Wednesday, August 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


Kidnap king active again 
BARNATAKA megastar Rajkumar is prime time news and fading bandit Veerappan is an easily recognisable Tamil. So when the moustached villain kidnaps the aging hero, the Tamils as a community come in for some bashing. It is a straight link and so has acquired a semblance of logic. The crime was bound to happen. 

Hospitals and health
ESIDES discharging their traditional responsibilities, hospitals and other health care centres have been playing a highly dangerous role about which there is little awareness among the general public. 

Anarchy in Fiji
HE crisis in Fiji is far from over. Two months after failed businessman George Speight masterminded the overthrow of the elected government of Mr Mahendra Chaudhry the ethnic Indians continue to be targeted by groups of hoodlums. 




Observations and suggestions
by B. R. Malhotra
HE recent Supreme Court judgement upholding the right of the government to deny two years extension of service to a civil judge in Orissa was in line with the earlier rulings of the apex court on the subject, which permitted the government to compulsorily retire employees after a review of their service records at the age ranging between 50 and 55 years. However, such powers were rarely exercised.


How women saved Britain’s monarchy
By Frank Prochaska 
NYONE watching the parade of charities at the recent pageant for the 100th birthday of Britain’s Queen Mother might conclude that the royal family has collapsed into niceness. In the past, British royalty ruled, made law or served in war. Now they spend their days opening bazaars, visiting hospitals and cultivating voluntary institutions — over 3,000 at the last count — including most of the country’s leading charities.






Kidnap king active again 

KARNATAKA megastar Rajkumar is prime time news and fading bandit Veerappan is an easily recognisable Tamil. So when the moustached villain kidnaps the aging hero, the Tamils as a community come in for some bashing. It is a straight link and so has acquired a semblance of logic. The crime was bound to happen. The film star’s village falls in Tamil Nadu just within a few kilometres of the border. It is at the edge of a thick forest which is Veerappan land, who was waiting for a big catch to revive his amnesty demand. And Rajkumar casually walked into his trap by camping at his village seemingly to oversee sugarcane cultivation but actually to give a once over to his new house. There was advance information and hence ample time to plan the crime. The police had asked the star not to venture out of Mysore or visit his village with adequate security. Veerappan’s silence and inactivity for more than a year lulled him into believing that the threat had evaporated for ever. It had not, but he realised it very late. The kidnapper has promised not to harm but treat him with care and respect. He will live up to his word, for he needs him to goad the Karnataka government to drop all cases against him and also appeal to the President to pardon him. Ideally, he has to brainwash the 72-year-old legend to take on the role of his benefactor and pressurise Chief Minister S.M. Krishna to agree to his demands. As the days pass and Rajkumar continues to be in captivity, the large army of his fans will grow restless and join the chorus of amnesty for the brigand. That is the script as of now and time and the stature of his hostage are very much in his favour.

During the past decade Veerappan has made several attempts to persuade the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to withdraw all cases and help him come out of the forest. He is 60 years old and asthma has sapped his vigour. Maybe he needs expert treatment and hence this daring seizure. Details will be available only after the interlocutor, a Tamil magazine editor Gopal, meets him. Veerappan has developed a trusting relationship with the journalist, although he did not nominate him as mediator. The two governments are deeply worried about the safety of the Phalke Award winner and the consequent threat to the law and order situation. Actually about the possible eruption of popular protest in Karnataka. This is the reason why Mr Krishna showed a great sense of urgency and alerted the Centre to lend a hand. Attacks on the Tamils in Bangalore will cost the NDA votes in Tamil Nadu, which it cannot afford with the Assembly elections less than a year away. It is a wise thing that the two state governments abandoned the idea of involving the STF (special task force) in a rescue act. After the fiasco of a similar BSF operation, the only alternative is to prevent kidnappings and pursue him to the bitter end. A palpable surrender by either government has to be ruled out; there will be clear loss of face. But it is impossible to capture him and try him for more than 120 murders and serious charges of smuggling forest wealth. He commands the loyalty of the villagers, sometimes by pointing the gun at them. Now he has the additional advantage of having Rajkumar as his guest. Veerappan is a villain but a wily one. 


Hospitals and health

BESIDES discharging their traditional responsibilities, hospitals and other health care centres have been playing a highly dangerous role about which there is little awareness among the general public. Though campaigns by the media and NGOs have led to the implementation of the Bio-Medical Act, 1998, with effect from July 1, even super speciality hospitals do not appear to be serious about the new aspect of their functioning as given in this piece of legislation. The Delhi Pollution Control Board has categorised the different hospitals in the national Capital on the basis of their bio-medical waste disposal record. The board's latest report on the subject contains startling details, enough to stir the conscience of public-spirited persons to launch a fresh drive in this respect. It is painful to learn that even the top medical institution of the country run by the government, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, finds itself in the "poor" category. The AIMS management has not only been extremely callous in the disposal of the waste of various kinds it generates, it has also been indulging in the manipulation of its records, specially about the incinerator temperature. The prestigious institute has been destroying all its waste together whereas the rules specify that anything that falls in the category of PVC should not be put into the incinerator. Bio-medical waste should also not remain untreated or stored for more than 48 hours in any hospital, and the refuge should be segregated by following the method of colour coding, but this is being done rarely. Even the leading private hospitals like the Escorts Heart Care Institute, Batra Hospital and Apollo Hospital have been rated just "average" so far as their performance on this front is concerned.

If some of the country's hospitals have been playing a pioneering role in providing world class medical services, they should also think of preventing people from contacting serious ailments from the tonnes of garbage they generate everyday. Their carelessness threatens the health of not only their own employees who handle such material but also of the general public by way of pollution of the environment and the reuse of things like, syringes and surgery blades. Mumbai and Rajasthan's Sriganganagar district are being cited as the two easily noticeable victims of the extreme carelessness in the matter of hospital waste disposal. It is only this factor which has given a new nickname — the AIDS capital — to the commercial capital of India, and turned Sriganganagar into the hipatitis-B town of the country, according to Dr D.B. Acharya, who has co-authored a celebrated book, "The Book of Hospital Waste Management", along with Dr Meeta Singh. Thus, hospital waste disposal is a serious humanitarian issue and the violators of the provisions of the Bio-Medical Act should be given the harshest punishment possible. 


Anarchy in Fiji

THE crisis in Fiji is far from over. Two months after failed businessman George Speight masterminded the overthrow of the elected government of Mr Mahendra Chaudhry the ethnic Indians continue to be targeted by groups of hoodlums. The subdued response of the global community to the deplorable attempt by Speight's supporters to whip up local passions in favour of what can be called ethnic cleansing is deplorable. The arrest of Speight and the restoration of some form of civilian rule outside the pale of the constitution has proved ineffective in improving the law and order situation in the island nation. The global community cannot escape responsibility for the prevailing situation, bordering on anarchy. On July 30 Fijian supporters of the extreme form of nationalism, which seeks to deny political rights to ethnic Indians, literally went on the rampage and terrorised Fijians of Indian origin with threats of death if "you do not pack up and leave the country". Over 40 Indian families were held hostage before the military was able to secure their release. Threatening ethnic Indians with dire consequences is part of the strategy of the nationalist rebels for securing the release of Speight. The self-styled leader of the May 19 coup may be tried for treason, a demand raised by Mr Chaudhry, if the interim government is allowed to invoke the provisions of the constitution He was arrested by the army last week for facilitating the return to some form of civilian rule as a hesitant first step for the restoration of democracy in Fiji.

The task is not going to be easy considering the scale of racial hatred Speight has been able to whip up against the ethnic Indian population. Ousted Prime Minister Chaudhry is currently in Australia with the single point programme of mobilising support for the restoration of his democratically elected government. He deserves credit for shooting down the proposal for forming a government-in-exile. Such a move would have precipitated the crisis and increased the risk to the safety of the ethnic Indians. The success of his mission would depend on the response of the global community to the nationalist rebel leaders' attempt to force the ethnic Indians, through the use of terror tactics, to flee the country. The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the effort of Indo-Fijians to build global consensus which would only strengthen the position of those who want the ethnic Indians to leave Fiji. The groups of Indo-Fijians outside the country are selling a formula under which Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada would end up providing citizenship to the Fijians of Indian origin. The International Congress of Fijian Indians has even prepared a formula for the rehabilitation of ethnic Indians under which Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand would be required to absorb a minimum number of 15,000 Indians each per year for the next four years. It is an unworkable proposition. However, the fact that Fijian Indians working abroad have felt the need to float what is without doubt a preposterous idea shows the scale of insecurity the ethnic Indians are exposed to in Fiji.


Observations and suggestions
by B. R. Malhotra

THE recent Supreme Court judgement upholding the right of the government to deny two years extension of service to a civil judge in Orissa was in line with the earlier rulings of the apex court on the subject, which permitted the government to compulsorily retire employees after a review of their service records at the age ranging between 50 and 55 years. However, such powers were rarely exercised. The court also questioned of the sense of security of service, which government servants cherish. And assume it to be a sacrosanct right, ignoring the fact that the founding fathers of our Constitution introduced Articles 309 to 312 to ensure that civil servants perform their duties without fear or favour.

On June 27 I saw a very interesting discussion on a TV channel about the impact of the Supreme Court judgement on the security of service of civil servants. It was a pleasant surprise to hear the views of Mr Munni Lal, Minister of State for Labour, who stated that 40 to 45 per cent Central employees were non-performers due to the sense of job security, and that he was in favour of the hire and fire policy as practised in the private sector which ensured performance and the meeting of targets. Mr Kutty, who represented the Confederation of Central Government Employees in the TV discussion, naturally, opposed such a view and said that within the framework of the existing Civil Services Conduct Rules errant civil servants could be booked for misconduct under the existing rules.

The issue being discussed was not misconduct but non-performance and the work culture among government employees. They enjoy 104 holidays on Saturdays and Sundays, 16 gazetted holidays, 30 days’ earned leave, 10 days’ casual leave and another 10 days’ sick leave, thus making a total of 170 days’ holidays in a year. Their productivity and output on the days they are supposed to work is well known to the public.

The suggestion given by the apex court is about making the regulations under which only those civil servants whose skills and demonstrated performances match the needs of a modern civil service are retained in service. Is the government obliged to spend a major portion of public funds to keep millions of public servants on the rolls up to the age of superannuation when the nation cannot afford this colossal waste of the tax-payers’ money? The civil servants have assumed the divine role of ruling the masses in a manner which even the British colonialists would not have dared. At least during the pre-Independence era even senior-most ICS officers, while replying to a letter or representation of even an ordinary citizen, would end the letter with the salutation, “I beg to remain, sir, your most obedient servant.”

In India, the only class of government servants who do not have a right of continuous employment till the age of 60 are the uniformed members of the armed forces. Each year 50,000 soldiers are retired after 17 years’ service. NCOs and JCOs are retired after a service period of between 20 to 26 years. A large majority of commissioned officers are retired at an average age of 52 as the retirement age depends on one’s rank. The promotion system is based on the principle of “survival of the fittest” as the rank structure is in the shape of a steep pyramid. This graded system of retirement is to ensure that the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force maintain a young profile. Mercifully, the armed forces constitute the only disciplined institution which has broken the barriers of language, caste, creed and religion.

Armed forces personnel give the best years of their youth to the nation and are posted sometimes at the most uncomfortable and dangerous stations risking their lives and limbs. Many lay down their lives or are disabled both during war and so-called peacetime. Yet they accept the concept of early retirement and consequent lower pensions with grace and dignity. After being insulated from public life during their military tenure they get a cultural shock when they see corruption, inefficiency and lack of discipline among the public servants with whom they have to come in contact after their early retirement. As a citizen of this country having long years of varied experience in the Army and public and private sectors at various levels, I offer the following observations and suggestions:

l A large number of government jobs were wrongly created as a means to combat the problem of unemployment. The proliferation of government agencies and the creation of a large number of public enterprises, particularly in the states, were used as tools for extending patronage and for accommodating senior bureaucrats in ex-cadre posts which rightly should have been manned by professionals. Besides locking thousands of crores of rupees in unprofitable ventures, government work culture was extended to public enterprises where the security of service is the only consideration. Even when state enterprises are being privatised the new owners have been asked to retain the existing work force as a precondition for the sale.

l The British tradition of civil service neutrality had been adhered to for many years even after Independence. However, during the 1975 Emergency civil servants crawled and even the judiciary cowed down at the dictates of politicians and extra-constitutional authorities. After that there has been a continuous erosion of ethical standards. The politicians who have become the favourite targets of blame for this state of affairs are at least accountable and rejected by the voters and thrown into political wilderness for a few years. Has a single civil servant been made accountable and removed from service for inefficiency or for gross errors of judgement?

l It is a sad fact that a vast majority of senior government servants have failed to maintain a high sense of integrity and dedication to service expected of them. Even those who are honest have become subservient and lack the moral fibre and courage to resist when their superiors or even juniors act against public interest. On the other end of the segment are multitudes of junior government employees who are given low-end responsibilities but are in a position to harass ordinary citizens as they are the ones who come into contact with them. Many government officials admit this state of affairs but declare that they are a part of a system which they cannot change. They blame the politicians, staff unions and everybody else, totally ignoring the fact that as senior and responsible officers they have been vested with adequate powers but have abdicated their authority to enforce discipline in the offices which they head.

l A few months back I was representing an NGO at a meeting presided over by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr P.K. Dhumal, and attended by almost all the departmental Secretaries and Deputy Commissioners of the state. The Chief Minister reminded the senior civil servants that they were expected to act and render the correct advice to him and other ministers without fear or favour, and point out if he or other ministers issue orders contrary to the rules and public policy. Himachal Pradesh is one of the few states where the response of the civil administration to the public is exemplary and where corruption has not permeated into the system at least where ordinary citizens are affected. On the negative side, however, the state has a very large number of government servants compared to its small population.

l The fact that a significant number of civil servants are recruited and subsequently promoted not on the basis of merit but on considerations of caste has certainly diluted the standards of the civil services. The nation had by and large accepted such a consideration for the scheduled castes whose forefathers had suffered for centuries, but to extend such benefits (reservations) to other castes is nothing but a political ploy to create vote banks. The constitutional safeguard that such reservations should not be detrimental to administrative efficiency has been ignored.

l A high level of ethical and moral standards practised by our leaders who were in the forefront of the freedom struggle ceased to motivate the emerging political leadership which used political power for personal ends. In the initial years the civil servants resisted them, but gradually they too succumbed to temptation and corruption crept into the government both at the level of petty officials and the senior bureaucracy to form a strong nexus. In such a system can senior officers afford to take action against anyone? So the principle of “live and let live” is the one which is being followed.

l The system of selection followed for the recruitment in civil services gives weightage only to academic excellence. The other essential attributes like effective and practical intelligence, leadership qualities like decisiveness, ability to influence groups, integrity, moral and physical courage, dynamic qualities like determination, ability to withstand stress and strains both physical and mental and, above all, a deep sense of patriotism beyond narrow considerations of caste, religion and place of birth are ignored. It is a fact that the Union or State Public Service Commissions or Staff Selection Commissions neither have the capability of determining such attributes nor the present system demands such assessments. After passing through the prescribed written tests, professionally trained selectors should be given the task of testing the candidates for such qualities before the final viva voce is conducted as the final selection point. As was the past practice, equal weightage should be given to the marks obtained in the written tests and personality evaluation for final selection. This system will entail additional costs, which can be offset by rightsizing the numbers of civil servants.

l The duration of practical training attachment of all-India and Central services probationers must be increased considerably. At present the subordinate staff are put straight on the job and subsequently deputed to attend ill-designed training programmes in the training institutions which neither have adequate infrastructure nor the faculty to conduct proper training. In many cases, training institutes are used as dumping grounds for officials to cool their heels. Civil servants must be required to pass promotion tests for the first two promotions to ensure that they keep themselves updated professionally. For selection to higher posts, training programmes should be designed for preparing them for bigger responsibilities.

l The inter-service rivalry within the civil services is also responsible for many of the ills. The other services have not yet accepted the supremacy of the IAS which controls every aspect of governance. While there is no doubt that those who join the IAS are higher in the order of merit compared to the other candidates allocated to other services. Whether such a halo effect should continue throughout their career is debatable. Heads of departments from the other services have been subordinated to IAS officers. There has to be a clear distinction between the staff function that an IAS officer is supposed to perform in the Civil Secretariat and the line function, which is in the domain of the Heads of departments of other services.

l In many cases comparatively inexperienced officers have been given authority and responsibilities beyond their capabilities. Senior and more experienced officers from the state services usually find themselves relegated to insignificant slots, and they are highly resentful of the all-India services’ officers. The position of the District Collector, which is the most crucial post, must be manned by senior IAS officers by upgrading the post and downgrading numerous posts in the Secretariat which are staff appointments. Before being posted District Collectors they should do at least two tenures as Sub-Divisional Officers.

l Officers must be given at least a three-year tenure in a post instead of the present practice of frequent transfers. All senior officers must be away from their headquarters on tour for at least 15 days in a month. They must visit remote areas and meet the public to attend to their problems on the spot. Management by walking is the best method to assess the ground realities. Technocrat Heads of departments must be given the necessary authority to run their departments without interference and thereafter held accountable.

l The question of downsizing the civil services must come into the open. It is an inevitable national need. Then why not take the bull by the horn and devise a time-bound plan of action instead of beating about the bush. In the meanwhile, an example must be shown at the top by reducing the size of the Council of Ministers, both at the Centre and in the states, by 33 per cent. Similarly, 33 per cent posts at the level of Secretary and equivalent at the Centre and in the states must be abolished. All new designations like Director-General of Police, Chief Accountant-General, Chief Controller-General and Engineer-in-Chief created during the last decade must be abolished. The law and order situation was much better when there was only one Inspector-General of Police, a few DIGs and district SPs. There used to be only one Chief Secretary, a few Divisional Commissioners and District Collectors. The civil servants commanded more respect from the public as well as from politicians.

l The salaries of senior government servants could be increased to bring them on a par with that of the corporate sector but all the hidden perks must be abolished. Ministers, MPs and MLAs also should be given better salaries which should be transparent. But all perks which cannot be quantified must be abolished. The blatant misuse of government resources like housing, cars and telephones by ministers and public servants must be stopped. The correct example at the top will give a loud and clear message down the line.

The masses are fed up with the attitude and the work culture of the government. Insurgency throughout the world has its origin in mismanagement by organs of the State. There is simmering discontent among the public. Many are more concerned with good governance rather than the forms of government. If things don’t improve the public may take the law into its own hands, or there can be a mass movement of civil disobedience on the lines advocated by Gandhiji against a colonial power. Now such agitations will not be controlled by Gandhians but by criminals and anti-social elements posing as Robinhoods to create chaos and anarchy which the civil administration may find difficult to handle. The other frightful alternative is the possibility of the emergence of a benevolent dictatorship which may assume legality under a new phrase, “doctorine of necessity”. We have not reached the point of no return. If we cherish democracy, ethical governance and human rights, then as responsible citizens let us all ponder over the gravity of the situation and do our little bit to preserve our freedom and democratic values.

The writer, a retired Lieut-Colonel, is a human resource consultant.


How women saved Britain’s monarchy
By Frank Prochaska 

ANYONE watching the parade of charities at the recent pageant for the 100th birthday of Britain’s Queen Mother might conclude that the royal family has collapsed into niceness. In the past, British royalty ruled, made law or served in war. Now they spend their days opening bazaars, visiting hospitals and cultivating voluntary institutions — over 3,000 at the last count — including most of the country’s leading charities.

The Queen Mother, with over 300 institutions on her books, has been one of the most prolific patrons. Like Queen Mary before her, she recognised that as consort her primary work lay in social service. The author Harold Nicolson, who could be supercilious about royalty, once remarked that she had an ``astonishing gift for being sincerely interested in dull people and occasions”.

The loss of political power purified the monarchy for social purposes. Over the past two centuries, kings and princes have taken off their uniforms and donned middle-class dress to cut ribbons, plant trees and raise money. During a bout of republican unrest in 1871, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, complained to Queen Victoria: ``You have... no conception of the quantity of applications we get to open this place, lay a stone, dinners, fetes without end... all these things have increased tenfold in the last 10 years.”

What had taken place was nothing less than the emasculation of the nobility. In the 19th century, the middle classes took royalty by the throat and pushed the monarchy in directions consistent with their interests.

In the reign of Victoria, the communion of interest between respectable society and the monarchy became increasingly evident. In an age when the word ``duty” resounded like a drumbeat, they discovered that they had a duty to one another.

The pains taken by the royal family to widen its appeal complemented those domestic values that respectable society admired. Social service also complemented the monarchy’s wider purpose of unifying the nation. It may seem incongruous, but the British crown, once identified with militarism and corruption, was gradually transformed into an institution in tune with the great Whig historical tradition: at once moral, Protestant and progressive.

The trend was given impetus by Queen Victoria. After the profligate George IV and the boorish William IV, it was to the monarchy’s advantage to have a reigning queen, especially one sympathetic to the sentiments of the age. Like women of the middle class, she had taken on board the prevailing attitudes about women’s ``nature and mission”. Being a virtuous female not only softened her ministers but also disarmed her enemies, who preferred monarchs to be sabre-rattling males. Her first biographer, Sidney Lee, said that she evoked ``a sentiment of chivalric devotion to the monarchy, which deprived revolution of all foothold”.

Queens have reigned in Britain for 112 of the last 163 years. And when women have not been on the throne, they have been a formidable power behind it. Queen Mary stiffened George V’s resolve throughout the crisis during and after World War I. The willingness of William IV to be identified with charitable causes was largely due to Queen Adelaide, whogave away as much as 40 per cent of her income each year. Queen Victoria said of Prince Albert’s philanthropic work: ``I glory in his being seen and loved.” And the recklessly charitable Queen Alexandra, whose donations brought her to the verge of bankruptcy, was often seen with Edward VII in tow at public engagements. Even his mistresses pressed him into schemes of public usefulness. In regard to philanthropic activity, the great womaniser was womanised.

When republicanism resurfaced during the inter-war years, the strategy adopted by the royal family was again to step up social service. In George VI’s reign, Queen Elizabeth took her cue from her mother-in-law, Queen Mary. Her much-publicised devotion to public duty during World War II served the monarchy well.

No one should assume that Princess Diana was unique among royal women in her dedication to charity and social reform. Nor was she unique in highlighting particular causes. The long line of public-spirited royal women includes Queen Victoria’s daughters and Queen Mary’s daughter Princess Mary, the Princess Royal. The present Princess Royal has made no small contribution to the monarchy’s wellbeing through her assiduous support for charities.

Courtiers advised the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, to marry an English lady ``full of sympathy”, someone who would be able to carry out the public duties expected of a consort. The Prince’s American mistress, Wallis Simpson, was not the woman the court had in mind.

Hereditary systems cannot furnish a popular head of state for ever. It was fortunate for the royal family that the unsavoury Duke of Clarence, the eldest son of Edward VII, died without issue in 1892, and that the feckless Edward VIII abdicated in 1936.

The monarchy has been lucky to have been served by a run of conscientious queens and consorts. The Queen Mother has charmed many a proto-republican in the Labour Party. Like Victoria, the present queen has been a difficult target for republicans, in large part because she has dedicated her life to public service. Enemies of the crown have concentrated their venom instead on the Prince of Wales. Queen Elizabeth seems likely to carry on for years to come, but she will not be succeeded by a female.

As much of the crown’s mystery has been dissipated over the years, the monarchy will be judged increasingly on the practical benefits it brings to society. Today, civic and charitable work takes up much of the royal calendar. In the 1990s, members of the royal family carried out about 4,000 official engagements each year, half of them charitable. Royal patronage and fund-raising are worth between (£)100 million ($150m) and (£)200 million ($300m) to the voluntary sector annually — far more than the royals receive from the state. As an adviser to the present Prince of Wales declared in 1997: “The monarchy is moving from being an institution famous for ceremonial occasions to being an institution of value for what it can add to the country through public service.”

A problem for the royal family in the next generation may be the lack of a public-spirited queen and dutiful princesses available to fulfil the demands of civil society. Prince Charles has two sons and no wife. A compassionate queen consort would take some of the pressure off him when he eventually succeeds to the throne. Meanwhile, the royal family and its advisers will be on the lookout for a bride for his elder son, Prince William, preferably one “full of sympathy”.

By arrangement with The Guardian



Good conduct is right thought, right speech and right action. It is virtuous deeds in harmony with divine law, reflecting the soul's innate purity. As a staff is used to climb a mountain, so must virtue be used in life.

— Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Dancing with Shiva, Shloka 61


If you wish to attain the goal,

Be vigilant within.

Peep within the Self,

See him with the breath.

Allah is within.

If you see rightly within the Self.

— Hazrat Sai Qutab Ali Shah, A Sufi Galaxy, Chapter 3


In pursuit of the laws which have controlled thought in recent centuries, man has in earning his successes on the physical and mechanical plane, forgotten the loss he has sustained from the lack of study and observation on the occult or psychic side of humanity. He is more occupied today in building implements for the destruction of life than he is in the problems of life itself, or in the finding out of those laws which create, control and sustain life.

Cheiro's Book of Numbers, Foreword


The civilised man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky.

— Ralph W. Emerson, Essays: Self Reliance


The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.

—Albert Hubbard, The Note Book


The Way (Tao) of the sage is none other than being open to all.

Someone asks: "What does this mean?"

The answer: "Heaven and earth are unreservedly open to all."

—Chow Tun Yi, The Book of Universality, 37

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