The Candid Eye

February 18, 2010

‘Pilgrimage is a journey into oneself ‘- Sri Sri Ravishankar Tells Priests

Filed under: Art of Living,Christianity,Hinduism — Abhay @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

‘Pilgrimage is a journey into oneself ‘- Sri Sri Ravishankar Tells Priests

by Adolf Washington

VELANKANNI, Tamil Nadu, Feb 12: “It’s a joy to talk to the lovers of God,” said Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of the Art of Living organisation, at the Indian Priests Congress held at Velankanni, one of world’s most popular Christian pilgrim centres, February 9.

Ravishankar who received a State VIP escort to the Shrine was Addressing over 900 priests from across India.  He said: “It is time to look deep within and connect the mind with the inner self and rekindle the faith. Mind is vascilliting between the past and the future we got to bring it to the present.” To a question from the audience as to what was Sri Ravishankar’s concept of a pilgrimage, he said “To me, pilgrimage is an inward journey.  It is a journey into oneself.  It is a search for a communiion between God and oneself”


Ravishankar told the priests: “We are made up of the substance called love. We are God’s image, God is love, but then why hatred, jealousy among people? How to handle them is a huge challenge. Spiritual wisdom helps to overcome them. Breathing exercises helps to remove all negative emotions.”
There are so many things common between Hindus and Christians like the rosary, the prayer bell, which is unique to Christianity and not inherited from Judaism.

Answering queries posed by priests such as why Christians are attacked by the Hindu groups, Ravishankar said, “It is because some Pentecostal people indulge in asking people to throw Hindu pictures out from their homes, which causes misunderstanding. People also don’t know the difference between sects. People need education to broaden their vision.”

Responding to Journalist Anto Akara’s question “Why have you so far not openly condemned hindu fundamentalist groups that indulge in attacks on the Church”, Ravishankar said “I have openly denounced any form of violence from any quarter.  Your Churches were attacked, temples to were attacked.  I have denounced any kind of religious violence”.  To another question from the audience “Why have you not spoken openly against the caste system?”, the Guruji replied “I have certainly denounced any kind of injustice or discrimination.  I have said many times and in many places that we are all children of one God.  We are all in Him and He is in all”

“I dont discard religion.Religions are essential because they gives us the connectivity to God. Religion is an external aspect, whereas spirituality is interiorisation,” he concluded.

Cardinal Claudio Cardinal Hummes, Prefect, Congregation for Clergy, Vatican, Archbishops,and Bishops were among those present for the talk.

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January 17, 2010

Dalits are forced to eat human excreta by Christians!

This one is very shocking and disturbing news.A dalit youth in Dindigul, TN was forced to eat human excreta by upper caste christians.

In a shocking case of caste discrimination, a dalit has alleged that he was forced to eat human faeces by a group of ‘high caste Christians’ for walking with chappals on their street in the district.

The dalit youth, in his complaint to Batalagundu police inspector, said, “A group of high-caste Christians forced human faeces into my mouth after beating me for walking with chappals on their street.”

Sadayandi, who is from Indhira Nagar in Meikovilpatti in Dindigul district, claimed the incident occurred on January 7, when a group of more than 10 ‘caste Christians’ stopped him, and asked if he was not aware of the “order” that dalits should not walk with chappals on their street. Then they asked him to remove his chappals and slapped him with it, he said.

“One of them suggested that I should be fed human excreta. Immediately, one person brought the excreta on a stick, and thrust it into my mouth,” he alleged, adding the excreta was applied all over his face.

“In fact, I wanted to commit suicide, unable to bear the shame. But my relatives prevented me from doing so,” he said.Police said the youth has named Arockiasamy, David, Selvendran, Kennery, Kannadasan, Peter and Anbu in his complaint.Some high-caste Christians said elder dalits did not wear chappals when they walked on their streets, but youths were “breaching the rule.”

Sadayandi said he was treated at Batlagundu Hospital.The youth alleged that police did not take any action, and so he approached an NGO. When questioned by a fact-finding team of the NGO, Arockiswamy said Sadayandi, who was then drunk, blocked their way and dared them to ram their vehicle into him.

Arockiasamy and others had allegedly slapped him and asked him to go home.Police inspector Muneeswaran said it was Sadayandi who had created the problem. They were trying to bring about a rapprochement between the dalits and the Christians, he said.

August 12, 2009

Are Brahmins the Dalits of today?

At a time when the Congress government wants to raise the quota for Other Backward Classes to 49.5 per cent in private and public sectors, nobody talks about the plight of the upper castes. The public image of the Brahmins, for instance, is that of an affluent, pampered class. But is it so today?

There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!

There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.

Did you know that you also stumble upon a number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations? One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.

“Dalits often have five to six kids, but they are confident of placing them easily and well,” he says. As a result, the Dalit population is increasing in villages. He adds: “Dalits are provided with housing, even their pigs have spaces; whereas there is no provision for gaushalas (cowsheds) for the cows of the Brahmins.”

You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment opportunities and poor education in their villages.

Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs 500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.

Did you also know that most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins?

This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics. Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs.

400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir  valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.

And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all purohits live below the poverty line.

Eighty per cent of those surveyed stated that their poverty and traditional style of dress and hair (tuft) had made them the butt of ridicule. Financial constraints coupled with the existing system of reservations for the ‘backward classes’ prevented them from providing secular education to their children.

In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.

The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.

There is no reason to believe that the condition of Brahmins in other parts of the country is different. In this connection it would be revealing to quote the per capita income of various communities as stated by the Karnataka finance minister in the state assembly: Christians Rs 1,562, Vokkaligas Rs 914, Muslims Rs 794, Scheduled castes Rs 680, Scheduled Tribes Rs 577 and Brahmins Rs 537.

Appalling poverty compels many Brahmins to migrate to towns leading to spatial dispersal and consequent decline in their local influence and institutions. Brahmins initially turned to government jobs and modern occupations such as law and medicine. But preferential policies for the non-Brahmins have forced Brahmins to retreat in these spheres as well.

Caste shouldn’t overwrite merit

According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).

Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being ridiculed and disrespected.

At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs 2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’ reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.

The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other government than Sonia Gandhi’s  has gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes.

The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today, seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.

Anti-Brahminism originated in, and still prospers in anti-Hindu circles. It is particularly welcome among Marxists, missionaries, Muslims, separatists and Christian-backed Dalit movements of different hues. When they attack Brahmins, their target is unmistakably Hinduism.

So the question has to be asked: are the Brahmins (and other upper castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today?

~~~ Article by Francois Gautier, appeared in Rediff on May 23, 2006:- source.

Related Articles:-

Doctors in arms

At Ground Zero of the quota protests

The middle class deserves what it is getting

Do our institutes connect with the real India?

Who are the real Dalits of India?

From the Indian Express: ‘These measures will not achieve social justice’

How reservations fracture Hindu society


May 28, 2009

Electronic Voting Machines – Are they 100% tamper proof??

Filed under: Elections '09 — thecandideye @ 3:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

The AIADMK in TamilNadu has passed a resolution recently that the Election Commission should revert to voting through ballot boxes.Excerpts on the same with my emphasis.

Accusing the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam of using money power and malpractices to win the Lok Sabha polls, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam said the Election Commission should revert to voting through ballot boxes.

Taking stock of the Lok Sabha election results, the party’s executive council meeting in Chennai, presided over by AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, passed a resolution, stating that some developed countries reverted to ballot system of voting due to irregularities in the Electronic Voting Machines.

While there are some incidents in which the EVMs malfunctioned and changed the results of the election in that consituency,still they are considered fool proof by many people.These EVMs are manufactured by Bharat Elecronics,Bangalore and Electronic conrporation of India, Hyderabad.Election Commisson of India says there are a number of benifits using Electrnic machines instead using old ballot boxes and measures are taken to avoid possible malfunctioning.But still, some questions naturally arise regarding the EVMs.They are:

1) Some of the EVMs are malfunctioning  even though it is manufactured by Navaratna status company BEL. What is the quality control being followed for these machines in these companies?Are these measures stringent enough to avoid malfunctioning of the machines?

2) Are the EVMs used in India sufficiently shielded against Van Eck Phreaking?

3) I believe calibration is done properly for these machines.Are recalibration facilities/methods easily and quickly available in the event of malfunctioning?There are repeated incidents of EVMs switching votes in India similar to the one happened in West Virginia in 2008. In Tamilnadu, the switching happened in favour of DMK led alliance in number of places.Why did this not happen for AIADMK led alliance?

4) What are the information exchange protocals/standards being followed for the EVMs used in India?Whether EVMs are using the standards such as Election Markup Language(EML)?

5) I don’t think that the voting machine software has been made available for the people to analyse and improve as it is done in Australia under free software license.

May 16, 2009

One more Potential Academy Award Winning Film from India!!

When India is celebrating the victory of Slums and Dogs and its award winning music director AR Rahman’s incredible music,here comes another film with well thought out,pre planned,fascinating story line.The movie name –  ‘Nutritious Hunger Strike ‘, directed/enacted/screenplayed by  Karunanidhi.You need to watch this wonderful movie,beautifully enacted by the hero Karunanidhi, if you have not seen already.One fine day,Hero Karunanidhi after finishing his breakfast  followed by fresh juice decides to go on hunger strike.The reason – People of Tamil Nadu are so worried and agitated about the plight of Srilankan Tamils.So our hero being a Tamil,needed to do something dramatically to grab their attention.His dramatic decision to go on hunger strike drama,indeed grabbed people’s attention.For the people who have missed this, here below is one of the scenes in the drama.Infact it is the only scene as far as I remember.Click here for the scene.

Here is the chronology of scenes of our Karunanidhi in the drama ‘Nutritious Hunger Strike’.
6AM : Getting up
6AM : 7AM – Getting Ready
7AM : Hot medium spicy Soup is being served to our Karunanidhi
7AM – 7.15AM : Drinking the warm medium spicy soup
7.15AM – 7.45AM : Reading Newspapers and Recollecting what he had said to the press the previous day so that he can lie based on the previous one.
7.45AM – 8AM : Arcot Veerasamy calls up Chidambaram and confirms whether he would call our hero at 11.45AM sharply.
7.45AM – 8AM : At the same time,Dhayalu Ammal,Karunanidhi’s wife calls up the family doctor and asks him to come to Marina beach directly
8AM – 8.10AM : Goes to Dining area.Yes he doesn’t want to waste the energy,which he wants to use while sleeping aka hunger strike
8.10AM – 8.30AM : Takes breakfast – Hot Idlies with Sambar and Chutney.Doctor has advised him not to take anything other than Idlies as break fast.After packing Fresh Apple juice and ground nuts,our ‘Nutritious Hunger Strike’ crew sets out for Marina beach.
8.30AM – 9AM – In the AC car,Karunanidhi drinks Apple juice and binges on groundnuts for sometime.
9AM : Arriving Marina beach.The stage is set by this time.
9AM-9.15AM : Goes to the stage,waves his hands and starts sleeping on the couch.
The crew was getting worried on seeing the suffering that our Karunanidhi was going thru in the Air conditioned couch.They were crossing their fingers all the time during the shooting of the drama.
11.45AM : Chidambaram calls up Karunanidhi and tells him that Strikes on Tamils in Srilanka have been stopped.Karunanidhi on hearing this sighed relief and declares that war has been stopped by his hunger strike.
The next day, Sri Lankan ministers had once again said they will not stop the strikes and is not interested in evacuating the 2 lakh Tamils from the war zone.When Karunanidhi was asked to give a clarification on this statement,he promptly replied ‘Even though the rain stopped, still there will be some winds and drizzle’.

May 5, 2009

temples – an endangered entity?

First of all, the government has put tax on the temple revenues. What has the government done to build a temple, that gives it a right over the personal donations of devotees to the temples? Why this taxation only on Hindu places of worship and not on Mosques and churches?

Second, the government has mindlessly used the collected tax money, without any consideration from the respective temple authorities. When I donate money to a temple, its because of the peace I receive from that temple’s activities, and its with the wish that such activities grow. A part of it could be used for other social welfare projects, which could include benefits of other religions also. However, the so called secular government has disproportionately used the temple revenue for other religions, when no good has been done by those religions to the devotees who have given these donations. Here are few of the facts:-

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Statement of Receipts and disbursements of revenues from Temples

Govt. of Karnataka

Statement of Allocation of Revenue for development purposes

Revenue/Expense  From Temples

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

Revenue collected ( Rs. in Crores )

58.63

65.35

69.98

71

72

79

No. of Temples

2,67,073

2,67,000

2,62,035

2,54,038

2,61,012

2,48,196

1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Disbursement

( Rs. in Crores )

Madarsas, Mosques, Haj committee*

Compensation for Haj Pilgrim Victims

14.25

27

35

13.21

45.34

50

58

1.15

Christian institutions, churches

5

8

8

10

10

12.75

Temple renovation & maintenance

16.5

15

13.75

11.5

10

7.1

Miscellaneous

22**

17.35

5.1

2

* Disbursement for minority comm. development

**  Women and child welfare programs

Note: These are approx. Figures

Source: Chief Minister’s Office, Vidhan Soudha, Bangalore PH: 2225 3414 / 2225 3424

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When a hindu raises voice for benefit of hindus without causing any harm to other religions, it is considered hindu fundamentalism. When the government does minority appeasement for vote bank politics, harming the interests of hindus, its called secularism?

The ground reality is that in Andra Pradesh alone, 28000 out of 36000 temples have been shut down because of lack of funds.

Read on more:-

+The state wise assault on hindu places of worship:-

http://bharatjagran.com/bharat-jagran-data/2009/170309.htm

+1 Lakh devotees fast for autonomy of temples in Tamilnadu:-

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1986/12/1986-12-05.shtml

+Demand of autonomy of temples in Kozhikode :-

http://www.hindu.com/2007/05/12/stories/2007051203940300.htm

When the constitution provides equal rights to all citizens irrespective of religion, the control of Governement over Hindu places of worship are totally illegal,  and certainly not secular.

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