Professor Rana PB Singh, having stayed in both Varanasi and Kyoto, offers a comparison of Kashi and Kyoto
Rana PB Singh | June 2, 2017
It’s said that to see as much of life as India can show, all one needs to do is visit Varanasi. The city, often called India’s cultural capital, has recorded continuous settlement of people since 1000 BC. But the modern city grew mostly in the early 18th century. It now has about 15 lakh residents. With about 3,300 Hindu shrines, small and big, and 1,388 Muslim places of worship, and being holy to both Buddhists and Jains, Varanasi is indeed a microcosm of Indian culture and pluralism. There are four universities, three deemed universities, over a hundred Sanskrit pathashalas, 150 Muslim schools, scores of colleges. And there are numerous centres for the learning of yoga and Hindustani classical music, making it a veritable centre of learning.
Read: Between chaos and Kashi
No hope without an awakening
Prof Rana PB Singh offers a comparison of Kashi and Kyoto
Kyoto Kashi/ Varanasi/ Banaras The Kamo river, the riverfront walkways with their shrines The Ganga, and the ghats along the banks of the river, considered holy by Hindus Full of lush greenery Only scattered tress, and no natural park Everywhere public spaces and green parks Very few public spaces and green parks Known as model of cleanliness and good governance Known as model of dirtiness and mal- or misgovernance Nara, Buddhist-Shinto suburb Sarnath, Buddhist site and suburb Around 2,000 temples and shrines. Some of them are Shinto, Buddhist or animistic and some are related to folk myth Around 3,500 Hindu shrines, 1,388 Muslim sacred places and shrines, 45 Sikh sites, four Jain sites, 42 churches, and 100 folk shrines Ancient city since 850 BCE Ancient city since 850 BCE Ancient capital till 1868 Cultural centre and capital of Kashi Kingdom, during 9th-12th century Strong public awareness and participation Only talk of ancient greatness and myth, no real participation and preservation of culture City of learning, seven universities City of learning, with five universities Centre of art, craft, music and culture Centre of art, craft, music and culture Most of the development and maintenance is by community organisations Most of the development and maintenance by government, with hardly any public participation Tradition and modernity go side by side, following the philosophy of ‘Lifenology’ and Suitogaku, which aim at creating productive human-nature interfaces. Tradition and modernity go their own individual ways. There’s talk of spirituality, but hardly any true practice. Rituals are practised without understanding their basis.
The Indic Quotient: Reclaiming Heritage through Cultural Enterprise By Kaninika Mishra Bloomsbury India, 230 pages, Rs. 499 Over the past decade, India has seen a significant rise in passion for enterprise as well as pride in her
International observers will keenly watch the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee meeting next month. The central committee is the highest organ of the CCP with a mandate to execute the decision of the National Congress which is convened once every five years. Besides economy, r
News profession is organic in nature, requires responsibility and discipline, and there is no room for mistake. To maintain high standards of accuracy you need discipline and hygiene in the newsroom. Sudhir Chaudhary, editor in chief of Zee News, Zee Business and Wion, has said that a TRP-driven business m
When Dharmendra Pandey, a fruit-seller had to leave Mumbai after the imposition of the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, and return to his village in Uttar Pradesh, he was staring at economic uncertainties ahead. Little did he know that his 16-year-old son, Mahavir, had acquired skills that would come
Wearing a face mask is the first line of defence against the novel coronavirus, along with maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands with soap. More than six months after the outbreak of Covid-19, nearly 90 percent of people in India have become aware of the necessity of wearing a face mask,
Is India finally gaining an upper hand over the Covid-19 pandemic? After weeks of new cases hitting 90,000-plus every day, the tide seems to be turning, as the number came down to 75,083 on Tuesday, and the recoveries were not only higher than that but crossed the 1 lakh mark too. The countr