Author: Chandrahas Halai

The Tashkent Files

Do you know: Who founded the National Dairy Development Board that started Operation Flood? This move made India not only self-sufficient in milk production but also the largest producer of milk in the world, thereby leading to socio-economic development of the rural public. Who started the green revolution to make our nation self-reliant in food production? Who raised the morale of the armed forces after the debacle against China in 1962? Who shared a birthday with Mahatma Gandhi? Who gave us the slogan “Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan!”? Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri The second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri was a simple person and a dedicated leader. His tenure as Prime Minister was from 9th June 1964 until his death on 11th January 1966, which is barely 19 months. Shastri was a short man but as they say “good things come in small packages” In the short duration of his stint Shastri ji achieved many things that are having a lasting impact on the development of our nation. A simpleton by nature and lifestyle …

Devgiri Fort – A Microcosm Of Indian History

During one of our respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji’s public contact program “Pariksha pe charcha” one mother shared her worries with the Prime Minister. The lady said that her son is hooked on to computer and internet games, which is adversely affecting his studies. And the Prime Minister’s response, which has since become viral on social media, was “ये PUBG वाला है क्या?” This is the age of computer, internet and mobile games. Youngsters are hooked on to these games. In some of these arcade games are mazes (in which one gets lost) with trap doors, dark alleys, tunnels and secret passages. The player’s computer-avatar has to successfully cross this maze. There are difficulties and dangers at every step. One mistake and you are out! In computer games your avatar may get two life-lines, but the third time, “The game is over!” There is a lot of excitement about these games amongst youngsters. But in real-life you only get one chance. Only a brave person will take on such challenges. Is there such a …

An Ode to Orchha

Lord Ram’s ruling of Ayodhya as a king is the ultimate example of an ideal ruler. People of India yearn and strive for such a governance. At the same time I cannot stop myself from mentioning that Mata Sita was also an ideal queen who left the palace and the kingdom to save her husband the king from a धर्म संकट and made a sacrifice for the people of Ayodhya. There is one more place in India where the people consider and worship lord Ram as their king. The forts, palaces, temples and chhatris (cenotaphs) in this town were an inspiration for Edwin Lutyens to design New Delhi. Can you guess which place is this? It is the one time capital of the Suryavanshi Bundela Rajput kings – Orchha, in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh situated around 18 kms from Jhansi. Bundela Rajput’s reign in northern India (today’s southern Uttar Pradesh and northern Madhya Pradesh region) began in the 14th century and that is why this region came to be known as Bundelkhand. When Raja …

24 Names Of Vishnu

पाशांकुशाहिडमरूककपालशूलै: खट्वांग शक्तिशरचापयुतैर्भवन्ति|| अन्योन्यहस्तकलितै: कति मूर्तिभेदा: शंभोर्हरेरिव गदारिसरोजशंखै:|| Lord Shiva holds ten different weapons, namely a noose (trap) (पाश), a goad (अंकुश), a snake (सर्प), a drum (डमरू), a potsherd (कपाल) (used as a bowl), a spear (शूल), a club (खट्वांग) (an ayudha made of a thigh bone topped with a skull), a missile (शक्ति), an arrow (शर) and a bow (धनुष्य) in his hands. [Lord Shiva has five heads and so it is presumed that he has ten arms.] Find the number of different Shiva idols. Similarly, solve the problem for Vishnu idols; Lord Vishnu has four objects: a mace, a disc, a lotus and a conchshell. The above verse is from Bhaskaracharya’s (Bhaskaracharya II) (Born 1114 AD) book Lilavati. Bhaskaracharya had composed this book in 1150 AD to teach Mathematics to his daughter Lilavati, after whom the book is named. This book which is written entirely in verse covers arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, combinatorics, number theory and other basic topics. This book was used as a standard textbook for almost 700 years. Lord …