Kundalini – Mystical Power in Tantra Yoga

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Sociology, Philosophy) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph. D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

The cosmic force or universal energy is flowing. There are numerous authoritative texts and explanatory  commentaries which expound the energetic secretes in Tantra shastra.  But what is really important to understand in this awakening process is that it is your subtle energy field that is erupting and unraveling and producing all the changes.

The functions and the potentialities of the Kundalni and chakras have been acknowledged in various traditions both in the East and the West. They were known to many Christian mystics and to the Sufis. They find a mention in the Egyptian tradition and Theosophist literature also.

Kundalinī Serpent Power

The term “KUNDALINĪ” is based on several words, and therefore has several meanings.

The word-ending “ī” indicates that it relates to the feminine principle and deals with a form of SHAKTI (energy) and PRAKRITI (nature).

•             KUNDA is a hole or well into which all debris and rubbish is thrown. In time the rubbish loses its original form and disintegrates into a formless mush in which the individual components are no longer recognisable. In a similar way our impressions from earlier lives lie like an amorphous substance deep in the unconscious (Mūlādhāra Chakra).

•             KUNDALA means ring (generally earring). A ring or a circle has neither a beginning nor an end. It is infinite and that is why it is a symbol of creation. Cosmic energy is circling constantly; we do not know when the Universe began and how long it will last.

Kundalini is a mystical power located at the base of the spine, sometimes referred to as “the serpent power”. It is a female force, connected with the Mother Earth, and in some eastern traditions is revered as a Goddess. Whether we are aware of this power or not – whether we believe in it or not – we are completely dependent upon it. Everything we do, we are only able to do thanks to kundalini. The main, if not the only reason, we are here on Earth is to learn to control this power, and raise it, in its entirety, up the spine. As it rises, it activates the chakras, explained briefly above.

In most people a part of kundalini rises up the front of the body, which results  in emotionalism, among other things. Whereas a very advanced yogi (practitioner of yoga) is able to raise kundalini in its entirety up the spine through each chakra in turn. A yogi capable of such a feat will develop tremendous psychic abilities which have to be controlled – either by being used in service to others, or by being rejected. As a result, the yogi can enter the higher states of consciousness, as described in The Nine Freedoms, of enlightenment, and, beyond this, ultimately – of cosmic consciousness .

Two other roots of “KUNDALINĪ” are KUNDALIN, serpent, and KĀLA, time or death. What is the connection between these terms? The symbol of the snake has many meanings: ignorance, energy, unhappiness or happiness, death, time and change. In Indian mythology Lord Vishnu rests on a thousand-headed snake and sends out the first vibration (Sphurna), from which the entire Universe evolves.

THE “AWAKENING OF THE KUNDALINĪ” MEANS THE AWAKENING OF INNER KNOWLEDGE. The path of the Kundalinī proceeds from the Mūlādhāra Chakra at the lower end of the spinal column up to the Sahasrāra Chakra at the top of the head. But its awakening is not a physical occurrence; it consists exclusively of a development in consciousness. This becomes more noticeable as our perceptions of cosmic vibrations and radiant energy (Tattvas) become more sensitive, and our understanding of the connections and laws within the Universe deepens.

Occasionally in Yoga literature Kundalinī is connected with Tantra and occult powers and is considered as something dangerous. Kundalini is the name for a living symbol of the latent divine power in the human system lying dormant and curled up like a snake in the region of the spine.

Hence the name Kundalini (meaning ‘coiled up’) or the Serpent Power. The symbol of the snake also refers to the poison and danger that lies in ignorance. Ignorance is as poisonous and deadly as a cobra. But poison can also heal and even have a life saving influence. Knowledge about its correct application and dosage is the important thing. So just as the power to heal is contained in poison, supreme knowledge lies dormant in the “ignorance” of the unconscious. Just as a snakebite can suddenly change our life, when the Kundalinī awakens our consciousness changes fundamentally and we reach another dimension of time and space.

The signification of the word ‘serpent’ is purely figurative or symbolic. “It could very well be translated in scientific terminology as ‘potential power’ ” . Just as a coiled up or wound spring is a source of potential energy, which can be transformed into kinetic energy, Kundalini indicates the presence of a reservoir of tremendous untapped power within man.

Philosopher like Sri Aurobindo’s concept of Kundalini is that it is an all-pervasive force that accompanies the growth and the perfect evolution of the new consciousness, that of the Superman. He dwells upon it in The Integral Yoga: This force is the Yoga – Shakti. It is here coiled up and asleep in all the centres of our inner being (Chakras) and is at the base what is called in the Tantras the Kundalini Shakti. But it is also above us, above our head as the Divine Force – noi, there coiled up, involved, asleep, but awake, scient, potent, extended and wide; it is there waiting for manifestation and to this Force we have to open ourselves – to the power of the Mother.

Distinct planes or layers of consciousness in an individual

One who succeeds in rousing k’undalini and realizing the true nature of the Divine Mother, transcends the phenomenal world of Time and Space. Man is a multiple personality, in the view of Tantra. There are distinct planes or layers of consciousness in an individual which interpenetrate, co-ordinate and blend to constitute a harmonious unit of the entire being. Each of these planes is governed by a number of conscious centres or sources of dynamic power which function as focal points for the Pure Consciousness to operate. At the same time, within us resides a subtle system of channels (nadis) and centers of energy (chakras) which look after our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual being. Chakras, meaning “wheel”, are psychic centers that lie along the axis of the spine as consciousness potentials. They are usually represented as lotuses. The chakras are not materially real and are to be understood as situated, not in the gross body, but in the subtle or etheric body. Repositories of psychic energies, they govern the whole condition of being.  These centres are picturesquely portrayed as chakras signifling wheels of power, or padmas or lotuses found in our subtle body, arranged in an ascending series along the spine.

In Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, they signifies different levels of consciousness, or the degree of our mental purity and spiritual elevation, which lead us to a greater awareness of Time and Space.

When kundalini is struck, she awakens, uncoils and begin to rise upwards like a fiery serpent, breaking upon each chakra as she ascends, until the Shakti merges with Shiva in sahasrara chakra.

As kundalini reaches each chakra, that lotus opens and lift its flower; and as soon as she leaves for a higher chakra, the lotus closes its petals and hangs down, symbolizing the activation of the energies of the chakra and their assimilation to kundalini. The dynamization of kundalini when it passes from one chakra to another is an unfoldment of spiritual consciousness stage by stage and is said to enable the acquirement of yogic powers called siddhis.

The increasing number of lotus petals, in ascending order, may be taken to indicate the rising energy or vibration-frequencies of the respective chakras, each functioning as a transformer of energies from one potency to another. Each of the 50 petals of the first 6 chakras are associated with one of the letter of the Sanskrit alphabet.

Each of the chakras, according to the Tantras, corresponds to one of the elements of which the known world is compounded. Muladhara represents solidity; Svadhisthana, liquidity; Manipura, the gaseous; Anahata, the aerial; Vishuddha, the etheric, or space. One can see the whole process as a progressive transformation of the elements, with an increase of volatility. Each of the elements of the first five chakras are associated with a sound: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham.

This ascent through the chakras can be viewed as an upward journey through the self which refines and subtilizes the energy that is the kundalini, until at the sixth chakra, the Ajna, center of command, a qualitative change has taken place. The chakras are centers of transformation of psychic or mental energy into spiritual energy

THE FOUNDATIONAL CHAKRA-  The Muladhara

The first chakra is situated below the sacrum bone in which resides the Kundalini  At the base of the spine is the foundational chakra, muladhara, which holds you into a sense of having a body, of being a separate person, a connection and agreeement that spirit is making with existence.  The Muladhara is the seat or basic receptacle of the presiding energy. This chakra “governs the physical down to the subconscient”

It is main aspect is the innocence. Innocence is the quality by which we experience pure, childlike joy, without the limitations of prejudice or conditionings. Innocence gives us dignity, balance, and a tremendous sense of direction and purpose in life. It is nothing but simplicity, purity and joy.

Three qualities are rooted here — the tendency to lethargy (tamas), activity (rajas)or harmonious balance (sattva).  We each have a mix of these.  Sometimes you can see them clearly in the temperament of a new-born infant. Here also our spirit becomes identified with the limitation of time and space, and we know we are part of the earth.  Our life force is rooted here and active, because we feel we are alive and pranic energy is moving throughout our body.  Kundalini is said to be the residual energy that is stored here, holding us in stasis, unless or until it is jolted into awakening and winding upward through our bodies.

THE SEXUAL AND PROCREATIVE CENTER- Swadishthan Chakra

The second chakra, swadhisthana, is related to the sexual organs — the drive to procreate, or the desire for pleasure originates here.  This chakra is active but in many people it is out of balance, causing obsessions with sex or the opposite dynamic — fear, frigidity, condemnation of the body or of life.  On the physical level it looks after our liver, kidneys, and the lower abdomen. When we think too much, this center gets drained of energy and diseases like diabetes or blood cancer can occur when this chakra goes completely out of balance ‘

This area is believed to be the seat of all desires, and the storehouse of the collective unconscious, holding all the darker energies in the deep subconscious.  Because of this a person might become obsessed with terror or demonic images, and move through a sexual or fear crisis as kundalini moves into and amplifies this chakra.  For this reason many spiritual traditions emphasize opening or awakening chakras in the upper body first. When this deep unconscious material is cleared out a person is said to be free from lust, anger and greed, to feel integrated, calm and fearless, and  able to have a strong will and dedication to their spiritual life.

This chakra is the chakra of creativity, pure attention and pure knowledge. It is the one which connects us to the inner source of inspiration, and enables us to experience the beauty around us.

The pure knowledge given by this chakra is not mental, but it is direct perception of the Reality, that can be felt in our palms and indicates our subtle blockages. Also this is the center of pure, steady attention and power of concentration.

THE SEAT OF POWER–  Manipura  Chakra

The 3rd chakra, Manipura, located at or slightly below the naval, is where our sense of a personal identity lives. It is the power center, concerned with survival and accumulation. The third chakra is the one that gives us the sense of generosity, complete satisfaction and contentment.

On the left side, the main quality of this center is peace – clearing this chakra can relieve stress and tensions. On the right side, it looks after our liver which is the organ of our attention and power of concentration.

When enlightened by the Kundalini, this Nabhi chakra gives us our spiritual ascent, righteousness and inner sense of morality, and complete balance at all levels in our life.

We have both upper and downward flowing pranic energy flows in our bodies that circulate in the 3rd chakra center and kundalini yogis believe that for good health and spiritual growth these energies need to  be rerouted to move in tandem upward through the body, so some yogic practices are designed to accomplish this.

When this chakra functions well the body will be healthy and probably long-lived.  When this chakra is fully awakened by kundalini the sense of a separate identity is seen as illusory, and there is a profound change in how the will, spiritual intuition, and intention is experienced. This is a major turning point in a spiritual awakening, and after manapura is awakened the kundalini is said to no longer fall into the lower chakras.

The quality of energy here has a great impact on our digestion,  the fire and energy that moves through all our organs, and our general psychological and physical health.  When out of balance a person may be arrogant and demanding, feel driven and be overbearing.  At the opposite extreme they may feel weak, ineffectual, depressed, energy deficient and helpless.

Sometimes benevelent psychic powers may arise when the chakra is awakened. One also begins to see beauty in the world and envision new possibilities in their life.  Biases, and prejudices fall away. It is an important time to learn to listen to the deeper intuition and become aligned with your authentic sense of expression in the world.

Some people in a spiritual awakening or spiritual crisis feels chronic fatigue, listlessness, and even being bedridden for a long period.  This indicates that energy has either burned out or become depleted in this area.

It takes time and self-valuing to repair any damage in Manapura and yogis say a sincere spiritual commitment can also help to stabilize .

AWAKENING THE HEART- Anahata Chakra

The 4th chakra, Anahata, is in the center of the chest in the spine, parallel to the heart. On the physical level, this chakra looks after our heart and lungs . The fourth chakra, the chakra of the heart, is the place where resides our Spirit, our true Self, which is eternally pure and unaffected by anything, like a shining diamond hidden within us which witnesses all our actions.  Surrounding the second and the third chakra is the Void which stands for the principle of mastery (guru principle) within us. In Sahaja Yoga you become your own guru, your own spiritual guide since you can feel on your fingertips all your subtle problems and have the power to cure them using your own Kundalini

In many spiritual traditions, this area is the “ocean of illusions” that needs to be crossed with the help of a spiritual guide. When the Kundalini is awakened and passes through the Void, this principle of mastery is established within us.

.  The heart chakra is associated with our creativity, our love of life, appreciation of nature and other people, compassion and empathy.  To the extent these are available our heart chakra is balanced and open.  When kundalini does its transformation here we may find that life flows smoothly, what we need appears,  and we are emotionally balanced.  For many people an initial spiritual awakening is at the level of the heart, triggered by a profound love of another person or relationship with a guru.   Sometimes being in the presence of a realized person will spontaneously open and activate the heart chakra, or paradoxically, an experience of deep grief will open us.

If we could move through life with no disappointments and no loss or grief, then our heart chakra might stay open and loving in the world, but every pain or contraction creates armoring, protectiveness and defensiveness . During the opening of this chakra you may hear voices or sounds from other realms, hear buzzing or humming sounds and the music of a flute, and feel great sensitivity to the feelings of others. You may temporarily have clairvoyant or psychokinetic experiences, or even a capacity to heal.  You may become detached from worldly things, and find old pleasures meaningless.  As the energy is working waves of old grief might arise to be released.  You can feel unusual sensations in the heart, or have a sudden rising of unconditional love or compassion.  It can be like an emotional roller coaster for a while, but as the work here settles out there is a deep peace and internal happiness.

Moreover, establishing this center helps us get rid of all our habits, laziness, gross attachments, and everything that enslaves us in a way or another: we become our own master. After Self Realization, everything can be cured through the purifying power of the Kundalini in meditation.

After Self Realization, our attention becomes for the first time connected to our Spirit and we gradually become aware of it. Our misidentifications with our ego or conditionings drop and we start becoming identified with our Spirit, which is our true nature.

It is from our heart that the compassion and love manifests, and also the heart chakra is the one that gives us the sense of responsibility and pure behaviour towards others. The heart chakra manifests in the center (at the level of the sternum bone) as complete security and confidence.

All our worries, doubts and fears are destroyed when the heart chakra is fully enlightened by the Kundalini.

AWAKENING TO THE OPPOSITES- Vishuddhi Chakra

The 5th chakra, Vishuddhi, is in the cervical plexus behind the throat, and impacts throat, ears and hearing. The fifth chakra is the chakra of diplomacy, of pure relationships with others, and of playful detachment.

Shuddhi means to purify, but the work here goes beyond clearing because when the chakra transforms it brings one to terms with the opposites and allows consciousness to understand and accept both the light and dark aspects of life.  This brings the mind harmony, inner peace, compassion and a wise perspective. One begins to realize that all the challenging experiences of life are here to teach us.

This chakra is emphasized in yogas that use sound i,e, shabd and nada yoga, and can be opened through mantras, music, and chanting, especially if the person is very devotional. It is believed that people with remarkable speaking skills, or beautiful singing voices were born with vishuddhi open and active.

If there are psychic intrusions the person can handle them with discrimination and not become distracted or overwhelmed.  Greater creativity, and insight into spiritual teachings, bliss and a long life are other reported benefits of awakening this chakra, as well as the occasional ability to read another person’s thoughts.

When vishuddhi is out of balance or blocked the thyroid can be damaged, and ears throat and hearing may be challenged.  It can be difficult to express thoughts and feelings. Sometimes there are random movements or periodic shaking of the neck and head

It removes all our guilts and remorses when it is opened by the Kundalini, and gives us a kind and compassionate voice. Also, the Vishuddhi is the chakra which gives us the connection with the whole, enabling us to feel our oneness and the fact that we are all part and parcel of the whole.

AJNA: THE 3RD EYE- Ajna Chakra / Agnya Chakra

While the two physical eyes symbolise the cognizance of the physical world of ordinary Time and Space, the third eye, located at the Ajna, represents the expansion of vision in the human consciousness.

Evidently, at this level of consciousness, there is a tremendous upsurge of visionary perception and an intuitive seeing of all times and all spaces. : “It symbolizes the stage when one has deeply realized the world with its past, present and future aspects . According to Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, the Ajna is the highest centre of consciousness within the human body or “mortal Space” . It is from here that man begins to break free of the bondage of human existence and transcend the temporal – spatial tiers of mundane creation. “This centre is the channel of communication between the Higher Consciousness and the inner mind as also the outer mind . On reaching this plane, the sadhak becomes one with the Supreme Soul, the witness of the universe.

Ajna means to know or follow and this chakra, located between and slightly above the eyebrows, is considered the command center of the entire subtle body system.  It has been associated with the pineal gland, which evidently begins to shut down when children are 9 or 10.

The sixth chakra is the chakra of forgiveness and compassion. Forgiveness is the power to let go of anger, hatred and resentment and to discover, in humility, the nobility and generosity of the Spirit.

It is the one that dissolves all our ego, conditionings, habits, and all our misidentifications. It is the narrow gate which opens the way for our consciousness to ascend to its final destination, which is the seventh center.

There are many esoteric and meditation practices that emphasize putting attention on this 3rd eye, with the belief that this will purify the mind and prepare one to awaken their entire energy system with fewer problems.

A series of spiritual events have been attributed to this chakra, especially flashes of great light, falling into light or bliss, visions, profound stillness, and psychic revelations. It is at this transformational opening one glimpses the unreality of the personal identity, and may feel detached from the senses.  As energy moves upward from here, the subtle body may rise or sink into states of samadhi, and you may feel merged with the universe, or lose all consciousness of separation from the cosmos.

However, the opening of Ajna does not mean the end of the energy process.  It generally sends energy back down through the lower chakras to further clear deep-seated conditions and toxins and to strengthen the system.  If you have done no preparatory work, and have chakras that have not yet opened fully, the entire kundalini process may activate and bring out personal and collective unconscious material.

A THOUSAND PETALS IN SAHASRARA-  Sahasrara Chakra

The seventh center integrates all the chakras with their respective qualities. It is the last milestone of the evolution of human awareness.

Sahasrara chakra is likened to a thousand-petal lotus, and is located either at the top of the head or above it. Tantra sees this as symbolizing unlimited possibilities and the full realization of Truth — a vast knowledge of nothing and everything, or merging with the wholeness of all.

The samadhi experience here is an ego death, a movement forever out of the mundane and limited human awareness. Perspectives of life and one’s role in it are profoundly altered.  Some esoteric systems say there are numerous spiritual chakras beyond the crown which allow one to enter other dimensional experiences and relationship, but these are beyond the scope of my interest and expertise.

As energy and conscious move into the brain there is still another level of clearing that is triggered, along with the opening of latent brain centers.

Some spiritual traditions do not see completion in the blessing of a samadhi state, but encourage instead  an embodiment — bringing Truth back into the body –  and learning to live from the perspective absorbed in those moments.  There are practices that bring energies back through the physical and subtle bodies, promoting a final clearing of deep unconscious material, and grounding a person into the willingness to live with the whole of life — to be ordinary and be of service.

Each of the seven chakras has several spiritual qualities. These qualities are intact within us, and even though they might not always be manifest, they can never be destroyed.

Thus, through regular meditation, we become automatically very dynamic, creative, confident and at the same time very humble, loving and compassionate. It is a process which starts to develop by itself when the Kundalini rises and starts to nourish our chakras.

 

 

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Subhash Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru- Two sides of the same coin

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Sociology, Philosophy) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph. D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Eight years younger than Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose was un-

doubtedly a bright star in the Indian firmament in the first half of the

present century. As dedicated as Nehru and as egoistic as V. K. Krishna

Menon, Bose was a complicated person, a born fighter and a born

loser. As early as 1929 Bose held the view that Gandhi’s personality

would triumph over Nehru’s personal views.

Due to his burning zeal for national freedom and his single-minded-

ness of purpose, Bose developed a one-track mind. To him the enemy

of his enemy was automatically his friend. He did not subscribe to

the view that the devil one as preferably to the devil one knew

not. That explains his refusal to say anything against Nazi Germany,

Fascist Italy and Japan which had an inglorious imperialist record.

While Nehru refused to meet Mussolini, Bose was ready and eager to

co-operate with him, Hitler and militarist Japan. In spite of his long

stay in Europe as an exile and otherwise, Bose’s understanding of

international affairs remained astonishingly poor, or perhaps he did

not want to understand anything which was not in line with his pre-

conceived notions. While his dedication to the country was total, Bose

had on commitment to anything wider than nationalism— not even to

socialism.

For his re-election as President of the Indian National Congress in

1939 Bose went to the extent of inducing Rabindranath Tagore to

lobby for him. Bose was never assailed by thoughts of “means and

ends.” In fact he did not have such thoughts. Bose’s approach to

Tagore was repugnant to Nehru. After his re-election in the teeth of

Gandhi’s opposition, Bose felt that he was on the crest of a wave. He

hastily proclaimed a confrontation between the “Right” and the

“Left.” He grossly under-estimated the indispensablitiy and the in-

herent strength of Gandhi in the situation that prevailed in India at

that time. Bose’s judgment and sense of timing left much to be dwired.

This ultimately led to Bose’s resignation from the Congress President-

ship. He got himself isolated and ostracised, and formed a new party—

the Forward Bloc. Bose, who had earlier accused Nehru of lacking

revolutionary perspective” and stamina to establish an organization

and form cadres, proved himself no better. Bose eventually reduced

himself as a symbol of Bengal, and ultimately exiled himself from the

country.

About the circumstances which led to the resignation of Bose

from the Presidentship of the Congress at Tripuri, Professor Hiren

Mookerjee, in his book The Gentle Colossuse, has recorded that

history might have been different and brighter if Nehru and Bose had,

at this stage, together led left-wing forces. I do not khow if it would

have been brighter; but certainly it would have been different — the

national cause would have been weakened at a crucial stage and the

British would have been the gainers in the process.

When the Second World War was declared, Nehru happened to be

in China A little before that Gandhi visited Madras. As I was in

Madras then, I attended the public meeting at the Marina beach. The

crowed was large. Soon after the declaration of the war, Bose came to

Madras and addressed apublic meeting at the same place. It was known

earlier that Bose would be attacking Gandhi and the Old Guard as well

as Nehru. I attended the meeting which was much larger than the one

addressed by Gandhi. Some time later Nehru also came. I attended

his meeting too which was held at the same beach. The attendance at

Nehru’s meeting was infinitely larger than the previous two meetings,

Nehru had always been the most popular national leader in the south —

more popular then Gandhi himself.

Subhas Chandra Bose was free from communalism and obscurantism.

He was a truly liberated person who possessed many of the qualities

needed in a great leader of a vast country with its infinite variety, reli-

gious and linguistic

Soon after Bose arrived in Berlin during the war, he enquired about

the whereabouts of A.C.N. Nambiar whom he had known earlier in Europe

as a revolutionary. Bose narrated to him the circumstances under which

he escaped from India. He made it clear that his only aim was the freedom

of India. He said that whatever happened,

the British Empire in India was finished. If the allies won, then Nehru

would be there in India, and he would make a good Prime Minister; if

the axis powers won, he (Bose) would be there. Bose considered him-

self and Nehru as two peas in the same pod. He asked Nambiar to work

with him. Nambiar explained to Bose that he had a horror of the Nazi

regime and all it stood for and expressed his unwillingness to stay in

Germany, Bose ultimately persuaded a reluctant Nambiar to stay and

help him.

During the spring of 1942 Nehru declared that the Congress would

continue its policy of non-embarrassment to the British and that war

production should not be impeded.  Bose said ‘ Jawaharlal is a fool’. He is

unnecessarily antagonising the Japanese and the Germans. The Japanese will

wreak vengeance on him when they come to this country. It is wiser

for him to keep silent if he cannot actually speak well of the Japanese.

I want to tell those who give me this advice that Jawaharlal is not the

man who will keep quiet when he ought to speak. On the other hand,

I can only reject such advice, which is essentially based on fear, with

contempt.”

At a press conference in Delhi on 12 April 1942, Nehru went to the

extent of declaring that he would even oppose Subhas Chandra Bose

and the Indian troops he had assembled from the prisoners of war with

the Japanese because Nehru considered this army as on more than “a

dummy force under Japanese control.”

At this stage both Maulana Azad and Gandhi restrained Nehru. At

the meetings of the Congress Working Committee that followed Nehru

rejected two drafts of a resolution by Gandhi. Ultimately it was Nehru’s

draft which was adopted.

At a press conference on 12 April 1942, Nehru said “it is a hate-

ful notion that after five years of war, China should be defeated; it is

a hateful notion that Russia, which represents certain human values,

which means a great deal to human civilization, should be defeated.

But, ultimately, naturally I have to judge every question from the Indian

view-point. If India perishes, I must say— selfishly if you like to call it

— it does not do me any good if other nations survived/’

Early in June 1942 Nehru told the U.P. Congress Committee: “Per-

sonally I am so sick of slavery that I am even prepared to take the risk

of anarchy.” Nehru was moving nearer to Gandhi in the crisis which

culminated in the Quite India movement of 1942.

When the news of Subhas Chandra Bose’ death in an aircraft

accident in 1945 reached him, Nehru paid tribute to his comrade in the

freedom struggle with tears rolling down his cheeks.

The twenty thousand and odd officers and men of Subhas Bose’s

Indian National Army found themselves as prisoners of war again

— this time under the British who held them guilty of treason in

having broken their oath and gone over to the enemy. The Govern-

ment of India decided to stage a public trial of three INA ofiicers — a

senseless decision of an alien government which was about to disappear.

To the British they were traitors, but to the people of India they were

the opposite of traitors. The British soon discovered that the country

was deeply stirred; that all the major political parties, including the

Muslim League, were ranged on the side of the INA; and, what was

worse, the lower ranks of serving soldiers were so touched as to pose

a threat to the stability of the Indian Army. Nehru’s attitude towards

the INA was one of human sympathy. The most unsympathetic and

uncompromisingly hostile body of men towards the INA comprised

the senior Indian officers of the Indian army from Cariappa down-

wards. This led Nehru to conclude that at no time was it possible to

reinduct and reintegrate the officers and men of the INA in the

regular Indian army.

Nehru organized the defense of the INA personnel and raised funds

for their relief and rehabilitation. Part of these funds was ear- marked

for Bose’s daughter and her Austrian mother. After the national

government came into existence the INA men were paid such pension

and other benefits as were due to them for the period of their service

in the Indian army.

Events have proved the correctness of Nehru’s assessments and the

wisdom of his stand on national and international issues from 1937 on-

wards. Subhas Chandra Bose emerged, no doubt, as a great patriot

with indomitable courage; but he was destined to fail. As in the case of

the lives of many illustrious men there was an element of tragedy in the

destiny of Bose. Future generations will remember Subhas Chandra

Bose as India’s tragic hero of the twentieth century.

REFERANCE

MY DAYS WITH NEHRU

M O MATHAI  – M.O. Mathai (1909–1981) was the Private Secretary to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

 

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Concept of Education- What, Why and How aspect

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Sociology, Philosophy) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph. D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

There are a lot of contradictions regarding the  of education. The fact responsible for this contradiction is lack of uniformity in the meaning of education.

Etymological meaning of the term EDUCATION

Educate means the art of teaching of teaching or training. The other way of explaining the term of Latin E means to ‘lead forth out of and duco means I lead, ; thus; education may be interpreted to means to ‘lead forth’. Some scholars opine that the term ‘education’ has been derived from the Latin words ‘educere’ Latin-education k=e+duco, meaning-to lead=from within+to lead out.In ancient Greece, Socrates argued that education was about drawing out what was already within the student

Etymological Meaning from Indian point of view-

the Hindi word ‘shiksha’ has been derived from the Sanskrit verb ‘shiksh’ which mean ‘to learn’. Thus, education mend both learning and teaching. In the Raghuvansh, the term ‘education’ has been used in these two senses. In India languages, the terms ‘vidya’ and jnana’ have been used as synonyms to the term ‘shiksha’. The term ‘vidya’ has been derived from the verb ‘vid’ which means ‘to’ know, to find out, to learn’, but later, this was fixed for ‘curriculum’. In the beginning, four subjects were included under viday, but later, Manu added the fifth, called Atma Vidya, and gradually, this number rose to fourteen, which included Vedas, Vedangas, Dharma, Nyaya, Mimansa etc. Thus, ‘vidya’ means both curriculum and learning.

The term ‘janja’ means the same as education in its wide sense in Indian philosophy. In Indian philosophies, the term ‘jnana’ is not used for only information or facts, though in the west, this sense is The term ‘janja’ means the same as education in its wide sense in Indian philosophy. In Indian philosophies, the term ‘jnana’ is not used for only information or facts, though in the west, this sense is quite prevalent. In the Amarkosha, the terms ‘jnana’ and ‘vijnana’ have been distinguished saying that is reated with emancipation while ‘vijnana’ is reated with crafts. In other words, jnana or knowledge is that which develops man and illuminates his path to emancipation, while whatever is learnt and known in practical life is called vijnana or science.

Besides, the term ‘education’ is also used to mean training, because the teaching of ‘education’ at professional level of preparing future teachers is taught for providing theoretical knowledge as well as practical knowledge, so that they become adept in the art of teaching. This training is imparted in real time school conditions. Though all the above meaning of education are distinct from each other, yet they all are related to human development, change or learning in essence.

However, the term ‘education’ has come to be applied in altogether different context too. Today, the term ‘education’ is also used as ‘subject’ or ‘discipline’. As a discipline, also called education or science of education, it comprises of different components of education, such as teacher, student, curriculum, method of teaching, evaluation, testing, objectives etc. for intensive study in training colleges and universities. Thus, the subject of ‘education’’ is a private curriculum which is taught at academic level in Inter, BA and MA classed and in professional class of B.Ed.

Functions of Education

Basically; education means “what education is”? Function of education means:-“what education does”

There are three main functions of education which are as follows :–

Preservation function of Education-

The main function of education is to preserve and protect the old values, customs, beliefs, traditions, etc. Education shows the path of righteous living and guides us how to preserve the old education ideas and how to organize the educational system of a country in such a way that one makes progressive development in every field. It includes the preservation, protection and propagation of national cultural.

“Education must help in preserving the vital elements of our heritage. The core of India’s cultural heritage is love of beauty and truth, spirit of tolerance, capacity to absorb earlier cultures and work out new synthesis.”

Transmission function of Education-

. Education transfers knowledge, ideologies, theories, principles and attributes from one generation to another and thus contributes greatly to the general progress of society. In the words of Ottaway, “One of the tasks of education is to handover the cultural values and the behavior pattern of society to the young potential members.”

Enrichment function of Education-

Education also helps in enriching the existing cultural heritage by making use of latest technologies in the field of education which are invented for adding novelty so that the concept become more enriched for the learner. Actually each generation had to enrich its predecessors otherwise no intellectual or social development would be possible and the present state of the society would be no different from the society of the Old Stone Age.”

Narrow and Broader Meaning of Education

The significance of the meaning of the education of differs from person to person. Establishing the meaning of education, however special and specific, must begin with consideration of it essential nature. In order to establish its essential nature and distinguish it from the various forms of education, one must first of all distinguish between spontaneous incidental education, and the planned organized and formalized education provided in schools, colleges and universities. Education becomes wider in the former sense and narrow in the latter sense.

Narrow Meaning of Education

The common sense of education is very narrow. It includes only school. The community makes it still narrower when only intellectual knowledge experiences are included in it, and all those experiences which are imparted at school other than falling under intellectual aspect, are called co-curricular activities. Thus, in common sense, education means only school instruction. In its narrow sense, education is limited to school life, but in its actual sense, it continues lifelong, from birth till death. Man begins to learn right from his birth and he keeps acquiring some learning with every experience of life. Thus, continuity is one of its characteristics.

Education in narrow sense is a planned, organized and formalized process. It is imparted at a particular place (school, college or university) and at a definite time. It is also imparted to definite persons (the students). Its curriculum too is formal. The amount of education received by the child is measured –in terms of number and grade of examination passed by him.

According to John Stuart Mill, : “ In narrow sense education means the culture, which each generation purposely gives to its successors in order to qualify, to keep up and to improve the level attained. It includes whatever we do for ourselves and whatever is done for us by others for the purpose of bringing up somewhat nearer to the perfection of the nature.” Thus, in narrow sense, education is nothing but a purpose for activity deliberately planned for the optimum development of an individual’s potentialities.

To quote T. Reymont “ In the narrow sense in which the term is used in common speech and in legal enactments education does not include self-culture and the general influences of one’s surroundings but only those special influences which are consciously and deliberately brought to bear younger by the adult person of the community, whether trough the family the church or the state.”

Broader Meaning of Education

In wide sense, education is a process of all-round development which runs lifelong. In its wider sense, educational process has education three components: teacher, student and social environment. All these three education elements are equally important.

In the wider sense, education is not limited to a classroom or school only. There is no time limit for the purpose. It is rather a ‘life-long affair’. The point of beginning of this ‘continuous education’ is conception and the point of end is death. Every platform of lie –the playground, the library, the temple, the office, the market, the sea shore, the hotel etc. educate the individual. All the event, and experience, knowledge and wisdom, an individual….acquires during infancy, childhood, adolescence, youth manhood or old age through different channels of education is education.

Thus, in the broader sense “Education is neither teaching nor instruction. Instruction is an artificial and limited activity.

Education as a Process

The term ‘education’ is applied as a process for bringing about behavioral  change in man. In this form too ,it is used in two senses: in wider sense and in narrow sense. In its wider sense, educational process has education three components: teacher, student and social environment. All these three education elements are equally important.

Generally, educational process takes place between two aspects: one who is influenced and one who influences. On its basis, John Adams has accepted education as a bipolar process. According to him, these two poles of education are student and teacher. John Dewey too accepts two components of education, he has termed them psychological and psychological and social aspects. Sometimes, social environment is accepted as the third pole of education, which makes education a tripolar process which are student, teacher and curriculum.

Thus education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experience. It is the development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his capacities an individual as a result of his interaction with the environment constitutes learning. The child learns through his experience. His gains experience, when he comes in contact with different social institutions, persons, places and things. There is no end to these experience. This way, education becomes and active and dynamic process. It is much more than schooling, memorizing or learning a prescribed syllabus.

Education as a Product –

Education may also be considered as a product…. In real, sense, education is the chronological and systematic development of a child’s personality. Physiological development of a child is governed automatically, and the traits that he acquires from heredity become mature with the growth of mind and body. However, the development of a child’s inherent personality can be possible only by conscious effort. Personality is an outcome of heredity and environment in which heredity is constant because the traits obtained from parents cannot be changed, thought they influence personality all thought life, environment is variable and this environment has to be controlled in order to effect desired development of child’s personality.

Thus, education is a product of action-reaction between two important elements: Heredity and environment. Every child is born with certain facilities and capabilities right from birth which expresses his reaction to words physical and social environment. Education becomes a product only when it is used. As assimilation of the culture of any society and its transference  from one generation to another.

Perspectives of Education

Education is biologically and philosophically evolved, psychologically developed and socially based. It has various dimensions. It will be interesting to see it in different perspectives.

Education in social Perspective

In social context, the systematic socialization of young generation is inherent in education. In both its wide and narrow senses, education is a social process. Man is born with certain faculties. These facilities are developed and refined in the physical and social environment, and human behavior and thinking too undergo specific changes. The development of entire human civilization and culture occurs in the social environment itself. Educational process cannot exist in the absence of social environment.

When a child is born, he is no different from an animal biologically. Later, his social personally undergoes a change according to the social assumptions. In fact it is behavior of an animal or a man is governed as per the by innate disposition, while that of a social individual is governed as per the social assumptions. The society has assigned this responsibility of behavioral modification to schools. This behavior modification is called education.

Education in Moral perspective

The moral context comprises many aspects, such as guidance, direction, rules, codes of conduct and behaviors etc. From moral point of view, education can be called a novel synthesis of certain characteristics, attitudes, aptitude and habits in objective way. Thus education can be called the establishment of this type of thinking by which values can become meaningful only when both means and end are sacred and which does good of both individual and universe.

Education in Biological Perspective

Every living being takes birth in the universe in one or the other species, and he learns certain activities during his existence. These activities are not limited to only adjustment with the prevailing circumstances; rather they also cultivate a capability to concept of hedonism. Man’s behavior at birth is just like an animal’s. He wants to effect changes to his behavior living in the social environment. This process of modification is called education .

Nature of Education

Education is a social process. Though man is born with certain innate traits and faculties, yet his development depends on social interaction in social environment. Each society formulates educational objectives as per its assumptions. Thus, education is a total in the hands of a society or community which transforms as animal-man into a social-man in order to realize its social goals.

The means employed are commensurate to the end to be realized. Therefore, educational objectives and curriculum to the etc. undergo a change according to social needs. Thus, education assumes dynamism. In wide sense, education is a lifelong process. Man continues to learn from every life experience. Thus, continuity is one of its characteristics.

Education as Art or Science

The term ‘education’ is also used in the context of ‘discipline’ and ‘training’. Generally all subject and disciplines are divided into two classed: art and science as per their nature. From this point of view, education is both art and science.

In Hindi, the term ‘art’ means which brings bliss. All those activities which beget bliss fall under the class of art, such as music, dance, poetry, literature, drawing sculpture etc. Art influences all three domains: cognitive domain, effective domain and psycho-motor domain. It is the mind which makes feel joy or bliss. Education is also related to knowledge, emotions and activity aspects, respectively called cognitive, effective and psycho-motor domains. And a teacher also takes joy in his teaching as an artist takes joy in his creation.

On the other hand, education is also a science. The scope of science is external world and it is used in the steps of experimentation, analysis and inference etc., and as it is related with intellectual human being as against the matter, education cannot be used as a science; though some psychologists have conducted successful experiments on dogs, mice, cats, chimpanzees etc., and gave deduced inferences which are taught as fundamental principles of education. These principles provide a solid scientific basis to education despite certain limitations and exceptions.

Formal Education, Informal Education and Non-Formal Education

Formal Education,

Formal education is the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded ‘education system’, running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialized programs and institutions for full-time technical and professional training.

Formal education corresponds to a systematic, organized education model, structured and administered according to a given set of laws and norms, presenting a rather rigid curriculum as regards objectives, content and methodology. It is characterized by a contiguous education process , which necessarily involves the teacher, the students and the institution. It corresponds to the education process normally adopted by our schools and universities.

Formal education institutions are administratively, physically and curricularly organized and require from students a minimum classroom attendance. It confers degrees and diplomas pursuant to a quite strict set of regulations.

The methodology is basically expositive, scarcely relating to the desired behavioral objectives. Assessments are made on a general basis, for  administrative purposes and are infrequently used to improve the education process. The setting-up of a formal education system does not consider the students’ standards, values and attitudes that are relevant to the education system which, generally, is not tested or assessed at the level of student acceptance, as well as for efficacy and efficiency. The same methodology – poor, ineffective, scarcely creative – is adopted. It is not excessive to say that in the case of formal education,for the most part teachers pretend to teach; students pretend to learn; and, institutions pretend to be really catering to the interests of students and of the society.

Informal Education

In informal education – learning  goes on in daily life and can be received from daily experience, such as from family, friends, peer groups, the media and other influences in a person’s environment .Informal Education is a general term for education outside of a standard school setting. Informal Education is the wise, respectful and spontaneous process of cultivating learning. It works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience.

Informal education does not correspond to an organized and systematic view of education; informal education does not necessarily include the objectives and subjects usually encompassed by the traditionalcurricula. It is aimed at students as much as at the public at large and imposes no obligations whatever their nature. There generally being no control over the performed activities, informal education does not of necessity regard the providing of degrees or diplomas.

Characteristics of Informal  Learning

Here are the characteristics of informal learning:

1. Informal learning is never organized.- There are no set formulas or guidelines ,like teaching your child the alphabet, or how to brush his or her teeth. There is no prescriptive program of study for this.

2. Informal learners are often highly motivated to learn.- The environment of school, informal learners are often eager and attentive.

3. Informal learning is often spontaneous.- Learning happens anywhere, any time. The learner is inspired to learn because of an immediate desire to know how to do something or understand a topic.

4. There is no formal curriculum.- There is no program of study or prescriptive methods.

5. The “teacher” is someone who cares – and who has more experience than the learner.- In the informal learning context, those leading the learning are likely to be emotionally close to the person who is learning, such as a mother, father, grandparent or other caregiver.6. The world is your classroom.

6.It is a myth that learning happens in a school or in a classroom.- With informal learning, there is no classroom. Your home, the neighborhood park, the community and the world are the classroom.

7. Informal learning is difficult to quantify.-There are no exams and informal learning is difficult to quantify.

8. Essential to an adult’s lifelong learning.- Informal learning is a lifelong process. It does not end when a child enters school and the formal system “takes over”. On the contrary, children continue to learn at home. As we get older, we learn from our friends. As we enter the workforce, we learn from our co-workers. Into retirement, we still learn from friends and also from those younger than us. An adult learning to read and write from a volunteer literacy tutor is one example. A retired office worker learning from her grandson how to use an iPad is another example.

Non-Formal Education

Non-formal education is any organised educational activity outside the established formal system – whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity – that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives.

Non-formal education  strategy does not require student attendance, decreasing the contacts between teacher and student and most activities take place outside the institution – as for instance, home reading and paperwork. Educative processes endowed with flexible curricula and methodology, capable of adapting to the needs and interests of students, for which time is not a pre-established factor but is contingent upon the student’s work pace, certainly do not correspond to those comprised by formal education, but fit into the so-called non-formal education.

Notwithstanding the above, even a preliminary analysis of the existing non-formal systems reveals the constant presence of two features:

(a) – centralization of the process on the student, as to his previously identified needs and possibilities;

(b) – the immediate usefulness of the education for the student’s personal and professional growth.

Non-formal education seems better to meet the individual needs of students. According to Ward,, a systematic analysis of the main features of non-formal education, diversely from formal schooling, shows that participants are led to non-formal programmes because these offer the expertise that they hope to acquire and the necessary assistance for a better understanding of their own selves and of their world. As non-formal education is focused on the student, it perforce presents flexible features as regards the initially established and adopted procedures, objectives and contents. It is therefore quicker to react in face of the changes that may affect the needs of students and of the community.

We shall now analyze three educative processes, namely: “correspondence learning”,“distance learning” and “open systems”, which, because of their features fall within the scope of non-formal education.

Correspondence Learning:

Correspondence learning is an individualized learning system that allows students to proceed at their own pace, according to their interests. The institutional materials are for the most part printed and are generally prepared by a teacher who has not enough didactic and technical knowledge to prepare top quality educational material. Although a number of correspondence courses currently offer other types of instructional material – audio-tapes and videotapes, kits, etc. –

Correspondence courses generally establish a bi-directional communication by mail, supported by the teacher who corrects the paperwork, offers guidance and the requested explanations. A degree may or may not be obtained and there is no pressure – the student’s motivation is the basic factor for the program’s success.

Distance Learning:

According to Holmberg “Distance study is learning supported by those teaching methods in which, because of the physical separateness of learners and teachers, the interactive, as well as the proactive phase of teaching is conducted through print, mechanical or electronic devices.” Distance learning is based on non-contiguous communication , that is, “the learner is at a distance from the teacher for much, most or even all the time during the teaching learning process”. Based on this definition, we may infer that the concept of distance learning is wider than that of correspondence learning, with which it is sometimes confused.

Open University.

Open Universities are generally based on distance study through one or more communication media . They mostly formulate the instructional materials used in their courses, for the most part employing a distance tutoring system that contracts teachers to provide the required support to the performance of supplementary activities. The assessment and graduation requirements are not uniform and in some cases, the diplomas are on a par with those issued by regular universities, whereas in others we find that certain restrictions are made with regard to given courses.

According to Oliveira, “The nature of their tasks and the modus operandi of open universities provide a mixture of academic culture and industrial activity”, requiring the cooperation of professionals from varied backgrounds to act as redactors, educational planners, professors specializing in the different fields, audio-visual experts, and so on, thus displaying a multidisciplinary character. The materials forwarded to the students, comprising printed texts, audio or videotapes, kits, etc., is usually validated prior to their utilization, so as to ensure a high degree of efficacy and efficiency.

Innate and Acquired Education

Behavior is of two types: natural or innate behavior and acquired or social behavior. Education is behavioral change. When a child takes birth, he is no different from an animal, as per the biological standpoint, because his behavior is governed by innate tendencies; however, his behavior becomes as per social assumptions gradually. An animal-man’s behavior is governed by his innate tendencies while that of the social-man as per the social assumptions or approvals. Thus, education is to modify the behavior of an animal-man into social-man. The society in which an individual takes birth, learns several behaviors and sanctifies according to that. These activates are not limited to only adjustment with the environment, but they are capable of construction favorable circumstances. This construction is based on hedonism. Thus, each society assigns the responsibility of behavioral change according to its social goal to schools, where teacher (mature personality) and students (immature personality) interact mutually, and thus teacher transforms a child into a social and mature personality.

Dimensions of Education

“Dimension” refers to the breadth range, extent, comprehensiveness and variety of learning experiences, the extent of range view, outlook, application, effectiveness, and operation. From this point of view, education is concerned with the “whole man”, the entire life of an individual comes under the preview of education.

Education is life itself.  Hence its scope is very wide. It is a wide as the whole world and as long as the history of mankind, the following subject-matter may be included under the scope of education:

1.      History of Education-

History of education also comes under the scope of education. By the help of this, we understand the gradual development of education during different periods of history. Beside this, it also helps us to find out suitable system of education according to the changing needs of the society.

2.      Problem and Issues of Education –

Some of the important problems of education, are vocationalization of education problems of population education non-formal education adult education development of a national system of education, religious and moral education, national integration, medium of instruction etc. Education cannot achieve progress unless it studies the problems and find out their solutions.

3. Sociology of education –

Education is an activity which goes on in the society. Hence it aims and methods depend on the nature of the society in which it functions. Sociology of education may be defined briefly as a study of relations between education and society. This branch of study deals with aims of education, methods of teaching, administration and supervision, curriculum, only in relation to the socio-political, economic, cultural and religious forces of the society in which they take place.

4.      Comparative Education –

In the age of globalization, Comparative education help us to modify reform, reorient and improve our own education system in the light of the system followed in other countries. It is the study of cross cultural comparison of the structure, operation, methods, aims and achievements of various educational system and practices of different countries of the world.

5.   Education Psychology –

Psychology has been considered as one of the youngest, yet one of the most influenced education in many different ways and has practically given a new turn, a psychological turn to the human mind. For a skillful teacher of the present day, knowledge of the child has been considered to be more important than the knowledge of the subject matter, Therefore, teacher at present should be equipped with those psychological skills and competencies which are badly necessary for the successful guidance of learning, adjustment and the growth of the child.

6.      Philosophy of Education –

As Dupis defines “Philosophy of education is one of the oldest, yet one of the newest disciplines.” It is one of the oldest since Plato, the philosopher of par excellence of ancient time devoted considerable attention to the nature, purposes and content of education, it is one of the newest since philosophy of education began to emerge as a separate discipline only in twentieth century. Now it is realized that philosophy and educations are related like flower and fragrance. Philosophy determines all the aspects of education-nature of education, curriculum, method of teaching, nature of text-book, nature of discipline, evaluation role of the teacher, school organization etc.

7. Techniques of Teaching-

The minds of the pupils are growing organism. Filling the minds of the pupils with ideas is not right education. To make the food of education palatable we follow different techniques of teaching. The techniques of teaching have been bided either upon the nature of the subject matter of psychology of the learning process or merely because it has been observed that certain ways of presenting the lesson is essential, to develop the interest and attention of the students. The students of education should get themselves familiarized with different techniques of teaching.

8. Educational Administration and Supervision –

Administrative functions are concerned primarily with the infrastructural facilities and the operation of the schools and supervisory functions are concerned with improving the learning situation, A student of education should know how these activities are going on in our schools.

Actually Education is a deliberate and organized activity though which the physical, intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual potentialities of the child are developed, both in the intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual potentialities of the child are developed, both in the individual as an individual and also as a member of society so that he may lead the fullest and richest life possible in this world and finally attain his ultimate end in the world to come.

 

 

 

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THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM- Unformulated implicit messages in the school environment.

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

The students spend a long time in schools which constitutes the most influential periods of their personal development.  The educational system of every society is very much concerned with implicit and explicit transfer of norms and distinctive approaches to the learners .

The Hidden curriculum consists of teaching items which are not officially intended and developed by school and educational system. The educational authorities use the concepts of “hidden curriculum” and “invisible curriculum” to explain teachings and attitudes influenced by these implicit factors .

The hidden curriculum is regarded as one of the conceptual capitals of curriculum. The recent attention to this concept has reduced the superficial approaches to the phenomenon of curriculum. This phenomenon is now paid attention to not only from the viewpoint of design but also from the perspective of implementation and its development is closely being followed.

The hidden curriculum is not written down or officially taught by lecturers but whole educational system teaches it in an implicit manner. Despite of the lecturer’s level of skill and the progress in the curriculum, the learners are exposed to something which is not explicitly acknowledged. Every educational system endeavors to transfer different types of knowledge and skills to students through design and development of definite curricula so as to prepare them to undertake their roles and responsibilities in the real life. In educational systems, students receive highly valuable experiences the greatest part of which is unavailable in curricula. The students actually learn more than what they are systematically taught by teachers in the schools.

Through curricula, especially hidden ones, students get informed of a variety of scientific, economic, social, political and historical knowledge, and become aware of concepts such as respect, righteousness, patience, obligation, sense of responsibility, attention to collective interests, equality, law abiding.

CONCEPTS OF HIDDEN CURRICULUM

Vallance (1991) in her book The Hidden Curriculum and Moral Education categorized the hidden curriculum into three concepts.

In the first concept, a hidden curriculum refers to everything in school from teacher-student  interactions to the structure of classroom and general pattern of an educational organization which might be called a small model of social values system.

In the second concept, a hidden curriculum refers to the processes executed in/through school such as acquisition of values, socialization and maintenance of a hierarchical structure.

In the third concept, a hidden curriculum refers to different degrees of intentions and depth of hiddenness of functions of a school. In this concept, a hidden curriculum consists of secondary results of random and unintended nature as well as deep results originating from social and historical function of education (Girox, 1983).

Portlli divided different concepts available in a hidden curriculum into four categories.

  1. In the first category, a hidden curriculum refers to unofficial expectations or implicit but expected messages. Within
  2. the second category, a hidden curriculum is defined as the intended messages and intentions of learning.
  3. In the third category, a hidden curriculum as implicit messages resulted from the structure of an educational system.
  4. Hidden curriculum in the fourth category is regarded as equivalent of what a student creates.

HIDDEN CURRICULUM FROM EXPERTS’ VIEWPOINTS

Although this concept was first came into use by Philip Jackson in 1968, it has drawn the attention of curriculum theorists in the past few decades .The sociologists, educational researchers and psychologists usually use this concept to describe non-official system of an educational center.

“The Hidden Curriculum” is a term, which describes a set of rules or guidelines that are often not directly taught, but are assumed to be known by the general population. The Hidden Curriculum differs across age, gender, who you are with and cultures.

The term “hidden curriculum” was used by P.W. Jackson (1960) in his book “Life in Classroom” and it was promoted by Benson Snydey in 1971 (Ghorchian, 1995). Before naming this phenomenon as “hidden curriculum”, these teaching materials were emphasized by experts; after terming this phenomenon as “hidden curriculum”, different experts such as sociologists, educational psychologists and educational planners contributed to conceptual analysis and development of a theoretical framework for this term. The majority of published works on this subject reviews and criticizes the viewpoints, values, norms and skills which the students learn with no explicit association to teaching items. The function of hidden curriculum has been defined in different ways. These definitions range from embedding values, socializations based on dominant policies, education of obedient individuals, promotion of existing social hierarchy to functions which might be considered as “social control” .

Portlli (1993) in a paper titled “The Logic of Hidden Curriculum” stated: “the term “hidden” in hidden curriculum can have different meanings:

1-      Something which hides itself and takes an active role in its hiddenness (this thing is termed as “X”);

2-      Something hidden by another thing. In this case the hider know the place of X and it is inclined to hide X;

3-       X is hidden but it has no previous intention of being hidden, nobody intends to hide it and X might not know it is hidden”.

The “hiddenness” in hidden curriculum might not be assigned the first meaning but attributing the second and third meanings to it is possible. It means that the hidden curriculum is intentionally hidden from someone or its presence or essence is unknown or unclear without any definite intention behind such a curriculum. Another noteworthy point is that “hidden” describes an association. X might be hidden for A but visible to B. Therefore, one can manifest a hidden curriculum despite of the fact that it might be referred to as hidden because it is still hidden for another person . Martin also stated: “A hidden curriculum might be discovered and stay invisible despite of that. This is because finding a hidden curriculum is not the same as explaining it and stating it.”

As the term “hidden curriculum” implies at face value, it refers to the aspects of curriculum such as content, books, methods, etc. But this concept includes all implicit materials and concepts in principles and structure of educational system (e.g. order in class and group activities) and communication and interaction patterns in school (e.g. reciting lessons, listening, information, etc.). As a result, it is better to call hidden curriculum as “implicit education” because it consists of all teachings which are provided beyond the objectives of official learning .

Eisner (1994) regarded “hidden curriculum” as a set of learning in an educational system realized within the dominant culture in an educational environment which are provided for the students without awareness of faculty members and students.

Ausbrooks (2000) defined the term “hidden curriculum” in the following manner: “A hidden curriculum consists of implicit messages in the social environment of an educational center which are unformulated but are felt by everybody. Hidden curriculum is a body of knowledge learnt by students through their presence in the school (Razvani, 2002).

Bloom (1981) believed that curriculum consists of explicit and implicit curriculum. He believed that explicit curriculum includes written principles and objectives of schools and educational centers while hidden curriculum is undeveloped and non-defined. He presumed that the hidden curriculum in an education system is made during everyday life and interactions in learning settings. He considered curriculum in terms of a process and a result which is simultaneously visible and hidden, essential and behavioral.

McLaren (1989) believed that a hidden curriculum is different from a planned curriculum and viewed it from critical and political-identity viewpoints. He stated that: “A hidden curriculum is associated with implicit methods through which knowledge and behavior are generated. It means that hidden curriculum is related to what happens beyond official and planned educational material. It is a part of managerial and bureaucratic pressure of school through which the students are forced to obey the dominant ideologies and social activities associated with power, authority, behavior and morality .

One might say all of the above definitions have a common point and it is their conceptual opposition to explicit curriculum. Hidden curriculum is a map designed and implemented to obtain a definite and announced objective.

On this basis, “hidden curriculum” could be considered a program for which there is no real objective and the results of which are not stated or predefined: whether intentional or without any intention.

Of course, one can define hidden curriculum from two aspects . From the viewpoint of resolution, it consists of real learning of students which might not have been determined beforehand: whether intention  by planner in a micro-plan or it might have been obtained in practice; that is, to be the expected outcome of learning. From the viewpoint of “process”, it consists of factors and procedures of formation of a hidden curriculum distinct from those of resolution.

These factors include all or some factors pointed to in different definitions of hidden curriculum such :

  • Developments and even changes of an educational system.
  • Familial background of students
  • Physical and psychological environments of school,
  • Principles of school,
  • Structure and content of educational material,
  • Teachers-students and student-student teachings,
  • The structure of an educational system,
  • Type of explicit curriculum from viewpoints of design,

APPROACHES TO HIDDEN CURRICULUM

Bain (1985) in her paper called “The hidden curriculum Re-examined” mentioned four general approaches opted for to understanding hidden curricula and associated studies in this field :

A.  A Non-theoretical stance towards hidden curriculum. The representative of this approach is “Life in Classroom” by Philip Jackson (1967). Jackson merely described the events of a classroom without associating his observations to any theory of society and school. In this regard, his work is a non-theoretical one. From his viewpoint, daily activities of school constitute a powerful mechanism to transfer distinctive values and beliefs to students.

B.  A Functional view to hidden curriculum the major representative of which is Robert Deribin. He is among those few experts who have positive viewpoints of hidden curriculum. Deribin believed that hidden curriculum is an effective mechanism for transferring fundamental norms to students.

C. The Adaptive approach to hidden curriculum is represented by Bowles and Gentis . The most significant principle of this approach is the convergence of school and society which possess inequalities. In this approach, the school is regarded as a regenerative factor of unequal hierarchies and unfair relations in the society. They believe that through daily discipline in schools, the students understand the concepts of social stratum, eligibility of hierarchies and their lack of control over their works.

D. The critical approach is represented by Jiro and Apple . This approach is also called “Theory of Resistance to Hidden Curriculum” because it adheres to the view that students resist to school teachings and this resistance might lead to recreation and development.   This approach can be regarded as the most serious works on hidden curriculum based on a neo-Marxist approach to theory of adaptation. Therefore, the schools should not be regarded as the regenerative entities but places with high potential for social development. To understand a hidden curriculum, the researcher should study the ongoing culture of the schools and analyze its association with the society.

Purpose of Hidden Curriculum

A hidden curriculum refers to the life lessons that students learn at school that are not part of traditional study subjects and lesson plans. Part of a hidden curriculum includes learning how to pick up on social clues, interact with peers and establish values.

Hidden curriculum refers to messages communicated by the organization and operation of schooling apart from the official or public statements of school mission and subject area curriculum guidelines. In other words, the medium is a key source of messages. The messages of hidden curriculum usually deal with attitudes, values, beliefs, and behavior. There are numerous such messages conveyed indirectly.

The messages of hidden curriculum may complement or contradict each other as well as the official curriculum. Hidden curriculum can support or undermine official curriculum. It is likely that hidden curriculum has the most impact when there is an aggregate or a pattern of consistent messages. When hidden and explicit curricula conflict, it may be that hidden curriculum, like nonverbal communication, carries more weight.

Thus, a major purpose of the hidden curriculum of  schools has been cultural transmission or teaching students the routines for getting along in school and the larger society. In other words, hidden curriculum usually serves to maintain the status quo, specifically the dominant culture and prevailing socioeconomic hierarchy.

Structural or organizational aspects of hidden curriculum include time scheduling of classes and other school activities; facilities provided; materials, such as textbooks and computer software; examinations; required courses; special programs, such as speech therapy or advanced placement; extracurricular activities and services; and grading and grouping policies.

Cultural aspects of hidden curriculum include school norms or ethos; décor and wall decorations; roles and relationships, including inter group relations (within and between teachers and students); student cliques, rituals, and celebrations; and teacher expectations of various groups of students.

Factors Affecting Hidden Curriculum of Schools:

A. The principles and rules of schools: which are influential upon formation of a hidden curriculum. There are principles decided upon in schools for running different affairs such as grouping students, development methods, evaluation methods (i.e. type of test, test scores, etc.), discipline problems, encouragement and punishment issues,participation in running school affairs, etc. These principles affect the personality of students. Several factors as an instance is investigated here, one of which would be the method of evaluation and teacher’s reaction to the scores.

If the teacher humiliates a weak student, he/she might reinforce this negative attitude in such students and they will lose confidence in making up for losses. These negative perceptions are a part of hidden curriculum. The type of learning activities (personal or in group) is also influential upon their results. Those students who act in groups attain skills and qualifications which are unattainable with individualistic activities .

B. interpersonal relationships . Different human relationships form in schools each of which has its own educational consequences. One of these relationships is established between educational personnel and students. The school personnel’s viewpoints are significant in such a relationship. If they have a distinctive hierarchical perceptions, students’ lifestyle and social stratum influence the hierarchical decisions. Because the children of those families that school employees respect more will receive more attention while others remain unprivileged and neglected .

C. Interactions between teachers and students: Behavior and perception of teacher affects those of students. If a teacher has an open attitude and provides sufficient opportunity for the learners, such efforts will reinforce the endeavors, abilities and self-confidence of students. If teachers act based on their wills and viewpoints and act in a dominant manner, the students’ abilities will remain passive and they might grow similar dominative approach towards others .

D. The association between education and hidden curriculum: Hidden curriculum is an unpredictable aspect of learning. Educational design without attention to this aspect is negligence of a major part of factors which significantly affect the students’ learning. Teachers usually pay attention to influential explicit factors affecting education and ignore implicit factors affecting students’ learning. It is essential to identify and clarify influential factors affecting hidden curriculum and control them in design and implement procedures. One of the factors which lessens the gap between explicit and hidden curriculum is student’s participation in education process  Therefore, teachers should identify the influential factors affecting a hidden curriculum and consider them to act more rationally during design and implementation of educational processes.

There are other factors which are neglected in curriculum. These factors affect the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of learners, and exert more influence than explicit and pre-defined curriculum. The principles of classroom and educational setting, social setting of educational centers and interactions of students with managers and teachers are some of these factors.

Preparation of Hidden Curriculum  :

Determine the Hidden Curriculum pertaining to the environment your child will be participating in. (e.g., what are the hidden rules governing social functions). Information can be obtained from educational staff, community organizations and school publications (e.g., the yearbook or school newsletter)

Once the Hidden Curriculum is identified, assess your child’s knowledge in key areas. There are many things which may need to be explicitly taught to your child that typically developing children learn instinctively (e.g., raising your hand and waiting for the teacher to call you instead of yelling out)

In short, The Hidden Curriculum must first be identified and then your child’s level of understanding of it must be assessed, only then can information be provided to your child to fill in the gaps.

Suggested Strategies to Teach the Hidden Curriculum

  • Cartooning/Comic Strip Conversations: Comic Strip Conversation
  • Incredible 5-Point Scale: Helps individuals with social-cognitive challenges learn to better understand their emotions and reactions to events in their lives and, eventually, independently modulate their responses
  • Power Cards: A visual aid that uses a child’s special interest to help him/her understand social situations, routines, the meaning of language, and The Hidden Curriculum .
  • Seek-Observe-Listen-Vocalize-Educate (SOLVE): An empowerment strategy for individuals with social-cognitive challenges
  • Social Autopsies: Helps children with social problems and understanding their social mistakes
  • Social Narratives: Provide support and instruction by describing social cues and appropriate responses to social behavior and teaching new social skills.
  • Video Modeling: Observing a videotape of themselves or others engaging in a task or completing an activity

Each of the strategies (listed above) can be effective in teaching The Hidden Curriculum, however regardless of the technique used, it is important to understand that these essential rules and manners must be taught and become a part of the repertoire of the individual with social-cognitive challenges

n sum, the primary value of the concept of hidden curriculum is that it calls attention to aspects of schooling that are only occasionally acknowledged and remain largely unexamined. Messages communicated by schools’ organization and culture can support or undermine their stated purposes and official curricula.

Hidden curriculum significantly determines what is the basic of sense of value and self-respect in participants, and is more influential than any official curriculum in adaptation of teachers and students with educational setting. There is no preschool, elementary school, high school or college without an imposed hidden curriculum on students and faculty members.

Although each curriculum has its distinctive characteristics which are specific to an institute but existence of hidden curriculum might influence the whole education process. Besides, negligence to negative effects of hidden curriculum might disrupt the acquisition of educational objectives. The negative effects of hidden curriculum such as authoritative behavior of principals, complete silence and passivity of students are not predicted in an explicit curriculum despite the fact that they make the real curriculum.

The teaching materials included in a hidden curriculum are the most important educational contents that students naturally learn at schools. This curriculum practically taught at schools is formed by experiences of classrooms, libraries, celebrations and social environments of schools. Therefore, planners and executives should completely comprehend their responsibilities. One might say that the results of comprehensive experience in schools or any learning situation depends on official curriculum and hidden curriculum to a relatively identical degree. The hidden curriculum which students develop for themselves is made of the official curriculum and the hidden one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Indira Gandhi- The strong believer in Astrology.

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Early in the fifties in India most ministers and members of Parliament subjected themselves to the influence of astrologers and fortune-tellers in varying degrees. The astrologers and other fortune-tellers had their field day on several occasions when harvesting was plentiful — the time of distributing party tickets, election time, the time of formation of governments, and reshuffles of government — apart from the never-ending continuous process. Government officials were not immune from the influence of astrology. Apart from astrologers and other fortune-tellers, there exists in at least three places — Madras, Meerut and Hoshiarpur — Nadis containing a large number of significant horoscopes and their readings inscribed on very old palmyrah leaves which are frequently consulted by believers.

Two men, who were abject slaves to astrology, palmistry and even black-magic, were President Rajendra Prasad and Minister Gulzarilal Nanda. Rajendra Prasad’s favorite astrologers predicted emphatically that he would step down from the Presidency and become the Prime Minister.. Nanda, who wasted much time on havans pujas and other futilities, was told by his astrologers that be would become the Prime Minister. In a sense the prediction came true when he act as the Prime Minister for a few days, each time twice — alter the death of Nehru and after the death of Lai Bahadur.

T.T. Krishnamachari was somewhat of an amateur astrologer; the great scientist. Dr K S. Krishnan, who was soft-spoken, erudite, cultured and a delightful person, whom I knew well and admired, was a believer in astrology even though he never went to an astrologer for predictions about himself. His interest was largely intellectual. To the end he had an inquiring mind.

During the time of the Chinese aggression, astrologers and sooth- sayers were working overtime. All kinds of rumours were set afloat about the government and the fate of Nehru. At that time there appeared on the scene a weird man from Bihar with his black magic.

Rajendra Prasad used to be one of his customers. This time he was brought to Delhi in great secrecy by another Bihari who had retired as the Governor of a state and was staying in Delhi where he possessed a house. The late Maharaja Yadavendra Singh of Patiala became the patron of the weird man with the help of the former Governor. One item of black-magic was that a pencil would get up in the dark and write answers to questions. Most of the questions happened to be about Nehru and the answers were to suit the predilections of the questioners. After one sitting the Maharaja, who always had foolish political ambitions which, he thought, could be achieved in an under hand manner and with the help of money, decided to invite a care- fully selected group of top army brass and expose them to this black- magic. I received authentic information about it. I went to Nehru and suggested that Home Minister Lai Bahadur might be asked to get rid of the black-magic man from Delhi at once. I disclosed to him the source of my information. Nehru sent for Lai Bahadur and, in my presence, conveyed the information to him. Lai Bahadur had to act swiftly, and he did. At the appointed time Maharaja Yadvendra Singh, his army friends and the former Governor could find no trace of the black-magic man. Little did they know at that time that their man was in a train, under police escort, bound for Patna with instructions to keep off Delhi for six months.

Indira always believed in astrology. One evening in the mid-fifties Nehru left office rather early and drove straight to Maulana Azad’s house where he told me that I might go home and send back the car for him within half an’ hour. When I arrived in the Prime Minister’s House, Indira happened to be downstairs. Noticing that I had arrived alone, she stopped the car. She looked somewhat agitated and told me-

“The whole day I had been worried about what Papu’s horoscope says — that one of his legs will be disabled. I am troubled about the possi- bility of a minor car accident. Your being with him is a comfort for me. Now you have left him and come back. I wish you would go back to him.” Without any argument 1 left and waited in the Maulana’s house. Nehru was annoyed at my wasting time waiting for him. On the drive back to the Prime Minister’s house, I had to tell him the rea- son why he found me in the Maulana’s house. He asked me: “Why did you listen to her bilge? You should have laughed it away.” Incidentally, the prediction proved right. One of Nehru’s legs was disabled, and he had to drag on one foot; but it was not due to any accident but the result of a stroke.

On 6 August 1967, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit wrote to me from Dehra Dun enclosing a newspaper clipping containing a report of some predictions about Indira by the amateur astrologer K.G. Datta, The predictions were inferences drawn from the interaction of the personal horoscopes of the “dramatis personae.” They were:

(1) V,V, Giri would emerge as India’s man of the people to win the election for Presidentship.

(2) Indira Gandhi would endure several threats to her position for the next 18 months (from August 1967) and would remain at the helm of affairs till May 1982.

(3) Friction within the political structure would cause it to dis- integrate during the next 12 months (from August 1967). Many heads of those above 55 years would roll before stability is finally attained.

The prediction about Indira being at the helm of affairs till May 1982 disturbed Vijaya Lakshmi. Considerable credence was attached to this prediction because K.G. Datta had, in November 1961, correctly predicted the fall of the Labour Government in Britain, landslides in Chile, and bloodshed in NEFA; he had also foretold Nehru’s death “before 30 May 1964” and also Lai Bahadur’s death. Vijaya Lakshmi must have heaved a sigh of relief in March/April 1977 at Datta’s prediction going wrong about Indira. Astrologers have the peculiar capacity to unsettle people temporarily. Sometimes they give the credulous temporary hope too.

In 1963 a Tamil Christian, known to me personally, met Indira in New Delhi. He, like Cheiro, is an astrologer-palmist. He was in Ceylon for some time and had correctly predicted the assassination of Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandarnaike. This pre- diction was known to several people. Immediately after the assassination, he feared for his life and managed to leave Ceylon. The Madras friend, who renounced his religion, but not the booze, and reverted to Hinduism for the sake of his trade, showed me the note book in which the impression of Indira’s autograph at the bottom of the page. His prediction was that within three years Indira would be the Prime Minister. From then on the astrologer-palmist was a frequent visitor to Delhi. He soon got on to L.N. Misbra who was a pathetic victim of any astrologer who passed by. Gradually the astrologer-palmist began to wield considerable influence over Mishra who would bend low to touch his feet. And the astrologer-palmist became a contact man for several businessmen and was constantly in Delhi living in expensive hotels and imbibing more than was good for him. The astrologer- palmist had a roaring time financially until the death of Mishra. He also kept in touch with Indira.

In the spring of 1970, egged on by L.N. Mishra and Dinesh Singh, Indira frantically sent for the astrologer-palmist from Madras. On arrival in Delhi, he saw everyone perturbed at reports of several astro- logers who had predicted dire things for Indira and had given publici- ty for them. The astrologer-palmist consulted his note book and gave a bold prediction that Indira would remain firmly in power till 1977. Mishra and Dinesh Singh called several newsmen to meet the astro- loger-palmist who broke the good news to them. The prediction was prominently published by newspapers all over India. I saw it in the Hindustan Times and the Statesman in New Delhi in their issues of 10 May 1970. The stock of the astrologer-palmist rose sky-high with those “who mattered” in Delhi. And his income through various sources also went up beyond his expectations. It did not take long for him to build a large house in Madras and to set up a printing press for his son. He deserved a]] these because of his successive predic- tions about Indira both of which came true. Indira’s long-distance contact with the Madras astrologer-palmist was MaragathamChandrashekhar. She was the first Special Envoy of the Prime Minister.

The marriage of the astrologer-palmist’s daughter took place in Madras in May 1972. At the functions Indira was represented by the ubiquitous Yashpal Kapoor. The Governor of Madras and his Cabi- net were dutifully present. The same evening Indira landed at the Meenambakkam airport where she greeted the newly married couple and gave the astrologer-palmist a present of Rs 10,000. L.N. Mishra sent a much bigger amount.

The astrologer-palmist accompanied Indira twice to the ancient Devi Temple at Kanya Kumari. It was at his instance that Indira sent through L.N. Mishra a golden crown studded with precious stones for the Devi at the Kanya Kumari Temple. The astrologer-palmist is a devotee of the Kanya Kumari Temple and also the Tirupali Temple which has also been visited by Indira more than once.

During the Emergency the astrologer-palmist lost touch with Indira. Her entourage put him off whenever he tried to see her. He was to discover later that an astrologer called Shastri had appeared on the scence.

After the death of Mishra the stars of the astrologer-palmist were not on the “ascendant.” Bussinessmen slowly deserted him. Once he was arrested in Madras by the police on a complaint from a Delhi hotel for non-payment of bills. What happened was that the business- man concerned refused to pay the bills because the astrologer- palmist failed to fulfill his promise of getting his business done.

The last time the astrologer-palmist met Indira was in April 1977 after her defeat at the elections. He found her shattered and desolate. She complained that he had not seen her for a long time. He explained to her that her staff had thwarted his many attempts to meet her.

She said that what had happened was totally unexpected and that no- body had predicted it. He reminded her of his prediction in 1970 that she would be Prime Minister till 1977 and showed her the relevant newspaper clippings. She asked him to visit the house at 12 Willingdon Crescent, to which she was going to shift, and do some puja and say some prayers in the room in which she was going to stay. He did it dutifully and returned to Madras.

Now the astrologer-palmist sits in Madras complaining that Indira discarded him and took the advice of the astrologer called Shastn and ordered election. According to the Madras astrologer-palmist, Shastn,who is a hoax, assured Indira that she would get 350 seats in Parliament. The astrologer palmist chants two things now;

(1) Vinasa Kalay Viparita Biidln, and

(2) “when God decides to destroy a woman, He first makes her mad.”

Wearing of rudraksha mala and visiting the temples by Indira werea part of her faith in astrology. When she said some time ago publicly that she was wearing the riidraksha mala on the advice of V.K.Krishna Menon. Any way she had lost credibility in 1958 in so far as I am concerned. Apart from that, I doubt if Krishna Menon knew what a rudraksha mala was.

Reference:

MY DAYS WITH NEHRU

M O MATHAI  – M.O. Mathai (1909–1981) was the Private Secretary to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gandhi preference for Nehru and not Sardar Patel as first Prime minister ???

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

According to official history, Jawahar Lal Nehru was elected as the first Prime minister of India and Sardar Patel became his deputy and it was all done purely on merit.

The official history has always downplayed the grave injustice that was done to the ‘Iron Man of India’ – Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.   The official history does not mention the emergence of Sardar Patel  and not Jawahar Lal Nehru as the overwhelming choice of the Congress party to lead India after been reduced independence

The entire rank and file of the Congress looked at Sardar Patel as the most deserving candidate to be sworn in as independent India’s first Prime Minister. Sardar Patel  has proven track record of being an able administrator and a no-nonsense politician.

By 1946, it had become quite clear that India’s independence was only a matter of time now.

Naturally the post of Congress president became very crucial as it was this very person  who was going to become the first Prime Minister of Independent India.

At that time, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad  was the president for the last six years as elections could not be held for the Congress presient’s post since 1940.

Azad was also interested in fighting and winning election for  the Congress president’s post  as he, too, had ambitions to become the PM,  but he was told in no uncertain terms by Mahatma Gandhi that he does not approve of a second term for a sitting Congress president and Azad had to fall in line ,albeit reluctantly. Not only this, Gandhi made it very clear to everybody that Nehru was his preferred choice for the Congress president’s position. A perusal of Congress party documents shows that despite Gandhiji having made his choice known.

It has been repeatedly said that Jawaharlal Nehru was unanimously elected as the first Prime Minister of India and was the darling of the country. The documents and facts speak completely opposite.

The last date for the nominations for the post of the President of Congress, and thereby the first Prime Minister of India, was April 29, 1946.

And the nominations were to be made by 15 state/regional Congress committees.

On the contrary, 12 out of 15 Congress committees nominated Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The remaining three Congress committees did not nominate any body’s name. Obviously, the overwhelming majority was in favour of Sardar Patel.

Despite Gandhiji’s open support for Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress party overwhelmingly wanted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as the president and consequently the first Prime Minister of India, because Patel was considered “a great executive, organizer and leader” with his feet firmly on the ground.

It was a challenge to Mahatma Gandhi as well. He instructed Acharya J B kriplani to get some proposers for Nehru from the Congress Working Committee (CWC) members despite knowing fully well that only Pradesh Congress Committees were authorized to nominate the president.In deference to Gandhi’s wish, Kripalani convinced a few CWC members to propose Nehru’s name for party president.

It’s not that Gandhi was not aware of the immorality  of this exercise. He had fully realized  that what he was trying to bring about was wrong and totally unfair.

In fact, he tried to make Nehru understand the reality. He conveyed to Nehru that no PCC has nominated his name and that only a few CWC members have nominated him. A shell-shocked Nehru was defiant and made it clear that he will not play second fiddle to any body.

Gandhiji said to Nehru:

“No PCC has put forward your name…only [a few members of] the working committee has.”

This remark of Gandhiji was met by Jawaharlal with “complete silence”. Once Gandhiji was informed that “Jawaharlal will not take the second place”, he asked Patel to withdraw.  Rajendra Prasad lamented that Gandhiji “had once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant for the sake of the “glamorous Nehru” and further feared that “Nehru would follow the British ways”.

Nehru threatened to split the Congress in case he was not made prime Minister.

Nehru coerced Gandhi into supporting him by saying that if he split the Congress, the entire independence plan would go awry as the British would get an excuse in delaying independence by raising the question as to who should be handed over the reins of power, Congress with Nehru or Congress minus Nehru.

Gandhi feared Nehru would revolt in case he was denied PM’s post and that would give the  British an excuse to delay transfer of power.

Gandhi must have thought that it would  be safe to ask Sardar Patel for making the sacrifice than to reason with a power-smitten Nehru. In fact, he had commented that Nehru had gone power-mad.

A disappointed Gandhi gave asked Sardar Patel to withdraw his name. Sardar Patel had immense respect for Gandhi and he withdrew his candidature without wasting any time.

When Dr Rajendra Prasad heard of Sardar Patel’s withdrawal of nomination, he was disappointed and remarked that Gandhi had once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant in favour of the ‘glamorous Nehru’.

There is no denying the fact that Gandhi had a ‘soft corner’ for Nehru since beginning and he had preferred Nehru over Sardar Patel at least twice before 1946 for the post of Congress president. It happened in 1929 as well as in 1937.

Gandhi was always impressed with the modern outlook of Nehru. In comparison to Nehru, Sardar Patel was a little orthodox and Gandhi thought India needed a person who was modern in his approach.

Nehru  was a figure of revulsion on the Hindu right, which governs India. Nehru is the quintessential foreigner in his own land. Nehru is never more prescient, when he addresses the nationalism that will one day endanger his vision of India. “Nationalism,” he writes in “Toward Freedom,” “is essentially an anti-feeling, and it feeds and fattens on hatred against other national groups, and especially against the foreign rulers of a subject country.”

Nehru, by his own admission, was not authentic, not culturally whole. He was a hybrid, forged on the line between India and Britain, East and West. The reputation of Mahatma Gandhi, though he was no less a hybrid, survived the change. Nehru’s did not.

His ease with Western mores and society is a liability, for it implies an apparent contempt for Hindu culture and religion. Nehru comes to seem almost like a symbol of a country looking at itself through foreign eyes, and in a newly assertive India, his legacy is being dismantled.

Considering himself on the subject , in “Toward Freedom,” he writes: “I have become a queer mixture of the East and the West, out of place everywhere, at home nowhere. Perhaps my thoughts and approach to life are more akin to what is called Western than Eastern, but India clings to me, as she does to all her children, in innumerable ways.” He continues: “I am a stranger and alien in the West. I cannot be of it. But in my own country also, sometimes I have an exile’s feeling.”

Although Nehru ease with Western mores and society is a liability, for it implies an apparent contempt for Hindu culture and religion. Nehru comes to seem almost like a symbol of a country looking at itself through foreign eyes.

But more than anything, Gandhi always knew that Sardar Patel would  never defy him.  He was not so convinced about Nehru. Gandhi’s apprehensions came true when Nehru made it clear to him that he was not willing to play second fiddle to anybody.

Gandhi wanted both Nehru and Patel to provide leadership to the country. He used his veto power in favor of Nehru because he feared Nehru could cause problems in the way of India’s independence if he was not given the chance to become Prime Minister.

First of all, Gandhi introduced the concept of forced decisions by the so-called ‘high-commands’ that usually means overruling state units. This practice, now being followed across the political spectrum, has negated the very concept of inner party democracy. Nehru’s follies on Kashmir and China proved beyond doubt the fact that Gandhi committed a  mistake in backing Nehru by showing utter disregard to  overwhelming support  from the majority of PCCs for Sardar Patel.

Even two known critics of Sardar Patel conceded the point that Gandhi’s decision to chose Nehru over Patel was erroneous.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad  confessed in his autobiography that was published posthumously in 1959, “It was a mistake on my part that I did not support Sardar Patel. We differed on many issues but I am convinced that if he had succeeded me as Congress President he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah an opportunity of sabotaging the Plan. I can never forgive myself when I think that if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different.”

Similarly, C Rajgopalachary who blamed Sardar Patel for depriving him  of the first president ship of independent India,  wrote,  “Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two… A myth had grown about Patel that he would be harsh towards Muslims. This was a wrong notion but it was the prevailing prejudice.”

Once the election for the post of the Congress president was announced, Maulana Azad expressed his desire for the re-election. Maulana writes in his autobiography,

“The question normally arose that there should be the fresh Congress elections and a new President chosen. As soon as this was mooted in the Press, a general demand arose that I should be selected President for another term….”

When Rajendra Prasad was using the phrase “once again”, he indeed was referring to the denial of Congress president-ship to Patel in 1929, 1937 and 1946 in preference to Nehru; and always at the last moment.

Patel accepted to take the second position because of two reasons: firstly, for Patel, post or position was immaterial; and secondly, Nehru was keen that “either he would take the number one spot in the government or stay out. Vallabhbhai also reckoned that whereas office was likely to moderate Nehru, rejection would drive him into opposition. Patel shrank from precipitating such an outcome, which would bitterly divide India.”

Maulana Azad, who had issued a statement on 26 April 1946, three days before the last date of nomination, to elect Nehru as Congress president, wrote in his autobiography, published posthumously in 1959:

“After weighing the pros and cons I came to the conclusion that the election of Sardar Patel would not be desirable in the existing circumstances. Taking all facts into consideration it seemed to me that Jawaharlal should be the new President….

“I acted according to my best judgment but the way things have shaped since then has made to realise that this was perhaps the greatest blunder of my political life. …(It was a great mistake that) I did not support Sardar Patel. … He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal…  I can never forgive myself when I think that if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different.”

Michael Brecher, one of the most sympathetic biographers of Nehru, writes:

“In accordance with the time-honoured practice of rotating the Presidency, Patel was in line for the post. Fifteen years had elapsed since he presided over the Karachi session whereas Nehru had presided at Lucknow and Ferozpur in 1936 and 1937. Moreover, Patel was the overwhelming choice of the Provincial Congress Committees…. Nehru’s ‘election’ was due to Gandhi’s intervention. Patel was persuaded to step down….

“If Gandhi had not intervened, Patel would have been the first de facto Premier of India, in 1946-7…. The Sardar was ‘robbed of the prize’ and it rankled deeply.”

Looking back at all those tumultuous years C. Rajagopalachari, who had all the reasons to be angry, and uncharitable to Sardar Patel because it was Patel who deprived Rajaji the first Presidentship of India, wrote in Bhawan’s Journal in 1972 (almost 22 years after Patel’s death):

“Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two… This was a wrong notion but it was the prevailing prejudice.”

Gandhi’s decision proved too costly for the nation.

Referances:

Brecher, 1959, Nehru: A Political Biography

C. Rajagopalachari, in Swarajya

Durga Das, 1969, India From Curzon to Nehru and After

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 1959, India Wins Freedom

Rajmohan Gandhi, 1991, Patel: A Life

 

 

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The Mythical Yeti – The Abominable Snowman

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

The mythical Yeti once better known as the Abominable Snowman, is one of several supposed “ape-men”. Elsewhere in the world, people tell tales of Bigfoot or the Sasquatch ,  is a mysterious bipedal creature that has long inhabited the remote and mostly uninhabited Himalayan Mountains, including Mount Everest, in central Asia, and Nepal, Tibet, China, and southern Russia.

The indigenous names of the Yeti reflect its mythological character. The Tibetan word Yeti is a compound word that roughly translates as “bear of a rocky place,” while another Tibetan name Michê means “man bear.” The Sherpas call it Dzu-teh,translated “cattle bear” and is sometimes used to refer to the Himalayan brown bear. Bun Manchi is a Nepali word for “jungle man.” Other names include Kang Admi or “snowman” which is sometimes combined as Metoh Kangmi or “man-bear snowman

According to popular cultural belief, a Yeti is an enormous, shaggy ape-man with huge feet and aggressive sabre-like teeth. Its fur is either grey or white.This supernatural and legendary being is an erect bipedal animal that is over six feet tall, weighs between 200 and 400 pounds, is covered with red to gray hair It is often depicted roaming the snowy mountains alone, make a whistling sound, has a bad smell, and is usually nocturnal and secretive. .” Many modern Yeti researchers, including the great mountaineer Reinhold Messner, feel that Yetis are actually born that sometimes walk upright.

The Yeti is a character in ancient legends and folklore of the Himalaya people. In most of the tales, the Yeti is a figure of danger, author Shiva Dhakal told the BBC. The moral of the stories is often a warning to avoid dangerous wild animals and to stay close and safe within the community.

Alexander the Great demanded to see a Yeti when he conquered the Indus Valley in 326 B.C. But, according to National Geographic, local people told him they were unable to present one because the creatures could not survive at that low an altitude.

The Yeti has long been a revered figure in Himalayan mythology that predates Buddhism. The peoples inhabiting Tibet and Nepal  do not see  Yeti as a proto-human type of creature but instead a man-like animal that seems to exist with supernatural powers.  Yeti comes and goes like a hairy ghost, just showing up rather than being found by tracking. Some stories tell of it flying in the air; killing goats and other livestock; kidnapping young women who are taken back to a cave to rear children, and throwing stones at humans.

Majority of the evidence for the Yeti comes from sightings and reports. Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. It’s not clear if these sightings were real, hoaxes or misidentifications .

1st Century AD: Pliny the Elder’s Account of the Yeti.The Yeti’s existence has long been known by Sherpas and other Himalayan inhabitants who observed the mysterious creature for thousands of years, Pliny the Elder’s, a Roman traveler, who wrote in Natural History in the first century AD: “Among the mountainous districts of the eastern parts of India…we find the Satyr, an animal of extraordinary swiftness. These go sometimes on four feet, and sometimes walk erect; they have also the features of a human being. On account of their swiftness, these creatures are never to be caught, except when they are either aged or sickly…. These people screech in a frightful manner; their bodies are covered with hair, their eyes are of a sea-green color, and their teeth like those of the dog.”

1832: First Yeti Report to the Western World. In 1832 in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal by British explorer B.H. Hodgeson, who said his guides had previously spotted a hairy bipedal ape in the high mountains.

1899: First Recorded Yeti Footprints. The first recorded Yeti footprints, still the most common evidence of the Yeti’s existence, was in 1899 by Laurence Waddell. He reported in his book Among the Himalayas that the footprints were left by a large upright hominid.

In 1921 the explorer and politician Charles Howard-Bury led a British expedition to Mount Everest. He spotted some large footprints and was told that they belonged to “metoh-kangmi”. This means something like “man-bear snow-man”.

When the expedition returned ,   a journalist named Henry Newman interviewed a group of British explorers who had just returned from a Mount Everest expedition. The explorers told the journalist they had discovered some very large footprints on the mountain to which their guides had attributed to “metoh-kangmi,” essentially meaning “man-bear snow-man.” Newman got the “snowman” part right but mistranslated “metoh” as “filthy.” Then he seemed to think “abominable” sounded even better and used this more menacing name in the paper.

In that moment, a legend was born. Accounts of sightings by locals continued to be translated by Western visitors and the story of a mysterious ape-like snow-man took off.

First Detailed Yeti Report in 1925. N.A. Tombazi, a Greek photographer on a British expedition to the Himalayas, made one of the first detailed reports about the Yeti in 1925 after observing one on a mountainside at 15,000 feet. Tombazi later recounted what he saw: “Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to uproot or pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow and, as far as I could make out, wore no clothes.” The Yeti disappeared before he could take a photograph but later Tombazi stopped while descending and saw 15 footprints in the snow that were 16 to 24 inches apart. He wrote about the prints: “They were similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches long by four inches wide at the broadest part of the foot. The marks of five distinct toes and the instep were perfectly clear, but the trace of the heel was indistinct.”

Researcher Myra Shackley  In her book “Still Living? Yeti, Sasquatch, and the Neanderthal Enigma” , offers the following description, reported by two hikers in 1942 who saw “two black specks moving across the snow about a quarter mile below them.” Despite this significant distance, they offered the following very detailed description: “The height was not much less than eight feet … the heads were described as ‘squarish’ and the ears must lie close to the skull because there was no projection from the silhouette against the snow. The shoulders sloped sharply down to a powerful chest … covered by reddish brown hair which formed a close body fur mixed with long straight hairs hanging downward.” Another person saw a creature “about the size and build of a small man, the head covered with long hair but the face and chest not very hairy at all. Reddish-brown in color and bipedal, it was busy grubbing up roots and occasionally emitted a loud high-pitched cry.”

From the 1920s through the 1950s there was a lot of interest in both climbing the great Himalayan peaks, including the fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, as well as trying to find evidence of the Yeti. Many great Himalayan climbers saw Yetis, including Eric Shipton; Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953; British climber Don Whillans on Annapurna.

By the 1950s, interest ran high. Various mountaineers launched expeditions to find the creature.  Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to scale Mt. Everest, searched for evidence of the Yeti. He found what was claimed to be a scalp from the beast, though scientists later determined that the helmet-shaped hide was in fact made from a serow, a Himalayan animal similar to a goat.

The World Book Encyclopedia  approached Edmund Hillary. He had been somewhat of a believer in the 1950s but he said, “We shouldn’t go just Yeti searching, we should study how people live at high altitude.” So they built a house at 19,000 feet and did a bunch of experiments on how humans acclimatize. They’re the ones who first made the distinction between the Sherpa belief in the Yeti and the Yeti as a mysterious hominoid that lives in the mountains.

Shipton and Michael Ward were searching for an alternative Everest route when they came across the prints. Shipton was one of the most highly respected Everest explorers, so if he is bringing back a print, it is a real print. Nobody ever questioned that. The photograph was taken on the Menlung Glacier, west of Mount Everest, on the Nepal-Tibet border.

What was captivating about the prints was that they’re really sharp. The snow was hard so the photo looks like a sort of plaster of Paris cast. The second feature was that the prints looked like a human footprint, but with a thumb. So, you get this primate-like feeling but hominoid at the same time. Its enormous size—13 inches—also suggests a magnificent hominoid, a King Kong type of image! And the media grabbed it

The most important one was the Daily Mail one in 1954. That’s when Yeti fever took off, though the name for the Yeti was given as the Abominable Snowman. Then American oilman Tom Slick mounted several expeditions. One of them had 500 porters and spent 6 months in the field. They even took along bloodhounds to track the scent.

The.  great alpinist Reinhold Messner ,  the  famous Yeti-hunter of all , claims to have seen one in the Himalayas in the 1980s, and returned dozens of times to get to the bottom of the mystery. Messner first saw a yeti in 1986 as well as later sightings. Messner later wrote the book My Quest for the Yeti in 1998 about his Yeti encounters, explorations, and thoughts on the elusive Yeti.

Messner has a simple theory to explain all the sightings: the Yeti is a bear.Messner believes that the Yeti legend is a combination of a real bear species and Sherpa tales about the dangers of wild animals.”All the Yeti footprints are all the same bear,” says Messner. “The Yeti isn’t a fantastic figure. The Yeti is reality.”He is contemptuous of the idea that the Yeti is some sort of ape-man, “People don’t like reality, they like crazy stories,” he says. “They like the Yeti as a Neanderthal, the Yeti as a mix between a human and an ape.”

In March 1986, Anthony Wooldridge, a hiker in the Himalayas, saw what he thought was a Yeti standing in the snow near a ridge about 500 feet (152 meters) away. It didn’t move or make noise, but Wooldridge saw odd tracks in the snow that seemed to lead toward the figure. He took two photographs of the creature, which were later analyzed and proven genuine. Many in the Bigfoot community seized upon the photos as clear evidence of a Yeti, including John Napier, an anatomist and anthropologist who had served as the Smithsonian Institution’s director of primate biology.

The idea of ape-like creatures living in the mountains is more believable now than it was a few decades ago. We now know that hominid populations can go unnoticed for a long time. For example take the Denisovans, an extinct species of human known from a few fragmentary remains from a cave in Siberia. The remains were only discovered in 2008, yet genetic analysis suggests they survived for hundreds of thousands of years, only dying out around 40,000 years ago.

Another lost species endured until even more recently. The diminutive “hobbits” Homo floresiensis may have survived in Indonesia until just 12,000 years ago. That suggests there might be other populations to learn about.

Writing in the journal Nature in 2004, in the wake of the hobbit discovery, Henry Gee wrote that: “The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that stories of other mythical, human-like creatures such as Yetis are founded on grains of truth.”

In 2007, American TV show host Josh Gates claimed he found three mysterious footprints in snow near a stream in the Himalayas. Locals were skeptical, suggesting that Gates — who had only been in the area for about a week — simply misinterpreted a bear track. Nothing more was learned about what made the print, and the track can now be found not in a natural history museum but instead in a small display at Walt Disney World.

In 2010, hunters in China caught a strange animal that they claimed was a Yeti. This mysterious, hairless, four-legged animal was initially described as having features resembling a bear, but was finally identified as a civet, a small cat-like animal that had lost its hair from disease.

The Russian government took an interest in the Yeti in 2011, and organized a conference of Bigfoot experts in western Siberia. Bigfoot researcher and biologist John Bindernagel claimed that he saw evidence that the Yeti not only exist but also build nests and shelters out of twisted tree branches. That group made headlines around the world when they issued a statement that they had “indisputable proof” of the Yeti, and were 95 percent sure it existed based on some grey hairs found in a clump moss in a cave.

In 2011, a Russian-led expedition and conference claimed to have “irrefutable evidence” of the Yeti’s existence, including a bed.

Even the Hollywood film star James Stewart supposedly got in on the act, by storing a Yeti finger in his luggage. In 2011, DNA testing revealed that the finger was human.

In 2014, Messner’s point of view received some unlikely support: from genetics.Bryan Sykes, formerly a professor of genetics at the University of Oxford in the UK, decided to test some supposed Yetis.

He and his team analysed hair samples from anomalous primates said to be Yetis, some of them supplied by Messner. They then compared the “Yeti” DNA with the genomes of other animals.

The team found that two Himalayan samples – one  from Ladakh, India and the other from Bhutan – were most genetically similar to a polar bear that lived 40,000 years ago.

This suggested that the Himalayas is home to an as-yet-unknown bear, a hybrid of an ancient polar bear and a brown bear. “If these bears are widely distributed in the Himalayas, they may well contribute to the biological foundation of the Yeti legend,” the team wrote.

Daniel Taylor, author of Yeti: The Ecology of a Mystery, has been searching for signs of this “Abominable Snowman” in the high Himalayas since he was a child.  Chamlang mountain rises above Makalu-Barun National Park in Nepal. Daniel Taylor helped create the park after exploring the region in search of the Yeti.

Taylor explains what he thinks made that human-like footprint, how his search eventually led to the creation of a national park, and why, in an age where we have become disconnected from nature, we have a deep need to believe in mysteries.

DNA analysis became a powerful new tool in the search for the Yeti. Tell us about the tests done by Bryan Sykes, at Oxford University, in England, and what new light they shed on the mystery.

They created a lot of confusion! A professor from Oxford makes a global call for all Yeti artifacts—hair, fingernails, bones, fragments—and he gets many, many artifacts, mostly bits of bear or sheep. He then does DNA analysis and finds that two appear to be bear-like, but can’t be explained by any known animal. The closest DNA connection is the polar bear but with mysterious DNA sequences.

After he publishes his research, the Yeti myth gets reactivated worldwide. A couple of doctoral students then decide to check his DNA sequencing. They show that he made a mistake and that rather than proposing a new animal it is the incomplete sequence of a known animal. Once again, we come back to the bear.

Although there is no concrete proof, people still go looking for Yetis in the Himalayas. Yetis are an example of cryptozoology: the search for creatures that cannot be said to exist because of a lack of evidence. That does not mean the end of the search, in future. “The fact there has never been any evidence hasn’t stopped people from searching,” says Barnett. As long as we enjoy legends and fairy tales, we won’t forget the Yeti.

 

 

 

 

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JUVENILE DELINQUENCY- A multi- facet analysis

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

 

In recent years, it has become very clear that juvenile delinquency is the most important aspect of the subject matter of criminology. Delinquent behaviour has assumed serious forms among the juveniles, which is a sign of sick society. The disorder and destruction due to deviant behaviour, a worldwide phenomenon, is assuming alarming proportions.

The word delinquency is derived from the Latin word “delinquere” meaning de i.e. away and linquere i.e. to leave thus, meaning to leave or to abandon. Originally, the word had an objective meaning as it referred to parents who neglected and abandoned their children. In present day, it is used and applied to those children who indulge in wrongful and harmful activities.

Juvenile delinquency is a term used to describe illegal actions by a minor. This term is broad in range and can include everything from minor violations like skipping school to more severe crimes such as burglary and violent actions.

Juvenile and minor in legal terms are used in different context. Juvenile is used when reference is made to a young criminal offenders and minor relates to legal capacity or majority. The habitual committing of criminal acts or offenses by a young person, especially one below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible.

Juvenile can be defined as a child who has not attained a certain age at which he, like an adult person under the law of the land, can be held liable for his criminal acts. The juvenile is a child who is alleged to have committed /violated some law which declares the act or omission on the part of the child as an offence.

Delinquency is an act or conduct of a juvenile which is socially undesirable. Juvenile delinquency generally means the failure of children to meet certain obligations expected of them by the society.  The juvenile delinquent has even been defined as “a child trying to act like a grown up”.

Juvenile delinquency refers to conduct by minors that is disruptive, destructive, or illegal. These usually consist of less serious crimes . Often these acts are associated with the minor not attending school or “cutting class” in order to perform such deeds. As such, they are often associated with both legal as well as academic consequences.

Definition of Delinquency

In fact there is a haze of vagueness and confusion surrounding the definition of juvenile delinquency and there is no single definition that may be acceptable to all.

The concept of delinquency also varies with the point of view of the people who feel challenged by it.

According to a social worker, “delinquency consisted of socially unaccepted acts”. A psychiatrist suggests that delinquent behaviour is activity which deviates from the normal. And a lawyer would say juvenile delinquency is what the law says it is.

In the words of W.H. Sheldon, it is “behavior disappointing beyond reasonable expectation”.

Cyril Burt says, delinquency occurs in a child ‘when his antisocial tendencies appear so grave that he becomes or ought to become the subject of official action.

According to Robison Holt, “we use the term delinquent as we sometimes use the term ‘love’ as though it were a simple concept whereas it actually embraces complex patterns of behaviour.”

Delinquency, it is clear, is many things to many people. The man in the street is concerned chiefly with behaviour that interferes with his property, his person and his rights. He believes that the official label of delinquency is attached only when the behaviour is really harmful and has occurred repeatedly.

Frederick B. Sussmann presents a summary list of acts or conditions included in delinquency definition or description, viz, violation of any law or ordinance, habitual truancy, association with thieves, vicious or immoral persons, and incorrigible beyond control of parent or guardian and so on.

Thus the term delinquency does not have a fixed meaning. However, there are two generally accepted approaches to the interpret ation of the term, viz the sociological and the legal.

The sociological view is well expressed by the definition given by Clyde B.Vedder who says, ‘juvenile delinquency refers to the anti-social acts of children and of young people under age. Such acts are either specifically forbidden by law or may be lawfully interpreted as constituting delinquency, or as requiring some form of official action. It means deviation from the normal behaviour.

It will also include a child who is homeless, destitute and neglected. In short, delinquent in the sociological view is a child whose activities cause concern and alarm to parents and teachers and others responsible for his care and education.

According to Robison the legal term “delinquency” is an umbrella for a wide variety of socially disapproved behaviour that varies with the time, place and the attitudes of those assigned to administer the law. This behaviour may include such acts as , incorrigibility, disobedience, lying, running away from home, frequent visits to the cinema, visiting places of ill repute and coming home late at night, habitually remaining truant from school, habitually using vile, obscene or vulgar language in Public Place, immoral conduct around school.

Contributing Factors to Delinquency

Individual factors- Individual factors that include antisocial behavior at a young age, poor cognitive development, hyperactivity, and emotional factors such as mental health challenges.

Family  factors -Family risk factors linked to delinquent behavior include poverty, maltreatment (includes neglect), family violence, divorce, parental psychopathology, familial antisocial behaviors, teenage parenthood, single parent family, and large family size.

Poor School Attendance-Poor school attendance is one of the top factors contributing to delinquency. School is not only a place to learn and grow; it is also a structured routine that provides children with a goal to accomplish each day.

The routine of getting up, getting prepared, attending school, completing the work, and returning home each day establishes a routine that is a basis for good choices in the future.

Failure to accept the routine of attending school actually instills in children that they do not have to comply with societal norms and that they can do as they please.

Poor Educational Standards-The type of school that a child attends may also contribute to their delinquency. Overcrowded and underfunded schools tend to lack discipline and order.

The chaos often experienced in these schools lead children to act more defensively because they are scared by their surroundings.

Violence In The Home-One of the largest contributing factors to delinquency is violence in the home,

Lashing out at others for the violence they experience at home is very common.

Children subjected to violent actions, or those who witness it to others, are more likely to act ut their fears and frustrations. They often have a “don’t care” attitude and this allows them to get into trouble more easily.

Violence In Their Social Circles-If the neighborhood is in which a child lives is violent, the children will have a tendency to be more prone to delinquency.

Many people describe this as street survival methods because the child gets into trouble as a way to stay out of trouble from area gang members or violent people.

Peer Pressure- Peer factors that include rejection by peers and association with peers who break the law and get into trouble. Having a delinquent peer group is the strongest risk factor for delinquency during the pre-teen years.

Peer pressure from direct acquaintances can have an effect on how a child reacts to bad situations. If all of their friends are committing delinquent acts, the child may feel pressured to do the same to be accepted.

Socioeconomic Factors-Juvenile delinquency is more common in poorer neighborhoods. While all neighborhoods are not exempt from delinquent activities, it is believed they happen more in areas where children feel they must commit crimes to prosper.

Substance Abuse-Substance abuse in a home or by the child is a very common cause for delinquency. Children who are exposed to substance abuse often do not have the necessities they need to thrive and are forced to find these necessities in other ways. Others, who become dependent on a substance may also need to commit crimes to sustain their habit.

Lack Of Moral Guidance-Parental or adult influence is the most important factor in deterring delinquency. When a parent or other adult interacts with the child and shows them what is acceptable behavior and what is considered wrong, the child is more likely to act in a way that is not delinquent.

It is very important for a child to have a bond with a good adult who will influence their actions and show them the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

Classification of Juvenile Delinquency

Different classifications of the juvenile delinquency and delinquents have been given by various authors. A few important classifications are noted below.

Hirsh delineated the following kinds of juvenile offences:

(1) Incorrigibility, which includes keeping late hours, disobedience,and so on.

(2) Truancy, which can be from home or school.

(3) Destruction of property, which includes both public and private property.

(4) Violence which is perpetrated against the community by using such means as knives and guns.

(5) Sex offenses which can range from homosexual activity to criminal assault and rape.

Eaton and Polk classified the delinquents by the following types of offences they have been involved in:

(1) Minor violations which include disorderly conduct and minor traffic violations.

(2) Property violations which include all property thefts except automobiles.

(3) Major traffic violations which include automobile theft and drunk driving and any other offence that would involve an automobile.

(4) Human addiction which includes sex offenses as well as alcohol and drug addiction.

(5) Bodily harm which includes homicide offenses that involve sexual deviation,; such as rape, and generally, all other acts of violence against a person.

Ferdinand presented two categories of juvenile offenders as under:

(1) Neurotic Offenders-They are the offenders whose delinquency is the result of powerful unconscious impulses which often produces guilt which in turn, motivates them to act out their delinquency in their community so that they will be caught and punished. The delinquent act is sometimes considered symbolic. For example, if they steal, it is done for love and not for a material gain. To such delinquents, delinquency is a way of handling their internal problems by externalizing the problem within the environment.

(2) Character Disorder Offenders- This type of offenders feel very little guilty when they commit the acts of delinquency. Because of a lack of positive identification models in their environment, they have failed to develop self-control and do what they want to do when they feel like doing it. They are unable to sublimate their impulses in a socially acceptable manner. They have not developed an adequate conscience structure or superego.

Schafer emphasized on psychological typologies and psychological dynamics of personality as the basis of classification of juvenile delinquents. The following types have been envisaged by him.

(1) Mentally Defective- This is an individual who has an organic problem and who has difficulty in controlling himself because of it. This category also includes mentally retarded youngsters.

(2) Situational Offenders- They are similar to the accidental offenders but, in these cases, there are more contributing factors. Their delinquency is precipitated by a crisis or by some external event which they are unable to handle. In other words, they do not necessarily go out looking for trouble but because of tempering circumstances, they do not use good judgment.

(3) Psychotic Offenders- A small number of youngsters do not have contact with reality. They may be classified as schizophrenic or may be given some other psychiatric label. As a result of dysfunctional thought patterns, they may hallucinate, have delusions or “hear voices” that command them to become involved in certain types of delinquent behaviour. The incidence of psychotic oriented delinquency is minimal in relation to the other forms.

(4) Cultural Offenders- Youngsters in this category have either emulated a faculty identification model or they live in an economically and socially deprived environment. Cultural offenders are considered normal members of a deviant sub-culture and their patterns of behaviour are often accepted and called normative in their own environment.

Theories of Delinquencies

Generally, three major approaches are Biogenic Theory, Psychogenic and SociogenicSome of the theories are briefly discussed below.

( A) Biogenic Theory

Biological determinists maintain that the physical qualities which people inherit or develop may cause them to violate the law. Physical make-up separates the deviant from the non-deviant.

Ceases Lambroso is regarded as the profounder of this theory. He declared “a criminal to be an atavistic phenomenon, a biological throwback since the somatological characteristics of criminals resemble those of primitive men. According to Cessare Lombroso, a biologist with an outstanding contribution to the science of criminology, “there exists a group of criminals born for evil, against whom all social cures break as against a rock.” Criminality according to him is in-born. A typical criminal, says Lombroso, has

certain physical characteristics as low forehead, hairy body, red eyes, ear deformation, receding chin, big and protruding jaws, and an extreme sensitivity or nonsensitivity  to pain.

Gall was a Viennese physician, “noticed that some of his fellows with pronounced characteristics had certain head configurations. He asked himself why people had “such different faces and such different natures; why one was deceitful, another frank, a third virtuous”. In attempting to answer these questions he made it a point of his life to examine every head he could find. He haunted medical laboratories, he visited prisons and lunatic asylums, his fingers fairly “itched” to measure the bumps and inequalities of the skulls he found. He thought he discerned a relationship between head “Knobs” and certain propensities and character traits, to which he gave fancy names. In this manner phrenology launched itself upon a world eagerly waiting toreceive it.

(B) Psychogenic Theory

These theory stresses the psychological pathology of the delinquent. There are  many researchers who have stressed the Psychological and Psychiatric variables to be highly related to delinquency

Glueek and Glueek Theory of Social Condition

Held that physically a delinquent is mesomorph in constitution. In attitude he is hostile, defiant, resentful, suspicious, Stubborn adventurous, unconventional and non submissive to the authority.

The criminal is a product of society. The impact of sociological factors is so great on individuals that they either shun criminality or embrace it, depending upon their environment and immediate social conditions

Sutherland and Cressey Theory of Differential Association.

Felt that criminal behaviour is not inherited and one who is not already trained in crime does not indulge in criminal behaviour. Rather, criminal behaviour is learned in interaction with other person especially within intimate personal groups. This, would mean that impersonal agencies such as movies and News papers play a relatively important part in the genesis of criminal behaviour. “Differential association” varies in frequency,duration, priority and intensity.

Akers’s differential reinforcement theory

Akers’s differential reinforcement theory integrated differential association and the learning theory of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning holds that behaviour is controlled by the consequences of that behavior.

Everyone receives positive and negative reinforcements for behavior. According to differential reinforcement theory, a positive reinforcement is a reward and is designed to increase the behavior being rewarded. On the other hand, a negative reinforcement is a punishment designed to decreasethe behavior.

Therefore, behavior is controlled by the rewards and punishments people receive for their behavior.  If a positive reinforcement is given after a person commits a delinquent act, the person has received a reward for that behavior. It is to be expected that the person will continue the behaviour.

Learning theorists argue that rewards are more powerful than punishments in shaping behavior. However, in some cases, a juvenile may be expecting to receive a reward (positive reinforcement) for behavior, but the reward is withheld. If this occurs, the person has received an indirect punishment for the behavior, and the behavior is less likely to continue. For example, if a young male commits a robbery but fails to obtain any money or valuables, he has received an indirect punishment, and he is less likely to continue the delinquent behavior.

A juvenile may also receive negative reinforcement for a behavior. If this occurs, the juvenile has received a direct punishment and is less likely to continue the behaviour.

If a juvenile receives rewards from his or her peer group for committing delinquent acts, that delinquency may continue—even with punishment by the juvenile justice system. A juvenile may also anticipate that a punishment (negative reinforcement) is going to occur after delinquent behavior. If no punishment follows, the juvenile has received an indirect reward for the behavior and is likely to increase the behavior.

Sykes & Matza Theory of Social Interaction

Delinquent behaviour like most social behaviour, is learned in the process of social interaction. Both feel that the family of the delinquent will agree with respectable society that delinquency is wrong even though the family may be engaged in a variety of illegal activities. They say that a delinquent is partly committed to the dominant. Social order in the he frequently exhibits, quilts or shame when he violates its prescriptions, accords approval to certain conferring figures and distinguishes between appropriates and inappropriate targets for his deviance.

(C) Psychoanalytical and Psychiatric Theory

Airchorn asserted that there must be something in child himself which environment brings out in the form of delinquency. Delinquents behave as they do because they are in some way “Maladjusted” persons. Airchron’s statement indicates further that the environment may function as a precipitating force, but never as primary force in causation.

(D) Medico-Biological Theory

This theory has been advanced at many times and in many ways and often in combination as “Medico biological” thesis of causation. Here this theory would include the hereditary factors, chemical balances within the physical organism, and certainly the influence of physical illness on behaviour. The biological explanation, concerned primarily with inherited characteristic.

(E) The Classical Theory

The classical theory of free will advocated that man is a free moral agent who chooses to do wrong. On the assumption of free will, the Classical theorists maintained that the criminal is morally guilty and responsible, he should; therefore, receive a punishment proportionate to that moral guilt. Thus, there were set penalties according to the moral turpitude involved in the offence

Some have looked for explanations in physical and mental health, others in emotional attitudes and still others in general social environment. The Classical theory was attacked since it treated all men as mere digits ignoring their individual natures or the circumstances under which they  committed the crime. It subjected to the same punishment the hardened criminal, the accidental and the habitual.

(F) Multi-causal Theory

According to Abrahamsen, “a criminal act is the sum of a person’s criminalistic tendencies plus his total situation divided by the amount of his resistance.” He rendered the multiplicity of causal factors into a mathematical formula.

This shows that the root of the delinquency lies in both in nature and nurture.

Recent sociologists, psychiatrists and criminologists agree that delinquency is a result of a number of factors. Burt enumerated no less than 170 causes which were conducive to delinquency.

According to him, “crime is assignable to no single universal source nor yet to two or three: it springs from a wide variety, and usually from a multiplicity of alternative and converging influences. So violent a reaction, as may easily be conceived, is almost everywhere the outcome of a concurrence of subversive factors: it needs many coats of pitch to paint a thing thoroughly black.”

No one factor is the sole cause of delinquency. It is a result of the interaction between the individual and his immediate and economic factors like poverty, slums etc. The natural factors are biological, mental and emotional. Geography and climatic conditions are indirect contributors to delinquency.

(G) Subculture theories

A subculture is a set of values, norms, and beliefs that differs from those within the dominant culture. According to subculture theory, delinquent youth hold values, norms, and beliefs in opposition to those held in the dominant culture. Therefore, youths who behave in a manner that is consistent with the values, norms, and beliefs of their subculture will often be in conflict with the law.

Three subculture theories are: Cohen’s delinquency and frustration theory, Cloward and Ohlin’s differential opportunity theory,  and Miller’s lower-class focal concern theory.

(I)Cohen’s delinquency and frustration theory,

Albert K. Cohen believed that individuals from the lower class had different values, norms, and beliefs than those held by the middle class.   The goal of lower-class youths is middle-class membership. However, lower class youths face developmental handicaps that place them at a disadvantage in obtaining their goal of middle-class membership. These developmental handicaps include the lack of educational preparation and inability to delay gratification

The primary means of becoming a member of the middle class is education. These youths, who have been socialized to be part of the lower class, frequently have difficulty in school because teachers and administrators are members of the middle class and hold the values, norms, and beliefs of the middle class. The standards and values used in school to evaluate youths, which Cohen calls middle-class measuring rods ,  include ambition, responsibility, deferred gratification, courtesy, ability to control aggression, constructive use of time, and respect for property.  Essentially, lower-class youths are being evaluated by measures grounded in middle-class values and norms to which they are not accustomed. These middle-class measuring rods make it difficult for lower class children to succeed in school.

If lower-class students fail at school, they will not be able to attain their goal of middle-class status. Inability to fulfil this goal is known as status frustration . Frequently, students who are not performing well in school seek others like themselves with whom to associate. In other words, these young people may associate with others like themselves who are failing in school and are facing status frustration. These young people form delinquent subcultures and gangs. In gangs, youths develop new norms, values, and beliefs; they also establish new means to obtain status.

This delinquent behavior is actually a protest against the norms, values, and beliefs of the middle-class culture.

(II) Richard Cloward and Ohlin’s differential opportunity theory

Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin focused on serious delinquency committed by urban, male gang members.   Status frustration  Occurs due to a person’s inability to obtain the goal of middleclass status. Youths who had little ability to achieve these goals through legitimate means would form delinquent subcultures/gangs in an effort to obtain the goals.

Cloward and Ohlin believed that illegal opportunities, like conventional opportunities, are stratified unequally.  This means that there is an illegitimate opportunity structure just as there is a legitimate opportunity structure for success. The legitimate opportunity structure involves education, hard work, and a good occupation, and not everyone has access to this opportunity structure to obtain economic success. Not everyone has access to the illegitimate opportunity structure, either.

The illegitimate opportunity structure includes criminal enterprises in neighbourhoods where there are criminal mentors to assist youths in becoming successful criminals. Although there are illegitimate opportunity structures in many neighborhoods, not everyone has equal access to these structures.

Neighborhood structures such as established criminal enterprises and criminal mentors that lead youths to become criminals. When delinquent subcultures/gangs are established with a different set of values, norms, and beliefs, the type of delinquent gang that develops will depend on the neighbourhood in which the youths live and whether they have access to illegitimate opportunity structures.

(III) Miller’s lower-class focal concern theory

Walter B. Miller basic tenet was that society is composed of various social groups, each with its distinctive subculture.

Miller identified six focal concerns that describe six values of a lower-class subculture.  These focal concerns differentiate the lower class from the middle and upper classes.

  • . Excitement —value of thrill-seeking through gambling, fi ghting, and getting intoxicated
  • Autonomy —value of personal freedom resulting in an active disdain of authority.
  • Fate —value or belief that most things that happen to people are beyond their control
  • Smartness —value of the ability to be streetwise and to con people
  • Toughness —value of physical strength, fi ghting ability, and masculinity
  • Trouble —value by which people are evaluated on the basis of their involvement in trouble-making activity

(H) Walter Reckless Containment Theory

Walter Reckless believed that both internal and external forces operate when juveniles make decisions to avoid or commit delinquent acts. Some internal forces inhibit people from committing delinquent acts while others encourage delinquent behavior. The same is true for external forces; some inhibit while others encourage delinquent acts.

Reckless identified four motivating and restraining forces for delinquency.

1. Inner pressures and pulls lead juveniles toward committing delinquent acts. Inner forces include an individual’s desires, needs, and wants. These  include feelings of restlessness, hostility, and the needfor immediate gratification.

2. Inner containments inhibit delinquent behavior. Inner containments are internal personal controls that lead someone to not commit delinquent acts. These include self-esteem, strong sense of responsibility, internalized moral codes, tolerance of frustration, and positive goal orientations.

3. Outer pressures  may lead to delinquency include the influence of one’s peer group, unemployment, and living conditions. External forces also include the rewards for committing delinquent acts such as status and financial gain.

4. Outer containments inhibit delinquent behavior. These include forces that provide discipline and supervision including parents, police, schools, and the juvenile justice system.

Inner containments are more effective at inhibiting delinquent activity than are outer containments. Outer containments are not always present prior to the commission of delinquent acts, while inner containments such as internalized moral codes are. An individual’s self-image and self-esteem are also major predictors of which of these forces will dominate behavior.

(I)Travis Hirschi Social Control /Social Bonding Theory

According to Travis Hirschi, people usually do not commit delinquent acts because they fear that this behavior will damage their relationships with their parents, friends, families, teachers, and employers; thus, individuals do not commit delinquent acts because they are bonded to the larger society. When these social bonds are broken or diminished, delinquency is likely. Hirschi stated that there were four elements of the social bond  including attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief.

• Attachment describes the emotional and psychological ties a person has with others. It includes sensitivity to and interest in others as well as a sense of belonging. Hirschi believed that attachment to parents is more important than attachment to peers and school. Attachment is the most important element of the social bond.

• Commitment involves the time, energy, and effort expended in conventional action.  Therefore, the more conventional assets people have—such as an education, job, and home—the less likely they are to commit crime.

• Involvement means significant time and attention spent in conventional activities, which leaves little time for illegal behavior. People who are busy working, going to school, are far less likely to commit crime. They do not have the spare time to indulge temptations to commit crimes.

• Belief describes the acceptance of moral legitimacy of law and authority, with an understanding that the law should be obeyed

Delinquency Prevention

Understanding why a minor commits a crime is essential to preventing future crimes from happening. Addressing the issues that has led to the choices that the minor child has made can help them change their actions in the future.

The juvenile delinquency is expression of unsatisfied desires and urges. For a delinquent, his deviant act is a normal response to his inner desire. Like a non delinquent a delinquent is also conditioned by various attending and prevailing circumstances around him. A juvenile delinquent is a person who has been so adjudicated by a judicial court though he may be no different from other children who are not delinquent. Delinquency is an act, conduct or interaction which is socially undesirable.

By addressing many of these issues at an early age, adults may be able to stop juvenile delinquency from starting. If delinquency has already occurred, addressing these issues and building protective barriers may allow the child to develop in a more secure environment and avoid problems in the future as well as when they are adults.

Delinquency Prevention Programs

It is established that

(1) high-quality activities  can make a measurable difference in problem behavior, and

(2) activities known to be effective do not work if poorly implemented.

These factors contribute to high-quality delinquency prevention activities:

  • Activities are highly structured, programs are scripted, and both follow manuals and implementation standards and use quality control mechanisms.
  • Activities are integrated into the regular school program.
  • Activities are selected from a wide variety of sources, including outside experts.
  • Program activities are supervised at all levels.
  • Programs are locally initiated and run by school insiders, researchers or govt personnel but are not necessarily locally developed. Externally developed programs tended to be of higher quality than locally developed programs.
  • The school principal supports prevention programs and is perceived by staff as an effective education leader.
  • Training is extensive and of high quality.

Implementing the program is a formal part of the implementer’s job. Activities are a regular part of the school program, do not depend on volunteers, and are conducted during the school day (not after school or on weekends).

Preventing Delinquent Behavior

The presence of a  factor is no guarantee delinquency will occur. Most children in foster care never break the law.

Protective Factors
While there are no magic solutions for preventing delinquency, understanding and building up protective factors is a good place to start. Protective factors are traits or experiences that help counteract  factors.

These protective factors may reduce the likelihood of delinquent behavior:

Youth resilience. “Resilience is the process of managing stress and functioning well even when faced with adversity and trauma” .Youth resilience include:

  • Hopefulness,
  • Motivation, sense of purpose,
  • Positive future orientation,
  • Positive view of self, overall positive attitude,
  • Realistic belief in one’s ability to succeed,
  • Spirituality,
  • Taking responsibility for oneself.
  • Trust in others, sense of empowerment,
  • Attends religious services;
  • Committed to school;
  • Does well in school; extracurricular activities; positive school climate.
  • Friends who disapprove of antisocial behavior;
  • Supportive relationships with parents and other adults;
  • Warm,
  • Kindness to oneself when confronted with personal failings and suffering,
  • Personal strengths (e.g., hard work, gratitude, respect, integrity) .
  • Realistic belief in one’s ability to succeed,
  • Self-esteem,
  • Spirituality, personal goals,
  • Thinking about consequences of one’s behavior,
  1. Social connectedness. Connections to people and institutions help youth increase knowledge and skills, have a sense of belonging, and find meaning in their lives . Signs of social connectedness include:
  1. Concrete support. Youth need concrete support and services that address their needs and help minimize stress. Youth have concrete support when social workers, foster parents, and others take steps to ensure they receive basic necessities as well as specialized academic, psychoeducational, health, mental health, legal, and/or employment services .
  2. Cognitive and social emotional competence. Signs that youth have cognitive and social emotional competence include:

So if you are caring for a child or youth who has risk factors for delinquency,

Connect with your child. Building a strong relationship takes time and effort but pays rich dividends: a caring, supportive relationship with an adult is the single most important protective factor for children who have experienced maltreatment.

Be clear about rules and expectations. In a friendly, clear way, explain to children in your home what you expect of them. Hold family members accountable consistently and respectfully. Respond to misbehavior in a way that is proportionate. For example, unless there is imminent danger, if a child’s behavior becomes unruly your first call should be to the child’s social worker, not law enforcement.

Build your behavior management skills. Due to past trauma, children in foster care sometimes have difficulty behaving appropriately. Teaching them to manage their own behavior will help them succeed in life and stay out of trouble. There are many resources to help you learn to do this, including this article from Fostering Perspectives:

Increase your knowledge and understanding of adolescent development. This is particularly important given the recent advances in the fields of neuroscience and developmental psychology. What you know affects how you interpret teen behavior and how you respond.

Know where your child is and who they’re with. Make your home a place your child’s friends want to be. This will help you monitor what’s going on and get to know the friends.

Don’t go it alone. Have frequent, candid conversations with your child’s social worker and your licensing social worker about your parenting successes and concerns. This is important. They want to be sure the child is getting his needs met and is staying out of trouble. Supporting you is one of the best ways to achieve these goals.

Be informed, supportive, and present. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s school, any therapy or treatment they receive, and extracurricular activities.

Prevention & Early Intervention

Juvenile delinquency follows a trajectory similar to that of normal adolescent development. In other words, children and youth tend to follow a path toward delinquent and criminal behavior rather than engaging randomly.

Early Intervention= Early intervention prevents the onset of delinquent behavior and supports the development of a youth’s assets and resilience.3 While many past approaches focus on remediating visible and/or longstanding disruptive behavior, research has shown that prevention and early intervention are more effective. 4

In essence, intervening early “not only saves young lives from being wasted,” but also prevents the onset of adult criminal careers and reduces the likelihood of youth becoming serious and violent offenders. This in turn reduces the burden of crime on society, and saves taxpayers money.5

Positive Youth Development= One positive youth development model addresses the six life domains of work, education, relationships, community, health, and creativity. The two key assets needed by all youth are

(1) learning/doing and

(2) attaching/belonging.

When the necessary supports and services are provided to assist youth in the six life domains, it is expected that positive outcomes will result.6

Effective Programs= Effective programs are those that aim to act as early as possible and focus on known behavioral development of juveniles.7 In general,  the following types of school and community prevention programs be employed:

  • Classroom and behavior management programs
  • Multi-component classroom-based programs
  • Social competence promotion curriculums
  • Conflict resolution and violence prevention curriculums
  • Bullying prevention programs
  • Afterschool recreation programs
  • Mentoring programs
  • School organization programs
  • Comprehensive community interventions

In general, when implemented with a high degree of fidelity (effectiveness), these programs demonstrate effective positive results

Referance:

Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1969.

Eaton, J. W. and Polk, K., Measuring Delinquency. Pittsburg; university Pittsberg Press,1961.

Hirschi, Travis. Causes of Delinquency,

Hirsh, N., Dynamic Causes of Juvenile Crime. Cambridge; Mass, Sci-Art Publisher, 1937.

K. Kusum, ‘Juvenile Delinquency- A Socio-legal Study’(1979) Published by KLM Book House, New Delhi 22

Kvaraceus, W. C. and Miller, W.B. Delinquent Behaviour; Cultuer and The Individual.

Sellin, T. and Wolfgang, M., The Measurement of Delinquency. New York; John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1964.

Washingoton; National Education Association,1959

 

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History of Hinduism

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

On the basis of evidence of Hinduism’s early antecedents, like a person’s ancestors or family and social background ,which is derived from archaeology, comparative philology (a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages to establish their historical relatedness) , and comparative religion, the history of Hinduism in India can be traced back to about 1500 BCE

Language development in Hinduism

Rigveda, hymns that were composed chiefly during the last two or three centuries of the 2nd millennium BCE can be termed as the earliest literary source for the history of Hinduism   . The religious life reflected in this text shows Hinduism as an earlier sacrificial religious system, referred to as Brahmanism or Vedism, which developed in India among Indo-European-speaking peoples. Scholars from the period of British colonial rule postulated that this branch of a related group of nomadic and seminomadic tribal peoples, originally inhabiting the  country of southern Russia and Central Asia, brought with them  the Sanskrit language. These scholars further holds that other branches of these peoples penetrated into Europe, bringing with them the Indo-European languages that developed into the chief language.

It is   the ancient tongue, which Sir William Jones pronounced “more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either,” should have been the spoken language of the Aryans .  It was a near relative of the early Persian dialect in which the Avesta was composed. The Sanskrit of the Vedas and the epics has already the earmarks of a classic and literary tongue, used only by scholars and priests; the very word Sanskrit means “prepared, pure, perfect, sacred.” The language of the people in the Vedic age was not one but many; each tribe had its own Aryan dialect.  India has never had one language.

The Vedas contain no hint that writing was known to their authors. It was not until the eighth or ninth century B.C. that Hindu probably Dravidian merchants brought from western Asia a Semitic script, akin to the Phoenician; and from this “Brahma script,” as it came to be called, all the later alphabets of India were derived.” For centuries writing seems to have been confined to commercial and administrative purposes, with little thought of using it for literature; “merchants, not priests, developed this basic art.” ( Perhaps poetry will recover its ancient hold upon our people when it is again recited rather than silently read.) Even the Buddhist canon does not appear to have been written down before the third century B.C.

The oldest  inscriptions in India are those of Ashoka.” We who (until the air about us was filled with words and music) were for centuries made eye-minded by writing and print, find it hard to understand how contentedly India, long after she had learned to write, clung to the old ways of transmitting history and literature by recitation and memory. The Vedas and the epics were songs that grew with the generations of those that recited them; they were intended not for sight but for sound.

The language of the Indo-Aryans should be of special interest to us, for Sanskrit is one of the oldest in that “Indo-European” group of languages to which our own speech belongs. When a language is spoken by unqualified people the pronunciation of the word changes to some extent; and when these words travel by word of mouth to another region of the land, with the gap of some generations, it permanently changes its form and shape to some extent.  We feel for a moment a strange sense of cultural continuity across great stretches of time and space when we observe the similarity in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and English of the numerals, the family terms, and those insinuating little words that, by some oversight of the moralists, have been called the copulative verb.  Cf. English one, two, three, four, five with Sanskrit ek, dwee, tree, chatoor, panch;Latin unus, duo, tres, quattuor, quinque; Greek heis, duo, tria, tettara, pente. (Quattuorbecomes four, as Latin quercus becomes fir.) Or cf. English am, art, is with Sanskrit asmi, asi, asti; Latin sum, es, est; C -eek eimi, ei, esti.

Hinduism arose from multiple sources

The Vedic people were in close contact with the ancestors of the Iranians, as evidenced by similarities between Sanskrit and the earliest surviving Iranian languages. Thus, the religion of the Rigveda contains elements from three strata:

  • An element common to most of the Indo-European groups.
  • An element held in common with the early Iranians.
  • An element appearing only in the Indian subcontinent.

 

Hinduism arose from multiple sources and from the geniuses of individual reformers in all periods. Present-day Hinduism contains few direct survivals from its Indo-European heritage. Some of the elements of the Hindu wedding ceremony, notably the circumambulation of the sacred fire and the cult of the domestic fire itself, are rooted in the remote Indo-European past. The same is probably true of some aspects of the ancestor cult. The Rigveda contains many other Indo-European elements, such as ritual sacrifices and the worship of male sky gods, including the old sky god Dyaus, whose name is cognate with those of Zeus of ancient Greece and Jupiter of Rome (“Father Jove”). The Vedic heaven, the “world of the fathers,” resembles the Germanic Valhalla and seems also to be an Indo-European inheritance.

The Indo-Iranian element in later Hinduism is chiefly found in the ceremony of initiation, or “second birth” (upanayana), a rite also found in Zoroastrianism. Performed by boys of the three “twice-born” upper classes, it involves the tying of a sacred cord. Another example of the common Indo-Iranian heritage is the Vedic god Varuna. Although now an unimportant sea god, Varuna, as portrayed in the Rigveda, possesses many features of the Zoroastrian supreme deity Ahura Mazdā (“Wise Lord”). A third example can be seen in the sacred drink soma, which corresponds to the sacred haoma of Zoroastrianism.

Even in the earlier parts of the Rigveda, however, the religion displays numerous Indian features that are not evident in Indo-Iranian traditions.   Some of these features may have evolved entirely within the Vedic framework, it is generally presumed that many of them stem from the influence of inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent who had no connection with Indo-European peoples. For example, some scholars attribute non-Vedic features of Hinduism to a people who are often vaguely and incorrectly called “Dravidian,” a term that refers to a family of languages and not an ethnic group. Some scholars have further argued that the ruling classes of the Indus civilization, also called the Harappa culture (c. 2500–1700 BCE), spoke a Dravidian language and have tentatively identified their script with that of a Dravidian language.

Other sources: The Brahmanic norms

The development of Hinduism can be interpreted as a constant interaction between the religion of the upper social groups, represented by the Brahmans, and the religion of other groups. From the time of the Vedas (c. 1500 BCE), people from many strata of society throughout the subcontinent tended to adapt their religious and social life to Brahmanic norms. This development resulted from the desire of lower-class groups to rise on the social ladder by adopting the ways and beliefs of the higher castes. Further, many local deities were identified with the gods and goddesses of the Puranas. The process, sometimes called “Sanskritization,” began in Vedic times and was probably the principal method by which the Hinduism of the Sanskrit texts spread through the subcontinent and into Southeast Asia. Sanskritization still continues in the form of the conversion of tribal groups, and it is reflected in the persistence of the tendency among some Hindus to identify rural and local deities with the gods of the Sanskrit texts. Sanskritization also refers to the process by which some Hindus try to raise their status by adopting high-caste customs, such as wearing the sacred cord and becoming vegetarians.

If Sanskritization has been the main means of connecting the various local traditions throughout the subcontinent, the converse process, which has no convenient label, has been one of the means whereby Hinduism has changed and developed over the centuries. Many features of Hindu mythology and several popular gods—such as Ganesha, an elephant-headed god, and Hanuman, the monkey god—were incorporated into Hinduism and assimilated into the appropriate Vedic gods by this means. Similarly, the worship of many goddesses who are now regarded as the consorts of the great male Hindu gods, as well as the worship of individual unmarried goddesses, may have arisen from the worship of non-Vedic local goddesses.

The prehistoric period (3rd and 2nd millennia BCE)

The prehistoric culture of the Indus valley arose in the latter centuries of the 3rd millennium BCE from the metal-using village cultures of the region. There is considerable evidence of the material life of the Indus people, but its interpretation remains a matter of speculation until their writing is deciphered. Enough evidence exists, however, to show that several features of later Hinduism may have had prehistoric origins.

In most of the village cultures, small terra-cotta figurines of women, found in large quantities, have been interpreted as icons of a fertility deity whose cult was widespread in the Mediterranean area and in western Asia from Neolithic times (c. 5000 BCE) onward. This hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that the goddess was apparently associated with the bull—a feature also found in the ancient religions farther west.

The river’s name comes from Sanskrit word ‘Sindhu’. It is mentioned in the Rig Veda, the earliest (c. 1500 BC) chronicles and hymns of the Aryan people of ancient India, and is the source of the country’s name. words like Hindu, Hindustan and India have been derived from Sindhus and ‘Indus’, the name given to Sindhu by foreigners. The journey of Sindhu through India transports you to a civilization going back five thousand years

Sindhu is divine. In the beginning was the word. The first recorded word was the Veda. The earliest mention of this great river is in the Vedas. The Sindhu — the cradle of Indian civilization — finds its most dramatic description in the Rig Veda (c. 1500 BC).

“Sindhu in might surpasses all streams that flow. His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth; he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light ….Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu leads other rivers… Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in gold, nobly fashioned, rich in ample wealth”.

Sindhu is too alive and too divine to be “it”, and so Sindhu is “he”! When the Vedic seer invokes the Sindhu. The Veda refers to the Ganga only twice, but it makes as many as thirty references to the Sindhu! It is the oldest name in Indian history – and in Indian geography. This is the great Sindhu that gave Sindh and Hind — its name. The Rig Veda compares the sound of the flowing Sindhu to the roar of thunderstorm, indicating the sense of awe inspired by the river in the minds of Aryans. Later on, in the Vedic period, the word Sindhu came to denote the sea, from which the vastness of the river can be gauged. In the Ramayana, Sindhu is seen to be given the title “Mahanadi”, which means “the mighty river”.

Kalidasa says in the Raghuvansha that on the advice of his maternal uncle Yudhajat, Rama conferred Sindh on Bharata. Rama’s ancestor Raghu’s triumphant horses had relaxed on the bank of the Sindhu.

Sindh was part of Dasaratha’s empire. When Kekayi goes into a sulk, Dasaratha tells her, “The sun does not set on my empire. Sindh, Sauvira, Saurashtra, Anga, vanga, Magadha, Kashi, Koshal — they are all mine”. When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Rama sent the vanaras (monkeys) to look for her, among other places, in Sindh with its “remarkable swimming horses”.

In the Mahabharat, the Sindhu is reverentially mentioned along with other two holy rivers, the Ganga and Saraswati. References to the Sindhu are also seen in many ancient literary works like those of Kalidasa, Bana, Panini. The fame of the mighty Sindhu had spread even beyond the subcontinent and it found reflections in the literary works of the Greek and Roman empires. It finds mention in some of the earlier literature of India.

Another great Sanskrit poet, Bhasa, had done a whole play, “Avimark” on the romance of Prince Avimark with Princess Kurangadi of Sindhu-Sauvira. The Bhavishya Purana says that Shalivahana, the grandson of Maharaja Vikramaditya of Ujjain, established law and order in ‘Sindhusthan” and fixed his frontier on the Sindhu. Anshnath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar, was a Sindhi. He died in Bengal. The Jaina Dakshinya Chihna (eight century) speaks of Sindhis as “elegant, with a lovely, soft and slow gait. They are fond of songs, music and dance and feel affection for their country”.

There is a legend that the great Buddha had graced Sindh with his visit. Finding the climate extreme, and the area dry and dusty, he had permitted the bhikshus to wear shoes here. He had also permitted the use of padded clothing, forbidden elsewhere. Here Sthavirtis, the Prince of Rorik or Roruka (Aror or Alor, near modern Rohri) became his disciple. When the Buddha went round his native Kapilavastu in a chariot, it was mentioned that the “four auspicious horses, of lotus colour, had come from Sindhudesh”.

To this day, historic Buddhist stupas are found in Sindh. The Divyavadana (Tibetan version) reports: “The Buddha is in Rajgriha. At this time, there were two great cities in Jampudvip (north India), Pataliputra and Roruka. When Roruka rises, Pataliputra declines; when Pataliputra rises, Roruka declines”.

Here was Roruka of Sindh competing with the capital of the Magadha empire. When Bimbisar was the king of the Magadha, he sent Rudrayan, king of Sindhu-Sauvita, a rare portrait of the Buddha. The two powerful ministers of Sindh at the time were Hiroo and Bheru, their names still common amongst the Sindhis!

Chandragupta Maurya first won Sindh and then Punjab. It was from this base that he displaced the Nandas, occupied Pataliputra and established the great Mauryan empire.

Kashmir’s ancient royal history Rajatirangini has many references to Sindh and the Sindhis. Kuya’s son Sindhu rose to lead the elephant brigade of Kashmir. He was advisor to Queen Dida. A top honour was “Sindhu Gaja”, Elephant of Sindh.

Many seals show what may be religious and legendary themes  such as seals depicting trees next to figures who may be divinities believed to reside in them. The bull is often depicted standing before a sort of altar, and the horned figure has been interpreted  as a  Hindu god Shiva. Small conical objects have been interpreted by some scholars as phallic emblems, though they may have been pieces used in board games. Other interpretations of the remains of the Harappa culture are even more speculative and, if accepted, would indicate that many features of later Hinduism were already in existence 4,000 years ago.

Archaic religious practices

Some elements of the religious life of current and past folk religions—notably sacred animals, sacred plants (especially the pipal, Ficus religiose and Tulsa, Ocimum basilicum ), and the use of small figurines for worship—are found in all parts of India and  have been borrowed from pre-Vedic civilizations.

The Vedic period (2nd millennium–7th century BCE)

The people of the early Vedic period left few material remains, and leave a very important literary record called the Rigveda. Its 1,028 hymns are distributed throughout 10 books. A hymn usually consists of three sections: an exhortation; a main part comprising praise of the deity, prayers, and petition, with frequent references to the deity’s mythology; and a specific request.

The Rigveda is not a unitary work, and its composition may have taken several centuries. In its form at the time of its final edition, it reflected a well-developed religious system. The date commonly given for the final recension of the Rigveda is 1200 BCE. During the next two or three centuries it was supplemented by three other Vedas and still later by Vedic texts called the Brahmanas and the Upanishads .

The Temples

The Buddhists and Jains had made use of artificial caves for religious purposes, and these were adapted by the Hindus. Hindu cave shrines, however, are comparatively rare, and none have been discovered from earlier than the Gupta period. The Udayagiri complex has cave shrines, but some of the best examples are in Badami (c. 570), the capital of the Chalukya dynasty in the 6th century. The Badami caves contain several carvings of Vishnu, Shiva, and Harihara (an amalgamation of Vishnu and Shiva), as well as depictions of stories connected with Vishnu’s incarnation, Krishna. Near the Badami caves are the sites of Aihole and Pattadakal, which contain some of the oldest temples in the south; some temples in Aihole, for example, date to approximately 450. For this reason these sites are sometimes referred to as the “laboratory” of Hindu temples. Pattadakal, another capital of the Chalukya empire, was a major site of temple building by Chalukyan monarchs in the 7th and 8th centuries. These temples incorporated styles that eventually became distinctive of north and south Indian architecture.

The Gupta period was marked by the rapid development of temple architecture. Earlier temples were made of wood, but freestanding stone and brick temples soon appeared in many parts of India. By the 7th century, stone temples, some of considerable dimensions, were found in many parts of the country. Originally, the design of the Hindu temples may have borrowed from the Buddhist precedent, for in some of the oldest temples the image was placed in the centre of the shrine, which was surrounded by an ambulatory path resembling the path around a stupa (a religious building containing a Buddhist relic). Nearly all surviving Gupta temples are comparatively small; they consist of a small cella (central chamber), constructed of thick and solid masonry, with a veranda either at the entrance or on all sides of the building. The earliest Gupta temples, such as the Buddhist temples at Sanchi, have flat roofs; however, the sikhara (spire), typical of the north Indian temple, was developed in this period and with time was steadily made taller. Tamil literature mentions several temples. The epic Silappatikaram (c. 3rd–4th centuries), for instance, refers to the temples of Srirangam, near Tiruchchirappalli, and of Tirumala-Tirupati (known locally as Tiruvenkatam).

In the Pallava site of Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), south of Chennai, a number of small temples were carved in the 7th century from outcroppings of rock; they represent some of the best-known religious buildings in the Tamil country. Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram, near Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, were major cities in the Pallava empire (4th–9th centuries). Kanchipuram, the Pallava capital, is sometimes called the “city of a thousand temples.” Some of its temples date to the 5th century, and many feature magnificent architecture. Dedicated to local manifestations of Shiva, Vishnu, and various forms of the Great Goddess, the temples were patronized by royalty and aristocrats but also received donations and endowments from the larger population.

Evidence for contact between the Pallava empire and Southeast Asia is provided by some of the earliest inscriptions (c. 6th–7th centuries) of the Khmer empire, which are written in “Pallava style” characters. There are also several visual connections between temple styles in India and in Southeast Asia, including similarities in architecture (e.g., the design of temple towers) and iconography (e.g., the depiction of Hindu deities, epic narratives, and dancers in carvings on temple walls). Yet there are also differences between them. For example, the Cambodian Shiva temples in Phnom Bakheng, Bakong, and Koh Ker resemble mountain pyramids in the architectural idiom of Hindu and Buddhist temples in Borobudur and Prambanan on the island of Java in present-day Indonesia.

The period between the fall of the Mauryan empire (c. 185 BCE) and the rise of the Gupta dynasty (c. 320 CE) was one of great change, including the conquest of most parts of western India by a succession of invaders. India was opened to influence from the West as never before, not only by invaders but also through flourishing maritime trade with the Roman Empire. The effects of the new contacts were most obvious in art and architecture. One of the oldest freestanding stone temples in the subcontinent has been excavated at Taxila, near Rawalpindi, Pak. During the 1st century BCE the Gandharaschool of sculpture arose in the same region and made use of Hellenistic and Roman prototypes, mainly in the service of Buddhism. Hindu temples of the period probably were made of wood, because no remains of them have survived; however, literary evidence shows that they must have existed.

Rebel against Brahmanism (6th–2nd century BCE)

Indian religious life underwent great changes during the period 550–450 BCE. There were many heterodox teachers who organized bands of ascetic followers, and each group adopted a specific code of conduct. They gained considerable support from ruling families and merchants. The latter were growing in wealth and influence, and many of them were searching for alternative forms of religious activity that would give them a more significant role than did orthodox Brahmanism or that would be less expensive to support.

The scriptures of the new religious movements throw some light on the popular religious life of the period. The god Prajapati was widely believed to be the highest god and the creator of the universe; Indra, known chiefly as Shakra (“The Mighty One”), was second to him in importance. The Brahmans were very influential, but there was opposition to their large-scale animal sacrifices—on moral, philosophical, and economic grounds—and to their pretensions to superiority by virtue of their birth. The doctrine of transmigration was by then generally accepted, though a group of outright materialists—the Charvakas, or Lokayatas—denied the survival of the soul after death. The ancestor cult, part of the Indo-European heritage, was retained almost universally, at least by the higher castes. Popular religious life largely centred around the worship of local fertility divinities (yakshas), cobra spirits (nagas), and other minor spirits in sacred places such as groves. Although these sacred places were the main centres of popular religious life, there is no evidence of any buildings or images associated with them, and it appears that neither temples nor large icons existed at the time.

About 500 BCE asceticism became widespread, and increasing numbers of intelligent young men “gave up the world” to search for release from transmigration by achieving a state of psychic security. This century was marked by the rise of breakaway sects of ascetics who rejected traditional religion, denying the authority of the Vedas and of the Brahmans and following teachers who claimed to have discovered the secret of obtaining release from transmigration. By far the most important of these figures were Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha, and Vardhamana, called Mahavira (“Great Hero”), the founder of Jainism.

The orthodox Brahmanical teachers reacted to these tendencies by devising the doctrine of the four ashramas, which divided the life of the twice-born after initiation into four stages: the brahmacharin(celibate religious student); the grihastha (married householder); the vanaprastha (forest dweller); and the sannyasin (wandering ascetic). This attempt to keep asceticism in check by confining it to men of late middle age was not wholly successful. Thereafter Hindu social theory centred on the concept of varnashrama dharma, or the duties of the four classes (varnas) and the four ashramas, which constituted the ideal that Hindus were encouraged to follow.

The first great empire of India, the Mauryan empire, arose in the 3rd century BCE. Its early rulers were non-Brahmanic; Ashoka (reigned c.265–238 BCE), the third and most famous of the Mauryan emperors, was a professed Buddhist. Although there is no doubt that Ashoka’s patronage of Buddhism did much to spread that religion, his inscriptions recognize the Brahmans as worthy of respect. Sentimentsin favour of nonviolence (ahimsa) and vegetarianism, much encouraged by the non-Brahmanic sects, spread during the Mauryan period and were greatly encouraged by Ashoka. A Brahmanic revival appears to have occurred with the fall of the Mauryas ( in Shung Dynesty). The orthodox religion itself, however, was undergoing change at this time, as theistic tendencies developed around the gods Vishnu and Shiva.

Early Hinduism (2nd century BCE–4th century CE)

The centuries  were marked by the recension of the two great Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (the latter incorporating into it the Bhagavadgita). The worship of Vishnu, incarnate as Rama in the Ramayana, and Krishna in the Mahabharata   developed significantly during this period , as did the cult of Shiva, who plays an active role in the Ramayana and  Mahabharata.

The Vedic god Rudra gained importance from the end of the Rigvedic period. In the Svetashvatara Upanishad, Rudra is for the first time called Shiva and is described as the creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe. His followers are called on to worship him with devotion (bhakti). The tendency for the laity to form themselves into religious guilds or societies—evident in the case of the yaksha cults, Buddhism, and Jainism—promoted the growth of devotional Vaishnavism and Shaivism. These local associations of worshipers appear to have been a principal factor in the spread of the new cults. Theistic ascetics are less in evidence at this time, though a community of Shaivite monks, the Pashupatas, existed by the 2nd or 3rd century CE.

By the time of the early Gupta empire the new theism had been harmonized with the old Vedic religion, and two of the main branches of Hinduism were fully recognized. The Vaishnavas had the support of the Gupta emperors, who took the title paramabhagavata (“supreme devotee of Vishnu”). Vishnu temples were numerous, and the doctrine of Vishnu’s avatars (incarnations) was widely accepted. Of the 10 incarnations of later Vaishnavism, however, only two seem to have been much worshipped in the Gupta period (4th–6th century). These were Krishna, the hero of the Mahabharata, who also begins to appear in his pastoral aspect as the cowherd and flute player, and Varaha, the divine boar, of whom several impressive images survive from the Gupta period. A spectacular carving in Udayagiri (Madhya Pradesh) dating from about 400 CE depicts Varaha rescuing the earth goddess, Vasudha. Temples in Udayagiri (c. 400) and Deogarh (c. 500) also portray Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananta (“Without End”).

The rise of major sects: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism

Vaishnavism (Vaishnava dharma) is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas, and it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord.

Shaivism theology ranges from Shiva being the creator, preserver, destroyer to being the same as the Atman (self, soul) within oneself and every living being. It is closely related to Shaktism, and some Shaiva worship in Shiva and Shakti temples.

Shaktism (Sanskrit: Śāktaḥ, lit., “doctrine of energy, power, the Goddess”) is a major tradition of Hinduism, wherein the metaphysical reality is considered feminine and Parvati (goddess) is supreme.

The Shaivites were also a growing force in the religious life of India. The sect of Pashupata ascetics, founded by Lakulisha (or Nahulisha), who lived in the 2nd century CE, is attested by inscriptions from the 5th century; it is among the earliest of the sectarian religious orders of Hinduism. Representations of the son of Shiva, Skanda (also called Karttikeya, the war god), appeared as early as 100 BCE on coins from the Kushan dynasty, which ruled northern India, Afghanistan, and Central Asia in the first three centuries of the Common Era. Shiva’s other son, the elephant-headed Ganesha, patron deity of commercial and literary enterprises, did not appear until the 5th century. Very important in this period was Surya, the sun god, in whose honour temples were built, though in modern times he is little regarded by most Hindus. The solar cult had Vedic roots but later may have expanded under Iranian influence.

Several goddesses gained importance in this period. Although goddesses had always been worshipped in local and popular cults, they play comparatively minor roles in Vedic religion. Lakshmi, or Shri, goddess of fortune and consort of Vishnu, was worshipped before the beginning of the Common Era, and several lesser goddesses are attested from the Gupta period. But the cult of Durga, the consort of Shiva, began to gain importance only in the 4th century, and the large-scale development of Shaktism (devotion to the active, creative principle personified as the mother goddess) did not take place until medieval times.

Hinduism in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

Hinduism and Buddhism exerted an enormous influence on the civilizations of Southeast Asia and contributed greatly to the development of a written tradition in that area. About the beginning of the Common Era, Indian merchants may have settled there, bringing Brahmans and Buddhist monks with them. These religious men were patronized by rulers who converted to Hinduism or Buddhism. The earliest material evidence of Hinduism in Southeast Asia comes from Borneo, where late 4th-century Sanskrit inscriptions testify to the performance of Vedic sacrifices by Brahmans at the behest of local chiefs. Chinese chronicles attest an Indianized kingdom in Vietnam two centuries earlier. The dominant form of Hinduism exported to Southeast Asia was Shaivism, though some Vaishnavism was also known there. Later, from the 9th century onward, Tantrism, both Hindu and Buddhist, spread throughout the region.

Beginning in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, many of the early kingdoms in Southeast Asia adopted and adapted specific Hindu texts, theologies, rituals, architectural styles, and forms of social organization that suited their historical and social conditions. It is not clear whether this presence came about primarily through slow immigration and settlement by key personnel from India or through visits to India by Southeast Asians who took elements of Indian culture back home. Hindu and Buddhist traders, priests, and, occasionally, princes traveled to Southeast Asia from India in the first few centuries of the Common Era and eventually settled there. Enormous temples to Shiva and Vishnu were built in the ancient Khmer empire, attesting to the power and prestige of Hindu traditions in the region. Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century in what is now Cambodia, was originally consecrated to Vishnu, although it was soon converted to (and is still in use as) a Buddhist temple. One of the largest Hindu temples ever built, it contains the largest bas-relief in the world, depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, a minor theme of Indian architecture but one of the dominant narratives in Khmer temples.

Despite the existence in Southeast Asia of Hindu temples and iconography as well as Sanskrit inscriptions, the nature and extent of Hindu influence upon the civilizations of the region is fiercely debated by contemporary scholars. Whereas early 20th-century scholars wrote about the Indianization of Southeast Asia, those of the late 20th and early 21st centuries argued that this influence was very limited and affected only a small cross section of the elite. It is nevertheless certain that divinity and royalty were closely connected in Southeast Asian civilizations and that several Hindu rituals were used to valorize the powers of the monarch.

The civilizations of Southeast Asia developed forms of Hinduism and Buddhism that incorporated distinctive local features and in other respects reflected local cultures, but the framework of their religious life, at least in the upper classes, was largely Indian. Stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata became widely known in Southeast Asia and are still popular there in local versions. In Indonesia the people of Bali still follow a form of Hinduism adapted to their own genius. Versions of the Manu-smriti were taken to Southeast Asia and were translated and adapted to indigenous cultures until they lost most of their original content.

Claims of early Hindu contacts farther east are no more doubtful. There is evidence of direct influence of Hinduism on China or Japan, which were primarily affected by Buddhism.

The rise of devotional Hinduism (4th–11th century)

The medieval period was characterized by the growth of new devotional religious movements centred on hymnodists who taught in the popular languages of the time. The new movements probably began with the appearance of hymns in Tamil associated with two groups of poets: the Nayanars, worshipers of Shiva, and the Alvars, devotees of Vishnu. The oldest of these date from the early 7th century, though passages of devotional character can be found in earlier Tamil literature.

The term bhakti, in the sense of devotion to a personal god, appears in the Bhagavadgita and the Shvetashvatara Upanishad. In these early sources it represents a devotion still somewhat restrained and unemotional. The new form of bhakti, associated with singing in the languages of the common people, was highly charged with emotion and mystical fervour, and the relationship between worshiper and divinity was often described as analogous to that between lover and beloved. The Tamil saints, south Indian devotees of Vishnu or Shiva from the 6th to the 9th century, felt an intense love (Tamil: anbu) toward their god. They experienced overwhelming joy in his presence and deep sorrow when he did not reveal himself. Some of them felt a profound sense of guilt or inadequacy in the face of the divine. In Tamil poems the supreme being is addressed as a lover, a parent, or a master. The poets traveled to many temples, many of them located in southern India, singing the praises of the enshrined deity. The poems have a strong ethical content and encourage the virtues of love, humility, and brotherhood. The ideas of these poets, spreading northward, probably were the origin of bhakti in northern India.

The devotional cults further weakened Buddhism, which had long been on the decline. The philosophers Kumarila and Shankara were strongly opposed to Buddhism. In their journeys throughout India, their biographies claim, they vehemently debated with Buddhists and tried to persuade kings and other influential people to withdraw their support from Buddhist monasteries. Only in Bihar and Bengal, because of the patronage of the Pala dynasty and some lesser kings and chiefs, did Buddhist monasteries continue to flourish. Buddhism in eastern India, however, was well on the way to being absorbed into Hinduism when the Muslims invaded the Ganges valley in the 12th century. The great Buddhist shrine of Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, became a Hindu temple.

At the end of its existence in India, Buddhism exhibited certain philosophical and cultural affinities with Hinduism. Among the Buddhist Tantrists appeared a new school of preachers, often known as Siddhas (“Those Who Have Achieved”), who sang their verses in the contemporary languages—early Maithili and Bengali. They taught that giving up the world was not necessary for release from transmigration and that one could achieve the highest state by living a life of simplicity in one’s own home. This system, known as Sahajayana (“Vehicle of the Natural” or “Easy Vehicle”), influenced both Bengali devotional Vaishnavism, which produced a sect called Vaishnava-Sahajiya with similar doctrines, and the Natha yogis (mentioned below), whose teachings influenced Kabir and other later bhaktimasters.

Hinduism in medieval period (11th–19th century)

The advent of Islam in the Ganges basin at the end of the 12th century resulted in the withdrawal of royal patronage from Hinduism in much of the area. The attitude of the Muslim rulers toward Hinduism varied. Some, like Fīrūz Tughluq (ruled 1351–88) and Aurangzeb (ruled 1658–1707), were strongly anti-Hindu and enforced payment of jizya, a poll tax on unbelievers. Others, like the Bengali sultan Ḥusayn Shah ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn (reigned 1493–1519) and the great Akbar (reigned 1556–1605), were well disposed toward their Hindu subjects. Many temples were destroyed by the more fanatical rulers, however. Conversion to Islam was more common in areas where Buddhism had once been strongest.

On the eve of the Muslim occupation, Hinduism was by no means sterile in northern India, but its vitality was centred in the southern areas. Throughout the centuries, the system of class and caste had become more rigid; in each region there was a complex hierarchy of castes strictly forbidden to intermarry or dine together, controlled and regulated by secular powers who acted on the advice of the court Brahmans. The large-scale Vedic sacrifices had practically vanished, but simple domestic Vedic sacrifices continued, and new forms of animal, and sometimes vegetable, sacrifice had appeared, especially connected with the worship of the mother goddess.

By that time, most of the main divinities of later Hinduism were worshipped. Rama, the hero of the epic poem, had become the eighth avatar of Vishnu, and his popularity was growing, though it was not yet as prominent as it later became. Similarly, Rama’s monkey helper, Hanuman, now one of the most popular divinities of India and the most ready helper in time of need, was rising in importance. Krishnawas worshipped, though his consort, Radha, did not become popular until after the 12th century. Harihara, a combination of Vishnu and Shiva, and Ardhanarishvara, a synthesis of Shiva and his consort Shakti, also became popular deities.

 

 

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The Sindhu (Indus) River — Remember Your Roots, and Heritage

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

 

Many rivers and river valleys worldwide have played a significant role in the evolution, sustaining and development of civilizations. Notable amongst these are the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Sindhu (Indus) and Hwang Ho-Yang Tse Kyang. Mighty civilizations grew up on the banks of these great river systems.

The Indus River, locally refereed as the Tibetan, Sindhu, or Mehran, is the longest river in Asia. It is among the longest rivers in the world, with a total length of 2,000 miles from its source to drainage. Its estimated annual flow averages 58 cubic miles, making it the twenty-first largest liver in the world in terms of annual flow.

The river has total drainage area of about 4,50,000 square miles, of which 1,75,000 square miles, lie in the Himalayan mountains and foothills. A great Trans-Himalayan river, it is one of the longest rivers in the world with an astonishing length of 2900 km. Rising in south-western Tibet, at an altitude of 16,000 feet, Sindhu enters the Indian territory near Leh in Ladakh.

After flowing eleven miles beyond Leh, Sindhu is joined on the left by its first tributary, the Zanskar, which helps green the Zanskar Valley. Many interesting mountain trails beckon the mountaineering enthusiasts to the Zanskar Valley. The Sindhu then flows past Batalik.

The Indus River rises in the northern highlands of the Kailash Ranges in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The river then flows northwest to cross India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir . In Kashmir, it is joined by its first tributary, the Zaskar River, . The mighty Indus when it enters the plains is joined by its famous five tributaries – the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej – giving Punjab — “Land of five rivers” — its name,  and then flows in a southerly direction along the entire length to Pakistan, as the longest river in the country, and then drains into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in the province of Sindh..

. The Indus Valley civilization is synonymous with Harappa and Mohenjodaro.

The mighty Sindhu (Indus) river symbolizes the power and permanence of the ancient Indian civilization which evolved over a period of thousands of years. The archaeological discovery of the Indus Valley civilization which flourished along its banks, has reinforced the antiquity of the Indian civilization.

The river’s name comes from Sanskrit word ‘Sindhu’. It is mentioned in the Rig Veda, the earliest (c. 1500 BC) chronicles and hymns of the Aryan people of ancient India, and is the source of the country’s name. words like Hindu, Hindustan and India have been derived from Sindhus and ‘Indus’, the name given to Sindhu by foreigners. The journey of Sindhu through India transports you to a civilization going back five thousand years

Sindhu is divine. In the beginning was the word. The first recorded word was the Veda. The earliest mention of this great river is in the Vedas. The Sindhu — the cradle of Indian civilization — finds its most dramatic description in the Rig Veda (c. 1500 BC).
“Sindhu in might surpasses all streams that flow. His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth; he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light ….Even as cows with milk rush to their calves, so other rivers roar into the Sindhu. As a warrior king leads other warriors, so does Sindhu leads other rivers… Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in gold, nobly fashioned, rich in ample wealth”.

Sindhu is too alive and too divine to be “it”, and so Sindhu is “he”! When the Vedic seer invokes the Sindhu. The Veda refers to the Ganga only twice, but it makes as many as thirty references to the Sindhu! It is the oldest name in Indian history – and in Indian geography. This is the great Sindhu that gave Sindh and Hind — its name. The Rig Veda compares the sound of the flowing Sindhu to the roar of thunderstorm, indicating the sense of awe inspired by the river in the minds of Aryans. Later on, in the Vedic period, the word Sindhu came to denote the sea, from which the vastness of the river can be gauged. In the Ramayana, Sindhu is seen to be given the title “Mahanadi”, which means “the mighty river”.

Kalidasa says in the Raghuvansha that on the advice of his maternal uncle Yudhajat, Rama conferred Sindh on Bharata. Rama’s ancestor Raghu’s triumphant horses had relaxed on the bank of the Sindhu.

Sindh was part of Dasaratha’s empire. When Kekayi goes into a sulk, Dasaratha tells her, “The sun does not set on my empire. Sindh, Sauvira, Saurashtra, Anga, vanga, Magadha, Kashi, Koshal — they are all mine”. When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Rama sent the vanaras (monkeys) to look for her, among other places, in Sindh with its “remarkable swimming horses”.
In the Mahabharat, the Sindhu is reverentially mentioned along with other two holy rivers, the Ganga and Saraswati. References to the Sindhu are also seen in many ancient literary works like those of Kalidasa, Bana, Panini. The fame of the mighty Sindhu had spread even beyond the subcontinent and it found reflections in the literary works of the Greek and Roman empires. It finds mention in some of the earlier literature of India.

Another great Sanskrit poet, Bhasa, had done a whole play, “Avimark” on the romance of Prince Avimark with Princess Kurangadi of Sindhu-Sauvira. The Bhavishya Purana says that Shalivahana, the grandson of Maharaja Vikramaditya of Ujjain, established law and order in ‘Sindhusthan” and fixed his frontier on the Sindhu. Anshnath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar, was a Sindhi. He died in Bengal. The Jaina Dakshinya Chihna (eight century) speaks of Sindhis as “elegant, with a lovely, soft and slow gait. They are fond of songs, music and dance and feel affection for their country”.

There is a legend that the great Buddha had graced Sindh with his visit. Finding the climate extreme, and the area dry and dusty, he had permitted the bhikshus to wear shoes here. He had also permitted the use of padded clothing, forbidden elsewhere. Here Sthavirtis, the Prince of Rorik or Roruka (Aror or Alor, near modern Rohri) became his disciple. When the Buddha went round his native Kapilavastu in a chariot, it was mentioned that the “four auspicious horses, of lotus colour, had come from Sindhudesh”.
To this day, historic Buddhist stupas are found in Sindh. The Divyavadana (Tibetan version) reports: “The Buddha is in Rajgriha. At this time, there were two great cities in Jampudvip (north India), Pataliputra and Roruka. When Roruka rises, Pataliputra declines; when Pataliputra rises, Roruka declines”.

Here was Roruka of Sindh competing with the capital of the Magadha empire. When Bimbisar was the king of the Magadha, he sent Rudrayan, king of Sindhu-Sauvita, a rare portrait of the Buddha. The two powerful ministers of Sindh at the time were Hiroo and Bheru, their names still common amongst the Sindhis!

Chandragupta Maurya first won Sindh and then Punjab. It was from this base that he displaced the Nandas, occupied Pataliputra and established the great Mauryan empire.
Kashmir’s ancient royal history Rajatirangini has many references to Sindh and the Sindhis. Kuya’s son Sindhu rose to lead the elephant brigade of Kashmir. He was advisor to Queen Dida. A top honour was “Sindhu Gaja”, Elephant of Sindh.

 

REFERANCES:

swlome2020@gmail.com | May 16, 2011

Remember Your Roots, Heritage and Culture

MINISTRY OF TOURISM Government of India

 

 

 

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