With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP completing three years in office, there is growing chatter about 2019 Lok Sabha elections. After scoring an impressive victory in UP and forming governments in three other states, Modi and BJP have the wind at their backs. Try your luck in 2024, some say to India’s opposition.But, will there be an election in 2024? I believe RSS and BJP view the 2019 election as an important milestone in their desire to realise their long-standing dream of establishing a Hindu rashtra. To circumvent the hurdle that our Constitution poses, a key step is to establish a de facto single-party government, followed by changes to the constitutional scheme.Should RSS and BJP prevail with the same or enhanced mandate as was the case in 2014, an alternative `idea of India’ will become the new norm. The 2019 election will be the last opportunity for the political opposition as well as the citizen to stop this from happening.While many have written about creeping authoritarianism and rise of Hindutva in India, much of it sounds like a complaint, a warning or a cry for help. An underlying theme is that of disbelief about the erosion of “the” idea of India, most often associated with Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru.Two issues are of particular concern. First, there is very little acknowledgement of the possibility that there was always an alternative Hindutva idea of India and that it had significant support. Second, those of us opposed to H
Dr Pushparajan in the article under the caption “A Cultural Crisis in Family” (Light of Truth, May 16-31 issue) concludes that with the useful tips given by Gandhi it may be easy for us to meet the cultural crisis of the family that the Holy Father is asking us to take note of. The para 66 of E.G. states that the family is not born “of loving sentiments, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life.”In this connection the guidance and teaching in chapter 5 of St Paul’s letter to Ephesians is wholesome and the Christians are supposed to believe and follow them. There is nothing more that Gandhi has contributed towards the building up of a better family.We have pearls in abundance in our store and there is no need to search anywhere else. Of course there may be stories and events in our country and culture that support the Christian teachings and we must appreciate them.K. C. Thomas C 1201, Arenja Towers, CBD-Belapur, N.Mumbai-400614
‘Why’? Is the one question that is uppermost in one’s heart and mind? Why the violence and war? The death and destruction that has ravaged Syria for more than six years now? A conflict which has left millions displaced, desperately seeking security in safer parts of the country or fleeing as refugees to neighbouring countries after braving many odds. Why? Why? Why? Why is Syria in the doldrums today? Why have millions of children become a lost generation? Why is the economy in a shambles? And numerous without a livelihood? There are no easy, black-and-white answers. Most are aware that there are powerful vested interests who would like the conflict to continue. The tragedy however, is that the ordinary Syrian citizen is the one who continues to suffer. But as one journeys in the midst of devastation, one cannot but pinpoint some other dimensions:There are numerous stories of hope in Syria. Ordinary people who want to live in peace and harmony; who want the war and violence to stop immediately. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Syria is one such organisation that enkindles hope in the lives of thousands who are affected.JRS does phenomenal work especially in education, child protection, livelihood training, medical support and being in the midst of the most affected. The field kitchen in Aleppo provides nutritional food to thousands of the most needy. The JRS team reaches out to those affected at great risk. The Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s Sisters) c
In the light of Satna incident, FORUM has taken the initiative and prepared a write up on the basic precautions that are to be taken by the Church personnelToday there is a growing climate of religious intolerance that is aimed primarily at minorities.One of the strategies of Hindutva right wing organizations is to harass and defame the priests and nuns by making use of the existing laws. The police in the BJP ruled states are very often on the side of the activists of the Sangh Parivar organizations. Hence false cases are filed against the priest and nuns. Due to ignorance and imprudence, often the priests and nuns are trapped in criminal cases. The latest case is booking a CSST sister at Satna Railway station for kidnapping a tribal girl while she was travelling with four tribal girls from Jharkhand to Bhopal. The girls were brought to work in the convents and other institutions of the congregation. First, the sister was accused of taking girls for conversion. When it was found to be a false accusation by the magistrate, a case of kidnapping was slapped on her, as one of the girls was a minor, below the age of 18.Against this backdrop the following guidelines are prepared for the priests and nuns who are dealing with children.SOME BASIC STEPS/PRECAUTIONS THAT ARE TO BE TAKEN1. Priests and sisters should not accompany girls/boys when they come from home to our houses as candidates or as domestic workers.2. It is advisable that the parents bring them t
The science of advertising is a complex discipline using other disciplines like consumer psychology, communication psychology, cost accounting, statistics, etc. It is not really—at least not primarily—concerned about the well-being of the client. Its main concern is to ensure that the product advertised sells and remains the best seller in the consumer market.Similarly—I am afraid—a lot of Catholic theology is geared to advertizing ‘consumer’ items that are not really needed but that ensure income, power and prestige for Catholic priests and bishops. Theology also makes claims for its proponents to enable them to dominate the consumer market. Historically speaking, theology is largely a discourse generated by the clergy.This, I believe, is true of the leaders of all religions and their assistants. If leaders of religions were really serious about their own spiritual welfare and about the spiritual welfare of those whom they cater to, their life-style and the mode and quality of their ministry would be significantly different.
Subhash Anand, St. Paul’s School, Bhupalpura, Udaipur, 313001