Saturday, April 28, 2012

Five Reasons Why Kalam is the Most Suitable Person to Become President Again

Recently Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said to the media that he prefers ex-President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam as the President of India again. Well, Dr. Kalam, a true visionary in his own right is actually the best person to become the first citizen of the Indian union.

He has been in that post earlier and we all are a witness that he is and shall remain as a charismatic figure in the Hall of fame of Indian politics. Here are the five main reasons why we need him as our President:

Non-Political Image: Mr. Sharad Pawar also backed him for his apolitical outlook towards his nation. Dr. Kalam has contributed the most to the Indian nuclear science and is a pioneer of education and progress. He seldom talks about unreal development plans. His speeches are a testimony of his vision of a better India.

Advocacy of Secularism: Dr. Kalam is a man of reality. He is equally well versed in Bhagawat Gita, Koran, The Bible, etc. Whenever he speaks, he speaks to every culture, every religious community of India. He is the perfect example of a Gandhian soldier.

Youth Icon: He is a scientist, educationist, philosopher, and true leader. His visions and speeches encourages the youth. He understands the problems faced by the 21st century speed-loving generations. He visits colleges and schools regularly to interact with the youth and understand the future of our nation.

The People’s President: The Indian Presidential system respects the President as the first citizen of India. Dr. Kalam in his last tenure proved his position. He did his job a true leader. Within one year of his election, he visited almost every state of the country and met with the people. He is not among those who once elected take a 5-year-long vacation in the VIP quarters.

A Nation Builder: We all know about his three visions, to protect and nurture the freedom we earned, to gain self-confidence as a great nation, and to stand up to the world and answer the Americans, the French, the Russian, the Chinese and the whole world that we are 60-years-old now, old enough to make a shift of generations.

His visions directly appeal the next generations to come up for the country. If he is re-elected as the President of Indian Union again, then Bharat Ratna Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam can really change the image of our country before the world.

This article is featured in Youth ki Awaaz : The Mouth Piece for the Youth

Hojagiri: Tripura’s Own Treasure

[Guest Post by Daibat Majumdar]

Shakira, Beyonce are household names these days. They are flaunting hip dancers of the 21st century. Their skills of belly dancing and hip movement have made us idolize them. But, don’t you think our own cultures have something in them to be appreciated of? Well, this is a story about a traditional hip dancing which has been in the Tripuri Hills for centuries and has been celebrated by the tribal cultures due to its uniqueness.

Hojagiri dance is one of the famous dances of Tripura. The dance is performed on the occasion of Hojagiri festival or Laxmi Puja, held in the following full moon night of Durga Puja. The goddess Mailuma or Laxmi is worshiped with full reverence and devotion on this day. The Riang clan of Tripura are known to be the best performers of this world-renowned rare dance form. Riangs are known to be fond of dancing. They have performed the Hojagiri folk dance almost all around the globe and have bagged critical acclamation.

The ancillary logistics required for the dance are – a Baling, which is a wide circular rice cleaning article made up of cane, a pitcher or Kalash, a bottle, a household traditional lamp, a plain dish, a handkerchief for each member. This dance is a reflection of the age-old culture. In this form, only lower half of the body is moved. It is done to create special rhythmic movement. For precise body movements and accurate gestures, one has to undergo severe training and regular rehearsal for this dance. It is a slow hip and waist maneuvering dance. It takes about 30-40 minutes to finish the sequence of Hojagiri dance. It tries to bring out the day to day life of the Jhum cultivators in various phases i.e. from the day of sowing to the harvesting day.

The dance is performed only by women, of about 4 to 6 members in the group. The male members have not kept aside, they participate in singing the lyrics, and playing the ‘Kham’, the Kham is actually a drum with skin surfaces on both the sides. The membranes are usually made of goat skin that is tied to each other on both sides with leather strings. Some women also form the team chorus, in the singing group. The lyrics used are very simple but penetrative and have metaphoric meanings, though the dance is unparallel with the Hojagiri dance.

Any information on Hojagiri dance will always be incomplete without mentioning the name of Shri Satya Ram Riang. He can be considered as the pioneer in promoting Hojagiri dance in all over the world and one of the most celebrated Riang sons. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Academy award by the government of India for his relentless effort to preserve and promote this rare dance form not only in India but also in abroad. But, due to lack of awareness and interest Hojagiri dance has not yet been able to reach its expected position.

This Article is featured in Youth Ki Awaaz: The Mouth Piece for the Youth

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Should we really ban Corporal Punishment?

In June 2010, a teenager named Rouvanjit Rawla committed suicide after being thrashed and humiliated by his teachers. This made national news and the issue was to ban all forms of corporal punishment.

The reasons put forward were the negative psychological effect on the students in their future life, physical and mental torture brings fear in the person. The government compared with other notable governments around the world decided to ban all forms of corporal punishment in the educational institutions.

Well, India is a unique nation. Here a person is depended on his parents and guardian for all his non-personal decisions till he is totally settled with a job. And, this is inevitable. Our culture and society groom us this way.

So, when the government bans all forms of corporal punishment, a student suddenly feels superior to everyone in school and at home. The result, bad behavior in the class room, adaptation to alien cultures and most importantly, the minors without the fear of being punished seriously commit crimes without even realizing that they are not doing something which a responsible citizen should do.

Recently, two guys from Sonipat were arrested because they allegedly killed their teacher because he refused them to cheat in their board exams. Firstly, they were using unfair means to cheat in the examination, and on being caught they could fearlessly kill their teacher too.

A teacher is one who is an educated and responsible citizen, the case of student harassment may be one in a thousand, but in general, a teacher refuges to corporal punishment just to ensure the students that when you do something wrong, you are punished. Corporal punishment is an example to teach the students that there is an Indian Penal Code outside the school which can give you real trouble if you do not abide by the law.

The rights of students need to be ensured, that’s for sure. But, we can’t deny the fact that in a school, if one teacher is a Hitler, then there are a dozen more Churchills and Roosevelts to control him. But, if the teachers are restricted from their authority over the children, they might forget even to respect the elders as they spend 60% of their day time at school. Children learn about moral values and society more from their teachers than from their parents.

A Travelogue of Unokoti: An Unexplored Paradise in the North-East

It was the summer of 2009. I was spending the vacation at my ancestral home at Dologaon, Kailashahar. After a heavy lunch one afternoon, I was too bored to watch TV or read any slow novel. So, I set out on an exploration. I asked my nephew to come with me and we two rolled on a new Hero Honda Glamour. It was a trip without a plan…

The Destination: There is an ancient tourist destination just a few kilometers north from Kailashahar, Tripura in the lush green hills of Unokoti District. Even though I had never visited it before, I had heard stories about the place. It boasted of one less than ten million rock carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses.

The Myth: Since I was a kid, I had been listening to the myth about the place. My grandmother used to say that there was a king named Jujaru-FA who ruled the place many, many years ago. One day he was blessed by a visit by Lord Shiva who granted him a boon on one condition- he had to make sculptures of 1 crore different Hindu gods and goddesses before the next sunrise. Jujaru got to work and had finished 9,999,999 sculptures when the first sunray touched the ground. Thus, he could not complete his objective and named the place Unokoti, meaning one less than a crore.

The Location: Unokoti gives you a divine and spiritual feeling with a natural fragrance. Just as you enter the site, you see long unbroken chains of stairs going up and down the hills. They connect the whole area and without them, it is quite possible to get lost amongst the millions of rock images in the jungle.

The central part is like a necklace of the jungle. There is a year-round waterfall and at its base, there is a small pond with fishes, where you can take a bath too. Just beside the falls is the mighty ‘Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava,’ a 30 feet high rock image of Lord Shiva.

The Art style differs from the classical and depicts typical tribal features both in decoration and structure which makes them unique. The three rock-cut Ganesha figures on a rock fall; downstream of a local spring which flows right on their heads gives us the illusion of a bath scene.

The Main Attraction:
Its importance as a sacred place has decreased considerably in the recent years. However, every year in the month of April, a seven-day festival called the Ashokashtami is celebrated there. Devotees from the older generation still believe that one bath in that natural tank every year will wash away their sins and will lead them to heaven. Unokoti is the most sacred place in Tripura during Ashokashtami, Makar Sankranti, and Maha Shivaratri.

They say North-east is a paradise unexplored. Well, of course, it is and I am a witness to this. There are places where you go and find nothing more than a board from the Archeological Survey of India. But, in reality, the place deserves much more than that.

Such is the case with the Unokoti. A district was named after it recently, but very few Tripuris and even lesser Indians really know about its historic and artistic importance.

Below are the pictures I took with my Nokia 2700 classic. :)

This Article is featured in Youth Ki Awaaz : Mouthpiece for the Youth

The Side-effects of Democratic Politics

Who is a politician?

A politician is the one who deals with policies. He may be a policy maker or a policy editor. His job is to safeguard the constitution along with the fundamental rights of a democratic country through his policies.

The 20th century saw a revolution in the political arena of the third world countries. Most of the countries took refuge of the democratic form of government to run their countries.

There is a popular saying that, “politics is a third class ‘game’ played by fourth class people”. Well, politics is not a game. But democratic elections have turned out to be a game in a country with multi-party coalition format.

In India, the general view about the election is a competition among the ‘political’ class of the society to take the ‘throne’. To make the scene clearer, the TV channels have introduced the reality shows these days. Elections are no different from the reality shows. The participants who are the political leaders make a political agenda and present themselves before the voters. They do their best in the election campaign. Because, in everyone’s sub-conscious mind, they have a feeling that the election is the biggest challenge for a politician in a democratic country.

Now, let’s forget this self-styled game of winning and losing.

Who is a citizen?

In a democracy, a citizen is the one who has elected the government to run his country. And because there is a multi-party system, he has the right to choose anyone, but is expected to follow; support the winner, i.e., the one who has made a successful government.

But, he may not support the government if he doesn’t feel like. It’s this basic of democracy which makes it a better form of governing as compared to monarchy or dictatorship.

The ‘winner’ of the election again is a people’s leader, if the majority chose him and he has to safeguard everyone. He is chosen to look after the whole country and not only those who voted for him.

Now, let’s take two cases and study them in view of the democratic system.

The Times of India, 18th April 2012: “Woman ‘molested’ for refusing to join Trinamool Congress”

Citation:We have received a complaint by Toton Das, who has alleged that his mother was molested by a group of people who also assaulted his other family members for refusal to join the Trinamool Congress. The woman later attempted suicide by consuming poison,” said the duty officer of Marishda police station in East Midnapore district.

Tehelka Magazine, Vol 9, Issue 17, Dated 28 April 2012: “We were warned of dire consequences if we mingled with Congress members”

Citation: “This group had tried to harass us before as well. Perhaps they were angry because of a few months ago, we went to attend a Congress rally in Agartala. We were warned of dire consequences if we mingled with the opposition party.” Pinky claims to have told this to the police, but it finds no mention in the FIR.

These are two stories of different states with a similar political history. The first one is of Mamata Banerjee’s Paschim Banga where the communists have been overthrown after a long rule of 35 years and the second one is the of Tripura, the last bastion of the Reds in India.

In both the stories, there is one thing common; a woman has been made the scapegoat. And, in both the stories the governing political parties have been accused.

My point is, if you are a good political leader then every citizen will support you without even a request because deep down inside, even the most corrupt man wants a good person to show him the way to a better country.

But, due to the political game of election, the ‘players’ develop a feeling of insecurity that they might ‘lose’.

Well, politicians need to learn the morals of politics once again. It’s your country that is losing her dignity with every passing election game, your loss or win is secondary.

This Article is featured in Youth Ki Awaaz: The Mouthpiece for Youth

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Dorm-Party Experiment !

[Guest Post by Sukanta Sarma]

Aim: To cook pork (in your own indigenous style)

Theory: For the last 6 years we have been celebrating Poila baishakh in the hostels only. So, no pitha, no sweets, no feast. To share with you all, this is what I have been doing every New Year. This is an indigenous way of cooking pork. Well, that's the only thing we can prepare to celebrate along with our party needs... ;-) !!!

Materials Required:
  • 1 kg Pork
  • 5 small Potato (Aloo) 
  • 5-6 Green Chili (Hari mirch)
  • 2-3 large Onion (Pyaj)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder (Jeera)
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder (Dhania powder)
  • Coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi Powder)
  • 3 Garlic (Lasun)
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger (Adrak)
  • 6 Red chilli (Lal Mirchi)
  • Salt (Namak)
  • Mustard oil

Procedure (How to make Pork):
  1. Make a fine paste of the ginger, garlic, red chilies and if you want u can use vinegar too.
  2. Heat little oil in a pan (kadai) or any cooker for 2 minutes and fry the potatoes (halved) till they are evenly brown in colour.
  3. Remove and keep aside.
  4. Fry sliced onions and green chilies till the onions are transparent.
  5. Add the ground paste and mix it up nicely till oil leaves the sides of the pan.
  6. Add the pork and pressure cook till almost done.
  7. Remove the lid of the cooker or the covering plate, add the potatoes and 2-3 cups of water.
  8. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  9. You can again add a little bit of vinegar and simmer for another 5-6 minutes.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Precautions :
  • Do not overcook.
  • Use care in timing.
  • Remove from heat and allow for a 3-4 minutes rest period before serving.
Conclusion: So, the Pork Vindaloo is ready to be served with steamed rice or chapati or you can also enjoy it with any of your favorite drinks with your best buddies ;-) :-P

Monday, April 9, 2012

Project Save Our Sparrow (SOS)

Its 21st century, a fast digital era. Today our morning breaks with SMS beeps and tweets. We are more familiar with the Twitter world than the natural tweets. But, can you imagine the world where there are no birds singing songs, no natural music?  Do you remember when did you hear a sparrow chitter last time? Provably no, no one does. It’s a small and useless bird, that’s what we think, don’t we?

In the last few decades, the population of sparrows has witnessed a sharp decline. The birds which could be found everywhere are hard to spot now. This is the result of various nature tempering activities of the humankind like deforestation; establishment of mobile towers; use of unhealthy pesticides and tempering the food chain and finally various forms of pollution.

Well, one man thought in a different perspective. Mohammed E. Dilawar, a nature conservationist with a difference could think beyond tigers & rhinos. He could see an urban wildlife extinction and he decided to bring back the house sparrow into the urban landscape again.

But six years ago, when Dilawar expressed his concern about this, nobody took him seriously. “When I spoke to people about it, they laughed at me.” He then started the Nature Forever Society (NFS) and pledged to restore the urban flora and fauna which generally gets unnoticed as forests remain the center of attraction.

This year, after getting thousands of feedbacks from various parts of the country, the NFS in association with the Burhani Foundation (India) has decided to go live. They started the project Save Our Sparrow (SOS), an initiative in which they distributed 52,000 bird feeders across the world on a non-profit basis.

This effort to save the Nature & Environment has been sent to Guinness Book of World Records as well as Limca Book of Records. The Limca citation says, "As the world celebrated World Sparrow Day, Indian Postal Department released a stamp of the house sparrow along with the rock-pigeon on March 20, 2010. Nashik-based Mohammed Dilawar, who initiated the movement in India, was at the forefront of the activities in Delhi."

But, these birds, being an indicator of environmental health, need to be saved before they can be seen only in books or on the internet. In nearly 260 cities and townships across the country - in states such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, free bird feeders and installation manuals were distributed to individuals, schools and various institutes.

Alarmed by their decline, a lot of NGOs and individuals have volunteered to the cause of the common house sparrows, currently facing a major threat from human developmental activities. If you are one who liked the chittering sound of the sparrows in your childhood, then it’s your time to pay for the opera you enjoyed.

Visit and join in the campaign.

Let’s hope to see a better world tomorrow, because, hope is a good thing!

This article is featured in Youth Ki Awaaz: The Mouthpiece of the Youth, a national web-magazine.

Hope is a good thing !

In The Shawshank Redemption Andy Dufresne said 
"Hope is a good thing". 
It has been one of my favorite dialogues all my life. 

This film is also about hope, to hope a better day, a new sunshine, a better world just with the help of a simple tool... A smile.

Ladies & Gentleman,
I present to you...


A multi-award winning fable about the magic of free parking and a smile :)

Starring - TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis.
Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

#Report: Mission ‘Clean’, Itanagar Green !

Ruma Nguri is just another engineering student of North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology. But today she is organizing a ‘Clean Capital Complex’ in Itanagar. She realized a daily crisis which we ignore generally because it’s ‘government’s’ job to keep us satisfied.

Observes Ruma, “I was walking along with my friends; I stopped by to buy some ice-cream. We were chatting and eating. The ice-cream container, the stick etc… I did not feel like throwing it on the street but then I was left with no option as I can’t put it into my bag or carry it all along, so I had to dispose it on the road because there was no dustbin in my vicinity. I threw it down with guilt feeling and decided that something should be done about it...”

On 28th January, she had no plan, no support; but she desperately wanted to do something for the community she is depended on.

Ruma approached the NERIST Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Association and asked for support. She said, “Government has lot many big issues to take care of, at least some things can be done by us (students).”

The NAPSA family responded positively & almost immediately and they made a plan along with Ruma. They decided to recycle used steel cans as dustbins in and around the capital complex of Itanagar, Naharlagun & Nirjuli. They collected all the mustard oil cans available in the hostel mess or nearby grocery shops and painted them green. Ruma says it’s an ‘awesome’ way of recycling and believes that it will send a noble message to the government as cleanliness has always been an issue in the capital complex of Arunachal Pradesh.

[Picture : Proposed Dustbin Model ]

Today, on 7th April, 2012, they have scheduled to execute the plan. They will come to the streets. They will tie a green dustbin on every electric post in and around Itanagar. Students & faculty members of NERIST led by the NAPSA are going to take part in the event which is scheduled to start off at 7 am at NERIST Gate. This might not be the biggest change, but it is a small change that I am sure is going to pave way for the bigger ones.

This article is featured in Youth Ki Awaaz : The Mouthpiece of the Youth, a national web-magazine.

Link :