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Amarnath Pigeon Story




Have you ever heard of 2 Immortal Amarnath Pigeons? Does it sound too good to be true? In this short article today, we will cover Amarnath Pigeons Story and share this beautiful and mysterious story with you. 

Once you read the complete story of these Immortal Amarnath Pigeons, you will find it astonishing. And perhaps will be happier and lucky if you come across these Holy Pigeons the next time you go for the Amarnath Yatra.

Most of the Indians travel for Yatra, which is their holy ritual. Yatra is a Holy Journey where Hindus visit their sacred temples and pray accordingly to their beliefs. Amarnath Yatra is considered one of those journeys.

Amarnath is composed of two words “Amar” and “Nath”. The word Amar means, Forever and Nath means Life. People who have already travelled to this holy journey, and visited the temple, must also know about the two Immortal Pigeons present inside the Holy Amarnath Cave.

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According to Hindu history, It is said or believed that both of these immortal pigeons belong to the time Lord Shiva. It is also narrated that Lord Shiva came to this Holy Amarnath Cave along with Mata Parvati to tell the immortal story.

Amarnath Dham (Temple)

Location of the Amarnath Dham

Amarnath Temple is a cave located in Jammu and Kashmir for those who do not know. It is located near Srinagar at 141km at an altitude of 3,888m.

The cave is located in Lidder Valley and is heavily surrounded by snowy mountains, glaciers, and difficult terrains, covered with snow throughout the year.

During the summer, the site is opened by the administration for pilgrims who reach there to see the wonders and visit the Amaranth Cave because of its significance as Hindu Historians have narrated regarding Shiva and Parvathi. While you also visit to see the Shivling that is formed because of the snowy drops and Hindus believed it to be a divine miracle.

This temple is considered very sacred in Hinduism. It is believed that Lord Shiva stayed in this cave. Secondly, the water turned into ice coming out of Amarnath cave is considered a divine miracle.

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Indian Pigeons

Pigeons in the world are beautiful birds that people love to keep as pets. Pigeons in several cultures are believed to be sacred, magical, and astonishing creatures. In general, they are “Beauty Birds,” loyal, resilient, and friendly and in cultures, they are message carriers to deliver messages from one person to another.

In India, pigeons are believed to be mystical, related to Hindu histories, and loyal, humble, and beautiful birds. As the story narrated above, reveals that the chosen pigeons were to stay immortal and many yatris believe to have seen these pigeons.

Usually, Pigeons are adaptable and can live in different environments easily. Mostly people like to keep them, breed them, and considered them the symbol of love and peace. There are roughly 30 types of pigeons in the world and India has 10 different types of Pigeons, also called as “Kabootars.” But they are divided into two main categories. Domestic Pigeons and Feral Pigeons. Domestic pigeons are used as Hobby and Food, but feral pigeons fly wild and are adaptable to different surroundings and environments. The ten different types of pigeons in India include,

  • Laughing Dove
  • Spotted Dove
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Common Emerald Dove
  • Rock Dove / Rock Pigeon
  • Common Wood Pigeon
  • Red-collared Dove
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
  • Nicobar Pigeon

Amarnath Pigeons Story

Amaranth Pigeons

Historians have narrated Amaranth pigeons as Two Immortal Pigeons that are believed to be sacred and seen at the Amaranths cave. It’s quite fascinating and astonishing that at Amaranth’s cave no water or edible sources are available because it is far and difficult to reach the place.

Upon the journey towards the Amaranth cave, it is also believed that the dove sighting is the sight of Shiva and Parvathi. There are various mysteries that the historians describe and are quite interesting to talk about. We would also learn why Hindus do Amaranth Yatra every year and walk towards the difficult mountain terrain to see the Amaranth Cave and do Pooja for Shiva and Parvathi.

The story of 2 Immortal Pigeons started when one Mata Parvati asked Mahadev:

Why is it that you are immortal, and what is the secret of the garland of Narmund lying around his neck?

First, Mahadev ignored the question and did not consider it appropriate to answer. But Parvati was very eager and persistent, so Mahadev had no chance but to reveal the secret of his immortality and Narmund around his neck. 

Lord Shiva needed a private and isolated place where Mahadev could reveal the secret. Lord Shiva went along with Parvati to search for the site and later found Amarnath Dham. 

Once Lord Shiva, Parvati, and Mahadev got into the Amarnath cave, He ignited fire around the cave. As it was a great secret, He wanted it to be safe and hidden from any other creature. Once everything was set up, Mahadev started revealing the story of the mystical mysteries of life.

The Goddess Parvati falls asleep while listening to the story. Later, when the story ended, Lord Shiva’s attention went towards Parvati, who had fallen asleep.

Immortal Amarnath Pigeons

Once Mahadev finished the story, he realized that there were 2 white pigeons. He became furious. The two pigeons learned Mahadev’s anger and came towards him. They told Mahadev that they had heard his immortality secret and pleaded for forgiveness. Further, they argued that your story will become false if you kill us.

It is said that on this, Mahadev became lenient. He then gave a boon to both pigeons to remain in this temple for eternity and as the symbol of Lord Shiva and Parvati. 

This is why both of those two became Immortal Pigeons and are now known as Amarnath Pigeons.

Conclusion Amarnath Pigeons

The Indian history reveals the significance of Two Immortal pigeons, although the cave age is estimated to have 5000 years old, but yatris still today visit the cave to see and believe and watch the Shivling, formed from the water drops. Thousands of pilgrims reach pahalgam every year to visit the Shivling, Amarnath Cave and recite Ashlook and do Pooja in remembrance of Shiva and Parvati.

The Lidder valley is a tough terrain but pilgrims do not fear and reach the cave on foot. In July and August, and the Holy month of Savan, these sacred places become crowded by the pilgrims and yatris to see the mysteries and experience the presence of Shiva and Parvati.

It is considered a miracle that these two Pigeons lived here in such a freezingly cold, wet and remote place. Usually, pigeons live in a warm environment.

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How media reports of ‘clashes’ mislead Americans about Israeli-Palestinians



media reports of mislead Americans Israeli-Palestinias

How media reports of ‘clashes’ mislead Americans about Israeli-Palestinians

Maha Nassar, University of Arizona

Israeli police attacked mourners carrying the coffin of slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 13, 2022, beating pallbearers with batons and kicking them when they fell to the ground.

Yet those who skimmed the headlines of initial reports from several U.S. media outlets may have been left with a different impression of what happened.

“Israeli Police Clash with Mourners at Funeral Procession,” read the headline of MSNBC’s online report. The Wall Street Journal had a similar headline on its story: “Israeli Forces, Palestinians Clash in West Bank before Funeral of Journalist.”

Fox News began the text of its article with “Clashes erupted Friday in Jerusalem as mourners attended the burial of veteran American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot dead Friday when covering a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.”

There is no mention in the headlines of these articles about who instigated the violence, nor any hint of the power imbalance between a heavily armed Israeli police force and what appeared to be unarmed Palestinian civilians.

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Such language and omissions are common in the reporting of violence conducted by Israel’s police or military. Similar headlines followed an incident in April in which Israeli police attacked worshippers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Then, too, police attacks on worshippers – in which as many as 152 Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and batons – were widely described as “clashes.”

And headlines matter – many Americans do not read past them when consuming news or sharing articles online.

Neutral terms aren’t always neutral

The use of a word like “clashes” might seem to make sense in a topic as contentious as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which violent acts are perpetrated by both sides.

But as a scholar of Palestinian history and an analyst of U.S. media coverage of this topic, I believe using neutral terms such as “clashes” to describe Israeli police and military attacks on Palestinian civilians is misleading. It overlooks instances in which Israeli forces instigate violence against Palestinians who pose no threat to them. It also often gives more weight to official Israeli narratives than to Palestinian ones.

U.S. media have long been accused of misleading their audience when it comes to violence committed against Palestinians. A 2021 study from MIT of 50 years of New York Times coverage of the conflict found “a disproportionate use of the passive voice to refer to negative or violent action perpetrated towards Palestinians.”

Using the passive voice – for example, reporting that “Palestinians were killed in clashes” rather than “Israeli forces killed Palestinians” – is language that helps shield Israel from scrutiny. It also obscures the reason so many Palestinians would be angry at Israel.

It’s not just The New York Times. A 2019 analysis by data researchers in Canada of more than 100,000 headlines from 50 years of U.S. coverage across five newspapers concluded that “the U.S. mainstream media’s coverage of the conflict favors Israel in terms of both the sheer quantity of stories covered, and by providing more opportunities to the Israelis to amplify their point of view.”

That 2019 study also found that words associated with violence, including “clash” and “clashes,” were more likely to be used in stories about Palestinians than Israelis.

Competing narratives

One problem with using “clash” is that it obscures incidents in which Israeli police and security forces attack Palestinians who pose no threat to them.

Amnesty International, a human rights advocacy group, described the recent incident at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as one in which Israeli police “brutally attacked worshippers in and around the mosque and used violence that amounts to torture and other ill-treatment to break up gatherings.”

The word “clashes” does not convey this reality.

Using “clashes” also gives more credibility to the Israeli government version of the story than the Palestinian one. Israeli officials often accuse Palestinians of instigating violence, claiming that soldiers and police had to use lethal force to stave off Palestinian attacks. And that’s how these events are usually reported.

But Israeli human rights group B’Tselem’s database on Israeli and Palestinian fatalities shows that most of the roughly 10,000 Palestinians killed by Israel since 2000 did not “participate in hostilities” at the time they were killed.

We saw this attempt to shift the blame to Palestinians for Israeli violence in the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. According to her colleagues at the scene of her death, an Israeli military sniper deliberately shot and killed the veteran journalist with a live bullet to her right temple, even though she was wearing a “PRESS” flak jacket and helmet. One or more snipers also shot at Abu Akleh’s colleagues as they tried to rescue her, according to eyewitness accounts.

At first, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that “armed Palestinians shot in an inaccurate, indiscriminate and uncontrolled manner” at the time of her killing – implying that Palestinians could have shot Abu Akleh. Then, as evidence mounted disproving this account, Israeli officials changed course, saying that the source of the gunfire “cannot yet be determined.”

The New York Times initially reported that Abu Akleh “was shot as clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian gunmen took place in the city.” Further down in the same story, we read that Palestinian journalist Ali Samudi, who was wounded in the same attack, said, “There were no armed Palestinians or resistance or even civilians in the area.” Yet this perspective is missing from the headline and opening paragraphs of the story.

A few days later, an analysis of available video footage by investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat concluded that the evidence “appears to support” eyewitnesses who said no militant activity was taking place and that the gunfire came from Israeli military snipers.

The New York Times has not updated or corrected its original story to reflect this new evidence.

It provides an example of why the use of “clash” has been widely criticized by Palestinian and Arab journalists. Indeed, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalist Association in 2021 issued guidance for journalists, urging that they “avoid the word ‘clashes’ in favor of a more precise description.”

An incomplete picture

There is another problem with “clashes.” Limiting media attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only when “clashes erupt” gives Western readers and viewers an incomplete picture. It ignores what B’Tselem describes as the “daily routine of overt or implicit state violence” that Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories face.

Without understanding the daily violence that Palestinians experience – as documented by groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International – it is harder for news consumers to fully comprehend why “clashes” take place in the first place.

But the way people get their news is changing, and with it so are Americans’ views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is especially true among younger Americans, who are less likely to receive their news from mainstream outlets.

Recent polls show that younger Americans generally sympathize with Palestinians more than older Americans. That shift holds among younger Jewish Americans and younger evangelicals, two communities that have traditionally expressed strong pro-Israel sentiments.

U.S. journalists themselves are also working to change how outlets cover Israeli violence. Last year several of them – including reporters from The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and ABC News – issued an open letter calling on fellow journalists “to tell the full, contextualized truth without fear or favor, to recognize that obfuscating Israel’s oppression of Palestinians fails this industry’s own objectivity standards.” So far, over 500 journalists have signed on.

Accurate language in the reporting of Israeli-Palestinian violence is not only a concern for journalists’ credibility – it would also provide U.S. news consumers with a deeper understanding of the conditions on the ground and the deadly consequences.The Conversation

Maha Nassar, Associate Professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Arizona

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Large aquatic animals are being hunted and traded




Africa’s large aquatic animals are being hunted and traded: we assessed the scale

Daniel J Ingram, University of Stirling

Across most of the world, and particularly in the tropics and subtropics, large wild aquatic animals – such as manatees, turtles and dolphins – are being hunted and traded. This is not a new phenomenon. Aquatic animal meat has been eaten, and sometimes used as remedies or in traditional ceremonies, throughout history.

This type of consumption is widespread. In some places this wild meat is an important source of nutrition, income, and cultural identity. Yet opportunities to exploit wildlife for economic gain – often illegally – increase the number of animals hunted in some places. Coupled with growing human populations, this has led to the unsustainable exploitation of some species.

Understanding the scope and potential threat of aquatic wild meat exploitation is an important first step toward appropriate conservation actions and policies.

We’re part of a large international team of conservation researchers and practitioners that recently published a paper on this. We carried out a literature review on the use of large aquatic animals (excluding fish) – what we call “aquatic megafauna” – for wild meat in the global tropics and subtropics. This topic is hugely under-researched, so this review represents one of the most in-depth assessments of the topic to date.

We focused on 37 species of conservation concern that are listed on the Appendices of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. The list includes several species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises (cetaceans), manatees and dugongs (sirenians), marine turtles (chelonians), and crocodiles (crocodylians).

Twelve of these species inhabit oceans and rivers in West, Central and Eastern Africa. These are regions that were in the tropics and subtropics and are where there are concerns about hunting, consumption and trade.

We found that the consumption of these aquatic animals is widespread in coastal regions, to varying degrees. Some species are likely to be at risk from over-exploitation, particularly species inhabiting rivers and freshwater areas.

For most of the species monitored, a major issue is that animals are unintentionally caught as bycatch during fishing. They’re then opportunistically killed and eaten or sold, instead of being released when alive.

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Dolphins, manatees and turtles (large aquatic animals)

We found evidence of the use of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in most countries in tropical Africa, particularly in West Africa. Their meat was used for a variety of purposes including food, shark bait, and traditional medicine.

One species considered to be particularly at risk is the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii). Distributed solely along Africa’s Atlantic coast, it’s one of the least understood coastal dolphins in the world. Because it has such a small population size and lives close to shores – where it can get captured by small-scale fishers – it’s highly vulnerable.

African manatees (Trichechus senegalensis), distributed exclusively in West and Central Africa, and dugong (Dugong dugon), whose range spans into East Africa, are legally protected in nearly all countries in which they occur. However, the team found evidence that they were being used for various purposes including food and traditional medicine to some degree in all countries. Most manatee populations cannot withstand human-induced mortality because their populations are highly sensitive to changes in adult survival. In recent years, high losses to populations of African manatees have been reported.

Turtles face a similar threat. The capture and consumption of marine turtle adults, and harvest of their eggs, is ubiquitous across much of the species’ ranges. This includes mainland Africa and the African islands. However, as with the other aquatic megafauna, larger-scale monitoring is needed to assess impacts and sustainability.

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River animals

Risks to riverine megafauna – those living in rivers – from harvest may be particularly high, even if opportunistic, because these species face multiple threats in the same restricted area. The threats include dams, intensive fishing, and pollution where human population density is high. In Africa, this is true of African manatees and freshwater turtles (which were not assessed in the study, but are widely hunted).

Riverine megafauna may suffer from a lack of management and research, and will require increased conservation efforts. This is because they’re neither seen as terrestrial species nor as fish, so it’s not often clear at the national level who is responsible for their conservation and management.


Across the tropics and subtropics, there are clearly differences in local circumstances between areas. The drivers of hunting and consumption, hunting technologies used, human density and other threats to animals and their habitats, and how they change over time, will influence harvest sustainability.

Nonetheless, it’s clear that the use of aquatic megafauna for meat is likely to be far more widespread in terms of frequency and species than reported in the review. This is because monitoring and reporting is limited. Also because many of the species are protected by national laws, or are charismatic, so their use is secretive.

The trans-boundary nature of harvests and associated trade of these oceanic, coastal, and riverine species requires increased international attention and cooperation.The Conversation

Daniel J Ingram, Researcher in Conservation, University of Stirling

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Vladimir Putin is Hitler




David Mitchell, Trinity College Dublin

The war in Ukraine has produced a disorienting array of analogies. Vladimir Putin is Hitler. Volodymyr Zelensky is a Nazi. Ukraine could become like Afghanistan or Korea. Russia should accept its borders, just as post-colonial African countries did. The invasion is no different to what the west did in Iraq. The Ukrainians are like the Irish fighting for independence from the UK – but also like Brexiteers resisting the EU.

Meanwhile, other countries bordering Russia, and Taiwan, wonder if they could become “another Ukraine”.

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Analogies are a key part of how the war in Ukraine is being justified and understood. The invasion is such a seismic (and for many people, surprising) event, that we have a particularly strong appetite for comparisons. Analogies are ubiquitous in human discourse and have always played an important role in politics and international affairs.

Analogy is embedded in our thinking and language. Cognitive psychologists talk about “analogical reasoning”, in which we use what we know about one situation to infer information about another. We use this to understand our circumstances and plan action – a child avoids cauliflower on the basis of having tried and disliked broccoli. Writing symbolises and words categorise similar phenomena. Hence, Russia has outlawed even calling what it is doing in Ukraine a “war”.

Comparison is also built into scientific enquiry, in that it involves drawing inferences between cases which are thought to be analogous. In the study of peace and conflict, comparison has been a way to generate theories about how to manage conflict, such as addressing basic needs, imposing power-sharing between opponents, or third party intervention. But just how generally applicable much of this broad brush knowledge is in complex and variable conflict arenas will always be open to debate.

In politics, analogy is used to both create policy and justify it. For instance, the “lessons” of Vietnam strongly influenced later American foreign policy. The fear of “another world war” currently holds sway over NATO’s approach to Ukraine. Arguing by analogy may be one of the most persuasive strategies of communication. Putin’s talk of “denazification” and Zelensky’s invocation of western traumas like the Blitz, 9/11, and Pearl Harbour have undoubtedly helped rally their audiences. Such examples evoke strong imagery and narrative, and supposed real world evidence, in support of positions.

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This is common to all conflicts. Partisans promote their preferred comparisons, especially for international consumption. One of the most well known warring analogies comes from one of the most intractable conflicts: Israel-Palestine. Israelis liken the threats they face to Nazism, and fear another Holocaust. Palestinians, however, regard the Israeli occupation and settlement of Palestine as apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Israel-Palestine, in turn, acts as an analogy for other groups in conflict – an archetype of besiegement for some, and of oppression for others.

Peace analogies

Analogies have also been useful in ending conflicts. Comparisons help peacemakers explain and legitimise what they are trying to achieve. In recent decades, South Africa has probably been the most referenced international peace analogy. It is now standard in any peace negotiation process for international comparisons and ideas borrowed from transitions elsewhere to be involved. A recognised likeness helps create relationships of solidarity between people pursuing peace in different countries.

A remarkable example of analogy in peacemaking comes from Northern Ireland. For decades, the Irish nationalist leader John Hume lobbied in Dublin, London, Washington and Brussels for a peaceful solution to the Northern Ireland conflict. In speech after speech, he repeated the example of Franco-German reconciliation in the context of European integration. If they can do it, Hume said, why can’t we in Northern Ireland? This analogy was the rhetorical centrepiece of arguments which ultimately gained wide acceptance in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

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Does the historical accuracy of an analogy matter? Perhaps not, if an audience is disposed to accept it. But like all political communication, especially in war, analogies should be held up to scrutiny. They can reduce complex events to a simple morality tale. They may result from “confirmation bias” – people finding the lessons they want to in other situations – or outright manipulation. The comparisons mentioned at the outset of this article, for example, range from the insightful and constructive, to the absurd and dangerous.

In any case, for good or ill, analogies are inescapable and will continue to frame what unfolds in Ukraine. “Comparison is so fundamental to our cognition”, writes sociologist Reza Azarian, “that thinking without comparison is almost unthinkable”.The Conversation

David Mitchell, Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, Trinity College Dublin

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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