National News

‘Farmers must chant Hanuman Chalisa to prevent natural calamities,’ says Madhya Pradesh BJP leader

Ramesh Saxena, a former MLA from Sehore constituency, asked the youth to chant the hymn for one hour over the next five days.

As unseasonal hailstorm and heavy showers damaged crops in parts of Maharashtra, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader has asked the farmers to chant mantras to fight natural disasters.

Ramesh Saxena, a former MLA from Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore constituency, on Monday said since experts have predicted bad weather over the next four-five days, farmers must chant the Hanuman Chalisa [a hymn dedicated to Hanuman] everyday for an hour to prevent any natural calamity, ANI reported.

“I can guarantee that if every village chants the Hanuman Chalisa for one hour everyday, we can avoid natural disasters,” ANI quoted Saxena as saying. “I appeal to the youth to chant the Hanuman Chalisa over the next five days.”

Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Balakrishna Patidar said if someone wants to read the Hanuman Chalisa, there is nothing wrong with it, News18 reported. “All of this is a religious belief,” Patidar added.

Three people died in the hailstorm that lashed parts of central Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. There was heavy rain in Beed, Osmanabad, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli, Dhule, Nandurbar, Aurangabad and some other districts of Maharashtra as well on Sunday.

The storm severely damaged grapes, cotton, green gram and wheat crops. Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar has ordered an assessment of the damage. Fundkar said the government would hold a meeting with crop insurance companies on Monday.

The minister also directed administrative officials to visit every affected village, document the losses and file a report. “A sizeable loss of cattle and poultry has been reported,” an official of the Aurangabad Divisional Commissionerate said. “The damage assessment report will be finalised in a couple of days.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

Play

The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.