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News & Trends - Indian Society Lifestyle Standards
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Virenji-On this I would like to comment as follows:--
Despite these very positive signs, it is a fact that more than 20 percent of our population lives below the poverty line, the infant mortality rate is amongst the highest in the world, and there is acute lack of nutrition particularly in the case of women and children, there is absolutely no medical care for the poor both in the urban areas and in the rural areas, the all India level of literacy is still at 65%.
Sorry for late response, just saw it. Agree with you here. But we should be also realistic enough to realize that the numbers and facts you list are all <i>relative</i> when compared with all other nations on the planet and it'll take centuries to put poverty, infant mortality or illiteracy to 0%.

The general trends are positive and as long as the spread of wealth is contained in a acceptable band using natural free market forces, it's good for society in general.

I'm reminded of the discussion on this forum some time back after NDA lost power where someone mentioned that ordinary people like taxi drivers voted NDA out since they were tired/sick of driving only rich people to malls and theatres. Here the tree is lost in the forest because one fails to see that extra fares will help the taxi driver put his kids to school/college and open a lot more door that didn't exist for him before.
93 per cent Indians believe in God
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1) 93 per cent believe in god; education makes no difference
2) 64 per cent visit a temple, mosque or gurudwara regularly
3) 53 per cent pray daily; the educated pray more regularly
4) 46 per cent believe ghosts exist
5)  24 per cent consult a palmist
6)  68 per cent participate or take interest in religious functions of other religions
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Jan 25 2007, 11:37 AM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Jan 25 2007, 11:37 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->93 per cent Indians believe in God
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1) 93 per cent believe in god; education makes no difference
2) 64 per cent visit a temple, mosque or gurudwara regularly
3) 53 per cent pray daily; the educated pray more regularly
4) 46 per cent believe ghosts exist
5)  24 per cent consult a palmist
6)  68 per cent participate or take interest in religious functions of other religions

There must be something behind this smokescreen.

This rings some bells:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sanjay Kumar and Yogendra Yadav.  Kumar and Yadav are social scientists working with the CSDS, Delhi.

Yogendra Yadav is a JNU type, hand picked by Arjun Singh and commies for several psy ops in the past.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Yogendra Yadav.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This guy now a days hop every channel to promote reservation and creating new history twisted by him in NCERT books.

He had no credibility, only last name/caste may help him to get Rajya Sabha seat or some award one day.
<b>Parents sue children for maintenance</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Finally, 75-year-old Parvati Parab can meet her son, thanks to a court order.

Even if the venue is a courtroom, on February 9, she wants to ask Dilip why he left for the US without telling her. "I wanted to know what faults I had committed in bringing him up that he should behave this way with me," she says.

Parab had fought a two-year-long battle in the family court to win a Rs 4,000-a-month compensation from her son.

At the Mumbai Family Court, this is not an isolated incident. Lawyers are flooded with cases filed by parents against their sons and daughters.

So, Manjula Shah (name changed) waits outside the courtroom in the hope of being granted maintenance from her son, while Arpan Desai (name changed) tries to resist his daughter's decision to pack him off to an old-age home.

<b>"About 10 per cent cases are filed by parents against their offspring, demanding maintenance," said Sandhya Sharma, secretary of the Family Court Bar Association.</b>

<b>"Most complaints are from the middle class where values are fast eroding," </b>said Sheilu Srinivasan, president of Dignity Foundation, an NGO. The foundation receives seven to 10 calls a day from distressed parents.

First, I will blame parents who failed to give right Sanskar and then kids, who are chasing false dream.
These cases are happening where parents failed to set an example by taking care of their own parents.
Has anyone noticed that the popular media icons like Sanjiv Kapoor and magazines like Femina nowadays hardly carry desi cooking. Its always some variation of Continental cooking that is pushed. I can see that in Deccan Chronicle Food and Wine page which has stuff from Western Europe which no proper Andhra would even dream of thinking about in a famine.

One view is that such outlets 'cater' to public taste and perception. The meet a pent up demand for knowledge about such fare. The other is there is slow molding of public opinion towards a globalized food awareness.
Ramana, Hindustan Times even publishes recipes of beef dishes, so what if cow-slaughter is illegal in India except for Kerala, Kashmir and Nagaland.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Today's India has a new culture</span>
Arvind Lavakare

It made one puke --

our media's obsession with that wedding on April 20. For days on end, it was as though that wedding was the only notable event in our land. Some television correspondents on the spot on D-day were so excited it was as though they were reporting on Adam and Eve getting married in Paradise.

Oldies like me were sickened by it but my son, a finance strategist in his early thirties, says it is another case of the media giving what the public wants. TRPs, he says, TRPs. Puke on that said a public opinion poll of The Times of India that found over 70 per cent uninterested in that marriage. So, was it a puke on our media?

It made one puke that a 14-year-old boy playing on a road in Ghaziabad (in Mulayam's and Big B's 'Uttam' Pradesh) should die after falling into a deep open sewer. Worse, no one's been held culpable for that civic monstrosity in this 'emerging world power' status of ours.

It made on puke that a Member of Parliament was caught the other day smuggling a woman and a boy to Canada for a small fortune in return. And to think he was habituated to it. When our lawmakers commit such an act, what is all the crap about the spirituality and culture of ancient civilisation? Just how much money do our modern Indians need to live in our kalyug? Oldies like me believe that enough is enough, but there obviously are MPs and millions around who think that nothing is enough. What's happening in the Ram Rajya envisaged by Rajiv Gandhi and the BJP?

It made one puke that a minister of the Government of India should say on television that he would pull out the tongue of a chief minister if the latter made a public allegation that assistance to the latter's state was being hindered in by the ministers in Delhi of the former's political party. Woe betide this nation that's let democracy and fundamental rights come to this -- though it wouldn't exactly be a loss if our despicable politicians suffer a tongue-lashing as well as a tongue-loss.

It made one puke to learn that Rahul Gandhi believes it was his party which divided Pakistan. After 30-odd years in Nehru's dynastic court, is that the history learnt by him? Woe betide the country that an oldie like Manmohan Singh believes the bumbling brat is 'the future of India.'

It made one puke that the Mumbai police didn't conscientiously pursue an open and shut case against 21-year-old Alistair Pereira, a rich family's spoilt brat who drunkenly drove seven pavement dwellers to their death.

It made one puke to learn that Pune city, once the seat of learning and erudition in Maharashtra, has now become a centre for 'rave parties' of the student community. Drugs on the soil made sacrosanct by the likes of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Lokmanya Tilak and Veer Savarkar is what our youth has made of modernism born of globalisation.

It made one puke that film star Shilpa Shetty should have passed off as a mere act of entertainment that unbelievable 15-odd seconds of kiss-and-hug-and-kiss-and-bend assault on her modesty on a stage at a HIV fund-raising function in New Delhi. Worse, the suddenly-famous actress went on to lecture the media not to over-react and not to teach her about Indian culture. Is she the new czarina of our land's ancient culture that's now reduced to merely lighting a brass lamp at the beginning of a VIP function?

It made one puke that our country lost the race for hosting the Asian Games of 2114 for no other reason than that our sports minister was against the bid spearheaded by the chief of the Indian Olympic Association. Oldies like me will be very embarrassed no end by such international setbacks caused by internal infighting but the 'futures' of India are likely to just shrug it off.

See how we let little Pakistan insult our nation at the slightest opportunity but our young ones and liberal media are so keen to promote Indians eating biryani on Lahore roadsides and play cricket at Rawalpindi. Is national pride withering away or already gone into the crass materialism of global capitalism?

All of the last week of puke was testimony to one truth: Today's India has a new culture: The culture of the Mammon variety. Puke on that.

http://desicritics. org/2007/ 05/05/153857. php
<b>Why Bash Hinduism? </b>
May 05, 2007
I usually don't react to articles published here on Desicritics. Yet it seems the pseudo intellectuals are running riot here all the while lionising write ups that denigrate Hinduism or it's rich symbolism.

<b>Amrita Rajan has eulogised a "cartoonist" who seems to be drawing parallels between her sorry life and Ramayana. While it would be a personal choice to whatever she does; it does not give her the right to abuse Hinduism or it's symbolism without being challenged. </b>

It seems that these pseudo intellectuals have this idea that it is fashionable to highlight their <b>so called "secular credentials" by writing about demented morons as the topic of discussion.</b> It calls into focus the editorial policies of Desicritics too. Why would you publish something that hurts the sensibilities of people?

I am proud to be a Hindu and I believe that much of the symbolism is lost on the mere mortals. They neither have the depth of understanding nor the aptitude to gauge the timeless classics; something that has been revered for thousands of years. It only seems to give them a kick on their sorry butts to "criticize" a way of life that defined my nation.

Someone as misinformed as the "cartoonist" and the author needs to grasp the deeper meanings of symbolism that emanates from Ramayana. This epic stressed on idealism alone. If Lord Ram left Sita Mata, he had larger interests (and duties) of statehood before his personal choices. He was not happy about the decision that he took. In similar vein, the "victim" too had to accept the decision even if it affected her personally. Indian marriages have always stressed on this fact that decisions taken in the larger interest of the society are mutually beneficial because it was Hindu way of giving. The society came much before your own personal interests.

This is difficult to understand in the present circumstances because each one lives for himself/herself. All the time being self-centred. Ramayana teaches you to give up this cynicism and hence it is a model of how a person ought to live. One cannot interpret an epic that reflected the sense of duties of those times by trying to "distort" the realities to suit your own present personal interests.

<b>Unfortunately, the present modern history is a distorted version of the JNU nuts and the leftists.</b> Having systematically destroyed the fabric of lives in those places where the British ruled, they gave us a permanent sense of inferiority complex ingrained in our texts and sense of history which is deplorable.

Unfortunately, most of these "bloggers" have not been able to go beyond the routine and instead focus on ideas that seem to be floating around in the name of "secularism" . A product of the present times and the education system would only adhere to those ideas which they have been brainwashed with. A white man's words seem to hold more weight that your scriptures! What an irony! It isn't about a white man trying to "tackle one of our holy cows". It only serves to betray the author's own sense of understanding of her culture and inferiority complex- finding acceptance with such awful ideas of insult to our symbolism. <b>A nation of dead people, intellectually and spiritually, blogs about such "issues" where one seems to find these reprehensible ideas as "classy" and "trendy". </b>

One has to realize that the Hindu way of life has been the ultimate. It stressed on the total well being. As we move towards the "westernised" culture, it is a pity that anything associated with the past is frowned upon.

Why stress alone on the "moral conscience keepers" like the ones protesting on "kam divas"(Valentine' s Day)? They take this opportunity for self aggrandizement instead of focusing on the real issues. <b>A nation of half wit people and educated duds does more harm by being the "enemy within".</b> A nation that cannot sustain itself because it's moral roots have been hollowed out cannot withstand the onslaught of the enemy from outside. No wonder, we have been seeing a perpetual war of all sorts.

Hinduism in all it's glory is all encompassing. It needs a dedicated study and "dhayana" to realize it's true potential.
<span style='color:red'>Pani puri funds Infosys dreams</span>

Visakhapatnam, May 24: The wife of a poor pani puri vendor has become a software engineer in Infosys, thanks to her husband’s support. Sheik Salar, 26, a street hawker, used every rupee he earned to help his wife Fatima Bibi Sheik, 21, achieve her academic ambitions. And it was not in vain. Fatima completed her course at Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering with high marks and was given a plum posting by the software giant in a campus selection.

In fact, she is the first student from the college to get into Infosys. Fatima and Salar stay in a slum at Rajendranagar. While Fatima went to college, Salar roamed around the city with a pushcart selling puffed rice, corn, chilli bhajjis and pani puri, earning Rs 150 per day. When she was married off to her distant relation Salar by her parents in 2001, Fatima was just 15 and felt that she would never achieve her dream of being a software engineer.

“I did not want to marry since I wanted to study further and achieve something,” she said. She was crestfallen since Salar merely nodded when she told him about her dreams. But his nod meant a lot and he started savingmoney to help her study. By living frugally, Salar somehow got together Rs 60,000 to pay Fatima’s fee for the first and second year of her engineering course.

The Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Finance Corporation helped the couple pay the rest of the fee. “At the time of our marriage I was not sure how serious Fatima was about her studies,” said Salar. “But when I realised that she got 536 marks in her SSC exams and stood first in her school, I decided to help her study.” The pani puri vendor was adamant that her future should not get spoilt because she married him.

A junior college in the city provided her free intermediate education. She secured a decent rank in the Eamcet exam and opted to join the electronics and electrical engineering branch in college. “We decided not to have kids till she got a good job,” said Salar. “For this, I took much criticism from my parents.” Fatima’s eyes moisten when she talks about her husband. “You can’t imagine the hardships he suffered to help me,” she said. “In the last six years, he was my strength. He sacrificed all his joys for me.”

“Fatima was always first in our class,” said Asha Kanthi, her classmate. “We did not know her story then. Now she is our inspiration.” Though happy at the turn of events, the couple is a bit sad when thinking about their being apart for three months, when Fatima would go to the Infosys campus in Mysore for training. Have they ever quarrelled? “When we have issues, we sit together and discuss and sort it out,” said Fatima. She plans to take her husband along with her when she gets her posting. Salar too is proud, for he has proved that behind every successful woman there is a man.

http://www.deccan.com/home/homedetails.asp#Pani puri funds Infosys dreams
UK to attract more tourists to Bollywood film locations

London, May 28 (PTI): Britain has drawn up a map featuring dozens of its locations used by directors of 30 Bollywood hits to attract more Indian tourists to London and the rest of UK.

The tourism body, VisitBritain, will launch the map this week ahead of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA), regarded as Bollywood's Oscars, ceremony to be held in Yorkshire from June 7 for four days.

The map will be handed out to stars and movie moguls at the IIFA awards ceremony. In addition, more than 30,000 copies of the map will be distributed in India where VisitBritain has set up a film tourism office.

Among the less well-known attractions included in the map are an obscure Surrey football ground and a Slough shopping centre. Molesey FC featured in scenes from the NRI film director Gurinder Chadha's 'Bend It Like Beckham', the story of a daughter of orthodox Sikhs battling to realise her dream to be footballer, while Slough's Queensmere centre provided the backdrop for the 2001 Bollywood movie 'Yaadein'.

Other unusual attractions on the map include Bicester Village shopping centre in Oxfordshire, which featured in the 2001 film 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,' and Dolbadarn Castle in north Wales, used in 'Kyun! Ho Gaya Na' in 2004.

More traditional tourist attractions, including Windsor Castle, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge and Princes Street in Edinburgh, also feature.

"Some 23 million Indians go to see a film every day and you only have to look at the figures to see that more and more of them are being inspired to visit Britain," said Tom Wright, the Chief Executive of VisitBritain.

"Britain's popularity as a Bollywood backdrop can only help us raise our profile among this growing audience and we are confident that this campaign will help them to see it as Bollywood Britain."

The number of Indians visiting Britain rose by 25 per cent last year, spending 294 million pounds. And Indian tourists spent more than tourists from Japan in London for the first time last year.

According to a report in 'The Sunday Telegraph' today, several of the films on the map feature Shahrukh Khan, popularly known as King Khan in India. He is supporting VisitBritain's initiative.

"I have always loved filming in Britain and hope to do more shoots here in the future," Khan, whose waxwork image was unveiled at Madame Tussauds here last month, told the newspaper.

"I know that lots of Indians are already coming here on holiday, but we have such a passion for Bollywood films that by making this link I'm sure that it will attract even more."

Some films such as 'Namastey London' and 'Bride and Prejudice', were filmed almost entirely in Britain because sequences shot overseas are particularly attractive to Indian cinema-goers.

The number of Bollywood movies shot in London has quadrupled over the past five years, from 10 in 2001 to 40 last year. A further 160 films were shot at locations across Britain.

Monika Mohta, Director, Nehru Centre and Minister for Culture at the Indian High Commission, feels that using Britain's association with Bollywood will prove successful.

"Indians will go to see the same movie countless times, so sights such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace become very familiar, virtually embedded in their minds," she said. "Tower Bridge is in practically every second Bollywood film. Many cinema-goers aspire to be able to say that they've been to the same places as their icons."

Indians are being indoctrinated with images and psy ops
<b>New lifestyle: rich, famous and hooked on drugs</b>

QOTD: Indians ashamed of dhoti?

Enlarge Photo
By IBNlive.com
Saturday June 9, 11:07 AM
"In your country you wear plus fours, in mine I wear minus fours," Mahatma Gandhi once said to the British. One man in a loin cloth fought an empire by dressing like the poorest of the poor.

Is the colonial hangover alive and kicking in India? Do Indians secretly still want to be English people?

The dress controversy started after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Club in Chennai refused entry to a civil servant because he was wearing a veshti (traditional Indian dhoti) and not a suit.

So the question here is, do our social practices remain unthinkingly imitative of the bada sahibs of the British Raj?

Clothes have a political significance, they create an identity, they tell truths about our inner self and they make and remake us - so why are still wearing suits instead of dhoti.

The question that was being debated on CNN-IBN’s Face the Nation was: Are Indians embarrassed by their traditional dress?

On the panel of experts to try and answer the question were ad guru Alyque Padamsee; President, Calcutta Club Ltd, Dipak K Mukherjee; TV Anchor, Mini Mathur and President- Dastkari Haat Samiti, Jaya Jaitly.

A Colonial Hangover?

The Calcutta Club itself, like the Madras Club, does not permit kurta pyjama and a dhoti can be worn only on the occasions of Poila Baisakh and Bijoy Sammelan and sandals only if they cover the foot and ankle. Is this really a miserable colonial hangover?

Answering the question Dipak K Mukherjee said, “I think that’s not quite right. Our club rules say that the national dress is allowed any time and a member is allowed to enter in any attire - be it a dhoti, pyjama or chudidar kurta, everything is allowed. I quite agree that there should be a club rule, a dress code, otherwise there will be indiscipline, but at the same time we should be proud of our Indian identity.”

Strongly reacting to Mukherjee’s statement, Jaitly said, “I am surprised that Mr Mukherjee thinks that clothes determine behavior because obviously he has got the mentality of an old British policeman who thinks that Indians behave badly if they wear their own clothes and that you are well-behaved only if you wear a suit and a tie. “

“With our kind of climate, we have to wear what we feel comfortable in. The clubs have to wake up and realise that we are now a free country and we should be able to wear whatever we wish. And if we enjoy wearing our traditional clothes, then three cheers for us,” she added.

Young Indian Girls on Sarees

When asked whether there was a reason why young Indian girls preferred not to wear a saree anymore, Mini Mathur said, “I think it’s more issue of practicality. I think most people - significantly large part of the youth - are not ashamed, but simply think that it is impractical. Can you imagine somebody in a cotton saree in Bombay in the monsoons, or catching a bus going to the college wearing a saree? It just does not make any sense. However, one always brings on the traditional attire at weddings or at traditional festivities.”

She was of the view that the saree was one of the sexiest garments around and that it was the latest designer trend.

“Sarees with their modern blouses look extremely sexy. In fact, it’s common knowledge that women look very hot in sarees,” she added.

Then if the fact is that the Indians like their traditional dresses and manage to look sexy in them as well, then why are clubs - like the Gymkhana Club and various others across the country – so slavishly imitative of the British in terms of clothes?

Alyque Padamsee, attacking the decision of the Madras Club to bar entry to a traditionally dressed man – said, “I really think it’s absurd. I mean the father of the nation wore a dhoti. That means if he went to the Madras Club he would be denied entry? And I know on occasion that M F Hussain has been denied entry. I think it’s ridiculous. The club must revise its rule and all clubs all over India should revise their rules.”

However, he added that there was a bit of problem in the sense that if traditional wear was allowed, then what would happen if a tribal wanted to enter a club?

Jaitley contended by saying, “Quite honestly I don’t think any tribal would waste his or her time going to these kind of clubs, but if they did want to come, they would be welcome in their traditional dress as much as anyone else for they too are citizens of India.”

And what would happen if a white man came in to the Calcutta Club wearing a kurta pyjama and bare footed? Would he be let in?

Deepak Mukherjee denied and said it will not be allowed.

“The club rules are quite clear. It’s the national dress or the western dress the rules are very clear about it it’s the national dress or the western dress, “ he said.

Traditional Clothes a Stigma?

Why there is a difference between a man and a woman. If women can come in saree why can’t men come enter wearing a kurta pyjama?

Deepak Mukherji said, “The rule says that our dress code is national dress which is churidar and bandgala or the kurta along with that. That’s the rule and I think we should have some sort of discipline otherwise if we allow anything and everything then the sanctity of the club is really not maintained.”

The question that was uppermost on everyone’s mind then was that why did professionals like air hostesses, news readers and hotel receptionists not take Indian attire as a kind of a modern dress.

“Air hostesses wearing sarees look far more graceful. But honestly, I think the whole attitude stems from the fact that we are schooled into dressing in a certain way – be it to get entry into clubs or at the work place – and that is pathetic. I think as long as we are clean and presentable we should be allowed anywhere,” said Mini Mathur.

Giving her opinion on this, Jaitly said, “I think it’s time for people, who have even an iota of sense – to boycott such clubs and force these clubs to change their rules. After all we did it with the British and drove them out of India.”

After all, if Mahatma Gandhi could wear a loin cloth to bring down imperialism surely we can wear a dhoti to a club.

Are Indians embarrassed by their traditional dress?

Final verdict:

Yes: 45 per cent

No: 55 Per cent
Of course they are embarassed because from the day u r born it's subtly (through tv mainly) drilled into ur head that only farmers and illiterates dress in a veshti, it's a matter of ridicule if u go that way to college in Bharat.

I think it's more proper to say that Hindus are ashamed of their dress because I see many Muslims right here in Toronto that come to university in hijab, burqa etc.

It's an unwritten rule in Bharat but everyone knows it, our clothes are usually associated with backwardness by Indians themselves.

<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Jun 12 2007, 01:23 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Jun 12 2007, 01:23 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Is the colonial hangover alive and kicking in India? Do Indians secretly still want to be English people?

The dress controversy started after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Club in Chennai refused entry to a civil servant because he was wearing a veshti (traditional Indian dhoti) and not a suit.

So the question here is, do our social practices remain unthinkingly imitative of the bada sahibs of the British Raj?

Clothes have a political significance, they create an identity, they tell truths about our inner self and they make and remake us - so why are still wearing suits instead of dhoti...


The dress code (coated and booted and tied) would mean that the Indian PM, President, and other Indian dignitaries and heads of states would also not be allowed in? Incredible. Trust the brown sahibs to continue where the whites sahibs left off.
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How Hinduism Can Help You Cope With Pain

From HowToCopeWithPain.org

"Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it."

~ Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), poet, philosopher, first Hindu Nobel laureate

How Hinduism views pain and suffering
Suffering, both mental and physical, is thought to be part of the unfolding of karma. Suffering is seen as the consequence of past inappropriate action (mental, verbal, or physical) that occurred in either one's current life or in a past life. It isn't seen as punishment but as a natural consequence of the moral laws of the universe in response to past negative behavior.

Suffering Isn't Random
Hindu traditions promote coping with suffering by accepting it as a just consequence and understanding that suffering isn't random.

If a Hindu were to ask "why me?" or feel her circumstances weren't "fair," a response would be that her current situation is the exactly correct situation for her to be in, given her soul's previous action. Experiencing current suffering also satisfies the debt incurred for past behavior.

Pain is a Reality
Suffering is seen as a part of living until finally reaching 'moksha' or the complete release from the cycle of rebirths. Until reaching this state, suffering is always present on life's path. Hindu tradition holds that as we are in human form on earth, we're bound by the laws of our world and will experience physical pain. Pain is truly felt in our current physical bodies; it isn't illusory in the sense of not really being felt.

The Soul is Blissful
But while the body may be in pain, the Self or soul isn't affected or harmed. Arjuna, the warrior and seeker of wisdom in the Bhagavad-Gita, is told that "The self embodied in the body of every being is indestructible..."

"Weapons do not cut it; fire does not burn it,
Waters do not wet it, wind does not wither it.
It cannot be cut or burned; it cannot be wet or withered;
It is enduring, all-pervasive, fixed, immovable, and timeless."

As the Self isn't affected, there need be no concern over temporary suffering. Those of us in pain may gain comfort by viewing pain as only a temporary condition and one that doesn't affect our inner Selves.

Pain is Not Purely Bad
Pain and suffering aren't seen as solely bad, but as experiences that need to be viewed from multiple perspectives. Hindu traditions hold that all things are manifestations of God or Brahman, so nothing is only good or bad; Brahman encompasses everything. Everything, including pain and suffering, is given by Brahman. To view suffering as bad is to see only one side of it. Suffering can be positive if it leads to progress on a spiritual path. Some even embrace suffering as a way to progress on his spiritual path, to be tested and learn from a difficult experience.

Attachment and Detachment
"Attachment and detachment are concepts that in Hindu traditions relate to one's level of involvement in this world and to the power this world holds over one's state of mind. Attachment signifies over-involvement in this world, having desires for things that one does not have and clinging to things one has. Detachment is a positive state of objectivity toward this world, where relationships, objects, and circumstances hold no power over one's state of mind.

Perfect Detachment Leads to Moksha
Attachment is a primary stumbling block to achieving moksha (complete release from this world). Attachment perpetuates the "terrible bondage" that keeps a person in the cycles of samsara (rebirth). Only through recognition that the Self is not bound to this world of suffering can release be achieved. Perfect detachment creates a sense of equanimity or an even disposition in the face of either happiness or sorrow. When someone achieves perfect detachment, no problem or circumstance, including pain, can cause her to suffer. From the Bhagavad-Gita:

"Contacts with matter make us feel / heat and cold, pleasure and pain.
Arjuna, you must learn to endure / fleeting things-they come and go!
When these cannot torment a man, / when suffering and joy are equal
For him and he has courage, / he is fit for immortality."

How to Achieve Detachment
It can't be simply an intellectual understanding that the Self is part of God. It isn't escapist, pretending that suffering doesn't exist. One part of achieving detachment is to follow dharma (appropriate action), but to be unconcerned with the outcomes of these actions. In the Bhagavad-Gita, a seeker of wisdom Arjuna is told:

"Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action;
Avoid attraction to the fruits and attachment to inaction!
Perform actions, firm in discipline, relinquishing attachment;
Be impartial to failure and success - this equanimity is called discipline."

Next Page: How to Refocus Away from Pain

Author's Note: How our pain experiences relate to our spirituality/religion is a special interest of mine. Spirituality was an important way of coping for me when I was suffering due to pain, and one of the most important ways I grew as a person because of the difficult time I had. Because of this special interest, I'm writing a series of journal articles on how different religious traditions view pain and suffering. The first paper in this series looks at Hinduism, and will be published in the 'Journal of Pain, 2007.'





<b>Bangalore: The rising divorce rate in the IT sector</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Statistics reveal that in 2006 alone, 1,246 cases of divorce pertaining to those in the IT sector have landed in the matrimonial courts in Bangalore.

Financial freedom, lack of time at home, erratic working hours, work pressure, financial security and stress are being seen as the main reasons for this fiasco.


In the year 2003, the total number of divorce cases, including the ones from the IT sector was 1,280 while in 2004 it was 1,240. In 2005 and 2006, the figures were 1,860 and 2,493 respectively.
Shalini P Shetty, advocate, says <b>that financial stability is a major problem</b>. <b>The couples do not try and work out the marriage as they are confident they can lead a life without each other as both are financially stable.</b>

Shilpa whose husband works in a leading IT firm has now sought divorce on the ground that her husband does not spend enough time with her.

He used to return late in the night and he is too tired even to talk. The marriage was becoming pointless, she adds.

Sujith's is a different case. His wife is an IT professional and he says that she is too busy working and returns only late in the night.

The loneliness was too much to handle. Sujith works in a PR firm and finishes work by around 6 pm. However his wife used to return only at 11 pm and would leave the house by 8 am.

Psychiatrists are of the view that it is the stress which gets at these young couples.

Late working hours affects their sexual life and hence, they decide to part ways. The need of the hour is to strike the right balance between work and family.

Shilpa argues that with the kind of work pressure it is impossible to get the right balance. Companies should take the initiative and ensure that their employees get more time at home.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>VHP to 'home in' on abandoned kids, homeless </b> <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Saturday August 18, 05:30 AM
<b>The VHP is planning to set up a home at Siddhpur in Mehsana for abandoned children, senior citizens and women who have been thrown out of their home, where they would be formed into family units</b>. "Each child will get a mother and a grandparent. <b>We will adopt the children with permission from police.</b> In recent years an increasing number of children have been found abandoned in hospital compounds and public places," says VHP's sahprant pracharak for Gujarat and Rajasthan, Prakash Sharaff.

<b>Fifty acres of land for the 'vatsalya gram' has been donated by a California-based Gujarati businessman. The home is expected to be ready in a few months</b>.

Facilities planned for the 'vatsalya gram' include separate residential complexes for children, old age home for senior citizens and a women's home<b>. Each woman will be mother to three-five children, says </b>Sharaff adding: "This is an unique social concept backed by renowned psychiatrists." The children will also attend inhouse school where they will receive education in the subjects they are interested in, he says.

"Ganpat Patel from USA donated the land. More donations were made by NRIs hailing from Gujarat. We will start the project in September, following a yagna in Surat as a number of businessmen from Surat have contributed generously to the cause," says Sharaff.

<b>The concept was formulated by sadhvi Rutumbhara and a project is already on in Mathura on a ten-acre space. Currently $ 600 is being received as donation per child. Around 120 children have been taken in at the Mathura home, he said. The VHP had earlier undertaken a similar initiative for children hailing from troubled areas in the North-East.</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hands of India's rich as dirty as West: Greenpeace</b>
Wednesday November 14, 02:47 AM

There are two worlds in India as far as greenhouse gas emissions are concerned. Just like developed countries, India's highest income group emits 4.5 times of GHG as much as the lowest income group. According to a Greenpeace survey, titled "Hiding behind the poor", released on Tuesday, India's low average per capita emissions is because of its 800 million poor population whose emissions are negligible. The difference in emissions between the highest and the lowest income groups in India is almost as glaring as the difference in the average per capita emissions between the EU and India.

This demands that common, but differentiated responsibility for CO2 emissions reduction, which the government is justifiably advocating at a global level, be implemented in India. With less than a month to go for the United Nations Climate Change Council conference in Bali, the report challenges the Indian government's hardline of not committing to greenhouse gases reduction on grounds of development and makes an argument on why India must de-carbonise its development.

According to the proposed national strategy on climate change, India will not abide by any international commitment to mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emission. India's approach of measuring world GHG emissions is per capita emission rather than country-wise emissions which is the approach of the developed nations.

Although India is the sixth largest carbon emitter in the world, it has one of the lowest per capita emission rates. Greenpeace proposes a third approach of measuring emissions by differentiating the carbon footprint of the various income classes in the country, thus calling for climate change mitigation that addresses international and national climate justice.

Speaking at a press conference, G Ananthapadmanabhan, Executive Director, Greenpeace India, said: "While the government continues to point at low average per capita emissions to justify non reduction of India's CO2 emissions, over 150 million Indians are emitting above the sustainable limit which needs to be curtailed to restrict global temperature rise below 2 degree centigrade."

"Hiding behind the poor" is based on face-to-face surveys of 819 households from the seven different income classes across the four metros, medium and small towns and rural areas for energy consumption patters.

According to the report, the average CO2 emissions of an individual from the highest income group of above Rs 30,000 (1494 KG) is 4.5 times compared to the one from the lowest income group of below Rs 3000 per month (335 Kg). Fourteen per cent of the Indian population, which earns more than Rs 8,000 per month, contributes to 24% of the country's CO2 emissions.

The carbon intensity in the life-style of higher income groups is primarily due to an inefficient and carbon intensive infrastructure ranging from coal-based electricity production to largescale use of energy inefficient household appliances and cars.
The lack of efficient public transport systems in cities and that of fast train connections between cities adds to the carbon intensity of the lifestyles of income groups who can afford private transport.

According to Ananthapadmanaphan, "electricity production in India is already extremely carbon intensive, emitting more than twice as much CO2 per kilowatt-hour in the EU."

Greenpeace argues that while rightfully demanding that developed nations reduce CO2 emissions and provide developing nations the carbon space to grow, the Indian government must not hide India's emissions behind the vast poor population.

The principle of climate justice must be included in the national development plan. The emissions of the higher income groups in India need to be regulated so that the poor and the underprivileged are not only protected from future destruction due to climate change but also obtain the carbon space to develop. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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