Note: Thank you George for setting an example in frankly speaking, more for addressing it pointedly to the editor. Also it is understood letters to editor are meant for all readers to answer, as it is impossible for the editor to answer all letters. Take this, an exception!
That said, just a few words in headlines! Hinduism as you hint is more Catholic (more inclusive than Isam or Catholicism) and not proselytizing (“Soleman nonsense”,Pope). We have said it often. Hence our strong opposition to all organized religions! For more see after reading Geoge’s letter. jk
From: George Nedumparambil Fri, 28 Feb 2020
To: James Kottoor
My reading is that all those opposed to Modi/BJP/RSS wanted these riots to happen much earlier!
Modi has been indigestible to a section of the people, mainly coming from the intelligentsia (otherwise known as buddhijeevi), political parties, minority religious leaders and a large section of the media both print and visual.
I live in Kerala. All that I hear is only anti-Modi rhetoric whenever I switch on a TV channel or open a newspaper. I don't understand why there is so much hatred against him. Why people, especially opinion makers, are not able to see anything good in him. I am afraid that includes you. All are able to see him only as Hindu fundamentalist, not as a strong PM who has been able to cultivate most of the world leaders who matter.
I want to ask you James, is it not because of Hindus that Indian multiculturalism and minority religions survived from times immemorial? You and I both have Christian background. Christianity came to Kerala in the first century itself. It was the same Hindus that allowed the new faith to take roots and spread. If they are demonic as it is being made out these days, Christianity would have taken root only after the arrival of colonial powers some 500 years ago and that too through strong-arm tactics.
Hindus by nature are welcoming type of people and do not have a belief that their faith (or way of life) is the only way to salvation. That says a lot of about Hindus. Is it not? They are not in the market to get converts into their faith. In my opinion, therefore, there is no reason for anyone to fear a Hindu except one's own fundamentalist outlook and thinking may require to be curbed.
Of late, Hindus have been expressing themselves and through Modi they have been able to assert some of identity that they have lost over the years thanks to minority appeasing policies of previous governments. Are they not entitled to their fair share of the pie? It is not Modi's or BJP or RSS's problems if people of other faiths are unable themselves to adjust with emerging India where Hindus want to see themselves as equal opportunity citizens. Enough of minority appeasement and they want equal opportunity for all Indians. That is what I see in new India.
It is very unkind of people to be saying that Modi has done nothing. Let me share with you a personal experience. I came back to Kerala in 2011 after being away for 44 years, much of it abroad. It took 30 to 45 days for me to get a gas cylinder back then depending on who is on strike, truck drivers, loading and unloading or gas filling station employees. I wanted a second cylinder to get over this problem. I was told I must first have a ration card. I told them I do not need a ration card as everything is available in the supermarkets.
But, rules are rules. After much difficulty I found out the procedure to get a ration card. Submit all application at the ration office in the prescribed format supported by photograph, address proof and a letter from local MLA and also Kochi Mayor supporting my application! As luck would have, I happened to live in a lane where a Congress MP resided and everyone around was a Congress man. I phoned up a person closer to the local MLA. To my surprise, a letter was delivered to me at home next day. I went to Kochi Corporation. Mr. Tony Chammany was the Mayor then and for my luck he was there when I visited.
I met him and explained the situation why I needed a ration card. He was very nice and had the letter issued immediately. Then it was a long wait of about a month for the ration card to get ready at the ration office. With this I was able to get a second cylinder.
Today, if one books for a cylinder it gets delivered next day!! Second cylinder. No problem. Just ask for it through cell phone!!! What happened? Modi brought about certain reforms that unravelled in the elimination of ghost gas connection owners by the crores. In turn he was able to give new gas connection to millions of our poor (mainly outside Kerala) and improve delivery time for people like me. I am saying this because these things matters a lot.
I am not canvassing for Modi nor do claim he has done everything right. In my opinion, he has miserably failed to deliver a mood-elevating budget so far. So far 7 budgets and all 7 big time flops. He needs to take a lesson or two from Dr. Subramaniam Swamy.
Coming to Delhi riots, it was waiting to happen. In fact the invitation for it was months long. It all began with the sit-in at Delhi. The people who sent these protesters should be held responsible in the first place. Then when finally the backers of CAA decided to accept the invitation of the protesters, the police failed to respond in time. It was not one sided as is being made out. Death and damage are shared by both communities. The government on its part, failed in preparing people for CAA.
The fact that it applied only to illegal immigrants from three neighbouring Muslim countries and not to Indian citizens was not explained in advance by government. This gave all anti-Modi elements to seize an opportunity to exploit sentiments of people and rouse them up for a revolt. Everyone without exception are responsible.
I would think that one should not be blinded by hatred for Modi to overtake one's fundamental duty to ones country and fellow citizens. Government on their part can help by being less aggressive in dealing with their own people. All the aggression and arrogance could be reserved for trouble making neighbours like Pakistan. Media on their part must show more self restraint.
The following was forwarded to me by our common friend Pamplanil.It high lights facts, not faiths or beliefs.
Kicked In The Abdomen By Mob, Delhi
Woman Gives Birth To "Miracle Baby"
Updated: February 28, 2020
Their home set afire by the mob, Ms Parveen's family is now pinning their hopes on the newborn who they called a "miracle baby".
Delhi has witnessed rampant violence since Sunday (File)
New Delhi: For 30-year-old Shabana Parveen, it was nothing sort of a miracle — giving birth to a healthy baby boy after surviving a brutal attack by a mob who kicked and assaulted her and her husband in northeast Delhi's Karawal Nagar.
Their home set afire by the mob, Ms Parveen's family is now pinning their hopes on the newborn who they called a "miracle baby".Ms Parveen, her husband, two kids and mother-in-law were sleeping inside the house on Monday night when a mob barged into their house.
Narrating their ordeal, Ms Parveen's mother-in-law Nashima told PTI, "They hurled religious slurs, beat up my son. Some of them even kicked my daughter-in-law in the abdomen…as I went to protect her they came charging at me… We thought we would not survive that night. But with God's grace we somehow managed to escape from the clutches of the rioters."
"We rushed Parveen to a nearby hospital but doctors there asked us to go to Al-hind Hospital where she delivered a baby boy on Wednesday," she added. Despite having lost their home for over two decades and all belongings, her family has overcome the initial shock and are now overjoyed with the birth of the "miracle baby".
Ms Nashima said she had no clue where the family would go after Ms Parveen was discharged from the hospital. "It's all gone there. Nothing left. Maybe, we will go to some relative's place and see how we can re-build our life," she said. Ali, 6, who held his one-day-old brother, caressing his forehead, said, "I will take care of him forever and save him from every ill."
The violence over the amended citizenship law in northeast Delhi has claimed 38 lives so far and left over 200 people injured. Frenzied mobs torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at locals and police personnel. Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh and Shiv Vihar are among the areas mainly affected by the clashes.
To continue my talk, you George ask: “Why there is so much hatred against him? (Modi)” That I say is your value judgment, not just a disagreement! I too was a fan of Modi for his quick bold action (but often without democratic consultation) and still a fan for his unforgettable catch phrases like: ‘Sab ka sath, sab ka vikas, his wise use of social media for publicity and much more.
But I too disagree with many, even with the view of many that JESUS is the model par excellence of NONVIOLENCE! I disagree on that point, because he was the most violent in words and deeds – words Chapter 23 of Mathew! If he said all that today he would have been in Jail! In deeds, ‘he took up the whip and up-turned the tables of sellers (following the Indian maxim: ‘Samam, danam, bhedam, dennam?’)
For me the shining example of non-violence in words and deeds is Gandhiji! I discuss and fight with Jesus on this in prayer and wrote it many times. Does it mean I have any hatred for Jesus? Only I just don’t understand him fully!
For me my models for HUMANS are JESUS first, then Francis Pappa (a’sinner’ from the very start) Tagore, Vivekananda, Narayana Guru, Gandhi, Newman of constant change to be perfect and a long list. Does it mean I have any hatred for Jesus? Not at all! I see Jesus as the hound of heaven with me within his jaws, that I cannot wriggle out of his bites!
I have changed my views on God from childhood: From Mother Mary to whom alone I prayed as God almighty, to Jesus ‘My Lord & My God’; to my bosom friend; to the Ideal human now in rain and shine – and I may still change! I am still a searching for the whole truth, studying, researching which don’t end with death, as I refuse to believe the maxim: “Live in hope and die in dispaire!”
You all believe there is heaven or hell after death, but my reason refuses to swallow it. So I want to find that out and my search comtinues. When I completed my 60th year, I started preparing to die! Hence I promised in my writings to come back after death and report to you if any one still living in heaven or hell!
Here below my Fire-fly like torch for travel, is my reason. Like any one driving, I switch on that headlight and won’t jump beyond! Fact before & above Faith is my thumb rule. If I am wrong please tell me how? The ‘miracle boy’ in Delhi tells me what the grim realities in Delhi are! And for you? Please speak up and help. james