January 2021: Current Affairs History Notes | EduRev

UPSC Mains: International Relations, Social Issues & others

UPSC : January 2021: Current Affairs History Notes | EduRev

The document January 2021: Current Affairs History Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course UPSC Mains: International Relations, Social Issues & others.
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Anubhava Mantapa in Basavakalyan: Karnataka

Recently, in Basavakalyan, where the 12th-century poet-philosopher Basaveshwara lived for most of his life, the Chief Minister of Karnataka laid the foundation stone for the 'New Anubhava Mantapa.'

Key Points

➤ About the New Anubhava Mantapa:

  1. It will be a six-floor structure amid the 7.5-acre plot and represent various principles of Basaveshwara's philosophy. 
  2. It will showcase the 12th Century Anubhava Mantapa (often referred to as the "first Parliament of the world") established by Basaveshwara in Basavakalyan where philosophers and social reformers held debates.
  3. The building will adopt the Kalyani Chalukya style of architecture.
    • Later Chalukyas, popularly known as the Chalukyas of Kalyan or Kalyani Chalukyas form an integral part of the ancient Karnataka history of the early medieval period. Kalyan Chalukya rulers patronised temple construction, dance and music, as their predecessors did.
  4. The grand structure supported by 770 pillars will have an auditorium with a seating capacity of 770 people.
    • It is believed that 770 Sharanas (followers of Basaveshwara) led the Vachana reformist movement in the 12th Century.
  5. On its top, the structure would have a Shiva Linga placed on a large pedestal. 
  6. The project also envisages a state-of-the-art robotic system, open-air theatre, modern water conservation system, terrace garden, library, research centre, prayer hall, yoga centre and so on.

➤ Basaveshwara: 

Brief Profile:

  • Basaveshwara (1134­1168) was an Indian philosopher, social reformer and states­man who attempted to create a casteless society and fought against caste and religious discrimination.
  • Basava Jayanthi is an annual event celebrated in honour of the birth of Vishwaguru Basaveshwara.
  • He was born in Bagevadi (of the undivided Bijapur district in Karnataka).
  • The tradition of Lingayatism is known to have been founded by him.

➤ Philosophy:

  • His spiritual discipline was based on the principles of Arivu (true knowledge), Achara (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience) and it brought a social, religious and economical revolution in the 12th century.
  • This path advocates a holistic approach of Lingangayoga (union with the divine). This comprehensive discipline encompasses bhakti (devotion), jnana (knowledge), and kriye (action) in a well-balanced manner.
  • He went to Kalyana (now called Basavakalyan) probably in the year A.D. 1154. His achievements in the short span of twelve or thirteen years of his stay at Kalyana are striking.
  • The Gates of Dharma were thrown open to all without any barriers of caste, creed or sex (Kalyana Rajya - Welfare State).
  • He established the Anubhava Mantapa, which was a common forum for all to discuss the prevailing problems of socio, economic and political strata including religious and spiritual principles along with personal problems.
  • Thus, it was the first and foremost Parliament of India, where Sharanas sat together and discussed the socialistic principles of a Democratic setup.
  • He gave two more very important socio­economic principles. 

They are:

  • Kayaka (Divine work): According to this, every individual of the society should take up the job of his choice and perform it with all sincerity.
  • Dasoha (Equal distribution):
    1. There must be an equal income for equal work.
    2. The worker (Kayakajeevi) may lead his day-to-day life with his hard-earned income. But he should not preserve the money or property for tomorrow. He must utilise the
    3. surplus money for society and the poor. 

➤ Vachana Reformist Movement:

  • The main aim of the Vachana (poetry) movement, led by Basaveshwara in the 12th century, was the welfare of all.
  • It attempted to address class, caste and to some extent gender issues in a given societal milieu.

Maghi Mela

For the first time in over several decades, there will be no political conferences at the historic Maghi Mela. 

  • Maghi Mela is held in Muktsar, Punjab every year in January or the month of Magh according to the Nanakshahi calendar.
  • Nanakshahi calendar was designed by Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal to replace the Bikrami calendar, to work out the dates of Gur Purab and other festivals.

Key Points

About Maghi:

  • Maghi is the occasion when Sikhs commemorate the sacrifice of forty Sikhs, who fought for Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
  • The eve of Maghi is the common Indian festival of Lohri when bonfires are lit in Hindu homes to greet the birth of sons in the families and alms are distributed.

➤ Significance:

  • The day of Maghi is observed to honour the heroic fight of the Chali Mukte, or the Forty Liberated Ones, who sacrificed their own lives defending an attack by the Mughal imperial army marching in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh.

➤ Historical Background:

  • The battle took place near a pool of water, Khidrane di Dhab, on 29th December 1705.
  • The bodies were cremated the following day, the first of Magh (hence the name of the festival), which now falls usually on the 13th of January.
  • Following the custom of the Sikhs to observe their anniversaries of happy and tragic events alike, Maghi is celebrated with end-to-end recitals of the Guru Granth Sahib and religious divans in almost all gurdwaras.

Yakshagana

Recently, a Yakshagana artiste died while performing on stage.

Key Points

  • Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form of Karnataka.
  • It is a temple art form that depicts mythological stories and Puranas.
  • It is performed with massive headgears, elaborate facial make-up and vibrant costumes and ornaments.
  • Usually recited in Kannada, it is also performed in Malayalam as well as Tulu (the dialect of south Karnataka).

Note:

  • Tulu is a Dravidian language whose speakers are concentrated in the region of Tulu Nadu, which comprises the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka and the northern part of Kasaragod district of Kerala.
  • The oldest available inscriptions in Tulu are from the period between the 14th to 15th century AD.
  • It is performed with percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam, jagatta or chengila (cymbals) and chakratala or elathalam (small cymbals).
  • The most popular episodes are from the Mahabharata i.e. Draupadi swayamvar, Subhadra vivah, etc. and Ramayana i.e. Rajyabhishek, Lav-Kush yuddh, etc.

Jagannath Temple

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) recently announced that for entry into the shrine in Puri from 21 January 2021, devotees do not need to produce their Covid-19 negative report.

Key Points

  • The temple is believed to be constructed in the 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
  • Jagannath Puri temple is called 'Yamanika Tirtha' where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of 'Yama', the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  • This temple was called the "White Pagoda" and is a part of Char Dham pilgrimages (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram).
  • There are four gates to the temple- Eastern 'Singhdwara' which is the main gate with two crouching lions, Southern 'Ashwadwara', Western 'Vyaghra Dwara and Northern 'Hastidwara'. There is a carving of each form at each gate.
  • In front of the entrance stands the Aruna stambha or sun pillar, which was originally at the Sun Temple in Konark.

Harvest Festivals in India

The harvest festivals like Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal have recently been celebrated all across the country.

Key Points

➤ Makar Sankranti:

  • Makar Sankranti denotes the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn) as it travels on its celestial path.
  • The day marks the onset of summer and the six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayan, the northward movement of the sun.
  • As a part of the official celebration of 'Uttarayan', the Gujarat government has been hosting the International Kite Festival since 1989.
  • The festivities associated with the day are known by different names in different parts of the country - Lohri by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Sukarat in central India, Bhogali Bihu by Assamese Hindus, and Pongal by Tamil and other South Indian Hindus.

➤ Lohri:

  • Lohri is primarily celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus.
  • It marks the end of the winter season and is traditionally believed to welcome the sun to the northern hemisphere.
  • It is observed a night before Makar Sankranti, this occasion involves a Puja Parikrama (revolve) around the bonfire with prasad.
  • It is essentially termed as the festival of the farmers and harvest, whereby, the farmers thank the Supreme Being.

➤ Pongal:

  • The word Pongal means 'overflow' or 'boiling over'. 
  • Also known as Thai Pongal, the four-day occasion is observed in the month of Thai, when crops such as rice are harvested and people show their gratitude to the almighty and the generosity of the land. 
  • Tamilians celebrate the occasion by making traditional designs known as kolams in their homes with rice powder.

➤ Bihu:

  • It is celebrated when the annual harvest takes place in Assam. People celebrate Rongali/Magh Bihu to mark the beginning of the Assamese new year. 
  • It is believed that the festival started from the time when people of the valley started tilling the land. Bihu is believed to be as old as the river Brahmaputra.

➤ Makaravilakku festival in Sabarimala:

  • It is celebrated at the sacred grove of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala.
  • It is an annual seven-day festival, beginning on the day of Makar Sankranti when the sun is in the summer solstice.

The highlight of the festival is the appearance of Makarajyothi- a celestial star that appears on the day of Makar Sankranti on top of Kantamala Hills.

Makara Vilakku ends with the ritual called 'Guruthi', an offering made to appease the god and goddesses of the wilderness.

Jallikattu

As the assembly polls are to be held in Tamil Nadu in 2021, the Pongal festival and Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport, have caught the attention of the Political Parties in the country.

Key Points

➤ About Jallikattu:

  1. Traditional:
    • A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
    • It is a violent sport in which contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
  2. Areas of Sport:
    • It is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu known as the Jallikattu belt.
  3. Time of Event:
    • It is celebrated in the second week of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
  4. Importance in Tamil Culture:
    • Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure- breed native bulls.
  • At a time when cattle breeding is often an artificial process, conservationists and peasants argue that Jallikattu is a way to protect these male animals which are otherwise used only for meat if not for ploughing.
  • Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu. The owners of these premium breeds command respect locally.

➤ Legal Interventions on Jallikattu:

  • In 2011, the Centre added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition is prohibited.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court banned the bull­taming sport, ruling on a petition that cited the 2011 notification.

➤ Current Legal Position on Jallikattu:

  • The state government has legalised these events, which has been challenged in the court.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it is pending now.

➤ Conflict to be Resolved:

  • Whether the Jallikattu tradition can be protected as a cultural right of the people of Tamil Nadu which is a fundamental right.
  • Article 29 (1) against the Rights of animals.
  • Article 29 (1) mandates that "any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same".

➤ Position in the Other States for Similar Sports:

  • Karnataka too passed a law to save a similar sport, called Kambala.
  • Except in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where bull­taming and racing continue to be organised, these sports remain banned in all other states including Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra due to the 2014 ban order from the Supreme Court.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple: Karnataka

The overclouded sky impacted the annual phenom­enon called Surya Majjana in Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (Karnataka).

Key Points

➤ Location: This temple is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

➤ Meaning of the Name:

  • The temple derives its name from the combination of topographical features and mythology: Gavi (cave), and Gangadhareswara (shiva) means the Lord who adorns the Ganga.

➤ Establishment:

  • It is believed to have been built by Kempe Gowda I in its present form.

➤ Architecture Features:

  • Celestial Oriented Architecture: Built-in Vijaynagar style, it has unique celestial oriented rock-cut architecture due to which Surya majjana occurs on Sankranti every year.

➤ Surya Majjana:

  • Every year on the Makar Sankranti, the sun rays fall on the Shiv linga located in the cave (Gavi) making it shine for ten minutes. 

➤ Two Monolithic Structures:

  • In the forecourt stand two monolithic structures, named Suryapana and Chandrapana - each consisting of a massive disc atop a supporting pillar.
  • They have engravings of sitting bulls on the discs that face each other.

➤ Iconography of Shiva:

  • The compound of the temple is adorned with monolith structures associated with the iconography of Shiva - the trishula (trident) and the damaru (an hourglass-shaped, two-headed drum).
  • In between the two discs there is a brass dhwajasthambha (flagstaff), and a small cubicle housing a statue of Nandi, Shiva's bull carrier.

➤ Kempe Gowda I

  • Kempe Gowda I was a feudatory king under the Vijayanagar empire.
  • He founded the city of Bengaluru in 1537 and named it after their family deity's consort, Kempamma.
  • He has also credited with the construction of several lakes or keres for drinking water and irrigation eg. the Dharmambudhi lake.

➤ Other Sites in Karnataka

  • Basavakalyan,
  • Hampi (World Heritage Site),
  • Badami,
  • Aihole, etc.

Thiruvalluvar Day

The Prime Minister remembered Thiruvalluvar on the occasion of Thiruvalluvar Day (15th January 2021), observed to mark the birth anniversary of Tamil poet and philosopher.

Key Points

➤ About the Thiruvalluvar Day:

  • It was first celebrated on 17th-18th May in 1935. o In the present time, it is usually observed either on 15th or 16th January in Tamil Nadu and is a part of Pongal celebrations.

➤ About Thiruvalluvar:

  • Thiruvalluvar, also called Valluvar, was a Tamil poet-saint.
    1. He is regarded as a cultural and moral icon for Tamils across caste and religious lines.

The period when he lived is debated, as is his religious identity.

  • Some place him in the third or fourth century; others put him in the eighth or ninth.
  • Some call him a Hindu; some trace his past to Jainism; Dravidian groups count him as a saint, as he dismissed the caste system. o His primary work Thirukkural (contribution to Tamil Literature) contains 1330 couplets (kurals).
  • The text is divided into three parts with teachings on dharma, artha, and kama (virtue, wealth and love).

➤ Social Significance of Thiruvalluvar:

  1. A statue of the legendary Tamil poet was unveiled in Ulsoor, near Bengaluru, in 2009. A statue of Valluvar was also erected outside the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London.
  2. A 133-foot tall statue of Thiruvalluvar stands at Kanyakumari as well.
    • The Thiruvalluvar University was established in the Vellore district of Tamilnadu by the Government of Tamilnadu in October 2002.
    • In 1976, a temple-memorial called Valluvar Kotam was built in Chennai and houses one of the largest auditoriums in Asia.
    • In the early 16th century, a temple dedicated to Thiruvalluvar was built within the Ekambareswarar temple complex in Mylapore, Chennai.
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