Monday, May 30, 2011

Did Jesus die on the Cross ?

Discussion and research is the clue for the advancement of man. Thus even in beliefs held sacred by men a question can be asked. One of the questions concerns the death of Jesus on the cross. There is no doubt that Jesus had extra ordinary powers of divination, but there is a school of thought that the founder of Christianity did not die on the cross. A lot of evidence is now being put forward to support this thesis. The fact remains that Jesus 's thighs were not broken while on the cross as it happened in the case of Judas and others. This is one of the clues that allowed  Jesus to survive the crucifixion.
As per the scientists who opine that Jesus survived, a large majority are of the opinion that after he recovered he went to Persia  and there he is reported to have cured the daughter of the ruler. Further he went to Kashmir and is reported to have attended the world Buddhist conference at Haran in 80 AD. I understand some records of Jesus in Kashmir are available in ancient texts preserved in the monasteries, which refer to Jesus as Isa.
Jesus is reported to have died in Kashmir and his tomb is still there. The wonder is that the tomb carries Hebrew markings and  has a Jewish format. This is something hard to explain. I have not seen the tomb at Srinagar, but people who have seen it are awed.
All this will sound as blasphemy to a devout Catholic whose essence of faith consists in the resurrection. In fact this is the pillar of the Catholic faith.
But believers and scientists are a breed apart and research on this aspect of Jesus's life  is certainly called for.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thinking of Catholics in India * 74

Religion by its very nature is rigid.Perhaps if it was not rigid, then it will not be able to hold on to its bands of followers. But certain religions are pragmatic and incorperate the latest beliefs with the view to make the religion more user friendly. This is essential as the 21st century is on us and we cannot live in an insular world. Some religions however do not change and continue beliefs and practices that are anathema to the modern world.

In this context the Catholic religion is worth a look. What I refer to is the religion as practiced in India. Firstly it must be understood that 98% of all Catholics in India are converts from the local religions ( mostly Hindus). Secondly most of the converts to the Catholic faith are from the lower castes of the Hindu social structure. Thus a travel across the length and breadth of India will show that a majority of the converts to Catholicism are the shudras or untouchables. They left their religion in the hope of a better life, but I am afraid that has not materialized. Despite billions of dollars of aid as charity flowing in to India from the Catholic world, the lot of these people has not improved. Thus a vast majority of drivers, maid servants and such workers are Catholics. Particulary in South India , where the difference between the rich and poor is greatly accentuated.

To hold on to this new flock and ensure that they do not go back to their parent faith, Indian catholics are more rigid than their western co religionists. They try and forge a seperate identity and look to Rome and the Pope for salvation. There is very little Indianness in this. Again it is not uncommon to offer inducements to poor people and tribals to convert to the new faith. Jesus did say to Spread the Gospel, but I am sure he did not mean to spread it with inducements and money.

The Catholics in India thus are a distinct group. They will shun intermarriage, have seperate churches and rituals that are enforced by a clergy that is itself perhaps not sure of what is expected of it. The catholic faith is good so long as one belives iin it and does not make the spread of the Gospel by inducements and money a prime consideration. Also very little debate is allowed and the catholics in India have remained where they are. Hence their demand for economic reservation on par with the scheduled castes.

Jesus left behind a great faith, but the Catholic faith in India certainly needs a breath of fresh air.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some Thoughts on Moslem-Non Moslem Marriages.

I confess that I have not thought of this topic much after my affair with a Moslem dentist girl in my younger days. We broke up as the girl wanted me to convert to Islam, which I was not agreeable. But some time back a fellow officer came to me and asked me for advice. It appeared his son a surgeon had come home and told his father that he was going to marry a Moslem girl who was a dentist. It appeared the girl had agreed for the wedding in case the boy converted to Islam and accepted that Allah was his prophet. He was asked to renounce his present religion. Incidentally the boy and his father are Sikhs.
I could not give any advice except to suggest that he could agree to the wedding in case conversion was not a factor. The last I heard was that the boy had converted to Islam and married the girl. The parents were shocked, but somehow this does not shock me. Yes! Sex is a great attraction, but the moral fiber in the children is weak. I could say no to conversion but not this boy who gave up 28 years of a life as a Sikh and became a Moslem has to reply to his conscience. Did he really believe in Islam? Did his heart agree to renounce the Gurus who sacrificed so much for the Sikhs? 
But all this has no meaning and the fact remains that rigidity in Islam is a byword. It is certainly a good thing to be firm about your religion, but to insist on conversion is I feel something that can be avoided. This phenomenon is not confined to India and almost all over the world in case you love a Moslem girl you must convert. Let us all think what can be the solution. I see none as the call from the mosque is stronger than the bell from the temple.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do Indians believe in Professionalism ? * 65

Sometimes I wonder how the Indians ( read Hindus ) happened to lose innumerable wars, got themselves colonized, became serfs in their own land and what not. Such an history doesn't exist anywhere else. Even after the British had left, the Indians created a division in their society on the basis of caste and language, lost vast tracts of land to Pakistan and China and allowed the total number of people below poverty level to rise up to a formidable figure.
All this looks unbelievable and one can wonder why this has happened. Perhaps one of the reasons is lack of professionalism in  all walks of life. An easy going and laid back attitude and the belief that what is happening is because of Karma( Fate) has ensured that India remains as a nation that can raise laughs all around.
This can be summed up in one word and that is the Indians rarely attend to detail, content to let the buck pass to some one else. In this context the recent goofs of India's premier investigative agency the CBI are again something that is hard to explain. Forwarding a list of the 'most wanted' criminals to Pakistan is a case in point, when some of the 'most wanted' were comfortably ensconced in Mumbai jails.  It just shows a complete lack of doing anything in a professional manner.
Come to think, even the reaction of the Security agencies to the terrorist attack from Pakistan in Mumbai was to say the least extremely unprofessional, with the operations going on for 4 days and that can just not be explained. What should have been a surgical strike was allowed to linger on and this certainly did not save lives.
Add to this a prime minister foisted on 120 crore Indians, who can't even win a Panchayat election and you can imagine where India is heading

In case India has to seriously be considered a power , this spirit of professionalism needs to inculcated at all levels. Until that happens , I am afraid India could be heading for trouble in the coming years.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Pakistan Army and Bin Laden * 73

The American air operation that saw the end of Bin Laden in Pakistan is certainly food for thought. The fact that the worlds number one criminal was holed up just about 100km from the Pakistan capital close to the Pakistan Military academy cannot be just an 'intelligence failure'. It is something more sinister.I recollect Ronald Reagan the US President in the eighties referring to the Soviet Union as 'the evil empire'. The Soviet Union collapsed in a heap because of its internal contradictions, but Reagan was perhaps right in his own way.

I will digress and add Pakistan to that 'evil empire' It certainly is with all the support it gives to the most wanted criminals like Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz and a host of others. Mostly Bin Laden was also under its aegis. The Pakistan army and its creation the ISI were certainly aware of Laden hiding in Abottabad. Possibly the place just about 200 meters from the gate of the Academy was also chosen by the Pak Army. The fact that he lived there for 5/6 years should open the eyes of the Americans.

The ISI in its blind hatred for India can do anything. It engineered the Mumbai blasts and certainly gave safe haven to Osama in the hope to use him as a pawn later on. Seeing the poker face of General Kayini makes me laugh. Here was a man who headed the ISI earlier and now claiming he didn't know about how Osama holed up in Abottabad ! Fact is pals, I could die laughing on a bed of nails at the perfidy being hidden by Kayini and his cohorts. Do they think everybody is a fool?

There is no doubt that elements of the Pakistan military establishment knew of Osama being in Abottabad and what is worse they put him up close to their academy. Nothing more safe than that. But they hadn't calculated on the incompetence of the Pakistan Air Defence. Pakistani  Air force certainly deserves a cake in this episode. That just shows the man behind the machine matters. The Paki officer class used to a life of political power and perks of office have lost their professional elan.

But now the 'Evil empire' needs to be dismantled. Who are the takers for it ?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Barack Obama got Osama Executed. It will remain a High of his Presidency

The recent operation of executing the worlds most wanted terrorist is a feather in the cap of the President of the USA, Barack Obama. Many of is thought that the USA had lost its will in a battle of wits with Islamic terror, But this episode where the special commandos of the United States Navy in conjunction with the CIA carried out a daring operation, is  a lesson in the art of power politics.
Credit for this operation must go to Obama who belled the cat.

 Earlier operations of a similar nature like the plan to rescue the US Hostages in Iran had Backfired in 1980. But this did not weigh down Obama who ordered the surgical strike.Hence all credit must go to Obama who as the Chief executive of the USA had a onerous responsibility on his shoulders. A failure would have brought an end to his re-election for a second term.

Obama did not blink an eye during the entire operation which was telecast live before him and it is to his credit he made a statement that we are not at war with the Muslim world.  India and other countries can take a leaf out of Obama book and show resolve in apprehending terrorists and criminals, though they be shielded by nations, like Laden was by Pakistan.

This is certainly a moment of triumph and all the credit must go to one man-Barack Obama. I for one congratulate him and hope that the Indian leadership can bring in the international terrorist Dawood Ibrahim also given a haven in Pakistan like Osama.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death of Osama, is it the Beginning of Another Jihad

Osama Bin Laden is dead and reportedly buried at sea.  The Americans are celebrating, but I do feel the celebrations are a bit premature. The death of Osama could be the precursor to a more terrible jihad.  Islam as we all know has been fighting holy wars (Jihads) for  nearly 1500 years. It is something built into their psyche. Thus there is every chance that though Osama is dead and gone, his ghost will exhort other Islamic fighters to carry on this struggle of 'jihad'. There is no doubt that large numbers of Moslems do not follow the policy of Jihad, but again a large number do feel a holy war is justified and it is from these that the movement will be strengthened. Fighters are available from the Middle East, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and other places to fight in this holy war.
President Obama has rightly announced that 'we are not at war with the Muslim world', but who will listen to him? I understand a lot many Muslims have been hurt by the shooting of bin Laden and quite few are unhappy with his burial at sea. Thus despite being dead Osama remains a cult figure, something like Che Guevara. The USA and the Western powers will have to guard against a back lash that could sting. The ghost of Jihad has not gone for 1500 years and is not likely to go away so soon. So let us not celebrate, not yet at least.
How very true. The death of Osama has seen the rise of Abu Bakr  al- Baghdadi. This man is now the caliph and he has seized vast lands and people follow him and the West is at a loss as to what to do. One terror leader breeds another, that is the law of nature