Credits to Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra (@ShriRamTeerth) · Mar 6 Even as the world’s biggest campaign since January 15, 2021, for construction of the grand temple of Bhagwan Shri Ram at Ayodhya completed on February 27, 2021, it unified Bharatvarsh from east to west and north to south. · Mar 6 We have succeeded in achieving our goal of Samarpan in 400,000 villages. Contact was also made in all the wards of the urban areas. Although the statistics of the families contacted are yet to come, but it is estimated that we have touched about 100 million families.
· Mar 6 Samarpan (contributions) have been received from every quarter. During this drive, many such occasions and episodes also came which moved the minds and hearts of the volunteers. At many places, even the beggars, daily wagers & small farmers also made their prayerful offerings.
· Mar 6 About 900,000 Karyakartas in 175,000 teams contacted people from door-to-door. The Samarpan amount was deposited in Banks through 38,125 Karyakartas. The app, created by Dhanusha Infotech, has acted as a digital bridge among the Karyakartas, banks and the trust.
· Mar 6 To maintain transparency of the entire campaign, while 49 control rooms were working across the country, 23 qualified karyakartas led by two chartered accountants at the main centre in Delhi, were constantly in touch with the entire network to monitor the accounts
Even if the final figures are yet to come, it can be said, based on the banks’ receipts till March 4, that the Samarpan amount would cross INR 2500 crores. This month, the audit of the campaign in every district of the country would also be completed. 7:23 PM · Mar 6, 2021·Twitter for Android 608 Retweets 28 Quote Tweets 2,696 Likes Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra @ShriRamTeerth · Mar 6 Replying to @ShriRamTeerth From the North-Eastern region of Bharat, Arunachal Pradesh have contributed INR 45 million, Manipur INR 20 million, Mizoram INR 2.1 million, Nagaland INR 2.8 million, Meghalaya INR 8.5 million, & from South, Tamil Nadu contributed INR 850 million, and Kerala INR 130 million. Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra @ShriRamTeerth · Mar 6 The devotees who missed this Samarpan (contribution) drive, can still make their contributions through our website https://srjbtkshetra.org/donation-options/.
Devotees from outside Bharat are requested to wait a little more. They will be notified upon completion of FCRA formalities.
Revamping of Kashi Vishwanath corridor or construction of Sri Rama’s temple at Ayodhya are in the focus today. However, a few centuries ago, not just these two temples but hundreds of other temples were renovated due to the single-handed devotion of one woman, Queen Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, while the regions in which these temples are situated were under the rule of Muslim kings. It also raises the question, why were temples destroyed in the first place?
In 1293CE, Allauddin Khalji/Khilji raided Bhilsa and looted temples and public wealth. Bhilsa had numerous rich temples with idols of gold, silver, diamonds and other precious stones. The residents of Bhilsa concealed idols in the riverbed of Betwa to prevent the loot but he hauled the idols from river. Khilji moved to South when he heard about the riches of Devgiri under the rule of Ramadeva. After a few battles Ramadeva had to surrender and Khilji took away:
2400 kilos of gold 4000 kilos of silver 28 kilos of pearls 8 kilos of precious stones
With the looted wealth, Allauddin Khilji built an army to conquer Malwa region in 1305CE. Until Marathas strengthened themselves and defeated them, the invaders continued looting temples and public wealth.
Rise of Holkars:
After Marathas conquered Malwa region, Malhar Rao Holkar was appointed as an officer under the ruler Shahu I. He helped Marathas spread their kingdom to Northern states and was granted the estate of Indore in 1733 by Peshwas. Peshwas (Brahmins) gifted the kingdom to Holkars who were Dhangars (occupation of raising cattle), contrary to the narrative that upper castes suppressed so-called lower castes.
Malhar Rao’s son, Khanderao died at a young age in 1754 during the war of Kumher. Malhar Rao ruled Malwa region with the support of strong cabinet of ministers till 1766, and during this period, Malhar Rao trained his daughter-in-law Ahilyabai in military affairs and state administration. After his death, his daughter-in-law Ahilyabai Holkar became the queen in 1767. Ahilyabai was born on 31st May1725CE in the village of Chaundi, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Her father, Mankoji Sindhia (Shinde) was the Patil of that Village. She was married to Khanderao Holkar in 1733.
Sir John Malcolm, the Scottish historian who seized the province from Ahilyabai’s successors in 1818, devoted 21 pages praising Ahilyabai’s reign in his book “Memoir of Central India”. While doing research he said that “The more enquiry is pursued, the more admiration is excited.” He also mentioned “In the most sober view that can be taken, she was one of the purest and most exemplary rulers that ever existed”.
Ahilyabai Holkar is always known and admired for her contribution in restoring the temples and monuments which were destroyed by invaders. Ahilyabai not only developed big cities, but also smaller villages and constructed wells, tanks, canals to support irrigation. Her efforts and grants to renovate the temples and dharmic places were not just restricted to her kingdom, but are visible Pan-India. It was in her reign that 4 Jyothirlingas were restored – Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi, Vaidyanath of Parli, Somanath of Gujarat, Grishneshwar of Ellora, Maharashtra. She renovated dozens of old temples including Gaya, Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchi, Avanti, Dwaraka, Badrinarayan, Rameshwar and Jagannath Puri. The Ramachandra temple in Puri, Hanuman temple in Rameshwaram, Vishnupad Temple in Gaya, Bihar and the Sarayu Ghat in Ayodhya were all built with her contribution. Most of the ghats on the banks of Ganga in Varanasi were constructed during her reign. She facilitated the water delivery to more than 30 temples in the south from river Ganga. Ahilyabai wrote letters to Kings of different regions, seeking permission for reconstructing the demolished temples.
Ahilyabai Holkar personally handled the state affairs and administration. She sat in durbar daily to pay attention to complains and issues of her subjects, she was always accessible to her people. During her reign, the crime rate greatly dropped as she vigorously encouraged trade and farming, supporting business and agriculture.
Ahilyabai moved her administrative capital to Maheshwar, while Indore was the business capital. During her reign, Maheshwar became a center for music, arts and literature. She focused on developing industries especially textile industries, Maheshwar is the home for the world-famous Maheshwari sarees. Ahilyabai was also successful in managing the local tribes in her kingdom, and employed tribes to protect the travelling merchants. She had got her daughter married to Yashwantrao, a poor but brave man, who defeated a dacoit.
Ahilyabai was known as the `Philosopher queen’. She was reluctant to impose the death penalty. She held that all mortals are works of the almighty and it was not in human authority to commit violence upon his creation. However at the same time she was firm and exercised a strong control over her kingdom. She had a reliable and trustworthy team of ministers and administrators throughout her reign. Ahilyabai Holkar died in the year 1795 at the age of 70.
American historian Stewart Gordon writes that a definite proof of her ability as a ruler was that her territories in Malwa were not engaged in local battles during her reign, though there were wars all around in the country. According to Gordon, “Ahilyabai had one of the most stable reigns of the 18th century.”
Joanna Baillie writes about the queen in 1849 as:
“For thirty years her reign of peace, The land in blessing did increase; And she was blessed by every tongue, By stern and gentle, old and young. Yea, even the children at their mothers feet Are taught such homely rhyming to repeat “In latter days from Brahma came, To rule our land, a noble Dame, Kind was her heart, and tright her frame, And Ahlya was her honoured name.”
Let us all remember Veer Shambhudhan his valor and courage and pay homage on the 138th Martyrdom Day of the great freedom fighter Veer Shambhudhan Fungalo. Veer Shambudhan was born in 1750 in a Dimasa tribal family. The tribe is inhabited in the Assam and Nagaland states. He fought against British colonial rule along with his guerilla fighters. The then British Deputy Commissioner of NC hills Major Boyd came to arrest him along with 11 other policemen all of them were slaughtered by the army of Shambudhan in Mambang. In reaction he was surrounded by and murdered at Khaspur at the young age of 33 years.He was martyred on 12 February 1873. Let’s salute our hero Veer Shmbudhan.
Captain Chandra Narayan Singh was a second generation soldier in uniform. His father Honorary Captain Balwan Singh, a Himachali Dogra, served with the 4th Battalion of the Dogra Regiment during World War II and was decorated during the battle for ‘Magwe’ in Burma Campaign. For Himachali Dogras, soldiering is not just another profession, but a calling.
Chandra Narayan, a Himachali Dogra, was born on July 2, 1939, at Dharamsala. After obtaining Faculty of Arts (FA) degree (present day equivalent to senior secondary), Chandra, with a firm resolve to follow into his father’s footsteps applied for the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and was selected in the very first attempt. After two years of training at the IMA, on June 11, 1961, Chandra Narayan was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion of The Garhwal Rifles Infantry Regiment, the same battalion that gave to the British Indian Army two bravest of the braves who went on to win the Victoria Cross during World War I – Darwan Singh Negi and Gabbar Singh Negi, both from the 39th Garhwal Rifles.
Chandra Narayan, affectionately known in his battalion simply as CN, based on his above average profile, very early in his service, was posted as a staff officer in an Infantry Brigade guarding sensitive areas along the cease fire line between Poonch and Mendhar in Jammu region. It is there, that he proved that nobody beats the Himachali valour.
Poonch Sector: 05 Aug 1965
During Aug 1965, Captain Chander Narain Singh’s unit was deployed in the Poonch sector in J & K and was engaged in an intense fight with the enemy forces to capture and hold on to the strategically important ground features. On 5th August 1965, his unit got information that some Pakistani soldiers had infiltrated in the Poonch area and were seen around the location of the Brigade Headquarters.
On getting his orders, Captain Chander dispatched his patrol team immediately in the evening at 18.30 hours to carry out a search operation. Around at 19.30 hours, an encounter with the Pakistani infiltrators commenced wherein Pakistanis started firing using the heavy & light machine guns, mortars, and grenades from a higher position. However, Captain Chander ordered his patrol to take their positions and fire back at enemies. He instructed his soldiers to keep firing and keep the enemy pinned down while he himself crawled towards one of the flanks to engage the enemy perched at advantageous position. In this process, Captain Chander silenced one of the machine guns firing from the hilltop. But, the onslaught of fire continued on them. In order to neutralize the threat, he prepared a plan to launch an attack in night as the enemy position was too strong to conquer during the daytime.
At the opportune moment in the night, Capt Chander led a daring charge with a handful men within the 50 yards of the enemy position. In one rush they progressed halfway up and then paused to reorganize. While half of his patrol was engaged in cover fire, he led the other half to a flank attack on the enemy position, which was successful. During the operation, a fierce fight took place wherein six enemy soldiers were killed and many more were wounded and the enemy left behind considerable quantities of arms, ammunition, and equipment. However, Captain Chander Narain Singh was hit by a Light Machine Gun burst and was martyred.
During this operation Captain Chander NarainSingh displayed conspicuous bravery, leadership and courage in the highest traditions of the Indian Army before laying down his life. For his Gallant act of Bravery and unparalleled courage, Captain Chander Narain Singh was posthumously awarded India’s second highest gallantry award, “Maha Vir Chakra”.
A road in his native place Ramnagar, Dharamshala has been named after him as “Chander Maarg”. Captain Chander Narain Singh’s memorial has been installed at his native place in Dharamshala.
Sepoy Anusuya Prasad, was born on 19th May 1953, in the village of Nanna, Chamoli, in present day Uttarakhand. Son of Shri Dayanand and Smt Ukha Devi, Sep Anusuya Prasad was enrolled in 10 Mahar on 19th May 1971. Sepoy Ansuya Prasad despite being a young soldier of his regiment played an active role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Operation Cactus Lily: 1971
During the 1971 war, for liberation of Bangladesh, the Mahar Regiment was given the task of capturing an enemy position, a tea factory at Chatlapur on the Eastern Front, which was a well-fortified building dominated by machine guns around the entire area. The plan of action, under Commanding officer, Major Gen K V Krishna Rao, was to send a squad to get into the enemy defences and set the building on fire.
Sepoy Ansuya Prasad, with utter disregard for his personal safety, volunteered for the task and crawled towards the enemy position, holding a few phosphorous grenades. During the process, he was shot in both his legs but undaunted, he continued crawling up towards the stock of ammunition in the building. Thereafter, he received a machine gun burst in his shoulder, and still undeterred, though bleeding profusely, he crawled up to the building and lobbed the grenades into it, setting it on fire before succumbing to his wounds and was martyred, that too when he was just 18 years old. His exceptional bravery forced the enemy to abandon the building and enabled the troops to capture the objective and subsequently, the two Pak Brigades which were defending the town, surrendered on 17 December, ’71. The daredevil action of Sep Anusuya Prasad changed the course of battle and ensured a decisive victory for Indian forces. In this action Sepoy Ansuya Prasad displayed conspicuous gallantry and made the supreme sacrifice.
Sepoy Ansuya Prasad, with just 11 days of service with the Battalion, displayed outstanding courage with utter disregard to his personal safety. His heroism and sacrifice have become part of the Mahar Regimental history. Sep Anusuya Prasad was awarded nation’s second highest award for gallantry, Maha Vir Chakra for making the supreme sacrifice, and became the youngest recipient of the award.
A parade ground at Sagar in Madhya Pradesh has been named after Sepoy Anusuya Prasad. A statue of the brave soldier has been installed in front of the unit, that is today famous as Anusuya Prasad Battalion in honor of the exceptional courage shown by the martyred soldier.
Sep Anusuya Prasad is survived by his wife Chitra Devi. “I was merely around 13 when I got married. I remember that my husband (Sepoy Prasad) had come down during a break from the training for collecting some documents — that is when we got married. Five days and he went back for training and went straight to the battlefield. What I received was a telegram, saying my husband was dead. I could not even read the telegram, forget understanding the severity of it,” said Chitra Devi who, in March 1963 went to Delhi to receive the MVC by then President V V Giri.
In 2002, I started an organisation called Veer Shaheed Anusuya Prasad (MVC) Mahila Samiti in Bhauwala, Dehradun, working for women empowerment. “Now, there are just two things I want to do — empower other women and visit the place where my husband fought bravely, for which I need a passport,” she has said.