Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore known by his pen name Bhanu Singha Thakur, known by his sobriquets Gurudev and Biswakabi, was a polymath, poet and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as mercurial, he is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal". A Brahmo Hindu from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Burdwan District and Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At the age of sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha, which were seized upon by literary authorities as long-lost classics. By 1877 he graduated to his first short stories and dramas; as a humanist, universalist and ardent anti-nationalist, he denounced the British Raj and advocated independence from Britain.

As an exponent of the Bengal Renaissance, he advanced a vast canon that comprised paintings and doodles, hundreds of texts, some two thousand songs. Tagore modernised Bengali art by resisting linguistic strictures, his novels, songs, dance-dramas, essays spoke to topics political and personal. Gitanjali and Ghare-Baire are his best-known works, his verse, short stories, novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism and unnatural contemplation, his compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work; the original surname of the Tagores were Kushari. They were Rarhi Brahmins and belonged to a village named Kush in the district named Burdwan in West Bengal. Rabindra-biographer Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyaya wrote in the second page of the first volume of his book named "Rabindrajibani O Rabindra Sahitya Prabeshika" that, "The Kusharis were the descendants of Deen Kushari, the son of Bhatta Narayana.

The youngest of thirteen surviving children, Tagore was born on 7 May 1861 in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. Tagore was raised by servants; the Tagore family was at the forefront of the Bengal renaissance. They hosted the publication of literary magazines. Tagore's father invited several professional Dhrupad musicians to stay in the house and teach Indian classical music to the children. Tagore's oldest brother Dwijendranath was a poet. Another brother, was the first Indian appointed to the elite and all-European Indian Civil Service, yet another brother, was a musician and playwright. His sister Swarnakumari became a novelist. Jyotirindranath's wife Kadambari Devi older than Tagore, was a dear friend and powerful influence, her abrupt suicide in 1884, soon after he married, left him profoundly distraught for years. Tagore avoided classroom schooling and preferred to roam the manor or nearby Bolpur and Panihati, which the family visited, his brother Hemendranath tutored and physically conditioned him—by having him swim the Ganges or trek through hills, by gymnastics, by practising judo and wrestling.

He learned drawing, anatomy and history, mathematics and English—his least favourite subject. Tagore loathed formal education—his scholarly travails at the local Presidency College spanned a single day. Years he held that proper teaching does not explain things. There Tagore read biographies, studied history, modern science, Sanskrit, examined the classical poetry of Kālidāsa. During his 1-month stay at Amritsar in 1873 he was influenced by melodious gurbani and nanak bani being sung at Golden Temple for which both father and son were regular visitors, he mentions about this in his My Reminiscences The golden temple of Amritsar comes back to me like a dream. Many a morning have I accompanied my father to this Gurudarbar of the Sikhs in the middle of the lake. There the sacred chanting resounds continually. My father, seated amidst the throng of worshippers, would sometimes add his voice to the hymn of praise, finding a stranger joining in their devotions they would wax enthusiastically cordial, we would return loaded with the sanctified offerings of sugar crystals and other sweets.

He wrote 6 poems relating to Sikhism and a number of articles in Bengali child magazine about Sikhism. Tagore returned to Jorosanko and completed a set of major works by 1877, one of them a long poem in the Maithili style of Vidyapati; as a joke, he claimed that these were the lost works of newly discovered 17th-century Va

Suzanne Newcombe

Suzanne Newcombe is a scholar of modern yoga, investigating the "interfaces between religion and healing". She is known in particular for her work on yoga for women and yoga in Britain. Suzanne Newcombe grew up in Kansas, she studied religion at Amherst College in Massachusetts with a year at SOAS in London. She took a master's degree in Religion in Contemporary Society at the London School of Economics, she obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge on the popularisation of yoga and ayurvedic medicine in Britain. Newcombe is a researcher at the Open University, working on the sociology and social history of modern yoga and Ayurveda, she edits and helped to found the Journal of Yoga Studies, the "Modern Yoga Research" website. She is an INFORM research fellow at the London School of Economics. Newcombe has appeared on BBC television to discuss modern yoga and religious practices. Susan J. Palmer, reviewing Prophecy in the New Millennium for the Review of Religious Research, called the book "a rich and ground-breaking study that should stimulate a fresh interest in this enigmatic phenomenon."Benjamin D. Crace, reviewing the book for Nova Religio, describes it as "a concise introduction to prophecy, its history, current role, trajectory" that explores why prophecy "continues to persist as modernity fails and the world becomes interconnected."

Crace notes that "some readers will find the narratives more readable and interesting" than the scholarly analysis. 2013 Prophecy in the New Millennium: When Prophecies Persist, Routledge ISBN 978-1409449959 2017 The Revival of Yoga in Contemporary India Oxford Research Encyclopedias 2019 Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis, Equinox ISBN 978-1781796610 Yoga in Britain, the focus of Newcombe's research

Djiboutian Army

The Djiboutian Army is the largest branch of the Djibouti Armed Forces and is based in the Djiboutian capital of Djibouti City. Djibouti has upgraded its Ground Forces with advanced additions from domestic engineering and modifications, it must operate in mountainous and other rugged terrain, but it must do this without affecting the mechanized capability, needed to confront regional forces. The official tasks of the armed forces include strengthening the country against external attack, maintaining border security, it is responsible for the defence of mainland Djibouti. During peacetime the military of Djibouti numbers 9,000 with a reserve force of 7,000 Djibouti has a smaller military than its neighbors. However, its security stops against foreign incursions. In reforming the Djiboutian Army, most of the available attention and financial resources have been directed to the development of the Land Forces. Clashes with the Eritrean Forces, in 2008, demonstrated the superior nature of the Djiboutian forces’ training and skills, but highlighted the fact that the small military would be unable to counter the larger, if less well-equipped forces of its neighbours.

The army has concentrated on mobility in its equipment purchases, suitable for patrol duties and counterattack but ill-suited for armoured war-fare. The 2008 border clashes at least temporarily swelled the ranks of the Djiboutian army, with retired personnel being recalled, but the military’s size and capabilities are much reduced since the 1990s; as a result of tensions with neighbors during the 1980s and early 2002, the Djiboutian Army refined existing strategic concepts and formulated a plan to restructure its forces. Though wars were avoided, the threats from the 1980s and 2008 encouraged the army to address more its major defense disadvantage: lack of strategic depth, thus in the early 2000s it looked outward for a model of army organization that would best advance defensive capabilities by restructuring forces into smaller, more mobile units instead of traditional divisions. Over the years, Djiboutian Army has benefited from material and financial support of various countries such as France, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The amount allocated to defense represents the largest single entry in the country’s budget. During, since, the Djiboutian–Eritrean border conflict the army has exploded in size from its peacetime size of between 6,000 and 10,000; the Army has four military districts. Its maneuver units are: One armoured regiment Four infantry regiments Arms Regiment of Dikhil Bataillon interarmes d'Ali Sabieh Arms Regiment of Tadjourah Arms Regiment of Obock One rapid reaction regiment One Republican Guard regiment One artillery regiment One demining company One signals regiment One computer and information systems section One logistics regiment One maintenance company Djibouti has participated in international mission in Somalia and Sudan. There are 2,000 Djiboutian army personnel deployed abroad. Djibouti Armed Forces Djiboutian Navy Djibouti Air Force Citations Works consultedInternational Institute for Strategic Studies; the Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. Media related to Army of Djibouti at Wikimedia Commons