Older than history, older than tradition, older than even legends, Haryana has been the crucible of Indian civilization. Its geography has shaped its unique place in the history of India, and given it an identity as the sentinel of our nation, a melting pot of diverse cultures, peoples and faiths.
Steeped in antiquity, replete with legend and lores, resonant with ballads and songs, it is here on the banks of the sacred Saraswati that Vedic civilization blossomed and flourished. In Haryana more than hundred early. Harappan sites(25000-2200BC) related to river Saraswati have been identified in the districts of Kurushetra, Ambala, Sonepat, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Hissar. Recent excavations conducted at Rakhigarhi (Hisar) indicate that it was possibly the largest and oldest Indus civilization site in the Indian subcontinent and promises to reveal new civilizational colours by pushing the antiquity of one of the earliest civilizations known to humankind by a thousant years or more.
It is here that the hymns of the Rigveda were first chanted, it was here that Lord Krishna chose to deliver the timeless sermon of ‘Bhagvad-Gita’-the song celestial, to a prevaricating Arjuna. Gita, the greatest gift of India to human kind, epitomises the fospel of selfless action i.e. ‘Niskama karma’. Encoded in our collective DNA’s, the Gita has been read and recited by millions of Indians through centuries. It is the voice of an ancient, arcane, and humane intelligence which permeates and illumines the deepest being in us. It offers solace to the distressed, guides the dithering and awakens the timid. The great scientist Albert Einstein once remarked, “When I read the Bhagvad Gita and reflect how God created the universe everything else seems to be so superfluous…..”
In ancient times the glory of Haryana had spread far and wide. A sixth century AD inscription found at Laos, beginning with an invocation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva extols the greatness of a place called “Kurushetra”. Devanika, the king of Laos, wanted to build a city called ‘New Kurushetra’ in Laos.
The Kuru Kindgdom is mentioned in sacred Buddhist texts as among the sizteen ‘Maha Janapadas’ or prominent states of India during Buddhas times. The Jatakas are unanimous in their admiration of the Kurus as the most virtuous people of their times, reputed for their wisdom, liberal disposition and sound health.
In the 7th century AD, Sthaneshwar or Thanesar (modern day Kurukshetra) became the seat of the most powerful and flourishing empire of India which straddled the whole of North India and beyond. Harsha Vardhan (590-647 AD) was a great emperor, a brave and fearless military leader, a benevolent ruler and a generous patronof arts and literature. Although a devotee of Lord Shiva himself, he did much to promote Buddhism in his empire. He gave to India an administration which was both inclusive and welfare oriented. After him, there were empires more extensive and longer lasting than his, and authors and poets more facile and ingenious than him, but India did not witness again a ruler of such multifaceted talents and determination, who could wield the scepter, sword and pen with equal aplomb, authority and flourish.
The sacred land of Haryana was visited time and again by prophets and saints. Lord Buddha, accompanied by his favourite disciple Ananda delivered some of his most profound and enlightening sermons here. Lord Mahavira, several of the venerable Sikh Gurus, Famous Sufi Saints Baba Farid, Bul-Ali Shah Qalandar and Sheikh Chaheli blessed Haryana’s soil with their presence.
It is here that wave upon wave of foreign armies invaded India and were enfolded to become a part of it – the decisive battles of Panipat that altered the trajectory of India’s history. On the 10th of May, 1857, the First War of Indian Independence broke out from Ambala. Transcending the barriers of caste and creed, the patriotic people of Haryana valiantly rose en-masse against the British. It took the entire might of the British empire six months to bring the whole of Haryana under their control. But before that the brave hearts of Haryana inked an indelible chapter of valour and patriotism with their blood which continues to inspire generation of Indians to this day.
As Haryana celebrates the fiftieth year of it creation, the nation applauds its march towards modernity and all around growth with pride and admission. It is a state which despite its small size packs a powerful punch and displays an impeccable track record of all around progress.
Generations after generations, the brave sons of Haryana serving the armed forces of our nation have maintained the territorial and sovereign integrity of India. Every tenth soldier in the Indian army hails from Haryana. Time and again they have proved their mettle on the battlefield, counter-insurgency operations and during natural calamities.
We are also India’s pride in sports, especially in contact and combative games. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, India won 3 medals, out of which two were bagged by Vijender Singh from Bhiwani and Sushil Kumar with roots in Haryana. The 2010 Common Wealth Games were a watershed in the history of Indian sports and out of the all time record 101 medals bagged by India, 32 were won by athletes from Haryana. Similarly out the 6 medals won by India in the 2012 London Olympics, 4 players belonged to Haryana.
That we produce fifty percent of the passenger vehicles, sixty percent of motorcycles manufactured in India, account for sixty percent of Basmati exports from the country, have the highest concentration of BPO work force of the world in Gurgaon, are the second largest contributor of food grains to the national pool and have the highest urban spend and the highest per capita income among the major states of India, is a testimony and tribute to the resolve, grit and determination of our people.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit. Haryana remains poised for sustained success because it is committed to excellence and the highest standards of equitable and inclusive development, proactive service delivery and good and humane governance.
The ready wit and earthy humor reflected in the candour and cadence of their language has endeared the people of Haryana to the nation and finds a place in popular media. The resilience of ‘Haryanvis’ reflects itself in their ability to laugh at themselves and the world at large with an exuberant confidence and egalitarian quirkiness. The lovable ‘Tau’ evokes an instant smile and twinkle in our eyes. The fearless swagger of our attitude to life will ensure that Haryana will continue to be the most favoured destination and of course ALWAYS HAPPENING1!