Pushkar

 - Dr MPG Kurup, Former Executive Director National Dairy Development Board of India

India : Art , History , Culture , Architecture , Vedic India

Culture , Vedic India

Pushkar is a Holy Town : Centre – West of the Rajasthan State , stretched along the western side of Aravalli mountain range , a part of Ajmir District . Ajmir City is the District Head Quarters , only 10 km away from Pushkar. Transport and communications from Pushkar is well developed , the nearest airport is Ajmer.

Pushkar Lake ( Jeshta , the largest of the three lakes in Pushkar : Sacred for Hindus : Brahma Theertha ) : Legends are that the Lake was formed on the land on which the lotus flower peteals fell from the hands of Jagat Pitha , Brahma , when he was getting ready for a holy yagna.

Pushkar is said to be the only Brahma Temple in India : thousands of pilgrims come to Pushkar for a holy dip in Brahma Theertha (Pushkar Lake) and worship in the Brahma Temple !

(Source : Google / Wikipedia)

India : Art , History , Culture , Architecture , Vedic India”

- Dr MPG Kurup, Former Executive Director National Dairy Development Board of India 
Sanathana Dharma is commonly referred to as ” Hinduism ” in India , even though the term only refers to the practical and functional aspects of Sanathana Dharma : And Hinduism is the overwhelmingly predominant Religion in the country !

Adding to the numbers and size of the Hindus is not part of the agenda : Sanathana Dharma does not believe in conversions of followers of other faiths to Hindus ! And yet one in seven of all persons on Earth is Hindu !

Spread of Sanathana Dharma : Hinduism , beyond the borders of India is the discussion in this post : mainly in South and South East Asia.


Cambodia

Entry of Hinduism in Combodia was very early in the country’s known history : 100 BC : during the ancient Funan kingdom which lasted from 100 BC to 500 AD ! Spreading steadily across the country , mostly by social interaction , Hinduism grew to become the official Religeon of Combodia !

Then in the first half of the 12 century AD , the Khmer King Surya Varman built the Angkor Wat : Angkor ” means Capital and “Wat ” Temple , in Khmer language !Surya Varman , also had his Capital , Angkor Thom in the same area and called it ” Vishnuloka ” !

The Temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu , though shrines for all the deities in the Hindu Pantheon , was built into the Temple : Brahma , Shiva , Saraswati , Ganesha and many many others !

Angkor Wat became the largest religious monument in the world : built in a Complex spread over 165 Ha , with tall walls all round and moat around , for safety and protection ! Much later in the 20th century , it was recognized as a UNICEF World Heritage Centre.

King Jaya Varman , who followed Surya Varman , was a great believer of Budhism and turned Angkor Wat into a Buddhist Temple , towards the end of the 12th century.

Angkor Wat Complex is located in Northern Combodia ,some 5 Km from the present day modern town of Siemreap.Hinduism started waning post the Khmer Era and became a memory and a few believers by the 18th Century

Indonesia

Hinduism entered Indonesia from last century BC and around First Century AD ; and Spread across the country until the 12th Century ! It started waning from 1400 AD : but still exist in a few areas like Bali and Java .

The impact of Hinduism in the country : The Government’s Emblem ” a decorative version of Garuda” ! Indonesian Air Line is named ” Garauda” . All across the country you see Hindu artifacts : an important junction in Jakarta has the statue of Krishna and Arjuna in a chariot in the Geethopadesham Pose !Three famous Hindu kingdoms that popularised Hinduism were Matharam , Kediri and Singhesiri . Hinduism is now mostly concentrated in Bali and Java .

During these kingdoms thousands of Hindu Temples built across the country . Around some 300 large and famous still exist in the country , mostly in Java and Bali areas. ! the elaborate and large prambanan Temples were built in Java regions Current population of Hindus in Indonesia is only about 2 % of the population (recent country Census) ; but about 80 % in Bali .Most famous among the Hindu Temples in Indonesia are : Prambanan Temples around Java are the largest Temple Complex in the country .

The largest and still prospering Temple is the Pura Besakih Temple in Bali : Known as the Mother Temple !Mother Temple. Bali is known as Pura Besakih and is the largest Temple in Bali. made up is 28 shrines in side .Takes a full day to tour Temple.located in Besakih country side south west of Agung mount. Worships ySiva , Brahma and Vishnu .

This is a UNICEF World Heritage Centre , like many other Temples in Indonesia Global tourist , annually half million : Origin was as old as 1st century , BC , worship started 12 Century AD . Built by a Javanese holy man Markandeya in 10 century AD . Built around a central rock , has pyramid shapePictures : Clock wise : from top left : 1. Statue of Devi , 2 . & 3 .Prambanan Temple Complex , Java , 4. Mother Temple Complex, Bali , 5. Pooja in Mother temple , 6 . Devotees in Mother Temple , 7. Benediction in Mother Temple.

Myanmar

Formerly under the British Empire , known as Burma : a Buddhist Nation :

The name Burma is derived from the Hindu God , Brahma ! Myanmar came from the the old local language name “Myanmar “. Independence from the British Empire for Myanmar came in 1948 !

Newly independent Myanmar, right from the beginning was hostile to India and everything Indian ! Gen. Ne Win , the Junta strong man, who ruled Burma from 1962-1988) drove out, virtually on foot , 300000 Indian origin people , most of them Hindus , engaged in small and tiny enterprises , petty trade and indentured labour brought in by the British.*

Kowtowing with the Myanmar Dictator Ne Win, Sukarno of Indonesia along with Nasser of Egypt and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia , the Indian Government headed by Jawahar Lal Nehru , was , meanwhile , busy forming the so called nonalignment movement !

In spite of all Song and dance the central govt in Delhi for promoting and endearing the newly independent Burma , the military junta in Myanmar seized power , declared a revolutionary socialist govt , nationalised all industry and private property with out compensation !

There still remain in Myanmar , remnants of the tattered Hindu Civilization : many , many , Temples strewn across the country. Some of them are UNICEF World Heritage Centres : drawing millions of global tourists !

(Source : Text and pictures : Google / Wikipedia)

* Martin Smith (1991). Burma – Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London, New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 43–44, 98, 56–57, 176. ISBN 978-984-05-1499-1.


D


The Bhavnagar fire and my green sweater

-RK Nagar 

Nagar had shared this article many months ago. He mentions “It could possibly be in 1979”. I wasn’t sure and wanted to confirm. I concede my memory is not good !

Thanks to the Internet , I was able to search this article, published in January 15, 1982 issue of India Today. Thus it is most likely that this fire incident at BVP happened in December of 1981.

Behla and I were watching a volleyball game on that fateful afternoon and a watchman from NDDB gate came and told us to contact Jhala Saheb urgently. We met Jhala Saheb and the three of us left for Bhavnagar. As we were about to reach Bhavnagar the sun was setting and we could clearly see on the horizon the flames and fumes in the distance. It was a horrifying scene.


I don’t recall the year. It could possibly be 1979. It was probably a Sunday or some other holiday. As I came out of my apartment C-9, and looked for my friends Behla and Shailendra Kumar (we three were on the same floor), I learnt that they had suddenly left for Bhavnagar. Bhavnagar Vegetable Products (BVP), the vegetable oil processing plant that NDDB had acquired an year ago under the oil project was on fire.


Both Behla and Shailendra were members of the Management Committee of BVP and late Shri GM Jhala was the Chairman. When they received the news of fire in freshly procured stock of groundnuts stored in the compound, the three left immediately for Bhavnagar.

They had no time to inform anyone else on this Sunday afternoon so they decided to reach the spot as early as possible, take stock of the situation and decide the next course of action.


The winters had set in and after dinner when I was about to go to bed, I received a call from Bhavnagar. It was Behla on the other side. “Nagar, Jhala Saab has decided to call you with a team of about 20 officers to help us fight the fire at BVP. The officers have been identified, they all live on campus, administration has been asked to make the travel arrangements and the bus will leave campus at 5 am sharp.”.


He then dictated to me the names of officers who were to form the team. With the admin officer, I went to each one’s apartment, told them to be ready and meet near office at 4.30 am. By the time this exercise was completed, it was past 12.
We left at 5 am sharp and the atmosphere in the bus was as if we were going on a picnic. We were laughing, joking and having fun unaware of what was in store for us. We all thought that we will first check-in into a hotel, freshen up, have breakfast and then go to the BVP.


But the administration had instructed the driver to take us straight to the plant. We too didn’t know what hotel we were booked into so it was logical that our first contact in Bhavnagar had to be with the plant manager KR Rao and the General Manager, Mr. RN Jain, who was on deputation to BVP from IDC. We reached BVP at 9 am.


We were greeted at the plant site by non other than Jhala Saab himself. “Get on with the job, pick those iron hooks and pull out burning bags, segregate the fully charged ones, also release the fire brigade personnel and hold the water hose to extinguish the fire. Quick, we have no time to lose”. It sounded more like an army General’s command.


There was no time to lose. The inferno was very intense and barely 20% contained after almost 20 hours of firefighting. All the fire tenders from Bhavnagar were pressed in service and additional fire tenders were summoned from nearby municipalities. The fire was massive.

This was the biggest fire Bhavnagar had ever witnessed. The oil oozing out burning groundnuts and wet jute begs only made the problem worse. It was a heady mix of fire, heavy black smoke and muddy water with burning oil flowing in every direction. It was a horrifying site. Everyone including Mr Jhala was a fireman that day.


We immediately swung into action. There was no time to lose. The tired fire brigade crew badly needed a break and so did Mr. Jhala, Behla, Shailendra, Jain, KR Rao and other officers of NDDB/IDC on deputation to BVP. They were themselves fighting fire continuously for nearly 14 hours.


It was a unique show of team work. Absolutely splendid. No one needed instructions. Everyone just got into action and worked tirelessly with only one objective- contain the fire as early as possible and minimise losses from this “deliberate act of sabotage”.


And since it was a chilly morning, I was wearing my “Green” pullover that I had bought the previous winter from “Phulkari” (Punjab Handicrafts Emporium) at Chandigarh. It was a very charming green with a simple but bold weave and I loved it.


We were taking turns and fighting the fire for the next 3 days. On the second day I was however put up with the accounts and inventory team to assess the damage and prepare the insurance claim. Late in the night when we reached the hotel, we were smelling of smoke and the smell was so intense that I couldn’t sleep that night. The clothing I wore on that day had to be washed and dried but the smell had set in so deep that nothing worked.


The green sweater, I loved was the worst casualty. After 4 days, we all returned to Anand but the smell was refusing to leave us. I had my sweater dry cleaned twice but the smell simply refused to go. It was so overpowering that even my wife and children felt awful as the poor green sweater made a reentry in my house from the dry cleaner.

On the fifth day, with a heavy heart, I had to say “goodbye” to my priced possession- my green sweater from Phulkari.


It had sacrificed itself on the alter of BVP fire. Amen.

 


Some links to related articles are given below. I would be grateful if readers help get more references and anecdotes.

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/indiascope/story/19820115-bhavnagar-vegetable-products-suffers-eight-mysterious-fires-771397-2013-10-19

https://thewire.in/political-economy/india-edible-oil-self-sufficiency

How India Was Stripped of Its Atmanirbharta in the Edible Oil Industry

 

Fruitful Cooperation


- Dr Mukund Naware 

सफल सहयोग

You find the cause and means will follow, it is said.

I experienced this as NDDB Spearhead Team Leader, Jalgaon during 1974-76. It started with visit of Purushottam Joshi who was my friend in Nagpur Veterinary College few years ago. He had come on short visit to Jalgaon with his wife and the couple was staying with her sister.



Joshi contacted me over phone and then met me in Jalgaon Union’s office. His visit was no doubt a surprise and we decided to spend as much time together as possible. Then he casually mentioned that the relative with whom he was staying had his office just at a walkable distance from the place where we were sitting. He suggested that we could as well go there and meet him just as personal introduction. I accepted his suggestion and we went there.



That was the office of the Directorate of Field Publicity. Till then I had not known that there was a Govt. Department by that name. The name of the officer was Shri Khandekar who was co-brother of Joshi. After we were introduced I found Khandekar to be very informative and helpful, perhaps that was his job requirement also. During the corse of our discussion it was revealed that his office was there to help various departments in field activities and for this purpose they had hundreds of documentary films on various topics. I casually enquired whether they had films on dairy and cooperation. He immediately called the list and I found that they had two documentary films with titles सफल सहयोग and सौराष्ट्र के लोकनृत्य. The black and white film सफल सहयोग was based on Amul story and the other one in color, although devoted to folk dances had depicted perfect harmony amongst artistes which was nothing short of cooperation. Then and there I thought about borrowing those films on a future date and Khandekar readily agreed to help me. Thus our meeting ended on a positive note and on next day Joshi went back to Buldana where he was working as Extension Officer in Zilla Parishad.



Then I discussed my idea with Narendra Vashi who was like Deputy Team Leader. He agreed that showing documentary films in villages where we organized dairy societies on Anand Pattern was excellent idea. What more, he was willing to operate the 16 mm projector himself if we could arrange one. At NDRI he had received practical training to operate the projector. Now our problem was to only find the projector and we made some effort in that direction. In couple of days we came to know that the Arts and Science College at Faizpur had a 16 mm projector and Shri JT Mahajan, MLA who was Chairman of Jalgaon Milk Union had influence over that college being on the Executive Committee of the Education Society that ran the college. That linkage worked wonderfully well and when we went to meet the College Principal instantly he gave us the 16 mm projector and the rolled screen with tripod stand in complete faith. That added a dimension to our extension effort immensely.



We went to Shri Khandekar to obtain the films. He did not ask for even a formal letter and just on my signature in his register he gave away both the films. In the next couple of days Vashi tried and confirmed that the assembled things ( जुगाड ) worked well and we were ready with a Projector and two Films as a part of our Team’s kit to organize film shows. In the next ten months we must have organized over sixty to seventy film shows in villages just a day prior to bringing the working on Anand Pattern. Each show had hundreds of viewers, women and children alike and the message followed was quite powerful. The first film to be screened was on folk dances followed by सफल सहयोग.


The film सफल सहयोग was produced by Ezra Mir in Films Division and it was remarkable being a sort of running interview of Dr. Kurien dubbed in Hindi with several frames appearing in the background

At one point Dr. Kurien was also seen in conversation with Amul Chairman, Shri Tribhuvandas Patel although their dialogue was not audible. What I remember till today is a line dubbed in Hindi in which he was saying … और आनंद मे हमने यही तो सिद्ध किया है । ( I am one of those who believe that…) भारत का किसान इतना पिछडा हुआ नही है जितना कि समझा जाता है.. हम सभी की तरह वह शुरूआतमे नये तरीके अपनानेसे झिझकता है … लेकिन जब उसे मालूम होता है कि दूध उत्पादन के नये तरीके फायदेमंद हो सकते है, उसकी आमदनी बढा सकते है, तब वह बिना झिझक से उन्हे अपना लेता है… All such statements were good enough to make lasting impact on farmers. Therefore, we could see that screening of these films charged the village atmosphere and it helped us in our extension effort.



During this period the Field Publicity Office did ask us to return the films couple of times but that was only to reissue them. The College at Faizpur also did not ask us to return the projector. Here I must mention that during the first phase of Operation Flood there was no provision of funds for Spearhead Team to carry a Film Projector. Therefore, the number of Film Shows reported by us on monthly basis was over and above the expectation and hardly anybody noticed that activity leave alone appreciation.



However, after several months it so happened that the electric bulb in the projector went off and it had to be replaced. As can be expected the replacement was not available easily but a local electrical shop could finally arrange for it. Needless to say, we included the ‘ expenditure on replacement of projector bulb ‘ in our monthly statement.

Thereafter we promptly received a note calling for explanation on that kind of expenditure. When there was no projector from NDDB how the expenditure on bulb replacement could be entertained was the question raised by our auditors. When I answered them the expenditure was allowed as a special case.

However, that sent us alarm that if something went wrong with the projector as a whole who could replace the whole projector and certainly it was beyond our personal capacity. So we thought enough is enough and returned the projector and both the films to respective agencies. The सफल सहयोग was over.


P.S. Purushottam Joshi, my friend who caused the above chain of events met with a fatal accident sometime in 1980. Like many, even he didn’t know about his contribution to our work.

A list of “firsts” at National Dairy Development Board

List compiled by By Shri G.Rajan 

 

Click  here to watch as PowerPoint Presentation 15 January 

Visitors may download this presentation or view it here. Many more suggestions entries have been received as comments on Facebook Groups. I will keep on adding those too. 


NDDB Logo


Designed by Mr. A Barooha, Creative director of CONCEPT Markeing & Advertising. Bombay. It was originally meant for Indian Dairy Corporation(IDC), in 27.7.71, But the design “Drop” was selected for IDC , and NDDB took over the Mohan-ja-daro BULL .

NDDB Campus

Moved to present campus (sometime in 1970) , Architect AP Kanvinde & Rai , New Delhi, Civil Construction by civil by Ms Himatbhai J. Patel, Anand. contractor.

NDDB was registered in 1965 under the Bombay Trust Act 1950 and thereafter under Societies Registration Act on 23rd sept 1967. Dr. V Kurien as it’s founder Chairman. It became a body corporate after the Indian Parliament passed NDDB Act 37 of 1987.

Office locations of NDDB over the years

NDDB office first started functioning from was a rented house near the present Amul Dairy main gate. This particular house has since been demolished by its owners and a commercial building has come up in its place.

NDDB then moved on to the third floor on Amul’s main admin. building on a monthly rent of Rs.3000/. inclusive of furniture etc. borrowed from AMUL. For the key positions, initially Dr.Kurien borrowed the services of Amul`s staff . NDDB office moved to current campus location in 1970.

Some Firsts at NDDB

First honorary. Secretary of NDDB Mr. NN Thakker of Amul.

First honorary treasurer Mr. JM Shah, Accounts Officer of Amul.

First full time Secretary of NDDB Dr SC Ray as Secretary, NDDB, Dr.Ray was a retired Milk Commissioner of West Bengal and Dairy Development Advisor, Govt. of India.

First full time Treasurer –NF Rangwalla,

First accounts clerk – George Kurien,

First Assistant in Administration Arvind Patel

First Cashier Naginbhai Patel

First Personal Assistant in NDDB – BK Iyer,

First librarian – ShirishPatel

First PRO – Vikramsinh Rana, Yuva Raja of erstwhile Jambughoda State

First driver – Rajnibhai Parmar

First Peon –cum-duplicating machine operator, Fataji parmar

Tea(morning and afternoon) was served at Rs.6 per month (Martin Parmar was inchrge)

First Estate officer and all-in-one on this campus – Vasant s kulkarni

First Gardner-cum,-watchman on this campus – Sarjuraam

First electrician- Rambhai Vanker

First carpenter- Ajmeri

First medical officer – Dr.Ashabhai patel

First official warden of the hostel – Shailendra Kumar followed by shekar roy , who joined NDDB along with Deepak tikku and others, as apprentice engineers/apprentice executives.

First receptionist – Mrs.Uma Guptey

First Matron at the guest house Mrs.Uma Guptey

First cook at the guest house, – Ramachandran

First cook at the hostel Raojibhai,

First official photographer – Thakker senior Proprietor National Studio, Anand , followed by his son Shirish Thakker. It is said that Shri Thakker senior clicked the first photo of Dr.Kurien & Mrs. Kurien on their return after getting married.

First official news paper reporter: ND Zaveri of PTI

First movie screened on the campus at the small auditorium – Summer of 42(black and white in 16 mm). The auditorium was under construction, and the chairs were not even fixed then. Everyone sat on the unfinished concrete stairs, watched the movie quietly. Before that movies on 16 mm were shown in front of the hostel.

First Garba on the campus was initiated by Mrs. Bhartiben jhala(w/o. late Shri GM Jhala a former secretary of NDDB , ) – in front of the hostel, about a dozen persons were present.

First holi celebrations on the campus initiated by sinha family whose house was also known as ‘bachelors headquarters`; there is not a single bachelor at that time who had not tasted tea and bhajiaat their D-1 ground floor quarters, offered by Mrs. Sinha.

Creation of Boho club – BOHO (BUFFALOES OF THE HIGHEST ORDER) named by PT Jacob who got a prize too of Rs 21 or so. Entry free for suggesting a name was Rs 1/- and the money thus collected was to be given to the person whose suggested name for the club got chosen. Shri Ashok Koshy IAS organised this.

First Christmas father (Santa Clause – G rajan) who continued till 1998.

First badminton team of BOHO club – MK Sinha and G Rajan played and lost against Amul’s team HM Dalaya(DGM,Amul) and Mrs. Sheela Dalaya.

The first excursion cum picnic organized by BOHO club – to river Mahi at vasad, (organized by Ashok koshy, Exe. Asstt. to Dr.Kurien, chairman. All the families living on the campus (total around 50) participated in this picnic. All went by train Ticket cost 0.50 paise.per head, paid by BOHO.

The first donor of books to BOHO club – RH Variava a Deputy Secretary ( a dozen of old Readers Digest Books), followed by Ms. Nirmala & Mrs.Kurien with a rosewood cupboard full of children’s books

The first ICL 2950 Computer arrived on the campus on 23.9.1978

The first and only PC computer operator at that time was Oman Kuttan, popularly known as OK.

The first long distance STD connection from Baroda exchange to Anand was to Chairman NDDB Dr.Kurien’s office (helped by DET, Khare), This was much before the advent of STD.

The first long distance underground HT connection was provided to NDDB campus (Mr.Gangadharan, Supdt Engineer) – while Anand city may not have power but NDDB will have continuous supply of electric power thanks to this HT connection.

The first FAO Advisor, with an Indian heart, who scripted tons of documents for and on behalf of NDDB & Dr.Kurien, including Operation Flood,I,II & III project, Oil Project documents etc – Dr.Michael Halse. Popularly known as Mike he He worked with NDDB from 1968-1983. A UK national, MBA and PhD from Harvard, Mike was also one of the founding team members of IIM-Ahmedabad.When NDDB was formed in 1965 Mike was one of the founding members of the NDDB board a position he held till his appointment as FAO advisor and later Team Leader Of FAO Advisers attached to NDDB.

As mentioned earlier this list 
has been compiled by
Shri G.Rajan, NDDB, (1969 - 1996)

It was first read at Reminisces-I
A reunion of former NDDB employees held
at NDDB campus, Anand on 28th February / 1st March 2015
and at Reminiscences-II held ion February15,16, 2020
it was used for asking questions as a quiz.
Please suggest changes, if any, and also share other
“firsts” which are not listed here.

 

Journey with Shri Manibhai Desai

- Dr. Mukund Naware 

It is to be noted that on that day in October 1969 in entire India at only one place under the auspices of Indo Swiss Project at Mattupatty Artificial Insemination Programme with Frozen Semen in the Project Area had been started in project area by 1965 , and in the entire Kerala state by 1969 !

However, there was not a single Milk Packing Machine in any Dairy in any sector.


“It was on 15th October 1969 that I received a message from Nagpur Veterinary College, where I had studied as a student, informing me that Shri Manibhai Desai from Uruli Kanchan was visiting the college for selecting fresh graduates for Bhartiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF).

By that time I had only heard the name of Shri Manibhai Desai but was not aware about BAIF and it’s activities. However, since I received a separate message from the Professor of Gynecology recommending that I must avail the opportunity, in about a week I attended the interview held in Principal’s Chamber.

The interview panel comprised Shri Manibhai Desai and his two colleagues. They had travelled all the way from Pune to Nagpur by ambassador car. During my interview he hardly asked any questions. He, however, shared with me a lot of information about BAIF and it’s future programs. He said that the ICAR had recognized BAIF as a Research Foundation and it would be possible for employees to take up field problems and pursue studies leading to award of MVSc.

After the Interview he announced that I have been selected as a Trainee Officer for 6 months. He said arrangements for training of those selected had been made in Bombay Veterinary College and then at Aarey Milk Colony after which we were finally to be trained at IVRI, Izzatnagar. On completion of raining the post of Veterinary Officer was to be offered with salary at par with Govt. Since the job had come almost to my doorstep I showed my willingness to join the BAIF on those terms. ” You will not be our employee, but you will be a member of our team.” He said. I was very much impressed and encouraged by his statement. He asked me to to reach Mumbai and meet him at Adarsh Dugdhalaya, Malad on the date just falling four days after the date of interview and a formal Appointment Letter would be given there. I agreed to those terms and thus my journey with BAIF began.



On the third day I left for Mumbai by train and stayed overnight with my relatives.


Next day by 10 am, I went to Malad by local train and then took a Bus to reach Adarsh Dugdhalaya. I found that a group of persons was already there waiting for Shri Manibhai Desai to arrive. Among the trustees of Adarsh Dugdhalaya one was called Keshavbhai alias Keso Kaka. Dr. C.R. Sane, Prof. of Gynecology, Bombay Veterinary College was also there along with a group of six Trainee Officers selected from amongst the fresh graduates of Bombay Veterinary College. I was the only graduate having come all the way from Nagpur.



Shri Manibhai Desai arrived there by 11 am as we were getting introduced to each other and engaging in small talk. Two persons who had to accompany him on the tour, Dattoba Kanchan and Dr. Arun Phatak were also there. When he came out of his car Shri Manibhai was happy to see me. Immediately we proceeded to a hall where sitting arrangement was made in Indian style.


In a very informal way the meeting began. After his welcome by the trustees Shri Manibhai Desai introduced his entire team to the trustees. He said few sentences about his visit to Nagpur and my selection.

Then he said about the necessity of increasing productivity of cows and the support he was getting from institutes keeping cows (Panjarpol) and other agencies like Cooperative Sugar Factories.

The discussion that followed was mostly in Gujarati but surprisingly I was able to follow it. Prof. Sane was also supporting Manibhai’s view point that the cross breeding of cows with Jersey and Holstein breeds was better option to achieve progress in a short duration rather than going by method of selective breeding. Shri Manibhai Desai told about the donor agencies who had come forward to provide frozen semen for this program. However, Prof Sane said that it was necessary for the field staff to identify problems of infertility in cows so that frozen semen was used only after addressing to that problem. Shri Manibhai then explained his arithmetic that a farmer in sugarcane dominated area can grow leguminous fodder like lucerne and maintain four crossbred cows per acre of land and this way he can earn more profit than he would get from one acre of sugarcane. He said that the Sugar Factories also supported his view point since that would give a steady income to their farmers members.

“दूध प्लास्टिकनी कोथळीमां भरवामां आवे छे .. डेलिव्हरी करनार छोकरो एने दूरथी फेके ते छतां कशुना थाय”

– केशो काका


The trustees of Adarsh Dugdhalaya were following that discussion very well. Their dairy farm in Mumbai was famous for buffalo milk but they had also realized that keeping crossbred cows was a good option and can cater to certain segment of consumers. They had a small herd of cows and they were willing to go for cross breeding. Shri Keso Kaka then spoke about his views on milk marketing and shared the observations he had made during his recent visit to Denmark. He mentioned about packaging of milk. ” I saw milk in plastic pouches.. there is machine that packs milk in plastic pouches… and it is so tough .. a delivery boy even if he throws… it does not burst…. ( दूध प्लास्टिकनी कोथळीमां भरवामां आवे छे .. डेलिव्हरी करनार छोकरो एने दूरथी फेके ते छतां कशुना थाय. ) He said that in India there should be such machines and Adarsh Dugdhalaya would be interested if Manibhai could bring this technology under his project.

However, Shri Manibhai did not comment on this because milk marketing was not a priority item for him. For fresh graduates like us this discussion was very academic in nature as it related to Milk Production and Marketing at the same time.


It is to be noted  that on that day in October 1969 in entire India  at only one place under the auspices of Indo Swiss Project at Mattupatty Artificial Insemination Programme with Frozen Semen in the Project Area had been started in project area by 1965 , and in the entire Kerala state by 1969 !

However, there was not a single Milk Packing Machine in any Dairy in any sector.



After that meeting we had a sumptuous Gujarati lunch arranged in somebody’s house there. The household women were serving delicious food while caring for each and everyone of us. It was my first experience of Gujarati hospitality that was remarkable. After lunch somebody gave me my formal Appointment Letter. How it had come there I didn’t know but in response I gave my joining report.
Late in afternoon Shri Manibhai Desai left for Uruli Kanchan and our group of Trainee Officers was left behind under the guidance of Prof. Sane. We continued to be with him and under his instructions for several days. That was followed by our training in Aarey Milk Colony till the end of December 69. We were thereafter sent to IVRI for further training.



On completion of training at IVRI we returned to Uruli Kanchan in April 1970. By that time the group strength had become twelve hence we were calling ourselves as Dirty Dozen. On arrival we underwent orientation program for about ten days. In May 1970 we received appointment letters as Veterinary Officer. Afterwards many of us were posted either in Cooperative Sugar Factories or Panjarpol Sanstha. Those left behind either awaited the posting orders or assigned some duties at HQ. I was retained at HQ to arrange supplies to field centres.



The month of May started and one day unexpectedly Shri Manibhai Desai called me and my colleague Sudhir Sane to his room and told that we were to accompany him and Dr. MR Marathe ( Senior most Director) on a tour to Gujarat and Sourashtra for ten days. That was to be a real journey with him ! He asked us get ready to leave on the very next day. A driver by name Dashrath was to drive the ambassador car. We all were to meet Shri Manibhai Desai at h, Pune by 4 pm and journey was to begin from there. As a Member of the Senate of Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV) he had one meeting to attend and then we were to proceed on journey.



Next day in the afternoon we reached College of Agriculture in time but Shri Manibhai was still busy in the meeting. By the time he came out we were late by one hour. As we started our journey he said that the main subject had taken lot of time but fortunately it was decided that the MPKV would establish a Farm to produce Triple Crossbred Bulls for judging their merit by way of recording milk production of their daughters. In other words it was aimed at producing Proven Bulls but they were to have blood origin from two exotic breeds and one Indian breed. The MPKV was to establish Bull Mother Farm of Gir cows and they were to be crossed with Holstein and Jersey breeds to produce triple cross bulls in third generation and the project was to be funded by ICAR. Shri Manibhai and Dr. Marathe went on discussing that issue which was a good learning for me and Sudhir. That night we made a halt in Mumbai. I stayed with Sudhir since his parents lived in Sion.



Next day as we as began our journey things became clearer. We were actually going to Sourashtra to select Gir cows and heifers for that ICAR sponsored project for which Shri Manibhai Desai was to help MPKV in selecting right type of animals.

In that exercise we were to cover number of places like charitable Panjarpols as well as few commercial farms where Gir herds were maintained for a number of years. It was clear that Shri Manibhai knew exactly where to go and which place to visit. Accordingly he had informed the dates and timings of our visit to all the places.



As we were passing through Surat district Shri Manibhai opened a topic for debate with me and Sudhir. He asked us to prove how crossbred cows were better than buffaloes. I was surprised and I narrated usual advantages in favor of crossbred cows like better growth rate, early maturity and lesser age at first calving, regular estrous cycle etc. but Shri Manibhai counter questioned each time saying that all these are related to the management and could be true in case of buffaloes too.

According to him if buffaloes were managed as well as crossbred cows they would perform better than the latter. He argued that buffalo milk having higher fat content and more solids has to be compared applying correction factor and then compared with cow milk and on that basis a buffalo producing 1800 liters per lactation would win over a cow even if she produces 2500 liters. His arguments were baffling for us since we could never imagine him talking in favor of buffaloes. Finally I told him in plain words that it was not possible for us to imagine him as champion of buffaloes and therefore we could not argue with him. On that sentence he had a hearty laugh and our debate ended. That night we had a halt in Baroda and we all stayed in the house of Shri Gulab bhai, the brother of Shri Manibhai. We all had dinner there and enjoyed their hospitality.



Next day we started our journey towards north and made up to Rajkot. While on move Shri Manibhai opened a new topic. He asked us what we thought about Indian goats and their potential as dairy animals. Myself and Sudhir, we gave bookish replies. He wanted us to say something from the body conformation of the goat that we never imagined. He said that just as in case of European cow breeds three body triangles from top, bottom and sideway are described as dairy character; in the case of Indian breeds of goats we find them prominently and even in case of milch purpose Indian cows these triangles are not prominent. To impress up on his point he asked us to imagine the carcass of a Jersey cow and compare it with carcass of a Indian goat to find that the goat carcass would appear like a small version of carcass of a Jersey cow. But it would no be so in case of Indian cow. It was a big revelation as I thought about it.

Then he said about one more body point regarding the males of the species. The penis, in case of males of all breeds of goats, is tucked up to the belly and this feature is common with bulls of European breeds like Holstein, Jersey. Whereas, penis is not tucked up to the belly in case of bulls belonging to the breeds we call as milch breeds like Gir, Sahiwal and so on. In fact it is found to be hanging in folded skin towards ground. Therefore, he was of the opinion that both males and females of the Indian goat breeds having anatomical similarities with European cow breeds perhaps Indian goats had dairy potential just like Jersey cattle but it is not tapped yet.


On our way we had lunch and tea times. Shri Manibhai gave directions to our driver and took us to good restaurants. In Rajkot we entered one hotel for night halts. We were to stay there for two three days.


From next day morning we started going to various institutes to select the Gir animals. Each day we went in different direction covering parts of Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Junagadh. I remember names of few places like Sawakundala and Sanosara. We went to Morvi and also a coastal place named Sharadagram at Mangrol where we had night halt. In all we must have visited around eight or ten institutes, mostly Panjarpols. Surprisingly at all places, people knew our timing of visit very well and they arranged to show us the animals available for sale. That time there were no mobile phones, no public telephone booths, no GPS on our car; still how Shri Manibhai planned and implemented the schedule is a mystery. He never asked me or Sudhir to get down of car to enquire for direction from anybody. We had good breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days and Shri Manibhai took care of all of us offering good food and Ice Cream varieties of his choice in the end. Our stay at Sharadagram was memorable due to their extremely well house keeping and even for arrangements like playing music while milking cows.

While selecting animals at all the places Shri Manibhai was asking host of questions regarding pedigree of each animal. He would then ask us to write down those details. He wanted to select animals belonging to different families of cows where different bulls were used and inbreeding had not happened. Dr. Marathe was also asking questions related to reproductive behavior. Whenever in doubt he would ask me or Sudhir to examine the reproductive system. This way we shortlisted a number of animals at various farms and recorded their details with identification number and description.



In the last leg of our journey we attended a conference of representatives of Panjarpol Sansthas held at Jetpur. Over hundred persons must have been present there to discuss the issues and problems they faced. Shri Manibhai Desai was there almost like a chief guest and Dr. Marathe was also offered a chair on the stage. The proceedings were in Gujarati but we were able to follow. All the speeches and discussion was centered around a demand that the Government should increase the rate of subsidy on maintenance of cows.

They were finding it difficult to feed the cows in the subsidy amount they were getting on per day basis. Dr. Marathe spoke in Gujarati to say that that the Panjarpol Sansthas ought to follow scientific approach rather than dwelling on sentiments. A cross between Science and Sentiments would be Hybrid and therefore a Sterile, he said. That was followed by a speech by Shri Manibhai. He said in no uncertain terms that the Panjarpol Sansthas must make efforts to increase the overall productivity of cows and go for cross breeding. He said that they should not expect the Government to compensate their losses indefinitely which amounted to wasting of public money. In stead, they must follow scientific practices and become self- reliant, he said. It was rather unwelcome statement for that conference but Shri Manibhai had said it !



With these accomplishments we started our return journey thereafter. Almost fifty years have passed since then but I still recall the memorable journey I had with Shri Manibhai Desai.


विभीषण

- रश्मि कांत नागर 
मेरे पास प्रश्न हैं, उत्तर नहीं। अगर आपके पास हों तो ज़रूर बताइयेगा, मुझे प्रतीक्षा रहेगी

बचपन में घर में हनुमान चालीसा का नियमित पाठ होता था। उसकी ये पंक्तियाँ

“तुमरो मंत्र विभीषण माना, लंकेश्वर भये सब जग जाना”। 

किसी को भी भगवान राम की शरण में जाने को प्रेरित करती है। स्तुति हनुमान की, संदेश राम की शरण में जाने का। बहुत अच्छा लगता था।

बड़े हुए, नौकरी करने घर छोड़ दूसरे शहर आए, घर का पूजा- पाठ का नियम ताक पे चला गया। ता उम्र भगवान को याद किया, परंतु बिना नियमित पूजा-पाठ के। समय ही कहाँ था ये सब करने का? पर बचपन की यादों के किसी कोने में कुछ स्तुतियाँ याद रह गयीं, भले ही आधि-अधूरी हों और हनुमान चालीसा की कुछ पंक्तियाँ भी उनमें से हैं। 

इसलिये जब कभी किसी पड़ोसी के घर से अनायास इन पंक्तियों की ध्वनि कानों में पड़ती है, तो बचपन याद आता है, वे पल यादआते हैं, जब आत्मविभोर होकर हम भाई-बहन, पूरे भक्ति भाव से इन स्तुतियों का गान किया करते थे। तब मन में कोई प्रश्न नहीं आते थे। अब आते हैं। 

और प्रश्न आते है- विभीषण के संदर्भ में। विभीषण के नैतिक आचरण के बारे में। क्या विभीषण का राम का साथ देना नैतिक रूप से उचित था? अगर होता तो ये कहावत, “घर का भेदी, लंका ढाई” क्यों बनी? 

राम की सहायता करके, उन्हें लंका पर विजय प्राप्त करने में अपना अमूल्य योगदान देकर विभीषण एक और राम भक्त के रूप में प्रसिद्ध हुए और लंकेश्वर बने पर दूसरी और रावण के भाई के रूप में तो वे राजद्रोही ही रहे। एक विजयी राजा ने एक देशद्रोही को, एक गुप्तचर को, पुरस्कार में इसके पराजित भाई का राज्य दे दिया। विभीषण ने राज्य तो पा लिया, पर क्या वह लंका की प्रजा का सम्मान प्राप्त कर पाया? मुझे इसमें संदेह है। 

और मेरे संदेह का कारण है। लंकावासियों की छोड़ो, वह तो रामभक्तों से भी कोई सम्मान नहीं पा सका। अगर पा सका होता तो किसी एक रामभक्त ने तो अपने एक पुत्र का नाम विभीषण रखा होता। पर किसी ने ऐसा नहीं किया। क्यों? 

हमने हमेशा ये सुना की विभीषण ने अपने बड़े भाई रावण द्वारा सीता के अपहरण को अनैतिक माना और इसीलिये उन्होंने रावण का साथ छोड़ कर राम का साथ दिया। विभीषण का अपने भाई के आचरण- सीताहरण पर क्षुब्ध होना सही था परन्तु उसका स्वयं का आचरण उसके नैतिक मूल्यों पर प्रश्न चिन्ह लगता है।

दो प्रश्न उठते हैं, पहला, विभीषण ने रावण के सामने शस्त्र उठा कर सीताहरण का विरोध क्यों नहीं किया? क्या वो इतना कायर था? क्या वो अपने प्राण गवानें के भय से रावण का विरोध नहीं करना चाहता था? क्या वो जानता था की रावण के वध के बाद वही राजगद्दी पर बैठेगा और इसलिए स्वयं के प्राणों की रक्षा करना उसका मुख्य ध्येय बन गया?

दूसरा, अगर ऐसा कुछ नहीं था तो उसने रावण की पराजय के बाद लंकापती का पद क्यों स्वीकार किया? अगर विभीषण अपने नैतिक आचरण के प्रति इतना सजग होता, तो वह इस पद को अस्वीकार कर देता। पर उसने ऐसा नहीं किया। क्यों? 

मेरे पास प्रश्न हैं, उत्तर नहीं। अगर आपके पास हों तो ज़रूर बताइयेगा, मुझे प्रतीक्षा रहेगी।

27-12-2020


जिजीविषा और आकांक्षा की बैसाखी पर चलती ज़िंदगी


पर यह उदासी कहाँ से आती है ?


न जाने क्यों

आज मैं उदास हूँ

ख़ुशी, गम, डर, उदासी

उभर कर छा जाते हैं

बदलियों, खिलखिलाती धूप, मंद पवन, आँधी, वसंत पतझड़, बारिश की तरह

मुझसे बिना पूछे

आज की उदासी है

बरसने के पहले वाले उमस भरे बादलों जैसी

होती है ख़ुशी

जब इच्छित की होती है प्राप्ति

डाकिये की दी घर से आई चिट्ठी की तरह

ग़म होता है प्रिय के बिछड़ने पर

नदी मे बह रही नाव की तरह

डर होता है ज्ञात, अज्ञात और

अकस्मात से भी

पर यह उदासी कहाँ से आती है

जिजीविषा और आकांक्षा की बैसाखी पर चलती रहती है ज़िंदगी

9-10-2021


बरसात और बर्फ़बारी

बरसात बंदुआरी मे

भीगी मिट्टी की महक…

भीगी मिट्टी की महक प्यास बढ़ा देती है
दर्द बरसात की बूँदों में बसा करता है
– मरग़ूब अली

दूर तक छाए थे बादल…

दूर तक छाए थे बादल और कहीं साया न था
इस तरह बरसात का मौसम कभी आया न था
– क़तील शिफ़ाई

बर्फ़बारी टोरंटो मे

ये नसीम ठंडी ठंडी ये हवा के सर्द झोंके
तुझे दे रहे हैं लोरी मिरे ग़म-गुसार सो जा
– सुरूर जहानाबादी

ऐसी सर्दी है कि सूरज भी दुहाई मांगे
जो हो परदेश में वो किससे रजाई मांगे
-राहत इंदौरी


अमरत्व

पृथ्वी पानी पेड़ बादल
विस्तृत अनंत
इन सबके बीच मानव
अदना सा अद्भुत जीव
नश्वरता के सागर मे
खोजता अमरत्व