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  • Remembering S M A Kazmi: My Mentor In The Field Of Law ( A Tribute )

    “The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
    Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

    (Thomas Gray In Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard)

    When I was in school days these lines by poet Thomas Gray left an indelible impression on my mind’s landscape. I always wondered about its real purport. Now very recently when I heard about the tragic death of Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi, senior lawyer, Allahabad High Court, in a fatal road accident it not only left me in a state of deep shock but also made me realize the true purport of lines penned by Gray. In this world the only reality is death! Rest is illusion which looks real enough to keep humans trapped in life’s drama!

    I met S M A Kazmi very shortly after Allahabad University granted me a law degree in year 2002. Although I was not pretty interested in getting enrolled as a lawyer at Allahabad High Court in prime of my life, I had to give way to destiny’s will of becoming part of Allahabad High Court- a High Court having a glorious legacy of delivering path-breaking judgements on par with global standards! I was fortunate that one of my childhood friends, Sampanna Kumar Srivastava, also a lawyer, and in those days a student leader associated with Communist Party, introduced me to Mr Kazmi in his chamber. I had by then carved a niche for myself in the world of media as a freelancer. Mr. Kazmi was a lawyer with a difference. He was a good orator besides being a good writer who enjoyed organizing literary gatherings. So he was quite happy in finding someone like me having similar mental orientations akin to his literary bent of mind.

    In very short span of time I became one of his favourite juniors. I loved his penchant for perfectionism. His aggressive mannerism really threatened others but on me it had little impact. Like him I believed in working hard and, therefore, rarely felt short of his expectations. And that did not provide enough space to Mr. Kazmi to direct his anger towards me. He always believed that if one wishes to emerge as a good lawyer at High Court level then one must be ready to read enough besides being good at interpretation! It’s really saddening that emerging lawyers are merely interested in attaining riches than attaining right skills! As a result of that most of the lawyers fail to attain great heights in real sense!

    That was not the case with Mr. Kazmi. He came from a teacher’s family with no previous legal history in his family. However, his legal journey which began in early 80s saw all glorious episodes which any lawyer wishes in his/her career. In prime of his age he became Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh, and later became politically active which yielded him ministerial birth. Every successful person has many adversaries in form of friends! He too had many such friends who said good words in his front but despised him at his back being always loaded with set of conspiracies. He warned me that I should not waste my energy in forming counter-strategies to negate such vicious network! The best way to defeat negative souls in your profession is to keep doing exceptional work. That sort of attitude demoralizes negative souls! At this point I come to remember words of Indira Gandhi that there are many who wish to take credit in aftermath of any successful endeavour, but competition is less when it comes to do some original work!

    Anyway, relationship between juniors and seniors has plummeted to all-time low. However, the juniors associated with Mr. Kazmi had better experiences and not bitter experiences. The ones who worked hard always managed to strike a favourable chord with both his personal and professional life. He did not believe in carrying aura of bossism but ensured that his leniency does not get misused. I must admit that he helped me financially besides making me in tune with various shades of advocacy. His chamber was not a dull place! Besides dealing with complex cases, the young lawyers also got introduced with lifestyle mired in royalty. The weekends were reserved for having a good time at some famous restaurant. He believed in spending money with people around instead of using the money to ensure petty personal gains. That’s why he was sincerely involved with several charitable trusts operating in Allahabad.

    He was not happy with my decision to distance from legal profession for he was quite satisfied with my progress. He saw in me the rare attributes which had now gone missing. That’s why he lamented that people who should be really part of legal institutions are the ones engaged in different profession and the ones who are not supposed to be lawyers are the ones dominating the show at various legal institutions! Legal profession is now in grip of mediocre minds! He understood my temperament well, and, therefore, did not compel me to remain engaged in active advocacy. However, I did not wish to hurt his sentiments and, therefore, to honour his sentiments I remained part of Allahabad High Court via my legal reporting! I assured him that great values I intercepted at his chamber would always stay with me for rest of the life.

    Indeed, right now when his death has left me in deep pain, side-by-side there exists a deep sense of satisfaction encircled by great mental peace within! I added a new dimensions in the values I inherited at his chamber. Happily, my friends never forgot that I was one of the juniors of Mr Kazmi! Their remembrance of my association with Mr Kazmi keeps me in right state of mind, enabling me to pursue different legal tasks with greater concentration and greater degree of perfection. Mr Kazmi believed that hard work never goes in vain and that has ensured I remain above short cuts to attain success! Yes, he had many flaw in his personality, like any soul trapped in earthly life, but the greater truth is that they took a backseat when contrasted against his noble virtues! His soul might have ascended to higher world, but for mine eyes he would always remain as real as any living person! May his soul rest in peace!

  • An Evening With Friends At Historic Coffee House in Allahabad

    "The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege." (Charles Kuralt) That's one of the reasons why I always look for moments when I can be in company of my old friends. Their company helps me to assess my one's own growth in better light. It's interesting that one always looks for substantial cause to enter into celebrations. That's something which makes me uncomfortable since I love to celebrate even if there is no such weighty reason around! This time I managed to persuade all my old friends to be at historic coffee house, Allahabad, all in the name of celebrating grant of fellowship by Aavartan Research Institute, Gorakhpur. That was enough to tame the curious minds of some of my friends too anxious to know the exact reason! The real reason, however, was to spend some fun-filled moments with them. Life has become so hectic that it does not allow two individuals, however close they may be as friends, to sit together and get lost in old memories. That was the ultimate purport of organizing this get together with some chosen friends!

    Why Coffee House? Allahabad has recently developed a lot having so many bright and glamorous food outlets but I selected Coffee House simply because being there means becoming part of its glorious history! This place is always occupied by legal hawks, writers and journalists during noon hours and by evening well-known oldies occupy the seats for long hours. This place in the past since early 50s witnessed development in lives of well-known geniuses belonging to Allahabad. Eminent literary figures like Firaq Gorakhpuri and Harivansh Rai Bachchan were frequent visitors to this place. Apart from them, the place has also witnessed rise of new creative wonders! The vibrations there ensure that there is no dearth of good souls in future!

    I must thank to my friends from core of my heart that despite being trapped in busy schedules they managed to be part of this informal event at right time! It's habit of the guests to worry the organizers with a deliberate delay! Mercifully, that's not the case with events organized by me. I am spared this harassment for which I am really grateful to my friends. I must mention this fact that most of the friends who were part of this event have been my old friends and it makes me really happy when I state that they have all emerged as achievers! It was a moment of satisfaction for me to find them hale and hearty!

    Obviously, the event was not solely attributed to dine together! We had some thought-provoking discussions. My friend Sheel, pursuing research in philosophy, rightly suggested that philosophy should also be taught at school level since that goes well with cultural legacy of this nation. Rajesh Kumar Pandey, legal correspondent associated with The Times Of India, lamented that Philosophy, of late, has become popular only because it helps students get good marks in competitive exams! It's really hurting that a nation which is mired in philosophies of highest types has no mention about it at school level! My friend Ashish Nigam, on the other hand, asked me as to what was the method involved in my fellowship. I promptly informed him that besides books I was involved in interviewing concerned individuals. He also came to throw light on the glorious past of Coffee House, mentioning that visitors at this place love to sit here for long hours! It would not be out of tune to inform that most of the friends who gathered here were advocates associated with Allahabad High Court, who were also once upon a time had been my batch-mates!

    There were some hilarious moments too when my childhood friend Pintu, lawyer at district court, got engaged in circulating images which showed us together as students in nursery days! Sangarsha Srivastava, who in past was a ferocious Communist leader and now an advocate, made everybody laugh by exhibiting that Coffee tastes less sweeter if you add more sugar in it! The only thing you should ensure is that stir it not well enough with a spoon and then drink it fast! Advocate Susheel Kumar Tiwary, Advocate Shashikant Kushwaha, Advocate Satyahdhar Dubey, Advocate Vinay Vishwakarma and Advocate Neeraj Shukla, who happens to be my brother-in-law, spent some qualitative time with me rising above constraints of time and without worrying about the fact that they have to return back home traveling long distance in night hours only to face ire of their anxious wives! It was heart-warming to hear Satyadhar ji asking me to make visit to this place till fag end of my life this way just like the oldies engaged in deep and interesting conversations sitting beside our gathering!

    In the end I need to make special reference to contribution made on part of Arvind Kushwaha, advocate/computer programmer, and Arun Prakash Srivastava, District librarian. Arvind ensured that moments get captured in his camera while Arun ji ensured that all goes well in terms of management. Happily, the event ended on a high note with so many good feelings. That's not possible without grace of Lord and, therefore, let's thank the Almighty too for successful culmination of this event! "Take no pride in your possession, in the people (at your command), in the youthfulness (that you have). Time loots away all these in a moment. Leaving aside all these, after knowing their illusory nature, realise the state of Brahman, and enter into it. (Sri Adi Shankara in Bhaja Govindam; Verse 11)

  • Taj Mahal Is Not Symbol Of True Love: It’s Manifestation Of Insensitivity And Cruelty!

    We always get carried away by false images, popular sentiments, more so when they are associated with well-known things. Worse, we dare not put in real perspective our own doubts. We keep on believing only because that’s been the known reality since time immemorial. This holds true about Taj Mahal. It’s popular, across the globe as symbol of true love. Whether it’s President of any nation or common man from a different part of the globe, they all love to get their selfies silhouetted against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal. It’s high time we become aware of infamous facets of Taj Mahal and shatter rhetoric strengthened by movies and sponsored literature!

    One of the flaws of education system in India is that it has made analytical abilities of Indian students inherently remain in awe of myths created by Western scholars. Anyway, the suppressed truth about Taj Mahal is that Empress Mumtaz had 14 children and she died due to postpartum hemorrhage after her last childbirth. This fact which appears in “A Textbook of Postpartum Hemorrhage: A Comprehensive Guide to Evaluation”, edited by Christopher B-Lynch, got new lease of life when Dr. Anant Kumar, Assistant Professor, Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi, substantiated it with new findings in his research paper titled “Monument of Love or Symbol of Maternal Death: The Story Behind the Taj Mahal“.

    In fact in the eyes of Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul Taj Mahal is “only despot’s monument to a woman”. Naipaul, trashing the popular perceptions, dares to expose the misdeeds of Muslim rulers in India: “Mosque on temple: ruin on ruin. This is the North”. He was candid in confessing that magnificent buildings built during Mughal period were symbolic of “personal plunder”. Naipaul, shattering the romantic illusions pervading the Taj Mahal, hailed it as ‘wasteful’- “The Taj is so wasteful, so decadent and in the end so cruel that I found it painful to be there for very long. This is an extravagance that speaks about the blood of the people.” The sentiments of V S Naipaul might appear against the secular spirit of nation forcing writers like William Darymple to give way to a knee jerk reaction that historical knowledge of V S Naipaul was flawed.

    How can you ignore the harsh truth stated by Naipaul even if you are able to show Muslim rulers in better light? What so wrong about it when Naipaul says that “when you see so many Hindu temples of the 10th century or earlier disfigured, defaced, you realise that something terrible happened. I feel that the civilisation of that closed world was mortally wounded by those invasions … The Old World is destroyed. That has to be understood. Ancient Hindu India was destroyed.”

    Let’s come to standard historical findings unearthed by Dr. Anant Kumar in his research work. After delving deep into historical records he stated that “physiological causes of Arjumand’s death were postpartum haemorrhage, anaemia and repeated child bearing without birth spacing.” Arjumand Banu Begum got married to Shah Jahan at the age of 19 and she died at age of 39 on 17th June 1631. In between she had 13 children and she died while giving birth to 14th child. Dr. Anant Kumar suggest that ” 2 1/2 years to 3 years between births” was totally ignored largely because of “social-cultural and religious cause”. “Being a follower of Islam, it must have been difficult for a woman to think about contraception and pregnancy regulation.” Interestingly, almost at the same time, in different part of the globe ‘a medical doctor Johan von Hoorn started midwifery school in Stockholm in 1708′.

    In the light of above-mentioned facts are we still going to treat Taj Mahal as symbol of love? Even if it’s about true love, it’s also equally about lack of conscious approach towards health of woman. It’s about romance mired in bloodshed and acts of vandalism.

    References:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214911214000034

    http://books.google.co.in/books?id=AiIsuw5cga8C&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=Taj+Mahal,+maternal+death&source=bl&ots=6OhGqnTKrE&sig=AHNvHhoU2YS1mutWBjvNqzJ8nfY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=u0pQVIW9E9i58gXz24IY&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Taj%20Mahal%2C%20maternal%20death&f=false

    http://books.google.co.in/books?id=p6c0O22ZP2gC&pg=PA87&lpg=PA87&dq=V+S+Naipaul+on+Tajmahal&source=bl&ots=BygNXCmaW6&sig=CySPml6PXB9dl48ykPe7yriLJoo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LldQVNyND8HMmAXE0ICABw&ved=0CEsQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=V%20S%20Naipaul%20on%20Tajmahal&f=false

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/mar/20/india.fiction

  • Hindi Is Strengthening Indo-Israel Relations Even As Indians Flirt With English!

    (First published in Northern India Patrika, October 11, 2014)

    Last month Aavratan, a reputed research journal, organized a seminar in coordination with Deen Dayal Upadhyay University situated in Gorakhpur. This Gorakhpur based research journal in the past has published excellent papers revealing lesser known facets of critical issues. The seminar was dedicated to promotion of Hindi- the official language of India. The star attraction of the event was the presidential speech by Dr. Genadi Shlomper, who happened to be Hindi Instructor at East Asia Department, Tel Aviv University, Israel. It was a pretty interesting experience to hear from Dr.Genadi about his involvement with Hindi during formative years of his career. It was evident from his speech that even if Hindi has failed to emerge as national language of India, it has emerged as an International language like its counterpart Spanish and English.

    His insights proved to be an eye-opener for huge crowd which had gathered there to listen a foreign visitor throwing light on worth of dealing in Hindi! After all, despite constitutional obligations Hindi has failed to get status of national language. Even in routine life of an average Indian enjoying upper middle class stature Hindi enjoys position of illegitimate wife! Indians have beaten Englishmen in exhibiting their love for Victorian ideals and, of course, for English. Besides Dr. Genady, listeners also had a wonderful opportunity to hear Israeli students pursuing Hindi language course at Tel Aviv University. Offir Mizrahi, Tal Gorsky, Matan Massika, Yakir Dahari, Alexandra Fer and Adi Fischer who were visiting various parts of India to understand the essence of Hindi in more refined manner had so many interesting tales to narrate regarding their experiences which they gathered during their current visit.

    Dr Genady Shlomper, who is credited with introducing Hindi in Israeli Universities, loves to visit India so as to enable his students have first-hand-experience of Indian culture. That in his eyes would make his students grasp the intricacies associated with Hindi language in a better way. Informing about the curriculum associated with Hindi he said that at initial stages more stress is laid on making students familiar with script and grammar rules. The students who wish to pursue Hindi more seriously can get enrolled in third year of three-year graduation course. At this stage it needs to be informed that a student has to learn at least one Asian language as one of the subjects in first two years. However, he made it clear that government does not get involved in framing the curriculum. Above all, the students who wish to learn languages are primarily guided by career concerns instead of being charmed by the intrinsic beauty of ay language. Interestingly, Hindi is easy to grasp but once Israeli students become face-to-face with grammar the enthusiasm gets a big jolt!

    Dr. Genady, who got fascinated with Hindi since Tashkent days, said Universities in Russia in those days had no course specifically meant for Hindi learning. However, Urdu was being taught as one of the languages. He had no other option left other than to select Urdu. In those days there were also no books for learning these languages and students had to rely on lectures delivered by Professors in class. Finally, during one of his visits to India he managed to get hold of books related with Hindi. One of the reason he selected Hindi was that in eyes of his mentors it provided greater opportunity for career growth. Even in our times as India is on the verge of emerging economic superpower, learning Hindi widens the scope of landing your dream job. More and more foreign companies are entering in Indian markets to promote their brands. That means increased role of translators in the grand scheme of things primarily controlled by Capitalism!

    Dr Genady finally moved to Israel from Russia to ensure a better future for himself. Ironically, students accompanying Dr. Genady had some bitter truths to share pertaining to materialistic world in the process of unfolding their love for Hindi. Yakir Dahari, a die-hard fan of Hindi movies, hit hard at the prevalent corruption in Israel. Citing India’s war against corruption, led by Anna Hazare, Yakir informed that youths in Israel have also waged a war against corrupt institutions, which had resulted in ouster of influential people from public domain. Adi Fisher, a married Israeli student, says that living a decent life has become a herculean task. She has delayed the birth of child so as to ensure better days! In fact, costly living standards have forced the youths to share the home built by their parents since owning a separate house in limited income is virtually impossible. In lighter vein, Alexandara’s sweet gestures on Bollywood numbers along with other Israeli students gave clue about the rocking presence of Indian movies in distant lands! It was an unique experience to see them singing a gem from classic era: Babuji Dheere Chalna Pyar Mein Zara Sambhalana!

    Israel continues to inspire Indians in one more way. Its aggressive stance against countries trying to sabotage its sovereignty appeals a lot to sentiments of Indian people who wish India to adopt similar line of action. Dr. Genady had to face barrage of questions in this regard much against his desire to be above controversial issues. He was interested in being seen as a professor involved in promotion of Hindi instead of being seen as a political analyst. He cleverly avoided all such disturbing questions but not without mentioning that not all Israelis agree with tough stand of Israel government against enemy nations. There are serious differences making it clear that opinion of people differ from the ones who rule the government. Whatever be the truth, Indian students who had gathered to interact with Dr. Genady were keen to know from him the elements that have gone into the making of an average Israeli committed to defend Israel at any cost! The questions from students give a clue about it. One student asked: Are students trained that way from the beginning? Another asked: Is the curriculum framed that way which ensures the rise of ferocious nationalists?

    Dr. Genady is convinced that Hindi is going to strengthen its impact in coming days. It’s going to make its presence felt in a big way in International arena. What he does not realize that in India it’s losing its charm. Newer distortions like “Hinglish” and mindless aping of global values have made Hindi attain an object of ridicule in fast-growing middle class. It’s really unfortunate that Indians feel more pride in speaking wrong English than speaking flawless standard Hindi. That’s the reason why speaking courses in English are hot favourite among Indian students. It’s amazing that even after so many years of India’s independence the Central government is clueless about true status of Hindi in India. It continues to create ambiguity between “national language” and “official language”! The southern states continue to see introduction of Hindi not as something inspired by love for country but something arising of politics of language! That makes it obvious that foreign scholars like Dr Genady Shlomper might be a source of inspiration to embrace Hindi in a substantive way, the will to respect Hindi has to come from Indians alone. Indians alone need to develop an atmosphere conductive for growth of Hindi in significant way both in Indian landscape and in foreign lands.

    Reference:

    http://indowaves.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/a-brief-meeting-meeting-dr-genady-shlomper-hindi-instructor-in-israel/

    http://indowaves.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/gorakhpur-a-city-that-showed-israeli-students-ideal-merger-of-cultural-and-literary-values-photo-feature/

    http://indowaves.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AB-%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%82/

  • A Brief Meeting With Dr. Genady Shlomper- Hindi Instructor In Israel!

    Dr. Genady Shlomper came to Allahabad both as a tourist and as a person with purpose! He was here to attend a function organized to mark Hindi Divas on September 14. I could not be part of this function since I had to attend another event organized in a different city. As a result of that I could not meet the professor at this event, but next day I got an opportunity to meet him. It was a hurried affair since he was about to leave for Ayodhya. Anyway, it did not deter me from asking some interesting questions. Interestingly, it was a memorable experience to seek an appointment with a foreigner in my own language. The few minutes of talk over telephone in Hindi to fix time for the meeting was an unique experience.

    This time too when I met someone from foreign land I noticed remarkable simplicity. Right in the beginning he confessed that he is no big guy! True, he might not be a celebrity but you need not to be a celebrity to enjoy a dignified stature! Speaking about his love for Hindi he stated that there was no emotional reason to learn Hindi. He embraced this language because he found it to be useful in scheme of things about to unfold in future. The market is growing and more and more job opportunities get concentrated in Asian countries. Therefore, it’s always going to be beneficial to learn Asian language instead of learning European language! It appears “Capitalism” has proved to be lifeline for Asian languages languishing under weight of English!

    Speaking about the influence of Hindi in Israel he said that it’s not very commonplace to notice Hindi speaking person there. However, in modern times there is always a greater space for assimilation of newer ideas from other nations and people in Israel are not hesitant to fall in love with Hindi! On a different note, speaking about the specialties of Allahabad, he said that he found nothing fascinating about it! The only striking thing about this city was confluence of three rivers at Sangam area! Hearing this I was but compelled to ponder about one of the ills of globalization: That it’s fast making cities across the globe to lose their uniqueness! All cities are simply becoming clone of each other!

    This brief meeting ended in few minutes but it gave rise to so many ideas as food for thought. That’s the plus point of being in company of academicians!

    P.S. :- Dr. Genady Shlomper is a Hindi Instructor at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

  • That’s Strongest Example Of Divine Justice!

    It’s the strongest evidence of divine justice that people of Jammu & Kashmir are today on the mercy of Indian Army! When they are being chased by death in form of threatening flood waters, it’s not the separatist forces, sponsored by Pakistan, which have come to their rescue. One can also not trace so-called progressive people and International Human Rights Commission who always condemned the role of India Army in J & K.

    Today, in times of crisis, all we notice are efforts of Indian Army involved in rescue operation in the state. Where is Arundhati Roy who leaves no stone unturned to blame Indian Army? Her scathing attack on Indian Army, usually figment of imagination, is used by the foreign press to give rise to anti-Indian sentiments across the globe!

    Hats off to divine spirit exhibited by the Indian Army! It’s time to salute their indomitable courage and unbiased stance. It’s also time to hate the cowardice of people who entered in malicious campaign against Indian Army.

    ******

    Reference:

    "Jammu & Kashmir floods: Thousands still stranded in Srinagar, rescue operations intensify"-

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/jammu-and-kashmir/jammu-kashmir-floods-thousands-still-stranded-in-srinagar-rescue-operations-intensify_1466551.html

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  • Words Of Aurobindo Ghosh And Poetry Of Neeraj Besides Sanskrit Verses On India’s Glory!

    The views expressed herein unfold Sri Aurobindo’s methadology to deal with huge challenges India was going to face in post-Independence era. Sri aurobindo conveyed these views between 1910-1922 in Arya- an English monthly published by Sri Aurobindo.

    ********

    “How shall we recover our lost intellectual freedom and elasticity? By reversing, for a time at least, the process by which we lost it, by liberating our minds in all subjects from the thraldom to authority. That is not what reformers and the Anglicised require of us. They ask us, indeed, to abandon authority, to revolt against custom and superstition, to have free and enlightened minds. But they mean by these sounding recommendations that we should renounce the authority of Sayana for the authority of Max Muller, the Monism of Shankara for the Monism of Haeckel, the written Shastra for the unwritten law of European social opinion, the dogmatism of Brahmin Pandits for the dogmatism of European scientists, thinkers and scholars. Such a foolish exchange of servitude can receive the assent of no self-respecting mind. Let us break our chains, venerable as they are, but let it be in order to be free, in the name of truth, not in the name of Europe. It would be a poor bargain to exchange our old Indian illuminations, however dark they may have grown to us, for a derivative European enlightenment or replace the superstitions of popular Hinduism by the superstitions of materialistic Science.”

    “Our first necessity, if India is to survive and do her appointed work in the world, is that the youth of India should learn to think, to think on all subjects, to think independently, fruitfully, going to the heart of things, not stopped by their surface, free of prejudgments, shearing sophism and prejudice asunder as with a sharp sword, smiting down obscurantism of all kinds as with the mace of Bhima….”

    “Let us not, either, select at random, make a nameless hotchpotch and then triumphantly call it the assimilation of East and West. We must begin by accepting nothing on trust from any source whatsoever, by questioning everything and forming our own conclusions. We need not fear that we shall by that process cease to be Indians or fall into the danger of abandoning Hinduism. India can never cease to be India or Hinduism to be Hinduism, if we really think for ourselves. It is only if we allow Europe to think for us that India is in danger of becoming an ill-executed and foolish copy of Europe…. We must … take our stand on that which is true and lasting. But in order to find out what in our conceptions is true and lasting, we must question all alike rigorously and impartially. The necessity of such a process not for India, but for all humanity has been recognised by leading European thinkers. It was what Carlyle meant when he spoke of swallowing all formulas. It was the process by which Goethe helped to reinvigorate European thinking. But … Europe has for some time ceased to produce original thinkers, though it still produces original mechanicians…. China, Japan and the Mussulman states are sliding into a blind European imitativeness. In India alone there is self-contained, dormant, the energy and the invincible spiritual individuality which can yet arise and break her own and the world’s fetters.”

    Source: http://www.bharatvani.org/books/ir/IR_part2.htm

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    *********

    These beautiful verses in Sanskrit unfold glory of India’s past. They make you aware of great souls who made their presence felt on this great divine land. The verses also let you know about beautiful places, rivers and mountains which make this part of the world a poetry carved on planet earth. I first noticed these verses on page of Sri Vijay Krishna Pandey.

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    ॐ नमः सच्चिदानंदरूपाय परमात्मने
    ज्योतिर्मयस्वरूपाय विश्वमांगल्यमूर्तये॥१॥

    प्रकृतिः पंचभूतानि ग्रहलोकस्वरास्तथा
    दिशः कालश्च सर्वेषां सदा कुर्वंतु मंगलम्‌॥२॥

    रत्नाकराधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम्‌
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिरत्नाढ्याम् वन्दे भारतमातरम्‌ ॥३॥

    महेंद्रो मलयः सह्यो देवतात्मा हिमालयः
    ध्येयो रैवतको विन्ध्यो गिरिश्चारावलिस्तथा ॥४॥

    गंगा सरस्वती सिंधु ब्रह्मपुत्राश्च गंदकी
    कावेरी यमुना रेवा कृष्णा गोदा महानदी ॥५॥

    अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी कांची अवंतिका
    वैशाली द्वारका ध्येया पुरी तक्शशिला गया ॥६॥

    प्रयागः पाटलीपुत्रं विजयानगरं महत्‌
    इंद्रप्रस्थं सोमनाथस्तथामृतसरः प्रियम्‌॥७॥

    चतुर्वेदाः पुराणानि सर्वोपनिषदस्तथा
    रामायणं भारतं च गीता षड्दर्शनानि च ॥८॥

    जैनागमास्त्रिपिटकः गुरुग्रन्थः सतां गिरः
    एष ज्ञाननिधिः श्रेष्ठः श्रद्धेयो हृदि सर्वदा॥९॥

    अरुन्धत्यनसूय च सावित्री जानकी सती
    द्रौपदी कन्नगे गार्गी मीरा दुर्गावती तथा ॥१०॥

    लक्ष्मी अहल्या चन्नम्मा रुद्रमाम्बा सुविक्रमा
    निवेदिता सारदा च प्रणम्य मातृ देवताः ॥११॥

    श्री रामो भरतः कृष्णो भीष्मो धर्मस्तथार्जुनः
    मार्कंडेयो हरिश्चन्द्र प्रह्लादो नारदो ध्रुवः ॥१२॥

    हनुमान्‌ जनको व्यासो वसिष्ठश्च शुको बलिः
    दधीचि विश्वकर्माणौ पृथु वाल्मीकि भार्गवः ॥१३॥

    भगीरथश्चैकलव्यो मनुर्धन्वन्तरिस्तथा
    शिबिश्च रन्तिदेवश्च पुराणोद्गीतकीर्तयः ॥१४॥

    बुद्ध जिनेन्द्र गोरक्शः पाणिनिश्च पतंजलिः
    शंकरो मध्व निंबार्कौ श्री रामानुज वल्लभौ ॥१५॥

    झूलेलालोथ चैतन्यः तिरुवल्लुवरस्तथा
    नायन्मारालवाराश्च कंबश्च बसवेश्वरः ॥१६॥

    देवलो रविदासश्च कबीरो गुरु नानकः
    नरसी तुलसीदासो दशमेषो दृढव्रतः ॥१७॥

    श्रीमच्छङ्करदेवश्च बंधू सायन माधवौ
    ज्ञानेश्वरस्तुकाराम रामदासः पुरन्दरः ॥१८॥

    बिरसा सहजानन्दो रमानन्दस्तथा महान्‌
    वितरन्तु सदैवैते दैवीं षड्गुणसंपदम्‌ ॥१९॥

    रविवर्मा भातखंडे भाग्यचन्द्रः स भोपतिः
    कलावंतश्च विख्याताः स्मरणीया निरंतरम्‌ ॥२०॥

    भरतर्षिः कालिदासः श्रीभोजो जनकस्तथा
    सूरदासस्त्यागराजो रसखानश्च सत्कविः ॥२१॥

    अगस्त्यः कंबु कौन्डिण्यौ राजेन्द्रश्चोल वंशजः
    अशोकः पुश्य मित्रश्च खारवेलः सुनीतिमान्‌ ॥२२॥

    चाणक्य चन्द्रगुप्तौ च विक्रमः शालिवाहनः
    समुद्रगुप्तः श्रीहर्षः शैलेंद्रो बप्परावलः ॥२३॥

    लाचिद्भास्कर वर्मा च यशोधर्मा च हूणजित्‌
    श्रीकृष्णदेवरायश्च ललितादित्य उद्बलः ॥२४॥

    मुसुनूरिनायकौ तौ प्रतापः शिव भूपतिः
    रणजितसिंह इत्येते वीरा विख्यात विक्रमाः ॥२५॥

    वैज्ञानिकाश्च कपिलः कणादः शुश्रुतस्तथा
    चरको भास्कराचार्यो वराहमिहिर सुधीः ॥२६॥

    नागार्जुन भरद्वाज आर्यभट्टो वसुर्बुधः
    ध्येयो वेंकट रामश्च विज्ञा रामानुजायः ॥२७॥

    रामकृष्णो दयानंदो रवींद्रो राममोहनः
    रामतीर्थोऽरविंदश्च विवेकानंद उद्यशः ॥२८॥

    दादाभाई गोपबंधुः टिळको गांधी रादृताः
    रमणो मालवीयश्च श्री सुब्रमण्य भारती ॥२९॥

    सुभाषः प्रणवानंदः क्रांतिवीरो विनायकः
    ठक्करो भीमरावश्च फुले नारायणो गुरुः ॥३०॥

    संघशक्ति प्रणेतारौ केशवो माधवस्तथा
    स्मरणीय सदैवैते नवचैतन्यदायकाः ॥३१॥

    अनुक्ता ये भक्ताः प्रभुचरण संसक्तहृदयाः
    अविज्ञाता वीरा अधिसमरमुद्ध्वस्तरि पवः
    समाजोद्धर्तारः सुहितकर विज्ञान निपुणाः
    नमस्तेभ्यो भूयात्सकल सुजनेभ्यः प्रतिदिनम्‌ ॥ ३२॥

    इदमेकात्मता स्तोत्रं श्रद्धया यः सदा पठेत्‌
    स राष्ट्रधर्म निष्ठावानखंडं भारतं स्मरेत्‌ ॥३३॥

    जयति पुण्य सनातन संस्कृति…जयति पुण्य भूमि भारत…
    सदा सुमंगल…वंदेमातरम…..
    जय श्री राम

    Source:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=677152065698626&set=a.386909111389591.91346.100002115155073&type=1&fref=nf

    *****

    These verses in Hindi written by famous poet Neearj unfold the charishma of feeling called love!

    ****

    जब तक आँसू साथ रहेंगे,
    मुझको याद किया जायेगा;
    जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
    मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।
    जब भी कोई सपना टूटा,
    मेरी आँख वहाँ बरसी है;
    तड़पा हूँ मैं जब भी कोई,
    मछ्ली पानी को तरसी है ।
    गीत दर्द का पहला बेटा,
    दुःख है उसका खेल खिलौना
    कविता तब मीरा होगी,
    जब हँस कर ज़हर पिया जायेगा ।
    जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
    मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।

    -By Neeraj

    **********

  • When I Be Absent In This World ( Mystical Love Poem )

    Let’s venture out to quiet place
    Where time has come to standstill
    Where moments love to freeze
    And at such a place
    Sitting under shade of each other’s soul
    Ponder about those days
    When we be missing from this world
    And yet life’s beauty be prevailing around
    In all its majestic grandeur
    And such an introspection
    Would add a new dimension
    In our existence
    In our collective silence
    Conceived as your silence merged with mine
    That annihilated our beingness
    And as that happened
    We kept coming close
    To the realm of Absolute
    Which steadily and slowly
    Kept moving towards us
    Silently embracing our collective silence
    The separation vanished altogether
    And prevailed absolute oneness
    Untouched by impermanence
    Gaining entry into realm
    Where oneness gets wedded to totality
    In light of incessant togetherness.

    ******

    Hindi Version Of This Poem:

    *********

    *एक दिन जब हम नहीं होंगे ( रहस्यवादी प्रेम कविता )**

    ***********

    आओ चले हम उस जहाँ में
    जहा वक्त रुका रुका सा हो
    थमा थमा सा हो
    वहा बैठे हुए एक दूसरे के साये तले
    फिर ये सोचे उन दिनों क्या होगा
    जब हम तो नहीं होंगे
    पर ये हसींन नज़ारे तब भी होंगे
    और यूँ दे अपने अस्तित्व को नए मायने
    उस मौन में जो तेरे और मेरे
    मौन से मिलकर बना हो
    जिसमे हम धीमे धीमे घुलते जाए
    साथ ही समाते जाए उस परम मौन में
    जो लम्हा लम्हा हमारे पास खिसकता रहा
    चोरी चोरी से चुपके चुपके से
    और निगलता रहा दोनों के एक हुए मौन को
    मिल गया हमारा मौन उस परम मौन से
    मिट गाये सारे भेद
    और अपना एकत्व
    अनित्य के दायरे से दूर
    अखंड हो गया
    पूर्ण हो गया।

    ******

  • Learn To Embrace Sex And Sexuality In A Positive Way

    ( First Published In Spring & Summer Edition Of Aavartan, 2014. It’s A Research Journal Published From Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh)

    India is melting pot of most beautiful philosophies. On one hand we have lofty themes embedded in Advaitic domain, which expand our limited consciousness, and on the other, we have principles related with Kama, explored beautifully in Vatsayana’s Kama Sutra. However, having said that, I must say we have strayed away from these concepts, leading to disturbed living patterns at various level of human existence. Neither we have been able to act as Grihastha (householder) nor able to emerge as a perfect Yogi. At this point, it’s better to stick to distortions that have trespassed into healthy sexual beliefs.

    One should not forget that sex is a powerful force, which can even shake the beliefs of yogis lost in deep meditation. The stories of Indra sending Apsaras to distract the sages are quite well known- a fact which mythological TV serials have cashed-in so well! Osho comes to describe the impact of sexual power in his inimitable style. He says, “Ninety percent of our thinking is sexual. Whatsoever you are doing outside, inside sex is a constant concern – you may not even be aware of it. You are sitting in a room and a woman enters: your posture changes suddenly. Your spine is more erect, your breathing changes, your blood pressure is different. You may not be aware at all of what has happened, but your whole body has reacted sexually. You were a different person when the woman was not there; now again you are a different person.”

    That’s being the case, it’s really baffling average human being has been taught to remain in denial mode about it. Now that’s not only strange but also a dangerous state of affair. It leads to unhealthy suppression of one of the most basic instincts. Why do we forget that such unhealthy denial would prove suicidal for the greater good of human society? It would only lead to negative manifestation of sexual energies. Worse, self-proclaimed Gurus in field of spirituality have created huge mess by proclaiming that sexual beliefs are obstacle in attainment of realization. Kama has been portrayed as villain. That’s not true. Had it been villain, it would not have attained a dignified position as one of the aims associated with Purusartha (aims considered vital for human existence). The truth is not what these commercial Gurus are preaching. What we need to remember is that sex need to be enjoyed but not at the cost of cherished human values. It needs to be honoured but in a dignified way.

    So now we come to an altogether different aspect. We are living in age of technological boom. Sexting is so common, pornographic materials are available at one click and women and men are now being hailed progressive in such matters, but still an enlightened understanding is missing. Mind you, bundle of information cannot ensure a conscious approach. We need a proper mindset, a proper approach to develop a mature understanding in this regard. This “mature understanding” is something which has not made its presence felt. It’s not going to come through titillating advertisement, wherein particular flavour of condom is being preferred. Nor it can be achieved by witnessing gyrating bodies in Bollywood movies. Most of the henious crimes we are witnessing have some sexual misconception as their primary cause. Imagine infants are being raped and even older women are also being raped! Rapes are not only about man exerting his power over woman in wrong way as preached by feminists, but it’s more about sexual miseducation.

    Jeremy Seabrook, a prominent British author, expressing his concerns about sexual miseducation rightly states that “if it’s true that silence over sexuality risks blighting lives, it is certain that leaving instructions of the young in sexual matters to the free market is a disaster…..It is clear that new forms of ignorance can be conjured out of the very knowingness which the newly initiated into the secrets of sex they have gained.” If that sort of so-called knowledge about sex is lethal, one could easily imagine that restrictions imposed by society on having access to fulfillment of sexual desires would be cause of greater sorrow. That’s because digital era has made transfer of sexual knowledge and explicit images a very commonplace affair. So if you are not proving it smooth outlet, you are simply creating world of perverts. It’s hard to imagine how can tough laws ensure prevention of sex-related crimes? They can act as deterrent, leading to lesser number of crimes, but they cannot eliminate the desire.

    Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita unfolds this dilemma more succinctly: “Because of the destructive idea propounded by some spiritual traditions, that spiritual fulfillment is only possible if one denies sex, there is a great lack of any kind of intelligent sexual education. And because our species’ survival depends on sex, of course our bodies make it a priority.” The message is loud and clear: Make room for sex in intelligent way. It’s better to channelize our sexual desires in conscious way, but, at the same time, not forsaking principles related with honourable life.

    Ironically, in another arena, the law commission, the courts and law enforcing agencies do not see sex related crimes in wider aspect. They treat it as a sexual offence wherein a man is a “dangerous criminal” and woman the “most helpless victim”. Rape in my eyes is representative of the collective failure of the society! Rape is seen as one of the most heinous crimes, and, indeed, it should be the case. However, does that ensure one accused of such a crime be treated in barbaric manners. In a nation which cares damn about prison reforms, one can imagine that those found guilty of sexual crimes or under-trials are treated in most miserable way. They also conveniently forget that when laws were framed the situations were quite different. The attitude of women was not brazen as it has now become and when one says one is not suggesting that a woman’s modesty needs to be outraged simply because she dared to display bizarre traits. It’s being suggested to merely show the changes that have occurred with the passage of time, wherein vulnerability has increased due to many complex developments which until now were quite unknown to Indian society. Earlier, there was lesser generation of porn movies but now in USA almost 211 porn movies are being made in every week. Needless to state, the Asian countries offer great market. The point which I wish to prove is that in given scenario the way we look at sex and sex related crimes needs to change.

    Sadly, the Indian landscape is marred by contradictions in this regard. It’s open to Reebok shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and Wrangler Jeans, but it tries hard to ignore the impact of permissiveness, and licentiousness too, these items have unleashed. Why there is so much ambiguity when it comes to having a candid opinion regarding the worth of sex in Indian society? It’s high time we have a proper mindset and clinical approach to deal with sex related crimes. Let’s not treat one guilty of sexual crime merely as “sick pervert” and treated to legal process in most cruel fashion, but subject him to greater reforms which help him emerge as good human being. We have borrowed from West so many lesser aspects, but failed to borrow their methodological approach encircling complex issues. One cannot emerge as good human being by merely highlighting on one’s T-shirt “Being Human” message. One need to go beyond such cosmetic gestures.

    It’s not merely enough that sex education gets introduced. There has to be a greater space for assimilation of sexual beliefs besides channelization of sexual desires. After all, celibacy is abnormal and outdated in both progressive and orthodox societies! For progressive thinkers it’s akin to introduction of Hindutva! Against this backdrop, the only path that remains is to provide space to unleash sexual desires. Is Indian society really prepared for that? However, the harsh truth is that it has no other way left. So let’s have proper sex education; introduce state-of-the-art sex clinics in villages and smaller cities to deal with sexual disorders/sex related diseases, and, above all, improvise the legal mechanism to deal with sex related crimes. It’s still marred by archaic methods. It’s never too late to give way to better ways, ideas and beliefs. Let’s accept the new changes in a wise way before the damage becomes irreparable!

    Spring and Summer Edition In PDF format:

    https://indowaves.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/avartan-22-04-14.pdf

    References:

    http://www.ismtrust.com/Aavataran.aspx

    Jeremy Seabrook: Article Titled "Sexual Miseducation"

    Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita: Paradigm Shift; Nov-Dec.2010

    Osho's Literature

  • Defending Smriti Irani: Rotten Academic Degrees Do Not Define Worth Of Intelligence!

    It’s pathetic that Congress party can go to any extent to embarrass ministers belonging to newly formed NDA government. It has questioned the ability of Smriti Irani to handle HRD department citing her academic credentials. In this regard, it needs to be stated emphatically that intelligence is not limited to rotten degrees alone! Read life sketch of great minds and one would notice that they were dropouts. And as I say so neither I am advocating futility of studying nor I am quashing worth of degrees. I am simply adding a different perspective!! Our former PM Manmohan Singh ji had brilliant academic record and he possessed prestigious degrees offered by foreign universities. However, this general feeling now rules the minds of electorates that his prestigious degrees were of little use as they did no good in solving major issues plaguing the nation. It’s so ironical that Congress members are not aware of the fact that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

    An interesting conversation in this regard took place on various social media sites. I am posting here views of some of the participants for my readers.

    *******
    Rajesh Sharma said:

    Educated lot is more stupid and unrealistic because they are not street smart! Educated people are making more mess in every field. Uneducated lot is involved in corruption in conventional manner which can be traced but ones committed by educated lot involves hi-tech means and thus remains untraceable. Highly educated ministers in previous UPA government like Kapil Sibal, A Raja and others remained hand in glove with controversial forces instead of taking appropriate decisions to serve the interest of nation. They simply viewed the Indian issues from Western perspective! Most of the IIT Graduate are supporting Arvind Kejriwal who introduced a welcome move of distributing tickets to uneducated people belonging to lower echelon of society.

    ******
    Suresh Ram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, said:

    Please understand the difference between “Structured Academic Education of West” and “Knowledge imparted by system”. Politics is all about society and people. Guru imparts Knowledge and Professors of premier institutes like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS are academicians only are at the beck and call of Irani only! It is high time educated fools understand that they are fools involved in fooling common man!! It is like fire brigade on way to “Putting down Burning Flames of India” is attempting to sweep the dirt on the road leading to spot. And claim dirt should be removed. Why are you objecting??

    ******
    Mra Satish Awaiting Justice, Thane, Maharashtra, said:

    Dr. Shashi Tharoor, though only a Minister of State, performed eggscellently in MEA / HRD etc. in the previous government, looked after cricket and love affairs etc. free for the country, side by side. All the world loves a lover. So maybe he was not booked also for certain matter, in which common man with family taken into immediate custody and harassed. So for higher Cabinet ranked Smriti, it sure can’t be easy, if one compares!

    **********
    Hariharan Subramanian, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, said:

    Why not Smriti for HRD? For a minister what is important is decision making at right time and at right place with the help of officials. A minister’s task is to intercept the best idea, which he/she can easily do after entering into consultation with experts.

    *********
    Vivek Deveshwar, IITian, Bangalore, Karnataka, said:

    Maybe professors need to join politics and become minister. BTW, IITs are nowhere in global rankings and research output.

    *******
    Gursharn Singh, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, said:

    Uneducated lot have the same potential as the educated lot. They have performed well whenever they got an opportunity. It’s time to harness their potential. We should not jump to rash conclusion stating the appointment of Smriti Irani a blunder.

    *******
    Sara Chimthanawala, Nagpur, Maharastra, said:

    Education is not only College Degrees, it is the knowledge & wisdom one acquires with the various situations & events in life. I am not saying that college degrees are not necessary, of course they are mandatory, specially in today’s competitive world. History shows that most of the brilliant minds & discoverers etc are not graduates, but they left a mark in the world & a trail for us to follow. Let’s “Think out of box ” as they say & give this lady a chance to prove herself. Let us not sit on judgement even before the goods are delivered, let us keep doing our best & bring glory to our country.

    *********
    Sunil Kohli, New Delhi, said:

    Our former PM had so many qualifications but of what use? Bill gates,who is hardly educated, created wonders. What matters is how and how much you deliver. Yes if you don’t deliver then people will find loopholes. Congress did not deliver as expected by people. So people started digging the past of Sonia Gandhi but that was not so when UPA came to power in 2004. Old saying: If company of books makes you educated then librarian would have been the most educated person. Similarly, if degrees could make you perform then Man Mohan Singhji should have been the most successful PM. Therefore, its performance, performance and performance.

    A king had no woman in his cabinet. So he inducted one. One day the cabinet ministers went for boating. Centre of the river the boat capsized. This woman minister ran over water, brought another boat and saved every one. Next day the male members complained to the king “Sir, what type of minister have you inducted in to your cabinet!! She doesn’t even know how to swim.”

    *******
    Bhanu Prakash said:

    I think development matters more than entering into debate about being educated or uneducated!

    ***********
    Yaksh Nigam, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, said:

    I can prove that, educated persons are more dangerous that the uneducated ones. A leader should be good from heart and not only academically good.

    ******
    Sanjeev Sharma, Jalandhar, Punjab, said:

    Tell us what should be the qualification of a Defence or Home or Finance or HRD minister? She is quite a capable lady. A good manager need not to be a management graduate.

    *******
    Rupesh Masand said:

    As very rightly said, it’s ‘performance’ in the end of the day & educational qualifications don’t seem to influence it. So dear friends, let’s wait and watch Smriti handle the proceedings (though handling IIT & IIM might be a real tough job!!!!), rather being judgmental from Day One.

    ******
    Ritesh Kumar Tiwari, Pune, Maharashtra, said:

    Do people belonging to IIT and IIM have more brains?

    ******
    Rohan Dharesh, Bangalore, Karnataka, said:

    Formal education is a complete failure and we see this in real life. People who get high ranks fail in real life. Theory and practical is totally different. Indian education system is based on Lord Macaulay’s prescription for slave countries but the Nehruvian constitution has continued with it shamelessly. We need to kick out this system of education that is all about corruption, donations, extortion, marks and passing exams. Today’s textbook theories and postulates have no place in real life. Albert Einstein was a dropout; so were most of the great people. This stands as evidence that western form of education is flawed.

    Manmohan Singh Ji had umpteen degrees and doctorates and the way he would govern was horrible. Every speech of his was written and prepared by his secretaries and his voice was so meek that he himself would hardly be able to hear. His degrees taught him that the poor are responsible for inflation, that money does not grow on trees, that minorities had the first right to natural resources, that history would be kinder to him etc. Manmohan has proved to be the worst PM ever and even the Pakistan PM called him Dehati Aurat!

    If we really believe in independence, then we need to change the education system immediately from the Macaulay slave system of education to that better suited to an independent country. We need to get rid of western concepts of exams, marks, extortion in the name of education. IITs and IIMs need to be reformed and Indianised from the present Westernisation.

    Reference:

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-slams-congress-for-attacking-smriti-irani/article6056829.ece

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