Happy Pongal - Sankranti to everyone! Pongal, also known as Makar Sankranti, Bihu (in Assam), Lohri (in Punjab), is a thanksgiving festival after the harvesting of crops in many parts of India. It marks the day when The Sun starts moving northwards (Uttarayana). After the harvesting, farmers (who comprise a majority in India) have some leisure time, hence they celebrate by this festival and worship the earth, the sun, cattle etc which has helped them reap a good harvest because of which everybody has enough to eat and is happy. Today(14-01-2013) I am having a grand Pongal festival at my residence, in which former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is the Chief Guest. There will be a cultural programme from 5pm onwards consisting of Bharatnatayam dance, South Indian songs etc followed by South Indian dinner.The idea is to promote National Integration. On this occasion I send my Pongal greetings to all Indians. The word 'Pongal' means spilling over, and on this day fresh milk is boiled and allowed to spill over. My dearest wish is that prosperity spills all over India and people of India get rid of the huge social evils of poverty, malnutrition, hunger, lack of healthcare, crimes against women etc. and get good and decent lives.