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Mother Teresa’s Legacy: Under a Cloud

January 31, 2013 5 comments

Why this strange acceptance towards Christian fraud and contempt towards ‘Hindu’ India?

Organized Religion, Organized Charity is Organized Fraud  |  Jeff Koterba Cartoon on August 30, 2010

Organized Religion, Organized Charity is Organized Fraud | Jeff Koterba Cartoon on August 30, 2010

Mother Teresa raised millions, if not billions in the name of Kolkatta’s poorest – and India’s poor.

From this exhibition of India’s poor and poverty, less than 7% of the total ‘take’ was spent on people in whose name this money was raised.

If any Muslim ‘missionary’ had done this, wonder what level of outrage this country would have felt.

But Indians have developed a strange acceptance towards this kind of Christian fraud and contempt towards ‘Hindu’ India.

Mother Teresa (Cartoon by John Spooner; Cartoon courtesy - http://www.chrysalis.com.au)

Mother Teresa (Cartoon by John Spooner; Cartoon courtesy – http://www.chrysalis.com.au)

For years now, there has been a malignant growth of Christian-Western NGO funding – known and documented for the last 8 years – at least.

Coming back to Mother Teresa.

Social workers all around the world have drawn inspiration from her work and commitment to her cause. Yet, today in her centennial year, her legacy has lost its shine and is in disrepair. Located in one of the lanes of Taltala, home to lower class workers in west Kolkata, it is calm and pious, a world away from the cacophony outside on the busy A.J.C. Bose road.

But the cacophony is threatening to spill inside the Missionaries. Followers and volunteers are questioning the quality of service given in the care centres. They feel the Missionaries’ care centres are allergic to using modern-day therapy and technology to care for the inhabitants. Often untrained volunteers are given tasks that would normally require one to be trained in medicine and therapy. Missionaries has always kept change at bay. But in a world where it is very difficult to hide behind secrecy, the number of disillusioned followers is increasing. Missionaries doesn’t keep a tab on the financial transactions that take place. No one other than the sisters knows where the money that is donated is spent. Donations continue to pour in but people are asking for transparency on how the money is used.

The discord is most pronounced in the first home that Mother Teresa set up in 1952 — Nirmal Hriday, the Home for Dying Destitutes. A former rest house for followers from the nearby temple of Goddess Kali, the Home is a perfect picture for the work that Missionaries is known for. Disabled, disfigured and homeless men and women, many of whom are living their last days, find shelter here. It presently has 99 inmates, served by six sisters and dozens of volunteers, mostly young foreigners. The poor are bathed, clothed and fed until they recover and leave, or die. “Over the years, 86,170 people have been admitted. Of which 34,815 died,” says Sister Glenda, the head of Nirmal Hriday. It was Mother’s favourite home.

It is the kind of work that inspired Hemley Gonzalez, who lived on the other side of the world in Miami, United States. A migrant from Cuba, Gonzalez had grown up in a poor neighbourhood and was inspired after reading a biography of Mother Teresa. Gonzales, who runs a real estate business in Miami, reached Kolkata in December 2008 and stayed for two months.

“I was shocked to see the negligence. Needles were washed in cold water and reused and expired medicines were given to the inmates. There were people who had chance to live if given proper care,” says Hemley. He narrates incidents of an untrained volunteer wrongly feeding a paralysed inmate, who choked to his death; and another where an infected toe of an inmate was cut without anesthesia. “I have decided to go back to Kolkata to start a charity that will be called ‘Responsible Charity.’ Each donation will be made public and professional medical help will be given,” says Hemley, who now runs a campaign on Facebook called ‘Stop Missionaries of Charity,’ and has over 2,000 members.

“We should remember that Mother Teresa was clear that Missionaries of Charity was not operating a hospital. The homes are to serve the poor and give them the basic needs,” says Sunita Kumar, wife of former India Davis Cup coach Naresh Kumar and one who has been working with Missionaries’ sisters for over four decades.

But this reasoning that has evoked harsh reactions. “What stops them from starting a hospital? Surely, money is not a problem,” asks Aroup Chatterjee, a London-based critic of Missionaries of Charity. Chatterjee wrote a controversial book Mother Teresa – The Final Verdict in 2002 and collaborated with British writer and well known Mother Teresa-critic Christopher Hitchens to produce a documentary called Hell’s Angel for Channel 4.
Apart from the hospital, volunteers also cite the need for a well-planned rehabilitation for the sick who go back to the streets once they recover. “Some were sent back to the streets of their own will, but some against it,” says a European volunteer who has been coming to Nirmal Hriday since 2006. She cites the example of an “old lady” suffering from diabetes and incapable of walking. “We were told she was sent to another centre outside Kolkata but just few days later someone saw her on the street close to our centre… We were worried but could not do much.”
Sister Glenda clarifies that professional help is never avoided. “Look at Buddhni Bakshi,” she says pointing to a bald teenage girl sleeping on a stretcher. “She was abandoned by her parents because the wound in her head used to stink badly. When she came here, we did tests at a local hospital that showed a tumour in her head. We spent Rs. 4 lakh for the surgery and now she is fine,” adds Sister Glenda. The initiative to get professional help, say former volunteers, is a change.
Gonzalez questions why money can’t be used to improve the service at the homes run by the sisters. “Even the inmates soiled and infected clothes are washed by hands. Why can’t they buy a washing machine?” he asks.
It has become a sensitive issue since 2005 when a British television crew filmed children at Daya Dan, a care centre, tied to their beds. Questions arouse about the “primitive practices and lack of using modern methods of teaching.” The incident forced Mother House to release a statement saying, “We value constructive criticism and admit that there is always room for improvement.” Volunteers, who come in dozens from countries like Spain and Italy, have separately narrated incidents about sisters resorting to “shaking violently” or “beating” to discipline the challenged children.
Recent developments though indicate a fresh thinking. “Hygiene has been an issue but has improved as sisters opened to better standard through volunteers from Western countries,” says Father Robin Gomes who has been working with the Missionaries of Charity for more than 20 years. At Daya Dan, which also runs a dispensary for the poor twice a week, sisters in apron and gloves (a change from earlier days) go about like trained nurses.
A bigger change at the centre is in the way the 60 mentally and physically challenged children are taken care of. “We now have speech therapists and physiotherapists coming in regularly who look after the children,” says Sister Karina, a Mexican nun who has been heading Daya Dan for one year. The therapists also help train sisters and volunteers and a few of them are sent to training institutes for week-long classes.
It is good news about some of the changes. Unfortunately, we are still in the dark when it comes to their financial records,” says Gonzalez. The donation issue first came up in the early 1990s when it was revealed that Charles Keating, an American banker known for the infamous “saving and loan scandal,” had donated up to $1.25 million to Missionaries of Charity. Amidst calls to return the money, Mother Teresa controversially chose to remain silent, an incident that is still sited by her critics who demand transparency.
In early 2000, Susan Shields, a former Missionaries sister who left the organisation “unhappy”, created a furore by saying she herself had “written receipts of $50,000” in donation but there was no sign of the “flood of money.” Forbes India talked to a volunteer in the Los Angeles office of Missionaries of Charity who admitted that “even when bread was over at the soup kitchens, none was bought unless donated.” A report in German magazine Stern, revealed that in 1991 only seven percent of the donation received at Missionaries of Charity was used for charity.
Former volunteers and people close to the Mother House revealed that the Vatican, home to the Pope, has control over the “monetary matters” ever since Missionaries of Charity came under its fold in 1965. The control got stronger after Mother Teresa died in 1997.  When asked about how much money the Charity gets annually, the then superior general Sister Nirmala in a rare media interview a few years ago remarked “Countless.” When asked how much it was, she answered, “God knows. He is our banker.” Forbes India’s request for details was turned down at the Mother House. Sister Mary Prema, the present superior general, did not agree to a meeting.

“To quote the Bible, she was “as cunning as a serpent and as innocent as a dove,’” says Father Gomes. “Like all organisations that were headed by famous people and suffer after they leave, Missionaries of Charity has a void. At the same time, the sisters at Missionaries of Charity continue the work that she had done. Every time you see the blue bordered sari, your remember Mother Teresa,” he adds.The association has worked well for Missionaries of Charity. The number of homes and sisters, despite a drop in those coming from India, has increased since 1997. Realising the importance early, the late Pope John Paul VI made sure that a council of sisters was formed before Mother Teresa died. That council, consisting of senior sisters, now runs the organisation and also recommends amongst itself the next head. This is then cleared by the Vatican. In its last meeting in March 2009, the council elected Sister Mary Prema as the new superior general of Missionaries of Charity. A German native, Sister Prema has been seldom seen publicly and few know her outside the Mother House. This, say observers, while keeping intact Mother Teresa as the face of the organisation even after her death, has also led to the disconnect with the local people. One indicator of this disconnect might be the almost complete absence of Indians among the volunteers.After her beatification, after which she is officially called Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the process is on now in the Vatican to bestow Mother Teresa with sainthood. In a 1989 interview with Time magazine, when asked about the future of the Order, Mother Teresa had replied that it was Jesus’ concern.Now would be the right time for God to take a closer look.

via Forbes India Magazine – Mother Teresa’s Legacy is Under a Cloud.


Akbaruddin Owaisi – Hindus can keep their Ajanata Ellora Nudes

January 20, 2013 13 comments

India probably has the least monuments for each century of history. Most of monuments in India were built by India’s Islamic rulers – and later the British.

On a few things, I agree with Akbaruddin Owaisi.

Indeed, apart from a few monumental temples, what monuments has ‘Hindu’ India built?

Practically none.

India in the Image Of Desert Bloc

Most monuments in India were built by India’s Islamic rulers – and later the British. India probably has the least monuments for each century of history. From 2000-cities of the Saraswati Basin-Indus Valley without monuments – to modern India.

But Islamic and British monuments in India are grandiose, celebrating concentration of wealth. Of diverting attention – away from role that rulers have to play. These monuments are symbols of extortion, of loot and poverty. Of propaganda. Of false prestige.

Probably Pakistan built as many monuments in Pakistan – as India did.

Austere Leaders – Big Actions

‘Hindu’ rulers started monument building in India only in the last 200 years or so. Shivaji had a wooden ‘palace’ – that was burnt down in an accidental fire. Shivaji never built another palace – wooden, or otherwise.

Before Shivaji, was Rana Pratap.

Anyone seen an opulent palace used or built for Rana Pratap?

Owaisi is right

Islamic rulers did build most of Indian monuments. Though I agree with Owaisi, some other Muslims don’t agree with this thinking.

For one there was Chirkan (also spelt as Chirkin), the underground mascot of Hyderabad, a “poet” of dirty ditties.

Chirkan was the irreverent break from the feudal and colonial Indian mindset – before the Indian Republic. His rhymes on Qutub minar (a phallic symbol of feudal /colonial majesty of another era) have been repeated by every school child as his very own.

Chirkan was feted at cultural events – and was a legend in his lifetime. His “sher” on a princess (the Nizam’s daughter) is repeated by adoloscent schoolboys even today.  For his ‘crime’, Chirkan was not persecuted – but banished from Hyderabad.

Forgotten today by the mainstream, Chirkan’s books circulate in the underground. Chirkan’s rhymes and jokes spread to all of India. 75 years later, every teenager makes his rites of passage with Chirkan’s jokes. Most of Mumbai film industry’s dirty jokes are a take-off on Chirkan.

The other memorable anti-monument tirade was composed by Sahir Ludhianvi. A Muslim poet who migrated from a Muslim Pakistan to a ‘secular’ Hindu-majoity India, Sahir’s dismissal of the Taj Mahal (complete work at the bottom) is remembered more than 50-years later.

With Such ‘leaders’ …

An acolyte of Owaisi, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri went further.

Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri’s for his remarks about Mahatma Gandhi‘s statue inside the state assembly.

“The Nizams built the state assembly building in Hyderabad, but see what has happened. They have installed a statue of Mahatma Gandhi there. Who constructed it and who has been installed there,” Quadri, who represents Charminar in the assembly, told a gathering in Karimanagar district’s Jagityal town on Thursday.

He said “we” have built all significant structures in India. “What have you done?” he asked. “We constructed Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Mecca Masjid and Charminar. What have you constructed in Hindustan?”

Analysts said Quadri’s speech was planned and designed to revive memories of Nizam’s rule and the old Hyderabad state that is bound strike a chord with the region’s Muslims. “But his ‘us and them’ rhetoric is dangerous,” an analyst said.

via MIM leader in trouble over remarks on Mahatma Gandhi – The Times of India.

What is Gandhiji’s statue doing in a Nizam Palace, implies Quadri.

An austere saint in a brothel?

Further Quadri went and asked (reports The Indian Express)

“Today whatever there is in India are our signs, you tell us what your achievements are.”

Then again in the midst of slogan shouting he continued his ‘us’ and ‘they’ rhetoric saying, “The colour of Red Fort has been given by us, the height of Qutub given by us, the beauty of Taj Mahal also given by us, historic monuments like Mecca Masjid and Charminar are presented by us… what have you done in Hindustan?”

via BJP furious as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA says ‘we built Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, what have you done?’ – Indian Express.

भैंस  के सामने बीन!

Many years ago, Owaisi’s predecessors had made similar claims – and demanded Pakistan. Making extravagant claims, Jinnah & Co., demanded and got Pakistan. We all know what is happening in Pakistan.

MIM has been running Hyderabad for more than 5-years now. If at all, Hyderabad has sunk deeper into a quicksand of bureaucracy, stagnation, public-sector sloth.

After Chandrababu Naidu reinvented Hyderabad.

But, I am sure, millions of Indians will join me in taking apart Qutub Minar, Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Charminar, Mecca Masjid – and send it with Akbaruddin Owaisi and Co., to wherever in the world, they want to go.

Free shipping. For now. Limited period offer.

The offer may soon be changed to compulsory shipping.

*  *  *  *

Sahir Ludhianvi, better captures the Indian attitude to slavery, pomp and grandiose designs.

ताज तेरे लीए एक मजहर-ऐ-उल्फत ही सही, तुझको इस वादी-ऐ-रंगीन से अकीदत ही सही

मेरे महबूब कहीं और मीला कर मुझसे, बज्म-ऐ-शाही में गरीबों का गुज़र क्या माने?

सब्त जीस राह पे हो सतावत-ऐ-शाही के नीशान, उस पे उल्फत भरी रूहों का सफर क्या माने?

मेरे महबूब पास-ऐ-परदा-ऐ-ताश हीर-ऐ-वफ़ा, तूने सतावत के निशानों को तो देखा होता

मुर्दा शाहों के मकाबिर से बहलने वाली, अपने तारीक मकानों को तो देखा होता

अन-गिनत लोगों ने दुनिया में मोहब्बत की हैं, कौन कहता है के सादिक न थे जज्बे उनके

लेकिन उनके लीए ताश हीर का समान नहीं, क्योंकि वोह लोग भी अपनी ही तरह मुफ्लीस थे

यह ईमारत-ओ-मकाबिर यह फसीले यह हिसार, मुतल-कुल-हुक्म शाहेंशाहों की अजमत के सुतून

दामन-ऐ-दहर पे उस रंग की गुलकारी है, जिसमे शामिल है तेरे और मेरे अजदाद का खून

मेरे महबूब! उन्हें भी तो मोहब्बत होगी, जीनकी सन्नी ने बक्शी है इसे शक्ल-ऐ-जमील

उनके प्यारों के मकाबिर रहे बे-नाम-ओ-नमूद, आज तक उन पे जलाई न किसी ने कंदील

यह चमनज़ार, यह जमना का किनारा, यह महल, यह मुनाक्काश डर-ओ-दीवार, यह मेहराब, यह ताक

एक शहेंशाह ने दौलत का सहारा लेकर, हम गरीबों के मोहब्बत का ऊडाए है मजाक

मेरे महबूब कहीं और मिला कर मुझसे.

– Abdul Hayee ‘Sahir’ Ludhianvi.

Translation by gyanputra

Even if the Taj for you is a symbol of great love, even though you prefer its pretty colorful setting
My dear, meet me somewhere else, what truck can the poor have with kingly courts?
The paths on which are seared the grandest Royal Arms, how can love-filled hearts journey on them?
My dear, behind the veil of this advertisement of love, had you seen the trappings of royal power and wealth
Instead of being beguiled by the tombs of dead kings, had you seen our dark homes
Uncounted peoples in this world have loved, who says their love was not true
But they did not have the means for advertising love, they were poor like us
This mausoleum, these decorations, these fort parapets, that the arrogance of kings considers symbols of Greatness
On the face of the world this is a decoration of floral vines, that has flowing in it your ancestors’ blood, and mine
My dear! they must have had loves too, those whose art granted this monument its acclaimed form
But those loves’ tombs are unnamed, untraced, no one has ever lit on them even a candle
This garden, this Jamna riverbank, this palace, these picturesque walls and doors, these pulpits, these arabesques
A king of kings aided by all his wealth, has mocked the love of us poor
My dear, meet me somewhere else.


Most Popular Christmas Present: Children Want Brothers, Sisters & A Dad

December 26, 2012 1 comment

Across Desert Bloc societies, marriages and families are feature among the rich and powerful. The poor have to manage with one-night stands and casual encounters. The West may soon see single-mother homes in a majority.

Less things - and more 'feelings'.  |  Cartoon on Dec 23 2012 by Marian Kamensky; source & courtesy - cagle.com

Less things – and more ‘feelings’. | Cartoon on Dec 23 2012 by Marian Kamensky; source & courtesy – cagle.com

Bollywood films have raised motherhood to a rarefied level – with no other competitive construct in competition.

Father Figure

My own evolving view is that father’s are probably as important – especially for children after 10 years of age. This thought was triggered in my mind many years ago, after a survey revealed that many hard-core criminals come from fatherless families. Presumably, this value of a father or a father figure to any growing child comes in making career decisions, professional choices – instead of getting disinterested, random ideas.

A few days ago, a survey of UK consumers at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City was revealing.

even Santa may struggle to make dreams come true for Britain’s children.

That’s because the nation’s childrens’ Christmas wish-lists contain a number of items not always readily available.

Father Christmas has therefore been put in a tricky position, as according to a survey of children’s wishlists the tenth most asked for present this year was for a dad, while top of the list was for a baby brother or sister.

The survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City also revealed children aged three to 12 were hoping for expensive presents including a car, at number four, and a house, at number seven.But there was a couple of other gifts in the top ten which were more easily provided, including chocolates at number six and, bizarrely, a rock at number nine.

The UK’s mums may be a little upset to hear that while ‘Dad’ came in at number 10, ‘Mum’ only made it in as the 23rd most requested present on their little one’s lists.

via A ‘dad’ is the tenth most popular Christmas present for children, survey reveals | Mail Online.

The importance of this data may get diluted by specifics of UK.

Across Desert Bloc societies, marriages and families are feature among the rich and powerful. The poor have to manage with one-night stands and casual encounters. The West may soon see single-mother homes in a majority.

But, something to think about.

Single-mothers are raising nearly a quarter of America’s children.

Every story is different, but when you examine the figures, actual single parent statistics may surprise you. According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007, released by the U.S. Census Bureau in November, 2009, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today). (via Single Parent Statistics – Number of Kids With One Parent).

Without families, the few children that are born, will grow up in aging and shrinking societies. These societies will need to import labour – and that is what happened in Greece, Rome, and West for most of the last 500 years.

Labour was imported mostly as slaves – but lately, it is immi-grunts.


A Fart Tax and a Pink Revolution can “Save the World.”

December 6, 2012 3 comments

A satire on the study that cows are a leading generator of green house gases.

Holy cows are 'criminal' animals  |  Creative credits not available at source.

Holy cows are ‘criminal’ animals | Creative credits not available at source.

I

ndia, the world’s largest livestock owner, recently balked at the farming gas curbs at the UN climate talks in Doha.

India is also the fourth largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, and has not done enough of its share of saving the planet.  To make matters worse India industrial economy and a hunger for cars, could sound the earth’s death knell.

India’s unholy environmental infractions are not limited to its industrial economy.  As the talks in Doha indicate, India environmental infractions have now taken a holy turn, by its unwillingness to pay taxes agricultural emissions that come from cows – also known as the fart tax.

For example, there are thousands of villages in India who adopt old cows, and let them live until their old age to die.  These unproductive cows do nothing but eat, burp and fart.  They consume valuable green resources, provide no milk, and then create the deadly GHG’s that will bring the world to an end.  These old cows are therefore a double whammy on poor earth.

India should learn from the US who does not let their cows get old.  Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, both critics of India’s industrial ambitions and agricultural obsessions, love a nice piece of steak. If it is veal, that comes from a calf, that’s considered even better.  The logic is, why let a cow live longer than needs to be?  In fact, as veal aficionados point out, the fetus of an unborn cow, not only makes for the most tender veal, but also contributes in saving the planet.  As these men so deliciously demonstrate, it is only rational that a cow, a calf or a fetus, is better dead and eaten, than living, eating, burping and gawd* forbid, farting (to be fair, a fetus is not known to fart, but a pregnant cow does emit more dangerous GHGs).  Additionally, eating beef is greener than eating beans,  because beans make humans emit more gases, thereby causing more environmental damage and hastening the end of the world.  India is not only a dangerous source of GHGs from the cows, but also people whose high fiber, vegetarian diet is a major threat to the environment through emission of these GHGs.

Pseudo-scientific 'studies' for political & propaganda purposes  |  Source: fatknowledge.blogspot.in; creative credits not available.

Pseudo-scientific ‘studies’ for political & propaganda purposes | Source: fatknowledge.blogspot.in; creative credits not available.

Far too many Indians do not eat beef because of silly religious dogmas and this orthodoxy is bringing the entire planet to a brink.

The recent talks in Doha are missing some critical out of the box thinking.  Al Gore has generously contributed to this planet by starting a Carbon credit trading firm; however, these carbon credits do not extend to agricultural GHGs.  India’s methane emissions have grown from 18.85 million metric tons in 1985 to 20.56 million in 2008 – largely from “emissions” from livestock.  There is talk of trading “cow emissions” where India can purchase the credits from American cows, who not only live a shorter life, they are also given special fodder to reduce their emissions.  The villages who adopt these cows, can also purchase these “emission” credits from farmers in the US.  While Al Gore is mulling making money from these credits, or what is known as a “fart tax,”  India can provide some creative alternative solutions to avoid the “fart tax” and also prevent doomsday.

All India needs is some leadership to solve this problem.  Thankfully, it can look up to its progressivist leadership from the civil society to start another colorful revolution.  After celebrating the success of the green and the white revolutions, Indians should team up with the UN, NGOs and Magsaysay award winners, and actor turned TV hosts, to start a Pink Revolution.  This revolution should start with a simple pledge:

For every car that is sold in India, Indians must pledge to cull two cows.

Do humans have the right to decide which life-life-form will exist? In what numbers? Where?  |  Cartoon by Mark Lester

Do humans have the right to decide which life-life-form will exist? In what numbers? Where? | Cartoon by Mark Lester

While this transition is taking place, instead of wasting all the meat from the culled cows – people should participate in this Pink Revolution, and join in for a “national beef eating feast” to celebrate the saving of the planet.  Some orthodox Indians might resist, but the English speaking Indian media, with the help of environmentalists and NGOs can urge the ignorant and backward  people of India, to break the chains of their decadent past.  Hillary Clinton, in addition to saving India’s burning brides and children involved in labor, can save Indians and teach them Obama’s and her husband’s excellent culinary and environmentally friendly gourmet beef recipes, by inaugurating an international “steak eating day.”  The younger, the rarer and the juicier the steak, the better for the planet. (Younger – why emit more gas by living longer? Rarer – why cook more and waste precious energy? Juicer – well it just tastes bloody awesome!)

Once all the cows are eliminated, meat hungry Indians could turn their attention to poultry.  These poultry farms with millions of chickens are a major source of Nitrous Oxide and Methane (N20 and Ch4), both deadly greenhouse gases, that will guarantee misery for our grandchildren as the world comes to an end.

It is time that Indians do their share and save the earth from disaster.  While Obama, Hillary  and Gore show the rest of the world the righteous path, India should follow their lead.  It is time India looks forward to this progressive undertaking, rather than be stuck in its ancient and decadent obsession of protecting cows.

Such issues arise from too much engagement with the West. India should work on more South-South trade, agreements, cooperation.  |  Cartoon by Peter Nicholson dated February 24th 2009; source & credit - nicholsoncartoons.com.au

Such issues arise from too much engagement with the West. India should work on more South-South trade, agreements, cooperation. | Cartoon by Peter Nicholson dated February 24th 2009; source & credit – nicholsoncartoons.com.au

A Gary Larson cartoon showed a flea in crowded “city” in the hair of a dog’s back saying: “THE END OF THE DOG IS NEAR…”

Human beings, especially Indians with their obsessions with their cars and their cows are like fleas, killing the poor dog.  India should follow the exemplary leadership shown by team Obama to help save the planet.  They really know what is right for all us and the funding they provide to thousands of scientists have earned them a consensus on these progressive ideas.

Obama and his missionaries of progress, patiently recognize that Indians know not what they do to the poor earth.  They know not that the end of days are near and their sins are the cause for this end.

Indians need to be saved so that the earth can be too.  This gawd needs sacrifices. As Indians, we must now recognize that we must sacrifice our holy cows and our vegetarian brethren for the sake of our grandchildren.

The sacrifices must begin today, before it is too late!

*GaWD = Global Warming Deity, the gawd that the climate change doomsday cultists worship

The author resides in the US, where cows are given a special diet and a short life, thus lowering the implicit fart tax and contributing towards saving the planet.  This allows him to stay vegetarian as India embraces this Pink Revolution.


Modern India: Are Muslims Safe In A Hindu India?

November 28, 2012 4 comments

While Hindus have no freedom in any Muslim country, is there any country that gives more freedom or safety than India to Muslims.

Indian Muslims thought that Hindus cannot be trusted. If some of you still have doubts, the gates to Pakistan are still open  |  A March 2004 cartoon by Zahoor.

Indian Muslims thought that Hindus cannot be trusted. If some of you still have doubts, the gates to Pakistan are still open | A March 2004 cartoon by Zahoor.

In an atmosphere of mistrust, being a Muslim and on top of that a ‘rebelling’ Kashmiri is a double whammy. For such a person like me, to articulate my unexpressed feelings about Bal Thackeray, whom I earnestly believe to have lived his entire life as a demagogue if not a blood-letting fascist, even within my deep thought processes sounded to be a sacrilegious act.

Bier draped in Tricolour and not only people like LK Advani, the ideological equivalent of the deceased leader, but also the apparently staunch political rivals like Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and Sharad Pawar making all efforts to be seen amongst the sea of people at Shivaji Park was enough to cast a drowning feeling that the country has already accorded its recognition to a man who divided the society not only on religious lines but also on the very basis of regional identities. Moreover, the so-called leading lights of civil society, normally considered to be the standard-bearers of the public behaviour, also making a beeline to pay their homage sapped all the courage within me to register my dissent.

My question is to the authorities who decided to bestow an honour of state funeral to the departed leader: Was he a constitutional figure that warranted a gun salute? Obviously he was not and in case his popularity necessitated a military honour then the powers to be are setting a very dangerous precedent. If a state recognition to a divisive figurehead in his death was out of compulsion as two-million mourners joined the funeral, then it truly underscores the sorry state of affairs.

In case tomorrow a majority of India turns out to be supporters of Gandhiji’s killer, will the cowardly rulers, having no conviction left, declare Nathuram Godse as the new father of the nation? And provided the rulers affirm not to be cowards and claim that the decision to accord gun salute to the funeral of a Hindu extremist leader who believed India to be a Hindu Rashtra was made purely on merit, then what stops India to be a Hindu state in near future?

The brute and raucous majority only has to decide the fate of the nation and not the secular principles as the rulers pretend to follow, and then what inhabits us not to dread that the soul of India has been lost, since long?

via What stops India from becoming a Hindu state? – Analysis – DNA.

Birbal’s beard

Does this article also remind you of चोर कि दाड़ी में तिनका  (roughly meaning: guilty conscience pricks the mind)? I was grossly reminded of Birbal feeling his way through the beards of possible suspects.

Bad Hiding Place

Hiding behind Gandhiji’s loin-cloth, we have Firdous Syed raising a spectre of Nathuram Godse becoming the Father of the Nation. To nurse and espouse such an idea just shows what poor opinion the English-speaking elite have of Indians.

If he counts himself as an Indian – it is a sad reflection on his self-esteem. If he sees himself as a pragmatic Indian – till he can get a better passport, it just shows complete lack of character.

While on the subject of Gandhiji, two points.

One, like Bal Thackeray, Gandhiji had no constitutional or official capacity. Would Firdous Syed deny Gandhiji similar tribute? The Indian State gains by respecting Gandhiji. Gandhiji did not need a Nobel Prize to gain respect and admiration.

The other point. The last man to accept the partition of India was Gandhiji. To give security to all the Indian Muslims who felt insecure in a Hindu India. That was the deal, Firdous Syed. You can still go to Pakistan, if you are feeling insecure in Hindu-India.

Alibaba ate food without salt

Of the Forty thieves fame, ate salt-less food at the den of thieves. That is the respect, Muslim culture is supposed to have for hospitality. If you, Firdous Syed are using Indian nationality as a temporary shelter, at least have some basic respect for your Hindu hosts – while you get a passport of your choice.

If you are the Kashmiri-azaadi spouting liberal, let me see you criticize any Muslim-separatist, sitting in Srinagar. On any day of the week – leave alone a Friday. While Hindus have no freedom in any Muslim country, is there any country that gives more freedom or safety than India to Muslims.

Or are you, Firdous Syed assuming that who you calls Hindus are like Pakistanis who showered rose-petals on Salman Taseer killers? On the subjects of those who you call Hindus, has it ever occurred to you, to ask a question, why Hindu-Indians are welcome in secular Britain – but Pakis has become a pejorative?

Facebook, Facebook on the wall

Firdous Syed, are you aware that secular Great Britain, has prosecuted, fined, imprisoned nearly 5000 people in the last three years for making ‘insensitive’ comments on social media. That Vikram Buddhi languishes in an American prison because he said George Bush murdabad on the internet – in support of Iraqi Muslims.

In Mumbai, India, these policemen have been suspended for prosecuting one case. Indian courts sprang to cartoonist Aseem Trivedi’s bail application. EVM-activist Hariprasad found Indian courts sympathetic.

Vikram Buddhi reminds me. I know hardly any Hindus have supported Vikram Buddhi. But, have any Muslims supported him, for whom he is in prison for nearly 5 years now?

Or do you think India should be secular like Switzerland, which is afraid that a third mosque in Switzerland will change the national character of Switzerland? Or do you want Manmohan Singh to say like Angela Merkel on television that multi-culturalism has failed? Or do you think India like Denmark should pay Muslims money to emigrate out of India?

Firdous Syed you can claim Rs.11 from me any day that you want to leave India.


Saraswati Ignored: Cause or Effect of Indian Decline

October 21, 2012 4 comments

Why are there so few temples to Brahma and Saraswati? Why is the worship of Brahma and Saraswati, divinities of creation and creativity, so rare and hesitant?.

Saraswati sits on the bank of a river, holds a book and beads, and plays music on Veena, as a peacock looks on, in a painting by Raja Ravi Varma  |  Painting of the Goddess Saraswati by Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906); currently housed at the English: Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, Gujarat.

Saraswati sits on the bank of a river, holds a book and beads, and plays music on Veena, as a peacock looks on, in a painting by Raja Ravi Varma | Painting of the Goddess Saraswati by Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906); currently housed at the English: Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, Gujarat.

Among all the Indian festivals, celebration of Brahma and Saraswati have clearly taken a back seat. On and off, this question has piqued me for twenty years now.

Was the focus on Lakshmi and Durga, goddesses of war and wealth, a response to historical necessity or a cause of the decline?

From a country that Genghis Khan did not dare to attack, to a country that finally succumbed even to barbarian hordes from the West, is steep fall.

Was India rising to the challenge – or oblivious of its decline?

India’s ignorance today may make us believe that India’s moral decline may be the answer. But, a 1000-year cyclical perspective may yield the opposite answer – war and wealth became a more important in response to Asuric challenge.

Saraswati was concentrated in temples, which were hugely funded – and the rest of the population started focusing on war and wealth.

The Goddess of learning, Saraswati, is one of the ancient deities in the Hindu pantheon. Yet, today, apart from the one obligatory puja every year, she’s largely forgotten,” remarks noted Bharatanatyam exponent Sandhya Purecha, when we catch her on the sidelines of a rehearsal for a Navratri special ballet invoking the Goddess Mahalakshmi at her Central Mumbai dance school.

When we point out that her ballet too invokes Lakshmi, and not Saraswati, she laughs, “In an era when everyone is in a mad rush chasing money, people feel that the blessing of the Goddess of Wealth is all that matters. Perhaps they feel that once you have money, all else will follow.”

She says that there are many beautiful compositions in the Puranas praising Saraswati. “But if not as the wealth-showering Devi, even audiences want to see a goddess as a slayer of demons armed to the teeth, like Durga.” According to Purecha, this is merely a projection of the way society sees women. “If she brings dowry or other material gifts, she gets respect. But if she wants her due otherwise, she has to fight. A mellow woman is often disregarded. Perhaps that’s why, Saraswati, in her white raiments, lost in the notes of her veena, does not have the same resonance as other fiery Goddesses.”

Radheshyam Tiwari, a doctorate in Hindu mythology from Benares, also laments this change. “Knowledge, wisdom and scholarly pursuit were always treated with utmost regard. They were not seen as a means to an end, but as something that people pursued with devotion for the love of it,” he points out.

He also feels that people are uncomfortable talking about Saraswati’s life because of the Matsya Purana. “According to the text, once Brahma created Satarupa (another name of Saraswati) from his own body, he became enamoured by her. To avoid his amorous gaze, she kept shifting, and Brahma created five heads to see her all the time. Finally, she gave in and became his consort. The questions this will raise about incest may be a reason why Saraswati is kept on the margins.”

Tiwari also talks about how Saraswati worship endured the rise and spread of both Buddhism and Jainism. “As Buddhism moved from its earlier Theravada school to Mahayana, many elements from Hinduism were also adopted. In fact, if you see some of the early Buddhist mandalas, you come upon Goddess Saraswati in the south-west of the innermost circle, between Brahma and Vishnu, along with various divinities of Mahayana Buddhism,” he explains. “As the Mahayana Buddhist texts went to Nepal, Tibet, Java, China and eventually Japan, the Goddess finds mention in Buddhist imagery there too. For example in Tibet, she is called Vajra-Sarasvati and wields a thunderbolt. In Japan, she becomes the Goddess Dai-Ben-Zai-Ten or The Great Divinity of Reasoning Faculty.”

While admitting that scriptures, too, talk far more about other Goddesses compared to Saraswati, Hindu religion expert and the father of the iconic Hindu almanac Kalnirnay, Jayraj Salgaonkar, points out how the Goddess almost stops mattering after the first stage of life, brahmacharya. “Later on, from grihastha (family), vanprastha (retired) and sanyas (renunciation), all that people think of is Lakshmi.”

Scoffing at the priorities of today’s materialist world, he underlines how even Adi Shankaracharya, who revived Hinduism around 800 AD, installed the Goddess Saraswati (or Sharada) at the first mutt he established in Sringeri, Karnataka.

Octagenarian Salgaonkar blames patriarchy for the way even Lakshmi is depicted. “It sounds very nice to hear when men talk of their wives as Lakshmi. But even in early Raja Ravi Varma paintings you can see how Lakshmi’s feet are kept well-hidden. Even now people believe that if her feet are free, Lakshmi will move, taking all the prosperity along. This idea came from the desire of men to control women.”

Both Tiwari and Purecha too insist that the “spousification” of Goddesses was “a clever, latter-day masculine ploy” to link the greatness of the Goddesses to their spouses. “In the process, many of our ancient Goddesses of Fertility and Strength were pushed aside to make way for the mainstreaming of the spouses of the triumvirate — Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh,” says Tiwari.

In parting, Purecha nails it: “Women don’t want to be treated like Goddesses and kept on a pedestal, or be treated like objects of lust. When that (the change) happens, our Goddesses will also be unshackled from this masculine paradigm and we will perhaps begin giving Saraswati her place again.”

via Why saraswati is ignored – Lifestyle – DNA.


 

Change Idols – And Continue Withe Killings, Jails, Taxes, Wars

October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

When it is so easy to kill in the name of democracy, peace, freedom, progress, why do the Taliban in Af-Pak region kill in the name of religion.

Unable to handle either Islam or Westernization, Pakistan's leadership should think of the people more - and less of the State | Cartoon on March 7, 2004 by Zahoor; source & courtesy - paksir.blogspot.in | Click for image.

Unable to handle either Islam or Westernization, Pakistan’s leadership should think of the people more – and less of the State | Cartoon on March 7, 2004 by Zahoor; source & courtesy – paksir.blogspot.in | Click for image.

The Malala incident is déjà vu times million. You have religious ‘extremists’ manifesting brutality; the ‘educated’ class calls the act heinous, the ‘intellectuals’ label the offenders as beasts, the ‘liberals’ protest against the ‘cowardly act’ and while everyone is condemning the act, they remain shushed about the root cause of it all: the ideology. Throughout the past every single person who has denounced the Taliban has acted as an apologetic, justifying the religious ideology and claiming how those ‘uneducated morons’ have ‘unfortunately’ misinterpreted the teachings of peace and tranquility – no, they haven’t, ‘unfortunately’.

It is so painfully amusing to note how the ‘moderates’ and armchair revolutionaries, would sit there with a glass of vine in their hands, uninhibitedly hanging out with the opposite sex, not having offered a prayer or fasted for ages, claiming how the Taliban – who lead their lives strictly according to the Shariah – are infesting their religion of harmony. The poor chaps are only doing what their scriptures – the ones that the pseudo intellectuals extol, or don’t have the cojones to criticize – tell them to do. When you are being taught, through the scriptures that are universally recognized by the followers as ‘authentic’, that all the non-believers or threats to the grandeur of your ideology should be killed, you will kill them, where is the misinterpretation here?

Finding slaves or slave girls, repulsive; physically assaulting women, disgusting; cutting off hands for theft, inhuman; stoning people to death, beastly and then venerating the ideology that permits this at the same time is hypocrisy of the very highest order. You sit there, criticize and mock the Taliban that follow your religion in its true form while you live in oblivion with your extremely palatable, but simultaneously blatantly fallacious, brand of religion and then claim that the Taliban are misinterpreting and misapprehending your ideology? Oh, the irony.

Let’s stop carving out quasi religions, or defending ideologies that we’ve all grown up blindly following as the truth. Let’s call a spade a spade instead and realize that at the end of the day as much as you might have a cardiac arrest admitting it, the root cause of religious extremism is: religion – especially in its raw crude form, which again is the only ‘authentic’ form.

The fact that groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban-Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi exist is because Islam is still traversing its Dark Ages while other religions have gone through Reformation, resulting in a collective Renaissance – and that too half a millennium ago.

Note the deep longing expression in both faces  |  Cartoon by - by Zahoor (May 2012); source & courtesy - tribune.com.pk  |  Click for image.

Note the deep longing expression in both faces | Cartoon by – by Zahoor (May 2012); source & courtesy – tribune.com.pk | Click for image.

via Don’t blame the Taliban | Pakistan Today | Latest news | Breaking news | Pakistan News | World news | Business | Sport and Multimedia.

How to stop religious extremism?

Promote Reformation, Renaissance.

Instead of killing people in the name of Mohammed or Jesus, kill in the name of Progress, Liberty, Freedom, Democracy, Communism.

Simple really.


Inheritance Laws: A Theory Why India’s Muslims Lag

October 3, 2012 1 comment

How ancient marriage and inheritance customs shape modern society.

Hate The Muslim Woman cartoon by Khalil Bendib.

Hate The Muslim Woman cartoon by Khalil Bendib.

Anomalies

Why are the populations of Saudi Arabia (2.81 crores – 2011), Jordan (0.62 crores – 2011), Syria (o.23 crores – 2011), Iraq (3.3 crores – 2011), Iran (7.48 crores – 2011) so low?

Say, compared to other Islamic countries like Pakistan (17.7 crores – 2011), Bangladesh (15.1 crores – 2011), Indonesia (24.2 crores – 2011) – even Malaysia (28.9 crores – 2011).

To get a perspective, population of Maharashtra is 11.24 crores (2011).

Part of The Answer

The answer is late marriages in the Arab world-Middle East due to meher.

Since meher system is not strictly followed outside the Arab world-Middle East, early marriages are common. Marriage itself as an element is more common outside the Arab world-Middle East. Marriage in the Arab world-Middle East is a sign of rank and status.

Meher also drives the system of multiple wives – ‘If she is worth US$100,000, then I am good for at least US$75,000’ kind of thinking operates among women.

Dowry on the other hand helps to push-start the young to start a family – which improves population growth.

Could it be that the poor performance on economic and social indicators by India’s Muslims today doesn’t just reflect current disadvantage and deprivation, but also has far deeper historical, cultural, and religious roots?

Timur Kuran, an economics professor at Duke University, together with Anantdeep Singh, a researcher at the University of Southern California, in a new study have argued that the roots of Muslims’ lagging performance may be attributed to institutional differences that go back to the British colonial period. In doing so, they discount conventional explanations including the supposed “conservatism and insularity” of Islam, the supposed “demoralization” of the Muslim community after the fall of the Mughal empire, and the supposed animosity of the attitude of British colonizers against the Muslims and in favor of the Hindus.

Instead, Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh argue that the real culprit is the Islamic inheritance system, which the British codified and enforced after coming to power in India. They suggest that the typical Muslim form of saving across generations, family trusts known as Waqfs, were not well suited for the pooling of capital across families, nor were they well suited to pursuing profit-making enterprises. What they were good at, though, was providing a safe way for an individual family to save its wealth over time.

By contrast, more flexible Hindu inheritance practices were much better suited to capital accumulation within a given family, the pooling of resources within extended family and clan networks, and the preservation and growth of wealth across generations. What is more, Hindus tended to do business within family run enterprises that were able to transition to modern corporate setups in the 20th century, whereas Muslims tended to rely on transitory and short-lived business partnerships with other Muslims that were difficult to translate into the structure of a modern corporation.

While it’s obviously true that Islamic inheritance practices predate British rule, the study documents that these laws were only loosely enforced during the late Mughal period and many Muslims, especially converts, continued to live by non-Islamic customs including inheritance practices. However, the British, who set up common law courts, more rigorously applied the distinct inheritance laws of different communities. Crucially, as Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh argue, the British, being unfamiliar with Indian traditions, institutionalized a more “classical” or Arabic form of Islamic law than the more flexible practices derived from Persian and other sources that had existed under the Mughals.

The end result was that in practice many more Muslims became subject to a stricter enforcement of Islamic laws. Tellingly, the Muslims who’ve fared best economically come from small ”nonconforming” communities that converted from Hinduism – the Khojas, Bohras, Memons and Girasias – who as it happens were allowed by the British to retain their original inheritance practices. Azim Premji, India’s richest Muslim and the only Indian Muslim on the Forbes list of billionaires, is a Khoja.

via Economics Journal: A Theory Why India’s Muslims Lag – India Real Time – WSJ.


India At War: For 1200 years Desert Bloc Has Been At War With India

October 2, 2012 1 comment

India has been is at the forefront of 1200-year aggression by Desert Bloc spear-headed by multiple religious factions.

Indian & Foreign Corporations are colluding to increase their power against We, the People  |  Cartoonist Adam Zyglis in 2010; source & courtesy - cagle.com

Indian & Foreign Corporations are colluding to increase their power against We, the People | Cartoonist Adam Zyglis in 2010; source & courtesy – cagle.com

The War of 1200 Years

How does India defeat मायावी mayaavi religions – without becoming intolerant, or persecution and suppression of dissent?

Desert Bloc has used religions (there are only 3 religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam) against India now for 1200 years.

Indian polity, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra based on the four freedoms – धर्म (dharma – justice), अर्थ (arth – wealth and means), काम (kaam – human desires) मोक्ष (moksha – liberty) has a unique challenge.

With some degree of success

An easy marker of Desert Bloc success is if we begin to think any religion as ‘better’ or worse.

The self-congratulatory claim of the Christian West to represent freedom of speech as opposed to the supposed tyranny of silence imposed by Islam doesn’t stand the scrutiny of history. The Inquisition, under pain of torture, silenced Galileo’s ‘heresy’ against the Christian belief that it was the sun that moved around the earth, and not vice versa. The Vatican’s list of prohibited books still includes many world classics, and a number of American schools partly or totally ban Darwin’s theory of evolution in favour of the church-approved doctrine of ‘intelligent design’.

Perhaps the problem is not what fundamental Islam and fundamental Christianity don’t have in common, but what they do have in common. And that is that both are assertively proselytising faiths which actively, often aggressively, seek converts.

When my faith enjoins me to get you to change your faith, and your faith enjoins you to do the same with me, confrontation becomes inevitable. Proselytisation implies not just the superiority of my faith to yours; it totally denies the validity of your faith and narrows the scope of dialogue or even peaceful coexistence in mutual tolerance.

Ironically, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all come from the same semitic source. Indeed, Islam has always considered Jews and Christians to be ‘people of the Book’, referring to the overlap between the Old Testament and the Quran and, as such, not to be seen as adversaries. Over the centuries, the material and technological dominance of the West has upset this equilibrium, and pitted the ‘free’ West against an ‘unfree’ Islam.

via Juggle-Bandhi : Jug Suraiya’s blog-The Times Of India.

Faced with: –

  1. Well-funded armies that invested in more cannons and expensive horses.
  2. An Islamic leadership that could build impressive monuments (Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar)
  3. State-funded intellectuals who were retained by the State to wage a propaganda war (maya); promote official agenda (Akbar’s nav-ratan).

Indian leadership had a unique challenge in front of itself. How could India: –

  1. Sustain its system of 3-Rights – ज़र (jar – gold), जन (jan – human ties) and जमीन (jameen – property)
  2. Retain a thin State (with no monuments)
  3. Maintain guarantees of four essential freedoms (dharma, moksh, kaam, arth).

The Bhakti saints and reformers promoted the ideological structure of

  1. How the guru can be more important than god
  2. As the guru leads you to god.
  3. Different people can have different gurus.

Guru Nanak went ahead and reduced the need for ‘One’ holy book – by extracting from the writings of many gurus – including from the Koran.

After Independence, India bought peace with the Western world by adopting Western standards of democracy, laws, currency, human rights etc.

Not that it happens anywhere in the world, but additionally Indians also had to prove that we could ‘protect’ minorities.

Sixty years after the Indian Republic, we need to understand modern realities.

Better.

What is Bharattantra

Unlike, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra is the Indic political system that guarantees four freedoms – धर्म (dharma – justice), अर्थ (arth – wealth and means), काम (kaam – human desires) मोक्ष (moksha – liberty) and ensures three rights – ज़र (jar – gold), जन (jan – human ties) and जमीन (jameen – property) for all.


Catholic Reverend Blames 14-16 year old Boys For Seducing Catholic Priests

August 31, 2012 1 comment

Is it not time for Vatican to take this on their chin – and stop blaming anyone? After all during the Middle Ages, the Vatican rule was termed as pornocracy.

Blaming boys in their teens as seducers takes the cake!

Across Europe and USA, hundreds of thousands of these sexual abuse have come to light in the last 50 years. What started as a trickle in the 60s, has now turned to a flood.

More than this, it is now getting replicated in non-Church NGOs also. In India, many of these NGO do-gooders have been implicated in sexual abuse cases. The Joe Paterno-Jerry Sandusky scandal in USA continues to haunt America. The suicide of Peter Roebuck was related to sexual advances he made to boys in his coaching camps.

A prominent Roman Catholic spiritual leader who has spent decades counseling wayward priests for the archdiocese provoked shock and outrage on Thursday as word spread of a recent interview he did with a Catholic newspaper during which he said that “youngsters” were often to blame when priests sexually abused them and that priests should not be jailed for such abuse on their first offense. The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, who made the remarks, is a beloved figure among many Catholics and a founder of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a conservative priestly order based in New York. He hosts a weekly show on the Eternal Word Television Network and has written 45 books.

The comments were published on Monday by The National Catholic Register, which is owned by EWTN, a religious broadcaster based in Alabama.

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” Father Groeschel, now 79, said in the interview. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

He added that he was “inclined to think” that priests who were first-time abusers should not be jailed because “their intention was not committing a crime.”

On Thursday, the comments were taken off the publication’s Web site after the controversy erupted, and the editors, Father Groeschel and his religious order apologized.

“I did not intend to blame the victim,” Father Groeschel wrote in a statement published on The Catholic Register’s site. “A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be.”

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, denounced the comments as “terribly wrong.” But he said the church was unlikely to discipline Father Groeschel, in part because as a member of a religious order, he was not officially a priest of the diocese.

via In Interview, the Rev. Benedict Groeschel Says Abuse Victims Can Be Seducers – NYTimes.com.


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