Who are we?
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Nine Februaries ago, on a Saturday Morning in 2002, I received a call from my Mother from India; she started telling me to carry on with life and take care of myself and my family. I sensed her last moment had come and I started crying a like a baby with my late wife, son and daughter around me. It will not amaze Indians and Perhaps Pakistanis’ and Bangladeshis of my generation (born in 50’s) that culturally we rarely verbalize our affection for parents or even say thank you in words, it is all non-verbal communication through caring and doing things for them.
I want to thank God for giving me the sense to tell her in time that I loved her, and thanked her for making me whoever I am today, it is because of her I am who I am today. It was the first time I have said those words in my life to my mother and turned out to be the only time I ever said. Thank God for that. I would have been a farmer in Irgampalli had it not been for my mother. I told her like they say in the Indian Movies, Ma, I am coming, and you are not going anywhere until I see you. Damn it, my eyes are wet now.
I reached Bangalore Airport at 2:00 AM, none of my three brothers were there to receive me, finally I took the taxi and reached my home about 6:00 AM – my Mother’s body was placed in the middle of the house. I sat next to her…. And every one was figuring out what was happening to me as I was smiling at her beautiful face, admiring her for tying all the loose ends of life, she had called every one for the whole week to forgive and be forgiven.
Prophet Muhammad was asked by his associates, who is the most important person in one's life. He says, Mother, they asked him again, who is next, he repeats Mother, they ask him again and for the third time he says, it is your mother and on the 4th call he says, it is your father. The importance of mother is stressed in every faith and culture and indeed, the Prophet said, the paradise is under your monthers feet. Such is the prominence given to mother. In Jewish tradition it is the Mother through whom the Jewish tradition continues, in Hindu tradtion Mother is venerated to nearly the status of God, there is a beautiful song, " o ma, your face is nothing different than God" ( us ko nahin dekha hum nay kabhi, per us ki zaroorat kya hogi, ai ma, teri soorat say alag, bhagwan ki soorat kya hogi - song link below) you find similar values in all traditions.
She was the mother of my town, as my Dad was a Mayor once, she had earned her own place in the community, all her Hindu, Christian, Jain, Parsee and Muslim friends were visiting her and doing their own prayers for her soul to rest in peace. I was admiring her for leaving a beautiful lesson for me to learn… tying the loose ends and going in peace, what a way to go!
And when I read the following story, which my fiancé sent to me, my whole life went back to Saturday, February 23, 2002. I am yet to tie all the loose ends. However, one of the most pleasant parts of my life was the way my late wife Najma departed on her eternal journey – we cleaned each others’ slate, tied the loose ends and had the luxury of saying bye to each other. May God bless her soul, she is in peace and I am in peace, it was a perfect Michami Dukkadam, a greeting phrase the followers of Jain faith say to each other – Michami Dukkadam, simply meaning, let’s clean each other’s spiritual slate and refresh our lives for the next year. I have simplified my life by reducing all my goals and things to do in writing… It is a reminder for me to keep the life as clean as I can, and as simple as I can.
Amma, here I am, I will continue to tie the loose ends of life and when I go, I will have few things or none left to be done and God willing I will be smiling as you did. Amen!
A PIECE OF ADVICE
I learned that arguing with mother is the dumbest thing to do, she wants the best for you and why do you want to disagree in a conversation that gives her joy and you lose nothing. I realized that little late in my life, but was able to have a happy relationship with her in the last several times I visited her including the one in 2001, I would go home and sit next to her for the whole day, and let her talk and I would listen, it was a feast to her that I'd listen to her without interrupting. One time she slapped me ( Ofcourse with affection and I was 48!) when she realized that I had gone to sleep while she was talking. But she was the happiest woman seeing her son spend time with her. Please do that for your mother, she would love that and you'd be blessed for the rest of your life. They say, Mother's wishes (prayers) are a boon in one's life.
IT IS ABOUT YOUR MOTHER
After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, 'I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would Love to spend some time with you.'
The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my Mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.
That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. 'What's wrong, are you well,' she asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.
'I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,' I responded 'just the two of us.' She thought about it for a moment, and then said, 'I would like that very much.'
That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. 'I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,' she said, as she got into the car. 'They can't wait to hear about our meeting.'
We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady.
After we sat down, I had to read the menu.. Her eyes could only read large print. Half-way through the entrees, I lifted my eyes and saw Mother sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips.
'It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,' she said. 'Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor,' I responded. During the dinner , we had an agreeable conversation nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, 'I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.' I agreed.
'How was your dinner date?' asked my wife when I got home. 'Very nice, much more so than I could have imagined,' I answered.
A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her. Sometime later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place Mother and I had dined. An attached note said: 'I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but, nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me.
'I love you, son'
At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: 'I love YOU' and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till some 'other' time.
Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby... somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, 'normal' is history.
Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first... somebody doesn't have two or more children.
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery....somebody never watched her 'baby' get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten... or on a plane headed for military 'boot camp.'
Somebody said a Mother can stop worrying after her child gets married... somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings..
Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home... somebody never had grandchildren.
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her.... somebody isn't a mother.
Pass this along to all theGREAT'mothers' in your life and to everyone who ever had a mother.
This isn't just about being a mother; it's about appreciating the people in your lives while you have them... no matter who that person is!
The Indian song praising the mother - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XquVaTHY6nY
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Today at 12:36am
Although India's democracy is secular by constitution, in reality it has been a pluralistic democracy. The idea of democracy is deep rooted in our psyche and it runs in our veins. It has been tested a few times, but the democracy has stood like a rock. The Republic Day of India marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India and the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic on January 26, 1950.
Thanks to my parents for planning my birth on such an occassion. The day coincided with two more events - it was Prophet Muhammad's birthday per the lunar calendar and my Dad was elected Mayor of the Town of Yelahanka on that day. I was born 10lb 4oz in Victoria Hospital, Bangalore.
We are proud of our heritage - a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-regional and multi-linguistic society, where we have come to accept and respect every which way people have lived their lives.
For over 5000 years, India has been a beacon of pluralism - it has embraced Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism to include in the array of the indigenous religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
India led the way to the freedom movement, since 1947 just about every country in the world has been liberated from colonialism. Indian democracy is a shining example to the world, where the people have peacefully transferred the powers.
Indians are inherently secular and economically capitalistic. They believe in "live-and-let-live" life style, which is the essence of capitalism.Through the years we have expressed the highest degree of maturity on handling extreme situations; the more divergent opinions we hear, the larger our heart grows, the bigger our embrace would be and we can cushion more differences. Let’s continue to honor the concept that there is always another side to the story, as finding the truth is our own responsibility.I am proud of my heritage and am proud to be an Indian-American.
Here is more information about our Republic:
The Republic Day of India marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India and the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic on January 26, 1950.
Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, it did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935, and the country was a Dominion, with George VI as head of state and Earl Mountbatten as Governor General. On August 29, 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as chairman.
A draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on November 4, 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on January 24, 1950. Two days later, the Constitution of India became the law of all the Indian lands. The Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950, 10.18 AM IST. Following elections on January 21, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president of India. The Indian National Congress and other parties had been celebrating January 26th as a symbol of Independence, even before India actually became independent. Thus, signing the constitution on January 26, to mark and respect January 26 and the freedom struggle and the freedom fighters.
Granville Austin has described the Indian Constitution drafted by Ambedkar as 'first and foremost a social document.' ... 'The majority of India's constitutional provisions are either directly arrived at furthering the aim of social revolution or attempt to foster this revolution by establishing conditions necessary for its achievement.'
The amending mechanism was lauded even at the time of introduction by Ambedkar in the following words: "We can therefore safely say that the Indian federation will not suffer from the faults of rigidity or legalism. Its distinguished feature is that it is a flexible federation.
"The three mechanisms of the system derived by the Assembly, contrary to the predictions, have made the constitution flexible at the same time protected the rights of the states. They have worked better than the amending process in any other country where Federalism and the British Parliamentary system jointly formed the basis of the constitution"
What Sir Anthony Eden, the Prime Minister of Britain (April 1955 to January 1957), said at the time of the emergence of Indian Republic is relevant in this context. He said, ‘Of all the experiments in government, which have been attempted since the beginning of time, I believe that the Indian venture into parliamentary government is the most exciting. A vast subcontinent is attempting to apply to its tens and thousands of millions a system of free democracy... It is a brave thing to try to do so. The Indian venture is not a pale imitation of our practice at home, but a magnified and multiplied reproduction on a scale we have never dreamt of. If it succeeds, its influence on Asia is incalculable for good. Whatever the outcome we must honour those who attempt it. Even more meaningful was the opinion expressed by an American Constitutional authority, Granville Austin, who wrote that what the Indian Constituent Assembly began was ‘perhaps the greatest political venture since that originated in Philadelphia in 1787.’
"During recent years, it has become fashionable among some citizens to disparage the founders and their document. These individuals disappointed by the developments in the country since 1950, have called for changing the constitution explaining that it has not 'worked'. Such thinking, in my view, is misguided. Constitutions do not 'work', they are inert, dependent upon being 'worked' by citizens and elected and appointed leaders"
It is one of the three national holidays in India
Courtesy of wiki.
OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM
OUR NATIONAL SONGS
Vande Mataram -
Saray Jahan say Accha -
Jahan Daal Daal Pay -
Hum Laye Hein Toofan say - http://www.youtube.com/watchv=Dgax5HQoJ6k&feature=related
Mere Desh Ki Dharti - http://www.youtube.com/watchv=mxpNCgT6AzI&feature=PlayList&p=11804D049D6DA550&index=0
Apni Azaadi ko hargiz - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93NLol3gXm8
A desh hai veer jawanon ka -
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Contact: Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916,
event email: HolocaustandGenocides@gmail.com
III ANNUAL REFELCTIONS ON THE HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDES
DALLAS – (January 14, 2010) –The Foundation for Pluralism announces the 7/7 speakers Panel to reflect upon the Holocaust and Genocides event at 5:00 PM on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Center for Spiritual Center, 4801 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, TX. 75244.
Each individual in the seven member panel would acknowledge the inhumanity in each one of us and reflect upon the solutions for co-existence. It is a purposeful event to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things, that we humans have inflicted upon each other.
What can you do as individual?
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
My comments follow the article by Prof. John Kozy, the article not only brings out the political linguistic gymnastics, but also the ideas about governance and his challenges to traditional narratives – Mike Ghouse
Political Linguistics in America
The American Kleptocratic "Necrocracy": A "Democracy" that Kills
by Prof. John Kozy
Languages are called living because they constantly change. There's no way to stop that, of course; people use languages as they will. Linguists often speak approvingly of the change, citing the richness it adds to language and inventiveness of the human mind, but the change also has unintended consequences that are often overlooked. The change, after all, is what makes works written in old and even middle English unintelligible to modern speakers of English.
Some attempts have been made to control linguistic change; they have not had much success. L'Académie française, for example, has continuously fought a loosing battle against changes in French, and even the U.S. governments attempts to advocate Simplified English show few positive results. Yet attempts to control linguistic change arise because of an irrefutable fact, namely, that linguistic change often makes speech and writing ambiguous which obscures meaning and leads to muddled thinking.
Take the word 'democracy,' for instance. It has come to mean something like a government whose agents are 'elected by the people.' But that's a slippery definition. Democracy originally meant rule by the people, but the people do not rule in governments whose agents are merely elected.
If there are legal or financial restrictions on who can seek office, what is called democracy can be any one of a number of different kinds of government. If only clerics of a specific religious sect can seek office, the government that results is really an ecclesiocracy. If only the affluent can seek office, it would be a plutocracy. If only geniuses are allowed to seek office, it would be a geniocracy, and there are numerous other types. Merely calling a nation democratic is so ambiguous it has no real meaning.
When President Wilson went before Congress on April 2, 1917, to seek a Declaration of War against Germany in order that the world "be made safe for democracy," exactly what was he pleading for? Almost a dozen major and numerous minor wars since have apparently not made the world safe for anything, no less, democracy. The world is more dangerous for nations and their peoples than ever.
When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with more than 20 Arab foreign ministers in Marrakesh, Morocco to promote democracy in the region, what exactly what was she promoting? After all, the Iranians hold regular elections.
When President Bush told a gathering of the Asian American Heritage month in Washington that "We're working with India to promote democracy and the peace it yields throughout the continent, " exactly what was he promoting, especially since Arundhati Roy, an Indian woman, writes in Listening to Grasshoppers; Field Notes on Democracy, that democracy has "metastasized into something dangerous." She argues that democracy in India is not for, of and by the people but "designed to uphold the consensus of the elite for market growth," which is, of course, exactly what American democracy has become.
P.R. Sarkar, the founder of Prout, the Progressive Utilization Theory, is cited as saying that democracy can never be successful unless the majority of the population are moralists, that there needs to be a trend that supports humanistic values, and that capitalism breaks down whatever remains of those very values. "In its relentless quest for individual material acquisitions and selfish comfort it makes us all insensitive to the suffering of others and prone to divisive tendencies." Sarkar is right, of course. After all, even the Papacy has been corrupted at various times in history. Any system can be corrupted when it is controlled by the immoral.
Roy claims that this late phase of mature capitalism is headed for hell. But people living in capitalist economies have always lived in hell. Dante's Inferno has seven levels; today's capitalist democracies have many more, and only the level distinguishes one capitalist hell from others.
Roy approves of violence as a means of people's resistance to injustice. She claims that many of the poor are "crossing over... to another side; the side of armed struggle." Certainly that observation is true, but the crossover has not yet occurred within capitalist democracies, and the Western democratic attempt to "promote democracy" is merely an attempt to extend the boundaries of this hell to other regions. Yet, success may be illusory.
Victor Davis Hanson, a patrician, conservative, American historian, who writes on war but has never himself served, claims that "the usual checks on the tradition of Western warfare are magnified in our time." He argues that there are there are five traditional checks on it. One is the Western tendency to limit the ferocity of war through rules and regulations. Second, there is no monolithic West; the U.S. and its allies often can't agree. Third, it is very easy to acquire and use weapons. Four, there are ever-present anti-war movements in the West, extending all the way back to Classical Greece, citing Euripides' Trojan Women and Aristophanes' Lysistrata, and fifth, it's not easy to convince someone who has the good life to fight against someone who doesn't.
Although all of these are true, Hanson, like many historians, fails to probe deeply by asking, Why? The why may lie in the increasing recognition of the insight President Eisenhower described when he said, "I hate war, as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, it futility, its stupidity . . . every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense atheft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed." That recognition may in the end be the ultimate check on the Western way of war, and patricians like Hanson are right to be concerned. The time that the poor are willing to fight to preserve the patrician lifestyles of the wealthy may come to an end as the perpetual war of Western nations against the rest of humanity is exposed by the stream of people in body bags returned to their homelands for burial.
The democracy being promoted and made safe is not the one of rule by the people. It is a kleptocratic necrocracy that kills so that it can scavenge the carcasses of the dead and dying so that America can continue to be the largest consumer of the world's resources. Such is the democracy that the youth of Western nations are being asked to fight and die for, and it is made possible by the ambiguity in the word democracy what has made the term meaningless.
Napoleon is cited as having said that religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. As the poor grow more and more numerous, being stripped of their meager holdings by kleoptocratic capitalist political economies whose greed knows no bounds, this may change, and Arundhati Roy may be right in believing that many of the poor will cross over to the side of armed struggle. If so, the Western patrician class has good reason to be concerned.
John Kozy is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by John Kozy. John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who blogs on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers.
Comments by Mike Ghouse
"One is the Western tendency to limit the ferocity of war through rules and regulations."
Up till the above statement, the writer was doing well finding holes to each one of the earlier statements, I was looking to read about the ferocity of "shock and awe" of Bush and Ferocity in Iraq.
"Napoleon is cited as having said that religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Indeed, that has been my argument, it is because of religion we have less chaos in the world, and lack of it would have been disastrous. Most of the conflicts are directly attributable to greed (which goes against religions) and arrogance (against religion) of the individuals.
"Arundhati Roy may be right in believing that many of the poor will cross over to the side of armed struggle. If so, the Western patrician class has good reason to be concerned."
I have always wondered about this, when the disparities get intensified and goes completely out of balance and out of management, would it lead to a revolt big enough to justify communistic idea of forcing equality onto every one. What will happen in Pakistan? Is communism a product of disparity beyond the threshold of bearing?
Sunday, January 3, 2010
The article is listed below.
Mr. Chidambaram said beautiful things about Islam and its values a month ago at an Islamic seminary and then addressing the security personnel in another place, he said the opposite of it. Did he think Indians are dumb and stupid? Didn't he know the big row when former Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee said two different things in BJP's Bangalore and Goa Conferences? Do they believe in the Las Vegas commercial that what you say or do remains here?
The role of a leader is to work for peace in the country and not generate hate and malice between people that is breaking the law and order of the nation. Mr. Chidambaram says another dumb thing; that Jihad is terrorism that started in 1989 and Crusades were legitimate wars. Is this the kind of man
I would hope the people of
The link to a Muslim Scholar is in the Urdu Language, one of India's 14 official languages and he appeals to the leaders to study, or ask the religious leaders from different faiths before they make a statement about something they don't know. No need to pretend and pass out mis-information.
Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/
Muslims ask PC to apologise
|OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT |
New Delhi, Jan. 2: Muslim organisations have asked Union home minister P. Chidambaram to apologise or face legal action over his references to jihad in a lecture in Delhi last week.
Delivering the Intelligence Bureau centenary endowment lecture on December 23, Chidambaram had said: "Just as the Cold War came to an end, we witnessed the emergence of another kind of war, namely, jihad. Jihad is a war or struggle against unbelievers and, currently, it is waged by a number of groups owing allegiance to Islam. Unlike the original Crusades, jihad is not fought like a conventional war. Jihad employs terror as an instrument to achieve its objectives. Such terror is directed against all and sundry, its victims are usually innocent people, and its goal is to overawe and overthrow the established authority. The tactics of the jihadis have been copied by militants belonging to other groups too, not excluding militants professing the Hindu faith."
Organisations such as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and the Jamiat Ulema have condemned the statement.
Qasim Rasool Ilyas, executive committee member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, described Chidambaram's statement as highly deplorable.
"A couple of months back, he had praised Islam in high terms while addressing the gathering of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind in Deoband and said that terrorism had been wrongly attached with Islam which preaches peace. But addressing police and intelligence officials, he has now equated jihad with terrorism. It is very unfortunate and uncalled-for from a person who is holding the very important post of home minister," Ilyas said.
The Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, a Muslim organisation from Chidambaram's home state, has threatened legal action if he does not withdraw his statement. Another organisation, the Tamil Nadu Shariath Protection Council, has given the minister a week to apologise.
"Your statement has caused anguish and resentment affecting the good relations between the Muslim community and the party in power at the Centre. It is our hope that you will be gentlemanly enough to withdraw your statement," said the Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam president, M.H. Jawahirullah.
"Your reported speech at the recent Intelligence Bureau meeting equating two diametrically opposite concepts, viz. the noble jihad with the abominable terrorism, has very badly hurt the sentiments of the Muslim minority community," Jawahirullah said.
In an open letter to the minister, Jawahirullah said: "Jihad is admittedly a struggle but against what and against whom is the question. It is a striving against injustice and falsehood. That Islam teaches that this should be done through violence is an unadulterated lie.
"Making a distinction between the 'Crusades' and 'jihad', it is reported that you have chosen to call the former a "conventional war" and the latter "a war against unbelievers". I am sorry to say, with all the emphasis at my command, that nothing is farther from the truth than the said statement of yours. The Crusades were regular, full-fledged wars between two states, viz two communities — Christians and Muslims — sponsored by the rulers of the respective groups, led by their respective military commanders. It is only if and when Muslims engage themselves in such a kind of war, it is taken to be a jihad. Even during such war, Muslims have been directed not to attack priests, the aged, women and children."