‘We Know Fabindia Is Not The Target, Muslim Community Is’

TK Rajalakshmi, a Delhi-based senior journalist, finds targeting of a festive clothing line for its Urdu title regressive. But she also feels Fabindia should have fought back the bullies

It is evident that the intention of the BJP MP, Tejasvi Surya, who targeted Fabindia for their clothing line ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’, was communal in nature. People are not dumb; they understand which community is being targeted when you accuse an ad of ‘defacing’ Diwali because it uses an Urdu title. (It is another matter that part of the title was itself not spelled correctly by both the MP and Fabindia) The media is replete with similar instances in the country nowadays targeting the minority community, either in direct or indirect forms.

Hindustani is an amalgamation of Hindi and Urdu and spoken in many parts of India. The Urdu vocabulary reflects in a lot of Hindustani words that we use in our daily interactions, like zindagi, darwaza, tareef, rang etc. One good example is halwa, part and parcel of Hindu religious rituals and festival food, which is of central Asian origin. Does that mean we boycott it too till we find a new indigenous term for halwa. That way even Hind and thus Hindu too are Persian words. Why can’t we see that it is all about amalgamation of culture or languages over the centuries, and how it has evolved over time?

Urdu itself is part of the two dozen recognised official languages in the country. It is spoken in many states as well. Does that have no sanctity? All languages enrich communication and widen forms of expression and thought. To associate a language with a particular religion and therefore damn it, is unthinkable in the 21st century.

I also found it bewildering on the part of Fabindia to withdraw the ad and issue a clarification that ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ was not its Diwali collection. They should have filed a case of criminal intimidation against the MP. There is a rule of law in the country. In fact the state government or the courts should have taken suo moto cognizance on the issue against the MP. By not doing so, anyone can in the name of majoritarian culture bully others on the flimsiest of grounds while the rest watch on.

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Fabindia is a fairly big brand with retail chains around the country. They should have stood their ground. I doubt if the controversy would have hit their popularity or profits. But by withdrawing their ad instead of fighting back it may well have an adverse impact. What kind of a message are they giving to their patrons and their suppliers, some of whom may belong to the minority community, by succumbing to the pressure?

This whole thing of what is indigenous and what is not is a bogus argument. Many festivals in India are celebrated by all. That’s part of our syncretic culture. Rather than being proud of the rich diversity of language, religion, attire etc, there are people who want to impose a bland homogeneity on us.

Does the MP himself not wear western clothes or Kurta? If he wants to be purely indigenous, he should wear only what people wore in ancient India and abandon all modern apparel, accoutrements technology including use of the smart phone. Will he?

Of course, such attacks are motivated. People are not fools, everybody knows who is targeted in such attacks. Be it the recent Fabindia ad now or the popular jewelry label Tanishq earlier (for showing an inter-faith marriage) last year. The greatest Urdu poet-lyricists of our country from Ghalib to Sahir, Firaq or Kaifi Azmi have given such great verses and songs. Are they not part of our heritage? Or should we boycott them too? Honestly, this has gone too far.

I don’t understand why other apparel brands did not come together and speak up against such bullying. Today it is Fabindia, tomorrow it will be one of them. It’s leading from one level to the other all because you want to target a particular community and constantly make them feel like secondary citizens. Where is all this going to lead us?

In his address to the nation on achieving the 100-crore vaccination mark against Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to encourage ‘Made in India’ products. Fab India products are sourced from all local manufactures in the country. They have a significant role to play in popularising block prints etc in cities and they have played some role to popularise rural artisanwork and craft. The ruling political class should look inwards when some of it leaders make such clarion calls that willy nilly might affect those concerns. People from all walks of life ought to speak up against this.

As Told To Mamta Sharma

‘I Wish Tatas Make Air India As Good As Their Vistara’

Debashree Mukherjee, 39, an HR Professional and a frequent flyer, says if Tatas can turn around a debt-laden Air India, it will be the revival story of the century

Before the pandemic struck, my husband, daughter and I used to travel a lot, both within the country and abroad. In the domestic circuit, Air India and Tata Group’s Air Vistara were most often our chosen carriers. However, for international routes, we didn’t prefer Air India because better services were available at the same price in other airlines. If we could transfer/interchange flyer miles to other airlines, we would do that too.

So when the Air India’s acquisition by Tata Group was announced recently, I felt connected. Given how people-oriented Tata’s policies are, I know that the current employees won’t be left in the lurch (unlike say the scenario at Jet many years ago). Having said that I am skeptical of the profitability of Air India. I don’t doubt Tata’s efficacy but I feel that Air India’s condition is very, very difficult and it will be mighty challenging for even Tata to pull it off.

The debt-laden airlines is in the best hands I believe, but is the best good enough? If Tatas can turn it around, there cannot be a better revival story than this. And given the fact that it was Tatas who started Air India before it was nationalised, maybe the emotional connect will bring about some solid changes. Tatas will have to be ‘disruptive’ if they believe that Air India can be brought back to its original glory.

Mukherjee says travelling is an experience be it for business or vacation

Travelling is an experience, be it for recreation or business and Air India needs to tap into that. A certain spark is missing in the airline, though we preferred it so far because of the extra facilities it provided – like an extra 10 kg baggage allowed in comparison to other airlines or an extra 30 kgs if you are a Star Gold member as well as complimentary meals.

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But how often do we need to travel with such heavy luggage? Not many times. Air India will need to be more people-centric and customise its services, which I believe Tatas can do. Even though there are confirmed complimentary meals, the food quality could definitely be enhanced.

While in domestic travel, the leg room in Air India is the same as all other airlines, when it comes to long-distance international travel, Air India has less leg space than other airlines. We travel business class and relaxation is right up there on our priority list as a family, since my little girl also travels with us.

Air India has come to represent India with its involvement in various difficult rescue missions, and I believe even after it is privatised, the sentimental value will continue to be there. I believe that will play an important part in rebuilding brand Air India.

And given how much I enjoy flying Air Vistara, run by Tata Group, if they can revive Air India and bring it at par with Air Vistara, none would be happier than me. Vistara has new world amenities, amiable and cooperative attendants and customised, good quality food services. The most recent flight that I took was with Vistara around September end and even in these times of pandemic, it was a good experience.

I sincerely hope the skies open up completely like before and we are free to travel the world again and explore its wonders.

‘Recycling, Not Discarding, Holy Idols Is True Worship’

Nashik-based advocate Tripti Gaikwad (33) is an eco-warrior who recycles idols and photo frames of Hindu religious figures often immersed in water bodies or abandoned by devotees

I am a religious person. I find it ironical that many believers who worship gods in idol forms and seek their blessings every day, also discard them once they wear out. You can find idols or framed photos of gods or goddesses lying under trees or floating in water bodies. By doing this, we are not only disrespecting our deities but also polluting Mother Nature.

Two years ago, I was watching a flooded river Godavari in Nashik when I saw a man at the bank carrying four large photo frames to be immersed. I reasoned with him not to immerse those frames as it would pollute the water. Instead, I suggested, he can make use of the frames by recycling them. The man relented and took away the frames back with him.

That is when I felt I need to push and formalize this idea to recycle discarded material. I spoke to my friends and we discussed the possible recycling methods and products to be made out of castoff photo frames and idols of holy figures.

Tripti with her team of volunteers at her recycling venture

We worked out that cardboard can be mixed with water and used for gardening. The wood had several uses and the idols could be turned into Plaster of Paris (PoP) for reuse as building material or for making toys. I then drafted a text message and sent it across several groups, asking to not throw away their old photo frames and religious statues as I could put them to good use.

The idea struck well. We immediately started receiving phone calls and the material. To date, over last two years, we have recycled more than 25,000 idols, statues and frames sent to us from across the country.

People from the nearby rural areas take Plaster of Paris from me and are using it as a putti for their houses. With wood we have started making chaff/straw while good quality frames are used to make trendy nests for the birds. We also get idols made of metals like brass, copper, even silver. We sort them and melt them for reuse.

Some of the recycled products at Sampurnam run by Tripti Gaikwad (right)

I am a professional advocate and this is my social project. I have also registered a foundation called Sampurnam Sewa foundation for the purpose and rented a place as our warehouse and workshop. We now are a team of around 20 volunteers who spread the message through social media/ Whatsapp and coordinate for collections.

I would like to mention that I find spiritual strength in my work as I feel I am trying to be in tandem with the earth. We harm nature without realising they these elements are also our gods who nurture us. Any harm to the nature will one day boomerang on us. Just as humans are either cremated or buried so our bodies are decomposed, the gods also want the same for themselves – turn them into soil. That is the true way to show our respect to the revered gods.

As told to Mamta Sharma

‘Online Studies Took Away The Zing Of My B Tech Final Year’

Shivangi Mishra, 22, completed her B Tech final year during consecutive lockdowns online. Mishra narrates what all she missed out

I was in my B Tech final year from KIIT University, Bhubaneshwar, when we heard the news about the outbreak of Covid pandemic. I was in the hostel, studying labouriously for the final exams and at the same time enjoying the hostel life with my friends.

As the pandemic and the panic spread, we were asked by our college administration to vacate hostel premises. Strict lockdowns were to follow. So, we bundled up our stuff and headed home thinking that the situation will be brought under control in a month or two and we will be back to our normal hostel life soon. However, in good time we realised the intensity of the outbreak the world over.

With no signs of returning to hostel to attend classes, we received information from the college administration about online classes. Studying technology online can be an uphill task for students. To make matters worse, many teachers as well students were not aware of the online education procedures; besides, there were intermittent network issues. To clear the concept, many a time several students would start asking questions at the same time. It seemed chaotic and much would get lost in the confusion.

We had always been to the classrooms hitherto where teachers were physically present and answered our queries. The online classes had their limitations. We struggled to complete the course. Many lagged behind. Those who were not good at studies suffered the most. It was very hard to face an examination after online classes for one whole year and that too for final semester exams.

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During first couple of months, we were completely confused on how to continue studies as the atmosphere at home is entirely different from that of a formal classroom. Sometimes I was frustrated with disturbance with family members moving around. But slowly I devised a routine. Also, as I missed my friends, I started catching up with them online. Despite all what I suffered in academic front, I am really grateful to my parents for their support. At times of Covid, we felt safe with family.

The examinations brought in fresh challenges. The weaker students who used to take additional help from the teachers post-classes and those who had joined the university from remote areas struggled the most.

The placements were also hard to come by as the interviews were done through online apps. It wasn’t the way we had prepared ourselves. A group discussion with interviewees and aspirants in a room is entirely different than how it is conducted online. We couldn’t see the expressions or the faces of the interviewees clearly. At times we couldn’t hear the subject or the arguments placed properly. I would consider myself lucky that I was able to find the position of an associated integration engineer with a private group.

Thankfully, things are getting better now, and students and teachers are getting well versed to online classes. However, online education can never replace the physical classrooms, the hostel life and the atmosphere of a college. I hope the pandemic ends soon and everything goes back to normal.

‘Youngsters Taking Drugs Need Empathy, Peddlers Punishment’

Varsha Vidya Vilas, 52, a social activist says we cannot tar entire film industry with the same brush when it comes to scourge of substance abuse

Over three decades back, when I was a teenager, an incident left a lasting impression on my psyche. I was waiting at a bus stop when I witnessed a well-dressed man looking dazed and lying halfway in a gutter. Apparently, he was under the influence. It made me wonder how addiction to any kind of toxic substance can do to a normal human. It became a pivotal moment for me.

Today, I have been working as an activist to reduce the menace of drugs. I a general secretary of the Nashabandi Mandal, a Maharashtra government-run body working under department of social justice. The recent Aryan Khan case has once again brought to light the deep scourge of drug abuse, especially among youngsters.

Children as young as 11 are falling for substance abuse. While addictions like tobacco or liquor are personal choices, drug abuse is something that has the capacity to make a society even a country compromise its potential.

Reasons for getting hooked to drugs range from peer pressure to conflict or abuse at home, pressure to perform in studies etc. It is also natural for youngsters to go towards what is forbidden, the taboo. We as adults need to inspire them towards a life of joy for these youngsters are unaware of the dangers of their actions.

Vilas has been associated with a de-addiction programme run by Maharashtra department of social justice

Some time ago there was this case of drugs being sold in front of a school disguised as toffees. We figured this out when once we went to a school for a regular seminar and the children appeared dazed. They were listening to our awareness programme but weren’t registering. It was during individual counselling that we found out that the local paan shop in the area was selling school children drugs.

In dealing with cases of substance abuse, we must remember that be it a child or an adult who has given in to addiction, needs our empathy and understanding. However, the peddlers should be strictly dealt with, for they are aware of what they are doing.

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Many people say it is the star kids or stars themselves who do drugs, but that will be tarring an entire industry with the same brush. In fact, it is these very celebrities whose voices carry our messages far and wide when it comes to India’s fight against drug abuse. Many Bollywood personalities have lent us their support to weed out this problem from society.

No matter what the reason behind Sushant Singh Rajput’s passing away, it did start a conversation. People became widely aware of the Narcotics Control Bureau with whom we actively work on schools and colleges. Society’s help, community’s participation are needed if we are to move towards nashamukti (deaddiction) and not just nashabandi (prohibition). We also take the help of trans-genders to fight the problem and they are known as vyasan mukti doors.

The war against drugs can be won, especially when it comes to the youth, by including them and not by ignoring or judging them. Parents need to take responsibility too. Our youths are our biggest asset and we need to handle them with care.

‘A Sexuality Coach Is Like A Wellness Guru, Helps Mental Wellbeing’

Pallavi Barnwal, a Delhi-based, certified relationship & sexuality coach, talks about sex illiteracy and why men still find it intimidating to date a sexuality coach

I have been working as a relationship and sexuality coach since 2018. It wasn’t a conscious choice. One thing just led to another. My transition from a regular corporate employee to being a sexuality coach began in 2017 when I started off by sharing my personal experiences through an anonymous page on Facebook.

Readers, both men and women, would reach out to me asking for help on their problems and queries related to sexuality. They said they couldn’t share it with anyone in person due to the fear of social judgment. Even now, a common pattern in all my discussions is: “You are the first person I am telling this about”.

India does not offer full-fledged courses in this field. There are a few institutes which offer courses on sex education but at the university level, there is no course except sexology which deals with clinical issues. However, not all issues in the bedroom require clinical treatment or medicine. Most people who reach out to me need acceptance, inclusion and lack of judgment.

I did one certification from an NGO on sexual health rights and followed it up with a couple of courses in the US. I am a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner now. Sexuality coaching is a wellness programme much like any other procedures that we have for mental, emotional and physical health but it goes beyond psychology. It takes into account one’s attitude, moral baggage, premonition etc. It is complex, not a cut-and-dried bunch of prescriptions. But thankfully, awareness is increasing about this profession.

Barnwal says sexual depression leads to objectifiction of women

One big challenge however is the social acceptance. A close friend once told me that in India it is difficult for a man to accept a wife who works as a sexuality coach. This was a punch on my face. I had been through one or two relationships where my partner would find it hard to tell people about my career and even if he did, people will find an excuse to label me. I have seen this hesitation in men I have been dating.

Even among my family circle, my profession remains a taboo. I recently shared a published article on my work in my family group, thinking it was worthwhile. It was met with radio silence. Contrast to that, when a cousin of mine was featured in a local newspaper, the extended family members fell over one another to congratulate her. But I am happy that my parents have accepted my profession and encourage me for the “good work”.

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Social media has been a great leveler and my biggest asset when it comes to both reach and acceptance. A lot of people have referred me to people in their circle. Social media gives people an anonymity shield so they could reach out to me without the fear of being judged, compared to reaching out in person.

More than trolls or criticism on social media I come across a patriarchal entitlement, where I get messages from men asking for my contact details, or indulging in inappropriate conversation. Reading some of the direct messages on social media, I feel we have rapists roaming free on the road. People don’t understand there is something called boundaries, online or offline.

There are so many perversions, distortions and an absolute lack of education when it comes to sexuality. There is sexual depression that leads to objectification of women and consent in relationships is almost non-existent. I feel that to make a sexual healthy society and mindset we need more professionals in this space. So I am in for a long haul here.

As Told To Mamta Sharma

‘All Youth Are Curious About Drugs; Only The Rich Has Access’

Dr Vani Kulhalli, a Mumbai-based child & adolescent psychiatrist says it is common for the youth to experiment new things for stimulation. She finds it unfair to selectively target Bollywood for substance abuse

Every human being needs a certain amount of challenge, something difficult to win over to give them a high – a certain amount of stimulation. This trait is particularly evident in growing years when, as an adolescent or a youth, one wants to try out or experiment new things, taking some risks. And there is really no limit setting over there.

Use of banned substance among the youth also falls under this category. On a lower scale, it could be compared to violating traffic rules or other rash behaviour on road. I would particularly like to say that it is not related to any social or economic status. What sets things apart is access. The degree of one’s access or affluence decides what he or she finds stimulating or challenging.

Having said that parental supervision and participation in their children’s lives is important. For children coming from privileged families, where parents often lead busy lives, a lack of supervision is generally witnessed. In addition, children have easy access to a luxurious lifestyle. They really don’t have anything to strive for, which induces a sense of meaninglessness to their lives. In comparison, a middle class child would long for and strive to achieve a certain thing in life.

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However, the longing for experimenting spans across economic strata. This is what leads the youth to break taboos. Some may try drugs while others steal sleeping pills from grandma’s box, pinch a cigarette from daddy’s packet, or snatch a swig from the bar cabinet. Taking things farther, if one is affluent, one may try out substance that are fairly expensive, not easily available and considered ‘hip’ in their circuit.

This is part of growing up and it has little to do exclusively with Bollywood children. The filmdom is full of stable families and responsible parents. Even when we come across some cases of broken or troubled relationships between parents, there is something called as a cohort effect, which is a behaviour unique to one generation. The child’s reaction in such cases will be different to what could be their parents’ reaction in similar situation.

Irrespective of the family or the affluence status, what makes all the difference is if the child knows there is a certain kind of supervision from the parents, it will act as a protective ring for him. If there is a warm relationship between the child and the parents where the child can express one’s fears or feelings, it will provide him or her a sense of belonging.

Parents need to understand one thing that between the age of 15years and 25 years, these things do happen but they should not take it as a judgment of the character of their child. They have to consider this as an alarm bell. They have to sit down, open a conversation as to what happened and how it happened.

As Told To Mamta Sharma

‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Is Over, This Govt Wants To Kill Kisan’

Sumit Choudhary, a protesting farmer from Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, who spoke to eyewitnesses of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, says there is consensus among residents that it was a premeditated murder

What happened at Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday (October 4) is beyond words. I have been to farmer protests in Delhi on various occasions and I can understand the spirit of the people of Lakhimpur Kheri who had gone to register their voice in the farmer protests. The new Central farm laws is an issue all the farmers are deeply wary of and concerned about.

How did the incident even happen? I believe it was a deliberate act, for how can you not have enough space to drive in an area where there is a helipad? Moreover, the vehicle did not stop immediately after trampling people. It is normal human reaction to stop immediately.

Sumit’s father Jaspal Singh (left) with farmers leader Rakesh Tikait

My father is the Mandal Mahasachiv (circle general secretary) of the Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Rakesh Tikait and one of his friends was present at the location where this incident happened. He shared the incident in great detail and was sad and agitated at what happened. He said: achanak se kafi afra tafri mach gayi aur logon ko kuch samajh hi nahi aaya ke kya ho raha hai. Tab tak kuch logon ki jan ja chuki thi. (There was a sudden commotion and no one could understand for a moment what was going on. Till the time people could make sense of things, a few people had lost their lives). Their bodies had been dragged for a little distance.

Both as humans, farmers and active members of the kisan union, this incident hit us differently. My father went to Lakhimpur Kheri post the incident, though I myself could not make it. And now even opposition leaders and other big party leaders are finding it difficult to reach the place.

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Sometimes I feel the government doesn’t care at all. The Prime Minister is busy creating an image both nationally and internationally (which was at display during his recent US visit) but doing little work on the ground to bring about solid changes.

Why doesn’t the PM do press conferences rather than just giving statements on how he thinks the farmers protests are motivated? We need dialogues, and very sincere dialogues at that. My father has been a part of the army before he turned a farmer full-time. Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan was our nation’s motto. How did we reach from Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan to Lakhimpur Kheri cold-blooded murder of farmers?

These farmers protests are based on Gandhiji’s principles. We can be beaten, but we won’t be kept down for too long. We are ready to take the long road and fight for as long as it takes. And I am sure people all over the country who make the democracy what it is, will understand that our cause is a genuine one.

‘Sidhu Has Harmed His Party, He Is A Bad Team Leader’

Dr Bhojdev Brar (22) from Amritsar says celebrities do not always make good politicians and all the good work by Navjot Singh Sidhu was undone by his image politics

Punjab politics is going through such confusing times, I wonder how things will shape up in the next few months when Punjab Assembly elections are held. I belong to Amritsar, the constituency of Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is slowly turning out to be one of the most divisive figures of Punjab politics.

I feel he is eyeing the Chief Minister’s seat in the strategic state as in these important times (because of farmer protests). But the way he is going about it doesn’t seem very well thought out. He seems temperamental, hasty in decision making and someone who doesn’t think too well before taking a step. Soon after he resigned, another minister from the Charanpreet Singh Channi cabinet, Razia Sultana, Punjab Congress General Secretary Yoginder Dhingra and party treasurer Gulzar Inder Chahal also resigned from the party. This then becomes more about a person and less about the interests of the party.

I don’t think image politics can influence the electorate deeply if there is no weight behind their words. These celebrities or personalities cannot just bank on their image or previous charisma to get votes, they need to keep interacting with the people who voted for them and upgrade their understanding. There are so many celebrities who are good at what they do, but aren’t able to walk the long road in politics.

Metro Man, Mr E Sreedharan can be considered an example. Sidhu has walked a longer and more active road than most other celebs (17 years in active politics), but I feel he still doesn’t know the art of walking in unison with others, he still considers himself above the party.

Dr Brar with farmer leader Rakesh Tikait (left) and with Dr Swaiman Singh (extreme right in green), a New Jersey-based cardiologist who came to India to support farmers protesting agaisnt Central farm laws

And in times like these, especially in the post-Covid world, we need compassionate, considerate and calm leaders; leaders who have the capacity to listen to people’s concerns as much as they can speak. Covid has shown us how each leader is important right from the ward level to the Prime Minister level and we can’t be lax with who we choose to power.

Sidhu has done some good work in Amritsar like building road, strengthening the metro bus service, but he should also look into important matters like reducing corruption at all levels, strengthening the administrative machinery and easing governance in general so that people find it easy to approach the government on important matters.

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Moreover, I feel surprised why doesn’t he stand secure in his own identity? Why is trying to pit himself as an alternative to Captain Amarinder Singh? He should focus more on what is being and not being done in his own constituency rather than galloping off to Patiala, the constituency of Captain Singh.

If many people say that Captain Singh is growing old, then the ex-Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh led the country efficiently even at an advanced age, an Sidhu is probably showing the folly of youth. Punjab needs leaders who are cool, calm, composed and yet not afraid to take the lead, if the situation so demands.

I am keeping a keen eye on the news developments and in these times of social media boom, celebs image can fall down as quickly as they can be built. So people should be careful about each step in politics. They should aim at serving the public and not their image.

‘Cryptocurrency Is Innovative; Risky But Rewarding’

An IT professional who started investing in cryptocurrency early this year reveals how the market operates and the risk it carries

I work in the IT Sector and have a fairly good understanding of how the cryptocurrency market works. I had kept an eye on the crypto market for several years but began actively investing only since April 2021. I needed time to get properly acquainted with the extremely volatile market.

Cryptocurrency can be described as totally unregulated digital tokens or coins, whose value often changes faster than you can pronounce the word cryptocurrency. It is not considered a legal tender and is definitely subject to market risks. These tokens exist on a widely distributed and decentralised digital ledger, known as Blockchain. Each different cryptocurrency has its own ledger or Blockchain.

Not only is the cryptocurrency highly volatile, it is also highly innovative and more and more players are joining the fray with each passing day. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency and other currencies in general are designed to keep government intervention and regulation at bay when it comes to finances.

The world seems divided between people who love cryptocurrencies and those who don’t. Governments across the world, including India, don’t encourage dealing in cryptocurrencies as those who don’t have a proper understanding of the market can be easily defrauded, since the market is an unregulated one.

Only a few days ago China’s regulators banned all cryptocurrency mining and trading, a move that sent Bitcoin (the most expensive) and other coins tumbling. Furious buying and selling is still going on and Chinese investors are scrambling to protect their digital assets. Many are saying that China is doing this because it wants no competition for the government-run digital currency in the pipeline – the digital Yuan.

ALSO READ: Bitcoin Nosedives After Chinese Crackdown

The most expensive digital coin in the world right now is Bitcoin that originated in Japan around 2008-09. 1 Bitcoin is equal to ₹31 lakh as of today morning. Compare this to the fact that $1 is equal to nearly ₹73 and you know how totally different the two markets can be. Other popular cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, USD-Tether, Dogecoin, Cardano, Ripple, Litecoin, Binance. Due to the Chinese crackdown Bitcoin fell to as low as $41,018.41, while altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies) saw an even deeper fall in value.

I have invested in cryptocurrencies like Ethereum primary, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Cardano, USD-Tether etc over the months. Overall you could say my cryptocurrency portfolio value (much like share portfolio in the stock market) has gone down in the past months due to volatility because of the Chinese crackdown. I haven’t suffered losses yet because I haven’t sold or traded my holdings, but their value has reduced drastically.

Most people do not have an understanding of how the crypto market works and they buy disproportionate amount of coins only to suffer losses; they have no idea that crypto coins can be bought in decimal units as well, known as ‘Token Decimals’. I had traded USD Tether (A US Dollar-based cryptocurrency) with Shiba Inu coins and the currency immediately crashed. Had I opened my trading window and sold off my holdings, I would have heard a huge amount that day, but I chose to play safe.

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The crypto trading and exchange works much like stock exchanges in real life and it is known as a Digital Exchange Platform (CEP) or Digital Currency Exchange (CCE). These software platforms are based on block chain. The top digital exchange platforms in the world are Binance.US, Coinbase, Crypto.com, Kraken, Gemini etc.

In India the main platforms are: Coin DCX, Wazir X (Indian Subsidiary of Binance Holdings),Coin Switch Kuber, Unocoin, Bit bns.

I would like Indians to try out the cryptocurrency market, though it is at a nascent stage here. Moreover, the financial sense of Indians is conservative and needs a little cleaning up too. We are too impatient and disparage a new financial model at the slightest hint of discomfort. I would say one should not only focus on making big bucks, but also be consistent with it.

The cryptocurrency market isn’t regulated by a SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) like body. Yet, the risk is totally worth it and with new players entering the market everyday, one can hope to make recovery fairly quickly. One should both thoroughly read about the market and know how to use one’s instincts when it comes to cryptocurrency. As they say in all financial disclaimers: investment is subject to market risk, read all scheme-related documents carefully.

As Told To Yog Maya Singh

(The identity of the narrator is kept undisclosed on request)