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April-May 2013


April-May 2013

Cruz Baskar Joseph S.

‘Relevance of Church’ in an era of science and technology is a battling issue Existence of upward and downward pyramid of hierarchy is a concrete reality Cluster of manias and phobias that perturb authority is an irrefutable realism Preaching and living upto such preaching is an uncompromised demand Channelizing the faithful to the stream of truth is a thirst Mission coupled with a vision is a vocation. Church is not a physical structure but a spiritual entity Church is not a gathering of people but gathering of faithful Church is not power but a power to the powerless Church is not merely a place of rituals but spiritualizing the ritual Church is not a place of festivals but making sense to the non believers Church is not outside of oneself but within Age old past and convincing modernity makes the church ‘Living’ Numerous churches and abundant faithful make it vibrant If we pose a question to an old and ardent catholic he/she would say ‘back to past’ Ask the young he/she would say ‘change is must’ The church is caught between tradition and modernity Swing to either of these extremes would make senseless Balance of old and new, makes the church is more relevant Going and growing with signs of the times makes the church passionate For an existence of a good church good introspection is must Our role today is to build the new church on the old foundation Sensibly dealing with issues would make the church ever growing Creating space for the growth of the faithful would make the church significant Heading our future based on gospel truth would make the church noteworthy The church we want is not a mere desire but a dream of reality. Rally


April-May 2013

M. G. Selvin Raj, S.J. National Adviser “I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not

to power to take up the towel and basin of Jesus the foot-

overpower it.” – Jesus

washer (John 13:15). Its scriptural basis is in Christ who

When the National Team gathered in January to decide the

came into the world to serve and not to be served. Without

theme for April issue of “Rally” seldom we realized that the

the servant model the vital energy of the world is dissipated.

leadership in the Catholic Church also will undergo a

While the rich waste their energy pursuing the power and

change. It is a coincident that Pope Benedict XVI handed

pleasure of the world that will continue to deny them, the

over the keys of the universal Catholic Church to Pope

poor’s energy is dissipated into suffering void of redemption.

Francis to take forward the Church, in the April issue of

The pope is considered as the servant of the servants how

“Rally” students make an attempt to tell the readers “The

does the church officials appear to common people as real

Church we want”. Jesus came to build his church. All


Christians affirm this to be true. However, there are major

Evangelical / prophetic Model of the Church: W e

differences concerning the nature and purpose of the

proclaim God’s love by actively inviting and welcoming

church. What kind of church did Jesus intend to build? What

everyone to grow spiritually by living a life grounded in God’s

should it look like? How should it be structured? Who is

sacred Word. Without evangelization how does the church

part of it? What is its purpose? And so on so forth…

grow? “The mission of the church is the proclamation of

Taking a cue from Catholic theologian Avery Dulles book

the Word of God to the whole world. … All else is secondary.”

on “Models of the Church” we shall reexamine the nature

Evangelical Christians describe evangelizing as the “Great

and function of the Catholic Church in the present context.

Commission” based on the last words of Jesus to His

Synthesizing all that the students wanted to say in this issue

disciples, “Go and make disciples…”(Matthew 28:14).

of Rally, I am proposing at the end, a paradigm shift in the

Evangelization is not merely proclaiming the word of God

life and mission of the Church that we want. After all AICUF

but prophetically announcing the good news and

students are part and parcel of the universal Church. They

denouncing the bad news. A prophet is the one who reminds

do have a voice in it. Let’s look at the models of the Church

the people and warns the people. If so, in today’s context

proposed by Avery Dulles.

what does the church announce and denounce by way of

Sacrament Model of the Church: – We celebrate the

its evangelical and prophetic role?

Eucharist and other sacraments initiated by Jesus Christ

Mystical Communion Model: We are part of the Body of

and receive God’s grace to live in God’s love. The

Christ and help each other to grow in our personal

sacraments are the source of the grace that flows from

relationship with Jesus Christ as a community of believers

God through the church to the faithful. The sacraments are

to become God’s presence in this world. Communion is

outward signs of the grace bestowed by God. Sacraments

the same Greek root word as community. Being “mystical”

are administered to the physical body although their impact

describes the local church in union with God, the people in

is on the interiority of our life (soul). Just as God’s love for

union with each other and all Christians present, past and

us sends Christ into the world, sacraments are a sign of

future. A divided house cannot stand firm. Do we have union

our becoming Christ to the world and loving our neighbors

of minds and hearts? Can this Christian community accept

in all the ways that we are able. Eucharist and other

every one irrespective of cast and other differences among

sacraments without the action of actively being God’s love

us? Are we not witnessing in today’s church preferences

to the world is hollow of the full meaning of sacrament. The

on the basis of caste, status and power? If the church is

question is how does the Church administer the sacraments

considered to be the body of Christ and all the parts of the

in a more meaningful way to the people?

body are so important and equal in their function, then why

Servant Model of the Church: We share Jesus’ love with

does the discrimination prevail in the Church? The mystical

those who suffer and are in need expecting nothing in return

body of Christ (Church) is wounded. We only see “the mark

but to become one with them. The church foregoes claims Rally


April-May 2013

of sin” on the body of Christ (Church) than the Risen Jesus


Christ amidst us. How can the local Church be in union

God’s message to the world. An institution is good for the

with God when God’s own people are discriminated in the

people as far as it is helpful and beneficial to the people to


attain their desired end. When it becomes too rigid, not

Institutional Model: We find our identity in rich tradition

flexible, not ready to adopt in a changing scenario then the

of the sacraments and in full communion with the universal

same institution becomes a hurdle and a block to people to

Roman Catholic Church and its timeless tradition. We seek

attain their desired end. Church rules and regulations, norms

to live as Jesus’ disciples in a contrast society by not

and guidelines, do s and don’ts and many other rubrics

accepting the false claims of the media consumer culture.

have to be properly explained to people and they should be

The tradition and truths of the Catholic faith are carried

meaningful to them. Sometimes a symbolic action in a

forth by the hierarchy of the institutional church. The church

church instead of provoking meaningfulness, it remains as

hierarchy defines how we worship in Catholic liturgies and

a mere idol that blocks everything! People find no meaning,

what we believe in the catechism. By being a truly

irrelevant and redundant. Church as an institution deeply

international body and perhaps the very first “global”

rooted in traditions it also should be flexible enough to adopt

organization, the Catholic institution model defines the

and change according to the signs of time.

Institution conveys the tradition that interprets

doctrines of faith that make the universal Catholic Church

A Paradigm Shift we want in the Church The paradigm shift proposed does not mean the destruction of the former, but only the change and the improved understanding of it. From


Working for the People

Working with the people

Congregation centered works

People centered work

Institution building

Movements building





Formation for mission

Formation in mission

Our own works

Networking of forces

Simple obedience

Common discernment of God’s will

Prudent administration

Transparency & Accountability

Creativity at home

Courage to experiment



Working for all

Working for the target group

Monastic spirituality

Political spirituality

Projects for them

Projects by them


Partnership / Solidarity

Permanent abodes

Mobility of our works

False Universality


Quality Education

Quality Education for all



Social Analysis

Socio – political Analysis

Local works

Mass intervention



Freedom from

Freedom for


Steward/Care taker

The Church we want is a Church that assures the fullness of life and mission to its people. Rally


April-May 2013

THE POPE WE WANT” was a running theme not only in the Catholic

circles but in the Christian and secular press too when Benedict the XVI resigned from being the Pope. The shock and after thought of his resignation aside, the interest it created in various circles gave pointers to the theme of this article, “The Church we want”. With Pope Francis safely and securely placed as the Pope of the people, this theme all the more gains importance for discussion. Our own reflection on this theme is permeated by this approach, “Church in the World and World in the Church”. It is expedient to spell out what the Church is today so that we can build from this foundation to what the Church we want to be in the future. Church true to its tradition has been trying to live as believing community, believing in Jesus, in his life, passion, death and resurrection. It is making all the efforts to adhere to the values that Jesus in his own life time preached and practiced and values of the Gospels and the traditions that were handed over to it. It is also trying to change according to the needs of the times and be relevant in the world. Irrespective of all these efforts, Church continues to find it safe and secure in a more traditional, conservative and closed boundaries. It tries to stick to its age old teaching, which most of the believers have questioned and some have even thrown to the winds. Irrespective of claiming to be an universal Church, it is primarily and predominantly a Church of the western world. Irrespective of the fact that the Europe is no more the epicenter of the Church as it was may be for the last 2000 years, it is still sticking to its old glory and past and is not able to see that the epicenter has shifted to Africa, Asia and Latina America. It continues to impose on the faithful of these continents, the principles and practices that the faithful of the west have thrown out as irrelevant and redundant. Hence, the movement of the faithful of the west to seek religious meaning in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and popular religiosities stares at the Church and the Church instead of responding to this, imposes other restrictions and thus looses ground. Forced by the situation, Church began to speak of dialogue but is all the time engaged in monologue. We need to appreciate the fact that the Church in the last few decades has left its doors opened for winds from Fr. Dr. Prakash Louis, SJ Director Patna Jesuit Ednl. Assn.


other religious traditions to pass through it. In some cases, genuine efforts were made to dialogue with religions and cultures. But due to its own insecurity the official Church often shunned these efforts and called for strict adherence to its teachings. 4

April-May 2013

The Church we want is the Church which continues in the traditions which is over 2000 years old, rooted and grounded in the values of the Gospel, in its faith professions and practices, in its expression as the Church of service, in its commitment to human and religious values, in its task as the defender of the rights of all, especially of the poor and the marginalised. Continuing with its tradition, it also moves ahead forward looking and adapts according to the changing times and traditions, leaves space open for both traditions and newness, being religious and at the same time comfortable in a fast secularizing world. It is a Church which is rooted deeply in the local and is also global in its outlook, approaches and operations. That is, it is glocal, that is, at ease both home and outside, within its own boundaries in the frontiers. Further, it is a Church which stresses the universality of the Church at the same time taking into account specificities of cultures, situations, contexts and communities. Needless to say, the Church we want is the one which is fundamentally grounded in its Judo-Christian tradition but at the same time is open and in union with all the other traditions like the Indigenous, the Islamic, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Taoist, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism, and every known and unknown traditions. Above all, it is a Church which is in communion with popular traditions, which address the spiritual and religious aspirations of vast number of people spread across the globe. Most of its own adherents are seeking spiritual and religious solace in popular practices than the doctrines and traditional teachings of the Church. The Church we want is the one which is fundamentally and foundationally aware of this compelling fact that it is very much part of the socio-economic, political and cultural milieu that it is in. Leaving all the pretentions of being something of a supra entity and accepting the fact that since the Church is in the world and it is also a reflection of the world it is in, it need to address various issues that emerge from within. Among the many issues that keep knocking at the doors of the Church for appropriate response are: caste, class, ethnicity, gender, regionalism, nationalism, linguistic representations, sexual orientations etc to name a few. Instead of sweeping these under the carpet and pretending that everything is fine, the Church we want need to address these issues and respond in the best way possible. Some of the other issues that are confronting the Church and the world today need special attention of the Church. For example, resource alienation of the poor and the vulnerable and resource appropriation by the rich and powerful people and nations, environmental degradation, corruption, criminalization of politics, violence against women, violence against children, violence against the poor, the vulnerable, the 5 Rally

April-May 2013

marginalized and the minorities, and other issues demand that the Church be sympathetic, sensitive and take the side of those who are victims of these process and outcomes. If the Church addresses these issues, its efforts to address issues like abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia etc would also be seen from a credible angle. Youth in Africa, Asia and Latin America constitute one third of the practicing Christians. They symbolize the very energetic, engaging, encouraging and enduring faith community. Irrespective of the Church worships, spiritual practices, religious principles not appealing to them, they continue to participate in the various religious and spiritual observances. They also find newer ways of being the believing community today in their own milieus. They look up to the Church for guidance, solace, direction and above all accompaniments. They feel proud to be part of the Church irrespective of all the scams and scandals that the Church has been facing in the recent past. Instead of being frightened of the youth or trying to please them by flowing with their currents, the Church needs to work out ways and means to accompany them. If not the Church we would have in the future would be a Church only of the elderly and even bereft of any faithful. Women in the Church like in any other religion are the backbone of the Church. It is they who adhere to the principles and practices of the Church. Undoubtedly, it is they who pass on faith from one generation to the next. It is not just the well educated, well catechized women of the urban areas or the women of the so-called Christian countries, but the women of ordinary background and women of the so-called missionary countries who are the custodians of faith. A carful observer would find that it is these women in their personal life, family life and social life continue to live and spread the values of the Gospel. It is their time tested faith which keeps the believing community go ahead irrespective of many issues that it is confronted with. Pope John XXIII through Vatican II opened the doors of the Church for fresh air to come in but not blow up the edifice once and for all. He set precedence for his successors and the faithful to read the signs of the time and move towards newness at the same time holding on to all that is foundational to us. Even before going out to preach to others, Vatican II tried to renew the Church. The renewal the Church initiated through Vatican II was not pretending to be new and modern but called all the faithful to be truly Christian but at the same time be inter-religious, be human at the same time celebrate the divine, be communitarian at the same time global, be spiritual at the same time practical, be an universal Church but at the same time be a local Church, etc. Finally, the Church we want is the Church which is constantly in dialogue with the world, dialogue with various religions and religious 6 Rally

April-May 2013

traditions, dialogue with cultures and communities across the globe. It would be in dialogue not in its well fortified walls but in dialogue in life and living conditions. Hence, it has to be constantly in dialogue with the poor and the vulnerable, the excluded and the marginalized across the world. It is these people who cutting across communities, countries, continents, cultures and traditions build solidarity to protect communities, cultures, resources, human beings and God himself. It is in this sense the call of Pope Francis to every Christian to be a ‘Protector’ makes immense sense. If we want a church of this type, are we ready to be the faithful that the Church wants us to be is the question that all of us need to reflect and find an answer. This saying, a nation gets the type of leader that it deserves, is all the more true of the Church and its leaders. If we as faithful do not focus on the believing community but seek refuge in the official Church, we are also making the mistake of investing our energy and resources in the wrong direction. For every Christian, it is the believing community which is central to her or his faith. The official Church is only an agent of this believing community. Our own aping of the west for its culture, technology, so-called modernity, education and even formation of priests and religious that leaves us with very little room for being a local Church. Unfortunately, for some time, in the name of unity, uniformity is stressed and anything different from what is considered to be the ultimate truth that comes from Rome is not only discarded but discredited. This has led to enormous frustrations among the faithful. Hence at times it appears that the manner in which the Church has progressed after Vatican II, there is very little hope that it would be the type of Church we want it to be. Yet as believing community, we are called to continue our faith in the Church, listen to what it has to say, pay heed to its preaching, discern from the principles it gives to us and follow the promptings of the Spirit and live our faith life in the best manner possible. It is in this sense that we all would work towards building a Church we want to be. A patron saint of France and a revolutionary, Joan Of Arc is a heroic figure from our history. Born as a peasant girl, she claimed to receive spiritual intervention at a very early age and soon after she led the French to several victories in the Hundred Years’ War in her teens! Unfortunately fate had a different tale carved for her when she was Joan of Arc captured and given away to Englishmen for money. The pro-English Bishop of Beauvais found her guilty on the charges of “insubordination and heterodoxy” and was burned at the stake for being a heretic when she was only 19 years old! Rally


April-May 2013

STUDENTS Movement In Tamil Nadu And India Against Sri Lanka – is Not a movement of Riffraff’s or Fringe Groups. Last week my friend Pon. Chandran wrote an article in Colombo Telegraph titled, ‘Will the IC respond to the Just Voices of the Tamil Students’, in response an esteemed Sinhala friend wrote an article in CT covering a whole lot of issues connected with the Tamil struggle, in the beginning of the article he was referring to the students protests in Tamil Nadu and called them as ‘riffraff’s’ and people belonging to ‘fringe groups’. It is sad that the few Sinhala ‘alternate thinker’ missed the point and called these continuing protests as those whipped by emotions. My friend also questions the IQ of the student community by questioning whether these youngsters know anything about the Tamil politics in Sri Lanka. It is here I felt as a person involved with the students movement I should respond. It is a well known fact that these students have time and again reiterated that they do not want to support any political parties, if only my Sinhala friends had the luxury of watching the Tamil television channels they would have been proud of the responsible students community which articulates so well their demands. These students are frustrated more with the Indian government than Mahindra Rajapakse. They know for sure the way the Indian government had helped the Sri Lankans defeat the LTTE and carry out the massacre at Mullivaikal. For that they need not know ‘Tamil politics of Sri Lanka’, for they never spoke or articulated about the Sri Lankan Tamil politics. Talking about the origin of the ‘anti-Sri Lankan protests’, I have been involved along with a host of other human rights activists from Tamilnadu and Karnataka including the likes of Pon Chandran, Kurinji, Prof. Ramu Manivannan, Dr. Bernard D’Samy, Prof. Saraswathi, Ms. Pandima Devi, Dr.V.Suresh, Prof. Nagaragere Ramesh, Dr. Ambrose Pinto, Lawyer Manohar, Prof. Babiah, Prof. M. G. Krishnan (the present Vice Chancellor of Karnataka State Open University), Prof.Hargopal of National Law School to name a few in conscientizing the students community on the issue in which India is deeply involved . The AICUF (All India Catholic University Federation), a well known student’s movement with over 75 units in Tamilnadu has been in the forefront in bringing to light the injustice suffered by the voiceless civilians during the course of the civil war. The world renowned Jesuit institutions have played a key role in highlighting this issue. The Jesuits on their part had the ‘Jesuit Task Force on Sri Lanka’, in which I was a consultant and

Dr. Paul Newman Rally

we even brought out a booklet titled, ‘Sri Lanka – A humanitarian 8

April-May 2013

Catastrophe’, which was circulated in more than 40

nternational investigation and to conduct a

colleges they run across India.

referendum on independent Tamil Eelam.

The protests started inside the Loyola college


A proposal should be made to remove the Deputy

campus in Chennai with eight students, the institution

High Commission of the Sinhala chauvinistic State

is one of the top three colleges in India, and it is an

from the Tamil soil [Tamil Nadu]. India should

apolitical one. Among its alumni it boasts of names

severe all diplomatic relations with Ilangkai [Sri

like former Indian President R. Venkataraman, finance


minister P. Chidambaram and West Bengal Governor


.Government of India, accepting the request of

M.K. Narayanan, journalist N. Ram, key men who

the Tamil Nadu State Government, should

formulated Sri Lankan foreign policy at different times

implement economic sanctions on Ilangkai [Sri

in India. The sister colleges of Loyola including the


famous St. Joseph’s College Trichy and St.Xavier’s


On behalf of the Tamil Nadu State Government,

Palaymkottai were the first ones to start the protests

a foreign relations department should be created

as these institutions inculcate the ‘option for justice to

to assure the security of global Tamils.

the poor’ among its students.


The AICUF is not the only students movement

No Asian country should be a member in the [international] investigation committee.

which asked its members to join, even All India students


Organisations including the Left-wing students

Killing Tamil Nadu fishermen should be stopped immediately.

organisations like Students Federation of India (SFI)


If the Government of India is not finding solution

and All India Students Federation (AISF),

to the question of Eezham Tamils, we will not pay

demanded, among other things, an ‘economic

any taxes to the government of Tamil Nadu. We,

embargo’ against Sri Lanka for its ‘genocide’ in the

students, will actively engage in this campaign.

last days of ‘Eelam War-1V’ in 2009.

The ever anti-Tamil English media in India too for

The movem ent is very well planned,

a change did a decent reporting on the students

designed and executed. It may have started

protest. They highlighted the student protests at

by a mere eight students from Loyola

the elite Indian Institute of Technology Madras

College at the AICUF premise but today it

(Chennai) and Bombay (Mumbai). A few

is one of the most well organized non-

illustrations are given below to demonstrate

violent struggles seen in the history of

that these students’ protests were not in

post-independent India. The students are

isolation, these were mass movements.

so articulate and well informed that

IIT-M students join anti-Lanka

they drew their own plan of action


and worked out their set of

IIT-B students protest Lankan war

dem ands. The demands put


forward by them to the Government of India are: 1. 2.


It is believed to be the largest ever students’

We strongly condemn the US-draft resolution. Do

upsurge for the Tamil cause from seemingly apolitical

not pass it at UNHRC.

campuses like IIT and Loyola. It is also touted as the

What took place in Ilangkai [Sri Lanka] is not

second largest mass protest of students after anti-Hindi

merely war crimes or violations of human rights,

agitation. With students of professional colleges and

but a planned genocide.

universities too joining what is turning out be a massive

International investigation and referendum are the

upsurge of students against alleged human rights

only solutions for the Tamils. Government of India

abuses in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Nadu government on

should propose a resolution to bring in i Rally


April-May 2013

Monday moved quickly to shut down 525 engineering

two decades, is there anyone who has assured them

colleges affiliated to Anna University indefinitely.

that things are conducive for them to return? The Sri

Even 3 days after the passing of the resolution,

Lankan navy has killed nearly 550 Tamil fishermen

IIT Madras students renewed their protests . It was not

which never went unnoticed by these students. They

just the students who came to the streets, the software

turned out to protest not in tens or hundreds as

engineers at Tidel park left their work to show solidarity

imagined by ‘expert analysts’ sitting in television

with the students, lawyers, the auto drivers unions and

studious of New Delhi or other parts of the world. They

lorry drivers unions called for a strike, Tamil Nadu Film

came in hundreds of thousands. It was not just in

Directors Association and the Tamil Nadu Film

Tamilnadu, the protests were witnessed in Bangalore,

Producers Council, Koyambedu wholesale market

Hyderabad, Mumbai as well as New Delhi.

traders selling fruits and vegetables shut down their

This new generation of students did not mind

business. The career minded software engineers who

sacrificing their classes though exams are around the

are accused of having no social concern made a point

corner. All that the student protesters are asking for is

that they too were with those demanding justice, on

justice to their Tamil brethren in Sri Lanka, if seeking

the 20 of March more than 4,000 of them formed a

justice is wrong, yes they are wrong! If they are wrong,

human chain at Tidel Park.

even my Sinhala friends who are content with a regime


One must not undermine the intelligence of the

change are also wrong!

students in this age of technology; we must also note

There is not a single incident of violence reported

that there are 110 Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camps

against this students protest. I salute these brave hearts

spread across the state of Tamilnadu. There are more

for they are accomplishing what I could not accomplish

than 100,000 Tamil refugees living here for more than

during my student days.

Application for the Service as the AICUF

NATIONAL FULL-TIMER APPLICATIONS are invited for the service of the National Full-timer (NFT) for the forthcoming year 2013-2014. AICUF would like to notify all the states that the service of the NFT is open for application. Interested candidates are hereby invited to apply as per the felt requirements and qualifications: 1.

The movement needs 1 boy and 1 girl.


The candidates must be either a graduate or have given their final university exam.


The candidates must be willing and able to dedicate themselves to the movement wholeheartedly for an entire year.


The candidates must be able to communicate effectively with students and others alike. Those proficient in or acquainted with English would be preferable.


Are you ready to spend the year in Chennai and go round all over the country in strengthening AICUF? If so you are the right person. We request the State Advisers and the State Teams to encourage your members to immediately

apply. Contact Address: National Adviser, AICUF House, 52, Sterling Road, Chennai – 600 034, Tamil Nadu. E-mail : (or) Rally


April-May 2013

DEMOCRACY is a total failure in India. For it to function effectively, it requires mature and literate population: we have neither of them. So is our education system. It is worth quoting what Winston Churchill said at the time of Indian Independence: “Power will go the hands of rascals, rogues, and freebooters: all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles”. What a prophetic statement about India and our politicians! They are living up to the expectation, kudos to them! Just within a fortnight ago, I had three bitter experiences of dealing with government departments that prompted me come up with this piece of writing: 1)

I had successfully submitted my application for a Ration Card, which is a mandatory document for many purposes, on January 29th 2012. Even after 16 months, I am not able to get one and when enquired with the concerned official, he said “you

will get soon”, - the

answer that I have been getting for the last 16 months. I don’t know who is responsible for this delay and don’t know whom to hold responsible for this. 2)

I approached Electricity Board for converting my EB Tariff from commercial to regular as I had completed my construction (Extension) work. The lady clerk swiftly pocketed Rs.600 saying she


give me the receipt for the same. She asked me to come on another date, and this continued. Mean while she indirectly pointed out that I need to pay some more amount for getting the signature of the higher official. I felt something fishy and so I made enquiry which revealed that I need to pay only Rs.125 for this service. When I told her of this fact, she was shocked. By the time, she made me come to her office nine times over a span of 15 days. 3)

My Ph. D student came to me the other day and said: “Sir, if you are like this (without proper nexus and not servicing the officials at the university), we (my Ph.D scholars) would be the sufferers. I submitted my thesis before 12 months but yet the University has not finalized my Viva-Voce date. Look at the other professors who are able to complete the entire process within two months”. The practice is that the guides submit the panel of Indian and foreign

examiners, and the university chooses one each from the list. On an average the entire process would take not less than five months. My student said that even this can be fixed and to my astonishment she said, “I am capable fixing the panel and getting the tailor made report, but you would not approve it, and so I did not do. Otherwise, I could have Dr. G. John St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, National Animator


completed my Ph.D by now”. She was gracious enough to pass on this piece of advice to me: “Please don’t be like this, go with the flow, otherwise you will suffer and we will too”. 11

April-May 2013




“The Right of Citizens

instances, we can see the

for Time Bound Delivery

‘delay tactics’ being

of Goods and Services



and Redressal of Their

respective government

Grievances Bill, 2011”.

service providers in order

This bill has been tabled

to milk money from the

in the Parliament and hope

citizens. Almost for all the

it is passed into an Act

government services,



Why we need this?



f rom to

birth death

We witness a blatant

certificate, there is a fixed rate. You can get a driving

misuse of official machinery at every level for personal

license even without taking the ‘driving test’. I was

gains. Citizens are not guaranteed of quality and time

trying to get new voter id card and ration card for the

bound delivery of goods and services. At the present

last six years, but to no avail. But my sister has two

juncture, we can’t hold any government servant liable

ration cards, one from the native place and the other

for poor and inefficient delivery of government

from the place of work. Gas connection, passports,

services. They often resort to ‘delay tactics’ to harass

pan cards, sale and purchase of land, police and

citizens to part with money (bribe) for the delivery of

revenue services, and other host of services meant

services which is a duty of every government servant

for citizens are subject to ‘market rates’. If you pay

for which he is paid a monthly salary. Even when a

you will get the service. Even if you pay bribes, there

citizen is denied of service to which he is rightfully

is no guarantee that services will be rendered within a

entitled to, you can’t hold anybody as accountable.

time frame. There is no guarantee and there is

We need a strong Act to address this issue of ensuring

complete absence of accountability when it comes to

time bound delivery of goods and services and to fix

the delivery of government services to its citizens.

responsibility for the same. The Act should also ensure

There is no accountability on the part of the officer

proper grievance handling mechanism for the citizens.

who is entitled to deliver the service. You can’t

Some states do have some Acts like Public

complain to his higher official for he too gets his due

Services Guarantee Acts, addressing to these issues

share of ‘bribe’ promptly. The bribe (Daily Collection)

but they are largely ineffective and not wider in

flows from the lowest position to top positions like IAS/

character. Also, they don’t have proper grievance

IPS posts and up to ministers and chief ministers.

handling mechanism. The present Bill tabled in the

Everyone in the government hierarchy gets benefitted

Parliament would address all these issues.

from this flow of bribes. That means, virtually you can’t

The Proposed Act

com plain to anyone. W e, the citizens, have

The present Bill - The Right of Citizens for Time

democratized the art of bribery and the politicians have

Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal

perfected it. So much so that no one considers ‘giving/

of Their Grievances Bill, 2011 seeks to promote greater

taking bribe’ as something bad. People have come to

transparency, responsiveness and accountability. It

accept ‘bribing’ as quite normal. If you are not giving

contains provisions clearly stating the responsibilities

or getting you are treated as ‘abnormal’.

of government departments towards citizens - and how

Ultimately the citizens suffer. To free them from

someone who is denied the service due to them can

the daily clutches of administrative delay in service

get remedial action. As such, it has two fold objectives:

delivery mechanism of government we need strong

1. Right to Service:

Acts and implementation. One such proposed Act is Rally


Citizens would be first ensured of quality and time April-May 2013

bound delivery of goods and services by fixing

media. These Grievance Redress Officers are

responsibility and accountability for the delivery of the

expected to be easily accessible and available


for redress of the grievance of the public. They

2. Right to Redressal of Grievances:

are like banking and insurance ombudsmen.

In the event of failure in the delivery of goods and

(Twice I dealt with ombudsmen, once when I was

rendering of services, the Bill seeks to provide citizens

wrongly debited with Rs.5000 while using my ATM

a proper mechanism for addressing their grievances.

card and my banker did not address my issue

1. Right to Service

properly and on another occasion when I was

In the first stage, the citizens are ensured, as a

refused reimbursement of medical expenses

matter of legal right, time-bound and quality delivery

under Mediclaim policy by the Insurance company

of goods and services.

without proper reason. On both the occasion I


Every government department should publish a

approached the Ombudsmen and I was able to

Citizen’s charter clearly stating all the category of

get my grievance addressed. It works for sure.)

goods supplied and services rendered by it and

of public goods and rendering of services, they

supplied and services are rendered. It would also

can submit their complaints to the Grievance

state the conditions for availing such goods and

Redress Officers. The Grievance Redress Officer

services, and the quantitative and tangible

shall provide all the necessary assistance to

attributes of such goods and services, like weight,

citizens in filing complaints. c)

When he receives a complaint, within two days,

It also fixes responsibility by clearly indicating the

he has to acknowledge the same by issuing a

name and address of individual official who are

receipt clearly indicating the date, time, place,

responsible for the delivery of such goods and

unique complaint number and particulars of

services. The Citizens’ charter would contain all

receiver of complaint along with the stipulated time

these information and made public through various

frame within which the complaint will be redressed.

means. c.

When citizens have complaints regarding delivery

the time frame within which such goods are

size, and unit of measure and so on. b.



It is the duty of the Grievance Redress Officer to

It is obligatory on the part of the Head of the

remedy the grievance within thirty days from the

Department to update and ensure the correctness

receipt of the complaint. It is also his duty to

and authenticity of the Citizen’s charter. He has

identify and fix responsibility for the occurrence

to also ensure that it is properly communicated,

of the grievance.

publicized and disseminated.


2. Right to Redressal of Grievances

If the grievance has occurred due to deficiency or negligence of an officer or individual, action will

In the second stage, the citizens are ensured rights to get their grievances redressed in the event of failure of time-bound and quality delivery of goods and rendering of services. a)

Grievance Redress Officers are appointed in all administrative units at the Central, State and district levels, municipalities, Panchayats that deliver goods and render services to public. Their names, addresses, contact details like phone numbers, email ids etc are made known to public widely through various means including electronic



April-May 2013



be taken as per the department rules. There is

issued by the State Public Grievance Redressal

also a provision to impose a fine up to Rs.50/-

Commission or the Central Public Grievance

thousand on the erring official for the failure to

Redressal Commission shall be enforceable as if

deliver goods and services and on the Grievance

they were court orders.

Redress Officer for not properly disposing off the

In effect, the proposed Act of The Right of Citizens


for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and

For this system to function, there are State Public

Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 along with The

Grievance Redressal Commission at the state

Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005, National Rural

level and the Central Public Grievance

Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), 2005,

Commission at the national level. If a citizen is

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers

not satisfied by the decree of the Grievance

(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, Right of

Redress Officer he can approach the State Public

Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE),

Grievance Redressal Commission and if not

2009, Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of

satisfied still, he can approach the Central Public

Persons Making Disclosures Bill, 2010, and National

Grievance Commission. If the citizen is still

Food Security Bill, 2011 will pave the way for

aggrieved, he can make an appeal to the Lokpal

empowering the citizens of this country. Only when

constituted under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,

the citizens are properly empowered and their rights

2011. Any matter dealt with under this proposed Act cannot be taken up in any civil court. Any decree

are guaranteed, ‘democracy’ will be relevant in our country for that matter anywhere in the world.

POSA Tells “The new pope is not Euro-centric and is concerned about the present world conditions, the poor and issues of peace and justice,” Fr. Edward Mudavassery

AS POPE FRANCIS opened his pontificate with a Mass on Tuesday, Jesuits in South Asia expressed hope he will address injustice in the world and find ways to tackle sex abuse and a dysfunctional Roman Curia. “The new pope is not Euro-centric and is concerned about the present world conditions, the poor and issues of peace and justice,” Jesuit Provincial of South Asia (POSA) Father Edward Mudavassery told Pope Francis’ election will not bring any radical changes, but it will certainly give a new direction to many things, including the administrative crisis in the Vatican and its relations with other churches and governments, Father Mudavassery said. Suggesting the Church has lost moral standing amid cases of clerical sex abuse, the priest said Pope Francis will “have to work toward recovering the spiritual and moral space the Church has lost.” “I hope that there would be more open dialogue with other regional churches,” the priest added. The pontificate will also witness changes in administration, becoming simpler and more accessible rather than bureaucratic, the priest said, adding that clergy inside the Vatican and around the world will become more normalized rather than medieval. The priest said the selection of the name Francis shows the pope has “special spirituality and vision.” Pope Francis started his office by urging all to “open arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.” Rally


April-May 2013

AICUF MOTTO, “We were born in an unjust society and we are determined not to leave it as we have found it” reminds us the persons, the mission, the society and above all the church we want. Our vision is a new and just society. AICUF ever tries to link itself to the emerging needs and realities of the university, the church and the wider society. Our hearts long to see the Just society, in other words, the new heaven and new earth, which is indeed the vision and mission of Christ Jesus on this earth. Today’s Shocking Scenario The world of today is tremendously different from what it was just the other day. Today’s world scenario is ironical. Globalization and marginalization make life miserable. At the grass root level, it is still dark and gloomy, miserable and meaningless for a vast majority of people in our country. This situation is further accelerated by the destructive forces such as communalism, fundamentalism and casteism. Privatization and liberalization come along as additional channels for the structural attacks on the dispossessed and the despised.

Tanayjeet Das, Kolkata

The plight of the oppressed Social and cultural analysis enables us to capture the poverty, injustice and powerlessness experienced by the oppressed. There are hidden terrors and violence that victimize civil society. The unfree are the men, women and children who are subjugated by the ideologies and structures of caste and creed; class and gender. They are innocent victims….. the powerful forces of history and the overwhelming structures of control and authority. The Targets of Social Justice They are the Poor, Dalits, Adivasis, Women, Unorganized workers, Refugees, Migrants and Children, Let me concentrate only on women. Holistic Understanding of Gender in the Bible Our God is a Motherly Father Man and women are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) Man and Woman are joint heirs of the Grace of Life (1 Pet 3:7) Both Man and Woman are Priests and Chosen Race ( 1 Pet2:9) Unity of all People in Christ Gal 3:28) Positive Attitude of Jesus towards Women Gender and Catholic Church Gender injustice has made history only his – story and not her – story. Even going by manifold religious and cultural traditions of India, history is the story of man the conqueror, and woman the victim of slave. Christianity, and more specially the Catholic Church with its hierarchical structures, has also been guilty of much negative thinking about woman. In 1999, the late Pope John Paul 11 asked pardon for this dehumanizing situation in the Catholic Church. Earlier in 1995, on the eve of United Nations International Women Conference at Beijing, he said in a personal note: “I am very sorry for the causes contributed by the church for the subjugation of women in history.” We are currently living in the era where the call for gender justice is quite

Sr. Roselin O.S.M NWC coordinator Rally

loud. Appropriate responses must therefore be concretely promoted. In 2005 for instance, the Vision statement of the Catholic Church in Tamil Nadu called


April-May 2013

for 33 percent women Representation in all Church bodies

Broad bases theological formation of the faithful that

from now onward, and for 50% by 2010. The Indian Bishop’s

covers human rights issues and social responsibility, by

Conference in February 2008 , had its meeting at

faculty that includes the non- ordained.

Jamshedpur on this gender concern and had come out with

Transforming the existing theological formation by

a charter of proactive proposals for Gender Justice in the

appointing and affirming faculty that is critical, liberative

Catholic Church. They have taken woman as the priority

and prophetic.

and target for the coming years and decades. Everything is

Using media education create awareness to change

in paper. Not in practice.

existing structures.

Catholic Church needs Justice oriented Spirituality

A Catholic Perspective

To work for women liberation we need to have justice

Any discussion of freedom of religion, belief and gender

oriented spirituality.

today will need to take place in the context of the


New Gender just society ensuring equitable distribution

contemporary globalized world and its complexities. Many

of resources and powers

Catholic women are asking the question: Can the


Intimacy and peace with oneself, others and divine

development and full participation of women in society be


Cosmic harmony, developing a culture of life not

welcomed and embraced by Catholic Christianity? Can

destruction, a culture of love not violence

Catholic tradition acknowledge and welcome women into a

Transforming the individualized spirituality into a

relationship of partnership with men? Can those who occupy

sustainable Creation centered one

positions of official leadership in the Catholic Church listen

Recommendations to the Catholic Church

to women’s perspectives on these questions? Before we


“We can have a fuller church by including

can reflect on the position of women in church and society

women in the priesthood.” - John Fitzgerald,

from a Catholic perspective it will be necessary to consider

Women’s Ordination Conference demonstrator. It is

more generally the global social, economic and political

the wish of every Liberated Women too. We want

position of women at the beginning of the 21 st century, in

women in the church, in every way that God intends.

other words, put “a human face on the global economy.’ To conclude, we believe that a new earth and new

It is… urgently necessary to take concrete steps by providing room for women to participate in different fields

heaven is possible. Another world is possible and

and at all levels, including decision-making processes,

certainly another church also possible. For this let us

above all in matters which concern women themselves.

stand in synergy.

The need to increase women’s involvement in

Should we not as Jesus of Nazareth said, “Bear

decision-making and leadership in the Church Re-

Witness of Justice…”

examination of the nature of ministry with the exploration

We should certainly…

of the possibility of more inclusive role for men and women in ministry. •

The inclusion of stories of women and their experience in the Scripture readings in the liturgy and the omission of those which place women in subordinate positions.

The promotion of the writing of women theologians

A better balance of men and women on church organizations and in leadership roles at the national level.

The Church keeping pace with the laws of the land in the area of discrimination.

Strategies for Implementation Modules on Gender relations for seminarians and trainees at all levels in the church. Rally


April-May 2013


IS IN PERIL. From north to south and east to west

every state in India is facing a specific problem. The political climate everywhere is not favorable to people. Common people are antagonized by policy makers at the state as well as at the centre. The centre-state relationship in India is very precarious since the next Lok Saba election is fast approaching. The economic imbalance created in India on account of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) has led India to form new nexus among the neighboring countries. The majority poor in India are posing a real threat to the minority rich. In the process of eradicating poverty, ways and means are subtly designed to eliminate the poor from the soil once and for all. At this juncture a revolution is bound to erupt when the suppression and repression of the people go uncontrolled, unchecked and not confronted. The civil society unrest is witnessed everywhere. In most cases agitations were led by political parties. But concerning the Tamil Eelam issue of Sri Lanka, the student community has taken it seriously to play their rightful and legitimate role in the civil society. They demand that forming a separate Tamil Eelam will be a permanent solution to the Tamil Population remaining in the island nation after the civil war between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE. More over the President of Sri Lanka Mr. Rajapakshe should be brought to international court of justice for the heinous crime of genocide during the war. Documentary evidences are available to prove the genocide and they are widely spread among the people. We cannot exactly define what is Civil society and students’ role in it. But we can describe and understand very well how Civil society operates. In contrast, we need to understand that the State society is at the service of the Civil society. The State society gets its legitimacy and credibility from the Civil society. But unfortunately what we experience / witness is the dominance of the State society over the Civil society. Precisely, because of this, the Civil Society Activism and much more the students activism are taking momentum and being strengthened everywhere. Civil society is ‘inherently a political project’ whose purpose is to resist dominant structures of power, enhance the hold of popular sovereignty in decision-making and re conceptualize the rights of poor and disadvantaged people, locally and globally. The recent outburst of college students in Chennai and many parts of Tamil Nadu, by means of non violent protests in various colleges demanding the Indian government to pass a resolution at the UN General Assembly at Geneva declaring Sri Lankan President Mr. Rajapakshe as a “war criminal”, and insisting the central government of India to implement economic blockade on Sri Lanka for their ethnic genocide on Tamil population in Sri Lanka show that the student community cannot and will not keep quiet and remain silent spectators to injustice and outright human right violations that took place M.G. Selvin Raj SJ

during and after the civil war between the Srilankan Tamils and Sri Lankan

AICUF National Adviser Rally


April-May 2013

Army. A wide spread non violent agitation by the

Parliament? Protest against establishing nuclear power

student community to declare Mr. Rajapakshe as a

palnt in many parts of the country by the university

“war criminal” at the UN assembly in Geneva, is a

students is a search for new and clear energy. Knowing

legitimate demand of the students seeking for justice.

well the impending danger of nuclear plant to the

They have become the voice of the voiceless Srilankan

humanity, how can the student communities will allow

Tamils who are butchered and killed in cold blood.

such plants to come up in our country? The iron lady

On the contrary, the State society manifests itself

of Manipur Ms. Irom Sharmila is all alone fasting for

in the form of Government, Legislative bodies,

the last 13 years for the removal of the draconian

Executive bodies, Administrators, Bureaucrats,

“Armed Forces Special Power Act” (AFSPA) from her

Judiciary, Military, Police, etc. What we witness today

land. Is the student community has anything to learn

is a global unrest and common people are not happy

from her dedication and determination to fight for

with their Governments, with their elected

justice in Manipur? The Nagas on the hilly region of

representatives in legislative assemblies. Thugs and

Darjeeling are fighting for “Separate Gurkah land”,

criminals have got entry into politics and continue to

where as the Nagas in Manipur and Nagaland are

remain unworthy of their responsibility towards people

demanding for the creation of “Greater Nagaland”.

and nation. The judicial system is becoming more and

Down south in Andhara Pradesh people are demanding

more complex, complicated, inactive and slow.

separate State of “Telengana Region”. In all these

Students who aspire for change and transformation in

civil society agitations the University students are at

the society are disappointed. They almost lost hope in

the fore front. The emerging Civil society activism (Student

the politicians who hold power both at the centre and state. The only aim of the

activism) is repressed,

politicians is to win the

suppressed and every

election by all means to get

effort is taken to nip in the

hold of the power. Once

bud. When the students

they come to power seldom

agitation in solidarity with

they bother about peoples’

the suffering Tamil people

problem. In most cases the

in Sri Lanka became

problems of the people are

strong in Tamil Nadu, the

politicized for their own


party advantages. Accusing


the opposition party has

closure of all colleges and

Government indefinite

become the common agenda of any party politician

forcefully evicted the students from hostels as a

on the stage towards which the student community

measure to controle the wide spread agitation. But any

has developed great aversion.

repression is bound to explode. Students have

W hat we find in India is a representative

understood that ‘Silence is Shame and Tolerance is

democracy rather than a participatory democracy.

Not a Virtue’. Students who are part of the civil society

Today people at large and especially the students lost

rightly perceive what is happening in and around them.

their hope in our elected leaders who represent us in

They are determined to see a clean politics and if

the parliament and state assemblies. They are fed up

necessary they are ready to clean the dirty politics.

with party politics that has ruined our country. Students

The present generation of students may have an

lack role models to imitate in our present political

aversion to party politics but they do not shy away


from political expressions. Political awareness has

How long the demand for Dalit Christians’

increased among students more because of their easy

reservation, women’s reservation could be set aside

access to media and communication facilities. It is a

by the Supreme Court and by the members of the

new generation of student community. They are not a



April-May 2013

destructive force rather they are constructive and move

and many other colleges claiming justice for the Tamil


population in Sri

greater clarity and

Lanka are also


com e

clear vision.


suspicion. It is a

Educated and intelligent students



them to prove



AICUFers in every

their credibility in

college campuses

the process of

who are capable of

humanizing the

thinking critically







for the uplift of the





transformation in


never hesitate to join hands with the civil society


a democratic country.

activism. Educate- Agitate - Organize is the process

The time is ripe that the university students

through which our demands are put forward to the

(youth) should take to informal politics such as protests

public. Every educational institution should become

and civil society activism to gain entry to the formal,

agents of social transformation through the students.

mainstream politics. Youth should get involved in

W hen the UGC and NACC demand outreach

politics with values and discipline. They should

programmes in every college, they should be happy

enhance liberty, freedom and justice in the country. It

that through these political participation still our

has been the educational system and parenting that

students are reaching out to many more people. It is

are acting as inhibiting factors for the youth to enter

saddening to note that instead of giving credit to our

politics undergoes a drastic change now-a-days. We

students for their political participation and appreciating

admire those parents who expressed that they are

them for their non violent protest we somehow find

proud of their sons and daughters when they get

fault with them and chalk out devises to curb and nullify

involved in non-violent and peaceful demonstration

all their initiatives for social change and transformation.

for a social cause. Politics does not mean only

The problem that we face in India is that many

contesting in election, winning and capturing power. It

civil society organizations and individuals are viewed

is reaching out to the unreachable masses. How many

with suspicion when working among the marginalized

institutions of higher learning recognize such political

populations and seriously taking up any human right

involvement of the students when they decide to reach

violations. Binayk Sen, Irom Sharmila, Arundathi Roy,

out by ways and means of non violent protests and

Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, Udaykumar, Pushparayan,

agitations? When such agitations are initiated for the

Swami Agnivesh, and many other social activists are

welfare of the people, never and ever the students be

good examples who continue to face the wrath of the

led to violence and destruction. I would suggest that s t u d e n t s ’

state, since they completely indentify with the civil


concern and totally keep away the party


Students in Loyola College Chennai Rally

Students have understood that ‘Silence is Shame and Tolerance is Not a Virtue’. Students who are part of the civil society rightly perceive what is happening in and around them. They are determined to see a clean politics and if necessary they are ready to clean the dirty politics. 19

agitations should be




entertaining without diluting the cause for which they all stand.

April-May 2013

Perpetual poverty – in India is visible to the

issues affecting the people are uniting the students to

students when they see Adivasi, dalits, sex-workers,

come to the streets as a mighty force and power. If

homeless migrants, street-vendors, squatters, bondedlabourers, displaced people, transgender, construction-

only they identify the intrusion of politicians and keep away the party politics from their political expression,

workers, riot-affected people, excluded Diaspora

certainly the students’ activism will triumph.

citizens, refugees, street-children, and slum-dwellers.

A common understanding is that politics is a dirty

These people lack the resources, opportunities and

game and students should keep themselves away from

participatory avenues in collective-decision making.

it. But everyone belonging to student community and

Their poverty is sustained not by their own failings (or

in particular being an AICUFer, politics is the first lesson

past karmas) but by the structural injustice perpetuated

we should learn and teach our progeny to be politically

in the realm of – both economic (the inequitable

vigilant and conscious of our political rights and duties.

distribution of global capital, the exploitation of cheap

Politicians and politics should not be looked down upon.

labour) and political nature of our country (the

We make a big mess of our lives by criticizing politics

manipulation of global institutions of governance, the

and not actively participating in the political process

legacy of authoritarian and ineffective states).

of our country. Today our challenge is not to stop our

By all means, politics is a dirty game. It is not a

march but to continue our march with the marginalized

game of definite rules with definite players. Even the

in order to be political and act political. Another world

onlookers of the game too can join! Politics is exactly

is possible! In search of human values and

like a free-wrestling game; you can use everything;

strengthening civil society organizations to participate

you can kick, punch, slap, or even kill. And if you killed,

in the process of social change, transformation and

your lawyers can free you safely because it is a game.

development, the role of the students is inevitable and

And once the game has started, you can never change

unavoidable. Closing down the educational institutions

the rules. This is the situation of politics today. But the

to curb the students’ activism is not a solution. Rather,

present generation of students think differently. They

a space has to be created within the educational

want to change the rules of the game not the players

campuses for a healthy debate and dissent of the

of the every time. When the rules are changed

students. If possible the educators themselves should

ultimately the players are bound by the new rules set

accompany the students in their non violent and

by the students. ‘No wonder the civil society activism

peaceful agitations for a social cause. If so, such

and the active involvement of the student community

demonstrations will be constructive, proactive,

will always triumph and move forward!

productive and transformative. After all this is the

In the name of Nationalism our politicians

primary motive of all our educational institutions.

propagate communalism, fundamentalism, casteism

Students’ Politics is not Party Politics. If we refuse to

and fanaticism. But the student community will not be

accompany them in their political expression then we

easily carried away by the pseudo sentiments of

are leaving them to continue their journey in a

Nationalism. Various social, religious and political

rudderless boat.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner, a philanthropist, and arguably the one sole person to have brought about a change in the world as of today, Mother Teresa was a heaven-sent being for mankind. A Roman Catholic nun, Mother Teresa dedicated her whole life in serving the betterment of the poor and going to extreme lengths to eradicate poverty. So much so that she ended up establishing charitable trusts in more than 133 countries! Her motto of “Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor” surely did its trick as she proved to be the most inspirational being of the 20th century! Rally


April-May 2013

Renisha Mall NC , Maharashtra.

IF WE point a finger at someone,

activities. They will talk about the various drawbacks that hold other lay

there are three pointing back at us.

people to get more involved in the church, what draws them, as a family

This is exactly correlated to our

to participate and finally, what made them take this moral responsibility?

responsibility and self awareness.

How many years have you been involved with various Parish

“The Church I want”, if it focuses

Activities? Specify some of them.

on our take on the customs and

Mrs. Pereira – I have been teaching Sunday school for 11 years, and

rituals that is necessary to be

continue to do so. I was the Youth Animator for the year 2007-08. My

implemented or not, we also have

Husband and I are in charge of the Altar servers from last year. Through

to be concerned about our role and

these posts I have been involved with teaching and transmitting the faith,

responsibility towards the church.

and making people understand the documents of faith. I have also

Below is an interview with Mr. and

organized various field trips, like last year we took the Sunday school

Mrs. Pereira, parishners of St.

children to the synagogue. I have made 3 trips to Matheran (a Hill station

Michel’s Church, Mumbai, who play

in Maharashtra) with the youth. As you know that Sunday school is

an active role in many church

organized by the Church for all classes till they receive the sacrament of

activities. They are also in charge

Confirmation. Besides Sunday school, I am a part of the community core

of the Altar servers. Mr. Pereira


works with Standard Chartered

Mr. Pereira- I was the Youth Animator for the year 2007-10. I am a part of

bank and Mrs. Pereira is Secondary

the choir for 5 years now. I am now re-elected as the Parish Councilor

school teacher. Mrs. Anita Pereira

after my post in 2010. This is a voluntary post and I am appointed as a

has been teaching catechism for

representative. I was the youngest in the Core group. I am 50 years now,

the past 11 years at St. Michael’s

so you call this young as there are no people younger than me in the

Church. Mr. Gladwin Pereira has

community to participate and take up responsibility. You will find all senior

been a member in the Parish

people in church as they all have free time. The young are working and

Council for the year 2007-10 and

have late shifts. As councilor, I have to pick up information and share

now has been re-elected to be the

with my core group members as you know our Parish has a large

councilor for 2013-16. He is also a

community and so we are divided into four communities and as a councilor

part of the church choir. Their son,

we have to carry on the work, as we appoint people to take up the lectors,

Ian, is a part of the Altar servers

cantors, choir, and make sure all the children in community attend altar

and also an active youth in the

servers. All Parents send their children to Sunday school. Get Youth to


participate. In the core group, there is less of youth and that goes with all

The objective of this interview is to

communities. There are mostly senior citizens as many adults are working

introduce a family, energetic and

in call centers and they do not have time for the church. In recent elections

enthusiastic in various church Rally


April-May 2013

a lot of young people came up in

What changes have all your services brought in your day to day

communities but as the youth are


the future, they need to take part

Mr. Pereira-It is a beautiful service to make people aware of what is

more often.

happening in the church. It is our duty to participate in one of the many

What made you take up this

activities that are there in the church.

moral responsibility?

Mrs. Pereira- We meet different types of people and learn the way of

Ms. Pereira- W e wanted to do

dealing with them.

something for the church. We tell

Is Parish Politics rampant today in the modern Church?

our son and we aim at telling many

Mrs. Pereira- When we have elections, the Priest prays to the Holy Spirit

people to do so.

and tells us it’s not what you or I want but what God wants. Property and

What Challenges do you face in

Money are the main problems that the church faces as mostly parishes

committing yourself entirely?

give poor people a place to stay and now these people want to take over

Mrs. Pereira- People mostly do not

the parish in negative way. The Church stalls are not given to poor people.

take part and we have to go and

Our own Parishners are greedy for the money and property; poor who

beg and convince them to take part

have become rich don’t want to repay the church. Sometimes Priests are

in the activities, or they don’t want

blamed unnecessarily. This year only five priests were ordained in the

to come. It’s very difficult to get

Archdiocese of Mumbai. Moreover, catholic schools mostly are in the

people to take part, specially the

hands of lay people as there are no vocations.

youth. There is a decline in youth

Mrs. Pereira, as you are a teacher in Catechism, would you comment

and young adults’ participation.

on the syllabus and the approach of children to this subject?

Mr. Pereira- the Priests corporate.

Mr. Pereira-When they finish Confirmation, they have forgotten everything

But how much will they see too?

as young adults. They themselves don’t know the faith to transmit to their

They have their own problems as

children, and the children come to Sunday school. We realize the child

there are less of vocations. It

doesn’t know anything as parents have not taught them anything. They

depends on the lay people. There

don’t know the meaning of ‘I believe’, especially the ones receiving

are very few Priests like handling a

communion, some parents don’t even send the children for Sunday school

huge parish. Today’s parishes need

and only for communion and Confirmation classes. The Syllabus has

lots and lots of people to take part.

books written in such a way that whatever is thought in regular school is

If you take a small example like

not repeated in Sunday school. Now as most of our children are going to

distributing communion; Parishes

international and private schools, where there is no instruction on religion,

have morning and evening masses.

so they don’t know anything about the faith. They don’t know what the



teachings of the church are. Now it is according to the values of the world

ministers. At least one minister from

and not the teachings of the church. This is a grave problem, thus people

each community would solve the

do certain things and don’t realize that it is not catholic/Christian. They


W e also need more

don’t know anything, but it all depends on the family, and what the parents

cantors and lectors to take part in

have inculcated in them. Some come to pass time and fool around. You

daily masses. The other problem

find a high attendance only for the sacraments like Confirmation and

are altar servers; As they are mostly

communion. It’s like if I don’t get this, then I will not be able to get married.

children, most schools have their

Mr. Pereira- Some priests preach on specific topics like the

timing from 7 am and less altar

commandments. There are lots about the commandments that most

servers for serving morning

youngsters do not know. We just mug the commandments, but how to

masses, then evening masses,

practice it, where and how are we breaking it, etc, all this is not clear. For

they have classes.

example, “Thou shall not kill” – Even Abortion is involved in it. Some are April-May 2013 22



m ore

ex-communicated from the church.

only when they have a problem like their family member is hospitalized

As a child, we are always thought

and they need money, and then they ask help.

that the commandment is not to

Have you ever wished that you could find a church where the

com mit

ministers actually preach right out of the Bible and help you “make

m urder,



commandment may mean putting

sense” of its words—including its many specific prophecies?

false accusations, ‘name-calling’,

Mrs. Pereira-The bible can be related to various situations. To understand

criticizing, bring them down in

the bible we have to understand the Jewish background, their culture of

public, there is no violence involved

their time. Then you will know how the bible is related to today’s time and

but you are spoiling a person’s life.

we understand this, when we attend bible classes, do cross references,

This may also lead to suicide. She/

e.g. in the Book of Revelation- you will get scriptures of dragons as that

he commits a sin because of

time the Christians were persecuted. They spoke in coded language, and

someone else fault.

what that language meant, now we have the CCC (Catechism of the

Mr. Pereira, Tell us something

Catholic Church) and “Youth Cat”, every problem has a solution in the

about the role you played as the

Bible. The more you read and the more you understand, and now there



are different versions of the bible, many are misleading, giving their own

effectively did you try to get

version. People are not ready to come out and spend time with the Bible.

people to participate?

Passion narratives, Easter narratives are very interesting to read and the

Mr. Pereira- When I was parish

Bible is still alive!

Councilor, we insisted that every

Last words that you would like to share that will urge many families

community should send lectors and

like to contribute to the church?

cantors, and make parishners

Mrs. Pereira -Choir, Sunday School, altar servers, lectors, cantors, it will

aware of timings and get them to

help them to grow spiritually, valuing things, once a reporter asked a

participate. Like if there is a death

couple who lived together for 65 years, and they said, “when things were

in the community, it is the duty of

broken, we mended it instead of throwing them out.” No people just use

parish Councilors to get the people

and throw so much so that human beings are reduced to that condition.

of the community, to have a short

Mr. Pereira- Besides Sunday mass, there are daily services where people

prayer service. We must know how

have to attend; working youth don’t even take some time. The lay people

many people are sick, house bound.

have a lot responsibility.

W e have to understand the

As interviewed by Renisha Mall, AICUF National Council Member,








community. Some people come



April-May 2013

M.V.Vasant Viswanath

GOD CREATED man and woman, and they created religions. This is a known fact. But amidst all the religions that we follow, we forget that we are all living under one supernatural being that is the Almighty, who resides within us and within all that we see and feel. A church is technically a term for a gathering of citizens in a town but is commonly understood by the Christian adoption of the word as gathering of Christians in a building or structure to facilitate worship and the meeting of its members, specifically in Christianity. A common architecture for church is the shape of a cross (a long central rectangle, with side rectangles, and a rectangle in front for the altar space or sanctuary). These churches also often have a dome or other large vaulted space in the interior to represent or draw attention to the heavens. Other common shapes for churches include a circle, to represent eternity, or an octagon or similar star shape, to represent the church’s bringing light to the world. Another common feature is the spire, a tall tower on the “west” end of the church or over the crossing. There is a very close connection between the Kingdom of God and the structure of church. Just like the world is worshipped by its beings and oceans, mountains, land, air and seasons, similarly a church symbolizes the holiness of its culture. As soon as one enters the church, one notices an awe-inspiring silence, which builds up solemn and peace in our minds. The priest, the choir, the altar, the benches and the people praying to the Almighty “Jesus Christ” are all a part of this holy piece of structure. God had made his kingdom-human being, birds, nature and put into each of his creation “feelings” and then he sent his own Son to reform his kingdom through his preaching, life, suffering and death to pay for the sins of all human-beings. We human were blessed with good virtues to face all difficulties together and impartially, but man has created divisions in all aspects of life. The kingdom of God has turned into the Kingdom of man...and the saddest part is that belief and trust in God has also receded amongst us. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”-were Jesus Christ’s last words while hanging on the cross. Jesus Christ thus became the mode of connection between the Lord and his people. He asked lord to forgive men for all the sins that they committed and his powerful words left a deep impression in our hearts! This is the reason why Churches are considered as one of the most sanctified places of worship; because it is a place which has always united people and showed them the right path and anyone who enters a church kneels down in front of the Lord in respect and surrender. Rally


April-May 2013

Bharati Das St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

9 “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” - Albert Einstein 9 Have you ever had that sinking feeling when all your frenzied problems seem to be taking a toll on you and you are trying to hold on to the last strands of the so-called ‘Hope’ that is already slipping away? And just when you are ready to give up, some unknown force stops you- “You can’t give up now, not after what you’ve been through! Look how far you have come.”

9 Perhaps this is our inner voice, or maybe the call of our subconscious mind or the loving faith we have on ‘The One’…or perhaps it all sums up to the immortal direction granted by God.

9 I am positive all of us have ‘experienced’ God, in the form of miracles, or even in the essence of our happy moments, we cannot really deny the all-powerful protection he engulfs us with. Which is exactly why I’ve never believed God was bound by a particular shrine, be it a temple, ‘mandir’ or even a church.

9 “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.” - Mother Teresa

9 However, according to Abigail Van Buren, “A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” I vividly remember visiting the church every weekday during my fourteen years of schooling, the holy place where all the students would pray and sing hymnals, Christians and non-Christians alike. Being a nonChristian, I do admit (and confess), I do not know the Holy Bible by heart, nor can I quote the verses and passages with much ease. But yes, I’ve always been captivated by the masses and the preaching of the Fathers, I’ve always heard (and learnt) from them intently, I could always pray to God in the form of singing hymnals.

9 “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.”Billy Sunday

9 It so happened that I started going to the Church even when it was closed, the twenty minute walk of hope to the Church, knocking at the door and then praying to God, or the simple fact of praying to God before giving my exam continues even today in my college life. The thing is, no one has ever instructed me to do so. It came from the bottom of my heart, to love God; to ask him questions; tell him my secrets; pray for my friends, family and the universe; but then again, humbly praying for myself as well.I am fond of the silent prayers, the harmonic melody sung by the choir, the advice given by the Fathers and the Pastors, the calm and serene environment, the flowers carefully resting in the intricately designed vases, the smoldering candles of hope and most importantly, the fact that we come to God (and the Church) with all our worldly problems and leave with none, with pain and depression erased from our heart giving it a pure glow. The truth that someone is watching over us, gives us all the courage to fight back our troubles.

9 After all, it has been rightfully stated by Joel Osteen:”You can be committed to Church but not committed to Christ, but you cannot be committed to Christ and not committed to church.” Rally


April-May 2013

Tanayjeet Das, Jamshedpur x The couple are not open to children

We can show up at a worship conference, put our hands in the air and speak in tongues, but family issues

(i.e., contraception)

are the real test of our faith. People are naturally

x Deep routed sin in either or both their lives

sensitive about marriage and breakup. Many of us have

during the courtship which interfered with

hair trigger responses when discussing issues of love,

their discernment, such as sex

sex, children, retirement savings, education for the

x Insufficient marriage preparation

kids, dividing houses and property, etc. Some get really

x Either party not having been baptized

angry when they think the Church is “interfering.” We

x Messed up marriage ceremony

think it’s the first reason people leave the Catholic

x No consummation of marriage

Church. One lady who was surveyed said:

x One or both partners being forced into

“I wasn’t going to pay a bunch of money just for a


piece of paper that says my marriage never existed,

If an annulment is granted, are the kids bastards?

forget it... it was a real marriage, I did love him when I

God loves all of his children. They are all precious to

married him... and my kids are legitimate, and now I’m

him regardless of how they are conceived. That is why

divorcing my husband because he had an affair... and

Catholics have such a problem with abortion. The

the Catholic annulment process is stupid and I’m not

father will always be the child’s true father, and the

going to subject myself to all those personal questions,

mother will always be the true mother, regardless of

so I’ve gone to an Evangelical Church, where I can

whether there was a marriage or not, and regardless

divorce and remarry.”

of the presence or absence

She had a compelling story.

of love, or even if sin was

Marriage is a very emotional


issue. This matter therefore

conception by either, or both

gives rise to several questions…


Does an annulment mean that

All of God’s kids are

love dosen’t exist?


Love is not limited by marriage.

Of course children do much

A valid Christian marriage in the

better with a mother and a

Catholic Church requires more

father, but that’s not the

than love between the spouses.

issue here. Legitimacy is a



This is one reason why same sex marriage is a no-go.

temporal issue, based in civil law, and Canon law. It is

Perhaps there is love, but maybe there are other

an historical artifact related to inheritance, dynasties

mitigating factor in the marriage, such as:

and social privileges.



April-May 2013

In fact, the word “illegitimate” doesn’t even appear in

very biblical concept except when Jesus instructed the

the 1982 Canon Law, only the word “legitimate” is in

apostles to shake the dust from their feet and leave a

there. A Canon lawyer said they would have dropped

hard hearted town (Mat 10:14).

the word “legitimate” completely, the only reason it’s

The Church has an obligation to vigorously guard the

there is to reassure parents. Church law states that

integrity of the Eucharist by having moral requirements

children are legitimate even if the marriage is annulled,

for communion. I know this sounds intolerant, but even

provided it was entered into in good faith by at least

that word has been distorted in recent decades.

one spouse. For civil matters regarding the kids, the

Many couples who want to divorce, separate, or

Church respects the civil marriage.

remarry would rather not deal with the hassle, and end

Why should the Church be involved in anyone’s

up just leaving the Church. This also happened in the

personal life?

Bible when Jesus talked about the Eucharist being his

Ultimately, each one of us is responsible before God

body. Many left, but He could not compromise the truth.

for our personal life. However, the Bible said the

Before becoming Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger said ”the

Church has an obligation to be involved with people

Church of the future might be much smaller, but more

who want to be in relationship to it. The Church is also

faithful.” But we hope you don’t leave. God has given

obligated to share its message with society at large.

us incredible gifts as a result of being a part of his Body

The Church is the new Israel. In the Old Testament,

on earth, even when it was challenging to adhere to it,

the people of Israel lived together. Each had spiritual

and I trust He has great things for everyone. If you say

obligations to the greater good. The early Christian

that you belong to Christ then you belong to the Church

elders were very much into the lives of the community

also. Both are inseparable.

of believers. The idea of “Live and Let Live” is not a



April-May 2013

THE CHURCH WE WANT Conrad Lestourgeon St.Vincents College of Commerce, Pune.

VISION is always regarding the future. It is defined as

entering it eg. a dress code etc. The church should also

that what we want to be or look like tomorrow. Without

organize various programmes which would bring people

people the church does not exist. Hundreds of years-old


music, strange seats, stained glass, a language people can’t

I would like to end using this great quote from the bible

understand, and robes that date back to Reformation times

said by Jesus, Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter,

all say, “No change!” These features don’t seem to do the

and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates

church any good in accomplishing its mission. Culture rolls

of hell shall not prevail against it”. And so we should strive

forward, but in the church the anthem is the same, “As it

hard and try to build churches everywhere we can and God

was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. . .”.

will always be there for us.

The change will always lead to errors and problems

CHURCH – This year our church has dedicated itself

from time to time. The severity of the problems have to be

for the faith formation, many regional level RETREATS are

weighed over time when evaluating the wisdom of given

being conducted for the same but simultaneously many

leaders. However, anyone who wants an error-proof system

INCIDENTS are happening within the church where I found

is also insisting on a change-proof system. But as soon as

myself in the dilemma weather to believe in the words of

we refuse to take chances, we are also refusing to follow

the holy men’s chosen by god.

God. The youth should join the church and all people should

There is a case in Ambikapur (C.G.) where one priest

be accepted. Full communion rites of church for all and a

(who is now suspended along with one more priest) filed

church where young families find community should be

an F.I.R. against the Bishop for kidnapping and the conflict

started. There should be more outreach and mission work

was for the land (Nani ashram case). And then again I found

and a church where all can worship and find the love. We

in Bhopal (M.P.) one priest has done a police complaint

need to encourage the middle agers (25-45) to be more

against the Arch Bishop of Bhopal for making money for

active and buy into volunteering in the church. I liked one

individual by unfair means. In both the cases who is guilty

church’s mission statement – “Come in, grow in Christ, go

who is not does not matter much. The thing which matter’s

out and reach out” and that’s exactly what we have to do.

to the people is to whom should they believe in, now in

The church should have no walls that hold back any

what should they have faith!!… As in both cases the Bishop

who desire to share in God’s love and that we will be true

and the priest are representing the same faith

disciples of God’s Son Jesus. We need to keep our

CHRISTIANITY. In Bhopal case that priest worked with the

welcoming and our Christian love evident, not only within

Arch Bishop for 8 years so maybe he has seen some unfair

the church walls, but out into the community. The church

work or maybe he is lying for its ego, If Arch Bishop found

should put forth a big effort to reach out to those who don’t

guilty then what about the NEXT BISHOP.. Questioning eyes

come to church on a regular basis – especially teens and

will be is he is HONEST or the same, and if Bishop not

young adults. They are our future! The church should hold

found guilty then too the whole CHURCH WILL SUFFER

additional services to accommodate older congregations.

as what is being projected in front of the world. There are

I’d like the church to be open every day & to welcome all

number of such cases found all over our country where

people. There should be notice boards having numbers of

people chosen by god are being accused for making false

people to talk to for help. The number of restrictions put


forth by the church on students learning about God should

Earlier CATHOLICS were believe as they are very

be reduced. Priests should be more helpful and reach out


to the poor people of the church. The way the liturgy is said

the world sees that the high authorities of the CHURCH are

should be changed to make it more interactive. The church

indulge in these types of issues. IS CORRUPTION OF OUR

should also help build and strengthen communities in


different areas as this could bring more people closer to

Yes I guess this can be seen by VATICAN too.. After

God. Encouragement of youth should be done by the

seeing all this it was rightly declared as this year as the

church. The church is regarded as the temple of God and

YEAR OF FAITH. The whole church is in need of having

therefore the church should put up certain rules to people strong faith not only the DECIPLES but APOSTLES too… April-May 2013 28 Rally

Divya Durga, Chennai


ARTICLE takes a brief

Being a Syrian Christian is a matter of birth and inherited religious

look into the history of conversions

convictions. Therefore, conversion to that community is an anomaly. In

to Christianity in Kerala. The

all its known history till the 20 th century, the Malabar Church never

Christians of the State can be

undertook any missionary work. The theology of the community was that

broadly categorized into three:

every human being achieved salvation through his own religion. Spreading

Syrian Christians who are believed

the Word of Christ and induced or forced conversions to Christianity are

to have been converted from the

two totally different things. As a result, the Syrian Christians remained an

upper castes or dominant castes

exclusive community to which outsiders had no entry.

(whether such distinction existed at

Two questions arise here: why then did St. Thomas carry out

that time is not clear) by Apostle St.

conversions and, why did he convert only the so called upper classes or

Thomas in 1 century, Latin

dominant classes? The Apostle would have, if one accepts oral tradition,

Christians who were converted

received into the Christian fold only those who came forward willingly

mostly from lower classes by St.

and out of conviction. On the question of the claimed class distinction in

Francis Xavier in the 16 century

the conversions by the Apostle, it is necessary to understand the

and Dalit Christians who were

background of his mission. His arrival in Kerala (52A.D.) was before the

converted in the 19 century by the

gentiles were accepted into Christianity. Even the word ‘Christian’ did not

Anglicans and in the 20 century by

exist at that time; it was coined in Antioch around 65 A.D. Till then the

the Catholic denomination of the

followers of Christ were known as Nazranis, a name that continues to be

Syrians. The labels Syrian and Latin

used in Kerala.





came about because of the

It is possible that St. Thomas initially targeted the Jews who were

respective languages that were

already in Kerala. (Several historians claim that the Jews were trading

used in liturgy.

with Kerala even at the time of King Solomon.) Some of the upper crust




local people too, presumably, joined the new faith. Here ‘upper crust’

com munity is referred to by

would mean the educated or enlightened who, according to oral tradition,

historians as Malabar Church and

engaged the Apostle in debates.

St. Thom as Christians. T his

The Malabar Church enjoyed an organic growth for fifteen centuries,

congregation was, till the intrusion

blending with the social structure and being part of it, conforming to the

by the Western Christianity with the

customs and traditions of the land, maintaining dominant class stature,

arrival of the Portuguese, a

receiving support and recognition from the rulers.

distinctive Eastern Church with the

The Portuguese arrived in Kerala at the end of the 15th century. They

Pope of Rome as a hazy father

initiated a campaign to convert the local Christians (who followed Syriac

figure at the far end of a thin long

liturgy) to the Latin Rite. This met with incessant resistance. The net

line. Rally


April-May 2013

result in the long run was that

became Christians were no longer under any compulsion to carry out

the Malabar Church was truncated

their traditional duty.





This new congregation came to be known as Latin Christians.

denominations. Of these, the

Whereas the Syrian Christians always enjoyed dominant class status,

Catholic faction was subjugated by

the Latin Christians were treated as lower caste and there were hardly

the Western Latin Church for three

any social interaction between the two. After Independence, the Latin


Christians were officially included in the backward class category.

The arrival of St. Francis

The next round of conversions to Christianity in Kerala was in the

Xavier in the middle of the

19 century by the Anglicans, now known as Church of South India (CSI),

16 century


who came to Kerala in the wake of the British in the first quarter of the

missionary activity. This great saint

19th century. This episode covered both Syrian Christians and members

of the Catholic Church converted

of some suppressed castes. The Anglicans championed major causes of

many people of the suppressed

the Dalits, like the right of Channar women to cover their breasts in public,

castes to Christianity. He had the

and the abolition of slavery. This attracted these suppressed castes to

patronage of the Portuguese and

the new edition of Christianity in Kerala.






the maharajas of Travancore

Then, in the early 1930s, the Syrian Catholic Church suddenly went

and Cochin. In fact, the Maharaja

on a conversion spree against all traditions of the St. Thomas Christians,

of Cochin had the title ‘Protector of

focusing specifically on the Pulayas who were among the untouchables.


They were bonded labor attached to landlords, both Hindu and Christian.

But there were protests against

Anizham Thirunal Maharaja abolished slavery in Travancore in the mid -

these conversions from the

19th century, but the practice continued in one form or the other till the

dominant classes not on religious

World War II. The Pulayas were totally at the mercy of their land lords.

grounds but for social and

The prospect of joining Christianity appealed to many of them.

economic reasons. Accepting

Whether all these conversions were genuine, arising out of conviction

Christianity released the converts

is debatable. The details about the activities of St. Thomas in Kerala are

from their obligations under the fine

shrouded in the foggy past. But by no stretch of imagination could he

tuned caste system. This led to

have had the political, financial or military clout to indulge in coercion.

several problems. To give an

The present scenario in Kerala is that the label ‘Christians’ covers diverse

example: the coconut pickers who

groups without meaningful homogeneity or integration.



April-May 2013

THE STATE Council began with a prayer after which our State FullTimer Stacey Xavier welcomed everyone present there and explained to the new office bearers the significance of the State Council. After a short introduction of the new office bearers, a session was taken by our State Animator Prof. S M Gomes. Prof. S M Gomes explained the various duties to be carried out by each office-bearer and motivated them to work together as a team to take WB AICUF ahead in the upcoming year. He emphasized the importance of unity and brotherhood and helped the new office bearers to realize the potential that each one of them had

previous year. After this our State Co- Convenor Karan Maurya,- a very active and dedicated member of WB AICUF, conducted an action song and a short game to help foster unity and build cooperation among the new team of AICUF to help them know each other in a better way and teach them the importance of these values while working as a team. Elections for the State team of WB AICUF for 2012-2013 were presided over by the State Advisor, Rev. Fr. Dr. Felix Raj S.J and State Animator Prof. S. M. Gomes. Each unit proposed their nominees to the State team. The newly elected State Team was selected in consultation with Prof. Gomes and Fr. Felix Raj. The State Team for the year 2012-2013 is:-

and how they could use their talents and potential to fulf ill their

State Convenor

respective duties. The next session Member Sam Jacob where he

State Co-Convenor National Council MemberNational Team Member-

AvinashToppo Peter Dias Ashly Augustin

briefed the AICUFers about the

SWC Convenor


Tracy Reid

history of AICUF, its thrust areas-

AYCM Convenor


Anshula Murmu

Dalits, Refugees, Adivasis and

English Unit


Peter Dias

Women, the motto of AICUF- “We

XIA Unit


Ashly Augustin

are born in an unjust society and

Hindi Unit


Alex Thakur

we are determined not to leave it

Bengali Unit


Sylvian Gomes

as we have found it”. Sam

Santhali Unit


Swati Soren

enlightened everyone about the

Keorapukur Unit


Johan Gomes

structure of AICUF at the State and

Loeto Unit


Sr. Margaret

was taken by National Team

National level. Stacey Xavier then showed a presentation and told everyone about Fr. Babu Beckers who is a legendary AICUFer and how he brought WB AICUF to what it is now, through his hard work and dedication. She also gave a brief overview of all the activities that were organised by WB AICUF in the Rally


Sam Jacob

The elections were followed by a short refreshment break where our State Advisor, State Animator and State Full-timer cut a cake to thank the outgoing state team and welcome the new state team. The meeting continued with the last session for the day where Stacey Xavier helped the different units to plan out their activities for the upcoming year and encouraged them to remain united and co-ordinated as a team to take AICUF forward and keep up the reputation of WB AICUF high. The State Council ended on a prayerful note seeking God’s blessing for a successful year ahead. 31

April-May 2013

ukjh ds lg;ksxfcukgjcnyko v/kwjkgS “Without Co-operation of Women Every Change is Incomplete” The Tribal Women of Jashpur Celebrated

The International Women’s Day, 2013 Fr. Yacub Kujur, S. J., Loyola College Kunkuri, Jashpur, C.G. India.

IN 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United

Sabha’. In the offices, each official was given a leaf badge,

Nations began celebrating 8 th March as International

written over it. International Women’s Day 8 th March 2013,

Women’s Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the

“W ithout co-operation of women every change is

General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a

incomplete” Eight AICUFers, five girls and three boys

United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International

actively participated in the whole program.

Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member

The ‘Sabha’ was addressed by the affected women,

States, in accordance with their historical and national

some leaders and a man. Among the speaker were some

traditions. For the United Nations International Women’s

simple village women who spoke of their heartfelt plights.


Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. The Day

The speakers focused on the following points: displacement

is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-

of tribals in the name of development, problem of drinking


alcohol and legal provisions, passing of a Bill on women,

The official United Nations theme for International

curbing of human trafficking, promotion of village industry

Women’s Day 2013 is “A promise is a promise: Time for

and commerce, vocational training of youth in village level,

action to end violence against women.”

implementation of PESA, community ownership on forest,

Message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Occasion of International Women’s Day:

land and water, etc. On behalf of the AICUF, Anupama Dundung spoke on the importance of education.

As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we

Ms. Mamta Kujur gave the overall pathetic situation of

must look back on a year of shocking crimes of violence

the tribals of Jashpur in general and tribal women in

against women and girls and ask ourselves how to usher in

particular, making responsible and challenging the

a better future.

administration and political parties. On the auspicious

To celebrate the Day, tribal women of Jashpur (tribal

occasion Mr. Kripashanker Bhagat announced the historical

dominated District of Chhattisgarh), gathered in the

decision taken by the women on economical blockade. In

community hall at Jashpur Nagar the District head-quarter.

between the speeches traditional dances and songs were

More than five thousand women, in their traditional dress

put up by various women groups. Mean while a

and with their household articles gathered for the celebration

memorandum was submitted to the district Collector. The

of the Day. After the formal welcome and key note address

celebration was concluded with loud slogans.

on purpose and theme of the gathering, video shows on

The hallmark of the celebration was the participation,

women and their problems in particular and social problems

only by the tribal women. Of course the district is dominated

and problems of displacement in general were screened. A

by the tribals, it does not negate the presence of other

few women addressed the gathering and then it took a form

women. The question arises, why only the tribal women

of a rally passing through the main street of the town,

have to come out to the streets, in demand of their rights?

shouting slogans of women emancipation, socio-political

It indicates that they are unprotected, unsecured, not taken

problems and against

care of their needs and

displacement, halting at

aspirations by their counter

important offices the rally


reached to Collectorate and

opportunity to men to think

again moving through

and reflect how they have

Tribal Office and police

fulfilled their duties and

station it reached to SP’s

responsibilities towards the

Office. Near circuit house

other. Women have to come

it took a form of ‘Jan Rally




out to the streets, is it not a


April-May 2013

shame on men? In fact, according to the Oraon tradition women had to fight their enemies on behalf of men which indicates co-responsibility and being co-partner in defending and making of a culture. That’s why it is rightly said, “Without co-operation of women every change is incomplete” -Both men and women have to come together to bring change in society. Without the other any change is

development. The responsibility lies on tribal women to

incomplete and impossible. The responsibility lies more on

guide their men in this regard for the men easily lose their

women since their number is more than men (ratio 1004,

senses by over drinking. On the other hand, it’s the time for

census 2011). They have to respect one another. They are

tribal men to humbly accept the guidance of their women,

equals, not objects and subjects, not superiors and subjects,

rather than showing their male dominium over women when

but equals and partners.

they are out of their self control through over drinking, lest

A socio-cultural change has to come in this tribal

it will be too late.

society. One of the aspects of it is drinking problem. This

It is said knowledge is power. So it has to be acquired.

problem has to be eradicated from within with the help and

One who has knowledge is powerful. Therefore, tribals have

co-operation of both men and women. Usually rice beer

to gain knowledge through education. They have to be

and Mahua Daru is prepared by women and consumed by

educated. The literacy rate of Jashpur is 68.60% consisting

men. Let women take a decision, on this auspicious

of 78.24% of men and 59.05% of women (Census 2011)

occasion not to prepare such drinks. Blaming government

which indicates low rate of literacy among women whereas

rules for the problem may not solve the issue. It is the right

they outnumber men. They have to keep in mind that they

time to bring a change in the tribal society in this regard

have to educate their children. The schools have

and it has to come from within, for every change comes

mushroomed. A decisive decision has to be taken that the

from within, imposition from outside seldom works. Drinking

children have to be sent to school. In some schools teaching

problem has a vicious circle; it has to be eradicated from

has become less important than feeding. So children come

the root.

there not for learning but for eating. Hostels and Ashrams

During the election drinking habit of the tribals is made use as a means to gain votes by the political parties. They

are opened for tribal boys and girls, where they are exploited and particularly girls.

buy the votes of tribals with Desi and Videshi Sharab. This

Mother is the first teacher to the children in a family.

has to stop immediately, if democracy has to exist in the

She has more contact with the children compared to father,

country and if the Indian Government is really interested in

one who is often out to earn. The children easily approach

the development of Adivasis of the country. Political parties

her for any need. She knows them better. Therefore, it is

should buy the votes of tribals through their developmental

easy for her to guide them knowing each one. According to

projects for them and not through taking advantage of their

each ones interest, talents, capabilities and skills she has

weaknesses. This is injustice done to the spirit of

to guide them towards their goal. On the other hand knowing

democracy. On the other hand, it is the right time for the

the same, the children have to set their goals and strive to

tribals themselves to become aware of the situation, not to

achieve them. In the absence of goals the tribal children

become a prey in the hands of their enemies, to come to

seem drifting from their life. They are unable to cope up

know the value of their votes and vote for the right and just

with the influence and impact of modernity. Mothers have

person and party - one who is really concerned for their

to guide their children with loving care. On the other hand the grown up children have to understand the situation and follow the guidance of their parents. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has rightly said that we have to look back to bring a better future. Let this be an occasion of introspection for every tribal of Jashur. Let them come together, in bringing the dream to a reality the reality of a change in society:ukjh ds lg;ksxfcukgjcnyko

v/kwjkgS Rally


April-May 2013

K. Akshaya Loyola, Chennai

THE TAMIL people of the island of Ceylon [now called Sri Lanka] constitute

a distinct nation. They form a

social entity, with their own history, traditions, culture, language and traditional homeland. The Tamil people call their nation Tamil Eelam. For past ten years they had been fighting for an independent nation. In spite of their long years of struggle, they are left with disappointment as they were not able to achieve their goal. On 08th March 2013, eight students from Loyola College, Chennai bravely started hunger strike at AICUF house against Srilankan war crime. The entire AICUF thronged with students and they were shifted to CMBT and continued their non violent protest in need of positive reply from the Srilankan government for the welfare people of Eelam. Mr. Vaiko (MDMK- President) met the students and expressed his solidarity for the protest. ‘One Island and one Nations’ was the slogan that the students kept repeating all day not minding the extreme weather. It was just an initiation that caught fire across the state within a few days. “Our fight will not end till we achieve an independent nation” - the protesting students said. Starve! Strike! Succeed! Is the only motto.



April-May 2013

SATHIYASIVAM SINNAYA, a 35-year-old bachelor, started his long walk from London to Geneva on the forenoon of February 20 with the aim of reaching Geneva on March 4 to personally submit a memorandum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay.As a Tamil seeking justice to those still suffering in Sri Lanka, Sathi as he is known, felt that he had to do something that could catch the attention of the world.Sathi (second from left) walked 763 km from London to Geneva in 13 days to demand separate EelamHis friends were initially reluctant to support his march because of the harsh winter in this part of the world.Sathi gave his friends two options. He said, you either support me or I have no other choice but to immolate myself to draw the attention of the world to the Tamil cause. His friends got the message and agreed to support his long walk.Now, apart from the dampening snow all through the journey, the other challenge was to reach Geneva by Mar 4 when Tamils from all over Europe, Malaysia, US and Canada would assemble in front of the UN to press their demands.Sathi wanted to be there and submit a memorandum to Navanetham Pillay. There were only 13 days left and he had to cover a distance of 763 kilometers (not including the ferry journey to France).Sathi had the near impossible task of walking 58.69 km per day! But Sathi, the brave heart had made up his mind and he set out on his journey determined to reach Geneva in 13 days.As he walked day and night, the only thing that went in his mind was the sacrifices made by the women and children back home. The By Paul Newman, Geneva,

14 Mar 2013

selfless sacrifices of young men and women of the LTTE motivated him to walk.Though his body could not take this rigorous task, the emotion filled Sathi had a strong will and his mind would never

give up.All through the journey Tamils from towns and villages en route came to encourage him. A fellow Tamil, Amarnath, followed him on a car, and distributed campaign material to curious onlookers all along the route.Tamils from all over the world gathered in Geneva on March 4There were times when Sathi slept just two hours in the night. Ultimately after braving the weather and fatigue, Sathi reached Geneva, carrying the Tamil Eelam and United Nations flags on the 4th morning to join over 5,000 other Tamils from all over the world to reiterate that Tamil Eelam was the only solution to the Tamil plight in Sri Lanka.His memorandum to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights included the following key demands:1. Initiate an independent international investigation into the systematic genocide of Tamils by successive Sinhala governments in the island of Sri Lanka.2. Remove the Sinhala military from the Tamil people’s homeland.3. Conduct a UN sponsored referendum to determine the political aspirations of Tamils in their homeland as well as amongst the Diaspora.4. Ensure Sri Lanka offers a general amnesty to political prisoners and releases them without delay.Later, the special emissary of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to the UN Human Rights Council, Manicka Vasagar, handed over a certificate of appreciation to Sathi who humbly accepted it and raised pro Eelam slogans shouting that the thirst for an Independent Eelam would be alive as long as thousands of youngsters like him were alive. Rally


April-May 2013




of March 2013, St.Xavier’s College played

host to one such event which provided a platform to those young individuals who strived to spread this message to others through the theme for the day which read – RENEWING MINDSETS, TRANSFORMING LIVES. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. We, at AICUF believe that bringing a revolution starts at home, from our very mindsets. When we change our mindsets, that’s when evolution becomes revolution. Keeping this in mind, the events for the day encompassed various aspects of current social

One of the main attractions of the day was the Debate.

issues and also cultural events to celebrate and revive the

There were two teams comprising one professor and two

different traditions that are nurtured in the Indian society.

students each. The topic for the debate was “Violent Youth

Our lineup of events for the day had been as follows:

Offenders should be tried as adults and not let off as




Dance by Ghostomat children


Scholarship distribution



History redefined, Culture foretold, the event had


Street Play

several units performing in their own traditional


Music and Dance by various units of AICUF


juvenile miscreants” Best Speaker- Shourya Chakraborty speaking against the motion

- Nepali Song and Dance - Bengali Song

The Malayalam song, “It is our honor to perform here,

- Adivasi dance

- Bihu dance

we are welcoming the guests in our ‘God’s Country’

- Malayalam Song

- Punjabi Dance

style”, said one of the performers.

The Banner Displayed outside the auditorium

The sarcasm and enthusiasm of the Hindi Comedy

We received an overwhelming response and as anticipated

had everyone laughing their head over heels

the turnout for the event had been exceptional, with a footfall

The Bengali Unit performing ‘Pagla Haowar Badal Dine

of nearly 750 students including 170 as participants.

The Inauguration

The Adivasi Dance had charmed the audience,

Lighting the Lamp

clouds of applauds and praises hung in the air.

Welcome Dance by the children of Ghostomat

No event is complete without some spices of

Felicitating the Ghostomat Children

Bollywood and Bhangra Charming and beautiful, the enigmatic Nepali Dance had the audience hypnotized and bewitched. Performance by the Loreto Unit portrayed a fusion of Western and Eastern culture Guest Performance by XADAM Dance Finally, Alls well that ends well. We achieved what we had perceived- to fight for a social cause and create awareness, spreading happiness and love along the way.



April-May 2013

Date: 28th Feb to 5th March, 2013 Venue: larqui, Mariado, nawalgoan(Sehore Indore road) Madhuri Toppo AICUF Secretary, MP


EXPOSURE programme was conducted by MP AICUF on 28 Feb 2013. The objective of

this programme was to create awareness among rural people about child marriage and education. Students from Bhopal and Jabalpur around 17 AICUFers participated in the programme. Street plays on the themes of ‘early child marriage’ and ‘education’ were prepared at Loyola house, AICUF Ashram Bhopal. On 1 st March we stayed at Campion Ashram and met Fr. Stephan who works for the Bareila Tribes. After lunch we visited the village

named ‘Mariado’ 2





Moving into 5

different groups,

with the help of a few


visited several houses

and interacted with





we and

family. The interaction

with them enabled

us to find out their

education level and

their opinions towards getting the young educated for a better future. In the evening we staged street play and Fr. Virendra Xalxo S.J. welcomed all of them and gave a brief introduction of our mission. We reiterated the importance of having basic education and prohibiting child marriages for better tomorrow. Need of girl’s education was highlighted. Street play called ‘matru’ was presented focusing on education and teaching that a person is not known by his drawback but by his achievements, it’s only her/ his achievements which make her/his life worth living. We danced to the tune of action songs and all the villagers joined us. On the next day we headed towards a village ‘Nawalgoan’ 10 km away from Ashram. We visited the houses, surveyed and interacted with them.

Creating awareness was our sole

objective. In the evening we gathered

all the villagers and Fr. Virendra

Xalxo welcomed and introduced our

mission. Dance, action song

and street play were staged

highlighting the importance

of girl child. Action songs and a play

stressed the negative

impacts of early marriage. The

villagers too perform ed

their traditional dance and we joined


On the following day we had a

mass by Fr. Virendra and Fr.

Stephan. We thanked Fr. Stephan for




returned to Bhopal. This exposure was an aid in getting to know the realities and the way people lived and conceived ideas of the village. Very orthodox and so remained the way they lived and carried out the traditional practices. Our encounter would have in some way had a pinch of impact in getting the girl child educated. Rally


April-May 2013


First Prize: Rs.10000 Second Price: Rs.7000 Third Prize: Rs.5000 Two Consolation prizes of Rs.2500 each. In addition to these, ten best entries would be given One Year Rally Subscription Eligibility: Any university/college student pursuing any degree (UG/PG/ M.phil) in any discipline. The essay should be the original work of the writer. Beware of plagiarism! Writing guidelines: The paper should be typed in MS Word-2008 format, using Calibri Font, 12 Font Size with single line spacing, justified. The Essay should be around 6 pages (3000 words) to 8 pages (4000 words). Use British English. The first page of the article should contain Title of the paper, followed by the Address of the Essayist – institution address, email, Phone number and contact address. The article shall be from second page onwards.The essay should start with an introduction and end with a conclusion. List of all references should be at the end of the essay. Submission method: The essay should be submitted in electronic format to and a hardcopy should be posted to National Adviser, AICUF House, 52 Sterling Road, Chennai 34. The Last date to reach your Essay is on 30th June 2013 Correction panel: The essays are adjudicated by a panel of three experts through a blind referral system. To ensure anonymity, the writer’s name and address should not appear anywhere in the essay except the first page.Once the paper is selected, it becomes the copyright of AICUF. All the winners would be intimated personally by email. No communication would be there when a paper is not selected. No query would be entertained regarding this. NOTE: Every essay should be accompanied by a certificate from the Principal or Head of the Department to the fact that she/he is the student of that institution. Every paper should be accompanied by a self-declaration to the effect that essay is the original work of the writer and that the essay has not been submitted for publication anywhere. Rally


April-May 2013

AICUF House Chennai, 22nd to 24th March 2013 NT meeting planned at Bhopal during Easter

discussion, we were able to arrive at a theme

holidays was not materialized as many were not in

“AICUF Challenges to: Rethink the past and Re-

a position to turn up for the meeting due to exams,

create the Future”. And this also will be the theme

we had decided to have the NT meeting at Chennai

suggested for the August issue of Rally.

from 22 to 24 March. Though it was an anticipated

We decided to have our next NT meeting from

meeting 13 NT members were present for the

28 to 30th June at Chennai. The next NT meeting

meeting (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala,

will be in preparation towards the council. All the

Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar,

states needs to come prepared with all the reports

Dumka, NDC Convenor, National Animator, National

and policy documents and so that the proceeding

Advisor and National Full timers.)

will go smoothly during the council. All the NT’s are



The meeting started on 22 night with the AICUF nd

prayer and then the agenda on summer camps was


expected to come with the state history the state annual report and state policy document (draft). Madhya

taken up. The following would shoulder the responsibilites for the summer camp:




Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu have submitted their registered members list along with their history and

Camp: 1 Natalia, Ruban and Mangal

six months reports. Chhattisgarh and West Bengal

Camp: 2 Sridhar, Albin and Sam

had submitted in the last meeting itself. A preliminary

Camp: 3 Franklin, Innocent and Om

discussion on souvenir magazine for council took

Camp: 4 Jitendra, Chandan and Amross

place and the same discussion was carried forward

Franklin presented the details of the camp at

to next morning.

Pune along with the budget and logistics. Gujarat

On 24th we discussed on the core team meeting

camp details by Jitendra along with the change of

report (Ex-AICUFers Convention slated for 2014).

exposure venue for the camp from Borpara to

W e also took note of how the core team is

Paraspara. Philomena and Vincent presented details

responding to the upcoming convention. The

of Bangalore and Nalgonda camp.

approach and response of Ex-AICUFers was also

On 23 we took up the task of finalizing theme

assessed to understand the convention. It was

for Rally ensuing months. We decided to have the

decided that after 5th May meeting of the core team

theme “The Church We Want” for the month of

necessary decision regarding the convention would

April coinciding with the election of new pontiff in

be taken by the national team.


the Catholic Church. Month of May and June will be

In Memory of Fr. Ceyrac, an essay competition

a combined issue which will focus on four National

would be conducted at the national level. The theme

camps. We decided the theme of ‘Transgender’

will be announced in the April issue of Rally, deadline

for the month of July issue of Rally. Then we took up

to receive the articles would be 30th June 2013.

the task of deciding an appropriate theme for the

Fund raising for the souvenir and the details as

next National Council. After a hectic and prolonged

to the comm ittee for the magazine and the April-May 2013 39


sponsorship details were discussed in depth. All

all the state Advisors for sending their members.

members jointly decided to look for sponsorship from

During the NT meeting. Cooking and helping each

their state and other bodies. The process of

other in cooking was a great experience for all of us

discussing the theme followed a chain of serious

to build a strong unity among us. It was an occasion

argument and options. Suggestions were noted

to personalize the value of dignity of labour and

which will be further discussed and then announced

mutual cooperation. In between the sessions, we

and worked upon. The chair person of the committee

spent quality time in the documentation centre

will be Prof.G.John along with some state advisors

browsing through the back-up files. We had an

and Fr. Selvin.

elaborate discussion on the ‘protests and hunger

After the tea break Fr. Selvin threw some light

strikes undertaken by the students of Tamilnadu with

on the account and the problems regarding finance

respect to Srilankan Tamil’s issue. We also decided

of the national secretariat with the national team.

to expedite the One Million Post Card campaign in

After a short prayer by Natalia the meeting ended

support of ‘SC status for Dalit Christians and


Muslims and fight for their demand reservation.

Overall the meeting was a success and we thank


- National Team


April-May 2013


April-May 2013


April-May 2013


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