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Duraznos House / V Taller

first_img Area:  517 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project CopyHouses•Zapopan, Mexico Houses ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/958449/duraznos-house-v-taller Clipboard Photographs Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Cementos Cruz Azul ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/958449/duraznos-house-v-taller Clipboard Duraznos House / V TallerSave this projectSaveDuraznos House / V Taller “COPY” Save this picture!© Miguel Valverde+ 31Curated by Clara Ott Share Architects: V Taller Area Area of this architecture project Mexico Daniel Villanueva, Miguel Valverde 2019 Year:  Lead Architect: Duraznos House / V Taller Photographs:  Miguel Valverde, Daniel Villanueva, Fernanda Leonel de Cervantes Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Projects Design Team:Sergio Chavez, Lorena Aguilar, Alejandra Duarte, Andrea Castro, Karina OrtegaCity:ZapopanCountry:MexicoMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Miguel ValverdeRecommended ProductsDoorsC.R. LaurenceCRL-U.S. Aluminum Entice Series Entrance SystemDoorsSky-FrameInsulated Sliding Doors – Sky-Frame ArcWindowsFAKRORoof Windows – FPP-V preSelect MAXMetallicsTECU®Copper Surface – Classic CoatedText description provided by the architects. Casa Duraznos is the natural result of a series of casual and organic connections. For starters, and considering that the project is placed in an urban area, the terrain had a very unique shape that allowed us to think and visualize a project without an entrance façade. Thus, the entrance was transformed into a promenade experience that degrades the city noise into the quietness of a home, a phenomenological event in which the first contact that the users have with the house is through walls that guide and surround them so they can later be surprised with a garden.Save this picture!© Miguel ValverdeSave this picture!SketchSave this picture!© Miguel ValverdeOther elements to consider for the overall design were the site and the program -which are going to always determine the result of any project-, and the clients, who in this case were an essential part of the project’s development. The clients had an initial inclination for exploring the elements that formed the haciendas in Yucatan, with this in mind we arrived at a project that searches to embody an atemporal formal language; a house that -likewise the haciendas- is fragmented, with different height spaces that allow each room to have its own atmosphere. Remembering how these haciendas were structured by the means of the arc and the weight the shape of the arc holds in the collective memory, we decided to also implement it but now utilizing concrete, a more contemporary material. At the same time, we also incorporated in the walls a stucco that refers to the chukum, a very common finish that could be found in these same haciendas.Save this picture!© Miguel ValverdeSave this picture!Ground Floor PlanSave this picture!© Fernanda Leonel de CervantesAll of these elements converge in Casa Duraznos, a project where the ground floor has different volumes that at every turn generate unexpected encounters with the landscape, while on the top floor these same volumes create a more intimate and private experience.  Throughout the house, we tried to generate a series of encounters between nature and architecture with the intention of emulating the behavior of the vegetation in Chiapas or in The Huasteca Potosina, where foliage can be found on any surface available.Save this picture!© Miguel ValverdeSave this picture!Longitudinal SectionSave this picture!© Miguel ValverdeOther elements to consider were the preexistent natural elements in the terrain. Inside the lot was a Guamuchil tree and since the beginning part of our intentions were focused on keeping the tree as the general main focus. Thus, a contained but open space was generated around the tree, allowing it to keep growing. Months later after the initial construction ended, the original owners of the house changed, meaning that the house needed to change too in order to accommodate the necessities of the new users. The new assignment was to expand the habitable space while maintaining the Guamuchil tree. The original outline of the house allowed easily the growth, continuing the same rich experience of nature in direct communication with architecture.Save this picture!© Miguel ValverdeSave this picture!SketchSave this picture!© Fernanda Leonel de CervantesAs we mentioned, Casa Duraznos it’s the natural result of a series of casual and organic connections.Save this picture!© Miguel ValverdeProject gallerySee allShow lessRenovation and Extension of a Heritage-protected Residence Building / AMJGS ArchitekturSelected ProjectsZeus+Dione Store / En Route ArchitectsSelected Projects Share ArchDaily CopyAbout this officeV TallerOfficeFollowProductConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesZapopanOn FacebookMexicoPublished on March 17, 2021Cite: “Duraznos House / V Taller” [Casa Duraznos / V Taller] 17 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogPanels / Prefabricated AssembliesTechnowoodGRP Siding Façade SystemGlassMitrexSolar GreenhouseMetal PanelsAurubisMill Finished Copper: Nordic StandardMetallicsHAVER & BOECKERArchitectural Wire Mesh – MULTI-BARRETTE 8130Enclosures / Double Skin FacadesIsland Exterior FabricatorsCurtain Wall Facade SystemsSealantsEffisusGutter Repair – TiteGutter3Aluminium CompositesSculptformAluminium Click-on BattensTiles / Mosaic / GresiteMargresPorcelain Tiles – Linea PrestigeMetallicsRHEINZINKZinc Roof Systems – Click Roll CapsTiles / Mosaic / GresiteTerrealTerracotta Cladding TileDoorsECLISSESliding Pocket Door – ECLISSE UnilateralWindowsJoskoWindows and Sliding Doors – ONE SeriesMore products »Save想阅读文章的中文版本吗?Duraznos拱形私宅 / V Taller是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream “COPY”last_img read more

Roundup Of All The Projected NCAA Tournament Brackets A Month From Selection Sunday

first_imgProjected NCAA Tournament brackets.NCAA BracketsWe’re about a month away from the start of the best three weeks of the college sports year. In roughly four weeks, it’ll be Selection Sunday. On March 13, the NCAA Tournament selection committee will unveil its 68-team field on CBS. Here’s what the bracketologists are currently projecting the NCAA Tournament to look like. CBSNo. 1 seeds: Oklahoma, Kansas, Virginia, Villanova. No. 2 seeds: Xavier, Iowa, Oregon, Miami. No. 3 seeds: Maryland, UNC, Michigan State, West VirginiaNo. 4 seeds: Dayton, USC, Iowa State, PurdueFull bracket. ESPNNo. 1 seeds: Oklahoma, Villanova, Kansas, Iowa. No. 2 seeds: Maryland, UNC, Oregon, Virginia.No. 3 seeds: Miami, Michigan State, Xavier, West Virginia.No. 4 seeds: Kentucky, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Dayton. Full bracket. FOX SportsNo. 1 seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, Oklahoma.No. 2 seeds: Iowa, Michigan State, Oregon, Miami.No. 3 seeds: UNC, West Virginia, Maryland, Xavier.No. 4 seeds: USC, Texas, Iowa State, Purdue.Full bracket.Sports IlllustratedNo. 1 seeds: Iowa, Villanova, Kansas, Oklahoma.No. 2 seeds: UNC, Maryland, Xavier, Virginia.No. 3 seeds: West Virginia, Iowa State, Michigan State, Oregon.No. 4 seeds: Baylor, Miami, Texas A&M, Purdue. Full bracket. And now, to get you in the mood for the NCAA Tournament: last_img read more

Parent of Hearing-Impaired Teenager Welcomes Literacy Enhancement Project

first_img As the parent of a hearing-impaired teenager, Marcia Hunter welcomes the Partnership for Literacy Enhancement for the Deaf Project, which, she says, will open up academic opportunities for her daughter and positively impact her future ambitions.In an interview with JIS News, Ms. Hunter says her 18-year-old daughter, who attends the Lister Mair/Gilby High School for the Deaf, puts no limits on herself.The talented teen, who is in Grade 12, already has a distinction in Visual Arts at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) level, and is preparing to sit additional examinations in Mathematics, Accounts and Information Technology (IT) in 2018.The proud mother who supports her ambitious daughter in her pursuit of a career as a teacher of the deaf in visual arts or mathematics, says the project is a positive step in the right direction to foster greater inclusion and opportunities for members of the deaf community.For his part, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, hails the initiative, which he says is in line with the Government’s national development agenda, which seeks to ensure that every member of society is included in the process.“If we are to truly move Jamaica forward, it must be with an effective education system that leaves no child behind,” Mr. Green asserts.Launched in September, the three-year project aims to realise five major objectives, including an increase in the number of deaf students functioning at age-appropriate levels for literacy development by 10 percentage points in all schools operated by the major service providers of deaf education in Jamaica.These are the Danny Williams School for the Deaf; Lister Mair/Gilby High School for the Deaf; and Excelsior Primary School Integrated Unit for the Deaf, in Kingston; Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf – Kingston and Mandeville campuses; Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf, St. James; May Pen Unit for the Deaf, Clarendon; Port Antonio Unit for the Deaf, Portland and St. Christopher’s School for the Deaf, St. Ann.Activities to be implemented to achieve this objective include diagnostic assessment of vulnerable students, specially designed reading competitions and workshops, reading boot camps and educational field trips.The second objective is the development of a Jamaican Sign Language (JSL) curriculum to be incorporated in schools for the deaf by 2020.It is expected that this will assist in developing students’ comprehension and critical thinking skills as well as act as a catalyst for students to access higher education.Pointing out that deaf persons using JSL have difficulty communicating written thoughts, Ms. Hunter says that the project comes at an opportune time, as it will assist her daughter in her exam preparations.“With the Literacy in English Language, it will improve her grammar and bring more awareness about language arts. It will also assist her in her exams and improve her ability to relate to a hearing person in terms of her writing,” she adds.Two other significant goals of the project are to have a minimum of 75 per cent of all teachers advancing at least two levels of JSL Communicative Competence at the end of the project; and to empower parents of the deaf to effectively parent and communicate with their children.To achieve this, the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) will be teaching parents sign language and effective parenting strategies. They will also be coached on how to read with their children using sign language, through the JAD’s Shared Reading Programme.Ms. Hunter, who is attending sign language classes at JAD, says being able to communicate properly with her child is important as this is the only way she can nurture the critical parent-child relationship, and is encouraging all persons, particularly parents with hearing-impaired children, to learn this language.“You have to find time for your child, especially if he or she has special needs. You need to be able to communicate with your child,” she says.Meanwhile, Project Manager, Tisha Ewen-Smith, says that with more than 90 per cent of students across the island’s primary and secondary schools for the deaf functioning below the expected grade levels in reading comprehension, the project will equip these children with the necessary skills to advance to higher education and improve their outcomes as adults.“The goal of the project is to increase the literacy level of deaf children in all schools operated by the major service providers of deaf education in Jamaica… and ensure equal access as clients, students and, most importantly, as citizens of Jamaica,” she says.The programme will impact more than 400 deaf children and their families as well as 100 educators in nine participating schools for the deaf.The Partnership for Literacy Enhancement for the Deaf Project is slated to run from April 2017 to April 2020, and is being implemented by the JAD, in partnership with international funding agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). As the parent of a hearing-impaired teenager, Marcia Hunter welcomes the Partnership for Literacy Enhancement for the Deaf Project, which, she says, will open up academic opportunities for her daughter and positively impact her future ambitions. The talented teen, who is in Grade 12, already has a distinction in Visual Arts at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) level, and is preparing to sit additional examinations in Mathematics, Accounts and Information Technology (IT) in 2018. The Partnership for Literacy Enhancement for the Deaf Project is slated to run from April 2017 to April 2020, and is being implemented by the JAD, in partnership with international funding agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Story Highlightslast_img read more

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing including individual benefits

first_imgOTTAWA – A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to join the middle class unveiled billions in housing help Wednesday that could make a difference to hundreds of thousands of households — but only in a few years when federal money finally flows to new units and tenant benefits.The release of the national housing strategy on National Housing Day was designed to tout tens of billions in planned and expected spending over the next decade and solidify the federal government’s re-entry into the affordable housing sector.Included in the plan was a promise to introduce legislation to make housing a fundamental right, create a new, portable housing benefit for low-income households, and prioritize funding for the most vulnerable populations like women fleeing domestic violence.But the plan itself rests heavily on provinces and territories kicking in matching funds, without which federal dollars won’t flow.Even then, it won’t happen until April 2018 and not until 2021 in the case of the new housing benefit.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the reason much of the money won’t be spent until after the next election in 2019 is because the federal government needs to take the time to get the details right and satisfy myriad local, provincial and territorial needs.“We are looking at the realistic horizon that is going to not just put a Band-Aid on the problem, but create the kind of deep change and lasting impact that we know Canadians are going to need,” he said at an event in Toronto.“When we say the federal government is back for the long term, we mean it — and that starts with getting it right from the very beginning.”NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the plan “timid” because of the delays in spending when the money is desperately needed now.And Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the strategy does nothing for lowering the high cost of housing ownership in major urban centres, only making a passing reference to exploring further options.What the plan does is pull together almost $10 billion in planned spending, $11.2 billion in housing money outlined in this year’s budget, and $4.8 billion the Liberals promised to keep spending on funding to affordable housing providers. The rest is all from provinces, territories and the private sector to total about $40 billion over a decade.There are also strict strings attached.A new housing fund to create 60,000 new affordable housing units and allow repairs to 240,000 more, through grants and loans, will prioritize mixed-income developments and require about one-third of all those units to be offered at 80 per cent of median market rents for a 20-year period. (A mix of other funding is poised to create an additional 40,000 new affordable housing units.)The $4-billion portable housing benefit could eventually help 300,000 households by 2028 and provide on average $2,500 a year in help, but only if provinces and territories match $2 billion in federal money and ensure the extra money doesn’t cause a jump in private rents. Mitigating inflationary pressures account for why the documents speaks of targeting the money to those in community and social housing.The strategy also says the government plans to create a federal housing advocate and table legislation to enshrine housing as a human right, requiring regular reports to Parliament on federal efforts to ease the housing burden for hundreds of thousands of families.The details of that idea and others in the strategy still need to be worked out, prompting municipal and housing groups to lend cautiously enthusiastic support for the plan.Recently released census data found that 1.7 million households were in “core housing need” in 2016, meaning they spent more than one-third of their before-tax income on housing that may be substandard or does not meet their needs.The government hopes the strategy will lift 530,000 of those families out of that core housing need category, help 385,000 more avoid losing their homes and lift 50,000 out of homelessness.Wednesday’s news included precious little help for Indigenous communities, which is getting a separate plan that Trudeau said the government is still finalizing. Separate plans are in the works for First Nations, Inuit and Metis.last_img read more

Ridehailing group says BC model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry

first_imgVANCOUVER — A coalition of businesses and interest groups advocating for ride-hailing in British Columbia says legislation introduced yesterday will just create an expanded taxi industry, not the ride-hailing services that customers expect.Ian Tostenson of Ridesharing Now for BC says members are “bewildered” that the future of ride-hailing in the province remains uncertain and the government hasn’t committed to a start date for the service.Tostenson, who also represents the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, says the coalition is especially concerned that the Passenger Transportation Board would have power to limit the number of drivers on the road, where they can drive, and also set rates.He says the organization was expecting to see legislation that more closely matched the customer-driven supply and demand model that exists in other jurisdictions.Tim Burr of ride-hailing company Lyft says the company sees legislation introduced Monday as a “procedural step forward” but the regulation and rule-making process will come next.He says the company is used to rolling up its sleeves to work with legislators and regulators in many jurisdictions and remains committed to working with the B.C. government to bring the service to the province.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Power outages experienced in Fort St John

first_imgFor information on power outages, you can visit B.C. Hydro’s website.Original story:FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A major part of Fort St. John is experiencing power outages this afternoon.According to B.C. Hydro, it was reported that the power had gone out at 1:41 P.M.The cause of the power outages is believed to be a Substation fault.Areas affected include South of 115th AVE, North of 79th AVE, West of 78th ST, East of 108th ST. UPDATE – B.C. Hydro says power has been restored as of 2:46 p.m. on January 8, 2019.Bob Gammer, Northern Community Relations for B.C. Hydro, says an electrician is currently heading to the Fort St. John substation to investigate the cause of the outage.“The cause is unknown at this point, but an electrician is going to the Fort St. John substation to investigate.” It is estimated that 8957 customers are affected by the outage.We will continue to provide updates as they become available.For more information, you can visit B.C. Hydro’s website.last_img read more

Food safety training program cancelled

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The food safety training program scheduled for, this Saturday, March 9, has been cancelled.The course was a food handling, sanitation, and work safety course designed for food service establishment operators and front line food service workers.For future events, be sure to follow the City of Fort St. John Recreation on Facebook. For more information, you can call 250-787-8178 or email [email protected]last_img

Towards an inclusive India

first_imgAmbedkar’s vision has revolutionised the socio-political atmosphere of modern India bringing a sea of change in the perception of democracy. Unlike the traditional thinkers, Ambedkar redefined ‘democracy not merely as a form of government but as a mode of associated living, and an attitude of respect and reverence towards fellowmen. To him, fraternity is the foundation and social endosmosis is the character of democracy. He was first to discover that social inequalities disallow economic freedom and mobility to a majority of Indian people and they are eternal; not just because they are endemic to caste system but because caste is the base of India’s economy sanctified by religion, unlike other societies in the world. Contrary to communists, Ambedkar viewed class as only the next door neighbour of caste. Also Read – A special kind of bondWith the Constitution, the beginning of a new India was heralded which was radically opposed to caste-ridden traditional society. Though discrimination on the grounds of caste was prohibited, soon it was realised that it alone was not good enough to uplift the excluded people of India. Affirmative action was approved as policy under Article 16 (4). The provision ‘for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State’ has a scope wide enough to accommodate all the socially deprived classes apart from Dalits and Tribes. And ‘Backward class’ as Ambedkar stated in the House, ‘is what the State says it is’. The job of identifying a backward class is entrusted to the Backward Class Commission constituted under Art. 340. It’s remarkable that the Constitution does not mention any caste in particular, barring the general reference to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under Articles 341 and 342 to be notified by the President. However, the entitlement is only under the sole criteria of ‘Backward Class Citizen’ whether one is from SC, ST or OBC. Ironically and naturally, ‘caste’ became the only practical criteria for identification of backwardness. Also Read – Insider threat managementAmbedkar, a statesman, dreamt of India as a nation with liberty, equality, and fraternity, but found the caste system as a strong impediment on the path. He prophetically cautioned that ‘political power in India had long been the monopoly of a few, while the many are not only beasts of burden but also beasts of prey. But these downtrodden had now become impatient to govern themselves’. Urge for self-realisation in the downtrodden classes must not be allowed to devolve into a class struggle or class war. To avoid this, the establishment of equality and fraternity was necessary.” Such an appeal from an iconic leader of struggle for equality could never end up as a voice in the wilderness. Excluded classes, overlapping castes, soon realised that they did not receive their due share in the new democratic power structure, be it in the sphere of politics, professions or services; and what followed was a massive social awakening which has impacted the nature of politics in the country. ‘Social engineering’ has become a common phrase in Indian politics. India’s caste society couldn’t prove a fertile ground for ‘Class Struggle’ of Marxism while Gandhism, proved no more than a romanticised justification of caste society of India. Nehru’s socialism was a mixture of Gandhian ethics and Marxian economics. All the three shied away from questioning the basic roots of injustice – the caste system. Ambedkar fearlessly condemned not only the institution of caste but also the religion that sanctified such irrational undemocratic institutions. He believed in democratic socialism aimed at nation building by empowering and mainstreaming the millions of victims of caste society – an ideology unheard before in the traditional India of inequalities. He profoundly observed that ‘while reason may mitigate the conflict it can never obviate the necessity of such a conflict of interest’ between few dominant classes and the vast majority of dominated. He expounded that ‘what makes one interest dominant over another is power. That being so, power is needed to destroy power.’ Hence his emphasis on political empowerment of the weaker sections. Surprisingly and contrary to a fallacious conclusion of many, Ambedkar’s call was not restricted to or monopolised by Dalits, it crossed the divides and appealed to the majority of other ‘lower castes’ of Hindu social hierarchy – the backward classes in Mandal’s language, or for a sociologist, the occupational castes of Indian economy; shepherds, blacksmiths, washermen, barbers, weavers, potters, fishermen, and agricultural communities. History was made when Mandal Commission recommendations were translated into action by central legislation. Ambedkarism was seen paving way for an inclusive and enlightened India. Ambedkar, however, never could have possibly visualised that the logical culmination of the struggle for equality one day would be a constitutional arrangement of reservations up to fifty per cent in jobs and educational institutions. But far from sounding sinister, it is only a natural course of state action in order to compensate the historical injustice perpetrated against not only the Dalits, but also the majority of Shudras’s – the fourth ‘Varna’ of Manu’s Social hierarchy, and mainstream them. The political economy of India, which is still predominantly controlled by the institution of caste, long shut the doors on these excluded masses. Only the state sector could come to their rescue. Some states have provided reservations for minorities too. New demands for reservation are arising from various castes/classes across the country. The prospects are unknown though, the message is loud and clear; a challenge to the traditional power structure and a struggle for empowerment. Now Parliament has passed a bill on reservations in favour of the economically backward too, of course, the Savarns – the upper castes. Though eyebrows were raised, this should not, however, be viewed as anti-thesis of Ambedkar’s ideology, for his philosophy is secular in spirit and his vision inclusive in content. It is aimed at nation building wherein fraternity is the foundation. Leaving political and legal ramifications aside, wider affirmative action towards more inclusion is not unjustified. Or else one day in future, today’s ‘Sawarns’ may end up as depressed classes and agitate for reverse discrimination. Social inequalities are a threat to nationhood. Ambedkar emphatically said that ‘to leave inequality between class and class, between sex and sex, untouched and to go on passing legislation relating to economic problems is to make a farce of our Constitution and to build a palace on a dung heap’. Ambedkar’s vision has acquired greater relevance today since more than economic development, social equilibrium with inclusive progress is seen as essential for the survival of India as a nation. It is remarkable that all political parties, including the Rightists, now openly claim to adhere to Ambedkar’s ideology. This is Ambedkarism in its full bloom. The journey from Homo Hierarchicus to Homo Equalis has begun! (The author is a senior Bureaucrat of Chhattisgarh. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Obnoxious middlemen

first_imgIt is an obnoxious sight – pandas waylaying for pilgrims to the Jagannath temple at Puri. Hordes of them barge into rail compartments even a couple of stations ahead, to solicit and importune, irking the very people, who give a pandit the exalted status of intermediary between them and God. Middlemen have become a part of our daily lives, not only in religion but in every activity; more so, in modern day India. The country needs to give serious thought to it since the actions of many are anti-national. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyOur wise ancestors used several strategies for the well-being of society, and for maintaining peace and order. While pujas, rituals, festivals, etc., were some, to engage people with healthy preoccupations and for disciplining their daily lives, unquestioned faith in re-birth was another. The concepts of adversity of accumulation of sins, and incentive for good deeds, on rebirth, were used to dissuade people from committing crimes. Prayer, worship and pilgrimages were thus prescribed for everyone. Also Read – The future is here!Temples, mostly located on hill-tops in villages, were made the focal points. Incessantly chanting the name of God and contemplating Him, people on fast would trek all the way to the temple. After circumambulation, they enter the sanctum sanctorum gonging the bell, where, chanting mantras, the priest performs the ritual of a puja; lighting camphor, he offers aarti; people pray. Then, after receiving teerth and prasaad, and resting for a while, the devotees would trek back. For a discerning eye, it is evident that the entire ambulation is a physical exercise; the vibrations of gong of the bell shake the cobwebs in one’s mind; chanting and camphor light provide focus on the God’s image; the mineral water, basil leaves and camphor of the teerth serve as a dose of preventive medication; prasaad is a small quantity of food taken after an exercise. And finally, resting for a while rejuvenates after a physical exercise. The imprint of God’s image lingers on for long in their minds, at least till they visit the temple again after a week. Physical and medical needs of the body are thus taken care of, while peace is restored to the mind. Furthermore, since the temple is seen from every corner of the village, the fear of God acts as a deterrent to potential criminals. There is rationale, wisdom, and concern of our ancestors for the health of people, and to regulate society on the path of righteousness. Similarly, the intended purpose of teerth-yatra was not only physical and mental health but overall reformation, the inducements being Heaven and salvation from rebirth. Take, for example, the Seven Hills of Tirupati. Journeying by bullock carts or trekking, camping at different places on the way, cooking simple food, chanting the name of God, people would move on, forgetting the mundane irritants back at home. Once on the top of the hills, they would camp at each of the 108 teerthas – natural springs/waterfalls; bathe and drink that mineral water; absorb sunlight; all the time chanting the name of God, and visiting the temple as many times as possible. While their bodies get treated with the mineral water and sun, the mind gets purified with the chanting and visits to the temple, and nature’s beauty. Finally, healthy, happy and contented, they reach homes after months, transformed into generous and helpful individuals. The priests, who have an important role to play in these religious exercises, become indispensable to carry our culture forward. The village priest also helps in deciding auspicious times, drawing horoscopes, and in performing pujas as remedies for evil to provide solace and anticipation to the common man. Yet, it is their promotion and perpetuation of irrational rituals for selfish ends that move society in reverse gear, as is presently happening. Even in this modern day, people anoint Hanuman with oil, and offer a garland of vadas; and pour sacks of cereals and pulses in river Yamuna, etc., that only pollute the rivers. Oil, vadas, cereals, and pulses, etc., could be given to the needy for their best use. They even resort to pujas in absentia by making necessary payments, thus defeating their very purpose. In this commercial culture, people are made to believe that a momentary glimpse of God is sufficient to wipe out their sins and provide salvation. Travelling by modern means of transport to reach the destination of pilgrimage, mobiles switched off for a few moments, the ritual is completed and one is back to his worldly contacts, pleasures, engagements and worries. Pushing the very intentions of reformation, and providing of mental peace and physical health to a back seat, it only helps in filling the coffers of the temple and the pockets of the pundits with their self-acquired superiority. When Vedas were declared as infallible and not to be questioned, the underlying rationale was to regulate society. But, since all the chantings, which are eulogies of God, are in Sanskrit, a language alien to the common man, the priestly class assumed the role of intermediaries between people and God; as if the omniscient God knows no vernacular. Further, overawing people with the frills of religion – ochre robes, vibhuthi, tuft of hair, etc., they made them bow and touch their feet in obedience in order to assert their supremacy. This monopoly over rituals was converted into a profession and into a commercial activity. It was such business that Christ had fought against at the cost of his life; it was these rituals that Buddha and Nanak rebelled against. Prayer, worship, and chanting of mantras are for communion with God so as to imbibe His ideal attributes. Although we have meditation and yoga that serve as alternative ways, having become ritualistic, we adopt the easy way by outsourcing the priests and promoting their business. Our reverence to the man of religion is still so much that we continue to bow and touch his feet. Dr Raman Singh, as CM of Chattisgarh, touching the feet of Yogi Adityanath on a public platform is a classic example, although Yogi is just another CM; a man who gets people killed in false encounters, and is a man whose followers kill humans in the name of cow-vigilantism with his blessings. It is all because of their self-acquired exalted status. Thus, the nuisance of the pandas and pundits fleecing people, only speak about the degeneration of the intended sanctity of the rituals. Often, there are also instances of swindling temples’ wealth. Yet, we have made them indispensable middlemen. In fact, for every activity we have thriving middlemen, touts, commission agents, etc., often using unethical means in collusion with corrupt officials and leaders in the government. There are touts in transport, passport departments, police, education, hospitals, et al, and for that matter, in every government department, who help the officials in amassing wealth. They are there even in courts. The situation is graver in matters relating to contracts, purchases, and major works. NHAI engineer caught taking a bribe of over Rs 20 lakhs from a contractor, recently, is only a symptom of the murk that has set in. It is humanly not possible to count the instances. Modern-looking Rajiv Gandhi had blessed the middleman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Rs 64 crore Bofors deal. It is with the blessings of the learned-brahmin PM, PV Narasimha Rao, that his son along with the middlemen colluded with the fly-by operator to swindle Rs 133 crores in the Urea Scam. Lalu Yadav, a man who started his life from a watchman’s garage to become the champion of the backward castes, and the CM of Bihar for years, and amassed wealth for generations, patronised middlemen in the Rs 945 crore Animal Husbandry Scam; and deprived the poor creatures of their fodder. CBI cases against Mulayam Singh Yadav, another champion of backward castes, for his illegal wealth are well known. Mayawati, the undisputed leader of Dalits and PM-aspirant and glamorous Jayalalithaa abused their authority to promote middlemen for having great lifestyles, richer than those of the richest. Augusta Helicopter deal and National Herald case also speak of the role of the middlemen in corrupt deals. So is the Aircel-Maxis case involving Rs 3500 crores. And, now we have the Rafale deal of Rs 35000 crores, snowballing into a big scam, that involves Anil Ambani and his middlemen along with those in PMO. The country is also aware of the Rs 50000 crore fraud of Mukesh Ambani in the Krishna-Godavari gas basin. We also have brokers like Harshad Mehta of stocks scam, middlemen of Radia Tapes of corporate corruption as standing examples of the obnoxious role of the breed of intermediaries. The list is too long and too scary. Now, these ‘fixers’ are all out to sabotage the independence of a pro-active Supreme Court also. Although the actions of some of the middlemen are obnoxious and a nuisance, they are innocuous and there is some service from them. Active endowments departments and appropriate regulatory mechanisms need to curb the negative aspects. However, danger looms large because of collusive corruption, which is anti-development and is thus anti-national. It is indeed internal aggression for the country. What can be done? The present machinery dealing with them being grossly inadequate, apart from the Lokpal and Lokayuktas already in place, it is imperative that new ministries are created at the Centre and States, exclusively to deal with matters of anti-corruption, vigilance and public grievances. It is also necessary to gauge their performance through a public perception index; and not by the usual statistics. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar is a retired IPS officer and a former member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Urban Meyer Winning not far off for Big Ten

CHICAGO – How does the Big Ten regain the respect of the rest of the college football nation? First-year Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said it’s pretty simple. “(We) have to win bowl games,” he said. “That’s the bottom line in all of this is to win.” The Big Ten’s bowl record in the last decade, however, would suggest that it’s something easier said than done. With a 34-51 bowl record since 2000, the conference has struggled to assert itself on the national scene while Meyer’s former league, the Southeastern Conference, has flourished during the same period. Nationally, the reality of bowl wins and losses may be fueling the idea that Big Ten football is – and has been for some time – an outdated art; a mired, old approach to football, and has been surpassed. And, despite its efforts, the Big Ten’s recent bowl performances hasn’t helped matters. In last season’s bowls, the conference recorded a 4-6 mark that watched traditional powers OSU, Penn State, Wisconsin and Nebraska all lose in their respective bowl games. For the SEC, however, last year was its sixth consecutive national championship and it’s eighth since the inception of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998. Locally, OSU has historically struggled in battling against its southern brethren -especially on the sport’s biggest stage. The Buckeyes are 0-8 against the SEC in bowl games – a lone victory came in a 31-26 triumph in the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas. That game has since been wiped from the record books in accordance with an NCAA-ordered vacation of wins from OSU’s 2010 season. Meyer said in his own experiences now at OSU, he’s noticed that the SEC may have an advantage in overall team speed. “I notice it on special teams. In spring practice I noticed that,” Meyer said. “So I just think overall athleticism right now we’re a little bit behind.” That need for speed, though, is something Meyer said he is addressing. “We’re recruiting with that motive, with that intention and I’m real proud to say it’s going very well,” he said. Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who will open this season at defending national champion and SEC powerhouse, Alabama, said it’s hard to paint the entire conference as inferior to the speed and athleticism of the SEC. “I think it’s a hard question, really, to even answer. Because I think everybody’s different. I think when people make the mistake of lumping the conference in not having speed or whatever it might be,” Hoke said. “When we’re playing the reigning national champion, they’re a terrific football team and they’ve done terrific things. We’re excited about the opportunity to go into a great venue, different venue, obviously, and go line up and see what happens.” Similarly, while Meyer said he would benefit from another year of familiarizing himself with the teams and players in the Big Ten, the former Florida coach said he anticipates that “winning is not that far off.” “The coaches in this conference would know much better than I would. I’ll know more obviously next year when you ask that same question. I’ll have a much better understanding because I’ll be in the stadiums and I’ll know the teams much better,” Meyer said. “But I know one thing: I’ve watched enough film this summer, there’s some very good teams in this conference.” read more