Push for Bush
Face the crisis
Is it a clash of civilisations?
The laughing link
Safe motherhood becomes a reality
Post-natal care is available now in many Rajasthan villages
Pro-West candidate leads in Ukraine poll
Push for Bush
LUCK continues to favour US President George W. Bush, who had a fluke victory four years ago. With the war in Iraq far from over, a majority of the voters decided to retain him at the helm to stew in his own juice. Incumbency helped the Republican as he edged past Democratic rival John Kerry in a cliffhanger election. Yet, he had to fight to the finish in his re-election bid. Pollsters who believed that a higher turnout would favour Mr Kerry were mistaken when the beneficiary of heightened voter interest was the “born-again” President. In the end, the voters chose a known devil than an unknown one. Few other elections have been fought almost wholly on foreign policy issues as Election 2004, a fact which also favoured the incumbent President.
For the world at large, the re-election of Mr Bush signals continuity in US foreign policy, though Mr Kerry would not have gone in for a drastic overhaul despite all his electoral rhetoric. At the same time, an element of moderation, rather than belligerency, can be expected from Bush Presidency II. He is aware of the strong undercurrent of protest over his policy on fighting terrorism, which has not made the US more secure than it was before 9/11. The vote is not a wholehearted endorsement of Mr Bush’s jingoism but a realisation that the US had no other option. With an improved Republican tally in Congress, he should have little difficulty in pushing through his foreign and domestic agenda.
Since India’s relations with the US have been in an upswing, Mr Bush’s victory bodes well for India. For all the charms that Mr Bill Clinton expended on India and the extended talks Mr Jaswant Singh had with Mr James Talbott, the sanctions imposed by his regime remained firmly in place. It was left to Mr Bush to remove the sanctions one by one to a stage where India and the US consider themselves “strategic partners”. Of course, it would have made little change to Indian foreign policy if the Democrats had an upset victory. When two nations pursue their independent foreign policies based on their long-term strategic interests, it does not matter whether X or Y comes to power. Therefore, any gaga over Mr Bush’s victory is out of sync when policies, rather than persons, matter in foreign policy.
Tuesday’s disturbances in the Orissa Assembly, in which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was injured, are a matter of shame. Of late, the unruly behaviour of members in both Parliament and the state Assemblies has become a regular phenomenon. This bodes ill for the world’s largest democracy. If lawmakers themselves flout all norms of decency and decorum and become lawbreakers, democracy will be in peril. What happened in the Orissa Assembly is reprehensible. Apparently, Tuesday’s disturbances were premeditated. At a meeting chaired by state Congress president and former Chief Minister Janaki Ballabh Patnaik on Monday, the Congress Legislature Party had reportedly decided to paralyse the proceedings of the state Assembly if its demand for a discussion on the agreement between the Orissa Mining Corporation and Vedanta Alumina Limited was rejected by the Speaker.
This was highly unbecoming of the Congress legislators because their party is now heading the government at the Centre. Clearly, there cannot be different norms for the Congress in the states where it is ruling and in the states where it is in the Opposition. The party’s senior leaders at the Centre must pull up their unruly juniors in the states and discipline them. They must be told how to behave and uphold parliamentary norms and values.
Of late, Orissa’s image has taken a beating despite a dynamic and efficient Chief Minister. Resource crunch has hit the state hard. Its economy has been under strain because of years of drought. Unemployment problem is growing and the youth have become restive. In fact, it is yet to recover from the devastating cyclone that hit coastal districts four years ago. When the state doesn’t boast of a sound economy and good infrastructure, the ruling party and the Opposition should examine the problems in the state Assembly dispassionately and evolve solutions for development, instead of frittering away their time and energy on meaningless issues.
Face the crisis
The cotton price fall from last year’s Rs 2,800 a quintal to Rs 1,750 or so this season is due to excess production and market manipulation by traders. Punjab’s cotton is frequently hit by a pest called American bollworm. This year the pest-resistant Bt cotton has led to increased production, but poor marketing has resulted in low prices. Instead of pestering the government for a higher MSP (minimum support price), the farmers should jointly take their produce to the markets offering the maximum price. The government can intervene to break cartels, if any. Cotton quality has to meet the industry’s needs. Sometimes for quality reasons Punjab mills buy cotton from outside. Farmers and traders can explore overseas markets also.
Both the government and the farmers are responsible for the current standoff. The government has not yet cleared the dues of sugarcane growers nor has it paid the promised paddy bonus. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is now arresting farmer leaders with whom earlier he had staged a dharna outside the previous Prime Minister’s residence. Their demands have remained unmet, but the state government, instead of blaming the Centre, is now targeting the farmers. Of course, the farmers’ “rail roko” stir is as much unjustified as the large-scale preventive arrests made to thwart it.
Unrest among farmers is due to the declining returns from agriculture. The need is to understand and face the crisis. Farmers have to produce for the market. They have to cut down their costs by taking to latest farming practices, avoiding an indiscriminate use of chemicals, using best possible seeds and technology guided by university scientists. Farmers’ cooperatives or/and corporates will have to arrange right inputs and marketing. They need not have too many expectations from bankrupt state governments run by self-serving, visionless politicians.
Is it a clash of civilisations?
Just after the Cold War ended following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Harvard Professor and former National Security Council member Samuel Huntington alluded to new “fault-lines” in the global order in his writings and in his book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order”. Huntington held that civilizations are the highest groupings of people. They are differentiated from each other by religion, history, language and traditions.
His basic thesis was that global politics is entering a new era where “the fault-lines of civilizations will be the battle-lines of the future”. “Western Civilization” uniting the USA and Europe (minus the Baltic countries and Russia) in his view would be united by the “shared foundation of European culture and western Christianity”. While Huntington dwelt on what he felt would be the differences between “Western Civilization” on the one hand and Confucian, Hindu, Japanese, Slavic Orthodox, Latin American and African civilizations on the other, his main focus was on a coming conflict between the western and Islamic worlds.
After dwelling on Islamic expansion into Europe, the crusades and the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, Huntington claimed: “These centuries of military interaction between the West and Islam is unlikely to decline. It will become more virulent”. He added: “Violence also occurs between Muslims on the one hand and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders.”
Coincidentally, Osama bin Laden soon gave credence to Huntington’s views when he formed the “International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders” (IIF) in Kandahar in February 1998. The IIF brought together separatists from Chechnya, the Balkans and the Philippines, with disgruntled religious extremists from the Arab world and South-East Asian countries like Indonesia and Myanmar making common cause with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Sensing this development as an opportunity to give an international dimension to its “jihad” in Kashmir, the ISI encouraged five jihadi groups supported by it to join the IIF. The common targets for all these groups were, however, the United States and Israel.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington of 9/11 President George Bush described America’s forthcoming war against terror as a “crusade”. Anti-Islamic sentiment in America was on the rise even before 9/11. On September 10, 2001, 500 Islamic Websites run by the InfoCom Corporation in Texas were raided and closed by an anti-terrorism task force.
With the passage of the Draconian “Patriot Act” by the US Congress and growing manifestations of jingoism throughout the country, Muslims in the US felt increasingly besieged. Muslim organisations and mosques came under scrutiny and surveillance. Muslims from countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had to register with the immigration authorities and notify their moves to the immigration. Hate crimes against Muslims increased. When I referred to these developments to an American friend and pointed out that it was wrong to think of all Muslims as terrorists, his response was: “Yes, all Muslims are not terrorists but most terrorists are Muslims”. Rational debate in such circumstances is difficult to sustain.
Muslims in the US have found scant understanding from the courts, but won support from organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union. But the Muslim community has not helped its cause by its support for groups like Hamas, or by the rabid rhetoric of some of the preachers in mosques. Surveys by the Muslim organizations have shown that one in every four Americans holds anti-Islamic views. These organizations had called for a “protest vote” against President George W Bush alleging that “today American Muslims are treated like second class citizens”. But Muslim organisations recognise that little will change and that the Patriot Act will not be repealed irrespective of who is the President of the United States.
The rise of anti-Islamic prejudices is not a feature of the US alone. It has spread across the countries embracing what Huntington described as constituting “Western Civilization”. President Chirac has imposed a ban on Muslim girls wearing head scarves in state-run public schools in France. The measure has widespread public support. Several states in Germany are preparing to take similar measures.
Europe is set to become a continent of aged people with a declining labour force. It feels besieged by fears about increasing Muslim immigration from North Africa and Turkey. Anti-immigration parties are gaining strength across the continent. Turkey is being denied entry into the European Union primarily because of the anti-Islam phobia that now afflicts the continent. Events like the recent terrorist attacks in Spain have only strengthened anti-Muslim paranoia in Europe.
While Huntington’s thesis has obvious flaws, one has to guard against it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Osama bin Laden’s Islamic Front has not been joined by a single Iranian or Indian Muslim. Saudi Arabia considers Iran a greater security threat than nuclear armed Israel. In a recent interview, the former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles Freeman stated that King Fahd had told high-level US officials that Saudi Arabia would need a nuclear deterrent if Iran developed nuclear weapons. The violence unleashed by Bin Laden’s associates across the world largely derives its ideological base from Wahabi extremism and Saudi Arabian funding.
This is a challenge that can be overcome only when respect for pluralism and diversity is strengthened in democratic societies like India, the US, the UK and France, and there is a process of genuine introspection in Islamic countries in promoting people’s participation in governance and on issues like the Organisation of Islamic Conference’s support for separatist causes in pluralist societies.
The dilemmas that the Islamic world faces today were perceptively summed by Washington-based Pakistani journalist Khalid Hasan. Hasan noted: “The whole point is that the hostility being shown towards Muslims is in no small measure due to the illiberal and intolerant attitude some of them and those who lead them exhibit through word and action. Can the Saudi Arabian government, whose institutions and practices have caused Islam to be seen in a harsh light, begin the process of reform by two things. It should stop public beheadings of those pronounced guilty of capital crimes and should permit non-Muslims who are living and working in the Kingdom to build churches, synagogues and temples where they can worship. Under Saudi law this is not permitted, which flies in the face of the true spirit of Islam, because no such prohibition existed during the time of Holy
The laughing link
When one is feeling just a wee bit lost, lonely and low, then just delving into one’s past and reliving happy moments can well boost the spirit. I find myself doing this all too often. I go back to the days that were full of laughter and more often than not start laughing as I recall them.
In the hubbub of the urban jungles, laughter has indeed become a rare commodity. Thus, some body-and-mind healers have started organising laughter workshops where people can laugh their hearts out. My research on laughter says that nothing can quite match the quality of the laughter of youth and the link of laughing together is indeed a strong one. The purest form of laughter thrives in friendship, never have I laughed so well, and so much as I did in the company of my female friends in the good old days.
So during a recent visit to hometown Chandigarh, I was shell-shocked when I learnt that my friend Ritu had developed a serious medical condition and it could mean anything, any time. My first selfish reaction was that it could not be because we still had some more laughing to do. The next thought was that her daughter was much too young. Then I reasoned to myself that cancer is now curable. But I kept putting off my visit to her. We hadn’t met for many years and I found it difficult to face the situation that was suddenly no laughing matter.
I recalled how we laughed when we pocketed the coins left by our teacher of journalism, Mr Tara Chand Gupta, as tip for the waiter in the university coffee house so that the afternoon cup of tea was ensured. During our month of training in Delhi’s Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg we made it to the World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan. For this we took a crazy detour across the railway track and crawled under a back-gate to save spending a rupee and a half on the entrance ticket. How we had laughed at our own wild feat. Once roaming around in the inner circle of Connaught Place, some silly sight triggered our laughter and we laughed for nearly an hour.
And here I was bracing myself on how to meet her under these uncalled-for circumstances. Well, I did go and there I found Ritu at her charming cheerful best. Chemotherapy had taken its toll on her beautiful shock of auburn hair but with a colourful scarf tied on her head there she was holding forth on her recent reading. Playing the ideal host, she was arranging a cup of tea for this one and a cold drink for that one. When I begged off a drink because of my blood getting a bit too sugary, she let out that old belly laugh of hers and said, “Ah! What alluring things we talked of in the past! And now we talk of diabetes and cancer!” That got me laughing too.
Safe motherhood becomes a reality
It was an amazing sight! Gendibai, a 45-year-old tribal volunteer of ARTH (Action, Research and Training for Health), was standing in the middle of Kanuja village in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, her colourful odni pulled down to cover half her face as she held forth on her mission of distributing condoms to some eight men, oral pills to 20 to 25 young women and iron tablets for all pregnant women and lactating mothers.
When she could actually hand over the tools of contraception to young and old men and women of the village, she was not ashamed to talk about her work in the presence of half a dozen men, women and children who had gathered around her. The children laughed and the men gaped in disbelief at her candour.
Selected and trained by ARTH as an articulate woman with leadership qualities, Gendibai has lived up to expectations. Concerned about the large number of young girls who marry early and get pregnant early, she has even been distributing the pill to seven of them after counselling them.
“Take pills and delay the first pregnancy”, is her motherly advice to the newly weds. While a few girls have informed their in-laws and their husband about being on the pill, others take it surreptiously because they don’t want to get caught in the trap of early marriage and early pregnancies.
Like Gendibai there are 38 volunteers in the 42 villages where ARTH is demonstrating its safe motherhood project for the last five years. In addition to the distribution of contraceptive, these volunteers bring in children to the immunisation camps held periodically.
They form the network of grassroots health workers who bring stability to the healthcare in the village. They are paid Rs 8 to 25 for each job done — bringing in women for delivery, getting a copper T inserted or for getting women and children to the health shivir (camp) so that the immunisation shots can be given regularly.
The other players in this unique maternal and neonatal health project of ARTH are Ajitha, a Kerala nurse whose skills have been upgraded at ARTH’s Reproductive Health Centre at Kuncholi. Parvati and Jyothi, two other nurses of the centre can also deliver babies and Partha Ram, the motor cycle rider, who is on call 24 hours to rush the trained nurse-midwives to the villages at all hours of the day and night to attend to emergencies.
A rather unique feature of ARTH is its nurse-midwives who are available for home delivery calls round the clock. Ajitha was the first woman nurse to stay in a village. Though a trained nurse, she had never delivered a child till she joined ARTH. In three months she was able to get special training and acquire some essential skills of a doctor, including the ability to deliver a baby. “Not even when I worked in a Jaipur hospital did I get the chance to deliver a baby,” she points out.
So who are these women who have benefited by the services of ARTH and its dedicated team? We met Amauti who had delivered a baby girl just a few days earlier at the health centre. The pains started at 9 p.m. A jeep was hired from Khatauli for Rs 50 and the mother was brought to the health centre at 3 a.m. An hour and 15 minutes later the exhausted but happy mother was happily holding her baby girl.
It’s been a long and tough battle weaning the villagers from the local 10th class pass ayurvedic doctor who has a clinic in each village, says Dr Kirti Iyengar. “The bottle and injection treatment” is what the local community wants and he gives it to them for a small fee. To move them to the new regimen of safe motherhood has not been easy.
Local women/trained birth attendants serve at the health centre. The doctors visit on two fixed days each week — they see referrals, carry out MTPs (medical termination of pregnancy) and train and back-up the nurse midwives.
The social worker’s role is, in fact, as important as that of the nurse-midwife. He purchases prescribed drugs using an impress advance, helps the family take decisions on blood donations and surgery and facilitates communication between the hospital staff and villagers.
ARTH charges Rs 100 to Rs 300 per delivery from tribal and other communities respectively. This includes, all expenses, including a post-natal care visit. In case of maternal or neonatal emergency, poor and tribal patients get transport and treatment subsidy up to Rs 1,500. Full use is made of BPL cards and other benefit schemes available at referral hospital. So far ARTH has had little success in accessing panchayat transport funds.
Significantly, there has not been a single maternal death in the ARTH centre. In the case of obstetric emergencies, there were two deaths and they were in the hospital. The child survival rate has been equally impressive. Of the 687 deliveries, 643 are alive. There were 21 stillbirths and 23 early neonatal deaths.
Quite obviously the ARTH model needs to be extended to other parts of the country where maternal mortality and neonatal deaths are still unacceptably high. In India 1,20,000 women die in childbirth every year — a maternal mortality ratio of 407-540. In Rajasthan 11,000 women die during child birth — a maternal mortality ratio of 670.
Pro-West candidate leads in Ukraine poll
Exit polls from Ukraine’s fiercely contested presidential election have showed that the pro-Western opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko is in the lead.
But Ukrainians will probably have to wait until a run-off vote this month to see if their country has managed to throw off the rule of an administration criticised by the EU and human rights groups as authoritarian and corrupt.
Most polls from four companies placed Mr Yushchenko well ahead of his rival, the regime’s candidate and present Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych.
Preliminary results from 33,000 polling stations should be known today and complete results tomorrow. There was believed to have been more than a 75 per cent turnout of the 37 million eligible to vote.
Election monitors said polling in stations around the capital Kiev had gone mostly without incident but in other cities serious flaws had been logged. The leader of a Canadian monitoring mission, John Mrzav, said: “We have had reports of violence in cities in eastern Ukraine where thugs have threatened the heads of polling stations unless they produce an 80 per cent vote for Yanukovych. We are taking these reports very seriously and investigating them.”
There were fears that there would be violent disruptions in Kiev, a Yushchenko stronghold, after reports that 20,000 Yanukovych supporters from Donetsk were heading to the capital. Hundreds did arrive equipped with absentee vote documents allowing them to vote outside the places where they were normally registered.
But there seemed to have been a change of heart by the Yanukovych camp and most of his supporters did not arrive, and journalists said trains from Donetsk arrived in Kiev empty.
The two candidates want to lead their country in opposite directions. Mr Yushchenko has promised to fight corruption, and backs EU and Nato membership. Mr Yanukovych is pro-Russian and wants Ukraine to become part of a Moscow-led common market group consisting of their two countries, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The opposition says the economic bloc is the first step in rebuilding a new form of Soviet Union, and Brussels has said Ukraine’s chances of joining the EU would diminish dramatically if it entered the union with Russia.
— By arrangement with The Independent, London.
From Pakistan LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nazim Husain Siddiqui said at the Punjab Bar Council dinner recently that litigation in Pakistan was on the increase mainly because socio-economic justice and the rule of law were more or less absent. He cited the example of the institution of cases in the Supreme Court which outnumbered the disposal rate during the year 2003 to substantiate what he said about the huge number of cases, both criminal and civil, pending with the apex court. The Supreme Court disposed a record number of 9,547 cases --- 7,878 petitions and 1,669 appeals --- during 2002. But the pendency of the cases still was again as high as 17,370 on the first day of 2003 because another 13,847 cases had been instituted afresh during the year. They included 11,472 petitions, the largest number.
— The Dawn
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nazim Husain Siddiqui said at the Punjab Bar Council dinner recently that litigation in Pakistan was on the increase mainly because socio-economic justice and the rule of law were more or less absent.
He cited the example of the institution of cases in the Supreme Court which outnumbered the disposal rate during the year 2003 to substantiate what he said about the huge number of cases, both criminal and civil, pending with the apex court.
The Supreme Court disposed a record number of 9,547 cases --- 7,878 petitions and 1,669 appeals --- during 2002. But the pendency of the cases still was again as high as 17,370 on the first day of 2003 because another 13,847 cases had been instituted afresh during the year. They included 11,472 petitions, the largest number. — The Dawn
on religious tour
SUKKUR: More than 85 policemen of the Sukkur region whose services were terminated on charges of corruption and their pleas for reinstatement were pending with senior police officials have been asked to join a 40-day Tableegh tour (religious programme called chilla). Regional Police Officer (RPO) of Sukkur Muhammad Saleem Lone had asked the cops to undertake the Tableeghi tour and assured them that their cases for reinstatement would be finalised after the completion of their tour. Sources said the cops would also be required to produce certificates of completion of chilla when they would report to the RPO.
— The News
SUKKUR: More than 85 policemen of the Sukkur region whose services were terminated on charges of corruption and their pleas for reinstatement were pending with senior police officials have been asked to join a 40-day Tableegh tour (religious programme called chilla).
Regional Police Officer (RPO) of Sukkur Muhammad Saleem Lone had asked the cops to undertake the Tableeghi tour and assured them that their cases for reinstatement would be finalised after the completion of their tour.
Sources said the cops would also be required to produce certificates of completion of chilla when they would report to the RPO. — The News
a 'positive beginning'
ISLAMABAD: Barrister Zafarullah Khan, a government representative, has said that the original law on honour killing, which he drafted, was totally different to the one passed by the National Assembly. Speaking at a seminar on honour killing on behalf of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Women Development Nilofar Bakhtair, he said that despite the fact that the Bill was not perfect, it should be considered as a positive beginning. The seminar was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Citizens' Action Group against Honour Killing (CAGAHK) titled "Bill against honour killing: Concerns addressed, unaddressed". Barrister Zafarullah Khan said that his drafted Bill was changed subsequently by the government "Though the approved Bill is not perfect to overcome the issue of honour killing but we should welcome the initiative as a beginning," he said.
— The Nation
ISLAMABAD: Barrister Zafarullah Khan, a government representative, has said that the original law on honour killing, which he drafted, was totally different to the one passed by the National Assembly.
Speaking at a seminar on honour killing on behalf of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Women Development Nilofar Bakhtair, he said that despite the fact that the Bill was not perfect, it should be considered as a positive beginning.
The seminar was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Citizens' Action Group against Honour Killing (CAGAHK) titled "Bill against honour killing: Concerns addressed, unaddressed".
Barrister Zafarullah Khan said that his drafted Bill was changed subsequently by the government
"Though the approved Bill is not perfect to overcome the issue of honour killing but we should welcome the initiative as a beginning," he said. — The Nation
MMA to press for fresh elections
LAHORE: The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal on Tuesday distanced itself from the controversial 17th Amendment and its president Qazi Husain Ahmed said now the religious alliance would struggle to pull down the existing "dictatorial system" along with its architect, Gen Pervez Musharraf. The Qazi said the MMA would work for the establishment of an interim setup to have fresh elections held under the supervision of a fully independent election commission, reconstituted in consultation with the parties represented in parliament. Talking to Dawn, the MMA chief said the 17th Amendment had become invalid after General Musharraf reneged on his commitment to step down as army chief by the end of the year. When it was pointed out that a constitutional amendment did not become invalid simply by somebody saying so, the Qazi stuck to his point of view, adding that General Musharraf was now an illegitimate President.
— The Dawn
LAHORE: The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal on Tuesday distanced itself from the controversial 17th Amendment and its president Qazi Husain Ahmed said now the religious alliance would struggle to pull down the existing "dictatorial system" along with its architect, Gen Pervez Musharraf.
The Qazi said the MMA would work for the establishment of an interim setup to have fresh elections held under the supervision of a fully independent election commission, reconstituted in consultation with the parties represented in parliament.
Talking to Dawn, the MMA chief said the 17th Amendment had become invalid after General Musharraf reneged on his commitment to step down as army chief by the end of the year.
When it was pointed out that a constitutional amendment did not become invalid simply by somebody saying so, the Qazi stuck to his point of view, adding that General Musharraf was now an illegitimate President.
— The Dawn
The living entity is of superior spiritual energy, but is in a marginal position. That is, sometimes one is controlled by spiritual nature and sometimes by material. If the living entity maintains the natural relationship of eternal part and parcel, servant of God, one remains under the control of the spiritual potency of God. — Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu His forbearance is perfect, who does not get excited with anger even when terribly afflicted by celestials, human beings and animals. — Lord Mahavir This world has no separate existence; it exists only in our imagination just as we imagine the existence of a snake in the rope. — Lord Sri Rama O Creator, You alone are my host. The only boon I beg of You is: “Pray, bless me with Your Name.” — Guru Nanak Confidence in another man’s virtue is no slight evidence of one’s own.
— Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
His forbearance is perfect, who does not get excited with anger even when terribly afflicted by celestials, human beings and animals.
— Lord Mahavir
This world has no separate existence; it exists only in our imagination just as we imagine the existence of a snake in the rope.
— Lord Sri Rama
O Creator, You alone are my host. The only boon I beg of You is: “Pray, bless me with Your Name.”
— Guru Nanak
Confidence in another man’s virtue is no slight evidence of one’s own.