Issue 18 - November 2004
What next? It’s imperative that President Bush unites an America polarized by stark differences on social, economical and international issues. In his re-election acceptance speech, the President reached out to the 55.1 million Americans that voted to oust him from office, “To make this nation stronger and better I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.”
With winter holidays coming up, take a break from your hectic schedule and enjoy a good book. From art or adventure, to politics and philosophy, here are a few of our favorites. Enjoy!
Is there extraterrestrial life beyond earth? Are there intelligent civilizations in the universe? Or, are we alone. For a long time these questions have probed the human mind and science, religion, literature and philosophy have attempted to provide answers.
It is interesting to discuss the relation between two philosophies that are extremely differentiated by tradition and region. They are Sikhism and the philosophy of Spinoza. The former is eastern and developed in the religio-cultural pattern, whereas the latter is Western and developed in the reflective analytic tradition of Europe. Even then there is a scope for comparative study. This comparison is accidental since neither Sikhism nor the philosophy of Spinoza had any influence or impact from each other.
I propose in this paper to examine briefly the philosophical basis for this inability of man to speak truly about God and also, taking my clue from Guru Nanak, to look at what would seem to be the proper primary function of language in religious consciousness and experience.
“Man’s true life does not consist in the business of filling his belly and clothing his body, but in art and thought and love, in the creation and contemplation of beauty and in the scientific understanding of the world.”
Postmodernism is one of the recent trends in Western philosophy, broadly in Western culture studies that have brought to focus a few considerable critical tools in the studies of philosophy. To a philosopher, Modernism is a literary phenomenon that reflected many of the philosophical problems associated with the Phenomenological and Existentialist movements in philosophy.
Karzai has to work very hard on the reconstruction of the country and the rehabilitation of the millions of displaced Afghans at his earliest. He needs explicit support from the international community-the US, UN, EU and Japan particularly. These countries have time and again pledged funds for the reconstruction of Afghanistan but done very little in this effect.
As a student of religious studies hailing from South India, I cannot avoid the references available in literature regarding the origin of Bhakti movement from the Tamil country. A learned scholar of Bengal Vaishnavism says, “There is a fairly old tradition of the fervor of faith in God originating in the Dravida country and growing in intensity in the Karnataka region.”
Though we are yet to find out what ideas worked behind the tragedy of September 11, 2001, we can be sure that an extreme fanatic view that considers ideologies different from itself worthy of nothing. Further events have revealed that this fanatic view was planted into the receptive minds of young people who become the instruments of terror that revealed itself at the WTC and elsewhere.
The term ‘God’ implies a number of attributes. Just as the term ‘triangle’ carries with it the idea of three-sided-ness, so the term ‘God’ carries with it the idea of personality, creativity, infinitude, omnipotence and benevolence. A triangle is not a triangle if it is not a three-sided figure. Similarly God is not God if he is not a person, the creator of the world, and an infinite, omnipotent, benevolent being.
To his great credit, Reverend Zekveld responded positively to my inquiry and agreed for an open dialogue on the Bible. I believe this is historic and, I am ever grateful to him for his kind heart in sharing his views against those of mine.
In the October 17th issue of Jasarat, Arif Bahar wrote: ‘Pakistani journalists are fond of wine and women. The Indians offer them these two things and then make fun of them saying, look at these Muslims. They want Kashmir on the basis of Islam. They are alcoholic and womanizers. Thus, the Indians spearhead propaganda against Islam and Pakistan to mislead the Kashmiris. The Indians tell the Kashmiris that they want accession with Pakistan because they think it is a Muslim country..’
The violence of the everyday experienced by people defies comprehension. Brutality infiltrates into the imagination of the acceptable, as oppression lives through the state’s mistreatment of the poor, made intense by hierarchies of caste, tribe, religion and gender.
Numerous Muslim ulama or Islamic scholars and other community leaders have been quick to denounce the statement, roundly condemning Sadiq and claiming that family planning has no sanction whatsoever in Islam.
People are touched by many things about others, but only a few of these we remember. These identifiable traits are difficult to define. However, human group traits are certainly different from those of their chimpanzee-like ancestors whose distinguishing characteristics are still different from those of lower forms of animals or physical objects.
The ordinary Sikh is in a dilemma. He is in search of his home – the place he belongs to. The place where he can enjoy the nectar of Gurbani, practise his faith, and attain the eternal bliss as promised in Gurbani.
The five kakkars are the insignia of this communion which is indicated by the expression; “Waheguru ji ka khalsa”. As such, through the amrit an inner force – spirit – was instilled into man, into society, to internally and autonomously resolve the ever-going contradiction between good and evil.
If we could practice this universal message, imagine the satisfaction and happiness it would bring. But we should never do the opposite — “be compassionate to yourself and expect other to be satisfied with what they have.”
It is a matter of credit for Sikhs that after their migration to several countries they kept their faith in Sikh religion and felt proud to be called Sikhs, though some of them could not observe the code of conduct strictly.
We have set about the task of analyzing the growth of communalism in Karnataka, specifically concentrating on its manifestations as communal riots, flare-ups and tensions. We believe that this is an important task as this would give us an insight into the method behind the spread of communalism, probably then offering some leads on how to counter the same.
“If they became doctors for money, you can’t blame them. But in the first place, they should have not become doctors if they are after the money.”
More than a century later, Kant and Laplace put forward their views, together known as Gas-Cloud hypothesis. It considers the creation of the Universe out of gases and vapors such as hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, cyanogens, and water. The planets and the sun were created out of the same nebular gas medium.
The paper briefly discusses the history of Hola Mahalla festival, which has been declared a State festival by the Government of Punjab. It also analyses the importance of community tourism and its impact on economic and socio-cultural environment vis-a vis the host community and tourism development.
Nanakian philosophy differs with other religions in the basic premise – the concept of God. Surely, the concept of one God was known long before Guru Nanak.
Halting in a small garden, they approached the local chief for permission to use his haveli for shelter during the night. The place belonged to two brothers. The elder brother Rai Jagat Singh refused, for fear of Imperial wrath.
No matter how many Lok –Sabha seats (122 SCs and STs) are reserved, it doesn’t do much good if a Dalit cannot drink from public water taps and is condemned to live in the outer fringes of society. It is with a heart full of love, gratitude, and trust that I take up my pen to write for the Dalit cause.
Today, we are left to grope with seemingly an odd personality: A man who cared for India’s poor but not of America’s poor (he called them devils!); he wished India’s regeneration but intended to preserve the evilness all around; he hoped for social harmony but carried racial bias detrimental to dark-skinned people both in India and America; and he strived to spread Hinduism overseas under various disguises but hoped West would adhere to the caste!
Reflection and tribute on the landmark 400th anniversary celebrations of the Prakash Ustav (ceremonious installation) of the original Guru Granth Sahib at the holiest Harmandir (now famous as the Golden Temple) at Amritsar, India on September 1, 2004.
This list has the names of Sikh soldiers of World War II who were mostly prisoner of war in France, and died because of Allied aircraft bombing.
“I am looking like an airhead, like a frivolous, wanton, extravagant woman at the expense of the poor,” Mrs Marcos said. “I am made to look like a cheap flirt, flirting with all the men of the world.” The wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos argued that Ramona Diaz, the American filmmaker, obtained her consent for the documentary under false pretenses.
Reading through these circulates it struck me most forcefully how, in these days when many Christian Churches are themselves ardently advocating inter-religious dialogue and understanding, some evangelical Christian groups in the country are still covertly engaged in missionary activities among Muslims.
It is a pleasure to write an introduction to an anthology which offers so much valuable information on some crucial events in Sikh history. I came in contact with the author only recently when he offered the manuscript for publication. I was deeply impressed by the wealth of information it contains, and needs to be shared with the public.
It is fashionable to talk about women’s rights of equality in India. It must be emphatically mentioned here that women whose rights are being trampled over or denied have virtually no knowledge about the meaning of these rights, as they are mainly concerned with basic survival needs.
Her remarks about the Anand Marriage Bill as “novel Sikh identity marker and ritual” are also in the same direction. It is inspite of her quoting Petrie that ‘there is no community that is not fired with the idea of consolidating and improving itself to the utmost of power.”