Monday, 25 April 2011

Alexander the Great failed to conquare Bangla region known as Gangaridai/Gangaridi


Statue of Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedonia (356 BC -323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedonia, a state in the north eastern region of Greece. He was born on 20 or 21 July 356 BC in Pella, the capital of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia. He was the son of king Philip II and queen Olympias. In his boyhood Alexander was tutored by the famed Greek philosopher Aristotle.
In 336 BC Alexander succeeded his father Philip II of Macedonia to the throne at the age of 20, after his father was assassinated. Philip had brought most of the city-states to mainland Greece under Macedonian hegemony, using both military and diplomatic means. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He succeeded in being awarded the generalship of Greece and with his authority firmly established, launched the military plans for expantion left by his father. In 334 BC at the age of 22, he invaded Persian ruled Asia Minor(now a days Turkey region) and began a series of campaigns lasting ten years.By the age of thirty Alexander was the creator of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ionian sea to the Himalaya.He was undefeated in the battle and is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time.
Asia in 323 BC,Nanda Empire and the Gangaridi Empire
Now a days all the histories, descriptions, stories what we find in text were written by the Greek writers and historians.Megasthenes, Arrian, Diodorus Siculus,Ptolemy, Periplus were the Greek writers, historians,geographist who wrote books about Alexander's travell,adventures and war histories. They described also about that times contemporary countries, their locations, people, their culture and custom and some other notable things.So, what I narrate here in this article all the informations are collected from their writtings.
Alexander when planned to invade India, he reached first in the north of Gandhara what is now Pakistan.That region including now a days Punjab, Alexander could conquare. He defeated a local Hindu ruler Porus, who ruled in the Punjab, in 327 BC.Then Alexander decided to march forward with his army.To come upto this region Alexander crossed the rivers Indus(Shindhu), Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi and reached the shores of river Hyphasis(now a days Beas river), a distance of about 390 miles from the Indus crossing. He wanted to move further eastward to Bengal and beyond. In the beginning Alexander tried to get information about his next campign destiny and the route. He was informed that the next empeir named Gangaridai/Gangaridi and situated on the bank of the river Ganga. According to his collected information, to make the journey possible Alexander started to build big boats by the local people. He needed 800 boats to enable him and the army to sail efter the Bengal campaign. Local people built the boats and it took almost two years to be completed. Within this time Alexander and his army got sufficient information about the Gangaridai/Gangaridi nation and their empair.
East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges river, was the powerful Nanda Empire of Magadha (north and west Bengal were part of the Magadhan empire known to the Greeks as Prasii) and the mighty Gangaridai/Gangaridi empire of Bengal (southern part of Bengal now a days Bangladesh) . From different sources under his boat building two years time, preparation time to invade Bangla Alexander and his mighty undefeated army got information of the Gangaridai/Gangaridi empire's military strength. Alexander heard that the king of Gangaridai/Gangaridi and his army allied with porisii (Nanda) empire waiting for a counter attack with 200000 infantry, 20000 cavalry-horses, 2000 four-horsed chariots and 3000 elephants trained and equipped with arms for war.
When all preparation were completed to invade Bangla or Gangaridai/Gangaridi empire, Alexander called a general meeting with all his troops and generals.In the assembling Alexander tried to pacify the fears of his troops and persuaded them to march forward towards Bengal that times  Gangaridai/Gangaridi. He appealed to their love of king, country and the Greek Gods. He tried to flowrished his troops courage and said that ''If stories could have defeted us we would have fled Asia long ago.'' The soldiers listended in silence and hung their heads.They didnot respond to the king's exhortations. Then Coenus, one of the generals came forward to speak to the king. He said to the king,''You are preparing to enter another world and seek on. India even the Indians don't know. That is a program appropriate to your sprit, but beyond ours.'' Coenus made a memorable point, that it was a noble thing to exercise self-restraint when all was going well.
Alexander was compelled to change his mind and plan when he saw that his troops and the other generals were unwilling to march forward for fighting with the Gangaridai/Gangaridi empire's army. Mean while, the ships he had ordered were ready for the journey. Alexander appointed his boyhood friend Nearchus, as the Admiral of the fleet. Then he sent much of his army with his general Craterus and admiral Nearchus towards the Persian Gulf and he led the rest of his forces back to home through Babylon.
According to the Greek writers Gangaridai/Gangaridi empair-that times Bangla rigion kept on flourishing at least upto the 1st century AD.
''Before ending this article, imagine yourself as a decendant of a mighty empire which had its glory and might to take a rightful position in the book of history.When we travell around the world  usually we visit different historical places, old civilization. We take  photoes and post them in internet and proudly say that I stood in the place where the mighty Ceaser, Pharaoh or Emperor stood. Funny enough when places and culture lays at our backyard unattended and forgotten. Now a days people forget their roots and heritage. I am not anti western but also I am a diehard Bangladeshi. I am not here to criticize the western culture but to promote mine. So here is a request, if you like something about being Bangladeshi be proud to share it and dicuss it''.
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This video clip is a part of a documentary film''In the footsteps of Alexander the Great''. British film maker Michael Wood has presented this award winning film from BBC in the year 1998.To make this film Michael Wood and his group started their journey from Greece following Alexander's route and reached in India. He traveled over 20,000 miles- on everything from foot,camels and horses-to helecopters, boats and jeeps through 16 countries and four war zones.

S: en.wikipedia.org (articles on Alexander the Great, Gangaridai, Megasthenes, indica, Nearchus, Coenus); bengal unconquared by Alexander-a article in google groups; harekrsna.com/sun(features july 2009-the history of ancient bengal); wastelandersdiary.wordpress.com(article-Gangaridai). 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Why not me

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So many things happen around us. But we don't have so much time to notice all the things. Small things have also a great impact for others. All these small things will make a big thing one day. Its we,who can make the things different from our position. So, ''Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.'' 

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Be a witness of a historical moment of Bangladesh on the 17th April 1971

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       History repeats itself.When Nawab Siraj-ud-Doulah had defeted at the war with the British at the Mango Grove in Palashi, Bangla region(Bangla,Bihar,Orisha) lost its freedom and was ruled over almost 200 years by the British.Then Bangla decleared  its independence officially from another Mango Grove at Baidyanathtola in Meherpur.
      April 17,on this day in 1971, the Mujibnagar government was formed by the elected leaders of Bangladesh --the 167 MNAs(member of national assambly) and 293 MPAs(member of provincial assembly) who composed the Constituent Assembly fullfilling their constitutional obligation to the electors, gave a true shape and constitutional perspective on this day, making the dream of an independent Bangladesh a reality.
      The Mujibnagar government is also known as the Bangladesh government-in-exile.Following the military crackdown by the Pakistani military in Dhaka and elsewhere on 25 March 1971,top Awami League leaders including some elected members of both National Assembly and Provincial Assembly crossed over to India for safety.By 30 March 1971, most of them were able to assemble in Kolkata.On 10 April,1971,the MNAs and MPAs who were able to meet together in Kolkata formed themselves into a constituent assembly in exile and drafted the proclamation of Independence.
       Proclamation of Independence formally announced by the Bangladesh government-in-exile on 17 April 1971.The formation of the Mujibnagar government and the proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh to the world, is really a red-letter event in our national history. The ceremony was held at Baidyanathtala(renamed Mujibnagar after the proclamation)in Vhobopara village,a border area in present Meherpur district.Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,who was then interned in Pakistan was elected President,Syed Nazrul Islam Vice President,Tajuddin Ahmed Prime Minister,M.Mansur Ali Finance Minister,M.Quamruz Zaman Home Minister,Khandakar Mustaque Ahmed Foreign Minister and General M.A.G.Osmani who was then a retired colonel and MNA elected from Awami League was made the C-in-C of the Bangladesh armed forces.
       A few platoons of the then EPR and freedom fighters were deployed for presenting the Guard of Honour.The ceremony started at 11 a.m. when Syed Nazrul Islam hoisted the flag,a small group sang the national anthem ''Amar Sonar Bangla''(my golden Bangla) in a chorus.Yusuf Ali, an MNA formally read out the Proclamation of Independence.Syed Nazrul Islam announced the formation of a sovereign government of Bangladesh,took the oath and introduced the ministers to the audience.Syed Nazrul Islam was appointed as Acting President and then delivered his speech. After that,Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed spoke at a press conference.The whole ceremony was witnessed by hundreds of foreign journalists who had assembled there to hail the birth of a new nation.
       The importance of establishing Mujibnagar government was it gave ''life and legitimacy'' to the national liberation war both internally and internationally.Look at the other movements like autonomous or nationalist movements that all were stamped very easily as separist movement.But Bangladesh efforts was stamped as a nation's liberation war movement.In fact, in case of failur to be successful to establish a sovereign country  the Mujibnagar government took all the responscibilities.
       The nation should greatfully remember the heroic courage,conviction and determination of the politicians,the freedom fighters and the people in general who sacrificed their everything for the cause of an independent countryof our own ---A hat off salute to them.
S:en.wikipedia.org;banglapedia.org;mujibnagar.com;the daily star-april 17,2005.

Hope, Love and Bangladesh Cricket

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  • Despite of all failure I am with Bangladesh.I know that Bangladesh have many obstructions  and problems on its way but  its coming forward.I am hopefull that my country is trying to go forward.I do belive that slow and steady wins the race at last.Hope for the best.We shall overcome somedays.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Concert for Bangladesh --The first benifit concert in the music history

Advertisement poster for  movie and album
In 1971, when George Harrison was approached by his Indian Bangali musician friend Ravi Sankar,for help for food and war ravaged Bangladesh, the concept of the superstar concert benifit didn't exit.
Ravi Sankar requested George Harrison that they should try to raise US $ 25,000 for the UNICEF fund to help the Bangladeshi refugees who took shelter in India.After hearing the details about the loss of lives and the liberation war of the common people then George Harrison stated that they must try to do something bigger than that.Thus the first concert for world humanity named today as charity or benifit concert took place on August 1,1971 at Madison Square Garden in New York in USA bannered as The Concert for Bangladesh.So in plain text we can say that The concert for Bangladesh was the first benifit concert in the modern music history.
The concert raised US $243,418,51 for Bangladesh relief,which was administered by UNICEF.An album was released later in 1971 and a concert film in video was released in 1972.In 2005, the film was re-issued on DVD accompanied by a new documentary.Sales of the movie and album ultimately generated more than US$15 million. In addition, the music album of  The Concert for Bangladesh also won the Grammy Award in the year 1971,it reached number 2 on the U.S. music charts and number 1 on the U.K. music charts.Sales of the album and DVD still now continue to benifit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.


To stage this concert George Harrison took contact with his other superstars friends,mainly the world famous previous band group ''The Beatles''.To organize this concert he could gether all the superstars in one stage.They were Ringo Starr,Eric Clapton,Leon Russell,Billy Preston,Ravi Sankar,Ustad Akbar Ali Khan,Ustad Alla Rakha Khan,Kamala Chakravarty,Klaus Voorman,British rock band Badfinger,Jesse Ed Davis,Don Preston,Carl Radle,The Hollywood Horns band group,Bob Dylon,George Harrison himself and some other performers as backing vocalists.The concert was organized within five weeks, all of the tickets were sold out(20,000 tickets were sold in two hours) and 40,000 people enjoyed the concert. 
Interesting news about this concert are that,it was the first live appearance for George Harrison since the breakup of ''The Beatles''.Bob Dylan staged his last live performence in August 1969 and he was still recovering from a near-fatal motor cycle accident.Eric Clapton who was still in the grip of heroin addiction and had been unable to attend any rehearsals untill the final sound check,a day before the concert.Eric Clapton was booked on every airline flight from London to New York city for a week before the concert.George Harrison requested John Lennon to take part in the concert with a condition that Lennon's wife Yoko Ono would not perform with him.John Lennon agreed,took part in rehearsals but left New York two days before the concert following an argument with Ono regarding his and Harrison's agreement that she would not  participate.
                                   

Performers of the Concert for Bangladesh
The anchore song of this concert was written and sung by George Harrison titled ''Bangladesh''.This song created a somber atmosphere as it was an appeal to help mission of helpless people in dire distress.A closer look at the text of the lyrics shows that George Harrison only talked of the plight of the common people.He didn't say even a singel word about the liberation war or did not try to justify the cause of Bangalis.This made the appeal more touching and took away any chance of creating any controversy. Harrison's effort to stage the first humanitarian concert was not only a unique effort but also a daring one too,because at that time the USA government and it allies supported Pakistan blindly.
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Concert for Bangladesh established the model for many Live Aid,Live 8 and Hurricane relief super star benifit shows that followed over the next 40 years.The main success of this concert was not only raising funds but also could excel the attention of the mass people in western world and the name Bangladesh was known all over the world.Remember that in 1971 media was not so powerful like today.There was no Internet or Cable TV like now.
The Concert for Bangladesh shows that music is not only for individuals pleasure, it shows that music can stand for a common humanitarian cause - setting the precedent that music could be used to serve a higher cause.
S:en.wikipedia.org;georgeharrison.com;beatlesnumber9.com/bangladesh.html;bdtalks.com;
classicrock.about.com;amibangladeshi.org;prairieprogressive.com/2009/7/29;concertforbangladesh.com;booksmusicfilmstv.com/GeorgeHarrison.htm