Every day of the year is Valentine Day for lovers but their arrow strikes on a very special day. Traditionally, February 14th has marked that special occasion and in modern times, the day brings with it a lot of offers to celebrate ties with someone special.
The sad part of the valentine day is ‘vulgarity’ which has come to be displayed in the name of valentine. While for some, the valentine day might be an occasion to express soft feelings, it had developed into a kind of terror for girls students who are being harassed by youth and forcefully asked to accept the valentine proposal or gift in full public view.
The young generation should decry vulgarity keeping in mind that this day is meant for expressing soft feelings only to those who nourish love in hearts.
Like in the other parts of the world, people in India would also be going to celebrate 14th February. There would be heavy rush of teenagers in gifts shop who are eager to buy cards for their lovers. But interestingly, the young generation is not aware of the fact that why 14th February is celebrated as Valentine Day and take part in celebrations merely to mark the occasion.
When interacted with a few of them and queried about the same, they responded that as the world is celebrating the day so they are and the most of them were quite oblivious to the actual reason. For them, the day was merely an opportunity to express their love and affection to their person whom they love so much. Most of the people have opinion that the day is celebrated only by those people who have girl or boy friend.
A young girl to whom I asked just to know after seeing greeting card in her hand why people celebrate Valentine and she said, I don’t why 14th February is celebrated as Valentine and what is the need of having knowledge about the history of the Valentine’s Day. “Simply buy a card and write whatever you want to tell your boyfriend/girlfriend and send it to him/her.” Another young boy, Aman said that this day is celebrated by lovers only, particularly those people who have girlfriend or boyfriend. He further said, it is appropriate day for lovers to express their feelings about their partners.
To gather more information to write a perfect article, I interacted with at least 25 young boys and girls outside college, cafeteria, and hangout places around city to ascertain as to how much they knew about Valentine Day?
Interestingly, none of them knew about the history of Valentine Day which is celebrated all over the world.
Gifting flowers and Chocolates on Valentine Day have now passed as in this Cyber era, a number of websites have come up with unique offers. Beside presenting exquisite jewellery to one’s beloved, these sites enable us to create special valentine websites very much like the Roman custom of name drawing of sweethearts.
The Valentine’s Day probably drives its origin from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. In the early days of Rome, fierce wolves roamed the woods nearby. The Romans called upon one of their gods, Lupercus, to keep the wolves away. A festival held in honour of Lupercus was celebrated on February 15. This festival was celebrated as spring festival. Their calendar was different at that time, with February celebrated in early spring time.
One of the customs of the young people was name-drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man drew a slip and the girl whose name was chosen was to be his sweetheart for the year.
Legend has it that the holiday became Valentine’s Day after valentine, who was a priest in Rome at the time when Christianity was still a new religion. The emperor at that time, Claudius II ordered the roman soldiers not to marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that as married men would want to stay with their families rather than fighting their wars. Valentine defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly married young couples. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned and put to death.
Valentine was beheaded on February 14, the eve of the Roman Holiday Lupercalia. After the death, Valentine was named a saint. As Rome became more Christian, the priest moved the spring holiday from February 15th to the 14th – Valentine’s Day.
Now the holiday honours saint Valentine instead of Lupercus.
Industrial development is the core of economic progress and prosperity of a country. In modern times it does not only help in attaining self-sufficiency but also adds to its importance in many other spheres.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is no less important than any other state in India, but its importance is based on factors other than industrial development. In this respect it may figure at the tail-end. What the valley has and sells are the handicrafts and in these it excels. The reason for the state’s lagging behind in the field of industry are not far to seek. Lack of proper infrastructure, difficult terrain, shortage of raw material, absence of any rail-head, expenses, transport, inadequate power supply and that too at a high cost, extreme climatic conditions in the valley of Kashmir and last but not the least the absence of vigorous entrepreneurial class, are some of the important reasons that are responsible for the state having industrially lagged behind.
But inspite of all these handicrafts, the state is making day-to-day progress in the establishment and development of small and big industrial undertakings. Something has been achieved in recent years. The pace of progress is now quicker.
The forest glory of the state is indeed, great. Pine, oak, deodar, kail, poplar, walnut and mulberry trees are in abundance. Kashmir willows, rosin and turpentine, and Paper and Board Factories at Miransahib, Silk factories at Jammu and Srinagar, a number of silk mills in the valley, joinery and plywood factories at Pampore, Match and Half-wrought factories at Baramulla, boat-making, Wood-carving and Wicker-willow works in the valley, Charcoal-making in Kathua district, furniture making and Saw Mills in almost every town, all owe their existence to the forests.
These forests yields in variety of medicinal herbs of repute like kuth, baladona, digitalies, artimesia, etc. these herbs provide the main raw material to the Govt. Drug Research Laboratories at Jammu and Srinagar and many other government and private undertakings in pharmaceutical industry working in the state. Many medicines of great values have already been manufactured and experiments are being carried on in the laboratories to add to them. The forest resources would shortly support a rayon grade pulp and yarn plant in Kashmir and a long fibre pulp and paper plant in Jammu. Our forests are also rich in wild life. Fur industry in the valley mainly depends on the fur obtained wild animals.
In higher altitudes there are grassy glades and alpine pastures, which provide grass to the flocks of sheep and goats. Sheep breeding is receiving considerable attention with the best merina cross-breed. Fine quality of wool from these sheep and even finer stuff from pashmina goats of Ladakh is obtained. Pashmina shawls and carpets made in the valley are famous all over the world. Govt. Woolen Mills and some other hand-loom factories at Srinagar are famous for their woolen and worsted fabrics for blankets, suitings etc., while Govt. knitting factory, Jammu’s annual turn over for warm pullovers, socks, jerseys and globes etc, is worth lacs of rupees. In addition, namda, gabba and lot many making is the heritage of Kashmiris.
Total live-stock in the state is estimated to be over several lacs. This live-stock provides hides and skins to leather-foot-wear industry in Jammu and stock for the manufacture of sole leather to sole leather plant at Muthi, and leather for shoes, coats and gloves, etc. to leather tanneries at Shaltang, Srinagar.
Fruit cultivation in Kashmir has been known from very early times and is an important source of wealth to the state. Export of apples, almonds and walnuts to the other states of India and foreign countries and establishment of big factories for the manufacture of jams and tinned preserved fruits being an annual income of not less than crore of rupees.
Cement factory at Wuyan is manufacturing 80 tonnes of cement daily. Switzerland’s geophysical conditions are more or less similar to our state, so a very big concern ‘H.M.T’ has recently started the manufacture of watches and telephone ancillaries at Srinagar. Similarly Chenab Textiles at Kathua and Mehra Textiles at Jammu are manufacturing staple yarn and cotton cloth respectively, while Kashmir Ceramics Ltd., Kathua is famous for the manufacture of sanitary goods, crockery and insulators, etc.
Moreover papier-mache, imitation jewellery, embroidery on woolen and silken clothes. Silver wares in their most attractive designs, copper utensils and Kangri-making in Kashmir valley. Flour-making, brass, copper, stainless steel and aluminium utensils making in Jammu and Kathua districts, chalk manufacturing at Udhampore and honey collecting industry in Udhampore and Doda districts are becoming popular everyday and there is a great demand for these articles from abroad.
The state has still to go a along way in exploiting the rich natural resourses fully. For this a great enthusiasm among the people, particularly the private entrepreneur, is required to supplement the efforts of the Government.
Our state is rich in forests. The slopes of the Himalayan ranges are covered with forests. They cover an area of about nine thousand square kilometers from which about 3 lac. Cu. Metres of wood is extracted every year by the Lumbering Department of the state forests are indeed, the wealth and beauty of our state. They are the green gold which brings about a net annual income of five crores of rupees to the state. This is the major item of income in the budget every year. As such they the most precious treasures of the state and must be guarded carefully. The state government spends crores of rupees annually on the preservation and perpetuation of these forests. The pine, fur, cedar and walnut trees are very valuable. Many industries flourishing in the state, depend directly or indirectly on them. Much care is, therefore, taken by the government for their up-keep and preservation. A forest department is establishing where thousands of labours, hundreds of clerks and scores of officers work and earn their livelihood.
Rosin got from the pine trees is refined in the government Rosin and Turpentine Factory at Miransahib. Turpentine and its by-products are very valuable and are in much demand. The walnut wood lends itself to carving. Decorative pieces of wonderful designs are made out of walnut wood. Timber obtained from deodar and pine is used for making houses, furniture and boxes for packaging of fruits. The matches factory at Baramulla, silk manufacturing and weaving factories at Jammu and Srinagar, two very big leather tanning factories in the state, plywood manufacturing factory at Pampur, paint factories in Jammu and hundreds of saw-mills working almost in every town and city of the state. The forests provide wood for match sticks and match boxes. The willow trees provide us with soft, fine and elastic branches. These branches are skillfully woven into baskets and boxes etc. The wood is used in making costly bats and hockey sticks. These are prepared in the government Willow Factory at Miransahib. Paper and board Factory at Miransahib mainly depends on certain kind of grass and barks of trees which are found in the state. Boat, Shikara and Doonga making is also a big industry in the state. The wood used in their manufacture comes from the forest s. The medical herbs—Kuth, belladonna, dioscorea, digitalis, podophyllum, hyoscyamus, arthimesia, sentonine, pyrethsum etc. got from forests are processed upon in Drug Research Laboratories and pharmacies established at different places in the state and so many medicines are manufactured and exported to other countries. Handles of guns worth lacs of rupees are manufactured at Baramulla and the wood used in them comes from Kashmir forests.
Our forests are very rich in grass. Gujjars and bakarwals graze their herd of cattle and numerous daily farms are being run by them. Forests check the erosion of soil. They help a lot to raise up rainfall and make the climate moist and mild. Some of the health resorts in the state are situated at places where pine trees are in abundance. People from different parts of the country come and enjoy the summer days at these places. Kud, Batote, Bhadarwah, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sanasar etc. are the health resorts where thick pine tree forests are found.
Kashmir forests abound in wild animals like leopards, lions, bears, foxes, etc., the furs of some of these animals attracts customers from all over India and abroad.
The valley of Kashmir, tucked as it is in a ring of Himalayan hills, is one of the coldest parts of India. It is but natural that winter should stay longer in Kashmir than in the plains.It begins with October and ends with March. The two first months and the last are very pleasant and enjoyable. One enjoys long walks. According to the varying strength of cold, the season is divided into three parts. But 40 days from 20th December to the end of January called Chille Kalan are the best coldest. Then follows the Chilla Bachcha with its 10 days. Clouds bank up. The sky is overcast and threatening. A raw wind blows which makes people shiver. The sun loses its warmth and brightness. It often remains hidden behind clouds, mists and fogs.
In winter the valley presents a deserted look . Tourists and businessmen leave the valley and with them departs all hustle and bustle. The business in the markets and bazaar comes almost to a stand still. The government offices move down to jammu ; the gujjars drive their flocks down to the plains and a large number of labour class of the valley leave for Jammu or other places in the Punjab and Haryana to spend their winter and work for wages. Boatmen and coolies who have had their day, have practically no work to do. The craftsmen who are noted for their fine craftsmanship. However, do not remain idle. They ply their needle or do whatever their job requires them to do behind closed doors. There are no customers from outside, but buying and selling continues. Shopkeepers of course, do not do much business. They have to live on what they had earned during summer. Because of intense cold, little work is done in the offices. The schools are closed for the winter break. All outdoor activies remain almost suspended.
In winter the sky generally remains overcast with clouds. Often snow flakes accompany the rain. Sometimes severe snowstorm follows. There are heaps of snow everywhere. The streets and bazaars and fields and gardens are all covered with snow. No fruits and vegetables are to be had in Kashmir during winter. People have mostly to live on pulses and meat. Fresh vegetables are to be brought from the plains, but they sell very dear. There is not much of traffic in the bazaars. People cannot go from one place to another easily. The roads are cleared off the snow, but slush remains. Shoes get wet and clothes get soiled when you walk. The river and the lakes gets sometimes frozen. People cannot use Shikaras and Doongas for their conveyance.
During winter people have mainly to keep indoors. They avoid travelling during these days. To walk over the snow becomes a problem for them. If you do not have a slip you are very lucky. To keep the roads open for traffic, the government now employs bull-dozers and snow-sweepers, but still the buses , the cars and scooters are piled with the utmost difficulty. water is frozen into the taps like snow rods and one has to heat the tap to get water from it . People avoid taking bath. They are content with washing their faces etc., dry fuel is scarcely available. People take care to store it before the setting in of the winter. The wealthy and advanced families have taken to gas and electric stoves to cook their food. Electric heaters are used to warm the rooms.
Everybody in the valley during winter feels the string of the cold and their fingers become numb. Sometimes they get frostbitten. Children go about with their noses running. They have to use Kangris or room heaters to warm themselves. The biting chilly winds that blows, make moving about an uphill task. People find pleasure by sitting round the burning chimney or an electric heater working in an air-tight room only. Windows and holes that let in air are practically sealed. One should not form an idea that winter makes people unhappy. They enjoy themselves. There are festivities going on. They throw parties. They sit round the boiling Somavar or the tea-kettle. Hot tea without milk what is known as ‘Qahva’ but with sugar and salt refreshes them the most.