NIYOG IS VEDIC NOT NOCTURNAL

AUM

NIYOG IS VEDIC NOT NOCTURNAL

                                 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.

NIYOG  NUANCES

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.

IS NIYOG A SIN

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.

FUTURE OF NIYOG

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.

Email:  chitranjan.sawant@gmail.com     or  vedicupvan@rediffmail.com     Mobile:  0091-9811173590

 

 

 

 

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GEETA DEVI LEADS TO SUKH-SHANTI

AUM
GEETA DEVI LEADS VILLAGE TO REAL HAPPINESS
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Name is Kachchbali but it was a village of drunkards with weak personalities. A village in Rajasthan knew no laughter. There was strife galore because most of the men folk drank alcohol from sunrise to sunset and even at night. They squandered their hard earned money just to remain intoxicated all the time. Sleeping hours and waking hours made no difference to consumption of hard drinks mixed with local intoxicants. The drunkards could hardly walk but they kept on drinking until they fell flat on the ground anywhere. An obnoxious sight indeed.
Women folk of the village were worst sufferers in that scenario. In a family strife, women would get beaten up, abused and at times had to go without food because earnings went to the wine shop. The wine seller became richer day by day and the village men poorer by day and night. In a drunken state they used to demand sex but failed to perform. It was nothing but torture for women of the village.
Children in almost all the families just remained silent spectators to the tragedy enacted every day every night. Their education suffered because their parents had no money to buy wherewithall for a good educational grounding. Some were compelled to become school dropouts as their parents defaulted in paying even the basic fees. The scene was gloomy. No help was forthcoming from any outside agency. NGOs looked the other way, what to say of local administration.
Women folk were religious minded. They said their daily prayers and begged God for deliverance from the clutches of demon called alcohol. The active ones among them acted on their own and asked for no help except from ISHWAR. Their prayers were answered. They suddenly had internal strength of their souls. They heard their inner voice that asked them to slay the demon that had been continuously destroying their family life generation after generation.
Geeta Devi emerged as a leader of the distraught and the forlorn. She made a road map and walked on it to give deliverance to her sisters of the village. The initial step of hers was to wield power and control the purse. She, with the active support of her Sahelis of the village, campaigned for the post of Sarpanch and succeeded in getting elected. There was no opposition worth the name to stop her juggernaut. Once she occupied post of Sarpanch, she organized another referendum of the same electorate to empower women folk of the village to lead them to a new village sans wine shops in the vicinity. Lo and behold ! a changed scenario was emerging.
In the village chaupal classes for men were organized to detoxify them, drill into them advantages of a wine free village and not forgetting a bright future for their children, both boys and girls. Initially, there was a stiff opposition from those who were addicted to stiff drinks. They did not want to give up their existing state of being on Cloud Nine for a future way of life that they were not aware of so far. Live in the Present, forget the Future because who knows what the Future has in store for them.
Gita Devi is also made of sterner stuff. Never say DIE – is her motto and she shapes her schedule accordingly. She won the final battle when the story of women folk making village free from Intoxicants hit the headlines in the local Hindi media. Support stated pouring in from unexpected and unknown quarters. It boosted the morale of Geeta Devi and her companions of the fair sex. They came up with road maps to proceed further and started working on it with renewed energy that comes from determination. Worshippers of Yogeshwar Shri Krishna knew His teachings by heart. “YUDHAYA KRIT NISHCHAYAH” – fight on with determination – and nothing could now subdue their indomitable spirit. They had tasted blood and knew that success was around corner.
The bell rang in the right quarters that matter politically and administratively. Since the State policy favoured closure of wine shops in areas where the people demanded it, the citadel of opposition crumbled like a house of cards. The contractors of wine shops of India Made Foreign Liquor and the desi tharra received their marching orders.
Gita Devi and her staunch supporters – Sahelis – had won the battle amidst strong opposition of those who loved their evening peg of alcohol and stiff anti-canvassing of their cohorts. In the village named Kachchbali in Rajasthan AND ITS VICINITY WHERE WOMEN COULD NOT COME OUT IN THE OPEN AFTER DUSK FOR FEAR OF BEING MOLESTED, IT WAS A HAVEN FOR ONE AND ALL.
Thanks to Gita Devi, the Sarpanch and her staunch supporters, the Sahelis, now peace prevails. Freedom of movement is indeed absolute. Children attend schools regularly and study well. Women are no more beaten up by drunkard- husbands. Above all, there is always a handful of silver in the family coffers to be spent on welfare of the entire family.
Email : aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com Mob. 9811173590.

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FIRE AND FURY AT ANSARI FAREWELL

AUM
FIRE AND FURY ON REMARKS OF FORMER VP
By Brigadier(R) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
OF LATE A LOT HAS BEEN WRITTEN ON THE PARTING KICK OF SHRI HAMID ANSARI AT HIS FAREWELL FUNCTION
The crux of the matter is that what the gentleman had been hiding in his heart came out at the farewell function. Generally speaking, pleasantness and bonhomie are the hallmark of farewell functions. It would have been better if Hamid Ansari Ji had avoided making an unsavory remark just before his departure.
It is said by some analysts who remain aonymous that Ansari Ji felt grateful to the Congress party for having made him the Vice President and let him remain in saddle for a decade. So as a symbol of gratefulness to the Congress party Ansari ji spoke about the feeling of insecurity among Muslims in Bharat so that they vote for the Congress party in ensuing elections. However, political analysts feel that by his uncalled for remark, Hamid Ansari ji has jeopardised interests of his own community. He could have just smiled and said “Thank You” to the organisors of the farewell function that went sour.
I recall a similar unsavory remark made by the former Prime Minister Shri Man Mohan Singh while in office declaring that Muslims had the First Claim on the wealth of India. Thus he createwd such a backlash that the Hindus deserted Congress terming it anti-Hindu that its tally of elected members in the Lok Sabha just remained in forties only. Once it was a ruling party but in 2014 Lok Sabha election it could not muster even 50 MPs and thus lost the claim to be the Opposition Party.
It is seen that Muslims are damaging political interests of members of their own community. Shri Hamid Ansari has joined the Roll of Honour by enlisting himself among them.
There are many other examples to show that the Owaisi-like thought process followed by communal action is giving a new title to friends of Insecurity Brigade as the Neo Muslim Leagures who created Pakistan.
It is time that leaders of the Muslim community changed course and opted for friendly relations with Hindus and others living in India that is Bharat. The earlier neo-Muslim Leaguers chang course, the better it would be for our motherland, Bharat.

EMAIL: aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com

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FIRE AND FURY ON ANSARI REMARK

AUM
FIRE AND FURY ON REMARKS OF FORMER VP
By Brigadier(R) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
OF LATE A LOT HAS BEEN WRITTEN ON THE PARTING KICK OF SHRI HAMID ANSARI AT HIS FAREWELL FUNCTION
The crux of the matter is that what the gentleman had been hiding in his heart came out at the farewell function. Generally speaking, pleasantness and bonhomie are the hallmark of farewell functions. It would have been better if Hamid Ansari Ji had avoided making an unsavory remark just before his departure.
It is said by some analysts who remain aonymous that Ansari Ji felt grateful to the Congress party for having made him the Vice President and let him remain in saddle for a decade. So as a symbol of gratefulness to the Congress party Ansari ji spoke about the feeling of insecurity among Muslims in Bharat so that they vote for the Congress party in ensuing elections. However, political analysts feel that by his uncalled for remark, Hamid Ansari ji has jeopardised interests of his own community. He could have just smiled and said “Thank You” to the organisors of the farewell function that went sour.
I recall a similar unsavory remark made by the former Prime Minister Shri Man Mohan Singh while in office declaring that Muslims had the First Claim on the wealth of India. Thus he createwd such a backlash that the Hindus deserted Congress terming it anti-Hindu that its tally of elected members in the Lok Sabha just remained in forties only. Once it was a ruling party but in 2014 Lok Sabha election it could not muster even 50 MPs and thus lost the claim to be the Opposition Party.
It is seen that Muslims are damaging political interests of members of their own community. Shri Hamid Ansari has joined the Roll of Honour by enlisting himself among them.
There are many other examples to show that the Owaisi-like thought process followed by communal action is giving a new title to friends of Insecurity Brigade as the Neo Muslim Leagures who created Pakistan.
It is time that leaders of the Muslim community changed course and opted for friendly relations with Hindus and others living in India that is Bharat. The earlier neo-Muslim Leaguers chang course, the better it would be for our motherland, Bharat.

eMAIL : AUMCHITRANJANSAWANT@GMAIL.COM or sawantchitranjan@yahoo.com

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INDEPENDENCE DAY HISTORY

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RED FORT RAMPARTS HAS SEEN HISTORY. LET US SHARE A PART OF IT

AUM
RED FORT RAMPARTS CALLING
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Greetings to friends, countrymen, Indians and others from Ramparts of the Red Fort, Delhi and this is your commentator, Major Chitranjan Sawant, face to face with you on the occasion of today’s national event, our Independence Day. The 13 buglers from the three Services; Army, the Navy and the Air Force standing atop the big Lahore Gate, inside the artistic mini arches, have just sounded the Fanfare denoting the arrival of the Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard of Honour right in front of the main ramparts of the Red Fort, opposite the huge Lahore Gate. There is a fairly big sized crowd sitting or standing on the other side of the large waterless moat girdling the ramparts. All eyes are fixed on the high pole in the centre of ramparts that has the furled national flag tied smoothly at the top end awaiting the arrival of the Pradhan Mantri, Shrimati Indira Gandhi.
RESPLENDENT IN VICTORY
India, that is Bharat had won a war in December 1971 against its arch rival Pakistan and the new nation, born with the help of Hindu India, named itself Bangladesh and declared Bangla Bhasha as the lingua franca of the new nation. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan continued with Urdu as its official anguage and Islam as its official religion. Thus there was no possibility of the two independent nations coming together for a political reunion in the name of Islam. None of that ever crossed the minds of leaders of the two Muslim countries that always toyed with the idea of going their separate ways to promote nationalism. More than four decades later, when their leaders chose to promote and practise their own state philosophy, India took two paces forward to encourage them. India, the victorious nation, now had the onerous responsibility of taking Bangladesh under her wings to preserve, protect and defend against diabolical designs of Pakistan. The latter always professed Muslim brotherhood but in actual practice left no stone unturned to subjugate their former compatriots to exploit them to the hilt.
Generally speaking, India gave the royal ignore to a belligerent Pakistan and extended brotherly counselling to the friendly administration of Dacca. If disagreement in diplomacy became the order of the day, Delhi remained equi-distant from Dacca and Islamabad. I guess that is what the international diplomacy is all about.
Indira Gandhi’s address to the nation from the ramparts of the red fort reflected this philosophy of political life of the Indian sub-continent.
Dealing with our relationship with the two big power blocs, one Communist led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the other one that boasted of freedom of thought and expression, democracy in electing the government of the day and practising Transparency in Governance was led by the United States of America. Indeed on this National Day of ours, while celebrating Freedom from the British Yoke, we also promised to ourselves never ever fall again in the trap of foreign powers that were ever keen to enslave the people of the Indian Sub-Continent. Indira Gandhi presented bouquets of lovely flowers to leaders of the USSR in absentia whose Navy had trailed and tagged the American flotilla of the Seventh Fleet in the Bay of Bengal during the closing days of the war. America stood exposed and we left it at that to avoid embarrassment to either side. In due course of time, the men of war of the American fleet merged with the growing shadows of twilight and were never seen again anywhere near the Indian territorial waters.
The brickbats reserved for Richard Nixon who had masterminded the tilt towards Pakistan in the American foreign policy in the region, were never used and gathered dust. A consummate master of international affairs that Indira Gandhi was, she always kept some fodder reserved for the rainy day. This far sighted policy of Indira Ji paid rich dividends in the long run and stood the emerging nation in good stead.
DAZZLING HOME FRONT
Much of the precious time of a Prime Minister making a speech from ramparts is taken away by the economic and may be the political policies that he or she has been following so far and changes contemplated, if any. An attack on the communalists in this segment is a sine- qua-non. Indira Gandhi was never trailing on this count. While criticising communalists she roared like a lioness and gave no quarters to those who were critical of her policies. The political opposition ran helter-skelter for cover but found none as these had been destroyed by own troops before the battle began in the right earnest.
Indira Gandhi looked like goddess Durga and sounded like one in her speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Possibly the Maratha generals of the 18th century who had occupied the fort by defeating the then Mughal king were not as ferocious and as incisive as Indira Gandhi was while making her speech, an address to the Nation on 15th August 1972.After all it was under her leadership that the Indian Army had won a war, dismembered Pakistan and helped the new-born nation Bangladesh to find its feet. Indira Gandhi had won laurels but did not wish to sit on it. More courageous tasks lay ahead and she never shirked her responsibilities. Indira Gandhi was Victory personified and the world acknowledged it.
The response of the vast crowd assembled in front of the fort beyond the moat on the grassy grounds was enthusiastic. They clapped with zest whenever Indira Ji made a mention of the arch enemy Pakistan’s defeat in battle. 93 thousand Pakistan prisoners of war were in captivity on the Indian soil and a sizeable area of the enemy territory was under Indian occupation. Obviously the Pakis were down on their knees and had no choice but to beseech the victorious nation for mercy. This created a mood of elation in front of the Red Fort Delhi. It was a sight that comes once in a lifetime and is recorded in the history in letters of gold. The Indian Nation rejoiced and thanked the Almighty and the Leader of the Nation, Indira Gandhi for raising the people’s morale sky high.
VANDE MATARAM MISSING
Students of history conversant with the freedom struggle against the British Raj would recall that the patriotic song that stirred the emotions of young and old alike and motivated all the freedom fighters to go ahead and achieve the aim is VANDE MATARAM. It is a soul stirring song that galvanises all Indians and raises them to the highest pitch of motivation to do or die was written by Bankim babu on a fine Sunday morning when he was just relaxing at home sitting on a charpoy . Bankim Chandra Chatterji was a Deputy Collector in the service of the British Raj in India but also dabbled with the pen to produce some fine literature in the Bangala language. Among his masterpieces was a novel on the Sanyasi revolt against the oppressive rule of the Nawab supported by the British Raj to the hilt. Vande Mataram formed an indivisible part of that novel.
Vande Mataram courted controversy from Day One. Bankim babu’s wife thought that it had an overdose of Sanskrit and that would drive away the non-Sanskrit readers. The Muslim readers thought that the lines worshipping goddess Bharat Mata went against the grain of Islam and as such could not form the National Anthem of a country that believed and practised Plurality of culture. The matter lay where it was for quite some time.
It was, however, the Indian National Congress that revived it after censuring the stanzas and lines that offended Islam. Thereafter, it was sung at the Congress annual session by no less a person than Rabindra Nath Tagore himself. Who drew applause from one and all present there, irrespective of their caste, creed, colour or religion. It was a foregone conclusion that Vande Mataram would ascend the stand as the National Anthem of a free Bharat.
Meanwhile His Majesty the King Emperor of India, King George V and Queen Mary, the Empress of India visited the then capital of the Raj in India, Calcutta. In the Welcome Ceremony, a song eulogising the King and Queen was sung by Tagore himself. It was entitled “Jana Gana Mana”and was widely reported in the English dailies of Calcutta. Who knew at that time that the welcome song sung for a foreign ruler would one day become the National Anthem of independent India and stir up a gigantic controversy.
In the closing session of the Constituent Assembly the question of National Anthem kicked up a row with Nehru for the eulogy sung for King George V and Queen Mary but the rank and file of the Congress party clamoured for Vande Mataram to be raised in status. Dr Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constituent Assembly found a via media to solve the gigantic problem. Sensing the mood of the House, Rajen Babu let Nehru have his way and also the rank and file have their way too. Jana Gana Mana was voted as the National Anthem and Vande Mataram as the National Song with both being accorded equal status and to be sung with gusto on the State Occasion. However, Nehru, being the Prime Minister and Head of the Govt saw to it that Jana Gana Mana remained in circulation and Vande Mataram faded into oblivion.
The Independence Day is celebrated at the Red Fort, Jana Gana Mana is sung or struck on the military band but the National Song, Vande Mataram is conspicuous by its absence from the ceremony. The song that the freedom fighters sang IN A CHORUS AND BRAVED THE BULLETS OF THE BRITISH is ignored by the powers that be as an Untouchable year after year. Isn’t it a matter of National Shame that Vande Mataram is not sung on a National Day like the Independence Day.
People’s faith in freedom has been waning year after year and now only the Policemen and other uniformed services assemble in front of the ramparts to clap at unfurling of the National Flag and hear the Prime Minister address the nation. A few Congressmen may be spotted sitting in between the Khaki clad Jawans. The AAM AADAMI is conspicuous by his absence.

YEAR AFTER YEAR
I hate to pat my own back on any occasion in any context. However, when I ascend the ramparts of the Red Fort for doing the running commentary on the electronic media, I am invariably reminded of Indira Gandhi who addressed the Indian Nation on this august day for 15 years, year after year. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru had the singular distinction of doing so as many as sixteen times. He would climb up the stairs before unfurling the National Flag and climb down after delivering the address. However, an elevator was installed for Lal Bahadur Shastri since he had a heart condition. Indira Ji would take the lift while going up but would prefer to use the stairs after the function. The record of the father-daughter duo in unfurling the national flag from ramparts remains unbroken till today in the 21st century.
By the way, I may mention that there was NO unfurling of the Tricolour on the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15th August 1947 as the flag was hoisted on the vast grounds near the Princes Park, India Gate area. The ceremony was done at the Red Fort on 16th August 1947 and thereafter on the 15th August year after year.
Well, my wild thoughts went down the memory lane as I prepared my commentary for the 66th Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort Delhi. I had commenced my job as a Major, making use of upward mobility reaching the rank of a Brigadier. On my retirement from the Army 22 years ago, and reverting to the civvy street, I never took an umbrage if an old Akashvani or Doordarshan broadcaster still addressed me as Major Saheb. Life is like that.
May the Almighty be kind to our people and generous to our Nation. May we have Peace and Prosperity year after year ! May the Common Man come to the Red Fort again on the Independence Day. May our favourite national song from days of freedom struggle be sung in unison from ramparts of the Red Fort again and again to stir the national spirit among leaders and led alike; so that we may say with pride MERA BHARAT MAHAN.
UPVAN 609, Sector 29, NOIDA – 201303 Email : aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com
Mobile: 9811173590. Landline: 0120-4202084

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RED FORT RAMPARTS CALLING

RED FORT RAMPARTS HAS SEEN HISTORY. LET US SHARE A PART OF IT.

AUM
RED FORT RAMPARTS CALLING
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Greetings to friends, countrymen, Indians and others from Ramparts of the Red Fort, Delhi and this is your commentator, Major Chitranjan Sawant, face to face with you on the occasion of today’s national event, our Independence Day. The 13 buglers from the three Services; Army, the Navy and the Air Force standing atop the big Lahore Gate, inside the artistic mini arches, have just sounded the Fanfare denoting the arrival of the Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard of Honour right in front of the main ramparts of the Red Fort, opposite the huge Lahore Gate. There is a fairly big sized crowd sitting or standing on the other side of the large waterless moat girdling the ramparts. All eyes are fixed on the high pole in the centre of ramparts that has the furled national flag tied smoothly at the top end awaiting the arrival of the Pradhan Mantri, Shrimati Indira Gandhi.
RESPLENDENT IN VICTORY
India, that is Bharat had won a war in December 1971 against its arch rival Pakistan and the new nation, born with the help of Hindu India, named itself Bangladesh and declared Bangla Bhasha as the lingua franca of the new nation. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan continued with Urdu as its official anguage and Islam as its official religion. Thus there was no possibility of the two independent nations coming together for a political reunion in the name of Islam. None of that ever crossed the minds of leaders of the two Muslim countries that always toyed with the idea of going their separate ways to promote nationalism. More than four decades later, when their leaders chose to promote and practise their own state philosophy, India took two paces forward to encourage them. India, the victorious nation, now had the onerous responsibility of taking Bangladesh under her wings to preserve, protect and defend against diabolical designs of Pakistan. The latter always professed Muslim brotherhood but in actual practice left no stone unturned to subjugate their former compatriots to exploit them to the hilt.
Generally speaking, India gave the royal ignore to a belligerent Pakistan and extended brotherly counselling to the friendly administration of Dacca. If disagreement in diplomacy became the order of the day, Delhi remained equi-distant from Dacca and Islamabad. I guess that is what the international diplomacy is all about.
Indira Gandhi’s address to the nation from the ramparts of the red fort reflected this philosophy of political life of the Indian sub-continent.
Dealing with our relationship with the two big power blocs, one Communist led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the other one that boasted of freedom of thought and expression, democracy in electing the government of the day and practising Transparency in Governance was led by the United States of America. Indeed on this National Day of ours, while celebrating Freedom from the British Yoke, we also promised to ourselves never ever fall again in the trap of foreign powers that were ever keen to enslave the people of the Indian Sub-Continent. Indira Gandhi presented bouquets of lovely flowers to leaders of the USSR in absentia whose Navy had trailed and tagged the American flotilla of the Seventh Fleet in the Bay of Bengal during the closing days of the war. America stood exposed and we left it at that to avoid embarrassment to either side. In due course of time, the men of war of the American fleet merged with the growing shadows of twilight and were never seen again anywhere near the Indian territorial waters.
The brickbats reserved for Richard Nixon who had masterminded the tilt towards Pakistan in the American foreign policy in the region, were never used and gathered dust. A consummate master of international affairs that Indira Gandhi was, she always kept some fodder reserved for the rainy day. This far sighted policy of Indira Ji paid rich dividends in the long run and stood the emerging nation in good stead.
DAZZLING HOME FRONT
Much of the precious time of a Prime Minister making a speech from ramparts is taken away by the economic and may be the political policies that he or she has been following so far and changes contemplated, if any. An attack on the communalists in this segment is a sine- qua-non. Indira Gandhi was never trailing on this count. While criticising communalists she roared like a lioness and gave no quarters to those who were critical of her policies. The political opposition ran helter-skelter for cover but found none as these had been destroyed by own troops before the battle began in the right earnest.
Indira Gandhi looked like goddess Durga and sounded like one in her speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Possibly the Maratha generals of the 18th century who had occupied the fort by defeating the then Mughal king were not as ferocious and as incisive as Indira Gandhi was while making her speech, an address to the Nation on 15th August 1972.After all it was under her leadership that the Indian Army had won a war, dismembered Pakistan and helped the new-born nation Bangladesh to find its feet. Indira Gandhi had won laurels but did not wish to sit on it. More courageous tasks lay ahead and she never shirked her responsibilities. Indira Gandhi was Victory personified and the world acknowledged it.
The response of the vast crowd assembled in front of the fort beyond the moat on the grassy grounds was enthusiastic. They clapped with zest whenever Indira Ji made a mention of the arch enemy Pakistan’s defeat in battle. 93 thousand Pakistan prisoners of war were in captivity on the Indian soil and a sizeable area of the enemy territory was under Indian occupation. Obviously the Pakis were down on their knees and had no choice but to beseech the victorious nation for mercy. This created a mood of elation in front of the Red Fort Delhi. It was a sight that comes once in a lifetime and is recorded in the history in letters of gold. The Indian Nation rejoiced and thanked the Almighty and the Leader of the Nation, Indira Gandhi for raising the people’s morale sky high.
VANDE MATARAM MISSING
Students of history conversant with the freedom struggle against the British Raj would recall that the patriotic song that stirred the emotions of young and old alike and motivated all the freedom fighters to go ahead and achieve the aim is VANDE MATARAM. It is a soul stirring song that galvanises all Indians and raises them to the highest pitch of motivation to do or die was written by Bankim babu on a fine Sunday morning when he was just relaxing at home sitting on a charpoy . Bankim Chandra Chatterji was a Deputy Collector in the service of the British Raj in India but also dabbled with the pen to produce some fine literature in the Bangala language. Among his masterpieces was a novel on the Sanyasi revolt against the oppressive rule of the Nawab supported by the British Raj to the hilt. Vande Mataram formed an indivisible part of that novel.
Vande Mataram courted controversy from Day One. Bankim babu’s wife thought that it had an overdose of Sanskrit and that would drive away the non-Sanskrit readers. The Muslim readers thought that the lines worshipping goddess Bharat Mata went against the grain of Islam and as such could not form the National Anthem of a country that believed and practised Plurality of culture. The matter lay where it was for quite some time.
It was, however, the Indian National Congress that revived it after censuring the stanzas and lines that offended Islam. Thereafter, it was sung at the Congress annual session by no less a person than Rabindra Nath Tagore himself. Who drew applause from one and all present there, irrespective of their caste, creed, colour or religion. It was a foregone conclusion that Vande Mataram would ascend the stand as the National Anthem of a free Bharat.
Meanwhile His Majesty the King Emperor of India, King George V and Queen Mary, the Empress of India visited the then capital of the Raj in India, Calcutta. In the Welcome Ceremony, a song eulogising the King and Queen was sung by Tagore himself. It was entitled “Jana Gana Mana”and was widely reported in the English dailies of Calcutta. Who knew at that time that the welcome song sung for a foreign ruler would one day become the National Anthem of independent India and stir up a gigantic controversy.
In the closing session of the Constituent Assembly the question of National Anthem kicked up a row with Nehru for the eulogy sung for King George V and Queen Mary but the rank and file of the Congress party clamoured for Vande Mataram to be raised in status. Dr Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constituent Assembly found a via media to solve the gigantic problem. Sensing the mood of the House, Rajen Babu let Nehru have his way and also the rank and file have their way too. Jana Gana Mana was voted as the National Anthem and Vande Mataram as the National Song with both being accorded equal status and to be sung with gusto on the State Occasion. However, Nehru, being the Prime Minister and Head of the Govt saw to it that Jana Gana Mana remained in circulation and Vande Mataram faded into oblivion.
The Independence Day is celebrated at the Red Fort, Jana Gana Mana is sung or struck on the military band but the National Song, Vande Mataram is conspicuous by its absence from the ceremony. The song that the freedom fighters sang IN A CHORUS AND BRAVED THE BULLETS OF THE BRITISH is ignored by the powers that be as an Untouchable year after year. Isn’t it a matter of National Shame that Vande Mataram is not sung on a National Day like the Independence Day.
People’s faith in freedom has been waning year after year and now only the Policemen and other uniformed services assemble in front of the ramparts to clap at unfurling of the National Flag and hear the Prime Minister address the nation. A few Congressmen may be spotted sitting in between the Khaki clad Jawans. The AAM AADAMI is conspicuous by his absence.

YEAR AFTER YEAR
I hate to pat my own back on any occasion in any context. However, when I ascend the ramparts of the Red Fort for doing the running commentary on the electronic media, I am invariably reminded of Indira Gandhi who addressed the Indian Nation on this august day for 15 years, year after year. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru had the singular distinction of doing so as many as sixteen times. He would climb up the stairs before unfurling the National Flag and climb down after delivering the address. However, an elevator was installed for Lal Bahadur Shastri since he had a heart condition. Indira Ji would take the lift while going up but would prefer to use the stairs after the function. The record of the father-daughter duo in unfurling the national flag from ramparts remains unbroken till today in the 21st century.
By the way, I may mention that there was NO unfurling of the Tricolour on the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15th August 1947 as the flag was hoisted on the vast grounds near the Princes Park, India Gate area. The ceremony was done at the Red Fort on 16th August 1947 and thereafter on the 15th August year after year.
Well, my wild thoughts went down the memory lane as I prepared my commentary for the 66th Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort Delhi. I had commenced my job as a Major, making use of upward mobility reaching the rank of a Brigadier. On my retirement from the Army 22 years ago, and reverting to the civvy street, I never took an umbrage if an old Akashvani or Doordarshan broadcaster still addressed me as Major Saheb. Life is like that.
May the Almighty be kind to our people and generous to our Nation. May we have Peace and Prosperity year after year ! May the Common Man come to the Red Fort again on the Independence Day. May our favourite national song from days of freedom struggle be sung in unison from ramparts of the Red Fort again and again to stir the national spirit among leaders and led alike; so that we may say with pride MERA BHARAT MAHAN.
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AUMCONTACT US

FIELD MARSHAL SAM MANEKSHAW AS I KNEW HIM: BRIGADIER SAWANT

It was there on the afternoon of 16th December 1971 that General Maneksha’s strength of character in dealing with Bangladesh citizens and refusing to handover Pakis to Mukti Bahini to be lynched, came into prominence. Sam followed the Geneva Convention in dealing with the PoWs while the large and angry crowds were baying for their blood.
Article by Brigadier CHITRANJAN SAWANT,VSM
General Sam Manekshaw’s firmness was appreciated by one and all. The Government of India had other plans up its sleeves. After a long time an announcement was made.
General Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshetji Manekshaw would be elevated to the rank of Field Manekshaw in recognition of his services to the country during the war and leading the Indian Army to a massive victory leading to dismemberment of Pakistan, this fact was a foregone conclusion.
The one and the only one
The Indian Army never had an officer of the rank of a Field Marshal. The problem was: what shape, size and colour the badges of rank would be. Books and pictures of the Royal British Army were consulted, drawings made and emergency orders placed. Fortunately everyone played the ball and both the badges of rank and the Field Marshal’s Baton were delivered to the ceremonial desk of Army Headquarters well in time.
President Varahgiri Venkat Giri anointed Sam with the badges of rank of a Field Marshal, the first and the only one up to that moment in the post independence Indian Army. Of course, the wartime Indian Army did have British officers of that august rank like Field Marshal Slim of the Burma campaign who made history and wrote a book “Defeat Into Victory” that is read by the staff and students of all Staff Colleges as a masterpiece of military history. Sam Manekshaw too had played an important role in the Burma Campaign when he fought bravely in the battle of the Sittang Bridge. More on that a little later in the present narrative.
Akashvani Interview
Here was the time and opportunity to record and broadcast an interview with Sam in conversational Hindi in a chatty style and inform all soldiers-in -arms to tune in. Administratively it was all hunky dory and culturally just hilarious. A sober newspaper like the Statesman commented positively on it.
Sam was at his best behaviourwise and did not lose his cool even once while the recording went on for an hour plus. Of course the broadcast time allotted was only 40 minutes. Sam never asked me what I would do with the remaining 20 mts. I had not made any plan either.
I was a Major then and worked in the Akashvani for the Forces Programme. This was my first interview with the senior most serving officer of the Indian Army who had a halo too. As the tape started rolling and the light turned red I shot my first question to find out what the secret of his success was.
His prompt answer floored us “Major Sawant, you have used a word – aap ki safalta ka raaz kya hai? Let me be frank and say that I have not followed your question, especially RAAZ.” I immediately substituted the word – Rahasya or Secret” and we got going.
The battle of Sittang bridge did come in. On being requested by me to describe in detail what all had happened, he narrated with gusto that being young in age he was a little foolhardy. The Japanese forces were in full military control of the area and yet Sam received orders to take a combat patrol out and dislodge the enemy. He charged full steam ahead and inspired his troops to keep pace and make the Japs turn tail.
The Japanese soldiers were made of sterner stuff and put up a stiff resistance. One Japanese soldier got so near Sam that he could pump nine Sten gun bullets into his body. Sam fell on the ground but kept on encouraging his soldiers to fight on which they did. Ultimately Sam’s soldiers captured the strategically important Sittang bridge and drove the Japanese away.
When the Divisional Commander, Sir Cowans heard of it and that Sam could breathe his last anytime, the General rushed to the battle site, cheered up Sam, took off his own Military Cross and pinned it on Sam’s chest anointing him with the gallantary medal which is awarded to the Living and not the Dead. Lo and behold, Sam survived and was evacuated to Madras for better treatment.
The Governor of Madras Presidency came over to look up the brave young Captain who displayed gallantary beyond the call of duty and drove the resilient Japanese soldiers away, he asked Sam whether he could do anything for him. Sam, in his inimitable style requested for two pegs of Scotch before dinner. His request was granted.
Next morning the Military Hospital Commanding Officer found Sam’s morale sky high despite bullet wounds still oozing blood and asked for the secret behind this miracle. Sam smiled and just said, “Scotch Whisky, Sir”. The Commanding Officer wrote on the medical sheet “Continue with the extra-ordinary treatment.” Sam said he was mighty pleased and fully recovered from the Japanese assault much sooner than medically expected.
Looking back I find that I have had met the Field Marshal many times before when he was a Divisional Commander in the rank of Major General commanding 26 Infantry Division in Jammu. It was time when peace prevailed and training for war was the order of the day. Of course, relaxation was thrown in between at appropriate places. Indeed the emphasis was on training and training but relaxation in one form or the other was never neglected.
When Sam became an Army Commander in the rank of Lieutenant General he visited the Tri-junction of India, Bhutan and jungles of NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh. I have had no opportunity as a Captain to interact with him except a handshake when he visited the Brigade Headquarters where I happened to be posted. Anyway, it was a good experience to see him from close quarters and shake hands firmly when the aura and halo of the 1971 war were yet to adorn him.
On assuming the appointment of Chief of the Army Staff in the rank of a four star General Sam went to the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun to take the salute of the Passing Out Parade. I too happened to be there and went trigger happy with my famous camera of the Japanese make that I had bought in the PX while studying Chinese-Mandarin with the US Defence Forces in California.
In one of my colour slides I caught him off guard with his missing tooth rather conspicuous by its absence. I screened it in a slide show at Pachmarhi (where I was posted as a Company Commander of the Chinese-learning Indian officers and Jawans) a couple of years later when the Chief visited the Queen of Satpuras for a Scouts Jamboorie. He whispered into my ear, “You can do without the missing tooth slide in your next show” I dutifully obeyed.
I happened to have another pleasant encounter with Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in an Indian Airlines flight from Madras to Coimbatore when he was visiting his home in Conoor, Nilgiri Hills. I reminded him of all the interviews that I had the pleasant duty to record at various places in the last few years. I requested for one more at the airport lounge and he was pleased to oblige.
There was no point in going through what all had transpired in between the glorious years and a little bad blood that he and some politicians had over a remark of his. And yet he touched on it saying that it is necessary to have a sense of humour to appreciate various off the cuff remarks made jokingly.
In one of his unguarded moments Sam had remarked jocularly that had he been on Pakistan’s side, India would have lost the 1971 war. Many a military strategist opined that jokes must not be cracked at the expense of honour of the motherland. Sam did say to me somberly that he had forgotten the episode as a bad dream. The Nation did not. The responsibility for the episode lay at Sam’s door indeed.
Sam Manekshaw seemed to be cut up that the Government of India of the day did not accord him the honour that was indeed due to be given to him as a Field Marshal. He emphasized time and again that a Field Marshal never retires and continues to be on the rolls of active serving officers of the Army until he breathes his last.
Sam thought that he deserved to be given the pay and allowances, accorded all protocols and ceremonials that a Field Marshal receives in Service. The views of the Government were indeed different.
When Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw expired in his house in Conoor in the Nilgiris, none of the three Service Chiefs attended the funeral to pay their last repects to the deceased Sam. It was business as usual. In any case Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw has etched a niche in the hearts and minds of his compatriots that no unsavoury incident can erase. Sam will live in the annals of military history of India forever.
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BEATING RETREAT CEREMONY

Beating Retreat ceremony 2016: As enjoyable as ever
Brigadier CHITRANJAN SAWANT,VSM

The Vijay Chowk on January 29, 2016 looks so different in the glow of setting sun. The dramatis personae have undergone a wholesale change. The lovely square between the North Block, the South Block, the Sansad Bhawan and of course, the Rashtrapati Bhawan up and beyond the Raisina Hill slope has many men in uniform who look so different. The band music is pleasing to the ears as the environment is pleasing to the eye but it is not the same as it used to be until last year.

What is the change?
The government of PM Narendra Modi has brought in a change for the better. He has placed a no-nonsense man named Manohar Parrikar in the Raksha Mantri’s saddle and the wind of change has started blowing from all directions. Leaving aside his penchant for booking the guilty men who had been having a rollicking time under the previous regime of a permissive party, even the domain of martial music have started singing a different tune with a healthy dose of Hindustan Sangeet. The Indian musical instruments like Mridang, Tabla, sitar and santoor are in evidence.
There is a healthy blend of music that has taken away the exclusive character of Beating Retreat having only Military Music. Indeed the fusion of Shastriya Sangeet with Military Band Martial Music has made the august occasion sweeter, prettier and more pleasing to both eyes and ears.
Of the 21 performances, as many as 18 have been composed by the Bhartiya Sangeetkars. Ten Bhartiya compositions are being played for the first time or after a gap of over six years.
The Indian Army bands played new tunes like Dal Dal Pe Sone Ki Chidiya, Swarnim Desh, Dhruv and Blessings of God. The combined band of the Navy and the Air Force played Skylord, Brave Warriors, Stride, the Western Seas, Rejoice in Raisina and Fidos. Among the First Timers this year is “Gagan Dhamama Bajio’, a quick march with lilting moving music to keep pace with the marching boots on the ground. TUM TUM comprising a set of four small drums did make an appearance for the second time despite being paraded as a first timer. I hope that my memory as an electronic media commentator serves me right otherwise I shall stand corrected.
It is interesting to note that this year the Beating Retreat has had 14 Military Bands, 17 Pipes and Frums, 85 buglers and 14 trumpeters. Besides the ones listed here as many as four Military Bands of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
The principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony this year was Squadron Leader G Jayachandran. The Army Bands were under the musical leadership of Subedar Major (Musician) Ramesh Singh. Master Chief Petty Officer Ramesh Chand took musical care of the Navy and Air Force Musicians.
Well before bidding adieu to our dear readers, I would like to mention that the Beating Retreat is now only a special ceremony for special occasions. It is far removed from its illustrious past when the dogfight between the warring forces came to a dead stop at the Sunset. To ensure cessation of fighting at sunset, all warriors used to come to attention and stood still. The arrow on the bow was not discharged, the hand raised with the sword was frozen in the raised position without striking a blow.
As history narrates in the Mahabharat war, the Pandavas visited the Kauravas in the latter’s camp and vice-versa. Both the belligerent sides paid obeisance to Bhishma Pitamah together and after paying glowing tributes to his skill of archery, asked him how to neutralise him in battlefield. The warriors who thirsted for each other’s blood in battle embraced and patted the adversary like brothers.
The ancient significance of Beating Retreat has vanished with the times but the ceremony remains as enchanting as ever in the 21st century too.
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