The Hindustan Times – Living with the past: How Rakhigarhi residents share space with the remains of one of India’s ancient cities

Haryana’s Rakhigarhi is much like any other Indian village. Except that it was once a Harappan city. For residents, it is no longer a surprise to have scholars find history in their fields’

Poulomi Banerjee

Rakhigarhi – Haryana – India, 02 February 2019. Many of the streets of Rakhigarhi, Haryana, are cobbled or bricked. But it’s often difficult to see the road surface, so covered is it with dried animal dung. As in most rural households in India, animals are a part of nearly every household. Milk is rarely, if ever, bought.

Butter is made fresh, at home. And dried dung cakes are used to light fires for warmth through the freezing winters, heat water and often cook. “Even people with gas connections use dried dung cake fires to heat water and to cook.

There’s a different flavour to the food, when cooked in an earthen pot over an open flame,” explains Vicky Malik, a Rakhigarhi resident, as he stands on a high mound beyond which stretches fields of wheat and yellow blossoming mustard.

Near his feet, as indeed across most of the mound, are scattered round, flattened cakes made of animal dung – in various states of dryness. Beneath the waste lie the remains of the Indian subcontinent’s earliest-known urban culture.

Three years ago, a team of archaeologists working under Vasant Shinde of Pune’s Deccan College, found skeletons in one of the farmlands in the village. The cemetery they uncovered dated back to the Indus Valley Civilisation that had flourished in the subcontinent between 2600-1900 BCE.

The locals weren’t surprised. Rakhigarhi’s introduction to its ties with the past had begun years ago.

Finding the lost town

The revelation of Rakhigarhi’s links to history was quite accidental, recalls archaeologist Ravindra Singh Bisht, who specialises in the study of the Indus Valley Civilisation – or Harappan Civilisation, as it is often called, after the name of the village in present-day Pakistan, where the first site of that ancient culture was discovered, sometime in the 1920s.

“Acharya Bhagwan Dev headed a gurukul in Jhajjar, Haryana. He was also a collector of antiquities. Once, on a trip to Rakhigarhi, he found some old earthenware urns and other things in the soil here, but was unable to identify them,” explains Bisht.

Dev invited Suraj Bhan, a professor who was studying the Harappan era, to examine his findings. “It was Bhan who established that these antiquities dated to the Indus Valley Civilisation. This was in the 1960s,” he adds.

Bisht paid his first visit to Rakhigarhi in 1972. Though referred to collectively as Rakhigarhi, the area is made of two small villages – Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Shahpur – each with its own panchayat. The site of the old Harappan Civilisation spreads across both.

“Initially I identified five mounds where remains of the Harppan Civilisation could be found,” he says. Later he found two more with remains of a pre Harappan (or early-Harappan as some call it) settlement and recommended that they be all declared as ‘protected monuments’ by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Presently four of the seven mounds are ASI-protected. The others are too thickly populated at present to bring them under protection, says an ASI official. It was the reason why Bisht never did any excavations at Rakhigarhi.

“Some of the biggest mounds were under occupation. I felt I could not do justice to the study in such a situation,” says the archaeologist, who has done extensive work in Dholavira, another site of the Harappan Civilization.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/living-with-the-past-how-rakhigarhi-residents-share-space-with-the-remains-of-one-of-india-s-ancient-cities/story-jJdqeE6V8PkC00BslYFo1J.html

Sikh24.com – Five years sentence for two Sirsa cult disciples who set bus on fire; five acquitted

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 02 February 2019. On February 1, a Sangrur based Court of Additional Sessions Judge Jasjit Singh Bhinder convicted two Sirsa cult disciples for five years in a case of setting a minibus on fire near Qila Hakima village on August 25, 2017.

Notably, a minibus was set on fire by several Sirsa cult disciples following conviction of Sirsa cult chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case.

A case under Sections 307, 353, 186, 436, 427, 120-B, 148 and 149 of the IPC and under Sections 4/5 of the Punjab Prevention of Damages to Public Private Property Act, 2014, was registered against Dunni Chand, Rajinder Kumar, Bhagat Singh, Amandeep Singh, Pardeep Singh, Narinder Pal Singh and Lovepreet Singh in 2017.

The Court convicted only two, namely Pardeep and Narinder Pal while the five others, namely Dunni Chand, Rajinder Kumar, Bhagat Singh, Amandeep Singh and Lovepreet have been acquitted due to lack of evidence. A fine of Rs 5,000 has been also imposed on each of them and if they fail to pay the fine, they will have to undergo additional one-year imprisonment.

It may be recalled here that the Assistant Sub-Inspector Hardial Dass, incharge of the Ranike police post, had identified the guilty culprits and later their names were added in the FIR.

In their challan submitted to the court, the Police had claimed that during interrogation of the accused, it had come to light that they were asked by some other cult disciples to set the government and private properties on fire if the court decision goes against the cult head.

https://www.sikh24.com/2019/02/02/five-years-sentence-for-two-sirsa-cult-disciples-who-set-bus-on-fire-five-acquitted/#.XFXXMM17nIU

Den Haag: Lijnbaan – Hobbemaplein – Back to Gent: Den Haag Centraal

Lijnbaan
03 January 2019


RandstadRail TramTrain 4 to Zoetermeer Javalaan


Another look at the types of trams operating in Den Haag

Hobbemaplein
Haagse Markt
02 January 2019


Tram 6 to Leyenburg


Tram 6 on the De Heemstraat

Back to Gent
Den Haag Centraal
Tram platforms high
03 January 2019


Getting off to catch my Flixbus to Antwerpen


RandstadRail TramTrain 3 to Zoetermeer Centrum

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Netherlands & Belgium pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

VRT Nieuws – Groen voorzitter Almaci na klimaatmars: “Het is nu of nu, ik kijk uit naar voorstellen om klimaatcoalitie te vormen”

De recordopkomst bij de klimaatmars gisteren in Brussel toont aan dat er “heel veel draagvlak is” voor een ambitieuzer klimaatbeleid. Dat zegt voorzitter Meyrem Almaci van oppositiepartij Groen in “De ochtend” op Radio 1. Volgens haar is het tijd om met de volgende regering een “klimaatcoalitie” te vormen.

Gianni Paelinck

Brussel Hoofdstedelijk Gewest – België, 28 januari 2019. Met zijn 70.000 waren ze, gisteren op de klimaatmars door de straten van de hoofdstad. Meteen de grootste klimaatmars in België ooit.

Onder hen was ook Groen-voorzitter Meyrem Almaci. “Als groene partij kan je daar echt niet afwezig zijn”, zegt ze in “De ochtend”. “En we zullen dat blijven doen tot die stem gehoord wordt.”

Die stem zou dan moeten gehoord worden door de beleidsmakers. En dit jaar zijn het verkiezingen, waarna een nieuwe regering zal moeten gevormd worden. Wat is voor Almaci en haar partij de voorwaarde voor regeringsdeelname? “Het is nu of nu”, klinkt het.

“Ik ben heel hoopvol, dit signaal kan je niet negeren. Ik kijk uit naar welke voorstellen van de collega’s komen om effectief een klimaatcoalitie te gaan vormen.”

Die “klimaatcoalitie” moet dan met een “klimaatwet met bindende doelstellingen” komen, stelt Almaci. “Daar moeten twee dingen in staan. Enerzijds moeten er investeringen komen in meer openbaar vervoer, in alternatieven en in energierenovaties.

Aan de andere kant moet er ook een bijdrage komen van de grootste vervuilers om op die manier de omslag te kunnen maken naar een groene economie.”

Die bijdrage van de grootste vervuilers kon de voorzitter van Groen nog niet concretiseren. “Er is een brief geweest van 27 Nobelprijswinnaars die pleiten voor een wereldwijde CO2-heffing.

Wij willen dat ons land gaat bekijken op welke manier dat vorm kan krijgen. We gaan binnenkort zelf met een voorstel komen.”

“Ecologische transitie zal sociaal zijn of niet zijn”

Een belangrijke vraag: zal die CO2-heffing voor de grootste vervuilers niet doorgerekend worden aan de consument? “Niets doen kost veel meer dan in actie treden”, stelt Meyrem Almaci.

Maar volgens de voorzitter van Groen wordt het inderdaad een uitdaging om het ecologische beleid sociaal te maken. “De ecologische transitie zal sociaal zijn of niet zijn. Wij moeten dus naar een klimaatregering met een sociaal hart, de gele en groene hesjes verzoenen.

Het mag niet elke keer de individuele burger of kmo zijn die betalen. Wie inspanningen levert, moet je belonen. Wie het meest blijft vervuilen moet bijdragen.”

Niet zelden gaat het dan over grote werkgevers. Denk maar aan de mega-investering van de Britse chemiegroep Ineos in de Antwerpse haven bijvoorbeeld. “Die grote werkgevers moeten nu gaan meedenken. Je kan niet zomaar blijven investeringen doen zonder dat daar een transitieplan bijstaat voor minder uitstoot.”

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2019/01/28/groen-voorzitter-almaci-na-klimaatmars-het-is-nu-of-nu-ik-kij/?fbclid=IwAR1vkMbyJjzAozubruxHJ8WbB9xPJ9NCbZEsNhdvGG1Bns0WftpPFztU3sE

The Hindu – Punjab seeks debt relief package

‘Recommend graded compensation tapering formula due to revenue loss’

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 January 2019. Citing tight financial situation faced by the State, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought a special debt relief package from the 15th Finance Commission.

The State needs funds to support the government’s efforts to revive fiscal health, along with a one-time package to enable payment of the entire debt of the distressed farmers of Punjab.

At a meeting of the 15th Finance Commission here, Captain Amarinder expressed concern over the permanent loss of revenue suffered by the State after the GST implementation. The compensation from the Centre will also end from July 1, 2022, resulting in a drastic fall in revenue in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 crore per annum, he pointed out.

An official statement said that in view of the loss, the Chief Minister urged the Commission to recommend a graded compensation tapering formula to the Government of India for States like Punjab beyond June 30, 2022.

The statement added that Captain Amarinder sought a special package for the State due to its special problems such as highest SC population in percentage terms, long and thickly populated border with Pakistan, riverine and sub-mountainous areas and flight of industry due to concessions to neighbouring States.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-seeks-debt-relief-package/article26132702.ece