MY PASSION WITH IRONING

Taking advantage of the Black Friday shopping bargains at Walmart, we bought a long overdue ironing board. Till now, we were using a spare computer table with a spread of thick cotton sheets for some cushioning on its top. With adjustable height, the new ironing board has all that buffer plus the parking space to hold the press. I love ironing with a meditative passion. Since my early teen years, I mastered the pressing job shoulder to shoulder, top to bottom, inside, outside for every kind of wear. My love affair with the hot press, later along with newspaper and … Continue reading MY PASSION WITH IRONING

Does God Play Role In Our Karmas

by Promod Puri Karma is one of the most fundamentals of Hinduism.  The actual word is ‘Karm’ with a firm stop at the last letter ‘m’. As usual, many Sanskrit or Hindi words, for some reason or without reason, are stretched by hooking up with the letter ‘a’: for example, Krishna, Rama, Ayurveda etc.  In any case, Karma or Karm represents action, deed or work. It is an act of doing something. And that involves two more factors, the doer and the result(s) of work performed. Together, action, doer and result, constitute Karma, which starts with a verb and ends … Continue reading Does God Play Role In Our Karmas

Concept Of Moksha Or Salvation In Hinduism

Moksha or Mukti denotes freedom. It is a much-hyped Hindu traditional thought. In essence, it represents ardent purity to seek Oneness with the Supreme-being.  Moksha covers two allied but different schools under the faculty of moksha-shastra.  One has its base on the concept of eternal salvation from the repeated cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. This rotation of advents is a popular notion among Hindus with the support of reincarnation ideology. Like soteriology, the salvation doctrine, the birth-rebirth cycle to achieve moksha or salvation is called Samsara in Sanskrit. Life is an entanglement of sufferings. Moksha is considered as the ultimate … Continue reading Concept Of Moksha Or Salvation In Hinduism

Universal Totality

The universe is a totality, indivisible; it is an organic whole. The parts are not separate, we are all existing in a togetherness: the trees, the mountains, the people, the birds, the stars, howsoever far away they may appear, they are all interlinked, all bridged. Even the smallest blade of grass is connected to the farthest star, and it is as significant as the greatest sun. Hindu Mantra Evokes Togetherness: “ Om purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udachyate purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashishyate” Osho Says: “Nothing is insignificant, nothing is smaller than anything else. The part represents the whole … Continue reading Universal Totality

LIFE REVOLVES AND SURVIVES AROUND MAINTENANCE

Maintenance, maintenance, and maintenance are the mantra that sustains us practically in most aspects of our lives. From personal health to our conveniences, gadgets, computers, and machinery, we are all tied to one crucial essential. And that pivotal element is maintenance. We often talk and care about physical maintenance, body weight, sugar, cholesterol levels, etc.  And then the tuneup of our car or vehicle, upkeep of the house, lawn and building. Parks, gardens, streets, roads, bridges, water pipes, sewer systems, and all the infrastructures undergo routine care, repair and reconstruction. Oversized items maintenance like trucks and planes or any engine … Continue reading LIFE REVOLVES AND SURVIVES AROUND MAINTENANCE

ATHEISM HAS CREDIBLE INFLUENCE ON RELIGIONS TOO:

God and religion are the two synonymous influences subjected to evolution in humankind’s ongoing social construction. In this evolution, atheism can contribute too because of its credible roots in various religious ideations. The main reason is for its earnest call for humanism in the conduct of our lives. The fact is, since the time God got institutionalized in the religious orders, atheism, despite being firm on His non-existence, has played a challenging and stimulating role in man’s spiritual and divine pursuits. For those reasons, atheism received acceptance as a valid philosophical concept in the religiosity of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and … Continue reading ATHEISM HAS CREDIBLE INFLUENCE ON RELIGIONS TOO:

The many stories of Diwali share a common theme of triumph of justice

Natasha Mikles, Texas State University As many Indian Americans celebrate the election of the first Black and South Asian woman, Kamala Harris, to the White House, many will also be celebrating the festival of Diwali on Saturday, Nov. 14. Sometimes called the Indian festival of lights, Diwali is arguably the most important holiday of the year for South Asian families. The festival, which is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, lasts five days in its entirety. Traditionally the third day is considered the most important. During this day, families gather to light candles, eat sweets and place lit lamps in … Continue reading The many stories of Diwali share a common theme of triumph of justice

ELECTION REVEALS TRUE AMERICA

The current election in the United States of America has furnished quite a glimpse of its social behaviour and sentiments through its divided national political scenario. Within its democratic and liberal fundamentals, this is a nation that thrives on extreme racialism and xenophobic temperament in its White supremacist and uncontrolled gun cultures. It is a nation of Nobel laurates sharing their wisdom and knowledge with the rest of the world, while actually, a significant segment of its population lives like a proverbial frog in the well. The US is also a nation where many immigrants, thru some baffling genetic fusion … Continue reading ELECTION REVEALS TRUE AMERICA

Shastras In Hinduism

While traversing along with its ritual, religious and spiritual landscape, we discover on top of it quite a meaningful spectrum of Hinduism’s multi-disciplinary diversity. Its curriculum includes specialized and acknowledged studies and practices in arts, music, and yoga that have earned global fascination. Moreover, the Hindu institution offers an expansive range of inceptive and revealing courses in most pure and applied sciences and social sciences.  All these disciplines are part of the Hindu literature and traditions involving imaginative, investigative, intellectual and cultural pursuits. In Hinduism, ‘shastras’ refer to various schools of knowledge and learning covering most facets of human life … Continue reading Shastras In Hinduism

VERSATILE PUMPKIN A SUPER VEGETABLE THAT FIGHTS CANCER:

I have strong feelings for pumpkin, mostly when left out in the chill of autumn nights during the Halloween season. It is the most abused and wasted vegetable sacrificing itself to rot and finally dumped in the compost bin. Is that his or her karma carved by custom and tradition! The gigantic orange globe is one of the most nutritious vegetables. Loaded with protein, vitamins A, C, B2 and E, potassium, copper, manganese, and iron, it also carries phosphorus and zinc, and antioxidants that fight cancer cells. So why to waste this super heavyweight produce. There are plenty of recipes … Continue reading VERSATILE PUMPKIN A SUPER VEGETABLE THAT FIGHTS CANCER:

THINGS WE SELDOM USE IN OUR HOUSEHOLDS

How often we use the dishwasher? Quite regularly, frequently, occasionally, or very rarely. Perhaps never. Is the dishwasher use a cultural thing, or do we want to exercise some water and energy saving? Some of us in the immigrant communities prefer washing dishes by hand and then letting them dry out with natural air or wipe with a kitchen towel. Continue reading THINGS WE SELDOM USE IN OUR HOUSEHOLDS

India Urgently Needs A Comprehensive Diagnostic Study To Tackle Rape Epidemic

This is a disease that can’t be controlled by candles, protests, poetry, prose, and punishments. By Promod Puri It is disgraced and dreadful evil that has grown into an imperishable stain on the contemporary Indian scene as its social norm. The evil is the rapist beast that lurks everywhere, ready to pounce on his victims at any given opportunity. The sad story is that the nation has not begun in a comprehensive way to handle this ongoing spread of vicious crime against women. Manisha of Hathras, Priyanka Reddy, Asifa Banu, Jyoti Singh “Nirbhay,” and hundreds perhaps thousands more became victims … Continue reading India Urgently Needs A Comprehensive Diagnostic Study To Tackle Rape Epidemic

OCTOBER 24 ELECTION A BOMBSHELL FOR BRITISH COLUMBIANS

By Promod Puri The Liberals got caught off guard. And so are the British Columbians when Premier John Horgan announced on Monday a flash provincial election just a month from now, on October 24. My immediate reaction on social media was, “again! It was only yesterday.” The province was to go to the polls in 2021 fall, according to the gentleman agreement, duly signed, between the New Democratic Party and its supporting partner, the Green Party of B.C. The last election, three years ago, resulted in NDP securing 41 seats against the B.C. Liberal Party, winning 43 seats. The then-Liberal … Continue reading OCTOBER 24 ELECTION A BOMBSHELL FOR BRITISH COLUMBIANS

WHY FEEL BORED?

Boredom is a very commonly expressed feeling even in this age when we have 24-hour entertainment at our convenience. There is a stream of entertainment and information from our smartphones and social media in the company of self. But still, there are occasional experiences of boredom.Why do we feel bored?Generally, they say boredom occurs to those who have not developed any interest in any activity or hobby. Especially this is true when in the golden years of our lives. There are plenty of dull moments that defy time and move with their own speed. An enjoyable activity helps to ward … Continue reading WHY FEEL BORED?

WHY INTELLECTUALS NOW RIDICULED IN INDIA:

Being intellectual in India these days has an irony of pun in it. The ‘intellectuals’ rather be non-intellectuals to avoid the snobbery generated in its labelling. “I am not an intellectual. Abuse me, but do not call me that sir,” a recent quote from Chetan Bhagat, one of India known authors, who got included in Time magazine’s list of World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010. The word intellectual is a slang now both in political and social terms. It suggests scholars are ignorant of ground realities despite their academic and ideological learning. For Prime minister Modi’s “bhagats” and the … Continue reading WHY INTELLECTUALS NOW RIDICULED IN INDIA:

TEACHERS DAY SHOULD BE IN HONOR OF JYOTI RAO AND SAVITRIBAI PHULE

September 5 is celebrated in India as Teachers’ Day synonymous with its second president, Dr. Sarvepilli Radhakrishnan, who also was a teacher, besides being an eminent philosopher of international fame. But a true story about him reveals that his famous work the “Indian Philosophy” is largely plagiarized from the Ph.D. thesis of Jadunath Sinha, one of his students. However, when Sinha came to know about this theft, he filed a case in court against his teacher. It is another matter that owing to Radhakrishnan’s influential position, the case was disposed of without causing much trouble to him. But how can … Continue reading TEACHERS DAY SHOULD BE IN HONOR OF JYOTI RAO AND SAVITRIBAI PHULE

American environmentalism’s racist roots have shaped global thinking about conservation

“conservation will succeed only if it can support the goal of a dignified life for all humans and nonhuman species.” Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut The United States is having a long-overdue national reckoning with racism. From criminal justice to pro sports to pop culture, Americans increasingly are recognizing how racist ideas have influenced virtually every sphere of life in this country. This includes the environmental movement. Recently the Sierra Club – one of the oldest and largest U.S. conservation organizations – acknowledged racist views held by its founder, author and conservationist John Muir. In some of his writing, Muir … Continue reading American environmentalism’s racist roots have shaped global thinking about conservation

UNCLE-JI AND AUNTI-JI

Uncles and aunty’s designations have become popular among the younger generation of South Asians to address their parents’ friends or older contacts. Instead of calling them by their first or last names, with prefix Mr. or Mrs., the unrelated nephews and nieces develop a kinship with the choice of etiquette that is more personal. The uncle-auntie entitlement is in vogue in other cultures as well. But the South Asian youths go a step further. To show more reverence, ‘ji’ pronounced like ‘g’ is attached to address the instantaneous relatives as uncle Ji and auntie-Ji. Perhaps this arrangement establishes a more … Continue reading UNCLE-JI AND AUNTI-JI

Her identity is biracial

I don’t accept Kamala Harris has to represent herself with Black identity only. Her real identity of being biracial is African-Indian. Her mother was of Tamil origin from South India, and she is through and through Indian. Cherishing Indian customs, following Hindu rituals of breaking coconuts, and enjoying dosa, sambar and idli, her genome is equally Indian. Then why she plays the Black identity card only? Tiger Woods called himself “Cablinasian” (a word he made up as a teen to account for his Caucasian, Black, American Indian and Asian heritages). He has not solely identified himself as Black. If Tiger … Continue reading Her identity is biracial

MY FIRST WRITING PEN MADE FROM A DRY TWIG

Handcrafted from a solid dry twig, with one end slightly chiselled and shaped like a nib. And the stem was smoothed to hold the Kalam.
For each word or few words to write, the Kalam received its ink while dipped into an inkpot. Together the pair was called “Kalam-dawaat,” that I used to carry with me to primary school. Often my school bag and my clothing got stains of the black ink.
Continue reading MY FIRST WRITING PEN MADE FROM A DRY TWIG

Book Review: Purva Grover’s The Trees Told Me So is playwright’s delight

Originally posted on Vishal Bheeroo:
Book Review: The Trees Told Me So Author: Purva Grover Publisher: Niyogi Books Rating: Four and a half stars ? ? Introduction: Purva Grover’s The Trees Told Me So is a collection of short stories narrating about cities, hidden emotions, and memories in a tender and sensitive voice melting hearts. 11 stories, heart-wrenching, rare friendships made, love, simplicity of life is a delightful serving where each comes alive making it a color palette of form and, the dewdrop deeply layered lending a ubiquitous expression of visualization in this joyride. ? Narration: ? Addiction is sold… Continue reading Book Review: Purva Grover’s The Trees Told Me So is playwright’s delight

How Howard Thurman met Gandhi and brought nonviolence to the civil rights movement

A growing number of African-American leaders closely followed Gandhi’s campaigns of “satyagraha,” or what he termed as nonresistance to evil against British colonialism. Black newspapers and magazines announced the need for an “American Gandhi.” Continue reading How Howard Thurman met Gandhi and brought nonviolence to the civil rights movement

Temples And Other Range Of options In Hindu Worshipping Practices

“Temple-Hinduism” is an expression introduced by Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion, University of Florida. The terminology is not an academic phrasing, nor does it reflect a new sect in Hinduism. It is an interpretation of Hinduism related to the devotional practices of rituals and prayers in the temple’s iconological environment. Continue reading Temples And Other Range Of options In Hindu Worshipping Practices

RIG VEDA: HE KNOWS, PERHAPS He DOES NOT KNOW

Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced?
Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterward,
with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen—
perhaps it formed itself, perhaps it did not
the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven,
only He knows or perhaps He does not know.
even, only He knows – or perhaps He does not know.
– Rig Veda 10:129, translation: Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Author, Indologist, and Sanskrit Scholar.
Continue reading RIG VEDA: HE KNOWS, PERHAPS He DOES NOT KNOW

Buddhist and Hindu philosophies help us see clearly, act wisely in an interconnected world

Indian thinkers have been reflecting on interconnectedness for more than two millennia. I study Indian philosophy, and I believe this diverse tradition offers rich and timely insights about how people might better understand global interconnectedness today and act more wisely. Continue reading Buddhist and Hindu philosophies help us see clearly, act wisely in an interconnected world

PASSING THROUGH RACIST PASSAGE OUR HISTORY FROM HINDOOS TO SOUTH ASIAN CANADIANS

Immigrants, especially from the “visible minority” communities, not only faced racial discrimination in most aspects of their lives in Canada, but they could also discern reflections of bigotry and segregation in their labelings.
In the early part of the twentieth-century immigrants from the Indian subcontinent were all classified as “Hindoos.” Continue reading PASSING THROUGH RACIST PASSAGE OUR HISTORY FROM HINDOOS TO SOUTH ASIAN CANADIANS

Humanization Of Countries, Viruses And Everything Else

By Promod Puri Do we have to blame a nation or nations in their respective involvement and stake in initiating wars, battles, or violent conflicts rather than the individuals responsible for calling out to strike the fire? Historically and down the road, we blame the nations and forget the leaders or rulers in their combating roles and catastrophic orders. But this is how the human mind is architected to humanize nonhuman physical entities from countries to animals, political to religious concepts. We’re humanizing Coronavirus as “sneaky, “tricky,” “merciless,” “cruel,” and “invisible enemy.” It is an innate tendency of human psychology … Continue reading Humanization Of Countries, Viruses And Everything Else

Coronavirus Pandemic Falls Heavy On India’s 200 M Lowcaste Population

Long before the outbreak of COVID-19, a more pernicious form of social distancing was widespread across India: the Hindu caste system. In one form or another, this system – which has existed in the region for over a millennium – has long ensured social segregation based on one’s place in the hierarchy. Continue reading Coronavirus Pandemic Falls Heavy On India’s 200 M Lowcaste Population

Mantra: An Ingrained Feature In Hinduism

By Promod Puri Peace in all the cosmic environments influences peace in humankind as well An ingrained feature in Hinduism is the mantra. It is a productive tool that effectively generates tranquil and energetic feelings. A mantra inherently is the delivery of sacred word(s) or a sound with literal meaning or without meaning, but capable of inducing an ambiance of divinity. Moreover, despite their antiquated origin since the Vedic period of Hindu history, contemporary interpretations of mantras offer intellectual spirituality and mystic expressions. Melodic compositions in musical and metrical formation draw out coherent and thematic features in mantras’ verses. Mantra’s … Continue reading Mantra: An Ingrained Feature In Hinduism

Equality And Duality are Themes In Hindu Mantra:

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यतेपूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥ “ Om purnam adah purnam idampurnat purnam udachyatepurnasya purnam adayapurnam evavashishyate”. An ideological and free translation of the mantra begins with the word Om (ॐ), which is personified here as God. The term ‘Purnam’ and its related derivates in the mantra mean complete and signify His completeness. He is Complete; everything emanating from Him is complete. From the Complete Wholeness, only the entirety manifests. And even when a single complete comes out from the whole Complete, what is left is still a Complete. The products produced through Him may look small or big, … Continue reading Equality And Duality are Themes In Hindu Mantra:

A CASE FOR FULL AUTONOMY TO STATES TO KEEP INDIA UNITED

By Promod Puri Because of its vast linguistic and cultural plurality, as represented by most of its states, suggesting India’s division into individual autonomous regions may sound a Utopian or even an insensible concept. But the divisive motion would reflect and meet more effectively the political and social aspirations of its peoples than the current restrained setup. The unity and stability of the region, called India, lie in granting more independence to its diverse provinces. From north to south, east to the west, and in between, India is a country of countries. What Ladakh has in common with Kerala, or … Continue reading A CASE FOR FULL AUTONOMY TO STATES TO KEEP INDIA UNITED

THE CAKE MY MOTHER USED TO MAKE

Our kitchen was very elementary but a conspicuous place in the house. Prominently featured was the built-in wall cabinet that was a designated space for all the plates, bowls, etc.  There were no china dishes or even the glass highballs, a few spoons, but no forks or knives, no sink, and no running water either. All the utensils were of brass that needed an occasional coating of some shining metal, named Kli, done by hawking street vendors referred to as Kli-walas. Complete with the very basic needs, our kitchen, also called Rasoi, had an orderly and clean look. Besides, it … Continue reading THE CAKE MY MOTHER USED TO MAKE

Guru Nanak’s Message of Divine Order

Hukam Razai Chalna, Nanak Likhyea Naal.  Hukmae Andhar Sabh, Bahar Hukme Na Koe These are the two separate edicts from Guru Nanak Dev. But discussing them together initiates an integrated understanding of the messages while building the desired impact of their practicality in our lives. Hukam Razai Chalna, Nanak likhyea naal in its simple meaning, implies that it is inevitably written, according to Nanak, that we conduct ourselves acceding to the will of God. Hukam means order or command, razai stands for acceptance, chalna meaning walk, and likhyea naal means written down. To follow (razai), the walk (chalna) guided by the hukam of God as … Continue reading Guru Nanak’s Message of Divine Order

WHEN LORD SHIVA CURSED FARMERS

It may be related to the current lockdown environment, but the story goes like this: Once Lord Shiva, for some reason, got angry with farmers. As punishment to them, he declared there would be no rain for the next 12 years. The farmers pleaded for mercy, but Lord Shiva was adamant. The Farmers then approached the Lord of Rains, Inder Devta. While sympathizing with the farmers’ predicament, his response was, rains would only come when after 12 years, Lord Shiva would play on his small drum instrument, called Damru. All the farmers were feeling heartbroken and disappointed. However, there was … Continue reading WHEN LORD SHIVA CURSED FARMERS

History Of Hinduism

The foundation of Hinduism possibly began                               without one single founder. By Promod Puri In principal and virtually, religion is a code of conduct for a civil society. It all started from here. With society’s progression, the code of conduct also evolved, resulting in its expansion, formalization, and application. As civilization started taking root, the management of the society began. A significant part of human evolution reveals and explains the origin of religion. Ancient religious orders were a set of regulations and principles for some acceptable … Continue reading History Of Hinduism

1918 FLU PANDEMIC KILLED 12 MILLION INDIANS, AND BRITISH OVERLORDS’ INDIFFERENCE STRENGTHENED THE ANTI-COLONIAL MOVEMENT

Cremation on the banks of the Ganges river, India. Keystone-France via Getty Images Maura Chhun, Metropolitan State University In India, during the 1918 influenza pandemic, a staggering 12 to 13 million people died, the vast majority between the months of September and December. According to an eyewitness, “There was none to remove the dead bodies and the jackals made a feast.” At the time of the pandemic, India had been under British colonial rule for over 150 years. The fortunes of the British colonizers had always been vastly different from those of the Indian people, and nowhere was the split … Continue reading 1918 FLU PANDEMIC KILLED 12 MILLION INDIANS, AND BRITISH OVERLORDS’ INDIFFERENCE STRENGTHENED THE ANTI-COLONIAL MOVEMENT

RITUALS IN HINDUISM

  The liberalism in Hinduism has encouraged genesis of rituals. Over its long history, rituals generated to build up a maze that gives the religion its complex identity. Within that complexity lies an inclusive mosaic of Hinduism. From a religious point of view, a ritual is a symbolic and sacramental repetitive activity. It provides manner and order in performing revered service. Rituals and diversities in Hinduism based on local traditions, customs, and languages invigorate the faith. This contribution makes the religion adapt itself to changing environments. In these social and cultural influences, rituals perpetually take up dominating space in Hindu … Continue reading RITUALS IN HINDUISM

Book Review: Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions

by Acharya S.P.Dwivedi Promod Puri is a distinguished South Asian journalist and prolific essayist. In his book- “Hinduism,” he tried to cover the historical evolution of Hindu dharma and its major philosophies, theistic doctrines, social codes, rituals, and practices. He admits openly, “Hinduism is a democracy of conflicting, contradicting and controversial thoughts and theories” (Preface iii) with that feeling it would have been trying for him “to pick and choose” the paths, philosophies, or doctrines. He neither claims that the book is an academic research paper nor meant for teaching. Furthermore, Puri admits that the understanding and facts he acquired … Continue reading Book Review: Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions

US Presidential Race

And the rest of the news from across the border is Bernie Sanders has quit the Democratic nomination race. He hangs up his hat and let Joe Biden enter the ring where the foregone conclusion is President Trump would have an easy win unless some divine intervention happens. Flickering pragmatism of Biden wins over the dogmatic consistency of Sanders. It is the second time in a row that Sanders has dropped out to the disappointment of many looking for a real change in the political environment of the USA. Americans expected this change from Barrick Obama. But more words were … Continue reading US Presidential Race

AT AGE 92, THE SECRET OF MY FRIEND’S HEALTHY LIFE

The other day I received a phone call from an old friend of mine after quite a long time. Old in the sense that we know each other for the past over four decades. But it is also in the context that he is now 102 years of age. He has the same clarity and vigor in his voice as ever before. Good hearing and an excellent memory reflect while conversing with him. In his astute expressions, his mental alertness is still sharp. Mr. Singh still goes for walks and waiting for the summer weather when he will hit the … Continue reading AT AGE 92, THE SECRET OF MY FRIEND’S HEALTHY LIFE

SANKHYA SCHOOL OF HINDUISM

BY Promod Puri The rationalist and liberal thought in Hinduism is the very basis of Sankhya school, which is one of several ancient Hindu faculties infusing diversity in the theological philosophies of the faith. Sankhya in Hindi or Sanskrit means number. So it seeks rationality as demonstrated by a numeric equation like 2+2=4. It rejects 2+2=5. In other words, a concept has to go through rational examination before being accepted or rejected. Sankhya establishes three principles that accept knowledge. These are: 1. Pratyksa, which means perceiving things or thoughts directly through one’s senses. The truthful of knowledge is to be … Continue reading SANKHYA SCHOOL OF HINDUISM

INDIA AND CORONAVIRUS: LACK OF ACCESS TO HANDWASHING FACILITIES AMONG POOR MAKES FIGHT EVEN HARDER

Christophe Z Guilmoto, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and Thomas Licart, Université de Strasbourg India introduced a national lockdown on March 24 hoping to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. As April 2020 begins, the country has registered over 1,500 cases of COVID-19, the disease associated with the new coronavirus, according to the latest data available. These numbers translate into surprisingly low prevalence rates compared to the rest of the world due to the delayed arrival of the virus. But it is possible the scenario could get much worse, while experts are warning that India is at … Continue reading INDIA AND CORONAVIRUS: LACK OF ACCESS TO HANDWASHING FACILITIES AMONG POOR MAKES FIGHT EVEN HARDER

CUBAN DOCTORS IN ITALY: HUMANITARIAN AND DIPLOMATIC

Cuba exports very few items that contribute to its economy. These are cigars, sugar, rum, pharmaceutical products, and medical services, especially doctors. Lately, the country has been in the news and commended for sending its doctors to Covid-19 plagued Italy in precarious and high-risk situations. For nearly 60 years, Cuba has been sending healthcare professionals around the world, especially to the Latin American countries. It is part of its declared policy of “solidarity with those in need” no matter where the need is global. However, this humanitarian gesture has its other side as well, the medical diplomacy, exploited in a … Continue reading CUBAN DOCTORS IN ITALY: HUMANITARIAN AND DIPLOMATIC

Remembering Khushwant Singh: His Colorful Life And Humor

By Promod Puri Perhaps the least revealed an aspect of Khushwant Singh’s colorful and long active life, was the fact that he perfectly balanced his cogitative pursuits with an active physical lifestyle of exercise, sports, and walks. Unlike most of the known contemporary thinkers and writers, Khushwant Singh realized that both mental and physical activities occupy equal space in one’s daily routine and that both are healthful to each other. In the last column I read by him at the age of 98, which still had his trademark of wits here and there, he talked about his daily routine and diet including … Continue reading Remembering Khushwant Singh: His Colorful Life And Humor

Where Is God In The Midst Of Coronavirus

By Promod Puri Churches, temples, mosques, or Gurdwaras may not be much congregated these days due to the Coronavirus epidemic worldwide. This emptiness at the places of prayers is either due to imposed restrictions or people just avoiding venues of large gatherings. The business of religion, like any other business, is down. But this business is exceptional. In principle, besides being a medium to seek His grace and express gratitude, religion should reveal the path to discern and realize the nature of the Creator. During the time places of worship have their doors locked, people still believe in some kind … Continue reading Where Is God In The Midst Of Coronavirus

WHERE IS GOD THESE DAYS?

By Promod Puri Churches, temples, mosques, or Gurdwaras may not be much congregated these days due to the Coronavirus epidemic worldwide. This emptiness at the places of prayers is either due to imposed restrictions or people just avoiding venues of large gatherings. The business of religion, like any other business, is down. But this business is different, at least in principle. It offers the path and rides to understand the nature of the Creator while seeking His grace. Places of mass appeal to God to save people from the virus ought to be averted. At the same time, people who … Continue reading WHERE IS GOD THESE DAYS?

“CHINESE FLU”

Trump calls it the Chinese flu. It could be expected from him given that he decerns issues at a very basic and unintelligible level. Is it the language of the common man in the USA. Perhaps it is, especially in the rural areas of the country. So, why a hyperbole has been created. The naming of virus-related spreading diseases has been the practice for a long time. We had Spanish flu, West Nile Virus, Zika, Ebola, etc. Then hurricanes are titled after popular names from both the genders. In lighter veins, Mexico seems it does not mind the use of … Continue reading “CHINESE FLU”

I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHEN

The ongoing tragedies caused By humans do not get, from most, A line in the poetry of poets, A page in the writings of writers, A focus in the meditation of meditators A reflection from saints or preachers A discern from political scientists A statement from film heroes. And all the educated professionals Who are mum, While human catastrophes pass by Only with the apathetic And callous remark “This is all politics.” -Promod Puri Continue reading I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHEN

RELIGION HAS GUIDING ROLE IN POLITICS

By Promod Puri Whereas rituals, customs, and traditions furnish symbolic and distinctive identity to religion, the pathways to the divinity which are paved with morals and ethics, are often debased by its despicable ceremonial rites and practices. It is in this context that the contemporary and progressive political ideologies disdain religion. Its nature is customarily interpreted thru inherent ritualistic practices rather than its doctrines of ethics and noble thoughts. This article delves into the subject of “politics and religion”, and seeks the entry of virtuous, logical, informed, and intelligent religiosity in the political constitution serving the modern societies. The contempt … Continue reading RELIGION HAS GUIDING ROLE IN POLITICS

I Can’t Understand It

When the ongoing tragedies of human sufferings caused by humans do not get from most, a line in the poetry of poets, a page in the writings of writers, a stroke of brush in the paintings of painters, a focus in the meditation of meditators, a stay in the minds of yoga practitioners, a reflection of sermon from a priest about the teachings of Nanak and Kabir, a discern from political scientists and intellectuals in the social sciences, a condemning statement from silver screen heroes and entertainers, a quote from habitual social media motivational advisers. And all the educated professionals … Continue reading I Can’t Understand It

Democracy In The USA Very Expensive Route To Elect A Govt.

Democrat aspirant Michael Bloomberg is the 12th richest man in the world with a net worth of over $60 billion. If he wins the nomination, Bloomberg will be pitted against another billionaire, the incumbent president, Donald Trump. And this is where money will be a behemoth to impact the election scene. In the USA, unlike most other democracies in the world, the sky is the limit in election spending. Bloomberg joined the nomination race in November last year, much later than other candidates. According to a report in the Quartz, he has already spent over $400 million, compared to $120 … Continue reading Democracy In The USA Very Expensive Route To Elect A Govt.

THESE’RE NOT RIOTS BUT VIOLENT BLITZ ON MUSLIMS

Once again I say these are not riots between Hindus and Muslims. What has happened are violent and barbaric attacks by the so-called Hindus against the Muslims in several localities of Delhi. Holding peace prayers and advising calm to both the Muslims and Hindus are nonsense and stereotype politics. With the open support of the Delhi Police, hired and paid goons of the ruling Hindutva leaders came with lathis in their aggression along with a barrage of rocks on fellow citizens. Calling the whole mayhem as another Hindu-Muslim riot is trivializing the brewing hatred and violence against Muslims who have … Continue reading THESE’RE NOT RIOTS BUT VIOLENT BLITZ ON MUSLIMS

Shaeen Bagh Women Protest Unique

Indian women protest new citizenship laws, joining a global ‘fourth wave’ feminist movement Women in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh neighborhood are protesting a new Indian citizenship law that they say will discriminate against Muslims, women – and, particularly, Muslim women. Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Alka Kurian, University of Washington, Bothell Women are among the strongest opponents of two new laws in India that threaten the citizenship rights of vulnerable groups like Muslims, poor women, oppressed castes and LGBTQ people. The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed in December 2019, fast-tracks Indian citizenship for undocumented refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan – … Continue reading Shaeen Bagh Women Protest Unique

Internet: A Platform for both false and true information

By Promod Puri Education does not stop after school, college, or university studies. Rather it continues. Pursuing knowledge in the fields already studied along with new interests of learning is part of lifelong schooling. As formal education ends in the early part of life, the journey to explore and gain knowledge goes on. At the same time, knowledge itself keeps expanding.  Once the learning drive starts there is no stop on the knowledge track. However, knowledge has to be followed intelligently and with an open mind. Its credibility and perception are based on truth and rationales. As our continuing education … Continue reading Internet: A Platform for both false and true information

Blasphemy And Apostasy In Islam Are More Political Than Religious

Pakistani Islamists march to protest the Supreme Court lenient treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman accused of blasphemy, in Karachi, Feb. 1, 2019. ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images By Ahmet T. Kuru, San Diego State University Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. The charge: blasphemy, specifically insulting Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. Pakistan has the world’s second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom. Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis … Continue reading Blasphemy And Apostasy In Islam Are More Political Than Religious

What Causes Native Chiefs Opposition To Gas Pipelines

Among the First Nation communities, there are Hereditary Chiefs and the “elected” chiefs. And this institutional binary is the primary reason that the proposed natural gas pipeline issue has put Canada in a standstill spot with blockades stopping rail and road traffics across the country. In the traditional form of First Nations governance, Hereditary chiefs are higher than elected Chiefs, especially on issues like this one, where their lands and cultures are in danger by encroaching developments. The epicenter of the Canada-wide protests is the indigenous lands of Wet’suwet’en outside the village of Burns Lake in British Columbia. The proposed … Continue reading What Causes Native Chiefs Opposition To Gas Pipelines

Kejriwal’s Simple Ideology Is Good Governance  

Delhi election straight three-time winner Arvind Kejriwal is politically neither a Leftist nor a Rightist. His politics is simplistic in its approach to have honest and good governance. It seeks real results nor promises. Kejriwal’s swift rise and popularity after his dedicated support to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare made him a new class of leader who does not show leanings towards the worn-out Left and Right political platforms. Some Leftists tried to steer the leadership away from him in the early stage of his political entrance, but he fought back. They were out from his natural turf. Kejriwal is a … Continue reading Kejriwal’s Simple Ideology Is Good Governance  

What Does Goddess Kali’s Unusual And Scary Look Mean

By Promod Puri In my understanding of Hinduism, there is more in its nature of study and deliberations than just religion. It is in this context that the chapter of Goddess Kali divulges an aspect of Hindu thought and philosophy that is apart from rationality, spirituality, morality, and myths. Goddess Kali is an exciting and intriguing reading. In addition to her ritualistic adoration and worshipping, the study reveals her unique temperament that adds to the diverse outlook of Hinduism. (Painting by Raja Ravi Varma) Kali’s appearance is dark blue with sunken eyes. In her long blood-red tongue sticking out in … Continue reading What Does Goddess Kali’s Unusual And Scary Look Mean

DEMOCRACY CRADLE OF DICTATORSHIP

Democratic freedoms breed authoritarianism. Consolidation of power, achieved through democratic means, is a tempting phenomenon. Regimes are slowly being wrapped up in totalitarianism or dictatorship. Nationalism and patriotism are aroused. The fear factor is created by introducing “foreign enemies”. Minorities are being targeted. To streamline the influence of fear, several practices and arrangements are mobilized. Judiciary, the intelligence agencies, the income tax department, the police forces, state-sponsored “terrorism” are the channels to move democracy towards autocracy. In this exercise, the media is disciplined or regulated for the smooth acceptance of manufactured propagated material. It is a camouflaged process where the … Continue reading DEMOCRACY CRADLE OF DICTATORSHIP

BJP’S LEGACY COMPARED TO CONGRESS

If the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India is responsible for the structural damage of democracy in India under the fervency of its Hindutva agenda, then the record of the Congress is not clean either. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, India’s democracy was subverted overnight with the declaration of Emergency in 1975. However, in the subsequent national election, the Congress Party was mercilessly beaten. Thanks to the intactness of the Election Commission that was not tinkered with weaponry of the Indira Gandhi emergency. In that respect, we can say there was resilience in India’s democracy. But now, it is the … Continue reading BJP’S LEGACY COMPARED TO CONGRESS

NEED TO GO BEYOND GDP

Elected politicians all over the globe often boast about their economic achievements when their countries’ GDP goes up. And countrymen are impressed. For example, Trump can pride himself as the USA’s GDP has grown to $21.7 trillion last year, a massive gain that makes the country the most significant economic power in the world. GDP stands for gross domestic product, meaning the total market value of all the goods and services produced within the country. That gross production includes everything produced and purchased, services generated and bought, and investments made. When the GDP number of a given year is divided … Continue reading NEED TO GO BEYOND GDP

The Home Of Indian Muslims Has Always Been India, And Will Always Be India

HERE ARE THE “PAPERS” By Promod Puri As the thought of writing this piece cropped up, I was reminded of an old Hindi film song penned by Sahir Ludhianvi: “jayen toh jayen kahan, samje-ga kaun yahan, dard bare dil ki zuban, jayen toh jayen kahan…”. Translation: “Where! Where shall we go, who would understand here, the cries from the minds full of pains.” And that is precisely the plight of Muslims in India. “Go to Pakistan,” “send them to Pakistan,” are the xenophobic cracks that are often being hurled against them by the neo-nationalistic extreme Hindu fanatics. And most of … Continue reading The Home Of Indian Muslims Has Always Been India, And Will Always Be India

MINDSET IS NOT A FLEXIBLE ATTITUDE, but it can be

By Promod Puri Distorted, false, or unrealistic information twist our thinking. As of result, our perceptions are flawed. Endeavoring for the true nature of things helps brain circuits to function naturally in the evolution of a sound and conscientious or attentive mind. Human brains are built for sophisticated and complex activity. It is in this role and treatment that logical and well-grounded thinking can be fostered. In addition to that, our simple thinking processes play a significant role in invigorated and stimulating brain functioning. These simple functions involve self-discerning and grasping of ordinary tasks and their executions. In the contemporary … Continue reading MINDSET IS NOT A FLEXIBLE ATTITUDE, but it can be

TOGETHER:

In the company of two An ambiance of Warm serenity. Joys and thrills In its rains and shines, Hikes and walks. Afternoon coffee at McDonald, And across the street Sharing a bowl of congee. Blissful, simple pleasures In rapt passions of Charms and cheers. In this concert Life is a celebration, Together. Promod & Rita (In celebration of our anniversary) Continue reading TOGETHER: