The recent news of the Taliban terrorists burning down buildings in Afghanistan, automatically brought forth into people’s mind the historical image of massive plunder and burning down of the famous Nalanda university by Turk invader Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji in the late 12th century CE.
Persian historian Minhaj-I-Siraj in his book Tabaqat-I Nasiri recorded the series of plundering raids into Bihar by Khalji, where he described the Nalanda attack: “Muhammad-i-Bakhtiyar, by the force of his intrepidity, threw himself into the postern of the gateway of the place, and they captured the fortress, and acquired great booty. The greater number of the inhabitants of that place was Brahmans [monks], and the whole of those had their heads shaven; and they were all slain. There were a great number of books there; and, when all these books came under the observation of the Musalmans, they summoned a number of Hindus that they might give them information respecting the import of those books; but the whole of the Hindus had been killed. On becoming acquainted [with the contents of those books], it was found that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindustani tongue, they call a college or Vihar.” (Ref: Tabakat-i-Nasiri – Translated by Major H.G. Raverty. p. 552)
As Sukumar Dutta (1962) wrote in his book Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History And Contribution To Indian Culture, Bakhtiyar Khalji, after massacring the scholars and monks and destroying the Nalanda University, further proceeded to destroy the Odantapuri,Vikramshila and Jagaddala universities, killing many Buddhist and Brahmin scholars during these raids. The fire that was set on Nalanda during the Khalji raid also destroyed its famous library that held priceless collections of books and manuscripts. The fire is stated to have burned for many days, and the smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for a long time like a pall of gloom.
Keeping aside the story of death and destruction, this article will take a look at how the Nalanda University, a democratically governed body (as per I-tsing records, 635–713CE), functioned in the pre-Islamic period, when it was counted among the top educational institutes of the world.
Nalanda, before becoming famous as an educational hub, was an ancient village which Alexander Cunningham identified (Ancient Geography of India) with the modern Baragaon in Bihar, near Rajgir. Both Jain and Buddhist texts make many references to this area as a sacred space. In Jain texts we find that Nalanda (also referred to as Burgaon) was then the bahira (suburb) of Rajgir, and it is here that Mahavira had met Gosala, while he was spending 14 monsoons in Nalanda. As per the Buddhist texts, Buddha met a rich citizen named Lepa here, who converted to Buddhism and became his devoted disciple. In another book History of Buddhism, written by Taranath (around 1500 CE), there is recorded the tradition that marked this place as was where Sariputta/Sariputra (considered one of the two first main disciples of Buddha) was born. When Ashoka came to visit Nalanda, he added a large temple beside Sariputta’s chaitya; thus, being the first to turn Nalanda into a vihara.
However, the worldwide fame of Nalanda as an educational institution started from the beginning of the Common Era. Taranath also records an interesting historical fact, where a Brahmin named Suvishnu (contemporary of Nagarjuna, the famous Buddhist philosopher, 3rd century CE), built 108 temples for the preservation of the Abhidharma of the Mahayana sect. It is also here that the famous Buddhist scholar Dinnaga (480 CE-540 CE) defeated the Brahmin Sudurjaya and other tirthakas in philosophical arguments. Thus, it is clear that in the 5th-6th century CE Nalanda was a great seat of learning for the Buddhists and Hindus (Brahmin tirthakas) alike, and many from the latter group made Nalanda their home for this very reason.
HIUEN TSANG’S ACCOUNT
According to Hiuen Tsang,Nalanda started to develop as a reputed university by the land endowments gifted to it in honour of Buddha by 500 merchants, which were bought for as many as “10 koti gold coins”. Thereafter a series of endowments continued over the centuries, which came in the form of buildings and land, the latter being used for taking care of the regular maintenance of the university. Hiuen Tsang talks of six such monasteries (residences of the monks) built within the complex by 6 kings—Sakraditya, Buddhagupta, Tathagatagupta, Baladitya, Vajra, and an unnamed king from a central state that is likely to be Harsha. The university was enclosed by a lofty wall that supposedly, as per Hiuen Tsang, had only one gate. The gate opened into the great college from which 8 other halls branched out. The buildings were multistoried ones, lofty, and were adorned with towers, turrets, and observatories. The upper floor rooms, as Hiuen Tsang described them, towered above the clouds, while the high eaves glowed in splendid sunset colours and sparkled in moonlit glories.
An 8th century stone inscription of Yasovarman also gives a similar description of the beauty of the viharavalis (rows of monasteries) of the university. The grounds of the university were equally beautiful with a series of deep translucent ponds that held blue lotus mixed with the deep red of the kanaka flowers. At intervals between the lakes stood the Amra groves that cast their contrasting shades of deep green. The external beauty of these massive awe-inspiring buildings however contrasted with their delicate artistically decorated insides. The outside courts that held the monks’ rooms had dragon-faced projections, delicately carved and ornamented pillars of pearl red, richly decorated balustrades, and the roofs were made of polished tiles that reflected the sunlight in a myriad of colours. These added to the overall beauty of the university, and made it the grandest Sangharama among all the other contemporary ones in India.
Hiuen Tsang writes about a beautiful Buddha image in the Sakraditya vihara, and extols the patronages of the various kings over the centuries that had given Nalanda its grandeur and its beautiful sculptures. During Hiuen Tsang’s time, the king had remitted the revenues of 100 villages for maintenance of the Nalanda vihara. I-tsing, a Chinese monk and interpreter, who had visited the Nalanda university and stayed there for 11 years in the 7th c. CE, recorded that the king had then remitted the revenues of 200 villages for the upkeep of the monastery, and he had seen 8 halls and 300 buildings within the vihara complex. Besides the aforementioned kings who had endowed land and buildings as gifts to the Nalanda vihara, some of the rulers from Maulkhari dynasty also patronised it. However, the biggest benefactions came from the Pala kings of Bengal until the 1200s, as evident from the various found inscriptions that recorded different kinds of royal grants to the vihara, and literary works of those times that speak of the Pala kings’ gifts and grants.
I-tsing, among the various details in his book, gives us the daily meals taken by the monks. As per his records the diet during his time were as per the rules of the Vinaya and comprised of Panchabhojaniyas—rice, boiled mixture of barley and peas, baked cornflour, meat, and cakes; while the Panchakhadaniyas comprised of roots, leaves, flowers, stalks, and fruits. There was also gruel served, made of dry rice and bean soup, in which hot butter sauce (made of melted butter and cream) was added for extra flavor. Milk, ghee, and oil were used in abundance. There were variations based on regional differences of the crops grown, such as, the entire north ate wheat cakes, while west had their baked flour in barley or rice, and the south and east made their baked cakes with rice flour. I-tsing further tells us that a monk’s breakfast generally consisted of rice-water; his lunch thali had rice, butter, milk, sweet melons and other fruits; while his day ended with a light meal as supper or dinner.
The university provided free lodging, food, clothing, and education to its residents, and as per Hiuen Tsang, the number of priests, students, and guests present in the university were always around 10,000. Foreign scholars from China, Korea, Tibet, and Tokhara were regulars at Nalanda, which was globally considered the most advanced research institute for higher studies at that time; and a fellowship from Nalanda was regarded as the highest academic degree of those times. Entrance examinations into Nalanda, an Open School for Discussions (as it described itself back then), were very tough, and as per Hiuen Tsang, only 20% could secure admissions among all the applicants. After entering the institute, the academic life of a student was rigorous, and since the university took care of all other needs, it was expected that the student would give 100% focus on his studies. Fifteen hundred teachers were in charge of the estimated 8,500 students, as per Hiuen Tsang, and 100 lectures were arranged daily, which consisted of both Buddhist and Hindu scripture studies that included study of the Vedas, Yogasastras, and Panini’s grammatical works.
The Nalanda university, during the pre-Islamic times, was truly an open school of discussions, where scholars would hold regular arguments on all religious topics as a way of learning and further adding to their knowledge. It was indeed a place for higher learning in all branches of studies, and claimed the rare merit of collecting all available experts and scholars from all branches of academia under one roof for many centuries.
The author is a well-known travel, heritage and history writer. Views expressed are personal.
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AICTE AND MINISTRY OF EDUCATION’S INNOVATION CELL CELEBRATE NATIONAL START-UP DAY
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell (MIC) today celebrated the ‘National Start-up Day’ and highlighted 75 innovative technologies with start-up potential to receive grants assistance, mentorship, and incubation linkage support.
These innovations were part of the e-exhibition held during the Innovation Week that started on January 10. During the Innovation Week, more than 500 innovations and startups showcased their work virtually. The Innovation Week concluded today with an announcement of marking the day as ‘National Start-up Day’ by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.
The innovations and start-ups were selected from a host of programs like the National Innovation Contest, Smart India Hackathon, and Toycathon that were conducted by the Ministry of Education. These 75 innovations and start-ups have developed a range of technological solutions and services that will work across 16 different themes and sectors.
Among the start-ups, ‘BioMANS’ (Bio-Based Biodegradable Advance Material) produces a wide range of utility products for daily use like carry bags, medical bibs, cotton earbuds, disposable cutlery, etc. from agricultural waste. The start-up is working to curb single-use plastic pollution.
Another start-up named “Fenice Technical Solutions” incubated at Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute offers solution in Robotics and Drones segment. Their innovative product ‘Clog Removing Autonomous Bot’ (CRAB) is to clear blocks and clogs in underground sewer and metro pipelines.
“Motion Sensing Glove” is a unique technical tool to assist the physiotherapists has been developed by a team of students and is currently being incubated at Punjab University. The device suggests the best and optimal moves for a patient undergoing physio rehabilitation treatment. The founding team is working in the direction to use AI and ML-based data analysis to further improve its usability.
The MoE’s Innovation Cell and AICTE offers a wide range of policy programs and handholding initiatives to promote and support innovation and startups in educational institutions
Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE emphasised that: “Toycathon and Toy Business league (TBL) are best platforms for both school and college students to collaborate with industries to commercialise their creative outputs. So far 55 toy manufacturers have collaborated with Toycathon winners to refine and manufacture their products”.
Commenting on the success of the programme, Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), MIC, said: “We started with 30,000 ideas from students and faculty. After multiple levels of screening, scrutiny, and training, we have now identified 75 innovations that have really good start-up potential. We are offering them funding support up to Rs.10 lakh each and will monitor their progress for the next two years”.
Highlighting the importance of the initiative, Prof. M.P. Poonia, Vice-Chairman, AICTE, said: “The AICTE has already introduced and institutionalised a new academic program at master’s level on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Venture Development (MBA/PGDM in IEV) for technical institutions with incubation units to offer this program. So far 21 HEIs are running this program and helping young minds to undertake the career of innovation and start-up as part of the academic. This academic program is a reformative step and aligned with NEP’s multidisciplinary approach and to produce job creators from academic institutions”.
Seems like unfinished business: Akasa on her Bigg Boss 15 journey
In this exclusive conversation, Akasa spoke about her journey in the reality show, rumours of her re-entering the show, her bond with some of the housemates and much more.
Singer Akasa, who was recently seen in Bigg Boss 15, joined us for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Akasa spoke about her journey in the reality show, rumours of her re-entering the show, her bond with some of the housemates and much more. Read excerpts:
Talking about her Bigg Boss 15 journey, Akasa said, “The journey was interesting. It took me a while to adjust to the kind of people or the surrounding that I was in. I don’t think I have ever been in such a situation or such vibes before. In the first week, I was like I just want to go home because there are a lot of things that I have not experienced in life yet. I have never had to just use people’s emotions for a game, play with relations and ruin friendships. It was difficult for me to do that and I could not do that till the end. I was like I am just not letting go of morals or my beliefs just for something that will get me more footage. Having said that, there were a lot of things that I learnt much later in the show. It is unfortunate that when I did start opening up or showing my personality, speaking up, playing the game, it was time for me to go home. Overall, the journey was interesting but it seems like unfinished business.”
Addressing rumours of her re-entering the show and whether she would like to re-enter the show, Akasa stated, “I would, for sure. I feel like I got out and I was like ‘No, let me back in. I just started playing’. It changed because next week I was like ‘Do I really?’ A lot of my friends and family said that we are so glad you are out of there because they could see how uncomfortable I was. I do feel a lot. I can’t let go of things. Having said that, overtime watching it, I learnt so many more things. I learnt what it is about, what I should not have done or who is who. I feel like there is so much more untapped potential, there is so much more I have to give and it is unfair that I haven’t yet, whether to the audience or myself. I would definitely like to go back and play my game.”
“Apparently other people know of some things that I don’t but the makers haven’t approached me yet. There are some talks that were going on but not really, nothing is confirmed yet,” she added.
Speaking about her connections with the housemates, especially with Pratik Sehejpal, Akasa said, ‘For me, because I didn’t do anything according to the game, I don’t know. I couldn’t bitch about people. Even if it was required of me, I used to walk out. I don’t know how to fake something, which is why you saw me with some people and didn’t see with some people. I thought even the friendship with Tejasswi was real. They only showed my connection with Pratik but I made more friends than Pratik. I had a close bond with Simba, Umar. Even with the amount of fights I had with Afsana, we did have a Punjabi connection. With Pratik, it was more than just the game. When we spoke, we were not strategizing or thinking about the game. We used to talk about life and we genuinely formed a friendship. Hell yes, the friendship will continue with Pratik for sure.”
A CHRONICLE OF INDIA’S MODIFICATION
The following has been extracted from ‘The Modi Gambit: Decoding Modi 2.0’ written by Sanju Verma. The excerpt is the book’s Foreword and is written by T.V. Mohandas Pai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 with an overwhelming majority. People voted him in with very high expectations of change and development which sixty-seven years of Independence had not yielded. And PM Modi and his NDA government delivered. Many Indians saw development – road connectivity, pucca housing, LPG cylinders, sanitation, electrification, and financial inclusion, come to their vicinity for the first time in their lifetimes.
The perceptible upliftment in citizens’ lives prompted them to vote PM Modi back in 2019 with an even larger majority. Citizens had embraced the change, especially the previously underserved – women and rural Indians. They perceived the lack of corruption in the Modi 1.0 regime. They appreciated his prioritizing execution of development, above all else. Several structural reforms of Modi 1.0 have positively impacted the economy. Demonetization has cleaned up the black money economy leading to increased tax collections and placing cronies under bankruptcy. The GST reforms have unified tax protocols and cleaned up the system. Despite the empty rhetoric of the Lutyens media that predicted PM Modi would lose badly, in 2019, citizens voted him back based on his strong performance record in the first term and expectations of continuity in the second.
Modi 2.0 started off with a strong impetus on continued development and empowerment. Access to clean water was one of the first priorities; the Jal Jeevan Mission was launched and has already impacted four crore households. Socio-political measures like the Citizenship Amendment Act and abrogation of Article 370 are addressing long-standing issues in India. From banning the instant triple talaq to putting the houses constructed under PM Awaas Yojana in the name of the woman of the house, women empowerment continues to be a major pillar of socio-economic development. Modi 2.0 was strongly following the PM’s vision of Modi 1.0 – that by August 2022 marking 75 years of the Republic of India, no Indian would be deprived of the necessities of life. India surpassed both France and the UK to become a Top 5 economy in 2020.
The Modi government has fared well on the inflation front, with average CPI rising 4.8% per annum against 7.8% during the first seven years of the Manmohan Singh government. The former performed better on the foreign exchange front too, with Forex reserves rising from $313 billion in May, 2014, to over $600 billion in June, 2021.
Today, India hosts the third-largest startup ecosystem, after the US and China. From around 24,927 companies recognized as startups in November 2019 by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the number has risen to 50,000 startups in June 2021. The Modi government’s flagship scheme to promote the Indian startup ecosystem, namely Startup India, has witnessed a 100%+ growth in the number of government-recognized startups in the Modi 2.0 era. With over 26 startups being recognized by the government every day, New India is rapidly growing as a startup hub; commendable, given that the Startup India initiative was launched only as recently as January 2016.
DPIIT’s Vision document of 50,000 new startups, 20 lakh direct and indirect jobs by 2024 along with 500 new incubators and accelerators, 100 innovation zones in urban local bodies and seven research parks to help startups, is certainly on track. The SIDBI Fund-of-Funds (FoF) does not invest directly into startups but offers capital to SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) as daughter funds, who in turn fund startups through equity and equity-linked instruments. Out of the existing Rs 10,000 crore FoF, as of February 18, 2020, SIDBI had committed Rs 3123.20 crore to 47 AIFs. These AIFs have invested Rs 3378.47 crore into 320 startups, out of which Rs 912.91 crore was drawn from the FoF. This is a great start towards channeling domestic capital into India’s accelerating startup ecosystem.
On the food and agriculture front, the Modi government broke all records with respect to foodgrain production, with 300 plus million tonnes of output in FY21 – a first in over seven decades. In the meantime, policy makers are working overtime to boost demand, support MSMEs and invest more in health, agri-infrastructure and the rural economy. These initiatives will augment productive employment and work towards increasing incomes across India.
Amid this unprecedented development trajectory in Modi 2.0, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Lives and livelihoods were at stake at a level unheard of in our lifetimes. The Modi government was under tremendous stress to save both – lives and livelihoods. It took a courageous decision to enter a nationwide lockdown to prevent large-scale losses and buy the time to set up the necessary infrastructure. The production of critical items like PPE, ventilators and masks were ramped up from near-zero to near-export-surplus levels in a matter of months. A Rs 30 lakh crore relief package (Central government’s stimulus plus RBI’s stimulus) consisting of a slew of fiscal and monetary measures was launched. Atma Nirbhar Bharat – the vision of a self-reliant India was launched after decades of Independence, along with an imperative to spur local manufacturing with a Vocal for Local flavour.
The second wave of Covid-19 this year has been devastating for every major country. In any country, capacity and infrastructure will always be unprepared for peak stress events such as this unprecedented pandemic. Any other leader would have thrown in the towel. But PM Modi showed extraordinary grit. The Modi government has been taking all possible actions, including launching one of the world’s fastest and largest vaccination programs. Over a billion doses were administered by October21, 2021, with a goal of vaccinating the entire adult population by the end of the year. Meanwhile, foreign policy efforts continue to successfully place India as a top, strategic ally beyond the neighbourhood.
Sanju Verma has been a keen observer of the social, political and economic changes propagated during both the Modi 1.0 and Modi 2.0 regimes. Her previous book “Truth & Dare – The Modi Dynamic” is a detailed chronicle of the Modi 1.0 era where she bases her observations and conclusions on data and facts. Sanju has made a stellar contribution with this new book as well; factual and based on data, not conjecture. It is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the detailed strategies and vision behind PM Modi’s measures, and the impact of governance on the socio-economic development of 1.38 billion people. India requires more chronicles like this one so that citizens can track the progress of the economy and society.
T.V. Mohandas Pai is Chairman, Aarin Capital.
This book talks at length about various milestones achieved in last two years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarkable second term at the helm.Path breaking reforms like labour code, banking consolidation,denationalisation of coal, making of a V-shaped recovery the PLI scheme, eRUPI, Gatishakti Masterplan, privatization of Air India, unrelenting fight against Covid and of course, historic milestone of crossing a billion doses under world’s largest vaccination drive, reflect PM Modi’s resolute determination.
Abrogation of Article 370,Ram Mandir verdict, banning instant triple talaq, QUAD summit, victories in Bihar & Assam, massive seat-share rise in West Bengal, National Education Policy and of course, PM Modi’s massive contribution to climate justice have been discussed threadbare.
The Congress Party ruled India for decades together but even basics like toilets, sanitation facilities uninterrupted electricity and access to banking facilities remained a mirage. Prime Minister Modi’s biggest legacy is the incorruptible nature of his government where tolerance for corruption is zero.
Introduction of the book has been written by one of the tallest leaders in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), B.L.Santhosh who is the National General Secretary (Organization) of the BJP. Foreword has been written by the erudite Padma Shri Mohandas Pai while Afterword has been written by ace journalist, Anand Narasimhan Managing Editor at CNN News 18. The book has some very interesting takes on Modi 2.0 by Padma Shri, Dr. Sanjeev Bagai and one of India’s most reputed wealth managers Porinju Veliyath, who also shares his insights on PM Modi’s path breaking work. Apart from the fearless journalist and now entrepreneur Rohan Dua testimonials from Padma Bhushan Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty and Ashish Chauhan CEO of Bombay Stock Exchange are worth a read and endorse the brilliant work done by the author Sanju Verma in capturing every mega achievement of Modi 2.0.
I am my biggest critique: Avinash Dagar
As part of the exclusive conversation, Avinash spoke to us about his journey from TikTok to Instagram, the challenges he faced, and much more.
Comedy Content Creator Avinash Dagar recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. As part of the conversation, Avinash spoke to us about his journey from TikTok to Instagram, the challenges he faced, and much more. Read excerpts here:
Avinash started the conversation by talking about the kind of content he makes. He revealed, ” I started making content when I was in school. And since school, I have been the goofy kind who cracks jokes to entertain the entire class. When I found that there was such a thing as content creation on the internet, I decided to widen my audience from the classroom to the country. I was 16 years old when I started making videos and my first medium was YouTube.” The creator further said that the ban on TikTok was a major setback for him. “However, my journey has been full of experiences. I had to start over on a new platform but I wasn’t starting from scratch. I had learned a lot on TikTok. I had already posted a shoutout on TikTok to follow me on Instagram and in no time my followers increased from 7k to 35k. “
The influencer then spoke about the challenges that he faced during the transition from TikTok to Instagram. He exclaimed, ” I personally did not face any such issues while shifting to Instagram. The only thing that bothered me was the YT vs TikTok row that took place some time ago. Because of a few people’s opinions, all us content creators were being dragged into the controversy.” Talking about the backlashes he has faced over the years, Avinash said, ” We can’t keep everyone happy. My fans must not like all of my videos. I only posts the videos that I find funny because I am the first consumer of my content.” The creator went on to say that he is his biggest critique. ” Just like I am my first viewer, I am my critique. I take at least 15-20 takes for one single video.”
When asked how he earns through making content on Instagram, he replied, ” Instagram doesn’t monetize its content yet. We only earn through brand collaborations and advertisements. Getting promotions and ads depends on your work as well as your team. One thing is for sure that I wouldn’t be earning so well from any job out there. I feel extremely lucky to have chosen this field. “
Lastly, Avinash advised suggested other budding content creators to make relatable content for the audience.
The goal is to make people smile: Yuvraj Dua
Comedy Content Creator Yuvraj Dua recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. As part of the conversation, Yuvraj spoke to us about his journey, his social media growth, content creation on Instagram and much more.
Speaking about his journey, Yuvraj said, “I did my graduation BSC Physical Science & Electronics then I dropped one year to attempt UPSC. Post that, I did my diploma in English Journalism because I had a lot of interest in cricket presentation, as I wanted to become Jatin Sapru. I wanted to stand in the ground and talk about cricket. After that, there comes a point when your heart says that my 100% passion is not in this. Comedy has been my second nature. Not just me, but most of the people in my family have this. We talk like that. I said why not explore that. I liked camera. I used to stand in front of the camera, analyse the game, and always bring humour into it. I thought there are so many influencers and content creators. Why can’t I do what they are doing?! For me, influencing and content creation is secondary. First and foremost, my passion is to make people laugh. I want to spread smiles among millions of people.”
Talking about the growth of his social media presence on Instagram, he added, “I uploaded my first video on 21st March, 2021. It was 5-10 second video. After that, I started uploading these kinds of videos. You learn with the process. There is no other way of content creation. You upload videos, check the response and take feedback. With time, I started getting more creative. I started giving more time to it. Slowly, as it became a fun thing, then it became beautiful. Especially when you have an external motivation of gaining more and more followers, then everything works out.”
When asked where and how does he find motivation to create content amid a phase when there is less engagement on posts, Yuvraj responded, “I am a firm believer of belief. If you have the belief in your ability, like I have the belief that I am producing good content, then that should resonate with people. I have the belief that I am doing good work. It is different thing that I haven’t gained that kind of recognition yet. I have a few thousand followers but I know my work is good. If I keep doing this consistently, then I shouldn’t have two thoughts about it and my belief in myself. There comes a moment of self doubt but you got to make yourself understand the importance of consistency and good, decent and honest work. If you keep doing it, you will get there one day. Consistency is very important and self doubt comes anyways. That is how the human mind is.”
Watch the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:
STUDY FINDS SELF-PERCEPTIONS OF STRESS, AGEING HAVE SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE ON PHYSICAL HEALTH
According to a recent study, dwelling on negative aspects of ageing can have a measurable negative impact on your physical health and ability to respond to stress.
The research has been published in the ‘Journals of Gerontology’. Using daily survey data from older adults over a period of 100 days, OSU researchers found that people who reported more positive self-perceptions of ageing were more insulated from the physical effects of stress compared with people who felt more negatively about their own ageing.
“Better self-perceptions of ageing are good for your health, regardless of how much stress you have, or how much stress you perceive you have,” said Dakota Witzel, lead author on the paper and a doctoral candidate in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
Research on stress has long found that daily and chronic stress is linked to physical health symptoms, including higher blood pressure, heart disease, and loss of cognitive function. These effects are linked not just to objective stress, but to perceived stress: people’s subjective appraisal of an experience as stressful.
Using responses from 105 Oregon adults aged 52 to 88 who took part in daily online surveys in 2010 via OSU’s Personal Understanding of Life and Social Experiences (PULSE) study, researchers measured participants’ perceived stress and physical health over a period of 100 days, along with an initial set of questions to gauge their self-perceptions of ageing.
The questions asked participants to agree or disagree with statements like “Today, I felt difficulties were piling up so high I could not overcome them,” and “As you get older, you are less useful.”
On average, higher perceived stress was related to worse self-perceptions of ageing and worse physical health symptoms, while more positive self-perceptions of ageing were related to fewer health symptoms.
On days when individuals with more negative self-perceptions of ageing reported more stress than normal, they reported almost three times more physical health symptoms than individuals with more positive self-perceptions of ageing. In other words, positive self-perceptions of ageing had a protective effect against the physical health implications of stress.
This meant that thought patterns or conversations that reinforce or exaggerate various stereotypes of ageing physically impact people’s lives, Witzel said.
“These things are truly important for our health and well-being, not only long-term, but in our day-to-day life,” she said.
“The likelihood of reporting these physical health symptoms is significantly decreased, on average, when you have better self-perceptions of ageing,” she added.
Self-perception of ageing is an area where simple interventions can make a difference, Witzel said. An easy step is to acknowledge that putting a positive spin on the ageing process will have a real impact on your physical health. That doesn’t mean adults should dismiss real health concerns or plaster on a fake smile, she said, but they will see benefits if they consciously work to be more positive about ageing.
“It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Witzel said.
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