Which empire had more influence towards the world: the Roman Empire or the British Empire?

Which empire had more influence towards the world: the Roman Empire or the British Empire?

British Empire, undoubtedly. A brief comparison of the legacy of both Roman and British Empires would substantiate my answer.

Legacy of Roman Empire:

  1. The Idea of a Republic form of Govt.: Before Julius Caesar conquered Rome in the year 44 B.C, Rome was a republic. The republican govt. of Rome was headed by two Consuls, elected by common people and advised by a Senate. This was a revolutionary idea in an era of absolutism where a King had unfettered powers. Though democracy is said to have had its beginnings in Classical Greek city of Athens, this form of sharing of power was first implemented on a grand scale only in the Roman Empire. Many of the modern day nation-states follow similar govt structure characterised by separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.
  2. Roman Catholic Christianity: Romans purged Christianity when it was in its nascent stage circa 4 B.C to 312 A.D. But when emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 312 A.D. it was Rome that helped Christianity spread to far off lands in Europe. If Christianity is the most followed religion today, a lot of it is owed to the Romans, emperor Constantine in particular.
  3. Roman Architecture: Romans drew heavily from the Classical Greek architecture. Amalgamation between the two styles gave rise to the magnificent Greco-Roman architecture whose enduring legacy is felt even today. The White House building is a great example of the Roman architecture.

  1. Legacy of the British Empire:

Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution:  Magna Carta was a historic declaration by King John in 1215 AD. It was a document imposed on the King by a diverse of group of people primarily consisting of barons and merchants to restrict King’s powers. Its path breaking provisions granted much need civil liberties to people and ensured that the King’s actions were not arbitrary. This gradual move towards inclusive nature of political setup ultimately culminated into the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when Britain abolished absolutism to establish a constitutional monarchy wherein the Parliament, consisting of elected people, had the real power.

Thus as common people had more say in governance, they had the liberty to innovate without fear which is a crucial factor in making Britain the birth place of Industrial Revolution. Addendum,this broad inclusive nature of polity helped Britain emerge as a colonial power as the private merchants who are benefitting from Industrial Revolution were free to pursue trade with the colonies unrestrained by the diktats of the Crown.

Industrial Revolution: I consider this as the greatest contribution of Britain to the modern day industrial society. By the late 17th Century, conditions were ripe in Britain for the emergence of Industrial Revolution. People had the liberty to innovate and earn patents for their innovations without fearing usurpation by the Monarch as was the case with other empires of those times.

As new technologies emerged, they improved the industrial productivity of Britain drastically, marking the beginning of the prosperity that we see today. These technologies were adopted by Western Europe, USA, Canada and Australasia over the course of their history. Thus the roots of modern day prosperity lie in the Industrial Revolution pioneered by the British.

Colonialism: On the negative side, this is the worst legacy any empire has had over a vast range of countries. Africa is reeling under poverty today because of the plunder and expropriation of resources by the Europeans and British in particular when they colonised the continent. In South Asia too colonialism has had a devastating impact on the Indian Subcontinent making many nations impoverished and famished.

Fathering Prosperous Nations: In colonies where there was no significant indigenous population, the British empire had the opposite effect of Colonialism. In these colonies, the settlers from Britain rebelled against the Crown and established independent nations.These independent nations thoroughly adopted the technologies that emerged from Industrial Revolution and built strong, stable and prosperous nation states. USA, Australia, Canada are the quintessential examples.


From the above comparison, it can be said that British Empire influenced much wider geography over a far longer period of time compared to the Roman Empire. Even in terms of the significance of the impact each empire has had, the superior nature of British empire’s legacy in the modern day world is unquestionable.

We All Are Edward Hopper Paintings Now

“We are all Edward Hooper Paintings now!” is the cry of crisis of loneliness.

The 20th century American painter Edward Hooper has become the poster boy in the times of social distancing. The interiors of his paintings have detached individuals, urban landscape, self contained apartments where individuals exist but not community.

The immediate context of Hopper’s painting was Spanish flu, the Economic crisis and the Great Depression of 1930s and the two World Wars. The paintins created an American visual board of a chosen isolation, with a loss of human contact.

There are two ongoing major interpretations of his works.

The first is trying to find peace in the stillness, quite and tranquility in his paintings. It is however to be noted Hooper himself went through deep phases of depression throughout his painting carrier.

The Second interpretation is finding Hooper’s silent message that says “modern life can be very lonely” so seek out people before you become atomized individuals.

The lockdown has hit everyone in waves. We are not trapped inside the interior of Hooper’s paintings if anything at all he silently asks us to break from it.

“We choose modern loneliness because we want to be free. But when the freedoms of modern life are removed from us what’s left but loneliness?”

India’s World Heritage sites by UNESCO

The list of “World Heritage sites” declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (hereinafter ‘UNESCO’). The UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations and inter alia its objective is to encourage the identification, protection, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. In pursuance of the same, the UNESCO Conference adopted the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1972, emphasizing the obligation of State parties to take necessary measures for the conservation and protection of world heritage properties.

Cultural (30 Agra Fort (1983)
Ajanta Caves (1983)
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
Elephanta Caves (1987)
Ellora Caves (1983)
Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
Great Living Chola Temples (1987,2004)
Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
Historic City of Ahmadabad (2017)
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)
Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
Mountain Railways of India (1999,2005,2008)
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)
Red Fort Complex (2007)
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
Taj Mahal (1983)
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)
The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)

Natural (7)
Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
Kaziranga National Park (1985)
Keoladeo National Park (1985)
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988,2005)
Sundarbans National Park (1987)
Western Ghats (2012)

Mixed (1)
Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)

Sites on the Tentative List (42)
Temples at Bishnupur, West Bengal (1998)
Mattanchery Palace, Ernakulam, Kerala (1998)
Group of Monuments at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (1998)
Ancient Buddhist Site, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (1998)
Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab (2004)
River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam (2004)
Namdapha National Park (2006)
Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch (2006)
Neora Valley National Park (2009)
Desert National Park (2009)
Silk Road Sites in India (2010)
Santiniketan (2010)
The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Charminar (2010)
Mughal Gardens in Kashmir (2010)
Delhi – A Heritage City (2012)
Monuments and Forts of the Deccan Sultanate (2014)
Cellular Jail, Andaman Islands (2014)
The Glorious Kakatiya Temples and Gateways (2014)
Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India (2014)
Dholavira: A Harappan City (2014)
Apatani Cultural Landscape (2014)
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam (2014)
Monuments of Srirangapatna Island Town (2014)
Chilika Lake (2014)
Padmanabhapuram Palace (2014)
Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala (2014)
Sites of Saytagrah, India’s non-violent freedom movement (2014)
Thembang Fortified Village (2014)
Narcondam Island (2014)
Moidams – the Mound-Burial system of the Ahom Dynasty (2014)
Ekamra Kshetra – The Temple City, Bhubaneswar (2014)
The Neolithic Settlement of Burzahom (2014)
Archaeological remains of a Harappa Port-Town, Lothal (2014)
Mountain Railways of India (Extension) (2014)
Chettinad, Village Clusters of the Tamil Merchants (2014)
Bahá’í House of Worship at New Delhi (2014)
Evolution of Temple Architecture – Aihole-Badami- Pattadakal (2015)
Cold Desert Cultural Landscape of India (2015)
Sites along the Uttarapath, Badshahi Sadak, Sadak-e-Azam, Grand Trunk Road (2015)
Keibul Lamjao Conservation Area (2016)
Garo Hills Conservation Area (GHCA) (2018)
The historic ensemble of Orchha (2019)

Union Territories In India

What is Union Territories?

  • As per the Constitution provisions, during independence, the union territories were either not a part of India or they were too small to be made into a state.
  • Further, the States Reorganisation Commission in 1956 recommended generating a different category for these territories named Union Territory

History of Union Territories

  • The concept of a ‘Union Territory’ is unique to India.
  •  First introduced in the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, the term refers to those territories that were too small to be independent or too significantly different (economically, culturally or geographically) to be merged with the states that surrounded them. These territories were to be administered directly by the Centre.
  • The State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was inspired by the “major and minor provinces” that existed at the “close of the 18th century”. These were managed by governors and chief commissioners and the central government respectively.
  • Initially, the Constitution recognised four different categories of territories in Schedule 1: Former British India provinces (Part A), princely states (Part B), chief commissioner provinces (Part C) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (part D).
  •  When the states were reorganised, Part D became the basis for UTs. During the discussion on reorganisation of states in 1956, the States Reorganisation Commission recommended creation of a different category for these territories since they neither fit in the model of a state nor do they follow a uniform pattern when it comes to governance

UTs: Constitutional Status

  • The Union Territories are specified in Schedule I Part II of the Constitution of India.
  • These territories are administered in accordance with the provisions of Article 239 to 241 of the Constitution of India.
  • Under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal Ministry for all matters of Union territories relating to Legislation, Finance & Budget, Services and appointment of Lt. Governors and Administrators.
  • Every Union territory is administered by an Administrator appointed by the President under Article 239 of the Constitution of India.
  • In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry and Delhi, administrator is called Lt. Governor, while in Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep he/ she is known as Administrator.

8 union territories in India:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Ladakh and Puducherry.

Union territories with their own elected legislatures and governments:

Name UT established

Delhi. 1 November 1956

J&K 31October 2019

Pondicherry. 1 November 1954

Union territories without elected legislatures:

A&N Islands. 1November 1956

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. 26 Jan 2020

Chandigarh. 1 November 1966

Lakshadweep. 1 November1956

Ladakh. 31 October 2019

Power of Union Territories

  • UTs are administrated by the President acting to such extent.
  • Administrators of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi and Puducherry are designated as Lieutenant Governors.
  • The Governor of Punjab is concurrently the Administrator of Chandigarh. The Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is concurrently the Administrator of Daman and Diu. Lakshadweep has a separate Administrator.
  • The NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry each has a legislative assembly and council of ministers. Legislative assembly of UT of Puducherry may make laws with respect to matters enumerated in List II or List III in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution in so far as these matters are applicable in relation to the UT.
  • The legislative assembly of NCT of Delhi has also these powers with the exceptions that Entries 1, 2 and 18 of the List II are not within the legislative competence of the legislative assembly. Certain categories of Bills, however, require the prior approval of the Central government for introduction in the legislative assembly.
  •  Some Bills, passed by the legislative assembly of the UT of Puducherry and NCT of Delhi are required to be reserved for consideration and assent of the President.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Andaman islands are located in the Indian Ocean, about 600 km east off the southern coast of Myanmar (Burma), between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, to the north of Indonesia’s Sumatra island.
Ten Degree Channel. The Ten Degree Channel is a channel that separates the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands from each other in the Bay of Bengal. The two sets of islands together form the Indian Union Territory (UT) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Capital : Port Blair

Puducherry

Puducherry and Karaikal are situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe on the West Coast in Kerala. The city of Puducherry is the Capital of this Union Territory. It lies on the east coast about 162 kms south of Chennai (Madras) located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Capital: Puducherry

Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, India. Not all of the islands are inhabited, and only a few are open to visitors (permits required). Kavaratti, one of the more developed islands, is home to dozens of mosques, including the ornately decorated Ujra Mosque, as well as Kavaratti Aquarium, showcasing regional fish, shark and coral species.
Capital: Kavaratti

Dadar and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a region in western India. It is composed of two separate geographical entities: Nagar Haveli, wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, and, 1 km to the northwest, the smaller enclave of Dadra, which is surrounded by Gujarat.
& (Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to be one Union Territory by The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019

The town of Daman was chosen to be the capital of the new combined union territory.

Daman and Diu, a union territory in west India, consists of 2 separate areas divided by the Arabian Sea. The Daman Ganga River flows through the coastal town of Daman. Diu is a small island and mainland village. The Fort of Moti Daman, Diu Fort and 16th-century churches reflect the territory’s past as a Portuguese colony. In the town of Moti Daman, the Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is known for its gilt altarpiece.
Capital : Daman

Ladakh

Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947
Capital: Leh and Kargil

NON ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM)

The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War, largely on the initiative of then-Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral. The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia. Subsequently, a preparatory meeting for the First NAM Summit Conference was held in Cairo, Egypt from 5-12 June 1961.

ISSUES

  • While the loudest current rhetoric from the NAM is anti-west, its member governments show great ideological diversity across the spectrum. Both conservative Columbia and leftist Venezuela have recently hosted NAM conferences.
  • A conference – in this case the XVII summit of the heads of state and government of the Non-Aligned Movement – can do no more than issue media communiqués.
  • The NAM has merely a modest coordinating office adjacent to the United Nations in New York, and even its conferences are three years or more apart.
  • Its member states enjoy cohesion on a few issues. Historically, their heterogeneity ranged from absolute monarchs to socialist presidents. Some voted with France and NATO in the United Nations on most issues; others, such as Cuba, tilted towards the late Soviet Union.
  • The NAM anti-colonialism principle meant it gave full support to the armed struggles against settler Rhodesia, as well as apartheid Namibia and South Africa.
  • When the disintegration of the Soviet Union into 15 countries marked the end of the Cold War, many observers presumed that the NAM would wind itself up. What could its members now be non-aligned to? The answer turned out to be: non-aligned to the remaining world power – the US and its western allies.

SUGGESTIONS

  • The best way to get a sense of the NAM in the 21st century is to summarise its media communiqué at the end of its 17th summit which was hosted in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This laid out its objectives as
  • strengthening and revitalisation of the NAM;
  • strengthening international peace and security;
  • the right to self-determination.
  • The only case specified is a demand to end Israeli occupation of Palestine’s West Bank and East Jerusalem, and an end to Israeli occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights. disarmament and a nuclear-free Middle East (here, Israel and its A-bomb stockpile were not mentioned by name); the protection and promotion of Human Rights and the principles of the United Nations Charter; condemnation of terrorism, including specifically Da-esh, Boko Haram and al-Shabbab, and condemning the destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites.
  • Another theme was for reform in global governance. This included reform of the UN by strengthening the powers of the General Assembly, reforming the Security Council, and the need for geographic rotation and gender equality in choosing the Secretary-General.

A Short History Of Awadh Kingdom

Northern India during the latter half of the 18th century must have been absolutely beautiful. The area was home to the kingdom of Awadh, sometimes spelled ‘Oudh’ in older British texts and maps. Positioned near major rivers, Awadh was highly sought-after land as it was surveyed by encroaching Brits and contested for by the neighboring Marthas and Afghans. Multiple generations of rulers known as Nawabs looked after the citizens of Awadh while forging a beautiful city and culture. They built a wealthy kingdom able to protect itself. However, the Nawabs of Awadh began navigating the heavy hand of British imperialism in 1775 as their territories were divided and ultimately annexed.

In 1775, the fourth Nawab of Awadh, Asaf-ud-Daula, sought to maintain the flourishing culture of his kingdom after moving the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow. This transition moved the seat of power but also made Lucknow one of the most prosperous and glittering cities in India. As the fourth in line by blood to rule Awadh, Asaf-ud-Duala was no stranger to aesthetics, grandeur, and display; thus, blessing his capital and the world with cultural vibrancy and unique diversity. The Bara Imambara and Rumi Darwaza are two magnificent structures completed during Asaf-ud-Duala’s reign that speak to the uniqueness of Awadh.

The splendid Rumi Darwaza.
First, the Bara Imambara is the elegant hall and burial site for Asaf-ud-Duala. It features sprawling gardens and arcade-style underpasses that create a dynamic division between the lush inner-courtyard and the beautiful stone halls. It includes a maze of passageways and there’s a legend that a tunnel was constructed from Lucknow all the way back to the former capital, Faizabad.

Second, the Rumi Darwaza stands at 60 feet tall to welcome travelers in an out of the city. The extremely ornate arched gate is a beautiful example of Awadhi architecture and cultural style. Some of the beauty that was developed in Lucknow sadly succumbed to British influence as their hands dipped further and further into the population’s way of life. Awadh represents an untold history of India’s beautiful lost history. The remnants of the beautiful Awadh now remain in Lucknow apart of Uttar Pradesh, a state of northern India.

The Lady With The Lamp

Florence Nightingale was known for many roles throughout her life time, some which have even changed the world. This is a short history of how Florence helped build the foundation of a modern day professional Nursing.

Florence Nightingale~ (1820-1910)

During Florence’s early years, she became interested in how living environments and personal cleanliness impacted a persons health. This wasn’t a very popular interest at the time. In the late 1840s, Florence graduated from a nursing academy and began volunteering at a local health facilities where she continued to adapt her practices with each scientific advancement in disease prevention. Meanwhile, British hospitals were struggling with an ongoing outbreak of cholera in their facilities. Florence encouraged the British facilities to start improving hygiene practices by removing waste from living quarters and away from their consumable resources.

In 1853, the Crimean War broke out with the British and French fighting against the Russian Empire. At this time, the female nurses were not stationed at base hospitals but instead manned by a short supply of poorly trained male aids. By 1854, England was in trouble with regards to the loss of many ill and wound soldiers due to neglect and poor medical practices.

It was at this time Florence received a letter from the British Secretary of War asking her to organize a group of well trained nurses to provide effective care to the Soldiers who had been wounded and/or fallen ill at the British base hospital. She was elected head Nurse to run the British base hospital in Turkey. Florence spent endless days and nights providing care to the Soldier, Her knowledge and positive views on sanitization helped them established a clean and somewhat sterile work field. This prevented further spread of infection and disease which too decreased the death toll of the British dramatically.

The Lady with the Lamp portrait

Florence became famous to the Soldier during the Crimean War, by her endless care and concern for their well being. She would be seen carrying a lamp in the late hours of the day and night, walking up and down the aisles of stretchers. Florence would create conversation with those who could not sleep but also give comfort to those who wouldn’t be making it through the night. Many stories were passed along for years after the war of how Nurse Nightingale got them through the struggles of war and help them to return home to their families.

Post-war, Florence continued with her amazing work by advocating for the improvement of public health standards. She had been known to say; “pure air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness, and light. A healthy environment is essential for healing”. Florence was thought to have formalized nursing education when she established the first scientifically based nursing school. The ‘Nightingale School of Nursing’ open on 1860 in London, England.”

Today, Florence Nightingale does not only represent Nurses, but health care aids who maintain patient safety as well as the hard working individuals who provide house keeping and sterility to our facilities.

During this time of uncertainty, Nurses are facing something they never thought would happen in their lifetime never mind their career. They continue to sacrifice their mind body and soul to provide care to those who put trust in their hands. Nurses will continue to follow the governments best practice protocols that are provided until this fight is under control, eliminated and then prevented. There will be an end to this, there will be relief.

💬 “Sometimes I think I live in a gap between two worlds, one world that I have to wake up to, be adherent of the rules and live in a place that is dictated by others. A place I sometimes feel the fear of aging and dying before I have figured out what it is I am here to do. That other world is sweet, fresh and misty, inviting adventure into the unknown, melding ancient wisdom with new discovery; the sunlight turning into moonlight and the spell of eternal life is never broken. Perhaps in that gap I should repair the forgotten bridge from one side to the other, but truth be told, I don’t want to. I don’t want to because I don’t have the energy to fix what is broken within. I am a wild, wandering nomad, I belong everywhere and nowhere all at the same time, and in that gap between worlds, I am free.” ― Riitta Klint

Phrase: “Log Kya kahenge”

I’ve made fun of ‘log Kya kahenge’ since long time. But I’ve come to realise that I’ve it ingrained deep in my DNA. I know where have I inherited it from and I can see the repercussions of how it is affecting lives in and around me.

From Art to Habits to Education to Hobbies and Career choices. So many thing revolve around one God forsaken phrase.

It’s very easy to superficially rebel and revel in the hollow inspiration that follows. It is very difficult to filter negative core beliefs from your blood skin and bones.

Speak about nurturing the inner child but a lot of times it is brutally murdered by the demons of our benefactor’s misgivings.

One from Notepad

The master calls you home, you take in all you can.
You learn, you observe, you feel.
Between mysterious familiarities and divine epiphanies a new path appears.

The master sets you free, or you assume so.
The path is filled with visuals, sounds, sensation that engage the senses.

You’re in a trance, the path seems beautiful.
But little did you know, when the path turned into a distraction.

With the master, you are already home. Then where did the path lead to?

The truth is that
The Lord never let you out of sight.

You let the senses take over.
And all that you learnt, observed and felt in the master’s proximity was tested on that path.

Don’t worry, you’ll be given a chance again.
Just Don’t let your eyes off the master.