TOBACCO

TOBACCO

It is produced in all countries, including America. There are 96,865 registered tobacco farmers in India . It must be remembered that it is poisonous and can cause cancer. All Governments spoil the health of citizens and refuse to ban the cultivation of tobacco. Like liquor , it gives revenue to the State; so let people suffer!

My memory is that of my father , who used to chew this , along with betel leaves and areca nut. If I go near and smell the hollow bamboo in which it is stoked, I would sneeze! I hate those who smoke.

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BANGLADESH

BANGLADESH

History

When Pakistan was formed in 1947, it had two parts: West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The people of the eastern wing were ruled by Urdu speaking Governor, who was disliked them . Because of persecution and Hindu Muslim clashes , Hindus en mass migrated to India. We had to feed and shelter more than one crore men ,women and children. A special stamp was issued and had to be pasted on envelops . Our ruler Indira Gandhi toured the world, meeting other rulers , requesting financial help. She came back and met the army chief Manekshaw. A secret army (Indian soldiers)‘Mukthivahini’was sent to Dhaka and captured it . The Pak army , including the Governor, surrendered. Mujeebu Rehaman was installed as Prime Minister of the new country renamed as Bangladesh. The people here respected Hindus and our culture . For marriage , they wore Benares silk saris. They have high regard for Rabindranath Tagore! Unfortunately Rehaman was killed by fanatics opposed to India.

Geography

Bangladesh is the delta of Ganga ,Brahmaputhra , Padma and Meghna, crisscrossed by a network of rivers . All traffic is by ships and boats. Dhaka Express is a ship . People buy tickets and wait at stations! It would be a wonderful experience!

There s a vast area of mangrove forest , perhaps the biggest in the world , called the Sunder vans , between Bangladesh and Burma , which is the natural habitat of Bengal tiger.

Now our PM Mod has visited and concluded an agreement conceding some land and easing the movement of people and merchandise between our two countries.

FORTS OF INDIA

FORTS OF INDIA

Before the coming of East India Company, the whole of India was marked by impregnable forts. Each fort has a high wall , surrounded by a moat , deep enough to prevent horses from crossing it. The entrance to the for is restricted by a draw bridge, which can be pulled up when considered necessary, as when the enemy attacks. The King’s court , secretariat , horses and men, arms and ammunition etc, food etc. are all stocked well , for facing a siege by the enemy.

History could not be anticipated. The very fort could easily be demolished bb cannons , shot from a distance , as the British destroyed the Red Fort in Delhi.

Each fort has an underground tunnel , leading to a point away from the fort , for the escape of the defeated king and his entourage. Now all these forts are a tourist attraction.

The Chithor court , which the Moghals surrounded , is situated on a long high mountain. Here a moat was not necessary , because the hores cannot climb it . Of course, there I a strong wall , which is still intact. There are several blood curdling stories, about the valour of the Rajput kings . After the war , when the enemy entered the fort, they could see only a funeral pyre ; all men jumped into it , followed by the brave women! The theme is good for a film , like the ‘War and Peace’, but till now , none has tried it.

When the fort was occupied by the Moghals , Rana Prathap Singh escaped to the forest and vowed to live on grass roti, till he recaptured it . He appeared in Haldighat , a nearby valley and challenged the enemy. In the bloody battle that ensued , Rana was injured and became unconscious. His horse carried him to safety. The Moghal army was defeated in the battle. But they retained the fort.

BLOCKADE OF NEPAL

BLOCKADE OF NEPAL

The anti-India agitation has made life miserable in Nepal . The youth have blocked the road to India. Even salt has to come to this country. As fuel is not coming , Chinese airlines have stopped flights .

Why this hysteria against India? Cable operators have stopped showing Indian films.

Is there anything wrong with us? Is it merely hatred of the BIG BROTHER?

The anti-India agitation has made life miserable in Nepal . The youth have blocked the road to India. Even salt has to come to this country. As fuel is not coming , Chinese airlines have stopped flights .

Why this hysteria against India? Cable operators have stopped showing Indian films.

Is there anything wrong with us? Is it merely hatred of the BIG BROTHER?

IN FEUDAL INDIA , THERE WAS NO UNEMPLOYMENT

IN FEUDAL INDIA , THERE WAS NO UNEMPLOYMENT

Before industrialization , each village was self sufficient. Most of the people were engaged in agriculture . Some artisans made cloths and others did making shoes , carpentry , smithy work etc. It is said that , when they made rail lines , there was difficulty in getting educated people for manning the railway stations and they approached Brahmins , requesting them t come and join the railways!

In those days , barbers came by train and all staff came to get their services. Similarly cashier also came and disbursed salary.

In such places , railway staff got rice and vegetables cheap.

Industry needed workers . So how did unemployment come ? Th only explanation is increase in population. With better medical facilities , death rates came down. So we have to control growth of population.

ADMINISTRATIVE SET UP IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

ADMINISTRATIVE SET UP IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

By AD 1800 , THE WHOLE OF CONTINENTAL INDIA HAD COME UNDER British sway. In the South , there were many Princely States , as they were called , but the land under Tippu Sultan came under their control , after the defeat of the sultan.

After the failure of the Sipoy Mutiny , the Crown decided to stop direct annexation and sought the support of the local Kings , with the Resident Englishman controlling the rulers .

The Punjab and Sind were one province ; the rest of North India another province called Bihar . In the south , Bombay and Gujarat was one province . Andhra , Madras , Mysore and Malabar of Kerala became one province.

The provinces were under the control of Collectors , who were Englishmen . The administration was impartial and free from corruption . People were happy.

The whole of south Asia , including Burma and Ceylon was under a single control of the Viceroy whose Headquarter was at Calcutta. This is because the first piece of land they got was in Bengal , after the Plassy war . The Capital was shifted to Delhi only recently in 1911. For the Viceroy , an imposing palace was constructed in waste land called New Delhi , the populated area being the old Delhi where the Mughal Palace stood.

In 1936 the Government of India Act came and Burma and Ceylon were separated.

The work in Government offices was in English and so they established the first school in what is now the Delhi school. Similar schools and colleges were eastablished in Bombay , Calcutta and Madras.

In the south in Keralam Christians were prominent in bringing education to the masses.

The British set up the postal system and telephone connections in British ruled Provinces.

In 1853 the first train with engine running on steam power , with wood as fuel for heating the boiler , ran from Bombay to Kalyan. The project was financed by private British companies. People who watched it wondered-is it possible to lay iron rails throughout India?

There were a few companies:

Northern railway, North eastern railway , Bombay Baroda Central Indian Railway and South Indian Railway. They built the lines only in British territory. If a Princely state wanted it , it should pay the cost. To save money , they built metre gauge lines. Though it was a private enterprise , the Government insisted that certain items like salt and fodder must be carried at low price. There were three classes for passengers . First class for the white man , second class for Anglo Indians (children of white men in Indian women , mostly railway workers.) and third class for Indians . There was no ban for Indians to travel in first class. It was also decided that the accounts should be audited by the Controller and Auditor General of India. My first job was in this department . Our peons wore Government uniform with red turban and brass buttons and a cross belt. There is a joke that vegetable venders did not demand money from the peons thinking that they have powers of a police man!

Revenue

There was no income tax. It was decided to a lot land to the citizens and recover revenue , to meet administrative expenses .

So the Surveyor General of India began to measure the land , using chains . Twenty two chains make one furlong , eight furlongs make one mile . These terms became redundant when the metric system came. In all land records the survey number is given for identification.

It is said that the village patwari approached my ancestor and pleaded and persuaded him to take the paddy field in front of his house , free of cost. There is no previous adhar for our land!

Princely States

The states were free to rule , without interference by the British Resident . In Cochin State , where I was born , anchal (post office) system to carry letters from one office to another. These men used to run to the nearest post office. They were called anchalottakar (post runners). Te postal stamps were also different . Our State people were least taxed. The kings were austere in their dress and habits . It is said that there was only four annas (one fourth of a rupee) in the treasury ,when Divan Sankara Warriar took over charge!

Corruption was unknown!

There is a story that , after the merger of Cochin State with Travancore , my uncle , who worked as teacher, was surprised to see an unknown person with a basket full of costly fruits at his door. “Who are you? What is this?” He had come to plead for his daughter who had appeared in the tenth examination. My uncle (who was valueing the papers) literally drove him away. “Never come here again ; take away this basket ”, he shouted !

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HISTORY-INDIA UNDEFENDED

HISTORY-INDIA UNDEFENDED

A foreigner who studies our history, will be surprised to observe that this country never tried to defend itself.

The Himalayas guard our northern border like a formidable fort; the seas protect the peninsular half . If it was England , we would never have been enslaved. Our failure is that we never felt we are one.

There were a number of small kingdoms , always at war with the neighbours.

When the French attacked Pondicherrry , others did not come to the help. Were they happy that it served them well?

Baber was approached by disgruntled Rajputs , to invade India. He was reluctant but was persuaded to come to India. The fact is that it was the British East India Company that united various Principalities into a single Nation. In this sense , they are the father of the nation, not Mahatma Gandhi! When they departed from the scene , India was again divided into three different entities. Now we are busy fighting against Pakistan. Is it a curse?

The real enemy is Nepal. The boundary between the two nations is a vast , thick forest , with hills and valleys which can never be guarded. It is a paradise for smugglers , Maoists and carriers of narcotics. The Central Government knows this but is helpless. Like the invasion of Sikim by Morarji Desai, can Narendra Modi cobble Nepal? The people will be happy . Even for salt , they look to India. Even as I write this , dozens of Nepalis have died there , demonstrating against their government.

Before the revolution , the Kings of Nepal used to be blood relations of Indian Kings and ironically , it is the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. So the closeness is as near as that of Kashmir. More over , there are no Muslims here.

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