festival is celebrated in Medaram in Tadvai Mandal in Warangal district of Telangana.

Photo: Lakshmi Prabhala

Bonalu: The monsoon festival of thanksgiving

Celebrated in the month of ashada (July-August), Bonalu is a thanksgiving exercise for fulfillment of vows and as a prayer to goddess Mahakali for prosperity through good rainfall minus natural calamities. Every Sunday of the month, women, dressed in all their finery, walk in a procession as they balance decorated brass pots covered with an earthen lamp and margosa (neem) leaves on their heads. These pots, containing rice cooked with milk and sugar, are called bonam meaning bojanam or a meal in Telugu language. The procession is led by drummers and dancers, singing and dancing to songs in praise of the goddess.

Edupayala Jatara: A holy dip On the occasion of Shivratri in February, a three-day fair is held in Edupayala Temple in Medak district. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Photo: Chandrasekhar Singh

Women congregate to exchange haldi and kumkum on the Bathukamma festival

Thousands of devotees from all over India, arranged concentric layers of flowers on a especially from Karnataka and Maharashtra, conical mound. throng the temple to pay obeisance to On Durgashtami (two days before Dussehra Goddess Vanadurga Devi. Devotees take a holy festival), women dressed in colourful silk saris dip in the river where seven streams of Manjira, and expensive jewellery congregate, carrying a a tributary of Godavari River, bathukamma in their hand postmerge into one. sundown. They gather in large Medaram circles around bathukammas, Jatara, a tribal Bathukamma: Celebrating singing in chorus and going around festival, is the flowers and lakes it in circles, synchronising steps second largest Considered the festival of feminine and claps. Thereafter, they walk in gathering of felicitation, Bathukamma is a procession towards a water body devotees in celebrated for nine days during and set afloat these bathukammas India after the Durga Navratri in Septemberinto water. The women then Kumbh Mela October every year. In Telugu, exchange haldi (turmeric) and Bathukamma means mother kumkum (red powder used for goddess comes alive. Bathukamma is a floral social/ religious markings) and share maleeda arrangement worshipped as a goddess. A cone (a sweet made specially for this festival from made of turmeric is placed atop beautifully sugar/ jaggery and flour). N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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CULTURE

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When the kites

soar high...

The harvest festival of Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of the auspicious period in Indian culture

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estivals in India don’t just have a religious, social and sentimental connect. Some, like the tradition of flying kites on Makar Sankranti day (around January 14) every year, arrive loaded with health benefits. People flying kites this day receive the benefits of the sunrays as it enters uttarayan (indicating semantic of sun’s northward movement) phase thus acting as a medicine for human body that gets infected and dry during winters. As the person flies a kite under the sun, the body gets exposed to UV rays which eradicates infections and insanitation. On religious front, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as a harvest festival in India. The hub of this festival is the state of Gujarat where it is celebrated as Uttarayan. Gujarat Tourism organises an annual international kite festival that draws global participants. The serene blue skies get dotted with thousands of colourful N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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CULTURE

KNOW KITES Kites are made of lightweight paper and bamboo. Cotton string (manjha) is coated with abrasives (special mix of glass powder and rice paste) to make it strong and sharp to cut other kite strings. The size of kites ranges from nine inches to 3 ft. Average price: `2 to `50

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Cotton strings in different hues on sale; the strings being coated with colour

kites in innumerable shapes, sizes and feast with oondhiyu (a vegetable delicacy), designs during this period. At night, tukkals jalebi (sweet) and til ladoos (sweets made (illuminated box kites) are launched into of sesame seeds) is spread. Different Indian the sky, often in a series strung on one line, communities have different ways to celebrate making for a mesmerising view. Makar Sankranti. In Maharashtra, til and Kite-flying is an important gud (sesame seeds and jaggery) part of the religious rituals as an are exchanged while kite-flying Kite-flying is an obeisance to Sun God, thanking is a must-do. In Tamil Nadu, it is important part him for benefaction on the celebrated as Pongal and people of the rituals as crops. A week before the festival, feast on sweet rice. In Punjab, it an obeisance a special 24x7 kite market kickis termed Lohri and celebrated to Sun God, starts in Ahmedabad. From with music, dance and prayers thanking Him dawn to dusk, the skies are a on January 13. for benefaction sight to behold as people shift In Karnataka, sweets and on the crops their base to rooftops, kites and neem leaf-jaggery mixture is reels in hand. Shouts of kai po exchanged. In Himachal Pradesh che are common during “kite wars� as soon and Haryana, it is known as Maghi while as one manages to cut another’s kite string, in the Kashmir Valley, it is called Shishur thus signifying victory. Saenkraat. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, The festival transcends age groups, castes people feast upon sweets made of jaggery and communities with the sky being the and sesame seeds and khichdi (rice-andlimit! On the day of Uttarayan, a traditional lentil dish). N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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TRAVEL

The holy

triangle

Odisha’s coastal landscape is pristine and beautiful. Located within this stunning destination are important spiritual sites and historical cities that form the famous Golden Triangle of the East text | Kalyani Prasher

Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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WHEN TO GO October to March. Plan a trip around the Konark Dance Festival. WHAT TO BUY Pipliwork, wood carvings and tribal bell metal artefacts. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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TRAVEL Bhubaneswar

The largest city in the state, Bhubaneswar is a centre of economic and religious importance, with a history of over 3,000 years. Though the ancient city is steeped in culture and arts, the centrepiece here is the 11th-century Lingaraja Temple which dominates the city’s landscape, its tower soaring

55 m into the sky. It is one of the finest examples of Odisha temple architecture. While the students of architecture can marvel at the intricate carvings, the spiritually inclined should queue up to pay obeisance to Hari-Hara Linga, supposed to be half-Shiva and half-Vishnu.

Amazing rock-cut Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves

GOOD TO KNOW MUST VISIT Historical sites of Khandagiri and Udaygiri. These hills hide within them amazing rock-cut caves. It is believed these caves were carved for Jain monks around 1st century BC. Not to be missed is Hatigumpha for its magnificent carvings

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and the two-storeyed monastery of Ranigumpha. WHAT TO DO Buy handicraft items like patta chitra, metal work, silver filigree and stone carvings from Ekamra Haat Complex and sample local delicacies like Pakhala, Palao, Khechedi, Muga Dali, Alu Phulakobi Bhaja, Ghanta...


Sun Temple forms the backdrop of the Konark Dance Festival

Konark

Temple architecture, pristine beach and an unmatched cultural festival... There are many reasons to visit the ancient city of Konark and all of them enough to draw you on their own. If you visit during the Konark Dance Festival, usually held in February, you can enjoy all three together. The marvellous Sun Temple was built in the 13th century and sits next to the sea. It

took 1,200 craftsmen 12 years to complete this exquisite masterpiece. Shaped like a chariot, which is supposed to be carrying Surya, the Sun God, the temple is one of the most beautiful examples of religious architecture in the world. To admire nature, all you need to do is walk to the scenic Chandrabagha beach nearby, rated among the best ones in India.

GOOD TO KNOW MUST VISIT Famous proponents of classical and folk dance forms congregate for 10-day cultural extravaganza, Konark Dance Festival. Alongside are stalls offering Oriya cuisine and curios. Performances start in

the evening with the Sun Temple as backdrop. WHAT TO DO Visit the recently- excavated Buddhist site of Kuruma, 10 km from Konark, where you can see the Buddha seated in the Bhumisparsa mudra.

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TRAVEL

Puri

The best thing to do in Puri is to just laze by the beach which remains pristine despite heavy tourist inflow. Watch the sun rise on its clear waters as you start your day breathing in the fresh air of the holy town, home to the world-famous Jagannath Temple. The tallest temple in Odisha is a perfect example of temple architecture and was built during

the 12th century. Don’t miss Aruna Stambh, a 16-sided monolithic pillar that was brought to Puri in the 18th century from the Sun Temple. A mahaprasad offering of 54 items of food is prepared daily for Lord Jagannath. Puri is known for its Rath Yatra or “Festival of Chariots” which happens in June when the idol of Lord Jagannath is brought outside the temple.

GOOD TO KNOW MUST VISIT Annual Rath Yatra in June when the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken out in a colourful procession to Gundicha Temple and

A replica of Jagannath Temple during the world-famous Rath Yatra

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kept there for nine days before returning to the main temple. WHAT TO DO Invest in silk saris – choose from bomkai, pasapali and ikat. Or take home a palm leaf painting.


FELICITATION

To honour the

nightingale

The Indian Woman, a Ministry of External Affairs publication, was graciously accepted by India’s legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar

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he Indian Woman, a Ministry of External Affairs publication, is a book that salutes the spirit of Indian womanhood. The book features 32 women who have managed to make a mark in their respective fields, gender and social biases notwithstanding. One of the best examples of this unflinching, unwavering spirit is Lata Mangeshkar, globally acclaimed singer and India’s mostloved nightingale. Didi (elder sister), as she is fondly called, has won many prestigious recognitions including the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. She has also been awarded the nation’s highest honour – the Bharat Ratna. At 85, she continues to sing for Indian movies and has her own music brand, LM Music. Senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs visited Lata Mangeshkar’s Mumbai residence and presented a copy of The Indian Woman as a mark of honour and respect along with a letter felicitating her talent.

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SNAPSHOTS

Legacy of

architectural skill

Be a part of Delhi that witnessed 1,000 years of continuous occupation, by visiting the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, adjacent to the world-famous Qutub Minar

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he Mehrauli Archaeological Park, abutting the world heritage site of Qutub Minar, covers 100 acres of green land. The area is dotted with remains from every era of Delhi’s history – from pre-Islamic to late Mughal and colonial periods. The Tomar Rajputs established Lal Kot, the first fortification in Delhi here while the succeeding Chauhan rulers extended Lal Kot to form Qila Rai Pithora. In late 12th century, Qutbuddin Aibak, the founder of Delhi Sultanate, made it the seat of Sultanate power and built several tombs and mosques. The trend of constructing monumental structures continued through the reign of successive rulers. Buildings like the mosque and tomb of 16th century Sufi INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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saint Maulana Jamali, Madhi Masjid, Rajon Ki Baoli and the tomb of Quli Khan, the foster brother of emperor Akbar, were constructed within this area. Renovations like the extension of Quli Khan Tomb into Thomas Metcalfe’s (last British resident at emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar’s court) retreat and the conversion of the landscape through the addition of a bridge, canopies and guesthouses were accomplished during the colonial era. The park has a varied landform with irregular rocky slopes, valleys, plains and water bodies, some manmade. These include Hauz-e-Shamsi, Rajon Ki Baoli, Gandhak Ki Baoli, Jharna and the depression below Quli Khan Tomb which earlier formed a pond. Today, the park acts as a green space for the city.

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Quli Khan’s Tomb

Built in 17th century, Quli Khan’s Tomb stands at the edge of Lal Kot. Quli Khan was the son of Maham Anga, Mughal emperor Akbar’s wet nurse. In 1840s, the tomb was converted into a weekend retreat with landscaped gardens, terraces and guesthouses by Thomas Metcalfe, the last British resident in Bahadur Shah Zafar’s court. It was named Dilkhusha (pleasing to the heart). The main residence was planned with the tomb as its core and landscaping was done by introducing water channels and few structural additions.

Metcalfe’s Folly

Added by Metcalfe in typical English tradition of the landscape, ‘folly’, this structure is hexagonal and stands on an artificial mound. The eight stone pillars represent Hindu architectural temple design while the concept and the shape of the arches are typical of English architecture. The folly is surmounted by an Islamic dome.

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SNAPSHOTS

Balban’s Tomb

The 13th century tomb of Balban, one of the several “slave” rulers of early Delhi Sultanate, is located on the western side of the park. It was probably the first major building in India to use true arches and domes. It can be approached through an entrance gateway with column and beam structure, commonly seen in pre-Turk Indian architectures. Decorative features like kalash (ritual vessel) have been used at certain areas. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Qila Lal Kot (in ruins)

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Qutub Minar Complex

Metcalfe's Folly

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Jamali Kamali’s Mosque and Tomb

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Azim Khan’s Tomb Anuvrat Marg

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Map Key

Bus Stand Toilets Metro Station ­ HoHo Bus Route (Hop On Hop Off tourist bus service in Delhi) —

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Jamali Kamali’s mosque and tomb

Located around 300 m south of Balban’s Tomb, this Mughal complex consists of a mosque and a tomb built by the 16th century poet, traveller and Sufi Sheikh Fazlullah who wrote under the pen name of Jamali. He was a famous court poet of the Lodi and Mughal periods. The mosque, built in 1528, is surmounted by a single high dome with five recessed niches on the western wall. It is built in red sandstone and Delhi quartzite faced with intricate details in white marble.

Adjoining the mosque lies the tomb of Maulana Jamali built in 1529, during the lifetime of the saint. When he died in 1536, Jamali was buried in this chamber. The tomb is inscribed with some of his own verses and contains two graves. The central one is believed to be of Jamali and the other is claimed to be of Kamali, a companion of the saint about whom nothing is known. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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SNAPSHOTS

Rajon Ki Baoli

A three-storeyed step-well built during the Lodi period, the name of Rajon Ki Baoli is derived from its functionality as a baoli (step-well) was used by raj (masons) for some time. The water in the baoli was meant for cooking and drinking. The baoli is a four-level rectangular tank with steps at one end and a circular well at the other. It has long covered corridors along the sides of the tank with beautifully decorated arches.

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Khwaja Mohammad’s Tomb

Adjacent to the baoli is a mosque and a tomb located on a platform. An inscription on the tomb tells us that it was built by Daulat Khan during the reign of Sikander Lodi in 1506, over the remains of one Khwaja Mohammad. The tomb is in the form of a chhatri or pillared kiosk. The baoli was probably built at the same time as these buildings, in 1506, and used for ablution before prayers in the mosque.

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SNAPSHOTS

Adham Khan’s Tomb

Adham Khan was a general in Akbar’s army and the son of Maham Anga. In 1562, he killed Atagah Khan, husband of another wet nurse Jiji Anga, whereupon he was thrown down from the roof of the Agra Fort on the order of the emperor. He and his mother are buried in this tomb built by Akbar in 1566. This early Mughal style tomb is a domed octagonal chamber in Lodi style, with a verandah on each side pierced by three openings. The structure has a single large dome comprising of small circular paintings in red and blue on the surface of the ceiling.

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SNAPSHOTS Jahaz Mahal

Built during the Lodi period as a serai (inn) for pilgrims, Jahaz Mahal today is a centre for recreational activity and the venue for the annual Phoolwalon Ki Sair festival. The structure was named Jahaz Mahal as its reflection in the water suggested the image of a ship. It consists of a rectangular courtyard in the centre and domed chambers on the sides. The roof is adorned with six square chhatris supported on six, eight and 12 pillars.

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Jharna

Located south of Jahaz Mahal and Hauz-e-Shamsi, Jharna means “waterfall� and this was for long a cascade of water going down the slope from the Hauz-e-Shamsi tank overflow during the rains. The overflow, which cascaded down, was made an integral part of a pleasure garden. The complex can be approached from a perpendicular street opposite Jahaz Mahal or through a flight of steps through a paved courtyard that lies directly above the garden. In this tank is a pavilion built by Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Info/Map Courtesy : INTACH Delhi Chapter

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REVIEW

Remembering

Indian bravehearts

Last Post: Indian War Memorials Around the World, is a 230page book brought out by the Ministry of External Affairs that not only showcases the most famous of the memorials but gives insights into India’s contributions to World Wars I & II

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ar memorials, for centuries, have been erected to honour, acknowledge and remember the sacrifices made by soldiers who laid down their lives for the country. However, to begin with, these were constructed to commemorate victories in the battlefield. Remembering the dead was a secondary concern. It was postWorld War I that commemoration took centrestage and war memorials, listing the names of men and women who had gone to the war and not returned, were created. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Perhaps the oldest war memorial in the world is All Souls College at Oxford, founded in 1438, with the provision that its fellows should pray for those killed in the French wars. There are innumerable memorials and cemeteries globally that record the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers with New Delhi’s India Gate being the best example. However, most of us are unaware of the existence of Indian war memorials around the world. It is here that former Air Force veteran, author and military historian Rana TS Chhina introduces us to Last Post: Indian

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Clockwise from top left: The book cover; IPKF Memorial, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Yokohama War Cemetery, Japan; Mazargues War Cemetery, France; Troops of 5th Indian Division on the Burma front in March 1944; Cassino Memorial, Italy

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REVIEW

Above: Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, New Delhi, India Top to bottom (left): IAF Central Air Command War Memorial, Allahabad; Air Force Station Adampur Vayu Shakti Sthal; Air Force Station Ambala ‘Frozen Tear’ Memorial; Air Force Station Hasimara War Memorial; Air Force Station Bidar Memorial

War Memorials Around The World that documents facts like India’s contribution in World Wars I & II in terms of manpower. The 230-page book is a Public Diplomacy initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs along with Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research, United Service Institution of India. It states that over 1,400,000 men served during the Great War while during WWII, the The 1,60,000 Indian Army swelled from 1,95,000 in war dead of 1939 to 2.5 million by the end of the war, undivided India the largest volunteer force in the history are buried and of human conflict. The 1,60,000 war commemorated dead of undivided India are buried and in over 60 commemorated in over 60 countries. countries The memorials listed in the book are divided into two broad categories. Section I primarily deals with memorials around the world including India that commemorates Indian soldiers who fell in WW I & II. Section II lists memorials which commemorate those who fell in the wars fought since Independence. However, it also mentions a few regional and regimental memorials dedicated to the dead of the two World Wars as well to those who fell in the service of the nation after 1947. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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REVIEW

Visual poetry

of dance

Indian classical dance forms come alive on screen in Natyanubhava. This 52-minute long docu-drama by Sharada Ramananthan is a Public Diplomacy initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs

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he whirling words are his form, the eternal sound his speech, the moon and stars his ornaments, to that embodiment of auspiciousness I bow.” In an overpowering voice by the narrator, Natyanubhava takes you on a kaleidoscopic journey where dance is sacred and divine, being one with the God. Directed by Sharada Ramananthan and produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), the docu-drama is a successful attempt at unravelling the classical philosophies, mythological dimensions and myriad traditions associated with Indian dance forms. With payyada pai meede jeri playing in the background and Bharatanatyam dancer Priyadarsini Govind breaking into a Nataraja mudra, the introduction of this docu-drama is beautiful. It is based on the concept of dance as darshan (the seen and unseen) and yatra (journey).

Citing the intricacies of the Nataraja pose, Sai Santosh Radhakrishnan is an embodiment of grace, masculine radiance and a divine lucidity. Dancer Chitra Visweswaran’s graceful jig introduces the audience to the concept of ardhanariswara (half man, half woman) – a confluence of Shiva and shakti, male and female energy... Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaja, reciting Kathak bols, explains the ubiquitous presence of dance in the universe. Another endearing facet – Italian-born Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristis on how she discovered her spiritual side with the help of her teacher Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. The documentary explores various components of dance like lyricism, visual poetry and the guru-shishya parampara (teacher-student tradition). The music by Lalgudi Krishnan and compositions by Bombay Jayashri Ramnath and Abhishek Raghuram equate a perfect harmony of song and music.

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PROGRESS

Empowering the

Middle East

India is driving the energy market in the Middle East and BHEL’s Oman project is charting the course for future

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achieved a milestone in the Middle East markets with the commissioning of another gas turbine-based power plant in Oman. The 126 MW gas turbine generator was commissioned at Qarn Alam-3 power project of Petroleum Development Oman. It is the second successive project after the commissioning of 2x126 MW Petroleum Development Oman Amal Gas Turbine Generating project in 2012. This project brings India’s capabilities to the fore in the role of capacity build-up for many countries. In fact, BHEL is capable of offering gas turbinebased projects (simple, combined cycle, cogeneration and mechanical drive application) on turnkey basis and includes latest model (GE up to Frame BHEL has also 9FA+ and Siemens up to V94.3A). The won prestigious entire gamut of BHEL’s products and contracts for systems are power plants (thermal, gas gas turbineand hydro), turbines, generators, subbased power stations, transformers, motors, oil field plants from and transportation equipment. Malaysia and BHEL won prestigious contracts for Saudi Arabia supply, erection and commissioning of gas turbine-based power plants on turnkey basis from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Oman. But, in Sultanate of Oman, the company has had the biggest draw. It has secured and executed 14 major contracts including the supply of 16 gas turbine sets in the last two decades. It is, at present, eing self-sufficient in generating executing power plant projects and installing energy for effective industrial 7,000 MW power generating capacity in around 20 and domestic use has been countries. It has been a highlight considering the pinned critical to build a sound business worth of projects is US$ 3 billion. economical core. Hence, in present scenario, The critical take is Indian PSE’s investment on power companies are vying to emerge as upgrading its capability to raise its stake in the key players in the international sphere for international markets for providing highest quality energy production deliverances. services. At present, BHEL’s global presence in As one of India’s Maharatna Public Sector terms of commissioned projects is spread across over Enterprises (PSE), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd 76 countries in six continents. (BHEL) has remained at the forefront to create Thus, India is forging ahead, especially in the innumerable opportunities, offering services Middle East. BHEL has received contracts from in sectors like power, transmission, industry, diverse sectors in the region, a testimony of transportation, renewable energy, oil & gas and acceptability of India’s prowess. Oman, Iraq and the defence, especially in the international scenario. UAE form a critical catchment zone with Oman In May 2014, it was made public that BHEL had being more aggressive in importing India’s expertise.

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PROGRESS

Srinagar

BARAMULLA

Anantnag

Qazigund Banihal

CHENAB BRIDGE Katra

Udhampur JAMMU

Conquering the

invincible green hills

History is in the making as world’s highest railway bridge is fast taking shape on the Chenab River in the Kashmir Valley text | Mohit Kandhari

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he impregnable walls built by On completion, the rail link would Mother Nature are gradually provide connectivity to the Kashmir Valley falling apart on the banks of and boost tourist traffic to the strategically Chenab in Kauri crucial Himalayan state. The village of Reasi district in “sky bridge”, as it is called, Kashmir as skilled workers is being constructed on the The 1.315 km led by spirited engineers, from Chenab River upstream of bridge will India and abroad, are scripting the Salal Dam between the use up 25,000 a new chapter in the history villages of Bakkal and Kauri. million tonnes of engineering marvels of The 1.315 km railway bridge of steel and modern India. would soar 359 m above the will be an It is here the dream of river bed, 35 m taller than the engineering building the world’s highest Eiffel Tower. At present, the marvel railway bridge is taking shape world’s tallest rail bridge is on and attaining towering heights France’s Tarn River, with its along the 73-km long Katra-Dharam section tallest pillar rising 340 m high. This bridge of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagarwould use up 25,000 million tonnes of steel. Baramulla Rail Link Project. “Till now, we have completed 22 per cent of

Site of the bridge on River Chenab

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PROGRESS

Photo: Mohit Kandhari

the total work,” shared a senior supervising Bakkal end and a 650 m approach deck engineer of the project executing agency, from Kauri end. While the bridge would Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, emerge from single track tunnels on both adding, “We have started another sides, it has been designed workshop to fabricate steel piers to accommodate a double Steel was of the arch-shaped bridge.” track. The structure would be chosen for He claimed that, at least, supported by two 130 m long, the bridge 70 per cent of earthwork (rock 100 m high pylons on either end as it is more cutting) is complete on Bakkal through cables. economical and side of the bridge and the same Steel was chosen to can withstand has been initiated on the Kauri construct the bridge as extreme side. Besides launching of the it is economical and can temperatures viaduct is on the cards. The withstand temperatures bridge’s design has been divided of -20˚ C and wind speeds into three segments — a 467 m steel arch above 200 kmph. To enhance safety and in the centre, a 185 m approach deck from security, the bridge would be made of

The Sky Bridge in the making INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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ROUTE MAP OF THE NEW RAIL LINK • Jammu (Jammu Tawi) • Baljata • Sangar • Manwal • Tawi Bridge • Ramnagar • Udhampur • Chakarwah • Katra • Reasi • Anji Khad Bridge • Salal • Chenab Bridge • Bakkal • Surukot • Baralla • Sangaldan • Sangaldan tunnel (7 km) • Kohli • Laole • Repora • Charil • Banihal • Pir Panjal railway tunnel (11 km) • Qazigund • Baramulla The 11 km long Pir Panjal tunnel

63 mm thick special blast-proof steel. The Construction and Engineering Company concrete pillars of the bridge are designed to of South Korea and VSL India. The JV withstand explosions. has appointed two design consultants, A ring of aerial security WSP Consulting Kortes of would be provided to safeguard Finland for bridge viaducts and An online the bridge. An online foundations and Leonhardt monitoring and monitoring and warning Andra & Partner of Germany warning system system would be installed to for the main steel arch. will be installed protect the train. Footpaths Experts from 15 prime Indian to protect and cycle trails would also be agencies including the IITs; passengers provided. The paint, approved Indian Institute of Science in critical by the RDSO, is being procured (IISC); Research, Design conditions from Japan and can withstand and Standards Organisation weather extremes for 35 years. (RDSO); Defence Research and While KRCL is the executing agency, the Development Organisation (DRDO) and bridge is being designed and constructed an equal number of foreign contractors are by Chenab Bridge Project Undertaking – a grappling with the daunting task of erecting joint venture between AFCONS, Ultra this mega-bridge. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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HERITAGE

Chronicles of

Rashtrapati Bhavan

The highest office of the country has an impressive history. And now, we have another reason to visit the sprawling President’s House – a museum that tells many stories text | Supriya Aggarwal

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Mughal Gardens in full splendour during spring

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hen the Britishers decided it was renamed Rashtrapati Bhavan. Spread to shift their capital to Delhi over 320 acres, the sprawling estate has over from Kolkata (then Calcutta) 320 rooms which include the official residence, in 1911, Sir guests rooms, ceremonial halls and Edwin Lutyens was given the task presidential gardens, known as the Situated at of designing a lavish mansion to Mughal Gardens. Situated at the the back of be used as the Viceroy’s House. back of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Rashtrapati Lutyens stated the dome of the Mughal Gardens incorporate both Bhavan, new palace was inspired by the Mughal and English landscaping Mughal gardens Pantheon of Rome and has Mughal styles and feature a wide variety have Mughal and European colonial architectural of flowers. and English elements. C Rajagopalachari Recently, the President’s landscaping became the first Indian resident House had a new entrant in the to occupy the building as the first premises – Rashtrapati Bhavan Governor General of India. On January 26, Museum. Inaugurated by President of India 1950, when Dr Rajendra Prasad became the first Dr Pranab Mukherjee, this museum has storyIndian President and occupied this building, telling audio-visual narratives from the birth of N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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HERITAGE

Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum

Photo courtesy: IANS

CHANGE OF GUARD An important tradition at Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Change of Guard. In this ceremony, guards and sentries posted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan change periodically to enable a fresh body of troops to take charge. The ceremony was first opened to public in 2007. The 30-minute ceremony starts with the Presidents’ Body Guards (PBG) on their well-groomed horses, advancing from behind the Jaipur column, to the tune of Maa Tujhe Salaam played by the Army Brass Band. The Army Guard Battalion (AGB) then marches in to replace the old guard. The ceremony ends with an equestrian display by the PBG followed by the National Anthem.

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Delhi as the British capital until recent times. The museum gives visitors an insight of Rashtrapati Bhavan, its art and architecture as well as educates them on the lives of past Indian presidents. From a beautiful jar of blue cut glass with an etched portrait of Dr Rajendra Prasad, furniture designed by Edwin Lutyens, simulated battlefields representing Anglo-Sikh and Anglo-Afghan wars... Many more artefacts are part of the museum, constructed at the erstwhile stable of Rashtrapati Bhavan. A number of drawings by Lutyens, when the master architect was giving imaginative shape to what the British viceroy’s grand residence should look like, are also on display. Lutyens was partial to the circular shape of his spectacles and often used it while designing decorative elements and furniture for Rashtrapati Bhavan. Each of the cubicles exhibit priceless artefacts received by the past presidents. These include gold wreath with ivy leaves presented to Smt Pratibha Patil by prime minister of Greece Mr Kostas Karamanlis, a carved elephant tusk depicting the story of Krishna on one side and the story of Lord Rama on the other, a model of Golden Temple presented to Dr Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy by Sardar Prakash Singh Badal in 1978.

Clockwise from top left: 3D gold cast elephant; figurine of Chhatrapati Shivaji; presidents of India in wax and fibre optics and a uniquely shaped circular pot

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HERITAGE

Clockwise from top: A model of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh; Carriage used during British time

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Clockwise from top: Elephant tusk depicting Lord Rama’s life on one side and Lord Krishna’s on the other; a replica of Hyderabad’s Charminar and Greek sculpture

Curated by Dr Saroj Ghosh, the museum showcases simulated scenes of events like Delhi Durbar of 1911, Gandhi-Irwin pact of 1931, Jawaharlal Nehru’s oath-taking as the first Indian prime minister and swearing-in of Dr Rajendra Prasad. Latest technological innovations have been introduced in this museum including digital surfaces and interactive media to make it easier for the visitors to know more about Indian history. The tableau section has a computerised digital sensor in each room which helps visitors know the story behind these

exhibits with a finger touch on the screen opening up a page of information. One of the rooms has fibre figurines of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Sardar Patel and others sitting around a table on June 2, 1947 when the fate of the subcontinent with the Partition of India was decided. This is the same table used on the historic occasion. Plans are underway to open the second phase of the museum by end-2015 which will be a larger story-telling museum where sound and light videos, laser and holographic projections will make history come alive.

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HERITAGE

Manipuri polo:

Still going strong

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text | Neharika Mathur Sinha

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Photos: Nishikant Singh

With the 8th Manipur Polo International scheduled in November this year, we bring you the fascinating story behind the game, its origin and how it evolved into a world sport


HERITAGE

Special ponies are used for Manipuri polo

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he mallet, a 4.5 ft long cane stick with originated from Manipur. This fact is given a wooden head, hits the ball with a in many authoritative books like Polo in India loud thwack, sending bits of grass by George John Younghusband (1890), Polo flying around. The game of polo is by J Moray Brown (1891) and The Evolution of in full swing, horses galloping at Polo by Horace A Laffaye (2009),” top speed, urged on by enthusiastic says Col Ranjit Singh, vice president, No goal posts masters, all with a single aim – to Manipuri Horse Riding & Polo are used in send the ball to the end of the Association (MHRPA) that aims to Sagol Kangjei ground and score a goal. In this take this sport forward globally. but a goal is game of Sagol Kangjei or hockey As the story goes: It was from scored as soon on horse, there are seven members Manipuris living in exile in Cachar as the ball is in each team, representing seven (an administrative district in Assam) hit to one end Manipuri ancestral clans. It is that British tea planters and officers of the ground considered a game of the gods and in 1850s learned the game. The the players are supposed to do their Britishers saw them playing Sagol duty – protect, preserve and conquer. Kangjei and got fascinated. Lt Sherer, known as This heritage sport is the precursor to modern the Father of Polo, formed the Silchar Kangjei polo. “There is no dispute in the opinion of Club, the first polo club, in 1859. He took a polo playing countries that the present form Manipuri Sagol Kangjei team to Calcutta (now INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Kolkata) for the first time in March 1864 for an exhibition match with a British team after which the game spread like wildfire globally.

How it was born?

government has started a Manipuri Pony Sanctuary and we hope their population increases,” says Col Singh. The 8th Manipur Polo International 2014, scheduled from November 22-29, will have teams from England, USA, South The MHRPA Africa, Germany, France, Thailand today runs a and Mongolia along with India pony breeding A (IPA) and India B (Manipur). farm and “On the last day, we will organise conducts an exhibition match of Sagol annual polo Kangjei played between foreign and equestrian and Manipuri players,” informs tournaments Col Singh.

There is another interesting story behind the origin of the sport in Manipur. King Kangba, who reigned Manipur around 3500 BC, introduced Sagol Kangjei. During a festival known as Ukrong Hongba, he showed how to dribble a bamboo root clump with his walking stick and asked his subjects to play the game on horseback. ‘Sagol’ means horse or pony and ‘Kangjei’ means hockey stick. The game first found mention in the Royal Chronicle of Manipur in 33 AD.

A polo player in action

Special mounts and more

Manipuri ponies used for playing Sagol Kangjei are four-five ft high but hardy and active. They are fully decorated, with various guards protecting their eyes, forehead and flanks. Play begins with the two teams assembling in midground when the ball is thrown in. No goal posts are used but a goal is scored when the ball is hit to one end of the ground. Sides are changed after every goal. Interestingly, there are no specific rules.

Polo today

There are 33 polo clubs and around 500 players in Manipur now. The first international polo tournament was organised in 1991 to spread awareness about the game. By 2000, five international tournaments had taken place. After 12 years, the 6th Manipur Polo International 2012 was organised to highlight the need to save Manipuri ponies from extinction. Their population is less than a thousand today. MHRPA runs a pony breeding farm with government support and conducts annual polo and equestrian tournaments. “Manipur N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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CELEBRATIONS

Christ, church and

Christmas

This Christmas, we showcase well-known shrines in the country, their flagship festivities, impressive architecture and fascinating history

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Sacred Heart Cathedral, Delhi

A unique combination of Italian and British architecture, the foundation stone of this church was laid in 1929. Designed by British architect Henry Medd, its facade of white pillars against a brick red background is remarkable. A towering curved roof, polished stone floors and broad arches make for grand interiors. Easter celebration are well-known here including the death ceremony of Christ. These are followed by his joyful resurrection. On last Sunday of September is the Parish Feast, the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. During Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Christmas Vigil Service is organised where prayers and scriptures are read an hour before midnight on Christmas eve.

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CELEBRATIONS

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

A fine example of Baroque architecture, the foundation for this UNESCO World Heritage Site was laid in November 1594. It is dedicated to Bom Jesus meaning good or infant Jesus. Murals and marble floors inlaid with precious stones add charm to interiors. Mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, who died in 1552 and had unbelievable healing powers, are kept here in a glass case ensconced in a silver casket since 1624. His body was buried in three different countries; each time it was exhumed, it was found to be incorrupt! Once in 10 years, the Spanish saint’s body is brought out for pilgrims to see in a ceremonial procession. The 17th such St Francis Xavier Exposition is scheduled from November 24, 2014 to January 4, 2015. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Parumala Church, Kerala

Originally built in 1885, Parumala Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala, at present, is a modern building re-designed by renowned architect Charles Correa. Apart from the Holy Altar and the room where the mortal remains of Parumala Thirumeni or Saint Gregorios, after whom the church has been named, are entombed. It is one of the few church buildings which are circular in design. You can be a part of the week-long festivities here on November 2 when an annual feast commemorating the death anniversary of Saint Gregorios is organised.

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CELEBRATIONS

Velankainni Church, Tamil Nadu

Velankainni Church on Coromandel Coast has an interesting history behind it. A shepherd who gave milk to baby Jesus found his pitcher was never out of milk and a small thatched chapel was built at the site. Towards the end of 16th century, Virgin Mary appeared and cured a lame boy after which the church, dedicated to Our Lady of Health, was constructed. Even today, devotees offer a candle shaped to represent a respective illness: Heart for cardiac complications, liver for jaundice, lungs for tuberculosis... When cured, they donate miniature replicas of body parts in silver or gold which are housed in a museum in the premises. On Christmas eve, church priests come in a procession to announce the birth of Jesus. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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ACHIEVEMENT

Wonder

women

Indian sports is no longer defined by laurels won by sportsmen as women are making a mark in every arena now text | Garima Verma

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ndian sportswomen finally seem to have stepped out of the shadow of their male counterparts as more and more of them are now winning medals internationally than ever before. Latest example being their share in the Indian medal

tally at Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 that went up from 36.53 per cent in 2010 CWG to 45.3 per cent this year. We talk to five women who helped India finish on the podium in their respective sport and inspired many others.

Sanjita Khumukchan, 20 Weightlifting (48 kg) The Manipuri girl opened India’s medal account with a gold on the first day of the Glasgow CWG. “I was so happy I could not eat for a long time,” says Sanjita who equalled the CWG record en route to the top. It was in 2006 that Sanjita started her tryst with the sport. “As some of my friends were into weightlifting, I joined in to avoid studies. Once I got selected at the Sports Authority of India centre, I started taking it seriously.” Her lift of 179 kilo (79+100) in the 29th Senior Nationals in Nagpur earlier this year got her a gold. For CWG though, 173 kilo (77+96) was enough to get her the top position. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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ACHIEVEMENT

Babita Kumari, 24, Wrestling, Freestyle (55 kg) Vinesh Phogat, 20, Wrestling, Freestyle (48 kg) Keeping the Tricolour flying high is a tradition in this family. With Geeta Phogat having clinched a number of medals, it was only time her sister Babita and cousin Vinesh would win many more for India. After 2010 CWG, where Geeta (55 kg) became the first woman wrestler to win a gold for India and Babita settled for silver (51 kg), the latter had been waiting to win a gold. “I had been practicing hard to win a gold,” says the 24-year-old Babita, who like her elder sister Geeta was initiated into the sport by

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their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat. Meanwhile, the youngest among Phogat sisters, Vinesh, lost her father when she was nine. “I have been practicing since I was six. Initially, I hated it but when I saw Geeta and Babita didi (elder sister) inning medals, I got inspired,” shares Vinesh. The 20-year-old could not believe when that moment arrived in her maiden CWG appearance. “It took me time to realise I had won a gold. My next target is an Olympic gold,” she reveals.

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Laishram Sarita Devi, 29 Boxing (57-60 kg) The five-time Asian champion Sarita got her first lessons in building stamina while working on the fields. An Arjuna awardee and former national and world champion (2005), Sarita is the first Indian woman pugilist to win a CWG medal with her silver medal performance though she had her share of struggle. “Due to the twoyear break I took after my son’s birth, I never thought I would get back. More than physically, it was challenging mentally. But I kept training and my family supported me. Thankfully, this medal helped me regain confidence,” says the Manipuri boxer.

PV Sindhu, 19 Badminton, Singles With her parents being professional volleyball players, opting to become a shuttler was not easy for PV Sindhu. However, she drew inspiration from Pullela Gopichand’s skills and her relationship with the racquet and shuttle took off at eight. “I have evolved as a player with more grit, compassion, fighting spirit and determination,” says Sindhu. She might have ruled the Asian Junior Championship (2012) and Commonwealth Youth Games (2011) but the senior circuit was never a cakewalk. After a series of losses, Sindhu won her maiden Grand Prix title in 2013. The world championship bronze the same year made her the second Indian shuttler, after Prakash Padukone, to win a singles medal. With another bronze this year, she became the first Indian to win back-to-back medals at world championships. N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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HISTORY

How the Rupee

came into being?

We bring you a brief account of currency and banknotes in India

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n India, the period before 1861 was of free banking in which established banks were at liberty to issue bank notes. The semi-government owned Presidency banks dominated this activity as their notes were accepted by the Government. For this privilege, Presidency banks had to submit themselves to the legislative controls including restrictions on the kind of business the banks could engage in. The limits of the note issue were determined as a proportion of the capital as well as cash in hand. INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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Early bank notes were issued in denominations then deemed convenient. Banks based around Calcutta (now Kolkata) issued notes denominated in Sicca Rupees as well as in gold mohurs. Towards the end of the 18th century, one gold mohur was equivalent to 16 Sicca Rupees in Bengal and this ratio formed the rationale for the issuance of some early notes in denominations of four, eight and 16 rupees, e.g. the note issues of the Bank of Hindostan. These denominations also represented the system of bimetallism in vogue during the period (early 2 0 1 4


19th century). Banks based in Madras (now came to be governed by section 33 of the RBI Chennai), issued notes denominated in Arcot Act which originally prescribed a proportional Rupees as well as the gold Star Pagodas. reserve of gold and sterling securities against In 1818, these monetary units in note issue. At least 40 per cent of Madras were replaced by the silver total assets backing note issue were rupee weighing 180 grains troy to be in the form of gold coin and Paper money (11.66 g) containing 165 grains of sterling securities of which gold traces its fine metal. By 1835, the Rupee was coin and bullion was not to be less origins to standardised to this specification than `40 crore in value with gold the late 18th on the basis of the Indian Coinage being valued at `18.23 per 10 g. century with the Act 1835. Thereafter, notes were Financial instruments, especially note issues of denominated in Company’s Rupee; the bills of exchange known as private banks by the mid-19th century, the hundis, have a venerable history. prefix was dropped and merely However, paper money, in the Rupee retained. modern senses, traces its origins to the late 18th With the establishment of the Reserve Bank century. Among the earliest note issues were of India (RBI), asset backing for the note issued those by the Bank of Hindostan (1770-1832),

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HISTORY

the General Bank in Bengal and Behar (1773India and Pakistan. The transition of currency 75), the Bengal Bank (1748-91) etc. Few of management from colonial to independent those notes survived. With the establishment India was a reasonably smooth affair despite the of semi-government banks in the 19th century considerable dimensions involved. In August (the Bank of Bengal, the Bank of Bombay and 1947, the notes in circulation in undivided India the Bank of Madras alluded to as the Presidency amounted to `1,181 crore (`11.81 billion). The Banks) paper money came to enjoy task was to replace Indian notes wider circulation, though restricted and coins circulating in the newlyIn August 1947, to a small class of privileged users. formed Pakistan with distinct notes the notes in Paper currency was managed and coins of the new state and circulation by the Government till April 1, apportion assets against the liability in undivided 1935, when RBI was established of the notes issued. India as the central bank of the country The bank issued from April 1 amounted to and took over the function of to June 30, 1948, inscribed bank `1,181 crore note issue. RBI initially followed notes in the denominations of `2, (`11.81 billion) a proportionate reserve system `5, `10 and `100 and inscribed of note issue where, at least, Government of Pakistan one rupee 40 per cent of the assets backing note issue notes and Pakistani nickel rupee and other were to be in the form of gold and foreign subsidiary coins of distinctive design. securities. In 1956, the proportionate reserve These notes and coins were to be legal system was replaced by a minimum reserve tender in Pakistan only. The arrangement system. Independence also brought with it for the Reserve Bank to continue as currency the trauma of Partition of the country into authority of Pakistan was terminated on

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June 30, 1948. The State Bank of Pakistan was at Sarnath in lieu of the Gandhi portrait. The new established on July 1, 1948. design of notes was largely along earlier lines. The task in India was simpler. Between In 1951, Hindi was displayed prominently on the Independence and the declaration of the Indian new notes. The debate regarding the Hindi plural Republic on January 26, 1950, RBI of Rupaya was settled in favour of continued to issue the extant notes. Rupaiye. High denomination notes The first note The first note issued by Independent (`1,000, `5,000 and `10,000) were issued by India was the One Rupee note issued reintroduced in 1954. India reformed Independent by the Government of India in 1949 its monetary system in 1957. In the India was the with KRK Menon as the signatory. earlier system, one rupee was divided One Rupee note RBI issues coincided with the into 16 annas and one anna consisted in 1949 with declaration of the Republic. The Bank of 4 pice; one pice equalling 3 pies. KRK Menon as was nationalised on January 1, 1949. Thus, one rupee consisted of 64 the signatory Symbols for Independent India had pice or 192 pies. A commemorative to be chosen. At the outset, it was felt design series in the honour of the that the King’s portrait be replaced by a portrait of birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi was issued in Mahatma Gandhi. Designs were prepared to the 1969, depicting a seated Gandhi with the Sevagram effect. In the final analysis, the consensus moved to Ashram as backdrop. The designs and sizes kept the choice of the Lion Capital of the Ashoka Pillar changing over time. Extracted from The Paper & The Promise: A Brief History of Currency & Banknotes in India/ Department of Currency Management, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai N OVEM B ER- D E CE M BE R

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FOCUS

Building the

spice coast

Way before Kerala became synonymous with backwaters, houseboats and ayurveda, God’s Own Country was known for its spices. We take you down the history lane that set many like Christopher Columbus to sail text | Madhulika Dash

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EUROPE

EGYPT

PERSIA

ARABIA

SOMALIA

CHINA

INDIA KERALA

JAVA Spice Route on the world map

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n January this year, UNESCO and Kerala Tourism signed a pact to resurrect and promote the ancient spice route of which Kerala was an integral part. The two-fold agenda of this first-ever international initiative is to restore historic ports, buildings and marketplaces that played a key role in developing the spice route and Kerala’s culture. And in doing so, help one understand the everevolving story of spices: How once spices ruled the world? How spices became the reason for wars, treaties, pacts and colonisation? And why spices were considered costlier than gold? An important part of the plan comprises developing 25 museums to create a timeline of the spice route in Kerala, and how under the Roman influence, the state became the epicentre

of spice trading – each country wanting a bigger piece of the pie. Why Kerala? Because it is in this naturerich state where the real spice story began. In fact, it was an established spice trade port as early as 3000 BC. Such was the spice market offering that it pulled traders from far and wide. Nomadic Arabs and ancient Phoenicians were among the first to arrive here for spice trade. And by 600 BC were transporting pepper, cinnamon, incense and oils from the East through the Persian Gulf to Arabia and beyond. It is said that on one of their visits, the Arabs were short of cash and paid the tax with pepper, calling it the black gold of Asia. Such was the effect of this sweet-fiery spice that by the turn of that year, its consumption grew

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SAVING SPICE HISTORY Influenced by the waterways, these sites played an equally important role in the flourishing spice trade in Kerala. And will be a part of the Spice Route project...

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PALLIPPURAM FORT

PALIAM DUTCH PALACE

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The residence of the paliath achans, prime ministers to the then maharajas of the state of Kochi, the palace was renovated and given to the minister by the Dutch after he saved the maharaja’s life against Portuguese invasion.

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Constructed by the Portuguese in 1503, Pallippuram Fort was used as a base to check the ships that plied up and down the Periyar to the Arabian Sea and the cellar was used for storing gunpowder.


astonishingly and it became a status the lives of Kerala natives as the symbol of fine cookery. A proof of state became the melting pot of this are recipes for pepper sauces in trading communities. This is Roman novels of 1st century AD. In why Kerala has the maximum fact, Roman emperor churches, mosques, Domition designated guest houses, forts and an area in the heart Shiva temples close to Getting control of the city as Ahorrea water shores including over Kerala piperataria, pepper the first-ever mosque ports was sheds, exclusively for Cheraman Juma one of the pepper merchants. Masjid, built by King motives behind Getting control over Cheraman Perumal Alexander’s Kerala ports was one and Vypeekotta invasion of the motives behind Seminary which of India Alexander’s India became the centre of invasion. Back home, Christian teachings. Ashoka The Great had similar And Chennamangalam Synagogue plans, given that by 3 BCE Kerala and Anatapani North Synagogue had become the busiest spice which started the Jews settlement trading centre. This influenced in Kerala.

KOTTAPPURAM FORT

MANJUMATHA CHURCH

KOTTAPURAM MARKET

Built by the Portuguese in 1523, the fort is also known as Cranganore Fort and was much sought-after because of its vintage position at the mouth of River Periyar.

Legend has it that the church and its surroundings got shrouded in a fog which misled Tipu Sultan’s army to turn away, thus saving many lives.

The oldest spice trading centre, the Kottapuram market is a replica of how the ancient rural trading market worked – it would wake up at 3 am and shut down at 3 pm.

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CONVERSATION

Driving in the

fast lane

She loves riding bikes, outshining men on the racing tracks and now, super-biker Alisha Abdullah is acting in movies text | Shashi Kumari

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n a country where cricketers my 18th birthday, I knew motor are worshipped like gods, sports was my future,” that’s how Alisha Abdullah drives in simply she puts it. like a breath of fresh air. Her passion has today made She is a new-age Indian girl who her the country’s only superwants to chart her own territory bike racer and her niche choice and write her own means she competes destiny. And her with men and hates ‘When my dad area of interest is losing to them, like gifted me a something as unique in the National 600cc superas super-biking with Super-bike Racing bike on my 18th the vroom only Championship 2009 birthday, I knew getting louder and where she finished motor sports more exciting! third overall among was my future’ “My interest in 15 men. “I can give racing started when any man a run for I was eight. My dad was a racer his money in fitness stakes. I am too and I was fascinated by the a fitness fanatic and train for machine, speed and action. Then five-six hours every day. I indulge I tried my hand at go-karting and in lots of physical training to did well. Slowly, racing developed improve stamina, core strength, into a passion. When my dad lower back and neck areas. The gifted me a 600cc super-bike on sport is too much for a girl to INDIA PERSPECTIVES

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I can give any man a run for his money in fitness stakes. I am a fitness fanatic and train for five-six hours every day. I indulge in lots of physical training to improve stamina, core strength, lower back and neck areas� Alisha Abdullah

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handle physically so I need to workout up next? It’s the silver screen. Alisha harder,” she declares. recently made her debut as a film star In June 2013, a national fitness camp with Tamil film Irumbu Kuthirai took place for the racers in Coimbatore where she plays a biker. “That’s the and she outshone all the boys, clocking reason I agreed to do the project,” 69 push-ups in a minute. she says. Her other achievements But if you have created In a national include finishing second an image of girl with a fitness camp in 2006 National Road rock chic fashion sense like for racers, she Racing Championship boots, leather jackets and outshone all the UCAL, finishing eighth denims, there is another boys, clocking in 2012 Volkswagen surprise in store. Alisha 69 push-ups in National Polo Cup (India) loves wearing pretty a minute and being honoured dresses for evening events with the Rotary Young with jewellery. Achiever Award in 2008. “I’m no tomboy off the track. In fact, She loves to live life in the fast lane, people get surprises when they get zoom at over 200 kmph, compete with to know I am a super-biker,” she says men and beat them too... So what’s with a smile.

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