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Re: Garhwali folk songs etch fascinating images of hill wome

Postby tehrijack on Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:38 am

superb information!!!
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Wedded to Garhwali folk culture

Postby vipinpanwar on Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:47 am

<!--EZCODE BOLD START-->Wedded to Garhwali folk culture
By Ramesh K. Dhiman
<!--EZCODE BOLD END-->

IN the awe-inspiring Garhwal Himalayas the haunting voice of Narindra Singh Negi, an icon for the young and the old, reverberates and weaves a magical web of pulsating folk music and timeless melodies.

An incurable bard of Garhwali folklore, Narendra is regarded as the renaissance figure of the Garhwali cultural heritage. A living legend he is a rare confluence of lyricism, love, lore, music, humour, poetry, painting and photography et al.

Born and brought up in the cool environs of Pauri (Garhwal), Narendra negated all comforts of the glittering world of glamour and chose his nondescript hometown as his place of work.

Narendra was in the prime of youth when his father, Naib Sub Umrao Singh Negi died. The onus of rearing a large family comprising an old mother, six sisters, and two brothers fell upon his young shoulders. This gruelling period of enormous hardships taught him the first lesson of a life of struggles. It later became the substance of his metaphysical muse.

Wedded to the Garhwali folk culture, Narendra’s run-of-the-mill compositions are the vivid reflections of his love for the land he hails from and the people he has lived with down the years. Narendra was greatly influenced by the “tharhya” and “chaunful” genre of lyrical compositions based on a sound musical background. “But, I discovered, much to my disillusionment, that the diction and phraseology being used by the contemporary poets, prose-writers and songsmiths were bereft of melody, muse the real taste of original Garhwali dialect. I took a solemn vow to resurrect it out of obscurity and revive its pristine glory,” he says.

The penchant for Garhwali folk music and songs and, of course, his undying passion for poetry seem to have been born with Narendra. He would listen to the soul-stirring renderings of Garhwali folk songs at cultural and marriage parties. The humming birds perched precariously on treetops in the backyard of his countryside home would greatly enchant him. He would be enthused to listen to the timeless melodies of the hillbillies of Garhwal reflecting their myriad moods. All this, left an indelible mark on his mind.

The coming events started showing their perceptible signs. Narendra ventilated his talent, when he flawlessly delivered, with an elder’s solicitude, the Ramayana chaupais from the Pauri Ramlila Manch. This proved to be a virtual launching pad for this great artiste-in-the making.

Then he was attracted towards tabla-playing. “It was during my early school days when I had my first lesson in the rudimentaries of tabla-playing. “It was, indeed, a dream-come-true for me when I got the first break at the Lucknow station of AIR in 1977. It was a morale-boosting concert”. After graduation, Narendra obtained his ‘tabla Prabhakar’ degree from Prayag Sangeet Samiti. But perhaps, tabla-playing was not his cup of tea. He wanted to convey his feelings more explicitly and forcefully and reach out the hoi-polloi.

Before taking up singing seriously, Narendra had dabbled at drawing pencil portraits which reflected the guiding folk themes. And, then, it was a virtual U-turn for him when he started writing poetry of high literary excellence, before finally ending up as a sole star singer of the region he accorded new meaning and depth to Garhwali poetry and folk songs. He groomed under the tutelage of Ajit Singh Negi, a doyen of Garhwali folk songs. His majoring into writing poetry from drawing pencil portraits was just a matter of luck and chance. During his brief tryst with the pencil, paper and eraser, the folk themes have been the hallmark of his muse.

The green hills have deeply inspired the poet in Narendra. His infatuation with these mute sentinels is clearly depicted in his immortal verses penned in their praise. The folk song: Vakh funde holu katiyun, Myaru bhi bachchpan, ukri saki’lyee, ukri ki laheiyee, Basant ritu maa jeyee..., is an ode to the rugged grandeur of the hills and dales and days of innocence spent in their lap.

Narendra’s emotive lyrical verses present vignettes of a typical rural folk scene of Garhwal, be it the life of hardy highlanders, the hard life of Garhwali women, migration by men folk, environment, ecology, and so on. He has deftly handled the varied themes. To the magnificent hills which have earned an affectionate sobriquet of being the abode of gods and, of course, on the brave Garhwali jawans, who guard their motherland in the face of all oddities, Narendra has paid glowing tributes in his compositions: Dharti hamra Garhwalaa ki, bawan Garhu ku desh...” and “Dhaaram re thando mera, paharaa ki hawa thandi...

Narendra shudders at the very thought of migration, which is a perennial phenomenon in this hill heartland. Forced by circumstances, when men folk migrate to the plains of Punjab and elsewhere to eke out a living, their sturdy spouses shoulder the responsibilities of the hearth and home. The touching separation is more pronounced in these pulse-pounding compositions: Bhattkunu chhor swarg maa... and Na daur na daur undari ka bata....

He has been unequivocal as for the degradation of our environment and ecology is concerned. His emotive composition Na kata taun... drives home the point. On the burgeoning pollution of the sacred waters of the Ganga, Narendra minces no words: Maa ka dude laaj bhi ni rakhi jani, Gangaji... His yet another composition candidly traces the trauma of the Tehri Dam oustees: Kan bubalo, yo Tiri bazar suigoyryon ki dukan... This poignant composition virtually pushed him to the higher pedestal of fame. On humour, Narendra has composed He mera ghargoaddiya latta kala... and Jananyun ku mariyun chhon... and the soulful Rakhi song, Rakhari ku tyohar’ ch aaj... depicts the eternal bond of love and affection between a sister and a brother.

Narendra, popularly known as the Rafi of Garhwal, has covered the entire spectrum of rural life of Garhwal in his compositions, be it the love songs, sad songs, harvest songs, festival songs, devotional and patriotic songs. Apart from being the indisputed king of audio albums of Garhwali folk songs. Narendra has to his credit, an anthology of 52 epic poems titled “Khuch kandi” and “Ganyun ki Ganga...” and Syanyu ko Samodar”.

Being in the profession for two decades and a half, Narendra has added a new milestone to the Garhwali folk singing. His real success lies in his apt use of the typical Garhwali words, expressions, phraseology and of course, his flawless diction. And, his being sensitive to the Garhwali sensibility has fed him the needed impetus. Till date, he has 20 albums on varied themes, with “Dhebra Harch Gaini” (1982) being his maiden venture. His other albums are “Takon ki Maya”, “Hosiya Umar”, “Barah Masa”, “Utha Jaga Uttrakhandyu”, “Sandhya Bhajan”, “Tapkara”, “Burans”, “Sau ku Note”, “Juani ki Umang”, “Barkha”, “Chhibdat”, “Kargile Ma Chhon”, “Bhavan Garhu ku Desh”, “Nayu Nayu Byo”, “Chhujaloo”, “Khudd”, and “Rumuk”. The ouvre of his Garhwal audio-film albums include “Gharjawein”, “Kotheeg”, “Beti Bavari”, “Bantwaru”, “Chhamm Ghunghroo”, “Pynyoli”, “Chakrachaal”, and “Jai Dhari Devi”.

Besides, he has scored music for the songs penned by other leading lyricists of the times. This is not all, Narendra also has scored music for almost all Garhwali films released so far and done playback singing along with the other singing celebrities of Bollywood, including Suresh Wadekar, Anuradha Paudwal, Sushma Shreshta and Veena Bandekar.

For his contribution to the preservation of the Garhwali folk culture, many cultural and social organisations across the country have honoured him. He has been decorated with the coveted titles, like Garh Lok Kavi, Garh Lok Gayak, Garh Gaurav and Garh Gayak of the Millennium. He was honoured with the prestigious Garhkala Shiromani Samman, while the “Uttrakhand Lok Sanskriti Sanman” was given to him by a Pauri-based organisation to mark the silver jubilee of his singing and writing career.

When asked about his dwelling more on the themes concerning the Garhwali woman, the down-to-earth singer says in a whisper, “I have always held woman in high esteem. She is a rare confluence of chivalry, courage and compassion. I have tried to present woman as an indulgent mother, a caring wife, an affectionate sister and a loving daughter in my compositions.”

To yet another poser whether the songs penned by him and belted out in his golden voice are his autobiographical outpourings, Narendra sharply reacts: “I have been greatly influenced by the pangs and privations of others, which is the subject matter of my compositions. The only autobiographical aspect in them is that I, too, have closely watched them, realised them and lived them.”

Narendra, a PRO with the Department of Public Relations, UP, confides in that his wife, Usha, who had been one of his incurable fans before tying the nuptial knot, is a great source of inspiration, moral strength “and, of course, his critic”. She is a prolific singer, too. Daughter Ritu, and son Kavi too are great admirers of their papa.

And, finally, a word of caution for upcoming songsters and poets: “The brash-bold brand of vulgar songs and poetic compositions are a curse and bound to spoil our rich cultural heritage. The new crop of folk artistes must shun the tendency to ape the West if they are really at protecting and preserving their rich heritage’’.

source:http://www.tribuneindia.com
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Arts and Culture

Postby vipinpanwar on Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:56 am

Arts and Culture

The peace and tranquility of Uttaranchal laid the foundation for a treasure house of paintings and art. The culture of Garhwal and Kumaon have their rich and definite contributions to the ocean of great Indian Culture. The art of Garhwal and Kumaon can be divided in five parts :

Temple Architecture
Wood Carvings
Paintings
Dekara
Ornaments

Temple Architecture

Due to its inaccessibility, this region (Garhwal and Kumaon) was least disturbed by the political upheavals that occurred in the plains due to wars. Temple architecture was patronised under the powerful and wealthy kings of Paun, Katuyaris, Pawars and Chanda dynasties who encouraged the construction of big stone temples, wood carvings, ornaments, pattas, aipans etc. Big stone temples were erected with highly intricate and ornamental carvings, having beautiful stone and metal idols. In later periods, however the Temples and Temple complexes remained not only a place of religious practice but also became the meeting points of intellectuals. Here artists used to gather to display their best art works, poems and pundits to debate over complicated philosophical issues. The archaeological heritage of Garhwal-Kumaon is represented by clusters of Temples scattered all over the region. Among the important places of these Temples are Lakha Manadal, Adi Badri, Dwarahat, Jageshwar, Baijnath, Gangolihat, Champawat and Almora.

Wood Carvings

Found in abundance in the hills, the crafts persons of Garhwal & Kumaon mastered the art of wood carving. The wood carving of Garhwal & Kumaon are famous for its simple and beautiful designs. In the past, houses were beautifully ornamented with carved wooden doors and it was considered to be a reflection of a man's status. The wealthier a person was, the bigger was the front wooden door and more complicated were the carved designs. Even today the wooden front doors of many houses of Garhwal are beautifully carved with floral designs, animals and fishes. Ornamental wood carvings on front doors are known as Kholi in the local language. These beautifully ornamented doors and windows still attract art lovers. In Garhwal & Kumaon, the facade of the upper storeys of the dwelling units are usually made of wood, and often artistically carved. The traditional small window-aperture resembles pigeonholes, cut in wooden panals. Designs of creepers and floral forms based on lotus, pomegranates and grapes, images of humans, birds, animals and other sacred signs and emblems find expression in the wood carving on door panels, windows and ceilings. The motifs, ordinarily of the Gods or Goddesses, add to the richness of the carvings. The crafts persons also used to do specific latticework to fill in the open space of the windows in order to give a screen like effect.

Paintings

Garhwal was always considered a safe heaven for wanderers, adventurers, political sufferers, philosophical thinkers and nature lovers. About the middle of the 17th century A.D. Suleman Shikoh, a Mughal Prince, took refuge in Garhwal. The Prince brought along with him an artist and his son who were his court painters and well versed in the Mughal style of Miniature painting. After nineteen months, the Prince left Garhwal but his court painters enchanted by the environs, stayed behind. These painters settled in Srinagar (Garhwal), the then capital of the Pawar dynasty and introduced the Mughal style of painting in Garhwal. With the passage of time, the successors of these original masters became expert painters and also developed an original style of their own. This style later on came to be known as the Garhwal School of Painting. About a century later, a famous painter, Mola Ram, developed a style of painting equaled in romantic charm, only by few other styles of painting. He was not only a great master of the Garhwal School of Painting but also a great poet of his time. We find beautiful poems in some of Mola Ram's paintings. There are definite influences of other Pahari Schools reflected in these paintings, but the overall originality of the Garhwal School include beautiful women with fully developed breasts, thin waist line, soft oval shaped face, delicate brow and thin nose with definite nose bridge. Poet cum artist Mola Ram was undoubtedly an exceptional personality of his age, for, he wrote poems, made notes, collected data and painted a diverse range of subjects. From painstaking research work undertaken by eminent scholars and art historians, we know the names of various painters of that time. Shyam Das and Har Das were first in the family tree, probably being the first ones to come to Garhwal with Prince Suleman. Hiralal Mangat Ram, Molaram, Jwalaram, Tejram, Brijnath were some of the great masters of this school of art.

The masterpieces of the Garhwal School of Painting include the following :

- Illustrations of Ramayana (1780 AD)
- Celebrations of Balarama's birthday (1780 AD)
- Series of Raginis
- Shiva and Parvati
- Utkat Nayika
- Abhisarika Nayika
- Krishna painting the feet of Radha
- Radha looking into a mirror
- Varsha Vihar
- Kaliya Daman
- Illustrations of Gita Govinda

A rich collection of these paintings are displayed in the University Museum in Srinagar, Garhwal, along with many sculptures and finds from archaeological excavations.

Dekara

Special images of Gods and Goddesses were made since idol worship played an important role in the lives of the inhabitants of Garhwal & Kumaon. Dekaras are the clay images of Gods and Goddesses either in relief or in three dimensional from and are meant solely for worship. They are prepared out of fine clay mixed with colour. Then they are coloured with different hues to make them attractive. The festival of Makar Sanskranti is an occasion for making garlands of wild pigeon or Ghugta (which figures prominently in the romantic folk songs of Kumaon) from sweetened wheat flour. The children feed crows with these Ghugta models. On Kartik Sanskranti the images made of Lord Shiva are known as Dekara which depict the marriage of Shiva with Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya.

Ornaments

In every part of Garhwal and Kumaon, traditional Swarnakaras or goldsmiths used to make traditional ornaments using design and patterns which are thousands of years old. The ornaments were made in gold, silver & often copper was overlaid in brass.

Folk Art of Kumaon

The folk art represents the religious sentiments, and socio cultural traditions of the region. It also represents the collective experience of the artists through many generations and the expression of historic events which the land of Kumaon has witnessed.

Aipan

On the bank of the suyal River near Barechhina in District Almora, two painted rock shelters have been discovered. They reveal paintings of animals, humans and also tectiforms done with fingers in black, red and white colours. There is circumstantial evidence for regarding the Barechhina paintings as prehistoric and representing the starting point of art in Kumaon.

The womenfolk of Kumaon have played a major role in perpetuating the traditions of folk art. The style of painting is locally known as Aipan. Using their nimble fingers and palms, the Kumaoni women have not only preserved the memories of past events and the styles, designs etc., but also have given expressions to their own ideas and concepts on aesthetic values. During ceremonies and festivals the women set themselves to decorating the floor and walls of their houses with designs and patterns. The floor paintings are usually associated with some ritualistic figures. The floor of the worship room and specially the seat of Gods and Goddesses, are decorated with specific tantric motifs called Peeth. The kitchen walls are painted with animalistic motifs. The entrance doors are done with symbols boding good omen. The material used is the paste of rice mixed with ochre. For the namkaran Sanskar, a ceremony when the child is given a name, the Aipan on the wooden Chauki comprises motifs of sun, moon, bell, conch shell and the utensils used in Puja. In the Janeu (sacred-thread) ceremony initiating a boy of the social rituals, the Aipan shows the zodiacal sign of Great bear (Sapta Rishis) arranged in hexagons. This is to invoke the blessings of the very learned and sagacious Sapta Rishis. In the Byah (Vivaah or marriage) ceremony the Dhuliargh Chauki (wooden seat for the groom) bears a design of big water-jar, symbolising primordial water from which the universe emerged. The upper portion has a crown and at the centre is a motif drawn by four horizontal and bisecting lines making nine squares. This motif is encircled by lotus petals.

Wall Painting

There are two traditions of wall painting-one for the kitchen and the other for the ritual ceremonial places. Twice in a year the wall are re plastered with a mix of cow-dung and mud. They are then painted red with geru (ochre) and motifs are drawn with fingers, using rice paste. The kitchen walls have motifs of Nata, Chatu and Lakshmi Narayan. The Nata patterns consists of cereal saplings in a row enclosed by a rectangular frameworks done in dots. The motif symbolizes prosperity for the family and unity among kith and kin. The design just structure on raised platform. At the centre is a triangle with a dot. This pattern bears stylistic similarity with the Buddhist architectural structure Chaitya - the hall of meditation. Six months alter the Chatu pattern is replaced by the Lakshmi Narayan Pattern. It consists of two tactiform human figures inside a square framework of dots. On the occasion of domestic ceremonies such as marriage, the outer door-walls are decorated with alternating motifs of bells with conch shells known as Mohhal. The motif symbolizes primal sound during cosmic evolution and carries implication that all elemental sounds and forms are interdependent.

Patas

Legendary and Puranic myths connected with rituals and ceremonies used to be painted on the walls of rooms for the places of ritual and ceremonial activities. The common practice is now of printing of big sheets of paper known as Pata. The subjects or themes of the Pata paintings done in red or multi colour, are Jev-Matrika, Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Lakshmi and Durga. In every ceremony Jev-Matrika and Ganesh are invariably worshipped. For this, the three Jev-Matrika along with Ganesh are painted. The empty space on the two sides of the Jev-Matrika is covered with symmetrical geometrical patterns comprising dots placed horizontally and vertically at equal intervals. The dots are joined by lines to form different geometrical patterns called Barood. The tradition of mural painting is still followed by the painters of the Shah (sah) community. It is a time-consuming exercise-and the womenfolk work for months together. The walls of the Puja room of the house are decorated with flowing geometrical patterns.

Rangwali

The tradition of colourful ornamentation on Aanchal cloth is a unique Kumaoni tradition, rooted deep in its long history. In all ritual ceremonies women wear the colourful Pichhora, also known as Rangwali or Kusumia. It is a piece of muslin cloth, three mts. in length and one to one and a half mts in width, which is dyed yellow and dried under shade. It is then spread on the floor and printed with design. This is done with a padded wooden stick, using red colours. At the centre is the sign of Swastik, and the motifs of sun, moon, bell and conch shell. Around this motif, red concentric circles are stamped with the help of padded small coins. The outermost ring ends up in zigzag ornaments. In one tradition, the lemon yellow background bears pink, or red rose patterns, whereas in the Kusumia, the traditional yellow base has crimson or red patterns embossed on it. The red colour is the symbol of abiding conjugal life Suhaag, the warmth of fire and sun, health and wealth, the joy of spring and the golden colour means attachment for the material world. The combination of the two colours is symbolic of the focal theme of a functional life.

Folk Dances of Kumaon

The Kumaonese are fond of music, folk dance, and songs accompanied by local musical instruments like murli, bina, and hurka. The hurka is played by the "jurkiya" and the dancer accompanying him, known as "hurkiyari," is usually his wife or daughter. They go from place to place narrating folklores, singing the praise of their gods and goddesses. During fairs and festivals and at harvest time, the Kumaonese often dance the Jharva, Chandhur Chhapalior, and many other forms of folk dances. The popular folk songs are Malushahi, Bair, and Hurkiya Bol. Popular folk dances are:

Jhodha

Jhodha dance is the most famous folk dance of Kumaon. People belonging to different caste or creed, perform this dance, irrespective of any discrimination, in almost all festivals.

Chanchi

Chanchi is also one of the famous folk dance of Kumaon. It takes place only in fairs. Mostly this dance is based on religious songs, something related to nature etc.

Cholia

Cholia is one of the famous folk dance of Kumaon which is as old as 1000 years. Swords are being used by dancers in this dance.

Folk Dances of Garhwals

Major dance forms of the region are Langvir Nritya, Barada Nati folk dance, Pandava Nritya, Dhurang, and Dhuring.

Culture

The region of Kumaun hills is rich in folk lore and the folk tales of Ajua-Bafaul, Narsingh and Ghana, Purukh Pant and the tales of Chivalry of Gangnath, and the mythical tales of Haru-Sem, Golu, Bin-bhat, Ganwara, Kalsem, Churmal Airi, Pari and Anchari are prominent. Many of these tales in the form of lallads are sung in diverse melodies and Nyoli, Bhagnaula, Chapeli, Jhorra, Chanchari, Barrey, Shakun Geet and Banara belong to this group. The folk songs of this region make a poetic description of the glory of the Himalayan Region, the inherent charm of Nandadevi, Panchhchuli, Trishul and Chiplakot and the beauty of various aspects of nature including the luxuriant vegetation and the dense forest of Deodar, Banj (Oak) and Shiling Kafal, Burans (Rhododendrone) etc. The folk songs also frequently allude to the fields, forests, rivers, streams, rivulets, fauna and the snow clad peaks.


Source: http://www.whereincity.com/
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Did you know that Dehradun was a major publishing centre?

Postby vipinpanwar on Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:15 am

June 2002: Did you know that Dehradun was a major publishing centre? There are eleven daily newspapers and no less than 84 weeklies coming out of here. If you look closer though, you might find that many of these have a unique distinction. They could be among those newspapers and weeklies in the country which have very unique periodicity - they neither come out weekly nor daily, but on demand, whenever the government demands proof of their existence.

They have interesting names, these newspapers. There is The Hawk which comes out both in Hindi and English, and from both Dehradun and Haridwar. It has four pages, not a single ad in the copy I picked up from the information directorate, (where they have to be filed) and its text is in a point size so big and you can read it if you hold it two feet away. The paper is so thin that it rips with careless handling. It bungs in all manner of news, pell mell into those four pages.

Then there is the Valley Mail, a Hindi daily eveninger with an English name. It is published on coarse newsprint that is almost grey in colour, but manages eight small ads. This too is four pages, as is Uttaranchal ki Ore, which again has no advertising. The daily Shikhar Sandesh is again four pages, two ear panel ads on page one, and a single 2x3 inch ad on the back page. The Himachal Times is rather more ambitious, with editions in Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, but here too locals will tell you that its circulation is not anywhere near what it claims.

Altogether, Uttaranchal boasts 31 daily newspapers, out of Dehradun, Haridwar, Udhamsinghnagar, Tehri, Pauri Garhwal and Nainital. And 122 weeklies. The majority of both kinds of publications, are four pagers. Why they appear at all may seem a mystery to outsiders who encounter them but in the state everybody seems to understand the economics of this publishing industry only too well. There isn't that much employment in this hill state, self-employment is the norm, and if you are not running a school or a coaching academy in Dehradun, you are likely to be running a newspaper.

What kind? A cheaply produced four pager, though there are honourable exceptions such as the Garhwal Post and Mussourie Times which have more pages and use good paper. They have unlikely names, many of them, such as the Kavita Express, the daily Apne Log from Haridwar, another daily KhabarLaye Hai from Dehradun, and the daily Seemanth Varta from Pauri Garhwal. The last is fourteen years old, owned by a former finance minister of UP, and is a pink paper to boot, though both its quality of newsprint as well its shade of pink would make Samir Jain, proprietor of the country's first pink newspaper the Economic Times, blanch. In size this newspaper is neither a tabloid nor a broadsheet but something in between.

And yet this city's other pink paper has a philosophy and a level of success that Samir Jain would whole heartedly approve of. Doon Classified, owned by a former municipal councillor Dinanath Saluja, is a publication devoted to ads, with a single column of text per page. It is a tabloid whose pages vary according to the season, going up from a minimum of 24 to 48 in summer when the advertising season is at its peak. It was conceived of as an ad supplement to be inserted into the English broadsheets that come from Delhi, and as the circulation of these-the Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, the Hindu and the Times of India - grows in the valley, so does the circulation of Doon Classifieds.

It currently sells 30,000 copies a week, and with the exception of Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran is the only local paper about whose circulation figures there is no scepticism. Indeed because he can't get a local press to handle this print order he has shifted its printing to a Delhi press, as the circulation has grown. Initially free, it now charges 50 paise per issue, and its ad rates are extremely affordable: Rs 5000 for a full page, and Rs 100 for a 24-word classified. Everybody advertises in it, and the local gentry find it a very useful. The biggest category of advertising is property sales and rentals, followed by vehicles, and admissions to schools, coaching classes, and new computer institutes.

A local journalist, Vipul Dhasmana has filed a case against it in the Press Council for lifting an exclusive interview he did for the Garhwal Post without his or the paper's permission. But such pinpricks do not hurt Doon Classified whose success is now spawning pink imitations such as Bazaar Classified.

When so many people are rushing to print newspapers booking a title calls for more than a little ingenuity. So you have the following: Doon Dwar, Doon Vani, Doon Darpan, Doon Mail, Doon Prasidhi, Doon Tarang, Doon Gagan, Doon Post, Doon Express, Doon Ashk, and Doon Prahari. Then you move on to Garhwal Kesari, Garhwal Express, Garhmau Mail, Garhwali Dhai, Garhwal Times, Garhwal Darshan, Garhwal Mail, Garhwal Post, and the Garh Darshan Mail. Given that we are talking of a minimum of 150 publications, one could go on.

So why is Dehradun so fond of publishing? Journalists such as Ashok Pande who heads Dainik Jagran here point out that this is not unusual for UP, the state has a thriving tradition of small newspapers, with towns like Kanpur publishing even more titles than Dehradun. He says Madhya Pradesh does not have such a tradition, but Bihar does. Avdash Kaushal, founder of the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra in Dehradun and a leading social worker in the city puts it down to three reasons: for blackmail, for government and public sector ads and for newsprint quotas which they sell in the black.

The more charitable ascribe this phenomenon to the government's advertising policy, which is intended to encourage the existence of small newspapers, but ends up propping up dud publications. Many of these publications are listed with the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity. When required to furnish proof of their own existence, from time to time, the proprietors rush to print copies, with different datelines. To use a phrase which is very well understood in Dehradun, they print for the file.

Printing for the file means producing enough copies to prove to government that you exist. The number printed has no relation to claimed circulation. Or to the date it bears. Often a whole year's weeklies may be rushed off the presses in a matter of days to fulfill the government requirement of proof of existence. Says an officer in the information directorate in Delhradun, "If we send them a notice to file a copy of their newspaper with us, then they print and send."

But why should anyone want to do all this? The economics works like this: Though government policy dictates that newspapers should be patronised by rotation there are some days in the year when everybody gets advertising: Republic Day, Independence Day, Uttaranchal Raising Day, when a new government completes a hundred days in office, and so on. In Mayawati's UP the list would include Ambedkar's birthday. All of it put together adds up to some Rs 20,000 worth of advertising a year. If you own ten such publications, that is Rs 2 lakh of income, for doing precious little.

The state government is not the only patron of these publications. Public sector giants such as the Oil and Natural Gas Publication patronise publications such as the Garhwal Post and are rewarded with glowing articles about the corporation in the same issue.

Journalist J S Rawat who works for Uttar Ujala, says sarcastically, "To be a chaprasi in the state government you need to be a 10th class pass, to be a newspaper proprietor you need no qualifications at all." Many of these papers are printed from the same press, you print a few copies of one masthead, change the masthead and print a few more, and so on. What these papers earn for the proprietor depends on how many he owns.

Since everybody knows about this racket, obviously the state government which patronises these papers knows too. And finds it convenient, for its own reasons to do nothing about it. Politicians are not just allied with the owners, they are among the owners, as in the case of Seemanth Varta mentioned above. The owners of these publications have been dubbed Dehradun's newspaper mafia. And for obvious reasons there is a scramble among them to be on one of the two media committees of the state government: the accreditation committee, and the advertising committee.

State government's tend to have annual advertising and publicity budgets of up to Rs 2 crores. Given how the money is used, it is a phenomenal waste of government funds. Rawat says it is a fraud upon the public in more ways than one, not only is the money spent on maintaining individuals rather than publications, the message of the advertising does not reach those it is meant for. State departments such as those for social welfare, health and education advertise, and the ads basically end up in the files.

The other kind of advertising that goes to such publications is government tenders. But how will these serve their purpose if they appear in publications which are scarcely distributed? "That's the whole point," says Subhash Gupta, special correspondent of the Amar Ujala. "What makes you think the government wants anybody to see it tender ads? If you publish them in a newspaper without circulation, few applicants will respond, including those whom you might tip off to respond. Then you can award the tender to whom you please."

Many kinds of ingenuity then, sustain Dehradun's publishing boom.

Sevanti Ninan
June 2002

Sevanti Ninan runs the media watch website, The Hoot. This article is reproduced on India Together with permission.
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The Friendly Mountains ... skiing in Auli

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:02 am

<!--EZCODE BOLD START-->The Friendly Mountains
... skiing in Auli
Photographs and text: Dhruv Prabhuswamy
<!--EZCODE BOLD END-->




'Remember God' says a brightly painted rock perched on a steep precipice, barely a couple of hours out of Rishikesh and into the Garhwal Himalayas. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the builders and caretakers of roads in these parts, certainly have a sense of humour.

The slogan is supposed to be a road safety message on the treacherous path that winds up the hills and along the Ganga river! And going by the efforts of most pahadi (mountain) drivers to conduct their own version of the Himalayan Motor Rally, everyday, God certainly needs to be remembered more than once... to ensure one reaches the right destination rather than Him.

That sign should have also been inside the cable car that rises heavenwards from the nondescript slopes of Joshimath and ascends three km through a snow-blanketed Alpine-pretty forest and reaches Auli (pronounced 'olly'). It makes even the agnostic wonder if anyone but God could have created those magnificent snow-covered peaks that bare themselves as the cable car slowly crests the slopes.

They spread splendidly ahead -- the Nanda Devi, Mount Kamet, Mana Parbat, Dunagiri and Hathi Parbat. And Narparbat, Ghori Parbat, Barmal and Bethartoli. All surrounding Auli in a Taro-nest formation. They look Godforsaken in their isolated splendour. But for all you know He might be inhabiting them. Which is perhaps the reason for locating a shrine called Badrinath somewhere among them further ahead, beyond Joshimath. Whatever the case, it is without doubt a profound and overwhelming sight.

The profundity however is not the main attraction here. It is a just aperitif. For Auli -- India's most popular skiing resort that has finally come of age. Gulmarg in Kashmir, may have tried to score some brownie points and make news by hosting the national winter games last week. Auli did that in 1996. And the place has also been host to a series of skiing festivals since the first one held in 1986.

Today this ski resort, nestled in Chamoli district of western Uttar Pradesh, is drawing enthusiasts from as far as Pune, Vishakapatnam and Bangalore, not to forget dollar-loaded tourists from Hong Kong or USA, during the first 10 weeks of every calendar year.

Its rugged and snowy terrain made it popular as a training ground for the country's para-military forces in the 70s. But Auli decided to change face in the mid-80s. Realising its tourist potential, the Uttar Pradesh government had it surveyed by French and Austrian experts who reportedly compared the slopes of Auli to the best in the world.

And thus started the process of putting the necessary infrastructure in place. The longest ski lift in the country (500 metres) was imported from France. An 800 metre long chair lift was set up to link the lower slopes with the upper slopes. The longest ropeway in Aisa (4.15 km) was introduced to link Auli to Joshimath by the cable cars imported from Austria. And snow beaters were imported from Germany and of course, skiing equipment -- like skis, sticks and boots -- were brought in from Austria. Dressed and improved ski slopes are required for hosting festivals and competitions and that was done too.

Despite the seemingly irresistible attractions at Auli, it is not as if the resort is teeming with tourists jostling for space or crashing into one another on the slopes, save the handful of beginners who cannot avoid crashing on the beginners' slopes. If accessibility to the resort is one deterrent, its remoteness from civilisation -- forget newspapers and television, the place isn't even connected by phone -- is the other. A third 'disadvantage' is the absence of attendant comforts of a packaged Shimla or Kulu-Manali. And then there is the need to be interested in skiing, not the easiest of sports, as pictures on television make it out to be.

Undeterred though, the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), an Uttar Pradesh government undertaking that runs Auli, has been successful in attracting a young clientele to undergo skiing courses. Costing upwards of Rs 3,500, GMVN offers a week-long or a fortnight-long skiing course, conducted by instructors from the Skiing and Tourists Resort, Auli, and the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg.

The courses are much in demand, handling as many as 200 participants at a time, in groups of 15 or 25. For those not interested in spending an entire week pushing with sticks and inevitably falling, the slopes can be used by hiring equipment and a trainer, if necessary, on a daily basis.

The course indeed appears expensive, but only till one gets into a pair of skiing boots and locks in into a pair of skis, as this writer found out. The proverbial slippery ground was perhaps coined by someone who stepped on snow for the first time, and not surprisingly took a tumble. Snow boots are a must for walking around Auli, as in any other ski resort, though the brave seemed to be comfortable in their upmarket sports shoes. Ski boots are another thing. Weighing anywhere around a kilo or two each, they fit the ankle and feet so firm that a minor slip can end up in a major twisted ankle if not a fracture.

The catch lies in locking-in into the skis, feet parallel and dragging around on flat snow. They call it walking on snow. Then comes bending the knees and body forward, skis parallel, and using the sticks to push the body ahead while keeping eyes straight.

Sounds simple? Well, not many got it right the first time around on the beginners' slope. It seemed so much like learning to cycle -- looking below at the skis like looking below at the pedals when the eyes need to be set ahead; maintaining crucial balance during movement, slowdown and stopping; and the inevitable fall when that fails to happen at any of the three stages.

Next on schedule is climbing a simple slope. Hook the skis sideways into the snow, use the sticks for balance, and climb one step at a time. Turn down and let go. "Separate the heels. Heels apart, heels apart," shouts Ritudidi, the 20-something instructor from Dehra Dun who was helping the beginners. Not of much use.

A father of two, back in Auli after six years, is unable to control himself and comes down tumbling. His kids are better. They do the entire slope smoothly, but are unable to stop right and go down tumbling too. Only those who are able to master this far -- it takes two full days -- can think of ski lift to the upper slopes and leave the rest, well, to God.

And who are the true masters of the slopes? They are the armymen from the army base in Joshimath. And the eight or nine year old local pahadi kids. The story of the pahadi children on skis is a splendid example for the indigenous chutzpah of the rustic Indian. Their skis, just as their sticks, are hand made out of locally available wood, unlike the graphite skis and metal sticks used by their well-off counterparts on the slopes. There is no lock to hold their shoes on to the skis. They tie it with fine rope and then give even a professional army skiers a slide for their money.

Wish Shalini Khanna (''I ski in the US where I live'') had seen them do it. 'The equipment here is outdated,'' she was complaining at the skiing equipment shop. ''They don't have the latest boots which come with just one strap to fix it and instead have the old-fashioned three straps across.'' Maybe. But isn't expecting a state government undertaking to match the latest equipment in the US -- where winter sport is a money-spinner -- a bit too much?

The situation is similar to the entire experience of being in Auli -- making the most from what it has to offer which is friendly people and friendly mountains. Swiss Alps for the Indian who can't afford the real thing. It isn't the place for people who can't take snow-covered slopes surrounded by Godly mountains in freezing temperatures. Or a handful of log huts and small buildings that symbolise civilisation around . Or no shops, no fancy restaurants, no telephones, no televisions, and no service staff in sparkling uniforms.

One day not in the distant future, all this and more will enter Auli. Because, as sherpa Ram Bahadur says, "The Bombay and Delhi log (people) want everything they get in their city to be available in Auli.'' Perhaps then it would be a tough act to remember God. Even if they say so from a neon sign across the Nanda Devi.


Source: http://www.rediff.com
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MUSSOORIE - - My Beeeautiful Hometown

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:09 am

MUSSOORIE - - My Beeeautiful Hometown




History of Mussoorie (Article © of LBSNAA)

Mussoorie, located some 250 miles north of Delhi, capital of India, is among the most popular hill stations of India, and is called the Queen among the hill stations. It overlooks the sprawling Doon valley and the city of Dehradun, the gateway to Mussoorie and infact to the entire Garhwal.

Mussoorie, a hill resort at a height of around 7000 ft above the sea level, straddles a ridge in the Garhwal Himalayas - a region which is developing into a major tourism destination. The holy and mighty river Ganga is visible from one end of the ridge and another famous river Jamuna from the other, a stretch of around twelve miles in all, from Cloud's end in the west to Jabarkhet in the east.

Although Mussoorie, as a hill station was established only as back as in 1823, it has quite an intriguing past.

Mussoorie was never an official summer capital unlike Simla - a hill station in the state of Himachal pradesh which was the summer capital of the British Indian government and even unlike Nainital - the summer capital of the united provinces government in British India. Mussoorie always remained unofficial - for the affairs of heart. It has always been a gossipy place - with an air of informality and a tradition of romance - The Honeymoon capital of India.

An idyllic stroll through any of the meandering mountain roads of the town on a clear and sunny day will bring you to some of the well known and not so well known spots - each having its own tales to tell - Landour Bazaar, Chaar dukaan, Lal tibba, Gun hill, the Camel Back cemetery, the Mussoorie Library, and of course the hotel Savoy - an historical edifice in itself. You may be able to recognise any or all of the old houses and estates or you may meet some descendant of any of the many well - known families of Mussoorie.

Apart from its own quiet charm, Mussoorie also boasts of spectacular views of the Himalayas. Hill ridges, irregular in shape and partly wooded, form layer after layer to the horizon, where snow peaks are visible as if you can touch them. From west to east, the mighty peaks of Bandarpoonch, Srikantha, the Gangotri group and the Chaukhamba.

The weather is generally bright and clear - except during the three months ( June to August) of Monsoons,- when mists envelope the mountain slopes and paints the sky in a mauvish glow and the woods around - of pine, cedar, birch, oak, rhododendron and deodar - turns greener. There usually is a bright Christmas and the breathtaking view of the snowclad Mussoorie gives it the name - the Queen among hill stations.

There are popular picnic spots in and around the town - Kempty Falls in the west and Dhanolti, further up beyond the town.

History of Mussoorie: It was due to the conquest of the Garhwal and the Dehra in 1803 by the Gurkhas, under Umer Singh Thapa that indirectly Mussoorie came into being. It was natural after that that at some point of time the interest of British security would have clashed with the expansionist policies of the Gurkhas and although the immediate cause of the war was different, the war, inevitably broke out on November 1, 1814 and the Dehradun proper was evacuated of the Gurkhas by 1815 and was annexed to the district of Saharanpur by 1819.

The present site of the town of Mussoorie, before the British came, there were only shepherds whose animals grazed on the 'Mansur' shrub which gives the town its name. It is natural to suppose that the officers locate the hills and eventually climb them here and there in search of sport and recreation. The first house erected on the ridge of Mussoorie was a small hut built on the Camel's back as a shooting box by Mr. Shore, the then Joint Magistrate and superintendent of revenues of the Doon and Captain Young of the Sirmur Rifles in 1823. Soon Captain Young built his large residence called 'Mullingar' as his residence as the Commandant of Landour. The splendid climate and the good sport obtainable gradually attracted other Europeans. As the Doon and the hills to the north became better known in 1827, the Government established a convalescent depot for European soldiers at Landour. The town grew rapidly and a hundred years on it had grown into a major settlement of the home - sick British, away from the heat and dust of the plains. Social life had also become hectic. There were balls and parties in Landour cantonment and Polo, fetes and Riding in happy valley where the Charleville Hotel stood, the present site of LBSNAA academy.

Houses & estates of Mussoorie: Mussoorie has some lovely and charming old houses and estates, usually with names derived from the native places of those who built and lived in them. Today these old houses and estates are owned by well - to - do Indians , many of whom, follow the life styles of their former colonial rulers. In most cases, the old names , have been retained. Some of these old graceful houses are -- Captain Young's Mullingar Mansion, the oldest existing building in Mussoorie, Houses of Irish pioneers - Tipperary, Killarney, Shemrock cottage and the Tara hall, the houses of Scot pioneers - Scottsburn, Wolfsburn and of course the houses of the English rulers - Connaught Castle, Grey castle, Hampton court and Castle hill. There evidently were a lot of fans of the legendary writer Sir Walter Scott as we find old estates of the name of Kenilworth, Rockeby, Waverly and also Abootsford - the name of Sir Scott's own house in England.

Well known families of Mussoorie: There are quite a few well - known families in Mussoorie, who over the times have become a part of the history, culture and the landscape of this place : the Rajmata of Jind, Princess Sita of Kapurthala, the Gantzers, the Badhwars, the Barrettos, the Skinners, the Keelans, the Alters, Lala Banwarilal, Ram Chander and brothers, Pooranchand and sons and P.C. Hari's family. Most of the shopkeepres of Mussoorie and Landour Bazaar are descended from the merchant who first came here with the british soldiers and settlers over 160 years ago.

Camel Back Cemetry: Thousands of British graves cling to the steep slopes - a constant reminder of the British presence in Mussoorie. Here lie the hill stations' first pioneers and settlers as well as Generals and common soldiers, memsahibs and their infants, schoolmasters, revered gentlemen and brewers. Here also lies John Lang, the first Australian born novelist who was Charles Dickens' India correspondent and Fredrick Wilson, better known as 'Pahadi Wilson', who married a girl from Harsil. He was the first man to float timber down the Ganga river who lived a life which would have been the envy of kings. One also finds Alfred Hindmarsh, resting here - a survivor of the charge of light brigade during the Crimean War and many other famous names and not so famous names.


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© 1996, LBSNAA: This article has been taken from the site of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration without any alterations to it's text
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Charm of Mussoorie (© of Swagat Inflight Magazine, published by Media Transasia (India) Pvt. Ltd.)


This is an invitation to do nothing. We, the citizens of this mile-high hamlet, spreading 2,000 metres above the plains of India, request the pleasure of your company in Mussoorie. Dress : informal, all the time. Time : whenever the mood takes you. Duration : till you're relaxed, refreshed, renewed; or, like us, for the rest of your life.

Come now, right now, after reading this article. If now is spring, mid-March to end-April, bring along cardigans and jackets for the evenings; but relax in sirtsleeves al through the balmy days when the woods are full of birdsong and the flowers are in bud. Summer, May-June, is our golden fun-time. Our Mall is then known as the Drawing Room of Mussoorie because so many people meet so many friends, and so many friends of friends, on this road with the spectacular views in summer. And they go for horse rides, picnics in the green dells where streams chortle, or generally munch peaches and plums and look down at the plains and feel happily sorry for the folk working in the heat and glare down there ! The monsoons, July to mid-August, our green and misty months when the tree-trunks are furred with ferns; and the plains are a sea of cotton-wool clouds out of which the peaks thrust like Never Never Islands in some fantasy fable. Autumn settles blue on our hills nostalgia in the heart, and the succulent crunch of apples. A good time for long, quiet walks on winding, lonely, roads and unwinding in the resinous pinewoods with congenial companions; and back to cardigans and jackets in the crisp, star-bright, evening. Winter, mid-November to mid-March; the long, effervescent, season still awaiting discovery - though the questing Australians seem to have found it before most others have. The days are shirt sleeve warm and the air is so sparkling that if they bottled it they could sell it as champagne ! The hills come much closer in this crystal air, and the nights are warmed by fires in the rooms and the glow of companionship with no one to distrub you. And when it snows, after three days of clouds massing in the high sky, you're snug in the heart of a Christmas card.

Even our airport is a picture postcard with an Enid Blyton name. It's called Jolly Grant and it stretches out over the mountain backed fields of Dehra Dun, 60 kilometres from Mussoories. It's served by Vayudoot, flying in from Delhi. Delhi is also linked to Dehra Dun by the Indian Railway chugging its way through the forests of this lush, sub-Himalayan, terrae.

And when you reach Dehra Dun, look north and up. Mussoorie is a sequin-scatter of houses across the great mountains stretching against the backdrop of the Himalayan blue, sky.

Excitement begins to build as soon as you leave Dehra Dun's 640 metre high valley and start to ascend to Mussoorie's 2,000 metre fastness. At first the road snakes through the famed jalebi-bends. We've named them after our succulent, golden, pretzel-shaped, sweets because they're shaped far more like jalebis then hairpins. This is only about a third of the 30 Dun but already the air has become cooler and clearer.

Between 90 minutes and two hours out of the plains depending on the speed of your vehicle, you'll reach our Mussoorie. Ours is, essentially, a waling town and we believe that only the old, infirm and ostentatious drive down our Mall. We have vehicle terminuses at the two ends of the Mall and if you get off at the Library terminus, you'll see that the Library Bazaar - so called after the venerable old Mussoorie Library - still retains much of the turn-of-the-century character of the town. There is a circular, Victorian, bandstand; street-front shops with their store-keepers' residences above; narrow lanes leading to cottages and mansions some of which have been converted into Mussoorie's 140 plus wide-spectrum range of hotels. All these capture the ambience of an era where customer service was a gracious, personal, avocation and leisure was a finely cultivated art. In fact the pace of life in Mussoorie is so unhurried that we caught an old resident dozing in the sun in the verandah of a restaurant.

You can even 'do' Mussoorie with unmatched regality. Ours is one of the few places in the world were the old hill rickshaws still ply. Rickshaw rides down the Mall, and around the wooded road of Camel's Back with its timeless views of the northern ranges of the Himalayas, are a pleasure which is virtually unique to Mussoorie.

Younger, and younger-at-heart, people prefer to amble down the Mall. And, in keeping with our informal atmosphere, it is fashionable to eat roasted peanuts while you amble. These are bought from barrows and little roadside vendors who keep them around little terrocotta gharras - pots filled with glowing, smoking, faggots. One of the barrows offers a bonus; it stands beneath a hoarding depicting Mussoorie's attractions so that you can get the lay of the land while you crack-crunch-relish.


And if you're even more active, you can mount a sturdy little mountain pony. Their shaggy looks often reveal their Tibetan ancestry; and they're tough, patient, and quite used to cosseting the most inexperienced equestrians from the very large and ungainly to the very small and courageous !
Speaking of Tibetans, we have a large settlement of them here. They came following their priest-king, his Holiness the Dalai Lama when he fled from Lhasa. These gentle, smiling, people have thier own temple with beautiful murals in Mussoories' Happy Valley, their Tibetan Homes Foundation, a restaurant and a handicrafts' shop. Their roadside stalls, set up all over Mussoorie, are a colourful diversion for visitors shopping for woollens, sports shoes, overnight bags and interesting trinkets like copies of the famed Swiss Army Knives. Even people from the mountain villages of the Himalayas, the women dressed in bright skirts, blouses and head-scarves, find good buys at the Tibetan stalls.

Another must-do thing in Mussoorie, apart from shopping, is a ride in the 'Ropeway': the cable car that carries visitors from the roundabouts and snackbars of the Childrens' Playground on the Mall to the heights of Gun Hill. Around its flat top are snack stalls and over a hundred photographers who snap visitors in glittering 'hilly girl' costumes, as brigands with ferocious moustaches and turbans, and as country-and-western stars with guitars and straw-hats. But quite apart from these 'souvenirs' of your Mussoorie visit', Gun Hill also offers excellent all-round views of Mussoorie, Dehra Dun, the eternal snows of the higher Himalayas and the wooded slopes of the sister- town of Landour.

Landour is a pleasant morning's walk away, the other side of a clock tower.

If you walk past the clock tower and look between the plains and the rising slopes of Landour, you'll see a road that leads to the green meadows and deodar forests of Dhanolti, 24 kilometres away. There's both a forest bungalow and a tourist bungalow and a tourist bungalow at Dhanolti and its a delightfully lonely place to spend a weekend from Mussoorie. But you can also do it as a day-trip taking in the hill-top temple of the goddess Surkhanda Devi. The temple is approached by a rather rugged, but safe, path and if you look back through the temple's gate you'll see the sort of view that has inspired many of the ordinary people of India to renounce the world and retire to the seclusion of the great mountains.

But if you're not quite ready for such seclusion, take the western trip out to Kempty Falls, a 15 kilometre drive from Mussoorie. Also served by regular buses and taxis this perennial cascade is a mountain stream which has cut and sculpted its way through great boulders and down rock faces offering a stimulating, drenching, shower when it reaches a sandy basis before rushing on. Here there is snack bar and bridge and, inevitably, a few photographers. The journey down is a 20 minute stroll, the way up is a 30 minute trudge, and you should allow half an hour or so at the base of the falls. But if you want a fairly lonely place for a picnic, climb the steps leading up from the road along the course of the stream. You'll find yourself in a little, rocky, dell cleft by the stream and cooled by water gusing through boulders where a pair of dippers flutter and dive. The wooded hills rise steep in front of you and above them there is only the sky where a lone eagle circles, circles, circles...

It's a wonderful place to unwind, soothed by the sound of the rushing, gushing, chortling, bubbling, foaming, swishing, Himalayan stream, and do what Mussoorie encourages you to do to your heart's content. Absolutely, uninhibitedly, nothing.........


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Reproduced with permission from Swagat Inflight magazine published by "Media Transasia (India) Pvt. Ltd." No alterations whatsoever have been made to the original text
© 2003 Ranjeet Rustgi


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BUTTUR DOGRANDI SECOND ATTACK

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:27 am

BUTTUR DOGRANDI SECOND ATTACK


Major Khan of 8 Garhwal Rifles in the meantime had managed to regroup his scattered companies and it was decided that A Sqn Poona Horse along with 8 Garhwal would launch another attack on Buttur Dograndi which had in the meantime been occupied by some elements of 3 FF.. D company of the 8 Garhwalis led the advance and met only minor opposition and the village was retaken. When Capt Gurdial reported this success back to RHQ, to his surprise there was no response. Apparently while the attack was progressing Adi Tarapore who was at Jassoran left his tank to get some fresh air and tea. At 1720 hrs, on 16th September, just as tea was being passed around, an enemy medium artillery shell landed on the offside of the tank. Adi and two jawans of B Coy 9 Dogras died instantaneously, due to concussion caused by the blast. The quarter master Captain Jasbir Singh who had begged to be allowed to come up for at least one action and was functioning as Adi's signals officer for the day was hit by splinters on the face, arms and chest and he subsequently succumbed to his injuries .

Adi Tarapore was awarded a posthumous PVC ( Param Vir Chakra) the highest gallantry award of the Indian Army for collected acts of inspiring leadership and bravery. His citation read: 'Lt Col A B Tarapore had personally led the Regiment into the thick of fighting during the battle of Phillaurah, when the Regiment broke through the defences held by a superior force of armour and infantry. Though he was wounded during this action, he carried on commanding the regiment through some very intense fighting, carrying his arm on a sling. In the battle of Chawinda he twice led the tanks of the Regiment right into the middle of the enemy's killing ground, defying the enemy's violent efforts to prevent the outflanking of Chawinda'.

With the Garhwalis capturing Buttur Dograndi the shelling intensified, and the village could not be held for long, although the Garhwali's had previously beaten off a counter attack by 3 FF supported by some tanks . Maj Abdul Rafi Khan of the 8 Garhwal Rifles who had taken over command on the death of the battalion CO's decided to move the men over to the sugarcane field and dig in to avoid further casualties which were mounting due to heavy and accurate shelling. The battalion had also gone without food for three days, their emergency rations of 'sakar paras' was also exhausted. That they could carry on was due to the sugar cane in the surrounding fields which sustained them!

Since the Garhwalis had not got food, and the JCO Quarter Master of the Garhwalis bringing their meal was injured by artillery, Gurdial personally volunteered to deliver a hot meal to them. He was unaware that the Garhwalis had left the village for the cane fields and that Buttur Dograndi had been reoccupied by 3 FF.( There was no wireless communication between Poona Horse and 8 Garhwal Rifles, since the latter's wireless equipment had been destroyed by shelling). He reached the village with the food just before dark. His tank was hit and set on fire by men of 3 FF or by a tank of 25th Cavalry and had to be abandoned, the crew escaped in the darkness but Gurdial was caught (possibly, this was the captured officer whom Maj Shamshad Ali mentions seeing blindfolded with 3 FF).

On 17th September, Pakistan's 4th Corps artillery sporadically fired on the Garhwali positions with medium and heavy guns. Later during the day some enemy armour also appeared with infantry (This would have been the troop of 25 Cav under Shamshad and elements of 3FF under Capt Rahim Shah). The Garhwalis fought on with their small arms, well concealed as they were in the thick crops. Two tanks ( 25 Cavalry) entered the defended area and started spraying the Garhwalis with their machine guns from close range. Rifleman Balwant Singh Bisht took up a rocket launcher and managed to put one of these tanks out of action. He was himself blown to pieces by a shell shot from the tank gun. Casualties were heavy on both sides but 3FF and the tank troop had to withdraw against the determination of the Garhwalis.

The battle ebbed and flowed till about 1400 hours when there was a discernible lull in the enemy shelling. Taking advantage of this pause Maj Khan sent an officer to appraise the officiating commandant of Poona Horse about the situation. On learning of the predicament of the battalion, he ordered a withdrawal from Buttur Dograndi and despatched some tanks to cover the withdrawal and two tanks from Poona Horse were also detailed for the evacuation of casualties.

The withdrawal started by 1600hrs, all the walking wounded of 8 Garhwal were sent out first through Jassoran and then across the railway line. However as soon as this had commenced heavy shelling started again. Major Khan busied himself with loading of the seriously wounded in the tanks while the rest of the battalion started moving back covered by tanks. A shell fired from an RCL (these must have been the tank hunting parties sent out by 3FF) caught Major Khan in the process of helping a wounded man to

be taken inside it. He was fatally wounded and along with the remaining wounded men had to be left behind in the battlefield. So died another brave, courageous and humane officer. He was posthumously awarded the Vir Chakra.

Thus fell the curtain on the battle of Buttur Dograndi, September 1965. Many brave men on both sides bled and died there on what was perhaps one of the fiercest engagements of the 1965 Indo Pak war.

The casualties given below of some of the battalions/regiments who took part, show the casualties caused. This gives us some idea of the intensity of the fighting.

The Poona Horse. Killed 2 officers, 3 JCO's and 9 other ranks. Details of wounded not available. 8th Battalion The Garhwal Rifles. Killed 2 officers and 47 other ranks. Details of wounded not available.

3rd Battalion The Frontier Force Regiment: Killed 3 JCO's and 64 other ranks, wounded 3 JCO's and 100 other ranks.

25th Cavalry, No casualty details are available.

Historical Lineage's of some of these regiments:

The Poona Horse Lineage is that of two regiments which amalgamated in 1922, namely the 33rd QVO Light Cavalry and 34th PAVO Poona Horse.


33RD QVO LIGHT CAVALRY

Raised at Sirur on 4 May 1820 by Major Peter Delamotte.

1820: 3rd Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry.

1861: 3rd Regiment of Bombay Silladar Light Cavalry.

1861: 3rd Regiment of Bombay

Light Cavalry.

1876: 3rd (The Queen's Own) Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry

1903: 33rd Queen Victoria's Own

Light Cavalry.

1911: 33rd Queen Victoria's Own

Light Cavalry.

1921: 33rd/34th Cavalry.

1922: 17th Queen Victoria's Own

Poona Horse.

1927: The Poona Horse (17th Queen Victoria's Own Cavalry).

1947: To Indian Army.

1950: The Poona Horse (17 Horse)

34TH PAVO POONA HORSE

Raised at Poona (now Pune) on 15th July 1817 as a result of the treaty between the HEIC and The Peshwa Bajee Rao II.

1817: The Auxiliary Horse

1818: The Poona Auxiliary Horse.

1847: The Poona Irregular Horse.

1861: 4th Regiment of Poona Silladar Horse.

1861: 1st Regiment of Poona Horse.

1862: The Poona Horse.

1885: 4th Bombay Cavalry

(Poona Horse).

1890: 4th (Prince Albert Victor's Own) Bombay Cavalry (Poona Horse).

1903: 34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse.

1921: 33rd/34th Cavalry.

1922: 17th Queen Victoria's Own

Poona Horse.

1927: The Poona Horse ( 17th Queen Victoria's Own Cavalry).

1947: To Indian Army.

1950: The Poona Horse ( 17 Horse)



8TH BATTALION THE GARHWAL RIFLES

Raised on 1 July 1948 as 8th Battalion The Royal Garhwal Rifles. Became 8th Bn The Garhwal Rifles in 1950. The Regiment (Garhwal Rifles), itself was raised in 1887, to give the Garhwali Hillmen a right to their own regiment. This was strongly propagated by the famous Field Marshal Sir FS Roberts VC, who realised that many Garhwalis used to serve in Gurkha regiments, and a large proportion of the early awards to Gurkha regiments were actually won by Garhwalis. In the First World War, the Garhwal Rifles had one of the finest fighting records of any regiment in the Indian army as a result of this and their outstanding bravery in France and Flanders, the Garhwal Rifles was one of the two Indian Infantry regiments who were given the title of Royal. In the 1930's the regiment fell into disfavour with the British because a detachment of Garhwali troops who were employed for IS duties at Peshawar refused to open fire on an unarmed civilian mob who were protesting for the unlawful arrest of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Soldiers recruited into the Garhwal Rifles are from the Garhwal Hills, one of the most beautiful areas of the Himalayas and are known for their hardiness, simplicity and upright manner


Source: defencejournal.com/

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The Ganga Basin

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:22 am

______________???????________________________ Edited by: vipinpanwar at: 31/1/06 10:10
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Kind and urgent attention: Vipin Da

Postby nileshrana on Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:14 am

Vipindada,

Till date, this thread and your single handed, consistent and comprehensive contribution towards this placing it on the top. No doubt about that. Very useful and informative content for the readers, seekers and the community, let it be already there somewhere. You have worked hard and sorted out, represented it in a nice manner. No false appreciation or flattering, and on the other hand, we have presented regrets and sorry's for we could not publish it accordingly due to various troubling technical reasons.

Though, we need to edit and sort it out further and importantly we need to ask for the permissions from the respective authors/contributors if we could place it on our website in a larger interest. Mostly such content is meant for public interest and awareness, they are for sharing but we can't be unfair to those who have invested their time and energy, body and soul into it.

We are trying to concentrate of some redevelopment of site thing and therefore, trying to decide on content and form of the site, so should we contact the authors/sites and ask them if we can put it here. There will be two key courtesy with each article, Dada, we shall not wait for your permission here, as we shall be mentioning your name with it, but aapko ek kaam agar ho sake to karna hai, if you could contact some of these thru email and furnish this formality, it will be a great help in making this fruitful.

Please respond. No pressure or deadline, but we need this help from you, that's true.
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Re: Kind and urgent attention: Vipin Da

Postby vipinpanwar on Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:46 am

ok nilesh da frist thanks for your comments. second i will try to my best.

and i think we have pass some work to MANU & Tehri Da.

unko bhi to kuch kaam karnaa hai.

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The chipko movement

Postby vipinpanwar on Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:00 am

4 The chipko movement

The chipko movement is historically, philosophically and organi sationally an extension of the traditional Gandhian satyagraha. Its special significance lies in the fact that it took place in post independent India. The continuity between the pre-independence and post-independence forms of this satyagraha has beer provided by Gandhians, including Sri Dev Suman, Mira Behn and Sarala Behn. Sri Dev Suman was initiated into Gandhian satyagraha at the time of the Salt Satyagraha. He died as a martyr for the cause of the Garhwali people's right to survive with dignity and freedom. Both Mira Behn and Sarala Behn were close associates of Gandhiji. They settled in the interior of the Himalayas and established ashrams. Sarala Behn settled in Kumaon, and Mira Behn lived in Garhwal till the time she left for Vienna due to ill health. Equipped with the Gandhian world view of development based on justice and ecological stability, they contributed silently to the growth of women power and ecological conscciousness in the hill areas o Uttar Pradesh. The influence of these two European disciples of Gandhiji on the heritage of struggle for social justice and ecological stability in the hills of Uttar Pradesh has been immense and they generated a new brand of Gandhian activists who provided the foundation for the Chipko movement. Sundarlal Bahuguna is prominent among the new generation of workers deeply inspired by these Gandhians. Influenced by Sri Dev Suman, he joined the independence movement at the age of 13. Later, he worked with Mira Behn in Bhilangana Valley and was trained in her ecological vision. In an article written in 1952, Mira Behn had stated that there was 'Something Wrong in the Himalaya.

Year after year the floods in the North of India seem to be getting worse, and this year they have been absolutely devastating. This means that there is something radically wrong in the Himalayas, and that 'something' is, without doubt, connected with the forests. It is not, I believe, just a matter of deforestation as some people think, but largely a matter of change of species.

Living in the Himalayas as I have been continuously now for several years, I have become painfully aware of a vital change in species of trees which is creeping up and up the southern slopes-those very slopes which let down the flood waters on to the plains below. This deadly changeover is from Banj (Himalayan Oak) to Chir pine. It is going on at an alarming speed, and because it is not a matter of deforestation, but of change from one kind of forest to another, it is not taken sufficiently seriously. In fact the quasi-commercial Forest Department is inclined to shut its eyes to the phenomenon, because the Banj brings them in no cash for the coffers, whereas the Chir pine is very profitable, yielding as it does both timber and resins

Mira Behn had thus identified not merely deforestation but change in species suitable to commercial forestry as the reason for ecological degradation in the Himalayas. She recognised that the leaf litter of oak forests was the primary mechanism for water conservation in the Himalayan mountain watersheds.

The Banj leaves, falling as they do, year by year, create a rich black mould in which develops a thick tangled mass of undergrowth (bushes, creepers, and grasses), which in their turn add to the leaf-mould deposit and the final result is a forest in which almost all the rain water becomes absorbed. Some of it evaporates back into the air and the rest percolates slowly down, to the lower altitudes, giving out here and there beautiful sweet and cool springs. It would be difficult to imagine a more ideal shock absorber for the monsoon rains than a Banj forest.

The Chir pine produces just the opposite effect. It creates with its pine needles a smooth, dry carpet, which absorbs nothing and which at the same time prevents the development of any undergrowth worth the name. In fact, often the ground in a Chir pine forest is as bare as a desert. When the torrential rains of the monsoon beat down on these southern slopes of the Himalayas, much of the pine-needle carpet gets washed away with the water and erosion invariably takes place, because these needles, being non-absorbent, create no leaf-mould, but only a little very inferior soil, which is easily washed out from the rocks and stones.

Inheriting these early lessons in ecology, Bahuguna was later able to transfer this ecological perspective to Chipko. The rapid spread of resistance in the hills of Uttar Pradesh and its success in enforcing changes in forest management was also largely due to the awareness created by folk poets like Ghanshyam Raturi, and grassroots organisational efforts of a number of people including Man Singh Rawat, Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Dhoom Singh Negi. Bhatt, who later became well known for his work, became an activist at the behest of Bahuguna in 1959 when they met at a bus station in Gopeshwar where Bhatt was working as a booking clerk and Bahuguna, along with Rawat and Raturi, was waiting for a bus during an organisational trip through Gopeshwar. Having found Bhatt a promising activist, Bahuguna invited him to join them.

The Chipko movement is the contemporary expression of a continuing heritage of peaceful resistance by the people of Uttarakhand. In the post-independence period, under the coordination of Sarala Behn, the Gandhians organised themselves into the Uttarakhand Sarvodaya Mandal in 1961. The Sarvodaya movement in the sixties was organised around four major issues:

1:- The organisation of women.

2:- Fight against alcohol consumption.

3:- Fight for forest rights.

4:- The establishment of local, forest based small industries.

While the fight against alcohol consumption provided the platform for the organisation of women, the increasing conflict over forest produce between the local and non-local industries provided the rallying point for popular protest during the sixties. In 1968 the people of Garhwal renewed their resolve to fight for their forests in a memorial meeting held at Tilari on 30 May.

The platform for the organisation of women was thus ready by the seventies and this decade saw the beginning of more frequent and more vocal popular protests on the rights of the people to protect and utilise local forests. In 1971 Swami Chidanandji of Rishikesh undertook a month-long march to bless the people in their struggle. The year 1972 witnessed the most widespread organised protests against commercial exploitation of Himalayan forests by outside contractors in Uttarkashi on 12 December, and in Gopeshwar on 15 December. It was during these two protest meetings that Raturi composed his famous poem describing the method of embracing the trees to save them from felling:

<!--EZCODE BOLD START-->Embrace the trees and
Save them from being felled;
The property of our hills,
Save them from being looted.
<!--EZCODE BOLD END-->

While the concept of saving trees from felling by embracing them is old in Indian culture, as was the case of Bishnois, in the context of the current phase of the movement for forest rights in Uttarakhand this popular poem written in 1972 is the earliest source of the now famous name 'Chipko'. In 1973 the tempo of the movement in the two centres-Uttarkashi and Gopeshwar-reached new heights. Raturi and Bhatt were the main organisers in these two places. While a meeting of the Sarvodaya Mandal was in progress in Gopeshwar in April 1973, the first popular action to chase contractors away erupted spontaneously in the region, when the villagers demonstrated against the felling of ash trees in Mandal forest. Bahuguna immediately asked his colleagues to proceed on a foot march in Chamoli district following the axemen and encouraging people to oppose them wherever they went. Later in December 1973, there was a militant non-violent demonstration in Uttarkashi in which thousands of people participated. In March 1974, twenty-seven women under the leadership of Goura Devi saved a large number of trees from a contractor's axe in Reni. Following this, the government was forced to abolish the private contract system of felling and in 1975 the Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation was set up to perform this function. This was the first major achievement of the movement and marks the end of a phase in itself.

Bureaucratisation, however, cannot replace a civilisational response to the forest crisis. The ecological limits of forest extraction was hardly recognised and estimated. Ecological problems were accentuated leading to increased suffering of women who were responsible for bringing water, collecting fodder, etc. During the next five years Chipko resistance for forest protection spread to various parts of the Garhwal Himalayas. It is important to note that it was no longer the old demand for a supply of forest products for local small industries but the new demand for ecological control on forest resource extraction to ensure a supply of water and fodder that was being aired. In May 1977 Chipko activists in Henwal Valley organised themselves for future action. In June of the same year, Sarala Behn organised a meeting of all the activists in the hill areas of Uttar Pradesh which further strengthened the movement and consolidated the resistance to commercial fellings as well as excessive tapping of resin from the Chir pine trees. In Gotars forests in the Tehri range the forest ranger was transferred because of his inability to curb illegal over-tapping of resin. Consciousness was so high that in the Jogidanda area of the Saklana range, the public sector corporation, Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, was asked to regulate its resin-tapping activity.

Among the numerous instances of Chipko's successes throughout the Garhwal Himalayas in the years to follow, are those in Adwani, Amarsar and Badiyargarh. The auction of Adwani forests took place in October 1977 in Narendernagar, the district headquarters. Bahuguna undertook a fast against the auction and appealed to the forest contractors as well as the district authorities to refrain from auctioning the forests. The auction was undertaken despite the expression of popular discontent. In the first week of December 1977, the Adwani forests were scheduled to be felled. Large groups of women led by Bachhni Devi came forward to save the forests. Interestingly, Bachhni Devi was the wife of the local village head, who was himself a contractor. Chicks activist Dhoom Singh Negi supported the women s struggle by undertaking a fast in the forest itself. Women tied sacred threads to the trees as a symbol of a vow of protection. Between 13 and 20 December a large number of women from fifteen villages guarded the forests while discourses on the role of forests in Indian life from ancient texts continued non-stop. It was here in Adwani that the ecological slogan: 'What do the forests bear? Soil, water and pure air' was born.

The axemen withdrew only to return on 1 February 1978 with two truckloads of armed police. The plan was to encircle the forests with the help of the police in order to keep the people away during the felling operation. Even before the police could reach the area volunteers of the movement entered the forests and explained their case to the forest labourers who had been brought in from distant places. By the time the contractors arrived with the police each tree was being guarded by three volunteers who embraced the trees. The police, having been defeated in their own plan and seeing the level of awareness among the people, hastily withdrew before nightfall.

In March 1978 a new auction was planned in Narendranagar. A large popular demonstration was organised against it and the police arrested twenty-three Chipko volunteers, including women. In December 1978 a massive felling programme was planned by the public sector Uttar Pradesh Forest Development Corporation in the Badiyargarh region. 'the local people instantly informed Bahuguna who started a fast unto death at the felling site, on 9 January 1979. On the eleventh day of his fast Bahuguna was arrested in the middle of the night. This act only served to further strengthen the commitment of the people. Folk poet Ghanashyam Raturi and priest Khima Shastri led the movement as thousands of men and women from the neighbouring villages joined them in the Badiyargarh forests. The people remained in the forests and guarded the trees for eleven days, when the contractors finally withdrew. Bahuguna was released from jail on 31 January 1979.

The cumulative impact of the sustained grassroots struggles to protect forests was a re-thinking of the forest management strategy in the hill areas. The Chipko demand for the declaration of the Himalayan forests as protection forests instead of production forests for commercial exploitation was recognised at the highest policy-making level.The late Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, after a meeting with Bahuguna, recommended a fifteen year ban on commercial green felling in the Himalayan forests of Uttar Pradesh.

The moratorium on green felling gave the Chipko movement breathing time to expand the base of the movement and Bahuguna undertook a 4,780 km long arduous Chipko foot march from Kashmir to Kohima to contact villagers in the long Himalayan range and to spread the message of Chipko. At the same time, activists found it opportune to spread the movement to other mountain regions of the country.

Ecological Foundation of the Chipho Movement

Both the earlier forest satyagrahas and their contemporary form, the chipko movement, are rooted in conflicts over forest resources and are similar cultural responses to forest destruction. What differentiates Chipko from the earlier struggles is its ecological basis. The new concern to save and protect forests through Chipko satyagraha did not arise from a resentment against further encroachment on people's access to forest resources. It was a response to the alarming signals of rapid ecological destabilization in the hills. Villages that were once self-sufficient in food were forced to import food as a result of declining food productivity. This, in turn, was related to the decrease in soil fertility in the forests. Water sources began to dry up as forests disappeared. The so-called Natural disasters', such as floods and landslides, began to occur in river systems which had hitherto been stable. The Alaknanda disaster of July 1970 inundated 1,000 km of land in the hills and washed away many bridges and roads. In 1977 the Tawaghat tragedy took an even heavier toll. In 1978 the Bhagirathi blockade resulting from a big landslide above Uttarkashi led to massive floods across the entire Gangetic plains.

The over-exploitation of forest resources and the resulting threat to communities living in the forests have thus evolved from concerns for distribution of material benefits to concerns for distribution of ecologically generated material costs. During the first stage, the growth of commercial interests resulted in efforts to exclude competing demands. The beginning of large-scale commercial exploitation of India's forest resources led to the need for a forest legislation which denied village communities' access to forest resources. The forest satyagrahas of the thirties were an outcome of the Forest Act of 1927 which denied people access to biomass for survival while increasing biomass production for industrial and commercial growth. The growth imperative, however, drove production for commercial purposes into the second stage of conflict which is at the ecological level. Scientific and technical knowledge of forestry included in the existing model of forest management, is limited to viewing forests only as sources of commercial timber. This gives rise to prescriptions for forest management which are basically manipulations to maximise immediate growth of commercial wood. This is achieved initially by the destruction of other biomass forms that have lower commercial value but may be very important to the people, or have tremendous ecological significance. The silvicultural system of modern forestry includes prescriptions for the destruction of noncommercial biomass forms to ensure the increased production of commercial biomass forms. The encouragement to substitute ecologically valuable oak forests by commercially valuable conifers is an example of this shift. Ultimately, this increase in production may be described as mining of the ecological capital of forest ecosystems which have evolved over thousands of years.

The contemporary Chipko movement, which has become a national campaign, is the result of these multidimensional conflicts over forest resources at the scientific, technical, economic and ecological levels. It is not merely a conflict confined to local or non-local distribution of forest resources, such as timber and resin. The Chipko demand, at one stage was for a larger share for the local people in the immediate commercial benefits of an ecologically destructive pattern of forest resource exploitation. It has now evolved to the demand for ecological rehabilitation. Since the Chipko movement is based upon the perception of forests in their ecological context, it exposes the social and ecological costs of short-term growth-oriented forest management. This is clearly seen in the slogan of the Chipko movement which claims that the main products of the forests are not timber or resin, but soil, water and oxygen. With proper social control the basic biomass needs of food, fuel, fodder, small timber, and fertiliser can, in the Chipko vision and the Garhwal practice, be satisfied as positive externalities of biomass production primarily aimed at soil and water conservation to stabilise the local agro-pastoral economy.

The Chipko movement has been successful in forcing a fifteen year ban on commercial green felling in the hills of Uttar Pradesh, in stopping clear felling in the Western Ghats and the Vindhyas, and in generating pressure for a national forest policy which is more sensitive to people's needs and to the ecological development of the country. Unfortunately, the Chipko movement has often been presented by vested interests as a reflection of a conflict between 'development' and 'ecological concern', implying that 'development' relates to material and objective bases of life whereas 'ecology' is concerned with non-material and subjective factors, such as scenic beauty. The deliberate introduction of this false and dangerous dichotomy between 'development' and 'ecology' disguises the real dichotomy between ecologically sound development and unsustainable and ecologically destructive economic growth. The latter is always achieved through the destruction of life-support systems and material deprivation of marginal communities. Genuine development can only be based on ecological stability which ensures sustainable supplies of vital resources. Gandhi and later his disciples, Mira Behn and Sarala Behn, clearly described how and why development is not necessarily contradictory to ecological stability. The conflict between exploitative economic growth and ecological development implies that, by questioning the destructive process of growth, ecological movements like Chipko are not an obstacle to the process of providing material welfare. On the contrary, by constantly keeping ecological stability in focus, they provide the best guarantee for ensuring a stable material basis for life.

Paradigm Conflicts

In the final analysis, the dichotomy between 'development' and environment can be reduced to what is 'development' and how scientific knowledge is generated and used to achieve it. This dichotomy is clearly enunciated in the two slogans on the utility of the Himalayan forests-one emanating from the ecological concepts of Garhwali women, the other from the sectoral concepts of those associated with trade in forest products. When the Chipko movement evolved into an ecological movement in Adwani in 1977, the spirit of public interest ecological science was captured in the slogan: 'What do the forests bear? Soil water and pure air'. This was a response to the commonly accepted, partisan science based slogan: 'What do the forests bear? Profit on resin and timber'.




Figure 4.1 : The Evolution of the Chipko Mouvement -Part I




Figure 4.2 : The Evolution of the Chipko Mouvement -Part II


The insight in these slogans symbolised a cognitive shift in the evolution of Chipko. The movement underwent a qualitative transformation from being based merely on conflicts over resources to conflicts over scientific perceptions and philosophical approaches to nature. This transformation also led to that element of scientific knowledge which has allowed Chipko to reproduce itself in different ecological and cultural contexts. The slogan has become the scientific and philosophical message of the movement, and has laid the foundations of an alternative forestry science which is ecological in nature and oriented towards public interest. The commercial interest has the primary objective of maximising exchange value through the extraction of commercially valuable species. Forest ecosystems are therefore reduced to timber mines of commercially valuable species. 'Scientific forestry' in its present form is a reductionist system of knowledge which ignores the complex relationships within the forest community and between plant life and other resources like soil and water. Its pattern of resource utilisation is based on increasing 'productivity' on these reductionist lines. By ignoring the systems linkages within the forest ecosystem, this pattern of resource use generates instabilities in the ecosystem and leads to a counter-productive use of natural resources at the ecosystem level. The destruction of the forest ecosystem and the multiple functions of forest resources adversely affects the economic interests of those groups of society which depend on the diverse resource functions of forests for their survival. These include soil and water stabilization and the provision of food, fodder, fuel, fertiliser, etc. Forest movements like Chipko are simultaneously a critique of reductionist 'scientific' forestry and an articulation of a framework for an alternative forestry science which is ecological and can safeguard public interest. In this alternative forestry science, forest resources are not viewed as isolated from other resources of the ecosystem. Nor is the economic value of forests reduced to the commercial value of timber. 'Productivity', 'yield' and 'economic value' are defined for the integrated ecosystem and for multipurpose utilization. Their meaning and measure is therefore entirely different from the meaning and measure adopted in reductionist forestry. Just as in the shift from Newtonian to Einsteinian physics, the meaning of 'mass' changed from a velocity independent to a velocity dependent term, in the shift from reductionist forestry to ecological forestry, all scientific terms change from ecosystem independent to ecosystem dependent ones. Thus, for tribals and other forest communities a complex ecosystem is productive in terms of herbs, tubers, fibre, the gene pool, etc., whereas for the forester these components of the forest ecosystem are useless, unproductive and dispensable. Two economic perspectives lead to two notions of 'productivity' and 'value'. As far as overall productivity is concerned, the natural tropical forest is a highly productive ecosystem. Examining the forests of the humid tropics from the ecological perspective, Golley has noted: 'A large biomass is generally characteristic of tropical forests. The quantities of wood especially are large in tropical forests and average about 300 tons per ha compared with about 150 tons per ha for temperate forests. However, in partisan forestry, overall productivity is not important. It looks only for the industrially useful species and measures productivity in terms of industrial biomass. As Bethel states, referring to the large biomass typical of forests of the humid tropics,

It must be said that from a standpoint of industrial material supply, this is relatively unimportant. The important question is how much of this biomass represents trees and parts of trees of l preferred species that can be manufactured into products that can be profitably marketed.... By today's utilisation standards, most of the trees, in these humid tropical forests are, from an industrial materials standpoint, clearly weeds.

With these assumptions of partisan forestry science wedded to forest industry, large tracts of natural tropical forests are being destroyed across the Third World. Though the justification given is increased 'productivity' yet productivity increase is only in one dimension. There is an overall decrease in productivity. The substitution of natural forests in India by Eucalyptus plantations has been justified on the grounds of improving the productivity of the site. However. it has been a partisan view of productivity in the context of pulpwood alone that has been projected as a universally applicable measure of productivity. What has been termed the 'Eucalyptus controversy' is in reality a paradigmatic conflict between an ecological public interest forestry and a reductionist partisan forestry which only responds to industrial requirements. While natural forests and many indigenous tree species are more productive than Eucalyptus in the public interest paradigm, the opposite is true in the partisan paradigm of forestry. The scientific conflict is actually an economic conflict over which needs and whose needs are more important. In such paradigmatic conflicts, dominant scientific assumptions change not by consensus but by replacement. Which paradigm will win and become dominant is determined by the political strength backing the paradigms. The utilisation of natural resources, is part of planned development, has been classically guided in India by the concept of maximization of growth in the short run. This maximisation is based on increasing the productivity of labour alone. Gandhi critically articulated the fallacy of increasing labour productivity independent of the social and material context. Gandhi's followers in the Chipko movement continue to critically evaluate restricted notions of productivity. It is this concern with resources and human needs which is symbolised in Bahuguna's well-known slogan-'ecology is permanent economy'.

These conceptual issues assume tremendous importance in view of the fact that we are entering into an era in which large amounts of financial resources are being handed over to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) who are rapidly becoming the new managers of old development projects. The self-reliance, decentralisation and sacrifice intrinsic to voluntary action is being threatened by treating NGOs as the new delivery system. It is in this context that the debate on these two philosophies of nature and political action becomes central to the debate on development. The urgency of establishing a new economy of permanence, based on ecological principles, is felt with each new environmental disaster in the Himalayan region which spells destruction for the Gangetic basin. Chipko's search for a strategy for survival has global implications. Chipko's demand is conservation of not merely local forest resources but the entire life-support system, and with it the option for human survival. Gandhi's mobilisation for a new society in which neither man nor nature is exploited and destroyed, marked the beginning of this civilisational response to the threat to human survival. Chipko's agenda includes carrying that vision against the heavier odds of contemporary crises. Its contemporary relevance as well as its significance for the future world, is clearly indicated in the rapid spread of the ecological world view throughout the vast stretch of the Himalayan region, following the historical 5,000 km trans-Himalaya Chipko foot march led by Bahuguna, and subsequently through other vulnerable mountain systems such as the Western Ghats, Central India and the Aravallis.

The history of Uttara Kannada has been the history of people's struggle against commercial forest policy. The destruction of tropical natural forests and the raising of monoculture plantations of teak and Eucalyptus caused irreversible changes in the forest ecosystem. The destruction of mixed species denied people access to biomass for fodder, fertiliser, etc. The clear felling of natural forests has led to severe soil erosion and drying up of perennial water resources. Moved by the destruction of essential ecological processes, the youth of Salkani village in Sirsi launched a Chipko movement which was locally known as 'Appiko Chaluvali'. They embraced the trees to be felled by contractors of the forest department. The protest within the forest continued for thirty eight days and finally the felling orders were withdrawn. The success of this agitation spread to other places and the movement has now been launched in eight areas covering the entire Sirsi forest division in Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts. These areas included Mathghatta, Salkani, Balegadde, Husei, Nedgod, Kelgin Jaddi, Vanalli and Andagi, The rapid spread of the movement was based on evidence provided by villagers that the forest department was over-exploiting the forests. Villagers' complaints were later confirmed by official visits by scientists and politicians. In the forest of Kalase, with an area of 151.75 hectares earmarked for selection-cum-improvement felling for the year 198 3 84, a total of 590 trees above the girth limit of 2 metres was earmarked for felling. The Indian Plywood Mills had extracted a total of 125 trees belonging to eight species in the 1982-83 season. Thus a total of 715 trees spread over 151.75 hectares, or 4.05 trees per hectare were to be extracted. With an additional 5 per cent added for damage, the total number expected to be felled was 4.25 trees per hectare.

Representatives of the Lalkhminarasimba Yuvak Mandali who launched the Appiko movement in September 1983 maintained that (a) there was an excessive concentration of trees earmarked for felling in easily accessible areas, and (b) there was excessive damage to trees during the course of felling. In 1 hectare plot sampled it was found that eleven trees had been marked for cutting, out of which eight had been felled. In the process of felling these eight trees, as many as five trees had been damaged. This rapacious destruction of forest resources was undermining the ecological survival of local communities, who finally stopped felling through non-violent direct action- as seen in the case of Chipko.

The objective of the Appiko movement is three-fold. To protect the existing forest cover, to regenerate trees in denuded lands and, last but not least, to utilise forest wealth with due consideration to conservation. All these objectives are implemented through locally established Parisara Samrakshna Kendras (environmental conservation centres).

The Appiko movement has created awareness among villagers throughout the Western Ghats about the ecological destruction of their forest wealth. People now closely monitor the exploitation of forests by the forest department, and have been able to show the discrepancy between professed and actual practice of forest management. In December 1984, villagers of Gerasoppo range of Honavar forest division were able to record the felling practices and damage to forests due to timber exploitation. Their observations were as follows:

Forest Rule

* No tree will be felled on slopes and catchment areas of rivers (protection forests).

* In evergreen forest areas only two trees per acre will be felled.

* Minimum girth of trees felled should be 2.5 metres.

* The distance to be maintained from one tree to another tree to be felled should be 5() metros.

* Trees to be felled shall be lopped of their branches to reduce damage.

* No tree either dead, diseased or green should be felled near streams or the water line.

* Dragging of logs is not allowed.


Actual Practice
Trees are felled in catchment areas of Sharavati river (Honavar forest division on steep slopes).

In evergreen forest areas seven trees were felled in one acre (Marked). Two marked trees (Nos. 542 and 111) felled had a girth of 1.80 metres and 1.50 metres, respectively. Thirty seven trees, with a girth of over 50 ems, and thirty-two trees, with a girth of over 10 cms were damaged.

The distance from tree No. 75 to tree No. 90 which had to he felled was only 4.60 metros.

No lopping was done while felling trees.

Eight trees felled on an 80 degree slope, seven trees felled on a 75 degree slope, and ten trees were felled on the water line.

Dragging of logs was done extensively all over the place.

The top soil up to six inches was ripped off totally by dragging logs. This soil will be carried to the Sharavati river, raise its bed and the water level, and cause floods in an area which receives 250 inches of rainfall every year. Besides destabilising the catchment area, commercial exploitation has also deprived people of their use of forest biomass for basic needs. An 80-year old man, Rama Naik of Mattingadde village, narrated his experience. 'We had enough of medicinal trees. There was enough bamboo and cane for us. But after independence the felling of trees began and now everything is gone. There is no cane left. People's greed to make fast money has ruined us.'

In the context of this conflict between commercial demands and the demands for ecological stability and survival, the Appiko activists believe in the Chipko philosophy that The basic products of the forests in the Western Ghats are soil, water and pure air' which form the basis of life in the Deccan Plateau. They are not fuelwood and timber which are regarded as ultimate products from these forests in the market economy.

Source: http://www.unu.edu

Edited by: vipinpanwar at: 24/1/06 10:01
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Re: The chipko movement

Postby manu on Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START-->
Quote:
and i think we have pass some work to MANU & Tehri Da.

unko bhi to kuch kaam karnaa hai.

<!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->


aare bhai logon kab se keh raha hun ki kuch to kaam do mujh berojgar ko.........
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Re: The chipko movement

Postby nileshrana on Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:24 am

Ok Vipinda and Manu. Let us put a landmark at this point, start extracting the contact details/url/email addresses in all the articles/content in this thread and let us distribute this work among us. Aur bhi koi help karna chahta hai toh welcome.

Ek Sath Teen (3) Karenge Yeh Kam
Toh
Jaldi Pahunch Jayenge Hum
Apne Maqam...

:D
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Re: The chipko movement

Postby manu on Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:28 pm

Work started...



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Re: The chipko movement

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:35 am

thanks manu main jaantaa tha ek aap yahaa kaam karoge. yaar main march tak thoda family ke work main busy hun . uske baad hum tumhare aur tehri da ke saath hai.

but in between i will do something/////
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Re: The chipko movement

Postby nileshrana on Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:07 am

Well done Manu and Vipinbhai. Should we prepare a draft like below (please suggest changes/modifications) and try/start reaching the concerned?




Dear Sir,

Reference: Your article/content about (with Title and small de*****ion) at : The Specific URL

Please permit us to introduce ourselves first. We are small web group engaged in some community work covering Places, People, Issues, History and Culture of Uttaranchal. We are all volunteers scattered across the globe and across India at different places working together for a noble cause in a larger interest and awareness for the people. Further, our activities are non-commercial and it's much more a public platform with contributions from people like you. You can visit this link : http://www.uttaranchal.org.uk

Sir, while surfing thru the Internet, we came across the content/article compiled by you and found it very interesting. We do have our own complilations on various subjects and themes by our members. The site has a top rank and is being visited by thousands of visitors from different genre and walks of life and society on a regular basis. We shall be delighted and pleased to host your content in relevant section on our site if you permit so. This is just in a larger interest and to let people know, to let it reach to a wide audience in an effective manner.

We are hopeful for a positive reply from you.

Thanks and warm regards,

Team - Content Edition
Uttaranchal Worldwide
http://www.uttaranchal.org.uk




Dear all, please share your views/suggestions.
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Re: The chipko movement

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:53 am

manu da,Tehri da and Nilesh Da MAIN SABHI titles ka poora source ek jaghaa copy karke yahan post kar dungaa . phir easy hogaa.

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Re: The chipko movement

Postby vipinpanwar on Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:40 am

Full source of article.

hope ab Tehri da and manu da kaam suru kar-denge

http://www.uttaranchal.org.uk/upload/Source.doc

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Re: The chipko movement

Postby manu on Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 am

Thanks Dada
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Re: The chipko movement

Postby tehrijack on Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:13 am

ok i am here now, sorry for late reply.
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