Sunday, August 29, 2010


Sainthood status eludes Mother Teresa

Press Trust Of India 24TH August 2010

Baruipur, West Bengal: Even though the world eagerly awaits the elevation of Mother Teresa to sainthood as she approaches 100 this Thursday, this may not be possible soon as the Church is still looking for an 'acceptable' miracle attributed to her, a prelate has said here in West Bengal.

"We are receiving reports from all over the world of favours granted by Mother. Miracle has certain characteristics. Favours reported do not fit into the characteristics," said Bishop Salvadore Lobo of Baruipur.

After Teresa's death on September 5, 1997, Pope John Paul-II put her on the fast-track to sainthood, concluding her beatification on October 19, 2003, on the basis of claims of a tribal woman in Raiganj that she had been cured of stomach tumour by praying to her.

Church Law requires another miracle of a medical nature attributable to her before she could be canonised (declared saint).

On the 10th anniversary of Teresa's death in 2007, a Catholic priest from Guwahati claimed to have been cured of kidney stone after praying to Teresa.

"This claim was rejected by the Church authorities," Lobo, who headed the Diocesan Enquiry Team looking into the life and virtues of Teresa for her beatification, said.

Noting that the Diocesan Enquiry Team has been folded up after Teresa's beatification, he said a fresh enquiry team will have to be formed once the report of an 'acceptable' miracle was received.

The new team will have to be formed in the country where the fresh miracle is reported.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

India, that is Bharath - as on 19th February 2010

The Crime File of 19th February, 2010 on MSN INDIA site:

Groom killed in celebratory firing

Noida: Pankaj Kishore Karotia (24) was all set to leave his in-laws' house on Thursday morning, after his wedding. His newlywed wife was waiting for him in the car, and Karotia, a resident of Amritpur village in Aligarh district, came for one last blessing from his father-in-law, Vijay Singh.

Pankaj's uncle Rajkumar who was standing next to him, drew out his licensed pistol and thought he would fire a final celebratory shot in the air. He was loading bullets in the pistol when it went off accidentally, killing Pankaj instantly.

Minor raped in Delhi

New Delhi: A six-year-old girl was raped by a rickshaw puller in Lajpat Nagar in Delhi, police said on Thursday.

"The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon when the victim was playing near an under-construction building. The accused, Sanjay Podar, lured her and took her to an isolated place.
He then sexually assaulted her," a senior police officer said.
"A woman heard the child's cries coming from the place and raised an alarm. The locals in the area gathered and beat up the accused. The girl was taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences where her medical examination confirmed rape," the officer added.

Four classmates, school peon booked for raping girl

Hoshiarpur: In a rape case of a schoolgirl over a month ago, four of her classmates and a school peon were booked by the Hoshiarpur police on Wednesday night. The girl, the daughter of a farmer, was raped on January 7 but she had not lodged any complaint with the police till Wednesday night.

Investigating officer Baljeet Singh said the girl was a student of Class XII in Jallowal Khanur Government School and the accused classmates have been expelled by the school authorities.

According to the complaint, on January 7, when the girl was returning home after school, her classmate Ranvir Singh Sabi, with his three friends, Bhupinder, Maninder and Sohan and school peon Kishan Lal dragged her to the school canteen, locked the door from outside and while all others kept a watch outside, Ranvir raped her.

She said Ranvir and others had threatened her of dire consequences if she revealed the incident to anyone and hence she did not even tell her parents for several days.

After she recently informed her parents, they brought her to police station. A case has been registered against five and all five are absconding. Baljeet said the girl had stopped going to school after she informed her parents about the incident.

Tantrik held for human sacrifice

Bhubaneswar: A tantrik was arrested on Thursday on charges of killing a seven-year-old boy as a human sacrifice in Orissa's Jajpur district, police said.

Pitambara Gaipai (25) was arrested after he confessed that he killed the boy to gain superior hold over 'tantric vidya', police said. The boy, Srikanta Bagi, a resident of Kubal village in the district, had been missing since Feb 11. Gaipai, who belonged to the nearby Ichhapur village, told police that he beheaded the boy the same night.

While the body of the boy was found in a field near Ichhapur village, the severed head and two old human skulls were found in Gaipai's hamlet half a kilometre away.

"The accused confessed that he was practicing black magic and it was an act of human sacrifice," police added.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ruchika Case and the Jat codes of women's honour

The case and its verdict are both to be discussed to analyse whether we are civilised yet. I could not yet find out whether the man is accused/ is guilty, only of fondling the teenager. Whether there was penetration-rape is not available anywhere.
Brinda Karat's sincerity is beyond doubt. She still keeps mum about the VIPs in her Party who killed the victim in the Kiliroor Scandal to hide their guilt.
I wonder why Brinda did not criticise the villain cop for NOT having poisoned-eliminated the crusader-friend of Ruchika, as had been done with the Kiliroor victim.

Two teenage girls, best friends and neighbours, watched television as Steffi Graf battled Monica Seles on August 12, 1990. Itching to imitate those serves and volleys, 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra and Aradhana Parkash headed straight to the tennis court in their hometown Chandigarh.

It turned into a day that would scar them so badly, that one of them would be pushed to death. (Read and Watch: Senior cop molested teen who killed herself)

During their game, they were summoned to the office of the President of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Federation. He was also one of Haryana's most-senior policemen. S P S Rathore asked Aradhana to leave his office. When she returned, he was molesting her best friend. He stopped when he realised he had been caught.

Ruchika's own mother had died when she was 11. She confided in Aradhana's family. (Read: Ruchika statement against her molestor)

The Parkashes immediately adopted Ruchika's battle as their own; a battle that pitted them against a powerful policeman with hefty political connections. A police inquiry found Rahore guilty. Not surprisingly, his own force refused to take any action against him.

Men who followed them everywhere threatened the families. Ruchika found herself expelled from school three years later. Her brother was arrested for half a dozen car thefts. Overwhelmed by what her family was going through, Ruchika, now 17, killed herself by drinking poison. The cases against her brother were dropped after that. The Girhotras left Chandigarh. (Watch: Ruchika's story on The Buck Stops Here)

Aradhana, however, vowed to fight for her friend. Her family won a CBI inquiry for the case in 2000. (Watch: Justice for Ruchika: Friends seek public support Read: Her best friend's crusade for justice)

But the charges against Rathore were a pale version of what Aradhana wanted. Instead of abetment of suicide amounting to murder, Rathore was accused of molestation.

The CBI said that because Ruchika had killed herself three years after the molestation, her death could not be linked to Rathore. Oddly enough, the CBI's own chargesheet contradicts that. It says, "The investigation has also disclosed that after the incident of molestation of Ms Ruchika remained confined to her house and remained depressed. Later, she committed suicide."

Through this, Rathore's career flourished. He retired as Haryana's most-senior policeman, the Director General of Police, in 2002. (Watch: How did such a police officer get promoted: Ambika Soni)

Om Prakash Chautala, who was the chief minister during this time, denies that he sanctioned Rathore's promotions. Chautala told NDTV on Tuesday that his sympathies lie with Ruchika's family, and that he wishes the verdict against Rathore had been more severe. (Read: Age and lengthy trial helped Rathore)

That verdict has stumped everyone - six months awarded on Monday to a man found guilty of molesting a teenager. Rathore was granted bail immediately, so he will spend no time in prison. He says he will appeal against the verdict. His other comment: "It's a very old issue. Forget about it now." (Read: Charges against Rathore not serious enough?)

The CBI, which investigated the case, says it will consider appealing for a tougher sentence.

In Parliament, Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat raised the shocking verdict. "The Ruchika case reveals the sickness in our system. The criminal policeman has been promoted while the brother of the victim had fake cases registered against him. How long will such a system prevail? I appeal to the Home Minister and Law Minister to reform our justice system for victims of sexual assault."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kerala Boat Tragedies

If the Thattekkad tragedy had been properly dealt with, further tragedies might have been averted to a large extent.
But the culprits of Thattekkad were the Catholic Church. So, nobody said anything against the guilty in the incident that lost 15 children to their parents.
But God is there above, as in Abhaya. Thattekkad might now be under the scanner again; after Thekkady.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Unknown Prime Minister of India

India has had a Prime Minister from 2004, who does not appear in the media.

This is an unusual situation in a parliamentary democracy. The consequence is that the people do not know what kind of a person rules them.

Dr. Singh was never a politician; he was a bureaucrat that obeyed his employers. He did what he had to do for his Boss in silence.

He continues to be a bureaucrat and continues silent obedience. He gets things done for his Boss.
As in the past when he had been with the World Bank, he still has a White Boss.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Save me from Pappu Yadav, says CPI-M leader's widow

Mon, 20 Apr 2009

Patna, April 20 (IANS) The widow of slain Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator Ajit Sarkar, who is fighting the Lok Sabha polls from Purnia in Bihar, has urged the Election Commission to provide her adequate security against her husband's alleged murderer and MP Pappu Yadav.

Madhavi Sarkar, contesting as a Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) candidate, has told the poll panel that she feels threatened by Pappu Yadav, formerly of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

'I have told the Election Commission that a free Pappu Yadav is a serious threat to my life. Anything can happen to me. Even the local police are helpless,' Madhavi told IANS on telephone.

Madhavi's husband, who was locked in a feud with Pappu Yadav over farm labourers, was shot dead with his driver Harendra Sharma and party worker Ashfaqur Rehman in Purnia, about 350 km from here, on June 14, 1998.

Pappu Yadav, elected to the Lok Sabha from Madhepura in 2004, was held guilty of Sarkar's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court last year. The Patna High Court granted him bail two months ago.

He is now busy campaigning in the constituency for his mother Shanti Priya Devi, an independent candidate who enjoys Congress support.

'Pappu Yadav is posing a serious threat to peace in Purnia. Free, fair and peaceful polling is not possible unless he is put behind bars,' said Madhavi.

Earlier this month, the Patna High Court rejected Pappu Yadav's plea to suspend his conviction in the murder case so that he could contest the Lok Sabha election.

After he was barred from contesting, Pappu Yadav revolted against the Lalu Prasad-Ram Vilas Paswan alliance and vowed to campaign for the Congress. He was expelled from RJD earlier this month.

His wife Ranjita Ranjan, a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP, has also defected to the Congress to contest from Supaul constituency.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cynicism and Stoicism

Cynicism and Stoicism are ethical philosophies based on distinguishing between those things in your control from those things not in your control. Both views stress emotional detachment from the world and emphasize the development of independent character.

Cynicism: The end of life is virtue, not pleasure, and it can only be obtained by independence of all earthly possessions and pleasures.
The Cynics sought self-sufficiency and rejected the social and religious values of civilization. Group thinking is herd-thinking. The nature of what it is to be a human being is not a political or social animal.
Independence was shown through a flouting of convention. Obviously, a philosophy that rejects the social nature of man would have a difficult time forming a consistent school of thought.
Three causes of human misery: desire, indulgence and ignorance.
The ascetic self-discipline and training achieved by "following nature" leads to self-sufficiency. E.g., Suppose someone has done you an injustice and tries to amend the wrongdoing by giving you something you wanted. You refuse in order to show your independence and self-sufficiency. "You need nothing other than yourself."
The Cynics eschewed formal philosophy. Instead, their teaching consisted of anecdotal quips, diatribes, and satire.

Stoicism: Philosophy is primarily concerned with ethics. The end or purpose of life is arete (excellence) or virtue which is identified with "happiness." The central theme is" indifference to external circumstances."
Stoics assumed the doctrine of (soft) determinism. In the external world, every event has a cause; there are no exceptions (e.g., miracles or outcomes of actions).

"Live life according to nature." Our actions should agree with the laws of nature.
Stoics assumed the doctrine of (soft) determinism. In the external world, every event has a cause; there are no exceptions (e.g., miracles or outcomes of actions).
Since we are rational, we can know the laws of nature and can consciously follow them--rather than fight them or wish they were different.
"Let go." Worry about events in the external world is unnecessary. "What will be, will be" (not fatalism but determinism). "Don't carry the boat, let the boat carry you."
Be indifferent to external circumstances. Distinguish between those things in your control and those things outside your control. Give your attention only to those things you can control (mental phenomena).
Freedom and independence can only be obtained by realizing that external events (events in the material world, matter) need not affect mental events (thoughts, mind). In this way we see ourselves as we truly are, not as we might imagine ourselves to be.
Consider if the Stoic can avoid the psychological dilemma of determinism. If every event has a cause, how can our will be free? Mind and matter cannot be completely disassociated because we would be completely disengaged from the external world.
In a sense, the Stoic recommends a passive detachment from the world. Nothing in the world is good or bad or even painful or pleasurable. Things in the world simply are what they are.
You can't change the world, you can only change your awareness of the world. You feel centered not because the world is right for you but because you choose to be right for the world. If you hike in the mountains when ill and again when well, the scenery is the same in both cases. Only you are different.

Moral evil pertains to human will and intention. No act is evil in itself; moral evil pertains to the intention, the moral condition from which the acts proceeds. The act considered as a physical entity is indifferent. "As you are in your heart..." rather than "Beauty is as beauty does."
Nothing is good or bad in itself--only the mind has the ability to confer value on things.
C.L. Kleinke writes, "Consider a young child who goes to the circus for the first time. Bombarded with new sights, smells, and sounds, the child is in a state of general physiological arousal, experiencing a faster-than-usual heartbeat, slight tremors, accelerated breathing, and possible cold or sweaty hands. How does the child interpret this arousal? What emotion does he or she feel? Let us look a bit further. As the child walks by the lions' cage his or her parent most likely says, "Oh that lion is so big. I bet you're scared. Don't be scared, the lion can't hurt you.: later when the trapeze artists are performing the parent helps the child interpret his or her arousal by exclaiming, "Isn't that exciting!" The clowns appear and the parent "instructs" the child by laughing and commenting on how funny and happy they are. Before leaving the circus the child is likely to confront the smell of animals and learn from the parent that arousal in this context is a sign of unpleasantness and disgust. During all this time the child has been in essentially the same arousal as different emotions according to the particular stimuli or events in the immediate situation... What distinguishes emotions such as anger, fear, love, elation, anxiety, and disgust is not what is going on inside the body but rather what is happening in the outside environment." C.L. Kleinke, Self-Perception (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1978), 2.

The Stoic would say that what distinguishes emotions is not the events happening in the outside environment, nor is it what is going on inside the body, but it is the mind's interpretation of the two.
You are different from your emotions. Emotions are the result of the perception of an external situation considered with bodily states. The dangers of the identification of the ego with the emotions include loss of personal freedom.
Avoid identification with anything, for you are sure to get hurt: e.g., your job, your career, another person, drugs.
"I am a teacher," but what am I when I lose my job? Look at what happens when you identify yourself with your grades. What you would be then would be beyond your control. (Your life would be subject to the vicissitudes or the conscientiousness of the teacher.)
If I identify myself with my feelings, I become the feeling. (I.e., consider a child's tantrum.) For example, the feeling of sadness arises. I are not the feeling--I need to separate the emotion from what I truly am..
If I use esteem, love, worldly success as a means of psychological identity (picturing myself as an important person), I create anxiety. None of these things add anything to my internal life.
I can enjoy world activities regardless of results. I can have a successful love affair or a career, but these would not be part of the essential self.
Negative feelings (boredom, restlessness, sense of futility) are caused by us-- not by exterior happenings. We don't have to have these feelings; we can choose our interpretations of events more appropriately.
Character, truly virtuous conduct, fulfillment of duty, are the points most stressed in Stoic ethics.
Apatheia is the self-conquest achieved by training to overcome irrational and unnatural feelings (pleasure, sorrow, depression, fear). Apatheia is "freedom from morally wrong impulses or passions."
From the Cynics, the Stoics adopted techniques for the emotional independence from the world. The Stoic uses many techniques to separate healthy from the unhealthy desires.
Passive self-examination as well as active awareness help us avoid the dangers of identification of our psyche with anything.
Verbal techniques help separate the way we feel from the way we truly are. Think of yourself in the third-person. (E.g., Siddhartha's techniques.)
All desires need not be distinguished--only separate the healthy from the unhealthy. Avoid those which are painful, compulsive, nervous, or angry. Activate those which are for health or self-understanding.
Distinguish between genuine wants (food, shelter) from false wants (needless cravings). The self, itself, has all that it needs.

Spinoza adds the notion of "active awareness" to clarify the Stoic's state of mind. You impose your attitudes on the world by moving from passive emotions to active emotions.
Once we understand that people act from the necessity of nature (determinism), we can overcome the hatred we feel because someone harms us. If we trip over a rock, we don't blame the rock for being there.
Freedom comes with understanding the order and necessity of the universe and acting in accordance. Thought and thought alone gives freedom. E.g., What is the difference between someone going back on his word and that person changing his mind? The glass being half empty or being half full?
We see some movies more than once even though we know in advance what is to happen. The value of the movie is not in the outcome.
Consider hearing the same music more than once. Our choice is to hear the beauty or to react with "Oh no, not that again."
With active awareness, we are no longer at the mercy of moods. E.g., how would we live if we had no fear, if we saw that misfortune cannot affect our happiness? The state of the soul is independent of the external situation. In this manner we avoid compulsive desire and automatic anger which would make us reactive to the forces acting upon us. Alfred Tennyson credits this active awareness as "absolute clearness of mind."
Consider the failure to break an unwanted habit. We fail because of the very self who is trying to break the habit is the same self who is subject to it. Hence, a new sense of self is needed--one that goes beyond the limits of the "old" self.
The single most important techniques is self-observation--you watch yourself just as if things were happening to someone else. for the Stoic, "Awareness = Happiness."
You can enjoy your worldly activities regardless of results. You are not at the mercy of anything in the world--your sense of psychological survival does not depend upon this or that happening.

An Adaptation of John Hosper's criticisms of Stoicism:
The Stoic solution is really negative in outlook--stoicism doesn't seek happiness; it seeks to avoid unhappiness. The Stoic ethics misses some of the best things in life: love, reliance on others, pride in external objects, and so forth. Some of the greatest things in life are achieved through emotional and mental turmoil.
Possible Stoic response: The objection is a question of emphasis--it's better to be affirmistic than happily deluded. One can enjoy these things without investing one's essential self.
Our power extends farther than the stoic believes--we do have some control over external events.
It's contrary to human nature not to desire more than the Stoic recommends. "Your reach should exceed your grasp." Maybe we don't have total control over other people and circumstances, but at least we have some influence.
As William James wroteOur passional nature not only lawfully may, but must, decide an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds; for to say, under such circumstances, "Do not decide, but leave the question open,: is itself a passional decision,--just like deciding yes or no,--and is attended with the same risk of losing the truth. William James, The Will To Believe.
Possible Stoic response: Beliefs like these make people unhappy; these beliefs set you up for profound disappointement.
A life of desire, even though not totally satisfied, is better than suppressing desire.
"It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
Possible Stoic response: Sure you can love, but don't invest your essential self in it
The world isn't as hostile to the fulfillment of desires as the Stoic claims.
His is an empirical claim and depends upon not only the culture, nations, and social circumstances, but also the nature of the individual
Possible Stoic response: The truth of this objection can only be found in life experience
The Stoic is an emotional weakling--the Stoic is trying to "play it safe."
The Stoic is afraid to take risks; the Stoic fears loss more than possible gain.
Possible Stoic response: This is an ad hominem attack. Such a view prevents persons from rooting out the real problems of their unhappiness.
The fundamental flaw in Stoicism is that our "active awareness" does affect what we do and what we do does affect the world. The mind-body dualism is ultimate untenable because it leads to psychophysical parallelism