विविधता, भारत एक सुंदर मिश्रण

भारत विविधता में बहुत समृद्ध है, हम विभिन्न प्रकार के परिधानों, स्वादिष्ट लेकिन विविध भोजन की आदतों, विभिन्न लेकिन आकर्षक भाषाओं, विविध भूगोल और जुड़े हुए पर्यटन स्थलों के साथ धन्य हैं। आज हम भारत की विविधता की मूलभूत विशेषताओं को जानने का प्रयास करेंगे।

इसके लिए कई ऐतिहासिक, जातीय, धार्मिक कारक जिम्मेदार हैं। यहां बसने वाले विदेशियों के आक्रमण के कारण विभिन्न धर्मों, भाषाओं और जातीयता का मिश्रण रहा है। जैसे मुगल और फारसी, लद्दाख से गुजरने वाले सिल्क रोड के माध्यम से व्यापार, भारत में प्रमुख बौद्ध स्थलों की तीर्थयात्रा। हमने इब्न बतूता, ह्वेनसांग आदि जैसे कुछ यात्रियों के यात्रा ब्लॉगों में साक्ष्य के टुकड़े सफलतापूर्वक पाए। प्रारंभिक समय से ही छोटे राज्यों में भारत का विभाजन, विभिन्न शासकों के संरक्षण में कई स्थानीय भाषाएं और विशिष्ट संस्कृति विकसित हुई है। चेरों के तहत मलायन और पलास के तहत बंगाली। जिम्मेदार इन कारकों को यहां थोड़ा विस्तार से लिया जाएगा:-

भूगोल: भारत को 5 प्रमुख जलवायु समूहों में विभाजित किया गया है और मानसून बाध्यकारी धागे के रूप में कार्य करता है क्योंकि यह कृषि के लिए सिंचाई का मुख्य स्रोत है। भारतीय भौगोलिक विविधता को हिमालय पर्वत की ऊंचाइयों और अंडमान और निकोबार के निचले द्वीपों, घने जंगलों वाले पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र, राजस्थान के गर्म और रेतीले रेगिस्तान, प्रायद्वीपीय भारत के पठार और उत्तरी भारत के मैदानों से देखा जा सकता है। 
यह भूगोल त्योहारों, व्यंजनों, पहनावे, हस्तशिल्प, यानी रीति-रिवाजों, वेशभूषा, भाषाओं, संस्कृति आदि में अंतर पैदा करता है। इसने बड़े पैमाने पर रोजगार पैदा करने में सक्षम पर्यटन के लिए एक विशाल क्षमता भी पैदा की है, और पर्यावरण, पर्यटन, फार्मास्यूटिकल इत्यादि को लाभान्वित करने वाले वनस्पतियों और जीवों के समृद्ध भंडार के विकास के लिए भी जिम्मेदार है।

धार्मिक विविधता: भारत एक बहु-धार्मिक देश है जिसमें अधिकतम हिंदू आबादी है जो कुल का 80% है, इसके बाद मुसलमानों की आबादी 14% है। यह विविधता लोगों द्वारा पालन की जाने वाली विभिन्न प्रथाओं और अनुष्ठानों में परिलक्षित होती है।

जाति विविधता: अब हालांकि भारत में जाति व्यवस्था को समाप्त कर दिया गया है, और हमारा संविधान कहता है कि किसी भी व्यक्ति के साथ उनकी जाति के आधार पर भेदभाव नहीं किया जा सकता है, फिर भी भारत में जाति आधारित राजनीति, और निम्न जाति द्वारा स्वस्थ क्षण जैसे कई जाति मुद्दे हैं। खुद को सशक्त बनाने के लिए। पहले क्षत्रिय, ब्राह्मण, वैश्य और शूद्रों के चार वर्ण व्यवस्था समाज थे, और अति-शूद्र भी थे जिन्हें जाति व्यवस्था से बाहर रखा गया था। हालांकि, समय के साथ इन चारों के भीतर हजारों जातियों का विकास दिखाई देता है। यह विचार करने के लिए विविधता का एक बहुत ही महत्वपूर्ण पहलू है, और यह कुछ ऐसा है जिसे हम समानता की ओर बढ़ने के अपने लक्ष्य में दूर करने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं। साक्षरता दर में वृद्धि और आर्थिक सुधारों और अत्यधिक राजनीतिकरण द्वारा प्रदान किए गए अवसरों के साथ, जातिगत पहचान पहले की तुलना में अधिक स्पष्ट होती जा रही है। कुछ इसका इस्तेमाल अपने उत्पीड़न (जैसे भीमा-कोरेगांव) को चुनौती देने के लिए करते हैं, अन्य इसका इस्तेमाल आरक्षण (जाट, पाटीदार, मराठा) के लाभों का दावा करने के लिए करते हैं।

जनजातीय विविधता: भारतीय जनसंख्या का 8.6% जनजातीय क्षेत्रों में रहता है, जो अपने आप में विविध हैं। ये हैं नेग्रिटो (अंडमान और निकोबार द्वीप समूह), प्रोटो-ऑस्ट्रेलॉइड्स (मध्य और दक्षिणी भारत के पहाड़ी और वन क्षेत्र), मंगोलोइड्स (पूर्वोत्तर भारत, सिक्किम और लद्दाख की पहाड़ी जनजातियाँ), आर्य (उत्तरी राज्य), और द्रविड़ ( दक्षिणी राज्य)। जनजातियां इस स्थान में भिन्न हैं कि अंडमान की जनजातियां मध्य प्रदेश की जनजातियों से बिल्कुल अलग होंगी, वे नस्लीय विविधता, सांस्कृतिक विविधता, शैक्षिक विविधता के साथ मौजूद हैं। हाल ही में एक अलग-थलग जनजाति जो कि संथाल है, चर्चा में थी, उनका जीवन उस जनजाति से बिल्कुल अलग है जो मुख्यधारा के समाज से अधिक एकीकृत होती। संख्या की दृष्टि से मध्य प्रदेश और सबसे अधिक संख्या, और नागालैंड में जनजातीय आबादी का प्रतिशत सबसे अधिक है।
भाषाई विविधता: भारतीय राजपत्र के अनुसार, 179 भाषाएँ और 554 बोलियाँ बोली जाती हैं, और यहाँ तक कि हमारा संविधान भी 8वीं अनुसूची के तहत 22 भाषाओं को मान्यता देता है। भारत कई भाषाओं के साथ भाषाई परंपराओं में बहुत समृद्ध है, जिससे भारत में विविधताएं भी आती हैं। 
भाषा संचार का एक प्रमुख स्रोत होने के साथ-साथ पहचान का एक स्रोत भी है। हमने 1956 के राज्य पुनर्गठन अधिनियम (States Reorganization Act of, 1956) के माध्यम से भाषा के आधार पर अपने राज्यों को मान्यता दी है। भारतीय भाषाओं को व्यापक रूप से इंडो-आर्यन, द्रविड़ियन, ऑस्ट्रोएशियाटिक, चीन-तिब्बती, और अन्य परिवारों के तहत वर्गीकृत किया गया है।

सामाजिक-सांस्कृतिक विविधता: यह विविधता रीति-रिवाजों, संस्कृति, भोजन की आदतों और वेशभूषा आदि में परिलक्षित होती है। यदि हम पश्चिम में राजस्थान से पूर्व में मणिपुर की ओर बढ़ते हैं, तो हम देखेंगे कि कैसे भोजन, कपड़ा पैटर्न, त्योहार, नृत्य संगीत ने जीने का एक बहुत ही अनोखा तरीका विकसित किया है।

वैचारिक विविधता: कुछ लोग दक्षिणपंथी विचारधारा का पालन करते हैं, कुछ वामपंथी विचारधारा का पालन करते हैं, और अन्य केंद्रीयवादी हो सकते हैं। लोगों की विचारधारा धर्म से अधिक प्रभावित हो सकती है, या धर्म से कम प्रभावित हो सकती है।

राजनीतिक विविधता: राष्ट्र में राजनीतिक विविधता भी बहुत है, राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर, विभिन्न राजनीतिक दल सामने आ रहे हैं, जो पहले एकल-पार्टी के वर्चस्व वाले थे, जो कि कांग्रेस है। क्षेत्रीय और उप-क्षेत्रीय स्तर पर, यह विविधता बहुत अधिक है, उनके क्षेत्र में उनकी अच्छी राजनीतिक पकड़ है लेकिन राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर कम प्रभावशाली हैं जैसे पश्चिम बंगाल में टीएमसी, उत्तर प्रदेश में एसपी और बीएसपी, तमिलनाडु में डीएमके। ये राजनीतिक दल भारतीय समाज में मौजूद विभिन्न अन्य विविधताओं को सफलतापूर्वक प्रतिबिंबित कर सकते हैं।

जनसांख्यिकीय विविधता: यह भारत में विभिन्न जनसांख्यिकीय पैटर्न को दर्शाता है, उत्तर भारत दक्षिण भारत के विपरीत युवा आबादी के साथ अधिक घनी आबादी वाला है। इसलिए जनसांख्यिकीय रूप से भारत जनसंख्या घनत्व, जनसंख्या एकाग्रता पैटर्न, ग्रामीण-शहरी आबादी, कार्यकर्ता और आश्रित आबादी आदि में विविधता का गवाह है।

राष्ट्र में उच्च विविधता के नुकसान

किसी भी विविध समाज में विवाद अपरिहार्य हैं और जब ठीक से प्रबंधित नहीं किया जाता है तो वे संघर्ष में बदल सकते हैं, जिससे समाज के अस्तित्व को खतरा हो सकता है जैसा कि बाल्कन प्रायद्वीप में हुआ था। इसी प्रकार, भारतीय समाज निम्नलिखित चुनौतियों का सामना करता है जो इसकी 'विविधता में एकता' को खतरे में डालते हैं। विश्लेषणात्मक बिंदु यह है कि इतनी विविधता भारत की एकता और अखंडता के लिए हानिकारक है। अंतर सामाजिक विकास के कारण भारतीय विविधता स्वाभाविक है, जिसके परिणामस्वरूप सामाजिक तनाव और इस विविधता से उत्पन्न होने वाले संघर्षों के कारण विभाजनकारी प्रवृत्तियों का विकास होता है जैसे:
साम्प्रदायिकता: बढ़ती बहुसंख्यकवादी प्रवृत्तियाँ जैसे कि 'हिंदू राष्ट्र' का आह्वान, गौ रक्षावाद, लव जिहाद अंतर्धार्मिक विवाहों के विरुद्ध दावे।
क्षेत्रवाद: नए राज्यों की मांग और यहां तक ​​कि भाषा (गोरखालैंड, द्रविड़नाद), धर्म (खालिस्तान), जातीयता (नागालिम) पर आधारित अलगाव।
भाषाई अलगाववाद: स्थानीय भाषा और हाल के आंदोलनों जैसे द्रविड़ आंदोलन के लिए कथित खतरे और हाल के दिनों में हम गोखलैंड और बोडोलैंड आंदोलनों को देखते हैं।
अलगाववादी आंदोलन: नक्सलवाद के साथ-साथ जम्मू-कश्मीर और उत्तर-पूर्व में चल रहे अलगाववादी आंदोलन लंबे समय से भारत की एकता के लिए महत्वपूर्ण जोखिम पैदा कर रहे हैं।
जनजातीय सक्रियता और जातिवाद: पूर्वोत्तर के लोगों, उत्तरी राज्यों में दक्षिण के लोगों के साथ भेदभाव, और इसके विपरीत, समाज के एक पूरे वर्ग को खतरा है, भेदभाव को विभाजन में समाप्त कर रहा है।

सबसे विविध राष्ट्रों में स्वस्थ और खुश रहने के तरीके? राष्ट्र में उच्च विविधता के फायदा
भारत सदियों से एक विविध राष्ट्र रहा है, और इसने खुद को बहुत अच्छी तरह से प्रबंधित किया है। एक विविध राष्ट्र का प्रबंधन करने के लिए दो दृष्टिकोण हो सकते हैं, एक यह है कि आप विविधता को बेअसर करते हैं, और कोशिश करते हैं, सभी को एक ही नियम, संस्कृति आदि का पालन करने के लिए मजबूर करें। यह सफल नहीं है और इस तरह भारतीय विविधता को आत्मसात करना असंभव है। तो, आइए दूसरे समाधान के बारे में लेते हैं जो सभी लोगों की विविधता के साथ शांतिपूर्ण सह-अस्तित्व सुनिश्चित करना है, जिस तरह से हमारे संवैधानिक निर्माताओं, महान विचारकों द्वारा अपनाया गया है।

वे हर किसी को अपने मौलिक अधिकारों, डीपीएसपी, मौलिक कर्तव्यों का अपने विभिन्न सांस्कृतिक और शैक्षिक अधिकारों के साथ आनंद लेने की अनुमति देते हैं। सरकार की सांप्रदायिक नीतियों के कारण 1990 के दशक में यूपी में राष्ट्रपति शासन की वैधता को बरकरार रखते हुए स्वतंत्र न्यायपालिका ने सरकार की विभाजनकारी प्रवृत्तियों पर सफलतापूर्वक लगाम लगाई है। समाज के विभिन्न पहलुओं को आत्मसात करके भारत एक समृद्ध और विविध देश के रूप में विकसित हुआ है। जाति, लिंग, आदिवासी को विविधता की संरचनात्मक आधार विशेषताएं कहा जाता है, हालांकि, विविधता में एकता, सहिष्णुता वैचारिक बुनियादी विशेषताओं की शर्तें हैं:
1. विविधता में एकता: हमारा विविध राष्ट्र सदियों से कई तरह से, कई शासकों के अधीन, विशेष रूप से अशोक, मुगलों, अंग्रेजों के अधीन, और अंत में भारतीय स्वतंत्रता के बाद एक रहा है। इसने भारत को अन्य अलग विचारों और नवाचारों के लिए एकता और खुलेपन को बढ़ावा देने के लिए प्यार और सहिष्णुता को मजबूत करने में मदद की है।
2. सहिष्णुता: विभिन्न धर्मों, जाति, समाज के लिए वर्ग, और व्यक्तिगत स्वतंत्रता के संदर्भ में सहिष्णुता, भाषण की स्वतंत्रता, भारत के किसी भी हिस्से में आंदोलन की स्वतंत्रता के साथ सहिष्णुता, संविधान में एक प्रकार की अंतर्संबंध विकसित करने के लिए अच्छी तरह से रखा गया है।
3. शांति और सद्भाव: साथ ही बहुत लंबे समय तक भारतीय समाज का हिस्सा रहे हैं।
4. प्राचीनता और अनुकूलनशीलता: भारतीय समाज ने समय के साथ संचित ऐतिहासिक संस्कृति की निरंतरता को दिखाया है, और साथ ही आधुनिकता की ओर बढ़ते हुए विशेष रूप से शहरी क्षेत्रों में देखा है, जो वैश्वीकरण के आने के साथ तेज हो गया है। भारत ने अनुकूलन क्षमता के साथ प्राचीनता में संतुलन सफलतापूर्वक बनाए रखा है।
5. अध्यात्म: भारत दुनिया के इतने सारे धर्मों का जन्मस्थान रहा है। यह कई आध्यात्मिक संतों जैसे शंकराचार्य, कबीर दास और विवेकानंद आदि के लिए भी जाना जाता है, और कई आध्यात्मिक आंदोलन जैसे भक्ति आंदोलन, सूफी आंदोलन, बौद्ध धर्म और जैन धर्म आदि।
भारतीय विविधता की एक और बुनियादी विशेषता यह है कि भारत बड़ा है और लगातार एक ग्रामीण समाज बना हुआ है जो कि 60% से अधिक आबादी का गठन करता है, जो कृषि करता है। भारत की विविधता का पोषण करना और शांतिपूर्ण और सामंजस्यपूर्ण अस्तित्व का आनंद लेना हमारी जिम्मेदारी है।

content and photos from google.com

Lakshadweep Drafts need attention

Our beautiful planet earth has already lost 70 percent of its biodiversity, and we are dealing with many environmental problems such as global warming, climate change, and the increasing frequency of deadly diseases. India’s most beautiful and smallest Union Territory, one of the biodiversity hotspots is trying to grab our attention. The region is under political and administrative threat, which has been already questioned by many administrators. You also need to know…

The laws:-

[1] Lakshadweep Animal Preservation and Regulation, 2021

  • This regulation seeks to ban the slaughter of cows, calf, bull, and buffalo without an approval certificate from a competent authority. It also prohibits the sale, transport, and storage of beef and beef products. In violation of it, the person may attract a jail term of up to one year and a fine of Rs 10,000.
  • The inhabitants are considering the law as a direct infringement on their culture and eating habits. The administrator had already stopped non-vegetarian items in the mid-day meals for school children and government-run hostels.
  • Now, there are also visible attempts to prevent people from rearing cows for milk and meat. Gujarat’s cooperative giant Amul is also attempting to take sole control of all milk-related needs of the islands.

[2] The Panchayat Regulation, 2021

  • The law bar people from having more than two children from becoming a member of the gram panchayat, however, the regulation doesn’t disqualify those who already have more than two children, provided they do not have further children after the date on which the rule comes into effect.
  • The NGO Population Foundation of India said the proposal to be “suicidal” defied all logic. It also pointed out that according to the National Health and Family Survey of 2019-2020, Lakshadweep had a total fertility rate of 1.4, which is far less than the national average of 2. 2 and a cause for concern.

[3] Anti-Social Activities Regulation Bill 2021

  • It also has allowed liquor to be served at resorts on inhabited islands, in the name of promoting large-scale tourism activities. The District Collector clarified that liquor permits would be given only to resorts for tourists, not for locals.
  • However, currently, it is prohibited in the islands with liquor served only at resorts on the uninhabited Bangaram Island, and this law would proliferate the liquor sale in the region.
  • It also empowers authorities to detain a person for up to one year in preventive detention without legal representation. The Collector said while the island remains peaceful, there have been reports of drugs being found along with weapons and live ammunition, and regulation is required to keep the “youth from getting misguided by illegal businesses”.
  • Residents are skeptical of the need for such stringent law in a UT with one of the lowest crime rates in the country. They allege it has been brought in to arrest those opposed to the Administration.

[4] Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021

  • The law would oversee the development of towns, large infrastructure, and tourism projects. It also gives the power to remove small landholdings of ST residents regardless of their will. It implies that localities would be required to pay fees to gain approval to alter zones as per the development plan, as well as fees for permission to develop their own land.
  • The island community is a close-knit group with families living in close proximity. The regulation will destroy the way of life practiced by them for generations.
  • Tourism has increased the presence of microplastics in the seawater, affecting fish health, which would attract more disasters.
  • It is neither ecologically sustainable nor socially viable and the people’s representatives were not consulted before drafting it.

Last but not least the administrator decided to publicly ignore the quarantine rules imposed on everyone else. The region which was not having a single case convert to one of the worst affected areas of the country after arrival of its new administrator, with more than 10% of the population estimated to have been infected. He saw a banner imprinted with a slogan against India’s controversial CAA, he ordered it to be removed and three people on whose land the sign was placed were arrested and released on bail.

The Lakshadweep

It is an archipelago ‘the paradise in the Arabian Sea’ consists of 36 islands with an area of 32 square km. These islands are across the 12 atolls close to Kerala, which also ensures its essential needs. These corals are eroding rapidly by increasing climate changes, and pollution. The lagoons have seagrass named meadows, which is a place to hide and grow for juvenile fishes. It gives a vast and exclusive economic zone with three distinct ecosystems the land, lagoon, and ocean.

A beautiful image of corals of Lakshadweep, which could experience the extinction as happened in Maldives.

However, only 10 islands are habitable, once were part of the Malabar district of Madras Presidency, got Union Territory status in 1956. It is ruled under a centrally appointed administrator. Its principal town and capital are Kavaratti, and other main islands are the Amindivi islands, Laccadive Islands, and Minicoy islands. According to the 2011 census, the islands have a population of 65,000 which share 96% Muslims and 94.8% Schedule Tribes, who speak Malayalam and Dhivehi. The society here is involved in the primary occupation of Fishery and follows the matriarchal pattern in the family. Despite heavy rainfall, these islands are water-stressed, tourism that ignores these realities will damage these islands.

Although, Lakshadweep is already an advanced region with a rainwater harvesting facility in every house, with 10% lighting needs from solar power. Kavaratti has a desalination wind-powered plant that was gifted by the Danish government. All the islands successfully connected to helicopter services since 1986, and high-speed passenger boats. The island has a 92.8% literacy rate with no poor person with high calorific consumption from plentiful foods harvested from the lagoons and islands.

The changes are directed by it’s new administrator Praful Patel

He took charge of the Union Territory (UT) on December 2, 2020, the one-time BJP MLA from Gujarat issued a series of extraordinary orders. He has never been to the island to understand its people concern, their heritage, and culture. The Mumbai Police has registered a case against eight people, including Patel, for abatement to suicide after Delkar killed himself at a city hotel.

In 2016, he was appointed as administrator of Daman and Diu. However, this post of administrator is normally entrusted to someone at the joint secretary level. Four months later, in December 2016, he was given an additional charge of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. All the regions he administered, had experienced similar treatments. There are rumors, that he doesn’t know the decision should be made with second, third, or fourth level discussions. He fired 560 members from the tribal community from the public works department, and make appointments based on nepotism.

The archipelago produces little that can be used to erect a high-end tourism resort. Everything will have to be shipped in from the mainland. For freshwater supplies, resorts will need their own desalination plants. The ones already set up at the National Institute of Ocean Technology, cost anywhere between Rs 6 crore to Rs 11 crore, installing and maintaining such a system will add to the costs.

A democratic government should work per the residents, however, the series of regulations proposed by the Lakshadweep administrator has caused widespread resentment and fear among its residents. The Government should recognize the need to develop policies for enhancing employment opportunities, environment-friendly management of fisheries, sanitation, waste disposal, and widening access to drinking water, with the youth, having acquired a modern education, preferring salaried jobs over pursuing traditional occupations.

Images and content from The Hindu and Google.

Can be a solution to Israel Palestine

In this world of globalization, every single person is worried about the frequently arising standoff in Israel. Here, I will provide some solutions to the century-old conflict as per my understanding.

Before starting, let’s have a brief knowledge of the conflict:-

The center of the Israel-Palestine conflict is over the city of Jerusalem. It is the birthplace of all the three Abrahamic religions that is Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Hence, it is culturally and historically significant to all, and no single religion has the right to claim ownership. Hence, Jerusalem neither belongs to Christianity, nor Islam, and nor to Jews alone, but all. This acknowledgment should be at the very center of any effort to resolve this conflict.

As colonial mandate renounces over Palestine in 1948, the United Nations which was set up after world war II, proposed a viable solution of ‘Two-State.’ The solution establishes two separate countries one for the Jews and one for Palestinian Arabs. However, this solution never came into existence because Israel unilaterally declared its independence against the UN mandate. Israel exclusively created a Jews state, that left the Palestinians behind and destroyed their hopes of having a there own separate state which could protect their rights and opportunities. Immediately after becoming independent Israel started committing grave atrocities against the Palestinians, which is referred to by Palestinians as ‘Nakba’ or ‘Holocaust.’ During this Israel destroyed hundreds of Palestinians villages, and pushed out nearly eighty percent of the Arab population, thereby establishing a dominant Israel exclusively for the Jews.

The other Arab countries fought back against Israeli oppression and they even declared war to protect the rights of the Palestinians, eventually got defeated. There were several wars fought amongst the Arab nation and Israel, which make Israel geographically stronger by capturing areas during wars.

By the 1970s these successive defeats of the Arab Nation made it very clear that Israel was here to stay, and this forced the Arab countries to reset their relations with Israel. Many countries took forward steps to reset their relations including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. Slowly after the 1980’s the Arab support was started dwindling for Palestinians cause and this marked a parallels rise of the Palestinian counter-violence beginning from the 1970s. Through two uprisings and rebellions that Palestinians referred to as ‘Intifada’ and take up counter violence and even acts of terrorism to target Israel for its Oppression and to liberate the Palestinian areas from Israeli occupation. That counter-violence has given birth to many radical extremists such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Liberation Organizations, and others. These organizations received cowardly support from many Arab Muslim countries and many non-Arab Muslim countries. Thus, creating a vicious cycle of violence in the middle east.

Where Israeli doesn’t hesitate to target the Palestinian civilians in the name of counter-terrorism, vis-à-vis the Palestinian extremists such as Hamas don’t hesitate to target Israeli civilian in the name of national liberation. This cycle of violence continued to date, and it is very essential for the parties involved to accept the current realities on the ground and realize the fact that Israel is not going anywhere as a state and the justified demand of the Palestinians is not going to be erased by the use of violence and force.

It would be wishful thinking on the part of Israel to assume that the Palestinian moment can be wiped out with the usage of force and with the adoption of aggressive policies. Similarly, it would be wishful thinking of Palestinians to assume that someway they could wipe out Israel from existence, and hence it is important for both parties to acknowledge that the nation-state of Israel is here is stay. At the same time the Palestinians have there justified demands for the recognition of there territorial right and the equal rights and opportunities which has been denied to them for decades together.

The solution

Over decades many unsuccessful attempts were made to work out a solution, as they were based on the European model which pushes for an unfair settlement between the victors and the looser. The European’s experience in creating nation-states in America, Australia, and as well as in Europe shows that their nation-state model is always based on the annihilation of the Natives and the Minorities. A classic example would be the creation of Nazi Germany based on the annihilation of Jews. The irony is that the very same Jews who face these atrocities back in Germany are seen to be committing the same atrocities against the Palestinians.

It would be better and more realistic to focus on the Indian model of the nation-state which provides for inclusive democracy to all the groups with a secular approach irrespective of its religious composition. It also tries to accommodate people of a different faith, different communities, different ethnicities, and different languages and creates grounds for an equitable society where equal rights and opportunities are guaranteed through the constitution.

There is no denying that any nation-state model is based on the identity of the majority groups or the majority community, although, the creation should not be based on violence and inhumanity against the minorities. Israel is highly unlikely to cede the Palestinians territories under its occupation since the Palestinians have lost numerous opportunities in the past to create their own nation.

The only reasonable solution should the creation of a Secular, Inclusive, and accommodative Indian model state, based on humanity under the principles of non-violence and peaceful co-existence. The Israeli state should guarantee equal rights and opportunities to minorities. That would be a democracy of secular state accommodative of religion and faiths.

Red Dot Challenge: Let’s talk

German-based NGO ‘WASH United’ in 2014 took a bold step by dedicating May 28 a special day to inform and educate people about the importance of menstrual hygiene management (MHM). This day is celebrated as Menstrual Hygiene Day across the world. The reason behind choosing this day is that the average menstrual cycle takes 28 days, and every female menstruates for an average of 5 days. UNICEF, together with adolescent girls, women, partners, and advocates, reimagines a world where no girl or woman is held back because of natural menstrual cycles.

The celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day was started with an objective to address the challenges and hardship of women during menstruation. It highlights the positive and innovative solutions such as use of “Menstruation Cups.” To recognize and support women rights worldwide and engage in policy dialogue and actively advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management at global level.

What is #RedDotChallenge ??

Worldwide studies have shown that period cramps to be as bad as having a heart attack. It leads to loss of working hours, productivity during work. Women being the backbone of families and also active participants in nation-building, need to stay active and distressed.

“Red dot campaign is an effort to change mindsets and educate society on the urgency to address menstrual cramps in the right manner. The campaign wants to challenge the belief that suffering from severe or normal period pain is something that women naturally deserve,”

Harry Sehrawat, COO and director of Sanfe

Sanfe, a feminine hygiene brand, partnered with NGO Pinkishe and The Better India has launched #RedDotCampaign, later joined by many worldwide NGOs. The campaign intends to generate widespread awareness around the discomfort caused by a period of pain in the life of women and how it restricts them from reaching new heights in various walks of life. To spark conversations around period pain and allow women to embrace periods in the most inspiring manner, #RedDotCampaign invites women to post a photo on social media with a ‘Red dot’ on their hand and tag 2 friends or family members to do the same.

Additionally, UNICEF has organized a series of online activities through webinars, pieces of training, book releases, competitions, and consultation in Odisha, UP, MP, Chattisgarh, Gujarat around Menstrual Hygiene Day across India. In Maharashtra, UNICEF has supported the distribution of 220,000 sanitary pads in urban slums, villages, and COVID Care centers in Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik, to adolescent girls, sex workers, migrants, and women on the move. As in India menstruation is a topic of stigma, period pain is completely ignored that make the days stressful and painful to menstruating population.

Various results from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ‘Menstrual Hygiene Preparedness Among Schools in India (2020) found that less than half the girls were aware of menstruation before the age of menarche. Furthermore, a UNICEF and National Institute of Urban Affairs study on adolescents in India (2020) indicates that 50% of girls are unable to use menstrual materials during their menstrual period because they cannot afford it.

The menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by the costs, availability, and social norms. Adequate sanitation facilities and access to feminine hygiene products are one part of the solution. Creating a culture that welcomes discussion and makes adequate education for women and girls is of equal importance.

COVID 19 and menstruation

Vaccines and the misinformation is not a new challenge, it is responsible for the creation of vaccine hesitancy even in European countries. The same happens to the COVID vaccine and there is a load of rampant misinformation associated with infertility and the menstrual cycle. Periods related misinformation and stigma should never stop women and girls from accessing lifesaving services like free vaccination and health care. The COVID-19 pandemic has stricken the economic continuity worldwide and limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure are undermining the educational opportunities, health, and overall social status of women and girls in India.

The pandemic has made things worse with limited availability of sanitary products and increased pressures on women and girls linked to lockdowns, increased poverty, and disruption of essential services affecting large pockets of the population.

The problem

Every month, 1.8 billion people across the world menstruate. The irony is going through this, many girls do not know the biological reasons behind it, nor do they understand the sudden discrimination they face which affects the physical and mental health of women. The isolation and stigma, cutoff schools and community life with restricted mobility and freedom of choices, the deprivation from safe, hygienic and affordable options to manage menstruation with dignity. This is why UNICEF ‘s want to building appropriate and inclusive community awareness and supporting supply of hygienic menstrual products, changing viewpoints and perspectives. It is calling everyone to break free of these harmful period stereotypes and increase investment in Menstrual Hygiene Management, awareness on menstrual hygiene and ensure easy access to related supplies.

The menstruating community include girls, women, transgender men and non-binary persons. “Even in the best of times, gender inequality, discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, poverty and lack of basic services often cause menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) needs to go unmet. Today, UNICEF and the Bureau of India Standards (BIS) joined hands to discuss the importance of ensuring that all menstruating women and girls receive high quality products to use, and what that means in terms of establishing norms and standards.

Why eastern coast of India is more vulnerable?

As you could see the severity of cyclones in the picture, eastern coast of India is facing a single unwelcomed severe cyclone every year for centuries such as Fani, Amphan, and recently the Yaas. That makes the Indian subcontinent one of the worst cyclone-affected areas in the world. It strikes directly into the economic, social, political well-being of the people of the region. It totally disturbs or vandalizes the region by causing extensive losses to every single life in the region be it the plants, animals, or humans. There are so many tropical cyclones that come from the Bay of Bengal and make landfall on the Odisha coast. Why is this coast such a magnet for these tropical cyclones, with 80% of total cyclones?

The reasons

  • Geography: When winds come from the Bay of Bengal are usually stopped by the mountains on either side of India the Himalayas on top and the Western Ghats on the west. When these winds tend to slow down, so storm originated from the Bay of Bengal and then moves towards inland India, they don’t have a way beyond the subcontinent. Therefore, they tend to swirl around the Bay of Bengal region. Among the cyclones that are formed in the Bay of Bengal, over 58 percent approach and cross the eastern coast. On the other hand, only 25 percent of the cyclones that develop over the Arabian Sea approach the western coast.
  • The winds: The winds over the Bay of Bengal are a lot more sluggish compared to the Arabian Sea and therefore, the winds fail to reduce the surface temperature of the sea. Tropical depressions are the primary reason for the monsoon rains that the Indo-Gangetic plains and most of northern India receive. It is also the primary reason for the formation of cyclones.
  • Mechanism: There is whole some of water that is evaporating and cool air rushes in current, that ultimately leads to cyclone. Bay of Bengal have fresh water sources like the river Ganga, Yamuna and Brahmaputra drains here into the ocean, as a result, the top layer of the ocean is always warm due to new water addition of water. This warm water doesn’t get an opportunity to mix well with cold water underneath, which is a more conducive nursery for more tropical cyclones.
  • Others: The Bay of Bengal is hotter than Arabian sea, which is a basic criteria for development and intensification of cyclones. The Arabian sea has more salinity over the Bay of Bengal, and it is easier to heat and simultaneously evaporate water having lower salinity. The Typhoons originating in the Pacific ocean too influences the cyclones in Bay of Bengal, not the case in Arabian sea. And also according to IMD cyclones originating in Arabian sea are believed to move northwest. So they actually move away from Indian mainland. The Bay of Bengal also receives high average rainfall helps to intensify the cyclones.

“Cyclones Titli” occurred in November, this region is good for cyclones throughout the year. However, there are two time in the year, when they are at peak the first one is April-May pre-monsoon season and the other is October to December post monsoon season. The post monsoon cyclones are formed far out in the Pacific ocean, then they cross the South Asian landmasses then come towards the Bay of Bengal. By the time they reach there they typically lost lot of intensity. However, the cyclone of pre-monsoon time are formed in the Bay of Bengal and are very intensive.

The longer the storm is at the ocean the more powerful it gets, so the faster is make the landfall better if is for humans.

As per NCRMP (National Cyclone Risk Management Project), India spent nearly 2% of its GDP and 12 % of central government revenue to deal with the cyclones hitting the country’s long coastline. Estimates show that more than 32 crore people or 1/3 of country’s population inhabiting the cyclone prone areas of the country are vulnerable to the hazards related to cyclone. Most affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu in addition to the UT Pondicherry.

The data collected for the period between 1980 and 2000 reveal that about 370 million people in India are exposed to cyclones in the country. About 308 cyclones struck the coastline of India from 1980 to 2000, while only 48 cyclones on the western coast during this period. Recurring cyclones in the eastern coast cause huge number of deaths, loss of property, damage to infrastructure, loss of livelihood and reversal of developments. The scientific community cautions that the climate change and the resulting rise in sea level can considerably increase the coastal population’s vulnerability to cyclones.

Mitigating factors

  • Early warning systems can be made more robust & error free to provide correct real time data.
  • Any kind of residential colonies or hotels should be avoided near the coastline. Or if already constructed, must be evacuated as early as possible.
  • Every village & city must have a crisis centre with basic amenities, so that people can take shelter at the time cyclones hit.
  • Saving the lives of domesticated animals should also be on the checklist.
  • Every city must have enough channels for the rain water to get away.

With the worsening environmental condition, the nature of cyclones is going to be difficult to predict. Although with the above measures we can prepare ourselves to face the calamity & restrict the damage to the minimum.

The naming system of Cyclone

Currently, we are on the verge of cyclone “Yaas” which yesterday strikes the coast of Odisha. Have you ever wondered, who gives such beautiful names to these dangerous cyclones? Some of those beautiful but furious cyclone names are “Titli”, “Ampham”, “Yaas” and “Vayu” etc. Don’t you want to know every single piece of information regarding the “naming of cyclones”? Let’s start…

Cyclones are created by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area and are usually accompanied by violent storms and severe weather conditions. The term ‘Cyclone’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Cyclos’ which means ‘Coiling of the Snake’. Just the same you have looked into the picture above. There are various types of cyclones named according to their locations. In the western Pacific oceans, they are called Typhoons, in the North Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans basin, they are known as Hurricanes, whereas in Indian Oceans and South Pacific Oceans, they are called Cyclones.

History of naming the cyclones

If the speed of a cyclone is more than 34 nautical miles per hour then it becomes necessary to give it a special name. If the speed of the storm reaches or crosses 74 mph, it is then classified into a hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.

Cyclone “Okhi”, which came in November 2017, was named by Bangladesh, which means “Eye” in the Bengali language. Cyclone Fani was also named by Bangladesh. Fani means “Hood of a Snake”.

The tradition of naming cyclones started with hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. They were named arbitrarily, after the names of places or objects destroyed or disturbed by the cyclones such as “Anjie’s hurricane.” In the late 1800, they were named after Catholic saints or corrupt politicians. During 1953 in the USA the naming of cyclones was allowed after the names of women as the ships were always referred to as female and often given women’s names. However, due to protests by various women’s organizations, this was discontinued.

Current institutions responsible for naming

Although, after world war II the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (RSMCs) and Tropical Warning Centers (TCWCs) are made responsible for the naming of cyclones formed in any ocean basin around the world. Currently, there are 6 RSMCs and 5 TCWCs and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is one among the six RSMCs.

The North Indian Ocean includes the region of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, an India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) RSMC in New Delhi is responsible for naming. In 2000, the WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific) Panel on Tropical Cyclones decided to start naming the cyclones in this region. The Panel consisted of 8 member countries namely Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Each nation provides 8 names, so the panel in total includes 64 names. Later in 2018, five more countries were added to this list, were Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen. Every aforementioned WMO/ESCAP member nations has given 13 names each, and the list has total of 169 names. After suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalize the list.

IMD also provides advisory to 12 other nations in the region on the development of cyclones and storms.

Once the bottom of the column is reached, the sequence moves to the top of the next column.

Guidelines

IMD website mention a list of guidelines to be followed while naming the cyclones. They are as follows:

  • The proposed should be neutral to politics and political figures, religious beliefs, culture and gender.
  • Names should be chosen in such a way that it doesn’t hurt the sentiments of any section or group of people across the world.
  • The name should not be rude or cruel in nature.
  • It should be short and easy to pronounce, inoffensive and also it should be easily understandable by the people of the region.
  • The maximum length of the name should be eight letters and be given with its pronunciation and voice over..
  • The names of cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean will not be repeated. Once used, it will cease to be used again.

Why the cyclones are named??

The cyclones are named for the identification of individual cyclones by the scientific community, disaster managers, media, and the general public. During the time of cyclone different warnings are released, and the easy dissemination of the information is dependent on the name. To create awareness about its development, to remove confusion when there is more than one cyclone over a region at the same time, and also an easy remembrance.

It’s easier and less confusing to say “Cyclone Titli” than remember the storm’s number or its longitude and latitude.

Factors like wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and humidity contribute to the development of cyclones. Before cloud formation, water takes up heat from the atmosphere to change into a vapor. When water vapor changes back to liquid form as raindrops, this heat is released into the atmosphere. The heat released into the atmosphere warms the air around. The air tends to rise and causes a drop in pressure. More air rushes to the center of the storm. This cycle is repeated. Since Hurricanes derive their energy from heated seawater which can be prevented by the presence of upper-level winds that disrupt the storm circulation forcing it to lose its strength.

Environmentally cyclones can be important to local ecosystems. eg reefs and the distribution of plants have adapted to them. Cyclones can have an economic and emotional effect on the people and property directly affected. Thousands of people have died or been displaced by them. Hundreds of homes could be destroyed causing millions of dollars worth of damage.

The real stories of Holocaust Survivors

I have read about the killing that happened in Germany during the reign of Hitler. But, how it has really happened, the impact of it on the minds of children and people was deleterious. You will be surprised to read the real stories of the German Holocaust.

Snopes Says I'm A Fake

My maternal grandparents Tzipora and Zev Zloczower

I rarely post anything that isn’t funny or about my writing process. Even more rare is anything to do with my childhood or parents who were Holocaust survivors. My dad died just over twelve years ago. My mom died two and a half years later. During my mother’s shiva, a seven-day mourning period, I began to consider who would tell my parents’ stories? Do people really want to know their stories? How should they be remembered? I was busy with my job and family and put those thoughts aside.

The children of Holocaust survivors don’t typically have conventional family life. When I was a child, I often experienced bad dreams where the Nazis came to take us away. I directly attribute those dreams to the stories my parents told us as children. The dreams became less frequent and pretty much ended as…

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Love Jihad- A myth

There are two viewpoints to the term Love Jihad, First is “it is a conspiracy meant to convert non-Muslim women particularly Hindu women under the pretext of marriage” and this section support that marriage before marriage or after marriage should be declared illegal. However, the second group says “there is no jihad in Love, Love is pure.” Today we will try to evaluate the need, and origin of “Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.”

History or the origin of Love Jihad

Love Jihad and took national attention in the year 2009 because of some developments in Kerala and Karnataka. In Bengaluru, an eighteen-year-old girl married to a twenty-four-year-old Muslim boy. The father of the girl filed a case in Karnataka High court which asked the Karnataka Police CIA team to investigate. Karnataka Police conducted an investigation, and you will be surprised about the report, it said this was an adult consensual relationship between two, without any such thing called Love Jihad. A beautiful act by the court, allowed the girl to choose the terms of her life, and she chooses to go with her husband. During this time Karnataka Police conducted an investigation involving more than hundreds of inter-religious marriages in the region to find out any pattern of Love Jihad. The report was submitted in December 2009 to Karnataka High Court which stated that “there is no organized attempt to any group of individuals to entice girls/women to Hindu or Christian religion to marry Muslim boys with an aim of converting them to Islam”.

The Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), once met the governor of Maharashtra and asked about increasing cases of Love Jihad, and an RTI was filled for data. And you will be surprised with the reply of RTI, which said that “NCW don’t collect or deal with such data.’

According to the first viewpoint, what we have seen in the introduction says that Love Jihad is a reality, we can witness it by opening our daily newspaper. However, the second viewpoint considers it a “Loch Ness Monster” that is never seen by anybody, but people believe it exists. I will go with the second view point, that love has no religion.

What Fundamental Rights of India and Supreme Court says?

According to Article 21 ‘, the right to life and personal liberty includes the right to live with dignity, the right to privacy, and many more. And Article 25 provides innermost freedom to choose a religion or the freedom to be free from any religion, and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate the chosen religion. However, constitution has also imposed some reasonable restrictions such as on the grounds of public order (forced conversions), morality, and health, etc.

On the grounds of Public order Madhya Pradesh and Orissa passed anti-conversion laws which were challenged in SC in 1977 (Rev. Stainislaus vs State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors January, 1977). Here, the argument was that the Church’s Father said “if I have the right to propagate my religion means I have the right to convert others to my religion, as I want my religion spreads.” The SC declared the conversions illegal and said “the conversion is valid only if it is due to change in conscience without any threat, allurement, coercion, etc.

Hadiya case where a Hindu girl “Akhila Ashokan” first convert to Islam and them married to a Muslim boy Shafin Jehan. The father of girl filled a case by framing the marriage under “Love Jihad,” and the Kerala High court annulled the marriage and the matter went to the Supreme court. The Supreme court says “the matters of dress and of food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership are within the central aspects of identity. Neither the State nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person to decide on these matters” and allow Hadiya to join her husband.

Although in 2020, a single judge bench of Allahabad High court says that “the conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable,” however, this bench after few month also said “Right to live with a person of his/her choice is irrespective of religion professed by them.” This is the case which became the basis of “Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.”

Now let’s see the Law passed by UP and MP which are clearly against the earlier orders of Supreme Court

The individual wants to convert will submit a notice to District Magistrate (DM) before two months. Then DM will institute a police inquiry to check whether the conversion is not due to fraud, or forced, or not for marriage. Any conversion for the sole purpose of marriage is illegal and would be declared null and void. It makes religious conversion for marriage a non-bailable offence and the onus will be on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.

Arguments against the law:

  • Patriarchy: The women have no individuality, no freedom, are gullible to be cheated by men, so the men will decide whom she should marry and to which religion she should convert.
  • Violates vital principle of free will: That says you have the right to believe in a particular religion or change whenever you want to, without announcing to others, but here you need to give notice to DM. There is one more problem with this if the woman got converted to any religion by her free will, does she would be ineligible for marriage for the rest of her life?
  • Likely to be misused laws: A couple married inter-religiously with the will of their parents, even then the case could be filled by any relative. As a woman, she has no right to decide upon the person to marry, and this will be done by society and make her chattel of family. The same case happens where even relatives were not against, but an organization approach the police and police stopped the marriage.
  • Violates the core principle of criminal justice system: It considers a person innocent until proven otherwise, and it is for the prosecution and the state to prove the person guilty. However, this law changes the concept upside down. The law puts the burden of proof on the person who is performing this conversion.
  • The vaguely defined word Allurement: This would cause problems in cases. If a person converted to a particular religion by their free will or conscience, forced for reconversion to their previous religion is still unacceptable, but the law is silent on this.
  • Women- a separate category: If a law is violated by a male it would invite a jail term of 1 to 5 years with or without Rs 15,000. However, if the law is violated by a minor woman or a woman from the SC or ST category, the jail term would be a minimum of three years which would be extended to 10 years with or without a fine of Rs. 25,000.

Arguments in favor of law:

  • Male Chauvinism and Patriarchy: An inter-religious marriage where both parsons accept each other with their religions are accepted. However, some marriages lead to conversion, if we see in the majority, women get converts. There are three key elements if the bride embraces the religion of her husband; because now she has to align herself according to the new house or the husband, which should be opposed.
  • Bigotry: Husband asked her to convert because he is uncomfortable living with a person of another faith.
  • Community-level supremacist attitude: Husband is considering his religion superior then the wife, which is not acceptable, so the law is good.

Special Marriage Act, 1954

Let’s go to British India when under the concept of “White Man’s Burden” Britishers took responsibility for religious reforms. Some religious or social evil such as the Purda system, Sati system was abolished which was one of the reason of triggering the revolt in 1857. They understood that to rule India, they need to abstain from their personal or religious involvement. As India has a history of inter-religious marriages for centuries, so, they came with a new law. An inter-religious union could only be solemnized only under act 3 of the law of 1872 the person would publicly renounce her/his religion. After Independence Indian legislature created a law called Special Marriage Act, 1954 which had not solve anything but created some:

  • Notice period: If anybody wants to register their marriage under the act, they need to submit a notice before 30 days. The marriage application will be prominently displayed at the office which contains the time, date, and place of the marriage. Many a time this displayed application acts as an open invitation for the one who wants to oppose the marriage, even physical force can be used to stop the registration.
  • Location of application: The marriage could be registered only at the place where at least one of the parties resides. This becomes unreal if opposed by both the families and the couple run away. This may also the reason for conversion first and then register under Personal law.

We need an honest law to deal with inter-religious marriages, without any conversion. We are the society with the highest degree of diversity which is living within us for centuries, and we need to embrace the love, acceptance of one another beyond the boundaries of any religion. As I feel the “Love or Marriage after the attainment of a certain age should be driven by the will of person whether girl or boy and society has no right to intervene upon individual choices”

Picture from google.com

India a beautiful collage

India is very rich in diversity, we witness the beautiful but different patterns of dresses, tasty but diverse food habits, different but attractive languages, the geography and the linked tourist places, and the Indian people. Today we will try to learn the basic features of the diversity of India.

Many historically, ethnic, religious factors are responsible for it. There has been mixing of the different religions, languages, and ethnicity due to invasion by foreigners who settled here like Mughals and Persians, trade via Silk Road passing through Ladakh, pilgrimage to major Buddhist sites in India, and travelers like Ibn Battuta, Hiuen Tsang, etc. The division of India into small kingdoms since the early time, many local languages and distinctive culture has developed under the patronage of different rulers e.g. Malayan under Cheras and Bengali under Palas. These factors responsible will be taken here in little detail:

  • Geography: India has divided into 5 major climatic groups and the monsoon acts as the binding thread since it is the main source of irrigation for agriculture. The Indian geographical diversity could be seen from the heights of Himalayan mountain and the low islands of Andaman and Nicobar, the thickly forested northeastern region, the hot and sandy desert of Rajasthan, the plateau of Peninsular India, and the plains of northern India. This geography has to lead to differences in festivals, cuisines, dresses, handicrafts, that is in customs, costumes, languages, culture, etc has enormous potential for tourism capable of creating large scale employment, and is also responsible for the development of rich reserve of flora and fauna benefiting the environment, tourism, pharmaceutical, etc.
  • Religious diversity: India is a multi-religious country with a maximum Hindu population constitutes 80% of the total, followed by Muslims with a 14% population. This diversity is reflected in the various practices and rituals that people follow.
  • Caste diversity: Now although the caste system has been abolished in India, and our constitution says that no person can be discriminated against on the basis of their caste still India has many caste issues such as caste-based politics, and healthy moments by lower caste to empower themselves. Earlier there was a four varna system society of Kshatriya, Brahmans, Vaisya, and Shudras, and also the Ati-shudra’s who are excluded from the caste system. However, with time there is visible development of thousands of castes within these four. It is a very important aspect of diversity to consider upon, and it is something we are trying to overcome in our aim to move towards equality. With the opportunities provided by increasing literacy rates and economic reforms and excessive politicization, caste identities are becoming more pronounced than before. Some use it to challenge the oppression they have faced (like Bhima-Koregaon), others use it to claim benefits of reservation (Jat, Patidar, Maratha).
  • Tribal diversity: 8.6% of the Indian population lives in Tribal areas, which are diverse within themselves. These are Negrito (Andaman and Nicobar islands), Proto-Australoids (hills and forested tracts of central and southern India), Mongoloids (hilly tribes of North-East India, Sikkim and Ladakh), Aryans (northern states), and the Dravidians (southern states). The tribes differ with the location that the tribes of Andaman will be completely different from the tribes of Madhya Pradesh, they are present in with racial diversity, cultural diversity, educational diversity. Recently an isolated tribe that is Santhal was in news, their life is completely different from the tribe which would have more integrated from the mainstream society. In terms of number Madhya Pradesh and highest number, and Nagaland has the highest percentage of tribal population.
  • Linguistic diversity: As per the Indian Gazette, 179 languages and 554 dialects are spoken, and even our constitution also recognizes 22 languages under the 8th schedule. India is very rich in linguistic traditions with many languages that are also led to diversities in India. Language is being a major source of communication, is also a source of identity. We have recognized our states based on language through the States Reorganization Act of 1956. Indian languages are broadly classified under the families such as Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austroasiatic, Sino-Tibetan, and others.
  • Socio-cultural diversity: This diversity is reflected in customs, culture, food habits, and costumes, etc. If we move from Rajasthan in the west, to the Manipur in the east we will witness how the food, cloth pattern, festivals, dance, music have developed a very unique way of living.
  • Ideological diversity: The people follow a right-wing ideology, a left-wing ideology, and some may be centralists. People’s ideology might be influenced more by religion, or less influenced by religion.
  • Political diversity: There is also a lot of political diversity in the nation, at the national level, there are various political parties that are coming up, earlier dominated by single-party only that is a congress. At the regional and sub-regional level, this diversity is very much, they have good political gripping in their region but are less influential at the national level such as in TMC in West Bengal, SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh, DMK in Tamil Nadu. These political parties can successfully reflect the various other diversity existed in Indian society.
  • Demographic diversity: This reflects the different demographic patterns in India, North India is more densely populated with a younger population in contrast to South India. So demographically India witness diversity in population density, population concentration pattern, rural-urban population, worker and dependent population, etc.

The disadvantages of high diversity in nation

Disputes are inevitable in any diverse society and when not managed properly they can turn into conflict, threatening the very survival of society as was the case in Balkan Peninsula. Similarly, Indian society faces the following challenges which endanger its ‘unity in diversity. Analytical point is that so much diversity is harmful to the unity and integrity of India. Indian diversity is natural due to differential social evolution, which also results in social tension and conflicts arising from this diversity leading to the growth of divisive tendencies such as:

  • Communalism: the rising majoritarian tendencies such as a call for a ‘Hindu Rashtra, cow vigilantism, love jihad claims against inter-religion marriages.
  • Regionalism: demands of new states and even secession based on language (Gorkhaland, Dravidnaad), religion (Khalistan), ethnicity (Nagalim).
  • Linguistic separatism: perceived threats to the local language and recent movements like the Dravidian movement and in recent times we see Gokhaland and Bodoland movements.
  • Separatist movement: The ongoing separatist movements in J&K and North-East along with Naxalism have for a long and continue to pose significant risks to India’s unity.
  • Tribal activism and Racism: the discrimination against people of the North-east, people of the south in northern states, and vice versa threatens a whole section of the society, dissipating discrimination into division.

Ways to stay healthy and happy in most diverse nation ?

India has been a diverse nation for centuries, and it has managed itself pretty well. To manage a diverse nation there could be two approaches, one is that you neutralize diversity, try and force everybody to follow the same rule, culture, etc. That is not successful and it is impossible to assimilate the Indian diversity. So, let’s take about the other solution that is to ensure the peaceful coexistence of all people with their diversities, the way adopted by our constitutional makers, the great ideologues.

They allow everybody to enjoy their fundamental rights, DPSP’s, fundamental duties with their different cultural and educational rights. The Independent judiciary has successfully reined in the divisive tendencies of the government by upholding the validity of the President’s rule in UP in the 1990s due to communal policies of the govt. This is the way by assimilating various strands of society India has evolved into a rich and multiferous country. The caste, gender, tribal are termed as structural basis features of diversity, however, unity in diversity, tolerance are the terms of ideological basic features:

  • Unity in Diversity: Our diverse nation has stayed unified for centuries in many ways, under many rulers, especially under Ashoka, Mughals, Britishers, and lastly after Indian Independence. It has helped India to strengthen love and tolerance promoting unity and openness to other diverging ideas and innovations.
  • Tolerance: Tolerance with the different religions, caste, section for the society, and tolerance in terms of individual freedoms, freedom of speech, freedom of movement to any part of India, is well placed in the constitution to develop a kind of interconnectedness in the Nation.
  • Peace and Harmony: Also been a part of Indian society for a very long time.
  • Ancientness and Adaptability: Indian society has shown the continuity of historical culture we have accumulated with time, and simultaneously also moving towards modernity especially seen in urban areas, which has speedup with coming of globalization. So, India has successfully maintained a balance in ancientness with adaptability.
  • Spirituality: India has been the birthplace of so many religions of the world. It has also been known for many spiritual saints such as Shankaracharya, Kabir Das, and Vivekananda, etc. And many spiritual movements like the Bhakti movement, Sufi movement, Buddhism, and Jainism, etc.

One more basic feature of Indian diversity is that India is large and continuously remains a rural society that constitutes more than 60% of the population, which practices agriculture. It is our responsibility to nurture the diversity of India and enjoy a peaceful and harmonically existence.

Israel Palestine Issue

After three consecutive nights of Israeli security forces raiding the Al Aqsa Mosque to stop Palestinians from accessing the Old City during prayers of the holy month of Ramadan. In retaliation, the Hamas group has launched more than 1,000 rockets on 10 May into Israel which resulted in thousands of casualties.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has raged on for generations and the fighting we see in 2021 is born of more than 100 years of struggle. It is often referred to as the world’s most intractable conflict is rooted in a dispute over land claimed by Jews as their biblical birthright and by the Palestinians, who seek self-determination. Despite repeated attempts to end the conflict between the two countries, there is no peace settlement in sight. As it is a very controversial issue I would say, the facts I will be providing here are based on historical facts only. As you have seen in the picture, these types of conflicts negatively affect the human and especially the child right.

How did it starts??

There was the rule of the Ottoman empire in the area since the fourteenth century. The area was important due to the presence of a passage from Europe to Asia through the “Suez Canal.” After the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I Britain took control of the area known as Palestine under the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the area was occupied by Arab Majority and Jews Minority.

The Jews have been persecuted throughout history due to their religious beliefs and foreign culture. To help the Jews people, international community tasked Britain with setting up a “national home” for Jewish people in Palestine through the Balfour declaration. The same land was claimed as their historical lands by both the Jews and Palestinians.

In 1897 the Jews started a movement called a Zionist movement to escape persecution and establish their state in their ancestral homeland, Israel. The movement later got international reach and was termed as World Zionist Organization. During the 1920 to 1940s, many Jewish people fled to Palestine by escaping the persecution and the atrocities of Hitler’s Holocaust. It incited the Arab population living there, and we witness the start of the conflict between Jews, Arabs, and the Britishers.

You could see here, how the land of Arab nation Palestine is reduce to small patches of land with time.

The fight between Israel and Palestine

In 1947, the UN voted to split the land into two countries at British request. Jewish people accepted the agreement and declared the independence of Israel. Under the plan, the land was to be split into separate Jewish and Arabs states. Jerusalem, a holy land for both would become an international city. Jewish leaders embraced the plan, but the Arab leaders’ didn’t.

The partition of land under The Two State Theory by United Nations

In 1948 the Britishers left after realizing that the problem couldn’t be solved by them, and the Jewish leaders created the “State of Israel” backed by the then US president Harry S. Truman. The declaration was not acceptable to Palestinians a war broke out by neighboring Arab countries including Jordon, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria on Israel. The war was catastrophic for Palestinians hundred and thousands fled. The continuous fight was advantageous for Israel, and it now controls most of the land. However, there was never a peace agreement, but the blame game persists.

It was the beginning of the Palestine refugee crisis which ultimately led to the creation of PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) in 1964 a terrorist organization. More importantly “in the Six-day war” in 1967, the Arabs attacked Israel, but the result was in favor of Israel. The Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt; West Bank, and East Jerusalem from Jordan; and Golan Heights from Syria were captured by Israel. Most Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in the Gaza strip and the West Bank were not allowed to return their homes. These lands are recognized as occupied territories by the UN.

Israel Pre-War 1967 Boundaries Map

Jerusalem was one of the holiest lands on Earth for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. However, Israel claims the whole city as its capital. Palestine claims East Jerusalem as the capital of its future state.

For the past 50 years, Israel has built settlements in Jerusalem, more than 600,000 Jews now live there. Although, the Palestinians consider them illegal under international law. There have been numerous attempts to resolve over the decades since 1979. In 1993, under the Oslo Accord, the leaders of Palestinians and Israeli met to negotiate on the “two-state solutions” with the mediation of the US and Russia with no positive results.

The tension escalated with Israel’s increased settlement in West Bank and Gaza Strip. The result was First Intifada, in 1987 with a boycott of Israeli products, jobs, etc resulted in massive Israeli economic destruction. In 2000, a more violent Palestine Uprising killed a large number of civilians to death on both sides. This is known as the Second intifada. As a defensive measure, Israel constructed a West Bank Barrier wall and separated Israel and Palestine settlements. Still, Israel is continuously pushing to settle Jews settlers to the West Bank which is changing the demography with prevalent human right violations in Palestine.

New era of Fatah and Hamas

The Palestinian divided themselves into two groups i.e. the Fatah and Hamas. The Fatah accept Oslo accord, were found under Yasir Arafat is the largest Palestinian political faction. It is a secular movement, has nominally recognized Israel, and has actively participated in the peace process. The Hamas (Islamic Militant group) for the liberation of Palestine through Jihad came into existence. It refused to recognize Israel as a country. It has received support from Iran and Syria. Despite numerous reconciliation efforts over the past 15 years, rifts have remained.

The tensions between the groups have dominated Palestinian politics since 2006. After an armed conflict between the two factions and the failure of an attempted unity government, the Palestinian leadership has been divided since 2007. Damascus Gate is one of the main entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City, and a popular meeting place for Palestinians, especially during Ramadan after the evening prayer that triggers problems.

The Palestinians want Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 and establish independent Palestine state in West Bank and Gaza. Israel should stop the era of expansion of settlements and allow Palestine refugees to return back to there homes. However, the Israel want sovereignty over Jerusalem as a capital of a Jewish State.

The issue and the world

The US has been a significant mediator, with more Jews population than Israel, which have significant control over US media and economy. Hence, the US has also prevented the observer status to Palestine in the UN. However, the Obama administration allowed the UN to pass a resolution that declared Israel’s growing settlements in the occupied territories illegal, and had also blocked resolutions criticizing Israel by using its veto power in the UN Security Council. With the new presidency regime under Trump, who is more inclined to Israel, the illegal settlements by Israel in West Bank and Gaza are increasing. In 2018, the Trump administration canceled funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, and relocated the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a reversal of a longstanding U.S. policy.

India opposes the UN’s partition plan in 1947, however it recognizes Israel in 1950 but it also recognizes the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole representative of the Palestinian. It also recognizes the statehood of Palestine in 1988. In 2014, India favored UNHRC’s resolution to probe Israel’s human rights violations in Gaza. Despite supporting the probe, India abstained from voting against Israel in UNHRC IN 2015. India has tried to maintain the image of its historical moral support for Palestinian self-determination, and at the same time to engage in military, economic, and other strategic relations with Israel.

Nearly 83% of countries have officially recognized Israel as a sovereign state and maintain diplomatic relations. However, at the same time are sympathetic to Palestine.

Way Forward

In August and September 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and then Bahrain agreed to normalize their relations with Israel by following the steps of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The world at large needs to come together for a peaceful solution however, the reluctance of the Israeli government and other involved parties has aggravated the issue. A balanced approach towards the issue would help to maintain favorable relations which are required for the wellbeing of people on both sides.

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