Tag: india

Indian Space Research Organisation

The Indian Space Research Organisation is the space agency of the Government of Republic of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to “harness space technology for national development”, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.

Formed in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) established in 1962 by the efforts of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his close aide and scientist Vikram Sarabhai. The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalised space activities in India. It is managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of The Republic of India.

ISRO built India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. It was named after the Mathematician Aryabhata. In 1980, Rohini was to become the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed two other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into polar orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications satellites and earth observation satellites. Satellite navigation systems like GAGAN and IRNSS have been deployed. In January 2014, ISRO successfully used an indigenous cryogenic engine in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.

ISRO sent one lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008 and one Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, which successfully entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its first attempt, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to successfully reach Mars orbit.[7] Future plans include the development of GSLV Mk III,(for the launch of heavier satellites), ULV, development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, further lunar exploration, interplanetary probes, a solar spacecraft mission, etc. On 18 June 2016 ISRO successfully set a record with a launch of 20 satellites in a single payload, one being a satellite from Google. On 15th Feb, 2017 ISRO became the first space centre in the world to send 104 satellites in a single rocket PSLV-C37 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre and created a world record, in which 101 satellites were from international customers of ISRO.

Source: www.wikipedia.com

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Afiun (Opium Poppy)

Poppy flower

Opium or Afiun is source of many chemical ingredients found wild in Pakistan.

The Origins of Opium

The earliest reference to opium growth and use is in 3,400 B.C. when the opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia (Southwest Asia). The Sumerians referred to it as Hul Gil, the “joy plant.” The Sumerians soon passed it on to the Assyrians, who in turn passed it on to the Egyptians. As people learned of the power of opium, demand for it increased. Many countries began to grow and process opium to expand its availability and to decrease its cost. Its cultivation spread along the Silk Road, from the Mediterranean through Asia and finally to China where it was the catalyst for the Opium Wars of the mid-1800s.

Farmer harvesting poppies

From Seed to Sale

Today, heroin’s long journey to drug addicts begins with the planting of opium poppy seeds. Opium is grown mainly by impoverished farmers on small plots in remote regions of the world. It flourishes in dry, warm climates and the vast majority of opium poppies are grown in a narrow, 4,500-mile stretch of mountains extending across central Asia from Turkey through Pakistan and Burma. Recently, opium has been grown in Latin America, notably Colombia and Mexico. The farmer takes his crop of opium to the nearest village where he will sell it to the dealer who offers him the best price.

4a3L

The Silk Road

The Silk Road is an 18th-century term for a series of interconnected routes that ran from Europe to China. These trade routes developed between the empires of Persia and Syria on the Mediterranean coast and the Indian kingdoms of the East. By the late Middle Ages the routes extended from Italy in the West to China in the East and to Scandinavia in the North. Opium was one of the products traded along the Silk Road.

Opium wars in the mid-1800s

Opium Wars

In order to fund their ever-increasing desire for Chinese produced tea, Britain, through their control of the East India Company, began smuggling Indian opium to China. This resulted in a soaring addiction rate among the Chinese and led to the Opium Wars of the mid-1800s. Subsequent Chinese immigration to work on the railroads and the gold rush brought opium smoking to America.

Opium den mid-1800s

Opium Dens

Opium dens were established as sites to buy and sell opium. Dens were commonly found in China, Southeast Asia, the United States, and parts of Europe. Chinese immigrants came to the United States in the Mid-1800s to work for railroads and the Gold Rush and brought the habit of opium smoking with them. Opium dens sprang up in San Francisco’s Chinatown and spread eastward to New York.

Chinese antique opium pipe set, ca. 1821

Chinese Style Opium Pipes

This antique opium pipe set, ca. 1821, highlights the exquisite details that could be afforded by rich Chinese opium smokers.

Opium smoking equipment

Opium Smoking Equipment

In addition to the traditional pipe, opium smokers could also use a lamp for heating the opium as well as various tools to manipulate the gummy substance.

Scales and the elephant-shaped gold weights

Weights and Scales

These scales and the elephant-shaped gold weights were used to accurately measure opium for sale.

MEDICAL USE

Opium plant anatamy illustration

Opium-An Ancient Medicine

Opium was known to ancient Greek and Roman physicians as a powerful pain reliever. It was also used to induce sleep and to give relief to the bowels. Opium was even thought to protect the user from being poisoned. Its pleasurable effects were also noted. The trading and production of opium spread from the Mediterranean to China by the 15th century. Opium has many derivatives, including morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and heroin. Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé.

Morphine

Morphine

In 1803, morphine, the principal ingredient in opium, was extracted from opium resin. Morphine is ten times more powerful than processed opium, quantity for quantity. Hailed as a miracle drug, it was widely prescribed by physicians in the mid-1800s. Morphine is one of the most effective drugs known for the relief of severe pain and remains the standard against which new pain relievers are measured.

Codeine

Codeine

Codeine, another component of opium, is medically prescribed for the relief of moderate pain and cough suppression. It has less pain-killing ability than morphine and is usually taken orally. As a cough suppressant, it is found in a number of liquid preparations.

Heroin

Heroin

First synthesized from morphine in 1874, the Bayer Company of Germany introduced heroin for medical use in 1898. Physicians remained unaware of its addiction potential for years, but by 1903, heroin abuse had risen to alarming levels in the United States. All use of heroin was made illegal by federal law in 1924.

Oxycodone

Oxycodone

Oxycodone is synthesized from thebaine, a third component of opium. Like morphine, it is used for pain relief. Oxycodone is taken orally. When abused, the tablets are crushed and snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.

4a8L

Opium: A Schedule II Drug

Oxycodone is synthesized from thebaine, a third component of opium. Like morphine, it is used for pain relief. Oxycodone is taken orally. When abused, the tablets are crushed and snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.

Current Medical Use

Opium (and the majority of its derivatives, with the exception of heroin which is Schedule I), is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its medical benefit but potential for abuse. However, various opium derivatives manufactured in combination with other medical substances (like Tylenol with Codeine) may be assigned to Schedule III, IV, or V under the Controlled Substances Act

FORMS

Poppies as Food

Besides being used for drug manufacturing, the poppy is also the source of poppy seeds which are greatly prized as a food source. Items such as poppy seed bagels and lemon poppy seed cake are sought after for their delicious flavors.

Poppy seeds

Poppy Seeds for Cooking

Poppy seeds for use in cooking can be purchased at local markets. The majority of poppy seeds used for food come from the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. Although these seeds do have opium content, the amount used for cooking purposes is extremely small. Consumption of poppy seeds can produce a positive result on drug tests.

Poppy garden

Poppies for the Garden

Poppy flowers come in a variety of colors and are prized for the beauty they bring to the landscape. In several states, various species of poppies are planted along the sides of highways for erosion control, for example, the red corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Although the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) has the highest concentration of narcotics, all poppies in the Papaver genus do contain some amount of narcotic.

Poppy seed perennial packets

Growing Poppies

Poppy seed packets can be purchased at many local shops that sell gardening supplies.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Bahadur Shah Zafar

Mirza Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar was the last Mughal emperor and a member of the Timurid dynasty. He became the successor to his father, Akbar II with his death on 28 September 1837. He used Zafar, (translation: victory) a part of his name, for his nom de plume (takhallus) as an Urdu poet, and wrote many Urdu ghazals. He was a nominal Emperor, as the Mughal Empire existed in name only and his authority was limited only to the city of Delhi. Following his involvement in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British exiled him to Rangoon in British-controlled Burma.

Bahadur Shah zafar
Bahadur Shah zafar

Zafar’s father, Akbar II had been imprisoned by the British and he was not his father’s preferred choice as his successor. One of Akbar Shah’s queens, Mumtaz Begum, pressured him to declare her son Mirza Jahangir as his successor. However, The East India Company exiled Jahangir after he attacked their resident, Archibald Seton, in the Red Fort.

Bahadur Shah Zafar presided over a Mughal Empire that barely extended beyond Delhi’s Red Fort. The Maratha Empire had brought an end to the Mughal Empire in the 18th century and the regions of India under Mughal rule had either been absorbed by the Marathas or declared independence and turned into smaller kingdoms. The Marathas installed Shah Alam II in the throne in 1772, under the protection of the Maratha general Mahadaji Shinde and maintained suzerainty over Mughal affairs in Delhi. The East India Companybecame the dominant political and military power in mid-nineteenth century India. Outside the region controlled by the Company, hundreds of kingdoms and principalities, fragmented their land. The emperor was respected by the Company and had given him a pension. The emperor permitted the Company to collect taxes from Delhi and maintain a military force in it. Zafar never had interest in statecraft or had any “imperial ambition”. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British exiled him from Delhi.

Bahadur Shah Zafar was a noted Urdu poet, having written a number of Urdu ghazals. While some part of his opus was lost or destroyed during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a large collection did survive, and was compiled into the Kulliyyat-i-Zafar. The court that he maintained was home to several prolific Urdu writers, including Mirza Ghalib,Dagh, Mumin, and Zauq.

After his defeat he said:

غازیوں میں بو رھےگی جب تلک ایمان کی

تخت لندن تک چلےگی تیغ ھندوستان کی
Ghāzioń méń bū rahegi jab talak imān ki; Takht-e-London tak chalegi tégh Hindustan ki
As long as there remains the scent of faith in the hearts of our Ghazis, so long shall the Talwar of Hindustan flash before the throne of London
Zafar was regarded as a freedom fighter and was made the Commander-in-chief of the mutiny soldiers.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Badshahi Masjid

The Badshahi Mosque (Imperial Mosque) in Lahore was commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Constructed between 1671 and 1673, it is the second largest mosque in South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world. It is Lahore’s most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction. The mosque’s architectural plan is similar to that of the Jama Masjid in Delhi; it also functions as an idgah. The courtyard which spreads over 276,000 square feet, can accommodate one hundred thousand worshippers and ten thousand worshippers can be accommodated inside the mosque. The minarets are 196 feet (60 m) tall. In 1993, the Government of Pakistan included the Badshahi Mosque in the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Badshahi Masjid Lahore
Badshahi Masjid Lahore

The mosque is located in Lahore, Pakistan, just opposite to one of the thirteen Roshnai Gate. It is a few miles away from Tomb of Jahangir. The Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal lies beside the mosque.
1671–1849
The mosque was constructed by the sixth Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who, unlike the previous emperors, was not a patron of art and architecture. The mosque was built between 1671 and 1673 by him under the guidance of Fidai Khan Koka, who was his “master of ordinance”.
On 7 July 1799, the Sikh army of the Sukerchakia chief, Ranjit Singh, took control of Lahore. After the capture of the city, the Badshahi mosque was desecrated by Ranjit Singh, who used its vast courtyard as a stable for his army horses, and its 80 hujras (small study rooms surrounding the courtyard) as quarters for his soldiers and as magazines for military stores. Ranjit Singh used the Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden next to it, as his official royal court of audience. In 1818, he built a marble edifice in the garden facing the mosque.
In 1841, during the First Anglo-Sikh War, Ranjit Singh’s son, Sher Singh, used the mosque’s large minarets for placement ofzamburahs or light guns. It was used to bombard the supporters of Chand Kaur taking refuge in the besieged Lahore Fort, inflicting great damage to the fort itself. In one of these bombardments, the fort’s Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) was destroyed (it was subsequently rebuilt by the British but it could not be exactly restored in the previous state). During this time, Henri De la Rouche, a French cavalry officer employed in the army of Sher Singh, used a tunnel connecting the Badshahi mosque to the Lahore fort to temporarily store gunpowder.
In 1849 during the British Raj, the British continued using the mosque and the adjoining fort as a military garrison. The 80 cells (hujras) built into the walls surrounding the its vast courtyard on three sides were originally study rooms, which were used by the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh to house troops and military stores. The British demolished them so as to prevent them from being used for anti-British activities and rebuilt them to form open arcades or dalans.

1849–1947
Because of increasing Muslim resentment against the use of the mosque as a military garrison, the British set up the Badshahi Mosque Authority in 1852 to oversee the restoration and to re-establish it as a place of religious worship. From then onwards, piecemeal repairs were carried out under the supervision of the Badshahi Mosque Authority. Extensive repairs commenced from 1939 onwards, when the Punjab Premier Sikandar Hayat Khan took on the task of raising funds for this purpose.

It was not until 1852 that the British established the Badshahi Mosque Authority to oversee the restoration of the mosque as a place of worship. Although repairs were carried out, it was not until 1939 that extensive repairs began, supervised by the architect Nawab Zen Yar Jang Bahadur. The repairs continued until 1960 and were completed at a cost of 4.8 million rupees.
On the occasion of the 2nd Islamic Summit held at Lahore on 22 February 1974, thirty-nine heads of Muslim states offered their Friday prayers in the Badshahi Mosque, including, among others, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan, Faisal of Saudi Arabia,Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah of Kuwait. The prayers were led by Mawlānā Abdul Qadir Azad, the then khatib of the mosque.

Between 1939 and 1960, the mosque was repaired to bring it back to its original condition. In 1993, the Government of Pakistan included the Badshahi Mosque in the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2000, the marble inlay in the main prayer hall was repaired. In 2008, replacement work on the red sandstone tiles on the mosque’s large courtyard commenced, using red sandstone especially imported from the original source near Jaipur, India, bringing it to be nearly restored.
The architectural plan of the mosque is similar to that of Jama Masjid, built by Aurangzeb’s father Shah Jahan in Delhi. It combines the functions of both a mosque and an idgah. On the eastern side of the mosque is the entrance stairway which leads through a vaulted entrance constructed of red sandstone. The courtyard measures 276,000 square feet and is enclosed by single-aisled arcades. At each of the four corners of the mosque, there is an octagonal, three storeyed minar of red sandstone which has an open, marble-covered canopy. The courtyard is framed by four smaller minarets. The prayer chamber has a central arched niche with five arches on either side which is about one third the size of the central niche. The largest dome is behind the central arch and on its two sides there are two bulbous marble domes. Besides the mosque has symmetry as well as balanced clarity and proportions.

The minarets are 196 feet tall with an outer circumference of 67 feet and the inner circumference is eight and half feet. The mosque is built on a raised platform, which is reached by a flight of 22 steps. Though the rooms above the entrance gate are not open to the public, it is believed that it contains Muhammad’s and his son-in-law Ali’s hairs.

The main prayer chamber is divided into seven chambers by engraved arches. On the top of the middle, there are three domes, one main and two minor which is a common feature of Mughal architecture. The courtyard is made up of brownstone slabs. The interior of the mosque is adorned with precious and semi-precious stones in floral design. The three chambers on each side of the main chamber contains rooms which are used for teaching purpose. The mosque can accommodate 10,000 worshippers in the prayer hall and 1,00,000 worshippers in the courtyard. The courtyard is the largest amongst other mosques in the world

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail