Category Archives: Contemporary Issues

A Just Society -B.R. Ambedkar

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BISHNOI – The environment and wildlife defender activist community of India (since centuries)

Source : https://bishnoisamachar.in and Wikipedia

Bishnoi (also known as Vishnoi and Prahladapanthi) is a Hindu religious sect found in the Western Thar Desert and northern states of India. They follow a set of 29 principles/commandments given by Guru Jambheshwar (1451-1536). Jambheshwar founded the sect at Samrathal Dhora in 1485 and his teachings, comprising 120 shabads, are known as Shabadwani. He preached for the next 51 years, travelling across India.

The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan state of India has been in limelight ever since the case against Bollywood actor Salman Khan for poaching the blackbuck (also known as “black deer” by locals) started. Bishnois are known for their devout religious commitment to protect environment and wildlife, many times even laying their lives for the cause.

Here’s some more information about the incredible community:

Bishnoi sect was founded by Guru Jambheshwar (1451-1536), also known as Jambhaji. Some writers have used the term Vishnoi, meaning followers of  Lord Vishnu but sect members refer to themselves as Bishnoi. Jambheshwar himself did not refer to Bishnoi but does mention Vishnu. Adherents are also known as Prahladapanthi because of their devotion to Prahlada, another Hindu deity.

Jambheshwar announced a set of 29 tenets. These were contained in a document called Shabadwani, written in the Nagri script, which consists of 120 shabads. Of his 29 tenets, ten are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining good basic health, seven for healthy social behaviour, and four tenets to the worship of God. Eight tenets have been prescribed to preserve bio-diversity – although most adherents are unaware of that, or such things as global warming, as a concept – and encourage good animal husbandry. These include a ban on killing animals and felling green trees, and providing protection to all life forms. The community is also directed to see that the firewood they use is devoid of small insects. Wearing blue clothes is prohibited because the dye for colouring them is obtained by cutting a large quantity of shrubs.

The Bishnoi have various temples, of which they consider the most holy to be that in the village of Mukam in Nokha tehsil, Bikaner district, Rajasthan. It is there that a shrine to Jambheshwar exists.

The Bishnoi narrate the story of Amrita Devi, a member of the sect who inspired as many as 362 other Bishnois to go to their deaths in protest of the cutting down of Khejri trees in September 1730. The maharaja of Jodhpur, Abhay Singh, requiring wood for the construction of a new palace, sent soldiers to cut trees in the village of Khejarli, which was called Jehnad at that time. Noticing their actions, Devi hugged a tree in an attempt to stop them. Her family then adopted the same strategy, as did other local people when the news spread. She told the soldiers that she considered their actions to be an insult to her faith and that she was prepared to die to save the trees. The soldiers did indeed kill her and others until Abhay Singh was informed of what was going on and intervened to stop the massacre.

Some of the 363 Bishnois who were killed protecting the trees were buried in Khejarli, where a simple grave with four pillars was erected. Every year, in September, the Bishnois assemble there to commemorate the sacrifice made by their people to preserve their faith and religion.

The 29 tenets of Bishnois state:

  1. Observe 30 days’ state of ritual impurity after child’s birth and keep mother and child away from household activities.
  2. Observe 5 days’ segregation while a woman is in her menses.
  3. Take bath daily in the morning before Sunrising.
  4. Obey the ideal rules of life: Modesty, Patience or satisfactions, cleanliness.
  5. Pray two times everyday (morning and evening).
  6. Eulogise God, Vishnu, in evening hours (Aarti)
  7. Perform Yajna (Havan) with the feelings of welfare devotion and love.
  8. Use filtered water, milk and cleaned firewood.
  9. Speak pure words in all sincerity.
  10. Practice forgiveness from heart.
  11. Be merciful by heart.
  12. Do not steal or keep any intention to do it.
  13. Do not condemn or criticize.
  14. Do not lie.
  15. Do not indulge in dispute/debate.
  16. Fast on Amavasya.
  17. Worship and recite Lord Vishnu in adoration
  18. Have merciful on all living beings and love them.
  19. Do not cut green trees, save the environment.
  20. Crush lust, anger, greed and attachment.
  21. Cook your food by yourself.
  22. Provide shelters for abandoned animals to avoid them from being slaughtered in abattoirs.
  23. Do not sterilise bull.
  24. Do not use or trade opium.
  25. Do not smoke or use tobacco or its products.
  26. Do not take bhang or hemp.
  27. Do not drink alcohol/liquor.
  28. Do not eat meat, always remain pure vegetarian.
  29. Don’t use violet blue colour extracted from the indigo plant.

“उणतीस धर्म की आंकड़ी, हृदय धरियो जोय। जाम्भोजी जी कृपा करी नाम विश्नोई होय ।”

“If you daily follow these 29 rules of Bishnois in your daily life then I assure you that you will live a joyful and happy life.”

बिश्नोई के 29 नियम साधारण भाव के साथ :-

1.  प्रतिदिन प्रात:काल स्नान करना।
2.  30 दिन जनन – सूतक मानना।
3.  5 दिन रजस्वता स्री को गृह कार्यों से मुक्त रखना।
4.  शील का पालन करना।
5. संतोष का धारण करना।
6.  बाहरी एवं आन्तरिक शुद्धता एवं पवित्रता को बनाये रखना।
7. तीन समय संध्या उपासना करना।
8. संध्या के समय आरती करना एवं ईश्वर के गुणों के बारे में चिंतन करना।
9. निष्ठा एवं प्रेमपूर्वक हवन करना।
10. पानी, ईंधन व दूध को छान-बीन कर प्रयोग में लेना।
11. वाणी का संयम करना।
12. दया एवं क्षमाको धारण करना।
13. चोरी, 14. निंदा, 15. झूठ तथा 16. वाद – विवाद का त्याग करना।
17. अमावश्या के दिनव्रत करना।
18. विष्णु का भजन करना।
19.  जीवों के प्रति दया का भाव रखना।
20. हरा वृक्ष नहीं कटवाना।
21. काम, क्रोध, मोह एवं लोभ का नाश करना।
22. रसोई अपने हाध से बनाना।
23. परोपकारी पशुओं की रक्षा करना।
24. अमल नहीं खाना
25. तम्बाकू नहीं खाना
26. भांग नहीं खाना
27. मद्य तथा नहीं खाना
28. नील का त्याग करना।
29. बैल को बधिया नहीं करवाना।

29 नियम श्लोक रूप में :-

तीस दिन सूतक, पांच ऋतुवन्ती न्यारो।
 सेरो करो स्नान, शील सन्तोष शुचि प्यारो॥
 द्विकाल सन्ध्या करो, सांझ आरती गुण गावो॥
 होम हित चित्त प्रीत सूं होय, बास बैकुण्ठे पावो॥
 पाणी बाणी ईन्धणी दूध, इतना लीजै छाण।
 क्षमा दया हृदय धरो, गुरू बतायो जाण॥
 चोरी निन्दा झूठ बरजियो, वाद न करणों कोय।
 अमावस्या व्रत राखणों, भजन विष्णु बतायो जोय॥
 जीव दया पालणी, रूंख लीला नहिं घावै।
 अजर जरै जीवत मरै, वे वास बैकुण्ठा पावै॥
 करै रसोई हाथ सूं, आन सूं पला न लावै।
 अमर रखावै थाट, बैल बधिया न करवौ॥
 अमल तमाखू भांग मांस, मद्य सूं दूर ही भागै।
 लील न लावै अंग, देखते दूर ही त्यागे॥
“उन्नतीस धर्म की आखड़ी, हिरदै धरियो जोय।
जाम्भे जी किरपा करी, नाम बिष्नोई होय॥”
Guru Jambheshwar

Moral degradation in Indian society -Kajal Chatterjee

Source : http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/moral-degradation-indian-society/

The suicidal mindset of attaining “modernity” by sporting “bold” dresses and displaying of “assets”, films bordering on pornography, brute culture of lewd dancing and drinking at night clubs are some of the main reasons behind invocation of the beast in man resulting in increasing incidents of rape and violence against women.  With each passing day India is briskly marching towards the unenviable status of being the worst place for women in the world. The society which mercilessly exploits the female body in the commercial mainstream films and also accords social sanction to those dirty pictures in the name of “art”, treats sexually-explicit dialogues in films and every day vocabulary as a matter of attaining “maturity”, glamorises eveteasing and molestation in the name of “romance” or “wooing” the lady love, religiously uses barely clothed female figures to advertise even a gent’s shoe or shaving cream, projects shedding of clothes as harbinger of “women empowerment”, encourages and glamorises pre-marital sex, extra-marital relationships and one-night stands and certifies those individuals as “progressive” who regularly watch pornography — all in the name of “modernity”; are bound to get morally corrupted to the worst extent possible, thereby endangering the security and dignity of women who have been relegated to nothing but mere  “sex objects”. No civilized person can dare to go through the “mainstream” and “enlightened” newspapers and magazines in front of their children or senior members, thanks to the deluge of semi-clad heroines, party animals and models in almost all pages. During the commercial breaks between cartoon programmes or cricket matches, innocent children are made to view the sexually-titillating advertisements, including that of condoms also! Inboxes of mobile to personal website are continuously being bombarded with offers and pictures of “fun” and “hot” women! Are we marching towards “progress” or retarding towards the dark age! Are the vested interests aware of the fact that the development of the knowledge of making and wearing clothes, to get rid of nakedness, marked one of the essential features of the dawn of civilization? And now the unscrupulous lot, “inspired” by commercial interests, are trying to brainwash the masses to disrobe themselves and retreat to the early ages so as attain “progress”! In such a hypocrite, crude and pseudo-progressive environment, sexual atrocities on fairer sex are bound to erupt.
Thanks to the lumpenisation of Indian society by large section of the media, Bollywood and advertising agencies; the whole country has got fully degraded morally. Suburbs to city centres, urban to rural, New Delhi to Bangalore, Mumbai to Guwahati — the whole country is equally dangerous for women as all parts are equally being administered “shock therapy” through overdose of all things sex and female body.
And all norms of double standards should also be immediately made to an end. India protests only when a para-medical student or a photojournalist of middle class educated background gets sexually assaulted in New Delhi or Mumbai! The “collective conscience” of the nation also gets “shakened” only when girls of upper-middle class and elite vintage get mass molested in Bangalore night club on New Year eve. But when the same crime gets committed on a villager, illiterate, tribal possessing no “social status” or on a resident of other parts of India just like in Williamnagar(Meghalaya) or Barasat(West Bengal); urban Indians, far from protesting, remain engaged in blatant consumerism, Bollywood, Kohli, IPL and philistine culture of night clubs, pubs and discos! The politicians, Bollywood superstars, intellectuals and common  citizens of  India simply don’t care to protest or feel ashamed unless the incident of rape or molestation happens in “glamorous” cities and the victim happens to be of privileged background ! Thus protests which occur by taking into account the class or geographical status of the victims possess no moral strength and sincerity.
Instead of engaging in “fashion parades” by organising candle-light vigils, common people should learn to protest against all raped  or molested victims irrespective of their social status, economic strength or geographical location. The citizens, specially women, should unitedly protest against the “rapists” who continue to “rape” women 24×365 hours annually through sexually denigrating them in films, TV reality shows, fashion parades and advertisements. And the Government of India and that of the states, apart from taking administrative measures to render security to women and nab the rapists or molesters promptly; should not only ban the films and advertisements promoting voyeurism, but also punish its producers, directors and sponsors for commercialising the female bodies and morally corrupting the society as a whole.  Else brutalities on women would continue to occur again and again.
Also life imprisonment should necessarily be implemented in the case of rape as well as molestation. And if she is also murdered or the victim succumbs to injuries, death penalty is the only answer. Else it would get proved that only if a poor caretaker of rural background gets accused of raping and murdering an upper-middle-class girl, does the society find merit in hanging the culprit! This blatant hypocrisy should immediately be brought to an end and all culprits of rape and murder should be hanged till death so as to deter the potential violators of future. The sanctity of the lives of the rapists are certainly not more than that of the hapless victims of rape and murder!
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