Fifteen years ago, if someone had predicted a national controversy about the phrase “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (Victory to Mother India), I would have shelved that idea with other revolutionary and fanciful notions like “Batman exists” or that “God does not exist”.
Who would have ever thought. In a controversy that had embroiled popular political figures like Mohan Bhagwat of the RSS, Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM, Baba Ramdev of the Patanjali and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Devendra Fadnavis, our nation (or at least our nation’s blogosphere, Twittersphere and “newsphere”) was buzzing through with variants of the question –
Can any Indian citizen choose not to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai!” ?
If not, aren’t such people anti-national?
Should this debate concern Indian Christians?
I think it should concern anyone who is part of a religious minority in our country.
Barely a few weeks ago, Muslim youth from a Delhi Madrassa were beaten up by some men allegedly because they refused to say this potent phrase. The cops have claimed that there are conflicting versions about what the victims of the attack were asked to say – “ Victory to Mother India” or “Victory to the Mother”, which is Jai Mata Di, a worship chant for Vaishno Devi, a Hindu goddess popular in North India.
At a sadbhavana sammelan (compassion rally) in Haryana, Baba Ramdev said that but for the law, he would have chopped heads of those who refuse to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai“.
He now has a police complaint registered against him for making a hate speech. It is yet to be seen what legal action would be taken against a prominent pro-Hindutva guru in these times. But my point is – if an Indian citizen who is a Christian refuses to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, it is quite possible that he or she shall face no small repercussion in India’s tangible summer of religious intolerance.
So, is it right for Christians to say this phrase?
3 Ways Christians could respond to the “Bharat Mata ki Jai” demand Continue reading “Is it Right for Christians to Say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”?”
“Tis the season!”
scream Google and the malls in unison.
Christmas is around the corner. A lot of us are busy finishing year-end work projects, buying presents, bombarding colleagues with “Secret Santa” gifts, decorating and re-decorating Christmas trees, taking Christmas celebrations to old age homes and orphanages, watching blockbuster movies, attending midnight masses, or just taking to Facebook to say “Merry Christmas”.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been following the news, the world around us faces some level of Christmas-related drama. In Brunei, you could be punished for celebrating Christmas illegally. Is that just one Muslim ruler’s whim and fancy? Not really. Somalia has thought it best to ban public Christmas celebrations too. Countries like Tajikistan have happily banned Christmas trees, gift-giving and Father Frost (their Santa Claus – cool name huh!). This is sad, but I am mildly amused that these governments are expending energy and time banning paraphernalia.
If you’re thinking, “weird tyrants!”, try the US!
Certain states in the US will go miles to show you the inappropriateness of using the greeting “Merry Christmas”, which has been replaced with “Happy Holidays” in order to not offend people of other faiths. A sparkling example of “tolerance”, I must say!
In about 10 days from now, a lot of us Christmas revelers will be left with a sense of deflation and all too familiar feelings of –
But right now, a lot of us are trying to celebrate all that we can, hoping the fanfare, the carols, the colours and the sounds will bring us a joy that will last long enough. But no; not even Christmas celebrations can satisfy the human heart. Continue reading “Three Pitiful States to Be Post-Christmas”
Has your wife ever caught you staring at some other woman?
Has your mother or sister ever caught you with your “wandering eyes”?
Who was your last victim?
The teenagers at the mall?
The new trainee at work?
The beautiful girl at church?
A poster made of paper?
Few people are aware of the fact that behind every single FIR lodged in Indian police stations against rapists or molesters, you will find culprits with wandering eyes.
As a man, I am certain wandering eyes are one of the key factors that lead men across India – and the world- to perpetrate widespread, unending rape and violations of women and children alike.
“Be careful, little eyes, what you see”
But what are “wandering eyes”?
I would define it for the sake of this post as men, consciously or unconsciously, looking at Continue reading “Men and Their Wandering Eyes!”
I am certain quite a few of us have been curious about the events in the wake of the Ashley Madison hack. For those who don’t yet know, 39 million users of a website that facilitates extramarital affairs had their names and account details displayed on the internet for the rest of the online world to ogle at. Soon enough, the Christian/ Catholic/ Protestant/ Evangelical Ashley Madison sub-list came pouring out on the internet.
Like someone from one of the Marg churches recently mentioned, it was heart-breaking to hear of popular Christian personalities like Josh Duggar’s name of the Duggar family and viral Christian vlogger Sam Rader’s name showing up on that dreaded list.
They were just the icing on that distasteful cake Christians around the world had to eat.
Nearly 400 Christian pastors and workers have been on the hacked list so far.
Ashley Madison is the poster child of internet gone ugly and unsafe. Continue reading “My Ashley Madison Account Is Under Somebody Else’s Name”