Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sankranti- A meaning-full Festival

Sankranti- A meaning-full Festival

I remember the school days and the next day after Sankranti. We used to take sesame mixed with jaggery, roasted groundnut, dried Coconut kernel pieces, sugar and many more,  these all were mixed in a polythene bag.

It was a dish like preparation done by mother and give instruction all of us to give a bit to all the teachers and bow their feet to acquire their blessings, then distribute it to friends and wish them the best.

Sankranti is a unique and meaning-full festival celebrated in most of the parts of India, named as Lohri, Bhogi, Pongal, Sankranti, Sankramana etc. This festival is meaning-full and depicts the great culture of India. 

This festival exclaims the human relationship with nature and nurture human life as a part of nature itself.  This is truly proved in  festival celebrated in villages by farmers. They bow to nature and worship agricultural land; ornament their livestock, which helps in every part of their lives. 

Apart from traditional worshiping, this festival is the celebration of triumph of nature. Its time for green in India, all the crops will be at their peak; hence, the festival has got greater meaning. The day will be dedicated to animals; they are ornamented and amused with great food and sports.

Sankranti is a joy throughout the country, and it’s specially celebrated in pomp in North-Karnataka region in their own special  way. 

The houses in North-karnataka villages and towns worship land and animals like the rest of the Country; but,special thing I have to say about is the food they prepare for the day of Bhogi.

Jowar and Bajra blended with Sesame, and there will be a variety of traditional North- Karnatakan sweets, curries of Brinjal, a special curry  made of mixed vegetables; which, they call “Bartha”. Carrot, sweet potatoes, radish and many vegetables are used to prepare Bartha and, probably, this is the only day in the year people prepare this special curry because of availability of a variety of the vegetable in the season. 

Along with curries butter, Ghee, spicy Niger seed powder, Fenugreek leaf, raw Radish, Carrot, Boiled Sweet-Potatoes and the list goes on. The menu of food on the day of Sankranti is one of the biggest, richest and healthiest food will ever hear.

A plate of food is taken to friends and relative's houses,everyone relishes each other’s food with different tastes and varieties to impart happiness to everyone. 

In the evening people gather to amuse themselves by singing, dancing and doing various activities. People exchange sesame and jaggery as an indication of exchanging each other’s happiness and miseries. 

Sesame indicates sorrow for its sour taste, and jaggery indicates happiness.

Apart from the celebrations, the festival has got its scientific importance. The festival is to worship the sun-the energy source for all living beings on earth. It’s an astrological event where the sun enters Capricorn zodiac constellation on that day. 

Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of a new harvest or spring season.

The period of Sankranti is a season when the skies filled with empty clouds the temperature will be cold for Indian sub-continent. It’s a time when farmers are at the edge of harvesters, forest blossom with green lush, and scientifically it’s a period in which human digestive power will be stronger than any other seasons in the year.  This is why all the food mentioned above is lipid containing items, and this also helps rejuvenate the skin, which has lost its moisture in the cold seasons.

Overall Sankranti is a festival that has got great significance and scientific bases.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Use Social Apps Effectively, Help Build The Nation.

Experienced in my small town; where, people talking in tea shops about the elections and the profile of the candidates in the contest, trends, probability of the winning and losing candidate , which area may vote to which candidate, whether it is cast, or money that is going to take part in the election and  the list goes on and these tea shops were the social stages for the people to talk about the politics just a few years ago.

But today is the era of Android and windows, where millions of people using the man’s finest invention called as Smart phones.  According to a new study, there are 51 million smartphone users in urban India, an increase of  89% is  expected every year  from 2012. India ranks fifth among the countries  using smartphone.

It’s not just in bigger cities, but spreading viral in small towns and cities which I experienced myself. One of the construction workers who was illiterate messaged his owner in Whatsapp’ ; that he is not coming to work for a day. This was a small incident which inspired me to scribble this.
Times of India reports says The number of social media users in urban India reached 62 million by December 2012, and it is estimated to reach 66 million by June 2013.

Role of Social media and Apps
·         38% of those who use social networking sites (SNS)  promote material related to politics or social issues that others have posted.
·         35% have used social networking sites to encourage people to vote .
·         34% have used the tools to post their own thoughts or comments on political and social issues.
·         33% have used the tools to re-post content related to political or social issues, that was originally posted by someone else.
·         31% have used the tools to encourage other people to take action on a political or social issue.
·         28% have used the tools to post links to political stories or articles for others to read.

This statistic tells  the role of Social media and apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, blogger, Hike messenger, Skype, Youtube, Yahoo messenger, Rediffmail on general elections.

I was chatting with my friend whose thinking made him a  philanthropist as he always talk about society, country, people. As the discussion moves on, the  topic came to elections and the truth came out, his age is 26 and he never voted not even once in his lifetime in any elections; either it may be local body elections or parliamentary elections. 

He spent 9 years of his life after getting power to vote. This is just an example. Even those who talk of development, nation, politics do not vote, the people talking about responsibility forget their responsibilities. It is the question of choosing leaders who lead your place, It is the question of the leaders who rules your area, it is the question of the leaders who build your nation.

In his book “How I BRAVED ANU AUNTY AND CO-FOUNDED A MILLION DOLLAR COMPANY’ Arun Agarwal writes, how kitty parties and the voices in the party helped him to start and improve his business. He adds mouth to mouth spreading is the greatest way to increase business. The same can be implied to raise our voice through social apps. 

On December 31, I was resolving  a conflict between two of my friends, who fought a lot in Whatsapp chat, and I was successful to rejoin them. There I thought social apps are our voices now.

When we see the traditional way of elections, youth show dis-interest, especially the one who are far away from their place. There can be many reasons for their dis-interest.

1. Wish not to go home just to cast vote.
2. Disinterest in elections.
3. Lack of awareness.
4. Lack of profile candidate.
5. Disinterest in politics.
6. Disgusted of the system and many more.

The reasons can be many and this is why 60-65% voting still hold the record in India.  Importantly the voting in youths is still a miserable statistics.

When we keenly observe the growing popularity of social sites and use of internet; social apps can be a good choice to increase voting in youth. Most of us might have observed  US presidential elections, where the candidate's profile will be available in every social site;especially in micro-blogging sites like Twitter.

India is no less to the US and thanks to man’s finest invention Smartphone.

The emergence of the AAP in Delhi proved the different strategy of election and motto. They have pulled the youth to polling booths, and they won the election to break records.

The next person who used social apps effectively to gain youth's confidence is Mr.Narendra Modi. There are a number of apps on his speeches and videos, even Youtube is making a big impact definitely. If I open my FB page, there will be at least one post on Modi.

It’s good that, the Election Commission of India has brought the Internet and social media under the election code of conduct. The Election Commission has issued a notification, according to which candidates are required to declare educational qualification and criminal records and details of their social media accounts.

What Can be done:
1. Make apps that helps everyone to acquire information of election procedure right from getting voter card to the prime minister oath.

2. Collect information of every candidate in every constituency and post them in social apps and spread it as much as possible.

3. Build games that encourage the people to get interest in politics.

4. last thing can be done by election commission ; they can form online polling booth  to allow everybody tovote to any constituency from such booths all through india.

Social apps are the things on which youth are fond off, Use Social Apps Effectively, Help Build The Nation.

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