Vivekananda never said, “Sisters and brothers of America”


Vivekananda never said, “Sisters and brothers of America”
After 121 years have passed it would be difficult to figure out who first started this myth.


The 20th speaker was Swami Vivekananda and this documentation quotes this as the beginning of his speech: “It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world: I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of the millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects”.
There is no doubt that Vivekananda made some powerful speeches in Chicago, so did the other Indians, and nowhere in the 344 page book, is there any mention of “Sisters and brothers of America” by Vivekananda. After 121 years have passed it would be difficult to figure out who first started this myth that Vivekananda said those lines. But we must remember that the Swami was a missionary and he had a mission to accomplish. It is certainly sad that a century of haziness has obliterated the names and words of the other six Indians who too spoke at the Parliament of Religion, who too held high their beliefs and the ethos of their country, who too made an impact, some of them arguably a lot bigger one than Vivekananda. But it is marketing that often dictates success between one product that is popular from an equally good or possibly better product that failed the advertising test.
To set the record fair here are the names of the Indians who were delegates at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 as listed in the index of this book – A Chorus of Faith. You will notice that there is even a woman in the list from 1893 – but does anyone care to remember?
Chakravarti, Prof CN Theosophist, India
Dvivedi Manilal Ni, Bombay
Ghandi, Virchand R, BA, Jain, Bombay, India
Nagarkar, Rev, BB, Brahmo Somaj, Bombay, India
Mozoomdar, Protab Chunder, Brahmo Somaj, Calcutta, India
Sorabji, Miss Jeanne, Episcopalian, Poona, India
Vivekananda, Swami, Hindu Monk, Calcutta, India

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Meghalaya CM Confers Mission Green Award to Fr PD John SDB

johnTURA, Garo Hills — The Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul M. Sangma, conferred “Mission Green Award to Dr (Fr) P.D. John, SDB, Principal of Don Bosco College, Tura on Republic Day at Tura Stadium, 26 January..

The Certificate of Appreciation reads: this is to place on record our sincere appreciation for Fr. Dr. Pd.John, Sdb, Principal, Don Bosco College, Tura in taking up a leadership role in awareness dissemination for ‘Clean & Green Meghalaya’ and motivating stakeholders, youth and partners to preserve our environment and keep our surroundings clean and pristine.

The citation further says: Your exemplary leadership in all environmental campaigns that you have spearheaded has earned you the title of ‘Mission Green Champion’.

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Bobby Jindal: America needs a spiritual revival, not just a good political leader

Bobby Jindal at Mass

Bobby Jindal with family at Holy Mass

Louisiana (Anugrah Kumar) — US, January 25, 2015: Louisiana governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal shared with thousands of people at his national prayer rally Sunday how he converted from Hinduism to Catholicism, and urged prayers for America’s spiritual revival as well as President Obama and his family.

Jindal, who has described himself as an “evangelical Catholic,” prayed for a spiritual revival to “begin right here, right here in our hearts” as he opened the six-hour prayer rally, “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis,” at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, the home of the Louisiana State University basketball team, in Batone.

The two-term Republican governor, who was holding his Bible, shared his testimony for about 15 minutes, according to The Associated Press.

He told the crowd of more than 3,000 people how he, though raised a Hindu, became a Christian while a teenager living in Baton Rouge.

He said evangelist Billy Graham helped inspire him to become a Christian, according to The Times-Picayune. He recalled turning up for Graham’s mass prayer rally in LSU’s Tiger Stadium in 1970.

Several people had earlier tried to convert him but it didn’t hit him until he heard Graham and watched a black and white film on Jesus’s death on the cross, he said. “God chose that moment to hit me harder than I’ve ever been hit before,” he was quoted as saying.

“Today is about humbling ourselves before the Lord. Today we repent for our sins,” Tampa Bay Times quoted him as saying.
Jindal emphasized that America not just needs a good leader, but a spiritual revival. “We can’t just elect a candidate to fix our country. … We need a spiritual revival to fix our country.”

He also asked the crowd to pray for Obama and his family.

Asked later about his 2016 presidential run, Jindal said, “We’re praying and thinking about what to do next,” and added it might take “a couple of months” to make an announcement about his possible run.

“Who is president next is less important than what that person has to offer,” Jindal said. “My decision will be based on whether I can bring something unique. … It would be based on political consultants or polls.”

He also said the prayer rally was “not a political event. It’s a religious event.”

Meanwhile, about 400 people protested outside the prayer rally, as the event’s host, American Family Association, has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate” group because of its alleged promotion of “discrimination” against gays.

As Jindal weighs his potential candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, there are quite a few viable, Christian, social conservative candidates that are trying to earn and possibly unite the Evangelical support behind them, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; former Arkansas Governor and Southern Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson; former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum; and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

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“Ghar Wapsi” in the US embassy ?

Richard Verma[Thanks to Deccan Chronicle today Sunday, Jan 25, 2015, Dr Kancha Ilaiah, the Writer here, is the Director, centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.]

Barack Obama is coming to India in order to take a special guard of honour on Republic Day. Before his arrival, Mr Obama sent a gift in the form of Richard Rahul Verma, an Indian upper caste Hindu who converted to Christianity, as America’s ambassador to India. His father Kamal Verma and mother Savitri were pucca Hindu migrants from Punjab. Though Mr Verma does not disclose his church connections, his name and that of his wife and children tell us the real story.

America is the dreamland for upper-caste educated Indians (mostly Hindus). Having settled there, young Indian-Americans would also like to climb the ladder of the American political system. But unless one is a Protestant, the American Civil society does not allow entry into its political space.

Not just Mr. Verma, but Bobby Jindal, the first ever Indian-American state (Lousiana) and Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, are also Christians.

According to Peter Whoriskey’s article (Oct 21, 2007) in the Washington Post, “Jindal was raised in a Hindu household, but he converted to Christianity while in Baton Rouge Magnet High School. During his first year at Brown University, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. His family attends weekly Mass at St. Aloysius Parish in Baton Rouge”.

It is a known fact that except John F. Kennedy of the Democratic Party, no Catholic could become the President of America. Ms Haley is a Sikh, but converted to Christianity after marriage. One can list dozens of such prominent persons of Indian origin who converted to Christianity.

The Americans are religious. If people of Indian origin of non-Christian religions do not accept Christianity, they will not be able to rise to high positions. But, by and large, Americans are not fundamentalist. It does not have the primitive mindset of Hindutva or Islamist forces.

Prime Minister, Modi, is hoping that his “Make in India” project will get lots of American investment. But what the forces around Mr. Modi — the ones who are targeting Christians and Muslims through “ghar wapsi” – don’t realize is that though the American Christian capitalists believe in worldwide investment, they would not come to a country that attacks the right to religious freedom.

The “ghar wapsi” programme supported in public by many Cabinet ministers including Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, is aimed attacking the dalits and tribals, as they are mostly the ones who have converted to Christianity.

This is likely to be a major reason why the American and European capitalists are not showing enthusiasm about India. Already, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, has made a striking statement against caste practices in India. UN Secretary-General, Bank-ki-Moon also chided India for not respecting gay and lesbian rights.

The West reacts to any fundamentalism. If an anti-conversion law is passed by the Indian Parliament, the whole world would be up against India. When China was imposing restrictions on freedom of religion and conscience, the Western world carried a massive campaign against it. Now China has loosened those controls. The Americans know how to deal with forces that go against democratic freedoms.

Mr Obama’s answer to the “ghar wapsi” programme of Hindu fundamentalists is Mr Verma. Will the saffronites dare to insist on a “ghar wapsi” programme at US embassy now? Will they re-convert Mr. Verma and his wife Pinky and children Lucy, Dylan and Zoe Verma? Will they perform Shuddhi on Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley and other upper-caste NRIs who converted to Christianity? Mr. Modi and his team are excited about a leader of Mr Obama’s stature being present for the first time in India on Republic Day. Mr Modi, perhaps hopes to keep his own photograph of walking besides the mightiest man in the world during the Republic Day parade in the record books.

In my student days, there used to be a photograph of Nehru walking with John F. Kennedy indicating their personal friendship. But Mr. Modi is not a secular leader like Nehru who will ignore the religious background of Mr. Obama.

Mr Obama is half Christian and half-Muslim. He won Protestant hearts and became the President for two terms by following his religion faithfully. The “Ghar wapsi” kind of Hindu fundamentalism runs against Mr Obama’s spiritual ethic. Better to be watchful of him and his ambassador Mr. Verma. Otherwise, Mr Modi’s “Make in India” will turn into “Dukh (=grief) in India”.

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Modi’s Hype & Hoopla

MODIPrime Minister Narendra Modi never hides his failure. This is why he admits “hype is good as it helps to expedite the process of decision making”. Modi said “hyping things up help to create a momentum”.
This is what he told the Vibrant Gujarat Summit on Jan 11 [Sunday] 2015. Clearly what he told the voters in April- May last year (2014) was nothing more than “hype” which means “a deception carried out for the sake of publicity’ and not the commitment to the voters.
Farzand bhai presents here are five major hypes that mesmerized the voters during the Lok Sabha polls campaign.

Hype No: 1: To bring every penny of the black money stashed abroad distribute the same among the people.
Fact: Nov 27 2014 [Financial Express]: The Narendra Modi government today insisted in Lok Sabha that it had never claimed that all the black money stashed abroad would be brought back within 100 days. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu cited Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Lok Sabha election manifesto which said a task force would be set up to deal with the problem of black money. “We are not so immature to say we will bring back entire black money in 100 days,” Naidu said while intervening in a debate on black money.

Hype No: 2: The government would clean up Holy River Ganga. Promises to clean the Ganges figured in Modi’s election speeches and in his party’s election manifesto. Soon after coming to power in May, he signaled that the Ganges would be a priority by creating a Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganges Rejuvenation. It allocated $334 million for it with a commitment to clean the river in three years.
Fact: The Supreme Court on Wednesday (14 JANUARY 2015) once again pulled up the Modi government for the delay in cleaning up of the Ganga. The Apex Court wondered if the NDA government would be able to clean up the river before its term ends. “Do you want to complete it this term or the next term? (Are you) keeping the issue alive?” a three-judge bench headed by Justice TS Thakur asked the Modi government. The Centre told the court it will finish the mega project to clean up the 2,525 km-Long River [from Gangotri to Bay of Bengal] by 2018.

Hype No: 3: Once voted to power the NDA government promised to provide one crore jobs to the youth of the country.
Fact: Even after seven months a range of leaders from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to VHP leader Parveen Togadia kept talking about 8 crore youth to get job.

Hype No: 4: One of the five points in Modi’s agenda for governance, which finds pride of place in the BJP manifesto, is the only way of government should be Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas (progress for all, with the cooperation for all).
Fact: Hardly six months in power RSS and affiliates launched the “Ghar Wapsi” [Home-coming] campaign which terrified minorities [Muslims & Christians] as it meant re-conversion. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintained studied silence over the issue RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat declared the “Ghar Wapsi” campaign will go on.

Hype No: 5: During the campaign Narendra Modi went on saying corruption is deadlier than cancer and there is an urgent need to free nation from it. Once in power he declared “na khayenge, na khane denge”
Fact: Corruption continues to rage. Even bureaucracy ignored his commitment. According to TEHRIR’s Sanjay Sharma Out of Total 4695 IAS Officers , 4276 ( More than 91% ) were yet to file IPR [Immovable Property Return] ( as on 15-01-15 ) for the year 2014 due by 31.01.2015 with only 16 days remaining.
Yet our Prime Minister believes “Hype is good”.

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When the marginalised embrace an institutionalised religion, they call it ‘forced conversion’, and ‘conversion by inducement'; but when they politically and physically force poor Christians and Muslim (and even literally bluff them), they say, ‘ghar wapsi’! Do only dalits (scheduled castes), tribals, poor, illiterate and ignorant embrace Christianity, or also those “enlightened” ones? What does this grandson of a Brahmin priest say? ANAND MAHADEVAN

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Allwyn Fernandes Dies, Church and Civil Society Mourn Loss of Braveheart

Allawyn Fernandes

Allwyn Fernandes

MUMBAI, (Dr John Dayal) — ALLWYN FERNANDES, veteran journalist, communication consultant and lay Catholic activist, expired late on Tuesday evening in Mumbai after a two year battle with cancer which he fought as tenaciously as he had fought many social ills in his long and distinguished career.

He is survived by his wife Enid, children Rohini and Rohan. He is mourned by a large circle of friends in the Media, Politics, civil society and management circles, including a large number of students he mentored over the decades. His death was announced in social media by Fr Cedric Prakash, SJ, the noted human rights activist and a close friend.

Allwyn Fernandes, born 1 June 1948, headed the Media Practice and conducts Media and Crisis Management Training for Edelman India Pvt. Ltd. Drawing on his 25 years of media experience with The Times of India, Mumbai, where he held several senior positions, he has been counseling a wide range of global clients on media strategy and sensitivity for almost 20 years. He headed the Communications Skills Training for company spokespersons, Crisis Management Training for senior management and media awareness sessions for key executives, helping them to understand what media is looking for and avoid needless conflict.

Allwyn conducted media training sessions for senior management of several global and Indian companies including the Tata Group, GE, Citibank, J&J, Wal-Mart, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and technology companies like Yahoo!

Besides media training, Allwyn was been involved in several crisis management situations and public affairs campaigns that involved spokespersons training. He was invited to share his experiences on “Biotechnology in Asian Agriculture – Generating Public Support” at the Asian Agriculture Congress at Manila in April 2001.

Allwyn majored in Physics-Mathematics from St Xavier’s College (Bombay University in 1969) and then did his journalism from Bhavan’s College of Mass Communication and the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin.

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