Pakistan Underground Water Arsenic Polluted, Will Run Dry, In India Too

Drilling a groundwater well by hand, near Lahore, July 2017. A_noina / Shutterstock Fazilda Nabeel, University of Sussex More than 50m people in Pakistan are at risk of arsenic poisoning from contaminated groundwater. That’s according to a study recently published in the journal Science Advances, based on samples from 1,200 wells across the country. Arsenic cannot be removed from groundwater through common processes such as boiling or filtration – instead it requires expensive procedures such as reverse osmosis which are beyond the reach of most poor people. Contamination is particularly worrying in this case as Pakistan is unusually dependant on … Continue reading Pakistan Underground Water Arsenic Polluted, Will Run Dry, In India Too

Joy With Old Hindi Filmi Songs

By Promod Puri Living in Canada for the past 45 years, my nostalgic window often opens to the blissful sounds of popular Hindi film songs and music. From this retreat, the flights to the past are the pleasures of the present. In the voyage, tuning in on Aye mere pyaare vatan, aye mere bichhade chaman, tujh pe dil qurabaan, is an emotional joy in self-recreation. Manna Dey, in his masculine and classical voice, creates a melody of mellow submission towards motherland in the film Kabuliwala. Composed by music director Salil Chaudhary, the song literary takes me back to the melodious … Continue reading Joy With Old Hindi Filmi Songs

Trump Wall Can Be A No.1 Tourist Attraction

By Promod Puri The Trump Wall between the USA and Mexico is not a dead issue as far as Trump’s most promised election agenda is concerned. In some lighter but brighter thinking, the Trump Wall has some merits in his ambitious project, a legacy which will be lot more wider and taller than any other presidents in the history of America. Here is a fictional dialogue between Trump and one of his close businessman friend: Businessman: Can you shed some light on this controversial wall proposal, as many people on both sides of the border ridiculed your fancy. Trump: It … Continue reading Trump Wall Can Be A No.1 Tourist Attraction

Re-evaluating Our Religions & Other Institutions

In our civilized and progressive world, the call of humanity seeks re-evaluating each of our religions, rituals, customs, traditions, social and political institutions, including Left and Right isms, which impart values and behaviors impacting our environments. This resolution is part of the evolution and management of civil society we live in. Evolution of civilization is natural as well as essential for rational and intelligent creation of environments which influence our thoughts. Read more: THOUGHTS ON THOUGHT Continue reading Re-evaluating Our Religions & Other Institutions

PATRIOTISM IN INDIA’S CONTEXT

“Perhaps the most important form of patriotism is that which seeks to give dignity to oppressed groups such as Dalits and women while simultaneously seeking to promote tolerance and mutual respect among citizens otherwise divided by language, caste or religion. Offering puja to the tiranga jhanda ten times a day may or may not make you a better patriot. A more lasting, more constructive, form of patriotism is to endeavour to make your locality, your town, your district, your province and country a more tolerant, inclusive and democratic place. Columnist Ramchandra Guha in The Telegraph.  Read full article:Multi Aspects of … Continue reading PATRIOTISM IN INDIA’S CONTEXT

Multi Aspects Of Balraj Puri’s Patriotism

by Ramchandra Guha (The Telegraph, August 19,2017) Balraj Puri (1928-2014) I have been thinking a great deal recently about the difference between patriotism and jingoism. The provocation – or inspiration rather – was a visit to Jammu to speak in memory of Balraj Puri – writer, social reformer and political activist – who embodied Indian democracy at its best. There are a great many hyper-patriots active in India today who spend their days and nights abusing either Pakistan or China, and, sometimes, both. Balraj Puri expressed his love for his country in an altogether different manner. Over the course of … Continue reading Multi Aspects Of Balraj Puri’s Patriotism

How British royal’s monumental errors made India’s partition more painful<

Lord Louis Mountbatten, viceroy of India, met with Indian leaders to discuss partition. Max Desfors/AP Adil Najam, Boston University The midnight between August 14 and 15, 1947, was one of history’s truly momentous moments: It marked the birth of Pakistan, an independent India and the beginning of the end of an era of colonialism. It was hardly a joyous moment: A botched process of partition saw the slaughter of more than a million people; some 15 million were displaced. Untold numbers were maimed, mutilated, dismembered and disfigured. Countless lives were scarred. Two hundred years of British rule in India ended, … Continue reading How British royal’s monumental errors made India’s partition more painful<

In Words Obama & Trump Speak Same

Ronald R. Krebs, University of Minnesota and Robert Ralston, University of Minnesota Six months have passed since Donald Trump entered the Oval Office. His administration remains deeply understaffed. His legislative agenda is stymied. He has been active in issuing executive orders, but many are toothless, others are only in the early stages of undoing Obama policies and some are tied up in the courts. So far, Trump’s leadership has mostly been defined by his rhetoric. And his rhetoric, the conventional wisdom holds, could not be more different from his predecessor’s. Barack Obama was, as president, eloquent. His language was sophisticated. … Continue reading In Words Obama & Trump Speak Same

Progressive Hindu Dialogue Among Top 20 Hindu Websites

Progressive Hindu Dialogue,which was launched only last year, has been selected one of the top 20 Hindu blogs on the web. Thanks all for your support. Following is the letter of recognition: Hi Promod, My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot. I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Progressive Hindu Dialogue has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 20 Hindu Blogs on the web. http://blog.feedspot.com/hindu_blog/ I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 20 Hindu … Continue reading Progressive Hindu Dialogue Among Top 20 Hindu Websites

Despite Difference Of Opinion Friends Are Friends

By Promod Puri

In split second, rather much sooner, memories can take us to revisit some interesting spots in our lives.

For me, one of such repeat visits is to the primary class where I graduated myself from grade 5th to grade 6th and started learning English from alphabets to making small sentences. Towards the end of the one-year term, to the surprise of my teacher, I could write cursive English, meaning script writing by joining the letters.

In the English class, our writing assignments included composing “essays” of about 50 to 150 words. And as I remember the assigned topics were writings on the dog as man’s best friend, benefits from cow, and the stories titled “thirsty crow”, “grapes are sour”, “slow and steady wins the race” between tortoise and rabbit, etc. We were also asked to compose applications addressed to the headmaster requesting a leave of absence describing reasons including being sick.
One composition I still recall was to write a portrayal of the best friend.
Writing about a best friend was not that intricate as most of the help came from elder family members, or just through my innocent and naive imaginations. But in this exercise, the concept of thinking about friends or cultivating friendship was mindfully and firmly established.
Over the years I have developed that relationship of having friends, close friends, family friends, and best friends.

They say, “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. True, but our distress needs are seldom. For most of the time friends take care of our social compulsions to have some informal, happy, and entertaining times together.

In these relaxed occasions, we enjoy each others company of vacationing together, dining together or just having coffee together. We discuss, argue, or debate issues, events, experiences, etc. on a range of subjects depending upon our mutual interests.

Meet My Friend.

From this social aspect of friendship, I would like to bring up here a close long-time family friend. His name is Ramkishen (the real name is concealed for identity reason).

In introducing Ramkishen, I would say he is quite a smart, well-mannered, and well-dressed person. Hard working and actively involved in community affairs, he is always helpful and truly belongs to the friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed class of people.

Ramkishen is selective secular and bends naturally towards the political Right. He belongs to the 2016 batch of Trump Republicans, but lately a bit cynical as well, and a Modi “bhagat” (avid supporter). He is a ritualistically religious person and a devout Hindu. He has a red thread tied on his right wrist, which lately has become a symbol of being Hindu.
Ramkishen is an enjoyable conversationalist with knowledge mostly borrowed from fake news sources. Overall, I would say he is an affable personality.
But…
For some reason(s) Ramkishen is anti-Muslim.
The other day, while as usual jumping from one topic to another, we were having interesting talks. Our friendly discussions ended up in God’s colossal authority, His management or mismanagement concerning the affairs of the universe, especially His handling of the deteriorating world problems. We agreed that we have some genuine “shikwa”, the Urdu word for complaint, against Him including His varied creations. And this is where Ramkishen pointed out that “the biggest mistake God ever made was creating Muslims”.
For a moment, looking at his face, I was completely dumbstruck. On several previous meets, Ramkishen made many derogatory and racist remarks also. But this one seemed to be the climax of his anti-Muslim tirade. Shocked that the guy could go down to that ultra racist level to advocate his hatred towards the entire race of Muslims, that I felt lynching his tainted mindset.
But….
He is a friend. And hoping one day he, along with many more Ramkishens among the bourgeois Hindus, get exposed to true knowledge, discernment, and humaneness, so they would review their bigoted views.
In the meantime, back to the 6th-grade memories, I like to play again in my cursive writings with those little essays on a cow, dog, the thirsty crow, and the best friend.
-30-
Promod Puri is a journalist and writer. He is author of “Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions”, a book which explores the rational, secular and progressive nature of Hinduism.
Continue reading “Despite Difference Of Opinion Friends Are Friends”

Rakshabandan’ – the festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond

A sister tying the protective thread. Vikram Verma, CC BY-ND Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross This year, Monday, August 7 marks one of the most important celebrations for Hindus throughout the world: Rakshabandhan, a ceremony honoring the bond between sisters and brothers. The date of Rakshabandan varies from year to year since Hindus follow a lunar calendar for religious celebrations. During Rakshabandhan sisters tie a protective thread around the right wrist of their brothers. Brothers give gifts and promise protection to their sisters. The word “rakshabandhan” means “tie of protection.” The festival affirms the crucial importance of family … Continue reading Rakshabandan’ – the festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond

‘COW ECONOMICS’ ARE KILLING INDIA’S WORKING CLASS

Afroz Alam, Maulana Azad National Urdu University When Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Indian parliament for the first time in June 2014, his inaugural speech focused on integrating and protecting India’s Muslims. “Even the third generation of Muslim brothers, whom I have seen since my young days, are continuing with their cycle-repairing job,” he said, referring to one of the many menial jobs to which Indian Muslims are often relegated. “Why does such misfortune continue?” But instead of “bring[ing] about change in their lives,” as Modi promised, his government has made life harder for India’s Muslims by cracking down … Continue reading ‘COW ECONOMICS’ ARE KILLING INDIA’S WORKING CLASS

2+2 = 4, Not 5

One school in Hindu philosophy is called Sankhya, which literary means numbers. So it seeks rationality, like 2+2=4, rejecting 2+2=5. In other words a concept has to go thru rational examination before being accepted or rejected. It is unfortunate that those who now claim to be Hindus and forcing its unrealistic rituals and customs, do not seek truth and rationality in their thinking. And that is damaging to Hinduism. https://progressivehindudialogue.com/ Progressive Hindu Dialogue Progressive Hindu Dialogue is an initiative to explore, recognize and advance the rational, liberal and… PROGRESSIVEHINDUDIALOGUE.COM Continue reading 2+2 = 4, Not 5