Tuesday, October 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


EDITORIALS

George wins his own war
E
VERYONE knew that Mr George Fernandes was extremely restless since he resigned as Defence Minister in the wake of scandalous revelations of the Tehelka tapes. Not being an organisation man and the NDA not being anything like an organisation, he was not happy or fully active as its convener.

On the rampage
T
HAT today's youth are tomorrow's leaders is a statement repeated at least a million times by mike-happy politicians of all hues and kinds. In a way, they are right as well. However, when it comes to preparing members of the youth wing of their own parties for higher responsibilities in the days to come, none of these social reformers shows any sense of conscientiousness. 

Al-Qaida's threat
T
HE warning issued by Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida outfit to America not to back "Hindus against Muslims" in Kashmir needs careful scrutiny. It is actually meant to raise the communal temperature in India.


EARLIER ARTICLES

A tainted Pak trust
October 15
, 2001
Combating proxy war: India can do it
October 14
, 2001
A scuttled initiative
October 13
, 2001
Complete isolation of Taliban
October 12
, 2001
War impact on economy
October 11
, 2001
Testing time for Musharraf
October 10
, 2001
Air raid on Afghanistan
October 9
, 2001
Blair’s blank words
October 8
, 2001
Concerted global effort needed to combat terrorism
October 7
, 2001
Hijack drama
October 6
, 2001
Saving the Taj
October 5
, 2001
After Taliban what?
October 4
, 2001
 
OPINION

Diagnosing a sick system
True face of India’s ruling elites
D. R. Chaudhry
T
WO news items appeared prominently on the front page of The Tribune on September 10. Callousness borders on criminality, the first dealt with starvation deaths in Orissa. It said that at least 20,000 persons, mostly old and children, were in urgent need to help in Kashipur block in Orissa even as the death toll had risen to 23 (subsequently, more deaths were reported).

REALPOLITIK

War: severe side effects on India
P Raman
I
NDIA will soon have to tackle severe repercussions of George Bush’s Afghan war in at least three areas — a further straining of an already ailing economy, dangers of communalisation of the tension and a possible sectarian backlash, and the NDA government’s brazen moves to curb civil liberties and impose new draconian measures.

75 YEARS AGO

Akalis urge release of prisoners


TRENDS & POINTERS

Stop war, plead parents of a victim
HOURS after air strikes on Afghanistan began last week, thousands attended a peace rally in New York. They heard 87-year-old Reuben Schafer, whose grandson Gregory Roderiguez was killed in the World Trade Centre on 11 September, read a letter from Gregory’s parents, Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, to President Bush.

  • New way to avoid pregnancy

SPIRITUAL NUGGETS



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George wins his own war

EVERYONE knew that Mr George Fernandes was extremely restless since he resigned as Defence Minister in the wake of scandalous revelations of the Tehelka tapes. Not being an organisation man and the NDA not being anything like an organisation, he was not happy or fully active as its convener. Prime Minister Vajpayee realised this during the weekend and decided, not exactly voluntarily, to offer him his old job. Mr Fernandes was expected to reclaim his chair only after the Venkataswamy commission on the tapes cleared him. That was supposed to happen within four months but the work has barely started. Also, the commission queered the government’s pitch by declaring the Tehelka tapes submitted to it as genuine and unedited. That knocked out the main prop of the government’s (read the former and newly sworn-in Defence Minister’s) defence. As a veteran in politics the Prime Minister is aware of the potential of Mr Fernandes to cause trouble if he remains annoyed for more than six months. And this time it has been seven months and the Prime Minister apparently was under pressure from certain known and unknown quarters to accommodate him. Only time will tell whether it is the right decision or not.

Late last week a feeble attempt was made by interested persons to block the reinduction. A highly commentative report appeared in a Delhi-based English language newspaper. The idea was to alert the opposition parties to mount advance criticism and it succeeded. The Congress and the Left parties cried foul and threatened to raise the issue in Parliament. There was also a diversionary attack in which Planning Commission Deputy Chairman K.C.Pant was projected as the front-runner for the post of Defence Minister. He occupied the post during the Rajiv Gandhi days. But the government promptly reacted by fielding External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to plead the case of “his friend Fernandes”. That ended the spate of speculation in the media but did not help in mollifying the agitated opposition which is sure to attack the moral laxity of the BJP-led alliance government. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed since March when the government and Mr Fernandes declared that he would return only after he was vindicated by the Venkataswamy commission. This raises the question: which is moral — his resignation or his reinduction into the Cabinet? Mr Harin Pathak’s case is a carbon copy of that of the Defence Minister. For record, it is the ninth expansion in two years and another should come soon to accommodate the Trinamool Congress and the PMK of Tamil Nadu. Isn’t this a poor commentary on the way Mr Vajpayee’s government works?

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On the rampage

THAT today's youth are tomorrow's leaders is a statement repeated at least a million times by mike-happy politicians of all hues and kinds. In a way, they are right as well. However, when it comes to preparing members of the youth wing of their own parties for higher responsibilities in the days to come, none of these social reformers shows any sense of conscientiousness. The need for inculcating discipline and moral values is all the more in the case of the ruling party. Unfortunately, these qualities were not on display during the two-day golden jubilee convention of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, at Agra. When the delegates visited the Taj, they engaged less in sightseeing and more in eveteasing, defacing the monument and making a nuisance of themselves. Their behaviour made one suspect that they were coming from a hooligans' conference. Apparently, the organisers were not the least bit bothered as to what kind of image the delegates would present. Ironically, the parent party has been in the forefront of those who criticise similar loutish behaviour by members of other parties. This was the time for it to exhibit how disciplined its men were, but that was not to be. Since the marauding youth had connections with the ruling party, the security personnel also looked the other way. What impression the tourists, especially foreigners, would have formed appeared to be nobody's concern.

What the delegates did while on a visit to the city might not have been totally under the control of the organisers, but the proceedings at the venue certainly were. Unfortunately, defiance and rabble-rousing were very much evident there too. While the Prime Minister skirted the extremist line on terrorism, lesser leaders were in full flow. They whipped up passion along communal lines brazenly. Even Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pramod Mahajan went to the extent of saying that the demolition of the Babri structure was comparatively a minor job while the more important task at hand was to construct a grand temple at the site. Small wonder then that those attending the convention were fired up and raring to take on the world. Interestingly, the only resolution passed at the convention was on terrorism, which will be a major election plank, it seems. The way some mofussil leaders spewed venom, it was clear that the meeting was being used as a kickoff for the coming UP Assembly elections. Sobriety in politics is definitely going to be in short supply in the days to come!

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Al-Qaida's threat

THE warning issued by Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida outfit to America not to back "Hindus against Muslims" in Kashmir needs careful scrutiny. It is actually meant to raise the communal temperature in India. A spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, of course, acted promptly and put the issue in the right perspective by pointing out that the problem in Kashmir was not the result of a Hindu-Muslim conflict in the valley, but the upshot of cross-border terrorism supported and funded by Pakistan. But in the surcharged atmosphere across the globe official explanations may not suffice for preventing communal mischief from raising its head in sensitive parts of India. To give the enemy its due it must be recognised that the Taliban and Al-Qaida activists have launched a relentless propaganda war against the American action in Afghanistan. During the Gulf War Iraq had made Israel the main target of attack. Had Israel not been stopped from reacting to the Iraqi provocation the fragile support to the American action by most Arab nations would have collapsed. The Al-Qaida outfit is trying to play a similar game. In the context of the Inflammatory statement made by the Al-Qaida spokesman Congress President Sonia Gandhi's letter to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee could not have been better timed. She has urged the Prime Minister to exercise extreme "caution and wisdom" to avoid a "major communal conflagration here".

It is obvious that the leadership should put the armed forces on the alert and step up the scale of domestic intelligence for effective monitoring of the situation within the country. It must also put into place an effective damage control mechanism for countering the propaganda war unleashed by Afghanistan. It must be recognised that the extensive coverage of the pounding of Afghanistan by America would have received controlled coverage by the western media. However, the effective presence of the Al-Jazeera television network has taken the entire world by surprise. Mrs Sonia Gandhi rightly pointed out in the letter to Mr Vajpayee that the situation could get out of hand considering the daily dose of television, presenting a disturbing picture of the Muslim world. The political leadership must be made to realise the importance of seeking the support of the Muslim intelligentsia for neutralising the effect of the statements being made by the self-appointed representatives of Indian Muslims for backing Bin Laden's line. The rhetoric of the Imam of the Jama Masjid in Delhi is particularly disturbing. Ms Shabana Azmi has issued a strong statement against the Imam's call for jehad. Every patriotic Muslim should support her in her spirited stand for protecting the unlettered and ignorant masses from the baneful influence of the self-appointed spokesman of the community.

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Diagnosing a sick system
True face of India’s ruling elites
D. R. Chaudhry

TWO news items appeared prominently on the front page of The Tribune on September 10. Callousness borders on criminality, the first dealt with starvation deaths in Orissa. It said that at least 20,000 persons, mostly old and children, were in urgent need to help in Kashipur block in Orissa even as the death toll had risen to 23 (subsequently, more deaths were reported). The news item further said that the people in this predominantly tribal area were forced to eat mango kernel paste, as they had no purchasing power to buy rice from the market. The other news item dealt with a CBI raid on the luxurious “Palace on Wheels” tourist train near Jodhpur a day earlier. Sixtyseven passengers, many of them Rajasthan officials and their family members, were found travelling without tickets. Each ticket costs Rs 1 lakh.

The two news items tell a lot about the character of the Indian ruling elites. The starvation deaths in Orissa have been passed off as deaths due to malnutrition or poisoning by the smart functionaries of the Indian political system. Malnutrition is an offshoot of insufficient intake of food. If people have enough purchasing power, why should they undereat? Alternatively, in case they die by consuming fungus-infested mango kernel paste, why should they depend on this kind of stuff if they can buy foodgrains from the market? In either case, it is plain matter of dying of starvation, slow or swift. However, our rulers do not know this elementary truth. Nay, they know it abundantly well but they pretend to be ignorant.

The country has 60 million tonnes of foodgrains in the government stock. Food stock is enough and to spare, still we have 325 million people below the poverty line and 50 million out of them are on the brink of starvation. However, rodents and pests have a free access to the huge mound of foodgrains in the country. They have rendered 18 million tonnes out of the current stock unfit for human consumption. However, humans have no access to this hillock of food stock. A section of them has to survive by eating wild roots, mango kernel paste, and what not. Moreover, when some of them die in the process, the ruling elites take recourse to semantic jugglery.

There can be no greater shame for our rulers than the Supreme Court direction to the Centre and the States to ensure that no one died of starvation when the godowns were overflowing with foodgrains. What shocked the apex court was a Government of India affidavit that against the basic requirement of 75 kg through the public distribution system per month per family, only 10 kg was being given. The court was amazed to know that 16 States and two Union Territories had yet to identify below poverty line families. What shocked the apex court was the revelation that 61.3 lakh families were below the poverty line in Bihar. If on an average six members are taken as per family, over 3.6 crore people were languishing in acute poverty in Bihar alone. The actual support extended to the poor was computed from government figures and submitted to the Supreme Court by Jean Dereze and Reetika Khera of the Delhi School of Economics. As per their findings, the total allocation per person below the poverty line in the year 2000 is Rs 2.10. This includes Rs 1.40 under the drought relief programme, Rs 0.40 through the public distribution system and Rs 0.30 from other social security schemes.

On the other hand, some members of the ruling elites have a free ride in a luxurious train where one ticket costs Rs 1 lakh. It is not that they are short of funds. Their coffers are overflowing with cash, yet they want everything free. Their kitchen shelves are full of delectable and delicious items and the grocer is ever ready to replenish the stock with a mere tinkle of the telephone. Still they tirelessly scrounge for the free lunch.

Recently, there was a three-fold increase in the monthly pay packet of our honourable members of Parliament — from Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000. Then they have high liberal perks — a big house, the telephone facility (including the mobile one), electricity supply, entertainment of guests, travel, etc. It has been estimated that it would cost the state exchequer over Rs 2 lakh per month to sustain a poor member!

It seems the avarice, the greed, the covetousness and the craving for worldly comforts have no limit in the case of our elites. They hanker after more, get ever more and the search continues. In the process the political, bureaucratic and business elites have developed a deep nexus and they together have converted the country into a site for pillage and plunder.

The Central Government has allowed 27 public sector banks to write off corporate loans worth Rs 8245 crore in the past two years alone. Despite this, the non-performing assets of these banks have risen from Rs 53,294 crore last year to Rs 54,774 crore this year. If a peasant borrows a paltry sum from a government agency and if he defaults on payment, he is hounded and hunted by a jeep load of officials and the harsh measures as laid down for the recovery of land revenue are taken in his case. Scores of peasants have committed suicide in different parts of the country on account of indebtedness. However, not a single member of the corporate world has taken this extreme step. Even the Roman ruling class was more humane in its heyday. It at least provided bread and the circus to the plebeians. The underdogs in India have to make do with starvation and suicide.

The National Commission to review the working of the Indian Constitution in its paper “Probity in governance” states that barely 16 per cent of the funds meant for the Scheduled Tribes and the Scheduled Castes reach them — the rest is pocketed by some privileged functionaries of the system. When the rulers become predators, the administration becomes scam-ridden. So there have been scams galore — the urea scam, the cellular phone scam, the stock market scam, the UTI scam, Tehelka tapes and so on and so forth—the list is too long to keep count of it. The situation has reached such a pass in the country that the apathy of the ruling classes to the people — a normal feature in a country like India — has now turned into utter callousness bordering on criminality. As a consequence, the labouring people have to suffer endlessly.

According to the latest World Bank Poverty Update, the average per capita cereal consumption of Indians has come down to 13 kg today from 17 kg in 1950. As per the Public Report on Basic Education brought out by the Delhi School of Economics, 58 per cent of schools in India are without drinking water facilities; 11 per cent of them have functioning toilets; and 60 per cent have leaking roofs. According to one study, of around 8.7 million deaths that occur annually in India, over two-thirds are of children under five years of age. About 53 per cent of Indian children under five are malnourished and over 60 of Indian women are anaemic. Diseases such as malaria, TB, diarrhoea, respiratory illnesses, and other childhood infections are still widespread, and the poor have to bear the brunt. One person dies of TB and there are five new cases of malaria every minute in India.

More spine-chilling statistics can be reeled off but enough is enough. In short, half of our population is being wasted away. Moreover, there is no need for high-tech devices to save this segment of the population — computers, the Internet, etc, being of no avail. What the country requires is the provision for clean drinking water, improvement in sanitation, health services, basic education and the like for which there is no shortage of technical knowhow in the country. What the country lacks is the commitment to the public weal and the basic probity and honesty in case of our ruling elites. In such a situation, the economy is bound to be in doldrums.

In short, the Indian social scene is distressingly gloomy and is thus fraught with dangers. Still, there is no organised resistance anywhere in the country. No public agitation. No large-scale social protest. The Bofors deal had kickbacks for Rs 64 crore only. This is peanuts as compared with the recent mega scams, each amounting to several thousand crore of rupees. Mr V.P. Singh organised a movement on the Bofors issue and the government of the day was dethroned in the next parliamentary poll. However, now everything is placid and calm. The opposition parties content themselves to making noise in Parliament or issuing Press statements. Nobody seems to be interested in going to the people to educate and organise them to stem the negative trends. Is it a case of complicity among elites on both sides of the fence? Or do those in the opposition believe that voting is negative and the anti-establishment factor, anyhow, will put them into power in the next elections? Has democracy become a game of musical chairs? Can one envisage a real social change through the electoral power game only?

Some elements from the middle class often act as conscience-keepers of the nation. The Indian middle class provided a large chunk of the leadership that led our national liberation struggle. Now this class in India seems to have been struck with a debilitating sterility, a benumbing paralysis and a complete loss of will. There has been a speedy increase in the size of this class, numbering about 200 to 250 million. A share in the loot of the national resources, whatever be its size, has trickled down to this class as well. Has this class internalised corruption in the process? Has the nihilistic attitude of “sab chalta hai” supplanted the modicum of idealism it once displayed?

There is one more danger looming large over the nations. Globalisation, the unavoidable universal phenomenon according to many, has taken India too under its fold. It is not a charitable process. There are winners and losers in the game. The UNDP report and many other studies clearly show that disparity in the international and intra-national earnings has gone up and several countries being ruled over by the parasitic elites find themselves in a jam. Can India, with the kind of ruling elites it has, hope to fare better? The problem has been further compounded after the recent reprehensible terrorist attack on America and the superpower’s retaliatory measures.

The question raised above cry for answers. Answers are not easy. Nevertheless, the search must go on. A nation that stops questioning itself and girding up its loins to stem the rot in a time of crisis, ends up as an ailing and decaying organism. The correct diagnosis of a sick social system is a part of its treatment. The issue needs a wider public debate.

The writer teaches English at Dyal Singh College, New Delhi.

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War: severe side effects on India
P Raman

INDIA will soon have to tackle severe repercussions of George Bush’s Afghan war in at least three areas — a further straining of an already ailing economy, dangers of communalisation of the tension and a possible sectarian backlash, and the NDA government’s brazen moves to curb civil liberties and impose new draconian measures. Obsessed with foreign reactions, the Capital’s corridors of power have little time to bother about such long-term problems.

Averting uncomfortable thoughts and misplaced emphasis on security seem to be the order of the day. Every one knows the economy, already languishing due to the rigours of globalisation, has come under more severe strains after the Black Tuesday. Corporates know it and trade worries over it but no one wants to talk in public just because the government does not like to spread panic. Here is a curious spectacle. Instead of tackling the monster with determination, its very existence is sought to be covered up.

Hence you daily hear about the “two months’ stock of crude” and a stable price even while countries like the USA has been secretly negotiating Russian cooperation for their oil to meet any possible OPEC fiat. After October 11, global insurance rates have been steeply hiked. To offset this, a surcharge has been added in each sector which is bound to push up prices of all exim goods, more so our exports. Diversion of shipping and air routes will further add to the freight costs. Many renowned foreign have declared bankruptcy. Higher import rates would make domestic products based on the former still costlier. Few bother to evaluate the real impact of such external factors on us.

Exports have already been slipping fast. Low domestic demand, industrial slowdown and the post-October uncertainties of foreign investment flow make the scenario really frightening. The heightened unpredictability about business prospects leads to postponing investment decisions. A low-key FII inflow can put more pressure on the rupee which has slipped by as much as 57 paise since Black Tuesday. The service sector, not to speak of software, is rapidly slipping.

Tourism industry is in jitters with vacant hotel rooms and massive cancellation of bookings. In the past few days, there has been a 25 per cent drop in flight arrivals in Delhi alone. FICCI has put the tourism loss at Rs 4000 crore. Six major US airlines are set to shut shop by the year-end. The number of laid off staff in the USA and Europe are respectively 85,000 and 40,000 in one month. Cancellation of orders have forced the aircraft industry to lay off more. IATA expects a loss of $7 billion. While others are planning ahead to meet the crisis, the North Bloc is simply waiting the devil to knock at the door. Delhi’s high and mighty are more worried about the reduced supply of dry fruits from Afghanistan and their higher prices.

A similar kind of lethargy and misplaced notions reign the Home Ministry, the other wing of the capital’s North Bloc. None bothers about the need to take political and social initiatives to prevent the explosive communal situation from taking an ugly turn. Instead, the Home Ministry’s preoccupation is solely with protecting the installations and buildings from saboteurs. We are sitting on a powder keg. Those with their nose to the ground know that every mohalla is a potential spot of tension. With the number of mindless hotheads induced by irresponsible clerics rising, the peace-loving majority among the minorities live in perpetual fear of riots. One has to visit such areas to realise the explosive situation.

If things have not taken an ugly turn, the credit should go to the prevalence of secular governments in most of India and compulsions of a coalition at the Centre. To be fair, the parivar elements, for whatever reasons, have remained admirably restraint, at least up to now. This despite the provocative moves by those like the Delhi Imam and some similar clerics elsewhere. No doubt, the mainstream minority population and their intellectuals have a tradition of despising provocations. So far India has been the one country with considerable Muslim population with no pro-Taliban demonstrations.

The Union Home Ministry has been doing everything to usurp more powers to itself. In Delhi, it set the police loose on peaceful anti-war activists of the Left-wing Democratic Students Union and the All-India People’s Resistance Forum for distributing “anti-US” pamphlets. Even the police did not claim they had any remote links with the ISI or terrorist outfits. A reading of the materials will convince one that there is nothing in them to slap Sections 124A, 153, 153A, 153B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. If convicted, it can even be life imprisonment.

Senior police officers take the curious position that anti-war protests are essentially anti-national because it is “against the government”. Harish Dhavan of the PUDR calls the action highhanded and points out that the police is terrorising workers. The National Human Rights Commission has reportedly sought a report on the action. Several democratic organisations have protested but the Union Home Ministry under which the Delhi police functions, has by its own silence endorsed the draconian measures. Even in the USA, anti-war protests against its own government are being allowed. Why then L.K. Advani, himself a victim of the Emergency, allows trampling of this basic democratic right?

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Akalis urge release of prisoners

Amritsar: The Akali leaders in general have welcomed the withdrawal of notifications issued in 1923, proclaiming the SGPC and the Shiromani Akali Dal 'unlawful associations.' They are now contemplating to move Government to release the remaining Akali prisoners which they express will close the chapter of their struggle with Government. .... API

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TRENDS & POINTERS

Stop war, plead parents of a victim

HOURS after air strikes on Afghanistan began last week, thousands attended a peace rally in New York. They heard 87-year-old Reuben Schafer, whose grandson Gregory Roderiguez was killed in the World Trade Centre on 11 September, read a letter from Gregory’s parents, Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, to President Bush.

It read: “Your response to the attack does not make us feel better about our son’s death... It makes us feel our government is using our son’s memory as justification to cause suffering for other sons and parents in other lands.” The Rodriguez family is part of a growing network of relatives opposing the attacks on Afghanistan. Phyllis Rodriguez, speaking from her Westchester home, said she had been inspired by her son’s “instinctive internationalism” to register her protests.

A CBS/New York Times poll found that 75 per cent of those interviewed favoured war, even if it meant the deaths of innocent civilians.

The Rodriguez family decided they had to speak out so that such retaliation was not carried out in their son’s name.

“I feel the American public has to join the international community in a meaningful way, and stop being an isolationist nation,” said Phyllis Rodriguez. The Observer

New way to avoid pregnancy

An ion channel protein that plays a central role in sperm mortility could be an enticing target for a new type of contraceptive that could be taken by either men or women to block fertilization.

The newly discovered protein, called CatSper, controls the flow of calcium into the tails of spermatozoa. This influx of calcium triggers the sperm’s motor proteins, causing the tail to beat. The CatSper ion channel is found only in a principal section of the sperm’s tail and nowhere else in the body, making it likely that a contraceptive that targets CatSper would have far fewer side effects than a hormone-based contraceptive. Discovery of the CatSper ion channel was reported in an article published in the October 11, 2001, issue of the journal Nature by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator David Clapham and colleagues at Harvard Medical School.

The scientists performed the studies on mice in whom the gene that makes this protein was knocked out. They found that sperms of the male knocked out mice were unable to penetrate +zona pellucida+ the egg’s outer covering and thus failed to fertilise.

The researchers said that if a drug could be designed to block the CatSper ion channel specifically, it could be taken by men or women just before intercourse to avoid pregnancy. PTI

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In enlightenment when everything is experienced as identical with one's own consciousness, the possibility of doing harm becomes zero: there is no one else to do harm to.

***

—From Enlightenment: (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s publication)

***

The art of being human(is):

To affirm that I am proud to be a member of the human race; to recognise that regardless of colour, class or creed, man's destiny is my destiny, and that only as we learn to live together will we move forward together.

To accept life as it is....

To realise that no experience in human life is alien to me....

To admit that, being human, I am bound to make mistakes....

To recognise the frailties and foibles of human nature....

To promptly forget slights and insults....

To share my courage and hope with others and keep my fears, heartaches and disappointments to myself....

To do my best here and now and let the future take care of itself.

To be grateful for the precious gift of life with its limitless possibilities....

To understand that the goodness of God can be known only through human goodness, and that when I express the highest and best I express God To confront the inevitable fact that I share with all human beings a common end....

To admit that being human, I often fail to live up to my own philosophy, but to keep trying nevertheless.

—Wildferd A. Peters on, The New Book

***

A strong man who can afford to help the weaker seeking for help, should surely succour the latter. He should, in doing so, look to the long road he has still to cross on the journey of life, during which no one is sure what may happen, for riches go on revolving like the wheels of a chariot — now going to one owner now to another.

—Rigveda, X.117.80

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