kailash mansarovar yatra via sikkim





Blog by Chitranjan Sawant



–       By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi and President of People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping talked sweet things when the latter visited Bharat in September 2014. Gujarat’s hospitality overseen by Narendra bhai Modi touched the hearts of the honoured guests from across the Himalayas. Both the distinguished guests, Xi jinping and his wife, the first lady of China, Mme Li Pengyuan did a good turn to the common man in the host country. The First Lady, a soprano in her own profession of music and opera, sang a song in Hindi that moved millions who saw and heard on the national TV channels of both the countries. The President sat on the floor of the Sabarmati ashram dangling his legs from the plinth and looked absolutely relaxed with Narendra bhai charmed by his heart to heart talk.

Among myriad topics touched by the two leaders of neighbouring giants was the opening of an easy route for the Hindu pilgrims visiting holy Mount Kailash, 6700 Meters above sea level, and Lake Mansarovar, 4,600 meters above sea level covering an area of 400 sq Km, in the Autonomous Region of Tibet in the People’s Republic of China.

Premier Modi proposed and President Xi nodded assent. The result is there for the world to see.

The first group of Hindu pilgrims on way to the sacred places crossed the Nathula pass in Sikkim in June 15 and entered Tibet among fanfare and reception organized by the Chinese authorities. As a goodwill gesture the hosts presented pilgrims a jacket, a backpack and a blanket each that was appreciated by one and all.

Opening of the new route will make going easier and cut the arduous journey time from 20 days to just eight days or so. It will be more economical to go on pilgrimage to the most holy places of the Hindus, now affordable by economically weaker sections of the society. Further, the new route is safer and more convenient for senior citizens, both men and women. The mutual trust between peoples of Bharat and China will indeed be enhanced and permeate other fields of social, political and strategic exchanges flowing from the religious one.

The Nathula pass is located at an altitude of 4545 meters above sea level whereas the former route via Kumaon hills had to go across the Lipulekh pass situated at an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level. The old route led to fatal casualties at times and generated fear in the hearts of older pilgrims.

Way back in 1993 I too had the proud privilege of being a pilgrim to holy Mount Kailash in the sixtieth year of my life. Akashvani (All India Radio) needed a comprehensive radio feature in Hindi on the two holiest of the holy places and chose me, an old war horse, to deliver the goods. I did not belie their great expectations. The radio connoisseurs called my radio features a work of art completed under trying circumstances compounded by inclement weather and merciless environment of high altitude. I thanked the AIR bosses for their complimentary words and returned home after collecting my cheque of remuneration, not a princely sum by any standards.




The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra has been going on from time immemorial. When the present regime of China did not exist and Tibet enjoyed an independent status, the Hindu pilgrims from Bharat and elsewhere went to holy Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar on a pilgrimage. The pilgrims were not shackled by rules of passport and visa which were non-existent. Hermits, holy men and women, commoners and kings alike wished to go there once in a lifetime. Generally speaking the Yatras or pilgrimage started from Almora, a district headquarters in the Kumaon hills. They travelled in large groups and were on their own logistically. Their needs were simple and were easily met by local village shops enroute. The fear of theft or robbery was non-existent in the hilly region, also known as Devbhumi. How could Rakshas-like acts and omissions take place in a region permeated by godly virtues of religious travellers. Sexual crimes had not found their way in the lexicons of Yatris till then.

I have had an opportunity to interview a German couple on pilgrimage to the aforesaid holy places like we were. They stayed in a small bivouac overnight. I asked them that in that small sleeping space where their bodies rubbed against each other involuntarily, did they have an erotic feeling at dead of night. “None, whatsoever”, that was an emphatic reply of the burly husband whose petit wife nodded assent. I was impressed indeed! I too had lived a life ofBrahmacharya for the entire period of a month or so of the pilgrimage. It was a circumstantial compulsion in my case since I was a geographical bachelor for the period of pilgrimage.

Came the unfortunate 1962 war between India and China. The relationship between two friendly neighbours was soured for almost two decades. Of course, the Hindu yatris clamoured for reopening of a pilgrimage route, notwithstanding political and military relationship between the two countries. China was now firmly established as a fate dispenser of the Tibetan region and it was the central government in Beijing that called the shots. Both the countries entered into a negotiation to reopen the religious route along the traditional lines. The government control on the religious pilgrimage was loud and clear but the Yatra did start in the early 1980s. The pilgrims were constantly under surveillance and their trucks canopied on all sides like the ones of prisoners of war.

The tension was reduced gradually as the relationship between the two countries sweetened by amiable behavior of leadership of both the nations. Of course, friendly relations were never better than what they are now, thanks to Narendra Modi Ji and President Xi jinping. Our citizens hope that the mutual good relationship will proceed from good to better and the best. One day our Hindu pilgrims may see the dawn when they travel from Bharat to holy Kailash Parvat and Mansarovar Jheel unencumbered by passport and visa.

A question comes to mind about continuation of the old yatra route; the new one becoming more popular day by day. It is given to understand that both the yatra routes may continue to be operated because the number of pilgrims is on the increase year after year. Some pilgrims are taking the Nepal route too where there is no walking involved until one reaches the base camp of Kailash Parvat. The place is named Tarchhen or big flag in the Tibetan language, that can be seen from miles by pilgrims giving them solace that their goal is not far off. Thereafter one perambulates the holy mountain on foot or on the back of a Yak – a special species akin to bison of our jungles in India. In our case, the perambulation had taken two and a half days but it was not tiring.

The Yak is an animal of many utilities. It is a beast of burden and the female yak is milked for making butter and other goodies. There is no stirrup or reins, just a makeshift saddle of blankets tied with ropes that may shift with the shifting weight of the rider. However, even lady pilgrims cling on despite hazards created by wayward behavior of the male yak, especially when it sees a tuft of green grass – rather rare in the region. But even a fall may not cause an injury as the yak stands still thereafter.

Sometimes words of wisdom come from cowherds tending to cattle on the Tibetan plateau. During the Yatra, a nomad brought a silver sheathed steel dagger to sell as an antique to me. On being told that the price was 30 Chinese Yuan plus in the 1990s, I asked a cowherd standing there whether it was expensive. He gave me a sermon on Economics and said” Sir, if you need the dagger, the price is not expensive; if you do not need it, the price is very expensive.” I was impressed and bought the small dagger.


I am so enamoured of the beauty of holy Mount Kailash that I wish to go there again and again. The Vedic Dharm that I profess teaches that Ishwar is Omnipresent and is NIRAKAR – without a form and has no abode as such. Thus Kailash Parvat cannot be the permanent abode of God. Nevertheless the natural scenic beauty beckons despite hazards of the arduous journey. Likewise Lake Mansarovar reflects moods and shades of colours of the firmament and always looks bewitching. The hue changes from moment to moment and all hues of all moments are equally fascinating. One goes round the Lake Mansarovar on a pony back as the ground is sandy. We Hindus love to bathe in a lake or a river but the Tibetan Buddhists consider it sacrilege. Bathing dirties the purity of the lake water; so they say. They do not object to our bathing since we are from the Land of the Buddha, the founder of their faith.

It may not be feasible for me to visit Kailash Parvat or Mansarovar again since I am in my early Eightees now and rules forbid me to undertake the arduous journey in the high altitude of Tibet where the atmosphere is not conducive to breathing rarified air by super senior citizens. Nevertheless, Kailash Parvat and Lake Mansarovar come to my mind and are seen by my inward eye every now and them.

Email:  aumchitranjansawant@gmail.comMob- ile + 91-9811173590.     Phone:  0091-120-2454622. 

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By Brig. Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
“Jeevem Sharadah Shatam….Adinah Syam Sharadah Shatam”, that is a mantra of the Veda, the most ancient scripture in the library of man. It has been chanted for many thousand years by men and women in India and abroad who profess and practise the Vedic Dharma.
The prayer means that the faithful lives a life of one hundred years and is not dependent on others physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. The praying person draws from the society and repays to the society in one form or the other. The prayer, or Prarthana in Sanskrit-Hindi languages, is supplemented with Purusharth or Action by the individual. Everyone has to to do something or the other to live and it is called Karma in the Sanskrit language. The Vedic philosophy of life is based on Karma and Karmaphal or the result of action or inaction. What you sow, so must you reap. Do good to others and others will do good to you. This philosophy of life has a bearing on your longeivity or otherwise. Mind is the man; therefore, convince yourself that you have to live a healthy and happy life. Your resolve will show results in a positive way.
Aahar that is the food intake influences the Vichar that is the thought process and in totality shapes your personality that is Vyaohar. If the food and drink are so important , an individual should know its guiding principles. The finer details may be worked out accordingly.
HIT BHUK – MIT BHOOK – RIT BHOOK – these three are the guiding principles. In the same Sanskrit language order, it may be said – Eat what is beneficial to body;eat less than the full capacity of the stomach – eat food that has been bought with theMONEY EARNED by the sweat of the brow honestly, without an element of dishonesty and cheating.
A piece of advice from a good dietician will encourage the faithful to eat fibre food, leafy vegetables, coarse grain flower and fruits. Avoiding red meat, stale food, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils etc promotes health in a human being.
Eat less than what your hunger demands – that has been the guiding principle for generations. In the normal course, if your body requires six slices of bread, a health conscious person will probably prefer to eat only four and a half slices of bread. The basic idea is that one must not overload one’s stomach with food, howsoever good it may be.
Generally speaking, not many men and women pay attention to the factor of buying foodstuff with honest money. The Vedic philosophy of life lays an emphasis on the factor of honesty in keeping you healthy and making a centenarian of you. The factor of honesty will keep an individual not only healthy physically and mentally but also contribute to spiritual wellness so essential for a disease-free centenarian.
Now you are all set to take off on your mission to live a healthy and happy life for a century and may be more. Cheers and bon voyage!

_______________________________________________________________Email : aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com         Mob.  9811173590


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                                      By Brigadier(R) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

27th April 2017, 4.45 AM, an Army post about 5 km from POK border is attacked by 4 terrorists clad in army like fatigues. Initially the attacking terrorists had the advantage of surprise and they killed three army men including a captain and seriously injured 5, two of them are in a critical condition, now admitted in the Army Hospital, Srinagar. The Army retaliated with vigour and killed two terrorists; 2 are still untraced. Moral of the story is that the well armed terrorists well trained by our all-time enemy Pakistan have, of late, been striking at will at a time and place of their own choosing. The Indian Army has been on the defensive all these years and naturally suffers from all the disadvantages that a defensive outfit is bound to be burdened with. Indeed it is unbecoming of a large army that the Indian Army is to let a Jehadi outfit gain the upper hand day after day. It is time the Indian Army taught the terrorists a lesson that would not be forgotten by their generations to come.




A fighting fit force like the Indian Army should have its morale sky high always every time. Among a number of factors that make an army upbeat and races its morale sky high is the knowledge among rank and file that they have the tactical superiority to beat the enemy hands down. The modern effective weapon system, freedom to fire weapons tactically as the situation demands and on orders of the unit or sub-unit commander leading them against the enemy, be it a

Regular force or a terror outfit, and support of both the people and the government of the day raises the morale of a soldier and the military outfit.

Do the soldiers have enough to eat and drink? If the stomach is reasonably full, the level of physical fitness will be appropriate to grapple with the enemy. “An Army marches on its stomach” said Napoleon Bonaparte and he was dead right. If a military unit feels that it is being fed rubbish, it would not have its heart in grappling with the enemy. Let the Army on borders be fed well and appropriately so that there are no videos on poor quality edibles going viral and lowering the morale of a unit. No amount of explanation will succeed in wiping out the stigma that a unit soldiers are being fed sub-standard diet that ill nourishes them. Arraigning a soldier who brings poor quality of daily meal to a unit commander, before a military court for trial and punishment will further lower the morale of his buddies. Human psychology should be understood and made use of by a unit commander who should try and not open the Manual of Military Law every now and then.

The political leaders of a province or a country should always say a word of Shabash to his military engaged in a mortal combat with a wily enemy like Pakistan. Let not a Peace Plan come in the way of raising the morale of soldiers. Peace Plan may enable a political party win an election but will push soldiers into abyss of moral defeat. Terrorists and stone- pelters who go unpunished lower the morale of a regular army unit. If the pseudo secularist and sham human rights pen pushers chastise a soldier for throwing a piece of stone back at a terror outfit, they are only boosting the morale of anti-India and pro-Pakistan terrorist outfit. Political leaders who advocate talks with Pakistan sympathisers and keep interests of separatist anti-India elements above national interests are not loyal to Bharat but traitors loyal to Pakistan. These fellows have a hidden strain of Islamist terror in their DNA and do not wish to see Bharat on the ascendancy.




The State and Central governments should jointly make a plan to subdue traitors and terrorists by force, if necessary. Peace proposals have been put forward many a time but have resulted in a naught. A cry for Peace may be raised but not at the cost of morale of the Indian Army. The Kashmir would have been a part of Pakistan but for the presence of the Indian Army there. Those who plan to lower the morale of the Indian soldiers by talking of unattainable Peace even if a soldier is humiliated by traitors, are surreptitiously working on an anti-India plan to lower the morale of the Indian Army.

If the Indian Army soldiers die in greater number than the pro-Pakistan terrorists in pre-dawn surprise attacks on army camps, it goes to prove that sinister designs by Pakistan and fellow travellers have been set in motion by traitors to wrest the Kashmir valley by hook or crook. What wily Pakistan failed to achieve by fighting four major wars against Bharat and losing all of them, it wishes to attain through surreptitious means. Pakistan may call it Jehad OR A HOLY WAR AGAINST India but it is nothing but a surreptitious tactical move to bleed India through a thousand cuts.




Pakistan has been carrying on anti-India propaganda in the Kashmir valley day in and day out. They do it in masjids and madarasas unbridled and unchecked. If prevented from launching such psy-wars, the Islamists cry their throats hoarse saying – Islam is in danger. The bogey has been effectively used by our sworn enemy Pakistan and their loyalist in the Kashmir valley for years. The Indian Tricolour was burnt by Pakistani elements in the presence of many a weakling chief minister many a time but no traitor was ever brought to book. A pro-Pakistan woman Andrabi has been fuelling pro-Pakistan propaganda, raising Paki flags and in some case ISIS flags, but was never brought before a court of law to face justice. It is now in the last week of April 17 that she has been arrested to face the music. The anti-national elements, irrespective of their rank and position in life, must be proceeded against as per law of the land.

India did launch a Surgical strike against Pakistan once and quite successfully. However, one swallow does not make the summer. Such surgical strikes should be order of the day even if they lead to a full fledged war. It is better to fight a war against Pakistan that trains and pushes Islamist terrorists into Bharat than suffer in silence and lose our brave soldiers to their cowardly stealth wars. If India inflicts severe damage in aerial strikes on Pakistan, the latter would think twice before training anti-India terrorists and pushing them into our domain.

I have a word of advice for the Media too. Please do not show pictures of smiling terrorists ready to wage war against your motherland. It serves the purpose of the wily enemy and certainly not ours. I know Media hungry for news from across the borders swallows anything and everything lock stock and barrel but it should pause and think of national interests too.




Well, let our strategic thinkers mull over many alternatives to teach Pakistan a lesson. If any plan, other than full fledged war, works, it would be fine. However, if mulish enemy keeps kicking and there is no option to a War, let it be so. In any case, Pakistan fought four wars against India since 1947 and lost all of them. Let Pakistan wage the Fifth war and lose it too.

E mail: aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com   Landline: 0120-2454622.



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                                             By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

To err is human, to forgive divine – so goes an old adage. Commentators are human beings, they too make mistakes. Fine, but are those mistakes avoidable? What are the corrective steps that a commentator may take so that he or she does not make the same mistake again and again. To err is human but to err repeatedly without making an effort to correct may fall in the category of unpardonable mistakes that may not be forgiven even by divinity. It would be a good idea to list the common mistakes that commentators make and also find ways and means to go up the path leading to a realm sans mistakes – El Dorado of a commentator.



There are some sensitive areas and sagacious commentators steer clear of them. In Bharat religion is a touchy issue and should not be touched even with a barge pole. Well, if one is covering a Conclave of Religions, one has to comment on the goings on in a sincere manner. Of course, one has to study the concerned religion in depth so that one covers salient features of the Conclave in a sincere manner. Indeed, pitfalls have to be avoided meticulously. There may be some touchy areas and an intrusion therein may mean inviting trouble. Why not avoid the so called quicksand in a manner that draws appreciation from listeners and viewers. While discussing religions, it would be a good idea to list some major religions currently being followed by an appreciable number of people all over the world. We may take a view of their salient features and also the thorny issues that wise commentators may not like to touch with a barge pole. The budding commentators may pay attention to what is being written in this chapter.

Vedic Dharma

The most ancient dharma – that has a large number of adherents today is based on the Vedas. The followers of the Vedic Dharma believe that the Vedas are divine revelations given to human beings at the beginning of the Creation as guidelines to live a healthy and happy life. The Vedas are four in number : Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Yajurveda. In them are over 20,000 mantras chanted rhythmically and followed in both letter and spirit. The Mantras cover all aspects of human life from birth to death and chanted in performance of rituals observed in various phases of life. The major Sanskaras, of a total of sixteen, are the Namkaran or naming ceremony, Mundan or shorning of hair on head, Vivah or marriage ceremony, Sanyas or renouncing worldly life to wear ochre clothes and work for welfare of all human beings treating them as One Family – Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam.

The Vedic Dharm admits non-Hindus into their fold naming the ritual as Shuddhi. The school of thought that encourages its Acharyas to proselytize actively is known as the Arya Samaj. In the field of education, a new experimentation with an old system resulted in the establishment of many Gurukulas in various parts of India. Some Gurukulas have carved a niche in the educational realm whereas others struggle to survive.


The Jewish people around the world follow the Old Testament of the Bible and adhere to rituals prevalent before the advent of Jesus Christ and Christianity. They are a wealthy community that survived many offensive actions against them taken by founders of other creeds and philosophy of life. In the medieval period it was Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, and in the modern period it was Hitler, the strong man and almost a dictator of Germany who launched the Second World War. It goes to the credit of the Jewish people that they survived all kinds of onslaught against them and succeeded in founding a State named Israel.

The Jewish people wield great influence over the administrative system of the United States of America.


Christianity believes in the divinity of the Bible – both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ inspire followers of Christianity to a life of happiness. It was prosecuted and penalised in its initial days of existence by Roman Emperors but survived and prospered not only in Rome but all over the world. Indeed it was the teachings of Jesus Christ, believed to be son of God, that formed the foundation of Christianity. Of course, the Roman Empire played a major role in taking the teachings of the Bible to every nook and corner of the world. Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church lives in Rome. All and sundry are advised to go by the beliefs and way of life prevalent in the country one visits. The saying goes: When in Rome do as Romans do.

Christianity is said to be a religion of Peace but both the world wars were fought among States that believed in Christianity. The Church proselytizes actively all over the world and thus Christianity became a religion that is followed all over the world, though in different forms.


ALLAH ( God ) revealed Quran to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in Arabia in the seventh century AD and that became the foundation of a religion known as Islam. It is known as a religion of Peace but history shows that maximum bloodshed was caused by believers in Islam. It is a historical fact that within a few years of Prophet Muhammad’s demise in 632 AD, Islamic forces knocked at the gates of Vienna in the Eastern Europe and Spain in the western part of the continent. Thereafter, the Islamic forces suffered reverses and were rolled back to Asia. The biggest victory of the Islamic forces was in Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire and a seat of Christian learning. There was a blessing in disguise – the Christian defeat made its scholars and artists flee to the western Europe and that triggered the great Renaissance in the realm of learning. Constantinople was renamed as Istanbul and continues to attract Islamic scholars to the seat of Islamic learning, next only to Al Azahar in Egypt.

Careful commentators avoid touching the touchy spheres of Islam lest they give rise to avoidable controversy. One should avoid making an adverse comment on the Prophet and the religious book, Qura’an.


Siddharth, the prince was born in Lumbini. He was distracted on seeing the unpleasant aspects of human life, trials and tribulations that a human being has to go through while leading his life and earning a living. Siddharth was distressed to see that in this world the powerful animal made weaker animals their object of prey and food. In the higher strata of life of the Humans, the story was not much different. When the Prince delved deep into these philosophical aspects, King Shuddhodan, his father, and Mahamaya, his mother, thought that Siddharth’s entry into the Grih Ashram was the panacea of these non-mundane ills. Siddharth was married to a pretty princess, Yashodhara, who became a loving wife to the Prince whose mind was wandering all over. They had a son too named Rahul. Nevertheless, the worldly bonds did not succeed in changing the ascetic mind of Prince Siddharth. One fine morning he gave up the mundane riches of life and abandoned his wife and son to travel to the jungle looking for spiritual Peace.

It was only at Gaya, now Bodh Gaya, where he was enlightened with Divine Revelations after being revived by eating rice cooked in milk offered by a lowly woman, Sujata. Thereafter he meditated, regained health and travelled to Sarnath near Varanasi to deliver his first sermon. The base of his philosophy of life may be summed up as Madhya Marg –the middle path. He illustrated it by the musical instrument, Veena. If its strings are too tight, they might snap; if too loose there will be no musical sound at all. Therefore the human life should not be lived in Extremes but by adopting the Madhya Marg or the middle path.

In a world stricken with strife, the common man looked for Peace. The teachings of Lord Buddha, spread all over by his disciples led by Anand and millions of men and women became Buddhists to attain spiritual Peace. China, Japan, Far-East and Indo-China embraced Buddhism and in countries like Thailand it became the Raj Dharma or a State Religion. Buddhism was adopted by people of Afghanistan, Middle Asia, Mongolia where it survived even after Hinduism, the later form of the Vedic Dharma, replaced it as the dominant religion.

A commentator commenting on Buddhism should imbibe the Peace of mind to do justice to the great religion born in India but became popular in vast parts of Asia and later in other continents too.


Some old hands at doing running commentary may think that it is below their dignity to attend rehearsals of the event they are asked to comment upon. In my opinion, attending Dress Rehearsal of a major event like the Republic Day Parade, gives a commentator an insight into segments of the event that need highlighting with words. Of course, the larger picture is formed by the camera but nuances need description by the commentator.

There is a pitfall too. A good commentator should see and describe the event. At times organisers drop an item or two at short notice without notifying all concerned. If our commentator goes by the official notes prepared before the drop, he or she is likely to mention the dropped item. It would be disastrous. Such an unforgivable incident did take place once or twice when the commentator failed to see events on ground and went verbatim by the pre-prepared script.

A wise commentator should not only attend the full dress rehearsal but also keep his eyes and ears open while doing the running commentary. Grasp the event, grasp the situation on ground and let not imagination fly high to the extent of commenting on a non-event. A commentator is in the driving seat and his sensory organs are loyal to him. Therefore, ride over with reins in your hand and let not the horse take you to stables.


A commentator should have a few objects as his handy aides. A glass of like warm water is a must always and every time. A human throat undergoes strain while one is doing a running commentary. At times the throat suddenly dries up. Not carrying warm water in a thermos flask of your own may be a major mistake. If one starts coughing because of lack of moisture in throat, a sip or two of warm water is a great reliever. Please for Heaven’s sake, never leave that friendly flask behind. Treat it well as a good companion. At some events like the Republic Day Parade, when the security is rather tight, a thermos flask may not be permitted to be taken inside the security zone. One should obtain a written permission of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of security. The slip will cross over barriers and facilitate your show.

Carrying voluminous briefs inside the commentator’s box is certainly not the “done” thing, may be unacceptable. Too much paper around may be confusing and prevent the right piece of paper reaching you at the right time. In nervousness one may be inclined to carry all notes but it may lead you to your Waterloo. This major mistake may become a major hurdle in your forward march to the winning post of an A grade commentator.

Please avoid the mistake of pronouncing foreigners’ names incorrectly. Names of places in foreign countries may also pose a problem, it may not be insurmountable. A good preparation may help you master the pronunciation part and residents of the country concerned will appreciate your preparation. One may say that some foreign news channels do not pronounce the Hindi names correctly but you do not have to follow them. Please be a leader in the field of commentary and let others follow your example of precision in just about everything. Please be a Leader; not a follower.

There may be a temptation to make an off the cuff remark on a sensitive subject. A good commentator should resist that temptation and not hurt the sensitivity of any section of your viewer or listener.

The parting piece of advice of an old hand at doing the running commentary is : Be meticulous in preparation of both the subject matter and own persona. Dress up normally and wear not something outlandish to generate an uninvited giggle. Be punctual. The time to be in the commentator’s box is at least one hour before start of the event. Never run to the post before your commentary commences lest you start panting. It would reflect adversely in your voice. It is the Voice that helps you reach the goal post. Please be cool, calm and composed. You will win laurels – VIJAYEE BHAV.

Email : aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com   Mob. 9811173590.







































































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               –                –               By- Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

freedom OF EXPRESSION IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT. The United Nations Organisation has enshrined it in its august list of varied rights. Geneva based International Publishers Federation made a decision a few years ago that individual publishers who contributed substantially to upholding the right of expression be recognized and honoured in their respective countries.

Mahashay Rajpal of Lahore who had laid down his life on 06 April 1929 was chosen by the United Nations Organisation to be so honoured posthumously in New Delhi defending the right of freedom of expression. The UN award was presented by Shri Lal Krishna Advani to Shri Vishwanath, a son of the Martyr Mahashay Rajpal and presently a publisher of repute himself.

The life and times of Mahashay Rajpal were written on and published extensively. His qualities of head and heart were eulogized and the strength of character was highlighted.


Mahashay Rajpal was born in a not so well  to do family in the cultural city of Amritsar in the Punjab that was founded by the Fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Besides imbibing the ethos of Amritsar, Rajpal Ji came in contact with the Vedic Renaissance of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, a socio-religious reformer who had taken a vow to cleanse the Hindu society of social ills, religious superstitions that had stunted the growth of personality of both the individuals and also the Hindu Samaj. As a young and forward-looking young man, Rajpal Ji too came in contact with the Arya Samaj movement and remained a devoted worker until his last breath.

Lahore, as the capital city of the undivided Punjab was the hub of socio-religious and political activities and the Arya Samaj was no exception to it. The Gurudutt Bhawan housed the Punjab Arya Pratinidhi Sabha and the Vidyalaya for training of Ved Pracharaks. It is said that at any given time, more than one hundred Vedic missionaries would leave Lahore and fan out in the interior Punjab. No wonder the Arya Samaj was growing strong day by day until August 1947 when the partition of India and, of course, Punjab gave a massive blow  to it.

Mahashay Rajpal used to attend  and participate in various activities of the Arya Samaj in Lahore, Amritsar and other major centres in the Punjab. As a publisher, he had to remain in touch with the latest goings on in the relm of religion. HE WOULD PUBLISH THE MATERIAL SO COLLECTED FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL ARYAS.

Arya Books, Rajpal Ji’s book shop was the rendezvous of Arya Samajists who happen to be in Lahore at any given time. Not only activities of the Arya world were discussed and debated but the future course of action would be decided too. The inter-religious discourses were encouraged and commented upon, of course, with the permission of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha. By and large, the inter-religious discourses or the  SHASTRARTH USED TO BE IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF PERFECT PEACE AND TRANQUILITY. But that would not last long, thanks to the bigoted elements among the Sunni Muslims. I am leaving out the Shiites and the Qadiyanis or the Ahmedias for the time being because they were, generally speaking, under attack of Sunni Muslims and had little time for religious discourses with the Arya Samajists.

The mischievous and garrulous elements among the Sunni sect of the Punjabi Mussalmans were ever ready to provoke the Hindus in general and the Arya Samajists in particular. Of course, more often than not, the provocationists were paid back in the same coins. Presently we shall see an incident of that nature taking place; the setting indeed is early 20th century British India and the dramatis personae are from the good old undivided Punjab.


Provocation to the Hindus, read Arya Samajists, came from the Punjabi Musalman, mainly from Lahore. The Muslims published two books that could be called offensive to the religious susceptibilities of the Aryas. One was titled: 


Unnisvin  sadi  ka  maharishi – very obnoxious references to Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj and interpreter of the VEDAS in Hindi for the common man.

There was, of course, furore in that part of the Punjab from where the young lady was kidnapped in broad day light. A man of erudition, Pundit Chamupati, M.A. and strong willed vowed to revenge the wrong done. He informed Mahashay Rajpal that he would write a tract-like simple literature answering back to the Sunnis answering their offensive without diverting into any blood letting. Mahashay Rajpal Ji was supporting this scheme wholeheartedly and was itching for a headlong confrontation without costing any lives.

RANGEELA RASOOL MADE ITS IMPACT FELT IN BOTH THE LITERARY AND THE INTELLECTUAL WORLD.  No one knew who gave the Mss and who did the proof reading; who is the Publisher and which Press finally published it. The book did not enrage even a tiny Hindu girl or an aggressive Muslim Mulla who are ever ready to defend the prophet’s name and fame. Nights came but caused no arson or a loot and faded into te glow of a rising sun. Days were as uneventful as nights and Rangeela Rasool gave no chance to the goonda element to loot and burn the property of an average citizen.

Lo and behold! Riots broke out in parts of Punjab. Who was Agent Provocateur?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi wrote in his weekly paper, Young India, that local leaders must ensure that Rangeela  Rasool is withdrawn from circulation and both the writer and the publisher be punished as per law. Gandhi Ji, in furtherance of his policy of appeasement of Muslims, had assumed the role of a Defender of Islam, ready to ride at the gallup at the head of a Crusade since the number of Muslims was dwindling.

Under the pressure of diehard Sunni Muslims, the government of Punjab chose to file a case against Mahashay Rajpal. The legal proceedings went on for over four years in all types of courts, first the District Court, then the Sessions Court and finally the High Court of Punjab. Mahashay Rajpal ji who had been sentenced to one and a half years imprisonment, a fine of Rs 1,000.00 was finally acquitted by Mr Justice Duleep Singh of the Punjab High Court. His Lordship agreed with the plea of Mahashay Rajpal Ji that his book, Rangeela Rasool contained nothing new and the entire material was borrowed from writings of Islamic scholars. Moreover, TRUTH was the hallmark of Rangeela Rasool.    


The bigoted Muslims of undivided   Punjab took upon themselves to punish the one who had insulted the Prophet of Islam. The Mullas in mosques dwelt on the theme of Islam in Danger day after day, week after week and prepared a man named Ilmdeen, who has not read even a primer of the Urdu language, what to talk of reading and understanding Qura’an, to kill Mahashay Rajpal. Of course, he would do it for a fee. One April afternoon while Mahashay ji was resting in bed in his book shop, entered Ilmdeen and thrust a sharp double edged long knife into the abdomen of Mahashay Rajpal ji . The three wounds were so deep and the cuts rapacious that the good soul parted company with the body. Ilmdeen was caught, prosecuted and hanged till death.

Thus ends the life story of a 44-year old noble soul who lived and died for his  DESH AND DHARMA.

Email:  aumchitranjansawant@gmail.com –       Mob.  9811173590.         –


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Blog by Chitranjan Sawant

– By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram has been a role model for the common man for many a millennium. Indeed he is a tower of strength to us when we falter; a source of inspiration when our spirits sag. Anecdotes of Shri Ram’s life are a morale booster when we are down in the dumps. Shri Ram cheers us when our lives become cheerless. One may say that the message of the Mahapurush, Shri Ram is: there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
“If winter comes, can spring be far behind,’’ say words and deed of the hero of history penned in Valmiki’s Ramayan. Rishi Valmiki portrays Shri Ram as a man of flesh and blood who lived, walked, worked and died…

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