Posted at Mumbai Patrika Channel Sorting Office, Mumbai - 400 001 on 9th/10th & 24th/25th every month

.

Registered RNI No. 45550/88 Published on 9th and 24th every month L/Tech-47/ 1154/MBI/09 - 11

VOLUME 24 ISSUE 19

MUMBAI

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

`. 5

Indian Ecumenical Network-Kairos Palestine

Two - state solution serves the cause of peace and Justice
The Indian Solidarity Ecumenical Network- Kairos Palestine (ISENKP), strongly endorses the communiqué of the Patriarchs and Heads of local Christian churches in Jerusalem in anticipation of the impending vote at the United Nations General Assembly in their bid for Palestinian Statehood.
The ISEN-KP joins the call of Church leaders in Jerusalem for “prayers and diplomatic efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis” seeing “this as the most appropriate time for such an opportunity”. The ISEN-KP also reiterates the following principles based upon which a just peace may be evolved: 1. A two-state solution serves the cause of peace and justice. 2. Israelis and Palestinians must live each in their own independent states with peace, security and justice, respecting human rights, according to international law. 3. Negotiations are the best way to resolve all outstanding problems between the two sides. 4. Palestinians and Israelis should exercise restraint of violence, whatever the outcome of the vote at the United Nations. 5. Jerusalem is a Holy City to the followers of all three Abrahamic faiths, in which all people should be able to live in peace and tranquillity, a city to be shared by the two peoples and the three faiths. Contd. Page 5 Col 1 ..>>>

‘Daughters are not for slaughter’ - 1

National Council of Churches in India
NCCI Gen. Sec. writes to the Prime Minister

Sex Selection and Missing Women in India
Vibhuti Patel
Consumerist Culture oriented economic development, commercialisation of medical profession and sexist biases in our society, combined together have created a sad scenario of ‘missing girls’. Global comparisons of sex ratios show that sex ratios in Europe, North America, Caribbean, Central Asia, the poorest regions of sub Saharan Africa are favourable to women as these countries neither kill/ neglect girls nor do they use New Reproductive Technologies (NRTs) for production of sons. Deficit of women in India since 1901 is a result of violence and discrimination against women over the life cycle. From womb to tomb- female infanticide, ante natal sex selection, neglect of girl child in terms of health and nutrition, child marriage and repeated pregnancy are taking heavy toll of girls’ lives.
(First part of excerpts from the paper ‘Sex Selection and Missing Women in India’. ) Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act was enacted in 1994 as a result of pressure created by Forum against Sexdetermination (SD) and Sexpreselection(SP). But it was not implemented. After another decade of Editorial campaigning by women’s rights organisations and public interest litigation filed by CEHAT, MASUM and Dr. Sabu George, The Pre-natal Diagnostics Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002 received the assent of the President of India on 17-1-2003. The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Contd. Page 3 Col 1 ..>>>

Explore People and Eco-Friendly Ways of Development
Respected Prime Minister, At 8.30 a.m. on 26 Sept. 2011, about 400 armed goons attacked the villagers of Govindpur, Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha with rods, sticks and handbombs. In the sudden attack, more than 30 villagers including 6 women were injured, two of them very critically. The injured persons were not able to go for treatment to the nearest hospital for fear of being arrested as the police had already booked false cases against them. This attack appears to be a ploy of the government and POSCO, to occupy the habitation of the people, so that a coastal road could be constructed along the beach from the Indian Oil Refinery complex to the port near Govindpur village, for POSCO. The construction has been contracted to Paradeep Paribahan, a private company led by Bapi Circle. On 20 Aug., around 400 people were proceeding to the site during the day, when the people of Govindpur Village protested against the move and chased them away. On 26 Sept. Bapi Circle, who is also known as a mafia leader from the ruling party Biju Janata Dal( BJD), brought armed goons from outside the area and led the attack on Govindpur villagers. They were chased with sticks; even bombs were hurled at them. This is nothing but a very shameful act of POSCO. We strongly condemn this heinous attack and the ongoing unholy nexus between POSCO and the state government. This is a very planned and calculated move to crush the peaceful democratic movement of the resident villagers against forcible displacement. We urge you to see that justice is done and the deal with POSCO is called off and alternative ways of peoplefriendly and eco-friendly ways of development are explored. Yours faithfully Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
28 Sep. 2011

General Secretary, NCCI

2 3

Illusion of economic recovery Letter to the Editor No one lives in dignity unitl all live in dignity Can we allow our girls to become an endangered species?

4 5

Man lives out of touch with the context and purpose of life The ‘Protestant Ethic’ still works for Americans, and American politics U N must fulfil its role and mandate ‘Discrimination leading to death’

6 7

The focus should not be adaptation to Climate Change Polish rock star draws flak from Catholic Church The ‘Resurrection–Life’, A result of God’s continuing creative activity Bring human being - nature relationship to the centre

When the Holy Fathers fast, their children go on a drinking spree!

8

WCC and Globethics.net launch global online theological resource Making Sense of Ayodhya Verdict

PAGE 2

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

Peace for Life Forum

Illusion of economic recovery
A victory, though limited, for the people
Today, we hear many stories of the suppression of people’s struggles by the repressive State. Stories about the State respecting the genuine demands of the powerless villagers are very rare. Viewed from this background, the 12day long hunger strike by the people of Idinthkarai village in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu in India, in September, against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) gives a sign of hope for the people who are agitating against various projects that threaten their life and livelihood in many places. The hunger strike by 103 villagers including women, children and physically challenged in front of St.Lourde’s Catholic Church in the village, demanding the closing down of the KNPP, began on 11 September. On the first day, over 5000 people gathered there in support of the cause, and more than 10000 in the subsequent days. Compared to the hunger strike by Anna Hazare, this strike by the inconsequential, powerless villagers was ignored by the urban middle class and the media. This strike was the resumption of their agitation that failed in 2006 and 2007. The authorities, ignoring the voice of the affected people and without proper public hearing, have been going ahead with the project. However, after the catastrophe in the nuclear plant in Fukushima in Japan, a few months ago, the people in this village realized that all the promises by the scientists and the authorities about the efficacy of the safety mechanism in nuclear plants are big lies, and that the KNPP is a big threat to their life and livelihood; and to the land, water and fish. It is this realisation that provided the steam for them to launch an indefinite fast against the KNPP. Although the local M.L.A and the Bishop of the Catholic Church extended their support to this agitation, the district authorities refused even to visit the agitators and talk with the people. After the hunger strike crossed the fifth day, the leaders were asked to meet the district authorities in the office for a talk. But the people refused to go to the government office for the talk, and they insisted that the officers should come to the people for the talk. The government did not allow the local M.L.A to raise this issue on the floor of the Assembly even. Despite such an adamant and undemocratic stance of the state government, the people were determined to continue the fast. The determination and dedication of the people, forced the state government to change its adamant and arrogant stand. Changing her initial stance against the agitation, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Centre, asking to stop the work at Koodankulam. Taking this as the first step towards the victory of the people, they called off the hunger strike after 12 days. This phase of the agitation did not help the people to achieve the demand to stop the work altogether. However, it is a matter of joy that the people, without the support of the middle class and the media, could change the attitude of the state government. To achieve the final goal, they have to continue the struggle with greater determination, dedication and sacrifice. While the ruling class with the support of the middle class and the media, hopes for making India a nuclear super power, the people raise the demand to make India a model of democratic rule. At a time when the demands of the people are largely rejected and ridiculed by labeling them as enemies of development, the success of the present phase of this agitation is a source of hope to the people who are struggling against such threats to life, across the country. We congratulate all those who supported, and participated in, the struggles of the people against KNPP.
2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321 2109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321

Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
The protracted global economic depression is sending the economies of even advanced capitalist countries such as the United States and members of the European Union on a tailspin. Despite fits of financial convulsions due to the bursting of economic bubbles and now EU countries threatening to default on their sovereign debts if not bailed out, most official quarters still minimize the extent and depth of the crisis of global capitalism.
The average person-on-thestreet in the perennially underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East as well as the most advanced capitalist countries in the West knows from experience that this global economic depression is for real. It is making life harder and harder even for the touted “middle class”. Worse it is unclear how or when the crisis will end and how or if the people’s situation will improve. All over the world, what is becoming exceedingly clear for a growing number of working people and their families is that they are being made to unfairly bear the burden of this crisis. And they are fighting back. They are demanding changes that mean something to them and are not mere empty promises. In the Philippines, students, teachers and school officials are marching in the streets to decry budget cuts for state colleges and universities. Health care workers are up in arms over slashed budgets of public hospitals and public health programs. They denounce the Aquino government’s budget priorities: debt servicing, conditional cash transfers aka dole-outs and military outlays that go down the drain of corruption and failed counter-insurgency programs. In the US, there have been work stoppages and mass protests over lay-offs, budget cuts, withdrawal of entitlements and subsidies both in the public and private sectors. Migrant workers and other immigrants have denounced job discrimination, police racial profiling and severe restrictions as well as harassment from immigration authorities. Fed-up ordinary Americans are staging an ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” campaign wherein hundreds if not thousands of people have been conducting a daily sit-in protest at the heart of the financial district in New York City, pointing their fingers at the behemoths of finance capital for their economic dislocation and immiseration. Greece, Spain, France and Italy have witnessed hordes of their people pouring out into the streets to reject government austerity measures after the public coffers have been emptied in bail-outs for the banks and other financial institutions and other failed neo-liberal policies as well as profligacy of their ruling elites. They are also demanding jobs and social justice against the corporate elite and their political backers who continue to control the highest levers of power. In North Africa and the Middle East, the political upheavals that have removed or are trying to depose entrenched authoritarian regimes continue. The workers and youth in Egypt, for example, will not settle for the mere removal of their previous ruler, Mubarak, but are calling for his trial and those of his cohorts to account for their crimes against the people. Sooner than expected, the real objectives of US-NATO in invading Libya are revealed. For one, Libya is being turned into their newest field of investment (read: dumping ground of surplus capital), with the IMFWorld Bank “asked” to “rehabilitate” the Libyan economy using the billions of dollars the Libyan government has invested in foreign banks, and to repair its infrastructure damaged by the US-NATO bombings. All these developments are rooted in the inability of the global capitalist system to fully recover from the global economic crisis triggered by the financial meltdown in 2007-08. The continuing and intensifying paroxysms in the very centers of capital belie all claims that the world economy has recovered or is on the way to recovery. This is not at all surprising since none of the neoliberal policies that have brought about the crisis has been reversed. Measures have not been put in place for regulating transactions in financial derivative long identified as one of the major culprits that brought about the meltdown. Worse, the US and European governments, invariably beholden to and directed by finance capital, continue to conspire to this day in diverting public funds meant for housing, education and other basic social services to rescue the latter. Contd. Page 6 Col 1 ..>>>

Letter to the Editor

Nobody is immune to accountability

Thought for the Fortnight

I condemn the malevolent and unlawful act of the Gujarat Administration where a forthright and conscientious Police Officer was subjected to shabby treatment and arrested. This is crass fascist onslaught on people’s sovereignty where power is abused in order to achieve their intent which is in tune with their nauseating ideology. It is also unbecoming in a democratic polity which emphasized on rule of law, mechanism of accountability and obligation of the state to protect rights and dignity of its people which is very much enshrined in our constitution. It is well stated that in a just system sovereignty of the people is paramount and in fact sovereignty entails obligation of the state where people must be protected from any violation of their rights. But here we feel reverse is the case. The Gujarat administration has failed to live up to the expectation of democratic values which is condemnable. Nobody is immune to accountability, however one is powerful, under a democratic system. It is incumbent upon us to know that might can not be accepted as right rather right should be the might. We should demand that, a forthright person like Sanjiv Bhatt who is being victimized for his stand serving humanity, should be protected at any cost. We must strive to get for him institutional safeguard so that nobody like him could be oppressed and repressed. –Asad, Mumbai

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’
– Brian Tracy

For any meaningful creative work, regular enrichment of one’s inner life is important

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

PAGE 3

Habitat for Humanity

World Habitat Day: 3 October 2011

No one lives in dignity until all live in dignity
The United Nations chose the theme Cities and Climate Change because climate change is fast becoming the preeminent development challenge of the 21st century. Indeed, none today can really foresee the predicament in which a town or city will find itself in 10, 20 or 30 years time. In this new urban era with most of humanity now living in towns and cities, we must bear in mind that the greatest impacts of disasters resulting from climate change begin and end in cities. Cities too have a great influence on climate change. Climate change will hit the poor hardest and they will have the least opportunity to adapt and mitigate. Vulnerable communities in poverty housing and insecure environments face huge challenges ahead. The extent of poverty housing in India (particularly in major cities) is extensive. Habitat for Humanity commits to working towards workable, people centred shelter solutions. Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is a global, not-for-profit, organization dedicated to

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. This year the Global Celebrations are hosted by the Government of Mexico. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all, to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
eliminating substandard housing, and homelessness, worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. It is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety. As an organization it believes that no one lives in dignity until all live in dignity. Some of our recent projects in North and East India are; providing decent housing in the resettlement areas of Bawana and Bhalaswa, North West Delhi, situation. Disaster response is an integral part of the mission of Habitat and we aim to respond whenever and wherever disaster strikes. Habitat’s Resource Centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore are gearing up for this in a major way. Our vision is to build safer, disaster resilient communities and shelters. We aim to develop innovative housing and shelter assistance models that generate sustainable interventions for people vulnerable to or affected by disasters and conflicts. We look to build the capacity of the community in disaster areas through mitigation, preparedness education, training and partnerships.

• Habitat for Humanity is working globally in over 90 countries. • It was founded in 1976 and since then it has built 370,000 homes around the world providing an estimated 1.85 million people with decent homes which they helped build and which they own through noprofit mortgages. • Habitat for Humanity began operations in India in 1983. Habitat India is one of Habitat International’s largest country programs, having built or renovated more than 35,000 homes including more than 13,000 tsunami-response houses. • Habitat Resource Centers operate from Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore and support work throughout the country.

The Ashreya Project – Bihar, Distribution of Emergency Shelter Kits to victims of the Floods in Assam in July 2011. Habitat for Humanity recently assisted victims of the July floods in Assam by distributing Emergency Shelter Kits to 169 families. Habitat for Humanity is recognized as a leader in the provision of safe housing and shelter assistance for communities lacking the resources to ensure adequate housing provision on their own. Hence, our prior skills and experience put us in a position where we can make a significant contribution in a post-disaster

For more information about Habitat for Humanity India, please see our website at www.habitatindia.in Or contact The Director (Delhi HRC), Habitat for Humanity India, 16 Pandit Pant Marg, CNI Bhavan, New Delhi 110001, Tel: 91-11-23753493, justinj@hfhindia.org

‘Daughters are not for slaughter’ - 1

Can we allow our girls to become an endangered species?
>>> Contd. from Page 1 Col 2 Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Rules, 2003 have activated the implementation machinery to curb nefarious practices contributing for missing girls.

Recent studies have revealed that, in South Asia, we have inherited the cultural legacy of strong son-preference among all communities, religious groups and citizens of varied socio-economic backgrounds. Patrilocality, patrilineage and patriarchal attitudes manifest in, women and girls having subordinate position in the family, discrimination in property rights and low-paid or unpaid jobs.
organisations and health activists, increasing trend in the child sex ratio (0-6) is seen in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and A&N Islands. In all the remaining 27 States/UTs, the child sex ratios show decline over Census 2001. Mizoram has the highest child sex ratio (0-6 years) of 971 followed by Meghalaya with 970. Haryana is at the bottom with the ratio of 830 followed by Punjab with 846. All India literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent in 2011 showing an increase of 9.21 percentage points. The male and female literacy rates in 2011 have gone up to 82% and 65% from the same in 2001 of 76% and 54% respectively. The increase in the gender ratio, from 933 to 940 women per 1,000 men, got drowned in the alarming decline in the number of girls under 6 years: from 927 to 914 per 1,000 boys. In some states, that ratio went below 800 girls per 1,000 boys. The census figures showed that while the child sex ratio in rural areas is 918 girls per 1,000 boys, the figure is 904 girls per 1,000 boys in cities and urban areas. 0 to 6 years child sex ratio in India is even worse than sex ratio of total population. 2011 census in India reveals the true fact of gender discourse in India. Male female sex ratio of children under 6 years of age is just 914 female children per 1000 male child. This dropped by 1.40% during the last decade while allover sex ratio raised by 0.75% in India. Unfortunately Jammu & Kashmir has a whopping -8.71% negative growth and that brings the sex ratio from 941 to just 859. In the last 10 years only 6 states and 2 union territories out of 35 states/union territories in India have a positive growth in child sex ratio. Only 4 out of these 8 states/ UTs have a change of above 1%. Those are Punjab with 6.02%, Chandigarh (UT) with 2.60%, Haryana with 1.34% and Himachal Pradesh with 1.12%.

in social vacuum. In this context, the crucial question is- Can we allow our girls to become an endangered species? Asian countries are undergoing a demographic transition of low death and birth rates in their populations. The nation-states in South Asia are vigorously promoting small Contd. Page 5 Col 1 ..>>>

Introduction
Discriminatory abortions of female foetuses and selection of male at a preconception stage contributes to more and more ‘missing girls’. Legacy of continuing declining sex ratio in India in the history of Census of India has taken new turn with widespread use of NRTs in India. NRTs are based on principle of selection of the desirable and rejection of the unwanted. In India, the desirable is the baby boy and the unwanted is the baby girl. The result is obvious. India had a deficit of 60 lakh girls in the age-group of 0-6 years, when it entered the new millennium. As per the Census of India, child (06 age group) sex ratios were 971, 945, 927 and 914 for 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 respectively. Now, it is officially accepted that, this deplorable scenario is a result of the widespread use of SD and SP tests throughout the country. Due to pro-active intervention of the state, women’s

Interplay of Patriarchy and NRTs:
Female infanticide was practised among selected communities, while the abuse of NRTs has become a generalised phenomenon encompassing all communities irrespective of caste, class, religious, educational and ethnic backgrounds. Demographers, population control lobby, anthropologists, economists, legal experts, medical fraternity and feminists are divided in their opinions about gender implications of NRTs. NRTs, in the context of patriarchal control over women’s fertility and commercial interests are posing major threat to women’s dignity and bodily integrity. The supporters of sex selective abortions put forward the argument of “Women’s Choice” as if women’s choices are made

TOIL will OIL your body and mind

PAGE 4

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

13th Kappen Memorial Lecture on ‘Happiness : The Fate of an Idea’

Man lives out of touch with the context and purpose of life
“Ideologies, from being an adjunct to faith, emerging as a substitute to faith and seeping into all facets of everyday life is cause for the world wide killings of our times. Hence, it is time we became more sceptical about ideologies’, said distinguished political psychologist Prof. Ashis Nandy observed. He was delivering the 13th Kappen Memorial Lecture on ‘Happiness: The Fate of an Idea’ organized by Visthar, Bangalore, at the Institution of Agricultural Technologists recently “Human being coming to believe and share the space of omniscience and omnipotence, thinking that they can set up Utopia, and competing on different models was the driving

Modern man spends so much time planning holidays that he finally ends up ‘doing’ holidays and not holidaying. The social concept of desires has been replaced by corporate concept of desires
force behind genocide in the world today. This ongoing effort to ‘ideologize’ faiths and the efforts at imposing the idea of nation state which obliterates plurality in societies is the root cause for the global violence we see around us”, Prof. Nandy said. Tracing ‘Happiness’ as an ‘Idea’ across cultures, geographies and human sensibilities through the ages about social behaviour, Prof. Nandy averred that happiness was transient, and happy life was one of achieving balance between happiness and unhappiness. Currently, man was living out of touch with the context and purpose of life, and he has lost the capacity to either mourn a loss or know his own state of happiness. Citing an example to the illustrate the disconnect between 21st C living and life, he said, modern man spends so much time planning holidays that he finally ends up ‘doing’ holidays and not holidaying. Prof. Nandy said a robust concept of ‘unhappinesses’ has the unhappiness’s of life inbuilt in it. Pointing out that money cannot buy happiness, he said, Bangladesh is considered one of the happiest countries in the world, and argued that every society reserves the right to have its own paradigm of prosperity even if it may seem incompatible with the model of other societies around and are distant from it. Citing that the concepts of Ananda or Bliss, which was attained by those who merely sought enrichment of the soul, was alien to the western world, he said the dominant concept that you can achieve ‘unhappinesses’ by eliminating

various unhappinesss or by denying its existence was erroneous, for this included repudiation of the idea of death itself. Arguing that the social concept of desires has been replaced by corporate concept of desires, he said the huge cosmetic industry in the US and rest of the world feeds on the fear instilled among women that if you do not hold onto to these marks of eternal youth, you will slip into a regime of despair. “The money women of the United States of America spend on cosmetics exceeds the development budget of all the African nations put together”, he concluded. –Reported by Visthar, Bangalore

The ‘Protestant Ethic’ still works for Americans, and American politics
In 1905, Max Weber’s landmark treatise on “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” argued that a Calvinist belief in God’s plan for the saved was crucial to the rise of capitalism because it inspired individuals to work hard and earn money as a sign of divine blessing on their lives. More than a century later, new research shows that whatever its merits, the Protestant ethic is thriving among American believers, Religion News Service reports. That’s especially true among evangelicals who are driving today’s economic conservatism, and the idea goes a long way toward explaining the political disputes that are dividing the country and shaping the presidential campaign. According to the Baylor Religion Survey released on 20 September, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that God has a plan for their lives, and those who hold strongly to those beliefs — about four-in-ten — are much more likely to embrace the sort of conservative economic philosophy that would make right-wing Tea Party activists proud. In fact, believers who say God is directly guiding our lives and endowing the United States with divine blessings are much more likely than other Americans to agree that “the government does too much.” They are more than twice as likely as all other Americans to say that success “is achieved by ability rather than luck.” The Baylor study, based on interviews with more than 1,700 adults last fall, shows that black Protestants are most likely to espouse these God-driven ideas (71 percent), followed by evangelicals at 55 percent. Catholics and mainline Protestants are well behind, at about 42 percent, trailed by unaffiliated believers and Jews, who come in at around three percent. Baylor sociologist Paul Froese noted that today’s economic Protestantism seems to channel the freemarket ideas of Adam Smith, the 18th-century moral philosopher who developed the theory of an “invisible hand” of competition, and the more recent libertarian views of the late University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman. One major caveat emerges, however: Froese noted that American believers add an important religious gloss to these market-driven theories by arguing that God is actually tipping the scales — in their favor, of course — as long as they are hard-working true believers. This kind of economic theology is being trumpeted most effectively by the Republican party, especially presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. “Political candidates can promote economic conservatism and a lack of government regulation merely by referring to an engaged God,” Froese said. “It works because many rank-and-file voters believe that a lack of government regulation and lower taxes is part of God’s plan.” This approach also works politically because, contrary to what one might expect, Americans with lower incomes and less education are more likely to believe that God has a plan for their lives, and that when it comes to the economy, the best government is that which governs least. (African-American Protestants are an exception to the trend, believing in both God’s guiding hand and a strong role for government.) For example, 41 percent of respondents said they “strongly believe” God has a plan for them, but just 17 percent of respondents with incomes of more than $100,000 held those beliefs. That kind of populist optimism, in spite of today’s deepening economic misery, was also demonstrated by a recent Associated Press-CNBC survey that found that two in 10 Americans think they will be millionaires in the next decade. That conviction increases the further one moves down the economic ladder — and thus the lower one’s actual chances of achieving such financial nirvana. –David Gibson — ENInews/RNS

Asia Pacific Ecumenical News Tan Chi Kiong passes away
HONG KONG – Rev. Tan Chi Kiong, ecumenical leader and a former general secretary of the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (AAY) passed away here on 21 September after a prolonged illness. He is survived by his wife and three children. Chi Kiong was the founder-director of the International Community of Senior Volunteers (ICSV). He also founded the Asia Migrant Centre in Hong Kong in 1995. Later, he became the director of the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism (ECOTWT). Chi Kiong was born on 31 July 1940 in Klang, Malaysia. He attended the Anglo-Chinese Mission School in Klang, and completed the Senior Cambridge in 1957. He joined the Trinity Theological College in Singapore and took a Bachelor of Theology degree. In 1961, he was posted as a pastor of a Methodist congregation in Bentong Pahang, near Kuala Lumpur. During that time, he also served as a chaplain of the Methodist School in studies as he had to return home due to an illness in the family. On his return from the USA, he worked part time in the YMCA and the church in Malaysia. In 1975, he became a trustee and honorary general secretary of the Kuala Lumpur YMCA. After three years, he was appointed the treasurer of the General Conference of the Methodist Church. He remained in that position until he left for Hong Kong to become the general secretary of the AAY. He traveled extensively in Asia during his tenure as the general secretary. He raised funds for many YMCAs in the region. It was during his time that the YMCA initiated the advanced training program for developing leadership. He retired from the AAY after working with it for ten years. Bentong. After two years he became the pastor of the Trinity Methodist Church in Penang. He left for higher studies at the Perkins School of Theology in Texas, USA. But, he could not complete the In July 2005, Chi Kiong was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Weslian College in the Philippines for his contributions to the church and society. Philip Mathew

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011
Palestine - Israel Ecumenical Forum

PAGE 5

U N must fulfil its role and mandate
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has reiterated its long held conviction that the United Nations must “fulfil its role and mandate according to the UN Charter, to make peace with justice prevail between Israelis and Palestinians, and with their neighbours.”
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the WCC, has declared that “we are now watching to see if peace and justice will be served in how the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly process the application of Palestine to become a full member state of the UN.” He has underscored the principle that “negotiations should not be seen as an alternative to the UN acceptance of the Palestinian application for membership”. He added: “Different initiatives to build stability in the region should go hand in hand”. Referring to recent Israeli plans to increase settlement activity building more than 1,100 new housing units, Tveit stressed how this is “a stark reminder of why sober deliberation, genuine courage and responsible action by the United Nations are necessary”. The call from the WCC echoes a call by the heads of churches in Jerusalem, who also view the moment as opportune and stress the need for “prayers and diplomatic efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis”. Just as the world has taken prompt notice of the calls for democracy and the rule of law across the Arab world it is only pertinent that the community of nations acts with unanimity to uphold the longstanding claims for the establishment of a democratic state for the Palestinians.

Indian Ecumenical Network-Kairos Palestine

Join in solidarity
>>> Contd. from Page 1 Col 2 The ISEN-KP joins Church leaders in Jerusalem in the hope that decision makers and people of good will “do their utmost to achieve the long awaited justice, peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians so that the prophecy of Prophet David is lived again” In the context of a rapidly deteriorating situation for Palestinians in the wake of a brutal and relentless occupation, the ISENKP joins the struggle for a just peace based on an urgent dialogue involving all parties to the conflict taking into account UN resolutions and the Geneva conventions as applicable to the rights and responsibilities of the affected people. Additionally, our call is: . That Palestinians have the right of self-determination and the right of return. . That the formula for a two-state solution must be viable politically, geographically economically and socially. . That Jerusalem must be an open, accessible, inclusive and shared city for the two peoples and three religions. . That the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal, and constitute an obstacle to peace and must be dismantled. The ISEN-KP reaffirms “that nonviolence and rigorous dialogue between people, regardless of religious affiliation, are the pillars around which peace, justice, and reconciliation can originate in the region”. It calls on all member churches and organizations of the ISENKP to join in prayer and other forms of solidarity to bring about a just and lasting settlement to the long drawn Arab-Israeli conflict. [The members of ISEN-KP are National Council of Churches in India, Young Women’s Christian Association of India, National Council of YMCA’s of India, Student Christian Movement of India, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India-JPD and Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS)]

The Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum calls on its constituent member churches and their specialized agencies working for peace and justice in the region to: 1. Inform and influence public opinion in favour of UN action, which will, hopefully, accelerate the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. 2. lobby with their governments to vote for the full membership of Palestine at the United Nations.
–Ranjan Solomon, Consultant, Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum

‘Daughters are not for slaughter’ - 1

‘Discrimination leading to death’
>>> Contd. from Page 3 Col 5 family norms. India has adopted two-child norm and China has imposed ‘one child per family’ rule. Sex ratios in Europe, North America, Caribbean, Central Asia, the poorest region- sub Saharan Africa are favourable to women as these countries neither kill / neglect girls nor do they use (New Reproductive Technologies) NRTs for production of sons. Only in the South Asia the sex ratios are adverse for women. There is an official admission to the fact that “it is increasingly becoming a common practice across the country to determine the sex of the unborn child or foetus and eliminate it if the foetus is found to be a female. This practice is referred to as prebirth elimination of females (PBEF). PBEF involves two stages: determination of the sex of the foetus and induced termination if the foetus is not of the desired sex. It is believed that one of the significant contributors to the adverse child sex ratio in India is the practice of female foetuses.” (UNDP 2003) Historical Legacy of Declining Sex Ratio in India: Historically, most Asian countries have had strong sonpreference. The South Asian countries have declining sex ratios.

Prof. Amartya Kumar Sen, in his world famous article “MISSING WOMEN”, has statistically proved that during the last century, 100 million women have been missing in South Asia due to ‘discrimination leading to death’ experienced by them from womb to tomb in their life cycles.
Prof. Amartya Kumar Sen, in his world famous article “MISSING WOMEN”, has statistically proved that during the last century, 100 million women have been missing in South Asia due to ‘discrimination leading to death’ experienced by them from womb to tomb in their life cycles. To stop the abuse of advanced scientific techniques for selective elimination of female foetuses through sex determination, the government of India passed the PNDT Act in 1994. But the techno-docs based in the metropolis, urban and semi-urban centres and the parents desirous of begetting only sons have subverted the act. The Sex determination and Sex Pre-selection, Scientific Techniques which are to be utilized only when certain genetic conditions are anticipated, are used in India and among Indians settled abroad to eliminate female babies. People of all classes, religions, and caste backgrounds use sex determination and sex pre selection facilities. Amniocentesis became popular in the last twenty-five years though earlier they were conducted in government hospitals on an experimental basis. Now, this test is conducted mainly for SD and thereafter for extermination of female foetus through induced abortion carried out in private clinics, private hospitals, or government hospitals. This perverse use of modern technology is encouraged and boosted by money minded private practitioners who are out to make Indian women “malechild- producing machines.” As per the most conservative estimate made by a research team in Bombay, sponsored by the Women’s Centre, based on their survey of six hospitals and clinics; in Bombay alone, 10 women per day underwent the test in 1982(Abraham 1982).

Dynamics of Missing Women in the Contemporary India
In 2001, India had 158 million infants and children, of which 82 million were males and 76 million were females. There was a deficit of 6 million female infants and girls. This is a result of the widespread use of sex determination and sex preselection tests throughout the country (including in Kerala), along with high rates of female infanticide in the BIMARU states, rural Tamilnadu and Gujarat. Millions of girls have been missing in the post independence period. According to UNFPA (2003), 70 districts in 16 states and Union Territories recorded more than a 50point decline in the child sex ratio in the last decade.

Scenario during the 1980s:
During 1980s, in other countries, the SD tests were very expensive and under strict government control, while in India the SD test could be done for Rs. 70 to Rs. 500 (about US $6 to $40). Hence, not only upper class but even working class people could avail themselves of this facility. A survey of several slums in Bombay showed that many women had undergone the test and after learning that the foetus was female, had an abortion in the 18th or 19th week of pregnancy. Their argument was that it was better to spend Rs. 200 or even Rs. 800 now than to give birth to a female baby

and spend thousands of rupees for her marriage when she grew up. The popularity of this test attracted young employees of Larsen and Toubro, a multinational engineering industry. As a result, medical bills showing the amount spent on the test were submitted by the employees for their reimbursement by the company. The welfare department was astonished to find that these employees were treating sex determination tests so casually. They organized a two-day seminar in which doctors, social workers, and representatives of women’s organisations as well as the Family Planning Association were invited. One doctor who carried on a flourishing business in SD stated in a seminar that from Cape-Comorin to Kashmir people phoned him at all hours of the day to find out about the test. Even his six-year-old son had learnt how to ask relevant questions on the phone such as, “Is the pregnancy 16 weeks old, etc (Abraham 1985).

To be continued
Dr. Vibhuti Patel is DIRECTOR of the PGSR and Professor & Head, Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020. vibhuti.np@gmail.com, Ph: -91-022-22052970 (O), 26770227 ®, mobile-9321040048

PAGE 6

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

A different approach is needed in climate change research

The focus should not be adaptation to Climate Change
Sajin Philip
Fear induced ‘climate change research’ with the focus on vulnerability and adaptation does not attend the holistic dimension of human actions and existence.
(Third part of excerpts from the paper, ‘Academic Discourse on Climate Change in the Social Science: A Critique’) The academics of the ‘climate change research’ forget the possibility of the vicious cycle of adaptation in times of ‘climate change’ due to vulnerability. The adaptation does not raise the standard of living of the people in the long run. Instead, it talks only about reaching the living situation, prior to the ‘climate change’. The problem here is that this kind of research is only about the maintenance of the status quo. In a place where natural calamities are frequent, people acquire a kind of resistance to overcome the situation and continue their living there. It only reckons the tolerance capacity and helplessness of the vulnerable people. External shock in the form of disasters makes the existing situation vulnerable. Under such circumstances, adaptation helps the people only to compensate their loss due to the disaster in the short run. The strategy of adaptation has a shortsighted approach, and it helps only to respond to a particular situation of disaster. Adaptation is not concerned about the building up of the livelihood beset by the structural barriers for sustainable living. Therefore, the study on adaptation in the situation of vulnerability does not help improvement the life of the people in the long-run. Vulnerability is a structurally determined one. As the external shocks interact with the vulnerability , we have to examine whether the shock is absorbed or not. The nexus between vulnerability and adaptation in times of natural catastrophe makes the community vulnerable; and it cannot be shielded by adaptation. Further, the approach to delimit the study into vulnerability induced adaptation in times of natural calamities does not pay attention to the perpetuation of the existing social and economic inequalities. This kind of research, devoid of a holistic approach to human life, is not focused on the betterment of the people. They take the phenomenon of ‘Climate Change’ synonymous with natural disasters. The apprehension over the climate change arises on the backdrop of the disputes over reduction of the green house gases and global warming among countries. Fear induced ‘climate change research’ with the focus on vulnerability and adaptation does not attend the holistic dimension of human actions and existence.

Polish rock star draws flak from Catholic Church
Leaders of Poland’s Roman Catholic church have denounced one of their country’s “death metal” rock stars after he began a series of appearances as a judge in a popular talent show on state-owned TV. “In the name of millions of Catholics, and of other Christians and people of goodwill who don’t agree with promoting an ideology hostile to humanity with help from the public media, I express my deep indignation,” said He made the comments in a open letter to the head of Polish TV’s board of management following the decision to employ Adam Darski, whose stage name is “Nergal,” leader of the group Behemoth, on its “Voice of Poland” series. Meanwhile, another bishop urged Catholics to protest the move. “A blasphemer, satanist and lover of incarnate evil now has public TV screens at his disposal to proclaim his poisonous teaching,” Bishop Wieslaw Mering, chairman of the Polish bishops’ Culture Council, said in pastoral letter. Ninety percent of Poland’s 38 million inhabitants are baptised Roman Catholics. “Death metal” emerged in the 1980s as a U.S. subgenre of heavy metal, characterised by screams and growls, and is widely associated with violence and occultism, although supporters defend it as an extreme form of entertainment comparable to horror films. –Jonathan Luxmoore

Need to Reorient Climate Change Research
In the ‘Climate Change’ research, one should be open minded. People’s experiences about cyclones, earthquakes, drought, melting of ice glaciers etc have to be bridged with the rules of science. The interaction between theory and practice is unavoidable. But the gap Contd. Page 7 Col 1 ..>>>

Asian ecumenical group sees Philippines as “model” for peace
“The Hague Joint Declaration represents a comprehensive agenda in responding to the long-standing conflict caused by socio-economic and political issues,” said Ocampo. The declaration outlined a substantive agenda to be taken up during negotiations, including issues related to human rights and international humanitarian law, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and finally an end of hostilities and disposition of forces. Talks were scuttled in 2004 under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Under president Benigno Aquino, they restarted in Oslo, Norway last February, only to be stalled by “obstacles to the negotiations” in August. A special Norwegian envoy helped settle the impasse earlier this month, enabling talks in Oslo to resume in October, during which a major agenda, socio-economic reform, will be tackled. The Malaysian government has also facilitated the talks. Ocampo said the negotiations would have important implications in neighboring countries where there are both Muslim and Christian populations. –Maurice Malanes, ENI

Peace for Life Forum

Illusion of economic recovery
>>> Contd. from Page 2 Col 4 Corporate media and bourgeois propaganda may have succeeded for some time in conjuring up the illusion of recovery and brighter times ahead, the reality of continuing joblessness, rising prices and loss of social security inevitably catches up and bursts whatever bubble of false hope remains. Thus while it can be argued that the people’s protests are long overdue and still need to gain strength and momentum, these have so far been the only forces that have mitigated the greed and avarice of the big capitalists and their agents in the bureaucracies. In the medium and long run, they are bound to grow and gain more strength as the crisis worsens and the hardships become more intolerable worldwide. –Dr. Carol Pagaduan - Araullo is Chairperson of BAYAN - Philippines

Catholicoses on fast for a church-building!

H.H. Moran Mar Baselious Paulose II, Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and a few other Metropolitans in front of the Church at Kolencherry.

H.H. Baselious Mar Thomas I, Catholicos of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and a few other Metropolitans in the Chapel at Kolencherry.

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

PAGE 7

ALONG WITH HIM

In the resurrection whose wife will she be? - 4

217
Mammen Varkey

The ‘Resurrection–Life’, A result of God’s continuing creative activity
heaven and the life there was, merely in terms of earthly life and of earthly affairs and experiences. This is absolutely erroneous. But, quite unfortunately this conceptualization and belief. even now, continue and dominate. know…..nor the power of God?” For most of us-as it was for them also – God had stopped creation on ‘the sixth day’! But, more bluntly or crudely put, God had exhausted his creative power with the creation of human beings and other forms of life on the earth! God was at His wits’ end on the sixth day! He would not have created, or rather could not have created more!! But this is totally against the truth. The truth is that God is God, and as God, He is continuously lngaged in creation. He is not at rest. His creative activity is still continuing. So human life and earthly forms of existence are not the ultimate state or the end product of life. There is a higher form of life. That is ‘Resurrection – Life’. So the ‘Resurrection – Life’ cannot be conceived of, in the forms, categories, relations and experience of earthly life. The ‘Resurrection – Life’ is the result, and expression, of the continuing creative activity of God. For most people, the resurrection - life is the continuation of the mortal life. What is conceived by them often, is the immortalization of the earthly bodies and life. This is not what Jesus is unravelling and calling all of us to make part of our faith.

“ And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, “ Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers, the first took a wife and when he died he left no children; ...... In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as a wife. Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you neither know the scriptures nor the power of God?..................... He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” Mark 12:18-27 Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees was, definitely, meant to disarm them who came ‘to entrap him in his talk’, Mark 12: 13. No doubt, it did succeed in that. Jesus’ response made them incapacitated to ask further questions. But there is a matter of greater importance about Jesus’ reply. The more important thing is that, as it was pointed out in the last reflection, the Master purposely used that occasion to enlighten, not only the Sadducees but also his disciples and all those who listened to him, about the ‘resurrection-life’ Jesus’ reply had three components. 1. He exposed how inadequate was the understanding, the Sadducees had of their foundation of faith, the Pentateuch. 2. Jesus showed that the way they conceived of

3. The Resurrection –life
Jesus told the Sadducees, his disciples and all other listeners, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angles in heaven……” Mark 12: 24-27. There are two supremely important elements in the Jesus’ answer.

ii. Transformed life
Since the ‘Resurrection- life’ is the result of the continuing activity of God, it is not the simple continuation of the earthly bodies but a new life; it is a transformed life which bears the mark of God’s new creation. The ‘Resurrection- Life’ is a transformed life. A new life. In the new life, everything will be transformed – life, relationships….And so marriage also. There will be new forms of relationships. Love will be its foundation. Because the Creator God is the God who is Love. So the Heaven is the state where Love will be supreme. And where the Love presides, God is ever present.

i. Continuing creative power of God
Jesus asked them “Is not this why you are wrong, that you

A different approach is needed in climate change research

Bring human being - nature relationship to the centre
>>> Contd. from Page 6 Col 3 between theory and practice is often unfilled, and this vacuum is filled with myths. The ‘climate change research’ fails to undertake the scientific task of meaningful and logical interaction between theory and practice. While the concept ‘climate change’ is non-specific, global warming and melting of ice glaciers are specific issues to be dealt with. In order to rectify the defaults in the ‘Climate Change’ research one has to take it within the broad framework of human beings-nature relationship. The individual natural event has to be looked into independently rather than taking the ‘climate change’ as a group. The behavior and risk combating skills of people with respect to adverse events should be the centre of attention. It has to take insights from the behavioral science and psycho social analysis. But this branch of knowledge has to develop with a focus on the relationship between natural events and human action for the sustainable human progress without the fear of extinction from the earth. Although we all will be dead, we need pragmatism in the short run for our existence; and we need ideas, dreams and vision for the long run. Each event has to be studied in detail and specifically to understand its relation with human beings. The ‘Human Natural Science’ considers human beings as the central focus of any disaster or any natural event. It also has to take into account the livelihood strategies of the people, and their traditional and modern knowledge on disaster management. The vulnerability induced studies has to go beyond the level of adaptation initiating enquiry into the causal mechanism leading to the short run aggravation of the problem. The enquiry into the independent natural disasters has to be deducted from the theory of human progress on the development of livelihood combating various types of challenges on the materialistic basis of time and space in history. ‘Climate Change’ research should examine regional specific, event specific, or time specific external shocks with a special focus on the human being’s interaction with the material world. The major query should be on the human settlement pattern and the nature and evolution of the livelihood system in the area where the calamity takes place. This should be examined within the framework of the human beings-nature relationship. The socio-economic values and norms that influence human beings- nature relationship has to be enquired in each disaster prone regions. How human actions cause natural disasters has to be analysed for understanding the relationship between human beings and nature. The question is how far natural disasters and human actions are linked scientifically Even though human beings cannot control nature, they are not supposed to be the silent receivers of the destiny imposed by nature. They can do many things to improve their life. Because of the urge to exist, their creativity would flower and find out ways. The fight against the ‘nature’ is inevitable for the existence of human beings’. The human settlement pattern in the regions affected by adverse natural events is to be studied . For example, the fishermen communities live in the calamity prone areas. Despite the vulnerability, they live there. This situation cannot be mirrored through the simple notion of adaptation. In order to earn their living, some people have to combine their physical labour with vulnerable natural resources, and to live in disaster prone areas. The incorporation of vulnerability comes into the focus of analysis when they face structural barriers in the spheres of caste, gender, income, social network etc which stand as impediments to improve their social and economic well being through migrating or upgrading skills for living. Barriers for migration from vulnerable places prevents the improvement of their socio-economic position. As the endowments that people acquire determine their economic position; vulnerable people continue to be vulnerable. The vicious nexus between vulnerability and disasters makes their life miserable. The study should also focus on the livelihood systems of the people in particular areas and their access to technology and modern knowledge including that of disaster management. Along with this, affordability and accessibility of the people residing in these areas for geographic and occupational migration also should be taken into consideration. The rigid attachment to the particular livelihood system due to lack of entitlements makes them vulnerable. The closed ended livelihood system force them to live in these areas continuously suffering all the ‘comforts and discomforts’. The studies that focus on the betterment of people and that provides hope and positive vision stand above the vulnerability induced adaptation research model. The normative value behind ‘research’ would motivate the people to take better choices for ‘creative action’.

To be continued
(Mr. Sajin Philip is Lecturer in Economics at Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta)

ROSES blossom out of CROSSES

PAGE 8

OCTOBER 10 – 25, 2011

WCC and Globethics.net launch global online theological resource
A unique and ambitious web-based theological resource was launched in Geneva on 23 September by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Globethics.net. It aims to redress a global imbalance of access to research materials in theology and related disciplines. The Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib) contains several hundred thousands of articles, documents and other academic resources that can be accessed online free-of-charge by registered participants from anywhere in the world via Internet (www.globethics.net/gtl).

BEHIND THE FACADE

When the Holy Fathers fast, their children go on a drinking spree!
double speak by the Churches in Kerala. The Churches always hail the teachings of Christ – ‘love your enemy’, ‘love of money is the root of all evils’, ‘blessed are those who bring peace’ etc. But, the leaders of these Churches always practice the opposite. They vehemently attack Marx for introducing dialectical/historical materialism as a tool to analyse human relations in history. But, they always demonstrate the validity of the principle of materialism in their affairs. On the one side, they join together for protecting their wealth and material interests, which is corroborated by the crusade being spearheaded by InterChurch Council since the early 1970s. At the same time, while fighting together under this Council against the government, the rival orthodox churches have been fighting each other in the streets, shedding blood, to protect their wealth .While standing together for material interests , they have no qualms about fighting each other for the same. During the days of the fast, the churches demonstrated the true colour of their faith also. On one Sunday , immediately after the worship, the ‘faithful’ under the leadership of their priests organized street demonstrations across the state , upholding their respective Catholicos and condemning the rival Catholicos with indecent words. All these created insurmountable trouble to the government, the police and to the Almighty God as wsll!. In fact, God got defeated and ridiculed in the midst of special prayer sessions in the streets by the rival groups, raising opposite demand! The TV channel, Asianet brought to light another interesting revelation associated with the Holy Fast: Sale of liquor through the outlet of Beverages Corporation in Kolenchery, the venue of the fast during 9 days of the fast, compared to the same days in the previous year trebled. One need not get surprised on this. Because, for the success of the fast, thousands of people have to stand around the Holy Fathers day and night , shouting solidarity to one and abusing the other. In order to maintain the required stamina for this for nine days and nights continuously, these people had to be filled with the ‘spirit’. But, it is a pity that, neither the Spirit of God nor the spirit of the liquor could help the Holy Fathers to achieve their demands. One faction of the Church to which the Chief Minister of the State belongs, expected that the government would take a decision in its favour. They in fact, put the Chief Minister into trouble. Both the groups knew very well that God can’t help them; because, their demands are opposing. As the Churches got ridiculed before the eyes of the general public, both the primates had to withdraw their fast by clinging on to a statement by the government which is only a writing on water. Both the Churches became successful in ridiculing Christ; which they have been doing every day in small measures. A comforting outcome of the Fast is that, the ‘faithful’ got back part of the money they put in the coffers of the Church, to buy ‘spirit’ , for the ‘service of the Lord’; and the ‘spirit’ prevailed over this part of India during the days of the fast!

JOHN M. ITTY
Followed by a series of hunger strikes by Anna Hazare, Ram Dev and Narendra Modi, in quick succession, which attracted national attention, heads of two ‘universal churches’ in Kerala, in India went on fast for nine days from 11 to 19 September. This fast by the heads of the two rival orthodox churches, raising totally opposite demands, while, making the gospel of Christ a laughing stock, pushed the government of Kerala and God to a catch-20 situation. The fast in two tents on the road side in Kolenchery town in the state of Kerala where the churches hold the government for ransom frequently asking for their pound of flesh , exposed the real texture of the Kerala churches once again. Although the story of the fight between the primates of the Churches was a piece of hot news for the people across the world, the media, purportedly, due to the fear of the wrath of the Churches restricted it within the borders of Kerala. The ‘Holy Fast Match’ was not on any spiritual issue. It was purely on a temporal issue- on a dispute over the exclusive control over a piece of property and a church building by the rival factions. The ‘fast match’ by the two Catholicoses reminded the general public that the church has no qualms about resorting to any means- not for upholding moral principles/ the struggles of the people for justice and human right- but to protect its wealth. In fact, this has been the main thread of the history of Kerala Churches. The fast by the primates of the two Churches, and the silence kept by the heads of other churches on this, remind also the tradition of

Redressing the balance
Prof. Dr Christoph Stückelberger, the founder and executive director of Globethics.net, said GlobeTheoLib represents a determined attempt to redress the balance in global knowledge transfer. “GlobeTheoLib harnesses the potential of the internet to offer theological research and education new possibilities for international networking, exchange and digital sharing,” said Stückelberger. GlobeTheoLib provides access to journals, books, training materials, and theses and dissertations on theology and ecumenism. It also gives registered participants the opportunity to submit their own documents and publications to share with others from around the world. The project is supported by a consortium that includes associations of theological libraries and seminaries, as well as mission organizations, foundations, Regional Ecumenical Organizations, and Christian World Communions. The project has been co-initiated and planned by the WCC programme on Ecumenical Theological Education (ETE). Content for GlobeTheoLib comes from four major sources: commercial publishers with whom GlobeTheoLib has subscriptions to make content available to registered participants; rapidly growing Open Access repositories; partner institutions that make their own resources available via GlobeTheoLib; and registered participants who are able to submit their own documents to the library. Globe Theo Lib uses the electronic platform of Globethics.net, the Geneva-headquartered organization that already holds more than 650’000 full-text documents in its Global Digital Library on Ethics. For more information GlobeTheoLib +41-78 639 2905, brown (@) globethics.net.

Lutheran pastor appointed dean of Anglican cathedral in Canada
In a historic move, the Anglican diocese of Rupert’s Land appointed a Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Paul Johnson, as dean of the diocese and incumbent for St. John’s Cathedral in Winnipeg, reports the Anglican Journal. This is the first time a Canadian Lutheran pastor has been appointed dean in an Anglican cathedral in Canada. A dean is the priest in charge of a cathedral (“mother church”) and occupies a senior position in a diocese. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have been in full communion since 2001, which means their clergy may serve in one another’s churches. –ENI

Editor in Chief Mammen Varkey Editorial Office People’s Reporter, Post Box No.12, Mavelikara - 690 101 Kerala, India Phone : 0479 - 2304355 e-mail : mammenv@sancharnet.in Subscription to Business Manager People’s Reporter G-1, Sujatha Niwas S.V.Road, Bandra (West) Mumbai - 400 050 Phone : 022 - 26422343 e-mail : peoplesreporter@vsnl.net Printed and Published by M. Philip Padachira 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

Making Sense of Ayodhya Verdict
Towards Efforts for Peaceful Solution
In the aftermath of the Ayodhya judgement by the Allahabad High Court, many social commentators, activists, historians, leaders or groups and parties came out with their opinion in various ways. Making Sense of the Ayodhya Issue captures the background of archaeological, historical and political aspects of the issue and lays the foundation of understanding the current debates. Published by Vitasta Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 2/15, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi: - 110 002. info@vitastapublishing.com Total pages: 246, Price 425/Marketed and Distributed Times Groups Books Times Annexe, Express Building, 9-10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi:- 110 002.

VICHARA SCHOOL OF PEOPLE’S ECONOMICS
The Second Trimester of the Course in People’s Economics, being offered in Chennai, commences on 28 Oct. 2011
Venue: ICSA Centre, Chennai Faculty: Dr. Moses P. Manohar, Prof. John M. Itty, Dr. Mathew Kurian, Dr. P. J. Philip & Prof. Mammen Varkey For Details please contact
VICHARA Mavelikara, Kerala, India Ph: 0479-2300096/09497259387 / 09446916374 E-mail: vicharaind@gmail.com mammenvv@yahoo.co.in,

The views expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the editors.

New Book edited by Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer & Prof. Ram Puniyani

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful