Archive for April, 2017

NE History – Birth of Mizoram – Part I …

Posted on April 30, 2017. Filed under: Indian Thought, Uncategorized |

SEVEN DAYS in Mar 1966 – ‘Rat’ Revolution’ in Lushai Hills by Unni Kartha.

‘Mi-Zo-Ram’, now a ‘land of the happy hill people’ became an independent state of the union only in 1987, 40 yrs after Indian independence. It is an exotic locale in the north eastern corner of India, with 90.7% dense forest cover, lots of bamboo, just 52 odd persons per sq km, almost equal man to woman ratio and 97% literacy, all of them reasons why Mizoram is such a happy place.

But that was not how it was in 1840 when Capt Blackwood, a cavalier pirate of sorts, led the 14th NLI Regiment of East India Company through the thick bamboo forest to go after the Kukis (Thahdos), Lusei and others, who were all hell bent on head hunting and eating themselves ‘Su-Shi’, in the raw, and displaying the leering heads of the dead men on a stake outside their cottage.

To give them due credit, the natives of erstwhile Lushai Hills were a persistent war like people and tested the patience of Queen Victoria till she annexed them in 1895 and made them her subjects and predicates, in Wren & Martin, the constitution of ‘Eng-Land’. Reason why they had bit of an attitude in 1947 and wanted to become ‘Lushai-Land’ like ‘Eng-Land’, and not be a part of Indian Union. Their attitude upset quite a few, including Sardar Patel, who wisely left the state of affairs and governance to 259 tribal chiefs, to continue head hunting and eating each other sushi, to keep the Lusei very happy in ‘Hinglish’ Wren & Martin under the ‘Tiranga’, and make them forget their aspiration of an independent ‘Lushai Land’.

After Indian independence, the entire ‘North East’ territory ahead of Siliguri continued to be one single province ‘Assam’, ruled by Congress Chief Ministers (CMs)  Gopinath Bordoloi (1946-50), Bishnu Ram Medhi (1950-57) and then, for thirteen tumultuous years by a Rasputin, Bimala Prasad  Chaliha (1957-70). Elected thrice as CM, Chaliha faced two national emergencies; the Sino-Indian conflict and the Mizo revolution/civil war.  The former had nothing to with him. But the latter was perhaps triggered by his politically savvy, but demographically catastrophic, draconian ‘ Official Language Act 1960’ which hoped to unify the entire North East, compelling all diverse ethnic groups to learn and speak in Assamese. Chaliha, with king size ambition, proactively resisted the popular demand to divide the mammoth, ethnically diverse, geographically difficult to  administer Assam state, into smaller states (with common ethnic and linguistic identity, as it is now), though he was put in charge of various Committees of central Govt of India (GoI) which contemplated such division. Only after his death in 1971 could GoI make any headway to break down the mammoth Assam province. But let me not jump the gun.

During Medhi’s innings as CM in 1954,  an attempt at ethnic cleansing was made by the 259 venerable Mizo chieftains, mainly to make the Christian Lusei and Budhist Chakamas into edible sushi delicacy; head hunting was after all a  favourite ‘time pas’ in that part of the world. The European Presbyterian Missionaries were the first to start crying. Their cry was picked up and repeated very volubly by international press, the Queen of England, President of America, and even the Pope. GoI, Nehru in particular, was heartbroken.

Medhi came under severe pressure to act. As all CM’s do under emergency, usually under ‘Aid To Civil Power Act’, Medhi immediately called for Army intervention. But Maharaj Rajendrasinhji  Jadeja, then Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of Indian Army, declined saying he had inadequate resources and that it was a political problem which Medhi must handle himself on political and administrative level.

So VK Singh was not the first Army Chief to say ‘Bugger Off’, when asked to go and murder fellow Maoist citizens whom the politicians and bureaucrats could not handle within the political machinations of our strange democratic system.

Medhi then turned to the very spirited and dynamic Jairam Das Daulatram,  Governor of Assam, and Kailash Nath Katju, the Union Home Minister under Nehru. They helped by moving two units of Assam Rifles, a para military under Home Ministry, from Shibsagar and Shillong into Lushai Hill Tract, to assist in maintaining law and order by giving everyone in Lushai Hills the ‘Bum-Boo’ !

Medhi made the 259 tribal chieftains redundant and turned to the Deputy Commissioner Lushai Hills, S.N.Barkataki from Assam Civil Service Cadre, and the newly enacted ‘Lushai Hills Act’ to handle administration through elected ‘Autonomous Village Councils’. For a while Mizoram once again became a happy place eating food cooked with ‘Bhut Jolokia’ chillies and not sushi or ‘Tipsy pudding’ with Chakamas’ gonads. Then in 1958, with clockwork precision, the forests in Mizoram went wild with ‘Mautam’.

Mautam, a cyclic ecological phenomenon, occurs precisely every 48 years when the strange bamboo (Melocanna Baccifera) in the jungles of Luhai Hills and neighbourhood, flowers all at the same time. Strangely, this massive flowering of the bamboo incites the pheromone and testosterone levels in jungle rats to multiply so rapidly that there is not enough for them to eat in the jungle. They then run out of the jungle like locust and spread-out all over Lushai Hills to forage food grains, creating famine and plague amongst the Homos, Sapiens, LGBTs as well as those who look and act like Neanderthals in Lushai Hill Tract.

In the Mautam of 1958, the rats perhaps fornicated with more zest because the famine and plague were most severe. The then Governor of Assam, Chandreswar Prasad Sinha, along with Chaliha in tow, moved Assam Rifle and some local armed constabulary, at platoon level, into the far reaches of the jungles, to set up posts with air dropping zones, create a civil-supply-chain for distribution of essential commodities, maintain law and order, and feed the hungry and unhappy people of Lushai Hill Tract. He also got the central Govt to send in the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to create a north to south motor-able road from Silchar to Lunglai, no mean task due to the severity of the jungles and mountains. The road was expected to not only improve communications, but also substantially increase the quantity of supplies that could be sent to Lushai Hills because Silchar was connected to Guhati by rail.

Mr Shankaran Nair, then Dir IB in Delhi (later Sec RAW before he resigned during Morarji’s time as PM), in a secretive operation, recruited and inducted an army of Malyalees, as ‘Political  Officers’ who had a covert role as ‘Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB)’ operatives all over the North East. They were meant to keep their finger on the pulse of the local people, transmit daily intelligence reports for IB HQ in Delhi. Their overt inconspicuous role was supply chain management of air dropped stores and assistants to civil administration!!! Local people were first taught social adjustment trades (carpentry, masonry, electrical applications, or simply as labourers for road construction and as porters for the public logistic distribution system). They were then paid in Indian currency. The currency was used to buy the goods that was air dropped.  It was a cyclic process, a successful non-profit business run by GoI !!!

First into the foray to meet the challenges of air dropping supplies to the beleaguered Mizos was Biju Patnaik and his private airline Kalinga Airways, operating from Guhati and Kumbigram (Silchar), also handling the to-ing and fro-ing of VIPs, para medics, political and administrative teams, all from a small wartime ‘advanced landing ground (ALG)’, (now the Lengpui Airport, 32 km from Aizwal (old Aijal). IAF soon joined in. General Satyawant Mallanna Shrinagesh, ex Chief Of Army Staff (CoAS), who succeeded Sinha as Governor, increased the quantum of solace and the Mautam crisis was more or less brought under control by 1960.

As it happens in every calamity, the locals rose to the occasion too, by forming the ‘Mizo National Famine Front (MNFF)’. The MNFF was a large work force of pioneers, basically to lend a hand with the grass root distribution of the logistic aid that was being air dropped at the dropping zones at Aijal, Champai and Lungle. MNFF was to carry it in small head loads to inaccessible far flung habitats, all over the jungle, …….one hell of a job.

And the man who quickly rose up the chain of command in MNFF was the charismatic, dynamic, 33 year old, demobilised ex Havildar Pu Laldenga, born an Assamese with Mizo ancestry and family ties. His greatest achievement was to integrate the diverse tribes of Lushai Hill Tracts into a single group called Mizos and give an identity to the Lushai Hill Tract as ‘Mizoram’. He was gleefully preferred as a stooge and promoted to the forefront by the state, as well as the local civil administration, due to his military background as well disciplined efficiency and ability to motivate his illiterate and backward people.

As Hav Laldenga’s popularity grew amongst the tribes of the new ‘Mizoram’ across the board, his pockets began to bulge. He began to develop megalomania and king sized ambition, especially when inadvertently supported and abetted by the army’s Eastern Command, as well as  the civil administration run by an ex CoAS in Guwahati. The Indian army, civil administration and the IB created the over ambitious political Frankenstein from one amongst their own cadre.

As it often happens, political mavericks create secessionist movements only when supported by rouge external nation state(s) with motives, money, cross border shelter, arms and training. Hav Laldenga became the darling of then East Pakistan, keen to support dissidents and break away groups in India. Under Paki tutelage in Oct 1961, Laldenga (along with JF Manliana, R Vanlawma, and Rochhinga, comrades from MNFF), dropped ‘Famine’ from the apolitical MNFF and converted it to a right wing fascist ‘Mizo National Front (MNF)’ with explicit secessionist intensions, to go back to the ambitions of creating a kingdom called Mizoram, the same ‘Lushai-Land’ like ‘Eng-Land’, with Hav Laldenga as King (much like Idi Amin in Uganda).

India at that time got embroiled with the Sino Indian war (1962) and lost focus of the MNF and the Mizoram. The Malyalee political officers from SIB, most of them young frustrated bachelor Catholic Christians, were using the expat missionaries as conduits for creating ‘zenanas’ with the prettiest girls in the neighbourhood. Their finger instead of being on the political pulse as Shankaran Nair intended, was elsewhere.  They became ‘sleepers’ on the job. Laldenga was left alone to ferment separatist ideology, piggy backing on the public dissent created by introduction of Assamese as compulsory official language, part of the ping pong policies introduced by CM Chaliha, with full support from ex CoAS Srinagesh and Vishnu Sahai, an ex-ICS Cabinet Secretary, who alternated with ex CoAS Srinagesh every few years as imperious Governors of Assam between 1959-68. GoI had no clue about the political trouble that was brewing in the new found Mizoram despite the bevy of ‘political officers’ of SIB present there.

Laldenga and his minions in MNF went on a recruiting drive to create a private army of mercenaries using demobilised or retired ex-military cadres to form the supervisory chain of command with younger able bodied men as jawans. 2 AR, which had just been disbanded for mutiny, joined Hav Laldenga to the last man. This private army of the MNF was then named Mizo National Army (MNA). After recruitment, the MNA cadre were secretly ferreted out to clandestine training camps in East Pakistan, where they were split, armed and trained to form two infantry Brigades (Bdes), each with four battalions (Bns), much like the Indian army.

The ‘Lion Bde’, with Bns named after Mizo legends (Chawngbawla, Khuangchera, Saizahawla and Taitesena Bns) were given operational responsibility of the northern half of Miizoram. The Dagger Bde (with Joshua, Lalvunga, Vanapa and Zampui Manga Bns) operated in the southern part. By the end of 1965, the MNF had armed themselves with basic infantry weapons; 303 rifles, 9mm Stens, AK-47, LMGs, RPGs, mostly supplied by Pakis, and others stolen from Assam Rifles. They also obtained explosives by raiding the posts of Border Roads Organisation engaged in building the north to south road in the inaccessible parts of Mizoram. Money came from raiding banks in Assam, as also counterfeit notes printed in Pakistan. The Pakis taught MNA how to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to booby trap jungle trails, to mine roads and to blow up installations.

To support the operational logistics of the two Bdes in inaccessible terrain, Laldenga called upon his old army of pioneers and irregulars of MNFF and formed them into Mizo National Volunteers (MNV) under command of MNF. By mid-1965 the stage was set for ‘rat revolution’ and civil war in Lushai Hill Tract, now referred to as Mizoram. Happy Lusei were then turned to very unhappy and angry Mizos.

As it happens in insurgency and civil war in remote areas, the MNA too had to feed off the land, depend on the villages for their sustenance (new recruits, money, food, shelter, wine, women and song). Atrocities began initially as pillage, abduction and rape. To cover that up, Laldenga called for ethnic cleansing, targeting the non-Christian minorities (Chakma, Mara, Lai, Tripuri, Hmar, Paite,…….etc). Mizoram went on the boil.

Code named ‘Operation Jericho’, Hav Laldenga’s plan was simple. He hoped the two Bdes of MNA attacking form north and south would quickly capture the treasuries, neutralise the posts manned by Assam Rifles / other local police / militia, takeover police stations and jails, capture armouries, arrest important non-Mizo (‘Vai’) officials and hoist the MNF flag at Aijal on 1 Mar, followed by a victory parade on 2 Mar 1966. He hoped that many from the civil administration would turn sympathisers and make the takeover easy. Hav Laldenga also hoped that if he could keep the MNF flag flying in Aijal for 48 hours, other countries such as Pakis would recognise the Mizo territory as a sovereign state, plead their case in UN, perhaps even invite UN peace keeping forces in the new found ‘Kingdom of Mizoram’.

The AR posts did get some indication that something was amiss when during the night of 27 Feb, Rokima, the brother of the MNF Lieutenant Lalnunmawia was killed in an accidental explosion of an IED, investigated by AR on 28th morning. However, AR could neither connect the IED blast with an impending attack, or the ferocity with which it would come the same night.

28 Feb 1966.

There was no Indian Army tentacle in Mizoram on 28 Feb 1966. The closest, 61 Inf Bde, was located at Silchar. Its forces, 4 understaffed Bns, were strung about on posts all over Nagaland and Manipur tackling other insurgencies. Since Mizoram had been comparatively peaceful, the only defensive forces there were para military; one battalion of No 1 AR, besides unarmed Border Roads Organisation (BRO) road construction parties, tentacles of unarmed / armed local armed constabulary, all of them in defensive garrisons at Kolasib, Aijal, Champai and Lunglai, besides platoon sized in-depth posts elsewhere deeper in the jungle where there were DZs.

On the night of 28 Feb/1 Mar 1966, both Bdes of MNA launched a series of simultaneous well planned attacks on the AR posts at Kolasib, Aijal,  Lungle  and Champai; as well as the constabularies at Demagiri, Chawngte, Hnahlan,  Marpara,  Tuipang,  Tuipuibari,  Vaphai  and Vaseitlang. The Border Security Force (BSF) in embryonic state was just being raised and was not involved in Mizoram, not then. There is no record of employment of CRPF at this stage.

The MNF attack at Lungle began at about 2230 hrs on 28 Feb 66, at the sub-treasury office situated within the defended perimeter of 1 AR post.  500–800 strong MNA attacked the stockade and were soon repulsed leaving two AR personnel and six of MNA dead. Three AR personnel were wounded. The AR camp was then surrounded and the siege lasted three days.

On 1 Mar morning one Mi-4 from 110 Helicopter Unit which tried to attend to 1 AR call for causality evacuation was shot at and had to return empty handed, without landing. No further attempts were made by helicopters to rescue the wounded.

The siege continued with intensive rifle and LMG fire from both sides. 1 AR began to run out of ammo and drinking water, while the MNA seemed to have no such difficulties.

An AF Dak from Kumbigram made a valiant attempt to air drop ammunition and water. It too came under fire and had to abort. On 5 March, the insurgents kidnapped RV Pillai, the Sub-divisional Officer (from SIB). At night on 6 Mar when they ran out of drinking water and ammunition, Lungle post surrendered along with the lightly held garrison of the BRO. By 0700 hrs on 7 Mar, MNF flag was flying over Lungle and the treasury as well as the armoury were in MNA’s hands.

Lungle was a diversion. The main objective of the MNA was Aijal. As sun set on 28th Feb, MNA elements started to infiltrate the township and completely surrounded it by around 2230 hrs. MNA then setup road blocks to prevent vehicular traffic. They began a combing operation looking for important members of the civil administration.  TS Gill, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) at Aijal, an ex-Army officer from the Indian Frontier Administrative Service (IFAS), took shelter in the heavily defended AR garrison. On his way he managed to get hold of L/Nk Shivashankaran Nair and his HF radio set from the BRO post.

1 Mar 66

At around 0200 hrs on 1 Mar, MNA elements attacked the telephone exchange at Aijal and took control, cutting all telephone links to the outside world. An hour later, around 150 MNA combatants, led by Nk Sub Lalnundawta (ex 2 AR, by now a self-styled Colonel), attacked the District Treasury and took control of not only treasure, but the entire armoury. Within the next few hours, the MNA was in control of all the administrative nerve centres, entirely paralysing the civil administration. They also seized all the vehicles in the town. MNA attacked the Aijal AR garrison repeatedly but could not penetrate the outer ring of ‘punjis’ (sharp wooden stakes) and ditches with intensive well sited fire from AR. By daybreak on 1 Mar, Aijal was completely under the control of the MNA and the AR garrison was surrounded and quarantined.

L/Nk Nair opened communication with 61 Bde in Silchar and civil administration at Shillong, Gauhati and Calcutta by 0400 hrs on 1 Mar. TS Gill started dictating situation reports every half an hour with Nair tapping the Morse code key.  This BRO radio link remained the only means of communication with Lushai Hill Tract in the subsequent days. The bad news was conveyed to the PMO, but blacked out from the press.

The records of a fact finding mission, from Govt of Assam, consisting of an all-party group sent to Mizoram three months later states, ‘At about 0130 hrs on 1 Mar, about 150 MNA surrounded the sub-divisional officer of the Public Works Department at Phainuam (near Vairengte) and asked him to get out of the district. They also took over the departmental stores, arms and ammunition of the policemen and all available vehicles. After the civil administration and local police ran off into the jungles, the MNA retreated to Kolasib. Similar incidents were reported from Coinlang and Chawngte. At the same time MNA captured the AR post at Champhai, with help from their sympathisers inside the AR post.

At Kolasib, the MNA took around 250 civil officials, the policemen and BRO road construction pioneers as captives, and kept them without food and water for two days. The women and children were also taken as captives and kept separately in a small building. However, none of the civilian officials and government servants was harmed. The MNF perhaps expected their support in running the administration of the proposed new sovereign state’.

In a brilliant lightening surgical strike, Hav Laldenga had liberated Lushai Hill Tract, and proclaimed independence of Mizoram. Well almost. All that remained as a thorn in his ass was the vigilant and valiant besieged post of 1 AR at Aijal which refused to surrender. It was just a matter of time, before they too ran out of water and ammunition and surrendered.

At 1100 hrs on 1 Mar, Hav Laldenga ceremoniously proclaimed independence, and exhorted all the Mizos to join the revolt against the ‘illegal Indian occupation’ of ‘Mizoram’, land of the Mizo people. Due to sniper fire from the AR post, he had to cancel the victory parade. The declaration of independence was a public relations fiasco since there were only the MNF cadre present along with a few press reporters whom Laldenga had invited. They could not get the news out since all telephone lines had been cut by the MNA. However, jeeps with loud speakers were sent around Aijal to convey the declaration of independence amongst the local population. It panicked them.

2 Mar 66

On 2 Mar, MNA ambushed an offensive patrol of the 1st AR just as they set forth from the garrison and inflicted heavy casualties on them. Around 1100 hrs MNA captured Aijal jail and all prisoners were set free. This led to further looting and arson of Aijal bazar, though the bazar was closed. Because of AR’s refusal to surrender, the planned victory parade by MNF on 2nd Mar was postponed to 10th Mar. Fearing oppression and retribution, the civil population of Aijal began running away into the jungles.

All of 2nd and 3rd Mar loudspeakers were used to broadcast continuous propaganda asking the Aijal garrison to surrender.  However the garrison stood fast and repulsed the MNA sallies to overrun the post.

By now the national press as well as international press had got the wind of the revolution in Lushai Hills. Canards began to fly. Chaliha, the CM in Gauhati, was livid with rage. He went ballistic with his rhetoric. Vishnu Sahay the Governor was equally emotive and joined Chaliha in blaming everyone else other than himself or Chaliha, especially for releasing Laldenga from jail without interrogation of any sort when he was caught returning from East Pak, the previous year. Indira Gandhi, a political novice had been PM for just 35 days with Gulzari Lal Nanda as her Home Minister. There were political and policy paralysis in Delhi, as well as Guhati.

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Mrs India 2017 – Capt Shalini Singh …

Posted on April 30, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities, Searching for Success |

Shalini Singh age 23, lost her husband and was left with a two-year-old son. Her story, in her own words–

“It was 2001. I was happily married. I had an army officer as a loving husband. Maj Avinash was posted in Kashmir. The separation was hard.

 Married at Nineteen, I continued my studies after marriage. We were blessed with a baby boy in 1999. I was a happy fauji wife, blessed mother and busy student. Life was great.
Mobiles were not common. We connected through phone calls, which were either patched up through Army Exchanges or made after long waiting in the only STD booth for soldiers.
Considering the quality of the connection and the rarity, each successful conversation was like a battle won. He used to love listening to the meaningless chatter of our son over the phone. Life was a true wonder. And we used to desperately look forward to those phone calls.
Until one morning when a phone call from Kashmir blew out my world. Early morning on 28 Sep 2001 the call from his unit said that he is seriously wounded. We were shaken. The worst fear of a fauji family had come true. Our universe went dark and our world came to a standstill. We prayed and prayed and prayed but alas!
The second call after two hours turned our world upside down. I had lost my husband,at the age 23. My two year old son had lost his father.
Maj Avinash Singh Bhadauria, Kirti Chakra (Posthumous), 8 Rashtriya Rifles
made the supreme sacrifice. He was 29.
My mind went still. Body became numb. Time passed in a haze. I did not know how to react when people offered condolences. I could see the faces, feel the movement around me and hear the sounds but everything seemed unreal. Nothing made sense. Nothing had meaning. I felt like ending it all.
But I had my hapless baby. Playing, giggling, chattering, chuckling and crying – enjoying the attention but not knowing anything. Dhruv brought me back to and gave me strength.
Over time, I decided to join the Army. I was not sure how as I was fragile and delicate and I had been a pampered child. When I met his unit officers, I told them that I had decided to join Army. Most were pleasantly surprised and extremely supportive though some were sceptical too. They made sure that I was aware of the challenges.
Getting through the selection, they said, was tough, and the training would be tougher. Life as an officer was not easy. Frequent movements, remote postings lots of instability, would cause problems as I had Dhruv – wholly dependent on me.
But I decided that my son would be my biggest strength and I would not let him make me weak. I had just one thought in my mind. I have to be strong. I have to wear the uniform and hit back at life. For us both.
I quit my Post graduation studies and applied. I prepared hard and also took coaching for the SSB. In December 2001 (three months after my husband attained Martyrdom) I was called for a week long interview at SSB, Allahabad.
My son had never stayed without me. I could not have left him for a week. My parents accompanied me to Allahabad. Understandably, they were not allowed inside the SSB centre. My son refused to eat from them. They used to wait outside in a nearby park with him. I used to come out at every break and feed him.
It was tough. My SSB co-candidates were moved to see my difficulties and were all praises for my strength. It was difficult but I was determined. For a week, I went through the rigorous procedure with determination and focus. Tears only used to roll out at night when I was inside the centre alone and my son was not with me.
When the results were announced, I couldn’t believe my ears. Yes, I had made it! I cried and cried and cried – don’t know for how long and ran outside full speed to inform my parents. We all cried together with immense joy and remembered my husband.
Thereafter, I had to spend another week for the medical tests. I could not have asked my parents to continue sitting at the park for another week. So I thought of speaking to my little child and making him understand that he should go with his Nana-nani. Dhruv did not cry as I had expected. He gave a smile and a flying kiss, then waived me good bye. I controlled my tears. I am still grateful to him for his understanding. We connected through our souls. And he understood my pain and the need for him to stay away from me. He became my strength.
But this one week of staying away from his mother was only a small rehearsal for my little one. It was a precursor to the many long periods in future when his mother would be away, not for days but for months at a stretch.
The beginning was a six months long training in Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai starting in March 2002. Life had changed 360 degrees. From sari/suit to uniform and army boots… I never had imagined in my wildest dreams ever. But I was there. Such is life.
Was Academy training tough? No, it was very very tough. To put it bluntly, it was beyond my imagination and physical stamina. At times I used to cry in pain, overwhelmed by sadness and silently angry at my destiny, but I couldn’t give up.
The hard work paid off. On 07 Sep 2002, twenty days short of my husband’s first anniversary of Martyrdom, I was a Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army. Everyone present for the commissioning ceremony had tears when my three year old son pipped the epaulettes on my shoulders.
Life was getting back on track. My husband was awarded Kirti Chakra (Second Highest Peace Time gallantry award) posthumous which I received in uniform from President Shri APJ Abdul Kalaam.
For a young single mother working in a mostly male dominated environment, life had many challenges too. But I faced them with positivity and a smile on my face. I learnt to move on with courage each passing day.
Life has been full of struggles, but I guess that is the case with everyone. Ours may have been a little more intense. There is not one but many low moments and each time it felt the lowest.
After eight years of losing my husband, when I lost my own dad it was the worst. My husband and my dad were the two pillars of strength in my life. One gone the other supported me with equal energy and love but with both gone the vacuum in my life became unbearable. My mom, brother and son were my support and helped me stand up again.
The organisation was very supportive. I received all the monetary and pension benefits from the Army. However, it’s been 15 years and I have yet not received Ex-gratia fund from UP government and my fight is still on for the same. Sometimes I wonder when it is so difficult for me – an educated lady with unparalleled official and administrative exposure as an Officer – to get her dues from the Government, how difficult it must be for a Jawan’s wife with much less education and almost no exposure.
After six years of service I decided to leave the Army to live a more settled life for my son. And today I am a mother of 16 plus boy. I am working and we are happy as a family and are each other’s strength. 
I have taken a sabbatical this year to support my son with his studies and career goals. He is in class XIIth.
As a single parent, if you really ask me my dreams and aspirations, I only wish to see my son grow big in life and live up to his father’s name. That’s what I tell him. That’s all that I want and wish for. If he does well my sacrifices do not matter. I will thank my stars for being kind on us now.
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Valley Protester tied to Jeep Front …

Posted on April 29, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Searching for Success |

Comment by Gen RK Gaur on Gen Bhimayas’ write up – An excellent erudite balanced analysis. Thank you Gen Bhimaya. I would have rewarded this officer for initiative in saving lives, extracting civilians from torture injury and death. No shot was fired, no casualties, and mission successful. Bold and courageous man.                                     Over to Gen KM Bhimaya  –

Recently, the image of a citizen tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle generated intense public debate about the propriety of such a “brazen” reaction by the army that violated basic human decency.

The Army veterans, except one, supported the above action as the one dictated by the exigencies of service, which, in the event, proved successful because it rescued the trapped police personnel and other staff at the election booths.

Numerous precedents, including  the use of ruse and deceit in bringing about the downfall of Bhishma and Dronacharya were cited by the protagonists to underpin their arguments. On the other hand, some antagonistic commentators waxed eloquent, predicting that this incident was going to be the “defining image” of the Indian Army in Kashmir that is already being perceived as an “occupying force” by citizens of Kashmir Valley.

The truth lies in between. In the annals of the counterinsurgency, drastic measures have been implemented successfully, even as the lasting effect of such measures had been both suspect and controversial: the grouping of villages in Mizoram, for example. While some insurgents in Afghanistan resorted to “beheading” of innocent citizens with impunity, I do not know whether retaliation in kind would have received the nod of public approval.

Be that as it may, in the instant case, the quick thinking “out of the box” actions by a young officer saved a complex situation without causing injuries to anyone. This is to be commended, not deprecated.

Just as in the case of tactical operations, there is no rule book that prescribes solutions to all counterinsurgency contingencies. The leader on the spot should be given the freedom to devise appropriate strategy to retrieve, or save a situation, if the limits of human decency are not exceeded: torture, for example. In declared conflicts, the conduct and behavior of troops are regulated by the Geneva convention.

Is there a written convention that regulates the conduct of troops in counterinsurgency? I think not (except, of course, the time-honored concepts of “good faith” and “minimum force”).

What is the level of human decency that should be maintained? This should be laid down by the elected leaders who also should be cognizant of the dangers that the counterinsurgency troops would be exposed to, if any impracticable or unimaginative restrictions are imposed, just to gain some political leverage: witness the clamor for the revocation of the AFSPA, across the board, by some short-sighted politicians.

Even while imposing reasonable restrictions, the civilian executive would be well-advised to consult the Armed Forces: witness the farcical suggestion from some analysts that “Burhan Wani should have been tactically captured alive”.

General Mark Clark, the U.S. General, who was fighting the Germans in Italy during World War 2, once happened to observe, by chance, some third-degree interrogation techniques being employed by his troops. He called the officer-in-charge to his make-shift office and asked him why the officer was employing such harsh interrogation techniques. When the officer complained that the prisoner was not cooperating, General Clark reminded the officer that the Americans were fighting the war to defend the cause of individual dignity and freedom, and the interrogating officer was not helping this cause by resorting to “unacceptable” techniques.

Who decides the acceptability or otherwise of the intended technique? It should be the commander on the spot, if he follows the golden principles of “minimum force” and “good faith”.

While questionable means do not always justify noble ends, what is “questionable” is not granitic. The means employed should be carefully calibrated lest they should undermine the political legitimacy, the final arbiter of the measure of government’s success, or a lack thereof.

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Possibility of US China War …

Posted on April 28, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Chinese Wisdom |

These extracts are from a Speech by Nick Xenophon, an Australian Senator – 

Earlier Britain and then the USA was our trading partner and strategic ally. Now China is our largest two-way trading partner in goods and services ($150 billion), our largest export market ($86 billion) and our largest source of imports ($64 billion). And the integrated East Asian economic zone is the world’s fastest growing.

So, how do we negotiate the tension between our major security partner and our major trading partner?

China sees as vital to its security the string of archipelagos from northern Borneo to the Kuril Islands north-east of Japan. It has piled sand onto reefs in the South China Sea, creating seven new artificial islands, and has installed missile batteries and radar facilities, giving it effective control over sea and air traffic in the region.

Increased tension between the US and China seems inevitable, and Australia may well get dragged in.

Last year the RAND Corporation published a report called “War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable”.

It makes sobering reading. Their research team concluded that “war between the two countries (the US and China) could be intense, last a year or more, have no winner, and inflict huge losses and costs on both sides.”

China’s defensive military capabilities will continue to increase, and it will be able to inflict heavy losses on its opponents.

As both sides’ technologies and doctrine create a preference for striking first, the potential for miscalculation is high. Each side may believe that by striking first it can gain and retain the initiative, and by doing so it might be able to end a conflict quickly.

Yet this kind of thinking has uncomfortable parallels with Europe of a century ago, when the belligerents initiated their own military plans to attack before being attacked, and both sides believed that in doing so they would gain operational dominance and end the war swiftly. Back then, both sides had strong economic ties, which ‘experts’ said would prevent any conflict.

Furthermore, using the line and military strategy attributed to Sun Tzu, China may decide to “kill the chicken to scare the monkey” – sink an Australian vessel to warn off the United States Navy.

Are we truly ready for the consequences of a war?

Unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, where there were relatively few casualties, this time we may see large numbers of body bags returning, or never returning at all, since they may have been sunk at sea.

Other consequences – Calls from the extreme political fringe for Chinese Australians to be interned in camps?  For India reinforcing its troops along its border with China? For Russia to be emboldened along its western border? For increased activity in the Middle East, as extremists there take advantage of US preoccupation in the South China Sea?

We already know what the invasion of Iraq unleashed. And back home the consequences would be catastrophic, both for our economy and society.

RAND said a US-China war could shrink China’s GDP by up to 35 per cent and the USA’s by up to 10 per cent. But given our much higher trade dependence on China and the region, a 30 per cent contraction would not be out of the question.

And demographically? Seeing Chinese Australians and Chinese students on our streets shows how integral they’ve become to our nation’s fabric. A war with China would rip Australia’s economy and society apart.

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Prabhat Chand …

Posted on April 23, 2017. Filed under: Personalities, Searching for Success |

An Unforgettable Character ….

Capt Prabhat Chand, 4 Guards was a grand orator, dramatist and a wonder of the World at large. We were in a couple boarding schools together. He was the ACA 10 or 11th Course in the NDA and later was ADC to the President.

This is a story that came my way a long while back about him on the JC Course. There is this Sand Model Discussion attended by the Commandant and his entourage. Like any good soul, Prabhat is sitting on the last and highest bench and wholly wool gathering if not dozing when suddenly he hears his name and a Q being asked.

He arises slowly and fiddling with his pipe he asks whether he has been addressed. On hearing an affirmative answer, he begins to light his pipe, which process easily takes couple minutes. A Puff or two follows and then in all seriousness, “May I have the Q again please?” ………..

The Q is repeated which is followed by deep consideration and couple deep puffs  ……… and then, “I am afraid … I do NOT know!”

Hell, they do not make them like that any more! Am told he wrote, “Across the Ichogil” after the 1965 War. They say sadly that he is no more.

Shall be Maha Happy if am told I am Wrong.

Comment – Amrik Khaira
Amrik Singh Khaira
 Amrik Singh Khaira –
He was ACA 11th course. We were together in JC Course. Very fine soul. Drove a Standard car during the Course. Took lift a few times. Kamta Prasad was the Commandant attending that sand model.


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Blank …

Posted on April 22, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Chinese Wisdom, From a Services Career |

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The WarBurtons – Anglo, Afghan, Indian Tale …

Posted on April 21, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Finance Guys are Lethal …

Posted on April 15, 2017. Filed under: American Thinkers, Searching for Success |

“A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad,” –   Theodore Roosevelt. And now here is Financial Skull Duggery at its Finest!

MARY is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar and as  such she will go broke. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Mary’s ‘drink now, pay later’ marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flock to Mary’s bar.

Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Dublin — all is starting to look Rosy. By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Mary gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Mary’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Mary’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into Drink Bonds and Alki Bonds. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.

The new investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as ‘AAA’ secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. They have had a ‘rating house’ certify they are of good quality.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.
One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Mary’s bar. He so informs Mary.

Mary then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Mary cannot fulfil her loan obligations, she is forced into bankruptcy. So she now is broke.

The bar closes and the 11 employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, Drink Bonds and Alki Bonds drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Mary’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various Bond securities. They find they are now faced with having to write-off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations. Her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.                                                                                                                                                 Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion euro, no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Mary’s bar.
Now, do you understand how Modern Economics work?

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Personal Magnetism III – Voice …

Posted on April 11, 2017. Filed under: Personal Magnetism |

Human Speech is the faculty that distinguishes mankind from lesser creation. The human voice is the most but worst used. Method of speech should afford pleasure to others. An unpleasant voice is repulsive. Personal power demands the adoption of a sympathetic voice.

Your voice is the reflection of the Real You. It is the tool of your emotions and the things a man says show how he is himself. Thought may be separated from the voice. Root of voice faults is temperament.

  • An ‘empty’ voice is the first great barrier in life. ‘Empty’ – without feeling, without thought!
  • With an un-magnetic and ‘empty’ mind behind it, the voice is dull and uninteresting.
  • It is always seen that persons with a monotonous voice are correspondingly dull in brain and heart, when using the voice.
  • The ‘dead’ voice or the ‘live’ voice? Whether spoken from the muscular system or with mind and heart. The ‘dead’ voice lacks emotional warmth and mental strength. It lacks Undulations.

In the speaking voice, there is an immense chasm between mere loudness and feeling. The more interest you feel in what you say, the more likely you are to reach the minds of others. A thought feelingly spoken, with the whole heart behind it, is soon absorbed. It is ‘earnestness’ in saying a thing.

A person, who is in earnest in saying a thing, creates a far different impression from one, who is merely showing a mental and physical interest. Without a complete interest in what you are saying, you cannot be in earnest. It is not in what we say as much as how we say it that influences others, (No, can mean, Yes).

Study the effect of your speech on others. It is not in what is said, but the way in which it is uttered, in the vital energy that propels its utterance, in the magnetic fires that burn in the tones of the voice and in the vigor of the mind, that gives potence to the same thought.

 Types of Voice. The Dead Voice; the Live Voice; the Sympathetic Voice; the Intense Voice; Voice used for Subdued Pathos, Common Pathos and Emotional Pathos and Voice used to show Suffering, Passion and Intense Passion.

The manner of saying a thing is vocal color. Vocal color is the native value of a mood or feeling. Training in vocal colors requires thousands of repetitions with the mind on the color and spoken with innermost mental feeling

The bolder the color, the easier it is to acquire. The voice should ring out. An all round benefit accrues with vocal colors, making you more of a personage, giving you more power in conversation, a better mind and greater fullness of heart and humanity.  Talking aloud excites thought,

‘ Claude! They are coming! Have you no word to say to me ere it is too late? Quick – Speak!‘ …………….

And yet, within a month of it – let me not think on it! Frailty thy name is woman’ ………………….

‘He cast me forth into the night – And yet, My Heart you throb still!’………………………………..

‘She loved me for the dangers I had passed through, and I loved her that she did pity them.’………………………

‘Reputation, Reputation, Reputation!!! I have lost my reputation!!!!…………………………….

‘I repeat, Sir, let it come, let it come…………….. Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty.’……………………………,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Take quotes from Cardinal Richelieu, Patrick Henry, Speeches.

Voice Development

 Rule 1. Make the Voice Round.

  • Imagine an O at the back of the throat. Relax the cavern at the back of the mouth and throat and make a cumulative prolongation of the word OOOOOOO to 5, 7, 10, 15-40 seconds.
  • Make the voice and the OOO tremble to develop undulations.
  • Pronounce the word HOME, GOLD, ROME in tones of distant, quiet thunder.
  • Put the mind on the idea of increasing the diameter and size of the cavity at the back of the mouth.

Rule 2. Consonants should be made by the firmest possible contact between the two parts of the mouth CRIBB’D, BOBB’D, ROBB’D

Rule 3. Intermittent Stress is the carrying power of feeling.

Rule 4. Intensity in the Nervous System and the Fourth Degree Undulations will awaken the fiery powers.

Rules for Orators

The true art of extempore speech requires as careful a preparation as if the address were to be written and read. A lazy speaker speaks better from his M/S. A lazier person will write down a few notes and depend upon luck for finding ideas and language when speaking. The laziest will come without advance thought, notes, outlines or anything else! Rules –

  • An orator should make no unintended movement, great or small. In speaking, greater the feeling, less the body expresses it.
  • Successful orators study their audience minute by minute. An orator should go with and not beyond his audience.
  • What a person sees clearly, in his own mind, is photographed on the tones of his voice. A person possessing accumulated magnetism, who sees in his own mind a clearly defined picture of the thought he is uttering, will in every case inevitably impress it upon his hearers.
  • To destroy a lapse, pass into realms of peace and intensity. The true orator speaks from the subconscious faculty.

The physical energy throws the white fire of force. The mental energy throws the blue fire of thought. The nervous energy throws the Red Fire of Passion. And the strength of the wave is determined by the intensity of the thought.

True Nervous Energy is an accumulation of power and not the erratic nature of weakness. The nerves are on fire, the eyes glow, the body is tense, the tones ring out with a solidity of strength that is manifest even in its quiet effect

Intensity exists in the voice and the entire nervous system. Intensity is fire. It burns in the nerves, in the brain, and in the heart. Never discard the practice of intensity because of the exhilaration that follows the practice. No person can attain too much intensity.

Intensity quickens each sense and gives them all renewed energy. It feeds vitality so much that loss of sleep will hardly be felt and decadence of physical powers will be checked. The hardihood of the great men and women of the world have been the staying power of their faculties.

Intensity is the nervous power of pathos, which is a wholly concealed method of accord with the feelings of another.

  • Intensity increases the energy of magnetic waves.
  • Nervous and vocal undulations increase the power of intensity.
  • Undulations are developed by practice and are a cultivated power.
  • The two great essentials of magnetism are undulations and purpose.
  • All magnetic men and women, adopt nervous and vocal undulations in all their methods whether of speech or action.
  • Intermittent stress is the carrying power of feeling. The learning of intermittent stress is always an excitant to the diaphragm and through that organ to the entire nervous system.

The diaphragm expresses the degree of feeling that controls the body. The voice is supported on the diaphragm, and has its base on the diaphragm, which is a solid muscle in effect

  • The flexible voice of undulations is the basis for attaining intensity. Cumulative prolongation of the word OOOOOOO and tapping the chest at the point of the ‘sternum’ bone, produces undulations. This power will fit you for taking part on the world’s stage.
  • Practice of quotations of intense selections keeps the nervous system strong and its fire alive. They set your whole nervous system on fire. Lines should be spoken aloud. Tones of the voice arouse the nervous system.
  • Slow rendition is best for all forms of intensity. Rapid speaking turns intensity into excitement. Power rests in the constant repetition of the great thoughts you are absorbing.


The two faculties of Magnetism are mental and emotionalThinking, planning, reasoning are mental.  Feeling, hoping, wishing, loving, hating, existing in harmony are controlled by moods and feelings.

A Magnetic person is always sensitive, susceptible, impressionable and easily affected by moods and conditions. To remain powerful you have to maintain mastery over the moods.

Highly magnetic people seem cold in nature and lacking in sympathy for the misfortunes of others, while possessing an attractive personal power.

In this world, the art of living well and successfully, is the art of adjusting to the ever changing tide of circumstance.

  • Facts bring no happiness of themselves, in what we feel must be found the secret of true living.
  • A person is what he thinks. Thinking makes the self. Self is the living, thinking, acting self. It is transitory. Moods and feelings come and go. They make us what we are. Every person is at all times, sleeping or waking, in one or more of the moods.
  • Man is the daily creation of his mind and life is the accumulation of his days.
  • You live in the feelings that possess you and in the moods that are the off springs of the thoughts and experiences that influence you. Out of the ever present activities and thoughts, character is created and becomes permanent.
  • Moods and feelings manifest themselves in waves of influence. Intensity increases the power of these waves
  • Strong inclinations bring strong feelings. To remain powerful, you have to maintain mastery over the moods.
  • All humanity is swayed by moods and feelings. Language of moods and feelings is universal. Moods and feelings are all there is of human life.
  • When a mood or feeling is intense and uncontrolled, it is followed by a reaction in the opposite direction; too much laughter may result in maudlin crying.
  • Self is slave or self is master, depending on whether moods and feelings are cultivated powers or running as habits.
  • A person, who controls all moods and feelings is in POISE. Moods and feelings become his slaves and he their master.
  • As all humanity is swayed in practically all matters by moods and feelings, it follows that mastery of these moods and feelings is equal to the mastery of the individuals themselves.
  • Every great personage, in every era of the World’s history, has been a consummate actor – one who knows every phase of human nature and one, who can step, at once, in to the mood of another. This is the art of supreme control of other human beings.
  • Know the names of all the moods. Memorize the quotes for each. Recognize the approach of each mood and rise above it and make it fall at your feet. Knowing the mood of another makes one keener. Flatter the flatterer, threaten him who threatens.
  • Slavery to a mood is the most exacting form of slavery. The King Moods are FLATTERY and SELFISHNESS. Most practical of the hard moods is DECEIT.
  • SYMPATHY, is the mood that connects, control in every form. Personal Control should begin in simple affinities.

These emotions are usually free from the control of either Mind or Body. They control the physical and are rarely subdued by the Mental.

For the highest magnetism, you have to eliminate the dark passions.



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Amazing Facts …

Posted on April 8, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized |

“For those who believe in GOD No explanation is necessary, For those who do not believe in GOD No explanation is possible!!!”  

1. Diomede Islands are two islands – one owned by Russia and the other by America. The distance between the two islands is just 2.4 miles, but the time difference is 21 hours!

Diomede Islands
Image source:
  Big Diomede is called Tomorrow island and Little Diomede is called Yesterday Island.(source)
2. The Chamarel plain in Mauritius has a small area of sand dunes made up of sand in seven distinct colors.
Chamarel plainImage Source:
As the sunlight hits the dunes, the seven colors can be seen visibly. The colors of the sand is a result of a difference in cooling of molten volcanic rock. The difference in cooling occurred when the different portions of the molten volcanic rock got cooled at different temperatures. Lastly, the best time to view these colors is the morning when the dew mingled sand brings out its brightest hue.(1,2)
3. Russia is so large that it spreads over 11 different time zones. When one side of Russia has morning breakfast at 7 am; the other side enjoys evening snacks at 6 pm.
sunrise in RussiaImage source
Russia spreads over 17,075,200 square km area and over 11 time Zones. Thus, the current time range observed by Russia is UTC+02:00 to UTC+12:00. Hence, apparently while one part of Russia enjoys the morning sun, the other part enjoys the sunset.(source)
4. 75% of all fresh water available on earth is stored in the glacier. Also, Lake Baikal in Russia contains 20% of the total non-frozen fresh water available on our planet.
Freshwater stored in glaciersImage source:
About 15 million square kilometers of land is covered with glacier which is about 10% of the total land area on our planet. If all the glaciers melt, the sea level all over the world would rise by approximately 70 meters. These glaciers contain 75% of total fresh water available in the world.
Lake BaikalImage Source:
Lake Baikal in Russia contains 20% of the total non-frozen fresh water available on our planet. It is the oldest and deepest lake in the world and is famous for its crystal clear water. The immense Lake Baikal spreads over an area of 31,722 square kilometers due to which it is often mistaken for a sea. Unfortunately, it is currently under threat due to poaching, pollution, and development.(1,2)
5. Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee was created due to the impact of three earthquakes, which occurring in 1811 and 1812, measured around 8 on the Richter Scale.
Reelfoot LakeImage Source:
During these earthquakes, people witnessed that the Mississippi River had started flowing backwards. Yet, scientific studies have shown that the earthquake produced northwest moving water waves which created the illusion that the Mississippi river was flowing backward for a few hours.(source)
6. Point Nemo is a place in the South Pacific ocean that is the furthest point from any terrestrial life. It is at a distance of 1,670 miles from the nearest landmass.
Point NemoImage source
Point Nemo in the South Pacific Ocean is 2,688 km away from the nearest landmass. Also, it is known as the oceanic pole of inaccessibility which means that it is a point in the ocean which is farthest from any land. The nearest lands from this point are Ducie Island (Pitcairn Islands), Motu Nui (Easter Island), and Maher Island (near Siple Island).

The name Point Nemo is inspired by the fictional hero of the Jules Verne novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. In Latin, Point Nemo means no one. Point Nemo is almost inaccessible from land and so it is used for depositing decommissioned satellites, space crafts, and space stations. That’s why it is also known as “spacecraft cemetery”.(1,2)
7. The Appalachian Mountains are shrinking continuously while the Himalayan Mountains are growing.
The Appalachian Mountain, located in eastern North America, runs from Alabama to New York. It was formed around 480 million years ago. It was once as tall as the Rocky mountains which are located in western North America and their highest peak, Mt. Elbert, is 14,400 feet high. Due to constant rainwater erosion, the Appalachian Mountain is shrinking continuously and its highest peak Mount Mitchell is 6,684 feet high.
Appalachain MountainImage Source:
The Himalayan Mountains located in Asia between the Indian subcontinent and Tibetan Plateau once used to be as high as the Rocky Mountain. But, now it is even taller and its highest peak, Mount Everest is 29,029 feet high. The Himalayan Mountain range is growing regularly due to the constant collision of India into southern Asia. The Himalayan Mountains are also being eroded by rainwater. However, the rate of erosion is quite small as compared to its rate of growth by the collision. Himalayan Mountain range is currently growing at the rate of 5 mm per year.(1,2,3)
Himalayan MountainImage Source:
8. The Dingo fence in Australia has  a length of 3,500 miles which is longer than the distance between Seattle and Miami.
Dingo fenceImage Source:
Dingo fence is a 3,500 miles-long fence in Australia that was built in between 1880 to 1885. This fence was built to keep dingoes (Australian wild dogs) out of the southeastern part of Australia where sheep flocks were reared. It is one of the largest man-made structures in the world and is the largest fence in the world. A large part of this fence lies in Queensland where it is known as the Great Barrier Fence or the Wild Dog Barrier Fence.
9. The largest ocean in the world, Pacific Ocean, is the antipode of itself at some points. There are some points in this massive ocean where if someone takes a dip in the ocean, travels through the core, and comes out on the opposite side, then they would still be in the Pacific Ocean.
Pacific OceanImage Source:
With an area of 165.25 million square kilometers, Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the World. This massive ocean lies between the US in the east and Asia and Australia in the west. It extends from the Southern Ocean in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north. Also, the massive Pacific ocean is antipodal at some points making it its own hemisphere. Antipodal, by definition, means points or places in the earth which are diametrically opposite to each other. Therefore, if a person takes a dip in Pacific ocean at that certain point, goes straight through the core and comes out on the other side of the Earth, the person will still be in the Pacific ocean.(source)
10. The Er Wang Dong cave in China and Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam are so massive that there exists an independent weather system inside it.
Er Wang Dong caveImage Source:
 Its known depth is 441 m. The locals make weather forecast based on the observation from the cave’s entrance, Niubizi tiankeng.
Hang Son Doong caveImage Source:
Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam is located in Laos-Vietnam border. It has the largest known cave passage cross-section in the world. Furthermore, it is so large that it has its own vegetation, fast flowing river, and weather system inside.(1, 2)
11. When measured from the Earth’s center, Chimborazo is the highest mountain, not Mount Everest.
ChimborazoImage Source:
Mount Everest has always been known as the Earth’s highest mountain.The peak of Mount Everest is 8,850 meters above the sea level which is the highest altitude when measured from the sea level. But, when measured from the center of the Earth, Mount Everest loses its status to Chimborazo in Ecuador.
Chimborazo has a height of 6,263 meters above sea level. However, when measured from center of Earth Chimborazo becomes the highest mountain in the world. This is because the shape of our Earth is an oblate spheroid. It has bulges at the equator. Chimborazo is almost on the equator. Hence, when measured from the core, Chimborazo becomes the farthest point on the surface of the Earth.(source)
12. The largest ranch in the world, Anna Creek Station, is bigger than Israel.
Anna Creek StationImage Source:
Anna Creek station is a cattle station in South Australia with an area of 6,000,000 acres. Actually, it is the largest ranch in the world and its area is even more than the area of Israel. It was established in 1863, but in 1872, it moved to its current location.  It is currently owned by S. Kidman & Co. Once, there was a large workforce employed on this ranch which managed cattle on horses but now light aircraft and trail bikes are used to manage it.(source)
13. There is a stadium in Brazil in which the midfield line supposedly lies exactly on the Equator making each team defends one hemisphere.
ZerãoImage Source:
Estádio Milton Corrêa, nicknamed Zerão, is a multipurpose stadium in Brazil built in 1990. The midfield of this stadium lies on the equator and is the only stadium in the world to possess this unique feature. It is mainly used for football matches. So, during matches each team literally defends one hemisphere.
The nickname Zerão is inspired by its neighborhood MarcoZero which got the name due to its location on the Equator. Zerão means Big Zero which denotes the latitude of the Equator.(source)
14. The volcanic system beneath Yellowstone holds enough lava to fill Grand Canyon 11 times.
Yellowstone National ParkImage Source: www.yellowstoneparknet .com
Recent studies by seismologists have revealed that the magma chamber beneath Yellowstone National Park is 4.4 times larger than the previously estimated depth. The chamber of hot and partly molten rock is located between 12 to 28 miles beneath the Yellowstone super volcano. The new discovery shows that the magma present will be enough to fill the 1,000 cubic mile Grand Canyon 11 times. The magma chamber is matrix-shaped and is made up of hot, semi-molten stone. The smaller pockets of the matrix are filled with molten rock. The Yellowstone supervolcano is the largest supervolcano in the world. However, this large amount of magma should not be a matter of concern because Geologists have confirmed that the Yellowstone supervolcano is not going to be active for a long time.(1,2)
15. Four Corners is a spot in the US where you can be in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado at the same time.
Four CornersImage Source: www.breakingbad-locati
Four Corners is a region in the US where the four states, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, meet. It consists of the northeastern corner of Arizona, the northwestern corner of New Mexico, the southeastern corner of Utah, and the southwestern corner of Colorado. Geographically, the four Corners is a circle around the four corners of the four states. So, upon entering this circle you can be in four different states at the exact same time. It is also the only place in the US with this unique feature. The US acquired this region in 1848 after the end of Mexican-American War.(source)
16. More than half of the world’s population lives within a circle that covers a proportionally tiny section of the world including China/India/etc. and Southeast Asia.
CircleImage Source:
The circle shown in the image above contains some amazing facts. More than half the population of this world is inside this circle even though the circle is mostly water. Moreover, there are more Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists inside the circle than outside it. Meanwhile, this densely populated circle contain the most sparsely-populated country on earth, Mongolia.(source)

17. In Canada, there is an island with a lake, which has an island in it, and that island has its own lake, and in that lake, there is a small island.
IsletImage Source:
The record of world’s largest island within an island within an island was earlier held by a tiny island in a crater lake on Volcano Island in Lake Taal on the Philippine island of Luzon. But, this record is now held by a four-acre strip of land within a small lake on a slightly larger island within a bigger lake in the enormous Victoria Island of Canada. Victoria Island of Canada is the fourth largest island in the world and is sparsely populated. The unnamed islet on Victoria Island is inaccessible and is located at 69.793 degrees North, 108.214 degrees West.(source)
18. The largest desert in the world is Antarctica.
AntarticaImage Source: m
The word desert immediately brings the image of sand, sun, cactus, and oasis. However, according to geographical definition deserts are those places where the temperature is extreme and there is little to no moisture. According to this definition, one-third of Earth’s surface is desert and most of it is present in polar regions. This definition also proves the fact that Antarctica is the largest desert in the world as its annual precipitation is less than 51 mm. Like the sandstorms in hot deserts, Antarctica too experiences massive windstorms with maximum speed of 320 kilometers per hour.(source)

19. The Dead Sea is constantly sinking at the rate of 1 meter per year. Currently, it is 429 meters below sea level.
Dead SeaImage Source:
With a depth of 304 meters, The Dead Sea is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. Its water is 9.6 times saltier than the water in the Ocean. Due to this, neither plants nor animals can flourish in it, and so it got the name the Dead Sea. Also, it has been mentioned a number of times in Biblical stories. Currently, the most alarming issue about the Dead Sea is that it is sinking constantly at the average rate of 1 meter per year. The first measurement was taken in 1927. Now, it is monitored by Geological Institute of Limnological Research. Studies have shown that the level of water in the Dead sea has dropped by more than 40 meters since the 1950s.
Currently, the Red Sea-Dead Sea project is being carried out by Jordan in an effort to save the Dead Sea. Under this project, the water will be supplied to neighboring countries and the brine will be sent to the Dead Sea to stabilize its level.(1,2)
20. Kiribati is the only country in the world that is situated in all four hemispheres.
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