31 October, 2012
These days in Switzerland I don’t read newspapers at the morning hours. So after the busy and tiresome hours at the university when I walk back through the railway station I begin my newspaper reading with ‘Blick am Abend’ and end up in the regular dailies. My colleagues tell me that it needs to be the other way around. But on 17th of October when I took the Blick in my hands the main news struck me. It was tragic news of a Swiss family losing its father at the shores of Mediterranean see at Tuscany. He saw his three kids drowning in the rough waters and he jumped inside and fought the rising waves to save his three kids and at last he breathed his last due to exhaustion. Very tragic. Here I remember the word ‘vicarious’ which is used to attribute the vicarious atonement of Jesus. The word has its root in latin word vicarius or vicis meaning substitute, change, alternate, surrogate or representative. Often the act of Jesus dying for many is attributed to as a vicarious act of atonement. If Jesus is the savior of the world, this father of the family who breathed his last saving his three children, is the Jesus of that family. In reality it is a big loss to the family, but his name would be written in eternity for turning his life to be a savior to his three children. I remember writing in an article nine years before, that my only prayer in my life is to become a ‘Jesus’ or a saving inspiration at least to one. I still wait for that moment in my life.
23 October, 2012
The third and the final US presidential debate is over. Who did win the debate, is not of my concern. Both of them sounded somewhat same and similar in the way they aired their foreign policies. All through the debate we heard the words Iran, Israel, China, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria being repeated all through the debate. In their rhetoric trying to woo voters they are just playing with nations. Sitting and watching the debate live midnight, I was getting irritated the way both of them dictating terms as if US is more than UN. I still doubt the efficiency and efficacy of the US to play again the role of world police or a protector of justice and democracy. I read it at the same time UN thinking of sending peace keeping force to Syria after forcing both the parties for a ceasefire. But Obama says the days are numbered for Asad in Syria and Romney suggesting supplying arms to the opposition there. I am sure that the coming days will see the response from Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and other countries mentioned there. Rightly China had already warned on the anti-China tone of both the candidates. Whatever may be, after watching the final debate I was not at all interested on who wins the election but I would say to both of them to have some respect to other nations. They are not play toys in their hands.
15 October, 2012
A shocking matter that is being discussed all over India these days caught my attention also. Seventeen girls were raped last month in the state of Haryana in North India. Haryana is the state where I lived three years working with my colleagues in the village. We were mainly concentrated on working for the upliftment of the women. (Haryana is the state famous for female feticide as the census 2011 terms the female male ratio as 830 females to 1000 males). So this news affected me. Later I went into the matter more and then I read in other reports that from 2007 an average of fifty women are raped every month here. Most of them who are raped are Dalit (low caste) women.
More than the shocking news, I was astonished, startled and disappointed to hear the solutions put forward by the Khap Panjayaths. (It is a social political administration or organization which tries to protect the caste rules and imposed regulations of the society. They are mainly in the states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh).
The solutions are very strange and they never address about the inequality of women and the caste discrimination. Some of the solutions were the following.
Marry off the girls at an age of 15.
Stop eating fast foods, as these foods increase the sexual hormones in women.
Teach the girls some self-defense techniques such as Judo, karate, etc.
So bizarre, unreasonable, foolish and illogical are the solutions. Still they are blaming heavily the victims of rape for the incidents. Even one Haryana Congress leader Dharambir Goyat blamed women telling that 90% of rapes occur due to consensual sex. West Bengal state chief minister Mamta Banerjee said that Rapes are happening because men and women are interacting more freely. And so in this pattern goes the blame.
But no one except the NGO workers and social activists demand to punish the rapists. No one thinks of doing anything to eradicate the social inequality or to make rules to stop oppressing low caste people by the high caste people.
The dream of equality of women and social equality among all people still remains in the words of constitution which came into force in 1949. So the untouchability and discrimination exists in most parts of India, especially in North India. I am also a witness and victim to this to a certain extent when I was in North India engaging in the social work. Thank the rapists, at least they treat Dalit women without any discrimination and touch too much. Crazy world.
13 October, 2012
I am not a fan of USA but I am interested in presidential elections and the debates. And all the more as a student of political science who is interested in the international politics, I closely watched the debates and their foreign policies. Now the first two debates are over and still the picture is not clear. The presidential debate at the Denver University and the vice-presidential debate at the Centre College gave some impression of the republicans taking upper hand. Both Romney and Ryan were clear and tangible about their plans and made their policies clear also with their charm and effective specificity. Even though Obama did lose his support base a little after the debate, his vice-presidential mate did try his best to regain it. So the race to the Whitehouse is evenly poised. Among all the issues discussed and debated, what caught my attention was that this vice-presidential debate was the first ever all catholic candidates’ debate and with no surprise Martha Raddatz, the moderator, raised the issue of abortion. Both stick to their catholic positions and the difference made by them is mentionable. Ryan did say that his position is based on his faith, science and his personal experience. He said “we saw that heart beat and our little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day we have nicknamed our first child Liza ‘bean’. Now I believe that life begins at conception.” He also questioned Biden’s view of not imposing abortion on people of other faith. “I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith.” Yes, there I am into. I also believe that life is a complete whole and I can’t have two views in my life, one for me and another for public. If I follow something in my personal life, it is based on my conviction and knowledge. Two have two stands in life questions one’s integrity and reveals what Jesus called as hypocrisy. I can’t sacrifice the truth and my convictions at the cost of the membership in a political party, or any institution or any religion and neither for my personal gains and ambitions. Compromising the convictions is suicidal.
01 October, 2012
The one who led in front to the realization of the notion of the nation called 'INDIA'. Let all Indians bow their head in reverance to this great personality. he led billions into the protest against the colonizing England, but all in a non-violent approach. Proud to be an Indian after you, MAHATMA GANDHI.................. Jai Hind. Today, october 2, all Indians celebrate it as Gandhi Jayanti. Just watched the famous 1982 movie Gandhi. Moved and touched in the heart and the person Gandhi has inspired many but he is being forgotten in the days. The same right wing fanatic who killed Gandhi has more followers in India these days and the country which was once knows for the special brand of secularism in accepting and respecting people of all class, creed, religion and caste are getting divided in the name of religion, caste, class and creed. The extreme right wing religious nationalism spread roots into the disturbed minds of the citizens who are misled by the rhetoric of the people with vested interests. It is time for me and for all to wake up to hold the hands together to recite again and imprint in our hearts the pledge ‘India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters……’ That was taught when I was a child and I still remember the days when we at the ground of St.Aloysious High School, recited the whole pledge early morning before the classes began with all the colleagues. I am proud to be an Indian. I love to be known, identified and die as an Indian rather than a representative of any religion, caste, class or creed.