Monday, March 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


Pakistan's latest gimmicks
RESIDENT Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan uses every available opportunity to demonstrate his "vow" to fight terrorism and to express his country's "readiness" for holding talks with India to establish "peace and harmony in the region".

Affordable medical care
HE Post-Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, may soon become one of the most expensive health care centres in the country. The increasing popularity of private medical institutes offering a range of services at a prohibitive cost indicates that a section of people do not mind paying more provided they get what is called “value for money”.


Pitfalls of jobless economic growth
Workers are insecure, restive
Balraj Mehta
HE mass protest against jobless economic growth is gaining momentum. Trade unions of all hues and affiliations are joining hands in this protest movement. A spurt in the growth of Indian economy has eluded its liberalisation-globalisation.




Is originality judicious imitation?
I.M. Soni
woman lifted a “middle” from a Delhi-based newspaper and planted it in another of this region. An alert reader wrote to the editor pointing out the literary theft. When it was published, she protested. Some women protest too much!


Why Kaithal reacted to Godhra
Rajbir Parashar
HE district administration is underplaying the seriousness of the incidents of violence on March 1 at Kaithal, which are alarming in their deeper repercussions for the times to come. To the majority of townsfolk, these happenings were unexpected.

Boot out bin Ladens of BJP
B.C. Makhaik
N ancient India the power of the priests was based on the faith in the efficacy of mantras of the Vedas, which could ruminate the power of gods and goddesses on which depended the welfare of royal dynasties. Though kings were vested with all powers, their rule was dependent on the pleasure of the priests.




Pakistan's latest gimmicks

PRESIDENT Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan uses every available opportunity to demonstrate his "vow" to fight terrorism and to express his country's "readiness" for holding talks with India to establish "peace and harmony in the region". He did this yet again on March 23, celebrated as Pakistan Day. But his declarations never match his actions. If Pakistan is determined to take on terrorism it must stop the infiltration of militants into Jammu and Kashmir and end the financial support, supply of arms and ammunition and training facilities to such elements. These points find mention in the five conditions set by Home Minister L. K. Advani for any dialogue with Pakistan. This is also essential for establishing Islamabad's credibility as a fighter against the global menace. Being an ally of the USA (that too forced by the circumstances) in the war against Afghanistan's Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network is not enough. But before taking any measure Pakistan must hand over to India the 20 terrorists wanted by this country. The USA, Pakistan's patron-in-chief, has also expressed its desire that Islamabad should act fast on India's wanted list which the Americans regard as unavoidable for alleviating tension in the region. Yet Pakistan continues to ignore the demand. This is a serious matter deserving an immediate and befitting response from the world community.

The Director in charge of South Asia in America's National Security Council, Mr Harry Thomas, has stated that his country's highest priority today is preventing a full-scale war between India and Pakistan. The Americans believe that a military engagement between the two regional nuclear powers may jeopardise the campaign against global terrorism. But it seems they have divided terrorism into two parts: one that threatens US interests and the other that works against the rest. Perhaps, that is why they do not appear to be as committed about eliminating the terrorist problem faced by India as they should have been. The super power must realise that now it is Washington's primary responsibility to force Islamabad to stop aiding and abetting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India on any pretext. The talk of "freedom struggle" in Jammu and Kashmir is only an excuse to foment trouble in India, and the USA must make its stand clear to Pakistan. This is how a congenial atmosphere for India-Pakistan parleys for peace can be created. New Delhi has never been against holding discussions for the resolution of disputes with its neighbours, including Pakistan. But the trouble is that General Musharraf provides no proof of being serious about such a course. His repeated "willingness" for talks seems to be aimed at confusing the international community. It is, therefore, obligatory for the world to tell General Musharraf to stop indulging in political gimmickry and initiate the steps necessary for a meaningful dialogue with India.


Affordable medical care

THE Post-Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, may soon become one of the most expensive health care centres in the country. The increasing popularity of private medical institutes offering a range of services at a prohibitive cost indicates that a section of people do not mind paying more provided they get what is called “value for money”. The PGI is still among the better-run institutes in the country. However, over the past few years there has been a disturbing fall in the quality of medical care provided at what was once considered a premier institute for treatment of patients and training of doctors. The recent mishandling of the treatment of plague cases by PGI doctors exposed the lack of preparedness for dealing with serious medical emergencies. It is not just the odd slip-up that is sought to be magnified. The PGI’s reputation has taken a few serious knocks because of mounting instances of medical negligence resulting in complications of ailments or deaths of patients. If the PGI is going to charge five-star rates, it should promise five-star treatment too. Can an institute that does not have an efficient system for waste disposal make such a promise? Because of the poor upkeep of the wards and operation theatres the PGI has an alarmingly high rate of infection.

It does not even have a well-oiled system of appointment and promotion of senior staff members. On several occasions the Punjab and Haryana High Court has had to intervene in what can be called unfair promotion cases. However, things have gone from bad to worse. That is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the increase in the number of negative reports in the media about the functioning of the various departments of the PGI. Of course, much of the problem can be traced to the indifference of the Centre in meeting the legitimate demands and requirements of the institute. What can the Director of the PGI do when the Union Health Ministry takes its own sweet time in giving him the necessary permission for starting the procedure for the appointment of the next dean? Prof S. K. Sharma has no option but to double up as both the director and the dean of the PGI in the absence of any directive from the Centre. In the process he may end up doing injustice to both posts and the countless patients that throng the emergency and OPD wings of the PGI. As far as the treatment of patients, or rather ill-treatment, is concerned, the non-medical rather than the medical staff members are primarily responsible for earning the PGI a bad name. The institute needs more doctors and nurses for coping with the increased volume of patients, not ill-trained and ill-mannered non-medical staff members. The PGI administration should be given a free hand to cope with the day-to-day problems without having to refer even trivial issues for clearance to the Centre. Steps should also be taken re convert the PGI into a referral and not a general hospital.


Pitfalls of jobless economic growth
Workers are insecure, restive
Balraj Mehta

THE mass protest against jobless economic growth is gaining momentum. Trade unions of all hues and affiliations are joining hands in this protest movement.

A spurt in the growth of Indian economy has eluded its liberalisation-globalisation. The growth has been sluggish and unsteady. But the proportion of the work force, which enjoys job security, has been shrinking. Mass of the working peoples are now facing hazardous work conditions at low wages and without social security.

The growth of gainful employment in the organised industry has been lagging far behind its growth in the last decade. This is even applauded in interested quarters as the hallmark of its improved efficiency. But there is nothing for the mass of the working people to rejoice over when work opportunities have shrunk for them and may have opened up for only a very thin layer of white-collared job seekers in high tech professions in the information and entertainment sector.

There was gradual growth of employment opportunities for the semi-skilled and the skilled in the organised industry and services, largely in the public sector, after India gained political independence and embarked on planned economic development. A sizeable number of the unskilled work force was also absorbed in public sector industry. This positive trend, however, first halted and then reversed after the launching of the market-friendly, import-led, economic growth process. The position for the working people has worsened with the setting in of industrial slowdown in 1995-96. The slowdown in industrial investment and production has since persisted and is now turning into recession.

The traditional industries like textile, sugar as well as manufacturing industries as a whole employing a large proportion of work force in industry have gone sick. Thousands of industrial units have either closed down or suffered from large-scale retrenchment, lockouts and layoff. The workers are unable to find alternate gainful employment and job security. They have been forced to find work in the informal sector of the economy at low and subsistence level of earnings. Even those in the managerial, technological and other professional jobs have been facing job insecurity. The position of professionals in the high-tech IT and entertainment sector has now also become uncertain with the recessionary trend in the global economy.

The employers, domestic as well as foreign, are taking advantage of these conditions to weaken the bargaining position of the workers in industry and emasculate the trade union movement. The government policy has been to support them. The denouement came with the proposal made last year for amending the industrial relations law to legitimise free hire and fire of workers in industry and withdrawal of any protection for casual and contract labour. Though the legislative measures for this purpose have not passed through Parliament, the administration is working and handling industrial relations in step with the official policy sans the democratic sanctions.

The facile hope that the privatisation and globalisation of the Indian economy would result in the pickup of private investment, domestic as well as foreign, and enhance employment opportunities has not fructified. The notion that market-friendly economic growth would expand employment opportunities in the secondary (industry) and tertiary (services) sectors of the economy has turned out to be false and fanciful. Even when overall economic growth has picked up to 7.5 per cent in some years in the last decade, gainful employment in organised industry and services sectors has declined. While there has been large-scale retrenchment of the workforce in organised industry and services, there has been large-scale closure of the medium and small industrial units, engaged in labour-intensive production.

When the so-called market — friendly economic reforms were initiated in the early nineties, the backlog of open and total unemployment in the country was estimated to have already increased to 17 million. It was then claimed that 50 million new jobs would be created in the industry and services sector every year to take care of the backlog of unemployment and the additions to the labour force to create “near full employment” in 10 years. This must, after all, be the aim of any sensible economic policy.

The market-friendly economic reform policy has totally failed this test of validity. What has actually happened is that the “backlog” of unemployment and partial employment of the work force. But employment elasticity in relation to the growth rate in the case of private large-scale industry as well as modern services has declined sharply. The employment of workforce in the country has, therefore, shrunk and the number of the workers driven into under employment and self-employment has swelled.

This has combined with absolute decline of employment in the public sector because of the policy of drastic reduction in new investment in this sector and disinvestment of existing PSUs. Agricultural growth too has stagnated for want of public investment. The wage income of agricultural workers has, therefore, suffered erosion. Commercial agriculture, which is now high on the agenda of what is called the second stage of the so-called economic reforms can make headway only if investments of reasonable magnitude in agriculture are undertaken by big farmers or business corporations. But this is not happening. All that is happening is migration of workers from agriculture in rural area in search of jobs in urban areas. This has added to the woes of the workers and created explosive social tensions in the urban areas.

It has now become plain enough that the clash of interests, indeed antagonism, as between the labour and capital and workers and their employers is sharpening under the market-friendly economic reforms dispensation. The workers have so far observed considerable restraint in spite of much provocation.

They have refrained from large-scale work stoppages during the last decade. But lockouts and layoffs by employers have been on a big scale and even reckless. Industrial relations have, therefore, now become intolerable with the government going into what is pompously proclaimed as the second stage of the economic reforms.

The government has evidently decided to “manage” the industrial relations with the big stick for the workers and incentives for the big capital. The workers now have nothing else but their organised strength to fight back. The already organised workers are now faced with compelling circumstances to wake up to the imperative of enhancing their bargaining power and undertaking effective industrial action.

But the trade union movement has to also get out of the confines of advocacy of sectional demands of one or other category of workers in the organised industry and services sectors. It has to spread out to the unorganised workers in the unorganised industries and services as well. The all — inclusive stoppage of work, that is bandh or hartal is tending, therefore, to assume importance as a form of industrial action to protect the rights and interests of workers, organised as well as unorganised.

The sustained campaign by the economic and political vested interests to divide the workers by clever counterpoising of the sectional demands of organised workers as against the plight of the unemployed and those living below the official poverty line has to be exposed and defeated. The attempts by administrative moves to scuttle collective bargaining between workers and employers on fair terms by winding up the tripartite machinery to deliberate on industrial relations and mediation of the state in resolving industrial disputes must be rebuffed. The curtailment of the rights to job security through legislative measures must not be allowed. All this requires of trade union movement to rise above factional and political divisions and undertake mass mobilisation and action.

The writer is a well-known economic commentator.


Is originality judicious imitation?
I.M. Soni

A woman lifted a “middle” from a Delhi-based newspaper and planted it in another of this region. An alert reader wrote to the editor pointing out the literary theft. When it was published, she protested. Some women protest too much!

In another instance, a “writer” was exposed by a university library staff. A article from an obscure publication had been used by an aspiring writer (?) in a popular daily.

Here is another. A frequent freelance contributor to newspapers and magazines was made to stand in the dock by a well-informed reader, producing evidence, chapter and verse (worse).

More instances can be cited of small as well as of big fries found strutting about in borrowed feathers. Their attempts landed them in journalistic no-man’s land — an euphemism for blacklisting.

What is not realised is that the core issue is legal as well as ethical. Veterans know it. The fledglings do not. Hence they pay the price. They are thrown out by prestigious publications.

Greenhorns who do not have even a nodding acquaintance with press laws and codes of ethics of journalism are the worst sufferers, and offenders. They are the ones who frequently find themselves in trouble, naturally. They rush to apologise but apology does not absolve anyone of the offence. It only mitigates it.

The problem has descended from literature. Hence, it is not new. It existed in the golden past, too. Even Shakespeare has not been spared. It is said that his Merchant of Venice was sourced from Gesta Romanoram.

Goethe says: “The great genius will never amount to anything if he wants to limit himself to his own resources.”

This amounts to saying that the writer helps himself wherever he finds material suited to his work. “Goethe understood this very well, and so did Shakespeare before him,” observes Heine.

Even original writers borrow unconsciously from others because innocent (ignorant) plagiarism shows itself everywhere. That is why it is said originality is either undetected plagiarism or judicious imitation. It is not difficult to understand this slant. The reason is: the mind is full of waifs which we think are our own. In fact, they are like borrowed money which show our own bankruptcy.

This is all the more applicable to the struggling journalist, the self-styled writer and the literary cox-comb. All of these sincerely believe that they can break into print, and stay there though they are imitations.

A fable reveals their sorry state. A magician’s assistant had seen his master wave his wand and heard him give orders. The slave, after stealing the wand, waved it in the air in the style of his master.

Results did not follow. He did not know that his master had always used his left hand to produce the result. He met with a glooming failure.

Even imitation needs intelligence. But that, like commonsense, is rather uncommon!

Plagiarist originally meant “kidnapper.” Now, kidnapper has acquired a different connotation but in essence the two words are still close kins.

The former “kidnaps” another’s work. The latter kidnaps a woman, a politician’s daughter, or a rich man’s grandson for ransom.

What about expressions? They are akin to borrowed garments. Hence, an awkwardness marks their use.

If the borrower knows how to use them, they become his own but the trouble is that most ignorant ones put in no effort to make them their own. It is because it needs as much intellectual labour as does original thinking and expression.

One has to torment oneself to achieve some semblance of brilliance.

Laplace has said: “When I write ‘it’s clear’, I know I have a day’s hard work before me.”

Research is recycled knowledge. Piles of doctorate degrees are compiled upon the obscure principle: if you lift from modern writers, you are a plagiarist but if you do it from ancient ones, you are a scholar and an erudite!

Let Oscar Wilde, known for his telling wit, have the last word: “If you steal from one source, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from 10, it’s research”.


Why Kaithal reacted to Godhra
Rajbir Parashar

THE district administration is underplaying the seriousness of the incidents of violence on March 1 at Kaithal, which are alarming in their deeper repercussions for the times to come. To the majority of townsfolk, these happenings were unexpected. The Muslim families, which are less than 100 in Kaithal, were least aware of such a planned and mobilised frenzy against them. For nearly five hours, stunned and shocked, the town experienced what is now being projected as the spontaneous burnts of the Godhra aftermath. But the actual happenings that witnessed attacks on mosques, Pir and Idgah, and senseless plundering of some Muslim houses, reveal a “method in this madness.”

Initially, one may accept the version of the district administration that it was all unexpectedly spontaneous and the rioters were in thousands and hence the situation was immediately unmanageable. This picture of the situation is fairly justified if its purpose is to defend a complacent official machinery avoiding its own answerability in the whole episode. To be factual, what happened at Kaithal was neither sudden nor spontaneous. R.S.S. and its sister organisations have been active in the town for a long time and they have left no stone unturned in spreading rumours that the Muslim population has suddenly increased in the town in a planned way. Their consistent propaganda in this direction had built a background against which communal feelings could be easily triggered and innocent youths and teenagers could be converted into a mob devoid of minimum generosity and human concerns.

The sequence of the events was much to reveal and even more to alarm regarding bandhs or protests called on communal lines. It all started with 100-150 youths maliciously gathered from a nearby village, Manas. Then in a local private school run by the district BJP chief, whose name has figured in the police FIR, teenagers were set free. Before proceeding towards Idgah by the Sirsa road, the mob was tactically diverted through the Ambala road where a sports meet was already going on. Hundreds of people actually gathered for that purpose were easily manipulated as a substantial addition to the instigated mob of so-called protesters. Unfortunately, a day before, despite inflammatory statements by the leaders of certain RSS wings, the district administration was busy in preparing the concluding-day arrangements of the State Kabaddi Circles Championship and to welcome the arrival of a VIP. Consequently, before it could think of enlisting the sensitive locations in the town and take precautionary measures, the miscreants and the fundamentalists had prepared their lists and chalked out their final plans. And the next day, they executed their plan in the presence of high officials and a thin police force evidently perturbed by the “spontaneity” of the events.

Here the purpose is not to discredit the district administration or to demoralise the available police force which was prompt in saving lives, but to highlight a chain of frightening events. Beyond simplistic lamentation about law and order, these happenings have exposed the fragile mental landscape of the young and the teenagers, who can be easily swayed by communal slogans and the fundamentalist idiom. The facile conclusion that all this happened solely as a reaction of the Godhra carnage may be self-deceptive. Responsible citizenship demands as in depth analysis of the Kaithal incidents and one must not overlook the increasing tendency to interpret and project every form of terrorist violence in terms of Hindu-Muslim dichotomy.

In Haryana too extremist organisations are propagating bitterness and mistrust against minority communities. Such forces mainly target Hindu-Muslim brotherhood and cause a blurring of distinction between anti-national fundamentalists playing into the hands of foreign powers and the majority Muslims who are no less nationalist and tolerant than their boastful “Big Brothers”. The propaganda of the Hindu fundamentalist organisations generally emanate from a distorted and biased presentation of the medieval period. Similar weapons are used in Haryana to malign the Muslim community.

Recent activism and proliferation of the RSS and its various wings in the state have deliberately wiped out the rich traditions of Sufism which in the middle ages worked for communal harmony and cultural assimilation among the two communities. The Sufi movement, which made the region a “home of religion and culture during the medieval period”, had its vibrant centres at Hansi, Thanesar, Jhajjar, Hisar, Panipat, Narnaul and Kaithal itself. Dr H.A. Phadke, a noted scholar of ancient and medieval Haryana, has characterised the region of that period in the following manner: “the meeting place of various currents of religious thought, the region quite naturally stimulated growth of literature in Prakrat, Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Hindi and Urdu”. Unfortunately, this historical truth and the heritage of religious tolerance and harmony is utterly suppressed. Most of the government-funded vikas boards and mela managements function with sectarian attitudes and knowingly marginalise these traditions. The successive state governments and dominant political parties in Haryana in the last two decades have directly or indirectly contributed to a gradual weakening of the communal harmony in the state.

Apparently a marginal political force in Haryana the BJP and its allied organisations should not be overlooked as only occasional irritants to law and order. Conditions have to be created where antagonism towards Muslims and other minority religions is not allowed to flourish with the legitimacy of nationalism. It is high time that the state government introspects its overall cultural policy. The present fashion of eulogising a pre-modern Haryanvi society in most of the cultural programmes and youth festivals sponsored by universities and the government, are basically misdirected in their social consequences. Such festivals begin and end with a self pride in backward elements of Haryanvi culture and miserably fail in foregrounding a counter-culture that can resist the onslaught of consumerist anarchism and the growth of fundamentalist thinking. What began as an irrational and thoughtless cult of ‘will to power’ in the form of Green Brigade in the nineties has solidified over the years and has taken many directions.

Among its versions are professional criminality, politically patronised power brokers and the current emergence of fanatic psychological patterns on the religious lines. The Kaithal incidents should be taken as a timely warning and those who are responsible for maintaining social cohesion and brotherhood among different communities should shun political opportunism while addressing the situation. It should not be ignored that what happened at Kaithal was anxious to have a public pose at various other places in the state.


Boot out bin Ladens of BJP
B.C. Makhaik

IN ancient India the power of the priests was based on the faith in the efficacy of mantras of the Vedas, which could ruminate the power of gods and goddesses on which depended the welfare of royal dynasties. Though kings were vested with all powers, their rule was dependent on the pleasure of the priests. The kings were aware that the priests got much wealth as sacrificial gifts and the latter knew the human weaknesses of the former. This union of the priests and the kings was for mutual benefits and they propitiated each other in their self interests; and jointly breathed over the shoulders of traders, who in turn exploited the common people divided by the caste system. In such a social order the produce of masses continued to be appropriated by a nexus of priests, kings and the trading class.

Free from worries for toil about basic needs, the kings, the priests and the traders indulged in all sorts of social vices, corruption and crime, and the helpless people saw that, and suffered in silence. The combined effect of all was that the country became an easy victim to the foreign invaders who ruled this country for nearly a thousand years. The Hindus fell to such shame because of their downfall due to the caste system that kept the majority of Hindus in perpetual bondage of the upper classes. The accumulation of wealth by the upper classes, the luxury, depravity, tyranny, callousness, cruelty and corruption in the administration, the spread of religious superstitions, fake rituals by priests and robbery by the business community, all contributed to the alienation of a big majority from the upper classes; and refused to fight the foreign invaders, alongside the native oppressors; who in fact sought deliverance from them. That unwittingly led them to a thousand years’ slavery, that was even worse.

Babar, a Mongol raider who is reported to have destroyed a Hindu temple at Ayodhya, and built Babri Masjid over it during his rule from 1526 to 1539, was one of such invaders. The Babri Masjid has been in the headlines since 1949, leading to its destruction in December 1992, and vows of the Hindu fundamental forces to rebuild it at the same place with the help of karsewaks earlier and now; some 58 of them were burnt alive in a train at Godhra by a Muslim mob spiralling counter-communal violence leading to the killing of some 700 innocent people, mostly Muslim, by Hindu mobs, while the brahmachari RSS pracharak Chief Minister remained silent for six long days.

Amazingly, the same ancient nexus of priests, rulers and traders has lined up against the common people of all communities and the Western financial agencies have taken the place of foreign raiders. Besides, Gujarat presents another simile of rampaging Rambhaktas, who seem merging with the Taliban in Afghanistan, led by Indian bin Ladens who have invaded Gujarat, where not only homes and hovels of tens of thousands of innocent citizens have been reduced to ashes but they have also inflicted perpetual wounds on the hearts, minds and psyche of all Indian people. Gujarat has witnessed some of the worst incidents of communal flare-up since the riots that occurred in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992.

The Godhra carnage was a ghastly act, that no sane person will approve, but the gruesome retaliation in its wake was also equally beastly act and unpardonable. The Hindu gangsters have vulgarised Mahatma Gandhi and scandalised Hindu religion, known for tolerance from ancient times unlike Islam, besides blackened the face of India before the community of nations. They have reduced India to the level of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the Islamic fanatics still call the shots.

But while the Pakistan government is up against the Muslim fanatics to make it a safe place for human beings, the Indian government is mixing politics with religion — that was defined by Karl Marx as the opium of the people — besides desiring to dole out land for the intended temples. Their ideology has more in common with the Taliban, who justify violence as the means to all ends; and refuse to recognise the virtues of democracy. They do not accept the right of others to practise religion differently. They speak about Hinduism the same way the Islamists speak about Islam. The Hindu fundamentalism built up on the same self-righteousness that was witnessed in in the behaviour of the Taliban in Afghanistan; and the conduct of suicide bombers around the globe. Gujarat violence by Hindus is a product of the same way of thinking that produced the Taliban and al-Qaida among Muslims, who want to rectify historic wrongs, what we saw at Ayodhya in December 1992 and at Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001.

We have thousands of temples, mosques, gurdwaras and churches; and need no more of them; some of them are managed by charlatans who feed on man from his birth to his death; who spread superstitions among the people, and some of them elope with young women.

What we need are hospitals, schools, colleges, roads, houses, water supply schemes and industries that will create jobs for unemployed millions to make them prosperous. We don’t need an India ruled by Hindu fascist forces, who boot the law of the land, tear apart various communities, and harm the stability of the country.

India must deal with such fundamentalist forces as the USA is dealing with the Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan, and also exerting President Musharraf to do so in Pakistan. If the NDA government intends to confer legitimacy on the Hindu fundamental forces, they might grow monsters of al-Qaida proportion, and seek orders from native bin Ladens. In that case, the next government of India will have to seek US support, like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan to eliminate them, to ensure the stability and prosperity of the Indian nation.


So many castes, so many creeds,

So many paths that wind and wind,

When just the art of being kind,

Is all the sad world needs!

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Each drew a circle to shut others out,

As heretics, rebels, things to flout;

But Loving Wisdom knew the way to win

It drew a circle that took all in.

— Anon

Thrive, thrive, O Love Divine!

thy happy madness,

Sole remedy of all life's ills and sadness,

Prime antidote of pride and prudery,

Art, science, scripture-all art thou to me!

Veda, Avesta, Bible, Al-Quran,

Temple, Pagoda, Church and Kaba stone,

All these and more my heart doth close embrace,

Since my religion now is love alone.

— A Sufi song

As loving man and wife, when they embrace,

Are both dissolved in but one feel of love,

One feel of Unity, and know naught else,

Outside their body and inside their mind;

Even more, the Soul when it embraces God,

And feels its Unity with the All-Self,

Passes beyond all sorrow, all desire;

For all desire is now for ever fulfilled.

— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

If the soul is to go onto higher spiritual blessedness, it must become women — yes however manly you may be among men.

— Cardinal Newman

Be patient, O my heart! for Mira's Lord

Is very shy; He comes not till midnight;

Then will He show His beauty unto Thee

On the bank of Love's deep flowing stream!

— Song of Mira Bai

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