[Newsbits] 02.10.2023

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Kashmir Bat

In a historic move, Kashmir bats have made their debut in 50-over World Cup matches, marking a significant milestone in the world of cricket. With over a century of manufacturing history rooted in the picturesque Valley, these lightweight hardwood cricket bats have garnered international attention.

Used in 50-Over World Cup Matches for the First Time

The recent use of Kashmir bats in 50-over World Cup matches is a testament to their quality and craftsmanship, with a manufacturing history in the Valley spanning 102 years.

What is a Kashmir Bat?

Cricket Bat Type: A Kashmir bat is a specific type of cricket bat, renowned for its lightweight and performance characteristics.

Material: Lightweight Hardwood: These bats are crafted from lightweight hardwood, primarily derived from the willow tree, which is meticulously selected for its suitability.

How Are Kashmir Bats Made?

Harvesting Process

  • Willow felling for bat production begins in autumn and concludes by spring in the picturesque region of Kashmir.
  • The preferred willow trees have a girth of 58 inches (147 cm), ensuring the quality of the raw material.

Quality Considerations

  • The female cultivar of white willow is considered the best choice for crafting Kashmir bats.
  • During the cleft shaping process, special attention is given to the middle spot and toe blade, critical areas for a cricket bat's performance.

Weight Preference

  • Kashmir bats typically weigh around 2 pounds and 7 ounces (over 1 kg), making them the most preferred choice among cricketers worldwide.

Where Do Kashmir Bats Originate?

Origin: Kashmir

Kashmir is the birthplace of these iconic cricket bats, with their manufacturing deeply rooted in the Valley's craftsmanship.

Primary Districts: Pulwama and Anantnag

The primary districts of Pulwama and Anantnag in Kashmir are known for their willow groves, located in the wet highlands nearby, providing the ideal environment for cultivating willow trees.

Kashmir Bats: Facts and Figures

Economic Significance

  • The Kashmir bat industry is a thriving ₹300 crore enterprise, contributing significantly to the region's economy.
  • It provides employment opportunities for over 1,00,000 people in various stages of the manufacturing process.

Export Statistics

  • In 2022, approximately 1.35 lakh Kashmir bats were exported to various cricket-playing nations, showcasing their global appeal and demand.

Environmental Impact

  • The annual felling of around 75,000 willow trees for bat production raises concerns about the depletion of this vital raw material.
  • Balancing the economic significance of the industry with environmental sustainability remains a pressing issue.

Matangini Hazra

On the 81st anniversary of her martyrdom, Matangini Hazra, often affectionately known as "Gandhiburi," continues to be a symbol of unwavering dedication to India's struggle for independence. Her life and sacrifices are a testament to her role as a staunch Gandhian and an inspiring Indian revolutionary.

81st Anniversary of Martyrdom of Matangini Hazra

This year marks the 81st anniversary of Matangini Hazra's martyrdom, a somber occasion to remember her remarkable contribution to India's fight for freedom.

Who Was Matangini Hazra?

Indian Revolutionary: Matangini Hazra was an Indian revolutionary who dedicated her life to the cause of India's independence from British colonial rule. Her commitment to the nation made her a prominent figure in the struggle.

Staunch Gandhian: She was a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi's principles of non-violence and civil disobedience. Her adherence to these ideals set her apart as a leader committed to peaceful resistance.

Nickname: Gandhiburi: Matangini Hazra was affectionately called "Gandhiburi" due to her unwavering commitment to Gandhi's principles.

Why She is Known For

Arrest During Civil Disobedience Movement, 1930

Matangini Hazra's involvement in the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 led to her arrest by British authorities. This marked her early activism in the fight for India's independence.

Active Membership in Indian National Congress

Throughout her life, Matangini Hazra remained actively associated with the Indian National Congress, a pivotal organization in India's struggle for independence.

Significance of Matangini Hazra

Becoming a Martyr at Age 73

Matangini Hazra's extraordinary dedication to the cause of freedom led her to become a martyr at the age of 73.

Leading a Protest March in 1942

In 1942, she led a protest march in Tamluk, Bengal, during the Quit India Movement. Tragically, she fell to British bullets, becoming the earliest casualty of this historic movement.

Recognized as One of Bengal's Nationalist Icons

Matangini Hazra is widely recognized as one of Bengal's nationalist icons, and her sacrifices continue to inspire generations of Indians.

Influence Reflected in Her Legacy

Her influence is reflected in various ways:

  • Roads, Schools, Neighborhoods Named After Her: In West Bengal, numerous roads, schools, and neighborhoods are named after Matangini Hazra, honoring her legacy and contribution.
  • First Statue in Kolkata Maidan Dedicated to a Woman Revolutionary: In 1977, a historic moment was marked with the unveiling of the first statue dedicated to a woman revolutionary in Kolkata Maidan, honoring Matangini Hazra's indomitable spirit.

Where and When

Birthplace: Hogla Village, Near Tamluk, West Bengal

Matangini Hazra was born in Hogla village, near Tamluk, in West Bengal, which would later become the backdrop of her heroic resistance against British colonial rule.

Birth Year: 1869

She was born in the year 1869, at a time when India was still under British colonial domination.

Death Year: 1942

Matangini Hazra breathed her last in 1942, during the Quit India Movement, leaving behind a legacy of courage and unwavering commitment to India's struggle for freedom.

SC Case on Agama

In recent news, the Supreme Court of India has issued an order to maintain the status quo in a significant case concerning Agama traditions. This legal battle revolves around the intricate aspects of temple practices in Tamil Nadu, particularly focusing on the appointment of archakas (priests) and their adherence to Agamic principles.

SC Orders Status Quo in the Case

The Supreme Court's decision to maintain the status quo in this case marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate surrounding Agama practices in Hindu temples. Let's delve deeper into the various facets of this issue.

What is Agama?

Agama in Sanskrit: That Which Has Come to Us

The term "Agama" finds its roots in the Sanskrit language, where it signifies "that which has come to us." In the context of Hinduism, Agama is a profound concept encompassing a set of doctrines related to temple traditions.

Definition of Agama

Agama doctrines expound a variety of subjects, serving as a stylebook for Hindu rituals and spiritual practices. These doctrines play a fundamental role in guiding temple activities and ceremonies.

Types of Agama Texts

There are two primary types of Agama texts, each associated with specific branches of Hinduism:

  1. Agama (Saivite Temples): These texts are primarily practiced in Saivite temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  2. Tantra (Sakthi Temples): Tantra Agamas are followed in Sakthi temples, which worship the divine feminine energy.

Saivite Temple Practices

Tamil Agamas

In Saivite temples, the Agama tradition is deeply rooted, with specific emphasis on the Tamil Agamas. These texts provide comprehensive guidelines for temple rituals and practices.

Rituals in Vaishnavite Temples Based on Agamas

Vaishnavite temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, follow their own set of Agamas known as the Vaikhanasa and Pancharathra Agamas.

Vaikhanasa Agamas

The Vaikhanasa Agamas outline the rituals and procedures for temple worship in Vaishnavite tradition.

Pancharathra Agamas

  1. Five Nights: The Pancharathra Agamas consist of five distinct sections, each dedicated to different aspects of temple worship.
  2. Believed to be Taught by Lord Vishnu to Sages: These Agamas are believed to have been taught by Lord Vishnu to sages and rishis.

Works Known as Samhitas

Within the Agama tradition, various works known as "samhitas" provide comprehensive guidance for temple practices.

  • The number of these samhitas exceeds 200, covering a wide range of topics related to rituals and spirituality.
  • However, only a few of these samhitas are available in print today, underscoring their rarity and significance.

Highlights of the Case

Plea Filed in Top Court

A plea was filed in the Supreme Court, seeking to quash an order issued by the Tamil Nadu state government and all consequential orders. The primary contention was that these orders attempted to interfere with the hereditary scheme of appointing archakas of specific denominations and aimed to open it to other denominations.

Appointment of Archakas

  • The government had introduced a one-year certificate course for archakas in schools run by the government.
  • The petitioner association argued that this move was a deviation from traditional practices, as the knowledge of Agamas requires years of rigorous training under learned Gurus.

Supreme Court's Decision

In response to the plea, the Supreme Court ordered the maintenance of the status quo regarding the appointment of archakas in Tamil Nadu temples governed by Agamic tradition. This decision has significant implications for the preservation of age-old temple practices and the role of archakas in upholding the sanctity of Agama traditions.

Tolstoy Farm

October 2nd, 2023 holds special significance as it marks the 154th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On this occasion, the revival of Tolstoy Farm is being celebrated as a "living monument" to honor Gandhian ideals.

What is Tolstoy Farm?


Tolstoy Farm is historically renowned as Mahatma Gandhi's second ashram in the country.


Roles of Tolstoy Farm

Tolstoy Farm played pivotal roles in Gandhi's life and his experiments with various principles:

  • Experimental Laboratory: It served as an experimental laboratory for various aspects of life, including diet, nature cure, and harmonious living with nature. Gandhi's commitment to the principles of Brahmacharya was also nurtured here.
  • Satyagraha Campaigns' Headquarters: The farm served as the headquarters for various Satyagraha campaigns. It became a hub for protests against discrimination faced by Indians in South Africa.

Who Established Tolstoy Farm?

Tolstoy Farm was established by Mahatma Gandhi.

Name's Inspiration

The farm is named after Count Leo Tolstoy, the renowned Russian writer, and philosopher, who greatly influenced Gandhi's philosophical and moral outlook.

Where is Tolstoy Farm Located?

Tolstoy Farm is located near Johannesburg in South Africa.

When Was Tolstoy Farm Established?

Tolstoy Farm was established in the year 1910.

Period of Disuse

During the Apartheid Era in South Africa, from 1948 to 1994, Tolstoy Farm fell into disuse. However, its revival now serves as a tribute to the enduring legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and his commitment to the principles of truth, non-violence, and social justice.

National Turmeric Board

In a significant announcement, the Prime Minister has declared the establishment of the National Turmeric Board. This initiative aims to promote turmeric cultivation and harness its economic potential. Additionally, the PM also announced the allocation of ₹900 crore for the Sammakka-Sarakka Central Tribal University, located in Mulug.

What is the Purpose of the National Turmeric Board?

The primary objective of the National Turmeric Board is to promote and support turmeric cultivation in India.


Turmeric's Value During the Covid Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the therapeutic properties of turmeric, leading to increased awareness of its health benefits. This surge in awareness has driven up demand and exports of turmeric.

How Will the National Turmeric Board Achieve Its Goals?

The National Turmeric Board will play a crucial role in the following areas:

  • Infrastructure Support: Providing support for the development of turmeric cultivation infrastructure.
  • Value Addition: Facilitating value addition in turmeric-related products.
  • Research Facilities: Establishing research facilities to enhance turmeric cultivation and processing.
  • Export Assistance: Supporting the export of turmeric and related products.

Where Will the National Turmeric Board be Located?

The National Turmeric Board will be headquartered in Telangana.

Facts About Turmeric Cultivation in India

Cultivating States

Turmeric is cultivated in several states across India, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, and Assam.

Prominence of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh leads in turmeric cultivation, accounting for 35.0% of the total cultivation area and 47.0% of the production.

Kandhamal Turmeric Details

  • Production Statistics: Kandhamal is one of the largest turmeric producers in India.
  • Households Involved: Approximately 40,000 tribal households in Kandhamal are engaged in turmeric cultivation.
  • Cultivation Area: Turmeric is cultivated across 13,710 hectares in the district.
  • Annual Production: The annual turmeric production in Kandhamal amounts to 24,000 tonnes.
  • Geographical Indication (GI) Tag: Kandhamal turmeric was awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag on April 1, 2019. This recognition acknowledges its unique qualities and origin.

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