Sunday, 31 July, 2005

Is proselytizing violence against humanity?

Srivatsannin Kirrukkal wrote a sincere blog on intolerance of Islam and Christianity towards other religions and this was followed by Joseph's reply in his blog, this led to fervor in the debate on the issue & the proselytizing. There are many people who vouch that it is the people who are intolerant not the religion itself, they have their compulsions to say so, but when we consider the opinion of people who have profound knowledge of all religious text, they speak otherwise. Insecurities of Hindus & other indic religions against proselytizing is least understood and less debated issue, Usually people who raise these issues are labeled as Hindu fanatics or digress from the topic with irrelevant or personal remarks and this way they could discredit the person and their concerns and arguments, therefore they can avoid the discussion. In contentious issues as this, there is always a possibility of a discussion becoming a open brawl. It would help us, if we follow ancient Hindu tradition of engaging the 'other' using a technique called "purvapaksha" This means you must first study the other's viewpoint very seriously and become an expert in it, Only then can you debate against it. This helps us to understand each others viewpoint clearly and this allows us to focus on issue on the hand & its contention.
Many people think that the strife between Christians(missionaries) and Hindus & other indic religions is a recent one because of rise of right-wing extremism, but this is due to lack of forum to address growing insecurities of Hindus and other religions, which arise from fraudulent conversions and inability of the administration to control immoral missionary activities, such as inducements for conversions, making defamatory & false remarks against other religions, using violence to intimidate people to convert and protection/support received by Christian terrorists from the church, this approach is mostly used in North-Eastern States & tribal regions and providing charity to only those who are willing to convert, as observed during tsunami relief efforts. Missionary activities became more subtle when compared to their open protection and encouragement received during british rule, it should also be noted that conversion and social unrest was one of the cause for 1857 revolt along with other reasons.
Here is the views of Mahatma Gandhi on Christian missionaries in India, This was compiled by Swami Aksharananda (Track No. 010119.1, Jan. 19, 2001) and produced by Vidya Bharati.

I Call Myself a Sanatani Hindu
I call myself a Sanatani Hindu, because I believe in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, and all that goes by the name of Hindu scripture, and therefore in avataras and rebirth; I believe in the varnashrama dharma in a sense, in my opinion strictly Vedic but not in its presently popular crude sense; I believe in the protection of cow … I do not disbelieve in murti puja. (Young India: June 10, 1921)
Why I am Not a Convert
Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being … When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. (Young
India: June 8, 1925)
I Disbelieve in Conversion
I disbelieve in the conversion of one person by another. My effort should never to be to undermine another's faith. This implies belief in the truth of all religions and, therefore, respect for them. It implies true humility. (Young India: April 23, 1931)
Conversion: Impediment to Peace
It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace … Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man? (Harijan: January 30, 1937)
No Such Thing as Conversion
I believe that there is no such thing as conversion from one faith to another in the accepted sense of the word. It is a highly personal matter for the individual and his God. I may not have any design upon my neighbour as to his faith which I must honour even as I honour my own. Having reverently studied the scriptures of the world I could no more think of asking a Christian or a Musalman, or a Parsi or a Jew to change his faith than I would think of changing my own. (Harijan:
September 9, 1935)
No Conversion Designs Upon Me
I am not interested in weaning you from Christianity and making you Hindu, and I do not relish your designs upon me, if you had any, to convert me to Christianity. I would also dispute your claim that Christianity is the only true religion. (Harijan: June 3, 1937)
Conversion must not mean denationalization. Conversion should mean a definite giving up of the evil of the old, adoption of all the good of the new and a scrupulous avoidance of everything evil in the new. Conversion, therefore, should mean a life of greater dedication to one's country, greater surrender to God, greater self-purification. (Young India: August 20, 1925)
Aping of Europeans and Americans
As I wander about through the length and breath of India I see many Christian Indians almost ashamed of their birth, certainly of their ancestral religion, and of their ancestral dress. The aping of Europeans by Anglo-Indians is bad enough, but the aping of them by Indian converts is a violence done to their country and, shall I say, even to their new religion. (Young India: August 8, 1925)
Why Should I Change My Religion
I hold that proselytisation under the cloak of humanitarian work is unhealthy to say the least. It is most resented by people here. Religion after all is a deeply personal thing. It touches the heart. Why should I change my religion because the doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has cured me of some disease, or why should the doctor expect me to change whilst I am under his influence? (Young India: April 23, 1931)
Missionary Aim: Uprooting Hinduism
My fear is that though Christian friends nowadays do not say or admit it that Hindu religion is untrue, they must harbour in their breast that Hinduism is an error and that Christianity, as they believe it, is the only true religion…so far as one can understand the present (Christian) effort, it is to uproot Hinduism from her very foundation and replace it by another faith. (Harijan: March 13, 1937)
Undermining People's Faith
The first distinction I would like to make … between your missionary work and mine is that while I am strengthening the faith of people, you (missionaries) are undermining it. (Young India: November 8, 1927)
Physician Heal Yourself
Conversion nowadays has become a matter of business, like any other…India (Hindus) is in no need of conversion of this kind… Conversion in the sense of self-purification, self-realisation is the crying need of the times. That however is never what is meant by proselytisation. To those who would convert India (Hindus), might it not be said, "Physician, heal yourself." (Young India: April 23, 1931)
Missionaries: Vendors of Goods
When the missionary of another religion goes to them, he goes like a vendor of goods. He has no special spiritual merit that will distinguish him from those to whom he goes. He does however possess material goods which he promises to those who will come to his fold. (Harijan: April 3, 1937)
If I had the Power and Could Legislate …
If I had the power and could legislate, I should stop all proselytizing … In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink … (November 5, 1935)
The Only Begotten Son of God?
I regard Jesus as a great teacher of humanity, but I do not regard him as the only begotten son of God. That epithet in its material interpretation is quite unacceptable. Metaphorically we are all sons of God, but for each of us there may be different sons of God in a special sense. Thus for me Chaitanya may be the only begotten son of God … God cannot be the exclusive Father and I cannot ascribe exclusive divinity to Jesus. (Harijan: June 3, 1937)
Western Christianity Today
It is my firm opinion that Europe (and the United States) does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan's successes are the greatest when appears with the name of God on his lips. (Young India: September 8, 1920)
Western Christianity (cont'd)
I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ's Christianity. I cannot conceive Jesus, if he was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry. (Young India: September 22, 1921)
Christianity and Imperialistic Exploitation
Christianity in India has been inextricably mixed up for the last one hundred and fifty years with British rule. It appears to us as synonymous with materialistic civilization and imperialistic exploitation by the stronger white races of the weaker races of the world. Its contribution to India has been, therefore, largely negative. (Young India: March 21, 1929)
No Room For Them
In the manner in which they are working there would seem to be no room for them. Quite unconsciously they do harm to themselves and also to us. It is perhaps impertinent to say that they do harm to themselves, but quite pertinent to say that they do harm to us. They do harm to those amongst whom they work and those amongst whom they do not work, i.e., the harm is done to the whole of India… The more I study their activities the more sorry I become… It is a tragedy that
such a thing should happen to the human family. (Harijan: December 12, 1936)
Only the other day a missionary descended on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple, and demolished it. This is outrageous. (Harijan: November 5, 1937)
Let the Hindu be a Better Hindu
I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian. (Young India: January 19, 1928)
Welcome Them Back
If a person through fear, compulsion, starvation, or for material gain or consideration goes over to another faith, it is a misnomer to call it conversion. Most cases of conversion … have been to my mind false coin … I would therefore unhesitatingly re-admit to the Hindu fold all such repentants without much ado … If a man comes back to the original branch he deserves to be welcomed … in so far as he may deem to have erred, he has sufficiently purged himself of it when he repents his error and retraces his steps. (Collected Works: Vol. 66, pp. 163-164)

Wednesday, 27 July, 2005

Our craving for social acceptance!

Yahoo News reported that:
A woman who told police she wanted to be a "cool mom" pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges Monday for having sex with high school boys at parties where authorities said she supplied drugs and alcohol.
He said Johnson told investigators "she was never popular with classmates in high school and now began `feeling like one of the group.
Not her immoral acts, but her explanation which made me to ponder!. Why most of us crave for social acceptance? for being social animals? but why our desire for acceptance blinds our thinking? why this acceptance should have so much bearing on our mind?. Is this something to do with our genetic make-up or something else? I'm confused, i can't reflect my thoughts properly and my intellect fails me!.

Saturday, 23 July, 2005

Self delusion

I always wonder, why as a nation we are easily flattered by smallest concession and self-bestow honor, in reality which was not even granted to us and why can't we see things in a way they are? Well, i'm referring to joint statement released by India and USA in which they declared that:
The U.S. says it is now in favour of "full civil nuclear energy cooperation" with India, which it describes as "a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology". In return, India has agreed to "separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities and programs in a phased manner" and place its "civilian nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards."
And this significant declaration of understanding has been hailed by most Indian news media as virtual recognition of India as a nuclear power and officially it remains formality for us to join nuclear club. Well, i disagree to this interpretation because if this is the case, then why didn't USA allow India to ratify NPT(nuclear non proliferation treaty) as a nuclear state, in that way, it will not have hard time in persuading US congress to lift restrictions on India and the NSG to agree to adjust international regimes so that India can shop for civilian nuclear energy!. Instead, US government is still optimistic that, India would abandon nuclear weapons and ratify NPT as non-nuclear state. Mood in the white house is quite evident from US senior state department official's comment in the NY Times:
A senior State Department official, giving a briefing under ground rules in which he could not be identified, said that the Bush administration still hoped India would eventually give up nuclear weapons, and that the administration rebuffed an Indian request to be recognized formally as a nuclear weapons state under the treaty.
"The discussions went through various permutations," he said. "We didn't feel we could somehow formally recognize India as a nuclear state. Ultimately, we hope they will elect to join the NPT."
Acquiring civilian nuclear energy is important to Indian economy, considering its growing energy needs. Agreement reached between both the nations is a climb-down from their respective positions and who benefited most from this agreement is subject of another discussion. This agreement should not be conferred additional importance than it require.
Update: Had interesting discussion with vatsan related to nuclear proliferation and other issues>

Petty politics of Madhya Pradesh

From rediff:
Claiming that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was included in a list of 38 terrorist outfits in an United States website, Madhya Pradesh Congress on Saturday demanded a high-level probe into it and said the party would raise the matter in the State assembly.
It is plain stupidity to give credence to foreign websites, so much that this issue needs to be raised in State legislative assembly. Well, coming to this news, it isn't new, Terrorism Research Center based in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC has listed RSS under terrorist organizations and the reason provided for this categorization has fallacy, which i'm sure RSS would exploit if at all this issue was raised in assembly. Moreover as per press release of Jitendra Kumar, Convenor of SIFI:
"I investigated the details of TRC; it is simply a paper organization with a website and no office. Neither this organization nor its directors are known to the U.S. State Department, institutions and think tanks involved with foreign affairs and issues related to terrorism."
Therefore i expect this issue to boomerang on to congress if they pursue seriously.
Congress Legislature Party spokesman Sajjan Singh Verma demanded the resignation of Gaur for his alleged links with the RSS.
Demand for resignation of a Chief Minister is uncalled for and it exposes their lack of respect for Indian judicial system. why should anyone resign, just because some site alleged that a organization is a terrorist organization and therefore he is guilty by association?. There are many propaganda sites on the net. We should take them with pinch of salt than making political issues of it, specially considering that setting up a site doesn't take much resources and even school going kid can afford to do it, if he has intention.
Devi and Verma accused the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and RSS of spreading communalism in the state for 'political gains'.
First, i think they should decide whether these organizations are terrorist or communal or both?

Sayesha's blog

Yesterday midnight i started searching for blogs on various subjects and after going through heap of interesting blogs, around 4am in the morning i found Sayesha's blog. I had read her blog entry on categorizing of commentators in blogsphere and it was kinda okay sort of a blog not much interest to me, then i went through her travel blog, which contained many pictures of her various visits and these pictures were interesting, hence i added her blog to my temporary feeds list, in hope to explore her blog later. Today night i had some free time, so i started browsing through her blog and i found her writing style to be captivating. Her skills to write about a incident or narrate a story is excellent, otherwise i wouldn't take time to blog on a blogger :-).
She blogged about crappy jobs she held in the past and the way she found a good job for her, well this isn't much and people can say, that every person has bad times and most of them find ways to get out of it. Yes it is true but how many can write about these events in a way that it fascinates their readers and which they can relate it to themselves? or should i say in a manner, in which readers can experience her emotions at different stages of their slump? Well, i think Sayesha has got a quite a character and very persistent. Or may be i just need some sleep and this insomnia making me over react!.
Her blog reminds me of Journeywomen's blog, Sayesha's writing are not as fascinating as Journey women's, but well worth to read regularly!
Update: Now i had read almost all of her blogs and she has good sense of humor and she utilizes her humor to make her blogs interesting. She takes Blogging 101 advices too seriously and that's good! :)

Sunday, 17 July, 2005

Unfriendly Bangladesh

Bangladeshi troops raided a camp run by Arakan Army at Alikong, 400km southeast of Dhaka. Arakan guerrillas are fighting for an independent state to be carved out of Myanmar. This operation shows growing cooperation between two nations with the influence of China, Myanmar is geographically important to Bangladesh, specially considering that Bangladesh is surrounded by India. When it comes to Indian North-Eastern terrorist groups operating from Bangladeshi territory, Bangladesh government is quite reluctant to accept their existence and let alone discuss about the nature of assistance these groups are receiving from them. They insist that there are no such camps in their territory, and recent border incidents shows current government's animosity towards India.

Wednesday, 13 July, 2005

Peace process with Pakistan: Can peace and terrorism coexist?

I feel that we lost the purpose of continuing peace process with the Pakistan. I'm saying this because before this peace process commenced, we had unequivocal stand that we will not engage Pakistan until they stop cross border terrorism but due to American influence and Pakistan's assurance that they wouldn't allow any of their territory to be used for terrorist activities and won't provide any clandestine support to them, we engaged Pakistan in a dialog to resolve difference over Jammu & Kashmir issue and to improve relations between two countries. Initially it appeared that pakistan was some what honest with this peace process because number of infiltration attempts came down, perhaps this could be attributed to the winter season which made routes inaccessible to these infiltrators, nevertheless number of infiltration attempts were less when compared to the previous year but as time progressed slowly they returned to their old ways. They made their stand inflexible and demanded more concessions from India and offering very little from themselves. It should be noted that number of terrorist attacks against civilians gradually increased and recently in the Herald magazine, it was reported that they have set up new camps and opened old ones, there are 13,000 terrorist to cross over to India, This has been denied by Pakistani government, even after Indians told that they can provide photographs of these camps.
My displeasure is mainly due to in a manner which Indian government had exonerated Pakistani government from the responsibility of these terrorist attacks and irrespective of these daily murders, they desire to carry forward peace process without having any accountability on Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism. Even Musharraf in his Australian visit had stated on one such terrorist attack, that even after reaching any agreement with India, we can't expect these incidents to come down. First of all, Pakistan started this low intensity terrorism to achieve its objective: J&K and what is the use of having a settlement on J&K but still continuing this terrorism?
Sometimes, I wonder whether we are getting used to this low intensity cross border terrorism because we seem to care less about the people who die on regular basis as it won't affect us directly and our condemnation only depends on cruelty & magnitude of the incidents. Perhaps, victims of not so significant terrorist incidents remain mere statistics for us!.

Tuesday, 12 July, 2005

Deal between Beijing-Moscow on the eve of China's 1962 invasion of India

A new book has just revealed details of a Beijing-Moscow dea on the eve of China's 1962 invasion of India.
Co-written by China-born author Jung Chang - best known for Wild Swan - and her husband, British historian Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (Jonathan Cape) is rated the ''most authoritative'' biography of the late Communist leader. It is an indictment of his domestic and foreign policies, one of the victims of which, the book says, was India.
In the chapter ''Maoism Goes Global (1959-64)'', the authors outline Mao's war preparations in 1962. He ended up promising to back the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles at America's doorstep - the Cuban Missile Crisis, as it came to be called - if Moscow supported his adventure in India.
The book describes the build-up to war in ''May-June 1962'': ''Chou (Chou Enlai) later told the Americans that 'Nehru was getting very cocky...and we tried to keep down his cockiness.''
Contrary to the most of the world's opinion, ever since the war, china has maintained that the India was the aggressor, even against the mounting evidence which indicated otherwise. Time of chinese aggression wasn't mere coincidence with cuban missile crisis but well thought out plan. This biography just vindicates this viewpoint specially considering that it has been rated highly by critics for its decade-long research and its meticulous footnotes. Chinese aggression has viewed by general Indians as back stabbing, specially considering popular slogan which says "hindi chini bhai bhai"(Indians and Chinese are brothers) to signify their relationship.
We should learn from our past blunders and be more cautious when dealing with issues related to national interest than being emotional. Its my view that Indian government should make Henderson Brooks Report & all other transcripts non-classified to let public know about the reasons for the failure in 1962 war rather than using rhetoric to cover up the facts, and also this would highlight our politician's foreign utopian policy and their understanding of world geopolitics. There shouldn't be any report classified for more than specific amount of time, since they won't have any relevance after that time period and citizens have right to know about what had transpired.
Note: It should also be remembered that at the time of war, Indian communist were openly in favor of the chinese position.

Monday, 11 July, 2005

Prime Minister's remarks on british raj

Mr. Manmohan singh has made following unfortunate comments on british rule in India and here is my reasons for disagreeing on this.
What impelled the Mahatma to take such a positive view of Britain and the British people even as he challenged the Empire and colonial rule? It was, undoubtedly, his recognition of the elements of fair play that characterized so much of the ways of the British in India. Consider the fact that an important slogan of India's struggle for freedom was that "Self Government is more precious than Good Government." That, of course, is the essence of democracy. But the slogan suggests that even at the height of our campaign for freedom from colonial rule, we did not entirely reject the British claim to good governance. We merely asserted our natural right to self-governance.
Claiming that British had provided good governance is preposterous and this is obvious from the social & economical revolts which they faced frequently and terrible famines, which were caused due to mismanagement & exploitation of peasant class with intention to destroy local agrarian economies and to help Great Britain to build its economy and industry. Elements of "fair play" which characterized their ways in India is quite evident in their history of conquest of India and later from their subjugation & racial discrimination of people.
Inconsiderate, harsh policies & taxation of British government to exploit Indian peasants had resulted in many uprisings and movements, such as:
Pabna movement in east Bengal(1872-76), indigo agitation of Bengal peasants(1859-60), deccan riots(1875), unrest of peasants in Punjab, khaira satyagraha(1918), Bardoli Satyagraha(1928) and champaran satyagraha in 1917 in which Gandhi himself took part. Gandhi presented 11 point ultimatum to British government before starting civil disobedience movement in 1930-34. Out of which first 2 points were essentially related to peasants and next 5 points represent grievance of bourgeois and rest were in general concerned to Indian people. Economic policies of British concerning trade, industry and revenue had adversely affected the interest of lower and middle classes and even in upper class of with vested interest in continuance of British rule such as native rulers , landlords, zamindars, village money lenders, there was some amount of resentment due to British racial superiority and discrimination. Though, British had implemented postal, railway and telephone services in India but primarily, this was to have effective control over it's expanding raj and to effectively curb uprisings in various parts of country. Ironically same services were used by revolutionaries & INC against British to spread their movement.
Well, these are some of the reasons, which led commoners to join national freedom movement and if it was only for self governance then there wouldn't be uprisings at local levels, which are more sort of social & economic in nature. Importantly we need to ask ourselves, how popular was this slogan among masses that"Self Government is more precious than Good Government."? and what made Congress to passed resolution in support of complete independence in 1927, in madras session and dropping their old "request" for dominion status?.
Gandhi being mahatma never considered anyone his enemy and not even his friend Hitler, as seen in his correspondence with Hitler.
To interpret events in the past, we need to look at the history in the context of those times and not through present political equations, Indian National Congress members were moderates and they were in good terms with britishers when compared to revolutionaries and extremists, so british generally are more inclined in dealing with INC than others, not that this was bad but using this as pretext to whitewash deeds of britishers in India and depicting their rule as beneficial is something else. More over this will give opportunity to historians in Britain to assert this viewpoint and their recent attempts indicate that they are more then happy to do so.
Today, with the balance and perspective offered by the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, it is possible for an Indian Prime Minister to assert that India's experience with Britain had its beneficial consequences too. Our notions of the rule of law, of a constitutional government, of a free press, of a professional civil service, of modern universities and research laboratories have all been fashioned in the crucible where an age-old civilization met the dominant Empire of the day. These are all elements which we still value and cherish. Our judiciary, our legal system, our bureaucracy, and our police are all great institutions, derived from British-Indian administration and they have served the country well.
British never respected free press in India and this can be understood from following:
  • Lord Lytoon's Vernacular Press Act.
  • Section 124A of IPC was used to deal harshly with sedition.
  • Indian Official Secrets Act of 1904 to restrict the freedom of press.
  • The Newspaper Act was passed in 1908, was aimed at incitement of offences.
  • The Indian press Act if 1910 was aimed at keeping the press generally within the limits of legitimate discussion.
  • Together use of 1908 and 1910 Act caused the closure of several presses and newspaper.
  • Indian Press Ordinance of 1930 further curbed the freedom of the press.
  • The Indian press Act of 1931 prohibited the publication of any kind of congress propaganda, it was repealed after independence.
There was at least one or more indigenous school(s) for every village before british introduced english medium education. According to Adam's 1st report on Bengal reveals that there were about 1,00,000 village schools and there were approximately 100 institutions of higher learning in each district meaning approximately 1,800 such institutions and 10,800 scholars in them. Adam said that he found a number of genuine, qualified physicians in who analyzed the symptoms of the disease before suggesting a cure. In Punjab there were 3,30,000 pupils in 1850 as compared to 1,90,000 in 1882 as per Leitner's Report.These figures were consistent through out India and this had revealed in data collected from various British District Collectors. Sanskrit books were used to teach grammar, lexicology, mathematics, medical science, logic, law and Vedanta. Around 1802, the monitorial method of teaching used by Joseph Lancaster (and also by Andrew Bell, supposedly borrowed from India, Ibid pg 246, Note on Indian Education by Alexander Walker quote 'The children were instructed without violence and by a process peculiarly simple. The system was borrowed from the Bramans and brought from India to Europe'. (Ref: esamskriti)
It was noted in the Macaulay's minute on education that destroying indigenous education system was essential to spread British rule in India and Macaulay has stated that from new system would emerge a class who though Indian in blood and the colour of skin would be English in tastes, opinion, in morals and in intellect. This Macaulay syndrome still exists in India.
Present day civil service officers exert absolute power with impunity. This is due to our colonial framework, which still exists without much modification and this system has less chance for providing accountability and there is urgent need for reforms in this area. We have carried some laws and regulations of IPC from our colonial era without any alterations to their present day relevance. This colonial baggage has hindered us in providing speedy and effective justice to the people and this has given rise to various social movements in free India.
We need to remember that there are many nations in the world which aren't colonized, yet they possess these institutions and they serve them well. Do we need to give our colonizer such a high regard, specially when their intention was to destroy our indigenous systems to prevail their ways on us. Their actions should be examined in this context. Basis of any good relationship between countries should be based on facts and not on misinterpretations.

Thursday, 7 July, 2005

Bandh: Politicians being unconcerned of general public woes

Today few political organizations have called for nation wide bandh excluding gujarat for attack on Ayodhya by terrorists. We need to ask ourselves how far this is justifiable to register one's protest?!. Using colonial tactics to protest an incident is quite naive and hinders our economy. There are many daily wage earners and others for whom each day's earning is quite dearer. There should be moral consciousness among political parties towards citizens of this nation and they should not forget (or should learn) that they are in politics to the betterment of people and not to create more problems in their lives. They should realize that there are many other ways to register their protest like sathyagraha or should look for ingenious ways which doesn't causes civil disturbance. It is irony, that even after knowing dis-consent of general public & court in using these age old methods, our politicians still prefer them.

Wednesday, 6 July, 2005

Charity and Evangelism

Union Cabinet has approved a draft bill seeking replacement of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act

Foreign contributions and donations to scores of Indian voluntary organisations, religious groups and charitable institutions every year touch nearly Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion).
Which is the biggest foreign donor?

World Vision International, a United States-based Christian relief and development organisation, is the biggest donor agency for many Indian voluntary groups. World Vision released nearly Rs 95 crore for charitable purposes for Indian agencies last year. Other big donors are Foster Parents Plan International, USA and Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, USA.
In recent sting operation, Tehelka has exposed World Vision International's covert agenda of christian evangelism and Other donor Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is well known christian evangelical organization.
So is the US the biggest foreign donor for the Indian NGOs?

Yes. As per the latest available data with the Union home ministry, the US heads the list of donor countries to India with Rs 1,492.62 crore (Rs 14.926 billion), followed by the United Kingdom (Rs 677.59 crore), and Germany (Rs 664.51 crore).

Many secularists in India wish to believe that societies in USA & Europe(Western nations) are non religious in nature but these figures prove them wrong and to the contrary reveal their religious zeal.
Which are the Indian states that receive the largest foreign donations?

Among the states and Union Territories, Delhi is the leading recipient following by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
There should be a clause in FCRA to force religious & charitable organizationsto reveal about the amount of funds they spend on charity and evangelism. It should also be noted that there are many complaints(specially during tsunami relief efforts) against some Christian organizations that they provide monetary assistance through charities to only for those who are willing to convert. Being in a pluralistic society we should not allow any organization of any religious denomination to allure people through charity to convert one's faith.

Dilemma or ignorance of indian media!!??

I was watching TV today and surprised to see indian media channels using words "Militant" and "Terrorist" interchangeably as if their both denotes the same meaning, may be there is ambiguity in their minds!. its quite pathetic to see them mince their words which have wider political significance.
Rediff has a news item on today's terrorist event in Ayodhya and title of the news item says 6 militants storm Ayodhya, killed "and when we click on the news story, it starts with "Six heavily armed terrorists", perhaps this is too much for them to decide!.

Tuesday, 5 July, 2005

Balochi dissidence in pakistan

It is distressing to see Pakistani government using combination of brutal force and political actions to systematically destroy balochi movement, here are the excerpts from pakistan's daily Dawn:
The alliance leader alleged that the government had tried to buy the time under the pretext of compiling the report and during that period the Baloch people had to face excesses, large number of nationalists arrests, hushing up the Dr Shazia rape case, security forces onslaught and illegal land allotments in Gwadar.
He said the government was reluctant to settle the Balochistan issue and was following anti-Baloch agenda.
He said that the committee's recommendations lack the NFC award distribution on backwardness, area and revenue collection. It neither referred to the excesses of coast guards and frontier corps nor empowering the province to control its resources, he said, adding that what to say of abolition the security forces checkpoints in Uthal, Pasni Ormara and other areas.
He alleged that the parliamentary committee had made an attempt to divide the people of the province on linguistic, cultural, historical and ethnic basis.
Irony is that International media or nor Indian media is not giving precedence to balochi people's human rights.