Nagaland Peace Accord & Narendra Modi


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In a remarkable move the officials of government of India signed a peace agreement with a  major Naga tribal group, waging a guerrilla war with the central government for over past six decades. The agreement besides restoring peace in the region also attempts to build institutions bestowing greater autonomy to Naga tribes. The peace pact reached between the government of India and the largest militant faction of the North East, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), NSCN (IM) can significantly bring down the insurgent insurrection. While the finer details of the accord and the mechanisms of its execution are still under wraps the move is welcomed by all political parties. Modi recalling it as a major triumph under the flag of Act East Policy reiterated that restoring peace, economic and social progression of North East has been his utmost priority.

To appreciate the crux of the issue, it is worth recapitulating the genesis and epic-proportions of the Naga insurgency tale. The undivided Goalpara district or the Assam province which was under the control of the Ahom rulers of Burma became part of the Bengal Subah of the Mughal Empire after conflicts. Subsequently in 1765 it fell into the hands of East India Company along with Bengal and became part of the special administrative region of North-Eastern parts of Rangpur. After a series of Anglo- Burmese wars and enforcement of Doctrine of Lapse the entire region of Assam was annexed to British India by 1833 (1). British later on captured several Naga territories and consolidated them under the Naga Hills district in Assam. Actually each Naga village was sovereign and ruled by tribal heads and Naga tribes had no common identity. British guilefully permitted the penetration of Christian Missionaries into the region and inadvertently religion fostered unity between Naga tribes.

Nagas were recruited by British during World War I as labour corps and sent to France. But they were alienated from rest of the British Indian troops and this alienation promoted unity between them. Upon returning to their homeland Nagas with few British officials formed the Naga Club in 1918.  Under the government act of 1919 British declared Naga Hill district as backward tract and treated it as separate entity. In 1928 Naga club submitted a memorandum to Simon Commission requesting that Nagas be allowed to have right to self-determination after their departure from India. In 1930’s the Naga tribes under the leader of Haipou Jadonang and Rani Gaidinliu rebelled against British. As per Government Act of India 1935, the Naga Hill district was declared as an Excluded area administered by Governor of Assam.

In 1945 C. R. Pawsney formed a Naga Hills District Tribal Race which evolved into Nagaland National Council (NNC) under the leadership of Angami Zapi Phizo. Phizo considered as Father of Nagas led an armed secessionist revolution and campaigned for a sovereign Naga nation. On August 14th 1947, a day before India’s independence Phizo declared the independence of Nagaland. Anticipating a stiff opposition from the insurgent group of Nagas prior to declaration of independence in June, 1947 the governor of Assam Sir Akbar Hyderi initiated peace talks. He signed a 9-point agreement with moderate members of NNC. The Hyderi accord agreed to grant judicial, executive and legislative powers and autonomy in land related matters. But the constituent assembly failed to ratify the accord that envisioned Naga demand for a sovereign state with India as a Guardian power for 10 years.  Instead they were granted district autonomy within Indian constitution.

In 1948 an agreement was reached between NCN and Government of India recognising Naga people right to self-determination (3). But NNC under the leadership of Phizo intensified their demand to establish a sovereign Naga state. He conducted a referendum in 1951 wherein nearly 99% voted for an independent Nagaland. Phizo has called for boycott of general elections in 1952 and launched violent secessionist movement. He also met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951 and 1952 with a petition for sovereign status and separate electorate for Nagas but was refused. He was later in Burma arrested for illegal entry. Phizo then created an underground government, Naga Federal Government (NFG) and Naga Federal Army (NFA) on March 22nd 1956 (4). To quell the raising insurgency, government inducted Armed Forces and enforced Armed Forced (Special Powers) Act in 1958. Phizo escaped to East Pakistan in 1956 and lived in exile till death in London.

In the meanwhile government of India placed Naga Hills District under the tribal districts “Part A” category as per the sixth schedule of constitution, as an autonomous district governed by Governor of Assam with a limited representation in Assam state legislative assembly and Indian Parliament. This arrangement was refused by the Naga leaders. Hence along Tuensang division it was placed in “Part B” category as an area in the North East Frontier Agency under the administrative authority of Ministry of External Affairs in 1957. Following negotiations with secessionists the region was later converted into a full-fledged state of Nagaland in 1963, December 1st.

Government constituted a peace mission consisting of Jaya Prakash Narain, Assam chief minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Rev Michael Scott that signed an Agreement for Suspension of Operation (AGSOP) with insurgent groups in April, 1964. But relentless violations by NNC and NFG continued to rock the state in spite of the six rounds of peace negotiations. The peace mission was abandoned in 1967. In 1972 government launched a massive counter-insurgency operation and banned the NNC and NFG under the unlawful associations act. Situation was brought under control by 1975 and a section of the NNC and NFG on November 11th 1975 signed the famous Shillong Accord. Consequently the Naga rebels accepted the supremacy of Indian constitution, renounced arms and demand for secession of Nagaland from India (5).

But peace still eluded this region as nearly 150 rebels who were away in China and Burma for training during the signing of agreement refused to accept the final settlement with Indian government. Among them the trio of Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muviah and S, Khaplang blatantly rejected the agreement and in the next five years parted from ways with NNC and created National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in 1980. This group quickly emerged as a strong rebel contingent and NNC-NFG became less active. But by 1988 the rebellion within the group resulted in splintering of the unit into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) and the names of factions denote the rebel leaders heading them. In 1990 after death of Phizo, NNC split into NNC (A) led by Phizo’s daughter Adino and NNC (K) headed by Vice-president Khodao Yanthan. NNC (K) later merged with NSCN (IM) (6). Each of the splinter groups represents different tribes. Konyaks group is led by S. Khaplang of NSCN (K), a Hemie Naga from Myanmar. Tangkhuls led by Isak, a Sema from Nagaland and Muivah a Tangkhul from Ukhrul district of Manipur.

Irrespective of the tribes they represent, the ultimate aspiration of the Naga leaders has been to merge the contiguous areas of the Naga territories and create a greater Nagaland or Nagalim, four times the size of Nagaland. The putative Naga territory encompasses districts in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Hence each of these states is wily of such a demand. This desire for Nagalim is so entrenched that even the elected representatives of the Nagaland assembly still continue to pass the resolution on the need for carving out Nagalim. India signed cease-fire agreements with NSCN (IM) in 1997 and with NSCN (K) in 2001. While NSCN (IM) has climbed down on their demand for a sovereign state for Nagas, they are particular about the creation of Nagalim. During the ceasefire period violent conflicts erupted between these two rival factions of NSCN.  Government of India held as many as 80 negotiations through interlocutors and monitored by the ceasefire commission with these factions. It emerged that NSCN (IM) has been sincere in its commitment.

NSCN (K) violated ceasefire agreement in March 2015, drawing support from ULFA, Bodos and Manipur militants it surfaced as United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia. It executed an attack on Indian Army which resulted in the death of 18 jawans in Manipur on June 4th 2015. The present accord is termed historic as government clinched an agreement with the largest Naga groups which in turn can pave way for bringing other minor Naga factions on board. Prime Minister Modi is believed to have effectively utilised the good will created by Atal Bihari Vajpayee who wooed Nagas with his immaculate gestures and open confessions. He was the only Prime Minister fondly remembered by people of Nagaland for appreciating and recognising their unique history and frankly admitting the failures of Indian government that left trails of blood in the state (7).

According the interlocutor RN Ravi, the ground work for the accord has been done under the UPA government but the indecisive leadership frittered away the opportunity for a major breakthrough in 2012. Perhaps, the recent ceasefire violations by NSCN (K) propelled central leadership into swift action and spurred them to clinch an agreement with its rival faction NSCN (IM). But for the collaborative action of Ajit Doval, interlocutor RN Ravi, Nagaland governor PB Acharya and the Naga People’s front leader TR Zeliang this mission couldn’t have been achieved.

While the details of the initial framework agreement are sketchy, it is believed that since government of India will not compromise on the sovereignty and integrity of the country, redrawing of state boundaries may be ruled out. But the accord might have entailed upon greater autonomy to the Naga dominated regions in the various states. While article 371 (A)   already accords special status to Nagaland, government might consider strengthening it further (8).

The accord signed by Modi is truly iconic as it comes after a long duration of unrelenting parley of peace negotiations with promise of restoring the peace in the region marred with violence. The pact epitomizes the exemplary statesmanship of Modi and his steadfast commitment to make North East region more inclusive. The true test for the government lies in carefully dealing with different state governments of the region, in decommissioning arms of rebels and their absorption into mainstream and chalking out a robust long-term development projects for the North East.

[ For this article I am indebted to Mr. Ramaharitha Pusarla . He published the article on August 06, 2015 under the title of “Historic Naga Accord” in the website MyIndMakers. I am posting verbatim that very article and I express my deep gratitude and indebtedness to Mr. Pusarla. ]

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 4 ]


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CHENNAI – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 26 , 2012           11.55 P.M.

 

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

After four days stay , I left Vaitheeswaran Koil in the afternoon and reached Chennai in the night . Sitting in the room of my hotel Golden Tower , I am writing the 4th installment of ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” .

In my last 3 blogs I have tried to explain some of the misconceptions about Tamil Nadu , its leaders and general public . For the large sections of North Indian people the image of Tamil Nadu of 1965 is hard to forget . I think I have explained everything in detail about Tamil Nadu of 1965 .

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai , Muthuvel Karunanidhi , Marudhur Gopal Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa Jayaram have dominated the Tamil Nadu scene since 1967 . They all jointly left Dravid Kazhagam led by Erode Venkata Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” a.k.a. E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam a.k.a. D.M.K. in 1949 .

 

English: M. G. Ramachandran, K. A. Mathialagan...

M. G. Ramachandran, K. A. Mathialagan, C. N. Annadurai, C. Rajagopalachari, M. Karunanidhi at a private function in Jan 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai a.k.a. C. N. Annadurai led D.M.K. to victory in 1967 elections and became the first non – Congress leader to form a majority government in any Indian state . He left Dravid Kazhagam and formed a new party because he was not willing to be part of anti national forces . He was against vivisection of India and was in favour of fighting elections under Indian Constitution . Atheism and anti – Hindi sentiments were the only two things which he accepted and borrowed from Dravid Kazhagam . He was instrumental in dropping the demand of independent Dravid Nadu of Periyar and berrying it forever in the pious land of Tamil Nadu .

C. N. Annadurai's House in Kanchipuram

C. N. Annadurai’s House in Kanchipuram

Anna Durai Memorial at Marina Beach

Anna Durai Memorial at Marina Beach

After his death in 1969 the post of chief minister went to Muthuvel Karunanidhi a.k.a. M. Karunanidhi . He followed almost same principles of C. N. Annadurai and atheism and anti – Hindi rhetoric still continues to be his credo .

But he has participated in the N.D.A. as well as U.P.A. governments of centre and his earlier bellicose attitude does not exist any more . A five time chief minister of Tamil Nadu is not the same M. Karunanidhi of yore . He is a changed man .

English: K. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tam...

M. Karunanidhi, ex Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972 Marudhur Gopala Ramachandran a.k.a. M. G. Ramachandran split the D.M.K. and formed Anna D.M.K. It was later on rechristened as All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam a.k.a. A.I.A.D.M.K. He is the only chief minister of Tamil Nadu , who holds the record of winning three consecutive terms as the chief minister . Though he followed atheism initially , but he was a practising Hindu and a follower of Bhagawan Muruga . During his regime , animosity towards North India disappeared and he followed a policy of no confrontation towards centre .

MGR Memorial

MGR Memorial

His successor Jayalalitha jayaram is a Hindu Brahmin and though she has not said anything openly but she is not an atheist . She is the only leader of prominence from Tamil Nadu , who can speak fluent Hindi . In my personal opinion she is only leader from Tamil Nadu who is capable of becoming the Prime Minister of India . I must say that she could , rather she should become the Prime Ministar of this nation . That day will be a red-letter day in our history and it will be a final blow to some of the misguided policies of E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” .

Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election, 2011

Jayalalithaa , Incumbent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus in Tamil Nadu of today a different picture emerges these days . Gone are the days of unnecessary bellicose attitude of Tamil politicians . Credit for this goes to Bharat Ratna M. G. Ramachandran . Again a personal opinion , but I think he would have been an excellent Prime Minister of India . But alas he died young . 70 is no age to go .

I will again say that Tamil Nadu is changing fast . Or it has already changed ?

I am waiting to narrate these findings to all the current students of  my acting school Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 3 ]


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VAITHEESWARAN KOIL – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 25 , 2012           10.55 P.M.

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After going through my two previous blogs on ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” , I think that E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and his various steps , which he took during his movements , would be properly understood out of Tamil Nadu also . His rationalism , espousal of self-respect , advocacy for women rights and eradication of caste system is epoch – making and has everlasting effect on Tamil people and Tamil Nadu .

English: http://www.periyarkural.com

A Young E. V. Ramasamy Naicker Periyar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His works among weaker sections of Tamil Nadu , his efforts for the uplifting of lower castes , long subjugated by Brahmins , would be always held in high esteem and would be considered exemplary .

His untiring efforts for the uplifting of women bears indelible marks on the social psyche of Tamil society . Widow marriage , in my opinion , is his most colossal work .

He tirelessly worked for the eradication of child marriage . He espoused inter – caste marriages and opened many educational institutions for the weaker section of society .

It is not for nothing that UNESCO citation in 1970 described Periyar as ” the prophet of the new age  , the Socrates of South East Asia , father of social reform movement and arch enemy of ignorance , superstitions , meaningless customs and base manners .”

His blind opposition of HINDI , HINDU , HINDUSTAN somewhat darkens his other exemplary and far – reaching social works . It is this aspect of his personality and work that brings suspicion and doubt in the minds of large sections of North India . To understand Tamil Nadu better , let us take all the three causes of Periyar , one by one .

HINDI : I closely followed politics since my Allahabad days . I went to Allahabad in 1967 and it was the year when anti – Hindi agitation started in Tamil Nadu . I read many wicked stories published in the Hindi newspapers and magazines of those days . One story said that if you are lost and approach a Tamil speaking person for asking the right route , you will be unable to get an answer if you ask in Hindi . Even if  a Tamil speaking person knows Hindi , he won’t answer and will go away saying ” HINDI ILLAI ” .

I found this story false during my recent forays in the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu . If I approach a person for asking something and even if I ask the question in Hindi , I was not spurned . I get the answer in broken Hindi and that too with smiling face . Sometimes if the person genuinely doesn’t know Hindi , instead of running away , he tries to explain everything in fluent Tamil with lots of hand movements and facial expressions .

If Tamil people think that Tamil is an ancient language and it is older than Hindi , I think that we have to respect the sentiment . Tamil is used in every sphere of Tamil Nadu and you will hardly find signboards in Hindi but in my opinion that is absolutely fine . A particular language should be respected and should be used in the land of its origin . That’s the basis for the formation of linguistic states , which has been agreed by all the political parties .

HINDU : E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” was atheist for sure . Through his organization Dravid Kazhagam , he started denouncing Hinduism . It started with denunciation of Iyers and Iyengars , Brahmins of Tamil Nadu and culminated in processions , where idols of Ram , Sita and Lakshman were garlanded with slippers .

I can understand his dislike for Brahmins . I am willing to fathom his opposition of Sanskrit language also . I am willing to accept his credo of atheism . We in India have accepted Charvak , the first atheist , as a saint . But you can’t force your belief of not believing in religion on others .

He organized a procession to the Marina beach in 1956 , to burn pictures of Rama , the God . His followers broke idols in the temples , banished Brahmins from the every section of tamil society and organized Ravan Leelas .

But in my recent visits to the state , I found to my surprise that in every temple of Tamil Nadu  a serpentine queue of devotees are visible . It has to be seen to be believed . People come in very large numbers and they pray and worship . Temples are well maintained in Tamil Nadu and I can vouch that Hinduism is thriving in the state much vigorously . Dravid Kazhagam is now a smaller force and Tamil Nadu is as religious as any part of India . In following the tenets of Hinduism they are much ahead and dogmatically strict . On EKADASHI , I found people thronging the temples . I am yet to see same enthusiasm on EKADASHI in North India . Moreover the Tamil Nadu state emblem tells it in a more fitting way .

English: Emblem of the State Government of Tam...

Emblem of the State Government of Tamil Nadu used by the state government for public notices in the press and for publicity purposes. The emblem of India is the image used on the India Wikipedia article. தமிழ்: தமிழ் நாடு அரசின் சின்னம். (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burning effigies of Bhagawan Ram and other Hindu Gods and the days of celebrating Ravan Leelas are over . Atheism can be accepted , as Charvak was accepted in olden times and he was even called a RISHI .

HINDUSTAN : One of the most disturbing legacy of Periyar was to give a call for Dravid Nadu . He wanted to unite all the four provinces of South India and wanted this entity to be an independent Dravid Nadu .

But majority of his supporters revolted against this demand . In the leadership of C. N. Annadurai , they formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam and fought elections . Since 1965 either D.M.K. or A.I.A.D.M.K. rules the state and the demand of so-called Dravid Nadu is thrown somewhere in the trash bins of history .

But demand for separation from India is there in Jammu & Kashmir and all the provinces of North East India . They are more palpable . In fact these provinces are waging armed struggle against the nation . Then why to blame only Tamil Nadu ? There was just a demand and that too by just one organization , Dravid Kazhagam . And today Dravid Kazhagam is not a major force .

A very interesting fact of Tamil Nadu and Dravid politics is that Periyar was himself a Kannada speaking Kannadiga . One of the most successful chief ministers of Tamil Nadu , M. G. Ramachandran was a Kandy , Sri Lanka born and Malayalam speaking actor turned politician . current chief minister Miss Jayalalithaa Jayaram is also a Kannadiga and the irony of the situation is that she is a Brahmin . And she speaks fluent Hindi . Present day superstar Rajanikant , incidentally , is a Maharashtrian .

English: , the Chief Minister of , India.

Jayalalitha , the current Chief Minister of , Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the fort of atheism and anti Hindi these days is held by Muthuvel Karunanidhi only . But even his family members have changed . M. K. Stalin and Kannimozhi are not that dogmatic .

English: K. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tam...

K. Karunanidhi, the ex Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I am stating with all my knowledge accumulated during this visit that Tamil Nadu is changing . Or it has already changed ?

After my return , I would love to share these findings with all the current students of my acting institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 2 ]


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VAITHEESWARAN KOIL – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 24 , 2012      11.59 P.M. 

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last blog I have stated about the Self Respect Movement started by E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” in Tamil Nadu in 1925 . This far – reaching movement changed the contours of Tamil Nadu , Tamil politics and Tamil society forever .

English: An image of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy हि...

A Young Periyar E. V. Ramasamy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It did give room to some misgivings but its effect and its contribution can’t be wished out . Instead of talking about the misgivings , let us look at the positive side .

1 – Periyar talked about the eradication of caste system . According to him lack of self-respect among weaker section of society and their uplifting should be the main aim of society and government . Periyar thought that a small number of people , mainly Brahmins have created caste system to dominate the weaker section , who are in majority . So there should be casteless society .

2 – Periyar talked about the women’s rights . Since he was a rationalist , he advocated women emancipation , widow re – marriage , education for women and jobs for them in police and army . He talked that women should be given equal rights and they should be given good education and must have right to property . He also advocated widow re – marriage . He wanted to abolish dowry system and advocated inter – cast marriages . It will be astonishing for many that in those primitive era , he advocated birth control also and it all happened much before government took the initiative .

3 – He talked about rationalism and criticized the inherent contradictions in the Hindu religion .

His espousal of above mentioned causes are laudable and praiseworthy . Almost every leader of that era supported these causes in one form or other . Method was definitely different but not the goal .

Now let us talk about two movements , which can’t be supported and because of that , Periyar is misunderstood in the rest of the country .

1 – In 1937 , the then Chief Minister of Madras State Chakravarthi Rajgopalachari introduced Hindi as compulsory language of education in school . Periyar opposed it whole – heartedly and he got massive support also . Leaders cutting party lines supported the movement . Later on all the Dravidian parties also took this as their demand and anti – Hindi movement slowly became anti – North Indian .

English: Front page of the Tamil Magazine Kudi...

Front page of the Tamil Magazine Kudiyarasu dated 03 September 1939. It was run by Periyar. E. V. Ramasamy. There is an editorial titled “Veezhga Indhi” (Down with Hindi) written as part of the Anti Hindi Agitations of 1937-40 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Frontpage of the magazine Kudiyarasu ...

Frontpage of the magazine Kudiyarasu (dated 20 November 1938). The magazine was run by Periyar E. V. Ramasamy in the Madras Presidency, British India. This issue reports about the Tamil Nadu women’s conference to be held on 13 November 1938. The conference was convened to showcase women’s support to the Anti-Hindi agitation of 1937–40 This particular scan is taken from Pollachi Nasan’s collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 – In 1939 Periyar become head of Justice Party and in 1944 changed its name to Dravid Kazhagam . He then started advocating independent Dravid Nadu .

English: Front page of the Dravida Nadu magazi...

Front page of the Dravida Nadu magazine dated 29 September 1946. The magazine was published by C. N. Annadurai from Kanchipuram. This particular scan is taken from the collection of Pollachi Nasan. It depicts Periyar E. V. Ramasamy and his speech in the court during the Anti-Hindi Agitations of 1937-40 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus anti – Hindi movement and propagating independent Dravid Nadu could be called sore points for the North Indians and thus Dravid movement and Tamil Nadu is misunderstood in the rest of the country .

But we should know that within 5 years of propagating independent Dravid Nadu , majority of Dravid leaders  left Dravid Kazhagam . C. N. Annadurai led the rebellion and formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam in 1949 . He participated in elections and formed the first non – Congress government in 1967 .

Therefore misgivings about independent Dravid Nadu should be put to rest because Periyar’s followers themselves didn’t pursue it .

Anti – Hindi agitation erupts here and there even today but there are fissiparous activities in many parts of the country . Why blame only Tamil Nadu for this . I have read many stories about anti – Hindi feelings of Tamil people . But during my stay in the province and that to in the hinterlands , I was astounded and would like to tell my North Indian friends that enmity does not exist . Every section of Tamil society and people tried to help me even though they genuinely can’t speak Hindi . They did struggle but tried to speak Hindi . So ” HINDI ILLAI ” slogan , which was given so much publicity in all the Hindi press in and after 1967 is completely wrong and mischievous .

I am sorry to say that many stories published in the news papers and magazines of Hindi in 1967 are not true . May be some things might have happened during the anti Hindi agitation of 1937 and 1967 , but they are things of the past . The emblem of Tamil Nadu says it all .

English: Emblem of the State Government of Tam...

Emblem of the State Government of Tamil Nadu used by the state government for public notices in the press and for publicity purposes. The emblem of India is the image used on the India Wikipedia article. தமிழ்: தமிழ் நாடு அரசின் சின்னம். (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would like to tell every one along with the students of my acting class Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , that Tamil Nadu is changing very fast or it has already changed .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 1 ]


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VAITHEESWARAN KOIL – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 23 , 2012           11.55 P.M.

When I landed at Chennai Airport on December 21 , 2012 , it marked my 3rd visit to the Southern metropolis . On December 22 , 2012 , when I drove to Vaitheeswaran Koil in the morning , it marked my 2nd visit to the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu .

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People of my generation always view Tamil Nadu and Tamil people through the prism , which was created in 1967 , when the first Dravidian government was formed in Tamil Nadu under the leadership of C. N. Annadurai .

But if you want to understand Dravid Movement of Tamil Nadu , you have to study the history of Self Respect Movement and Justice Party stablished by E. V. Ramasamy Naicker a.k.a. Periyar . It all started in 1925 , much before 1967 , when Annadurai led D.M.K. [ Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam ] formed the first non – Congress government in Tamil Nadu .

In the history of India , 1925 seems to be a very unique year . In the Tamil Nadu E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” started his Self Respect Movement and in the same year in Nagpur Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar started R.S.S. [ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ] . Periyar’s movement is considered separatist and anti national by many and Dr. Hedgewar’s movement is perceived ultra nationalist by the majority . But it is uncanny that both the movements were started in 1925 .

English: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Periyar E.V. Ram...

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on 06-Jan-1940 at Jinnah’s residence in Bombay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Dr. Hedgewar

Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar , Founder of R.S.S. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is said that Periyar was peeved by the superiority of Brahmins and their dominance in all the departments and strata of Tamil culture and life . He started this movement called Sel Respect and started espousing the cause of non – Brahmin castes of Tamil Nadu . He started breaking idols in the temple , advocated atheism , despised JANEU , the sacred thread and finally gave a call for the boycott of Brahmin priests in the marriages . His espousal of Self Respect Marriage had far – reaching repercussions and he became quite unpopular in rest of the country . His anti – Brahmin crusades drew wide – spread indignation and his opposition of Hindu deity worship was considered as anti Hindu and finally anti India .

Both the Tamilian parties ; Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam [ DMK ] and All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam [ AIADMK ] owe their existence to E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and his movement . And thus atheism and anti North India and anti Hindi credo became their life lines . And when DMK came to power in 1967 , Anna Durai accepted many things which were espoused by Periyar . Thus in the rest of India people became suspicious and majority started disliking DMK and it anti Hindi , anti God and anti North India policies .

I was definitely misguided by this prism , which I got while studying in Allahabad from 1967 to 1974 . My recent visits have changed my perception of Tamil Nadu , Tamil people and Tamil politics of Dravidian parties .

I will complete this ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” series in my next blog and would like to share it with all the current students of my acting academy Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  after my return from Tamil Nadu .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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25 Years of Statehood of Arunachal Pradesh


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 29 , 2012           10.45 P.M.

During my childhood , I had known a part my country , which was called NEFA . It came to national prominence during the India – China War of 1962 . Nathu La Pass and NEFA [ North East Frontier Agency ] became household names and our concern for this far off and neglected part of India was so great that we felt that we all are resident of NEFA . This erstwhile NEFA is now known as Arunachal Pradesh .

English: A Locator map of North East Frontier ...

A Locator map of North East Frontier Agency in 1961. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before India – China war , I used to know only one province of North East India and it was Assam . Assam was a huge state of India in 1950 . Barring Manipur and Tripura , all the other provinces of present day North East India including NEFA were part of Assam . Map posted below bears testimony to this .

Political boundary of Assam in the 1950s.

Map of Assam in 1950

During British era this whole region was rules as a part of Bengal Presidency . Province of Assam came into being in 1874 . NEFA came into being in 1955 , though it was part of Assam .  It ceases to exist now . NEFA is now re-christened as Arunachal Pradesh and came into being on February 20 , 1987 as a state of India . Itanagar is the state capital .

Map of India showing location of Arunachal Pradesh

Location of Arunachal Pradesh in the Map of India

ITANAGAR ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Itanagar – Capital of Arunachal Pradesh

So in a nutshell from 1954 to 1972 NEFA was part of Assam . On January 20 , 1972 it was separated from Assam and became Union Territory . On February 20 , 1987  it became a state of India . So it completed 33 years as Union Territory and it now completes 25 years as a state .

Present day Arunachal Pradesh is divided into 17 districts for administrative purposes .

English: Tawang Town with monastery in backgro...

Tawang Town with The Monastery

Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is the Buddhist religious place and is the birth place of HH 6th Dalai Lama .

The birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama (Urgellin...

The Birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama

Simla Agreement between British and Tibet in 1913 – 1914 established the boundary line between present day Arunachal Pradesh of India and Tibet . Sir Henry MacMohan drew up 890 km long MacMohan Line as the border between British India and Outer Tibet . Chinese representative had no problem at that time but now China refuses to accept MacMohan Line and claims all of Arunachal Pradesh as her own province .

 

English: Map of the British Indian Empire from...

Map of the British Indian Empire from Imperial Gazetteer of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Survey of India had published a map in 1937 showing MacMohan Line as the official boundary . Even if you try to forget all the mythological links of present day Arunachal Pradesh with Mahabharat and it being the abode of MahaRishi Parashuram and it being the mythical kingdom of Kundinpur , which belonged to Rukmini’s father and it being the place , where Krishna Bhagwan came and married Rukmini , still the fact remains that from 1937 to 2012 , Arunachal Pradesh has 75 years of existence with India . If you consider the signing of Simla Accord between British India and Tibet in 1913 – 1914 , then this existence extends to 99 years .

In February 2012 , Arunachal Pradesh completed 25 years as a province of India . Irrespective of what China says , Arunachal has its links with India since Mahabharat days . And God willing next year Arunachal Pradesh will complete 100 years of its existence with India .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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100th Year of Formation of Bihar


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 08, 2012         01. 15 A.M.

This year in 2012 Bihar is celebrating 100 years of its existence as a province of India . Before 1912 Bihar was included in the erstwhile Bengal Presidency of British Indian Empire .

But Bihar’s history is much older that the British Indian Empire and even the rule of Afghans and Mughals .

Ancient Bihar (which consisted of Anga, Videha/Mithila, Magadha and Vajji/Vrijji) was a centre of power , learning and culture in ancient and classical India . From Magadha arose India’s first and greatest empire , the Maurya empire as well as one of the world’s most widely adhered-to religions , Buddhism . Magadha empires , notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties , unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule . Its capital Patna , earlier known as Pataliputra, was an important centre of Indian civilization . Nalanda and Vikramshila were centres of learning established in the 5th and 8th century respectively in Bihar , and are counted amongst the oldest and truly international universities , where people from all over the world came to study. Bihar has distinction of giving the world its first democracy through Lichchivi Ganarajya [ modern-day Vaishali district ] during ancient era . Though today , for some , Vaishali is more associated with Aamrapali , than with democracy . But for lovers of history , Vaishali will always be known as the epicentre of the FIRST PARLIAMENT OF THE WORLD .

I am posting few maps , which amply make clear the importance of Bihar and its significant contribution to the cultural ethos of India . From the mythological Magadh of Jarasandh and Anga of Karna of Mahabharata era , to the Maurya period and Chankya era and to the Golden Age of Guptas , Bihar has seen it all .

The approximate extent of the Magadha Empire i...

The approximate extent of the Magadha Empire in the 5th century BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ‘16 Great Nations’; Anga is the easternmos...

The ‘16 Great Nations’; Anga is the easternmost, south of Vrijji and east of Magadha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Nanda Empire at its greatest extent under ...

The Nanda Empire at its greatest extent under Dhana Nanda circa 323 BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chandragupta's empire when he founded it c. 32...

Chandragupta’s empire when he founded it c. 320 BCE, by the time he was about 20 years old. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chandragupta Maurya's empire in 305 BC after h...

Chandragupta Maurya’s empire in 305 BC after his conflict with Seleucus Nicator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Maurya Empire after Bindusara's death 269.

The Maurya Empire after Bindusara’s death 269. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ashoka the Great subdued Kalinga, during the K...

Ashoka the Great subdued Kalinga, during the Kalinga War circa 265 BC, and the southern kingdoms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A map of the Maurya Dynasty, showing ...

English: A map of the Maurya Dynasty, showing major cities, early Buddhist sites, Ashokan Edicts, etc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pataliputra as a capital of Gupta Empire. Appr...

Pataliputra as a capital of Gupta Empire. Approximate greatest extent of the Gupta Empire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Patliputra as a capital of Sunga Empire. Appro...

Patliputra as a capital of Sunga Empire. Approximate greatest extent of the Sunga Empire (circa 185 BCE). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the end of this glorious and ancient chapter and after the end of not so significant Afghan and Mughal era , East India Company conquered large parts of northern India and became the de – facto rulers . After the Battle of Buxar (1764), the British East India Company obtained the diwani rights (rights to administer, and collect revenue or tax) for Bihar, Bengal and Orissa , [ now Odisha ] . The rich resources of fertile land , water and skilled labour had attracted the foreign imperialists , particularly the Dutch and British , in the 18th century . Bihar remained a part the Bengal Presidency of British India until 1912 , when the province of Bihar and Orissa [ now Odisha ] was carved out as a separate province . Since 2010, Bihar has celebrated its birthday as Bihar Diwas on 22 March . In 1935 , certain portions of Bihar were reorganised into the separate province of Orissa [ now Odisha ] .

Map of United Bihar

Map of United Bihar

In 2000 , Bihar was divided into two and North part of undivided Bihar became Bihar and the Southern part was carved as a separate province and is now known as Jharkhand .

Bihar of Present Day

Bihar of Present Day

After partition , present day Bihar is the 12th largest state of India in terms of geographical size and 3rd largest in population . Apart from Hindi , Bihar is the home of some of the dialects of Hindi , like ; Bhojpuri , Magadhi , Maithili , Angika and Vajjika . For administrative purposes Bihar is divided into 9 divisions and 38 districts .

Location of Bihar in India

Location of Bihar in India

After independence and under the rule of Chief Ministers like ; Krishna Sinha and Anugrah Narayan Sinha , Bihar for some time , basked in the old glory of Patliputra . But it suffered a lot during the rule of Congress in later years . During the 15 year rule of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabdi Devi , Bihar reached at its nadir . Lawlessness and anarchy ruled supreme . Day time murders became order of the day . Ransom became a respectable business . Reputation of Chankya’s Bihar and Chandragupta Maurya’s Patliputra was massacred and mutilated by RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav . It was further defaced and defiled by his inefficient wife Rabdi Devi .

After all the turmoil and tribulations , Bihar finally rejected RJD of Lalu and elected BJP , JD [ U ] combine in 2005 . Bihar is now marching ahead under the NDA rule . After Gujarat , now it is the second fastest growing state of India .

I am happy that in the centenary year of its existence , Bihar is shedding its infamous and nefarious image and gaining international respectability and appreciation . Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal [ United ] combine deserve kudos for that . Though it is still miles behind of other states but definitely it is moving ahead and moving fast . May this centenary year be the golden year of Bihar .

I am happy because I have my roots in Bihar . My forefathers originally hailed from the state and only later on they migrated to Uttar Pradesh .

[ Some facts and figures of Bihar have been taken from Wikipedia . I express my gratitude . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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