Sunday, December 13, 2009

Panchaamritam

PANCHAAMRITAM 175

Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amavaasyaa, Kali Yugaabda 5111, VIRODHI Karthigai 16 (December 2, 2009)

ONE

In the midst of a raging controversy over declaration of assets by judges, Justice K Kannan, a Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, voluntarily made public the list of his properties in August 2009. (He is a Swayamsevak from Tamilnadu, says VIJAYABHARATAM, a Tamil weekly). He was the only judge of the High Court who responded to a letter from lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan to judges in January, suggesting that they should voluntarily disclose their assets. Bhushan had sent his letter to about 600 judges of various High Courts in the country, but only Justice Kannan declared his assets. The judge is reportedly to have declared that he has Rs 1.03 lakh in bank deposits, investment of Rs 3.87 lakh and Rs 10.59 lakh as deposits in his wife's name. Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, August 23, 2009.

TWO

The high quality of industrial production by M/s Mitra Industries, Ludhiyana, founded by late Shri Vishwamitter Gupta, has been appreciated by the Micro and Small Industries Ministry of Government of India. Minister Shri Dinsha Patel gave away the award the National Award for quality production to Shri Manish Gupta, Chairman of Mitra Industries. At a function in the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh recently. Shri Vishwamitter Gupta was a state level functionary of RSS and his son Shri Manish Gupta is a first – year trained Swayamsevak,

Based on a report in PATHIK SANDESH, a Hindi monthly, October 2009.

THREE

Dr. C.V.Raman, Nobel laureate and an ideal Guru, was invited by the then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad to Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi for the investiture ceremony for awarding `Bharat Ratna'. C.V.Raman wrote back, "As my student who has completed his Ph.D course under my supervision is to face his oral examination on that date, I will not be able to come to Delhi in person. My presence here will be a source of encouragement to my student". This anecdote was narrated by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam former President of India. YUVA BHARATI, English monthly of Vivekananda Kendra, Chennai; October 2009.

FOUR

Thirukokarnam in Pudhukottai district is home to `gnanalaya', a library. With 25,000 books, it is sought after by M.Phil and Ph.D students. Scholars from other countries have stayed here and made use of the library, thanks to the hospitality of the `librarian' couple – Shri B.Krishnamoorthy and his wife Smt. Dorothy. They serve delicious meals for three days to book lovers free. Krishnamoorthy, 58, is a retired headmaster. Dorothy is a lecturer in a college. Theirs is love marriage and no religious conversion was involved. They have so far spent Rs 10 lakhs on books in addition to converting most parts of their house into a library. With the library growing, the couple built a separate block nearby at a cost of Rs 6 lakhs exclusively for books. Krishnamoorthy managed the money out of his retirement benefits. RSS pracharak late Shri Uthamaraj insisted that PANCHAAMRITAM should write about this unique seva; he supplied adequate press clippings too (pages of KALKI weekly of October 17, 1999). How apt that one who donated his body to benefit medical students is all praise for a family that invested its lifetime savings in books to benefit one and all !                Team PANCHAAMRITAM

FIVE

In India's remote north-east, recent floods have forced people in the state of Bihar to come up with an environmentally friendly way to cremate their dead. They now use cow dung. Traditionally only the wood from a mango tree was used to fuel the funeral fire in this part of India. Using cow dung is known in Bihar as the "goraha" way of cremation. Cow dung is fashioned into a long rod-shaped cake, known locally as goraha. About 200 kg of cow dung cakes are used to burn a corpse, compared with about 240-280kg of mango wood. One has to spend only 400-500 rupees ($6-$8) in the goraha system as opposed to between 3,000-4,000 rupees ($62-$83) in the traditional mango-wood cremation of a dead body. As about 40% of people in these northern districts have now opted for this new system of cremation it has become socially acceptable too. Environmentalists say this new trend of cremation also saves further depletion of the mango trees for which this flood-prone region is renowned.

Based on a BBC NEWS report by Shri Amarnath Tewary, September 27, 2009.

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