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Saturday, 18 May 2019

Holy Places in World

The world is full of such places that we call them as holy or sacred. According to the English Dictionary. A holy place is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, the saint of the similar figure of awe and respect, at which said the figure is venerated or worshipped.
There have been conflicts in some of these holy places when members of other religions have claimed or attacked the sites.
Let’s take a look at some of the main holy places located in the world.

Amritsar, India

This city is the Sikh religion’s spiritual centre. The Golden Temple is the main shrine.  It is not only dedicated to the Sikh but also it is a symbol of brotherhood and equality. People from all over the world find spiritual solace here irrespective of caste, creed and religion.  It represents the distinct identity of the Sikh.
It was constructed with the digging of Amrit Sarovar (Holy Tank) by the fourth Guru of the Sikh Ramdasji in 1577 AD after he was adviced by his predecessor Guru Amardasji. Guru Granth Sahib was installed at the Harminder Sahib after the compilation of it. Baba Buddha Dev was the first head Priest of the Temple on August 16, 1604.

Athos Greece

This is a holy mountain for the Greek Orthodox Church.
There are many monasteries. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Monasteries built across the mountain create a scenic beauty. It is noteworthy that women are not allowed to get into the monasteries here for the religious region.  If you are men you need to submit documents even passport to the authority here.
Rules that were made in 1060 according to an edict called “Chryssobul” still remain valid here that allow you to go to the monasteries built-in Athos.

Banaras, India

It is one of the holy places in India which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was one of the oldest cities in India. It used to be called as Varanasi and Kashi. The city witnessed a tough time during the Mughal Empire as they destroyed many temples of historical importance. However, the Akbar brought little respite during his reign here. But later Maratha revived the city and it was an independent kingdom during 18 century.  The British made it a new Indian state
Banaras is the centre of Hindu pilgrimage. Its long ghats are remarkable. The Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Sankatmochan Temple dedicated Hanuman and Goddess Durga temples are very famous around the world. The city has hundreds of other temples.
Sarnath a few miles away from Varanasi has ruins of ancient Buddhist monasteries.
It is the centre of art&craft and music, dance.

Bethlehem, Israel

It is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity.  That is the region it holds close connectivity to the people in the world. The old city of the Bethlehem offers a wide range of walking tours. It is the main attraction of tourists from all over the world. Restaurant, hotels have been open to serve tourists need. 

Ganges, India

River Ganga is sacred for Hindus. Despite much human interference the reiver-water never gets contaminated that’s the point to ponder. Government is making an effort to clean the river, Ganga.

Jerusalem, Israel

It is a holy city for Christians, Muslims and the Jews. Sites include the western wall, domes of the Rock and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Karbala, Iraq

This city is the centre of Shi’a Islam and contains the shrine of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson al-Husain.

Lhasa, Tibet (China)

It is the centre of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery hee was once the home of the Dalai Lama.

Lourdes, France

In 1858 Bernadette Soubirous (later St. Bernadette) saw an image of the Virgin Mary in a grotto at Lourdes. Since then Catholics, have made pilgrimages there. Seeking cures for illness.

Mekkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia

Every Year, millions of Muslims go on pilgrimage to this city. They also turn to face Makkah when they pray.  It is the birthplace of Prophet Mohammad later he first revealed the Holy Quran here.

Medina, Saudi Arabia

This is the site of the tomb of the prophet Muhammad.

Olympus, Greece

The ancient Greeks believed the mountain to be the home of Zeus and other gods.

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

In the 9th century, a tomb believed to belong to the apostle James the Greater was discovered. Christianity makes pilgrimages to a shrine made on the sate.

Mount Shasta, California USA

It is a dormant volcano and a sacred site of Native Americans.
Vatican City
The City-state in Rome, Italy, is the centre of the Roman Catholic faith.

I hope you like the information. Please read click on the links below to read my other blogs.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

NOTA Votes

With the declaration of polls, political parties start wooing the voters some way or the other.   They indulge in blame game by doing so.  Well, all the political parties contesting election are doing their best to woo the voters to secure their position in the assembly or the parliament accordingly. It is very difficult for the voters to decide which party and who should be voted.  
Office Election Commission (Photo-Google)
This blog aims at talking about a provision the election commission has introduced since 2013. That is NOTA.

What is NOTA ?:-

NOTA is an abbreviation of “None Of The Above” which is actually an option given by apex court and the election commission to the voters to express their dissatisfaction over the rest of the candidates contesting the election in the particular constituency.  Using the option in the EVM the voters can disapprove the candidates who are contesting election a constituency.
In 2009, the ECI (Election Commission of India) had asked the Supreme Court to offer this option on electoral ballots, but the government had opposed to it. Later, in September 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that every voter should have the right to register a “None Of The Above” vote. The option has been in EVM( Electronic Voting Machine) since then.

Nota Option in EVM (Photo -Google)

Let’s talk about its use and significance here.
Every time the question arises “what is the use of NOTA?”  
NOTA, apparently give people an opportunity to express their disapproval. This, in turn, increases the chances of more people turning up to cast their votes, even if they do not support any candidate and decreases the count of bogus votes.

 Does a NOTA promote “Nihilism” in democracy?

NOTA is “right to register a negative opinion” about the candidates contesting the election. This option is based on the principle that “consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election”
Former Chief Justice of India SY Quraishi

What is the importance of the NOTA:-

The Election Commission clarified that votes cast as NOTA are counted, but are considered “invalid”. Therefore, votes made to NOTA will not change the outcome of the election. The former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi quoted” Even if there are 99 NOTA votes out of a total of 100, and candidates X gets just one vote, X is the winner, have obtained the only valid vote. The rest will be treated as invalid or no votes.”
Also, a bench headed by the then-Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam said negative voting could bring out “a systematic change in the polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates”

How to cast vote as NOTA?

At the bottom of the list of candidates, EVMs have an option titled NOTA.  You need to press the button and express your disapproval “NONE OF THE ABOVE.
Please,  do vote for better governance! 
Please read my blogs in Hindi at links below

Monday, 24 September 2018

Naya Khani; The Tribal Festival

Paddy crop in Bastar 
Bastar is known for its distinct festivals and occasions. One of them is Dushhara which I had a talk in details about my previous blogs.

What is Nayakhani? 

As the rainy season subsides and crops are ready to be harvested farmers here are ready to welcome new crops performing rites and rituals. This generally takes place at the end of the September.
You may have read my blog on Ama Tihar (Festival of Mango) that is celebrated to welcome Mango likewise festivals are celebrated after every crop before it is used.

But the festival called Navakhani holds a special place as it is celebrated to goddess Laxmi.  
Paddy Field 
And that’s the festival I am talking about that is being celebrated here giving adieu to monsoon and welcome to the new crop of the season.
That is called “Nava Khani” or New Meal-consumption.

What does Nava Khani symbolize?

However, there are many festivals to welcome every crop here but the Nava Khani holds a special place among them as it is dedicated to the goddess of Laxmi (known as Annapurna). It is celebrated to welcome the new crop that is ripe and ready to harvest. The farmers are beside themselves with joy seeing the full grown-up crops in the swaying around the paddy fields. They assemble to toast the moment as a part of a festival called Nava Khani. Most striking part of it is that the festival lasts for 15 days together without any hitch. The villagers began to share the food made from new crop and with a happy note.

How is it celebrated?

Bunch of ripening crops are brought home stuffed in a bronze vessel that is covered with new clothes. After that, pudding is made using jaggery and rice to serve the rest of the members of the family. The villagers keep giving felicitation each other on the occasion exactly the way we do during the Christmas or the Deepawali. Well, animal sacrifice is said to be not in practice during the festival but there is evidence some trace of being done so in some parts of Bastar as a part of the ritual. 

You can read my blogs in Hindi as well in the following links given.

Please read my blog on Bastar Dushhara to know about its uniqueness. 

You can read my blog in Hindi as well 
Please click on the link given below



Holy Places in World