Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

நித்யானந்தாவும், லீலா சாம்ஸனும்: பதவியேற்றம், பதவியிறக்கம் – கலாச்சார-மத சம்பந்தமான நிறுவனங்களில் நியமனங்கள்-சர்ச்சைகள்!

May 2, 2012

நித்யானந்தாவும், லீலா சாம்ஸனும்: பதவியேற்றம், பதவியிறக்கம் – கலாச்சார-மத சம்பந்தமான நிறுவனங்களில் நியமனங்கள்-சர்ச்சைகள்!

கலாச்சார நிறுவனங்களில் அரசு நியமனம்: ஒரு முஸ்லீம் அல்லது கிருத்துவ நிறுவனத்தில் ஒரு இந்து எப்பொழுதும் நிர்வாகியாக, தலைவராக, ஆளுனராக நியமிக்கப்படுவதில்லை. அவ்வாறு நினைப்பதே தவறானது, பாவமானது ஏன் மாபெரும் குற்றமாகக் கருதப் படுகிறது. ஸ்ரீ ஆதிசங்கரர் சமஸ்கிருத பல்கலைகழகத்திற்கு, முஸ்லீம், நாத்திகர், கம்யூனிஸ்ட் என்று பலர் துணைவேந்தர்களாக நியமிக்கப் படுகின்றனர். முஸ்லீம் அல்லது கிருத்துவ சார்புடைய பல்கலைக்கழகத்திற்கு ஒரு இந்து துணைவேந்தராக முடியாது. சோனியா மெய்னோ ஒரு கத்தோலிக்க எதேச்சதிகாரி என்பதால், பல குறிப்பிட்ட பதவிகளில் கிருத்துவர்கள் நியமிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளார்கள் என்பது தெரிந்த விஷயமே. அம்பிகா சோனி என்று வலம் வரும் அமைச்சரே கிருத்துவர் தாம். இது கூட பலருக்கு தெரியாது. மேலும் அவர்கள் “உள்கலாச்சாரமயமாக்கல்” என்ற கொள்கையைப் பின்பற்றுவதால், கிருத்துவர்களாக மாறினாலும், இந்துக்களைப் போலவே பெயர்களை தொடர்ந்து வைத்துக் கொண்டு, உடை-அலங்காரம் செய்துகொண்டு உலா வருகிறார்கள்.

லீலா சாம்ஸன் கலாச்சேத்திரத்தின் இயக்குனராக நியமிக்கப் பட்டார்: லீலா சாம்ஸன் என்ற கிருத்துவ நாடகி கலாச்சேத்திரத்தின் இயக்குனராக 2005ல் நியமிக்கப் பட்டார். அப்பொழுது அவர் கிருத்துவர் என்று யாரும் எண்ணவில்லை. லீலா சாம்ஸன் சந்தேகமில்லாமல் நிச்சயமாக ஒரு திறமைமிக்க நர்த்தகிதான். ஆனால், அவர் கலாசேத்திராவின் இயக்குனராக பதவியேற்றபோது, யாரும் அவரது நடனத்திறமையில் எந்த மாற்று-எதிர்க்கருத்தையோ கொண்டிருக்கவில்லை. ஆனால், சிறிது சிறிதாக அவர் ஏற்படுத்திய மாற்றங்கள் அல்லது மாறுதல்கள், நிச்சயமாக சிலரின் மனங்களில் கேள்விகளை எழுப்பின. இப்பொழுது கூட இந்தியன் எக்ஸ்பிரஸில், லீலா சாம்ஸனை ஆதரித்து இப்படி ஒரு கருத்து மானினி சட்டர்ஜி என்ற பெண்மணியால் பதிவுசெய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது[1].

Attack on Leela SamsonLeela Samson, famous Bharatanatyam dancer and current head of the prestigious Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai, is the target of a vicious attack this week. According to writer P. Deivamuthu, the Mumbai-based editor of Hindu Voice, Samson “has destroyed the values for which this institution stands for and is still continuing the destruction in a subtle way.

Her alleged crimes include a “disdain” for idol worship, removal of Vinayaka idols for which regular poojas used to be conducted by students, discouragement of prayers within Kalakshetra, and setting up a movie club “which has completely spoilt the gurukulam atmosphere of this traditional institution.” She is also accused of planning to demolish the temple structure of the Kalakshetra Auditorium[2] “under the pretext of modernising it”, removing religious symbols which earlier adorned the certificates issued by the institution, and removing earlier restrictions and “thus encouraging the meeting of boys and girls in any hostel room at any time of the day and night.”

There is no mention of the fact that Leela Samson is herself an illustrious alumnus of the institution[3]. Instead, the author says “members of the performing arts world outside Kalakshetra Foundation and members of the Hindu community should initiate an action immediately to stop the planned destruction of a glorious institution teaching and nurturing the ancient traditions of Sanatana Dharma.”

உபி தேர்தலில் இருந்து ஆரம்பித்து, பி.ஜே.பியின் வரும் தேர்தல் யுக்தி என்று விவரித்து லீலா சாம்ஸனில் வந்து முடிக்கிறார் அந்த பெண்மணி.

ஊடகக்காரர்களின் பாரபட்ச, நடுநிலைமையற்ற கருத்துகள்-எழுத்துகள்: எனவே, இதைப் பற்றி அலச வேண்டியுள்ளது. துரதிருஷ்டவசமாக ஊடகத்துறையில் உள்ளவர்களில் பெரும்பாலானவர்கள் மேற்கத்தைய கலாச்சாரத்தில் ஊன்றியிருக்கிறார்கள் அல்லது சித்தாந்தங்களில் கட்டுண்டுக் கிடக்கிறார்கள். இந்த நாட்டின் கலாச்சாரம், பாரம்பரியம், நாகரிகம், தொன்மை முதலிய விஷயங்களில் உண்மைக்குப் புறம்பான பல கருத்துகளைக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். குறிப்பாக இந்து மதத்தைப் பற்றி பல தவறுதலான, எதிர்மறையான எண்ணங்களைக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். அதனால். இந்து மதம், இந்துக்கள் என்றாலே அவர்களுக்கு, அவையெல்லாம் ஏதோ ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸ், பி,ஜே.பி விவகாரங்களைப் போல சித்திரிக்கிறார்கள் அல்லது அவ்வாறே முடிவாக எடுத்துக் கொள்கிறார்கள். மற்றவர்கள் இந்துக்களின் பிரச்சினைகளை அலசினாலோ, விமர்சித்தாலோ, அல்லது இந்துக்களின் உரிமைகள் பற்றி பேசுவது-எழுதுவது செய்தாலோ அவ்வாறே முத்திரைக் குத்துகிறார்கள். இதனால், பல இந்துக்கள், நமக்கேன் இந்த வம்பு என்று சும்மா இருந்துவிடுகிறார்கள்; சில அதிகபிரங்கி இந்துக்கள் மற்றவர்களின் நல்லபெயர் வாங்கிக் கொள்ளவேண்டும் என்பதற்காக இந்து-விரோத கருத்துகளை, விமர்சனங்களையும் செய்து வருகிறார்கள், இரண்டுமே இந்துமதத்திற்கு சாதகமானவை அல்ல என்று அவர்கள் புரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும். லீலா சாம்ஸன் விவகாரத்தில் இது அதிகமாகவே வெளிப்பட்டுள்ளன.

லீலா சாம்ஸன் யார்? ஏனிந்த சச்சை? லீலா சாம்ஸன் பெஞ்சமின் அப்ரஹாம் சாம்ஸன் என்ற யூதமத ராணுவ அதிகாரிக்கும், லைலா என்ற இந்திய கத்தோலிக்கப் பெண்மணிக்கும் 1951ல் பிறந்தார். பேட்டிகளில் தனது தந்தையார் இரண்டாயிரம் வருடங்களுக்கு இந்தியாவிற்கு வந்த பெனி-இஸ்ரவேலர்களுடைய பரம்பரையைச் சேர்ந்தர் என்று கூறி பெருமைப் பட்டுக்கொள்கிறார் (My father was part of the Bene-Israelites who came to India two millennia ago[4]). என்னுடைய பெயர் யூதமதத்தினுடையதாக இருக்கிறது, ஆனால் பழக்க-வழக்கங்களில் நானொரு கத்தோலிக்கப் பெண்மணி, இருப்பினும் நடைமுறையில் இந்து என்றும் சொல்லிக் கொள்கிறார் (“I’m Jewish by name. I’m Catholic by habit. I’m Hindu by practice.”). பி.ஏ பட்டம் பெற்று ருக்மணி அருந்தேல் கீழ் பரத நாட்டியம் கற்றார்[5].  ஹில்லரி கிளிண்டன் இந்தியாவிற்கு வந்தபோது, இவரை சந்தித்துள்ளார். மேற்கத்தையபாணியில் அவரது வருகையை இவ்வாறு சித்தரிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளது[6].

அதில் பரதநாட்டியம் ஏதோ கேவலமானது என்றும், அதனை உய்க்கவந்தவர்களே இந்த லீலா தாம்ஸன் போன்றவர்கள் என்று விவரிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது வேடிக்கையாக இருக்கிறது. பரதநாட்டியம் கீழ்த்தரமானது மற்றும் ஆபாசமானது என்றிருந்தபோதுதான், ருக்மணி இதனை குருகுல சம்பிரதாயத்தில் பிரமலமாக்கி, சமூகத்தில் ஏற்புடையதாக்கினார். அதுமட்டுமல்லாது, அருண்டேல் என்ற ஆங்கிலேயரை மணந்து கொண்டு, சம்பிரதாயத்தை உடைத்தெரிந்தார். Interestingly, decades ago, Chennai’s orthodox community shunned this institution that is praised today as an upholder of Tamil art and culture—and where visiting dignitaries are taken to showcase the best of the arts. Its founder Rukmini Devi Arundale faced immense social pressure in the 1930s when she learnt Bharatanatyam, which was considered a lowly and vulgar art form by the upper classes. Despite the opposition, she learnt dance from Devadasi women or temple dancers and set up the Kalakshetra Foundation in 1936, which embraced the gurukul system that allowed students to stay on campus and learn the art form. Arundale, who also broke convention by marrying a Britisher, George Arundale, finally did succeed in making Bharatanatyam socially acceptable.

Rani David laid down facts and demonstrated that Christianity existed along with Bharatanatyam and Sanga Thamizh, but history lost in time has given Christianity a western outlook[7].

அவர் செய்த மாற்றங்கள் என்று விவாதிக்கப்பட்டவை[8]:

  1. கணேசன் / விநாயகரின் விக்கிரகத்தை அகற்றினார்[9].
  2. அதனை மாணவர்கள் வழிபடுவதை தடுத்தார்.
  3. தியோசோபிகல் தத்துவத்தின்படி விக்கிரகங்கள் வழிபடுவதில்லை என்று தனது காரியத்திற்கு அவரே விளக்கம் அளித்துள்ளார்.
  4. கீதகோவிந்தம் என்ற நடத்தில், மாணவர்களுக்கு கொச்சையான சைகைகளை “முத்திரைகள்” என்ற போர்வையில் கற்றுக் கொடுக்கப் படுகின்றன[10].
  5. அவர் ஒரு கிருத்துவர் என்பதனால், இவ்வாறு செய்கிறார்[11].
Kalakshetra never had idols that were worshipped. A lamp was all that was lit in every place we worshipped, according to Theosophical principles and the highest philosophical principles upheld by our elders. However, one of the wardens, now retired, collected on her own and without the instruction from the management, and much after Athai and Sankara Menon’s time, 4 Ganeshas and had them placed outside the dining hall on a pathway, through which all stores and workers pass. It was a place without sanctity. Students were forced to contribute towards pujas and vastrams for the images. All this had to be stopped. It would not have been encouraged nor allowed in Athai’s time. We decided instead, to put each of the Ganeshas, one in each of the hostel blocks, on a pedestal where the students would look after the images.
In 2005, Samson was appointed as the new director of Kalakshetra. In 2006, she provoked a media storm by justifying the elimination of the spiritual roots of Bharata Natyam. Trouble started in 2006 when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the head of “Art of living” meditation, expressed his concern over the attempt of Leela Sampson to thwart the participation of Kalakshetra students in the inaugural function of a “Health and Bliss” religious course being conducted by him in Chennai. According to Ananda Vikatan, a popular Tamil weekly, the most disturbing aspect was the reason cited by Leela Samson. She explained: “This function is concerned with Hindu religion. So Kalakshetra students need not participate in it[12]. 2006ல் ஆரோக்கியமும், அந்தோஷமும் என்ற நிகழ்ச்சி “ஆர்ட் ஆப் லிவிங்” என்ற அமைப்பின் சார்பில் சென்னையில் நடந்தது. செக்யூலரிஸ போர்வையில் லீலா சாம்ஸன் கலாச்சேத்திர மாணவர்கள் ரவிசங்கர் ஏற்பாடு செய்துள்ள நிகழ்ச்சியில் கலந்து கொள்ளவேண்டாம், ஏனென்றால் அது ஒரு இந்துமத நிகழ்ச்சி என்று விளக்கம் அளித்து தடுத்தது, சர்ச்சையை பெரிதாக்கியது[13].

அதோடல்லாமல், சிலரின் போக்குவரத்தும் அதிகமாகியது. அதாவது கிருத்துவர்கள் வந்து செல்ல ஆரம்பித்தனர். இங்கு பல கிருத்துவர்கள், குறிப்பாக வெளிநாட்டவர் பயின்று வந்தாலும், வித்தியாசமாகப் பார்ப்பதில்லை. ஆனால், சர்ச்சை எழுந்த பின்னர், அவர்கள் போக்குவரத்து வேறுவிதமாகவே பாவிக்கப்பட்டது. இதையறிந்த கலாசேத்திராவின் பாரம்பரிய உறுப்பினர்கள், அக்கரையாளர்கள் வருத்தம் அடைந்தனர். பற்பல நிலைகளில் இதைப் பற்றி சர்ச்சைகளும் ஏற்பட்டு விவாதிக்கப் பட்டன[14]. இவையெல்லாம் “பிரக்ருதி பவுண்டேஷன்” என்ற இணைத்தளத்தில் விவாதிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளன. அங்கு லீலா தாம்ஸனை ஆதரித்து கருத்துகள் இருந்தாலும், அதிலிருந்து பிரச்சினை என்ன என்று அறியமுடிகின்றது. இந்நிலையில் தான் அவர் பதவி விலகினார் என்ற செய்தி வருகிறது.

ராஜினாமா பற்றி முரண்பட்ட செய்திகள்: லீலா தாம்ஸன் ராஜினாமா கடிதம் கொடுத்ததாக முதலில் செய்தி வந்தது. அவருடைய வயது குறித்து விவாதம் வந்ததால் ராஜினாமா செய்ததாக செய்தி. கலாசேத்திரத்தின் தலைவர் கோபால கிருஷ்ண காந்தி, லீலா தாம்ஸனின் ராஜினாமா ஏற்றுக் கொள்ளப்படுவதாகவும், அது அவர் உள்மனதில் இருந்த வந்துள்ள வெளிப்பாடாக தான் எடுத்துக் கொள்வதாகவும், மக்களின் பலதரப்பட்ட விமர்சனங்களின் விளக்கங்களுக்குட்பட்டாத எடுத்துக் கொள்ளவில்லை என்றும், மேலும் கலாச்சார அமைச்சகம் அத்தகைய நியமனங்களை செய்வதால், ராஜினாமாவை ஏற்றுக் கொள்ளப்படுவதைப் பற்றிய முடிவு அங்குதான் உள்ளது என்றும் கூறியுள்ளார்[15]. இருப்பினும் “தி ஹிந்து” இதனை கீழே போட்டு, மேலே அவர் தொடர்வதற்கு அனைவரும் ஆதரவாக உள்ளதாக – “Kalakshetra board members want Leela to continue” செய்தி வெளியிட்டுள்ளது[16].

கிருத்துவரே கிருத்துவரின் மீது வழக்குத் தொடுப்பது: சென்ற ஜூன் 2011ல் சி.எஸ். தாமஸ் என்ற கலாச்சேத்திரத்தின் ஓய்வு பெற்ற ஆசிரியர், 60 வயதைத் தாண்டியும், லீலா சாம்ஸன் பதவியில் இருப்பதைச் சுட்டிக் காட்டி சென்னை உயர்நீதி மன்றத்தில் மனு ஒன்றை தாக்குதல் செய்தார்[17]. இப்படி கிருத்துவரே கிருத்துவரின் மீது வழக்குத் தொடுப்பதை செக்யூலரிஸமாக எடூத்துக் கொள்ளவேண்டாம். இது ராபர்டோ நொபிலி காலத்திலிருந்து பின்பற்றப்பட்டு வரும் யுக்திதான். ஆமாம், அப்பொழுது கிருத்துவர் தான் நொபிலி கிருத்துவத்தை சீர்குலைக்கிறார் என்று குற்றஞ்சாட்டப்பட்டு, தண்டனக்க்குள்ளாக்கபட்டார். 30 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு, ஆச்சார்ய பால் என்பவர் மீது ஆர்ச் பிஷப் அருளப்பா வழக்கு தொடர்ந்தார். இப்பொழுது தாமஸ், லீலா தாம்ஸன் மீது வழக்குத் தொடர்ந்துள்ளார்.

பதவி இல்லையென்றாலும், நாட்டியம் உள்ளது: இப்படி கூறி ராஜினாமா செய்துள்ளார். அப்படியென்றால், ஏன் நாட்டியத்தை விட்டு பதவிக்கு வந்தார் என்ற கேள்வி எழுகின்றது. பதவி மீது ஆசையா, இல்லை இன்னும் செய்ய வேண்டிய பணிகள் பாக்கியுள்ளனவா என்று தெரியவில்லை. ஆரம்பத்திலிருந்தே, சர்ச்சைகள் வெளிப்படையாக வந்துவிட்டப் பிறகு, முன்னரே ராஜினாமா செய்து சென்ரிருக்க வேண்டும். அவ்வாறு செல்லாததால்தான், இப்பொழுது கிருத்துவர்களுக்கேயுரித்த வகையில் நீதிமன்றம், வழக்கு என்றெல்லாம் சென்றுள்ளது. உண்மையில் கலைச்சேவைதான் மகேசன் சேவை என்றால், பாரம்பரியப்படி ஆசிரமம் அமைத்து, ஏழை-எளிய மாணவி-மாணவர்களுக்கு நாட்டியம் சொல்லிக் கொடுக்கலாம். இசைக்கல்லூரியின் தலைவராகி சேவை செய்யலாம். ஆனால், அனைத்தையும் விடுத்து, கலாச்சேத்திராவை பிடித்தது தான் விவகாரமாகியுள்ளது.

அமைச்சகம் இது பற்றி கருத்து கேட்டதற்கு, 60 வயது ஆகியிருந்தால், அவர் ஓய்வு பெற்றிருக்கவேண்டும், இருப்பினும் 28-02-2005 அன்று அவரது நியமன ஆணையில் மற்றும் கலாச்சேத்திரா சட்டத்தின் பிரிவுகளில் அவ்வாறு குறிப்பிடப்படவில்லை என்று அதிகாரி விளக்கம் அளித்துள்ளார்[18]. In response, the undersecretary to the government of India had informed him that ” Leela Samson, director, Kalakshetra Foundation should have retired at the age of 60 years even though the age of retirement is not mentioned in the Kalakshetra Foundation Act[19], or in the recruitment rules for the post of director nor in the order of appointment (notification) dated February 28, 2005″.

இப்பிரச்சினை கமிட்டி கூட்டத்தில் ஏப்ரல் 12, 2012 விவாதத்திற்கு அன்று வந்ததால், இப்பொழுது ஊடகங்களில் வர ஆரம்பித்துள்ளன.

வேதபிரகாஷ்

02-05-2012


[5] She is the daughter of Vice-Admiral (Ret) Benjamin Abraham Samson, from the Jewish Bene-Israelite community of India, and Laila, a Roman Catholic Indian. After doing her B.A., she learnt Bharatanatyam at the Kalakshetra under the founder Rukmini Devi Arundale.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/sep/11spec.htm

[12] ஆனந்த விகடன், வார இதழ், டிசம்பர் 20, 2006.

[15] Chairman of the Kalakshetra board Gopalkrishna Gandhi said: “Leela Samson’s decision to leave her position as director of Kalakshetra was taken in the autonomy of her moral intelligence. Relinquishings such as hers should be taken in the light and echo of her inner voice, not in the script of other people’s vocabularies. We must respect her decision and that of the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry appoints the director, and the Ministry alone can decide on her resignation.”

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/dance/article3367813.ece

[16] The Hindu, Kalakshetra board members want Leela to continue, Chennai edition, April 29, 2012; http://www.thehindu.com/arts/dance/article3367813.ece

[17] In June 2011, C S Thomas, a retired teacher at Kalakshetra, had filed a writ petition in the Madras high court challenging the legality of Samson remaining director of the foundation after the age of 60, the statutory retirement age for Central government employees. After she resigned on April 12, Samson said the issue had come up in a board meeting on April 10 and she saw no reason to stay on in the post if she did not have the support of the ministry, the chairman and the board.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Samson-had-Centres-backing-to-continue/articleshow/12945323.cms

[18] According to the Kalakshetra Act, appointments to the post of director are governed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, (Director) Recruitment Rules, 2002. Although the rules specify 55 as the upper age limit for a person to assume the post of director, they do not mention a retirement age.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Samson-had-Centres-backing-to-continue/articleshow/12945323.cms

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The dubious role of “Salvation Army” in Tsunami House building – I

July 27, 2009
The dubious role of “Salvation Army” in Tsunami House building – I
Published on January 31st, 2008 In Uncategorized, Blogging, News, Politics |  Views 278
The dubious role of “Salvation Army” in Tsunami House building

The following news items appearing in different sites and reading together raise several questions.

N       To what extent the NGOs, particularly with religious back ground have actually rendered help to the Tsunami victims?

N       How the “Salvation army” with all funfairs should have stooped down to such level to fool the Tsunami victims?

N       Salvation Agency, based on the government decision to build temporary group houses for tsunami victims, laid the foundation for constructing 44 houses in September 2005.  How then, they hurriedly built permanent houses?

N       The petitioner sought action against Salvation Agency for building “illegal and substandard houses” for him and other tsunami victims in the Uzhavar Nagar area. “The construction was substandard, very bad and dangerous to live in and cannot be occupied.” –

V      How the generously and graciously helping international organization with millions of donation lavishly given or reportedly sanction for the Tsunami victims could have gone to production of such “illegal and substandard houses”?

V      How the houses could be of “The construction was substandard, very bad and dangerous to live in and cannot be occupied.”

N       Oh God / Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing! Just like that can we forget?

Demolish tsunami houses: HC Chennai, 28 Jan. 2008 (New Indian Express) The Madras High Court has directed Salvation Agency (India South Eastern Territory), an international social welfare organisation, to demolish the houses it built for the victims of the tsunami in December 2004. The agency had built houses in Uzhavar Nagar of North Poigainallur, Nagapattinam. The First Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla said that the houses were unfit for habitation and the agency should demolish the houses and remove the debris from the place of construction at its own cost. The Bench also directed the State Home Secretary and the Nagapattinam District Collector to take possession of the vacant land and arrange for the construction of proper and quality houses or allot any other readily available houses in the vicinity of North Poigainallur to each of the 44 families. All this should be carried out expeditiously, preferably within two months, the Bench said, and directed the Collector to file his compliance report within a week of the expiry of the stipulated two months. The Bench gave the ruling while allowing a public interest writ petition from A Subbian of Uzhavar Nagar, a tsunami victim.

Date:17/10/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/10/17/stories/2007101761600900.htm


Panel to inspect quality of houses for tsunami victims

Special Correspondent

PIL petition has sought action against Salvation Agency


“The construction is substandard, dangerous”Agency asked to file a report in six weeks


CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has set up a committee of experts to inspect the quality of houses constructed by the India  South-Eastern Territory of the Salvation Agency for tsunami victims in Nagapattinam district. Passing orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by A. Subbaian of Uzhavar Nagar in North Poigainallur, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice P. Jyothimani, said: “We direct the Chief Engineer (Buildings) of the Public Works Department, along with one expert civil engineer to be nominated by the Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, to inspect the houses constructed by the respondent (Salvation Agency) at North Poigainallur, Uzhavar Nagar, and report the nature, quality and construction to be put up by the respondent to the District Collector.”

It asked the Collector to ensure that Salvation Agency put up a proper construction in accordance with the committee’s report, and file a report before the court in six weeks.

The petitioner sought action against Salvation Agency for building “illegal and substandard houses” for him and other tsunami victims in the Uzhavar Nagar area. “The construction was substandard, very bad and dangerous to live in and cannot be occupied.” Salvation Agency, based on the government decision to build temporary group houses for tsunami victims, laid the foundation for constructing 44 houses in September 2005.

He submitted that Salvation Agency itself gave an undertaking to rectify the defects noticed by the Collector and others.

Matter adjourned

The Bench has adjourned the matter to November 6 for further proceedings.

© Copyright 2000 – 2008 The Hindu

Interestingly, the place figures in Tamilnadu Government Tender also (see below for details):

http://tenders.tn.gov.in/innerpage.asp?choice=ct5″tid=drd582″work=1

Complete details of the selected Tender

Indian Missionaries Get Rs.600 crores for Tsunami Conversions from
UK

Posted December 7, 2005
By S.Anand
Outlook

India

“You can create 10 new Nagapattinams with the kind of money the NGOs have.”
– A. Selvamani, fisherman, Akkarapettai

As of 9 November 2005, according to Relief Web (www.reliefweb.int), the commitments, contributions and pledges for tsunami-related work routed via UN agencies and INGOs from the world over account for USD 6,138,895,063 (more than USD 6 billion). Compiled by OCHA (the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) on the basis of information provided by donors and appealing organisations, this works to Rs 28,853 crores. About 40 percent of these are private donations. AlertNet, a Reuters-managed site that runs a ‘Global Pledge-o-meter”, almost doubles the figure to USD 11,234,100,000.

The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) in
London, a consortium of 12 UK-based INGOs, raised a record £350 million (Rs. 2800 crores) under its Tsunami Earthquake Appeal. Of this,
India is a recipient of Rs 565 crores (see Table). According to a senior INGO official,
India is likely to be a recipient of at least 20 percent of the overall Rs 28,853 crores (the lower world estimate). The tsunami-related NGO aid flow into
India would then be in the range of a minimum of Rs 6,000 crores. It could go up to Rs 8,000 crores. Tamil Nadu being the most affected, and since the government has been eager to incorporate NGOs, close to 70 percent of these funds would have made their way, making it a recipient of a minimum of Rs 4,000 crores which could be used up to the next three years. Of the Tamil Nadu share, the worst affected Nagapattinam district would be the recipient of at least Rs 3,000 crores. All these lower-end estimates.

Of the overall fund flow to
India, according to one estimate, close to Rs 400 crores would have accrued to the Catholic church (CASA, Caritas, CRS) and about Rs 200 crores to Protestant groups such as World Vision.

In Nagapattinam, in January 2005, there were 600 NGOs working. Today, there are 193 NGOs registered with the NGO Coordination and Resource Centre (NCRC), but more than a hundred NGOs work without coordinating with the NCRC. The NGOs, ironically, have injected life into the Nagapattinam economy. Says V. Vivekandandan, chief executive of South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), instrumental in establishing NCRC: “In a state that has seen 61 per cent urbanisation, Nagapattinam has recorded only 14 per cent. The economy here remains largely rural, Nagapattinam is caught in a time-warp.” Now with the strong NGO contingent, the district is being artificially fast-forwarded into the future.

In Karaikal, the office of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is located in a bungalow rented for Rs 33,000 per month. MSF has offices in
Pondicherry and Nagapattinam too. Two new Boleros and a Qualis bear testimony to the INGO”s ‘field-work” in 30 tsunami-affected villages in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam. The World Vision office in Nagapattinam has rented a building for Rs 7,500. It would have fetched Rs 2,000 pre-tsunami. In Nagapattinam, the resourceful broker G. Anandan has rented offices and homes for more than 50 NGOs and the people who work for them. One of his clients is the NGO Coordination and Resource Centre (NCRC), a nodal agency established under UNDP”s supervision, housed in a sea-facing building rented for Rs 13,500 per month. NCRC has hired two office buildings and six residential ones for its staff. “The rents in Nagapattinam and neighbouring Karaikal have gone up fourfold,” says an understandably delighted Anandan. As far as Annie George, NCRC coordinator, is concerned: “The general infrastructure in Nagapattinam has improved post-tsunami. Power cuts have come down and the roads are much better.” The district administration certainly values the opinions of cash-rich NGOs which have made Nagapattinam their temporary home.

An intelligent estimate of the number of vehicles – Boleros, Scorpios, Tata Safaris, Qualises – procured by NGOs post-tsunami would be 80. Of these, a majority would have be servicing Nagapattinam and Cuddalore. Most of the vehicles would be disposed in less than a year. Says Eve Richard, field coordinator for MSF, “We are an emergency organisation. We will leave in a few months, but our partners will work.” The fuel consumption of these SUV guzzlers could perhaps meet the daily kerosene needs of the thousands of households in the temporary shelters.

In the early weeks of the tsunami crisis, there was great concern over the orphaned children and issues of adoption and child-trafficking. Over 11 months, 376 affected villages in TN have been treated as ‘orphans” which the NGOs have clamoured to ‘adopt”. The ‘adopters” sometimes neglect and abuse, and sometimes pamper their ‘children”. The NGOs certainly have not proved to be good parents.

UK-based Disaster Emergency Committee”s Contribution (to
India from its overall Rs 2800 crores)Contributing Agency

576.29

(*Comprising Discipleship Centre (DC), Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR) and Salvation Army)
Source www.tsunami.dec.org.uk

VEDAPRAKASH

29-01-2008

Note: I have some problem in posting this entry. Therefore,  have posted in two parts, as some portions asre truncated or not appearing in full.

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“The Myth of St. Thomas in India” – the greatest historical fraud in the world

July 27, 2009
“The Myth of St. Thomas in India” – the greatest historical fraud in the world
Published on November 25th, 2007 In Uncategorized, Blogging, Philosophy | Views 1095 <!– by Vedaprakash –>

“The myth of St. Thomas in India” has been the greatest historical fraud in India and the world also and the historians have been shameless even to question such myth. Instead, they go on promote such myth aiding and abetting, as is evident from appearing so-called “research papers” in the proceedings of South indian History Congress, Tamilnadu history congress, textboks etc. It is a blot on historians, whenever, that fraud is perpetuated, nurtured or quoted in the name of history.

So I post the following article of K. P. Sunil appeared in 1987, which has bearing on the subject matter.

Archbishop Arulappa Makes History 1

By K.P. Sunil

Ganesh Iyer, Sri Rangam

Ganesh Iyer, Sri Rangam

The case has been closed. And the dramatis personae prefer to maintain a studied silence. For fear that a post-mortem would reveal hidden cadavers in their cupboards. For even a superficial examination of the fraud that shook the foundations of the Catholic Church in Madras in the late seventies and early eighties indicates that a lot of embarrassing details have been swept under the mat.

Reverend Dr. R. Arulappa, former archbishop of the Madras diocese, who claims to have been duped by one Acharya Paul, also known as Ganesh Iyer, is ill. Incapacitated by serious cardiac problems. In fact, it is his ill-health that forced him to retire from his post as head of the diocese. So the infamous scandal had to be pieced together from court records, police files and the ramblings of the main character-Ganesh Iyer.

It all began in the early seventies. Ganesh Iyer, who had adopted the Christian faith and was a self-styled Bible preacher known as John Ganesh, went to Tiruchi in the course of his evangelical journeys and met a Catholic priest Father Michael of the Tamil Illakiya Kazhagam (Tamil Literary Society). He is reported to have presented himself to the priest as Dr. John Ganesh, professor of philosophy and comparative religions at the Banaras university, and recently returned from Jammu and Kashmir where he was involved in research on Christianity in India. Michael put him on to another priest, Father Mariadas of Sriviliputhur.

John Ganesh impressed Mariadas with his mastery over Christian theology. He showed him copies of notices extolling him as a speaker. He reportedly produced letters written to him by various scholars in the fields of education and religion. He is also reported to have shown Mariadas photographs of palm leaf writings and copper plate inscriptions several centuries old.

These documents, he reportedly claimed, traced the origins and development of the Christian faith in India. Since further research on the subject required money which John Ganesh claimed not to have, Mariadas took upon himself the task of locating funds for the project the successful completion of which, he felt, would provide a shot in the arm for Christianity in India.

Mariadas gave John Ganesh something in the range of Rs. 22,000 toward the research. And as his own funds were depleted, he introduced the researcher to the head of the Catholic Church in Madras, R. Arulappa.

thomas-myth-manufacturers-Ganesh Iyer etc

Arulappa was a Tamil scholar who also had the reputation of being a researcher. He had translated the New Testament into Tamil and set to tune the Book of Psalms. He had also rendered in Tamil the life of Christ, Ulagin Uyir ( A The Life of the World ). He had learned Sanskrit and translated several Christian tenets into that language. He had also done extensive research on Tirukkural, the creation of the Tamil bard, Tiruvalluvar.

Tiruvalluvar is known to modern generations through his immortal literature. The exact time of his existence is lost in the mists of the hoary past. Some historians believe Tiruvalluvar to be a product of the early Sangam period in Tamil literature, several centuries before Christ. The Tamil Nadu government bases its calendar on the year of his birth. For this purpose, it is assumed that Tiruvalluvar was born exactly 2018 years ago, i.e. in the first century before Christ. Some literary experts place Tiruvalluvar in the first century after Christ, others date him 300 years after.

Just as little is known about Tiruvalluvar”s origins, his religious beliefs are also shrouded in some mystery. Attempts have been made, going by the precepts contained in his verse, to speculate about his religion. While he is widely believed to have been a Hindu and the Tirukkural considered a revered Hindu scripture, other religions too have staked a claim on him. Since the Tirukkural enshrines the ideals of ahimsa , dharma and asceticism, many experts consider Tiruvalluvar to have been considerably influenced by Jain thought.

A recent paper presented by Dr. S. Padmanabhan makes Tiruvalluvar out to be a Hindu chieftain from the Kanyakumari district. Archbishop Arulappa felt that the Tirukkural was so profound and filled with compassionate sentiments that it must have been influenced by early Christian missionaries who came to South India in the first century after Christ, notably St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Christ.

The Christian Church of India, considered to be amongst the oldest in the world, is believed to have been founded by St. Thomas in 52 A.D. Arulappa held the view that St. Thomas, before his martyrdom on a hill near Madras, now called St. Thomas Mount, met Tiruvalluvar and influenced the bard to the extent of converting him to the nascent faith. The theory had been propounded. What remained to be obtained was proof of such an occurrence.

It was this that Ganesh Iyer, posing as John Ganesh, reportedly promised to unearth for the archbishop.

Since this suited the archbishop”s scheme and since Arulappa was convinced that Ganesh was in a position to ferret out the evidence necessary to prove his pet theory, he engaged him to take up the research. The archbishop was apparently lulled into complacency by Ganesh”s mastery of Christian theology and his apparent sincerity of purpose. As if establishing a nexus between St. Thomas and Tiruvalluvar were not enough, John Ganesh also informed the archbishop that he could bring evidence that the three wise men from the East who prophesied the birth of Christ were none other than the epic Hindu sages, Vasistha, Viswamithra and Agasthya.

In 1975-76, John Ganesh began his research. And the archbishop started funding the same.

Ganesh produced photographs of palm leaf writings and copper plate inscriptions at periodic intervals. When the archbishop asked to see the originals, he was informed that they were stashed away in the safe custody of the archaeological departments and museums all over the country. It would therefore, not be possible to persuade these agencies to part with the priceless documents. He, however, promised to get his photographs authenticated by the respective agencies themselves. Thereafter, all photographs produced by Ganesh Iyer before the archbishop bore seals of the museums and departments from which he claimed to have obtained them.

Using the funds provided by the archbishop, Ganesh Iyer made a pretence of travelling extensively. It was a well-orchestrated programme. He would first inform the archbishop that he was going to Kashmir in connection with his research.

Next, the archbishop would receive letters from some Christian and Hindu religious heads in Kashmir informing him that they had come across Ganesh Iyer or, as he now called himself, Acharya Paul. The letters spoke in superlative terms about his sincerity of purpose and his noble research.

Whatever doubts the archbishop may have entertained about his researcher vanished in the face of these letters from eminent personages. More money changed hands. Though he was quite poor when he first met the archbishop, by the time he was through, Iyer had his own house in Srirangam. He owned two cars. He had purchased considerable gold jewellery for his wife and daughters. He had substantial deposits in banks in his name.

Most of the funds for the research had come from individuals and organisations abroad. If Iyer is to be believed, the archbishop even made out his personal car in Iyer”s name for a nominal Rs. 25,000. .i.Iyer;Iyer himself claims that he had not paid anything.

Questions were being asked around this time about the large sums of money being given to Acharya Paul for his research. The sceptics demanded proof that something tangible, that would benefit Christianity in the long run, had indeed been achieved. Only the archbishop”s pre-eminence prevented a direct confrontation.

Ganesh Iyer met Pope at Vatican

In 1976, Iyer obtained a passport in the name of Acharya Paul. In 1977, accompanied by the archbishop, he went abroad. To the Vatican, among other places, where he had a lengthy audience with Pope Paul VI. The duo then visited several religious congregations and spoke about comparative religions. Everywhere he went, he spoke about the origins of Christianity in India and about his A monumental research while the archbishop displayed the evidence. Money was collected for funding further research.

Ganesh Iyer met Pope at Vatican.Arulappa took him

During their absence from India, individuals inimical to John Ganesh had organised themselves into a powerful force. Even as he was relaxing in his home in Srirangam after his return, the archbishop was pressurised to file a complaint with the police. That he had been duped by Ganesh Iyer who had claimed to be a bachelor, but was in reality a married man. That he had defrauded the archbishop to the tune of around Rs. 14 lakhs in the name of research into Christianity.

Investigations into the sordid episode began. The police, led initially by Inspector Seshadri and later by Inspector Chandraya-perumal, searched Iyer”s residence. They unearthed the A originals of all the photographs produced by Iyer as proof of his research-writings on strips of brown paper cut to resemble medieval palm frond writings, pasted on sheets of white paper. The police learnt that the photographs had been taken at a studio in Tiruchi and this led to the seizure of all the relevant negatives.

The police discovered how the photographs had been authenticated by various institutions-seals and rubber stamps of all the concerned institutions were lying in Iyer”s home. Letter-heads bearing the names of various Hindu and Christian scholars were recovered. The letters purported to have been received by Iyer from these personages, which he allegedly used to dupe Mariadas and later the archbishop, were declared to be clever forgeries by the state handwriting expert Srinivasan. The writing on these and the writing on the brown paper, though cleverly disguised, compared favourably with Iyer”s specimen. Account books showing details of amounts received from the archbishop and the amounts spent by him were recovered.

Iyer”s antecendents were thoroughly investigated and it was proved that he was a middle school dropout, not having studied beyond standard seven. Further confirmation was obtained from the Banares university that they did not have Dr. John Ganesh on their staff either teaching or doing research into philosophy and comparative religions.

The police case was complete. On April 29, 1980, Iyer was arrested and placed under remand, while prosecution proceedings were instituted under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 473 (making and possessing counterfeit seals with intent to commit forgery) of the Indian Penal Code and under section 12-B of the Indian Passports Act (obtaining a passport supplying false information).

Archbishop Arulappa testified against Iyer before the court. Iyer initially pleaded innocence, but later admitted to the fraud on all counts. He prayed that in view of his advancing age and critical family circumstances, he be shown leniency.

Arulappa vs Ganesh Iyer

On February 6, 1986, P. Aruvudayappan, second metropolitan magistrate, Madras, delivered his judgment in case number 100087/82: A Taking advantage of the soft attitudes of public witnesses 2 and 3 (Father Mariadas and Father Arulappa), he averred, A the defendant (Ganesh Iyer) had taken from them about Rs. 13.5 lakhs between 1975 and 1980. This has been clearly established. Taking into consideration the nature of the offences, the defendant is being held guilty under various sections of the I.P.C. and has to undergo 10 months imprisonment and 5 month”s rigorous imprisonment under section 12-B of the Indian Passports Act. These sentences are to run concurrently. He had been arrested on April 29, 1980 and let off on bail on June 27, 1980. These 59 days of imprisonment are to be deducted from the total sentence as required under section 428 of the code of criminal procedure.

The magistrate”s judgment notwithstanding, doubts still linger. Why were the archbishop”s suspicions not aroused until he had handed over a whopping Rs. 13,49,250 (according to records, though Iyer claims to have received far in excess of that sum) on a spurious research project? Why had the archbishop not bothered to verify the authenticity of the A documents produced by Iyer with the museums and other institutions concerned, directly? Why did he not bother to accompany Iyer to the actual site of his A research when he had found time to accompany him to Rome, the Vatican, Germany, France, Spain, the United States?

With the archbishop still indisposed, answers to these questions are not forthcoming.

What is even more curious is that even as criminal proceedings against Iyer were in progress in the magistrate”s court, a civil suit for a compromise had been filed in the Madras high court. The compromise decree was taken up immediately after the conclusion of the criminal case. Since Iyer had admitted the offence, his jail term was reduced to a mere two months imprisonment. And since he had already served 59 days of remand, this period was adjusted against the sentence.

r-arulappa-biodata

In other words, Iyer, who had defrauded the archbishop to the tune of about Rs. 14 lakhs, was let off without any further punishment. He was ordered to forfeit all claim on the money given to him by the archbishop. Accordingly, the ornaments and money seized from him by the police were returned to the archbishop. As part of the compromise, Iyer was allowed to retain the large bungalow he had purchased with the archbishop”s money.

A I agreed to this compromise because there was nothing else I could do, says Iyer. His viewpoint in understandable. For, going by the lower court”s verdict, he would have not only had to serve 5 months of rigorous imprisonment, but would have automatically had to forfeit all his properties including the house. Why the archbishop agreed to the compromise is not understandable.

Today Ganesh Iyer lives on the first floor of his house in Srirangam—the lower portion is let out on rent, enabling him to receive a monthly income. He is by no means affluent, but is certainly a far cry from the penury to which his family and he would have been consigned, if it were not for the compromise. Father Arulappa is convalescing, recovering from a major surgery. He has handed over the mantle of archbishop to Reverend G. Casimir on A health grounds .

And the case, though officially closed, remains in many minds, an unsolved mystery.

[1] Originally published under the title “Hoax!” in The Illustrated Weekly of India, April 26 – May 2, 1987, Bombay.

VEDAPRAKASH
25-11-2007