Year 2015 appears to have a good start. The Lord has chosen to bless us with Vaikunth Ekadashi falling on the same day – New Year’s Day on January 1st.
Vaikuntha Ekadashi occurs every year during the Dhanurmasa period in the Hindu calendar that corresponds to the period, between late December and mid January in the English calendar.
There are 24 Ekadashis in the Hindu calendar year. This is the Ekadashi that is considered most auspicious of all and it is considered that observing fast on this day is equivalent to merit gained on fasting on all the remaining twenty-three Ekadashis.
Considered as the opening of the door to the inner sanctum of Lord Vishnu, it is the day of salvation from Karma for those who pray and take part in the religious programmes in the name of Lord Vishnu. Special prayers, holy discourses, rites, fasts and similar offerings in remembrance of the Lord would deliver the devotees is believed from the cycle of birth and re-birth, a Hindu tradition that is celebrated all around the world in temples of Lord Vishnu or done anywhere else in his name. Significance is attached to this even in the modern age by considering the evil qualities of lust, passion, greed and many others which make a man sin are burnt by surrendering one’s spirit to the Lord through fasting and hearing about his glory on this very auspicious day.
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The tumultuous period of 2014, being all the more for India.
2014 has been a breath-taking year for India, and even the world. A pace that was set by our Prime Minister and his team, on the basis of a government formation, through a mandate based on promises of good governance and better times. It saw the BJP and allies get an enviable majority in the Lok Sabha, but sadly having little presence in the Upper House or Rajya Sabha. Beginning May 16th, plenty of initiatives, new schemes, measures to fast track projects, foreign investment agreements, better employment opportunity starts and a host of other desirable things have seen the light of the day.
PM Modi has given a new vision of India to the world through his personal overseas visits and all heads of government including those of powerful nations, who see him as a pro-active, change-effecting man at the helm of a mighty nation that has almost re-discovered its strengths under him, are willing to back him on his promises of an investment - friendly industrial and trade environment with easy procedures and quick processing.
There have been ugly events like Pak provocations touching new heights, needling incursions by China, teething troubles on the coast from Shri Lankan arrests of Indian fishermen, and the deadly presence of ISIS and its growing tentacles to reach certain pockets within India. But at the same time, the novel and tough no-nonsense approach of Modi has also made them take notice of a man willing to go any lengths if provoked. Strife in some way or the other linked to the country has kept the media stocked with news to report and sensationalize incessantly.
The Prime Minster is confronted with internal dissidence and dissonance within too. Be it controversial announcements by newly elected ministers within the government or pronouncements by self-styled leaders who suddenly feel powerful to vociferate, moral policing across the country or conversions threatening to tear the delicate social fabric of the nation, alarming incidents indicating the lack of security for women or violation of human rights on various fronts, India has sadly been subjected to the raw force and undesired brutality of it all in this short span of one year.
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But at the same time, within this period, a dynamic PM has also by example led from the front and got the nation on the move. Clean Ganges project, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, toilets in rural areas for women, an upgrade in science and technology with successful space missions, bank accounts for a vast majority of poor people, a buoyant stock market based on the industry’s faith in the PM’s words are some of the very heartening facts in full view display.
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Hope for a much better 2015.
2015 dawns shortly and it shall be a new beginning for us, a clean slate to write on after a tumultuous period, a narration that can be written much better if we take cognizance of the recent events of the past and put in place measures that would prevent us from committing the same mistakes of the previous year.
With a freshness of thought and a vigour to do better, the onus of Sunhare Din or Achhe Din (the return of better days in 2015) lies on all us countrymen, regardless of religion, caste, creed, or colour. If we all do our little bit in being one with the vision of the PM, and contributing within our spheres, India is destined to become the superpower that it always has had the promise to become, but never became one.