The Christian Post | The right to privacy is sacrosanct

2021-08-27T14:23:11+00:00

In a landmark judgment in 2017, the Supreme Court of India recognized the ‘right to privacy’ as a fundamental right of every Indian citizen. This essential human right extends to every citizen in the world, and should be protected by all governments. Naturally, it ought to be recognized as an indispensable democratic value. In the famous story of creation, God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins. His act illustrated that humans were not meant to live naked and exposed. God provided clothing to protect the privacy of both the body and the person. Yet with the growth of human civilization, and now with advanced technology, this basic right is often greatly impaired. It is dehumanizing when some of India’s low caste and poor have to bathe semi-naked in public in crowded slums and villages. Thankfully, India’s Prime Minister Modi made a singular achievement in preserving human privacy and dignity by building hundreds of thousands of toilets across India in the ‘Clean India’ campaign. Unfortunately, most governments today ascribe to themselves god-like powers, attempting to know the private lives of all citizens. But when privacy is violated, free will is jeopardized. God knows all, yet does not violate our free will. Governments around the world, including my own Indian government, stand accused of technological snooping on societal leaders—specifically, using Pegasus software. Pegasus is sold only to governments, not individuals, which in itself implies a layer of power that is assumed by the State. Pegasus’ stated goal is to save lives. Its founders claim the intention to catch criminals, terrorists, drug traffickers, and human traffickers, not to destroy the lives of civil society leaders, activists, or political opponents. Now, they propose the need for a global cyber [...]

The Christian Post | The right to privacy is sacrosanct2021-08-27T14:23:11+00:00

The Christian Post | Father Stan Swamy is a martyr and should be declared a saint

2021-08-11T16:46:43+00:00

Many Indian citizens across all religious and social lines are shocked that Father Stan Swamy died while in police custody in prison. The United Nations, the European Union and a host of other forums have stated that he was arrested under false charges. His death under the most inhumane conditions is a blot against Indian society. Looking at this tragedy, this much is clear: Father Stan Swamy is a martyr and the Catholic church should proclaim him a saint. The 84-year-old Jesuit priest, Stan Swamy, was born in Tamil Nadu on April 26, 1937. For nearly a half-century, he struggled for the basic rights of tribal communities, especially in the tribal belt of Jharkhand. Since India’s independence, the abuse of tribal rights in the name of development, big business, and government policies, has displaced millions of India’s 180 million tribals from their lands and livelihood.  Following the example of Jesus, Fr Swamy took up the struggle for the community’s rights to its land, forest, and water. Many view tribals as India’s original inhabitants. Nations like Canada, the U.S., and Australia struggle with the rights of peoples called “first nations.” Reports of new discoveries of tribal children buried in Canada horrify us. Yet India and the world have ignored the abuse of tribals’ rights, even in past centuries under British rule. A judgment by India’s Supreme Court declared these native Indians as the purest and sincere of Indians, especially compared to those in society’s upper sections. Yet, the corporates of the world turn a greedy eye on ancient tribal lands rich in water, forests and minerals, and influence government agencies to encroach on those lands. Over the decades, violent extremist groups have emerged among the tribals, influenced [...]

The Christian Post | Father Stan Swamy is a martyr and should be declared a saint2021-08-11T16:46:43+00:00

Washington Examiner | The Solution to Critical Race Theory: ‘Critical Forgiveness Theory’

2021-07-30T14:07:00+00:00

The United States, along with the rest of the world, is struggling bitterly over issues of race, history, caste, identity, and power politics. “Globalization” means that these problems once thought local are now global issues. Before the global outrage over these issues, the Gospel already provided both the theory and the action plan that unites humans rather than sowing hatred, violence, wars, or the disintegration of society. I write as a sufferer of prejudice and blind racism in many forms. I am a brown person, a citizen of a formerly colonized nation, a part of India’s caste system, a Christian who ministers to peoples of all ethnicities worldwide, a cultural observer, and a frequent member of organizations and meetings in which I am the only brown person present. I’ve spent my life standing up for the rights of India’s Dalits. Even beggars are separated from each other by castes in India. The dehumanization of individuals and groups has a long history. It is easy to slip into anger, hatred, and the safety of a particular identity when confronted with the systemic issue of human oppression, racism, or even colonialism. We’re having to deal with the psychosociological damage of generations. Many treat these complex issues with hate, anger, and violence. But I wonder if we, as Christians, have missed the point by embracing the world’s solutions to problems of the soul? Does not our salvation include reconciling human relationships, along with being reconciled to God? Certainly, our Bible speaks at length about this. Have we been deceived into thinking the only answer for systemic racism and blind discrimination is political? Do we take sides and argue, believing our duty is now done and, by so doing, nullify [...]

Washington Examiner | The Solution to Critical Race Theory: ‘Critical Forgiveness Theory’2021-07-30T14:07:00+00:00

Christianity Headlines | Love is Our Superpower

2021-07-19T14:21:59+00:00

Jesus has called each of his followers to love God with all we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus made it clear that this love toward God and others has to be demonstrated in action, not just words. This fundamental commitment to love God and our neighbor helps us to develop a fully Christian character. We must demonstrate to a watching world the fuller life that Jesus promised us. Without apology, I confess to being a Christian evangelical, emphasis on “Christian.” Despite the checkered history of the Church, Christianity still has broad acceptance in many societies. The word “evangelical,” however, has lost some of its original meaning and often creates hostility in people of other faiths. This phrase once had meaning in the development of western Christianity but now is too easily misconstrued essentially as an American cultural Christianity. In America, “evangelical Christianity,” whether from left or right perspectives, is strongly infused with American values. Not everyone thinks this is a good thing. One theologian I know calls this evangelical Christianity — that for two hundred years has been sent out to the world — “the export of a half-baked Christianity.” I think he’s wrong, but I think he has a point. For one thing, to those in the non-Christian world, the bitter and sometimes violent divisions within Christianity are confusing. Some evangelicals are quick to define who is a true Christian and consign all others to hell. Some even consign the great Billy Graham to hell. This is embarrassing and represents a decline in western Christianity. The great intellectual Dr B. R. Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution and a Dalit leader, once considered Christianity as an option for Dalit people who had [...]

Christianity Headlines | Love is Our Superpower2021-07-19T14:21:59+00:00

Christianity Today | In Covid-ravaged India, the situation is worse than people realise

2021-05-26T19:22:12+00:00

The world needs to know that the situation in India is far worse than people realise and it will be so long after the final effect of this surge in Covid-19 infections ends. When a tsunami hits a coastline, the vulnerable and poor suffer more than the rich. The wealthy can afford to build disaster-proof houses and structures. They can get "anything money can buy." While it takes the lower class years to rebuild their lives, those in power recover at a faster rate. Yet, the second wave of Covid-19 in India is not discriminating between the rich and the poor. This generation will never forget the piles of corpses burning across the country and the sight of dead bodies floating in rivers as crematoriums and burial grounds struggle to keep up with the disposal of the deceased. In large part, we successfully managed the first wave of Covid-19, but we were fooled into believing we were immune to a second. Medical experts were the only ones in India warning us of a second wave of the pandemic that wreaked havoc throughout Europe and the United States. Sadly, politicians fell into a frenzied triumphalism based on how the first wave of Covid-19 affected India. They postulated about "Indian immunity" and praised the efficacy of local, unscientific "cures," including statements like the waters of the Ganges River would kill the virus as tens of millions thronged at Haridwar for a holy dip. People have been dying with virtually no access to necessities like rapid tests, oxygen and medical care, especially in rural India. While the world is now focused on the conflict in Israel, our situation remains catastrophic. A trip to the main district hospital for those [...]

Christianity Today | In Covid-ravaged India, the situation is worse than people realise2021-05-26T19:22:12+00:00

Newsweek | India is Battling a Major Health Crisis. Where are its Elites?

2021-05-06T14:33:23+00:00

One of my friends, a lawyer, passed away recently in Hyderabad, India. He was fit and healthy, but tragically, his body was unable to fend off COVID-19. He leaves behind a grieving family who will be forced to bear an enormous financial burden imposed by the private hospital where he was employed and treated before his death. The world has seen images from cities like Delhi of crematoriums that have been overwhelmed with the bodies of COVID-19 victims. Funeral pyres have been lit in the streets. Our hospital infrastructure has collapsed and countless individuals and families are left hopeless and helpless. Amid the greatest health crisis in India's history, a news story made international headlines: Australian cricketer Pat Cummins, who plays for a team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), donated $50,000 to the prime minister's care fund for India's COVID-19 relief. India's own cricketers have remained silent in the face of our national tragedy.An anonymous official from the IPL, which is worth millions of dollars, recently claimed, "It's probably more important now to hold IPL, when there is so much negativity around. ... The league generates considerable money for the economy. It has to be seen from that context too. How does stopping IPL help?" This official's words are a slap in the face to the people of India. There is not a single Indian who has not been affected by the pandemic, whether through personal suffering or that of a friend, neighbor, relative or coworker. Since the release of that statement, the IPL has been suspended and the Tata Group has announced that they will provide medical supplies and necessities such as oxygen units and beds to hospitals in need. The core issue is [...]

Newsweek | India is Battling a Major Health Crisis. Where are its Elites?2021-05-06T14:33:23+00:00

Premier Christianity | ‘The pain is overwhelming’ As India’s Covid crisis deepens, we need Christians to act

2021-05-05T14:27:30+00:00

Global media have characterised India’s current Covid-19 crisis as a descent into hell or an apocalyptic catastrophe. The media talks about the failure of our healthcare system and lack of governance. All of this has some truth in it, but for those of us who are grappling with the tragedy of this mutant virus on a human level, the pain is simply overwhelming. Covid-19 is infecting and killing people regardless of their religion, ethnicity or caste. While images of cremations in our cities have gone viral, I have seen coffin makers forced to hire more workers to keep up with demand as people continue to die at alarming rates. UNIMAGINABLE SORROW A man, who worked with me years ago, and his wife were both taken by the virus recently. They leave behind a young daughter who is just finishing her nursing training. She now faces a life without parents; her sorrow is unimaginable. THIS IS A WAKE-UP CALL TO MIDDLE CLASS INDIA WHO THOUGHT PRIVATE HOSPITALS WOULD ALLEVIATE THE HEALTH NEEDS OF THE NATION AN AWAKENING OF SOCIAL CONSCIENCE We dread what the month of May will bring. Doctors predict a peak period when we will see 500,000 to 1 million cases of infection per day. The authorities need to realise that by suppressing and denying accurate estimations of infections and deaths, they are doing a great disservice to both the people of India and the world. What India needs right now is an awakening of the public social conscience in the midst of heartbreak and anger. We desperately need to reach out in compassion to the millions who will suffer in the days and weeks to come. The government cannot solve all our problems. Its [...]

Premier Christianity | ‘The pain is overwhelming’ As India’s Covid crisis deepens, we need Christians to act2021-05-05T14:27:30+00:00

Faithwire | Jesus’ Resurrection Spirit Is a Gift to Non-Christians, Too

2021-04-07T14:45:18+00:00

You might say that 2020 was a year of death. A global COVID-19 pandemic, horrific human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Myanmar, the incarceration of Uyghur Muslims in China, protests against murder and racism in the United States, the continued suffering of minorities and “outcastes” in India, natural disasters, the indiscriminate enforcement of globalization economics and the destabilization of democratic rights gave us little hope for the future. It appears the whole of creation is groaning for its resurrection as promised in the gospel of the kingdom of God. ***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.*** Ever since Jesus was resurrected from the dead thousands of years ago, faithful Christ followers have waited expectantly for their life-after-death resurrection in the world to come. But they also await their life-before-death resurrection in the present world. My work has allowed me to experience a spiritual dimension to human existence often overlooked by skeptics. Yet, Jesus’ resurrection unleashed spiritual and moral forces that are present and evident in all societies around the world, if we only have eyes to see. The spirit of life still ultimately triumphs over the forces of evil, oppression and destruction. As pastors are fond of saying this time of the year, “for every Good Friday there’s a Resurrection Sunday coming.” One does not need to be a believer in Jesus to be under the influence and power of the redemptive forces his resurrection unleashed in history. Easter, perhaps even more than Christmas, is for all the peoples of the world. ***As the number of [...]

Faithwire | Jesus’ Resurrection Spirit Is a Gift to Non-Christians, Too2021-04-07T14:45:18+00:00

The Guardian | ‘Untouchable’ Bollywood poster provokes outrage over caste stereotypes

2021-01-25T20:40:38+00:00

A picture of a woman holding a broom. Anywhere else, the image might pass unnoticed. But in India the poster for the film Madam Chief Minister, loosely based on the life of politician Mayawati, who is a Dalit, has triggered uproar for perpetuating caste stereotypes. Bollywood actor Richa Chadha, who plays Mayawati, tweeted an image of the poster ahead of the film’s release later this month. She is shown looking dishevelled and holding the kind of large broom used by municipal roadsweepers. The tagline of the poster reads: Untouchable, Unstoppable. The poster has offended on many fronts. “Untouchable” is now an unacceptable term in India – although some Dalits are reclaiming it – and the actor’s unkempt appearance implies Dalits are unwashed and untidy. For Dalits who have strived to escape the hereditary, menial jobs that defined and dehumanised them, the broom is a particularly potent symbol. The outrage was instant. Chadha and director Subhash Kapoor were lambasted for being incapable – as upper-caste and privileged Hindus – of escaping simplistic conceptions of Dalits. Many expressed their views on Twitter. One wrote: “Over the years, Bollywood in the guise of breaking caste barriers and making progressive cinema has furthered caste prejudices and solidified symbols associated with discrimination. What does a Dalit leader going on to become CM have to do with holding broom?” Another tweeted: “UCs (who claim to be secular, liberal) understanding of casteism is always flawed. Apparently everybody wants to make movies on Dalits these days because it’s profitable and they in turn do more harm to the community.” While another wrote: “The recent poster of Madam Chief Minister makes me feel heartbroken once more. I lack words to talk about the deliberate reluctance [...]

The Guardian | ‘Untouchable’ Bollywood poster provokes outrage over caste stereotypes2021-01-25T20:40:38+00:00

RNS | What Christians can learn from Indian Sikh farmers’ desperate protests

2021-01-19T18:23:05+00:00

For months, farmers in India have been protesting new agriculture reform laws instituted in September 2020, which leave them to the mercy — or lack thereof — of corporate giants.Almost immediately, farmers in Punjab, many of them Sikhs, began protesting locally, but in November, hundreds of thousands of farmers surrounded New Delhi in the largest mass protest India has seen in decades. Although these protests are largely leaderless, millions of farmers across the nation are united in their struggle for human dignity.What can we learn from the protesters?Humans have a right to a dignified livelihood.Globalization and the so-called market economy — which is built upon making money with money, not generating wealth with labor — have destroyed the livelihoods of numerous working-class people around the world. In India, globalization has wreaked havoc on the masses.One effect has been to force Indian farming communities, which comprise 70% of India’s people, to grow nonessential crops for unsustainable compensation. In the state of Bihar, where the new agriculture laws were implemented, many farmers have become destitute. The dynamics that are starving farmers are also worsening India’s already dire water crisis.Every person desires the right to dignified labor and compensation, the right to which was given to humanity by God, as recorded in Genesis:And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ …The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.Though human work eventually became corrupted by the sin of the first man and woman, work gives [...]

RNS | What Christians can learn from Indian Sikh farmers’ desperate protests2021-01-19T18:23:05+00:00
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