Reform In World religions

An integrated approach is needed to reform most of the world religions in which all the sciences and disciplines like physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc., etc. along with computer sciences help in the ethical and rational understanding of religious orders including their cleansing. This review is now due.

-Promod Puri

Mueller Report Spares The Big One

By Promod Puri

The Hindi phrase “khoda pahar nikla chuha (dug the mountain, got out a rat) or the English equivalent: much ado about nothing, is the essence of Robert Mueller’s partially-released report.

However, in this case instead catch of one single big rat, the two-year-long digging did find lot more casualties, 34 of them in all, much to the disappointment of many who were expecting an explosive closure.

It all began when Donald Trump was accused that he along with his election team conspired with Russians to influence the 2016 US presidential poll.

The high-profile investigation which involved many lawyers and dozens of FBI agents incurred an expense of over $30 million.

President Trump all along claimed that he was innocent and that he was being witch-hunted by his opponents. Nonetheless, the Mueller report did result in indictments of many of his lieutenants.

They included Robert Stone (former Trump advisor), Michael Cohen (former trump attorney), Paul Manafort (former campaign chair), George Papadopoulos (former campaign aide), Michael Flynn (former national security advisor, Konstantin Kilimnik (alleged Russian spy), etc., etc.

While the curtains are finally down for the Mueller-directed political drama, Trumps stands tall, happy, golfing and continues delighting and distracting the world with his daily treats of tweets.

HYMN OF CREATION (Nasadiya Sukta)

via HYMN OF CREATION (Nasadiya Sukta)

PUNJABI HUMOR FOR ALL OCCASIONS

Punjabis have a great sense of humor. And the people from both sides of the border between India and Pakistan share this personality trait as the blood in their veins.

Recently while watching a TV talk show from Lahore, on the serious issue of donkey meat being sold as goat or beef in the country, I couldn’t stop laughing at the remarks of a comedian host joking around this issue as well. Here is how it goes…

After having a delicious meal of Lahori kebobs in a restaurant, the comedian realized that the serving could be made from pure donkey meat. And when it came time to pay the bill, he told the waiter that he did not have the money. He offered instead that he could put some load on his back to carry around. The waiter, being surprised at this unusual offer, said he could not do that. Then came the second offer from the comedian “Ok, since I ate the donkey meat, you can whip me with a cane.”

Keep up the sense of humor Punjabis on both sides of the border. God knows we all need a good laugh these days be it from India or Pakistan.

-by Rita Puri with contribution from Adarsh Sethi.

BREXIT: STUPID MOVE PUTS UK IN LIMBO

It was the most stupid decision Britishers made in its recent history to leave the European Union, and in which many among the whiter than the white immigrants joining the xenophobic racists.

The nation is now stuck in the limbo as it cannot go back, and it can’t move forward. In the meantime, many multi-nationals are leaving the country and the small to medium industries are suffering.

Down the road jobs will be lost by those who wanted to save them from immigrants. Social programs will be affected, as immigrants were allegedly been robbing the country of those benefits.

Here in Canada, many among those who once lived in England are still receiving the old-age and other benefits from the UK government while critical about giving such benefits to the new immigrants in their old country.

The shoe does not hurt them even it pinches.

Promod Puri https://promodpuri.com/

David Sidoo, A Sacrificial Lamb

It is a case of compromising with ethics and risking his own reputation for the sake of securing a good future for his sons.

This could be a sacrifice for the kids, but the laws are blind when decorated businessman and celebrated donor to the University of British Columbia, David Sidoo was arrested in the United States last Friday.

The alleged charge is that Sidoo paid $100,000 in 2011 to have one individual to take the qualifying test in place of his older son for admission to a California University. The scheme worked, and the son got the required marks to the admission.

In another US Justice Dept. indictment, Sidoo paid $100,000 for his younger son to obtain the qualifying score in the US universities.

These are all allegations, with the presumption of his being innocent.

The case confronts with the situation where morality or ethically-wrong- doing poses a dilemma for the father who likes any other parent would do anything for their kids’ future.

But since he is caught, the long arms of the laws have made David Sidoo, a sacrificial lamb.

-by Promod Puri

 

 

 

 

Changing World Needs Changing World Orders

Many rituals, customs, and traditions related to our religions need a review for their practicality in our ever-changing world culture.
Moreover, in the progressive development, the call of humanity seeks to re-evaluate each of our religions, rituals, customs, traditions, social and political institutions, including Left and Right isms, which impart values and behaviors impacting our societies.

 

This resolution is part of the evolution and management of civil society we live in. The evolution of civilization is natural as well as essential for the rational and intelligent creation of environments influencing our lives.

The contemporary world society needs Neologism.

Neologism means to introduce a new word or new senses of existing words. In its expanded definition neologism also involves “a new doctrine, especially a new interpretation of sacred writings”, according to Dictionary.com.

 

-By Promod Puri

Apples, Oranges & Kashmir Problem

BY Promod Puri

Apple and oranges don’t mix. They grow in separate regions and in separate climates. They have separate shapes and separate tastes.

Jammu grows oranges, sweet and juicy. Kashmir grows apples, luscious and crispy. Put them together in a box. And market it as a product of Kashmir. That is simply deceptive labeling. It should be marked as a product of Jammu And Kashmir.

And that is the same subtle difference when Kashmir and Jammu are packaged together linguistically, socially and politically. And the entity is stamped as Kashmir.

The packaging is done and marketed by Kashmiri political traders.

As such the Kashmir issue in its present outlook does not justify to be the basis of the agenda of talks between India and Pakistan.

The simple but mostly ignored reason is that the colloquial ‘Kashmir issue’ is not representative of all the diverse regions of the state, as well as those held by Pakistan. The occasional violence erupts only in the valley, not in other parts of the state. We seldom hear about political protests and fury in Jammu or Ladakh regions, or even for that matter in Pakistan-controlled “Azad Kashmir”.

The entire Kashmir leadership is controlled by Kashmiri-speaking politicians and activists. There is no representation from the other regions of the state such as Jammu and Ladakh.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is extensively diverse: linguistically, culturally, religiously and geographically.

Ignorance of this reality generates the impression that everybody in the state is Kashmiri-speaking. The same applies to “Azad Kashmir”. Nobody there speaks Kashmiri, nor do they identify culturally with the Valley.

Unless a correction in the “Kashmir problem” is made to recognize the diverse realities of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, only then it can be discussed among all the concerned parties. In its present avatar, the Kashmir Issue itself is unrealistic, undemocratic and monopolized.

promodpuri.com

Progressivehindudialogue.com

Promodpuri.blogspot.com

No Basis Why Indian Sub-continent Divided 72 Yrs Ago

Flip the coin and on one side India and Pakistan seem to be combating with each other forever. On the other side, they are sharing the same bread of common roots, common cultures, languages, and traditions.

This love and hate relationship between the two neighbors is both as a result of natural and historic bonding between the peoples of the two countries. At the same time, there is the hostility generated by militancy from Pakistan and India’s dithering stand in resolving the Kashmir problem.

In 1947 when the British colonial rulers left the Indian subcontinent Pakistan was established. It was on the basis that the Muslims population would have their own country. This was done by simply drawing a distorted boundary line along the north-western part of united India. A similar line was drawn in the northeastern part. Thus a geographically unique nation of Pakistan, with miles apart east and west regions, was constituted.

The partition of United India in practically three regions saw one of the worst communal riots. In this abrupt war of hatred, hundreds of thousands of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were killed. Millions faced unprecedented miseries as a result of sudden uprooting of people from their ancestral homes and lands.

In that bloody anarchy, however, Pakistan got its Muslim majority.

But the genesis of Pakistan based on one religion could not represent the diversity within its Muslim population. Different languages, different cultures, along with different sects within Islam were part of the reality of Pakistan as well. The result East Pakistan was completely scratched out from the map. And a new nation of Bangladesh was born. This was a negation to the perception that a common religion would hold the nation together irrespective of its cultural, linguistic and ethnic pluralities.

In this context, one wonders why the subcontinent was divided in the first place. If carving a Muslim state was the main reason to establish Pakistan then it did not take in its fold all the Muslims in united India. Nor it could address the regional and diverse cultural and linguistic aspirations of its people. Urdu or Hindusthani speaking migrants settled in the Sind and Punjab provinces of Pakistan felt alienated.

Moreover, the division of the sub-continent generated a never-ending hostility between India and Pakistan which is dominated by the Kashmir problem.

By Promod Puri https://promodpuri.com/

Leader of Choice

His image may be soiled by the media-branded “explosive” testimony of ex-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould recently, Prime Minister Justine Trudeau is still my choice of being the leader of the Liberal Party to win the next federal election in Canada. The alternative of the Conservative Party with its leader Andrew James Scheer is politically and socially retrogressive for the liberal-spirited, non-racist multicultural Canadian society. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh fits well as a dedicated socialist leader, but he needs to undergo more political baking to be better known and accepted by all Canadians from coast to coast.
-Promod Puri

MANUSMRITI AND WOMEN

Since bias knows no boundaries, Manusmriti not only expounds the social distance between the upper and lower castes, but it also delineates the status of women by curbing their rights. It lists guidelines for men in selecting marriage partners and puts a stamp of their superiority by creating gender inequality.

In chapter 3 with numbered paragraphs here it is what Manusmriti prescribes:

8. One should not marry women who have reddish hair, redundant parts of the body [such as six fingers], one who is often sick, one without hair or having excessive hair and one who has red eyes.

9. One should not marry women whose names are similar to constellations, trees, rivers, those from a low caste, mountains, birds, snakes, slaves or those whose names inspire terror.

10. Wise men should not marry women who do not have a brother and whose parents are not socially well known.

11. Wise men should marry only women who are free from bodily defects, with beautiful names, grace/gait like an elephant, moderate hair on the head and body, soft limbs and small teeth.

61. For if the wife is not radiant with beauty, she will not attract her husband; but if she has no attractions for him, no children will be born.

62. If the wife is radiant with beauty, the whole house is bright; but if she is destitute of beauty, all will appear dismal.

147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house.

148. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.

149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband’s) families contemptible.

150. She must always be cheerful, clever in (the management of her) household affairs, careful in cleaning her utensils, and economical in expenditure.

151. Him to whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father’s permission, she shall obey as long as he lives, and when he is dead, she must not insult (his memory).

154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

155. No sacrifice, no vow, no fast must be performed by women apart (from their husbands); if a wife obeys her husband, she will for that (reason alone) be exalted in heaven.

156. A faithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.

160. A virtuous wife who after the death of her husband constantly remains chaste, reaches heaven, though she has no son, just like those chaste men.

161. But a woman who from a desire to have offspring violates her duty towards her (deceased) husband, brings on herself disgrace in this world and loses her place with her husband (in heaven).

And in Chapter 9 Manusmriti further explicates under each numbered paragraphs that:

3. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

10. No man can completely guard women by force, but they can be guarded by the employment of the (following) expedients:

11. Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfillment of) religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.

29. She who, controlling her thoughts, speech, and acts, violates not her duty towards her lord, dwells with him (after death) in heaven, and in this world is called by the virtuous a faithful (wife, sadhvi).

30. But for disloyalty to her husband a wife is censured among men, and (in her next life) she is born in the womb of a jackal and tormented by diseases, the punishment of her sin.

Manu’s architected gender relationship molded the mind of Hindu male’s psychology toward the woman. The latter also conditioned her to behave as per the Manusmriti texts. That behavior requires a woman to be passive and submissive. The management restricts her to family and domestic chores. In this structured framework lower caste women are triply discriminated by caste, class, and gender.

(Excerpts from Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs, and Traditions, Chapter 9)

Kashmir: India and Pakistan’s escalating conflict will benefit Narendra Modi ahead of the election

Sita Bali, Staffordshire University

Tensions in the Kashmir region were already building after more than 40 Indian troops were recently killed by a suicide bomber. India’s “pre-emptive strike” over the disputed border on Tuesday – the first of its kind by India since it went to war with Pakistan in 1971 – has escalated the situation further. India said it had targeted a terrorist training camp and accused Pakistan of violating a 2003 ceasefire, while Pakistan now claims to have shot down two Indian fighter jets.

The origins of the Kashmir conflict lie in British imperial disengagement from the subcontinent. At independence in 1947, the unpopular Hindu Maharaja of Kashmir was faced with invasion by Pakistani tribesmen. He turned to India for help, signing the treaty of accession that took Kashmir into the Indian Union. India sent troops to Kashmir and so began the first war between India and Pakistan.

The Pakistanis were held off by Indian troops after they occupied one-third of Kashmir in 1948. Today, Pakistan continues to occupy that third and India holds the remaining two-thirds including the Kashmir Valley. The border between these two areas in Kashmir is demarcated by the Line of Control (LoC), established after fighting in 1947-48. This demarcation has changed little in all the conflicts of the subsequent years.

Disputed territory: green is Kashmiri region under Pakistani control; dark-brown is Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir; striped is Aksai Chin under Chinese control. CIA World Factbook/Wikipedia Commons

Maharaja Hari Singh’s move to join India was supported by the popular secular Kashmiri political movement – the National Conference, led by Sheikh Abdullah. Particularly so, as India agreed a special status for Kashmir within the Indian Union – spelled out in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. A further article in the constitution prohibits people from outside Kashmir from buying land and property in the state, allowing Kashmir to preserve the balance of its ethnic and religiously mixed population (60% Muslim, 35% Hindu and 5% Buddhist).

Ladakh: a mountainous region in the disputed north-west of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Phuong D. Nguyen/Shutterstock

Pakistan has always maintained that, in accordance with the logic of partition, Kashmir should have been integrated with it. It attempted to take Kashmir by force in 1947-48 and again in 1965, with no success. The Kargil conflict in 1999 was the last substantial direct confrontation between the two militaries.


Read more: India and Pakistan’s rivalry isn’t territorial or ideological – it’s psychological


Since then there have been regular terrorist attacks on mostly military, paramilitary or government targets in Kashmir – see the full list here. Successive Indian governments have held the Pakistan military and their Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) responsible for training and aiding the terrorists involved, which Pakistan denies.

After this latest suicide attack, claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) terror group, the debate now rests on whether the wider apparatus of the Pakistani state was aware of, and can be held responsible for, the actions of a terrorist group based in their country and with supposed links to the ISI.

Modi operandi

The suicide attack that killed Indian paramilitary personnel takes on added significance because it occurred in the context of the looming general election in India in which the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, is trying to retain its grip on power. Modi and his BJP came to power with a thumping majority in May 2014, promising competent, clean government and economic development.

However, things have not gone well for the government in recent months. The Indian economy is suffering from the long-term effects of the decision to demonetise in 2016 and the inability to generate new jobs. The BJP was also defeated in five state elections in 2018, including key states of the Hindi belt such as Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

India’s Narendra Modi. Escalation of tensions with Pakistan could play into BJP plans ahead of Indian elections. By Madhuram Paliwal/Shutterstock

With Modi’s supposed record of economic competence and good governance under challenge, he has increasingly relied on his party’s version of extreme nationalism to keep people’s support. The BJP’s Hindutva ideology sees India as a Hindu country and believes all Indian Muslims should have been forced to move to Pakistan in 1947, and now constitute a fifth column in the country. So an attack such as the recent suicide bombing – whether or not it was actually instigated by Pakistan – plays into Modi’s narrative.

That the attack was carried out by a young man from Indian Kashmir also serves to illustrate the failure of the Modi government in dealing with the Kashmir problem. For more than three years the BJP was itself part of the government of Kashmir in alliance with the People’s Democratic Party of Mohammed and Mehbooba Mufti. This alliance fell apart in 2018, mostly over disagreements between the two parties about how to handle the increase in violence in Kashmir and the radicalisation of young Kashmiris, who were once again taking up arms against India.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group, unusually, took immediate responsibility for the attack. Equally, the Indian response to the attack was a first, in that India has never before responded to terrorism within its borders by attacking Pakistan. India’s airstrike is considered the first major use of air power against Pakistan since 1971.

At this stage there are claims and counter claims from both sides about what the Indian bombing raids achieved. Pakistan is threatening an appropriate response, so there is potential for an escalation of this volatile situation between two nuclear armed countries.

Amid an intensifying war of words and action between the two, the only beneficiary will be the BJP. As jingoistic fervour rises in India, they hope they will be swept back to office on the crest of that wave.