Fr Frazer Mascarenhas's letter to students

I Totally support his view, and also would like to add that everyone has the right to have a political view and the Principal of st Xavier's has very nicely reached out to the students to make a conscious decision and not be misled by Modi's fake promises and marketing campaigns. 

Read the Letter below: 

"The approaching elections have brought an interesting discussion to the public forum on what constitutes human development and how it is to be achieved. The Gujarat model has been highlighted for our consideration. That is very apt because it puts in stark contrast two current views. Is the growth of big business, the making of huge profits, the achievement of high production – what we seek? Or is it the quality of life for the majority in terms of affordable basic goods and services and the freedom to take forward the cultural aspirations of our plural social groups that make up India?   

Gujarat may be doing well in the first sense, although not as good as some other States in the country. But all the Human Development Index indicators and the cultural polarization of the population show that Gujarat has had a terrible experience in the last 10 years. Take the example of education: schools for the ordinary populace show abject neglect with a very high dropout rate in the last 10 years. Higher Education has not been allowed to move forward. To take just an example, St. Xavier’s College Ahmedabad, thrice NAAC accredited with an equivalent of the A grade, has not been able to gain permission from the Gujarat Government for Academic Autonomy, for the last 10 years and has finally won a battle in the High Court to approach the UGC directly for this status. Gujarat has also been the worst performer in settling claims and distributing title deeds to tribal people and other forest dwellers, as shown by the latest data put out by the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry. Till 2013, the State, with 15% tribal population, settled only 32 per cent of the claims, the lowest rate in the country.

As opposed to this, efforts like the Rojgar Yojana and the Food Security Act have been called “election sops”. However some of our best social scientists like Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze have supported these as necessary in the emergency economic situation the country and the world is facing. The country is grateful that committed activists like Aruna Roy and Shailesh Gandhi have worked with the Government to initiate and sustain the Right to Information Act which makes accountability possible. Corruption still needs to be addressed effectively but since it is so prevalent at every level of society, it will take civil society long agonizing efforts to root it out.

A massive investment in health and education is sorely needed in our country of widening disparities and those who support big business and its unethical profits will never agree to such public expenditure for the masses. In fact, the worsening situation of environmental degradation and depletion, in the lunge for growth and profit, shows up the real intentions of the greedy. None can withstand this, as seen by the many clearances given in a week’s time after the recent change of guard at the Central Environment Ministry, which had earlier tried to hold the line under a different Minister.

So what lessons does a reflection on the approaching elections teach us? The prospect of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy. Support for people who pledge to work to take Human Development Indicators higher and who commit themselves to a pluralistic culture in diverse India – this is the hope for the future. No magic wand or divine miracles will come to the aid of the Indian people. Their reasoned choice of individuals and political parties who promise to work for a real quality of life for all, will see India prosper or flounder on the precipice. Choose well!"

Dr. Frazer Mascarenhas S.J.

Earth Day

 

More than a billion people around the world celebrated/ will celebrate Earth day on April 22, 2014—the 44th anniversary of the annual day of action.

Earth Day began in 1970, when 20 million people across the United States—that's one in ten—rallied for increased protection of the environment.

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Our planet Earth is being exploited beyond imagination, the kind of growing pollution levels and rapid decrease of natural resources is a cause of concern. Our climate has undergone a tremendous change in the past two decades. It is upto us to save Earth for our Children and their future. 

Should Narendra Modi be India's Next Prime Minister?

Never in Indian History was a leader so self obsessed, and never has India seen such an arrogant Leader

Elections in India were about parties, their ideologies and their manifestos but this election the BJP has become Modi Party, the ideology has become Modi and the Manifesto has become Modi. So who is this Narendra Modi? who has been projected with a larger than life image and acts as if he is a Prophet who would solve India's problems.

Some facts on Narendra Modi

It is unfortunate that Many Indians are getting mesmerized by Mr Modi and his marketing gimmicks, they speak about "Vibrant Gujarat" and the Gujarat Model of Development, but they also fail to highlight that Gujarat's economy was always good not because of Narendra Modi but due to the millions of Gujarati people and their business acumen. As the Cheif Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi did nothing to control the 2002 Godhra Riots, and has also not come out clean on allegations of the state administrations role in the riots. India was born on a secular idea, and this has been the pure reason why we were able to move forward as a Nation. We have seen how destructive communalism can be time and again, but what might happen now can be disastrous for the Country. 

When so many odds are against him still why are the people supporting him why are the people of India not understanding that development is a long term effort, which needs to be taken up collectively. We need to ask the right kind of questions, we need to understand the pros and the cons before casting our Vote. 

I hope better sense prevails. We all need to Vote consciously for a UNITED INDIA and a SECULAR INDIA. 

zoheb.in

The reason for this blog is to reach out to the people and give them my two cents on issues that affect us, this blog is generic to all things under the sun. I want to create a platform where I can connect, discuss and share ideas that would be mutually beneficial to both my audience and me.