16 Notes & Comments

posted Apr 25, 2018, 8:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 25, 2018, 8:31 AM ]

Justice. What Justice?

Ian Pinto, SDB

Recently, I participated in a rally to spread awareness about the atrocity of rape in the sordid light of the brutal cases at Unnao and Kathua. The rally was supposed to serve as a reminder of our humanity, and participants were told to carry slogans that were not related to religion, but to humanity in general. At the end of the rally, once the crowd had gathered at the final spot, some youngsters who were responsible for the event addressed the assembled crowd. What startled me was that some of the boards, as well as some of the speeches, did not reflect much humanity at all!

For one, how does hanging the rapists solve anything? The rapists of Nirbhaya were turned into a spectacle for all to see, and yet, it seems to have had little or no impact on the base population. Eve-teasers, potential rapists, oglers, uncultured commentators and similar riff-raff still prowl our streets. How far have we come really, since Nirbhaya? It doesn't seem like we have progressed much further. Parents of girls are still mortally afraid that every time their daughter leaves home, she might not come back the same, or worse still, might not come back ever. The chilling reality stares us in the face.

But how do we choose to respond? An eye for an eye? A fashi for the rapist? Castration? How much will that solve? It will lower the population by a fraction, but what else? Will it restore what is lost? I'm not referring to life and innocence alone, but also to humanity. The same humanity that was sought to be upheld will be at the losing end, if life is taken to compensate for life. One wrong cannot be righted by another wrong. Only in mathematics does minus and minus become plus, and even there, it is rare.


Dignity of labour: an illusion

Sr Rani Punnaserril, mattersindia.com

A country's material prosperity depends on the progress of its agriculture, industry and trade. The prosperity and power of the country come from ordinary labourers who work in fields, mines, mills and factories. Thus, work is power.

An uneducated labourer is better than an educated man who is idle, because the former earns his bread with the sweat of his brow. His work is as sacred as worshipping God. Hence, no proper development in agriculture and industry, trade and commerce in our country is possible without stressing the dignity of labour.

Mahatma Gandhi owed all his success and greatness to the incessant toil and hard work of silent, devoted, able and pure workers, men as well as women. He believed that "work without faith" is a sin.

The Father of the Nation had noted that grinding poverty and starvation made people struggle desperately for bread. Poverty makes them insensible to all feelings of decency and self-respect. Gandhi argued with philanthropists and institutions to provide meals in healthy and clean surroundings in exchange for work.

The current population of India stood at 1,351,052,632 as of April 20, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates. Since Independence in 1947, around 30 per cent of the population has become beggars every year.


Migration - a social problem

Agenzia Fides

"One of the alarming social realities that our country is facing today is the phenomenon of emigration that is causing social changes and serious consequences on the unity of families," noted Fr Leonardo Adaptar, Director of the diocesan Ministry of Migrants of the diocese of Cubao.

It is estimated that there are about 10.3 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), and about 3,000 hopeful people leave the country every day to seek a better life. OFW are defined as "heroes of our days," because thanks to the contribution of remittances sent to their homeland, they give a strong support to the Philippine economy.

"However, we receive more and more negative stories, related to their problems, to the concerns of migrants and their families," said Fr Adaptar. "There is a greater need today to monitor and accompany these people on a human and pastoral level, providing help in particular regarding legal advice, guidance and the well-being of migrant workers and their families."