Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Thoughts on 24/11/2006

Christianity and Islam do not have caste system. Christians and Muslims who practise caste system go against their religions. In Christianity all are children of God. In Islam all are slaves of God.

India should not interfere in Sri Lanka. LTTE wants independent Tamil Eelam. Sri Lanka is opposed to it. No compromise is possible. Peace efforts are bound to fail. Humanitarian crisis is not the reason for interference. It is for the UN to interfere.

The situation in Iraq is getting worse by the day. The earlier the US led forces get out the better for them.

Barbara Bush’s purse and mobile phone were stolen in a restaurant in Buenos Aires in spite of the presence of secret service agents. What type of security the agents provide?

India were all out for 91 in 29.1 overs against S. Africa in Durban ODI and lost by 157 runs. Our batting is not good enough.

Pope Benedict XVI referred to St. Thomas as Apostle and not Apostle of India. He said St. Thomas preached Christianity in Western India. This has created a stir in Kerala where many Christians claim they are descendants of people who were converted by St. Thomas.

The resurgence of Taliban raises several questions. What was NATO doing? How Taliban got support in Pakistan? Why democracy has not become strong in Afghanistan?

In Bombay accidents take place and people who sleep on pavements die or get injured. Driving without observing speed limits and traffic rules can result in death and injury. Drunken driving is dangerous. Law regarding permits for drinking is not enforced. Legal age for drinking is 25 or 26 and it should not reduced. Pavements are not for sleeping. Contractors should not bring labourers from distant places and put them on pavements. Bombay Archdiocese should let law take its course. Getting involved in cases will divert its energies from its missions.

Repeal Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995

Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 must be repealed. The Act makes it an offence to air `A’ certified films. The implications of the Act are felt now. The Act is oppressive and reminds of Taliban regime.

Since the end of August 2006 there is no telecast of HBO and Star Movies in Bombay and suburbs and decoders of these channels were seized by Bombay Police. There was not much to watch in those channels as they cut scenes. Sometimes the film did not make sense due to editing. Gia on HBO and Unfaithful on Star Movies are examples.

Adult films without cuts, darkening, morphing or alteration must be allowed on free to air channels between 11.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. and on pay channels at any time.

Those who do not like adult films are free not to watch them.

Five points

USA and judicial encroachment

Judiciary in USA is going beyond its powers and encroaching powers of legislature. Massachusetts Supreme Court allowed gay marriages. The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ordered the Legislature of the state to amend laws within six months to allow same sex marriages. This is crossing the limit.

Many gay marriages that have taken place will end in divorce. It remains to be seen how courts will deal with disputes. USA Constitutions should have an article that states marriage is a union of a man and a woman for mutual love and procreation and education of children.

USA should have retirement age for Federal and State Supreme Court judges. There should be a provision for removal of judges by two-thirds majority of Legislature.

USA judges who dealt with Terry Schiavo case are responsible for the death of Terry Schiavo. Her right to life was violated. It was judicial murder. The self styled human rights groups who make lot of noise when murderers get death penalty were silent when Terry Schiavo was started to death.

Corrupt judges were there in all ages. Jesus spoke of such a judge in one of his parables. The story of Susannah mentioned two corrupt judges who threatened women and had sex with them. Susannah did not yield to their demand. She would have been put to death but for the intervention of Daniel. Protestant Bibles do not have this chapter as they consider it apocrypha.


USA and housing demand

Housing demand in USA has decreased and is the lowest in 35 years. It is the immigrants who were driving up the demand. Illegal immigrants outnumbered legal immigrants. Many entered as legal immigrants and stayed beyond the stipulated period. Other illegal immigrants entered USA illegally.

Crackdown on illegal immigrants stemmed their arrival. This resulted in decline in housing demand and of economy. There will be job losses for Americans and less value for existing homes. This will have a cascading effect on economies of other countries. Immigrants had a major role in the growth of US economy.

The birth rate of US local population is below replacement level. Decline in population leads to decline in economy. Australia, Singapore, Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy and some other countries want to increase their population.

If USA wants its economy to grow or remain stable it has two options. First is to encourage couples to have more children. Second is to allow more immigrants. The present limit of 20,000 persons per country needs to be relaxed. This has to be 10,00,000 for Mexico, 5,00,000 for Brazil and 1,00,000 for other Latin American countries, India and China. Then there will be more demand for housing in USA.


TV viewing

TV viewing since the end of September has become more dull. There was crackdown on cable operators. Telecast of HBO and Star Movies stopped. Not that they were interesting. They cut scenes and sometimes it became difficult to understand the film. Telecast of English films on cable channels stopped. Zee Studio carries the disclaimer that movies are suitably modified for family viewing which means scenes are cut. FTV’s midnight hot turned cold.

History channel shows jumbo movies on Saturdays and Sundays which have more fiction than fact. It seems some scenes are cut. On week days it is mostly repetition of what is shown before.

CNN has coverage of Iraq on a daily basis. For two Saturdays NDTV 24×7 did not have Big Fight. I do not know whether it is dropped.

How dance competitions become news defies imagination. Besides there is lot of rigging and manipulation in these competitions. One choreographer bought 200 SIM cards and distributed to persons known to her for voting for the pair she trained. Three of these were used by a man to send lewd messages to his wife who complained to the police and this matter came to light.

There is lot of coverage of films in news bulletins. This should be shown in a separate section for entertainment.

In spite of reduction in TV viewing cable operator continues to charge Rs.275/- p.m.


Islam and veil

There is a controversy about Muslim women wearing veil. Does banning of veil mean curtailing freedom of religion? There is no obligation for Muslim women to cover their faces. In the firm Nikah, which deals with divorce in Islam, no woman covers her face.

If a Muslim woman is in a profession that requires showing her face she has to do it or lose the job. A British Muslim teacher was sacked for covering face in the classroom.

A Muslim woman covering her face and sitting at home or moving around among her family members does not create a problem. A Muslim woman who is a teacher covering her face creates a problem. Jack Straw is right in refusing to talk to anyone who covers her face.

Besides security concerns demand that people are checked when necessary. If the face is covered the identity of the person is not known. A man can cover his face. In Bombay there were serial train blasts on the evening of 11/7/2006 and on 12/7/2006 one man was found wearing a burkha and talking on mobile phone. He was arrested. He said he was talking to his girlfriend. A terrorist could have got in and created havoc.


Blind imitation

Some journalists and newspapers have started to refer to fathers as Srs and sons as Jrs. In the West it is normal practice to give father’s name to eldest son and mother’s name to eldest daughter. Father is referred to as Sr and eldest son is referred to as Jr. If there are three generations of men with the same name, man of first generation is called I, man of second generation is II and man of third generation is III.

In India sons are not named after their fathers and hence it is incorrect to call father Sr and son Jr. Bal Thackeray is not Thackeray Sr and Uddhav Thackeray is not Thackeray Jr. Similarly Feroz Khan is not Khan Sr and Fardeen Khan is not Khan Jr.

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