In this episode of the series, we explore the history of 7th May through fascinating stories of the golden letter sent by the Burmese King the world’s first radio receiver demonstrated by Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov, the first electric tramcar in India, and the shameful riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002.
Before I start the history of 7th May, let me take you to the state of Manipur where the situation continues to remain tense and the government has stopped mobile internet services. True, in today’s world the internet is the fastest mode of communication. But today let me tell you about another form of communication- the letter, and not just any letter, it is a letter written on golden plates, my first story ‘Golden Letter’
History of 7th May takes us to the year 1756 when the Burmese King Alaungphaya sent a remarkable letter, known as the Golden Letter, to King George II of Great Britain. This letter was made of rolled gold and detailed a series of trade proposals between the two nations.
The Golden Letter was a stunning display of Burmese wealth and power. It was composed of a thin sheet of gold that had been expertly rolled out and inscribed with intricate designs and writing. The letter itself was a work of art and demonstrated the importance that Burma placed on its relationship with Great Britain.
In the letter, King Alaungphaya proposed several trade agreements between the two nations. He suggested that Great Britain could send ships to trade with Burma and offered a list of goods that Burma would be willing to trade, including precious metals, textiles, and spices. The Burmese king also requested that Great Britain send scholars and experts to teach in Burma and to help modernize the country’s infrastructure.
The Golden Letter was an important moment in the history of trade relations between Burma and Great Britain. It demonstrated the Burmese king’s willingness to engage in international trade and establish diplomatic ties with other nations. It also revealed the Burmese king’s desire to learn from other countries and to improve his own nation’s economic and social standing.
Unfortunately, despite the promising proposals laid out in the Golden Letter, the relationship between Burma and Great Britain would ultimately sour. In 1824, Great Britain declared war on Burma and, after a series of bloody battles, annexed the country as part of its empire. Nevertheless, the Golden Letter remains a fascinating artifact of a time when Burma was a major player on the international stage and was actively seeking to expand its economic and cultural horizons.
With this, I come to my second story which also deals with communication, this time the radio receiver.
The first radio receiver
History of 7th May year 1895. The Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated the world’s first radio receiver to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society in St. Petersburg. This invention paved the way for the development of modern radio communication, which has revolutionized the way we communicate and share information over long distances.
Popov’s invention was based on the discovery of radio waves by the German physicist Heinrich Hertz in 1888. Popov was able to use Hertz’s work to develop a device that could detect radio waves and convert them into electrical signals that could be heard through a set of headphones.
The significance of Popov’s invention was not fully realized at the time, but it marked the beginning of a new era in communication technology. Today, radio is used for a wide range of purposes, from broadcasting music and news to military and emergency communication.
In Russia, May 7th is celebrated as Radio Day to commemorate Popov’s groundbreaking invention and the role that radio communication has played in the country’s history.
Now let me take you from communication to transportation my 3rd story
First Elect tram in India
History of 7th May 1907. A significant milestone in the history of transportation in India was achieved when the first electric tramcar became operational in Bombay (now Mumbai). The tramcar, which was a major upgrade from the previously used horse-drawn carriages, was introduced to ease the city’s growing traffic congestion and to provide a more efficient means of transportation.
The electric tramcar was an innovation that came to India from Europe, where it had already been in use for some time. It was a clean and reliable mode of transportation, which ran on electricity supplied through overhead wires. The tramcar could carry a large number of passengers at once, and its introduction in Bombay was met with great enthusiasm by the people.
The first electric tramcar in Bombay ran on a route from Colaba to Pydhonie, covering a distance of about six miles. The car had a top speed of about 20 miles per hour and was able to cover the entire route in about 30 minutes. Over time, the electric tram system in Bombay was expanded to cover more areas of the city, and it continued to be an essential mode of public transportation for several decades.
The introduction of the electric tramcar in Bombay marked a significant milestone in the history of transportation in India, and it paved the way for the development of modern public transportation systems in other parts of the country. Today, electric trams are no longer in use in Bombay, but their legacy lives on, and they remain an important part of the city’s rich history.
With this, I come to a rather sad story. It is a story of religious dogmatism and fanaticism. It is on this day in the year 2002 that the entire country was ashamed in front of the world due to the riots in Gujarat. My final story for the day.
On May 7th, 2002, the International Religious Freedom Commission (IRFC) expressed serious concern over the ongoing violence in Gujarat, India. The violence erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was attacked and set on fire, killing 59 people. The incident was blamed on Muslim extremists, and in the aftermath, there were widespread reports of retaliation against Muslims by Hindu extremists.
The IRFC, which was created by the United States Congress to monitor religious freedom around the world, issued a statement condemning the violence and calling on to take action to protect religious minorities.
The violence in Gujarat lasted for several months and resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. The IRFC’s statement was just one of many international expressions of concern over the violence in Gujarat. Human rights organizations, religious groups, and governments around the world called on to take action to end the violence and protect the rights of religious minorities.
That’s all for the day. See you tomorrow.
What's Your Reaction?
A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.