July 2021

Dear Friends,

Namaskaram!

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), popularly known as Rajaji was a statesman, writer, lawyer, and independence activist.  Rajagopalachari was the last  Governor-General of India.  He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. Rajagopalachari founded the Swatantra Party and was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Rajagopalachari was an accomplished writer who made lasting contributions to English literature. He pioneered temperance and temple entry movements in India and advocated Dalit upliftment. Rajagopalachari was described by Gandhi as the "keeper of my conscience". In this issue, we have given some of his quotable quotes.

July 2021

Dear Friends,

Namaskaram!

Verghese Kurien (26 November 1921 – 9 September 2012), known as the "Father of the White Revolution" in India, was a social entrepreneur whose "billion-liter idea", Operation Flood, made dairy farming India's largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment sector providing a third of all rural income. It made India, the world's largest milk producer, doubled the milk available for each person, and increased milk output fourfold in 30 years.

He pioneered the Anand model of dairy cooperatives and replicated it nationwide, based on various "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches, where no milk from a farmer was refused. Farmers controlled the marketing, procurement, and processing of milk and milk products as the dairy's owners.  He also made India self-sufficient in edible oils and fought against the "oil kings", who used underhanded and violent methods to enforce their dominance over the oilseed industry. In this issue, we have given some of his quotable quotes.

June 2021

Dear Friends,

Namaskaram!

Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist the United States has produced," and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". . His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it. Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well; he died the day after the comet made its closest approach to the Earth. In this issue, we have given some of his quotable quotes.

This month, our front page covers the anecdote for introspection – “The Truth Shop” by the famous story teller Antony de Mello.

May 2021

Dear Friends,

Namaskaram!

Sunderlal Bahuguna (9 January 1927 – 21 May 2021) was an environmentalist  and Chipko movement leader. The idea of the Chipko movement was his wife's. He fought for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas, first as a member of the Chipko movement in the 1970s, and later spearheaded the anti-Tehri Dam movement from the 1980s to early 2004. He was one of the early environmentalists of India, and later he and others associated with the Chipko movement started taking up wider environmental issues, such as being opposed to large dams.

Shri.sundarlalji received various awards during his life time such as Jamnalal Bajaj Award for constructive work (1986), Right Livelihood Award (1987), Honorary Doctorate from IIT Roorkee (1989), and Padma Vibhushan Award by government of India for environment conservation (2009). He has also written a few books on environment and related subjects. In this issue, we have given some of his quotable quotes.

This month, our front page covers the ‘Forest man of India’ - Jadav "Molai" Payeng.

April 2021

Dear Friends,

Namaskaram!

Babasaheb Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), was a jurist, economist, politician and social reformer, who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables. He was British India's Minister of Labour, Chairman of the Constituent Drafting committee, independent India's first Minister of Law and Justice, and considered the chief architect of the Constitution of India.

March 2021

Dear Friends,

Namaskaram!

R.K.Narayan (10 October 1906 – 13 May 2001) was an Indian writer known for his work set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He was a leading author of early Indian literature in English along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao.

Narayan's mentor and friend Graham Greene was instrumental in getting publishers for Narayan's first four books, including the semi-autobiographical trilogy of Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts and The English Teacher. The fictional town of Malgudi was first introduced in Swami and Friends. Narayan's The Financial Expert was hailed as one of the most original works of 1951 and Sahitya Academy Award winner. The Guide was adapted for film (winning a Filmfare Award for Best Film) and for Broadway.

Narayan highlights the social context and everyday life of his characters. He has been compared to William Faulkner, who also created a similar fictional town and likewise explored with humour and compassion the energy of ordinary life. Narayan's short stories have been compared with those of Guy de Maupassant because of his ability to compress a narrative.

February 2021

Dear Friends,
Namaskaram!

Neem Karoli Baba (1900 – 11 September 1973), Lakshman Das Sharma was born around 1900 in the village Akbarpur, Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh, India, into a wealthy Brahmin family. After being married by his parents at the age of 11, he left home to become a wandering Sadhu. He later returned home, at his father's request, to live a settled married life. He has two sons and a daughter.

Neem Karoli Baba left his home in 1958. Baba lived in the village of Neeb Karori for a while and was given his name by locals. Thereafter he wandered extensively throughout Northern India. During this time he was known under many names.

He was a lifelong adept of Bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God. His devotee, named Anjani shares the following account:

January 2021

Dear Friends,
Namaskaram!

Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) was born as Venkataraman Iyer, in Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu, India. In 1895, an attraction to the sacred hill Arunachala and the 63 Nayanmars was aroused in him, and in 1896, at the age of 16, he had a "death-experience" where he became aware of a "current" or "force" which he recognized as his true "I" or "self", and which he later identified with "the personal God, or Iswara", that is, Shiva. Six weeks later he left his uncle's home in Madurai, and journeyed to the holy mountain Arunachala, in Tiruvannamalai, where he took on the role of a sannyasin.

He attracted devotees that regarded him as an avatar and came to him for darshan. In later years an ashram grew up around him, where visitors received ‘spiritual instructions’ by sitting silently in his company asking questions. Since the 1930s, his teachings have been popularized in the West, resulting in his worldwide recognition as an enlightened being.