27 December 2014


Despite the silly and sinister attempts of the villain behind the scenes, Christmas Day was a peaceful day of celebrating love in the family and in society. It is a great pity that the image of the BJP that gave promise of change and development is sinking more and more into a 'modimess' of deception While Mr. Modi continues to proclaim with a loud open mouth to the country and to the world, his vision of a "first world India", his eyes and ears are closed to the hectic and frantic efforts of his fanatical promoters of a 'Hindu Rashtra' based essentially on communalising activities and suppressing minority communities like the Muslims, Christians and others.  With all the intelligence the BJP claims to possess and administrative skills they think they have, I see the the steam-rolling pace of rash governance will destroy the faith the Indian citizens have placed in the ruling party.

Ever since the BJP came to power, through a power struggle within the party and the dictatorship of the RSS and affiliated parties, we have been witnessing mindless efforts to destroy the "un - Indian" heritage of a secular country, rich in its diversity of cultures, languages and even religions. Modi needs urgently to shut his mouth and open his eyes and ears to realise his dream of a properous India is turning into a nightmare, thanks to his "Modimess" of governance.

Though I, in some way was apprehensive of the BJP, the speeches of Modi and campaigns almost gave me hope, that notwithstanding, the new Prime Minister would deliver what he promised: Development and Good Governance. Six months of controversies, communalistic slogans and general unrest in the country is enough evidence to fear for the future of India. 

12 November 2014

CIVIL WAR brewing in the Catholic Church.!

The secular press is ntorious for sensationalising news. An Indian daily, The Asian Age in its 11th Nov. 2014 Tuesday edtion featured on its centre page an article by Daniel Thomson with the headlines hinting at "Civil War brewing in the Catholic Church." That indeed is a blind perception of the present happenings in the Church and an even more dumb ignorance of the histry of the Church which has survived Schisms and grown mature through Ecumenical Councils. Far from a 'Civil War' , the Catholic Church is engaged at the highes level of governance in a search for 'Communty Concensus' and is not a "rudderless" ship as made out to be.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, I believe with spiritual Wisdom and moral Courage, the Supreme Pontiff, has clearly indicated the way and led upfront, by following the Gospel radicality of  Jesus Christ, not as Supreme Pontiff but Suffering Servant described by Isaiah. He shines for those who care to see, as a compassionate Pastor of souls, a committed protagonist of the poor and for the poor, and revealing the magnanimous forgiving heart of  Father. is that "rudderless" leadership? In fact, this type of leadership has been long awaited by the laity who have often criticised the pontificating behaviour of its central administration. Have faith, we are moving to more peaceful and loving transformation not only with the Church but in the World, as well. To me, Pope Francis is a Prophet for our times and we need the integrity of his life and teaching to silence the rumblings of arrogance and stubbornness and make the Catholic Church, a Light, Salt and Yeast to build the Kingdom of God. This infact, is already happening for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. That's the Good News we await!         

16 August 2014

"Why Bi-Centenary"?, rather, "Why not Bi-Centenary"?

WHY BI-CENTENARY ? Rather, Why not?
“Why BiCentenary”? Well, the birth of Don Bosco on 16th August 1815, is indeed, an historical event deserving of a worthy celebration to gratefully acknowledge and commemorate a humble country Priest whose life and ministry as a Pastor and Educator, made a tremendous impact not only on the lives of marginalized youth and poor people of his time, two centuries ago, but continued to inspire and benefit  young people and inspire Youth Workers and Educators over the years and across countries, leading to this moment in history, the Bi-centenary Year, 2015.
In the field of Education and Spirituality, Don Bosco, very much present in the Salesian Family he established and the Religious Congregations he founded, remains very relevant today both, as Pastor and Educator. His spiritual message, “God’s will is your holiness” and his educative method based on “Reason, Religion and Loving-kindness” appeal to the young and the old. This legacy of Youth Ministry must live on.     Hence, no question about “Why Bicentenary”?
Rather than “Why Bi-Centenary” perhaps the question to be asked is “How Bi-Centenary ?”     In fact, the Salesian Family, over the last three years began a spiritual preparation with the “pilgrim Don Bosco” visiting the Salesian world and arousing a greater commitment to the Salesian Charism. Careful to sidestep vain and expensive triumphalism, the emphasis, as clearly indicated by the GC27 (27th General Chapter) has been “to return to Don Bosco” by reclaiming the Salesian Identity: to be “Mystics in the Spirit,Prophets of fraternity and Servants of the youth”.
“Returning to Don Bosco” as a theme of the Bi-centenary obviously suggests that the tone of the celebrations must be less about building monuments’ staging performances and multiplying activities but more about the ‘rebirth’ of Don Bosco’s Spirituality in every individual Salesian.   
The reason for the emphasis on the spiritual tone of the celebrations is clear. Although, over the past two hundred years, on the one hand there has certainly been a positive growth in the Salesian Mission: for example:
·         A fundamental option for the poor & the marginalized youth in particular;
·        A Return to Evangelization and the Missions     (Africa, East Europe, China-Hongkong; Europe);
Opennings into the Islamic world(Gulf,Mid-East);
·        A Professional approach to youth ministry, opening institutes of higher learning and reaching out more to adolescent youth.

On the other  hand, in recent years there has been a growing concern about:
* A superficial Spiritual life lacking depth; 
* A secularization of religious values and the Vows;                 * A focus on Social activism and worldly success; i
* A neglect of community life and family spirit;
* A lesser interest in prayer and priestly ministry;
* A weak assimilation of Salesianity;
And consequently, an increasing vocational frailty, fragility and infidelity.

In the context of such concerns, the Bi-centenary celebrations need to be more realistically focussed on reclaiming our Salesian Spirituality and restoring it to its prime place in the life of Don Bosco, the Union with God. There could not be a more practical resolve to celebrate the Bi-centenry of the birth of Don Bosco  than the determination to redefine the Identity of Salesian Family and every individual Salesiaan as the Union with God.

“Why Bi-centenary”? The answer is clearly written in the “How Bi-centenary” programme of celebrations and the message is “Be Holy, as I am Holy”.    

28 May 2014

GREAT EXPECTATIONS ...........greater frustrations!

Congratulations to India's democracy, the results of the elections to the Parliament saw thr baton of Governance snatched eagerly from the INC (Indian  National Congress) by the BJP (Bharatya Janata Party) under the RSS frontliner, Mr. Narendra Modi, now the Prime Minister of the country.

Though I failed to get my name on the voting list and though I still have apprehensive thoughts, I marvel like the rest of Indians at the spectacular victory of the ruling party. Credit is given to the well timed and closely monitored campaign trail across India costing huge expenses. What was intended to be a Lok Sabha election of parliamentarians turned into a saffron Presidential type modelled on USA pattern. The RSS are rejoicing behind the scenes, biding their time to inject their 'Hindutva' schemes. The BJP stalwarts have begun the scramble for power and positions and the 'Modi effect' has even affected the SAARC community. The INC has yet to recover from the decimating experience of being reduced to a less than 50/540 seats in Parliament.  While the BJP received just 31% of votes, 2/3% has either opted for other parties or abstained just silently indicating that the hysteria and hype of the national BJP is just reflecting the choice of 1/3 the voting citizens. The rest are waiting with great expectations or will it be, greater frustrations.
God bless India! 

11 May 2014

From shame and scandal to saint and sanctity,

2013, in the Calendar of the Catholic Church will be remembered as the year of shattered faith, ironically in the official "year of Faith". With the announcement in February, 2013, of the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, there followed a media blitz attempting to investigate the the problems at the very heart of the church, the Vatican offices and the Curia in particular. Financial scams, sexual crimes and serious indisciplie were the charges and the secular media lashed out at the Catholic Church unsparingly. Though there were exaggerations, the charges were enough evidence of the shame and scandal in the One, Holy, Catholic and apostolic family of the Church. The liturgical season of Lent saw catholics shocked and saddened with the happenings at the Vatican. While most wore penitential ashes and prayed for forgiveness, not a few moved away from church membership. Easter 2013, with the election of Pope Francis who presented himself as a humbled sinner needing prayers, revived the hope in catholics that "Jesus is risen". Howvever, the scene was not very much different from the shame and scandal in the apostolic times, with Peter and others intending to return to their fishing nets, Thomas voicing the inredulity of the others and the two disappointed disciples returning back to Emmaus. Prophetic witnessing of Pope Francis reflected the post resurrection Jesus appearing several times and places to convince his apostles that "He is risen". As we stepped into 2014 and celebrated Easter, the resurrection message announced emphatically that the Church is not only a church of sinners but also of saints. Mercy Sunday indicated that while the Church may be weak and sinful, it has been always a witnessed to the holiness of Jesus Christ. The canonization of two Popes of recent history rings out clearly the message that Church leadership, in imitation of Jesus has its roots at the heart of Rome.

31 March 2014


The members of GC27, assembled in fervent prayer and openness of mind from 25th March till the week-end to perform a responsible task of choosing the members of the GENERAL COUNCIL. A GENERAL ELECTION] Very clearly, the term "Elections" in democratic and implies a choice of the people and expressed by the people in a process where candiddates "stand for election" and personally or assisted by supporters canvass for votes for a particular rank of position. The candidates and the parties they represent are pitted against eachother as rivals and seek votes,through debates and policy promises to the electorate. Nasty encounters and mudslinging accusations are often part of the process in politics. A clear case in point is the furore over the 'Parliamentary Elections 2014" in India. God forbid it deteriorates into violence and destruction of lives and property. God grant India peace and prosperity, justice and communal harmony in this country blessed with a multitude of cultures and religions. Do General Elections follow the same process in the Church? Here, the process is steeped in a prayerful atmosphere and spirtual context and not a secular contest. The voting community turns to God for assistance to discern the "selection" of the candidate and seen as the choice of God himself. In faith,it has always been God who selects his Prophets from biblical times. We should rather speak of GENERAL SELECTIONS.

8 March 2014

LENT is not a spiritual exhibition.

As we stepped into Lent 2014, with ashes on our forehead, the Mass readings of Ash-wednesday, especially the Gospel seemed to have a new message for me. Yes, Lent calls us to Fasting, Praying and Almsgiving. Jesus is certainly not playing down the age-old practice of asceticism. However, he draws our attention to the vanity of fasting, praying and almsgiving prompted by an exhibitionist attitude. In Mathew's Gospel,chapter 6, Jesus repeatedly uses the word "secret" as the necessary condition to receive rewards from the Lord. "Your Father, who sees you in secret will reward you", Christian spirituality is essentially an "interior life". 'Secrecy' and not publicity of our ascetism merits reward feom our heavenly Father. Jesus denounced every form of external activities and appearances of piety calling it 'hypocrisy' and comparing it to 'whitewashed sepulchres'. Lent is not a 40-day spiritual exhibition of christian virtues. Lent then, is more about repentance and reconciliation through conversion of the heart (inner life) which alone will find us resurrecting in Jesus Christ, our Risen Saviour..

3 March 2014

VALENTINE DAY ---- Romance or Love?

"Valentines Day" on 14th February each year is increasingly being celebrated as a feast of love in the secular world while in the Church calendar, St. Valentine, from whom this feast gets its name, is no more mentioned since 1969. Valentine, purported to be a 3rd century christian monk who risked his life helping young couples to remain faithful in love was venerated for centuries. The existence of such a saint has been lost in myths but the value of love, though distorted still remains. A search through the dictionary revealed the many aspects of Love with some equating it to Romance. However, in one dictionary I found a clear distinction between Love and Romance. It said: Love is a mutual commitment without conditions. Romance instead, is rather an affair surviving on many mutual conditions. As such therefore, Love tends to be a more permenant relationship "in good times or in bad times, in sickness or in health". Romance instead is a pseudo-love, or "puppy love" as the song goes. Too full of demands and conditions destined to crash the relationship at any time,before or after marriage. True Love in the pattern of Jesus' example is the biblical description: Greater love no man has than a man who lays down his life for his friend or spouse. All that goes by the name of love, today,is attractive Romance and explains the weak stability in marriage commitments. If Valentine Day is to gain its pristine purpose of fostering true love, our celebrations should shift from the trap of ephemeral Romance and promote true Love founded on honesty, sacrifice and faithful commitment.