Friday, December 7, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


EDITORIALS

UGC ban on franchise
F
ranchise, to explain it for the uninitiated, is a permission given by an institution or a company, often with a known brand name, to operate a service or sell its product in a particular area. It makes sense in business, creates uneasiness when newspapers resort to it and becomes almost unacceptable when universities succumb to it. 

PWG, MCC attract POTO
A
s was widely expected, the Centre has outlawed the Peoples War Group of Andhra Pradesh and the Maoist Communist Centre of Jharkhand. On the ground this will make no difference since these violent outfits do not seek legal sanction, nor respect law.

FRANKLY SPEAKING

HARI JAISINGH
History is not “a pack of tricks”
It’s not for politicians to dabble in textbook writing
H
istory is a mirror of society—the mirror which reflects realities and, as such, is expected not to distort right images or project wrong ones. History is not "a pack of tricks we play upon the dead", as Voltaire once said. It is a medium that monitors and surveys events which in turn are suitably classified and analysed for posterity.



EARLIER ARTICLES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
 

MIDDLE

Passing the test!
P. Lal
T
he minister’s countenance showed curiosity and amusement. I had just finished explaining to him the police side of a case. I had spoken in Punjabi, a language at which I was yet imperfect. I had spoken haltingly, and probably, nay, certainly, with wrong grammar, syntax and accent.

COMMENTARY

Maoists deserve Taliban fate
M.S.N. Menon
Y
esterday, it was the Taliban. Today, it is the Maoists of Nepal. There is no difference between the two. Both are fundamentalists — perhaps in different ways. Both believe in violence. Both are against democracy. If negotiation with the Taliban is anathema to the world, it should be no less so to negotiate with the Maoists.

For boys who want to be ‘real men’
Subhra Priyadarshini
T
housands of adolescent boys aspiring to become “real men” stand puzzled by hundreds of new questions, answers to which they can’t seek from parents or teachers and know for sure that friends won’t be of much help either.

75 YEARS AGO


Imperial Bank of India

A CENTURY OF NOBELS

1936, Literature: EUGENE O'NEILL

TRENDS & POINTERS

Dogs under house arrest to improve Shanghai image
T
housands of dogs in Shanghai will be put under “house arrest” as China’s largest city tries to polish its international image and attract tourists. Under a new ordinance, dog owners must have prior permission from the police before they can take their pets for walks in public squares, parks and green areas of closed-off residential areas.

  • Bottoms up to brandy for apes this winter

  • Taiwan opens its first condom restaurant

SPIRITUAL NUGGETS

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UGC ban on franchise

Franchise, to explain it for the uninitiated, is a permission given by an institution or a company, often with a known brand name, to operate a service or sell its product in a particular area. It makes sense in business, creates uneasiness when newspapers resort to it and becomes almost unacceptable when universities succumb to it. On the face of it, the idea of franchise is not bad. There is demand for a product or a service and the producer, often due to lack of resources or for avoiding costs of transportation and logistics, ties up with a private party located in the targeted area to sell the product or offer the service. The problem arises when the franchisee fails to maintain quality or cuts corners to make profit. This is what happened when Punjab Technical University, in its enthusiasm to spread information technology education, gave franchise to private parties that opened education shops here and there, but many failed to provide the required infrastructure and qualified faculty. They just cashed in on the craze for IT education and parents coughed up unimaginable sums to buy it. The recipients of such education soon discovered the whole fraud. A number of companies were let down by their franchisee, lost money and wound up, and in some cases it was the other way round. But it was the students who suffered the most. The situation became grim as the IT bubble burst. Quite a few franchisee of PTU, however, have continued. They have been allowed to run the show for the current session by the UGC chief, Dr Hari Gautam, who announced the ban on franchise business by universities, effective from August 9, at an all-India meeting of Vice-Chancellors in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

The risk of students being taken for a ride is greater from the little-known foreign universities whose antecedents are unverifiable and some of them marketing education abroad are not recognised in their own country. A state or national-level regulatory body is required to keep a check on them, given their proliferation in the recent times. The parents’ desire to provide quality education to their children is understandable, but they should also take care not to fall prey to the sharks. The universities resorting to cash-generating ventures like giving franchise, holding multiple entrance tests or granting undue concessions to children of NRIs often invite criticism. With ballooning expenses and shrinking incomes, their plight is pitiable, but it is a challenge worth taking to become financially self-sufficient if they desire autonomy. Panjab University has shown the way by setting up a research centre for partnership with companies. While purposeless research needs to be discouraged, new areas like biotechnology and IT can be tapped with corporate help for mutual benefit. With computerisation, many jobs have become redundant. Surplus university land and assets can be put to better use to generate the required funds. Universities have to be run efficiently by experts to become centres of excellence and provide intellectual guidance to society.
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PWG, MCC attract POTO

As was widely expected, the Centre has outlawed the Peoples War Group (PWG) of Andhra Pradesh and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) of Jharkhand. On the ground this will make no difference since these violent outfits do not seek legal sanction, nor respect law. They operate outside the system with the avowed intention of overthrowing it. The law or the legal structure works effectively only in the case of law-abiding individuals and entities and not in the case of terrorist organisations which in today’s context are essentially based on anarchist ideology. A ban, even if it is under the fierce POTO, is unlikely to impede their depredation but it does help the government to claim prompt action and reaction to contain terrorist activities. The press statement of the Union Home Ministry is a reflection of this thinking. It accuses the governments of Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa of not doing anything to crush Naxalite attacks as reasons for a nationwide ban on what it calls ultra left elements. Obviously, New Delhi thinks that Andhra Pradesh has acted energetically. But the results in that southern state say something else. For one thing, the PWG stands banned for several months now. For another, the police has launched a stringent campaign and liquidated two active dalams (fighting groups) in the northern Medak district. That did not stop the PWG from murdering policemen and political leaders and blasting government buildings. Apparently a ban does not cripple an organisation. The BJP should ask the mother set-up RSS; it was banned in 1948 (in the wake of Gandhi’s assassination) and in 1975 (during the Emergency) and it is none the worse for the government’s labour.

The government had the option to invoke the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 to crackdown on these and other avowedly violent groups. But it chose the POTO way for two reasons. Now it does not have to set up a tribunal to ratify the declaration; a designated authority, a bureaucrat, will okay the ban and this is so much predictable and easy. Two, and this is most important, a front page news across the nation gives the impression that terrorists are being cornered and the government is in total control. No matter what the reality is. There is another misconception. The PWG in Orissa is a purely home grown thing and its only action has been to blow up a minister’s house in Malkagiri. Its popularity is to be expected given the alarming level of poverty and the total alienation of the tribals from mainstream society. A ban, even if proclaimed from the all-powerful Centre, is not likely to convert sympathisers into opponents overnight. The Union Home Ministry should investigate the socio-economic reasons for the tribals to embrace extremism and not treat them as part of international extremism. 
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FRANKLY SPEAKING

History is not “a pack of tricks”
It’s not for politicians to dabble in textbook writing
HARI JAISINGH

History is a mirror of society—the mirror which reflects realities and, as such, is expected not to distort right images or project wrong ones.

History is not "a pack of tricks we play upon the dead", as Voltaire once said. It is a medium that monitors and surveys events which in turn are suitably classified and analysed for posterity. A credible historical account acts as a guide to the future and hence the importance of accuracy in narration.

We as a people are poor learners from history. It is also a fact that we have not much to boast about the tradition of recording events. That is the reason why we have had to mostly bank on the accounts of visiting scholars and other travellers. It, however, must be said to the credit of the liberal British tradition that at least some historians dwelt at length on several positive and fascinating aspects of India's rich past to the delight of nationalists.

The past is past. But facts are sacred. Some historical accounts have been written with a colonial mindset and not from the point of view of people who constitute India, that is "Bharat". Certain narrations by some prominent historians have now been questioned by the new custodians of power because they wish to erase ugly facets of the past. This is not desirable if we have to build the nation on a solid foundation of Satyameva Jayate.

History is not a plaything. It cannot be tailor-made to suit one group or the other. Nor can it be tempered with to promote a specific viewpoint. However, new facts can always be incorporated in an objective framework. This may not be an easy exercise. Some historians may have their biases. Certain observations of theirs may have been based on selective information. Still, so long as they maintain their overall objectivity, there should be no hassle.

There are sensitivities galore in the Indian setting. Religion and social realities are very much intermixed. That is the reason why some inconvenient matters are either overlooked or underplayed or twisted out of shape.

The recent controversy over rewriting history textbooks for school children has to be seen in this perspective. It is, of course, easy to strike tough postures. But tough postures do not solve intricate problems. They rather complicate even simple matters.

As it is, history is a tricky but serious business. The controversy is basically political. The issues that have come up for a debate go back to 1963 when some leading historians toeing the Congress line like Dr Tara Chand took up the cudgels with R.C. Mazumdar's mode of writing history of the freedom movement. By the mid-sixties, the Marxists with the patronage of Nurul Hasan, the then Union Education Minister, took up rewriting of history of India for school children.

History is not for politicians to dabble in. Nor is it meant to be a plaything in the hands of political groups. This job is better left to historians in the true tradition of seeing men, matters and events without biases or colour of the party whose line they toe.

It is a pity that some of the BJP leaders are wasting their time and energy on redoing history textbooks through their set angularities. Recording history has to be left to scholars who over a period can relook at the past in the light of new information, if any.

A new India cannot be rebuilt on the basis of doctored facts. Nor can fiction turn into facts simply because "convenient historians" or "politician-scholars" like Dr Murli Manohar Joshi think that the new generation should learn history with a sense of pride.

A sense of pride among Indians can be generated if we are true to our heritage and legacy and do our job diligently and honestly for the people and not for personal or partisan gains.

Some of our historians like Ms Romila Thapar, Dr Satish Chandra and Prof R. S. Sharma enjoy high academic credentials and command respect at the world level. They are always regarded as genuine historians who see things broadly and objectively.

It is not the job of the Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Dr J. S. Rajput, to play with inconvenient narrations of the past to please his political bosses. The Human Resource Development Minister, however, does not think that there is anything wrong in rewriting history to calm religious sensibilities. He says: "I will teach correct history. I will teach Marxism, but I will also teach the failures of Marxism. Why should they object to it? I have only an Indian agenda."

There is too much of "I" in Mr Joshi's assertion. It is not his job to teach school children what he wishes them to learn. This job is best left to scholars and academicians. The problem in our country is the absence of academic freedom and autonomy in our national institutions.

Institutions are being destroyed by too much political interference by highly motivated rulers and sycophantic bureaucrats. This is the crux of the problem. And this is the curse on all that liberal and enlightened India stands for.

It is true that no history writing is perfect. Nor is it ever final. With growing knowledge, the scope of history has to be widened. Also, no historical period and no historical personality have one point of view, and if there is one point of view the whole edifice of history will come crashing to the ground. It ought to be borne in mind that history is a scientific activity which has to be relentlessly pursued for finding truth about the past.

I believe that no government agency should prepare textbooks. Ours is a free and open society. In the UK and the USA, there is no such practice whereby textbooks prepared by government or semi-government agencies are prescribed for school children.

These books, if prepared by some independent bodies, are only recommended. It is left to independent historians to produce and publish books for school children. Good books thus elbow out the bad ones. But the academics in our country seem to have failed in this.

It is not the lack of competence which stands in the way, but their lack of commitment to public duty and responsibility. They seem to be more interested in the pursuit of research and promotion of certain viewpoints rather than prepare proper and authentic textbooks for our school-going children. So, everything seems to have gone wrong. The remedy is simple: debate the whole issue in a purely academic manner eschewing polemical politics. Is this a tall order?

What is required now is not rewriting of Indian history but widening its thrust and dimensions by correcting and supplementing facts after proper verification. Also, there is need for a closer examination of all facets of Indian history beyond the existing chronological account of kings and dynasties.

It needs to be emphasised that only when Indians become aware of the evil influence of religious bigotry can they develop a sense of nationhood. Interestingly, Europe turned to religious tolerance and secularism only after getting exhausted with its bloody wars over religion. Even so, historians there never thought it necessary to expunge the Thirty Years' War from textbooks.

It would do us a lot of good if history were to tell us objectively about the life and problems of the common people — their hopes, struggles and sufferings. Equally pertinent are the questions given below:

Why is it that while the civilisations of Greece, Crete, Rome, Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, etc, vanished leaving behind only a fragrant memory, the Indian civilisation has survived in a state of suspended animation, as it were, for thousands of years?

Why is it that over and over again a handful of invaders could conquer this country of subcontinental dimensions without any popular resistance?

Why is it that most periods of effervescence in literature and arts followed in the wake of conquerors and, with their degeneration?

Why is it that all the conquerors, except the British, adopted Indian culture, way of life and revenue and administrative systems and, in the end, got absorbed into local populace?

Why is it that the disintegration of every powerful dynasty commenced simultaneously with its attempts to perpetuate its memory in grandiose building projects?

Why is it that while in other countries the growth of civilisation from a primitive society to the present day industrial one has occurred in a spiral fashion, in India it has moved in cycles? (Statindra Singh, Rewriting Indian History. Free Press Journal, Bombay, December 20, 1987.)

On correct answers to these questions depend our appreciation of history. Here objectivity has to be the key, and not politics. For, history is a source of inspiration as well as of warning. As for Indian politics, it is a dirty game of washing dirty linen in public! History is sacrosanct and has to be handled with care and clean hands.
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Passing the test!
P. Lal

The minister’s countenance showed curiosity and amusement. I had just finished explaining to him the police side of a case. I had spoken in Punjabi, a language at which I was yet imperfect. I had spoken haltingly, and probably, nay, certainly, with wrong grammar, syntax and accent.

The minister was in the chair, in a monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committee in Gurdaspur. It was the autumn of 1972. The Deputy Commissioner, the district heads of government departments, MLAs and the MP from the district and other political representatives were in attendance.

My boss, the District Superintendent of Police, was, however, not present, being on leave. The DSP in-charge of Batala, a subdivision of the district, was also on leave, and I, an ASP then, almost fresh from the IPS Academy and hailing from Uttar Pradesh where I had had no truck ever with the native language of Punjab, was deputising for him, under a local arrangement ordered by the District Superintendent.

“You seem to be ill at ease with Punjabi”, the minister remarked.

“Sir, it is not my mother tongue,” I tried to defend myself. “I hail from UP. However, I have already learnt the language quite a bit. I was even awarded a medal for proficiency in Punjabi as I stood first in the language examination at the IPS Academy,” I informed the Minister in broken Punjabi, again haltingly, keeping back the fact that there were only two non-Punjabis who were required to take the language examination, and I had come out to be the better of the two!

The minister didn’t seem to be impressed. “Okay,” he said with quizzical eyes, “I shall pass you if you tell me what “Sewa” means.”

“Sewa, sir”, I almost stuttered, in broken Punjabi which he and others must have been barely able to understand, “means service like the one that Shrawan Kumar did to his parents.”

“Alright,” the minister looked expectant.

“And, sir”, I added, “it also means greasing the palm to get the work done.”

“Yes, yes, “the minister now looked happy and satisfied.

“And, sir, in police parlance, “I continued, “it may mean thrashing a suspect or the wicked and the crooked to extract a confession or to give him a taste of the police powers.”

The minister now seemed to be genuinely happy and declared before all and sundry: “You have passed the test!”
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Maoists deserve Taliban fate
M.S.N. Menon

Yesterday, it was the Taliban. Today, it is the Maoists of Nepal. There is no difference between the two. Both are fundamentalists — perhaps in different ways. Both believe in violence. Both are against democracy.

If negotiation with the Taliban is anathema to the world, it should be no less so to negotiate with the Maoists. Prime Minister Deuba of Nepal has done well to announce that there will be no negotiation with the Maoists.

The Indian authorities are worried of a link between the Maoists of Nepal and their counterparts in India — the Maoist Coordination Committee, the People’s War Group — which have created mayhem in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra.

It appears the Maoists have not understood the significance of September 11. In an interview to The Times of India, Prachanda, the Maoist leader, is reported to have said: “We view the September 11 events as terroristic, though we regard US imperialism as primarily responsible for this.” In other words, he justifies the September 11 events. He must know that the world no more accepts terrorist methods, whatever may be the provocation or objective.

India has a long border of 1,700 km with Nepal. It is an open border. It has been abused by both Nepalese and Indians, as also by the international mafia. Kathmandu believes that the Maoists are operating from India. There is truth in this. They are operating mostly from West Bengal. All the major Maoist conference take place in Siliguri under the nose of the Marxist government in West Bengal. It is time to discipline the CPM.

India cannot allow Maoists to gain control of Nepal. On this, let there be no dobut. It can cause incalculable harm to India. But how can it prevent it? Not by direct intervention. Not even by announcing material support. We must mobilise the world. The international community is opposed to terrorist regimes. It can mount a rescue mission as in Afghanistan. But first Nepal must fall back on its own resources. It is here that India can be helpful. But not by advertising it. It was wrong on the part of Mr Vajpayee to offer assistance when it was not asked. He did the same by offering assistance to America — of all countries!

Nepal, however, must understand that the Maoist challenge is not without justification. Long neglect and feudal oppression have created favourable conditions for armed insurgency. So, as soon as the present revolt is suppressed, Nepal must take up a massive development programme. The success of Nepal is important for India.

In fact, Nepal is a test case. If we allow the Maoists to succeed in Nepal, this will encourage the militants in the North-East of India. They may even follow the course taken by the Maoists. This will bring China back to the North-East.

Nepal is multi-ethnic. What held it together was the monarchy. But it has little influence today in the countryside.

The first demand of the Maoists is to abolish the monarchy. Are they justified in this? Let us examine the role of the palace. It refused to accept the transition to a constitutional monarchy, kept the Nepali Congress out of power for three decades, encouraged the communist movement by playing the China card against India and, finally, supported the Maoist candidates during the election against the candidates of the Nepali Congress.

The palace has been notorious for its intrigues and is peopled by the drones of the Shah and Rana families. India was in favour of promoting democracy. This was the cause for the animus of the monarchy against India.

Should India support such a monarchy? India should have no hesitation today to say no. It is true, the political parties (and that includes the mainstream communists) were for preserving the monarchy. But after the massacre of the royals, it is dobutful whether the people of Nepal are enamoured of the royalty.

The communist movement in Nepal is divided. Three groups already exist — the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre), and the Maoist group, which is itself divided between its political and military wings, between Prachanda and Thapa. What is the cause for these dissensions? In plain words: the rivalry for power. That is why we cannot take any one of these men seriously. In any case, Nepal’s economic problems will take years for solution, whatever the regime in Kathmandu. The declaration of war by Maoists has done one good to Indo-Nepal relations. The Nepalese can no more play the China card against India. Nor will they want to seek arms from China.

The war against the Maoists may last for months, but the war against the terrorists in South Asia will go on for a long time. In this war, India is with Nepal, and India hopes to work in close cooperation with Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives — all victims of terrorism.
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For boys who want to be ‘real men’
Subhra Priyadarshini

Thousands of adolescent boys aspiring to become “real men” stand puzzled by hundreds of new questions, answers to which they can’t seek from parents or teachers and know for sure that friends won’t be of much help either.

But now, there seems to be some help at hand. For the first time in India, a professionally designed education kit attempts to be a friend and guide to “help boys become men”.

Developed by Kolkata-based NGO “Thoughtshop Foundation”, the bilingual kit in English and Bengali christened “Shankar” tells young boys all about reproductive health, male responsibility, secret of happy families, sexual safety, respect for women, sterility, impotency, adoption and much more.

“Adolescent sons generally grow up seeing how their fathers treat their mothers and are very likely to replicate the same behaviour with their future wives,” says Thoughtshop Secretary Mira Kakkar about the kit which is being used by a few NGOs in West Bengal and Bihar, where it has been adapted in Hindi, for over six months now.

“While generally men take charge to decide unilaterally on issues like how many children their wives must bear, when and whether the daughter should go to school, this kit tells them the conventional way of doing things is not always correct,” she says explaining the novelty of the module.

Developed in association with the Child In Need Institute (CINI), the self-use kit is based on an immensely likeable story, the central characters of which are a 14-year-old boy Shankar and his 23-year-old friend, philosopher and guide Monida.

Though many more boys than girls get school education today, their curriculum seldom equips them to look at the world of grown-ups and do justice to the complex man-woman relationship later in life. In colourful flipcharts are issues for discussion raised through a story where Shankar and his friends find out how to be a “true man” and then learn the secret of happy families and finally find out all about being “safe”.

“Little curiosity books with answers to over 100 questions that young people frequently ask about growing up are part of the module. Boys can read them on their own or have questions and answers read aloud in small groups to break the ice,” Kakkar says.

Young gullible minds, constantly bombarded with an overdose of sex on the television and the easily accessible Internet, harbour all the wrong notions on this aspect of growing up.

“And so we have a model with moving sections, transparent tubing and detachable parts that can be fitted back easily. This is a scientific way to make boys understand the structure and function of the male reproductive organs, condom demonstration and how vasectomy is done,” Thoughtshop consultant Sujoy Ghosh says.PTI
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Imperial Bank of India

Sums not exceeding Rs 5,000 in the aggregate may be deposited in any on year from Ist January to 31st December. Accounts may be opened in the names of two or more persons and the balance made payable to one or more of them or to the survivor or survivors.
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A CENTURY OF NOBELS


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TRENDS & POINTERS

Dogs under house arrest to improve Shanghai image

Thousands of dogs in Shanghai will be put under “house arrest” as China’s largest city tries to polish its international image and attract tourists.

Under a new ordinance, dog owners must have prior permission from the police before they can take their pets for walks in public squares, parks and green areas of closed-off residential areas.

The measure, which follows on the heels of a recent order against the hanging of laundry to dry in public places, is designed to attract international tourists to a clean and more beautiful city.

Owners of dogs must report to the police their intention to walk their pets. The dogs must also have undergone veterinary tests.

In addition, official permits to own dogs must be displayed in a visible location on house doors. Violations of the ordinance can result in fines of up to 1,000 yuan ($121) each. DPA

Bottoms up to brandy for apes this winter

The monkeys at the Lucknow zoological park are in for a tipsy fun this winter as the authorities have decided to ‘serve’ them with brandy should the temperature drop below two degree Celcius.

The zoo has a total of 35 apes including two chimpanzees, one golden monkey, three Japanese monkeys, four stump-tail monkeys, five capuchin monkeys, a pig-tail monkey, four albino monkeys and a baboon.

According to zoo Director B. Prabhakar, since the digestive system of the apes is similar to humans, they won’t have problems digesting the brandy.

The simians were given brandy in the past too under the supervision of vets when the state capital had faced bitter winter. UNI

Taiwan opens its first condom restaurant

Taiwan following the example of Thailand, opened its first condom restaurant on Thursday to raise public awareness of AIDS.

The restaurant — called Banana & Condom Restaurant — opened in Taichung, central Taiwan, under the guidance and funding of the Department of Health. It uses condoms to spread the message of safe sex and gives each customer a free condom. DPA
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The toxins and disease organisms in the flesh of animals transmit illness to humans.... If we look closely at our bodies we will see that we were not genetically engineered to eat meat. Our teeth and nails are not like those of carnivorous animals, and our interestines are long unlike those of meat-eating animals which makes our capacity to eliminate toxins dangerously slow.

***

Ponder over the fate of millions of cows, goats, fish, sheep and chickens that are butchered every year for us to cook and eat! We kill them without so much as a thought — mercilessly — or at best we have others do so on our behalf. How carefree and unconcerned we remain about their suffering! ....What we do not realise is that when we base our happiness on the sufferings of other beings, we bring upon ourselves negative and undesirable consequences.

***

One can be vegetarian for health, social, humane, economic, ethical or ecological reasons, but the reason saints advise us to abstain completely from taking meat of any kind is a spiritual one.... The burden we carry of destructive actions we have done in the past is already heavy and weighs us down; we should stop adding to this load we have unknowingly put upon ourselves.... We are inviting pain on ourselves in amounts equivalent to the pain we inflict.

— A Spiritual Primer, Chapter 10

***

In order to get wealth and food grains, may cows, which should never be slaughtered, become more and more numerous. May cows with their calves be free from ordinary diseases as well as such dangerous diseases as tuberculosis. May sinful people and thieves never become masters of cows. May the cows of those persons who protest them go on increasing, and may they have long lives. Oh God, protect the cattle of the virtuous.

— Yajurveda, I.I
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