The All India Catholic Union (AICU) had its 2nd Working Committee
The All India Catholic Union (AICU) had its 2nd Working Committee Meeting on 18 -19th February, 2017 at Dhyanasramam, Chinna Waltair, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
56 Members from various parts of the Country attended the meeting. The day started with Holy Eucharistic Celebration by His Grace Most Rev. Dr.Mallavarapu Prakash, Archbishop of Visakhapatnam.
In his inaugural address His Grace expressed the need of greater lay involvement in the Church and the Society at the same time keeping close relationship with the Clergy & Religious so as to have United vision of the church. The whole day the regular meeting proceedings taken place. In the evening, the Host CA Unit organised a Seminar mainly for the local public. The Theme of the Seminar was Nurturing & Empowerment of Christian Leadership. More than 300 people participated alongwith the AICU delegates from various parts of the Country. The Seminar was chaired by National President Lancy D Cunha and key note address by Most Rev.Sharad Chandra Naik, Bishop of Berhampur, Orissa. The other Speaker for the Seminar was Mr. Dolphy D'Souza, the Former National Vice President of AICU from Mumbai. The Bishop; Mr.Dolphy D'Souza, Former National Presidents Dr.John Dayal & Mr.Eugene Gonsalves expressed their views and thoughts on the theme of the Seminar and also touched the presents scenario in all over the country and the involvement of Laity in the Church & the Society. They have also further explained the local gathering about the Aims & Objectives, various activities of CA and the importance of the Associations.
The Second Day, we had a Study Session attended by members of the WCM and more people from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh & Telengana. The Session was addressed by His Lordship Rt. Rev. Sharad Chandra Naik, Bishop of Berampur, Orissa and Mr. Dolphy D' Souza.
The meeting concluded with Resolutions passed for the safe release of Rev. Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil who has been abducted by the militants at Yeman and also expressed dissatisfaction over observing 25th December as Good Governance Day.
AICU which is heading for the Centenary Celebration in the year 2019 has also decided to have more Count - down celebrations Diocese-wise and Zone-wise in the near future
The 2 days programme was ended with Vote of Thanks by the Secretary General.
A VEILED THREAT
Christian women could feel threatened by a recent article “Why Women Wear Veils in Church” written by one Susanna Spencer. It appeared in a pious journal published by a renowned pilgrim centre for hopeless cases. It was hopelessly off the mark, as I shall presently expound.
Spencer claims that Christian women always covered their heads in Church. They sometimes wore hats, scarves or stylish headbands. The article quotes extensively from 1 Cor 11:2-15 in support of her above contention. She further claims that “veiling is a statement against modernity and its lies”. A veil accentuates the natural beauty of a woman when she dresses up for church. She claims that the 1917 Code of Canon Law provided for women to cover their heads, and the opposite for men. The 1983 Code has scrapped the provision for women but retained that for men. I have not come across any such provision in the New Code of Canon Law, but would be happy to stand corrected. Before addressing Spencer’s claims let us first see what the quoted text has to say.
Paul begins by congratulating the Corinthians for maintaining the traditions that he had passed on to them (v2). The head of a woman is a man (v3). If a man prays with his head covered it is a disrespect of his head (v4). In contrast if a woman’s head is uncovered it is disrespect for her head (v5). If her head is uncovered it is like having her hair shaved off (v5), in which case her hair should be cut (v6). It is improper for a man to cover his head as he is the image of God (v8). A woman should cover her head as a sign of the man’s authority over her (v10).
After these rather misogynistic statements (sounds like Donald Trump) Paul modifies them to say that both men and women are inter-dependent and come from God (v11-12). He leaves it to them to decide for themselves (v13). He then relapses into saying that nature teaches that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace (v14). He finally admits that “If anyone wants to be contentious I say that we have no such custom, nor do any of the churches of God” (v16).
This last disclaimer by Paul sounds like something that he said earlier in the same letter to the Corinthians when talking of marriage, celibacy and sexual abstinence in marriage, when he admits that “These instructions are my own, not the Lord’s” (1 Cor 7:12). His personal opinion and natural ideas (not the Lord’s teaching) were influenced by his erroneous belief in an imminent end of the world – “the time has become limited” (1 Cor 7:29). His repeated reticence could indicate that he sensed that he was walking on thin ice.
Let us first examine Paul’s statements, as Spencer’s are largely based on his. For this I have drawn from the Jerome Biblical Commentary (JBC), a leading reference book in Catholic seminaries. It distinguishes between an epistle (that is for universal consumption and systemic teaching) and a letter (that is more personal, disjointed and often written in haste). 1 Cor is therefore classified as a hurriedly written personal letter that cannot be termed systemic teaching. The JBC further explains that in the Greek tradition men with long tresses and women with short hair were considered transgenders or homosexuals and abhorred by society. So Paul was in fact imposing a local social more, which had no relevance outside its specific social context and timeline. The JBC adds that kephale the Greek word for head was also used for “source”, and the reference here is to the source of man and woman in the Genesis account of creation, and does not connote either authority or superiority. We need solid exegesis before quoting scripture out of context thereby drawing erroneous conclusions.
I shall now take recourse to another authentic source, the Dictionary of the Bible (D.O.B.) by Rev John McKenzie SJ, to unveil the “veil”. It says that the wearing of a veil by women is an ancient, widespread but diversified custom, but it was not customary among the Israelites. It was worn by women at the time of consummation of a marriage and during sexual intercourse. In Middle Assyrian law women wore a veil. Among the Canaanites, nude female figures had a veil, indicative again of sexual intercourse. “Paul’s precept that a woman should wear a veil during worship is obscure … he tried to introduce customs of Oriental decorum as practiced in his own city of Tarsus, into Corinth”. From the above it is apparent that women wearing a veil in worship was neither Judaic, Christian or even sacred. To the contrary it was largely associated with sex!
As for hair and beards, the D.O.B. says that the Semitic peoples kept full length beards, whereas the Romans and Greeks were clean shaven. The Egyptians wore a square cut goatee artificial beard. For the Jews it was an indignity to have their heads shaved or plucked. Egyptian artists portrayed the people of Canaan sporting long hair and beards. In the Old Testament it was a dishonour to cut the beard and hair (cf 2 Sam 10:4), other than as a sign of mourning. (cf Is 15:2). Here in India too, male Hindus have themselves tonsured when a relative dies.
Now let me revert to Spencer. She avers that the Church veils things that are sacred, like the tabernacle and chalice. There is also the implication that after Moses met God on the mountain, his face was veiled (cf ex 34:29-35). We conveniently forget that he was first instructed to remove his footwear. Why don’t we follow this biblical precept when entering a place of worship? Why are we selective and target women? The D.O.B. explains that “the veil masked the face of the prophet so that his own person was concealed when he spoke the word of Yahweh in the person of Yahweh”. By that standard our clergymen, beginning with the Pope, should enter the church barefoot, with their faces veiled! That would be fun to watch.
On a more serious note, after the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, the veil of secrecy is off. We should not mistake secrecy for sacredness. Finally we need to recall that when Jesus died on the cross the veil in the Temple was rent (cf Mat 27:51). This was symbolic of unrestricted access to the Divine, for Jesus is indeed the way, the truth and the life (cf Jn 14:6). Even our dear Paul acknowledges in what is actually his fourth letter to the Corinthians that “We use boldness of speech unlike Moses who put a veil over his face … the veil is taken away in Christ” (2 Cor 3:14). We are further exhorted to “enter the presence behind the veil” (Heb 6:19).
I will sign off from Paul with another of his contentious exhortations, “Slaves obey your masters” (Col 3:22). Here again this may have been said in a given context, but certainly not tenable today. My purpose is not to belittle Paul or the sacred scriptures, but simply to remind gullible readers to not be taken in by false prophets masquerading their personal opinions as Gospel truth.
As an Indian, living in a multi-cultural milieu, I would also like to examine the cultural angle, apart from the scriptural one. Spencer says that women dress up for church with hats, scarves and headbands. This is obviously western/ European culture, alien to India, or Asia and Africa for that matter. I recall my childhood when there were still a lot of Europeans and westernised Indians around. Mass was a veritable fashion parade, with the headgear being anything but sacred. I have no intention of judging what women wear on their heads, for me what is more important is what is in their heads.
In India I see Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Parsis worshipping. All of them, both male and female, cover their heads and remove their footwear. This is part of our composite culture. When I visited Jerusalem in 1980 I noticed that orthodox Jews had long hair in ringlets. Jews also wear skull caps while worshipping, as do our bishops. The latter also wear grotesque mitres that make them look like circus performers. Images from the Sudarium of Oviedo in Spain, believed to be the burial face cloth of Jesus, and the Shroud of Turin, both of which have identical AB+ve blood stains, indicate that Jesus himself had shoulder length hair and was bearded (common in all sacred imagery). Jesus belonged to a Semitic race, just like the Arabs (sons of Abraham).
So it is possible that dear St Paul was trying to bridge the cultural gap between Judaic and Hellenistic customs when he wrote to the Corinthians about their hair and decorum in worship. Unfortunately he ended up creating more confusion than clarity.
Having read this I hope that our womenfolk will not be coerced into being veiled; and overzealous writers will not go over the top propounding unsubstantiated or half baked ideas, and passing them off as integral to Christian orthodoxy or orthopraxis. I’ll end this with a reference to the last book of the Bible – Revelation. It is also called the Apocalypse derived from the Greek word apokalypsis, which literally means the lifting of the veil to reveal something. This is the most misunderstood and misquoted book of the Bible. I believe in divine revelation, but not in apocalyptic fear or veiled threats.
* The writer is a layman without any training in theology or exegesis. He willingly accepts that if there is any error in this presentation he is fully responsible for the same.
PRESS STATEMENT VISAKHAPATNAM
NDA GOVERNMENT, RULING PARTY AND SANGH PARIVAR MUST STOP “ARITHMETIC OF HATE” WHICH POLARISES PEOPLE ALONG RELIGIOUS LINES
AICU demands rights to Dalit Christians, calls on government to protect land, water, forests in Tribal areas
In letter to Mr. Narendra Modi, AICU says: “Use India’s good offices to expedite release of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil release from ISIS captivity”
VISAKHAPATNAM, 18 FEBRUARY 2017
[Statement released at a Press conference in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, by All India Catholic Union National President, Mr. Lancy D Cunha. The press conference was also addressed by National vice president Engr. Elias Vaz, Secretary General Mr. S. Chinnappan and Treasurer, Mr. Alexander Anthony. Immediate past president Mr., Eugene Gonsalves and past National President and Spokesman, Dr. John Dayal. The All India Catholic Union, which celebrates its centenary in 2019, is the oldest and largest Laity organisation in Asia. The working committee was addressed by the Archbishop of Vishakhapatnam [Andhra Pradesh], His Grace Most Reverend Prakash Malabari, and The Bishop of Berhampur [Orissa] Right Reverend Sarat Chandra Nayak]
The 98-year-old All India Catholic Union, the apex national Organisation of the Catholic Laity in the country, has condemned the repeated efforts by the National Democratic Alliance Government, as well as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its non-state associates of the Sangh Parivar, for using an “arithmetic of hate” to polarize the people on religious lines. Wherever there are national, provincial or even municipal elections, the party and Sangh cadres chants that religious minorities are “increasing fast” or “entering new areas”. No less a person than the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr. Karen Rijjiju, is making insinuations against the Christian population in Arunachal Pradesh, his home state. This not only insults the freedom of conscience of the people, which is guaranteed in the Constitution, but also casts aspersions on minority faiths.
Leaders of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, among them members of Parliament, have insulted the Christian presence, specially in the North-Eastern States and parts of central India. These allegations have not been condemned by the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. The AICU has consistently demanded that the Prime Minster fulfill his promise of security and safety to the community by ensuring a halt to such targeted hate campaigns. These directly encourage violent extremist elements to attack churches, religious persons and institutions. The AICU notes the continuing cases of violence against Christians in various parts of the country.
The AICU leadership has also renewed its demand that the Union government forthwith restore the constitutional rights of the Christians of Dalit origin which were taken away in a dastardly fraud on the Constitution by the Presidential Order of 1950, now called Article 341 [iii]. The AICU is challenging this order in the Supreme Court together with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India and other organisations. This order effectively takes away the freedom of religion from more than about 200 million [20 crore] people of Dalit origin who can retain their affirmative action benefits in education and employment, and their right to fight elections from Reserved seats, only if they remain, or become Hindus.
The AICU has once again called upon the NDA government to focus on issues of employment, ameliorating the plight of farmers, safety of women, and universal health care and housing. A Smart Nation is one where hunger, want, disease, homelessness, vulnerability deceases sharply, and freedoms are strengthened.
The Catholic Union also called upon the government to cease and desist from attempting to force majoritarian Uniform Civil Code. Instead, it should remove religious bias from many central and state laws including in taxation policies, employment and the Dalit issue as in Article 341 [iii]. It must forthwith stop its desperate efforts to saffronised education.
Meanwhile, the AICU has in a letter to the Prime Minister urged him to use his personal rapport with world leaders as well as India’s historic good relations with countries of the Mid-East to expedite the release of Kerala-born Salesian priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil
who was abducted in Yemen by the ISIS in March 2016. In a recent video, which went viral on the social media, the priest has pleaded with the Indian prime minister as well as President Pranab Mukherjee for his release saying while European prisoners were released, he was being kept captive.
Released to the Media by Dr. John Dayal, Official Spokesman and past national President. For further information, please contact email@example.com.
The Advantage of the Crowd
India is hitting global headlines for many reasons, but one of them is for being one of the most unequal countries in the world with a very high and sharply rising concentration of income and wealth as well as education, ethics and reasoning.
As humans we need to show off our might and we do this best in a democracy by going in a crowd as right now the law is for protection of the crowd and at times this crowd works well for the individual or party or vetsed interest as achieving their goals or victory in winning the elections or getting what they want seldom or never work when one goes as an individual or even as equals This is what prompted the anarchist Peter Kropotkin to remark that nature is nor”red in tooth and claw” but people are.
The idea of protection of the crowd comes from the belief that a crowds fortunes are rooted in the creation of a buzz which can then bring in media coverage which in turn could morph into victory and achieving their needs/goals/interest.
On one occasion, a Mohammedan’s watch shop was being looted. It was the most precious collection of watches. The people who were taking away those watches and destroying the shop — they had killed the shop owner — were all Hindus. An old priest I was acquainted with was standing on the steps and shouting very angrily at the people, “What are you doing? This is against our religion, against our morality, against our culture. This is not right.”
I was seeing the whole scene from a bookstore, on the first story in a building just in front of the shop on the other side of the road. The greatest surprise was yet to come. When people had taken every valuable article from the shop, there was only an old grandfather clock left — very big, very antique. Seeing that people were leaving, the old man took that clock on his shoulders. It was difficult for him to carry because it was too heavy. I could not believe my eyes! He had been preventing people, and this was the last item in the shop.
I had to come down from the bookstore and stop the priest. I said to him, “This is strange. The whole time you were shouting, ‘This is against our morality! This is against our religion, don’t do it!’ And now you are taking the biggest clock in the shop.
He said, “I shouted enough, but nobody listened. And then finally the idea arose in me that I am simply shouting and wasting my time, and everybody else is getting something. So it is better to take this clock before somebody else gets it, because it was the only item left.”
I asked, “But what happened to religion, morality, culture?”
He said this with an ashamed face — but he said it: When nobody bothers about religion, culture and morality, why should I be the only victim? I am also part of the same crowd. I tried my best to convince them, but if nobody is going to follow the religious and the moral and the right way, then I am not going to be just a loser and look stupid standing there. Nobody even listened to me; nobody took any notice of me. He carried that clock away.
This is one exapmle of community leaders and political parties using the crowd to inflict harm, difficulties, financial loss over another community or ensuring victory in the coming elections in the respective Indian states and local bodies but the effectiviness depends on ones skill and technique to go for the bull’s eye.
The crowd as such is ugly, and the crowd has committed the greatest crimes in the world, because the crowd has no consciousness. It is a collective unconsciousness.
Consciousness makes one an individual - a solitary pine dancing in the wind, a solitary sunlit mountain peak in its utter glory and beauty, a solitary lion and its tremendously beautiful roar that goes on echoing for miles in the valleys.
According to many, (right now) law is not for protection of the just, it is for protection of the crowd; whether it is just or unjust does not matter. Law is against the individual and for the crowd. It is an effort to reduce the individual and his freedom, and his possibility of being himself.
Every crowd is a motley crowd, but no individual is motley. Every individual is an authentic consciousness. The momet he becomes part of the crowd he looses his consciousness, and then he is dominated by the collective mechanical mind.
The crowd is always of sheep and all efforts of the past have been to concert every individual into a cog in the wheel, into a dead part of a dead crowd. The more unconsciousness he is and the more his behavior is dominated by the collectivity, the less dangerous he is. In fact he becomes almost like a slave to the leader or party or vested interest whichever may be.
I have seen atleast a dozen riots in the city, as well as groups of people being carried away by their talk or preaching by vested interest, community leaders and politicians and I have asked individuals who have participated in arson, in murder, in rape, in excercising their franchise wrongly (they realised this later) “Can you do it alone on your own?” And they all said without exception, “On our own we could not do it. It was because so many people were doing it, and there was no responsibility left. We were not anserable, the crowd was anserwable.”
Man looses his small consciousness so easily into a collective ocean of unconsciousness. That is the causes of all wars, all riots, all rapes, all murders and all voting for the wrong candidate and party to form our government / municipay bodies and so on.
Right now being part of a crowd they are not free, not even conscious enough to have a dialouge.. People get carried away by the mass-minds
Friedrich Nietzsche has said,”Madness in individuals is a rare phenomenom but in crowds it is the general rule.” It is very rare that people become mad individually but it is almost the rule that crowds become mad. The general excitement is just too much, the fire is too much, you start burning with it – and it is very unconscious. And there is no responsibility any more and there is no problem of conscience – you are not killing or raping sombody, the crowd is killing or raping. You are simply participating because you were there. Nobody can catch hold of you and nobody can say to you that “you killed or raped!” You were not individually responsible
People in the crowd have always behaved blindly. If you pull the same man out of the crowd and ask him, “What were you doing? Can you do it alone, on your own?” he will feel embarrassed. And you will be surprised to hear his answer: On my own I cannot do such a stupid thing, but when I am in a crowd something strange happens.
A large mass of people enthusiastically waving banners and dancing can sway decision making in their favor.
In a country of diverse requirements, deprivation and squalor the views of the crowd takes precedence over an individual view especially in matters of inequalities, conflict and civic issues that causes inconvience and hurt to many. This respect for crowd acceptance lies at the root of our government policy for democracy.
Very soon many states in India will go to the polls. With the political parties and vested interest whipping up and using crowd hysteria to ensure winning it is anyone guesses who the winner will be and what sort of government will rule the respective state or local bodies. Will the government or local bodies elected by these people and in particular our community ensure communal harmony, economic upliftment, trade and commerce in a treansparent and profesional manner?
India is like a volcano that can erupt any time if not handled properly and necessary measures put in place. With development enjoyed by a select few, urban aswell as rural India has emerged as a hotbed of rising inequalities, conflicts and crime, often suspect to be a direct upshot of deprivation and squalor. An undercurrent of tension is apparent in the fast paced cities of the 21st century. The potential for a major tear in the social fabric of urban and rural geography is considerably large.
Will our community be wise enough to not fall in this trap of temptation and false promise which is pushed thru crowds and fancy and attractive advertisement and slogans but instead vote as a conscious individual ensuring that the social fabric is mantained and a non communal, professional party is voted to power.
All religion and religious groups, particularly the Catholics, are the conscience keepers. The church in India has a twin role of keeping the moral audit of the administration and to be able to tell the government and local bodies where to direct its energy.
SABHA DAY 2017 – A REPORT
Pomp and grandeur marked Sabha Day 2017 that was celebrated on Thursday 26 January 2016 by the Bombay Catholic Sabha at St. Paul’s School Ground, Dadar. This was preceded by the Thanksgiving Mass at which Fr. Michael D’Cunha was the main celebrant and Fr. John Lobo conceelebrated. The event was blessed with the presence of Bishop Elect Fr. Allwyn D’Silva as the Chief Guest and Dr. Snehal Pinto, Director of Ryan International Group of Institutes, as the Guest of Honour (on behalf of her mother Madam Grace Pinto). The packed St. Paul’s School Ground, Dadar enjoyed the evening of awards, fun and fellowship as they cheered the Star and Challenger Units from various Deaneries as they received Awards for the good work they had done in the year 2016.
The newly elected BCS President, Ms Rita D’Sa, welcomed the gathering and presented her road map for making the BCS more visible, more active in civic involvement and more empowering for the youth. She thanked all those who collaborated and partnered with the Sabha in its projects and appreciated the team spirit of the new executive committee.
Dr. Snehal Pinto stirred the gathering with her motivating message that we are a powerful force in the city having Our Lord with us. She said we are all blessed with different capabilities and strengths which we need to use to the maximum potential and unitedly we can make a difference. She concluded asking all to affirm that we are winners and achievers.
Fr. Felix D’Souza, Ecclesiastical Adviser, congratulated the Sabha for all that they were doing in the city and church. He urged the Sabha to work towards getting more of the community youth to take up responsible positions in the places of authority in public sphere.
Bishop Elect Fr. Allwyn D’Silva appreciated the work of the Sabha in the civic and secular fields. He was emphatic when he said, “you are the face of the Church” and hence it is necessary to be christian in our working, intensify our efforts, and move from creating awareness to actually implementing sustainable projects that would bring about visible change. He reminded the members to be the “salt” and “light” that Jesus challenges us to be so that all our actions will contribute to the better tomorrow and bring glory to the Lord.
The Secretary General Mr. Anand Castelino earlier presented the report of the Sabha for the year 2016. St. Anthony - Tembipada Unit presented a meaningful prayer dance. As usual Units were awarded for excellence in activities based on the thrust areas of the Sabha. The Award winners were the following:
STAR UNIT OF THE DEANERY (Best Unit)
O. L of Victory - Mahim North Bombay Deanery
St. Joseph - Vikhroli Thane Deanery
O. L. Of Lourdes - Orlem Borivali Deanery
St. Francis de Sales - Koparkhairane Navi Mumbai Deanery
CHALLENGER UNIT OF THE DEANERY
O. L. of Glory - Byculla South Bombay Deanery
St. Michael - Mahim North Bombay Deanery
O. L. of Mount Carmel - Bandra Bandra Deanery
St. Theresa - Bandra Bandra Deanery
St. Francis Xavier - Kanjurmarg Thane Deanery
St. John Bosco - Borivali Borivali Deanery
St. Francis Xavier - Panvel Navi Mumbai Deanery
The BCS Power of One Awards were given to the following individuals :
Ms. Odil Medeira, St. Michael - Mahim for Excellence in Creative Arts & Drama
Ms. Sarah Menezes, St. Pius X - Muund for Excellence in Sports.
Mr. Jacques D’Cruz, St. Anthony - Vakola for Excellence in Promotion of Govt. Minority Schemes for Students
Mr. Anthony Chettiar, St. Jude - Jerimeri for Excellence in Promotion of Education to the Girl Child
The BCS President paid a special tribute to the late Fr. Edward D’Souza, Ecclesiastical Adviser of the Sabha who expired in March 2016 and to Mr. George Menezes, founder member and friend of the Sabha, who had passed away in September 2016.
We are grateful to our Partners:
Madam Grace Pinto of Ryan International Group of Institutes - Title Partner.
Mr. Christopher John of M/s. Earnest John Group of Companies - Gold Partner
Mr. Albert W. D’Souza of Aldel Education Trust - Gold Partner
Mr. Vincent Mathias of Vel Vin Packaging (P) Ltd - Gold Partner
Mr. Henry Lobo and Family - Gold Partner
M/s Model Cooperative Bank Ltd - Pearl Partner
Thanks are due to the Sabha Day Conveners Mr. Lawrence Fernandes. Mr. Ronald Tressler and Mr. Robert D’Souza who together with the President Ms. Rita D’Sa put in their efforts to make this a very entertaining and cherished evening.
The Jt. Treasurer, Mr. Gordon D’Silva proposed the vote of thanks and the large gathering then participated in the merriment as they danced and shared the fellowship dinner, returning back with feelings of gladness and gratitude.
A New Kind of Power…..
One day the apocryphal story goes, Emperor Akbar asked Birbal to find him the biggest fool in the city. That evening Birbal set out for a walk in a public garden, he found a man looking for something in the moonlight. On enquiring he realized the man had lost his ring. “Did you lose it here?” Birbal asked, posing what appeared to be an obvious question. “No Sir, I lost it there,” said the man, pointing to a distant secluded corner, but the light is better in this area ad so I’m looking here.” Birbal had found his fool.
How does one relate this story to the present BJP government and their ideological arm the RSS together with their policy and choices? Over the past few years and largely in the earlier BJP government they identified the minorities and in particular the Muslims and Christians as their principal adversary. Public debate in the country as well as policy discourse in parliament has tended to discount other challenges and paint the minorities especially the Muslims and Christians as the BJP and their ideological arm the RSS their uber opponent. This has continued into the present term of their transition.
The present BJP government and the Prime Minister Modi style of working – speak thousand lies, repeat thousand times and people will start believing it as truth. The only policy of the BJP has since its birth is lie and win elections, if that doesn’t work then instigate riots and win elections. Now a day’s statistics are shown as friction and friction is shown as realities.
Their political dialogue has become so communal and corrosive …. So coarse with rancor that those whom they disagree with are seen as malevolent, indeed what a contrast between the outgoing UPA parliament and government and the language we have heard recently both in parliament and from the present BJP government. With the departure of Manmohan Singh the decent politics is looking increasingly like a bad boys club.
Something seems to have changed with the way the present government and our Prime Minister understand power. Take our Prime Minister he has been often referring to the opposition UPA as”ma-bete ki Sarkar” and when he was Gujarat CM even called Sonia Gandhi a “Jersey cow”. For Arvind Kejriwal his critics are ‘dalals’ for Modi journalists are ‘news traders’, his ministers call journalists “presstitues” and this government ideological arm the RSS is given a free hand to unleash terror and harass the minority communities So where have all the nice guys gone? Is there no space for decency anymore or is being decent and well spoken seen as a sign of weakness.
However there is some good news. Today the bad boys club may outnumber the rest but the relative success of a few of those outside the RSS organization and BJP government shows that they don’t always have to speak in harsh tones to match that of the present government to make a mark. To borrow the current lexicon, “bad ass” may be today’s high compliment but it’s the graceful Manmohan Singh who’s still universally given an even higher compliment, “awesome”. To quote him, “the potential of democracy will only be realized if politics better reflects the decency of ordinary people.”
As individuals we are increasingly being exhorted to value ourselves and to ask if we are making a difference. In a world where change is increasingly difficult to bring about, this desire to make a mark gets frustrated when it comes up against the formidable resistance of reality. The need to bypass restrictions, ethics as well as decency and to make an impact is a theme that is common to many diverse and often divided organizations / governments / constituencies. The quest for a new kind of power is visible in many different ways and its implications are as yet not entirely clear.
Putting it in a simpler way the workings of the present government as understood by the common man regarding the quest for a new kind of power which is being visible in many different ways and the clarity is now dawning....
It seems there was a captain in the RSS, whose stupid son had great difficulty understanding the concepts of the organization, the party, the government, and their dislike for the minority community and non Indian culture.
The captain told the boy to think of his father as the RSS organization, his mother as the BJP party, his grandmother as the BJP Government, and himself as the minority community.
Still, the boy did not understand. In a rage the father locked the boy in a wardrobe in the parental bedroom.
That night the boy was still in the wardrobe when the father began to make love to the mother who did not show interest in this activity but the father was insistent and continued. The boy, watching through the wardrobe keyhole, said, "Now I understand: The organization controls the party and the government sleeps while the minority community is being harassed, bullied, deprived of their constitutional rights and privileges, and so on by the organization and has to be silent and suffer."