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


Friday, January 31, 2014

Rethinking the Indian War Memorial by Dilip D'Souza at the New York Times

Great write up by Dilip D'Souza, and his idea will certainly take time getting used to. He wrote, “What if India and Pakistan built a joint war memorial on our border? What if those granite panels remember, like Shiloh does, men who fought each other in life and lie together now in death?  What would it do to our countries that have fought and killed for six decades now?”


I like the idea and on my part will share it with my friends and groups. As always, there will be a few hard core extremists among Indians and Pakistanis, who would laugh at it, but the majority of both people want the right thing, to get along and move on with their lives. There was and is Aman Ki Asha and many more social networks committed to building relationships.

I was hoping he would write a little bit more about Patriotism that he alluded to and I have written about what Patriotism a while back and it needs a revision and a rewrite.

The old concept of Patriotism was based on killing and getting killed, which is idiotic, we need to be thinking of live and let live. There is a paradigm shift in the making; the guys who want to take their nation on the brink of war are not patriotic, as they put a lot of lives on jeopardy.
Patriotism is uplifting the nation, making the lives of her inhabitants better. Improving the life style from simple potable water to sanitation to providing education, jobs and a life would be Patriotism.

Patriotism is respecting and honoring every fellow national, in our case fellow Indian, regardless of their color, caste, religion or economic status.


D'Souza mentioned about Modi and my take is, the Republicans in the United States and Mr. Narendra Modi in India need to take lessons in Geography, Biology, Math and History, Mr. Modi said there are no war Memorials, he needs to know there are plenty of Memorials all over India and in the last few days people are posting on facebook endlessly. The party he is affiliated with RSS was an anathema to Sardar Patel, who banned the party in 1948. Something needs fixing - either RSS to reject its founders and their philosophy or try not to own Sardar Patel, a great Indian Patriot who belongs to every Indian. My alias name Sardar was indeed named after him.


Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net
http://MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com

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Rethinking the Indian War Memorial by Dilip D'Souza at the New York Times
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/rethinking-the-indian-war-memorial/?ref=world


Earlier this week, Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the prime minister, stirred up his critics when he asserted in a speech to mostly military personnel that India does not have a war memorial.
As plenty of people have pointed out, this is simply not true. All over this country, there are memorials to soldiers who have died in India’s border skirmishes, terrorist attacks and wars — 1948, 1956, 1962, 1965, 1971, 1999.

Yet what I found myself thinking about, after Mr. Modi’s remark, was not so much that he was mistaken. Politicians will, after all, play on what they think are patriotic sentiments. No, he brought to mind two war memorials I have visited, at nearly opposite corners of the planet. The first is Shiloh, in the American state of Tennessee. The second is, as I was asked by a military friend to say after my visit, somewhere near the Line of Control in India’s northernmost state, Jammu and Kashmir.

Shiloh is the site of a famous Civil War battle in April 1862. Southern forces came close to defeating the Northern army here, before themselves losing. There was a total of 24,000 casualties, with 3,500 dead, on both sides. By that count, it was the bloodiest battle in American history, though it was soon eclipsed by other Civil War battles. And in the end it was just a battle: No military advantage was gained or lost here.
I had read that last nugget somewhere just hours before entering Shiloh, and it weighed on me as I wandered its quiet expanse. Why all those deaths, then? Then again, had there actually been some strategic advantage gained, would it somehow validate their deaths? Would we pronounce that wartime non sequitur, that the men “did not die in vain”?

Imponderables, of course. What struck me at Shiloh, though, were the individual memorials from each state. One I stopped at commemorates the “loyalty, patriotism and bravery of Iowa’s sons who fought to perpetuate the sacred Union of the United States.” Others like that, with words like that, were from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Tennessee — every state in the Union.

Which started me wondering: In this one park are memorials to brave sons from both sides of that fratricidal war. If one spot venerates the patriotism of those who fought for the Union, it’s not far to that other spot that venerates the patriotism of those who fought to secede. The Missouri monument lists a “1st Missouri” regiment that fought for the Union and a “1st Missouri” regiment that fought for the Confederates — both on the same face of the same slab of polished granite.

A total of 3,500 men from both sides died in those crisp April days over 150 years ago — yet they lie here united not just in death, but in how future generations remember them. They lie here, asking questions of my ideas of patriotism.

Somewhere near our Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, I visited a “Hall of Fame” — another war memorial. It too has several individual monuments. One remembers soldiers Badridan Bharat, Surjit Singh and Gurprit Singh. Another, a tower on the road leading up to the Hall of Fame, is labeled “Padinale Po Munnale” — Tamil for “Go Forward, 14th.” The Tamil itself was a reminder of the fantastic mosaic this country is: I’ll bet those are the only inscribed Tamil words for miles around.

But as moving as all these are, something else at this Hall of Fame touched me in the way that Shiloh did: a series of black granite panels. Chiseled at the top of each one is a year — 1948, 1949 and onward. Below each year are dozens, hundreds of names, also chiseled — the names of men who died fighting India’s battles.

And then — several empty panels. Panels that wait silently for names, wait for soldiers to die in our battles. Clearly the Hall of Fame expects the bloodshed to go on for several more years, and has actually prepared itself for that.

Out there in my country are young men of every description, spirited teenagers and nervous fathers and budding fast bowlers, whose names will one day be carved into this black stone. In that almost ghostly idea, more questions about patriotism.

From where the monument stands, the border is only a few miles distant. Every country venerates its dead soldiers, so no doubt there’s a memorial on that side of the line too, remembering young Pakistani men killed in battles with my country. Maybe it too has large panels that wait for names.

There at the Hall of Fame, a thought came quietly, naturally, almost as a fruit of the history I know our countries share. In our early wars, officers on each side had trained together in British India. For example, the Indian Military Academy’s first graduating batch, in 1934, had both Muhammed Musa and Sam Manekshaw, future Army chiefs of Pakistan and India, respectively. Certainly there must have been soldiers in both armies who had trained together too, who had grown up in the same villages and towns, played together as children.

This was the American Civil War experience as well: Brother sometimes fought brother on those bloody battlefields, officers on either side had been colleagues before the war. Take Fort Sumter, where the Civil War actually began. The Union commanding officer was Major Robert Anderson, who graduated from West Point and later was an artillery instructor there. The president of the Confederacy was his West Point colleague, Jefferson Davis; the man who fired the first shell at Sumter was P.G.T. Beauregard, once Mr. Anderson’s student at West Point.

Shiloh is explicitly, and most wrenchingly, a reminder of so many shared bonds like these. And so the thought: What if India and Pakistan built a joint war memorial on our border? What if those granite panels remember, like Shiloh does, men who fought each other in life and lie together now in death?  What would it do to our countries that have fought and killed for six decades now?

Certainly this is an idea that will take some getting used to. After the Civil War, the urgency was to heal a bloodied nation as it struggled to unite and reconstruct. This is the spirit behind Shiloh. Can it apply to India and Pakistan, two separate countries?

I’m not sure. But even so, what if we found the imagination to build such a memorial? I suspect it would become that much harder to see each other as enemies and go to war. I suspect we wouldn’t need the blank panels.
Dilip D’Souza is a writer based in Mumbai. He has written four books, most recently “The Curious Case of Binayak Sen.” Find him on Twitter at @DeathEndsFun.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gujarat Massacre, Native American Genocides and Holocaust

Holocaust and the Muslim Guy
Frequently, I am introduced in the following manner, "He is the first Muslim guy to commemorate Holocaust, and perhaps the first non-Jewish person to commemorate the Holocaust as well."  Of all the people on the earth, my mother would be pleased to know that I am doing what it takes to be a "good Muslim," to respect, honor and protect the sanctity of life.
As a Muslim committed to building cohesive societies, it was an honor to step up to the plate. Quran 3:133, "And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness and to a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which has been readied for the God-conscious." I am not driven by paradise, nor do I seek rewards. But it does mean building a cohesive world where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. God-conscious simply means being caring and sensitive to all of God's creation; life and matter.

Of all the people on the earth, my mother would be pleased to know I am doing what it takes to be a "good Muslim," to respect, honor and protect the sanctity of life. 


I have always believed, and I read the assessments of some of the best brains that if we can resolve the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, i.e., security to Jews and justice to the Palestinians, most of the world issues will collapse and a period of peace on earth will begin. 

2014-01-20-Opening1.jpg
Commemorating Holocaust and Genocides for seven years is a fulfillment of a lifelong desire. 

Continued at Huffington post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-and-the-muslim-_b_4629509.html#es_share_ended

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Indian village 'court' orders gang rape of woman as punishment for boyfriend

This is disgusting - this in not our culture!

I hope they cut the dicks off of each one of them, and parade them in public.

I read all over the facebook and the social media, very few women want to go to India, it is not safe.  I do hope we stop this non-sense, it is embarrassing that women are not safe in India.

Mike Ghouse

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/23/22414118-indian-village-court-orders-gang-rape-of-woman-as-punishment-for-boyfriend?lite

Indian village 'court' orders gang rape of woman as punishment for boyfriend

Strdel / AFP - Getty Images
Suspects in the gang-rape case are led by police to a district courthouse in Birdhum district Thursday.

Village elders in India ordered the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman after they found out she was in a relationship with a man from a different community, police said Thursday.
Police in a rural part of West Bengal arrested 13 people in connection with the alleged offense that left the woman in critical condition in the hospital, police told the BBC.

"The relationship was going on for almost five years," Birbhum police chief C. Sudhakar said. "When the man visited the woman's home on Monday with the proposal of marriage, villagers spotted him and organized a kangaroo court.

"During the 'proceedings,' the couple were made to sit with hands tied."

Sudhakar told the BBC that the elders took action because the woman was from their tribal community and her boyfriend was from a non-tribal community nearby.

So-called "kangaroo courts," made up of village elders, do not have an official capacity but are not uncommon especially in India's more rural areas.

The woman said she was assaulted by the men on the night of Jan. 20 in the district of Birbhum.
Sudhakar told the BBC that the lead elder, who is among those arrested, had initially ordered the woman's family to pay 25,000 rupees ($400).

But they were too poor to pay the fine so the elder told the alleged gang rapists "go enjoy the girl and have fun," according to a complaint filed by the family.

According to a report by Reuters the men have appeared in court and are now remanded in jail.
The issue of sexual violence against women in India became a national and international issue last year after a 23-year-old student was killed in a brutal gang rape in Delhi in 2012.

The case shocked the world and led to nationwide protests and a toughening of the laws covering sex crimes.

Reuters contributed to this report.
Related:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pope Francis Urges Narendra Modi to focus on inclusion of every Gujarati in the development to succeed, or else it will collapse.

URL - http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2014/01/pope-francis-urges-narendra-modi-to.html


If Mr. Narendra Modi has ambitions to become the Prime Minister of India, then he and his supporters need to go back to the drawing board and begin planning for the next election cycle. 

Even though huge crowds are showing up at his rallies for his oratorical skills, it will not likely to translate into votes. Modi represents a small percentage of Indians who have everything to gain from the business deals including the short-sighted industrialists, but ultimately all the gains will be lost if the cohesive structure of the society remains busted.

What good is the prosperity when fellow Gujaratis live in apprehension and fear of the other?   What good was the prosperity of Germany when everything collapsed anyway?   Like Modi; they focused on growth rather than the social structure.


Pope Francis is the one who can bring sense to the world. His speech applies directly to India, development without inclusion is doomed to fail hurting everyone in the long haul.

Continued at http://www.opednews.com/articles/Narendra-Modi-s-Nakshatras-by-Mike-Ghouse-Anti-christian_Bharatiya-Janata-Party_Business_Congress-131227-999.html

Pope Francis’s address works for Modi, the correct title of his speech is, “Pope Francis Urges Davos Elite At World Economic Forum To Serve Humanity With Wealth” which I modified to the above title, as it seems to apply to Narendra Modi.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/pope-francis-davos-_n_4638542.html?ref=topbar

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Pope Francis challenged business leaders assembled in Davos on Tuesday to put their wealth at the service of humanity instead of leaving most of the world's population in poverty and insecurity.

In a message to more than 2,500 participants at the annual World Economic Forum, the pontiff urged industrialists and bankers to promote inclusive prosperity, but stopped short of chiding them for excesses laid bare by the global financial crisis.

"I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," Pope Francis said in the message read at the opening ceremony by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice.

The Argentinian pope, who has identified strongly with the poor since his election last year and severely criticized capitalism, acknowledged that business had helped lift millions out of poverty, even if it had led to widespread social exclusion.

"The growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all 'a transcendent vision of the person'," he said in the message.

"It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality."

Rising income disparity and attendant social unrest were flagged as the biggest threat to the world in the WEF's annual "Global Risks 2014" report last week.

Inequality has been widening since the 1980s but the issue has risen up the agenda since the financial crisis that erupted in 2008.

A new generation of young people coming of age in the 2010s, who lack jobs and hope of social improvement, is fueling pent-up frustration, with a wave of protests from Thailand to Brazil.

The richest 85 people in the world now have as much wealth as the bottom half of the world's population, or some 3.5 billion people, according to a report from the charity Oxfam this week.

Oxfam said there a need for some economic inequality to reward those with talent, skills and ambition but the current extreme situation was "damaging and worrying". (Reporting by Philip Pullella and Ben Hirschler; Editing by Paul Taylor and Andrew Heavens)


Continued at http://www.opednews.com/articles/Narendra-Modi-s-Nakshatras-by-Mike-Ghouse-Anti-christian_Bharatiya-Janata-Party_Business_Congress-131227-999.html

Pope Francis’s address works for Modi, the correct title of his speech is, “Pope Francis Urges Davos Elite At World Economic Forum To Serve Humanity With Wealth” which I modified to the above title.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/pope-francis-davos-_n_4638542.html?ref=topbar

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Pope Francis challenged business leaders assembled in Davos on Tuesday to put their wealth at the service of humanity instead of leaving most of the world's population in poverty and insecurity.

In a message to more than 2,500 participants at the annual World Economic Forum, the pontiff urged industrialists and bankers to promote inclusive prosperity, but stopped short of chiding them for excesses laid bare by the global financial crisis.

"I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," Pope Francis said in the message read at the opening ceremony by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice.

The Argentinian pope, who has identified strongly with the poor since his election last year and severely criticized capitalism, acknowledged that business had helped lift millions out of poverty, even if it had led to widespread social exclusion.

"The growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all 'a transcendent vision of the person'," he said in the message.

"It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality."

Rising income disparity and attendant social unrest were flagged as the biggest threat to the world in the WEF's annual "Global Risks 2014" report last week.

Inequality has been widening since the 1980s but the issue has risen up the agenda since the financial crisis that erupted in 2008.

A new generation of young people coming of age in the 2010s, who lack jobs and hope of social improvement, is fueling pent-up frustration, with a wave of protests from Thailand to Brazil.

The richest 85 people in the world now have as much wealth as the bottom half of the world's population, or some 3.5 billion people, according to a report from the charity Oxfam this week.
Oxfam said there a need for some economic inequality to reward those with talent, skills and ambition but the current extreme situation was "damaging and worrying". (Reporting by Philip Pullella and Ben Hirschler; Editing by Paul Taylor and Andrew Heavens)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Second episode of '7 RCR' on Narendra Modi

Second episode of '7 RCR' is about political innings of Narendra Modi after 2001. The story starts from 2001 when Modi became Chief Minister of Gujarat. Situation of BJP in the state was not good and Modi was appointed to work to strengthen the party in the state.

For more info log on to: www.youtube.com/abpnewsTV
Its' a one hour story about Narendra Modi

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Narendra Modi and dehumanizing women




First of all, I condemn the wife Jokes in India, which are usually derogatory towards women.  That is the kind of humor we don’t need to burden our next generation with. You can call me whatever you want, but in the public spaces, where I am, I will stop you from saying those jokes.


Here is a debate about Narendra Modi, the Prime ministerial candidate making a statement,   "50 Crore ki girl friend Dekhi hai” - have you seen a $5Million dollar girl friend? Referring to Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunananda Pushkar, Shashi’s response was apt, “She is priceless! “Instead of saying, what does this man know about women?  It’s like asking someone to describe the smell of the roses, whose nostril is desensitized.

Somewhere in the discussion, someone suggests, “All it takes for Modi is to apologize for the statement or clarify what he meant by it” and it will be over. Some else jumped and said, “apologize, he never will”.

That took me back to think if there is a pattern. When the lower court in Ahmadabad rejected the Petition of Zakia Jafri, against Modi’s involvement in the Gujarat Massacre, someone had suggested, “If Modi has any respect for human dignity, as a head of the state, he would go and console that Octogenarian Zakia Jafri, that he will make sure, justice will be served to her, even if it were against him?”  Someonelese jumped and said, “ Modi may dum nahin” – Modi does not have the guts to do such a bold thing.

I was looking at the 7 points I had advocated for Modi to consider – to be humble, to do the praischit and move forward. I was told that he will not do that.

What will he do then? How will he handle mistakes if he were the Prime Minister?

Most of you may watch the Indian soaps; the story is repeated daily, “The husband screams at wife, what have I not given you – wealth, car, house, servant, designer clothes, dining in the finest restaurants….what do you want”.  Rarely do they show the response, a woman wants nothing more than respect and dignity. 

The development is a wholesome plank, not economic development at the cost of respect and dignity to the millions of Gujaratis out there.

If you have not watched the following video by NDTV, it is worth watching. There is another revelation; the “right wing people” will never see another point of view. In the video, Mr. Modi is represented by Mr. Rao, who simply cannot see the facts.

Between 3:00 to 27:00 Minutes on the tape


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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism
, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, you and I.

The purpose of writing this note is for us to be conscious of the fact that, we will be redefining a lot of things. 

We were formed as a Secular democracy; however, we have been an exemplary inclusive democracy. Politically, India has evolved into a two party system. Unlike the clear two dominant parties in the United States,  India coalesces regional and national parties into two major coalitions; the National Democratic Alliance with Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) as its anchor, and the United Progressive Alliance with Indian National Congress (INC) as the anchor.

Loyalty to our Nation.

For almost first half of post independent India, there was literally one party rule. If you were not with the Indian National Congress then you were less than loyal to the nation. Then came a period, where BJP ruled the nation and anyone who criticized the Government-in-essence-BJP, they were considered traitors or less than loyal to India, and it went both ways.

I hope we have come to a point where loyalty to the party will not be equated with loyalty to the nation. We need to remember that neither BJP nor Congress represents more than half of the nation now.  And we will go beyond our regional or religious affiliations in our discussions. It will be one Indian’s take against the other Indian’s take and we will do our best, for the sake of civility to not slap region or religion to it.  

Let me put it the way Jesus had explained– condemn the sin and not the sinner. i.e., you and I can disagree with our takes, but not dislike each other personally. The same great ideal is in Bhagvad Gita, Quran and other holy books; we just need to practice it. 

In simple words, I may not like your support for Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi, but I will not dislike you at all, and nor will I hold that against you. Can we do that?

The dirt that will be thrown at each other will be for political gains of the party you support. If Khalid Azam and Niranjan Patel disagree on something, it will be a civil dialogue and nothing personal. I would also hope that we have matured enough to discuss or challenge the facts, rather than just say – what do you expect from …?  

At Dallas Indians, a 1725 member forum, we have seen ups and downs, and I hope to see civility in our conversation. I am sure we can, after all, we the Indians claim to be a civil people. 

The forum is moderated to eliminate ads, and to keep the focus on the topic at hand instead of jumping around. To join the forum, simply send an email to DallasIndians-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

As a moderator of the forum, I want to assure you, that I am free from any prejudice towards any human, let alone a fellow Indian. Meaning, if I you see you in a party, my blood will not boil, nor will I lean over my friend and whisper bad things about you in his or her ears. My disagreement with you does not become the source of disliking you.

My book "Standing up for others" is being released by the end of this month. I simply ask you this - if any one on our forum, jumps on an individual's region or religion, we all need to speak up. We are all Indians and nothing but Indians.

Jai Hind




Mike Ghouse for India
http://www.MikeGhouseforIndia.Blogspot.com 

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, IslamIsraelIndiainterfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest onSean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.

Arvind Kejriwal Phenomenon


It is a delight to see inclusive politics.  I hope Arvind will affect the other politicians to emulate him. I am deeply committed towards building cohesive societies where every citizen feels included and no one is afraid to live his or her life.


I don't know if I can make it, but if I can, I want to open the Delhi state assembly session with pluralism greetings and prayers to be inclusive of every Indian from Atheist to Zoroastrian and every one in between.

Here is his full 26 minutes speech of Arvind Kejriwal: http://t.co/FppTW3aDe0
We are making a film called "Americans Together" - it will take another year or two to complete - if we get the funding, we can complete it this year. In this film, every American will be represented. The trailer is at:http://americatogetherfoundation.com/documetary/

This is a speech President Obama would have delivered. 

The last century has produced Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mother and Mother Teresa, and this century has begun with Barack Obama, Pope Francis and now Arvind Kejriwal.


@ 4th minute - What does a common man want? Monica and Anjum have delivered an identical speech in the documentary.
  
@ 7:30 minute - it's all inclusive, he defines who is an Aam Aadmi
@ 9:00 inclusive of all religions
@15:00 inclusive of all parties;  BJP and congress - it is Indians together
@18 - political inclusivism
@18:30 - rehabilitation
@20 - faith in people's honesty
@22 - 1339 Rapes in Delhi? 2nd only to New York - it's a serious issue and his response was what I expected - punishment and not revenge.

I was to cut down my time and focus on the book and building the curriculum to teach Pluralism - but I could not resist this phenomenon; Arvind Kejriwal. 

My article on Arvind Kejriwal - http://www.opednews.com/articles/India-Arvind-Kejriwal-swo-by-Mike-Ghouse-2014-Elections_Aam-Aadmi-Party_Arvind-Kajriwal_Bharatiya-Janata-Party-131230-153.html
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, IslamIsraelIndiainterfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest onSean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links. 

Arvind Kejriwal sworn in as Chief Minister of New Delhi and follows Lincoln's idea of government

Published at OpEd News
URL - http://www.opednews.com/articles/India-Arvind-Kejriwal-swo-by-Mike-Ghouse-2014-Elections_Aam-Aadmi-Party_Arvind-Kajriwal_Bharatiya-Janata-Party-131230-153.html

New Delhi, India. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal is sworn in as the 7th Chief Minister (Governor) of New Delhi, a Union Territory of India, in the likes of Puerto Rico in the United States.

Governor Najeeb Jung Swearing in Chief Minister Arvind Kajriwal 

80,000 people packed the historical Ramlila Maidan (grounds) for the  swearing-in ceremony. Kejriwal received thunderous applause for just about every sentence he uttered in his opening speech. The people of Delhi were in a mood for an honest uncorrupted politician; it was similar to the Obama moment on November 4, 2008.   I was moved when he said, "The politics of this country has destroyed everything, but people have shown that honest politics is possible. Elections can be fought with honesty and won with honesty."    
Arvind Kejriwal is practicing what Abraham Lincoln had envisioned about government; of the people for the people by the people.  

This is a historic moment in Indian democracy for common man to have a say. Traditionally the multi-party system coalesces into two major coalitions; the National Democratic Alliance with Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) as its anchor party, and the United Progressive Alliance with Indian National Congress (INC) as its anchor.

The voters of the state of New Delhi have defeated the incumbent Congress party by reducing them to 8 seats in the assembly of 70 seats; 33 went to Bharatiya Janata Party, 2 short of forming the government, and 28 seats to the brand new, less than a year-old AAP -- Aam Aadmi Party, the common man's party.

The party head Arvind Kejriwal was asked to form the government as BJP could not form the government. The congress party offered their support of their 8 members, giving AAP a 36-seat majority in the house.
Kejriwal refused to form the government, and said becoming the governing party is not important but ensuring proper governance is the way to go forward. Instead of grabbing the power he rejected the offer. Arvind Kejriwal reminds me of Nelson Mandela who walked away from power for another term.

A genuine democracy must be a natural thing to humans who respect the otherness of others. Kejriwal is one such fellow, and did the right thing by asking the very people who elected him to deliberate and decide if he should form the government.  Indeed, Mr. Kejriwal is reclaiming what it means to be the government of the people.
The public said, he should form the government provided the support from the Congress is firm, and congress having no options, gave him unconditional support to form the government.

Prior to Swearing in Ceremony governor Jung and Kajriwal
(image by LiveMint.com)


The world can learn about austerity from Mr. Kejriwal.   The members of the United States Congress believe austerity means cutting off on food stamps and unemployment benefits to the needy, making them more miserable and unproductive.   Shamelessly, when the government shut-down happened, the members of the US Congress got paid and denied the same to ordinary government workers.    Kejriwal believes the austerity begins from the top. He took the subway to Ramlila grounds where swearing in ceremony took place, and he plans to live in his own house and has asked his ministers to do the same.   
He urged his cabinet ministers to remain humble and not fall into the trapping of power and become arrogant. He has taken a strong stand against corruption and bribes, and has promised not to spare any one.   He was vigilant and covered most bases, "Sometimes I am very scared as people have pinned their hopes on us and I pray to God to give us courage and keep us on right track so that we don't commit any mistake."

He has a bold message for Indian National Congress; inclusiveness without pragati (progress) will not cut it, and the message to Bharatiya Janata Party; unnati (prosperity) without inclusiveness is not sustainable either.  
Democracy works!  This man Arvind Kejriwal did not have money like the other two parties, but had clearly defined goals and won the hearts and minds of the people. Indeed Obama had a clear mission; inclusive goals for the greater good of Americans against Romney's wealthy supporters who funded nearly a billion dollars to his campaign in vain.

The government of people by the people for the people is a good foundation for sustainable democracies. I wish Mr. Kejriwal the very best in delivering goodness to benefit citizens at large, inclusive of those who opposed him.
The only worry, I have about the Aam Aadmi Party is -- how will they ensure the corrupt people from creeping in to their system?  As long as they are a Delhi-based manageable party, they would be fine, but if they go national, do they have the time to place safeguards and checks and balances in place?

In a press conference in December 2001, General Pervaz Musharraf gave me 6-7 minutes' time in the midst of huge media crowd in Washington DC. My major question to him besides Cricket Diplomacy was -- have you got a  "what-if plan"; should you not be there, do you have institutions built up to carry the democracy forward? His answer was typical Desi -- Oh, yes, don't worry, we have figured it out everything. 

I will ask the same question to Arvind Kejriwal, what if you fall sick or die in an accident, is your system in place to move forward on its own? Do you have enough people deeply oriented with your ideals to carry the mantle? A sustainable government should be based on a system and not individuals.

My recommendation for Kejriwal is to remain in Delhi and prove that his system works, and resist the temptation to expand to other parts of the country and not dilute his mission.

IBN network has bestowed the Indian of the year award to Arvind Kejriwal, a well-deserved award. Congratulations Mr. Kejriwal! The following 6 minutes' video on YouTube is worth watching to understand a genuine democracy -- of the people by the people for the people with apologies to those who do not understand Hindi/Urdu.
Disclosure: I am a moderate Republican who supports Obama for his inclusive policies that benefit the society at large, and a supporter of Indian National Congress for their inclusive governance.
http://www.MikeGhouse.net
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print (more...)

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