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    Mahatma Jyotiba Phule: A matchless social reformer, champion of social...

    Mahatma Jyotiba Govindrao Phule (11 April 1827 – 28 November 1890) will ever live in our hearts for his great deeds to emancipate the downtrodden through education and social reforms! It was a tough time indeed when he took up the cudgel to empower people from weaker sections of society, in particular women, with the help of his wife Savitribai Phule, by imparting education to them. Braving all odds, challenges and hardships, he stood up firmly against brute injustice being meted out to SCs, STs, OBCs and other marginalized sections who also suffered the trauma of untouchability. A towering personality with very few parallels in human history, Mahatma Phule used education and social reforms as the most powerful tools to champion and spread the cause of social justice, equality and women empowerment, and emerged as a rare source of hope for countless downtrodden, who were being brutalized on the basis of their castes. His commitment to serve and uplift the downtrodden in a selfless manner was so inspiring and appealing…

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    Making of a robust, inclusive, resilient and self-reliant Haryana!

    No other day can be better than November 1 for me to share my feelings and thoughts about Haryana. It is Haryana Day today, and I extend my warm greetings and wishes to the people of this lovely state, culturally so rich and diverse. The sense of camaraderie among the people of all shades in the state is so strong and lively! On July 15, 2021, I took oath as the 18th Governor of Haryana. Today I feel emotionally so attached to the state and its people, who are affable, humble, down-to-earth, simple and so straight. The great divine message of the holy Gita was delivered by Lord Krishna during the Mahabharata War at Kurukshetra. I have been to Kurukshetra many times. I could feel the divinity of the place while participating in ‘aarti’ at Brahm Sarovar. I was overjoyed to visit Adi Badri, north of Kathgarh, in the foothills of Siwalik Hills in northern Yamunanagar district, from where the river Saraswati originated. The aura of Great Gurus like Sri…

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    A year of great fulfillment as Governor of Haryana!

    On July 15, 2021, I took oath as the 18th Governor of Haryana, a great land so rich in culture, values, ethos and traditions, and blessed with a rare spiritual legacy. My over a year long sojourn with Himachal Pradesh, nestled in the lap of magnificent Himalayas, as its Governor was equally satisfying. I still cherish my Himachal memories! People of Himachal Pradesh are very simple, natural, friendly and full of compassion. I wish and pray that they ever remain so! It has been equally a satisfying experience in Haryana so far. Though I have completed a year as the Governor of the state, I don’t feel so. It has been such a fulfilling time. I feel emotionally and mentally so well attached to the state that I did not realize how I completed a year. Credit goes to the people of Haryana – so affable, humble, down-to-earth, non-assuming, simple and straight. Their simplicity has been appealing to me from the very beginning. I have interacted with them on numerous…

    GOVERNOR

    Empowering youth with skills for sustainable development!

    Skills play a pivotal role in optimum utilization of human resources. Skilled workforce is an asset and also a prerequisite for sustainable economic development. The World Youth Skills Day-2022 has rightly been focussed on ‘learning and skills for life, work, and sustainable development’ in view of the ongoing build back process. The growing youth population has thrown up many challenges and opportunities for the policy makers everywhere. The increasing use of technology and changing dynamics of the labour market are among some compelling reasons why efforts must be made to equip our youth with employable and entrepreneurial skills so that they don’t only cope with a changing world but also become an active agent of positive changes. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions have an important role to play in promoting entrepreneurial values that are important for young people’s lives, economic development and a sustainable society. From ensuring entrepreneurial learning to mainstreaming employable skills in vocational training, a wholesome approach is required to arm youth with skills for…

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    My mother stood by me when I was jailed in...

    Just a few minutes before the clock struck midnight, the State of Internal Emergency was declared on June 25, 1975 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the pretext that there were allegedly imminent internal and external threats to the Indian state. It was the darkest day in the history of Indian democracy. All top national leaders – Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Atal Bihar Vajpayee, LK Advani, Madhu Dandavate, George Fernandes, and many others – were arrested. Press was muzzled. The judiciary committed to the government. There were no democratic rights. The RSS was also banned. Police committed brutalities against those opposed to the Emergency. As a young RSS pracharak, I was actively participating under the banner of Lok Sangharsh Samiti led by Jayaprakash Narayan in mobilizing the people against the Emergency. It was indeed India’s second struggle for independence. In order to avoid arrest I was not only underground but had also changed my dress to shirt, paint and tie with a different hairstyle. I had changed my name…

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    World Day against Child Labour: Socio-economic inclusion holds the key

    Children are a divine blessing! They are God’s best gift to us. Great English poet William Wordsworth said – Child is the father of the man – in his famous poem ‘My Heart Leaps Up.’ Children are the cornerstone of any nation. They are the future of their countries. They deserve an ambience which allows them to enjoy their childhood and grow learning in an atmosphere of empathy, compassion and affection. They are innocent and tender. Not giving due respect to them is a serious social evil. Unfortunately, a large number of children are forced to work as child labour. Child trafficking remains an enormous global problem even in the 21st century. There are multiple reasons behind the prevalence of child labour worldwide. Poverty, illiteracy, very large families, easy employability of children, poor law enforcement and many other factors contribute to making this socio-economic and political situation appear like a vicious circle. A deeper analysis will help us in segregating the various forms of child labour and resolving them one…

    GOVERNOR

    World Day against Child Labour: Socio-economic inclusion holds the key

    Children are a divine blessing! They are God’s best gift to us. Great English poet William Wordsworth said – Child is the father of the man – in his famous poem ‘My Heart Leaps Up.’ Children are the cornerstone of any nation. They are the future of their countries. They deserve an ambience which allows them to enjoy their childhood and grow learning in an atmosphere of empathy, compassion and affection. They are innocent and tender. Not giving due respect to them is a serious social evil. Unfortunately, a large number of children are forced to work as child labour. Child trafficking remains an enormous global problem even in the 21st century. There are multiple reasons behind the prevalence of child labour worldwide. Poverty, illiteracy, very large families, easy employability of children, poor law enforcement and many other factors contribute to making this socio-economic and political situation appear like a vicious circle. A deeper analysis will help us in segregating the various forms of child labour and resolving them one…

    GOVERNOR

    World Environment Day: Time To Act For A Green And...

    Time is running out. More delays mean further aggravating the challenge to conserve the environment for a green and secure future for humanity. In the recent decades, we have seen a sudden spurt in acts, which are not conducive to the health of the environment. An unhealthy environment is fraught with multiple risks for living creatures including humans. Since humanity is blessed with only one earth, we have to make concerted efforts to save Mother Earth. It is so befitting that the campaign slogan for the World Environment Day-2022 is ‘Only One Earth’ with focus on ‘Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature.’ Respecting the environment ensures respite from disasters while playing with the environment means inviting a whole gamut of foreseen and unforeseen woes. Over the decades we have seen the colossal damage being caused by natural disasters worldwide. According to The Global Assessment Report (GAR 2022), released recently by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, between 350 and 500 medium to large scale disasters took place every year…

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    India – Marching fast towards technological self-reliance, resilience!

    India is marching fast towards technological self-reliance and resilience. The National Technology Day, which we celebrate every year on May 11, reminds us of our collective resolve and aspirations to be technologically empowered to meet domestic and global challenges. The day saw India joining the elite group of countries with nuclear weapons by successfully conducting three nuclear tests under ‘Operation Shakti’ at Pokhran, Rajasthan. It proved a watershed moment in our pursuits to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in the field of science and technology. Today India is leaving nothing unturned to make the most of technological advancement and upgradation in every critical field. From health to education, defence to agriculture, concerted efforts are on for technological interventions. These are not only creating more jobs, enhancing exports but are also helping people improve their ease of life. Technological evolution must be in sync with human needs, which is precisely happening in our country today. Our Information Technology (IT) roadmap for the defence is not only in consonance with contemporary technologies being used by…

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    Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur: A true saviour of mankind

    Humanity will ever be indebted to the supreme sacrifice made by the 9th Sikh Guru Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, a great warrior, spiritual personality and lover of the motherland. He propagated the message of universal brotherhood and religious freedom. He sacrificed everything for the sake of righteousness, mother land and the rights of people irrespective of their castes and faiths. That is why he was crowned with the rare honour of ‘Hind Di Chadar.’ As we celebrate the 400th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, we need to recommit ourselves to his great ideals which teach us about the importance of religious freedom and welfare of mankind and the motherland. In an unparalleled manner Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji taught us to fearlessly lead a free life. He did not surrender to extreme tortures heaped upon him and his family by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb but endured them with a divine calmness. His transformation from Tyaga Mal to Tegh Bahadur is a story of ultimate religious firmness,…

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    Let women play a greater role in building New India!

    India is an ancient nation, rich in great tradition and cultural values where women have always occupied the place of prominence. It has a vast women population. Since ours is a village dominated nation, the rural landscape is quite high. Unfortunately, due to oppression, tyrannies during the foreign rule and lack of facilities, women could not progress well. Though post Independence things improved for them, the pace of their holistic empowerment remained slow for decades. Poverty is a serious bottleneck in women’s progress. Through quality education and skills, fast-paced development of women in general can be ensured. With the help of technologies, market facilities, banking linkages and expansion of agro processing industries in every nook and corner of the country will set the ball rolling for their sustainable social and financial empowerment. Indian women are energetic, visionary and ever bubbling with zeal and commitment to scale greater heights of success in their lives against all odds and challenges! In the words of India’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, “for we,…

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    Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay – A man of simple living, high...

    Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was a man of simple living, high thinking and strong determination. He was a brilliant student, ace organizer, writer, journalist, thinker, philosopher, true nationalist and a humanist par excellence. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1937 and went on to become a Pracharak. He was given the responsibility of the General Secretary of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, a post which he held from its inception 1951 till 1967. He became the president of the Jan Sangh on December 29, 1967. A political alternative to the ruling party was created. The Jan Sangh even joined the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal (SVD) government. His vision of life was aligned to that of Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. Instead of capitalism or socialism – which has its own inherent shortcomings – Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji stressed the need for adopting Swadeshi economic policies based on our cultural, civilizational, nationalist values and ethos to make India strong, vibrant and self-reliant. That is called Ekatma Manavavad. It is neither capitalism nor socialism….

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    Digitization is set to become a norm in the new...

    In the age of new normal caused by Covid-19, digitization is all set to become a new norm, indispensable to every act of planning and pursuits for sustainable progress. Being digitally multifaceted will be the need of the hour for years to come now. From education to the health system, every developmental planning has to be digitally fine-tuned and perfect. It is so assuring to say that today India as a nation is adopting technologies very fast, which will accelerate the pace of growth marked by transparency. The Union Budget 2022 has rightly laid a significant amount of emphasis on the enhanced use of technologies. Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood (DESH-Stack e-portal) is going to be launched aimed at empowering citizens with skill, reskill or upskill through on-line training. Startups will be promoted to facilitate ‘Drone Shakti’ and Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS). The use of drones in agriculture will open up new vistas of opportunities for tech startups. Taking the use of technology in the financial sector a step further, the…

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    Guru Gobind Singh: An Upholder of Justice and Human Values!

    Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth and last Sikh Guru, was the most fascinating and remarkably dazzling personality ever known in our history. A rare combination of character, compassion, determination, self-discipline, equality and heroism, his sense of commitment to human rights and justice was quite strong from his early days. When he was a child, he stood up by the Kashmiri Pandits, who were living in constant fear as Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb wanted them to convert to Islam. An ace strategist, visionary and excellent administrator, Guru Gobind Singh was a true leader of masses. As a versatile warrior, he had ultimate mastery in handling various kinds of weapons and had tremendous abilities to move the people for the cause of righteousness. If Guru Nanak Dev ji was almost Gandhian in his approach to human life, Guru Gobind Singh Ji was of the view that human rights must be protected from oppressors even if one has to take up arms — “When all peaceful means have been tried and failed, it…

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    Savitribai Phule: An iconic reformer, educationist

    There are souls for whom we have fewer apt words to describe their contributions in laying the foundation of a strong society and the nation. Savitribai Phule is one of them. Along with her husband, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, she fought bravely against untouchability, hegemonic, castetist, status quoist forces to ensure that girls from weaker sections of society, in particular those from backward, scheduled castes and tribes, have access to education. She opened schools for them and lit the light of hope in millions of lives at a time when they did not think of getting into schools for education. It was truly a watershed moment towards the holistic empowerment of women in our society, and Savitribai Phule, who epitomized ‘Naari Shakti,’ was the harbinger of this great revolution, which has now become a principal focus of the Central and state governments. Women’s empowerment has now become a buzzword. I join the nation in paying my humble tributes to Savitribai Phule, India’s first woman teacher, on her birth anniversary (January 3)….

    HG

    Subhash Chandra Bose, a great patriot, revolutionary and freedom fighter

    The entire nation is commemorating 125th birth anniversary of iconic freedom fighter, prominent revolutionary leader, patriot and a nationalist par excellence Subhash Chandra Bose. His participation in the freedom movement was remarkable. He was a brave and courageous leader. The sacrifice and struggle of Subhash Chandra Bose, who was deeply inspired by the Bhagavad Gita in his fight against the British, cannot be forgotten. For him, the nation was of paramount importance. He was jailed many times. He chose the path of creating his own army – Azad Hind Fauz – to liberate the mother land from the clutches of Britishers. He also set up the Free India Centre in Berlin and started Azad Hind Radio. It had news bulletins transmitted in English, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Pashto, Tamil, Persian and Telugu. Similarly, the Indian Legion was formed in Europe to accelerate India’s pace of liberation. All India Forward Bloc was the political entity he had created. Subhash Chandra Bose, who is popularly known as Netaji, gave the clarion call of…

    Governor of Haryana 2021

    Colossal resilience, perseverance shown in combating Covid-19

    Experts predicted that the peak of the third wave of Covid-19 would witness four lakh daily cases. They set January 23 as the time when Covid-19 cases would swell to the maximum but the number didn’t cross the mark of four lakh. Since then the number of Covid-19 cases has been coming down. A little over 2.34 lakh cases were reported in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on January 30. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not kept India in a danger zone. When the second wave of Covid-19 – April 30, 2021 – was at its peak, there were 3.86 lakh new cases. Then the proportion of fully vaccinated people was just two percent. Now, 75 percent of all adults are fully vaccinated. So far over 165.70 crore vaccine doses have been administered under the Nationwide Vaccination Drive. Over four crore youngsters in the age group of 15-18 have been administered with the first dose of the vaccine. On an average,…

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    Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program (Webinar)

    At the very outset, I would like to thank Spandana Eda International Foundation, Dr. EDA Samuel Reddy the organizer of the webinar on a very important topic – ‘Suicide Prevention and Awareness.’ I would also like to express my gratitude to the guests who are attending this important online seminar. I believe the inferences coming from various thought leaders and intellectuals taking part in the webinar will be of immense use in the prevention of suicidal tendencies in our society. It will also give a boost to the ‘Fit India’ initiative, which strives to create a healthy populace in the country. We all would like to admit that growing materialism, diminishing social values, weakening of joint family culture, inadequate family and social communication, missing bonhomie, marital discords, dowry issues, financial distress and health issues are acting as catalysts to trigger suicidal tendencies among our people. It is time to move forward with patience and positivity. There is definitely a solution to every problem in life. We need to understand that…