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Reflections on tradition


Religion is a personal experience to me and to most of us too. Each of us nurture some form of faith within us which fills one with hope and exaltation. I have often wondered if my inward faith would become less if my outward expression is reduced? By not undertaking annual yatras, pilgrimage, religious journeys or visits to Shrines, Mandirs, Mazjid, Temples or Church, would it make me less pious and by undertaking such practices, rituals, or journeys would it make me more spiritual? Does my simple act of a silent prayer at home reach the abodes of the Gods slower or do I need to rocket my prayers, pleadings and demands with all the glitz and glamour such as the ones seen in today’s times? To such colossal queries I would be bombarded with answers based on varying proportions from a cross section of believers depending on their leanings, faith, ideologies, beliefs or disbeliefs. The point is that all religious practices are increasingly becoming market driven and demonstrate obsessive religious regimentation and participation, thus making it a norm. Come to think of it the word “religion” itself would up the antennae and antics of many! My reflection on religion has suddenly been bolstered since the aftermath of Diwali. The decibels of increasing intensity of firecrackers burst with ‘religious’ faith and gusto which goes on till almost the wee hours of dawn and the blatant flouting of regulations with the least regard to the calamitous havoc of toxic fumes emitted to the environment that cause serious health hazards to both humans, animals and plants is simply nobody’s concern at all. My question is do we really need such frenzied and competitive demonstration of wealth to reach the Gods above? The case of Kollam temple tragedy in Kerala caused by firecrackers just a few months back am sure is still fresh in our minds. Isn’t such a catastrophic incident, lessons enough for us to change and reform traditions and practices? Diwali is called the “festival of lights” but we have long forgotten this and have turned it to the “festival of pollution”. Delhi, the capital of our country is already reeling under ominous pollution levels, but since the past few days the quantum of pollution has gone up manifold due to the Diwali frenzy coupled with the recent stubble burning of neighbouring farms posing increased health risks to millions of population there. But we simply do not care either ways. Neither for our own wellbeing nor the wellbeing of the generations of tomorrow, for we remain blissfully smug and firm in upholding traditions and practices howsoever ruinous it may be! It is well past time we bring in alteration in our religious practices which are not doing any good to both humans and the Gods. Of what use are such rigid faith and the accompanying practices if they do more harm than good? Isn’t it time to regulate age old practices and bring in the much needed change? Without hurting any religious sentiments I would request all to spare some thought and begin to think rationally and with pragmatism without being carried away by emotions and sentiments to engage in such damaging practices all in the name of devotion and religiosity.

Yours etc.,

Moushumi Dey,

Via email

Brilliant move by Mr Modi


 Kudos to PM Modi for the ‘surgical strike’ on black money. Announcements made by PM are exactly what are needed to uproot corruption, black money, hawala and fake currency rackets. The surprise step appears to be designed to bring ‘billions of dollars worth of cash in unaccounted wealth’ into the mainstream economy. Since black money can’t be used for buying financial assets, the same is used for purchasing mostly real estate and gold. The cash component is still very high in real estate transactions. The currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will now be “just worthless pieces of paper.” The move is an effort to close down the booming economy of untaxed cash transactions, which allows corruption, the funding of terrorist groups, and keeps counterfeit notes in circulation. With these notes now going out of circulation, the government has created a solid opportunity to clean up the system. And terrorist organisations, which according to the government have made repeated use of fake currency, will suddenly find their cash piles containing these notes worth nothing.

Yours etc.,  

Akash Kumar,

Jagraon, Punjab

Curb on black money!


We believe that Modi seeks to destroy the ghost economy to allow the actual economy to thrive in this country. Yes, it is true that for a few days the common people will suffer, but ultimately black money will be traced and checked. Terror funding will also be checked. Banks should be very vigilant now as there will be heavy rush for opening of new accounts. India does not care about the outcome of the US Presidential election, as in five to ten years’ time India will control the world economy. Black money is the real hindrance to the growth of our economy. November 8, is a red letter day for our country in the context of our growth and prosperity.

Yours etc.,

Anjan Kr Das,


Banks must remain vigilant!


This refers to the report, “Blow to black money” (ST, November 9, 2016). The decision to scrap Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 currency notes is welcome. It will certainly weed out a sizeable amount of black money. But black money will again start mushrooming if putting the brakes on its generation is not being taken up immediately after the introduction of new currency notes. Cash transactions of over Rs.50,000 must be proh-ibited to cut the channels of black money circulation. This compl-ementary step is needed to sustain the benefits of currency renewal.

Yours etc.

, Sujit De,


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