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Archive for July, 2015

Sashi Tharoor & his debate on the British Imperialism!


What struck me as a opening remark was I WON’T KEEP YOU LONG, which is what King Henry the Eighth is supposed to have told his six wives! 

The story has a certain perverse eagerness, on the part of the person who concocted the story, based on the historical fact that Henry VIII had had six queen consorts most of whom had been executed by Henry! Tharoor merely repeated, what was originally said by , the then Prime Minister TONY BLAIR, to an European delegation.  Events couldn’t have unfolded as per that smart one-liner, as the reason for Henry VIII disposing of the Queens on one ground or the other was that, he believed that they were incapable of producing a male heir to the throne.  As such, it must have happened after each had brought forth a female child or had gone childless for a while. So such a PREPONDERENT STATEMENT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE AT THE OUTSET OF EACH ENGAGEMENT! It appears to me as a smart concoction post facto! 

It leads us to the next fact whether any of the six queens did finally produce a male heir and if so did Henry stop his UXORICIDE? Jane Seymour did gift a male child, who eventually sat as the Defender of Faith, at a tender age of ten and died six years after his ascension! The next was the daughter of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She also did not serve long and Elizabeth I, ascended the throne and she became the Defender of the Faith for a full four and a half decades, before James came and legitimised the work of Wycliffe through the KING JAMES VERSION, of the Protestant Bible. 

So history is not a mere narration of events, it is a subtle interpretation of the events seen through the mental filters of any  mind conditioned in a way either voluntarily through an ideology or events. 

So when Tony Blair said that Henry told all his wives that he WOULDN’T KEEP THEM LONG, it was an expression of a newly converted Catholic, to further blacken the image of Henry the Eighth, as a demonstration of his adherence to his Catholic belief! 

One of the ideas found acceptable by Absalom, when he usurped rather attempted to usurp the throne from his father David, was that he prove to the people with him,  that he was irreconcilably alienated from his father David, was to indulge in sex with David, his father’s,  concubines, PUBLICLY!  Absalom did it publicly and proved to his followers that he cannot reconcile with his father, ever! Likewise, Tony Blair had to be judgementally insensitive to the man on whose edifice he had built his career and his being!

When Henry asked the Church of Rome for the dissolution of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, there was his contemporary, Charles the Fifth, who was the Holy Roman Emperor, who secured the Pope’s temporal interests. And this Charles V, was a nephew of Catherine of Aragon. So the Pope had to make a choice, and circumstances made him to go with the immediate geographical power which was of more immediate importance to the Pope, then.

The interesting part is that the Kingship of England, which is legitimised by the Protestant Church of England , had to suffer the barb of Tony Blair, who because of his catholic leanings, was not willing to see the Liberty gained by the English people even though they were the benevolent byproducts of the evil deeds of Henry VIII! 

When Tharoor repeated the quote, it must have gratified many Papists, as Henry’s role has been truly SEMINAL in the Reformatory process (called schism by the Catholic Church) of the Church if England! 

Why not we look at the Pope not having granted the dissolution of the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon as another political compulsion (as Charles V was keen on keeping his aunt as the Queen consort of England)?  We desire no such thought as that part of the history would have no great appeal, as there was no departure from normal human affiliations, whereas Henry’s deeds of executing 3 Catherines and two Annes stand in the way of his rehabilitation, for having secured the Liberty of the Church if England! (Btw Jane Seymour died soon after she delivered the baby boy, who became Edward VI) . 

Shall we say Jane Seymour  DID NOT TAKE LONG TO GIVE HENRY WHAT HE WANTED – A BABY BOY? 

But Tharoor’s opening sentence itself was accusative of the moral grounds on which Doctrine of Lapse was invented by the Imperial Governors General, to sustain their hold on Indian revenues! 

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Hallowing the Profane! 


Some of the Christian sects and some Preachers cannot handle with equanimity of mind any of the passages or episodes which border on the concupiscent! 

One of those sects are the Pentecostals and one of the sermons I heard was about Abigail, the wife of Nabal and after becoming or making herself a widow, becomes King David’s wife! The Pastor went on to become the global head of the organisation . In the seventies when still a boy and bound by parental control over which church I attended, I was left with o prion but to attend the long-winded service on Sundays which were led by the whim of the Pastor than by any palpable Spirit!

One of the sermons I still remember was the one relating to ABIGAIL! His sermon summarised is: Abigail was the Holy Spirit who led David from committing the evil act of having to kill Nabal. As God had planned to destroy Nabal for his wickedness and prevented David from tainting his own hands with the blood of Nabal! 

I just couldn’t handle that metaphor of Abigail being the image of The Holy Ghost! One has to read I Samuel ch. 25 verse 26:

26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

This is what Abigail says to David before the ” death” of Nabal! To my mind it seems like a commitment made by Abigail to finish off Nabal, her husband, whom she mentions as ‘ son of Belial! in an earlier verse. 

Abigail, saddles her ass and meets David that night and Samuel had died just before this episode, paving a way for David to be upto his ways!  The passage says that she met David that night without informing Nabal, but there is nothing to show that she told Nabal the next day that she had gone and met David in the dark, to boot, at David’s place! 

Nabal is PETRIFIED , I am sure Abigail couldn’t have behaved as per the Pauline command: be in subjection to YOUR OWN husband! When she had the temerity to bad mouth Nabal to David the previous night, instead of being apologetic and appease the ‘ self declared master from Saul, the King’ , Abigail’s words smack of a quiescent willingness more than that shown by Bathsheba , while Uriah was busy defending the territories of Israel! 

Seems more like what David lost through Michal, had to be compensated from the wealth of Nabal! Remember, Bathsheba’s story happens much later. Abigail happens to be David’s second wife, but for all practical purposes, the first who stayed with him throughout, unlike the petulant Michal, who in Dryden’s terms was 

A SOIL INGRATEFUL TO THE TILLER’S CARE! 

and was married off to Phlatiel, by Saul to spite David and was recovered much later during Ishbosheth’s reign! Much water would have flowed under the ridge, oops! bridge! 

Now to make ABIGAIL a metaphor for the Holy Ghost is HALLOWING THE PROFANE! 

Why some Pentecostal characters couldn’t accept the sexual element in the Bible and accept it as a reality of life, is  flummoxing (coinage intended).

The can’t accept that SONGS OF SOLOMON,  was plain romantic poetry at the time it was written ! 

They further hold a very self elevating belief that those who lead a celibate life and are dedicated to Hod’s work would be kept in a higher rank of a place called Zion, whereas those who are ‘ tainted’ with women would be in New Jerusalem !

Why this HALLOWING the PROFANE? That is also a part of life and existence, if you don’t want it go after those things you want! Why Hallow things which are Profane and ascribe mystical meanings to it? 

New brand of Christianity!


Many would have read the following passage from the New Testament:  Matthew chapter 17:

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21But this kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting.

The above passage was when the disciples could not drive away the evil spirit from the boy, and Jesus stepped in and cured the boy. Thereafter Jesus’ disciples ask him WHY THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO DO WHAT JESUS SUCCEEDED IN DOING? 

The Godhood of Jesus is revealed in this passage, not because he succeeded where his disciples failed, but because Jesus says in unequivocal terms that it is the successful efforts of PRAYER &FASTING, which enables a human to perform such miracles. Secondly, Jesus doesn’t find fault with the father of the boy or worse still, even with the boy, but STATES THE INADEQUACIES IF HIS OWN DISCIPLES. 

Cut back and let us see some passages of Paul in I Corinthians chapter 11 verse 30 says thus:

For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 

James says this at Chapter 4:3:

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

The first is a passage by the self declared Apostle and the latter passage is by probably the earthly sibling of Jesus, if not the one who was one of the Boanerges. 

In any case, both the pillars one of the Jerusalem and the other of the Gentiles points fingers at others instead of looking into themselves and spread fear, guilt and a sense of inadequacy in OTHERS. These “apostles” we’re constantly excavating reasons for either the sicknesses or the non-receipt of the things sought through prayers by the lay men! 

THAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE. In their eagerness in building the Church, they couldn’t continue the path of self purification through prayers and fasting! 

If anyone is eager to believe that Christianity is being used to purvey guilt and portray the laymen as inadequate only in the recent centuries, then they are terribly wrong. The process started immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection! 

Christ did not make the other man’s faults or INADEQUACIES as his reasons for non curing. No doubt He was/is God, but He recommended His disciples to look into themselves and not to find Pretexts. 

That is/was and would be Christianity and not as what the disciples wrote with a misplaced fervour to build a Church! 

God save us from false preachers of Christianity. 

Ceylon to SriLanka 


Ceylon to SriLanka
The title explains my understanding of the Island nation which has had a shared heritage since the days of Ashoka the Great and if one doesn’t question the exact time then even from the days of Lord Rama.But notwithstanding history and its myriad interpretations already available and the ones to follow, one’s personal experience lends authenticity to one’s FEELING OF KNOWLEDGE (well, try understanding that!).

In the early 80’s of the last century, when I was in school final, I had to pass by the Ceylon refugee camp, bang opposite the entrance of the central jail around an area called Subramaniapuram on the way to the Trichirapalli airport. The shacks put up by the enormous munificence of the Govt. Of Tamil Nadu, to say the least , was PATHETIC!

No work permit for those Lankan Tamil refugees and they were seen loitering in florid and brightly coloured lungis. Unkempt and penury dripping all over. I did not understand the gravity of the circumstances in which they had found themselves. 

A sort of political canker based on linguistic and communal divide had turned the democratic setup into a majoritarian oligarchy which assessed its own strength wrongly and took sides leading to what we know as an unbridgeable divide. 

Life went on, retaliation took place and the whole scenario turned uglier than imaginable. 

In the college there were students from Sri Lanka, who by hindsight I know must have been from the well to do families which could afford insulating their kids from the political turmoil besetting the Northern part of Lanka, then. They were using too grammatical and obsoletely worded Thamizh with an accent absolutely to a native Of Tamilnadu. But they were friendly and mostly of robust health, given to excessive smoking and not given to much mirthful disposition, probably because they were bearing the burden of the anxiety back home. 

Most of them were clubbed together with foreign students from Malaysia, in fact one could see that both the Lankans and the Malaysian Tamils wore Paisley designed florid shirts with slit sides! 

When I visited HOUSE OF FASHION, a Colombo equivalent of our Purusaiwakkam Saravana Stores, I saw a section full of those paisley designed florid side slit shirts. Those days back in college, we country Tamils had nursed a desire to be seen in those coxcomby shirts! 

But now, India is in the verge of becoming a low rung super power and consequently a certain superciliousness had set in to ignore those vestigial yearnings nursed in those callow years of youth! 

So all the per diem is spent on cinnamon and liquor from duty free shops! 

Sri Lankan issues have been sorted out, and a certain calm had dawned on them. Yet the imperial flavour of the architecture and consumption of too much of wood in their interiors! 

Further, like the symbolic Urdu signages in the Delhi roads, one can find Tamil signages everywhere except for the Sinhala Academy building! But the Tamil is mostly a transliteration of Sinhala language and occasionally Tamil words absolutely alien to the Thamizh of Tamil Nadu, just like the paneer dosa of Punjab to a native Tamil. 

Islander’s life seemed not very different from those of the laid back tea garden owners! It would have been easier for my consciousness had SriLanka not named their currency as Rupee- I had to shell out double or triple in Rupees! That was disheartening. 

Women are bold and don’t seem to hold their breasts up, as a sign of immodesty! That was very refreshing! 

One should visit the Serendib to see how the economies stagnate because of divisive politics! 

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