Deepawali: Need to curb air and noise pollution

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (General Secretary IPC)

Deepawali, which was celebrated yesterday with zeal and fervor, has but left a bad  taste or (shall I say a trail?) of sickening noise and air pollution.  It has brought at  naught the laudable ‘Swachchha Bharat Campaign’ of the Prime Minster Narendra Modi.  I do not know what happens to the sensitivity of the people, when they  indulge into such unpardonable activities, in spite of knowing the fact that a large  number of populace is undergoing through immense hardships caused by  disastrous of flood and cyclones in Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha and Andhra  Pradesh. Does their conscience not prick them when they mindlessly splurge huge  amounts on firecrackers and costly gifts on the pious occasion of Deepawali?  I have been told that the neo rich families became so crass that they spent many lakhs of  Rupees on the firecrackers leaving the thick clouds of smokes hanging in the air.  These smoke overcasts have aggravated the breathing problems among the patients of asthma and other lung diseases.

 The deafening noise caused by the bursting of huge chain of crackers disturbed the sleeps of infants and olds alike for the whole night. Patients were the worst  sufferers. This has left a big question mark on the purity and sanctity of religious  festivals. Those, who celebrate the festivals of Deepawali and Holi in such obscene  and vulgar manner are ,without a shred of doubt,the enemies of the religion. But  the saddest part of it is that the religious leaders are promoting such stupidity with their stony silence. I do not have any compunction to say that most of the festivals of Hindus have been degenerated and they have lost all the serenity attached to them. 

It is often repeated by every religious and political leader that ‘Deepawali is the festival of victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over  evilbut when we see the suffocating atmosphere around, we find that in practice it  is the other way round. The market forces have complete stranglehold over the  solemnity of the occasion. The amount of wares and goods, which were sold during this Deepawali, and the mad rush of the buyers that was seen in the market showed that demonic forces of the bazaar were out in full force to defeat the purity of the  festival by vainglory and humanity by barbarity.

 Those who are corrupt, regardless of their being politicians, bureaucrats and  businesspersons, they are having the final say in giving direction to the festivals.  They spent thousands and lakhs of Rupees in distributing and receiving the gifts  with no sense or qualm of guilt about the teeming and toiling masses. Common  person is left high and dry because he/she does not find any place on their radar.  My conscience is numbed with shock when I see these insensitive and corrupt  people are on spending spree without any remorse and use these festivals as a cloak or ploy.

I have been thinking since yesterday as to why the religious heads, political leaders, social activists, intellectuals and media persons remain silent spectators on the  blatant violations of laws and the real spirits of religion? They appear to have  succumbed to the onslaught of the corrupt and powerful persons and allow them to hold the silent and meek majority to ransom by turning the Nelson’s eyes on acts of gross injustices.

It may also be noted here that many years ago the Supreme Court of India ruled that no fireworks or loudspeakers can be allowed to blare after 10.00 p.m. but anybody  can see it himself or herself that the judgment of the Supreme Court is violated with the contempt and gay abandon on almost all festivals particularly during  Deepawali.

 Deepawali is no longer a festival of lights, symbolizing the victory over ignorance  and darkness. It has now become a festival of show-offs, when rich and  neo-rich persons flaunt their wealth and prosperity. I certainly have  grudge with such  persons who not only make mockery of religion and also cause inferiority complex  among large section of the society, who earn their living by honest means or by the sweat their brows. The honest and humble hardly cause or contribute to the  pollution in the atmosphere but they are never counted.

 It is indeed regrettable that the religious leaders of the Hindu society have never  raised their voice against this uncivilized and ignoble exhibition of the rich people. This shows that how effete, weak and unconcerned they have become towards to the society. By their deeds, they have joined the company of thugs and cheats. Their  religious practices are ‘phoney’ and therefore despicable.

 The police, the administration, is often conspicuous by its absence on the occasions. This again shows their irresponsibility and dereliction to the duty. The politicians  they abstain from doing any fruitful campaign to get rid of this evil. Media persons and intellectuals are equally,if not more, to be blamed for this growing and skunk  like menace. That is why, I say that so long religious leaders, politicians of all hues  and colours, police and administration and other right spirited people do not come forward to awaken the  conscience of the general public, clever and corrupt will  continue to rule the roost. The ‘Principle of Polluters Pay ‘(PPP) is a well accepted  theory across the world and the same has been buttressed by the Indian Supreme  Court in many of judgments but why is it not being strictly observed is beyond my  comprehension.

 Anybody who is causing the noise and air pollution must be stringently punished  and must be made to pay for the pollution he or she causes.

 Adherence to this principle would, undoubtedly, go a long way to restore the piousness, the serenity and  the sanctity of all festivals, which are likely to cause air or noise pollution or any other kind of public nuisance. The monsters of all hues and persuasions need to be reined-in  without any misplaced mercy,please!

Under Modi, is India turning away from the brink of disaster? A prophecy made by a Yogi about India

By: Shreepal Singh

What is the worth of a prophecy! Is it not a nonsense exercise indulged in by crooks since ages? Prophecy is foretelling what would happen in future. Is it ever possible for a human being to tell in advance about the events that are going to take place in future? And more than this, is it possible to foretell about a nation, which is composed of crores of individuals? Any rational person would say it is never ever possible; it all is humbug!

Let us have a second look about this subject as a rational person. Can one foretell what would happen to a thing at a given time in future? We all do it daily. We board a train bound to a destination, foretelling it would reach by the appointed time its destination. It does reach so in 99% of the cases. We calculated and foretold about one year in advance that India’s Mars Orbiter Mission/module would reach its destination; and, it reached so. In a way, we plan all our activities for today determined by our foretelling about what would happen tomorrow. Life’s all activities are goal oriented and the goal is always an object lying in the unknown future. Unless we are able to foretell, and foretell correctly, it is not possible for life to plan in the present so that progress is achieved in the future. This type of foretelling is called prediction; and it is based on our scientific calculations, of which accuracy is vouchsafed by our uninterrupted human experience. It is not prophecy. What is the difference between a prediction and a prophecy? Let us see the difference.

All kinds of forecasting or foretelling involve an exercise that is akin to processing. This processing is nothing but the cumulative outcome of the inter-action of all the parametric conditions influencing an “object”, about which the foretelling is made. We can very well say that prediction, foretelling, forecasting and prophecy, all the four, have these elements in common: one – ascertaining “all the parametric conditions” (that would influence the object); two – knowledge or information about the “inter-action” of those conditions with the object (about which forecast is made); three – calculation of the “cumulative outcome” (of such inter-action).

Why does many a times a train bound for a destination not reach its destiny; a space rocket programmed to hone in at a particular station not reach its desired spot; or, a person making efforts to achieve a goal in life not secure the same?

The answer is simple: There are too many parametric conditions out there in Nature; it is not within the human-capacity to know all these conditions (even with the aid of all the available Super-Computers). Moreover, in laboratory these conditions may be ‘controlled’ and ‘duplicated’ again and again to test their cumulative effect; but is not possible to do so in Nature. We are not always able to “ascertain” all the parametric conditions (e.g., railroad may be broken, flooded; rocket may be pulled off way by an unknown gravitational pull; a person may miscalculate about his or her prospect; etc.). And / or, we may not know about the “inter-action” that may be involved (e.g., there may be outbreak of war disrupting train’s movement; cosmic radiation may damage navigational panels of the rocket; a person may fall ill making him or her fail in the goal). And / or, we fail to calculate the “cumulative outcome” of the influencing elements (e.g., broken or flooded railroad may even kill the passenger; rocket may be lost in the outer space; a person may win a fabulous lottery / be robbed and injured). We know so much about these conditions and calculation and, still, we know almost nothing about them.

Here lies the mystery of prophecy and its efficacy. The correctness of a prediction is tested by its fulfillment and, likewise, the accuracy of a prophecy is tested by its coming true in reality.

Science knows the truth about many things; and it admits also that it does not know about many things yet. It is only because of this admission that science is still searching and progressing. What is the ratio between the things that science knows and the things that it does not know? Science does not have any answer on this point. The reasonable speculation is that science knows very little in comparison to what it does not know. Opposite to science, there are Yogis who claim they know the secrets of this creation visible to us as universe. They claim that they can see the “parametric conditions”, “inter-action” of the elements involved and the “cumulative outcome” of this whole processing.

There is no way to verify the truthfulness of this claim of Yogis except by testing them through the realization of their prophecy in concrete reality.
It may be interesting to refer to a prophecy made by the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.

Those who have read Sri Aurobindo and the Mother need no introduction of them. To those who have not heard about them, it is suffice to say that Sri Aurobindo represents the soul of spiritual India in our modern materialist age and the Mother, a disciple of Sri Aurobindo, a Divine instrument to fulfill the assigned work of her Guru and Master. Great yogis, like her, completely identify their consciousness with that of the Divine and get vision of three dimensions of time, that is, past, present and future. They envision the kaleidoscopic possibilities of events depending upon the choice people make.

The Mother saw the future of India. She told her this vision to her secretary Sri Udar Pinto, who is now no more. The date of this vision about the future of India is not known, as Sri Pinto did not indicate it. But we can guess and make some rough estimate of it. The Mother left her body in 1973 and Sri Pinto revealed the prophecy after her physical death. It might have been made some time before her death.

It is what Sri Udar Pinto says: “I will try to give here what the Mother has said about this in Her own words, as far as I can… The Mother said that India would pass through a very difficult time. One Government after another would come but each would fail in solving the problems that would face the country in greater and greater intensity. One party after another would fail. There would be an attempt at a sort of dictatorship but this too, would fail and the people would become desperate. Then, finally, there would come the breaking point and at that time, if the people were not given the right lead they would take a wrong turn and India’s soul would suffer for centuries. So they must be correctly guided at that point. This is more or less in Mother’s own words and so we can see how what she said is happening and how important it is for us to be ready.”

We can identify certain important points in time in the recent history of India and co-relate events that took place then. This spiritual vision was seen by the Mother before 1973 and at that time there was no possibility of speculating about the instability in Indian national life (which took place thereafter) or the desperate act of the imposition of emergency in India (which was done by Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1975).

Perhaps we may be justified in saying that India as a nation has seen instability, on one after another occasions; has seen our political leaders taking desperate steps by way of moving towards dictatorship. Also, perhaps, we may be justified in saying that, in spiritual significance, a breaking point had been reached in the life of India as a nation during the long UPA regime when this nation was sought to be put by its political leaders on to the path of cultural and political debauchery. Did it not amount to India “taking a wrong turn” as envisioned by the Mother? As usual, some will not agree.

In the vision, there is a warning: “At that time, if the people were not given the right lead they would take a wrong turn and India’s soul would suffer for centuries”! What do you make of these words? Where do you put Modi, after his getting a stunning victory over the UPA? Is Modi giving a right lead in the life of this nation? One may again disagree.

But one thing is certain, and perhaps there cannot be any disagreement on this, that if India, as a nation, had a culture rooted in spiritualism; if India, as a nation, had a soul; it certainly would have suffered for centuries had the UPA got its way; got its “India is an idea” imposed on this nation.

But mercifully that eventuality has been warded off. It is because the people of India are being given the right lead by Modi.

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