Dr MIH Farooqi

Dates: The Fruit Of Quranic Tradition

The date palm is said to have originated in the Middle East and has proven to be such a successful plant and source (fruit) of nourishment that it has become a popular wholesome food across the planet. In many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits. It is because of its food (energy) value, that Dates have special significance for the fasting month of Ramazan. Man can survive for long years with good health if only Date Fruits (Arabic: Tamar; Hindi/Urdu:Khajur) are eaten daily.

Many fruits and fruit-bearing plants have been mentioned in the Qur’an, but it is the date palm that finds maximum references. Under the Quranic names of Nakhland Nakhil , it has been mentioned in 20 Verses of the Quran.  In Surat Al-Nahl, Allah Says: “With it He produces for you corn, olives, date palms, grapes, and every kind of fruit: Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought” (XVI - Verse 11). The Qur’an also narrates the incidence when Holy Maryam was provided with fresh ripe dates when she was feeling pain during childbirth (Surat Maryam-Mary – XIX - Verse: 23). It is this verse that is supposed to be the reason for considering Dates to be beneficial to pregnant women during labour pains.  


Mamata’s language policy aimed at dousing Gorkha identity

For sometime now Gorkhas from across India are watching events unfold in the hills of Darjeeling. The Mamata Banerjee government of West Bengal has brought in a notification that three languages would be taught in the schools of the state -- English, Hindi and Bangla. This is an attack on the mother tongue of Gorkhas -- Nepali, which is a language enshrined in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution.

The news goes back and forth some say it is obligatory but not for the hills of Darjeeling and Dooars included, but the rest of Bengal, while some sections say it is compulsory, implying cultural imperialism. There is a protest on in the hills of Darjeeling, and the situation is volatile forcing local MP SS Ahluwalia, who was traveling abroad, to write a letter to the Prime Minister raising the issue.

As reported in the press and doing the rounds on social media is news that the matter is serious enough for a section of the BJP to have taken it up with the BJP national executive. The BJP and GJM which represents Darjeeling are political partners. The GJM is the junior partner and this political partnership has not been cost effective for Gorkha interests for the last eight years.


Challenges to reconnect with Nature

Since 1972 World Environment Day is celebrated over the world to raise awareness about forests and wider issues of environmental protection. The theme of this year's World  Environment Day is 'Connecting People to Nature'. It implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

Over the years the alienation of people from nature is increasing both in urban and rural areas.

The lives of modern person is ever busy and their minds are even more busier. Under such circumstances, it is very important that we reconnect with nature to calm our minds. The green spaces available in the cities, especially trees and parks provide opportunity to reconnect people to nature.

In order to reconnect with nature, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has launched National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) at national level. Under this programme financial assistance is given to NGOs, educational institutions, women and youth organisations for conducting awareness programmes on environmental issues. About 12000 organisations are involved in conducting some action programmes related to nature protection and solving environmental problems.


World Environment Day: Connecting with nature, not divorcing it

Following the UN Conference on Human Environment in 1972, we have been organising World Environment Day functions on June 5 in the form of planting tree, cleanness drive etc. However it has not yet become mass movement for every citizen and every locality. In 2017, theme deals with ‘Connecting People to Nature’. 2017 host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the focal point of celebrations around the world.
Need to Change our Attitude from Divorcing nature to Connecting Nature
Our divorce with nature started when we became prisoner of our greed and started careless application of technology. Nature satisfies our need not greed. This theme encourages us to think about how Indian people are part of nature and how closely we depend on it since Ancient times. India is land of villages and nature provides us to get diverse and panoramic outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its significance for our livelihood, and to take forward initiatives to protect the nature Earth that we share. Nature provided us to find exciting ways to experience Himalaya, long coastal lines, Rajasthan desert, Peninsular India, Biotic hotspot of North east. We need to respect such vital interrelationship.

Professor Rajvir Sharma 130x160

Social merchants versus agents of change

Modi vs. Allis the feature of the political cricket being played in India these days. Is it merely an expression of power politics or a fight between two approaches-parochial and cognitive- to politics and governance? It is all about the rules of the game and interpretation and implementation thereof that the present day political cricket is concerned with. There are non-BJP political players who are questioning the BJP on account of anti-Dalit, anti-Minority and anti-Kisan politics.
They are for defining the rules within the boundaries of secularism, communalism, nationalism, liberalism, tolerance and intolerance, regulation or not of cattle trade, saffronization,and modernization etc. That these frameworks are important for nation’s health is not a matter of contest. Even the players from the BJP under the captaincy of Narendra Modi agree that all of the issues being raised by the opponents are not political alone in nature. These are the constitutional goals and commitments. Anyone having committed to the constitution cannot go against the secular, democratic inclusive ethos of Indian state and the society, to say the least.