Today, January 22, 2024, is of great significance for over a billion Hindus living all over the world, and particularly in Bharat. Hindus all over the world including Canada welcomed the opening of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir with emotional fervor and a newer and stronger direction for a splendid old civilization. We have seen celebrations like never before by thousands of Indo Canadians who participated in events that marked the Pran Pratishtha ceremony conducted by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in Ayodhya, India.
Pran Pratishtha means “establishment of life force” or basically “infusing life” into the idol. In Hinduism, it is a sacred ceremony where the divine essence, referred to as prana, is invoked and transferred into an idol or image of a deity in a temple or at home. Thus, the idol is seen as a physical, tangible carrier – of God himself. Hindus don’t worship idols, believing them to be Gods. Rather, they view the statue or image as physical representation of God to help them focus on an aspect of prayer or meditation.
History if not distorted and if presented as is can be a great foundation to build a brighter future. Historically pre-colonization and even before first invaders arrived in what we know as India, India was always Bharat. Not just a mere piece of land geographically - but a thriving culture, cradle of an ancient human civilization where science, knowledge, spirituality, and self-actualization had no bounds. A civilization which believed and still believes in oneness with nature and treats whole humanity as one big family. The Hindu majority Bharat gave humanity everything which is still relevant and much needed for world peace, co-existence and realizing true potential of every living being.
Goodness and abundance of Bharat attracted and invited lot of ruthless invaders who were not after India, but they were after Bharat. Rather than learning, culturally assimilating and being part of that oneness – they wanted to turn Bharat into who they were and where they came from. Knowledge centres of the world like Takshila and Nalanda (Centres for Higher Education) were burnt to ashes, spiritual centres and temples were razed down to rubble and countless innocent people were massacred or forcibly converted to become who they were. But Bharat still survived, because Bharat is eternal truth. The base of Bharat is Sanatana Dharma which simply means eternal way, something which never dies. It is a way of life based on Vedas of Bharat written by Rishis.
Given below are links to resources for everyone who wants to dig deeper into the history, politics and legal events that culminated in the building of a new Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Lord Ram’s birthplace.
Professor of History, Meenakshi Jain, speaks on Ram Mandir.
A complete guide to the history, the controversy and the final truth regarding Ayodhya Ram Mandir -Click here
An interview with the archaeologist who presented the evidence to India’s Supreme Court on the ancient temple, demolished by Islamic ruler, that stood in Ayodhya. - Click here
Historic Judgement on Ayodhya: Significance of Ram Lalla Reclaiming Janmabhoomi. Click here
The way India perceives the world today is significantly different from my time as High Commissioner. I was in India during the final four years of Congress rule, departing in 2014, just as Chief Minister Modi was elected Prime Minister Modi, and India was commencing its assertive presence on the international stage. Now, nine years later, India has emerged as a prominent geopolitical player. India's remarkable economic progress, its hosting of the G20, and its role in expanding BRICS membership stand as testaments to the adept leadership of Prime Minister Modi and his team of economic and foreign policy experts. It is fair to say that India is no longer a leader among the non-aligned nations but, as Foreign Minister Jaishankar Subrahmanyam puts it in his book "The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World,” for India today there is "convergence with many but congruence with none.” (Read More)
PM Narendra Modi Presides Over Ram Mandir Consecration
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla and later addressed the gathering of around 8,000 VVIPs gathered from across the world. Modi said “the devotees of Prabhu Ram are completely absorbed in this historic moment...the devotees of Prabhu Ram, in every corner of the country and the world, are deeply feeling this...This moment is divine, this moment is the holiest of all..," (Read more.)
India Expects $100 Billion in Annual FDI Flow
In a clear sign of increasing confidence by the international business community in India’s long-term economic growth, more investors from across the world, including pension funds are eyeing the India opportunity. India’s IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw indicated recently that the country can expect an annual FDI inflow of a hundred billion dollars in the coming years. (Read more.)
86% Drop in Canadian Study Visas
Following recent developments in the bilateral relationship, a sharp drop in the number of international students from India has been recorded from 108,940 from the previous quarter to 14,910 to the current quarter. Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller added in a recent interview that number of study visas to Indians is unlikely to rebound anytime soon. (Read more.)
India to Have a 100-Million Strong Affluent Class by 2027
According to a recent paper by Goldman Sachs, India’s affluent class will reach an impressive 100 billion by 2027. Each member in this group will have an annual income well above a $100,000. This would mean in the next five years, an additional 40 million will join the affluent class as the current figure is reported to be 60 million. (Read more.)
Tesla Eyeing $30 Billion Investment in India
Encouraged by India’s new Electric Vehicle policy, Tesla is rumored to be working on a massive $30 billion investment in the next several years in India. Tesla boss, Elon Musk, is a self-confessed admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Initially, Tesla may invest in a factory in India to roll out a cheaper and smaller car from its facility, the construction of it will be completed within three years. (Read more.)
India’s Longest Sea Bridge Opened
India’s longest sea bridge connecting South Mumbai to the mainland was opened recently to traffic. Built with Japanese assistance, the bridge will cut traffic time by hours for travelers going out of the city. Envisioned decades ago, it was only in 2018 the bridge plans first started taking concrete shape. (Read more.)
New Oilfield to Replenish India’s Depleting Reserves
A new field developed by the ONGC in the Krishna-Godavari basin in the South of India is likely to produce 45,000 barrels of crude oil daily. This new source will, though small compared to India’s overall oil consumption, will help stretch domestic production for years.
Vibrant Gujarat Generates Over $300 Billion Worth of Investment Proposals
Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for 41,299 projects with investment proposals worth Rs 26.33 lakh crore (US$300 billion) were signed during the 10th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) 2024 held recently. The three day long mega investment show attracted 61,000 delegates from 140 countries. (Read more.)
CIF Urges Community Members to Donate Blood
Canada India Foundation continued its efforts to help create awareness in the community to donate to the Canadian Blood Services. Blood is always a critical element in healthcare with the power to save lives. CIF is encouraging members of the Indo Canadian community to be proactive and help in this crucial program.
Disclaimer: This monthly e-newsletter is produced by the Canada India Foundation (CIF), a registered not-for-profit organisation with an aim to provide meaningful communication between its own board of governors and with a larger audience of policy makers and industry leaders. Views expressed by writers are their own and the CIF does not necessarily agree with them. We do not claim to provide any advice on any subject. Similarly, we are not liable for any misrepresentation or misleading claims made by an advertiser. Content provided in this newsletter is for general information purposes only.