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Marching on

india Updated: Oct 03, 2009 02:53 IST
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Soldiers marching down the Tiananmen Square in a majestic display of ambition. Effigies of the demon king Ravan going up in raging flames on Dussehra. A 19-year old girl fighting off militants in a remote village in Jammu and Kashmir. And India crashing out of a cricket tournament.

It was a week of hope and heartbreak. See full page

China celebrated 60 years of Communist rule on October 1. As part of its biggest-ever display of military hardware, tanks rolled down once again down the Tiananmen Square, the sprawling city square where they had been deployed in 1989 to crack down on students demanding democracy. There was a dazzling display of military might, colourful floats and nuclear-capable missiles.

Back in India, one man with simpler weapons — just bows and arrows — got on to the stage across the country on September 28 in a centuries-old, mythical battle celebrated by millions of Hindus. Ram’s victory was celebrated with the burning of papier mache effigies of demon king Ravan, who he defeated. In other parts of India, people celebrated the puja Ram performed before the goddess Durga to gain the strength for that victory.

With celebration came tragedy. At least 42 people died on September 30 in a boat capsize in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, 12 of them from New Delhi.

And on the playground, India won but lost in the Champions Trophy in South Africa. India’s fortunes depended on Pakistan’s win over Australia – but that was not to be.

But India didn’t fall short on valour – in the faraway village of Shahdra Sharif in Jammu & Kashmir’s Rajouri district, teenage school dropout Rukhsana Kausar on September 27 fought off three armed militants who had barged into her home and killed one of them with his own gun.

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