Wednesday, September 30, 2009




By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

The Tian An Men square – that is where all roads in Beijing lead to today. The place is all decked up. An impressive portrait of Mao Dzdong, the great political and military thinker and a founder leader of the present regime of China, is the only decoration piece on the ancient royal rostrum where the present leadership will assemble to see the military might and people’s power this morning. It is 1st October 2009. Exactly sixty years ago, on 1st October 1949, right here had stood the then top brass of the Communist party of China to herald the birth of the new China. They had won the country by their blood, sweat and tears, sacrificing their loved ones in battles fought with the nationalist forces of General Chiang kai-shek until winning the final great push and banishing the adversary to Formosa, now Taiwan. It was a long fought civil war where no quarters were asked for and none given. Chairman Mao had personally declared the founding of a new China, the People’s Republic of China that day.


The China of today is so different from the China of 1949 that it sets friends and philosophers thinking about what brought about the total makeover. To my mind the greatest asset of the Chinese nation is their capability of loving their past, enjoying the present and working for a future. This mental make-up of the Chinese people is the outcome of an amalgamation of the Confucian, Buddhist and Tao philosophy of life. The Chinese history of many thousand years lets us have an inkling into their trials and tribulations, numerous founding of dynasties, their rise and fall, foreign invasions where the conquerors like the Mongols were culturally conquered by the Chinese and finally their spirit of adventure and inventions. The thread of continuity is discernible throughout and a hidden hatred for the “foreign devil” is unmistakable.

Mobilisation of Manpower for the common good has been one of the greatest assets of the Chinese people. The Great Wall of China bears testimony to this national asset. The Great Wall was built over centuries by different kingdoms but the continuity and will to complete it remained unshaken. Many acts of human cruelty on forced labour, their separation from their loved ones, surviving on meagre meals and lying buried under the foundation of the Wall are just a few of heart-rending facts of history. The aim was, however, achieved and the wall was made. It could not stop the invaders, though. The hordes of Mongols under the great Khans who were sky worshippers and not Muslims as the mistaken perception is, conquered and ruled China for a century. Eventually they were absorbed by the Chinese people and became as one of the native Chinese. The Chinese nation continued marching forward.


A big country like China cannot but have many dialects and different pronunciations of the same word. Mandarin or Putung Hua is now the official language and is spoken throughout China including Tibet and Xinjiang. Thanks to the first emperor, Chhín Shih Huang Di, the script was unified. Thus the character for water is the same, go east or west, north or south. If one knows how to write one will not go hungry or thirsty. Indeed the script unified China in a great way as nothing else did. Of course, people in the southern Guangdong province still insist on conversing in Cantonese and give Putung Hua a go by. They love to watch the Hong Kong TV as the language is common, the Cantonese.

After the Communist takeover of the country, attention was paid to the common man. Education, next to bread and butter, was an important subject of govt’s attention. The communist regime simplified the ancient characters but did not change the basic look. The Chinese continuity remained and the simplified characters were easy to read and write by the peasants and workers who sustained the new regime. The top leadership of the communist party was genuinely interested in helping the common man make progress. They dressed like them. The blue closed collar tunic was the unisexual dress for male and female Chinese to unify the people like the language and the script. It was not until the death of Chairman Mao and advent of Dung Xiao-ping as a resurrected leader that women were allowed to be fashionable and wear makeup.


The prosperous China of today was born when Deng Xiao-ping brought China out of Mao’s shadow of hard line communism. He added the Chinese characteristics to Marx’s communism. When he was criticized for this dilution, he retorted ”how does it matter if a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice”. Deng set the pace of progress too and China did not have to look back. Progress and progress – that has been the story in all fields, civil or military. A word must be said about the economic disparity between the coastal areas of the East and the mountainous areas of the North-West that has caused avoidable migration of population and social tensions. It has also given rise to unpleasant law and order problems. China has taken them in the normal stride of life.


Sixty years after its inception the Communist China, hardly communist now, aspires to be a world power. In due course of time she may challenge the United States of America for global supremacy. With a view to achieving that, it is necessary that China becomes militarily strong to show her flag all over the world and go unchallenged. It is a kind of ASHWAMEDHA YAJNA of today. The king’s white horse is running wherever it pleases to run and returns unchallenged to make the owner king a Chakravarti Samrat, a world power in today’s parlance. Now the opportunity is there for China to showcase her military might on the sixtieth anniversary of its founding. Let us have a preview.

The People’s Liberation Army started its military offensive in a major way with a five million strong land army. By the way, the military is PLA irrespective of it being navy or air force or army. To distinguish the force, after PLA the respective service word is added. Now, at this point of time the military thinking has undergone a tremendous change. The strength of the army is being cut down numerically and its battle effectiveness is being enhanced by adding modern fire power and advanced technology. The cut down figure may be anything around 700,000 officers and soldiers. Xu Guangyu, who is privy to policy making, says that a lean and mean army with improved weapon system and a lesser number of troops will achieve the aim. Reclaiming Taiwan by force is an avowed policy of China. The display of military might will set the American policy planners and Admirals thinking about their revising defence plan of Taiwan.

The Navy and the Air Force are now the centre of thought and action of the top brass of the party and the military. Indeed the old dictum of Chairman Mao holds good today too. He said “power comes out of the barrel of a gun and it is the party that controls the gun”. The Communist party and President Hu Jintao have made up their mind to make the Chinese navy a real blue water navy that may sail the seven seas unchallenged. To start with they will test their strength in the Indian Ocean that beckons them. Their acquisition of aircraft carriers and nuclear powered submarines point to the direction of their domination of the Indian Ocean. Is New Delhi listening?

The Air Force will display its latest jet fighter in the sky over Tian An Men square. It is designed, developed and made in China without help from a foreign country. The latest jet fighter is so much wrapped in secrecy that the Chinese air Force chose not to fly it on the rehearsal fly past. It will make a debut on the grand occasion. Right now they have 2,000 battle worthy aircraft and 4,000 air force personnel.

The Army gunners, however, control the missiles with nuclear warheads. The Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles will be the mainstay of the regiment of artillery. Hundreds of thousands of service personnel are proud of their service and strive to achieve the aim. All eyes will focus on them when they march the goose step on the big day. It is expected that 200,000 military men and women will participate in the biggest ever parade held in the Tian An Men square.

The Chinese Navy is the blue eyed boy of the leadership, especially President Hu Jintao who is taking personal interest in various projects of modernisation. He has learnt from history that the union Jack of the British was carried all over the world by their Royal Navy, including capture of Hong Kong and meddling with Beijing. Again it is the US Navy that has made Americans command respect all over the world. The US Navy is defending Taiwan. So, to be a world power, China must have a world class navy. The display on the sixtieth anniversary will let the world know where the Chinese Navy floats today in the blue water oceans. Models of the latest ships, made in China, will float in Tian An Men to please the people of China and put the fear of God in the heart of adversaries.

UPVAN, 609, Sector 29, NOIDA – 201303, INDIA 0091-9811173590.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

meri dhoti meri chhavi

मेरी धोती, मेरी छवि
ब्रिगेडियर चितरंजन सावंत, वी.एस.एम
तिब्बत की राजधानी ल्हासा में शाम के समय ऐसे ही घूम रहा था । बड़ी बड़ी दुकानो के साथ पटरी बाज़ार पर सजाई हुई चीज़ो को देख कर न खरीदने की इच्छा होते हुए भी मोल भाव कर रहा था। एक मार्के की बात यह सामने आई कि पीतल और तांबे की अधिकांश वस्तुए और कुछ चमकीले रंग बिरंगे छोटे छोटे पत्थर के टुकड़े तिब्बती व्यापारी भारत के ही बाज़ारो से लाए थे। एक व्यापारी ने तो मेरी वेष भूषा और रंग रुप देख कर कहा कि यह सब चीज़े तो आपको अपने ही देश मे सस्ती मिलेंगी। मुझे यह भी देख और सुन कर सुखद आश्चर्य हुआ कि भारतीय वस्तुओ को वहां बेचने वाले तिब्बती पुरुष, महिलाएं और बच्चे काम चलाऊ हिंदी जानते हैं। फिर भी वो मुझसे खुल कर बात करने से कतराते रहे और बाद में एक व्यक्ति ने बताया कि जब वो विदेशियों से बात करते हैं तो चीन की पुलिस उन पर निगाह रखती है।
बाज़ार से ज़रा हट कर, दलाई लामा के पुराने महल और कार्यालय, पोताला पैलेस की ओर जा रहा था तो एक तिब्बती व्यक्ति मेरे निकट आया और मेरी धोती का एक छोर खींचने लगा। मैने चीनी भाषा मे उससे कहा कि मेरे भाई तुम यह क्या कर रहे हो। उसने भी चीनी भाषा मे ही उत्तर दिया कि श्रीमान मै यह जानना चाहता हूं कि यह कपड़ा जो आप लपेटे हुए हैं इसकी लंबाई कितनी है। यह भी कि इसका नाम क्या है। मैने उत्तर देकर उसे संतुष्ट किया कि इसे धोती कहते हैं और इसकी लंबाई लगभग पांच मीटर है। यूं मेरी वेषभूषा यानि धोती और कुर्ता भी विदेशो मे विदेशो मे आकर्षण का केंद्र रहते हैं। इससे मेरी एक अलग पहचान बन जाती है और भारतीय वस्त्रो का एक तरह से हल्का सा प्रचार भी हो जाता है।
धोती वाले ब्रिगेडियर साहब
भारतीय जन मानस में एक सैन्य अधिकारी की छवि अंग्रेज़ो की छवि से भिन्न नही रही है। आम आदमी यह समझता है कि सेना के ब्रिगेडियर जैसे उच्च अधिकारी सदैव सूटेड बूटेड रहते हैं उनकी बड़ी बड़ी मूछे होती हैं – हाथ मे हल्का का केन (डंडा) रहता है और बोलते केवल अंग्रेज़ी हैं। यद्यपि मैने स्वयं तीन दशको से अधिक का समय सैन्य सेवा मे बिताया किंतु अंग्रेज़ो की छवि पाने की कभी कोई अभिलाषा मेरे मन में नहीं उभरी। इसका मुख्य कारण यह रहा है कि आर्य समाज की पृष्ट भूमि और हिंदी से प्रेम होने की वजह से मैने कभी अंग्रेज़ियत को अपने जीवन मे पास नही फटकने दिया। अपने वेषभूषा और भाषा के कारण कभी कभी अपरिचित लोग यह समझ ही नही पाते कि मैं एक वरिष्ठ सैन्य अधिकारी रहा हूं और सेवानिवृत होने के बाद देश विदेश की यात्रा मे धोती कुर्ता ही पहनता रहा हूं। इससे कभी कभी हल्की सी कठिनाई भी हुई किंतु हर कठिनाई और समस्या का समाधान स्वत: मिलता भी रहा ।
जब हॉंग कॉंग को ब्रिटेश शासन चीन शासन को हस्तांतरित करने वाला था तो मुझे आमंत्रित किया गया कि मैं हॉंग कॉंग जाकर वहां की वस्तुस्थिति पर एक टी वी डॉक्युमैंट्री बनाऊं । हॉंग कॉंग के हवाई अड्डे पर जैसे ही मैं बाहर आया तो अपनी अगवानी के लिए किसी को भी नही पाया। हालांकि मैं चीनी भाषा (मैंडरिन) बोल लेता हूं किंतु हॉंग कॉंग कि अधिकांश निवासी कैंटनीज़ भाषा बोलते हैं। फिर उच्चारण का भेद भी हो ही जाता है। समस्या विकट थी। अपने सामान के साथ निकास द्वार के सामने जब मैने चार पांच चक्कर लगाए तब एक चीन के अधिकारी मेरे पास आए और बोले क्या आप हीं ब्रिगेडियर सावंत हैं जो टी वी डॉक्यूमैंट्री बनाने आएं हैं। मैने कहा जी हां। उन्होने क्षमा याचना की और कहा कि थोड़ी देर से वो मुझे देख रहे थे लेकिन तय नही कर पा रहे थे कि मेरी वेषभूषा और सामान्य सैन्य अधिकारी की वेषभूषा मे तालमेल क्यो नहीं है।मैने उन्हे इतिहास बताया तो वो संतुष्ट हुए। मैने इश्वर को भी धन्यवाद दिया कि दुरित दूर हुआ।
ऐसी ही एक घटना, स्वदेश में जालंधर रेलवे स्टेशन पर भी हुई। डी ए वी कॉलेज ने मुझे वेद प्रवचन के लिए आमंत्रित किया था और जब मैं शताब्दी से प्लेटफॉर्म पर उतरा तो वहां पर भी किसी ने मेरी अगवानी नही की। दो तीन मिनट बीत जाने के बाद मेरे कानो में आवाज़ आई, एक सूटेड बूटेड सज्जन किसी से मोबाईल पर कह रहे थे कि गाड़ी तो आ गई लेकिन ब्रिगेडियर साहब नही आए। तो मैने स्वंय उनसे पूछा कि क्या आप ब्रिगेडियर सावंत की राह देख रहे हैं। उनके हां कहने पर मैने अपना परिचय दिया और फिर वो एक बड़ी सी कार में उस होटल ले गए जहां मुझे ठहरना था। उन्होने मुझे बताया कि पंजाब मे धोती पहनने वालो को ढीला ढाला आदमी माना जाता है। मझे भी याद आया कि आर्य समाज के इतिहास में यह चर्चा आई है कि पंडित लेखराम जी जो पेशावर निवासी थी उन्होने महात्मा मुंशी राम (स्वामी श्रध्दानंद) से एक बार कहा – लाला जी आप यह धोती क्या पहनते हैं यह तो यू पी वाले ढीले ढाले लोग पहनते हैं हम पंजाबियो को नही पहनना चाहिए। इस टिप्पड़ी के बावजूद महात्मा मुंशीराम जी ने अपनी वेषभूषा नही बदली। इस घटना से मुझे भी मानसिक बल मिला कि मैं धोती पहनना जारी रखूं।
वेद प्रचार के सिलसिले में जब मैं इंगलैंड गया तो महाशय गोपाल चंद्र, जो मेरी अगवानी के लिए आए थे – ने मुझसे कहा कि मैं भाग्यशाली हूं। आखों ही आखों मे मैने प्रश्न किया कि क्यो तो उन्होने कहा कि आप धोती कुर्ता पहने हुए हैं और आज इक्कीसवीं शताब्दी इंगलैंड मे कोई अंग्रेज़ इस पर आपत्ति नही करेगा। लगभग चार दशक पहले की अपनी कथा उन्होने सुनाई कि उस समय बिना सूट बूट पहने कोई व्यक्ति सड़क पर चल नही सकता था। संभ्वत अंग्रेज़ो का यह मानना था कि अगर इंगलैंड में रहना है तो उन्ही की तरह की वेषभूषा होनी ज़रूरी है और उन्ही की भाषा बोलनी है। यह जानकर मुझे बड़ा संतोष हुआ कि अब वेषभूषा और भाषा पर कोई प्रतिबंध नही है और धोती पहनकर मैं पूरे इंगलैंड मे घूम सकता हूं। यूं मेरे पास ऐसे भी न सूट था न बूट ।
भारत के काले अंग्रेज़
यह विचित्र बात है कि इंगलैंड में तो मैं धोती कुर्ता पहन कर ब्रिटेश समराज्ञी क्वीन इलिज़ेबेथ द्वितिय के महल बकिंघम पैलेस में घूम आया किंतु अपने ही देश भारत में अनेक ऐसे संस्थान और क्लब हैं जहां धोती कुर्ता पहन कर जाने पर प्रतिबंध है। सशस्त्र सेनाओ के अफसर मैस और क्लब, जिमखाना क्लब और रॉयल यॉट क्लब आदि ऐसे भारत भूमि पर अग्रेज़ी संस्कृति के पोशक हैं जो सूट बूट और टाई के अलावा और कोई पहनावा पहचानते ही नहीं। यह सांसकृतिक विडंबना है। मेरे विचार में अब समय आ गया है कि जब अंग्रेज़ संस्कृति पोशक संस्थानो के विरुध्द अभियान चलाकर उन्हे भारत भूमि और भारतीय संस्कृति से प्रेम का पाठ पढ़ाना आवश्यक हो गया है। संभवत युवा वर्ग इस दिशा मे आगे आने के लिए प्रेरित किया जा सकता है। यदि उनके पाठ्यक्रम में स्वदेश प्रेम का पुट दिया जा सके।
ब्रिगेडियर चितरंजन सावंत, वी एस एम
609, सेक्टर 29
अरुण विहार, नोएडा - 201303. भारत
ईमेल :

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Woman Chancellor of Germany

By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Angela Merkel is the name of the most powerful woman of Germany. The political pundits were surprised at her meteoric rise in the German political firmament. When she sent Helmut Kohl, the most powerful Chancellor in post-war Germany packing home, her political adversaries in her own party were overawed. The giant killer earned respect as a former provincial dowdy woman with a poor dress sense who made it to the top. Little did detractors realise that Angela Merkel, a childless divorcee who carried surname of her first husband, is out and out a pragmatist and knew which way the wind was blowing.

Born in Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, her father moved the family to a small town in East Germany where he was appointed a Pastor in a Protestant church. Her family background helped her become the first Protestant Chancellor who broke the male monopoly of Roman Catholics from West Germany. She married a second time and her husband Joachim Sauer is a Chemistry Professor in Berlin. They have no children. She is a committed politician and a devoted housewife.

What is it that makes Angela Merkel so successful in the high brow male dominated political world. Well, it is her devotion to duty and determination to achieve the goal. She determines the AIM and maintains her aim so that she knows how to go about achieving the aim. Criticism of detractors does not bother her except that she doubles her effort to reach the goal surmounting hurdles on the way. It is not the dress or the facial makeover that matters to her, it is the ability to do for the country what her countrymen expect of her.

As a Chancellor of Germany elected to the office in 2005 with a wafer thin majority, Angela Merkel won the hearts and minds of her compatriots by her hard work and spectacular results in ameliorating the hardships of the common man. She successfully steered Germany out of the notorious economic recession and made the German economy the biggest in Europe leaving erstwhile economic giants way behind. In the European Union she came to be known as a high achiever and one who solved the vexatious problems in an amicable manner. When in trouble, other European nations looked up to her to lend a helping hand and find solutions to problems of gigantic nature.

Her critics say that she compromises her principles for political expediency. She does not contest this charge. When she came to power in 2005, she invited the opposition politicians , including her challenger to the high office, to join the coalition government and they did. This sagacious move gave political stability to her government and she did not have to waste time and energy in saving her government from opposition attacks every now and then. Indeed, as a Christian Democrat she had to make concessions to the Social democrats in the shape of fixing minimum wages and social welfare more akin to the communist philosophy than to her own. That is indeed the art of running a successful government for the sake of the country by making compromises. In India we call it the Coalition Dharma and the people get used to it.

Angela Merkel,54, had visited India in 2007 and had paid a visit to the Rajghat to lay a wreath at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. She studied the regional problems and ways to neutralise impact of Islamic terrorism. She maintains an independent foreign policy and overrides illogical opposition of other countries to her considered moves. Once she had decided to grant time to the Dalai Lama for a meeting with her, she went ahead with the pre-determined schedule, notwithstanding diplomatic opposition by the People’s Republic of China. Her will power and her resolve not to be cowed down makes her stand in line with Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United kingdom, also known as the Iron Lady. Apparently Angela Merkel enjoys such comparisons as these will ensure for her a place in the world history. As it is, she stands in the galaxy of most powerful women of the world and the US magazine, Forbes, ranked her there for three consecutive years. Indeed it was not without reason.

Come elections; come September – the balmy days that give comfort. It will be more than balmy for Angela Merkel as on 27 Sep 2009 in the national elections her party will be returned to power. Thereafter, there will be no stopping Chancellor Angela Merkel from being re-elected Chancellor of Germany to be in that august office for her second term. The people are with Angela Merkel and Angela Merkel is with the people. Together they will make Germany a super power and a global force to reckon with.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

The political blue blood is back. Yukio Hatoyama, the new Japanese Prime Minister is the grandson of Ichiro Hatoyama, a former prime minister of Japan and son of a cabinet minister. Yukio Hatoyama is blue blooded politically. He is a synthesis of the old world charm and the new world business-like action. Yukio is a thinking politician who does not make a decision in a hurry nor implement it in a jiffy. Everyone around him knows that it is difficult, if not impossible, to get his decision overturned by him. It would be an easy course of action to implement it. No beating about the bush while having a chat with him. Yuki appreciates a frontal attack on the problem rather than procrastinate. Procrastination is the thief of time. The Hatoyama Thought promotes prompt action as time is money. The world economy is money oriented, notwithstanding the economic downturn. The Japanese are proud of the fact that theirs is the second largest economy in the world.

Has Prime Minister Hatoyama inherited a throne of thorns or a crown of thorns? He would repudiate this theory right away. In any case the Prime Minister of Japan wears no crown nor sits on a throne. Japan has a hereditary monarchy and the monarch is held in divine reverence. Prime Ministers come and go but the administration goes on unhindered. Nevertheless, Yukio Hatoyama will not be sleeping on a bed of roses. He has just ousted the Democratic Party of Japan from political power where they were entrenched for a little over half a century. As a matter of fact, Yukio himself began his political career in that grand old party where his grandfather was one of the founding members, where his father flourished, became a foreign minister and his younger brother also became a minister. In 1993 Yuki broke ranks with the family’s political party and founded a new but similar one. Eventually he landed in the Liberal party to reform the old political culture of Japan. One imagines that the old colleagues of the former party would not let him rest in peace and will continue making an endeavour to dislodge his new party from power.

Yuki Hatoyama is no political greenhorn. He studies the moves of political adversaries before making his own move. He carries the experience of 62 years of life on the Japanese soil and commands the respect of his wife and son as well as his comrades-in-arms of the fledgling political party. Yuki has risen to the coveted post of Prime Minister on an agenda of CHANGE and he is committed to bring about change in all spheres of Japanese life where it is needed. He hopes that he will have the political backing of his fellow politicians and support of the electorate. The Japanese electorate exercise their franchise using their mind and it is they who were the backbone of the present change. It is hoped that their support would continue for Yuki for an appreciable period of time.

Yuki Hatoyama is a family man. He finds peace of mind and solace of soul once he is back home. His devoted wife not only supervises the cooking in the kitchen but ensures that what is served on the dining table is to her husband’s liking. The age old saying “the way to heart lies through the stomach” is as true today as it was many millennia ago. She cares more for the looks of her husband than for her own. She chooses the hairstyle that her darling hubby should sport and ensures that her will is done. The couple owns a golden retriever and love to take the dog out for a walk to relax themselves.

Their son is also a student of engineering like his father was a few decades ago. Albeit the son has chosen Russia as his country of education unlike his father’s generation that went westward, mainly the United States of America. By the way, Yuki Hatoyama is a Ph.D. in Engineering. No wonder he executes his plans with engineering precision. Although Yuki started his career as a lecturer in engineering but he found politics more attractive. His decision has paid rich dividends. He is the Prime Minister of Japan today.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009



Sonia gandhi, chairperson of the Congress party travelled economy class in the airlines to send a message to her ministers and other leaders to observe austerity in thought and action. it was indeed a fine gesture. Was the desire to observe austerity really carried out in word and deed?
Those who observed the seating arrangement on board the aircraft are quick to point out that her chair and that of AK Antony who was accompanying her, were bigger than the ordinary economy class chairs.Obviously, special seating arrangement was made for Sonia gandhi. Further, a little distance was kept between her chair and that of her companion. Was it the real economy class or just one of the makebelieve one?
No questions on chairs reserved for the security staff, the Special protection Group and the political companions like AK Antony also cost money. Let us grant her the fact that she travelled economy class and not the Business class and thus saved money of tax payers.
Rahul Gandhi too followed suit . This morning(15 Sep 09) he too travelled in the chair car from New Delhi to Ludhiana in the Swarna Shatabdi express and thus sent a clear message to the Congress colleagues on austerity. Did the message reach the target audience?
Ask Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Health Minister who hosted a grand Lunch on govt cost at the Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur to launch a health programme for the common man called "Navjat shishu kalyan yojana"but the common man was not to be seen in the grand party. A princely sum of Rs Three Lacs was paid as rent for the hall and appurtenances hired on the occasion. The beneficiaries of the health scheme were not invited as they would have felt out of place in a palace party. The expenditure on the grand lunch was Rs 1500 per plate as per a conservative estimate. No official word on expenditure was forthcoming. Perhaps the new policy of the Health minister is : spend public money but just keep mum on the amount spent. Ah! they did not reckon ingenuity of our free press in finding out who is lavish with spending tax payers'money, notwithstanding the economic downturn.
Apparently, the right hand of the govt of India does not wish to know what the left hand is doing. Never mind if Sonia Gandhi is flying economy class redone or Rahul Gandhi is travelling for four hours in a railway train in a chair car as a commoner, some Ministers have their own style of life emulating His Highness the maharajah of jammu and Kashmir. Wish them luck please.
The King is dead, long live the king - so said the slogan on continuity of the british monarchy. In India one may say that Austerity is on board , Austerity is thrown out of the window. Say it anyway you like.

Monday, September 14, 2009



The snail speed at which most of the 35 projects are proceeding and their completion is nowhere in sight makes a well-intentioned Indian worried. The good name of the Indian nation is at stake. The big bosses who should throw their weight behind the plan to carry on the work on 35 Projects at break neck speed are now deeply involved in the blame game. The powers that be have found a scapegoat to save their own skin. It is the MCD- the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The reasons are more political than real.
The rumour is rife that the Government of Delhi has plans to takeover the MCD in the name of better coordination. However, knowledgeable critics are of the opinion that the BJP run MCD is an eyesore to the Congress run Delhi govt. So they have found an excuse in the name of coordination to takeover the finances and duties of MCD. If that is true, it would be a blot on the name of the party in power both at the Centre and the Delhi state.
The main stadium is the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium where a number of events of the Commonwealth Games will be staged. It is, however, said that the main stadium is also not ready as per plan. No doubt it has been a functional stadium even before the present project propped up but it had to be redone to meet the new and extended requirements. No completion report can be claimed to have been filed by any of the numerous agencies involved.
In a media chat involving some archtects it came to light that there is no Master Plan of the entire Commonwealth Games. Its veracity is yet to be tested but the way the work is going on it appears to be a disjointed effort. There may be a large allocation for improvement of roads and construction of fly overs but allocation of funds may be meagre for the transportation department. The fly overs may facilitate movement of traffic bu the department may need a large fleet of buses to help players, spectators, officials etc to move swiftly from point A to point B. The large fleet of low floor good buses is not yet in position.
The Games Village that is coming up at a vantage site on the Yamuna bed near the Akshara Dham mandir is far from completion. let us not forget that it is not only the four walls of residential accommodation, community centre and recreational facilities that matter. What matters most that the entire complex should give a comfortable look and feel so that the foreign athletes feel at home away from home. The furnishings, the artistic decoration, the paintings and what have you that will be displayed in the residential complex should be imbued with the soul of our nation without forgetting the likes and dislikes of the occupants. The hospitality includes the food to be served - not only a wholesome meal but nutritive items that take care of the palate too. Suitable chefs have to be positioned and rehearsed of the content, presentation and timings of all meals - Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, Continental and what have you. religious susceptibilities of participants and officials have to be catered for.
No wonder Smt Sheela Dixit, Chief Minister Delhi said that looking at the gigantic problems left to be tackled she is feeling "nervous". Imagine what the fate of foot soldier would be when the commander-in-chief is shaky about the completion of as many as 53 projects related to the Commonwealth Games. Some optimists opine that 27 years ago, India had successfully handled the Asiad. So where is the problem now? Well, the state of supply of electricity and water matters a lot. The movement of traffic in Delhi is more complex now than ever before because of overgrowing population in Delhi.
Some well intentioned critics have said that it would be a good idea to take the help of those nations that have the expertise and experience of hosting big sports events like the Olympics. In our neighbourhood, China can be of help but recent events on borders may prevent India and China from coming closer to the extent of helping in the running of Projects of the Commonwealth Games. A sane piece of advice will be to the Indian officials and citizen-volunteers to shake off crutches,if any, and walk along on one's own strength, let us remember - First Walk, Then Run.
Submitted by Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Thursday, September 10, 2009


War of Independence:

The Indian historians list Meerutt as the focal point where the First war of Independence commenced and the point of time was June 1857. Generally speaking we talk of the armed battles fought between the then British rulers and the Indian soldiers and subjects and end the matter there. There is, however, a need to fathom the depth more and find out what role did our scriptures and Dharm Gurus play besides the weapon system. Let us proceed on the assumption that the human body acts or refrains from acting as per the guidance of the mind and the soul. Indeed the soul has to have a power point of inspiration that motivates it for doing a KARMA.

While writing the history of the Indian National Congress Shri Pattabhi Sitaramaiyya has explicitly mentioned that in the ongoing war of independence, there was a large number of believers in Vedic Dharm among the freedom fighters. The organisational name of their collective body is the ARYA SAMAJ. At this point let us recall the glory of those Aryas who fought in the front line against the British albeit through peaceful means. The galaxy of freedom fighters comprises stalwarts like Mahatma Munshi Ram who on entering the Sanyas ashram came to be known as Swami Shraddhanand, Lala Lajpat Rai, the Lion of Punjab who was exiled by the British government, Bhai Parmanand, Lala Har Dayal and Sardar Bhagat Singh – these are the patriots whom our nation will always recall with pride. Allow me to mention for the benefit of the new generation that initially among the Arya members of the Arya Samaj Lahore, the number of Sikh members was not negligible. I have written the above mentioned names because these are the august personalities and dedicated Arya Samajists who were inspired by the personality and writings of Sanyasi-reformer Maharishi Dayanand to plunge into the battle against the British rulers and gain Independence.


Among the books written by Maharishi Dayanand, SATYARTH PRAKASH is the magnum opus. It was in 1874 that the Maharishi brought out the First Edition of his august treatise for the guidance of Mankind. Since some major mistakes had crept in, the Maharishi himself prepared an amended edition in 1883 at Maharana’s Udaipur before his tragic demise later at Ajmer. When Maharishi Dayanand was preaching and propagating the Vedic Dharm, the British were the supreme power and overlords not only in India but in most parts of the world. Queen Victoria, Empress of India was on the throne of England and her motherly image as a reigning sovereign was in every heart and mind in towns and villages of India. It was a common belief that there could not be a better rule than that of the British government. The pro-British elements among Indians drummed this point day in and day out so that no one could even think of asking for independence, leave alone fighting for it. Those who still persisted with a cry for freedom were punished and chastised to such an extent that the concept of independence vanished from their thought and action.

Maharishi Dayanand , as a Sanyasi and religious cum social reformer took it as his Duty to free the motherland, Bharat, from the yokes of foreign slavery. A high calibre psychologist like the Rishivar knew that he had to be a Crusader for letting common man have freedom of thought. The Rishi wanted to fight the propaganda war of the foreign forces and counteract the fictitious belief of “motherly love of the reigning queen” with his speeches and writings instilling in Indian minds love of independence .No rule, howsoever benevolent could be a substitute for self-rule, so said the Maharishi and the classes as well as the masses followed him like a pied piper. He enshrined his Thought on Freedom in the Satyarth Prakash. In the eighth chapter of the great book, the Maharishi wrote:
“Say what you will, the indigenous native rule is by far the best. A foreign government, perfectly free from religious prejudices, impartial towards all – the natives and the foreigners – kind, beneficent and just to the natives like their parents though it may be, can never render the people perfectly happy.” ( English version from Satyarth Prakash (Light of Truth) translated by Dr Chiranjiva Bharadwaja.)
In the 19th century the British government in India termed the above Idea as revolutionary. It was called Mutiny and treason against the British Empire. Indeed it was the self confidence and high morale of a fearless Sanyasi like Maharishi Dayanand who could bear the brunt of an angry administration that was running an empire. With a view to having an organization to carry on the flame of freedom and be an exponent of the Vedic Dharm for mankind, Maharishi Dayanand, on a suggestion of his devotees, agreed to formation of the Arya Samaj. To take care of the orphans, he opened orphanages and for promoting learning of the Sanskrit language, he opened Sanskrit pathshalas.. The Arya members of these organisations were led through the pages of Satyarth Praksh with an emphasis on waging a war of independence at the intellectual level and later on the battle field. It was but natural for the new generation of Indians to be influenced by Maharishi’s ideas. Lala Lajpat Rai while opposing the anti-people projects of the British administration in India always gratefully acknowledged the source of his inspiration as Maharishi Dayanand and called him as his Dharm Pita. (The English word GODFATHER is no patch on this).He boycotted the arrival of Simon Commission and while leading a protest procession bore the blows of police lathis and canes and suffered grievous injuries that caused his death. An eminent Arya of his stature made the supreme sacrifice at the altar of freedom. The story of lala Lajpat Rai’s life and death has been inspiring Indians generation after generation.


Taking a cue from the Dayanand Thought on freedom from foreign rule, mahatma Munshiram opened the Gurukul Kangri near Haridwar where an emphasis was laid on freedom of thought and expression.To achieve this aim it was necessary to have the Gurukul education divorced from Macaulay’s Minute and let the Vedic system of education hold the sway. The brahmacharis were true to their ideals and along with developing their own personality always thought of the motherland. Many of them even participated in the freedom movement and contributed to the independence funds by saving their ration money.

The British administration in India sent secret reports of the CID to Lucknow and New Delhi saying that the Gurukul was a centre of revolutionaries where they made bombs and trained students to do or die for the motherland. Sir James Meston, Governor of the then United Provinces and later Sir Ramsay Mcdonald, Leader of the Opposition in the British House of Commons visited the Gurukul Kangri to see for themselves what the real situation was. The British leaders were impressed that Munshiram Ji had come out with an alternative to the Macaulay introduced education. As Administrator he impressed upon the distinguished visitors that each brahmachari was a bomb of new ideas that dispelled doubts and exposed superstitions. Later many graduates of the Gurukul holding degrees of Vedalankar and vidyalankar proceeded to the South to oppose the oppressive rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad that went against the interests of the Arya Samaj and rest of the Hindu society. Notwithstanding cruel treatment meted out to them by the Nizam’s officials, the Arya satyagrahis succeeded in their aim and had the bans on propagation of Vedic Dharm and renovation of temples rescinded.

The Flame of Freedom lighted by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati from 1874 onwards is burning bright today too. Many a young man in India and of the Indian diaspora abroad has been influenced by it. Let us take the last war fought against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Kargil in 1999. Capt Saurav kalia of the Indian Army was taken prisoner by the enemy and done to death in a cruel manner. But the young officer neither made a plea for mercy nor divulge any military secrets to the enemy. His father attributed this courage and patriotism to the education imparted in the Dayanand School, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh and influence of Vedic Thought of Maharishi Dayanand.

Lieutenant Manoj Pande, a young officer just passed out of the Indian Military Academy displayed raw courage, devotion to duty and bravery of extra-ordinary nature in exterminating the Pakistan soldiers and recapturing Khalubar peak in the Kargil area. He made the supreme sacrifice to defend Bharat – his motherland. He was cremated as per the Sanskar Vidhi of Maharishi. His parents said that he was greatly influenced by the Dayanand Thought in his personal conduct and military adventure. The President of India awarded lt Manoj Pade Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry medal.

Defence of the nation is a National Duty, so writes the Maharishi in the sixth chapter of Satyarth Prakash. All citizens have to shoulder this responsibility. It is not only the gun that counts in battle but the man behind the gun counts more. The shastra combined with shastra should form our comprehensive military training to transform a raw recruit into a brave and battle-efficient Jawan of Bharat. Herein come the revolutionary ideas of Dayanand on Defence that would guide and inspire us, Indians, generation after generation to be brave, sacrificing and above all be PATRIOTIC.
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Monday, September 7, 2009


महर्षि दयानंद – स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के प्रेरणा पुंज
ब्रिगेडियर चितरंजन सावंत, विशिष्ट सेवा मेडल

इतिहासकार भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम का आरंभ जून 1857 से मानते आएं है और इसकी शुरुआत का स्थान मेरठ माना जाता रहा है। इस स्वाधीनता संग्राम मे जो अंग्रेज़ो के विरुद्ध भारतीयो ने लड़ा मे केवल शस्त्र के उपयोग की चर्चा होती है और विभिन्न स्थानों पर अंग्रेज़ो और भारतीयो के बीच हुई लड़ाईयों का ज़िक्र कर के हम अध्याय की इति कर देते हैं। आवश्यकता है गहराई मे जाने की और यह जानने की कि शस्त्र के साथ साथ हमारे शास्त्रो ने क्या भूमिका निभाई । हमे यह मानकर चलना होगा कि मनुष्य का शरीर कोई कर्म तभी करता है जब उसे मस्तिष्क और आत्मा से निर्देश मिलता है। यह निर्देश तभी जारी किया जा सकता है जब इसके पीछे कोई प्रेरणा पुंज हो।

भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस के इतिहास में, इतिहासकार श्री पट्टाभि सीतारमैय्या ने स्थान स्थान पर स्पष्ट शब्दो मे लिखा है कि स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के सेनानियो में एक बहुत बड़ी संख्या वैदिक धर्मियों की थी । उनका संगठित रूप जो सामने आया वो आर्य समाज के नाम से जाना जाता है। यहीं हम उन प्रमुख आर्यों की चर्चा करें जो स्वतंत्रता संग्राम मे पहली पंक्ति मे लड़े। महात्मा मुंशी राम जो बाद मे स्वामी श्रद्धानंद कहलाए, लाला लाजपत राय जिन्हे अंग्रेज़ो ने भारत से निष्कासित कर दिया था, भाई परमानंद, लाला हर दयाल और सरदार भगत सिंह कुछ ऐसे व्यक्तित्व हैं जिन्हे देश कभी भुला नही सकता। नई पीढ़ी के पाठको के लिए यह चर्चा करना आवश्यक है कि आर्य समाज लाहौर के सदस्यो और पदाधिकारियों मे सिखो की संख्या कम नही थी। मैं इन प्रमुख नामो की चर्चा इसलिए कर रहा हूं क्योंकि यह सभी महानुभाव समर्पित आर्य समाजी थे जिन्होने स्वाधीनता संग्राम मे अंग्रेज़ो से लड़ने की प्रेरणा सन्यासी-सुधारक महर्षि दयानंद से पाई।

महर्षि दयानंद के स्वतंत्रता संबंधी विचार

महर्षि दयानंद द्वारा लिखी गई प्रमुख पुस्तको मे है सत्यार्थ प्रकाश । महर्षि ने पहली बार 1874 में वो क्रांतिकारी पुस्तक लिखी और उसका संशोधित संस्करण 1883 में अपने निधन से पूर्व तैयार कर लिया था. उन्नीसवी शताब्दी के उस दौर मे महर्षि दयानंद जब वैदिक धर्म का प्रचार कर रहे थे तो न केवल पूरे भारत मे अपितु विश्व के अधिकांश भाग में अंग्रेज़ो का वर्चस्व था। सम्राज्ञी मलका विक्टोरिया लंदन मे राजगद्दी पर आसीन थीं और उनकी ममतामई छवि भारत के गांव गावं में घर घर जानी और पहचानी जाती थी । यह कहा जाता था कि अंग्रेज़ो से अच्छा राज्य किसी का नही हो सकता था । यह विचार धारा अंग्रेज़ परस्त तत्वो ने प्रचारित प्रसारित किया था जिससे भारतीयों के मन मस्तिष्क मे स्वतंत्रता की बात कभी आए ही नही। इसका विरोध करने वालों को मानसिक ताड़ना और शारीरिक दंड इस मात्रा मे दिया जाता था कि वो कभी स्वाधीनता की बात सोच भी न सकें।

महर्षि दयानंद सरस्वती ने सन्यासी, धर्म एवम समाज सुधारक के रुप मे यह अपना कर्तव्य समझा कि स्वदेश भारत को विदेशी दासता की बेड़ियों से मुक्त कराया जाए। ऋषिवर जैसा मनोवैज्ञानिक और विचारों की स्वाधीनता का सेनानी इस बात को भली भांति जानते थे कि अंग्रेज़ो के वैचारिक प्रचार को यदि कोई चीज़ काट सकती है तो वो है भारतीयो की स्वाधीनता पाने की विचारधारा। इसके लिए यह भी आवश्यक था कि मलका विक्टोरिया की ममतामयी छवि से उपर उठ कर भारतीय नर नारी स्वतंत्र देश के विचार को सर्वोत्तम मानें। महर्षि दयानंद ने यह बीड़ा स्वयं उठाया तथा अपने लेखन और प्रवचन में इसका प्रतिपादन किया। इस तथ्य का प्रमाण है महान ग्रंथ सत्यार्थ प्रकाश।

सत्यार्थ प्रकाश के अष्टम सम्मुलास मे महर्षि दयानंद ने उपरोक्त विचार धारा की पुष्टि करते हुए लिखा-

कोई कितना ही करे परंतु जो स्वदेशी राज्य होता है, वह सर्वोपरि उत्तम होता है...मत मतातंर के आग्रह रहित अपने और पराए का पक्षपात शून्य, प्रजा पर माता पिता समान कृपा, न्याय और दया के साथ भी – विदेशियो का राज्य पूर्ण सुखदायक नही है।

उन्नीसवीं शताब्दी मे भारत में अंग्रेज़ो का शासन महर्षि दयानंद के उपरोक्त विचारो को क्रांतिकारी मानता था और ब्रिटिश सामराज्य के विरुद्ध विप्लव और विद्रोह की संज्ञा इसे देता था। यह निडर सन्यासी का ही आत्मविश्वास और आत्मबल था जो अकेले ब्रिटिश सामराज्य के बवंडर को झेल सकता था। यही नहीं, स्थान स्थान पर महर्षि दयानंद ने आर्य समाज की स्थापना की, अनाथालय खोले और संस्कृत पाठशालाए भी खोलीं जहां विद्यार्थियों और आर्य सभासदों को सत्यार्थ प्रकाश में लिखी विचार धारा से बारम्बार प्रभावित किया जाता था। इस वैचारिक स्वतंत्रता अभियान का प्रभाव नई पीढ़ी पर पड़ना स्वाभाविक था। लाला लाजपत राय ने जब जब अंग्रेज़ो के विरुद्ध कार्यवाई की और उनके बड़े प्रशासकों की योजनाओं को भारत विरोधी बताया तो यह सदैव कहा कि यह प्रेरणा उन्हे अपने धर्म पिता महर्षि दयानंद से मिली। लाहौर में साइमन कमीशन का विरोध करते हुए अपनी ढलती आयु मे भी लाला लाजपत राय ने अंग्रेज़ों की लाठियां सहीं और उन चोटों की वजह से उनका प्राणांत हुआ। भारत की स्वतंत्रता की वेदी पर लाला लाजपत राय का बलिदान उल्लेखनीय है।

स्वतंत्रता संग्राम मे आर्य गुरुकुल

महात्मा मुशींराम ने महर्षि दयानंद के स्वाधीनता संबंधी विचारो से प्रेरणा लेते हुए ऐसी शिक्षा संस्था शुरु की जहां किशोरो और युवा वर्ग मे वैचारिक स्वाधीनता प्रमुख हो। इसके लिए आवश्यक था लॉर्ड मैकॉले की शिक्षा से अलग हट कर वैदिक शिक्षा पद्धति को लागू करना। गुरुकुल कांगड़ी हरिद्वार ने यह कार्य भलि भातिं और सुचारु रुप से किया। हर नया ब्रह्मचारी अपने व्यक्तित्व का विकास तो करता ही थी किंतु साथ साथ देश को स्वाधीन करने के लिए सर्वस्व न्योछावर करने को भी तत्पर रहता था। गुरुकुल के अनेक विद्यार्थी स्वतंत्रता संग्राम मे कूद पड़े।

ब्रिटिश शासन के गुप्तचर विभाग ने पहले लखनऊ फिर दिल्ली तक यह रिपोर्ट भेजी कि गुरूकुल कांगड़ी मे तो बम बनाए जाते हैं और क्रांतिकारी तैयार किए जाते हैं जो ब्रिटिश सामराज्य की जड़ें भारत से उखाड़ने के लिए अपने जीवन का बलिदान देने के लिए भी तैयार हैं। यूपी यानि यूनाइटेड प्रोविंसेज़ के गवर्नर सर जेम्स मेस्टन, लंदन मे ब्रिटेश संसद मे प्रतिपक्ष नेता सर रैमज़े मैक़डॉनल्ड समय समय पर स्वयं गुरुकुल गए । उन्होने गुरुकुल के प्रणेता एवं मुख्य अधिष्ठाता महात्मा मुंशीराम से गुरुकुल मे बम बनाए जाने के अफवाहो की चर्चा भी की। अफवाह निराधार निकली। मुंशीराम जी ने कहा कि गुरुकुल का हर ब्रह्मचारी अपने आप मे एक वैचारिक बम है, समाज सुधारक है और वैदिक विचारधारा से ओतप्रोत है। महात्मा जी से बातचीत कर के बड़े बड़े अंग्रेज़ पदाधिकारी आश्वस्त हुए कि गुरुकुल मे नई शिक्षा प्रणाली मैकॉले प्रणाली का प्रतिउत्तर था और उससे ब्रिटिश सामराज्य का कोई अहित नही होने वाला था। संभवत: यह उनकी भूल थी। गुरुकुल के अनेक स्नातक, विद्यालंकार, वेदालंकार की उपाधियो से विभूषित, न केवल अंग्रेज़ो से लड़ते हुए जेल गए बल्कि निज़ाम हैदराबाद द्वारा आर्य समाजों और शेष हिंदू समाज पर किए जा रहे अत्याचारों के विरोध मे उन्होने आंदोलन किया और कठिनाईंयो को झेलते हुए विजयी हुए।

स्वतंत्रता की लौ जो महर्षि दयानंद सरस्वती द्वारा प्रतपादित वैदिक विचारधारा ने प्रज्ज्वलित की वो आज भी सजीव है। अनेक ऐसे नवयुवक हैं जिन्हे सत्यार्थ प्रकाश ने मानसिक रूप से प्रभावित किया और जो स्वदेश सुरक्षा की वेदी पर स्वयं आहुति बन गए। 1999 के कारगिल युद्ध में ऐसे बलिदान हो जाने वाले नवयुवको मे पहले थे कैप्टन सौरव कालिया। वो डी ए वी विद्यालय पालमपुर हिमाचल प्रदेश के विद्यार्थी थे और जब पाकिस्तानी सेना ने क्रूरता से उनकी हत्या की और शरीर क्षत विक्षत किया तो भी उन्होने उफ नही किया और न ही की क्षमा याचना। सौरव कालिया के पिता ने इस बलिदान की भावना के पीछे दयानंद विद्यालय में पाई शिक्षा को श्रेय दिया।

लैफ्टेनिंट मनोज पांडेय ने खालूबार की दुर्गम चोटियों पर दुश्मन से युद्ध करते हुए अपने जीवन की चिंता नहीं की। जवानो का मनोबल बढ़ाते हुए शत्रु की गोलियों को शरीर पर सहन करते हुए वो आगे बढ़ते रहे और आखिर मे उस स्थान से शत्रु सेना को खदेड़ कर ही दम लिया। गंभीर घावों के कारण वे वीरगति को प्राप्त हुए। आर्य परिवार मे पले उस नवयुवक का अंतिम संस्कार – संस्कार विधि के अनुसार किया गया । राष्ट्र ने लैफ्टेनिंट मनोज पांडेय को सर्वोच्च वीरता पदक परमवीर चक्र से मरणोपरांत सम्मानित किया।
स्वदेश सुरक्षा, राष्ट्रीय कर्तव्य है। दिन प्रतिदिन हमे सजग रहते की आवश्यकता है। न केवल सशस्त्र सेनाओ को बल्कि पूरे राष्ट्र को शारीरिक, मानसिक और आत्मिक रूप से बलवान बनना है जिससे हम स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की महान परंपरा से पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी को देश प्रेम की प्रेरणा देते रहें।

ब्रिगेडियर चितरंजन सावंत, वी.एस.एम
609, सेक्टर 29
अरुण विहार
नोएडा – 201 303. भारत
सेलफोन – 0091-9811173590
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