The briefing.

So, here I am posting again, after 2 long months.

Feels good to be back at the WordPress editor window.

If you’re reading this now (and if you’re not new), you may have noticed a slight blog redesign. T’was carried out this week in order to improve the stuff I care about THE most. Readability and Textual content. 

Just made a few tweaks here and there. Plus, updated the blog with a fresh typeface, that lucky font being Ubuntu’s default system one. It’s actually quite neat and easy on the eyes.

K, enough about the blog. Time for my narcissistic self to take charge.

Me.

I was finally done with my finals last week and early finals means just one thing: I got a shit-load of time.

See that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.

Good thing is, I got loads of free time to do anything I want.

Bad thing is, I got loads of free time to do anything I want.

Let me elaborate on the “Bad thing”. The Instant Gratification Monkey part of my brain has massive issues with managing the flow of time. My time is just one vortex away from being funnelled out from me. So it’s rather important that I have a super-strict schedule to guide me through this. Unplanned block of time, for me at least, would be a…

Things I’ll be focusing on…

I’m almost done crafting a semi-big article on one of my most personal topics, The Social Media. Will probably publish it this weekend-ish.

I also have come up with a few new, exciting ones. Most of them stem from random synaptic bursts. Also, some historically significant ones.

I plan to write these articles after talking to *actual* people who have gone through the experience. Really, I have personally observed this.

Researching on the Internet and quoting the appropriate sources is one thing, but field blogging is just taking it to another level. Really excited about that.

Also, there will be a guest post written by someone soon. It will either be a standalone guest-post or will have my commentary packaged along with that of the guest author. I’m sure you will love it.

Final thoughts

Though I might not have been regular, I certainly think I have a strong love for writing. Topic fragmentation is certainly an issue, as some of my own friends have mentioned sometimes, but niche is just not my thing.

Also, it’s incredibly enriching to be able to connect the dots through your vast data store of knowledge. The world just makes so much more sense.

 

Stay tuned…

 

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the feature image is not mine. It’s actually from a royalty free photo project called Unsplash!. Those guys actually have a trove of high-quality, royalty free images with which you can do anything imaginable. It’s opensource and under CC Zero license, which means you basically own the image. You don’t even have to credit the creator. Great resource for small time blogs/websites. Check it out! 🙂

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The Awesomeness of India’s History!

Awesomeness of Indian History

India is a fascinating piece of land. Historically, it’s been the dream of many conquerors, rulers and the European explorers. I started reading about the history of India last month during my long winter break and, the more I read about my country’s history, the more fascinated I became with it, though what the country is today is still worthy of a facepalm.

It all starts with the migration of early humans from Africa, through Persia and the Hindu Kush valley in present day Afghanistan and Pakistan. First ever evidence of civilization in the subcontinent points to archeological ruins around the Indus river, more digging led to the discovery of Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished around ~3300–~1300 BCE. Think about it, for over 2000 years, a civilization thrived in the present day terror/issue ridden Pakistan/parts of India. Mind blowing to think about.

The Map of Indus Valley Civilization
The Map of Indus Valley Civilization

And then, the spread of Islam from 1000 AD onwards, changing the landscape forever. Then, a period of Mughal/other Islamic Rulers commanding most of the subcontinent for ~1600 years until the conquest by the British. Of course, things were a lot more complex than this, I’m vastly oversimplifying events here.

Map of Mughal Empire
Map of Mughal Empire

Then come in the British. They first start off as people extremely interested in trading with India, through the East India Company and then slowly spread their wings across the subcontinent. In the first half of the 19th century, they expand rapidly, forming in their own army and operating more like a Kingdom rather than a trading company. Then, many Indians started getting really pissed off about a lot of things and this let to the first try to cede India from the East India Company (It was not British Raj yet) in the First War of Independence in 1857.

Artistic depiction of 1857 rebellion.
Artistic depiction of 1857 rebellion. (Fine art America©)

I read about the 1857 revolt in great detail because, if observed closely, it could be seen that this was the tipping point and the first ideas of Swaraj started to emerge during this time period. Of course, the entire revolt was crushed within a year and The Queen of England officially took over from the East India Company and India became a ‘colony’ of the British Empire.

And yes, there were no Gandhi, Nehru or Jinnah at this point, still decades away. There were many reasons for the failure of 1857 revolt, mainly because it was not a subcontinent wide revolt, things were mainly concentrated in areas around Delhi/Meerut/United Provinces (present day Uttar Pradesh). Revolt had little or no effect down south, in Bombay/Madras/Calcutta. Also, there was a lot of disagreement about the ruler who’d be ruling India if the revolt were to succeed. Many sepoys unilaterally declared Bahadur Shah Zafar to be their leader, but this didn’t go well with other religious communities, especially with the then Sikh community, who had fought with the invading Mughal army.

Of course, the whole idea of INDIA was still very fragile. If you jumped into a time machine right now and traveled back to say 1860 and ask a random person on what the term ‘India’ meant to them, you’d get thousands of different replies. India was vastly composed of Princely States with their own rulers. But things were about to change soon, within decades to be precise.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi were two very prominent London educated barristers who in a few decades would radically change the face of the Indian subcontinent. Of course, apart from these two, there were also many others from the Indian National Congress, Muslim League and independent revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and others, but these two played a massive role in mobilizing people and resources against the British Raj and they instilled a sense of belonging to the people of India. Gandhi especially was responsible for defragmenting the idea of India, making it more ubiquitous and familiar.

And, things took a turn during this period, post World War 1/the Great Depression Era. The call for Independence got louder and louder and during all this while, Hindus and Muslims were still as united as ever, but in the leadership of course, cracks started appearing and Jinnah broke away from the Indian National Congress and joined Muslim League.

At this period, first calls for a separate state started getting attention. Things started appearing even more bleak when INC and Muslim League were divided over India’s participation in the World War 2 as a British Colony. INC opposed the idea whereas Muslim League supported it.

The last nail in the coffin came when Jinnah called for Direct Action for a separate state on 16th August 1946. It was on this day when the entire subcontinent was shocked by the massive communal riots, starting in Calcutta (present day Kolkata). Then things started moving very rapidly with the war torn British Empire announcing the they would withdraw from India on a date no later than June 1948.

But to everyone’s surprise, the British preponed the entire Transfer of Power by almost 10 months to August 1947. The British also announced that there would be a separate state created for the Muslims along the Western and Eastern areas of Punjab and Bengal respectively. Lord Mountbatten was charged with responsibly transferring the power from the British to the Independent states.

Mountbatten with a countdown calendar to the Transfer of Power in the background
Mountbatten with a countdown calendar to the Transfer of Power in the background

And, just hold on tight for the dumbest part of the entire story, which was responsible for the largest mass migration in history and the death of over a million people and the destruction of millions more livelihood, the Radcliffe Line.

The dumb part here is that a guy called Cyril Radcliffe was given approximately 40 days to divide a nation of over 350 million into two separate parts on the east and west and also he was given outdated census data and information. Also, the entire border was not announced until after the independence, just so that the British cannot be held responsible for the mess. How clever.

Radcliff line and the migration trails of Hindus and Muslims
Radcliff line and the migration trails of Hindus and Muslims

In the end, the massive subcontinent was separated into the Republic of India and The Islamic Republic of Pakistan with a part of it on the East called East Pakistan (Part of erstwhile Bengal Province.).

East Bengal became Bangladesh in 1971.

And of course, everyone know what happened since then.

Anyway, this post was just to highlight the story of India, which has been extremely compressed and oversimplified in this post. I wish more people realized the richness of India’s history. Of course none of it would justify the present day crap it has become and also basking in historical glory is not exactly the best thing to do, it still is good sometimes to understand where we all came from, that just is fascinating.

Sources and Further reading!

All the images used are under CC license unless stated otherwise.

Next up will be some more DotA 2 stuff. 🙂