HOME | ABOUT US | www.MikeGhouse.net Google Profile | C.V. | Interfaith Speaker | Muslim Speaker |Motivational Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. I wish I could have them all, but will have to live with a few. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Muslim’s Christmas, Huffington Post

As a Muslim I will be celebrating Christmas, recommitting myself to listen to Jesus and follow his path. And in my Islamic tradition, I will reflect on chapter 19 of Quraan, dedicated to Maryam, Mother Mary, and pray on his birthday. I will pray that we all honor his message of creating peace and building cohesive societies where no one has to be apprehensive of the other. Amen!

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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. A writer, thinker and a speaker and is available to speak on pluralism, politics, islam, peace, cohesive societies and a variety of topics. Check out 4 websites and 27 Blogs indexed at
www.MikeGhouse.net. Current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Thanks to Dallas Morning News and Sean Hannity

We hope to create comprehensive leadership programs to produce public leaders who would be committed to work towards building a cohesive America and put America's interests ahead of their own. 


Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace; he is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and several nationally syndicated radio talk shows. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam in America. Mike's work is reflected in several websites and blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bigotry against Hinduism in Russia







Incredible attack on the Holy Bhagvad Gitahttp://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/12/bigotry-against-hinduism-in-russia.html

You and I have allowed blatant bigotry to be preached on our land unquestioned and unchecked. The damned thing is contagious and spreading to Russia and other nations. Bigotry exists not because of bigots, but because we have not spoken out against it.

Six years ago in December of 2006, the Archbishop of Russia called Krishna a Satan, and five years ago, the city of Moscow made serious attempts to usurp the land belonging to Krishna Temple. Of course, a few of us wrote about it and now per the news reports, the “Bhagvad Gita, one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, is facing a legal ban and the prospect of being branded as "an extremist" literature across Russia. A court in Siberia's Tomsk city is set to deliver its final verdict Monday in a case filed by state prosecutors.” I would have never thought this day would come, when Bhagvad Gita would be attacked, the sacred text of Hinduism, it is rather a dialogue on reflections of one's conscience. It is one of the best self help books to find answers to the eternal questions about righteousness and one's duty to the self and the world. Hinduism is not a proselyting religion and Bhagvad Gita should not threaten any one of those weak men of religion.

The Holy Qur'aan has been deliberately mistranslated by medieval European Kings to paint Islam in bad light so they can frighten their subjects and buy their loyalty, and of course a Muslim Hilali Khan matched those kings and injected words into the translations that were not in Quraan, he wanted to build up ill-will against Jews and Christians for his presumed gain to restore the Caliphate. He has mistranslated nearly 60 Verses of Quraan. Fortunately there are still 20+ translations that are good, and thank God for that, the Arabic text has remained intact, although a group of proselytizing Christians have made attempts to mis-write Arabic version of Quraan in late eighties and distribute it in Kuwait. The best available translation is by Muhammad Asad, even this needs updating, but a good guide.
The attacks on Quraan and Bhagvad Gita are not based on knowledge but based on selling hate and collecting cash from the gullible congregants who trust the fox that guards the hen, all in the name of the man who taught to tell the truth and love thy enemy.

The good news is this bigotry is controllable, it has afflicted less than a percent of the population, and all of us together have to work on keeping those cancer cells from multiplying and harming our civilization and our civility.
I urge Non-Hindus to pick up the phone and call the Russian Embassy, if you cannot stand up for others, why should anyone stand up for you? The least you can do is fax a few words to their embassy “This is not a good thing” or write your comments at www.facebook.com/speakermikeghouse or in the comment section of www.Theghousediary.com
Russian Embassy
2650 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Washington, CD 2007
Tel: 202-298-5700
Fax: 202-298-5735
Please remain polite and ask their government to take responsible action and not let a few among them dictate a national policy. We are a small world, interdependent, interconnected and one fragile unit. Let’s preserve it.
When Robert Jeffress, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, Herman Cain, Tom Tancredo, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and a bunch of talk show hosts spewed hate against fellow Americans, very few of us have spoken out against them in public medium, and they take that as an encouragement and spill out more. You and I are further responsible for remaining silent, when they make shameless comments against Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Wicca, GLBT, Hindus and other. This is not the America we want, nor is this world we like to see. We have to enter into a positive dialogue with a singular goal of building cohesive societies where none of us have to live in apprehension of the other.

We hope to resume the workshops on Religion, every religion to remove the myths about each religion.
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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. A writer, thinker and a speaker and is available to speak on pluralism, politics, islam, peace, cohesive societies and a variety of topics. Check out 4 websites and 27 Blogs indexed at
www.MikeGhouse.net. Current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Muslim’s take on Mr. Subramaniam Swamy



Op-Ed at Indian Muslim Observer:

http://www.indianmuslimobserver.com/2011/12/latest-editorial-muslims-take-on-mr.html


First of all, the dearest person in God’s book Quraan is the one who forgives and secondly Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has clearly set up a model of behavior for Muslims; to pray for the ones who throw rocks (Taif story) at you or harm you. We simply cannot go wrong following that guidance to create better societies.


I welcome the reform Mr. Subramanian Swami has espoused to teach tolerance. Indeed, King Ashoka was a reformed man after the Kalinga war and proved it by preaching and practicing non-violence. His character was defined by who he was rather than what others were not.

Mr. Swami has the freedom to teach what is in his heart, but if he has made that transformational announcement to teach tolerance, he will have to prove that to himself through his actions and we have to give him the benefit of doubt. I hope Muslim groups take the initiative to invite him to speak and let him have a chance to change, if he does, it is good for India, if he is the same, he cannot do more harm than he has done to harm the fabric of India’s cohesion. But please give him the due respect for making that effort, even if he fails. Let the public judge and refrain from judgment. Only God knows what is in one’s heart and all we can do is nurture good will, which is more powerful than aggravating the fragile balance.


The first lesson for him to learn in tolerance is that he cannot demand from others, what he himself does not have. He has got to let go of the baggage.

The second lesson to learn is grasping the full meaning of the wisdom embedded in the idea of “Vasudaiva Kutumbukum” – when you embrace the idea, you will act and treat the world as one family. If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

In invite him to join me in becoming an Ambassador of freedom and peace, where a human can eat, drink, wear or believe what one chooses. We don’t have to emulate those whom we love to condemn, let them emulate us and let’s change the world with you and me first changing.

In the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), I pray for Mr. Subramanian Swami to become a teacher of tolerance. May God give him the same energy and zest to do the right thing.


Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies where no Indian has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. His work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net and his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com



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Swamy preaches tolerance after Harvard drops him

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A tribute to Dev Anand (1923-2011)

http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/12/tribute-to-dev-anand-1923-2011.html

We lost Dev Anand today and I am writing a tribute to honor him with a Shraddhanjali of songs. Tomorrow, I may add a few more memories.
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Dev was born Dharam Dev Pishori Anand on 26 September 1923 in Shakargarh Tehsil of Gurdaspur district in undivided Punjab, British India in an advocate family.
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The three giants of Indian Cinema from 1940's to 1970 are Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor among the male actors. Being the first, they set the standards for acting and every one since then follows on e or the other and they will continue to be the legends of India.


The three giants of Indian Cinema from 1940's to 1970 are Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor among the male actors. Being the first, they set the standards for acting and every one since then follows on e or the other and they will continue to be the legends of India.


BBC resports, “Legendary Bollywood actor-director Dev Anand has died in London of a heart attack, aged 88, family members say. Anand, who produced and acted in dozens of films, was unwell and had gone to London for a checkup. In his 65-year career, which began in 1946, Anand became one of India's iconic actor-directors. “

Dev Anand visited Dallas in 1994-95 to give a key note speech at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association at Loews Anatole. One of the Dallas Board Members of AAHOA asked me to bring out a special issue of Asian News Magazine that I published from 1993-2000.


I spent days digging up listing his films – 105 in all with basic information about the heroine, music director, year released and the key songs. We presented a few copies for him to sign, he looked up the list, indeed he was engrossed in it and patted on my back “Shabash” and said he did not have list himself and he was going to carry that paper with him. Remember Internet did not exist then.


When you watched Dev Anand Movie, you always came out with a vigor, there was always something enthusiastic about him. He energizes you. A lot of us thought he literally mimicked Gregory Peck and ironically, Surayya the woman was in love with him; also chased Gregory Peck. I remember stories about Gregory Peck visiting Bangalore for the Silver Jubilee celebrations of his movie McKenna’s Gold at Lido Theater.


Dev Anand’s biggest movies were Guide and Hare Rama Hare Krishna

Who will forget his songs, particularly these that have a lot of relevance to me personally.






3. My Zindagi ka saath nibhata chalagaya - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sagi0o-d7XU&feature=relmfu












9. Ai dil na hota bechara - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5OXj62qJUQ








13. Tujhe Jivan ki door say bandh liya hai - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amRMVEXb-xI






16. Dil Pukare Aaray Aaray - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lquTatrN_9Y

I dropped everything to compile this note, I wish I had saved the list of his films or the paper where he had signed.
It’s my tribute to Dev Anand, who was part of most of my life. I enjoyed his films and songs and the sense of youth he imbued was incredible. Indeed, on my wedding day, I sang the songs – Mera man tera pyaasa and Ek but banaoonga tera.
I salute you Dev Saheb, may God bless you.

Om Shanti, Om Shanti!
Mike Ghouse, a life time fan.www.MikeGhouse.net

<>  <> 
Dev Anand and Mike Ghouse, someone was holding the Special edition of Asian News for Deve Anand.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Celebrations

I am pleased to share the following articles about thanksgiving and it’s significance in our lives. I am committed to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, that is my passion and I speak about it.


Dallas Morning News: Why should we be thankful?

It is a day to pull ourselves together and tie up the loose ends of life. Through the year we receive a lot of good from others in the form of words and actions, and many a times it is a one way transaction and remains incomplete.
Those who achieve balance in life are the happiest people. Indeed, our happiness is directly dependent on fulfillment of our desires; lesser fulfillment yields greater discontentment. So, the enlightened Buddha says, fewer the desires, lesser the sorrows!
A full narrative is at:
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/11/texas-faith-why-should-we-be-thankful.html



2. Huffington Post – A Pluralist’s Thanksgiving.
The article weaves through several religions touching the heart and soul of each one. It's just not you, ask Bill Gates, whom God has blessed, he would say not enough! Ask the Homeless; the answer is still the same, not enough. Who has enough then? Then read the incredible story of gratitude. Appaiah turned around and asked me instead “Isn’t there so much to thank the lord?” I was rendered speechless. Here is a man with nothing to hope for, yet he is not complaining, that is gratitude!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse . If not published on Thursday, go to: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/11/essence-of-thanksgiving.html



Americans Together building a cohesive America


Our Mission is to build a cohesive America, where no American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. As a society, it is our responsibility to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate, prejudice and stereotyping are some of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it and nurturing goodwill. We need your input.

http://americatogetherfoundation.blogspot.com/2011/11/americans-together-documentary_11.html



Happy thanksgiving
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is fully indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

ADDITIONAL READING, IF YOU HAVE THE TIME

KENTUCKY STATE SENATOR WILLIAMS REMARKS OFFENDS HINDUS
It is not only a Hindu issue; it is indeed an American issue. The speaking out shouldn't be just from Hindus, but Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Pagans, Wiccans, Zoroastrians and others as well. Why should anyone stand up for you, if you are not willing to do the same for others? No one has a right to belittle other's faiths.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/senator-williams-offend-hindus_b_1075392.html
SIKHS AND MUSLIMS CAN COME TOGETHER FOR GURPURAB The ill-will between Sikhs and Muslims has run deep for over 350 years based on mistranslation of a verse from Quraan by Emperors sycophants, and carried further by the leaders of the Sikh community without any one making an effort to correct the translation and remove the misunderstanding. I was blessed to have that opportunity to interact with Dr. Aulakh Singh in Melbourne, Australia and hope, the ill-will mitigates. The good news is that, most of the Sikh youth are not familiar with it and I am glad they are not. Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility. Full story at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/sikhs-and-muslims-on-542n_b_1087327.html
ESSENCE OF EID-AL-ADHA: A MUSLIM FESTIVAL OF SACRIFICE
The following article, "Essence of Eid-al-Adha" was written for non-Muslims as well as Muslims, so they can relate with the essence of our celebrations. Unless we connect and relate, myths continue to flourish about us. There is a slight humor in the dialogue between Prophet Abraham and God with the intent of understanding what love and sacrifice mean in a relationship. A few Muslims may not see it, but Insha Allah it will go a long way in building bridges. I do hope the last item about appreciating men and women in the uniform goes a long way in building relationship.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/essence-of-eidaladha-a-mu_b_1075393.html

Monday, November 7, 2011

Senator Williams' Remarks Offended Hindus

Huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/senator-williams-offend-hindus_b_1075392.html

It is not only a Hindu issue, it is indeed an American issue. The speaking out shouldn't be just from Hindus, but Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Pagans, Wiccans, Zoroastrians and others as well. Why should anyone stand up for you, if you are not willing to do the same for others?

As people of faith, we condemn the statement made by Kentucky State Senator David Williams, "Williams charged that the actions of Beshear were tantamount to "idolatry." He stated that as a Christian, he would not participate in Jewish, Muslim or Hindu prayers, and hoped Hindus would open their eyes and "receive Jesus Christ as their personal saviour." Williams made this comment about the ground breaking ceremony of a manufacturing plant in Elizabeth Town in Kentucky that Governor Steve Beshear attended.

As a moderate Republican I am embarrassed that almost all of the bigotry in our nation is flowing out of fellow Republicans. It is time for the good Republicans to speak up and stop this flow and at least lose gracefully in 2012. If the economy turns around a little bit even a useless Democrat will win against a Republican. It is time to wake up and speak out against the bigotry of Williams and all others including the Presidential candidates.

Williams also criticized the Governor for sitting cross-legged with a "dot on his forehead," and described the ceremony as "polytheistic."

I have condemned and talked about similar pronouncements from Pat Robertson, Robert Jeffress and a few Muslims and Jewish clerics for their take on idolatry with a primitive understanding. Idols or icons are representations of God for the Hindus, just as the holy books are God's words for the Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.

No one has a right to belittle other's faiths. If Senator Williams has a problem let it be his problem and one should not malign Christianity for his bigotry. Each faith is dear to the believer and no faith is superior to the other. Faith is about humility and not arrogance. All faiths are designed to bring solace to its followers. Religion is a mechanism that gives hopes and restores one's balance with what surrounds one; people and the environment,.

Indeed, we are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. We are represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. Americans together are committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.

No one should have a problem with other's belief, but it should become our problem when someone denigrates it. We must stand up for each one of the 312 Million Americans.


Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer committed to build a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is fully indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bigotry against Hinduism in Kentucky

It is not only a Hindu issue; it is indeed an American issue. The speaking out shouldn't be just from Hindus, but Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Pagans, Wiccans, Zoroastrians and others as well. Why should anyone stand up for you, if you are not willing to do the same for others?

As people of faith, we condemn the statement made by Kentucky State Senator David Williams, "Williams charged that the actions of Beshear were tantamount to "idolatry". He stated that as a Christian, he would not participate in Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu prayers, and hoped Hindus would open their eyes and "receive Jesus Christ as their personal saviour". Williams made this comment about the ground breaking ceremony of a manufacturing plant in Elizabeth Town in Kentucky that Governor Steve Beshear attended. 


As a moderate Republican I am embarrassed that almost all of the bigotry in our nation is flowing out of fellow Republicans. It is time for the good Republicans to speak up and stop this flow and at least lose gracefully in 2012. If the economy turns around a little bit even a useless Democrat will win against a Republican. It is time to wake up and speak out against the bigotry of Williams and all others including the Presidential candidates.

Williams also criticized the Governor for sitting cross-legged with a "dot on his forehead", and described the ceremony as "polytheistic".

I have condemned and talked about similar pronouncements from Pat Robertson, Robert Jeffress, and a few Muslims and Jewish clerics for their take on idolatry with a primitive understanding, idols or icons are representations of God for the Hindus, just as the holy books are God's words for the Jews, Christians, Muslims and others. 


No one has a right to belittle other's faiths. If Senator Williams has a problem let it be his problem and not malign Christianity for his bigotry. Each faith is dear to the believer and no faith is superior to the other either, faith is about humility and not arrogance. All faiths are designed to
 bring solace to its followers. Religion is a mechanism that gives hopes and restores one's balance with what surrounds one; people and the environment. 

Indeed, we are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. We are represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. Americans together are committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.

No one should have a problem with other's belief, but it should become our problem when someone denigrates it. We must stand up for each one of the 312 Million Americans. 

This article is scheduled to be published in the National News Paper in a few days.


Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer committed to build a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is fully indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pak says India played big role in its bid for UNSC seat


Times of India
KARACHI: India played a big role in supporting Pakistan's successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the powerful UN Security Council, Islamabad's envoy to the world body Abdullah Hussain Haroon said here today.

Many of the countries that Pakistan had considered as friends were no longer its friends, but India "supported us in becoming a non-permanent member of the 15-member Security Council," Haroon told reporters at the Karachi airport.

Pakistan, which was challenged by Kyrgyzstan, was backed by 129 of the 193 member states in the UN General Assembly. Kyrgyzstan polled 55 votes.

Pakistan will replace Lebanon, which currently occupies the Asian seat, on January 1, 2012, for a two-year term.

Haroon said that Pakistan had worked very hard in the past six months to win votes for the prestigious seat.

"I think we should not be discouraged by the reaction by some of the nations in the UN because I can say the world wants Pakistan to play its positive role in the global scenario," he said.

Pakistan has been on the Council six times earlier -- 1952-53, 1968-69, 1976-77, 1983-84, 1993-94 and 2003-04. It's new term would overlap with India -- which began its two-year tenure on January 1 this year -- for the fourth time.

Pakistan and India had earlier shared terms on the Security Council in 1968, 1977 and 1984.

Haroon said Pakistan was committed to multilateralism and promoting principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter.

To a question on US drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas, he said he could only take up the issue if the government authorised him to do so. "But we should not be scared of these attacks." he added.

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and a thinker committed to cohesives societies and presents pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
www.MikeGhouse.net

Historical Hindu temple reopens after 60 yrs in northwest Pak

Oct 31, 2011, 04.03PM IST
ISLAMABADL: Hindus celebrated Diwali at a historic 160-year-old temple at Peshawar in northwest Pakistan after it was reopened to the minority community after six decades on a court's orders.

Scores of Hindus, including women and children, visited the Goraknath temple at Gor Khatri, which was reopened after Phool Wati, the daughter of the shrine's cleric, petitioned the Peshawar High Court.

Children and youths wearing colourful clothes were part of the gathering. The children burst crackers while the youths sang bhajans and danced.

Phool Wati and her son Kaka Ram have claimed that the temple, which has been controlled in past decades by the police, Evacuee Property Trust Board and the provincial archaeology department, belongs to their family.

Though a two-judge bench of the High Court ruled last month that Phool Wati had failed to provide evidence of her family's ownership of the temple, it directed authorities to reopen the shrine for religious purposes.

The court observed that stopping religious activities at a place of worship was against all laws.

Kamla Rani, the daughter of Phool Wati, was grateful to the authorities for reopening the temple.

"I am very happy that my mother, though very old, fought a legal battle to reopen this temple for Hindu worshippers," she told the media.

She said she had good relations with Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims in her neighbourhood. "I don't feel that I am different from others living in Peshawar."

Noting that the temple was reopened due to the joint efforts of the Hindu community, Kamla Rani said: "You can't imagine how happy we feel today."

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and a thinker committed to cohesives societies and presents pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
www.MikeGhouse.net

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pakistan ambassador breaks new ground celebrating Diwali with Indians

May this trend continue everywhere.



This highlights a major factor in nation(s) building - you take on step forward to nurture goodwill, the other is bound to take a similar step, don't drop if the other does not match... keep doing, some day he or she will.

Honestely, all the Ambassadors can take that initiative and give birth to a new colossal energy. I happen to watch Sahar Show, a poor Pakistani show, unlike many a great shows that I have been watching recently with Yasmeen. I do not watch TV... except a few shows with her. Last evening he was singing Indian Songs as a part of the entertainment, it was very normal for the audience and him... no condescending attitudes but plain normal attitude. .. when you and I, the individuals drop the small barriers and act, merely act as people of goodwill and good faith and not let pettiness come in our way... we can change things.

The fodder for the politicians is hate and anti-India or anti-Pakistan propaganda, because there are a few chamchas who clap for their heroism, as if the idiots fill their belly with it. As the general population we need to be free from ill-will, let the politicians feed of that...


Some 10 years ago, I was in India consular office in Houston with my late wife's passport. Consular General Wangdi gave tremendous respect and had me and Najma sit in his office and got her passport stamped for multiple visits. The assistant who worked on the passport had stories to tell... great stories of how a Pakistani taxi driver took him in the middle of the night to a hospital with his sick daughter and did not charge him..these Ambassadors can count many great stories on both sides... It is time for them to take initiatives and change.. the upper layers will possibly see the goodness. the visionary Moraji Desai saw that and others can see it too.


For those petty fellow Indians, I have had a chance to marry a Mexican girl, an Algerian Girl and a Chinese girl after Najma... fortunately I met this Pakistani Girl whom I married and who is a blessing in my life. A handful of Indians in my town have a problem - may be 9 out of 80,000 Indians and there are six Pakistanis of the 20,000 some Pakistanis who are hateful towards India and me. Are they significant?


Next time one spills hate for India or Pakistan, be blunt and ask them - does this feed your family? Does this make your heart purer? If it is an older man, ask them, if he is ever going to flush out the sewer from his heart? Here is a real good story to read and watch this story. http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/08/moment-of-humanity-after-46-years-of.html


We have to continue to do the good, there is hope in it and there is goodness in it for all. Let us become the Ambassadors of peace whether the other also acts good or not.

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and a thinker committed to cohesives societies and presents pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
www.MikeGhouse.net




Pakistan ambassador breaks new ground celebrating Diwali with Indians in Beijing


BEIJING: India-Pakistan relations sparkled for a while as Pakistani ambassador Masood Khan and his wife, Zohra, took the rare step of participating in Diwali celebrations at the Indian embassy premises here Saturday evening. Khan also waved at artists performing on the stage and the assembled Indians as a gesture of bonhomie.

The move comes soon after Indian ambassador S Jaishankar visited the Pakistani embassy to pay his condolences over the recent demise of Begum Nusrat Bhutto, the wife and mother of two different prime ministers of Pakistan and the mother-in-law of Asif Ali Zardari, the present one.

The Khans stayed for close to two hours and joined Indian ambassador S.Jaishankar for dinner along with Sultan Ahmad Baheri, the ambassador of Afghanistan and Sun Weidong, deputy director general of the department of Asian affairs in the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs. The event took on a diplomatic hue as this is the first time in many years that a Pakistani ambassador has visited the Indian occasion on a festive occasion.

The event attended by Indians living in Beijing included a Bharat Natyam performance by Chinese dancer Jin Shanshan and display of fire crackers, which is usually not allowed outside the embassy premises in Beijing.


Timesofindia.com

Sita: The Original Iron Lady

I am reading about women in history who have had a profound effect on the society. They were model women who gave new meaning to womanhood. Ma Sita is one of the great historical women who have made a difference; the other women are Mother Mary, Bibi Khadija, Asiya, Hazrat Fatima among others. I hope to read about other women as well. Who are your favorite historical women?
Excellent piece by Prof. Shubha Tiwari

Thank You
Mike Ghouse
Committed to a cohesive America
www.MikeGhouse.net

Sita: The Original Iron Lady
by Prof. Shubha Tiwari
Right from my childhood I’ve been trained and tutored to view Sita with tremendous compassion, extreme reverence and even pity. Over the centuries, this is how she has been viewed. Tears and Sita have been inseparable. Talking about her, singing her tale, thinking about her, people usually have wet eyes. One doesn’t have to go far to testify the truth of matter. ‘Ramayana Paath’ is a very common practice in the northern part of our country. Child birth, marriages, house warming ceremonies, any auspicious happening is reason enough for people to call a ‘mandali’ and the ‘paath’ starts. Every mention of Sita is coupled with blocked throats and wet eyes. This response to Sita is infectious. It has been passed to us over the centuries. It’s in our DNA.

To imagine that any piece of writing would be able to change all this would be foolish indeed. Strange as it may sound, there’s nothing exactly pitiable about this woman. Teaching P Lal’s English translation of Valmiki’s Ramayana, I’ve come to a firm conclusion that Sita does not deserve our pity. This kind of a response might be a way of escaping the real issues. It might be something else. I don’t know. But Sita should arouse our admiration, awe, respect, love but certainly not pity.

It’s worth noting at this point that people in India don’t name their daughters after Sita. Daughters can be Gita, after the great sermon of Lord Krishna; they can be Meeta, denoting a vague meaning of friendliness but none of them are Sita. Why? Why don’t we call our daughters Sita? All other goddesses are rewarded by christening of Indian girls after their names - Laxmi, Durga, Devi, Adya, Parvati, Gauri, Uma, Satyabhama, Jaya, Sunayana; even lady angels, ‘apsaras’ like Urvashi and Menaka are favored. But there’s no such condensation for our Sita. Some men dare to take her name necessarily along with that of her husband, Ram – Sitaraman, Sitaramaiya, or simple Sitaram. And yet, no other female figure enjoys the kind of supremacy Sita enjoys. She is worshipped but from afar; she’s not brought near in the form of daughters, sisters, wives, neighbors and so on. I once asked a senior, traditional lady as to why we don’t call our daughter Sita and she told me that since Sita suffered a lot in this world, we don’t name our daughters as Sita. We don’t want our daughter to suffer like her. So seductresses like Urvashi and Menaka would do but not a woman like Sita who stood up for her dignity and successfully stood her ground.

This is a telling tale on Indian mind-set. We don’t accept strong woman. Pleading women, weeping women, seducing women, foolish women, superficial women - you name any brand and we accept them. But we don’t accept strong women. Strength, mental superiority and iron-ness are things we don’t savor in our women. A woman who can control her instincts is a potential threat to male superiority and status quo. Deep down, the male mind fears a woman who does not fall a prey to her instincts. No temptation comes from outside. The enemy lies within us. A woman can be carried away ‘samundar paar’, can be ill treated, all time tested mechanisms, ‘Sam, dam, bhaya, bhed’ can be applied on her; yet she can stand her ground. She can do it with a barrier of a grass blade because walls and veils do not protect a woman’s dignity; her mind does. Mental strength is the only strength.

Ravana says that he is young, handsome, wealthy, powerful and attractive; Sita is a bundle of bewitchment; together they’d walk on the ocean beach. She’d be adorned with the best jewels in the world. Her father’s family would be rewarded with wealth. Hundreds of maids would look after her day and night. What else could she possibly want? What could any woman want?

Ravana at this point is the personification of ‘aasakti’ (indulgence of senses). Valmiki’s description is highly suggestive. Wine, woman, disarranged clothes, and entangled jewels and clothes – all present the heady picture of enjoyment of senses. Ravana is in the celebration of senses. Sita is in the celebration of the soul. He’s looking outside; she’s looking within herself. Here’s a young, beautiful princess, recently married to a very lovable prince. She’s on her honeymoon. Brutally broken from her lover, who’s her husband, she’s asked to submit to another man. Obviously she’s being treated as a commodity. Her feelings do not matter for the man who wants to ravish her as a dish on his much stuffed platter. The will of the male is considered to be supreme. She reverses the order; her will prevails. The male will is defeated. Sometimes, I feel that there can be no stronger feminist symbol than Sita.

Sita, if we look independently is the original ‘satya-agrahi’. Forced to live in Lanka, she refuses to take food, to dress up, in short, to enjoy life. Her mourning becomes her being. She’s seduced. She’s tortured. She’s shown fear. The ‘raakshasis’ around her are instructed to mould her in whatever manner they can. The flame of her pure heart converts people like Trijata even in the land of demons.

Here’s an epic scene from an immortal epic. The two flows of life - ‘tamsik’ (consumption based) and satwik (abstinence based) are there for everyone to see. The presentation is powerful. Sita is slim. She’s beautiful. She’s vulnerable or so she seems to be. She’s lonely. She’s deep in sorrow. Ravana, on the other hand is the king. He’s in his own territory. He’s powerful or so he seems to be. He’s deep in erotic pleasures of life. To top it all, he’s brought Sita to Lanka. He’s relishing the prospect of enjoying her. Here’s a complete contrast. No worldly wisdom can predict that Sita would win and Ravana would lose.

Sita challenges the basic patriarchal mind-set which treats women as pawn for all sorts of reasons – revenge, insult, scoring points, conveying messages, fulfilling long nurtured complexes and so on. There can be more reasons. Why do we have all solid abuses in our country based on women? ‘Your mother’, ‘your sister’ – we all know them only too well. Women are symbols of weakness. Only women have honor; men do not share such useless things. Ravana was also fulfilling his long cherished complex. He was rejected by Sita in her ‘swayambar’ – this might be the reason. His sister was insulted by the brothers, Ram and Laxman – that might be the reason. But his wrath had to fall on a lonely, simple, unarmed, unprotected woman. Sita refuses to pay the price. She refuses to become a prey of his complicated complexes. She reverts the cycle.

I personally feel that her commitment is first and foremost to her own self. Her confidence and dedication emanate from her self-respect. She is fighting for her own, personal, individual dignity; more than for anything else. She’s reversing the canon that fathers, husbands and sons are the keepers of women; women have to follow the dictates of one of the tree categories of men throughout their lives. She crosses the Laxman Rekha only moments after it is made. Plunged into calamity, she’s her own keeper. Her actions say that a woman will decide her own destiny. The will of the woman will matter. No one can force a woman into any act.

The only strange thing in her case is that usually freedom means promiscuity; she has chosen the path less traveled. Sita says that freedom means to go for more than one partner or not to go for more than one partner. Freedom does not necessarily mean getting wild. This is a unique correction on our generally conceived idea of freedom. You ask anyone about the freedom of a married woman and without wasting a second; images of infidelity would start dancing before the eyes, ‘aaj phir jeene ki tammana hai’. We have simply not thought about the freedom to say ‘no’. This is the greatest form of freedom. When you say ‘no’, you’re definitely spelling a specific choice, ‘I want this and not this’. Here’s freedom coupled with discretion and decision.

Sita is in the habit of taking her own decisions. Her words and actions propel the epic. Not only does she take a stand on her choice of a partner, she sets the agenda for Ram. She’s very specific. She spells the exact time limit within which Ram has to come and perform the most important part of his ‘leela’ on earth – public killing of Ravana. Hanuman clearly says that he can carry her back easily but her response is laden with sound reasons – Hanuman’s safety, her own safety, her married status and above everything else resurrection of the stature of Ram. Ram should act only the way that befits him. There’s no other way but public killing of Ravana by Ram. Sita spells the details, the lines which everyone has to follow. Sita’s message is clear. She is not for the short cut. Being born in this less than perfect world, there’s no point in being afraid of miseries or hardships. What matters is the way one deals with challenges. That is the most important thing.
I don’t intend to take away all the weeping associated with Sita in our country. Perhaps it is good for our own catharsis. It cleanses us of many dark and hidden fears. But my own personal perception of this lady is that of a fighter, a truly strong person. Sita and Ram are imbedded in the collective consciousness of our country. What must have started with a young prince killing an evil king has now become the reservoir of all that we wish to see in ourselves. Ram is truth. Ram is righteousness. Ram is beautiful. Sita is purity. Sita is goodness. In this long line, I wish to add a small hyphen - Sita is strength. Sita is the original iron lady.
30-Oct-2011