Please remove me from this distribution list. Thanks Jeanette de Souza -----Original Message----- From: Goanet-News2 [mailto:goanet-news2-boun...@lists.goanet.org] On Behalf Of Goanet Reader Sent: 09 April 2018 22:09 To: Goa's premiere mailing list, estb. 1994! <email@example.com> Subject: [Goanet-News] Many social problems exist in India, but, above all, is the rising communal violence (Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao)
EXTERNAL Many social problems exist in India, but, above all, is the rising communal violence Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao archbp...@gmail.com As I listened to the various speakers [from different faiths and sections of our society], Mahatma Gandhi's description of the seven deadly social sins came to my mind. The Father of the Nation named these as the seven deadly sins: "Wealth Without Work; Pleasure Without Conscience; Knowledge Without Character; Commerce Without Morality (or, rather, Business without Ethics); Science Without Humanity; Religion Without Sacrifice; and Politics Without Principle." I thank the speakers for the passion and love for the country with which they delivered their speeches. Indeed, they have highlighted that our beloved country is built on diversity, tolerance and communal harmony and that the only way it can continue to exist and progress is not simply by maintaining these time-tested values, but, in fact, by proactively fostering and strengthening these attitudes among the people of India, across the divides of religion, creed, region or language. We must admit that the 'deadly social sins' mentioned by the great Mahatma are to be found in countries all over the world and quite pronouncedly in our own, beloved India. There are many social problems existing in our society which stand as stumbling blocks in the way to development: poverty, unemployment, pollution, regionalism, illiteracy, criminality, violence against women, drug trafficking, child marriage, corruption and various other challenges that are posing a threat to the nation's development and unity. But above all these social menaces, the rising communal violence in India is emerging to be the most dangerous of all social distrusts. Mahatma Gandhi realized the damage which communalism could cause and attended to the problem with the seriousness it demanded. He regarded the abolition of communal disharmony and the ensuing Hindu-Muslim unity as the essential pre-requisite for the Swaraj. Right from his early public life, Gandhi kept alive the idea of communal unity. He lived in South Africa for twenty years in the midst of Muslims, who treated him as a member of the family. Realizing the lack of unity between Hindus and 'Mussalmans' in South Africa, he said, "I had realized early enough in South Africa that there was no genuine friendship between the Hindus and the Mussalmans. I never missed a single opportunity to remove the obstacles in the way of unity" (M K Gandhi, An Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments with Truth, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1927, p. 341). Our dear Pope Francis has placed culture in a very beautiful light: "A culture is strengthened by its openness and its exchange of views with other cultures, as long as it has a clear and mature awareness of its own principles and values. I, therefore, encourage professors and students to experience the University as an environment of true dialogue, which neither flattens nor intensifies diversity but opens to a constructive comparison. We are called to understand and appreciate the values of others, overcoming the temptation of indifference and fear. Never be afraid of an encounter, of dialogue, of debate!" (Address of Pope Francis to "Roma Tre" University, February 17, 2017). Down the ages, India has been a rich and beautiful mosaic, a confluence of many religions, races, tribes and ethnic communities, having different cultures, languages, scripts, customs, cuisine and living styles, with very long ancient historical traditions. Here Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, tribals, Jews and men and women of every religion, language, belief and conviction have, to a large extent, lived together in exemplary harmony and tolerance. The world looks with awe at India's wonderfully diverse and plural society. The composite culture of India owes its existence not to one single community, race, tribe or religion, but to an intricate collage of varied influences, resulting in a way of life that has been crafted by an intermingling of cultures and peoples over the centuries. May I use the words of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, who, in his poetic style, tells us: "The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence. Melody and harmony are like lines and colours in pictures. A simple linear picture may be completely beautiful; the introduction of colour may make it vague and insignificant. Yet colour may, by combination with lines, create great pictures, as long as it does not smother and destroy their value. Life’s errors cry for the merciful beauty that can modulate their isolation into a harmony with the whole ... Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it. Let the dead have the immortality of fame, but the living the immortality of love" (Rabindranath Tagore, Mohit Kumar Ray (2007). "Poems", p.588, Atlantic Publishers & Dist). Modern India is truly a wondrous entity. It is a bouquet of variegated flowers, a mosaic of multiple colours. The idea of India could be continued because of the conscious acceptance of pluralism by the leaders of India's freedom movement and of the post-Independence period. In 1947, many had predicted that the immense diversities would be fatal contradictions; and that, unable to withstand divisive pressures, the union and the nation would collapse. But the unprecedented pluralism delicately nurtured and fostered by the constitutional ethos became the strength of the body politic and, seven decades later, we are still a vibrant democracy, the largest in the world, politically united, geographically integrated and administratively cohesive. Despite occasional hiccups and hurdles of riots and communal tensions and polarisation, the cross-currents of a genuinely plural society have powered the creative energy, enterprise and egalitarianism which have taken Indian society far ahead of the conditions prevailing here when the British left India. This diversity has been successfully sustained by democratic governance, right from the village-level to the national level and by the values incorporated in the Constitution of India. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was convinced of the workability of the Constitution. Speaking after the completion of his work, the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee told the Parliament: "I feel that the Constitution is workable; it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together, both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile." In recent times, the idea of India, with its strongest pillars of diversity and pluralism, is being threatened by several emerging trends: (1) the emergence of both majoritarian hegemony and the growth of terror and extremism engendered by the growth of exclusivist religious fundamentalism, (2) the climate of fear created by movements deriding constitutional morality and constitutional ethics (3) the threat of neo-liberal corporate dominance with the rise of inequality and poverty, (4) the threat of discrimination and violence due to conflicts based on caste, class, gender, religion and ethnicities, (5) ecological and natural disasters due to rampant pollution and over-exploitation of natural resources, and (6) subtle and open attacks on the already marginalised tribal and Dalit populations. The Catholic Church, along with the Bharatiya Sarva Dharma Sansad, wishes to bring all men and women of good will together for collective action to preserve and further social harmony. We believe that all of us, intellectuals, spiritual leaders, men and women from all sections of society, can unleash a positive energy that can lead our country towards an inclusive integral human development. To achieve this we need, all of us together, to walk the talk that we are having today and will be having in the days to come, in order to promote communal harmony and dialogue, irrespective of whatever differences in ideology and perspectives we may have. I am glad that the meeting in Goa organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India and the Fr. Agnel Region of the Pilar Society, along with the Bharatiya Sarva Dharma Sansad, wishes to address the youth to look forward towards this goal and to move forward towards a continuous dialogue, promoting a strong social bonding and harmony among the people of our Country. May God bless us and may God bless India. Jai Hind! -- The above is an extract from the address of Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao at the public meeting for Collective Action for Dialogue and Social Harmony, organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India in collaboration with the Agnel Region of the Society of Pilar (Ravindra Bhavan, Margão, on April 5, 2018) GSK monitors email communications sent to and from GSK in order to protect GSK, our employees, customers, suppliers and business partners, from cyber threats and loss of GSK Information. GSK monitoring is conducted with appropriate confidentiality controls and in accordance with local laws and after appropriate consultation. ________________________________ This e-mail was sent by GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited (registered in England and Wales No. 1047315), which is a member of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies. The registered address of GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited is 980 Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 9GS.