der Wille

Finance | National Identity | Sport


Read Next

The National Identity IV: India's original "Cold Start" and the day the Indian military nearly went rogue

Arun Singh strode away into the mountains of Almora, the heartland of Kumaon. If it felt like a betrayal of his close friend Rajiv Gandhi, it was at least a decision taken with a heavy heart. Thrice, he had been persuaded by Prime Minister Gandhi to continue as Minister of State for defense, but with the weight of the Bofors scandal sagging shoulders in the Ministry of Defense, he thought it was best to go. He had wrenched himself away to an altogether different world, far removed from Delhi not just in distance but even more so in time, and he had no intention of returning.

The year was 1988. A year earlier he helped oversee an operation which brought a freshly nuclear armed Pakistan and India to the brink of war.

The intervening years between 1974, when India displayed her nuclear might, and 1987 were largely peaceful, in the conventional sense. India and Pakistan didn't engage in open conflict, but as the arms race between the two neighbours heated up, so did the misadventures. In Operation Meghdoot in 1984, India wrestled control of the highest battlefield in the world, Siachen Glacier. With the Simla Agreement in 1972, failing to demarcate Indian and Pakistani territory, India for once, assumed a defensively-offensive posture to capture the area beyond point NJ9842, referred to as "thence north to the glaciers" in the Simla Agreement. As India had preempted Pakistan, India had the advantage of commanding the heights and used it to devastating effect to counter wave after wave of Pakistani attempts to gain a foothold on the glacier. More than thirty years on, India still controls the entire Siachen Glacier.

Perhaps buoyed by this daring manoeuvre, the Indian Army wasted little time in developing blueprints for future "preemptive" and "defensively-offensive" strikes. The Indian Government had, since Independence, assumed a purely defensive posture but under Chief of Army Staff General Sundarji, the military was at least ready to showcase its conventional might, as a sign of deterrence to Pakistan.

Does anybody remember why governments started Lotteries?

On The Lottery

In the beginning

The first recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC. These lotteries are believed to have helped to finance major government projects like the Great Wall of China. From the Chinese "The Book of Songs" (2nd millennium BC.) comes a reference to a game of chance as "the drawing of wood", which in context appears to describe the drawing of lots. From the Celtic era, the Cornish words "teulel pren" translates into "to throw wood" and means "to draw lots". The Iliad of Homer refers to lots being placed into Agamemnon's helmet to determine who would fight Hector.

The first known European lotteries were held during the Roman Empire, mainly as an amusement at dinner parties. Each guest would receive a ticket, and prizes would often consist of fancy items such as dinnerware. Every ticket holder would be assured of winning something. This type of lottery, however, was no more than the distribution of gifts by wealthy noblemen during the Saturnalian revelries. The earliest records of a lottery offering tickets for sale is the lottery organized by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. The funds were for repairs in the City of Rome, and the winners were given prizes in the form of articles of unequal value.

The first recorded lotteries to offer tickets for sale with prizes in the form of money were held in the Low Countries in the 15th century. Various towns held public lotteries to raise money for town fortifications, and to help the poor. The town records of Ghent, Utrecht, and Bruges indicate that lotteries may be even older. A record dated May 9, 1445 at L'Ecluse refers to raising funds to build walls and town fortifications, with a lottery of 4,304 tickets and total prize money of 1737 florins.[1] In the 17th century it was quite usual in the Netherlands to organize lotteries to collect money for the poor or in order to raise funds for all kinds of public usages. The lotteries proved very popular and were hailed as a painless form of taxation. The Dutch state-owned Staatsloterij is the oldest running lottery.

Rendering New Theme...