Sunday, 26 April 2009

Satyadarshni - The irony begins in the name of this crappy shit

Here is a wonderful mail I received from a friend recently... Just read it, and let me know if it is not natural to get angry, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or just old fashioned "pissed off" when you read crap (excuse me) like what is being spread by lousy, third grade books like Satyadarshini (what an ironic name... Satyadarshini, my arse) and people who carry these around... It's a shame, indeed. Such people should definitely be severely punished for attempting to bring about defamation.

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Fran├žois Gautier
First Published : 06 Oct 2008 02:12:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 06 Oct 2008 07:40:54 AM IST

I WAS born in a Catholic family. My uncle was a priest, a wonderful man of warmth and compassion and I spent most my early years in Catholic boarding schools. When I was young I wanted to become a missionary and to 'convert' pagans in Asia . What I was taught by priests was that Hindus worship false gods and they needed to be brought back to the True Word by Jesus Christ.

Then of course, I came to India and discovered that actually Hindus, far from being the heathens, as had been portrayed in Europe, not only believed God's diversity, the wonderful concept of avatar, but had given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted), the Armenians, or today the Tibetans.

I am also aghast at the one-sided coverage by the Indian media of the Christian- Hindu problem: blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus in Varanasi , Delhi , Mumbai train blasts, Jaipur, etc. Yet, neither Manmohan Singh nor Sonia Gandhi have pronounced once the word 'Islamic terrorism.' But when furious Hindus, tired of being made fun of, of witnessing their brothers and sisters converted by financials traps, of seeing a 84-year-old swami and his Mataji brutally murdered, of reading blasphemy about their Gods, vent their anger against churches, many of them makeshifts, the Indian government goes after the soft target which the Hindus are. The same thing applies to the United States: they never warned Muslim organisations in India about the killing of Hindus, but when dollars are used to buy new converts and it angers the majority community of India,Washington has the arrogance to issue a warning, and Manmohan Singh does not have the pride to tell the US to mind its own business.
Neither the Indian press nor the western correspondents bothered to write about what made Hindus angry in Karnataka: Newlife, one important westernfunded missionary centre (, began making conversions in and around Mangalore by accosting poor people in market areas, or in bus stands, befriending them and then taking them to churches to introduce them to the father.

Upon introduction they were paid Rs 2,500 per person and then taken to the Velankanni shrine, in Tamil Nadu, where they would get another Rs. 3,000.
When they finally converted to Christianity by changing the name, they got an incentive of Rs 10,000 onwards.

Newlife would then give them instructions to abandon wearing tilak on forehead, not to visit and offer prayers at the Hindu temples, replacing the photos and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses with a Cross, etc.

But what really angered local Hindus was when Newlife went one step further and published a book in Kannada — Satya Darshini — which was widely distributed by its missionaries. Here below is the translation of some of the most abusive passages: "Urvashi — the daughter of Lord Vishnu — is a prostitute.

Vashistha is the son of this prostitute.

He in turn married his own Mother. Such a degraded person is the Guru of the Hindu God Rama. (page 48).

When Krishna himself is wallowing in darkness of hell, how can he enlighten others? Since Krishna himself is a shady character, there is a need for us to liberate his misled followers (page 50). It was Brahma himself who kidnapped Sita.

"Since Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were themselves victims of lust, it is a sin to consider them as Gods. (page 39).

When the Trinity of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are consumed by lust and anger, how can they liberate others? The projection of them as Gods is nothing but a joke. (page 39). God, please liberate the sinful people of India who are worshipping False Gods. (Page 39)." When blasphemy and much worse is brought against the most sacred Hindu Gods, Hindus are supposed to take it meekly as sheep and let themselves be converted to a foreign religion! There are more than 4,000 foreign Christian missionaries involved in conversion activities across different states.

In Tripura, there were no Christians at the time of independence. There are 1,20,000 today, a 90 per cent increase since 1991. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1,710 Christians in 1961, but 1.2 million today, as well as 780 churches! In Andhra Pradesh, churches are coming up every day in far-flung villages and there was even an attempt to set up one near Tirupati.

Christians throughout the ages have strived on the concept of persecution and as a brought up Catholic, I remember feeling bad about all those martyred saints of Christianity. Christians in India like to say that they are only two per cent and can do no harm. But it is a sham: in the Tamil Nadu coastal belt from Chennai to Kanyakumari, there must be now 10 per cent Christians posttsunami and the same may be true in other parts of south India .
My heart goes out to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa who took a courageous stand against unethical Christian conversions, but is now under pressure from the Centre.
The BJP, having learnt from bitter experience that the Congress has no qualm in invoking President's rule under fallacious pretexts in states which are ruled by non-Congress governments is in a quandary: it must show some action against militant Hindu groups while remaining true to itself.

This is why Yeddyurappa took some action against Hindu groups while saying that his government will not tolerate forcible conversions and will take stringent action against missionaries involved in conversions.

And ultimately, the blame must fall on Hindus: they are 800 million in India , the overwhelming majority; they have the brains, they have the money and they have the power. But either their intellectual and political class sides with the minorities, out of fear, inferiority complex imbedded by the British or just sheer crass political opportunism, or the bigger mass is indifferent inert, selfish, un-civic conscious. Every Hindu is the inheritor of the only surviving spiritual knowledge which at the moment is under a concerted attack by Christian missionaries, Americanisation, Marxism and Islamic fundamentalism

Friday, 10 April 2009

Probabilities in arguments...

Baba Gyani Triviani said:

"Anything can happen - Any event, can occur... The chances may be low, but that does not mean that you totally discount it, or discard it - A calculated discounting is permitted"

What Baba means by the above statement is that, in life, you cannot simply discard anything without even considering it for a moment. I have seen several people who argue with this attitude. Their arguments are never complete. For example, there was a person who once told me that a certain organisation is known to steal credit from people who do the work... Now, this may or may not be true, one never knows, unless they have gone through this personally (for, it's very easy to malign someone). However, when I told this to my friend, he totally opposed it, with expressions which made it appear to me like even thinking it for a moment is a totaly sin. This kind of thinking is not good - For, though we like to walk around with the belief in the line - "Innocent until proven guilty", it would foolish on our part to not even consider it for a moment. Especially when a warning has been given.

There is nothing wrong in listening, and staying alert. We should be able to judge... Now, the organisation mentioned above may be an extremely reputed one, may have a lot of ethical people... However, there may be some 'black sheep' within - You never know. But to totally shun the idea, closing your ears as if the sentences are taboo and 'thou shalt be punished, ye imbecile' attitude is plain stupidity.

I don't know if you have read a book called "I'm OK, you're OK". It's a famous psycho-analysis book... I will tell you a small part from the book. The author says that every person has three types of thinking - Parent, Adult and Child (PAC). Parent type of thinking, is something like - Your parent tells you that telling lies is bad, or always eat your vegetables. When you are young, you are told this, and you simply accept this to be a fact. You don't think about it, you don't analyse it... It's simply taken to be true. The message needn't necessarily come from a parent, but can also come from a parent-like figure, like a teacher... Now, problem with the parent type of thinking, is that this data that is fed in, is accepted to be true. If the data fed itself is wrong, then there is no processing done, and it will be continued to be accepted as true. So, if a thief tells his son : "All policemen are bad", the son will believe it to be true, and hate all policemen. Now, the thief told it for a reason... But it doesn't matter anymore.

The child way of thinking is typically like a child - All these emotional, impulsive actions etc. are from the child... I won't go too deep into it. The third is the adult type of thinking, where everything is taken in and analysed rationally... The veracity of statements is checked, and only then logical decisions are taken. The child behavior exista among adults as well. The adult way of thinking is very essential, as you may have realised. Also, parent data should be analysed for completeness and truthfulness.

I have had several discussions (arguments) with these people, who simply to shut their minds to possibilities. They are totally convinced about some things, and are not open to newer possibilities... As Phoebe (From famous sitcom, Friends) tells Ross [Roughly] - "You had believed that the atom was the smallest particle that existed... And now you see that there are smaller particles. Why can't you bring yourself to believe that there are other possibilities?" But NO !! For these people, when someone told them that something is true, and they at the moment of listening, believe it to be so, their thinking is simply shut off. It is simply accepted to be a fact. This kind of thinking is not Adult type of thinking... It is simply stored as Parent data.

To summarise, when we are told something, analyse if it is true. Think about all possibilities and probabilities... A 360 degree approach is essential for completeness. Don't simply disregard anything to be stupid, or not at all possible - You never know !!

Monday, 6 April 2009

NGOs and Altruism

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"It takes a lot more to change societies than merely forming groups... If no ground work is done, then you are yet another follower of Times Of India - (Just talk and no work)"

Disclaimer: At the very out set of this entry, I would like to make it very clear that I do not intend to (tangentially even) imply any part of this material towards any existing or non existing organisation, person or group of people. People reading this entry should do so in a completely unbiased manner.

I noticed that there a lot of people with good hearts, who want to do something for the people who are not so fortunate as themselves. So, people who say "There is no good left in this kali yuga" have another thing coming. There are a lot of people who are interested in doing something good - They want to channelise their energy and efforts towards the upliftment of the society, in some way or the other.

So, they do things - some of them do it as individuals, and others do it in groups, or by joining or forming organisations of different types. People who do it as individuals are those who feel that they can be in full control of what they do - though what they are doing is in a very small scale, they do it to satisfy themselves, while at the same time, they are their own bosses - which means that they can flex rules and timing at any point... They are not answerable to anyone. Their level of committment is left to them.

While this may seem to be a nice idea, we should understand that anything done in a collaborative manner will yield better results because of effort getting divided, and funds getting multiplied by a number of people. So, there are people who form small groups, don't give themselves any names and do work - They do it for the joy, or with an objective... However, again, though it is better than the first type in a way, it has some limitations - funds being the main one. For a group which wants to have the advantages of the first type (flexibility and being self-boss) and the second type (collaboration), this does not pose a hinderance. It actually is very convenient.

But for those people who want to do something more.... well, "full time", they cannot have half hearted approaches. They have to do something with a zest and goal in mind. I want to eradicate literacy... Or something else. These are the people who join NGOs. NGOs get a lot of funds from various sources. Some NGOs actually do work, and as usual, there are some who apparently siphon off the money. Greenpeace is among the noted ones who actually do work - w.r.t. their campaign against Tatas to save the Olive Ridley turtles...

Now let's take the situation where youngsters - especially students, who have a lot of time to spare, and being young and fresh, have a lot of energy. You talk to them, and they always come out with a grandiose plan - I will definitely achieve blah blah OR become a politician and ensure that there is no corruption OR I will make sure that there is no illiteracy... something like this. Obviously, you, as an individual, on listening to these claims, say that these are too far fetched. They are young, inexperienced, and have a lot of energy. So, how do we channelise this?

To understand this, we should first understand the situation in a very clear and well defined manner. Assuming that there is a group of young students who get together to make a difference. They want to do SOMETHING. So, what should they be doing? They should first of all form an agenda. The objective of the group should be well defined. The easiest thing perhaps for students to be doing is (a) Spread literacy and (b) Donating blood. Of course, you don't have to be a student for the latter, but still, that is one of the best things you can be doing. If there is no proper objective, then there is no clarity of thought. You can't be running around doing everything, because you have to remember that you are not a large corporation, nor are you being backed by one. You don't have that kind of funds.

Another interesting thing that I noticed among students forming NGOs is the fact that they tend to copy larger NGOs by assigning posts - President, Director and so on. I believe that this kind of categorising people into departments at the very outset is merely an attempt to show structure. The major flaw in this system, is that everyone gets assigned to a position of one of the top posts like the ones that I have mentioned earlier, and then we run out of people and posts - which means that there are no volunteers or no people who are actually doing any ground work. This compounded with the fact that there is no proper agenda or objective severely weakens the group. And youngsters are people with high energy who gain and lose interest very rapidly, because most of the people won't have the will to sustain the enthusiasm that they had at the outset. Which means they lose interest soon, and they drop out, which makes it difficult to actually run the organisation when you need to.

The solution is to treat the group as a group, to have one person to lead or delegate, to ensure that there is one grand main objective, and a very large number of smaller short term goals that are easily realisable. This way, there is constant action, and that will slowly snowball towards the grand objective. Trying to mimic a full grown NGO at the outset is not the solution because there are several technical problems, that inexperienced people including the President cannot understand. Remember, clarity of thought is not important ONLY at the beginning, it is required throughout any project for that matter. Diversifying without losing sight of the "Grand Objective" is most essential.