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COMPANION - Jan-2011

  1. 1. COMPANION National Fortnightly for Christian Leadership January 2011 Vol.1 No.5 ` 15 SMART INDIA Gender in the Church Church in Chotanagpur ‘Watchdog’ at Vatican Priests: Time for soul searching India: World power? Women Religious QUO VADIS ? Smart Companion India | July 2010 1
  2. 2. 2 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  3. 3. Editorial Religious life: Quo Vadis? L iving in Rome, I am often struck by huge Generalate houses now devoid of members and used as rental apartments for tourists. These testify that any Congregation that cannot read the signs of the times and adapt accordingly will certainly die out. In fact, when a congregation has nothing challenging to offer, it has no right to exist. Talking to various Superior Generals/Provincials, I realize that conforming to the ‘status quo’ seems to be still the norm of the day. Congregations with a definite charism, working in certain areas must be challenged to respond to the new needs of the times but formators tend to conform to the irrelevant needs of the establishment. Naturally they can- not attract new members, nor respond to the demands of society and the Church today. In survival pangs, some Congregations search for an alterna- tive base in developing countries like Asia, Africa and Latin America. Each Congregation needs to re-interpret its charism and make it alive and relevant to the changing situations. In Europe and the US, health and education have been taken over by the government. The areas unaddressed are that of religion, spirituality and value education. These are acute areas due to growing secularization. Ignoring these areas, several congregations migrate to developing countries, ascribing a strong social and pro-poor dimension as a reason for their existence. It is heartening to see, India has Congregations that are responding to the Spirit identifying themselves more with the marginalized and the de- prived of society. However, even these tend to be at home with relief and remedial measures than addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality and dehumanization. Attempts to collaborate and get the Government to act, are minimal since Congregations prefer the style of “Private Limited Companies”. As long as the Government fails to better the lives of the marginalized, our services may be viable. What if one day we are no more needed in these areas, when welfare systems as in Europe, may take over! Be it the secularized, Godless, developed world or the developing world, there is tremendous erosion of genuine values, as seen all over, especially in the third world enmeshed in dishonesty, bribery and all sorts of corrup- tion. Are religious congregations concerned about this situation? Do they feel challenged to be living testimonies of selflessness, sincerity, generosity, simplicity, forbearance, honesty, love and respect for all religions? No one can teach non-violence while giving in to violence even towards children. No one can preach sincerity while being ‘walking lies’. And it all hits at the basic need of a formation that promotes selflessness, maturity and genuine search for God. Witnessing through one’s own life is everything today. As Companion’s home city hosts the annual meet of the CRI Women’s wing anddiscusses the theme “Our Consecrated Life - Our Mission” Companion wishes a fruitful dialogue and meaningful future to religious women in India – almost one lakh of them!!! Dr. Jacob Srampickal SJ Smart Companion India January 2011 3 3 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  4. 4. COMPANION National Fortnightly for Christian Leadership January 2011 Vol.1 No.5 ` 15 PATRONS SMART INDIA Vol.1 No. 5 January 2011 Managing Editor Dr. George Therukattil Chief Editor Dr. Jacob Naluparayil Executive Editor Sr. Leela Jose Cardinal Cardinal Sub Editors Sr. Sheela FS Telesphore Toppo Oswald Gracias Sr. Virginia BS Contributing Editors Allwyn Fernandes (Crisis Communications, Mumbai), Cyril D’Souza SDB (Religious Education, Rome), Felix Raj SJ (Education, Kolkatta),Francis Gonsalves SJ (Contextual Catholicos Cardinal Theologies, Delhi),Godfrey D’Lima SJ (Social Baselios Mar Cleemis Varkey Vithayathil Activism, Maharashtra), Jacob Parappally MSFS (Dogmatic Theology, Bangaluru), Joe Andrew SDB (Media, Chennai), John Dayal (Human Rights Journalist, Delhi), Subhash Anand (Indian Philosophy and Religions, Udaipur), Virginia Saldanha (Women’s Issues, Mumbai) MCBS Provincial Design Cibin Moothedam Francis Kodiyan Photo Nias Marikar Illustrations Sathish Krishna Advisory Board Circulation Thomas Vaniyapurakal Rev. Henry D’Souza Advertisement Shibu John (Bishop, Bellary) Rev. Steven Rotluanga Regional Correspondents (Bishop, Aizawl) Adolf Washington (Bangaluru), Joseph S. (Varanasi), Rev. Felix Toppo (Bishop, Jamshedpur) Ivan D’Silva SVD (Arunachal), Santosh Digal (Orissa), Sr. Santan Nago FS Santosh Sebastian (Gorakhpur), Shane Alliew (Kolkatta) (Superior General, Fatima Sisters, Pune) George Plathottam SDB (CBCI Media Commission) EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Felix Wilfred DR. JACOB SRAMPICKAL SJ (Asian Centre for Cross Cultural Studies, Madras) Jose Kavi Editorial Office (UCAN, Delhi) SMART COMPANION INDIA Kalpaka Bungalow Perumanoor P.O. COMPANION National Fortnightly for Christian Leadership January 2011 Vol.1 No.5 ` 15 Thevara, Kochi - 680 215 Kerala, INDIA. website : Contact : 0484 - 2334766, 09447679783 Articles published in this magazine are copyrighted. Illegal copying and reproduction by any means is punishable under the copyright laws. Articles published will be made available to the readers for per- IN THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN VATICAN SLAMS NOBEL FOR ART sonal use on written request. Disclaimer: Smart COMPANION is dedi- FUNERALS WITH OUT COFFINS cated to providing useful and well researched pieces of information. CHURCH & PSYCHOLOGY However readers are advised to consult prior to acting on it. The views Religious Women expressed by writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the QUO VADISfizz Spirituality is the ? views of the editor or publisher of the magazine. Smart COMPANION Smart Companion India | July 2010 1 does not accept any liability for errors or redundancies of any nature whatsoever. All disputes are subject to the Cochin jurisdiction only. Cover Photo : by Nias Marikar 4 Smart Companion India January 2011 4 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  5. 5. focus - 2 18 India: Emerging World Power? focus - 1 Quo Vadis? Do they synergise their Respect for other 3 26 Women Religious- 12 focus - religions is the resources to choose and tread God-directed paths? acid test for genuine faith CONTENTS leader moulds faith matters 8 l Watch Dog at Vatican 16 l Faith Active New laws at Vatican to check its A Christian perspective on the deadly finanacial transactions. use of pesticides like Endosulfan 22 l Gender in the Church 24 l Never Stop Asking An area where we have yet to ‘walk A Moral Theologian responds to Pope’s the talk’ with greater sensibilities. comment on condoms 32 l E-Ministry 34 l We Are the Church Novel ways of being with and in the Story of the Chotanagpur Christian Church community 40 l Logos news & views A simple and unique exegetic journey 10 l Top Ten through the Sunday Gospels. Glimpses of top Christian news from around the world. interview 33 l Top Five 9 l Ten Questions Important news from the National Archbishop Lucas Sirkar of Calcutta Christian scenario takes the ten questions 42 l Final Cut 30 l Luminaries Priests are challenged now more Dr. Albert Nambiaparambil shares his than ever. It is a time for soul search- experiences in dialogue with other ing and dedication religions. media regulars 37 l Film: “Of Gods and Men” 3 l Editorial 39 l Books/Music Album 6 l Readers’ Voices 38 l Website: SAR News 36 l Foot Prints Smart Companion India | July 2010 5 Smart Companion India January 2011 5
  6. 6. READERS rEadErS’ VoiCES COMPANION W National Fortnightly for Christian Leadership e thank our readers for the encouraging response to January 2011 Vol.1 No.5 ` 15 Companion. Due to limitation of space we are un- able to publish all comments. We select some representing different areas and topics. Please continue to get back to us with your ‘voices’ and suggestions. Thanks IN THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN VATICAN SLAMS NOBEL FOR ART Editor FUNERALS WITH OUT COFFINS CHURCH & PSYCHOLOGY Growing Pains of GenNext Spirituality is the fizz Smart Companion India | July 2010 1 Theology made easy Great work indeed Living faith You know what I like about Thanks for Companion. It re- Living Faith is indeed a Companion? It makes profound ally is worth reading. I perceive it lively column. Last time I enjoyed theological concepts easy to un- as a professional Catholic maga- Chhotebhai’s version and now derstand for the common man. zine which is very readable. Francis Lobo’s. Their experiences A great example of how media Sreeja David SND touched me. Thanks to Com- can make theology understood Patna. panion that brings such down to what most journals and authori- A treasure for the earth material to help Christian ties in the church fail to do. Keep Church living. up the great work. I was excited to see a Catholic Anslem Britto Dr. Bernardo Suate, magazine that is up to the times. Kolkata SIGNIS, Rome The editorials set the tone - this A companion always Just excellent magazine will improve the knowl- I found companion very useful; Excellent content, refreshingly edge of the readers and empower the content very good. Yes it is beautiful layout.That is the way them to make informed decision really a companion for us when to go. shaped by the faith culture of we travel and especially when we Christopher Joseph the Catholic religion. It was remi- are down. It generates optimism. UCAN, Delhi niscent of Gaudium et Spes of Sr.Jolly, I want to promote it Vatican II. Companion reviews Kroot Niwas, Assam Thanks for sending me the the past, examines the present Colourful and nourishing electronic copy of Companion. I in detail and summarizes what Thanks for “Companion”. It have forwarded it to many others present knowledge tells about the does nourish from page to page. too. It is a worthwhile magazine future. Keep up the good work you and in content as well as in layout. I Ralph Coelho your companions are doing. really appreciate it and want to Bangalore K. Jose SVD promote it. Jose Palakeel MST IMPACT, Kochi Youth power Foreign journal? Liked the comments, observa- The article on Xmas had lots tions, and suggestions of Allwyn of useful relevant information; Fernandes on our approach to- and artistically presented as well. wards youth. Surprisingly in our Its look is that of a foreign mag- church circles there is lot of talk azine on our home stand. And about resourcing youth power, thanks for keeping it affordable but hardly ever we do anything so that lay persons like me can concrete, except organize camps pick up one without hesitation. for them. It is too late that we entine does make a point when Hope it keeps up the quality. cater to the real needs of our he stresses the right spirituality Veronica Alva, younger generation and channel- for the youth. Mangalore ize their energies for the benefit Shaila SRA of our fellow beings. Chris Val- Benares 6 Smart Companion India January 2011 6 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  7. 7. S’ V oICES rEadErS’ VoiCES Naxalites The analysis of Fr. Lakra on Funerals without coffins local churches to bring it to the the Naxalite issue was an eye ‘Funerals without coffins’, National audience. Change has to opener. A lot of terrorist upris- I feel is a brilliant idea for the start somewhere by someone. ings are symptoms of justice Indian church. It is also one way Angela Pereira denied to marginalized groups. that the Church can incultur- Vasai. The marginalized, when totally ate its ways. I think all dioceses helpless and cornered give in to can emulate this model and do clandestine warfare, to achieve yeomen service to people who their goals. It is sad that our have no money to go through country after many years of inde- expensive funerals. Companion pendence and having the best of needs to be congratulated for Constitutions, still lag far behind picking up new initiatives by in meting out justice to its people. How can we forget the French met a parish priest who actualizes said, more conveyed”. Well done! Revolution? It is history that man a PPC this way. Many do not have Fr. Mathew Alapattumedayil learns nothing from history. one, and those who do have, take Kottayam G. Anoop Kumar the total control. And yet, it is the Excellent work Muzzafarpur teaching of Vatican Council. So I went through the entire Inspiring life how can the Church really grow “COMPANION”. I congratulate I was very excited to see my old in India? We have a long way to you. It is excellent work. professor, Peter Lourdes speaking go yet! +Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J. to Companion. No one who has George Bastian Jamshadpur encountered him can forget the Mumbai Quality is here compassion and wit he communi- Attractive, rich Companion is improving in cates. He was one who knew too Companion is attractive and quality and content with every well the follies of human nature ‘simply’ rich. It gives a pleasurable issue. The December issue of and with a blatant nonjudgmental reading even while talking about Companion was a bonanza for attitude he could help those in vitally important matters. Things the readers. It touched on matters trouble. May his tribe increase in can be improved still but I can which mean a lot to us and relates the Church! Thanks to Compan- understand the struggle of the to our lives. Poetry of existence ion for bringing him back to my Editorial team and their determi- by Francis Lobo inspired me and memory. nation to do something beautiful gave boost to my faith in God. for the Church in India. I wish Christmas inputs such as Silent Ancy Fernandes Pune their efforts find support. Night, St.Nikolas were interest- Informative Dr. Cajetan D’Mello ing. I felt Growing Pains-Gen Companion is informative, Pune next, the article of the hour. The educational and interesting. I wish Editorial: story write up on Lourdes was interest- that it reaches many more hands I have gone through the De- ing too. The fillers - True Peace, soon. To deserve a good maga- cember issue of Companion, the and ‘Success don’t happen in zine like this, we have to promote whole of it in one go. Impressive, isolation’ carry really good social it as well. It is a great respon- to say the least. And the Christ- messages. I wish Companion a sibility for you and your board mas message: Paradox of the great success in India members to keep up the standard “more” in the “less” - you can’t Allen R. Johannes, and uniqueness of Companion be more succinct than that. “Less Bihar and also publish it regularly. COMP Fr. Sebastian Ettolil Send your Letters to: U.S.A Long way to go SMArT COMPANION INDIA The description of an ideal Kalpaka Bungalow, Perumanoor P.O. parish pastoral council made hair Thevara Jn. Kochi Kerala - 680 215, India. stand up! In fact I have not yet Call & SMS 094476 79783/ 0484 2664733 Smart Companion India | July 2010 7 Smart Companion India January 2011 7
  8. 8. VatiCan trEndS Watchdog at pastoral significance.” Traditionally the various departments have been largely autonomous in their financial dealings, with a rather loose coordination provided by the office of Vatican the Apostolic Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA). By pledging cooperation with international monitoring agen- cies, the new “moltu Proprio” mark a break with the Vatican’s traditional reluctance to open up its internal fi- nancial operations to outside scrutiny. The Vatican City, a 108-acre sover- eign state surrounded by Rome, aims to comply with the rules of the Fi- nancial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based body that lists nations failing to comply with standards on money laundering and terrorism fi- nancing. By adapting the norms, in- cluding that of establishing a Financial Information Authority (FIA) along the lines of those in other countries, the Vatican commits to comply with FATF standards and liaise with the group and law enforcement agencies. The new laws will take effect by April 1, after the new FIA is set up and its members chosen, the Vatican said. In part, the law is designed to imple- ment an agreement between the Vati- can and the European Commission on fighting money-laundering, signed in December 2009. It establishes crimi- nal penalties for violation of financial norms, including four to twelve years in prison and fines of almost $20,000. In addition to creating new penal- ties for financial misconduct, Benedict XVI has also criminalized environ- P ope Benedict XVI has created ties seized €23 million in mental pollution. In article 18, the a new in-house watchdog called funds from the IOR as new law establishes a penalty of up to the “Authority of Financial Informa- part of money-launder- six months imprisonment and a fine tion”, with the power to supervise all ing investigation. Italian of $3,500 to $35,000 for anyone who Vatican transactions, including those courts have rejected the pollutes soil or water. The jail term of the Vatican Bank and Propaganda Vatican’s bids to free those rises to a year, and the fines range Fide (Congregation for the Evangeliza- funds, authorizing the in- from $7,000 to $70,000, if the pollu- tion of Peoples). Vatican’s new rules, vestigation to continue. tion occurs with hazardous substances. set forth in a motu proprio, released on The Vatican spokesper- Benedict’s environmental teach- December 30, come at the end of a son, Jesuit Fr. Federico ing and activism, including the in- year marked by complaints that the Lombardi, today descri stallation of solar panels both at Vatican bank, the Institute for Reli- bed the new laws as “a the Vatican’s audience hall and his gious Works (IOR), had been involved step towards transpar- private home in Regensburg, Ger- in questionable money transfers. In ency and credibility” with many, have already earned the pon- September, Italian banking authori- “far-reaching moral and tiff the nickname the “Green Pope.” COMP 8 Smart Companion India January 2011 8 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  9. 9. 10 Questions ShEphErd’S VoiCE Born in Borisal in the undivided Bengal on 24 September, 193; ordained a Salesian priest (SDB) on 20 April 1968; appointed Bishop of Krishnagar In 1984;, and Coadjutor Arch- bishop of Calcutta on 14, April, 2000. He took charge of the Archdiocese of Calcutta as its eighth Archbishop on April 2, 2002. Rev. Lucas Sirkar takes the questions. The unique features of the ture, the state being paralyzed Church in Bengal? by strikes, agitations and rallies. The Church in Bengal follows Church’s response to Abp. Lucas Sirkar two distinctive traditions: one of movements like Nandi- Muslims, in order to win the sup- the bhakti tradition as initiated by gram, Singur and Lalgarh? port of the group; but those who spiritual gurus like Chaitanya, Sri The governmental manner remained Catholics are looked af- Ramkrishna, Swami Vivekananda, of tackling people’s uprising ter, even politically, with their rep- Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya, and was not effective or realistic. resentative in the State Assembly. Animananda, the other, mission- Our approach is one of love; ary expansion under Padroado the Communist way is of force. Mother Teresa effect on Chris- with the patronage of the British They neglected the interests of tians/religious? empire in India. Brahmabandhab the people they were serving for Mother Teresa is an inspiration who had great influence on Swami the past 34 years. The Church for all – priests, religious, common Vivekananda and Rabindranath is for the poor, and stands by people; Her spirituality is of reli- Tagore, had attempted to estab- them for their just causes. gious origin. She had never thought lish a truly Indian Church on the of starting a congregation, but had Approach to immigrants to do it for the service she under- basis of rich Indian traditions. from Bihar, Bangladesh? took. She touched the lives of Contributions of Bengal History has it that persons the people irrespective of religion. Christianity to the nation? from the priestly castes of The greatest was the translation other states were brought to The motivation behind found- and publication of the Bible in var- help in the religious rituals of ing two diocesan religious ious Indian languages, undertaken congregations? rural Bengal. We still find them by Serampore College, under the During one of the Jubilees of the in many villages. The Christian leadership of William Carey and diocese of Krishnagar, some girls missionaries established locali- his companions. Since then more came forward to offer their lives and ties of people of the same lan- translations of the Bible came to services to the Church. This and guage or culture, for example, be undertaken, enriching the lan- the needs of the local church mo- Stella Maris parish in Kolkata. guage and the literature of the tivated me to found two new Con- The missionaries also brought regions. A movement towards Eu- gregations -Adoration Sisters of people from other areas, and charistic devotion was given a lot the Heart of Mary and Adoration helped them settle in their mis- of importance in the early Bengala Brothers of the S.Heart of Jesus. sions; those who came newly Church, which later rippled on to could easily insert in the local- Image of priests? the wider Church. The traditional ity of their own kind. The mis- They are appreciated for their belief of Bengalis - matri bhakti sionaries also catered to their social commitment as well and are (devotion to the mother figure) spiritual and pastoral needs. respected. and guru bhakti (devotion to the So, there is a systematic way of What is your dream for the master) influenced Christian wor- reaching out to the immigrants. Church in West Bengal? ship of Jesus, the Guru and de- Integration of Anglo-Indi- I wish to see the people of the votion to Mary, Mother of God. ans in Indian culture? state self-sufficient and self-reliant. Communist government’s at- The Anglo-Indians of Portu- This is possible only through coop- titude to the Church? guese and English origins, had erative societies, where people take As far as the religion is concerned, difficulty integrating into the active part to save, circulate and trade we have no problem. Even when Indian culture. Many of them with prospective clients. The mon- we had minor problems they were migrated to Canada, Australia ey that is collected from the people quick to tackle them. Instead, we or to England. The remnants should not be deposited in banks. are disillusioned in the area of did not want to join the na- Instead, loan the money directly education. Due to the high-hand- tives. So, the locals began to to people. This is a viable dream edness of Communists, the state look at them as if they were for Bengal and for the country. developed a very poor work cul- aliens. Some of them married Interviewed by : Julian S. Das COMP Smart Companion India | July 2010 9 Smart Companion India January 2011 9
  10. 10. intErnational nEwS 1 2 3 4 An Egyptian christian mourns in front of a blood 1 4 stained Jesus painting. Source: AFT Mourning Christmas Jesus Youth Jubilee Egypt Kochi Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for A church explosion in Alexandria, Egypt, killed the Evangelization of Peoples, urged Jesus Youth (JY) 21 Coptic Christians, in the early hours of 2011. to witness Christ “with our sweat, with our word and, if In Shubra, some 500 Muslims, Coptic activists, God wills, with our blood.” He was launching their Sil- and civil society leaders led a protest to show soli- ver Jubilee Convention at Kakkanad, Kochi. More than darity with the Coptic minority and to denounce 20,000 JY members from 29 countries attended the five- the deadly assault. Marchers shouted slogans like day program. He urged the participants to become “liv- “We want Egypt to be a secular state”. They car- ried banners showing the crescent along with the dinal Camillo Ruini, President of the foundation’s sci- cross, a historical symbol of unity between Egyp- entific committee. The award is in view of promot- tian Muslims and Copts. The neighbourhood of ing research and study of the thought of Ratzinger. Shubra is one of few suburbs in the capital where It will also organize scientific congresses and award large communities of Christians live alongside scholars who are outstanding for their theological re- Muslims. Copts account for 10% of the country’s search. Monsignor Scotti, president of the founda- population of 82 million. Jan. 7 (Coptic Christmas) tion, said that experts of theology must have “the hu- will be a mourning day without any celebrations. mility to listen to the answers that the Christian faith 2 gives us. In this way humanity is also helped to live.” 5 NCR Person of the year Religious Education valued USA The National Catholic Reporter announced England Sr. Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity, Presi- New research among young people in London dent and CEO of the Catholic Health Associa- indicates that Religious Education (RE) is a valued tion (CHA) in US, as the ‘NCR Person of the year subject that leaves a lasting impression on those who 2010’. In a video message delivered to the CHA study it. This timely research comes as the govern- convention in June, President Obama had praised ment sets out its Schools White Paper, calling for a Keehan: “Your work, your passion, your commit- return to traditional humanities-based subjects. The ment, helped make the difference and you did so in study was commissioned by the RE Council of Eng- a way that protects your long-standing beliefs and land and Wales (REC). It involved 1,000 young people the beliefs of so many others across the country.” aged between 16 and 24 years. 80 percent of respon- In the spring of 201, Keehan led CHA to endorse dents suggest RE for better understanding among the legislation on health care and helped pass it religions. 83 per cent of those who had studied RE at through Congress. This put health care coverage GCSE shared the same view. There was notable sup- within the reach of an additional 32 million Ameri- port for this sentiment from all religions, including cans. The CHA also supported St. Joseph’s Hos- 77 per cent of those who called themselves atheists. 6 pital facing the verdict of Bishop Olmsted. “She was one American Catholic who showed extraor- Leaders Join to Defend Marriage dinary leadership and courage in 2010”, said NCR. Wahington DC 3 Nobel Prize for Theology Religious leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catho- lic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Ortho- Vatican dox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United The new “Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratz- States united to publicise a letter affirming their com- inger - Benedict XVI” intends to create a Nobel mitment to protect marriage. In the open letter, they Prize for Theology. This was announced by Car- underlined marriage as “the permanent and faithful 10 Smart Companion India January 2011 10 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  11. 11. 5 6 7 8 9 T P 10 business. “The pontiff sounded more like a western politician than a religious leader,” said the Global ing” witnesses to Christ in the modern world. The Times, the English version of the People’s Daily. jubilee began with music by Rex Band, the JY’s music Since the 1949 revolution, China has refused to al- ministry. The crowd sang and danced with the band low Catholics to recognise the authority of the pope. that fuses Indian ethnic rhythms and Western music. The Vatican estimates about eight million Chinese 9 Several bishops, 757 priests, 918 nuns, 113 seminarians Catholics worship secretly in underground churches. and 3,160 families were also present. The conference Help Abused Domestic Workers concluded with a vigil on New Year’s night. The youth proclaimed with one voice, “Jesus is our superhero.” England Special sessions were held for teens and children. The Domestic Abuse Working Group (DAWG) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and union of one man and one woman.” The publica- Wales have begun a new website with a range of tion of this letter on “The Protection of Marriage: resources to help the Catholic Church to grow in A Shared Commitment” is timely as a federal court awareness of issues surrounding domestic abuse of appeals in San Francisco has begun hearing ar- ( The aim of CEDAR guments on the ‘Proposition 8 case’ known as (Catholics Experiencing Domestic Abuse, Resources) the California Marriage Protection Act. It was ap- is to create an environment within the Catholic com- proved by a majority of voters in that state in 2008. munity to understand and recognise domestic abuse 7 as unacceptable. The site also provides appropriate First Catholic Woman Priest responses. Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, Da- vid McGough said: “Domestic abuse is possibly the Latin America most widespread, yet most hidden form of abuse On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron in society today. I know from experience as a parish Saint of Latin America (12 Dec. 2010) the first Latin priest that the Catholic Community is no exception”. 10 American woman was ordained a Catholic priest, opening a new chapter in the history of the Catholic Anti-blasphemy Act Church there. It reminded of Pope John XXIII’s say- Islamabad ing in ‘Pacem in Terris’ (1963), “Women are gaining “Citizens for Democracy” in Karachi is ahead with an increasing awareness of their natural dignity…the a national campaign, demanding amendment of the rights and duties which belong to them as human controversial blasphemy law. They have expressed persons” (41). The ordination took place in the cata- full support to the amendment bill submitted by combs as a reminder to sinful structures of gender the Parliamentarian Sherry Rehman, on 26 Dec. On discrimination and to represent small Christian com- Christmas day Pakistan Christians marched against munities, where ‘bread’ is broken today. Although the anti blasphemy laws. However, Islamic religious made valid through the laying on of hands in apos- groups are on agitation for stabilistaion of the law. tolic succession, it violates the Canon Law that stipu- It started after President Zardari announced pardon lates ordination only for baptized males (can 1024). to Asia Bibi, the woman condemned for death for 8 (NCR News) blasphemy. Muslim neighbours, her co-workers in Pope Warned by Chinese Paper the field, had abused her as “untouchable” Christian Beijing, China woman for using the common glass provided to the Pope Benedict XVI, in his Christmas message, workers to drink water. Later she was implicated with criticised China in his, for limiting freedom of re- blaspheming the Prophet. In a sad development, Pak ligion. No official response has come from the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer,66, was shot dead communist government on this. However, a state by his security guard for supporting Christians. He newspaper came out with a strongly worded edito- had become the target of Islamic fundamentalists in rial warning the Vatican to stop meddling in Beijing’s recent weeks after he took a bold stand on the law. COMP Smart Companion India | January 2011 11 Smart Companion India July 2010 11
  12. 12. foCuS national Women Religious New Challenges, New Responses “Y es, we will build a renewed Church for Jesus Christ,” pledged the enthu- It was such a pledge that moti- vated Sr. Laurentia to take up the cause of marginalized women and heard their cry, saw their misery and was deeply moved to offer possibilities of new life to them.” siastic young women religious at children on the Goan beaches. “I The faces of human trafficking Institute Mater Dei (IMD), Goa came to Goa in 1992,” she recalls. - women, youth and children - at the end of a course on ‘Social “Goan beaches were becoming speak volumes of extreme human Teachings of the Church’ by notorious for trafficking, not only greed and blatant violence of John Desrochers CSC. Listening drugs but also women. Behind human rights. Exposure to the to those determined voices, one the façade of tourism promotion shocking human misery moti- could simultaneously visualize women and children were treated vated the theologians of IMD to scenes from Goa beaches. meanly. I frequented the beach, commit themselves to a just social 12 Smart Companion India January 2011 12 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  13. 13. foCuS national Agents of Transformation The mission, enhanced ism, casteism, child labour, mass by spirituality and community media exploitation, excessive life, has to be at the heart of quest for power etc, the vows consecrated life. The whole take on new dimensions. Greater structure of religious life will fidelity is expected of us through keep renewing when the focus our consecration and mission. is Jesus and His mission. Our The CRWI has been inspiring us contribution to the transforma- to take up this challenge. tion of this globalized world is our creative, radical and critical Sr. Sahayam Augustine fidelity to our vocation. In today’s context of massive pov- FSAG, erty, materialism, individualism, Treasurer, CRWI. religious pluralism, communal- pavement dwellers, street children, through their consecrated life, broken families. There are those committed to the vision of Jesus. who dare, at the risk of their own Plenary Assembly at lives, to take up remote village-lev- Cochin el justice issues helping the ‘voice The current Plenary Assem- suppressed’ poorer classes to take bly of the CRWI at Cochin, courage and speak up for their (Jan 8-12) on the theme - ‘Our rights. Some have suffered rape, Consecrated Life – Our Mission’ mutilation and even death for such intends to delve deeper on the labours of love. challenges posed by the present “The challenge today, in the age, on Religious Life. Inputs by multi-cultural, multi-religious Dr. Sr. Rekha Chennatt RA on context of India, is to radically live ‘Biblical and Theological Per- the Christian values, to be another spectives of Consecrated Life’ order. “What shall we do to offer Christ. It is time that traditional and Dr. Sr. Evelyn Monteiro them a dignified human life?” teaching or mechanical following SCC on the ‘Emerging Challeng- they pondered with deep concern. of meaningless rituals give way to es to Consecrated Life’ will pave “I just wanted to be with them, new expressions of faith and love. the path for further study and to feel with them, and to experi- We need to make our presence felt reflection. The theme of the As- ence firsthand what it means in areas most needed,” added Sr. sembly takes into consideration to be looked down upon. We Seli, a practicing lawyer in the local the challenges of community life cannot work with or for a people court of Krishnagar, West Bengal. in the globalized world where unless we empathize with them,” The Women’s Section of the individualism is becoming ram- explains Sr Beena who joined Conference of Religious India pant. Around 624 Major Superi- landless daily wage labourers in (CRWI), has been challeng- ors of 253 congregations intend a paddy fields at Kutkoli, a small ing women religious in India, to to plan together ways to chal- village in Dakshina Kannada renewal and adaptation after the lenge and lead forward almost District of Karnatka, during her spirit of Vatican 11. Some of the 100,000 members, to render early formation years. members showed more open- Consecrated Life and Mission Today, religious in India have ness and courage while there even more relevant and mean- started to opt for more challeng- is a changed awareness gradu- ingful. Traditions, constraining ing and frontline ministries using ally spreading among all. Neither structures and attitudes exist but their expertise in law, ecology, Hindus nor Muslims understand the challenge continues. media, community health, and the value of virginity accepted for counseling. They care for prison- the Kingdom. And yet women re- Looking Back ers, prostitutes, HIV affected, The post - Vatican era opened ligious have accepted the challenge Smart Companion India | January 2011 13 Smart Companion India July 2010 13
  14. 14. foCuS national fold thrust of revitalization was: The Real Challenge 1. The cry of My people (open- ness to the needs of contempo- To me, consecrated life in for prophetic witnessing. In a rary men and women), 2. Procla- North India is primarily to be globalised world, we need to be mation in deed (Life actualizing a contemplative in action, as border crossers psychologically the compassion and mercy of prophetic witness in a fragmented and geographically - cross the Jesus), 3. Prophetic-activist leader- world. My experiences among borders of our congregations ship (not a conforming, passive, the poor santals have given me an and be partners to proclaim the observance imposing leadership) impetus to find Jesus in the poor compassionate face of Jesus. 4. Liberation movement thrust and in my sisters. CRWI’s Kochi In the words of Joan Chittister: (Seek the Kingdom within you plenary is posing a challenge “Religious Life was never meant and around you especially in the towards an inward search, to simply to be a labour force in poor and in those who suffer in- understand consecrated life and the Church…but a searing justice) 5. Solidarity and network- authority with a new vision. The presence, a paradigm of search, ing (better collaboration among call to fullness of life through a a mark of human soul and a different Congregations and the passionate commitment to the catalyst to conscience in the dioceses). mission of Jesus, has to be sup- society…” May our gathering Together for a ported by life-giving structures, and theological reflections en- better world that can free us as well as pro- able us to bring our womanly mote unity. We are called to the 1. Formation for a New Way gifts of nurturing, healing and of Being service of leadership, entrusted seeking right relationships to with authority in order to facilitate CRWI has been managing the the Church and society. Institute Mater Dei (IMD), the collaboration, interdependence and shared responsibility among National Theological Formation and beyond our sisters. Our Sr. Sreeja David Centre, since 1964. The first community life and our com- Gen. Councillor executive council of CRWI, under Notre Dame Sisters, the guidance and active collabora- mitment to the poor are means Rome tion of Archbishop Knox and Fr. J B Miranda SJ of JDV shaped wide not only the windows but In 1992, a paradigm shift from the vision for IMD as a premier also the doors of Religious Life prophetic animation to prophetic Institute of formation. The to a new world vision, enabling action was proposed. The five- commitment of CRWI to build the religious - women and men - to return to their origins. It was an invitation from the Divine Move out of fossilized, static Spirit to renew and adapt their structures charisms to the changing needs of the times (Cf Perfectae Carita- My forty years of commit- personal paradigms, and toppled tis No 23). Religious were invited ment to consecrated life, has my worldviews. The age-old dic- to create structures of collabora- taken me along some pretty tum, “to be in the world, yet not tion for the common mission of rugged terrain. Shunted from of the world”, I believe is all the the Church in the context of the one ‘apostolic’ assignment to more pertinent today. In a world complex Indian reality. another, with or without pro- driven by corruption, greed, vio- It was Archbishop J. R. Knox, fessional preparation, to meet lence, and injustice, I am called, (1957-1967), the spirit-filled congregational needs, led me first and foremost, to a life of Inter-nuncio for India who initi- to experience my own personal total integrity at all levels and in ated a joint meeting of women brokenness while at the same all aspects of my commitment. and men religious at Bangalore in time, discover my potential and Consecrated life today calls us to March 1962. This resulted in the versatility. I grew in the under- move out of our fossilized, static formation of a Conference for standing that consecration calls structures into creatively connect- Religious. The Holy See formally me to BE and not merely to ing with all of life. approved the statutes of the DO something for God. Close Conference of Religious of India encounters with the poor in Sr. Nancy Vaz FdCC (CRI) in 1963. Today we have ministry, shook me from my self Ex. Provincial separate sections for men and sufficiency and complacency, Africa women. challenged my perspectives and 14 Smart Companion India January 2011 14 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  15. 15. foCuS national the Church of Christ through inter-congregational collaboration and solidarity saw expression in the development of IMD into Mater Dei Academy (MDA). Today it is a centre for higher learning and research affiliated to the Theology Faculty of Jnana Deepa Vidyadeep (JDV), Pune. An average of hundred women religious passes out from here every year. There are 7 residen- tial Staff members. This year, 116 women religious from 50 congregations are being formed for a deeper and contextual faith CRWI 2008- 2009 commitment. About 5000 women Apostolic Contemplative Total religious have passed through the Congregations 244 9 253 portals of this Institute. MDA Major Superiors 569 55 624 has contributed its mite to form Religious 93162 863 94025 an array of enlightened leaders in Novices 5901 35 5936 various Congregations. Candidates 9910 30 9940 2. Grow in Communion CRWI networks effectively women religious there. Sr Jyoti ops Conference of India, for the with international organizations Pinto BS was elected to be on the empowerment of women in the of women religious and other re- executive council of AMOR. Church and Society, and to edu- lated groups in the service of the 4. Combat Dehumanization cate the marginalized and youth. universal Church. The Plenary Closer home, two workshops New horizons Council Meet of the International were conducted in October, “Consecrated life, to be lived Union of the Superiors’ General 2009 (Raia, Goa) and in May after the model of the Trinitarian (UISG) at Prerana, Bangalore, has 2010 (Kolkatta), for women community, is facing many chal- been an unforgettable experience religious of South Asia involved lenges today. Along with interde- of the confluence of spirituali- in the prevention of ‘traffick- pendence, collaboration and at- ties and cultures. Writing to the ing’ and to ensure ‘safe mi- titudinal changes, major superiors former President of CRWI, Sr gration’. The network, ‘Asian have to be alert to respond to the Innamma JMJ, the then UISG Movement of Religious women realities” observes President of President, Sr Amelia Kawaji, Against Trafficking of Persons’ the CRWI, Sr. Prasanna Thattil MMB stated, “…we come to (AMRAT) was created at the end CHF. Religious women are chal- India from the four corners of of the second session to assist lenged from all corners towards a the world to learn from you and women religious of India, Paki- heroic witness of life. share with you, learning from one stan, Bangla Desh, Nepal and Sri The 45th Plenary Assembly another ..... to respond to ‘the call Lanka to work in solidarity with of women is set to motivate and to weave a new spirituality that each other. inspire women religious to move generates hope and life for all’. towards new frontiers, entrust- 5. A New Gender Policy 3. Move Beyond “Gender sensitivity is not a ing their dream to God who says, The XV Asia-Oceania Meeting woman question; it is a human “See! I make all things new” (Rev. of Religious (AMOR) in Octo- and a spiritual question,” says the 21:5). ber, 2009 held at Thailand with Gender Policy of the Catholic the theme, ‘Moving Beyond’, was Bishops’ Church of India (2010). Sr Jyoti BS, another occasion to build bridges This paradigm shift heralds a new President, among Asian women religious, gender relationship. Together Mater Dei Academy enriched by Asian cultures and with other sections of CRI, the Trust, Goa spiritual treasures. Sisters Innam- CRWI is actively involved in the ma JMJ, Jyoti Pinto BS, Olivia AC implementation of the Policy and Sibi CMC represented Indian Document of the Catholic Bish- COMP Smart Companion India | January 2011 15 Smart Companion India July 2010 15
  16. 16. faith aCtiVE Don’t Spray Us to Death! E nlarged heads, disabled bodies, underdeveloped brain, malfunctioning nervous taka’s coffee growers are using En- dosulfan. It was reported an year ago that out of about 8,000 peo- States Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a highly hazardous pesticide. The same system…human misery at its ple in Kokkada, Patrame and Nidle Agency, which earlier allowed its worst…media bring us these villages of Beltangady taluk, nearly restricted use on tomatoes, cotton pictures and the villain behind a thousand suffer from mental and and other crops, has stopped the is Endosulfan, an agrochemi- physical disorders, cancers, heart use completely since June 2010. cal sprayed as pesticide. It has diseases, dumbness, blindness, etc. But Endosulfan continues to be once more revealed the dreadful Alarm bells are already ringing in used in countries such as Bra- face of the reckless use of pes- Punjab as water bodies and the soil zil and Australia, besides India. ticides in India. Endosulfan has are being found to be poisoned This chemical is under consider- already proved fatal claiming a with pesticides. The havoc caused ation for inclusion on a list of per- heavy toll in Kerala, Karnataka by the use of Endosulfan can be sistent organic pollutants under the and other parts of the country. best described only as a bio-trag- 166-member Stockholm Conven- Due to its air spray for two edy, impacting the environment, tion. It is a treaty to protect human decades across 4,500 acres of biodiversity and human beings. health and the environment from cashew plantations in Kerala, Alarmed World chemicals. At the sixth meeting of more than 9,000 people are now Having become aware of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Re- suffering from serious ailments deadly effects of Endosulfan, 73 view Committee to the Stockholm like cancer, physical deformities, countries including the European Convention held at Geneva during mental retardation, skin diseases Union and several Asian and West October 11-15, 2010, India op- and growth abnormalities. An African nations have banned or posed a global ban on the manu- estimated 10 per cent of Karna- phased out its use. The United facture, use, import and export of 16 Smart Companion India January 2011 16 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  17. 17. faith aCtiVE “Having become aware of the against innocent people. The use of Endosulfan amounts to the violation of the fifth command- ment, ‘thou shall not kill,’ in its wide and profound sense. A pro- deadly effects of Endosulfan, 73 life Church cannot overlook this bio-tragedy. Just as we rightly countries including the European protect unborn human life, we need to protect life in all forms. Union and several Asian and West Giving occasional press release asking the government to ban En- African nations have banned “ dosulfan would not be enough. Approach of the Church must be comprehensive and effective. Endosulfan. Of the 29 members industrial lobbyists. The govern- First, there must be concerted in the review committee, 24 sup- ment may choose to let down a efforts to pressurize members ported the ban and four (Germa- few thousand lives and their po- of the parliament to force the ny, Ghana, Nigeria and China) ab- litical support compared to the government to ban Endosulfan. stained. Ironically many of those financial support of the industrial Mobilize people in various parts, 24 countries cited reports of En- multimillionaires. It is not rare that especially the worst affected re- dosulfan-caused health problems government policies, in India and gions, to protest against the slug- from Kerala to back their demand outside, are likely to be high-jacked gish attitude of the government. while only India opposed the ban! by business houses that fund po- Secondly, make sure that the vic- (Kerala banned the use of Endo- litical parties. Secondly, death in a tims or their relatives get adequate sulfan after a state panel proposed pesticide tragedy catches less at- compensation for the tragedy. so in 2001). Despite India’s oppo- tention of the society, than let us Make the responsible agencies, sition, the committee has recom- say, death in spectacular terrorist definitely the producers, pay the mended a ban to the Conference attacks. Recall the due national re- compensation. Giving the whole of the Parties of Stockholm Con- sponse to the Mumbai terror attack compensation by the government vention scheduled for April 2011. of 26 November 2008, in which at means punishing the public for the India Cool! least 175 lives were claimed and crime committed by certain busi- In general, India still remains 300 people were injured. But the ness corporations. That is unjust. cool and lethargic towards the loss of innocent human life is hor- Thirdly, in the agricultural sector, Endosulfan tragedy, barring the rendous whether gunned down by the situation demanding the use following things: central govern- terrorists or killed by a pesticide. of pesticides, such as Endosulfan, ment appointed study groups for Thirdly, the government seems still remains. Banning Endosulfan scientific reports. National Hu- to ignore a few thousand lives, in would not solve the whole issue. man Rights Commission speaks a country of more than a billion Farmers need viable alternatives. more of rehabilitating the affected people. Fourthly, the affected peo- Research and development must people and giving compensation ple are poor, the first choice to be be promoted in this area. Fourthly, for them. State-wise ban on En- let down in any socio-political and Endosulfan is not the only villain dosulfan has been issued by state economic race. Not banning the among the harmful pesticides. An governments - for example, Kerala use of Endosulfan nation-wide objective evaluation of the impact since 2005. Unbiased media have amounts to letting the manufac- of all kinds of pesticides and fun- sufficiently exposed the dismal turers kill innocent people. Any gicides is necessary. Banning En- situation of the abased victims. government, professed to protect dosulfan should not be an occasion the life and welfare of its people, for other equally toxic pesticides to Why this Violence Al- cannot remain indifferent. It is seize the market. That would make lowed? also the duty of Indian Church a mockery of the whole effort. Addressing adequately the En- to mobilize and wield a suit- dosulfan tragedy primarily means able response to this bio-tragedy. asking the important question, why this violence is allowed in India. I Challenge to the Church dare to make four simple, but not As protector and promoter of Dr. Mathew Illathuparampil necessarily untrue, speculations. life, the Church has to intervene Moral Theologian, First, the central government may effectively and make the govern- St. Joseph’s, Aluva be acting under the pressure of ment stop the chemical atrocity COMP Smart Companion India | January 2011 17 Smart Companion India July 2010 17
  18. 18. foCuS national Emerging World Power? H aving recently come to Bangalore, I noticed, the city nicknamed ‘pensioner’s town’ from Ranchi to Jamshedpur in Jharkhand; both these towns have outgrown their capacity. Yet, over has grown to be one of the most a 100 kilometer stretch of road, sophisticated cosmopolitan cities there were hardly any schools, of India. Besides the IT complex- primary health centres or es, some of the business centres market places. Being to- and super markets can compete tally a tribal dominated with any of the best in the West. region, Jharkhand If you have the money you can boasts of over purchase any item produced 60 percent in any part of the world. Yet, of India’s poverty and misery exist just 100 miner- kilometers away from the heart of als. Bangalore, with no proper drink- ing water, no toilet facilities and children forced to study in dilapidated classrooms with no toilet facilities. Last month, I travelled 18 Smart Companion India January 2011 18 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  19. 19. Corruption, injustice and illiteracy add to the gap between the rich and the poor But the people here are forced to pool are there too. Two floors live a sub-human life. The coal are reserved for family guests. mined from here illumines Delhi, Four floors above these are Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. family floors with a superb view The irony is that these tribal vil- of the Arabian Sea. On top of lages have neither electricity nor everything are three helipads. A safe drinking water! 600-member staff takes care of On the other hand, the four the family and home! richest Indians are now richer In 2004, India became the 3rd than the forty richest Chinese. most attractive foreign direct Mukesh Ambani is the second investment destination. In the richest Indian. He has built a new same year, the United Nations home - Antillia (after a mythical, had requested the Election Com- phantom island somewhere in mission of India to assist them in the Atlantic Ocean). At a cost of holding elections in Afghanistan. $1 billion this would be the most India has been sending its army expensive home on the planet. A personnel to be part of the UN’s 173 meters tall family residence, peace-keeping force. 12 per- for a family of six, the equivalent cent of America’s scientists, 38 of a 60-storeyed building! The percent of its doctors, 36 percent first six floors are reserved for of NASA scientists, 34 percent parking, the seventh, for car of Microsoft employees and 28 servicing/maintenance, percent of IBM employees are the eighth, houses a Indian! They provide consultancy mini-theatre. A to some of the most prestigious health club, a business corporations in the gym and a world. swim- This is not the end of the ming story. Sabeer Bhatia created and founded Hotmail. Sun Micro- systems was founded by Vinod Khosla. The Intel Pentium processor, that runs 90 percent of all comput- ers, was fathered by Vinod Dham. Bollywood (Bombay Film Industry) Smart Companion India | January 2011 19 Smart Companion India July 2010 19
  20. 20. Indian Social Reality democracy rests, i.e. free and fair elections, which enable citizens to Population 1,027,015,247 choose their own leaders without Total Literacy 65.38% recourse to arms; an independent 6-14 years’ out of school children 75.4 million judiciary and the rule of law, Dropout by primary school 48% which allows people to address Child labour working 12 hours a day on an average 80 million their grievances; a thriving free press and vibrant civil society Household without drinking water 23% which allows every voice to be Household without electricity connections 47% heard. The President also assured Below Poverty Line 36% to support India to secure a seat Villages with medical facilities 14.0% in the United Nations Security Source: Census Reports 2001 “ Council. We are happy that our economy grows. But this economic growth is not fully reflected in the quality This economic growth is not fully of life, in the majority of people, particularly in rural areas. India reflected in the quality of life, in the witnessed a widening of income majority of people, particularly in inequality during the phase of “ acceleration in economic growth rural areas in the post-reform period (1993- 94 to 2004-05). There is an ever widening gap between the produces 800 movies per year constitute the basic element of urban elites - owners, managers, and six Indian ladies have won India being a world power. The professionals, rural moneylend- Miss Universe/Miss World titles number of phone connections in ers and absentee landlords on in the recent years. Some Indian India –mobile and landline - has the one hand, and the unskilled women have played leading roles crossed 400 million in January urban workers, marginal farmers, in Indian politics. They are now 2010. This means, there are 35 agricultural workers and unor- asserting their place and role in phone connections for every 100 ganized sector workers on the India’s economy. persons. This is a phenomenal other. While one day consultancy After three decades of slow growth in the last few years. fees of a professional in India progress (2 percent GDP No wonder these facts led could be between Rs. 5,000.00 growth/ year), India’s growth rate President Obama to state that to 10,000.00, an agricultural accelerated to 5-6 per cent in the India is claiming its rightful place labourer’s family would earn Rs. late 1970s, with an occasional leap in the international arena. He 5,000.00 per month! One won- to 7-8 per cent. The fast recovery further stated that India built ders as to how these families of the Indian economy from the the institutions upon which true survive. Corruption, injustice and effects of the global crisis led to a return to the 9% growth rate in the 2003-08 period. This opened Aspiring to the top? up avenues for greater invest- showcase islands of urban pros- ment in growth and development. perity and have the delusion of Moreover, this growth pattern has Fr. M.Mihir Upasi grandeur as a world power while Director, Social Services the vast country side of Bharat also emboldened India’s Prime Berahmpur, Orissa. (rural India) languishes in misery. Minister to declare in the interna- tional arena that India does not India aspires to be a world Major hurdles to be overcome on want any aid for development. power and wants other signifi- a daily basis are: rampant corrup- India aims at achieving energy cant nations like USA to recog- tion, caste based discriminations, independence by 2030. The coun- nize and support the aspiration. religious fanaticism, insurgency try is a member of G20 which A reality check is good as it forg- and poor infrastructure. There is plays crucial role in international es ahead. Millions of rural poor a long way to go with determina- economic cooperation. All these still do not have access to quality tion and commitment. Above all, contribute to make India towards services like transport, telecom- we need a different political cul- becoming a world power. A munications, schooling and ture and politicians who are ‘with population of over 1 billion itself health care. India Inc. cannot the people and for the people’. 20 Smart Companion India January 2011 20 Smart Companion India | July 2010
  21. 21. faith mattErS Mind the gap! and don’t make the extra effort for pro-poor development, the murder are common in our gap will constantly grow. Along Dr. John Crasta metros. Right now, a change Moral Theologian, with tackling poverty, we also of mindset in the common is need to handle problems of illit- Ranchi most urgent. We need to begin eracy, insufficient health care etc. Unequal distribution of wealth to love cleanliness and public is the worst enemy to progress How can India be a world pow- hygiene; give up spitting in the er when almost 50% of women in India. The political parties, public; respect traffic rules; national or local, have failed to among the Dalit, Tribal and Mus- love the environment as a gift lim communities are illiterate? If rise above caste and communal of God, learn to be givers than lines. Corruption has permeated Indians have done well in higher receivers. Concerted efforts education and IT, it should have our society so much that we have in addressing the issues of learnt to live with it as a “neces- reflected in the overall develop- injustice and corruption can ment of all its citizens. But this is sity”. Crime graph is alarmingly take India towards becoming a rising. Incidences of rape and not the case. People who come to world power. visit India are amazed by the un- illiteracy add to the gap between precedented progress and growth the poor and the vulnerable have achieved in the last fifty years. But the rich and the poor. no place in India. Official apathy The agrarian crisis pushes farm- they are immediately stunned as contributes to the vulnerability of they move in rural areas or the ers into distressful situations and these very poor tribal communi- ultimately to suicide. It is argued slums in the cosmopolitan towns! ties. Their land and resources are That is a deplorable India. that the cumulative effect of a appropriated for the ‘develop- number of factors is responsible In fact, there are two Indias in ment of the country’. They are reality: one, an emerging world for the present agrarian crisis. forced to starvation and death. It These factors are categorized as power, projected by the media to is not just suicide of farmers but the outer world. The other, a dis- technological, ecological, socio- starvation deaths reported regu- cultural and policy-related. In criminated, exploited and pauper- larly from this world power, called ized India which the media does the last ten years, over 10,000 India! The national media prefer farmers have committed suicide not address. In the latter lies the to ignore such news. Heart of India, as Mahatma Gan- every year due to their inability Speaking about the Millennium to repay loans taken for agricul- dhi stated. It continues so, even Development Goals (MDGs) in after 64 years of independence. tural purposes. But the ruling the Indian context, Erna Wi- class is totally unconcerned about toelar, United Nations Special this impending crisis. Since the Ambassador for MDGs in Asia agricultural sector is in crisis, food and Pacific, advocated that the In- insecurity has become a major dian governments should balance Dr. Louis Prakash SJ issue. It is the poor and the most pro-poor policies with economic Social analyst, former Director, ISI, Delhi vulnerable who bear the brunt of growth to achieve the MDGs. If Co-ordinator, Jesuit Refugees Services. it. And, again the irony, they pro- we don’t concentrate on poverty duce food and others consume it! COMP India ranks among the 30 most corrupt nations, according to a What is real power? survey by a leading international inclusive development, better NGO, Transparency Interna- Dr.Rudi Heredia SJ quality of life, greater social tional. Politicians thrive on false Social Analyst, equity and secure human promises. The recent scam in the ISI, Delhi rights, not high GDP, ac- telecom sector has shocked the celerated growth or military entire country. Billions of rupees, From “will India survive?” at might. This is closer to the supposed to go to the treasury our Independence, the question vision of national freedom have been siphoned off into the today is: “India a great power?” movement than great power kitty of politicians. Power tends to corrupt, great status, closer to the India of The death of 35 Birhors, power corrupts greatly! Our Gandhiji’s dreams, a model a primitive tribal group in bewildering cultural diver- for a brave new world, more Jharkhand, in October and sity, political differences and human, less powerful, a free November 2008, has once again economic disparities demand and happy people, not a rich driven home the message that participative democracy and and powerful nation. Smart Companion India | January 2011 21 Smart Companion India July 2010 21