Message from Marina Beach, Rule of mob replaces rule of law by A.J. Philip (IC, 30 Jan – 05 Feb., 2017) Very informative article! The question is: who is bothered about Rule of law?
We (the people and the politicians) must grow out of the cultures and traditions that do not serve any purpose or do well to ourselves. We are disrespecting ourselves when we defile and are not honouring the law of our land.
An exclusive article to help people understand the consequences of not accepting the rule of law! A law to overcome the consequences of another law should be discouraged at all costs in a democracy or else there will be anarchy and the nation will disintegrate.
A very informative piece! We inflict cruelty on animals and plants for the sake of our survival, knowingly or unknowingly; yet, to inflict physical cruelty in the name of tradition or culture does not seem right. We should be trying to abolish and stop all archaic practices, to move towards a kinder India.
Strike balance between culture and the dignity of life It has got reference to the cover story of Indian Currents titled as ‘Message from Marina’ (IC, 30 Jan – 05 Feb., 2017) The recent uprising in Tamil Nadu against the banning of Jallikattu raises some serious issues. Animals have been closely associated with human beings since the start of civilization. Human beings depended on animals to till the fields, to extract oil and to carry heavy loads. Animal domestication and husbandry are absolutely needed even today. Various animal sports developed as a result of this close man-animal association. The purpose of these sports was not to torture animals, but to showcase their might and usefulness. I would say that Jallikattu can also be viewed from the perspective of this close bonding between humans and animals. It is deeply ingrained in the agrarian culture of Tamil Nadu. There are similar sports like Kambala in Karanataka, bull race in Kerala and the bullfights in Spain and several oth
Culture, tradition and Social harmony This is in reference to the editorial ‘Message from Marina’, (IC, 30 Jan – 05 Feb., 2017). Since one week Marina Beech witnessed an agitated mob turning into violence and destruction and burning of public vehicles, police station and attack on police who came to control the situation. Jallikatu is at present the hottest issue in Tamil Nadu politics and social life. Every state has its own cultural practices and celebrations which had been there for decades. The social, political and religious life is never static and undergoes many changes and developments. In the modern world many such practices have been banned by the court in view of safety for human and animal life and also environment protection. What is unproductive, harmful to life and nature must be banned by law even if it had been in the practice for ages. In the case of Jallikattu it had been banned by the court considering the cruelty to animals and injury to human life. People should
Modi Raj in RBI This is in reference to ‘Reign of Impotence in RBI: British Raj to Modi Raj’ by Jaswant Kaur, (IC, 23-29 Jan., 2017). People have experienced that Modi raj is worse than the British raj. A few economists have stated that the former governor Raghuram Rajan had taken a bold stand in the interest of the nation and defied the orders of central government. He made the Indian economy on fast track. The past governors have also accused the government for taking wrong steps. The RBI is forced to work on the directions of central government. The representatives of the RBI employee’s union have expressed a sense of humiliation in this regard. The RBI has totally failed to inform that how much money has been deposited in the banks and how much new currency has been printed. When will the system become normal? It is also painful. The RBI is being criticized from many quarters for its operational mismanagement. The opposition parties alleged that demonetization is a big scam. The B
Glancing through the NDA Sarkar’s reign This is in reference to ‘Modi Sarkar’ by Ram Puniyani (IC 23 - 29 Jan., 2017). This article browses through the performance of Modi Sarkar, which has crossed the half way. It is very clear that the RSS agenda is being gradually implemented in all spheres of life. Ghar Wapasi, love jihad, cow vigilantisms, ban on beef are a few examples of this move. The freedom to dissent and freedom of expression are the hallmark of democracy. Those who voiced their disagreement are labeled as anti-national and convicted with the crime of ‘sedition’ which is a serious crime against the country. FCRA of many NGOs who were working for the protection of environment and for minority rights were cancelled, stifling the voices and demands of vast masses. Heads of all important institutions are being headed by RSS personal irrespective of their efficiency, qualification and calibre. The demon of demonetization has affected the people from middle class downwards makin
This is in reference to 'Dangal: Fights Turn Delightful' by Tisy Jose (IC 23 - 29 Jan., 2017). It was a very apt review of a very positive film. Although I had watched the film earlier but the review made me relive those moments and also provided valuable insights into the scenes which had just passed by with the flow of the film. The movie simply teaches us that to make your children achieve their goals, the parents need to sacrifice their comforts and have to devote time to help their children pursue their aims so that their goals do not turn out to be mere dreams and wishful thinking. The film also puts into focus the patriarchal bias prevailing in our society and underlines need for gender equality. However it depicts the Mother as passive figure who actually does not have any independent opinion and say in the family matters, but she should be credited for extending full support to the decisions taken by her husband and helps keep the family united. 'Indian Currents' needs to be a
Delightful Fight This is in reference to 'Dangal: Fights Turn Delightful' by Tisy Jose (IC 23 - 29 Jan., 2017). It was an excellent review. The writer has surfaced some of the hazy scenes in the film for the benefit of the readers. The unreserved outpouring of human emotions in the film is a strong statement that ‘weeping is no sign of weakness’. In fact tear-drops of love heal a strained relationship. After watching the film the last winning move of Geeta to defeat her Australian opponent was etched on my memory. But I didn’t know the name of that breath-taking move until I read the review by Tisy Jose. The ‘Dhobi-pachad’ true to its name finally washed. Films like Dangal are a must for India’s male-dominated society. Indian Currents is singularly meritorious in publishing a complete review on the film. Hope your effort will go for the making of many more Geetas and Babitas in India. Tisy Jose has done a commendable job.
Burnt roti and watery dal, Army marches on its stomach by A.J. Philip (IC, 16 - 22 Jan., 2017) An eye opener, it’s so funny that the army chief asked Jawans to use the complaints box instead of social media. First of all why there is no internal mechanism to prevent such happenings. Next, how will they make sure that the letters in the complaint box reach the right officers and action is taken against the guilty? Ill treatment of lower cadre in the armed forces is not new and the higher ups justify it as part of discipline.
As far as the treatment to army men on border is concerned it is sad act. It is further a matter of grave concern that our army Chief has issued a statement that any complaint by army men should be sent internally. Everyone is aware of the action taken on internal complaints.
In Black and White This is in reference to ‘In Black and White’ by Averthanus L D’Souza (IC, 16 - 22 Jan., 2017).The notes in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were withdrawn on November 8, 2016. This decision has created many problems and hit the life of the poor, industry workers, salaried and the middle class. More than ten lakh labourers have lost their employment. MANREGA a central sponsored scheme has also suffered a lot. Many people returned back to their native villages due to cash crunch. The people were in the big lines and facing difficulties to get their own cash from the banks or ATMs. The move had disrupted normal life. The retired government employees also faced hardships of big lines. The Reserve Bank of India and Finance Ministry has assured to provide enough cash in banks and ATMs on the eve of salary day but nothing positive happened, the ATMs remained dry without cash. The people of India have rightly remembered Muhammad-bin-Tughluq who was called an intelligent ruler but failed in experiments. The people on social sites, Facebook and whatsApp have accused the prime minister of taking such a wrong decision without applying mind.
Goa Church and Politics The article by Benwen Lopez "Is the Church in Goa trying to influence voters?" (Indian Currents, 09-15 January, 2017) is a typical example of bad journalism and intellectual dishonesty. First of all, the article is replete with unsubstantiated generalizations such as: "History shows that "politics from the pulpit" is rampant (sic) in Goa."; "History has shown that the Church in Goa plays a very important role on political issues."; "A source from the priestly fraternity of Goa said:" Such generalizations raise questions about the credibility of the writer. Benwen Lopez has cited just two cases of priests who have [mis]used the pulpit and the Parish News Bulletin to openly canvass for particular candidates; yet he proceeds from there to castigate the entire church in Goa for its illicit influence of politics in this State. Benwen Lopez seems to be ignorant of the fact that the law permits individual citizens (including clerics, mullahs and munshies) to freely express their personal opinions about individual candidates and political parties. After all they are also citizens of this country and have political rights like any other citizen. In fact, Lopez rightly quotes a certain Jude D'Cruz from Panjim in this connection. What Lopez fails to distinguish is that priests as individual citizens should not use the pulpit or the official parish bulletin to espouse or even to indicate which candidate or which political party their parishioners should vote for. The clarification of the Archbishop of Goa is explicit and unambiguous in this regard. Which brings us to a consideration of the role - in general - of the Church vis-à-vis the policies of the State in achieving the Common Good of the citizens. From time immemorial, the Church has offered its advice on matters of political rights and obligations with which the State is also concerned. The Church always insists that the policies of the government should uphold the moral law and should not be inconsistent with the rights and freedoms of the individuals. It is not possible in the scope of a brief letter to the Editor to demonstrate the relationship between morality and law; but the Church as the guardian of the moral order has the right to guide her faithful to influence the State to ensure that the moral order is respected and upheld. Thus, the Church may legitimately advise her members to defeat any politician who promotes the killing of innocent children even before they are born. The State should not explicitly endorse unnatural behaviour among its citizens such as adultery or homosexuality or paedophilia. The general principle is that both the Church and the State are entrusted by God to ensure the flourishing of the Common Good. But both exercise this responsibility in different ways. The theory of separation of Church and State was promoted by the Church herself, as any student of political history knows. But this does not involve the exclusion of the rights of the individual citizens.
Republic of Cows: What an Idea, Modiji! by A.J. Philip (IC, 09 - 15 Jan., 2017) A wonderful write up! I don't know why these people are engaged in fruitless exercises time and again. If, suppose, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi start an exercise like this on street dogs, where would it end up. If Hindu community take the cow census and provide UID, then why not the Muslims do for their buffalos too (though they may not like that idea), then some other community think of their sheep or goat et al then it would be Orwell’s Animal Farm re-lived here in India. A really sad state! Wasting public fund for futile exercise and then continue with the accusation that the previous regime looted India.
Hope Shri Modiji will soon bring an ordinance to make a bathroom attached bedroom for cows in their houses! It's unfair to treat one particular animal with extra privilege as sacred! All monkeys, all rats and even snakes should be given Aadhaar cards (to be treated fairly) as they are also respected and adored by some of his followers! 'Expect the unexpected' from this 'regime' to make people laugh at India and Indians in the coming days! God save Indians!
Laugh all you want, but, under the able leadership of our farsighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, implementation of the latest digital technology in Gau Raksha, will make Hindustan ahead of US, EU, Australia, or New Zealand in dairy development. Within the next 50 days, India will be exporting dairy products and technology to Australia and US & EU. By issuing UID to all Indian cattle, the current BJP Government will be giving the same level of happiness to all cows as was given to all Indian citizens 50 days after the Demonetising of currency in India.
It is really a scary situation for those finding their livelihood with businesses related to milk, meat or leather. They may have to risk their lives; many look for alternative livelihood arrangements. If cows can't be sold off after their productive years, no doubt, they will become burden to owners. India may slowly go back to the state of importing milk powder from other countries, if things go this way.
Stinging Stents in India This is in reference to ‘Stinging Stents in India’ by Tisy Jose (IC, 02-08, Jan., 2017). It is with great interest I read the article the writer has aptly brought in a ‘scorpion’ and a ‘wasp’ to familiarize with the sting of poisonous creatures and went on to explain the acute pain of a financially poor patient stung with a stent. For readers like me unfamiliar with medical devices, the article has made a very informative and thought-provoking read. Not many people in India are aware of such a huge racket going on in a very sensitive sector as healthcare. It is most unfortunate that corruption in India has not spared even the noble medical profession. Malpractices in healthcare system of India are stunning. I have come across poor families selling off even the little land they have for the medical treatment of their dear ones and live thereafter as paupers. The punch-line, “Medical professors should be role models whose research and teaching should be based on ethical parameters” sounds a wakeup call for individual integrity and social accountability of those engaged in medical profession. The all-inclusive purview of IC in highlighting social and human issues that crop up in different sectors of India is highly commendable. Hat off to the editor! Kudos to the writer!
Religion and Politics This is in reference to “Divisive Politics” by Syed Nooruzzaman, and the editorial, “High on principle and low on practice” (IC, January 09-15, 2017). As assembly elections in five States are due in short time, the SC ruling on January 03 is highly significant. Electoral process is essentially a secular activity and religion has no place. India is a secular, sovereign, socialist democratic country so the ethos of democracy must be observed in letter and spirit. This would have been the right time that the court sent across an inclusive message of not mixing religion with politics with any favouritism to any religion.
Like Moonlight Hymns from the Heart by A.J. Philip (IC, 02 - 08 Jan., 2017) What a great tribute to Fr Sajan, and all the great singers, who have healed and comforted us with their hymns, which came out of their painful experience. May the New Year take away all his problems, and give his family, joy and peace.
“The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.” - Charles Spurgeon. I am delighted to know more about Fr Sajan, whose humility has always fascinated me, despite his musical talents and the great voice he is gifted with. They say when heart is heavy words are few but am sure it is the abundant grace of God that has enabled him to sing so melodiously. The power of such songs that come from a person, who is going through the toughest times, is immense and will remain a consolation for many for years to come.
The Hidden Agenda This is in reference to ‘Slippery Year’ by Ramesh Menon (IC, 2-8 Jan., 2017). The article explains the post truth where truth is sidelined by false promises and propagandas made by the people in power. In the past year we have witnessed several events of post truth. The ruling party made such emotive and irrational narratives falsifying history and culture promising a glorious economic revival and presented it as truth and the public at large accepted it as gospel truth. Those promises were sugar coated lies. Yes Prime Minister Narendra Modi is different; he stands out someone special as an eloquent speaker who can mesmerize the crowd with his fiery speeches, sarcastic slangs at his political opponents in flowing vocabulary. He wielded power with absolute majority in single party and made people believe as he is the messiah who would wipe out corruption, black money and terrorism. His frequent visits to foreign nations and establishing bilateral relationships and free foreign investments made the common man believe that his country was on the top of the world. He purchased media and enforced it to air only what he wants and what he says. People of the country wanted assurance of employment for educated youth and emergence of a new corruption free vibrant new India. Very cautiously and cleverly the government and its right wing supporters implemented their schemes with clear vision and passion clipping the freedom and rights that is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. They made a concerted attack on JNU, curbing the freedom of expression and charging the students who opposed as anti-national and the University Campus as breeding ground of dissent. The government instead of choosing someone with track record of being associated with good cinema to head the prestigious Film and television institute in Pune, Gajendra Chauhan, a TV actor was chosen as its chair person. These were part of a larger game plan of controlling and belittling institutions functioned independently and promoted free speech. The HRD ministry wanted to control appointments to two prestigious institutions: the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Managements with the purpose of saffron enthusiasts to head it. Another current hot issue was love jihad curbing the freedom to choose life partner alleging that Hindu women are lured by Muslim men. There came up cow protection mafia wave across the country taking law into their hands assaulting, disrobing and whipping the Dalits on false accusation and extorting money from those who were transporting cattle from one place to another and raiding of houses in search for beef and killing of innocents. The Prime Minister did not use his power to send strong message to those who were indulging in divisive activities. This was to take advantage of communal polarization which would be beneficial for the coming general election. Anyone who questions the actions of government is branded as anti-national. Demonetization brought in prolonged misery, deaths, and economic paralysis especially to the poor and common man.
This is in reference to ‘Modiji, Please Listen to the Cry of the People’ by Jacob Peenikaparambil (IC, 02-08 Jan., 2017) The Prime Minister has given a self-congratulatory speech with some sops for pregnant women, senior citizens, farmers and small traders. It would have better if he takes the nation into confidence by giving hard facts on the status of the demonetization. The main aims of the prime minister were to end black money, corruption, fake currency and terrorism but the government failed to achieve even a single target
The divorce petition filed by Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora in a Bandra court is not valid, since both of them got married in a Catholic Church (St Andrew's) in Bandra according to Catholic rites. They can only get a divorce through many counselling from the Archbishop’s House at Wodehouse Road in Colaba. Since Malaika (and not Arbaaz) wants a divorce, Arbaaz need not pay her the sum of Rs 10 crore which she has demanded as alimony. Malaika should realise the good times she has had with Arbaaz during the initial days of her marriage. Didn’t she make a promise in Church in front of Our Lord Jesus Christ that she would be faithful to her husband all the days of her life in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Has she forgotten this? Her divorce through the court will not be valid and she will be committing a very grave sin. Divorce is something which Jesus Christ does not like. “For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel.” (Malachi 2:16). Jesus Christ came into this world to unite couples and not to separate them. I don’t think Malaika has read the Bible thoroughly. If she has not, she should start reading it now. Only God can save her marriage. --- Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai
Demonetised nation Real people, real stories by A.J. Philip (IC, 26 Dec., 2016 -01 Jan., 2017) Those specimens are nothing. Worst are happening around without our knowledge. Small businessmen, medium size industrial units, workers rendered jobless, etc. Looters, black money hoarders, etc. have absolutely no problem. They know how to survive and outwit RBI or Govt.
This is in reference to ‘Demonetised Nation: Real People, Real Stories’ by A.J. Philip (IC, 26 Dec., 2016 -01 Jan., 2017). The note bandi (demonetisation) has put the entire nation in a peculiar position. Now the people remember Muhammad bin Tughluq, after 650 years, who had taken decisions but failed in his experiments. The RBI officers and a few bank officials helped a few to convert black money into white. The ill planned move by Modi has forced people to stand in lines to get their own hard earned money deposited in banks or change them for their ordinary needs.
This is in reference to the cover story of Indian Currents titled as ‘Women Lose Battle’ (IC, 26 Dec., 2016 – 01 Jan., 2017). The continuing violence against women in different parts of India is a wakeup call for all of us. As long as the dignity of our mothers and sisters is at stake, we cannot claim to be in a progressive democratic society. We have ample laws to punish the offenders. However, these laws have not deterred the prospective offenders. There should be a tangible change in the mindset of those who regard women as an inferior sex and those who treat them as objects of sexual gratification. Only then will our society be a just and equitable one.
The Rape Capital This is in reference to ‘A Battle lost?’ by Tisy Jose (IC, 26 Dec - 01 Jan., 2017). There is terrible discrimination against women in the country. Women and girl children are totally unsafe. How can the prime Minister say India is shining when its young women are raped in the moving vehicles, stalked and killed in public view on public road and in Metro stations? There is the heart rending silent cry of women for safety and justice. Who will give a listening ear to their feeble voice?
The National flag is a symbol of the nation’s respect and pride. There is liberal use of the flag on Independence Day and Republic Day. There is a new trend of selling flags made of paper and plastic, which is incorrect. With a sense of national pride, people enthusiastically buy such flags but the very next day, we find these flags being trampled upon on roads, in dustbins and elsewhere. By allowing this to happen, people forget that they are insulting the flag. Often, these flags are burnt along with the garbage. It is the duty of every individual to maintain proper respect towards our National flag. We also commonly see people waving the National flag proudly during national, cultural and sporting events. However, once the programme or the event gets over, we see the flags strewn all over the place. This disrespect towards our flag must be stopped. Even when the national anthem is being sung on the radio or played on television, people don’t stand still and sing along. They are busy cooking in the kitchen or are busy talking on their mobile phones. As Indians, we should respect our country’s national flag, national anthem and national song. --- Jubel D’Cruz. Mumbai
The divorce filed by Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora in a Bandra court is not valid, since both of them got married in a Catholic Church (St Andrews) in Bandra according to Catholic rites. They can only get a divorce through many counselling from the Archbishop’s House at Wodehouse Road in Colaba. Since Malaika (and not Arbaaz) wants a divorce, Arbaaz need not pay her the sum of Rs 10 crore which she has demanded. Malaika should realise the good times she has had with Arbaaz during the initial days of her marriage. Didn’t she make a promise in Church in front of Our Lord Jesus Christ that she would be faithful to her husband all the days of her life in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Has she forgotten this? Her divorce through the court will not be valid and she will be committing a very grave sin. Divorce is something which Jesus Christ does not like. “For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel.” (Malachi 2:16). I don’t think Malaika has read the Bible thoroughly. If she has not, she should start reading it now. Only God can save her marriage. --- Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai
The continuing violence against women in different parts of India is a wake up call for all of us. As long as the dignity of our mothers and sisters a is at stake, we cannot claim to be progressive democratic society. We have ample laws to punish the offenders. However, these laws have not deterred the prospective offenders. The re should be a tangible change in the mindset of those who regard women as an inferior sex and those who treat them as objects of sexual gratification. Only then will our society be a just and equitable one.
Sir, Apropos to “Demonetized Nation" Indian Currents, Issue No 52. The Prime Minister has warned for strict decisions for the progress of the country and favors for more taxes. Indian people are paying various types of taxes. The union budget will be announced in the month of February. The BJP had promised to give tax rebate up to Rs 5.00 lakh income in a year but government is totally failed to upkeep their manifesto. The policies should be people friendly and not to disturb the poor people. The note bandi has put the entire nation in a peculiar position. It is stated that Nas bandi (family planning) had little effect on the people and Note bandi (currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banning) had put the entire nation in the lines. Now the people remember Mohammed- bin-Thuglak, after 650 years, who had taken bold decisions but failed in his experiments. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had informed that they had printed Rs 4.94 lakh crore by 8th November when Prime Minister had addressed to the nation for banning of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. It would have been if the government could have printed sufficient quantities of new notes prior to demonetization. The banks become free to distribute the cash and ATMs kiosks are also function normally. The decision of the government had put the banks in the situation of cash crunch and the poor people were in the big queues. The bank and RBI officers had helped to change of black currency into white further deteriorated the position. The bullion people are still in the lines to get their own currency notes. Thanking You, Yours sincerely, (M Lal Garg) Chandigarh
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Benedict XVI, Pope Before and After by A.J. Philip (IC, 19-25 Dec., 2016) Great review and commentary! Emperor Manuel II Paleologus was a scholar and a failed diplomat, similar to how history will remember Pope Benedict. One has to dig deeper, as you have done, to discover deeper insights about both these interesting figures.
A very interesting review, touching many eminent people and incidents and with very relevant observations!
Queries of the common man This refers to an article ‘Queries of the common man in his quandary’ (IC, 19-25 Dec., 2016) by P.A.Chacko. It is correct to say that Prime minister’s demonetisation order has put the entire nation in trouble. Ordinary people are in the queues. The medium and small scale industry, tea industry, jute industry, bangle industry have all stopped production. This has badly hit the poor labourers. More than ten lakh labourers have lost their livelihood. More than three lakh beneficiaries of MNREGA Centre sponsored scheme have lost their livelihood. More than 80 percent of the rural farmers, most of them illiterate, do not even have bank accounts. How will they start cashless transactions? Who is responsible for the deaths of about 120 persons outside the banks, suicides without cash for daily needs? The top bank officials, the RBI officials had helped black money hoarders to make white currency.
Peace, the only healing balm for violence This is in reference to ‘Nonviolence is the way’ (IC, 13-19 Dec., 2016). January 1, 2017 would be the fiftieth World day of peace. On the 1st World day for peace Blessed Pope Paul VI addressed all people of various religious representatives, "Peace is the only true direction of human progress and not the tensions caused by ambitious nationalisms, nor conquests by violence, nor repressions which serve as mainstay for a false civil order”. We are living in a culture of violence. Violence begins within one’s own being with thoughts of violence. If that is not curbed at its root level, it grows into verbal expressions and further into deeds of violence. We see expressions of violence everywhere – angry and abusive words, physical attacks on things and people, destruction of life and property. The extreme manifestation of violence is the destruction of life and property. We hardly see print media and electronic media without at least a murder and rape. These have become the order of the day. The present year witnessed the huge number of refugees, crossing the Mediterranean Sea to escape violence in their own land of birth. They became refugees in their own mother land! India faces violence from pre-independence to this day violence and bloodshed. Our Border Pakistan is a constant battle field. Our country witnesses political rivalry and religious fanaticism burn as volcano with occasional eruptions. Brides burning, kidnapping, ransom calls, murder and honour killing by khap panchayat are usual happening. The nature also is not left free from violence; the peaceful nature is disrupted by air, water and noise pollutions. The world in its nature and humanity is broken and is suffering. Violence is perpetuated by revenge and retaliation. Only forgiveness and reconciliation can bring peace. St. Francis of Assisi, the 12th century saint, was an Apostle of peace. He communicated the ever flowing breeze of peace by his life and words. He won a command over human beings, animals, birds and fishes in the waters with his peaceful presence. Francis was ahead of his time in the openness, respect and spirit of dialogue that he showed in the daring, nonviolent, peace-making venture in his encounter with the sultan of Egypt. Mahatma Gandhi, Father of our Nation, is the Apostle of peace in the 20th century. The spring of his spiritual strength rose from his philosophy and spirituality of non-violence and truth. The powerful weapons and mighty men of war bowed in defeat before the physically weak and half naked fakir, the ‘Mahatma’, by his spiritual power of non-violence and truth. Only one who is peaceful within can give peace to others! Let each one of us become agents of peace and harmony.
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Sir, This refers to an article “Queries of the common man in his quandary” “current issue 51”. It is correct to say that Prime Minister’s demonetisation order put the entire nation in a trouble. They are in the lines. The medium and small scale industry, tea industry, jute industry, bangle industry and even big industries have stopped production which hit the poor labour. They have to return back to their home states. More than ten lakh labourers have lost their lively hood and are hungry with empty belly. More than three lakhs employees of Mgnrega a centre sponsored scheme have lost their two times meal. The rural farmers more than 80 percent, most of them are liberate, have not even bank accounts’ how they start cash less transactions. Who is responsible for the deaths of about 120 persons outside the banks, suicides without cash for daily needs. The currency ‘pink notes of Rs. 2000 are available with the thousand persons. The top bank officials, the RBI officials had helped black money hoarders to make white currency. Aesochem an industrial related organisation has reported that the human resource loss incurred during the note-bandi . Some media channels and print media is helping government wrongly to get momentary benefits. Government agencies should read your article to know the reality. Thanking You, Yours sincerely, (M Lal Garg) Chandigarh
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Pollution Problem This is in reference to ‘Pollution: A Public Health Emergency’ (IC, 12 - 18 Dec, 2016) by Tisy Jose. A comprehensive exposition on pollution that chokes life and destroys vegetation on the planet, the article made a non-putdown-able read. In a systematic approach the writer has explained different components of “Environment” and “Environmental pollutants which we usually take for granted in day to day living. After taking a close look at Indian states where high concentration of pollution endangers life and environment, the writer has pointed out the urgent need for reducing the menace by state action and societal collaboration. The writer has killed two birds in one shot when she asserted, “India’s enthusiasm for ‘smart cities’ cannot be oblivious of the silent killer lurking in the air, creating myriad public health problems and public transport nightmare. Tisy couldn’t have closed her column in words better than crowning it with the celebrated ‘Laudato si’ of Pope Francis: “Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity”. Hat off to Tisy!
What stops clean air? This is in reference to ‘A season for choking’ by I C Correspondent (IC, 12- 18 Dec, 2016). The Creator had furnished the earth with abundance of clean air, pure and clear running streams and breath-taking scenic beauty in diversity. That was paradise on earth. There was absolute harmonious coordination and cohabitation with created beings and nature. When man, the crown of creation, began to exploit the nature for his selfish motive the nature began to revolt and react. The rhythm of nature and seasons began to slip away from its assigned tracks into fury and destruction. The clean air is being replaced with smoggy and hazy air; the clean waters in the rivers, ponds and sea are being turned into reservoirs of pollutants and human wastes. Concerned about the increasing pollution at global level and its dangerous impact on all living beings Pope Francis in his Encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ wrote “On the care of our common home, to the global community, appealing to all to stop polluting the earth and the throw away culture. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor and causes millions of premature deaths”. There is global awareness and concern about increasing pollution that would have serious impact on climatic changes and aftereffects on life and economy. The author has said about the air pollutant related health hazards especially the post Diwali time in Delhi making it the most polluted city in the world. Children were badly affected as many had complaints of allergic rhinitis, sneezing and bronchitis. So much so Delhi government had to resort to closure of schools, banning construction works and introducing vacuum cleaning of selected roads. The pollutants produced by burning materials and fumes from vehicles get saturated in the atmosphere and with fall in temperature they become stagnant. The indiscriminate use of crackers during Diwali made the situation worse. Every one experience the bad effect of pollution but no one is willing to celebrate festivals without fire crackers. Why is our society not taking resolution to maintain our atmosphere clean and green?
Pseudo Nationalism Indian Currents is to be appreciated for its two timely articles on the National Anthem (IC, 5-11 Dec 2016). A.J. Philip has given us a nugget from the past that Justice Dipak Misra, who passed the present order making the singing of the National Anthem mandatory in cinema halls, is the same person who passed a similar order when he was in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Even more alarming is that the petitioner, Shyam Narayan Chouksey, is the same (The Supreme Court Folly). History repeating itself like this is ominous. Rev Ambrose Pinto (I Wonder Why?) is spot on in terming this judgement an act of pseudo-nationalism and judicial over-reach, impinging on the sphere of the Executive. It is not for the Supreme Court to tell cine viewers what they should do or not do when they go for entertainment or relaxation to a movie theatre. Besides, when we watch international sporting events like the Olympics on TV the National Anthem is played when we win a medal (rare though it is). We don’t stand up at such times, nor do people of other countries. As Ambrose rightly observes, this does seem to be a case of the Supreme Court pandering to the sentiments of the current political dispensation, the one with a 56” jawbone, not chest, as earlier proclaimed!
Sentenced to Life in Queues This is in reference to the interview of K C Venugopal MP (IC, 12-18 Dec., 2016). Modiji has shown his ‘haseen sapne’ to people on the pretext of Achhe din. Now the entire nation is queued up. The banks are cashless and ATMs are dry and BJP Government is still claiming that it is good step to end black money and corruption. Whereas the opposition parties say it is big scam. The income tax department has raids and arrested many persons with crores in old and new notes. How did they receive crores in Rs 2000 notes when banks claim lack of currency? The people are in lines since Nov 8, the day of note bans. It does not seem the prime minister has taken any advice of economists and experts. Its bad consequences have affected the industry, farmers, labour class and many others. The political parties do not allow the parliament to run. The BJP government did not think even once about the problems it would bring to the common people. Some hundred people have died in the queues. The situation is going from bad to worse day by day and normalcy will not return in fifty days’ period. The world’s reputed economists are surprised and opinioned that the drastic step taken by prime minister to demonetise the existing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will result in loss for the economy. The Reserve Bank of India had issued guidelines allowed to withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh in cash for marriage purposes, but this proposal could not be implemented. Thousands of couples who stood in the queues returned empty handed as the bank officials turned down their requests due to less cash availability. Meanwhile, the BJP leaders have no dearth of money. A former Karnataka minister, who is accused in several money laundering cases, has reportedly spent Rs 500 crore on his daughter’s wedding. Why are there two laws in India?
Partiality in Religious Congregations As human beings, we may have some degrees of partiality wherever we live, even in Religious Communities. But we need to admire that in most of the Religious Congregations and dioceses, the members are accepted, loved, and recognized for who and what they are and do, irrespective of one’s work, family, and caste or state background. If at all one is discriminated against, it may be due to one’s repulsive character or improper actions. It is unbecoming of your esteemed weekly to highlight the partiality in Religious Congregations based on the narration by a “good” Sister and publishing her real name (IC, 28 Nov - 4Dec., 2016). As she herself narrates, the superior of the community had asked the principal Sister “on some unforeseen work” to fly back immediately, cutting short her month long home holidays. On the contrary, there was no urgency for Sr. ‘Lalita’ to return immediately. Is it possible for every Religious community to afford flight tickets for all their members? If all Sisters are demanding flight tickets too, it is natural for any superior to retort to get the money from her home. Not the superior or the Religious Congregations, but Sr. ‘Lalita’ is to be blamed for her unjust demands and publishing it in media, in spite of her 25 years of Religious life.
Religious and Partiality Having lived a Religious for more than sixty years, I have had many dealings with Catholic priests and members of Religious Congregations. So the little news item about partiality (IC, 28 Nov – 4 Dec, 2016) caught my attention. Catholic priests and members of Religious Congregations are a mighty army of unmarried workers at the service of governments and bishops. Inside and outside the Church, they are praised as very successful and useful NGO workers. Among the Religious three groups are seen. First, there are those who join Religious Life to imitate closely the poor, chaste and obedient Jesus. Their aim is to grow as much as possible in these virtues of Lord Jesus. All the saints are outstanding examples of this group. They will be embarrassed to travel by plane. They will avoid the upper class and travel with the poor in the unreserved bogey. Some forty years ago, suddenly, the first visit of Mother Teresa to Ahmedabad was announced. Early morning two young Jesuits waited for her at the first class compartment. Disappointed, they were leaving the platform when, suddenly, they saw our future saint coming out of the crowded unreserved bogey. Many think Mother was canonized because she served the poor. She received the Nobel Prize for serving the poor. But she was canonized because she was like the poor, chaste and obedient Jesus. The second group of Religious is of those who join the Congregations to work for Jesus. The attitude is even if I have to keep chastity, poverty and obedience, I want to convert India and serve humanity. They work wholeheartedly. They may leave the Congregation any time with good conscience, because the task is over or they found a better way of doing it outside Religious Life. The third group is of just contract workers. They keep the three vows just as an external contract with the Church. They like the work and lifestyle of a particular Congregation and join it. They keep the external contract, paying no attention to grow in the three virtues of Jesus indicated by the vows. When people of this group dominate, worldliness take over Religious Congregations.
Christmas, as everyone knows, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and is a major religious celebration for Christians around the world. But what many people do not know is that Jesus Christ is an important figure in Islam, too, even though most Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas. In honor of the holiday, here are some things you may not know about the role of Jesus Christ and his mother, Mary in Islam: Jesus, Mary, and the angel Gabriel are all in the Quran (as are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and a bunch of other Bible characters). Muslims believe that Jesus (called ‘Isa’ in Arabic) was a prophet of God, was born to a virgin (Mary), and will return to the earth before the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”), also known as Antichrist, all of which may sound pretty familiar to many Christians. Mary (called “Maryam” in Arabic) has an entire chapter in the Quran named for her, the only chapter in the Quran named for a female figure. In fact, Mary is the only woman to be mentioned by name in the entire Quran. Muslims too believe that Jesus Christ performed miracles. The Quran discusses several of Jesus’s miracles, including giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, raising the dead to life, and breathing life into clay birds. The story of Jesus’s birth as told in the Quran is also the story of his first miracle, when He spoke as an infant in the cradle and declared himself to be a prophet of God. --- Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai
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