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Mumbai

Vol 5

Issue 3

Pages 8

February 2014

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Politics Of An Election 1. Overpopulation

11. Caste related violence

2. Poverty

12. Gender Inequality & Abuse

3. Illiteracy

13. Bribery & Corruption

4. Unemployment

14. Overburdened legal system

5. Malnutrition

15. Losing fear of law

6. Floundering Economy

16. Political Incoherence

7. High inflation

17. Poor governance

8. Poor Infrastructure

18. Border disputes

9. Commercialisation of Education

19. Environmental degradation

10. Insurgency & Terrorism

20. Natural Disasters

The election to the 16th Lok Sabha is due in April/May this year. With just three months to go for what is universally described ‘the world’s largest democratic exercise’, here are some thoughts: The pre-election political scene is turning murky with allegations and counter allegations. Mudslinging is almost a daily routine. The past is being reinvented to justify the present. If you are an apolitical observer, you will wonder if this is an attempt to deflect public attention away from real issues. In the ongoing campaigns, not once has a de-

bate been held on issues of public relevance or significance. Until now, there hasn’t been an expression of any serious intent to solve the numerous problems we are facing. No plan or programme worth its value has been presented to help us visualise what life would be like in the next five or ten years. As we continue to battle it out against all odds, the adverse effects of a failing economy are beginning to catch up. Owning a house is beyond our reach now. Education and health-care cost a fortune. Electricity and

water charges are unreasonably exorbitant. Cooking gas and automobile fuel give us the jitters. It costs a lot to live today! Yet, we are patient in our hopes that real issues would soon be debated and remedial actions initiated. And if anyone seeking to become an elected representative still has difficulties in identifying our concerns, here is a ready list. We do not expect miracles. Even if a third of these are addressed sincerely and honestly in the next five years, India would well be on its way to become a super power.


2 February 2014 Chairman

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February 2014 3

Ayyappa Temple Khambalpada, Thakruli, Dombivli (E).

Bhagavata Saptaha Yajnam At Lord Ayyappa Temple, Khambalpada, Dombivli From 5th to 12th February 2014 Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Om Sri Krishnaya Paramatmane Namah The second anniversary of consecration of Lord Ayyappa Temple at Thakurli Khambalpada, MIDC in Dombivli was celebrated on 4th and 5th February 2014. Commencing 5th February, Bhagavata Saptaha Yajna, a seven day long ritual is also being performed as part of the celebrations. A discourse on Bhagavata Mahatmyam will be delivered by Yajnaachaarya Swamy Vishudhananda. As per Hindu scripts, Bhagavata Dharmam transcended from Lord Maha Vishnu and from Him to Lord Brahma. Narada learnt it from Brahma, and passed it on to Veda Vyasa. Vyasa’s son Shuka who learnt it from his father, was the one to narrate it to King Pareekshith, tormenting under Rishi Shringi’s curse. The King listened to Bhagavata Dharma for seven days with utmost devotion, and attained Moksha. Shuka had denoted that the only way to overcome dif-

ficulties and sufferings in Kali Yuga, was Bhagavata Katha sravana (listening to the divine stories of Lord Krishna). Since then, ardent devotees have been listening to Bhagavata Katha to avoid the evil effects of Kali Yuga and to lead a happy and peaceful life. The seven days ahead provide devotees a rare opportunity to stay immersed in the memory of Lord Krishna and attain purity of mind. Hence, may we request your presence with families during this Bhagavata Saptaha, and your cooperation to make this occasion a great success?


4 February 2014

ATTUKAL AMMA PONGALA SAMARPPANAM MAHOTSAVAM (2nd Year) WILL BE HELD ON 16TH FEBRUARY 2014 AT SRI SUBRAMANYA SWAMY TEMPLE , GOGRASWADI- DOMBIVLI(E) By the grace of Attukal Amma and Sri Valli Devasena Sametha Lord Sri Subramanya Swamy and with the blessings of Lord Ayyappa, we have great pleasure to celebrate the 2nd year of Attukal Amma Pongala Samarppanam on Sunday, the 16th February 2014. There were suggestions from a couple of devotees for arrangements to perform the Attukal Amma Pongala at Dombivili and accordingly a Volunteer Organizing Committee came forward to take the initiative to do the same. With full dedication and confidence we had organized this divine event for the first time in Dombivili in February 2013 which was a grand success. The participation of women devotees, wholehearted support from Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple Authority, TV Media, and local Malayalam daily news papers covering our Pongala Festival 2013, have given us the strength to repeat it this year also by accommodating

more women who are not in a position to visit Attukal, Thiruvananthaapuram due to various reasons. Pongala Mahotsavam Pongala is the most important annual festival of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram. The ten day long celebration commences in the Malayalam month of Makaram - Kumbham (February – March) on the Karthika Nakshathram. The Pongala ceremony is on the auspicious day of Pooram Nakshathram, which also coincides with full moon this year. The Maha Pongala performed only by women takes place in a radius of about 7 kilometers around the temple. Since this ceremony is exclusively confined to women, it is proudly called ‘Sabarimala of Women’. It is also an occasion where the largest gathering of women assemble. As per Guinness World Record, 5 to 7 million women participate in the Pongala offering.

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All women ,without barriers of caste, religion, or language can participate in the Pongala rituals. Hence we invite all devotees and well wishers to come forward in large numbers and take part to make this 2nd year event a grand success and to receive the blessings of Attukal Amma. Devotees may contribute in cash or kind generously for Pooja, Annaprasadam etc. Pongala Details: Pongala Aduppu, Kerala earthen pots, water, rice, jaggery, fire wood etc. will be provided by the Managing Devotees. Participants have to be present at the venue at 8.30 am or earlier. Booking will be on first come first basis. Please book at the earliest. Devotees can book Ganapathy Homam, Pushpanjali, Archana etc. For safety purpose all devotees are requested to wear cotton dress materials only.

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February 2014 5

8 Things

We Are About to Lose

‘Progress’, in the wise words of George Bernard Shaw ‘is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ Today we are witnessing unprecedented changes. We are losing many things, we thought were inalienable part of our lives. All in the name of progress. Know what they are. Be prepared to live without them.

Telephone

Post Offices

Until a few years back, a ‘telephone’ meant a wired landline of contact for the whole family. Today, with every family member having a cellphone, and remaining connected 24x7 even on the move, where is the need for the traditional telephone apparatus?

Newspapers

The E-paper is fast becoming a viable alternative with the convenience of accessing it on cellphones or other net enabled devices. But, watch out! To the newspaper publishers, its growing popularity is a potential source of revenue. Hence don’t be surprised if it turns into paid subscription service.

The traditional postal service, ‘snail mail’ to many, is about to lose its pace and come to a grinding halt. It isn’t financially productive any more. The couriers and Email are squeezing out whatever life is left in it!

Books

The days of holding a physical book in your hand are almost over. Today, if you are a book lover, you can browse online bookstores, read previews and reviews, and download them on to your E-reader at a comparatively lesser price. You are also spared the pain of finding space to store them.

Music

Television

There is hardly a TV broadcasting network that isn’t gasping for breath. Viewer tastes are changing, revenues are dropping, and costs of operation spiralling. The commercials that repeat for almost 10 minutes in every programme slot of half an hour is driving away even the addicts. Is it death knell for the good old ‘idiot box’?

As in the case of books, the world of music also is changing. You don’t need to buy or store music in the form of CDs or DVDs. At a fraction of that cost, you can download your favourite numbers from online music sites without ever leaving home.

Cheques

Britain is about to wind up cheque enabled money transactions by 2018. The processing costs of cheques have been mounting day by day. And hastening its death are the popular ATM, Plastic cards, and online transactions.

Privacy

A private person? Not any more. Every time you connect to the internet, you are being tracked, your IP address recorded. Step out of your house, and Webcams on the street pick you up. Go to any public place, and you are under surveillance. The GPS together with Google Street View can even ‘spot’ you! Is there a place left to hide?


6 February 2014

MUMBAI BHAJANOTSAVAM SHARANADHARA TRUST, a registered Charitable Trust, is an association of like-minded philanthropists who believes that there is a dearth in the social commitment among the general public, and a sincere selfless effort in the cultural / spiritual field can easily be converted into the benefit of the masses, especially in the downtrodden, underprivileged people in our society at large particularly by impacted miserably by physical ailments and senior citizens lodged in old homes and longing for basic help. We have already embarked on

these humanitarian activities in a big way, and extended financial assistance to many deserving persons in the areas of medical as well as educational aid. We are committed to bring about a social revolution by carrying out whatever we can do for the society, especially for the upliftment of the down-trodden. To augment fund resources, we conducted a 4 day long mega Namasankeerthanam festival in Mumbai, titled ‘MUMBAI BHAJANOTSAVAM’ with 15 eminent Artists from 30/01/14 to

02/02/14 at Agri Sabha, Subhash Road, Dombivli (W), which recaptured the essence of namarasam and present it to the Mumbaikars, especiallyto our next generation, with a clear agenda of propagating our traditions. Committed to social wellbeing, along with this we also had Free Heart, ENT, Orthopaedic, General health and Eye checkups during the Mumbai Bhajanotsvam. The entire surplus amount collected shall be used for carrying out charitable activities in extending medical and educational aid

to the needy. A mega venture of this magnitude is possible only with your whole-hearted participation and generous support. We have charted out tailor-made avenues like Out-door campaigns, Banners, Souvenir, Stall space, News Paper supplements, PR activities etc. to reciprocate the magnanimity extended to us through your invaluable contributions. We are also planning to come out with a colourful SOUVENIER to memorize this grand event. This will reach thousands of people as well

as thousands of desks who support us. We solicit your esteemed support and cooperation to

make this venture a memorable one. Managing Committee Sharanadhara Trust


February 2014 7

Watch What You Eat Have you heard of food additives? If not, you sure have seen it, smelt it, tasted it..., even fallen pray to its side effects! The consequences were perhaps, so minor that you ignored it. After all who takes a stomach upset, headache, or a tiny rash on the skin seriously, unless it persists? Additives are present in every bite or sip that we take. Those in the business of feeding us, would justify it as the only way to keep food fresh and safe throughout its long journey from farms/factories to retail outlets. Fuelling its indiscriminate use is our own increasing demand on the variety, avail-

ability, and affordability of food items. For long, the harmful potential of food additives has been a matter of research as well as debate. Debate, because of lack of credible and conclusive finding! For instance, afflictions caused by an additive in one person need not occur in another. Further, tests on additives performed in isolation, make it impossible to determine their combined effects in a particular food preparation. The culprits could be any additive from the commonly used Colouring agents, Preservatives, Sweeteners, and

Flavour Enhancers to the more potent Hydrogenated Oils (Crackers, Cookies and Cakes); High Fructose Corn (Baked products), MSG or Mono Sodium Glutamate (to stimulate appetite), Olestra (a substitute for fat), and so on. Their regular consumption can cause Digestive, Nervous, Coronary, and Respiratory disorders. The food industry prefers to play down this negative perception. In terms of real health risk, they contend, food-borne micro-organisms and lack of hygiene pose far greater threats than additives. The tragedy is the manner in which policies governing food production/ processing are framed. In Europe, an additive is assumed to be harmful until proven safe. As the GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) rule in USA suggests,

an additive is presumed safe until proven otherwise. These different approaches only serve to cause further confusion. Let us not fall prey to these assumptions and pre-

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sumptions. It is not only our right, but responsibility as well, to ensure safety for us and our children. Hence, do not hesitate to reject food that contains any additive about which you

whave any misgiving or reservation. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t. Q Michael Pollan

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8 February 2014

Bhagavata Saptaha Yajnam At Lord Ayyappa Temple, Khambalpada, Dombivli

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