Hindu Vs Hindutva

While both Hindu and Hindutva sound similar and look branch of the same tree or religion named ‘Hinduism‘ ; the sheer difference in meaning both derives and context in which both are used segregate them and make them poles apart.  One should not confuse between term Hindu and Hinduism. Anyone born in Hindustan is a Hindu just as everyone born in England is English, France is French irrespective of religion they follow, while a person following beliefs and ideologies of a particular religion are known as the followers of Hinduism.

‘Hindu’ is a broader aspect of Hinduism, while Hinduism is basically a science which got it’s basics right even before most of the world were stroked with the word called ‘civilisation’ and can be called closest to science. It’s also known as Sanātana Dharma, “the eternal law” or the “eternal way” which ‘s beyond human origins. It refers to the “eternal” duties all Hindus have to follow, regardless of class, caste, or sect, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, purity, goodwill, mercy, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, generosity, and asceticism.

hindu

While some may object, why there were widespread untouchability and social evils originated from the practice of Hinduism! Further studying the aspect of Hinduism, truth states that; fact has been far derailed and manipulated from the myth. Hindus were never divided on the basis of colour or creed, they were divided on the basis of their capability or works they used to do, which mostly involved rulers, priests, farmers and manual workers as mentioned in Vedas as Brahmins, Kchatirya, Vaisyas and Sudras. Such allocations never created an upper or lower caste difference; it can be further strengthen from the mythological epic Ramayana where king of Ayodhya ‘Ram’ made his beloved wife go through ‘Agnipariksha’ confronted by a Dhobi who questioned Sita’s purity while she stayed in Lanka.

Hinduism, its religious doctrines, traditions and observances are very typical and completely linked to the culture and demographics of India. Hinduism has one of the most ethnically diverse bodies of adherents in the world. It is hard to classify Hinduism as a religion because the framework, symbols, leaders and books of reference that make up some of the world’s other religions are not uniquely identified in the case of Hinduism. Unlike other religions in the World, the Hindu religion does not claim any one Prophet, it does not worship any one God, it does not believe in any one philosophic concept, it does not follow any one act of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion or creed. It is a way of life and nothing more.

Hinduism is one of the best gift to mankind which includes Yoga, Ayurveda, Kamasutra and Arthshatra. It’s such vast subject that acquiring even 5-10% knowledge of any of these subject would be like doing a masters or doctorate degree in it. While Hindutva is basically most misjudged term, where secular forces believe it’s threat to democracy patronizing one’s belief over other individuals.

To quote Veer Savarkar, “Hindutva is an inclusive term of everything Indic:  Hindutva is not a word but a history. Not only the spiritual or religious history of our people as at times it is mistaken to be by being confounded with the other cognate term Hinduism, but a history in full.

Hinduism is only a derivative, a fraction, a part of Hindutva. Hindutva embraces all the departments of thought and activity of the whole Being of our Hindu race”.  Basically, Hindutva represents “cultural nationalism” and its conception of “Indian nationhood,” but not a religious or theocratic concept. One who follow Hinduism may object the views of Hindutva because a Hindu has never been known as aggressor, that contradicts the belief of Hinduism on which it stands.

Even before science discovered life in plants, Hindus believed that all living creatures have a soul. This soul – the spirit or true “self” of every person, is called the atma. So, belief of tree, fire, water worshipping made a special place in Hindu rituals which is also believed as dwelling place of deities and that prevent them from destroying it.  So, it’s outmost important that people preserve the essence of Hinduism and get their Hindutva right.

Shivaji

 

Contributor: Shivaji Singh

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One year of Modi government

One year of Modi government has been a roller coaster ride with first few months riding on public image or wave created by Narendra Modi during Lok Sabha elections while second quarter saw implementations of few important schemes such as ‘Jan Dhan Yojna‘ through which 11.5 crores new bank accounts were opened and is still counting, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan‘, and ‘Beti padhawo Abhiyan‘ where centre allotted 100 crores for girl child and asked for federal support  from states .

For year 2014, only interim budgets were presented to minimize monetary burdens, first full fledged budgets were only presented for fiscal year 2015-2016, railways which has huge lapse in projects brought misery to commuters who were expecting new trains, instead construction of new rail gauze and upgrading the old ones were given fore most priority. Finance budget brought some sorrows to lower middle class and upper middle class by increase in service taxes which lead to increase in price of almost every items which has after sale or on sale service while corporates were welcomed by decreasing corporate taxes to 25% from 30% as earlier.

Government planned to set up 4 more AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidharbha and Purvanchal. Rs 500 crore have been allocated for the same, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teacher’s Training Program was launched. 5 more IITs and IIMs to be set up – Rs 500 crores allocated, FTII Pune, SRFTI Kolkata will be accorded the status of institute of national importance, 100 Crores have also been allotted for modernizing Madrasas.

The index of industrial production (IIP) for eight core sectors (coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity) grew 5% during 2014-15, against 4.2% the previous year. Start up of Kudankulam Unit-1 of 1000 mw in Tamil Nadu during December 2014, has made India’s total installed nuclear capacity reach 5,780 mw in 2014-15 from 4,780 MW in 2013-14, an increase of 21%, which means India’s nuclear power generation has moved ahead from underused industry to productive or power generating ones.

Agricultural sector witnessed another gloom years with increase in mere 1% which ‘s just 0.2% more than that of previous government while land acquisition bill proposed by the government has been heavily criticised by the opposition parties and farmer’s union, it’s implementation still lie in hurdle as Modi government don’t enjoy majority in Rajya house. GDP under Modi government is expected to grow at a near 7.5% rate, inflation is sustainable at below 8%.

The Narendra Modi government has fared quite well, planning out a growth agenda through two important policy statements; the rail budget and maiden full finance budget. Most policy breakthroughs upheld federalism, especially the decision on greater revenue devolution to states as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission which will first time increase the revenue generation for state to 42% share from 32 % as earlier, it will definitely strengthen co operative federalism.

Make In India‘ has been the face of Modi government with intensive campaign, even during Barak Obama’s visit to India on the eve of independence day, government prioritised the expedition and welcomed foreign capitals through FDI and has opened market from further sources. Through it, government has speculated increase in labour force, employment and capital with share of technology and skills.

Through frequent foreign visits with business delegations from India and inter country delegates level meetings, he’s leaving no stone upturned to bring investments to India and improve public and economical outlook. Recently, global rating agency Moody’s has recognized work of Narendra Modi as Prime minister of India and has upgraded India’s outlook from stable to positive. Economic growth has been impressive with inflation rates coming extremely down in retail markets.

Inauguration of three new schemes in Kolkata which will come in effect from 1 June ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana‘ , ‘The Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana‘ and ‘The Atal Pension Yojan‘ has been call of time as India ranks poorly on number of people covered with health insurance and pension benefits, only 20% people in India are covered under health insurance schemes.

Also, there is a sense that overall corruption at high levels, at the moment, has come down. There is still an air of expectancy around big legislation like the goods and services tax. Implementation rather than inauguration has been given priority under Modi government which was up most need, minimising red-tapism and work lags.

Shivaji

 

Contributor: Shivaji Singh

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Namo One Year on external affairs policies

Namo One year on external affairs policies had been beyond expectations. The first year of Pradhan Sevak in foreign affairs has an uncanny resemblance to Barack Obama’s first year as United States President.

It was a year of visibility, speech making, vision building, daydreaming, sloganeering, fashion setting, innovating, posturing and promising change. At the end of it all, Modi looks impressive as the leader of a resurgent India, an inspiring speaker, a man of promise, and a man of integrity.

He has emerged as a true brand ambassador of India, often appearing bigger than the brand. Even without any concrete results to show, both Obama and Modi won approbation in the first year itself. Obama won a Nobel Prize for Peace and Modi came close to becoming Time magazine’s Man of the Year.

He made it to the cover of Time magazine before completing his first year, portrayed as a man of action and vision, a messiah to uplift India from poverty. The likes of Moody’s raised the rating of India even before the economic liberalisation was put in place.

Indian foreign policy remained unchanged, without anyone noticing it, very much like US foreign policy at the end of the first year of the Obama administration.  The world expects Modi, however, to do wonders before he completes his first term as prime minister and goes on to win another. Modi had his moments of disillusionment  throughout the year, partly because of his illusions of grandeur about India and himself.

The invitation extended to the leaders of SAARC countries had a touch of arrogance, associated with an emperor inviting lesser monarchs to his coronation. But still they came, perhaps because of curiosity to measure the man, whom they had heard so much about.

Modi’s hope that his gesture will be reciprocated by a new warmth and respect was belied because he had nothing to tell them except the old refrain of friendship and cooperation with plenty of caveats. They repeated their woes of frustration felt at the hands of India, which was like a stonewall, when they made their demands of their big and powerful neighbour. One initiative that Modi made to resume the dialogue with Pakistan turned sour when the latter decided to test the waters by meeting the Hurriyat leaders. India and Pakistan were back to square one when they hurled accusations against each other at the UN General Assembly.

The encounter with the Chinese president in India was even more of a disillusionment  for Modi. The charm and warmth he unleashed on Xi was reciprocated with an incursion on the Line of Actual Control, something that the Chinese did whenever anything significant happened between the two countries. Having advocated a tough policy towards China during the election, Modi was constrained to tell the Chinese leader to his face that war and peace were not possible simultaneously. 

The situation was barely salvaged by the economic promises China held out during the summit. Having burnt his fingers with SAARC and China, Modi was determined to make a success of his US visit. He could have delayed that journey by sulking over the visa issue, the Devyani Khobragade incident, which he had resented and the BJP sponsored nuclear liability law.

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But he put those impediments behind to pursue with the US his twin objectives of securing investment and strengthening security. The deftness with which he raised the relations to a higher level showed that the issues that bedeviled relations were not insurmountable. He unleashed the money power and influence of the Indian-American  community to provide the backdrop of his visit even before, he reached the White House and overwhelmed Barack Obama.

Madison Square Garden witnessed the Modi magic, which was not lost on the Washington elite. What impressed Obama was not the immediate solution of the problems, but the determination of India to overcome past animosities and move forward.

The success of the US visit came in the form of a return visit by Obama on Republic Day to become the first US President to visit India twice. The new understanding on the liability law appeared to be the big-ticket accomplishment initially, but the bigger deal was on the Asia Pacific. And even bigger was the avenue opened for greater defence cooperation. The strategic partnership with the US assumed new dimensions and a new dynamism.

Modi overplayed his personal rapport card and Obama’s parting shot on religious intolerance came as an unkind cut. The jacket fiasco was nothing but a comic interlude. The unprecedented mutuality of interests discovered between India and the US is Modi’s biggest foreign policy success.

The multitude of the other trophies on Modi’s wall is testimony to his virtual Odyssey across continents, from Japan to Australia to Fiji and from Germany to France to Canada. They were more than ceremonial or symbolic because he had a specific agenda for each, much of which was welcomed by his hosts. Modi took in his stride Japan’s adamant stand on the nuclear agreement and the Italian machinations, which sabotaged a possible EU summit.

Modi’s assertion that India has a right rather than mere eligibility to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council may not carry conviction. It is to the credit of the foreign service that there were no protocol snafus or crossing of wires, though the visits must have strained the resources of our missions abroad.

The scaling down of the retinue of the prime minister may have helped, but the pomp and show has only increased. Air India One showed signs of fatigue, but it did not cause any disruption to the epic journeys. The visit to China came as a fitting finale to the first year of the prime minister’s feverish foreign policy forays, which took him also to uranium-rich Mongolia and a model of industrial development, South Korea.

By stressing the primacy of economic cooperation with China, Modi covered up his disappointment over the lack of any breakthrough in the burning strategic issues like the border. But his forthright demand for progress in festering issues must have made a deep impression on the Chinese leadership.

Modi played the ball straight into the Chinese court though Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are keeping it in the air so far. The truth is that India is, more a target than a partner in China’s worldview. Evidently, Modi carried with him not only Nehru’s dream of Asian solidarity, but also Patel’s scepticism of China. India’s place in the global puzzle that China is assiduously putting together is yet to be determined. Though there is nothing new in India-China encounters, Modi certainly set the Yangtze on fire.

If Rajiv Gandhi, rediscovered the Indian Diaspora and the subsequent governments vied with each other to cultivate it, Modi made it a priority concern in India’s diplomacy. The initial response of the community was overwhelming, but they continue to have their bodies in their cozy homes abroad, their hearts in India and their wealth in Swiss banks.

Ironically, in the midst of Modi’s Herculean efforts to bring investments to India, reports came that Indian investments abroad reached unprecedented heights. The success of Diaspora Diplomacy does not depend on the concessions India keeps giving to the community, but in the community adopting a ‘Look India’ policy, when it comes to investment.

Modi’s promise of change during the election campaign was on the domestic front, but his first year in office focused on foreign policy beyond all expectations. At the heart of his approach is the conviction that the world has become interdependent and that his domestic success will depend on the resources he can muster from abroad. And hence the slogan, ‘Make in India’ rather than ‘Made in India’ or ‘Made for India.’

Apart from fulfilling the promise of change, the future holds the challenge to deal with India’s traditional friendships. India has promises to keep in Russia, the UK, the Gulf and Africa. While he has to slow down his pace of foreign visits to eliminate the red tape and to lay the red carpet he has promised his invitees, he still has to traverse many paths that beckon him.

He cannot rest on his laurels and the Odyssey must continue.

Rakesh Shah MD 2 2 15

 

Contributor: Rakesh Shah

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“Assure Your Today, Insure Your Future”: Schemes Launched by Prime Minister Part- II

Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

In our previous article we have talked about two policies on Insurance launched by PM Modi for low economic zone citizens. To ensure everyone’s future government also took an account of our senior citizens who really want a respected life after their retirement or in case of no income source. Although it is not a very big amount but to give a back bone support to their respect, it is a nice add on’s in the scheme which previously running. With increased age, decrement in earning income is a basic concern for a person and to minimize these concerns Atal Pension Yojana is going to play a significant role.

What is Atal Pension Yojana (APY) –

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is a pension scheme for senior citizens of India focused on the organized sector workers. Under the Atal Pension Yojana, guaranteed minimum pension of Rs. 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000 per month will be avail at the age of 60 depending on the contributions by the subscribers.

Atal-Pension-Yojana-APY

Any person who falls in the category of age group 18-40 can apply for this. Person should have a saving account so can EMI can be auto debited automatically. Person should have mobile number and other details which are mandatory to fill in the registration forms. Government will also contribute in this amount in the period of 2015-16 to 2019-20 if a person subscribes this scheme from 1st June 2015 to 31st December, 2015 as scheme will be launched on 1st June, 2015. One will have only one APY account which would be unique. There would be no tax benefits like 80C on contribution to Atal Pension Yojana.

Although person who will apply for this scheme before 31st December 2015 will get government co-contribution for 5 years but there are few cases where this clause would not be applicable. Members of few schemes who wouldn’t be benefit by this scheme are as follows:

  • Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952.
  • The Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1948.
  • Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision, 1955.
  • Seamens’ Provident Fund Act, 1966.
  • Jammu Kashmir Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1961.
  • Any other statutory social security scheme.

Government will co- contributes 50% of total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum whichever is lower. Anyone who wants to register for APY account would need to fill a form which can be collected from any nearby branch of scheme availing banks and where you have your running saving account. For this you need to provide your mobile number and Aadhar number. Along with that your account should have appropriate amount for transfer of monthly contribution.

You also need to fill a nominee name in this account and details of your spouse. In case of default payments there would be some penalty charges according to the amount as:

  • Re. 1 per month for contribution up to Rs. 100 per month.
  • Re. 2 per month for contribution up to Rs. 101 to 500 per month.
  • Re 5 per month for contribution between Rs 501 to 1000 per month.
  • Rs 10 per month for contribution beyond Rs 1001 per month.

Discontinuation of payments of contribution amount shall lead to following:

  • After 6 months account will be frozen.
  • After 12 months account will be deactivated.
  • After 24 months account will be closed.

At the completion of 60 years you can withdrawn from this scheme and can get your monthly pension as per your subscribed amount. In case of death of the subscriber, amount will be given to the spouse or the nominee. In as of early exit, there would be only two situations where this provision would be allowed i.e. in the event of the death of beneficiary or terminal disease.

You will also get the SMS alert and periodic statement of transaction of your APY account.

The existing Swavalamban scheme may be automatically migrated to Atal Pension Yojana.

Let’s understand the scheme through the chart how much one needs to contribute as per required Rs. 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 per month as monthly pension:

Age of EntryYears of
Contribution
Monthly pension of Rs. 1000.Monthly
pension of Rs.
2000.
Monthly pension
of Rs. 3000.
Monthly pension
of Rs. 4000.
Monthly
pension of Rs.
5000.
18424284126168210
19414692138183228
204050100150198248
213954108162215269
223859117177234292
233764127192254318
243670139208277346
253576151226301376
263482164246327409
273390178268356446
283297194292388485
2931106212318423529
3030116231347462577
3129126252379504630
3228138276414551689
3327151302453602752
3426165330495659824
3525181362543722902
3624198396594792990
37232184366548701,087
38222404807209571,196
39212645287921,0541,318
40202915828731,1641,454

Here is the complete in and out of this scheme. This is one of the revise statuses of previous pension scheme so a senior citizen can have a respected life after retirement. It will give a strong support to our beloved elders who gave us this glorious culture and biggest contributor of this new India. Hope India will have a brighter, secure and hopeful environment for our future. Government is all set to assure your today and Insure your tomorrow by these schemes launched by PM. Atal Pension Yojana is one of those feather in the government’s initiative of Better India.

sudha

 

Contributor: Sudha Ram Joshi

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RURBAN Model of Modi: Improving Rural Urban Linkages

India is a country of villages, with more than 600,000 villages. It is said that real India lives in villages. However despite almost 7 decades after independence the villages of India still present a picture which is anything but far from bright.  This has given birth to a debate India vs Bharat among the academics. In India about 69% population still lives in villages and there is migration to the urban areas, giving rise to unmanaged urbanization problems in India. There is a need to bring synchronization between Urban and Rural areas. Several studies have established that Rural Economy plays as important, may be more important sector in India’s growth. Acknowledging this Modi has stated in the very beginning of his tenure as the Prime minister that one of his foremost aims is providing urban amenities and infrastructure to rural areas while preserving the “soul” and ethos of villages. He has already pioneered this with his RURBAN model in Gujarat. Villages of Gujarat present a very bright picture of rural India and this needs to be replicated in other parts of India too.

He has shared his vision multiple times in speeches given in the parliament and elsewhere.

“We can provide modern amenities in the villages. We can ensure 24-hour power supply and quality education. If we cannot build new schools and colleges, we can take recourse to long-distance education with the help of satellites. No one will leave the villages if we can improve the quality of life there”

Guided by the Gandhian principle of ‘reaching to the last man’ in the queue Modi wants to improves the standard of living of Indians living in rural areas.

Why RURBAN 

Rural and Urban economies are complementary to each other in nature. In India at present about 31% people live in the urban areas and it is expected to increase fast now. It is estimated that by 2050 more than half the population would be living in the urban areas. However, the migration of population from rural to urban India also brings a lot of problems. Most of the village folks have to either live in slum areas or unorganized colonies which are characterized by all sorts of problems, lack of infrastructure education facilities and unhealthy environs.

The cities in India are already crumbling under the pressure of population and other problems that unmanaged migration brings, for instance pollution, crimes, culture shocks etc.

A way to arrest these problems is developing new SMART cities and a more effective way is to provide better amenities and better future prospects in the rural areas. Rural folks mostly leave their homes for securing a better future, for themselves and most importantly their children. Better Schools, decent employment avenues and more opportunities. Not just government schools and health center but more schools and more health center. Development is said to take place when people get more choices and have the earning capacity to make those choices.

The mission seeks to lay thrust on integrated project-based infrastructure in the rural areas and provide for income generation avenues and skill development. The official said that the thrust will be on “integrated planning, electronic connectivity, skill development and livelihood (opportunities) apart from sanitation”.

Understanding Rural-Urban linkages 

Rural Urban linkage is both a causative factor and a consequence of socio economic development. It is now widely understood that both are dependent on each other and hence there is a need to be mutually supportive to each other.

Agriculture the backbone of our rural economy can influence the non-farming activities in the urban areas for instance increase in demand of fertilizers and better seeds can give a fillip to fertilizer and bio-technology based industries.

Increase in rural income on account of better access to urban economy can increase consumption patterns in the rural areas, for e.g. Increase in sales of Motorbikes  that in turn would help the automobiles industry which in turn will employ more.

The point is improving upon the Rural infrastructure can result in transformation of economy. Providing better city-like amenities and facilities can bring about a faster transformation of economy that will not require huge migration from rural to urban areas and various other problems that unmanaged migration brings with it. It is with this view that Modi government has brought the changes in the Land Acquisition amendment bill.

Let’s understand it that how it works in phases:

1st Phase: Better Infrastructure (Roads, irrigation, health facilities, Schools, Cold storages etc.) leads to smooth flow of inputs, increased savings, less wastage and above all saves a lot of time. O more

2nd Phase:  Better Infrastructure: leads to more income

3rd Phase: More income leads to more consumption and consumption diversification

4th Phase: More consumption and consumption diversification leads to more non-farm activities

5th Phase: More non-farm activities leads to more jobs and that absorbs surplus non-farm labor.

RURBAN Model 

The ambitious RURBAN mission is expected to help reduce migration from rural to urban areas with modern infrastructure being created in villages, as the present high rate of migration was creating heavy pressure on the civic infrastructure in India`s cities.

Official sources said that the committee, headed by S.M. Vijayanand, additional secretary in the rural development ministry, will frame guidelines for `RURBAN` by incorporating the best practices of PURA – the government`s earlier scheme to provide urban facilities in rural areas.

RURBAN mission is expected to help reduce migration from rural to urban areas with modern infrastructure being created in villages, as the present high rate of migration was creating heavy pressure on the civic infrastructure in India’s cities.

In the first phase of RURBAN , Rs.100 crore will be spent in three identified projects in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh and Sangli and Buldhana districts of Maharashtra.

Summary 

Modi has demonstrated very clearly that the aim of his government is to bring the benefits to the last people in the hierarchy, who are still living on the margins of the society. RURBAN mission is very clear its design and plan, as the devil lies in the details. Having brought around a major change in Rural Gujarat we are hopeful that he has taken utmost care in the detailing of this plans and will proceed with it in a very pragmatic manner.

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Contributor: Sachin Diwaker

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