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Sunrise/Sunset for 17th April 2007: Specifically for Meerut . Twilight start - 5:29am Sunrise - 5:54am Sunset - 6:47pm Twilight end - :7:11pm. Meerut Latitude : 29.5 deg N, Longitude : 77.05 deg E.

Post Mutiny exuberance

Belvedere

The stone noting the date of construction is missing. 1860s most likely . There are Ticket windows on either side of the main entrance. May have been a Theater or dance hall.


55A The Mall

Allahbad Bank Building now. Since early 1900s. The Duke of Connaught lived here in the 1880s. No idea who he was ? Well Connaught place is named after him. The name Connaught crops up here and there. You may know of a Connaught Castle in Mussoorie. He was Divisional General in Meerut. Don't know what that means. Neither do I :). Everything you wanted to know about the Duke of Connaught. A young Baden-Powell was on his staff here. A lot of information about Baden-Powell is available on the Web. More than for HRH the Duke of Connaught.Click here to see some of Baden-Powell's paintings. More .. Baden-Powell's contributions to Meerut. Baden-Powell did a lot in Meerut . He was associated with the Army Dairy. Set up a huge bakery and a soda-water factory. The bakery no longer in use, is in the Lal Kurti area . Almost all the bakery shops in Meerut have their links with Lal Kurti.


The Cantonment Railway Station - 1865

The Railways connected all the Army Garrisons of the time . And still do, as the Garrisons remain where the East India Company left them. By the time of Independence there were numerous Railway companies not just one . Profitable mostly.

An interesting observation is that even though the Army complexion changed from Conqueror to Defender, it was not thought necessary to relocate bases to reflect changed requirements. Quite possible an oversight, in the heady years following Independence.


A rare picture from the Internet of the Duke of Connaught, going somewhere from the Cantonment Railway station. What was the need for the rest of the paraphernalia? Now you know where we get the overhead for reacting to arrivals and departures of Ministerial incumbents. See more Colonial pictures here.


The Race Course - 1863

You can still bet here every single day .

An e-mail from Mr. Stephen Watson in Australia:
------
Here's a list 

 
Tracks Still Operating, Fully Professional.
Mumbai- Mahalaxshmi Racecourse*
Poona*
Calcutta*
Madras*
Bangalore*
Mysore*
Oootacumund
New Dehli*
Hyderabad (replaced Secunabad track in the 70's, therefore built recently)
 
Tracks Still Operating Semi- Professional or Pony Racing
Lucknow (Huge racecourse. 2 miles in circumferance. Twice as big as anything in Australia.)
Meerut  
Darjeeling-Lebong Racecourse
 
Tracks in India, not Operating or Demolished
Simla-Annanadale Racecourse
Coimbatore
Madurai
Shillong*
Barrackpore
Tollygunge Gymkhana
Mahalabeshawar
Baroda
Kohlapur*
Secundabad
Ambala
Rajkot
Nagpur
Indore
Faridabad
Cawnpore
Patna
Amadabad
Naini Tal
 
Tracks Now in Other Countries. all Demolished.
Karachi
Lahore
Rawalapindi
Dacca-Ramna Racecourse
Mandalay
Rangoon
 
That's 35 colonial-era racecourses (not counting Hyderabad) that I can list off 
the top of my head. I've collected photos from the internet of some of them.
Some others I suspect exist, but I've no evidence. For instance, 
I know there's off-course betting at Vijayawada,as in Meerut, 
but I dont know if it's at an old racecourse.
There are also plenty of Racecourse Roads in India, as in Australia.
I also recently saw an article about racing in the Punjab that listed 
half a dozen racecourses in places I'd never heard of. If I find it again I'll let you know.
The ones with the asterix, I've seen with my own eyes.
I did exaggerate a bit. I checked the Royal Calcutta Turf Club site. Racing in 
India was conducted under RCTC rules over 73 courses throughout India.
Calcutta was headquarters for racing in colonial times, these days it's Mumbai.
Lots of historical infomation on there http://rctconline.com/
 
Pretty obscure interest I have there isnt it? 
Regards, Stephen.
--------------

If you have any questions you can contact him by clicking here Mr. Stephen Watson's email (stephenwatson@dodo.com.au)

HAPPY HOLI !

Gardens are still green, flowers still blooming and they will last till May. Then everything goes up in smoke and fire. Holi really also signifies the end of the festive season. Press F11 to get the full impact of these colourful pictures. For those who think of Meerut as a town of the most visible garbage,stinking overflowing drains and unswept streets, these pictures should come as a surprise. Sure the only visible garbage bins seem to to be in the civil lines and cantonment areas. However just look, there are big and little gardens all over, Defence colony is one big garden at this time.


February - the end of winter

The seasons they are a changing. Our winters are a far cry from European and North American winters. Everyone sings and dances including the trees and fields. There is a tinge in the sunlight which colours everything with the colours of Paradise. And in few weeks all this will be torched. Did you notice in the Northern plains we don't really have an Autumn in the dictionary sense ?

Company Garden Meerut

A creation of the East India Company

The Cantonment was started after the Garrison perhaps in 1806. The Garden was certainly laid out before 1857.It had been named Gandhi Bagh in the 1950s.It is still called Company Garden by all.

The Kali Paltan( Platoon) ka Mandir, the Mandir at which Mutineers planned the initial strike in 1857 is still(?) there just behind these magnificent structures. It is / was a 15 foot by 15 foot footprint structure under a Banyan Tree. The temples are called Augarnath temples.


A List of Ships 1829-1830

This is almost 30 (Note: Laws from this time are still operate in Cantonments) years before the Mutiny. The trade mainly consisted of buying things from China. China needed very little they had to offer so opium was forcibly sold to buy Tea, Porcelain (it is still called China), Silk and possibly Jade. Tea was not grown in India yet (1830s). All the older tea growing Companies in Eastern India started off growing Opium. The Opium wars are an entire book by themselves. Rights to HongKong were acquired when an Opium war was won. They continued sporadically for over half a century. There are records in Meerut of Sepoys sent to fight these wars. Quite likely they were just told that they were fighting for a great cause, and not for forcing the Chinese to buy Opium.


150th Anniversary of the 1857 Mutiny

Preparations are on for 'celebrating' the 1857 Mutiny or as some prefer to call it The war of Independence. However what is in a name or a label? There is every indication that nothing really changed after the Mutiny or even after the Independence of 1947. The unshakeable system (Steel Frame :) ) which was introduced by the East India Company remained - still remains. At the core was an enormously thorough tax collection system . In fact it was this that rubbed a lot of our agrarian community the wrong way and was one factor in the fairly spontaneous outbreak. The introduction of cartridges ( as opposed to the old muzzle loading technique : the grease in the cartridges was supposed to contain both Cow and Pig fat ) was merely the spark that lit the gunpowder. You could study for years about what really happened or you could read something written by somebody who has already done the studies. Click here to read Dr. Hardiman's text. This site has much more than just Victoria's Empire.

Note:Put the mouse over this line to display an extract from Dr. Hardiman's text.

If you are searching for the truth then leave elegance to the tailor - Albert Einstein

A little recap of the heady days of British colonialism would be appropriate here. The French under Dupleix were already running a Government here in Madras in 1757. The British were content with the much more difficult process of making money - trading. Until an idiot called Siraj-ud-Daulallah decided to lock up 30 -40 British citizens in a small room with one window and forget about them. Robert Clive who was a clerk in the EIC was somehow given the responsilbilty of collecting an army and attacking .... Read about Clive here . The other significant events were the mutiny of 1857, after which the Crown took over . 1876 - when at a Dilli Durbar Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, 1903 when she died and the next one was proclaimed King, 1911 the most significant one when the Capital was at last shifted to Delhi from Calcutta - Fort William was the seat of Government then. It is maintained as if it still is :). Read about this Durbar here. The suggestion - of shifting - had been made right after the mutiny. In 1865 the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was incorporated. This had been written out in 1833 by Macaulay. So many of these rules and regulations were eyewash to justify the collection of taxes by the East India Company.

It is a grave mistake for Indians to relegate anything to do with the EIC as being inconsequential and historical, as it harnesses us today. The current sealing drive in Delhi is spearheaded by a relic of the EIC the Supreme Court. It so heartening to hear of concern for small business when confronted with the likes of WALMART :). Read Jeremy Seabrook's article of a few year's back here.

Click this link sent by Mr. Stephen Watson to see a review of some recent books on the subject.Plain tales from British India



A Barrel of Oil

Perhaps you noticed how a change in price in either direction sends shivers down the whole world developed and under-developed. You would expect every child and adult to know more about a barrel of Oil than just today's spot market price. Perhaps they do, I never conducted a survey. Certainly those working in refineries and trading on the spot market must know all the details. However I have never come across a better write up than the one starting on page 8 of the 2007 The World Almanac and book of facts. This is the break up : 1 barrel of Crude Oil has a capacity of 42 gallons - this gives 19.7 gallons of gasoline, 10 gallons of diesel fuel and heating oil, 4 gallons of jet fuel ( kerosene). 1.7 gallons of heavy fuel oil . 1.7 gallons of liquefied petroleum gas, and 7.6 gallons of other products. The total adds up to 44 gallons because of a reduction in density and a corresponding increase in volume. You can log on to their website at http://www.worldalmanac.com . The book contains the password it is facts.

Possible cut in Excise on Fuel

US prices about $2.25/gallon Indian $5/gallon

We must be grateful to the Government ( at the instigation of Sonia Gandhi ) for getting a small drop of our money back. This is from the Times of India of 8th August 2004 when Diesel was around Rs. 25/- Petrol Rs. 36/-. Of course our Government employs some very clever people. Rs. 5/- up. Then 25 paise down. And we are supposed to clap. Within 2 years prices are up a 50 whopping percent!! Check the pie chart carefully . The chart is from a news item by Soma Bannerjee and unlikely to be inaccurate. Soma Bannerjee is a specialist about Oil related matters. Are we still a backward country where oil is a Luxury item?

And here is a far more interesting topic for meditation. Let us say the current cost of petrol is Rs. 25/- . And all the taxes add another Rs.25/-. That is 100% taxation. It is 50% of what we pay at the pump. The international price is determined by all sorts of factors and beyond our control. Now suppose that increases by Re. 2/-. An innocuous percentage sign sees to it that we pay Re. 2/- to the Government too. In effect doubling the quantum of increase. Why ?


Petrol Prices in the US

Per gallon

Current prices in the US are around $2.25 per gallon . Indian prices are about double that! To see the latest US prices Click here


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