This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
PAGE 1 APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Registered RNI No. 45550/88 Published on 9th and 24th every month MH/MR/N/209/MBI/12-14
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 7
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Inauguration of the Ministry of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
“We will see a world transformed”
Justin Portal Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.” Archbishop Justin said that “our response to these words sets the pattern of our lives, for the church, for the whole of society. Fear imprisons us and stops us being fully human.” us from being fully human. Drawing on the story of Christ beckoning the disciples to walk on stormy waters, the Archbishop recalled Jesus’ words: “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.” Archbishop Justin said that “our response to these words sets the pattern of our lives, for the church, for the whole of society.” Based on the Scripture portions: Ruth 2:10-16; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Matthew 14:22-33; “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid”, Matthew 14:27, Archbishop Justin said, “To each one of us, whoever and wherever we are, joining us from far away by television or radio, or here in the Cathedral, Jesus calls through the storms and darkness of life and says “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid”. Contd. Page 2 Col 2 ..>>>
The new Archbishop’s enthronement, Canterbury Cathedral, 21 March 2013
Archbishop Justin Welby was enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England, and spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March.
Preaching to 2,000 people inside the Canterbury Cathedral and millions more watching and listening around the world, Archbishop Justin said during the inauguration of the ministry of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury that fear imprisons us and stops
IBSA Local Governance Forum
World’s First Arms Trade Treaty
1234567890123456789012345678901212345 1234567890123456789012345678901212345 1234567890123456789012345678901212345 1234567890123456789012345678901212345
Deepening Democracy Through Local Governance
Representative democracy is widely accepted as the most civilized form of governance. Balloting and periodic multi-party elections are quite often equated with democracy by a large number of people all the world over. This certainly is not a comprehensive view of democracy. Not only charismatic leaders, even tyrants have won elections with massive votes. Representative democracy needs radical reforms and the quest for alternative ways of strengthening the practice of democracy comes up as a great project.
To save lives and protect communities
The world’s first Arms Trade Treaty is “a milestone in efforts to bring commerce in deadly weapons under much-needed controls,” according to the general secretary of the World Council of Churches. parts of the world who live in fear for their lives will eventually be safer,” the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit commented on Arms Trade Treaty, adopted on 2 April, voted by 155 countries at the United Nations in New York, USA. In a public comment on the adoption of the world’s first Arms Trade Treaty, Dr. Tveit said, “We give thanks to God for the adoption of the world’s first Arms Trade Treaty and for the efforts by a large majority of countries and many civil society groups to bring it into existence. The affirmative Contd. Page 6 Col 3 ..>>>
1234567890123456789012345678901212345 M. A. Oommen1234567890123456789012345678901212345
“The concept and content of democracy has undergone great transformation and still in a state of flux. Deepening democracy which means making it more meaningful and relevant for the lives that people live, therefore assumes significance and requires continuing scrutiny and study,” said Dr. M. A. Oommen, eminent economist and a renowned expert on Local Governance, presenting a paper at the international conference organized by Editorial “Take heart, it is I,do not be afraid” Do not place too much faith in political and church leaders Mainstreaming of Gender Concerns in Discourse on Climate Change A Christ - heeding church changes the world
IBSA Local Governance Forum at New Delhi on 8 & 9 April. Introducing the subject Dr. M. A. Oommen said, “The idea of democracy since its origin in Athens has caught the imagination of the public all the world over. As an ideology it is a triumphant one. It commands the greatest legitimacy among all forms of governments because the ultimate Contd. Page 5 Col 1 ..>>> Authentic Information about people still facing untouchability Movement for Renewal and Reformation of Churches Representative democracy needs radical reforms Living cultures are cultures of life based on reverence for all life
Arms Trade Treaty campaigners including representatives of ecumenical organizations at UN headquarters for the March 2013 conference. © Control Arms
“This long-overdue act of international governance means that people in many Statement on the Recent Violence in Myanmar The Church has undermined the spirit of resistance of Dalit Christians The Risen Lord understood the exact point of Thomas’ doubt Deepening democracy in a fragmented world
World Alliance Award to the YMCA of India & the Agra YMCA
Search for an alternative? Or alternatives? Volunteer In Mission Trip To the Holy Land
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Inauguration of the Ministry of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
Hugo Chavez’s great contribution to the Latin American alternative
The passing away of Mr. Hugo Chavez, who successfully launched the project of re-making the history of Latin America, on 5 March at the age of 58 is a tragic loss for the world. As the President of Venezuela for 15 years, he not only transformed the life of the people in his own country, but also the politics in the entire South American continent. The heroic struggles for independence of Latin America, under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, could liberate this continent from the ruthless and oppressive rule by Spain for four centuries. But, soon, the US made this continent her colony in a different form. Military dictators planted by the US in various countries in the continent, by killing revolutionary leaders like Che Gu Vera and millions of people, suppressed democratic movements for many decades. These rulers helped the US to loot valuable resources from this continent, causing poverty and deprivation in Latin American countries. After the assassination of Allende, the elected President of Chile, the IMF and the World Bank imposed Structural Adjustment Programme and pushed the continent to severe debt crisis. Further, Latin America was made the first laboratory for experimenting the neoliberal economic policies. As a result, in the 1990s, political, economic and humanitarian situations in the Latin American countries moved from bad to worse. It was under this scenario, Hugo Chavez who offered a socialist manifesto, was elected as the President of Venezuela in 1998. Venezuela is a small country with a population of only 29 million, but very rich in oil reserves. Immediately after assuming office, Chavez nationalized oil companies that refused to share a larger share of profit from oil with the nation. As a result of this policy he could realize 16% of the profit from oil instead of the earlier 1%. With this money, between 2000 and 2010, he raised expenditure for social welfare by 61% and brought down extreme poverty from 40% to 7.3%. Now, 20 out of 29 million people in Venezuela enjoy some kinds of social welfare benefits, and 2.1 million people receive old age pension. A unique contribution of Chavez is that, along with looking after the welfare of his own people, he volunteered to share a part of the wealth of his country with other countries in the continent. He took the initiative in creating a Bank for Latin American Countries through which he provided $36 billion as loan to the countries of this continent on liberal terms. By this, he could keep the World Bank and the IMF away from the continent and from their lending business and political subjugation. Hugo Chavez’s leadership in building co-operation among the Latin American countries contributed much to the freedom, transformation and dignity of the people in the continent. As a result, at a time when many countries in other continents face economic crisis, Latin America, to a great extent, got insulated from this. Chavez’s main contributions are two: One, resistance to the interventions of the IMF and the World Bank and to the Neoliberal policies; and two, resistance to the military intervention by the US. In fact, the failed coup against Chavez in 2002 with the support of the US, had a demoralizing effect on the US. It is sad that the project initiated by Chavez remains unfinished. He had, already, emerged as the biggest leader and hope of Latin America. This is attested by the crowd of two million people who gathered to pay homage to him. Over half- a dozen pro-socialist Presidents in the continent have affirmed that they would uphold the torch handed over to them and keep it burning and continue to take forward the vision and hope enkindled by Mr. Chavez. We hope that the Latin American Alternative offered by Hugo Chavez to the world will not be ruined by the uni-polar and neoliberal world orders.
“Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid”
“Each of us now needs to heed His voice calling to us, and to get out of the boat and go to Him. Because even when we fail, we find peace and hope and become more fully human than we can imagine.” >>> Contd. from Page 1 Col 3 If it is you tell me to come to you on the water Peter says, and Jesus replies “come”. History does not relate what the disciples thought about getting out of a perfectly serviceable boat, but Peter was right, and they were wrong. The utterly absurd is completely reasonable when Jesus is the one who is calling. Courage is liberated, and he gets out of the boat, walks a bit, and then fails. Love catches him, gently sets him right, and in a moment they are both in the boat and there is peace. Courage failed, but Jesus is stronger than failure. The fear of the disciples was reasonable. People do not walk on water, but this person did. For us to trust and follow Christ is reasonable if He is what the disciples end up saying He is; “truly you are the Son of God”. Each of us now needs to heed His voice calling to us, and to get out of the boat and go to Him. Because even when we fail, we find peace and hope and become more fully human than we can imagine: Failure forgiven, courage liberated, hope persevering, love abounding. For more than a thousand years this country has, to one degree or another, sought to recognise that Jesus is the Son of God; by the ordering of its society, by its laws, by its sense of community. Sometimes we have done better, sometimes worse. When we do better we make space for our own courage to be liberated, for God to act among us and for human beings to flourish. Slaves were freed, Factory Acts passed, and the NHS and social care established through Christ-liberated courage. The present challenges of environment and economy, of human development and global poverty, can only be faced with extraordinary courage. In humility and simplicity Pope Francis called us to be protectors of each other: of the natural world, of the poor and vulnerable. Courage is released in a society that is under the authority of God, so that we may become the fully human community of which we all dream. Let us hear Christ who calls to us and says “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid”. The first reading dates from the time of Israel before the Kings. It is the account of a Moabite refugee – utterly stigmatised, inescapably despised - taking the huge risk of choosing a God she does not know in a place she has not been, and finding security when she does so. The society Ruth went to was healthy because it was based on obedience to God, both in public care and private Contd. Page 3 Col 1 ..>>>
The new Archbishop of Canterbury: First Easter Sermon
Do not place too much faith in political and church leaders
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby used his first Easter sermon to warn against placing too much faith in political and church leaders – including himself. The Archbishop said that “pinning hopes on individuals” to solve problems was pointless and that the so-called “hero leaders” in fields from politics to the NHS inevitably fail to live up to expectations because of human frailty. And he joked that those who expect him to singlehandedly restore the fortunes of the Church of England must be “barking mad”. Speaking at Canterbury Cathedral during the Easter Sunday service, the most important day of the year for the Church of England, he urged people to view the world through a lens of hope but also realism. He also warned against living in “some golden age in the past”. “Vain human optimism”, he said, would always disappoint because “human failure” would always get in the way. He added that setting people up on a pedestal from which they could only fail to live up to expectations was simply “cruelty”. The former oil executive’s appointment as Archbishop last year was hailed by David Cameron as a “breath of fresh air” and by many in the Church as a new beginning. But Mr. Welby used his first major address since his enthronement in March to attempt to play down expectations. The “hero leader culture” is flawed, he said. “A political party gets a new leader and three months later there is comment about disappointment,” he said. “An economy suffers the worst blow in generations with a debt crisis and economic downturn, and the fact that not everything is perfect within five years is seen as total failure. “Complexity and humanity are ignored and we end up unreasonably disappointed with every institution, group and policy, from politicians to NHS, education to environment.” The Archbishop referred to a poll last week which showed that most Christians in Britain accept the church has an image problem but that only around 40 per cent of them believe he will be able to improve it. “I do hope that means the other 60 per cent thought the idea so barking mad that they did not answer the question,” he said. He added: “As well as fear a false view of people leads to hero leaders, who always fail. “Human sin means pinning hopes on individuals is always a mistake, and assuming that any organisation is able to have such good systems that human failure will be eliminated is naive.” Taking St John’s account of the resurrection as his text, he said the Easter story made clear “the reality of God and of human beings”. “Setting people or institutions up to heights where they cannot but fail is mere cruelty,” he said. – Source: The Telegraph
Thought for the Fortnight
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.
– Walter Lippmann
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Political Economy of Gender and Climate Change - 3
1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Mainstreaming of Gender Concerns in Discourse on Climate Change
As women bear a disproportionate burden of climate change consequences, women’s groups working with rural and tribal organizations are lobbying for gender mainstreaming of women’s concerns in discourse on climate change. Women’s groups in India are seriously concerned about impact of climate change on women’s survival struggles in rural and urban areas. Women scientists such as Dr. Jyoti Parikh and Dr. Vandana Shiva played crucial roles in engendering the discourses by coming out with World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and The Rights of Mother Earth Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration on Wednesday, April 28, 2010. This declaration has been a rallying point for highlighting gender concerns in Climate Change debate advocated by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). and women) not only in terms of fish catch but also with regard to water scarcity, as seawater gets into fresh water. Besides, when the land is inundated, infrastructure (roads and houses) are damaged. Large scale migration from inundated areas is expected and much of the burden of migration falls on women. Water resources shortage and access: Climate change may exacerbate existing shortages of water. Women are largely responsible for water collection in their communities and therefore are more affected when the quantity of water and/or its accessibility changes. Increased burden of care giving: As primary caregivers, women may see their responsibilities increase as family members suffer increased illness due to exposure to vector borne diseases such as malaria, water borne diseases such as cholera, and increase in heart stress mortality. Women are particularly vulnerable because they are more prone to the adverse impacts from climate change. Their limited adaptive capacities arise from prevailing social inequalities and ascribed social and economic roles that manifest in differences in property rights, access to information, lack of employment and unequal access to resources. Further, changes in the climate usually impact on sectors that are traditionally associated with women, such as paddy cultivation, cotton and tea plantations, and fishing. This means increased hardship for women. For example, studies show that climate change has an adverse impact on fishing, as the sea level rises and saline water enters into freshwater systems, making fishing difficult. Further, in extreme events more women deaths are observed for women’s inability to swim or run or lack of strength to withstand physically demanding situation such as storms, floods, typhoons. From a long term perspective, this will have serious implications for gender relations, as women may end up spending more time on tasks that reinforce stereotypical gender roles. Thus, women are faced by a situation where their ability to adapt is low but the share of the adaptation burden falling disproportionately on them. This makes the consideration of the impact of climate change on gender most imperative.
1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567 Vibhuti Patel 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
(Third and concluding part of excerpts from the paper, ‘Political Economy of Gender and Climate Change’. The second part was published in the issue Vol. 26 issue 4 dt. Feb. 25 - March 10, 2013) Practical Gender Needs are those that Women identify in their socially accepted roles in society. Practical gender needs do not challenge the gender divisions of labour or women’s subordinate position in society, Practical gender needs are a response to immediate perceived necessity, identified within a specific context. (Moser, 1993, p.40) Strategic Gender Needs are the needs women identify because of their subordinate position to men in their society... They relate to gender divisions of labour, power and control and may include such issues as legal rights, domestic violence, equal wages and women’s control over their bodies. Meeting strategic gender needs helps women to achieve greater equality. (Moser, 1993, p39). The distinction between these two types of needs can provide a useful tool to aid us in analyzing how gender is being addressed in proposed policy or project interventions when faced with challenges arising due to Climate change. Decreased food security : With changes in climate, traditional food sources become more unpredictable and scarce. This exposes women to loss of harvests, often their sole sources of food and income. Impact on livelihoods: Women are more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change. For instance, climate change causes a rise in the sea level, affecting the fishing community (both men
power, access to information, all of which are major problem areas for women. However, women can be key agents of adaptation and mitigation to climate change. Their responsibilities in households, communities and as stewards of natural resources position them well to develop strategies for adapting to changing environmental realties.
Women also have a role deriving from their own strength. Women are engaged in a number of activities such as brick making, charcoal making, waste management and agro processing where energy efficiency can lead to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) mitigation and their role in mitigation in these areas can be vital. The development of Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM), through carbon sequestration from afforestation and reforestation can also be done by poor rural women. Women in urban areas can implement energy efficiency programmes at the household level lighting, the use of appliances, etc., while women in rural areas may be encouraged to use biomass and biogas (for fuel generation), and switch to solar energy. Poor women, without access to modern energy fuels are faced with problems relating to indoor air pollution and bear huge health burdens as a result – there is a high incidence of bronchitis, asthma and other health problems. While women should not be denied the use of fossil fuels like LPG or Kerosene, yet at the same time appropriate technologies that take into account the specific socio economic realities of different rural areas reduce women’s workload, free up time and enable them to pursue income generating or other activities that need to be developed. Contd. Page 5 Col 1 ..>>>
The fundamental goal of adaptation strategies is the reduction of the vulnerabilities to climate induced change in order to protect and enhance the livelihoods of poor people. Experience shows that vulnerability is differentiated by gender. Adaptation to climate change or indeed climate variability is dependent on issues such as wealth, technological
Inauguration of the Ministry of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
A Christ - heeding church changes the world
>>> Contd. from Page 2 Col 4 love. Today we may properly differ on the degrees of state and private responsibility in a healthy society. But if we sever our roots in Christ we abandon the stability which enables good decision making. There can be no final justice, or security, or love, or hope in our society if it is not finally based on rootedness in Christ. Jesus calls to us over the wind and storms, heed his words and we will have the courage to build society in stability. For nearly two thousand years the Church has sought, often failing, to recognise in its way of being that Jesus is the Son of God. The wind and waves divided Jesus from the disciples. Peter ventures out in fear and trembling. Jesus reconciles Peter to Himself and makes the possibility for all the disciples to find peace. All the life of our diverse churches finds renewal and unity when we are reconciled afresh to God and so are able to reconcile others. A Christ-heeding life changes the church and a Christ-heeding church All this comes from heeding the call of Jesus Christ. Internationally, churches run refugee camps, mediate civil wars, organise elections, set up hospitals. All of it happens because of heeding the call to go to Jesus through the storms and across the waves. changes the world: St Benedict set out to create a school for prayer, and incidentally created a monastic order that saved European civilisation. The more the Church is authentically heeding Jesus’ call, leaving its securities, speaking and acting clearly and taking risks, the more the Church suffers. Thomas Cranmer faced death with Christgiven courage, leaving a legacy of worship, of holding to the truth of the gospel, on which we still draw. I look at the Anglican leaders here and remember that in many cases round the world their people are scattered to the four winds or driven underground: by persecution, by storms of all sorts, even by cultural change. Many Christians are martyred now as in the past. Yet at the same time the church transforms society when it takes the risks of renewal in prayer, of reconciliation and of confident declaration of the good news of Jesus Christ. In England alone the churches together run innumerable food banks, shelter the homeless, educate a million children, offer debt counselling, comfort the bereaved, and far, far more. All this comes from heeding the call of Jesus Christ. Internationally, churches run refugee camps, mediate civil wars, organise elections, set up hospitals. All of it happens because of heeding the call to go to Jesus through the storms and across the waves. There is every possible reason for optimism about the future of Christian faith in our world and in this country. Optimism does not come from us, but because to us and to all people Jesus comes and says “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid”. We are called to step out of the comfort of our own traditions and places, and go into the waves, reaching for the hand of Christ. Let us provoke each other to heed the call of Christ, to be clear in our declaration of Christ, committed in prayer to Christ, and we will see a world transformed.
When ‘U’ and ‘I’ are knitted, there is UNITY
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Dalit Christians: A Saga of Faith and Pathos - Author : Godwin Shiri
Authentic information about people still facing untouchability
123456789012345678901234567890121234 123456789012345678901234567890121234 123456789012345678901234567890121234 123456789012345678901234567890121234 P. Dayanandan 123456789012345678901234567890121234 123456789012345678901234567890121234
What does it take for a people to live a decent life in dignity and cry for human rights in the 21st century of technology? What really is the role of the state, the society and the religion as proactive agents of people’s welfare? Dr. Godwin Shiri reveals how all three agencies have failed the Dalits in Ballary and Raichur regions of South India. This is the region of the great Neolithic “Ash Mound” tradition that witnessed plant domestication 5000 years ago! Godwin conducted a very structured study in two villages of Bellary district and three villages of Raichur district. The results are shocking. Here live Madigas, whose ancestors probably laid the foundation for South Indian agriculture, stamped and pushed down as Dalits along the way, and still facing rampant untouchability today. The 280 Dalit Christian Madigas that Godwin studied reveal a shameful story of the Indian society and Christian church. Like their non-Christian Madiga brothers and sisters they cannot enter tea shops that run the infamous ‘twotumbler’ system; the barbers won’t cut their hairs, washer men will not clean their clothes and tailors will not mend their dress; there is no inter-dining nor can they enter a caste Hindu house; they cannot draw water from some village wells, wash or bathe at sites the caste Hindus use at the riverside; cannot sit at a bus stand. Even the school children at Hacholli and Beerahalli must sit separately. At Government ration shops and other public places they must put up with harassment and abusive language and
Godwin’s Dalit Christians is a book that all people who are interested in justice, equality and human rights should read. Church leaders, pastors and theologians must study it and assign the book as essential reading for students of theology and youth and adult Bible study groups. The book should also reach the government and courts that are still looking – in spite of voluminous data already available - for proof that Dalits embracing Christianity suffer the same discrimination that their non-Christian relatives face. denigration. Besides social sanctions caste atrocities, sexual harassment, and violence against Dalit Christians are the lived experience of these citizens of a great democracy. Sounds familiar? Godwin’s small book of just 130 pages is packed with detailed information on the socio-economic, political and religious conditions of the Dalits, especially the Christian Dalits in the five villages. The book has a chapter devoted to the social oppression faced by the people and another on the particular plight of the Christian Dalit women. This book is based on data collected through a questionnaire by theology students in 2010. The 70 questions are well formulated to extract reliable information, and will remain a model for others interested in similar studies. The book is written in clear and easily understandable style with the findings summarized in 22 intelligible tables. A pleasing and beautifully designed cover with art work by Sashi Memuri complements the valuable information between the covers. Dr. Roger Gaikwad’s Foreword highlights the core conclusions of the book and affirms the resolve of the National Council of Churches in India to stand by the oppressed and rid the society and church of caste discriminations. Godwin’s scholarship is the result of many years of research and engagement with the Dalit Christian situation. His seminal work of 1997, The Plight of Christian Dalits – A South Indian Case Study, examined the condition of Dalit Christians in 44 villages located in Bellary (Karnataka) and Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) districts. In 2002 Godwin published another detailed study of the Dalit Holeya Christians of Karnataka Years of meticulous research of uncompromising quality, and empathy with oppressed people are reflected in the present book that provides authentic information about a people still facing untouchability. Godwin’s concluding statements expose the stark reality of Dalits and Dalit Christians in this region. They are “still socially degraded, economically disabled and politically voiceless”. They face caste oppression, live in abject poverty, perpetual debt and illiteracy, as poorest of the poor. They are doubly oppressed because of their Dalit origins and for embracing Christianity. Godwin presents a graphic description of the Dalit Christians as caught in a “triangle of oppression” by the society, the state and the church. The condition of the women is particularly deplorable. 88% of women are illiterate (74% of men and women are illiterate). Twenty years ago illiteracy among Christian women in Hacholli was 87%; now it still remains very high at 83%. Women face several disabilities, some perpetrated by their own men, and some new problems such as creeping dowry culture. Who are the oppressors? Godwin is
Publishers: ISPCK (www.ispck.org.in) & NCCI (www.nccindia.in), Year of Publication: 2012 Price: Rs. 175/naturally surprised that 67% the Dalits/ Christians identified the Lingayats as the community that treats them most contemptuously. Surprised because the Lingayats who emerged as “an egalitarian/radical Hindu reformed sect with anti-caste, anti-ritual and anti-gender discrimination teaching” should now be dreaded by Dalits/Christians! Perhaps this should not be surprising, for the power of caste is all permeating: it thrives equally well among the caste-Christians groups in India, who claim to follow the most egalitarian of all teachers, Jesus Christ. Godwin is left with no option but to Contd. Page 6 Col 1 ..>>>
Movement for Renewal and Reformation of Churches
The Prophetic Forum for the Life and Witness of Churches (PFLWC) took the new name Movement for Renewal and Reformation of Churches (MRRC) and gave a memorandum to the Moderator of the CSI on 23 March 2012 at Nagercoil, which led to a series of developments, such as a Special Synod consultation at Chennai on 23 July when the Moderator gave a response and a Core Group was set up with Prof. George Koshy as convener to study and propose relevant revisions of the Constitution. The MRRC met on 23 May at SCM, Bangalore; on 24 July at ICSA, Chennai; on 7 & 8 September at Yelagiri, on 6 & 7 December at Coimbatore. And again on 22 & 23 March 2013 at the beautiful BWDA Centre run by Dr. Joslin Thambi in Courtallam. The participants travelled at their expense because of their commitment to see the renewal of the churches and were hosted by member agencies. Currently, MRRC is addressing the corruption issues within the Church of study it and to make their opinions known. The above Conference led to a series of developments, such as a Special Synod consultation at Chennai on 23 July 2012, when the Moderator gave a response through a Policy Paper, which was being discussed intensively. Following that he set up a Core Group of seven members representing all language areas, with Prof. George Koshy, the former Synod Secretary, as convener, with the mandate to study the CSI Constitution and to make proposals for constitutional changes for the realization of a Corruption Free C.S.I. Thomas Thangaraj and Dhyanchand Carr led the devotions. Bennett Benjamin presented an organogram, Jayakaran Isaac (Treasurer of MRRC) presented budget proposal, George Koshy shared report on the work of the core group, Siga Arles, Jacob Belly, Major Victor, Advocate Sathyamoorthy and others contributed strategic inputs. The group is both hopeful of reform with the cooperation of the Contd. Page 6 Col 3 ..>>>
Participants in the meeting held at Courtallam.
South India; but in time, expects to address similar issues in all the churches. A momentum has been gathering as Baptist, Lutheran and Methodist members joined at Yelagiri, Coimbatore and Courtallam. Dr. Gnana Robinson, the Chairman of MRRC, gave a historical overview of the journey of the movement. Conveying the concern for a Corruption Free Church of South India, the members of the MRRC presented the First Memorandum to its Moderator, the Most Revd Dr G. Devakadasham on 23 March 2012 at a Conference held at the meeting hall of the
Kanyakumari Diocese in Nagercoil, hosted by the Diocese. The Memorandum read and presented by the former moderator, Most Revd Dr. I Jesudhasan, was well received both by Moderator Devakadasham and all the participants, around 150 of them. The Moderator in his response said that the members of the MRRC had done almost half of the work of the Synod of the CSI. The Moderator distributed xeroxed copies of the Memorandum to all the members of his Bishops’ Council, which met in Mizoram immediately following the meeting in Nagercoil, and asked them to
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Deepening Democracy Through Local Governance
Representative democracy needs radical reforms
>>> Contd. from Page 1 Col 2 source of authority is derived from the people. Although not always explicit and quite often eclipsed, one can discern a democratic tendency in the social life of human beings in all parts of the world from historical times. The institutional forms that obtain today in Western world evolved in relatively recent centuries”. A major deficit of representative democracy is the limited accountability of the political players and institutions. The elected representatives and the executives (cabinet) owe allegiance to their party apparatus and high command than to the people who quite often remain remote spectators. party elections are quite often equated with democracy by a large number of people all the world over. Among political theorists there are strong advocates of this position. For example, Samuel Huntington says: ‘Elections, open, free and fair, are the essence of democracy, the inescapable sine-quanon’[Huntington(1991):9]. This certainly is not a comprehensive view of democracy. Not only charismatic leaders, even tyrants have won elections with massive votes. It is generally acknowledged that money, muscle power, media and the like influence free and fair elections even in the so-called developed countries. No wonder scholars like Max Weber, John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas, Joshua Cohen Leonardo Avritzer and Amartya Sen have viewed representative democracy with great misgivings. It needs radical reform and the quest for alternate ways of strengthening the practice of democracy comes up as a great project. A major deficit of representative democracy is the limited accountability of the political players and institutions. The elected representatives and the executives (cabinet) owe allegiance to their party apparatus and high command than to the people who quite often remain remote spectators. There is a growing gap between citizens and state institutions leading to a ‘diminished democracy’ [Skocpol (2003):11]. Crenson and Ginsberg (2004) who discuss the elite monopoly of American life meaningfully title their work Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined its People and Privatized the Public. The sovereignty of people turns out to be a mirage or only an option to be exercised at election times. In concluding his edited volume that reviews the journey of democracy from 508 BC to 1993 AD, John Dunn ed., (1992:25866) points out that present day representative democracy at best can provide three services: physical security, personal security of subjects and the protection of a capitalist economy. Even at the height of its present triumph, he points out that representative democracy does not have any unique claims to political authority. For example, from the perspective of social justice and inclusive development (social, economic and political inclusiveness), representative democracy has no supportive evidence or even arguments as a unique form of organizing political life for the common good. John Dunn and colleagues have raised innumerable pertinent questions which representative democracy in retrospect has failed to answer. The real development issue in contemporary world is to have an inclusive society comprising its entire citizen with ‘the goal of living in freedom together’. The concept of freedom is related to development which consists in removing all unfreedoms, widening choices and expanding capabilities to choose [See Sen (1999)]. Unfreedoms broadly speaking is the lack of opportunities to exercise one’s reasoned agency. The deficits of representative democracy need to be addressed by scholars as well as the public. Both democracy and development will have to assume newer meaning and added significance. Although the understanding of democracy in contemporary political philosophy has vastly widened, balloting and competitive elections with four or five years gap remains the overarching salience of democracy. A government of the people, by the people, for the people can never be meaningful with public balloting and competitive elections alone. Yes it is a great right and privilege to choose your government. But it has to be Contd. Page 7 Col 1 ..>>>
Excerpts from the paper:
As Amartya Sen points out, the rationale for deepening and promoting democracy depends on three distinct virtues: (1) its intrinsic importance (2) its instrumental contributions and (3) its constructive role in the creation of values and norms. No evaluation of the democratic form of governance can be complete without considering each. [Sen (1999):157-158]. Indeed democracy has to become a way of life in every aspect of human social life so that we make relevant social choices. The recent pioneering initiatives of India’s decentralized democracy, Brazil’s participatory budgeting and South Africa’s developmental local government hold great lessons in building a responsive and participatory local governance system.
1. What is wrong with Representative Democracy?
Representative democracy is widely accepted as the most civilized form of governance. Balloting and periodic multi-
Political Economy of Gender and Climate Change - 3
Living cultures are cultures of life based on reverence for all life
>>> Contd. from Page 3 Col 4
What is the way forward?
It is clear that gender differences must be taken into account to understand the impact of climate change. Gender differentiated strategies for responses and capacity building are needed due to differences in gender specific roles and responsibilities created by society. These findings should feed into the climate negotiations as well as national debates to enable decision makers to have a better understanding of how different groups of people are affected and what kind of capacity and support is needed. More specifically the following actions are required: ü Recognise that women are more vulnerable in climate change driven scenarios: Government should analyze and identify gender specific impacts and protection measures related to floods, droughts, diseases, and other environmental changes and disasters. An inter ministerial task force could be set up towards this end. ü Understand and address gender specific natural resource use pattern: Government should develop strategies to enhance women’s access to and
Women, even in rural India, now understand better the larger issues like climate change that affect them directly, as is evident in this declaration adopted at a training programme on Gender, Climate Change and Food Security on November 16, 2011, at Saharanpur in UP: control over natural resources, in order to reduce poverty, protect environmental resources, and ensure that women and poor communities can better cope with climate change. ü Identify women’s particular skills and capacities that lend themselves to mitigation and adaptation: Given that women’s knowledge and participation has been critical to the survival of entire communities in disaster situations, government should take cognizance of women’s specialized skills in different aspects of their livelihood and natural resource management strategies and utilize those that lend themselves to mitigation and adaptation. ü Increase women’s participation in decision making at all levels in climate change mitigation and adaptation. healing force that can break the vicious cycle of violence based on treating the inhumanity of man as the measure of being human, of greed as the organizing principle of the economy. What has changed is greater awareness. Women, even in rural India, now understand better the larger issues like climate change that affect them directly, as is evident in this declaration adopted at a training programme on Gender, Climate Change and Food Security on November 16, 2011, at Saharanpur in UP: ‘... Women hold the key to food security, and it is important that women’s contributions to agriculture and food security be documented, recognised and celebrated.’ Women are refusing to be part of the culture of hate and violence. Women, in and through their lives, are showing that love and compassion, sharing and giving are not just possible human qualities; they are necessary qualities for us to be human. Living cultures are cultures of life, based on reverence for all life - women and men, rich and poor, white and black, Christian and Muslim, human and nonhuman. In India are involved in 11 types of environmentalism: wildlife management, conservation, preservation, reform environmentalism, deep ecology,
environmental justice, environmental health, ecofeminism, ecospiritualism, animal rights and green movements. For promoting gender-responsive and inclusive state climate change plans in India, we as economists will have to seek answers to questions like (a) is there gender disaggregated data on impacts of climate change? (b) Are the gender differential impacts of adaptation measures understood and addressed? (b) Do the adaptation programmes reach poor women? (c) Are there ‘additional’ financial resources for women and men? (d) Are women present in the decisionmaking structures in climate-sensitive areas? (e) Is there recognition of rights/ entitlements for poor women and men in adaptation programmes? Crucial mandate for us is to initiate an inter-disciplinary public debate involving pure scientists, social scientists, practitioners, planners and policy makers on gender and climate change, including catalysing more research on the subject and wide dissemination of the outputs of these researches through niche scientific journals and popular media, including the new media.
Dr. Vibhuti Patel is Professor and Head P.G. Department of Economics, S. N. D. T. Women’s University, Mumbai E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The women’s studies acknowledges the contribution of rural and urban women as “Guardians and Promoters of LifeCentered Cultures”, seed savers, leaders of resistance movements (Chipko in Himalayas, Appiko in South India) & Alternative farming/market/etc. models (Green-belt Movement in Africa). Women’s full humanity becomes the
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN)
World’s First Arms Trade Treaty
Statement on the Recent Violence in Myanmar
AMAN is deeply saddened and concerned with the current and ongoing violence in Myanmar. There are many reports of killing and the destruction of properties and places of worship, particularly in the Meikhtila Township, where the majority of residents are Muslims. We extend our deepest condolences to the families who have lost family members, friends and property in the violence. We would like to also extend our solidarity with those affected by this violence. AMAN demands that the Myanmar Government bring those responsible for this tragedy before the law immediately. We also insist that the government take action against the perpetrators of these heinous acts of violence, particularly those who are involved in hate speeches against the minority Muslims. In recent times, two waves of riots against Rohingya in Rakhine State resulted in many people losing their lives and property. Myanmar, which has one of the worst records of human rights abuses in the world, also has one of the most oppressed and persecuted communities in the world; the Rohingya. Recent violence seems to correlate with the long due democratization and healing process between and among various ethnic communities towards creating opportunities for an accelerated process of development efforts in cooperation with international communities. In Meikhtila, reports state that approximately 130 Muslims and 30 Buddhists have lost their lives due to fresh violence. Fifteen Mosques, five Islamic Schools and buildings have been damaged which left many families homeless. Reports also say that although it is more controlled in Meikthila, the atrocities have spread to nearby towns and villages throughout the region. AMAN demands that the Myanmar Government should not only stop the ongoing violence but prevent future tension between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims by stopping the hate speeches that are currently being spread by groups such as the “969 gang.” The Myanmar Government must allow all its IDPs to resettle with adequate security provisions. We also urge the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and UN bodies to call upon the Myanmar Government to stop such violence immediately. AMAN urges the Myanmar Government to compensate the victims of violence adequately regardless of ethnicity or religion, to rebuild their homes and livelihood community. We finally appeal to all civil society organizations, both within and outside of Myanmar, to act by strengthening mutual cooperation and dialogue in order to stop and prevent such happenings in the future. – Sent in by Asad Bin Saif
“Our prayers will continue for people afflicted by violence and injustice”
>>> Contd. from Page 1 Col 4 vote by 155 countries at the United Nations on 2 April is a milestone in efforts to bring commerce in deadly weapons under much-needed controls. It will help to preserve peace and protect communities from crimes and atrocities where illegal and unregulated weapons are used”. “Churches in all regions share in the suffering caused by armed violence. We can all now give thanks that national authorities responsible for public safety and wellbeing have finally adopted binding regulations for the global arms trade”. “This long-overdue act of international governance means that people in many parts of the world who live in fear for their lives will eventually be safer and more secure. The new treaty will reduce threats from violence linked to unscrupulous arms sales and trading”. “I would especially like to thank the churches and related organizations in 40 countries who joined the Ecumenical Campaign for a Strong and Effective Arms Trade Treaty led by the World Council of Churches”. “Together, we have helped in the long struggle to make the treaty strong and effective so that it can save lives and protect communities. Our first reason for doing so is to put a human face on the heavy scourge of armed violence. You have spoken out as part of your own societies, the international ecumenical community and international civil society, and in cooperation with the many governments convinced of the need for such a treaty”. “From Syria to Democratic Republic of Congo, from Sudan to Colombia, our prayers will continue for people afflicted by violence and injustice. With them, we all need weapons to be controlled, given up and melted down into useful implements. So we will also pray and work for the new Arms Trade Treaty to come into effect, for states to live up to their treaty obligations and for the need to strengthen the rule of law in the years ahead”. The campaign grew from a WCC Central Committee action followed by recruitment at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in 2011, with policy set by the WCC Executive Committee in early 2012. –WCC News
Dalit Christians: A Saga of Faith and Pathos
The Church has undermined the spirit of resistance of Dalit Christians
>>> Contd. from Page 4 Col 4 severely indict the church, and rightly so. Church has lost its concern and vision and has become apathetic to the cries, struggles and aspirations of Dalits and Dalit Christians. Casteism perpetrated by Christians, however subtle, is equally oppressive and obnoxious. In promoting otherworldly and spiritual concerns the church has also undermined the spirit of resistance of Dalit Christians, indeed all Christians, against oppression. Godwin alludes to how the missionaries provided pastoral care for their early Christian communities and support for their social and material progress. There is much to be learnt from this history when authentic gospel was in action. A hundred years ago the urban rural divide was well defined, and the missionaries responded by providing appropriate pastoral, institutional, medical and economic opportunities for the emerging Christian communities. Rural and slum poor are still with us; there are thousands of new Christians who need support for their spiritual and material progress. At a time such as this when they need us most we are now witnessing a drifting church and leadership lured by prosperity gospel and preoccupied with big money, power, prestige and pride. Godwin found hopeful signs among the Dalit Christians of the five villages in Bellary and Raichur districts, especially among the youth and women. Even if the church is failing them the “Madiga Christians hold Christian faith and the church in high esteem”. Not just the Christians, but even the non-Christian Madigas compare Christian religion to ‘fire’, a faith full of power. Youth and women are aware of their plight and are determined not to put up with oppression. People are moving away from menial jobs and there are signs of diminishing trend in caste atrocities. Godwin concludes that these are happening not because of any change of heart on the part of the society or efforts on the part of the church or state agencies. The changes are happening because of education, urban impact, political and economic influences and especially migration. Godwin invites the church and offers more than fifteen concrete recommendations to address the condition of the poor Dalit Christians in rural areas. Churches must listen and seriously engage with these suggestions, all across India. Godwin’s Dalit Christians is a book that all people who are interested in justice, equality and human rights should read. Church leaders, pastors and theologians must study it and assign the book as essential reading for students of theology and youth and adult Bible study groups. The book should also reach the government and courts that are still looking – in spite of voluminous data already available - for proof that Dalits embracing Christianity suffer the same discrimination that their non-Christian relatives face. This book will challenge all powers that are working against the fundamental rights guaranteed in our great Constitution to practice any religion of one’s choice. We all know that there is something terribly wrong with the Indian society. That the Hindu society practices caste should be no excuse for Christian inaction; and that caste Christians still discriminate against their fellow Dalit Christians cannot also be an excuse for Hindus not to fight for an egalitarian society. We are living in times of a generation whose emerging worldview, aspirations, dreams and demand for a just society is not willing to countenance excuses based on historical blunders, socio-psychological justification and religious impotency. The message of the Saga of Faith and Pathos of the Dalit Christians is especially clear for Indian Christians – stop being irrelevant to the society and a proper witness to the teachings of Jesus Christ! – Dr. P. Dayanandan is a renowned scientist and writer on Dalit issues email@example.com
Movement for Renewal and Reformation of Churches
>>> Contd. from Page 4 Col 4 Moderator and yet apprehensive, and hence wishes to mobilize wider conscientization in all the 22 dioceses of the CSI and to hold annual conferences on renewal of the CSI. For each of the South Indian States, MRRC needs Honorary Coordinators to hold educative seminars and to mobilize membership. Badem Sunder Raj and Jacob Belly have volunteered to help in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu respectively. The group was constrained to learn of the delays in the appointments of bishops to many dioceses, the use of sex scandal as a means of defaming candidates for bishopric, the use of money to buy Episcopal authority or to initiate or hush issues at all levels, the disgrace of police and court involvement in sorting out problems in the church. Since much of the plea through mails, emails and personal approach to the higher authorities did not prove sufficiently helpful, many felt in favour of the inevitability of legal action against those who perpetrate corrupt practices. The fact that legal efforts have helped to sort out some of the problems was noted with joy while yet noting the heavy expenses involved. MRRC will meet again on 2-3 June in Salem and during October in Mangalore. Readers of People’s Reporter from all churches are invited to join in the movement. – Reported by Siga Arles, Secretary, MRRC. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
Easter Reflections - 2
The Risen Lord understood the exact point of Thomas’ doubt
No sufficient reason to doubt about the rising from the dead
“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord”. But Thomas said to them,”……, I will not believe”. John 20: 24, 25. Thomas’ doubt might not have been mainly about the fact of Jesus’ rising from the dead. There was no sufficient reason for him to doubt it. As it was stated in the last issue, as one of the disciples, Thomas also had known about the raising of a few - Lazarus, the son of the widow from Nain and the daughter of Jairus. There were similar narratives in the Jewish scripture too. In fact, Jesus himself had told them all, that he would rise from the dead on the third day. Further, Mary Magdalene who had been with them all through, testified to them that she had seen the risen Lord. So as a disciple of Jesus he might not have had any difficulty in believing in the rising of Jesus from the dead. The exact point of doubt was, then, not whether Jesus rose from the dead or not. It was something else. It was the description that the one who rose from the dead still bore the marks of the nails in his hands and the wounds in his side. That is exactly why he said, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.” thing is that Jesus did understand the exact point of Thomas’ doubt. The Risen Lord did decide to meet Thomas. And he again went to the closed room. He showed Thomas and, the other disciples a second time, that the Risen Lord carried the same body.
“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord”. But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands of the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe”. ……….Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”. – John 20: 24 – 29 No doubt, it is shocking, terribly shocking, that those who were given the Holy Spirit, not before the passing of several days, got into a boat, not for preaching but for fishing! It must be noted that it was after they were given the power ‘to forgive the sins of any’ and also ‘to retain the sins of any’. John 20: 23. Why did they do it? Why? It is a question, critically important.
Continuity of the Body
What is supremely important is that it was not merely a declaration of the continuity of the body of the Risen Lord. Equally important, it was the irrefutable declaration of the continuity of certain other things. What were they? In the next issue.
John, with a purpose, added a narrative
Very significantly – though unfortunately it is very seldom understood that way – John with a purpose added a narrative, to explicate this, for us to understand it better. The narrative of a strange incident. We slight it as a narrative that exposes the weakness of an individual, and end with branding that disciple as a ‘doubting’ character. We seldom go beyond that.
The exact point Thomas’ doubt
Eight days later, when Thomas was also inside the closed room along with the other disciples, Jesus came and told him, “Put your finger……..do not be faithless, but believing.” John 20: 27. The most amazing
To be continued In the next issue Thomas’ doubt
IBSA Local Governance Forum
Deepening democracy in a fragmented world
>>> Contd. from Page 5 Col 4 closely related to the analysis and delivery of social justice. In the words of John Rawls: “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust”[Rawls(1972):3] However, a democratic social order informed of justice and fostering fair, responsible, responsive and accountable (to the people) institutions remains a distant dream. In contemporary democracies the voice and power of choice of the poor continue to remain feeble and ineffective. Unprecedented wealth expansion and intolerable poverty coexist. Endemic unfreedoms like ignorance, illiteracy, treatable illnesses, lack of opportunities for better life and living besides strong human rights violations, lack of civil and political liberties continue to exist. “Exclusion from the process of governance and political participation is indeed an impoverishment of human lives, no matter what our per capita income may be” [Sen (2000):38] Report (HDR), 2002. The Report examines how democratic governance can be improved to shape human progress and development in a world where several countries by current reckoning may not achieve many of the targets of millennium development goals by 2015. The Report after evaluating human development in the various countries makes the pessimistic prognostication that “If global progress continues at such a snail’s pace, it will take more than 130 years to rid the world of hunger”[UNDP (2002):2]. Poverty which is a multiple deprivation of capabilities is growing in several countries (e.g. Sub-Saharan African countries, Central and Eastern Europe etc.). This is happening in a world where the richest 5% of the world’s people have incomes 114 times those of the poorest 5% as documented in the Report. It is important also to note that although 140 countries have multi-party elections, only 82 countries with 57% of the world’s people are really democratic. Obviously there is a strong and compelling need for widening and deepening democracy. HDR (2002) argues for strengthening and reforming the working of representative democracy. Local democracy as a policy variable does not seem to have received the attention it deserves in the Report. Two important postulates which should engage any quest for deepening democracy. (i) working towards an inclusive society and (ii) building a strong public sphere. These are not mutually exclusive. who you are and where you live is a dictum that logically follows from this concept. Even so, social inclusion is not a binary model in which some are in and others are out. The terms of inclusion are more important than the fact of inclusion. While one can argue that the caste system was not strictly excluding, it is unacceptable obviously because the terms of inclusion are iniquitous. A society where inequality in income keeps widening despite pronounced poverty reduction can never be truly inclusive. An inclusive democracy is expected to ensure dignity, equality and security to all. In a market mediated society, unless you have the exchange entitlements to participate in the market, you are left out and kept out. Exchange entitlements to ensure minimum needs therefore have to be ensured. The need for public provisioning of health, education, food security including adequate nourishment, adequate credit and so on becomes important. Adam smith’s famous observation regarding the basic removal of poverty viz. to appear in public without shame could be considered as the basic norm of freedom from humiliation, participation and social inclusion. The validity of inclusion depends on the development process which should ensure equality of opportunity to all a workaday reality. Therefore the democratic task of fighting unfreedoms becomes the goal and means of development as we have explained already. This is realised best through decentralised local democracy which widens the avenues of direct participation (more of it in Section 3.0.) and improve the well-being of local people.
2.1. Working towards an Inclusive society
Participation in shaping the quality of your common living is an intrinsic democratic value. This can meaningfully happen only as an integral part of the democratic process. The required institutional mechanisms will have to be suitably modified and structured. As Amartya Sen puts it: “Exclusion from the process of governance and political participation is indeed an impoverishment of human lives, no matter what our per capita income may be”[Sen(2000):38] In other words social inclusion is an integral ingredient of democracy and human progress. That no one should be left out or kept out no matter
2.0. Deepening Democracy: Towards a Conceptual Framework
‘Deepening democracy in a fragmented world’ was the theme of UNDP’s Human Development
PRAYER has definitely an ‘AYE’ in it!
APRIL 10 – 25, 2013
National Council of YMCAs of India
‘Development’: What is it, for whom and how? - 24
World Alliance Awards to the YMCA of India & the Agra YMCA
The World Alliance of YMCAs has presented to the YMCA of India the award for organizing the Largest All-Around Event in the World Challenge held on 13 Oct. 2012. The Agra YMCA Moving Basketball has been selected for the ‘Creative Award’. Mr. Rolland Williams, President, National YMCAs, Mr. John Varghese, National General Secretary and Mr. Varghese Jose, Secretary for Movement Strengthening, congratulated and thanked all YMCAs and Leaders for their hardwork and dedication.
JOHN M. ITTY
In the previous issue of the PR, we identified the main deficiencies of the prevailing model of development and a few tentative tenets of alternative paradigms we envision. We have also discussed one of the three issues in the search for alternative paradigms - the market question. In this piece, let us discuss the second issue – whether we seek an alternative model or alternative models? We have to start discussion on this issue by raising the question: how far is it desirable to develop a model of development that is applicable to all people in all, places and at all time? The neoliberal thinking is based on the assumption that if diverse economies functioning in different parts of the world are reorganized on the basis of some universal principles, economic efficiency can be improved everywhere. The neoliberals suggest that the principles of the Market Economy have universal applicability and that if all economies are integrated fully with the global market; over all efficiency can be enhanced. It is under such a scheme that they promote homogeneous items of food and cloth, fashion, music, behaviour, dreams etc. People in general, carried away by this project embrace the idea about one model of development across the world. But, this proposal should be subjected to critical scrutiny.
Search for an alternative? Or alternatives?
First, the claims about the efficacy of the Market Economy are proved wrong. Demonstrations by millions of people in the streets of the US and Europe, especially by the Occupy Wall Street Movement, protesting against the adverse impacts of the hegemony of the Market Economy appear as a disapproval of this claim. Apart from this, the Market Economy takes away the space for non-market relations between the people and ecological justice; the two vital factors to enhance the well-being of the people. Second, this proposal is to be examined in the light of the great diversity that exists in the world. The economies in different countries and regions are widely diverse. Even in each country, diverse economies –tribal economy, rudimentary economy, village economy, urban economy and metropolitan economy function differently. The structures, functions and relations of these economies in different countries and regions are diverse due to the differences in resource endowments and historical, geographic and cultural factors that make the values, attitudes, behaviour and dreams of the people different. Any attempt to bring these economies under certain uniform structures and relations, and to integrate them as part of one global market ignoring the diversities referred to above is bound to be counter productive. Attempts to bring diverse economies referred to above under universal laws in the past two decades have already caused deprivation of different groups of people and communities everywhere. Working results of this project in the past three decades have already testified this. Third, in a world where geography, climate, contour of the land, ecology, resource endowment, history and culture are widely diverse; the idea of a uniform economy is unscientific and illogical. Over -all efficiency can be enhanced only by encouraging the flourishing of different types of economic structures and relations. How unscientific is it to bring the dreams, activities, and outlook of the people living in tiny Pacific islands, tropical forests, mountain states like Bhutan, snowy regions like Siberia , deserts in Africa, the oil rich West Asia and big cities like New York, Tokyo, and London under a few universal laws? There is one more issue that is to be realized in this regard: It is the variety and diversity that contribute to the beauty and richness of life. While diverse pattern of consumption and life style helps to use the diverse resources to the maximum, uniform pattern of consumption causes under ‘utilization of many resources and scarcity and price rise of others. Therefore, the proposal to bring the widely different economies of the world under the reign of a few universal laws of the Market Economy is unscientific and illogical. Because of this reasoning, any attempt to invent an alternative to the Market Economy is also illogical. What is needed and desirable is many alternative models of development; different from the Market Model, suited to the diversities of each region. Therefore, the slogan is: There are many alternatives.
Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem
Editor in Chief Prof. Mammen Varkey Editorial Office People’s Reporter, Post Box No.12, Mavelikara - 690 101 Kerala, India Phone : 0479 - 2304355 e-mail : email@example.com Subscription to Business Manager People’s Reporter G-1, Sujatha Niwas S.V.Road, Bandra (West) Mumbai - 400 050 Phone : 022 - 26422343 e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Printed and Published by Prof. V. C. John for and on behalf of New Education and Welfare Service Trust, G-1, Sujatha Niwas S.V.Road, Bandra (West) Mumbai - 400 050, India at Anita Art Printers, Mumbai - 400 055 Phone : 022 - 26652970 26652978
Volunteer In Mission Trip To the Holy Land
Make your Volunteer in Mission trip a unique experience by combining your service project with visits to holy sites and meeting the indigenous Christian community in the land of Jesus. Learn about the history, the people, and experience Middle Eastern hospitality. For more information & cost please contact: Elias@grace-tours.com or Admin@methodist-jer.org
September 21 - October 4, 2013
Highlights: Volunteer service with a Methodist partner project of your choice Visit Holy Sites: Jerusalem Old City, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Bethlehem and more Worship with a local Christian congregation Visit Methodist projects and partner organizations. Meet representatives from the three faith communities. Participate in a spiritual and educational experience Meet with area Methodist Mission personnel
The views expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the editors.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.