Come January 15th, 2015, it is Makar Sankranti once again.
Celebrated every year on 14th or 15th of January, it ushers in a new period of change for the good, a harbinger of good things tocome in times ahead. One of the times that the world has badly needed this change is now, a hope for the troubled times of the recent past and a turbulent 2014, to soon become a distant memory and a great change for the better to happen, in all events across the world, from now on.
The significance of Makar Sankranti
Makar means the Hindu month standing for capricorn, sankranthi means movement of transition. Though there is a Sankranti every month, when the earth in its path round the sun, passes from one zodiac sign to the next, Makar Sankranti is an important event when the sun crosses over to the Northern hemisphere, from Saggitarius to Capricorn, the cold months have passed and a warmer spring period is to begin. Uttarayana, the six month auspicious period begins and it is a time for reaping in the efforts of the previous year. Though the Hindu calendar based on the lunar calendar is referred, the event occurs according to the solar travel or movement of the sun, hence the event Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the same day every year.
What are the changes we seek?
2014 has seen many ups and downs and for us Indians, with change in government at the centre and many states, it has been a continuous change that is still in progress. India is also linked with world events and truly it has been a tumultuous phase that one would gladly like to forget soon enough.
- The ebola virus the H1N1 caused swine flu, that began in Jan.2014 and was restricted to certain African regions, is now a cause of worry to the world over with isolated cases reported now and then to mark the threat presence.
May the swine flu effects become mitigated and harmless in 2015 to no longer terrorize the human spirit.
- The human virus ISIS which threatened to take over the world and that caused death and destruction in Iraq and Syria, has shown its strains exist very much in other countries too. The threat it has posed still continues till this very day, despite the united opposition of all countries of the world.
May sanity prevail to either make them approachable or may they become more thoughtful to stop killings of 2014 that they indulged in.
- The brutal massacre of 130 school children and nine plus adults in a Pakistani Army school by the Taliban and repercussions that followed with a war waged with immediate Taliban prisoner hangings and army action in Taliban territory in Afghanistan.
The heart goes out to these small innocent children who became victims and their heart broken parents just because of a senseless Taliban order. May such heartless incidents never occur!
- The floods of Uttarakhand in 2013, repeated with fury in Jammu and Kashmir, leaving thousands still homeless and in camps as on date, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh and the regularly hit Odisha, and other small and big natural disasters that bring down structures and shatter lives are a grim reminder that Nature goes its natural course routinely, man tampers with it and tries to alter, thereby paying the penalty.
Environmental pollution has become the hottest topics and matter of serious deliberation for all countries of this world. Never before has there been an urgency shown as in recent years that has united all countries towards one theme - the protection of the environment from biological and ecological degradation and that too at such an alarming pace, across the world. The need for emissions to be brought down to significantly low levels, cutting of forests, use of fossil fuels at a much slower pace, discharge of effluents into main water bodies without sufficient treatment, and a host of other issues directly or indirectly connected to disasters and destruction of land, sea and air need to be addressed and soon. Also the phenomena of a fast depleting ozone layer above the earth which protects us from the direct and harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun is becoming a major concern for all countries of the world.
May the combined efforts of all countries of the world in its fight against environmental degradation bear fruit with a halt to all the anti – Nature actions till now.
Farmer suicides must come to an end. Sons of the soil, who have put their life into their toil, must have their dignity and life intact if they have to continue their good work. If Nature has not been kind enough at times through bad rains or excessive downpours, droughts and infertile soil, it is the government and other agencies like banks, lending institutions, NGOs, common people etc. that must come to their aid. How can the government not take sufficient steps during such times, banks call in for loan repayments, lending institutions disburse loans with high rates of interest and the common people have no movement in their support, when they cannot fend for their own survival? It is the rich in their lot who have their back-up, the majority suffer untold hardships that no decent human being would dare eundergo. Yet till they are on this earth, they are one with Mother Nature and do their bit for the nation, however small their contribution might seem.
May 2015 bring better tidings and a hopeful future for the Indian agrarian community that we may have better crops, better pricing and may greenery be everywhere – in the fields and in their lives.
Hopes for transition to positive times
Makar Sankranti is essentially a harvest festival. Celebrated for three days in states like Tamil Nadu, the first being a thanksgiving to Mother Earth for her bounty, the second an acknowledgement of all human beings who have aided in getting a good harvest, the third (Mattu Pongal) dedicated to animals that have helped in the agricultural process to obtain a good harvest. Hindus all over celebrate Makar Sankranti, the most important of the 12 sankrantis mainly because of the changes that occur from the Sankranti day, from a dark period of negative events to a positive phase filled with hope and energy.
With such fervent hopes of better times to come,
May Makar Sankranti change our fortunes from bad to good, good to better, just as the sun crosses over from a cold period to a warmer phase and may it stay that way till next Makar Sankranti at least.