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Gideon’s humility‼️


 

Gideon’s purpose was approved by God and supported by his father Joash. None, mind you, NONE even from his own tribe of Manasseh believed in the method or the purpose which he undertook on his own and when God recognised him as a ‘thou mighty man of valour’ – he did not bask in the certificate of the angel of God, yet when he had to engage with his enemies, Gideon took an ASSURANCE from God. An Assurance through two impossible signs.

 

There are three signs Gideon takes before he embarks on a fight against the Midianites, the Amalekites and the children of the East.

 

First, when the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon while he was stealthily threshing wheat, and told him “Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” The sign Gideon received was that when the Angel of the Lord, who sat under an oak in Abiezer, touched the offering poured out on the rock and touched it by his staff, the whole offering was consumed.

 

Experience had taught Gideon that he should not only have an assurance but an assurance from the Lord who could do great things.

When the Pharisees asked for a sign from Jesus, they were not seeking for a sign to believe, but to debunk the sign and rely on their own Unbelief in Christ and rightly Jesus says : no sign would be given (Gospel of Mark) except for the sign of Jonah ( Gospels of Matthew & Luke). Jesus calls such seeking of signs by His contemporaneous generation as “wicked & adulterous”.

Wickedness could be defined as a ‘wilful choice of the evil’ and Adulterous means ‘not faithful to the choice made and showing waywardness in accepting favours, protection or resources by succumbing to the enticements and show of power by someone other than the God to whom one has chosen to stay committed’.

 

A sign is a prediction of the outcome. A prediction about the events to come in the future without the person seeking a sign not having made up his mind. A sign could turn out to be like Chananah’s son Zedekiah’s prediction before Ahab and Jehoshaphat, regarding the battle which they had undertaken to pursue on a prediction of positive outcome.

The difference between Gideon seeking a sign and Ahab or the Pharisees seeking a sign is VAST. Gideon had already embarked on the path of confronting the Midianites, the Amalekites and the children of the East. He was NOT asking which way the wind would blow. He wanted the wind to blow his way and he wanted an assurance from the Creator of the wind to blow his way.

If one understands the difference, it would be exhilarating. Gideon was finding a way to win. He wanted God to be on his side, whereas Ahab and the Pharisees had not hoisted their sails nor would till they were told through a sign that they would obtain a particular result. Otherwise, they were willing to desist and altogether abandon their embarking on the battle or their course.

Gideon had chosen his path, his request for a sign was a prayer for sanctification of the path already embarked by him.

Gideon places the fleece and requests God, truly humbly, that the fleece should be drenched with dew whereas the outside of the fleece should be without dew. Gideon does not request for a human possibility – except through fraud. When Gideon finds that God had made it happen, he once again humbly requests God to perform the reverse of his earlier ‘sign’- which by hindsight is even more humanly impossible – the fleece should be dry but the area surrounding the fleece should be wet with dew. God makes it happen, AGAIN.

God’s eyes which run to and fro have found Gideon – a mighty man of valour – willing to stand as a single man and resist the Midianites. Even God wants to convince Gideon to go to take the Midianites head on. God gives Gideon an unsolicited third party assurance- an enemy soldier dreams and another soldier interprets that dream reassuring an eavesdropping Gideon. An event not ‘intended’ but an independent assurance that Gideon would win.

Sure enough he wins.

Even after victory, he faces humiliation from the twin tribe of Manasseh – Ephraim. The Ephraimites chide Gideon the Manassehite as to why he did not involve the tribe of Ephraim.

None from the Ephraim could have imagined the nocturnal threshing that Gideon was doing to shore up the merge resources left unplundered by the marauding Midianites. Yet he comes up with two classic statements to assure the Ephraimites of their putative superiority over the tribe of Manasseh.

One is that he gives the Ephraimites the credit for killing the Princes Zeeb and Oreb. In fact the tribe of Naphtali and Asher, sniffed a deliverer in Gideon and joined Gideon in the pursuit of the Midianites, but the Ephraimites waited for an invitation and possibly the scent of victory before they took the Midianites at Bethbarah and Jordan. Yet Gideon ascribes the victory to the Ephraimites. Gideon kills it when he draws an imagery of the grapes thus:

“Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?”

 

This victory for freedom effervescent in the blood of Gideon was able to overlook the fact as to who contributed more to the victory over the Midianites. It was not mere generosity of the soul of Gideon; nor was it the political acumen to harness the dominant tribe of Ephraim, I see it as the fulfilment of the thirst of Liberty which was willing to forgo credit for the freedom achieved.

Gideon ranks in my list as next only to Moses as the Greatest Liberator.

 

We as individuals are all labouring under some Midianite or Amalekite force trampling and swindling our resources and livelihood, yet we eke out our meagre existence with a fervent Hope that one day we may be called as ‘mighty man of valour’ – while threshing our own wheat sheaves in our own backyard in the dark of the night‼️

The legitimisation of the Greatness of Louis XIV‼️


The putative father of Louis XIV was Louis XIII, the reality was that Louis XIII failed to produce an heir to the throne of France through many women besides his Queen, which was a cause of concern not only for Louis XIII, his Queen and, most of all, the Pope.

The temporal head had to find means to beget an heir and a deus ex machina was invented. A Duke was interpolated into the conjugal bed of the King and Queen. Voila, two sons were born out of that unholy union. The elder one became Louis XIV and the second one became the Duke of Orleans.

The Pope, which means the Church, was fully in the know of this. The biological father’s functions were well performed and over. Therefore, this nameless Duke Sullun, was masked and detained in the high security dungeons- now called prisons.

In the Fifth year of Louis XIV, the King dies and Louis XIV being the Dauphin, is crowned the king. However, in view of his minority, his mother was made the Regent, who continued to rule France with the aid of a Cardinal ( I suppose). This arrangement continued for close to ten years and thereafter Louis assumes kingship and shifts his capital to Versailles.

The fact that his biological father was still alive was neither known nor suspected by Louis XIV.

When the Church manoeuvred to play the legitimacy card to keep the king in check, serendipitously he stumbles upon how his mother had, in satisfaction of her queenly duties, begotten him and his brother Philippe.

Louis, was a man who smelt a threat where such possibilities merely existed.

Upon discovery, he along with his brother poisoned their father and killed that Possibility from emerging as a Fact to threaten the good life they both had got used to.

This brutal act by Louis XIV doesn’t get highlighted in history, all because of the cardinal reason THE WINNER WRITES HISTORY – the loser’s version never gets the publicity.

I love to read this legitimisation of the illegalities of imposters and how they by doing good deeds perpetuate their names like Louis Le Grand‼️

History repeats itself constantly, only that the contemporaneous events do not have the feel of the exaltation of History.

Beware of Philistines‼️


Never ever wake up from that feminine lap of luxury with false memories of strength. With the locks go the strength too, but awareness came much later. Tell not the woman the reasons for your strength. If the locks are your strength, give her no clue. Else she’ll monetise that knowledge with the lurking Philistines.

Keep your locks in order. Philistines always lurk behind those laps of luxury. The luxury invested with those silver coins by the Philistines. When you see luxury in a woman, not financed by you or her father, dream not of pillowing your head in that lap. It is not a lap of luxury, it is the snare for disempowerment. Many a Samson has awoken to realise that by groping in the dark – that darkness created by Philistines with your gouged out eyeballs in their hands.

Philistines entice never ever directly, but by bringing those things before you with an unexpected surrender the things which you once furtively ached for.

Run son, Run.

Blindness awaits those who lean on those laps of luxury. Those laps make you reveal through feminine persistence and importunity.

David was not wiser than the ancients because he Trusted only the Lord, he helped himself by learning to scold the very same Michal for whom he once risked his own life for two hundred foreskins, and esteemed being the son-in-law of Saul too high for him.

Foolish Michal thought David returned her love. That Love he managed from the more devoted and unprincessly Abigail and Bathsheba, both of whose husbands propitiously for David died the day after each of those women met him‼️

Michal was only a means for David to sup with the king on the new moon days and other feast days. Foolish Michal scolds a King who was then in the very throne of her father. She forgot that David was not just a skilled sniping slinger but Michal’s King.

Michal went without kids, why so? David must have been particular not to bring forth kids from those imperious womb and made her a babysitter for her sister Mehrab’s kids. Mehrab, who was David’s denied trophy had to hand over her kids or was Mehrab alive at all at that point?

If David’s logic of informing Ishbosheth that Michal’s bride price was paid for in double by David and therefore his claim didn’t abate; how much more right he did have to claim Mehrab on the grounds that she was on the public block for decimating Goliath.

Methinks, David got her too but fortunately for him, was not discovered like in the case of Bathsheba.

In life neither are all men Samsons nor Davids. Each makes his own life – and be not like Esau who sold his birthright for colourful pottage.

Philistines come in different forms, some as Sauls, enticing you to fight for a princess; and some Philistines straight get to the woman through threats and incentives.

Beware of the Philistines, not the woman.

Tirukural


Tirukural is a Touchstone of righteous behaviour, it never made a man Righteous. I’ve heard many quoting Kural as the proof of something they have observed, but never quoted as a dictum they followed – come what may.

The eagerness to compare the pithiness of the couplets to those of the sayings of De La Rochefoucauld could be tempting, yet, the comparison is not apt as the range of the Kural is phenomenally wider than that of the maxims of Duc de La Rochefoucauld and less sarcastically insightful.

I would also hate to equate the Kural with the Beatitudes for the same reason.

There is an entire part devoted to the carnality of love between a man and a woman, which is unaddressed in the Beatitudes – the purpose being entirely different.

Some of the Beatitudes are epigrammatically formulising and some are didactic, but they don’t deal with the sensitivity of human feelings – legitimate or otherwise; The Kural is magnificent in its scope and precise to the point of focus.

To slot it would be very difficult. The translations of Rajaji or Sundaram are all partially interpretative. The proof is that one has to go to the உரை or the commentary in prose in Thamizh by Karunanidhi and others, where the meaning of a particular Kural has been found to have been interpreted according to the known ideology of the interpreter.

One of the earliest translators of the Kural into English language was Joseph Beschi, whom I suppose was a missionary. He never published the part relating to Love, the third part, which he thought might not be appropriate to the Christian teachings he was probably propagating- this is assuming that he even translated the third part. It took a person by name GU Pope to translate the whole Kural into English.

There have been votaries of all religions who have read their proclivities into those couplets, yet none has made it his dictum in life to live by any of the Kurals. However any reader would wonder how a single person, by name Valluvar, could have had not only had the grasp in such a spectrum of wide ranging topics, but his poetic succinctness in expression.

I want to find a single man who says he has followed the statements- because they are NOT prescriptions- found in the Kural.

The Tent of Power


The Tent of Power remains the same, only that the well entrenched Sheik and his camel keep taking turns to stay in and out like our political parties.

If as Twain said, “No man’s life or Liberty is safe when the Congress is in session”, no man’s Peace is safe at anytime if the Executive is not controlled by the Legislature and the Judiciary, as the Executive is perpetually in session.

It is that control over the Executive Power that the Legislative mandate gives.

Funny, that in India, everyone hankers after the Executive Power through the Legislative Power; and do not make any effective contribution in the Assembly or the Parliament.

The Legislative Power has declined and the media does not cover the debates in the Assemblies and the Parliament. The Legislative Power has become merely the means to achieve the Executive Power.

When I hear the promises and read the Manifestos of political parties during elections, I wonder whether they had not debated these issues in the Assemblies and the Parliament?

If they had debated, what proposals were made by which Parliamentarian or MLA? How much he pushed it? What were his reasoning?

All that is missing.

When such an informed choice is hard to make by the electorate, the easy option is to rotate the strike, especially when one party’s manifesto reads like a stencilled copy of the other.

P J O’Rourke on the Elites


We have come across the term ‘elitist’ in many a context especially relating to one who has not sullied his hands in the grime of Life, yet has had ‘success’ in his profession; and had exhibited ‘taste’ in his choices. But to portray them as a political class and to exemplify that class par excellence, it needs a high magnitude of understanding and to vilify them is not easy, as they say the politically right things and are seen as those who hate talk of money, yet silently cream out the society through their ostensibly altruistic policies.

After many years of reading insipid writers with those didactic homilies delivered piecemeal thru Whatsapp circulars, when I read the following by P J O’Rourke, I was exhilarated:

“Another result is the European refugee crisis. What do the elites care? The refugees aren’t crowding the halls and jostling the elites in the corridors of the European Parliament in Brussels. The refugees aren’t building shanty­towns on the tennis courts at the elites’ country clubs. Young refugee men commit assaults in public places, like the Cologne train station, on public occasions, like New Year’s Eve. That’s the public’s problem. These things don’t happen at the private dinner parties elites give.

The elites fail and don’t suffer any consequences from their failures. As it is with elite carelessness about refugees, so it is with elite carelessness about immigration. To elites immigration means nannies, household staff, and fun new ethnic restaurants. Elites don’t see any similarity

between Trump’s border wall and the gated communities where they live.

To be fair to elites, they’ve got their problems too. We live in speedy times. Quick changes in social mores, economic norms, and political givens confuse everyone, especially those who thought they were leading The Mores, Norms, and Givens Parade.

We don’t have to march in lockstep anymore. People are becoming persons, not masses. This is fun. But difficulties arise after the stride is broken. When the band breaks up it can leave the tubas to be turned into beer bongs; the fellow with the bass drum sitting on the curb playing the solo from “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”; the trombonist using his slide to goose the cornet player; and nobody left who can spell “glockenspiel.” Meanwhile, the elite drum major is just some dork standing in the middle of the street wearing a goofy hat and waving a stick.”

Legislative power & Executive Power.


Most of the literate people themselves wouldn’t be able to differentiate between these two. If the literate themselves do not know the difference, what kind of an informed ‘choice’ are the balance 30% going to make at the time of voting in a Democracy?

Should they know the difference? If the people knew the difference, would their choice be any different? In case it is different, on what count, would it be different? Yes, I guess.

Firstly, through Article 162 of the Constitution of India, the Executive power of the States is defined. This is merely to carve out the areas in which the State could exclusively act, those areas where it has to act along with the Union, and those areas which are outside its scope.
If we read Article 53 of the Constitution, the Executive Power would not be thus circumscribed as the Parliament has the Residual powers, as such the Executive Power cannot be circumscribed or defined, as the Parliament is empowered to act in areas unenvisaged as yet, but provided for a contingent situation.
Therefore, the True meaning of ‘Executive Power’ has to be discovered from Art 162 only. Which is ‘Executive Power is coextensive with the Legislative power within its competency’.

162. Extent of executive power of State.

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive power of a State shall extend to the matters with respect to which the Legislature of the State has power to make laws:

53. Executive power of the Union.

(1) The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.

I’ve reproduced part of the two Articles for reference and it can be noticed that the Executive Power of the Union is not clearly defined, as the wordings of the Article would have become clumsy if one had to detail the residual powers also.

Therefore, for the understanding of a layman like me, the Executive Power of any authority would be circumscribed by the Legislative Power it has been vested with under the Constitution.

So, what is the difference?
Aristotle said this:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens’ and upon evolution of this idea through Locke and Dicey we have the Rule of Law.
But Laws have to be made by human beings and that body of Human beings are the Legislators. It is they who are required to be elected in our great Indian democracy. We don’t elect Executives, we elect only Legislators. Or to put it even more lucidly, we elect the Law Makers and not the Ministers.
The Ministers are a body of Legislators who enjoy the majority support of the Legislature, whether it be the Parliament or the Assembly. These Ministers are the ones who perform the Executive functions in the name of the President or the Governors.

Therefore, when we elect, we elect people to do the primary function of making laws. These laws cannot be discriminatory and should have universal applicability with reasonable exceptions carved out as mentioned in the Constitution as Directive Principles of State Policy or even as exceptions in some of the Fundamental Rights, otherwise those Laws run the risk of being struck down as offending the Constitutional guarantees or even its Basic Structure.
So the Executive has to be a Legislator FIRST, therefore, it is imperative on the part of the electorate to decide the competency of a person as a Legislator before considering any other aspect.
If a Julius Caesar were to use his techniques he employed with the Gauls against the Romans citizens, there would be order and peace for a while but no true Growth.
True growth means even getting to employ the differently abled and the weak into the machinery of the State or the Nation and providing them the wages not according to their productivity but according to the effort put in by them.
I am very impressed with Bharat Petroleum, as they employ persons with limited understanding to just fill gas and note the reading and collect the amount shown in the meter. The effort those young boys put in, to perform those basic functions are no less contributory than the skilled workers. We, as a society have salvaged, a person from getting ghettoised and marginalised from the dungeons of his own house, where he could be seen as a burden. Having been made an earning member, Bharat Petroleum has fulfilled not CSR obligations but a duty as a member of the Society.
We need Legislators who are capable of distinguishing not on grounds of materialism like Productivity alone but providing ways of livelihood for the deprived and the disabled, without compromising on recognising and fostering Merit and the Meritorious.

When we understand this we will not turn to Legislators who make rabble rousing speeches but to those Legislators who are capable of taking other Legislators along on a sane and fair path to make Laws and find ways to implement the same justly.

Voting is a Right in a Democracy, but to vote rightly is merely an option. Don’t waste it.

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