By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

PRAJANAN or Procreation is an inborn instinct of a living being. Humans, animals, fish, fowl and Vanaspati or Vegetation leave behind numerous living beings of their kind before they depart for good.

Right at the beginning of the Creation, Ishwar had given the Vedas to the Rishis for the guidance of human beings to lead a life of righteousness. Along with the Gyan of Life and desire to have children was the knowledge of providing stability of social order. Human beings stabilized process of procreation by formalizing the social institution of Vivah or marriage to bring in order and discipline  through sublimation of sex. The Vedic injunction against sex for pleasure by allowing copulation between lawfully wedded husband and wife at an appropriate time only to beget children continues to hold in check humans running amuck for wild sex.

Many a time varied reasons like death and disease cause separation between the husband and wife at a young age when they are childless, so what is the way out to enable the separated man or woman to fulfill the religious duty of leaving behind a son or a daughter so that the human race not only survives but prospers. Well the answer is NIYOG.


When a widow wishes to have children after the demise of her husband, she lets the social order know of her desire and selection of a male member for copulation as per Vedic Vidhan to beget a child, it is termed as Niyog. In the case of Niyog “ the widowed woman remains in the house of the deceased husband…..children born of Niyog are not called children of the begetter, nor belong to his family, nor has he any claim over the children.” This excerpt is taken from the Satyarth Prakash chapter four written by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in Hindi and translated into English by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay.

In this context it is important to make clear the claim of the child born of Niyog on the property of the man who begot him or her. A child begotten in Niyog will continue the lineage of the deceased husband of the widow and get a share in the property of the deceased husband of the widow concerned and live in her marital home. Thus one may say that a child begotten in Niyog has no legal share in the property of the man whose sperm fertilized the egg of his mother to bring him into this world. Similarly, the begetter of the baby in Niyog will never ever lay a claim of any kind at birth or thereafter. In the eye of law, no relationship moral, spiritual or financial will exist between the begetter and the baby.


A doubting Thomas may raise a doubt about the legal validity of Niyog by pointing out the erroneous thought and labeling Noyog as adultery. Let it be understood that Niyog is not a sin nor an adulterous act. Niyog is willful and consensual act of sex between  a man and a woman with the sole intent of begetting a baby and it is done within the knowledge of the social order that the two belong to. It is not a hush-hush affair done for fun at night under the cover of darkness. The common point between a lawful marriage and a Niyog is  : Both are made known to the social order that the man and the woman belong to. Well, a question may arise: what happens if the first attempt to impregnate a woman fails? Well, there is no embargo on making a second or a third attempt. One should remember that the declared desired intention of the man and the woman concerned is to have a baby and everyone in the neighbourhood knows about it. So, Niyog is not a sin or a crime because it is not done under the cover of darkness or in secrecy. On the other hand, adultery is a nocturnal affair where sex is performed for fun away from the prying eyes of the social or moral police, what to say of the State Police.

It would be a good idea to quote from the Satyarth Prakash  what Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati wrote in reply to a question about procedure to be followed in Niyog :

     “ Just as marriage is performed by proclamation, so is NIYOG. As marriage requires sanction of the society and consent of the couple, so does Niyog. When a man and a woman want to perform Niyog, they ought to declare before men and women of their families that they want to enter into Niyog relation for the sake of issues, that they will sever their connection when the purpose of Niyog is fulfilled, that they should be counted as sinners and be penalized by the society and the State if they do otherwise, that they will meet for intercourseonly once a month and will abstain from intercourse for a year after the conception.

 ( The translation from Hindi into English is done by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay, an eminent Vedic scholar and preacher par excellence)

The Rishivar, a great religious and social reformer, was determined to apprise people of Bharat and later of the world the correct concept of Vedic Dharma and encourage both the Vedic Dharmis and others to follow what the Vedas laid down. That is the only way our human race may show an improvement.The observant Swami knew what way the sinners were going and reforming them was his duty, he thought. He advocated Niyog with the same fervor as the age-old institution of marriage – the Vedic Vivah. He equated the two procedures as the way to procreate. Sexual intercourse was the only way to procreate and one should not have a sense of shame or Lajja in advocating propagation of Niyog.

In the fourth chapter of the Satyarth Prakash dwelling on Niyog, Rishivar wrote and I quote him in original Hindi :

      “ Niyam se Vivah hone se ( stree-Purush ka sambhog – bracketed words are mine) vyabhichar nahi kahata, to niyampoorvak NIYOG hone se vyabhichar nahi kahavega………Ved shastrokt Niyog mein vyabhichar, paap, lajja na manana chahiye”

A free rendering into English would run thus: If a man and a woman are married as per the laid down procedure( their cohabitation would not be called promiscuity), likewise Niyog done as per procedure would not be termed promiscuity.      Niyog performed as per Vedic and Shastriya procedure would not be termed promiscuity entailing sin and shame.

It can be safely said that the Seer of the Arya Samaj knew that the sexual instinct of human beings led them astray. The Hindu widows were at the receiving end and quite oppressed socially. Their social and economic condition would improve if they were socially permitted to beget children and have a hope in the future. Therefore, Maharishi Dayanand strongly advocated through his writings and speeches the reintroduction of Niyog in our socio-religious order.


As of now the social acceptance of Niyog in the Hindu social order is rather dismal. The forward looking socio-religious organization like the Arya Samaj, founded by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 in Mumbai did not spearhead the movement. In 1877 with the establishment of the Arya Samaj in Lahore, the Punjab became its citadel. However, it was rather unfortunate that the Arya stalwarfs including Pradhans of the Arya Samaj Anarkali, Lahore like Lala Saindas, Mahatma Hansraj and others were rather lukewarm to the concept of Niyog. It was socially unacceptable in the open parlance but practiced clandestinely without flying the flag of Niyog.

Like the Garbhadhan Sanskar, the Niyog too could not gain popularity as men and women devoted to the Ten Principles of the Arya Samaj were rather diffident in declaring that on a particular day or night they would be sharing the bed with the avowed aim of begetting a child. What if the effort failed and conception did not take place? The couple might become the laughing stock of the persons known and unknown. Thus performing a Havan for Garbhadhan or with the declared intention of Niyog requires a lot of social courage that they lacked. Therefore, both these SANSKARS REMAINED A THEORETICAL EXERCISE CONFINED TO THE PAGES OF THE SANSKAR VIDHI AND THE SATYARTH PRAKASH.

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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
A calf in Siberia was sick and sitting motionless. Its caretakers and their colleagues made an all out effort to help the calf stand up on its legs lest it died of lack of blood circulation. The men succeeded and the calf survived.
A man had been lying in bed for days as he felt unwell. The attending doctor gave suitable medicines and strongly advised the sick man to stand on his feet at periodic intervals and do deep breathing lest he expired. The deep breathing in standing position helped man feel better due to adequate blood circulation in his body. He survived.
Moral of the story is – ARISE. If one keeps on lying in bed and remains inactive, he will make no progress. If a woman is gripped with inertia, she will succumb to lethargy resulting from zero activity. Inertia may prove to be fatal. One has to be active all the time while awake.
AWAKE – slumber not lest you miss the boat. One has to awake physically, mentally and spiritually. Sleep is important for good health but one has to sleep for as many hours as his body and mind need. If one sleeps for longer time than required for good health, one will be gripped with inertia and that may lead to premature end to the present life.
One is advised to keep company with the Enlightened Human Beings who will help the groping- in the Dark soul to achieve. A good Guru who leads the ignorant men and women selflessly is the ideal being to lead others to the goal of achievement. One should stop not until one has Achieved the goal.

The above mantra is from the Kathopnishad and is a piece of advice from the Rishi to the unenlightened human beings. Swami Vivekananda was indeed so fond of this mantra from the Kathopnishad that he quoted it in his speeches delivered both in Bharat and abroad. The stirring voice of the Swami and his earnest appeal to the audience really guided human beings, both men and women to Arise, Awake and Achieve. One has to keep going on the right path indicated by the Vedas until one reaches the desired goal.
Charaiveti Charaiveti – that is the Vedic command to human beings – Move On, Move On. If one keeps going on the path of Enlightenment, one will remain far away from sins, all kinds of Paps (sins) and strive for Punya. It is indeed this movement of enlightenment that guides a human being to the ultimate goal –MOKSHA. Moksha means freedom from the bondage of present cycle of Birth; Death and Rebirth. After all one has to free oneself from bondage of this cycle of birth, death and rebirth to remain in a state of Bliss or the blessed state named MOKSHA.
With a view to helping a human being tread on the right road of enlightenment shown by the celestial, divine Vedas as interpreted by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Rishis of all ages have been emphasizing on correct conduct of our souls in human bodies. A human being is advised by the enlightened Rishis to keep away from the wrong road carved out by the Rakshasas and keep going on the right road. Indeed walking on the path of life is as difficult as walking on the razor’s edge – kshurasya Dhara as exemplified by the mantra from the Kathopanishad quoted above in the Devanagari script. Indeed the path is full of thorns but at its end the goal is heartening indeed.
A human being need not be disheartened by pitfalls on the thorny road because completing the journey successfully will be a pleasant achievement in itself.
Therefore, Arise Awake Achieve.
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– By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Military men and women who have faced the wily enemy across the borders and have been in the line of fire are indeed great admirers of Maharana Pratap Singh of Mewar. The sixteenth century scion of the House of Sisodias had faced the enemy, Moghul king Akbar, minor Sultans of Malwa, Gujarat and Vibhishans among the Rajput royal houses in the then Rajputana. Indeed he had the solid support of chieftains around Mewar and, of course, enjoyed the unflinching loyalty of the jungle tribes of Bhils who always protected flanks of the great Maharana in distress. The greatness of the giant among men, Pratap Singh, Maharana of Mewar lies in his leadership and capacity to motivate men in adversity and manage money and material in both war and peace. He worked with single minded devotion to duty as a Defender of the Faith, as a king of men and women who looked up to him to defeat the overwhelmingly large enemy forces and save their Mewar Desh and Hindu Dharm from annihilation.

Maharana Pratap did not fail in his duty to protect and defend the Honour of his country and its people.
Maharana Pratap had inherited the qualities of grit and determination, the uncommon mental makeup that inspired him to put Service to his subjects before physical and mental comforts of the Self and sustaining the moral courage that in turn built boldness in his personality to face severe odds and Never Say Die. Above all, it was his spirit of Patriotism that inspired him to put at stake all he had for his beloved motherland, Mewar.
Patriotism made Maharana of Mewar, Pratap Singh Ji, a Great King who rose high to meet the challenge of the mighty Moghuls and not surrender his country, its honour and not submit daughters of Mewar to foreign barbarians to be ravished. Almighty Ishwar stood by Maharana Pratap and help came to him from unexpected quarters at the least expected time. Maharana Pratap was never cowed down by cowardice shown by his brother kings of the Houses of Jaipur, Jodhpur and other minor vassals who bent backwards to lick the feet of invading Moghul kings of Delhi.
Honour, Duty, Country – loyalty to people and rising above narrow minded sectarian interests were flowing in the blue blooded veins of Maharana Pratap as he had inherited them from his ancestors – Bappa Rawal downwards through, Rana Kumbha who built Vijay Stambh in the Chittor fort after vanquishing the Sultan of Gujarat decisively.
The Moghul rulers of Delhi were no angels. The House of Sisodiyas of Mewar had been waging war with them for three generations without giving up for good. Babur had misinformed classes and masses that he invaded Hindustan at the invitation of Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar, commonly known as Rana Sangha. Had it been so, Rana Sangha would not have fought a bitter battle against Babur where the latter broke his wine glasses of gold to convince his army that he would be a true adherent of Islam thereafter. Did he keep his word? Moghuls are mum on it.
Humanyu, Babur’s son, was constantly on the run after being defeated by Sher Shah Suri. He found shelter in the Hindu Royal House of Amarkot in Sindh where Akbar was born, protected by the Rajah of Amarkot when Humanyu was out of Bharat. Did Akbar or Bairam Khan repay this loyalty? Moghuls are mum.
Now, Maharana Pratap Singh Ji was doing his onerous duty to keep Mewar safe from the marauding Moghuls led by Akbar whom some ill-informed writers call the Great overlooking his massacre of the Hindus after capturing the Chittorgarh fort from Maharana Uday Singh II.
In the annals of bitterly fought battles, the Battle of Haldighati occupies a place of honour. I have had an opportunity to go there in mid-1980s while on an inspection visit to the Sainik School, Chittorgarh. I was indeed overwhelmed by the accounts of the Battle of Haldighati narrated by some knowledgeable lecturers of History. Hair raising accounts of the chivalry of Maharana Pratap mounted on his loyal war horse, Chetak, were heard by me and other tourists who chanced to be there.
Haldighati is a narrow pass in the Aravali hills, a couple of hours drive from the Chittorgarh fort. The earth there is yellowish in colour and thus acquired the name, Haldighati. When the Moghul army was commanded in name by Prince Salim but in actual fact by Raja Man Singh of Amer, present House of Jaipur assembled at the foothills of Haldighati, they mistakenly assumed that they would subdue Maharana of Mewar Pratap Singh ji mentally but they were sadly mistaken. Not too long ago, Raja Man Singh had visited Maharana Pratap with a proposal of King Akbar asking Maharana Pratap to accept the suzerainty of the Mughal ruler and undergo ignominy of sending daughters of House of Mewar to Akbar’s harem. Man Singh’s family had succumbed to greed of loaves and fishes and had surrendered Jodha Bai to Akbar. A self-respecting man and ruler like Maharana Pratap viewed the proposal with disdain and chose not to host a lunch for Man Singh in person pretending to be suffering from a severe headache. Man Singh’s coming to battle of Haldighati was indeed an act of revenge.
18th June 1576 when the battle was joined, Maharana Pratap fielded 22,000 soldiers comprising Rajputs, Bhils, and a handful of Pathans. The Mughals fielded 200, 000 men in arms, mostly Rajputs and Muslims. When Muslim troops were bewildered by presence of Rajputs on both sides of the dividing line, they were advised to kill both as they were Hindus. In the defile of the narrow valley, the Moghuls could not deploy their full might of artillery and cavalry. When Maharana’s mounted men came charging drunk on Patriotism, the Mughal infanteers ran helter skelter. Even the big horses and horsemen of Salim and Mansingh took to their heels. The first round of the battle went in favour of the Maharana’s troopers.
As per the original tactical plan of battle, the Maharana’s army was instructed to fight in the hilly defile and not chase the fleeing Moghuls. However, in the first flush of victory, Maharana himself and his cavalry could not restrain themselves and chased the withdrawing enemy. In the heat of the battle, they followed fleeing Moghul cavalry beyond defile and descended to the plains where a huge Moghul army was waiting to surround them and give battle afresh. Some strategists are of the opinion that it was a ruse of the wily Moghuls to draw the Maharana’s forces out in the open and beat them from a position of advantage.
Maharana Pratap astride his loyal mount, Chetak, was looking for Raja Man Singh to keep his promise of meeting him in the battlefield. He strode at the gallop, at trot and at canter looking for his arch enemy who was hiding in the distant rear to save his skin. Pundit Shyam Narayan Pandey has aptly described the Maharana’s hunt for Man Singh in these words:
“Rana doondhta Man Kahan, Chetak kahta Man Kahan;
Bhala kahta Man kahan……..”
But Man Singh was not to be found.
The war horse Chetak knew what its master was looking for. An elephant was sighted and the Maharana zeroed on it. Chetak closed in, stood on the rear legs giving required height to Maharana for thrusting his deadly lance towards howdah which had Salim, Akbar’s son seated in it. The attack of Maharana was so fierce that the Mahaut of the elephant was killed on the spot and the elephant ran away from the battle field screaming. Man Singh was not to be found as he was hiding in the distant rear.
In the heat and dust of battle, Maharana Pratap Singh got separated from the bulk of his army. The Mughal soldiers surrounded him and mounted attack after attack on his body and the steed. Soon came forward a loyal chieftain of Maharana, Sardar Jhala. He appreciated the battle situation and removed the Shirastrn and dhwaj-symbols of royalty, from Maharana’s persona and assumed them on his head so that attackers took him to be the Maharana of Mewar. It was an act of loyalty and patriotism of Sardar Jhala that saved Maharana’s life but the chieftain made the supreme sacrifice for the king and the country.
Maharana of Mewar made a tactical retreat so that he could fight a battle another day. He was followed by his brother, Shakti Singh who had joined the Moghals to vanquish his own brother. But now his brotherly love and patriotism came to the forefront. He killed two Moghul horsemen who were chasing the Maharana and caught up with his brother to shed tears and apologize for his treachery. Chetak fell exhausted and soon breathed his last because of numerous wound sustained in battle. The Maharana of Mewar shed tears and cried for his Chetak like a child. He, however, moved forward to plan for another engagement with the Moghuls on another day.
Maharana showed his prowess as a master strategist of the guerilla warfare when he moved into the Aravali hills. Moving from peak to peak, dale to dale, Maharans Pratap gave no respite to the Moghul troopers and kept them on their toes. Of course, he suffered from privations and penury but did not lose heart. Some accounts speak of his plans to move to the Sind province to garner military support from the Rajput princes there. Lieut Colonel James Todd, a great researcher and historian of Rajputana subscribes to this theory. In his monumental work entitled, “Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan”, Col Todd is very appreciative of the grit and determination of Maharana Pratap to carry on his Patriotic Mission despite adverse circumstances.
Bhama Shah had been a minister of treasury, of the Sisodia kings for a long time. He, with the dint of merit and hard work had amassed a fortune. Now was the time for Bhama Shah to open his purse and let Maharana Pratap use it to carry on with campaign to keep Mewar free from clutches of the Moghuls of Delhi. Despite reluctance of Maharana Pratap to accept his generous offer of monetary help, Bhama Shah persisted and made sure that the King of Mewar utilized his generous offer to raise an army afresh and reconquer the fortresses from the Mughal forces and make Mewar an independent land of the Brave. Utilising the donation of that great philanthropist, Bhama Shah, Maharana raised an army of 25,000 soldiers and trained them in the art of warfare before equipping them with war horses and weaponry to match the Moghul army. The patriot Bhama Shah had donated enough money to sustain that Mewar Army for 12 years without drawing from the State Exchequer.
Maharana Pratap did exactly that and fulfilled the wishes of Bhama Shah. It was a dream come true.
Maharana Pratap Singh also patronized fine arts and music whenever he was not engaged in fighting battles against the treacherous Moghuls of Delhi. The Maharana was quite humane and believed in the principles of war followed by the Rajputs, especially not sexually abusing women of the enemy forces. Once his son, Prince Amar Singh captured some royal women from the family of Rahim, Khan-e-Kanan who was a son of Bairum Khan, the mentor of King Akbar. Maharana had the women returned to Ramim’s palace unharmed. Rahim, also a poet, was so overwhelmed with the generosity of Maharana Pratap that he declined to join any Moghul military campaign against Maharana Pratap.
Maharana Pratap was loyal to his father, King Uday Singh II of Udaipur. His father had nominated his younger brother, Jagmall, a son of the youngest wife of Rana Uday Singh, to be king of Mewar. However, Pratap Ji accepted his father’s decision as a loyal son, despite being the first in the line of succession to the throne. However, the Rajput chieftains did not brook this injustice and physically removed Jagmall from the throne. They beseeched Pratap Ji to become the Maharana and that he accepted.
Born on Shukla Paksh Tritiya ,commensurating with 9th May 1540, Pratap Singh Ji had ascended the throne of Mewar on 1st May 1572 at the age of 32 years. Although under political expediency Pratap Ji had solmnised eleven marriages but his first lawfully wedded wife, Maharani Ajabdeh took precedence and was with her darling husband through thick and thin. Their first born son, Kunwar Amar Singh had succeeded his illustrious father on his untimely demise on 29thJanuary 1597, age 57 years, as the Maharana of Mewar but suffered from the ignominy of contracting a Peace Treaty with King Jehangir of Delhi. Of course, Maharana Amar Singh was exempted from making a personal presence in the Delhi durbar nor go through the insult of sending Rajput princesses of Mewar to the Moghul harem. After signing the Peace Treaty, Maharana Amar Singh was so overtaken by grief that he never made a public appearance thereafter.
Maharana Pratap Singh Ji was always true to his word. He never let down a friend and never stabbed a foe in the back. His personality is an ideal one to be emulated by the new generation of boys, irrespective of the Faith they subscribe to. He was a fierce warrior, a mellowed patriarch and a doting father to his 17 sons and five daughters. He treated all alike.
Once a battle was joined, he asked for no quarters and gave none. Maharana Pratap Singh Ji fought a battle against his enemies like a Dharm Yudh. Indeed Maharana Pratap was the BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
5 grand children, 12 great grand children, 14 great great grand children and one great great great grandchild – that is the report card of Henry Allingham, a noted ex-serviceman of the First World War who died at age 113 years in the United Kingdom. A man of many parts, he was much sought after by scribes and lensmen as he always made news but shunned newsmen. A very private person indeed .He did not wish to talk about the war until gradually drawn out of the shell by his ghost biographer, Goodwin. On his demise the Queen of England said that she was saddened. Allingham sacrificed so much for all of us.
His name found a mention in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest living man and sole surviving founder member of the Royal Air Force. Born in 1896, he lived in the Victorian era England when peace reigned all over. But it was World War I that made him known to the world. He recalled that as a child he did not see many cars on London roads and the speed limit for them was two miles an hour. When the Great War broke out his mother begged him not to enroll in the military and he honoured her wish. When she expired next year he joined the Royal Naval Air service in 1915 and later the Royal Air Force and saw action in France and Flanders. He could never forget some gory scenes of war and did not wish to talk about them. He saw soldiers standing in 2 ft deep water in trenches and he himself once landed in a bomb crater full of dead rats and guts of dead soldiers. He did not bathe for 3 months for lack of an opportunity to do so. This was the last of the trench war from where almost a million men never returned home. 70,000 Indian soldiers and labourers were there too. Of them 13516 men could not be cremated or buried and their names are inscribed on the India Gate in New Delhi.
Henry Allingham was asked many times what the secret of his longevity was. He could never think of one. However, he prescribed for the youth “the trick is to look after yourself and always know your limitations.”Allingham lived a happy married life and was always faithful to his wife. Never cheated on her. He recalled “I have only ever kissed one girl, my Dorothy. We met in 1915, married in 1918. I never gave my cherry away when I went to the front”. Perhaps that was the secret of his becoming more than a centenarian – Brahmacharya as we understand in India.
Historically speaking, his life spanned three centuries and he saw six monarchs on the throne of England. But for the efforts of the Ex-Servicemen’s associations the world would not have known many human interest stories of those veterans of the First World War who “gave their today for our tomorrow”. Whenever there is a Reunion of veterans of World Wars, Queen of England or an important member of the Royalty makes it a point to attend. 10 Downing Street does not go unrepresented either. Indeed it is a great morale raising factor for both the serving soldiers and ex-servicemen. Of course, a positive signal to the youth to enroll for the defence of the motherland

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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Am I touching the hornet’s nest and inviting the ire of a powerful segment of the society who live and die in the news world? No, not at all. I am making an endeavour to show the mirror to newshounds who generate their own newsdom, live and die in it. The rest of the society moves around it but never in it. The men and women who make journalism their bread and butter swear by what they write and publish. The rest of the human society is news hungry; they swallow whatever is given to them as the News. Thus here is a wide scope for journalists, their paymasters and media moghuls to generate and circulate what goes by the name News but is not the News. It is woven around a self-serving central point and presented to the Readers as the News but is actually Fake News.
What is the definition of the Fake News? Is there a way for a reader to distinguish between the Real News and the Fake News? In my opinion it is hard to tell where the dividing line lies. Like definition of Terror, definition of Fake News is elusive. The United Nations Organization could not let the world know what Terror actually is. So, terrorists are having a good time because they cannot be legally caught and prosecuted. Likewise, Fake journalists generate Fake News and circulate so extensively that the real news gets lost. The Media, both print and electronic, succumb to pressure of vested interests and make Fake News look like, sound like the real News and becomes acceptable to the social order in general. The vice-like grip of the Fake News on the human society is getting stronger day by day. The real News like the real Wife is pushed into a corner where it just fades away into oblivion.
What can a Reader do about it to receive and read the real News? Well, the poor old man is up against a mighty wall made of myriad objects collected by personnel of the kingdom of Untruth who resist hard against its demolition. The Upanishad vouches for triumph of Truth, SATYAMEV JAYATE NANRITAM, but the Truth lies elsewhere. The generators, circulators of the Fake News will also vouch for victory of the Truth but will work hard to demolish the domain of Truth or whatever is left of it. The poor reader goes through columns of Fake news carried by the Daily that he reads and after sometime believes in the mirage created by the empire of Fake news.
There is a unholy nexus of political power, muscle power and the media moghul that even the State is vary of taking on the might of Fake News. Many organs of the State exploit this unsavoury situation to serve their selfish interests. Ravana, Kansa and their ilk became strong by founding en empire of Untruth of which a by-product is Fake News, and made the simple society of Gopas believe that what they said had the authority of Veda Vakya. It needed a Rama and a Krishna to demolish the Fake empire founded on the Fake news.
A reader should have the capacity to think critically to distinguish between Real News and Fake News. If an article has gone overboard to praise a politician who most of citizens feel is just a dud, the said article is Fake News. Possibly it is a piece of Paid News to bolster the image of a person whose name is down in the dumps. An intelligent reader, after reading a paragraph or two would be able to make out if the said piece has been sponsored by an interested party but the editorial board has been prevailed upon to give it a place in a column of general news. In this way, a reader’s mind would not be affected and his independent judgement not vitiated.
Fake News – the phrase was much in circulation in the US media just before election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. A section of the society, rightly or wrongly, had felt that Hillary Clinton should have been successful at the hustings. However, when the declared result was contrary to their expectation they cried their throats hoarse by blaming Fake News put out in Trump’s favour to boost his image. Of course, the Russian Federation was also mired in a controversy of publishing Fake News against Hillary Clinton to unduly influence minds of voters. The Trump camp fought tooth and nail against the Fake News lobby and finally carried the day.
Many an article was published and TV discussions were organized in USA and other parts of the English speaking world to throw light on what Fake News was. Listeners were advised to keep their eyes and ears open to separate Fake News from Real News. However, it must be mentioned that this was indeed hard nut to crack. Political Pundits too are at times led up the garden path and savour the forbidden fruit by failing to distinguish between Fake News and Real News.
Are we back to square one? What is Fake News? In my opinion, if a news item is heavily loaded in favour of an individual, a political party or a religious group, it may be safely surmised that money has changed hands in putting the piece in question in circulation in the media. It would be in the fitness of things to put into circulation another article correcting the imbalance caused by the Fake News. Pragmatically speaking, the opinion reflecting the Real News, rarely finds a place in print nor is carried by a channel in its prime time broadcast. It is also seen that if a correction is mandated to be published, it is done so unobtrusively that the aim of letting citizens know the Real News is defeated.
The war between Real News Versus Fake News is still raging. Many battles have been won, some battles were fought and lost. Nevertheless, a Mr Clean may hope for the Truth to win and falsehood to lose. The unsavoury controversy will go on and on as long as Man lives on Planet Earth. We may fire the final shot by announcing from housetops what the UPNISHAD bequeathed to us:
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
A unique phenomenon indeed in the annals of military campaigns in India and abroad when Indian cavalry officered by Indians only won laurels against a combined force of Turks, Germans and Austrians and paved the way for founding of a Jewish State, Israel.
That historical cavalry charge was led by Jodhpur Lancers, ably commanded by Major Dalpat Singh who was killed in action and was acclaimed with awards of Hero of Haifa and Military Cross. They were ably supported by Mysore Lancers defending the flanks and making a detour to attack Turks and Germans from the rear. They turned the tide and sounded the death knell of the Ottoman Turk Empire of Turkey.
The Jodhpur Lancers comprised Hindu Rajputs, sowars and officers,and even the commanding general of all British forces in Egypt and the Middle-East, General Edmund Allenby marveled at their military feat. In an era of Sandhurst trained British officers ruling the roost in the entire British Empire where Sun never set, the Rajput officers of Jodhpur proved in battle in a foreign country that they were second to none. Armed with only lances and swords they defeated a better armed enemy who possessed machine guns and field artillery and made military historians record their amazing cavalry charge at Haifa.
The equestrian skill, field tactics and Courage made sowars and officers of Jodhpur Lancers unique. They also saved Abdul Baha, son of Bahai faith from being crucified by Jamal Pasha, commander of Turkish forces in Syria and Palestine. The Bahais feel indebted to Jodhpur Lancers for decimating Turks and liberating their spiritual leader.
Both Jodhpur Lancers and Mysore Lancers always had Will to Win and that indeed made the difference when the opposing forces engaged in a life and death struggle where only one Force was the winner – the Jodhpur Lancers who had perfect coordination with Mysore Lancers. The latter was as brave as the former and distinguished themselves by making the supreme sacrifice of their officers and sowars. When we take a look at the tally of battle casualties we find that both the cavalry units never shied from engaging a determined enemy from the front.
The three Lancers – Jodhpur, Mysore and Hyderabad, are immortalized by the famous Teen Murti – statues of three Indian cavalry sawars of Haifa fame –standing in a triangle right in front of the Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi. The palatial building is glorified as residences of the British Commanders-in-Chief in the British India and of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the post independence period.
A pertinent question arises – Jodhpur Lancers and Mysore Lancers killed some of the enemy forces, took some as prisoners and forced them beat a hasty retreat thus paving the way for fall of the Ottoman empire and founding of Israel but what about the third sowar of the teen murti? Well, the third cavalryman represents the Hyderabad Lancers who were kept as the Reserve Force when the ferocious battle was joined. Indeed a few of their colleagues also were placed in-charge of Turk and German prisoners of war ro protect them from wanton attacks by local civilian population and also escort them safely to the appointed PoW camp. Nevertheless, the Hyderabad Lancers were full -fledged fighters of the glorious Trio of the Indian cavalrymen.
The battle of Haifa began on 23rd September 1918 at about 2 P.M. The Jodhpur Lancers entered the field from the South. In their support the Mysore Lancers made a detour and made a surprise entrance into field from the East and the North. The Turk soldiers were tough and battle hardened. They were given covering fire by the German machine gunners. The Austrian soldiers had manned the Field Guns of the Artillery. It may be mentioned that the Ottoman Turkish Empire and the Germans were friends and Allies in World War One.
One detachment of Jodhpur Lancers attacked the Austrian battery at the gallop using only lances as weapons to kill and maim. The Austrians were indeed better armed but taken by complete surprise because Jodhpur Lancers had climbed the steep slope of Mount Carmel that was supposed to be a next to impossible act. With the result the Rajput cavalrymen captured guns before they could be loaded and fired. They also took prisoners of the bewildered Austrians.
A combined mass of horse flesh and steel descended ferociously on the Germans when a combined cavalry of Jodhpur Lancers and Mysore Lancers attacked the main machine gun position from behind. They routed the demoralized enemy, captured two Machine Guns, two camel guns and took 30 prisoners of war. The road to Haifa was opened and both the Lancers charged into the town.
Both the Turks and the Germans were so perplexed and demoralized that they lost the Will to engage the Indian cavalry, armed with only swords and lances, into a serious battle. Their do or die spirit had deserted them. The Indian Cavalrymen took 1350 Germans and Turks as prisoners. Many pieces of their Artillery and Machine Guns were captured too. The battle of Haifa was all but over
It would be in the fitness of things to make a mention of the battle casualties on the Indian Cavalry side. The Commanding Officer of Jodhpur Lancers Major Dalpat Singh became a martyr fighting against the enemy. He was awarded the title Haifa Hero and decorated with Military Cross for gallantry. Of course, along with the Commanding Officer 80 cavalrymen and 60 horses too made the supreme sacrifice.
Mysore Lancers have more recorded casualties than other Indian cavalry units and this fact has not yet been clarified what the reasons were. They made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty and we bow to them in reverence. Two officers – A Lingraj Urs and Meer Ashroff Alli were mentioned as Killed in action but their ranks are not given. The Mysore Lancers sowars, mostly Hindu Marathas are also mentioned as killed in action. Their number tallies to fifteen.
Let us revert to Jodhpur Lancers. Post demise of Major Dalpat Singh in action, the brave man who succeeded is named as Aman Singh. He was awarded Indian Order of Merit. Dafadar Jor Singh too was decorated with Indian Order of Merit.
Captain Anop Singh and Second Lieutenant Sagat Singh were decorated with Military Cross for gallantry.
It is indeed creditable for the members of the extended family of Officiating Commanding Officer Aman Singh that they remembered him fondly and raised a memorial to the Indian Cavalrymen at Haifa in 2010. Many members of the brave fraternity assemble at Haifa on 23rd September every year and celebrate with enthusiasm HAIFA VIJAY DIVAS.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh has flown the last flight of this life. He breathed his last on 16 September 2017 at 7.47 PM at the Army Hospital(R&R) New Delhi at the age of 98. He suffered a massive cardiac arrest today and could not recover thereafter. It marks an end of an era in the history of the Indian Air Force.
Born in 1919, he took to flying at an early age. He was commissioned in the Royal Indian Force and actively participated in the Second World War in Burma. He flew solo in the Arakan campaigne distinguishing himself as an ace pilot. Arjan Singh’s meritorious service as a military flyer was well recognized and he was decorated with Distinguished Flying Cross. He took to piloting various types of military aircraft with ease like fish takes to water. Flying Canberras was his favourite game that he played even after becoming Chief of the Air Staff as the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force.
When India and Pakistan went to war in 1965, Arjan Singh took the reins of the IAF when he was just 45 years old. He thus became the youngest Air Chief ever and carried on with his onerous responsibilities with aplomb. I would like to mention views of Shri Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan, the then Raksha Mantri about working style of Arjan Singh under stress. Chavan mentioned in the war diary that young Arjan Singh would enter the Defence Minister’s office with summary of the war news in the sky and report the happenings without displaying any emotion. Good news or bad news did not matter to him. He would lay his plans for tackling superior American military flying machines piloted by Pakistan pilots and remained unflappable always. Raksha Mantri Chavan was sure in his mind that the Indian Air Force would win laurels despite its outdated military aircraft.
It was the Vajpayee government that elevated Arjan Singh to the rank of Air Chief Marshal, equivalent to a four star General of the Army. The rank and file of the IAF loved him, adored him for his qualities of leadership. Arjan Singh was just in his dealings with officers and airmen without displaying any fear or favour. Flying was his first love and, of course, his last love. I must make a mention of the all round support that his loving wife gave him throughout their companionship as husband and wife. Indeed Arjan Singh was very lonesome when she predeceased him. That’s the way it is and the widower took it in his normal stride of life. The philosophy of life was known to him. Anyone born in this world is bound to kick the bucket sooner or later.
Marshal of the Air Force, equivalent to a Field Marshal of the Army, Arjan Singh was a health buff. He stood erect like a ramrod till the closing years of his life. But for the evening of his life, he would enjoy the morning fresh air and exercise his limbs. It gave him a lot of self confidence to face the challenges thrown by the enemy in a bloody war. Arjan Singh had a sense of humour and would laugh a lot. Laughter of his kept the malady called depression at bay.
Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh had a well rounded personality without angularities. He has left this world for good but the world will always remember him as he has left behind sweet memories in Service and out of Service.
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