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December 2016

Ab Door Nahin

This blog does not have any allegiance to a party or a personality or school of thought. As we wind up 2016, it was quite difficult not to pen a very interesting comparison between Mahatma Gandhi and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The comparison between Mahatma Gandhi and Narendra Modi cannot just be limited to the fact that both were Gujaratis nor the fact that one remains a bachelor and the other chose to remain a bachelor.

The key character traits which make them comparable are:

  1. Persistence – The ability to stick to a long arduous chosen path and never take a short cut to success.
  2. Ground level knowledge – While Gandhiji travelled and learned about the country before immersing headlong into the freedom movement, as a party workman Modi is known to have spent a good amount of time on the ground in various states of India for his party at the cadre level.
  3. Ability to Unite – Just as Gandhiji united the entire nation on the path-breaking protest of civil disobedience, some of the current economic policies are completely out of the box and the majority of the nation is supportive.
  4. Pushing for self-reliance – Gandhiji redefined revolution by involving people to become self reliant whether it was salt or clothes. Whether the Make in India campaign can achieve the same is something only time will tell.
  5. The spirit of India – Both achieved this spirit of India as a nation in a completely different way. Rural India and Non-Resident India will attest to the fact that the pride of being an Indian and the respect commanded as an Indian is something which hasn’t experienced since Gandhiji.

The freedom to write this and enjoy the fruits of democracy was delivered by Gandhiji and many daring leaders of his generation and millions of freedom fighters. He achieved this despite objections, murmurs and disagreement with fellow freedom fighters and over a 25 year period.

Narendra Modi can deliver a new India for our children and the next generation.

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity with some pride”

Nehru’s speech on the eve of Independence (above) finds reason right here in 2016. We are at the cusp of a generational shift and as Indian we hereby pledge to create for our nation and her people absolute freedom:

  1. Freedom from corruption
  2. Economic freedom
  3. Freedom of choice

Jai Hind

Does Boxing Day Have Anything to Do with Boxing?

The holiday known as Boxing Day is generally obscure in the States. But in Britain, the celebration is ubiquitous—and doesn’t usually involve a boxing ring. Let’s spend a minute with the origin of the box in the pugilistic sense of boxing. The brutal sport most likely gets its name from the Germanic word boke, “a blow.” Rest assured that the day after Christmas has nothing to do with bopping friends and family in the head. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Boxing Day has been associated with the tradition of giving gifts to employees or those in need. There are different folk etymologies regarding how Boxing Day got its name. A common version centers on the Christmas box, a clay box that was once commonly found in artisan shops in England. Donations to workers would be placed inside. After Christmas, the box would be broken and the workers in the shop would divvy up the contents. In a similar tradition, churches would collect donations in a designated box. The charity would then be distributed to the less fortunate. In modern times, Boxing Day in some places has actually become associated with sporting events. For example, in some of the African Commonwealth nations, prize-fighting contests are held on Boxing Day. The day has gained commercial associations, similar to Black Friday.boxing-day

Kargil Vijay Diwas

kargilKargil Vijay Diwas, named after the success of Operation Vijay. On this day, 26 July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July. and resulted in the loss of life on both sides, India and Pakistan. Pakistan retreated after international diplomatic pressure Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July every year in honour of the Kargil War’s Heroes. This day is celebrated in the Kargil – Dras sector and the national capital New Delhi, where the Prime Minister of India, pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyothi at India Gate every year. Functions are also organized all over the country to commemorate the contribution of the Armed forces.

MILAD UN NABI / ID-E-MILAD / THE PROPHET’S BIRTHDAY

eid-milad-un-nabiThe Prophet’s Birthday, or Milad un Nabi as it is commonly known in Muslim culture, is celebrated in most of the Muslim countries and in India as well. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. It is celebrated in the third month of the Islamic calendar. While the Shias celebrate it on the 17th of the month, the Sunnis celebrate on the 12th of the month, according to the Islamic calendar. The date of this festival varies in the Gregorian calendar.The celebration of Prophet’s birthday is believed to have its origins on the 8th century when the Prophet Muhammad’s birth house was converted into a house of prayer by Al-Khayzuran. Al-Khayzuran was the mother of a caliph, Harun-al-Rashid. Originally, the festival was celebrated by the Shias. Centuries ago, the day was celebrated with animal sacrifices and huge processions during the day which culminated by a speech by the rulers. Gifts were also offered to those in power.It was somewhere in the 12th century that the Sunnis adopted this festival, although with a different date. Although the celebration of the festival was met with some resistance in the Sunnis, the festival came to be adopted in large numbers by the 15th century and by the beginning of the 20th century, it began to be observed as a national holiday in many regions of the world.The Milad un Nabi or Malwid is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the world. For example, in Pakistan, it is celebrated with the raising of the national flag on national monuments followed by a gun salute at dawn. In some other parts of the world, the festival is observed with large processions and a carnival like atmosphere. There is an atmosphere of bonhomie and people can be seen exchanging gifts and distributing food to the poor. The day is celebrated with the offering of prayers by thousands in mosques and the mosques being decorated with lights.

Indian Armed Forces Flag Day

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The Indian Armed Forces Flag Day or the Flag Day of India is a day dedicated to the collection of funds for the welfare of the Indian armed forces personnel. Since December 7, 1949, it is being observed annually in India.

Here are some interesting facts you need to know about the day:

  • The original Flag Day Fund was set up in the year 1949, by the Defence Minister’s Committee
  • The fund collection is managed throughout the country by the local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is a part of the Ministry of Defence
  • The fund collection is organised both by official and non-official means through voluntary organisations
  • Over the years, it has become a tradition to commemorate this day as an honour to the soldiers, airmen and sailors of India
  • On the Flag Day, all the three branches of the Indian armed forces, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase the talent of their personnel
  • India has the world’s 3rd largest military force with 1.3 million active personnel, 1.15 million reserve personnel and 1.3 million paramilitary personnel.

Demonetization: Five compelling reasons for consumers to invest in Real Estate Market

There has been unwarranted fear mongering in the country post the announcement of demonetization. However, if we take a long term view on issues, demonetization will help bring a positive change in the real estate sector. While the industry will stand to gain from the shift towards a more transparent and organised environment, there are plenty of reasons for the home buyer to rejoice. This move has placed the consumer in a remarkable position with various factors working in his favor.

Top reasons why property seekers should invest in a property today:

Lower home loans

Demonetization has increased the flow of money into banks from the unorganized and the small scale industrial sector by compelling these sectors to deposit their savings in banks. It has opened a window of opportunity for everyone to avail home loans at significantly lower rates allowing them to fulfill their dream of owning a home.

The deflationary effect on the economy due to better liquidity will lead to price stabilization making it a buyer’s market. The Reserve Bank of India will also have ample leg room to bring down the repo rates. Liquidity with the banks will help them translate the repo rate into lower borrowings for home loans. The rupee is also expected to strengthen in the consecutive months thereby increasing the purchasing power of consumers.

Restoring the stalled projects

Projects that were being delayed because of cash crunch, will now pick up speed. The cash flow with banks will also mean that industry can avail loans from banks at better lending rates than what was being offered in the past. This will be a major relief to consumers.

Investment in infrastructural development

Demonetization will increase the percentage of money being accounted for and will therefore result in a rise in the collection of taxes. The government will have more resources at their exposure to invest in infrastructural development of the country. Providing connectivity to the consumers who have invested in affordable housing projects in town peripheries will gain from the development.

Transparent home buying process

Demonetization has ushered in a shift to cashless economy. Card transactions are not only beneficial for customers in terms of ease of use and time saving but are also transparent in nature.

Buyer’s market

While demonetization has made us all cautious of our spending, it is important that home buyers make the most of this opportunity. Home buyers looking to invest in homes financed by loans should be rest assured that this is the perfect time with all the above reasons placing them at an advantage.

GIVING THANKS AND GEARING UP FOR WORLD AIDS DAY

Today is the World AIDS Day (December 1,2016) is right around the corner. We at AIDS.gov wanted to take a moment to thank you, the HIV community, for the work that you do. Your commitment is an integral part of what will help bring us closer to an AIDS-free generation. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. People do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.world_aids_day_2016facebook-instagram-1-300x300

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