Jitendra Machhar, 51, had tested positive for Covid-19 in May 2020. Since then he was marked positive till Wednesday due to some technical error and was completely helpless about same. The Daily Guardian covered the story and later impact was seen when Jitendra Macchar was marked safe in app with green color notification.
Thanking the whole team of TDG Jitendra whose life has come to standstill as he couldn’t travel anywhere because of which his business was going in loss says, “From the deep bottom of my heart I thank The Daily Guardian and the entire team for helping me out of very difficult situation regarding Aarogya Setu app status showing me positive from May 2020 end till yesterday. Due to great efforts after news was covered my safe status was updated and I am relieved now as it was big stress of life for me, millions of thanks again!”
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KEJRIWAL LAUNCHES ‘DESHBHAKTI CURRICULUM’ FOR DELHI GOVT SCHOOLS
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday launched ‘Deshbhakti Curriculum’ in a programme organised at Chhatrasal Stadium in the national capital.
The curriculum, launched for all the government schools in Delhi, is aimed at instilling patriotism among students. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the curriculum, made after two years of hard work, will prove to be a milestone in education.
“We are preparing money machines in our colleges today. We have to stop this. A true ‘Desh Bhakt’ is the one who works for the country, not for the money,” stated Kejriwal.
“Till now, our education system prepared competent professionals like engineers and lawyers but now we will prepare patriotic professionals through this curriculum,” he added.
Kejriwal further said that the curriculum will invoke a feeling of patriotism in the students who have been running behind the money till now. “This curriculum is a beginning. You will see everybody embracing this idea across the country soon,” he stated.
Earlier on 15 August, the Delhi CM made an announcement to launch the ‘Deshbhakti Curriculum’ during the flag hoisting ceremony.
According to the Delhi government’s education department, there will be one patriotic period every day for class nursery to 8 and once a week for classes 9 to 12 once the schools reopen completely in the national capital.
Three nodal teachers have been appointed in every school to ensure proper implementation of the patriotic curriculum, one each for class nursery to 5th, class 6th to 8th and class 9th to 12th, informed the statement.
In order to train the nodal teachers, an orientation programme is to be organised by NCERT for all these nodal teachers from September 29 to October 5, in which they will be trained on how the feeling of patriotism can be inculcated in the children.
During these patriotic classes, students will begin the period with the meditation of five minutes and will be asked to remember any five freedom fighters to pay their gratitude towards them. WITH ANI INPUTS
Uri operation ends, Pak terrorist captured, another killed
The operation was launched on 18 September after the Army noticed suspicious movements along the LoC.
A 19-year-old Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist was captured alive during an anti-infiltration operation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Uri sector of Baramulla in North Kashmir in which one terrorist was killed and three soldiers sustained injuries, the Army said on Tuesday.
The operation was launched on 18 September after the Army noticed suspicious movements along the LoC, GoC 19 Infantry Division Major General Virender Vats told reporters at a briefing in Baramulla district. He said an encounter took place when the infiltrators—believed to be six—were challenged. While four of them were on the other side of the fence, “two had come on our side of the territory”.
“The four terrorists, who were on the other side, took advantage of the dense foliage and retreated back into PoK. The remaining two sneaked in. One of the infiltrators was killed in the encounter on the morning of 26th, while another one pleaded that his life be spared. As is the ethos of the Indian Army, after taking due precautions, he was taken into custody alive,” the official said.
The apprehended infiltrator has given his identity as 19-year-old Ali Babar Parra, resident of Okara district in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
“He has admitted to be a member or Lashkar-e-Toiba and was trained in Muzaffarabad,” he added. “He has revealed that he was trained for three weeks at Khyber camp, Ghadiwala in Muzaffarabad in 2019, the officer said. He was recalled this year for some important task and was told by his handlers that he has to do drop supplies at Pattan. But when we went through the recoveries and modus operandi, it shows that they had come here for some kind of a strike which went beyond the drop of supplies,” the official said.
The Army official said the infiltration attempt was made along the Salamabad Nala, which was the same route used for the 2016 suicide attack on the Uri garrison. “The infiltrating column was supported by the Pakistani side with three porters bringing supplies till the LoC,” he said.
The official said movement of such large number of people cannot take place without active complicity of the Pakistan Army deployed on the other side. Major General Vats said there has been an increased movement at the launch pad across the LoC.
“This shows the desperation of Pakistan that when they see peace in Kashmir, they send in terrorists to disturb peace by sensational strike. Seven terrorists have been neutralised in as many days while one has been nabbed alive,” he added.
India reports 18,795 new Covid-19 cases, lowest in 201 day
With 18,795 new Covid-19 infections reported in the last 24 hours, India on Tuesday recorded less than 20,000 cases after 201 days, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Out of 18,795 new Covid-19 cases across India, 11,699 cases were reported in Kerala.
The national capital reported 34 new Covid-19 cases and two fatalities in the last 24 hours, as per the official health bulletin on Tuesday. The city added a total of 14,38,780 cumulative Covid cases with 373 active cases. Of the active cases, 105 individuals have opted for home isolation. Here, for the first time after 10 days, the city reported two new fatalities thereby increasing the total death toll to 25,087. With this, the case fatality rate is at 1.74 per cent.
India’s cumulative tally has reached 3,36,97,581, and the number of active cases has declined to 2,92,206, which is the lowest in 192 days. The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.87 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
According to the health ministry, 32,9,58,002 people have recovered from the disease so far, out of which 26,030 recovered in the last 24 hours.
The country reported the highest recoveries since March 2020, and it currently stands at 97.81 per cent. The death toll climbed to 4,47,373 with 179 new fatalities.
Meanwhile, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.42 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the 29th consecutive day while the weekly positivity rate has also declined to 1.88 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the last 95 days. As many as 13,21,780 tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far in the country to 56,57,30,031, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The country has also administered 87.07 crore vaccine doses so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive. The cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country so far has reached 87,07,08,636 of which doses 1,02,22,525 were administered in the last 24 hours.
The emergency use authorisation (EUA) for Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has once again been delayed by the World Health Organization, said sources. The sources further told ANI that the UN public health agency has asked for more data from Bharat Biotech for Covaxin. This delay will affect Indians especially students and who have international travel plans. The EUA is important because without it Covaxin will not be accepted by most countries.
The Strategic Advisory Group of Expert on Immunization (SAGE) will be meeting on 5 October on EUA to Covaxin.
WITH ANI INPUTS
SIDHU QUITS AS PUNJAB CONGRESS CHIEF, CAPTAIN SAYS ‘TOLD YOU SO’
Minister, two PPCC office bearers also resign; Captain Amarinder Singh says Navjot Singh Sidhu ‘not a stable man’ and ‘unfit’ to lead the state.
Amid a series of changes in the Punjab Congress and government, in a major development, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from his post on Tuesday. After this, in a sudden development, cabinet minister Razia Sultana also resigned from the council of ministers, showing solidarity with Sidhu. Soon after this, newly appointed PPCC general secretary Yoginder Dhingra, and treasurer Gulzar Inder Singh Chahal also resigned from their posts.
Minutes after the allotment of portfolios to new cabinet ministers, these resignations came. Sidhu sent his resign to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi through a tweet. In his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu wrote, “The collapse of a man’s character stems from the compromise corner. I can never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for welfare of Punjab. Therefore, I hereby resign as president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress.”
Sidhu is believed to be upset over the recent developments in the state, like some appointments on significant government posts, and inclusion as well as non-inclusion of some MLAs in the recently expanded cabinet of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Sources said that Sidhu was also opposing the allotment of the home department to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. Sidhu had been named PPCC chief in July this year by the party high command despite opposition by former CM Captain
Meanwhile, Congress sources said Sidhu’s resignation has not been accepted. The top leadership has asked the state leadership to resolve the matter at its level first. Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said, “He(Navjot Singh Sidhu) had taken stand against corruption in Punjab…, if his suggestions are not paid heed to, he would not want to be a speechless president. We urge him to withdraw resignation & request the high command to redress his grievances,”
While CM Charanjit Singh Channi said that he will talk to Sidhu on the issue, former CM Captain Amarinder Singh as well as Opposition leaders took a dig at Sidhu. Captain Amarinder Singh said Navjot Sidhu’s resignation as PPCC chief within two months of taking over the vital post had proved beyond doubt that the cricketer turned politician was an “unstable” man, who could not be relied upon to lead the ruling party, especially in a border state like Punjab.
Terming Sidhu’s resignation as sheer drama, Captain Amarinder said the move suggested that his former cabinet colleague was preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with some other party in the run-up to the state Assembly polls. “I had been saying all along that this man is unstable and dangerous, and cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab,” Captain Amarinder said, adding that Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government.
Meanwhile, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said Sidhu is a “misguided missile” and it is now known who he would harm because of his own interests. “I have been saying this for a long time. First the missile hit Captain Amarinder Singh and now it has hit the Congress. This is because Sidhu is full of self interest. In my view, he should just leave everything and go to Mumbai,” said Sukhbir.
AAP Punjab president Bhagwant Mann said that the Congress leaders were insulting Punjab and the people in their fight for the chair. Mann said the Congress had crossed all limits in the battle for chair and pride. State BJP president Ashwani Sharma said that on seeing his political ambitions being scuttled by the Congress high command which nominated Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister, Sidhu has resigned and is trying to take a high moral ground, while it is only for personal gains, for which he has always worked.
‘MUMBAI DIARIES 26/11’ IS A HOMAGE TO FRONTLINE WORKERS, SAYS KONKANA SEN SHARMA
In an exclusive conversation with NewsX, Konkana Sen Sharma opens up about her latest project ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’.
Konkana Sen Sharma opened up about her latest project ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’. Talking about her role in the series and what attracted her to the project, the actress said, “I am playing Chitra Das. She is the Social Services Director of this Government Hospital in Mumbai. She is not a doctor but she’s from a medical background. The show is in an unusual setting. I would say it’s a medical drama rather than a medical thriller because this set is this government hospital, Bombay general hospital with the backdrop of 26/11, which has been fictionalised. For the first time, we’re seeing it from the point of view of the doctors, so it’s really the personal lives of the doctors, the challenges of working in a government hospital set against the unprecedented events of 26/11, where nobody is really prepared or nobody is ever trained to deal with this kind of circumstance. For me, when I read the script, I found it very unusual. I have never played a doctor. I have not really seen even a medical drama like this and today, after Covid, we all have a newfound appreciation for our frontline workers and the difficulties that they go through, so for us, it’s a homage to the frontline workers.”
When asked how important is to tell this story through their point of view and the message that the series sends out, Konkana expressed, “Yes, I do think it’s very important. Although it may be entertaining or binge-worthy, it is a thriller. It’s an unusual kind of setting and it is very important to remember this. Particularly, in a post-Covid or at least, now that we have all been through the pandemic we have even seen how doctors have suffered. There have been attacks on doctors. They often have to deal with a lot of very difficult circumstances, whether they are shortages of PPE kits or working in the government hospitals, where the situation is not always ideal and we have a storage of beds or equipment supplies, etc. We sometimes forget that the doctors are not gods and for them to perform, they need the infrastructure. They need the support also. They are dealing with their own issues and have to deal with these kinds of things, so this is very relevant, particularly today.”
Speaking of 26/11 and where she was during those days, Konkana shared, “I was actually not in Mumbai. We had driven outside of Mumbai. The news was trickling in. It was very shocking. What happened is, initially we also didn’t have a handle on exactly what was going on because there were events in multiple locations. It went on over three days, we also didn’t know, what and how it’s going to unfold. It was not a contained one-off incident. It was a very insecure and frightening time. It was very confusing. Is it safe for us in our group or we should drive back to Mumbai? What we should do?! That took us some time, then when we came back, it was a time of shock. We were all in shock and disbelief and everybody, whether somebody on the street or a neighbour, it was very shocking. There was a sense of this very uneasy kind of stillness that was over the whole city. There was a very heavy silence that something like this could have happened in Mumbai. We never know when something would happen again, that was the fear.”
SWASTIKA: OUR CONTINUING LEGACY
It is a universal symbol seen in all ancient civilisations andcultures and still remains as a living tradition across many nations in various forms, and especially in India among Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. Owing to its widespread presence across the ancient civilisations, and later modifications to suit the new religious orders, Swastika has a variety of meanings associated with it.
Existence (asti) cannot be produced by non-existence (nasti). “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.” – Carl Sagan
The antiquity of swastika goes long back into history where it started its journey from the prehistoric era. It is a universal symbol seen in all ancient civilisation-cultures across the world and still remains as a living tradition across many nations in various forms, and especially in India among the Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists as part of their religious rituals. Owing to its widespread presence across the ancient civilisations, and later modifications to suit the new religious orders, swastika has a variety of meanings associated with it. The Vedas by itself have associated various meanings to the swastika where we find that in the Rig Veda 10.35 swastika is associated with Agni, and with the Sun’s movement upholding the law of Dharma or righteousness. In ancient Indian architectural sciences known as Vastusashtra, two swastikas facing each other create a square, which forms the square mandala of the Vastu Purusha. Similarly, swastika is also associated with a crossed vajra (sign of thunderbolt—in RV 3.30.16 and 3.58) seen in the hands of deities; the symbol is also related to the four cardinal directions; is linked with the lunar power, female principle and new life; associated with astronomy; the Christian cross; Vishnu pada; etc. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that swastika is most likely man created first graphic symbol representing an idea, which holds a clear intention and meaning, transcends all barriers of languages, and the knowledge of which was passed across generations following ancient oral traditions while maintaining continuity within changes across the world. Thus, swastika is a symbolical manifestation of existence, which is entwined with cosmic natural forces and is based on the theory of dynamism.
Swastika- denoting movement. From Wikipedia
Triskelion of the Chaldeons- another form of Swastika denoting the cosmic movements. (From Wikipedia)
Two swastikas (left oriented and right oriented) merge to form the square mandala of the vastupurusha. The left-hand swastika (Sauvastika) symblises the Devi as Goddess Kali, and is associated with tantra puja.
A crossed double vajra or visvavajra (Wikipedia)
A schematic diagram of a Persian garden, with quadripartite structure and a focal water feature, connecting aqueducts, and surrounding trees, as well as the placement of the palace. (From Wikipedia)
In an attempt to explore this continuing legacy, the article will take a close look at swastika and briefly present its history, while also exploring some of its meanings.
WHAT IS SWASTIKA, WITH REFERENCES TO THE RIG VEDA?
Swastika is “a cross in which the arms are bent at a right angle in the same relative direction”
~ Penguin dictionary of archaeology
The Sanskrit word swastika has its root in As, forming the word Asti, which means existing, being, or the essence of existence. The other word Su means good, well being, or benign; and the two together gives us Swasti, which means a valued existence, or the essential self-sustaining dharma or righteousness.
This enigmatic symbol, as Edward Thomas tells us in his ‘The Indian Swastika and Its Western Counterparts’ (1880) paper after examining its varying manifestations across the globe, all point to the primitive notions of a symbolic representation of the sun’s movements, associated with wheel like projections of the sunrays and its rolling movements. The ancient Chaldeans, who were initially located in the southeastern corner of Mesopotamia (9th to mid-6th centuries BCE—the proto Celtic phase in Europe), in their studies of what is now termed as the astronomical sciences, started drawing the sun as a circular outline, which soon had a four wheel or a cross inserted within it. This crossbar later evolved and elaborated to form the new designs that we are more familiar with now. Interestingly, Vishnu Purana (ref: Wilson’s translation, v. ii, pp. 246-7) also compares the sun’s movements to that of a wheel. Rig Veda too refers to the sun’s movements as a wheel, “He the impeller, the chief of charioteers (Pushan), ever urges on that golden wheel for the sun” and “the twelve wheeled spoke of the true sun revolves around the heavens and never decays …” (ref: Rig Veda—Wilson’s translation ii p. 130). Verse 10.35 in Rig Veda portrays the cyclic movement of Agni (Swastagni), and the entire sutra goes on describing the Sun’s movement holding the “wheel” of dharma (Cosmic causation and law) standing for what is right and auspicious for all living beings.
The uniqueness of this primitive sign lies in the fact there is a clearly visible geometrical tension in its shape, where we find that it is an equal-sided cross that can be rotated at 45 degrees either to the right (clockwise) or to the left (anti-clockwise. The clockwise turning position known as dakshinavarta is believed to symbolise the sun’s energy, while the anti-clockwise turning position known as vamavarta represents the moon and feminine energy. Another popular form of swastika is the spiral type known as tetraskelion (from the Chaldean culture), where the three spiral arms create an illusion of cyclic movement. When the arm ends are made to touch each other this spiral form (tetraskelion) takes the shape of a wheel, which in turn is an astronomical sign symbolising cyclic movements of all cosmic bodies. The triskelions, as per the scholars, are swastikas in continuous motion, also representing continuous cosmic re-generation and the continuity of life. It is visual imagery for the harmony and balance in life and nature’s changing seasonal cycles; and in Rig Veda: 7.97-10 we find Rishi Vasistha (one of the Saptarishis), talking about the repetitiveness of cosmic sustainability. The Rig Veda, which can be said to be among the world’s oldest documents on cosmological sciences, mentions swastika many times. This recurrent use of the word shows not only the pre-eminence of the symbol but also makes it evident that the ancient rishis who had composed the verses saw it as more than just a symbol.
In Rig Veda 3.30.16 and 3.58, the swastika is shown to stand for the crossed double vajra or viśvavajra, symbolising thunderbolt (which was later copied to create the Greek cross Fleury).
Again in RV 4.53.3-4 swastika is seen in an imagery form depicting the transformation of the power of the Sun into the power of the seer, with arms extending towards the four cardinal directions and engulfing all space. The cross-like space concept is also seen in ancient Persian literature (Achaemenid times), which was copied later to form the Islamic chahar bagh concept.
In the RV 3.54.11 and other verses Sun is the golden-handed, all beholding, and all-embracing Savitri, evident in the term ‘Savita Sarbatati’, which means the divine sun rays has powers for creating Life (Left oriented swastika associated with feminine power and Tantra) and a Pacifier (Right oriented swastika associated with Yoga). The two forms of swastikas (left and right oriented) in the 10th chapter of the RV: 10.36.14 merge to form a square, and that along with the deities of the four cardinal directions give us the framework of the Vastu-Purusha-Mandala, the basic foundation diagram for any Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temple or building architecture.
Interestingly within Hinduism, swastika is also seen as the cross, which symbolises the Supreme Consciousness (Brahman) and His creation, while the four bent arms define the four purushartha—Artha (wealth), Dharma (righteousness), Kama (love), and Moksha (liberation). It is a moving wheel, denoting a world that is constantly changing while remaining fixed on Brahman (centre point). The swastika is also associated with the Seven Sages or the Saptarishi (Ursa Majoris/the Great Bear) that are a group of celestial bodies forming a constellation. It is believed that the Saptarishis are eternally revolving with the fixed aim of establishing Dharma – “Tad Vishnu param padam” (Polaris is the Dhruvapadam—RV: 10.82.1-2; Srimad Bhagabadgita: 5.22.17).
In terms of archaeological evidence from the Indian subcontinent, swastika motif has been found from Pre-Harappan times, as for example, on a potsherd from Rehman-Dheri (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province). Seals dated around 2100 B.C.E showing swastikas have been found from the Mohenjodaro site, while the motif is frequently seen on ornaments and beads found from various sites of the Sindhu-Saraswati civilisation; including on pottery from the Shahi-Tump site (Baluchistan). The Navdatoli site beside the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh (chalcolithic culture) has also yielded varying forms of the swastika symbol on pottery; while paintings of the swastika motif have been found from the Ganga Yamuna doab area sites (on painted grey ware, denoting Iron age culture). Potteries and sherds depicting swastikas from Sonkh (Mitra period, 2nd century B.C.E); to tablets, coins, and seals from Mathura belonging to the Kushana period (1st century CE), the swastika motif has remained a constant in Indian art from pre-historical to the historical era without any break, and still continues to remain a religious symbol even today, the postmodern era.
Besides the Vedic verses and pre to historic representations of the swastikas, we find mention of the symbol in our epics too. In Ramayana, we find the mention of the swastika motif as carved in relief on a boat that carried Sri Rama; while in Mahabharata there is the famous Swastika Vyuha (maze) or the Chakra-Vyuha as a part of artillery war in the Kurukshetra battle. Swastika also played an important role in Jainism and Buddhism throughout history and remains an important part of their religious and cultural practices. Even today swastika remains an essential part of most rituals associated with the Indic religions, and in astrological and astronomical (jyotishsastra) studies in India. This is because the symbol stands not only for truth (dharma), auspiciousness, and a perfect Cosmic balance within the spiritual, natural, and philosophical realms; it has also become an integral part of more tangible aspects, such as trade, battles, daily rituals, etc.
It is mind-boggling to study the evolution of swastika in various parts of the world, from ancient America to Europe, and the different Asian countries. It is equally mind-boggling to see its connections not only with the various aspects mentioned in this article, by also with thermodynamics (torques), various branches of genetics, engineering, electro-magnetic circuits, and the list just goes on. This article is just the tip of the iceberg, and the idea came to my mind from a Facebook and Twitter post that I had made, which brought about various reactions, which made me realise that many people aren’t aware of the origins and Vedic meanings associated with this symbol. There were various arguments where people contended that while drawing a swastika the lines cannot be crossed, as it is inauspicious to do so. Rigidly taught to do so owing to later period modifications stemming from lack of understanding, these argumentative dialogues just fall flat one when explores the ancient world and realises that swastika started its journey as a simple cross that symbolised the Sun’s movement, and alternatively, Brahman and His creation.
The author is a well-known travel, heritage and history writer. Views expressed are personal.
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